Author's Notes: Hi guys. Another 'cesty story for your reading pleasure. This is the first story in a possible series of three. Also, I wrote this for the FanFic 100 challenge. It originally wasn't suppose to end this way, but my beta reader assured me she likes it this way, as long as the next story has more Raph/Don interaction.
Beta'd by the wonderful Mandy!
He fell asleep at his desk again.
I let out a long, suffering sigh as I moved into Donatello's lab, not bothering to turn on any lights. The light from the computer screen was bright enough to bathe the laboratory with a soft blue hue, causing my normally olive-green toned brother to take on the appearance of a bluish green creature, his head rested in his folded hands, his shell rose and fell in sync with his breathing.
It almost pained me to watch him, seeing how innocent he looked in the late, no, now early hours of the day. Looking at him in this light, one would never know he had the power to kill with a powerful blow from his bo, or had the brain power to create the deadliest weapon known to man kind . . . not that he would create it, awake or asleep. Our brainy brother was too much of a pacifist to even attempt it.
Though, he did tell me once that it scared him to know so much. In the wrong hands, his genius could create, or break, worlds. He didn't like having that much power and was all too happy to stay in his little corner of the universe and create motorcycles and fix DVD players.
Another sigh escaped me as I move closer to Donnie. I placed my hand out onto his shoulder, planning on shaking him awake so he could get a good night's sleep in his bed, rather than a keyboard, but I hesitated. More likely than not, Don would stare at me blankly for a moment, peering at me with sleep deprived eyes and smile, saying he would be done in a second and then continue to work on whatever he had been working on earlier. Then, five minutes later to an hour later, his head would return to the keyboard and he would have a sore neck in the morning.
So, instead of waking him, I knelt next to him, placing his hands around my neck as gently as I could. He stirred a little, making a muffled noise against my neck as I reached under his legs and lifted him into my arms.
"Shh," I whispered soothingly, "I got ya."
Don mumbled in his sleep as he became comfortable, nuzzling the skin under my chin. I paused, making no movements for a few seconds before exiting his lab, leaving his computer on to glow in an empty room.
Donnie was the lightest of all of us, but still, I was not about to move upstairs to his room. Michelangelo's room was the closest, but there was no way I was leaving Boy-Genius in that pigsty. The only other option was the couch, so I moved to the living room. A scatter of pillows adorned our stitched up couch and I laid him down, placing pillows under his head before taking the afghan from the floor, most likely left there by Mikey, and placed it over the sleeping turtle. Feeling foolish, but unable to stop myself, I knelt down and tucked the edges around him, making him nice and snug.
With a sense of pride for my quick thinking, I leaned back onto my heels and watched him for a moment. With the computer light no longer washing over his features, I could see how truly peaceful he looked. Hesitantly, I lifted a hand and had it float over his face. After a moment, I rested the palm of my hand on his cheek, cupping it. I let the pad of my fingers rub over his textured skin, resting a second on his mask. With my other hand, I loosened the purple material before removing it from his face. I then folded it as best as I could with one hand and placed it on the coffee table, in plain view, while keeping the other one on my brother's cheek.
My brother . . .
I knew we weren't truly blood related, Don had told us many times before, but it was hard to put that thought out of my mind, especially now when my thoughts were not at all brotherly.
Many months had passed since I realized the love I felt for Donnie was different from the love I felt for my other brothers, and it tore me up inside, knowing those feelings were both wrong and would never be returned.
But that didn't stop the feelings. As days and weeks passed, my affection only grew until it blossomed into the beast it currently was. A deep red heat of passion, unrequited love, slowly blacked out everything but the light that was Don.
God, that was mushy and overdramatic; I've turned into Mikey.
I knew it was time to pull away and go up to my room or at least away from him but I couldn't move at least, not away from him. I let my hand move slightly, contorting to his cheek. I watched his mouth open slightly, a soft breath escaped. Coffee breath. Blech.
But . . .
I leaned in closer, my own breath mingled with his for a second. He didn't move a muscle, except to breathe in and out. I watched his closed eyes until I closed my own and moved in, placing my beak on his. It was short, and nowhere near satisfying but I was scared to let this stolen kiss last any longer than it did. I backed off immediately, my hand left his cheek and I was across on the other side of the coffee table within seconds.
I watched Don shift uneasily, probably missing the warm contact. He continued for a few moments, then a little smile warmed his sleeping face.
"April . . ." he murmured, and went still.
I swallowed the lump that formed itself in my throat and sighed. I didn't know whether it was in relief or in disappointment. Relief that he hadn't woken up to his pervy older brother smacking on him and disappointment . . . well, that should be obvious.
My little brother has been harboring a crush on the redheaded smart girl since day one, I believe. She was the source of his broken heart, and mine. She was the reason I knew there would be nothing between him and I. What a nice little thing we have going on, I loved him, he loved her, and she loved Casey.
Damn little soap opera . . .
I jumped, my hands moved to where my sai were before looking up at Leonardo, who was on the second floor, looking down at Don and me. Crap, how long was he there?
"Um, Leo! I-" I whispered, and gripped my weapons, nervously. "What are you still doing up?"
He cocked his head to the side for a second before he jumped down, landing silently as he was trained. He didn't move closer, but his eyes never left mine. I knew, I knew he saw me kiss Donnie. Shit.
"Wanna spar?" He asked quietly, his eyes flickering to the couch before coming back to me.
He was going to beat the crap out of me now. Hell. "Sure," I grunted, moving away from the living room hesitantly, my own eyes gazing at the sleeping form of my brother before I followed Leo to the dojo, fear growing in the pit of my stomach.
We were silent at first, as he grabbed a pair of wooden katana and I placed pads on my sai. We bowed to each other before we started off slow, working through movements we could do in our sleep.
As we sped up our movements, I started to calm down. If Leo had said anything by now, he might just let it go. Leo was never one to contemplate what to say for a long time, he mostly used his instincts to judge a situation. Soon, we were in full battle mode, and thoughts left my mind as I concentrated on blocking and striking, determined to best my opponent, even though both of us knew nothing would come from it except for excretion of energy.
Maybe I could sleep after this.
"Wanna talk about it?" Leo asked, breathless as he ducked a swipe.
Then again, maybe not.
"Okay." I blinked. Leo just let go of something? Nahhh…
We continued to fight in silence; only grunts and panting could be heard before he started again.
"Then, will you listen at least?"
I knew it. I jumped back as a katana came close to my head. I shrugged as best as I could in the situation before going back into offence. "Free country, I guess."
Leo blocked my attack before returning it with one of his own. "Give him time."
I paused, which was a very bad thing to do in the middle of a sparring match. I nearly lost an eye to splintery wood. I backed off slightly, creating distance between him and me. "Huh?"
"She's his first crush," he said, keeping his distance as we circled each other. "He'll get over her soon."
I scowled and attacked again, letting my confusion turn into a small fire of anger. Her...
"Why should I care?" I said, pushing down that flame of fear that formed again at my gut.
"Despite what you might think, I'm not stupid," he grunted as a blow landed on his shoulder, "Or blind."
I froze again and backed away. My heart drummed loudly as I took a breather. "You saw."
It wasn't a question.
Leo mimicked me. We stared at each other for a moment before he answered.
"I've been 'seeing' it for the past few months," he stated, eyeing me closely. "Every time you look at him, I see it."
I turned away, tightening my hold on my weapons in both fear and self-hatred. If I was that obvious that Leo saw it every time . . .
Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was all I could do to still my hands from retaliating. I turn just a little to see Leo standing there, a look of understanding on his face.
"Raph, it's okay," he whispered softly. "I understand, really."
I blinked. "What do you understand?"
"It's the twenty-first century, Raph," Leo gave me a look of 'you're being silly'. "We may have been raised as brothers, but we're getting older and . . ."
He paused, looking a little lost at what to say next. But somehow, I didn't need to hear any more. I felt a little lighter; my breathing came a little easier.
"You don't hate me?" I asked softly. "You don't think I'm a perv to-"
Hell, I couldn't say it out loud, even when it was in the open.
Leo chuckled. "No. I think it's totally okay to have feelings for someone, even if that someone is the same sex as you."
I nodded a little, but he wasn't finished. "Especially if we don't really have that many options."
It was said softly and I felt a pang of pity for him.
"Who is it that you, um, have feelings for?" I asked, equally soft. He jerked a little, his skin darkening a little.
"Nobody, I mean, not in that way." A sad smile came on his face. "But it's that wish for someone…"
I paused, understanding my brother completely. Then an evil grin spread upon my face. "Well, there is always Mikey . . ."
The look of horror on Leo's face was priceless, before he smacked me. I let out a laugh before he calmed down; giving me that knowing look he had before.
"Just give him time. He'll come around."
I felt unsure, and I'm sure it was evident on my face. He squeezed my shoulder again before backing away and picking up the practice katanas. I did the same with the pads for my own weapons. He went to exit the dojo before he paused, and looked back at me.
"He looks at you, too," he said, a small smile on his face, "I just don't think he understands why yet."
And then I was left in the dojo, his words echoing in my mind. Then I smiled.