This is meant as an experiment, a trippy little bunny got into my head earlier and I decided it might be fun to try and fic at work, for fun.

Thanks to Kalla for being a bad influence.

Enjoy!

Loop

"--don't need ya!"

Pause.

The turtle barely payed attention to his new-found human friend as she carefully trickled water over his brother's prone form and then walked back over to the door. She stopped at his side, and if he looked up, Leo was sure he'd see concern all over her face.

He didn't want to see that.

Leo inclined his head slightly as she murmured something that was supposed to sound comforting, briefly touching his arm with feather-light fingers. Briefly he looked up, then as if dragged back, his gaze returned to Raphael. His brother still hadn't moved so much as an inch.

He had been that way for days now.

Leonardo didn't even hear April leave the room.

Rewind.

"I never said I was a 'great leader'!" protested Leo, irritation creeping up on him. God, why did Raph have to start this now? Things were finally starting to look up for them again-- They were safe, April was doing her best to help them find their missing father, and both Donnie and Mikey seemed to have shaken off that uncharacteristic-- well, for everyone who wasn't Raph-- depression that had settled over the brothers like a shroud since that horrible night.

They finally had hope.

So, of course, his most cynical brother had to destroy that-- under the guise of being 'practical'.

This was just another notch in the years-long struggle for power between him and Raph. Just another fight.

Not that he didn't -know- Raph was just as worried as he was angry. It was just that he didn't care at this minute. Not when Raphael was being a brat again.

"You sure act like it sometimes!" retorted Raph.

Leo knew he had to ignore Raph. He knew his younger brother was just to get a rise out him because he was upset about their father. He knew he had to be strong, not stoop to Raph's level.

He knew that, but...

"...Well, you act like a jerk sometimes!" The words near flew out of his mouth, not bothering to check with the ground control that was his brain.

What was worse was that Leo didn't care.

Fast forward.

"So, who are you again?" grunted Mikey as he carefully helped Leo move Raph's body from the car. "We... uh... don't really know that many people."

The subject of Mikey's inquiry grinned at them. "I said it when I saved yer asses... Casey Jones! I met your..." he paused. "...Brother? Jus' th' other day."

That took Leo's attention off his precious burden. "He spoke to you?" he asked, shock coloring his voice. First April and now this Casey character... why had Raph felt this sudden urge to violate the secrecy that had protected their family all these years?

"Uh... sorta." The man seemed amused, following them as they slowly entered the house. "With our fists. We hadda disagreement about a coupla pukes."

"Figures..." sighed Donnie, who was waiting at the top of the steps with April by his side.

"So you decided to help us out... because you two got into a fight?"

Casey nodded, the grin slipping off his face as his eyes strayed over the topic of their discussion. "He's a good fighter," explained the human. "Had th' right idea... even if he was too soft on those punks..."

Mikey sounded incredulous. "Raph? Soft?"

"...An' when I saw him about to be ambushed I hadda do -something-!" Casey touched the bag he had carried into the rickety old farmhouse as he spoke, fingering the hilt of a bat. "It wasn't right, so me and the boys came over ta even things out a bit."

"...And we do appreciate it," said April brokenly.

Leo felt a pang of deepest regret. She had just lost everything, just like they had.

This wasn't what they had wanted.

Not at all.

Rewind.

"Maybe I'll just take my attitude and leave!" shouted Raph, familiar anger sparking in his eyes... and it must be catching, because Leo felt a fire growing within him.

Anger at his brother. At the foot for taking his father. Anger at -everything-.

But right now? Mostly at his brother.

"Why don't you?"

"I will!" replied Raph, already grabbing his outside gear.

"Good!"

"Great!" retorted Raph.

Distantly, Leonardo noted that they sounded like a couple of bickering children-- at that moment, he was almost glad his father wasn't around to hear him sink to this kind of level.

His disgust at himself wasn't going to stop him from getting the last word though. Not when Raph was involved.

"Go ahead." He didn't even bother to turn around and watch Raph leave. "We don't need ya!"

Rewind.

Play.

"We don't need ya!

Pause.

Another day, and Raph still had not woken up.

Donnie had come in earlier, smelling of oil, brake fluid, and the false cheer that came of constant distraction. The brainy turtle had checked all of Raphael's vitals-- all the ones they -could- check, having no medical equipment-- and softly declared that there had been no change. Nothing at all.

For not the first time that week, Don then expressed the desire for a CAT scanner or MRI. All of them were pretty certain Raph was concussed, but the extent of the damage was still unknown.

All that they did know was that Raph wasn't waking up.

...Coma?

Leo shuddered, shifting in his hard chair even as he kept his eyes locked onto Raph's body. There was a chance-- growing by the day-- that Raph wouldn't wake up. Or that if he did, he wouldn't be Raph anymore.

Leo couldn't stand seeing Raph so lifeless now... imaging Raph's body without the vivid personality that had animated it until now... imaging Raph as a mindless vegetable...

He couldn't stand it.

He hadn't even watched Raph leave April's apartment... he hadn't said 'goodbye'.

It couldn't end like this.

Please.

Rewind.

Play.

"Go ahead. We don't need ya!"

Rewind.

Play.

"We don't need ya!"

Rewind...