As for us, my comrades, we follow
We go to the house of night;
And he who enters may never
Return to the world of light
And the Ferryman gladly shall bear us
Over the surging stream;
Elysian shades will prepare us
An ever enduring dream.
But the pitiless Persians shall wander
By the unpitying flood
And mourn for the days that they squander
In drinking of innocent blood.
-Selections from The Song of Archilos the Hoplite, by Henry Goddard Leach, 1950
Midnight Snacks: Chapter 1:
Angelo crouched on
the building-top, silently surveying the scene in the dark alleyway below
him. He had to grudgingly admit that he was impressed with their abilities.
Their size and shape misled one into assuming they were slow, when in fact
they moved with speed, even grace. Their footfalls were light and silent,
they only made the slightest sounds as they fought. Four of them, possessing
some kind of connection, if nothing more than their bizarre appearance.
Angelo could only wonder what exactly they were. Demons? No, he had certainly met enough of those in his time. these creatures may look strange, but they certainly weren’t supernatural. What than? Scientific experiments gone wrong? Perhaps. Horribly deformed human beings? Naaaaaaah. Hm. A mystery, that’s for sure.
As he observed, the four…things…. Triumphed over the six dealers, nine guns in all. Not bad, for mortals. Not bad at all. Keeping to the shadows, the creatures silently exited the alley, leaving no trace of their passing but for six unconscious men. They continued down the dark street.
Angelo followed, hopping lightly from building to building. He followed them toward the sound of scuffling and muffled cries down the street. Once again perching himself on the edge of the building above, he settled to watch the show. About twenty guys, taking out a pawn shop. The two owners -an innocent-looking elderly couple, no less- were being roughly held on the street and told to shut up, bats and other blunt and sharp objects being waved In their direction. The four things came upon them as silently and unexpectedly as death.
There was hardly a whisper of a wind, and angelo knew she was there. “clear night.” He stated simply, not needing to turn to glance at her.
“they intrigue you.” it was a statement, not a question. Angelo often had to wonder if the only reason she stated anything aloud at all was to ease one’s nervousness around her. Doubtful.
“yes.” He answered to the non-question.
“tell me why.”
“I believe you know why, ancient one.”
she was silent. He looked over at her. Her dark eyes never left the scene of the fight before them.
angelo sighed. “they are neither man nor beast, but something strange, something in between. They are not like us, but… they move like we do. Only they do it from practice, not instinct. Surprising creatures, to say the least. I’ve never seen anything quite like them.”
“and that one?” she made no gesture to indicate the one she spoke of. She didn’t need to.
“oh, him. I suppose he does attract my attention more than the others. Assuming it is a he. The battle is in it’s head, but not it’s heart. It doesn’t ever completely let go of it’s rational mind, hanging onto where it’s strength lies, where it feels most comfortable, where it believes in itself the most.”
“you’ve watched them for two nights.”
“third night’s the charm…” he turned toward her and winked.
For the first time that night, she looked at him. The hint of a smile touched her eyes, even as her smooth face remained emotionless.
He turned away from her, and with the retreating scent of faint incense, he knew she was gone.
The creatures were retreating once more, at the sound of sirens. The elderly couple simply stood, clutching at each other, staring around them at the unconscious bodies, wondering if it was time for a new arthritis medication.
Angelo’s eyes were fixed on the odd, rounded backs of the retreating party. He licked his lips, wondering what their blood tasted like.
Donatello unsuccessfully attempted to block out the rantings of his brothers as he zeroed in on the computer screen in front of him.
“Look, I’m not jumping to any conclusions, it’s just that I’ve been getting this funny feeling lately when we go out at night,”
“ leo, if we gotta stop for all of your ‘funny feelings’…”
“I’m serious about this, raph. I feel like we’re being watched.”
“oh, so now you’re bossy and paranoid. Wonderful.”
“look, you don’t have to be so narrow-minded.”
“well, you don’t have to be so tense. Or maybe you just want to impress master splinter with your ‘heightened senses’, is that it?”
“you are so full of it, raph!”
“takes one to know one!”
donnie massaged his temples. Nope, no work getting done tonight, that’s for damn sure.
Mikey wandered in, munching on potatoe chips. He offered the bag to donnie, who miserably waved it away. Mikey shrugged and leaned against the table. “you wanna blow this joint?” he asked, spraying potato fragments all over donnie’s keyboard.
“ah, what the hell” he said, attempting to brush off some of the offending fragments. He curled his lip, but rose, putting the keyboard aside.
“hey, where do you two think you’re going?” asked leo, as donnie and mikey grabbed their masks and weapons.
“to escape you two, of course. If you can’t control your tempers, we certainly don’t want to hang around.” Donnie stepped around leo as he tied on his mask.
“hey, but you can’t just-“
“what’s wrong, leo, unhappy because they won’t let you go first?”
“why don’t you stay out of it, huh? You can just zone out in front of that stupid tv all you want.”
“oh, so that’s all I’m good for, huh?”
“well, you certainly havn’t shown much potential for anything else.”
donnie and mikey slipped out without further obstacles.
Donnie kept up with mikey with ease, the two turtles slipping with practiced ease from shadow to shadow, among the trees of central park. Donnie secretly wished that, if there were crimes being committed in the city this night (which there undoubtedly were), himself and his brother would not encounter them. he enjoyed the simple silence that reigned over central park at night. As he and mikey paused beneath a tree, he closed his eyes momentarily, feeling as if he were absorbing the very night through his skin. He felt a hand on his plastron. He opened his eyes. Mikey was tense, looking into another section of the park, almost entirely in shadow.
“I think I hear something.” He whispered, “I’m gonna go check it out. You hang here, I’ll call you if it’s anything serious.”
donnie simply leaned against the tree and watched the retreating form of his brother, until his shell dissappeared into the shadows. Donnie stared up at the sky. Nothing like peace and quiet.
A slight movement suddenly caught the corner of his eye. He straitghtened and tensed, squinting into the shadow of another tree, across the nearest path from him. It remained still as stone. He chided himself for giving in to the night time’s optical tricks. He then saw it again, as if the shadow itself had suddenly become sentient, and moved slightly as if it pondered its next action. Donnie went into a crouch and kept his eyes on the shadow. It moved again, or rather, something that was damn good at blending in with the shadows. He removed his bo staff from the sheath on his back and gripped it in front of him.
He blinked and suddenly the shadow was dashing toward him, silent as snow, but at an impossible speed. Startled, donnie straightened, and pushed his back against the tree trunk, as the thing loomed in front of him. His bow staff was wrenched from his hands, and was suddenly embedded a foot into another nearby tree. Donnie, suddenly frozen and speechless, blinked once and suddenly found his mask on the ground at his feet. He couldn’t even recall the brush of a hand. He was aware of the thing, humanoid thing, something in a long black cloak, with the cowl pulled over the head, bending down to stare into his eyes. He could just see the faintest glow emitting from inside the hood, cold breath brushed his face. His heart dropped into his stomach. The scent of, of all things, roses entered his nostrils. Before any movement by the stranger was detectable, a sharp pain lanced through his throat. He made a strangled sound in disgust, as he realized this person’s mouth was attached to his neck. The pain seemed to jolt him out of his stupor, and he struggled against his assailant. Arms, strong arms, wrapped around him, lifting him off the ground. The thing was sucking on his blood! He struggled once more, kicking his legs. He observed, as if through an ever-thickening veil, the treetops disappear behind the shoulder of his attacker. The city lights dominated his vision, and they too began to fall away. He heard a faint cry from the ground below him, and the only thing he could think was, how the hell is mikey going to explain this one? the creature holding him gave a contented sigh. It was the last thing donnie heard before his world became black.
donnie woke up. He kept his eyes closed, unwilling to face the morning. Something was strange… what was it? hm…. Maybe it was that weight pressing down on his chest, making it slightly more difficult to breathe. Yeah, that was probably it. but… *sniff*… why the hell did his sheets smell like roses? And…. He was all sprawled out, so why the hell weren’t his legs hanging off of his bed onto the floor. That was certainly a mystery. He let that thought settle into his head, another intriguing puzzle to solve today. yup. That’s what it was. Wonder if the rest of the guys are up yet….
His eyes shot open, and he screamed openly at the face mere inches from his own. He shot into a sitting position, the person who had been perching on his plastron, staring into his face lightly sailed through the air to land on the arm of a chair, and remain crouched there. He placed a hand over his heart to keep it from beating right through his chest. He looked frantically around him. He was in a bedroom, the decor was mostly a warm cream with dark green accents. He was sitting on a king-sized bed, which swayed oddly. He realized it was a waterbed. Opposite the bed, french doors opened onto a balcony, the curtains swaying in the morning breeze, sunlight streaming though the open windows. He looked at the thing that had been crouching on his chest, and came to the realization of a million questions.
Returning his stare, curiously, head cocked slightly to one side, was a little girl. Her skin was gold and copper combined and brushed to an almost pearlescent sheen. Her hair was so dark a brown as to be almost black and it tumbled down her back like a shining cape. Her eyes were darker than her hair, and looking into them he got the distinct impression of a thousand secrets dancing within their depths.
“well, look who’s finally awake! Good morning, sunshine!” coming around the corner of a counter which divided the bedroom from the kitchen, (the bedroom connects to the kitchen?), was a tall man, who looked to be anywhere between sixteen and thirty years old. His skin was fair, and blonde, slightly curly hair was drawn from his face in a ponytail, which didn’t prevent some locks from brushing his face. A slight mustache and goatee graced the bottom of his face. His eyes were ice blue, and seemed to glitter with their own humor. He stepped down from the raised area that was the kitchen, and approached donatello, who had the look of a panicky cat.
“wh-who the hell are you? what the hell is going on here? where am I?”
“take it easy, you had a rough night. Lemonade?”
donatello looked at the proffered glass of lemonade as if he expected demons to leap from it at any moment.
“suit yourself, but you really ought to have some liquids, and get your blood sugar back up. Maybe some orange juice?”
“look, I don’t know who you are, or what you want, but I’m not hanging around here to find out, it’s been real.” He jumped out of bed, and began a dash toward the open french doors, when a sudden wave of dizziness overcame him. His vision blurred, and he staggered backwards. Just before falling, he felt those familiar arms around him, lifting him gently and depositing him back in bed.
“you know, most people don’t try to do any heavy exercising after losing a lot of blood. It’s not a very smart thing to do.” The guy settled himself, cross-legged, on the bed next to donatello, who stared up at him, nervously.
“what…” was all he could whisper.
“alright, you just calm down and I’ll explain. My name is angelo. I’m about four hundred and fifty years old, give or take a few. I’m currently working as a free-lance journalist and photographer, maybe you’ve read my stuff in the New Yorker,” he took a moment to preen, “anyway, I’m the one who consumed some of that deliciously exotic blood of yours last night, and I brought you here.”
“four hundred and fifty years old?”
“give or take a few.”
“delicious and nutritious, doesn’t taste like chicken.”
“vampires don’t exist.”
“I beg to differ.”
“why did you bring me here?”
angelo leaned down until his face was half an inch from donnie’s, “because I like you.” he pecked donnie lightly on his beak.
Donnie squeaked in surprise, and was dismayed as he realized, from the heat in his face, he was blushing. Attempting to divert the strange guy’s attentions, donnie looked toward the child who, through all of this, simply rested silently, observing the events as they occured. “who’s that? Your daughter?”
“no, not really. Kind of the other way around, she’s more like my mother.”
angelo hopped lightly from the bed, stationed himself beside the girl, and took a sweeping bow in her direction, “let me introduce mistress kali, one of the most ancient and mysterious members of our noble race.”
Even as he was faced with the impossible, donnie’s rational, scientific mind scrambled for a fact to hold on to, “kali… kali… a hindu goddess of destruction, shiva’s female counterpart, if I recall correctly…”
“oh, don’t flatter the old girl. She chose the name for herself.” He then spoke in an exaggerated, conspiratorial whisper, “no one knows her real name.”
“I have no real name.” They were the first words donnie herd from her, and he wasn’t at all sure he had seen her mouth move. Her voice was light and high, the voice of a little girl, but it had tones and depths that no child had. The phrase itself had had a complete absence of emotion, as if it were the dead speaking though the mouth of the young.
Donnie fell back and closed his eyes. This was not happening. He was dreaming, he was really in the sewer, in his bed, waking slowly up to the sound of mikey singing in italian… he opened his eyes. The smart-ass blonde guy and the kid stared back at him. Shit, he was really in trouble.
Something struck him as distinctly odd… what a surprise… he though gloomily, but something still nagged at him. He finally realized what it was.
With a triumphant crow, he sat up and pointed an accusitory finger at the two people facing him, “you two can’t be vampires! You’re walking around in the sunlight! Vampires can’t do that!” he felt excitement run through him, as the hope that these two were human after all welled up.
“oh, that.” Angelo said. He jumped up lightly and with a whump landed on donnie, knocking him back down. Angelo straddled the startled turtle’s middle, causing his chagrined captive to blush once again. “y’see, it’s like this: originally, yeah, we vampires definitely couldn’t stand the sunlight. You take one step into the sun, and BAM!! You’re toast. Burnt meat. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you get the idea. Of course, that was back when we didn’t need to walk around in the sunlight. We were feared and believed in, and respected” he brought his palm down hard, slapping the pillow next to donnie’s head, causing him to jump, “there were victims galore, and no one thought much if a lonely wayfarer went missing, these were dangerous times.
“and then along came the renaissance. People started investigating things, they started thinking about things, instead of taking everything on faith. Science flourished, and the likes of Copernicus and Galileo were on a roll. Old Copernicus was kind of a nut, though” angelo paused to stare at the ceiling and stroke his chin. He turned back to donnie, “anyway, people wouldn’t just accept that there were blood-sucking immortals walking around, they needed proof. From that point on, vampires needed to live differently. We were immortals, of untold strength, but it just wasn’t safe to be creatures of the night anymore. So, those of us who were strong and powerful enough, adapted. Evolved. Saw the light. Whatever. those who weren’t strong or powerful enough, well,” he shrugged, “they wouldn’t have fared well in this day and age anyway.
“you see, if one of us walks down a darkened street, cloak billowing, face pale, any passer-by will only look at us and see some drugged-out teenager with false pretenses of self-importance and in desperate need of a social life.”
“so you adapted…” repeated donnie
“yeah. You’re average vampire today is you’re average co-worker or friend, or guy on the street. It’s not so bad. I’m not saying I don’t miss the old dark ages, but this day and age certainly has its merits. How else could I express myself creatively?” he preened again.
“so, what do you want with me?”
angelo leaned down, until his lips brushed a very embarrased donnie’s. his whisper was husky and seductive, “I told you, I like you. and your blood is just…” he trailed off. He suddenly pressed his lips to the base of donnie’s throat and ran his tougue up donnie’s neck and under his chin.
Donnie felt butterflies in his stomach.
Angelo planted his elbows on donnie’s chest plates and asked in a conversational tone, “so, what about you? are you a boy or a girl?”
“am I a bo… guh… uh…” donnie sputtered indignantly.
“I’m a boy!” donnie yelled, insulted, “can’t you tell?!”
“not really,” said angelo defensively, “I don’t know what species you are, or what defines your gender.” He suddenly smiled, in a very predatory fashion, “of course,” he slid down donnie’s body, and placed a palm on the nervouse turtle’s inner thigh, slowly running it upwards, “I could have found out for myself…” his hand slid underneath donnie’s plastron. Donnie’s eyes bulged as he gripped the bedsheets underneath him. “yup, definitely male.” Angelo snickered. His hand gently stroked the hidden organ, which stiffened in response to his delicate touch.
“wh…wh…what do you think you’re doing?” donnie stuttered, as a thrill ran up his spine and back down again, lancing into his groin. His entire body stiffened and he gripped the sheets beneath his hands as if they were the only things keeping him from giving in entirely to this sexual being.
“isn’t it obvious?”
“but… but… I hardly know you!” his voice cracked with his lame remark.
Angelo’s hand stopped stroking, and he looked quizzically into donnie’s face. He then abruptly burst out laughing. He pulled his hand out, and donnie’s innards turned to jello. He snorted loudly and pulled himself back up until he was once again level with donnie. Still smiling, he took donnie’s head in his hands and kissed him full on the mouth, ending the contact with a loud smack!
Donnie squeaked lightly and felt like pounding his head against a wall as he felt the blood, once again, rush to his cheeks.
“you’re cute when you’re embarrased.”
“oh, thank you for informing me, I feel so special now, that’s just what I needed to hear.” Donnie replied sarcastically.
Angelo shifted once again, so he was straddling the turtle just above the ribs. He reached up and pulled one of donnie’s arms toward him. He planted both hands on the forarm muscle and slowly began kneading the tension out of it. “so, what the hell are you anyway? I know you’re not human… are you some sort of turtle?”
donnie suppressed the urge to groan at the feel of the pent-up tension he wasn’t even aware of flowing out of him, as the strange vampire worked his way up donnie’s muscular arm. “yeah.” He managed, “I’m a-“ he inhaled sharply as angelo’s hands prodded his particularly knotted bicep, “a… ah… turtle. There was this… uh” the edges of his vision blurred and he found it hard to focus on the question as his upper body was slowly massaged into oblivion, “this… this stuff that mutates genes and… uh… and… and apparently alters genotypes as well as phenotypes because we… me and… well, we have human intelligence.”
Angelo nodded. Donnie looked up at him, and was impressed at how he moved. His entire body seemed to be engaged in the act of massaging donnie’s aching muscles, each singular movement he made, affected the rest of his body, so that his entire body was occupied with the kneading motion. In a strange way, donnie reflected, he made this seem sensual.
“what’s your name?”
“huh?” the question caught donnie by surprise and snapped him out of his reverie.
“oh… that, it’s, uh…” he blinked, trying to remember, as angelo shifted to begin on his legs, “it’s… don…”
“don?” angelo looked up from donnie’s calves.
“… atello… don… atello. Donatello.” Donnie found it quite a relief to finally get the entire word out.
“are you Italian or something?”
“uh, it’s a long story.”
“you must indulge me sometime.”
“mm hmmmm…” donnie’s eyelids began to get heavy.
“close your eyes.”
“yuh… you can’t… you can’t tell me what to… to do.” Donnie attempted to protest, but found his eyes shutting obediently. It seemed to make a world of difference.
“sleep. Recover some of that blood of yours. I just know kali’s going to want to try some…”
for some strange reason, donnie found that this last remark didn’t bother him. So what if she wanted to try? He certainly wasn’t in a position to stop her.
With that resigned thought resting in his head, he drifted off to sleep.
The sound of April’s footsteps bounced back and forth ominously on the metal and concrete walls of the tunnel passage she followed. Her mind was too preoccupied, however, to mind the lonely sound of her high heels on trash and sludge. She didn’t even notice that she was ruining one of her best suits. Her feet took her down the dark, but familiar passage, every turn and landmark etched into her mind from numerouse trips into the labrynth beneath New York that was its sewer system.
The sound of footsteps other than her own reached her ears, and a stocky figure barreled around the next corner. The large turtle very nearly collided with her. She skidded to a stop, nearly overbalanced, and caught herself.
although it was dark, she knew the voice well, “Leo, what’s going on? Why didn’t you want to talk about it on the phone? Is everything alright?”
leo, out of a proctective instinct, though he knew well the savvy reporter knew how to take care of herself, took her hand anyways and led her down the passage, “Donnie’s missing.”
“What? What do you mean, missing? Do you have any leads? Whats-“
“we’ll fill you in back at the den. We need your help on this one, because we’re at a complete loss.”
“I-I’ll do whatever I can.” She said, and meant it.
leonardo led her into their underground home. In the living room, Splinter was seated sedately on the sofa, mikey seated next to him, his elbows on his thighs and his face in his hands. one of his knees bounced up and down nervously. Raph, seated on one of the arms of the sofa, stared at it, obviously on the edge of throwing himself upon his agitated brother in order to make the damn thing stop.
Mikey raised his head as she came in. his eyes were red, and it was obvious he’d been crying.
“Mikey…” april instinctively went over to him, sat beside him and put an arm around his shoulders. He rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“Mikey, could you tell april what you told us? about last night?”
Mikey nodded. He nervously stood up and began pacing, which april had never before seen the normally laid-back turtle do. “Uh… okay, y’see, donnie and I went out last night by ourselves because leo and raph were arguing again…”
leo guiltily looked downward, while raph got up and walked into another room.
“well, we headed into central park. We were standing beneath this one tree. It was pretty dark. I… I heard a sound, and went to investigate it. I left donnie… I left him by the tree…” mikey’s shoulders began shaking violently, “I swear, if I had thought he might have been in any danger…I-if I’d only known… but I couldn’t! I-I had no idea! I…” his eyes teared and he seemed on the verge of what would obviously be the second breakdown in 24 houres.
Leo was immediately at his side, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder, “hey, it’s alright. We all know that you wouln’t have left him if you’d sensed anything out of the ordinary. We believe you.” leo said softly.
Mikey wiped his eyes again and closed them, taking a moment to regain his composure. Finally, he opened them and continued. “the sound I heard ended up to be a common mugger going after a jogger. I took care of him, and when I turned around to meet back with donnie, I… I saw…” he chewed nervously on his lower lip and looked to leo for support, “it sounds crazy, but I swear to god, I saw donnie and this… this guy. At least… I think it was a guy, he was wearing a cape with a hood, I could only see his hands, and they just… his fingers were long and thin, but,” he made gestures with one of his hands, “they just didn’t look like a woman’s hands. they looked like… I don’t know, a musician’s hands, or an artist’s hands…”
April, recognizing mikey’s distressed state, chose not to ask him to drop the damn hands and continue.
“anyway, this guy had donnie pushed up against the tree, with his arms around him. Donnie was… was struggling. And they… they rose into the air…”
april raised an eyebrow and looked at splinter. The aged rat simply gestured to indicate that she listen to mikey finish.
“the guy looked like he was… I don’t know… kissing him…”
“kissing him?” april asked increduously.
Mikey looked at her, “well, that’s what it looked like, his… his mouth was on donnie’s neck like he was kissing him or… or biting him or something. They were pretty high in the air, and I finally lost sight of them. but, w-when I went over to the tree, i… I found” he choked, “I found blood on the ground. And I found donnie’s bo staff, embedded into another tree, like it had been thrown.” Mikey resumed his pacing and wrung his hands. his voice took on a shrill tone, “oh god, if I’d only stayed with him! If I’d just… it’s my fault! He could be dead, and it’s my fault!” he seemed to be working himself into hysterics.
Splinter walked over to him. He guided him to a nearby chair, where he put an arm around his shoulders and talked softly to him.
Leo sat beside april and talked to her just above a whisper, “when he got back, he was practically hyperventilating. Whatever it was he saw, it scared the shit out of him. It was an hour before we could get any comprehensive words out of him.”
“do you think he really saw some guy flying off with donnie?” april asked, maintaining the low whisper.
“it’s hard to tell whether he was just freaked out by what he saw, and his imagination played tricks on him. But, he swears by his story, even though he knows how strange it sounds.”
April nodded, leaning back, and crossing her arms over her chest. Her brow furrowed and she pressed her lips together, as she thought.
“Michaelangelo has retired for the night,” splinter came back over, followed by raphael.
“the reason we wanted to talk to you,” said leo, resuming a normal tone of voice, “ was that we were wondering if there was anything in the news to indicate a… I don’t know, a flying kidnapper, or something. I definitely think we’re dealing with something that’s more a part of your world than ours, and we’re at a complete stanstill about how to proceed.”
“well… I hesitate to mention this, for obvious reasons but… you guys know what this looks like, right?”
“yeah,” responded raph, “it sounds to me like donnie’s been picked up by a vampire.”
“of course, that’s incredibly unlikely.”
“maybe not so unlikely as you may think.” They turned to splinter.
“do you think he was abducted by a vampire, sensei?” asked leo.
“I do not say anything to one explaination or another, and I certainly do not want to encourage us away from a more rational conclusion…”
splinter looked at april and smiled, “but, I think we would all benifit from any information you could give us, child.”
April took a deep breath and began, “well, I don’t know if you guys caught the morning broadcast?”
“yeah.” Answered raph.
“well, than you’ll remember that over the past month four bodies have been found, all apparent murders, the cause of which the police seem reluctant to disclose to the media,” april scowled darkly as she recalled too many arguments with the chief of police, “well, I did a little investigating of my own, which, I’ll admit, involved cuddling up to one of the deputys…”
“for shame, april.” Leo chided her jokingly.
She winked at him, “well, you know me, unsatiable curiosity.”
“anyway, it turns out all of the bodies were completely drained of blood, though two puncture marks on the main artery in the neck.” She pursed her lips and raised an eyebrow at her companions.
“who were the victims?” leo inquired
“interestingly enough, a rapist who had recently been let out on parole, two people who were identified as responsable for a stabbing, and a businessman who, after his death, was revealed to be a wife beater.”
“sounds like this… whatever it is, has a somewhat twisted sense of justice. Or maybe, if it is a vampire, a rampant guilt complex.” Leo thought aloud.
April shrugged, “well, whoever he is, he isn’t raising too much of a fuss. I mean, no one is really missing the victims. They were criminals and vagrants, though I’m not saying that they deserved… that.”
“so, if we’re to take the most obvious explaination,” leo reasoned, “we’re dealing with a vampire, living unknown in new york city, who likes the taste of turtle blood.” He got a sick look on his face as he realized what he had said.”
“what if donnie’s dead?” raph was staring intently at the floor, as if it might provide him with answers if he stared hard enough. His voice was devoid of emotion.
Leo closed his eyes.
Splinter spoke up, “was it determined that the victims of this, what appears to be a vampire, were taken anywhere before they were killed?” his calm voice, even in question, slowed the pounding hearts of the three he sat with.
“well…” april ran a hand through her hair, finding comfort in the details, “the evidence showed that victims were surprised, attacked, and killed on the spot.”
“why do you ask, master splinter?” leo inquired
“It sounds as if death was not what this creature intended for donatello.”
“that’s right,” april sounded excited, “it wouldn’t fit the profile at all. If he’d wanted to drain his blood, he probably would have done it on the spot. So, donnie’s probably still alive somewhere. This thing’s probably holding him somewhere.”
“so, how can we track this thing down?”
“I think, my sons, the only thing we can do is wait, until a sign presents itself.”
The others nodded, but somehow found it hard to resign themselves to patience.
Donnie snorted once as he woke up. Keeping his eyes closed, he stretched his muscular arms above his head, and pointed his toes, flexing his calves. Damn, but he felt well rested. He opened his eyes.
“EEEEAAGH!” he scrambled back from the eager face a half-inch from his, and abruptly fell off the bed. His hand flew to his pounding heart.
Anglo peered over the edge of the bed, his blonde hair tousled and curling loosely over his shoulders, “you really are very tense. It’s not healthy for someone so young.” He propped his chin on his elbows and observed donnie with an amused curiosity.
“what the hell do you think you’re doing?!” panted donnie, as he regained his breath.
Anglo vaulted off the bed and landed beside donnie, a sheet around his middle his only clothing, “oh, don’t be so upset.” He snuggled up to donnie and ran his fingers up and down his plastron, “is it wrong that I like to cuddle with the object of my infatuation?”
donnie stood up on shaky legs and sat on the bed, “infatuation?”
anglelo laughed and sprung up, landing straddled on donnie’s lap. He pushed donnie’s shoulders back down onto the bed, “that’s what I said, isn’t it? you’re so… so strange. In a cute way. How could I possibly resist?” with a mischeivious grin, he ground his groin suggestively against the bottom of donnie’s plastron.
“h-hey, knock it off.”
“oh, you’re no fun.” Angelo pouted, but rolled off donnie and stood up.
“what time is it?”
“oh, probably around eight. Why?” angelo answered as he pulled on a loose pair of black pants and a black silk shirt.
“have I been sleeping all day?”
“call it recuperating.”
“a-are you going to let me go?” donnie inquired hopefully.
The vampire, illuminated from the back by the city’s glittering electric galaxy, turned toward donnie. The turtle tried to ingnore how sensuous he looked, as his stomach fluttered. Was it really true that this beautiful creature fancied him?
“I’m not sure. Perhaps, eventually.”
“well, if you’re not planning on letting me go soon, what are you going to do with me?” at angelo’s grin, donnie hastily added, “uh, besides… uh… that.”
Angelo took something from the chair near him, and tossed it to donnie. Donnie looked down to see that it was his belt, wrist guards and mask.
“I’m planning on taking you out. Put those on, you look positively naked without them. not that I mind.”
Donnie blushed. “where are you taking me?”
“I want to show you something.” Angelo’s face sobered.
“what? And why?”
angelo winked and placed a finger on his lips, “all in good time. now get ready.”
Knowing that he hardly had a choice in the matter, donnie buckled on his belt and slipped on his wristguards. It felt good to be wearing the items once again. He tied the mask on, and thus felt like he was donning his street identity, the swift, silent, and skilled ninja, instead of the insecure, nerdy mutant he was by day.
Angelo tied his hair back and put on a flowing black cape. He threw open the french windows.
“w-were not leaving that way, are we?” donnie asked increduously, seeing how high they were.
“oh, the door’s far too mundane.”
“look, maybe you can fly, but I-“
“I can’t fly.”
“but, when you bit me, you-“
“oh, yeah, when I’m feeding I get a kind of adrenalin high, which enables me to fly, like kali can, for a small period of time.”
“oh. Than how…”
“I’ll show you.” in on fluid movement, angelo grabbed donnie’s wrist and, pulling the turtle after him, jumped from the balcony.
Donnie’s mouth was stuck open, in a silent scream, as the air whisled past his head. He saw the top of another section of the apartment building rushing up toward him at an alarming rate. He felt angelo’s arm circle his waist. There was a jolt, and suddenly they were sailing upwards, toward another buildingtop. Instinctively, donnie clutched at angelo. There was another jolt, and the other buildintop was falling below them.
“what a way to travel, eh?” angelo roared, laughing.
“AAAAH!” was the only response he received.
After what seemed like an eternity of rushing wind, jolts and jumps, they landed on the top of one of the more tall buildings. Angelo let go of donnie, who’s legs gave way beneath him. He sat down on the concrete, hard, jaw slack.
“cool, huh?” angelo said down to him.
“guh… uh… huh…”
“glad you like it.”
“wuh…wuh… where are we?”
“on the top of one of those rotating restaurants. I’m not exactly sure which, but it’s the tallest and it’s got a helluva view. Check it out.”
Donnie found his knees and stood up. His breath caught in his throat. The city was like a universe of lights, glittering and winking, fading into the darkness above. He found that he suddenly understood angelo much better. the city was at his feet, kneeling to him, offering him its sounds. It was like a living thing, it had a heartbeat, the teeming cars were its blood, the buildings of concrete and glass its bones. The city was his. It belonged to him. No one knew, no one needed to know. The city itself knew. It belonged to him, only him. He owned it.
“Not bad, huh?” angelo stood beside him.
“I’ve never seen the city like this before.” He whispered “I feel like I…”
“Like it’s aaaaaall yours, only for you.” angelo nodded and slung an arm over donnie’s shoulders, “I’ve wanted to show this to someone for awhile. Someone that… a mortal.”
“why?” donnie kept his eyes on his city below him, but found himself leaning slightly into angelo’s side. Surprisingly, it was warm.
“mortals see the world differently than we do. Maybe I want to know how you see it different. Maybe I want to know how you see it the same, to know that we all have something in common…”
donnie looked up toward angelo. The vampire’s eyes looked out toward the city, though they seemed unfocused, as if he saw something about it, underneath it, that only he could percieve.
“is that the only reason?”
“what’s the other one?”
“because this place is so…. ROMANTIC!!” angelo flung himself at donnie, toppling both of them over. Donnie grunted as angelo landed on him. He felt unsatisfied by the answer to his question, but reasoned that he was unlikely to get a clearer one at this point.
Angelo gazed into donnie’s eyes with an intense expression, as if reading something within them which was hard to decipher. He lowered his head and pressed his lips to the turtle’s. donnie was surprised at how soft angelo’s lips were. A passing thought wondered whether the vampire used lip balm, or the characteristic was typical of his kind. he felt connected to the eternity of angelo’s life, as if the expanse of it was suddenly clear, and he realized how old, and how young, this being was. He acted with an almost childish mischief, but he had seen more, experienced more, and suffered more than donnie’s mind could encompass.
Angelo pulled his head back, breaking the kiss. “I want to…” he trailed off, his voice a husky river. His eyes were suddenly dark and hot with a very earthly desire.
The world suddenly blurred around him, and it seemed like only an instant had passed before he was standing on angelo’s balcony, stepping backwards as the vampire moved forwards, his toungue and lips exploring donnie’s neck, his fingers fluttering about the buckle to donnie’s belt.
Before they had gotten three steps, donnie’s belt, wristguards, and mask were on the floor. Angelo trailed his hands feverishly over donnie’s torso. He lightly dragged his fangs over the turtle’s neck.. donnie’s heart was pounding against his chest, and his breathing quickened. Heat began to pool in his groin, even as his mind frantically tried to rationalize his feelings and what was best to do in just such a situation.
Angelo tipped his captive backwards onto the waterbed, which rocked in response to the sudden weight. donnie pushed himself up toward the headboard, confusion cramping his stomach as he sought for something to say to angelo who was crawling toward him, his toungue running over his teeth, his eyes savage and feral.
“w-wait…I…” donnie started.
Angelo grasped his wrists and held them over his head. He moved his mouth around donnie’s shoulders, neck, collar and chest, making low, growling pants in his throat.
“I…I don’t know if I can… if I’m ready for…”
angelo let go of donnie’s wrists and slid his hands down to donnie’s plastron, slowly continuing their path to donnie’s legs. “Don’t worry,” he breathed as he placed his hands on the insides of donnie’s trembling thighs, “you’ll still be a virgin when I’m done.” He snickered
donnie, though flooded with relief, still found it hard to ignore that small part of him that was dissappointed, “uh… okay…” was all he could say, as angelo’s hand felt it’s way underneath his plastron and pulled out his hardening organ.
“you might want to hold onto something,” angelo raised an impish eyebrow, as he met donnie’s eyes from his position between his legs, “because I’m really good at this,” he lowered his head and trailed his toungue from the head to the base, light enough that it was more of a tease than anything else. he teased the head with small swirls of his toungue.
Donnie clutched the sheets beneath him. His cock was throbbing with arousal, responding to each torture of angelo’s light sweeps with his toungue. The vampire planted his palms on the tops of donnie’s thighs, preventing him from thrusting his hips upwards.
“hey,” donnie’s voice cracked as he strove to speak through his pants and gritted teeth, “are you trying to make me go insane on purpose? Aren’t you supposed to… do… oh fuck… just finish it!” he pleaded.
“patience is virtue, my friend.”
“fuck patience!!!” howled
“if you’re going to be difficult…” angelo stood and walked to a corner of the room
“ah shit…” moaned donnie, “I didn’t mean… can’t you just… what the hell are you doing?”
angelo returned, with two cords dangling from his hands. he swung his leg over donnie’s plastron and reached toward donnie’s arms.
“what are you doing?” donnie felt as if he would be swallowed by the ground beneath him at any moment. “what the hell is this?” donnie’s confused voice was high-pitched.
Angelo sat back, slid back down to his previous position, and grinned at donnie, “that’s so that you stop squirming all over the place. We won’t have any fun if you keep moving around like that. Now try to relax” grinning, he resumed his torture of donnie’s cock.
“you bastard!” donnie gritted through his teeth as he strained against the cords that tied his wrists to the head of the bed. he repeatedly attempted to thrust his hips up, but angelo steadily held them down. His entire groin was throbbing with the longing.
Angelo lifted his head, “are we enjoying ourselves?”
donnie only had time to emit a small whimper before angelo suddenly took him full into his mouth, rubbing his toungue against the bottom of donnie’s cock, his entire body keeping his rythem.
Donnie felt as if all the blood in his body suddenly rushed to his groin. He felt himself as he teetered on the edge of some hot abyss, which loomed before him until…
he felt as if angelo had initiated an explosion in his organ. He thrust up on his heels, a cry ripping from his throat. In the midst of the explosion, he felt a sharp pain on the inside of his thigh. His entire body went limp, his breathing fast, like his pounding heart. He could feel angelo’s teeth pressed against the bite he had made in his thigh, the vampire, eyes closed in another sort of ecstasy, sucked the wound of the fast-flowing blood rushing to spill out.
Donnie panted with exertion, fully aware of how he trembled.
Angelo, licking the blood from his teeth, moved back up, settling beside Donnie, putting his arm around his shaking shoulders. “well, was it good for you, too?”
“that’s what I thought.”
“I know.” Angelo breathed on his fingernails and polished them on the sheet smugly.
“concieted bastard,” Donnie tried to mutter, but it only came out as a mumbling sigh. His eyelids were suddenly heavy. He let them fall closed, and didn’t resist as Angelo pulled his head to rest on the vampire’s warm shoulder.
“vampires.” April stated as she dropped a hefty pile of old books onto the kitchen table.
Leo looked at the pile of books on the table in front of him, and looked up at April. “vampires?”
Mikey wandered in and gave the books a skeptical look, “you guys are really taking this vampire idea seriously?”
“well, it’s our only course of action for the moment. I went to the library and got out all the books I could on accounts of the supernatural, and more specifically, vampires. I spent hours reading up on them, and I think, if vampires are the problem, I have an idea of how to deal with it.”
Splinter entered and sat at the table. Raph and Mikey also pulled up chairs.
April pulled out a chair, but resigned herself to pacing excitedly as soon as she began talking, “okay, here’s the deal, accounts of so called ‘vampires’ go back pretty far, and all over the globe. A lot of accounts look like the result of rabies or consumption, which are both diseases which may result in supposed ‘vampire-like’ behavior or appearence. However, I did find quite a few stories which seem legitimate, though I can’t vouch for the authors. A lot of these older books describe how to kill a vampire. Some of these contend with each other, but if it’s there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s stakes and holy objects.”
“holy objects, like crosses?” asked Leo
“well, if you just waved a random cross at a vampire, it probably wouldn’t work. The object has to be blessed, by someone with enough faith to empower it. holy water also works. Supposedly, it’s like acid to vampires.”
“so, what do we do? Sharpen some wood and cast around for some holy water?” asked Raph, propping his feet on the table.
“it would seem so.” Said Splinter.
“so, where are we going to get holy water?” asked Mikey.
“well, I could probably get some from the local catholic church. I would probably sound funny asking for it, but I doubt they’d hold off on me.”
“then what?” asked Mikey
“then,” answered Leo, “we patrol as usual, armed with these objects, and stake the bastard who has Donnie if we see him!” he had a fiercly determined look in his normally serene eyes. It seemed to rub off on his brothers, who also strengthened their resolves.
“let’s do it.” said Raph, and stood up.
Donnie leaned against the balcony railing, content that the veil of twilight would keep him hidden from curious eyes. Rush hour was just petering out, and lights started to come on, winking and glowing like so many fireflies against the reflected pink and purple of dusk.
He had spent the entire day asleep, but had two small, fresh puncture marks on his neck when he woke up. He assumed they came from the mysterious girl, Kali, who seemed to have all the mateireal and reality of a passing wind. he inhaled deeply. Up here, the smog was much less, and he could scent the coming night in the cool air.
Warm, strong arms encircled his torso, and a goateed chin rested on the top of his head. “evening.” Angelo’s voice was thick with newly ended sleep. “great view, huh?”
“I hardly ever get to see the city like this.” Donnie said quietly.
“I imagine it’s quite different from what you’re used to.” Angelo turned him around and looked into his eyes, “you know, it doesn’t have to be.”
“what do you mean?”
“I have no intention of keeping you here against your will, though I had originally considered it. but why don’t you stay? You can see the city like this any time you want, and every night it can be spread beneath you, you can own it, like I do.” Angelo’s stare was intense.
Donnie looked out at the city again. He then thought of his family. By now, they would be in hysterics over him. “it’s a great offer, but… I have a different life. One that I feel obligated to carry out. These streets are dangerouse, and if there’s something I can do about that to make a difference… well…”
Angelo nodded and sighed. “I need to go out hunting tonight.” He smirked at Donnie, “not that I wouldn’t like to suck on you a bit more,”
Donnie made a small strangled sound in the back of his throat, and the blood rushed to his cheeks, which turned bright red underneath the green of his skin.
“however,” Angelo continued, sighing dramatically, “it’s high time I insanguinate someone. Small amounts will only last for so long.”
“so you can do without drinking blood for a long period of time if you…drain… someone?”
“but, you’ll kill them…”
Angelo looked in Donnie’s eyes, the humor going out of his face, “I never said I was a saint. I do what I have to in order to survive.”
“I can’t let you just go out and kill someone!”
Angelo thrust his face close to Donnie’s, “and what, my friend, will you do about it?”
“well…” Donnie faltered, looking down, “I have to do something.”
“look, it’s not as if I’m harming completely innocent people. Why don’t you come with me tonight? I’ll show you.”
“I can’t watch you kill someone. Besides, the people I live with are probably sick about all this.” he felt guilt in his stomach at the thought that, for awhile, he had forgotten them.
“fine.” Said Angelo, turning and walking back into the bedroom, “I can take you to them. you usually patrol the bad parts of town, yes?” Angelo pulled on dark jeans, a black silk shirt and swung his cloak about his shoulders.
“yeah.” Said donetello, following him in and casting about for his belt and mask.
“good. That would be the area I frequent, myself.”
Donnie gave him a questioning look, but said nothing.
Once full dark was upon the city, they lighted silently from Angelo’s balcony. Through the blur of lights and sounds, Donnie could make out the buildings getting more and more run-down and dark as they went. In a sudden movement, Angelo dropped Donnie to the roof of an old warehouse. He stood completely still, letting the wind ruffle his hair. He bounded to the edge of the building and peered over. Donnie followed him, and the sounds of a struggle. In the alley below was a woman struggling against two men. One of them held a knife against her throat, while the other tore at her blouse. She sobbed silently.
Before Donnie could so much as put a leg over the side to jump down, Angelo was on the ground. As Donnie watched, stupified, from his new position in the alleyway. A pale hand darted forward, and strong fingers sunk into the flesh of one of the men’s throats. He made a gurgling sound as his esophagus was torn from his throat and thrown to the ground. His hands grabbing convulsively, his eyes rolling, he fell to the ground, trying vainly to staunch the gaping wound in his neck. The other man attempted to run, but Angelo was upon him like a large cat. The woman screamed and ran as the vampire sunk his fangs into the back of the howling man’s neck.
“Donnie!” he suddenly heard someone yell. He looked across the street and found Leo, flanked by Raph and April, running toward him. Suddenly, everything was chaos.
With a roar, Raph threw himself on Angelo, who barely had time to look up before being hurled to the ground. April came up behind him and pulled out a long, sharp piece of wood. Realizing what it was, Donnie tried to yell, but his voice was lost behind Raph’s shout as he was flung like a rag doll against the side of the warehouse. Leo launched himself onto the vampire’s back.
“April, now!” he yelled.
Donnie’s voice seemed to stick in his throat as the scene passed before him in slow motion.
Angelo reached behind him, grabbing Leo by his arms and flinging him over his head. While his arms were still raised, April darted in, dark hair flying about her face and, with an animal-like snarl, plunged the stake into Angelo’s chest, the wound smoking and exploding with blood. As she stepped back, eyes wide, the normal pace of time resumed.
Donnie rushed forward, but words died on his lips as he met Angelo’s eyes. The vampire’s eyes were like clear blue sky, wide and disbelieving. His bloody jaw worked as if he meant to say something. His hands went to his chest. He fell to his knees. He took a last, shuddering breath before collapsing onto his back. His eyes glazed over, and he was still.
Donnie could only stand and stare at him, even when April and Leo threw their arms about his shoulders and gushed in relief. He only heard bits of their words, staring into those blank blue eyes, made dull and lifeless.
He suddenly felt a tug at his mind and, instinctively, looked up. Leo, Raph and April followed his eyes, and stood protectively in front of him at what they saw.
Like a dark angel, the vampire called Kali floated to the ground, heedless of the broken glass which touched her tiny bare feet. Her dark eyes were glued to the prone form in front of her.
Donnie stepped around his stupified companions and approached the girl.
“Kali,” he heard himself say. He reached a hand out to her, but dropped it, numbly.
She gave him an unreadable look, and turned back to Angelo’s still form. Quietly, she knelt, and wrapped her tiny hands around the stake. Her smooth flesh sizzled and smoked as it came into contact with the holy water in which the stake had been soaked. With a sick, wet sound she pulled the stake free. Silently, she encircled her arms around Angelo’s chest. Holding him to her like one might a child, she slowly rose into the air. Donnie’s eyes remained glued to her pale form until it dissappeared beneath the sky. It took him several moments to realize that someone was saying his name.
“w-what?” he turned.
“Donnie,” said Leo, putting a hand on his brother’s shoulder, “are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“n-no.” Donnie looked down and his hand instinctively went to the main artery in his neck, the puncture wounds were already reduced to nearly undetectable indentations.
“Donnie, what’s wrong?” Leo turned Donnie’s chin up so their eyes met.
“nothing. Nothing’s wrong. I… I just want to go home.”
“okay, let’s go.” Leo led his brother out of the alley, an arm around his shoulders. April and Raph followed silently. They walked in the shadows, heading toward their waiting home.
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