Chapter Two

Raphael stocked the dark streets, his mood not diminishing. In all honesty, he couldn't even remember what he and Leo had been bickering about, but he was still livid and had no intentions of calming down anytime soon. Right now, he was just looking for some heads to bash in. Gritting his teeth, he took off at a run toward the nearest fire escape. His best approach would be an attack from the roofs.

It was nearly midnight. Four hours had passed since the scuffle in the lair. The broken wooden pieces of the shattered piece of furniture had been cleaned up and apologies had been given and received. Leo primarily did the giving while Mikey and Donny received. Now, the three brothers sat peacefully in the living room watching television. Shortly after Leo's outburst at Michelangelo, Mikey tried to get Donny to try his mystery batter, with approximately the same result, minus the yelling. The lumpy white mixture now lay in the bottom of the trash can.

The current show ended. While the credits rolled, Michelangelo leaned over the couch to Leonardo. "So, do you suppose Raph is doing alright?"

Leo didn't turn his eyes from the television. "He's fine."

Mikey thought about this for awhile. "Yeah . . .but how do you know?"

Leo gave an exasperated sigh and turned toward his youngest brother. "Because he's Raph, and he's always fine. He just needs to take some time to cool down a bit."

The orange masked brother sat back content, yet still concerned. True, Raphael usually spent a large chunk of time topside when he needed to calm down, but it usually didn't last much past midnight. There were too many dangers in the dark to take on alone.

Leo saw Michelangelo out of the corner of his eye, and his expression softened. "Look, Mikey," he said softly as he placed a hand on his youngest brother's knee, "Raph will be just fine. You'll see. Soon, he'll be stomping through that door, the same hot-headed guy. We'll probably even wish that he stayed out."

Finally, Mike cracked a smile. "Yeah, you're right. We may even get into another fight, just so he'll leave again!"

"Yeah, we probably will." Leo grinned before he caught Mikey in a head lock and rubbed the top of his dome with his knuckles. Mikey squealed as he tried to squirm out of his brother's hold.

There were 4, no; maybe 5 masked Foot Soldiers in the alley. Raph stood in the middle of them, spinning slowly as he twirled his sais. They glittered in the street light. An evil grin crossed his hard features. It had been a good night.

First, he had stopped some punk from stealing an older woman's purse. The delinquent had given him a run for his money, but in the end, Raph had been able to run him down, and tackle him at the knees. The air in the thief's lungs expelled violently in a loud WHOOSH as Raphael landed on top of him. Growling slightly, Raph snatched the purse out of the criminal's clutches. The man's eyes widened and he whimpered slightly when he focused on Raph's red mask, green face, and domed head. Choosing to ignore this action, Raph sneered angrily before tying the man up. The authorities could handle the rest.

Next, Raph had stopped 3 thugs in an alley from mugging a girl in her early 20s. This had been slightly easier than the purse-nabber, since they decided not to run. But, they still put out one heck of a fight!

Raphael had to duck out of the way as a long piece of chain came flying at his head. In one fluid motion, he kicked his leg out and swiped the legs of one of the thugs out from beneath him. He hit the ground hard, the force knocking him unconscious. Raph jumped up and caught another one of the thugs off guard with a solid kick to the chest. The thug fell back with a grunt, surprised, before slamming against the side of a building, knocking him out.

Before Raph had a chance to locate the third thug, a solid blow hit him hard on from behind, knocking him harshly to the pavement onto his plastron. The girl screamed and Raph rolled quickly, just as a piece of pipe slammed into the ground directly where Raph had been lying.

Flipping quickly to his feet, Raph glared at the thug, his sais glinting menacingly. "Is that how you want to play?" He said through gritted teeth. "Didn't your mother teach you how to play nice?"

Before the thug could respond in any way, Raph lunged. The thug was thrown off guard and swung the pipe clumsily toward Raph's head. Raph sideswiped it easily befor leaping in the air and landing a powerful kick to the thug's abdomen. The thug staggered back, his breath lost. Before he could straighten up, Raph connected a punch to the thug's head, which caused him to crumple helplessly to the pavement.

Breathing heavily, Raph sheathed his sais. Quiet crying caught his ears and he noticed the young woman crouched in the shadows by the dumpster, her eyes wide, as she clutched her purse tightly in her hands. Tentatively, Raphael took a step toward the girl, his arm slightly raised toward her, his fingers stretched.

"It's OK. . ." he guaranteed softly. He stopped and pulled back slightly at the girl's reaction. Her eyes opened even more, tears falling freely down her cheeks, her mouth open in a silent scream. He sighed, but before he could attempt to check on the girl again, the sound of sirens in the distance caught his ears. Apologetically, he glanced at the girl before glancing at the unconscious thugs, and then toward the fire escape. The sirens got louder and Raph took a step toward the ladder.

"I'm sorry," he said stupidly as he grasped the first rung. "The police will take care of you." He was barely up the ladder before the squad cars screeched to a halt. Gasping for breath, Raph looked down on the unfolding scene. The red and blue lights bounced crazily off the walls. Before the police had a chance to look up and see the turtle looming over the side of the building, he turned and ran, leaping silently across to another rooftop.

Now, the situation in the alley with the Foot was building up to be the perfect end to the perfect night. The Foot Soldiers started to swirl carefully around the red masked turtle and Raph felt his adrenaline kick in. This was going to be fun! The first came from the front. Raph front flipped over him and roundhouse kicked him from behind before his attacker could turn around. The Soldier fell into another, their limbs tangling as they fell to the pavement. Raph performed a front flip over them and landed in front of another Foot Solider. In one practiced motion, Raph gave a high spinning kick. While still in his rotation, he dropped low and executed a spinning kick that took the Soldier out at the knees.

With three down, Raph turned his attention to the final two. His sais twitched in his hands as he slowly advanced on them, an malevolent smile below his fiery eyes. They attacked at once, slightly catching Raph off guard. Normally, this wouldn't have been so bad, but unfortunately, Raph realized, as a foot connected with his plastron, that these two fighters were much more skilled than the previous three. He punched, hard, but that was also blocked. He drew back, his arm throbbing and his chest sore. Finally, gritting his teeth until it almost hurt, he jumped back between them, his kicks and punches being thrown blindly, his adrenaline taking over. The Soldiers had nothing to counter this, and it wasn't long before a spread-leg jump kick finished both of them off.

Raph landed softly and looked at his defeated opponents, his breathing hard. "What?! Is that all you got?!" He yelled victoriously at the crumpled bodies on the floor. "Come on back when you're worthy enoug—"

Everything went black as a hard blow landed on the back of his head, cutting his words off abruptly.