TMNT: Far Gone - Tae_rhymeswithslay (2024)

Chapter Text

April O’Neill was not having a good day.

First, she overslept because she had forgotten to set an alarm because her balcony had gotten trashed out of nowhere and she had spent a full hour cleaning it up.

Then, the robotic upgrades she had made to her wheelchair had the audacity to malfunction first thing in the morning, so she had had to go all the way around to the very back of the Eastman High building to access the very inaccessible “accessibility” ramp.

And on top of all that, whoever had a world-class rager on her balcony for the three whole seconds she was inside tying her hair, had also broken her robotics project!

She had worked so hard for weeks on that bot and now, as the literal president of the Robotics Club, she was going to show up empty handed.

So, excuse her if she slammed her locker shut a little harder than she meant to.

“Hey, O’Neill!”

April wanted to open her locker up again just for the sheer purpose of slamming the door against her head repeatedly. She recognized that voice.

She hated that voice.

“What do you want, Langenstein?”

Drawing out the other girl's last name almost like a threat, April spun herself around, frowning deeply.

The girl standing in front of her just smirked.

“Jeez, what’s got you all twisted? I’m just checking in on a fellow club president.”

The second girl leaned down in a patronizing way, like April was some kind of small child. Her hair was done up impeccably with nothing but a sharp, yellow #2 pencil.

A stupid yellow pencil.

“I don’t need to deal with you, on top of everything else, Irma.”

Irma feigned shock and stood back up. April wanted to rip those stupid pink highlights right out of the girl’s head.

“Woooow, and I was just here to make sure you were alright after that brutal gang fight happened on your street.”

There was not a single note of sincerity in her voice.

April was going to retort with something smart-mouthed and sharp, but Irma’s words quickly processed in her brain.

“Wait- what?”

Irma cooly leaned against the locker wall, the corner of her pink, glossed lip curled into a smile as she picked at her nails.

“Yeah, you know that CVS in front of your dad’s little antique store? Apparently, it was broken into last night.”

Now concerned, April was invested. She subconsciously leaned forwards in her chair.

“The thing is, nothing was actually stolen. The only pieces of evidence that there ever was a break in were the broken lock and camera. The owner herself said that she thinks they cleaned the place.”

April realized she was so close to Irma, she could see her reflection in the other girl's glasses. She snapped out of it, jumping back and remembering exactly who she was talking to.

“And just how do you know all this?”

She scowled, looking Irma up and down and judging her credibility. For being April’s academic rival, Irma sure didn’t dress the part. Her leather jacket and short skirts made her look like she just walked out of a 1950’s book of school dress-code violations.

Irma just smirked, tightening the pencil that held her hair up. April fought not to roll her eyes.

“Just the perks of covering the story, I guess. Just reporter things.”

Irma spoke nonchalantly, but April caught the smirk that followed her sentence.

She finally gave in to the urge, rolling her eyes far back in sheer annoyance.

“So, what- A bunch of magic cleaning fairies broke into a local chain pharmacy on a Tuesday night and left no evidence, no trace, and didn’t even steal anything?”

She scoffed, making sarcastic jazz hands, punctuating her speech.

“Uh yeah, great story, Irma. Might even make the Times.”

Irma scrunched up her nose.

“Listen, O’Neill. When I publish this story, it’ll be a smash hit and the News Club will finally get the funding we deserve.”

April rested her chin on her fist, leaning back in her wheelchair.

“Not if the Robotics Club wins next week’s tournament. Plus. They didn’t even leave anything. Good luck getting that published.”

“Aha- but they did leave something.”

Irma reached into the messenger bag at her hip, tossing a shiny object into April’s lap.

A ninja star.

This was left behind in the lense of the security camera.”

April shied away from the weapon, feigning disinterest just to get on Irma’s nerves.

In reality, she was fascinated. Ninjas? In New York?

Instead of having an appropriate reaction to the sheer awesomeness that was Ninjas in New York, April looked down in distaste at the shuriken.

“Is that a foot?”

She pointed at it. Painted in black ink, a stylized symbol of a foot embellished both sides of the steel.

“Oh, yep, that is a foot. Why is there a foot? I do not want to touch that.”

Irma took the weapon back with a scoff.

“Whatever, O’Neill. I was just trying to be helpful-“

“You were trying to waste my time.”

April interrupted. Behind Irma, she could see another figure walking towards them. A much more welcome one at that.

“Kendra!”

April shouted, happy someone was there to save her from the news-witch she was talking to.

Behind her, completely unnoticed, Irma stuck her tongue out defiantly as April wheeled off.

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Donnie was nearly thunking his head against his desk in frustration. He gripped his screwdriver in one hand while trying his hardest not to accidentally crush the motherboard in his other.

The turtle had been working tirelessly to build his own bot, thoroughly inspired by the one he had seen last night.

The broken plate of steel still sat right on his desk, serving as motivation. That mysterious BUILT BY AMON inscription was still glinting under the light.

So there he was, Donatello Hamato, building his own bot.

Just one small hiccup of an obstacle, though…

Just a little bit frustrating.

“Hey, Dontron-“

Raph poked his head into their bedroom. He neglected to knock first and startled Donnie into tipping over the edge.

What!? What could you possibly want, Raphael?!!”

Donnie slammed a fist against the desk, making the contents jump. Raph immediately stepped back at the outburst, quickly putting his hands up in a surrendering gesture. Donnie realized his mistake the second the words left his mouth.

Whoa, man…”

Raph’s eyes were wide with shock and maybe a little hurt. The purple coded turtle flipped up his dark goggles, hastily fixing his expression.

“Sorry, sorry, Raph. I didn’t mean to snap.”

Donnie sighed, massaging the space where his nose would have been if he was human. His lab goggles left marks there because of how abnormally his head was shaped.

“What do you need?”

He asked his brother in a much nicer tone.

“Shell… Well, I was going to tell you my phone broke, but-“

Raph whipped out his device from behind his shell. The screen didn’t look cracked, but the phone was shut off, so Donnie couldn’t really tell.

“I’m fine . Give it here.”

Turning back to his own project on his desk, Donnie held his hand up to receive the phone. Raph tossed it over, the phone arcing smoothly through the air.

“I tried charging it, but it just won’t turn on.”

Donnie caught it without so much as a second glance.

“Looks like an internal issue with the lithium battery. Could just be a leak.”

He squinted an eye and peered into the charging port.

“Should be a quick fix. I have some spare batteries in the junk drawer. Pass one over.”

Raph threw the battery the same way he threw his phone and Donnie caught it with matching grace. They had this routine nailed down to a T since Raph somehow managed to break his phone nearly every week.

After a few minutes with Donnie’s magic trusty screwdriver and soldering iron, the red phone blinked back to life, projecting the time and Raph’s background picture through the cracked screen…

A photo from the night prior. It was taken from the back and had Leo, Mikey, and Donnie in it. The three of them against the New York skyline. Donnie had no idea Raph even took it.

It was a rather nice picture.

He tossed it back and the shorter turtle caught it with a bit of a hop.

“Nice! Thanks, Dee!”

Donnie expected Raph to just leave after, but this was Raph.

Of course he was going to stick around just to be annoying.

“Whatcha working on anyways?- OH.”

Raph’s eyes went wide as he caught sight of the circuits Donnie was messing with earlier.

“You’re… You’re building something.”

His tone was almost afraid and partially shocked.

Donnie sighed, glancing over his shoulder at his abandoned project with disdain.

“Yep.”

Raph backed up a little.

“Is it… Is it going to explode?”

He looked a little green- Greener than usual, that was.

There was an implied “again” in the tone of his voice, but Raph was nice enough not to point out the obvious. Everyone in the lair knew Donnie didn’t have the greatest track record with his “inventions” and explosion.

“I mean, it hasn’t ye-”

Donnie was sorely interrupted by his mini-project committing suicide on his desk and going out in an impressive display of smoke and burnt metal for its size.

He grit his teeth and wiped at the soot on his cheek.

“Great…”

“Oh, wow…”

Raph stood back with his eyes wide as Donnie grabbed his wastebasket, brushing the charred remains of his failed project into the bin. Probably a bit more aggressively than he needed too.

“I can smell the stank of repressed emotions~”

Raph said in a sing-song voice as he helped him clean, picking off bits of metal from the floor. Donnie rolled his eyes, taking off his glasses to clean the soot off them.

“Oh please, I do not need ‘Doctor Feelings’ right now.”

Donnie put his glasses back on and held out the trash bin so Raph could dump the little broken bits and bobs he was steadily collecting in the palm of his hand. Raph brushed his hands together over the top before placing them on his hips with a gently teasing smirk.

“Sooo, Doctor Delicate-Touch then?”

Donnie drew his beak into a grimace.

“Yeah no, that’s like, that’s worse. You do get how that’s worse, right?”

Raph just cleared his throat, straightening up his slouch.

“Say hello to Doctor Delicate-Touch… Now, for our session today: SHARE YOUR FEELINGS WITH YOUR FAMILY! YOU’RE ACTING WHACK AND WE CARE ABOUT YOU!!”

He grabbed Donnie by the shoulders, violently shaking him back and forth.

“JEEZ- OW! OKAY! OKAY!!”

Raph stopped shaking him, immediately hopping up onto the desk with one leg carefully crossed over the other and an inquisitive look on his face.

Like he hadn’t just tried to scramble his brother’s brains into an omelet.

“I hate Doctor Delicate-Touch…”

Donnie huffed, crossing his arms before his emotional mask slipped away into something more vulnerable.

“I don’t get it. I can repair and upgrade just about anything, but…”

He picked at his arms.

“But whenever I try to build- even something simple…

He trailed off with a sigh. Raph gestured to the trash can, finishing his statement for him.

“- that happens, right?”

Donnie kicked the bin, not hard enough for it to fall over, but enough to get his frustration across.

“Yeah. That happens.”

He glared at the burnt pieces of his project with so much fire in his eyes, that if that weren’t already about ninety percent carbon, they probably would’ve combusted again.

Raph stuck out a foot to steady the bin, making sure it wouldn’t fall over.

“Well… I mean, you did just fix my phone in like, thirty seconds flat.”

He leaned back on his palms, taking up more space on the desk, much to the taller’s chagrin.

“And? I do that all the time. That’s nothing special.”

Donnie slumped downwards in his chair, fiddling with the ends of his mask. He looked up, confused when Raph beamed down at him.

“Exactly! You do that all the time! The fact that you can repair anything is amazing! We probably wouldn’t even be alive down here without you, Donnie.”

Donnie made a non-committal hum, still feeling down about his one major flaw as a scientist. Raph got off the desk, putting a hand on his brother’s shoulder.

“Don’t beat yourself up about it, you’re plenty good at all this tech junk, even if you can’t build for jack squat.”

His tone went back to teasing at the end and Donnie couldn’t help but let the corner of his mouth tick up into a smile.

“Yeah, okay…”

Raph started to make his way to the exit of the lab with a victorious look on his face. Donnie grabbed a nearby six-sided bolt and hurled it at his brother with a final warning.

“Tell anyone about this and you're dead!”

The bolt bounced off Raph’s head, but the short turtle just turned around, walking backwards. With that same grin on his face.

“Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m in touch with my emotions-”

The next bolt hit him straight on the snout.

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Mikey, Leo, Raph, and Donnie all sat by the couch, pretending to be interested in the soap opera that their father was watching. All their eyes glazed over- not with their nictitating membranes, but with boredom.

“I’m glad you boys are taking an interest in this historical piece.”

Splinter said happily with his slippered feet up on the ottoman. He reached down to ruffle the top of Mikey’s head. The turtle was almost half asleep sitting on the floor with his head leaning against the couches armest.

“Whu- Oh- Oh, yeah… Love all that- uh, history and… that 1800’s jazz…”

His brothers made small noises of distant agreement. All equally bored.

A lady in a frilly ball gown waltzed across the screen and Mikey wasn’t sure if she was the duch*ess or the duke’s niece or the queen's second cousin- brother- whatever.

Frankly, he wanted a Marie Antoinette type of situation to happen to her regardless.

That would definitely spice up the mind numbing plot.

Why were the turtles putting themselves through this self-inflicted torture one might ask?

Well, they just needed to keep an eye on their father until-

Splinter yawned and all four of his sons immediately perked up, looking to one another.

Donnie held up all three of his green fingers, signaling that that was the third time their dad had yawned that night.

Like clockwork, Splinter stirred from his soap-opera watching position and stretched his arms above his head.

“It’s getting late. I think I’ll go to bed.”

He grabbed his wooden cane from the back of the couch, using it to haul himself off the plush sofa.

“Feel free to keep watching, boys. But don’t sleep too late.”

Splinter called out behind him as he stepped down the hallway to his bedroom.

“Good night, my sons. Sleep well.”

The four turtles smiled and gave their own sleepy responses overlapping each other.

“Good night.”

“Night.”

“G’night.”

“Good night, dad.”

They left the horrible soap opera playing on the screen until they could no longer hear their dad’s padded footsteps. Raph nearly fell over off the couch from how far out he was leaning, just to see if Splinter had closed his bedroom door yet.

“Aaaaaand… We’re in the clear!”

The four of them, suddenly imbued with energy, leapt up with excitement.

“You dudes ready to have the second greatest night ever?”

Mikey whispered with a hushed shout.

“Shell yeah!”

Raph high-fived him.

“I don’t really wanna, but Donnie threatened to electrocute me! Yay!”

Leo exclaimed as well with a falsely excited tone that juxtaposed his words. He stiffened when he caught a sidelong glance from his tallest brother. Donnie gave a slow shake of his head, narrowing his eyes.

“I mean-! I love disrespecting Splinter! I am choosing to sneak out 100% on my own willpower! Let’s go!”

None of them saw the furthest hallway door crack open just enough to let a sliver of light through. Nor did they see the beady, black eye peer out.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

The surface air was just as nice the second night as it was the first.

Smog-filled, ripe, and utterly disgusting…

The turtles loved it.

They loved New York- their home . Now that they had a taste for freedom, there was no going back.

“Whooo! So, what are we up to tonight?!”

Raph rubbed his palms together in anticipation. The noises of Times Square blared behind them and the turtles basked in the artificial glow from the billboards and sky-scraper windows. They were grouped up on a rooftop with plenty of random fixtures bolted on for cover and had the whole rest of the night to themselves.

Everything was perfect.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Donnie reach onto his battle shell and pull out his wireless headphones, and slip them on. Raph frowned at the plastic, light up cat ears that adorned the tops of the head phones. He frowned even deeper when he saw the K-pop playlist his brother was pulling up on his phone, already humming New Jeans.

Maybe everything wasn’t perfect.

“Dude, the incel headphones? Seriously?”

Donnie turned red, fixing his glasses on his face.

“They’re cool! There’s nothing ‘incel’ about them!”

Raph placed a hand on his hip.

“There totally is! It’s almost like a…”

He wheeled his hands in the air for a moment, thinking before snapping his fingers.

“A discord mod! Total discord mod vibes, my guy.”

Donnie frowned, appearing confused for a second.

“But… but I am a discord moderator… There’s nothing incel-esque about my idol fan servers!”

Leo hummed skeptically behind him, causing Donnie to whirl around.

“Weeeelllll…”

He said out of the corner of his mouth, shrugging his shoulders.

“Not you too!”

Raph crossed his arms, leaning forwards.

“Admit it DiscorDon , you’ve got all the ingredients for a big ol’ incel pie .”

Donnie looked to Mikey for a final shred of support. Unfortunately for him, Mikey was hiding a laugh behind a fist. Very unsuccessfully.

“Whoa, dude. Chillax. Wouldn’t want you to, like- pfft- ‘alpha out’ or-”

Mikey wasn’t even able to finish his sentence before dissolving into snickers. Donnie scrunched up his face, lunging to punch Mikey in the arm as the brothers often did while making fun of each other.

“YOU-”

Despite doubling over in laughter, Mikey managed to dodge the punch, causing Donnie to stumble.

Raph leaned against the side of one of the roof’s sheds, putting a hand to his mouth to teasingly call out.

“Bro sees red when he’s angry!”

He elbowed Leo who was also fighting back laughter. Also very unsuccessfully.

“D-dude… Maybe we should stop…”

The turtle in blue cleared his throat, appearing to collect himself.

“He might- He might be dangerous when it’s go time-”

Leo and Raph instantly fell apart, clutching onto each other as they swayed with raucous laughter.

Donnie rolled his eyes, his face dark with embarrassment.

“I- fine, I’ll get new headphones!”

Raph put a hand on Donnie’s shoulder, leaning his weight on him and nonchalantly spinning his sai around his fingers.

“Bro to bro, we’re doing you a favor, man.”

The taller turtle sighed, pushing his glasses up his nose with a finger.

“Yeah, whatever…”

He then drew his bo staff.

“Now… Get off me!”

Donnie swung his bo, hitting the soft spot behind Raph’s knees. Donnie watched in satisfaction as the short turtle went down with a yelp.

He put a foot on his brother’s chest. Raph felt the air expel from his lungs with an audible wheeze. Donnie smirked at his victory.

“Who’s the loser now?”

Raph still found the strength for one last jab, despite the wind being knocked out of him. He managed to croak.

“Still… y o u…”

He wheezed again, accepting physical defeat on the dark concrete of the rooftop, but not verbal defeat.

“I n c e l …”

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April was about to scream in frustration.

Of course the bot just had to be broken in a way she didn’t know how to fix!

She closed yet another useless Youtube video that didn’t help in the slightest.

“C’moooonnnn, I have to prove Jace wrong. I can repair stuff. I can.”

Groaning, she thunked her head onto her desk, laying there for a moment and then turning to look at her club’s robot that was currently nothing more than a well-assembled pile of scrap since it refused to work properly.

It didn’t help that April had the absolute worst track record when it came to accidentally breaking things, so no one in her robotics club believed her when she said that it “actually wasn’t her fault… this time.”

At the point the girl was at, it would probably be easier to just build a new bot. She was never good at repairs .

Sure, she was the president of the robotics club and could whip up any kind of bot, given the time and resources, but once the thing broke? It was over.

After she came home from school, she managed to build new and improved modifications to her wheelchair to replace the old ones. She installed mechanized square add-ons to the sides of her wheels so she could move up small flights of stairs.

The schematics and programming had taken her only a couple of hours and it was honestly a pretty complex build. It could have been some engineering student's senior thesis project at least.

But now, faced with a highschool level robot meant to throw inflatable rings, April found herself floundering in nonsense she couldn’t understand.

Well, she could understand the robotics side of it. She knew the ins and outs of all her bots like the back of her hand. What she couldn’t understand was why on earth it wasn’t working.

“Listen up, bot. You are my creation and you will work!”

She scolded the pile of junk in a last ditch effort before going back at it with a screwdriver, starting all over again, trying to remove the access panel.

“We have a tournament literally next week, and I need to see the look on Langenstein’s face when we win! Oh, I bet she’ll-”

April paused, looking down at the robots innards.

There was a part missing.

There was a gap where an inner panel was supposed to be. The panel she had written her signature on.

She frowned, looking around her desk and on the floor, trying to see if it had maybe fallen out during one of her previous repair attempts.

The panel was nowhere to be seen.

Still curious, she set the robot down on her desk and retraced her steps to her balcony, pushing her wheels over the small dip that led to the outdoors.

“Huh?...”

She must have missed it when she was cleaning the previous night, but leaning against the brick exterior of her apartment, was the missing panel.

Just one problem though, it was broken in half.

April picked it up, inspected the jagged edge. She frowned, putting it in her lap and wheeling herself back inside. Just who had visited her balcony?

“Whatever. I have a spare for it anyways.”

She spoke to herself, scooting back under her desk to go back to work on her robot.

She found said spare, installing it and flipping the power switch on the back.

“Please turn on, please turn on, please-”

The yellow LEDs flickered to life and the motor started to whir.

“Yes, YES!!”

April pumped a fist in the air.

“Ha! Who can’t repair for jack squat now, huh, Jace?”

Suddenly, the robot’s eyes got even brighter, making noises a robot was definitely not supposed to make, yellow arcs of electricity sparking from the lenses.

“Ooooh… that’s probably not supposed to happen… What did I-

The bot suddenly jerked like it had been possessed and April accidentally let it tumble from the desk. It hit her hardwood floor with a loud crash before she could catch it.

She winced at the noise and glanced at her door.

As expected, she heard a pair of footsteps rush to her bedroom door and knock.

“April? Is everything okay in there?”

April scooped up the bot, desperately hoping she hadn’t broken it even further.

“Y-yeah, everythings fine, dad!”

“Okay…”

She waited for her father’s footsteps to disappear back down the hall and back to his own room.

Throwing a glance at the time, she cringed. Her dad was likely sleeping and she had probably just woken him up.

Her dad had to get up bright and early to open their antique shop on the first floor.

April apprehensively inspected the sparking parts of her bot, careful not to hurt herself.

“A… Apri-i-iiil.”

The bot groaned and April threw it off her lap in a panic. Damage be damned.

AHHH!! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!”

She watched in horror as the bot picked itself up and inched towards her. There was no soundware inside the bot. April knew that for a fact and she also knew that she never coded her name into it either.

“April…”

It repeated again, still sparking and jerking. April wheeled herself as far as possible from the cursed robot, but not before grabbing her pink taser off the wall in a final attempt at self defense against the thing.

Blue sparks blossoming at the end of the bright pink stick, she swung the taser at it.

“Ohmygod ohmygod Oh my god! It’s alive!!”

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

“Okay, so- Mikey wanted to go to the skate park-”

Mikey nodded at Donnie with two thumbs up and a fresh cut bleeding on the side of his face. He held up his board triumphantly. Honestly, Donnie was surprised he hadn’t lost any teeth on the ramps.

“And Raph wanted to get more pizza, even though we weren’t even allowed inside-”

“Hey! How was I supposed to know that New Yorkers would think we were Times Square mascots… and that they hate Times Square mascots that much?!”

Raph nursed a bruise on his arm that was starting to form where an old lady swung at him with her handbag. It must have been filled with rocks or something because it was clear that that was going to leave a mark.

Despite all that, Raph was still smiling. Nothing that night was able to bring down his mood.

Donnie pointed at his third brother last.

“And then Leo said he wanted to go home-”

Leo narrowed his eyes and glared. He was more beat up than both Raph and Mikey combined.

“So now it’s my turn to choose.”

Donnie hummed, tapping the grip of his staff with his fingers in thought.

“Hmmm… we can either go to the public library and-”

“Noooooo…”

Raph whined dramatically, dragging his hands down his face. Donnie scrunched his beak at him.

Okay, that brought down Raph’s mood, but getting pummeled by an old granny didn’t?

“Fine. We can also go back to that antique shop-”

Raph groaned louder.

“Oh will you stop that-”

Donnie cut him off with a smack to the top of his head with his staff.

“It’s my turn so I get to choose!”

He put away his staff, starting to run down the length of the roof.

“Besides, it’s not even that far!”

True to his word, in no time at all, the turtles were once again standing on the same rooftop as they were the night before.

Raph felt a wave of deja vu as he heard Donnie wistfully sigh next to him.

“Oh, she’s not here tonight.”

He turned to see his taller brother using his bo staff as a post, leaning against it as he peered down to the two balconies of the apartment building. He looked from Donnie, to the empty balcony, and then back to Donnie.

“... You’re talking about the robot again, aren’t you?”

Donnie just sighed sadly again.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

April tentatively rolled herself towards the robot that was still trying to crawl towards her like some sort of undead creature. She loosened her grip on her taser since the initial shock of her robotics project literally coming to life wore off.

She steeled herself, bending down to take a good look at it.

“H-Hel- Hello- April.”

It garbled out, tilting its head to ‘look’ up at her with its optic sensors.

“Okay… Okay, April. You just made a sentient bot. Yep. this is real. Not a dream…”

She hesitated, pulling back once, but she reached out a hand and petted the top of the possessed thing.

It made a strange sound, a series of clicks, almost like a purr.

April laughed in disbelief, her robot… liked being pet.

“No way… Is this real? Okay, this has to be real…”

She muttered to herself as she continued to pet the robot. It responded positively, whirring and clicking as it tried to get closer to her. It was still sparking and twitching concerningly though, but April had no idea where to even start with that.

She held up her bot to her face, inspecting every inch of it like it was new, adjusting her round glasses to see better.

“Okay… weird-robot… thing? Ohmygod… this is insane…”

She shook her head, breaking herself out of her shock.

“Get it together, April! You have a- a sentient bot… Now what?”

It wiggled its stubby legs in the air, squirming in her grip.

“Aw, you’re… you're kinda cute! Aren’t you? But, I wish I knew how to fix you up.”

Her pink taser still sat in her lap, unused.

It seemed silly now, the way she had grabbedit out of fear when in reality, her sentient bot was just about as dangerous as a new-born kitty.

She set the bot back on the desk- securely so it wouldn’t fall a second time- and then stretched to hang her taser back on its designated hook on the wall.

It was a homemade design, pink and covered in rhinestones and glitter- she had been 9 at the time, don’t judge- crafted from a potato masher. She could have made herself a newer and better one since then, for self defense, but she just couldn’t bring herself to replace it.

After all, she had built it with her best friend! Maybe taser-building wasn’t exactly an appropriate activity for two little preeteens to be doing. But hey, those two combined were capable of doing so much more damage, two matching potato-masher-tasers were nothing.

Plus, while her peers had matching friendship bracelets and those little heart necklaces, April and her best friend had matching badass tasers.

She loved that little taser… even though it was kinda ugly.

And she loved her best friend… even though he was kinda ugly.

In the quiet of the night, April heard footsteps- not her dad’s- No, these were unfamiliar and light.

She froze, trying to hone in on that sound.

It was coming from the first floor. From the antique store.

Grabbing a hair tie, she tied back her long, black hair into a low ponytail, snatching her taser right back off the wall.

Quietly, she crept to her door, turning the knob all the way until the latch hit the inner plate, barely making a sound.

She opened the door, wincing at the creak.

“Hey-”

April suddenly turned her head and whisper-shouted, remembering she had sentient company.

“Stay in here, okay?”

She pointed at her robot, which nodded in response. She then wheeled herself out of her room, gripping her taser tightly. Usually, she took the elevator to get down to the shop, but…

April looked to the stairway. It would definitely be quieter…

She decided that the dead middle of the night was as good a time as any to test out her new modifications.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

“Guys… guys!”

Leo suddenly waved his hand in the air, calling them over to the other side of the roof.

“Look down there- aren’t those the same robot-things that were here last night?”

Mikey squinted over the edge of the roof. He was just able to make out the red painted insignia on the backs of the figures.

“Oh my gosh… I think you're right!”

Raph hoisted himself up on the back of Mikey’s shell, much to the latter’s displeasure.

What? Is this like a normal New York thing or…”

Leo jumped onto the fire escape in a hurry.

“I think they’re breaking into the antique store this time! Come on!”

He ran down, followed by Raph. Mikey stayed behind for a moment to wait for Donnie.

“You coming, dude?”

Donnie sighed, slumping his shoulders, trudging towards the fire escape as well.

“Fineeee. Let’s go save the ancient store with its old, ancient, outdated tech…”

With all the willingness of a convict in community service, Donnie made his way down the rickety stairwell.

Once they were all down on the street, hidden in the shadows, Donnie’s mood still hadn’t brightened. Mikey just rolled his eyes at his brother’s attitude and turned his attention to the footbots picking the lock on the storefront door.

“Okay, so- what’s the plan, here?”

He turned to his brothers in a hushed tone. Raph pulled back his nictitating membranes, looking confused.

“What? You’re the plan guy!”

Mikey also revealed his pupils, equally confused.

“I’m not the plan guy!”

He jerked his thumb over at Leo.

“Leo’s the plan guy!”

Leo joined in, aggressively pointing his swords at Raph and Mikey.

“When have I ever been the plan guy?! Donnie’s the…”

He faltered off, giving Donnie a sideways glance. Donnie gave a dead stare back, daring him to pass on the responsibility.

Mikey’s the plan guy!”

Leo finished, pointing at him.

“Mikey always makes the plans!”

Mikey pointed to himself in disbelief.

Me?! I’m the fun-loving, funny, and adorable one! You're supposed to be the responsible one!”

The three bickered amongst themselves until a loud clink sound came from the door. The four turtles barely had time to whip their heads around to see the footbots slip into the store.

“Okay okay-”

Mikey waved his hands out in front of him to stop their arguing.

“Fine, here’s the plan: Follow those bots, stop them from uhm…”

He trailed off. They didn’t really know what the criminal bots were there to do, exactly.

“Just stop them!”

With that, he took off down the street, his three brothers in hot pursuit.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

April positioned her wheelchair behind the back door of the shop, cracking it open just a sliver to peek out.

She gasped in shock as she took in the sight.

It was dark, but as her eyes adjusted to the low light, she could make out the figures lurking about.

Ninjas were rifling through the antiques, carefully and quietly scouring the store for… for something. In the corner, a metal shuriken stuck out of the cracked lens of the security camera…

Just like Irma had said.

April gulped, flexing her fingers around her cutesy taser, the rhinestones digging into her skin.

A whirring sound grew louder behind her and she flinched out of fear, pointing her taser at the offending object.

“Oh.. it’s just you.”

The whispered quietly, lowering her weapon.

In front of her, her bot stood, looking up at her curiously.

“I thought I told you to stay in my room.”

The robot at least had the decency to look a little guilty before trying to climb up her wheelchair.

“Oh- oh, fine. You can stay.”

April wrapped one arm around the bot like it was some kind of teddy bear.

“Just shhhh-”

With the hand that was holding her taser, she adjusted her grip and pressed a finger to her lips.

“HALT-”

A loud voice made her jump again. Wow, having her building get broken into really made her jumpy.

She peered out the crack again.

With bated breath, she took in the figures standing in the middle of the store. It was dark, so she couldn’t see, but she was pretty positive that the shadow that just spoke was wearing a blue bandana. They were standing back to back with three other shadowy figures in the middle of a bunch of thinner figures.

It looked pretty young, in April’s eyes.

She wished it were brighter.

“Halt? Are you serious?”

Another figure in a red bandana lowered his… pointy weapon things… April had no idea what they were. Sort of, giant… fork-looking things. He was clearly the smallest of the bunch.

“Yeah? Like ‘Halt, Evil Doers!’ They say it in Space Heroes! It- It's a thing!”

The figure in blue had his katanas out- April could make out the silhouettes of those at least- and turned to the last two figures.

“Come on, guys! Back me up here.”

The red one elbowed the tallest one. That one had a purple mask and a big stick. A small glimmer of light reflected off of his…

April squinted, adjusting her own glasses- Yep. That figure had glasses .

They were a different frame than her own. While April sported round lenses, their’s was more of an aviator-style frame.

“And I thought Donnie was supposed to be the geeky nerd.”

The red one joked and the purple one- Donnie , April presumed- laughed along.

“Oooh, sick burn!... wait-”

Donnie seemed to realize his mistake as he furrowed his brow, taking a swing at the much shorter figure, only to be stopped by the fourth and last shadow.

This one was in an orange mask and seemed to be on the verge of snapping as he gripped his nunchucks.

“Can’t you punks focus for like, two seconds?!!”

He gestured wildly around the store to where the other ninjas were still desecrating the shop.

The four shadows suddenly spun into action, leaping into the depths of the shop and April swiftly shut the door to avoid being seen by those… figures.

Her heart was beating away in her chest, hammering against her ribcage harder than she’d ever felt it before.

The sounds of a hushed battle leaked through the door, but April didn’t open it again.

Sure, she could handle one world-view-shattering event in a night. She accidentally created a sentient AI… Somehow.

But ninjas in her dad’s antique shop?

ninjas robbing her dad’s antique shop?!!

April just wanted to wake up from whatever fever dream this was.

The sound of fighting began to die down, being replaced with easy conversation once more. Through the shop door, April could faintly make out the words as she pressed her ear against the painted wood.

“Huh, that was faster than the first time… But how come they took so long to hack?”

“I think whoever made these bots caught onto the fact that I got into their system last time. There were like- three extra firewalls.”

“Where do you think they keep coming from?”

“I dunno? The Shoe Shack?”

“Hey! Maybe it’s like a publicity stunt or something?”

The voices continued to talk amongst themselves, bantering back and forth.

April thought they were young before, but now that she had heard them speak- Yeah, they were definitely teenagers.

She took a deep breath and wrenched open the door, wielding her taser out in front of her, the prongs arcing with buzzing blue electricity.

She meant to say something- anything. Well, maybe not ‘halt evil doers’, she had standards, but something to let those turtles know that she meant business. However, the words seemed to get stuck in her throat.

Lucky her, wordlessly swinging an active taser at them seemed to get the general message across.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

“Why would the Shoe Shack invest millions of dollars into top-notch animatronics to rob random neighborhood stores for a publicity stunt, Mikey?”

Donnie questioned, exasperated.

“I dunno?!”

Mikey flipped his nunchucks over his shoulder.

“I’ve seen how much you spend on Roblox!”

Donnie went quiet, beak pulling into a frown.

“Touche.”

Leo flicked some of the oil off his swords, only feeling a little bad about the store's carpet flooring.

“Besides, why would breaking and entering be a publicity stunt anyways? Wouldn’t that make a business look really bad?”

Donnie pushed his glasses up his nonexistent nose.

“Technically speaking, a publicity stunt doesn’t exactly have to make a company look good, per say-”

“You can’t just use ‘persay’ in the middle of a sentence.”

Raph interrupted with his usual level of sass.

“Are you seriously quoting an internet meme right after a battle?”

Raph smugly stood on his toes (still nowhere close to Donnie’s height).

“Maybe I am, maybe I’m no- AAAAH!!!”

The back door of the shop slammed open with a deafening BLAM!!

Mikey, Raph, and Leo shrieked in terror and jumped onto Donnie, clinging onto their resident beanpole as all four of them screamed.

For a good few seconds, blue electricity lit up the store, nearly blinding the four turtles. Their screams increased in pitch, getting both higher and louder.

Then suddenly it all stopped, the blue light shut off and the whole store was once again plunged into darkness.

Mikey was the first to react, jumping off Donnie.

“Shadows! Guys! Now!”

They all leapt upwards. There were no places for the bulky turtles to hide in the ruined shelves of the antique, so they all shot for the metal support bars criss-crossing the ceiling.

Mikey ended up crouching right next to Raph, their shells bumping together. Despite them all being scared senseless just a few seconds ago, the short turtle found it in him to rib his brother.

“See? You made the plan, plan guy- ough!”

Mikey elbowed him in the gut.

“Oh, will you shut up?!”

He gave him a solid glare,

Below them, the source of the sudden blue light, A girl in a wheelchair smacked a pink potato masher against the palm of her hand.

“Ugh, stupid double A batteries, I-”

Mikey made a gentle shushing motion with his finger against his beak at Donnie and Leo who were both across from him. They had all leapt to the same general area and Mikey could only hope that the thin metal was strong enough to support their combined weight.

“I know you’re in here somewhere! You and your criminal-ninja friends won’t get away with robbing my dad’s store!”

Mikey thought the girl looked familiar, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on where he had seen her before. She hadn’t been at the skate park, or the pizza place.

She glanced up, pushing her round glasses up her face.

Then, it clicked.

Balcony Girl.

Sewer Apples.

“Hey, I know you’re there- uh. I know I can’t really see you but I know you're up there.”

Mikey looked to his brothers.

Leo looked nervous.

“What do we do?!”

He frantically whispered.

“Just be cool guys! Be cool!”

Raph answered, not very coolly at all.

“Like, I can see your white eyes and stuff, sooo… Yeah, I already saw you guys too, so it’s like, even weirder that you're in my ceiling now...”

“She saw us! What do we do?!!”

Donnie nearly slipped and fell, just barely catching himself.

“I can see like, four of you? Whichever one’s the- I don’t know, leader or something? We can just talk about you trying to rob my dad’s store?”

The girl scrunched her face up at the four of them.

“She looks kind of mad.”

“She thinks WE’RE the bad guys!”

“We have to explain!”

“Do we even have a leader?”

The rest of the turtles fell silent at Mikey's question about their leadership.

“Well, do we?”

Donnie, Raph, and Leo looked at each other and then at Mikey.

“I think you should be the leader, Mikey.”

Leo announced, decidedly.

“Yeah! I second that.”

“You ARE the most friendly and approachable.”

Raph nodded. Mikey’s mouth opened in disbelief.

“Are you guys kidding me right now?! I-”

“Y’know, it was already weird that you guys are like, hiding in my ceiling, but now it’s like, doubly weird because you're refusing to come down and it gets more suspicious by the second you guys are up there. Wait, there’s a light switch behind the counter, let me get that real quick…”

The girl wheeled herself to the counter and Mikey felt his panic rise in his throat.

Right before she could reach over the register, Mikey felt Raph’s hand clap against his back, knocking him from his perch.

“Go get ‘em, fearless leader!”

Mikey landed on his feet, but with a lot less grace than he would’ve liked. He gave his best stank eye to Raph.

“Oh okay, so… There’s one of you- Still gonna turn the lights on though-“

She flicked something behind the counter and suddenly, the fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling hummed to life.

“Wait! Don’t-“

Mikey tried to stop her, but it was too late.

Light flooded the place, revealing all four of them.

The girl’s eyes went wide at the full sight of them

“Oh… Oh wow, So…”

Mikey braced himself for the worst. A scream, a faint, maybe even an immediate call to the police-

“Can you guys get out of my ceiling? I’m getting kind of tired of asking.”

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

Donnie, Mikey, Leo and Raph were all standing awkwardly in the middle of Second Time Around, not fitting in at all with the retro lamps and vases and delicate clocks lining the shelves.

But they fit right in with the other ninjas littering the floor. The broken footbots sat still and harmless in little piles.

“Soooo…”

Mikey pressed the tips of his fingers together, pointing his hands towards the girl.

“This isn’t like, weird to you or anything? No reaction?”

The girl scoffed, pushing her ponytail over her shoulder.

“Oh no, this is just about the freakiest thing to ever happen to me, but- a lot of freaky things have happened tonight. I think I’m starting to adjust.”

Mikey just nodded.

Good.

This was good so far.

“Aaaaand you won’t call the cops on us?”

Leo stepped out timidly.

“Or animal control?”

Raph gave him a look.

“What? Dad always says that humans are gonna call animal control on us if we ever leave the lair.”

The girl took in their bit of banter, blinking slowly before turning back to Mikey.

“Honestly, I still sort of think this is a dream, so no, I won’t call the cops. Yet.”

Her expression hardened.

“Are you guys good? Bad? What’s your deal?”

She still had her Potato-masher-taser in her hand. A subtle warning.

“W-we’re good! Promise, dude!”

Mikey raised his hands in the air, showing he wasn’t a threat. It probably would have been more effective if he wasn’t still holding his nunchucks.

“Then why were you and your ninja buddies trying to rob this place?”

April turned to the rest of them

“Ninja buddies? Oh, oh!”

Donnie got that excited gleam in his eye again.

“You mean the footbots!”

Despite bring in imminent danger, Mikey got the feeling Donnie was about to totally geek out in front of this himan girl.

“Foot… bots? They’re robots?”

Donnie nodded and…

and instead of being terrified… that girl got the same stars in her eyes.

“Like, actual, mechanical machines with programmed components?!”

All of a sudden, all apprehension dropped from her figure and she rolled herself towards Donnie, practically vibrating with new excitement.

“Yes!! I’ve hacked their mainframe interface a couple times now, but it’s only a matter of time before they get new firewalls up again.”

Donnie tapped on his wrist screen to show her. The girl gasped in amazement.

“What language do they use? Java? Python?”

She looked up to Donnie, the both of them lost in their own little world.

“Actually, they’re programmed with some kind of hybrid between C++ and Datascript! probably to avoid hackers, but-“

Raph jabbed Leo with his elbow to get his attention.

“Great, now theres two of them.”

He said jokingly and Leo hid a laugh behind his fist

Mikey, however, was reeling. One moment, this girl was brandishing a taser like a sword and now she was talking programming languages with Donnie like they’d known each other for years.

“They’re fully disabled now, so they’re safe to touch.”

The girl rolled over to one of the crumpled bodies, pulling it onto her lap. In a way that was uncannily familiar to the way Donnie headlocked and brutally decapitated a bot the night before. The girl gripped her fingers around the robot’s skull, rested her other hand against its shoulder, and tore its head off with a spurt of oil.

“Whoa…”

She peered down the neck joint, pushing aside the broken bits and exploring the mechanics fully.

Mikey put his head in his hands, groaning loudly and pushing the heels of his palms against his eyes.

“Why, WHY is THAT all of you guys’s first instinct?!!”

Completely ignoring him, the girl held out the bot to Donnie, showing him the severed neck, still dripping with oil.

“Look, they used stacked K-joints to create a 360 rotating neck!”

Once again, instead of having the normal reaction like Mikey would’ve expected, Donnie leaned in with fascination. honestly, Mikey would have preferred his brother screaming in terror at the gruesome dead machines than the keenly grinning psychopath in front of him. But then again, this was Donnie, he should’ve expected as much.

The bot’s finger gave a twitch and Mikey nearly jumped out of his skin, but both robotic nerds hardly noticed.

“It moved- IT MOVED!!”

Donnie gave him a look over his shoulder. A look that basically sighed yeah, no shell the FREAKY HORRIFIC WALMART-FIVE-NIGHTS-AT-FREDDY’S robot moved, Mikey, keep up.

“The artificial neuro-sensors may be responding to stray electrical pulses. Nothing big.”

“Yeah, yeah- okay. Nothing big, huh? Am I really the only one absolutely freaked the freak out about alllllll this?!”

Mikey wildly gestured to the entire area. The robots, the girl, the taser, the - all of it.

Raph raised a hand.

“Me and Leo are pretty chill over here. We’re gonna go get pizza after this.”

“We are?”

“Yep.”

He smirked at Mikey who was still losing him mind, just silently now.

The girl straightened up like she remembered something.

“Oh! I think I know what might be causing the stray electrical pulses. I built this- er, thing… I’ll be right back.”

The girl quickly turned around, manuevering around the counter and into the back room. Raph looked at Donnie who just shrugged.

“Here!”

The girl came wheeling back not a few seconds later.

This time, she had a…

Robot.

In her lap.

A very familiar robot, only it was now sparking and making strange noises.

Mikey watched the gears fall together in Donnie’s head. Like a livewire, the taller turtle leapt onto his toes.

“Oh my Newton! You’re Amon!!”

The new robot sparked again, yellow arcs of electricity causeing the surrounding dead footbots to spasm.

“Yeah, April O’Neill, Eastman Robotics and Engineering President. It’s nice to meet another tech nerd.”

April stuck her hand out and Donnie took it in his own, sharing a proper shake.

“Donatello, Donnie- and likewise .”

He not-so-subtly gestured over his shoulder at Mikey, Raph, and Leo. Raph was trying to convince Leo to steal a pizza by jumping on his shell, Leo was trying not to fall over, and Mikey was trying to convince them both to get Hawaiian.

“I should have known! You’re the genius mind who built this stupendous machine! But- uh,”

Donnie bent down, leaning on his staff to get a better look.

“Uh… what happened to it?”

April waved a hand in the air.

“Ah, someone broke it and i’m just like, really bad at repairs… I think it’s sentient?”

“Repairs? Oh, I can so do repairs. Can I have a look at it?”

She handed over the vaguely humanoid bot and Donnie set to work, carefully but efficiently taking off the acess panel and tinkering away at the insides.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

April watched intensely as Donnie pulled out tools from the backpack-like shell he had strapped on top of his actual shell. He went quiet as he worked,

exchanging his glasses for the dark goggles that rested on top of his head.

The other turtles were busy near the front of the shop, now playing keep away with Raph’s sai, making fun of how short he was.

Donnie eventually pulled off his goggles, closing the access hatch.

“Aaaaand there.”

He reached into his shell for his glasses, pushing them up his nose with a finger.

“It was a simple fix, really. There was something wrong with the main control panel, but it should work just fine now.”

April tilted her head.

“The main control panel? I just installed a new one like an hour ago. Why was that the issue?”

“I’m not sure, actually. The bot was built amazingly. It was just the repaired section that was broken.”

Donnie tapped the shiny metal of the panel, showing her how he had re-welded it into place. April snapped her fingers.

“Man, if I could’ve just gotten the other missing piece of the panel-“

Donnie’s eyes widened and he put down the bot. He reached into his shell, rummaging around, clearly looking for something.

He held out a jagged piece of metal, just about the size of his hand.

“You mean this piece?”

April took it with excitement,

“Yeah! Exactly this… piece… Wait.”

She narrowed her eyes at the piece, then at Donnie. Her glare was so fiery, Donnie immediately put his hands up in surrender. April wielded the shrapnel like a knife, swinging it out at the turtle.

“YOU!! You guys were the punks that wrecked my balcony!”

They all backed up away from the furious girl.

“Ugh- I can’t even- Do you four even know how much trouble you caused?!”

She surveyed their scared and shocked faces, lowering her ‘weapon’.

“S-sorry…”

Donnie replied, not looking at her and pushing his clunky glasses up his beak. April reeled her outburst back in. She was never great with all that emotionsjunk.

He really did look sorry, as did the three other turtles.

She took a breath.

“It’s… It’s okay… You did me a solid and fixed my bot- made it better, even.”

As if he heard, the tiny robot jumped into her lap like a dog, begging to be pet. She obliged the adorable little bot.

“We’re cool.”

Donnie visibly perked up at that.

But, ever pull that again-“

She lowered her voice to a dangerous level and dragged the sharp piece of metal plating across the space in front of her neck, miming a beheading. They all flinched.

“Got it?”

All four turtles nodded in unison.

“Coolness!”

Fully juxtaposing her murderous threat, April brightened with a wide smile that made her blue eyes twinkle.

It was clear that April O’Neill was not a force to be trifled with.

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

“So… Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo, right? Were you named by the Smithsonian by any chance?”

April propped a box of pizza open on her balcony, cracking a joke to ease the tension.

She didn’t need to, though. The second the pizza was in view, the boys relaxed significantly. They dug into the food with all the grace and manners of… teenage boys.

Ew.

Raphael ate a while slice in one bite, excluding the crust which he handed over to Donnie. He put a finger up as he chewed and swallowed.

Again: Ew.

“Yep, that’s us. You can call us by nicknames though. I’m Raph, that’s Leo, you already know Donnie, and that’s Mikey. Mutants from the sewers, awesome ninjas, and New York’s protectors!”

April looked him up and down… All 5’2 of him.

“… Right.”

Donnie snacked away at his pizza crust, seemingly to enjoy that more than the actual pizza.

“Enough about us! Tell us about you!”

For his over eagerness, Raph snorted and elbowed Donnie in the ribs.

“She ain’t gonna take you to the prom, Dee.”

Donnie shot him a glare.

“Shut up.”

He quick contorted his expression into something a lot more pleasant.

“Sooo, Amon. What’s up with that? Amon- is that a pseudonym?”

Donnie silently recieved Leo’s crust, not breaking eye contact with April. She could only ponder their strange eating habits.

She answered before she could stop herself.

“Oh yeah, it’s just an acronym of my initials. I’ve been using it ever since…”

She bit the inside of her lip and cringed. She should not have said that.

“Wait… April. O. Neill… That’s just Aon . Where does the M come fro-“

“OH HO wow!! That’s some cool tech!”

April interrupted him, leaning over in her chair to grab at Donnie’s wrist tech.

“Did you build it yourself?”

A little startled, Donnie raised a brow behind his glasses.

“I- uh, I found an abandoned shipment of smart watches and phones and just wired them together, haha. I designed it, but I didn’t exactly build it, you see-“

Mikey jumped in, socking his brother in the arm.

“Donnie here can’t build for jack!”

Donnie scrunched up his beak in annoyance, but Mikey kept going.

“He’s a regular super genius and he’s fixed Raph’s phone more times than I can count, but he just can’t build without stuff blowing-

“Okay! Thank you, Michelangelo.”

Donnie grit his teeth, shoving his brother out of his personal space. April gasped.

“No way! I’m like, the exact opposite. I’ve built so freaking many robots, but once they break, they’re broken forever.”

She gestured towards the sentient bot in her lap.

“Like, I thought this little guy was done for.”

Leo scooted closer. He noticed that the robot’s blue LED eyes kind of resembled his own.

“Huh, why do you have so many bots anyways?”

He asked a bit absentmindedly, wiggling a green finger in front of the bot like he was playing with an infant.

“I’m president of the robotics club at my school. We’re the Eastman Yellow Dragons!

She puffed her chest out a bit at that, clearly proud of her title. The turtles pulled away, all of a sudden apprehensive.

“President of… do you like, talk to a lot of people? oooor…”

immediately realizing her mistake, April shot her hands in front of her, basically waving away her previous words.

“No no! It’s like, it’s really lowkey, don’t worry. You won’t end up on the news or anything- I actually hate the news. Like, a lot.”

She realized that she was rambling and took a breather. Collecting her thoughts, April ran a hand through her ponytail and expelled all her rivalry-fueled thoughts of curly pink highlights and chunky square glasses (and big leather jackets paired with three inch tall platforms and purple pleated miniskirts along with that silky camri top she always wore with that strap thatwas always just about to slip off her shoulder… Yep, all rivalry thoughts here.)

“It’s really just me and four other people. My Crew. Me, Kendra, Jace, and Tim… But Tim is a little traitor and also works for the news crew.”

She muttered that last bit to herself.

“I mean… we still are best in state sooo… heh...

Seemingly remembering that she had company, April coughed into her fist.

“Anyways! What else do you turtle guys do- Like, besides beating up robo-ninjas?”

Redirecting the conversation back at them, she breathed out a sigh. She really needed to learn how to shut her mouth sometimes.

Leo, the blue one, piped up. He had been near silent since the debacle in the shop, so his input combined with his sudden enthusiasm was a little jarring to say the least.

“Have you ever heard of Space Heroes?!”

April blinked, trying to recall whatever he was talking about, drawing a blank.

“Space wha-?”

She asked, thoroughly confused. Raph punched him in the arm.

“Literally no one knows about Space Heroes ya dork!”

Donnie slipped in front of them just as Leo smacked him back.

“Sorry about…”

He vaguely gestured behind him where Leo and Raph were getting into another one of their many grapples while Mikey got up and tried to separate them. Raph bit his arm like the little gremlin he was.

“… That.”

Donnie frowned and dragged a balcony chair next to April’s wheelchair. She didn’t mind.

“I take it you four are brothers?”

She said with a lighthearted tone, watching the show unfold in front of her.

“You can tell?”

Donnie asked incredulously as if there wasn’t a textbook sibling squabble two feet away from them.

Mikey suddenly screeched.

“Did you just LICK me?!!”

Raph stuck out his tongue with his right arm in a no doubt painful joint lock between Leo’s legs.

April turned back to Donnie.

“…Yeah. I can tell.”

She grabbed a slice of pizza for herself. Remembering Raph and Leo, she ripped the crust off her slice and handed it over to Donnie.

“What other tech do you repair?”

The purple turtle lit up.

“Ohmigosh! There’s so so much!”

Donnie hurriedly shrugged off his backpack-like shell he was wearing, pushing his glasses up his face. April noticed for the first time ever that they were taped onto his bandana.

“I’ve got more at home, but I keep some essentials in my battle-shell-“

He plunged an arm into his ‘battle-shell’ and April’s eye bugged out of her head. That shell was way bigger than it looked. Donnie pulled out object after object, rattling off his possessions. It was comical just how much was inside the backpack sized shell.

“I’ve got a spare wrist console, phone, laptop, barometer- don’t really know why I have that-, footbot head- still don’t know what I’m gonna do with that- chainsaw, flamethrower, butane tank for my flamethrower, drill- Well, the drill’s in beta-, and a moped!”

He clanked down the vehicle and April gawked at it all. It was like that shell had infinite storage.

Each item had been clearly salvaged from scrap, but salvaged nonetheless. She could see where new parts had been welded or bolted on, but she had no doubts that they worked flawlessly.

Leo stuck his head out of the fight for a moment to raise a brow at the moped.

“Wait, when did you get a scooter?”

Donnie ignored him.

He tugged the tape off his glasses, raising them to April’s face so she could see through them.

“Oh! And my glasses too! I took apart an old phone and used the polarizing film to coat the lenses and then attached white light emitters to the frames and-“

April stopped listening, her jaw was on the floor.

Through the lenses, virtual projections filled her vision. From the time to the temperature to just descriptions and calculations of the things around her, the glasses were honestly baffling.

She took them off and handed them back, amazed.

“You built these?!”

Donnie pointed a finger in the air.

“Upgraded. I uh, I can’t really build-“

“Yoink!!”

Raph’s hand jarringly came into view, effortlessly snatching the pair of glasses from Donnie.

“HEY!! I can’t see with those! Give it back!!”

Donnie jumped into the fray, battling for his life, trying to snatch his glasses right back. It was hard, considering he was fighting practically blind.

April leaned back, looking at all four of the turtles bickering and tussling with eachother.

They were weird, yeah.

Definitely weird…

But also-

Donnie yelled as his glasses flew over the balcony railing. In a flash, The chain of Mikey’s nunchuck wrapped around the thin metal leg, catching it mid air. All four of them breathed a collective sigh of relief.

But also, they seemed alright.

Weird, but alright.

Mikey safely took the glasses into his hands. Being a lot more gentle, but still continuing their little keepaway game, he didn't let Donnie snatch them back just yet. Instead, he placed them over his own eyes.

“Dudes!”

Mikey looked through the lenses of Donnie’s glasses, eyes widening in surprise at something he was seeing on the screen.

“It’s almost three in the morning! We gotta get back or Splinter’s gonna shell us!”

He wrenched the glasses off his face and haphazardly tossed them back to Donnie who fumbled with outting them back on.

“Wait! Who’s Splinter?!”

Donnie blinked, getting adjusted to his glasses again. Behind him, his brothers disappeared off the railing of the balcony.

“Donnie, hurry up!”

A voice that sounded an awful lot like Raphael came from the bushes.

“Alright alright! I’m coming!”

He lifted a leg over the edge of the balcony, preparing to go off into the night.

April was reeling.

“Wait!”

She called again.

“I still have so many questions!”

Donnie held himself up on the opposite side of the railing as April frantically wheeled herself over. His feet were dangling in the air and if April was paying more attention, she would have been impressed with the turtle’s sheer upper body strength.

“I do too!”

Donnie leaned back over the railing, eyes wide and desperate.

“When will I see you again?”

April couldn’t help but be reminded of Romeo and Juliet. The balcony, the words, the full moon casting an iridescent glow over the night. It felt like a scene straight from the play.

That one scene where Romeo reaches up through the bars of Juliet's balcony, visiting her in enemy territory in the dead of night, right after their first meeting, just to see her again. The famously romantic moment when Juliet leans over her balcony and the couple shares their first forbidden kiss.

April leaned over her own balcony railing, her blue eyes never straying from Donnie’s red. She bent down low so their faces were level and-

“Do you have Discord?”

⋅ ⋆ ⋄ ✧ ☆ 𓆉 ☆ ✧ ⋄ ⋆ ⋅

Leo’s stomach was filled to the brim with nerves.

He wished Donnie would turn down the volume on their laptop. That two-tone notification sound was driving him crazy.

He tossed and turned in his bed, flipping himself over to the other side so he was facing away from the cinder block wall.

Donnie was chatting away in the virtual world with his new best friend (with his incel cat headphones, much to everyone’s dismay), Raph was on the floor, tending to his pet turtle (don’t think about it too hard) Chompy, feeding him small pieces of lettuce and giving him ample head pats, and Mikey was lazing on his bed reading a comic book.

Leo was the only one trying to sleep.

“Guys-“

He sat up in bed, giving up on getting shut eye. Grabbing his blue bandana, he tied it back around his head.

“We can’t keep doing this. We’re going to get caught.”

Three green heads turned to him.

Raph shifted on the floor, leaning back into a more comfortable slouch.

“Dude, as long as we’re careful, dad’s not gonna know anything. Besides, we’ve already surfaced twice- we’re basically masters at it now. You’re being paranoid.”

Chompy crawled onto Raph’s head, picking right there to be a prime napping spot.

“We’ve been lucky so far. Our luck is going to run out.”

Now Mikey put down his comic, clearly invested in the brewing conflict. Leo motioned with his hands.

“Also- What’s with you guys and breaking the rules, huh? Rules are cool! They’re meant to be followed.”

Leo could feel his brothers’ collective eye roll. Donnie spun around in his chair, one leg crossed over the other.

“You didn’t seem too concerned about the rules once we were playing hero and eating pizza up there, Leo.”

Donnie raised a brow, tapping his three fingers against the armrest of his chair with a sly smile like some kind of Disney villain.

The remark probably would have been more cutting if there weren’t two LED cat ears protruding from his head or if three separate discord displays weren’t right behind him. But nonetheless, Leo was properly disgruntled.

He scoured his mind for something to fire back, coming up empty.

“I- Uh- okay, fine! It was a little fun…

Mikey leaned forward in his bed with an equally teasing smirk.

“Whoa! The Leonardo admits to having fun by breaking the rules! Stop the presses!”

Leo scrunched his beak at him. Mikey playfully scrunched his face right back.

“A little- I said it was a little fun.”

Mikey jumped off his bed to climb into Leo’s repeatedly poking him in the arm, teasing him.

“A little is still fun~”

He sang, pulling a drawn out groan from the blue turtle.

“Ughhh- okay! Okay! It was so much fun! Holy shell, if I don't get to surface again I’m going to lose my mind these were the two best nights of my life and I want to go back up so badly I’d eat my own swords just for a second back up there!”

The words tumbled out of his mouth like word vomit before he could stop them. Strangely enough, the swirling nerves in his stomach disappeared in tandem with his confession.

“There ya go.”

Mikey gave his shell a whopping thump, making the old mattress creak under them.

“We’ll make it three for three tomorrow, then.”

Raph’s green eyes glimmered with mischief.

“That is, if you’re in?”

Leo couldn’t deny himself any longer. After fifteen years trapped in the sewers and just a taste of surface life, he needed more.

So much more.

“I’m in.”

His brothers cheered, but were still careful not to wake the sleeping rat just a room away.

Little did they all know, that rat wasn’t asleep. He was pacing the floor, turning his sons’ conversation over and over in his head, trying to think of his next move.

He’d tried so hard to stop this from happening.

The sewers, the groundings, the constant ninjutsu training.

Hamato Yoshi was never really a religious man. He only ever prayed for one thing.

He only ever prayed that his boys would stay safe.

Safe and with him.

Maybe he was paying some sort of atonement for his past, but it seemed like his prayers had been shredded and ignored for good.

TMNT: Far Gone - Tae_rhymeswithslay (2024)

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