A.N: Hey you guys. This chapter is a few days late because it's longer, and it's also the LAST chapter of What Colour Is My Life Today. Yes, it's over now, and I'm so proud lol. But anywayz, I hope you've all enjoyed the ride and take it real guys, thanks so much!
What Colour Is My Life Today?
Don hastily rubbed at his stinging eyes. They were streaming uncontrollably, and not due to the fact the smell of his antiseptic fluid was more than a little strong. To put it bluntly, it was severely annoying him. He had to keep sniffling and wiping them with the back of his blood stained hand, which only irritated them more.
But Donatello would not cry, not yet anyway. His brother's wound was not sufficiently stitched yet and he would not rest until it was, it was already giving the elder enough pain.
Leo shifted uncomfortably in his sleep, wincing as he unwittingly tugged the stitching Donny was in the middle of doing. Don frowned. Either the painkillers were slow in effect or they were having little or no effect at all. He called once for Raph and continued threading the gritty medical cotton through Leo's soft green flesh. He pulled one of the three gaping holes together as tightly, quickly and gently as possible so as not to cause his brother any more unnecessary pain. Leo grunted and bore it.
"'Sup Don?" Raph asked quietly, falling into the open door and hanging from the doorframe. His voice was weary, his face was drawn. But someone had to watch Mike for now.
"Can you get me some stronger painkillers? Perhaps an injection this time," Don requested, his voice as tired as his older brother's.
"Sure, no probs," Raph left without question. No one, not even Raphael and Leonardo questioned Donny at times like this.
Sighing Don knotted the thread, cut it and started to force the thick, sharp needle through the third and final wound. He cursed his trembling hands; he couldn't afford a mistake right now. If there was anything he hated more than stitching wounds, he hadn't found it yet, and he doubted he ever would.
He halted his sewing and accepted the syringe Raph offered him. The red clad turtle noiselessly winced as he watched the sharp point enter his brother's flesh. He involuntarily shivered as the liquid entered Leo's system. He'd always despised shots.
"How's he doing?" He wondered softly, passively, absentmindedly scratching at the spot Don had leeched some of his blood.
"He's ok, these aren't as serious as I first thought," Don murmured, returning to his stitching.
"It gets me how long he lasted with losing so much blood," Raph shrugged, hooking his thumbs into his belt.
"My guess is because he's been losing blood for so long, gradually more and more, his body has learnt to survive for a period of time without it, like weaning yourself off nicotine or something. And like nicotine, there comes a time when you're desperate for it, in Leo's case he was desperate for rest, and like a determined giver-upper, he refused to give it himself. Does that make sense?" Don explained, laying the bloody needle aside and inspecting his work.
"I think so. So he's kinda become immune to blood loss?" Raph frowned, thoughtfully.
"If that makes it easier to understand Raph, then yes, he had a little. Which is all very well but when your body finally catches up with you, you have to catch up yourself. Which is why he's just crashed right about now," Don indicated Leo, who was totally dead to the world, thankfully dreamless. Raph watched the IV linked up to his brother, but wasn't really looking at it. Don began gathering up his leftover bandages and other medical junk.
"How long will he be out for?"
Don heard Raph's question and lowered his hazel eyes to assess the fallen elder. His wounds definitely weren't as bad as Donny first predicted. He'd just seen all the blood and had a right to prejudge. But most of the cuts weren't meant to hurt, so they just needed cleaning and wrapping up. The hurts Shredder inflicted were much more dangerous, not fatal, at least not now Donny had sorted them before too much blood had been lost. Only the one on his side needed stitching but the scratches on his face needed disinfecting and covering. He was stunned at how close Leo was to losing an eye.
He was also in a very, very deep sleep, deeper than he'd been in for a long while. He was seriously sleep deprived, and so his body had totally crashed, far beyond dreams, breathing a tad laboured but unmistakeably fast on.
"I'd say around two or three days, depends how bad his sleep debt is," Don shrugged. Raph nodded.
Silently the two trailed out, Don's arms full of bandages, antiseptic fluid, medical cotton, needles and boxes of painkillers. He went to put them back in their rightful places, veering for his lab from the living room, but Raph seized his shoulder.
"I need to put this stuff back Raph," Don mumbled, slightly scared of Raph's solemn face.
"They can wait, testiclees," He shot back. Don raised an eye ridge, questioningly.
"Testiclees? You are such an ignoramus," He sighed exasperatedly.
"Nah, I'm biggus dickus, me," Raph shrugged smugly.
"You-us wishus. What do you want?" Don asked, juggling his junk.
"I need to tell you what's going on," And Raph told Don the whole story. "…And he thinks it's all his fault. He wishes the Shredder had killed him that night," He finished with a sigh.
Don licked his dry lips. His brain was in overdrive, trying to understand Raph's sombre story. Then as if thunder struck him he understood what was going on. His throat grew uncomfortably tight. His chest constricted. Tears stung his eyes. He was instantly furious.
"He is so dense sometimes!" He thundered, tossing his stuff carelessly on the couch. Raph blinked in surprise, he'd only seen the peaceful genius once like this before…
"He always has to be so bloody selfless, it sincerely infuriates me! Why can't he be normal and think of himself for once?" Don yelled, throwing his arms up in the air in irritation and stalking the room like an angry animal.
"Don-" Still a little stunned, Raph held a hand out to pacify him but Don ignored it and carried on ranting.
"No, Leo has to be some goddamned hero all the time and never put himself first!" Tears were pouring down his cheeks now but he made no effort to hide them. "There's a fully explicable excuse for the truth, yet the idiot is adamant he's a murderer, despite being drugged! Any fucking sane person would be eager for proof of innocence!" Don screamed. Raph stared, had he just swore.
"Donny!" He said, more sternly this time. Again Don acted as if he couldn't hear him.
"The guy needs some sense knocking into him, and I'm sure Master Splinter would agree with me!" He continued furiously. Raph marched forwards determinedly, stretching out an arm.
"Donny-" As soon as his hand touched Don's shoulder, he whipped around to glare at Raph, sore hazel eyes oozing tears.
"HE'S NOT A MURDERER!" He stormed distraughtly.
"I know, I know Don, I know he isn't," Raph soothed. He took Don into his arms and let him sob. He hadn't acted like this since he saw Splinter's dead body laid on the couch.
"We gotta take those swords off him man," Mike managed to rasp out, his wounds particularly painful that morning, the day after Raph told Don about Leo. "Shell, we gotta hide all the practice swords and lock the cutlery drawers and-"
"Be quiet Mike, your blood pressure's high enough," Don scolded lightly, dunking the soiled bandages in the sink.
"We can't do that Mike. No, he'll think we don't trust him," Raph shook his head. He was stood at the bottom of Mike's bed, arms crossed, expression sympathetic.
"I don't!" Mike pouted indignantly. Don rolled his eyes and mercilessly stuck a syringe full of painkillers into Mike's arm, ignorant to his protecting cries.
"He's not going to kill himself, if that's what you're worried about. And you can't stop a self harmer just like that Mike, ya gotta start slow, like y'always do," Raph explained quietly. Mike grumped and slumped back into his pillows.
"What we have to do first Mikey, is convince Leo that he didn't kill Master Splinter," Don said softly, resting a hand on his body brother's shoulder.
"I don't think he's a murderer," Mike whispered.
"Neither do we Mikey, but you know what Leo's like," Don sighed. Mike's emerald eyes brimmed with tears.
"I miss the old Leo! I miss the Leo who used to argue with Raph over who won Tekken 4. I miss the old Leo who played GTA: San Andreas with me. I miss the old Leo who took care of us when we were sick. I miss the old Leo who I had to beat with a spatula to keep him from trying to make dinner. I miss him so much!" He began to weep in his hands.
"I know Mike, so do we," Raph muttered gravely.
The slim figure hunched over the body. Neither was moving, yet one was alive. She ran delicate fingers over her father's flawless face, both were stone cold. She fingered his smooth lips and down his jaw line to play with his dark hair. She knew it was all fake, but this was his most familiar state to her.
She hadn't moved in days, she'd lost track of time. All she could remember was walking into her master's throne room and finding him on the floor in a purple pool of blood with the handsome new initiate's head and separate corpse not too far away. No one knew she was in there. No one knew he was dead. No one entered his presence without his permission.
She withdrew her fingers from his chilly corpse and rested them in her lap. Her green eyes were dry and her blood red lips weren't in a grievous frown. Her pale face was not tearstained and her thin body was not wracked with sobs.
He hadn't been the perfect father to her, but ever since she first met him she knew he wouldn't be. Yet she didn't care. Anything was better than nothing.
And although he would strike her if she did not do as he pleased, that was her own fault for disobeying in the first place. But he had taught her things some fathers never could. She was just as good as him in the ninja department, if not better, and he had shown her to take advantage of every opportunity and he who dares wins. Honour doesn't come into the matter.
She had started to lose faith in that last little rule but now she knew for definite it was true. Had her father's killer, in whom she had placed so much trust, displayed honour? No, he hadn't. Honour didn't mean killing somebody. He was a murderer, despite what he had declared.
She had trusted him; hell she had even loved him. Although he didn't return her love, surely he respected her? No, he couldn't, if this was how he repaid her trust. She had thought he was a decent being, selfless, honourable, merciful. For once she had been wrong. She would not make the same mistake again.
She leant forwards and gently kissed her father's forehead, leaving a blood red smear on his pale skin. She finally got to her feet, her stiff joints creaking. Her dress fell to its normal length at her ankles. It was creased and stained in purple blood and not as pretty as it once was. Her hair had fallen from its elegant style and hung in limp, dry curls around her face. She flexed her fingers and turned her head to gaze out of the window.
The sun was just setting behind the apartment blocks in front of the Shredder building. The sky was a brilliant gold streaked with flames of red and pink. But to her, it was streaked with blood.
"For my father's death, Hamato Leonardo, you will pay," Karai, daughter of Shredder, declared sinisterly.
Raph slid a finger up the flat edge of Halle's longest prong. He couldn't imagine running the spiky point into his skin for any other reason than to check the sharpness after preparing them for battle. He thought he couldn't see any reason for Leo to do it.
Sighing, he took out Liv and flung them both carelessly onto Leo's bedside crate. He nearly tipped over a half full glass of water sitting there but he didn't care. He massaged his temples and sat back in his chair. He watched Leo sleep restlessly. Everywhere he lay something twinged. It was too early for him to have another dose of painkillers.
He'd been asleep for three days now. Donny wasn't worrying too much, his wounds were healing fine, he just needed to catch up on his rest. Mike was even up and about now, moving a little to give his body some exercise. One taste of lasagne even sent him reeling to the kitchen for some 'proper food'.
Raph pondered when his watch was up. He was tired. He had night watch, and Mike and Don shared the day, eight hours each. He'd started having those nightmares again. Raph was almost grateful he hadn't been at the scene of the crime. If it had turned Leo into this, he wondered what the shell he, Raph, would've looked like if he was the witness instead.
Not for the first time that day, Raph wondered whether Mike had been wasting his time. All he did during his watch was talk to Leo, read him comics, tell him about games he'd played or films and programmes he'd seen, just anything. Could Leo actually hear him? He had reacted slightly to some of the things said. For example, he smiled and slept peacefully for a while when he was told about Raph and Donny squabbling over the Discovery channel and Playboy TV. Would it work for Raphael? Did he even dare try?
"I dunno bruv, I'd feel stupid sat here for hours talking to someone asleep," Raph shrugged.
He caught sight of a small c.d player hidden under old human clothes peeking from under the bed. Surprised, Raph knelt to examine further, he'd never seen it before and had never heard Leo play anything on it either. Pulling it out, his mystery was solved, earphones were plugged into it. Raph was curious as to what Leo would listen to besides the obvious traditional Japanese.
Realising there was no c.d in the thing, he ventured under the bed again, and pulled out a simple blue carry case. Unzipping it, he began flicking through the disks as of yet unsurprised. It was just the Japanese, about five or six c.ds of it. Then he got to the interesting stuff and almost dropped it in shock.
They were all singles, not albums, so he either only liked that particular song or couldn't get a hold on any albums. But there was an odd collection. Britney Spears' Everytime. The Offspring's Have You Ever. Evanescence's Bring Me To Life. Chad Kroeger's Hero. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Michael Jackson's Main In The Mirror. The Calling's Your Hope and countless more. Flipping to the back, a piece of paper slipped out from where a Goo Goo Dolls mix was stored.
He set the case down and picked up the paper. It was old, yellow and wrinkled. He smoothed it out and read, fingers trembling as he did so.
What colour is my life today?
Grey like the hammering rain,
Grey like the gloomy sky,
Grey like the cutting blade.
As grey as my shattered glass walls.
What colour is my life today?
Black like the looming darkness,
Black like the death that awaits me,
Black like the unseeing eyes.
As black as my broken heart.
What colour is my life today?
Red like the water from my eyes,
Red like the streams from my wrists,
Red like the rivers from my fingers.
As red as the blood on my knife.
He bit his lip and set the paper down, astounded. He never realised his brother was into poetry, especially not this kind of poetry. And it was pretty well written, to Raph at least. He'd never read anything like it, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to again.
"You're full of surprises, aren't ya bruv?" He breathed, still in awe.
He slid the paper back, zipped up the case and put it and the c.d player back where it belonged. Wondering if there were any more poems holed away somewhere, he returned to his seat.
Sighing and leaning forwards, he rested his head on his hands and his elbows on his knees. A lot of the bandages had come off now, and his brother didn't look so helpless. The three holes in his side along with the scratches had become infected, Shredder had to have kept something nasty on those claws of his. But then again, sewers weren't the cleanest of places to heal.
Raph shook his head and took to his feet. He stretched, easing away the stiffness. Geez he was tired. He could sleep until Christmas. He wondered how sore and stiff Leo would be. He yawned widely and bent to adjust the gauze covering his bad cheek, which had been pulled down in Leo's restlessness.
His tense, pained face softened a great deal when he felt Raph's warm fingers gently touch his skin. Stunned a little, Raph tenderly stroked the flesh that wasn't torn. Leo even smiled a little. Raph smiled back, encouraged, and began to caress his forehead.
Leo let out a little moan. The noise escaping his lips was like an angel singing to Raphael's ears. His brother was finally waking! Raph continued what he was doing, and gradually, Leonardo managed to drag himself out of his slumber.
He groaned groggily, blinking and trying to make sense of the situation. His sapphire eyes eventually grew accustomed to the lightly and Raph withdrew his hand. Leo looked up at him and made to move but let out a hiss in pain as his wounds twinged.
"Whoa there Leo! Ya do that every time," Raph reprimanded evenly, returning to his seat when Leo stopped attempting to move. "Try getting up and hurting yourself," He explained in answer to his brother's questioning look. Leo nodded then stopped in a result of making his head hurt.
"How long have I been out?" He managed to croak.
"Three days," Raph replied almost cautiously. He knew that wouldn't go down well. So he was shocked when Leo merely looked around and glared darkly at the IV hooked into his arm.
"Where are Don and Mike?" He wondered, trying to hide his urgency. Raph caught it however.
"They're both asleep, I think. At least, they better be," He shrugged.
"How are they?" Leo probed further, leaning forwards and clutching his bedcovers.
"They're good, Don's a bit tired and Mike's obviously still in a bit of pain but they're fine," Raph replied comfortingly.
"Do…do they know?" Leo questioned quietly, hesitantly.
"Yes," Was all Raph mumbled.
"And…?" Leo's face fell, frightened of his answer.
"And they know you're not a murderer Leo, you never was," Raph said serenely.
"I am Raphael, there's no denying that," Leo sighed, looking at his hands shyly.
"Bullshit Leo! Shell Donny screamed it at the top of his lungs. And Mike, during his watches over you, he never shuts up about it. Every two sentences he's like 'You're not a murderer Leo, you may think so but I don't, and Donny and Raph agree, Shredder's just a dickhead,'" Raph declared calmly.
"Was 'dickhead' really Mike's word?" Leo gave a quiet chuckle.
"Not exactly," Raph smirked. Leo shook his head fondly; glad some things just never change.
"I dunno Raph," He arched his shoulder blades, throwing out his plastron, then settled back down. "I have a lot of what ifs for that night," He admitted.
"Well they didn't happen, and I have a feelin' Splinter would've died anyway, whether you did all you could or not. Shredder just wanted to fuck with your head and mess you up so you wouldn't be at your best when he fought you. Only that backfired," Raph offered a wide, wolfish grin. Leo gave a weak, modest smile.
"It's kinda hard to get rid of the images of your own hand, holding a blade lodged into your father's chest," He breathed sadly, looking at his wrists.
"But ya havta remember the images before that, of Shredder druggin' you and controllin' you," Raph added. Leo shook his head.
"It's not that easy," He began unwrapping the bandages in place of his usual supports on his left wrist.
"I didn't say it was," Raph said softly.
Leo said nothing, only started undressing his right wrist. They didn't need covering but he supposed it was better than looking at the horrific slashes. Well, to the others they must be horrific but to him they were almost beautiful. He couldn't think about stopping cutting, they were his release. But he'd promised Mikey. Yet had he even heard that promise? He almost hoped not. He ran his fingers over them, following the gauge marks.
"I thought you said you always like a challenge?" Raph asked placidly. When Leo looked up sharply, Raph was grinning again. Leo offered him a small smile back, his eyes twinkling.
Two days later, Leo was sat on the couch for the first time since he woke up. It was the first time Don had even let him out of bed. He was openly listening to an old but in good condition MP3 player Mike gave him, and also openly writing a poem and doodling on the margins when he got stuck. There was no need to hide them anymore.
His wrists stung but as always he didn't mind. He knew it would be a long time before that habit was crushed, and he half didn't want it to be. But he'd promised Mikey, and he always kept his promises.
He'd made Donny's day when he asked for food yesterday, and was starting to eat now, little by little. It felt like he'd stuffed himself full after half a bowl of soup, but his brothers were relieved to find him at mealtimes again. They didn't care what he ate, as long as he ate something and kept up his strength without resorting to other means.
Sleep came easy to him now he often exhausted himself just walking. Don hoped if he could get into a regular pattern, he would be able to sleep as normal once he was healthy. He still had nightmares sometimes, but most of the time, he was far too tired to dream. Hopefully they would lessen with time and patience.
Don, Mike and Raph would take it in turns to calm him after these night scares, they often made him want into the dojo (Which he had been forcefully temporarily banned from) and train until he just crashed and disconnected himself from it all or into the kitchen and the cutlery drawer to 'punish' himself.
His brothers knew he still self harmed and treated it with reluctant endurance. As Don clarified whenever Leo took unexplained trips to the bathroom, it would take time to wean the elder off his dependence on a knife to sort out his troubles for a while.
Leonardo had been told instead of heading towards the bathroom or his bedroom to cut himself whenever he was distressed, to go to one of his brothers and talk it out. He often had to be reassured they would think nothing less of him. So far, he was finding it difficult, and alternating between cutting and talking. One step at a time.
But inside, he still knew he was a murderer, despite what his brothers thought. It wasn't as easy as they thought it would be to change his mind. And yet Leo had come a very long way in such a short period of time.
But again, very deep down inside himself, Hamato Leonardo knew it could, and probably would, only be a matter of time before he fell and spiralled into the destructing darkness once more.
A.N: OMG I think I'm gonna cry lol, I'm so proud of this damned thing. Thank you all so, so, so much for reviewing and making me happy these couple of months, as a lot of you have probably guessed they haven't been particularly happy ones for me. Anywayz, take it steady guys, thanks once again and I LOVES YOU ALL MUCHLY ESPECIALLY YOU MONICA!