So I'm not all that sure about this chapter... I wrote it pretty quickly, so I don't know how good it is, but I want to make it up to you guys for taking so long earlier. (Hah, ironic, considering the readers from another story of mine have been waiting more than a year for the next chapter... Woops...) Anyway...
MsMuffetsTuffet mentioned that it would be a good idea to show their rescue from all three of the POV's of the captives. Honestly, I can't think of how to write Mikey's so I'll need some help with that if anyone is willing to give it.
I've got a some ideas for Leo, but it won't be quite as long as Donnie's, I don't think.
And beyond that, much of this will be Donnie's POV, unless you guys ask for something different.
P.S. You guys have no idea how hard it was to stay in the right tense for this chapter. Normally that's not an issue for me, but the story just kept proclaiming itself to me in present tense, and it took a lot longer to work it into past tense like the rest of the story.
Lightheaded: Chapter 4
He was going to puke. It wasn't a pretty thought, but it was the first thought he'd had after regaining consciousness, and he hadn't been expecting that opportunity, so he counted it as a victory. He strained to pull himself back to his feet, and this time, he was far more successful.
His eyes opened halfway as he took in deep, satisfying lungfuls of air, noticing the assistant in the lab coat and goggles standing in front of his cage, looking at the screen that probably revealed his vitals. Normally he would have taken one glance at her face and pulled up her general heritage based on her appearance, but his vision was too blurry, and the only qualitative data he could muster was 'dark hair,' 'white teeth,' 'young.' Too young. She was probably just an intern for Sack's company, maybe only a few years older than himself, and had gotten too deeply entrenched in Sack's plans.
As Donnie's vision got a little clearer, he realized that she almost looked… remorseful? Whatever it was, it was gone in an instant, and her expression morphed into one of alarm as she realized that Donnie was staring at her. She was afraid. Of him.
He closed his eyes and focused on breathing, feeling the warmth of whatever blood remained in him rushing to his face and his shoulders. Of course she was afraid of him. Had he been expecting anything less?
He pushed her to the back of his thoughts, almost wishing he could return to the oblivion he had been enjoying. But no, they'd injected adrenaline into his system, and he was going to stay awake. For now. He could tell that it was adrenaline. Why else would he be able to feel his heart pounding out the beat for a mariachi band in his chest? He was fairly familiar with it. He was a ninja, after all.
Even though his body was awake, his mind was getting more and more sluggish, which honestly didn't make much sense. Wasn't… Wasn't adrenaline supposed to increase brain activity? Maybe he just hadn't had enough…
Donnie looked around a bit, eyes widening when they met Leo's piercing stare. Oh right… He'd probably just scared his remaining family half to death. Actually, make that three fourths to death: he had never seen his brother look so scared in his life. His stomach twinged again at the thought of being the reason for the horror so apparent in his brother's expression.
Leo let out a breath, and Donnie figured he'd been holding it for a while. They had grown up together, and Donnie could read Leo's facial expression as well as he could read a master's level physics textbook, which happened to be quite well. The eye ridges drawn together, the almost dull gleam in Leo's eyes, the way his mouth hung slightly open… Without words, Leo was asking if he was all right, asking why he and he alone had collapsed.
Donnie sighed, and shrugged, closed his eyes again, took a breath. He looked back at Leo pointed to himself as well as he could, and curled his right thumb inwards, trying to signal "two".
Leo nodded, and Donnie went on, moving his fingers to make the "this close" signal, which in this case translated instead to the word "small".
'I'm too small.'
From the look on Leo's face, Donnie could tell he understood. And he didn't like it, especially the other three words that Donnie always added to the end of that statement: 'I'm too weak'. His eye ridges furrowed and he shook his head, eager to dislodge the idea from his younger brother's mind, but Donnie knew the facts.
He gave Leo a small, hopeless smile. 'It's okay,' he mouthed. He wasn't sure why he'd chosen those words. It wasn't okay, not by a long shot. This entire situation was not okay. But it was as okay as it was going to get for now, and for some reason, he felt a strange sense of peace about that. Maybe the blood loss was finally getting to him.
Speaking of blood loss… His eyes wandered over to the collection of canisters of their blood, realizing that two more had been filled. 10 liters in all. That meant a loss of 47.62 percent for him, 43.29 for Mikey, and 42.19 for Leo.
A Class IV Hemorrhage for each of them, and he himself was close to a Class V. His brothers should be about to pass out right now, if his own reaction was anything to go by, but maybe they'd each had their own little dose of adrenaline while watching him collapse. If they'd been that scared watching what happened to him, it would explain why they were still relatively alert. Or maybe their bodies were restoring the lost blood faster than his was. Either way, he still felt inferior. Weak.
He looked up again, trying to ignore the dizzy spin of the room as he watched both of his brothers' heads droop a little lower. Absently, he wondered if they would have to collapse too before receiving the adrenaline the way he had, or if the lab assistants would provide it before it was absolutely necessary. He was hoping for the latter, but his gut told him the former was a safer bet.
The other question that lingered in his mind was whether his brothers would collapse before he collapsed again. He found himself wanting them to, and he mentally slapped himself for it. He found his mind circling the word "collapse," randomly shifting through synonyms of the word. One of those synonyms was "failure". Hah, failure… Fitting...
He could feel his older brother staring at him again, probably reading his thoughts. Leo's stare flooded the right side of his face with imaginary warmth, reminding him of the heat lamp Slinter used to use to keep them warm during the winter as kids.
Donnie started to turn his head to return Leo's stare with a blank look of his own when his vision darkened again, electric fingers washing across his sight as the static in his ears came to a second crescendo. For a second, it almost sounds like an alarm to him, but he's started to think that maybe he's hallucinating.
He tried to take a few deep breaths, in through his nose, out through his mouth, and the darkness and static recede. He kept his eyes focused on the ground in front of his cage, so much so that he almost missed it when a dark blur crashed through the door at the far end of the room.
The room tilted dangerously to the side and he struggled to right himself, his stomach doing some convoluted gymnastics routine.
Raph… He could swear he heard Raph's voice but when he was able to focus again, Raph had disappeared somewhere. Or maybe he hadn't really been there at all, he couldn't tell. All he knew was that he wouldn't be able to stay awake much longer.
A few seconds, or maybe it's a few minutes that went by, he couldn't tell, but when he looked up again, all of the scientists were gone and there was this guy with a green backpack looking at him, standing in front of his cage. And just past him was… April O'Neil? He didn't get a chance at a double take because everything blurred beyond recognition again.
He closed his eyes, put all of his effort into making sure he stayed standing this time. He couldn't do this, he just wasn't strong enough, and he was getting so tired. Why hadn't they given him more adrenaline already?
For a second, it sounded like there was a thunderstorm brewing in the distance, but he realized it wasn't thunder. There was someone pounding on the glass in front of him, echoing the increasing pounding of his heart.
Maybe Leo would stop pounding on the glass and finally let him sleep if he answered his question… Donnie heaved in another breath and pushed the word "adrenaline" out with what little strength he had left. It came out as mumbled gibberish, and he knew that wouldn't be good enough for Leo, so he dug as deep as he could, lungs nearly bursting, and said it again. "Adrenaline."
Was that even the right answer? Honestly, he couldn't remember the question. His legs felt like sludge, nearly impossible to keep under him, and he closed his eyes as the pounding on the glass started up again. Go away, Leo, just let me sleep. I just wanna sleep.
His wrists started to get warmer, the wave of heat rolling down his arms. Distantly, he wondered why that was.
And then it almost felt like someone had taped a rocket to his back as he broke the cuffs on his wrist and shattered the glass of his cage.
All righty, there's chapter four! Hope you guys enjoyed it more than I was expecting, personally I don't like the end of it all that much.
For the third time, thank you SO much to my reviewers! I don't get a chance to thank all of you personally, especially the anonymous and guest reviewers, but please know that reviews are incredibly helpful!
I would specifically like to thank MsMuffetsTuffet for being such a faithful reviewer and for putting so much time into (her?) reviews! :D