Within the Woods.

Narrator's POV.

'I'll never forget the night we left New York City.'

Kraang Prime roared at us, then a familiar voice shouted, "This is so metal!"

A psychedelic-colored van drove over a ramp and attacked the giant alien brain-like creature. Knocking it a few feet from Michelangelo, Eleanor, Donatello, Raphael and April.

The group raced into the van and drove off down the street. Kraang Prime roared after them, but it was too slow.

'The Kraang defeated us. Leo got badly hurt. Master Splinter is gone. We lost. We had nowhere left to go. So we came to the old farmhouse I grew up in, miles away from the city a place we could all be safe in. The first thing we did was take care of poor Leonardo.'

The group drove to an old farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere. Away from the destruction and chaos. As carefully as they could, Eleanor and Donatello carried Leonardo out of the van and into the house. Leo wasn't wearing any of his ninja gear, let alone his blue bandana mask.

April walked ahead, into the bathroom, and ran a bath for Leo. Good thing the house still had water, heat and electricity.

Ellie and Donnie put Leo into the bath, made it look like he was sleeping.

"This will keep him hydrated, help him heal faster." Donnie spoke up, as April put a sponge over Leo's head.

With that, April, Donnie, Raph and Mikey left the room. Ellie stayed behind with a solemn look on her face.

'Eleanor keeps a constant vigil over Leo, waiting for him to wake up. Michelangelo goofs around a lot, but he does a ton of chores around the house.'

We turn to Michelangelo, who was feeding the farm's chickens, humming 'Ol' McDonald'. However the back of chicken feed ran empty. The chickens looked at Mikey.

"Back off, chickens. That's all I got." Mikey told them. However, they approached him. "Easy, easy." Mikey tried to calm them, however the chickens started pecking him. Mikey ran away from the angry farm birds, "Help!"

'But mostly, he goofs around a lot. Donatello built a lab in the barn, trying to create a mutagenic medicine to heal Leo.'

We turn to Donatello, who was sitting on a wooden desk, with a beaker of glowing cyan ooze, called Mutagen, and a spoonfull of red chemicals.

"One last drop, and I think I've done it." Donnie muttered to himself.

However, he dropped two drops of the red chemicals and the Mutagen exploded in his face, covering his face with soot. Casey Jones burst into hysterical laughter.

Then Casey turned to the worn-out farm truck, carried by cinderblocks, "This baby's gonna need a lot of work."

A cinderblock nudged slightly and a portion of the truck fell on top of the hockey playing street punk. Donnie mimicked Casey's laugh.

Then we turn to April, who was sitting on a bench-like swing, writing in a diary.

'And then there's me, April o'Neil. I spend most of my time training with the Turtles and writing in my everexpanding journal. I miss New York, my Sensei, my dad. Hopefully Leo will recover, and we can all go home soon, if there's even a home to go back to. But life, as Master Splinter would say, must continue on.'

Eleanor's POV.

It's been three months since the Kraang and Shredder took control of New York. Uncle Splinter was thrown into a drain pipe. Miwa is still missing. Leo is badly hurt from fighting Shredder and his clan alone. And we had no other choice than retreat and regroup.

Right now, Mikey, Donnie, Raph and April were training, keeping up with their ninja skills. Casey was relaxing nearby. I was inside the farmhouse, watching over Leo. I can't remember the last time I've eaten or slept.

I looked out the window to see how everyone was doing. Once Donnie was alone, I noticed Casey smirked.

"Goongala!" He shouted, as he drew his hockey stick and locked into to combat with Donnie.

April was training with Raph, but she was having small trouble keeping up.

"You gotta be quick to train with ninjas." Raph told her, "Sorry, April."

He delivered a leg-sweep, but April quickly recovered, by flipping to land on her feet, and gave him a powerful upper-cut. Raph was knocked off his feet.

"I'm almost a full-on Kunoichi." April told Raph, folding her arms.

Mikey smiled, "Aw, yeah! Gotta be quick if you wanna be hanging with the ninjas, dog."

Raph recovered and got back to his feet. He turned to April and asked, "Isn't Ellie gonna join in this time?"

April shook her head, "Afraid not, Raph. She's been like this since we got here."

Raph sulked and looked at the window where the bathroom would be. I quickly looked away. I don't want anyone looking at me like Raph has. I know it's sympathy, but I don't need it.

Then Casey's voice caught my attention, "Sweet moves, Donnie."

I looked and noticed Casey threw his hockey stick at Donnie. Donnie ducked, then Casey grabbed his slingshot. He still had that all this time?

"Eat this." Casey fired some small stones at Donnie.

Donnie quickly protected himself and shouted, "Ow! Cheap shot!"

He threw his staff at Casey, and the staff hit his arm. Then the two boys got into a bit of a scrap. I shook my head. After three months and there's still tension in the air. You can cut through it with a katana.

April noticed and shouted, "Okay, you two. Enough!" Donnie and Casey stopped, "You guys are acting like a bunch of caged animals."

Casey and Donnie got back to their feet and Casey assured, "We're just blowing off a little steam, Red."

Donnie smiled and put his hand over Casey's shoulder, "Yeah, things are just kind of tense lately." Then puts him in a small headlock, "Right, old friend?"

Casey nodded and jabbed Donnie in the abdomin, "You got that right, old pal."

Donnie reacted and tightened the headlock a bit.

"We're all just a little frustrated, April." Raph assured, then pointed out, "No offense, but we're turtles. We don't belong in a farmhouse. We belong in the sewers."

Donnie spoke up, "Okay, not entirely accurate but, uh, apropos."

Mikey nodded, "Yeah, that's all good. But like Master Splinter would say..." He imitated Uncle Splinter as much as he could, "We must accept the hand that the universe has dealt us."

Casey gasped, "Wow, that's deep, yo."

Raph shook his head, "Master Splinter's gone, Mikey, and Leo may never wake up. The universe dealt us a terrible hand."

I lowered my head in thought. What Mikey said does sound like what Uncle Splinter would say. Now my heart aches just thinking about what's happened to him. I know my uncle's alive, but I'm so distraught and angry at Shredder I can't think straight!

I sighed and sat on the chair near the bathtub. Leo was sleeping soundly in the tub. But, there has been no movement from him. If only I could see into his mind somehow.

I put my hand into the cool water and took hold of Leo's hand.

I can still remember that before he lured the Kraang away from Mikey, Donnie, April and I, he kissed me. And I mean full on the lips. No mind-controlling wasp venom, or any other poisons. I had no idea he actually liked me. Now, I wish I could've told him that I felt the same way.

I guess I'm just as terrible with this crush thing as Donnie is. I just...

My train of thought was broken by something that took me by surprise. Leo's hand. It moved! It's grasping my own hand!

I looked at the injured Turtle, "Leo?"

Leo opened his eyes and looked at me. He smiled, "Hey, Ellie. Did I miss anything?"

His voice was different from before. It used to be smooth and medium toned. Now, it has a rasp and slightly lower toned. Kinda like my voice synthesizer as 'Elijah'. But it was still Leo.

A relieved smile grew on my face, "You're awake." Then I gave him a gentle hug, by putting my forehead over his and placing my free arm over his shoulders, "Thank goodness." I released the hug and called to everyone else, "Guys! Guys! Get up here!"

Raph, Donnie, Mikey and Raph arrived to the room and saw that Leo was awake.

"Leo?" Donnie gasped.

Leo looked at his brothers and smiled, "Hey, guys."

Mikey threw his arms around his older brother, "Leo! You're back!"

Leo quickly winced and cringed, but assured, "It's okay, Mikey. Ow."

Mikey continued to hug him, "Dude!"

"Okay, that hurts." Leo muttered as Mikey let go of him.

Raph put his hand over Mikey's shoulder, "Take it easy."

Then the brothers helped Leo out of the tub. "Let us get you out of here." Donnie spoke up.

With that, the boys and I helped Leo out of the bathtub and down the stairs to the living room. April and Casey were very relieved to see Leo awake. With Donnie's and Raph's help, we sat Leo down and Donnie gave me his make-shift stythoscope. Since I was the medical expert.

April explained to Leo what happened, how we came to hide out here and how long it's been since the Kraang's successful invasion.

"So we've been here for three months? I've been out that long?" Leo asked in shock.

April nodded, "You had us worried sick, Leo." Then she gestured to me, "Ellie never left your side for a second."

Leo looked at me and smiled. I felt a blush creep across my cheeks and I smiled back. I put the stythoscope around my neck and waved my hand over Leo. His aura shifted and dark grey patches started to make their presense known to me.

That's not good...

"So, like, why does he sound different?" Casey asked.

"He sustained damage to his throat..." I answered, then added in a worried tone, "And pretty much everywhere else."

Leo flinched in pain. Then Donnie grabbed a spoon and a phial of pale cyan Mutagen, "Here. Take some more of my special patented Mutagen medicine. You'll be healed in no time."

He poured a spoonfull of the medicine and gave it to Leo.

Leo took the spoonfull and gagged, "Ugh, that tastes like it's supposed to come out of me, not go into me."

Raph sat next to Leo and told him, "First thing tomorrow, we're gonna start training again, you and me. I'll have you on your feet in no time, bro."

Leo smiled back at his brother. I looked away in worry. I don't want to say why.

*The Next Morning...*

Just like he promised, Raph has started training Leo back to full health. So far, it hasn't been easy. April gave Leo a wooden crutch to help him walk around. Must've been Kirby's when he fractured his ankle a while ago.

April also suggested that I'd accompany them. Says my empathy would be useful and in case Leo collapses again.

"Come on, Leo, you gotta build up those muscles. You've gotten super weak." Raph told Leo, as we started crossing the creek, very close to the farmhouse.

"Don't rub it in." Leo replied, as he reached the steep.

Leo was wearing his ninja gear, but not his bandana mask or his katanas.

"Baby steps, Leo." I assured him, as I walked in front of him and grabbed his free arm for support. Steeps can be very tricky.

Leo's bad knee gave out and he fell. Luckily I had hold of him, so he fell into me, "Easy. Easy."

Leo pushed away from me to stand upright again, "I don't think I'm-" He balanced himself back on the crutch, "I don't think I'm ever gonna be the same again."

Raph turned to Leo and encouraged, "Don't talk like that. That's not the Leo I know. Now, come on. Let's cross this creek."

Raphael's POV.

"Raph, don't you think this is a little too extreme?" I heard Ellie ask me.

I turned to her, as she crossed the creek to meet me, "What are you talking about?"

"You know what I'm talking about." She answered, "Leo just woke up last night. He needs to rest."

I shook my head, "Leo's tougher than he looks, Ellie. You should know that." I pointed out.

Ellie shook her head and argued, "I thought you of everyone would understand, Raph-" Then she froze for a second. Ellie turned and looked at Leo, "Leo?"

I looked and saw that my brother was looking a little out of it.

Leo sighed, "Oh, man." He dropped the medicine, "Oh, I'm gonna-" Then he turned around, barfed into a patch of white flowers, and fell to his knees.

Ellie quickly crossed the creek to help him, "You okay, Leo?" She asked in a genuine worried tone.

"I think it's that medicine Donnie gave me." Leo answered her, "I'm not feeling too good."

Ellie put his arm over her shoulders and helped him back to his feet, "Come on. Let's get you back to the farmhouse." She helped him off the riverbed and walked back to the farmhouse, "You need some rest."

I raised a brow at Ellie's actions. She's been like this since we got here. Secretive. Withdrawn. Placing blame on herself. Tired and exhausted. Cold. Heck, she even spaces out every now and again.

She never told you guys, did she? Ellie doesn't have to tell you. It's evident in everything about her lately. Her voice, her eyes, even the way she walks.

This isn't the Ellie I know. She's usually always focused. Determined. Fights for those she cares about. A true warrior's heart.

It's like some sort of barrier's been broken and she's trying to fight it back. Might be the reason why she went feral for a few seconds, when she exploded at Shredder.

What are you hiding, Ellie?

*Later that Night...*

April returned to the living room, with a tray of tea. Leo stayed close to the fireplace, to stay warm and think. Ellie sat opposite him, spaced out again. Forth time since yesterday.

"I just can't stop thinking about Master Splinter." Leo spoke up, "Maybe he's not really gone."

"We saw it happen." Donnie replied, "Shredder threw him down a drain pipe."

April spoke up, "Maybe Leo's right. I mean, Splinter was a great ninja Master."

I nodded, "The greatest in a century."

Then Mikey alerted us, sitting in front of the tv, "Hey, dudes, the show's starting."

The tv shut off and the lights went out before anything happened. Mikey cried in dismay and Casey shouted, "Aw, man. You gotta be kidding me."

Donnie stood up and assured, "It's just a blown fuse. I'll fix it in two shakes of a turtle's tail."

Just as he left, the fire in the fireplace blew out by a gust of wind. I walked over and looked over the fireplace. Donnie grabbed a flashlight and shone the light over the wood. The firewood looked like it can't be re-lit. It's all black.

I sighed, "Great. Looks like we need more firewood."

Then Donnie's flashlight went out. He pressed the switch again, but no response, "Are you kidding?"

It looked like it was my turn to collect the firewood. I walked out of the farmhouse, grabbed an axe and started chopping wood from a nearby fallen tree.

Once I thought we had enough firewood, I felt something sneak past me. I turned and saw nothing, "What was that?"

Then there was a rustle and I turned again, "Who's there?"

After a few seconds of staring, a young deer with antlers looked at me and ran off.

I sighed in relief, "Just a deer. Phew." I started picking up the firewood and assured myself, "Easy, Raph. Don't get paranoid."

Then I heard movement behind me. I turned and saw some kind of shadowed monster. I screamed and roots started binding me. I tried to fight back, but the monster knocked me out.

*A Little Bit Later...*

Eleanor's POV.

"Raph! He's been gone for hours. Raph!" Mikey shouted as loud as he could.

Raph was out to grab more firewood, but he hasn't returned yet. Worried, Mikey, Donnie April, Leo, Casey and I are outside looking for him. I tried to track him down with his aura. Something was wrong.

"Raph! Can you hear us?" Casey called.

April looked at Casey, "Don't you think he'd answer?" Then she looked at me, "Ellie?"

I sighed and shook my head, "I'm not getting anything. It's like his aura just vanished."

"You mean he's-" Mikey whimpered.

I shook my head, "No, Mikey." Then assured, "If he was, his aura would have left an imprint somewhere."

"All right, we split up." Leo instructed, "April and Casey, you guys take that way." He pointed to his left, "Mikey, Ellie and Donnie, you take that way." Then pointed to his right.

"Split up? Are you loco, homie?" Mikey exclaimed.

"April and Casey go off alone? Together?" Donnie shouted.

"Mikey, Ellie and Donnie, you take that way." Leo repeated in a stronger tone and a glare.

Donnie groaned and grabbed a lantern. Casey smirked and lowered his mask over his face.

"What about you?" I asked Leo.

"I'll wait at the farmhouse in case Raph comes back." He answered, then added with a sad sigh, "I won't be much help out there, anyway."

"Maybe I should stay and keep an eye on you, Leo." I suggested.

Leo looked at me and shook his head, "No, Ellie. We need your keen ears and empathy out there." Then he assured me with a small smile, "I'll be fine. I promise."

Then he made his way back to the farmhouse. Donnie put his hand over my shoulder and made me follow beside him. Casey gave Donnie cocky chuckle. We split up and entered different parts of the forest.

Donnie, Mikey and I walked through a large thicket of trees.

"Raph!" Mikey shouted as loud as he could.

"Raphael?!" I called behind cupped hands around my mouth.

Mikey sighed, "I don't know. You think he got lost?" Then he added as something came to him, "Maybe he got eaten by a rabid squirrel."

Donnie shook his head, "I do not think that, no. I'm just freaking because Casey and April went off on their own. Alone."

"Why? Because they forgot to bring a compass?" Mikey asked in obliviousness.

Donnie stopped in his tracks and shook his head, "No, genius."

I looked at Mikey and asked, "What do you think happens to two teenagers, who wonder off into a dark forest, alone?"

Mikey thought for a second, then flashed his flashlight at a couple of squirrels. During the silence, I started hearing whispers and sounds coming from around me. It was giving me a headache. Then a quiet voice whispered like it was in my ear;

'Turn back... It's not safe here...'

The squirrels hissed and Mikey yellped and whimpered, "They get eaten by squirrels."

I shook my heard as the whispers stopped. Donnie sighed and continued down the trail, "You know what? Forget I said anything."

Mikey and I quickly followed after Donnie. We took a turn and Donnie noticed something, "Hello. What's this?"

Mikey and I followed his gaze and saw an old shed. It's door was swinging open and closed, like there was wind, or something inside.

I focused my empathy on the shed. The whispers and sounds returned for a second, and I sensed something inside the shed, waiting.

"Something's in there." I informed the boys.

"Let's check it out." Mikey told us, then tapped Donnie's shoulder, "You first."

Donnie sighed and approached the shed. All seemed calm so far. I opened the door of the shed. It was pitch black inside.

"Uh, hello?" Mikey called, shining his flashlight into the shed.

Donnie, Mikey and I entered the wooden shack and looked around. The shed looked like it was recently used. The tools don't have any rust or any sign of overgrowth. Whatever has been using this place, made it into its home.

I looked around and saw something unusual. Four lit candles and Donnie's Mutagen medicine for Leo. It looked like some sort of shrine. By the way the candles have melted, this shine has to be less than half a day old. Then something came to me, and I gasped.

Raph got attacked by something!

Before I could react, Mikey hugged me close and put his hand over my mouth. He shone his flashlight at a small heap of swamp grass, around the same size as a teenager curled into a ball, with white flowers and roots. Similar to the patch of grass Leo barfed over. I sensed the aura coming from the swamp hill.

"Uh, hello?" Mikey squeaked, removing his hand from my mouth.

The heap moved to reveal to be a creature and it roared at us.

'Get out!'

Mikey and Donnie screamed and ran out the shed. I stood my ground.

The creature charged at me, but I lightly jabbed it in the chest, "Tsst!"

The creature recoiled, looked at me and growled. I kept strong eye contact with it. The creature calmed down and sat down like a guard dog.

I knealt down and petted it's head, "Good boy."

"Wow, Ellie. You never cease to amaze." I heard Donnie smile from behind me.

The creature whimpered and rested its head into my chest. I noticed it was wearing a familiar red bandana mask over its cyan eyes. I waved my hand over the creature and saw its aura flickered a familiar fiery red for a nano-second.

'Help me...'

"Raph?" I recognised.

Mikey looked and gasped, "He's all leafy and weird-looking. Like a salad!"

Donnie looked and summarised, "Something must have infected him."

Mikey looked at Donnie, "What?" Then he was dragged out the shed and hung up-side down by roots, "Holy chalupa!" The roots wrapped around Mikey and covered his mouth.

Donnie and I left the shed and ran to him. Donnie looked at me, "Ellie?"

I quickly shook my head, "I'm not doing this."

Donnie grabbed his staff and we walked over to Mikey, "Hold on. I'll cut you down."

I sensed something and a shadow appeared behind us. Mikey muffled a scream, as he saw it. Donnie and I turned and saw something towering over us. The shadowed creature punched Donnie into the farthest tree.

Before I could move, the shadowed creature threw me into wall of the shed. The creature turned its attention to Donnie. Donnie recovered and saw the creature throwing a pitch fork at him. Donnie quickly moved his head, but the pitch fork caught his mask-tails.

"Donnie!" I shouted.

Donnie tried to pry the fork free, but it was too deep. The shadowed creature approached him. I quickly got to my feet and threw a shuriken at the back of his head.

The creature turned to face me. I grew my blades and growled, "Keep away from my family, freak."

Seeing me as a threat, it walked up to me. I stood my ground. I'm not easily scared by something from an old horror movie.

I dashed at the creature and swung my blades at it. I was able to give it a few good scratches, but it caught my weapons and threw me into a tree, close to Mikey. Roots bound me to the tree. I couldn't move.

I recovered and saw the creature walking toward me. Donnie looked at me, "Ellie! Run!"

I gave the Techno-Turtle a look, then used my psychokinesis to force the roots to let me go. I got back to my feet, used a psychokinetic blast to push the creature back, then dashed through the trees. I could hear Donnie screaming behind me.

*Meanwhile, In Another Portion of the Forest...*

April's POV.

Casey continued down the trail, until a familiar scream caught our attention. I recognised it in seconds, "That's Donnie."

Casey and I followed the screaming, but it went quiet. I looked around and Casey seemed to have disappeared, "Casey? Casey! This isn't funny."

Suddenly, a rustle. I gasped and reached for my tessen. Out the woods, Ellie appeared. She looked like she's been running from something dangerous. She even seemed to have lost her bladed weapons.

She looked at me and sighed in relief, "April!"

I raised a brow, "Ellie? What's wrong?"

Ellie caught her breath and put her hands over my shoulders, "I'll explain later. We have to get out of here." Then she looked around, "Where's Casey?"

As if on cue, Casey screamed. Ellie and I turned to see Casey held up against a tree, by a monster that looked like something from a horror movie. 7-8 foot tall living swamp moss wearing a burlap sack over its head and denim overalls.

"Oh, no." I grimaced.

The creature lifted Casey higher to its eye-level. "Let me go!" Casey shouted.

I grabbed the nearest weapon, which was one of Casey's hockey stick, and whacked the creature over the head with it. The burlap mask flew off and the creature let Casey go.

The creature recoiled and covered its face. I drew my tessen and threw it at the creature. However, the creature stood up, looked at me and removed my tessen from the top of its head. It knocked me down and roots bounded me tight.

The creature picked up its burlap mask and was about to put it back on, however, Casey shouted, "Goongala!" And started attcking it with a bat.

I wiggled an arm free and grabbed my tessen. I was able to cut myself free, but the creature grabbed Casey's bat.

"Aw, man." Casey sighed.

Then Ellie shouted, "Hey!" The creature turned its attention to her, "Leave my friends alone, Behemoth!" She shouted as she drew her eskrima sticks and attacked it. She was so quick, the creature was barely able to react.

However, the creature got smart and threw Casey into her. The force threw both cousins into the farthest tree. Casey's mask fell off and he was out-cold. Ellie shook her head and recovered.

Ellie looked at her cousin and shook him, "Casey!"

The creature turned its attention to me. It was now wearing Casey's mask. Fear froze me on the spot. I couldn't move!

Eleanor's POV.

The creature turned its attention to April. April stood frozen in fear. I quickly grabbed my weapons, hit the creature over the head, grabbed April's hand and ran into the trees.

I could feel the creature following after us. April and I had to get out of these trees and into an open clearing, if we're gonna fight back.

After a while of running, the creature's aura slipped away. I stopped and looked back, but April kept running. She ran into something and was knocked off her feet. It was the creature.

Oh, no...

*At the Farmhouse...*

Leonardo's POV.

Agh! My knee gave out while I was trying to train myself back to health. I fell to my knees, stabbing my katanas into the ground, and tried to catch my breath.

I guess now I know how Ellie felt whenever her scars re-open. The whole weight of the problem on her shoulders weighing her down. Like a bird unable to fly. But she never gave up, and neither should I!

"Get on your feet, Leo." I told myself, as I picked myself up, "Stop whining and get up."

Once on my feet, the bruising and shooting pains made me wince. Then I heard a familiar voice gasping and getting louder. I looked around and saw something moving out of the woods. It was Ellie. She looked like she was running from something dangerous.

But, she was alone. Where were the others?

I narrowed my eyes, "Elle?"

A root wrapped around her foot and tripped her over. Ellie looked at me and reached her hand out, "Leo!"

I tried to hobble over to her aid as quick as I could, and she crawled over to me, but the more roots trapped her and dragged her back into the woods, "Help!"

"Ellie!" I cried after her, but my leg gave out again, and I fell to my knees again.

I couldn't just sit here and feel helpless. I have to save my family from whatever took them.

*A Little Later, back in the Old Shed...*

Donatello's POV.

I stirred myself back to consciousness as I opened my eyes and looked around.

Last thing I remember was Ellie, Mikey and I finding out that Raph got infected by something and transformed into some kind of swamp-dog. Then something shadowed attacked us. Ellie tried to fight it back, but got unlucky. I told her to run. Then everything went black after that.

I looked around to find that I was back in the old shed, where Ellie, Mikey and I encountered the shadowed creature. I seemed to be hanging in mid-air, by the roots that bound Mikey up-side down.

On my left was Mikey, still hanging up-side down, and looking at me.

He moved his eyes in front of me and shook his head. I followed and saw Raph in front of me, still leaf-looking, and growling at me.

Raph reached to attack us, but we swung out of his reach.

"Easy, Raph." I told him in a calm voice, "Try and remember. We're your brothers." Then Mikey swung into me, to move me aside, "Ow!"

"Yeah. You can come home with us and live in the attic." Mikey assured his infected brother, "I'll give you growsticks and swamp water every single day. I swear."

Raph whimpered and smiled at us like an excited puppy. I sighed in relief.

Suddenly the door opened to reveal the Mutant that attacked us. It was carrying three others over its shoulders, and wearing Casey's painted mask. Raph cowered into a corner.

"It's the Creep!" Mikey shouted, then whispered to me, "That's what I named him."

I looked at the three other victims and recognized them in seconds. Ellie, Casey and, "April! My poor sweet chinchilla."

The Creep put Casey, Ellie and April down in the corner of the shed. Then it turned its attention to Raph. Raph whimpered, as the Creep walked up to him.

"Leave him alone!" Mikey shouted at the Creep.

The Creep didn't listen and grabbed Raph from his head.

"You have out-lived your usefullness, my pet..." I heard Ellie whisper.

I looked over and saw Ellie's indigo-purple markings appearing again. She was under the same trance as with Spyro. Acting as a voice to those who can't speak!

Then Raph and the Creep started glowing in a mutagenic cyan color. The white flowers growing around us started twitching and and floating. Ellie lightly raised her head with a sigh.

Casey regained consciousness, "What's going-" He saw what was going on and kicked April, "April, wake up!"

April woke up and looked. The mutagenic glow was coming from Raph, and it was traveling into the Creep's arm. Raph either started to shrink and get absorbed into the Creep's hand.

"Raph!" Mikey shouted.

Realization hit me and I gasped, "It's- It's feeding off of him. Like mutagenic fertilizer." The glowing grew intense and Raph continued to get absorbed until there was nothing left of him.

"No, no, no! Raph!" I cried as the glowing stopped.

The Creep dropped what was left of Raph, his mask, over a nearly grown white flower.

"You turned my brother into a plant!" Mikey concluded, then shouted, "You turned him into a plant!"

The Creep flinched, then calmed. Ellie whispered, "Not enough..."

April reached over and shook Ellie with her foot, "Ellie? Wake up!"

Casey tried kicking Ellie awake, "Snap out of it, Allie."

But to no avail. Ellie must be out-cold and spaced out again. Like back at the house.

I don't want to sound like I'm placing blame, but the electricity, the fireplace and the flashlight going out where Ellie's doing.

I could tell because I saw a glow of cyan in Ellie's eyes, when she zones out for too long. That only happens when her powers act on their own.

The Creep turned its attention to Mikey and grabbed him by his feet.

"Let me go, Creep! I'll bash that Mutagen straight out of you!" Mikey shouted.

The Creep grabbed him by the top of his head. Mikey screamed, while Ellie whispered, "You talk too much..."

Suddenly, a familiar voice shouted from outside, "Help."

It caught the Creep's attention, as it let go of Mikey and turned to listen.

"Help!" The voice shouted again, sounding closer.

The Creep grabbed its pitch fork and left the old shed. Recognition hit me and I whispered, "Leo."

The Creep's POV.

I left my shack to find the source of the voice crying for help. However, I couldn't see anyone. I turned around, then felt something sharp and metal strike my head. I turned again. Who?

Standing in front of me was another one of those turtles. This one wore a deep blue mask over his eyes. His weapon of choice was two katanas.

He glared at me with angry eyes, "Give me back my family, freak."

Tch. Similar words the lizard said to me. He must be very close to her. Perfect.

I grabbed my pitch fork. He threw his wooden support to the side, then he drew his katanas. One was shorter than the other, must have broken off sometime ago.

I attacked him, but he jumped out of the way. He attacked, but I blocked. It was my turn to attack him again. He jumped to keep his distance from me. I swung my pitch fork and knocked one of the katanas out of his hand.

I threw my pitch fork at him, but the turtle ducked and the fork stabbed into a nearby tree. The turtle took the opportunity and struck me with his sword. It cut my new mask in half and fall off my face. I recoiled from the impact and covered my face.

My senses tensed, as I felt something attacking me again. I quickly grabbed the weapon and the turtle, who was attacking me. I lifted him over my head and growled at him. Punk kid!

I slammed him into the ground, then threw him across the forest. He landed a few feet from me. The turtle recovered and looked at me. I grabbed his weapon and approached him. The turtle turned his attention to the wooden support he dropped at the start of this battle.

He tried to get back to his feet, but his leg gave out. So, he crawled toward it. I lifted the sword, ready to deliver the final blow. However, the turtle was able to grab the support and jabbed it straight into my nose. I roared in pain.

Dang it! Son of a Swamp Algae Pond! That hurts!

Eleanor's POV.

I snapped my eyes open with a gasp! I had a dream that I drained the Mutagen out of Raph and turned him into a flower. I was about to do the same to Mikey, but Leo intervenes. I was winning the fight against him, due to my size and strength, until Leo jabbed his crutch into my nose. I woke up with a burning pain in my muzzle. But, now it's gone.

I think I did it again! Just like with Leatherhead and Uncle Splinter. This is getting really scary!

"Ellie! You're awake." I heard Mikey shout with a smile.

I looked at Mikey, who was hanging up-side down, and looked around. We were all in the same shack that Donnie, Mikey and I found Raph. Speaking of Raph, I looked over and saw a large white flower with roots that looked like a person, or a turtle. My heart sank.

Then April shouted in relief, "Leo!"

I looked and saw Leo at the doorway. Just like in my dream. He was even wearing his mask. Leo was covered in dirt and bruises. That wasn't an ordinary dream, was it?

Leo saw the white flower and gasped, "What the heck is that?"

"It's Raph. Long story." Donnie answered, "Quick, get us out of here!"

Leo nodded and used his katana to cut us free from the roots. Leo's leg gave out and he fell to his knees.

Relieved that he was alive, I threw my arms around Leo, "Leo!"

I felt Leo hug me back. Then I sensed an aura flare up in anger. The Creep was back on its feet and Leo's clutch fell off its nose. It growled at us. Everyone yelped. Donnie, April and Mikey quickly barricaded the door, while Casey, Leo and I readied our weapons.

Everything went uncomfortably quiet and tense. I sensed a shift and gasped.

Suddenly, the Creep attacked from the left side of the shack. The rest of us screamed, while Casey attacked it with his hockey stick. The Creep grabbed his weapon and snapped it into pieces.

Casey took a step back and sighed, "Aw, dude."

"Booyakasha!" Mikey shouted as he attacked the Creep with his nunchucks.

Casey and April grabbed a shovel and a rake. And we all attacked the Creep all together. Chopped its arm and other pieces out of it, "Take that!"

The Creep's eyes went out and its body fell limp. We took a step back to catch our breath.

However our victory was short-lived. The Creep sprung back to life. It forced itself into the shack. Knocked April and Casey into the nearest wall. Threw Donnie and Mikey out of the shack and into the forest. Then picked up its arm and healed it back together.

Once its arm was healed, the Creep knocked me and Leo into the wall behind us. Leo steadied himself on to the shrine and the vial of Mutagen medicine wobbled.

This caught the Creep's attention, as it cried.

'Don't do that!'

I narrowed my eyes, as Leo noticed and grabbed the vial. He waved it in front of the Creep. And the Creep's eyes never left the vial.

Of course! The Mutagen in Leo's medicine must have gave the Creep life. So it treats the vial like its an alter or a sign from a higher conscience. That explains Raph's condition. He's not dead!

Ah, that gives me an idea.

I snuck my to the doorway and stomped my tail to Leo. Leo looked at me and threw the vial to me. I caught it and ran outside. The Creep quickly followed me.

"Donnie! Keep away!" I shouted to Donnie, as I threw the vial to him.

Donnie caught the vial and the Creep turned its attention to him. Donnie screamed and ran. He threw the vial to Mikey. Mikey caught the vial and ran.

I ran back to the shack and told Casey, "Casey, grab the chains!"

Casey nodded and grabbed the chains with me. Leo followed and grabbed the Creep's pitch fork from the tree.

April, Donnie and Mikey were doing good, keeping the Creep distracted, until the Creep got smart and used roots to hold Mikey still and took the vial from him.

Leo leaped into the air and stabbed the Creep in the chest, shattering the vial in the process. The Creep backed into the nearest tree and Casey and I tied it up with the chains and lock-pad.

"That's what you get for messing with my mask, freak." Casey spat at the Creep.

"That should hold him." Donnie spoke up.

"We gotta get it back to the lab." I proposed.

Leo looked at me and asked, "You really think you can save Raph?"

"Honestly..." I shook my head, "I don't know, Leo." My hands balled into fists of determination, "But I'm gonna try."

*Later The Next Morning, In The Barn...*

Alright. It took the whole night, but I finally found a way to return Raph back to normal.

Finally, Raph opened his eyes and I smiled in relief. Donnie smiled and looked at me, "Way to go, Elle!"

Mikey took a look and cried in dismay, "Oh, no. Raph. Look at him. It's terrible."

Donnie looked at his youngest brother in confusion, "What do you mean? He's perfectly normal."

I giggled and put Raph's mask over his eyes. "How about now, Mikey?" I asked.

Mikey looked again and sighed with a smile, "Phew, yeah. Way better."

Raph pushed his youngest brother away and sat up, "What the heck is going on?"

"A crazy swamp monster sucked out your Mutagen and turned you into a plant, dude." Casey answered, "It was awesome!"

"But I used this I.V. Tube to drain all the Mutagen out of the Creep and back into your body." I explained, as I disassembled the contraption I used to save the hot-headed turtle.

Donnie put in a gentle headlock, "Cool, right? Killed off the infection like a bad case of shell-acne."

Raph nodded, "Cool." Looked at me with a smile, "Thanks, Elle." Then asked, "So what happened to the monster?"

"It got turned back into swamp goo." Casey answered, gesturing to the jar of glowing swamp moss, "Pretty wicked, right?"

"Ellie worked all night to save you." April told Raph, then added, "Leo never left your side."

Raph turned to Leo, who never left his spot since I started the procedure. Leo looked at Raph with a smile, "That's what brothers are for." Then he got to his feet and extended his hand to him, "We gotta heal up, Raph." Raph took Leo's hand and Leo helped his brother to his feet, "We have a city to take back."

Mikey jumped onto the hay bale and cheered, "I give that a big, fat, sloppy, wet Booyakasha!"

*Later, That Afternoon...*

As promised, Leo and Raph have been helping each other out with their healing process. Heck, after my little chat with him yesterday, Raph has been taking it easy for Leo.

Right now, I was in the barn, working on Casey's truck. Let's just say the truck hasn't been fair to Hockey Puck and he asked me to see what I can do.

While fixing, I sensed a familiar aura approaching me, then a familiar voice asked, "Hey, Elle. Do you have a minute?"

I slid out from under the truck and looked to see it was Raph. I smiled, "Sure, Raph. I was just finished with the muffler." I stood up, "What can I do for ya?"

Raph looked away and blushed, "Well... I've been meaning to tell you something. Something I should have told you a while ago."

I folded me arms and tilted my head, "You like me, don't you?"

He looked at me with wide eyes, "How did you-? When?" Then he furrowed his brows, "Did Mikey tell you?"

I waved my hands, "No. Mikey didn't utter a letter. I don't even think he knew." Then I explained, "You made it kinda obvious. You blush every time you look at me. When we spar, you go easy on me..." I rubbed my bandaged torso, "Even before this." Then continued with a light giggle, "Heck. You kissed me on the cheek, when Xever bit you."

Raph rubbed the back of his head, "I made it that obvious, huh?" I nodded. Then he asked, "Then, do you like me?"

My smile fell and shook my head, "I'm... Very sorry, Raph. But I'm not your type. The reason why you like me is because I'm a tough cookie, like you." I put my hand over my heart, "There's more to me than meets the eye. Some things you may not like."

Raph nodded, "Well, you have shown to be smarter than Donnie, but you don't brag about it. You used to be part of the Foot Clan, yet that wasn't your choice. But that's what makes you a wonderful person, Ellie."

I shook my head and put my hand over his shoulder, "Hamato Raphael, listen to me. I'm not the girl you want to spend the rest of your life with. But..." I assured with a small smile, "She is out there somewhere. And when you find her, you'll know."

Raph looked away in thought for a second, then looked at me with a nod, "Thanks, Ellie."

I nodded, "Glad to help."

With that, Raph left the barn, and I resumed working on the truck. I hope what I've told Raph was worth it. I tried to let his down easy, by assuring him that he will find his 'special someone'. I know he will.

I have drawn an image of her in my DreamPad.