Author's Note: Yay, another short story! This one will probably be around two or three chapters; not really a big deal. I was watching the season one finale a few days ago, where the turtles take down the Technodrome, and I wanted to rewrite the scene in a slightly more...dramatic way. I think Raph should've freaked out way more than he did in the episode. I sensed some major feels with this one, so I started writing, and ta da! I should be done with it this week (hopefully). Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this teaser opening! :D

Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT or Nickelodeon or anything really. Just a cat.

His Choice:


We run down the hallways, turning into one after another, heaving for breath as that metallic Kraang freak crawls after us. We don't have any options left, and we're running out of the time and the space to come up with something that'll get us out of here in one piece. To make matter's worse, Donnie's got an unconscious April hanging limp in his arms, and Mikey's ankle was busted by one of the broken floor panels. I've been carrying him as best as I can, but my arms are starting to feel like jelly and my legs are burning furiously. I can't hold him like this for much longer, and we're going to be in some real trouble if we can't figure something out in the next five minutes.

We turn into another large corridor. Leo glances around wildly as he skids to a stop. His chest heaves with breath, and he's slick with sweat.

"What do we do now, Fearless?" I huff, pausing to let Mikey off my back so I can breathe for a minute. He limps by my side, holding my shoulder for support and glancing down worriedly at his swollen ankle.

"I-I…I don't know…" Leo pants, whirling in every direction, as if a plan is going to just throw itself at him. But then his eyes lock onto something along the ceiling, and he gets a look on his face that I really don't like.

"Donnie," he breathes. "Those are power conduits, right?"

Donnie's gaze flickers off of April's small frame and follows Leo's. "Y-Yeah. They converge down through the hallways and to the center of the ship, from what I can tell. That's where Kraang Prime was—"

"Yeah," Mikey scoffs. "Until he grew legs and started coming after us like some freaky octopus robot assassin."

Leo pauses for a moment before glancing down at April. "Is she okay?"

Donnie gets a sad look. "I think so… I don't know what they did to her brain, though." His eyes steel over. "We have to get her out of here."

Leo nods. "I've got a plan."

"What?" I ask, breathless. "With the power thingies?"

"I'll cut them from the ceiling and get Kraang Prime tangled up. Those things have to be transporting some serious power. The shock should kill him—"

"And blow the entire ship to pieces!" Donnie snaps. "Are you trying to get us all killed?"

Something shifts in Leo's eyes. "No."

I can see it in his eyes then. The determination, the fight to refuse that this is the end. He won't go down until he brings this whole place with it, and in that realization, my brother seals his fate.

"Donnie, get Raph and Mikey to the escape pod down the corridor." He unsheathes his katanas and glances back when Donnie doesn't budge.


"So you can blow up with the rest of the ship?" Donnie presses. There's a frantic tone in his voice—an inflection of fear. He knows. I think we all do. "That's incredibly stupid, Leo! There's got to be another way. Let us help you—"

"Donnie, I said go!"

Donnie stomps his foot in refusal. "No! We're not leaving you here!"

I manage to find my voice, somewhere beneath the look in Leo's eyes. "You're nuts if you think we'd actually let you go down with this thing!"

Leo's eyes are burning now. "Look, Mikey can barely walk and April's out cold! We can't stay here any longer—you can't stay here any longer! If you guys don't get out now, we'll all be dead, and everything we've done won't mean a thing!"

"But Leo—"

"Get out! Now!"

I step forth, snarling. "You idiot—"

Leo points his blade towards me, his eyes glinting. "That's an order, Raph."

I stop, glaring at him as I try to hide the shaking in my knees. He can't do this—he's gone insane!

Mikey limps as he shifts his weight to his good leg and leans against the wall for balance.

"Leo…we can't just leave you here, bro," he whimpers.

Leo holds his gaze on us for a moment, and I can see the emotions waver across his eyes. But then he blinks, and when his eyes open, they've gone hard.

"I'm not giving you a choice."

And with that, he goes charging towards the curving wall across from us, using the bent panels as footholds as he lurches for the ceiling and slices one of the power conduits straight through. Sparks fly and the air pops with the massive release of energy. I duck, instinctively pulling Mikey away as we all move back to avoid the spray of electricity. Cords along the wall catch, bursting from the panels in simmering cracks, spewing more and more sparks. Something in the wall catches fire and smoke starts to pour from beneath.

Donnie curses under his breath and snatches me by the back of the shell when a blaring spurt of fire and sparks shoots my way.

"We've gotta move, Raph!" he growls impatiently.

"B-But Leo," I stutter. He's running up the other wall now, aiming for the next conduit. This whole place is going to explode if he keeps—

"He's made his decision!" Donnie snaps. "We have to listen to him—now come on!"

Another slice of the swords. Another shower of purple sparks, sizzling cracks and pops. Leo hits the ground and glares back at us for a split second before the bone-chilling shriek of Kraang Prime erupts from down the hall.

"Dudes," Mikey whines. "We gotta get out of here—like, now!"

"Move, Raph!" Donnie snarls, shoving me back. "The pod's just over there!"

But I can't feel my legs. I can't get my eyes off of my brother, standing in the midst of the raining sparks, among the flames that lick and hiss at the air. He's facing in the direction of Prime, his katanas ready, the conduits hanging limply from their hold on the ceiling. My heart drops further and further until it hits my gut, and my stomach twists.

And the name rips up my throat, raw as the echo bleeds through the collapsing facility.


But he won't turn to me. He won't meet my gaze, won't look me in the eye and tell me that everything's going to be alright. He keeps his back to me, facing his decision head-on, and leaving the rest of us behind.

Donnie pulls at my shoulders.

"Raph, please—"

"No!" I swat him away, heaving for breath, for comprehension beyond this reality. "No—let me go—LEO!"

"We have to go! Now!" He grabs at me as best as he can with April still in his arms, tugging me along. Mikey joins in, equally terrified, his eyes wide in fear and understanding. He hands wrap around me and pull me back, limping as he struggles to keep his hold on me.

"Come on, Raph," he begs. "Please…"

I'm fighting the both of them. Thrashing blindly, wildly, angry beyond control and lost, completely lost in the torrent of what's happening now. He can't do this—he can't leave us like this—he can't!

"Don't you dare!" I scream. "Don't you dare leave us alone!"

But my cries go unanswered. Leo just keeps walking—away from us, away from his brothers, his family—and he doesn't even say goodbye.

I feel myself bowing, weighed down beneath the realization, the horror, the fear, and the burning ache tearing through my insides. The blood rushes through my head and I can't breathe right. I'm falling, crashing, breaking, burning, dying—because he just keeps walking, his form slowly consumed by the smoke, by the flames and the wreckage. My knees buckle and I slump against my brothers, unable to stand under the weight.

Donnie and Mikey finally succeed in dragging me back into the escape pod, holding me down against the seat as the glass shield closes overhead. My eyes are burning, tears spilling forth, blurring my vision as I clench my jaw and watch my brother face the end alone.

A/N: Ah, a cliffhanger! Heh, I hope you guys liked it so far! Let me know what all your lovely brains think of it! :)