I don't know where this bunny came from or why. It's been sitting on my computer for a looong time, and I honestly completely forgot about it until today. It's not about much of anything, nor does it take place at any specific moment in the series...It just "is." But I wrote it and it's fluff, so I'll share it.

Disclaimer: Of course none of this stuff belongs to me.

But anywho, proceed, read, enjoy, and, as always, let me know what you think ;)

It was a struggle getting through the turnstiles. He couldn't leap over as he normally would, but walking straight through meant leaning his bruised hip against the metal arm.

He bit his bottom lip and pushed his way through slowly, not without stumbling on the other side.

He paused and looked over his shoulder just as Mikey slid his way in with his own wince.

The little orange-banded turtle looked a right mess, probably no less than Raph did. There was a bright, elongated cut right across his freckled cheek. The blood that had been dripping from it was now practically a dry smear across his face. His opposite cheek was beginning to welt up just under his left eye, tempting it shut, the skin a dark bluish-green color. He had abrasions and bruises wall-papering his arms and legs and many new grazes to add to the collection on his plastron. He limped, his right ankle still bleeding and staining his strappings where Rahzar somehow thought it was an okay place to bite him.

Despite all of this and the crimson footprints left in his wake, Mikey gave Raph a strained smile. Raph shook his head with a tired grin of his own and limped with his little brother toward the pit, grimacing every time the muscles coiled in his left leg and spread webs of pain through his hip. That one was courtesy of Fishface and his damned robotic feet, one of which had heeled itself just exactly where the bridge of Raph's shell decided he didn't need its protection. He too was losing blood in a few places, not that he could specifically say where, but he wasn't lightheaded yet so he figured the cuts weren't too deep. All in all, they'd definitely been through worse. And it had been worth it to see those two mutated goons running for the high hills.

Mikey groaned and stumbled just slow and close enough for Raph to catch him under his arms before he could face-plant into the pit.

The older turtle's limbs were shaking too much to recruit any extra strength to drag his brother at least far enough to lay him down on the bench. Instead, he lowered him to the floor where Mikey sighed, and Raph collapsed beside him and rolled himself over to lie back on his shell and breathe for a moment, reveling in how nice it was to be still.

His limbs were exhausted.

For a while they just lay there, breathing heavily, until their bodies adjusted to the lack of adrenaline. Raph could feel his arms and legs practically sinking into the cement floor. Mikey lay on his plastron directly next to him, temple resting on his arms with his head turned toward the other turtle and his eyes closed. Raph might've believed he'd fallen asleep if he didn't open his mouth.

"You know what I never understood?" he asked.

Raph blinked slowly, gazing in a haze at the ceiling. "What?"

"Why we don't have tails."

The corner of Raph's lips twitched and curled upward. He couldn't help snickering. It was the kind of sensation you get after narrowly escaping death and realizing you're still alive and the way you almost died was so ridiculous you can't help but giggle. And that snicker snowballed until it was a laugh, and that laugh turned into something hysterical, leaving him breathless with a sharp pain in his ribs and tears in his eyes. He clutched at his stomach and rolled over on his side, facing his brother only to laugh some more and recruit Mikey's laughter to join his own.

"Dumbass," Raph said, shoving his brother's shoulder only enough to rock him.

Mikey smiled that ever-infectious smile of his. "I'm serious. Why don't we have tails?"

"Don't ask me. That's a Donnie question if I ever heard one. Probably somethin' to do with our mutation or somethin'."

"You think we had tails before we got mutated?"

"I dunno. Probably. Why's that important?"

Mikey's smile turned tender and he pressed his cheek comfortably against his wrist, gazing his older brother in the eye. "It's not," he said quietly.

The corner of Raph's lips stayed perked up but now with a hint of admiration. He raised an arm and let his hand fall on his brother's head, running his thumb over his forehead and watching Mikey's smile curl up even more.

"Thanks for havin' my back, little brother. I'm proud of you."

Mikey closed his eyes and yawned. "I'm proud of you too, Raphie."

Raph dragged himself closer and let his arm drape around Mikey's shell, holding the little turtle close to his plastron and resting his forehead against his.

"D'you think Master Splinter will be mad?" Mikey mumbled, not exactly with a note of concern.

Raph chuckled. "Hell yeah. He'll get over it though."

Mikey hiccupped a laugh, half in a state of unconscious bliss already. "Leo's probably not gonna be happy either."

Raph scoffed, now feeling the familiar pull of sleep himself as he allowed his eyes to slide close. "'Course not. This is mini Splinter we're talkin' about."

"How could you be so irresponsible, Raph?" Mikey said in his mock impression of Leo.

Raph giggled.

"You're 'older.' You're supposed to look after Mikey not drag him into fights with you. You're such a hot-head, you hot-head."

Raph continued to laugh, trembling under the weight of consistent giggles. He didn't know why everything Mikey said now was ten times funnier than it normally was.

"Captain Ryan would never be so careless and neither would I because I'm a hero too, or at least I would be if I didn't have a pole up my ass."

Raph tried not to laugh too loud, or piss himself for that matter. He patted his brother's shell and waited for the trembles of amusement to subside before he said in all seriousness, "He does have a pole up his ass."

Mikey chuckled. "S'probably as tall as Donnie."

Raph snickered through his nose, shaking his head. "Not even. It's Brainiac's bō staff."

He and his little brother shared a fit of giggles, curling against each other with their heads together.

Finally, Mikey sighed, content. "Ah, leave 'em alone. They're good dudes."

"Yeah," Raph sighed as well. "I guess."

They were quiet for a while. A while so long in fact that Raph didn't realize he was beginning to nod off until he heard his little brother whispering his name.


"Huh?" he groaned, cracking his eyes open to gaze blearily into his baby brother's wide blue eyes.

"I like spending time with you," Mikey said, his tone clear and his eyes unblinking.

Raph smiled and closed his eyes again, tiredly lifting his hand to pat the top of Mikey's head affectionately.

"I like spending time with you too little brother," he mumbled before another yawn.

He stretched his arm back around the little one and was already halfway asleep again before Mikey nuzzled closer to him and drifted off with his head under his big brother's chin.