Hey-low! I have returned. My project is finished; I passed, so I'm writing this while I waste time before I have to go tutoring. Now we have the moment of truth… What would happen if the two sets of brothers met up once again? Just how has their time apart changed them? This should be interesting.
I would like to apologise in advance. I wrote most of this while travelling on a bus, so it's not very good. But I just really wanted to get it posted before I go home and have to fight for internet time.
"Yo, Donnie, why we here again?" Raph asked, sounding appropriately bored for a night spent sitting on junk waiting for his little brother to find… whatever it was he was looking for.
Don looked up from where he was rooting through some scrap metal and smiled. "Looking for stuff." He responded.
Raph rolled his eyes. "I know that Brainiac. But why ya gotta do it tonight?"
Don paused for a second, shooting his brother a look. "You don't have to stay if you don't want to, Raphie."
That 'Raphie' cinched it. Not that Raph had ever had any intention of leaving his little brother alone in the junkyard. He heaved a sigh, more for effect than meaning. "So, seriously, what are ya looking for?-And I know it's something for that thing your building for Grams, but what is it?"
"It isn't something I can exactly describe Raph. It's more of an 'I'll know it when I see it' kind of thing." Don explained, causing the pile of junk to sway as he searched for this elusive part.
Raph, who had been about to get up to aid the search, slumped back. "We'll be here all night!" he sighed explosively. Inwardly he was glad when Don ignored his words. Two years ago, after he had started going out on the streets with Casey to 'bust some heads'; April had finally given in and allowed them to go out by themselves on some evenings.
They tended to always either end up at the cinema, depending on what films were showing, or at the junkyard. Back then Don had suddenly developed another blasted insecurity around him which Raph couldn't understand. Everything was always fine when they were home, but the second they went out for the night Don changed. It was like back when they had been on their own for that year, when Don didn't question anything, or gave in without an argument even though it was obvious he wanted to.
Raph didn't enjoy having to think through what he said, he never had, he said what he thought. He didn't always mean it in quite the way it was sometimes taken, but Don had really closed up then, so Raph had kept a tight hold of the things he said. Finally Don seemed to get over it, but it left Raph wondering just what was up with his little brother.
A sudden noise alerted him to the fact someone else was in the junkyard. Shifting over a few paces until he could see the entrance, he bit back a curse. "Donnie." He called softly, pulling a hockey stick from over his shoulder and tossing it towards his brother. It was the only on of Casey's sport weapons he would handle. Raph pulled out his baseball bat, cleverly hidden beneath the leather jacket he wore.
Don caught the stick with a practiced hand. Raph and Casey, after seeing he had a sort of natural talent for wielding it like a weapon, had pushed him hard to learn to protect himself with it. He moved silently to stand beside his brother.
"Purple Dragons." Raph hissed out.
"Should I call Casey?" Don asked worriedly, he always tried to avoid any confrontation with any street gangs when he came out.
Raph hesitated for a moment, considering, glancing back out to see the numbers. Finally he nodded. "Give Case the heads up. We'll head for the 'bike. He can meet us and you can take my 'bike back home."
Don nodded, already on the phone and dialling.
"Well if it ain't the freaks in the costumes!"
Don dodged the attack that came from behind, dropping the phone in his haste to move, bringing the stick round to block the downward arc of a metal pipe. Secretly glad when the stick did not shatter on impact, Don dropped low and kicked out, knocking his attacker back on his butt. He didn't need to call out Raphs' name to know his brother had his back, he could hear the growls, and the heavy thud as the bat hit its mark.
Raph growled angrily. They were surrounded, already. If he had been with Casey this would have been fine. They could take this bunch out no problem. But Raph didn't have to worry about Casey taking care of himself. And though he knew Don was totally capable of defending himself, he couldn't just shut down the part of him that tensed when his little brother was in danger. His mind was already planning how to get Don out of this mess and to the bike.
He would have to go back to the house with him of course; Don would never just leave him here, no matter how many promises he made to come back. But he could always convince Casey to come out with him to get a little revenge. No one put his brother in danger and went unpunished.
But how to get to the 'bike? That was the fifty thousand dollar question.
Master Splinter had fallen ill a few days ago, not terribly ill, just enough that it knocked him on his back for a week or so. He had reassured his sons many times that he would be fine in a matter of days. That it was just a simple bug. His falling ill meant that it was up to Leo and Mike to go above ground and find food. In the last few years Master Splinter had allowed them to join him on his scavenging hunts. They travelled together, sticking to the shadows, never revealing themselves to the humans.
While it was a rare occasion to go above ground, it was even rarer for Leo and Mike to go alone. They understood their father's reasons. He could not bear to lose anymore sons, and they bowed to his wishes. Besides which, neither had a huge interest in the humans above, they couldn't possibly be any good if they could send those metal monsters into the sewers to kill anything they could. Mike had had nightmares for years about those monsters, and what had happened to their brothers. Leo had too, if truth was told, but he avoided letting Mike know. His baby brother looked up to him, scarily like he did those heroes in the comics they sometimes found.
Mike had amassed a huge collection of these comics, all of them about heroes, saving the world. Leo had tried to explain that there couldn't possibly be real superheroes. It just wasn't possible. After all, Master Splinter had never mentioned anything about them, so they couldn't be real. Mike had retorted that they were mutated turtles who could do ninjitsu, so why couldn't there be superhero's.
Mike, while not really being interested in humans, had found himself fascinated by some of the things he saw in the comics, he had fashioned a skateboard for himself, and had taught himself some of the moves that were frozen on the pages he read. Leo watched all this in amusement.
Training was a regular activity in the Lair, with little else to amuse themselves with except books and comics; the psychical release offered through training was a huge factor in their lives. After all, it wasn't like they could just wander off whenever they felt like it. Life had been hard for them, it still was, and it most likely always would be, but they managed with what they had.
Prank wars between Mike and Leo were a common event in the Lair, sometimes ranging on for months, each trying to get the better of the other. Mike usually won, but only because he could make up the best pranks, Leo would have won every time if it have of been based on stealth. Mike never knew where the next trap was hidden.
There were still moments of sadness, when they remembered the brothers they had lost. And they wondered what things might have been like if they had survived. If Raph would be as strong as he always claimed he would be, if Donnie would have invented something, like he always said he would, that would make life better for them.
But moments of remembrance had no place in scavenging duty. Yes, they had to keep a close eye out for humans, and avoid being seen. But sometimes they found the most interesting things in the places they looked.
Neither could have been prepared for the night that awaited them.
The journey to the junkyard was their first point of call, from there it was easy to get to the places they normally found their food. But as they neared the yard they heard the sounds of a fight. Fights were not uncommon, and they had seen their fair share of them while out scavenging. They rarely went into the junkyard itself, tending to just take one of the branches of the sewers off to either side.
Mike stopped and looked out the grating that lead directly into the junkyard, curious in the manner of someone taking a look in a shop window… and then freezing when he saw something interesting.
"Leo!" he yelped, grabbing for his brother who had moved a few paces down the connecting sewer to the right.
"I don't want to see another fight Mikey. Come on. You're not going to see a hero out there you know." Leo responded, his tone serious.
"No, Leo! Seriously, look!" Mikey yanked him back and forced him to turn, to look out at the fight.
Shooting a glare at his brother, Leo looked out, in hopes that in doing so Mike would stop being stupid and come with him. They didn't have time for this. But what he saw froze him to the spot. "No!" he gasped, managing a step back. "It can't… It can't be…"
"But it is." Mike said, deadly serious. "So? We walk away now?"
Leo looked back out, just to confirm what he thought he saw in a fact. "No way. Get ready to move Mikey." He had lost them once; he would not lose them again.
Mike grinned, pulling his nun chucks from his belt. "Ready and willing Leo!"
Raph couldn't understand why the purple Dragons suddenly seemed distracted, but he took full advantage of it, and started to herd Don towards the 'bike. Lashing out with the bat as he moved and making sure that anyone with a deadly weapon was kept away from Donnie.
"You have some kind of escape plan right?" came an unfamiliar yet familiar voice to his left. Despite his surprise his fighting didn't falter, though when he looked left he did falter. His shock was short lived however when he realised Donnie was having trouble with the gang members in front.
"I gotta plan." he grunted, smashing in one of the gangs faces. "Gotta 'bike over by the fence. Think ya can follow it without this lot chasing ya?" A grin was his only reply. Raph turned his full attention t Donnie. "Bro, make a break for the 'bike!"
He should have known Donnie would have spotted them and wouldn't want to leave. He didn't have time for this. "They're gonna follow us Donnie. Just go!"
Donnie nodded, and with a final swipe of the stick he cleared a path and legged it towards the fence. Jumping up and catching the top, there was a little fumbling, but he was over and grabbing his helmet. Raph landed beside him with a distinct thump, yanking on his own helmet and swinging his leg over the 'bike.
"Donnie!" he snapped.
Donnie was looking back at the still raging fight. "We can't leave them… We can't Raphie!"
"Donnie get on the damn 'bike!" Raph growled.
"Raphie!" Donnie snapped right back. "We can't--"
"Hey, you guys going to join us or should we just wait for the stupid humans to realise we've gone?" A wide grin flashed from above them.
"Go, we'll follow on the roofs."
Raph nodded, and felt Donnie settle on behind him. The brush of his jumper sleeves as he grabbed a tight hold of him in preparation of the ride that would follow. Raph gunned the engine and took off with a roar. Too fast for the Purple Dragons to realise they were fighting each other, stop and give chase.
Half an hour later they screeched to a halt outside April's building. Ripping off his helmet Donnie gazed upwards, waiting anxiously to see the shadows on the roof looking down at them. A few tense minutes later he saw a shadow looking down from above and he hopped off the 'bike and ran to the fire escape. "Come on Raphie!" he called gleefully, bounding up the metal steps quickly.
Raph looked up at the roof, and then at his brother scrambling up the fire escape. He was confused as to why he didn't feel the absolute happiness Donnie was feeling. Why didn't he ant to run up there, greet them. Why was resentment starting to creep into his thoughts.
"Raphie!" Donnie called back down, startling him and making him move. He caught up to Donnie quickly enough, and the two climbed onto the roof together.
Once there Donnie practically few across the rooftop and grabbed the first turtle he came to, who just happened to be Mike, into a hug. One Mikey returned with equal fervour. 2We thought you were dead!" Don whispered, tightening his arms. "We thought that was why you never found us!"
Leo and Raph just looked at each other, neither really sure how to approach each other, wishing it was as easy as Donnie and Mikey made it look.
Donnie pulled away first, leaving Mikey to throw himself at Leo. Mikey had done similar with Raph. They both knew this was not the time for typical teenage behaviour their brothers exhibited. Hugging was not a sign of weakness, not now.
"Master Splinter?" Raph finally asked.
Leo smiled. "Alive, he's at the Lair."
Raph waited for Mikey to pull away before he let the anger that was building inside him, surge into his tone. "So if you're alive, and Master Splinter is alive. Why the hell didn't you come find us?" Raph demanded.
Donnie pulled away from Leo to look at his brother. "Raphie…" he whispered, moving back a step.
"We looked." Leo said quietly. "The tunnel you went down was destroyed by those monsters. Master Splinter had to find another way into the tunnels you were in. but we couldn't find you."
"We stayed in the same damn place waiting for you to come and get us! Hell, we lasted a year down there. Hoping you'd find us before something happened. A Year! The sewers ain't that big. How could you not find us?!" Raph exploded angrily, directing it at Leo, almost as if he blamed him completely.
"Raph…" Donnie went to his brother's side.
"No Donnie!" Raph snapped, shaking off his brother's touch.
Donnie stumbled back a step. "Raphie stop! This isn't the time--we just found them again. Please…"
Raph forcibly gentled his expression and looked at Donnie. "When is the right time then?" is words were still harsh, biting, he couldn't hold back the bitterness. "We just sweep this under the rug? Dammit Donnie, you remember that year! You remember what it was like!"
Donnie hesitated for a moment. He did remember. He still had the occasional nightmare over the whole thing, even after seven years. He reached out again, glad when Raph let him hug him loosely. "I remember. But Raphie please… We have our brothers back. Don't fight!"
Raph blew out a long sigh, and all his anger receded to a simmer as he looked over to Leo and Mikey. Mikey had retreated over to Leo and was watching them worriedly, as was Leo, only he was doing it a lot less obviously. Glancing back at Donnie's pleading expression he sighed again and said, holding out his arm to beckon with.
"Come on then. You're standing too far away for a reunion."
"You like with humans?" Leo asked when each set of brothers had finished their short reunion, sounding rather dubious, looking at the doorway that lead down from the roof.
"Yes." was Raph's reply.
"April and Casey are really nice. They looked after us for the past seven years. You'll like them, honestly!" Donnie grinned. "Beside's, if we want to go see Master Splinter we'll have to tell April or she'll worry about us. She doesn't like us to go out too often by ourselves. You know, incase something happens. Though I'm sure she won't mind us going to see Master Splinter, seeing as you guys are our family. But it wouldn't be right to make her worry! Oh, and I can show you my Lab! It's the coolest thing. Raph, Casey and April made it for me for my birthday! And--!"
"You're babbling Brainac." Raph told him, swatting him playfully on the back of the head.
Donnie's skin darkened in a blush and he smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, I'm just really excited." he said.
"So they're nice?" Mikey said uncertainty. "Will they mind us just dropping in like this?" he shifted closer to Donnie, in need of the physical contact, afraid his brother would disappear if he took his eyes off him for more than a second. Don seemed to understand, because he gripped Mikey's arm, locking elbows in a hold he had developed after Raph had decided handholding was too childish, though Don was not yet ready to give up that small comfort.
"They won't mind." Raph answered.
Don pulled Mikey with him in the door and down the stairs.
"Is he always this hyper?" Leo asked quietly.
Raph looked at Leo sideways. "It's kinda like he swapped personalities with Mikey from when we were kid's, ain't it?" there was a question there that was not the one being asked.
Leo smiled, answering the unspoken one. "Mikey's still the same. Mostly. Without you guys though, he's gotten quieter, and more serious I guess. He still plays the best pranks though."
Raph nodded slightly, a smile tugging at his lips. "Yeah? Donnie got real quiet for a long time. But after April found us… well, he's just--you know, Donnie. He can still build things from scrap, and mosta what he says still goes way over my head…" he trailed off and shrugged.
Leo took the plunge and reached over, giving Raph a short half hug, which Raph returned easily enough.
"Gonna be weird not being the oldest anymore." he admitted softly.
Leo chuckled. "Gonna be weird having three little brothers again. Mikey's bad enough on his own."
"Guys?" Mikey called back up.
"Coming Mike!" Leo called back.
Leo and Raph descended the step, their hearts lighter that they had been in years.
Don's voice floated down from the upstairs rooms of the apartment, sounding excited.
April smiled to herself, assuming he had just found the part he had gone in search of. He had been obsessing over whatever it was he was building for Casey's mom's birthday for weeks now. What neither of them expected was for their unofficial youngest son to come down the stairs towing a turtle behind him who was most definitely not Raph.
For one thing he was practically naked, wearing only knee pads, elbow pads, a belt and an orange mask. (Seeing a unclothed turtle as no longer a common sight anymore) And Raph would most definitely never wear that particular colour, nor smile that particularly uncertain smile.
"Donnie?" April breathed in confused.
"Where's Raph?" Casey asked.
"Right here Case." Raph replied, leading a fourth turtle, dressed (or undressed) similarly to the orange masked one, only this one's mask was blue.
"Thank you for looking after our brothers." the blue masked one said solemnly, bowing low in respect.
"Uh, guys, didn't you say yer bro's were dead?" Casey asked.
Donnie was grinning like he had when he had gotten his first computer, and like when he had seen his lab for the first time. "We thought so too! But they're not! And neither is Master Splinter!"
"That's wonderful." April said, feeling her heart sink a little. "When did you--?"
"Just tonight. See, we were ion the junkyard, and some Purple Dragons attacked us and--" Don's retelling was abruptly cut off by a very stern.
"Raph!" from Casey.
"Hey, we were gonna call you. They got the drop on us first." Raph protested. It was Casey's only rule… well, the only rule he enforced. They were to call him if there was any trouble, especially of the Purple Dragon variety.
Casey made a 'Hmpf' sound of disbelief, crossing his arms and settling back.
"Oh no! I left my Shell Cell! It's probably ruined! I'm going to have to build a new one now!" Don bemoaned, before his eyes lit up and he tightened his grip on Mikey, turning to him. "Hey, I can make you guys one too--that way we can call each other whenever we want to!"
Mikey smiled back, bewildered.
"Ok, so you ran into some trouble. Then what?" April interrupted, brining the conversation back on track.
"Oh yes." Don coloured again. "Sorry. Anyway, we were fighting, and then Leo and Mikey just appeared. We managed to get to Raph's 'bike and we took of. Leo and Mikey followed. We just had kind of a reunion on the roof just now." he paused for a moment. "We were kind of wondering if we could go see Master Splinter?"
There was hopefulness in his voice that made April want to scream 'NO!'. But she couldn't. And she knew that. But why did it feel like she was losing them?
Suddenly Leo spoke, he could see the emotions in her eyes, and though his experience of humans was small he could tell what she was thinking. "Maybe you would like to come with us? I know Master Splinter will want to thank you personally."
April found herself nodding. Donnie was giving her his best pleading face, which Mikey was copying, and managing to make even more potent. Even Raph was looking expectant. "All right, fine. Where do we go?"
Raph glanced at Leo before grinning. "The sewers."
April groaned. "Wonderful.
"Master Splinter!" Mikey practically screamed, forgetting momentarily that his father was ill in his excitement. Dragging Don along with him.
Splinter, startled by the sudden noise, rolled off his thin mattress and to his feet. Quickly moving to the doorway to look out into the main part of the lair. He froze in surprise.
Beside his son stood another turtle, easily recognisable as such, despite the attempt at disguise using human clothing. The long sleeved purple jumper that covered the three fingered hands, the jeans and boots could not truly hide what it was. And he knew instantly who this was.
"Donatello?" he whispered.
"Sensei!" Mikey grinned. "We found them! Both f them! Leo and Raph are helping the humans out of the sewer! That's where they've been all this time!"
The only word Splinter truly picked up out of this was 'human' and that put him on instant high alert. "Humans? Where?" he demanded to know.
"They're friends father." Leo said, entering, followed by Raph, who, Splinter noted absently, was also dressed in human clothing, a leather jacket, red t-shirt, black jeans and boots. "They looked after Raph and Donnie for the past seven years."
Splinter chose to trust his son's words and turned his attention to Donatello, who seemed frozen, staring at him, wide eyed. Like the child he had once been.
"Yo, ya never told us yer dad was a rat!" Casey said, tactful as ever, earning himself a slap upside the head from April, and a muttered 'That's my father yer talking about!' from Raph, complete with growl.
Donatello continued to stare, until finally he worked up the words. "Master… Father…?"
Splinter looked at his lost son and smiled, holding out his arms. "My son."
Donatello was in his arms in an instant. The floodgates burst and he began to sob uncontrollably. Raph, unable to stand by while his brother cried, and secretly wanting to get closer to Splinter himself moved forward, manfully holding back his own tears as he approached. Splinter disengaged one arm from around Donnie and held it out in welcome.
Raphael was on his knees and embracing his father before he had time to think. Leo and Mikey crowding round behind.
It was not an ending, but a beginning.
Please don't be angry. I did warn you it was rubbish. But it's the best I can do at the moment. The story is not finished. After all, I haven't even mentioned shredder yet. And other things are going to happen eventually. But this is all you're going to be getting for a while. And I'm sorry about the rubbish ending too.
Review Anyway please.