Such Sweet Sorrow


決着! Donatello 、レオナルド、ラファエル、ミケランジェロ、 Karai と Rhoda ! 生活と遺言書を信じてください!

(これを読むことができれば背部の軽打あなた自身。 日本人を読んでいる Mary!)


Konnichiwa, everyone! This is the conclusion of Lost in New York...hope you like.

In this, we find out the Black Ninja's Identity, Shredder comes in with an attitude, (Of course), we learn more about how Karai and Saki met...Splinter is as angry as a hornet-then again, that may be too light...and a young girl gets dragged onto the scene. She'll have to work with her new friends-four little turtles...to escape, or die trying!

This is dedicated to Rhoda J, Mikell, and Second Daughter of Eve. Arigatou!

This, everyone..

...may be the last fic I give to you for a long, long time. I might just pop up and spew any fiction that comes to mind....or, perhaps not.

So, ص. وداعي d'adieu,Aufwiedersehen, Farvel, and Adios.

......I'm not a very good writer...:^/ Please bear with me....


"There is a storm in my heart
It tears my inside apart
I am bleeding and I am hurt
Like a wingless little bird

Then it turns dark
And for a moment I see
The pain that was inside of me
And on a journey I embark

In search of answers
In search of truth
In search of understanding
In search of you

My guiding star in darkness
Like a little stream in the desert
Everything about you seems flawless
But that is what causes the hurt

Your perfect features do not belong to me
You do not deserve my chains
You need to live and see
What it means to be free

So spread your wings and fly away
For I can not fulfill your dream
But if you should fall one day
I'll guide you and be that little stream

So go and discover it all
And know that wherever you go
Whatever you do and might feel
The only thing you need to do is call."

Second quote: (Yes...I'm evil...^^)

"Oh, the torment bred in the race, the grinding scream of death and the stroke that hits the vein, the haemorrhage none can staunch, the grief, the curse no man can bear.

But there is a cure in the house and not outside it, no, not from others but from them, their bloody strife. We sing to you, dark gods beneath the earth.

Now hear, you blissful powers underground - answer the call, send help. Bless the children, give them Triumph now."


If you were there, and I sincerely you hope you were not that unfortunate-on that cold autumn evening, in the dim lamp light, you would've seen

a young, brown haired girl.

A girl soaked in her own degree of torment.

The girl was continuing to struggle in desperation, goggles sliding crookedly down her face as perspiration slid down as well.

Rhoda sighed.

If her hands were free, she would've used them to angrily wipe away her tears of pain, panic, and humilaitiation.

If there wasn't a tiny fact: They were bound behind her on the chair.

There were numerous scrapes on the girl's legs-fine day to wear shorts. She had fought like wildfire....

Finally, her efforts succeded....

...in tipping over the chair.

"Ah!"

A quiet exclaimation slipped from her lips as she fell with a thud towards the floor.

Two more tears joined the first. She closed her eyes and fought to keep the howl of misery within her.

Her parents had refused to pay "Protection Money" towards the Purple Dragons from their renwoned florist shop they owned.

Rhoda had been blissfully unaware that anything in particular was wrong that day. She had the day off...she woke up early,

While she was at the library, they had snatched her while she was waiting for her parents to pick her up.....

She had been literally seized into the shadows, a gasp just breaking into the air before being choked off.

She'd kicked, she'd screamed against the hands that bond her...

...but it wasn't enough.

Finally, the scary man who had snatched her had gotten impatient, and he'd grasped her shoulders extremely tightly.

Pain.

Pain had exploded through her core, as a silent gasp slipped from her mouth, and she stumbled into the shadows.

And now....

"Well, well, now....is our little guest enjoying herself?" asked Hun, a nasty smile playing on his lips.

Rhoda looked up with all the grim fury she could manage into one expression. Hun's lips curled.

"Of course, your little family was terrified when our...messenger gave him the 411. See?" he asked softly, as Rhoda kicked and writhed even more to free herself.

"All it took them was a little...motivation."

Rhoda had to bite her ip to stop the the tears, but it was fruitless.

"Motivate this, you evil litttle-"

Hun stepped threatingly forward. Rhoda's eyes narrowed, but she said nothing.

"Ooh. A little wildcat. How interesting."

Rhoda went hot, then cold.

"Looks like we're stuck with you until your parents find a way to pay up," commented Hun, as if he were commenting on a picnic that had to be rescheduled due to rain.

He turned to the figure hulking in the shadows and snapped, "Cut the girl free."

The figure said nothing, but raised a dagger, the edge glinting in the dim light.

Rhoda gasped and winced, eyes shut and rigid as the dagger came racing down.

Slllllttt.

The ropes fell free, slithering down to the ground. Rhoda blinked.

"Throw her in with the other freaks," snapped Hun, turning away and walking into the shadows.

"I've got bigger fish to fry."

Rhoda scrambled to get up, but a pair of rough hands seized her and began dragging her away.

"Let-Let me go, you piece of-"

A door was swung open.

The man called out, "Got a bit more company for you, you miserable freaks."

And then he threw Rhoda to the floor, the door slamming with grim finality with a clang, muffled laughter coming from the outside.

Rhoda winced, the tears slowly returning, a muffled sob escaping as Rhoda finally broke down, goggles becoming soaked in salt water.

There was silence in the dirt room for a moment, other then the girl's crying.

A small hand timidly touched her back.

Rhoda started, then swung her red, tearstained face up....

....to meet a little green one."

"Hello," the little turtle said softly. "I'm Leo. Who are you?"

***********************************************************************

At first, Rhoda thought she should scream. Then, she wondered if the whole stress of the situation had caused her to hallucinate and go completely nuts.

A little turtle-actually, it was bigger then any turtle she'd ever seen before-was watching her, TALKING to her, and looking concerned.

But, like many a girl, Rhoda noticed something.

The child like turtle was covered in bruises and dust. His eyes were sad, but wide, as if the child had been frightened a great deal. In spite of herself, Rhoda felt pity seep into her, and, as long as she was truly insane now, she might as well be polite.

"I-I-I'm....R-Rhoda. Um....." she paused. "What are you?" sounded like a very good question, but that sounded extremely rude, so she tried another tactic.

"Y-Your name is....Leo?"

Leo smiled-it was not a very happy one at that.

"Leonardo, actually. That's what my father calls me."

"Your father?" asked Rhoda, curiousity getting the better of her as she wiped her eyes. "There are MORE of you?"

"Believe it, Lady."

A little voice came from the shadows. Rhoda jumped-she didn't even know anyone else was there.

Another turtle...

And another....

And another.

And then, a young girl with dark hair and emerald eyes.

Rhoda was so astonished, the tears abruptly stopped.

"Um, hello," she said timidly. Feeling a little dumbfounded, she looked at all the faces around her.

"You....you are real, right? And I'm not....dreaming or anything?" she asked, feeling a little foolish.

One of the turtles smiled wanly. "I wish," he said tiredly, rubbing at his eyes. "But if so, I've been asleep for two days, and this dream isn't ending. I'm Donatello, by the way," he said kindly, turning to Rhoda. "But you can call me Don."

"Dream," said one of the turtles softly. "More like a nightmare, Donny."

Rhoda felt herself nodding with the others. The turtle turned to Rhoda.

"I'm Raphael, but call me Rap. If you've got a problem with that-"

Rhoda held up her hands in a whoa, there, expression. "It's okay. I get the hint," she said quickly.

"Ooh! Ooh! My turn!" exclaimed another turtle eagerly. He turned to Rhoda, eyes still hopeful. "MY name is Michelangelo....or so I've been told. Call me Mikey!"

Rhoda turned towards the girl. She raised her eyebrows.

"I am Karai Sakidaughter."

Rhoda raised an eyebrow of her own.

"Rhoda J. Um...." Rhoda turned to the turtles, deciding to point each one out.

"Mikey.....Don......Raph.....Leo, right?"

Raph rolled his eyes. "No, silly! I'M Mikey! Weren't ya listening?"

Rhoda felt herself become flustered. "I'm sorry, I-"

"Only joking, I AM Raph-"

"Shhh!" exclaimed Karai suddenly.

They all fell silent. Footsteps were echoing near the prison door.....and away.

Karai let out a little sigh. "I don't want them to hear us," she said softly, turning to Rhoda.

Rhoda simply nodded.

"You have nice names," she commented, turning to the turtles again with a small smile. "What can't we let them hear?"

The turtles looked at each other.

"We were planning escape..." said Karai softly, green eyes boring into Rhoda's brown. "Are you in?"

Rhoda managed another small smile, and flipped her goggles over her eyes as she nodded.

"Good...now, let's fill you in. And then, you can tell us how you ended up here..."


Karai nodded. "Ransom," she muttered under her breath. "We escape tonight. Are you sure you're in?"

Rhoda slowly nodded once again.

"Sounds like a plan." Raph gave her a thumbs up, while Mikey squeezed her hand. She squeezed back, not saying anything for a moment.

"I'm in."


The Black Ninja frowned.

He'd been in the ducts for two days. If he had to wait another moment, he was going to scream.

They were going to drop security tommorow as they updated the new system.

And then-

He would strike.

Not one creature would be left concious who stood in his way.

Better get moving to the electrical wiring of the buliding. Once he handled that....

The fireworks would begin.


Splinter scowled. Hun had kidnapped Shredder's...heir? Why? He'd always been a loyal clan member of the Foot. So why snatch the little girl?

Shredder was going to MURDER Hun...Splinter couldn't say that he blamed him.

But there were more pressing matters to attend to...

Saki was coming.

The same man who murdered his master and father...

....was going to be near his little ones.

Just thinking about it put a stone cold lump of icy terror into the rat's heart.

He'd managed to get in, alright-simply used the air conditioning system...and knocked out a few guards, and was now waiting for at least

evening....but he had to plan out everything perfectly.

In the meantime, he pondered....how could anyone purposely put their life in such danger by antagonizing Saki?

But then again, Hun was so foolish as to capture the Shredder's heir, a young girl-for whom the police were trying to rescue-and...his sons.

Hun had a death wish.


Oroku Saki leapt past the lifeless body of an opponet.

Excellent. Now, For Karai....

Saki remembered it like yesterday...

The heavy rain. The deserted town.

The feeling of lordly power coursing through his veins as he quietly walked through the little village.

Not a person left....because of his forces.

No one.

Then, a muffled mewing. Saki stopped.

Impossible! No one should be left here? They were all gone!

But the mewing continued, and Saki frowned. A trick? A trap?

Or...something else?

Saki silently stode over to a lonely little shack, and seized the flap that was the door.

Face hunched over her knee, clutching them close, a pair of bitter green eyes glared at him. Saki raised his eyebrows.

No would've dared to look at him in such a way at Foot HQ. Saki couldn't help but hide a smile.

Earth female faces were often too bright and annoying. He rather liked the world weary, bitter face of this roly-poly little girl.

"Who are you?"

No answer.

Okay....different tactic. "Where is your mother? Where is your father?"

The girl looked suspicious for a moment, then shrugged, as she figured she had nothing left to lose.

"Gone."

"Dead.

"No. Gone."

Saki raised his eyebrows once again. If he could have shown any symphathy, he would have. He turned slightly.

"Come along."

"W-what?" The girl did not sound as if she believed her ears.

"Are you coming, or are you staying?"


The little girl hurried to keep up with Saki's long strides as they walked in the driving rain. Finally, he broke the silence.

"What's your name?"

The little girl was panting in her effort to keep up.

"I don't have one."

"What?"

"I-don't-have-one."

By this time, they had been walking for a long time, and now the little girl was quite exhausted. Saki narrowed his eyes, but took the surprised

girl in one arm and flung her on his shoulder.

As he walked, he finally spoke again.

"If you choose...to live with me, to be a warrior....and my assistant, your name shall be....Karai."

The Japanese word for karai means extremely severe, harsh, strict or storm.

The little girl smiled faintly, and put her face to the rough cloth on Saki's shoulder.

"I am Karai."


No one steals from the Shredder. No one.

All the fools he'd sent to rescue her were to inept for this mission.

So he was leading this one...

Personally.

Excellent....it was afternoon. He had been planning to attack by day...but had to change plans due to the recovery of a UFO engine. He really did

need those parts.

And so, Shredder waited.


"My dream is to slaughter you, you little brat. You know that?"

Karai's eyes narrowed as they wheeled them in seperately once again.

"I have a dream too. And in it, something eats you."

Don had managed to swipe a stone...and Rhoda had a small hair pin in her pocket that, after expermintation, COULD pick the lock...but there

were too many goons around. Best to wait.

In the meantime....they wheeled them in again.

Rhoda shook with fury, quaking with sobs as she heard Raph cry.

They'd broken his hand.

Rhoda was normally a very unviolent person, but oh, if she wasn't tied up here she'd march straight to each and every one of those creeps, and-

(You must pardon this...)

*&**$^#%^#%&*&!!!! &^&%T^, &^^$%##$(I^((*)(*__*(*(&*^%%^$$$#!!!!!

She had refused to let Leo go, after they managed to pry Raph from her and Karai. Surprisingly enough, they let her hold onto the shaking body,

before they wheeled him off, but Rhoda was worried for the sobbing figure as well.

Don and Mikey were struggling to be free beyond seperate screens.

Now Rhoda was being wheeled in...

Take a deep breath, she told herself firmly, though she was shaking with fright. Relax. Slow down. Act like Karai and everything will be fine.

"It's cute, you know," commented Rhoda as they wheeled her in as well.

"What's "cute?"

"Well, you know, how stupid you are."

The female scientist growled, but said nothing. Rhoda frowned and looked aroundd.

"And why the heck are you interrogating Karai and me? We're-Agh!"

Rhoda winced as the scientist gave Rhoda a sharp pinch in the arm, chuckling darkly to herself.

"You go girl," whispered Rhoda. Wow. that really hurt.

"And don't come back."


"Y'know," whispered a scientist, hissing at Don. "It doesn't help to be a predjuiced little monster."

Don's eyes narrowed.

"Oh, WE'RE the monsters, here? And I am NOT prejudiced! I despise each and every one of you mean jerks EQUALLY."


"I'm going to ask you a few questions, freak. And you better answer truthfully."

Mikey shrugged. "Just remember-there are no stupid questions. Just stupid people."

The man slammed his fist down near Mikey's head.

"What was that? I didn't hear you."

Mikey shook.

"My, you must have serious hearing problems. You should consult a doctor."


"Y'know, I am REALLY SICK of your attitudes," snapped a man, glaring at Raph.

Raph managed to stop sobbing for a moment to glare.

"Really? I'm sick of you guys period, but no one seems to putting that into account."


"YOU. Have got to be. The most annoying. Bunch of brats I've ever met."

Rhoda shrugged.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's just that yours is stupid."


The six were thrown back into the room. Karai's backsass had finally resulted in her getting a black eye, and she lay where she had fallen, not

bothering to get up.

Don lay, face to the wall. Raph was staring at his hands.

Rhonda silently took Leo and Mikey into her arms, biting her lip.

This was misery incarnate for everyone.

But Mikey had truly suffered today.

*******************************************************************************************************************

They finally lost it.

After Mikey's latest cheek, they'd had enough.

And they wheeled him into another blinding white room...

********************************************************************************************************************

There had been terrified yelps and cries of pain.

When he had been wheeled out...

"No," whispered Rhoda.

She shook her head vigorously, as if hoping to make the whole situation untrue. No.

No, no, no, no, no.

Raph had started sobbing, Don was crying his head off-Karai was unconcious-and Leo was screaming.

One of Mikey's eyes had been clouded over.

Mikey was half blind.

********************************************************************************************************************

Well....Karai's eyedrops had revived Mikey's eyes somewhat, and now he could see a hazy blur out of his left eye, but not only was it not much

good in the darkness, but Mikey needed proper medical treatment.

"Rhoda?"

Karai finally spoke. Rhoda turned to her aching neck to face her.

"It's....almost..."

Rhoda just nodded, not feeling like talking.

"Rhoda?"

Donatello finally spoke.

"Yes, Donny?"

Don hesitated shyly.

"You said...your family owns.... a florist store?"

Rhoda blinked.

"...yes. How come?"

Don smile, and scooted over a bit to Raph, wincing as his ribs ached.

"At....home-" Don choked off for a second.

Home...a word too terrible and wonderful to believe-felt odd on Don's lips. He tried again.

"At home, we had a book..Splinter..."

That was even harder. Don swallowed.

"Father...read us a book with a bunch of flowers...and their meanings. We didn't see them very much, down where.....we lived."

Rhoda stared for a moment.

A child...hardly getting to see the light of day...let alone any flowers.

Yet...a stab of pity and affection struck Rhoda. That was what she got every day....well, almost.

"Can you....tell me, um...what some flowers mean? I...dunno them all."

Rhoda smiled, then nodded.

"Sure," she said hoarsely. "Red roses for-"

"Love," commented Raph, who was now gazing at the ceiling.

"Right! Yellow Roses for-"

"Elegance," commented Mikey, who kept poking at his left eyelid with interest.

"Um, right. Forget me nots for-"

"Memories," piped up Leo, who was leaning upon Rhoda's knee.

Whoa. This Splinter must've taught them well.

"Hmm..." Rhoda thought for a minute. "There's genus Rhododendron..." She turned to Don, who was looking nonplussed.

"And...what does THAT one symbolize?"

"Um....erm...that's an aza-asa-um....I-"

"That's an "Azalea," Donny."

"Oh! Those! They mean, quite literally, 'I'll take care of myself if you take care of yourself for me!"

Rhoda grinned.

"Exact-"

Karai shot up.

"It's time!" she exclaimed. "They're changing the guard-I can hear them-"

And sure enough, a pair of footsteps were dying away.

A wicked smile fell on Karai's lips. She quickly turned away to stare at Rhoda.

"You ready?"

Brown hair fell as Rhoda swished the pin from her hair, holding it tightly between two fingers.

"Thought you'd never ask."


"THE BRATS ARE MISSING! THE BRATS HAVE ESCAPED!"

The purple dragon spat coffee out all over the floor. Wide eyed, he jumped up.

"WHAT?!"

"The door....i-it was....wide open...."

The man uttered a foul oath, and seized the other by the hem of his shirt.

"Do you know," he whispered. "What Saki's willing to pay for his little brat? How much they PAY for aliens? And what the little girl is worth?"

"I-we will find-I, I..."

With another oath, he threw the man from him, growling.

His fist smashed into a red button....

And the sirens began to go off.

"ALL DRAGONS ON FULL ALERT! PRISONERS MISSING!"


Underneath an enormous crate, in the illegal shipping order processing room, Leo winced. Hun had made him bleed with a spiral wire. Rhoda

reached out to silently hug him....then regretfully

pulled back, due to the fact that would only make it worse.

"Have I ever told you how glad the two of us aren't enemies?" whispered Rhoda, looking at Karai.

"No, but it is very sweet of you."


Alarms were going off....let them.

Saki crashed through defense after defense...


It was do or die. Splinter raced through the halls.

His sons....

His sons....

No more waiting around, This had gone too far.

He could feel their pain. All sense had flooded away.

Enough.

The sirens shrieked as he raced, breathing labored and heavy.

There was a little human girl with them, who was an ally. Well....if he could get her out, he would. Just as long as she could be handed safely to

the authorities back to her family.

I'm on my way, little ones, thought Splinter.

Be strong until then....


The box crate lifted up.

Six gasps of horror could be heard as Hun smiled unpleasantly.

"Why, hello, there."


No!

Not now!

Not when they had gotten so close!

Hun had seized a struggling Raph by the head and was readily chuckling. Karai's eyes had narrowed in disgust as she charged him...

..and ended up being kicked aside.

Rhoda stepped back, eyes wide....

...before her shoe touched something hard.

Frantic, she looked down. Hun was seizing the others...

"Good...whatever the heck you freaks are. Now, little miss, I suggest-"

But Karai had charged up again, distracting Hun for a second, just a second, but that was all Rhoda needed.

Rhoda's foot had touched what the crate had been carrying....

A bow and arrow.

She gulped.

One chance.

It was now or never-Karai was going to die unless she did something.

Rhoda took a deep breath and pulled the goggles over her eyes.

A shaking hand steadied....

And she fired...

...as Hun caught it, and snapped it in two.


They had all been wheeled, once again, to the interrogation room. Don couldn't stop sobbing as Hun prowled around.

"Karai...obviously, Shredder doesn't care for you much if this is what he's left you to.

I see no point in keeping you alive."

"NO!" screamed Leo. "N-"

But this was completely ignored. A nasty smile played upon Hun's face.

"As for you, you little freaks, agent Bishop is VERY curious about you...therefore, I have no use of you except monetary gain."

Mikey gulped. Hun stopped at Rhoda's cart next. Once again, she glared.

And once more, he smiled.

"Got something to say to me?"

Rhoda's lip curled.

"Your mother has a job, and is a respected member of her community."

Hun scowled.

"Don't talk about my mother that way!"

He prowled around some more, hands behind his back.

"Now...as for you....I don't care if your parents are willing to pay two grand for you."

Rhoda's heart stopped.

"You're the troublemaker," hissed Hun, raising his fat fist.

Rhoda's mouth was open in a silent, yet nonetheless terrified scream.

Hun's cruel little eyes sparkled with malicious pleasure as she writhed to get free, terrified eyes fixed on Hun.

"I'll see you broken and dea-ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Hun had turned at the sound of the alarms.

"What the...we CAUGHT them! Why-?!"

He swung around to the surveilance modules.

In the black and white screens, a samurai witha bloody gauntlet and a ninja cloaked in black were bursting through lines of defense....

....as police sirens-dozens of them-screamed outside.

His eyes grew huge, as he summed up his situation as such.

"Oh, crud."


Karai's eyes widened in delight.

"THAT'S HIM!" she screamed in delight.

"My father! My father!"

Mikey gulped. "Great," he squeaked. "We're all-"

"No, no!" Karai struggled against her bonds. "He will help us-oh...if I could just-"

Hun swung around.

"STAY THERE!" he screamed-and dashed out.

Don looked quizically at everyone.

"As if we can even GO anywhere..."

Rhoda smiled.

"I think you might be wrong there, Don..."

And to everyone's amazement, she managed to pry her goggles off, before reaching for a sharp object in the lens.

"Nice," commented Raph appreciatively as Rhoda sawed and sawed at the bond....until....

Snap!

And Rhoda fell free.

Wincing, she dropped to the floor, and began impatiently sawing at Leo's bond.

"Next time," commented Mikey, as she finished with Leo and moved onto his, "we get kidnapped, I definitely want you around."

Rhoda just sawed harder.

"Let's A: Hope we never get kidnapped again...B: Hope there IS, a next time."


BAM.

Over the loud explosions from downstairs, bits of wood began to fall from the old roof...

Snap! Raph was free.

Snap! So was Don. Rhoda was about to turn to Karai, when-

"RHODA!" screamed Raph. "LOOK OUT!"

A large bit of timber was falling out....

Rhoda's eyes widened.

There was no way she could get out fast enough-she glanced desperately around her, as Don was about to run forward

Hand raised instinctively, the beam still fell-

Rhoda gasped...

And something seized her.

With a powerful yank, a figure about her size grabbed Rhoda around the waist and sharply pulled her away.

BANG.

The beam smashed through the floor, bits breaking off as it fell...

Third floor-SMASH-

Second Floor-CRASH!

Ground Floor-BOOM!

Rhoda winced. That had to hurt.

The figure carefully pulled her away a few steps north, and carefully set her on her feet again. Rhoda staggered.

"I-you-"

CRASH.

The samurai had caught up, smashing his own way into the room. Karai's eyes sparkled with relief and joyous tears.

"Master!"

The samurai said nothing as flames burst downstairs, people screaming and running every which direction in chaos and confusion, but strode to

the girl and slashed at the ropes.

Karai dropped down, and seized the samurai's leg in an embrace. The man stepped back, clearly surprised.

"Yes, yes, that's all very well," he said gruffly, patting her on the head.

Karai still smiled.


Leo's eyes widened as he took in the ninja, then staggered towards him, the blood dripping.

The ninja turned....

Don was wincing, but still hurrying forwards. Raph was pulling Mikey's hand.

Rhoda watched with wide eyes. The Black Ninja had saved her....so what did that....

Did the turtles know the ninja?

Leo crashed into the Ninja, pressed against him, eyes screwed shut. Rhoda took a step back in surprise.

Wow. Apparently so.

The ninja hesitated-then swept Raph, Mikey, Don, and Leo into his arms and into a bonebreaking hug.

In doing so, his hood fell back.

Karai finally looked up, and stared from where she was-Rhoda whistled in amazement.

A Nezumi. A big....big, BIG rat.

Nope. They weren't lying.

But this one seemed friendly enough that he'd rescued Rhoda and came for the turtles...Rhoda staggered up, towards the ninja.


The rat had finally pulled back to examine his sons, none of whom were eager to share their afflictions.

"Oh....oh...."

Splinter's eyes filled with tears.

"Donatello...oh, no...please....Raphael, your hand!"

Then, he noticed something dripping on his robe from his embrace with Leo, and he gently but firmly pulled Mikey's chin up to look at him.

"Leornado! Michelangelo!"

Rhoda winced. A shriek of cold fury and overwhelming sorrow echoed in the wreck. Rhoda trembled as the rat shook with emotion.

"My sons..." whispered Splinter, eyes spilling as he now very carefully embraced him.

"I am so, so sorry....

Gomen Nasai...gomen nasai....gomen nasai.....gomen nasai...."

Rhoda's own eyes filled as well.


"S-Sir?" asked Rhoda timidly as she limped towards the little family. Sirens were still wailing, and Saki and Karai were now talking quietly, but

Rhoda ignored that as Splinter looked up.

"A-are you....Splinter, by any chance?"

Splinter nodded, dark eyes quiet and solemn.

"It's okay, Sei-sei," whimpered Mikey, face still pressed against the worn fabric of Splinter's cloak. "She's a-"

Splinter smiled faintly, but warmly, and put a hand on Mikey's head. "Yes, my son...I wanted to rescue you immediately...but I had to wait for the r

ight time." His tone was bitter and self mocking. "I heard of a "Miss Rhoda" who was with my sons."

Rhoda was impressed. How did this rat know...karate and martial arts? Did he teach himself? And how did he manage to lurk and spy, like some

sort of-

"It seems," said Splinter quietly. "I must thank you for my children's lives."

"What? Oh, no-I really didn't do-"

"Pardon this...breakage of this heartfelt speech," said the Shredder sarcastically. Splinter glared at him coldly, and held the turtles closer.

Rhoda blinked. This...was Karai's dad, right?

"But I might as well tell you that the entire building will implode from my bomb in about six minutes," said Shredder dispassionately.


Horror.

Sheer raw horror.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Rhoda stumbled.

"You....you can't be...."

Red eyes glinted.

"Oh, but I am. Believe me or not-it's your funeral." Businesslike, he turned to Karai.

"The glider is on the rooftops. We must hurry."

Karai gave a polite bow.

"Yes, master."

Before the two hurried off, she manged to turn and wave.

And Rhoda was almost positive she blew a kiss to Leonardo.


Splinter turned, eyes frantic.

"Miss Rhoda-there is no time-you must come with us!"

Rhoda simply nodded frantically as they rushed out of the hole the crooked beam had made...

Onto a snowy rooftop.


"Hurry!"

Splinter threw a backpack to Rhoda, who just barely caught it.

"Pull the cord as you jump!" he shouted, over the howling wind and sirens from below.

Rhoda's eyes widened.

"What?!"

"We jump!"

Frantically, Rhoda attempted to attach the pack...but she'd never attempted to skydive before...Splinter turned, and after a brief sigh, helped her

into it.

"W-What about you guys?" demanded Rhoda in desperation as her eyes only took in two parachutes. The turtles clung to their father. After

glancing at them fondly, Splinter looked up.

"My parachute can carry quite a bit of weight...I've tested. Now, we must-"

"Wait!"

Don handed her a crumpled object in white paper. Rhoda blinked.

"Thanks, Donny, but wha-"

"We must hurry!"

Gulping, Rhoda nodded, and walked to the smoking edge of the building...

"Miss Rhoda!"

Rhoda turned. These heights made her feel woozy...

"Whether it is now or later-I will always be indebited to you. Never forget that, child."

Rhoda swiped at her eyes.

"Will...I ever see you guys again?"

Splinter smiled.

"I do not doubt it," he said softly, once again checking that the turtles were safely strapped.

A cool, metalic voice sounded off into the night.

Ten...

Nine.....

Eight.....

"Take care," said Leo softly.

And then, the aged rat threw himself off the roof.


Rhoda gulped, closed her eyes...

And jumped.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rhoda screamed as she plummeted down towards the earth, her hand desperately reaching for the cord and seizing it profusely.

Phoof!

(I like that word...I think I'll say it over and over again...phoof, phoof, phoof, phoof......)

BOOM.

And the building errupted into flames, debris exploding in every which way, crimson fire roaring like a volcano's inferno into a dark indigo sky,

where snow was gently falling delightfully and as sweetly as sakura blossoms or notes in The Sugar Plum Fairy.

As her grey parachute burst behind her, she looked desperately in every direction for the blue parachute.

Splinter....?

Raph....?

Mikey.....?

Leo.....?

Don....?

Where were....

"That's her! THAT'S THE GIRL!"

And, as Rhoda landed on the ground, policemen and ER agents rushed to her, each exclaiming loudly.

But Rhoda was silent. Again she wiped her eyes.

She had won.

She'd gotten out alive!

But what she had lost....

The cost was too great...


Mary sighed as she stirred her cup of tea. Boy, this was bitter.

It was a dark, snowy night. Very Christmassy, very inspirational, but her pen lay limp at her side.

In the short amount of time she had, she had written a book about a wraith like rat who lived, misunderstood, under the streets, with four little

ones....

Her editor would think she was crazy if she tried to publish this....but she did like it very much...and she wanted to DO something with

it....something special....

Ken thought it was rather nice-girls would like it for its chick-flick qualities...and there were martial arts in it as well....

She liked it...but would anyone else?

Not for the first time, she glanced at the Omamori. Her children had asked her where she had gotten it...

They would find it hard to believe....

Mary started up with a gasp.

S-

Splinter?!


No way. No how.

This was unreal.

And what was with all that green?

Just as she was about to snatch her cloak and scarf, the figure...or figures vanished.

Mary blinked. Well....she was going to call herself crazy later...but it was now or never.

She reached for the phone.


Rhoda sighed.

Her family had been frantic with joy to behold her safe again...and so did she....but it had been an entire...well, not a day, but twenty two hours.

Oak brown-green eyes sorrowful, she pressed her head to her knees from where she lay in her room.

Wow...the wind was really blowing out there. She only hoped the Splintersons were safe....

Then again, did she call them the Hamatos, instead?

Pondering, she glanced up at the window.

Snow.

First of the year....

Then, she glanced at the little paper.

Oh! She'd never opened it! In her eagerness, she nearly tore it open.

Something fell to her knees. She grasped it in the darkness.

Her eyes widened.


To the untrained eye, it was just a flower.

But to Rhoda, it was...

....an Azalea.


"I'll take care of myself if you take care of yourself for me!"

Rhoda's eyes filled with tears.

They were alive.

And, as her limp fingers curled around the crumpled flower, a smile could be seen on her wan expression even as a bittersweet sob burst from her

throat.

Oh...wait! The note! Rhoda switched on the light, still clutching the note.

As her eyes trailed down the note, they widened.

She quickly glanced at the door.

If her family found out.....they were ALREADY freaked out.

But, she knew she wouldn't have any peace unless she did.

Silently, she walked over to the bedside table, picked up her goggles, and snapped them on.

Then, she turned to the window.

At least it wasn't too far from the ground...


Rhoda rushed out, her breath becoming a puffy white mist with each strangled gasp, white paper still clutched in her hand.

Keep going....keep going....

Finally, as she ran three blocks, she stopped, gasping, at the manhole cover.

Heart pounding, she looked up.

Where another piece of paper was tucked in, fluttering in the breeze.

With shaking fingers, she pulled it away...


Miss Rhoda-

Yes, we are alive and well. It would've hardly looked good for either of us to be in the company of mutants after a public kidnapping...I must thank you

once again for looking after my young ones in my abscence.

Although it may be wiser for us to part ways, I can tell my children do not wish to cut you from our lives.

If ever you wish to meet, simply leave your note-it is near our home-and I will be well prepared. The little ones would be delighted to see you once again.

I know I would.

I must get the young ones home-they need time to heal.

Farewell, my friend-did I not tell you we would meet again?

Merry Early Christmas

Splinter, Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael.


The snow continued to fall.

Quiet joy thundered Rhoda, joy she hadn't known for a long, long time.

With a whoop, clutching both pieces of paper to her heart, she calmed down enough to grab a pen she had in her pocket-calmed down enough to

write three words and carefully attach the note to the manhole.

See you soon.

With another whoop and skip into the air, she sprinted open, a beautific smile on her face, goggles glinting in the lamplight as she ran home, past

christmas roses, past emerald wreaths, past houses covered with gold, emerald, and red lights, Christmas trees, Menorahs, and Kenorahs

glinting merrily in the windows...

Hopefully, they would heal soon....

Tommorow was another day.

One Rhoda couldn't wait for.


Mary smiled.

Her editor had been sent the story...which was relatively short.....

...and in such a short span, accepted it.

It seemed frightningly fast-abnormal and weird....but sometimes, you don't ask questions. ^^

Mary smiled one last time at the window before turning away.

God keep you, you guys, echoed in her mind.

It is an odd, dark tale, but one with a happy ending at that, involving Family and snow...and Fluff. Lots and lots of fluff, and holly leaves.

There is another tale, my dear reader, one that involves both Rhoda and Mary.

But, that, reader, is another story altogether.

So, even as this tale comes to a close, and we leave Miss Rhoda and Mary...to return one day, once again, we will go for now, once again,

beneath the NYC streets.


Home.

Back home....

It was too good to believe.

The last thing Splinter wanted was for his sons to be out of his sight, and luckily, they agreed.

After managing to eat a little bit-Splinter made them-the five merely sat together, quiet in front of the fire.

Mikey's eye was bandaged, as was Don's chest, Leo's spiral wounds, and Raph's hand put into a cast.

Finally, Don curled into Spinter's right arm, Leo and Mikey snoozing on his chest, and Raph sleeping on Splinter's left.

Splinter just gazed at the burning embers, his hand absentmindedly stroking their shells, their arms, their heads-quiet, but flowing with emotion.

When Master Yoshi had died, he had assumed that was it. Done. Game over.

Fate had an odd sense of humor...in a way, quite sick....to change his life so dramastically forever.

He...was humanlike.

And....a father.

A very undeserving father, at that...

Splinter smiled, unable to stop the fresh stream of tears.

His sons...had suffered so much these past few days.

He'd rather die... a thousand times, then to see that repeated ever again.

Why did the turtles choose to stay with him? If he'd been just a bit more careful...then...

Raph grumbled a bit in his sleep. Splinter smiled, and moved his palm to Raph's head.

They would have to stay in bed...and recover, physically, and emotionally. Even on Christmas....

But Splinter was simply thankful that there was a family to celebrate with.

Splinter drew the quilt around them.

Whatever came their way, they would stand together.

Sorrow, joy, and pride were racing through his body before his eyes finally slipped into sleep.

Before his head turned to the side, he managed to whisper.

"My sons..."

"My children..."


The Ever Loving End.

Wow...this was an intense fiction. ^^ Next Turtle Tots fiction is "White Day!" That, or "The Broken Angel....." (Christmas Fiction, but if I want to release

it in May or June, then I will!)