"Hey, Mikey, whatcha doin?" Raphael plopped down on the couch next to his youngest brother, reaching for the remote lying on the table.
"Just lookin' at our photo album," said Michelangelo.
"What ya wanna look at dem ol' pictures for?"
Michelangelo shot his brother a glare. "Photos are important, Raph. They help us remember times when we did cool stuff together."
Raph grunted. "Whatevah."
"Look." Michelangelo pointed to a picture. A couple stood, smiling into the camera. In front of them, a young man beamed. They were obviously a happy family. "Do ya think they're ok, Raph?" asked Michelangelo wistfully.
"Yeah, Mike, they're ok. They have each other," replied his brother.
"Hey guys, what're you watching?" Donatello came out of his lab, stretching.
"Nothing, Donny. We're lookin' at some pictures," replied Michelangelo.
"Cool." Donatello came to stand behind them, leaning over to look at the photo in Michelangelo's lap. "Oh… Looking at those pictures again, huh?"
"Do you think we'll ever see them again, Donny?"
"I don't know Mike. We might. You never know. Our lives are so crazy sometimes…"
"Guys." Leonardo strode into the room, a determined look in his eye. "Casey just called. Hun's got a bunch of Purple Dragons breaking into a warehouse down at the docks. What do you say we pay them a visit?"
"Cool." Mikey closed the book, setting it carefully on the table.
"Sounds good to me, Leo." Donatello pulled his bo out of its holder and twirled it. "It'll be good to get out on the streets again now that my ankle's healed."
"I'm in," said Raphael. "I owe dat big ape one anyway."
"Be careful, my sons." Splinter stood in the doorway of his room, his lips twitching in a smile.
"Don't worry, Sensei," said Leonardo with a short bow.
The Turtles filed out of the Lair, disappearing into the sewers.
The Rat crossed the room, scooping up the book. He settled into a chair and opened it, finding the photo Michelangelo'd been looking at loose, falling out of the plastic sleeve. He tucked it carefully back into place, allowing the smile to grow.
"May the fates be kind to you and your family, Karen Vincent-san," he said softly. Splinter closed the album, and made his way into the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea.
It was good to be home.
The ceremony was unpretentious. The bride wore a simple dress, an iridescent green that drew comments on its beauty and carried an unusual bouquet of mixed flowers. The groom wore a simple black suit with a delicate lotus blossom in the lapel. The attendants included a young man who couldn't seem to stop smiling and a woman who wore an unusual piece of jewelry, a computer memory stick, on a long chain around her neck. She smiled shyly at the man officiating the ceremony. His gold sheriff's badge sparkled against the black of his formal suit.
The guest list was short. An elderly woman sat in the audience, dabbing at tears. She leaned over to the woman next to her.
"I always did cry at weddings, Louise," she whispered. "Your sister is so lovely. But why on earth did she wear those odd silk bracelets?"
Louise Clarke smiled. "Karen asked her to, Martha. She wanted to match the flowers I think. Such unusual colors, red, blue, orange and purple, but they do seem to go together somehow."
"Yes," Martha answered with a smile. "They do, don't they?"
Louise smiled. "They really are a lovely family."
"They always were, Dear," said Martha. "They always were."
Somewhere in Massachusetts…
"Pete, I've got an idea… a fourth movie."
"I don't know… the other movies were so cheesy. I mean, the costumes were ok, but they didn't fit our original vision, and they made the Turtles look so… campy."
"It'll be different this time, Pete, I promise. There's this guy in Upstate New York, an animator. He called me last week…"
"Well yeah, that's what I thought at first too, but Pete, he showed me this project… It's wild, Pete, really wild… Just wait til you see what this guy is capable of. I think we should bring him in on this."
"Pete, it's an opportunity to take them in a whole new direction, to bring the real Turtles to the world in a way that hasn't been done before."
"I don't know. I mean, how much more advanced are animatronics since the first movie?"
"Pete, this guy's onto something totally different. CGI, combined with some kind of new tech he's discovered. Pete, it's gonna rock your world. Give it a chance, huh? Come with me. Meet him. This could be big."
"What's his name?"
"John. John Vincent."
"…..Ok. I guess I could have a look. Maybe the Turtles are ready for another movie."
"I'm telling you, Pete, you won't regret it. This could be the most amazing Turtles movie ever."
A/N: *Cat-with-cream grin*
I couldn't resist. Sorry, but I adore the fourth movie, and it really did seem as if the animators had a whole new inspiration... So I just... umm tweaked the story of how that happened a little. lol
One more time, an enormous glomping ninja-pounce hug for my epic beta-readers and friends, Diva Danielle, Melody Winters, Jackie Polaris'05 and FairDrea and DuckiePray who didn't beta the whole story but were my support and encouragers. It's hard to believe I've known you gals barely a year... You've become such a huge part of my life. I guess some friends are just like that, they move in and take over your heart. Kind of like the boys moving in to Karen's house. ;) Like Karen and her family, I have to say, yes you've changed me, but it was so worth it. Love to all you gals.
Onward to the reviewers, who made this fic such fun to share. I appreciate your putting up with my habit of writing OC's. I sometimes feel as if every Turtle story has already been written, and the only way to write something fresh and new is to use an OC. I may challenge myself at some point to write a Turtles fic that is strictly cannon. It won't be my next fic, however. The next one in line is Splintered Hearts, the final piece to my romance series. I'll start posting as soon as I'm finished writing... I've run into a few... snags along the way, but hopefully it'll smooth out. Splinter is easily the most complex, interesting, and stubborn character I've ever attempted to write. Getting inside his head has been a real trip, and I doubt I'll ever have a truly complete understanding of this most radical Rat. ;)
One last thing before I sign off for now: Turtles Forever, the 25th year anniversary project is reportedly available on DVD as of August 2010. The least I can do for the franchise that has brought me so much joy is to add in a little plug. If you haven't seen TF yet, RUN, don't walk, skip, hop, jump or stealth-sneak, but RUN to and order yourself a copy. It is easily the funniest and probably the most touching Turtles project ever made. For long-time fans who've seen the old 'toons and comics as well as the "new" 2003 cartoons, it's a rare treat.
Onward to the thank yous:
xSERaglandx for a first review! And for following it to the end.
TigerToa for liking Luke
Pinguin1993 for being "awesome" and for the reminder that no matter what else happens, life does indeed go on.
LadyBlue001 for enthusiasm :)
BlackShuriken for a first fave
MelodyWinters for being a most EPIC BETA! and putting up with me through Splintered Hearts as well, and for writing her OWN epic stories, and just for rocking out loud in general. :)
Kyaserin Marii for liking this "right out of the gate"
sabra jaguar for writing a TMNT/Dukes crossover! (which I will pester her until the end of time for, or until she finishes it... whichever comes first.) ;)
DuckiePray for being another EPIC beta and for allowing me to have a tiny part in her own growth as a writer. Beta-reading rocks, especially when you get to read awesome stories like "Unbreakable", her current fic. :D
SmileyDJingles for nice reviews!
Reinbeauchaser for reviews I look forward to reading for their insights and questions. :)
candelight for hugs, for smiles, and for hope. One day, dear friend, your prince will come.
54 Viruses for making me laugh on a regular basis. "He'll never trust Klunk again." LOL And for throwing cheese-puffs at Haig
Diva Danielle for being such an awesome beta and friend. hugs
AlexHamato for reading in spite of the OC's
Scribblebun for "loving it so far"
Rika24 for a nice review
sait4soreyes for guessing I keep the boys in my closet. (how'd you know?) O.O LOL
GoddessHanyuu for falling in love by chapter 3... and for all her help with Japanese! Splintered Hearts will be stronger for your assistance! hugs
LuffysAngel for being on the edge of her seat. :)
Eridani23 for being glad she stuck with it
Polaris'05 for... there's not enough room... For cookies and hugs and pounces and reading and... EVERYTHING. Love ya Jackie!
Randomchick16 for thinking Mikey would think having his own cartoon is cool :)
Nala162024 for daring Luke to show them the CGI movie
MillionDollarNinja for totally loving the story
AlyssaFelixa for being jealous of Luke
NickJ1Fan for "hurry up"
Lusewing for wanting to know more
mariarosa for wanting Splinter to be ok
Sciencegal for laughing at the cat attack
LilNinjaWolf... better late than never! ;)
Donata for missing chapters when they disappeared (due to a fanfic glitch)
caylender for wanting the TMNT to kick Hun into the next dimension
ponygirl-loves-mcqueen for being glad Luke is ok.
JoyjababaNoid for coming back
becs1153 for a nice review
Oreo for fun reviews
teriaizer for kind reviews
ZathuraRoy for understanding Luke's choice