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Beyond the Bones

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Raphael had raided every store in a several mile radius for ice, confusing cashiers, sobbing and sniffing as he paid for bags and bags of ice.

“You think this is what he would want?” Raphael asked, as they packed ice around their father, packed in the bathtub.

“I don’t know Raph, he never told us what he wanted, even though he’s a mutant rat and maybe should have thought about that fact and how it would impact us trying to figure out what to do with him!” Donnie yelled, clutching the empty ice bag in his hands, and twisting it.

Raphael stared, and blinked, and blinked again, nodding, with his beak pressed shut. Donnie sighed and threw the wet, empty bag to the floor. It floated down gently.

“I’m not mad at you.”

“You mad at pop?”

“Am I- he’s dead.” Donnie gestured to the body.

“Yeah, what’s that got to do with it? I’m mad at him.”

“You’re? He’s dead!”

“And I’m still mad he never sat us down and let us know what he wanted. That he left us to guess at it.” Raph looked down at the floor, clenching his fists, he screwed his eyes shut and stood there, shaking slightly.

“Whoa, okay Raph. Deep breaths. If you start crying I’m going to start crying. We’re all just sort of hanging on by a thread right now. So don’t start.” He said, grabbing both of Raph’s shoulders and squeezing.

“But what if he wanted something else. Like to get shot into space.”

“Dad barely liked leaving home, I’m sure he didn’t want to rest, eternally, in space.”

“But we never asked!”

Donnie pulled Raphael into a hug, wincing as Raphael sniffled and whined.

“Look, I know I’m giving off an air of not caring Raph, but I mean it when I say I’m barely holding it together. You need to organize a wake and I need to make a crematorium.” He paused. “A sentence I never thought I’d say. But after we’re done we can go sit down, hug each other, and cry until our bodies can’t produce tears anymore.”

He stepped back from Raphael, hands still on his shoulders. Raphael nodded, still looking down, blinking rapidly.

“Yeah. Yeah. I’m going.” He sighed, shoulders drooping. “I’m going to figure out who to invite to the wake.” He says, voice cracking. “And. You think he’d want to be in one of his robes or a jumpsuit or something like that?”

“I don’t know Raph. But we’ll figure it out.” Donnie patted Raphaels shell. “Come on, we’ve got our jobs and we’re not going to get them done in here.” He and Raphael left the bathroom, closing it. Donnie called Sheldon over to keep the other two out of the bathroom, for the moment.

Not that they would, Michelangelo was in his shell, on the couch, with Leonardo leaning to talk to him. It was just in case.