Leap of Faith

Some nights stay up till dawn,

as the moon sometimes does for the sun,

Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way of a well,

then lifted out into the light.

-Jalaluddin Rumi

Part 2: Into the Light

Chapter 1

Raphael had his hands full with the four remaining Knights-or at least the three who remained conscious. He had no gun to fire, so at present, he was crouched behind the bar, working on his counter-attack. Again pushing away the thought that he should have left with his brother, he made a decision. He removed a small throwing star from his belt, aimed, and hurled it towards a hanging wall mirror behind the Knights. The sudden shattering of glass distracted them just long enough for Raph to spring forward and flip the main breaker just beyond the bar. The lights died, and the Five and Dime was cast into shadow. Much better.

A footfall, the sound of rustling cloth, and the Knights soon found themselves unarmed and on their knees, the cold steel of twin sais lying across their throats. "Who are you?"

"We're nobodies, I swear! Sullivan's the one you want, J. Sullivan." The tallest man's voice was trembling, but not enough. The blades pressed deeper.

"Oh yeah? And where might I find this 'Sullivan' punk?"

The second man glared at the tall one. "Shut up, you wanna get wasted?"

"For real, just keep your mouth closed, jackass!" The third man muttered.

"Enough!" Raph barked. "You should know that I hate having my time wasted by drones in black hats and ugly coats. Now, I 'aint gonna ask again: What do you want with her?"

"Why should we tell you, rept...." The second man was cut off as the sai bit deeper, just barely starting to break the skin.

"Ow! Alright! She's not an innocent, she's on the Blacklist, okay?"

"What the fuck's a Blacklist?"

"You wrong the Order, your name goes on the Blacklist," the third man said quietly. "We don't know the specifics, we just get names and pictures."

"Who sent you? Who put her name on that list?" Raph's voice was quieter now, but sounded even more dangerous.

But before any of the Knights could respond, the sound of sirens and blue strobe of lights made Raph's next move clear, however much he disliked it. He tightened his grip on his weapons. "Pass it along: if you want to get to her, you're going to have to get through four very pissed off turtles." With that, he slowly drew his blade across their throats, leaving slight but painful cuts. "So you don't forget." And with a final smoke-bomb flourish, he was gone.

A spatter of blood and scuffed dirt pointed Raphael through the back alley to the building where the Knights had dragged Miranda. He glanced back at the bar; the police had not yet exited the rear, probably because they should still be busy with the four Knights he'd left.

"Over here, Raph." Leo's voice came from the shadows, with Leonardo himself appearing a moment later with Miranda unconscious in his arms. He ignored Raph's questioning gaze, instead inclining his head to the rooftop. "They're up there, probably starting to move. Did you shake off the others?"

"For now. Is she....?"

"She's alive," Leo said quietly. Blue and red lights could now clearly be seen reflecting off the surrounding buildings in the area. "We should get back to the lair. She needs medical attention." He nodded to a subway entrance across the street.

"It might be easier if we didn't have to tote your girlfriend the whole way."

In response, Leonardo carefully tried to sit her down on an overturned milk crate, repeating her name gently, refusing to let the urgency in his thoughts be voiced. After a few moments she opened her eyes, and looked at him, still a bit dazed.

"She lives," Raph said wryly.

Leo tried to help her to her feet. "You're injured. Can you walk? We need to retreat."

She blinked a few times, glanced skyward and nodded slowly.

The turtles stole soundlessly across the street, while Miranda did her best to keep up. Soon they were safely underground, and after he made sure that they were not being followed, Leo breathed a sigh of relief.

Raph snickered. "That went well."

"Hey, we're alive, aren't we?" Miranda said. "You guys saved my life, thank you just doesn't seem like a strong enough statement. But, thanks." In the darkness of the subway tunnel Miranda found Leonardo's hand, and they made the rest of the trip in silence.