Volume 1, Chapter 13
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
The man on the couch grunted slightly at the disturbance. Waking just enough to remember that he wasn't expecting anyone, he rolled over and quickly returned to his slumber.
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*
Ugh. This was getting annoying.
The final straw. Nobody he knew rang the doorbell. Did he even have a doorbell? Sitting up, Casey Jones ran a hand through his hair, groaning. Was it morning yet? What day is it?
Stumbling to the door, Casey peered out. "Yeah? Can I help you?"
Two men in suits stood there. Never a good sign. The older one cleared his throat before extending his hand in greeting. "Good afternoon. We are looking for Ms. O'Neil. Is she home?"
Looking at the man's outstretched hand, but not reciprocating the gesture, Casey snorted. "Man, have you got the wrong place."
The man took his hand back, adjusting his glasses. "This is the last known address we have for her. Can you provide her new one for our files?"
Casey eyed the second man, who was trying to appear nonchalant as he tried to peer past Casey into the apartment. "No." Casey said, walking fully out the door and shutting it behind him. "Hell if I know. Where'd you say you were from again?"
The second, younger man opened his mouth as if to reply, but the first man beat him to it. "We didn't," he said curtly. "My… apologies. I am Mr. Williams. My associate is Mr. Curtis." The younger man nodded his agreement at this.
"I assure you," Mr. Williams continued. "This is an urgent matter and we must get in contact with Ms. O'Neil."
"Great. I get that." Casey sighed. "She ain't here. Ain't been here for a long time, and she ain't comin' back, either. You're about six months too late."
"More like four." Curtis commented under his breath, but Casey caught it.
"S'cuse me?" He crossed his arms. "Mind tellin' me where you're really from?"
The older man scowled at the other. "If you know where she is and are withholding information…"
"Look, 'Williams', unless you flash some badges, this conversation is over. Even if ya had one, which I'm guessin' ya don't, I suggesting gettin' away from my door before it gets ugly. I don't know nothin', and even if I did, I sure as hell wouldn't tell you."
"We'll be in touch, Mr. Jones." The one identified as Williams scowled just before Casey finished shutting the door on them.
"What an idiot." Williams took off his glasses, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Charles?" Daniel Curtis looked at his superior. "Bishop is bound to be angry… Do you think we should…"
"Bishop knew she hadn't been back here." Charles Williams shot back, before he had a chance to finish his sentence. "We'll get the information. I swear it."
Grabbing a beer from the floor and twisting it open, Casey took a long swig as he walked back to the living room. He'd long ago gotten used to the taste of warm beer; it was easier to keep it close at hand than keep it cold. He turned the corner into the room, and almost spit out his drink at the sight.
"Jeez, Raph." He choked on the warm beer. "Gotta scare me like that?" He wiped an arm across his mouth.
Raph stretched his crossed leg to poke at an empty bottle on the table with his toe. "Breakfast of champions, eh, Case?" He said, frowning slightly.
"If you came here for another of your 'motivational speeches', save it." Casey shoved a few newspapers off a chair and flopped down into it. "Though I'm willin' to bet your visit has somethin' to do with the one I just had with the 'Men in Black'."
Raphael sat up. "Who was just here?" He asked, his voice concerned.
"Couple'a suits just up here askin' about April." Casey shrugged. "Figured you might…" He started, but Raphael cut him off.
"Did you tell them anything?" He demanded, his voice urgent.
"What do I know to tell them?" Casey sounded annoyed. "Uh, yeah, my ex is livin' with her new boyfriend in the sewer and he just happens to be a turtle. That'll go over well."
"This isn't a joke, Casey." Raph said, pulling out his cell.
"Who are those guys?" He asked, then sat up. "What is going on?" He asked, but Raph was already on his phone. "Yeah, Leo, yeah. Casey said two guys in suits." He looked at Casey. "What did they look like?"
"Uh…" Casey thought. "Tall thin guy with glasses, dark hair. Name's… Williams. Smaller guy, sandy brown hair, Curtis."
"Got that?" Raph said into the phone, then snapped it shut. "Mikey's out for a stroll and close, he's keeping an eye out. I'm gonna see if I can catch up to them." With that, he jumped out the open window, and by the time Casey got there, the turtle was nowhere in sight. Energy he hadn't felt in years surged through the man, and he looked around for something to grab. A baseball bat, covered in dust and glass fragments seemed to satisfy him, and he bounded out of the apartment and up the stairs to the roof.
By the time he got up there, there was no one, and nothing in sight. He hit the bat against his hand nervously. Something big was going down.
Raphael appeared first, leaping gently back to the roof, cursing under his breath. "I lost him, Mike." He said into the communicator, and a moment later, Michaelangelo appeared. They spoke softly for a few minutes, then Mikey looked back to Casey. "Hey, uh, Casey. Heard you had some visitors at the ol' homestead."
Fuck. "My apartment!" Casey ran towards the stairs, hoping he remembered to shut the door and was just imagining his stupidity. By the time Raph and Mikey made it there, Casey was on his knees in the middle of the room. He turned to them. "This what you're looking for?" He held up a note, written in neat block letters, only four words long.
WE WILL FIND HER.
"…lost them about Fifth street…" Mikey's voice traveled through the cool air, making its way across the roof. Casey sighed and flipped the bat idly in his hands. Leo had shown up about a half hour ago, and he, Mike and Raph had been having some sort of conference since. Casey was bored.
"Donnie busy tonight?" He called over, and Leo's shoulders tensed and he glanced over at the man. Ah. A reaction.
"Tell me again, Casey." Leonardo walked towards him calmly. "Was anything missing from your place?"
"For the hundredth time, no, Leo." The blue masked turtle was annoying him, more than usual. "Look, if you guys are just gonna chat, can I get back to my…"
"I need your head clear, Casey." Leo interrupted sternly. Casey rolled his eyes. On the other side of the roof, Mikey looked back to Raph, scratching the back of his head. "I'm just worried about… you know."
"I know." Raph agreed. "But maybe this can lead us to them. And we can put an end to it."
Leo was still talking to Casey. "No papers? Maps to the lair? Documents?"
Casey groaned. "Leo, shut up! Do you think I'm that stupid that I'd have a map to your place just layin' out in my living room?" He stood up.
"Well…" Leo said slowly. "I don't know. People do…"
"Spare me." Casey spit out, walking away from the three of them. "I'm out, Raph." He called out as he pushed through the door. "I'll find my own answers."
Mike leaned his head back in frustration. "I almost agree. I think they're playing with us. Can we go?"
Leo walked back towards his brothers. "How has he been, Raph?" He furrowed his brow.
Raphael shrugged. "Hell if I know, Leo. I was there for about ten seconds before this all went down. Just enough time to kick some bottles out of the way, but he seems lucid now. He did then, too." He clenched his fists. "They were right there, Leo. All I had to do notice, and we'd'a had them!"
Leo shook his head. "It would have been helpful, yes." He stopped at Raphael's growl. "But you had no idea. This is a lead, the most action we've had from them in months. It's a start."
"Think they'll come back?" Mikey asked.
"Here?" Leo pondered. "Most likely. They know she lived here. I'm sure they think Casey is their key to her, and us."
"Speaking of 'key', I wonder if Casey locked us out. I need to use the little turtle's room before we head out." Mikey said, then took off down the stairs. Leo rolled his eyes, and Raph rubbed a hand over his head as they followed their brother, though more slowly.
Mikey was waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs. Leo's brow furrowed. "Mikey…?"
"Did Casey say he was… going anywhere?" Mike asked, frowning slightly.
"Not home?" Leo asked, already knowing the answer.
"Not home." Mikey affirmed. Raph sighed heavily. "He said he was goin' to… find answers." His eyes met Leo's. Leo rubbed his eyes. "That's what I was afraid of."
A very faint rumbling sound resonated into the lair. Donatello looked up. The walls surrounding them were thick, as were the streets above them. It wasn't the sound of trucks driving over; he knew those sounds. So much so that he barely even heard them anymore unless he really listened. No, this was something else.
Must be one heck of a storm. Don thought. He could hear the water in the sewers get louder, meaning a good strong rain was coming down. He heard the door to the lair open, and shut just as quickly. Standing up from the table, he made his way into the main room.
"Hey, you guys find…" He began, but his words cut off at the sight. Casey Jones stood before him, soaking wet and breathing heavily.
"Well." He began plaintively. "You're not who I expected."
"I'm sure not." Casey sneered. He hadn't intended to act this way, but there was something about Don that always rubbed Casey the wrong way, especially now. "Too busy to come out and play?"
"You can say that." Don replied. "What are you doing here?"
"I want answers." Casey began. "I got people comin' up asking me questions, breaking into my house…"
"You are an idiot." Don hissed. Casey stopped short, staring at the turtle wide-eyed. "What in your head made you think that coming down here would be a good idea?"
"Hey!" Casey barked. "I used to be a part of this 'family' too, ya know. I got a right to…"
"You lost your right to everything the moment you touched her with more than a loving hand." Don crossed his arms, pointing at Casey, eyes narrowing.
"Fuck you, Don." Casey took a few steps forward, until they were almost face to face. "None of this would've happened if you could've kept your…"
"Both of you, shut up!" Both mens' gazes flew to the area by Don's door. April was scowling at them.
"April…" Casey started, voice softening as his eyes ran the length of her body.
"I said shut up, Casey." She continued. "All you two do is bicker, and I am so tired of it. I don't want to hear either of you again. Do you hear me? I don't want to be near you." Leo, Raph and Mike, who had been approaching the lair, stopped outside the doorway. Leo held his hand up to stop his brothers from entering.
Don opened his mouth, but April shot him a look and he closed it. "That includes you, Don. You both drive me crazy. I am no one's property. I can't take it anymore." She shook her head. "I can't take either one of you!" She turned in a huff, slamming the door shut.
"I'm so glad you came to help." Don scowled at Casey, and it looked as though the turtle's cheeks were darkened. "We were…"
"So there is a 'we'." Casey began, but Raph entered, grabbing the man's shoulder.
"Let's go for a walk, Case." He said, pushing Casey into the sewer. Don watched them go, frowning deeply. Mikey cleared his throat. "Wanna bunk with me tonight, Donnie? We could watch bad movies like we used to."
"I'll sleep on the couch." Don replied.
"Maybe where you should have been sleeping this whole time." Leo frowned slightly, watching his brother.
Don grit his teeth, but headed for his lab. He walked past Leo, who still stood in the doorway, arms crossed. "You were partly right, Leo." He said, looking at his brother out of the corner of his eye. "We never should have gotten involved."
Author's note: I know this is years in the making, this update. I apologize, profusely, and want to give a heartfelt thank you to anyone who is still reading. Also a thank you to those who still stayed in touch. I don't want to broadcast it here, but if anyone has questions about my absence, please feel free to email me. Again, thank you, my friends.