Animal

Are the TMNT just animals?

Hey all. Just spouting emotion here, no real effort. LOL This comes from a debate I had a few days ago. Not my greatest work, but I figured I'd post it anyhow. I don't own Donatello. (Surprise! LOL)

"I'm in love with him."

She stared at me with a confused, patronizing look. "What are you talking about?" she laughed.

I breathed deep. "I know you don't understand it," I mumbled. "But that doesn't make it any less true."

She shook her head in disbelief, and laughed. "Laura, you can't love him, he's not even human." I swallowed, trying to fight back the nervous tension in the pit of my stomach. "It's not right."

"Why, because he's different?" I challenged.

"Because he's an animal."

Every nerve stood on end at the laughing, accusative tone in her voice. "He is not an animal," I growled.

She sighed. "He was born an animal, correct? At what point did he suddenly become human?"

"He's not human," I admitted. "But he isn't an animal."

"He was either born with a spirit or without one. You can't gain one partway through life."

I swallowed hard. My mother taught me everything I knew about debate. She could still outdo me at almost any topic. But this was one I wasn't budging on. "Besides," she mumbled, "why waste your time loving him when he can't be a husband to you?"

I glared at her. She was totally missing the point. "What, because he can't work a normal job and support me?" I challenged. "I'll have you know that he and his brothers have survived without any help from people like you or me for nearly twenty years."

She sighed. "That isn't what I meant."

"Well, what did you mean?" I shot back at her.

She shot me a pathetic look. "Laura," she said simply. And I knew then what she meant.

"You're wrong about that too," I informed. "He took on human characteristics when he was mutated."

My mother raised an eyebrow at me. "How do you know that?" she demanded, sounding amused.

"He told me."

She laughed slightly. "That's so stupid," she patronized.

"It's a matter of race, nothing more," I shot at her. "You've never been racist before so what's your problem now? Why is it wrong for me to fall in love with the person he is? It's not his looks I fell in love with, Mom!"

She considered that for a moment. "He's off limits, Laura." I rolled my eyes. "He's a different species!" I knew from the way she said it what she was trying to imply, and felt my blood boil. "He's an animal, he has no spirit!"

"No," I whispered, trying to get my thoughts in order before I spouted them all over the kitchen table. "A dog has no spirit. He does not talk, he does not feel..."

"Well, my dog talks to me!" she defended in mock-seriousness. "A lot of people believe..."

"He does not speak both Japanese and English fluently and read college textbooks on anatomy and physiology!" I corrected angrily. "Nor does he posess the emotion and level of critical thinking that they do!"

She stared at me, for a moment, silently patronizing me. I growled low. "Emotion itself comes from spirit," I reminded through gritted teeth. "If they had no spirit, they would have no ability to feel emotion."

"And what makes you think they do?" she challenged.

"A thirteen year old child who lays on his bed and cries and mourns the death of someone that he had to either kill or be killed by possesses emotion, Mom."

She considered that for a moment, and prepared a comeback. I knew that was my strongest point and wanted to get the attention away from it as soon as possible so I could go back to it. And I had another point, that could be just as strong. "Are you saying that you could sit there and tell him to his face that in spite of all he is, what he is not makes his life totally useless?"

"I'm not saying his life is useless, Laura."

"Well, what's life for, Mom?" I challenged. I was appealing to her Christianity, and I knew it. "To serve God and look forward to heaven. Are you saying that they can't be saved, because they have no spirit?"

But it backfired on me. "Jesus was born of a woman to save men, not animals."
I growled. "They are not animals, Mother!"

I glanced up and saw a figure sihlouetted on the balcony. He was listening through the screen door. For a moment, I panicked. How much of this had he heard? And what if she turned around and saw him here? I slowly realized that perhaps that could be exactly what I needed to prove my point. "Would you excuse me?" I mumbled, standing up.

He disappeared around the corner as I walked to the door and slid the screen open. I closed the glass door behind me. "Donatello?"

"Up here," he called back, his voice quiet and emotionles. I looked up and saw him on the porch diagonal to mine, sitting on the railing.

I sighed. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For my mother."

He shrugged. "She's entitled to her opinion. And I don't totally disagree with her."

I stared at him, dumbfounded. "What?"

He sighed. "Her religion is based on the concept that people were created in the image of God. If your not in that image, you can't be saved. Just the way it works."

His words made him sound unaffected, but his tone held a hint of sadness that I could not ignore. "Donny, please come down from there."

"Why?"

"Well, for one, I don't want you to fall and break your head open." He laughed. "And two, I want her to meet you."

He tensed, cutting the laughter short. "I don't know if that's such a good idea, Laura."

"Why not?" I demanded. "I mean, if she just had a chance to talk to you, she would she she was wrong."

He looked away. "Laura, I don't wanna prove her wrong. Just let her believe what she wants to believe."

"I can't do that."

"Why not? Just live and let live. You don't need to make a big deal out of this."

"But she's wrong!"

"So what."

I stared at him for a moment. He was obviously missing the point. I couldn't just agree with my mother and let her believe what she wanted to, and go on loving him like I did. She'd stopped me cold with the mention of beastiality in a previous argument, and it had taken me a long time to get over that. Donatello didn't know that. I'd never mentioned it to him. For one thing, I knew he would jump back if he thought I believed it. And I didn't want him to step back. If anything, I wanted him to step forward.

"Donny, please?" I begged.

He stared at me for a moment, and sighed. He slid forward, off of the railing, and gripped the platform above me as he swung down onto my balcony. "Okay," he relented. "But I'm outta here if this gets too intense."

"You're gonna support me here, aren't you?" I pleaded.

He smiled. "As long as I agree with you."

That made me nervous. "Donny..."

He laughed quietly and brushed his fingers along the side of my face. "I'm on your side, or I say nothing at all," he whispered.

I nodded. "Okay."

***

It was a mistake. A big mistake. She was polite, but just as accusative to his face as she was behind his back. He fell silent, dropped his eyes, and seemed to disappear. The debate became between me and my mother again. I wanted it to end. At that point, I didn't care who won. The look of humiliation on his face as she spouted insults, like he wasn't even there, was too much for me. When she was finally through, after having quoted half the Bible and all her years of experience, she left. She smiled politely at Donatello, and I walked her to the door.

When I returned, he was on the couch. I stood still for a moment, and bit my lip. I wasn't entirely sure what to say. He said nothing, just stared at the floor. "I, uh," I finally stammered. "I thought you said you were going to leave if it... you know... got out of hand."

He glanced up at me, a tired expression on his face. "Did it?"

My heart broke. "Donny, I'm so sorry."

He shrugged, but the look he shot at the floor told me he was anything but unaffected by her words. "I just don't understand why you try so hard to defend me when I have no defense."

I knelt in front of him, my hands on his knees. The position forced him to look at me. "Because I love you."

He sighed and closed his eyes. "But you know she's right."

Anger stirred inside of me. "She's not right!"

He shook his head slowly. "Laura, please," he whispered. Our eyes met again and he raised his hand to my cheek. He started to say something else, but stopped. He looked away again as tears brimmed his eyes. There was a long silence.

"Do you know how hard it is," he finally breathed, "to go through life not knowing what you're here for?" I was speechless. It was clear he wasn't finished yet. "Do you know how many years it took me to accept that this is all there is?"

I glared at him. "You're wrong."

He shook his head. "I'm not wrong, Laura," he sighed. "The hardest thing about it is that I know she's right."

Indignant anger welled up inside of me. I got off my knees and straddled his thighs, my hands on his face, forcing him to look at me. He stared back in surprise. "You. Are. Not. An animal," I informed him. "And don't you dare tell me you are, because it's an insult to me. Because I love you."

I could see the shock in his eyes as I leaned forward and kissed him full on the mouth. He tensed for a moment, then relaxed, parting his lips slightly. Our tongues met, and I felt his arms wrap around my waist.

And I defied my mother.