PRINCIPLES

How far would YOU go to honor your father? A story of love vs. duty and two separate paths in a quest for righteousness. This is a PG-13 version of a formerly NC-17 piece. If you read it before, there's very little that's changed except for a few deleted scenes and some toning down.

It was suggested to me that I amend some of my stories so that more people would feel comfortable reading them. LOL Since I have no great love for sex scenes anyhow, I thought that was a great idea. But the rules say I can't have more than one version off any given story on ff.net Soooooo… I'm reposting this story with a PG-13 rating. If you would LIKE to read the NC-17, e-mail me and I will tell you where to find it. It's on my webpage.

This story takes a LOT from the first 2 movies EXCEPT for the ending of the second movie. Shredder is very much alive and human, not mutated into whatever he ended up as. I'll have more to say as the madness goes on, but let's get started, shall we?

Things I don't own:

The turtles, Shredder, Splinter, April, etc. Please don't sue me.

Please review... even flaming is better than nothing...

*PROLOGUE*

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

With or without you
With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you


-With or Without You

U2

LEONARDO:

She wasn't breathing.

She was staring at them with her back pressed against the alley wall, watching their guns, studying their features. I couldn't figure out why she wasn't screaming. Maybe it was because she wasn't breathing. Her entire body was frozen, inside and out. A cool breeze swept past, and her blond, crimped hair rustled across her face. She didn't move. She didn't blink. The fear was evident, although she tried desperately to hide it. A knife glinted. Her eyes sparked, and she looked for a place to run. There was nowhere to go.

She didn't see me. The weapon-wielding men didn't see me, either. They never knew I was there. All they knew was that one second, they were on their feet, backing a girl up to the wall, and the next, they were immersed in a sea of blackness. To my eyes, they were scattered, unconscious, around the alley. I never bothered to unsheathe my katanas. The attack was effortless.

Something stopped me from retreating as quickly as I had come. It wasn't the typical desire to find out if she was okay. They hadn't touched her, and I knew she was okay. But something kept me there. Maybe it was the intrigue. Something was different about her, that much was evident.

The woman watched me for a moment, as if she were trying to determine my motive. I wasn't quite sure what to say to her. It seemed inappropriate to offer the usual condolences and concerns. She wasn't hurt, wasn't scared. And even though she appeared to be sizing me up, she knew I wasn't a threat.

I don't know how long we stared at each other. It was long enough to permanently imprint her picture on my subconscience.

She had long blond hair and blue-green eyes. She was tall and thin, probably about seventeen. Tight jeans and a sleeveless T-shirt, both black, showed off her smooth skin. Relaxing her rigid stance, she turned and walked away.

Just like that.

"Hey," I called after her. It didn't seem right to part ways without so much as a word passing between us. She ignored me and continued. "Hey, wait a minute!"

She stopped and turned back to me and I remembered that I didn't know what to say to her. Great, Leo, I thought to myself. What are you going to do, ask for her to thank you?

She raised an eyebrow at my silence. I had to say something. "Are you okay?" I stammered.

She turned fully around to face me and crossed her arms over her chest. A knowing smile crossed her face as she leaned to one side. From the look she gave, I could tell she sensed my uneasiness. "Fine," she answered simply, as if she expected me to say something more.

I stood and stared at her, dumbfounded. Come on, Leo, I chastised myself. Say something! But I couldn't think of what else to say. It was such an odd situation. On the rare occasion that I had stuck around, I was always thanked profusely. Either that or I would be met with hysterics, in which case I usually left without exchanging words. Occasionally, there would be an unconscious victim. But I'd never confronted anyone like this girl. I didn't need a thank you; she didn't need comfort. So we just stared at each other.

"Anything else?" she finally questioned. It was as if she encountered thugs with guns and knives every time she took a walk in the park. She'd become accustomed to it, and it didn't scare her.

"I mean..." I stammered. Then, the leadership skills took over. There was always something to stay to a student. "You should be more careful," I chastised her. "You could have been hurt."

She cut her eyes to the ground briefly, and smiled broadly as she looked back up at me. She had a beautiful smile. "Is that all?" she questioned.

"I don't know, is it?"

I didn't realize what I'd said until after I'd said it. What the hell are you doing, Leo? Flirting with her?

For the first time, I felt her inspecting me. She was obvious about it, as if she wanted me to notice. In the dim light, I wasn't sure how much she saw. But I was confident in the security the darkness offered. And she didn't seem shocked. "I should thank you," she stated.

I smiled faintly. I couldn't help it. She wasn't making a realization, she was intruding into my mind and bringing my thoughts into the open. She should thank me. Not that I needed a thank-you, but it was, after all, the polite thing to do.

"You should," I confirmed.

She bowed slightly, respectfully. I was caught slightly off guard. Most people in inner-city New York didn't practice Japanese courtesy. "My name is Madonna," she informed me.

I returned her gesture. "Leonardo."

"I know who you are."

I looked back up at her, shocked. "S'cuse me?"

She smiled and shrugged. "Who hasn't heard of you? All of you, I mean."

I studied her carefully. I couldn't tell what she was thinking. "Urban legends mean nothing in this city," I mumbled.

"Not to most people, no," she agreed, looking away as if she were disinterested.

There was a moment of silence and she shifted her weight to her other leg as she ran her fingers through her hair. She was really beautiful. "So are you gonna arrest me or ask me out or what?" she asked.

I smiled. "Maybe both," I suggested.

Christ, Leo, what the hell is wrong with you?

"Your place or mine?" she teased.

I heard a noise behind me and turned, for a fraction of a second. When I looked back, the girl was gone.