Title: Fifty Shades of Green
Chapter 6: Maelstrom
I didn't even remember being put to bed. Just awaking the next morning feeling the aches and pains of the day before. I looked at the ceiling, painful spasms arching through my body and converging along my lower spine. Groaning, I closed my eyes again and hoped the pain would subside.
"Are you awake?" A soft voice from the door alerted me to the presence of someone other than myself in the room. Even though I was in agony, I sat up in surprise and delight at the voice I recognised so well. I winced as pain shot through my lower back and I steadied myself on the bed. "Leo? But, I thought you were back in New York for a while."
He was a shadow in the corner, his whole training and experience making it natural for him to stay out of the light and remain as invisible as possible. I squinted at the turtle shape and saw two bright eyes staring at me with a dark, hooded expression. He silently moved across the room, carefully keeping to the darkest parts as he loomed over me. I couldn't quite believe he was here. Although the blue of his bandana was visible, it seemed so unlikely given the circumstances that he would return right now. I suddenly realised his body straps were gone, as he wasn't wearing the swords on his shell.
I felt the bed shift a little as his weight joined my own, and I moved toward him, instinctively getting closer. "Is it really you?"
The amusement in Leo's voice was joy to my ears. "Don't worry. It's me. A lot has happened in New York. How have you been doing? Why are you wincing so much?"
The pain was overwhelming. My back arched and spasmed as invisible clawed fingers raked their way down my spine. "My back. It hurts a lot."
"The unfortunate result of carrying too much weight," Leo said gently. "Turn over. I have some experience of relieving back pain."
I lay face down on the bed, exposing my aching back to him. I felt him unclasp the bra I had slept in and felt it slide to my front, exposing my whole naked back. He settled over me, carefully adjusting himself so his weight wasn't resting on me, but on his firm taut legs on either side of my body. This time there was no hesitation in the way his hands moved over my back, gentle but sure and so full of promise.
His hands quickly got to work, kneading my sore body in a way I had never experienced before. I felt shivers race through me as he moved lower, connecting to the pain instantly and seemingly drawing it right out of my skin and into his powerful hands. I moaned as I felt myself loosen and my body relaxed, the pain being skillfully removed.
"I'm sorry about the other night ..." Leo stopped and I could feel the apprehension. "... I'm sorry about my reaction to you."
"It's okay," I chuckled as he started to knead my flesh again. "I like that you're not experienced. You aren't completely perfect. Makes me believe I have a chance with you."
Oh. My! Had I really just said that aloud? His fingers stopped pressing into my flesh with surprise and I felt myself shrivel into the duvet with embarrassment. Slowly, he began to massage my back once more in silence.
"You think I'm perfect?" Leo carefully asked, his voice betraying nothing. "I'm a mutant freak of nature. What's so perfect about that?"
That was it. I felt the self-disgust in Leo's words and flipped over onto my front to face him. My back was much better, and I barely registered a dull ache as I faced him. My bra slipped off me and I was lying beneath him, looking up at him. In just my knickers. Him straddling me and looking surprised and alarmed by my actions.
"Is that what you really think?" I was horrified.
"I'm not exactly human, Gia ..." Leo's eyes hardened. There was pain behind the expression but it was muted. He was concealing his weakness, another aspect of Ninjutsu, no doubt. Except that I wasn't going to hurt him, if I could help it.
"Leo ..." The word came out in a breath of disappointment. I looked away, trying to find the right words to comfort him.
"It's okay. You don't have to reassure me. I'm well aware of the truth." The sparkle behind Leo's eyes had faded and he put his hands together awkwardly. My breasts were right below his big green hands and he was trying not to blush with the proximity.
I sat up and we were flush against one another, Leo backing up slightly. I grabbed the top of his shell and stopped him from retreating. Leo looked into my eyes and I saw the vulnerable pain return to his expression. I stroked his face impulsively with my other hand and his eyes closed as he exhaled deeply. "You aren't a freak, Leo. I've seen people shoot others for stupid reasons. I've seen the worst of humanity - those people are freaks, Leo."
Leo's eyes shot open and he watched me warily.
"You are probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. The way you move, the colour of your skin, the way you help people ... everything about you. I can't imagine why you are here with me, right now." I impulsively kissed his gorgeous green beak and his eyes widened slightly. He didn't pull away, and instead, he ran his hands around my naked back, drawing me closer to him.
"It looks like we're both guilty of thinking ourselves as unworthy," Leo whispered in a breathless voice as I nibbled around his beak gently.
I blushed as I felt his arms tighten around me. He moaned a little and the sound tugged at everything primeval and erotic within me and pumped desire directly to my core. I twitched with desire as I smelled his musky scent and moved my lips around his hardened skin.
I wanted him! He allowed the exploration of my lips on his beak, groaning in agonised pleasure. I wrapped my legs around him and his hands continued to navigate my back - gaining speed. He lifted me onto his lap with little effort and closed his beak over my lips and I felt the whole world shift beneath me as he lay me down onto the bed. His hands moved to my groin, slipping my knickers off and rubbing the lower part of his shell against my sex.
"Leo!" I gasped as I opened my core to him, spreading my legs, and inviting him into my body.
Leo took my face inside his hands as I felt something hard and throbbing push inside me. As I was slowly filled, I closed my eyes and concentrated on every sensation. The heat from between our legs, the moistness, the gentle intrusion of his member that became all I could think about.
It was as he was slowly filling me when the bedroom door was flung open. With horror, I turned to face the intruder and watched Mikey emerge and realise what he had interrupted.
"Er, Leo. We're waiting ..." Mikey's voice trailed off as he saw us locked in the most intimate of embraces. "Oh. I, um, you know what? They can wait a little while. I'll just go now and leave you two to it, you know ..."
"Mikey?" Leo sighed, a smile of amusement playing on his beak. "We'll be down in a moment."
"Right, I'll just go and tell them that you're, you know, not doing anything right now but ... erm, talking about stuff. Yeah! Talking about stuff." With excuse in place, Mikey bounded off blushing deeply.
Leo withdrew from me gently with a small laugh and looked at me fondly, "Raincheck?"
"Definitely," I breathed. I watched, eagle-eyed, as he tucked his member back into a small fleshy gap between the bottom of his shell and the plastron's edge. "This is a little uncomfortable, but we can't stay up here any longer. We need to get moving."
"Moving?" My lust-addled brain started to turn once more. "Wait. What did Mikey mean, we're waiting?"
"Get dressed and meet me in the lounge." Leo took a few deep breaths to regain his composure. "What are you doing to me ... ?"
I smiled shyly, blushing as I reached for some clothes that had been folded onto a chair. When I turned back to ask him another question, Leo had already left the room.
Dressing quickly and clumsily, I wasted no time in putting my hair back into a loose pony-tail and bounded excitedly down the stairs and into the main room. I stopped in bemused horror at the assembly of people in the room.
Raph was sitting on the sofa with Mikey right next to him. They were eating from a shared packet of chips, squabbling about the right to their share. Behind the sofa, Leo was standing and looking thoughtfully out of the window. The man from the truck and a strange woman were flitting about in the kitchen area, both trying to boss each other around. Across the room, away from the rickety old television, was another turtle with a purple mask - the other brother, Donatello - who was talking to possibly the strangest creature I had seen thus far.
Flashbacks to my youth flooded my mind with pleasant memories. As a little girl, I wasn't allowed a dog or a cat but I desperately wanted a pet of my own. To appease my growing need to care for something warm and fluffy, my mum had brought me a rat as a pet. It was a white and black hooded rat, speckled with fuzzy dots up the back area. It was just a baby, freshly drawn from it's mother's nest and very vulnerable and small. As with baby rats, it's little nose was elongated and it had huge fearful eyes. The tail was a little pinkish thing trailing behind it and it's ears were on high alert as it sniffed around the carry cage.
As a novice rat owner - and barely nine years old - I had no idea that rats were meant to be kept in pairs. My mum should have looked into it much more, but as it was, my little friend and I began to bond. I named the little creature Shard because she had an unhealthy fascination with broken glass.
For three years of bliss I kept this little mite in my room, bathing her when she was ultra smelly and passing her treats to gain her trust. I was immeasurably protective of her, and proud when she grew into ratty adulthood. Her snout broadened and her body grew into a fuller, more rounded shape. When she began to age and get scrawny, I moved her cage around to make her treats and food more accessible and she would sit in my lap, looking up at me with awed eyes. By the time she died, I was so used to my little friend that it felt as if my best buddy had died. I awoke one morning to see her lying in the cage peacefully, curled into a fetal position with a gentle smile ghosting her ratty mouth. For weeks I was inconsolable and my parents vowed to never buy me another pet again. They just couldn't bear to see me so upset.
Now, looking across the room at the strange creature Donatello was talking to, I was transported to those warm memories. My first instinct told me to run towards it with open arms, bury my face in its fur and feed it something tasty. I tried to wrap my head around what I was seeing before me. The colouring was different than my Shard, but the rat's face was immeasurably peaceful and serene. It was the first of the assembly to realise I was standing there gawking at it and it turned to me and smiled a gentle smile.
I barely realised the room had gone completely silent and everyone was looking directly at me. Leo had even turned around and was looking between Splinter and me with a concerned expression etched onto his face. He walked towards me briskly and grabbed hold of my arms.
"Don't faint. Just take deep breaths." Leo commanded in his bossy voice, standing in front of the strange creature and filling my entire sphere of vision with his muscly frame.
"Faint? Why? Why would I faint?" I breathed, relishing Leo's hold on my upper arms. "What? How?"
"His name is Splinter. He's my sensei," Leo explained. "A mutant rat. Don't be afraid of him."
Sensei. So this was the mysterious master who had trained Leo. Out of all the creatures he could have possibly been, a rat was the furthest thing from my mind. I shuffled around Leo and walked awkwardly towards Splinter, my mouth ajar with amazement.
All I could keep thinking was memories of my long-lost pet rattie, Shard. Could she have been capable of becoming a ninja master? The thought blew my mind. She was such a sweet little thing that liked to tail-hug me and lick my fingers. As I approached the mutant rat, I saw Donatello take a deep intake of breath.
They were expecting something of me.
"Master Splinter?" My voice was reverent and I edged towards him with trembling legs.
"Easy, my child. Take a seat and I will explain everything." Splinter didn't move. His nostrils flared softly as he watched me advance, trembling.
By now I was a whisker away from touching him. All the emotions I'd felt caring for my Shard came rushing back and I felt myself collapse into a sobbing fit at the rat's feet.
"She's gone!" Raph's powerful voice shook the room. "Happens every time!"
"No." Donatello watched me sobbing, thoughtfully. His voice was a gentle waterfall of feeling. "She hasn't fainted."
Leo was suddenly beside me. He gathered me into his arms - this sobbing mess of a woman - and placed me gently on the couch between Mikey and Raph. Both turtles scooted to the edges of the sofa to make room for me. Leo knelt before me like a man proposing and took my hand within his own. "What's wrong, Gia. He's not going to hurt you."
I tried to talk about my Shard and the familiarity of seeing Splinter, but my voice was a mass of sobs and hiccups.
"She talkin' about a shard of sometin?" Raph asked, looking bemused at Leo.
"Is she injured?" Donatello cut in. "Maybe she cut herself on a shard of glass."
I had to get myself in hand. Leo was checking me over, fearfully.
I breathed deeply, calming myself moment by moment. "Seeing him reminded me of my baby."
"You have a baby?" Raph's eyes were wide with surprise.
"No, she was a pet. My baby. Shard." I breathed out again, trying to compose myself. "My pet rat. He reminded me of her."
"Strange name for a rat," Mikey mused. "So you used to have a pet, right? Splinter reminded you of her. That's why you're crying?"
It sounded absurd.
Humiliated, I nodded.
"Okay. So, I win." Mikey brightened and looked over at Raph who was groaning and cupping his face in mock despair.
"Win?" I asked, looking at Mikey's expression of triumph.
"Raph and me, we had a bet going. Raph thought you'd faint." Mikey rubbed two fingers together. "Show me the money, bro."
"Ain't fair, Mike. She didn't run away, either." Raph handed over a ten dollar bill.
"You said I'd run away?" I looked at Mikey with wide eyes. "Why?"
Leo squeezed my hand gently to capture my attention. "It's become a bit of running joke. Usually people faint when they see Splinter for the first time." A slight smile of pride formed on Leo's beak. "But, you're not like most people, Gia. You miss Shard?"
I nodded. "I haven't thought about her for a long time. She was a childhood pet."
"When you saw Master Splinter, what happened?" Leo asked curiously.
"I remembered her. Shard, I mean. How much she meant to me." I felt myself crumbling into tears again and breathed deeply. Leo was just watching me, wide-eyed. I leant in and whispered to Leo, "It's a good job you told me he's a ninja master. I might have tried to cuddle him."
Leo laughed proudly. "Ninja Masters like cuddles too. I don't think he would have minded that."
Everyone went back to what they were doing. Donatello was speaking to Master Splinter again. April and Casey were clattering around in the kitchen together. However, the rat turned and winked at me with a sweet smile etched onto his furry face. I smiled shyly.
"Why is everyone here?" I asked, trying to take in all the new and familiar faces.
"Long story, gal. New York ain't safe right now. Too hot," Raph explained. He had allowed Mikey to have the last chips in the packet. He leaned back and looked at Leo with a serious expression. "We're lucky we ain't been followed. Was real close."
Leo was still knelt before me, his hands wrapped around my own. "We barely got out. We were conspicuous but it couldn't be helped. We needed to regroup at a safe location."
Master Splinter kept looking at me fondly. It was a surprise, therefore, when his ears stuck upright in deep concentration and he moved swiftly over to the window. As the ninja rat gazed out, Leo's face darkened as he rose and walked over to join Splinter.
Casey emerged from the kitchen. "What's that sound?"
It was then that I heard the distant roar of engines. A soft rumbling noise that, as it approached, became louder. I felt panic clench my muscles in terror as I seized up in horror. "What is it? What's going on?"
Splinter turned to Leonardo and nodded gravely. Mikey threw the chips aside and rose to his feet, his hands reaching for his nunchuks. Donatello headed to the other side of the room without a word, drawing a large wooden staff from his back and observing the front door with a focused and vigilant expression.
Raphael stayed beside me, clenching his muscles in a frightening way.
"Guys?" April stood beside Casey. "Guys?"
The word was sudden and all consuming as Leo roared one order at the top of his voice. It was a clear and concise instruction to us all, but I froze in terror. Raphael grabbed me around the waist, throwing his whole weight against the back of the sofa, flipping the settee backwards and we both tumbled to the floor backwards.
'My body was alive with the sensation of fear. We had landed against the upturned sofa and were pressed against the fabric - Raphael's arms drawing me into his plastron and leaning over me to cover us both with his battered shell.
Everything went into slow motion as my eyes scanned the room in disbelief. Donatello had rolled into a tight ball and disappeared behind the door frame. I couldn't see anyone else's reaction to Leo's order as my view was impaired by the sofa and Raphael's body weight.
For a moment, there was scuffling as everyone moved as a unit ... then a brief silence.
Then my senses fell apart as the whole room around me exploded.