Title: Moth and Flame – The sequel to the 'Cat and Mouse' series

Author: Jayde

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Seven years have passed since the events of 'Rest in Peace'.

Credits: Thanks to Sassy, once again, for the excellent and timely beta.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the turtles. I borrow them only for entertainment purposes. No profit or harm intended.

Author's Notes: Well, I'm back again. Yup, seven whole years have passed since 'Rest in Peace', and the universe I'm borrowing for this story is the one from the new comics. You haven't been following that, you say? That's okay. I'll explain as we go along. And for those who have been following the new comics, here's what I'm messing with: Raphael was never bitten by vampires, no Mike and Regenta (or eggs), and I have no idea about those weird assassins after Karai and the Foot. What is still true is that the Utroms came to Earth, and that aliens now visit and live on this planet, allowing the guys to live openly.


Late autumn leaves, blood red, crunched underfoot as he walked the familiar path to work. The air was crisp and cool, and he was glad he had worn the heavy trench coat today. He would never quite get used to these temperatures – it was a wonder he hadn't accepted a post in a warmer climate.

"Dr. Hamato!"

The shout drew him to a halt as two students hurried up. The boy was puffing from the brief run, but the girl seemed used to such exercise.

"Dr. Hamato," she said respectfully. "We wanted to talk to you about yesterday's lab." Their professor nodded politely, and motioned for the pair to follow. Walking through the large university campus, the professor nodded to those who greeted him. He had been teaching here for only two years now, but already he had been offered tenure. And why not? After all, he was a unique draw.

The brick building housing the science departments loomed ahead.

"Dr. Hamato, we were wondering if you would let us do the lab again," the boy said, finding his voice finally as they stepped through the door. The hallway was early morning quiet.

"Mark," Dr. Hamato replied gently. "It's not about how the experiment worked – it's what you learned from it."

"But we could do better," Mark insisted. His lab partner nodded anxiously. Neither of them wished to fail this class, and Dr. Hamato was already notorious for his ferocious final exams. They needed the lab grade.

"We'll take a look at your lab notes, and …" But Dr. Hamato didn't finish his statement. Instead, he halted just inside the lab, his hand still on the wall switches, as the unforgiving fluorescent light glittered in a wide pool of blood.

"Oh my god," the female student gasped, her hand to her mouth. Mark whirled back to the hallway and was noisily sick.

Don stood still and studied the entire room through narrowed eyes – old instincts still remained strong in him. The boy who lay in the pool of blood was certainly dead, and Don could see nothing missing or damaged in the lab. The windows were closed, and no one else was here.

There were bloody footprints leading from the body to this door. Don backed up slowly, catching his student and pulling her out as well.