Don't Tell Leo

by Donny's Boy

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Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the plot relating to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I am making no money from this story. I mean no harm.

Warnings: Lots. Lots of language, lots of violence, and moderate sex. References to incest, alcohol, and goodness knows what else.

Author's Notes: This is a series of ficlets, set pre-2007 movie. Although any ficlet can be read alone, they're all interrelated.

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"What on earth happened to you guys?"

The three of them exchange furtive looks.

"Dunno what you mean," drawls Raph casually, one eye-ridge lifted high in eloquent scorn for the question.

Leonardo scowls. "Yes. You do. Now tell me."

"Well. Uh. You see? Thing is, you were gone a long time, and--" Michelangelo shuts up the moment that Don's elbow jabs into his side, none too gently.

"Fine. Be like that." Leo sighs and turns away. "It's nice to see you all grew up and became so mature during the time I was gone."

It's only after Leo's long gone that Raph mutters, "Ha. If you only knew the half of it, Leo."

Donatello snorts at that and, miraculously, even cracks a smile.

--

"Debt"

As the heavy, steel-toed boot smashed into his jaw, Raphael found himself reconsidering his life decisions. Certainly this was not where he would like to be: broken, beaten, lying in a grimy alley surrounded by thugs. Certainly something had gone horribly, horribly awry.

Some blood--from God knew how many broken teeth--dripped down his throat, and he gagged. Turning his head to the side, he spit out what he could.

"Somebody take off that fuckin' ridiculous helmet."

Oh, hell no.

Struggling to at least get up onto his hands and knees, Raph tried to crawl away. A swift kick to his ribs changed that plan, though. With a graceless thud, he fell back to the wet pavement. He would have cursed, had his mouth not hurt so badly.

"Ain't so tough now." From somewhere above and to the right of him came a cackle. "Is you, Nightwatcher?"

Walked right into it. Right smack dab into a trap. Followed two low-lifes into the alley, where at least thirty of these goons got the drop on him. He'd let the thrill of the chase go to his head and affect his judgment.

The worst part, though, was the fact that if he died tonight, his death would make him look stupider than he was. He wasn't this stupid. He really wasn't. Usually. Also, the brutal murder of a large, mutant turtle was sure to get his family a whole lot of unwanted publicity.

He felt tugging. His helmet. Shit. Raph lifted his arms as high as he could and tried to bat away the hands that clawed at his helmet, trying to get it loose. His efforts were about as effective as a kitten trying to fight off a cougar.

After a final tug, he felt cool, lovely air on his face. Shit. He tried to open his eyes--the very least he could do was take a look around, see if he couldn't still outwit these goons and protect his clan--but his eyelids wouldn't cooperate.

Meanwhile, a long silence fell over the alley. "What ... what is it?"

"I dunno, man. It's ... it's pretty freaky, though. Maybe we oughta--"

The rest of the man's sentence was cut off by a sharp, deep grunt.

All that Raph could make out clearly were bits and pieces. A groan here. A whistling noise there. Just enough to make him feel sure that a fight had broken out. A fight he wasn't part of.

Finally, he managed to force his eyes open. Which didn't do much good, because he still couldn't move his damn head. God, his head. His head felt like a ton of bricks. A throbbing, bleeding, exceedingly tender ton of bricks.

A dark, blurry shape appeared over him, no more than a silhouette against the street lamps. Raphael felt a gentle pressure against his neck. He blinked. It took him a few moments to realize what was going on--that someone was taking his pulse. He tried to take a deep breath, to clear his thoughts and gather some strength. He had to get out of here.

That was when he caught it. A very particular, very familiar scent.

Still groggy, with an aching jaw, Raph mumbled the first word that popped into his head: "Leo?"

Suddenly, the pressure on his neck was gone. The dark shape remained, however, in perfect stillness and perfect silence. Raphael knew his brother was staring at him. He couldn't see Leo's eyes, but he could feel them. It was a little creepy.

And it was weird. Leo was supposed to be gone. Wasn't he? Raph couldn't remember. God, his head hurt.

After another beat, Leo broke off the stare and turned away. But just before he was completely outside Raph's field of vision, Raphael caught a glimpse of his brother's mask tails. Saw a flash of purple cloth.

For another ten minutes Raph laid there on the ground, breathing hard, trying and failing to process the evening's events. Then, shakily he pushed himself up onto his knees. The act of doing so almost made him vomit. But once he got himself steady enough that he was pretty sure he wouldn't fall over, he finally took a look around.

The alley looked like a damn slaughterhouse. Raphael gave in and puked. It hurt like a bitch.