Crash and Burn

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Chapter Eleven: Life Goes On

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"And our top story tonight. The possible killer of at least five people is off the streets tonight.

"Last night, a tenant at a Manhattan apartment complex called police to complain about the noise coming from his upstairs neighbor's apartment. When police went to investigate, they found a gruesome scene.

"Apparently, the man, unidentified but suspected of four other murders, took up residence in a woman's apartment while she was on vacation. She returned home last night to find the man, and his latest victim in her living room.

"The man attacked her but she managed to defend herself and incapacitate the man. He was dead from a broken neck when police arrived, and they are ruling it as self-defense. Although it is not certain that this is the same man who has been on a killing streak the last week, weapons found on his body do match wounds on the victims.

"Police are still investigating, we'll keep you informed."

Donatello was leaning over the back of the couch in the lair. "That was a pretty clever cover up story. You didn't even have to lie all that much."

Kali smiled from her place on the couch beside Raphael. "Thanks, though I have to admit, it did take a little... persuading."

Leonardo gave her an accusing look.

"Don't worry, it's not like I screwed with the guy's memory or anything. I just made him believe whatever I said. Would you have wanted me to tell the true story? About how I, a half-demon, killed a zombie with the help of my mutant turtle boyfriend and his three brothers."

Leo just gave her an I am not amused look.

"I think it was a wise course of action," Splinter commented from his seat.

"Yeah," Raph agreed. "And the police caught their murder suspect, so they can relax about it too. Um, he's not gonna attack the morgue workers, is he?"

Kali shook her head. "Nope. I took care of that. Although I did have to sneak down during autopsy to... convince the doctors that he had died that night and not a week ago. He won't be bothering, or eating anyone else ever again."

"Speaking of eating," Mikey interrupted, putting his hands over his stomach. "When's Casey getting here with that food?"

"As soon as you stop whining," Casey replied from the doorway holding three pizza boxes. April and Shadow walked in behind him.

"Finally!" Mike exclaimed. He dug in as soon as Casey set the boxes on the table. "Fighting the undead gives a turtle an appetite."

"I saw the news," April said, sitting down next to Raph. She patted his bandaged arm. "So, do we get to hear the whole story, or what?"

Donnie cringed. "Maybe later. It's not exactly dinner conversation."

Kali laughed, then noticed Shadow standing near her. "Well, hello Little One, whatcha got there?"

Shadow held out a stuffed dragon toy. "His name is Hassel."

Leo snorted and Casey glared at him. "I had to do something," he hissed.

"He's a very fierce and beautiful dragon," Kali said. "I'm sure he'll be a very good friend and protector."

Shadow grinned from ear to ear and went to introduce everyone else to Hassel.

"Come on guys, the pizza's getting cold," Mike said between bites.

***

A few hours later Raphael finished picking through the pizza boxes. "Party's over," he sighed, sitting back on the couch and putting his feet up on the table.

"So, where are you going to stay?" April asked Kali. "You aren't going to be able to go back to your apartment for awhile."

Kali sighed. "Yeah, I know. I was planning to move anyway so I guess I'll just get a hotel room and start looking for a new place."

"A hotel?" Raph asked. "What's wrong with staying down here?"

"Well, maybe for awhile. No offense, but I don't see myself moving in down here."

"None taken," Don smiled. "There's a building almost right above us looking for tenants. A couple people moved out because they were seeing strange things."

The group burst out laughing, except for Shadow who was asleep in Mike's arms. Splinter had excused himself earlier.

Kali shook her head. "Gee, I can't imagine what they could have seen. Thanks for the offer."

"No problem," Don said.

Mike felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up at Leo. "I need to talk to you," Leo whispered quietly.

Mike blinked, then handed Shadow to April and left down the back tunnel with Leo.

"What's with those two?" Casey asked, hiking his thumb in the direction they left.

Raph shrugged. "I don't know, but I think the she-demon here does."

Kali put on a look of mock innocence. "Me? How could I know?"

Raph frowned. "Fine, don't tell me."

"Okay, I won't." She gave him a quick kiss. "I'm going to bed. 'Night everyone."

Raph watched her disappear into the tunnel. He turned back to the others and looked at each of them.

"Go on," Casey said, rolling his eyes.

Raph flashed a grin and vaulted over the back of the couch to follow Kali.

April chuckled to herself. "Ah, to be a teenager again." She stood up and stretched as best she could while carrying Shadow. "We should be going too. We need to get Shadow to bed, and I've got work in the morning."

"I don't work 'til noon," Casey reminded her. He didn't even have to turn to see the look April was giving him. "G'night Don."

"Goodnight, you two. Have a safe trip home!" Don settled in on the couch and took the remote in hand. He started flipping through the stations to try and find something decent on. It was all news, infomercials, and late-night movies. He turned the TV off, he'd had enough of bad sci-fi. This had been one of their weirdest, creepiest adventures ever. But things had turned out all right, like they always did.

"Donatello?"

Don looked over to see Splinter standing next to the couch. Don thought he'd be in asleep already. "Yes, sensei?"

"Is something troubling you?"

Don clasped his hands together. "Not really. I just wonder sometimes, why our lives have to be so difficult. I understand the hiding and such, but it seems like we're magnets for all the weird stuff in the world. And off world."

"And you believe our lives would be better if this were not so?"

Don shook his head. "No, not better. Easier maybe." He looked over at Splinter, who seemed to be waiting patiently for something. "Truthfully, I don't think any of us would give up what we have for a "normal" life. Though I could do with a nice long vacation right about now."

Splinter smiled and nodded. "Goodnight Donatello."

Don stood up and walked around the couch. "Goodnight, Master Splinter. Sleep well."