A/N:Hi! This is probably one of the longest stories I have. Any input would be greatly appriciated.

Disclaimer: I don't own the turtles, only my fcs and the plot


To the casual observer, there is nothing there. The shadows are nothing but darkness. But there they would be wrong, for the shadows are alive. This is my story, for I am a shadow.

My name is Crystal and I am nineteen years old. I am just like any normal teenage girl. I like the things most girls like, and I don't like what most girls don't like.

You might not think I would be that different, but I am. I am a turtle; a teenage mutant ninja turtle.

My past is just like me, shaded and hidden. I do not know where I was born or how I mutated into my present form.

All I know is what my father, Furui, told me. He, himself, was a human. He was always so kind, so gentle. But there was much more to him than met the eye. He was originally from Japan, but he traveled over here to America with the Utroms, as he was a Guardian. But by the time he had adopted me, he had become so old that he had to retire.

He told me once that he had found me on his doorstep one night. I had been curled up, trying to block out the cold. He said that there was something, a look in my eyes, which had touched his heart. He brought me in, intending to keep me as a pet, but once I started to walk on two legs as he did and then started to talk, he realized that I was not some average turtle.

It was then that he named me 'Crystal.' He said that it was because I would be the child that he would always cherish like a precious crystal.

He raised me, teaching me everything he could. I learned to read, to write, to understand mathematics, all from him. He taught me more than just how to sharpen my mind, though. Even at his old age, my father was still one of the best ninjas that had ever lived. He taught me how to live the life of a warrior and a peace-maker. He taught me the ways of bushido – the code of honor. But perhaps the most important is that he taught me how to cherish life, both mine and others.

But one thing I learned that he never had wanted me to know was that he was being hunted. The Shredder, leader of the Foot, wanted him, and any other Guardian, destroyed. So my father, Furui, was living in hiding.

Eighteen years we lived together as father and daughter. But then, one terrible winter night, my entire life was turned upside-down.

Somehow, the Shredder had found us. We tried to escape, we tried to run, but we were trapped. We fought harder than we ever had before; we fought for our lives. But there were too many of them. They wounded me – a gash in the arm of which I still bear the scar. I fought on the best I could, but neither I nor my father could fight forever. The Foot, especially the Shredder, seemed like it could go on forever. Every time a ninja fell, another took its place. We were outnumbered, outmatched.

Eventually, I fell. I can vaguely remember my father pushing me into an open storm drain that led to the sewers. I must have floated through the filth for hours, but I do not remember it. I had fallen into a dream-like state. Then, through the fog of my clouded mind, I felt two gentle hands pull me up onto a ledge, but after that, I blacked out again.

I awoke to find myself lying on a couch surrounded, to my surprise, by four other turtles. They were much younger than me (I was to find out later that they were only ten) and they were boys. They were talking to a giant rat.

"Do you think she'll live, Sensei?" one asked.

"Yes, Leonardo," the rat replied. "It looks as though she is waking up now."

I tried to sit up, but I was too weak from blood loss and fell back down.

"Rest now," the rat said. "You are wounded, but you are safe. These are my sons: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. My name is Splinter. When you are strong enough, then you may tell us about yourself. But for now, you must rest and regain your strength."

I remained there for some time before I could speak. Then I told them who I am and who my father is. But I did not tell them of our battle with the Foot. Something held me back. The little turtles did not seem to mind, or for that matter, really care. I resolved to discuss it with their master later, but there was no reason to bring such ill tidings to ones so young.

When I discussed my father's final battle with Splinter later on, he looked very grave. My own father, I knew, must have passed from this world and into the next, so I stayed with the turtle brothers and their rat master. My arm eventually healed, leaving only a scar of three lines intersecting in a way that looked like a dragonfly. I found out that this family, too, were ninjas. I often train with them. I have been here for a year, now, and they have adopted me. Their master has become my master as well; their home is my home. Who would have ever believed that the sewers of New York City would become my home?

She looked at the page she had written in her notebook and tore it out. Then, she folded it carefully into a paper airplane and threw it straight at the trashcan. It circled the trashcan twice before landing in it.

"Wow! You have to teach how to do that!" her brother, Michelangelo called from where he was sitting on the couch. The TV behind him was blaring cartoons.

"Maybe some other time, Mikey," Crystal replied.

"Hey, what's with the long face?" Donnie piped up, pulling himself up to where Crystal was sitting on her bed. She had a top bunk.

"Oh, I'm just trying to get my thoughts in order, but it's not working to well," she grinned. "Especially not with you two watching my every move."

Sometimes, it was very annoying having little brothers. They had all been completely fascinated with her ever since she moved in with them.

"Well, Master Splinter never told us not to." Now it was Raph's turn to join the teasing.

"OK, OK," Crystal conceded, laughing. "Speaking of Master Splinter, when will he return?"

"I dunno," Leo replied. He was standing in the middle of the floor of the dojo, trying to perfect one of his charkas.

"But I can't wait for tonight!" Mikey exclaimed.

"And what is tonight?" Crystal smiled. She knew very well what would happen that night, but since Mikey loved to talk about it so much, she just let him.

"It's HALLOWEEN!" all four of her brothers chorused.

"All that candy…." Mikey drooled.

"Going topside," Raphael murmured.

"Without having to worry about people seeing us," Leonardo agreed.

"AND THE CANDY!!!!" Michelangelo shouted.

"You don't need any more energy," Donatello laughed. "You already talk about comics non-stop!"

"That's because comics are so cool! All the superheroes, and superpowers, and-"

"We've already heard all that this morning, Mikey," growled Raph.

"Well, then thank goodness that Master Splinter is almost here," Crystal replied hurriedly, trying to stall another round of Raph-vs.-Mikey.

"How do you know that?" Leo wondered.

"It's just kind of a feeling," explained Crystal. A moment later, Master Splinter walked in.

"You have got to teach me how to do that!" Leo exclaimed.

"You'll learn on your own eventually," she assured him as she hopped down to greet Splinter.


That evening, the turtles were all ready to go out trick-or-treating. One nice thing about being a mutant ninja turtle was that you never needed to go out and buy a costume. They had tied on their best masks. The four younger turtles had just recently graduated from the masks that covered their entire head to masks that just covered their eyes. Crystal's own mask was pure white, but she had embroidered it with a swirling, azure and lavender pattern that matched her pale purple eyes. However, while her brothers were going to leave their weapons in the lair in favor of pillow cases, Crystal kept her single katana strapped tightly to her back.

"Don't you want a pillow case for all your candy?" Mikey asked her.

"No, I won't be going trick-or-treating with you tonight. I have some unfinished business to take care of up on the surface."

Her adopted brothers knew better than to press her while she was in that mood. After Master Splinter had come home, she had spent most of the rest of the afternoon talking with him in private.

"I might be home after all of you," she was looking at Splinter now.

He nodded, agreeing. "Well, my sons, it is probably dark enough on the surface that we may go now," Master Splinter herded the four ten-year-olds out before turning back to Crystal one last time. "Are you certain you must do this, my daughter?"

"Yes, Sensei. I must."


Crystal waited until her new family was safely on the surface before heading out herself. She went the opposite way as they had and finally climbed up close to her old home. There it was, just as she remembered it. She jiggled the door handle. Locked. She smiled a secret smile to herself. She pulled up the now filthy welcome mat then picked up the small key that had been lying underneath it.

"Just where I left it," she muttered.

After quickly unlocking the door, Crystal walked in her former home. Every sense was on the alert. Each muscle was tensed. She had been caught unprepared once before, and she was not about to let that happen again. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting and listening, Crystal relaxed.

The layer of dust covering everything had not been disturbed and there were no sounds coming from inside the house. She smiled. It felt good to be home, but also sad.

Being careful to not stir up too much dust, she made her way up the stairs and into her father's bedroom. She smiled sadly at the mostly dead bonsai tree sitting on the window sill. That one had been Furui's favorite. As she gently picked it up, several leaves fell off, bathed in the glow of the last light of the day as they made their way slowly to the floor. She took the plant into the bathroom and watered it. She then took it back out and placed it back on the sill.

As she placed it down, a small package came un-taped from the bottom.

On it was written in her father's handwriting: To my Most Beautiful Daughter.

Gently, Crystal unwrapped the tiny package and a tiny seed fell into the palm of her hand. On the inside of the paper, there was a note.

My Dearest Crystal it said, this seed is for you. Over many long years, I have watched you grow into a beautiful flower, and now, here is a beautiful flower for you to watch over.

With tears streaming down her cheeks, Crystal clutched the tiny seed to her heart and then shook her head.

"Keep on your mission."

She wiped her eyes and tucked the tiny seed into a pouch in her belt. She walked over to her father's dresser and pulled open the top drawer. Then, she lifted up the neatly folded shirts and pulled out the small book that had been hidden under them. It was her father's diary. Crystal began to read:

March 4 – I just found out that my good friend Yoshi was killed today by the Foot. Perhaps it is getting to dangerous here in New York. Maybe I should take Crystal and move back to Tokyo.

Crystal flipped a couple of pages, then read an entry dated about three years later.

October 17 – I have just found out that the Foot is planning to build a new headquarters here in New York. It was on the news today, with plenty of celebration for Oroku Saki. I am worried that now he will increase the size of his organization even more.

This was what Crystal was looking for. She continued to read.

December 13 – I was summoned back to the Utroms today. They, too, are worried about the expansion of the Foot. Now that the building is finished downtown, there looks to be enough room in it to house an entire army of ninja. Mortu asked me to take on one more mission: to find the blue-prints of the Shredder's fortress so that they may enter it and destroy him.

There was only one more entry after that, and it was dated the day before the Shredder had attacked them.

February 1 – I finally managed to locate a blueprint of the Foot headquarters. I had to steal it from the original architect, himself. It was the only copy with all the secret passages marked on it. The one downtown in the city records was missing so much information that I am surprised that it passed the building inspections. I will be giving it to the Utroms tomorrow. I will probably take Crystal with me. She is now old enough to be trained as a Guardian. I can barely wait to give her the present I picked out for her birthday next week. I hid it in my old shoe along with the blueprints for the Foot building. She will like it so much.

Crystal sighed. With all that had happened, she had completely forgotten about her birthday.

"Well, can't see one without seeing the other," she muttered to herself.

She went over to her father's closet and pulled down a shoe box from the top shelf. She cringed as she opened it. Furui always hid stuff there because he had known that the smell would have always kept her out. Quickly, Crystal grabbed a large zip-top bag out from under the old, reeking shoes and shut the lid on the box. The stench still permeated the room, so she took the bag downstairs into the kitchen.


Crystal lay the bag down on the very dusty kitchen table and gently pulled out a carefully folded blueprint and a small box. Her curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the box first. Inside, there was a small, heat-shaped, golden locket. As she opened it up, soft tinkles wafted from it, forming the tune to "You are My Sunshine." Crystal smiled as she hung the necklace around her neck.

"OK, distractions aside, let's take a look at that map."

She spread the blueprint out, smoothing the creases.

"OK, entrances," she muttered to herself.

Just then, the doorbell rang. Crystal rolled her eyes, went over to one of the cabinets, and pulled out a bag of hard caramels. At least she was already in costume, she realized with a smile. She opened the front door. To her astonishment, there stood four ten-year-old turtles and a giant rat.

"Hi, guys, what are you doing here?" she said, surprised.

"Trick or Treat!" they all yelled.

"Duh," added Mikey. (He had just learned that word, and he loved it.)

"What are you doing here, Crys?"

Crystal winced. She hated it when they called her that. "This is where I used to live," she answered. "I was just visiting. Want to come in?" She stepped back from blocking the entrance.

"Nah," Raphael replied. "There's still more candy out there, just waiting for us."

"Sure you don't want to come?" Leo added.

"Yeah, I'd just slow you down. Here, you guys like these a lot more than I do." She dumped most of the caramels into their bags. "See you later!" She waved as they left.

Once again, she returned to the blueprint. Her finger traced along the outline of the top floor before coming to rest on a single room. "Perfect."

So, yeah, tell me what you think, please!