A.N: What's this? An update so soon? I must be crazy! Nah, I just really wanted to finish this story before I carried on with anything else. I have more Leo/Raph in the pipeline, plus a potential OT4 (which could possibly be a sequel to this, haven't quite decided yet), and of course more yummy Leo/Usagi. But we shall see. In the mean time, I present to you the final chapter of My Enemies Aren't the Ones I Fear. Thank you so much for sticking it through to the end, it really means a lot to me! Much love.
My Enemies Aren't the Ones I Fear
Waking up to find my snout pressed against someone's collarbone and inhaling their sweaty, musky scent drove away the niggling headache that was edging through me. It was such a simple thing, but one that filled me with an intense feeling of pride and satisfaction. His skin was hot to the touch from sharing my body heat, and that alone made the demon of desire curl temptingly within my stomach.
I never used to be such a carnal being. Raph and Mike have always been driven by lust and made no secret of the fact they had pleasured themselves in the past. Don isn't so verbal about it, but I've no doubt he's become a slave to his own lust too. I only did it once. Giving into those feelings made me feel guilty, even dirty. I never did it again.
Sex with Raph intensifies those feelings, possibly because the pleasure and the want is so severe, it feels as if I would fall apart at the slightest touch. I've never been able to handle enjoyment. It's always felt so alien to me. The Foot could torture me to death and I would never crack. One touch from my brother and he has me quaking and mewling.
I hate that weakness in myself. That's why I'm always so much more eager to give him the enjoyment. I like doing those things to him. Hearing him growl my name and arch underneath my touch makes me feel so...invigorated. I never ask him for any of it. He always initiates it. I'd contest it, just allow him the pleasure, but I'm a slave for his touch. I'm a glutton for punishment I guess.
He had his arm draped lazily over my shoulders, snoring lightly. I gently shrugged out from beneath him. I was clammy, and his body heat wasn't helping. A shower, that's what I needed. I noticed that I'd wanted one the last time we'd had sex too. I needed hot, stinging water to wash away the guilt and the dirt. It was the only thing that would make me feel better. It'd banish the fleeting, steamy memories that stirred feelings between my legs that I wanted to forget.
I snook out of my bedroom and continued to the bathroom. Casey was still snoring like a jack hammer so it must be reasonably early still. The noise was bringing my headache back on, a constant drilling from temple to temple. I enjoy my trysts with alcohol, but the groggy hangovers the next day are a serious setback. And I never even drink that much. God knows how Raph and Casey feel.
The water took a while to kick in and I waited impatiently, rubbing at a bite mark on my throat from yesterday. I sincerely hope it dies down before anyone sees it. I have no idea how I'd begin to explain it. The hot jets spouted from the shower head and I gratefully stepped into them, gasping as the water stung. It felt as if it pierced my very skin.
I've made so many mistakes since abruptly becoming head of my clan. I thought I was ready, but I couldn't have been further from the truth. Yes, I was prepared for our father's death. But I wasn't prepared for headman-ship. That was clear when the only solution I could think of was to totally ignore Raphael. Obviously that was ridiculous.
I thought that if I could avoid everything I felt for him, the feelings would eventually die and I would be able to truly take care of this family. Removing Raphael temporarily from my life seemed like a good idea at the time. But the feelings just grew stronger. His absence fuelled my hunger. I wouldn't have lasted much longer. If he hadn't entered my room last night I would have caved in a few more days.
I don't know what to think anymore. It's true, Sensei's disapproval added a new thrill to the whole relationship, made me want to rebel even more. But a part of me wonders what he'd have done about us if he hadn't died. Cast us out most likely. But if my suspicions about Don and Mikey are true I don't think he'd have been able to turn all four of us away. Because I think he knew we'd leave.
This...new aspect of our brotherhood, I know now it isn't something we can pretend will go away on its own. So as leader of the Hamato clan I am determined to conquer it and make it a fundamental part of this team. The intimacy will give us greater knowledge of the other's body, how it functions and thrives. We will be an unbeatable force under my command, and we will prosper.
I heard the bathroom door open and I didn't need to look to know who it was. I could tell, from his low, measured breathing. When I felt his calloused hands rest on my hips and a warm mouth press the wet skin on the back of my neck I was certain. We were silent for a few long minutes, content enough to just stand beneath the rainfall. I watch the dirty water trickle down the drain. It felt like parts of me were dribbling away with it.
"Another shower, Fearless?" He taunted softly, resting his cheek against my shoulder.
"I couldn't help it. Felt...wrong," I whispered, spitting out the water that fell into my mouth.
I shivered as I felt him trace old scars with his fingers. He has a fixation with them I'd noticed. He'd be quite happy to sit there running his fingertips over them all night. I turned slowly to face him, craving to see his expression. It was tender, unassuming. He hadn't even bothered to take his mask off. The tails hung miserably in sodden rags over his shoulder.
"Sex will always feel wrong to you. You're too ashamed to admit you like it," He smiled. I couldn't help but watch in fascination at the droplets that rolled down his nose.
"Giving into that, just for my own pleasure, it doesn't seem right," I agreed, reaching up to undo his mask for him. If I was laying my soul bare, so was he.
"That's the whole point of it," He argued lightly, turning his head so I could untie the knot. I tossed it to the floor where it landed in a drenched slop against the damp tiles.
"I don't know if I'll ever get used to it," I murmured, allowing him to take me into his arms.
"Hey, we've only done it twice," He hastened to add, causing a quiet chuckle to rise in my throat. "Let me tell you something that will make you feel better," He promised, giving a smooth grin.
"And what's that?" I laughed, clearly expecting some dirty comment.
"Don and Mike are together. Don told me yesterday," He shared, watching my face carefully as he spoke.
"Oh!" I blinked in surprise. Then my face erupted into a wide, toothy grin. "That's brilliant!"
He laughed and agreed, burying his face into my throat to nibble and suckle the tender skin there. The water was starting to numb my nerves but the hot touch of his teeth and tongue sent a fire coursing back through them.
"About this aversion to sex. I'd like to get you over it," He announced, his words muffled against my skin. I laughed again, reaching up to casually throw my arms around his neck.
"Is this because you woke up horny?" I wanted to know, wincing slightly as he pulled me closer to him and accidentally bumped our plastrons together.
"Of course it isn't! I just think that it's my responsibility as your second-in-command to help you with this fear so you can become a better leader," He explained, his hands sliding down and around my thighs to cup my ass. Either he was trying to prove his point, or he blatantly knew he was bluffing and was trying to provoke me.
"Who said you were my second-in-command?" I asked, feigning shock.
He actually growled this time and abandoned his assault on my throat to glare at me. It took me all my strength to keep my poker face.
"Just shut the hell up and let me kiss you," He demanded fiercely, leaning forward to still my laughter. Ever the romantic.
"Ew Raph, we have morning breath!" I complained, pulling backwards before he even had a chance. We didn't of course but it was just so funny to tease him when he was so clearly aroused.
"Goddamnit Leo! I've bled on you. I've thrown up on you. You swallowed my-"
"Okay, okay!" I interrupted hastily, chortling loudly at his frustration. "I get the picture," I smirked.
"Good," He grunted.
And I let him kiss me.
It was much better in the shower, I concluded. The water rinsed the filth and guilt from my soul. Raph said it made everything feel a million times more sensitive. And saved a lot of mess. I think now the shower will be a place we frequent often. I was just grateful to feel content instead of tainted afterwards.
If Casey heard us in the shower together, he certainly didn't mention it. I sure as shell wasn't going to bring it up either way. It was hard enough dealing with the fact that Donny and Mikey knew, let alone Casey and April. They were our only true friends. Their disapproval would send me over the edge I know.
We found Casey slumped on the kitchen table, his hair falling around his head in tangled tendrils. The only response he had for our cheerful greetings was a pained groan to flip us the bird. Raph just laughed loudly and got him the Tylenol. I don't know if it means he has a better tolerance for the stuff or what but it's extremely rare whenever I see Raph like this. I don't know how April manages.
I set about brewing the tea. Raph preferred juice in the mornings and I'm frightened that if we give Casey anything other than water his delicate stomach might rebel all over the kitchen floor. Trust me, it's happened. And as I was the least incapacitated right now I would be the one to clear it up. And just because I wasn't crippled by a hangover, it didn't mean I didn't have one.
I took my fair share of the painkillers without question. Experience has taught me to do all I can in the morning. What was a dull ache and slight nausea now would develop into a full frontal migraine and brutal sickness if left untreated. This was bed enough. In a little while I'll go take a nap with the lights out. That always helped.
We all looked up when we heard the front door go. Don and Mike shouted greetings and we all relaxed. Casey groaned some more and ranted unintelligibly. Something about 'motherfucker ninjas'. He's so eloquent at nine am. I'm surprised he's even awake. Normally you can't drag him out of bed until at least eleven.
"You all look awful," Donny laughed as he and Mike joined us, his upbeat twitter a complete contrast to what he was actually saying.
"Kettle's just boiled," I informed him as he went to make his coffee. I shouldn't do that. I'm a bad brother. I should threaten to withhold his coffee for mocking us and only give it back when he creates a hangover cure.
"Not to worry bros, I have your saviour right here," Mikey sang, bustling over to the counter and dumping his plastic bags.
As if he were unveiling a national treasure, he reached in and procured a packet of bacon, either pilfered from April's or bought on their way home. He held it as if it were the holy grail or something. Just thinking about the smell of it cooking made me want to throw up. Raph, on the other hand, looked as if Christmas had come early. He instantly dived for the stove, turning it on and pulling out pans. Casey even lifted his head off the table.
"Michelangelo, you are a god," He slurred, regarding my brother as if he were the messiah. We were all very impressed he could even pronounce 'Michelangelo' in his current state.
"I think I'll pass Mikey, thank you," I drained my tea quickly. I wanted to get out of here before the meat hit the pan. Raph was already getting the oil out.
"Aw, c'mon Leo. A bacon sandwich is the ultimate hangover cure! I guarantee you'll feel better in no time. The fatty goodness has healing properties, honest!" Mikey protested, waving the offending packet underneath my nose. I didn't bother highlighting to him all the things that were wrong in that sentence.
"No, thank you," I repeated, flinching. Even in it's raw form it had my stomach doing backflips.
"I'll even grill yours and put it on brown bread. No oil. How does that sound?" He implored, peering up at me with those damned, big, baby blue eyes.
"It sounds revolting," I shuddered, turning to put my cup in the sink.
"That just means more bacon for us!" Raph cheered, reaching over to grab the insulting food from Mike's hands.
Mike was instantly distracted, the lure of junk food too strong. He instantly set about preparing their ungodly breakfast. I caught the soft, caring look Raphael flicked at me and I smiled gratefully. I went to my room instead, closing the door against the sound of sizzling oil. Raph knew I hated the stuff. Didn't stop him from eating it though.
In truth, I felt a little overwhelmed. Should this normality feel so...right? Is there something wrong with me for feeling this content? I'd never felt this happy with myself or with my life, not before Sensei passed and certainly not before Raph and I started this whole thing. I wanted to enjoy this. After so many years of living on the edge, of second-guessing everything, I wanted to feel secure about something.
I don't know how long I laid there in the dark. But it made my head better so I didn't mind too much. I would make sure I did some sort of practice later. I hate to miss even one day. I cannot abide laziness. It would be so easy to allow it to take root and fester. Remind me to start integrating Mikey and Donny back into training.
I sat up when I heard a knock at the door. It was Donny, entering with a bowl of something or other. I braced myself for the putrid smell of frying bacon. It hit me like a ton of bricks, causing my stomach to churn violently. I was thankful when he shut the door quickly, flicking on the lights afterwards. I winced at the sudden brightness.
"What are you sitting in the dark for?" He asked in amusement.
"Headache," I answered simply, blinking the dots from my eyes.
"We made you ramen," He offered me the bowl he'd bought and sat next to me.
"Thanks," I took it and inhaled the strong chicken scent, far better than bacon that was for sure. My stomach rumbled appreciatively.
We sat in silence for a while. I ate my noodles quietly and Don fiddled with the loose threads on my bed sheets. He was nervous, I could tell. He was dying to talk to me about something judging by how edgy and twitchy he was. Probably about him and Mike. I swear I'll be supportive but if he starts asking about sex, I'm kicking him out.
"Is everything okay Donny?" I asked lightly, twirling my food around my fork. It was actually really helping. I guess I didn't realise how hungry I was.
"Huh? Oh, yes. Perfect, actually. Well, not exactly perfect, but, you know, all things considering, everything's brilliant,"
"Don," I interrupted his babble patiently. I couldn't help but smile in amusement at his scatty behaviour. "What's on your mind?"
He stopped and sighed, his shoulders rising and falling (in relief). I was expecting a problem of some sorts, but instead he smiled warmly at me.
"Nothing. I just...wanted to tell you that I'm really pleased you and Raph made up," A soft grin here, which almost instantly faded as something occurred to him. "You did make up, didn't you?"
Yes. Twice. But I didn't say that.
"Yes. Everything's..." Back to normal again? "Okay,"
"Good. I was getting really worried about you both," He confessed, grinning widely again now.
"Donny," I began again, something else coming to mind. "Forgive me if this is none of my business but...why didn't you tell me about you and Mikey sooner? You knew about me and Raph for ages,"
I have to admit I was slightly offended he'd told Raphael before myself. Did he think I would be angry? I couldn't be happier for them. I'd never spoke about me and Raph to anyone, not even when I knew that Donny knew. It was just too intimate, too embarrassing. But now. Well. I think it's about time we started being honest with each other. If this is something we are going to embrace, we had to understand and accept it.
"If I'm honest with you Leo, it's because I wasn't quite sure about it myself. I didn't want to...ruin it," He clarified, his voice thoughtful as he stared at one of the scrolls on my wall.
I could understand that. After months of skirting around the chemistry between Raphael and myself I had wanted to proceed with caution also. It was something that required finesse, initiating relationships like this. One screw up and it jeopardised the whole family. But if all four of us have coupled up, I couldn't foresee any trouble arising. No, I refuse to see this as a potential disaster.
"I'm...genuinely pleased for you both," I smiled proudly.
"Thanks. The same goes to you and Raph of course. I'm just grateful things are starting to look up," He admitted seriously.
He didn't need to elaborate.
"Yeah, me too,"
Casey left around midday once his head stopped throbbing and he could stand without staggering everywhere. Raph promptly got an angry phone call from April but he just laughed it off. Normally I would have lectured him, but seeing as I'd played my fair part in goading her fiancée into consuming more alcohol than he could handle, I felt it wasn't my place. And April didn't need to know that.
I always hated trying to practice through a hangover. I could feel my arms clumsily dragging through the air instead of gracefully slicing it. It always frustrated me. But I suppose I can live with one day of sloppiness after feeling so content and liberated. It's why I don't make a habit of I it.
Things were quiet now. Mike had some programme on low and Don and Raph were A.W.O.L. In their rooms probably. It's a regular pattern I'm afraid, but one I hope to rectify now. One stage of our lives is over, another is about to begin, so to speak. It's funny, all the time I spent preparing myself for this and now it's actually here I don't know what to do. I think being on speaking terms again with Raph might help.
Speaking of Raph. I was just sheathing my swords, done for the day, when I heard him enter the dojo. I didn't move or utter a word, but stood still as a statue, fighting to get my breathing under control. Then I felt him rest his warm hands on my hips and my breath hitched again. It was a favourite position for him, offered prime throat-biting opportunities.
"Y'just can't leave it, even for one day, can ya?" He teased, resting his chin on my shoulder.
I didn't answer, just concentrated on listening to his measured breathing and trying to match it. The soft caresses his thumbs made on my thighs sent goosebumps rippling through my skin. Instinct made me want to shy away from his touch and chastise him for initiating intimacy when we weren't truly alone. And then I remembered I didn't need to anymore.
"This feels weird," I concluded softly.
"No more hidin' in the dark. Just this," He paused to kiss my neck and I shivered. "Whenever we want,"
It sounded like...bliss actually. A life I never thought I'd be able to call mine. He was kissing my neck again and I didn't want it to turn into sex when Mike and Don could just walk in. I didn't care if we were being honest with one another or not, there were just some things I didn't want to share with my baby brothers. So I turned to face him, pulling myself out of his grasp.
"You'll get used to it," He assured me gently, piercing me with a soft look that almost made me tremble again.
"I know," I agreed simply.
It would be just a case of adapting, I'm sure. Just a case of squashing that irrational fear of being discovered. I just had to keep telling myself that my brothers knew our secret, and not only supported it but indulged in it as well. I honestly don't know whether I was genuinely amused or honestly relieved, but it made me give a quiet laugh, causing my brother to grin widely.
It must have been because he was so pleased to finally see a proper smile on my face instead of a perpetual frown but Raph couldn't help kissing me then. It was hard to believe that this freedom was mine to enjoy. Was this our karma? Were we entitled to this happiness with our brothers after all we've been through? I certainly hope so because I can't let it go again.
He abandoned his affection to start his weight training for the day. I made some joke about him not being able to forget it either but he just blew me off with some gruff comment, refusing to take bait. I just laughed and left him to it. I know better than to irritate him when he has heavy weights in his hands. We have cracks in the tiles to prove it.
Instead I went to the kitchen to brew myself some more tea. I think it's about time Mike and Don started participating in some training again. I understand that they haven't really felt up to it in the circumstances but with things on the mend now I think they would feel better for it. Besides, I miss them, especially during practice sessions.
With a cup of steaming tea to get me through this potentially awkward conversation I went to the front room to tackle Mikey first. Surely he's been getting bored of sitting around all the time, what with his restless energy and all that. I figured he'd be the first to agree. Donny however, may need a little more convincing.
The tv was still on low but instead of Mikey sprawled out on the couch, I found him snuggled up against Donatello, looking as if nothing in the world could upset him right now. The sight made me completely freeze and regard them in confusion. Donny looked totally at ease, one arm around Mikey's shoulders and the other holding a book propped on the couch arm. Mike was nestled against his plastron, unable to get any closer even if he'd tried.
"Hi Leo!" Mike chirruped happily, oblivious to my state.
"Uh, hi," I said intelligently, numbly sinking into the armchair.
I frowned to myself as Mike returned to his tv programme. Why was this sight so disconcerting to me? I'd preached to everyone about how much I supported Mike and Don, but to actually see it made me stop in my tracks. I...I didn't like it. Seeing them together like that was a shock to the system. Did I actually dislike it? That would just be...awful of me. No, awful didn't even begin to cover it.
No, I don't think I disliked it exactly. I think it's just that hearing it and actually seeing it are two entirely different things. Here was proof that my family was changing in front of my very eyes and I had to accept that or risk losing it. I'm determined not to let that happen. This is something that should be cherished, not feared. These new feelings should be treasured and preserved, and we would have to work hard to ensure that.
"Are you alright Leo? You look distracted," Donny noted, peering at me over the edge of his book.
"Uh yeah, I just..." I shook my head, focussing on the reason I came in here in the first place. "I wanted to talk to you guys,"
I didn't realise how seriously my words would be taken. Donny wordlessly folded the corner of the page he was on and laid the book aside. Mikey instantly sat up and turned off the tv, fixing me a dutiful stare with those big, beautiful blue eyes. It was a bit weird actually, having their undivided attention like that. I never usually got it when I said I wanted to talk. It wasn't even that serious.
I didn't mean to establish an awkward silence but I wasn't sure how best to approach the subject. I could very easily just order them back to training but I didn't want to force them into anything they weren't ready for. After all, Master Splinter taught and supervised their lessons for so long, it was sure to be unsettling to have me instead.
In the finish, it was Mikey who decided enough was enough and spoke up.
"Dude, if this is about me an' Don being together, just spit it out," He demanded gently, gazing intently at me. I looked up.
"What? No. It's got nothing to do with that," I shook my head, gave him a reassuring smile.
It hadn't at first anyway. If these relationships start interfering with their training, I would have to rethink. I wouldn't outright ban this new-found intimacy of course, that would be disastrous. No, I'd have to devise some new methods, try a new approach. I would find a way around it certainly.
"Awesome. So what's up?" He relaxed, leaning back into the cushions, smiling lazily.
"I just wanted to ask you when you wanted to continue training. It's been over a month now. I don't mean to nag, and I totally get it if you feel you aren't ready, it's just...I don't want you falling behind," I explained sheepishly, looking back down into my tea. Some leader. I can't even look them in the eye when I'm trying to conduct a meeting.
"Man, I thought you'd never ask!" Mikey grinned in earnest, a hint of laughter to his voice. I looked up and frowned again.
"What are you talking about?"
"I thought it was 'cuz you didn't feel ready. Y'know, to teach sessions and stuff," He shrugged, tilting his head in curiosity. I pulled a face.
"I thought it was because you weren't ready," I argued softly, feeling my face split into a small smile. He was outright laughing.
"No way bro! Well at first maybe, but certainly not now. I've been itchin' to get my 'chucks out again!" He chuckled, pretty eyes sparkling.
"Great. We can start tomorrow then,"
"I'm not ready,"
Donny's meek, sincere voice destroyed our laughter.
"Don?" I looked over at him, questions in my eyes.
"I...need some more time. I'm sorry Leo," He murmured. He kept eye contact, and I could see the turmoil within them.
"That's okay Donatello. Take all the time you need," I assured him.
He returned my soft smile, a silent thanks. But he reserved a bigger one for Michelangelo when he placed a concerned, tender hand on his knee. I pretended not to notice, letting them have their moment. I looked away and settled back with my tea. With every show of affection I witness I'm sure it'll get easier. Surely they would feel just as weird with me and Raph?
We sat together for a while. Donny returned to his book, Mikey lounged on him reading a comic and I enjoyed my tea and contemplated the cosmos. I wasn't worried. Don would return to his training when he was good and ready. Besides, seeing Mikey get back into the swing of things might help him adjust. I was pleased Michelangelo was so willing. It made my trepidation easier to overcome.
Raph joined us after a while. Content to just stand behind me and rub my shoulders. He likes standing behind me. Must be a dominant thing. Either way I didn't contest it. It was nice to just feel thought of and appreciated, especially in actions and not just words. It was strange partaking in this affection with Mikey and Don sat on the couch. But they more or less ignored us, preoccupied with their literature and each other.
We have begun to rise above the loss of our Sensei, and I have every hope that we will become a better team because of it. There is no chance that our adversaries will destroy this. It is too strong. I know that now. Master Splinter was wrong to disapprove. It is an unbreakable power that eventually we will wield with skill and with grace. I'm sorry Sensei, but where you sough to destroy it, I will embrace it.
I will make this the Hamato clan's greatest strength.