“Ape, are you sure about this?” you ask. You run your arms in an attempt to ward off the chill the dark alley is emanating.
April rolls her eyes. “You’re the one who wanted to meet them.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t realize we would be meeting them in a dark alley at eleven o'clock at night.” You turn to glare at her in mock-suspicion. “Are you trying to kidnap me?”
“Does dragging you out here count as kidnapping?”
You crack a smile, but it quickly fades into a neutral frown. “I’m not great with new people.” April smiles fondly at you. She knows exactly what you mean.
When the two of you started working together at the news station, it took you months to really open up to her. April couldn’t imagine you being a reporter, and eventually found out you were just a writer, which made more sense. Once you got over your shyness, however, you were like a whole new person. You and April would grab coffee or crash at her house to work and eat pizza at the same time.
But meeting new people still makes you retreat back into your shell (no pun intended. Which is exactly why April employed Mikey to be the one who meets you first. Mikey is the one who saved you the other night, so you already kind of know him. But also, a f anyone can get you to open up, it’s Mikey.
“(y/n).” April walks towards you, and you meet her gaze with soft (e/c) eyes. “They’re going to love you, I promise. They’re all great guys.”
“Aw, I missed you too, April.”
The two of you practically jump ten feet into the air. “Jesus. You guys should wear bells or something.”
Mikey steps out of the shadows, grinning widely at April. “We both know it wouldn’t make a difference.” April relaxes and smiles softly at her friend. You watch in surprise as the orange-clad turtle sweeps into an exaggerated bow. “Ladies.”
April rolls her eyes at Mikey’s display and walks towards him. You follow tentatively, putting all of your strength into not looking at your toes. Once you reach him, Mikey smiles softly down at you. “We meet again.” You smile shyly and slightly-awkwardly at him. He points at you and asks, “(y/n), right?” just to confirm that he remembered correctly.
But it’s all for show. Of course he remembered, he’s Mikey.
You nod your head “yes.” The turtle steps back and considers you with twinkling blue eyes (do turtles have blue eyes?). He grins. “You don’t talk much, do you?”
You blush and are about to shake your head again, but April cuts you off. “It takes a lot to get her to open up.” You spin around and glare at your best friend, but she just shrugs with a knowing smirk.
“Aw, that’s so cute!” Mikey coos. He throws an arm around your shoulders and begins walking you into the shadows of the alley. “My brothers wish I were quieter.” He giggles (do turtles giggle?). “I like you already. And don’t worry about the talking, Raph says I talk enough for ten people. I think he’s a hypocrite, ‘cause he’s the one who’s always yelling.”
You can’t help but chuckle quietly at Miley’s enthusiasm. Your blush slowly subsides, and you’re feeling more comfortable by the minute as Mikey continues to talk to you. You’re only a couple tunnels away from the lair when you join the conversation.
Prince Mud-Turtle. Laura Bancroft (Frank L Baum). Chicago: Reilly & Britton (1906). Illustrated in color by Maginel Wright Enright. First edition.
Title in the Twinkle Tale Series, this is a wonderful fantasy written by Baum under his Bancroft pseudonym. Twinkle finds a turtle that can speak only on Saturdays because he is a fairy prince who has been transformed by an evil Corrugated Giant.