A/N: I shouldn't read Dead Poet Society fics. They make my brain think in abstract little sentences, and make this a more 'artistic' piece than I generally write. This is pre-series, but I wouldn't call them turtle-tots. About twelve or thirteen years old, I guess.

Disclaimer: I still don't own them at all.

Summary: Donnie reflects on the brothers' dynamics while picking up Mikey's crayons. Younger Turtles short-fic.

Crayons

By: PTB

Donatello sighed as he looked down at the colorful objects scattered across the floor. Mikey had been drawing again, and once more had forgotten to pick up after himself. He should know than to expect better, but Donnie had figured after Raph had broken several last time and the younger turtle had had to go on the difficult hunt of a new box that his little brother would take better care of his very favorite toys.

'I should just leave them there,' Donnie thinks as he looks at the scattered mess, but he doesn't do it. He can't do it because it's Mikey, the only little brother he has, and he can't bare to see the heartbroken look on the other's face if they get broken again and Donnie knows he could have stopped the pain from ever being there. So he bends down, carefully collecting each one.

The black one is easiest to find, in spite of darkness and drab colors of their home. It's still the biggest crayon in the box, because he knows that Mikey almost never uses black. He's afraid of the dark, though Michelangelo will never tell Master Splinter that. A ninja's realm is the shadow, and Raphael is always saying Mike won't ever be a real ninja because he doesn't like being there.

Donnie knows different. Mikey will be a great ninja because he's like the next crayon Don picks up—orange. Orange was the crayon that always took center-stage in the box, because it was too bright and strong to be suppressed by the darker colors. No matter what you did to it, it would always be orange and always be present. It couldn't help being what it was, and all you could do was like the Orange because of it.

He reached for the next crayon on the ground, but hesitated when he saw it was red. Red and Orange didn't go together very well all the time. There were some occasions, like fire, when you had to have those colors together. They were strongest together, but sometimes too strong. Mikey had told him once that they took over a picture if he used them together too much, so he tried to limit it and make is special.

'But there is red in orange,' Don thought to himself, still frowning as he tried to pick the best place to put the crayon in the box. 'You just add yellow to red and you get an orange.'

And Red on its own was powerful too, Donnie knew. Mikey had once done a drawing that was all blue, green, and black except for a red strawberry in the middle. No matter what else you tried to look at, like the blue plate the strawberry was sitting on, you couldn't help but look at the berry. Red would draw your eyes to it, demand and hold your attention, because that's all it knew how to do. Force you to look so it wouldn't disappear.

Don decided to put the red crayon in between the black and the Orange.

Green and white went on the opposite side of the box as black and red, making the box look symmetrical with the opposing colors on the other sides and Orange in the middle.

He picked up the last crayon, the blue one, and slipped it next to Orange without a second thought. Blue complimented Orange well, clashing to the point that they worked together. Opposites did that. Blue was mellow, a quiet compliment to all the Others. Made them brighter, stronger, without losing anything itself. Enough Blue would overwhelm a picture, but when balanced it was the color that went with everything.

And Orange had to go between Blue and Red, because while they could work together in the right balance, too much of one or the other would spoil everything the colors worked so hard to create.

There wasn't a purple crayon. Mikey had been upset about that. Raph had pointed out that he could just mix Blue and Red and get a Purple, but Mikey insisted it was more complicated than that. You couldn't just mix colors like that and make sure you'd get the shade you wanted to. It would be purple but not Purple. Purple was a background color, deep and rich without the scariness of black. If you made it too dark, like Purple sometimes could be, it would become scary, twisted, and lose its power. That was why, Mikey had explained, he always added white when he did need to use purple. White made the Purple light enough that it wouldn't forget what it was supposed to be doing.

Donnie checked under the TV and couch before he was satisfied that he hadn't missed one. Smiling to himself, pleased with his good deed for the day, Don put the box back on the shelf next to Mikey's coloring books and went back to bed.