I blame a plot bunny I found hopping around Chibi Rose Angel and her A Measure of Adequacy for this one. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about Chibi. Just a word of warning, this is going to be dark.
Summary: Just a little foray into a part of Donatello that we never, ever see. One that scares even him. This is the darkest thing I have ever written.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I am paid nothing and I have nothing. Please don't sue.
Donatello gazed about his large work area. Everything was spotless and pristine, just the way he liked it. All around him machinery hummed and whirred. He reveled in the sound, everything was perfect. Hearing the door slide open behind him he didn't even have to turn around to know that it was his business partner who had just entered the room uninvited. Not only was Baxter Stockman the only person who would dare interrupt his work, but he had heard the man coming down the hall. Yes, there was very little that slipped by Donatello.
Over the years Stockman had learned to respect his partner's observational skills. Never before had he met anyone as adept at punching holes in his genius plots and plans as Don was. Not even the tiniest mistake or flaw escaped the turtle's scrutiny, and his once mortal enemy had become his most valuable asset.
"Donatello, I have the new blueprints for you to look over." Stockman said in a congenial tone. It would be no good to anger his business partner.
The turtle stood and strode over to the large window never once facing the man in the doorway. Noticing Baxter's reflection in the glass Donatello marveled again at the man's obsession with wearing lab coats. They were engineers, and Donatello was the only one who ever even considered getting his hands dirty with actual construction. Construction kept things real, it brought your focus back to what you were trying to do and reminded you what it was you strove to accomplish. Stockman lived in a world of computers and blueprints, yet he wore the lab coat as some sort of bizarre security blanket to remind him of the days when he had really been someone. Personally, Donatello preferred his black silk shirt and black pants with the leather jacket and gloves that pulled the look together, all were tailor-made of course.
Donatello knew that Stockman respected him for his ability to troubleshoot designs. He was sure that once upon a time Stockman had been quite capable of correcting his own designs, but that talent had gone by the wayside when the 'good doctor' had stopped being a part of actually building prototypes. Now, he was reliant on Donatello for that vital troubleshooting service.
"I assume you have looked these over yourself." Donatello warned. He didn't like getting Stockman's 'rough drafts' as he had his own projects. He only did this for the sake of the company. Stockman was still a name in the business, and though Donatello had been making a name for himself of late, he did not yet enjoy the business world clout Baxter did. As long as the Stockman name was on the product it would sell. The company had only recently been renamed to give credit where credit was due, and if Donatello had anything to say about it that name would be changing again in the not too distant future.
"I have." Stockman's voice almost cracked under his partner's gaze. Well aware of the turtle's limited tolerance for these troubleshooting sessions, he had searched carefully for all the potential pitfalls he could find. Nevertheless, he knew that Donatello would find more. He always did.
"Leave them on the desk." Donatello said curtly.
Baxter did so and bowed as he exited the office. Even though the turtle's back was to him he knew that Donatello could sense every move he made and the turtle would be annoyed if he didn't show that small gesture of respect. A few years ago Stockman would have bowed to no one, but times had changed. Donatello had come in and shown all the proper reverence for his scientific brilliance, and had anticipated nothing in return. Now that the turtle had proven his worth he expected to be treated with respect.
After Baxter had closed the door behind him Donatello walked over to the desk and picked up the blueprints. He sneered when his quick once over revealed three fatal flaws. Hastily circling them in red, not caring about convention, he shoved the page aside to work on it in the morning. Right now he didn't want to do this, and instead decided to go home for the evening.
Leonardo was there waiting for him, as his brother always was. To be honest Leo didn't have much of a choice in the matter as Donatello had chained him to the wall several years ago. Unfortunately, the other two were not there as Mikey and Raph had escaped the city. While Donatello was pretty sure they hadn't yet given up on getting Leo back, they knew better than to return to New York. Whether they returned or not it was only a matter of time before Donatello found them as well. And when he did they would pay just as Leo was paying for their crimes rivaled, if not surpassed, the trespasses of their once 'Fearless Leader'. Donatello snickered at the thought of the old nickname. No, Leonardo was anything but fearless now, instead harboring a healthy fear of the turtle who he had once seen as a brother.
The door opened and Leonardo knew exactly who was coming in. Even if he hadn't recognized the strut he had heard coming down the hall there was only one person who knew where he was. After Don had been put in a situation 8 years ago that had resulted in him single-handedly taking down the Shredder and losing his left arm in the process, life as Leo knew it had gone to Hell in a hand basket. Leo could be nothing more than a horrified spectator as Don had found a kindred spirit in Stockman. No matter how he tried to reason with his brother there was nothing Leo could do to prevent the team-up. Now the Donnie that he had once known was long gone. The quiet, peaceful, incredibly creative turtle he once knew was dead, and had been replaced by this cold-blooded being before him. He inwardly cringed at the being's sneer, instantly aware of the less than stellar day the turtle before him had had. Leo could no longer call this thing his brother. The turtle, no that was too good a term, the thing that stood before him was an abomination.
"Good evening, Leonardo." The thing that had once been Donnie intoned silkily.
"Good evening, Donatello." Leo sneered back. He warily watched the thing, knowing that whatever it had in mind would not be good. Over the past few years he had grown to dread that tone of voice. It meant that the beast was in a poor mood and wanted to have a little fun. While part of him wished for his two remaining brothers to come and rescue him, another part of him wanted them to stay as far away from this as they could. He didn't want them to see the monster that Donatello had become.
In a way it was their fault, his and his brothers. Leo had realized too late that he had taken Donnie for granted and pushed him too hard. For too long Leo had expected Don to go above and beyond the call of duty without realizing that the pressures he put on the turtle were tearing him apart. Looking back on it Leo realized that losing Splinter 10 years previous had been the turning point. He had started pushing his brothers harder and harder. Raph and Mikey had eventually put Leo in his place and he had let up. Then Don's fateful battle with the Shredder and the loss of his arm had torn Donnie's spirit beyond repair. In an attempt to bring his brother back to a point of battle-readiness Leo had started pushing again. Mike and Raph had continued to bring broken items to Don and hadn't realized just how much it broke their brother's heart. Though he had tried valiantly, Donnie had been unable to repair the items with one hand. It was around that time that Baxter Stockman had returned to the scene.
Donnie had sought out the self-proclaimed scientific genius and had quickly been hired on at the new StockTronix Enterprises. Leo had balked at the move alongside his other two brothers and had openly objected when Don had come home with a new robotic arm, a prototype of the one that now caressed his cheek. Leo pulled away from the touch and glared at the monster.
"Not so much the Fearless Leader anymore are you." Donatello sneered. "I can smell your fear you know." Walking around the turtle chained to the wall he continued. "You thought that I never listened to the rat's lectures didn't you. And the lectures you gave after he became worm food. But I did, Dear Brother. I listened very carefully, and you will regret every single one of those lessons by the time I am through with you."
The mental and physical torture at the hands of the being that had once been his brother was always brutal, but Leonardo had long since learned that if he stayed silent the thing became bored quickly and would seek other sources of entertainment. So Leo did was he had learned to do best, he remained silent. He wished that he could reach his brother, but after the first year he had become convinced that Donnie was gone, and this thing was all that was left. There would be no reaching his brother.
Using his robotic arm, Donatello reached out to find a particularly sensitive pressure point in Leonardo's neck…
Donnie snapped to awareness, and for a moment he didn't know where he was. Soon he found that he was lying in his bed in the lair. His breath was coming in ragged gasps and he was shaking.
"Don, are you ok?"
Nearly jumping off the bed in surprise Donnie searched frantically for the speaker.
Leonardo knelt beside the bed looking down in concern. The look quickly turned to shock then confusion when his brother launched into his arms and started crying. Finding himself in a rather awkward position Leo did the only thing he could do, he tried to comfort his brother. He had to wonder what had brought his on.
"Leo, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Don sobbed in his arms.
"Donnie, what are you talking about?" Leo asked. He had been aware that he was awaking Don from a nightmare, but he hadn't expected a reaction like this. Must have been a doozy, Leo thought.
"Oh, Leo! I'm so sorry. You never deserved that!"
"Shh, Donnie, it was a nightmare, a bad dream, nothing more. It's over." He continued his attempts to soothe his inconsolable brother who was still shaking uncontrollably in his arms. Leo had no idea what had brought this on, but Don didn't seem willing or able to tell him, at least not yet, but he could wait. Sometime Donnie would be ready to talk and when that time came Leo would be there to listen. Leo would not push because he knew his brother better than that. Don would come to him when he was ready.