"Yeah, it's me."
"Sh, quiet, I don't want anyone to know I called, I just wanna talk ta you right now."
A small smile tweaked Raph's lips, the enthusiasm in Mike's voice exactly the way he remembered his younger brother. "Yeah, Mikey, it's me."
"Dude, it's so good ta—a-are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm fine."
"Dude, I mean…wow, it's great to hear your voice. Whatchyou been doin'?"
"Not much. Just…hangin' around with Casey, mostly. Thinkin'."
"Raph, I gotta tell ya, I'm so sorry about—"
"Don't talk about it, Mikey," Raph muttered gruffly but gently. "Don't think about it--it's over. It's okay."
"…Okay. Uh, ya gotta know, Leo and Don aren't here, but they'll be back in like twenty minutes, and this phone is like, tethered to the wall and stuff. So they'd catch me."
"In twenty minutes I might be ready ta talk to them. Where's Master Splinter?"
"Shower. Oh DUDE! I finished the second issue!"
"Of what, Mikey?" Raph surprised himself by being fiercely interested in knowing what new comic book series Mike was into now.
"My comic book…oh, yeah, I never showed you that."
There was quite a bit of hesitation from the other end of the line. "Uh, well…it's kinda personal, and…uh…"
"It's about the Turtle Titan, ain't it?"
"No." There was a pause. "Do you think I should put the Turtle Titan in it?"
Raph grinned and shook his head. "I love you, Mike," he said out of the blue, surprising himself again.
There was a pause. "Love you too, bro."
All four of those words made Raph choke as though he had never heard them before. Normally, he didn't think much of the phrase, but to deliver the sentiment wholeheartedly and have it returned to him…it was as though Mike actually meant it. Actually meant it like Raph did. Static prickled Raph's face, he held his breath, head bowed, becoming less and less aware of his own body.
Mike, whose hero had been…
"Raph? You still there?"
"Yeah," Raph said breathlessly, voice wavering.
"Are you…?" The question trailed off. Raph was glad it wasn't completed. He didn't want to lie about whether or not he was crying.
He wiped his eyes. "Just…gimme a minute. It's…it's good to hear your voice."
"Yeah, same to you, seriously."
There it was again. Mike couldn't possibly want to hear his voice. Not the voice of pathetic weakling Raphael, standing there with the phone pressed to his face and tears leaking from his eyes and snot running in his nostrils and still reeling from being completely broken by a group of lowlifes. This whole situation suddenly struck him as impossible, and he grit his teeth. What was it with him and crying now?
"How can it, Mike? I mean, I-I got…How can you still—"
"Dude. It's not your fault. Things happen."
Raph swallowed. "Yeah, I know."
"So uh, when are you coming home?"
"I, uh, I dunno. But uh, you guys should come down here." The words were out before Raph knew what he was saying, but somehow, he didn't regret a single one of them.
"Really?" Mike sounded unabashedly ecstatic.
"Yeah, Casey's already havin' April up for her birthday. You could ride up with her. We're at the old farmhouse." The more he talked about it, the more Raph liked the idea. He could see Mike's excited face in person instead of just imagining it from what he could hear over the phone.
"I knew it!" Mike squeaked. "I told Leo you were too uncreative to go anywhere else!"
Panic drew Raph's throat shut like a drawstring. That was Leo's voice. He did not want to talk to Leo right now.
"Is that Raph?"
"No! Hey—It's mine, Leo, he called me!"
Raph hung up the phone. He glanced at Casey, who raised his eyebrows without taking his eyes from the road. "Well?" asked Casey.
The ninja took a deep breath. "They're comin'."
The van crunched to a halt at the end of the long gravel driveway, and April was the first to fling her door open and jog to the man standing on the porch. "Hey!"
"Hey!" Casey beamed as he spread his arms out to her. "Happy birthday!"
April raveled her arms around his neck and plucked a kiss from his lips. "Thanks. Where's Raph?"
Casey cleared his throat nervously and glanced in the direction of Splinter, who was being helped out of the van by Leonardo and Donatello. "He's somewhere else. Said he wanted to talk to you guys one-on-one first."
Splinter settled onto his feet, nodded softly. "We meet on his terms. Where has he gone?"
"He's over by the tire swing near the river."
Raphael looked as nervous as Donatello felt when he approached his wayward brother, who sat on the bank of the river with his feet dangling over the edge. It felt a little surreal to see Raph sitting there, breathing, shifting, more animate than Don's many dreams of him, which had usually shown him dead of sepsis or suicide. Raph turned his head slightly, as if viewing Don out of his peripheral vision, the one visible eye glinting like the water as the shadows from the trees passed overhead. Don shivered. He sank down beside his brother, dropping his feet over the edge of the steep bank and letting them hang. Raph turned his face back to the trees ahead, not once glancing directly at Don.
Is that it, Raphael? Are you still giving me the silent treatment? By now, I'd think I'd have paid for any wrong, especially since you weren't any better.
Don cleared his throat. "If you're still bitter at me, how about we talk through it instead of pretending we're enemies?"
That made Raph glance sharply at him. "Whaddya mean?"
"I mean you were fighting me even before I started playing dirty, Raph," said Don. "But somehow, I'm the only one who has to apologize, which I have done. So what now?" Donatello watched his brother carefully.
The veins in Raph's neck flashed into visibility, then disappeared, brief agitation passing. "I know you were just tryin' a' help. Butcha fucked up. Didn't even think about what I needed you ta--"
"What you needed was the first thing on my mind," Don said patiently, "but you weren't giving me any clues. I'm not even convinced you knew what it was yourself. But if you wanted something from us, you needed to quit fighting us and let us know what it was. Meet us halfway."
That was caused Raph's eyes to widen briefly. "Halfway, huh?" Those eyes fell to the stream below them. For a moment, no one said a word besides the river and the birds and the squirrels crashing in the trees. The sun was warm and the wind was cool. "Okay," Raph said quietly. "Whaddya want?"
"I'm gonna meetcha halfway. Whaddya want from me?"
Don blinked. That was...a strange question, suddenly. He wanted for Raph not to fight him, to be his ally and brother again. But what could he ask of Raph now? All he wanted at the moment was to know for certain that Raph was okay. His tongue flicked out to moisten his lips. "Have you been having any flashbacks lately?"
There was a pause, as if Raph was thinking. "Not for a couple weeks," he said with some certainty.
A longer pause. "Sometimes."
Don's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "How sometimes?"
Raph's hand darted behind his neck to give the muscles there a nervous rub. "Just sometimes."
"Almost every night."
Don nodded slowly, unsurprised. "I think you can expect that for a while. And don't be surprised by any flashbacks, either. But...please, please tell me if you feel suicidal again. I know how you feel about drugs, and if you don't want to go that route, we can probably find some sort of therapy for you over the phone."
Raph shook his head softly. "Don't think I'd do so good with therapy. Prob'ly end up yellin' at some shrink who keeps askin' me how I feel." His eyes finally swerved to his brother. "Did any a' your research say if there was anythin' else that could...help?"
This was the hard part. Don shook his head slowly. "If you're asking me for some kind of...of thought process, or trick, there isn't any that I've found. Even...even in my own experiences, sometimes all you can do is just...keep going. And eventually, you make it through."
"Sounds about right," Raph said quietly. He watched Don intently, eyes half-lidded, expression unreadable. "Anythin' else you want?"
Don gave a wilting shrug, eyes flicking out to view the river. "Just...my life. Back."
"Makes two of us."
Raph didn't seem to notice Mike was there. Of course, Mike knew better. Raph, probably as nervous as Mike himself, was just waiting for his brother to make the first move. This hardly seemed hair, as notoriously bad as Mike was at first moves. It was almost as unfair as Raph asking him to act like everything was okay had been. That thought wasn't any kind of an "in." He had to find an "in," a way to make the first move without totally destroying his chances of repairing things with Raph. Which was why he'd brought his comic book. But shoving a comic book in Raph's face in and of itself hardly seemed like an actual first move. It was more like an act of aggression or something. Thwap! Read this!
Mike found his "in" when his desperate eyes landed on the nearby tire swing. Casually tossing the comic book onto a dry patch of grass, he made a beeline for the swing. "Dude!" he said excitedly. "I totally forgot this was here!" He grabbed the rope and hopped onto the tire, perched rather precariously on top. The swing swiveled. "Y'know, Master Splinter should so use this thing to teach us balance. Wouldn't that be great? Like, a whole lesson of nothing but playing around on tire swings?" He climbed to stand up on the tire.
When he looked down with a grin, Raph was watching him with a shockingly run-of-the-will "You are the Great Idiot, before which all other idiots are humbled" look. Or at least a shockingly run-of-the-mill "You dumbass" look. "That rope's like, fifty years old, genius," he grunted, tilting his head, eyes shining with a vague interest in how this was going to turn out. "Now, I'm not one ta urge you not ta fall flat on your face, but if I don't point it out, you'll be buggin' me later for not warnin' ya."
Mike leaned back sharply in direct defiance of Raph's non-concern, making the swing kick forward like a mule. "Your brotherly protectiveness overwhelms me, Raphael," he said, yanking on the rope harshly as proof that it would not break. The tree limb it was tied to creaked. "As does your confidence in my ability to not become horizontal when I don't mean to."
"That tree's been dead since the Age of Enlightenment, which you missed out on," Raph continued, a slight smile touching his lips. "If that thing falls on ya, don't come cryin' ta me."
"Trust me. If this thing fell on me, I'd go to someone with a heart. And better breath." Mike shifted his hands higher on the rope and started to climb slowly.
Raph watched for a few seconds longer, then pushed himself to his feet. "Geddown from there, dumbass," he growled good-naturedly in his "I'm actually worried about you but sure as hell won't show it" voice. He reached up for Mike's elbow.
Michelangelo, still defiant, sprang from the swing in a backflip and landed lightly on his feet. "Helping, Raph?" He feigned shock. "I never thought I'd see the day!"
"Whatever," grunted Raph, slinking back to his previous seat by the river and plucking up the comic book. "What's this, anyway?" he asked before scanning down the front cover. His eyes widened. Mike grinned broadly and flopped down beside him, drinking in his brother's reaction. Raphael was staring at the cover, on which was a carefully-drawn figure crouched on a rooftop with the New York cityscape, arced over by the creamy circle of the moon, behind him. Blazing across the moon in red was the title.
"I can't look at this," Raph said immediately, shoving the book into Mike's lap and burying his face in his hands. Mike blinked, catching the fragile book gingerly to avoid creasing. Raph's shoulders hunched, and his knees drew up. He looked overwhelmed.
Mike swallowed his alarm. Had he made a terrible mistake? He'd thought Raph would be flattered, or amused, or scornful. His heart sank horribly. Raph didn't even want to look at his comic book! And he'd worked on it for ages, laboring over every painful detail, and he'd thought his brother would be so proud, and...and... He patted Raph's arm in placation, half-desperate. "No, it's...it's okay, I didn't mean--"
"I don't deserve you."
Say what? Mike's mouth hung open.
"I ain't a hero, Mikey. You...ya shouldn't think a' me like that. It'll getcha down every time I fail."
"What...NO! Fuck, Raph, you...you came OUT of it."
"I ain't out of it yet."
"But you got this far. I don't think I could do that."
"You could, Mikey. You're stronger'n I am, in some ways."
Had Raph really just said that? That was insane. "Dude, I'd be a mess. Like, I don't even know--"
"Could we...quit talkin' about it? I don't wanna think about it happenin'..."
Mike's eyes widened as his mind and Raph's faraway expression supplied the rest of that sentence. I don't wanna think about it happening ta you. "I'd...it wouldn't be worse--"
"Mikey, the only good thing about all this is that it didn't happen ta you. I couldn't a'...I couldn't a' handled it. Not bein' able ta stop it."
Mike couldn't say he didn't need Raph to keep it from happening. First of all, it probably wasn't true. Second, it would only make things worse. "I mean, I don't hang out with Casey that much. But uh, if it'd been you and me? You wouldn't've let it happen. So it's moot. No 'what if.' It just wouldn't've happened to me."
"You say that. But those guys took me down pretty quick."
"If I remember right, they blundered the whole operation and had to go back later for another try. If they took you down, it was by accident. You've...you've got me outta real tight spots before. Got all of us out of 'em, even. That shows you can do it. It's not...hm. This? Doesn't matter. I mean, it matters, but it's not like, demonstrative of how strong you are, or how like, Batman you are, 'cause you're pretty darn Batman, if you ask me." He plucked the comic book from his lap and stared at the cover. "There should be a Nightwatcher comic series. Like, a real one."
"Then make one," Raph said flatly. "Do whatcha want. Just keep bein' yourself. Like I said, the only good thing is that it didn't happen ta you, an' you shouldn't act like it did. If it had ta happen ta one of us, I'm glad it was me. If you're all...damn." Raph hissed in frustration.
He was having trouble putting words to his thoughts again, Mike could tell. He clapped him lightly on the shoulder. "If we're acting like we did before, it's not much different for you than if it did happen to one of us?"
"It ain't like that exactly. I mean, it is different, 'cause I know it didn't happen ta you, but...I guess. Pretty much."
Mike swallowed uncomfortably. "And on some level, you want us to be kinda glad it happened to you and not one of us, 'cause it means you uh, took one for the team? Like if it had to happen?"
Raph wet his lips, and nodded.
"Dude. Problem with that. It didn't have to happen."
"I know. So it's...meaningless?"
"I don't think it's a matter of meaning something, like, right now. I dunno. I've been having a random insight fluke, but you'll hafta talk to Master Splinter about this one. He'll figure out a way it means something in the long run. But uh, I'm not good at that stuff. I play video games. But if it helps, you mean a hell of a lot to me."
Raph suddenly caught Mike around the neck with his arm and pulled him in, forcing a startled yelp from Michelangelo. "Yeah, I know," he grumbled, giving his sibling a painful noogie.
"So you and Casey are friendly again." It came out sounding bitterer than Leo intended, or even felt. Casey had taken care of Raph. It didn't mean he was Leo's favorite person, but it made their relationship a little easier, even if taking care of Raph was Leo's job. It was Leo's job, but Casey was doing it, while Raph wouldn't even talk to him on the phone.
The most startling thing about Raph's reaction to the comment was that he didn't seem to have one. His face was as smooth as glass. Maybe he understood why Leo might resent this. Yes, it was a look Raph had had before, when he was in an ultimate state of peace about a decision he'd made. It almost never happened. "I forgave Casey, Leo. Ain't no reason you shouldn't."
Leo relaxed. "I guess it's just a sign of things going back to normal."
Raph's face twitched in thought. "Not normal. Just...life. Things ain't never gonna be the way they were."
"If things were every the way they were. The older I get, the more it seems like things just keep changing."
Leo sank down onto the grass beside his brother. "I think...I think the reason I kept trying to fight your battles for you was because they were my battles, too. I meant what I said when I said it happened to me, too. I...wanted to heal you, because I was healing myself at the same time. It...probably would have been easier, somehow, if it had happened to me."
"Only it didn't." Raph's voice was tinted with tension, as though warning Leo not to go there again.
Leo almost couldn't believe it when he found himself saying, "It...happens every night, in my dreams." No, don't tell him this! It will only make things awkward! "It's worse every time. It's like my brain is trying to decide what it was like for you. Isn't..." He laughed bitterly, eyes sliding shut as his face lit with flame. "Isn't that the most screwed-up thing you ever heard?" He'd said too much. Now Raph would feel as guilty as if he'd sent the dreams himself like clinging strands of silk spiderwebs, floating down currents of thought to haunt Leonardo at night.
He was right. When he glanced quickly at Raph, his brother's eyes were wide. "Fuck, Leo, I didn't...fuck! I'm sorry, I..." He moved his lips around silent words for a moment, then moistened them with the tip of his tongue. "You…want me ta tell you what happened?"
Leo's heart leapt into his throat an created a painful lump there. Raph had seized upon an uncomfortable thought. As little as Leo wanted to know of his brother's darkest pain, knowing might take away the creative power of his nightmares. Not House's twisted, half-fabricated version, but the truth through Raphael's eyes, the most honest, brutal perspective of all. Raph's offer to open himself moved him, and he nearly seized his brother in an embrace. "I think…for my sanity, I'd like to know, but I can't ask you to tell me," he said cautiously.
Raph waved Leo's caution off with a toss of his hand, which shook more than he probably realized. "It's okay," he said nonchalantly. "Ah, it…probably wasn't as bad as you think. That's weird ta say. But. Uh. It coulda been a lot worse. I think a big part of it was bein' shit scared every second it was gonna get a lot worse. But mostly, they just held me still an' did it. An' they laughed, an called me names. I don't remember too much about what they said. It's like…my brain was somewhere else. I knew what was happenin', but I couldn't concentrate on it even if I wanted to."
That was good, right? Only... "Where was your brain?"
"I dunno. I couldn't really think at all. It's like when you're in a fight you know you're about ta lose an' your body's doin' all the work for ya. Like some really, really sharp nightmare. You feel everythin', you know what's goin' on, but you can't put names to anything' or-or find words or…it was weird. The only thing I could really think was, 'I hafta get outta this.' An' I could…think ain't the right word…I could remember why. Things like, how I promised Mike I'd show 'im my Boondocks DVDs."
"That's weird," Leo admitted.
A corner of Raph's mouth turned up at this honesty. "Yeah. Then things started gettin' worse, an' it was hard for my brain ta just…fuzz up like that." His face faded into dark blankness, and his voice acquired a forced edge. "It hurt like hell. I can't even tell ya. Jez said…said I must like it. Called me a dirty little whore. I couldn't…it's like the last little part of my pride was just…an' I spit, but that was so fuckin' stupid a' me. Next thing I know he's shoved the flashlight in my mouth an' tellin' me ta swallow. I couldn't. Could barely even hold down what I'd swallowed three hours earlier. Later, I hated myself for not tryin' a' escape then. Before, I knew if I put up too much of a fight, it'd kill me. Now it's someplace less lethal, an' I can…but I didn't even think about it, dammit. I had two big guys holdin' me down an' a fuckin' bullet in my leg an' no blood left anywhere, an' I thought I was gonna die. That an' a flashlight in my throat that used to be in…" The volume dropped, and he murmured, "Is that all it takes ta bring me down?"
Leo stared at his brother. He had never heard him talk like this before. Raph had never been one for explaining himself. Now, he seemed almost in a trance, and the words formed themselves, dropping from his mouth like pebbles and clattering into the hollowly tinkling stream with dull echoes. He wet his lips. "I think any of us would have done the same. That scares me. Before this, we were all pretty sure nothing like this could happen to us."
Raph nodded a little. "The whole time, I was wonderin' when Casey was gonna show up."
"And he never did."
Raph shrugged. "He showed up, yeah, but it was after it stopped. Saved my life. I was back in the game long enough ta see that. Saw Jez about ta shoot 'im. Saw a gun lyin' on the ground. Didn't even think. Just picked it up an' shot 'im. If I'd accidentally shot Casey instead, I'd a' kept shootin' till I hit the right one. I didn't need anyone to avenge me. I killed the bastard myself."
"House was talking like he was just an accomplice," Leo said with a nod, trying not to think about the message Raph was giving to him in his last statements. It was a message already well-delivered, a lesson well-learned. Done to death, even. But it hadn't been to avenge Raph alone that he'd killed House.
"He was laughin' with the rest of 'em. Three guys, Leo. Crackin' up like this is the best shit they ever saw on TV, one pretendin' it ain't happenin', one standin' around hopin' it kills me. They laughed when I screamed, an' every time I jerked away or tried ta fight or choked on the flashlight. Everythin' I did was funny to 'em. I was in hell, an' they thought it was a Simpsons episode. An' nothin' I did…I couldn't…" His voice caught in his throat, and he coughed a little.
"I don't wanna talk about this anymore."
"You don't have to."
When his sons had been small, Splinter had taken bitter joy in patching their wounds—a scrape to the knee caused him as much pain as it caused them, but he treasured the feeling of intimacy that his sons' dependence brought him. The joy in caring for his sons, however, was quite different from the joy that had overwhelmed and battered him when his boys turned eight. One day, when his sons returned from playing in the sewers, one of them had an abrasion across his cheek. Splinter had known nothing of it until Raphael had emerged from the bathroom with his wound already cleaned and crudely bandaged. Shortly afterward, Leonardo had stopped going to his father for physical healing, not one to let Raphael surpass him. As much as Splinter had hoped his other two sons would gain the same independence, Donatello continued to trust his sensei's wisdom and learn from it, and Michelangelo still cherished the attention received from such times.
Sometimes Splinter believed he could still see the faint scar from the abrasion on his son's face, and was never certain if it was the ghost of the newness of Raphael's independence that day. Sometimes it was like a lingering kiss upon his cheek, a wealth of self-reliance and pride, and sometimes it was a curse, a deep affliction carved into his skin with the self-inflicted isolation that shadowed his every step in the world. Seeing such independence caused Splinter great joy and great pain; he could no longer take away Raphael's pain, and yet he knew that Raphael could stand up under it, bandage his wounds, and even cast it all aside when he no longer had use for it. Even now, as Splinter watched him in silence, his scars were fading, becoming more the kiss and less the curse.
Perhaps this time, all his brothers would follow in his footsteps.
His boy. His little boy, his beloved child, the face he recognized and the eyes he did not. He wanted to wrap his arms around him until he drew out his own, his dear child, and knew he had not lost his strong son, his miraculous Raphael. But there was a mirror over Raphael's eyes, and Splinter did not know who he was looking at.
"Who are you?"
Raphael's eyes widened slightly, then were cast downward. A moment of deep silence and self-penetrating thought passed, until his son spoke in that deep, familiar voice, hoarse with uncertainty. "Same person I always was, I guess. Just...been through more."
"And who am I?"
"Same person you always..." The mirror in front of Raphael's eyes cracked and bled his soul, filling his eyes. Splinter watched in wonder as his strong son bowed his head, shoulders shaking.
Pride and joy crashed over Splinter like a wave, filling his eyes until the image of his son blurred. Only then did he seize Raphael in his arms and cling to him, holding his sobbing child to his chest until his arms ached. Those blessed tears dampened his silk robe, those god-sent tears that showed how deeply Raphael knew the truth of what he said. His son, his beautiful child.
"My Raphael. Welcome home."
Raphael opened his eyes and saw an open grave.
The day had been such a blur, such a gauntlet of emotions and confrontations that he wasn't quite sure how he got here. It was night, and Casey and April were nowhere to be seen. He must be proposing to her at this very moment. Mike had adopted the persona of an ancient aboriginal stereotype and was dancing around the bonfire, yodeling at the top of his lungs. Splinter and Leo conversed as quietly as they could and still hear each other over Mike's antics. Don sat nearby, smiling and adding mustard to his hot dog. Raph's lay untouched on his plate nearby.
It was like the pages of his future had been ripped out and scattered in the wind, and he could only chase the whirling sheets and attempt to set order to the little he took hold of. Some things were still recognizable and intact. Some were gone for good. Some he had once deemed vital didn't seem so important now.
I'm alive. I've come out. I beat it.
Because breaking is a part of life, and all one can do for it is tape pages back into a tattered book. Because on the other end of pain is life, for the rest of your life. Because hardships are hard, and there is no trick that will make them easier.
Time and again he had buried his darkness, only to turn and see it shadowing him still. Now it lay at his feet, docile for the most part, still there but wholly conquerable. He could bury it again, and have it emerge clinging to his skin as strong as before, but now it had become a part of him, an experience he could no longer deny its place. Instead, he left the grave his doubts, his denial, his despair. Perhaps those would stay buried. Most likely not.
I don't know.
Into the grave.
I won't break.
Into the grave.
I am so fucked up.
Michelangelo laughed, soft earth fell, and Raphael covered his dead. Everything had changed, just like everything does. He watched his future scatter and felt not loss, but release. Anything could happen now.
As long as his family was a part of it.
If the difference between heaven and hell is the company, I'm doing pretty good.
He felt dirt underneath his fingernails, pain from labor and redemption, and he smiled.
"That's disgusting, Mikey. Maybe if you have one without the carcinogens."
"The slow, boring ones that don't flare up into Cajun-blackened perfection like miniature Balrogs, you mean?"
"I can't think of much that sounds more dangerous to consume than a Balrog, Mikey, but DON'T take that as an opportunity to inform me."
"Michelangelo! Put that out!"
"I got it, Sensei. Quit throwing hay in the fire, Pyro."
"You are the quencher of fun, Leo. You are the Anti-Fun."
"Wanna try a s'more the way it's supposed to be, Mike?"
"Whatever, dude, s'long as it's a s'more. I want s'more s'mores."
"Should've given him celery, Don. He's already had way too much sugar."
"Is Raph okay?"
"Hey, you're back early!"
"Casey, you knucklehead! Why didn't you tell us?"
"I told Raph."
"And that made you think we'd find out?"
"Let's see the loot, April!"
"I love it so much! It's perfect!"
"Where'd you get the funds for the rock, Case?"
"You have savings?"
"Congratulations. We have all been wondering when this would happen."
"Casey's a big coward."
"Aw, but he's MINE."
"GET A ROOM!"
"Get your own."
"Is Raph okay?"
"Dunno. He's been kinda quiet all night."
"What's he doing?"