::Author's Note::

Here we have a front loading author's note, a rarity indeed. This is a response, issued by Mutant Rebel, to a challenge on Stealthy Stories that is listed as follows:

So my challenge to you is to write a TMNTxOC story where the OC isn't someone that you'd really expect to see. There are OCs of all shapes, looks, and sizes ready to be born; you just have to create them.

We don't often write romance stories - exclusively. This is truly going to be a challenge for us; but we will give it our best. We would really appreciate any comments you may have. Thank you stopping by; we'd love to hear what you think.

- Stoic and Harley

It's About Time that I Came Clean with You
I'm Just Scared I Might Never Say Goodbye

They all have expectations. Of me, of each other, of sensei - of life. Of course it would be a lie to say I don't have similar expectations. Many of them are unfair and I know it. It doesn't stop me from having them no matter how much I try and fight them, rationalize them or even dismiss them. I know Mikey - I also knowthat he isn't what he seems to most; yet I still expect him to have the highest video games scores of all of us. Which is ironic since Raph, with all his raging-controller-destroying-button-mashing, tops Mike on at least half the Jenga-style-could-fall-at-any-moment pile of games sitting on the edge of the TV stand. He's not really as hot headed as everyone says, though of them all he's the one I understand the least. I care about him, he is my brother after all, but I just don't get him. We have the least in common. I accept it and have learned to live with it, he does the same. Leo on the other hand, with all his Zen-introverted-spirit-seeking is not really far off from Raph's high powered approach to life. It's just that they handle the same emotion differently. I understand Mike the best.

Yet still, I'm the least likely of them to be expected to be in this predicament. At least on the surface, I would appear to be the least likely. But life is what makes things happen as they do, not our reasoning - no matter how hard I want to insist that's the case. And I do insist. I fight the natural order in lieu of deductive reasoning and a good hypothesis that can be proved; but only because I like the proving. Science is cool. It makes sense to me. But people always assume I like it for the reasons I don't. I like it because the answer, the end, is consistent. I can expect it. Plus, I like to tinker. Machines don't whine as much as people - well when they're working right they don't. They understand me.

I don't get her. She goes against everything that should be my consistent mind's desire. Yet I return because I have a fondness for her. Something else I can't explain that half annoys me and half keeps me coming back. It's the same way I can't explain why I really like playing Mortal Combat with Raph. I go in knowing it will be punishment and he'll kick my shell half way to the Jersey turnpike, but I have a fondness for it even still. She doesn't give me that sense of internal lack of control, the way I'd really like to smash my bo staff in his face sometimes. But, at the end of the day, I guess I understand in some ways because - she makes me feel. Which is what Raph does in those moments too. I forget sometimes, to feel. I mean, I always do, feel that is. Yet sometimes, I get caught up in other tasks and mostly they consume me. I have a knack for pushing my spirit, as Leo calls it, back so I can focus on the logic. But it's nice, on occasion, to feel. It's even better when it happens by accident.

I'll never forget the day I met her. Well...the day itself was pretty forgettable. In fact, I can't even remember how I ended up on that fire escape. I know it had to do with a troop of Foot soldiers. That's nothing out of the ordinary. I knew I shouldn't - I knew it. But I figured I'd only slip inside for a second, until they passed. I heard her first, despite her soft steps, and was surprised I hadn't detected her sooner. I was agile, or I liked to think so. Mikey, though good at what he does when he tries, is the clumsy one on instinct. But I tripped a little right then, mostly on my words.

"I...um...it's not what it looks like." I said, taking an automatic step back toward the safety of the window. Part of me was terrified of jumping out and abandoning the awkward situation, while the other part of me wanted nothing more than to escape the same awkwardness. The smile that flicked across her face in the dark light was partially terrifying and I wondered what in the world she was smiling for, furthermore I was baffled by the idea that she hadn't screamed yet - either for my appearance or for the simple fact that, under normal circumstances - in this neighborhood - I was more likely to be a crook. Later, I learned that her apartment had been broken into half a dozen times in the last three months so she insisted that she would have known if I was there to defile her life and her livelihood. Furthermore, Tuesday, her overprotective German Sheppard, didn't bark at me.

"Really?" She asked, the intonation in her question was somewhere between amused and scathing.

"Um...yes...it's definitively not what it looks like." I confirmed, still slithering back to the window; but I tripped again, this time on the mat in front of the tub. Curiosity was the only thing that kept me from bolting.

"Excellent. Since it always looks sort of dark and blurry to me." I should have noticed the guide stick right away, and I suddenly felt dumb for missing it. For being so smart, or so they all said - I felt utterly retarded right then, not to mention relieved. She was very obviously blind. I must have scared the piss out of her, but not due to the normal reasons for anyone who ran into me. Ellie, her name, said she grew up in Atlanta - the bad part, that was why New York didn't scare her; or so she claimed. She explained this to me over three cups of coffee while I marveled, scientifically, how she got around with the absent of one so imperative sense. She also told me the only reason she didn't scream, since I asked, was because of Tuesday. Not only did he help her see, he helped her stay safe. I wasn't sure after that first day if she was a science project I just wanted to understand or if I actually enjoyed the non-familial company. It was nice - the safety - of being in her presence and not being judged for being who I am. I have to admit, I like the company.

That's why I'm here, again...to see her, though she can't see me. To talk to her and let her talk to me.