Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words A to Z Challenge: T
Word Count: 1,163
Date Written: 28 September 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
She usually hates having to follow an assignment the station gives her, but today, April's grinning wide as she helps the camera men unload and then goes in search of just the right pictures for her assignment. The air is wafting up off of the harbor, but today, she doesn't smell the dead fish. Today, she smells the ocean and its vast possibilities. She smells something else familiar and turns her head just in time to see a family walking by with pizzas.
She grins and settles into her role as reporter. She wants to be certain this place get a good rep. The boys have already checked it out. She knows it's actually up front and true about its mission. It isn't one of those places that just says it's trying to help the animals. These people really are, which is exactly why Donnie hijacked their system and rewarded them with a free upgrade two nights ago.
"Whoa! I'm glad that thing's not coming at me for lunch!"
April turns just in time to see Vernon nervously taking a step back from the aquarium's display windows. A massive polar bear paws at the glass, then swims higher. Vernon breathes an audible sigh of relief when the bear swims out of their sight. April bites her bottom lip to keep from laughing. The day's been going so well she really doesn't want to ruin it with an argument, even if Vernon is one of the hardest people she's ever known to get along with.
She just smiles and goes back to her walk, checking out the various displays and planning her trip through the aquarium. The Chief will probably complain that she didn't just stay at the ribbon cutting ceremony, but she'll tell him that that's not what the people want to see. The people want to see the animals and that they're being cared for, and cute animals always raise the network's ratings. It's a win, win for all around and a perfect chance for her to get some inside footage on this place.
She stops moving suddenly as she sees something else huge ahead. Slowly, she inches closer, barely daring to breathe lest the sound of her breathing scare away the ancient animal. She can see the green guy's wrinkles even through the glass. "Wow," she finally releases as the turtle swims pass her to snatch another tiny fish up for his lunch. She crinkles her nose as she adds under her breath, "Although I'm not sure the guys would agree with your lunch choices." She'd learned long ago that if you wanted to upset a turtle, all you had to do was give them anchovies.
"Hey, Ape!" Vernon calls, catching up to her. "Where's the fire?"
She shrugs. "There's no fire." She's still watching the turtle. "Isn't he amazing?"
"It's a she actually," a nearby worker pipes up. She pushes the cart carrying crates of dead fish on by the reporters.
"Euuw!" Vernon complains, pinching his nose, but even that horrid smell can't disturb April today.
"I should have known," she murmurs underneath her breath.
"What?" Vernon asks. "That this place needs a gas mask?"
"Funny, but no. I should have known," she says, nodding back to the display behind her, "that that turtle is a she."
Vernon frowns as April goes back to watching the ancient turtle. "Why would you know something like that?"
Because she's not pouring over books like Donatello? She's not angry like Raphael or burdened down with leadership like Leonardo? She's not looking for pizza or cracking jokes? April just grins. "Call it women's intuition," she tells Vern.
"What's with you any way?" he asks. "You didn't say one word of complaint when the Chief asked you to come down here."
April shrugs. "An order's an order."
"Since when?" Vernon asks, popping an eyebrow at her. "You never just do what the Chief says until he threatens to fire you."
April's smile just won't go away. "People change."
"You don't. You've been fighting me for the big scoop ever since I met you. You've been failing, of course, but you still try. I have to give you credit for that. You just can't compete in a man's field."
"Heh. Yeah, right." April rolls her eyes, but she's still grinning. She casts Vernon a wondering look, though, as his words fully settle into her mind. "What brings you here, though?"
He shrugs. "I'm on my lunch break, and I thought you might need a helping hand."
"Yeah, right -- " It's April's turn to dismiss him. "I know better than that. What's really going on . . . "
"Amanda!" Vernon exclaims, looking up at an approaching woman. She's taller than April and, both reporters know, far more beautiful. Her dark skin hints at an ancestry from over the seas, and she carries herself with a regal grace April knows she'll never possess.
April lets her coworker chase the skirt and looks back to the turtle in her tank. She shakes her head in complete amazement of the beauty before her and lays her hand on the glass as the turtle comes closer. The old girl rubs her head against the glass, almost as though she knows April's there. April positively beams. "He'll never know what we know, will he, girl?" she whispers. From the way the turtle bobs in the water, she seems to be agreeing with her.
"She likes you," Amanda calls.
"I have a way with turtles," April murmurs softly, grinning from ear to ear once more. She steps away from the tank. She has a job to do after all, but one glance at Amanda as she passes by her and Vernon tells her that the other woman is jealous of her and what she has that she'll have. April does have a way with turtles and a far better connection with them than Amanda or any other doctor will ever possess.
She smiles and shields her eyes from the bright sunlight as she steps back outside. "Hey, April! Want some pizza?" one of her crew asks.
She nods, and he hands her a nice, big slice. As she bites into the delightful mixture of meet, cheese, tomato sauce, and crust, April knows she's living the life that's right for her and everything she ever wanted, even if she never knew it before she met the boys. "This day just can't get any better," she says, grinning broadly.
"Uh oh! Don't say that!" Marty calls. "That's usually when things start going bad!"
April shakes her head. "Not today." She takes another bite and then another just as her cell phone rings in her pocket. She pulls it out and flips it open. "April O'Neil." The Chief is on the other end and already giving her another new assignment: this time, to check out the new pizza place opening just a block away. April takes the order with a gracious, and almost eager, smile. Her day really couldn't get any better!