Author's Note: I began writing these partly to flesh out the backstory of Bound for reference, and partly just to amuse myself when the mood struck me, never intending them as something to be published. But now, having amassed several of these mini-scenes, I figured, what the heck? There might be some fans out there who will enjoy them, and there's no sense in just letting them gather dust on my hard drive, so to speak. So here's what I have so far. More will follow as my muse dictates...
Rated T only for language - no sexual content herein.
"Hey Raph," April greeted him through the open window.
"Hey," the turtle returned easily, his eyes scanning the apartment behind her. "Casey around?"
"'Fraid not," April said with a shake of her head. "He called to say the night guy was sick, so he volunteered to fill in. Why, did you guys have plans or something?"
"Nah, not really," Raphael said. "I was just in the area; thought I'd stop by."
"Ah. Well, sorry. I'll let him know you came by, though.
"Thanks," Raphael said with a nod, and he turned to leave.
He paused, and turned to look at her.
"…you wanted to come in anyway?" She shrugged. "I mean, not that I'm doing anything terribly interesting. Just kind of killing time. But you're welcome to hang here if you want a change of scenery."
The moment the offer was out, Raph had a casual refusal on his lips, but something about the look on her face made him reconsider. Casey didn't talk much about it, not explicitly, anyway, but Raph knew there had been trouble in paradise lately. And maybe he was imagining things, but April seemed…well, she seemed like maybe she could use some company. She was his friend, too, after all. He raised his shoulders in a gesture of indifference. "Sure, why not. Ain't like I got anything pressing to get home to."
April smiled somewhat wanly, and stopped back from the window. "Good enough. Come on in, and help yourself to anything in the kitchen."
Raph needed no second invitation on that one. Least I'll get a free beer out of it, he thought.
"All these channels, and nothing on," April said, tossing the remote on the couch in exasperation.
Raphael popped another chip in his mouth—real ones, not that healthy shit Leo brought back from the last grocery run—then he brushed the crumbs off his hands before snatching the remote. "Whatever, you're just not stopping on the right stuff." He went back to the guide channel and paged up rapidly until he saw what he wanted. The theme song was still playing when the station came on.
BAD BOYS BAD BOYS, WHATCHA GONNA DO? WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?
April raised her eyebrows. "Cops? That's what you consider quality programming?" Then she cast him a sidelong glance, and said, "On second thought, I guess it shouldn't surprise me."
"Not just Cops…Cops in HD." He grinned at her. "Ain't Jerry Springer, but it'll do."
She rolled her eyes. "I've never understood what was so entertaining about this crap. I'm already sick of it, and it hasn't even started."
"Well see, that's your problem right there," Raph said, jabbing a finger in the air to emphasize his point. "You gotta give it more time—kind of an acquired taste." He purposely ignored her grimace. "An' lucky for you, you'll have plenty of time. Looks like they're doin' a marathon."
"Ugh. I think I'm going to have a beer after all."
Raph grinned at her again. "Now you're gettin' the idea."
"Wha—why did she even bother trying to get away with it? Even I can tell she's coked out on something, there's no way a cop wouldn't notice!"
Raphael looked over at her, one side of his mouth quirked up in amusement.
"Wait, it gets better. They're gonna find drugs in the car, an' the chick's gonna claim she has no idea how they got there."
April glanced at him, but didn't comment further, watching silently as exactly what Raph had predicted unfolded on screen. Shortly afterward, the woman was taken away in handcuffs, still protesting.
"You've seen this one before, huh?" she said at last.
Raphael grinned. "Nope, but it don't take long to get the idea. You'll see."
She sighed. "I was afraid you'd say that." Then she took another swig of beer.
"Okay, lay it down. Whatcha got?"
She studied the screen intently for another moment, assessing the situation. "Meth," she said finally. "And he's got more stowed… in the glove box." She paused, then added, "And he doesn't have a driver's license." She glanced over at him. "You?"
"Not bad," he said. "I'll second you on the meth, but there's somethin' else mixin' it up. Prob'ly booze. Open container in front, I'll bet. He'll blame that one on the passenger—as if that makes it any less illegal."
April nodded. "That it?"
"Yep. Same wager?"
"You got it," she said, rubbing her hands eagerly. "I've got a good feeling about this one."
They both watched the drama unfold, and after a few minutes, April gave a jubilant whoop. "In the glove box, what'd I tell you!"
Raphael scowled. "I still say he's been hittin' the bottle—way to slurred for pure meth."
"Still, no open container—and there! No driver's license OR registration! That's two out of three! I win!" she crowed, slamming her beer bottle down on the coffee table.
"You sure you ain't watched this show before?" Raph asked with raised eye ridges. She shook her head, eyes sparkling with victory, and he decided the smile on her face was well worth the loss. "I think you missed your calling—ever think of goin' into law enforcement?"
This time it was her turn to laugh. "I can barely stand watching this stuff on TV! There's no way I could deal with people like this on a daily basis."
He shrugged. "Well, you gotta admit, it'd sure make you feel smarter bein' surrounded by idiots all the time."
April turned to him with a smirk. "What do you think I hang around you guys for?"
"Ah Jeezus. Please, no, anything but this."
"Oh quit whining, a bet's a bet. I beat you at Cops; now it's my turn to pick the show."
"Gee, look at the time—I should really be gettin' back…" Then he ducked just in time to dodge the plush pillow she threw at him.
"No way. I sat through over two hours of your show, and now it's payback. Besides, Sex and the City is not that bad. Drama, comedy…boobs…"
"…well, I guess I can hang out a bit longer. But I'm definitely gonna need another beer."
"Hey, thanks for keeping me company." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I had fun tonight, in a weird way."
"Yeah…um, me too. And uh, thanks for the drinks."
"Anytime," she said with a smile.
Raphael couldn't help smiling back. He'd been surprised by how quickly the night had passed, and even more surprised by how disappointed he'd been upon realizing how late it was. "Well, uh, good night, then. Guess I'll see ya round."
"Sure," she said brightly. "Maybe next time there's a Cops marathon on, I'll give you a call."
He studied her eyes seriously, and finally forced a smile. "Deal," he said quietly.
He didn't really think she'd call. To be honest, he'd passed it off as one of those things people said with no intention of ever following through. So he was rather taken aback when she mentioned it next time he was over hangin' out with Casey.
"Ready for a rematch this week?" April said as she walked past them into the kitchen. He and Casey were watching a fight on TV, and April had been working on her computer in the spare room they had set up as something like an office.
Raph barely registered the question, assuming she was talking to Casey. Apparently, and unsurprisingly, Casey wasn't paying attention either.
"Raph. Did you hear me?"
"What?" he said, snapping his head around to look at her.
"I said, are you ready for a rematch?" He must have looked blank, because after a short pause she said, "You know, for Cops?"
He looked back at the TV in confusion. "Um…"
"Not right now!" she said, correctly interpreting his confusion. "I mean later on this week. Thought maybe we could hang out."
He was still slightly confused, until he remembered that Casey had mentioned in passing that he was planning on picking up more night shifts. Apparently the guy who'd called in last week had been getting really flaky, and Casey was eager for the extra cash. April was probably just looking to pass the time while he was gone.
"Um…I could, I guess," Raphael stuttered, throwing a questioning glance at Casey. His buddy merely gave an impartial shrug that clearly told Raph he was on his own on this one.
April didn't miss his hesitation. "Oh, hey, if you don't want to, that's cool. No pressure. I was just—,"
"No, no, it ain't that!" he interjected, not wanting to hurt her feelings. "I was just, um, I'll have to find out if Leo's got any training runs planned for this week, that's all. Make sure I'm in the clear."
April scanned his eyes briefly, and nodded. "Okay. I mean, either way is fine. Just give me a call if you're up for it sometime, and we'll work it out."
Raph knew she was putting the ball in his court so he'd have an "out" in case he just didn't know how to refuse her invitation. "Sounds good," he said.
She flashed him a smile. "Great. Well, enjoy the fight."
"Thanks," he and Casey muttered together, both of them glued to the TV once more. But for some reason, after she left, Raph had trouble getting back into the match. Maybe it was because the fighters were getting sluggish, grappling feebly, both lacking the stamina to turn on the burst of energy that might turn the fight around. That had to be it. Maybe the next fight would be better.
"Goddamn heavyweights," Casey grumbled in disgust.
Raphael chuffed in agreement as the ref reset the match yet again, bringing the two fighters back to the center to square off. Then he said, "I think I will. Come over to hang out with April, I mean. If that's cool." He glanced sideways out of the corner of his eye, trying to gauge his friend's reaction. Not that he thought Casey would have a problem with it under normal circumstances, it was just that right now, with things still so shaky between April and Casey, he was trying to be extra cautious.
"Knock yourself out, man," Casey said casually, and it seemed an honest reply. "Jus' don't drink all my beer," he warned, "an' believe me you're gonna be tempted, if you let her pick the TV show."