Ummm. I don't have MUCH of an explanation for this, but I have a teeny little itty bitty microscopic one. Will that work?

For some reason, I was reminded of TMNT. I don't remember why, even though it was only like two days ago. My favorite character when I was younger was Leo, hands down. I don't know why, but it was probably his leadership and sacrifice and guilt complex and whatnot. I was a strange child.

And since I can't find that old TMNT story I started and never finished when I was, like, thirteen or so, I decided to write a new, better one. And this time I'll include a character I don't really remember but have fallen in love with today - Leatherhead! I have no idea why I don't remember him being in the show. He's freaking awesome! And nice. Very nice... I like sciencey people, okay? But for some reason I don't like Don as much as the others. Huh. Oh well! I still love his technobabble and I still think he's adorkable.

So anyway! Hope you guys like this. It's the prologue, and it's written from Raph's POV, mostly from flashback form which is why it's in italic. In the rest of the chapters, it'll be third person though, and the views will jump around quite a bit, depending on which char I feel like writing a chappie about. The next one will have pretty much everyone except LH, I promise. Don't shoot because of that, I'm saving the best for last and you'll see why! (It shouldn't be TOO long before he shows up though, trust me, because I can't hold back writing him for too long, especially since it'll be the first time I've written him.)


I met her by chance. It was a dark night, and it my turn to patrol the city. We were on high alert for Shredder and the Foot Clan. And I found one... that was when it got nasty. I guess it pretty much came down to luck. That guy was having a good night, and I wasn't.

It didn't turn out so good, and I barely managed to drag myself into an alley. Well, what was I supposed to do? I had to stay out of sight. We don't let anyone see us, and that's how we survive. If anyone besides the people who already know us... I think you get the idea.

Anyway, it turned out to REALLY not be my lucky night. Just a few minutes after I was in the alley, trying to hold in the sounds of my pain, there was this shuffling noise and out came this girl, kneeling on all fours. She looked scared, and there was dirt on her face and arms. She was only wearing a tank top and shorts, but it was a warm night; she was shaking though, like it was winter. She had red hair that was tied back in a ponytail, but she didn't really look like April. Her eyes were blue, and wide, and looking straight at me.

She didn't scream. She didn't run. She just sat there on her knees, and kept shaking. Her lips were moving in a quivery tremble too, like she wanted to say something to me but she didn't know if she should. Like she was a little kid and I was a stranger, which I was anyway.

Eventually she started moving, slowly, and crawled over to me. She still looked scared, but she held up her hand and reached down and touched my chest. That was where I'd been hit, where I was bleeding. It wasn't bad, but I was already tired and it wasn't a walk in the park.

She got closer to my face and blinked at me a few times before saying "Ouch" while running her fingers over the injury. She looked at me for another minute - just looking, right into my eyes. Her eyes were still wide, and I couldn't tell what she was thinking, but it didn't look like she was really afraid anymore. I could feel her hands shaking though... still shaking.

That was the first thing I liked about her. It was her hands. Her fingers were jittery on my skin, but they had a softness that reminded me of my brothers and Master Splinter. Filled with care and maybe even affection. I wasn't sure why she'd be feeling affection for me when we'd just met, and when we were so different, but it didn't matter then. Nothing much mattered.

It turned out her hair was held up by a white ribbon. I know because she took it out and used it to stop the bleeding. It wasn't long enough to wrap around me like a bandage, but at least she could use it to apply pressure and ease the pain a little bit.

But her hands were still shaking, and they hadn't stopped, and I wondered why.

A few minutes after she'd taken the ribbon off and put it back in her hair (I didn't think it was a good idea to do that with something you'd just used to mop up strange turtle blood, but hey, what'd I know?), it started raining. So she held out her trembling hands and collected some, which she used to wash off the wound. It stung at first, and I had to grind my teeth to keep from snapping at her. She didn't seem to notice though, and it was probably better.

Finally, after all that, she scooted herself over and put my head in her lap. Then she started stroking the top of my head. "I'm Jamie," she said absently.

I remember chuckling without really putting any effort into it. Seemed like the weirdest, most random thing she could've said right then. "Hey, Jamie."

She didn't drop it. She kept staring down at me with those wide blue eyes. And she repeated, "I'm Jamie. I'm Jamie. I'm Jamie." She did that at least three times, alternating the word she placed emphasis on.

Then I realized what she wanted, and couldn't help rolling my eyes. If that was what she wanted, why didn't she just ask? Most people would. "I'm Raphael. You don't have to call me that, though. You can just call me Raph - that's what my brothers call me."

That was when she smiled for the first time, and her petting advanced heavily enough so that it was on the border of "loving". Then she giggled at me. "Raphael. Raphael. Raph. Raphael."

I gave up, and closed my eyes. I brought my hand up to rest on my stomach, and the hand she wasn't using to stroke my head grasped it. She held my hand like she didn't want to let go. Like if she let go, something bad would happen.

I turned my head toward her, and I felt two different textures. One was the rough denim of her shorts, and the other was the ice that was her skin. Her touch, the odd combination, and the sound of rain made me groggy, and I must have gone out like a light.

When I woke up, she was gone.

I probably should have told Master Splinter and my brothers about the girl... about Jamie. After all, she'd seen me and I didn't know where she went. She could have raved about it to other people.

But I didn't tell them. Jamie didn't seem to be in her right mind that night, and she probably wouldn't even remember what had happened. I did - she looked at me without fear, touched me without thinking twice - but she probably wouldn't have any clue what went on.

Somewhere deep down in me, I kind of hoped that she might remember, that I might see her again someday. Then the reality part kicked in. She wouldn't remember; I'd never see her again. It was just a weird, isolated incident.

Still, a part of me wished it would grow into something more... something meaningful.

I found Jamie again. It was three days later - my turn to patrol again, since we rotated the duty every four days. The last night it had been Mikey, and I knew he hated it. He got bored with it too easy if nothing happened. After I knew where Jamie was, I would have gladly offered to take up his shift. Only problem, it would have made him and the rest of my brothers and Master Splinter suspicious. Where was I going? Why did I do that? Did I actually enjoy going topside that much?

If I did that, they would have found out about Jamie. Then I'd have to forget her forever.

Jamie wasn't homeless. She acted like she was, and I thought she was, but she wasn't. I found her by catching a glimpse of a girl through a window that should have been shut but wasn't. I had to do a double take, make sure it was my Jamie. And it was.

She was curled up in a corner of some house that looked like it was ready to have a wrecking ball taken to it. This time when I found her she was wearing a robe, but under it were the same clothes I'd seen her in the first night. A black tank top and gray shorts.

She was still shaking. She was still shaking.

Once she knew I was there, she let me in. The door wasn't locked, which worried me a little. How could she live somewhere where she wasn't safe? Where she knew she wasn't safe? That had to grind on her sense of security.

This time it was me holding her, except she had to check me first. She knew who I was (she practically screamed my name as soon as I called to her from outside), and she wanted to make sure I was healing. I said that thanks to her, I was, and not to take that lightly because I didn't thank people too often. I'm just not that kinda guy, you know?

She was broken when I found her this time. Her will was shattered, and she spent the whole time in my arms and against my chest. She actually talked to me this time - really talked to me. The tears never stopped.

Jamie, my Jamie, had been tricked by something called drugs. I knew what they were, but I didn't know specifics. I just knew they could deal you a lot of damage if you took them a lot. And Jamie took them a lot.

She showed me her arms, the insides of them. I couldn't see them clearly the first time we met; I was in pain, not paying attention, and I was just concerned with who she was. Her skin was full of holes, where she said that was where she stuck the needles in her veins, to get the drug into her blood.

She cried against me, and I was sorry for her. She told me how badly she wanted to stop doing this to herself. But she couldn't. She tried, and everytime she tried, she got sick. The drugs weren't in her, and her body wanted them, and it made her sick enough that she went back to putting them in her.

That was why she'd been so out of her mind the first night I met her. She had gotten enough drugs into her system to be "high"; but she still understood what she'd done for me. She'd known she was helping me, she told me that.

I held her for a while, then I told her I had to go. The sky was lightening, and I had to be back with my family before sunrise. That was the rule.

Before I left, she stood up and touched my arm, and pulled me back over to her. She got close to me, and stood on her tiptoes, then she pressed her lips against my cheek. After that she went back over to the corner and sat down, closing her eyes, and told me now I could leave, but I had to come back.

I didn't say anything, and I left.

I really should have told my family about her, wouldn't you think?

I got comfortable with Jamie, and eventually I looked forward to seeing her when it was my turn to patrol. She always smiled when she saw me, and I liked that. Nobody ever smiled when they saw us, but she did.

She was always in that house, and she told me it wasn't really her house. The people who had given her drugs, it was where they used to live, but they moved. She couldn't go back and live with her own family because her mother had told her that unless she stopped the drugs, she couldn't live in the house. It turned out she had a younger sister, and her mother didn't want her sister having to see Jamie like this.

After about the tenth day that I was with her (which I think would have been almost six weeks), she started referring to me as her boyfriend. She gave me the weirdest nicknames, which I hated but tolerated for her sake. She still wasn't really in her right mind, after all, and it would be cruel if I told her to stop using them. They weren't that bad, as long as it was just us.

She seemed to be a little bit more like a normal person after that day. When I was there, she'd get up and walk around the room. She'd kiss me when I got there and before I left. She laughed one time, and asked me if I really thought I was her boyfriend just because she said so. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I just shrugged. "Yeah. Sure. We can be together... just can't let anyone know, right? Especially not my family or your family."

She grinned and agreed. She couldn't make any promises, she said, but she wouldn't let anyone know who I really was.

Then one day, I went to the house and was ready to greet her, to take her in my arms when she ran at me. Usually I just let her topple me, but this time I was ready to take it seriously. I liked her, even though she was flawed, she was nicer to me than any human ever had been, and I was going to be a real boyfriend to her.

But she wasn't there.

I waited for her until my patrol was over. She never came, and she hadn't told me that she was going anywhere. I was a little sad, sure, but I would keep liking her. She probably forgot; she did that a lot. She couldn't keep her memory straight most of the time, but she never forgot who I was and that she liked me.

Aw man... it's not like me to get all mushy, you know? That's not me. But I still haven't seen her, and it's been six months. Six freakin' months. I have no idea where she went, where she would have gone. I wait for her sometimes, in that same house. Hiding from the world and waiting for her to show up again. She hasn't come yet.

Hoping doesn't do any good. It doesn't make things happen. But I'm hoping she's gonna show up again, hoping she ain't just gonna leave me hanging like this.

I'm weird like that, you know? Yeah. You know.

Well! I hope you guys liked that. I don't have much of a note this chapter, since I wanna get jumpin' on writing the first.

Sorry if Raph seemed a little out of character; I'm just trying to picture him away from his bros for a while, maybe he's a teeny bit calmer if Mikey isn't annoying the crap out of him every five minutes. Maybe? I dunno. I think the ending seems a bit more like him, the last three paragraphs.

Anyway! Reviews are always appreciated, especially since this is my first TMNT story ever on this site.

Thanks for reading! ^^