This chapter is a bit different from the last two. It starts out the same, but I've added like a short story at the end.


Do you ever wonder about that one family member that you love teasing the most? How their face would end up contorted with anger and their eyes screaming for the spilling of blood. Your blood, that is. That feeling of satisfaction due to your success of awakening the beast inside as they lunge forward, arms and legs flailing about to struck you down. Eyes ablaze with a fire that illuminates their eyes like gems in sunlight. The deep scowl on their face as they try so very hard to not end up killing you completely.

Don't have any family members like that? Get one.

It is a joyful moment. Of course, not the injuries that is surely to follow afterwards, but just that moment of interaction between the two of you is what is truly special. It is a building block in a bond that only you share with one another.

Or you just truly hate each other's entire existence, which is not as joyful.

Yet, these fights and bickering could mean that you are comfortable with one another. You aren't afraid to state your true opinion to them, even if they strongly disagree. You aren't afraid to get up close and personal with them to gain their attention, even if it results in a new batch of bruises. This is what I feel about my relationship with my hot-headed brother.

Raphael. Raph.

I tease him, he roughs me up. It's how we work. Although, I love him, just as he loves me. I've seen and known him in ways the others don't. He may not have the best temper, but he really is compassionate and is the biggest softy this side of the sewers. I know this from when Snakeweed's attack had rendered me unconscious, to our moment in my room during the whole Squirrelanoid fiasco, to the moment where my bros saved me from being trapped with said mutant squirrels. Those are just a few of the times where I saw the hidden side of Raph. The hidden side that he has allowed me to see. For that, I am honored and I respect him because I know that allowing anyone a peek of what is inside is hard for him to do, unless something truly worrisome is happening.

Besides, he's my protector. I know I can trust him to have my back, and I feel safe knowing he's there with us in battle. I look to him for safety, whenever I feel threatened and scared. I look to him for confidence, whenever I feel down and need to perk back up and never give in.

I love my big bro...


Speak of the devil and he is sure to come.

I stumble backward as I suddenly collide into something solid, effectively bringing me out of my thoughts. My gaze began to focus into familiar emerald green eyes. He was annoyed, that much I could tell. From the scowl on his face, the narrowing of eyes, and the clenching of fists, I knew that he wanted to sink those monster fists of his in anything that could satisfy his current mood. So I happily stepped out of the bashing range.

"Hey, Raph, you cool bro? Was it Leo again?" Wrong thing to say, if the eyes narrowing more and the fists tightening painfully was any hint at all.

"Fearless thinks he's all so high and mighty with the way he bosses us around! We should be out there looking for more mutagen, not sitting around here letting everyone and everything turn into mutant freaks!" Here comes the ranting. "Even Master Splinter agrees with him! What does he know anyway?! It's us who go up to the surface and fight things that he has never fought before! We are constantly putting ourselves in danger while he sits in the dojo meditating!" Now he's added Master Splinter into this. "...does that make us better than him?!" Oops, I zoned out for a bit. But I know for a fact that we are far from sensei's skill level. Raph is breathing heavy now, time for me to intervene.

"Dude, there are tons of mutagen out there somewhere. I don't think they're going anywhere soon. Unlike that slice of pizza I just ate. But we'll find them with Don's do-hickey and we can just beat the shell out of anything that happens to become a weird giant crab with laser eyes." He's giving me that look again. The one that clearly states that I'm a moron.

Of course, Raph's temper is still ongoing as he suddenly glares at me. He takes a step closer, raising a fist and I instantly move back. "Yet, who's fault is it that we got in this mess in the first place? Who was the one who dropped all those canisters around the city? Who always screws up more than me with my thick head, Don's faulty machinery, and Leo's leadership mistakes all combined? Who caused April's father to mutate and cause her to keep away from us constantly? The list can go on and on and the one idiot that is the cause of it all is you. The mistake of the family. Leo is the leader, and I admit that he is a good one. I am the muscle. Don is the brain. You, are the clown and the weak link. You are useless. Only the strong can help this family survive, while you just bring trouble and almost bring the whole family down with you."

This...this stung. No, the pain is much worse. This was plain agony. A knife in my heart, twisting and pulling. Added with salt and alcohol to make it burn. I froze, as if death finally embraced me with its arms to guide me away, but I was still very much alive. My body may be frozen, but my heart pounded vigorously against my chest and my blood rushed throughout my entire being with an icy fire. Only one thing went through my head.

Blame.

I have been blaming myself every time I screwed up, especially with the mutagen dropping. I would sit in my room, curled upon my bed with tears pouring out of my eyes from my very soul. My own fingers would dig into my face as I tried to hide my pitiful form from existence itself, not wanting to taint the world with my devastating mistakes that could very well got me and my brothers killed. Their life source would have been forever painted crimson onto my inhuman skin.

But I always forgave, though I could never forget.

I would smile, like I have always done. Life could still go on. I'm still alive. My brothers are still alive. We could move forward and do whatever we needed to do like always, and we do. We find mutagen, we defeat new mutants, we made amends with April, we made a new friend in Casey. Things seem to be going our way. Though, the guilt and blame never left my mind, flashing like a big neon sign that I couldn't ignore.

To hear Raph, my safety and confidence booster, bring me down was like getting cut in the face with my own kasurigama. A piece of my soul betraying me and leaving me to suffer.

So I stood tall, steadily looking at Raph's own flaring glare, and I walked away with a swift turn. Yet, I paused, and without looking back I stated, "I know. I'm sorry I can't be the brother you wanted me to be. Everything you said is true, and I've already acknowledged that a long time ago."

I then disappeared into my room, not able to speak anymore with the way my throat closed up. I cried that night. Physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I did not notice the pair of emeralds that watched me walk away, both shining dully with the burden of carrying guilt and concern due to the words that wasn't intentionally spoken.


End Part One...

Let me know what you think! I'm having small doubts about the diologue and that moment between Raph and Mikey. The part after Raph accuses Mikey I am okay with, but before that I am not so sure about.