Casey looked up from where he was reading the newspaper on the couch, sighing and slapping the paper in exasperation.
"At least someone cares about justice these days," he muttered, looking down at the various black and white pictures of the Night Watcher that graced the papers. "Don't ya' think babe?" Casey asked, looking up at his red-headed girlfriend who was busy doing katas in front of the small television with her bright red practise sword.
"What? Casey I'm trying to practise," April said, stopping momentarily from swinging her sword in a wide arc, strands of hair that had come loose from her bun falling across her face. "What were you saying?"
"Nothing. Go back to practising babe," Casey sighed, turning his attention back towards his paper.
He was itching to get out to the roof tops and bust up some heads, God knew he needed to get some fresh air. He felt like he was suffocating in this apartment. But
it just wasn't the same without Raph, and he hadn't shown himself for almost three days now, and that wasn't like Raph at all. Usually they went out every night together, busting up gangs and criminals before having a few beers out on the rooftops.
"We interrupt this news broadcast with a special news bulletin. Is this the end of the mysterious vigilante known as the Night Watcher?"
"What?" Casey shot up, newspaper forgotten. "Turn it up!"
April stopped her practise, panting heavily as she picked up the TV remote and turned up the volume.
"A call came in from an anonymous citizen little over an hour ago, witness to what appeared to be a car chase between the Night Watcher and an unknown assailant. The witness didn't get a good look at the people in the car, but there was no mistaking the Night Watcher on his bike, being pursued by a mysterious black ute. Twenty minutes later a local news van arrived just ten miles from the city limits upon the scene of an accident. There was evidence of scraps of metal strewn across the road, looking to be parts from the Night Watcher's bike. One hundred metres further down the road was the Night Watcher's bike, leaning against the side guard rail. The Night Watcher's helmet was also found a few metres away from the bike.
There was, and still is, no sign of the Night Watcher. Police have found evidence of a bullet hole in the front tire of the Night Watcher's bike, and have assumed that with the force of the impact, that the Night Watcher may have been flipped over the side of the guard rail. Police have sent out crews to search the surrounding area. We will update as soon as we hear more."
"That's horrible," April murmured, shaking her head as she switched the news off. "Isn't it Casey?"
April turned to face her boyfriend when she didn't get an answer. Instead, she turned to see Casey leaning forward on the couch, his body rigid and his face pale, his head resting in his hands.
"No, no, no, no," Casey murmured to himself in a soft mantra, rocking slowly back and forth, his eyes clouded with an unreadable emotion. "Damn it, damn it, damn it!"
"Casey! Casey what's wrong?" April asked, concern flooding through her as she moved forward to crouch beside him.
Casey shot to his face, pacing back and forth in front of the couch restlessly, glancing over at the open window every few seconds, as if expecting someone to come through it at any moment.
"Casey, baby what's happened?" April asked, gently grabbing his arm and turning him to face her in concern.
"It's Raph," Casey choked, his voice shaking and his deep blue eyes wide and filled with fear.
"It's Raphael. The Night Watcher is Raphael."
"Oh man," Mikey whispered, leaning back on the couch, "that has gotta hurt man."
"What?" Don asked, looking up from his laptop to where his youngest brother was currently sitting watching the news.
"Dude it just said that there was this big crash," Mikey said, wide eyed as he looked over the top of the couch at his brother. "The Night Watcher was chased down by this mysterious ute. Cops say they shot out his front tire. Say he skidded like a hundred metres down the road before he hit the guard rail."
Donatello looked up at the pictures they were showing on the news of the crash site and winced.
"Now the cops can't find him," Michelangelo continued, eyes traveling back to rest on the pictures being displayed on the TV. "Man I feel sorry for the guy. I mean the Night Watcher is a good guy after all."
"I know you may respect him Mikey but-"
"Of course I respect him," Mikey interrupted, his eyes flashing briefly with anger and hurt. "He
he's kind of my idol," Mikey confessed in a whisper. "I mean he's there to pick up the slack that we left. He didn't have to go out every night and save the city but he did. And he doesn't even take the credit. He's like us; he vanishes before anyone can see who's really under all that gear."
"Well I hate to say it Mikey," Don said gently, not wanting to upset the youngest turtle further, "but
I can't see how he could have survived that, protective gear or not."
"Yeah," Mikey whispered, downcast and despondent. "I just hope it wasn't too painful for the guy."
"Too painful for who?" Leo asked, stretching as he entered the room from the dojo.
"The Night Watcher," Don explained, gesturing to the pictures still displayed on the TV. "They can't find the body."
Leo only nodded in acknowledgment. "I may not have liked the guy," he said, sitting down next to Mikey, "but
this just seems
cruel. Even for a vigilante show-boat."
"Hey, he is not a vigilante show-boat," Mikey snapped, glaring at Leo angrily. "He was a good guy Leo. He only wanted to help the people of this city, which is what we stopped doing, just FYI. Besides, he might still be alive. There's no body to prove that he's not."
"Take it easy Mikey, I'm not saying he's dead," Leo shared a quick look with Don but didn't say anything more. "And I know he was
a good guy. I'm just saying I don't
view him the way you do, that's all Mikey."
"Well good," Mikey huffed, slumping against the back of the couch in defeat.
Donatello looked away from his brothers just as the phone rang. "I'll get it," Don sighed, stretching his cramped legs as he ambled over to the phone.
"Cowabunga Carl, here to caterer all your birthday needs. Oh hi April-whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down April. What about Raph?" Don frowned through the garbed words on the other side.
At the sound of their brother's name, both Leo and Mikey turned their attention to Don.
Leo got slowly to his feet, his brows furred as he got the feeling deep inside his gut that something wasn't right. Mikey peered over the back of the couch, blue eyes confused and worried.
Donnie opened his mouth and closed it again, a strangled sob breaking free. Dropping the phone he backed away from it like it was a giant poisonous arachnid, his face pale and his whole body shaking with barely suppressed shivers.
"Don?" Leo asked cautiously, the feeling in his gut growing stronger to the point where it felt like a whole flock of butterflies were flying around in his stomach. "Donnie what's wrong? What did April say?"
"It's him," Don whispered, his voice sounding as if it hadn't been used for weeks. "It's him."
"Who? What are you talking about Donnie?" Leo demanded, impatience making him snap at his younger brother.
Don pointed weakly to the TV, his finger shaking. "It's Raph. He
he's the Night Watcher."