A/N: This was originally going to be a one-shot but now I'm thinking a two OR three parter.
Title: Past Mistakes
Summary: Zoey Jones was a tough and independent woman trying to get over her ex the best way she knew how… by dating other guys. Sadly, her choice in men lately hasn't been great and she often needs help getting rescued by her cousin Casey, who so happens to be her ex's best friend…
Rated: T for strong lang
Dis: Don't own TMNT!
A brunette woman locked the door to her bathroom, pulled down the cover to her toilet, and sat down on it while dialing a familiar number. She held her breath, keeping tabs on any sudden movements or noises outside the bathroom door with the phone held to her ear trying to make a connection. Her legs bounced while she bit her thumbnail. A nervous air surrounded her and it wasn't until the person on the other end answered that she sighed in relief.
"Code red," she hissed into the phone, afraid that if she spoke any louder the person on the other side of the door might hear.
"Code. RED," she bit out, getting irritated.
"Again? Didn't ya just have me over dere two days ago?"
"Casey!" The female winced, and didn't speak again until she was certain the other person didn't hear her. "Look, he just isn't getting the hint, and unless you want to bail me out of jail because I assaulted a guy."
"Do it! Police will take your word on it."
"You owe me," she hissed into the phone.
"Next time April's on your case, who is going to speak on your behalf?"
A pause, then: "You sure know how to get a guy to do what you want, Zoey."
"No, because if I did, this loser would be out of my apartment. What I DO know is how to blackmail someone into doing something for me."
"How difficult is this one going to be?" he asked. She could hear him moving, probably gearing up for the fight to come.
"Ugh, he ordered a double scotch before the waitress could open her mouth and ask us what we wanted. He ordered me a wine that tasted like ass and finished it off for me before we left. Drunk as a skunk and really I could toss him out if I REALLY wanted to but…" She sighed deeply. "Please? This will be the last call you get in a while. Promise."
"Yeah. All right just… give me a few."
"He's standing there. Isn't he?" His silence spoke volumes and she understood. "Okay. I'll see you in a few."
Hanging up she closed her eyes and rubbed them. She was suddenly tired. Drained. How awkward it must've been for Casey to be speaking to his cousin while his best friend (and his cousin's ex) was standing right there. Zoey had to admit Casey did his best to keep the relationship strong but it wasn't until a month ago when she called, begging him to help her get a guy out of her place that'd hit her pretty good with a right hook, that their relationship started to get back on track after the breakup.
Two years ago, her world had been turned upside down when Casey arrived at their grandmother's farmhouse. She had no idea he'd been coming, and he'd had no idea she was there. Her car had been giving her problems on the way down so she'd driven it into the barn and put it up on blocks to check it out. One morning, she'd seen his familiar, beat up van pulling down the driveway. She'd been upstairs so the time it'd taken her to jog down the stairs, slip on a coat and shoes, and open the door was enough time for four, overly large turtles to exit the said van.
A declaration of being crazy, assurance from all that she wasn't, and her asking herself if perhaps she'd drunk a little too much tequila the night before and perhaps she was in a coma later… she was soon convinced she wasn't crazy and heard their story. Quickly she'd warmed up to them. Especially Raphael. Six weekslater they were dating and though at times they got into heated arguments they'd quickly fallen for each other.
It all changed the night Hun had wanted to come after her to hurt Casey. Hun had found the shell cell on her person and putting two and two together, dragged her to the Shredder, which may have saved her life. It was no question what Hun might've done to her had he not found the phone. Thinking of it now, she put her hand to her chest and frowned. She'd almost died that night, not only because of the blood loss, but because that was the night the love of her life decided that it was too dangerous to be with her.
Now, eight months after their breakup, she was trying to move on… without much success.
"Yo! You okay in there? You fall in or what?"
"Just a sec," she said, flushing the toilet for appearances sake. She washed her hands as well and was soon opening the door. She smiled at her date of the night. He was cute. Had a PhD in Biochemistry and worked in a lab in the city. Not once did he make her feel dumb or stupid… until he had a few drinks in him. Then he'd turned rude but some false hope in her still had her inviting him up for coffee in hopes of sobering him up and transforming him back into the gentlemen she'd met. BIG. MISTAKE.
"Look, it's getting late," she said. "Maybe we can continue this some other-"
"What's the rush?" he asked hands moving to her shoulders. She'd worn a strapless, red dress that barely fell to the knee. It was tight enough to show her curves but lose enough to enable movement. She was soon out of his reach but her skin crawled where he'd touched her.
"I'm tired. Call me tomorrow and…"
"I paid for our meal," he said condescendingly. "The least I could get for my efforts is a little-"
"Oh DO finish that sentence jackass and I promise you that what you'll get for your efforts is a fist in your face," she said, blue eyes blazing while her hands clenched at her sides.
He took a step toward her but a wild pounding at her front door had them both twisting their heads toward it.
"ZOEY! Let me in!"
"Oh no," she said, pretending to be a little scared.
"Who the hell is that?"
"My ex. Casey. Look, not that you deserve it, but for your protection, we're JUST friends."
"He's a little batshit crazy," said Zoey, rushing to the door. "Hold on." She opened it a crack then whispered so only Casey could hear. "Thank GOD you're here. I almost decked him."
Casey pushed his way in and the man she was on the date with balked at his size and took a step back. Casey pointed a finger at him.
"Who the hell are YOU?"
"NO one! No one at all… I, uh, needed to borrow a cup of sugar!"
"I don't see no sugar!" Casey's eyes narrowed. "You moving in on MY girl? Just cause she put me in the hospital last week don't mean I still can't come by to keep guys like you away from what's MINE."
"I'm not YOURS, Casey," said Zoey, trying to sound irritated.
"She put you in the hospital?" asked the guy, Darren, paling a little.
"Yeah. Cracked two of my ribs," said Casey who then pulled Zoey in for a one-armed hug. "Still love her though."
"Yeah. Right. Look, Zoey, about tomorrow? That might not work out. Ever. Sorry to have bothered you. I…BYE!"
Darren rushed out, leaving the cousins alone. Before, Casey laughed, but he was no longer seeing this in an amusing kind of way. In fact, he was starting to get a little annoyed with his cousin and best friend. As she closed and locked the door he went to her fridge, grabbed a beer, and then went to his usual spot on the sofa. He ignored her glare while he propped his feet on the coffee table, twisted the cap off his beer, and took a long swig of the beer while flicking the cap to the glass surface.
"Thanks. I appreciate you-"
"I'm gettin' tired of this, Zo."
"Excuse me?" she asked, hand on hip.
"This," he said, gesturing around him. "Coming here at odd hours to chase away sleezeballs you drag up here. He's hurtin'."
"HE broke up with ME," she said through clenched teeth. "While I still had a hole in the chest!"
"He was scared! Still is that he'll lose ya because of what he is and what he stands for! He has a shit load of enemies and doesn't want ya gettin' hurt again!"
"I know!" shouted Zoey. "But no matter what I said before…" She sighed, hands rubbing her face before she sank down beside her cousin. "He doesn't want me around."
"He was there, by the way. If you'd seen the look on his face when I told him you had a date tonight… like last time-"
"Last time?" she asked, perking up to look at her cousin. "What about last time?"
"When that guy decked ya, he heard you sobbing on the other end and the guy yelling… he came with me, scared out of his shell. Let's just say when I was done with him, Raph finished the job."
"What do you mean 'finished the job'?" asked Zoey, blue eyes wide with fear. She knew how Raphael got sometimes and if he'd been as angry as Casey… She shivered now just thinking about it. Never would she ever think he'd hurt her in a lethal way but some random stranger?
"His ugly mug got colored black and blue," said Casey.
"Why didn't you tell me this?"
"He told me not to."
"Damn it Case!" she said, fists clenching, tempting to smack him a good one upside the head.
"He's my friend! I'm not gunna rat him out!"
Zoey took a deep breath, ready to yell at him some more, then exhaled. The need to fight him left her immediately. This was something she promised she wouldn't do. She said she'd never pull Casey into anything having to do with her relationship, or lack thereof, with Raphael. Once again she leaned back into the couch; eyes closing as her energy suddenly went down to zero.
"I'm sorry. Like I said, you won't be getting another phone call for a long, LONG time."
"Good. Not that I mind knocking some skulls for ya," he said, his muscled arm pulling her in against him. She grunted, digging her elbow into his side before standing.
"I'm going to go change out of this," she said. "You going out tonight?"
"Nah," he said, rising from the couch himself. "Ape wants me home tonight."
"Oh. Okay. Thanks again, Case," she said and he nodded before heading out the door.
Alone, she locked the door, and slowly her forehead drooped against the wooden surface. She took a moment, breathing in and out, to compose herself. It'd taken her for a loop, she had to admit, finding about Raphael knowing of her assault. A small part of her was angry at him for getting involved, another small part of her was angry he didn't check to see if she was ok. Tears threatening to fall, it took all her willpower to not run to the cabinet and pull out the rum. Instead she blindly reached for the light switch and shrouded her apartment in darkness. Using the light of the city that illuminated the room she walked down the hall to her bedroom. Her hands went to the side of the dress to unclasp it but she stopped with a startled yelp when seeing a large turtle sitting at the end of her bed.
He looked… defeated. His elbows rested on his thighs and his arms hung limp. His gaze was focused on the floor but slowly he looked up. His amber eyes were piercing and almost glowed in the dark room. She took a step back, hand on her chest, trying to compose herself.
"What the HELL, Raphael!"
"Zo…" He stood and she was vaguely aware of the sound of his knees cracking. "How… how are you?"
"Fine…" She crossed her arms over her chest, looking away from him, but fully aware of him coming closer. "What're you doing here?"
"I had to see ya. Afta what Case said was goin' on."
"Well you saw me." She mustered her courage and hardened her eyes before staring at him. "Now you can leave."
"Zo…" He reached for her and she put up a hand to halt him. "Please don't be like dis."
"Like WHAT Raphael?" she asked. "Angry?"
"I came here ta talk, dammit!"
"Oh so NOW you want to talk! Too little too late!" She turned her back to him and turned completely tense when feeling his calloused hands on her shoulders. "Don't…"
"I still love ya," he whispered, one of his thumbs gently rubbing the skin at the nape of her neck. "Look at me."
She wanted to demand that he get out, that he go to hell and never come back. However, she ended up slowly turning around and meeting his gaze. He looked sad and her heart hurt, especially when a shaking hand came up to cup her cheek. It was too much and a tear she'd been fighting to hold in escaped, sliding down her smooth skin to land on his scarred finger.
"Don't…" He pulled her in and she automatically fell into his embrace. He felt softer, not as solid as he used to be, and she also noticed that his arms were thinner. "Don't cry."
"Raphael what have you been doing to yourself?" she asked softly, hands sliding down his arms. Her eyes closed as his embrace tightened, his face nuzzling against her hair. "Raph?"
"I can't do this anymore."
"What?" she asked, feeling her chest tighten.
"Stay away," he whispered.
"Raph…" She pulled away and since she immediately felt the loss of his contact she wrapped her arms around herself. She looked down, her dark hair curtaining her face. Two more tears fell from her eyes and she sniffled. She jumped when he touched her shoulder and she reared back. "No. NO! You don't get to just come in here and tell me this!"
"NO!" Running shaking hands through her hair she turned away from him to compose herself once again. "I begged you not to leave me…"
"I know." He sounded pained. "I messed up. I shoulda neva let you go. I was…" He gave a small growl and even though she couldn't see him she knew his fists and teeth were clenched. "Scared. Ok? You almost died cause of me! I… I couldn't let somethin' like that happen to ya evah again."
"So you left me, your GIRLFRIEND, who took multiple stab wounds to the chest to save you… because YOU were scared. Well ya know what, Raph?" She whirled around, anger sparkling in her eyes and she almost laughed at the terrified look on his face. "FUCK YOU! Get the FUCK out!"
"No. NO! You killed me, Raph. I died when you left me alone…" He reached for her and she pulled back and socked him on his beak-shaped nose. He gave a small growl as his hand came up to check for any sort of bleeding. "Get out."
"Damn it I'm tryin' to apologize!"
"Well you suck at it!"
"Zoey… dammit listen tah me. I made a mistake. Can't we… I mean I want…. I want us…"
She looked away, looking down at her feet.
"I can't. Not now." She looked up, blue eyes pained once more. "Maybe not ever."
Nodding, he backed away from her and went to the window he crawled in from. Some time ago, he used to come in the window and slide into bed with her after a patrol or a fight with Leo. He used to whisper about how much he cared for her and eventually how much he loved her. That he'd never let her go… Well, THAT'D been a lie.
Locking the window and drawing the curtains she waited a few moments before sinking to the floor, finally breaking down. Her shaking hands wiped the tears as they fell but more replaced them as her chest rocked with sobs. Suddenly feeling like her dress was suffocating her she practically ripped it off along with her strapless bra. She looked at her full length mirror and her haunted expression stared back at her while fingertips slid against three scars residing between her breasts. Shredder's metallic claws had almost ended her life and Raphael had walked away with the notion that leaving her alone would help protect her in some way.
Idiot. Fucking idiot! How dare he come in HER home and beg for her forgiveness now! A part of her wanted to make a fist and smash the mirror in front of her. Instead she slipped on a robe, walked back to the living room, and found the liquor.