As much as I wish I could proudly pronounce that TMNT belongs to me; they do not. (Pouts) However, the plot and all the other OC's do. Happy reading!


He wordlessly flung the purple dragon over his shoulder and down his shell. He listened in success to the thug's cries as he hit the ground with a loud thump. How he loved that sound- the sound of an enemy's cry of defeat.

Anther purple dragon came at him, wielding a large iron crowbar, a sneer plastered on his face. With a small grin, the turtle lunged forward, his sai's spinning in a fluid motion. One slash and the man went down with a scream of pain, his hands clutching his stomach as blood poured from the fatal wound.

The turtle spun on his toes, weapons ready for more blood. No more stood; they all lay dead, defeated at his feet. His eyes glowed dangerously in the dark, gleaming with triumph. His blood red mask complimented his dangerous form. With a cry of victory, he vanished into the shadows of the night. They only thing that he left behind were the dead bodies of his enemies, littering the empty streets of New York.

"Raph?" a voice penetrated his dreams like a knife. He spun around, sai already on the way to threaten whoever spoke to him. Seeing no one, he closed his eyes. Snapping them open, the light from his room revealed the stunned, slightly scared face, of Michelangelo, the long pointed end of Raph's sai inches from his face.

"You always sleep with that thing under your pillow bro?" he asked weekly, using a finger to shove away the razor-sharp tip from his face.

Raph muttered an apology before rolling back over in his hammock. He kicked away the blanket that had tangled up around his feet during his 'dream fight'. His eyes wandered to the red mask hanging from a hook in the cracked up wall. Reaching up, he fingered the soft material between his fingers.

Red did seem to fit his dark side.

"Splinter wants ya for practice." Mikey went out, recovering from almost being stabbed from a simple wake-up call. "He's says if you're not there in five minutes, the dojo needs a good scrubbing." He quickly retreated out the door at the sight of Raph pulling out one of his red-wrapped sai's.

He closed the door in time. He could hear the sound of metal striking wood. He vaguely wondered how long it was going to take Raph to pull his weapon from the door this time. His older brother, Don, paused on his way to the dojo. He too had heard the sound.

"Did he just do what I think he did?" he asked, irritation creeping into his voice. At Mike's nod, he gave a sigh. "Poor door." Me muttered as he entered the matted floor.

"Better the door than me." Mikey thought with a small grin as he followed his brother into the dimly lit room. The eldest of the four brothers, Leo, was already warming up.

"Where Raph?" Leo asked when he failed to see the red masked turtle. He was on the ground, his plastron almost touching the floor as his three-fingered hands reached past his feet.

"Still in bed." Mikey answered as he joined his brother on the floor. "He had one of fighting dreams again." He went on.

"How do you know?" Don asked as he did a quick handstand to warm up his biceps.

"Cause he had one of his sai's under his pillow and when I went in, he was tossing in his bed and muttering curses." Mikey paused. "When I said his name, I didn't even touch him, he almost stabbed me in the head!"

Leo paused in his stretches, his head snapping around. "He did what?"

"We almost had turtle shish-ka-bob." Mikey told him. He would never admit it to anybody, but Mikey was slightly scared of waking his older brother up. You'd never know what would happen if you woke him; you'd get socked in the face, tackled, or stabbed.

A small shadow fell across the dojo as a dark gray rat entered. He wore what looked like a red robe. Although he was elderly (his light gray, almost white muzzle proved it), his eyes held wisdom and his steps were confident and sure. His whiskers twitched as the sight of three of his children.

"Good morning my sons." He greeted them. They returned the greeting with a bow and a "Good morning master" in unison.

"Where is Raphael?" he asked, his black eyes scanning the room, looking for his hot-tempered son.

"Still in bed." Mikey answered.

"I thought I told you to wake him."

"I did," Mikey protested. "He just wouldn't get out of bed. I almost got stabbed for my troubles."

"Too bad I missed." A voice from the doorway said. Everyone turned as Raph entered the room, sleep still evident in his face.

"That is enough Raphael." Splinter hissed as his second eldest son took his place beside Leo. "I will not tolerate that behavior today."

Raph gave a lazy bow as he sat on the floor, cross-legged. Leo reached behind his brother's head and tightened his red mask, noticing it kept slipping. Raph grunted in annoyance, but made no move to stop him.

"Today, I would like you to practice your rolling." Splinter told them.

"Rolling?" Leo asked. He barely held back his disappointment. They had learned that stuff when they were young; they hadn't done that in years.

"Yes Leonardo." Splinter began to pace in front of the four turtles. "Jumping, back flips, and different forms of fighting are all very important, but what's more important than how well you fight, is how you fight." He slapped Mikey in the head with his walking stick. "Focus." He barked. "Now, your enemies rarely use any more that have to involve them going to the ground, due to the fact that it's harder to move. They rely on flips, and jump kicks to help them win. However, while in the air it is easy to be hit and struck down, especially in the legs. You no longer have use of your legs; you no longer have control over the fight. However, rolling will not only surprise them, but it will make it harder for them to hit you. And since you four have shells, and not regular human backs, it will also give you an advantage."

Mikey raised an eyebrow at Don, who shrugged in return. No laps? No back flips? No difficult, or almost impossible kata's? Just simple rolling?

Raph was sharing a similar look with Leo. What was with Splinter today? First he acted like he was in a bad move when he told Raph that he wasn't going to put up with his attitude, and then he turned around and announced simple rolling. Easy.

Right?

"My shoulder…ouch,"

Don winced in pain as he applied an icepack to Mike's shoulder; which was, as Raph called it, a multitude of pretty colors of red, blue, purple and black.

"How did you manage to roll into the weights Mikey?" Leo asked with a hint of amusement.

"Well when you're rolling, it's kinda hard to see straight when you're upside down and you only see forwards once." Mikey said in his defense.

"Funny," Raph smirked. "You're the only one who ran into them."

When it was Mike's turn to roll, instead of doing a simple roll like Splinter requested, he had decided to do several which resulted in him crashing to the weight holder, knocking it around and dropping one of Raph's fifty pound weights on his shoulder.

"I'm just glad it didn't hit your head," Don told him as he applied another layer of ice to keep down the swelling. "Now that would've hurt."

"Gee Don," Raph walked up to Mikey, gently punching him in his bruised shoulder. "It wouldn't have mattered; he would've been out of it anyway."

Mikey hissed as Raph's fist connected, "Thanks Raph." He said sarcastically.

Raph backed away. "Well, now that I think of it, maybe it should've hit your head."

Don cocked his head at his older brother. "And why do you say that?"

"Cause at least then he would've hit his head and nothin important."

Mikey stuck out his tongue in reply. Leo gave the red clad turtle a look. Don shook his head and went into his lab and dragging Mikey with him, knowing very well what lay ahead. It seemed Raph did too.

"Raph, we need to talk." Leo crossed his arms at his brother. Raph copied with a sneer.

"Now what Fearless?"

"You should go talk to Splinter and apologize." Leo told him.

Raph snorted. "Leo," he attempted to calm down. "I was there for practice, I bowed to Splinter and I was only rude a few times."

Leo uncrossed his arms. "No Raph. You were late for practice, again. You gave a disrespectful and lazy bow to Splinter and you were rude quite more than a few times. Splinter is not only our father but also our teacher. I'd think you'd show him a bit more respect to him."

"Well excuse me for not being the perfect son," Raph growled. "That's role's already been taken, as has the lazy son and the smart son. What's that leave me with Leo?"

"How about the respectful son. Or the helpful." Leo suggested coldly.

Raph chuckled, shaking his head. Leo watched him with watchful eyes but wasn't prepared for what had happened next. One second he was watching his brother laugh like some crazed scientist, the next he was on the floor, blood dripping from his check. Raph stood over him, his fist ready to deliver another blow when Mikey and Don rushed from the lab, grabbing Raph and dragging him away from the stunned Leo.

"Snap out of it Raph!" Don shouted as he struggled to contain his brother.

"Let it go bro," Mikey pleaded, his blue eyes flashing. "Drop it and walk away." He held onto the red clad turtle, his knuckles turned white with strain.

He knew Raph was strong, but jeez…

"Raphael!" Splinter's voice shouted. Everyone froze and turned to see Splinter, "That is enough." He motioned for Mikey and Don to release Raph. They both dropped their grips and went to stand by Leo, who was already on his feet, holding a hand to his bleeding check.

Raph glared at the blue clad turtle, anger burning inside like a wildfire. This was one he hadn't been able to control.

"What is the meaning of this?" Splinter demanded, turning his attention to Raph.

"He," he pointed at Leo, biting back the cuss word. "He…" He was at a loss for words. He turned his head away, clenching and unclenching his fists in a repeated pattern.

"Raphael," Splinter's voice turned cold. Raph was surprised to see and hear so much anger coming from their sensei; who was usually so calm and collected. "If you can not control your anger here, then I suggest you take it away from here. I will not have your brash actions and uncontrolled anger ruining the peace of this home. Now I suggest you leave and do not return until you have calmed yourself and realized the wrong doings of your actions."

Raph was slightly in shock. Leave? His Master Splinter had told him to leave his home and not come back until he changed. Which really meant don't come back. Ever.

"You punish me for defense," he seethed. "When I never started it. You're not giving me a chance here - just jumping straight to Leo's side!"

"You had every chance to get up and walk away." Splinter told him calmly. "I expect to be able to trust you; never to see one so brutally," he singled the word out like it was some kind of curse. "Attack another, especially not a brother." He let out a sigh.

Raph had a million feelings cross over his face at the words. Pain, rage, fear guilt, shame. His father took Leo's side - he always had and always will. What was the point of even defending himself anymore? Leo could stab him in the heart and Splinter would brush it off and say Raph taunted him and left him no choice.

"I sometimes doubt my decision to train you. It seems my teachings have done nothing but encouraged this behavior. I had hoped through learning this ancient art, you would learn to control your bitter fury, the rage I saw even when you were young." Splinter's eyes clouded over. "I fear I have created what you are now." His ears suddenly snapped back, touching the fur on his neck. His whiskers twitched with embarrassment. "My son, I did not mean…"

Raph turned away. He was finished listening. If that how his father, the one who was supposed to love him the most, felt, then perhaps he should leave. Forever.

After all, he thought bitterly, I don't want to bring a bad name his father's dream family.

He hung his head as a thought escaped his lips. "That's fine." He whispered hoarsely. "If I no longer please my master, then I no longer bring honor to this family or this clan. If I do not bring honor, then I bring shame. I am no longer worthy to call myself your son or to have a place in this family or this home." Reaching behind his head, he began to undo his mask knots.

Mikey sucked in a breath as he watched his brother, his hero, about to make the choice that would affect all of them. He turned his pleading blue eyes on Leo, who was supposed to stop this, make it all right. But the blue clad turtle just stood there, shock etched on his face.

Raph finished untying and brought his hands away, letting the red mask slide to the floor. He stood in front of his father for a moment and their eyes met. Then Raph turned away, and left the room, leaving behind the thing he treasured and marked who he was and what he stood for. His mask.


Well here it is. I've been curently working on this story for three months and I'm pleased to say that I'm almost finished with it. I'll try and update once (or twice, if I get bunch of juicy reviews) a week, so you won't have to wait long. I really hope you all enjoy it and I want to thank the IncreibleDancingBetty for her encouragement in this. Well, I hoped you enjoyed the first chapter and I should have the second one up soon!