A/N: I apologize for my LENGTHY absence. I don't have any excuses! Just life. Same ol' stuff carrying me away! :) I read over this story and, unlike my others, felt it deserved another chance. I DO love Lavinia. She was always my favorite. Hopefully I haven't forgotten too much. Also, I have written virtually NOTHING in years, so please forgive any grammatical errors or just plain old terrible writing in general. Anyone who is interested in beta-ing my work please message me! I'm interested in the help. :)
Rated: T+ (May go up in later chapters)
WARNING: This story contains ideologically sensitive material involving human mutation and mutant love.
Relativity: A state of dependence in which the existence or significance of one entity is solely dependent on that of another.
Michelangelo straightened as he realized the tiny mutant female was waking and he looked over his shoulder for backup, in clear remembrance of April's first wakening in their sewer.
It had been many years ago, but the memory still seemed fresh in his mind. After all, that moment had land marked several important things in his life. One being, he'd never been so close to a human, let alone a female human, before, very important for his raging and hormonal fifteen year old self. He remembered the way his heart hammered in his chest as he'd watched her unconscious, both terrified and mystified that such creature was so close to him. He'd been taught to respect and fear humans, never to reveal himself to one, and yet one lay on his couch. Another very important revelation he had in that moment was that he was heterosexual. He'd never really had urges or sexual drives before meeting April. It was as though "female" did not exist in his world until she did. It was well known to the woman, he imagined now, that all the turtles had had some level of a crush on her in their youth, Donny the most of all, but that was in the past. Mostly.
Mikey suspected that some feelings might still linger for her within Donny, though the quiet turtle would never admit to having them.
However, he dashed this minute pondering from his mind as the large brown eyes of the tiny mutant stranger settled on him. Her eyes caught his for a moment before taking in the rest of his face. As she absorbed his features, her eyes became wider and wider and Mikey's heart sank lower and lower.
"This is going to hurt..." He muttered to himself, raising a hand as if to block himself before a terrified scream erupted from her throat. The cry seemed particularly loud, much louder than he remembered April's being. As though hit by a sonic wave, he threw himself away from her in shock, again crashing into Donatello's bookcase. The few that had not already toppled down added to the abuse his poor skull had already taken.
Mikey barely had time to blink the stars from his eyes before more unidentified projectiles made contact with his skin. His arms instantly rose to cover his face, but he peeked between them.
The tiny red mutant girl was on her feet, face twisted in hysteria as she grabbed any object within reach and chucked it at him. Her scream had died out, but she was still screeching in aggression with each throw. It was clear that she was so afraid of him that she was not even taking the time to assess the situation. Or... and Donny would be proud that this even occured to him... she was not sentient enough to understand that he was cowering in a corner, not attacking her.
Even considering this, he figured it might be worth the effort to talk, so he ducked as another object sailed toward his head and tried.
"Hey, hey," He said in what he hoped was a soothing voice," Calm down, girlie. I'm the good guy. Well... I mean if you discount an unclean thought or two! Heh..."
It was supposed to be a joke and it made her pause a moment to frown down at him. He considered that this might be an ideal time to tackle her, but seeing as she held some beaker of mystery fluid in her raised hand, he chose to stay put and smile up at her. Her face was unreadable for a few minutes until it darkened again and she bared her teeth, pulling her arm back to throw the beaker at him.
In all honesty, Michelangelo adored Donatello's intelligence (his creations were always wicked), but he definitely did not fancy having some random liquid found in his room splattered all over him. So, the muscles in his legs bunched as he prepared himself to launch at the girl when a stern voice from the doorway made them both freeze.
"Enough," Leonardo said coldly, eyes narrow in irritation and moving from the girl to Mikey. He shook his head minutely at the younger turtle and Mikey knew he believed that he had provoked the girl in some way. Mikey scowled back in silent denial.
Behind him stood Raphael, arms crossed over his plastron and gazing past the broad shoulders of the eldest turtle, surveying the damage. His breath was short and quick and he had a light sheen over his skin. Apparently they'd interrupted his nightly workout session, but this was likely more exciting to him anyway. Any sort of violence always seemed to draw the red-banded turtle from his cave.
The girl paled slightly, a minute change that Mikey barely caught, under Leo's gaze. His brows were furrowed and his frown deep. A surprisingly severe look on him, for whatever reason. It was Leo's "I'm-not-playing-this-game-so-shape-up-now-before-I-make-you" look. Mikey was almost always on the receiving end of that expression.
Mikey also did not miss that Leo was still in full gear and had a single katana drawn, resting in a comfortable, yet ready low position near his thigh. It was a deceptive position, because though he looked relaxed, he needed only a second to react. Leo had always been the fastest of them all.
Whether the girl noted the weapon which was partially concealed in shadow or not was unclear as she stood frozen, staring directly back into Leonardo's glaring eyes.
For a moment no one seemed to breath.
Finally, Leo's expression softened a fraction and he held up a hand, fingers spread, before him, slowly taking a step toward the girl. It was meant to be a calming, white flag gesture, but it was not lost on Mikey that the other hand held tight onto the hilt of the katana.
"Calm down. We're not going to hurt you," Leonardo said, voice smooth and even. He held the girl's gaze steadily as he continued to advance on her, taking care not to rush forward and startle her.
"I tried to tell her that already and she-Ow!" The blue eyed turtle, who was still sprawled on a mountain of books rubbed his abused skull and glowered up at his older brother, Raphael, who'd sneakily stepped in beside him and took the moment to pop him on the head with a heavy fist.
"Shut up," Raphael hissed down to him.
"You will not be attacked by us. Just relax and I'll take that," as soon as he was within reach, Leonardo plucked the beaker from the girl's red fingers and gingerly set it out of her reach on the desk behind him.
"Now..." He continued as her arms slowly slid to her sides and she still watched him," Just take a deep breath and try to calm down. We are not your enemy."
The mutant girl's chest still rose and fell rapidly and her wide brown eyes darted around the room, seemingly either surveying it's occupants or taking an account of how many people she was matched against. Regardless of her thought process, she bowed her head and her shoulders slumped in defeat.
Leonardo also visibly relaxed. With their experience, he knew one could never trust strangers, no matter how small they were. With this girl, even he had a hard time maintaining his vigilance. She was rather thin and lanky; a runner's body. Though she stood at about their height, she looked like she'd bow under the mere weight of Donny's wooden bo staff. However, appearances were deceiving. Leonardo knew that too well. Especially in regards to mutants, one could never be too cautious.
Still, he felt that it was safe enough to slide his katana back into it's sheath. With practiced eased, it barely made a sound and went completely undetected by the female before him who only kept her head bowed.
She seemed to be surveying her hands, holding them before her face and turning them over and over. Yellow palm, blue top, yellow palm, blue top. No one said anything for the few moments that she did this.
Leo used the time to consider what he wanted to say and where he should start. He knew nothing of this girl. Had heard nothing of mutant experiments among the Foot, yet clearly they were involved. Donatello and Leatherhead had spent pain-stakingly long hours before computer screens hacking systems and spying on their enemy and yet this very important detail had slipped past them.
This was very crucial information because the Foot now had it's slimy fingers buried deep within many resources these days. They had grown alarmingly powerful and had many open supporters. So, it was disappointing to admit to himself that they were in the dark here. They had no idea how this girl came to be or who created her. They knew nothing.
So lost in his thoughts was he that he jumped slightly when the girl looked at him. Her movement was not sharp, yet he'd nearly forgotten she was there. He waited for her move, ever the paranoid one. He liked to think of himself as prepared.
However, as she looked up at him with large brown eyes red-rimmed and filled to the brim with tears, he was not prepared. How could he be? He was trained to handle battle. He could run into a room full of swinging swords without batting an eyelash, but... a small female fixing him with such a sad and lost expression, what could he do?
At 26 years old, it had been years since he last exercised compassion. His brothers did not cry. Not anymore. Sure as small children, but it had been ages. Perhaps the last time had been when their father had...
Leo shoved the thought from his mind as Donatello burst into the room looking more than annoyed.
"What is going on here? Is there a reason why three full grown turtles are harassing my patient?" He demanded, pushing past Raphael and Mikey to approach the girl. He sent Leo a reproachful look. Certainly he had heard her cries, but evidently had not been overly concerned about them. He chose not to comment further on the matter and did not wait for their responses, though Mikey looked to be on the urge of spluttering in angry protest.
Donatello smiled softly at the red skinned girl," allow me to introduce myself as I am sure my neanderthal brothers did not make an effort. My name is Donatello. They are Leonardo and Michelangelo. And the scary looking fellow in the corner is Raphael. He's all brawn and no brain. You don't have to worry about him."
Donatello glanced over his shoulder to see Raphael snort and slink out of the room. He smiled back at the girl reassuringly. She stared uncertainly back.
"You're safe here. You have my word," He promised.
The girl searched his eyes for a second before pursing her lips and nodding in acceptance.
"First thing is first. How are you feeling? You were running quite the fever a moment ago. May I..." He held his hand toward her forehead, hovering as he waited for permission.
When the girl nodded, but did not answer him, he gently pressed his fingers to her head and cheek. She flinched at his touch, but he pretended not to notice. A quick surveillance of her very recent actions told him that she was a very special mutant, for she must be a human to animal mutant, unlike them. It was clear to him in the way she screamed in terror at what was likely her first sight of Mikey. He had indeed heard her frantic attack on them and finally when he walked in and she stared at her own skin as though it could not possibly be hers. All minute details that led him to his conclusion. Of course there was also the blaringly obvious evidence of her climbing out of a high rise apartment building. They were planning on inspecting it soon, once they were sure the Foot cleared out. It would have to be fast, though, because they might wipe evidence of her being there to begin with.
However... matters at hand first... then they could move forward. Donny was rather guilty of over planning and scheming his entire life. He often thought about events that would not occur for years, or might not at all.
"Your temperature feels as though it is cooling. That may or may not be a good thing. I can't tell yet, but you look like you could use some tea," he glanced over his shoulder at Mikey with raised eyebrow ridges. Mikey was daft at times, but he took the invitation greedily and scurried from the room.
"In the meantime, why don't you have a seat. I appears as though we need to talk," he further explained, gesturing his bed with the same warm smile.
The girl glanced at Leo, who had not budged from his spot near Donatello's desk. Her teeth were visibly clenched and her entire body was tense. As if deciding he was not an immediate threat, she stiffly sank onto the old mattress and clenched her hands together between her legs. Hunching slightly, it looked as though she wanted nothing more than to curl into herself and disappear, but she looked expectantly up at Donatello.
Donny slid a chair closer and seated himself on that, sitting back to look at her.
Michelangelo slid back in at that moment and timidly approached the girl. She glanced briefly at him and accepted the old mug of tea with a small smile and the youngest turtle slid back some, just in case she had a change of heart and chose to throw that at him too.
Thankfully, she didn't. She sniffed the tea and narrowed her eyes a bit, looking into the cup to inspect the liquid. Donny only watched curiously for the moment and Leo and Mikey thankfully stayed quiet behind him.
She sniffed it again, looking confused and frowning, but took a small sip anyway. Her eyes widened and she took a few more large gulps, either ignoring the temperature of the steaming tea or not noticing it at all. She downed half the cup before choking a bit and wiping her mouth. She looked shyly back at the purple masked turtle.
"Sorry... I guess... I guess I was thirsty..." She explained.
"That's quite all right," Donny replied," Enjoy. We can always make more."
"Thank you..." She murmured and took a smaller sip this time and closing her eyes as if savoring the flavor. Then, she moved to set the cup on his desk, pausing to send him a questioning glance. He nodded and she placed the cup just on the edge, careful not to touch or ruffle any papers or items atop.
Donny cocked his head curiously at this reaction, but did not comment on it. Instead, he said," So... you do speak."
The girl's skin darkened a shade , but she nodded.
"Good, that makes everything a lot easier. Do you have a name?"
"Lav-" She winced and rubbed her throat, clearing it a second and continued," Lavinia. Lavinia Fontaine."
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Lavinia," Donny extended his head. Lavinia only looked at it for a moment, perhaps bewildered by it's rough appearance, but he was unhindered and let it hang midair until she awkwardly slid his hand into his. Her palm was cool and smooth.
"It's... nice... to meet you, too..." she stammered clumsily.
"This must be very strange for you and for that I apologize. I suppose it's not everyday you meet four giant turtles, hm?" He asked.
She only nodded.
"It's a very strange day for us, too, actually. You see, we don't really meet a lot of mutants these days. You're definitely an oddity in our world, as well. Would you mind answering a few questions?"
When she did not reply, he continued," Such as... what happened tonight?"
Lavinia's face hardened a little and she ducked her head, stiffening even more. Seeing her legs, she became entranced by her exotic colored skin once again and gasped, covering her face with her hands. Her trembling shoulders would have quickly revealed the fact that she was crying, even if the heart broken sob had not left her lips.
In an immediate reaction, Donatello placed a hand on her shoulder, but she violently ripped her body away from him, face distorted in an expression he could not read. He barely had the time as she pulled her knees up and covered her head.
Donny sighed and let his hand drop, turning to look at Leo. Leo only frowned back and shrugged helplessly. He glanced to Mikey, but the orange banded turtle shook his head and looked sorrowfully at the crying girl.
"We'll give you some time..." Donny said finally," You've had a stressful night. Get some rest. You can sleep in here. There are extra blankets under the bed if you get cold."
Lavinia did not respond, but she grew quieter.
His brothers filed out of his room and he followed suite, closing the door tightly behind him.