It took awhile, but I finally got this chapter up.
It had been a few months since Leo's accident and we were forced to temporarily move into Casey's farmhouse. With my medical knowledge and the help from April he was able to get to his feet after a while. His wounds on the outside were healing, but the bruises on his pride were not going away anytime soon. Leo had been keeping to himself, usually hiding away in the barn outside. Against my better judgment, I let him stay out there because he'd been rather moody lately and I didn't want to constantly bug him.
I was casually flipping though a book while Don fiddled with a toaster right next to me when the front door opened. I didn't even bother looking up until I heard April crying out in horror. When I did pry my eyes away from my book I saw April swinging a mop at Casey. "Casey Jones, I just mopped the floor." I looked down at the floor and noticed that Casey had tracked in dirt and snow from outside. I rolled my eyes at them and sighed. I looked over to Don and he wasn't paying them any attention. He had the right idea. "Out! You big, careless jerk."
Casey caught the mop to stop her assault. "You can't kick me outta here girlzilla. This is my grandma's house so that means it's my house." He did have a point, but I don't really think arguing with her was the best option right now. I think Casey figured that out too when he noticed the glare aimed right at him. "Uh guys, I'll be outside if anyone needs me." I giggled as quietly as possible when he quickly scurried out the door. I could hear Splinter chuckling over by the fireplace, I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thought this was funny.
"Yeah right, if I need a neanderthal. I'll give a yell." she grouched as she stormed off to the kitchen.
Once the show was over I went right back to my book. That's when Raph came in from upstairs. "Hey, where is everybody?"
"Casey's been ejected from the ballpark and April's in the kitchen." Don started.
"I think Mikey went off exploring in the woods." I continued as I turned the page in my book.
"Despite the explicit instructions to stay near the house." Splinter added. Welp, Someone's gonna be in a bit of trouble.
"And Leo?" Raph asked worriedly.
Don and I took a quick glance at each other before he spoke up. "He's... he's kinda been moping around in the barn all morning."
"Your brother has suffered injuries both physical and spiritual, Raphael." Splinter explained. "And he will need the support of all of us if his wounds are to fully heal."
"What about Mari?"
It's not a secret that Mari hasn't really been in a good mood. She hasn't really spoken to anyone since Leo came flying through April's window. It's like she completely shut down. "I haven't seen her all morning. She was out of the house before I got up." I responded. "I'm sure she's close by, she doesn't really wander off unnecessarily."
Raph headed for the door "Alright, I'm gonna check on Leo." he announced as he shut the door behind him.
Once he was gone April walked back in angrily and sat down on the couch. "What is it about Casey that gets under my skin? He's so, so..." April tried finding the right words to describe the big lug, but in the end just settled with an angry growl. "Master Splinter, maybe you can teach me to meditate so I won't get so angry with him."
"Even meditation has it's limits." Splinter responded.
Literally minutes later I could hear a vehicle making it's way up the road. I wasn't the only one that heard it as everyone made their way to the window to see who it was. Just as I made it to the window a big, black truck with the initials MH plastered on the side pulled up in front of the cabin. I recognized it and by the way Donnie responded with a quiet "Uh-oh." I'm willing to bet that he knew who it was too.
The door opened and out stepped the tall and very muscular frame of one of the greatest scientists in the world turned monster hunting enthusiast, Abigail Finn. She carried around what looked like a blaster and acted as if it weighed nothing. "Let's do this, Parker." she yelled to a person inside the truck that I couldn't see.
But I could hear him. "Affirmative doc, activating sortie cam. Now." As soon as he said this a little metal sphere flying around by a little propeller stopped in front of Abigail. "We're rolling in three, two one."
Given the queue she immediately started speaking to the camera. "Welcome adventure seekers to another action packed episode of, The Monster Hunter." this can not be good. If she's coming here looking for monsters than that means that somebody wasn't keeping a low profile like they were supposed to and I have a feeling that I know who it was. "Once again I, Dr Abigail Finn, am close to bagging a mysterious creature. The legendary green man of the woods. Like the Yeti, Sasquatch and Bigfoot..."
Casey, who had been nearby, attempted to shut everything down. "Whoa, hold up, hold it. Cut, stop the cameras lady. This is private property."
Abigail responded by twisting his arm behind his back. "Sir, what can you tell us about the recent sightings of the green man in these woods beyond your home."
"Look lady, you gotta go. There's nothing out in those woods except... uh, woods."
"There's a monster out there and I've got proof. Parker!" she yelled again to whoever was in the truck. "Let's go to the video tape."
"Coming right up, Doc."
"This footage was taken in the forest behind your house by one of your neighbors just this morning." I watched as a TV screen popped out of the side of the truck. The image was of a certain bipedal turtle being chased off by a dog. Since the only one that has been wandering about was Mikey, it was a safe bet that it was him in the video. "What do you have to say now, bub?" Casey struggled to find the words to say. I couldn't really blame him at this point, the evidence was pretty clear. "Are you sure you don't want to change your statement? Exactly what is it you are trying to hide?"
"Mikey uh..." I flinched I when he actually said my brother's name, but luckily Abigail didn't seem to notice the slip.
This was only going to get worse the longer he stayed out there. "April, do you mind helping him out?" I asked. "I think he could really use it."
April sighed and headed for the front door. She took a deep breath before stepping outside. While she was busy sweet talking the burly scientist. Don and I took the opportunity to talk to the source of our current problem. As we approached the window that Mikey was standing right under to try and hide from our new visitors, Don quickly tapped him on the head to get his attention.
Mikey gave a startled, but fairly quiet yelp. "Donatello, give me a heart attack why don't ya?"
"Don't tempt me, lamebrain. Do you have any idea who that is out there?" Don asked. Mikey answered with a simple shrug of the shoulders. "That's Dr. Abigail Finn. Brilliant technologist, gifted biologist."
"Sounds like your type, brainiac."
I chuckled at that. "I would agree with you, if only she wasn't an absolute nutcase. She goes around monsters, like for a living. It's like she couldn't put those smarts to good use." I shrugged. "It's a shame really."
"Well, did she ever find any?" Mikey asked.
"Not yet, but the way she's drooling over that video of you. You may get to be her first." Don quickly shut the window, leaving him to think about the situation he was in.
Just as we did that, April and Casey had finished up deterring our new friend. I watched as Abigail hopped back in her truck and she and her partner drove off leaving a trail of smoke as they did. Mikey met up with us inside once she was gone. "I say we go after that video tape."
"Maybe this crazy Dr. Monster person will just give up and go away." April suggested.
"Yeah, you don't know this crazy doctor." I said.
"Dr. Abigail Finn doesn't give up." Don said. "If she can't find what she's looking for out there, she'll come looking in here. She's obsessed with monster hunting."
Splinter hummed in thought. "Those who become obsessed are often their own worst enemy." Splinter stated wisely.
I sat up in the hay loft and stayed out of sight of Leo as he moped around in the barn below. Even though he's been up and about, I haven't really said anything to him. I can't even look him in the eye. So watching over him from here was kinda my way of looking out for him without actually talking to him. I know this seems messed up and honestly it doesn't really make much sense, but I just can't face him right now.
He had his arm bandaged and in a sling and his ribs were wrapped up as well. The physical bruises that once littered his body have since faded, but the mental bruising still remained. Anyone could tell just by how he's acting that the Shredder did some real mental damage to him.
I watched as my brother struggled to pull a piece of metal out of a pile of scrap with his good arm. Just that small amount of effort that he used seemed to wear out the weakened turtle. I can't stand seeing him like this and it's kinda my fault that he is the way he is. I really shouldn't have listened to him, I should have gone with him. Then again, he did promise that he'd come back in one piece and he didn't. I sighed and rubbed my arms trying to keep warm. There was a fire in the forge going, but the heat didn't really reach up to where I was sitting. I brought my knees up and hugged them against my chest, when I heard another voice.
"Looking good, Leo." I looked down to see Raph standing near the entrance of the barn.
"Raph, I'm not in the mood." Leo snapped. He had probably assumed that Raph was only here to tell him how badly he messed up.
Raph only shrugged. "For what?"
"I don't need to hear how I messed up in New York, okay. I got my shell kicked. I let everyone down. I lost my swords." he used the piece metal he was holding to hit the large pile of scrap in frustration. The sound of metal clanging together reverberated through the barn.
"Hang on, Leo. I wasn't gonna to say anything like that." he bent down to pick up a metal pipe on the ground. "I was gonna ask you what you're doing out here."
Leo's shoulders drooped, disheartened. "Nothing." he dropped the metal scrap and kept his back turned toward Raph.
"Well, that's too bad because I know exactly what you should be doing." Leo turned toward Raph just as he tossed the pipe to our blue banded brother. "and I think you do too." Leo stared down at the pipe as if he was thinking about something.
Later on, Mikey left to see if they could retrieve the video tape. Don decided to tag along to try to keep him out of trouble. I, on the other hand, didn't really want to get involved so I left my little brothers alone to clean up Mikey's mess. I spent the rest of the day helping April clean the rest of the farmhouse. It took a lot of extra effort, but between the two of us and the fact that the boys weren't making much of a mess it was a pretty easy task. The place was fully clean for the first time in who knows how long. "Thanks Elisa, you were a big help." April said as she plopped down on the couch, exhausted.
I sat down next to her with a sigh. "No problem. Happy to help. I do wish that Mari was here though, we would've had even less work to do."
"Where is she anyway? I haven't seen her all day."
I shrugged and leaned my head back against the couch. "I don't know, with Leo maybe. She and Leo were always close even when we were kids, so it wouldn't really surprise if she was in the barn with him and Raph, right now." I sighed. "I'm worried about her."
"Yeah, she didn't take Leo's situation too well, did she?"
"Nope, but what can you do. It sucks, but it happened. He's with us now and that's all that matters to me."
Just then Donnie and Mikey came bursting through the door shivering like crazy and ice was forming on their skin. "What the shell happened to you guys?" I asked, concerned.
"C-crazy doctor t-trapped us in t-truck." Mikey responded shivering uncontrollably, trying to warm himself up.
"How did-?" I had to stop myself from asking that question and focus on warming my brothers up. I went upstairs to find some spare blankets and brought them back. Casey had found a metal container and filled it with the warmest water he could get out of the faucet. I had both of them sit down and they placed their feet in the water while I gave both of them a blanket to wrap around them.
April came in with a teapot filled with piping hot water fresh off the stove. As she poured it in the metal container Donnie and Mikey sighed in relief as the hot water warmed them up.
"I can't believe you two bozos walked right into a trap." Casey stated in disbelief.
"I believe it." Splinter stated from his spot in front of the fireplace.
"All I can say is it's a good thing that the green man's not real. If that doctor Finn ever got her hands on him, sheesh."
"Hey," Mikey stated suddenly. "That's it. Little miss monster is still out there hunting the green man, right?" he asked whilst standing up.
"Yeah so?" I answered waiting for his point.
April made him sit back down before he could finish "So she wants green men, we'll give her some. Serious butt kicking ninja green men." I have no idea what he meant by that and I'm not sure if I like it. "I have a plan."
"Oh goodie, this should be interesting." I said sarcastically.
I continued to watch as Raph dumped more coal into the forge and pumped some extra air into it to make the flame grow. Leo had placed another piece of metal on the anvil and began hammering it down. I wasn't entirely sure, but I think they were making new swords for Leo. I sighed quietly as the heat from the fire warmed up the whole barn. No longer feeling the need to try and keep myself warm, I stopped rubbing my arms.
The exertion from their activity caused Leo to drop the hammer in pain. I gasped softly almost hopping down to the lower level to help him, but Raph beat me to the punch. He had scooped up the hammer and handed it back to him. After placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder, they got back to work. Raph was doing so much more for him than I was, I kind of felt ashamed for not doing anything.
Soon after, Leo's sling had come undone and instead of putting it back on he tested his arm to see if he could continue without it. When he realized he could, he tore off the bandages around his mid section and got right back to work. I guess he's feeling better. I'm glad someone was able to help him.
After Mikey and Don had fully warmed up, I decided that I couldn't let them go through with Mikey's plan without someone to watch them. So Casey and I decided to tag along with them. I didn't know that this plan of his was going to involve covering all of us up in leaves and twigs.
"Mikey, this is your plan?" Donnie complained.
"Yeah, this is crazy and these leaves are itching me all over." Casey also complained.
"Come on, you look great. Just follow my lead." Mikey answered sounding a little bit more excited then he should be.
"This is not what I thought was going to happen when you said you had a plan." I followed up with a complaint of my own as I followed them through the woods.
"You didn't have to come with us, you know." Mikey said. "We could've handled this."
"Says the guy that got trapped in the back of a truck and nearly froze." I pointed out.
"Whatever, it'll be fine. We got this."
"Why do I get the feeling this is just going to make everything worse?" Don commented.
I chose to not answer that question due to the fact that things normally go wrong for us all the time. Anyway, I followed my brothers through the woods to a clearing where our new friend was hanging around. Little metal orbs were flying around her. We stayed hidden in the shadows of the woods and watched as the burly human examined one of the many footprints we left behind.
As she explored deeper we chose that time to go through with the plan. Donnie made a loud growling sound to catch her attention and it definitely did. I saw her stiffen and look around for the source of the sound just as Mikey sprang out from a bunch of bushes. Donnie and I popped out of the bushes trying to make ourselves seem scary. Well, as scary as we could while covered in leaves. We slowly approached her, we had her surrounded when Casey showed up yelling, "Goongala, goongala." I had to try very hard to keep a straight face. What exactly did goongala mean and why was he using that particular word to try and scare someone?
Anyway, before anyone had time to react, Abigail had turned her attention to Casey and shot a net out of her giant blaster that she was carrying with her. "I got one." she said, pleased with her actions. "Parker, alert the media." she said aloud, most likely talking to her partner back in the truck. "I want a press conference at dawn. By then I'll have the other three." she suddenly pulled out a knife. Oh great, and here thought she wanted to keep us in one piece.
Mikey quickly picked up a log on the ground and threw it at her. She had enough sense to move out of the way of the incoming projectile, choosing to dive through some bushes. Unfortunately for her, one of those little orbs ended up getting smashed to bits. Suddenly Abigail's other two orbs chased after Donnie. He took off, but I knew he could handle himself against a couple of metal spheres. I went to go help Casey out of the netting. Before I could do that, though, Mikey had to ask. "Goongala?"
"Yeah, what was up with that? You couldn't come up with anything better than that?" I followed up.
"Just get me out of here." Casey complained.
I shook my head as I worked on getting this grown man out of a net. I just took out a shuriken to carefully cut through the ropes with ease. Once freed from the trap we all made our way through the woods. Mikey and I removed our make shift green man outfits. "The look on your face when she netted you." Mikey laughed at Casey's expense. "Priceless."
"Haha," Casey said sarcastically. "Least we taught that looney doctor not to mess with the green man."
There was a low growl that came from the brush and it sounded like a real animal this time. "You can quit the howling Donnie." Apparently I was the only one that noticed the difference between Donnie's howl earlier and the one we just heard now. "Doctor Freakenstein went off in the other direction."
As if to prove my point Don had stepped out of the brush. "That wasn't me."
A large shadow distracted me along with another growl from an unknown animal. Whatever it was, it was huge. Once it came into view, I'm not gonna lie, my stomach did turn a little bit. Standing behind Donnie was this giant, furry, green gorilla- like creature. "Donnie... right... behind you." Mikey said, voice shaking slightly at what he was seeing.
Donnie turned to see exactly what we were seeing. He stepped back and screamed. "The green man? He's... he's real?" he asked.
"It would look that way." I said.
We stood still, waiting to see what it was going to do. I guess it caught a whiff of something because it started sniffing the air and approached Mikey. It continued sniffing at a pouch in his belt where he kept his pistachios. "Hey there, you smell these?" he pulled out a hand full of nuts. "You want some pistachios?" the green man happily ate out of his hand and let out a noise that sounded a lot like a purr. The calm demeanor of the green man helped me loosen up a bit. "What a smart thing you are." Mikey cooed, while feeding it some more and petting it. "What a smart green man monster. Can we keep him?" he asked us.
I rolled my eyes, but I couldn't help but pet him as well. "I don't think so, Mike." the green man turned his attention to me and nuzzled against my cheek, looking up at me with his big blue eyes.
"Aw, come on." he whined.
The green man's sudden turn in moods caused me to back away a bit. He started roaring. "Whoa, easy big fella." Mikey tried calming the beast to no avail.
I had no idea what set him off until I saw more of Abigail's metal orbs. "It's the orbs." I announced.
"They're upsetting him." Don added, as the creature continued roaring.
Those metal orbs began zapping him with lasers. Hurt and clearly agitated the creature began to pound his chest and swipe at them. Unfortunately for us, as the creature was swiping at the orbs that meant that we were in the way. I ducked out of the way as one clawed paw nearly took my head off. Mikey wasn't so lucky as I saw him slam against tree. Donnie followed soon after when the creature ran off knocking him away in the process. "Are you guys okay?" I asked.
"I'm fine." Mikey said.
"That thing packs a wallop." Don said rubbing the back of his head.
"Come on, we gotta save the big, green dude." Mikey followed the trail that the creature left behind. Don and I followed and by Casey's "Hey, wait up." It's safe to assume that he was following too.
We followed the sound of angry howls and roars as the metal orbs continued their relentless assault on the helpless creature. We didn't have much of a choice, but to watch as the green man was led to the back of the armored truck. The green man finally collapsed once inside. "No!" Mikey shouted as the doors closed behind him. He growled and slammed his fists against the bars.
"Casey and I will get that poor creature out of there and grab the video tape of Mikey strolling through the woods. Mikey and Elisa, you guys have the pleasure of keeping Dr. Finn busy."
Mikey nodded and I chuckled. "Sweet. Let's go Mike."
The four of us went our separate ways. I dashed off and Mikey followed until we saw Abigail hightailing through the woods. "Parker, confirm capture." there was silence as she waited for a response. Then as she began laughing, she is suddenly tripped by Mikey. She stands and pulls out a flashlight. I sped past behind her and she turned searching wearily only to see nothing. Mikey and I hide above her in a tree. I give Mikey a slight nudge, he nods and swoops down to take her weapon from her. "No!" she exclaims as she drops her flashlight. She backs away looking around frantically for any sign of us. "Parker, Parker, there's another one out here with me. Hunting me! Do you copy?" she was full on panicking at this point.
Mikey quickly bent her weapon over a log so it was no longer useful, before meeting up with me back in the tree. We waited patiently until Abigail was right underneath us and Mikey dropped her broken weapon in front of her. "No! This can't be happening!" she turned and we popped up in front of her.
"Boo!" we both yelled simultaneously. She screamed and ran off with her tail between her legs.
"Good job little brother." I said as we high three.
He chuckles. "A ninja a day keeps the doctor away." he comments before turning to see Donnie walking towards us. He let out a girly scream and I just laughed at him. That high pitched scream always gets me. "Donnie, where's the big green dude?"
"Relax Mikey, it's all taken care of." he assured us as we headed back to the farmhouse.
The next morning we watched as a crowd of people stood waiting at the back of truck. Don said that we would want to see what's about to happen. Abigail stood at a podium and began to speak. "Today, I, Dr. Abigail Finn, have captured a creature so rare it was believed to be only a myth. Behold, the greatest scientific discovery of all time." the back door of the truck opened so the reporters could get a good look. "I give you the legendary green man."
Everyone got a bit of shock when Casey popped up at the bars, still wearing his green man costume. "Yo, help, save me from this crazy lady."
The reporters got a good laugh. Finn didn't find it too funny though. "No! No! How can this be? My monster, my-my reputation, my network television deal."
"You're the monster lady." the reporters crowded the truck to get a statement from 'the green man' "She chased me through the woods all night long. She's looney I tell ya. She's the one that needs to be locked up."
The press turned their attention back to the Dr. Finn and began bombarding her with questions.
"Donatello, you sly turtle." they give each other a high three.
"What about the green man." I asked.
Don pointed off to a nearby clearing where the green man was. "Safe and sound. And for the record the green man's a she. A mother." he explained as two cubs crawled up to her.
Mikey and I gave him a thumbs up. "Well, with all that being said, I think this was a job well done." I said. "Let's get outta here, shall we boys." I made my way back to the farmhouse with my brothers close behind.
Mikey pulls the film out of the tape just as Casey walks up to them, still wearing his costume. "See Sensei, I told you the green man was real."
April, Don and I had a good laugh at his expense. "Hey Casey, what kept you?" Don said.
"Those reporters were even more vicious than that crazy doctor. They'll be making fun of Dr. Finn for months." Casey explained.
"I feel like it'll be more than a few months before they ever let her live it down." I added.
"Guys. Hey guys, come around back. There's someone I want you to meet." we follow him to the barn and he opens up the doors. "Allow me to introduce you to Leonardo, new and improved."
Our blue clad brother walked out of the barn and pulled out his new swords. "Uh, hey everyone." he says nervously.
"Welcome back, bro." Mikey replies as we all whoop and cheer.
"Guys, I think it's time to head back to New York and finish our business with the Shredder once and for all." Leo declares, as we raise our weapons in the air and cheer some more.
After our mini celebration was over, I took a moment to survey the inside of the barn, there was someone missing. "Hey Leo, we seem to be missing someone." I stated out loud. I thought for sure she'd be in there with Leo.
"Yeah, where's Mari?" Mikey asked.
Leo sighed. "I know where she is."
"You do?" Raph asked.
"Yeah, I think I do." Leo stated. "You guys go ahead and get ready to go. I'll go get her."
My remaining brothers, father, April and Casey all left. Before following, I told Leo "Good luck."
He nodded his thanks and I went to go after the others.
Come on Mari, you can't stay up here forever. Now that Leo's all better someone's bound to come looking for you. I sighed, this pep talk thing wasn't really working, but I had to move eventually. I rested my head on my folded arms as they laid across my bended knees when I heard a voice. "Hey Mari." I squeaked in surprise and looked down to where Leo was standing. He was looking right at me with that worried look in his eye. How did he even know I was up here? I turned away from him. "Can we talk?" he asked hopefully. I stayed quiet and didn't look at him. I heard him sigh and before I knew it he had climbed up the hayloft and was standing right in front of me. "You can't ignore me forever, you know? Just tell me what's wrong and-"
"I'm sorry, Leo." I stated quietly.
I looked up at him. "I should've went with you." I felt tears well up again. "Then maybe this wouldn't have happened."
"Mari, don't blame yourself for this. It's not your fault."
"So everyone keeps telling me." I wiped away the tears rolling down my cheeks, but more just kept coming.
"Stop it." Leo sighed again and took a seat next to me. "Listen, it was my choice to go out there, so if anyone is to blame then it should be me. I'm the one that broke my promise to you. I said I would come back in one piece and I didn't." I flinched at that. "I'm not going to let you take any of the blame for this because that's not fair to you." I turned away from him. "If anyone should be apologizing it should be me."
I glanced back at him. "I'm surprised you even remembered the promise you made."
"How could I not?" he wrapped an arm over my shoulders, pulling me in to lean on his shoulder. I didn't fight it. "I know I messed up. Now I'm going to face the Shredder again, but the difference is this time, I won't be alone, right?"
I chuckled lightly. "Right, you won't." I wiped away the last of my tears. "I got your back."
He smiled down at me. "And I have yours." he stood up. "It's getting pretty cold. Let's get out of here before you catch something." he offered me his hand.
I shook my head. "Still such a mother hen to me." I grabbed his hand and let him pull me up.
"To be fair, this is how I am with everyone. You just happen to get extra, special treatment because you're my favorite sister."
"Oh am I?" I asked, teasing.
"Yeah, just don't tell Elisa."
I giggled. "Don't worry, you're secret is safe with me." we both hopped off the loft and walked out of the barn.
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