Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Word Count: 3,578
Date Written: 23 September 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
He knew he wasn’t supposed to be here. He should have at least worn an actual costume even though those all around him were dressed in costumes and would think his natural body was his costume. Of course, if he got too close, he could hear Donnie warning him, the other party-goers would quickly realize that his was not a costume but that his shell and green, leathery (at least in some areas) skin were very, very real. That was why he should have worn a costume or, at the very least, a mask, but tonight was the one time of the year when he could go among the humans without having to wear a face that was not his own and be accepted.
“Hey, dude, sick costume!” one of the human males called, saluting him with two fingers.
Mikey grinned and nodded his head at him. The music was starting to call to him, and he found himself unwilling to stop his head from moving once he started. He bobbed in time to the rock and roll music as he looked around him. Everywhere there were normal humans doing normal human things.
He couldn’t live his whole life in the shadows, Michelangelo thought, and he shouldn’t have to. He knew Master Splinter and all three of his brothers, even Raphael with all his bold, angry courage, would freak if they had any idea of where he was right now. They’d each spend Halloween their own way, celebrating quietly the ability to go among the humans unnoticed or, at least, not singled out.
His Sensei thought he didn’t know it, but he’d seen him in the park earlier, actually letting the hood fall away from his furry, whiskered face as he’d played chess with his best friend. Rufus might be blind, but the others around them weren’t. He had watched them from the bushes long enough to see that at least one person actually stopped by and asked about Splinter’s costume. His father had smiled and told the human, in an amiable voice, that he liked to be able to give the kids a trick along with their treats and, as his costume took hours to prepare, he’d fixed himself earlier so that he could now enjoy a few quiet games with his friend before going back to his children. The human had nearly shrieked when he’d noticed his tail, but when Splinter had allowed him to feel his tail and hadn’t twitched a muscle when the guy had even squeezed his tail, the dude had believed his story and let him go.
His own father was walking among the humans today; yet, he’d flip out majorly if he had any idea where Mikey was right now. Even Leonardo had gone for a walk in the sunlight without a costume this afternoon, and Raph was out in the city right now, daring anyone who was foolish enough to pick a fight with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Donatello had ventured out without a mask at least twice of which Mikey knew, once earlier that afternoon to read a story to kids at the library and then enlighten them about turtles and their endangered cousins’ plight and later, as the sun was setting, to take a stroll through the park.
It was only fair, Mikey thought in defense, that he get a chance, too, to enjoy the holiday to its fullest. If all the rest of his family could have fun in the surface world without having to wear plastic, human masks and cover themselves with clothing from head to foot, why couldn’t he? Yet Michelangelo knew that they would all deny their own activities except for Raph and he’d make a point of reminding them all, if questioned, that he could hold his own, he’d claim, against the whole city. He knew his brothers and father. He loved every one of them, but he also knew of their shortcomings, their fears for him, and why they’d never willingly let their youngest, no matter how old he was now, go out into the humans’ world without a mask.
Which was exactly why he hadn’t let any of them figure out where he was going. He had his room -- now that Donnie had actually fixed them all their own rooms -- locked and had left his music shrieking. They’d believe he was in there and would know no better as long as he made it back in time for pizza. His beak twitched at that thought. He wouldn’t miss a pie for anything, even this.
He turned slowly around, shaking his head, shell, and tail in time to the music. A girl behind him shrieked, and Mikey froze. “That is the cutest thing ever!”
“What?” he asked, whirling around.
“Your tail!” she exclaimed, beaming. “Now that’s giving a costume some major thought!” He ducked his head a little, and his green cheeks darkened. “Wow! Your makeup is amazing too! You make it look so real! Wanna dance?” she asked him, stepping up to him.
The girl was beautiful and barely clad in a replica of the low-cut, high-cleavage gown worn by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Mikey gulped, his palms suddenly beginning to sweat as he wondered, for the first time, if maybe his family was right and he should have stayed home. But they were all having their own Halloween fun, he reminded himself. One dance with a human girl couldn’t hurt that much!
“S-Sure,” he managed to squeak out. He started to reach for her hands, but she stared, wide-eyed, at his reaching, green hands. “What?” he asked softly, not thinking of the fact that he only had three digits, instead of five, on each hand.
“You . . . “ she breathed uncertainly. “You’re . . . handicapped?”
Mikey followed her gaze to his hands, and his only three fingers on each. “Oh. No. No, of course not! They’re special gloves!”
“Way cool!” she exclaimed, smiling again and relaxing. She slipped her hands into his and stepped closer to him. “You really did put a lot of thought into your costume!”
“Of course.” He grinned. “Turtles are the best,” he said truthfully.
“I don’t know about that,” she replied as she began to shimmy against him, “but you’re a shoe-in for the best costume!”
“Do you really think so?”
He spun her around, and they danced together until the end of the song. Mikey started to step away, but she held tightly to his hands. “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked, tugging him back toward her.
“Hum, the song ended -- “ he pointed out.
“And another one’s just beginning!”
“You want to dance with me some more?” he asked, genuinely surprised.
“Yes! Unless you have a problem with that, Turtle Boy?” she challenged playfully.
The wide, happy grin that burst out over his beak answered her plainly. She took the lead on their second song together, pulling him closer to her and sliding her body against his. They danced and danced and danced some more. After their fifth song, they left the floor for punch, which he poured for them both. To his delight, they had pizza and orange-frosted cupcakes topped with spider rings. He started fixing a plate, thinking of himself first but ended up giving it to her when she turned to look at him and fixed a second for himself.
They ate in silence, the music too loud and too many other bodies swaying and walking around them to give them any privacy for a real conversation, but when they were done, he leaned over and wordlessly slid his spider ring onto her finger. She grabbed his hand when he started to move away and smiled up at him. “You’re sweet! Really sweet not like . . . “ she started to say, but her voice trailed off as trouble filled her face.
She suddenly looked so sad that he had to cheer her up. He bounced back to his feet and tugged on the hand that held his. “Come on.” He grinned at her. “They’re playing our song.”
Her mouth opened to ask him if they had a song, but she shut it again and just went with the flow. She let him pull her out to the dance floor where they began shimmying and shaking against each other again. Three songs later, the DJ put on a slow instrumental. They looked at each other. “We can -- “ Mikey started to say, but she stopped him by stepping even closer to him, laying her head on his shoulder, and starting to sway.
He looked down at her thoughtfully, then slowly started to sway with her. He smiled as he gazed down at her. She wasn’t the hottest chick he’d ever seen -- just a small slip of a blonde girl who seemed even smaller pressed up against his shell --, but she was sweet and seemed to genuinely like him for him!
They were swaying, their eyes closed, and deep into the music and each other when it happened. Mikey felt eyes on the back of his shell a split second before someone screamed. His ninja training kicked instantly into command. Dropping his new friend’s hands, he sprinted toward the scream with several others following him.
He tore through the bedroom door with barely a shove against the locked door. It swung open underneath his strength. He almost fell into the room but recovered his balance quickly. He’d never seen anything like what was happening in the room except for in movies. He froze at first but then found his voice. “No means no!” he declared, looking at the creep who had his hands shoved underneath a terrified girl’s blouse. She was backed, her eyes full of fear and her body trembling, against the headboard.
The guy looked over at him condescendingly. “What’s it to you, turtle? Go screw your own girl!”
“Look, if she wants you, that’s one thing,” Mikey said, striding forward, “but it doesn’t look like she does. And I know I heard somebody screaming in this room. I’m guessing it wasn’t you.”
“Mind your own business!” the guy told him. “She changed her mind, didn’t you, Shirley?”
“N-Not re-really -- “ the girl in question started to say.
“Baby, I told you what would happen if you said ‘no’ -- WHAT THE HELL, MAN?!” the guy screamed as Mikey lifted him by his Vampire costume’s collar. He held him so high into the air that his feet swung without meeting anything for purchase.
Michelangelo sneered at him as he brought the punk down so that he could look directly into his eyes. “Nothing,” he spoke through anger clenching his beak, “is going to happen to her for saying ‘no’.”
“DUDE! YOU CAN’T JUST BUST INTO SOMEBODY ELSE’S ROOM AND TELL THEM WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR GIRL!”
“I can when they’re doing wrong,” Mikey retorted. His hand shot out and grabbed the guy who was trying to rush him by the left shoulder. He pinned him, bringing a tortured yell from him as he lifted him by that shoulder. “And trying to do anything to anyone against their will is very, very wrong.”
“I -- I’m sorry -- “
“That ain’t gonna cut it,” Mike declared, looking back at the first guy. “You’re going to leave the girl alone,” he demanded, tossing him and his friend toward the doorway where other teenagers were quickly gathering, “and you’re not going to do anything to her because she didn’t want to go with you in that way!”
“You can’t do this!” a third guy cried. “First you come to this party out of nowhere! Where are you from anyway, turtle? You don’t go to school with us! Are you from the Bronx or something?!”
“Or something,” Mikey muttered.
“I don’t care where you’re from, but you can’t just come in here telling other guys what they can and can’t do with their girls! Not to mention dancing with my girl!”
“I am not your girl!” exclaimed the Elvira with whom Mikey had been dancing all evening.
“If she is your girl,” Mikey said slowly as the guy encroached on him, “then I’m sorry, but to be your girl, she has to want to be your girl.”
The guy took a slug at him, and Michelangelo reacted instinctively, ducking his head into his shell. Everybody in the room screamed. The girl on the bed fainted. Mikey poked his head back up out of his shell, muttering, “Oops.” He glared at the guy, who had tried to hit him and was now as white as a sheet. “Now look at what you made me do!”
“I -- “ he squeaked. “I didn’t make you do anything!”
“Yes,” Michelangelo retorted, taking a step toward him, “you did.”
“No, I didn’t! Or I didn’t mean to! Honest!” Mike took another step. “Don’t touch me!” The guy screamed like a girl, turned, and fled among the other teenagers who were already running.
Michelangelo sighed and looked at the one person who remained in the room with himself and Shirley. “You can run too,” he said.
To his utter surprise and even amazement, she smiled up at him. “I don’t want to.” Slowly she approached him, her eyes raking up and down his strange, muscular body. “So that’s why your costume’s so good,” she observed.
“Yeah,” he said meekly, looking down. “It’s not a costume.”
“Whoa. I don’t know how you came to be,” she spoke honestly, reaching out and gingerly touching the ridge of his shell, “but it’s no wonder you’re better than they are.”
He frowned and glanced up at her. “What do you mean?”
“I dumped Brad’s ass last week because he was trying to push himself onto me, just like what Tommy was doing to Shirls.”
Mikey shook his head. “Nobody has a right to force themselves onto anyone else.”
“Heh. I wish other boys felt the same way you do.” She watched him carefully, her brown, doelike eyes wide and full of astonishment.
“Maybe that’s the problem,” he said, thinking quickly as he dared to meet her gaze.
“What?” she asked, tilting her head slightly to one side.
“They’re boys,” he answered with a small grin lifting his beak. “Not men.”
“Definitely not men,” she agreed, her own smile growing. “There are very few of them left in the world, possibly even less of them than they are of . . . whatever you are.”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” he supplied eagerly.
“Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtle?” she repeated slowly, still full of wonder.
He wide grin showed his teeth. “Yup!”
“Where do you come from?” she asked and reached out and slowly touched his left bicep. He was every bit as muscular as he looked, and one touch confirmed what she had thought earlier. His skin, which she now knew was not part of any costume, did not feel slimy at all. He tingled as her fingertips swept over his flesh. His skin was smooth with a few places here and there that felt a little harder than the rest of him, or at least the rest of him that she dared to touch. She blushed, just thinking about what else might feel hard on him. Her face was soon turning red, and she touched his shell instead, just because she had to touch something else that had nothing to do with that particular, hardening part of him. His shell was hard and strong underneath her fingertips.
“New York,” he said suddenly.
“Huh?” she asked, blinking in confusion.
“You asked where I come from,” he reminded her. “I’m a native New Yorker.”
“You’re certainly not like anyone I’ve ever seen before -- “
“It’s a long story, but we stay in the sewers most of the time.”
Her nose scrunched. “That’s not fair!”
“No,” he agreed, “it’s not, but it keeps us safe.” He looked around them, especially at the open door behind her back and the stairs down which the other teens had fled. “Halloween is the only time we dare to venture out without masks, and now I’m beginning to think that maybe my family was right. Maybe I shouldn’t have come out.”
“I’m glad you did,” she said, gazing earnestly up into his face. It was strange, but she didn’t think him ugly. Maybe it was because she’d had a look inside of him, inside his heart and soul and knew already that he was far better than any guy she’d ever known before. He actually had morals, old fashioned morals, and was sweeter than she’d ever before thought such a guy, if they did still exist, would be. Plus he was strong and brave and --
She stepped right up to him suddenly, cutting off all the distance between them, leaned up, and pressed her lips to his beak. Mikey stilled as she kissed him. Time itself seemed to stop. His eyes drifted close, and he kissed her back. Her tongue slid pass his beak and touched his tongue. He couldn’t help the moan that slipped from him as he tingled from head to toe.
But suddenly, and far too soon, sirens blared. He snatched himself up and away from her and looked around them with a bit of wildness touching his eyes. “Cops!”
She sighed and shook her head. “They called them,” she said. “They had to have. Cowards.”
“It’s okay. They’ll never see me. I’ll be gone by the time they get here.” He ran to the window and slid it open.
She chased behind him. “Will I ever see you again?” she called as he stepped out onto the ledge.
“That depends,” he called back to her over her shoulder.
On rather or not you really want to see me again, he wanted to say, but he didn’t. Instead he answered, “You know where we are.”
“The sewers.” He could practically feel her look of disgust not at him but at the fact of where he had to live, or where he and his family felt they had to stay to keep safe from prejudiced humans like all the rest of those who had attended this party. Even Shirley, he reminded himself, the girl he’d rescued, had fainted with one look at what he really was.
“But you come out every Halloween?” Her hands gently touched his shell.
He leaned back and grinned upside down at her. “And sometimes more often,” he admitted. “Tell you what,” he offered, grinning again and winking up at her, “you stock the pizza, and I’ll find you.”
She giggled. She wasn’t sure what the pizza comment was all about, but she was game. She was willing to do whatever it took, she realized, to see him again. “I’m going to hold you to it -- “
“Mike,” he told her and leapt out into the night.
“Mike,” she whispered, and then she realized she hadn’t given him her name. Leaning out of the window, she called after him, “I’M LAURYN!”
“I’LL FIND YOU, LAURYN!” Mikey called back. He hit the ground running and kept charging in the opposite direction away from the one in whence the cops were coming. Finding a manhole cover, he quickly dived into the sewer, but even as he sloshed through muck, water, and other things whose identities he much preferred not to think about, he thought about Lauryn and started to smile again. The world may be filled with people who took one look at a real, live, human-turtle hybrid and ran the other way, but there was at least one girl who wouldn’t run from him, one friend who already anticipated his return. He pictured her touching her spider ring, looking out at the night for him, and waiting for him, though having no way to know that was exactly what she was doing after the cops finally left her alone.
He was bouncing when he entered the lair and grinning from ear to ear. “Where were you?” Leonardo demanded, looking up.
Mikey took in the kitchen and gulped. Thankfully Master Splinter must have already retired for the night as only his three brothers remained; he’d face his flips tomorrow.
“You missed pizza,” Donnie observed. “You never miss pizza! What’s wrong with you, Mike?”
“Nothing’s wrong,” he almost sang out. “Everything’s just great! And I got my own pizza!” His grin filling his face, Mikey turned and headed to his own bedroom, where his music had long ago stopped playing.
His brothers watched him go with stunned expressions. “Don’t walk away from us, Michelangelo!” Leo called after him, finally finding his voice again, but Mike just ignored him.
“Shut up, Leo,” Raph told their leader. “Leave him alone.”
“What? Why?” Leo frowned at the red-banded turtle. “Since when do you take up for Mikey?”
“Since our little brother’s growing up on us,” Raph said, taking the last two slices of pizza and walking out of the room. His voice trailed back to them as he added, “And he’s met a girl.”
Don and Leo’s mouths both dropped open. Donnie was the first to manage to speak afterward. “Well,” he said, beginning to grin, “that’s a happy Halloween.”
“It is indeed,” Leo agreed slowly, “but I wonder if she knows?”
Across the city, a girl looked out at the night with more knowledge than she’d ever had before. She thought again of the incredible guy she’d met that night, touched the spider ring he’d given her, and waited, hoping that it wouldn’t be long before their next encounter.