[Inside an abandoned, decrepit office building. The cubicles have been transformed into stations. Some are designated as medical, a majority of them as bedrooms–all have curtains blocking the entrances from view. Signs decorate each one. Large plastic water jugs line one of the walls. Another wall made of windows is covered entirely by curtains. Crates hold down the base of the curtains.

Junior, small for his age, stands on a crate to peek through a sliver of curtain. Outside the office building, the world is still and quiet. His gaze darts around as if trying to take everything in.

Suddenly, he’s grabbed by the scruff and picked up. Junior kicks his legs out furiously and swings his arms until he realizes that Raph has grabbed him. He immediately goes lax, smiles widely, and opens his arms while making “grabby” hands.]

Junior: Dad! Dad! Daddy!

Raph: Junior, what’d we tell you about looking outside?

Junior: Uh… To do it?

[Raph unceremoniously drops Junior onto his wide shoulders. Junior latches on Raph’s head, grabbing the tails of his mask in one small hand. The other hand holds onto Raph’s forehead as he starts to walk away from the covered wall. Junior giggles as Raph makes exaggerated turns until they reach a cubicle. It’s actually two cubicles with the diving wall torn down and three cots squished side by side. Raph bends forward and Junior tumbles onto the cots.]

Raph: Okay. No more funny business, CJ. What were you doing?

[Junior snaps to attention. He scrambles to sit on his shins, hands on his knees. He looks up at Raph then back down at his hands.]

Junior: I was tryna keep watch.

Raph: Why?

Junior: To help! Everyone seems so– so scared all the time. I wanna help.

Raph: You are helping, Junior. But not by keeping watch. Casey and I do even better on our missions knowing you’re here, waiting for us to come back.

Junior: But I wanna go outside with you!

[Raph stares at Junior in wide-eyed shock. Junior shrinks in on himself. Raph sighs and sits down next to Junior on the cot. He swipes at Junior’s legs until Junior gets the idea and swings them over the edge.]

Raph: Listen to me–there is nothing good out there. There are armored Kraang, the infected, and radioactive ooze everywhere.

Junior: But everyone’s showed me how to fight. Commander O’Neil said I was getting really good! And Sensei–

Raph: You’re not ready.

[Junior shrinks again at the sharp tone Raph uses. Junior stands in front of Raph.]

Junior: I’m faster than everyone! I have the cool gadgets Professor Donatello made. Sensei gave me this–

[Junior reaches beneath the cots and pulls out a sword that’s slightly too big for him and aims it at Raph. Raph stands, reaching out for the sword.]

Raph: [Incredulous] Leo gave you that?

Junior: Yeah! He believes in me. He says I’ll make a great ninja!

Raph: And I’m sure you will but you can’t face the Kraang!

Junior: Says you.

Raph: Yeah! Says me, your father. Now give me that sword. I have to talk to Leo about it.

[Tears prick at Junior’s eyes but he falls back from his aggressive stance. He stares at Raph’s outstretched hand then at his sword. He frowns, gripping the hilt of his sword, and turns to run.]

Raph: Junior!

[Junior ignores Raph calling him. He runs toward the stairs all the adults use, the ones he’s banned from. He pushes open the door and vaults up the stairs by kicking off the handrails. He continues up, up, and up, until he reaches the rooftop. He scans the horizon and notices a rundown building with a red cross on the side.

He uses his grappling hook to latch onto another building and swing towards the hospital. He swings without much of a hitch. As he’s about to reach the hospital, something tackles him to the ground. Junior groans and opens his eyes to see an armored Kraang smiling down at him.]

Krang 2: Oh, how quaint! It’s hideous…

[The Kraang leans closer, its mechanical arm pinning Junior to the ground. He’s paralyzed with fear. Junior shivers as the Kraang begins laughing at him, all the while trying to escape her iron-cast grip. Junior watches in horror as the Kraang raises her other arm and brings it down at a terrifying speed.

Junior braces for impact, aware that he’ll be dead within moments. Instead of excruciating pain, Junior feels nothing. He looks up and sees a blur of purple tackle the Kraang, knocking her off of him. Junior recognizes Donnie in his eight-legged mech suit fighting the Kraang, Leo going for her legs.

Someone grabs Junior and picks him up while he’s still stunned. It’s Raph, his face pinched with worry. Junior opens his mouth to say something but a shrill scream stops him. He tries to turn to look but Raph hold his head firmly against his chest.

Then he’s passed to someone else. Casey, his mom, shares a look with Raph before nodding and running in the direction of their base. Junior manages to peek over Casey’s shoulder but all he can see is red, blinding light. And then everything goes dark.

Scene change. Junior wakes up in his cot but his surroundings look different. It appears he’s in a cave. Casey is sitting on the ground next to him and notices he’s awake immediately. She hugs him, pressing him as close to her as she can. After a couple of minutes, she pulls back and there are tears in her eyes.]

Casey: What were you thinking?

Junior: I– I wanted to help–

Casey: Help? You could’ve gotten yourself killed. If the guys hadn’t shown up, you–

[Casey stops herself from finishing the sentence. Her grip tightens.]

Casey: No one outruns the Kraang, you hear me? We get lucky. Everyday we escape unscathed is because they didn’t try hard enough to kill us. You’re just a kid–you can’t–

[Donnie steps out from behind some curtains separating Junior’s cot from the rest of the cave. Casey releases one of Junior’s shoulders to face Donnie.]

Casey: How are they?

Donnie: [Beat.] Shouldn’t we talk about this elsewhere?

Casey: How are they?

Donnie: [Sighs shakily] Leo lost a lot of blood but the amputation was successful.

Casey: And Raph?

[Donnie hesitates. He looks at Junior for a brief moment then returns his gaze to Casey. Junior feels Casey’s grip go lax as she folds over herself. He looks at her and then at Donnie.]

Junior: Professor Donatello, what happened to my dad?

Donnie: I– Oh, I am not equipped for this–

[Junior gets out of his cot, legs shaky. He opens the curtain despite Donnie’s protests. The first thing he sees is Leo, asleep on a cot. He’s paler than normal but he’s still breathing. His right arm is just a stump that extends a little bit past his deltoid, nothing more.

Junior turns his attention to Raph in the cot next to Leo. His eyes are closed and he’s remarkably pale. Junior walks over to the cot and climbs it until he’s sitting on Raph’s plastron. Raph’s eyes are closed and his body doesn’t move in reaction to Junior climbing him.]

Junior: Dad?

[Junior pats Raph’s cheek gently. Raph remains still. Junior feels his cold skin and shivers. His mouth wobbles as he shakes Raph’s shoulder.]

Junior: Dad, I’m gonna nap here with you, if you don’t mind.

[Junior waits for a response. Raph remains still. Tears stream down Junior’s cheeks. He doesn’t wipe them away. He leans down, curls up into a ball, and falls asleep on Raph’s chest.]

Back | Home

DISCLAIMER: The characters I write about on this website are not my own. These characters are owned by their respective creators. These works are fanfiction and I make no money from them!