Raphael crouched in the darkness of the alleyway, looking at his hands. Gone were his red eye mask and gear. Instead he wore a black coat. His sai sat at his belt, as well as two small katana. A full sized katana was strapped to his back.
Donatello could only imagine what else Raphael had hidden on his person. He watched him from the other side of the alleyway. He didn't know how he got there; he just was there. Raphael looked as if he had been there for a while, and leaned listening to the goings on in the building he leaned against. Several voices chatted amongst themselves.
Raphael seemed to be waiting for something.
It was a metal warehouse with corrugated sides. Two doors stood not far off, also metal. A large chain draped across the handles, locking it shut.
A new voice met the others in the warehouse, muffled behind the walls. It was deep and gruff.
"So how'd it go, boys? I take it things went well while I was on…vacation."
A small grin eased its way onto Raph's face.
"We got one of them," another voice said. Dragon Face. "The one called Donatello. Dead as a doornail."
"Only one?!" Hun growled. "I wanted them all dead!"
"If you haven't noticed, they aren't exactly easy to kill! They got some of our guys too…"
Raph held up his hand. Something black sat in his fingers. Donatello went wide eyed. He knew what it was.
He raised his thumb and set it against the device.
Explosions rocked the building from all sides, ripping open the steel doors and slicing through the walls and roof. Raph ducked as metal debris went flying and he hit the device again, setting off explosions on the roof. The men inside cried out in surprise, some in terror, others in pain.
And then Raph was on his feet, the katana drawn. He flew into the building, slicing through people and dodging bullets. There was something cold and calculated about how he moved, and yet uncannily skilled. Gone was the powerhouse, angry Raph. If Donatello didn't know better, he'd think he was watching Leonardo fighting.
Each man he engaged succumbed to the katana, and others fell as shuriken slammed into their skulls. Gunfire pierced the otherwise silent noise.
Raphael's katana met a metal pipe that Dragon Face held up. Dragon Face couldn't mask the bewilderment in his eyes if he tried. "…you!" Raphael growled. He hacked down at the pipe, then again, sending Dragon Face to the ground with the force. Donatello stepped into the building as he saw Raphael bring the katana into Dragon Face's skull.
"That…was for my brother, Donatello!" Raph stood and looked down at Dragon Face. The gang member stared up at the katana in his head, his face frozen in horror. Blood pooled freely under him.
"Raph! Look out!"
Raphael spun, letting fly a katana. It embedded itself in Hun's shoulder. The giant man looked at it as if it were nothing and fired the assault rifle in his hands.
Donatello watched his brother dodge the bullets, flipping midair. Upon landing, he let the other katana go. It hit Hun in his chest, but the man only stumbled a small bit. Raphael pulled his sai as a bullet caught him in his shoulder.
He charged Hun, yelling in rage, neverminding the bullet that now caught him in the chest.
He leapt, releasing all his fury into Hun, his sai stabbing the man over and over and over, his form moving about, dodging Hun's swipes. Raphael leapt high, kicked Hun alongside his head, sending him over, then landed with a foot at each of Hun's shoulders, and brought the sai into the blond man's skull with a yell that could curdle blood.
The two turtles watched as the large man's body spasmed sickly, his hard boots thumping against the warehouse's concrete floor and his fingers twitching. Raphael pulled the sai from his fallen enemy with Hun's last breath that was a deep gurgle.
Silence befell the place. The floor was awash with blood, Purple Dragon blood. Bodies littered the place, either caused by the explosions or the debris, or from Raphael's unforgiving blades. Donatello didn't think there was this many people that Raphael could kill, but he had.
He had killed them all.
The sais clattered to the floor, and Raphael stumbled towards the nearest demolished wall. Blood dripped from him with each step, too much blood. He leaned against the wall for support and groaned as his legs gave out under him. He slumped against the wall on his right side, not caring how he lay.
"Raph!" Donnie ran over and knelt before his brother. Blood flowed from both his wounds, and now dribbled from his mouth. The bullet in his chest had hit his lung, or worse. His breath wheezed out in a rasp. "Raph…why…?!"
To his surprise, Raphael looked up, his eyes meeting Donnie's. The troubled look, the one a man gained when knowing he was done for, melted to warm recognition. "Donnie…!"
"And here…I thought Mikey was just yankin' my chain," he said, ignoring Donnie's statement. "I did it, Donnie. I got those sons of bitches!"
"Raph, you…you didn't need to!" Donnie reached out to touch his brother, knowing full well that he couldn't. His hand touched Raph's skin, making him blink in surprise. It was cold. "I don't get it…I couldn't touch Mikey…or Leo…"
"Leo…" Raphael paused to breathe. He coughed and spat blood. "I…was so mad at him. But I know why he ran…he had that look, the same look you got right now…when he saw you die…" Raph's eyes washed with sorrow. "I'm sorry, little bro…I couldn't save you…"
"I don't care! That was no reason to come in here…and do this! It won't bring me back!" Donnie touched Raph's cheek as tears dripped down his own.
"I hadta," Raph's eyes blinked languidly. "I never really thought…I'd do it…but I couldn't let my bro's…honor…get taken by some…stupid thug…"
"Honor?" Donnie shook his head. "I didn't think you cared…"
"Of course I care ," Raph gave a laugh, or tried to. He slumped a little bit. "Leo…didn't do it. I hadta…I got them, those…sons of bitches…I got your honor back…li…brrr…" Blood drooled freely from his mouth with his incoherence, and his hands relaxed at his sides. Gurgles came from his lips, and he could no longer look Donnie in the eye, but affixed his eyes to a spot on the ground. "We ain't…so…easily…def…eat..ed…"
He slumped forward into Donnie's arms. Donnie hugged him close; his older brother's last breath was spent on his shoulder. "Raph…"
Minutes passed in the silent, bloodwashed ruin. This wasn't right. Why would Raph suddenly change? He had never expressed such a respect for honor before, at least not in a way that Donnie could remember that would explain this suicide vengeance.
It was because Leo hadn't done it. Raph knew it had to be done; it was the right thing to do.
Donnie set Raph back so that he leaned against the wall. He stared into the blank gaze of his brother and ran his hand over his eyes, shutting them. "Thank you…Raphael," he stood and looked down at the body of his brother. He gave one last look to the bodies, the cost of his honor. His eyes fell on Hun, their longtime enemy, and Dragon Face, who had set them up to die that one night.
They would never hurt anyone else ever again.
Raphael didn't deserve to lie amongst such dishonor, but Donnie knew that his brother died with the honor of a man tenfold. "What now?" He whispered as sirens came closer. Police ran into the building, shouting, guns drawn.
They lowered them at the sight of the carnage.
"Let me go…let me be with my brother," he cried it out to no one, as no one heard him. "Why am I still here ?!"
The world seemed to spin about him, the time ticking faster. In a blur, photos of the scene were taken by detectives, and lines drawn on the concrete. Men ran in and lifted the bodies away. The last body they took was Raphael's, but he too was sealed in a black bag and set namelessly amongst his foes.
The world spun faster, breaking into white light.
The bloody concrete below turned into weathered wood, and the sound of the police moving about changed into the sound of water and seagulls. Time slowed, and Donnie opened his eyes to see the river. He was on a dock where several small fishing boats were tied. They swayed against their bumpers.
At the end of the dock sat Leonardo, with his legs hanging over the edge. His right hand was bandaged with dried blood soaked through. Donnie wondered how long the wound had been in such a sad shape.
Leo looked up at the sound of his name. He smiled at Donnie. "Donnie! I thought you'd never make it!"
Donnie frowned, remembering that his oldest brother, his mentor had abandoned his brothers and father. He remembered the anger in Raph's eyes when Casey mentioned Leo, and the pain in April's eyes when she saw that he had not returned. The sadness in Splinter when he realized he had lost two sons.
"What are you doing here?"
Leo stood and ran over, enveloping Donnie in a hug. Donnie did not hug him back, but Leo didn't seem fazed. "It's almost here, Donnie!" He grabbed Donnie's arm and led him to the edge of the dock.
"Leo…" Donnie raised a brow at the expression on Leo's face. He seemed overjoyed and excited, his eyes wide and his pupils too small. "Leo? Are you…okay?"
"Never been better!" Leo grinned and pointed across the river. "Can you see it Donnie?"
Donnie looked, but only saw the dark banks of the opposite side of the river. "See what?"
"Our ship!" Leo grinned at him. "We're going to Japan, to live in the lands of our ancestors! The others are waiting."
Donnie looked out into the river again, but there wasn't even a boat to be seen. "Uh…Leo? There's no ship there."
Leo ignored him. "It's beautiful. We'll leave this place, go where no one can get hurt…or killed."
Donnie looked away, remembering the look Leo had had when he gazed upon Donnie's bullet wound. The horror. The rage that followed. "You've lost it, Leo."
"…we'll be happy, and no one cares about what we look like, or anything…" His eyes turned to Donnie's.
There was no trace of the person Leonardo once was. There was only delirium.
"I don't know when you left, Leo," Donnie said softly. "But I hope you're with Raph now. He forgave you, you know." He paused. "Mikey will be on his way, now that Raph is gone. And Splinter…" He looked down at the wooden boards under his feet. He took a seat on the edge of the dock and let his feet dangle. "I don't know if I'll be there with you," he looked over at Leo as he sat waiting at the edge of the dock, his face plastered with an expectant smile. Time began to tick faster again, and the nights and days spun before them.
Leo began to whither before him, his muscles wasting away and his skin loosening, then growing taught. His face grew gaunt, and his posture failed. Every once in a while he muttered something to himself. "Our ship…it's coming…Donnie…Raph…we're gonna go…
"They don't have guns…no water…I'll watch over you. I'll keep you safe…"
The sun set, and when it rose, Leo wasn't there.
Time began to slow and fell upon night.
Donatello was once again alone.
He looked down at the dark water beneath his feet. Tears dripped from his face, making tiny ripples in the river water.
"I'm sorry," he cried to the water. "I'm sorry I failed you all. I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough…I'm sorry I couldn't save myself…or you," his sobs seemed to pierce the silence of the night. He put his head in his hands. He thought of Mikey's pained expression as he tried to explain to their friends what he had seen and heard.
No one believed him.
And Raph, as he sat slumped against the wall, bleeding to the ground, with his blood mixing with his enemy's.
Leo…had gone crazy, had fallen into his own despair and disappeared, leaving his self behind.
Who asked him in what seemed only that morning if anything was wrong.
All he wanted to do was talk. Just once.
And Donnie didn't.
He looked up at the boats beside him, his vision blurred with tears. He shut his eyes, and felt blinding light tug at them.
"Oh, please," he begged. "Please let this be the end of it…please just…take me back to my family, let me just…go already!"
His form faded against the wood and water, leaving the boats bobbing, tethered to the dock, causing ripples in the water.
It sounded…so good…
"Hey! Wake up!"
Donnie felt someone shove him. His eyes shot open and he tensed.
Before him, on the television sets in the lair, an infomercial for an microwave egg cooker played.
"I didn't think the movie was that boring!"
Donnie jerked his head, turning his eyes to the owner of the voice. Mikey sat beside him on their old couch, grinning like a fool. "Mikey…?"
His younger brother laughed at him and vaulted over the couch. "Want an omlette?"
He received no answer. Donnie looked out over the lair.
Splinter sat at the kitchen table, reading a newspaper. Someone walked above them and came downstairs.
"Leo?" Donnie breathed it, fairly hiding behind the back of the couch.
"Where's Raph?" Leo asked, his voice tainted with impatience. "He said he'd be back by now!" Leo turned his eyes to Donnie and raised a brow. "What are you doing?"
"He's hiding from the egg monster!" The occupants of the room looked over at Mikey, who held an egg before each eye and stuck out his tongue. "Raaaawrrblllblllllpll!"
Splinter gave a small chuckle before turning a page. He looked over at Donnie, whose face was grim. "Is something wrong, my son?"
Donnie only nodded.
The door to the stone elevator eased open and Raph and Casey stepped inside. "I told you, Case, they gave them the ball!"
"Whatever, Raph!" Casey waved off his friend.
Donnie came from behind the couch and went slowly to the center of the lair. He couldn't stop staring at Raph.
He was alive.
Raph frowned when Donnie didn't look away. "What?" He looked at the others. "Have I got somethin' in my teeth or what?"
Tears welled up in Donnie's eyes. He had everyone's attention now. Leo regarded him strangely.
Good ol' Leo. Gone was the excited, deranged look in his eyes. He stood there whole and unharmed, waiting for an explanation like all the others.
"Donatello?" Splinter asked.
Donnie sank to his knees. Tears came freely. His brothers exchanged glances, shrugging amongst themselves.
Raph went over to Donnie and almost timidly touched his shoulder. "You okay, buddy?"
Donnie's only response was to grab Raph in a hug, pulling him down to the ground with him. His brother could only hug him back, confused.
Leo made his way over and knelt beside his brothers, only to find himself brought into the hug as well.
"Oooh! Group hug!" Mikey set down the eggs on the counter and ran over, tackling his brothers, who laughed through tears.
"Donnie, what's wrong?" Leo asked once they had sorted themselves out.
Donnie looked them all in the face. Raphael, confused. Leo, concerned. Mikey, jubilant, like always. He smiled. "Nothing."
"It was just a bad dream."
Casey went over to the kitchen table as the turtles hugged again. "Do they always do this?"
Splinter smiled knowingly, turning back to the newspaper. "They are brothers, and act as one, no matter how different they seem. The ties of family go beyond physical boundaries," he paused. "Beyond dreams, beyond the grave."
"Freakin' weirdos if you ask me."