A/N: Hey everyone I know this isn't the sequel to Blind Sight like I promised I'd work on. But today when I was at work, which seems to be when all my creative ideas seem to hit me, which is really annoying since I can't just stop and write it down the second an idea hits me. Unfortunately it wouldn't leave me alone it has nagged at me all day - the plot playing out in my mind like watching a movie several times. I knew then that this story would not leave me alone until it was written so the sequel to Blind Sight is on the back burner for right now I'm working on it along with this new story, but this story seems to want to be told first. My OC seems determined to have her story told and won't let me rest until it is. Quite literally in that fact because every time I go to do something else her story pops right into the front of my mind once again. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update. I'm going to shoot for within two weeks though. I'm still working full time, I'm still a wife, and now I'm going to school as well. So needless to say my weeks are very tightly packed... but that is my goal hopefully by the 30th I'll have a new chapter finished and ready to post. If I have it done sooner I promise I will post it.
I'm also giving you a heads up - this will be more of a Raphael story. I've been told I'm a Leonardo fan. That isn't true - I don't favor any one turtle over any of the others. My blind Leo stories are more of Leo stories for a reason - they have to be. But that doesn't mean I like him more than the others. I might gravitate more towards Leo or Raph because I'm so much like them that I find them much easier to write but I love Donny and Mikey just as much as I love Leo and Raph. If I had to pick a favorite of anything it would be Leo's favorite color, Raph's favorite weapon, Mikey's ability to see the funny side of anything, and Donny's ability to always be prepared for anything they encounter. Man I wish I had that ability. LOL. But I don't have a favorite turtle. Never have never will - they wouldn't be the same characters if one of them was missing, so I love them all equally.
And also I've said this before and I'll say it again - don't read it if you don't like it. It is such a waste of time. I don't mind constructive advice, but there is a limit to what I'll consider tips for my writing. I won't take kindly to it if you are rude, so if you don't like it just stop reading.
And a heads up this story will be darker than my previous stories. Sorry about that in advance if it bothers some readers, but that is just the way that my OC's story plays out. I always love hearing from my readers, if you leave a review I'll reply to it, having input really does make the work and time I put into my stories worth while. I write stories to have fun, I know they aren't perfect but I love to do it. And now that this A/N is super long... on with the first chapter.
Healing The Broken
It was really too warm to be wearing a long sleeved shirt, let alone a thick cotton sweater. Elizabeth Cooper could feel the beads of sweat pop on her brow, then trickle slowly down her temples before stopping in the corners of her eyes. She wiped them away impatiently, trying to ignore just how uncomfortable having to wear the heavy sweater was. She knew the sun had almost set now and without it the temperature would drop a little, not enough for her to need a the sweater under normal circumstances, but she wouldn't be as uncomfortable either. Picking up her pace a little she continued down the darkening path she'd been walking.
She kept her arms folded together tightly against her chest, listening for the slightest rustle of leaves or the breaking of a twig, giving her any indication that she wasn't alone. But as the sun finally disappeared and the lights twinkled into existence she knew it was less likely that she'd bump into anyone on the path. She knew it was foolish to walk in Central Park alone, even more so after dark, but as far as she was concerned there were far worse things than a potential mugger or rapist. In fact at times she almost prayed for one of them - anything that would get her into a police department without raising too much suspicion. But for some reason everyone always left her alone.
She slowed down a little now, rubbing her left arm through the cotton sweater as she walked, wincing a little at the tenderness there. It wasn't as bad this time she told herself. It could have been a lot worse. Nothing was broken this time. But still the dark patches on her arm, the exact shape of his fingers, required the necessity of the sweater she wore. Not that most people would notice that kind of thing in the 'Big Apple' most people tended to just mind their own business and look the other way. No, the sweater was mostly for herself, she hated seeing those bruises, seeing the shapes the bruises had formed in, those horrible marks that were a constant reminder of how she'd come by them in the first place.
A light breeze blew in from her left and a few hairs pulled loose from her ponytail. A few strands of hair gently tickled her cheek, almost like a caress. Elizabeth tucked the strands behind her ear, knowing they wouldn't stay. Suddenly a bird called off to its mate in the distance, making Elizabeth start in surprise. She smiled when she heard the bird's mate call back and the two chirped back and forth happily, singing their last music for the night. It made Elizabeth a little sad, the coming of the night, for nights were what she feared the most. You could never tell what would happen once the sun sank down and the world was plunged into darkness.
But on the nights when she came here she found the darkness quite comforting, like an old friend. It cloaked her in the darkness and kept her safe... at least until she had to go back to the world that she dreaded.
The path curved a little to the right and Elizabeth followed it, so familiar with this path that she was sure she could get to her destination with her eyes closed. She did so now, a tingling feeling building in her gut, a feeling of excitement and dread both filling her up to the point where she was sure she would burst. Her eyes snapped open and she grinned as her desired object came into view.
A single park bench sitting next to the trail, illuminated by a single light. The wood was old and had aged badly over the years. The finish had been worn off thanks to rough winters and countless visitors. Elizabeth's feet seemed to speed up again of their own accord, and within a few short steps she reached it. She stroked the faded wood with the tips of her fingers, feeling the rough wood scrape against her soft skin. Elizabeth noticed a new scratch in the wood, as if someone had been digging into it while waiting impatiently for something or someone. Elizabeth could almost see an impatient teenager digging his keys into the wood, roughly digging away while his foot tapped impatiently on the concrete path.
Elizabeth sighed to herself as she perched on the edge of the worn bench, her elbows on her knees and her head cupped in her hands. She wasn't sure why she had come here tonight, she knew that she would be paying for it later, but still she just couldn't help herself. This was the place that she felt the safest, the most familiar, a place that had not changed much over the years. It was a place she had come a couple years ago when she had needed to think, or just wanted a break from the stresses that came from living in the big city. Of course, now was different. Those were happier days. And even though this old bench hadn't changed she certainly had.
She used to be pretty, she used to have no problem turning heads when she wanted to catch someone's eye. Now very few people glanced in her direction. It seemed incredible to her that only two years ago her life had been so carefree and happy.
At twenty-two she had been a successful fashion consultant, she had loved her job and had gone out frequently with her friends. They were always dragging her with them as they checked out new night clubs or if they wanted to grab a beer. Elizabeth had always been up for a having a good time. That is, until she met Graham anyway. It had been at one of those fun night clubs that she'd first seen him, he'd asked her to dance with him, and Elizabeth had been hooked.
Elizabeth twisted the delicate white gold ring on her left hand, even in the dim lighting the diamond glittered brilliantly as it caught the faint light. She remembered how her friends had envied her, how they all had wished for their own engagement rings. She could also remember how excited she'd been, how she'd clung onto Graham's arm as they'd strolled around Central Park together, chatting idly about their upcoming wedding and their plans for the future. Elizabeth had been so excited to start her future with Graham. She didn't realize until after the wedding what kind of man Graham really was.
Graham would often work late nights, sometimes calling and saying he'd just stay in a nearby hotel and not come home at all. Elizabeth hadn't thought much of this at first, but had gotten suspicious when Graham had come home smelling of strange perfumes. He always seemed to be drunk and would press her into satisfying his sexual desires - even to the point of violence if she didn't comply with what he wanted. After a while Elizabeth had had enough, she knew he was cheating on her, and she was tired of being forced into the bedroom with him.
But when she had packed up her things and told him she wanted a divorce Graham had gone ballistic. Elizabeth honestly couldn't remember what had happened after the first few blows, she remembered he'd caught her in the ribs a couple times and then there had been a blinding white light, she'd woken in the hospital three days later. The doctors had told her she'd taken a nasty fall down the stairs, Elizabeth didn't argue the point because Graham was sitting in the chair right next to her bed, his fingers clamped tightly around her hand.
She'd had three fracture ribs and a fractured wrist. Other than that nothing but some bumps and bruises. The doctors had been worried about brain swelling but they had been monitoring it over the past few days and there had been no indication of that. So after a few more days without further complications Graham had been allowed to take her home.
On the car ride home Graham informed Elizabeth of where she stood in their relationship, that she should consider the ribs and wrist a warning, and next time it would be worse. Elizabeth had been too frightened to say anything. She longed to go to the police station, to tell them the truth, to have them lock him away. But she also knew that Graham would be able to post bail. He made enough money at his job that he could get out, and she knew that when he did he'd come after her, but the next time he'd be out for blood.
Over the next couple of years Elizabeth started accepting the punishments Graham dealt out. A slap to the face always stung, but thankfully it never made a mark. That didn't mean that Graham didn't leave his marks. Elizabeth had become a master at covering them up though, heavy face makeup for the bruises on her face, long sleeved shirts or sweaters for the bruises on her arms. She never wore anything but ankle length jeans, and just in case she wore boots that went halfway up her calf. Just in case the pant leg pulled a little and exposed her pale skin.
Her long brown hair, once shiny and well cared for, now hung limp and straggly down her back, the tips just brushing the waistline of her jeans. Her skin clung tightly to her bones, giving her a skeletal appearance. Elizabeth didn't care, she just couldn't find the energy to care much about anything anymore, much less her own life. Sometimes she thought her life would be a whole lot easier if she was no longer living it.
There were days she had prayed for death. That God would end her torture and just take her way, take her to a place where the pain would stop. But death never came and now Elizabeth's prayers had become less frequent, almost to the point of non-existence.
The timer on Elizabeth's watch beeped loudly, announcing to her that Graham would be home soon, and if she wasn't there she'd have new bruises joining the ones she'd gotten last night. Elizabeth sighed and stood reluctantly from her bench, running her fingertips along the worn wood one last time, as if saying good bye to an old friend. She wasn't sure when she could risk returning here.
As she stepped away from the light and into the darkness she felt as if something warm, almost cherished, had suddenly been ripped away from her. Her steps were slow as she started down the path that would take her out of the park.
She really didn't want to leave, she was sure that she could stay here all night and Graham would never think to look here. Their days of long walks through the park had been brought to a screeching halt the day they had married. Graham told her he had never liked walking through the park with her, he'd just done it to make her happy.
Elizabeth regretted that. She regretted ever meeting Graham. She wished she had told her friends no that day, she wished that she had said she was sick. That she couldn't go out. If she had then her life would probably have turned out different.
Elizabeth paused when she heard a soft rustle of clothing coming from behind a nearby tree. She narrowed her eyes, her lips tightening against her teeth while her heart pounded furiously within her chest. She couldn't see beyond the dim lighting, but she was almost certain that someone was hiding just out of sight behind one of those thick tree trunks.
Letting her feet pick the pace Elizabeth hurried forward, keeping her ears open for sounds of pursuit. She was concentrating so hard on who was behind her that she wasn't paying attention to the path in front of her, and probably wouldn't if it hadn't been for the man she bumped into.
She heard him grunt and felt her own breath knocked out of her as she took a couple of steps back to regain her balance, trying desperately not to go sprawling.
"I… I'm sorry," Elizabeth stammered, feeling her cheeks redden with embarrassment.
"Dat's ok, sugar," The man purred, his face hidden beneath the brim of a hat that he had tipped slightly to the side.
A chill ran up Elizabeth's back, and she shook off the shiver that wanted to tremble through her body.
"What's a sweet thing like ya doin' out here so late?" The man teased, his voice still holding that tone that made Elizabeth squirm uncomfortably.
"I'm… I was going for a walk," Elizabeth said lamely. "But I've got to get home, my husband will be worried."
"Ahh, well no worries, sweet cheeks, ya'll get home safe and sound…" The man said then before Elizabeth could move he clamped his hands on her arms while two more hands grabbed her from behind. One hand clapped over her mouth, stopping her scream before it had any volume to it, the other snaked around her waist, pinning her to the man behind her.
Elizabeth squirmed in their holds, her eyes going wide with horror as the man standing before he released one of her arms and waved a knife lazily in front of her right eye.
"Now just take it easy, sweet heart – ya do what we tell ya and we won't have ta hurt ya," The man crooned, although his mouth turned up into an ugly sneer, his eyes went wide – almost predatory.
Elizabeth's body went cold as she jerked against the arms restraining her. It all seemed like a hideous joke. Why tonight? She had been coming out here for months and no one had ever paid her any attention. It almost seemed as if her prayers to die were finally being answered. But this wasn't the way she had planned it. She didn't want die lying in the dark all alone while she choked on her own blood. She couldn't think of a worse way to go, but as she looked into the man who was waving the knife casually in her face she knew that she wouldn't be walking out of here. Despite what they were saying they had no intention of letting her live.
She closed her eyes and whimpered as the man who was holding the knife let the tip kiss her soft skin, he ran it down her cheek, his mouth open in an almost curious expression, as if wondering what would happen if he pressed the edge into the pale white flesh. His companion meanwhile, keeping one hand clamped over her mouth to muffle her whimpers, let his other hand snake down towards the top of her jeans. Elizabeth's body jerked in an automatic reaction. She squeezed her eyes shut as tightly as she could when she felt the button on her jeans released, making the already loose jeans sag slightly on her hips.
She was shaking now, she couldn't help it. She could feel the tip of the knife dig into the soft skin on her throat now and whimpered as a small trail of blood began to flow.
She knew who these two men were now. There had been reports on them for weeks, police had been scouring the area trying to find them, but had had no luck. All they would ever find was the evidence that they had been there. A body stripped from the waist down, bruises on her arms and legs and a slashed throat. She knew by the time someone found her it would be too late – she'd be the next victim on the tally for tomorrow night's news. Still she prayed to any God that might be listening that at least it would be fast, that she wouldn't die a long agonizing painful death. That they'd slash her throat deep enough that it would kill her quickly.
"Did ya hear dat?" The man holding her from behind hissed.
"I didn't hear nothin'," The man holding the knife said, glaring at his companion. "Come on – let's get dis done."
As he reached for her jeans Elizabeth's eyes opened wide and she struggled, despite the holds on her, desperate to not let this happen… to stop them from doing this to her. The man holding the knife suddenly pressed his body up against hers, pinning her against his companion. His hot breath hit her face, she tried to pull back but was unable to do much of anything.
"Ya don't wanna do dat," The man warned, pressing the knife against her throat again. "Ya don't wanna get hurt do ya?" He smirked.
Elizabeth felt the knife jerk against her throat as she swallowed and another trickle of blood began to run into her cotton sweater, staining it a dark crimson red. She closed her eyes again, not trying to fight now, knowing the man would do what he wanted to anyway before he killed her. Despite her efforts to stop him she knew she wasn't strong enough to throw them both off, and even if she were she knew he wouldn't hesitate to seriously injure her to the point where she wouldn't be able to get away before he took advantage of her. Her fate had been sealed the moment she had walked into the park. She was going to die.
Raphael was having a bad night. He'd had another fight with Leo and when things had finally come to a head Raphael had stormed out hoping to blow off some steam. After patrolling some of their usual spots and stopping would be break in from happening Raphael decided to go to Central Park. It was dark enough now that he could easily hide amongst the trees, and the park wasn't nearly as crowded at night. In fact most people tended to avoid it altogether at night. The natives of New York at least knew that Central Park tended to attract darker characters after the sun went down. So if they strolled down the lighted paths at all they did so in pairs, you were less likely to get jumped when you were with someone else.
Raphael often liked to walk through Central Park after dark, enjoying the cover of the trees while seeing some of the sights and sounds of the city that most people just took for granted on a daily basis. Raphael often liked to stand on one of the bridges and just stare at the dark water down below. The slow trickling of the water, his own dark reflection often helped him to calm down enough that he could think with a straight head.
As he entered the park he knew that tonight was probably going to be one of those nights where staring at his own dark reflection probably wouldn't do much for him. The would be thief he'd stopped hadn't been much of a challenge and his blood was still boiling as he thought back on his and Leo's argument. He'd always found his brother to be so smug, so set in his ways… such a perfect son that Raphael would always be in his shadow. It made him angry, why couldn't Leo do something wrong once in a while? Why did he always have to be so perfect?
Raphael's heart pounded hard against his ribs, as if it were angry with his brother too.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
Raphael picked up the pace, sprinting into the cover of the trees and quickly scaling one of them. He perched on a thick branch, holding the one above him to help him balance while he sat on the balls of his feet, staring at the lighted lamps and the few stragglers who were slowly making their way out of the park pass by below him.
He watched them go with disinterest. These people weren't very interesting, so caught up in their own lives, never noticing as the days rushed by. Bored he made his way further into the park's depths. He was hoping to find some action, something, anything that would give him the release he was hoping for.
As he closed in on his favorite bridge a flash of movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. Raphael went still, settling himself onto a new perch and gazing down at a girl no older than her mid-twenties standing up slowly from a bench. She brushed off her jeans, ran her fingers along the park bench's seat with the tips of her fingers and walked slowly down the path towards the exit.
Raphael frowned, something didn't feel right here. Why was this girl sitting all by herself in the park well after nightfall? Was she waiting for someone? Had she been stood up?
Raphael knew it wasn't his business either way, and was tempted to just let her go while he continued on towards the bridge, but something stopped him. Almost like an itch underneath his shell it was something he couldn't quite reach but he wanted to know what it was that was bothering him, it just didn't feel right. He waited until the girl had started up the curve on the path before dropping down from the trees and landing silently on the balls of his feet.
With movements drilled into him for as long as he could remember Raphael started to ghost the girl as she started down the path. She kept her arms folded across her chest, her head down on her feet. She was biting her lip, and even in the pale lighting Raphael could see the almost transparent color of her skin. Her long dark hair hung down her back in a sloppy ponytail, a few loose hairs blew out behind her as a gentle wind picked up. The girl didn't seem to notice. Her jeans seemed too loose for her, the ends dragged on the ground, making a slight scuffing noise as she walked, she also wore a loose cotton sweater, which Raphael thought was odd for the night was not chilly. As if sensing his gaze on her the girl pressed her arms closer to her chest and looked over her shoulder to look into the dark trees beyond the path. Had she known what to look for, and had Raphael not darted behind the closest tree she might have seen him. As it was she didn't, she hesitated for a moment then began to walk again, quicker this time as if she could feel his eyes on her.
Raphael didn't trail as close now, not wanting to alarm her. But then she suddenly stopped, stumbled, and took a couple of steps back as if trying to stop herself from falling. Raphael darted forward, frowning as another human came into view. From the stiff set of her shoulders and the way her fingers trembled Raphael was sure that this girl had had no idea who this man was – or that he had even been there.
Raphael automatically reached for his sai, his fingers tightening on the handles of his sai, feeling the familiar worn material underneath his hands. It felt like gripping onto an old friend – he'd had these weapons for so long now. He knew every inch of them, knew how they balanced in his hands, knew how to control them better than he could control his own temper. He pulled the weapons from his belt, a low growl building in his throat as a second man approached the girl from behind, covering her mouth and pinning her against him.
His eyes narrowed as he recognized these two men. He didn't like watching the news, it always ticked him off how so many people could do so many bad things to others. But Leonardo and Splinter often watched the news together, and if Raphael was in or near the vicinity of the TV he would overhear the news reports. Lately there had been almost daily reports of women who had been raped and murdered in Central Park. Police had had no luck in finding the culprits.
Raphael wasn't about to let this girl join the list of growing victims. He crouched down as low as he could get, his corded muscles ready to spring, his teeth grinding together so hard it made his jaw ache.
He watched as the man pinning the girl to his body slid his hand down her stomach, making her squirm a little, then he undid the clasp on her pants.
His partner was waving a knife around, almost as if it were a toy, he'd press it against the girl's pale flesh, kissing the metal against the soft epidermis. And then, ever so slowly the man reached forward, reaching for the girl once again, the knife held at her throat to stop her from squirming against him as he pinned his body up against hers. Raphael was sure that the girl didn't realize that he was undoing his own jeans with the hand not holding the knife against her throat.
Raphael had seen enough. Springing out of his hiding place and leaping at the two sex offenders with a growl ripping through his bared teeth. Both men looked up surprised and startled, then their faces both paled at the same time at the realization that they had been caught in the act. It might have been funny, but Raphael saw no humor in this situation at all. He moved so fast neither had time to really react to his presence.
He took the man that was holding the knife to the girl's throat first, wanting to get that knife away from her before it really did hurt her. The man fell like a sack of potatoes when Raphael's weight crashed into him. The man gasped, his eyes open wide is fear and surprise as Raphael knocked the knife from his hands. Raphael pulled the man roughly to his feet by the front of his shirt.
"Put him down!" The second man with the girl barked.
Raphael turned, glaring at the man, but froze when he saw the slightly bulkier man was still holding the pale girl against him, but now he held a gun to her head, his face was hidden in shadow, but Raphael knew he was sneering at him, even if he couldn't see it. Raphael let the thug drop to the ground with a dull thud.
"Now drop dem knives!" The man growled, pressing the barrel of the gun even harder against the girl's temple. Even in the dim lighting Raphael could see a couple of tears squeeze out from underneath her closed lids and slide quickly down her cheeks, disappearing as they ran off the tip of her chin.
"Let 'er go," Raphael growled.
"Drop dem knives!" The man insisted through his bared yellow teeth.
Raphael didn't move. He wasn't about to give up his one means of defense.
"I will shoot," The man warned, cocking the gun.
Raphael was a blur of motion and before the man could really comprehend what had happened his hand was jerked into the air and the gun fired. The girl jerked a little, and fell to her knees as Raphael's foot connected with the man's abdomen, forcing him to release her. The man swung the gun around angrily, waving it in much the same way as his friend had been with the knife. Raphael made a quick decision and charged the man, grabbing him around the middle and throwing him off balance. The gun went off again but this time Raphael got the gun away from him. He saw the gun go spinning off the path into the darkness of the trees beyond. Then twisting his sai he hit the man in the temple with the butt end, quickly knocking the man out. He sat up, panting a little and looked for the second – but he was gone.
The girl was still where she had been a minute ago, on her knees, her head in her hands, her dark hair now pulled completely loose from its ponytail. It hung around her shoulders like a dark curtain.
"Ya should call da police," Raphael growled, though he tried to make his voice soft she still jumped.
"I… I don't have a phone to… to call," The girl confessed, not looking up.
"Ya don't have a cell phone?" Raphael asked, cocking his head slightly as he studied this girl. Everyone these days had a cell phone.
The girl just shook her head. She still didn't look up.
Raphael sighed, pulling his shell cell from his belt. "I can call da police. Ya ok ta wait fer 'em on yer own?"
"Please… don't leave me," The girl finally lifted her head and turned to look at him. Raphael automatically stepped further into the shadows. He was pretty sure that the girl hadn't gotten a good look at him during the short battle. He had tried to drag that thugs into the shadowed parts of the path before taking them down. He wasn't going to take any chances of her seeing him now.
"Yer safe now – dey won't come after ya again," Raphael muttered.
"Please," The girl turned now and Raphael's eyes widened behind his mask. A growing stain of dark red was blossoming on her pale cotton sweater, just below the shoulder.
"Did he shoot ya?" Raphael demanded, his voice harsher than he intended making her flinch back.
"It passed through," The girl said, though her already pale face had taken on a chalky appearance.
"Ya gotta get ta da hospital," Raphael said flipping open his shell cell.
He hadn't expected the girl to cry out, or to leap at him. He took a startled step back, trying to stop her from touching him, not wanting her to realize that his skin wasn't a soft smooth texture but rather the slightly rougher and cooler skin of a reptile.
"No! Please! Don't do that! He'll kill me! I know he'll kill me!" The girl begged, her green eyes were wide with fear, more tears built up, some sticking to her eyelashes but others ran down her bony cheeks swiftly. She reached for him again and Raphael took another step back.
"No one's gonna hurt ya now," Raphael insisted.
"No – you don't understand!" The girl insisted, tugging at her sweater sleeve, but she seemed to have trouble pulling it up. "Please – he'll kill me!"
Raphael was honestly confused now. "Who's gonna kill ya?"
"My… my… " The girl's voice suddenly trailed off, what little color she had left in her face drained so suddenly that Raphael reached for her in alarm, just as her knees buckled, her eyes rolled up in her head and she collapsed as she sank into unconsciousness.
"Great," Raphael muttered as he adjusted his hold on the girl. He was surprised to feel how light she was, he could feel her bony arms even through her thick sweater. "Dis night just keeps gettin' better and better."