Back in the lair, Marie was once more in the bathroom - this time losing her brunch - the wonderful soup and crackers she'd eaten. She groaned, silent tears streaming down her face as she leaned into Master Splinter who stood holding her hair - Leonardo and Donatello both stood in the bathroom doorway with frowns upon their faces.
"I hate this...." Marie whined, her voice raspy, as she buried her face into her father after having had wiped her mouth. "I'm hungry an' I can't eat......an' my throat feels like there's a huge frog in it........"
Master Splinter patted her back gently. "Shh.....all will be well, my child."
This time, Leonardo scooped her up and carried her back to her room.
"What about the couch?" she asked, peeking over his shoulder.
"You'll sleep better in your own room," replied Leo, trying to give her a reassuring smile. Inwardly, he was really worried about her. They all were. It was so frustrating that they couldn't find a doctor or a veterinarian or whatever they needed like humans could. For as much as they did for the city, they should have at least been able to get medical attention. But no, here they were, scrounging around just to get some medicine for their sister.
Leo laid Marie down in her bed and then covered her up with her blanket. She tried to kick it off but he just tucked it in tighter. "You're sick, y'know," he told her as he sat down on the edge of the bed, "So you have to cover up."
"Am I bad off?" she asked, tears dripping down her face.
Leo sighed and brushed her hair back from her face. "You're going to be fine, don't worry," he said soothingly.
"Are you going to get sick too because you're taking care of me?" Marie asked, sitting up to stare fearfully at her older brother. She didn't want anyone to catch whatever she had.
Leo didn't know if he would or not, but he wanted to keep her calm. "I truly doubt I will," he said truthfully. He smiled at her, "Now, get some sleep. That's the best way to get better. If you need to throw up or anything, I'm going to leave a trashcan by your bed. And I think Sensei's going to come sit with you."
"Thanks, Leo," said Marie, giving him a ghost of a smile.
He smiled back at her, "No problem."
He left the bedroom just as Master Splinter was stepping in, a lit candle in his hand.
"I shall meditate while she sleeps," said Splinter, nodding his head at his oldest son.
Leo returned the nod with a small bow before walking down the hallway to Donnie's lab. The science-oriented turtle was at his computer, Googling away, trying to find a sickness to match Marie's symptoms.
"Find anything yet?" Leo asked, leaning in to peer at the computer screen.
"Nothing official yet," replied Donnie, shaking his head a bit.
Leo sighed and sat down on the edge of a table. "I don't know what to do, Donnie," Leo said, his head lowered.
Donatello could understand what his brother meant. "Yes, but you can't expect her to get better automatically. Getting rid of a disease is a process. Don't worry about it so much today, especially since we're doing everything we can."
Leonardo picked up a machine and fiddled with it. Donatello could always be relied upon to be the voice of reason. "Marie asked me something that I hadn't thought of," said Leo after a few moments of silence.
"And what was that?" Donnie asked, glancing up from the computer screen.
"Do you think it's contagious?" he questioned, tapping the side of the machine.
Donatello hummed for a second and then said, "I don't know, it's possible. We should probably all take Tylenol or something, and Rina should definitely limit contact with Marie. Having Rina sick is the last thing we need."
April handed a couple of magazines to Raphael.
"What's all this crap?" he asked, raising en eye ridge.
"They've got articles about Marie's beloved Backstreet Boys," said April, a smile on her face. As Raphael huffed about her spoiling 'The Brat,' April reached over to the end table and picked up a small novel. She handed it to Rina who beamed a smile as she saw the title.
"Oh, wow, Dragonriders of Pern! Thanks, April!" she exclaimed, hugging the slim human woman.
"No problem, Rina, I knew you'd been wanting it," said April.
"Well, we better get going," Raphael, stirring Rina towards the window. "Thanks again, April."
April shrugged some. "It's the least I can do. Give me a ring if you need anything else, Raph. And tell Marie I hope she feels better."
Raphael nodded, as him and Catarina climbed back out through the window after insuring it was indeed safe to do so.
"Let's go!" Catarina exclaimed, now a burst of energy, as she was more than eager to get back home and read her new book.
"Now she's energetic," Raphael muttered. "If I'd known all it'd take was a book, I'd have given her one sooner."
"It's not just any book, Raph!" Catarina shouted back. "It's Dragonriders of Pern!"
"Quiet, will you!" Raphael snapped. "Daylight! Stealth, Catarina!"
Rina shrunk some, feeling foolish as she had forgotten it was still daylight out, despite the fact the sun was still beating on them, as it began it's afternoon decent into the horizon.
"Sorry," she mumbled, stuffing the book into her shell for safe keeping.
"Let's go," Raphael said finally, once he was sure he wasn't going to lose anything.
The two of them used the shadows once more to keep hidden, as they made their way home. Upon reaching the sewers, they picked up their pace, as they knew their way around quite well by now - they'd be insane not to know shortcuts, considering they'd lived there their whole lives. The two entered the lair, both concerned when they realized no one was in the den and Marie was no long lying upon the couch.
"Donnie?" Raphael called out.
"In here!" Donatello called back from his lab, where he and Leo still were, trying to look up Marie's symptoms to figure out just what was wrong with her.
"We're back," Raphael stated, as he set the bottle of medicine down upon Donatello's desk. "Here. April sent this along; she thinks it may help.....though, she asked if it were Marie's tonsils or pneumonia first....." He shrugged. "How're we to know, yanno?"
Catarina shifted slightly. "I'm gonna be in your room, Leo," she informed him and her other two brothers. "April gave me Dragonriders of Pern!" She beamed. "I'm anxious to read it, and Raph gave me a good workout on the way there, so I think that can count as afternoon practice, right?"
Leonardo nodded. "Alright. Just steer clear of your room, and don't go near Marie. We don't know if she's contagious yet or not."
"Okay," Catarina spoke softly, quickly turning and heading for Leo's room to go and read her book.
Once in Leo's room she opened her book with a smile and settled down to read. She couldn't believe her luck! Her grounding might as well be off, and she'd finally gotten the book she'd wanted since forever! The only down part was she couldn't go near her room or her sister.
"Hey, Marie still up?" Raphael asked, as he turned to leave the lab. "April sent along some magazines with them annoying as Hell, Backstreet Boys."
"Yeah, she probably is," Leonardo answered. "She's with Sensei in her room. We moved her there, so she'd be out of the way and just in case she's contagious."
"She'll sleep better too," Donatello piped up. "And don't stick around her long, Raph. We definitely don't need you getting sick too."
Raphael rolled his eyes, and left the room. "I never get sick," he muttered.
"Yeah, you're too mean for germs to go near you!" Michaelangelo chirped, having had heard his brother.
Raphael whacked him with the magazines as he walked by, entering the girls' room moments later, softening some when he saw Marie looking back at him from where she lie in bed, half out of it, in an attempt to be closer to their Father who sat upon the floor meditating.
"Hey, Sensei, may I come in?" Raphael asked, looking down at Master Splinter.
The rat nodded slowly, giving his consent. He stood up and picked up the candle from the floor. He put it on the stand in between the two girls' beds and leaned down to kiss his daughter's forehead. "I will check on you soon," he promised before leaving.
"Hai, Sensei," she whispered, pressing her head against her hands.
After their father left, Raphael sat down on the side of the bed. "Feeling crummy, kid?" he asked.
She shrugged her shoulders, "I guess. I've been better."
Raphael smirked, "There, ya see. There's the difference."
"What?" she asked, not really knowing what he was talking about.
"The difference between you and me. See when I'm sick, I'm a sarcastic jerk. But you, you actually tame down a bit. Sorta nice if you ask me," he said, grinning down at her.
"I'm sarcastic!" she exclaimed, put out that she wasn't exactly like her brother. He had been her role model ever since she was little.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," muttered Raphael, crossing his arms over his plastron. They sat there in silence for a little while before Raphael cleared his throat. "You know, I didn't mean to get angry with ya yesterday. I wouldn't really hit you," he apologized.
"I know," Marie said, "You were worried. But that don't mean you can take it out on me."
Raphael rolled his eyes, "Hey, no one said I was taking stuff out on you." He patted her on the shoulder and pulled the blanket up around her. "Just get better, alright, kid?" he said, brushing the side of his hand against her face gently.
"Mmhmm, sure," mumbled Marie, pressing her face into her pillow as Raphael left the room.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. The rest of the family tried to go about normally, but it was always strange carrying on minus one. Marie's energetic and rebellious spirit was missed and they were all worried about her. Eventually, everyone ended up in bed and asleep.
Rina was having trouble sleeping in Leonardo's bed. It was lumpier than hers and she missed her blanket. Not to mention it was weird sleeping in a room without her sister. Grumbling, Rina sat up and punched her pillow. She'd almost be better switching places with Leo and sleeping on the couch. As restless as they come, she opened the door and let in a gust of the cool night from the hallway. That was when she heard whimpering coming from her and Marie's room. The concrete was cold on her bare feet as she walked towards the room but she was used to it. She had lived with that for years. Reaching their door, she pressed her head up against the door. Yep, Marie was definitely whimpering. Confused, Rina cracked the door open and crept into the room.
Marie was asleep but she was having a nightmare. Scenes were flashing in front of her eyes; sometimes she was a participant, sometimes she was just watching. There were humans in white coats, their hands were cold but their eyes were colder. They looked at her as if she were an animal… They picked her up, held her, weighed her, hit her, played with her, measured her, always watching, always writing stuff down on pieces of paper. Taking notes. Something was deliberate in all their actions; she hated them. They made her afraid. Marie saw another turtle, a younger Rina. She watched the humans take her sister, stick needles in her, carry her away. She was more afraid when Rina wasn't there. There were other turtles, not her brothers, but her age. Where was she? A face loomed in front of hers; it was this man's face that scared Marie the most. He was laughing, as if he thought her terror was funny. A knife appeared in his hand and he suddenly lunged for Marie.
Back in her bed, Marie sat up and screamed, her bloodcurdling, banshee cry ringing through the sewers like a death shriek. She saw a pair of hands reaching for her and she lashed out, kicking the torso of the person and sending them crashing off the bed.
While Marie had been having a nightmare, Rina had been contemplating what to do. She should've have gone to get Master Splinter or Leo or Raph but she opted to stay, crawling up onto the bed beside her sister.
"Please, Marie, shhh," she said, wrapping her arms around Marietta and holding her in a hug as she tried to thrash about. Why wasn't anyone else awake? She couldn't leave Marie alone like that. She heard Marie mutter her name and she only held her tighter. When Marie ripped away from her and screamed, Rina had screamed too, startled by her sister's violent awakening. She was completely caught off guard when Marietta kicked her. She fell off the side of the bed, landing on the bed stand, which caused the lamp and other various things on the stand to fall off. She ended up in a heap on the floor, her wide eyes staring up at Marie who was still screaming. There was noise in the hallway and the door was flung wide open. However, from her position on the floor, Rina couldn't see who it was.