Afraid To Fall

Note: I don't own the turtles, Eastman and Laird do, and a couple others I think. The plot is mine. I do hope you enjoy it. This story is slash. So be warned! The first two chapters aren't really slash-y...just leading up to it. So! Rated as such for basic language and innuendo's. I do hope you enjoy!

Sure, things were always easier for them. Leonardo could just practice, practice and practice some more. Sometimes Donatello figured Leo would practice until he collapsed from exhaustion if he could. Then there was Raphael, who in himself was more of an enigma than the latest software he was trying to create. The most hot-headed of the family would go topside, to do in a sense much what Leo did in the dojo. He would practice, but not on a heavy-weight bag. But on flesh and bone, feeling more satisfied at the sight and sound of bones breaking, people screaming. They looked at him like a monster, a freak, and he played the part to his advantage.

Then, there was Michelangelo; he was always striving to keep everyone happy. It was as if, if he couldn't make everyone laugh just a little each day, that the world would come crashing down and the family would break apart. He had to be on the center of the stage, make people focus on him make them laugh, make them happy. But sometimes; when he would hear his brother cry out at night. He knew that it wasn't them he was trying to make laugh, but himself. Laughter, Don quickly discovered, kept more than angry words at bay for Mikey.

And him? What did he have? He had his computers, his virtual world. A place where he could actually claim to be what he was and people wouldn't shun him. Some thought him weird, but others. Others thought he was lying, and would go along with it, that they were talking to a giant mutant turtle. Some had even proposed meeting him, but he knew better. Fake reality was all fine and good when it came to talking to someone via a screen and typed words, but it was another thing altogether to see them in the flesh. Some realities were better left to the imagination.

Sometimes, he would sit in his room, and wonder. Wonder exactly where he fit into the equation. He could never find anything to talk about with Leo. Mikey and he got along fine when they were playing a new game Don had downloaded, or chatting about comics of some sort. Raphael only ever talked to him late at night, when his brother was at his sloppiest. His breath smelling of beer, his body reeking of some unknown woman's perfume. He was ever the only one up that late, and sometimes, he hated it.

Leo would come to him in the mornings that he suspected Raph to have gone out the night before. Asking to know all the details that he could, knowing that Raphael was not suppose to have gone out at all. It was nights like those, that Donatello would switch his lights off, pause what he was doing on the computer to turn off the screen. And he would sit in his chair, holding his breath, hoping that his brother wouldn't hear him. Didn't catch on that the lights had been on only a second earlier.

He knew that he really didn't have any rational reasoning behind this. Except for that one small factor that constantly nagged at him. The one in the back of his head that always made him weary around his older brother. He had bore witness to Raphael's wrath on more than one occasion. And had watched Leo bear the brunt of the worst of it. He hated to admit it to himself, but his brother had always frightened him. He knew that the red masked turtle was stronger than him. Knew that he could take him down in a fight.
These thoughts were ones that ran through Donatello's mind late at night. When the sounds of heavy footfalls permeated the still lair; he would switch of his light, he knew his paranoia was unwarranted. But that never stopped it from raising goose bumps on his arms. He never wanted to be the one that Raph would come to in a foul mood, looking for tension release. He wouldn't be his brother's punching bag. That was their leader's job. So, late at night, the lights were cut off, and the screens glared brightly in the after-vision of his eyes long after they were turned off.

He had been doing that for a while now. So it only made sense that sooner or later, he wasn't going to reach the light switch in time. Tonight, had been one of those nights.
He had been so absorbed in finishing up the last little touch on the lairs new perimeter alarm system, that he hadn't heard the feet stomping around outside. Not until there was a knock on the door.

Donatello swears that his chair still bears the mark of how hard he fell back into it after jumping in surprise.

"Y-yes? Who is it?" It's three in the morning, Don, who the hell is going to come knocking on your door?

"It's Raph, you wanna sandwich? I'm makin' myself one."
Okay, so that was different. Raph was never usually this nice after a night out, unless--

"Yea, sure, I'll be out in a sec." Closing down the programs he was using. Don shut down most of his computers. Leaving only two of the main security monitoring ones online. He stretched, popping his shoulders and knuckles.

Making his way into the kitchen, he spotted Raph seated at the table, a large, messy sandwich in one hand, a beer in the other. When Don walked by him, it wasn't just perfume he smelt on his brother this time, but the undeniable odour of sex. Don nodded as he opened the fridge door.

So that was why he was in such a good mood, he finally got laid. Maybe this time, the good mood will carry over for more than a few hours like last time. Don hoped, silently pleading with any deity that would listen to a nineteen year old mutant turtle.

Grabbing what was needed, he put together a quick little sandwich. He was actually glad the Raphael had suggested it; he often forgot to eat when working. And just now, his stomach felt like it was eating its own flesh he was so hungry. He moved over to the table, sitting opposite of his brother, and took a large bite of the sandwich, eyes avoiding Raph.

"So, what're ya workin' on?" Raph asked, watching with a bemused expression on his normally scowled face as Don devoured his small meal.

Donatello was about to reply, but held a finger up, keeping it there as a 'hold on' expression until he swallowed the large amount of bread and deli meats in his mouth.

"I'm upgrading the lair's security system." He explained, once he swallowed.

Raphael nodded. "So you'll be able to tell when I'm comin' home even sooner, an' be able to shut yer lights off quicker?"

Donatello froze, hazel brown eyes going wide as what he said sank in. "I - uh, I- it's not what you think Raph."

Raphael simply leaned back into his chair, tilting it back to rest on only the last two legs. A knowing look on his face as he crossed him arms.

"Uh huh. And what exactly, brainiac, am I suppose to think? You n' I both know it's me comin' home. I ain't ever bothered ya, not really." He said his face and mind refusing to admit the one night hehad bothered Donatello. Intoxicated, and high off of fighting some thugs, he had come home very… well, horny. Donatello had been up fixing himself a snack.

It was the first time Raphael had ever hit on one of his brothers. But he had, and he had to Donny, the only one he really thought might reciprocate. He hadn't. Raphael pissed at being turned down, left to his room. Neither had really spoken about that one night.

Raph knew, or at least surmised, that his brother had figured Raph was too drunk to remember that night. The touches on his arm, the words he had whispered to his genius brother. The sudden kiss and quick rejection. It was never good to come down off a happy high with a crash, and Raph had not only crashed, he burned.

Although he was frightened to admit it, Donatello had thought about that night quite often. He had enjoyed it, the kiss and the attention that Raphael had lavished on him. Even if it had been for a quick fix. But he could never do that, it would be wrong on so many levels. No matter how much his body had a desire for something; his logics would always win out.

"Listen Raph...I just, never know what kind of mood you might be in, and well... I'd rather be left alone when working." Don said, staring at a stain on the wooden table.

"Jeez, Don...don't you ever get tired of sitting in dere with them cold machines? I mean, sure, they're probably more interestin' than us, but...doncha ever get lonely?"

Donatello shrugged. "Well, don't you? Always up there, by yourself. Bashing peoples skulls around. That's not exactly a social gathering you go to every night." He scoffed.

"Yer right, it ain't. And yea, I do, if ya wanna know the truth." Raph reached out to take a gulp of his beer.

Talking like this was all fine and good, and the buzz he had on was nice and relaxing, he didn't want to lose it. He knew that the moment he did, the conversation would be over. And the pair of them would go back to being the brain and the brawns of the family.

Donatello finally looked up at Raph, shocked by the truthful answer.

"Yea, I said it. Big fuckin' deal."

"Why are you telling me this?" Don said, swallowing the lump that was forming in his throat.

Raph shook his head, downing the last of the beer. "Christ, you just don't get it do ya? For a brainiac, ya sure do have yer stupid moments, ya know that?" Raphael stared at him quietly for a moment.

Raph stood, shaking his head. "Listen Donny, I'm gonna go hit the hay." He threw out the bottle and made his way towards the exit, pausing long enough to sigh at the doorway.

"Donny, you remember that night, when I first knocked on yer door all those weeks ago?"

Donatello swallowed, eyes boring into the stain again. "Yes."

Raph nodded. "Yea, so do I." And left.