What Lies Within

Summary: Leonardo has been having dreams of a princess in peril and of the Shredder returning. Splinter is reunited with a child he met sixteen years ago. Are these events connected?

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Any characters not mentioned in the series are my own creations. Please do not use them without my permission.

Chapter 1: Dreams and Memories

He ran through the darkness of the night in the forest as fast as he could. He could hear the sweet melody of a woman's voice singing a wordless song. The song grew louder as he got closer to its source. Before he knew it, he came upon a vast lake. Standing in front of it, he could see the silhouette of a young woman. She wore a flowing white dress with gold embroidery lining the hem of the skirt. Soft, lavender fabric was adorned around her waist and hung below her rear in the back. Long, brown hair swayed in the wind gracefully.

When she heard his labored breathing, she turned around to face him with a worried look. A lavender drape hung from her gold belt and came down to a point at the bottom of the dress; the drape also had similar golden embroidery sewn in. The top of the dress was lavender, which was bordered by golden embroidery and was only found where her breasts were. Her lavender gloves were like flared sleeves detached from the rest of the dress. Gold trim lined the top of the glove between her shoulder and elbow and at the bottom where it flared out. Her tiara—which had one large sapphire and two smaller ones on either side of it, connected by a thin, gold band—adorned her forehead and sparkled in the moonlight.

With the way the moon was lighting her features, he was unable to get a good view of her face, which seemed almost like a silhouette. Despite this, he could tell that her worried glance turned into a soft smile. He couldn't help but smile back himself.

Just then, the sky turned blood red, and fires with large puffs of black smoke were seen in the distance beyond the lake. The young woman gasped in fear as she felt herself being lifted off of the ground. She reached her hand out to him pleadingly, but he was unable to reach her, no matter how hard he tried. She soon disappeared into nothingness, along with the rest of his surroundings. The only thing he could hear was the sinister laughter of another woman, one he knew so well. The woman's laughter soon turned into that of a distant enemy long believed to be dead.

He sat up quickly in bed, sweating profusely and breathing hard, trying to catch his breath. He quickly looked around at his surroundings, then calmed down when he realized he was in his own bedroom. He sighed heavily and rubbed his head, looking down at his covers that covered his lap.

"That girl," he said to himself. Unable to fall asleep again, he got out of bed and went downstairs, making sure he didn't wake his brothers. He walked past his sensei's room, where he was meditating. He looked on at the man he called not only his sensei, but his father, too. After a few moments of gazing, he turned in the direction of the kitchen. He didn't get very far before he heard his sensei's voice.

"Something is troubling you, Leonardo," he spoke. Leonardo sighed and entered his master's room. He knelt down before him, only the small table with random Japanese artifacts placed on it stood between them. The old rat looked at his son. "What seems to be the problem?"

"I had this dream, Master Splinter," started the turtle, "about a young woman—a princess, I think. We were at a vast lake, and she smiled at me. Then it looked like we were in the middle of a war zone and she was taken away by an unknown force."

"I see," pondered Splinter aloud.

"After she was taken, I heard two people laughing consecutively," explained Leonardo. "The first sounded like Karai, but the second…" Splinter could see his pupil's face tense up and his fists clench tightly, making his knuckles turn a very light shade of green. "…It was the Shredder."

"Have you ever had this dream before?" asked Splinter. Leonardo nodded.

"That was the third time this week I've had it," admitted Leonardo. Splinter closed his eyes and meditated a bit. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, the old rat slowly opened his eyes and looked at his son.

"Leonardo," began Splinter, "you are the most spiritual of your brothers. Had this been any one of your brothers that had this dream, I would not be concerned. The fact that you have had this dream multiple times tells me that we may be seeing the return of our old enemy." Leonardo greatly tensed up.

"But Master, how could he come back!?" asked Leonardo a bit loudly. "We saw him die! My katana finished him off! He can't come back!"

"Calm yourself, my son!" hissed Splinter. "You will wake your brothers otherwise." Just then they heard a loud yawn, followed by three pairs of feet.

"Too late, dude," moaned Michaelangelo. Leonardo frowned as his brothers walked in and knelt down beside him in front of their sensei.

"Sheesh, Leo, why not wake up all of New York while you're at it?" yawned Raphael.

"Sorry, guys," apologized Leonardo. Donatello looked at Splinter with concern.

"What's going on, Master?" interrogated the young turtle. Splinter composed himself and faced his sons.

"Leonardo has had a disturbing vision of our old enemy, the Shredder, returning in the future," announced Splinter. The turtles looked on at their master in disbelief. "We must keep our wits about us and our guard up. From what I have been told by your brother, Karai will be behind the resurrection." The turtles nodded. "The only thi—Michaelangelo!"

"Y-Yes, Sensei?" asked the youngest turtle, startled.

"Put that down!" scolded the rat. The turtle looked at the light blue, plastic, beaded bracelet in his hand and set it back down on the table.

"I didn't know you collected girls' jewelry, Sensei," commented Michaelangelo jokingly. Raphael deemed it the best time to smack his brother in the back of the head, making the other two emit a snicker from under their breath. Splinter then picked up the bracelet and looked at it, slowly tracing his thumb over the beads.

"Where did you get that?" asked Donatello. Splinter smiled slightly.

"Sixteen years ago," answered Splinter. "It was a few months before I found you, my sons. I was still an ordinary rat. I was walking through the sewers when I heard a small child crying. I followed the cries and found a little girl huddled against the sewer wall, sobbing. I made my way to her and tried to console her. Unlike other humans, she was not afraid of me. I stayed with her until a city worker was able to come to her rescue. Before she left, she gave me her bracelet and put it around my neck. I have not seen her since." Michaelangelo sniffed.

"That was such a touching story, Master Splinter," he admitted, holding back a sob. Raphael knew he was trying to be cute, so he proceeded to hit him in the back of the head again.

"Knock it off, Mikey!" scolded Raphael. Splinter couldn't help but laugh.

"It is all right, my sons," he assured. "There is no use in dwelling on the past. What we must focus on now is the present and the future. We cannot let the Shredder be resurrected!"

"Why did you have the bracelet out in the first place?" asked Michaelangelo. Splinter smiled sadly.


Hey, guys, it's me! I'm taking a small break from my other story, "His Aching Heart", due to some serious stress from my classes. I'll pick that story up again sometime in April.

This is the first time I've written a TMNT fanfic, and I was inspired to write one after seeing the movie (which was freakin' awesome!). I'll work on this story and the other one when I get the time, but I wanted to post the first chapter of this up to see if it's worth continuing. If I don't get enough good reviews, I'll just scrap it. Please be honest with your reviews. I'll even accept flames if it's that bad.