Enemy of my Enemy
Miwa paced a little across the rooftop, fingering the kunai in her hand. She glanced around at her brothers, as though to make sure she wasn't alone up there. Raph stood with his arms crossed and that permanent frown on his face. Mikey sat cross-legged on the ground, playing a game on his phone. Donnie stared at his T-phone, typing in things and pushing buttons now and then. Leo stared through a telescope at the TCRI building many blocks away.
Miwa sighed. "Anything, Leo?"
"Nothing happening at TCRI." Leo reported.
"Yet." Donnie corrected.
"This game is awesome!" Mikey sighed, staring at his T-phone screen. "The combat is so realistic!"
Raph marched up to his baby brother and glared down at him. "Well you want me to make it more realistic?"
"Guys!" Leo snapped. "Stop messing around!"
"According to the Kraang storage device that I decrypted," Donnie explained. "Some kind of scouting ship is coming through the Kraang portal tonight."
"Scouting ship?" Miwa asked. "What would they need a scouting ship for? They know their mission; they've certainly spent enough time on Earth to iron out the details."
"They didn't count on spilling mutagen on a human and his four pet turtles." Donnie noted with a smirk. "Now that they know we're a threat, they won't stop until we're eliminated."
"So we all have to stay alert." Leo said, looking right at Mikey as he continued to play his game.
"Yeah, you never know what could sneak up on ya."
Everyone looked up to the small tower beside them to see a familiar figure standing on top, tall and proud. She leaped up, flipped in the air, and landed softly on the ground mere feet from the Turtles, standing with her hand on her sword and smirking.
Leo laughed mockingly. "Cute, Karai. But I'm not in the mood." Karai still smirked, even when she drew her tantō sword and swiped it at Leo. The blue-masked turtle drew his katanas and blocked her attacks, jumping back and away from her. "We don't have time for this. Guys!"
Mikey, Donnie, and Raph drew their weapons. Mikey called, "Booyakasha!" as they charged for Karai, only for the konoichi to block Donnie's staff, jump up onto his shell, and kick off him, landing a safe distance away.
"'Booyakasha'?" Karai laughed, resting her blade on her shoulder. "What does that even mean?"
"I don't know." Mikey shrugged. "But it's fun to yell!" He threw his kusarigama chain towards Karai, but she grabbed the chain and yanked him forward, kicking him aside when he got close enough. She raised her blade to stop Leo's attack, smiling craftily as her golden brown eyes locked with Leo's ocean blue ones.
"You really know how to make a girl feel welcome." Karai sassed. They pushed apart, and Leo glared at her. But Karai held her smirk. "I heard the scrawny one mention the Kraang. What's going on?"
"None of your business!" Leo snapped, running back into battle.
"And I'm not scrawny!" Donnie added as he and the others joined in the battle.
Karai jumped over Mikey, Leo, and Donnie and ended up clashing blades with Raph and Miwa. She easily knocked Raph aside and held up her tantō to block Miwa's attacks. "Why little Kuro! What a nice surprise."
"Knock it off, Karai!" Miwa snapped, pushing her sister back a few feet. "We seriously don't have time for this right now, so why don't you just go back and tell Shredder we're a bit busy to worry about his lunacy?"
"Aw, come on; let me in on the fun!" Karai pleaded teasingly.
"Look, we're a little busy trying to stop the beginning of an alien invasion here!" Raph yelled. "So do us a favor and get lost!"
Karai's smile disappeared. "An alien invasion? Are you serious?"
"Yes, we're serious!" Miwa snapped. "Now please get out of here before—" Suddenly, she noticed a pinkish-purple light shining on Karai's face, and everyone turned towards the TCRI building as a set of double doors opened near the roof. Something large and round emerged from the doors, sleek and silver and glowing with those same pinkish-purple lights that only came from the Kraang. Three tentacle-like things waved around on the bottom and it had a sort of eye-like bulb on the front. It floated through the air, straight for the ninjas as they stared in shock.
"This can't be good." Leo noted. Even Karai looked shocked, maybe even afraid, as the giant "scouting ship" Donnie mentioned earlier came right for them.
"Um, guys?" Mikey gulped. "I think I need to change my shell."
The ship slowed down a little, but it didn't stop its advance. A Kraang's robot voice came from inside, over a sort of speaker. "The ones who are called Turtles have been detected by the scanner which scans for turtles. They are knowing too much of Kraang's plan. Attack."
"Oh brilliant." Miwa groaned as they started backing up.
"I hope you have a plan for fighting that thing." Karai said.
Leo scoffed nervously. "Of course I do. Step one…." The ship suddenly fired a sort of pink lightning bolt at the group. "Run!" They took off across the rooftops, the Kraang ship in hot pursuit. They jumped when the ship fired at them again, the shockwave making their jumps higher. They scurried down a fire escape to street level and continued their run while the Kraang ship scanned the area for them.
"What the heck was that?" Karai panted as they ran.
"I don't know." Leo admitted. "But off the top of my head, I'd say they use it for flying and shooting at things."
"Things like us!" Miwa added, sprinting past them. "Now move it!" She darted ahead into the streets for a moment before finding another alley and ducking around a corner, blending into the shadows. She listened for the Kraang ship and pulled out a kunai. She didn't know what she could hit with a small knife, but she might just get its attention and draw it away from her brothers. She heard the ship coming, but she also heard panting and hurried footsteps. She sheathed her kunai and suddenly reached out, snatching Karai's arm and pulling her into the alley. They pressed themselves again the graffiti-covered wall, watching the Kraang scan the area. Seconds later, a commotion arose down the street, indicating the Kraang found the Turtles again.
"I gotta help them." Miwa started out, but Karai grabbed her and held her back.
"Are you crazy?" Karai demanded. "That thing will kill you!"
Miwa jerked her hand free and pushed Karai a little farther into the shadows. "Karai, you listen good and well. You have to get out of here. Stay away from the Kraang. They're dangerous."
"So is the Shredder, but the Turtles aren't afraid of him." Karai noted.
"Because Shredder's vendetta doesn't involve mutating everyone on the planet and then taking it over!" Miwa snapped. She pinched the bridge of her nose. "Look, we will talk about this more later. I'll meet you in our usual spot, okay?"
"Kuro, you can't take on the Kraang alone." Karai protested. "I know the threat now, and I bet you anything the Foot Clan can help!"
"I highly doubt the guys will want help, especially from the Foot Clan." Miwa countered. "Moreover, how do you know Shredder will even agree to help?"
"Because I'm sure Shredder understands the idea of staying alive!" Karai snapped.
Miwa opened her mouth to snap back, but she noticed flashing lights and heard police sirens. "We'll talk later, all right? Just stay out of our way and stay away from the Kraang." She turned and hurried off, leaving Karai in the shadows, and slipped down into a manhole before anyone could notice. She sighed and untied her mask from her eyes, wrapping it in its usual place around her wrist. She steadily made her way through the sewers, towards the lair where her brothers and father most likely waited.
She allowed her thoughts to drift back to Karai and Shredder. Karai, Dogpound, and Xever continued to call her "Kuro", despite no longer going by that name. Or did she? After all she wouldn't correct them. For fifteen years, she went by the name of "Kuro" and lived as a Foot Ninja. So it was natural that she goes by that name and even responds to it. Sometimes, Miwa wondered what would happen if she never left the Foot Clan; if she decided to kill Splinter when she had the chance. But she knew for a fact that wasn't possible. After all, it was far too late for that now. Unless Leo continued to harass her about her past with the Shredder and Karai. Leo never liked that Miwa once worked for the Foot. In fact, whenever they fought (which happened more often than not) he always brought up her past as Kuro.
It got old fast.
Miwa took a breath to calm herself, realizing her fists clenched during her thoughts. She rounded the corner and jumped over the turnstiles, listening to her brothers talk.
"So what are we waiting for?" Raph demanded. "Let's load up the Shellraiser and challenge that thing to a rematch!"
"You want to take that hunk of metal and pit it against an alien spaceship?" Miwa scoffed as she approached. "What are you going to do? Shoot a bunch of garbage at it?"
"That's not even our biggest concern." Leo noted. "First, we need a way to find a ship that invisible!"
Yes, Leo, I'm all right. Thanks for asking. Miwa huffed, blowing her bangs out of her eyes. But Mikey looked genuinely concerned, so she flashed him an assuring smile that let him know she was fine. He looked much more relieved, smiling broadly as usual.
"I know!" Raph said in a voice that dripped with sarcasm. "How about we shoot into the air till we hit it?"
"That doesn't sound too smart." Leo said.
"Yeah Raph." Mikey smirked. "Not too smart, buddy." He yelped when Raph held up a fist threateningly.
"Actually, Raph's got something there." Donnie admitted.
"Yeah, Leo." Mikey said. "Raph's got something there."
"Did you hit your head on the way down here?" Miwa asked.
"But instead of shooting objects," Donnie clarified. "We'll shoot waves of electromagnetic radiation. In other words: radar. I've built some radar beacons we can set up around town. If the ship gets near us, I'll get an alarm on my T-phone."
"Good work, Donnie." Leo complimented. "Come on, guys. Let's split up and place those beacons."
"I'll take the west side." Miwa offered.
"Mikey!" Leo snapped as his younger brother hung back.
"Loosen your kneepads, Leo!" Mikey called as he followed his siblings.
Miwa hooked the metal strainer with the blinking light—er, the beacon, to the grate of the air vent, making sure it stayed secure. When she felt satisfied, she nodded curtly and dialed Donnie. "Beacons installed and ready to go."
"Great." Donnie said over the speaker. "I'll check in with Leo and meet you guys back at the lair. Raph and Mikey should be about done by now."
"Copy that." Miwa said. "See you guys at home." She hung up and tucked her phone away into her pocket. "Karai should be here any moment now." She looked around, thinking she would spot her sister leaping across the buildings. But for a few minutes, not a soul could be seen; not even Leo as he set up a beacon a couple buildings down. "Come on, Karai, where are you?" Suddenly, the sound of metal clashing with metal reached Miwa's sensitive ears, and she spun around to the source. "Leo." She realized, darting towards her brother. She passed the beacon Leo recently set up and unsheathed her gauntlet claws, ready to fight.
"I want to help you fight the Kraang."
Miwa skidded to a halt and ducked down behind a vent. Karai? She slowly peered around and noticed Leo….talking to Karai. What the…?
"Really?" Leo asked, sheathing his swords. He scoffed. "No, of course not. We're enemies, you wanna destroy us, you're loyal to Shredder…..should I keep going?"
"Look, if the Kraang win we don't have a planet anymore." Karai reasoned. "That makes our little fight seem pretty pointless, doesn't it?"
"I doubt Shredder would agree." Leo said.
"Shredder is stubborn and short-sighted he drives me crazy!" Karai snapped. "His stupid vendetta is going to take us all down. He may not be able to see that, but I know you do. What do you say? Work together for now?" She held out a hand for Leo to take.
However, Leo only hardened his gaze. "Sorry, sister." He leaped backwards and disappeared, leaving Karai alone on the roof. She sighed, shaking her head and turning to walk back home. But when she looked up, she jumped and nearly ran into Miwa standing behind her.
Karai sighed in relief. "Don't do that to me, Kuro. You'll give me a heart attack."
"What are you doing?" Miwa demanded.
"What?" Karai asked.
"Making an alliance with the Turtles?" Miwa said. "Are you out of your mind? For one thing, the guys will never trust you. For another thing, what on earth makes you think this is a good idea? What is running through that head of yours?"
"How much of my and Leo's conversation did you hear?" Karai asked.
"Kind of all of it."
"Then you know my reasoning. And it makes sense, right? Kraang win equals all of us probably dead or enslaved."
Miwa groaned. "Karai, you've had some crazy ideas before, but this is just flat-out mental. Think about what would happen if anyone found out. What if Splinter found out? What if Shredder found out?"
"Shredder won't find out and neither will Splinter." Karai assured. "Because you and I are going to keep this between us."
Miwa smirked wryly. "I guess we are good at that. But you have to admit this is dangerous. It's bad enough that Leo's grilling me about my involvement with the Foot Clan. If any of them find out that we're meeting once a week, they'll flip out. We're not supposed to be seen together when we're not fighting."
Karai's smile shrunk. "Kuro, why can't you just come home? Come back where you belong?"
"Karai, you know why I can't do that." Miwa said.
"Because you, for some bizarre reason, feel a connection to the Turtles?" Karai snapped.
"Here's a better reason: because Shredder would kill me!" Miwa snapped back. "I stabbed that guy and then threw him out a window! You think he's going to accept me back in two seconds?" Karai looked down. "Yeah, that's what I thought. Look, I gotta go. The guys and I have to deal with a crazy Kraang ship trying to kill us." She turned and started for the edge of the building.
"Kuro." Karai called. "You may not believe this, but I'm not the only one that misses you. There are others who worry about you."
Miwa didn't even turn around as she rolled her eyes. "Like who? Bradford?"
"No. Like Shredder."
Miwa's eyes widened and she spun around, only to see Karai disappeared.
Miwa easily blocked April's attacks as the redhead practiced with a determined glare in her eyes. She struck hard and fast; had Miwa not been more skilled in ninjutsu, April might've taken her to the ground. Of course, April had every right to be training as hard as she did now. Ever since they found out it was April the Kraang were after and not her father, Splinter insisted that her training time increased so she could protect herself topside. Frankly, April had a hard time refusing. As the girls practiced, they listened to the boys talk to Splinter about Karai's proposal last night. Miwa had yet to tell them she heard.
"I know we shouldn't trust Karai." Leo admitted. "But still….I got the sense she really is fed up with Shredder."
"That's probably just what she wants you to think." Raph said.
"I know!" Leo stumbled a little over his words. "But…Sensei, is there any chance she's for real?"
"It is possible." Splinter agreed. "Loyalties have been known to shift. But the konoichi's trained to use deception to her advantage."
"So she either will or won't betray us?" Leo guessed.
"Correct." Splinter nodded. "You must trust your instincts, but beware the trap of believing something to be true simply because you wish it to be so."
"So I should trust my instincts unless my instincts are wrong." Leo said.
"Correct." Splinter said simply before walking off.
Leo sighed. "Thanks, Sensei."
"Whoa." Mikey breathed. "You know it's good advice when you're still confused afterwards."
"Guys, seriously." Raph said. "An alliance with Karai? No way! Why are we even talking about this?"
"It's too bad we can't trust her." Donnie admitted. "It would be nice to have a konoichi on our side."
"Um, hello?" April said as she and Miwa approached them. "What about me?"
"And me?" Miwa added. "What are we? Chopped sui?"
"No, I mean a real konoichi." Donnie realized his mistake and his eyes went wide. "I mean not that you're not a real one, just that Karai is better. I mean, no—not better just more experienced! I-is is it hot in here?"
"It's okay." April assured. "I get it. She's your mortal enemy but hey! She's purty!" She frowned at Donnie.
"No she's not!" Donnie assured. "You're way prettier! Not that I think you're pretty! I mean, I mean….you're not ugly…it's just that I—" Raph suddenly slapped a hand over Donnie's mouth and dragged him away, the poor turtle's protests muffled all the way.
"Don't fight it." Raph said. "You'll thank me later."
Miwa shook her head. "I think we should trust Karai. Just this once."
"Why?" Mikey asked.
"For three reasons." Miwa counted them off her fingers. "One, she understands the threat of the Kraang and she's obviously willing to help. Two, she has…..methods; methods that could be useful for us. Three, and most importantly, there's a giant Kraang ship out there trying to fry your shells and, though I hate to admit it, I'm going to need some help keeping your shells intact."
"You?" Leo scoffed. "Why so protective? And more importantly, what makes you think Karai would help protect us?"
"She certainly wouldn't do it willingly." Miwa shrugged. "But she'd be willing to fight the Kraang."
"Why don't we focus on the situation right now?" Leo suggested. "Let's load up the Shellraiser and get out there."
Miwa huffed, blowing her bangs from her face.
Miwa leaped across buildings, her quickened pace sending her flying like an Olympic runner. Her feet hardly touched the ground as she sprinted, keeping her eyes on the skies on the off chance the Kraang ship revealed itself. She stopped at the corner, looking around but seeing nothing. She pulled out her phone.
"Hey Donnie, how's it going?" Miwa asked.
"Nothing on our end." Donnie reported. "But we're keeping an eye out."
"No luck on my end either." Miwa shook her head. "But I'll keep searching and let you know if—"
"Uh, scratch that!" Donnie's voice said quickly. "We just found it!"
"Where are you?"
"I'll be there as soon as I can!" Miwa hung up quickly and darted off towards Houston. She could only hope the guys had the fire power to at least hold the ship off until she could get there and slice through the wiring. Suddenly, the sound of a motor reached Miwa's ears, and she turned just as someone scooped her up and plopped her down on a soft seat. She instinctively grabbed the driver as the motorcycle she sat on sped forward, somehow jumping across the buildings as they drove.
"Need a ride?" the rider asked, turning and smirking at Miwa.
"Karai?" Miwa gasped. "What are you doing?"
"Helping!" Karai called over the wind. "Where's this giant Kraang ship?"
"Give me one good reason I should trust you!" Miwa snapped.
Karai pulled the brake and they skidded to a halt. "Because if you don't, I'll keep you here and your 'brothers' will get fried."
Miwa glared at Karai, but she finally sighed through her nose. "Are you sure you truly want to help?"
"Yes." Karai said truthfully. "Listen, I'm not that happy about working with the Turtles; Shredder will murder me if he finds out. But I actually do care about the fate of our planet at the hands of an evil race of aliens."
Miwa glared determinedly. "The ship was last seen on Houston. Let's go."
"Hang on." Karai revved her motorcycle and sped off. Within minutes, the two girls heard the familiar blasts and whir of the Kraang ship.
"There!" Miwa called, pointing to the top of the ship peeking over the edge of a building. "In the alley!"
"What kind of idiot drives right into an alley and corners himself?" Karai demanded.
"They're teenage boys." Miwa reminded her. "What do you expect?"
"All right, get ready!" Karai called, turning her bike towards the Kraang ship. "We're going to do something crazy!"
"Again, what do you expect?" Miwa said, a crafty smirk on her face.
Karai drove right for the ship. She and Miwa stood up on the seat as they got closer and jumped off with twin battle cries as the bike flew off the edge of the building. They landed right on the Kraang ship, unsheathing their respective blades and stabbing them into the metal. They continued to swipe and stab at the metal, even when the Kraang ship suddenly turned and flew off. Miwa and Karai were forced to hang on to rather than attack the ship as it jerked and swerved, diving and rising, trying to knock the two konoichi off.
"This…is…..so….not…fun!" Karai grunted as she stabbed at the Kraang ship.
"No….duh!" Miwa snapped, mimicking her sister. She stabbed her claws into the metal just as the Kraang ship suddenly turned upside down and made a sharp, 90 degree turn, throwing Karai off it. "Karai!" Miwa lunged for her, but her claws remained stuck in the metal and she stayed in the air. She pushed her feet against the metal and yanked her claws free. When she looked down towards Karai, she saw Leo driving the stealth bike with Karai in his lap, having just caught her. Way to go, Leo. Miwa nodded. But she jumped when the Kraang ship started firing towards Leo and Karai again.
"Kuro!" Karai shouted, rattling Leo's eardrums. "Jump!"
"What?" Leo turned and noticed Miwa up on the ship. "Oh great. Come on! Get down here!"
"Are you out of your mind?" Miwa demanded.
"Get down here now!" Leo shouted.
"Oh stuff it, Leo!" Miwa took a kunai, wrenched up a panel of the ship, and stabbed the small black knife into the wiring. The Kraang ship started jerking and sparking, giving Miwa the opportunity to jump down and land on the stealth bike. "Miss me?"
"Just get in." Leo growled, pulling Miwa onto Karai's lap and pulling the covering over the three of them.
"Dude it's dark and cramped in here!" Miwa complained.
"Not now, Miwa!" Leo snapped.
It was quiet in the Shellraiser as Raph, Donnie, and Mikey waited for Leo to return. They all wondered what might happen when their brother arrived, most likely with their sworn enemy in tow. Minutes later, the hatch to the stealth bike opened, revealing their blue-clad brother, konoichi sister, and sworn enemy.
"We're back." Leo announced as he, Karai, and Miwa climbed out of the bike.
"You brought her inside?!" Raph snapped. "Dude! She'll see all our gear!"
Karai stood and looked around the odd subway car with a raised eyebrow. "Yeah, 'cause if Shredder finds out you have an ice cream lamp, it is over."
Raph growled, but Leo spoke before he could. "Karai just risked her life to save us. And she helped Miwa find us. She's earned a little trust. Let's hear her out."
"You're the boss." Raph huffed.
"Guys, come on." Miwa encouraged. "Just hear her out." She turned to her sister. "Karai?"
Karai crossed her arms, closing her eyes in thought for a moment before speaking. "You guys need my help. You really think you can shoot down an alien warship with garbage?"
"Compressed garbage!" Donnie corrected.
"And manhole covers!" Mikey added.
"My point is, to take out a ship like that you need a real weapon." Karai said.
"Oh yeah?" Raph scoffed. "Like what?"
Karai stared at him. "What if I got you a shoulder fired missile launcher?"
Raph blinked. "I'm startin' to like her."
"Where are you gonna get a shoulder fired missile launcher?" Donnie demanded.
"Shredder of course." Karai said simply.
"Uh, we're talking about the same Shredder, right?" Mikey asked. "Big dude? Lots of blades? Really hates us?"
"Yeah something tells me he's not gonna wanna share his toys with us." Raph pointed out.
"He won't know about it." Karai assured. "He's buying a big shipment of weapons at the docks tomorrow night. All we need to do is sneak in and help ourselves."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Miwa nodded.
"Anyone else smell a trap?" Raph asked skeptically.
"Sorry, that was me." Mikey said sheepishly.
"Why would I trap you?" Karai demanded. "You're the only ones who know what the Kraang are up to."
"True." Donnie nodded. "But you don't really have the best track record."
"Fine, I'll get you the missile launcher myself." Karai sighed.
The guys exchanged looks. "You're really willing to steal from Shredder?" Leo asked.
"Look, these things have to be stopped." Karai insisted. "If Shredder's not gonna do anything about it, then I will. With your help or without it."
"Not without mine." Miwa assured. "I can help keep an eye on things and get the missile launcher out of there without Shredder noticing. Ease the suspicion."
Leo stared at Karai for a long time. He looked to Donnie and Mikey, who nodded small. He looked to Raph, who raised his hands in a gesture that clearly said "Don't care." Miwa…Miwa looked ready for action, ready to fight by Karai's side. They're like konoichi twins. Leo noted. A deadly combination.
"All right, here's the deal." Leo told Karai. "You and Miwa get us the missile launcher, and we'll team up."
Karai didn't say anything. She and Leo shared a smirk and they shook on it.
Miwa stared at the shake for a moment. I hope you all know what you're doing. All I can do is prevent my sister and brothers from getting killed. She sighed silently. Man, my life is complicated.
Miwa tried to meditate peacefully, but every time she closed her eyes she saw Shredder in front of her. He didn't attack her or threaten her or look like he would kill her family. In fact, it looked like a memory of when Miwa was a child, called Kuro by the Shredder and being treated like a princess so she would never be sad. Back then, Miwa only wanted to be in her father's company; that was all she needed to be happy. Then she met the Turtles and Splinter and found out her true past.
Miwa opened her eyes and turned her head as Karai approached her. "Hey."
Karai gestured to the spot on the edge of the building, beside Miwa. "This spot taken?" Miwa shook her head and Karai said down, staring out at the landscape. The smoky gray clouds in the sky blocked the late afternoon sun, making the air colder than normal. Karai sighed. "Kinda cold today."
Miwa shrugged. "You learn to live through it."
"Says the girl who hates the cold." Karai pointed out. "I remember the blanket I got you for Christmas one year. It was the softest I could find in all of downtown Tokyo, and you wouldn't let it go until it got so muddy Shredder insisted you have it washed."
Miwa smirked softly. "Yeah. I remember that. I also remember the wooden chisa katana I got you for that same Christmas and when I tried to borrow it you almost sliced my head off with Shredder's gauntlets."
Karai laughed. She sighed. "I miss these times. When we could be alone; talk about our feelings; you know, like how normal sisters act."
"Normal sisters aren't trained by a great ninjutsu master." Miwa pointed out.
"You think Shredder's a great master?" Karai raised an eyebrow.
"Despite everything the guys say about him," Miwa said. "Oroku Saki is truly a great and highly skilled martial artist. Nobody can really deny that."
"True." Karai nodded in thought. The two girls remained silent for a while. "Kuro, why don't you come home? Come back to your family? Besides, I need a sparring partner that doesn't get knocked out in two seconds."
Miwa smiled a little. "Karai, I can't go back."
"But the guys—"
"It's not about the guys. It's about Shredder. I betrayed him; I outwardly attacked and wounded him. In fact, I almost killed him. If I went back, he wouldn't accept me. He might kill me. Believe me, I've seriously considered going back. After all, the Foot Clan was my home for fifteen years; it was a big decision to leave. But I have a family with the Turtles and Splinter. At the same time, I get the feeling I still have a family with the Foot."
"What makes you say that?" Karai asked.
"Just…dreams I have." Miwa shrugged. "Memories resurfacing when I sleep. Every time they do, it's always the time when we were together in Japan, hanging out like a family."
Karai nodded in understanding. "I remember those times; when we didn't have to worry about training or Father's work or…the fact that we didn't have a mother."
Miwa stared at the ground. "Yeah. But you know, back then, we almost didn't need a mom; Shredder was enough of a parent for us."
"If you really think that way, why don't you come back?" Karai asked.
"It's not that easy." Miwa sighed.
"Why not?" Karai demanded.
"Because….." Miwa hung her head. "Karai, I want to have both of my families, but I don't know how. Leo and the guys will never accept it; and if Splinter found out...I'm being forced to choose between my two families and I don't want to do that. The problem is I don't know how to have both and be happy."
Karai sighed. "Kuro—" They jumped a little when Karai's phone rang. She groaned and answered. "Yes? Now? Are you kidding? Ugh, fine. I'm on my way." She hung up and pinched the bridge of her nose. "The shipment's arrived."
"I'll call the guys." Miwa offered.
"Why?" Karai asked. "They didn't want to come."
"True." Miwa nodded. "I guess I wanted to try my luck and see if they would change their mind." She stood and brushed her pants off. "Let's go."
Karai stared down from the giant metal cargo boxes at the supposedly Russian man on the dock below. She looked to her father beside her, who nodded in confirmation. Karai leaped up and landed on the roof of the man's car, startling him enough so that he turned around and gave Shredder the chance to jump down and land softly behind him.
"Where is the shipment?" Shredder demanded, causing the man to turn and face him.
The man straightened out his tie. "You brought what I requested?"
Shredder turned and nodded to one of the two Foot Ninja beside him, who walked up to the man with a briefcase. He opened it, but Karai couldn't see the case's contents because of the burly man blocking her line of sight. Before she could crane her neck to see, the ninja closed the case. Darn. Oh well, time to move on. "I'll inspect the merchandise." She offered, climbing down from the car and moving towards the large crates nearby.
The man moved to get in his car, but the second Foot Ninja stopped him. The man smiled, albeit worriedly. "Don't you trust me?" He asked Shredder. "We're old friends."
"Then you won't mind keeping me company while she checks." Shredder countered darkly.
Karai smirked. Smart one, Daddy Dearest. She opened one of the crates and looked inside, lifting up one of the missile launcher and inspecting it. Perfect firepower.
"Yeesh, what a gun."
Karai looked up and smiled. "How long have you been there?"
"I followed you here, remember?" Miwa whispered. She wrinkled her nose at the sight of the missile launcher. "Ugh, do we really have to use this?"
"Still don't like guns?" Karai guessed.
"You know how I am." Miwa reminded her. "Guns take no skill to use compared to a sword or even a bow. Just good aim."
Karai nodded in agreement. "True. But it's the only way to take down that Kraang ship."
"Yeah." Miwa said, but her mind and eyes wandered.
Karai followed her sister's gaze to Shredder, his back still to them as he stared at the man before him. Karai looked back to Miwa. "Something wrong?"
Miwa bit her lower lip in thought. "Karai, does Shredder really miss me?"
"Yes, he does." Karai assured. "I know it."
"How?" Miwa demanded.
"Because he's been sending Foot Ninja to find you!" Karai lowered her voice. "He has us keep an eye out for you whenever we're out. He even changed his big plans: find and destroy the Turtles and Splinter…..and bring his daughter home."
Miwa's eyes widened. "He changed his vendetta to include finding me?"
"He wants you home." Karai insisted. "We all want you home."
Miwa sighed. "Karai, I would love to come home and have a sister again and all of that. But—" She noticed Karai turn suddenly with a frown. "What is it?"
"They're here." Karai breathed.
Miwa followed Karai's gaze to see her brothers on some of the shipping crates some feet down the dock. "What are they doing here?"
Karai looked towards Shredder, and it clicked in her head. "You didn't tell me your brothers were liars."
Miwa soon caught on. "Oh no. Karai, I know they wouldn't do that; they're good—"
Suddenly, the guys let loose whatever was in their slingshot, and Karai had to run to push Shredder from the line of fire. "Look out!" The ball-like object hit the car, sending out electricity that shocked the Russian man and the two Foot Ninja into unconsciousness.
"You idiots!" Miwa groaned, face palming. She jumped when Karai suddenly took up the missile launcher and fired it at the guys, missing them by inches as they jumped to avoid it. "Are you crazy?"
"They lied to us." Karai growled. "They deserved that."
"Isn't blasting them with a missile launcher because of a little lie kind of….overkill?" Miwa asked.
"You're not taking their side, are you?" Karai asked.
"Of course not; they're idiots for doing something like that." Miwa said. "But I just think—" Her eyes widened when she looked up and caught sight of the Kraang ship flying in. Karai saw it as well and took a step back, forcing Miwa to shrink into the shadows. "Great. Just great! Can this get any worse?"
"Don't see how." Karai shrugged. "Considering the Kraang ship and our father are both chasing the Turtles right now."
"What?!" Miwa jumped from behind the corner just as the Turtles disappeared in the maze of shipping crates, Shredder and the Kraang ship following them. "I have to help them!"
Karai grabbed Miwa's arm and stopped her. "Why? They lied to us. They deserve to be skewered by Shredder."
Miwa jerked her arm free. "I'll remember that; after I save their shells, I'll turn them into Turtle Soup. But if they die, it'll be by my hand, not Shredder's!" She darted off down the maze-like corridors, searching for her brothers and adoptive father. She jumped off, ricocheted off the crates a few times, and landed on top of them before darting off again. She spied Shredder jumping up on top of a crate and jumping down again and she hurried after him, staying up where she could see everything. When she finally caught up, she knelt down on the edge of the crates and looked down at the scene below. She was three crates high in the air, with her brothers cornered in a box-shaped area with only one way in and out….and Shredder stood in their way.
"Tell me where Splinter is and I'll let you live long enough to watch him perish." Shredder threatened.
What kind of a deal is that? Miwa rolled her eyes. She looked up to see the Kraang ship had found the Turtles as well, and jumped when it fired a blast towards them. The shockwave knocked the guys back on their shells and Shredder was forced to open a crate and dive inside to avoid the blast. The ship flew off, allowing Leo to run over and lock the crate door and trap Shredder inside.
"Come on!" Leo called, darting off down the maze. His brothers tried to follow, but Shredder's blades suddenly sliced through the metal of the crate, cutting through the lock and allowing Shredder to kick the door open. He stepped out and turned to glare at the three turtles left.
"We'll catch up to you later!" Donnie called after Leo. He, Raph, and Mikey drew their weapons just as Shredder lunged for them. Miwa glanced back and forth between the fight below and the direction Leo ran off.
"Oh great." Miwa groaned, sitting back so no one could see her. "Uh…..what do I do? Help Leo? Help the guys? Help Leo? Help the guys?" Miwa thought for a moment. "Help the guys; definitely help the guys." She peered over the edge of the crate. "But do I help them or Shredder?!" She groaned and face palmed. "Why is my life so complicated and I'm not even a mutant?!" She shouted in surprise when the Kraang ship suddenly swooped past her, knocking her backwards to the edge of the crate. She waved her arms frantically, trying to regain her balance. But the tread on her cloth shoes had worn out and only made her slip off the edge. She screamed in shock as she tumbled back into open air….only to be caught in a pair of strong arms. She sighed in relief and looked up to thank whoever caught her—
"Shredder?" Miwa breathed.
Shredder looked up and glared at Donnie, Raph, and Mikey as they stood ready to fight again. Without taking his eyes off them, Shredder gently set Miwa on the ground behind him. "Stay here." He ordered gently before stepping towards the turtles. "Prepare to know why they call me the Shredder." He growled, unsheathing his large gauntlet blades. The boys readied their weapons, glaring determinedly. Miwa glanced worriedly past Shredder to stare at the guys, somehow unable to move from her spot while Shredder lunged for the Turtles. He swiped his blades, forcing them to jump back. Donnie used his staff to pole vault over Shredder's head and rush to Miwa, only for Shredder to grab him by the shell and yank him back to his original position. Mikey swung his kusarigama, but Shredder caught the nunchaku and pulled Mikey forward, right into Shredder's rock hard punch. Mikey hit his brothers and they tumbled backwards and down the corridor.
"Stop!" Miwa called, grabbing Shredder's wrist.
Shredder gently pushed Miwa down so she crouched behind a corner. "Stay here and stay down. I'll be back for you later."
"Miwa, help us!" Raph snapped as he ran forward. But Shredder kicked his shell and he went flying backwards. Shredder dashed towards the three turtles as the fight continued, leaving Miwa at the corner. She stayed frozen in the spot, shocked by what Shredder just did.
He helped her. He saved her from falling to her death (or paralysis) and then had her hide with the promise that he would be back later. And he spoke with such sincerity and gentleness…a tone he hadn't used since Miwa was young. Karai was right. Miwa realized. Shredder….wants me back. She stared down the corridor at Oroku Saki as he continued to fight the Turtles. I guess he really did love me like his own. After all, he loved my mother just as much as Splinter did. And how many times have Shredder and Splinter compared me to my mom? To Saki, I was his only connection to the woman he loved. Miwa looked down as she was hit with her epiphany. "He still loves me."
Raph grunted as his shell skidded across the dock. He somersaulted and landed on his feet, jumping up and glaring down at the crates. Donnie and Mikey landed on either side of him. They looked up suddenly when Shredder landed hard on a crate nearby, glaring at them through his helmet. The four of them jumped away when the Kraang ship returned, almost knocking Shredder off the crate. Raph, Donnie, and Mikey watched as Leo took aim with what they assumed was the missile launcher and fired, causing the missile to fly up after the Kraang ship as it futilely tried to fly away from the projectile. One large explosion later, the Kraang ship was spiraling out of the sky.
"All right Leo!" Mikey cheered.
"Great." Donnie gulped. "Except…" The three of them turned as Shredder stood to face them once more.
"Oh right." Raph growled, twirling his sais. The terrapins were about to leap for Shredder when the sound of metal craping against wood met their eardrums, and they spun around to see the broken Kraang ship skidding right towards them. "Heads up, guys!" Raph called, urging his brothers into action as they leaped from the ship's path. Shredder glared determinedly and held up his gauntlet claws in an X, ready to block it because he knew he wouldn't be able to jump away in time.
Something suddenly collided with Shredder, shoving him aside and off the crate.
Right before Shredder fell backwards off the crate, things seemed to happen in slow motion. Shredder looked up and his nearly black eyes locked with Miwa's dark brown ones. She stared at him with a wide, worried expression on her face, as though confused but relieved by what she just did. Time went back to normal speed and Shredder fell backwards into the harbor below. The Kraang ship slammed into Miwa and her visions instantly became clouded in darkness as she hit the water and began sinking.
"Miwa!" Mikey shouted, lunging for the girl. But Raph and Donnie reluctantly held him back.
"Father!" Karai shouted. She glared at Leo for a moment before running past him and leaping off the roof, diving into the harbor after Shredder. Leo only glared after her, a frown on his lips, and sheathed his katana. For a while, he stared at the waves, but neither Karai nor Shredder resurfaced…..neither did Miwa. Leo looked back and noticed his brothers on the edge of the roof. The four of them shared a solemn stare before they leaped off the roof and hurried into the city.
They ran. They ran and ran and ran until the skies darkened and the stars came out. They never looked back; whenever Mikey did, his eyes welled up with tears and he had to wipe them away so he wouldn't be blinded. They didn't stop until they were far, far away from the docks. When they did, they panted a little as they stood on a rooftop, trying to gather their thoughts.
Donnie looked up and noticed Leo walk some feet away and sit down, cross-legged, on the ground. He walked up and smiled softly at his brother. "Leo, it's not that bad." Donnie assured. "You blew up the Kraang ship!"
Leo scoffed. "But I also blew our chance to get Karai on our side."
"Look, she's Shredder's daughter." Raph reminded him. "His blood. She was never gonna be on our side."
"Yeah, maybe you're right." Leo sighed. But his tone sounded more and more hurt. "Maybe I was just believing what I wanted to."
Mikey sighed. "I've been there, dude. For me, it was leprechauns."
Leo deadpanned. Though Donnie and Raph tried to warn him, he asked Mikey, "Are you seriously comparing what I am going through to the time you found out leprechauns aren't real?"
Mikey's eyes widened. "Leprechauns aren't real?!"
Raph sighed. "Mikey, that's not important right now. Come on, let's get home. I'm beat."
"Aren't we forgetting something?" Donnie asked.
"What's that?" Mikey asked.
"Miwa." Donnie said solemnly.
Leo face palmed and groaned. "Oh no! Miwa! Oh great! What are we gonna tell Splinter? He's gonna murder us when he finds out!"
"It's not like we killed her!" Raph protested.
"But we were responsible for her!" Leo protested.
"It doesn't matter!" Mikey snapped. "The fact that we just lost her is going to be a blow as it is. For him and us…" He squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his fists.
Donnie put a hand on Mikey's shoulder. "Mikey, whatever we tell Splinter, we'll tell him together. We can't lie to him."
The four of them exchanged looks before sadly making their way home.
Karai gasped as she broke the surface of the harbor, using all her strength to pull herself and her precious cargo up onto the docks. She stayed by Shredder's side as he coughed and spit up water, breathing deeply to cool his burning lungs. I haven't done any diving like that in far too long. Shredder berated himself. Remember your training you baka.* He looked up at Karai. And be thankful you have such loyal daughters. "Well done, Karai." Shredder said.
Karai looked down at the form beside Shredder and her eyes widened. "Kuro!" She knelt beside her sister and rolled the soaking wet konoichi to her back. "Is she…?"
"She should be fine." Shredder assured. "But no doubt she has a concussion from the blow she took."
Karai put her ear to her sister's mouth and heard the soft breaths; she pressed her hand against the sopping wet girl's chest and felt her strong, steady heartbeat. "She's alive. But we need to get her help."
"Of course." Shredder nodded. "By the way, I found something for you." Karai looked up in surprise as Shredder lifted up one of the Kraang aliens by its tentacles also sopping wet. Now I know why he was under for so long. "You always wanted a pet." Shredder said, though his cruel gaze remained totally focused on the Kraang as it squealed and snarled.
Miwa groaned as she slowly began to wake up. She felt something cool and damp being placed over her forehead, and it came as a relief to her ever aching head. She felt someone's fingers gently, lovingly, graze her cheek. Dad? Did you follow me and the guys? But when she blinked her eyes open, she discovered the scarred face of Shredder.
Miwa jumped upright with a scream, leaping to her feet so she stood on the bed she once rested on. However, her head began to spin and she started falling. Shredder caught her and gently helped her sit down on the edge of the bed.
"You shouldn't move so quickly, Kuro." Shredder advised. "You have a concussion."
Miwa growled and jerked away from Shredder, standing and stepping away from him. Her dizziness made her wobble, but she kept stepping from Shredder. "Stay away from me."
"You need to lie down." Shredder said. "You're hurt."
"I'm fine." Miwa said. "Just—" She felt her stomach lurch and she suddenly went to her knees. Karai walked through the door just in time, pushing a pot under Miwa's mouth as bile came up and out.
"Easy now, Kuro." Karai soothed, placing a comforting hand on her sister's back. "You really shouldn't move too fast."
Miwa could hardly argue as Karai and Shredder helped her to the bed. She still held the pot, seeing how her stomach felt terrible. She threw up again, a little less than last time, and groaned.
"Just rest, my child." Shredder said soothingly, coaxing Kuro to lie down. He gently brushed her bangs from her face, like he used to when Kuro was a young child and became sick in bed.
"You're going to be okay." Karai promised.
Shredder smiled softly, gently pulling the thick comforter over Kuro. "Finally, my daughter, you are home."
Kuro could only smile softly and allow sleep to consume her in a comforting embrace.
A/N: "Baka" is Japanese for "fool". Sorry for the late update.