A/N: The consensus says: PG-13 and that is how it shall stay. Er…T. I guess it's T now. I also got a vote for R(M?) and another for Brit 15 (great suggestion btw, hehe!) So, while the rating stays, uh, T I caution that it is a higher T. Ok, out of my normal style, I am moving the review responses to the end of the chapter this time.
Chapter - 4
"Good Afternoon, Leonardo." Donatello said as he walked into his brother's little cell. Leo was still chained to the opposite wall.
"Good Afternoon, Donatello." Leo had learned his lessons well over the years and knew better than to cross this monster.
Donatello smiled at the expected response. "I brought some company for you. Thought you might be getting lonely down here by yourself all day long." He pulled Michelangelo's tranquilized form into the room and dropped him on the floor.
Leonardo was furious. He didn't say anything, but he slammed his shell hard into the wall behind him.
"Now, now, Leo, is that any way to greet your guests?" Donatello proceeded to chain Mikey up on the wall to Leo's left. He grinned evilly at his wakeful brother. "Don't worry. He'll wake up pretty soon."
Donatello went back out into the hall and dragged Raphael's limp body into the room as well. He smirked and moved to Leo's right where a third set of shackles graced the wall.
"Well, I have to get back to work, Leo. You be nice to our guests, ok?"
"You are a monster. I can't believe you did this!" Leo growled.
"Really? I would have though you wanted to see Raph and Mike again. It really has been a long time, Leonardo." Donatello sneered. "Didn't you miss your brothers?"
Leo slammed his shell into the wall again.
"You keep doing that." Donatello observed. "Don't you know you're just going to hurt yourself by now?"
Donatello headed back to work humming a little tune. Nothing was going to ruin this day for him.
"Donnie. Hey Donnie, wake up!" Michelangelo shook his brother gently. He and Raph had been coming out of the dojo when he'd heard Don's cries. "Come on, Donnie, you're having a nightmare. Wake up." Mikey shook Don a little harder and was surprised when his brother flipped over on his mattress and decked him, all in one motion that Mikey never even saw coming.
"Mi…Mikey?" Don asked, shaking his head and obviously more than a little unnerved by what he had done: first Leo, now Mikey.
"Yeah bro, it's me. You ok now?" Mike asked from his spot on the floor near the wall.
"I'm really sorry, Mikey."
"Hey, no prob, I've taken worse from Raph." Mikey shrugged. It was slightly disappointing that the comment didn't elicit the smile he had hoped to receive from his brother. Normally, Donnie would have found the comment funny, or he would have at least pretended to, and his non-response only proved to Mikey that something was seriously wrong. He hopped to his feet and moved over to Donnie.
Don remained silent; he didn't have an appropriate response. He couldn't look at his brother right now either.
"Dude, you ok? Should I go get Master Splinter?" Michelangelo asked, unsuccessfully trying to get Don to meet his gaze. He didn't know what was up with his brother, but everyone knew that something was wrong.
"Could you, uh, could you possibly get Leo?" Don couldn't tell the story again; he simply couldn't bring himself to say the words.
Mikey seemed a little confused by the request. "He's sleeping right now. Should I wake him up?" He watched as Donnie's shoulders slumped. To him this gesture meant 'yes' no matter what came out of his brother's mouth.
"No, uh, no I'll be ok. I'll just… just find something to work on."
Michelangelo wasn't convinced. "Do you want to talk about it? Come on, we can play that old Worms game you like."
Don sighed. He did want to talk about it. He wanted, desperately, to talk about it, but he didn't want to explain the whole thing again, and he wasn't sure he wanted Mikey knowing at all. Also, he wasn't in a frame of mind to handle the cute little cartoon worms blowing each other up with bazookas and air strikes at the moment either. Unconsciously, he shuddered at the suggestion. "Did Leo tell you guys anything when he came back?" Don glanced over at Michelangelo and waited for a response.
Mikey was shocked by the haunted look in his brother's eyes. At this moment he really wished that Leo had spilled whatever secret Donnie had confided in him. It was obvious that his brother needed to talk, and that the one who could best understand was probably Leonardo. Sadly, he shook his head no.
Don nodded. "I don't think I can tell it all again right now, Mike. I'll be ok."
Michelangelo nodded and left the room, but not before giving Don's right shoulder a friendly squeeze. "I'll go get Leo." Mikey headed out the door on his mission even as Donnie protested waking their blue masked brother.
"Leo? Leo, you up? When Mikey got no response he tried throwing pillows. He didn't want Leo's waking to be as painful as Don's was.
Leonardo moaned. "I am now. What do you want, Mikey." He rubbed his hands over his face in an attempt to bring a little more wakefulness to his system. When he brought his hands down he noticed that the brother standing in front of him had a pretty impressive bruise on his cheek. "Please tell me Raph gave that to you this morning in practice." Leo begged, closing his eyes.
"This?" he asked indicating his cheek. "No. I woke Don up. He didn't take it as well as you did." Mike stated bluntly.
"Ok, I'll go talk to him." Leo stood and started out the door.
"Uh, Leo," Mikey called out sheepishly, "could you, uh, not tell him that I woke you?"
Leo nodded absently as he made his way to Donnie's room.
"Mikey woke you up, didn't he." Don accused as soon as Leo walked in the door. "I told him not to."
"I know." Maybe it hadn't been in so many words, but Mike had told him. "It's ok, really, I don't mind. It was time for me to wake up anyway."
Don turned and gave his brother a half smile; it was all he could muster at the moment.
Leo couldn't help but notice the haunted look in his brother's eyes. It pained him to see Donnie like this. "You had another nightmare." It wasn't a question.
"Are you ready to talk?"
The purple masked turtle nodded again and started to detail the most recent dream. Near the end Leonardo stopped him.
"What one thing does make you the happiest person alive?"
Donnie was slightly taken aback. He understood the question, but not why it was being asked.
"You said yourself that in the vision Raph didn't answer correctly, and I have to admit that I would probably give the same response, which means that I don't know you as well as I think I do. If I don't even know what makes you happy, how much can I possibly know about you?"
"The one single thing that I enjoy the most is the same thing you do."
Leo took a moment to think about the cryptic response. "I hardly think that's true, Donnie. You almost never…" Leo caught Don shaking his head, and found himself confused. Donnie was now claiming to know him better than he knew himself.
"Ninjutsu is your hobby, that is for you what 'fixing things' is for me. It is not the thing that makes you happiest." Don was almost begging Leo to come up with the right answer.
"I'm afraid I don't know what answer you're looking for, Donnie."
"You do know the answer in your heart. It's not the joy you get from perfecting a new technique, it's something much simpler." Don didn't know why, but for some reason he couldn't just tell his brother the answer this time. Something inside him insisted that Leo had to come up with it on his own.
Leo was confused by this. Mikey thought with his heart, when he wasn't thinking with his stomach anyway. Raph thought with…well, Leo didn't know what Raph thought with, maybe his hormones. Don thought with his head. Leo realized the problem. Yes, Don thought with his head, but that was just on the surface, deep down all four of them thought with their hearts. And Leo knew that in his heart he was happier when they were all together.
Don saw realization spread across Leo's features and nodded. He knew that Leo had the answer, and that was all he needed.
Don raced through the corridors of StockTello Enterprises knowing exactly where he was, and exactly where he was going. He hurried away from the building. While he wasn't quite sure how he was going to do what needed to be done, he did know that he would have to find a way.
Several minutes later Don smashed in the door of the room where Leo, Raph and Mike were waiting. He ignored the angry and shocked looks he got from his brothers and hastily started unchaining Leonardo from the wall.
Leo noticed several things about the quickly approaching turtle in rapid succession. First was that its eyes were different: the two empty voids that had haunted his nightmares for far too long were gone. The next thing he realized was that the black outfit was also gone. Instead, the turtle before him wore the uniform of their youth: purple bandana, knee, elbow and wrist guards, a belt, and he had his bo staff strapped to his back. It had been a long time since Leo had seen this turtle. "Donnie?"
At the moment he didn't know what to say, so he simply answered Leo's question. "Yeah, it's me, Leo. It's me."
x - x - x - x - x
Slowly opening his eyes Don found himself, once again, in his own bed. No one had been forced to wake him up this time, and for that he was grateful. He glanced at the clock and a red 2:02 stared back at him like some sort of bizarre face. Turning his gaze to the ceiling Donnie considered what he had just seen. He knew the future that haunted him had been averted for now, but the buildings had still existed in his mind. To him that meant StockTello Enterprises and all the horrors that went with it were still possible. He shuddered at the thought. Now the future was uncertain, the way it should be, but Don knew he would have to be careful to make sure he didn't find that path again.