Take My Hand
Leonardo didn't like her name. It was a boy's name, her sister was named Michelangelo, and she didn't really like her name either. They were teased about it constantly and where Leonardo had simply taken to ignoring the comments she was surprised that under her sister's bright sunshine smile and silly jokes that it all still -very deeply- bothered the younger. It bothered her to a point that every once in a while that ever present smile would falter for a day and the chatty girl would become withdrawn and silent. Their father never noticed these days. He was always so busy with his dojo and trying to make sure there were enough students to make enough income to pay the bills with and to properly take care of his daughters. And how proud of his daughters he was.
Leonardo was the top of her class, and class president. She was also his top student at his dojo. If a fellow student could not understand certain maneuvers then he would simply let her take control and do some one on one training. And with her blue mask tied in such a simple bow and her golden eyes it was no wonder that the turtle girl was the local heart throb. She was intelligent, skilled, and beautiful.
Michelangelo had her own charms, always with her mask tails in slight curled ribbons, the orange complimenting her brilliant blue eyes. She always had a smile and was more of the emotional fighter than the physical. She had friends all over the school from the lowly shy geek to the prissy popular. If she found someone picking on one of the misfits of the school then she was there with sharp words to stop the harassment. She also was the one that people came to if they needed advice or just a shoulder to lean on. Twice she had brought home a friend who had family troubles and needed a break from the stress. And even though she didn't look it she was a hard worker. Training with her sister, cooking and cleaning of the dojo and house, and now that she was sixteen she had a part time job at the local toy store. Honestly it was a great place for her to be, unfortunately Mikey had another special thing about her.
Her mothering instincts.
It was evident that soon as puberty hit that she wanted to be a mom and now that she worked at a toy store and was constantly surrounded by children... some times it got too painful for her heart that was too big for her chest. When this happened that smile would falter on her face and she would go to her room with out dinner and just stare outside the window lost in thought. It was no secret that she was different from most of the people in the world. She and her sister were turtles and... most likely the only ones out there. There had been a doctor who had explained once that it was impossible for her to have children with any human male, the genetics were just too different. When she heard about that she spent a whole night in her sister's arms crying. It wasn't like she had someone special that she wanted to share her life with. She was still a virgin just like Leo, but it hurt so deeply. She wanted kids. She wanted to be able to have a family of her own; six kids, a loving husband, a maybe some pets. But living in Japan having six kids was kind of insane.
"Is something bothering you?"
Blue eyes blinked up to gold before going back to look at feet as Mikey slowly pushed herself lazily on a swing at the local park, "Not really..."
Leo tucked her skirt behind her legs as she squatted down. Looking up she stilled her sibling by placing her hands on delicate knees, "Yes there is."
"No there's not." God she sounded like a pouting child. Mikey hated that when it happened.
"Is it the kids thing again?"
She shook her head. It was a lie in a way. It would always bother her, but at the moment she was more bothered with the fact that she was going to be left at home while Splinter -their father- took his students to New York in America for some Martial Arts Tournament. Splinter was excited due to being able to meet an old friend, some guy named Yoshi. For Michelangelo there was only one other thing that was more depressing than not being able to have kids, it was being alone. When she was alone it was almost like there was a weight on her that wouldn't stop pressing down until Leo or their father came home. She supposed it was due to the fact that their little family was the only one of its kind; two turtles and a rat.
"Then it's us leaving."
A small nod.
"Are you sure you don't want me to talk to father? I'm sure we can figure something out."
Mikey quickly looked up, "No! We can't afford it. We barely have enough to maintain the dojo and our tuition, we can't afford paying for another person to stay at a hotel for a week..." She forced a smile on her face, "Don't worry, I'll be fine. Besides, I think I can do with out seeing your ugly mug for a few days."
"Such cruel words from my little sister," Leo pretended to be hurt. This was a little game they would play when one of them was feeling down. A small insult and the other would always over dramatize their reaction. It always helped the mood.
A pink tongue stuck out as the youngest made a face with crossed eyes earning a laugh from the one who usually bottled things up.
The eldest smiled as she stood up, palms smoothing out her skirts, "Come on goof ball. Father wants us to have dinner together tonight."
"As long as you're cooking."
Leo rolled her eyes and smiled, "Come on, get off the swing."
"Not until you push me."
An exasperated sigh. The blue masked girl went behind her sister and pressed her hands against her cloth covered shell giving a gentle push. Leo knew better than to think that she could give just one push and then it would be over with. When ever the swings were involved it usually ended up with Leo taking up the swing beside her sister with the two of them competing for the top height.
"Why do I have to go?"
"Because I'm busy with school and mom and dad are going to be busy with their Splinter friend and the tournament."
"Yeah, and have you forgotten I'm part of the tournament?"
Donatello put his hands out in front of him in a praying position. Even though they have lived in New York for nearly four years they still held the body language of their native land and spoke fluent Japanese to one another even though Raphael's accent had changed dramatically.
"Yeah, I mean no! No I haven't forgotten, but I need to do these tests or I'll never know if I'm good enough to get into Yale."
"Don, you've already graduated from High School and you've applied to more than three different colleges and all of them are competing with each other to get you as a student. I think Yale should be grateful that you're even considerin' them."
"That doesn't change the fact I still need to take the test. Come on, please? It'll be over night. A trip there, a trip back. Come on."
Raph slipped his hands into his pockets, it was body language that Donnie knew well. It meant that he was about to win this argument.
"No means no brainiac."
"Think of it as a favor for mom and dad, for all they've done for us."
There was a bit of silence. Bringing their parents into it was a sure-fire way to get what he wanted. Tangshan was a wonderful mother, sweet and kind and Yoshi was a strong and gentle father. They had been more than lucky to get them as parents and after a year of living with them Donatello had discovered that his precious brother would do just about anything for them. He had even quit school in order to get two jobs to help pay the bills and pay the tuition for Donatello's prestigious schooling in some fancy private school.
"Thank you bro."
"But I'm only doin' it because it ain't right to leave someone behind like that."
Donnie grinned, "Of course." Yeah, right. Raph was doing it because Yoshi and Tangshan wanted to meet both of Splinter's children. When they had found out that Splinter and Leonardo were already on a flight and left Michelangelo behind their parents immediately started to arrange for the little family to stay with their own. Donatello and Leonardo would room together, Michelangelo and Raphael, and Splinter would take up the guest room.
The eldest of the twins sighed, "Okay, when do I leave?"
"Four hours, we already have the ticket and you're not staying over night so I think you'll only need a carry on bag."
Several hours later
Raphael pulled at his fingerless gloves making sure they were snuggly in place and that his sleeves slipped over the back of his hands. He was nervous, not from meeting some new guy, he did that every day at his evening job as a waiter. It was the fact that he was back in Japan. He didn't like the air here, it smelled too much like the old house he used to live in. He didn't like the trees, they were too much like the ones from his memories, the ones that he used to punch in fits of anger. He didn't like the accents people had, they sounded too much like...
He shook his head. Thinking about it would only distract him. He was just going in getting Leonardo's brother and then getting out. Simple as that.
The taxi finally came to the destination he needed to go. He paid his fair and climbed out of the vehicle. Raph adjusted his messenger bag over his shoulder, took in a deep breath stilling his nerves. He needed to get this over with, the longer he stayed in Japan the more jittery and anxious he became.
Coming up to the door of the small house he knocked. He waited patiently before knocking again. He frowned, there was only Michelangelo there, or so Master Yoshi said. Was the guy out?
He knocked again, only louder. He waited before pounding and shouting, "Answer the door!" Raph really didn't like staying out in the open air like this, not here at least.
"I'm coming geez."
The sound of locks sliding out of place, followed by the door opening to revile a mask-less turtle who was rubbing sleep out of blue eyes, "Yeah?"
Raph felt something in him freeze up. A girl... a turtle girl...
"Is-is Michelangelo home?"
God his accent was funny. Mikey tried to blink the fog of her afternoon nap out of her mind, "That's me. What's up?"
Just then Raphael's cell phone began to ring. He backed up a step and pulled the phone out of his bag. Flipping it open he heard his brother on the other end, "Raphie, we got a problem."
"I'll say, Michelangelo is a girl!" He thrust his hand towards the woman who was now coherent enough to see that there was a turtle, male turtle, like her, just a guy and- "A GIRL!"
Was he gay or something? Of course she was a girl.
"What kind of weirdo names a girl a guy's name?"
Well, she couldn't say anything to that.
Donnie's voice spoke up meekly, "Um... so is Leonardo."
To Be continued...