Here's the final chapter. A little family bonding. :)
Raphael ate his cereal slowly. He was the first one into the kitchen, what with Leonardo training as per usual. His book was open, and he was flipping through it. His magic was so strong that every single page was written plainly for him. He grunted when Michelangelo came in and greeted him.
"Anything interesting in there?" Donatello asked with a yawn, coming in to grab coffee.
"Yeah. There's one in here to make water from the molecules in the air," Raphael said absently.
"Have you used that one before?"
"I don't do very many spells from the book anymore. Most of mine are freelance."
"And you know how dangerous that is, correct?" Leonardo asked from where he stood in the doorway. "I mean, Father says it all the time."
"It can be if you don't know what you're doing."
"And you learned that where?"
"I taught myself."
"What can you do with your magic?"
"I can do pretty much anything you like at this point."
"Can you wash the dishes?" Michelangelo asked with a smirk, gesturing at the full sink; nobody had done them the night before.
Raphael glanced at them then waved his hand. To the surprise of his brothers, the dishes started washing themselves. They watched in fascination as Raphael turned back around.
"Dude, clean my room!" Michelangelo asked.
"That would kill me with all the energy it would take," Raphael said dryly, waving his hand dismissively.
"Same with my lab?"
Raphael nodded. "Yep. Besides, you don't use magic for everything, or else you really will kill yourself. It ain't worth it, anyway. You might hate to do the dishes and sweeping and putting things away, but if you don't have those things to do, you start to miss them. Trust me. I know this. Now, when I'm trying to win a bet, of course I use magic."
"So that's how you cleaned the whole lair in an hour!" Donatello gasped. "I knew it was impossible through normal means."
"Of course it is," Raphael said with a smirk. "Doesn't mean it's completely impossible, Donny."
Raphael felt a hand settle on his shoulder and he tensed.
"Good morning, Sen…Father."
"Good morning. Leonardo have you put on the tea yet?"
"No, Father. Let me do it right now. No! You sit down! I'll do it."
Their father sank down beside Raphael and lightly picked up the book.
"Protective spells. Very strong ones."
"I am grateful. That is why you are here right now instead of dead."
"Yeah. I know."
"Some of these spells seem familiar," the rat-turned-human said, flipping through the book.
"Hey, why can you read them?" Michelangelo demanded. "I couldn't!"
To Splinter's surprise, Raphael answered. "It's 'cause he's strong enough in magic that the protective spells don't feel the need to protect him. I can read his book, too."
Splinter snapped the book shut. "You have been going into my room."
"Only once. I had to see if I could read it."
"That was an invasion of my privacy!"
Raphael flinched, blushing hotly at the anger in his father's voice. He stood and hurried out of the room, unable to take the disappointment that was tinged in there. He went up to his room and shut the door then curled on the bed. His room was immaculate, everything in it's proper place, so he couldn't clean. Instead, he shut his eyes and began to clean his youngest brother's room. Within an hour, it was done. Just as he relaxed his magic, there was a knock on his door. Splinter came in despite the fact that Raphael hadn't said it was alright. Raphael didn't mind too much. Splinter was his father after all. He had every right. What he haddone, on the other hand…
"You do understand why I am angry, correct?" Splinter asked softly as he sat down, touching Raphael's bare foot.
"Yes, Father. I shouldn't've done it, but I had to know if I could read that book. It took me forever to find it. I'm sorry. Don't hate me," Raphael said in a small voice.
"I love you. I could never hate you. But you invaded my privacy. I cannot allow this to go unpunished."
"Raphael," Splinter scolded lightly.
"Sorry, Father. Force of habit." There was a pause. "What are you going to do to me?"
"I am not sure. I believe you are too old for a spanking, though that is what I feel you deserve."
Raphael flinched. "I hope you still believe that when you're done thinking about it."
"What do you feel you deserve?"
"I don't know. Taking away my book. Telling me not to do magic. Something like that."
"No. That will not work. Leonardo told me what you said about it being your release. I could not take that away from you any more than I could take away Michelangelo's games or Donatello's computer. It would not end well, and yours is much more dangerous. Once you unlock your magic, it must be used every once in a while, or else it starts leaking."
"I know. It was a long shot. Looks like I'm getting a spanking."
"Do you not agree with it?"
"I wouldn't like it if Leo or Donny or Mikey came snooping into my room. I get how ya feel. It's not a good feeling. I guess I'd have to agree with the punishment, though I don't have to like it."
"Stand up then."
At lunchtime, Raphael was having trouble sitting still. The other three turtles-turned-human knew what had happened, but they didn't comment on it. They didn't even mention it. It was between their father and their second oldest brother. They ate silently then Splinter got out a large pot.
"You know what to do, Raphael."
"The ingredients are in the kitchen on the counter. Your brothers may watch, but they are to touch nothing. Understood, boys?"
"Yes, Father," they chorused.
Raphael followed the book's instructions, and his brothers couldn't help but watch over his shoulder. They were fascinated by every reaction. Some were so quick that they were hard to spot, but others happened slowly. Four and a half hours later, the potion was done, and Raphael separated it into five bowls. Splinter came in and took a bowl, setting it on the dining room table. The red-haired brother grabbed five sharp knives, handing them out. Blood was the best thing to use.
"Just a few drops," Splinter reminded his non-magical sons.
Five minutes later, they were turtles again. His brothers sighed in relief.
"That's better, Leonardo said as he was handed his mask.
"Being human was fun," Michelangelo said. "But I think I prefer being a turtle."
"As long as I don't have to go to high school," Raphael muttered.
"It was that bad, eh?" Donatello asked.
"Yeah. But I got some textbooks for you."
"Ooh, what kind?"
"Advanced Calculus. Advanced Japanese, which is so easy it's ridiculous. Health book. History. Those sorts of things."
"Wow. They made you take Japanese? But that's, like, our native tongue thanks to Splinter," Leonardo said in surprise.
"Yeah. But they didn't know that," Raphael said. He paused. "I…I'm sorry for running away."
"We can't really blame you, dude," Michelangelo said with a shrug.
"No, but I think this proves we need to talk more," Leonardo said.
Raphael nodded. "Maybe a little. Doesn't mean I'll make it easy for you, though."
There was a laugh before Splinter placed a hand on his second-born's arm. "I love you, Raphael."
The dark green turtle nodded. "I guess I love you guys, too. But don't you go telling Casey!"
More laughter greeted his words then they headed to train. It was one of the most peaceful training sessions that Raphael had ever had. And Splinter even praised him a couple times. That, more than any of the words or actions of his family over the past day, proved that things could change for the better. And he was looking forward to it.