HiHo everyone! I am very pleased to announce the launch of the first actual fanfiction that I have ever done that contains more than three or four chapters. I've worked long and hard on this and I hope you enjoy it accordingly.
A HUUUUUGE shout-out of thanks to my beta readers, Colonel Pop, GoodSmilesGirl and PitaFish! Don't know what I'd have done without you!
I don't own TMNT or any characters therein. So don't sue.
The story mostly fits into the movie universe. I haven't seen the 2003 TMNT cartoons, so I'm really only familiar with the films. I might incorporate things as the story goes along, but we'll have to see.
My name is Irma Rose Langinstein. Up until a few months ago, I had a steady job as a librarian at a university and had a nice, cozy, two-bedroom apartment, with the spare one turned into an office. I've been married twice, both to guys who would win any Scumbag competition, and I have the emotional scars to prove it. I'm in my mid twenties and I have- had, I guess- one best friend who probably now hates my guts. I may or may not be in love with someone who is not exactly what I was looking for but has a heart of gold and an honest, kind soul.
Oh, and I may also be trapped in a cell with no discernable door while screaming at the people who put me in here.
It's a long story. I probably have to go back a ways to explain fully.
I suppose my initial trouble started in High School. My parents were both professors; my mother had doctorates in Gender Studies and History, and my father had doctorates in Religious Studies and Philosophy. My childhood could be defined by lots of books and parents who believed that celebrating holidays and separating the sexes led to the downfall of humanity. So basically I grew up wearing gender-neutral clothes and never had a birthday or Christmas. I got to skip four grades thanks to their influence, but it didn't really seem worth it to me at the time. Or now, for that matter.
While in High School, I latched onto any guy that would show me any attention and did anything I could get away with. I graduated High School when I was fifteen, so you can tell that I had a pretty exciting pre-adolescent life. I went to college after that, met a guy, and married him shortly after I turned eighteen, which was also the year I graduated college top of my class. The marriage lasted about two years, during which time he took to beating me and spent our money drinking. The only escape that I had after that was grad school, and I buried myself in my work in an attempt to block out the misery of my home life. I wasn't about to get a divorce because I knew if I did, my parents would hold it over my head forever and use me as a classic example of why marriage should be outlawed for anyone under thirty five years of age. Luckily for me, it ended shortly before my last year because he got himself a bit too drunk and died in a fiery car wreck.
After that, I graduated top of my class again and went to work for my Alma Mater; there I met someone in law school who had a smooth tongue and clever fingers. I'm sure you can guess by now that my self-destructive attention-seeking habits landed me another winner. We had a Las Vegas wedding and (for me, another) two year-long marriage that could be defined by tons of excitement and crazy stunts. It ended when I found him banging a professor in our shower, although the divorce took ages to finalize. Fortunately, the settlement I got from it wasn't too bad so I guess it wasn't a total waste. Looking back on it, I probably shouldn't have been too surprised that it happened. After all, he was a lawyer.
Once that mess was over, I had a rather large check, a Ph.D. in Library Science, a family that was ashamed of me, and I still looked for attention in the wrong places. So I went to the Gazeling* University in New York City to become the Head Librarian in charge of acquisitions and purchases.
Honestly, I can't really remember how and when April O'Neil and I became friends. I do remember helping her research stuff for a story (she worked as a reporter at this point in time), but I don't remember meeting her. She says she asked me to find a book and when I asked her what it was for, I told her about five other books that would be much more useful. But I guess no matter how we met, we must have hit it off because we've been best friends for a few years now. We spend pretty much every Friday hanging out. Her boyfriend, Casey Jones, had to pass my approval before I would let her date him (she would have anyway, but it was fun for both of us to make him squirm a little).
I looked around and went on a few casual dates, but I was pretty leery of getting into a serious relationship with anyone at that point in time since I had already been through some pretty rough patches. Of course, I also dated mostly stable guys, which didn't appeal to my adventurous (reckless) nature, so I got bored fairly quickly.
Anyway, I guess this whole intro is to kind of show you that I have really, really bad taste in men.
The exciting stuff started about a year ago. I was working in the library, doing my own thing, when a familiar shadow covered my desk. I looked up to see my favorite redhead grinning at me.
"April!" I exclaimed, and stood up to give her a hug.
"Hey, Irma! Looking good. How's things?" she asked as she hugged me back.
"I'm terrific! You don't look too bad yourself," I said, as I cast my gaze over her. She had gone on another one of her excursions to find an antique or artifact for a buyer. She had done pretty well for herself as a reporter, but she was doing even better as an antique dealer, although she still ran her business out of that old shop that had burned down a few years back. I guess she just felt attached to the place to abandon it, and had poured pretty much every penny into repairs. Personally I'd rather have crawled through five miles of mud than live anywhere close to where my parents had been, but I had unresolved child issues.
April sat down on the edge of my desk, which was her usual perch. I sat on the other side. "Yeah," she said. "Just got back from Kuwait looking for some old statue of a falcon. Apparently it was a lot more valuable than it looked since I got a good deal for it."
"Oh, was that what you needed that book for? On the-"
"Legendary treasure of Ajer Kalid? Yep."
I couldn't help but feel a little envious of my friend. She had such an exciting life with a good boyfriend, whereas I had a boring desk-job and a showerhead. Oh, well.
I was pulled back from my thoughts when April said "Actually, I may need your help again. I have a potential customer hinting at me getting something for him, but I was hoping-"
"To get more information on what he wants beforehand? Say no more," I held up my hands and went back to my computer, ready to type in whatever leads she had to go on. "What is it this time? A golden idol? A Mesopotamian crown? A piece of the Holy Crucifix?"
April hesitated for a moment before giving a short bark of laughter. "It may as well be. He's hinting at getting something called the Fruit of Seiobo."
I glanced up at her curiously before typing it in. I read out the results to her from my computer. "Umm, says here Seiobo was a Shinto Goddess who grew magical peaches that granted eternal life." I looked back up at her face. "Does that ring any bells?"
She stood and came to stand next to me, looking at what my computer had pulled up. "Well, it certainly matches the Fruit of Seiobo part. But maybe he's talking about a work of art or something."
"According to the database, there's several books on Japanese art and mythology, but nothing specifically on Seiobo, with or without fruit."
April looked a little disappointed. "Rats. I was hoping that this would be something easy."
I laughed. "Since when is anything you do easy? Besides, if it were so simple to find these things, you'd be out of a job."
"True enough," April chuckled. Her purse suddenly buzzed and she opened it to pull out her cell phone. She frowned at the screen and then turned back to me. "Hey, I have to run off now, but you wanna do something Friday? I'm missing our nights out."
"Sure!" I agreed. "Night out or night in?"
"Night in. I'll get the food if you get the movie and we do it at your place."
"Done. I'm thinking Ori Palace takeout." I cocked my head at her sudden expression that said "ick". "Not in a Japanese food mood?" I asked.
April shook her head, red hair flowing around her face. "Not at this very moment, but I'm sure I'll be craving it tomorrow." She started to walk away and waved back at me in farewell. "See you later, Irma!"
I went back to my work, checking up on books and the status of things in the library, when I heard someone clear their throat politely. My gaze flew up and my heart stopped beating for a moment.
There, in the doorway, was one of the cutest guys I had ever seen. He had bright green eyes, slicked back black hair, a nice suit, and a smile that killed. He looked around six feet tall and though I couldn't tell for sure, I was fairly certain that he was toned under those clothes. He looked a little Asian, but I figured it had to be a couple generations back since he looked more Caucasian.
I suddenly felt very self conscious of how I looked. I had gone for comfort over couture in wardrobe choice that day; I wore a sensible but plain blue skirt and sweater-top, along with plain black heels. My only accessories were my watch and my earrings. My pink glasses didn't count. I knew I wasn't plain- although my brown hair and gray eyes didn't exactly help me stand out- but at that moment I was kicking myself mentally for not putting on some perfume and better makeup that morning. And a push-up bra.
I suddenly realized that I hadn't said anything for a few moments, and I fought back a blush of embarrassment before pulling out my Professional-But-Still-A-Woman voice with a smile of apology. "I'm sorry, my mind was asleep. Can I help you?"
The man laughed and walked closer. "No worries. I feel half asleep sometimes too." Good Lord, but his teeth were even whiter up close. "I was wondering if you could help me find a book. I tried looking myself but," he looked a little sheepish "I never have been very good at finding things."
I smiled reassuringly. "The only reason I'm any good is because I was trained. What were you looking for?" I was technically the head librarian, but we were short on help, so I also did desk work to keep things running smoothly.
"Well, I'm just starting at the University Art Department, and I'm planning to do a lecture on myth-based pieces of art. There was one in particular that I've been hoping to find out about- I believe it was called Seiobo's Nectar, by the artist Kaizo Shizumi."
I was surprised at the request. While it wasn't rare for people to sometimes look for the same topic, it was rare for people to come in looking for almost the exact same book. Especially something as bizarre as Bobo's Apple or something.
He must have seen the expression on my face because he looked confused in turn. "Is something wrong, Miss…" He stumbled a little at my last name and had to look at the name plaque on my desk for help. Plenty of people did.
"Lang-En-Steen," I pronounced for him, "And no, I just had someone in a few moments ago asking for almost the exact same thing."
"Huh, no kidding? Small world." He smiled at me.
I couldn't help but return the smile. "Apparently so. " I turned to my computer and typed in Seiobo's Nectar. A few different results came up. "It seems that we don't have anything specifically on this piece of art, but it looks like we do have a book titled Lost Treasures of Ancient Asia. Maybe that will help you."
"Thanks very much, Miss- actually, may I just call you Irma?" The man sent another gorgeous smile my way and I was glad to be sitting down- I felt weak-kneed. Of course, I couldn't let a chance like this go by and not take advantage of it. So I sent him a brilliant smile of my own (or what I hoped was a close second) and said "Only if you tell me your name too."
He held out his hand for a friendly shake and said "Ken Shinobu." My earlier suspicions about his Asian background were true then. I gave myself a little mental pat on the back. I took his hand in a firm grip and shook it. "Alright, Ken. Very nice to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine, Irma."
"I guess I'll be seeing you around then, since you're working here now."
"I certainly hope so," he said. There is a God and He loves me, I thought to myself. I dragged myself back to the present when he said his goodbyes and walked away from my desk to the front doors of the library. I couldn't help but watch him walk away. I was only emotionally scared, after all, not dead and blind.
*Author's Note: Yes, this is a fictional college. It'll make the story go easier, trust me.
I do realize that there is a disturbing lack of turtles in this chapter. However, I want to put in some plot devices before they make their formal appearance. Don't worry, they'll be around soon. I hope you liked the first chapter regardless! Reviews and constructive criticism are welcomed and encouraged!