My brothers and I, have always been there for one another, and for each other, through thick and thin.
No matter what the situation might be, we've always come through by reaching out for each other.
Since little, we've fought, laughed and cried together, and yet, that did not change our love and care for one another, despite our differences. Our personalities and character had always been different; they've always been what had set us apart as separate individuals. But no matter in what shape or form, we're the same, but also, we're also very different.
Like my brother Raphael, for starters.
He and I, we share the same passion for ninjutsu, we can both be quite stubborn and bicker and fight constantly, but that's because we see things differently, and sometimes, his eye view overthrows mine, so I mull over our actions, to see if we had both missed anything. Michelangelo and Donatello are always more than willing to pitch in, to vote for one of us, or to side with who they think has a stronger point. Usually, it's me who wins, despite how accurate and true Raph's opinion might be, and sometimes, it hurts him when his opinion is not taken into consideration.
I know that as the leader, I am to understand my brothers, they way they move, think and relate physically and emotionally to certain things; to take their thoughts, comments and opinions into consideration, for they might take note of these smalls things that slip by my attention, thus pointing out things, we may not have even considered as a possibility.
That's where Donatello comes in.
In truth, he's very sharp and can note the very small details more easily than the rest of us, all thanks to his technical abilities, while fixing up or rigging very small devices, his eyes have been trained to notice the simplest of things, items or signs that we may never have even known to exist. That is what sets him as the smart one, for he knows the smallest things could very well flip the balance of our plans, to either good and better, or to bad and worse.
Donatello and I share the same stubbornness as Raphael can show, yet Donatello tends to step back and let out temperamental brother take the light, mainly because of his peaceful nature. Don would rather stay at the side and mull over everything, gathering thoughts and ideas, like a puzzle, he tries to fit them together, and then try to solve them, than try to take a share of the spotlight.
Michelangelo is no less important.
Though Mike tends to fool around and get on our nerves, he's still our troublesome, happy-go-lucky, little brother, and I know he only pops out of nowhere, just to distract us from what's eating us, to try and cheer us up.
He can be quite devious, like Raph, and also smart and cunning like Donatello, but I know, deep down inside, he's probably more sly and tactical as myself, yet he does not show it, because he does not enjoy that kind of attention. He'd rather fool around and play, enjoy a good prank and a laugh, preferably on Raph, than to share my post as the leader, to take a grip on the responsibilities.
Our father, master Hamato Splinter, is also a very important part of our life, for not only is he our father, mentor and guardian, our light through the darkness, he is also the strongest link that connects us together. His wise words and advice guide us, they protect us, and his presence alone makes us feel comfortable and safe, for we know nothing can harm us as long as he's there.
Wherever he is at, while with him, we feel comfortable and safe; we feel at home.
As the leader, my job is to guide and protect my siblings, my brothers, my comrades and best friends. But, what if the leader were to be the one injured? What if he were the one to fall? How will his comrades react? We are not allowed to feel fear, we are suppose to feel for each other, to trust and believe in each other, we know our limits, and we know when we need to back each other up, to protect and guide, to help.
But- what if it's too late?
What if the change is so bizarre, the reactions are so different, no one really knows what the best course of action could, or should be? Are we to stumble into the vast world of uncertainties, or is there one of us, who could find the thread to the right answer, to search through the pitch blackness of confusion, and to find the answer, to grab it tightly, to pull it in, to answer the things that puzzle us?
If such a thing existed, I really think I need it more than ever, because my problem overwhelms me so greatly, it keeps racking my mind, haunting me, confusing me, and I don't- I no longer know what to think anymore.
How is the leader to lead, if he's clueless to his own problems?
You see, it all started like a normal day; or should I say, like a normal night.
My brothers and I were patrolling, we were atop a roof, on a training run.
We came across a group of stray Foot ninjas; or rather, they came upon us, trying to ambush us when we weren't looking. They weren't as strong as they once were, simply because the Shredder was gone, and these ninjas were honestly, no longer members of the Foot. These ninjas only wore the symbol, but they defied Karai's truce, she had signed with us, and had keep attacking us, wanting vengeance for their fallen master.
Of course, Raph had no qualm about flattening them to the floor, same with Don and Mike, when they were getting too close for comfort. I tried to just knock them out; I needn't kill them needlessly, for they are, after all, angry humans, blind with the hate for vengeance. I was once like them, and I fully understand the burning desire for battle and killing.
I also understand that hate and anger are in bonds with revenge, and revenge is a never ending circle in time, it solves nothing and it brings nothing but pain, loathing and misery upon those who follow its dark, endless path.
Jerked from my thoughts, I perked my hearing as I heard something whistle through the air, but I was not fast enough to dodge it, as a dart- needle pricked my shoulder, right above the tender skin between my cracked shell's bony-armor and the tender, sensitive skin. It hit a pressure point, and my body instantly stiffened, I was unable to move!
It felt an electrified jolt through me, and it stung so brightly, it hurt my nerves so badly, my swords escaped my grasp as my whole side suddenly burned with flames! I couldn't stay upright, and I couldn't control my body. I fell to one knee, helplessly trying to keep myself up, and no more than a moment later, my brother, Raphael, battles a few stray ninjas away, before they oddly abandoned us and fled the scene.
"Strange," I heard him mutter, before I felt him stand besides me and gently pull me up, "You okay, Leo?"
I grunted, feeling my side still burning and hurting, "Yeah, but I- I can't feel my side!" I groaned.
Don came closer, and I watched him pluck a dart from my skin, "This must've hit a nerve." He muttered, stashing it away, probably for further study later on, "Can you walk?" he then asked me.
I inhaled slowly, feeling a cold prickling sensation travel from the side of my neck, all the way down my arm to my fingertips, then down my sensitive side skin, all the way down my thigh and leg and to the end of my foot, tingling in my toes. There was a strange tingling under my shell, where my shoulder blade it at, but it felt nice and cool, like the dripping of water, sprinkling gently on hot skin, before it slowly faded and then disappeared, as if it was never there. When it started, it actually felt pretty nice, actually; I couldn't explain it.
"Yeah, just give me a minute." I tried to push myself up to my feet and away from Raph's supporting arms, though still feeling a bit numb and unbalanced, "I think I can manage."
"Do ya think it's harmful, Donny?" Raph asks, still holding on to my arm.
"I'll have to run a few tests to check, Raph; so maybe we should head back home." Don replies, tucking his Bo staff in place.
"Yeah, I'm starved, and it's almost dinner time!" Mike grinned, "Hey, I know! How about a pizza? Haven't had any in a while." He pleaded.
I smiled a bit, the numbness leaving my body, "Yeah, a pizza sounds about right, right now."
"Cool!" Mike hooted and dashed off, "I get to choose the toppings!" he laughed in a mischievous way.
"Oh crap!" Raph gulped, shoved me towards Don and dashed after Mike, "In yer dreams, chucks-fer-brains!"
Don received my shoved body, as I yelped at the sudden jerk, and once Raph and Mike were out of sight, I sighed, smiling sheepishly at Don who rolled his eyes, helping me up to my feet.
"You sure you okay?" he asked worriedly, "I don't know what was on the dart, but if you ever feel anything, let me know."
I smiled and nodded, "Yes, I'm fine for now, Donny. If I feel anything, I'll let you know." I informed.
Not fully satisfied, Don held me and helped me to my feet for a few more steps, as my senses awaken from the bizarre burning numbness, and I could feel them again. There was a slight soreness, and a chill on my shoulder blade under the shell, but other than that, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Oddly, there was a strange tingling on the back of my shoulder, where the dart had hit me, and I told him about it. He didn't seem happy, but didn't question me, instead we headed home, and did a beeline to the infirmary-lab for a few tests.
No more than an hour or two later, Raph and Mike came back with something edible; much to Mike's childish whining. Master Splinter was in his room, he declined, not wanting to eat pizza for tonight, so we let him.
We took our treat to the living room, at the monitor area actually, and began consuming it. All the while, there was still the strange cool-then-burning prickling inside, and on the backside of my shoulder, and it almost felt as if there was a lump there, growing or forming, but figured it was probably a reaction to the pressure point being punctured, I didn't think much of it.
An hour later, and the prickling, lumpy feeling was getting worse, it was beginning to hurt, actually.
I told Donny, and he instantly grew worried, admonishing me for not mentioning it earlier. He retrieved the dart from his pouch and began examining it again, but with what looked like more advanced methods. Disturbingly, the heat-chill kept shifting, rolling and twisting under my shell, over my shoulder blade, and there was a sudden painful jerk to my nerves under the shell!
It was like a stab, it was so sudden, I gasped and chewed on my lower lips! It hurt too much! I wrapped my arms around myself, hugging tightly, curling around myself, trying desperately to channel the pain elsewhere, to try and sooth it, to lessen it's power, but the sound of my heartbeats was now thumping in my ears, I couldn't hear a thing!
A headache was growing, hurting my head even more!
I don't know how long it had been, holding myself and trying to ignore or subdue the pain.
All I remember was the pain becoming more and more intense, deafening my ears. I felt sweat drops dribble down my prickling skin, and although I was gasping for air, hungrily sucking, swallowing it as if I were suffocating, I was shivering as if I were trapped in an ice box! It was so damn cold! The sweat was building up and rolling down my skin, as if I were under a blazing sun, during a hot summer's day.
The burn and shiver were electing deep shivers, and my body trembled so badly, one of my brothers had to drape a blanket over me and hug me tightly, to keep me still, to ease the shivering. Slowly, and then more gradually, the trembling eased, the throbbing in my head thinned out, but the throbbing pain on my back was still there, thumping viciously against my shoulder socket, it hurt like shell! I then realized that I must've blacked out, because I laid to my side, on a bed, half waking from my slumber, half moaning against the dim light.
"Leo! You're awake!" I heard Raph's shushed voice, then the sound of his feet, marching into the room, holding my shoulders, helping me stay focused, before a hand was cupping my cheek, "You alive, bro?" he smiled a bit, teasing.
I smiled weakly, nodding faintly, "I think so." I murmured, my breath escaping my throat. "What happened?"
He snorted, "Wouldn't you want to know." He muttered, helping me sit up, "It's- well, how do I put this, without freaking you out." He grumbled, helping me settle, sitting upright on the bed, "What's the last thing you remember?"
I furrowed a bit, head dizzy and heavy, "Pain." I told him simply, squeezing my eyes a bit, "There was pain shooting all over."
"Yeah, I figured as much." He muttered again, gently peeling the blanket off me, he gestured a hand to the far side of the room, "Look at that mirror, what do you see?" he instructed kindly.
Confused, I tilted my head, and then craned my neck around to look towards the direction he had pointed at. At first, I just saw myself, from the side, sitting there on the bed, in the infirmary; with the dim light strong enough for me to see myself, and for a long moment, there was nothing a miss. My eyes wondered about, but I didn't see anything strange.
Or so I thought.
My eyes widened, as I realized that- there was now this- this strange- arm-like stub poking from my shell! I would have freaked out, if Raph had not placed his hand on my shoulders, grabbing my attention again, his hand moved from my shoulder to cup my cheek again, turning my face to lock eyes with him. His eyes weren't sharp, they were exceptionally different, concerned, friendly, comforting me in a way I could not understand.
"It's okay," he said gently, his hand caressing my face, slowly resting on my shoulder again, "it's nothing too bad, it'll hurt, but you'll just have to wait until it completely comes out." he smiled a bit.
I stared into his eyes for a moment, not fully understanding what he meant, but relaxed anyway, "Okay…" I bobbed my head, nodding.
I know though Raph does not display his affectionate side too often, everyone knows he's got a calming touch. For some strange reason, though; no one questioned how it worked.
I rest my hands on my lap, reluctantly, I reached out one hand to touch this small stub, the thing sticking out of my back. It was about four to five inches long, and about an inch or two thick, seemingly split in the middle. It was sticking out of the crack, from the already cracked corner of my fractured shell. I could catch the faint scent of blood and ointment, so this stub had probably broke the skin and the bony layer of my shell, making me bleed, before it stopped growing, sprouting out like a thorn, giving my shell a rather bizarre appearance.
There was- were these bone-like lumps on either side of the small head-like end of the stub. They were like the joints on the elbow or knee, and it felt as if whatever was trying to pop out of my shell was currently folded, that the other side of the stub-thing, that is still inside of me. Heck! I even felt- thread like things on the sides, like sainw or something, and I found it very disturbing!
I realized- it- felt like a bony, fuzzy covered limb, and more so disturbingly, when my fingers brushed over it, I could actually feel it! As if it were- No! It is a part of me, I could feel every stroke my finger made on its short length, and I know it's alive, a part of me! The nerves are sensitive and jumpy, more true a part of me, but- how?
"Donny ain't too sure about it," Raph suddenly spoke, now seating himself next to me on the bed; he continued, barely sparing the stub a glance, "and personally speaking, I feel it's pretty farfetched, but-" he hesitated, folding his arms over his plastron, "I don't know how to say this, but he's guessing that- you're growing a wing, Leo."
I stared; for a long idiotic moment, I blankly stared, "… a wing…?" I inquired, utterly puzzled and confused.
"Yup, a wing." He shrugged, looking a bit dejected, "Don't ask me how, because I'm as clueless as you are."
Utterly confused, I touched about the small bony lump again, and I inwardly flinched, because not only was it very sensitive, it also felt as if I ran my finger over a fresh-cut wound, and it smarts! Oddly, at my jolt of pain, it practically felt it as it moved in its socket, which was the base of my shoulder blade, and let me tell you, it hurt like shell! Not to mention freaked the daylights out of me!
If I had heckles, they would have stood with that disturbing sensation! I feel all so weird-ed out, I don't even know what to think, and somehow, I don't like the way this is going.
A one winged turtle? What is this, a fantasy story from Mike's warped mind, or a living nightmare?
If I remember correctly, he keeps saying: 'If turtles were meant to fly, they'd either grow wings, or get super powers!' Sometimes, I wonder if he even understands to concept of that phrase. I mean, does he understand what it's all about, or was he just joking around?
But now, that I have- or am, growing a wing, will he see me in the same light?
Or would it make me different? If so, then how different?
It worries me…
A/N: Okay, so I decided to post this here anyway!
EDIT: I fixed a few mistakes, and forgot to give out the disclaimer, I was thinking of saving this for chapter two, but felt guilty, and decided to edit this chapter and mention it here instead!
You see, I have a small confession to make, that I forgot to mention. This idea is originally not exactly mine! A friend of mine, here on fanfiction(dot)net (under DC Johnson) and on deviant art (under darkslayer17) had the idea of her OC-turtles gaining dragon wings and tails, and she told me a bit of her story. Later, I asked her about the story and she told me that she scrapped it, and then started from scratch, and practically changed the whole story, so I asked her if I could take the idea of a turtle with a wing, and change the story my way, and she didn't mind, so giving proper credit, the idea was in truth, inspired by her story, I never would have thought of this plot had I not seen her art!
I hope that does not change the way you see this story, and I do hope to continue it, so please stick with me, okay? I'm working on it. Oh, and on a side note, no, I don't own the turtles, if I did, Raph would have been the leader, and he and Splinter would have had more father-son moments! I swear, those two don't get enough time together! XP