Author's Note - this story is the result of two seperate challenges on Stealthy Stories. The first was to have Raph and Leo dealing with a bullet wound. The second was to write a story in which Raph, king of machismo, is seduced by someone dominant.

If you couldn't tell, this will be Raph/Leo slash. I know it sounds odd to make Leo the dominant in that pairing, but in my head there's a beautiful way it can work, and I hope it comes out as nice as I'm thinking it will. Really, just planning this story out makes me adore Leo about ten times more than I did.

So, right! Because I don't have enough stories in the works, here's one more. (I said I was going to work on Return to the River first, but for now that one's just not talking to me. Hope no one's too mad. I don't plan to leave any of these stories unfinished. Promise.)

Leonardo wrenched his sword free.

The Purple Dragon howled at his feet, hands going feebly to the gaping gash in his leg where Leo had caught him.

Leo dismissed the man from his mind. There were already sirens in the distance - he wouldn't die from the wound. Though in prison with a bad leg he might wish he had.

Served him right, though. Leo looked around at the other fallen gang bangers. Absently his wrist snapped, flicking blood off his katana before he sheathed it. He turned a fierce, adrenaline-fueled grin to his brothers.


"She's gone, Leo. Didn't stick around long enough to see us." Don's bo was already stashed, his eyes on the entryway to the alley. "They didn't do much more than scare her. We need to get out of here."

"Yeah." Leo drew in a breath, grim and satisfied. Rapists. He hated rapists with a special kind of passion. He glanced at Mike, who was keeping a conscious banger quiet, and Raph, who was standing on top of a dumpster, surveying the scene like the self-crowned king of the hill. Both fine. Untouched, probably.

He left the screaming Dragon behind, moving to Don's side. "I'd say that went pretty well."

Don grinned. "Did you see what…" Don's eyes focused behind him, suddenly getting just a bit wider.

Strange, Leo never stopped thinking after that day. Such a huge moment, such a harsh blast of reality, but all he himself saw of it was that slight widening of Don's eyes.

Raph's voice roared behind him, a shout and the scrape of sudden movement. "Leo!"

And then a boom, deep and echoing and final.

His sword was already in his hand when he wheeled around, but though he was quick he was too late.

Raph stood maybe three feet behind him.

The fallen banger was on Raph's other side. In his hand was the gun, still drizzling smoke from the barrel.

When Leo realized he wasn't hit he darted past Raph and stomped, all his weight landing on the guy's wrist.

The gun dropped, the howling faded into waivers and then silenced. The guy fell limp.

Leo picked up the gun and threw it with all his strength into the wall. He hated guns. He absolutely--

"Oh, God. Leo?"

He looked back.

Don was by Raph, who stood right where Leo had left him. Raph's face was strange, his eyes wide, blinking a lot. Confused.

His hand was near his belt, grasping like he'd gotten punched in the gut. Red welled under his palm, a steady drip downward.

Leo was by him an instant later without being consciously aware of even moving. He pried Raph's arm away, and for a moment he could only stare, sickened, at the gurgling hole. The shattered circle, the cracks around it that laced his plastron.

He looked up.

Raph blinked at him with glossy eyes. "Leo?" He sounded young, baffled.

"Don! Mike!" Leo couldn't take his eyes from his brother's.

Don took over. "Mike, find something to use, some bandage or…something clean. Take one of their shirts if you have to."

"Clean?" Mike was dubious, but he moved fast.

"Raph? Come on, let's get you--"

Raph's knees gave out.

Leo and Don caught him and helped him to the ground carefully.

Don called something out to Mike and untied Raph's belt, but in Leo's head the whole scene was going out of focus bit by bit. All he could see as everything else faded away were Raph's eyes, still open. Wide, scared.

He grasped Raph's stained hand. "You're gonna be okay. Don's got this covered, Raph."

Raph blinked, trying to focus, and strangely he smiled. "'s okay, Leo," he muttered. "'s good this way."

"What? What way? There's no 'way' here, Raph. You're fine."

Raph grinned hazily. "You're fine."

Leo blinked, breathless. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine."

"Then 's okay." Raph's voice was a slur. His eyes threatened to close.

Leo slapped him, sharp and light. "Hey. Don't do that. Don't close your eyes."

"'s oka--"

"Stop telling me it's okay! Keep your eyes open, Raph." Leo ignored the thinness of his own voice. He was aware of Mike and Don across from him, worrying over the wound. He couldn't focus on it. He couldn't see anything but Raph's face.

Raph's grin was fading. His fingers shivered in Leo's hand. "…good it was me," he mumbled.

Leo leaned in. His breathing was shallow, his head shaking. Raphael...just an hour ago they'd been fighting so angrily they might have come to blows, and over something ridiculous. He couldn't even remember what. It never mattered with them - the fight was the only important thing.

He wasn't ready for this. He wasn't fucking ready for this today.

"You're not dying here. You don't get to jump in front of guns and play hero, you hear me?"

Raph spoke under his breath.

"Leo? Leo!"

"What?" Leo snapped his eyes back at Don.

"Is there blood anywhere else? From his mouth or nose?"

"No! Stop talking and fix him!"

Don ignored him, saying something to Mike about good signs.

Leo turned back, and Raph's eyes were on him.

"Hey, don' worry," Raph got out. "Better it's me."

"Stop talking like that! You're not expendable, Raph! None of us are."

Raph grinned, tight and small and bloodless. "Am."

Leo's face felt hot. He scrambled to find Raph's hand when it slipped from his grasp. "You're fine, okay? You're a pain in the ass, but you're--"

Raph mumbled something, his eyes barely half open.

"What?" Leo leaned in.

"…love you."

He pulled back, shaking his head. "Shut up. We know, and you can tell us later."

Raph's eyes closed. "Never said it before," he murmured. "Should've."



Don was moving, on his knees again with Mike on Raph's other side. "We have to go. Police."

"No. No, he's not dying. We're fixing him here."

"We can fix him at home."

Leo looked at Raph. His face was slack.

He swallowed, his chest burning. "Promise me that."

Don's hand settled on his arm for half a second. "We have to go fast, though."

"Yeah. We'll go fast."

"Mike, get his other--"

"No." Leo was already there. He took Raph's arm.

Don nodded, and together they lifted him between them.

Raph's belt had been retied over the wound, holding a wad of black fabric as a makeshift bandage. Red streaked from it, drying down either side of his plastron. Down his legs. On the ground.

Leo drew in a ragged breath and started moving with Don.

He prayed the entire way, long and endless and loud in his mind, that when they got home it wouldn't be a corpse they carried between them.