A/N:: Hi guys UnchartedFriction here! So this is my very first FanFiction, in case you didn't know. (Celebration xD) and I wanted start off this account with something... simple and light. Yeah.
This is of course a TMNT FanFiction since I am a huge fan of all versions. But then I decided to set this particular fanfiction in the 2012 Universe.

Review please― I always love feedback and take in any I can receive! I'm not going to ask for no flames since I implore honesty from you guys but you're all decent human beings― I'm sure I can trust you to /Not/ all-out attack me with Caps-Lock and cuss words, right?
Let go of that button I see you -3-

Special thanks to Fever To Write for helping me write this and for also trapping me in FanFiction hell in the first place~ : )

Also Raph's a bit of a cusser so, to all you younger readers out there, watch out! And if subjects regarding self-harm and beyond make you uncomfortable then maybe this isn't the story for you. Shield your eyes, children.
Anyways― enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own TMNT


Raphael ran― ran with a pulsating grip on his heart. He threw away his passions in no coordinated direction. His aggression waded him to split his feet amuck on the sewer's moss scoured floors; bided by the rhythmic chanting of his harsh footsteps. From the balls of his heels, his right leg took a hostile limp. His breath stifled and skipped beats unsteadily from time to time while a single salt watered stream of anger stung from his terrapin's complexion. The vision in his eyes was blurred― it swayed him into discontent― his once shadowed allies of the damply familiarized tunnels now persuading him with a new found claustrophobia. His breath turned into in-consecutive panting kept lost in his own hysteria― unholy gasps that choked him by the throat―raw.

His automatic working sprint burned at his leg muscles, which yelled painfully at him to halt in his hasty endeavors although he didn't dare heed their cries. The adrenaline fueled run helped ease his frustrations and pain― he'd rather relish in the extreme exercise then face what he wanted to avoid. The tunnels he once spent sweet childhood within narrowed down upon him and brought upon a tightness in his gut. He turned a corner, skidding with his heels in swiftly maneuver, giving thanks to his training as a ninjutsu master.

His brother was dead.

His side crashed harshly into a brick wall covered with grime, exerting a sharp pain up his abdomen.

It was his fault.

His footing was almost lost to the murky waters below him.

He wasn't strong enough.

His shell smashed onto the arching brick walls in his attempts to turn.

Weak.

He ran into a dead-end. His harsh breathes now came clear. It relished in his agony as he coughed― mercilessly into the silence which tauntingly echoed his struggles to regain sense. In his weakness, he rose a shaking arm, whose hand was clutched into a fist that he could barely uphold, and slammed it into the concrete wall that stood in his way. His anger― his pain― stifled through his curled fingers in spiteful pulsation. A rough grunt escaped him as he turned, his shell now leaning against the wall, collecting bile, a bitter taste in his mouth. His breaths took a turn of calmness although emotional serenity was far from his grasp. For a moment, there was silence sinisterly blanketed around him with nothing but his stuttering breath to oppress it.

"I... It's my fault... It's my own damn fault...!" He stuttered, his tone, which rested forever in a unease, horrified. He was supposed to be the protector― a brute dignified for his brothers's protection with an alias of a warrior's passion. How could've he let himself fall to such vulnerability? Out of all of them, why― why― did it have it to be his little brother to come to save him?

Why?

He was a moron; a hothead whose insolence priced his baby brother for his life. He never should've put himself on the line― he never should've went for it. He was too reckless for his own good; couldn't think twice about the ones he cared about. And now because of his recompense, his little brother had to pay― but the price was too much.

He can't go back to his family like this― with this heavy weight guilt to burden for the rest of his days. He was a coward― that's what he was― he couldn't have the heart to go back.

He couldn't.

In the darkened, moss covered tiles of concrete ahead of him, he saw but one spectra of silver gleaming at him wickedly in the dim reflection of a sewer pipe. It stared at him with a metallic intention that made the turtle freeze stiff. With a misguided hand, he gave the floor besides him a gentle touch, his bandages growing heavy with dampness and bits of debris. He kept his unmoving eye dazed at the glint of silver that called him― as if it refused to let him emerald green eyes take haven. All the while, his light touch cornered an indented crack in the concrete flooring and revered it, taking a perceptual heed of every murky sensation― every rough edged gorge.

On a senseless mindset, he took another feeling of cold; like a trigger he just set finger on. It was a hilt, worn leather and rough tendrils that bristled on his skin met his touch like a prudent shock of electricity. With a rash hold, he set hand on it as his grip took a solidified turn of tension― but grew too afraid to look at it.
He cursed to himself bitterly under cold breath, a sour taste enticed his lips with a contortion of grime.
He wanted to get this over with. He did to dare blink― didn't dare let his muscles let loose. He drew his arm forwards, letting his hand hover to his chest. His grip was firm yet trembled with disorientation; every thought constricting him to make his hold tighter. In front of him was a thin line of brightly gleamed, dignified silver.

His Sai.

With it, he brought down armies of ninjas; entire legions of alien robots. A stroke of it's always battle readied blade put thugs and criminals in their places and settled monsters with origins of untimely mutation. The heat of battle― that's what he lived for. It wasn't just a weapon; it was his weapon. He relished in every kick and welcomed the enriched adrenaline that always drove him to his center during close called fights. Leonardo always told him of the dangers he could cause. One day, his reckless attitude would lead to trouble― his risks would be given at a price.
As stifled as he was, a small yet spiteful smile cracked his expression. An untimely chuckle escaped him in the form of the rough sensation of sandpaper.

"How are ya always right...?"

He drew a deep breath in attempt to set himself in a state of fake content. The makeshift tranquility served as a bittersweet distraction for him. It's falseness, as boldly as it stared him in the eye, wrapped around his throat in semi-imaginative constriction and let broken to his one noted haven.

As if on untimely signal, he felt the rush of fixating footsteps sprinting towards him with a determined run. The hypnotic horror which bulged unsoundly of him from his silver stricken weapon was unmatched― swerved. He looked about him as if the notion made the entire sewer shake in reprehension and kept an eye sternly at the walls. With sourly closed eyes, he let his breath release, his grip ever tensing and lowering as the blade of his sais was slowly receding to his side. He let go of the trigger.

"Raph!"

He opened his eyes once more with a bitter glare which so highly tried to conceal his tremors for one last time.

"Raph, where are you! I know you're here!"

The maniacal beating of feet stammered to a halt. It was too late to put his weapon down. Raphael saw himself eyeing a discontent figure in the eye, his crimson red mask trying to break through the other's clad of oceanic blue.

"W― what are you doing here!" He started hoarsely in a riddle of raw contortion in his voice yet his tone stood indignantly.

Leonardo would've glared at his brother in irritation if he had the heart to do so― right now he didn't.

His voice sat placid yet it struggled, trying to uphold its own guilt.

"I'm worried about you― what are you doing...!"

At first, the only conscience sign Raphael could give was a small yet deplorable blush that swore on his cheeks. He licked his lips indigenously as he stood in rapid motion, delivering a fierce and denying glare.

"That's none of your business!"

Leonardo took a stern glare through eyes which crusted lightly on dried, secret tears.

"I'm your brother of course it's my business― especially right now!"

"Well I'm perfectly fine, thanks very much Lame-o-nardo!"

Small, pitiful silence― that was all that swept between them through murky tunnel and wall. The leader stood as if time froze in on itself in gradual continuum; as if he couldn't believe a single word― a single syllable― that came from his brother's rotten mouth. A cold look, almost like a glare, followed through his emotion and stared at the turtle discontentedly. Yet, at the same time, he was scared― worried for what emotion Raphael kept veiled under tensed muscles.

"Why are you givin' me that look...?"

Leonardo keep his voice leveled, equating on a balance between frustration and concern.

"You're lying."

Oh, how he wished that weren't the case.

For a moment, Raphael's glare started to wither to his shamefulness, caught off guard with speckled agitation. Of course Leonardo would be able to see right through him― he was the older brother, the leader;
The Fearless One.

At first thought, his instinctive compulsion was to defy him at any argument he could find, even if logic couldn't pass through he would find any means to refuse it. He knew he was lying― his untruth could be sensed from miles away. But, as stubborn as he always was, he couldn't accept it. He wished he could; he hoped even more that all of /This/ was just one sick and twisted nightmare he had yet to wake up from. So that when it was over, he would find his brother out in the den, all of his tough exterior build tossed through the window to give him that one assuring hug.

It wasn't

"Well... Well...!"

To his begrudging relief, he was interrupted.

"Raph― I know this is hard for you but we need to get through this together! We understand that it―"

Understand.

Coming from Leonardo, the word punched him in the gut― mocked him cold. How many times had words told that Leo understood him when actions spoke another language? How many days had they stood in a tug-of-war of silence and superiority because of Leo's misunderstanding?

Too many for Raphael to count― and too bitter for him to remember.

"No you don't understand! And you know what, Fearless? You don't understand anything! He died because of me!I was the one that was too bloody reckless and it's because of me that he was killed in the first place! You don't /Get/ it at all! If ya wanted to send me someone who does understand, call Donnie I'm sure he's still guilty for putting ya in that three month coma― something you didn't even try to clear up with him!"
He knew that he'd done his job when he saw the fixation of hurt in his eyes. Leonardo squandered the subject away but with struggle; as if didn't care how much it hurt him― like he didn't mind that pained look that he tried to force down from his eye― that all he cared about was his brother.

"Raph... That doesn't matter right now! I can't bring him back to life but what I can do is help you― I don't want to lose another brother."

Oh God...

Guilt started seeping itself into Raphael's cold expression. The turtle fell silent, saying nothing, doing nothing other than keeping a loose hold on his weapon's hilt. His moderate breaths quickened in pace and skipped over themselves with beats of instability. His mind raced― nothing became clear except for one cold, isolated fact. A nauseated sensation started and rang deeply within his gut, twisting it in vile courses. He didn't know what to feel― he didn't know what to think.

He wanted it to end― all of this. He wanted life to go back to normal.

But he couldn't have that

"Raph you have to stop this! He's gone and there's nothing we can do about it now! It's not your fault―you would've done the same for him!"

He could hardly listen to his eldest brother's words of trivial assurance. No― he had every right to believe it was his fault. If he didn't put himself in harm's way in the first place, none of this would've happened. He, the loyal protection to his family, had killed his little brother without putting his rash actions to second thought. He was now crumbling in his own living nightmare― and he only had himself to blame.

"You can't end it like this!"

Flashes of blood stained his vision, vile and harsh with a vivid cobalt stained scent. His brother's blood. Broken limbs and lifeless chest lay still within the depths of his memories.

"Raph!"

The Shredder didn't do that, the Kraang didn't do that― he did. It was all his fault. Everything that went wrong on a mission was always because of his temper.
They won't miss him. His temper always gets them in trouble. They'll be better off without him.

The unforgotten hilt in his hand, as cold as its touch was, convinced his grip to pull tighter. Steaming, unwanted tears trickled down his cheeks and streamed from his beak down, coursing his rough reptilian skin hot. He tried glaring them away but found no use. He didn't care― he didn't mind. His tough exterior facade didn't matter anymore; nothing did.

Tightening his hold on the weapon, he lunged his arm outwards, vision blurred by salted tears and blade tensely pointed to his chest.

"Well what's to stop me for plunging this Sais through my fucking heart right now!" The sound ripped from his raw throat in a stridulate cry. All at once, all but the stifling droplets of raining sewer water was taken to a halt. Leonardo's pretentious yells stammered into wordless condolence; his expression was frozen on permanent guilt. His brain worked in motionless discontent as a bitter thought started to sink in. Raphael was more than upset. He didn't want to come with him― he didn't want to move on from this― he wanted to...
Leonardo let out an unconscious breath. The tremors of his voice taken in indemnified consult as he spoke. He caught a stronghold of whatever clip of calmness he could dabble.

"Raph... No― no... You can't. You can't do this; you won't pull it off!"

All sensed within him broke, like a dam whose exterior was tried by a singular crack.

"Why? Because you think I'm too much of a coward to do it! Watch me, Fearless! Wa―"

To his lacking cohesion, his voice was drawn to a halt. The strong gaze in his brother's eyes challenged into his. The leader's intent was kept firm and his oceanic blue orbs stood staring in content. A systematic tendril of sympathy ensued a genuine reflection whose eyes struggled to look at the other without stammering.

"No. You won't pull it off because you're stronger than that."

No response. He meant that. All that came to meet the turtle's still locked gaze was a widened look Leonardo couldn't read. He gulped a dry patch in his throat away and outstretched a hand towards the red clad turtle, voice taking diligence in every word.

"Raph... Please― you can't do this."

He kept his arm hovered over him in ready. The weapon shook in his hand with only a stronger grip to keep it from slipping from his bile chipped fingers. He couldn't look Leonardo in the eye, keeping his ferocious glare on the sai that rambled with his unstable hold.

The silvered tip of his once strong weapon glistened at him boldly― threatening him in a bout of heavy coercion. It yelled at him silently. Do it. Do it. He'll be better off without you― /They/ will be better off without you.

Do you think they care? You think they want your attitude? You're the reason this living hell is happening in the first place.

He clenched his eyes to sunder, letting the remains of his hot mass of tears stingingly run themselves down his cheeks. He reeled a forced sigh from his lips to release the temptation of breaking the last of his stronghold. As he began to spoke, his voice trembled unevenly but kept at a dangerous, calmed pacing at all costs. He gave a look that made Leonardo's heart skip a significant beat; look of peace― a look of utter finalization.

"I know... we lost a brother tonight because of me and my dumbass attitude. I don't know if it's fate or karma or what― this stupid temper of mine is never gonna go away and, no matter what I do, it'll always cause you guys trouble. I was the reason why he died and there's nothin' else I can do about it. In the future, I don't want to be the reason why Splinter will lose another son."

His arm came down. With a gnash of quick crimson dribbling a stain on the leader's plastron, everything fell into the trappings of heavy silence.

He didn't say goodbye.


He felt like his heart was just ripped out of him. Everything shook within his being that all he could feel was a numbing pain― unnervingly leaving an emptied feeling within him he couldn't replace. The leader felt every movement of his feet articulate through his gradual walk. A trudged congestion reeled through Leo's every move, the condolence of numbed muscles and thought lowered his very being in density. A look of raw terror settled heavily within his gaze as the metallic scent of coated blood tantalized him sickle from his plastron. As he neared the turnstiles of the lair entrance, a vile sensation twisted through him. A tired horror unveiled within his azure pupils forcefully. He halted in his footsteps, noticing the den void of all activity except for the harsh and unsettled pacing of his brother.

He froze stiff, muscles tensing in the hope that Donatello wouldn't notice him at the entrance. He couldn't fight off the thought that it was nearly impossible to avoid what he had to do next. He had to face this no matter how much he didn't want to. With an unsubtle sigh, he started through the turnstiles in dragged and lucid motions.

"Leo?"

He heard his brother's voice call for him gently, the stifling feel of suffocation driven in his voice. Leonardo took a moment to look at Donatello's somber face. His hazel orbs oriented dimly at the leader with a crusted note of somewhat dried tears stinging at his cheeks. A depressed notion pressed his shoulders slumped though his eyes actively pierced with worry. At the realization that his older brother was nowhere to be found with him, his heart sank to Leo's notice.

"Leo... Raph― where is he!"

He asked, his voice now shaken in desperation; a cry Leonardo could not bare answering to.

With a lowly heart, he let his head swerve lightly to the side, reeling his eyes from his brother's orsburn gaze in tried attempt to avoid it. He gulped, words, which tried forcefully to escape, stuck within the tightness of his raw throat. He knew what he had to say― the one foreboding statement spoke boldly at his denial.

For the first time in his life, he didn't know what to say.
His eyes took a notion of a single salt watered tear that prayed to escape his deep glistened eyes.

"He's with Mikey now."

He told him in a riddle he hoped he didn't have to crack. He didn't dare look at his brother but his more than hurt expression already plastered itself involuntarily in his mind.
He forced the thought away. The sounds of Donnie's suffocated cries sunk into the density of the atmosphere around them as realization took him over.

"Don―", he asked of him before he could respond to anything else.

"Y―Yeah...?"

"The invasion wasn't your fault."


His eyes began to flutter open in return from a cold, voided rest. No pain resided on his chest; no signs of sensation rushed his fingers. He felt virtually nothing― weightless. All around him were iridescent fixations of pure white. A light, angelic muses met his ears in serenity along with the falsetto ringing of harps that danced around him.

Was this a dream...?

How was this possible? He did it― he was dead. It was all over. He was supposed to be stuck in a permanent rest― lost in a void of unconscious blackness and unable to awaken.

From still blurred lines of vision, he spotted a figure hovered over him. At first, an imagined pulse of alertness rang through him― but his body felt too delicate to surpass any harsh motion. For some reason, all violent impulse was negated from him and floating beyond mindless distances. All of his battle readied instincts were no more in part with him. He was rested in peace; strewn on a cloud.

The figure stared at him vividly at him with lighthearted clarity. Before he could conceive what was happening around him, something struck his ever fluorescent memories; the figment looked familiar... almost as if...

"Raphie! I'm so happy to see you, bro!"

Mikey.


A/N:: Hurray for bittersweet endings/ plot twists :33 Guys come on― I'm not entirely evil. Did you think I was gonna leave Raph and Mikey gone forever? pssh. Yeah don't worry I cried writing my own ending too ;-; Anyways― I plan on making a little sequel to this to extend on my little ending here. The premise? Let's just say that all of the family will be all together again... sort of. You can't bring the dead back to life after all, can you? You guys guess the alternative ; )