Title: Chance Encounters
Summary: Odd relationships are built in the strangest ways. When Donatello assists a young woman with car trouble one evening, it sets an interesting set of events into motion.
Rating: M for language and possible adult situations.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, various publishers including but not limited to Image and Mirage Comics, Paramount Pictures, 4kids and Nickelodeon. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Only thing I own is Rebecca Maitland.
Author's Note: This story actually started about five years ago, in an unfinished plot bunny that never seemed just right. It actually deals with a situation a year or two after the events of this story. I always kept trying to go back to the first story and I realized the reason I wasn't able to finish it or go further was because I hadn't written this story yet. Hence, here we are. In terms of the universe I'm in, I do a smattering of 2k3 toon (no Utrom Shredder, though) and the most recent TMNT movie (2007). Shredder is dead in this fic but some parts of the Foot are still in operation. I will admit to you, the reason I write is because I tend to be more interested in exploring the complex relationships our heroes get into, rather than the action I know other fics concentrate on. For this, I apologize but I sincerely hope you enjoy this story—I will try to squeeze in some action when it is warranted and can help advance the plot. After that, please enjoy and review if you are so inclined!
There was no way to sugarcoat this, truly. No way to truly describe the utter and total hatred she was feeling.
Her motherfucking, piece of shit, basket of asshats and fuck fruit car.
At least it's not what she said out loud, but rather screamed inside her head as she stared at the smoking engine to her vehicle. Her father had warned against owning a car in New York City—stupid he said, idiotic and expensive to pay for the upkeep of one when you had limitless public transportation at your finger tips in the Big Apple.
Rebecca Maitland had always been a stubborn one.
She glanced at her watch, straining her eyes on the dark street and while she couldn't make out the exact time, she knew it was late and she wanted nothing more than to be home with a cup of tea in her small studio apartment. However, her car seemed to be having other ideas.
The night had started off normal enough. Rebecca had finished up a late night of research at the library, declining offers from her cohort to come out for a few drinks on Thirsty Thursday. Her apartment was only a short distance away from NYU by car and she only made it about a quarter of the way until the car had began smoking and sounding like a wounded cheetah.
And of course it had to stop in the one location in the entire freaking city that had street lamps that were acting up. Every few moments the lights flickered on and off like it were some sort of B-horror movie. She also thought she'd seen some graffiti of what could possibly look like purple dragons on the walls scattered around the deserted street and the only thing she could conjure in her mind were the reports on the news about the recent high levels of gang activity.
At that precise moment, the street lamp Rebecca was parked under decided to flicker out, leaving her in a blanket of darkness and she was only able to make out the shadows of the buildings around her and the other twinkling lights of New York City in the distance. Again, she glanced around herself nervously noting that, yes; there was still no one out on the street this late hour.
The city that never sleeps, my ass, she thought to herself. Why couldn't have Draco broken down in fucking Times Square?
Rebecca growled softly under her breath and tried pulling and tugging on a few parts in the engine as if she actually understood what they did or how to fix the problem. Her hand moved to feel for her cell phone in her pocket only to realize it sat in the car, along with her keys still in the ignition. She pondered calling her friends only to remember most of them were already three sheets to the wind loaded and certainly not in the position to drive. She'd cancelled her AAA membership years ago as an unnecessary expense. The idea of calling a tow trunk only made dollar signs dance in her eyes. Her fellowship from NYU for her doctoral program was a nice package but it certainly didn't allow for much room for things like tow trucks and new cars, especially considering the cost of living in New York City.
As she was weighing the pros and cons of calling a cab (The cost wouldn't be too bad but do I really feel like waiting for one?), the air around her changed ever so slightly. It almost felt as though she was being watched. Rebecca wrinkled her nose and looked up from where she had been staring at the dark engine of her vehicle in silent contemplation to examine the semi-silent street. She half expected someone to step out from one of the alleys on the small back street but she didn't see anyone in the shadows on the street. Cars beeped and honked in the distance, with a siren or two—the usual sounds of the city but she could not make out the obvious sounds of a person on the street. Frowning, she looked up towards the rooftops and then shook her head at herself.
No one there, Rebecca. You've been spending far too much time with Frankenstein and Edgar Allan Poe lately.
Her mouth and her fingers suddenly itched for a cigarette and she was tempted to pull out the pack of cigarettes she kept in her car for these types of emergencies. Sighing, she closed the hood of her car with a large thump. Screw it—she'd just have to walk home and deal with this in the morning. Sabrina could probably give her a ride to come and get the car tomorrow—Rebecca was thankful her schedule had worked out so she didn't have classes on Fridays.
The soft sound made her pause, slightly startled and surprised. It had sounded like it had just come from behind her. But there hadn't been anyone on the street a few minutes ago...her blood froze as more images from the evening news flooded her mind. Rapes and muggings—always common in New York, right? That's why the SVU show was so popular—it depicted the actual gritty reality of the city that people never remembered.
Her fingers danced over the mirror on the driver's side of her car—if she moved quickly, she could rip her keys out of the car and aim her pepper spray at her would-be assailant and maybe, maybe then she could run for it and make it back to the university—it really couldn't be that far—
"I can fix that for you."
A male voice broke through Rebecca's fear warped mind and she mindlessly began groping for her car door—she just had to grab the keys. A scream was beginning to work its way through her throat and the starting pitches were about to come out. Her hand slipped on the handle and she decided to just leave it—better to save her ass than to be grabbed from behind while trying to reach her only possible weapon.
Suddenly, before she could break into a run, a hand wrapped around her waist, tugging her back to something that was hard—almost like a chest and a hand clamped down her mouth, muffling the screams that emerged. She began struggling against the massive, wide form behind her, attempting moves she had learned in a self defense class she'd taken during her undergrad years. Each move did nothing to loosen the male's hold on her and she desperately began trying to bite the hand holding her mouth.
"Hey! Hold it! Come on—I'm not going to hurt you!" A voice sounded against her ear and she would have snorted had she not been so completely terrified. Of course he wasn't going to hurt her—he was just going to suffocate her to death with his giant hand and then probably rob her and, then—
Well, she didn't want to think about that.
"Please," the voice spoke again. The owner of it lifted her clear off the ground like she weighed less than a pound and shook her gently. "You have to calm down. This is well known Purple Dragon territory and they've been involved in a turf war lately with some of the smaller gangs. Do you really want to draw more attention to yourself?"
Rebecca's struggles slowed and she shook her head no, softly, which the male could feel from his hand on her face.
"Alright, good. Now, listen to me." The hand around her waist loosened a bit but he still kept a firm grip on her mouth. "I'm going to fix your car for you so you can be on your way home and out of here. Do you have a mini toolkit or anything in your car? And maybe a water bottle?"
She nodded slowly, still uncertain of the male's actions.
"Good. Few more rules. I'm going to let go of you in a moment and you can get what you need out of your car. First rule—no screaming. At all. Second rule—you can't look at me. Keep your back turned and hand me what you need."
Rebecca frowned inwardly for a minute. Was this some weird perv who got his kicks helping damsels in distress by having them not look at him? There had been weirder in the world, she supposed. As long as he doesn't go back on his word, she thought to herself. In spite of her doubt, she nodded again to indicate she'd follow his instructions.
"Excellent. I...I am sorry about having to do it this way but—well, if you could-," the male stopped and sighed trying to recollect his thoughts. "Anyway, it doesn't matter." He released his hold on her and stepped back, watching the young woman for a moment to see if she was going to keep her promise. After a long minute passed, with Rebecca breathing heavily and waiting for the possible wrench to crack in her in the skull, there was nothing and the male spoke again. "Good—you can listen. Grab the toolkit and the bottle of water from your car. I'm going to stand back. I'll step up behind you and take them—just hold them."
"O-okay," Rebecca said the words hesitatingly, still not entirely trusting the man. There was something so fundamentally wrong with this entire situation that she could not put her finger on it. Shakily, in spite of her nerves and the adrenaline still coursing through her, she went to her car and methodically pulled out the tool kit her father had insisted she keep and the half full bottle of water resting in the cup holder. For a brief second, she contemplated pulling her keys out of the ignition to grab her pepper spray and use it on her almost-savior but something told her he'd know if she reached for it and at this moment, she was really just looking to get out of here alive.
Carefully, she walked backwards, feeling the male's eyes on her the entire time and held the requested items out behind her, trembling slightly.
"Thank you," the voice said simply. She felt the items leave her hands swiftly. Out of the corner of her eye, Rebecca could see the shadow move to the front of her car and prop open the hood with a familiar squeak. She stood awkwardly in the middle of the street, studying the possible shadow of a nasty graffiti message on a brick building. What did one say to a possible friendly stranger whose first action had been to scare the poop out of her?
She opened her mouth and then closed it and opened it again before she could stop the words from leaving her mouth.
"Do you do this often?" Her voice was oddly quiet—it was said almost in a whisper and she doubted he even heard her.
The scraping of metal and muttering stopped for a moment and he spoke back, surprising her. "Fixing things, yes. Rescuing women—not nearly as often as I'd like. Although, you didn't really need saving." He paused, thinking. "Yet."
Hmm. Her rescuer had a sense of humor—a pleasant surprise. Tonight was full of those surprises. She wondered for a fleeting second if the sky would rain money, because it would make a bit more sense to her than what was currently happening.
She spoke again, her breath hitching from an early fall chill that blew past her. "Are you a cop? Or were you in the army or something? You were...you seemed strong." What an odd conversation to be having, she thought. I was never good at small talk.
He chuckled lightly, continuing on with his tinkering. "Neither of the above. Consider me a...watcher."
"Gang member?" This was becoming a game, she realized. Trying to guess who he was without actually looking. Her eyes strained a bit to try to glimpse a better look at him but he was now completely hidden by the hood of her car, bent over in his ministrations.
"Heck no." He sounded mildly offended. "Far from it. Good—not evil."
"Ah," she said, biting her lip, pondering. A scattered memory bubbled up in her mind. There had been a few scattered news reports over her last year living in the city. Reports of vigilantes handling the ever increasing gangs and crime with more action and force than the police. The...Phantoms? Is that what they were called? Her mind struggled to remember.
"Vigilante?" The word floated out of her mouth and his long pause made her think she'd finally won.
"...You could say that." It was all he said and she heard the continued scrapings of metal.
"I haven't lived here very long—only a year," she blinked at herself, giving away completely unsafe and unnecessary information. "They say on the news—there's this group the police can't identify but some people really like them. The...Phantoms?"
Something clattered to the ground at that and was quickly picked back up to cover up the obvious slip.
"Your point?" He sounded annoyed now.
"...Are you one of them?"
The silence between them stretched longer than the previous pause. The air around them had changed, from cautious teasing to tense and stressed. She scolded herself in her head—always pushing too far and having to be nosy. The guy was already doing her a favor and this was how she repaid him by interrogating him.
"I'm almost done," his voice made her jump and it wasn't the same teasing tone it had been before. "You can sit in your car. I'll tell you when to start it." He paused again, tinkering. "No looking."
Rebecca nodded, despite the fact that he more than likely couldn't see her. She walked over and sat in the driver's side of her car, taking a quick peek in front of her only to see he was still blocked by the hood. Her gaze drifted over the passenger side and she concentrated her eyes on the dark stain from the coffee she'd had earlier that week.
"Done," he said and she could hear him move away from the hood of the car. "Couple of cables were disconnected and it was overheated. Should probably get something more reliable or get rid of the whole thing all together." A dig and he sounded like her father. Just what she needed.
She growled softly under her voice and her hand felt its way to the ignition to start the car again. It roared to life after a minute or so, not sounding as much like a wounded cheetah but a dying squirrel. She'd take it.
Rebecca hadn't noticed if he had closed the hood. She was so concentrated on getting out of there and taking a long, deserving soak in her bathtub with a glass of cheap wine that she flicked her headlights on without a second thought. Out of habit, she glanced up to notice her hood was closed and...
A pair of dark brown eyes stared back at her, widening, bright and obvious from the light of the headlights. The eyes seemed to be covered by some...was that a purple mask? And was it...it had green skin?
Some...something stared back at her in utter shook. They both stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity before the creature turned around and took off, climbing up a drain pipe effortlessly. From there it leaped onto a roof and Rebecca could see it no more.
She sat there for a moment, mouth gaping open in a silent scream as her mind replayed the image over and over again.
Her savior...rescuer, whatever—was a giant fucking turtle?