TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
TO DISCIPLINE A SHADOW
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are trademarked by Nickelodeon. All rights reserved
Note: This fic takes place in the same continuity as my TMNT novella series. You might want to take a read of them before advancing
Additional note: Pepperami is not a typo. It’s a food snack.
The scent was unmistakable. Saturn velvet. A strong kind of perfume with an enticing aroma. Only worn by the brave on a special occasion, usually a date, and there were plenty of handsome evenings that could weave themselves around the aroma picked up by one Chad Dawkins.
He clenched the crowbar in his hand tight as he checked the alley nearest to the warehouse he was safeguarding. Inside a deal was going down, a trade of over $17,000 worth of silver skeleton keys, a jewel embedded in the center of each one. A prize catch, and a dangerous asset to either party if they were caught handling them in these circumstances.
Chad’s job was to sniff out, literally, anyone who was capable of exposing them.
And he had pulled through. What he was sniffing out was indeed intrusive. It was a threat.
Better yet, it was a woman.
“You can’t hide anywhere” he said aloud, hitting his own hand with the crowbar ever so gently. Upon stumbling on a nearby trash can, half of it’s contents oozing out from under the lid, he kicked it to one side with his heavily laced right boot and then jumped down on it, attempting to partially crush it, he then wildly began beating the can with the crowbar, letting out frustrated wolf-like howls, he was seeking to intimidate, the response he got was far from feeling anything of the sort.
“Impressive” a voice rang out from the silk shroud of cool night air.
“Show yourself broad, ain’t no outdoing this sniffer dog, and my bite is a lot worse than my bark”
“I’ve read up on you, bit of an animal, but in the Pepperami sense”
“Pardon me, just reminiscing on my boyfriend’s taste for well over-processed salty snacks, I need to do some errands tomorrow and get him more of that. Such a drag”
“Don’t give me food for thought when I can easily have you for seconds, once I get a minute” threatened Chad
“You’re going to have to cover a lot of dark to bring me to light” replied the voice
“Say, I know that voice…you’re that reporter from Channel Six aren’t you? April O’Neil”
“Covering the latest breaking developments, always on time with things as they happen” replied the voice.
“Where are you hiding? I’m gonna make you the story”
“Answer a question first…unless you prefer not to catch me at my best” said April from the shroud of evening.
Chad turned to his right, believing he had heard a small footstep, he darted over the left side corner and stumbled on a wild kitten
“Careful around cats..you never know when they’ll pounce. That sure takes me back to when I had claws that were hard to cut off” replied April
Chad was slowly showing signs of irksome impatience.
“This hide’n’seek’n’destroy mission is gonna go my way broad” he said, “Don’t try to delay the inevitable”
“I’m trying to conduct an interview with someone at the heart of the matter, the least you can do is afford a girl like me something to leave behind before I sleep with fishes”
“Word on the street is you sleep with Turtles” said Chad
“Ah, well informed, I’ve picked a right fruit, now let’s make sure you’re no lemon…answer my question”
“I will if you come out of hiding”
“Answer my question and I’ll take a bold leap forward”
“Ask away” Chad said.
“You’re a shadow aren’t you?”
“A shadow. A guardsman for the mooks making the mint back in that building. You’re not paid to sit around, your job’s to sniff out any intrusions, to make sure that prickle on the back of their necks isn’t the breath of a cop or a rival gang member standing close enough to seize an opportunity to snarl or to snare. Answer me truthfully, do you consider yourself a shadow?”
“Yeah, I guess I am” said Chad, slightly taken aback by the calmness of the questioning, and the stimulating ease he was finding in this conversation. His hold on the steel crowbar loosened a bit, he put one hand to his jaw and scratched underneath it slightly to do away with an unsteady itch
“Now, here’s the next question, two of two, after this, I’m in the clear. Ready?” she said
“I guess” said Chad, now very confused, and not liking such a state of mind.
“What are they to you?” she said
“They…I…do I have to answer this?” he said
“If you don’t, I don’t appear, I go straight to the cops, I give them the location and details of the deal going down, we’ve got trackers in that building monitoring everything, I’ve got friends in very low areas, and they don’t mind getting high either…in a blimp, not on the funky mushrooms on their pizza toppings”
“Ok, ok…they’re…dependable, I guess. I got a family back home, had a kid just a week ago, money’s not so tight, so figured I’d…”
The impact was sharp, heavy and sudden, Chad felt his knees buckle. Somehow, incredibly, he could only stagger from what had hit him over the head. He immediately checked, rubbing his hands over his scalp, in it he found pieces of glass.
Another blast came from behind, he heard something compress, he tried turning around, only to have his forehead come head-to-head with the nozzle of a camera. It hit him hard, blasting and breaking his nose.
“Shouldn’t have went into detail like that” April said, revealed in full, emerging from the shadows in an attempt to bring discipline to one. “A family huh? Wonder how they’re feeling right now, wondering what their dependable shadow is up to?”
Chad groaned in pain, feeling the full weight of the impact from the camera to his skull, he got up and ran towards April, who let his gut feel the fury of a sharp thrusting kick from her right leg. As Chad clutched his stomach, April elbowed him on the back and brought her kneecap into his chin, before clenching a tight fist and, like a lightning bolt, it brought a sudden and sharp jolt of pain to Chad’s noggin as it struck him.
“April, don’t become the story” snapped a snarky voice from behind her. It was Vernon.
“Relax, we’ll just pin on the guys when they get down here”
“Graphic violence isn’t key to their demographics” said Vernon.
“And that’s why they lost their popularity to import sensations from Japan, slight scandal will do them wonders and do good ratings for us. Think big Vernon, this isn’t the 90s anymore”
“I didn’t think we ever left the 80s” snapped Vernon, “Those decades sort of bleed one into the other”
“I was going to let you off easy pal, but you had to bring family into it…that just raises my ire and it ignites a fire” April said to the groggy and near unconscious Chad.
“Just so you know April, that damage to the camera is coming out of your check” said Vernon as he picked up the remnants of the equipment.
“Small price to pay for enforcing perspective” April replied, before she removed her Turtle-com from her belt buckle and patched in to Donatello, high up on the Turtle blimp.
“Boys, swoop in, they’re all yours”
High overhead, the Turtle blimp flew down, ropes descended from atop it, and the four familiar forms of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slid down onto the roof of the warehouse. Donatello popped open a hole in the thatched sky loft of the structure with his Bo, and with a familiar cry of “Cowabunga”, the Turtles dealt their own swift brand of vintage vice to the dealers of the silver skeletons.
“April…” began Vernon, only to find she was gone, with only an open manhole left to provide a clue to her whereabouts
April made her way through the sewer network, using her Turtle-com to follow a homing beacon that her boyfriend had placed in one of his spare coms in the desk drawer of their bedroom.
Once she found her way to the Turtles’ lair, she creaked open the door and gently walked through the murky interior. She spotted Splinter deep in meditation, a half-finished game of Mouse Trap laying beside him.
April made her way over to the Turtles’ bedroom, stretched her arms, and sat down on the bed belonging to her and her boyfriend, she slipped off her boots and delicately peeled off her yellow jumpsuit and changed into a silk nightdress that Michelangelo had left nicely folded for her on the spread. She clambered into the bed and checked the right side to check if the book she had been reading the last night she had spent here was still in the same position she had left it. It was.
She spent the next couple of hours immersed in the pages of her book, and slowly but surely the warmth of the soothing romantic prowse contained within was settling her down, and she ultimately drifted into slumber, that is, until she heard several footsteps, followed by all too familiar overzealous, cool, cocky, and a little inch of crazy, yells and self-congratulatory chit-chat from the four Turtles.
As soon as they entered the sleeping quarters of their lair and saw what appeared to be April’s still and snoring frame, they immediately backed off, leaving only one amongst their ranks as the only other occupant in the room.
Smiling, Michelangelo tucked into bed beside her.
“You’re not getting any better at this April, I can totally tell we woke you again” he whispered
April opened one eye and grinned mischievously, “Playing sleeping beauty always gets me alone time with the prince”
“You missed out the word ‘handsome’ in that title” joked Michelangelo
April turned around and faced him with her strong and caring eyes
“So, like, what’s got your brain frying this time?” he asked, observing the novel, “It really can’t be this mush”
April swung her arm over his shoulder and rested her head gently on his chest
“Family” she replied
“We’re having the same chat we had last night at your place aren’t we?”
“It’s not a job interview…I’m a reporter, different sort of beast, just think of it as a press conference and relax, imagine a crowd, an audience, imagine all the people…”
“Raph was right, bring romance into the fab four and watch the Yoko factor play out” groaned Michelangelo
April sighed, and kissed Michelangelo on the nose before snuggling back into his arms.
“Look, I had a rough night, I played mind games with a mook and it really preyed a bit on my own head…people will take ridiculous risks for the people they care about, I was curious about the nature of the those that have thankless jobs on both sides of the coin, be they good or evil, the ones that stick by our side even if we sometimes take them for granted, I asked what were those we protect to them…and I got two things out of it…dependability, and…and family. I guess I expected the last thing, but that’s it is’nt it? The shadows, they’re our constant companion, they’re an imprint of life in the city as much as real shadows are moving on walls…it got me to thinking, if we start a family, what would I be to my shadow, my companion, you, would I be just as dependable to you? Would I be able to provide something you need?”
Michelangelo smiled “Babe, you provide plenty…and I’m not just talking about the Pepperami or the cheese’n’chilli Pizza on a cold Thursday night, you bring me not just love and laughter…you bring this loyal shadow discipline”
April trailed her fingers across Michelangelo’s rough stomach, whilst Michelangelo placed a hand on her head,stroking it through her hair like a tender brush
“Shadow…nice name for our kid don’t you think?” April asked
“Oh so we are having the exact conversation…i thought for sure you were trailing off, but never one to subvert expectation are you?” asked Michelangelo, folding his arms. April laughed
“All you fear is the paperwork, not the responsibility” April said, and turned off the nightlight beside the bed
“Don’t worry” she whispered, “If Shadow ever asks what we mean to you, I’ll be sure to say one thing…”
“Discipline?” asked Michelangelo
“Drive” she whispered back.
“I hope that doesn’t mean you’ll be taking Shadow on road lessons…I’ve seen you trying to ride the Van…