Disclaimer: I own nothing TMNT related and make no profit off of the writing of this story. Nadia is my OC though, so if you have any intentions on her, please ask :)

Chapter One: Disowned

The thing about being stressed out to the breaking point and emotionally and physically exhausted was that there was no escaping the wretched combination. Once they all set in, they set in hard and fast and clung to you like a leech, unwilling to let your mind rest, to let your body sink into an oblivious state.

That's what Nadia Ramos was feeling right now. Stressed out and exhausted. Stepping out onto the paved sidewalk, she looked up at the buildings looming all around her, blinking her blood shot, liquid brown eyes. She wondered, for the millionth time that week, if she had made the right choice coming to New York, wondered if trusting her impulsive judgment had been the right decision. New York was a long ways from Costa Mesa, California. But that had been the point, hadn't it? Get as far away from home as possible? Leave the crippling pain, the constant ridicule and the feeling of being alone when she never really was on the opposite side of the continent?

Resentment constricted her heart and she looked down, blinking back tears. They hadn't even given her a chance to explain. Once her secret was out, they'd pushed her away. They had pushed her to this, to leaving them all behind and starting a new life without them. They no longer wanted her, so she had done them the favor of leaving.

Her hand drifted to the gentle swell of her stomach and a sad smile curved her full lips upward. She wasn't alone. Not completely. She had a life to care for, a life to love. She made a vow to remind herself of that every day, several times if needed. The city may have scared her, but there were opportunities here. Her future here may have been muddled, but at least it held promise.

She pulled her apartment keys from the small clutch she carried with her, then plucked a few alligator clips still stuck to the hem of her blouse free and dropped them into the satin confines before snapping it shut. She started forward, ducking back to avoid others passing by, then lifted a delicate hand as she stepped onto the yellow curb. All she wanted to do at this point was go home, curl up on her beat up couch in front of her not-so-impressive television with a cup of hot cacao and watch re-runs of Friends until she fell asleep.

A taxi slowed, approaching the curb and she smiled, already anticipating the feel of ceramic heat cupped between her hands.


"Another night, another rescue," Michelangelo muttered, watching the scene below him unfold. His eyes had been trained on the young woman for a while now, waiting to see if she was just another victim-in-waiting.

"Come on, walk home. You know you want to," he murmured, feeling the edge of boredom. He didn't enjoy standing in one spot for very long. His brothers constantly antagonized him for that, commenting on the possibility of attention deficit disorder or some crap like that. The woman was still standing there, the orange lamplight bathing over her still form. And he was itching to do something. That something would more than likely involve her.

He played a liable scenario out in his head. She's going to turn to the left, walk close to the buildings and look around all paranoid because she KNOWS she made the wrong decision. Oh, what's this? An alley? Should she walk by? She hesitates, but does anyway. Bam…street thug. He grabs her, the Great Michelangelo makes his heroic appearance. Damsel is saved, our great hero disappears into the night. No thanks needed, fair dudette. Just doing my job.

She moved suddenly, stepping towards the street and lifting a hand. The lamplight glinted off of the several silver rings that adorned her fingers. The movement surprised him. He knew that people used cabs, but one hardly ever saw the people in this part of the city taking advantage of the overpriced mode of transportation.

A taxi pulled over to the side and before the woman could reach for the handle, a tall man in a thick, leather jacket jumped in front of her, ignoring her entirely and taking advantage of her ride. Michelangelo's eyes narrowed. "Ooh, not smooth dude," he muttered, shaking his head.

He expected the woman to step back, to allow the rude sleaze that towered over her by a foot easily to take the cab she'd hailed and wait patiently for another. Once again, she surprised him.

Her little hand shot out, grabbing a fistful of the tailored leather. He hadn't even started to turn around before she verbally laid into him, angry Hispanic phrases tripping easily off her tongue. She was cussing him out. She had to be. The look on the man's face was priceless. He quickly backed away, trying to get away from the vocal lashing she was giving him, wincing when she advanced and her voice rose, her words coming out more rapidly.

"Alright…alright!" he yelped, holding his hands up in surrender. "Calm down lady, I'll get the next one."

The young woman stopped, straightened and tossed her hair. "That's what I thought," she said derisively before turning her back on the man and walking back to the waiting taxi, her heels clicking smartly against the pavement.

Michelangelo couldn't stop the small chuckle working its way out. Quite the woman - taking on a man bigger than her and winning. Although he couldn't really blame the guy. She was speaking in a different language and she sounded furious. And there was just something about the fury of a Spanish woman that was both frightening and beautiful. You really had to respect it.

He started to move away from the ledge, convinced that there was no danger to be expected tonight, when she stopped again, her hand resting on the frame of the metal door. She was motionless for a moment and then she looked up…right at him.

Her eyes, an endless liquid brown, so dark that they were almost black, stared up at him, framed by a mass of loose, silken ringlets. His breath caught and he forgot how to think. He forgot to move. She was looking right at him…and all he could do was stare back. Her eyes narrowed and the spell was broken. Michelangelo jerked away from the ledge, breathing as if he had just jumped half of the rooftops in Manhattan.

Crap! Leo's gonna kill me. He's gonna kill me!! Maybe she didn't see me. Even if she did…she can't be sure of what she saw…right?

He waited several minutes, then inched close to the ledge once more, his heart hammering. He peered over the edge, his hands sliding over the rough stone. The taxi was gone and so was the girl. And he felt…disappointed.

Sighing, he turned away, his brows knit together. Disappointed? Why was he disappointed? It wasn't like he knew her. He hadn't saved her. They'd made eye contact. "Woohoo, eye contact," he grumbled sourly. "Now she's gonna hunt me down and tell me that she wants to live with me, to have my babies, that she loves me to distraction."

His wayward thoughts made him laugh. It was an empty sound that echoed in the stillness of the night surrounding him. The waiting city no longer held any appeal to him. All he wanted at that moment was to go home and hopefully not dream about a tiny slip of a woman with liquid eyes and a mass of hair that he was convinced felt just like silk. She was nothing - a nobody in the mass of ungrateful faces that he'd looked upon in his years of saving the city.

But she was a nobody that he would see again and very soon – though under entirely different circumstances. She would need him next time…and so would her child.