Pieces of Me
Disclaimer: TMNT was created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. TMNT belongs to Mirage Studios. I am not making any money from this fic.
And I think Post-It notes belong to 3M. Just so there's no litigation ;)
Author's Note: this is just an itsy bitsy drabble I've been 'instructed' to post:) And in that vein, this is dedicated to Miss Kay – just for being you.
Thank you all for reading :)
Pieces of Me
Leo made a double-take as he passed Don's workroom. A glance had provided a glimpse of Don, huddled over his PC in the darkness of the room. His look of concentration was lit by the cold light of the PC monitor, and as Leo watched, he tapped briefly at the keyboard, returning quickly to his hunched position.
Leo smiled fondly and turned off of his planned course. He stepped into Don's room quietly, and flicked the light switch. Light filled the room suddenly, and Don turned to Leo, his eyes squeezed half-shut at the suddenly bright light.
"What do you want, Leo?" Don asked, rubbing his eyes.
"It's not good for your eyes to sit in the dark, watching the monitor," Leo said, smiling gently.
"Yeah, well…Maybe…" Don shrugged off his brother's concern and turned back to the monitor. Leo smiled wryly,
"You know it is, bro."
"Hey, Leo – did you know they've finally recognised the Vesuvian Star?" Don asked, changing the subject and not looking around as Leo approached him from behind.
"What, the one that works like the North Star, but for D'hoonib?" Leo asked. Don nodded.
"Uh-huh. Won't be long until they find those guys, if technology keeps advancing this way." Don said, tapping briefly at the mouse and then looking up at Leo again.
"So, is it time for practice again?" he asked. Leo nodded.
"Yeah," he smiled gently, and suddenly moved forward as his brother cast his eyes once more to the computer screen. Leo wrapped his arms softly around his brother's shoulders and rested his head on his.
"Hmm?" Don said suddenly, directing his eyes upwards, but otherwise not moving. "What's that for?"
"Nothing," Leo said wistfully, squeezing his brother gently, as though he might disappear. "Just for being you."
"Leo?" Raph's voice from the doorway broke the moment. Leo immediately stood upright and looked at Raph in the doorway, his eyes full of guilt.
"Who are you talking to?" Raph's voice was uncharacteristically gentle as he spoke, and Leo recognised the tone. He hardened a little.
"No-one," he said. He turned back, and looked at Don's chair.
It was empty.
The PC was off, the monitor dark. Instead of bits of paper and post-it notes and old screws and nuts, the desk was perfectly clean – like nobody had ever worked there. The pens were in their holder, the notepad waiting for use, the pencils all sharpened and in rows.
"Leo… You know Donny's been dead three years, don't you? You remember that?" Raph spoke once more in the same tone, breaking the silence. Leo clenched his teeth and nodded.
"I know," he said. He fingered the arm of the chair lightly. It was tatty, and the false leather was worn through to the fabric backing. Leo's hand moved up gently to rub a worn spot on the desk, where Don had so often rested his elbow.
They hadn't been worn down any more in three years.
"I'm fine. I'm not going mad again, Raph." Leo's voice was soft, his melancholy palpable. Raph breathed an audible sigh of relief; but when he spoke, his voice still had the same kid-gloves tone.
"Phew. You had me worried." He stepped forward. Leo looked down at the back of the chair as he ran his hand along it.
"I was just thinking. About Donny. About… how it used to be. About things I should have done."
"You did everything you could, Leo," Raph said, and Leo knew instantly that he was talking about something else. He closed his eyes.
"You did what you had to."
"I did what I had to…" echoed Leo, his expression sad when he opened his eyes.
"Yeah. I did what I had to," he uttered. Raph walked up to him quietly and put a hand on his shoulder – and in that action he showed Leo how worried he really was.
"I'm fine," Leo smiled weakly at his brother. Raph seemed to examine his eyes for a moment and nodded a fraction, satisfied that his answer was the truth.
"Good. I don't want to have to spoon feed you again, you get me?" Leo smiled, but he really just wanted to get away. He wanted to go back to his imagined moment with Donny; he didn't want to see the blood on his hands every morning when he woke up any more.
"I killed him," he suddenly heard himself say. Raph's arm slid around his shoulders, and Leo heard his brother say in response,
"You did what you had to."
"I killed him."
"You did what you had to." Raph pulled Leo's face towards his and fixed his eyes on his distracted brother's.
"You did what you had to," he repeated. Leo nodded eventually. Raph's arm slid away from Leo's shoulders and wrapped around his carapace, gently pushing him towards the door.
You know… One day…" Raph said, as he ushered Leo towards the door, "We'll clean Don's room out. Properly."
"No." Leo shook his head. "I like it. I don't… I don't want to." Raph nodded.
"Maybe," he said, flicking off the light and closing the door behind them as they left the room. "We'll see, huh?"
Leo nodded, even as he craned his neck to see the last of the dark room disappear.
And in his mind's eye, Don was still sitting at his PC, one hand supporting his chin, gazing into the monitor, in the dark.