Marie listened quietly, as everyone talked at once, occasionally stealing glances at her favourite brother - who did nothing but glare in return. She sighed and stood up once she had finished.
"I'm goin' out," she piped up finally, pausing long enough to watch Raphael - waiting for him to say something - anything.
"Don't go far," Leonardo said as he stood up from the table. He started collecting plates from the table while Marie stood up and hurried out the kitchen door.
April jumped up from the table as well and smiled at everyone. "Me and Casey are going to the store!" She declared happily.
Casey flicked his eyes up at her, "Eh, what if I don't wanna go?"
"Who said you have a choice?" She asked, grabbing his arm and pulling him up from the table. April wanted to leave the family on their own for a while to sort out their problems. There was obviously some animosity aimed at Marietta, but that was almost to be expected. April hoped they wouldn't go too hard on the turtle in purple and yellow. She had tried to help after causing the problem and maybe she was right, the man would've come after them anyways.
Casey grumbled as April dragged him away from the table. He grabbed his keys from the ash tray and waved to those still sitting at the table. "See you guys later," he said while April yanked on his arm. "Sheesh, I'm comin', I'm comin'!"
"Hehe, Casey's been woman-whipped," Raphael chuckled, leaning back in his chair.
"Aww, it's cute," gushed Mikey before he started laughing.
After a little while Raphael got up and wandered off into the living room, probably to go outside through the front door. He was obviously avoiding Marie; perhaps he was so angry with her that he was afraid he'd really hurt her if he had to talk to her.
Rina dawdled at the table, reluctant to return upstairs and to bed. Outside, she could see the springtime sunshine. It would be such a waste to go upstairs and sleep while she could just lie out on the lawn and at least enjoy herself. Of course, Donnie probably wouldn't see it this way. She let out a huff and blew a strand of hair out of her face.
"Can I go explore?" Rembrandt asked, staring out the same window that Rina was.
Master Splinter nodded, "Of course, but do not stray out of sight of the house."
"And be careful in the barn, there's lots equipment in there that you shouldn't mess with," Leonardo said as Rembrandt sprang for the doorway. He rolled his eyes and mumbled under his breath, "Kids."
Rina glanced to the door, wondering if she could sneak out without anyone noticing. She slid her chair out from under the table.
"Heading upstairs, Rina?" Donnie asked, seeing her move.
She let out a labored sigh, "Can't I go outside like everyone else?"
Outside, Marie saw Rembrandt come running out of the house. He stared around at the sky, the grass, the barn, the trees…
"Wow…" He murmured, turning around in a circle. He had never been outside like this in his entire life. This was his first experience with sunshine. "Marie isn't it great?" He asked, turning towards her.
She shrugged her shoulders. "It's alright," she said, sitting down on the steps to the small back porch. She watched Rembrandt run around, inspecting the budding flowers and trees. He was so excited it was like watching a little kid at his first time in a candy store or something like that.
Eventually, Marie got up and shuffled across the yard. She saw Raphael sitting on the front steps. She almost backtracked but he turned and tossed her a glance.
"Marie. C'mere," he said, calling her over.
She walked over to him slowly, her bare feet sinking into the uncut grass. She sat down beside him and they were quiet for a long time, just sitting beside each other. They heard the back door open and then slam.
"I'm gonna stay out here whether you want me to or not, Donnie!" Rina's voice exclaimed imperiously.
There was Donnie's muffled response and then Mikey's yell, "I'll keep a watch on her, Don, no worries."
"I don't to be watched…"
"It's either that or Donnie puts you back inside."
Raphael smirked and shook his head, "Crazy girl." Marie didn't answer but she thought he was right.
After a little more time, Marie said, "Raph?"
"Are you mad at me?" she asked, twiddling her thumbs.
"Yeah, I still am," Raphael grumbled, "But I'm happier that you're okay. Hey, look at me," he said, catching her attention. "You have to learn to control your temper, when to use it. It ain't gonna do anybody any damn good if you run off like that and try to get yourself killed! I don't know what was going through your head, Kid, but it sure wasn't smart."
He let out a growl and shook his head, "Rina could've died. I could've died. You could've died. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?"
"Yeah," she mumbled, "I just…I couldn't let him threaten us any more. He was dangerous; he hurt me and Rina when we were young. I just wanted to make sure he wouldn't do it again."
"You could've told us, dammit," said Raphael, clenching his fists, "But, y'know, there was a time when I would've done the same thing."
"Really?" Marie asked, staring up at him.
"Yeah, but you shouldn't try to be like me," said Raphael, shaking his head, "I'm a bad role model."
"I don't think so," said Marie, smiling at him.
"Yeah, well, you're a first," he replied, rolling his dark brown eyes.
The two sat in silence for a few moments, before Marie finally spoke. "Raph......what's Sensei gonna do to me?" She asked hesitantly. "I mean, I - I just - yanno?"
Raph shrugged. "I don't know, Kid. All I know is that he ain't happy 'bout it," he told her. "But he is glad we're all okay and safe - for the time being, at least." He eyed her momentarily, and finally got a good look at her injuries. "How're yer legs?" He asked.
"They're okay," Marie sighed. "They're not as sore as they were last night."
"You should get Donnie to give yah a once over," he stated.
"Donnie pokes too damned much," Marie grumbled. "I don't wanna be poked an' prodded while it still hurts."
"Someone's gotta bandage yah up, Runt," Raph said firmly, giving her a Look. "Don't make me hafta drag yah in there for him to do so."
Rina lie on the grass out back of the farm house, smiling as she watched Rembrandt run about and check things out excitedly. "Don't go into overload!" She called out teasingly. Rembrandt looked over at her with a wide grin upon his face.
"This is Awesome!" He exclaimed. "This - just - Wow!"
Rina laughed, shaking her head slightly - though that proved to not be smart. "Ohhh...." She groaned softly, lying her head in her hands - she was lying on her plastron, propped up on her elbows.
"Hey, I'd say that a lil' quieter, if I were you.," Mikey said, lying down next to her, and twiddling with a blade of grass. "Donnie hears yah, an' he'll ship yah off back upstairs to rest."
Rina moved her head slightly so she looked down, then lifted her eyes upwards not wanting to fully roll them, in case that made her dizzy like shaking her head had.
"I'm fine," she replied. "I just need sleep, fresh air, and sunshine - plenty of sunshine."
"No arguments there," Mikey smirked. "You're lookin' a bit pale. Dunno if it's 'cause of the sewer or the fact we never get any sun."
Rina smiled at her brother in orange. He always seemed to know how to put her in better spirits. "You just going to lie here all day with me?" She asked. "Or you gonna show Brandt around?"
"I might show Young Gun around," Mikey chuckled. "If he ever slows down."
"But I thought you were the fastest of us?" Rina goaded. "If Brandt can outrun you, then what good are you?"
Mikey gasped playfully. "That hurt - right here," he said, placing a hand over his heart dramatically. "'Sides, I think Fearless Leader wants to show him around - yanno, so they can bond some - "
"Before he realizes Leo's the boss and likes for his orders to be followed precisely," Rina finished for him.
Mikey raised his eye ridges. "I think you've been around Marie much too long," he teased.
Rina shrugged, quickly changing the subject - she was still pretty peeved with her sister and her foolishness. "If I fall asleep, wake me when it's time to eat," she said softly, lying her head down upon her arms.
"Sure thing, Kiddo," Mikey nodded, rolling onto his side and reaching over to rub her shell comfortingly. "Just relax. I'm not goin' anywhere."
Rina peeked out at him a little, to give him a grateful smile.
Leo came outside then, laughing as he saw Rembrandt running about trying to explore everything at once. "Brandt!" He called out. "C'mon! I'll give you a tour of the place!"
"Sweet!" Rembrandt exclaimed, hurrying over to where Leo stood. "Can we check out over there first?" He asked, pointing to the back field that hadn't been plowed in years, and had extremely tall grass - a great place to play hide 'n' seek.
"Sure thing," Leo smiled, draping his arm over the young boy's shoulders and leading him that way.
Raphael finally got Marie up and into the house so Donnie could give her a once over.
The turtle in purple glanced sideways out of the corner of his eye at his rebellious sister as she came into the living room. He was busy dusting aka being his usual uber-useful self. "What do you want, Marie?" He asked with a sigh.
Raphael pushed her forward and she tossed a glare at him over her shoulder. "Go on," he said, nodding his head.
Marie nudged her foot against the floor and then looked up at Donnie, "Raph says that you need to look at my legs."
"Why?' Donnie asked but then he spotted the slightly raised red marks. He narrowed his eyes and pointed towards the couch, "Sit down."
Donnie tossed a look over at Raph, "Did she tell you anything about these?"
"Just saw 'em," replied Raphael as he stood over in the corner near the fire place. He blew a breath across the mantel, "Are you dusting or just pushing it around?"
"At least I'm doing something," said Donnie as he looked down at Marie's legs. "How did this happen?" He asked, gently laying a finger against the welts.
"That doctor…" she started and Donnie let out a sigh. Leo had mentioned something about Marie's legs before he had left the kitchen but Donnie had been busy finding cleaning supplies. He gave a nod, "Well, it's not as bad as it could have been. Couch, now."
Marie groaned, "But Donnie."
"Marie, either you let me wrap that up the easy way or Raphael knocks you out and we do it while you're unconscious. Personally, the healthier way is to just let me do it."
"Fine, fine," Marie said, lying down on the couch. While Donnie wrapped her legs up with some bandages he had found in the closet, Marie bit her lip and tried not the cry out. Raphael stood there with his arms crossed; Marie was just glad he stayed.
Afterwards, Donnie gave her a smile and patted her arm, "How about you just stay on the couch for a little while? Make Raph stay with you or something."
Marie nodded and looked over at Raphael hopefully. Her legs were aching so much that she didn't feel like moving very much. She wanted Raph to stay though. However, Master Splinter chose that time to appear in the doorway.
"I wish to speak to Marietta. Alone."
Donatello gave a small bow and left.
Raphael hung around until Master Splinter stared hard at him. He gave Marie's shoulder a reassuring squeeze and walked out of the room.
When the boys had left, Master Splinter walked over to the couch and shook his head at Marietta, "I am disappointed with you, my daughter." She dropped her eyes and didn't look up at him. "I am glad that you and your siblings are safe, but you needlessly put everyone in danger to pursue your own desires," he said, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Leonardo and Rembrandt were out in the field, playing a game of hide and seek. Leonardo had suggested it and Rembrandt had jumped on it, ready to do anything that dealt with being outside and performing ninjitsu. Rembrandt actually wasn't half bad; he was very quiet and he could learn quickly. Leo had high hopes for him. However, Leo was a trained ninja and he could easily tell where the younger boy was. He snuck up on Rembrandt and poked him in the shoulder without him even noticing someone was coming.
"Aagh!" Rembrandt cried, jumping up and swatting at Leonardo.
Leo laughed and fended off the attacks.
"Man, how do you do that?" Brandt asked, rubbing the back of his head. "I don't think I'll ever be that good."
"Sure you will, we all had to start somewhere," Leo said reassuringly.
Rembrandt grinned, "Then I'm gonna be the best ninja ever!"
Leo chuckled. "Well, I'm not so sure about that," he told the boy. "Can't have you out shine me, now can we?"
Rembrandt laughed. "Sure we can!" He exclaimed, quickly darting off when he realized Leo was about to give chase. He ran fast as he could, but he wasn't fast enough - least, not faster than his ninja brother.
Leo playfully tackled the boy, knocking him to the ground and tickling his sides mercilessly. Rembrandts squeals of laughter could be heard by everyone outside of the house - which was where everyone but Marie and Master Splinter were.
Raph smirked at Donnie. "I see the boy's taught Leo how to play," he commented.
Donnie smiled in return. "Sounds like it - but it's good to see."
"Hear is more like it," Raph stated. "Good to know we've made the kid happy."
Donnie nodded his agreement. He too was glad they were able to help Rembrandt find happiness - they all were, to be honest. It was then they spotted Mikey and Rina lying in the grass.
"How's she doin'?" Donnie demanded, as him and Raph walked over to where they were.
"She's fine, Donnie," Mikey replied. "She's mostly just tired, though she'd a slight dizzy spell earlier."
"Dizzy?!" Donnie repeated, looking ready to carry her on inside.
"Relax, she shook her head too fast," Mikey stated. "Just let her lie in the sun for a bit - you know it always makes us feel better when we're sick."
Donnie sighed heavily. "I just don't want anything to happen to her."
"Neither do we," Raph said, placing his hand on his brainy brother's shoulder. "But Mikey's got a point - some sun might just do her some good."
"So what brings you guys out here?" Mikey asked, curious, as he'd seen Raph practically drag Marie inside.
"Sensei's having a talk with Marie," Donnie answered, shaking his head. "I think I'm still in disbelief about last night. I mean - how? Why? What was she thinking?"
"That she had to protect her family, from the Bastard that hurt her and Rina when they were lil'," Raph piped up. "Don't mean I agree with it - but I can understand part of it. Us hot-heads think a like at times, after all."
Meanwhile, back inside, Marie's head was still hung as Master Splinter waited for her to reply.
"I'm sorry, Sensei," she whispered softly after a few minutes of silence - she'd had to control her unwanted tears that were threatening to fall. "I didn't mean for anybody to get hurt. I just - I couldn't let that son of a bitch come after us again! I just couldn't!" She growled, as her anger began to surface once more.
"Marietta, you must learn to control your temper, or it will be your downfall," Master Splinter stated. "It almost was last night, had we not gotten there in time and had the help of Ms. Karai."
"I was doin' just fine in handlin' things," Marie grumbled, thinking of how she'd saved her favourite brother from those mad scientists. "Then Leo just had to come 'long an' steal my vengeance."
"Marietta!" Master Splinter snapped, his tail swishing in annoyance. "Have I not taught you anything over the years? Have you forgotten your honor? Your family?!"
Marie shrunk some. "No....." She trailed off. "I just - I was mad. Madder than I'd ever been! He deserved what he got, the Bastard!"
"And did your sister and brothers deserve what they got because of your actions?" Master Splinter countered.
"No...." Marie replied softly. "They didn't do nothin' wrong."
Master Splinter sighed, not sure how to get through to the young one. "Marietta, you shall be grounded while we are here, which means no movie nights or video games," Master Splinter began. "Also, until you have figured things out and are able to control your temper better, I shall be taking your sai and manikiri from you, until you have managed to restore your honor."
Marie's jaw dropped and her eyes went wide. Her sai!?!?!
"Yeah, like we didn't already know that," said Mikey, grinning up at Raphael. The turtle in red rolled his eyes and nudged his little brother with his foot. "No poking!" Mikey announced.
"No yellin'," mumbled Rina as she raised her head from her arms. She tossed Mikey a lop-sided grin, "I mean, could you guys be any louder?"
"Yeah, actually, we could," Mikey replied but both Raphael and Donatello glared down at him. "Not that I was gonna be!" he said, waving his hands innocently.
Donatello rolled his eyes and knelt down next to Rina. "How you feeling?" he asked, putting his hand on her forehead. She made a face and batted at his hand.
"Donnie, I'm not dying," she complained and then regretted it when her brother's face went hard. "I mean…I'm okay, I swear."
"I know, I'm just…worried," he said.
Rina sat up so that she was on the same level as he was and put her hands on his knees. "Donnie. I one-rat double-dog triple-cat four-hamsters five-cockatiels and six-turtles promise you that I am going to be perfectly fine! So stop worrying!" It was one of those promises they had all made up when they were younger.
Raphael smirked and rolled his eyes, "That's a powerful swear there, Cat."
"And I mean it," she said, sticking her tongue out at Raphael.
Raphael made a face, "Rina, do you remember the last time you stuck your tongue out at me?"
"You can't grab my tongue right now Raph, I might faint," she said, grinning evilly.
"Oh-ho! I taught my young padawan well!" Mikey said, smiling brightly at Rina as Leonardo and Rembrandt walked up.
Rina turned to look at Rembrandt, "Having fun?"
"Yeah!" he exclaimed, punching the air happily, "I'm gonna be a better ninja than Leo!"
There was a moment's pause before everyone started laughing.
"Haha, are you serious, kid?" Raphael laughed, shaking his head back and forth.
"That's not exactly plausible," chuckled Donnie.
Rina smiled at Rembrandt, who was looking a little disheartened, "I think you could do it."
"Thanks, Rina," Rembrandt said, raising his head proudly.
"You're just saying that to make him feel better," said Raphael.
"Oh, I feel a headache coming on! Raph, nooo, your annoying voice is giving me a headache in my weakened state," Rina said, putting her hands to the side of her head.
"Rina! I outta!" Raphael said, making a fist out of his hand.
Leonardo grabbed his fist and thrust his arm down. "Don't touch her," Leo said and then turned to Rina, "Don't provoke him or we'll stick you back inside."
Rina only grinned back in reply.
Oh, man, but those were her favorites! Why couldn't sensei just take her manikiri? Not her sai.
"But how will I practice?" She asked as she hesitantly reached for the weapons.
"You will not be able to practice much with your legs wrapped," Master Splinter said, motioning to her legs. "You may practice with Rembrandt for now."
Marie lowered her head and almost didn't hand him the weapons. Finally, she handed him her manikiri chains and her beloved sai.
"Thank you, Marietta. I am certain you will earn these back quickly," he said, patting her on the arm after putting the weapons in his robe pockets. "Shall I send someone back in to keep you company?" He asked as he walked towards the doorway.
"Yes, please," Marie said, sounding a bit defeated. She hated to be without her sai.
Master Splinter nodded and went over to the doorway. "Raphael, would you come in here?" He called and the turtle in red was immediately at the doorway.
"Yeah Sensei?" he asked.
"Could you come in and keep Marie company? She is not in any shape to leave the couch," said Master Splinter.
Raphael nodded, "Sure, whatever ya want, Master Splinter." He walked through the kitchen and came into the living room.
"Hey, Marie," he said as he looked down at his kid sister. She looked depressed, as if someone had taken away her best friend. "What, cat got your tongue?" He asked, sitting down on one end of the couch.
"No, I don't think Rina likes touching tongues," she replied wittily and Raphael smirked.
"Smart ass," he said.
"Got it from you," she said, playing with the fringe on one of the pillow. She wasn't happy at all, to tell the truth. Everyone seemed set on lecturing her lately, as if she wasn't beating herself up enough.
After a while, Marie said quietly, "Sensei took my sai and my manikiri."
"At least you've still got your shuriken," he replied, putting his feet up on a footstool.
"Pssh, like those'll do me much good," she grumbled, folding her arms over her plastron.
Raphael shrugged. "Never let me down before," he said, countering her bad mood.
Marie sighed, "Yeah, but I like the sai."
"Did Sensei say you can earn them back?" he asked.
"Yeah…" Marie said.
"Then you can earn them back," Raphael said, nodding his head, "I've done it before, so you can too."
"Sensei took your sai away?" she asked, eyes widening. She couldn't imagine Raph without his sai.
He nodded, "Yeah, the same ones he took from you. I got into one too many scraps and he said I'd have to prove I deserved them." He took one of his current sai out of his belt and twirled them. "But, as yah can see, I got ‘em back. And you can too, I got faith in yah."
Marie looked up at her brother in red hopefully. "Really?" She asked softly.
"Sure thing, Kid," Raph nodded, still twirling his sai.
Marie smiled a bit then, feeling a little better - if Raph had faith in her, then she had to have faith in herself. He wouldn't have faith in just anybody. She eyed him a moment, before daring to maneuver enough to be able to lean against him. Carefully avoiding his spinning sai, she leaned against her brother, her legs still out-stretched on the couch.
"Thanks," she said quietly, glancing up at him.
Raph switched hands, and kept twirling his sai, as he placed his now free arm around her and over her plastron. "Any time, Runt," he replied, giving her a hint of a smile.
Marie smiled back, snuggling in as much as she could without causing her legs anymore pain. "Remind me to get Donnie to check where I got stabbed with a scalpel later," she told him.
"Damn Squirt, any other injuries we oughta know 'bout?" Raph stated, shaking his head.
"Nope, that's 'bout it," Marie assured him. "An' next time, protect yerself."
Raph slapped her side gently, his arm still draped across her; he knew she'd do it again in a heartbeat if she had too. "There ain't gonna be no next time, yah hear?"
"I hear," Marie answered - and boy, did she ever.
Back outside, the rest of the turtle clan was lazing about in the yard, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the grass beneath them.
"How long do you think we'll be out here this time?" Rina questioned, now propped up enough to lean against Mikey a little - though, both were still basically lying on the ground.
Leo shrugged. "I don't know. It's up to Sensei when we go back," he replied, then smiled teasingly. "Why? You in a hurry to go back all ready?"
"No!" Rina cried. "We just got here! If I'd my way, we'd never go home."
"Yeah, well, we can't just let The Foot over run the city," Leo commented.
"I thought you were negotiating with Karai?" Rina said, looking confused.
"We are," Leo nodded. "But until we've reached an agreement, we still have to protect the city from them."
Rina groaned, draping an arm across her forehead. "Why can't some other super hero do the job for a change?" She sighed. "I mean, can't Silver Century and Nobody handle it? Yeesh! The city don't even know we exist, and yet they're so demanding of us."
"Spoken like a true fifteen-year-old," Donnie smiled. "We used to ask that too. But if we don't protect the city, then what are we to do with all our time?"
"Relax," Rina replied simply. "Become farmers and move into April's farm house for good."
"Play games!" Rembrandt exclaimed happily.
Donnie shook his head. "I'm afraid it would get old after a while, and we probably wouldn't appreciate it as much as we do now. This is a luxury that we can not afford to have all the time. We need a purpose, and back home has it."
Rina sighed heavily. "Well, I wish we'd come here more often at least," she replied. "You guys all actually know how to have fun here. And Raph and Marie aren't so cranky when they're out here, exploring the woods and everything. And Leo - you're not so bossy! And you play games!"
Leo chuckled. "I play games with you back home too - I've just got more responsibility back in New York."
"I hate responsibility!" Rina whined. "I need a break from it!"
"Hello! What's this?" Mikey laughed. "Vacation, in a nut shell - or should I say, turtle shell."
"Yeah...until Sensei makes us all practice again," Rina pointed out. "Though, that is more fun to do out here."
"I think we're gonna hafta stay here a long while," Rembrandt grinned. "So you guys can show me everything, so I'll know what it is for future reference."
They all laughed, as the turtle in grey grinned wide midst pulling up a few blades of grass to rub between his fingers.