AH SHELL! Another bunny has escaped its cage. Get back here bunny! Get. Back. Ugh, never mind… RUN BUNNY, BE FREEEE! ;p
Full Summary: After the death of her father, Emma is put in a difficult position. With a younger brother spiraling out of control and an unreachable mother, she is left to take care of the family business: only to find nothing but dirty money and the stench of Purple Dragons. Not wanting to be like her father, Emma does her best to keep the business legit but with the pressure from the Dragons and one disaster after another she starts to crumble only to be picked back up again by new friends. Why is it that two of her new friends seem to touch her heart in more ways than one? Can she save her family and herself from the jaws of the dragon?
Genre: Action/Drama/Romance… The usual when it comes to me…
Pairings: TBD… ;)
Rated: T for now, will bump up to M as story progresses I'm sure…
Series: Combo of 2007 movie and 2K3 series
Dis: Don't own TMNT
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
You made it so sweet
'Til I woke up on
On the concrete
~'Wide Awake, Katy Perry
As she lay sprawled on the concrete, the world moving at a slow circle outside her unfocused eyes, she had to wonder how it was she'd gotten here. How was it that she ended up shot and left to die in a pool of her own blood? There were many to blame, her own self included, but she was too numb to think of any names. Numbness was traveling throughout her body and accompanying it was the cold, wrapping itself around her like a blanket while the shadows moved in a frenzy around her still form.
Then HE was there, cupping her face with his warm hands, staring into her eyes: panicked.
"Emma? Emma!" He looked around her body, probably panicking over the blood she was losing. She had been able to feel the hot stickiness on her back and beneath her palms, but now? All she felt was cold. "You're going be ok, you hear me? You're going to be ok!"
Slowly, the world around her started to fade to white, and she stared up at him, his face the last thing her unblinking eyes could see before everything faded from white to black.
2 Months Earlier…
She stood over her father's grave, booted feet sinking into the sodden grass while the rain fell all around her. She had no umbrella, her loosely curled blonde hair now flattened and pasted to her cheeks and neck. Her hazel eyes remained focused on the block letters on the polished stone before her:
Beloved Husband & Father
Hands in the pockets of her red leather jacket she studied the stone that was more pristine than her father ever was, at least in the later years of his life. She had the good memories, like him taking her to the zoo or bringing her and her brother Joey to their first Mets game. The recent memories, however, were not so good. Emma Tate loved her father till his dying breath in Beth Israel Medical Center, but he had dark secrets that he had taken to his grave: and those secrets are now haunting her.
Turning away from the stone she maneuvered around numerous grave markers until she was back on track for her nightly walk, a walk she's taken since the night her father passed. Turning onto Delancey she jaywalked across the street to the rundown building that was her father's gym. HAD been her father's gym, but was now closed down due to the dealings Emma caught wind of.
Apparently, Edward Tate had been so desperate; he turned the gem that he'd built from the ground up at the age of eighteen into a place that spawned evil. Drugs, guns, you name it and her father had a hand in it with a partnership with the Purple Dragons. A partnership her brother Joey wanted to keep up because the money was good and he wanted to be in their good graces to join the gang. Emma had yelled and ranted at him for hours which only turned into him throwing a punch at her, her giving him a right jab that would have done her father proud, and Joey finally stomping out onto the street. She didn't know where he was now, probably getting into trouble somewhere, and she was at a loss as to what to do with him.
How do you control a sixteen year old boy who was high half the time and didn't want to listen to a word you said? She didn't know how her dad kept him in line for so long and her mother was no help, having shut herself out after her dad's death. So now, Emma was on her own, forced to take care of a mother that never wanted her and a brother who wish he'd been an only child.
His words, not her own.
Slamming the door to the gym closed she wrung out her hair before heading to the office. She narrowed her eyes when seeing the door she distinctively remembered closing ajar and she was about to call out when a noise behind her had her whirling around. There, standing before her, was John wearing his signature yellow and maroon trench coat with the Purple Dragon insignia running down both arms. He was leaning back against the boxing ring that was in the middle of the gym, arms folded over his chest: a lecherous grin on his face.
"John," she said, disgust evident in her voice.
"Hun wants to know if you've reconsidered his offer."
"No, I haven't," she answered, chin lifted, hazel eyes burning in defiance. "I'll tell you what I've told Hun: my father was a criminal and I want nothing to do with that life. This gym is going to go back to what it was supposed to be: a place for kids."
"See, that isn't the answer I was lookin' for, girlie," said John, pulling out his bo staff and making a show with twirling it around in circles. "Hun is losing his patience with you and business is slowing now that we don't got a meetin' place to do the deals. So how I see it is this: you reopen the place, or we burn it to the ground." He stilled the staff, looking at her with a smirk. "With you, little Joey, and your mommy in it."
Slowly he walked past her still form, a sinister smirk on his face. "Think about it, Emma. You're too pretty to kill."
Then he was gone, leaving her shaken to her core. Oh God, the Dragons just threatened her family. What the hell was she supposed to do now? She felt sick to her stomach and she fell to her knees on the padded floor: hands pressing to her face as tears threatened to fall.
She needed help, but who would help her? The cops? No, she knew of a lot of them that were paid off by the Dragons, her brother told her so. The other half, the GOOD half, were always sent around in circles, not knowing their brothers and sisters batted for the other team. She had no friends in the area, her bestie going to college in Florida and someone she hasn't talked to since her father's funeral. The last thing she wanted was to drag anyone else she knew into this.
"Hey, you ok?" asked a voice at the door, making her turn her head at a tall figure standing in the doorway.
Wiping her eyes she forced a smile while standing on now shaky feet. "Hey, Casey, how's it going?"
"Emma," he said, bringing his hand up and pointing his thumb behind his shoulder while strolling into the gym like he owned the place. Well, he WAS her number one customer, one of the few that came this time of night. Sometimes she wondered if it was to check on her and she would worry that he did it because he had feelings for her: if she didn't know he had a girlfriend waiting at home. Hell, he was the closest thing she had to a friend now, a good acquaintance that she didn't want involved in this. "What the hell was that scumbag doing in here?"
"I…" She looked away. "I can't get you involved."
"Da hell you can't. You in trouble?"
"Case, everyone knows what happened to you and your family because of the Dragons. I can't get you involved again. It wouldn't be fair."
"Trust me, Em," he said, friendly hand falling to her shoulder. "I neva got un-involved."
She stared up at him, her face pale and hazel eyes almost pleading. He wanted to help her. HE wanted to help HER. Never, never in her life has anyone put their neck out for her. It was usually HER that ended up sacrificing something to help someone else. Slowly her face crumbled and she brought up a hand to her mouth to catch the sob that wanted to come out.
With a curse, Casey wrapped a strong arm around her leather-clad shoulders and pulled her into his chest. What Emma didn't see was him looking over the top of her head, his angry blue eyes meeting a set of amber that flashed in the darkened shadows. The shadowed figure gave Casey one nod before vanishing from sight. Casey owed it to Emma to help her because she was one of the few in the lower East side that gave a damn and have stood up to the Dragons. Unlike her dad and brother.
He'd been patrolling, looking for some Dragon scum with his best pal, when they'd stopped on the rooftop across from the gym. Upon seeing that punk leave Emma's gym, Casey had immediately wanted to investigate: much to his friend's annoyance.
"C'mon, Case," said his friend, Raphael, a mutant turtle that kicked ass and took names. Casey had to admit that in his prime, Raphael was one scary sonuvabitch. He was what he would consider his best friend, the age difference never really a factor because they liked all the same things: especially putting punk kinds in their place. They've been a team for about five years now, whenever he wasn't out with his bros he tagged along with Casey, taking a break from all that ninja stuff and brawlin'. "We should be followin' dis guy instead."
"Emma's a friend," said Casey, pulling off his mask and bag of tricks and setting them on the cobbled stones sprinkled on the roof. "She's been through a lot. Just lost her dad, y'remember Tate?"
"The guy you were pissed at fer takin' bribes from the Dragons?"
"Yeah. Dat's the guy. His daughter, Emma, she's one of the good ones."
"Think the Dragons are pressurin' her in ta followin' daddy's footsteps?" asked Raphael, now interested, three-fingered hands bracing his massive body as he leaned forward on the roof ledge.
"Wouldn't surprise me," said Casey, gripping the top rung of a fire escape ladder and twisting his body around to slide down with ease like he was a fireman going down a pole. His heavily booted finally hit the sidewalk with a dull thunk and he had waved at Raphael before quickly crossing the street to enter the gym and find Emma on the floor.
Now, as she pulled back and awkwardly wiped the tears away, he knew he and the turtles would do anything and everything in their power to help this woman escape the powerful influence of the Dragons. She chuckled, turning her back on him and composing herself before turning back around, a fake smile on her face.
"So, Casey, mind telling me how you alone plan to help me battle Hun and his lackeys?"
"Well…" His face scrunched. He had a plan, but it had to be secret. No way was he going to tell her he had four mutant pals helping out. "I'll think of somethin'."
Emma smiled. "Okay."
Raphael waited for another twenty minutes before Casey finally made his way back up the ladder and to his side. Raphael tilted his head toward the building that was now dark save for a single window toward the top floor. He hated to admit it but hearing that girl cry had pulled something in him. Some sort of protective instinct Splinter always went on about when they were younger. For once, Raphael found himself WILLING to help a human other than Casey and April without a bitter taste in his mouth.
"So, what's her deal?"
Casey explained everything to him, making his hands clench in fists while Casey finished putting his mask on. The Dragons. Should've known since the Shredder was out of the picture for good that Hun would continue to wreak havoc in the city and its citizens.
"All we can really do is watch and wait," said Casey. "She's not taking that threat lightly, which is good. She's making plans to get her mom upstate. Her bro is MIA. A brat workin' for the same people threatenin' his family."
"Idiot," agreed Raphael, looking over as the light flicked off. "She stayin' the night here?"
"Said she'd rather stay here den deal with her mom and bro at home. Tate had an upstairs apartment."
"Convenient for being on-call fer the Dragons," said Raphael. "I now have a sudden urge to go find trouble 'n bash its face in."
"Agreed. Uh, you gunna talk ta Leo about this?"
"Yeah," said Raphael, turning away from the ledge. "I am."
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