Edit: First Place winner for "Best Cross-Over" as well as "Best Happy-Ending" 2009 TMNT Fanfic Competition

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Here it is! The fic I am currently writing for the TMNT universe based on the 2003 cartoon.

The fic takes place somewhere after season 4 or after season 7 depending on your preference (I do not like seasons 5 – 7 so I probably won't be referring to them in this story)

Although the fic itself takes place in the universe set in the 2003 cartoon I will most likely be adding very small elements from other incarnations of the TMNT Universe (such as the comics and CGI movie, but not so much as to be cryptic)

Also, I will be making large references to Usagi Yojimbo's universe but not so much that you'll have needed to read the comics to understand what's going on.

(Please note I have only read up to Volume 7 of Usagi Yojimbo so some of my information may be out of date.I am having trouble getting my hands on Volumes 8 and 9 which are out of print at the time of writing this)

Anyway with all that stuffiness out of the way please enjoy and PLEASE let me know what you think because I am not the most confident writer ^^;

Lastly, I do not own TMNT (that would be awesome though)

and I do not own Usagi Yojimbo (although that too, would be awesome XDD)

Enjoy~!

xxxxx

Prologue

Wind whipped past me, stinging my eyes as I continued to hurtle forward.

The bright lights swirled and danced all around, almost as if they were trying to disorientate me. I had no doubts they would've accomplished their task if I had any notion where I was, or where I was going for that matter.

I had lost sight of my target.

Hadn't he been just a few steps ahead of me? Yet now I cannot see any trace of him nor that which he had taken from me.

My throat tightened as I felt fear run up my arms before clamping down around my chest.

I could not have lost him. There was nowhere he could've gone except straight ahead.

Damn these lights! Their dancing and the air rushing past me was causing my eyes to tear up, practically blinding me.

But I will not fail! I couldn't fail! It was not an option.

How many times had I been in situations where failure meant utter ruin? I had lost count years ago. From battles, skirmishes and political plots to secret missions, duties to others and codes of honour. I had been through them all, and always failure had seemed a death sentence at the time for each of them. But strangely, when bitter failure did befall me and my comrades, I had always survived it. Even when there could be no hope of salvation I had somehow prevailed and continued on.

But I had lost many friends along the way who were not so fortunate.

It was a fact of war. Lives will always be lost, whether you are victor or not. Sometimes lives are openly given. Perhaps for a noble cause. For a battle that is much larger than the individual, or the protection of some-one more important than oneself. However there are times when the lives lost are not given but harshly taken.

Innocent victims. These are also a fact of war. A fact much harder to swallow. Sadly, to be able to survive the horrors that life will inevitably throw at us, one must learn to accept it. If you try to save every innocent life caught in the turmoil of others you will only drive yourself mad. The best one can hope for is to do what you can, and accept that you alone cannot always keep every innocent person from harm, even if you try.

But then, why try at all? Why put oneself through constant pain and misery trying to fight and protect those who have no other hope, knowing that you alone are not enough to save them? Having to constantly be faced by your own shortcomings and see other people have to pay the price for them? It would be better to only focus on oneself. Concerned only with your own self preservation, for if you fail, the only person who would be hurt is you and you alone. If no-one relies on you or looks to you for protection then you will never fail any-one.

I have known people in the past who live like this. They stick their necks out for no-one and do not believe in any-one or anything but themselves. I find it a sad existence. But often, I have seen people who have devoted themselves to this line of thinking unable to uphold it. Some-one may come into their life that, despite themselves, they feel they need to protect. Or they may join a worthy cause on the basis that it would offer them good pay, and yet when it is time to collect they will be mysteriously absent.

I think the truth is, as much as we wish it to be otherwise, we cannot live our lives apart from the rest of the world. Even the most vile and cruel of men can be prone to feelings of affection. We are all reliant on others in one way or another. Such is our nature. Our compassion is what makes us what we are. It is the essence of our humanity.

Failure was not an option.

So many were depending one me. I could not let them down! I refused to accept that my target had escaped me. People were counting on me! I was counting on me! I had to catch up. I had find him and reclaim that which he had taken.

The lights were spinning faster. The wind blowing harder.

And then all at once they both vanished, replaced by a blinding whiteness.

I threw my arms over my face to protect my eyes from the sudden glare. The wind picked up again, but I realised it was not the same as the wind which I had just come from.

I was falling.

I had less than seconds to try and stop myself from crashing into the ground. I threw my hands out wildly, trying to grab at anything that I could.

I felt a sharp pain as my hand jerked, having grabbed a large rope. I hung briefly for a second before I continued my fall. Whatever the rope had been attached to had not been strong enough to support my weight. Somewhere high above me I heard what sounded like a crack of lightning as the portal which brought me here closed.

I was still clawing at the air, trying desperately to save myself but there wasn't enough time. I felt pain shoot through me as I hit the ground. Sand sprayed into the air and formed itself into a dust cloud around me. By some higher mercy I had landed on what appeared to be a sandbank of some kind. But that merely meant that I wasn't instantly killed on impact. My head swam and my vision blurred. If it wasn't for the adrenaline pumping though me I knew I would've been in a great amount of pain.

I tried to shake it off but that turned out to be a bad decision as I felt my head roll. Dark figures came into my field of vision and loomed over me, probably inspecting who I was.

I could hear the voices of men talking. They sounded confused, even frightened. I had trouble understanding them. At first I thought it was due to my hard landing, but I slowly realised it was because they were speaking English, not Japanese.

"What the hell is it Paul?"

"I have no idea...Some kind of PETA Publicity stunt?"

"A rabbit in a kimono?!"

"I've seen 'em do weirder things."

"Hey! Hey he's making a break for it! Grab him!"

"Shit! Bob stop him!!"

"Too late! He's jumped the fence!"

"Dammit! ...how the hell am I suppose to explain THIS to the foreman?"

xxxxx

Author's note:

this may be a little confusing but I promise it'll make sense later on.