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 TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Re: TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows    Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:43 pm

"We're finally out of our houses!" Cassidy cheered as they walked along the sidewalk, heading over towards the mall. She turned around to face her friends, walking backwards. "It feels like it's been /forever/ since we last hung out you know!"

"Suzume never really hung out with us," Maddie pointed out to Cassidy, jabbing her thumb towards the woman in question. "So basically it's been never for her."

"Now now, no need to fight." Suzume shook her head, "This is a good day to get more clothes. Since I've made a new blog and got people from my old one to follow me there, I need more content. A shopping haul is always popular. That's my only source of income too, with donations and things. My following was glad to see me back."

"Sure Karai won't see any of the activity on the old blog?" Andrea asked carefully.

"No, she wouldn't touch it because it'd make her think of her failure. Besides, I was able to message a bunch of them privately via other sources and it spread that way." Suzume explained.

"It's common when people are grieving to close the doors on the familiar. Rooms that once held people occupied are shut closed and never opened again years later." Maddie mused, shaking her head. "But I'm glad you're able to continue your blog. Are you going to be doing pictures while we're out and about?"

"I brought my camera just in case. If you guys don't mind, I could take pictures of you, or do short clips to piece together later. Vlogs are popular, too, as long as shaking's a minimum." Suzume explained.

"I don't mind. Since we talked cameras before, you can trust me to film you here and there, too." Andrea grinned.

"I know that Raph calls us the Witchy Three, but wouldn't our youtube thing or vlog thing be called Channel Four or Shadowing The Three or something like that?" Cassidy's lips curled a bit to the side as she tilted her head trying to think. "I don't mind vlogs by the way, it'd be a hella lot of fun. Especially to see you do them. I'd be stalking your channel."

"You're already going to be stalking her blog," Maddie was amused. "Channel Four? That's original."

"I couldn't think of anything that didn't have to do with Quad. It sounds like a fratboy party." Cassidy wrinkled her nose.

Andrea snorted and covered her mouth, "That's terrible, Cassie."

"What would /you/ suggest, Madeline?" Suzu asked, amused, "Shadowing the Three isn't bad, but it's a little bit of a mouthful."

"Unorthodox Witchery is the first thing that comes to my mind." Maddie said, clicking her nails together as she thought about it. "Four Shadows is better than Channel Four too."

"Considering you're the only "traditional" witch in our group, you'll probably be the most popular and you hate people." Cassidy teased. "Meanwhile I think Andrea's gonna get the glamour questions while Suzume's gonna get the editing questions and all I'm gonna get are comments about how cute I am."

"Because I'm /so/ doing magic in front of the camera." Maddie stared at her. "Because that's so smart."

"We can always pretend it's video effects, as long as those types of videos are done privately so no witnesses know otherwise." Suzu coaxed.

"There's so many witches on youtube anyway. You could do herbal spells and not do the original magic." Cassidy continued looking thoughtful. "You could do tutorials on how to do things. I never have to /see/ you buy stuff because you hand make everything. Besides the crystals. You buy those."

"Can't really make crystals, but you can make pendulums." Andrea giggled. "I like Four Shadows, it's kind of like Four Seasons."

"Cassidy's Spring, Madeline's Winter, I could be Fall, you'd be Summer." Suzu perked.

Cassidy clapped her hands. "What kind of thing would you do Andrea?! Your art? I know you'd do make up. Your eyeliner is always on point and killer."

"Nah, there's soooo many make-up tutorials on youtube. I might do art. Leo did ask why I put it to the wayside and I feel bad that I did, so it could get me into it again. I just taught him inking, so I could do that and watercolor. The easy ones. Should I learn digital?" Andrea tilted her head at Cassidy.

"I think that you should do digital and rather just do tutorials you should also do speed paints or whatever they're called. Some people just wanna watch art magically appear before their eyes." Cassidy said casually, tapping her chin. "And you could do traditional too, that'd be fun. Always have a mix so no one knows what to expect. What would you do Suzu?"

"Advice Podcasts. One on one with the lot of you or all four of us together, or by myself."  There's seven days in the week, after all. If we make a collaboration youtube and name it 'Four Shadows' we can make it possible, two advice videos a week, seventh day of rest One that's all of us, one that's me with a single person. I could ask my following for topic ideas, or you guys could ask people and make your own lists." Suzume smiled gently. "We can compile them, too, so it's not a huge stress with the jobs you have already." She said that mainly to Andrea, "Spend a month just...making shit, then youtube has a way to schedule them to go up a certain day."

"Podcasts would be so cool." Cassidy grinned brightly. "Oh gosh. What would be our first topic to give advice about? How to get an introvert out of the house?"

"Oi." Maddie flipped Cassidy off and Cassidy stuck her tongue out.

"We could figure that out later if this is something we actually want to do and not just talk." Suzu laughed softly. They finally got to the mall and went to the directory that wasn't too far away to decide where they wanted to go. A drink to carry around was unanimous so they just went over to the coffee place nearby. "Why don't we just go around to your girls' favorite stores? Show me what you Americans are into?" she joked, "Cassie, you last since you got me clothes already."

Andrea looked at Maddie, "Hot Topic?"

"Don't worry, soon enough we'll get you to the point where you can tease Maddie." Cassidy assured Suzume, going over to her and patting her shoulder. "But I'm glad that you like anime, that's something we all have in common. So let's raid Hot Topic, and tonight we'll do a girl's sleepover filled with nothing but movies you need to watch. Get you into the groove you're missing."

"I'd love that." Suzume smiled brightly, "Let's get to it, then!"

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows    Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:28 pm

"There's way too many Avenger movies and not enough time in the night to watch them." Andrea pouted, looking at her movie collection.

"Well, we can go with Captain America. He's the hot one." Cassidy mused as she leaned over the back of the couch, her feet up in the air as she tried to keep her balance. "And the first avenger too. Maddie /adores/ the Winter Solider too so it's a win win on that. Then next girl's day we do Iron Man cuz why not?"

"Oh shut up." Maddie reached over and shoved Cassidy's shoulder, forcing her to put her feet down if she didn't want to topple over. "Though he is pretty."

"Can't even deny it. Raph'll be so jealous. Do you think he'd do a metal arm for you?" Cassidy teased, forcing Maddie to use both hands and actually make her lose just a bit of her balance, but she did go back to her position on the couch once she deemed it safe.

"Well, we have to start with the First Avenger since it's /actually/ before everything else. I know there's some sort of like, timeline of movies on Google." Andrea pulled her phone out and started searching, "We can plan a series of girls nights to just watch them."

"Once a month? Twice a month? God knows that I'm probably driving the boys downstairs crazy. They're not used to living with a girl." Cassidy mused tapping her finger to her chin.

"Wow, completely write off Suzume." Maddie deadpanned.

"Okay, a /loud/ one." Cassidy amended.

"Every other weekend? So twice a month?" Suzu giggled, "I'm like Don, I'm pretty quiet and just chill in whatever nook I can find on the laptop he gave me."

"The nerds." Cassidy was fond as she reached over and ruffled Suzume's hair before letting herself slide down the back of the couch on her stomach and manuvering herself awkwardly to sit properly without kicking Maddie in the face. "I like that you and Donny are getting along. You two are so cute together."

Suzume blushed and smiled shyly, "He's good to me. We have late-night talks all the time. The brothers have been happy he actually has been going to bed. He doesn't always sleep, his body's too used to being awake all the time. But he'll stay with me until I fall asleep or cuddle with me for like, an hour."

"It was so nice, actually." Andrea's cheeks tinted as well, "Lemme tell ya about it from the top." She saved the picture she found with the accurate list of the movies and went to go put them in order for what they had on the movie shelf. All the while she explained how her amazing, chill evening with Leo went.

Cassidy just sighed dreamily. "All this love in the air, it's making me miss Mikey." She looked at Andrea happily. "I'm so glad that you and Leo are doing things together. You two got off on such a rocky start, I wasn't sure how that was gonna end."

"Yeah, I think it helped he actually got to see me comfortable in my own skin in my own home. I was actually thinking of going down to try again, to ya know, spar with him or something, maybe sketch him a bit as he trains. I don't know what time they usually do that during the night. Care to shed a little light?" Andrea smiled at Cassie.

"It's pretty random, but usually before they head out on patrol. A bit of a warm up." Cassidy mused as she thought about it. "Sometimes right after they wake up, but usually they wait a bit. Mikey's bouncy, but Raph and Leo take a bit to get in the groove."

"So sometime before midnight? That's not too bad. I'll plan it out. August is quickly drawing to a close, can you believe that?" Andrea whistled and she finished organizing, then took out First Avenger and popped it into Maddie's DVD player, "Think it'd be a good idea, anyway, Maddie?"

"For you to go down there and spar with them? I don't think it'll be bad." Maddie mused. "I'd say after classes. Whenever "after" is to you."

"Haha, I'll take it from the one who knows best." Andrea giggled and hopped back over to the couch as the beginning credits rolled.

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PostSubject: Re: TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows    Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:49 pm

"Knock knock, your resident fire bender has arrived." Andrea called into their lair as she walked through the door, and waved at Cassie and Suzume who were on the couch, manga strewn all around them.

"Oh no, the Fire Nation is invading. Whatever shall we do, Cassie?" Suzu covered her mouth to suppress a snicker.

"We can't call the avatar because she's beating up adults right now." Cassie looked horrified. "Ah, wait a minute." She jumped off the couch and grabbed one of Maddie's plants that was on the living room level and she put it behind the couch. "Now she can't see us." She told Suzume seriously, a grin quirking at her lips. "I mean, she could burn it, but the Avatar'll be so ticked."

"I love that Maddie's the Avatar in this scenario. Who are you two then, Katara and Sokka?" Andrea just parted the leaves of the plants, bending down to peek through them like it was a jungle, "Am I Zuko?"

"If we're going by powers, sure. If anybody's got Zuko's moody teenager attitude it'd either be Raphael or Madeline." Suzu hummed, "Or Madeline might be Toph."

"Hmmmm." Cassidy shook her head from side to side. "Raph. Maddie's not like Toph either though. I mean that's a weird pairing in of itself. I was always a Katara/Zuko fan."

"Katara/Aang for me. They were real cute. Mikey has sheer dumb luck so he can't be Sokka. I think that'd be you, Cassie." Andrea grinned.

"Sokka's always getting himself in trouble, it's true." Suzu smiled.

"Which makes you Katara." Cassidy mused and smiled warmly. "You here to do the spar thing you were talking about last time, Candy-Cane?"

"I sure am. I'm not too late, am I?" Andrea moved the plant back and then plopped her art supply bag among the manga books.

"Nah. Leo's in the shower right now and Raph I think is debating about whether or not he should wait for Mads." Cassidy explained as she sat back down on the couch, flinging her feet up to the table. "Mikey's in the kitchen right now and Donny's doing Donny."

"That sounds so dirty." Suzu made a face, "You made it sound like he's jacking off."

"You and Maddie I swear. Take everything I say and twist it into something dirty. Do we need to talk to Donny about how to give you attention? I could give tips." Cassidy grinned slyly at Suzume.

Andrea laughed as Suzume's cheeks turned flaming hot, "I can smell whatever Mikey's cooking." She offered for way of changing topics, "So am I just in time for second breakfast?"

"Pretty much." Cassidy beamed. "Man you're just full of references today. Today must've been a good day and is about to get better."

"I sure hope so. At least I'm not spouting music code." Andrea shrugged, "Alright, awesome. So I'll just go let Mikey know to make enough for one more. Too bad Maddie isn't here or we'd have the whole gang."

"I almost get this feeling that if we do a summoning circle with all of her favorite things, she'll walk through the door and tell us class was cancelled or something." Cassidy turned to Suzume. "You think it might work?"

"You you really want to try? Just have one big party and then the three of us can watch Andrea and Leo go at it?" Suzu tilted her head.

"You did that before, Cassie. Do you wanna do it again?" Andrea arched a brow.

"I mean we have her plants...and we got Raph..." Cassidy ticked off on her fingers. "I'm sure Leo wouldn't mind if we borrow some of his incense too. But we need four things..and I just named two. Well I think you'd count, Candy-cane, so that's three.../maybe/ Suzu-chan's our fourth."

"Doesn't the summoner count so you'd be five?" Andrea furrowed her brows, "Raph and Leo will no doubt give us odd looks."

"Raph is magically knowledgeable, so I think he'd understand and would want to help us." Cassidy pointed out, looking at Andrea. "I'm sure he'd jump at the chance to be apart of the circle."

"What are you three /even/ talking about?" Maddie asked as she came up behind Cassidy, making the girl shriek and nearly fall to the ground. "Jesus fuck. It's just /me/. I'm not that scary."

Andrea had also gasped and put her hand over her chest, "Holy hell. You startled us. Suzume and Cassie were getting all serious about summoning you so we'd have the whole group around."

Maddie stared at them for a little bit and then she said, "You guys do realize that a cellphone would summon me right? I mean, I appreciate that you were going to go all out with the salt and demons, but....I'm trying to save you a bit of trouble here."

"Ruin the fun." Cassidy pouted her lips. "Just...ruin all the fun."

"If you're totally serious about it, I'll go back outside and you guys can do the thing." Maddie offered, jabbing her thumb to the door. "I just can't be held accountable that your husband might wonder if you lost your head or not."

"No, no, stay." Suzume laughed and she reached out and patted Cassie's knee, "Mikey's cooking, though, so he needs to know to make more breakfast."

"I'll let him know. I'll tell him his wife summoned me with a circle too so he'll be super proud." Maddie said as she walked off towards the kitchens.

"...None of you...actually saw her come in did you?" Cassidy asked staring at Maddie's retreating back. "I wonder if Raph knows she's here. I bet he does. I bet she texted him and was like "I'm coming over" with a winky face."

"With a winky face." Suzu and Andrea nodded. "We didn't see or hear her, no."

"I wonder...." Cassidy frowned a little before shaking her head. "Better not think about bad things. I'm gonna go tell Raph that his waifu's here...and maybe barricade Leo and tell him too. I'm sure they'll be happy that you guys are all here." She headed up the stairs muttering to herself about how it was just /weird/.

"Waifu...we're not even that close yet..." Andrea muttered.

Suzume giggled, "Let it slide."

"I know." she sighed, "Well, looks like I'm in for an all nighter. No one wants to train with a fully belly."

~
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PostSubject: Re: TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows    Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:53 am

~+~
Cassidy and Maddie weren’t at all surprised when Leo and Andrea decided to go for hand to hand combat. They had made popcorn this time since they knew from the last time they sparred that it was going to take a while. She leaned against Mikey’s shoulder, watching the fight while Maddie sat cross legged in between Cassidy and Raph, passing the bowl down the line to Donny and Suzume.

“She looks like a dancer when she fights. Leo’s pretty good too. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was.” Cassidy mused as she took a handful of popcorn and passed it to her husband.

“They’re still testing the waters.” Maddie said as she leaned back against her hands, watching the fight. “Still piece by piece, but there’s trust here. A lot more than when they first sparred.”

“A loooot more.” Mikey agreed, chewing on his popcorn happily, “It’s more relaxed, too. Like, nothing like when the lot of us spar.”

“Well, yeah, because Splinter taught us to fight with all we got all the time every time.” Raph rolled his eyes.

“You’re also brothers. You like to beat each other up. No need for excuses.” Suzu snorted.

“Which is good because if you don’t give it your all against Maddie and Suzu-chan then you’re fucked.” Cassidy teased as she passed the bowl. Maddie declined it this time, handing it to Raph automatically without looking away.

Andrea was pulling off a lot of different tricks that she had only seen while Andrea sparred with the black belts before Maddie got to them. She wasn’t ruthless or senseless about mercy, she knew when to pull her punches which was a feat for a fire-starter. Leo was having an easy time deflecting and using it to his advantage on his own technique and skill. It was truly like a dance, and not much of a spar. It was more playful. It wasn’t serious. They knew what the other could do, they didn’t need to prove it. This wasn’t about taking each other down. It was about seeing if they could go head to head with each other without losing cool.

Maddie already knew that she would lose that fight. Sometimes she wondered how people even associated her with earth or water or what have you. Maybe it was the personality? Maybe it wasn’t. But she was pretty certain that the gods messed up who belonged to what.

The only one they didn’t fuck up was Suzume and Cassidy. Those two deserved those elements.

“You’re thinking again.” Cassidy teased, poking Maddie and Maddie realized that the bowl was back in her lap. She passed it back to Cassidy. “What’s on your mind?”

“Things.” Maddie said deadpanned.

“Exciting content.” Raph snickered, referring to the CAH game they had all played recently.

“Okay assholes.” Cassidy rolled her eyes. “I see how you two are. So well made for each other, I should’ve introduced you guys sooner.”

“How not to meet a first boyfriend,” Maddie mused as she passed the bowl back down the line. “Have them get worried that you’re the enemy.”

“Well, better than Donny’s and Suzu-chan’s first meeting. He knocked her out with a stun gun and threw her in the river.” Cassidy pointed out.

“If that’s the worst first meeting, then you haven’t been around long enough.” Maddie sighed shaking her head from side to side.

"I did not use a /stun gun/, I used the electric ends of my Bo and I most certainly did /not/ throw her into the river." Don gave them a horrified, disapproving look.

“I still am going to hold that if everyone thinks that the worst meeting you two could have had, I have stories.” Maddie teased lightly. “A stun gun sounds nicer than saying you tazed her. You know, I wonder…”

“You wonder too much.” Cassidy teased. “Speaking of tazers and meeting people, I remember Matt, Andrea’s hair dresser that I went to for the wedding, telling me about her brother in law and how he met his wife with a tazer. I think it’s hysterical that you two pretty much met the same way.”

“Only a river was involved in one of them.” Maddie shook her head from side to side. “Unless that’s the commonality too?”

“Nope. Just the tazer thing.” Cassidy said happily. “Andrea nearly got Leo in the face by the way.”
“Some of us are actually watching them spar.” Mikey snickered, “Leo tried to sweep under her legs but she literally jumped over them.”

“When ya say ya have stories ta tell, makes me wonder about the pasts you’ve had ‘n’ the craziness you’ve witnessed.” Raph arched a brow ridge at Maddie.

“So far I think this is probably the craziest.” Maddie said thoughtfully as she drummed her fingers on the floor in thought. Leo and Andrea were still going at it, but they were going faster now. They were content that the speed that they had been going was getting too easy, a little too predictable. Which was why they decided to turn up the heat.

Maybe that was where Andrea’s fire came in? She didn’t know why that was bothering her all of the sudden. She always took it at face value: Cassidy was light, Suzume was shadow, Andrea was fire, and Maddie was...the Avatar apparently in this case. The wheel. The circle child. Whatever people wanted to call her. “But I’ve witnessed a lot of strange things.”

“I’m kind of glad I don’t got that problem of remembering.” Cassidy wrinkled her nose. “It’s too much work and all I’d do is just stay curled up in a ball. You’re a lot stronger to handle all those nightmares and terrors and all that jazz. But I gotta admit, it probably would be pretty cool to remember something.”

“Not something worthwhile.” Maddie shook her head. “Best to leave the past as is. If you can. When you can. Ouch.” She winced as Andrea did a good round house kick to Leo’s side. He didn’t block in time, but he certainly made a fast recovery, and sped up his moves. Andrea was going to be in trouble now. The ninja was coming out, and Andrea didn’t have much to fall back on. Not a past of violence anyway. Besides her dying, but that was such a faded memory, Maddie wasn’t sure exactly how it went down.

"Doesn't Andrea remember, too?" Donny asked with a tilt of his head, "Or are hers more easily glossed over? I admit, with the way the brain works, trauma is usually blocked out for safety. I'm surprised you remember as many bad things as you do."

“I didn’t use to, I used to only remember the happy memories. But as I grew older, my brain decided that I’ve dealt with enough. It’s easy to pretend memories are just nightmares. But then well, the more I use my magic, the more pathways that are open and the more open that I am, the more things come flooding back. Andrea has her fire magic, it’s true, and she does remember some of her past lives, but it depends on how they affected her. I think the two that really did a number was Feudal Japan and Greece. All her other memories, she can’t recall. She’s been alive for a while too. I’ve crossed her more often than I’ve crossed Leo. I’m pretty certain we were sisters too...though that’s a long shot.” Maddie said, looking over at Donny with a little shrug. “I’m used to the trauma. If I’m born, there’s always a war around the corner, underway, or just about over.”

“It still sucks though,” Cassidy shook her head. “I don’t remember anything about my past lives, but I think it has less to do with magical inclination and more of a “I just don’t care” type of thing. Or maybe it is magical that I can’t remember? I really don’t know how it works.”

“It’s possible. We’ve talked about those theories before and that was what best matched.” Maddie nodded.

“I’m glad you don’t. I like you all happy-go-lucky like me.” Mikey wrapped an arm around Cassie’s shoulders and hugged her sideways, putting his head on hers with a smile on his face.

“You talked to me about that before.” Don nodded, “That you only saw them lock eyes once before. I don’t remember if you told me what life that was in or what.”

“Did you know me then, too? Was I some cool samurai?” Mikey beamed at Maddie, Donny just rolled his eyes while Raph snorted.

Maddie laughed warmly and she thought about it. Had she met Mikey in that life? She tried to come up with it, but then was forced to shake her head. “We didn’t meet in Japan. I know we met in other places, but not in that time. I met Raph and Leo and Donny during that time, but not you. I think I missed you by a lifetime. You and Cassidy were always doing something weird.”

“Sounds about right.” Mikey nodded with a grin, and then he winced when Leo was able to return the side kick from earlier and Andrea stumbled over herself, “Oh, ouch.”

“Leo’s gonna best her.” Maddie said calmly. “But he’ll do it with grace this time.”

Cassidy winced as Leo didn’t let up from the stumble. It was too much of a good opening, and it would show how fast Andrea could recover from something like that, which wasn’t very good. Leo was fast, and when he wanted a fight done or when he thought that the fight was over, it was. It was that simple and just watching it happen was enough to bring goosebumps on Cassidy’s arms.

She did not want to be against Leo any time soon and Maddie was right. He did it gracefully. He took her down and bowed, still holding her hand. “Huh....” Cassidy watched the scene a bit and she looked at Maddie. She didn’t need to speak her mind, Maddie saw it too and with that tiny smile, Cassidy could already tell that there was something a little more than friendship going between Leo and Andrea.

Just as she predicted.
~
It had been hard. Andrea had given him a run for his money once again, but it had been fun. He liked watching his brothers mix it up with fighting the different girls. Maddie and Donny had been so interesting to watch, it was weird to see how well they knew how to work against each other as well as with. Cassidy still needed help, but Raph was better at giving her something to work towards. Suzume and Mikey were so unpredictable in their fighting, Leo didn’t doubt that if he had to use them as a surprise attack one day that they’d be his top two.

Now it was just quiet time. At least, for him in his room. There was lighted tea-candles that he had set and he was looking through his cupboard of incense when he heard the door slide open. “Hello Andrea. Getting away from the video-game nuts?” He could hear Maddie shout something at the T.V screen and Raph responding with boisterous laughter.

“Haha, you could say that. I’m not too interested in zombie games.” Andrea agreed, and she showed she had with her a sketch pad and supplies, “How’d you feel about me drawing you? You look like you’re about to meditate, so really the only thing you’d hear from me is the pencil scratches.”

“Just like Steve and Bucky,” Leo teased and he nodded, “I don’t mind. I was about to pick an incense, but I don’t know what you might be sensitive to or not.” He gently gestured over the numerous hand-made boxes. “Maddie’s been making me different blends,” he explained since it was too difficult to get half of them from the junkyard or having April order them for him. “I’m basically her guinea pig. The boxes are from Raph. Sometimes it’s easier for him to work with wood rather than to knit though I know he’s thinking about making Maddie something warm since winter’s coming.”

“She’ll love that.” Andrea nodded, “I like the rain scented ones most, or watery-type. Besides that, I’m thankful I don’t get headaches from scents like some people. Walking into Yankee Candle isn’t going to throw me into a migraine or sneezing fit like Cassidy.”

“I would’ve been concerned if you told me that it was Maddie.” Leo laughed as he looked through the incense and gently placed down three. “Cool rain, waterfall mist, and island breeze. More tropical than rain. I’ll have to be careful burning these when Cassidy catches. If she’s sensitive already, then it’s going to be worse when she’s pregnant.” His face made a complex expression that looked like it was torn between concerned and scared.

“It won’t kill her if you’re just in your room. My goodness, why is it so common for everyone to freak out over pregnancy dos and don’ts? It’s like everyone wants the pregnant lady to be put in a bubble for nine months.” Andrea shook her head.

“It’s more like we’re abnormal and there’s already complications that could happen.” Leo said gently looking up at her as he pushed the incense towards her to pick from. “We don’t know if we’re compatible, and if we are, what it’s going to look like. Donny can do tests to see if we are or not, but other than that it’s all by doing it in the dark. If I can make her life a little easier and it’s something or within my power to do it, I’d like to do that for her. She’s the light of Mikey’s world. I’d hate to lose her from something like childbirth. They might be all in for it, they talked about the risks and what could happen, but...well...I’m a mother hen by nature. I worry about the things they don’t.”

“You’re right, and I’m sorry.” Andrea sighed softly and she picked the middle one, pushing it back towards him while the others stayed where they were, “It’s good that you do. I guess I’m a bit more lax, and I’ve been that way all my life. I’d see kids scrape their knees during recess and I’d have no sympathy for them. If I got scraped up I’d just pick myself back up, get cleaned up, and keep moving. Can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t make them.” She found a spot nearby to set up and she leaned her back against the wall while she flipped her sketchbook to a new page

“If it was scrapped knees I think we’d be in the same boat.” Leo picked out the incense from the box and placed it in the incense burner. He lit the stick and he blew it out carefully, letting the smoke start to scent the air with it’s gentle, watery smell that reminded him for the forest. Of a waterfall that was deep in the jungle lair. “But as far as pregnancy goes, it’s just...we’re all on pins and needles. I’m sorry if I seemed to be too sharp. We just...we just worry. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m terrified for Cassidy.” He closed his eyes, finding a comfortable seat and placing his hands on his knees. “But she’s braver than all of us. Her and Mikey.”

“That already smells amazing.” Andrea murmured softly as she hummed in thought. “Fear and hope. Two sides of the same coin. Kinda reminds me of one of the few recurring villains in Charmed. Fear, and then in the mirror verse he was Hope. I can see why you’re worried, why you react the way you do. I didn’t think you were too sharp. I just took a step back and thought about it. Now, I’m sorry for seeming insensitive.”

“Not insensitive.” Leo shook his head. “I’m still amazed from time to time when April forgets that we’re not...human.” He let out a slow, long exhale. “They are the same. Which is why it’s dangerous to try to keep hope away from fear and visa versa.” Slowly he inhaled. “Cassidy has too much hope and Maddie too much fear, if anyone’s the literal metaphor, it’s them.”

“I can agree to that.” Andrea answered simply, and let the conversation drop. They could talk all night about a topic like that, and right now, she just wanted the freedom to watch him as she pleased. The incense filled the room with lovely wisps and swirled around him as it came down. He looked good like that, comfortable, the tension slowly releasing with each breath in and out. She let herself listen to the way his song shifted and felt it pass through her, subconsciously matching her breathing to his.

It took a moment, but she finally got herself to pick up the charcoal packet instead of the pencil. She wanted to capture this with more detail. The sounds weren’t nearly as scratchy, more sweeping, and she loved every moment. It was like when you read a book. You get lost in it, the world outside of it fades away and all that’s left is you and your imagination as the story unfolds. Even when she broke contact with her page to glance up at him to check a detail, the immersion didn’t fade. It was just them. In this small space.

In the middle of the night like this, there was no time constraint. Leo was able to meditate until he felt good enough to come out of it. That was nice to see. She didn’t even know when she stopped drawing to stare at his hand, she was so lost in this sensation, this soothing melody. Chewing on her bottom lip, she thought about their spar. There hadn’t been any words between them this time, but they kept looking at each other, catching eyes and sweeping over the other’s form. Even as the speed increased, smirks showed up and the movement was so automatic, block, kick, duck, block, punch, and that one time she jumped, but it just happened so naturally that it had felt like it did now, just them and the world around didn’t exist.

When did it happen? During patrol? When he came to see her at her apartment? Did it really matter? No it didn’t, it was just a curious thing to think about. Andrea was looking at his hand so intently, actually, lost in thought that she didn’t even realize Leo’s eyes had opened and he was done.

She looked lovely in the candle light. The flames gently enhanced her beauty as well as told him the dangers and the passion that she held. She could burn the world, or she could keep it from burning. He noticed that she was staring, not with a look of concentration, but with a sense of wonder. It wasn’t a look that wondered about him, but just...amazement, curiosity. He closed his hand and gently reached out to touch her chin. She looked up at him, realization crossed her face. She opened her mouth, probably to apologize for something that wasn’t her fault, but he didn’t let her. Instead, he leaned in and pressed his lips close against hers. It wasn’t passionate. It wasn’t blood-burning, coiling, gripping passion. It was gentleness. It was a flowing river. It was firm and present. He let her go and opened his eyes.

He hadn’t even realized that he closed them. He watched her open hers with a flutter and a soft sigh. A tinge of pink just blooming at the apple of her cheeks, only furthering the fire-light’s beauty enhancement. She was enchanting then, she was enchanting now. No words needed to be said in this moment.

This moment, was all they needed.
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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Re: TMNT-Vamp/Lynx Hiding In Shadows    Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:09 pm

"You’re slower than a snail. I thought you knew how to roof jump. It’s not that hard. Just run and jump. Assassin’s Creed Leap of Faith, only you’re not falling downwards. At least you’re not trying to.” Cassie teased Andrea as she leapt gracefully across the roof top that she was on. She wasn’t as clumsy as she used to be with the practice that she was getting from the brothers, but her form still needed to be worked on.

“Oh ha-ha. I bet you don’t even remember how loopy you were after your first kiss with Mikey..” Andrea did a simple flip and then when she landed, she gave Cassie the bird., “Let me be blissed out. The Foot’s been quiet for a while, and while we don’t know when they’ll be back around, the plan is to scurry if we cross them. The brothers have been through these lulls before, and everyone knows to stay on their toes.”

Cassidy could feel how happy and blissed out Andrea was feeling. She was on cloud twenty. Not cloud nine, cloud nine would be an insult, but twenty was probably reaching. It made her happy that Andrea was happy, too. “I knew you guys had the love-y vibes. It’s nice. You two are such a good fit.” She knew why the plan was to scurry if they crossed them and she wasn’t even remotely upset. “Should we stop going on the roofs and actually climb one down then? I think patrolling the alleyways would be easier than to jump from roof to roof. Fast travel sure, but we might miss something if we’re stuck up here. It’s a new moon so everything’s darker than it usually is.”

“Yeah, for sure. Even in the city that never sleeps, it’s still affected. At least the outfits Suzume came up with makes it easier for us to hide, too.” Andrea went to the nearest fire escape and hopped down onto it. “Down, down, down the stairs we go.” She giggled with the reverse of the LOTR quote from Gollum.

They got down onto the ground in only a minute or two, and Andrea wrinkled her nose at the smell. The air was better up on the rooftops, and the alley they landed in was filled with trash. Grunting, she moved towards the mouth of it, “You’d think the sewers would smell worse, ya know?”

“I think that we’re getting too used to the smell if we’re complaining about the dumpsters being bad. Though I wonder when the last time anyone’s ever cleaned up an alleyway.” Cassidy couldn’t help but to muse as they were walking towards the entrance. She turned towards Andrea, about to say something else when something was caught in the corner of her eye. She didn’t know what it was, but instinct told her to drop so she dropped as fast to the ground as possible. Something swooshed over her head, and she determined that it was a katana. It glinted just briefly and it was enough to tell her that even if it wasn’t a katana, it was a weapon and she nearly got hit if she hadn’t ducked when she did. She turned towards the entrance and noticed that they were blocked off by imposing figures that were obviously the Foot.

“Um….sorry for jinxing things?” Andrea winced as Cassidy gave her a highly unimpressed look. “Well, if I use my whips I’ll set things on fire with so much trash. You could light ‘em up and we can try to bolt?” She didn’t want to elaborate the plan, so it wouldn’t be foiled, but neither of them had a chance to see if there was a manhole cover. Donny had given them watches that would lead them to one based on their location, but to pop it open would be a dead giveaway.

Cassidy had been practicing with her magic. She concentrated on a small ball of light and then she threw it as hard as she could against the ground. The beams of light flashed into the ninja’s eyes and a few of them yelled, startled. Using the distraction, Cassidy ran to two of them and just shoved them as hard as she could to the side. She clicked on the watch and was immensely glad that there was a manhole not too far from where they were.

Andrea had been about to follow, but even if she knew how to counter the flash with head tilts and eye tricks, because Cassidy had done it to them before, a better portion of the fighters had eye protection. That was what got her in trouble, she was sure of it. Deciding to say fuck it to the firestarting, she had thrown out her whips but her chance to escape outward was gone. More had appeared, and as she looked up, she didn’t have the ninja know-how of the brothers or parkour prowess of Cassidy to bounce from wall to wall of the alleyway. The fire escape was a death trap and there were no doubt plenty more already on the roofs.

No fear flowed over her. Ice didn’t grip her heart. There were no pitfalls in her stomach. Andrea just allowed her whips to fade and closed her eyes as they gripped her shoulders and forced her down to tie her. Whether they had been after Cassidy or after her didn’t matter. One or both was probably the goal. Suzume had told them the horrors that could probably happen if any of them were taken, so she took a breath and flexed her energy to force them back away from her. She cast a spell Maddie had been working with her on. A safeguard and last resort. She wouldn’t have a chance to do it later. Now or never. At least no matter what, they wouldn’t get any valuable information from her.

Cassidy ran and ran, her chest was burning. She needed to do more running. She needed to race one of the brothers again. She couldn’t slow down. Her legs were burning and when she bent down to pick up the manhole cover, she didn’t try to find the ladder like she normally would. Instead she dropped herself down and continued running.

She didn’t dare use her light to help guide her way. She shut off the watch and let the tunnels be consumed by the darkness. She needed to get back to the lair. She was thankful that they taught her how to navigate the tunnels. She was grateful that they pounded every escape route into her brain so that if ever happened, she wasn’t lost in the dark literally. But she needed to keep running, her thoughts were slowing her down. So was her heart and chest, they were burning with the lack of oxygen. But she could rest later. Something felt off though. Something didn’t seem right in these tunnels. Why did something feel wrong? She could feel it coiling in her gut. She could feel it in her heart and her soul. But she didn’t dare. “We’re almost there Candy-Cane.” She said, praying, praying that the ninjas weren’t smart enough to follow her down the manhole. Praying that her words didn’t lead them straight to her.

Why would they? It’d be covered by now. Andrea would have covered it up following her. She didn’t her Andrea’s response to her assurance that they were close. Maybe she had and Cassidy’s adrenaline rush was just drowning out the noise.

She was so, so thankful that Maddie was able to protect their home. She was so grateful that only she and Andrea and anyone who was deemed good by turtle standards could see it too. She shoved the door open and slammed it shut. “WE MADE IT!”

“We?” It was Leo’s soft voice that broke the silence of the lair and Cassidy looked up from her heaving to notice that all the brothers were staring at the door. Suzume was pale as she could be.

“We-” Cassidy was about to point to a person next to her, but...that person wasn’t there. Her heart slammed hard in her chest before pit falling into her stomach. “Sh-she should be behind me...ju-just around the bend or something…” Maybe the Foot did follow and Andrea let her in first and decided to go around in circles as a safeguard? But that didn’t feel right either. “She’s right behind me.” She said firmly but her voice cracked. “We- the Foot found us...I did the flash grenade. They couldn’t have seen it coming-”

“Chikusho.” Damn it. Suzume cursed breathlessly. “Madeline had...an intuitive feeling…” She visibly swallowed, and looked around at the brothers, at Maddie who was a statue.

“We gathered in the living room because I got the notification that you used the watch.” Donny murmured.

“Maddie, Candy-cane’s gonna be alright, right? She’s just...she just got caught up?” Cassidy was praying. Praying so hard that she didn’t think she could have any more faith after it.

“I’m going to go look.” Leo said shortly. He already had his katanas strapped to his back. Cassidy wouldn’t doubt that he had been ready the moment Madeline noted that something was off.

“Leo there’s probably a lot of them out there…” Madeline was soft spoken, quiet.

Leo didn’t answer her, and she already knew what he was going to say anyway. Cassidy watched the exchange with fearful eyes as she watched Leo head towards the door, only stopped when Master Splinter spoke.

“Leonardo…” Splinter called to him with a soft tone to his voice that made his eldest close his eyes. Splinter had been watching from the shadows as he usually did, but he knew his sons. Everything had been so relaxed, so happy and light. The last to open up to his romantic interest, and the first to lose them. Leo had a hard set to his shoulders, a storm in his eyes, a firm line of his lips. His heart and mind were warring, and when he straightened to show he was listening, but didn’t verbally answer, the old rat sighed, “Stay out as long as you need to.”

“Sensei you sure that’s a good idea?” Raph jumped forward, his amber eyes burning bright.

“No one’s going to be fighting anybody.” Splinter had watched Leo jerk with surprise, nostrils flaring, and saw the pain flash deep. “It’s a search.” Yet they all knew where she was. It was a search that would lead to Leonardo staying out until dawn, and even then he had the precious keys dangling from his gear. He wouldn’t be back tonight. “Donatello, can you send Leonardo the location Cassidy’s watch was activated?”

“Yeah.” Don knew it was just a distraction, and he watched as his brother walk out without another word or a backwards glance, “Yeah, I can do that.” He swallowed thickly and used one of his devices to do as he was told, and when the location and possible path Cassidy had taken for re-tracing steps was sent off, he shut it down and turned to Suzume, wrapping her up in a tight hug.

Mikey was quick to hop to his wife as the denial was wearing thin and more time passed with Andrea nowhere in sight. The fear and horror and agony flashed quickly and rapidly and on repeat. “Cassie-koi…” he whispered and copied Don just as his lover’s breath hitched.

Here come the waterworks. Raph’s teeth ground together and he looked at Maddie and reached out to grab her shoulder, watching as her eyes fluttered to fight back her tears. He was still in the shock stage with a mild case of anger bubbling through. He could repurpose it to be a grounding force while everyone else fell apart. “Is there anything we can do?” he murmured to her.

Maddie breathed in deep. Crying, as much as she wanted to, wasn’t going to help here. “There is.” She said quietly back. She looked at the her friends, her family who were tied up trying to console one another. Leo still not returning and probably wouldn’t. She doubted that they’d see him at dawn. He’d probably continue the search, and then hide away somewhere. It’d surprise her if he returned back today. It’d surprise her if he returned back tomorrow. “There is.” She said a little more firm, but still quiet. “But I…” there was really no space for her to do it. “I’d be better back upside.” She looked at Raph. “It’s going to be boring for you...a lot of sitting. A lot of asking me questions to keep me stable. Cassidy and Suzume are compromised. I could ask Donny if you don’t want to do it...but it’d be easier if it’s someone I’m attached to.”

“A tether. Alright, that’s fine. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Raph nodded and he patted his sai to make sure they were still there and ready to go, before placing his hand at the small of Maddie’s back and propelling her forward, “Let’s go.”

~*~

If Splinter could make them all meditate for hours and hours, he would be fine helping his woman do whatever the hell she needed to do. He stood back and watched her set up her space and things, before coming forward when she motioned for him to join. He chose to sit beside her and he placed his hand on her knee, this way he didn’t have to lean forward or occupy her hands. It was the most comfortable position he could probably be in, for however long this was going to take. “Tell me more ‘bout what’s goin’ on?”

All the altars were activated and she had used a piece of chalk to make a circle and then a star. She was now sitting in the middle of it, getting ready to lay down on the ground, north to the south. Madeline took a breath in and a slow exhale. She rolled her shoulders up and down before she spoke. “Astral projection. It literally means separating the soul from the body. I can reach different planes of existence doing it. I can’t affect anything. I can’t harm people through it unless they’re already astral projections of themselves. Normally I can do this no problem without a tether, but I’m usually in my own place, wandering the home. But this time, I’m going to go outside. I’m going to Foot Headquarters. I’m going to find Andrea and pray she’s on the same plane I am.”

She maneuvered herself to be on the ground, stretching herself out a little. “I need you to ask me questions. Hold my hand, run a finger against my skin, it doesn’t matter, something to let me know you’re still there every once in awhile. Sometimes touching me while asking me questions is a lot more powerful than just...asking me. If anything goes wrong, you’re going to have to pull me out by telling me how to get home. Use the last destination or the last thing I said as a guide and then just simply tell me my way home. I don’t need exact addresses. The astral plane doesn’t work that way. You’ll figure it out.”

Raph turned around so he was facing her this time and used his other hand, “How long should I wait ta ask ya things so I don’t break ya out of the trance too soon?”

Maddie thought about it. “If you can feel something against the back of your neck, like a breeze or something, that’ll be me touching you and I’ll be powerful enough to start walking away from the house. Everyone feels something different, but that’s the place I’ll touch, that way you won’t mistake it for anything else. Sound good?”

“Okay.” Raph took a breath as well and let it out slowly. He needed to relax like he was taught. Not too deep, they couldn’t both be lost, but a calm mind, spirit, and body would help her along as well. “One more thing. How do I know if something’s wrong?”

“I either have a cold body, I stop breathing or I stop answering your questions. If I stop answering your questions should be the first sign before the other two. Though I do loose some circulation in my hands, the rest of my body could be warm, so don’t worry about that. If I stop answering, reel me back in, remind me why I’m there or where I’m supposed to be.. If you can’t, then start guiding me home.” Maddie nodded her head. “It may take a few tries for me to get to Headquarters. I may stop answering questions, just...be stubborn. Don’t let me stop.”

“I gotcha. Just be careful, there might be wards on the place. We aren’t the only ones who’d delt with magic.” Raph squeezed her hand, “I’ll stop talkin’ now so you can do yer thing.”

Maddie squeezed his hand back and she closed her eyes and started a practice breath. In for four, hold for seven, let go for eight. As she continued to breathe, she let her body sink to the ground, trusting to be supported. Soon she let go of the intentional breath and started breathing deeply all on her own. She could feel her soul flicker in and out, but she had to concentrate. Raph was near her side, she had four altars, what colors were they? She could feel herself flicker again, stronger this time. Altar color, Raph was near her, what did her garage look like? Could she walk around the room?

She could feel herself get up, though she knew she wasn’t up herself. The world on the living plane was a little wobbly, nothing stood still even the most permanent fixture. It was like seeing a mirage in the desert. However what she could see that wasn’t wobbly was the silver light coming from the circle and the pentagram on the floor. The north altar had candles lit and glowing green, and the color correspondence with the other altars around. She looked over at Raph who was watching her with steady eyes, breathing just as deep as she is, but not meditative. He was like a sniper readying his gun.

She could see the many, many lives he had that were bleeding through him. A sniper, a soldier, a warrior, a ninja, an assassin. They were bleeding through him with the same worry. His aura was a subdued orange red. A beginnings of a sunset. The living plane started to straighten out a little now. The silver light and the altars weren’t glowing as brightly, and Raphael’s aura was starting to become a little brighter. Good. She reached out and she brushed her hand against his neck.

Many different lives told her many different things. Some told her that she felt like a warm breeze. Some said that they could feel her as if she was touching him like she wasn’t on the ground in front of him. She wondered what this reincarnation would tell her that she felt.

Raphael’s breath hitched and he took another breath to let it out slow. He closed his eyes briefly before opening them again, “I feel ya. I little ticklish, but I feel ya. Let’s see if you can answer me now, yeah? Uh, can you tell me what ya see?”

“I’m in my garage.” Maddie said as she looked around the living plane. “It’s protected here. I like the lair, but I’d want there to be space for you and me.” It was weird, hearing her body talk so she decided to go ahead and get out of the garage. “That’s too creepy, and I hang out with Cassidy.” She said as she walked through the door. “I’m in the living room now. It’s…” Messy. And half of her plants are missing, though she knew where they were, it was just weird. Weird to see it in astral form, because she could still see where they used to be. “I need to re-cleanse my place. A deep, cleansing. Too much magical residue here.”

“Whatever ya say.” Raph chuckled, “How's the astral plane different? Or is it not even like the movies and it's not all grey or smokey? You headin’ off now?"

“It’s...not concrete.” Maddie explained after a moment. “Everything has an aura to it, whether I charged it. There’s a lot of you here, too.” She could see the remnants of his aura sticking to places. She could bet that if she went to her room, she’d see it. “Much like home. I should leave.” She nodded. “I’m going to find Andrea.” She walked out of the home and she frowned as she did. The world was wobbly here. There was nothing concrete, nothing solid. The buildings were doing vertical waves, the cars were just lights that were moving. The alleyways twisted themselves like corridors. She decided that taking the rooftops might be better, but she discovered that as she thought that “rooftops” weren’t that.

There were other buildings that weren’t doing the vertical wave. There were some that were short, probably about a story high. Run down with signs made from wood. Telephone poles were the only things that were stable, but she presumed that it was from being made from wood. All the other street lights and such were doing the same wave as the buildings.

The stores and such that were solid, had other astral people walking through. She knew most of them were dead, they had a bluish light aura surrounding them. A lot of them wore dresses that were out of style. Plenty from the 1800’s. A lot from the 1700’s. She wasn’t sure if there were anyone from the 1600s but she could hazard that there were. Ages here, truly didn’t matter.

“Is there a danger of you being attacked from like, bad spirits and stuff? Or are you going to be okay?” Raph couldn’t help the worry and wonder if he should try to do a little protection of his own.

Maddie thought about it, tilting her head to the side. “I don’t know.” She said as she walked. Some of them were looking at her strangely, but she found that she didn’t care. “If we both get lost, then I can’t use you as a tether anymore. Don’t jump the gun.” She assured. “The Foot Headquarters. Is it in the heart of the New York? I should have asked if you had something belonging to them. I could dowse. That’s alright though. It’s been awhile since I walked New York like this. Never this far. But...sometimes it’s nice to take a little stroll around the block.”

“You won’t get the physical fatigue from it, either. Yeah, it’s a tall building in the business section of town. It’s why the police haven’t done anything. Unless they have physical hard proof, he has too much money and can just wave it off.” Raph grumbled.

“It’s what they’ve always done best when money’s involved. Even those who have tried to bring justice will find themselves swept away. No one knows Snowdin anymore because of it.” Maddie hummed as she started heading that direction. “There’s a lot here. I know the past bothers you. It bothers a lot of people. But I think you’d be interested in the people and how they used to live. Mary-Anne was a midwife. Never lost a child and was always well known in New York. Would drop everything if the mother needs it. And then there’s Harold. He was a reporter. Always told the truth, no matter the cost. It’s a shame the cost was too high. Mobs. Mafia. They’re still around here too. Dead. Alive. A lot of them are still fighting over territory. Oh, I should probably go a different direction. I don’t like that alleyway. There’s a Fire Tiger that lives there and she hates me.”

“I’m...not gunna even ask. You do you.” Raph was glad she couldn’t see his face. “I’ll get you to check back with me in a little while ‘n’ let you walk.”

Maddie continued to walk in silence, enjoying the moment that she got. The alleyways were still tipsy and turney and everyone was still walking to and fro, trying to get business done. A few times those who were dead that recognized her came up to her and chatted a little. There were also times where she noticed that there were other witches, inexperienced that were trying to astral project but weren’t doing so hot. She knew better than to get involved with that. No one ever wanted to be apart of a astral projection breakdown. That’s what spirit guides were for.

Now where were hers? Maybe not here. She wasn’t exactly traveling to a higher plane of existence. Just here. She wandered and then let out a low whistle when she reached the building.

It was smoking black. The aura was exactly like black smoke. It made her recoil, and cover her mouth with her hands. She didn’t like this feeling of dread and suffering. She could see people standing at the building, staring at it. Many of them were wearing the outfit of the Foot, but all of them were wearing solemn expressions. Not a single one of them noticed that she was standing there.

Ancestors. People who once too pride in the symbol. People who felt betrayed. Felt like everything they worked for was in ashes. She walked to the door and touched it. “I can’t get in.” She sighed softly. “Not through the door.” She started walking a different direction. “Maybe through the window. No one ever thinks to ward against them. Maybe next time I should use a mirror instead. Faster travel.”

“Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.” Raph sighed through his nose, gumpy. Now it was probably going to get dicy. He rubbed his thumb over her hand just as she said, but also to make himself feel better. “Keep me posted as you’ve been.”

She could feel his touch and she brought her hand to her chest, cradling it with the other only for a moment before she let her hand go and started walking. But the windows were blocked too. Just as she was about to ask Raph to guide her back, she noticed something flickering just behind the head quarters. She took a sharp breath and started walking carefully and just behind the building she saw Andrea, her knees tucked underneath her cheek and looking like she was going through hell.

“You pushed yourself out of your body. You used the spell I taught you.” Maddie didn’t have to have her confirm that. She took her place next to Andrea. She didn’t need to feel guilty right now. “A last resort, things were going to get that bad.”

“You’re volume’s real loud. I heard you even in there.” Andrea hummed softly and looked at her, “I knew you couldn’t get in. I can since I’m in there.”

“My first answer is duh. The second answer would be “that’s a given”.” Maddie said as she outstretched her legs. “They wanted Cassidy.” It wasn’t a question or a doubt. “They got you instead and you’re the next best thing. Who -exactly- are they trying to break? Me or Leo?”

“Haven’t gotten that far, but I don’t think it matters. All of you. If one is knocked down, the domino effect begins.” Andrea shrugged, “Karai is...like a screeching, head-banging metal band. Then she is a haunting note through threes or a graveyard. She’s scary. It wasn’t like this in the museum. She’s the one heralding the torture. So...maybe both you and Leo?”

Maddie let out a slow sigh. “She thinks I won’t kill you if you face me somehow. She thinks that she’ll get the upper hand, she doesn’t trust the amulet to protect her from me. It only protects from offensive magic, but I have more than that. Leo’s better.”

“They want to brainwash me...put something in me to control my song.” Andrea’s expression morphed into sadness, “It’s going to get bad. The torture’s light right now, but they have plans. Next time you come see me I might speak nonsense to you.”

“I always know how to decipher your music code.” Maddie said quietly. “I know what you and Leo are going through more than I want to admit.” She looked up at the sky. “Raph’s not talking to me anymore. I can feel him holding my hand, but it’s pretty faint. This place reeks of bad juju and fear. Soon enough the sky’ll be orange, the world will turn dark, and blood will be on the ground if it keeps going. If it keeps standing. I don’t think they know anymore what they’re fighting for. It’s a lost cause. Especially if they have to start using people to get it. I’m worried that you’re only the beginning of this. That Cassidy may be next, that I may be next and neither of us can afford that. Cassidy for trying for a baby. Me for my powers. You wouldn’t have a choice. You would have to kill me if that comes to it.”

“You should go, then.” Andrea’s body trembled. She didn’t want to be alone, but in this plane tears weren’t real, “Don’t want to lose yourself. If you stay, he might not be able to pull you back. This place is stronger than the both of you, as powerful as you are. Just...I know you don’t give false hope, but take care of Leo for me. His record is probably spinning off its wheel.”

Maddie wasn’t about to burden Andrea with that and she leaned over and hugged her, putting her head against her shoulder. “I’ll keep coming back every night. Every night.” She promised softly. “And I’ll get stronger so I’ll stay here longer with you. I’ll find my spirit guide and have him help me keep myself here longer. You don’t deserve this, sis. I do.” She let her hand fall and she stood up. “Stay strong. Stay positive. Remember. Every night. Every night.”

“-re you? Mads! C’mon, talk to me. I’ve been doin’ what ya told me for at least an hour now! Damn it, ya didn’t tell me this could happen. Shit. C’mon…” Raph’s touch wasn’t just on her hand now, but on her face and stroking her neck, squeezing her shoulder, “Fuckin’ Foot and their nasty ass building I swear to Kami…”

Maddie winced at the panic that was coming through now that she was away from the building. “I didn’t know it was going to happen.” she touched her shoulder like she could still feel it and her neck. “It’s okay. I’m okay. I...I want to go home.” Her voice wavered. “I’m coming home.”

“Damn right you are.” Raph grumbled, and he pressed her fingers to his plastron over his heart, “Alright, time to backtrack. So did you find Andrea?” He decided to inquire about that before he started to list off the places she’d mentioned to him here and there.

She could feel his heart beating in her hand and she could swear that she saw a red line. Something told her to follow it, so she did. “Keep holding my hand where you have it.” She encouraged. “And...I did. Things aren’t going to go so good. Karai wants to break Leo. Wants to break me. They’re going to change the way she thinks.”

“Leo’s gunna get super paranoid and controlling now, I can feel it, and I won’t even be able to be mad at him for it. At least we’re all pretty self-sufficient so if Leo puts something down like a law, we can work around it.” He frowned deeply, “What else did you find out? Or not much?”

“Not much. Since I can’t get in, she has to leave the building. Kind of like a safety thing. A safe nest for her mind. If she loses that, everything’ll falter.” Maddie bit her lip and bowed her head. “I...don’t want that for her. But I can’t do anything. We can’t do anything right now. We can only check in. Andrea told me to watch for Leo. I know you’re his brothers, but I guess Candy-cane thinks that listening me might make a difference. Let him control what he can...and let me deal with what we can’t. I guess.”

“Cassie might make him feel more guilty by accident, ‘n’ he can predict what we’d say. Ya don’t pull any punches ‘n’ say it as it is. I can see why that’d be the best option.” Raph had to agree, “Yer gunna rest first, though, when ya get back ta me. Then ya can go ta Leo. I’m sure he’s at Andrea’s.”

“I can see home.” Maddie said after a while and she smiled happily as the red line continued through the door and into the garage. “You’re the best tether. You didn’t have to guide me home the usual way. I like that. I love you.” She was so warm and happy and also sad and heartbroken, she wasn’t sure which emotion might be strongest. “Before I go back into my body, I should warn you I might not know which emotion to choose. I may cry, I may start laughing, I may not do a thing. So...don’t...get too weirded out.”

“It’s fine. I expected things ta be a little wonky when ya come back through. No, I also won’t be mad or upset if names are fucked up, too. That would make sense ‘n’ all.” Raph patted her hand and stroked along her arm, “I might be upset if ya start speakin’ in another language, though.” He teased.

Maddie groaned the moment she got back into her body. While the good humor had lasted a while, the toll of it caught up to her like wave. She curled up against Raph who was still next to her and just cried her heart out for Andrea, for herself, for the wrongs that were committed and knowing that they couldn’t be stopped anytime soon.

~*~
She wasn’t sure what she was going to find when she went to Andrea’s apartment. It was the late afternoon, and the sun was starting to try to figure out where to set. She knew that Leo was probably in here, since he didn’t come home at all during the day. She told the brothers that she knew where he was and would talk to him: being jumped by too many people too soon would only cause a problem.

She pulled out her extra key and walked inside, Leo was sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the darkened T.V. His Katanas were on his lap, ready to use at a given moment. Maddie watched him for a bit before she walked over and sat down on the arm of the couch. Neither of them said anything for a while. The silence spoke loud enough for the both of them.

Leo was the one that finally found his voice. “Did you find her?”

“Yes.” Maddie said quietly. “Karai’s not taking prisoners this time. Weapons.”

Leo closed his eyes and let out a strong breath. He knew what that meant. Maddie didn’t have to elaborate. “What did you find?”

“...Nothing that’ll help.” She admitted, folding her hands in her lap, staring at the T.V. “Nothing that’ll give you closure. I told her that I think Karai’s thinking that I’ll hold back my punches with her. But she may also think that you’ll do the same too.”

“I’m not letting you kill her.”

“And I’m not going to. So long as you fight her.” Maddie nodded her head. “Otherwise, I’ll be saving Andrea the agony of being a weapon, but I’ll be forever your enemy. I already have many people holding grudges they don’t remember. I can’t afford you to be one.”

Leo looked at her for a moment and he looked back at the T.V. “You know me well.”

“I’ve crossed you before. Only once. But it wasn’t enough to garner a personality quiz.” Maddie smiled thinly. “I met you just as you passed away.”

He nodded, “I had a feeling we met before.”

“You were more attuned to the astral realm than any other person I know. Of course you’d have that feeling.” She laughed a little, but it was strained. “I got a feeling that Andrea’s kidnapping isn’t just the only change. There’s many others. I have a feeling that...despite that I started this war, I may have to take a backseat.”

“You are making things worse.” Leo agreed after a moment. “Ever since you told Karai about Sumiko’s death. What were you hoping to gain with that?”

“To be honest, I was hoping to gain nothing.” Maddie shrugged. “Indifference. Not revenge. She cares for Sumiko, but it’s so twisted, I don’t think I could call it love. But she failed. She knows she failed and that’s the foundation she crumbles on. She’ll be fast to kill...she’s burning out.”

“So you think.”

“Revenge consumes a life. It only ends if the revenger is dead or their revenge had been made. You know the whole “you can finally rest in peace and now I can go back my merry way”. Some people can do that. Some people can have revenge and not be blinded by it because they have a life on the other side. Karai doesn’t.” It was the simple truth. “You want to save her, but you’re wasting your breath. Let one of your brothers deal with her from now on. Or stop asking her to drop her sword, it’s never going to happen.”

“Has anyone told you that you have a ruthless streak?” Leo looked at her curiously.

“I blame most of it on my life as an Assassin. It’s my favorite lifetime. You know, the Assassins from Assassin’s Creed? Real. Real as can be. They’re not around anymore sadly. Disappeared completely, but I still remember the tricks and tips. It’s always the first past I try to awaken when I figure out how to.” Maddie shrugged. “But I’m ruthless because I don’t have time. Mercy is only given to those I think deserve it. So far, Karai has done nothing to me to deserve it. She’s probably done some things to deserve it from you, but is this really one of them?”

Leo sighed softly and leaned his head back against the couch. He couldn’t fathom showing mercy after this, but he wasn’t going to go off and kill Karai. Maybe Maddie was right, but maybe she was wrong too. “I need to go back home...and tell everyone what the new patrol routes are going to be. No one’s going to be going around by themselves anymore. It’s all in pairs.”

“That’s fine. Cassidy and I might be limited on what we can and can’t do.” Maddie explained. “Depending on how long Andrea goes missing for, we’re going to have to fill a void she left.”

Her studio. Her students. “Can you even dance?”

“Fuck no. That’s Cassidy. I’m dealing with her brats.” Maddie scowled. “Fucking teenagers.”

Leo laughed a little and stood up, taking his katanas and placing them on his back. “And you’re letting Cassidy have a kid.”

“Different. I’ll love Cassidy’s kid. I don’t know any of these people and I sure as hell don’t love them. I don’t want to love them.” Maddie wrinkled her nose. “I’m not responsible for someone else’s child.”

“For some reason, I feel like you just jinxed yourself.”

“For some reason, I think you’re thinking I’m gonna spoil Cassidy’s kid rotten. Which I will.”

Leo stared at her, “I’m keeping you away from mine.”

“Probably for the best.” Maddie said faux solemnly. “Though I can’t promise Andrea wouldn’t sneak them into my home anyway.”

“Fair.”

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