FIGHTING TO WIN

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Mike and Donny glanced at each other, then their older brothers nervously.

They'd witnessed Leo and Raph's fights and disputes, arguments and disagreements their whole lives, but none like this before.

It was cold, calculated and intense...each was fighting to win.

They'd been at it for awhile now, and were showing the strain, but they were both too stubborn to back down.

Don sized up the deadly look they were giving each other and quickly positioned himself between them.

"Uh, guys-" That was as far as he got before Raph firmly physically removed him.

"Save it, Donny. This is between me and him. It ends here, now, and nothin's gonna stop it this time," Raph growled, brandishing his weapon of choice.

Mikey gave Don a well-what-can-we-do look, and both younger brothers slowly backed off -but only so far.

"Is it really worth it?" Mike tried appealing one more time.

"Yes. Then we'll know, once and for all, who's really the best, who's got the better skills," Leo said coolly, narrowing his eyes at Raph.

They each made a move designed to damage, but Leo's caused the more.

Raph paused for just a second to catch his breath, and retaliated with everything he had.

Mike and Donny could barely watch as their brothers dished out the punishment to one another.

"How much longer are they going to keep this up, bro?" Mike asked Don quietly, wincing as Raph dealt Leo a heavy blow.

Don shrugged, concerned. "I don't know Mikey...but something has to give sooner or later,"

Raphael cursed roundly as Leo maneuvered him into a difficult position, and tried his hardest to find an opening to bust out of.

"Oooh," Don and Mike breathed together, hoping this would end with everyone still in one piece.

"Had enough yet?" Leo panted.

"Kiss my cold green ass Leo! No one leaves until one of us -and by that I mean you- can't move anymore!" Raph spat, making a desperate lunge and managing to pin his brother.

Watching them is giving me a headache, Donny thought to himself, envisioning their next moves in trepidation.

There weren't too many left that they hadn't used on each other so far.

"Why do you two always get so worked up over nothing?" Mikey asked with a slight pleading note in his tone.

"Yeah...we're not going to love or respect either of you any less, just because one of you proves you're better or worse than the other," Donny said evenly.

Leo and Raph paused for a second to mull this over.

"Maybe not...but I sure will rest easier knowing I'm better than him!" Raph hissed through his teeth.

Mikey looked at Don.

"You know, dude, I really think we should hide that," he said, gesturing to the Connect Four game frame between his big brothers.