Jenna stared longingly out the window of the 757, just as she had been doing for the last three hours. Why did it always seem that the cross-country portion of this trip seemed to take longer than crossing the ocean itself? She broke away from gazing at farmland for a second to glance over at Victoria, still asleep in the seat next to her.
Good. She deserves some rest. I can't believe they talked her into this at all - the funeral was only six weeks ago.
Jenna slumped back against her own seat in somewhat despair, wishing again however faintly that this could all have been over six years ago, that it would have ended with her. Not that she had a true death wish mind you, but Michael didn't deserve this, and Victoria didn't deserve to lose him like this. She found herself fighting tears again at that very moment, even thinking about the day.
She had literally no interest in the appeal that had been filed in the case of her kidnappers, had not even wanted to set foot back in another courtroom. Michael had gone alone, had wanted to see it through to the end of the case. When the motion for appeal had been denied, a single loyalist had taken out all of her frustration and rage outside the courtroom that day, and Michael had been the target of her hatred.
Jenna glanced down at the armrests of her seat, suddenly realizing she had been unconsciously clenching her fists so hard that they were physically changing color. With a sharp breath she released them, and closed her eyes for a few seconds. These last few weeks had been a complete blur. She had pushed aside a lot of her own emotion, in favor of keeping it together and strong for Victoria. But now that the funeral had passed and they were leaving Australia behind, it was hard to stay numb anymore.
She felt guilty for it, but part of her was deathly afraid of how coming to the states together with her Mom was going to impact her relationship with the guys. Jenna lightly fidgeted with the band of her ring, biting her lip in consternation, How much longer could she keep Donatello a secret? With Michael gone now, it made the thought of hiding from Victoria even more difficult. She loved him more than anything, but she also wanted to protect him, them, everyone.
She was weighed down with the burden of supporting her adoptive mother, while not losing Donatello at the same time. Was it possible to juggle both things full time? Or was she going to be forced to make a choice, to finally decide between their world, or her own? She dropped her head in her hands, and finally cried.
Donatello was staring at a blank sheet in his notebook. He had been staring at it for about ten minutes now, tapping his pen in a preoccupied way, that had finally gotten the better of Raphael.
"Hey genius, would you kill the motor? You're makin' me nervous over here."
Donnie didn't respond to him, but did immediately quit the nervous twitch, settling back in the chair with a mighty sigh.
I'm not gonna finish this at this rate anyway, Raph thought to himself, and turned off the TV.
"Hey, whatsa matter with you? Your girl's coming to town, you should be bouncing off the walls, not down in the dumps." Raphael told his brother.
"I am happy she's comin' Raph, it's just, I don't know what I'm gonna say to her."
"Ya'll have talked about her dad haven't you?"
"I let her talk. Face to face, it's gonna be different. And I have a feeling that our complicated situation is about to be kicked up to a whole new level."
"She's staying in New York Donnie! You guys won't be apart anymore. How is that more complicated?"
"Because it is Raph. Don't you get it? Jenna has her Mom to think about now, and they're both grieving. She needs to have her feet planted on solid ground, not..."
"Not hanging out with you, is that what you were gonna say?"
"I'm saying she needs to concentrate on what's important, and I don't want to be a hindrance to that."
"So what are you gonna do, shove her off? 'Welcome back Jenna, sorry your Dad got murdered, but hey, I don't think you should come around anymore'?"
"Sheesh Raph, I'm just trying to make things simpler."
"You know what I think Donnie? I think that you're so scared of losing that girl, that you'd rather just push her away before you have the chance to."
When their plane landed around 7am, Victoria and Jenna made their way through JFK, a task that had become very familiar for the 23 year old. She'd graduated from NYU only a few months prior, and it had been one of the happiest moments of her life. Michael and Victoria were both there to support her, just as they had ever since she entered their home as a troubled teenager.
Jenna was interrupted mid-thought by a look from Victoria, and quickly forced a smile for the woman.
"Are you happy to be home?" Victoria asked her.
"Home." Jenna said wistfully. "I've been back and forth so much, I hardly know what that is anymore. But yeah, it is good to see New York again. Do you have to meet with anybody today?"
"Not on official business. I have a conference scheduled for 11am tomorrow, and then closed door sessions at the United Nations for the rest of the day I'm afraid. Have you made plans for meeting with Donnie yet?" Victoria asked coyly, and Jenna sighed inwardly. Her mother had to be dying to meet the secret object of her affections even more now that they were back in the states.
"Nothing definitive, I'm supposed to see him sometime tonight, but there isn't a rush."
I don't want to leave you on your own, She added ruefully, and Victoria seemed to pick up on what she was thinking.
"Jenna honey, you really don't need to babysit me. You've been separated for months, I know you must be desperate to see him."
"I'm alright Mom." She answered.
I just want to make certain that you are too, she finished silently.
"Seriously Jen, I'm going to be at the UN all day tomorrow. You should really reconnect, you don't want to sit around that building or this hotel all day. Go, go and be with your friends."