Author's Note - Can't. Stop. Writing. Turtles.
Don didn't get it, and if there was one thing in life Don hated it was not getting something.
"I mean…it's Raph."
Mikey just grinned. "Yeah."
They sat back and watched as Raph and Leo went at it, barking at each other like harp seals about some order or another that Raph hadn't obeyed fast enough, or Leo hadn't thought through enough.
Mike didn't listen to that.
Don studied Raph as the argument went on. "He's…"
Mike sighed. "You don't know the half of it."
"He's so…" Don turned to Mike, making a face. "I don't get it. He's nothing like you. At all."
Mike laughed. "Yeah, but where would I find another me in this world?"
"I can't even imagine what you'd talk about alone together."
"It's not the talking you should try to imagine."
Don fell back. "Oh. Ew. Oh, don't. Not fair."
Mike giggled and glanced over as Raph stormed to his door and let it slam closed in the middle of some speech Leo was giving about responsible behavior.
"I just don't get it," Don said finally.
Mike looked back at him. "It's alright." He reached over, patted Don't leg. "You don't have to."
"I said on three, Raph! Jesus!"
Raph threw the practice bat against the wall so hard that it would have broken if not for the padding.
"That's it, Leo! Screw this crap!" He stormed across the mat, passing Mike with a growl and Leo with a clenched fist. He slammed the door as he went.
Mike whistled as he twirled. One hand, catch. One hand, catch. Over and over. Good for dexterity, Splinter said.
"You must have the patience of a saint, Mikey." Leo glared at the mat in front of him.
Mike caught his nunchaku in mid-twirl. "Patience?"
Leo looked away from the door with sharp eyes. "I've heard how he talks to you. Of course, it's the same way he talks to all of us. He's…"
"Nah, he's not so bad. You just gotta see him away from…well, you." Mike grinned, slapping the weapon on the table and stretching his spine with a growl.
"I don't get it, that's all. I mean…why him?"
Mike laughed, unbothered by the number of times he was being asked that lately. He was pretty sure Raph didn't get these same questions about him. "I don't know. Him and me have always been close. You know, more than just brothers and all."
"I never got that, either," Leo admitted with a wry smile.
"Then again, you and Donnie are both….you know. Uninterested." Mike grinned. "Which is the thing I don't get."
Leo rolled his eyes. "What, how we manage to withstand your sex appeal?"
"Exactly! You're like monks or something." Mike rolled his shoulders. "We done?"
"Might as well be." Leo glared back at the door, then turned sudden wide eyes to Mike. "Is that it, really? You're just…with him because there's no other choice?"
"No, Leo." Mike moved past him, patting his arm as he went. "That's not it."
"Don't get it. I know." Mike opened the door, twirling to shoot him a parting smile. "Enjoy the mystery."
"--he's the one who started--"
"I have told you before not to--"
"Master Splinter, he did start it!"
"You interrupt me?"
Mike rolled his eyes and pushed his face into the cracked doorway. "Master Splinter? Don said you wanted to talk to me?"
Raph stood up fast. "Right. I'll just go, then."
Splinter sent him a hard look. "We will continue this later."
"Yeah, yeah." Raph said the words as he left, low enough that Splinter hopefully couldn't hear it. As he went past Mike their shoulders knocked together hard.
Mike rubbed his arm as he came in. "Sorry to interrupt," he said with a smile.
Splinter gestured to the low seat Raph had just left. "I've come to accept that knocking on doors is beyond your skill to grasp."
Mike grinned. "That's good! Live in the now, accept what it. Very zen."
Splinter's mouth quirked up. "Michelangelo. Your brothers have expressed some concerns to me."
"About Raph?" Mike sighed. "I told Leo to…wait. Brothers? Don too?"
Mike blinked, surprised. "Huh."
"Given Raphael's temper, I can see where the worry comes from. Though I doubt your brother would ever resort to striking out against you, there is always a possibility."
"Raph? Nah. Never happen." Mike smiled cheerfully. "He's been a little uptight lately. No big deal."
"There have been times in the past when he has come near to injuring you."
"Only during sparring. We all get carried away sometimes." Mike shrugged.
Splinter studied him. "When you first came to me about this…this change in your relationship with Raphael, I told you you had my support as long as no one was distracted or hurt by it."
"And I told you I'd tell you if anyone was." Mike smiled. "Look, Master Splinter, I know it's weird for Don and Leo to think about, but things are going good. Really."
"I believe you." Splinter spoke hesitantly. "Though I must say that given the very different temperaments you two have, and the nature of this change, I am still unsettled about the feasibility of these new arrangements."
Mike blinked. "Uh. Is that your way of saying 'I don't get it'?"
Splinter hesitated. "Perhaps."
Mike grinned to himself as he moved up the winding stairs to his bedroom.
Such worrywarts, his family. He didn't get the big deal. It wasn't like anything had changed. It wasn't like he and Raph hadn't been tight for a while.
They didn't get it. Well, since when did they have to get anything?
Sure, Raph was grouchy and loud and was more inclined to storm out of a room than walk out.
He was still Raph. He was still intense and fiery and driven. He could focus those dark eyes on Mike and make him feel with confidence that there was no one else alive in the world.
Mike moved through his doorway, and grinned when he saw the figure slumped in his bed. "Look at this. It's Christmas come early this year."
"You're an idiot, Mikey." Raph sat up.
Mike shut the door behind him. "Your idiot, though."
And as the world got shut out, the tension that was almost always there drained out.
Raph smiled. Wide and uncomplicated, expectant and simple. As if everything outside meant nothing when he was there with Mike.
Mike knew looking at him that if any of his brothers could make Raph smile the way he could, then they would get it.
They would definitely get it.