Why is it when you want the words to flow, they never come? Why is it when you have the time and necessary caffeine, inspiration never strikes? Why is motivation nowhere to be found?
She stared at a blank page for far too long. The blinking cursor mocked her, reminding her with each passing second that she still hadn’t written a single word. She glanced at the half empty can of Monster on the coffee table, was it too early to just finish it and just call it a night?
A crash came from the living room, quickly followed by a “I’m okay!” from Mikey. If she had to hazard a guess, he just crashed his skateboard for the third time since she arrived. As soon as she walked in, he declared he was working on a new trick, even offering to be the inspiration for her next piece. She couldn’t see him from her vantage point, but it didn’t sound like it was going well. She turned back to her still blank page with a sigh. Even Mikey was more productive than she was.
She pursed her lips. Determination set in; writer’s block was not going to win this round. She sat here this long, and she would be damned if she gave up without writing anything, even if she had to sit here all night. Another crash exploded, this time from Donnie’s lab. Of course, picking the ever-busy turtles’ lair as her setting wasn’t her best idea.
I just need a spark, something to get the ball rolling, she thought. Her fingers danced on the keys restlessly. She threw her head back with a groan, staring at the ceiling. Had she ever noticed the design in the brickwork-,
Focus. She snapped her eyes back to the taunting cursor. Inspiration. Now.
And as luck would have it, inspiration walked right in front of her.
Leo exited the dojo, heading straight for the shower. Master Splinter hadn’t gone easy on him earlier during training, and he could always use more practice. He rolled his head, wincing as his neck popped. As he turned, he caught sight of Y/N. He raised his hand, and almost called out a greeting. She had her headphones on, and her eyes were glued to her computer screen, typing almost as fast as Donnie. She wouldn’t have heard him. He smiled, shaking his head, and continued to the shower. He wondered why his brothers hadn’t told him when she arrived, but then he could get just as focused in his training as Y/N did in her writing.
As he dug out his favorite towel he wondered if she’d let him read what she was working on. He wasn’t good with grammar and editing like Donnie, but he relished her stories. He still got chills when he thought about the piece she wrote about that haunted house on Halloween. He felt the water – a chilly lukewarm – and climbed in, hissing as it hit his sore muscles. Maybe he would take it easy tonight on patrol.
Spurred on by the cool water, he finished quickly and geared back up. The city wasn’t going to patrol itself, and he had a hunch that the Purple Dragons were up to something nefarious tonight. They had been just a little too quiet for a little too long. Maybe Donnie scored some intel about their next move.
His thoughts pulled away from the city’s dark underbelly as he caught sight of Y/N again. She hit her stride now, bopping her head along to the music while her fingers flew across the keys. He stopped to watch her work, wondering how she could focus on anything other than Mikey skating, or Raph cursing at the tv (he really should talk to him about his language when company was over), or the random bangs from Donnie’s lab. Then again, there was more than one way to meditate. Whatever she was writing he was sure it would be extra enthralling.
Wish she’d look at me like that, he caught himself thinking. With a start he shook his head and turned around. Y/N was a good friend, and maybe he did feel different about her than April or Casey, but thoughts like that would only get him into trouble. He shoved that thought back down. She was a human, and no matter how good a friend, he was still a giant mutated turtle.
“Is there something you need, Leonardo?” Master Splinter asked, pouring himself a cup of tea.
Leo snapped out of his thoughts. He hadn’t realized he was walking in the opposite direction of Donnie’s lab. “No sensei, just thinking.”
“Sometimes our thoughts get away from us,” Splinter said, nodding like he understood Leo’s situation better than he did. Maybe he did. “And sometimes we get away from our thoughts.”
“Hai sensei.” Leo nodded but that didn’t mean he understood. Still, he hadn’t meant to come to the kitchen, and the Purple Dragons’ butts weren’t going to kick themselves. He turned himself around and this time walked straight to Donnie’s lab, keeping his eyes straight ahead and his thoughts in line.
Y/N pulled her headphones off and stretched her back, all of the pops putting bubble wrap to shame. She set her computer off to the side. She winced as she stood up, hunching over a computer, and pouring your soul out into the keys didn’t exactly equate to good posture. She hadn’t been paying attention to how long she had been writing.
The lair was silent, or as silent as it got. The tv blared on, and one of Mikey’s arcade games beeped at her. She was fairly sure if she wandered over by the lab, she’d hear ambient science noises too. She checked the time, only a little after midnight, and concluded the boys must’ve gone out on patrol. She must’ve really been in the groove if she missed them heading out. She headed to the kitchen to grab some more caffeine and stretch her legs before settling in to revise.
She smiled at the photos decorating the fridge, the boys smiling at the camera, sometimes with Master Splinter, sometimes with April and Casey. She spotted one with her in it, near the handle. She couldn’t help her eyes as they lingered on the terrapin in blue. She could almost feel his arm slung around her, just like it was in the picture, a heavy and welcome weight. How many times had she wished to feel it again?
He had been her muse for the evening, just the inspiration she had been waiting for. She tried to capture his very essence and put it into words. The way he gracefully flowed like water; every movement controlled. His focused mind and those perceptive eyes that missed nothing. Still, words couldn’t do him justice. How did she put onto paper the way he walked into every room, how confidence oozed from him as he trained, how he made her feel? With all the words at her disposal, he still left her speechless.
Maybe coming over tonight wasn’t her best idea. True Leo was the perfect inspiration, but now the boys would want to read what she wrote. There was no way they wouldn’t guess who she wrote about, or how she felt about him. She didn’t ever really think about how she felt about him, not consciously anyway. Writing it out felt safer, harmless. Writing made it feel less real, less terrifying. How was she supposed to deal with feelings that just compounded the longer she knew him? Telling him was out of the question, as was telling his brothers. He was a hero, having saved the city countless times over, and she was just a star-struck girl with her head in the clouds. He only thought of her as a friend, as evidenced by his easy posture against her and his easy smile in the picture. Telling him what she didn’t really know herself would only make things weird and awkward.
Maybe if she hurried back to her keyboard, she could find inspiration somewhere else, somewhere safer, and write something sharable that wouldn’t send her running.
“Mikey, watch where you’re going!” Leo called after him. He narrowly missed Y/N’s computer with the back of his shell as he vaulted over her vacant spot on his way back to the half pipe.
“It’s all good dawg!” He called back. Leo just shook his head. Maybe he needed to remind Y/N about leaving her stuff unattended, especially breakable things. Sometimes broken things were just an environmental hazard around four giant turtles.
Speaking of unattended, where did she go? Normally she didn’t leave her computer on unless she was seated in front of it. Before when she worked on something she didn’t get up until it was finished. Maybe he should just stay here and watch it for her, just in case. He didn’t want to save his brother from her wrath if he broke her treasured possession.
He settled in on the couch and sighed, letting his tight muscles relax. He could feel his eyelids get heavier with each blink. He would sleep well tonight. Maybe he’d just call it a day when Y/N came back. She’d understand if he couldn’t read until tomorrow.
That’s assuming she wants you to read what she wrote, the nasty little voice in the back of his head piped up. He shoved it back where it came from. She once described writing as bleeding her soul out through her fingers, and it was accurate. Even as reserved as she was, she’d always been open and enthusiastic about him reading her work. He always considered himself lucky to see such beauty turned into words and mental pictures.
Maybe just a sneak peek. His eyes drifted to the screen, already trying to discern her story. He tore them away. She’d share when she was ready, not before. That was one point she hammered home; she didn’t mind who read, as long as they did so when she was ready. But his eyes already caught a few words and his curiosity dragged him back in.
…. bathed in moonlight he glides like a shadow, draped in an azure darkness. His breath caught, his eyes moving faster over the passage, his heart devouring the words. It was about him; she wrote about him. And just like everything else she wrote, her soul shone through, along with his hopes for a future together.
A/N: Any comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading! Also if anyone has formatting tips I’d appreciate those too