He liked April's hair when it was dirty.
It had taken him a couple of years to decide why. When her hair was dirty, it smelled nice, and she always pulled it back into a messy bun with uneven lumps of hair against her scalp where she combed through with her fingers. It darkened and glistened, and looked so real, not like the perfect vinyl strands of a doll's hair, but real, living hair like he'd so rarely seen and never touched before in his life.
Of course, he almost never had the opportunity to smell or touch her hair. He would give his right hand for more opportunities. But he was never going to ask aloud, oh no. This was his private fantasy, and there was something comforting about keeping it to himself. Most likely, it was fear of rejection. That made sense. Or maybe it was simply the idea of having any privacy at all in a family full of boys.
Maybe it was because the reality could never be better than the fantasy.
Well, right now, she looked a little like a modern-day Cinderella, with her dirty hair bound up and her navy pajama bottoms with suns, moons, and stars, and her white tank top leaving her neck and arms gloriously bare, running the vacuum cleaner over the generic grey carpet of her apartment. The fact that he looked was his secret. The fact that he enjoyed was kept hidden. And the fact that he was a little bit giddy that she had asked him, and him alone, to help her clean house tonight?
Donatello was delirious with secrecy.
She glanced over at him with a grin, and he hastily looked back to his dusting. The television was, as usual, only slightly coated in a thin breath of grey dust. She usually kept this place pretty spotless, and insisted on putting it under for a deep-cleaning, he was sure, just to satisfy some utterly adorable compulsion. He risked another glance as she switched off the vacuum and started winding up the power cord. With the vacuum off, he could finally hear the radio again, and some generic pop song busted through the speakers like a low-rate bandit through the window of a pawn shop.
April picked up the broom, made a face, and waved her hand toward the small radio sitting near the television. "Could you change that?"
Relieved, Don obliged, turning the dial to the next channel. Classical station. Nice. But going a little further, he found—oh, he loved this song!
Hush now my sweet little noisy boy
There is trouble enough in the world
Pick up your feet little lazy boy
Come dance with your little girl
"Stop it there!"
Don froze, and glanced back at April, who was now propped up on the broom and swaying a little. "Oh, I love this song!"
Really? A small grin spread over Don's face. "You like this band?"
"I love this band. I used to catch my mom and dad dancing in the living room to songs like this." As if to illustrate, or perhaps carried away in the memory, she swayed a little more, embracing the broom like a lover. Don suppressed a grin but not a blush. There was no way to describe how cute she looked right then in her pajamas with her messy hair, half-lidded eyes watching him with a dreamy smile.
Spin me 'round this kitchen floor
Like a carnival
I know we're only two-bit clowns
In a one-ring circus
The broom dropped to the floor with a thud. Suddenly April's hands were tugging at his, prying the dust rag from his fist, and his first reaction was to protest in embarrassment, but she pulled him insistently and irresistibly to the middle of the living room, and all he could do was marvel at how close she was, and how amazing her hair looked up close. Her hands locked behind his neck, and his hesitantly brushed her waist, and as she swayed, he swayed, and his entire world tilted.
I'm dancing with April.
He was dancing with April.
The realization caused every nerve ending on his body to fire, heating up his skin in a full-body flush of shyness, delight, and excitement. She smiled down at him, and he was drowning in those endless eyes, those fathomless jewel-rich oceans he could lose himself in forever. And that hair, that shining, darkened, fragrant, dirty hair was so, so close. Discreetly, he lifted one hand from her waist and, almost afraid, brushed the silken strands with his fingertips. It sent shivers up and down his spine. Watching her carefully for protest, he gently undid the scrunchie binding that wonderful mass and let it fall over her throat and pool over her shoulders. Her smile broadened into a grin as he combed through the slick, shining strands with his fingers, then brought one lock to his face, inhaling deeply.
But make me a little bit dizzy boy
Swing me on your trapeze
When I'm in the arms of my dreamy boy
It still makes me weak in the knees
She rested her cheek against the top of his head then, and that incredible hair came tumbling around his face, so silken and slick and perfect, and his hand abandoned its pursuit of her hair and wrapped across her back, holding her close. The song was close to ending, and he could feel every fraction of a beat slip away too quickly, the moment passing like sand through his fingers.
I remember once you said
Lying in this bed
The past is dead
Every day is a one-act play
Without an ending
They rocked to a full stop, and April laughed suddenly, pulling away and giving him a tiny peck on his beak, where his nose would be if he were human. "You're a good dancer, Donnie. But we should get back to work."
His smile twitched in disappointment, then brightened. Even the promise of work after dancing was hopeful. This time, he could watch her clean in her pajamas and messy hair and know for certain that the reality was already so much better than his fantasies.
Author's Notes: Since I was having trouble thinking of a title for a new fic, I held a contest. Whoever came up with the title for my new fic would get a fic request of their very own. The winner was Donny's Boy, and he requested DonxApril. At first, I was uncertain, but I got inspired by a song, and here we are. The song in this fic is "Hush Now" by Over the Rhine. It belongs totally to them.