(New York City – Abandoned Alleyway)

A sickly thin young woman scurried into a dark alley, shoulders hunched. With a grimace, she wiggled in behind a dumpster that had been her "home" for a few days now. A low, inhuman hiss passed her lips as a new wave of cramps rippled across her back. She collapsed against the pile of rags that served as her bed, praying that the pain would be over soon.

(New York City – Somewhere in the Sewers)

"Well, Mikey, if you're bored we can always go on patrol," Hamato Leonardo Splinterson told his youngest brother.

Said brother moaned. "But patrolling with you is sOOOoooo boring," he whined. The blue-eyed turtle had been insufferable all afternoon. The pranks had been numerous, and even patient Donatello had threatened to kill him. As always when the purple-wearing turtle lost his temper, everyone went into hiding.

Raph having disappeared, it fell on Leo to keep Mikey entertained.

"Want some cheese with that whine?" he half-growled. He had used a tone more often heard from Raphael, and it made Mikey yelp and shut up for a while.

They quiet didn't last long. "LEEEoooo…."

"WhAAAaaat?" he mimicked back.

"Can we go on patrol?"

"I thought I was too boring to go on patrol with?" Leo smirked in a way only older siblings can pull off.

Michaelangelo heaved a great sigh and rolled his eyes. "It's even more boring with you here!" he explained.

Unconsciously copying the younger, Leo sighed and rolled his eyes as he heaved himself up out of his meditative position. "Fine then, bonehead." Catching the excitable turtle unaware, he managed to get him in a headlock and give him a rough noogie before he strolled silently out of the dojo, looking for their sensei and father. "Mikey and I are going out on patrol, Master Splinter."

The old rat looked away from his "stories" long enough to say. "Be safe, my son." Leo bowed respectfully in response before he went to tell Mikey they were free to go.

"Come on, come on, come on, come on!" Mikey chanted, bouncing around his big brother he exited the lair with his usual grace. Suddenly he beamed. "Race ya to the warehouse on Sixth!" With that he was gone.

"MIKEY! GET BACK HERE!" Leo thundered. The fading echoes of giggles answered him. "I swear that kid's a dead turtle when I catch up to him…" he growled to himself, like many an older brother had before him. Little siblings knew just how to ignore orders meant to keep them safe.

Though Leo was a very talented ninja, Mikey was still faster. The prankster could sprint incredible distances. Being the overprotective brother he was, he feared some horrible fate awaited Mikey before he caught up with him. Unfortunately, tonight Leo's worries came true.

Leo put on an extra burst of speed when heard the sounds of fighting when he was about a block from his destination. Adrenalin started pouring into his veins as he pictured every horrible thing that could happen to Mikey while he wasn't watching his shell. He skidded around the corner just in time to watch the nun chuck wielding turtle go down with a groan and a thump. As the assailant and his buddies laughed and jeered, Leo saw red. With an almighty roar that shook the old, dirty windows of the warehouse, Leo abandoned stealth and drew his katana.

(POV Change)

She watched in horrid fascination and growing worry as the strange creature fought with the posse. They had been looking for her, wanting some "fun". Then, quite suddenly this turtle creature had skidded into the alley. The thugs and the creature had stared at each other, dumbstruck, before the hiss of "Purple Dragons" had sneered its way past the newcomer's mouth. A fight had promptly broken out. It was one the most random and violent things that had ever happened in front of her.

The orange wearing creature swung nun chucks with skill and accuracy, but he was vastly outnumbered. His battle cries were shouted in a very young voice, and his movements were too cocky. One managed to get behind the turtle and before she could call out a warning, the crowbar met the green cranium. The laughing and jeering that followed made her furious. Just as she was about to act (and do what, she had no idea) a deafening, guttural roar made the ground quake. She barely noticed the next round of back cramps as another turtle creature jumped into the middle of the posse.

This one wore blue and wielded twin katana. He was taller and broader, with more defined muscles than the first. Not that Orange's muscles weren't impressive, but this guy's arms were rippling. And he was furious. "GET. AWAY. FROM. MY. BROTHER!"

A groan made her look to the fallen turtle. She started violently. His eyes were blue.

Flashback

"Sissy! Kiss it pwease?" the little boy held up his paper cut finger to her, pain-filled blue eyes brimming with tears. The magical cure was applied, and he threw his arms around her. "I wuv you!"

End Flashback

She tore her gaze from the turtle in time to see the same thug from before lift his crowbar to finish his job while the other turtle was busy with the rest. "MIKEY!" the blue one howled. He would not make it in time.

Her legs had always been rather powerful, she noted detachedly as the thug crumpled to the ground with a scream of pain. She had scampered forward on all fours, the only position her screaming back would allow, steadied herself on her hands practically on top of the fallen creature, and swung one of her legs around to break the attackers knee joint in sideways. Now she crouched in front of the orange-wearing turtle, having a tug-of-war over the crow bar with the thug. In her food-deprived mind, the smaller turtle had been replaced with another blue-eyed boy - one she would do anything to protect. Fire born of protective rage strengthened her weak arms and she twisted it free of the injured man's grip. The clawed end of the tool came back at him. The criminal tried to shield his face, and the sharp claw nearly tore his hand in two.

Just as she was about to hit him again, the howling and crying thug was pulled away by his shirt and tossed bodily into the wall across the alley. He slid down the wall, and a trail of blood dripped down his slack face. She turned away from the scene and was suddenly nose to beak with a very pissed of turtle.