Author's Note: This is the first of my TMNT fairy tale series. They're short and probably one-shots unless I get inspiration later on. :)
He hadn't meant to ask for her. In fact, when he reflected over how he'd bartered a human woman for the cost of a criminal's life it all seemed too obscure to be true. But it was over and done with and now he was inside the church, staring at the man and young woman, wondering what he had gotten himself into.
"Please…I'll give you anything. Anything. Just don't kill me."
Raphael had sneered, sai cutting into the man's cheek. "You don't have anything I want, old man."
"I…money." The sai cut deeper and he cried out, strangled and high pitched. "A daughter. I have a daughter. Take my daughter."
It had startled Raphael. No one surrendered their family - no one. They protected them, loved them, cherished them. It was the world his father had created for him and his brothers. The world he treasured and mourned. The thing he longed for most in this world now that it had shattered around him like glass.
"You'd give me your daughter?" He asked slowly, not sure he'd heard the man right.
"Yes, please. She can do many things…she knows how to please-."
Raphael had flung him into the brick wall across from where he stood. Disgust rose and for one moment he was tempted to kill this man just to free his daughter from the hell she knew. But he didn't. Much as he wanted to, he couldn't justify taking this man's life, no matter how terrible his crime. Raphael had done many things he regretted but he hadn't sunk that low - not yet.
"You're daughter," he said, taking the man's wallet and pulling out the driver's license. "Tomorrow night at the St. Peter's Cathedral. Tell her to bring her things." He paused, thinking. "And don't touch her. I will know and I will make sure you never touch anyone else again," he threatened, voice dark. The man trembled before him, nodding. "Have her there by midnight. Both of you. And if you don't show…," he waved the driver's license in the air, a silent threat. The man nodded again, shaking so badly he could barely get to his feet.
"Midnight. Or I'll come looking for you both."
He knew he wouldn't have to carry out his threat. Raphael was a great many things and intimidating was one of them. His brothers never told him that, they hadn't wanted to feed his ego. Now he wished he'd treated them better, been kinder. But some things just aren't in our nature.
"Here she is," the man said, almost giddy with relief as he pushed his daughter in front of him. She was his offering and he was losing nothing except a convenient body for his bed.
Raphael looked her up and down, fully aware that while he could see her very well the cloak he wore made it difficult to see past the shadows cast along his face. She was small in frame and stature, no more than five foot he was sure. She wore a blue dress that seemed to hang off her small frame and was dingy and ragged from time and wear. Her hair was a dirty blonde, greasy and cut unevenly around her hollow face. She was pale, eyes dark in her face like black buttons.
She looked like the living dead and Raphael briefly reconsidered killing the man who now looked giddy and jumpy, ready to flee and leave his daughter to the hooded man before him. Raphael had seen a lot in his time but he couldn't (and didn't) want to imagine how someone got to this point.
"What's your name?" Raphael asked, voice rough.
She lifted her eyes to look at him but said nothing. Her father moved, raising his hand and Raphael darted forward, grabbing hold and tightening his grip. "She's not your concern any more," he growled, jerking his arm back down until he heard a snap and the man crumpled to the floor, his scream dying in his throat. "I'm so tempted to cut your heart out of your miserable chest," he growled, leaning in so the man could get a good look at his face. His eyes widened in fear and Raphael's sneer widened. "You're lucky you're in God's house." With a snap he released the man, throwing him to the ground and stepped back. "You're free to go. But if I catch you again…," once again he let the threat hang in the air, unspoken. The man's eyes widened again and he stumbled as he tried to pick himself up, running for the door of the cathedral.
"Are you going to break my arm too?" She asked and it startled him. She was so quiet, so small.
Like a rat, he thought wryly.
"What's your name?" He asked again, ignoring her question. For some reason it bothered him to know she'd seen him behave that way.
"Beth," she replied quietly.
He nodded. "Well come on then. Can't stay here all night."
Looking back he should have known better. Known better than to bring her home with him, to try and play nurse maid. He should have found a place for her to go, sent her to a shelter but somewhere in the back of his mind he knew she was better off with him. She'd been through enough already; he couldn't bear the idea to send her back to the same if not a worse situation. So he took her home.
He had blindfolded her, of course. Just because he felt sorry for her didn't mean that he trusted her. But there was something about her that made him think nothing he could do would effect her. She seemed closed off, distant to the world.
After what she'd been through, he really didn't blame her.