Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT
Author's Note: This fic contains Leo/Don turtlecest.
The clang of metal meeting metal filled the dojo as sais and katanas clashed with ferocity. Splinter was in his room meditating and Leonardo was supposed to be leading their training this afternoon. However things weren't going so smoothly. As usual, Raphael had taken offense to something Leo had said, leading to a loud argument which had eventually evolved into the fight before Don now. Nothing new.
Don inhaled sharply as a sais passed inches from Leonardo's ducking head. Raph avoided a sweeping kick with ease and then the two began to circle each other.
"Twenty bucks says Raph decides to ditch his sais and run at Leo like a mad man. Bet he'll take Leo down too. Whatcha say Donnie?"
Mikey was lazily sitting next to his brother against one wall of the dojo, his arms draped casually over his raised knees. Don found it difficult to take his eyes away from Leo as his elder brother moved to meet Raphael again. Lately Don had found himself increasingly admiring Leo's form during training. There was just something about the way Leo's muscles moved beneath his skin that made Don want to stare all day…
With an effort, Don turned to look at his younger brother's mischievous face and shook his head.
"Not this time, Mikey. Especially not after what happened last time I bet with you."
"Aw I just got lucky that time, Don!! Come on…" Mike gave Don his best innocent look, "Raph's gone crazy again over our Fearless Leader's earlier comment. How 'bout we forget the money and whoever wins just does the dishes for the month instead?"
Don shrugged, turning his gaze back to the fight.
"Yea, sure, whatever. I bet Raph won't even get close to taking Leo down."
Mikey's grin broadened.
The sitting brothers watched silently as the fight played out before them. Soon Mikey was nudging Don as Raph threw his sais to the ground and lunged at Leo head on. Leonardo was facing the wall his two brothers were sitting against and the pair watched as Leo instantly threw his katanas to the side, no doubt afraid of hurting his now unarmed brother.
Don caught the look of triumph that flashed in Leo's eyes. For a moment Leo's eyes shifted to Don then back to Raph and he smirked. Donatello bit the side of his mouth to keep himself from reacting.
It took less than a minute for Leo to pin Raphael to the ground, the red banded turtle spitting angry insults as he struggled against Leo's hold. Don stood and held out a hand to help Michelangelo up. Mikey groaned, and let his brother pull him to his feet.
"Have fun doing the dishes, Mikey," Don grinned, patting his brother reassuringly on the shell.
The two younger brothers walked over to join the pair on the floor. Leo had let go of Raph, but Raph remained on the floor panting and glaring at Leo.
"Way to go Raph, you just earned me a month's worth of washing dishes because you can't beat Leo," Mike grumbled.
Don exchanged a grin with Leo and then jumped back in surprise as Raph leaped to his feet and made a move towards Mike with an inarticulate cry. Mikey let loose a high pitched scream and darted from the room, followed closely by an enraged Raphael.
"Nice work Leo," Don laughed, "I'll never understand how you deal with Raph when he gets pissed off."
Leo shrugged and walked over to his abandoned katanas.
"It's not so hard. His anger may make him stronger, but it also messes with his judgment. As long as you keep cool, you can take him down easily. I'm sure you could do the same Don."
Don shook his head.
"Whenever I spar with an angry Raph I always end up walking away bruised and aching for days."
"Well, I can teach you what I do if you want," Leo had placed his katanas on a rack against the wall and turned to look at his brother.
For some reason the confident look made Don's stomach do flip-flops. Maybe it was the combination of the look and thoughts of Leo demonstrating the pinning move on him.
Then the look on Leo's face faltered and Don wondered if somehow Leo had read his mind.
"I mean, only if you wanted to. You're fine on your own Don," Leo frowned, clearly unhappy with the words coming out of his mouth, "What I meant to say Don is that you're a good ninja."
"It's ok Leo," Don tried to smile reassuringly, "maybe I'll take you up on that sometime. But right now, I have an invention to get back to."
Leo nodded and glanced at the floor of the dojo as Don began to leave. Leo seemed to be thinking hard about something but Don couldn't fathom what.
Don hurried into his workshop and closed the door. He leaned against it a minute, collecting himself before moving to his computer. Over the last month he'd been feeling increasingly awkward around Leo and he had a sudden fearful feeling that his brother was noticing. Noticing what exactly? he mused, his fingers pausing over the keyboard. He glanced over at the invention lying on his desk, cables connecting it to the computer. He was supposed to be updating software to install on said invention, but his brain wasn't cooperating.
He had a number of theories on why he was feeling this way. Of course he did, he was Donatello. Theories, science, experiments, machines, books….he was good at these things. People and feelings were a different matter and frankly his sudden awareness of everything Leo did was a bit disconcerting. Then again, Leo could be thought of as a well oiled machine in some respects. So precise and lithe and toned and…Don shook his head, forcing his mind away from a mental image of Leonardo slowly moving through his katas.
For awhile he thought maybe he was just coming down with something that was heightening his senses and making him more sensitive to his surroundings. But when he noticed he only seemed to be more aware around Leo…he ruled out looking for a cure. Of course, ignoring it didn't help either. He had started to create a list of possible causes, filling up two entire pages, front and back. He had been reading through the list, crossing out everything he was able to rule out as he went.
Frowning, Donatello opened a bottom drawer in his desk and took out some folded papers. Unfolding them, his eyes were met with numbered lines, all of the words crossed out. He turned to the last page, where the very last line had a star next to it. It was the only line that had not been crossed out yet. Don tightened his grip on the paper until it crinkled slightly. It can't be, it just can't, Don thought desperately. He threw the papers effortlessly to the side, watching them float slowly to the desk before burying his head in his hands. What he wouldn't give to be able to talk to someone about this. Over the last few days he had been pondering if he should talk to Michelangelo but he never summoned the courage. He wasn't close enough to Raphael to feel comfortable discussing anything personal and talking to Leo was completely out of the question. Don found himself thinking about the relationship between Raph and Leo with jealousy. Sure they fought all the time, but they were closer than they let everyone think.
Jealous. Don sighed. Did he want to fight Leo? Argue with him? Just talk to him? Preferably do more than talk, a little voice whispered in his mind making Don sigh again.
"What's the matter, Donnie?"
Donatello jumped, swinging around in his chair so fast he swung too far to the other side, slamming his leg against his desk.
He glared at Mikey as he rubbed his leg.
"Ever hear of knocking, Mikey?" he grumbled. Mike shrugged and walked towards his brother.
"You've been a little out of it lately, Donnie. Some big new invention capturing your attention?"
Don narrowed his eyes at his brother. Mike was looking all innocent but his eyes darted around the room, eagerly looking for the cool new invention his brother might be working on.
"Sorry Mikey, nothing that exciting. Just the usual workload taking up my time, honest," Don smirked, "And I can't be that out of it. I did win our bet before."
Mike snorted walking to Don's desk; he leaned against it, resting his hands on the paper covered top.
"That was lucky," he insisted, "and it took me forever to lose Raph, thank you very much," he paused, "come on Donnie. You can talk to me."
Don hesitated. What better time than now to talk to Mikey about his changing feelings towards Leo. He opened his mouth to speak when he noticed Mikey's eyes had wandered to the papers under his hands. Don's eyes widened. The second page of his list had landed there. Don froze as he watched Mike turn and pick up the paper.
"What's this list Donnie? How come Leo's name is on it?"
"Give it to me Mike, its nothing," Don mumbled reaching for the paper. Mike turned away from his brother. Don scrambled out of his chair but by the time he snatched the paper from Mikey's hand his brother was already slack jawed and staring at him. Don clutched the paper nervously, stepping away. He glanced down at the paper and read the last line: In love with Leo, as in: love him more than a brother. Take note of feelings/thoughts that could support this.
Stupidstupidstupid! Don darted to block the door.
"Mikey….I can explain…" Don's voice sounded scratchy and uncertain. Don cleared his throat. He was always so sure of everything, always had a plan. Why hadn't he told Mike when he had the chance? Damnit…
"Don," Mike spoke slowly, glancing up at his brother, "you're in love with Leo? Um…you want to, well, uh sleep with him?"
Any other time Don would have smiled at Mike's serious tone. Now wasn't one of those times.
"Love might be too strong a word," Don answered carefully, "I mean, I love him as a brother but…I wouldn't say I want to er sleep with him as you put it but ah I think lately I've noticed I um--"
Don fumbled for words and was unnerved at the smile spreading across Mike's face.
"Well I'll be, Donatello. You've got a crush on our Fearless Leader."
Don felt his face start to burn. I'm not blushing, I'm not blushing…
"You know Mike I've worked with our blood so much from us being injured and all it made sense to do DNA tests just incase you know the mutagen might have been unstable or something and well I figured out a few years ago that we're not blood related, I mean the chance of four pet shop baby turtles being blood related is slim already and we're older now, I mean 19 we're leaving those hormoney teenage years and--"
"Whoa braniac, you're rambling," Mike laughed. He gestured to Don's chair and went back to leaning against the desk.
"Why don't we just talk Donnie?"
Stiffly, Don sat and began to spill everything about what he was going through, starting with when he noticed his changing feelings towards Leo and all the ways he tried to deal with it. Don knew Mike was trying to hold in his laughter at some points and was grateful that his brother didn't interrupt him. When he finished, Mike just smiled at him sympathetically and Don shook his head.
"How come you're taking this so well Mikey? Why aren't you calling me a monster or running out to tell the others or saying I have to grow up and get over it?"
"In all honesty Don, I know how you feel. Well maybe not exactly. I doubt I ever had a crush as bad as you…"
Don blinked. Don was surprised by the thoughtful expression on his younger brother's face.
"Wait, what are you saying Mike?" Mike smiled confidently.
"Ah come on Don bro. This may be your first brother crush but well, I've always been much more teenager than the rest of you."
Don waited, not quite knowing if what his brother was implying was true.
"Who--" Don began but Mike just rolled his eyes and silenced him with a raised hand.
"All of you."
Don's mouth opened in shock and Mike laughed. Don was surprised by how unembarrassed Mike seemed. Was it possible this was really ok? Was it really normal?
"All of us? Mikey, what do you mean?"
"I mean Donnie, that over the years I've had little crushes on all of you. Raph is always so tough and cool, you're so smart and collected, Leo so brave and loyal. Not that I thought about you guys in ah, quite the way you seem to be thinking about Leo but frankly, it isn't a big deal. Hell, not with me at least."
Don stayed silent, letting this new information sink in.
"What should I do Mikey?" he asked at last, "Do I tell him? Do I just ignore it?"
Mike gently put his hand on Don's shoulder, looking him in the eyes.
"It's up to you bro. If he wants to be with you, what would you do? Do you want something more with Leo? You need to be sure about what you feel before making a decision Donnie. If you're worried Leo might be catching on, don't be. I'll do a little snooping and find out if he's suspicious," he winked at Don, "I'm good at that sort of stuff."
"When did you get so good at giving people advice Mikey?"
Mike shrugged and began to walk to the door.
"You'd be surprised Donnie. I'm not just a jokester you know."
Don watched the door close behind Michelangelo. He began to wonder just how much about his family he really knew.
The words in front of Leonardo blurred together as he tried to read. His eyes refused to focus on the page before him and he knew it wasn't because of the television. Leonardo sighed. Whenever he wanted to get his mind off a problem, he would read Dumas. Now, with The Three Musketeers in front of him, it wasn't helping. Mike glanced over at Leo on the other end of the couch and noticed his faraway expression.
"You ok Leo?" he asked.
"Yea Mikey, just tired I guess," Leo replied. He glanced at the TV before returning to his book. Mike shrugged and looked back at his show. Leo let a minute tick past. When he still couldn't concentrate on his book, he cleared his throat.
"Hey Mikey, you notice anything weird about Don lately?" Leo gazed at Mike over his book but his brother just started to flip through the channels lazily, not even turning to look at him.
"What do you mean by 'weird'?" he asked casually.
"Well," Leo hesitated, "I've noticed him kind of…watching me lately. Watching and avoiding me. I was just curious if maybe I upset him somehow."
Mike didn't answer right away and Leo felt his stomach clench. The thought of Don being mad at him had been driving him crazy over the last few weeks. He remembered how over a month ago he had had the sudden urge to be with his brother all the time, whether to patrol with him or strike up random conversations when they were both up late. Then Don had started acting weird and Leo realized maybe he was being too clingy. For some reason, the thought that Don didn't like the attention had made him feel rather depressed. Did he think Leo was being creepy or something? He had never intended—
"You know, I think something is bothering Don," Mike's words brought Leo back to the present and he sat up quickly, fumbling with his book.
"What is it?" he demanded. Mike shut the TV off and turned to his brother with a stern expression that seemed out of place on his usually light hearted face.
"Listen Leo, I can't tell you. It would break Don's trust that he can confide in me. But I will tell you that I think you should talk to him. I can't help him with the problem he has but who knows? Maybe you can."
Leo chewed his lip as Mike stood and stretched. What could he do to get Don to confide in him?
"I know Leo!" Mike brightened suddenly, "why don't you patrol with Don tonight instead of me? Then it'll be just the two of you and you can take as much time as you want to sort things out. Just the two of you, all alone."
Leo felt his stomach flip again as Mikey emphasized him being alone with Don. Ignoring it, Leo nodded, eyeing his brother with a smirk.
"Good idea Mikey. But if I wasn't so worried about Don, I'd never let you get out of patrolling."
Mike grinned wickedly.
"After tonight Leo, you might not mind taking my place from time to time."
With a smug grin, Mikey confidently walked to his room. Leo watched him go, trying to figure out what his younger brother could possibly mean.
The night sky was void of clouds, but the lights of the city hid any stars that might be in the sky. Don could make out one or two, but the light of the moon didn't help much either. The moon was almost full, just missing a sliver that gave it a lopsided look. It was a relatively cool summer night, a slight breeze blowing now and then.
Don leapt onto a rooftop, slowing as he scanned the street below. He paused as he reached Leo. They were on their last patrol spot and Don realized that soon they would be heading home and he had still not spoken to Leo about his feelings.
Leo stood with one foot planted on the ledge of the roof; he was leaning over to examine the street, one arm draped over his knee. The breeze whipped his bandana tails behind him and the silver glow of the moon on his green skin gave him an unearthly appearance. Don's breath caught in his throat as he stared. Leo seemed farther out of his reach at that moment than ever before. Damn Mikey and his plan. How was he supposed to talk to Leo when he looked so stunning and godly and beautiful…
Satisfied that the street was clear, Leo turned. Noticing Don's mesmerized stare, Leo gave his brother a lopsided smile.
"You ok bro? You look like you've seen a ghost."
Don blinked, shaking his head he glanced away from his brother. I did see a ghost Leo, he thought as his brother moved towards him, the ghost that's been haunting my dreams for weeks now.
"I'm fine Leo, really," Don answered ruefully.
Leo placed a hand on Don's shoulder, giving him a worried look.
"Don, the reason I came out here on patrol tonight was because I wanted a chance to be alone with you," Leo felt Don tense beneath his touch but he continued, "We need to talk Donnie. I know something's bothering you and I'm worried about you. You know you can talk to me about anything right? I want to help you."
Don hesitated. As he looked at Leo bathed in moonlight, he felt like he was in one of those sappy romance films April had forced them to watch with her one too many times. How did those people deal with things? Long winded proclamations of love? Stuttering explanations? That wouldn't work. Don was half confused himself about what was going on. Straightening, Don decided to go with the direct approach, the one that would get results and answers he needed right away before he could explain.
Seeing Don straighten, Leo readied himself to hear an explanation but instead Don just leaned forward and pressed their beaks together. It was gentle but firm and Leo's eyes widened in shock. He stood frozen as Don moved closer, placing a hand on Leo's plastron. When Don pulled away Leo stared wide eyed at his brother. Don didn't speak just watched as Leo opened his mouth, then closed it. He opened it again but no words came out and it remained open in a gape of surprise. Don observed all this instantly, taking note that Leo wasn't running away. God, that felt really good…
Feeling bold and encouraged, Don leaned forward, eyes closed, he let his tongue trace along Leo's open mouth. He felt Leo's body relax under his hand and opened his eyes to see Leo's eyes fluttering shut, a peaceful look on his face. Don stopped, removing his hand from Leo's body and stepping away. Now he would see what Leo did next.
Leo took a deep breath, opening his eyes with a disappointed look before composing himself. Don sighed and looked up at the night sky.
"That's what's been bothering me Leo. You."
Leo watched Don's moonlit face, a mix of sadness and acceptance. Leo knew he was readying himself for the worst. He followed Don's gaze and they both stared at the moon in silence. Leo's mind was racing. His stomach had preformed flip-flops when Don had kissed him. Don's close proximity and his following actions had made Leo feel like he was either melting or floating. Either way he had felt like he was in heaven. The idea that he finally realized why he had wanted to be near Don and why he had been so worried, frightened Leo. But then he realized his brother must be feeling the same, waiting for him to reject him or tell him his feelings were wrong. Leo returned his gaze to his brother.
"Donnie," he said softly, "I'm sorry, I didn't know. If you had only told me sooner-"
"Would that have made a difference Leo?" Don asked.
"Don, we're brothers. Even if we had this for awhile, it wouldn't last. In the end, something would tear us apart and I couldn't deal with that. I wouldn't be able to survive leaving you when I finally knew what it was like to be with you."
Now Don looked surprised.
"Leo…are you saying what I think you're saying? You feel the same way?"
"How long have you felt this way about me Don?"
Don shifted uncomfortably.
"Well….about a month now. I'm not even really sure what I feel." Leo laughed. He shrugged and waved his hand through the air in a dismissive gesture.
"Ah that's nothing Don. I've been confused about my feelings for you for months now."
Suddenly Don was in front of him, their faces inches apart.
"Really Leo?" Don asked breathlessly, "Tell me you're not lying. Tell me you know what to do next, that you're not as confused as I am."
"I'm sure I'm more confused Don. Listen, we can help each other through this but we can't act on anything. It'd never last and I couldn't live with myself if I ever hurt you or you got hurt because we were together."
Leo stopped rambling. What was he saying? He didn't even know what he meant when he said 'together'. Would they be in a relationship or lovers or both?
His depressed thoughts were interrupted by Don kissing him again, this time more forcefully. Don's tongue gently nudged at his closed lips begging for entrance. Leo eagerly obeyed, wrapping his arms around his brother to pull him closer.
Slowly, Don broke the kiss, his hands gently lying on Leo's shoulders.
"Donnie," Leo whispered huskily. Don chuckled, pulling away from Leo.
They stayed silent for awhile, letting the breeze cool them down as it rolled over their bodies.
"I don't know what's going to happen next Don," Leo said slowly, "It's not going to be easy."
"What is with us?" Don replied, "I just know I've been going crazy lately and now….I feel like everything's going to be ok." Leo nodded.
"So now what?" he asked shyly. Don smiled.
"Well, I don't think our first time should be on a New York City roof," he teased, taking note of Leo's blush he continued: "We'll wait to go back to the lair until everyone's asleep. Our patrols have gone late into the night before, no one should be suspicious."
He rested his arms on Leo's shoulders and absently began to tangle the fingers of his right hand in Leo's bandana ties.
"And until then?" Leo asked, his eyes fixed on Don's. He felt lost in those eyes, hypnotized in the sparkling golden brown orbs.
"I can think of something," Don whispered, leaning towards him.