A Ninja's Dance

Chapter 1

If it was possible to kill someone through the phone, there would be a fair few phone company operators currently withering in the throes of death. No doubt the news reports of their mysterious demise would come as sweet revenge to the young woman currently doing battle down her land line.

"What? No! I don't want to upgrade my plan, and this isn't a billing question either. I just want to know why I don't have reception. Is it a network issue?" There was a pause as the underpaid lackey on the other end of the line attempted to diffuse the situation as best he could.

It didn't work.

"Of course it has a sim card! Is that the problem? Has it not been activated properly or something? What? No…No! Don't put me on…hold." The last word eased out in a long, frustrated sigh as the woman slumped a little in her chair.

How many departments did this company even have? Surely it couldn't be big enough to have this many different sections to transfer her through too. Though she suspected, honestly, that they were sending her aound in circles. The consistent rhetoric that they'd burned into her mind when someone new came on the line certainly suggested they were just diverting the 'too hard to deal with' case.

She could hear it now, the same questions over and over again. It would start with:

"Good afternoon madam. I just need to confirm your identification. Could you please state your full name and date of birth?"

Here, the young woman would patiently state that her name was Judith Ann Carter. Ann spelt with two 'N's' and no 'E', and Carter like the jazz musician. It was a poor reference, because she would then have to explain that, no, she was of no relation to Mr. James Carter, she simply spelt her name the same way.

Not that this should have been a surprise. Judith wasn't sure how many different ways someone could spell the name Carter, but she wagered not many.

Then she would recite her date of birth twice, confirming that it had been the same date of birth for the past 22 years, and she had no intention of changing it, and probably ask if perhaps the past 15ish people she had spoken to had forgotten to pass that information on.

"Of course madam, but we are required to do a security check every time you are transferred."

It was at about this time in the conversation that Judith would begin to formulate plots filled with fire and the burned remains of the wonderful company she was speaking with. Because, really, if they suspected she was lying about who she was after nearly of hour of circular questioning - for which she constantly gave the same answers – they were giving her patience and dedication far too much credit.

"You're full address and phone number please?"

Judith would give the information slowly, spelling out street names and repeating her phone number twice. If she'd been having troubles remembering her new mobile number before, this experience had well and truly cemented it in her mind.

"Fuck it." Judith finally muttered dejectedly to the offensive elevator music blaring in her ear, clicking the hand held off and slamming it to the table.

There was a wash of calm as she settled into the silence of the room. No more elevator music, no more repetitive questions, no more arguing the same point over, and over, and over again.

Yet, the problem that had started the horrible phone call in the first place was still there, prying its way into her breathing space. As if reading her mind, the mobile phone on the table buzzed impatiently to remind her it didn't have service.

Ahh yes. The phone.

The expensive, shiny, all the extras and none of the necessaries phone.

Usually, Judith didn't have any real problems with technology. She wasn't an IT genius like her younger brothers, but she never had any issues figuring most things out for herself. This particular phone though, well, it seemed to revolve on a whole other plain. If she hadn't charged the battery and turned the thing on herself she would have declared it an alien species and been done with it.

Taking a very deep breath, Judith raised herself out of her chair and laboriously stretched the kinks from back and neck. She wasn't exactly sure how long she had been sitting at the desk with the home phone attached to her ear, but she knew it was probably long enough for her phone bill to be larger than she would like.

Thinking about money made Judith cringe. The move here had been far more costly than she had presumed it would be. Which was foolish, because moving to a completely different country was, of course, going to be expensive. Especially with the exchange rate from AUS to USD being as crummy as it currently was.

Truthfully, Judith had never thought she would end up living in the US. If you'd asked her two years before if she thought she might like to live in New York permanently, she would have laughed. Sure, she could have seen herself here for a few months at a time, perhaps, if she ever became a big enough hit to be on Broadway.

But never permanent citizenship.

Which was why it was such a bizzare turn of events that had led her here.

She'd entered the 'Diversity Visa Lottery' (aka the Green Card Lottery), on a fanciful whim brought on by alcohol and one of her favourite old silver screen movies. In her defence, Judith believed that watching Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard kiss in the New York rain was enough to make almost anyone crave the glamour of the City That Never Sleeps.

The next morning, hungover and unable to find enough bacon and coffee to bring her back to a reasonable state of human, Judith had promptly forgotten all about the application. Thus, sometime later, when a very official envelope arrived on her doorstep declaring she had been selected for American citizenship, she'd been completely floored as to what to do.

Should she stay home and continue chasing her own tail over what she wanted to do with the rest of her life? Or should she take a leap of faith so far out of her comfort zone it was making her sick just thinking about it?

The decision all came back to that one scene in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

New York was a place Judith had grown up reading about and seeing in movies. It was somewhere she had aspired to perform for most of her life. It was where all the real talent was, where all the passionate, crazy people ended up being. She'd spent too long moping around. She needed a change, a shock factor to help snap her back to life again.

She needed New York Rain.

Once that had been decided, it had been a whirlwind of paperwork, phone interviews and security checks. Then there had been a 6 month waiting period before it all started again with more paperwork, more phone interviews, and a very intimidating face to face interview at the United States Consulate.

She bought the plane ticket, found a place to live, packed, got everything sorted so she could get herself a job just as quickly as possible when she got there and said goodbye to everyone and everything she'd ever know.

They told her she was crazy.

She told them that that wasn't helpful.

Now, well...

Now she could certainly see their point. She'd known that the city would be big, she just hadn't realized how big, and how tall. Where she was from, tall buildings all congregated in the city central, surrounded by suburban districts or warehouses. Here it was as if every building needed to be at least three stories. She felt small and lost when she went out. She'd had her fair share of big cities in her short lifetime, but New York was just something else.

The feeling of smallness was only enhanced by the fact that she didn't know anyone here. She had no relatives to visit, no friends to spend time with. She missed her family desperately and after two weeks in the city of dreams she was longing for some sort of work, just to take her mind off how tiny she felt.

Oh, and it was cold. She didn't have nearly enough winter clothing to deal with a New York winter.

Winter in Australia tended to be a little milder. No, wait, understatement.

A lot milder.

Judith had decided she didn't like cold very much. The only thing she was looking forward to that came from this freezing temperature was the snow, and as yet there hadn't been any.

The only real experience she had had with snow was the ski slopes in the Snowy Mountains outside Canberra. The snow there was mainly man made, and it was packed and icy and rather painful to fall on. She was excited to see real, fluffy white snow that you could make snow angels in and build snowmen.

Judith sighed and rubbed her temples. Her head was foggy, and the dull throbbing behind her eyes told her she was about to come into a rather painful headache. Maybe fresh air would help, though Judith wasn't sure how fresh the air actually was in New York.

But a walk was a better idea than sitting by herself all night watching bad TV.

Stepping away from the desk, Judith grabbed her coat, pulling it on and starting the laborious search for her small collection of winter gear. Boots, overly woolly socks, a pair of cashmere lined leather gloves her mother got her for her going away present, a beanie that could have possibly belonged to her ex-boyfriend and finally, the biggest, warmest scarf she could find.

Overall, the mismatched compilation of colours, styles and fabric made Judith feel frumpy and fashion impaired, but it was all she had so she figured it would do. It wasn't like she was aiming to impress anyone anyway. She grabbed her book from her bedside table and headed back to the main room of the apartment, making it all the way to her front door before she remembered the phone on her desk. It didn't have service. It was useless.

But then maybe one more look would solve whatever problem it was having, and she never left home without a phone on her. It was her mother's number one rule.

She sighed, went back to her desk, snatched the mobile from the table top and shoved it deep in her pocket with her keys.

Fresh air was going to have to work bloody wonders.

Michelangelo was bored.

Dangerously bored.

After several weeks of confinement to the lair, Mikey had officially exhausted all his entertainment options.

Something his currently absent brothers didn't seem to have a problem with. Leo, taking the danger of Karai's mindless revenge quip seriously, had been training full throttle, and happily soaking up his sensei's praise for all his 'hard work'.

Pfftt.

Raph had simply disappeared off topside with Casey, what they were doing was beyond Mikey, and he wasn't sure he actually wanted to know. His current motto was, if you don't know about it, you can't get in trouble for it. It had been working out pretty well for him so far.

Donnie…

Well, Donnie was curiously quiet. After Leo had come back from his training, and the whole Winters saga ended in a crumbling tower and a fallen business empire, Donnie had begun to lock himself away in his lab more and more. Mikey figured that his brothers absence just felt weird because while Leo had been away, Don had been marked the 'temporary leader' (much to Raphs displeasure).

That basically meant that Don was almost always around in case someone needed him. Now Leo had unceremoniously dropped back into their lives, and re-claimed his position as leader, Don had been pushed out of the limelight. Mikey frowned to himself and began playing with his bandanna tails as the TV blared on about the cities deteriorating condition.

To be honest, Mikey still didn't really know how to feel about Leo's re-entry into the lair. I mean sure, he was happy his brother was home; but life for the remaining turtles had changed, and they couldn't just all be expected to go back to how it was right?

He hadn't said anything about how he felt (he left that up to Raph), but he figured Leo picked up on it a bit, because he was trying a little too hard to spend time with his youngest bro.

Mikey sighed and leaned his head back against the couch, he was so bored. If something interesting didn't happen soon he was going to either wilt away or do something stupid. Neither of these options were going to impress his brothers much.

"Mikey? You awake?"

Mikey jumped and swivelled to face the voice, which apparently belonged to Leonardo. Leo was sweating slightly, and had obviously been training. This was bad news for Mikey.

"Whats up bro?" Mikey asked cautiously, yawning and stretching in what he hoped would look like a very 'I don't want to train thanks' kind of way. Leo smiled slightly and tapped his fingers on the arm of the couch.

"Not a lot. I need a sparring partner, I don't suppose you would be interested?"

That was possibly the last thing Mikey wanted to do. Sparring was worse than training, sparring meant hurties and painies for Mikey, especially when sparring involved Leo. Forcing a smile, Mikey's brain kicked itself into gear and he shook his head.

"Sorry Leo dude, just caught me on my way out, going for a skate."

Now, Mikey knew Leo was going to argue, since he was sitting on the couch with no skateboard in sight, and he also knew he wouldn't be able to leave if he tried to argue back. So the best course of action here was to get the hell out and pretend he didn't hear Leo calling after him.

Which is what he did.

Mikey grinned real wide at his brother, vaulted the couch, and was out the door with his skateboard before Leo could even formulate words into a reasonable argument.

If he had glanced back, paused for even a second, Mikey would have seen Leo's face twist into a crestfallen frown. If he'd really been listening for it, he may have even heard his brother mutter to himself as he turned and headed for his room:

"I need a drink."

Judith hummed as she made her way down her apartment stairs and out into the street. Despite her current money situation, she hadn't done too badly with her apartment. The rent was decent, though more expensive than anything in Australia, and the area was pretty good.

Pretty good meaning she could go out near sunset and walk around without constant fear of getting mugged.

Then again, her fear of getting mugged was probably just movie induced paranoia. It was quiet, there were barley any people around and most of the traffic had stopped in the area. Judith wasn't sure if this was normal for New York, but it was nice.

There was a small park nearby her apartment that had become her go-to outdoor spot. Nothing big, just a small cluster of trees and a couple of park benches staring at a water fountain that was never turned on.

She slumped down on a park bench and inhaled deeply, feeling the crisp cold air grate at her throat. Her headache was clearing up rather quickly, retreating back to a dull ache behind her eyes that would, unfortunately, not go away until she had slept. She knew this from bitter experience. She would have to pick up some pain killers before she got home if she wanted to minimize the annoying throb.

Looking around, Judith noted that there was only one other person in the park, an older man with nothing remarkable about him except his bright green sweater and rather large looking blue duffle bag. He didn't seem to notice her, so she decided it would be best to stick to the trend and not notice him right back. Flipping her book open to her marker, Judith scanned the page, found where she'd left off the night before and started reading.

It took her all of five minutes to realise she was reading the same sentence on a loop. The book had been a spur of the moment purchase at the airport, something to fill a little bit of time while she waited for her transfer. Standing, scanning the shelves of books in the store, this one had seemed like a good bet. The synopsis boasted a light hearted romance novel, full of action and adventure and dashing men.

In reality the book was all about a pretty much useless woman being saved by a man who had nothing going for him but a full to bursting bank account and a significantly above average appearance.

After another few minutes of trying, and failing, to get through the next chapter, Judith gave up on the book and opted to merely sit and mess around with her phone. She'd never had an Iphone before, it had been a splurge on her part and there were quite a few fun little things to do with it.

Not really enough to keep her interested though, and eventually Judith ran out of apps to explore and slumped into the bench with a sigh. She didn't feel like going home, but she didn't really want to stay out here either. She had what her father would call a 'chameleon hump'. She had no idea where the expression had come from, or what a Chameleon had to do with anything at all, but it basically just meant that she didn't know what to do with herself.

After some contemplation, which mainly consisted of Judith staring blankly at the sky, then the ground, then the water feature, she realised that there was actually something she could do with her time out here in the park.

Her mum had been begging for pictures of New York, every other email or Facebook post from her family had been a request to see where she was living, places she had gone. The last request from her bother had been a demand for pictures of her closest deli.

Even if she couldn't send it right now, filming the little park seemed like a good place to start. So, after messing with the settings a little bit, Judith turned the camera on herself and hit record, giving a one handed wave.

"Hi guys." She started, pushing her hair out of her face and smiling. "You're all bugging me to show you my place, but since that's a room full of boxes, I thought I would start by showing you the park near my apartment." She flipped the camera, holding it up and panning around the park. "This is it, I think the water fountain will look nice in spri-"

The sound of tires rolling through the quiet street stopped Judith mid-sentence and she turned to watch as a black van slowed and mounted the pavement nearby. Sitting up a little on the bench so she could see over the small line of bushes and trees hiding her from the street, Judith eyed the newcomers.

Three men got out of the van, all of them dressed completely in black and all three sporting a dragon shaped tattoo in different shades of purple. One man had the tattoo crawling up over his neck and along his head, the jaws of the beast wrapped around his eye as though any minute they would clamp down and blind him.

Judith's gaze was quickly drawn to the largest man of the group, a huge, mountain of a man with long blonde hair, tied back off his face. He was quite literally the biggest man she had ever seen in her life, and as he turned to survey the street she caught sight of a second tattoo that only he seemed to have. It was red, and looked like a rounded dinosaur foot with pointed toes.

He turned back to the van, snapping his fingers and muttering something to his comrades that had them quickly stepping up to flank him, one of them making a detour to collect a black duffle bag from the van before falling in line.

Obviously, the giant was the one in charge.

Judith ducked back down beneath the hedge line as his eyes darted close to the bench she was sitting on, her breath catching slightly and the tightening in her gut telling her that these were not the type of people she wanted to be alone in the park with.

She tried to reason with her paranoia, convince herself that she was being judgemental, that the tattoos could just be left over from when they were all buddies in high school. Or perhaps they were military. Her dad had a tattoo that his whole squad had shared, as a sign of solidarity and unity.

All of that was possible, but as Judith raised herself back up again to peek out over the prickly, nearly naked branches keeping her hidden, the same sick kind of feeling gripped her and she was pretty damn sure these people weren't friendly.

The other man in the park however, the one in bright green who Judith had noted before, didn't seem to share Judith's fear of being spotted. Without hesitating, he hurried over to the group of dragon marked men and started yammering in fast, panicked tone.

Judith couldn't hear what he was saying, and in truth she didn't think she wanted too. What she wanted to do was get up and walk away before anyone noticed she was there. Whatever was going on, however innocent this little gathering may have been, she didn't want to be a part of it.

But she couldn't leave, not without them seeing her, and she had decided that being seen was a bad idea. So she held her breath and stayed as still as she could, watching as the leader snatched the black duffle from his goon and dumped it unceremoniously onto the ground. He stooped and unzipped it before kicking it towards the man in green, who glanced inside, nodded, then zipped it back up and handed over the blue bag he'd had slung over his shoulder.

Now, in the past two years, Judith Ann Carter had watched a depressing amount of television. Though no fault of her own she had been put in a situation that meant TV was one of the dwindled options for entertainment on a daily basis. This had led to her watching a rather disturbing number of crime dramas, many of which started just like this.

A trade, of something illegal, in a park.

This wasn't good.

The leader of the three dragons unzipped the blue duffle and frowned, reaching in and drawing out a single small square package. He shook his head, his face twisting into a sneer as he glared down at the now very pale man in green. Some hushed but obviously angry conversation ensued, before the huge man raised a fist and landed a solid punch to the cowering man's jaw, knocking him to the ground.

Judith clamped her hand over her mouth to stop herself gasping.

Then it was suddenly all over very quickly.

The leader pulled out a gun from his belt, and put two silenced rounds through the fallen man's head, the pavement exploding in a fine mist of red that settled in splattered dots around a steadily growing pool of blood.

Just like that…

Judith felt suddenly, violently ill. Her stomach heaved and as she bit down on the urge to gag she felt tears begin to well in her eyes.

She had been right, these were bad people, and now someone was dead. She had seen it, and people like that didn't let people like her walk away if they'd seen what she had.

She just needed to stay quiet, just needed them to leave so she could…do something. Maybe go to the police. She wasn't sure. She was very, very scared, and that made it hard to think or move or breath.

The leader leant over and pulled the black bag away from the dead body, throwing it in the back of the van with the blue duffle and muttering quiet instructions to the other two men with him. Judith took a quiet breath and shifted slightly in her seat, slipping her phone into her pocket and preparing to bolt as soon as they had left.

This tiny movement, the smallest of shuffles, knocked her book to the ground with a loud, resounding thump.

All action at the van stopped, and three very angry sets of eyes began scanning the park in long, hard sweeps. Judith stayed perfectly still, praying they wouldn't care. Desperately hoping against all hopes they wouldn't come looking for the cause of the sound.

Her prayers weren't answered. The leader of the three growled more instructions to the two others and began walking through the park, eyes darting around at every hint of movement.

Judith waited, paralysed as he edged closer and closer to her position, his gun drawn and held at the ready. For almost a minute there was silence, broken only by the hum of the city far away and the crunch of dead grass and lingering fallen leaves.

Then the muzzle of the gun came into view from around the hedges.

Judith saw it, saw what it was, and without thinking it through she ran.

Bolted. Her adrenaline packed body flying from the bench and launching her into the open park towards the street. She heard the man behind her yell something, but it was muffled by the 'pop' as the gun went off behind her. The bullet connected with her side, cutting through the flesh and sending flashes of dangerously hot pain through her body.

She stumbled, but didn't stop. She was thankful it was only one bullet and he hadn't emptied his clip. Or maybe he had and she just hadn't heard it, maybe he missed. It didn't matter

She kept running, the heavy thumping of feet clattering after her driving her to keep going. She barely felt the wound on her side, though some part of her knew it was agonizing and she was losing a lot of blood.

Someone running behind her made a jutted phone call, their words broken by huffs as they struggled to keep up with her. She didn't know how they were falling behind, but she didn't dare turn around to find out.

When she had started running, the van and the men had blocked her usual route home, and Judith found herself quickly getting lost in the mass of back streets fanning out from the park. She didn't stop running. It would have been stupid to go home anyway, they may not have gotten her then and there, but they would have known where she lived.

Oh god. They'd killed a man. They'd tried to kill her.

There was still trying.

She just needed to find one person. One person out of the millions living in New York. Just one person.

But there was no-one around the next corner, or the next. Every street she turned down was as deserted as the last, and they were slowly becoming more run down, darker and degraded.

Finally, when her legs were burning and her head was spinning and dizzy, Judith spotted a young woman leaning on the corner of one of the streets. Joy erupted in her gut and she managed to call out, drawing the woman's attention with a strangled yelp. She was too breathless to manage any words, and she could faintly feel blood trickling down her side, soaking the hip of her pants, but she hoped it would be enough.

The woman stood strait for a moment, then motioned to someone further around the corner. Judith managed a pitiful little sob, thanking whatever god was listening that there were more people with her. If there were more, maybe the men behind her might not try anything and she could get away.

It wasn't until Judith got within a couple of feet of the woman that she noticed the purple dragon tattoo creeping up her neck from her shirt.

Then it was too late.

Judith tried to dodge away, but the woman caught her wrist and swung her around, slamming her into the alleyway wall with enough force to blacken her vision for a second as her head collided with the brick. She gagged at the shattering pain that spiralled through her temple.

Judith swung her arm out, trying to put up some kind of fight, and was surprised when her fist connected rather hard with the woman's jaw. The woman backed up for a second, shocked that Judith had retaliated at all, then lunged forward again.

That single second gave Judith enough time to get her bearings and make her legs work again. She pushed off from the wall and hurtled down the next alleyway, blood from her forehead dripping into her eyes and blurring her vision.

Judith couldn't make her brain cobble together even a passing thought at this point, but she knew that there was now more than three people after her, and she couldn't keep running. Her legs were nearly giving way on ever second step, her vision was fading, and the pain from her side was creeping quickly to the point of unbearable. She needed out. Now. Or she was going to die.

Oh God. Die.

She stumbled to a stop around another corner and gasped out a sob. Pain and exhaustion hitting her.

Help. Help me.

The sun was setting, and the last rays were dragging sulkily out of the alleyway where she was hiding. They glimmered, frosting over a snow-covered piece of metal in the centre of the alleyway. There, was a sewer entrance. A manhole. An escape.

Judith lunged forward and yanked hard on the metal covering, forcing it free with strength she didn't know she had. She barrelled down without thinking and felt her foot slip on the wet metal of the ladder too late to stop herself toppling backwards. She managed to restrict her surprise to a muffled yip as she slid down a few rungs, catching a grip on ladder made her wrist groan and pull and the sudden jolted weight being forced on it.

Somehow, amidst the pain and panic, Judith managed reach up and pull the metal cover back into place. She was immediately submerged in darkness, and her hands tightened around the ladder as muffled yells from the people above approached the alleyway.

She jammed her eyes shut.

Please.

Judith bit her lip hard in an attempt to stifle a sob and lent forward so her forehead was resting on the rung above her hands.

Please.

"Check the buildings! We weren't that far behind!" A chorus of agreement followed the deep voice from above her. Judith waited, unable to move a muscle as a foot landed heavily on the metal casing of the manhole. For a moment there was no movement above her and she whimpered, shivering. If they found her, if they opened the manhole...

The foot moved, and the manhole clicked back into place with a gentle 'thud'.

"She's not here!" Her heart in her throat, Judith forced herself to look up. Her eyes began to adjust to the darkness, helped by the light coming through the rim of the manhole. The foot replaced itself on the manhole and Judith's eyes snapped down to the wall in front of her.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

She stayed stiff, her hands gripping the metal ladder so hard her knuckles were slowly loosing colour. She focused her eyes solely on the dirty bricks lining the wall only inches from her nose and tried to count the cracks in them. Above her, the thunder of what seemed like a million pairs of feet rocketed over, some clanging on the metal concealing her hiding place.

It was the feeling of heated dread that held her firmly in her position long after the feet had stopped, and it took a lot of convincing to make her uncurl her fingers from the ladder and inch her way down.

She couldn't go up again, not tonight. It was too dangerous. She was too scared.

Judith didn't know anything about the sewers of New York, and she certainly didn't realise that some of the manholes only had half ladders that left about a metre before the cement path below. She found this out when she went to step down onto the next rung of the ladder, only to find it wasn't there. Her wrist gave out as her full weight was put on it and Judith felt herself fall.

It all sort of happened in slow motion, the circle of light above here becoming dimmer as she slipped backwards. The air rushing past her ears for what was probably nothing more than a second, but felt like an eternity.

She landed heavily, her body bouncing slightly before the back of her head slammed into the cement with sickening force.

And just like that, with a sharp, resounding crack, Judith was unconscious.

Mikey was making his skating outing as long as possible. He wanted Leo to have forgotten about training by the time he got back, but on the flip side of that he wanted to be back for dinner.

So the plan was to explore one of the relatively unused sewer tunnels and see if there was either anything worth salvaging, or, possibly an interesting skate challenge. So far he hadn't turned up anything worthwhile. Sewer water, sewer water, and more sewer water. Same old bland tunnel walls and pipes.

Nothing exciting.

It was getting close to sunset, Mikey could tell by the changing light filtering through the manholes and cracks in the tunnels. He would have to head home soon if he wanted to score some one on one pizza time, and since he couldn't find any excitement…

Well, then it was time to make some.

Mikey sped up, streamlining himself as much as a mutant turtle could and pushing himself along the tunnel with increasing speed. When the wheels of his skateboard were running so hard against the brick he was sure they were getting close to melting he grinned, starting up an old game he used to play as a kid obsessed with topside skateboard competitions.

"Aaaannnd Mikey rounds the corner, still way ahead of his competition. I don't know Steve, you think he would have relaxed a little with so much leeway to play with." Mikey sped down the straight, calling out his commentary to the echoing tunnels.

"I don't know Bob, I think he might be heading for the record! No way Steve! No-ones beaten that record in nearly twenty years!" Mikey took a corner fast enough that his hand skimmed the ground when he leant into it. "I think he might have it too Bob, all he has to do it make this final turn at the end of the line and he's set to be crowned the newest Skateboarding Campion of the Multiverse!"

The last corner sped to meet him and Mikey grinned, leaning perfectly into it and taking it as wide so he could before skidding to an almost-but-not-quite stop with the skill and precision of a true professional.

"And he's done it! Ladies and Gentlemen! Michelangelo has officially beat the…universe…record…" Mikey's exuberance died off and he slowed, stopping to stare at the crumpled heap of dark fabric that was blocking his path. He flipped his board up, edging closer curiously. Whatever the lump was, it hadn't been there when he had passed by earlier today.

Mikey narrowed his eyes and took a long hard look at the thing, surveying its booted legs, slim arms and-

Holy sewer-apples!

Mikey's realisation that the mess before him was a person shoved away his curiosity and replaced with immediate concern. Stepping forward to the woman's side, Mikey drew his nunchuck and counted four breaths, waiting to see if she would leap up and attack him. That had happened to Leo once, his brother had stumbled across and injured man topside and tried to help, only to discover a little too late that the blood was fake and the man was very, very skilled with a blade.

It had never happened to any of them in the sewers, but Mikey waited anyway, just in case this was a trap.

He stepped in a little closer when she didn't launch at him and stared down at her, noting the slick, pooling red goop sticking to the cement under her and the purple, blue swelling above her eye.

Either someone had spent a lot of time making her look very injured, or she really was bleeding out in the sewers.

Mikey knelt, reaching out to push her hair away from the cut on her forehead.

Well, he didn't need to worry about her seeing him, she wasn't going to wake up anytime soon. The cut was larger that he'd thought, red and oozing up into her hairline. It looked like an impact wound, the type you got when you were slammed hard with something large and unmovable. Mikey had given himself plenty of cuts like that one when he was young and reckless with his nunchuck. Not nearly as bad, but close enough to make him think of it.

He leant in closer still, feeling remarkably relived when her breath puffed out over his cheek. So she was breathing, and she was still warm.

So she was alive.

Now, Mikey wasn't Donnie. He only had minimal medical knowledge, and most of what he did know came straight from the pages of Wikipedia. But he was very sure that no living thing should be leaking blood all over the ground, and sporting impact bruising from god only knew what kind of weapon.

Mikey felt panic begin to rise in his chest and tried to force it down.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

What was he going to do? He couldn't drop her off at a hospital without help from his brothers. Dumping her at the doorstep was all well and good but he knew that didn't often get people the treatment they needed fast enough.

But he needed to do something or the woman could die. He needed help, and when Mikey needed help, he went to Donnie.

Because Donnie was a damn level headed genius and he would know what to do in this sort of situation.

Mikey pulled out his shell cell and punched Donatello's button, listening to the rings impatiently. Finally the line clicked into service as Donnie answered.

"Mikey, I swear, if this is another prank call I'm going to kill you. And don't deny it! There are only six people who can call this number and you're the only one who would know that and still try to prank me!" Donatello's voice blasted through the phone and Mikey scrambled to retaliate.

"No! No, Donnie this is serious! I need your help" There was silence on the other end for a painful moment before Donnie replied.

"What did you do?"

Mikey, despite his rather panicked state 'humph'ed into the speaker.

"I didn't do anything. I found a woman down here. She's bleeding pretty heavily from her side and looks like she's been beat up. She needs help."

More silence, before Dons calm voice came back on the line. "I've got you on the tracker, don't move, I'm coming now."

Mikey hung up when the line went dead and tried to think back to the fleeting medical know how Don had tried to instil in him. When one of his brothers was bleeding, Don would grab a cloth, a stack of gauze or whatever fabric was on hand and press it hard to the wound.

To stem the bleeding.

Right. So, stem the bleeding Mikey, you idiot.

The only movable, semi clean fabric around was the girls scarf, so with slow, careful movements, Mikey unwrapped it from around her neck and folded it around his hands. With a deep breath he shifted her jacket away, found the source of the bleed, and pressed down on it as hard as he dared.

"Don's coming. You're gonna be ok" He informed the woman, looking over at her still face and noting that, as a small mercy, it wasn't twisted up in pain. "He'll fix this." He assured her, taking in her features and committing them to memory.

He didn't know who she was, but if she…died…then he wanted to remember her. Just in case no one else ever did. People who ended up bleeding and beaten in the sewers didn't usually have family who would remember them.

He tried to imagine her smiling and decided she would be pretty if she did. She had those high cheekbones April was always talking about whenever she watched Master Splinters Soap Opera's with him, and her nose was a good kind of shape. Except there was a slight kink on the bridge, barely noticeable but just enough to look like, perhaps, her nose had been broken and not really set back just right.

"I'm Michelangelo." He said quietly, working hard to distract himself from the fact that his hands were now growing quickly warm and sticky. "It's nice to meet you." The silence of the tunnel echoed back at him and he forced himself to keep talking to fill it. "How did you break your nose?"

End Note: This story takes place in the 2007 movie verse with 2k3 seasons 1-3 relevant. :)

For anyone out there who doesn't know where Canberra is, its Australia's capital city and is located between Sydney and Melbourne. I only write this because believe it or not, there a quite a few Australians who don't even know where it is.

Please feel free to give me tips, and if there's anything you think needs improving in my work please let me know. The only way I can make it more enjoyable is if people tell me what they actually think (but please be decent and don't just flame it).