Chapter 1: Skeletons in the Closet
Unlike most people, I do not know where I came from. I don't know exactly how I ended up in a New York sewer with four others like me…being in the right place at the right time is the card fate drew for me. Don't get me wrong – as much as I sound as though I'm lamenting, I have no room to complain about my life. Sensei raised and trained us very well and all of us live good lives, and my brothers have always been good to me.
But, beneath this cloak of goodness lies a fire that burns wildly – except it's a fire that I can't ever let anyone see. I cannot share this secret candidly because I know it will cause extreme tension between me and my brothers. And the reason I know this is because it involves some very sordid thoughts about one of them.
I have admired each of my brothers for their individual skills and personality. Leonardo is a fine leader and I feel he is what holds us all together, and Mikey is so fun-loving that I absolutely cannot help smiling when he's in the room. But…one brother I have felt more than respect toward for years. His arrogance and coldness somehow enticed me over time…and, in spite of that conceit that is his trademark, I could sense something more passionate about him – perhaps the soul of a zealous lover. I don't know how to put this, but there is just something about Raphael that drives me absolutely wild.
You can probably understand why I can't disclose my secret to anyone by now. How can I possibly admit I have feelings for my brother?! It seems just so wrong, and I don't know how this happened. I've tried justifying it by reminding myself that it may only seem natural to develop an attraction toward one of my siblings since we've had pretty much no personal contact with anyone other than ourselves. But, if that were the case, I'm sure we would have all fallen in love with one another. I just fear this will drive a wedge between us all, and that Sensei may think low of me; butterflies rise in my stomach every time I'm near Raphael or I come in physical contact with him, and to be perfectly honest, I'd rather have the butterflies than nothing at all. It doesn't stop these feelings I have toward him, unfortunately.
I don't know if this is what people call 'love', or if it's just some peculiar kind of lust, or simply my body calling out for attention from someone. I've always thought highly of Raph and his bravery; he's a risk-taker, and even though he gets himself into some sticky situations, he fares well in the end. I, on the other hand, have forever been far too anxious to take those kinds of risks. Maybe it's self-preservation, or maybe it's an over-abundance of fear on my part – I still don't know. As much as Leo is our leader, I have found myself often looking up to Raph, albeit surreptitiously; perhaps I just have a yearning to throw vigilance to the wind just once and be like him for a change.
However, it's more than just his ability to jump head-first into danger that attracts me to him. Although I've been around him all my life, it still feels like there is an air of incredible mystery about him – like there's still a Raphael I don't know. I also really fell in love with his rebellious attitude. I am so very accustomed to conforming, and following the rules. Raph tends to go and do his own thing, usually in an act of insurgence against Leo. I feel it's an off-shoot of his bravery, and a little refreshing to see one of us say 'no' to our leader.
Regrettably, these feelings I harbor for my brother only continue to grow stronger. I try my very best to act as if all is normal, but there are times I am forced to retreat to the privacy of my room to shed a few tears. It hurts so badly to want someone and know you can never have them, but how could I deal with it if I admitted to this? Sensei can tell something troubles me, but I can't even tell him. What would he think of these incestuous feelings I have? Would he disown me? But most importantly, what would Raph do? I don't want to lose his friendship…but, I don't want to have to cope with this awful secret.
Author's Note: I apologize for the excessive use of the word 'secret' - there seems to be absolutely no synonyms that I could use that would make sense in this story. Forgive the redundance.