A/N: Many thanks to my amazing beta-readers, Melody Winters, DuckiePray and FairDrea. You gals, as always, rock the Turtle-verse, and my chaotic little world.

Readers, be sure to check out Fated Destinies, a story from Melody Winters of how Splinter's little family became heroes long before they were ninjas, and Refuge, a heart-wrenching new installment in the DuckiePray's ongoing Turtle saga. And, if you like a little something extra, like a smokin' hot Beetlejuice/Lydia fic, sidle on over to BJ's page and look for FairDrea's Haunting Temptation. :)

And thanks to owners and creators of the TMNT for allowing us to play with their characters via Fanfiction...

Finally, a tip of the hat to country singer Eric Church, whose song, Homeboy inspired this fic, and whose title I blatantly borrowed because it fit too perfectly not to use it. It's a great "brother" song, and I highly recommend you check it out. The lyrics are in italics at the beginning of each chapter.


You were too bad for a little square town
with your hip-hop hat and your pants on the ground…

~Runner~

"Looks like we got a runner!" Raph called over his shoulder as he casually struck out with his free hand, stopping the Purple Dragon rushing him with a palm-strike to the chin. With his other hand, he grabbed a bunch of shirt and hurled a second gang member across the alley, landing him into the dumpster as neatly as Shaq sinking a slam-dunk.

"Don't let him get away!" Don's voice was urgent. "He's the one with the device!"

Raphael nodded. "I got 'im."

"Raph, wait!" Leonardo barely turned from the PD he'd just dropped with a dragon punch to address his brother. One of the other gang members took the opportunity provided by the instant of distraction to leap onto his shell from behind.

"Leo!" Donatello's bo snapped out, knocking the man aside with a crack as Michelangelo's nunchucks whizzed through the air, taking down one who was circling him with a lead pipe.

"Night-night, Dude," he crowed.

The remaining gang members were already backing down, wavering.

Dey got dis. I'm gonna get dat kid. Raphael was up the fire escape, racing across the rooftop to cut the boy off before Leonardo could call him back again.

The kid was tearing down the dark street, his denim jacket showing up clearly under the streetlights as he ran. Raph paced him easily, barely trying to keep up. He paused on top of a building two alleys from where he'd left his brothers to clean up the remaining gang members. He watched as the boy passed, glancing nervously over his shoulder every few paces.

One good scare oughta do it, thought Raph with satisfaction, watching the boy slip through a broken door and into an abandoned building. He'll hand over dat little thingamajig. I won't even hafta rough him up. Too bad. Oh well, we got a pretty good work out in tonight already.

He swung over the side, shimmying down the fire escape with the ease of thousands of repetitions. Raph didn't bother drawing his sai as he slipped through the door the boy had just used. The kid had been bold in the fight, and lighter on his feet than some of the older gang members.

Too bad he ain't too bright, thought Raph idly as he moved silent as the shadows that hid his form further into the building.

Hookin' up wit' da PD's is about as dumb as it gets.

The boy was what was known in the gangs as a "mule". He wasn't carrying drugs, as far as Raph knew, but the tiny device the PD's had stolen was in his pocket, and Raphael wasn't about to let him escape with it.

What's it do, Donny? Michelangelo's blue eyes had been wide as he asked the question, confusion and amusement warring, as usual, for supremacy in his gaze.

In the wrong hands, Mikey, it could cause the complete destruction of about five city blocks, Donatello explained patiently.

You mean it blows stuff up?

Exactly.

Guess we'd better not let Hun have it then huh?

No, Mikey, that would be bad.

With those dry words, they'd leapt into the battle. Leo led the charge, as always, dropping like a wraith into the alley, blocking the gang members' way out. He'd challenged them, given them a chance to give up, to surrender the device peacefully. Raphael rolled his eyes. He swore his brother enjoyed giving the stupid punks a chance to surrender, relished their refusal to stand down.

Suppose it has ta do wit' da honor o' da t'ing, he thought. Not attackin' 'em wit'out givin' 'em a chance ta surrender.

A movement to his right had him crouching, instinctively resting his hand on the pommel of his sai, though he didn't draw the weapons. Not yet.

He shifted through the darkness, certain the kid didn't know he was there. He hadn't made a sound entering the building, and he could hear the kid's hesitant shuffling as he searched for another way out. He wasn't moving with the wary caution of stalked prey. He was working his way methodically along a far wall. Raph could hear his hands brushing the cinder-block wall as he tried to feel for a door.

Dat's right, kid. Keep searchin'.

Raphael was so intent on moving in silently on the boy, he never heard the faint moan of elderly concrete giving way. It wasn't until there was a sharp creeeeeeeak that he looked up, and by then it was far too late.