Diaries of a Mutated Green Woman
A/N: Hiyo. I usually do this, and I apologize. I'm working on "No Longer Responsible" which is pretty angsty and dramatic, so I need to work on a more light-hearted fic of the same fandom simultaneously to keep myself sane. So this is just a silly account of how Mona Lisa's time with the Turtles might have panned out, as told through a journal she keeps. I'm open to suggestions or comments about the way it's written—I've tried to keep it relatively diary-like but I may have faltered for sake of story-telling clarity and compliance with the general rules of . Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy, those of you who care about poor Mona!
I have finally gotten a proper notebook in which to write my new experiences! I found that I need only ask. Donatello says he has plenty of ruled paper and pens to spare, while Michelangelo was happy and quite proud to lend me a sketchbook half-filled with drawings and a handful of crayons. It was quite charming.
This place is quite amazing, despite being a cavernous series of rooms in a dank subterranean sewer system. The turtles and their father have truly turned an otherwise harsh environment into a cozy home. It is very impressive. They have an oven and a stove which actually work quite well, a dining table, and a widescreen television in their surprisingly comfortable living room area. The five of them gave me a tour of the place but I still don't think I've seen all there is to see in this "lair" of theirs. It is all very fascinating.
My new companions have shown me nothing but kindness and have been very accommodating. Splinter, their father, has been especially attentive. I've been here less than a week and he has invited me to stay permanently. I have not given a formal response to this, but he and the turtles are discussing where they might set up a bedroom for me. I can't believe it. Me? Living with the real Ninja Turtles?
I slept on the couch for the first two nights; it was a bit lumpy but it reminds me of my college days. On the third night, over dinner, (more pizza, they seem unable to get enough of it) Raphael sat across from me and would not stop staring. I thought I must have had pizza on my face. Finally he blurted out that I should sleep in his room and that he would sleep on the couch instead. This elicited an "ooooh" from his brother Michelangelo, and I fancied I could see a slight change in coloration on Raphael's cheeks as he punched his brother in the arm. Perhaps just my perception playing tricks on me.
In any case, Splinter condoned Raphael's sense of chivalry and I accepted his kind offer. I have noticed that he tries to maintain a tough outer skin, or shell as it were, but seems to have a soft spot hidden away that he is reluctant to show. I overheard him talking with his brothers a couple of days after I came here-- he has a temper on him and likes to use choice words in an argument. When he noticed me in the doorway, he seemed embarrassed and got rather quiet and flustered. Something about his mannerisms are, dare I say, attractive.
The turtles each have their own small bedrooms- they seem to be converted utility rooms as they are lined with fuse boxes and circuit breakers. They each have decorated their personal space with their own sense of style-- Raphael has covered up much of the electrical boxes by hanging punching bags and various pairs of boxing gloves (though I have yet to see him ever wear them). They sleep on futon mattresses laid over a rug. It seems to do well enough against the moisture on the ground. I suppose a wooden box spring would just rot out from under them in these conditions. In any case, Raphael's bed was comfortable, even in this musty, humid sewer. I have finally gotten used to sleeping here without being afraid. It occurred to me that the only apprehensions I have would be to see a sewer rat or an aligator. I realize my hosts are giant mutated reptiles and... a sewer rat. Taking that into consideration, there's nothing in this sewer worth being frightened of. Splinter and the turtles keep assuring me that I am safe. I am really starting to feel that way.
After breakfast (more cold pizza) I overheard Leonardo speaking with Splinter as I was cleaning up. It sounded as though they will go out into the city later tonight. I heard mention of my name but I thought it better not to ask unless they choose to enlighten me. I do feel a little apprehensive though.
I watched them spar again this morning. It truly is amazing to see. They are all so dexterous and nimble, and have amazing strength and stamina. Watching those kung-fu movies in college is nothing compared to seeing these guys in action. Michelangelo likes the fact that I sit in the corner and watch them. I can tell he loves to show off. He keeps saying "Watch this, Mona!" and then performs some extravagant maneuver. I always clap for him, even when he trips and falls into a wall or gets pummeled by one of his brothers. I think Raphael is put off by Michelangelo's "showboating" as he calls it, as he often catches his brother off guard and pins him to the floor when he starts his "Hey watch me, Mona" performances.
Afterwards, they meditate. I have been sitting quietly and watching for the past few days, pretending that they are sentries of the Grenadier Guards in Great Britain, sitting completely still and guarding a royal castle. Today I imagined them wearing those high, fuzzy black hats and I couldn't hold back a laugh. I covered my mouth but they all opened one eye and glared right at me. I was a little nervous as I thought I was being disrespectful to their art, but Leonardo held out his hand and motioned for me to go over to them. I didn't know what to expect, but he asked me to sit with them and said he could teach me how to meditate if I wanted. Out of respect and curiosity I agreed. I've been to a few Yoga classes so I figured it was just some simple breathing exercises. It really is much more complicated than that. Leonardo showed me how to sit properly in the Lotus position. My tail kept smacking Donatello. I apologized like mad and he just smiled and said it was all right. I was so embarrassed. I'm convinced this appendage has a mind of its own. I'd cut it off but it may just grow back. And honestly I don't want to look more freakish than I already do.
Michelangelo was doing his thing again this morning... spinning those nunchucks around like helicopter rotors and begging me to watch him. (Or I think it is spelled nunchakus. I'm still learning this stuff) Raphael did this amazing sweep kick and shoulder ram combination to poor Michelangelo. It sent him flying into the wall right next to me. Raphael ran over yelling "are you all right? I'm sorry I'm sorry!" I didn't realize he was talking to me not his brother. I laughed and told him I was fine. He looked relieved and a little embarrassed and he smiled at me. Then he turned around and headed back into the fray with Leonardo and Donatello without giving Michelangelo a second look. Poor fella. I went to check on him to see if he was hurt but he just picked himself off of the floor, gave me a thumbs up and ran back. They certainly are resilient.
After the normal morning activities, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael left the lair. Sometimes they all rush out with their weapons and don't say where they are going. I'm guessing that's when they go do what they do best. I don't know them to go out during the day time much otherwise. It seems like Splinter wishes them only to go out during the evening when possible. He had mentioned to me several days ago that the practice of ninjitsu requires absolute stealth. The fact that they are all giant talking animals factors in also, but I don't think he wished to mention that in front of me. I believe he is quite concerned with my emotional stability and general safety now that I am the way that I am-- he keeps referring to the city as the "outside world" and constantly talks about the danger that exists up there for "people like us". Though Splinter is kind and wise, I have this discomfort in the pit of my stomach. I feel like he expects me to stay underground forever.
On a brighter note, Donatello invited me into his lab today. It is a large room compared to their bedrooms, but a little smaller than the area they have designated for their training. But my, is it filled with all manner of machines and computers! He even has a chemistry set. Tons of slides and microscopes, Petri dishes and even a Bunsen burner. I was amazed. I couldn't stop yapping about all of the equipment and how impressed I was. It was very nostalgic to be in that sort of environment again. After my excitement I felt a little choked up by it all. He was so kind to let me go through all of his things; I was usually so protective of my own personal workspace. He even said I could borrow any of his books if I wanted. I felt so foolish asking to borrow a college chemistry book that was sitting on his desk. He told me he'd read it at least 50 times. Just for kicks we alternated reciting the elements on the Periodic Table. It felt so good to be nerdy again! It reminded me so much of college and working in the labs. I actually think I started to cry because Donatello stopped laughing at his own joke about Plutonium and hesitantly put his hand on my shoulder. I felt so embarrassed but he didn't say anything. He just held his hand there and I felt so safe, even though my heart was shattering.
He asked me if I like his lab and I told him that of course, I do. He slipped a quantum physics book in my arms along with the chem book and told me to go sit in the living room and relax, which I did. I felt so silly. I was fighting those tears while I flipped through the physics book. It felt so good to be exercising my mind again. Quantum physics. Nobody completely understands that. I'm starting to think Donatello might.
I'm starting to wonder about my apartment, and what will become of me. The landlord has surely been knocking on my door. I've been gone for so long. I've probably been sent eviction notices. I really don't know what to do. It's so hard to think that I may have to leave all of that behind.
It sounds like the other turtles are back now. I hope they didn't bring more pizza.
Last night we ate pepperoni and mushroom pizza. But today I found out what the three turtles had been doing while out of the sewer. They brought me a mattress of my very own! It seems as though they had acquired it a couple of nights ago and spent the day trying to "sanitize" it so to speak. They didn't say and I don't have the gall to ask, but my guess is they found it in an alley or perhaps a donation for the less fortunate or some such means. It is definitely pre-used. I am grateful regardless. I can tell these guys do not have much money (I'm not even sure where they get the money that they do have) and are by and large scavengers when the chips are down. I would have been perfectly happy on the couch, although late at night that seems to be Michelangelo and Raphael's roosting spot in front of the television. I'm still amazed that they get cable service all the way down here. I wonder if they are stealing it but again, I don't have the gall to ask.
In any case, Donatello has offered to let me use the free space in his lab as my own bedroom. At first I thought, what free space? When I was in there yesterday, it seemed rather crowded with all of his engineering projects. Well as it turns out, after he sent me to the living room, he spent time rearranging things so that there would be an empty side of the room to fit this mattress. I really can't believe how much these guys are going out of their way for me. I mean, we are still strangers essentially. I am thinking that perhaps they feel sorry for me.
Missed yesterday's entry. Was too busy setting up my new "room".
This isn't a useful observation or documentation of my new friends, but it is driving me a little nuts. My hair is so dirty. I tried to run my fingers through it but I simply cannot. It's starting to matte and I feel disgusting. I am this close to grabbing a fork and trying to detangle it. I just barely stopped myself from asking Raphael if he had a comb that I could borrow. I must have looked so stupid. "Dur, excuse me Raphael, do you have a comb with which you groom your long flowing locks?" Yeah Mona, a research assistant whose powers of observational logic are lacking at the moment. I thought perhaps Splinter, having fur, would have a brush of some sort. I was again so embarrassed that I just couldn't ask.
They do have a bathroom. It's more like a janitor's closet. Every time you pull the little chain to turn on the flickering light bulb, a million spiders skitter away into the shadows. It's the only part of the lair I can't quite get used to. There's a toilet and a showerhead affixed to the wall-- I think it was specially rigged since who else in their right mind would need to install a shower in the sewer? Donatello showed me how to work the thing without breaking it (it's a delicate procedure). He kept mentioning that he was working on the plumbing but it involved tearing out a lot of the bricks and replacing a faulty hot water heater. He seemed really nervous and embarrassed for some reason. I know it's not exactly the Hilton, and the thing only spits out cold water, and the only soap here is lemon-scented dish detergent, and I don't have to mention that there is no shampoo, but I'm not ungrateful. Though I do think Splinter is hoarding something-- for a rat he sure does smell pleasant and looks very clean.
Taking a shower felt good, even if it was freezing and it felt like the walls were closing in. But it didn't do much for my hair. Without shampoo, a brush or a comb I'm afraid the salt water from the ocean has done some pretty nasty damage. I guess I shouldn't worry too much about appearance. Nice, clean hair won't do much for the rest of this ugly body. Frankly I just feel gross. Not just from having tangled hair, but not knowing the physiology of what I have become. It's killing me. At least I don't feel so much like a sea slug anymore.
I am not sure how this is all going to pan out. Donatello really enjoys studying late in his lab. He likes that I take an interest in his work. It seems like his brothers do not so much. He mentioned he feels more like a fix-it guy where they are concerned. It appears as though Raphael and Michelangelo are prone to breaking things. I am still fascinated with Donatello's intelligence and knowledge. I spent years in college studying, learning, and straining over what he seems to have picked up from reading second-hand school books. He must be a certified genius. I felt like I was in his way when I tried to tidy up my side of the lab. He was diligently fixing one of the phone-type devices that they use to communicate when they go to the surface. I hope he wasn't forced into sharing his space with me by Splinter or his brothers.
Raphael knocked on the lab door very late last night claiming to have broken the television remote control. Donatello took a look at it and flipped the batteries the correct way and handed it back. Raphael kept looking at me; I wasn't sure how to react. I know I hadn't touched the remote batteries, but he just kept staring as if I'd done something. It took him a while but he finally backed out of the room without so much of a "thank you" to his brother. Not 10 minutes later, Raphael came back with another gadget to fix. Donatello has a lot of patience. But the 4th time Raphael came in with a repair request, he started to get perturbed and asked what was going on. Raphael explained that Michelangelo had somehow broken the television itself. Donatello left in a huff, but Raphael stayed behind. He was acting rather strangely again and paced back and forth. He looked like he wanted to speak to me but he didn't say a word. I asked him "What's shakin' big boy?" I thought he might get a laugh out of it, but he just gave me a look like his was going to be sick. I felt like he was gawking at my hair, or worse, at the rest of me. I must have looked so trashy to him. Finally Donatello came back and Raphael seemed flustered when he insisted that the TV was fine. He said good night and stormed out of the room. It was really bizarre. I hope Raphael is feeling all right. I thought he and I made a great team out on the ocean. He even said I was kind of cute. I guess "kind of" is a nicer thing to say than "not at all". But now he's acting like he can't even speak to me.
So then I lied down on my new bed (They brought me flowery sheets, a pillow and a blanket; Michelangelo lent me his teddy bear. It was sweet.) and after maybe 20 more minutes Donatello seemed to remember that this was also now my bedroom and it had to have been nearly 1AM. He got up and started shutting down all of his machines and apologizing to me. I told him it was fine. It is his laboratory after all. He seemed rather embarrassed as he said good night and shuffled out of the room. I'm not certain about this but I think I heard Raphael and Donatello arguing after he closed the door.
Second entry for today. I was fussing with my hair during my usual observation of the turtles' morning physical activities. Michelangelo must have noticed that I wasn't watching him because he came over to me and knelt down. He did the weirdest thing and it freaked me out. He lifted his finger to my head like he was going to poke me and asked "can I touch it?" Normally I'd slap a man (or turtle) for a come-on like that, but I realized he seemed fascinated with my hair. I suppose it wasn't so weird- he doesn't have any of his own so it must be at least vaguely intriguing. I felt so embarrassed because he was so straightforward, and my hair was so mussed up and filthy. I batted at his hand to playfully give him the idea that he'd be better off not putting himself through the experience. I'm sure Michelangelo meant no harm but Raphael came out of nowhere and grabbed him by his belt and flung him into Leonardo who must not have been expecting it. The two of them careened into Donatello and they all ended up in a huge pile on the floor. Raphael must not know his own strength. He's a very fierce fighter, it's terribly impressive. But he knelt down in front of me and, again, asked if I was all right. Of course I was. It wasn't like Michelangelo "ninjaed" me. I sit far enough out of the way and, for the most part, the turtles are mindful of where I am so they don't accidentally put me in harm's path. Besides, if it came to it, I know I'd be able to move quickly enough to dodge out of the way. This horrible body is at least good for that. I wonder if he does not want me to be there.
Needless to say, Raphael had drawn attention by chucking Michelangelo like a doll into his other brothers. So they all came over and huddled around us. Raphael looked around at them and seemed like he wanted to punch all of them in the face. I couldn't help but smile- he always puts on this tough-guy face even after looking at me with those concerned eyes. I don't think I'll ever figure him out. Leonardo asked what was wrong, if I had gotten hurt. Raphael started yelling at Michelangelo to stop getting distracted. They all started arguing and I just blurted out. "My hair!" I have NO idea what came over me! In hindsight, it was pretty amusing, how they all turned and looked at me with these befuddled expressions on their faces. Michelangelo gave this really guilty look which I suppose the others noticed because it seemed as though they would gang up on him. I guess they thought he had done something to my hair. I had to give an explanation for the outburst, so I swallowed my pride and just told them that I wished I could comb my hair. I didn't want to seem needy or demanding. They seemed at a loss. Leonardo finally said that they would "fix it". I suddenly got this image in my head of them as a barbershop quartet, wielding scissors and coming at me like in a horror movie. I think the accident has warped my mind somehow.
It's almost been 2 weeks since their reporter friend brought me here. It seemed so surreal. I have seen the woman on the news before; I would never have guessed she was close friends with the Ninja Turtles. She must be a much better researcher than me. I was really apprehensive to trust her at first. I mean her solution to my life's problems was to get four pizzas and go into the sewers. So far I suppose it was a solid plan.
They often watch her report the news in the evening. They all pile onto the couch (except the couch is made for 3 so Michelangelo sits on the floor) and Splinter sits in the kitchen and hums to himself while drinking tea. I plop down in the armchair by the couch. By the way they intently watch, I think they are something like her bodyguards- as if they are just waiting for something bad to happen so they can go rescue her and save the day. It's sort of romantic in a way.
I realized watching the news might be my only glimpse into the world I left behind. I feel pretty depressed about it today. My new friends are great and I really care for them, but I don't know how much longer I can last cooped up like this. I miss the "outside world" but now I feel so worthless. I don't have a purpose anymore. I'm afraid to leave. But I'm also afraid to stay.
I think I messed up today. I've been moping too much and my hosts have noticed. I try to look content as possible but Splinter is very observant. I suppose my eyes were tearing up and I didn't realize it, but he did. We sat down in the living room and chatted for a bit. He asked me some more questions about myself. To be honest all I could say was where I used to live and some silly memories about the university. I feel like I'm forgetting who I am. I feel so weak now.
Splinter told me to "take heart". The problem is, I don't know where to take it. It really seems like this is the only place I can be safe with people who will understand me. As much as it hurts me to hear Splinter's shtick about the "outside world", I know deep down that it's true. No one up there will ever accept me the way I am now. Everything I lived for is gone. My job, my research, my team, my friends, my family... my mother would die if she saw me like this. It's over.
So today I have accepted Splinter's offer finally.