Disclaimer: Does anyone have any idea of how much money I would make if I did own them? That would be insane…
Author's Notes: Wow, hard to believe that it's been so long since I updated this- actually… No, no it's not… Sorry for the long wait, I'll try not to do that again. Oh who am I kidding? I've been so unreliable when it comes to updates on this story I would be surprised if anyone even bothers to reads this.
And the Pieces Fall Together
Chapter Seven: The Blame Game
I stumble slightly but managed to prevent from doing an ever so embarrassing nose dive onto the floor of the tunnel we are in. I think I have tried just about every way possible to keep an eye out for anything in front of us and keep looking back at Donnie. I need two heads, plain and simple.
I hadn't thought anything of it when Leo told me to take point after we entered the sewers but now I wish I had asked to be a rear guard instead. At least that way I could look ahead and see Don without having to turn around every couple of seconds to see that he is really still there in Raph's arms. I don't think Raph could really lose him in anyway with how tightly he is holding onto him but just in case, I want to make sure he is real.
It's been on my mind shortly after the manhole cover dropped back into place above us. What if this was all a dream? I've been having a lot of those lately, really bad ones that have me running for Leo's room like I did when I was a kid so I could bawl into his shoulder until I fell asleep. Embarrassment Central right there.
Still, it's terrifying to think that I'm going to wake up at any second and Don's going to be gone again. If that happens I'm not going to go to Leo, I'm going straight to Splinter. Leo is great in the comfort department but Master Splinter can school him like no one else. It's probably because he had to raise the four of us after all.
I had touched him before we headed out, really lightly like he was a bubble about to burst at any second and vanish. He still looks like he is sleeping in Raph's arms. He's safe and sound and at peace. He may be a bit battered, bruised and has taken about a hundred years off my life but he's alright.
Ack! Stupid ground! I stagger slightly to the side as I windmill my arms to stay up right but it will take more than a measly ledge to topple the Mikester!
Walking in a straight line and constantly looking behind you is a lot harder than it looks…
I'm the first one through the door to the lair with Raph right on my heels. Hey, April's here. Splinter's happier than I've seen him in a long time and it's a good thing too. I was starting to get worried that he would stress himself out or something and get sick. Maybe now he will finally eat a whole meal. No more of this picking at things to keep his youngest from pestering him about eating enough.
"My son…" wow, talk about a picture worth a thousand words, this scene is all but breaking my heart. I feel like crying too, Sensei. W-we finally got Donnie back. "My son…"
"Mikey, grab the first aid kit off the bench," Raphael said softly as we all continue to just gawk at Don. "I'm going to put him on the couch."
I nearly fly into Don's lab. The little medbay area is usually off limits to me because I have a tendency to 'break' stuff just by looking at it funny. Seriously, I get blamed for breaking everything around here. It's not fair. Leo breaks more things than I do!
Still, I make sure not to look at anything besides the basic medical kit that Raph asked for and even then I'm surprised the handle on the box didn't break on me. Maybe I have this aura of destruction or something around me. Heh, I'm cursed.
I take the kit to Raph who has Don settled on the couch and Master Splinter is sitting behind his shell, holding him upright as Raph runs his hands around Don's side and front. Whatever was in that dart knocked him out cold. I know from experience that Don's ticklish as shell and his sides are his weak spot.
Raph just grunts at me as I set the kit down next to him in his rough way of saying thanks without actually saying an actual word. He feels Don's side for a few more moments before he issues me my next order, "Go grab an ice pack from the freezer."
I can't help it, I snap off a salute before I leave. Before I turn to go I catch sight of the smirk on Raphael's face. I hadn't realized how much snark was missing from the Master of Snarkiness until then. There'd been a certain something about him missing and now it was back. I'm glad to see that getting Don back is making my brothers act normal again.
Leo and Casey are talking to April who looks like she is lost in thought. I feel so bad for her. She's our best hope to get Donnie healthy again. No pressure on her but I know she not good with chemical thingys and biological what's-its. I remember hearing her complain about it before to LH one time when he was trying to show her something. "This goes completely over my head, try to explain it to me one more time?" I don't know how LH managed to keep his temper in check. He's got the same absurd level of patience that Donnie has.
Well, most of the time anyways.
Yeah, it was hard to rile Don up but when you finally pushed him far enough he has a temper that's a shell of a lot worse than Raph's. Seriously, he can be one scary turtle, mostly because you never seen it coming till it was too late. He can even out prank me when he really gets ticked off and that is no easy feat.
I've made my trip from the living room to the freezer and back again and hand the ice pack over to Raph with a small flourish. That got an amused snort from him as he took the ice pack and wraps it in a small hand towel he got from somewhere. I think there was one in the kit but I'm not sure, both Don and Raph have issues with me going through it for some reason. "I'm going to hold his leg up and I want you to put all the throw pillows under it. Got that, shellhead."
I snap off a quick salute and grab all four of the throw pillows before shoving them underneath Don's now icing ankle. April has come over to join the party and begins running her hands over Donnie's skull. Didn't Raph already do that? "I already checked. Whatever is wrong with him it ain't from a concussion." Yup, he did.
She nods her head in either agreement or understanding, "And what about his eyes?"
Raph gives off that huffing noise he usually does when aggravated or annoyed at something but can't hit anything because Splinter is right there. I know I've heard it more than a few times before. "Rolled back in his head. Don's been given some hard knocks but it's nothing that is life threatening. His most serious injuries are the cracked ribs and sprained ankle."
I'm not the best at medical jargon or stuff in general but even I know that cracked ribs suck. It hurts to so much as breath and what's worse is there really isn't much to be done about them. They have to heal on their own and Sensei still has you go to training, even though you get off fairly easy it still sucks with a capital 's'.
No sympathy from him sometimes.
April walks off, lost in some thought, and Raphael sighs as he finally moves away from Donnie. Master Splinter covers Don with one of the old blankets we keep on the couch and then that's that. We're all done. I can tell by the lost look on Raphael's face that we have done all we can for now. We have to wait for Don to wake up.
Sensei is settling in the nearby recliner and Raph just stands there for a moment longer with his fists clenching and unclenching before heading off towards the Dojo. I know exactly what he's going to be doing and I have no interest in getting in his way. His fuse has been super short lately and with all the unknowns to what is actually wrong with Don he is going to be looking for a punching bag and this 'mobile speed bag' has no interest in getting on his bad side thank you very much!
April is going back and forth from the big table near Don's lab with Leo trailing along behind her carrying books and looking completely lost. That's not right, Leo is always supposed to have a plan. I… It's not how it should be. We shouldn't still be upset now that Donnie's home. About the only one who looks comfortable with this situation is Casey and even then he looks more twitchy than normal.
I got do something to help and stop stressing about what I can't change.
Of course the only question I have now is what do I do? Splinter has the 'watching the sick' down to a science now and I know he wouldn't object if I sat on the floor nearby but I don't think that this is something I should intrude on. Sensei needs sometime alone with Don. I'm not going anywhere near Raph for a bit and Leo seems to have the whole 'helping April thing covered'. That just leaves me and Casey with nothing to do, though Casey seems comfy enough sitting backwards in the chair next to the table watching April and her assistant Leonardo.
So, alright, what should I do? I mean, there really doesn't seem like there is anything I can do to keep busy and still be helpful. I mean I could go over and see if April needs any help but Casey and Leo pretty much have that covered. Well, more Leo than Casey but whatever works for them. I guess I could take over that rather comfortable spot on the floor next to the coffee table but-
Oh shell… Is it really that late?
It's way past dinner time
At least it's something to do and I don't think anyone has really eaten a solid meal in a while. I know the most balanced meal I've had in the past few days was the bowls of cereal that I have been having at breakfast. Sensei has been getting us to eat here and there but really after breakfast thinking about eating was kind of pushed off to the side. Well, not anymore! The culinary mastermind that is my mild manner alter ego shall once again take over the kitchen and bring forth something that will amaze the pallets of everyone in the lair for years to come! Let's see what I have tucked away in the fridge for this culi-
Oh crud, we haven't done groceries yet this week.
Right, well, let's see what I have to work with. There is some lettuces and a sad little tomato. Cheese. Something green that I think just said 'hi' to me, whatever, its Leo's turn to kill the alien life forms living in the fridge. I'll have to point this out to him later. I think I'll call him Andrew till he gets dumped. Ah! Baloney! Wait, no, I think its ham. Nope, it smells chicken. Tastes like chicken too and it looks close enough to slice chicken breast to me so I'm going to call it chicken. This is going to kill the rest of the bread and we have crumbs for chips but most-likely-chicken sandwiches for dinner it is!
I start a pot of coffee because I know April is going to want half a dozen cups at least and begin to loose myself in the familiarity that is cooking. It's not as peaceful as it should have been, at least nothing like it had been in the past. Every time I've come into the kitchen all I've been able to think about was that night that I drove Donnie out. I don't care what Leo or Master Splinter have said. If I hadn't said anything then the argument wouldn't have escalated and Donnie wouldn't have left.
I don't even know why I said what I said. I wasn't thinking and lashed out. Shell, looking back on it now it was so stupid. I know Donnie feels guilty about not spending a lot of time with us and I used that to hurt him. I think I'm the only one he has flat out told me to my face about that little insecurity, even though I know everyone else has already figured it out. Knowing about and admitting are to different things.
I broke his trust.
This all my fault.
I better get that half of an onion out of the fridge just in case someone decides to walk in here.
By the time I have pulled myself back together, both the coffee and the sandwiches are done. Time to deliver the food stuffs to people where ever they are. I don't think anyone is really in the mood to eat just yet but at least this has and will keep me a bit busy for a while longer. I hate sitting around waiting. It's sssssooooo boring…
It's easy to leave the sandwiches on the table for Leo, Casey and April. Casey picks one up with a quiets 'thanks' before shoving it in his face –shell, Casey chew your food!- and Leo gives me a respectful nod. April doesn't seem to even realize I'm there but I set the coffee next to her on the table and slowly slid it towards the hand she has on the table. She doesn't even look away from book she's reading from as she grabs it and lifts it to her lips taking a sip. Score. I slide over a plate with a sandwich on it and she grabs it absentmindedly and bites into it. I am so a ninja.
Leo has been watching this whole time and gives a slight shake of the head with an amused smirk plastered on his face at my antics. Time to polish my fingers on my chest and blow over the tips because this, right here, is awsomeness. I am the ninja turtle man, admit it. Leo's smirk turns into a full blown smile as he takes a bite from his sandwich, a silent thanks in his eyes. Score one for making the sandwiches.
All I get it a quiet 'thank you' from Master Splinter as he watches over a sleeping Donnie. I was right that he needed time with Donnie alone. I'm just going to ignore the damp fur around his eyes. Go tactfulness.
Raph is thrashing the sandbag in the dojo. Kind of surprised that he hasn't pulled out his sais yet and cut it open. I've barely taken two steps towards him when he stops and leans tiredly against the bag. "I'm not hungry Mikey," he grumbles. Okay, guess not everyone wants a sandwich. I heave a sigh and kind of drag my foot just so as I turn back to the door. If I do this righ- "Could you put it in the fridge? I'll eat it in a little bit."
"Sure," I turn and walk out of the room trying to wipe the smirk off my face. Raph doesn't lie so I know he'll choke it down later regardless if he is actually hungry or not. Who says manipulation is a bad thing? I swear sometimes it's the only way I can get him and Leo to eat sometimes.
I can't even count the number of times I had to do it when Donnie was missing.
Raph's sandwich goes in the fridge next to Andrew –I think they are going to be great friends- and I've now run out of options of things to keep me entertained. Shell, this sucks. I don't want to disturb Sensei and Don but pretty much anything I do out in the living room will disturb them. Alas, no half pipe time for me! There's got to be something else I can do down here. I want to be nearby to join in the joyful celebration that's going to happen when Don wakes up. I am so giving him The Bear Hug of Doom!
I move the dishes about in the sink halfheartedly, squirt some soap on them, but I really just don't want to do dishes. I know they need to get done and I did dirty them all but right now I'd rather do push up till Don was awake again. And I hate pushups. They're like the most boring part of the morning workout ever. Sensei won't even let me try to make it more interesting by doing a handstand and then raising and lowering myself from there. Totally bogus.
So with nothing left to do and not wanting to leave the area, I sit myself at the table and wait. I keep staring at the back of the couch expecting Don to just snap awake at any moment and be himself again but I know that's not going to happen. Why was he running from us and what does he sound so messed up. It makes absolutely no sense. Well I shouldn't say that, the Foot did something to him, we –and by I that I mean April, she's the only one here that has a chance of piecing this together- just need to figure out how to get him back to the lovable techno geek we know.
Raph storms upstairs and into his room looking like he is about to throttle something. Mental note: Don't antagonize Raph in the near future. While I don't mind acting as a sort of release for his tension and anger issues, I'm not about to poke the Raphie-bear with a stick anytime soon. I value my head being attached to my shoulders, thank you very much.
And, now that the Hurricane Raph has passed through, it's back to boring old waiting. I wonder if I would get in trouble by doing handstands on the back of a chair again. It would probably take anyone a while to realize I am doing it. I wonder how long I can hold myself like that? It's going to be killer on my shoulders.
"Donatello, my son, do you hear me?" Donnie's awake!? Finally! I'll have to test my new theory later, this is way more important than hand standing on chair backs. "Donatello? April, Donatello is awake. How do you feel my son?"
Wow! That hurt my ears! Can't imagine what it must've felt like to Sensei though. Don practically screamed in his face and with those big ears… yeah, ow.
Don's up and over the couch, stumbling slightly as he puts weight on his sprained ankle. Dude, even I know that jumping around on a sprained ankle like that is stupid. I get out of my chair as Don backs away from Splinter, watching him like he's expecting Master Splinter to bite him. Shell, he still doesn't remember us. I was hoping that he would wake up as himself again. Stupid.
"Donnie?" I can just make out the side of his face as Don all but glares across the room at Leo. He shifts slightly so that he can keep a better eye on Sensei as well as Leo, Casey and April. If he doesn't remember us what's to keep him from flipping out and taking off again. There is no way we're going to let him get out of the lair but if we grab him it's just going to make everything worse. He'll definitely feel like we're the enemies then. What we need is a peace offering!
And I know for a fact that any kind of drugs give Don a dry mouth.
I'm in the kitchen and have filled a glass of water in record time. It doesn't look like anything has really changed out here since I left. Don's still where he was, looking like he's about to scream and make a break for it, and everyone else looks like they have swallowed a whole lemon. Which is a just plain stupid idea, those things are so tart they make your eyes cross. I know.
Don spins towards me as I get close to him. Let's see… Nope, not Donnie. Don's never looked at me like I was about to stab him… except for that time… No, don't think of it. Right now I have to help Don remember who we are. I put on my most charismatic smile ever and offer him the glass of water. Oh come on, why would I, the harmless and angelic angel that I am, try to drug it?
Woo-hoo! I got a smile! It was small, nearly non-existent, but it was a smile! Hu-Rrah!
"Mikey, can you get him to say something?" Wow, serious look there, April. Kinda feels like I'm under Don's microscope. "I want to hear this scrambled language he's speaking."
Easy enough, I'm the king of charades, "Gottcha, April." Okay, a little flapping of the hand for talking, then pointing out the appropriate people, ears and then wait to see if he got it. Nope, blank look. I'll try again, maybe I just went to fast for him. Still nothing. Shell, why isn't he getting it? "Talk, Don. April wants to hear you talk."
And now he's looking just downright disgusted and possibly disturbed. What did he think I was signing anyway? He looks like I just gave him The Talk with charades. Actually, I wonder how I could do that… I'll have to try it later. 'Till then, "Any ideas? I'm open to suggestions."
Leo starts talking to April again but Don's caught my attention again. He's perked up slightly and a hopeful look crosses his face as if he's just realized he missed something groundbreaking. "Mb rbv fcbt tipw H'd xprhcj?" Yeah, April. I know it's unbelievable but this is what he sounds like now. "Gvmjhcj xybd rbvy lsaylxxhbc wipw'x nbw jbhcj wb tbyf." Frag this sucks…
"My son," going to have to make Sensei some cookies later. He looks like he could use one. I know I could use half a dozen, easy.
"Okay, so he's not speaking in another language," can't believe April's already over her shock. She's already diving into another book. Maybe Raph knows how to use the long range communicator so we can get ahold of Leatherhead and Honeycutt. I really feel bad making her do all the work but about all I can do is keep her fueled on coffee. Speaking of which, she probably needs another cup.
"Shell!" Oh great, storm warning! Hurricane Raph is back and he looks even more ticked off than before. "We're wasting time! Let's just go find the guy who did this and make him tell us how to fix Don!"
"Leo! Even you agree with me that we should be out there finding out who did this! And don't you dare deny it, because I know you'd be lying." Yup, I'd rate this as a nine on the Raph's-really-mad scale. Good thing is that he's focused at Leo right now and not me. As long as I keep my mouth shut I won't have to worry about running for my life anytime soon.
"I want to go after the Foot too Raph, but I would rather go after them knowing that Don is going to be alright." Leo's crossing his arms. Hang on tight, bro, or he's going to blow you over.
And Raph's off the balcony and marching over to be all imposing and angry in Leo's face. Leo, you really shouldn't be meeting him half way. Seriously, you should have kept the table between the two of you, take it from a pro. "You know he's going to be alright! Look," Yeah, that's Don and he looks like he is trying to figure something out. "He's standing, thinking and trying to talk to us. He's going to be fine. Now let's go bash some Foot and get some answers!"
"Rap-" You should just stop with trying to say his name, Leo. In case you hadn't noticed, he keeps cutting you off.
"If you rather stay here and play nurse maid, be my guest. I'm going to get answers."
Oh, wrong move, Leo. You never grab Raph when he's all growly like this. His bite is a lot worse than his bark. "Is he acting fine to you? He doesn't even recognize Splinter! How can you say he's fine if he can't even talk right?!" Which Leo is about to find out when Raph decks him in five, four, thre- Wow, wait! Don't get between them!
It's kind of comical really. I mean it's still horrible but it definitely funny watching Don verbally browbeat Leo and Raph for fighting. He's talking so fast that he sounds more like a chattering squirrel than himself but he's completely defused the situation. Raph can't seem to decide if he wants to keep his scowl or look confused. Leo has already beat him in the whole confused department look. Don seems to sag after a moment and heads for the couch to take a seat, rubbing at his temple some more. Good, he's looking a little green, all that yelling probably gave him a headache.
"Does anyone have a clue of what he just said?"
"I think he told both you and Leo off," totally agree with you Casey but I am not saying that out loud right now. Raph still looks like he could punch something right now and if he can chase it all the better. I am so not drawing any attention to myself right now. In fact, I think I'm going to get out of the blast range and see if Don needs some aspirin.
"H ilptm wipw." I tap him on the shoulder but instead of launching out of his shell, Don just gives me a tired looking glare. Aspirin? I know you want it. Don suddenly looks like himself again as he gives me a very grateful look as he taps my hand four times. He must really have a bad headache if he wants four of them. Y'know, they may be small bits of his usually personality and mannerism showing through but Don is still Don, just wary as all shell right now. I beam at him and give him two thumbs up. Four aspirin, coming right up.
"Wait a second, Mikey. I want to take a look at him first." Or not. April comes over to the couch and sits in front of Don on the coffee table with a look on her face like she knows something no one else knows. Maybe she figured out what's wrong with Don? I sit next to Don on the couch as she begins to check him over, looking for whatever it is she's looking for.
Ha! "Guess Don thinks you're cute or something, April." Don's blushing! I've got to pick on him about this later!
"He's got good taste." Ew, that was just plain sappy Casey. Pardon me everyone while I gag. Gah!
Don winces as April presses at the inside of his elbows. "He has needle marks on both arms. It looks like he was hooked up to an IV in both arms." Uh-oh, and now he's grabbing at his neck? Don't tell me he was injecte- "He also has several needle marks on his neck. I'm going to get a blood sample so I can isolate what's in his blood stream." Definitely not good. Poor April, judging by that sigh she needs a plate of cookies too. I'm going to be baking up a storm tomorrow.
April goes to get something, looking just a little overwhelmed. Definitely in need of cookies. I really don't want to know but maybe April is wrong? Just this once? I 'ask' Don, getting his attention and pretending to shoot up on something. Shell, looks like I was right? Poop, he doesn't remember what they gave him. That would have made this a shell of a lot more easier for April to figure out if he knew what they had given him.
And now Don's gone all quiet, hand on his neck and looking at the floor. The kitchen is going to be overflowing with cookies. I'll make enough to help cheer everyone up and even enough for the whole lower east side. I think that would be going a little overboard but what else can I do? 'Talking' to Don is about it cause I doubt anyone else will try something like that. Well, April and Splinter might but Raph, Leo and Casey probably won't. No, they will. I guess there really isn't anything I can do to really be of help…
I shift out of the way as April comes back and gets ready to sit on the coffee table again. I probably should point out that we sometimes eat off that and she's putting her butt on it. Looks like she going to get a blood sample from Don. She might be able to find so-
What the shell is Donni- STARS!
Lot's… and lot's… of… s-stars…
Raph… Master Splinter…
What just hit me?
Wait, did Donnie sucker punch me?
Now what did I do!?