Raphael awoke for the second time that day. Or was it even the same day? He couldn’t tell how much time passed between when he’d been drugged. He was sure that his internal time clock was now screwed up.
At least it’s day time. Raph thought as he slowly opened his eyes to see a bright blue sky in front of him. So, he was no longer in the airplanes cargo bay but rather in the passenger seat on the left side of a car. Raph took in the ecru colored dash in front of him and the leather seat he was belted in. He turned his attention out the side window to where large glass skyscrapers towered over them and people bustled back and forth through the sidewalks. Raph might have thought he was still in New York had he not noticed the Japanese writing on all the street signs. He tried to identify where exactly in Japan they were but unfortunately his Japanese was a little rusty and before he could decipher the first word, the sign was long gone.
“How are you feeling?” It didn’t take Raph nearly as long for him to gain back his memories this time.
“Like crap.” Raph answered, annoyed. He couldn’t believe he had gotten beaten by a teenage girl.
“Where are we?” Raph asked after a moment of silence.
“Japan.” Arianna said.
“Thanks for clearing that up, captain obvious.” Raph grumbled.
Arianna snorted. “Well, the last time you woke up you couldn’t even remember who I was, so sorry. Glad to know I didn’t give you permanent brain damage.”
“Me too.” He said dryly.
“Anyway, to be specific, we’re in Minato Tokyo. Heading towards the bay.” She clarified.
“The bay?” Raph asked, then remembered that Leo was living on an island. They would need to take a boat to get to it. “And how far does it take to get to the island?”
“Well, if we take Dad’s boat it’s about a thirty minute ride. If we take Aunt Karai’s boat though, it’ll be about twenty minutes.”
Raph’s eyes widened and he stared at the girl beside him. “Karai? She’s there?”
“You didn’t know? Aunt Karai had said that she had been Shredder’s prisoner for a few years when Dad had broken her out. More than half of the foot soldiers had escaped with them and they ended up agreeing to retrain the soldiers and start recruiting. That was why they moved all the way to Japan because they knew that Shredder would eventually find out about their plan. So, taken out of Aunt Karai’s account, they had bought the island and built a base there.” Arianna explained and reached down in between the seats for something he couldn’t see. When her hand lifted back up, he spotted something dark brown, round, and decorated with white swirls. She popped what he could only assume was some type of chocolate candy into her mouth, sucked the remnants off her fingers and returned it to the wheel.
Raph didn’t know how to take this news. For twenty-three years, Karai had been with Leo on a private little island creating an army and raising a mutant child together. It was no secret anymore that Leo and Karai had, at one point, been together for a couple years in between the few times that Raph and Leo’s relationship had taken a break. It was only until Raph had come crawling back to beg for forgiveness when Leo had finally ended that affair.
However, now that Raph was out of the picture forever, where did that leave Leo and Karai?
It took Raph a moment to connect his sudden case of nausea to his jealousy. Okay, so, even after all these years he still hadn’t gotten completely over Leo. Which meant that he was probably never going to totally move on and he was going to live the rest of his life in regret, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be happy for Leo, right? His ex now had a family and was probably happy. So why shouldn’t Raph be happy for him?
The nausea only increased. Raph was hating this. For seventeen years, Leo was raising a daughter by himself that had shared a portion of Raph’s DNA and he was never told about this. Did Leo really hate him so much to keep Raph out of the loop like that?
It was around then that Raph came to the conclusion that he could not see Leo. He didn’t know what he would do if he did but he knew that whatever it is, it would be bad for the both of them.
“As soon as this car stops, I’m going home.” Raph announced.
Arianna snorted. “Sure you are.”
“I’m serious. I’m getting out of here and taking the next plane back to America.” Raph growled.
“Yeah, good luck with that. The next plane leaving the country will be in about a week.”
Raph paused, “What’s that’s supposed to mean?”
Arianna glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. “It means that there’s a storm coming in a couple of days and they’re shutting down all airports until it passes completely.”
Raph’s brows furrowed. “In a couple of days? They should still have some flights going on until then.”
“Oh, they do! But you’re not getting onto any of them.” Arianna said as she popped another chocolate ball that might be a truffle into her mouth. Then, after wiping off her sticky fingers against her pants leg, she reached down for something at her feet while keeping her sights on the road. She straightened, withdrawing that damn tranquilizer gun from the duffel bag and pointing it at him. Raph’s hands had been tied behind his back this time and he was helpless to do anything about her pressing the muzzle against his thigh. “Sorry Raph but whether you like it or not, I’m taking you to see Dad.”
Raph glared first at the gun, then at the girl behind the gun. “Look Arianna, Leo and I haven’t seen each other in over two decades, okay? We aren’t apart of each other’s life and we don’t want to be again. We aren’t fit for each other. We never were. It just took us too damn long to see it. You need to understand that.”
“I don’t think either of you realize this Raph, but you two are still a part of each other’s lives even with the lack of communication.” Arianna said. Raph opened his mouth to protest some more until Arianna moved her finger to the trigger. He closed his mouth. “I’m willing to offer you a deal Raph. If you’re ready to listen for once.”
Raph grumbled, staring at the gun with hatred in his eyes but he nodded in agreement.
“Good. I figured your body had enough drugging for one day and you probably still have a little bit left in your system right now. So, this is how it’s going to go, if you agree to not run anymore, you will be allowed to walk on your own for the rest of the way there. But, if you refuse me and/or try to escape, I will tranq you and you will not like where you’ll wake up next time.”
Raph raised a brow. “That’s your idea of a compromise?”
“Not compromise. A deal. And it’s the best deal you’re going to get. So, do you agree or do I pull this trigger now and you get to find out where your body will be stashed next?” Arianna asked with a calm, cool tone.
The more Raph hung out with Arianna; the more he was starting to see Leo’s point about her having his personality. The girl was stubborn as hell and she knew how to make a good threat. He would’ve appreciated it more though had he been on the opposite end of the threat.
“Fuck.” Raph snarled and banged his head against the head rest in frustration before he finally sighed in defeat. “Fine, whatever. I won’t run. Now get that damn gun away from me.”
Arianna eyed him, probably trying to decide if she could trust his word before finally lowering the weapon. But, she didn’t return it to the duffle as he had expected. Instead, she set the weapon on her lap, hand still coiled around the handle and finger resting on the trigger. She obviously decided she still didn’t trust him.
“Oh, yeah! I got you something! I figured you would be hungry when you woke up and I had no idea when your last meal was, so, I just ran through a drive thru real quick.” Arianna removed her hand from the gun long enough to bend down again and retrieve a brown paper bag. She tossed it onto his lap before returning her hand to the weapon.
Raph stared at it, his mouth watering at the scent of something warm and tasty wafting from it. He hadn’t realized just how neglectful he had been until now when his stomach was cramping up and rumbling with need. How long has it been since his last meal? He hadn’t gotten to eat anything when he had returned home after Arianna had arrived, which meant he’d last eaten in the evening. Raph did quick calculations in his head and estimated it had been around twenty-five hours since his last meal, give or take a few hours. He wasn’t Donnie afterall.
Damn it, he was starving!
Raph tried to reach for the bag but then remembered his hands were tied behind his back. He looked over at Arianna who teasingly ate another truffle. It took her a few minutes before she realized he was looking at her.
Raph quirked a brow. “Do you expect me to eat like a dog or something?”
She looked confused for a second but then quickly connected the dots. “Oh, right! I forgot you were tied up.” She laughed and shook her head at her forgetfulness. Bending down, she grabbed out the dagger from her bag and placed it in one of his hands.
Raph gaped at her. “Are you seriously handing me a weapon?”
Arianna shrugged. “What else are you planning on doing with it?”
Raph looked down when he felt something press against his leg and he realized that she was going to hold him at gun point for the entire time. He could probably disarm her easily but he didn’t want to test his luck. Her trigger finger looked awfully happy.
Raph twirled the dagger around in his hand till it was at the right angle and began sawing through the zip ties.
Once his hands were free, he bent down to undo his ankles when Arianna nudged him with the gun. “Not those. You don’t need your feet to eat.”
“Didn’t you just say if I agreed to your deal I could walk on my own.”
“We’re not walking right now, are we? You can undo them when we get out of the car.”
Raph didn’t know what she was expecting him to do that required his feet but he chose not to argue. He was about to hand the dagger back to her when he recognized it as the one Splinter had been given by Hamato Yuta, to which Splinter had passed it down to Leo, and now it looked like it had been passed down another generation. The handle was decorated with Japanese symbols that was carved out of bamboo wood, then polished till smooth and stained with a rich amber brown. The blade was long and recently sharpened and stained with a hint of red from the generations of enemies it had smitted.
It had also been the same dagger Leo had used to kill Shredder but, of course, the bastard refused to die.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Arianna said with a soft smile.
Raph nodded. He studied the blade for a couple more minutes, memories washing over Raph, before he finally offered it back to Arianna. She took it from him and slipped it back in her bag.
“Dad gave that to me on my sixteenth birthday.” She said.
“Leo was given that when he turned sixteen too, and I believe our dad was as well.”
Arianna nodded. Yeah, she probably knew that already. “Dad’s been asking me what weapon I want to work with. So far, the dagger has been the only thing I’ve learned.”
Raph smirked. “Have you ever considered the sais?”
Arianna smiled. “Oh yes, I’ve considered all of the weapons. I just, I don’t know, I can’t decide. Dad says that it’s always good to know how to wield all of the weapons but if I want to master any of them, I need to pick one to dedicate myself to. I don’t know why it’s so tough.”
“Well, what weapons have you worked with?”
“I’ve tried the bo staff.”
“I don’t know. It’s too flashy for my taste. Too many twirls.” Arianna sneered.
Raph chuckled. “What else?”
“I’ve tried the swords, they’re okay. They’re a lot like the knife except heavier.”
“What about the Nunchaku?”
Arianna snorted. “I can’t control those things. You can’t imagine the number of bruises I had after one lesson. Not to mention how many people I’ve hit with them. Not on purpose by the way.”
“Yeah, I think I can actually.” Raph said, smiling.
“Splinter made us switch weapons at one point. We had become too dependent on our own weapons that when we switched, we couldn’t fight for anything.”
Arianna laughed. “Yeah, I don’t have that problem yet. I like them all. They have their pro’s and con’s but I don’t feel attached to any of them enough to dedicate all my time to them.
Raph shrugged. “Well, you’re lucky Leo is even letting you choose. Splinter had picked our weapons for us when we were six. We kept trading them because we were never happy with the ones we were given but Splinter wouldn’t allow us to train with any others.”
“Six, huh?” Arianna smirked. “I believe my chosen weapon at that age was spitballs.”
Raph laughed. “Honestly, that was probably ours too.”
Arianna giggled and shook her head. A comfortable silence fell over the car that hadn’t been there before.
Eventually she said, “You better eat that before it gets cold.”
Raph nodded and dug through the bag of food, pulling out a cheeseburger wrapped in foil and french fries that did end up getting cold but he ate them anyway. Having only three types of food for three meals a day every day had the greasy, fatty flavor of something new explode on his tongue. Raph had narrowed his variety of food for the fact that it took up too much time and was always a hassle to him. He never thought too much about his diet until now, having gotten used to it after a while. Now, he was beginning to crave things he hadn’t thought about in years.
Disappointment filled Raph when he finally ate the last bite of his sandwich and the fry container was empty. He was still a little hungry but he was willing to wait now that the stomach cramps have gone away. Sighing, Raph crumbled the foil into a ball and tossed it into the bag and set down the bag at his feet.
“So, how much farther?” Raph asked, taking a swig from the water bottle Arianna had bought for him.
“Maybe another ten, fifteen minutes. Just relax and take in the sights.” She said, turning on the radio and flipping through the channels before she finally left it on a Billy Joel song. Raph was ashamed to say that he knew all the words to it. Damn it, Mikey.
The next fifteen minutes went by with one Billy Joel song after another and Arianna’s ear-bleeding singing before they finally arrived at the docks.
Arianna pulled into one of the parking spots in the gravel lot and shut off the car. “We’re here!” She announced loudly, stirring Raph from his dozing. Raph yawned and sat up from where he was slumped against the window. He was about to get out when Arianna tossed something soft at him.
“Get dressed.” She ordered as she scrambled through her duffle at her feet and pulled out a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a bottle of something tan.
Raph unraveled the pile on his lap and found an oversized blue hoodie that said ‘Free Hugs’ in white lettering and grey sweat pants. “And, what do I need this for?”
“The boat dealer is human and does not know that his costumers are mutants. So, if we want to be able to travel back and forth from the island, we should try not to scare him off. Now, hurry and dress.” Arianna explained as she squirted a decent blob of cream colored liquid in her palm. She rubbed it between her hands and began spreading what he could only assume was foundation all over her face, neck, and hands. Once done, she put on the sunglasses and hat and Raph had to admit she looked almost human if it weren’t for the hunch back she had going on underneath her hoodie, her missing two fingers, and lack of a nose.
Arianna turned to Raph and huffed when she saw he still wasn’t dressed. “Don’t you have ears? I told you to get dressed.”
Immediately, she grabbed for the hoodie and tried to shove it over his head. Raph protested and snatched the hoodie out of her grip. “Hey, I can dress myself, thank you very much.”
Arianna smirked. “Really? I couldn’t tell.”
Raph made a face at her and slipped on the hoodie. He was about to put on the sweat pants when he realized his feet were still tied. “Am I allowed to walk yet?”
Arianna stared confusingly at him until Raph pointed at his zip tied ankles. “Oh. Oh yes. You may.” She giggled and retrieved her dagger for him. He quickly cut himself loose, returned the knife to her and pulled on the pants. The clothing was a little bit baggy on him but he would have to make do for the time being. He couldn’t expect Arianna to know his size.
Once dressed, Arianna ordered him to look at her. She squirted more of that foundation in her hands and began smearing it on his face and any other exposed skin. “There. That’ll have to do for now.”
Arianna smiled and tugged his hood over his head before she stepped out of the car. Raph followed suit, unsure as to why he wasn’t running now that she no longer had a gun pointed at him. The thought fled from Raph’s mind when he stood up and his pants began to slide down his hips.
Growling, Raph grabbed the brim of his sweats and hoisted them back up to his waist. Untying his belt from beneath his hoodie, he used the thin piece of leather to tie the pants to him. Bending down he rolled up the pants legs that were dragging below his feet.
Once he trusted walking again, Raph made his way around the charcoal colored Chrysler Sedan 200 to where Arianna was grabbing out a duffle from the back seat. He grabbed that from her and slung it over his shoulder, allowing her to keep the one that she had in the front seat with her.
“This your car?” Raph asked, genuinely curious.
The brothers never had a regular vehicle of their own besides the Battle Shell, to which they had to take turns using or they all went together. That was, until Donnie had fixed up a motorcycle back when he had first met Casey. That sweet thing had been Raph’s dedicated vehicle. Raph frowned as he thought of his precious baby sitting alone and collecting dust in the storage garage he had temporarily rented until he could find a larger home to put it, and other things, in. He hadn’t taken the Shell Cycle out for a joy ride in years because of the memories she produced. Raph’s heart sank as he recalled forgetting multiple times to pay for his rent. His baby was now probably lying at the dump now, abandoned and alone.
“No, it’s Aunt Karai’s.” Arianna said, pulling Raph out of his thoughts once again. Great, now he made himself sad.
It took Raph a moment to collect himself. “You seem to use a lot of Karai’s things here.”
Arianna shrugged. “Dad usually doesn’t like me going to the mainland on my own. So, if I want to go, I have to ask Aunt Karai because she’s the only one willing to lend me her keys.”
“Leo doesn’t allow you to go to the mainland?” Raph asked, surprised.
Arianna nodded and pouted. “Dad’s too paranoid about me getting caught to want me going alone.”
“Well that’s rich coming from him. He was with us when we were begging Splinter to allow us to go topside and we were fifteen at the time.” Raph snorted.
Arianna chuckled. “Yes, but I don’t have siblings to watch my back. That’s what scares him.”
Raph scoffed. “Nonsense. I went by myself sometimes.”
“Without permission if I recall right.” Arianna pointed out.
“Touche.” Raph had no argument there. Most of the time when he was alone topside it was usually because he snuck out. It bothered him a little how much Arianna seems to know about him and yet, he knows next to nothing about her.
Arianna smirked, locking the car and stuffing the keys into her hoodie pocket before walking over to where a dock house sat on a shore of sparkling pebbles. Tied to the docks were boats of various sizes. Raph spotted a few big sail and speed boats among a large amount of fishing boats and jet skis. Paddles, life vests, and canoes were hung on the side of the dock house along with a big banner that read, ‘Tokyo Boat Rental’ and ‘Live Bait’ below it.
Raph couldn’t deny that the area was beautiful and far better off than New York now, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still pissed off at Leo for deserting his family. Sure, he was creating an army to fight off the Shredder so he wasn’t just relaxing on a beach like he first assumed, but the fact was, he didn’t even invite them along. Raph understood Leo was mad at him, but how could he just leave Mikey and April like that? They didn’t deserve to suffer in the city.
“Ah, Arianna! You have returned!”
Raph’s attention veered off when a little old Japanese man shuffled out of the boat house and toward Arianna, arms outstretched wide. He was dressed in a traditional fishermen’s outfit with a vest decorated with fishing hooks overtop of a blue t-shirt and tan carpenter pants.
Arianna grinned at him and rushed into his embrace. The two hugged tightly for a few seconds before finally separating. “Tod, it’s so good to see you again.”
“As is you Arianna. I’m so glad to know you have returned safely. Did you have a good trip to America?” Tod asked with a thick Japanese accent that made it hard for Raph to decipher his words.
Arianna apparently had no trouble because she answered immediately, “Yes, I did. It was lovely.”
Tod’s eyes briefly moved over to Raph, then back to Arianna with a look of confusion. “Who is that guy?”
Arianna released Tod to go clamp her hands on Raph’s arm and drag him closer. “Tod, this is my long-lost Uncle I was telling you about. The one that was living in America.”
Despite the look Tod was giving him, Raph smiled anyway. Compressing the urge to correct Arianna. She probably had a good reason for not telling Tod that she had two dads’ and not three uncles.
From this distance, Raph could see that the man had streaks of grey and white in his black hair and wrinkles in the corners of his black eyes that considered him with distaste.
“So, this is the great warrior of America you talk so highly about?” Tod pointed a cryptic finger at him. “I expected more.”
Raph glared at the little man who wasn’t paying him the least bit of attention anymore. “I assure you Tod, he has the heart of a warrior.” Arianna smiled as she patted the left side of his chest.
Tod sniffed and scuffled back to the dock house. “America is doomed then.”
Raph growled and tried to go after him but Arianna held him back. “Down boy.” She hissed under her breath. “Remember what will happen if you cause me trouble.”
Raph’s growling ceased when he felt something nudge him against his unprotected side. He switched his glare on her. “You still have that fucking gun on me?”
Arianna glared back. “Of course I have that fucking gun on you. I’m not stupid. Now behave. My back is hurting so I don’t want to drag your ass around anymore.”
Raph huffed, yanking his arm out of her grip, he stepped away and over to the edge of the docks.
“Now where are you going?”
He rolled his eyes. “Relax, I’m not going anywhere.”
Raph was relieved when Arianna didn’t threaten him to move or anything. He stared out into the azure waters that stretched for miles to meet sky and listened as Tod emerged from the dock house again, keys rattling in his hand.
“Thank you, Tod. You have a good day.” Arianna said cheerfully.
“You as well, Arianna. And if the punk lays a finger on you, you can always come here and I will take care of him, eh?”
Arianna laughed. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary, but I’ll keep that in mind anyway.”
Raph glared at Tod over his shoulder. “I heard that.”
“You were meant to.” Tod smirked and disappeared inside the dock house again.
Arianna patted his head mockingly. “Lower the hackles. I don’t want to be cleaning guts from the dock because your pride hurts. Now, come on. Aunt Karai’s boat is this way.”