This has been a long time in the making, folks. I've had this story actually written down in a notebook for at least a year or two but just finally took the time to type it all out. (I am a horrifically slow typer ) This is a story that is very near and dear to my heart since it involves my own sweet love, Raphael. ^_^ Yes, it's a little fluffy (and later smexy) romantic fic featuring Raph and myself. It takes place during the 4th volume of the Mirage comic series, after the Utroms have landed on earth. However in THIS tale, Raphael is living on his own in Philadelphia after he and his brothers had a falling out. And Splinter is still alive and well. Obviously the Turtles are © to Peter Laird and Mirage Studies!

PROLOGUE:

I would have never thought in a million years that I'd end up with someone like him. It was just one of those things that you don't see coming. Like a hot shooting star across an inky black sky, or a favorite song that comes on the radio when you least expect it. Only this felt more like a peal of sunlight after a storm. Maybe it was fate. Maybe our paths were destined to cross from the moment we were born. Or maybe it was just a freak coincidence that brought us together. Who knows? But what I do know is that he is just as much a part of me as the blood that courses through my veins. And while we may not be the most 'traditional' couple in the world, what with me being a human and him…well, a mutant humanoid turtle…we understand each other; we respect and love each other. And we're happy. And I wouldn't change it for the world...

CHAPTER ONE:

She hated the city. Even though three years had passed since she moved there, it just didn't feel like home. 'Not that I would even begin to know what that feels like,' she thought wearily as she leaned her head against the glass window of the train. The cool texture slightly eased her throbbing headache. It had been a long week at work; filled with seemingly endless paperwork, late hours, and angry customers. For the last few years she had held down a service consulting job at a car dealership. 'Thank the gods it's Friday,' she whispered to herself as she watched scenery fly by. Despite the struggle to keep her head above water with regard to her job she tried to stick with it, to tell herself that it was worth it. And it did in fact pay quite well, not to mention that it offered lots of opportunities for advancement. 'But is it really worth this aggravation every day?' she asked herself while gritting her teeth.

She was suddenly torn from her thoughts by a tapping on her shoulder. She turned around to see who has disturbed her and was surprised to see an older man leering at her. "Is this seat taken?" He asked, gesturing to the empty seat next to her. She raised an eyebrow at him before quickly scanning the rest of the train. There were empty seats everywhere, why on earth was he bothering her? Deciding that he was probably just some old pervert she opted for the silent treatment and ignored him, turning back around to the passing scenery out the window. She held her breath until she finally heard him shuffle away to find another seat. She breathed a sigh of relief. Living in the city had made her a bit paranoid, but being a woman living alone in the city could be a scary thing at times.

In almost no time at all the train pulled into her destination. Blinking away exhaustion she grabbed her bag and stepped out onto the platform. As she began heading down the tunnel that led up to the street she found herself thinking about what she would order for dinner.

Before she had any time to react she felt herself being grabbed roughly from behind. She turned around angrily to confront her assailant and was surprised to see the degenerate from the train. "Why'd you ignore me like that?" He cried out loudly, spittle frothing his stubbly chin. "You're so pretty; I just wanted to talk to you!" She could smell the alcohol wafting off from his clothes.

"Oh gods," she thought wildly "He's some crazy drunk!" She turned her head, desperately hoping that there was someone, anyone, that could come to her aid. There was no one. She could still hear his echo bouncing off the wall at the far end of the lonely corridor she was alone. She tried to pull her arm back, but he tightened his grip and pulled her even closer until she could see the red lines in his eyes. "I just wanted to get to know you!" He slurred drunkenly as he reached for her waist. Her stomach twisted with revulsion. This guy was old enough to be her father! And he smelled like a homeless person! She frantically tried to escape. Fear made her strong, but not strong enough to break free. "Save me," she thought to herself practically choking on terror. "Please, someone...ANYONE!" He leered at her, madness and alcohol distorting his features.

Suddenly, incredibly, there was someone else there beside them.

"Excuse me, but I think ya better let her go now." His voice was low and almost raspy. It was hard to see, as the tunnels in the subway were always poorly lit, but she could tell he was at least a few heads taller than her and was wearing a brown hat and trench coat. 'Where in the hell did he come from?' she thought wildly. 'He damn near came right out of the shadows!'

Her drunken assailant was not so impressed. "Wa's your problem?" he slurred loudly, "Leave us alone, this girl's with me!"

She heard the stranger chuckle softly. "Look pal, I ain't gonna tell you again. Release her, NOW."

The bum spun around angrily but before he could do anything the stranger punched him in the stomach. Hard. He released her instantly and fell to the floor wheezing. She turned to run but found she could not. Fear had paralyzed her, turning her legs to lead. With a whimper of frustration she leaned against the wall for support, breathing heavily.

A voice in her ear almost made her jump right out of her skin. "You all right, miss?"

In her fear she had forgotten about her rescuer. "Yes, I think so," she murmured softly. Brushing a strand of long brown hair behind her ear she felt some of her strength return. Warmth flooded her arms and legs.

"Close call, huh miss?"

She turned towards the husky voice to thank him. He was tall, he was broad-shouldered, and he was green. Wait, what the hell? She took a step backwards into the light and he followed. Despite the hat and coat she could tell he wasn't human. "My gods," she said shakily, raising a hand to her mouth. "You're an alien!" The Utroms had come to Earth over a year and a half ago. She was used to alien life on the planet just like everyone else was these days. But this was her first personal encounter with one.

At her words her rescuers smile vanished. He scowled at her. "Lady, you ain't even close." He turned and walked away in the other direction, leaving her standing there; her heart beating painfully in her chest. She stood there for a few minutes, until the low groans of the bum still sprawled out on the ground brought her back to reality. She hurried home, unable to get her saviors smile out of her mind.