Cursing under his breath, Raphael wiped the dust out of his eye. It came out and he backed farther away from the blades. Taking the girls elbow, he helped pull her to her feet while he stood. She stood beside him, still holding her hand up as he clasped her arm. A roar of rushing air, and creaking chains, filled the hall before them.

"Holy shit…" The girl murmured. Raphael could only nod once in agreement. He had never seen anything like it. Definitely a challenge. Each blade fell too low to crawl under or along the side corner.

The chains passed too quickly; if he tried jumping over he would be caught up and knocked down, no doubt. If he could jump one blade at a time, there was about three feet of space he could stand. As long as there weren't any more traps on the floor… But the girl too. How could he leave her behind? There was no certainty of him even being able to get back to save her if he could get out himself. He had an obligation to protect her.

"Just great." Raphael approached the fixture. He held his finger out and felt the old cold steel slide pass. He may never make it out of here.

"I have an idea." The voice behind him seemed out of place. She had an idea? That never happened in these situations. He turned around with a skeptic eye. "I need your watch." She held out her hand and he glanced at it. He must have paused too long because she sighed impatiently. "It's not like I can run off with it or something." Glaring, he unsnapped the heavy watch from around his wrist. "Thank you." She said curtly as he dropped it into her hand. Turning back to the blades, he returned to his musings.

His sai were too weak a weapon to break the chains. A battle-axe would have come in handy. Or a katana for that matter. A bo at least could have been rigged to stop the swinging. If the gears were revealed in the ceiling for the chain, he could possibly use his sai to throw a kink in them. But that would only work twice.

"I think I have a solution for this." There was that voice again. He turned around again to find her settled on the ground, pencil and watch in either hand and long mathematics done out before her. Fair blue eyes looked up at him; he grudgingly gave her his attention. Leave it to a girl.

"Alright, let's see." He knelt beside her and scanned the numbers. Never being good at math, he kept his mouth shut.

"All those things are going at the same speed. At the same distance apart, and the same length, the pendulums reach their minimum point at inverse intervals of…" She tapped equations on the ground as she spoke. It was obviously important, but his mind turned to jelly just glancing at the long divisions. He nodded absently while she talked. What were his brothers doing by now? When she stopped, he looked back up.

"Yeah. Right."

"Did you hear a thing I said?" Again he paused. Rolling her eyes, she added, "If every one point four seconds you jump from the chain of one to the next, you'll be landing at the lowest point point possible of the pendulum… get it?" Raphael stood back up and looked at the blades.

"Yeah… so I can jump each of these when they get low every one and a half seconds."

"One point four." She came up behind him. "And yes."

"And that's gunna work?"

"Uh huh." She jammed the watch back into his hand and approached the first blade. "I'll even go first and show you how it will." She said airily. Raphael snickered. Was she serious? That was too good. He pursed his lips shut when she turned to glare at him. "You don't think I can do it?"

"Uh…" The glare turned harder. She turned and was preparing to jump to the first chain when he grabbed her arm. "Hey, hold on." He laughed. "Not so fast."

"You think 'cause you're a guy, you can-"

"Hey," He stopped laughing. "Look. Maybe it'll be safer if we just go together. Don't go do something stupid."

"Stupid? And what makes you think you can do it, anyhow." She asked skeptically. He pulled her back.

"Call it a sixth sense."

"I'd call it something else, a little less favorable." She rubbed her arm after he let her go, and leaned against the wall. "Who do you think you are, anyway." Raphael rolled his eyes, clasping the watch back on his wrist.

"Christ. Didn't you ever read the news." He turned the timepiece around to face him.

"What does that have to do with anything. You were in the news? Are you the 'Reptile rapist' or something?" Raphael smirked.

"Before that."

"Jeez." She sighed, racking her mind. "What, a turtle in the news…" Bringing her inquisitive eyes up to him, he watched them dilate without adequate light. "Is this New York, like, ten years ago?" His silence was as good as an answer as he pulled his sleeve back down. "Ninja turtles?" She waited. "There's no way… that was all in New York!"

"So. It's not like I can't drive or something."

"Oh…yeah." Her brow furrowed again, this time out of curiosity. "You came to Boston?"

"Your deductive skills are exemplary." He quipped.

"I mean, all that stuff in the papers. The crime and everything." Her hands opened. "What about that?"

"You're pretty nosey." He could see he caught her off guard. It wasn't his fault he didn't like people prying around in his past. How could he know how well or not she would understand. Not that he would even have the time to explain. "I don't think we have the time for this right now." He eyed the blades again. "We have to get passed these things."

"But wait! This is amazing! I mean, I wrote a report on your and your brothers in junior high."

"Why?" He laughed. "Nevermind. It doesn't matter." Although he did want to hear more. Why had anyone want to have written anything about his family? "I think I know a way to get us both through safely…"




"How did I get talked into this." Raphael heard muttered into his ear. Grasping the girls' thighs, he hoisted her farther up his shell, rewarded with a surprised squeak. She tightened her arms around his neck, and he was glad he could smile freely without her knowledge.

"Got the watch?"

"Uh huh." The slim wrist beside his chin turned, revealing the face of the watch.

"Alright. You count off, and I jump. Got it?" The hair behind his head nodded in agreement. He gripped behind the inside of her knees, her body held against the curve of his shell. "Don't freak."

"Don't drop me." He began a light jog. Fortunately the girl held on tight, and didn't bounce on his back. The blade was coming down, he stepped it up. Reaching its low, Raphael sprung. The width was nearly two and a half feet, so he was glad he had kept in shape. On landing, he realized the edge wasn't as thick as he had hoped.

The boot slipped immediately. He seized the chain with one hand. The leg it held wrapped around his stomach, followed by the other. He grabbed the chain again with his other hand just before she said,

"Go." As they came up to the wall. He leapt, reaching out for the next chain. Grasping the stale rope, his boots hit hard on the next edge. This one was an easier landing. He bent his knees in preparation, and eyed the next blade. It was just beginning to fall from the opposite side, and he worried about under shooting it. "Go." Jumping, he seemed to hang in air between the two chains. The floor was coming up beneath, and he barely caught the rope before they fell below. Seven left. "Go… Go… Go… Go… Go… Go…" The heat from the fire loosened Raphael's muscles. He now had a vague sense of timing, and watched the next swing coming down. Ringing his hands around the chain, he, "Go." Jumped, landing swiftly on the edge. Swinging off the last blade chain, he landed low to the ground, touching with his fingers. He was staring straight below to the fire.

The girl climbed off his shell, pulling him back. "Woah. I can't believe that worked." She murmured, glancing back to the other side of the blades.

"Good thing, huh." He wiped his hands on his shirt.

"Yeah." Approaching the pit, the girl looked around. "But this…" Raphael joined her.

"Uh huh. You have any math fixes for this one." He ran his hand over the wall.

"Uhhhhh. I don't know… give me a minute." The stones of the wall were mildly porous. Raphael scratched his nail against it, gauging the solidity. It was obvious to him that a good steel could pierce it.

"I think I have this one." He unsheathed his sai. The pit was deep like the last one, about fifteen feet across though. The flames licked and flipped at the air. "You wanna climb back on?" He looked over his shoulder and grinned. Eyeing his sai, then him, she responded.

"What are you thinking." He tapped the wall with the hilt of his weapon.

"Climb the wall. All you gotta do is hang on."

"Stop it. You're making me hot." She answered dryly. "Will those things hold?"

"We're going to find out." The girl came behind him, and he jammed his first dagger into the wall. "Kay." She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing her elbows down against his chest to keep from strangling him. "Don't let go." He rammed the second sai in, and swung out over the floors' ledge. There was a bit of give, and he hung for a moment to assess it. Pulling the sai out and crossing over his hands, he was sure to jam it in hard. The fire began singeing the hem of his pants; he felt it at his leg. Damn. He removed the next sai and plunged it farther away into the rock. Each subsequent move was that much harder.

Resting hair against the back of his neck, the girl still clung to him. He grunted, jamming the sai down a few more feet.

"So what's your name, anyway." He asked, in an interim to rest his arms.

"Oh, that's rich." She chuckled. "You don't even know my name." Raphael removed a dagger and swung down. She silenced till he gained a new handhold. "Do you know anything about me, I wonder?"

"Elias didn't tell me much about you. I know you're not seven."

"That's a start. Kind of." She said. He smirked and reach over his arm to the next hold. The hair nuzzled against his neck as he assumed she shook her head. The floor was coming up, about five feet off. "My name's Kelsey."

"Kelsey." He followed with a grunt, plunging the sai into stone, crumbing rock spraying off into the fire. "Pleased to meet you. Raphael."

"Yeah, I know." They shifted over another few feet.

"Hey, just being polite."

"It's about time." Crossing over, Raphael smirked and set his foot on the ledge. He pulled the far sai out and leaned over onto the floor. Kelsey released his neck and stepped away as he removed his sai and stuck them back into his belt. He again brushed the dirt off his shirt and turned to her.

"Of course, Milady." She rolled her eyes. "Don't mind me." I'll just save your ass.


~Hey, what's going to happen next? I don't know! It's a mystery! Any suggestions would be really great, doncha know. Thank you, sen˜or and sen˜oritas! ~