A/N: Another one! Meh... what can I say? This is my first real attempt at a strictly Raph/Leo moment. It takes place after the episode "Tales of Leo." It's kind of a fill-in scene. The insipration for this story came after my listening to Coldplay for five hours trying to write the next part to "Aftershock." The song is called "Talk" on Coldplay's X&Y album. It's a great album - check it out sometime! So that leads to the next part...
Disclaimer: I do not own TMNT. Nor do I own the lyrics for "Talk". TMNT belongs to 4kids, Mirage... well, someone. "Talk" belongs to Coldplay. Only the story belongs to me.
Oh brother I can't, I can't get through.
I've been trying hard to reach you 'cause I don't know what to do.
He stared at his brother. He looked so helpless, so fragile, just lying there on that couch. He was covered with nasty, painful-looking bruises. He clenched his fists in anger, wishing he could be back in New York so he could beat up those lousy Foot Ninja and that darn Shredder for doing this to his big brother.
Raphael was not a turtle accustomed to showing emotions. A few hours ago, though, the tears had threatened to spill out, and he could still feel them there. He wiped his eyes, resuming his vigil over his brother. Master Splinter had assured them that Leo would be fine, especially since he had already woken up briefly once before, but Raph still remained by his brother's side, long after the others had gone up to bed. He knew they weren't too deeply asleep - every hour or so, the floor behind him would creak as someone would tiptoe to the doorway to check up on his brother. Mikey had even ventured in cautiously once to have a closer look. But a few minutes later, it was only Raph and Leo again.
Oh brother I can't believe it's true.
I'm so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you.
Oh I wanna talk to you.
Raph froze as Leo stirred slightly. He readjusted the blankets, tucking them in tightly around his brother's shoulders to help keep out the winter cold. Leo's face relaxed, and Raph could tell he had settled back into his deep sleep.
He still couldn't believe all that had happened - and to Leo, of all people. His older brother - his anchor. Quite possibly one of the best ninja he'd ever seen - and he'd seen quite a few lately. Not that that was something he'd ever admit to Leo's face. Up until the moment Leo had been hurled through the window of April's shop, Raph had believed that the blue-clad, katana-wielding leader was practically invincible. No one could touch Leo - no one. But now that illusion was shattered. Someone had touched Leo. No, not just touched him, nearly killed him. Killed him. Killed… Leo…
Raph shut his eyes, but the image of Leo lying motionless on the floor of the shop was burned into his memory. He had managed to hide it okay, but at that moment, he had been downright terrified that Leo was injured, maybe even… dead. Even now, he still worried that Leo could just… slip away. He would disappear without a word, and Raph would be helpless to stop it. He had never imagined that something like this could happen. Never in a million years.
And this caused Raph to worry. What if something like this happened again? What if next time, Mikey was the one who was ambushed? Or Don? Raph was certain that if it had been any other turtle besides Leo who had been ambushed, they would have been dead. So what if something like this did happen to one of his other brothers?
You can take a picture of something you see.
In the future where will I be?
What would happen if one of them were to die? Raph had never really been faced with that prospect before. In a world where it had only been him, his brothers, and his sensei for fifteen years, the prospect of possibly not having one of them around had never fully crossed his mind. Or perhaps it had tried, and he had just simply denied it. In either case, this attack on Leo was eye opening. And absolutely terrifying.
He sighed, settling into his chair as best as he could with his large frame. How the concept of death never fully crossing his mind until that moment was, quite honestly, not entirely beyond his comprehension. After all, his family was the world to him. Splinter, Leo, Don, Mikey - even April and Casey now - if one of them were to be killed… he wasn't sure if he could go on. No, scratch that - he knew without a doubt that he wouldn't be able to go on. Not mentally, at least.
You can climb a ladder up to the sun.
Or a write a song nobody has sung or do
Something that's never been done.
Raph let his gaze fall on his brother's face again. A faint smile pulled at the corners of his mouth as he watched his brother sleep. If Leo had been born human, things would be way different for him. He'd probably end up the World Martial Arts Champion, highly revered for his talents by people around the world. He'd have a limited selection of protégés under his training, and people would seek his advice like the proverbial mountain guru. Shell, he'd probably live in a dojo on a mountaintop somewhere in Japan. He would be the proverbial mountain guru.
And Don? If Don were human… he'd be a rocket scientist or something. Someone important. He would probably win a Nobel Prize in every possible category - twice. He'd find a cure for cancer, create a perpetual motion device, end world hunger, and make VCR clocks programmable for the average Joe to top it all off. He would've been world-renown and highly demanded at every science institution around the world.
Mikey… Raph wasn't entirely sure what Mikey would do. He had so much creative talent that he didn't always know what to do with it. The few sketches that Mike had allowed him to see had proven to him without a doubt that Mikey was the only turtle truly worthy of his namesake. And with April's help in providing supplies, he'd started venturing out into the culinary arts - and he was good at it, Raph had to admit. Mikey could be the next Emeril Lagasse, or the next Thomas Kinkade, or… well, pretty much anything or anyone artsy that he wanted to be. At least, anything or anyone that wasn't vocal - Mikey could sing all right, but he was not the next Backstreet Boy. Raph couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of Mikey dancing up on a stage in front of millions of screaming fans.
And me? Well, he'd probably be in jail or dead. That's just how it was for him - the only thing he was really good at was beating people up. "I'm not good for anything," he whispered aloud.
Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me.
Raph's head shot up, and he saw Leo looking at him through swollen eyes. "Go back to sleep, bro," Raph whispered gently.
Leo shook his head. "No, you're… not worthless… Raph," he said in a raspy voice.
"Compared to you guys I am," Raph scoffed. Leo stared at him, confused. "I mean, Don's a frickin' genius, Mikey's got more artistic talent in one finger than I've got in my whole body, and you're…"
"What, Raph? I'm what?" Leo demanded softly, his voice sounding a little stronger. He sat up slightly to look his red banded brother in the eye.
"You're a great warrior and a good leader, and I can never be as good as any of you guys, okay?" Raph replied, struggling to keep his voice down. His eyes flicked downward to the floor. "All I do is fight. I can't do anything worthwhile," he finished in a whisper.
So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or a write a song nobody has sung or do
Something that's never been done, do
Something that's never been done
Raph looked up when Leo put a hand on his shoulder. Leo searched his face. "I think that's something worthwhile," he whispered. His mouth twisted in a tiny smirk. "I certainly could've used it."
"But if we were human, you guys would be able to do so much more than me. You could all do something worthwhile with your lives and I - I wouldn't be doing anything," Raph replied.
"But we're not human," Leo said firmly. "And even if we were, you wouldn't be doing nothing."
"Yeah? What would I be doing, huh?" Raph challenged.
Leo's expression softened, and he lay back down on the sofa, trying hard to keep the pain out of his expression. "What you're doing right now," he answered softly.
Raph raised an eye ridge. "Which is?"
Leo closed his eyes with a smile. "Protecting. Watching. Caring," he whispered.
So you don't know where you're going and you wanna talk
And you feel like you're going where you've been before
You tell anyone who'll listen but you feel ignored
Nothing's really making any sense at all, let's talk
Let's talk, let's talk, let's talk
Raph stared in astonishment as Leo fell asleep again. Protecting, huh? A smile touched his lips as he tucked the blankets in around Leo again. Like Silver Sentry, only different, he mused. More like a - a Nightwatcher, or something…
Raph sighed contentedly, sitting back in his chair. Nightwatcher. He liked the sound of that. "Thanks, bro," he whispered.
"No prob," Leo murmured back sleepily. Raph chuckled and shook his head. Leo would be okay. He was sure of that now. But… it wouldn't hurt to keep watch. For a few more hours, anyway. It wouldn't hurt one bit.
A/N: Couldn't help myself - I had to put the Nightwatcher bit in there. So yeah, once again, the lyrics aren't mine, and if you faintly recognized it, it probably wasn't mine. So thanks for reading, and please leave a review! I love you all!