So I stumbled upon this very old Raphril-piece I wrote ages ago today. I originally wrote it for my writing-project "Secrets of the Woods" on tumblr which I had to put on hiatus. But somehow, this piece still spoke to me, and I decided to write more about Raph and his feelings for April. So I use the original piece as some sort of a prologue and go from there. The story is going to take place during the Turtles' stay at the farmhouse, though there are going to be some differences to the show's canon, of course. So this story is going to be AU.

As for the title, it was inspired by the song "Matters of the Heart" by Tracy Chapman which I really like.

Poor Raph, going to get his heart shattered! Or is he? ;) Have fun reading! ^^

She's a girl, Donnie, you're a mutant. It's never going to happen!

These words follow Raph everywhere. They're always there, in his head, echoing, sometimes silent as the whisper of the wind, sometimes loud as a thunderstorm, but for years now, they've never disappeared completely. This voice in his head, it just won't shut up.

Raph hates the voice, hates the words, hates that he has to hurt Donnie. But what he hates most is that he could change Donnie's name for his own and it would make just as much sense.

She's a girl, Raph, you're a mutant. It's never going to happen!

This is his mantra, his everyday motto. It's not like he really has to remind himself of the fact that he and April would never be together. He knows that. He knows that for sure!

But still, the words won't go away. They haunt him, poke him, tear at his heart, fuel his anger. But he has become really good at ignoring them. They're there, he can hear them, but he's learned to act as if he didn't.

Ever since he had realized his feelings for April had changed to something more than friendship or family, he's been practicing. And he perfected his ignoring-tactic.

No one has realized. Heck, he hadn't even realized himself at the beginning!

He has never been really close to April, so keeping his distance after the big realization didn't cause any suspicion.

At first, he avoided her because he didn't trust her, then he tried to stay away from her because he had to.

No one knows what he has been going through all these years, and no one ever will.

He hasn't fallen in love with her at first sight like Donnie. No, no lovey-dovey, head-over-heels falling in love for him.

No, he just realized one day that there was this incomprehensible urge to be close to April. Until something clicked and he understood.

He wishes he never had, though.

Then his fight began. Yes, he's been fighting off his feelings for April ever since.

He has kept his matter-of-factly attitude towards her, has treated her as a friend. He still does, he always will. But more than that simply isn't possible.

Because she is a girl, and he is a mutant. She is human, and he is not.

There are these moments when he lets her a bit closer to him, after he helped her at TCRI, supporting her after she did this crazy mind-thing. Or when he played the Donnie-puppet not only for Mikey, but for her as well.

But even if there'd be a small chance that a human could return a mutant's feelings – which there isn't – he'd never be able to confess his feelings. Because of Donnie. Donnie is his brother, and he loves April so much that it hurts him, he loves her so much that it even hurts Raph himself.

Raph's brothers come first. No matter what.

And Raph would never do something that could ruin Donnie's chances – as thin or non-existent as they are.

He'd give Donnie a reality-check every now and then because he can't see Donnie suffer. Yes, this means he has to hurt him, but sometimes, shock therapy is all that works. But he'd never do something to keep Donnie away from April – or the other way round. He even supported Donnie after they had saved April's dad.

And Raph will keep on supporting Donnie if he has to, even if it makes his heart go crazy with pain. If it means that with every time he supports Donnie his heart threatens to shatter. Even if it always feels like a small, tiny shard of his heart breaks off and is lost forever.

But that's okay. Raph can deal with pain. He can't deal with a suffering brother.

So no one will ever know about his feelings for April.

No one, but Raph himself.

That moment, April passes him on her way to her room.

Raph watches her for a split second.

She's human, Raph, you're not. It's never going to happen!