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: Sorry about the long wait, guys! As stated before, I'm working on my MA thesis and I also TA for my history program, so school takes up a ton of my time. But, I appreciate it if you've stuck with the story this long and continue to do so. Here's to hoping it doesn't take me as long for the next chapter!
Thank you to IceColdFever, Lightan117, D'Fuentes, DuckiePray, I Love Kittens Too, pandasize, musichik, Sasami1, Trunksiyma, Piratecheif andFoxXxXxfor your reviews! And, as always, if you are inclined, please feel free to review!
"And I don't want the world to see me, 'cause I don't think that they'd understand..." Rebecca growled at the random shuffle of her iTunes and clicked angrily, sighing when it switched to a Nightwish song full of loud chords and screaming lyrics. She wasn't in a position to hear that song at the moment. She brought the Word document back up and began typing furiously again, throwing the cigarette into the ashtray beside her.
It was the week of Thanksgiving and while most of her friends would be going away to visit their families, she'd decided to forgo her own visit so she could stay home and get more work done. Her illness had put her behind a bit more than she liked and every spare moment she had was spent perfecting a paper or an argument. Over the last forty-eight hours, she'd had maybe about ten or so hours of sleep, intermittently choosing to nap and going through bouts of productivity and procrastination.
Ah, the life of a graduate student.
After typing about a page, engulfed in her thoughts, she glanced to her phone again, clicking it to show the screen and gave a strangled sound of frustration.
It had been three days since she'd last heard from Don.
She'd tried texting him, had even tried calling him several times and each attempt to reach him resulted in a voicemail and every text to him came back unanswered. While she certainly didn't need his presence or communication as a distraction, she liked to bounce ideas off of him. He had this particular way of quirking his mouth when he went to answer her and, as a way of allowing her eyes to readjust way from the backlight of her laptop, she'd taken to watching him work and he would stick his tongue out a certain—
She stopped typing again and stared at the screen. This was not good. This...this was not good at all, really. Ever since the night with the dance and the music and the look on his face...
Rebecca sighed and clicked to minimize her document. On her desktop, she double clicked and brought up another document, curiously entitled 'Ideas.' When she first made the document a few days ago, she decided to come with a rather inconspicuous title for it. Donatello didn't make it a regular habit to comb through her computer but there'd been a time or two the system acted oddly and he looked at it. She thought she might resist any temptation he might have to snoop with a boring title.
The document opened with the title "Pros and Cons of Don" scrawled across the top in large type font and what followed below was just as the title suggested.
The awkward dancing that occurred a few nights previous had awakened something Rebecca she couldn't quite get past. She often spent time complaining to her friends how there were no good men and that all of them were scum and douches. The truth was, that wasn't quite true...some just happened to be green. And mutant turtles.
That was the part Rebecca couldn't get past, though. Don was everything to her intelligent-wise she'd looked for in a guy, even if he was more into the sciences. They could hold conversations about her work and his for hours, even if she didn't always understand his at times. He grasped concepts she mentioned within seconds when she'd spent twenty minutes on dates trying to get them to understand the argument for her papers. He was everything she could ever want but—
He was green. And a mutant turtle. Two really big, glaring problems that took up the largest majority of the 'con' side of the document. It was hard for Rebecca to admit—she thought he was cute and could be so sweet but...he wasn't human. There was no way around admitting that—he wasn't human. And while she never considered herself vain or into looks, it bothered her on some level that he wasn't. They would never be able to be seen in public together, he could never meet her family...
She typed into the document on the 'con' side.
Could risk government experimentation
However, within a few minutes, she added more to the pro side without even really thinking about it.
Wants to actually make you feel better
Makes you laugh
Rebecca bit her lip, studying the list intently. To be honest, the pro side was much longer than the con side. But the items listed on the con side were important and she suddenly thought of another to add to the con list that summed everything up neatly.
No idea if he could return these affections anyway.
It was blaringly true—he didn't need to know she had these types of thoughts anyway and he could very much reject her just as much as might actually reject him. It was so complicated. The friendship line was becoming more blurry by the day and she was struggling against reasons why she couldn't at least talk to him about it—
A firm knock on her window startled her and her head bounced up, to look at the window. A familiar shape there stared at her serious, a purple bandana covering his eyes.
It was Don.
"My family wants you to come for dinner."
Donatello stood in front of the window that Rebecca had opened for him a few moments ago, his head bowed down. She stared at him, utterly perplexed, her eyes blinking at him behind her glasses. Shaking her head, she took a seat on the bed, confused beyond measure. She hadn't heard from him in three days and now...this?
"I'm sorry...you said what?"
"My family, Becca-," he gingerly moved from in front of the window and sat down next to her, quietly and moved her head so he was looking into her eyes. "They want to meet you. In an hour." He didn't add that Leonardo had demanded and that Splinter had very strongly urged the issue.
She blinked at him again slowly, comprehension dawning on her face. This was...this was a big deal.
"But, Don-," she looked frantic, gesturing to herself and her clothes. "I haven't even showered today and my hair is a mess." Per usual for a day of work and reflecting the middle of semester mayhem, Rebecca was still dressed in her t-shirt and boxers she'd worn to bed the night before. She'd never even bothering to change at any course during the day, despite the fact that it was closing to five in the evening.
He sighed, shaking his head. "You probably should get ready, then. You're going to need all the time you can get. I'll meet you in the alley across the street in an hour."
She stared at him, irritated and growing slightly angry. "You know, I haven't heard from you in three days and you come in here and drop this bomb—I think it's hardly fair. Do I even get an option in this?"
"No," Donatello answered, standing up. "I've hid enough secrets and told enough half-truths. It's time to come clean. Tonight." He sighed and turned to watch her. "It'll be okay, I promise...we're having sushi. You like that, right?"
Rebecca was in shock. "Wait. You lied to your family?! They never even knew about me? How—I mean, I don't-,".
Donatello stood firm, watching her. "We don't make a lot of contact with the outside, Becca—I thought it was fairly obvious." A note of sarcasm entered his voice but he grew serious again, taking a deep breath. "My family's protection is important and rather than just disappearing on you, we—I thought this might be for the best. Meeting them will help explain me—and them—better."
The thought scared her. Over the last three days, he'd almost considered ending their friendship, to protect his family? Panic immediately filled her mind—though Don had only been in her life for two months at most, she couldn't imagine him not being in it. Perhaps she could suck it up and do this for him, especially if it meant keeping their somewhat odd friendship intact.
"...Fine," she said, after a moment, looking at him again. "But you owe me for this." Rebecca stood, eyeing him and then punched him roughly on the arm.
"Ouch!" He cried, wincing and grabbing where she hit him. "That hurt!"
"Serves you right, you big jerk! Just talk to me next time, okay?! I thought you were dead or mad or...something," she managed, crossing her arms and looking to the side.
"...I'm sorry," Donatello said, after a moment, biting his tongue.. "It was rough, once everyone found out." He didn't mention the teasing from Raph and Mikey and the glares Leo shot him at every opportunity.
It was going to be an interesting evening.
He stopped rubbing his arm and came to stand in front of her, searching her eyes. "I...I am sorry it had to happen like this. But, it'll be better after this—you'll see. Now, shoo," he made the motion with his hand. "Go do what girls do to get ready. I'll be waiting."
"Fine," she stated, turning to her closet to stare inside. "I reserve the right to be pissed at you for awhile, though."
"Understandably," he said and then he gave her a swift but awkward hug from behind before ducking out the window and disappearing into the settling dusk. Rebecca clicked her tongue in annoyance and continued to stare in her closet in confusion.
What the fuck am I supposed to wear to dinner with a family of mutants anyway?
Donatello stood in the darkness of the alley, doing a few katas silently to keep warm. He'd stupidly forgotten to bring his coat in the chaos of the lair over the joint decision of inviting Rebecca to dinner.
After Leo cornered him the night he left for Rebecca's, everything had come out at once. Leo was angry and disappointed, that much was certain. He was even more irritated when he found out Mikey knew the entire time and that Raph even had an inkling of his own that something was going on. The morning that followed, during practice, Donatello had approached Splinter for a private audience in which he explained the circumstances surrounding the sudden but odd friendship he had developed with Rebecca. Splinter was slightly disappointed in his son but also comforted him on some level, saying he understood Donatello's loneliness and desire for a friend outside of their normal circle. However, he'd made clear that such secrets were to never be kept again.
The fifty back flips Splinter had also tacked on as a 'reminder of his actions' certainly didn't hurt things either.
The family then over the last few days tried to decide collectively how to tackle the issue of Rebecca, considering the increased presence of the Dragons over the last few weeks. Leonardo was adamant at first about avoiding her and possibly never seeing her again but Donatello wouldn't hear of it. Rebecca over the last few months had become more than just a casual acquaintance—she was quickly becoming his best friend. And then there was the most recent incident of dancing in her apartment...
He gulped, the image of Rebecca dressed as she was that night coming into his mind. It was hard to admit, even to himself, but he was attracted to her...and the attraction was not anywhere close to decreasing in his mind. Every time he replayed a conversation or envisioned her laugh, his throat tightened just a bit and he could never get enough of her eyes—such pretty green eyes and her hair was this different color than he'd seen before—
Get a grip, Donnie, he thought to himself, suddenly. Besides, she would definitely never be interested.
And to be honest, he couldn't blame her. He knew some humans were into odd things—bestiality, it was called. But Rebecca didn't strike him as that type of girl. Though she was intelligent and bright, she was also very normal and...human. Friends were all they could ever really be—not adding in the danger of seeing someone who was a ninja and had more enemies than the U.S. government...
That was another factor he didn't want to face, too—the danger. How many times had his family's friendship with April and even Casey put them in the face of danger? On many levels, he realized, he had been incredibly selfish in his pursuit of a friendship with Rebecca. Their very association could bring her into danger. He remembered the night he had rushed to her apartment when she was sick and thought, finally, the Purple Dragons had detected their relationship and he would never have been able to live with himself if...if-
Things were simpler this way, he decided abruptly. While it hurt to watch her sometimes and know he could never have her, he could adjust, he could remain quiet. And it would suck but he could get used to it because he would still be there...even as a friend.
He sighed, shaking his head to rid himself of the deep thoughts. No sense in dwelling over it because would never admit it out loud anyway. He watched the window to her apartment, noting some shadows of movement. Hopefully, she would be ready soon.
An hour had passed and Rebecca made her way across the street to the alley, holding a bottle of champagne she'd managed to dig up in the clutter of her apartment. She was dressed comfortably in a pair of jeans and ballet flats, a blue scooped sweater completing the ensemble with her windbreaker thrown on top. While it certainly wasn't your typical invitation to dinner, she would be damned if she showed up empty handed. She looked around the alley, trying to catch sight of Donatello's shadow.
"Don?" She whispered into the darkness. "I'm here..."
Rebecca jumped when a hand touched her shoulder and she whirled around coming face to face with a familiar turtle.
"Sorry," he said, raising his eyeridges at her appearance. "You clean up quickly." He noted the bottle of champagne in her hands. "Nice touch—I'm sure they'll appreciate it."
"I hope so," she responded, putting the bottle away in her large bag. "Now! Am I driving there or what...?" She held up her car keys to indicate she was willing to also transport Donatello as well.
He looked sheepish and rubbed the back of his head, trying to determine the best way to explain this. "Actually, we're going to walk," he answered, pulling out a black blindfold and showing the object to her.
Her eyebrows furrowed and she looked up at him again, irritated. "Don. Are we really that paranoid? I'm not going to give away the location! I wouldn't even know who to tell!"
"Doesn't matter," he shook his head, and threw the blind fold over her eyes, tying a quick and tight knot on the back of her head. "Leader's orders—we can't afford to not take every precaution necessary."
She growled at him from under the blind fold. "I swear if I didn't know you better, Donatello, I'd think you were trying something kinky with me."
He laughed at her, despite her obvious annoyance and lifted up the manhole in the middle of the alley. "You can trust me on that front, at least," he said, smirking even though she couldn't see it.
After removing the entrance to the sewer, Donatello knelt in front of her again, taking her hands and guiding them around his neck. "Come on—I'm going to carry you. Makes it easier." And you avoid stepping on anything gross in those nice shoes, he thought.
Carefully, as best as she could blindfolded, she attempted to wrap her legs around Donatello's large shell, letting out a small shriek as he stood up, clutching the area under her knees to his shell. She held onto his neck for dear life but he didn't seem to mind.
"I'm surprised you can carry all my weight," she said, joking lightly, despite the odd circumstances.
He began the descent into the sewers and he laughed at her. "Becca, you have no idea how much I can actually lift up."
"True," she said and she heard her voice echo in the large tunnel around them as Donatello leapt to the bottom and began sprinting through the tunnels. Rebecca moved her head around, trying to see if she could remove the blindfold so she could see her surrounding but it wouldn't budge—Don made certain it wouldn't move at all.
"Are we in the sewer?" She asked, incredulous, after a few minutes had passed and she heard the sound of water running in the distance.
"...Yeah," Donatello finally said. "It's going to be a little while—the rooftops are quicker and there's a closer tunnel to connect to the larger one but I chose the one easiest for you to get to.'
"Do you live in a sewer...?"
He snorted, readjusting her on his shell. "Sort of—we've made it pretty inhabitable. You won't be able to tell."
"So, those stories they always told about the mutant alligators are true?" She still sounded surprised. Although, when she really thought about it, she supposed they couldn't necessarily live in a nice brownstone in Brooklyn.
"More than you know," he stated cryptically, slowing down slightly. "Sorry—more water here than I thought. Hold on tight—I don't want you get your outfit wet."
"Okay," she answered, tightening her grip on his neck, lifting up a bit. His arms situated her higher and she winced, feeling his fingers get a bit closer to her bottom than was comfortable. Clearly, this evening was off to a great beginning...
"Tell me about your family," she said suddenly, as Donatello was concentrating on making sure he got to the driest parts of the tunnel. He paused for a moment, unsure of how to answer.
"They're mutants, like me," he replied, flatly.
"Most of us. My father is actually a-,." A familiar squeaking sounded in the distance in a drier tunnel to the left and within seconds, Rebecca was cutting off Donatello's air wave as her arms tightened even more around his neck and she scrambled up the back of his shell.
"Shit," she shrieked, clinging on for dear life. "Is that a rat? I hate rats..."
"Yeah, Becca, about that..."
She had no idea about what she was getting into.