Disclaimer: I do not own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All the characters and the original 2003 series belong to Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE (PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE STORY) I am so sorry for being gone so long and abandoning this story. Being going through some hard times, but I am giving writing another shot. I'm giving this story another try and I'll try to be more consistent with the updates. Those who been reading 'Spitfire', I want to say thank you for your support and I'm sorry for neglecting the story.

She had no idea why, but New York City is unlike any city in the world. Known for their Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the amazing pizzas they served. However, despite all these great things about New York, the one thing Mona Lisa loves the city for is that the city never sleeps. Someone is always up to do something, whether is to party while the night is still young or whatever. She was one of those people who like to live up on nights like this.

If only she was the type that actually steps out from her apartment and has fun like most kids her age. But then again, Mona Lisa Rockwell isn't like most people.

Mona Lisa sat at the old, antique desk in her room leaning over her notebook. She glanced at the alarm clock on her nightstand behind, 12:01 a.m. and she was already in her pajamas- a pair of blue sweatpants and an oversized Yankees T-shirt-her hair was tied up in a messy bun, and all of her makeup was scrubbed off her face. How sad was that? Hardly a glamourous moment, her friend, Irma, would probably have a stroke if she saw her. But trying to make a scientific discovery didn't require that much glamour at all.

Mona Lisa sighed heavily and tapped her pen against the paper in front of her. The equation on the paper was not yet complete; it was still missing the key to solving it. A way to regenerate a limb by using animal attributes and to improve human's health. This was a break through that she and Dr. Falco were waiting for, but neither of them was there yet.

Swearing loudly, Mona Lisa slammed her notebook and chucked her pen on the desk, not caring as it rolled off the desk and clanking on the floor. She was restless. The ticking of the clock felt abnormally loud, and the staleness of the air in her room made her twitchy. Drumming her fingers against the desk, and her knee constantly jumping up and down, she tried to think anything else beside that stupid equation. It was probably because she hadn't left her house all week, except going to work and running errands. She loved her apartment, but whenever she stayed in place too long, she kind of wanted to take off. No, she had to stay put and stayed at home, for mom. Groaning to herself, she grabbed the pen off the pen where it fell and opened up that damned notebook.

Her mom was the type of person who would worry about her daughter every time she left the apartment. Mona Lisa didn't hold any grudges against her mom's overprotectiveness since she knows the reason why her mom is like this.

Nine years ago was the lowest of the low for both Mona and her mom. One day, her dad left for a business trip in order to help a mutual friend of her parents. Then five days later, her mom gets a phone call from the New York Police Department saying that her dad was suddenly murdered without a warning. Her father's friend reported what he saw to the police and he said that an unknown mugger was the one who stabbed her father. The mugger waited for an opportunity to ambush them, then after he mugged them, the mugger made a move to stab the friend, but her father took the hit instead. The wound was so deep that they couldn't make it to the hospital in time. Her dad died that night in order to save his friend.

The police had no leads on to find the guy who did it, and so the case went cold. The man who her father saved that night- the only one who could identify the mugger. Disappeared without a trace and they never heard of him again. Her mother never got the justice she deserved of losing her husband and little Mona Lisa was cheated out of having a father.

Since then her mom had to be the provider for her daughter and work odd jobs at the St. Grace Hospital, while juggling with her own job as an ER nurse, in order to pay rent with no support whatsoever. To relieve any stress for her mother, Mona Lisa's job was to be the perfect daughter who never complains, make dinner, gets straight A's in school, turn in all her admission forms for NYU a few months early before the deadlines, and be the good girl who does not go looking for trouble. Hence why she hasn't left the apartment at all tonight.

If there was one person who suffered from all of this, it wasn't her, it was Irma. She tried to make plans with Mona all week, but Mona would always say that she was way too busy because of her job. Which was true, but Irma wasn't buying it. Every time she couldn't make it to go shopping or see a movie, Irma got a little bit angrier and disappointed every time she calls. Not only that, but Irma would always call her to interrupt her research and bother her by bragging how much fun she was having. Also, Irma never fails to say to her, if she wasn't such a nerd she could've been having fun, too.

Lo and behold, the annoying sound of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was blaring from her green messenger bag on her bed.

Slamming her notebook, Mona Lisa got up from her chair, and walked over to her bed where her bag laid because she will keep on hearing that same phone ringing if she doesn't pick it up and deal with Irma.

She rooted for her phone somewhere in her bag until she found it. "No," she immediately said to the receiver.

"Is that how you answer your phone now?" Irma's perky voice cracked on the other line. "It's no wonder you don't have a boyfriend yet."

Rolling her eyes at the jab, "I'm not going with you to that stupid party, Irma," she said. She threw herself on to her bed and letting her brown hair fall out of her bun. "I am way too busy at work, and if Dr. Falco and I don't find a way to make our break through work, the board will cut off our research."

"Great!" Irma's voice perked up at hearing the fate of her career. "Now you have the chance to spend your entire summer partying, and not be a total stick in the mud for once!"

"Remind me again of why we are friends?" Mona dryly replied. "And how can you joke when my job is hanging by a thread here? You know I need this job to get into NYU."

"Please," Irma drawled out. "You and I both know you were valedictorian at graduation, and that your mentor already gave you an awesome recommendation letter to NYU, so you are going to get accepted either way. And more importantly, you need me so you don't die as an old maid with your 50 cats eating off of your rotting flesh."

"Aww, Irma, that was so sweet," Mona Lisa replied, faking the feeling genuine affection of gratitude. "The answer is still no."

"Come on, Mona!" A guy's voice cracked from the receiver that made Mona slowly get off from her bed at the dawned realization who Irma was with. "You can't be a nerd for the rest of your life."

"Irma," she said carefully. "Am I on speaker phone?"

"Yup," Irma chirped out. "I need all the reinforcements I can get to drag your sorry butt out of your apartment for once."

"So you thought Jackson should be the one who should convince me to leave my apartment, and Jason, you dare to call me nerd when you and I work at the same building."

"Hey!" Jackson's voice ranged out in indignation. "I may be a nerd on the clock, but I still have a life, you know. But to get back on topic, Irma's right, Mon. You can't just lock yourself in a lab all day and go home to be a closed off hermit. What you need is to lose that librarian look you have going on, let your hair fall down, and shake that fine ass on the dance floor for once!"

"Yeah, I'm hanging up right now," Mona droned.

"Fine!" Irma's shrieked into the receiver causing Mona Lisa to move her phone from her aching ear. "Be a nerd, we can have all the fun without you, but let me make one thing clear-"

Mona Lisa abruptly ended the call before Irma could go on her rant. Mona Lisa knew she was going to regret it later and have to deal with a fuming Irma, but right now she had other priorities she need to take care of. She threw her phone back on her bed, walking back to her desk and scooted up in her chair. Mona Lisa reopened her notebook and was ready to get back to work.

Until a soft knock on the door interrupted her concentration.

Mona sighed heavily and yet again she closed her notebook. "Come in," a defeated voice drawled out from her as she leaned back in her chair.

The door creaked open to reveal a slender, middle aged Japanese woman in a blue robe with her black hair reaching down to the nape of her neck which her hair is combed to either side of her ears. Narrowing her gray eyes at her daughter's leaned form in the chair and giving her the parenting stare.

"I know I should be happy that I'm one of those parents that don't need to tell their kids to be diligent in their studies, but this is getting ridiculous." Her mom said as she stepped into Mona Lisa's room hovering her like any concern parent would do. "It's 12:15 in the morning, Mona Lisa!"

"You and I both agreed that I need to start pulling my weight around here after your last ambulance attendant job caused you to collapse at work and you had to be held at the hospital for a month. Which by the way, pretty ironic for an ER nurse." Mona Lisa stated as she opened up her notebook again only for a hand to close it shut again.

"It's not just my health that should be concern here." Her mom countered. "Honey, you need sleep."

"Sleep is for the weak," Mona Lisa quipped back when she turned in her chair to face mom. Expecting a full out mother and daughter showdown that was about to occur between them.

Her mother let out a musical sigh; she closed her eyes and placed a hand on to her forehead as she was almost blocking an incoming migraine. "I wonder what your father would say," Her mother said tiredly as Mona Lisa's face darkened at the mention of her father. "He, too, would never know when to stop working and turn in for the night."

"He would probably say nothing, he died long time ago," Mona Lisa mumbled, not bothering to look up at her mother's face as it winced and soon morphed into a look of sadness. When she finally looked up at mother, Mona Lisa felt a wave of regret of what she said. Her father's death was still a hard topic for her mother to even speak about, and have her own daugher callousing said her father wouldn't care about her when she knows her mother hasn't fully recovered from their loss was pretty insensitive.

"I'm sorry," Mona Lisa apologized to her mother in low voice. "I just-I…Look we need the money to keep everything float here. I know I have my scholarship and all to take care of the education finance. Except, the apartment's rent doesn't require that and all the remaning bills that need to be pay, too. I just…I don't want to see you in hospital again or have something worse happen to you."

Her mother didn't say anything in response. She just walked over to her daughter and gave her a warm, heartfelt hug. "I know, sweetie, I know." Her mother said softly into her daughter's hair. Mona Lisa in response wrapped her arms around her mother for a moment before breaking the hug by getting up from her chair.

"I'll go bed, as long as you stop giving me that sad puppy look," Mona Lisa proposed.

Her mother laughed, "Alright," She walked to the door, but stop at the doorframe and turned over to her daughter. "Thank you, Mona Lisa."

"Yeah," Mona Lisa murmured as she pulled back the covers and slide into bed. "I aim to please."

Her mother just smiled at her as she turned off the lights and shut the door quietly. As soon as Mona Lisa was left alone, she groaned softly and let her head fall backward toward her pillow. Her eyes were aching, calling out to be shut and just go to sleep, but that stupid, annoying equation kept on popping into her head and begging her to solve it for one more hour. Mona Lisa didn't want to go to sleep, but she knew she had to, for her mother. She decided to ignore the equation until tomorrow.

Tomorrow she will go to work, face Irma's wrath for hanging up on her, then go home and repeat the cycle once more. After all, tomorrow is a new day at least according to Scarlet O'Hara. She eventually let the exhaustion overtake her. Her heavy eyelids finally shut, and she drifted off to sleep.