Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT. Peter Laird, if you see fit to have mercy, please give it to me. I'd treat it good. Real good.
Author's Notes: Drabble in any turtle-verse, really. Angst-ridden and bloody, just the way I like it. I needed to get some Raph and Leo freakage out of my system before I finished the next chapter of Lockdown. Hope it's not overly dramatic. Er. Which I know it is. Overly dramatic, I mean. Shameless indulgence for the win! Right? Right?
That's what I thought.
It takes Leo six times before he can grip the matchbox properly. His hands are weak; his fingers slick and shaking. He pulls out a match and scrapes it alongside the bottom of the box.
It breaks. Another. The same story. He lets their splintered fragments fall to the floor of his bedroom. Unnecessary. Pathetic. He can't even light a candle. It's a disgrace to have gotten this low.
The flare of light finally comes, making Leo cringe away from the brightness of the sheen of red covering his legs. He takes care not to drop this one, though, and holds it to the wick of the candle. Waits for it to catch hold. It must be hours before it does. His leg is throbbing. No; his entire body. One big sore mess. Tendons burning. Donny's going to kill him tomorrow for being stupid enough to go sloughing around in the sewers with an open wound.
It had been pretty stupid. Leo wonders what he'd been thinking.
Lean against the wall. Catch his breath. His chest is heaving. If he's not bleeding, he's sweating, and if he's not sweating then he's aching. The Purple Dragons. Stupider, really, more so than the lack of care to the wound is getting the wound in the first place. Looking for Raph. A brother who doesn't even want to be found.
Leo clumsily drags a piece of his bedding off of the bed beside him. Tries to press it against the ragged mess of his thigh. The skin is trembling. Is he cold? The blood feels hot, though. Some of it's black, some of it's red. He wonders what makes the difference. Donny would probably know.
The ceiling looks very much like Leo's ceiling always has. He's spent a lot of time looking at it. The shadows converge like they are waiting to swallow him whole and he closes his eyes.
He doesn't open them until Raph jerks him up roughly, shaking him. "Leo! Wake the hell up! Leo!"
He opens his eyes. It's a struggle because it feels like his face is weighed down with lead, sluggish and unresponsive. In front of him in the dying candlelight, Raph's face is half-frenzied madness and shadow and fear, and the other half is anger burning brighter than any flame. Leo reaches out to touch it, mesmerized, and is surprised when Raph catches his wrist and yanks it to his own chest.
"You call me psycho," Raph snaps, squeezing until Leo's bones shift uncomfortably in their places. "You call me psycho and—damn it, Leo, you lookin' around?"
Leo attempts to do so, but it's like moving underwater. "Looks fine," he says, throat dry.
"You call this fine?! You smeared blood all over th' walls, you… fuck!" Raph's other hand is everywhere, checking his throat, pressing into his pulse, his forehead where the chilled sweat has gathered, the sticky bed sheet still firmly wrapped partly around Leo's thigh. It peels away with a sickening squelch and Raph's face is very pale, too much so, eyes too wide and teeth bared like he's going to bite someone, but it's not a face Leo recognizes very well and so he's not sure.
Leo studies it tiredly.
"What happened?" Low, dangerous, more familiar. Raph pushing into the wound, but Leo can't even feel it. He wonders if he needs to change the candle, it must be getting low. "Leo! Listen t'me, nutjob, how long you been like this? How long, Leo?"
Leo shrugs, or at least tries to. "S'okay," he mumbles, patting the wall behind him because he's not entirely sure it's there. "Donny'll fix it later…"
"Donny! Master Splinter! Somebody!"
"Shh," Leo says, "don' wake everyone up. Tha's bad."
"I'm gonna kick your ass when this is over," Raph hisses. He doesn't look like he's in good shape. He calls again for his family. Leo imagines footsteps, or maybe they're actually there, he doesn't know.
It feels kind of nice, Raph being… nice like this. Trying to keep the bed sheet on the hole, mopping up the blood, the scent cloying and thick in Leo's throat. The other hand now clutching Leo's shoulder like Raph is afraid his brother might fall if he doesn't. It's… yeah.
Leo will find a good word for it. Later.
"Don' worry, Raph," Leo mumbles. "Can take care… of m'self."
"You loony," Raph rasps, voice hoarse with something indefinable. "If this is what you call takin' care of yourself, I—"
"Take care of m'self… take care of you," Leo says.
"Kill you later," Raph tells him. His fingers, fierce around Leo's shoulder, squeeze tighter. Leo can just barely feel them there. He likes the look on Raph's face. It's not anger, but something very close. If they weren't safe at home, if he hadn't already looked in on every one of them—earlier, before, red fingerprints on the wall, tomorrow he'll clean them, tomorrow—he'd be worried, but they're all here and so is Raph now, safe and dry and warm where his breath skitters across Leo's face—
"Leo, stay awake. Donny! Get the hell in here now!"
Leo can't think of anything else to say. He leans forward until his forehead hits Raph's plastron. Inhales. Exhales. Closes his eyes; they feel like bruises in his skull. This isn't so bad.
"Leo! Fuck, Leo, don't you dare—don't you do that—bro, c'mon, look at me or I swear I'll—c'mon, don't, please oh damn, please—"
It's okay. He can sleep right now, even with Raphie shouting in his ears and shaking him until his teeth click, even with all that. Sink into the black. His brother's got him right now.
Tomorrow, they'll pretend this never happened because tonight, Leo knows, tonight is just a flicker.