Note: Okay, I don't hold any rights over the turtles. So play with them as you like. Also, when people are talking in italics it's past conversations. Kay? Alright, on with the soul torture!
"Hey Raph, we're still buds right?"
"'Course we are Mikey. You think I'd ever let a girl come between us?"
"Heh, just checkin' bro."
Landing on the rooftop, Mike pressed himself deep into the shadows, the night air was freezing and his feet threatened to slip on the thin sheet of ice. His body had stopped shivering over an hour ago, and he gratefully let the cold sink in. Numbing his senses to the pain and the outside world. Breathing deep he looked around, realizing the familiarity of the rooftop.
"How many are there?"
"There's only five Leo, but something doesn't feel right."
"There's no time for discussion, we have to help her."
Moving to the edge he peered over, barely able to make out the shapes in the alley below. He looked up when something cold touched his shoulder, and frowned when another snowflake landed on his nose. He felt a slight shiver move through his body, preparing itself to move. Backing up Mike jumped, falling through the air with the grace of a feline and the stealth of a ninja his master had taught him for eighteen long years. Landing with a soft whisper as bare feet gripped the cold pavement.
"Guys, she's really hurt, we gotta get her to a hospital."
"Look at those track marks Raph, she's a junkie. We take her to a hospital and the others will find her in a second."
"Well, we can't just leave her here Don. She'll die."
"Pick her up, we'll take her back to the den until things quiet down topside."
A night like this one. It had been cold when they had saved her. But it wasn't the same, it hadn't snowed that night. He glanced down and saw the dark stain, seeing it more clearly in his mind than with his eyes. Remembering that it had been cold that night as well, but it wasn't snow that had fallen, but rain. And Mike guessed that it had been the heavens, weeping for a life it must claim against its desire.
"We can't help her now. Please come back."
"It wasn't your fault bro, she made her choice."
"Let go of my arm Leo, I just need some air."
He had been worried, and followed him. He knew this had been his favorite alley. There were always plenty of skulls to crack, but Mike suspected his brother was after something more specific.
"Leave me alone Mikey, it's not yer fight."
"And it's not yours either, so just put him down."
"He killed her! An eye for an eye."
Bending down, Mike stared at the stain, dimly aware that his hand was moving; reaching for the weapon held in his belt. Puling it out, he rested his elbows on his knees, allowing the sharp tip of the sai to trace the misshapen spot. The snow had begun to fall more steadily, and he wondered if the blocks of ice attached to his legs were still capable of movement.
"Do you really want this? Is this what Ajai would've wanted?"
"It doesn't really matter anymore, now does it?"
"Come on, that's right, now just set him down thank you."
Even with the sound of the busy street behind him, he could hear the soft steps of an approaching guest. But he didn't care. He continued to crouch there, in the layer of snow, tracing the oddly shaped circle in the white sheet of snow.
"Mikey I'm sorry."
"Hey, come on, what're brothers for if not to poke fun at your faults?"
"Haha, very f- MIKEY WATCH OUT!"
His numb fingers could no longer hold feel the handle it was holding and dropped it. He watched with a detached fascination that it made no sound in the now thick blanket of snow. The footsteps stopped just behind him, but he kept his head lowered, staring quietly at the quickly fading stretched out circle.
He felt a hand squeeze his shoulder as the flash of memory made him shudder. A controlled sob racked his body, and he nearly fell forward if not for restraining hands suddenly around him, supporting him.
"Look at me, no! Don't close your eyes. Look at me Raph!"
Another sob ripped through him and he frantically sought out for something to hold on to. For anything to keep him from going under. He looked up into Leonardos' worried face, and back down to the half buried sai.
"H-how how bad is it?"
"Oh God, the bullet didn't go through!"
"It was meant for me. He was aiming for me." The soft voice confessed. Saying nothing, Leo merely gripped his younger brother in a hug. Shocked by the pure ice he felt where warm skin should have been. "It was my idea to use the roofs, my idea to come this way. I had to have it my way."
Leo stared wide eyed at the trembling form in his arms as the last pieces fell into place. Explaining why Mike had been so distant. They had dismissed it at first because he had been there, witnessed it. But when Splinter had awoken to find Mike gone – later to realize he had run away – A full out search had begun. But it was hard, New York was huge, and the search party had consisted of only two turtles and a human. Almost a year of searching, he was finally found. Only by the fact that Leo wanted to take the long way home, and happened upon him.
"If I had let him kill him"
"Don't. It wasn't your fault."
Feeling his brothers sobs subside, Leo pulled back to get a better look at the orange clad turtle.
"Raph? Hang on, just hang on. The others are coming."
Taking him by the hand, Leo led Michaelangelo to a nearby manhole. Once inside, the two began for the den. But Mike pulled away at the last minute, suddenly bolting down the tunnels at full speed.
"Mike, wait up!"
He couldn't stop, he didn't want to. He felt his feet hit the cold water and kept going. Adrenaline surged through his veins as he closed in on his target. He had been there only once, but it's location was forever burned into his memory. It was an image he couldn't forget, wouldn't forget.
Turning a corner Leo came to a halt just behind Mike, who was kneeling down in front of a small carving in the ground.
"He hated the sewers more than any of us. He should be on top, where the sun shines."
Leo shook his head, " You know just as well as I do that that would've been too risky."
Mike pounded the ground with his fist, turning to look his leader in the eye.
"So what?! You knew Raphael just as well as I did! He would've loved the risk!" Pulling back, he restrained himself from lashing out any further. Instead, choosing to sink back into a comforting numbness that he had grown accustomed to over the last year.
"Noplease don't leave Raph!. I'm sure Donnie can fix ya up real good! Just, hang onjust hang on"
" It hurts"
Mike blinked back tears, and gave the carving one last, final look before turning back to Leonardo, who kneeled beside him, reading aloud the small quote the three turtles had agreed upon for their more hotheaded brothers' last words.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King Jr."
It was small, quiet, and to the point, something was not going to attract attention to the workers. And they had thought it appropriate, especially when they had found an Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. in his room. Leonardo blinked at the tears that had formed, and stood. Michaelangelo gave no indication that he was going to follow, simply stared at the ground, still lost in thought.
"I'm going to the den, please remember that you're always welcome to come home."
Pausing for a moment, Leo saw a brief nod of understanding before leaving.
"Hehremember, not to takecrap from anyonealways be yourself"
"An' Mike? Do me a favor?"
"Smack Leo for me."
Smiling at the last scene he and his brother shared, Mike stood slowly. Turning and listening to the fading footsteps of Leonardo, before following him down the dark tunnel home.