A.N: I did a sequel! Lolness, you all wanted one so here it is! I hope ya'll like it; I'm trying hard with it. The rating is T but that might go up, I'll wait and see. There's mystery in here for a reason lol, and it'll be my first, so sorry if it's like too easy to figure out or something, I've honestly never wrote one before. But anywayz, enough babbling, I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT. 'Nuff said.
Writing On The Wall
I Killed Myself From The Inside Out
"They're the rules Leo, as long as you follow them, you can go out," Raphael said pleasantly, hands on hips and observing his older brother cheerfully.
Leonardo stared at him. It hadn't been spoken or officially declared in the last two or three months, but he knew he hadn't been allowed to step one foot outside the lair. Shell he'd rarely been allowed in the dojo let alone topside. They'd told him it was because of the healing wound on his side, the three deep holes in the soft flesh between his plastron and shell. But he knew it was because they didn't trust his mentality. To be honest, neither did he.
"I…I can go out?" He repeated, in a state of shock.
"You can go out," Raph confirmed, smiling as the blue turtle's face lit up in ecstasy.
Without another word, Leo sped for the door. He seized a jacket, not caring it was Raph's and not his own, and leapt into it. He said a hasty goodbye and breezed out into the sewers before anyone could stop him. He was finally released from his cage and able to roam free, and no one would be able to tell him otherwise.
Raph chuckled and flopped onto the couch where Leo was sat mere seconds ago. He interestedly picked up the abandoned notepad and mp3 player. He peeked at the music device then turned it off to save the battery. Raph wasn't interested in the music, if it wasn't heavy metal why should he bother?
He placed the blue gadget on the coffee table and turned his attention to the notepad. He flicked through the poetry he'd already read, until he found a new piece, half finished. He let his chocolate eyes roam the few sentences curiously. He didn't like the subjects his elder brother wrote about, but they were good poems all the same.
Leo didn't hide his notepad anymore, but he didn't like people looking at it either. He felt they'd judge him on what he wrote, and he usually wrote what was in his heart. And what was in his heart was usually despair and anger and guilt and grief.
In the two months that had passed since Leo had revealed the nature of their beloved Sensei's death, they, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, had all knit themselves closer together. Yet at the same time, Leonardo had been unwinding himself even further away from them.
Although he had started to become physically healthy once more, sleeping a little more regularly and gradually gaining a few of the pounds he had lost (which he hated), he put on a mask to hide the battle he was waging inside.
Something Master Splinter had said once came to him again and again and again. He had yet to figure out whether that was a good thing. But he had been told to be like a swan, a swan appears calm and poised on the surface, yet underneath the watery glass its legs struggle to stay afloat. Even when the biggest of wars rage on inside of you, always appear collected and tranquil.
Raphael had never been told this, and neither had his younger brothers, so they knew nothing of his eldest turtle's façade. To them, Leo was getting better, and finally getting over their dead father. But he was far from it.
Raph rubbed his nose tiredly and reread the incomplete poem. His brother's handwriting was so neat. There were a couple of scribbles where he had decided to use different words but that was all.
It's something I want,
It's something I crave,
It's something I need,
It's something you have,
It's something you give,
It's something you feel,
But I can't have it.
Sighing, Raph flipped the book closed and tossed it on the table. Sometimes, as hard as he tried, he just couldn't understand his brother. Granted, he might be the one who understood him the most, but it wasn't anywhere near enough.
They had all made a huge effort in understanding him lately, but they just could not see things his way, and vice versa. They didn't get why he blamed himself, and he didn't get why they didn't blame him.
But one thing was for sure, Raphael certainly hadn't trusted him. And Mikey had freaked out whenever he saw Leo within ten feet of a sharp object. Raph had known Leo's sanity balanced on the edge of the blades he loved so much. If he was left unattended there was no telling what he might do.
It was difficult, but Leonardo had finally earned back Raphael's trust. The hand-made Splinter plushie he had made for their birthday had helped a great deal. It showed Leo had handled a needle without driving it into his flesh.
They hadn't mentioned it, but they examined him every morning out of the corner of their eyes. And sometimes, when Leo noticed one of them was staring particularly hard at the skin underneath, he thrust his hand in their direction to inspect.
There had been relapses, of course there had. He wouldn't be human if there wasn't, or as human as he could possibly be. They weren't explained, he left them pondering. He silently accepted their scolds and offered no excuses. It exasperated Raph, intrigued Mike and worried Don.
His last relapse had been a week ago. Mike had had a particularly bad nightmare and Leo, as always, went to comfort him. Once Mike had drifted back off to sleep with the Splinter plushie and his Mini-Mikey plushie in the crooks of his arms, Leo had reacquainted his skin with the steel razor blade only he knew about.
Raph yawned and lifted his feet onto the coffee table. He thought over his rules once more and decided they weren't as harsh as he first thought. What was harsh about staying well away from public areas, the cemetery and the Shredder building, ringing them the moment trouble arose and staying out no longer than an hour and a half? Nothing really.
With a dry chuckle, Raph realised their roles had been reversed, Leo was the rebel (almost) and Raph was the leader (almost). He stretched contently and went to reach for the remote, hearing footsteps behind him.
Before he could even seize the gadget however, a bottle was irritably flung onto the table. Raph frowned in confusion, withdrew his hand and looked up at his brainy brother for an explanation.
"Valium! Fucking valium!" Don stormed, marching backwards and forwards behind the couch. Raph mentally sighed; Don only swore if he was real angry. The red turtle turned and knelt up to face his brother.
"What the shell is valium Donny?" He asked patiently.
"A freakin' drug! It relieves anxiety, calms you, stops you worrying, all that shit," Don huffed, throwing his hands up in annoyance.
"What about it?" Raph turned and examined the almost empty bottle of pills.
"I knew I had a bottle missing, I just knew it! And guess where I found it?" Don continued to rant.
"Where?" Raph asked with a sinking heart. But he already knew the answer.
"Leo's room! I went in there to fetch that book I lent him and they were under his pillow!" Don answered furiously.
"What were you doing under his pillow?" Raph turned back round, the bottle clutched in his hand as he lent on the top of the couch, watching Don pace.
"Looking for the book! I knelt on his bed to look on his shelf and they rolled out but that's not the point!" The second youngest snapped briskly. "The point is that bottle's been gone about three weeks and there's like fifty pills missing!" He indicated the bottle.
"So?" Raph shrugged.
"So? So?" Don cried, scandalised. "Raph, one pill lasts a good ten hours, that's how strong they are, and they're addictive!" He thundered. Raph let it sink in. Then he panicked.
"Are you saying he's addicted?" He questioned, his voice shrill.
"No! I…I dunno," Don added after noticing he'd screamed no just because of fear and not logic. Seeing Raph's alarm and hearing his own outburst calmed him a little. "I thought we were doing too well, no breakdowns or regressions. It's because of them!" Don nodded to the pills in Raph's shaking hands.
"What are we gonna do?" Raph asked quietly, his fright dying down now Don had relaxed.
"We gotta get him off them, there's nothing else we can do," Don replied solemnly.
Mikey edged back around the corner, his eavesdropping finished. His chest expanded and shrank rapidly as he fought off the tears threatening to bubble to the surface. He felt his emerald eyes burning and his throat constricted painfully.
His big brother was supposed to be getting better! Getting addicted to drugs, however good they may seem, was not getting better. It was hurtful to think one person's death could disrupt all these lives so terribly.
But of course it had been a very, very, very special person who had perished. Yet Splinter did not know how ruined his son would become after his death. If he did, he would never have become a father, for his children's sake.
Little Mikey just wanted the old Leonardo back. He knew things would never be the same again, a huge part of them had been snatched away and they were never going to get it back. But Raph and Donny were as Raph-like and Don-like as they could ever hope to be, and Mike was grateful for it. But Leonardo wasn't returning to his old self, almost exactly a year since their Sensei's death.
Did Leo even want to be how he used to be? It didn't seem so sometimes. When he was reprimanded for a relapse, he almost seemed cold and uncaring, not in the least bit guilty or ashamed. Whenever he had been yelled at for training in the dojo, he had remained emotionless. In fact, the only time he had shown the minutest shred of emotion was when one of them had been upset, or when Raph took his swords off him.
Mike shivered. Leo really didn't like that, he went mental, screaming and crying and shaking. Mike only wished he had been like that after Splinter's death, it was a reaction he knew was natural. But no, Leo had to tear the place apart when his swords were taken away from him, not his Sensei.
It worried Mike. Did his katanas really mean more to him than Splinter? Then it occurred to him, they were the only things he had left of him. Sure he had all the things he'd taken from the rat's room but they weren't meant for him, they were just his punishments, and that plushie?
He hated the damn thing with a passion. He used to love it, but then he grew to resent it. He despised those plastic blue eyes and that cute little smile. He knew it wasn't him. The others were perfect replicas, but his own was simply the turtle he was expected to be.
No, his swords were the only things he had. After the ones he had made with Raphael when he was fifteen had snapped again a couple of years later, Leo was at a loss. He had no weapons, and he felt like he had no arms.
Until Splinter had produced them out of thin air, it seemed, like magic. They had, the old master explained, been Master Yoshi's, and Splinter felt it was time they were passed on to Leo. Those things were his soul, and he vowed he'd never let them go.
But he had, albeit reluctantly. He'd felt so ashamed when he undid the strap around his plastron and flung the heavy blades at his brother's feet. Then he'd stormed to his room, slipped on his headphones and almost blasted out his ears by switching his mp3 player on full volume.
Mike didn't get to sleep that night. His head was full of echoes of his brothers' bellowing at each other, their cussing and insults reverberating from ear to ear. Then he remembered Leo pleading his trustworthiness and Raph refusing point blank to comment. In tearful frustration, Leo surrendered his swords. Michelangelo hoped he would never have to see his elder brother with a face like that again.
Leo upturned his face to the sky and let the June rain sprinkle down upon his skin in welcomed torrents. He smiled, a breath of relief escaping his lips. Fresh air had never felt so good.
He felt like Leonardo for the first time in an age. He had his swords back, which seemed like the best friends he'd ever had, residing comfortably on his shell. He was slinking in the shadows, tailing imaginary prey. He was alive.
He lifted a hand to slide away the rainwater from his soft cheeks. His weathered fingers smoothed over the pale ridges of the scars beneath one of his eyes. They marred his handsome face as a constant reminder of that night at the beginning of April. He was almost fond of them.
Foot activity was rare since that night. If the three younger turtles caught any of the enemy ninjas red handed, they simply abandoned whatever they were doing and fled. Leo couldn't help but feel suspicious, as much as he wanted to trust Karai, he couldn't.
He had trusted her, back when he was fifteen. She was two years older than him, but that hadn't mattered at the time. To him, she was merely a lost case he had the urge to help, much like the young, unfortunate Keiji. Yet to her, he was much more.
And he couldn't understand why. He pondered it as he pelted across the rooftops, his feet splashing satisfyingly in the puddles and the rain sloshed upon his skin and drummed on his shell. He loved the rain.
But he didn't love Karai, and he didn't know where he'd mislead her into thinking he did. She wouldn't have kissed him otherwise. But what really frustrated him was the fact she'd declared his love to him, yet she'd still sleep with ninety per cent of the male population, and perhaps even the female too. Any decent person wouldn't do that, even if their love were unrequited.
But he supposed sex would be addictive, he wouldn't exactly know, would he? He'd thought about it, what would he be if he didn't? But he couldn't imagine making love with anyone he didn't deeply and truly care for. What was the point in sharing something so special with someone whose name you weren't even going to remember in the morning?
He wondered if it was just girls, after all, he hadn't had much experience with the alien species. But then, he remembered April was nothing like that. She and Karai were totally different women. The only things similar were their fiery, girl power junkie attitudes and their ages, Karai's twenty one years and April's twenty five.
But apart from that, they were very different, even in appearance. Karai was mysteriously dark and April was a bright redhead. Karai was tall and slim, April a little shorter and a little cuddlier due to recent motherhood. And also, April was happily married (Most of the time) and had a gorgeous baby daughter, Raven. Karai was single with the ambition of sharing her body with every person imaginable.
So no, it wasn't the female species. Leo shrugged, slowing down a tad to give his tired legs the tiniest of rests. Maybe Karai was just a whore. But why though? That was his main question.
However, he had other things to ponder about besides a Japanese whore. He bent and massaged his cramped calves, he hadn't worked them this hard for ages, he hadn't had the chance unfortunately.
"No! Please!" A shrill, female voice shattered the night's silence. His head snapped up and he growled menacingly.
If there was anything he hated, it was people picking on women. Ignoring the shots of pain firing up the back of his legs, he stole his way two alleys down. He could hear the young lady's petrified screams and felt his heart beat fiercely in anger.
He slid haphazardly in his haste across the gritty rooftops and cursed the pebbles that tinkled as loud as boulders being hurled off a cliff in his ears. He bent to his knees and peered over the edge.
His gasp was drowned out by the tittering rain and another scream fought its way out of the woman's mouth, before all but the rain were hurriedly muffled. It was high up there, but he got a perfect view of the sick scene of a grotesque play being performed before him.
The innocent lady had been forcefully pinned up against the chilly, filthy brick wall. But her attacker was hidden in the shadows, snaking in the smoky black tendrils with much skill, Leo couldn't make out exactly who, or even what, it was from that distance.
The victim was understandably terrified, a hand jammed against her lips, caging her voice within. Her head was being shoved back against the rough, unkind brick again and again and again, warning her. Her head stopped banging, and if Leo squinted he could just see scarlet shadows sneaking their way through her blonde hair.
And suddenly, he caught out of the corner of his eye, a glint of steel in the darkness and the hiss of metal underneath the angry rain.
He tried to move, he tried to yell. But his tired legs had locked in their positions, bellowing their protests out in bolts of pain if he tried to move. His voice had died; he could not seize it from the depth of his stomach. It refused to come, fear kept it rooted in his very core. He was forced to watch.
His heart panicked so hard he dreaded he might be heard. He watched the blade shimmer in the starlight with terrified sapphire eyes. Then in happened before he could even blink. The knife flashed down and the attacker vanished before either head or head could smash to the floor with a sickening thump.
Leo still couldn't move. He eyed the blinding crimson liquid swamp the alley floor, his heart thudding, his mouth open in shock. Rain spattered into the juices, diluting it and chasing it down the drains.
The head rolled to a still and, gulping, he looked at its pretty face. Glassy blue eyes stared accusingly up at him like some grotesque zombie doll.
To Be Continued
A.N: Yay! I finished it! Hehe I hope you guys all liked it, I loved writing it. Okies, the title chapters are all lines from a song, and there's a huuuge virtual c00kie to the person who can guess what song it is and who sings it lolness. Anywayz, please, please, pleeease review, they mean the world to me lol. Thankies guys, love you all!