Disclaimer: Don't own them, never will. Thanks to Eldar for the beta.
In silence there was serenity, or that was how wise men would tell the tale. For Leonardo silence meant that the now may be still but the future would be pure Hell. When things were still it was his experience that it was the literal lull before the storm, and as experience had taught him to his detriment the storm was something that no sensible person faced. In his lap were the goggles he used to hide his eyes and (as April had gently put it when placing them onto his face for the first time) the worst of his scars. Though the eyes were dead the lids still moved, blinking once he turned his head towards the darkness of the room.
"Yo' can't tag Donnie but yo' can turn to greet me?"
A small smile spread over Leonardo's face. These days the darkness was where he thrived out of necessity. Lifting a single finger to his beak he held it there, urging Raphael to participate in the prevailing silence. Turning away from his brother Leonardo reached out absently to where he had left his sheathed swords. Tomorrow was going to be a big day for the remnants of the Hamato clan; they had not fought as one for too long. Beneath the scars a ripple of sadness spread over his face.
"Is Mike here?"
It didn't bother Leonardo overly to have Raph's answer originate from a different area in the deserted room. To his left was the table covered with maps, and that was where Raphael was now, if his memory served him right. One hand rested appreciatively against the worn leather of his weapon's sheath, but other than that Leonardo remained as still as the shadows that swallowed the room.
They could wait.
There should be silence here, but there wasn't, hammocks rustled and in the midst of the room was a rebel with a habit of whistling when he exhaled. Dull brown eyes rested on the empty hammock, that was so typical. Michelangelo lingered in the doorframe a little longer before leaving. Outside of the barracks the base was void of all life. Sliding down the corridors and over the debris, Mike stopped once in his wistful wander. In the darkness, a single light was still burning brightly disrupting the eerie peace of this place. Walking away from the sleeping rebels Mike made his way to the old work room. Until recently no one went down there, into that room, it was a shrine to their missing Don.
The silence of this place was completely dependent upon them operating under the curfew that held the city to ransom. Now Mike stood in another door way staring at the creased 'miracle'. …Dumb kid… Begrudgingly he tried to ignore the sardonic smile that wanted to spread; some things did not appear to want to change. The silence was far from perfect here, but at least when there was noise there was no lull, no calm before the storm.
Hesitating for a second, he went to join this secret meeting.
"Sorry I'm late."
They didn't look like a team scattered as they were in the calm. It was fascinating to see his eldest sibling do nothing more than sit. When all one saw was dark material and shadow it was easy to believe one of two things about Leonardo: he was in full possession of his faculties or he was nothing more than a piece of furniture. It was easy to pretend that, from this angle, Raphael was picking at nails, the one good eye jerking up to stare at him – the expression said more than any words could; irritation at being kept waiting, anger at the complete lack of apology in his brother's tone and surprise. Surprise that he had actually shown up.
"Sit with me."
Leonardo moved his arms. He had misjudged the distance between the couch and the angle of his weapons, causing them to slide lower down. If he had remained true to form over the years they had been separated, then he would have been caressing the worn leather whilst waiting. Sweeping up the tails of his coat and burying them beneath his body, he straightened his head and turned it down ever so slightly. Should they choose, both he and Raphael could creep over to that sofa and low table settle themselves down whilst leaving Leo alone in his little world.
It didn't take a genius to realize that this was going to be an interesting conversation. "Whatever you say." Mike croaked.
When they weren't baying for the blood of the other Mike couldn't help but note that the distance between Raphael and Leonardo was almost negligible. Raphael squatted down on the low table opposite the neutral, scarred mask of his brother. Michelangelo elected to avoid staring into the disfigured face by seating himself down upon the back of the couch, his feet resting amongst the creases of the moved coat.
"We didn't think you were going to come Mike."
Leonardo had reacted subconsciously to the arrival of Michelangelo. When his brother had slid onto the couch, the weight had caused the damaged furniture to move backwards ever so slightly. The air had moved a little as his legs had moved smoothly over the top and finally, despite his best efforts in the low lighting, his toes had caught on the material of his coat. Though his head was down slightly he lifted it so that his sightless eyes were on the level with Raphael's pair.
In his lap his goggles hung from loose finger tips, deftly he moved to put them on, the elastic being stretched out …
"Leave 'em off."
A single brow rose then fell; saying nothing Leo left them on his lap.
"Yo' called this, Leo." Raphael prompted.
"What do you think of the plan?" Hope was a commodity that was stretched out here and, on the rare occasion, found it was easily lost, "In all honesty, what do you think?"
Swift to defend Mike spoke up with a fierce whisper "Why exactly are we here?"
"Priorities." Leonardo responded calmly, "We know what happens tomorrow if we fail." In the darkness a breath hitched, he calculated up and to his right. There was no response from the voice that was directly in front of his face. "We've engaged this enemy. We can't defeat it unless we can acknowledge the truth."
"Yo' asked for a fightin' chance. With Donnie we got one."
"Priorities Raphael." Leonardo repeated calmly, "Tomorrow the most important thing is the destruction of the transmat," Dried eyelids moved over eyes that were blown. There was no silence at this moment. Raphael moved ever so slightly: he heard the rocking of the furniture on the cold stone. Mike didn't move, his breath held before being forcibly released in one smooth motion. "Everything else is secondary."
"That wasn't part of Donnie's plan!" Hope did funny things to a person, when stirred it gave even the gentlest of souls a rough edge. Having been dangled before him Michelangelo refused to abandon it once again. "Donnie …"
Leonardo's head snapped round to the source of the noise. From out of the darkness two round crème balls stared into nothing. Laid amongst a field of scars they held an un-nerving beauty. "It has to be!" He missed his brother's face by a few inches, addressing a space just before it but there was no ignoring the force behind the words. "Tomorrow is the Alamo, Donatello and the mat are all that matter."
"An' ev'rythin' else …" Raphael's head nodded in quiet understanding, his good eye moving to look at Mike. The youngest flinched under the glare, caught between the lingering mask of one who should have died years a go and his brother's audio-less request.
"He aint askin' yo' to give up." He sounded out as quietly as he dared
"We get Donnie to the mat…." Mike looked down at his knees; he could live with that, His eye ridges rose and fell in sync, accompanied by a tiny smirk. …Back in the day… "Always wanted to be a hero."
Silence shrouded the rebel base, accompanied by shade that hid almost everything.
"How does he look?"
To a person with eyes Leonardo's position was odd, his face was looking directly into the darkness, a pair of blackened goggles covering his eyes. To those who knew Leo it was not so strange. His ear faced the workshop keenly filtering through the hum of the lights and the carefully placed foot of Mike as he crept around Donnie. Draping a blanket over the boy a quiet murmur escaped from his lips and he moved. Subtle sounds that so many ignored filled the air, paper that was beneath his arms crinkled and crackled, something metallic rolled off the desk and struck the floor.
A fond smile spread over the blind turtle's face. This was not their Donatello, it wasn't possible, but it was an excellent substitute.
How did Donnie look? Fronds of purple material covered his face and one forearm. A blanket was now getting tucked into the nooks and crannies of his person. He looked like the runt he had always been … same olive green skin. Same … everything … Turning his head the material was disturbed revealing a face unworried by what would come tomorrow. Scratching the side of his beak with one finger he settled once more.
"Peaceful, Leo. Real …" Raphael paused and thought a little longer. Mike was happy with what he had done and was slipping out. "peaceful."
Leonardo's head nodded slowly, a hopeful smile finally cracking through his war-torn mask and in a single bar of light three brothers filled a doorway united at last.
Watching the steady rise and fall of Donnie's chest Raph finally added, "Like he's worth dyin' fer."