Disclaimer: I own nothing see previous chapters.
A/N: Done from Leo's POV. Written for someone
Chapter 3: This is who I lost.
My brother was never one who enjoyed too much attention at one time, instead when ever that happened he seemed to curl away from us. Depleting himself of his need for people and company and instead preferring the steel of his blades, and the quietness of his room or night to us.
The ability to breathe in such a manner that he could hear and count his own heart beat. Drawing him closer and closer to his family in mind, and farther from the world he lived in. But now as I watched him, looked at him behind cool glass that separated us…it was almost as if every faint beat of his heart was taking him farther from us. Not bringing him closer.
The grief of loosing a brother was already buried inside me as I leaned forward from the chair a bit, my arm screaming with pain as I lifted it to the glass barrier, pressing into it as if in hopes it would break and the shattering noise would bring my brother back to me. Make him angry that he was aroused and that anger would give him the spark he needed to fully return to us.
Too fully return to me.
I knew I shouldn't have been as cold to Mortu as I was. After all, he was only trying to help me. But every time he insisted I lay down, I return to my own room to rest, I could the voice and the ice blood inside me mixing and tingling together as one. It felt odd to say the least as if the ice had robbed me of the voice I'd once known and the warmth I'd once felt replacing it with waves of a voice I'd never heard. The voice of condemnation for myself seeming to become my own, the hissing now no longer present, I could hear what the voice really was.
"He will die Leonardo!"
"You could have saved him!"
"You trusted her, you trusted her more than your own brother!...He fell for you Leonardo, he gave everything to defend you…to the enemy you let kill him."
The voice over a matter of hours had become my own. And in those hours I had become something different, even Mortu who refused to leave my side, insisting I needed rest, that hurting myself would not help my brother, could tell.
He didn't understand though, that nothing, not their technology not their efforts. Nothing they did would help him. He needed me to stay, his ice brother. He needed me to be here for him, just one more time, as close as I could get telling him even though I didn't believe it. That it would all be alright. I needed to tell him, before I myself quit believing it at all, before the ice swarmed through me and touched my heart. The only part of me that was still warm.
But I could feel it, the ice blood, the voice and the shadows of the lives we lived. Suddenly they were coming for me, becoming a part of me…but until Raphael felt I would be there for him, even if it was his last breath. I held it at bay, refusing to give it my heart just yet.
Hours had gone by since the incident, almost turning into a full day by the time they brought him back out of the chamber he was in. Where the air was cleaner and they could monitor him more as he laid suspended in air, circles of light tracing around him. Pulsating over him trying to maintain his breath, his heart, his will however…may have already left him.
"You're brother is fine, Leonardo." Mortu said squeezing my shoulder that was uninjured as lightly as he could. "He will recover…he wouldn't have gone through all that just to give up."
I didn't answer. How I could I? What I could I say that would sound even remotely like me as ice turned hot in my throat searing it shut in the pains of loss? "May I see him again?" I asked quietly, I answered things it seemed now with questions of my own.
Mortu shook his head. "No, I'm afraid not Leonardo, you need your rest just as your brother needs his. You wont help anyone if you make yourself ill." he tried to reason and I knew he was right. Well logically he was right, telling me I needed rest, but what if I didn't take it?
He couldn't make me rest. He could make me lie down, he could take me from the hallways, from the side of my brother. But he couldn't make me rest, he couldn't battle the ice inside me, nor death that threatened my brother, nor the worry that plagued my mind and the defeat that already made residence there. He could do nothing but watch helplessly as it took over.
I shook my head trying to clear my thoughts, not me. I wouldn't rest…I wouldn't rest…
"I'll rest when…I'll rest later." I responded in my new voice the one that was claimed by ice and shadows and bathed in condemnation. When later was I didn't really know, and that moment I didn't care. All I cared about was seeing him one last time.
"Leonardo." he began with a sigh placing a hand on my shoulder again. I noticed with interest that he never touched my left one. "Your brother is fine. You will do more harm if…"
"I can't let him die with strangers." I answered my old voice making itself known for a moment then drifting away.
He shook his head…and I pleaded. My eyes were still swollen from the sobs I cursed myself for letting get out of control, but I begged they shown more than just a defeated warrior. I pleaded that they shown the need of a brother, no matter how distant to just be with his younger one…just to assure him one more time that the monsters he feared might be kept at bay.
Finally he nodded as my voice fell. "Alright…but…only for a little while Leonardo. Only for a little while." He spoke sternly on that part and I nodded. I only needed a little bit of time to be with him, I only needed to hold his hand and tell him one more time that it would all be ok. That no matter what…he would never be forgotten.
The trip took less this time, due to the fact I was already in chair and his room was closer, a small window in his room radiating a bit of light from the solar system we were now in. As if the light was his family gently caressing against his face, illuminating the peace that seemed to reign on it. The scary thing was…it looked no different than when I last entered, taking his hand in mine again I cringed for a moment, expecting him to begin jolting again at my touch.
He did move a bit though at my touch and I held my breath gripping as tight as I dared, but it was only one movement before he settled back down his face still to the left. His skin felt so much warmer to me than it had before, before I couldn't even notice a difference between us but now…his skin felt like it was melting my hand when I touched it. If Mortu was still hear I could have asked him, but looking around I saw another monitor and figured it out myself, because of the convulsions, his fever had shot up. It was either that…or the ice inside me…had finally penetrated through my skin. Entwining and becoming more of a part of me than I could have imagined.
Reaching over to cup his face once again, I ran a finger along his face, his frighteningly pale face. The one that seemed trapped in the color of death and beauty, trying to take some beads of sweat away to help him.
Again he moved and again I held my breath. But once again he didn't jolt, he didn't twist in pain, instead he moved slowly then not at all.
"C'mon Raph…please wake up." I begged in a near whisper the only tone of voice my old one seemed to be able to become present in.
He shifted again at the sound of my voice, and I stroked his face a bit more, biting my lip, begging for him to wake up. Mentally telling him it would all be alright, that no matter what I was here…I wouldn't leave.
He stirred more as I turned his face towards me just a bit, squeezing his hand in as hope stemmed inside me, putting up a barricade to my heart before the ice could seize it. Furrowing his brow a bit as I pressed on, speaking to him in a whisper to keep my old tone of voice, I could feel his heart beating with mine.
For a moment he stopped furrowing, he stopped moving near completely and the ice made a small pin sized hole in my hope, beginning to try and crawl in. His eyes however became the single most beautiful thing I had ever seen as they fluttered open, his face towards me and bleary, tired eyes taking me in.
His voice was too weak, but I could tell he mouthed my name in a question, too tired too really focus.
When I first saw him, I imagined this would end in a hug he would never get out of. Instead though I found myself nodding and smiling the first and last real smile I felt I would for a long time; Small tears tracing my eyes and landing on his hand only to disappear, almost as if I was crying the ice inside of me.
I had never felt this before, torn between two emotions. One of joy, the other of grief as the ice tipped through me. Invading past what I tried to block.
"Shhh…don't talk alright?" I said quietly stroking his forehead as he tried to speak again, his voice a hollow creaking noise. "You're going to be alright Raph…you're going to be alright."
Raphael looked up at me again, small circles around his eyes, it never ceased to amaze me how one could spend hours asleep and yet never be rested. "Ya…right eo?" his voice cracked. I shook my head with a sigh, he had nearly died and he was asking if I was alright.
I nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine Raph, I'm fine…but don't you ever scare me like that again!" I ordered expecting him to laugh and tell me that was his job, like he always did after things like this happened.
Instead he held my gaze in his. My troubled blue eyes, to his sunken brown ones "Ya…ook different…"
"That's just your fever Raph. I still look the same."
He shook his head… "No…ya don't…ya…barely look…like…yourself." he managed every word out barely flinching as I chided him gently about talking when he was so ill.
"I'm not different Raph. It's just your fever." I said again squeezing his hand, but he was right…I was different changing somehow. I just didn't know anyone could see it.
"The…ice… cold." he murmured. I blinked, what? He repeated it again, saying the ice they had placed on his forehead.
I shook my head at that. "That's just my hand Raph."
He nodded, his eyes falling shut much to my dismay, but I understood. He was still in pain. He was still tired. "Feels…nice." Raphael murmured again his voice dropping quickly into the wave and blanket of sleep.
I nodded, not sure what else to say or do…he was so tired and suddenly I became aware that I was too. My own eyes began fighting to stay open as I held his hand.
"You rest ok bro? You've been through a lot…"
Raph didn't even nod before agreeing, his voice slurring as he tried to speak against the hoarseness, I would need to make sure he had water next time he woke up. "Thanks…"
"For what?" I was a bit shocked at first. I hadn't done anything to be thanked for, I got him in that situation, but as long as I whispered. I was me again. Who was filled with blood instead of ice; who had hope instead of despair. The one who could still feel love instead of loss and shared the fever and joy with his brother.
"Being…here…" the last word barely slipped out before his eyes shut fully, his head rested now to the right, and peace reigning on his expression again.
I nodded. "I'm not going anywhere Raph. I promise." And I meant it. That was one promise at least I thought I could keep.
But the more I sat there, holding his hand, telling him it would all be alright though now he knew, the more I felt sleep extending over me, the need for it. And the more I raged against it…I'd already let him down so much, I couldn't fall asleep and leave him alone.
I needed to stay awake, I needed something to keep me awake…and I knew what that something was. For the first time since this day began. I found myself reaching inside myself, grasping onto the ice through the waves and sinking into them, listening to the voice like a lullaby. Lifting the barriers inside myself that I had set to keep the ice out of my heart…instead to keep awake, to make sure I would be there for him, for all of them.
I let the ice flow into me, surrounding my heart until it formed a vine of ice and thorns. I could feel the sharpest thorn reach forward and prick my heart. Its barrier gone as the numbness flowed in, consuming the warmth of my heart, making it brittle and cold to protect them.
The ice…the vines, thorns and shadows, surrounded me…and in an instant.
We became one.
A/N: Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed the final chapter of Broken.Thank you so much for all your time, and for reading. It really made a difference and really made me feel like I accomplished something. Thank you for your support.