Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman do, or at least they created it all. I honestly dunno who owns it anymore from the way the whole style of the concept has changed. Seriously, have any of you seen the Back to the Sewers thing? As if they needed a continuation of that Fast Forward crap! I digress.

This fic is something I'd been thinking about for a while but because it's such a corny idea I didn't think anyone would read it. Then I realized, nobody reads my fics anyway, so I might as well. Angel has more screentime than Mona Lisa but somehow has less fanfics about her, and I think this is sad. Ergo, this. I realize it's SUCH a Mary-Sue sort of situation, but you know, I can make Angel as Mary-Sueish as I want since she has such little screentime! HA! Whether I complete this or not depends on how many hits and reviews I get, of course.

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American football wasn't all that, in Casey's opinion. He was more of an ice hockey sort of guy. Still, anything that involved a bunch of sweaty muscle-bound men constantly disregarding mercy rules in favor of staging a vicious contest of strength was his kind of game. This genre encompassed wrestling, ice hockey, and to an extent, football. He didn't like football as much because it had more strategy to it.

Anyway, there was a footbal game coming up that was sure to be good; it was personal, Cowboys vs. Giants. Casey figured a match with this much tension about it ought to be watched with friends who had appreciation for such sophisticated entertainment. Therefore, he left two messages; one to his four favorite pals, and one... to a certain April O'Neil. Okay, so he wasn't sure she'd prefer to spend her free time watching the game, but he'd sorted through his stuff and uncovered one of his mom's precious chick flicks, just in case.

Suprisingly enough, April actually did come, with a bag of chips and sarcasm in tow. She bustled in past his wide-eyed welcome and plucked a bowl from his cupboard without looking inside. "Before you ask, I'm not rooting for either of them, or at least I'm not telling which one I do like."

"Aw, I shoulda known. Well whatever. I'll find out during the game. Where're the guys? They coming or what?"

She busied herself with pouring the chips. "Leo called and said he probably wouldn't be able to make it, which means he'd rather train. He also said Don was near a breakthrough with one of his new inventions, and Mikey had just gotten his hands on a new video game, so he'll be as good as comatose till Tuesday."

"Geez, they're all flakin' out on me!" He flopped onto the couch.

"But Raph might come," she added. Then she snapped her fingers, remembering something. She gave a luminous smile. "For now, House is on." She swiped up the remote as he protested. "Don't worry, it ends before the game starts."

Casey crossed his arms huffily as she sat primly next to him. "I don't see what the point of the show really is, anyway. I mean, it's just about this old fart who's s'possed ta be good at curing people who whine a lot, right?"

"No, that's not at all what it's about. You don't even give it a chance."

"I don't need ta give it a chance ta see that it's a bogus series, not to mention booori--"

Just then, there was an insistent knocking at the door. Casey brightened. "That's prolly Raph now." He stood with a slap to his leg and strode to the door. "Weird, he usually comes in through the window. Something to do with ninja stealth or whatever."

But when he opened the door, it wasn't the grouchy turtle in a long, baggy, concealing outfit meant to divert suspicious eyes; it was Angel.

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Angel was glad she had predicted rightly he would be at home for the upcoming game. She had been getting steadily colder with every minute sneaking down the streets, and her fingers were numb. "Can I come in?" she muttered, already shuffling into the hallway and stopping before coming into the livingroom. She'd caught sight of April and hesitated, narrowing her eyes.

"Angel?" said Casey. He'd noticed her dour expression. "Hey, what's eatin' ya, kid?"

She wasn't sure she could trust April completely, even though she'd met her before at the Christmas parties the Turtles had thrown in the past three years. She kept her head low and the breath in her chest warm. She'd better say it quickly, while the wavering in her voice was stifled. "...Granma's dead."

"What?" she averted her face to the wall, head still bent so she couldn't have to look anyone in the eye. "Whadaya mean, dead? When?" She heard April stand up quietly, but shakily. Casey pressed her. "Angel, are you serious?"

"She didn't die of old age, if that's what you're assuming." She shifted her weight, but couldn't stop her tone from hardening. "She was killed. The police found a Butterfly knife with their symbol on it...the Purple Dragons." Casey started, outrage crossing his features. "They didn't stab her, so the crapheads who examined her think she had a dumb heart attack. Just like her, too," said Angel, choking out a scoff.

Neither of the adults moved. It was an awkward pause, both of them struggling to come up with something to say. But what? It wasn't her fault? It'd be okay now that she'd told them? This was too fast for Casey to handle. He tried tentatively putting a hand on her shoulder. "Look..."

"I just wanted to let you know, okay?" The hand was roughly shoved off. "Just don't want you comin' down our street anymore lookin' for pie. 'Cause I won't be there starting tomorrow."

For the first time April noticed the small green backpack the now-fifteen year old was fingering. She took a step forward. "What are you planning to do?"

Angel eyed her warily. "I'm heading outta town. I know exactly where I'm going."

"What about your brother?" Casey asked suddenly. "Couldn't he come pick you up and take care of you? You can't go screwing around on your own. I mean, you've seen how far you've gotten down that route..."

"That was a long time ago! Don't lecture me!" snapped Angel. "And my brother just got into college now. With money so tight as it is lately, he can barely afford ta keep himself alive, even mooching off of his roomate. So I can't bug him." She caught sight of April's skeptical look."I can take care of myself!"

"Quit it," said Casey sternly. She was a little taken aback; she'd never heard him really sound like a grown-up, and it threw her off. "Then you can take care of yourself while you stay here at my place till I find somewhere for you ta be." She opened her mouth to protest. "I don't wanna hear any crap you're gonna spew. You don't hafta say yes right now, and even if ya say no it won't matter, but at least think about it till the game's over." He broke out into a wide beam. "Didja hear? Giants vs. Cowboys."

"Huh?" Both April and Angel said incredulously. Leave it to Casey to switch gears that fast. April sighed, putting a hand over her face, but said, "Well, Angel, there's no harm for you in staying for the game. When that's over we can talk about this again, okay?" She watched the girl's hands clench and unclench, interpreting it as nervousness. "Come on. I brought some chips, and I'm sure Casey has some soda in the fridge. I'll go get some."

"What're you goin' on about? Soda is for pus--" April shot him a look. "I mean, yeah, there should be some in the fridge."

"Why don't you go get some then?" As Casey reluctantly complied, April heard a consistent tapping at the window. She walked across the room and pulled back the curtains, revealing Raph sitting on the narrow ledge, sai handle against the glass. He looked surprised to see her, then beckoned for her to pull up the window. She did so, looking back over her shoulder to check if Angel hadn't bolted out of the door, but she was still in the hallway, seemingly mulling over what had been said so far.

April let Raph in, and he stood there, hands on his hips, taking tock of the situation. He seemed cheerful; he always did when sports were involved. "I didn't know you liked football, April. You haven't come over to see any other games. This one must be important, huh? Lemme guess, though, yer not gonna say who you're rootin' for." He noticed Angel. "Hey, Angel! Haven't seen you around lately. How ya been, kid?"

Angel didn't answer. She looked at April. "I'm going to the bathroom," she said, and edged her way carefully around them to get to it.

Raph looked to April bemusedly. "What's up her butt?"

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Angel sat on the toiletseat, doubled over. She felt sick. Sick because she knew she needed a good long cry about Grandma and she knew April was probably telling Raph all about it and now that he knew he'd tell the other guys and they'd stop talking whenever she entered the room. She needed a new plan. No, she needed to find a way to get out of Casey's place and follow the first plan. They wouldn't be able to track her down; good thing she hadn't told them where she was going. But then again, she herself didn't know. Maybe another big city, like Boston. Yeah, Boston might not be so bad. But she'd have to get a map and everything, and she'd prefer to stay in the state. That left Rochester or Albany for densly populated places she could blend into.

As for how she'd get there, she'd hitchiked before plenty of times, and she could figure out what to do about food and a place to stay when she got there. It was doable, she assured herself; kids her age did it all the time... at least back in the books they did. When was the last time she had read a book, anyway? She sighed at at the pathetic attempt to distract herself.

Anyway, she decided ruminating on the toilet wasn't as productive as usual, and stood to scrub her hands. She listened to the noise outside, determining that it was loud enough to mean the game was on. Once she could hear Casey and Raph yelling their enthusiasm for a move, she pushed the door open and silently made her way to the edge of the couch. Unfortunately that seat was taken by April and since Angel felt she couldn't count on the red-heared woman to scoot over and make it easy, she settled for plopping herself down in the space between her and Raph.

Things went fine until the commercial break. The Cowboys had just gotten a spectacular touchdown, so Casey was complaining to Raph, who was agreeing moodily. In a moment's silence, he hesitated, then turned to Angel. "Right?" At her blank look, he added, "You don't think then Cowboys could ever beat us, right?"

She blinked. "Well they must have a fair shot if they've gotten this far, right? It's pretty late in the season."

"Traitor." He gave a mock snort of disappointment.

"Whatever." She looked down at her lap and put her hood up. she didn't see April and Casey trade glances. Her mouth was dry. She swallowed.

April nudged her hand. She held out a cup with a fizzing brown liquid. "Pepsi?" she asked, receiving it gratfully and taking a sip. Then she made a face.

"Sorry, Casey only had this weird type called Shasta. You ever had Shasta?"

"No. Augh, this is nasty, Casey, why d'ya have it?"

"It kinda grows on ya. Just ask Raph," he said, playfully shoving the darkly grinning turtle. Then he frowned. "And it tastes fine."

From that point on, the ice was broken. She didn't identify herself with either team, but she recognized brilliant plays and made her disgust clear at bad ones. She joined in with the howling accompanying every score and drop of the ball. She winced every time someone was tackled with over the adequate force. Her vision was starting to get blurry, so she leaned closer to the screen, not noticing the bobbing of her head. It was the fourth quarter, and the scores were close, so the feel of the moment was intense. Angel wondered, leaning so far she was tipping over: Had she ever asked Granma which team she supported?

She hit the floor, the edges of her sight closing in with blackness. Dimly she heard the volume on the TV lower and F-cleff, gruff voices murmering with the woman's... O'Neil's... mixed in, giving out instructions. Then Casey's gloved hands cradled her, treating her like his own niece, she thought irritably, and she was carried to a warmer room, placed on a bed, and rolled into a sheet like Granma would do to her as a child. Vaguely she realized that her plan was shot now, and closed her eyes.

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"Geez, April, how much booze didja give her?" Or did ya mix 'em up?"

"No I didn't Casey," she answered with a sigh, leaning against the counter in his kitchen. Raph stood by the entrance, Casey opening and closing the fridge in a frenzy. "All I did was slip some Nyquil into some of your beer. Of course, it didn't help that everything you have is so potent to begin with..."

Raph spun his sai in a small, tight whirl. "You know she's gonna try to get out as soon as she wakes up." He pointed to Casey. "Toss me a can, will ya?"

The off-duty vigilante obliged, pitching it over April's head, then bent to get one for himself. He took a swig, not meeting his or her eyes. "Yeah, I know, but what am I s'possed ta do about it? I mean, it was her Granma. I dunno how to talk ta her, and--that's besides the point. What about school? And the cops'll be looking for her maybe, once they look over her Granma's place. And hey, d'ya think that--"

Raph nodded. "You told me she said the Purple Dragons were there, freaked her granma into a heart attack. But those thugs only target people with things of value, and I don't think she fits the category. Plus, if it happened in the neighborhood..."

"You think Angel was being targeted?" April asked incredulously.

"I'm saying it's a possibilty." He gulped a mouthful down and shrugged. "I dunno for certain. Seems like a slim chance, but still."

"I'll go check it out tonight," said Casey determindly. "The cops should be outta there by eight, so I'll pull in by ten in case they leave behind a couple to keep watch."

"I'll come with," said Raph. "You don't even know what to look for, bonehead. The cops'll have left everything the way it was before they came 'cause otherwise it screws with their evidence. If the place is ransacked in any room besides the one that looks like Angel's, it was probably a planned attack."

Her palm cupping her chin, April said, "Where's she going to stay where she won't be able to get off on her own?" They stared. Apparently this hadn't occured to either of them. She rolled her eyes. "Were you both going to just leave her here assuming she'd wake up in a sunny mood, understanding that we were doing this for her own good and sitting here quietly like a--well, like an angel?" They grinned sheepishly. "Guys, what're we going to do?"

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Angel woke up in a grouchy fog. The first coherent thught that trudged through her disgruntled mind was that she couldn't see her heand in front of her face. When she sat up, she immediately noticed the air was extremely damp, but at the same time the room was so stuffy she could only do with small, controlled breaths. She recognized the feeling present when she used to shut herself in the closet to hide. It was an oppressive feeling, she decided, and so she stood up carefully, stretching out her arms to find a wall. She had to get to a door, but she could only feel her way toward it. She felt a cool stone wall come in contact with her hand and let out a relieved breath. Slowly she placed both hands o the wall and made her way down the length of it. She made a point of taking her time in hopes that she could keep her compusure, but with every second she could hear her breath getting more uneven and her fingers tremble more. She sped up her pace, fervently searching for the exact texture of wood. Instead, suddenly a foreign touch was there. It was hard, but pressing on it, she found it was squishy. Almost like a soccer ball. "What the hell?" She marveled aloud.

"Hey kid," came a gruff voice--from directly before her! "Watch yer mouth."

She gasped and took her hands back to her sides quickly. "Raph? Where am I?"

"...Don't get pissed, okay?"