To my loverly, Christmas-time reviewers! You guys rock (: Hope ya'll are having a good holiday and all that jazz!:
My lovely masters: grapejuice101, IvoryCrawler, pureflowersand2684, Diana Fay, CrystalBud, DraculaBleh, Darkest Women, Manderss.x.x, angelsweet2011, Ashwood's Flame, Flamestarter, Guess, AnimexLuver, and QueenAnju
I've left my home in lovely, icy cold New York, as every year. And I'm spending Christmas with my brother in: Sarasota, Florida. So I'm feeling close to this arc of the story! (:
"Are you sure your parents don't mind us crashing their pad?" Mikey asked as Donnie pulled up the driveway of Henry's parent's house. It was the typical Florida house: a one floor house with an open floor plan.
"Uhh…well, this isn't their house." Henry said, pulling out his keys and searching for the correct key. Leo looked towards Master Splinter, curious about whose house they were breaking into.
"There's three bedrooms, two full baths. We've got a few couches, too." Henry said, opening the door and holding it open for the mutants to enter. The wooden door opened to the living room, which was attached to the dining room, the kitchen, and the sliding doors that led out to the indoor pool. To the right of the living room was a large bedroom and bathroom, and to the left of the living room was a small hallway, that led to two bedrooms and another full bathroom.
"Who's house is this?" Donnie asked, seeing Henry start scampering around the house, checking the dust on the counters. The bright red headed boy sighed at the sight of the thin layer of dust that was on the counters.
"This is Kate's house…her father left it to her when he…left. Someone's been here, but not recently. There's nothing in the fridge or the pantry, but the pools clean and the house is relatively clean." Henry said, walking across the living room towards the glass sliding doors. Pushing them open, he revealed an indoor pool, which the turtles gawked at.
"If Kate was down 'ere, why wouldn't she come 'ere?" Raph asked, sniffing in the direction of the master bedroom. He noticed that the master bedroom door was a sliding wooden door. He cautiously slid it open and started walking inside.
"She doesn't want anyone to find her." Casper whispered, following Raph into Kate's master bedroom. The walls were painted a light teal, the room detailed with teal, white, black, and glass accessories.
"Kate's probably renting one of those shack bungalows," Henry called from the living room, throwing his suitcase down by one of the couches. "This couch pulls out, so Casper and I will take this one. Master Splinter, you can take the purple guest room, to the left of the bathroom." Henry said to the elderly rat, who smiled and started snooping around the house and stretching his aching legs.
"Two of you can take the blue bedroom to the right of the bathroom and two can take Kate's room. Both the beds are king size, but two of you could also sleep on the couches out here, if you want." Henry said, shooing Casper off to get the take-out food from the van. The men placed the food out on the kitchen counter and began distributing the Styrofoam containers.
"Who got…the sloppy joes?" Leo called, holding up the food container.
"That is mine, my son!" Splinter called from the guest bedroom.
"Hamburger?" Leo called, which made Raph snag the burger away from him. Slowly, the food was distributed and the men all lounged around the living room eating their diners. Raph slowly stopped eating after a few bites, chewing in thought.
"Something wrong with your burger, Raph?" Donnie asked, taking a bite out of his chicken. Raph frowned and locked eyes with Mikey, who was holding up a piece of his toast that was slathered with apple butter.
"You too, Mikey?" Raph asked with a dark tone, kicking his feet off the large leather foot stool that matched the dark leather couches. Master Splinter hummed, attracting the attention of the others.
"Is something wrong with your food, guys?" Henry asked, shoveling noodle casserole into his mouth.
"Once, Kate made me cheesecake with white chocolate and raspberries. She cut the cake the same way that this pie is cut…" Master Splinter said, critically eyeing his piece of pie. Casper's brow rose as he peered over the rat's shoulder to look at the pie. It looked like a normal piece of blueberry crumble. How many ways was there to cut pie?
"When I was sick once, Kate made me toast. She cut the toast and put the jelly on them just like this…" Mikey said, holding two pieces of toast in his hands. Donny lent over the arm of the armchair to look at the toast. It was cut diagonally with apple butter spread on it in any normal way.
"I've seen Kate makin' a salad ah' few times…She cut tha' tomatoes like 'dis." Raph said, pulling the top bun of his burger off to have a closer look at the tomatoes. Henry looked at the tomatoes in the burger, but they looked like any other tomatoes.
"I think we should pay the restaurant another visit tomorrow." Master Splinter said, earning a nod from most of the men in the room. Donnie, Casper, Leo, and Henry all looked at each other skeptically. They didn't say anything, just put their heads down and started to eat.
They didn't want to destroy anyone's hope, no matter how impossible it seemed.
"Kit? Are you…okay?" Santiago asked me, looking up at me from his spot underneath the massive grapefruit tree that I decided would be a lovely place to try and contain my pounding heart beat.
"Just dandy, my dear." I muttered softly, looking down at my handsome friend with a sigh. The Mexican sighed, taking off his baseball cap to wipe his forehead.
"Can I lend a listening ear?" He asked, starting to climb the tree.
"You're not gonna take no for an answer." I sighed, feeling the tree limbs around me shake as he hefted himself onto one of the thicker limbs below me.
"Probably not," He chuckled, pulling a packet of graham crackers from his shirt pocket. "Just spill it to me. There's no judgment here and it'll make you feel better."
I sighed, nervously picking at the bark of the smaller limb in front of me. I didn't want Santiago to think that I was a bad person or that…I was running from my problems.
"I…my friends and my…boyfriends back home…I. I got into some trouble. Some asshat kidnapped me and really beat me bad. I had to drag myself into the sewers to hide. I was…jumpy after that." I said, wincing as I stared into the sun.
"It was about a week after the attack…a-and they expected me to just be able to go back to being who I used to be! T-they…expected me to be all cheery and not paranoid about…what had happened. I-I was so…angry." I whispered, wrapping my arms around myself as best as I could.
"Betrayed. You trusted your friends and your…boyfriends..?" Santiago asked, emphasizing the plural.
"They know about each other, but it's not like one of those hump anybody open relationships. They…there's four of them…they were raised together a-and we…just…we…you said you wouldn't judge!" I hissed, feeling a sting behind my eyes.
"No judgment, Kit. I just want to get my facts straight. So you and these four dudes are together, gotcha. So you ran back here to hide from your problems." Santiago said, watching me with careful green obs. I growled lowly, tightening my grip on the branch above me.
"I'm not running…and it's THEIR problem….not mine." I hissed vehemently, shaking my head. They made me run!
"I-If…they had just left me alone…let me slowly get over the fact that someone wanted to…just kill me for what I am..." I said, hissing internally when I realized what I had said.
"Cause you're a water nymph, right?"
"HOW THE HELL DID YOU KNOW THAT?!" I yelped, almost falling out of the tree. Santiago laughed, his lips curling up in a sly smile.
"You won't touch the blood oranges. You won't eat the mushroom sauce that Mama makes, and you haven't worn the amethyst earrings that I got you for your birthday. My Pops was an English professor and he used to tell me lots of stories about nymphs." Santiago said, shrugging his shoulders like he was talking about the weather.
"Tap dancin' Christ." I muttered, hitting my forehead on the branch in front of me. Frustrated, I wriggled my way down to sit next to Santiago, making the branch creak under our combined weight, but it held.
"Valentine knows too," Santiago said, making me groan again. "She thinks it's cool."
"Santiago…the things I'm about to tell you…you can't tell anyone." I whispered, lowering my head. Santiago threw his arm over my shoulders and hugged me to his side.
"You're my cousin. Nothing that can cause hurt to you will leave these lips." Santiago said, cracking his back.
"I'm a mix of four genealogies. Human, Nereid, Naiad, and Alien." I whispered. Santiago yelped, his arms wind milling as he lost his balance. He snagged the back of my tank top as he fell, taking me with him on the way down.
Luckily, the fall was only five feet. The ground was covered in soft dirt and rotten fruits, so our fall was somewhat cushioned. I fell straight on top of Santiago, wincing when I heard the squish of rotten fruit underneath us.
"I didn't think the whole alien reveal would get a response like that." I muttered, brushing some leaves out of my face and sitting up. Santiago groaned, spitting out a leaf and gently nudging me off him.
"No, it wasn't that," Santiago said, pulling out his cell phone. "My phone vibrated and I wasn't expecting it. Damn phone gets me every time. I will have to call you E.T. from now on though."
Sliding open his phone, he pressed it to his ear to answer the call. Whoever was on the other end was talking quickly, Santiago didn't really get a chance to talk other than a few hums and grumbles.
"Were they threatening?" Santiago asked, his brow furrowing.
"Yes…of course," Santiago said, shooting me a nervous smile. "No one's getting through me."
As he said this, he reached into his back pocket and produced a folding knife. As he ended the phone call and slid his phone shut, he flicked his knife open, revealing a three inch blade. I didn't move, feeling worried about what Santiago was going to do with that knife. I didn't feel threatened, but I was worried about the life of whoever pissed him off.
"There's someone at the restaurant. They're asking where you are and they have New York licenses." Santiago said, grabbing my arm and running into the deepest part of the orange groves.
"Shit!" I hissed, realizing that they probably did see me last night.
Leo wasn't feeling too positive about this plan. The blue banded turtle lurked through a large grove of lemon trees, mind focused on the task at hand. Hen and Casper drove back to the restaurant that they were positive Kate worked at, leaving him and his family to take a look around their new environment.
Since it was an early Saturday morning, not a lot of people were out and about. A perfect time for a ninja turtle to lurk around in the dense foliage of a rather nice looking citrus grove, which just happened to be closed this Saturday.
Taking a deep breath, Leo inhaled the deep smells of soil, citrus, and the strange, comforting smell of humidity. His feet brushed the coarse grass, tickling his calloused feet slightly. Grey eyes focused on his surroundings, he started thinking about their next move on finding Kate.
Leo flinched towards the sound, grey eyes zooming in. His scenes had almost doubled since Kate left. Leo had spent many sleepless nights training, mostly because his mind was plagued by nightmares. Nightmares that even came when he was meditating.
Cautiously, the turtle started making his way towards where the sound came from, the orange section of the grove. His skin would have once blended in beautifully with the leaves, but Leo was now a sickly shade green. The kind of green of mint leaves that were left in lemonade overnight.
"-No one's getting through me."
Leo crouched down by the trunk of a large orange tree. Peering around the tree, Leo caught sight of a man talking on the phone. He was about six-foot-four, with tan skin and dark hair. Leo's eyes flashed as the man pulled out a long switch blade from his back pocket and flicked it open, looking around protectively.
What was he protecting?
"Holy shell…" Leo whispered, finally catching sight of the small woman that was sitting right behind a few large fruit picking baskets. The woman sat up slowly as the man hung up the phone, but she didn't seem nervous.
Leo's heart started to pound as he focused his intense grey gaze on the woman. She was wearing a long, cream colored Bohemian skirt and a light green tank top. Her long blonde hair was braided into a long line down her back, but what really got Leo were her skin and her smell.
The woman's skin was covered in scars, scars that Leo could name each one. The scars on her palms from him and Raph fighting over a sword. The gouge in her neck from a wooden window frame. The scar on her torso from the Shredder. The scars on her feet from fighting and running for her life for so long. The rest: from beatings she had received over the past years.
When Leo took a deep breath, the scent of mint and nectarines hit him. Leo's heart started to pound, his head started to spin, and his hands started to shake. With trembling fingers, Leo grabbed his shell cell and sent a quick message for his brothers to track his signal, cause he'd found who they were looking for. Pure elation was quickly abandoned for anger. The man with the knife grabbed his Kate's wrist and started dragging her further into the orange groves. Leo's rage ignited when he noticed that Kate wasn't fighting the man, but that she was running with him.
Without a thought in his mind, Leo threw himself away from his hiding place towards the run-away duo. With a mighty roar, Leo rushed towards Kate and the knife-wielding man. The usually silent ninja was storming towards the two humans so loudly, that they both turned around in fear.
"L-LEO?!" Kate shouted, her mismatched eyes growing wide. Seeing the bad state and almost animalistic aura of the turtle made her heart jump with terror. Momentarily blinded by fear, Kate yanked Santiago and started to run to the entrance of the groves.
"WHAT THE HELL!?" Santiago screamed, fumbling with his knife.
"GET TO THE STREETS! HE WONT FOLLOW US INTO THE STREETS!" Kate shouted, pushing herself harder as she heard Leo thundering behind them.
"YOU KNOW THAT…GUY!?" Santiago yelped, almost tripping over a tree root.
"I'LL EXPLAIN LATER," Kate shrieked, narrowing her eyes at her friend. She took a deep breath and focused on her hands and on the water that was around her in the ground, in the trees, and in the humidity in the air. "Aqua remissas!"
A flurry of water surrounded the two and cumulated underneath them. The two stopped running as the water seemed to solidify and raise them into the air. The water disks that they stood on started to move rapidly towards the entrance of the grove.
"Water hover board?" Santiago asked as he and Kate flopped to their behinds on the levitating water. Kate huffed, feeling an ache in her legs from running so hard.
"I prefer the term levitating aqua disks," Kate sighed, huffing and puffing. She managed a glance behind them, where she could see a faint dot of green and blue. "That was one of my boyfriends."
"Wow…you never mentioned that one of your boyfriends was…oh…I don't know…A GIANT LIZARD THAT WAS GOING TO TRY AND KILL US!" Santiago shouted, throwing his hands in the air. Kate sighed, rolling her eyes.
"So you're fine with the whole alien and mystical creature thing…but mutants are where your line in the sand is drawn?" Kate asked sarcastically.
"No…just a little notice would have been nice." Santiago smiled, sticking his tongue out as the water disks slowly lowered onto the ground, turning into nothing more than a puddle. They quickly ran out of the entrance of the grove and towards a nearby bus stop. The street was rather dull and empty because of the day and time, but it was safe enough where Leo wouldn't willingly show his face without a costume.
"I just…I can't trust them. Not after what they did to me. You just saw…they'll do anything to get me back. That…I'm not even sure that was Leo. My Leo…he-he would never do that. Act like that. Leo's always been…so calm, so serious about his ninja training. That couldn't have been Leo…" Kate started to mumble to herself, feeling her chest tighten.
She was so caught up with how Leo scared her, that she didn't feel the pair of grey eyes that were watching her from a narrow alley way across the street.
Santiago listened carefully, nodding and humming at the correct times. The boy started to feel something prick his neck when he noticed a large van that had been parked at the curb about ten yards down the street from them.
"Was that moving van there before?" Santiago murmured to himself, but Kate heard. Tensing, Kate stared wide eyed at the unmoving van. She wasn't able to see what was painted on the side of the van, but all she comprehended was the size, shape, and color.
The van looked exactly like the van that she was thrown in when she was kidnapped.
Terrified, Kate leapt from the bus stop bench and started hauling ass down the street. She heard the engine of the van start, and Santiago scream as the van started driving down the street towards her. Traumatized, Kate pushed herself to run faster, but no human (even with powers and different blood lines) could outrun a car on foot.
The van jerked to a stop beside her and the door rolled open violently. Hands wrapped around Kate's arms, making her let out a blood curdling scream. Another set of hands wrapped around her sides as she was unceremoniously yanked into the van. The door slammed shut and the van started rumbling down the street.
Kate kept screaming, feeling the hard floor of the van press against her back, just like it had when she was kidnapped. If you looked in her eyes, you could see that she wasn't really there. Her eyes were glazed over in fear, clearly traumatized.
"Katie! Stop! It's us!" Mikey cried. He had imagined that the reunion with Kate would be a run-and-hug situation, not have Kate screaming deliriously on the floor. Instead of stopping, Kate started screaming louder.
"What the hell, Donnie?!" Raph growled, hovering nervously by Kate's head. Donnie's hand's started to shake, but his grasp on the steering wheel was tight and secure.
"I-I don't know," Donnie cried. "I just followed Leo's signal!"
"She's scared!" Leo said, having climbed in the van just before Kate was pulled in.
Kate suddenly started to shake, her body convulsing so violently on the floor that her head, hands, and feet started banging onto the floor of the van. Her mouth opened bile began to pour out of her mouth, her skin quickly turning to a light shade of white-blue.
"HOLY FUCK!" Raph shouted, catching Kate's head before it smashed against the floor again.
"S-She's having a seizure!" Donnie said, quickly pulling the van over in a shaded area and rushing over. Kate started spitting out blood, tears slipping out of her opened eyes.
"She's bit her tongue!" Mikey cried, seeing big teeth marks in Kate's tongue. "What do we do!?"
"We have to wait it out." Donnie said seriously. "Kate's so terrified that something just…snapped. I've only read about this in textbooks and seen videos online."
Almost instantly as Donnie said that, Kate stopped twitching and her eyes slid shut. Her skin slowly started changing back to her normal tan and her breathing evened out. Raph slowly brushed his fingers through her hair, letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding in.
"Let's get back to the house." Leo said in an even, emotionless tone. He sat in the driver's seat and began pulling back onto the street with shaky hands.