Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Watch as the water goes skippity-skip.

Don watched the water. It fell from the pipe to the floor with a constant, unbreakable rhythm.

Fix. Me. Don. I. Am. A. Bro. Ken. Pipe.

A twist of a socket wrench could do the trick, but Don wasn't in the mood. Each droplet was a miniature headache, breaking into his thoughts with every pang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

He could end the headaches if he got out of bed, but he wasn't ready to resort to that yet. Instead, he buried his head under his pillows, pressing one ear to the mattress and shoving the pillows against the other. That helped. But a few seconds after he settled, he could still hear the persistent, muffled slap of water against concrete.

Bap. Bap. Bap. Bap. I am the water that leaks from the tap.

The mantra was maddening. It pressed into his mind, its fingers sinking into the tender flesh there, still raw from its invasion the night before. Invasion. Violation.

The mind is a temple, a stairway to epiphany and truth. It is the one thing which cannot be taken, cannot be stolen by force of man. It is the only thing that is sacred.

The Triceratons had found a way to take even that from him, to make it theirs.

But I conquered.

But they still made it in.

Not far.

Far enough to take you. Far enough to break you.

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat. You're going nuts--what do you think of that? You listen to voices that drip from the tap. Bap. Bap. Bap. You're watching the water go skippity-skip. But who knows the words that will pass through your grip, what sentences through your defenses will slip, when there is no water and there is no drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Donatello hurled one pillow at the water, breaking the rhythm briefly, then shoved himself out of his bed. Grabbing a wrench, he fixed the drip with a single twist.

There was no drip. There was silence.

Then the real words began.