*I do not own anything related to the TMNT. The following is the seventh installment in a continuing series. That being said, there is already a lot of existing history, but I will do my best throughout to catch everyone up, even if you aren't familiar with my other stories. If you'd like a better understanding of my OC's, or what's happened to get us to this point, a look back over earlier material could suit you well. Thank you for reading, thank you for reviewing. It means very much to me! And with no further introduction, let's get right to it, shall we?
Waiting; there were few things in this world that irritated Raphael more. Almost as much as the light rain that had slackened off slightly for awhile, only to pick up again in nearly driving force. What it refused to do was stop completely. True, he and Leonardo were avoiding most of it from their hidden perch under the overhang of the building, but that didn't change the fact that they'd been sitting in the same spot, nearly unmoving for the last forty-five minutes.
"Fearless, do you think we could be wasting our time?" The red-banded turtle spoke up in exasperation. "There's gotta be some more action around here, I didn't sign on for some freakin' stake-out. Can we shove off already?"
Leonardo shook his head at his younger brother. "Are you ever going to settle down Raph? To be in the right place, at the right time, sometimes requires a little bit of waiting."
Raphael sighed heavily, and leaned back harder against the brick. He didn't like to admit it out loud, but Leonardo's hunches were usually correct. He'd learned over the years that it was better to give the turtle the benefit of the doubt sometimes.
Leonardo had first spotted the shady looking characters, about two blocks away from the building they'd now been camped outside of for close to an hour. The men had completely disregarded the front entrance of the club, entering instead by the side of the alley, a fact that only seemed to intrigue the blue-banded turtle more.
"Just a few more minutes Raph." Leonardo encouraged him. "I don't want to sit out here all night anymore than you do. They gave me a really weird feeling, that's all. It looked like..."
"Like what Leo? I really wanna hear it."
"They were hunting, but it didn't feel random. They've got some specific target in mind, and this club has something to do with it."
"You got all that from a look?"
Leonardo shot him a smile, but his phone vibrated before he could respond to Raphael again. Donny.
The blue-banded turtle held up his hand to signal his brother to wait for a minute, and flipped the phone open. "Hey Don, what's up?" Leonardo intentionally kept his voice down.
"Is this a bad time?" His brother asked on the other end.
"Nah, it's fine, we're just trying to be incognito at this second. Is everything alright with you and Mike?"
"We're great, just wet. We were thinking about calling it a night in a few minutes here. Where did you and Raph end up?"
"We're a couple of miles off 64th, kind of trying to wait something out."
"Geesh Leo, how'd you get so far from where we started?"
"We weren't finding anything, so we just hit the roofs. I have a feeling that something's about to go down in this neighborhood, so we've been hanging out for the last hour or so."
"Would you have any qualms if we headed that direction? I know you guys can find your own way home, but it's seriously starting to pick up again. It'd be nicer to ride in the van, don't you think? I don't wanna step on anything you've got going on though."
Leonardo glanced at his watch, as he considered it for a moment. "It'd take you a few minutes to get here anyway, right? Go ahead and get on the road, and if something happens before you get here, we'll just go with it. If not, we'll be ready to go too."
"Why don't you set your beacon for us so I can track you, and I'll call you when we get close." Donny suggested to him.
"That works bro - see you in a bit." Leonardo replied, and hung up the phone, just as Raphael's arm made firm contact with his plastron.
"Check it out Fearless." He hissed, motioning toward the side door of the building.
Both turtles sat up straighter from underneath the overhang as the door was coming open, so that drops of rain were hitting them in the face again. It looked like it could be the same men they'd followed here to begin with, but their number was now increased by two additional figures. The turtles automatically stiffened at the sight of the much smaller bodies that were being dragged between them out into the rain.
A rapid glance passed between Leonardo and Raphael, and the blue-banded turtle nodded firmly.
"When you're right, you're right." Raphael muttered darkly. "Let's catch these fools."
The turtles darted off their ledge and dropped straight toward the earth, using a swinging motion off the bars of the fire-escape to speed the ease of their descent. They leaped directly over the stunned heads of the men below, and landed in between them and the only exit out of the alleyway.
"Lemme guess. You're just giving 'em a safe escort home, right?" Raphael said sarcastically.
"Why don't you make this easy on yourselves?" Leonardo suggested calmly. "Let them go, and it doesn't have to get ugly."
"Too late for that." One of the men snickered. "You're already here."
Raphael rolled his eyes. "I think I've already heard enough out of you. Let's see if you can hit as hard as you talk."
A ripple of laughter traveled through the group, as they dumped the girls and made a combined thrust toward the two turtles.
But Leonardo and Raphael weren't simply going to wait on the humans to reach them. They hurled themselves into the pack, posing as an absolutely impenetrable wall for them to get through.
Leonardo caught the first with a strong hook to the chest, and sent him hurtling back into one of his buddies right behind him. Raphael captured two of the approaching men by their shoulders, instantly spinning one of them over his back so that the man crashed into the dumpster behind him. He yanked the second one in closer so he could stare him down eye to eye.
"You wanna talk ugly man? Do you even own a mirror?" The turtle smirked at him, right before flinging him over his shoulder to join his friend who was already unmoving. Raphael couldn't help laughing as he surveyed the laid out figures in the alley, and then cast Leonardo a glance.
"What was that, thirty seconds Leo? Shell, that was really too easy."
Leonardo shook his head at him again. "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth Raph. Start tying them up, will you? I'm going to check on those girls."
The blue-banded turtle strode across the alley to where they had fallen, immediately checking for pulses. There wasn't a single mark on either of them, suggesting that they would probably have been drugged. They were obviously of Asian descent, but neither of them possessed actual identification.
"Are they okay Leo?" Raphael called to him.
"It seems like it Raph. We're gonna need to call the cops."
"I'll get right on that in a second Fearless." The red-banded turtle volunteered, from his position hovering over one of the unconscious men on the pavement.
As he was still working on a set of zip-ties, an innocuous looking white van pulled up directly in front of the alley, as though it were intentionally trying to block them in. Raphael stood upright at once, casting another look at Leonardo over his shoulder.
"Hold up back there with them Leo." He called to him. "I'll handle this if I need to."
Raphael adjusted his already soaked coat, yanking the collar up further as a looming figure walked around from the driver's side, and then approached the turtle with swift confidence. His size wasn't the least bit intimidating to Raphael - the red-masked turtle had come across his fair share of brutes in his day.
Raphael stood his ground boldly, not even so much as flinching as the man bore down on him, except to stare him down with a hint of curiosity. The men already laid out around them were nothing unique, just the ordinary run of the mill overconfident idiots that they ran into about a dozen different times a week. The individual coming toward him didn't exactly strike the same vibe with the red-banded turtle.
A powerful fist shot out at the turtle, and Raphael barely evaded the unexpected speed behind it. Nearly all of his experience with these over sized monsters had taught him that this kind of guy liked to lead with his bulk, and didn't possess a tremendous amount of skill or agility. But he got over being startled very quickly, and shot back with a thrust of his own.
Raphael couldn't help being further shocked by the way the man flexed out of his reach, and then followed up with a strong round-house kick that landed squarely in the turtle's plastron. The sheer power behind it forced the turtle into the side of the building. With a growl the turtle recovered, and flew at the man a second time. This time he managed to avoid the man's leg, and made a connection of his own with the human's jaw.
The shadowy figure shook off his blow and darted again, his brutish exterior in complete disagreement with the lighting behind his movement. Raphael's foot caught another glancing blow across his face, but rather than dodging, the man spun directly into him and captured him by the knee before he could pull it back again.
The human yanked him off the ground and flung him back into the side of the building again, using every ounce of force that he possessed. The turtle's shell bore the brunt of his rage, but he couldn't keep his head completely out of the way either. Things got a little blurry for an instant, as the blue-banded turtle rushed in to his rescue.
Leonardo had only a fraction of a second to size up his opponent, realizing in that flash that this was not a man relying solely on his physical strength. There was an air of skill and experience behind his frame, which coupled with his strength made him a formidable adversary indeed. Leonardo managed to drive him back a couple of feet with a firm blow to the rib-cage, which even though it moved him, didn't seem to actually hurt the human.
The blue-banded turtle was winding up for another drive, when the man lowered his shoulder and sprang directly at him. Raphael shook his head fiercely to try and clear it, scowling as he leaped to his feet from the prone position.
"Back off Leo, this guy's mine!" He proclaimed angrily, just before his older brother was thrown hard against the metal dumpster adjacent to him.
"I think there's enough of him to go around for both of us Raph." Leonardo said with a small groan.
Now that they were together, the figure didn't automatically leap toward them, but fell into a posture that was an all too familiar sight for both turtles. Raphael growled impatiently and flung himself at the man again, ducking and then blocking two blows before the human lashed out at his leg a second time.
Leonardo was right behind his brother, and leaped over him as Raphael stumbled. His jump-kick combination found it's target, and successfully knocked down their opponent for the first time. The human leaped upright, returning to the same threatening posture. As Raphael tensed to dart toward him yet again, Leonardo barely got a hand on his shell first.
"Together Raph," He said firmly under his breath. "Front push."
Raphael nodded almost imperceptibly, as he quickly reached to hook his arm with his older brother's. They simultaneously leaped toward the brute, their side by side kick striking the man explosively in the chest. The human cracked his head hard on the pavement when he went down, but both turtles stood by somewhat breathless, ready just in case he wasn't finished. This time however, he wasn't getting right back up.
"What was that?" Raphael demanded of no one in particular.
Leonardo leaned over the prone man, turning his chin so that he could get a better look at his face. "He's Asian, like the girls. Raph, this could have been a big mistake. What if he was only trying to help them?"
"He made the first move Leo." Raphael shot back.
"It's weird, all of this is." Leonardo said in return, rubbing his eyes to get trailing rain-water out of them. "Let's get him restrained just in case, and get another look at those women."
They combined the zip-ties they had left to use on the man, and then trotted back across the alley to the far wall where Leonardo had left the others.
The two turtles had barely reached the girls again, before the side-door was flung open a second time. Another slender shadow emerged into the alleyway, at once appearing to be a woman. She cast a long hard look at the unconscious forms of the men littering the pavement, and then laid both eyes on the turtles. They remained frozen in the same position they'd been in when she came out, hovering close to the ground.
She muttered something under her breath that they couldn't hear, and then turned her head slightly toward a phone that was pressed to her ear. "They failed - get in here now." Her voice resounded like steel across the narrow space, and she hung up the phone without another syllable.
Her arms went to her hips at once as she shook her head at the two turtles. "You should not have interfered." Her own Asian accent was immediately apparent, as she faced the turtles down coolly.
Leonardo and Raphael got to their feet slowly, bodies tensed for action, even as they were completely baffled about what they'd actually walked into.
Outside the alley, they heard the sudden screech of vehicles, which made them stiffen further still. They held their breath as darkness took shape on the other end of the walkway, and several figures crowded into the small space. Leonardo peered at them with a sinking feeling in his chest. Something was telling the turtle that they could be in a little bit over their heads here.