I do not own the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any of their companions (no matter how many times I put them on my Christmas list). That honor still belongs to Mirage.
This story is rated T mainly for language, but may also contain non-explicit sexual references.
Finally, I just want to add that I am writing this story around a scenario that I felt compelled to explore... regardless of whether or not I feel it would ever happen. :) Please feel free to comment on any part of the story, whether it be grammar or content, positive or negative. Enjoy!
Lies of Omission
April glanced at her phone as it rang, and got up before answering it. "Hello?"
"Hey April, it's Don."
"I know," she laughed, shrugging into a robe and tying the belt at her waist. "Little thing known as 'caller ID.'"
"Oh, right," he chuckled back. "We've had cell phones for how long? And still I manage to forget."
"Yeah, just force of habit," she replied as she walked into the living room. Then she hesitated for the span of a single, painful heartbeat before saying in an upbeat voice, "Anyway, what's up?"
"Well, I've been working on this latest program of mine—the one I told you about? And I've reached a point where I can head one of two directions. I just can't seem to decide which way to go; either one would be a significant time expenditure and I'd like to avoid second guessing myself later. So…I was hoping you could come down and give me your opinion. I mean, if you're not busy…"
April closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose as she listened to him. "Oh, Donny, you know I'd love to…it's just that… right now's not really a good time…"
"Oh, right, that's cool," he said hurriedly. "I didn't mean this instant or anything… just… whenever."
"Sure, I'll take a rain check then, okay?" She was pacing nervously around the room as she spoke, wishing she could find some mundane task to perform in order to give her nervous energy some outlet.
"K, sure. No problem."
She could hear his hesitation—could practically see it for that matter—and she knew he was debating whether or not to say anything more. Finally he went on. "April…are you doing okay? We haven't seen much of you lately, and I know things have probably been tough."
April momentarily halted her aimless wandering around the room and leaned back against the wall, squeezing her eyes shut. Oh, you don't know the half of it, she thought to herself. But all she said was, "Yeah, it's been… kinda crazy."
She hated this. Hated how awkward their once easy conversations had become—like hobbling along on a wooden leg when you remembered so clearly how you used to be able to run. She knew he had to be aware of the difference as well, and she guessed that the only reason he didn't bring it up was because he was trying to give her space.
There was a pause on his end before he said hesitantly, "I could come up there if you want, if you could use some company."
She smiled sadly. Don was so sweet and so concerned for her… he always had been. And yet, even as worried as he probably was, he didn't push her or try to force help on her—he respected her independence and her ability to make her own decisions. It made what she was doing seem like a crime, if not a downright sin.
"Thanks, Don, I appreciate the offer—I really do. But things are just a bit… complicated right now. I need some time to figure stuff out." She resumed her pacing, chewing on her lower lip as she moved about.
"Yeah, I understand," Donatello replied slowly, and guilt lashed her like the tentacles of a jellyfish at his words; she knew he couldn't possibly understand when she was only showing him part of the picture.
"But I'll come by soon and look over what you have," April continued. "I promise. Maybe we can all have a movie night or something?" she suggested.
"Great, yeah. That'd be… great," Don said, and the false enthusiasm he injected into the statement stood out like phosphor under a black light. After another slight pause he said, "Well, if you change your mind, or if you just need to talk or anything…well, you know."
"I know. Thanks, Donny—and try not to worry about me, I'm fine… I mean, I'm going to be fine…" But even as she said the words she knew it was no use—he would continue to worry about her despite any number of reassurances. She sighed inaudibly.
"I know you will be," he responded confidently.
She ran a hand through her hair. "All right, then. I'll call you soon."
"Okay, April, you take care," Don said.
April ended the call, and exhaled loudly as she collapsed onto the sofa she had ended up next to. The conversation had lasted barely a couple of minutes, and yet she felt completely drained.
"That was Don," she said finally.
"So I gathered."
She placed the cell phone on the coffee table, and pressed the heel of her hand to her temple. "This sucks," she stated fiercely, blinking back sharp needles of moisture that pricked behind her eyes. Then she felt the couch cushion sink a little as he sat down next to her, and a strong hand squeezed her shoulder gently.
"I know," he said simply.
April continued. "I mean, it made sense at first not to say anything, but now… I can't keep doing this. I feel like I'm lying to him, and he's one of my best friends."
She finally looked up, meeting his eyes decisively. "We need to tell him."
He opened his mouth to utter the excuse held at ready on his tongue, but the words fell away when he saw such pronounced sadness lacing through her shining green eyes. Instead, as if from a great distance, he heard himself simply say "okay". She continued to look at him, and he realized he wasn't going to get off that easy. He swallowed, his mouth suddenly as dry as the interior of an oven.
"Tomorrow. I'll tell him tomorrow."
She searched his eyes a moment longer, then nodded once to herself. "We'll tell him together."
"No," he said, shaking his head. "No. I'll do it…he's my brother."
Okay, okay... this chapter was intended to be more of a teaser than anything else. But worry not - hereafter, they shall be greater in both length and depth!