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Siren's Song

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~ Baby, when they look up at the sky,

We’ll be shooting stars just passing by.

You’ll be coming home with me tonight,

And we’ll be burning up like neon lights… ~

 

Raphael whooped as they raced across the rooftops, arms back and fists loose. Leo was ahead of him, running backwards toward their hideaway. He grinned from earslit to earslit, a playful glint in his eyes as he did a flip, spinning around in midair to race toward the old motel. Raph happily followed, vigor increased by the unspoken challenge.

The larger mutant came up beside his brother and flashed the surprised leader a smirk. They shared a giggle and vaulted over each alley together. Raph decided that they’d be showering together later, seeing as they’d both be sweaty and dirty and covered in… Yesss.

 

~ Be still my heart, 'cause it's freaking out… it's freaking out, right now.

Shining like stars 'cause we're beautiful, we're beautiful, right now. ~

 

By the time they skidded to a halt on the motel roof, their hearts were beating a mile a minute--they weren’t in the same shape as they used to be, no longer constantly running and fighting. But they were still athletes, still toned and graceful with quick hands… Gods, Leo had such quick hands .

Raph didn’t have time to calm himself before his leader was on him, pushing toward the stairwell in the middle of the roof with his hot mouth pressed firmly and insistently over his mate's. The aggressiveness was not unusual, though it was normally Raphael that did the pushing and shoving. He wasn’t about to complain.

“Mm… open the door.” He hummed happily, a grin stretched over his face. Leonardo snatched his lips back up and shoved him right up against the door, their plastrons clacking together.

His mate’s tongue slithered inside of his mouth, licking along his teeth. The red banded ninja let loose a groan and grabbed for the back of the other’s skull, panting. He tried mumbling through the kiss but Leo wouldn’t let him.

“Leo— mph .”

“Shut up.”

“Open.”

“Stop.”

“Le—”

Their lips and tongues disconnected with a wet smack. The hothead took advantage of the opportunity. “Open. The. Damn. Door .” A breathless chuckle answered him and he gaped as the swordsman sank to his knees. “The fuck are ya’ doin’?”

“What’s it look like?”

Leo quickly came to regret his lack of caution.

 

~ You're all I see in all these places; ~

 

“We don’t know why it’s not eating; all it does is stare out the window by the cage.”

Outside the strange building, his lover danced with the fireflies.

 

~ You're all I see in all these faces. ~

 

         Raph watched as the doctor-that-wasn’t-really-Leo-because-Leo-would-never-do-this-to-him plunged another needle into his arm. He hissed brokenly as the not-quite-right looking blood flowed through the tube attached to it.

 

~ So let's pretend we're running out of time, of time. ~

 

         The two turtles spent the few moments they were allowed together in embrace, waiting for the moment they’d be killed.

 

~ Baby, when they look up at the sky,

We’ll be shooting stars just passing by.

You’ll be coming home with me tonight,

And we’ll be burning up like neon lights! ~

 

         “It’s—guys—you’re gonna—okay.”

         Raph panted heavily, glassy eyes rolling wildly as he fought for breath, fought for coherency. “Leo—”

         He’s—Raph’s.” There was another voice mingled in with the echoing, broken one that rang in his ears and stomp in his brain. All he understood was that Leo was his.

         “Raph—hurt you?—Leo—him—who were they?”

         He jostled as the person carrying him jumped.

 

~ Baby, when they look up at the sky,

We’ll be shooting stars just passing by.

You’ll be coming home with me tonight,

And we’ll be burning up like neon lights! ~

 

         Raphael’s first instinct upon waking was that he was hungry—so very, very hungry. His second was that he distinctly remembered Leonardo was about to give him head on an espoused rooftop.

         “Leo—”

         Stay down—fine—got him.”

         He trusted the mangled voice that spoke to him, though he couldn’t see past the glaring white light that burned his retinas.

         He hissed as he felt another needle sink into him and let his over-worked eyes fall closed. His last thought before falling asleep was that he hoped Leo was safe at home now.

         “Home—Leo—here—safe.”

 

~ Neon lights –

Neon lights –

Neon lights –

Like neon lights! Oh—

Like neon lights! Ohh… ~

 

         He awoke several times after that, each time thinking he saw a flash of lovely blue zip through the too-bright lights, only for it to disappear when he tried reaching out to it. It made him think of Leo, of his mask and his eyes. His eyes… Gods, his eyes hurt.

         He turned his head, the white light now blinding his peripherals rather than his entire eye. He glared at the fuzzy neon purple letters that flickered at him.

 

~ Be still my heart, 'cause it's freaking out… it's freaking out, right now.

Shining like stars 'cause we're beautiful, we're beautiful, right now. ~

 

         He could feel his heart racing in his chest, pounding relentlessly against his plastron. He heard the broken voice somewhere above and beside him.

         He’s unstable—get the—

         Is he gonna be okay?

         Leo?

         I don’t know…

         Leo… Leo…

         Hang on, Raph! Hang on!

         The blue flashed through the light again and he couldn’t help but think of the farmhouse. It was always so beautiful up there. So beautiful…

 

~ You're all I see in all these places;

You're all I see in all these faces.

So let's pretend we're running out of time, of time! ~

 

         He was back in the cage… Leo wasn’t here but the Not-Leo-Doctor was outside talking to one of the guards.

         “He’s almost ready, boss, he just needs a little more time.”

         Time. He didn’t have time. Raph would get them, he’d get them all.

 

~ So let's pretend we're running out of time, of time ~

 

         Donnie, is he okay?

         I don’t know… I think—maybe—call April and Casey—Karai?—We’ll go—farmhouse—better.

         The broken voice—Donnie?—continued to talk, but he was listening for Leo. He wanted Leo… Leo?

         You’ll be okay, Raph, I promise.

Chapter Text

Sitting in the farmhouse bathroom, his little brother fast asleep in the tub, just barely submerged, Leonardo was reminded of his own time in Raph’s place, roughly nine years ago…

He spent about three months in the tub, though all he remembered was Raph rambling and ranting to him, probably not thinking the leader could hear what he was saying. The truth was, Leo could. He could hear everything like he was awake but he couldn’t talk… couldn’t move… couldn’t really do anything but lay there, his eyes glued shut, too tired and wounded to so much as shiver when the window cracked and let the cold air from outside in… couldn’t even shiver when the water got cold, couldn’t ask someone to change it, warm it up for him. He remembered what it was like, locked in his own head but conscious of his surroundings.

He shuddered just thinking about it. He was loath to imagine Raph going through the same thing for as long as Leo did. It was just too unbearable.

A knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. Donatello poked his head in, violet mask loose around his neck.

“Hey, Don.”

“Hey…” the genius sat beside his elder on the floor, an awkward silence filling the air of the room.

Both brothers opened their mouths, looked to each other, and shut them like battling walruses, fighting themselves to discuss what everyone knew about, but no one was ready to bring up. They avoided eye-contact like a puddle of water on the bathroom floor.

Finally, it was Leonardo who spoke, his voice strained and tired, quiet. Choked. “I understand… if you guys aren’t… cool with it, I-I-I-I get that… I know we’re broth--”

Donatello cut him off with a lunge, his toned olive arms wrapped tight around his sibling before Leo could even finish his sentence. The blue-eyed turtle shuddered in relief, a joyful tear leaking from his eye as he embraced the other. “I’m a turtle, Leo… and April’s practically human … do you even realize how weird that sounds? ” Both mutants chuckled mirthfully, pressing their beaks to each other’s shoulders and breathing deeply.

“Thank you, Donnie,” Leo whispered, a hand coming up to wipe the tear off his own face. “Thank you for understanding.”

 

The rest of the day passed uneventfully for Leonardo, though it was much different for his family. It was the first time in almost two weeks that he’d joined them for dinner in the living room, his eyes relieved if not happy. There was a pep in his walk, albeit a small one. Donnie smiled throughout the meal. April was glad for this and made no comments, discerning that the two had worked out their funk.

Mikey was less inclined to remain silent on the matter and spoke up without reservations. “You two okay now? You’re not weird anymore because Leo did Raph?” his family’s shocked and scandalized faces made him cringe and he rethought his word choice. However, his elder brother’s flushed, shy, though amused, face made him laugh. “I’ll take that as a yes, then?”

“Michelangelo, have you forgotten your manners?” Splinter barked sharply, a look of pure indignation in his cocoa eyes. The katana-wielder placed a calm hand on his arm, drawing his attention.

“It’s alright, father.” the navy-eyed reptilian stated, holding back his laugh. “He’s just trying to--trying to lighten the mood is all. Donnie and I have been tense these last few weeks, he just wants us all to be okay.” Blue locked on blue and the two biggest dorks of the team grinned. “Right, Mike?”

“Righty-O, bro!”

Their father allowed a short, amused huff. A thought occurred to him, one he hadn’t ever thought about before, though he supposed he should have realized this before. “You had sex with your brother?” he asked, shock making his tongue loose and brows furrowed.

Casey and Michelangelo spit out Pepsi Cola through their noses as they laughed. The girls flushed and giggled nervously, though Miwa was smirking. Donnie looked a little weirded-out but a chuckle gave away his amusement. The ninja master flushed up to the tips of his ears, remembering himself. “Leonardo, please forgive me, my son, I--”

“Yes.”

A thick silence followed, before Yoshi cleared his throat and asked, “What?”

The team leader squeezed his legs together self-consciously, a far-off look in his oceanic orbs. He nodded sadly, though firmly. Proud. “We did.” He took a breath and held it, then released it slowly. “We do .”

The room still as Leonardo stared out the window, watching the drops of rain beat against the glass, though his mind was somewhere far away. Somewhere soft, warm… somewhere he could have Raph whenever he wanted without repercussions, without consequences.

A tear slipped out and soaked into his mask. His father placed a hand over his. They locked eyes and held each other’s gazes comfortingly. “He will be back to you in mind and body before you know it, Leonardo.” the rat said softly.

“I know, Father.”

An idea lit up above April’s head and she leaned forward excitedly. “Why don’t you tell us about him?” the inquiry brought confused looks from everyone else in the room. “Like, what was your first date like? Or… how did you two get together? We haven’t talked about any of this and it’s kinda important .”

“Oh!” Donnie caught on then, raising a finger as if to articulate her point. “I think that’s a great idea! It’ll make Leo especially feel closer to him, and it will help the rest of us, er, better understand their relationship.” he glanced at his older brother. “‘Cause, really, Leo, I have no idea how any kind of relationship past brotherhood or friendship works for you two, you’re the most dysfunctional of all of us.”

The leader shrugged non-committedly, a grin plastered on his lips. “Um… well, I mean if you’re all in agreement, I mean if you guys think that’ll help…?”

Splinter nodded encouragingly and Casey crossed his legs over the arm of the couch, his head pillowed in Karai’s lap. Even Mikey settled down, his shoulder pressed snuggly against Shinigami. Okay, I guess it’s storytime.

“Well, it kinda started at the farmhouse, really… He took care of me while I was recovering, I have to say more than even Donnie because he wasn’t just focusing on my physical recovery, but also my mental wellbeing.”

“Which… I neglected.”

“We were fifteen, Donatello. Raph only knew that he wanted his brother back. He didn’t know about the lasting damage.”

“I still should’ve done better.”

“I don’t hold grudges with my family, Don.” he gave the younger mutant a kind look, then returned to the memory. “He… Raph would always make me breakfast in the morning, or get me water before bed, or during training. It was really sweet. I think the first time I really noticed I was feeling different was a few days before we left…?”

 

~ You were an angel on the run

That I caught somehow.

I tried so hard to figure you out,

But baby you're a pretty little mystery

That makes no sense to me. ~

 

“We were swimming in the river, just kinda goofing off before the big fight. Just… being ourselves a little while longer--being turtles , I mean. He ate a raw fish.” Casey’s interjection of ew drew the leader’s attention momentarily.“No, it was kinda funny, actually…”

“Don’t tell me--you kissed him after that?” Karai snarked.

“No, but I wanted to…” a soft, longing sigh escaped the blue-clad terrapin, his hands wrung in his lap. “I think he’d just finished it. There was a little blood on the side of his face and he smiled at me… I think I said something about him having something stuck between his teeth and he just laughed. We thought the whole thing was funny: the lake, the fish--dead and alive, the blood… I don’t really know why , but it just felt normal for us.”

Donnie interjected softly.“Maybe because it is normal for us?”

Leo almost didn’t hear him. “We’re turtles. Turtles… they hunt, they eat fish raw, they… I never really understood why he was so determined to get me to eat one, too, but he kept splashing me until I did. Knowing him better now than I did then, I think he was just trying to get me to follow him for a change. Like when we were little and we’d slay the dragon or catch the troll or something like that, you know?”

“He’s never really liked being led, huh?” Shinigami asked quietly.

“He never really liked letting people in,” the obvious statement was so gentle that even Splinter strained to hear. It was clear that these memories were important--and emotional--for the young ninja. Still, he continued on, “And he still doesn’t, but I’ve always felt like he let me in that summer. I mean, he let’s me in now --I know things about him I never thought I would, or thought I’d want to… Maybe it was because I was off my hormones--he told me a few months ago that he had to check himself on scenting me a few times because I smelled different; I smelled like a girl… so I registered as a girl, you know… in the turtle brain.”

Master Splinter’s questioning eyes locked with his son’s uncharacteristically shy blue ones. The inquiry was understandable and concerned--the eldest turtle had always been more insecure about his body than his brothers.

“He never said anything while we were there, which I’ve always been thankful for, but I think that’s why he was so open with me--he didn’t feel that I was a threat on any level, not even instinctual. I was… well… I don’t know what I was but--”

He was cut off mid-chuckle by Casey’s shrill cackle. He snorted indignantly, a scowl working itself onto his face.“Shut up , Jones.” The laughing didn’t stop until the human rolled off the couch. Okay, maybe Karai pushed him.“Oh, my gods!” Leo gasped dramatically as the hockey player rolled onto his side, clutching his stomach. A snort left him as his friend tried (and repeatedly failed) to climb back onto the sofa.

Anyway…” April sighed, exasperated. She was so glad she wasn’t the one being half-clawed at.

Leonardo gestured frantically in front of him, trying to stop the laughter spilling from his mouth. “Haha, we were there and-and swimming and he was catching fish--gods, he must have caught four by noon, I swear it!--and I just…” A new, deep blush coated his beak as he giggled at the memory, at how nice he felt at the time. “I looked at him. It’s cheesy, I know, you’re all giving me that look , but I swear it was… he was different. Maybe it was the--the hormones , maybe it was just me being a-a-a horny teenager or something!”

“Leonardo!” his father chuckled awkwardly, brows raised in surprise.

“Don’t laugh , it’s true! It’s true, I don’t know . But I liked it, kind of…” He cocked his head to the side and as an afterthought added, “When Raph wasn’t around and I didn’t feel like I was gonna puke or pass out.”

HA!

Casey !” A sharp swat from Mikey had him cackling just as shrilly again.

“I’m SORRY, dude, but this is too funny! You can’t even keep a straight face!”

“No, no I can’t, so shut up !” despite his best efforts, Leo still found himself giggling at the ridiculous sight of his sister half-heartedly attempting to strangle the idiotic man. He took a deep breath and continued his story.

 

~ You got me stayin' up all night, burnin' inside.

The voices in my head won't quit.

I may be losin' my mind and goin' insane,

But I put up with your... haha. ~

 

“The realization that I actually wanted to kiss Raph kept me pretty awake that night. I was freaked out--” he shrugged half-heartedly and rolled his eyes at his past self--“and I didn’t really know what to think. It was like, do I tell him and try to figure it out with him, or do I keep it to myself and just wait and see if it goes away? I was worried. The problem with not being able to get much sleep was that he and I were sharing a room--you guys remember, we had the twin beds in the attic? Yeah. So, me not being able to sleep and tossing and turning meant HE couldn’t sleep. Eventually, I think it was, like, midnight or something, it was pitch black outside, he got tired of listening to me and… well, he climbed into… bed with me…”

It took Leonardo a moment to continue, the realization that he wasn’t going to stop blushing tonight dawning on him like the sun. The raised eyebrows and smirks from his audience only played into his embarrassment.

“It sounds- -inappropriate , but that’s literally what happened.” a snort from his father later and the forest scaled turtle was defensive. “He got up, came over, and crawled under the blankets with me! Nothing weird happened! Except, you know, him cuddling me… I think he thought I was having nightmares.”

“So… what’d you do?” Michelangelo ventured when he saw his brother dazing out again.

“Huh? Oh, I cuddled him. And we talked--he said something about needing to get a bigger pool at the lair, so I could swim in it. He called me pretty.”

This time, it was his sister that snorted, a booming laugh escaping her lips.“He called you pretty ?!”

“Yes, Karai,” turning his beak up, the leader glared at her. “Raphael thinks I am very pretty , thank you. He told me himself.”

“Heh.”

“Casey, shut up.”

“Sorry.”

“He um… well, he kissed me after that.” dark blue eyes flickered up to the ceiling as if he could see through the material and gaze upon his lover. After a beat, as if the very turtle he was speaking of could sense his omission of information, he added, “Well, okay, I kissed him first, but that was only on the cheek.”

 

~ Oh you keep me crazy,

So much that I want more.

You're just the lunatic I've been lookin' for. ~

 

“We didn’t really do anything else after that, at least not until we dealt with those brain worm things. But, I guess it just kind of…” he paused, searching for the right word. “ Stuck .”

Casey was looking at him skeptically, a thick brow arched disbelievingly. Karai seemed unconvinced. “That’s it? That’s all that happened?” she laughed.

“Yes.” Leonardo firmly. “We were fifteen , mind you. And emotionally unstable to boot. We were just going along with it. Over the next few years, I think we kissed four or five times, not counting that one really nice one that I’m not allowed to talk about.” There was a tingle at the back of his head and he eyed the resident psychic disapprovingly. “April, get out of my head.” he shot a glare at her. She had the audacity to look smug about her findings. “I hate you.”

“Love you, too.”

They all shared a chuckle, basking in the easy silence that followed. At length, Casey was the only one willing to break it. “What happened when he met Mona Lisa?”

 

~ Baby you're a mess, but it's meant to be,

‘Cause you keep me crazy. ~

 

Leo grinned mischievously and his family had to do a double-take. He giggled evilly and sing-songed a question of his own: “What about her?”

Chapter Text

It wasn’t until a full month after the others rescued them from their captors that Raphael and Leonardo saw each other’s eyes again. It was long, slow day, but not uneventful: Donnie had gotten an old chainsaw in the barn working and they used that to cut wood that afternoon; Mikey and Shini were, allegedly, spotted cuddling by the lake; Casey managed to not piss off Miwa for longer than an hour--he lasted seventy-four minutes, according to Don, before cracking a joke about BDSM to her. Hearing him beg for her forgiveness, oddly enough, was the highlight of his day. Then he strode into the bathroom and met the eyes of his sleepy, confused lover.

Reasonably, it took Leonardo’s brain a moment to catch up with what was happening. He hadn’t seen Raph do more than twitch in weeks, after all. Later on, when he was more awake and less out of the loop, the hot-headed mutant would agree, say that he had the same delayed reaction when Leo woke up in the tub. Now, though, all he could think of was getting his hands on his turtle.

“What’chu doin’ overrr there? Cuh’ere… mm.” Slurring his speech, accent heavy and voice as gruff as ever, Raphael was less than intimidating and sounded more akin to an excited dog in the later years of his life. It was a shocking contrast to his usual self, but Leo remembered when he was in that boat.

Sighing happily, the leader walked briskly over to his mate and fell to his knees beside the tub. His arms immediately wound around Raphael’s neck and their beaks connected in a deep kiss. It was gentler than either of them would have liked, Leo surmised, but it seemed Raph lacked the proper energy to be as aggressive as he normally was and Leo lacked the courage to be as rough as himself usually was. He didn’t want to hurt his little brother. A soft growl, broken and strained sounding, rumbled out of the emerald turtle’s throat, a non-verbal warning that the smaller turtle needed to stop the wishy-washy sappy shit and kiss his mate properly . A submissive whimper left the leader and he complied as much as he dared, tightening his arms around that thick neck just a little bit and pressing their mouths together nearly hard enough to bruise. He didn’t dare apply so much pressure that he hurt Raphael, but he couldn’t deny either of them, not a kiss, not after so long. He just couldn’t and he wouldn’t .

“Raph--” he gasped, pulling back for much-needed air. “You’re hurt, we can’t--”

A questing tongue cut him off and he sighed contentedly. He took a brief moment to revel in the novelty of having Raphael’s vivid scent in his nose--cinnamon, smoke, honey, leather. It was amazing and Leo couldn’t help the growing bulge in his lower plastron, couldn’t help the way he widened his knees and his tail wagged wantonly. Raphael was awake alive , he was wanting and he was--

Injured. Raphael was injured and hurt and healing and Leo was thinking about sex ?! SERIOUSLY?!

He couldn’t believe himself--here Raph was probably hurting and all Leonardo (who was supposed to protect him! ) could think about was getting mounted. Was he really that selfish? Was he that desperate?

“Yer thi’kin’ ‘oo l’ow,” Raphael muttered into his mouth. “Too l’ow…”

Another harsh kiss had Leo moaning lowly, tilting his head back and to the left--an odd angle, sure, but it gave his mate all the more access to bite and lap at his rapidly swelling lips.

Raphie… ” he gasped, wet heat sliding down the inside of his thigh.

 

~ There you go making my heart beat again, heart beat again, heart beat again;

There you go making me feel like a kid--

Won't you do it and do it one time? ~

 

“Wha’?” the larger turtle asked breathlessly. “Ya’ wan’ som’in’?”

Yessss… waitwaitwaitnononono .

“We need-- mmph!

That wide tongue--and long, gods Raph had such a long tongue --wormed its way back into his mouth, twisting around his playfully. It seemed the longer they kissed, the more adrenaline that pumped into his system, the more alive Raphael became, pulling and tilting and pushing with the same wanton desperation that Leo did. It was amazing and satisfying and--

 

~ There you go pulling me right back in, right back in, right back in,

And I know

I'm never letting this go. ~

 

Ahem .”

A voice from beside them somewhere--the door --coughed awkwardly. The two turtles, reluctantly, separated and Leo fell back onto his shins. Shit , he thought grimly, Are my legs really that wet already? Am I really that wet already?

Blue and Red turned to eye their interruptor and Leo made a mental note to thank them for saving him from his own libido--embarrassing? Extremely, but necessary. Brown eyes accented by a dark strip of purple met them and Raph turned as red as his mask.

“D’onie!” he croaked, nervous. “Uh… we c’n ‘xpla’, it--”

“I already know, Raph.” the genius said softly, smiling at the couple fondly. “We all know and we’re all fine with it--more than fine; we can tell you two make each very--” he eyed the darker terrapin mirthfully, noticing the way he swallowed repeatedly: holding back a churr --” very happy.” The teasing jab didn’t go unnoticed by the eldest but Raph didn’t pick up on it, too out of it from the coma and arousal to think critically. He took it at face value and smiled dopily at his little brother.

“We do ~”

 

~ I'm stuck on you.

(Wuh-oh, wuh-oh)

Stuck like glue.

You and me baby we're stuck like glue.

(Wuh-oh, wuh-oh)

Stuck like glue.

You and me baby we're stuck like glue . ~

 

Leo faced his mate with a dopey grin of his own, eyes shining with tears. The blue depths screamed I missed you, I love you, I’m so happy, I lovelovelove!

Donnie only laughed and moved to hug his older brother. “I love you, man--it’s good to have you back.”

Raph lifted a weak arm to drape over his brother’s shell. “Th’nks?” he said confusedly, eye ridges furrowed. “How long’s I ou’?”

Donnie pulled away before answering. “Too long, brother, too long. Almost five weeks now, and maybe even longer before we got you two back from those researchers.” he waved an olive hand before continuing, “You both sustained several minor injuries but I think you got a pretty bad concussion, hence the coma. It would also explain your lack of attentiveness when we rescued you--the starvation and dehydration didn’t help matters.”

“Sta’ation? De’dration? Hm ?”

Lea chuckled and ran a hand over his mate’s head, rubbing soothing circles into his scalp on the way from the front to the back. “Yeah, Raphie.”

Confused as he was, and hungry, Gods he was so hungry , he nuzzled into his mate’s arm, hazy orbs drifting closed again. His eyes flew open when Don snapped loudly in front of his beak, muttering something he didn’t catch. “Wha’?”

“No sleeping,” the medic enunciated. “You’ve slept non-stop for weeks, and Merlin knows how long you slept before we found you guys--you need to stay awake. Doctor’s orders, no wiggling around it.” He shook a finger pointedly before moving to the door. He stated over his shoulder before walking out, “I want to see him before lunch in the barn, okay, Leo?” The leader nodded, eyes taking in the aliveness of his immediate younger, and Donnie couldn’t help but let out a relieved sigh. In the hall, he leaned his shell against the wall, sucking in shaky breaths.

He had thought, for a while, that they were going to lose their brother. For weeks he just laid there, not seeming to get any better. Leonardo had been frightened by the lack of visible healing, watching Raphael nonstop like the hothead had done for him years before--like Leo had years before when Raph was turned into that plant thing. But Donnie… Donnie had been absolutely terrified , just as he was years ago when Leonardo was in the tub and years ago when Raph was turned into the plant thing. He was scared of losing his brother, scared because he felt it would be his fault. The worst part was that he knew he couldn’t do anything either way, couldn’t help Raph anymore than he already had because he didn’t know how. There were few visible injuries on the hothead, just some cuts and scrapes, nothing unusual and nothing he couldn’t handle on a regular day. The coma seemed to be a response to some sort of internal trauma--what sort (let alone whether it was physical or mental) couldn’t be determined.

April poked her head out from the girls’ bedroom, having sensed the deep elation and underlying sorrow. “Dee?”

The warm, relieved brown eyes and watery smile answered all of her questions. She laughed and ran to him, wrapping him tightly in a hug. A kiss was pressed to his cheek before she let go, knocking first on her shared bedroom’s door and then the turtles’ Casey’s. “Guys! Guys! Get up, get up!” She was slow getting to Master Splinter’s room and nearly ran into him as he rushed into the bathroom past her.

“Raphael?”