It wasn't often that Rina heard that gut-wrenching scream. She had heard it once when they were little and Marie and Master Splinter had been taken by the Foot when they ransacked their house. Another time, Marie had been lost in the sewers and Rina couldn't find her. Last night, she had heard it again. There was nothing else she could do but immediately run to her sister's side, her glass of whatever falling out of her hand and crashing on the ground.
"Marie!" she exclaimed as she crashed into the door, forcing it open and falling on the floor beside her sister's bed.
The turtle in the purple and yellow bandanna was sitting up in the bed, clutching her hands to her face, covering her eyes as if she was seeing something horrible. Master Splinter was sitting behind her, his arms wrapped around her tightly.
"Marie? Are you alright?" she asked, reaching up and touching her sister's knee. The other turtle girl shrank away and then turned to look at Rina.
"Oh my god, Rina, make it stop!" she exclaimed, her eyes wide with fear.
She was making Rina afraid, but the other turtle girl wasn't about to say something to her terrified sister. "Shh, Marie, it's okay, I swear, I promise," Rina said, climbing up onto the bed to sit beside Marie. "What happened?" Rina asked, putting her hand on her sister's kneecap.
Marie stared at Rina as tears started streaming down her cheeks. "I was…I was in a cage somewhere, I think," she cried, leaning forward. Rina situated herself so she could hug her sister. "That man was there again. He called me a name…no, a number. T35," she said, sobs wracking her frame. Marie seemed sad and angry but most of all frightened. Rina didn't know what to do besides just hold her and try to comfort her. "And, and then I was running around in circles. It was some sort of test. You were with me, and every time I wanted to stop, you smiled at me. We were really little, I dunno how old. Then they took you away again." Marie let out a long wail and clung to her sister, "Please, please, don't go away! Don't let them take you away!"
"Marie, I'm not going anywhere!" Rina replied hastily, frightened by her sister's behavior. She looked imploringly to their father who rubbed circles on Marie's back.
"Marietta, my child, the world is not as you saw it in your nightmare," Master Splinter said soothingly, "We are a family. There is no man, and no one will ever take your sister from you."
The boys were standing in the doorway, watching their sisters and their father.
"But he'll try! And what if he takes me too? I don't want to go with him…" Marie said her eyes as wide as saucers as she looked at Master Splinter.
"No one is going to take anyone anywhere," Leonardo said in a determined tone as he walked over and sat down on the side of Marie's bed.
Marie looked at him with suspicious eyes, "What if you're just saying that?"
"I haven't lied to you before," Leonardo replied, staring her down.
Rina felt Marie shudder in her arms as she let out a halting sigh and fell deeper into her sister's embrace.
"Please, Rina, don't leave me," Marie mumbled, still holding onto the other girl.
"I won't," said Rina, even though she was getting the no way sign from Donatello who thought that was a terrible idea, "I won't."
Catarina helped Master Splinter quiet Marietta down and then got her to drink some ice water to help the fever. As her sister fell back asleep, Rina sat at the end of the bed like a stubborn watchdog. So what if she got sick? Her sister wanted her there so she was going to stay there.
"Rina," Donatello sighed. "It's not happening."
Rina glared at her brother in purple, knowing exactly what he was indicating. "I don't care, Donnie. She wants me here, so I'm gonna be here!" She snapped somewhat. "You'd do the same for me, if I asked you too! So let me be here for Marie!"
"But - " Donatello started, only to be cut off.
"My son, let her be," Master Splinter said calmly. "There is no harm in letting her ease Marietta's fears; there is also no point in intensifying those fears by removing her sister from her reach. These dreams plaguing Marietta have her greatly troubled and fearful, and I will not force her to awaken each time wondering where her sister is."
"Hai, Sensei," Donnie sighed. "But if you start to feel sick, I'm removing you immediately and giving you a check-up, Rina."
"Fine," Rina replied, moving back so her shell rested against the wall and so that she was closer to her sister. "But you're not getting me out of here anytime soon."
Donatello shook his head, as he left the room.
Raphael smirked. "Good goin' Kid. Stick to yer guns," he told her. "An' don't you dare let Marie outta that bed unless it's to pee, or I'll pound yah myself!" "
Raphael!" Master Splinter snapped firmly. "There will be no need for that."
Raphael shrugged and left the room as well then.
"You need anything Rina?" Mikey asked, wanting to help in anyway that he could. He hated to see anyone suffer or be as scared as Marie seemed to be from her nightmares.
"Nah, I got everything right here," Rina smiled, patting her sister's covered leg. "But thanks anyway."
"I'm going to stay here as well, if that is alright, Master," Leonardo piped up, his eyes darting from his Sensei to his sisters. These dreams and her comments were really starting to worry him, though she'd only had two thus far. But, it seemed the more she had the more frightened she became and he hated the fact there was nothing he could do to ease her fears - except maybe stay there in the room as well and stand guard.
Master Splinter nodded his agreement. He knew his son's thoughts, and understood perfectly. "That will be fine, Leonardo."
Leo nodded, and moved a desk chair near the doorway, so he could sit and keep an eye out. Mikey flashed everyone a smile, then went off to make something sweet for dessert that night.
Marie woke up the next morning with a mixture of brown and blonde hair in her face. She was confused for a moment until she realized that somehow Rina had ended up in the same bed as she had, sleeping forehead to forehead with her. Marie felt more refreshed than she had the previous morning but she was still under the weather. She remembered waking up yesterday with a nightmare and that was when Rina had demanded to be allowed to stay in there.
Marie lifted her head to see Leonardo asleep in the chair that Master Splinter had previously been sitting in. Someone had tossed a blanket over him and another one over Rina. The presence of her siblings in the room was comforting, and she was glad to have them there. She snuggled closer to Rina and would've fell back to sleep if she hadn't been hungry. She slipped out of the bed and managed not to wake up Rina. She padded down the hallway to the kitchen where she could hear her other three brothers talking amongst themselves. She was feeling a bit weak but she was more hungry than anything.
"Marie!" Mikey exclaimed as he saw his sister in the doorway, eyeballing the cereal on the table voraciously.
"Morning," she said groggily, not even attempting to smile at them.
"Well, lookie here, who decided to get outta bed?" Raphael teased, but he was happy to see her out of the bed. He shoved out a chair with his foot and she climbed into it while Donnie looked her up and down.
"Are you feeling better?" he asked as he went to go find their bottle of medicine.
"A little," Marie answered truthfully.
"Hey, whatcha want for breakfast, Marie?"
"Umm, pancakes?" she asked hopefully.
He ruffled her hair and laughed, "Anything you want as long as you promise not to barf it up!"
"Mikey, you're going to make the kid hurl," rumbled Raphael, rolling his eyes.
"Let's not talk about vomiting, shall we?" said Donnie as he handed a pair of pills to Marie. The young turtle took them grudgingly with a swallow of orange juice.
Marie made a disgusted face as the pills went down with the orange juice. She hated taking medicine with a passion, but these ones seemed to actually be helping - and the sooner she could tackle Raph and get on Leo's nerves the better. Though, she was enjoying having Leo there to protect and comfort her when she needed him to do so - she just wasn't going to admit it anywhere other than inside her head.
"Where're the other two?" Raphael demanded, stuffing another spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
"Sleeping," Marie answered, smiling somewhat. It felt good waking up and seeing Rina and Leo both there - she could get used to this. "I actually snuck past Leo!"
Donatello laughed at her sudden enthusiasm. "Well, there's a first," he said, ruffling her hair lightly as he walked by in order to get back to his seat.
Marie swatted at him haphazardly. "Donnie!" She whined. "Don't!"
Mikey laughed hearing her, as he went about making her some pancakes - pancakes she'd had to miss out on, on their Pancake Sunday. "Hey, you want anything in these?" He asked, wondering if she'd actually ask for chocolate chips.
"C'n I have apples?" She asked hopefully.
"Sure thing, Kiddo," Mikey beamed, grabbing an apple from the fridge and slicing it up after peeling it quickly.
Marie stifled a yawn, still a bit tired, though she did feel more refreshed as she'd actually gotten a decent night's sleep.
"What're you doing after breakfast?" Donnie inquired.
"Going back to bed," Marie answered, as she still wanted to snuggle with her sister some more, with Leo looking on protectively.
Soon enough, her pancakes were done and she sat eating them happily, making sure to take her time as to not upset her stomach too much. Mikey and Donnie had left, leaving her and Raph still sitting there as he wasn't about to leave in case anything happened.
"Yah sure yer alright?" He checked, as he knew her and how she liked to lie at times to hide the truth.
"I'm fine, Raph," Marie replied, savoring a bite of pancake. "I still don't feel well, but I don't feel as bad as yesterday."
Raphael eyed her a moment, before finally accepting that as the truth. "No more nightmares?"
Marie shook her head. "No, Leo and Rina protected me from them," she told him. "They make a good team, scaring off nightmares."
Raph snorted, though he knew in her own round about way, she was admitting she was glad Leo had stayed with her in the girls' room. "You'd best eat and get back before he worries," Raph reminded her. "Or he just may carry yah on back there."
Marie flashed her brother in red a smile as she ate her last bite of pancake, before standing and tackling him gently in a hug - not like her usual tackle hugs which were always rough, tight, and fun.
"Love you," she whispered softly, as she felt him embrace her back with one arm.
Raphael had darted a look around first, before returning the gentle hug. "Love yah too, Kid. Now, git on back to bed."
Marie gave a soft giggle as her brother poked her side. She kissed his cheek, then hurried on back to her room, leaving her plate and utensils on the table.
"Damned Kid," Raphael muttered, cleaning up the mess she'd left behind.
Marie reached her room just as Leo and Rina were stirring.
"Where'd you go?" Rina asked sleepily.
"I was hungry," Marie replied, going and crawling back into bed next to her sister. "Stay with me, please?"
Rina saw her sister's hopeful look and nodded. "I already told Donnie I'm not going anywhere," she smiled warmly.
Marie returned the smile, hugging her sister as tightly as she dared, not wanting to upset her stomach. It was then she heard Leo moving about. "Leo!" She cried, quickly turning and jumping up out of bed so fast a dizzy spell hit her once more. "Oye...."
"Hey, take it easy!" Leo exclaimed, easing her back down onto the bed, so she was once more lying next to Rina. "Now, what is it?"
"Don't go," Marie told him softly. "Please? I need you here."
"I'm just going to get Rina and I some breakfast," Leo answered. "We're hungry too, you know."
"Then get Mikey to get it for you!" Marie told him, quickly grabbing his arm when he tried to leave.
"Mae-Mae, what's wrong?" Rina asked, worried once more.
"I just - I don't want you guys to go yet," Marie whispered. "I need you here."
Rina gave her sister an encouraging look, "Don't worry, Marie. Leo will be right back, and besides, how's Mikey supposed to get us food if he doesn't know we want it? And on top of that, Mikey's not a slave."
"Though he may be beginning to feel like one," mumbled Leo, rolling his dark blue eyes.
Rina tossed him a smirk before returning her attention to her sister. "But, yeah, I swear, Leo will be back in a little bit, won't you, Fearless?" Rina said, emphasizing the phrase 'little bit'.
"Of course," replied Leonardo, once again heading towards the door.
"You better come back soon!" exclaimed Marie, glaring at her older brother.
"Will do, Ms. Demanding," he said as he walked out the door.
Marie curled up beside her sister who had picked up one of the magazines on the bed stand and started reading it.
"Ugh, BSB," she complained, tossing the magazine over the side of the bed. "Dribble, complete dribble," she said, frowning at the offending magazine.
"It's not dribble," declared Marie, opening her eyes to scowl at Rina.
The turtle in blue and white made a face. "Bleh, it is too," she replied.
"Is not!" Marie snapped, sounding angry.
Rina held up her hands innocently, "Fine, whatever. Grouchy."
"You sunny-side-up moron," Marie grumbled before planting her face into the pillow.
Rina grinned to herself. Wanting to stretch her legs, Rina got out of the bed and rubbed her tired muscles. Training with her brothers was much different than training with her sister. Rina felt a tickle in her throat and an unwanted series of coughing escaped her. She immediately clapped her hands over her mouth. Oooh, no! She wasn't sick, she didn't have the flu. It was a head cold if anything. She decided to ignore it and grabbed her CD-player before returning to sit on Marie's bed. The turtle in purple and yellow was a light green color, still not up to her darker green shade.
Leonardo came back in with a plate of leftover pancakes, a couple granola bars, and three bottles of cold water. Leonardo offered Rina the pancakes but she wrinkled her beak. For one, she wasn't very hungry and second, ugh, there were apples in that! She hated apples.
"Granola bar'll be fine, thank you," she said, taking one of the bars and a bottle of water from him.
"Suit yourself," Leo replied, sitting down in the rocking chair again. He munched down on the pancakes while Rina nibbled at the edge of the granola bar. She managed to get half-way through it before setting it to the side.
About an hour later, both Leo and Rina were getting restless. Rina was able to amuse herself with the CD-player but Leonardo didn't have much to do. Rina glanced over at Marie who was pretty much asleep.
"Leo," she whispered, smiling at her brother. "You could probably go now, she's asleep."
"Alright, but come get me if she starts having a nightmare," Leonardo said, standing up from the rocking chair. He was ready to go train or something, at least move around for a while. Being sedentary didn't suit him. He left for the dojo while Rina stayed behind, sitting loyally at her sister's side. She eventually drifted off, lying down at the end of the bed.
Donatello went to check on Marie a short while later, frowning some when he saw that both were asleep. Marie, he had expected, but not Rina. He went over and felt their foreheads dutifully, frowning more when he realized Rina was now also a bit warmer than usual. He shook his head. He knew this would happen, but both girls were extremely stubborn when it came to protecting the other - a good trait, yes, but not when the other was sick. He covered them both up, deciding medicine could wait until they were awake once more. He was happy to see Marie looking better than earlier, though she still wasn't up to par. He left the room, shutting the door behind him and headed out back to where the rest of the family was out in the den.
"Well, Rina's sick," he confirmed. "Unless it's just the fact the two of them are snuggled together, offering the other their body heart. But, I really think it's the first of the two."
Raphael groaned. "Just great. One finally starts to get better, an' now the other hasta go an' get sick. Why can't they ever just be sick together and get it over with or not catch what the other's got at all?"
"She may not have the flu, Raph," Donnie pointed out. "All I said was that she's sick."
Leo shook his head. "It's no wonder we're not all sick. We've all been in there with Marie long enough for it to happen."
"My sons, just keep drinking the herbal tea, and you shall be fine," Master Splinter stated. "And if Rina is sick, I am sure we will all take as great care of her as we have Marie."
"Of course, Sensei!" Mikey chirped. "That's our job! We are their big brothers, after all."
Raph snorted. "And surprisingly, Mikey's actually good at it."
"Hey!" Mikey whined. "I'm good at other things too!"
Leo cast Raph a glare, then looked back at his youngest brother in orange. "No one said you weren't, Mikey."
Mikey grinned, then went back to channel surfing. "So what're we gonna do now? Yanno, since two of us are outta commission."
"Lemme guess what Leo's gonna say," Raphael exclaimed, standing up from the couch. He struck a Leo pose, one hand curled in a fist and thrust into the air, "Come on, everyone, let's train! Yippee!" He rolled his eyes over towards their leader as if he was disappointed. "C'mon, Leo, try to be original," he teased, flopping back down on the couch.
Leo scowled at his brother in red, "I do not look like that! I don't sound like that, either."
"Well, y'know dude, you sorta do…" Mikey started but he trailed off when Leo gave him a death glare. He sunk down into the couch cushions, "Okay, but if we don't train, then what're we going to do?"
"We could relax," proposed Donatello, "Perhaps we all deserve a day off."
He and the other three looked hopefully at Master Splinter. A day just to goof off and do whatever they wanted would be fun. Besides, they had been practicing ninjitsu without any good breaks for a long time now. Master Splinter sighed and rubbed the end of his cane,
"Maybe a day of rest is in order…"
"Whoot!" Mikey exclaimed, high-fiving Donatello.
So the boys were allowed to have the rest of the day off. At first, they all stayed in the living room, not really knowing what to do with their time. There was a short lived Super Smash Brothers tournament that ended in Mikey doing a victory dance around the lair. Eventually, Raphael drifted over to play the guitar he had gotten last Christmas while Mikey fell into writing in his notebook. Donatello was programming a laptop while Leonardo took up a desk to do some drawing.
Back in the bedroom, Marie had woken up and was reading one of her magazines. Rina was still asleep but she woke up when her sister accidentally poked her with her foot.
"Hey," Rina mumbled as she picked her head up from her crossed arms.
"Afternoon, lazy bones," Marie said, grinning up her sister as she put the magazine down.
Rina smirked as she sat up and massaged her arm. It had fallen asleep and now it was prickling with pain.
"Are you feeling better?" Rina asked, her hazel eyes searching her sister for any lies.
Marie shrugged, "I think so. I'm good enough that I can read now without throwing up."
"That's a good sign," said Rina with a giggle. The giggle made the tickle in her throat worse and she ended up coughing. Marie narrowed her eyes but Rina waved her off, "Haha, swallowed a dust bunny."
Marie decided that that was an adequate explanation and leaned back against the pillow she was propping herself up with.
Rina slid off the side of the bed, "Are you hungry or thirsty or something?"
"I guess," said Marie uncertainly, "Do we have any fruit in the fridge?"
"Maybe," Rina said, rubbing her temple as she tried to think. "I'll check though!" she said, hanging on the doorway, "I'll get some water too."
"Alright, but come back soon," said Marie.
"Well, duh," Rina said, giving her a thumbs up.
Marie giggled some; she loved her sister and how she always knew how to make things better. She often wished she knew how to do that; usually, all she did was just make things worse.
Leonardo glanced up when he heard someone come out of the hallway. "Hey Rina," he smiled. "How's Marie?"
"She's fine," Rina answered. "She's reading her magazines."
Leo laughed as Rina rolled her eyes slightly.
"How're you feeling?" Donatello queried, looking up from his laptop.
"Fine," Rina answered, heading towards the kitchen. "Just hungry, is all."
"Well, that half of a granola bar you ate earlier wouldn't be enough to keep anybody satisfied for long," Leonardo commented, ignoring the glare his sister flashed him.
Rina stalked off into the kitchen to find something good to eat. She ended up finding some leftover lasagna, and a bowl of grapes, apples, lemons, and bananas that she decided to take for her sister. She grabbed up the food, as well as a couple glasses of juice, and carried them on back to the bedroom, where she set everything down, then plopped onto Marie's bed once more.
Marie eyed her sister warily. "Yer sure yer okay, Kitty?" Marie double-checked, as her sister just seemed different to her today.
"I'm fine, would everybody quit asking me that!" Rina snapped, grabbing up her leftover lasagna, which she had heated up before coming back to the bedroom. She dug in, though she was mostly just picking at it.
"Mm....That sure smells good," Marie commented, grabbing up an already sliced lemon with her one sai she'd pierced through the piece of fruit.
"Your weapons aren't forks," Rina stated grouchily, midst a mouthful of food.
"They might as well be," Marie smiled. "I mean, look at 'em!"
Rina rolled her eyes and continued eating, only managing to eat about half of what was on her plate; she grabbed up her glass of juice and gulped it down thirstily. Once done, she lie back down on the bed, her head resting on her sister's lap.
"Yer sure yer okay?" Marie asked again cautiously.
"Yes!" Rina growled slightly, smacking her sister's leg.
"Ow! Okay!" Marie exclaimed. "Yeesh!"
Rina settled down once more, soon dozing off into a peaceful slumber. Marie sat reading her magazines and eating fruit, while subconsciously playing with her sister's hair.
Later that afternoon, both Rina and Marie ventured forth out of their bedroom, bored out of their minds. No one was in the living room so they took it over. Rina let Marie have the couch while she sat on the floor, her shell pressed up against the back of the couch. Marie flipped the channels around until she landed on one of those made-for-TV Lifetime movies. The girls settled down to watch TV, guessing that their brother had retreated to their rooms.
"Man, that woman is so stupid," Marie grumbled, glaring listlessly at the TV.
"Hmm?" Rina asked, looking at her sister. She hadn't really been paying attention.
"That woman, she knows he's just going to abuse her again! Why's she so stupid, huh? If I had a boyfriend, I wouldn't let him hit me," said Marie, ranting about the injustices of the world.
Rina smiled and ran her finger along the floor. "Yeah, mhmm, I'm certain you wouldn't," she said, leaning back against the couch. As the movie went along, Marie kept on ranting while Rina eventually fell asleep, her forehead pressed against her knees.
"OH! How can he do that to her!? Stupid man, grrr," railed Marie, her voice becoming squeakier as she lashed out against the man on the TV. She was really getting into the drama of it all. She glanced down and realized that Rina wasn't paying attention to her. "Only you could fall asleep in such an uncomfortable position, Rina," mused Marie as she tapped her sister on her shoulder.
"Hmm?" Rina mumbled as she lifted her head from her kneecaps.
"You wanna lie down?" Marie asked, patting the other side of the couch.
Rina rubbed at her eyes and then shook her head, "No, naw, I'm good. I'm great, really."
"Sure," Marie said, rolling her eyes at the statement.
"Are you trying to be sarcastic? Because it doesn't really suit you," growled Rina.
"Wow, what's gotten into you?" asked Marie, her eye ridges raised.
"I dunno, probably the same thing that comes and sucks up your rational thought every now and then," she replied, putting her forehead back on her knees.
Marie stared at her sister; she rarely ever lashed out like this unless she wasn't feeling well or she was on her last nerve.
"What I do to you?" Marie asked, gently shoving her sister's head to the side playfully.
Rina growled and punched Marie's leg, causing the girl on the couch to yelp.
"Ow! Rina! Dammit! What's gotten into you?" Marie exclaimed, quickly pulling her legs back as she rubbed where she'd been punched. "Fine, I'll leave yah be. Yeesh!"
Rina grumbled incoherently, as she placed her head back down onto her knees, closing her eyes once more and falling back to sleep almost immediately.
Raphael came into the room then, smiling some when he spotted the girls. "Hey, Runt. How yah feelin'?" He asked, going over to stand near Rina who was snoring softly.
"Better," Marie answered once a commercial had come on. "But whatever yah do, don't bug Rina. She's cranky."
Raph smirked, nudging Rina with his foot, only to have a fist slammed down onto is foot. He glared at the girl, shoving her over a bit hard with his foot. "Get up on the couch if yah gonna sleep, or go back to bed," he stated as she toppled over.
Rina hit the floor, immediately sitting back up and glaring up angrily at her brother in red. "Screw you, Raphael!" She snapped, glaring up at him with daggers for eyes.
"I told yah," Marie snickered, though stifling her giggles as Rina turned the glare upon her. "What? I tried to keep him from buggin' yah."
"Yeah, right," Rina mumbled, curling back up into the same position as before. "Just go back to watchin' your stupid show, Marie."
"You c'n come up here with me, yanno," Marie reminded her sister. "It's more comfortable."
"I'm fine right where I am!" Rina snapped, not bothering to lift her head from her arms. "Just leave me be!"
"Okay," Marie replied softly, moving to the other end of the couch and curling up into her own little ball after Rina had swatted away the intrusive hand that had tried to play with her hair.
Raph shook his head. "I swear y'all switch personalities when yer sick," he said, stepping over Rina and flopping down next to Marie, who immediately snuggled in.
"I'm not sick!" Rina grumbled, as she maneuvered slightly, so she'd be leaning against her brother's leg.
Raphael let the girl be, until she was dozing once more before daring to place his hand gently atop her head in a form of comfort. He glanced around the room, as if daring one of his brothers to come forth and make fun of him for sitting how he was with the girls.
Marie smiled, after tossing a blanket over her sister, then went right back into ranting and raving at the movie still playing on the television set.