"Mikey there is no way I am trying that!" I gaffed at him pretending to gag at the spaghetti filled plate.
A slice of Pizza sat underneath, coated in five different kinds of cheese wrapped in some sort of disgusting sugar sauce which was then layered by spaghetti strands.
"Its total carb heavy, I'd blow up like a balloon" I turned back to the sink cleaning the rest of the dishes away. It had just been dinner and I had offered to clean.
I had been friends with the turtles for over three years; being April's cousin and roommate meant their secret couldn't have stayed a secret; we were way too closely knitted together in our lives…
I remembered back; a blackout filled our small apartment in a thunderstorm and April had called for help. The lightening and thunder growled against the back windows making us jump whenever the strike hit a near by area.
"He wont be long; but I gotta ask- you need to stay in the living room while I talk to him- he gets nervous around new people" she explained and I nodded.
"Sure thing" I stayed still in the living room as the sound of knocking filled my ears. I yelped at the light noise as April sighed with relief.
"Its just Donnie- no remember what I said; stay here- don't move, please" her voice had an urgency in it I never quite understood but I didn't push it.
I sat still as April left the room, I could hear what sounded like the window sliding open and shutting as another crack of lightening hit the sky. I froze scrunching my fists together nervously.
"Hey Ap- don't worry, ill fix the fuse" a high pitched male voice had entered the room but I brushed it off as it disappeared down the corridor with April.
I was then completely alone; way too alone, sat in an eerie silence. I swallowed, the floorboards beneath me creaked. My heart rate increased so fast and thick I worried what it would do to my health.
I sat patiently, trying to hone in on my wild imagination as I worried over how long April was taking. The images of ghouls and demons filled my head, making me see one in every corner of the blacked out room.
"its just in my head, its just in my head" I whispered to myself over and over.
Then I felt it; like eyes watching me in the dark; making my skin crawl. I bit my lip nervously…
Its nothing, I thought carefully, calm down- my body, ignoring my rational mind began to take over, making my heart pound into my skull, deafening out the storm.
Another creak of a floorboard- only this time, not one underneath me.
Panicking with my wild heart racing, I jumbled in a near by draw my fingers wildly searching for the small pocket torch April had put in there from last month.
I could feel the eyes still on me as I retrieved the torch, pulled it out and flung it round in the darkness of the room.
Only to land on three huge turtle men, all staring back at me in shock.
I fainted- hitting my head on the way down…
It seemed silly to me now; after the incident Donnie patched me up and they all apologised for scaring me.
Crazy to think it was so long ago- and now, I was welcomed into their home nearly everyday, and had made a best friend in each of them.
Mikey continued to eat his pasta, pizza stuffed cheese mess as I put plates on the side to dry.
"You don't know what your missin' out on Nory" he told me with his mouth completely rammed full. He chewed and swallowed leaving pizza sauce all down his chin. I groaned out a laugh at him.
"Mikey; you don't talk to a lady like that!" Leo came into the room, his voice as smooth as ever, warming my cheeks and making my insides beam out.
We weren't essentially close; Leo was very well reserved- but he was always charming and gentle; and extremely focused. And it was enough for me to enjoy his company a little more than the others on the odd private occasion he would bless me with it.
"Nory's not a lady Leo! Shes a-"
"Go on, Finish that sentence Mike" I dared him with a wooden spoon in my hand, I pointed it at him purposefully.
Mikey held his hands up.
"I was gonna say a totally hot super fly dudette, dudette" he shrugged with a wink.
"A lady's too proper a word for someone as fine as you; When you gonna let me take you out and show you the world?"
I rolled my eyes at him and laughed under my breath.
"Yeah yeah- take it down a notch Aladdin" I chuckled. Leo came up to me gently smiling to himself, and while I was washing a cup, and drying it- dipped his own into the sink, swirled it around and cleaned it out.
"Leo- I would have done that for you"
"its fine Nory- I got it" he said smoothly before taking the tea towel out of my hands and drying his cup.
I held my hand out patiently waiting for it back as he moved around me, his hand gently placed on the small of my back as he passed, his blue eyes watched me as I watched him smiling playfully.
"You wash- I'll dry"
I turned to the sink as Mikey kept babbling on about how great his dinner was, burping openly and not caring- I smiled to myself at his comedic grossness, but my brain seemed to turn a corner, going into a soft overdrive knowing Leonardo was close by, being a gentleman as always, helping me.
I swallowed the happy lump in my throat and shook my head. He was like this with April too- it wasn't special attention.
Out of the corner of my eye I peered up at him, his face turning to focus on Mikey's words as he rolled his eyes and shook his head at me. I giggled at his look earning a lip-smile in return; he leant against the sink, his huge arm holding himself up.
His large green body towered over 5 ft 11 frame and even being a broader woman as I was, I still felt small around him; probably another psychological reason as to why I loved his company so much.
April was a hell of a lot smaller than me, and she was so much more beautiful in comparison, and that played havoc with my self worth. I was taller, bigger boobed, bigger booted and thicker thighed. I hated it- but being around Leo- in fact all the guys- I felt at peace, like I didn't need to worry about some skinny teenage boy picking on me for my looks. That and Mikey's constant need to compliment and flirt with me put me at rest; maybe I wasn't as bad looking as I felt.
I had pretty eyes, clear glowing tanned skin and dark hair that fell thick and shiny. My face was angular and my body well balanced considering.
But still; to be a size 6….
I shook my head, shaking away the tickle of hurt that was about to come into play. I looked back to Leo who had started to put dishes away in cupboards.
I did need to get over the soft spot I held for Leonardo. And it needed to be stopped soon; it had grown softly over the three years like a small flame that was slowly spreading through my veins. And the fire was becoming way to dangerous for me to be so close to it.
I worried what it might do when it reached my head.
"Honestly Mike- you gotta slow down, you'll get a stitch later when were out running patrol and I'm not sending you home" Leo taunted him pointing a fork towards him as he dried it. Mikey rolled his eyes again.
"Yeah yeah- I hear you Leo, I'm done now anyway- give me half an hour, a good warm up and I'll be ready to go"
Mikey stood up putting his plate in the sink and quickly pecked my cheek sloppily with a cheeky wink.
"Awh Eww! Mikey!" I called trying to throw bubbles towards him from the water when I realised he had put his tomato stained lips on my cheek. He ran out of the room giddy and hyper as he skated round the corner. With a "gotcha angelcakes!"
"You know you should be more on guard around him- he likes to mess with you the most"
I grabbed a clean spoon from the side and looked at my cheek.
"damn gross-pasta-eating-turtle" I growled as I tried to look at my reflection in the silver spoon head.
I rubbed at my face, trying to scrub the pasta off my cheek bone as Leo laughed.
"Here- its up on your temple too"
I froze instantly as suddenly his wet finger was brushing at the side of my face. The padded feel of his finger print started my cheeks burning and my insides whirring around.
I watched him as he concentrated; just for a second, wiping away Mikey's left overs. And then his eyes caught mine, again- just for a second, the blue behind the bandana echoed out to me, dazzling me to a still as he pulled back slowly his finger dragging down over my cheek bone, no longer cleaning it- but feeling the skin there.
We both stood still, frozen- unsure of what to say or do next as Leo pulled away.
"Got it" he mumbled smoothly, and I blushed; nervously, lovingly- I wasn't sure which one it was.
I looked down to the sink; then back up at Leo, now turning my head so I could look at him full on. He did the same; only he seemed more composed now- a soft half smirk lay on his face, watching me as I fumbled with something in the sink to make myself look busy; hoping to god he couldn't hear my heart beat…
"LEO! NORY! - GET YO ASSES IN 'ERE!"
I jumped. He froze, his eyes so fast that they blurred as they flicked over to the door. He sighed.
"Well- duty calls, leave the rest of those dishes Nory, I'll sort them later" he said kindly, moving passed me in a blur again as he disappeared from the small kitchen area.
The blush on my cheeks now heating my face as the flames were dancing all throughout my arms and cheeks.
"Shit" I mumbled to myself shaking my head.
I needed to get it under control. And fast.
I headed into the main living area, seeing all the boys gathering round the computer screens looking excited.
"Yeah- and Look at the date! Its in between all of our birthdays!" Donnies high voice hit me first, edged with excitement and glee.
"you think we could pull it off?"
"What total darkness? Hoodies up? Course we can! We could go to an actual concert Leo! For our birthdays too"
"You mean- go dancing, drinkin' and feelin' up strange women? - I'm totally there, I don't care whose birthday it is" Casey high fived Raph roughly as they smiled to each other playfully.
"What's going on?" I asked getting closer as Raph ducked out of the way- letting me see what was going on.
The screens lit up with an announcement of Coldplay's latest tour- starting from next month- really close to the boy's birthdays. My eyes grew wide with excitement.
"Coldplay- are you serious?!" I grinned my eyes scanning over the information quickly as my smile grew. I exchanged an excited look with Donnie as he grinned back to me
"Oh my god- do you know how long I waited for Coldplay to tour again?! I've always wanted to see them live!"
I squealed in excitement as my fingers reached for the screens, still scanning the information.
"We're thinking we could all go for our birthday- what do you think Nor?" Donnie asked as I spun to look at him.
"Completely- 100% I am there; totally- April?" I asked her and she smiled and nodded.
"we should get t-shirts for the tour" she said and I giggled.
"Yeah like real groupies" I rolled my eyes at her as she laughed.
"You do know what real groupies do girls, right?" Casey said winking at us as I rolled my eyes and shook my head at the same time as April.
"Good job you're not in the band then Casey isn't it" April commented with amusement edged in her voice. "Wait- can you boys get in- where's it at?"
"The old warehouse arena; it's a lock in so we could sneak overhead and come in through the pipes- no one would even think about looking twice at us; stay at the back, keep hoods up and try to stop barging into as many humans as possible
Donnie typed a code into the computer and the screens whirred to life again. Mikey bounced up and down on Raph's shoulder as he grinned.
"Can we go Leo? Please please please please pleaseeee!"
Leo sighed and rolled his eyes again.
"Course we're going, we just need to tell Master Splinter" Leo's eyes turned caring as he drifted out into a lost thought.
"Already taken care of my son; I made arrangements with the police chief last week. She sent tickets through as another reward for the work your doing in the city; I made sure to get tickets for Casey, North and April- they will accompany you; keep you safe"
"Wow- wont that be different" Casey said darkly with a grin "you guys ain't gonna know what's hit you; were gonna be so drunk"
I elbowed him sharply.
"It's a concert Casey not one of your late night sleazy drop ins; they want to remember it, not be puking their guts up behind a dumpster at five in the morning out side my apartment" I said pointedly with a narrowed look. Casey raised his hands in the air, looking totally shocked.
"Hey- Raph and I apologised for that and we cleaned your sneakers out too- and the rug!"
I huffed at them both and shook my head.
"We will take care of the boy's sir; more importantly keep them away from Casey" I said putting a hand on his furry arm as he touched my hand in thanks; grateful, with a caring smile.
"It is their 22nd birthday; they are young men now; my sons know they choose their own paths in behaviour, and their own drink- but if Raphael feels the need to throw up all over your apartment again; be sure to let me know first thing my dear, I'm sure he will have no issue for training in the Hashi for a week" Splinter told me in a low voice as I chuckled at him. He whipped his tail at Casey and Raph, who both groaned upon impact. Everyone else laughed openly. Mikey squawked up looking wide eyed at everyone.
"I think were missing the bigger picture here; were going to a concert!" With cheers and woops excitement flooded the lair. I looked to April who grinned excitedly at me, I turned my head to look back at the screen- only stopping when I found Leo's eyes on me, he grinned widely, sharing the joy, and caused my stomach to flip double time…
I shivered out a blush and a smile as he looked away just as quick and began planning with Donnie for the following week…
"Come on Nory- we got some online shopping to do!" April pulled on my forearm as she led me away from the scene and down onto the sofa, pulling a laptop out from under it and logging in…