M i s s i n g. F i r e


Raphael

Great, just great.

I have no idea where I am, how I got here or how I'm eva gonna get outta here in one piece.

Nice way to start the day, huh?

It's totally dark in here, I cant see my hand in front of my face! Well, I wouldn't be able to if I could even move my hands. Also, I feel like I've just run a marathon then tangled with Hun and the resta those punks.

I know I'm complainin' but seriously, can't a turtle eva geta break?

…..

The last thing I remember is drivin on my bike, then these light came outta nowhere an I swerved. Then it's a blank.

It doest feel like my cell shells in my belt either….

…man…

…..whatever those guys …whateva they didta me….I don't…feel so…

….Good…

*0*

Raphael started, jerking awake, as the door of his prison was flung open. He shut his eyes firmly, trying to block out the bright light that came flooding in. Raph was still groggy from the effects of sleep and the previous events. He eased his eyes open but shut them quickly as brightness invaded his vision. Twisting away from the light, he foggily noted that he could barely move his hands and feet.

He heard footsteps coming closer and squinted to see who it was. Hands grabbed him roughly and began to drag him over the hard concrete floor that he had been lying on. Raph resisted as his head began to clear, puling and twisting. He heard his captor grunt with the effort, trying to maintain his grip. Suddenly, Raphael was hit on the head. Hard.

He winced slightly as his head throbbed painfully. When he opened his eyes his vision was blurry and unfocused but he could make out the shapes of people in dark cloths walking next to him and the whiteness of the corridor. He tried to move again but felt sick. Being hit on the head had its disadvantages.

A few moments later he was hoisted up and his restraints removed. He took the opportunity to hit the person nearest to him but was grabbed by several strong men and forced onto a metal table, kicking and struggling the entire time.

Finally, they managed to pull the straps over his wrists and his ankles, immobilizing him again. Breathing heavily, Raphael looked at the room he was in through narrowed eyes as the 'guards' left. At looked like it had once been a scientific lab, probably biology, but had been abandoned. Where, in normal labs the walls and counters were surgically clean and white, this place was so filthy that the walls were now a brown like colour and the surfaces were dusty and sticky.

Wrinkling his beak in slight disgust his eyes continued to scan the room. The only noticeably clean things in the room were a bunch of medical operating tools. Raphael inwardly shuddered as they glinted in the poor light being given by a single, uncovered light bulb hanging from the ceiling. He spotted a panel of mirrored wall about A few meters from him. Were they watching him? Was some sick person behind that wall watching him?

Raph growled angrily at that thought and tested his restraints again but they held fast. It was clear that he wasn't going anywhere soon. He clenched his fists in anger. How had he gotten into this situation? Who were these people and what the hell did they want from him?

Slowly his anger turned to uncertainty. Did his family know he was missing? How long had he been here? What if they though he'd just gone off again? He couldn't even remember how he had been captured…

Suddenly a horrible thought occurred to him…. His brothers... What happened to them? He couldn't remember what led to his capture…They'd been out…on…on patrol or something….he remembered being on his Bike for some reason... he couldn't remember what happened after that.

'He shut his eyes and breathed deeply, "Please let them be alright"he thought, hoping that they had escaped whoever had captured him.

He was brought from his thoughts rather abruptly when the door was flung open. Raph didn't move a muscle. A tall man with black hair entered the room. He was warring a black, jumpsuit like outfit and black boots but aside from that he looked normal. He shut the door and walked to the cabinets that lined the far wall, not saying a word.

Raph craned his neck, trying his best to keep an eye on him as he took out vials and examined the contents. After a few moments he walked back to where Raphael was and put the chemicals down next to the operating tools. He ran his hand delicately over a scalpel before looking back at Raphael, smirking.

Raph glared right back at him, his hatred for this man growing already.

"So, mutant, I hope that you are enjoying your stay here."

"Who the hell are you?" Raph spat.

"Doctor J. Sinatra" He answered calmly

Raphael continued to glare at him, not making a sound.

"Why so hostile?" Dr. Sinatra asked mockingly, "I'm only going to dissect you."

Raphael felt a pang of fear at these words. Dissect?

"Don't look so worried. You are still useful to me. You see, one specimen simply isn't enough." The Dr. said, a glint in his eye.

One specimen….

"No!" Raph shouted angrily, 'No ways! I wont tell ya anythin' "

"You sure about that?"

Raph just glared at him indignantly.

"Such a pity…." Dr. Sinatra muttered, "Ridding the world of freaks would be so much easier if they would just cooperate…"

He picked up a scalpel and flipped it in the air, catching it smoothly and turning it over watching the light glint off the reflective metal.

Raphael's eyes narrowed and his fists clenched tight.

Without another word, the doctor brought the scalpel to Raph's right arm and made an inch long incision. Blood leaked out from the wound, spilling onto the cool metal. Raphael stared at the black ceiling, ignoring the stinging sensation. He'd been hurt worse.

Tisking, the doctor brought the tool down once again, this time on Raph's plastron. He applied pressure until the knife broke through the protective plate and slipped in fast and deep. Raphael held back his gasp and the pain dulled ever so slightly.

Suddenly Sinatra twisted the scalpel around in Raphael. He could not hold back the gasp this time and he struggled to control his breathing.

"Where will I find the others?"

"Go. To. Hell." Raph breathed.

"So stubborn…"

The knife was pulled out sharply.

Raph didn't notice what was going on, he was in too much pain but suddenly he felt a heat near the wound.

He looked with slight fear, but shut his eyes when a wave of white hot pain washed over him.

Dr. Held the large flame to his wound, stopping the bleeding and causing him unimaginable pain.

He struggled for breath as tears stung his eyes.

Suddenly it stopped, but the pain was still there. He heard Sinatra's voice through the haze.

"This is just the beginning freak, tell me now and I can spare you this pain."

"….n-never. You're a…sick twisted….Bastard." He got out.

"Thank you. Now where was I?"

He raised the knife and plunged it in.

A pain filled cry echoed in the halls. No one looked up.

*0*

Leonardo was pacing the floor behind Donnie's computer chair with growing unease. It had been three days. Three days since he last saw his brother and he was getting worried. Raph had never disappeared for so long…. They hadn't even fought. It had just been a normal training run…Raph had taken his bike out for a test drive and Don Mikey and Leo had been practicing endurance and speed by trying to catch him. Mikey had been in the lead of course….

"Wahoo! You guys are too slow!" Michelangelo taunted, leaping nimbly round a corner, on the tail of Raphael.

"I'm… not even… going… to ask… how he… runs so fast…"Don panted between breaths.

Leonardo chuckled at his brother before speeding up to try and catch Mikey.

'Oh man…not you too, Leo!" Don called from behind.

As Leo started to round the corner he was knocked over by a speeding Mikey. They fell over in a tangle of arms and legs, both trying to catch their breath.

"Mikey, what the shell are you doing? Raph's going the other way!" Leo said as he struggled to sit up.

"I knowButRaph' didThisThingAnd…Just Come!"

Dazed, Leonardo was pulled to the edge of the building. Don quickly followed and the three brothers began to scale the building, coming to land near a pile of rubble and vehicle remains.

As they approached, Don's breath caught in his throat when he recognized the unique parts of the bike…

Raph….

'No…' He whispered, fear in his heart.

"No…what?" Leo asked, starting to get worried.

Mikey and Don exchanged glances, confirming each other's suspicions… Tears fell down Mikey's face as he approached the rubble slowly.

"Don…what's going on?"

"That bike…the one that crashed…its…it was…R-Raph's…." Don whispered.

"Raph…"

Leo stared wide eyed at the melting tire remains and battered Metal….no…it couldn't be…not Raph….not like this.

.no…..

Leonardo tried to stop the feelings of grief from welling up inside him. They had been so relieved when they had discovered that Raph had not crashed, even though his bike had….but that moment…that one moment when they had believed him dead…was total and utter hell…

The fear, the loss and regret…

Leo shook his head to clear these thoughts. No His brother was fine, alive and well…

…But where. That was the next question raised. He survived the crash but where was he!

Sure he would go off at times in a huff or whatever, but never like this…not for so long…and he loved his bike too much to just crash it on purpose…

…Something wasn't right and Leonardo intended on find out what that was…well Donnie would and he'd just help. Or pace. Don was currently hunched over his computer tapping furiously at the keyboard, looking everywhere and anywhere, cracking every code and hacking into all promising systems…so far, nothing. They were yet to find even a trace of their missing brother no matter how hard they were looking.

No one was taking it well…Don hadn't sleeped yet…and neither had Leo. They were too worried. Mikey on the other hand, he'd changed, a lot, even though Raph was only gone for a few days.

*0*

Darkness.

Pain.

The two sensations overwhelmed Raphael's senses and he lay in his dark cell, unmoving. How long had it been? Days? Weeks? Months? He couldn't tell. Everything blended together as he fought to stay sane. They would come, his family would come for him and get him out…they would.

He grimaced as the pain in his side flared violently and he struggled not to cry out. The sedative they used to transport him was warring off and so was his brief escape form the pain.

He pulled weakly at the chains binding his wrists together… why they were still on he didn't know…not like he was in any shape to get out….

Raph sighed, frustrated at himself for not resisting Dr. Sinatra better, for being so…weak…

The word reverted in his head.

Weak…

It was his weakness that had gotten him into this situation…it was the only thing stopping him getting out… he was…

…. Helpless.

Raphael growled low at this thought. No/… they had not broken him yet…they were never going to. He was NOT helpless. His family was still safe, that was all that mattered. He'd die before he betrayed them! With this thought, Raph's eyes started to close, involuntarily as his severe lack of sleep and the cold cell lulled him into a sleep…

Bzzzzzz!

Raphael jerked painfully as the electricity coursed through him, a choked gasped escaped his lips. It had been like this the entire time…he couldn't sleep, they wouldn't let him. Each time, he let his guard down; let himself drift, the nodes in his too-tight collar zapped him harshly, forcing him to stay away. Draining him, making him more susceptible to his…interrogations.

It wouldn't work; he would not give in….

The door opened and two heavily armed guards stepped in.

right?

*0*

Donatello sat hunched over his computer, eyes scanning the words on the burning screen…

With a frustrated yell Don slammed his fist onto the tower, jerking out the cable and causing the system to shut down.

"Damnitt!" He shouted angrily, lack of sleep and severe worry causing his to at out and curse for once.

He laid his head on the dormant key bored. "Where are you Raph?" he whispered desperately.

His older brother could be anywhere….going through anything at all and they weren't there to help…they didn't even know where he was….

"Where…?"

*0*

A strangled yell escaped from Raph's throat as the tazer zapped him once again, burning the sensitive skin between his shell and plastron.

"Tell me."

Raph slowly shook his head, too drained to answer.

"I said tell me!"

The tazer was set to full, pressing hard onto Raph's neck suffocating and burning him. He gasped, desperate tears stinging his eyes.

No…no more… Stop!He thought as the electricity continued on, unrelenting.

He moaned as it was finally pulled away. Leaving him exhausted and devoid of strength. He could barely open his eyes.

"You will tell me." Dr. Sinatra's voice echoed. "One way or another."

A Strap was placed over Raph's neck, immobilizing him further.

"Oh trust me." Dr. said, an odd glint in his eye, "You will."

*0*

Raphael groaned as he was thrown roughly into his cell. He breathed deeply, leaning on the cold hard floor and trying to catch his breath. After a moment, he slowly shifted into a sitting position grunting as his wounds stretched painfully.

Raph leaned heavily on the wall, fighting off the pain and exhaustion. His stomach growled unhelpfully.

Raph tried to ignore it best he could. He was hardly ever given food and when he did it was more often an IV and he'd only eaten real food about once. As usual, the cell was dark, cold and damp causing Raphael to shudder involuntarily. He scowled slightly at his lack of tolerance towards it, internally cursing his weakness.

Doctor Sinatra had been taking things to a whole new level…. Raph shuddered , remembering all the things he had had to endure. Squeezing his eyes shut, he tried to block out the memories ...but alone, in the dark; he had nothing to take his mind of things…

The doctor brought the scalpel to Raph's right arm and made an inch long incision.

Steel flashing, glinting.

Blood leaked out from the wound, spilling onto the cool metal.

The burning of fire.

Hitting, punching.

The knife broke through the protective plate and slipped in fast and deep. Sinatra twisted the scalpel around

The feeling of helplessness.

That voice… the voice of the one….

Taunting…. Mocking… demanding…

Him or his brothers.

Dr. Held the large flame to his wound, stopping the bleeding and causing him unimaginable pain.

Hot water around him, thrashing, no air. Too hot!

White-hot pain.

He raised the knife and plunged it in.

His voice horse from his screams that he could no longer hold back.

Raphael felt tears well up in his eyes involuntarily. His throat ached and his eyes burned as he fought against them, he wouldn't cry.

His brothers would come…. he...had to hope…they would never abandon him.

A single tear ran down his cheek and fell onto the cold floor.

Never.

*0*

The wind whipped around a lone figure on the rooftops. He felt hot liquid course down his cheeks.

Mikey tilted his head upwards, staring at the stars, sending out a silent, desperate plea, to somebody…anybody that can hear and help him. Help him find his brother. He'd been missing for 4 weeks, 3 days and 12 hours…. Michelangelo had been keeping count.

He was so worried for his brother…. all the things that could have happened. It had been so sudden, he'd seen Raph crash but he had no idea how, the moment the bike had swerved he'd dashed off to find Leo and Don. Maybe if he's stayed….

The guilt overwhelmed him suddenly.

If only.

It was his fault. His fault that his brother was missing…that they had no chance of finding him. Mikey's optimism was failing fast. They'd looked everywhere, the foot HQ…. The purple dragon hideouts even broke into Bishop's latest hiding place but still…. no thing.

After thinking that his brother had died, Mikey was suddenly open to that possibility, that all-too-real possibility that his older brother was no longer alive. That scared Mikey more than he could ever say.

He clenched his fists in tightly, feeling his anger and guilt wash over him. Why them? Why Raph? Sure his brother wasn't a saint and neither was anyone else in his family but still…. what had they done that was so bad…. What had they done to deserve this? What? They risked there necks every day to protect this city and for what? To have their brother taken form them? There fire, the one that fuelled the team, kept them motivated with his anger, passion and will to live…

…. Now that was gone. But they would never stop searching. Never.

Michelangelo glanced don at the notepad in his hand, staring at the words that he had written less than 15 minutes ago.

So cold

It started just the same, as any other day

The normal things were done, the normal things we say

But then it all went wrong

Now everything has changed…

.. It's so cold….

You were my hero, my hero

The one I could count on, always there

My hero, hero

And now you're gone and I'm alone

it's so cold…

so cold…

What did we do to deserve this lot?

Why did it have to happen to him?

there's no going back...

there's no tomorrow…

.. It's so cold….

You were my hero, my hero

The one I could count on, always there

My hero, hero

And now you're gone and I'm alone

it's so cold…

The silence and the stillness, too much for me to bear

No tears will do this justice, No words can comfort me

The end…so still…

and….

So cold…

You were my hero, my hero

The one I could count on, always there

My hero, hero

And now you're gone and I'm alone

it's so cold…

Michelangelo

Shutting his eyes he aloud fresh tears to fall.

Raph, where are you?

*0*

Donatello's eyes burned from staring at the computer screen for so long. He scanned the list of scientists in the area, searching everything, what they specialized in; criminal records…anything that could help him find his brother. The news clipping dated back for days and many leads seamed hopeless but Donatello was desperate to find something, anything that could help him fins Raphael.

Don glanced at the time… one in the morning…. Mikey still wasn't home… Leo wasn't asleep…

Shaking his head in slight worry, trying his best to focus on the task at hand and not the hopelessness that surrounded him and the concern for the family. He had to find something. Moving on to the next person, Don noticed something that caught his attention.

Doctor J. Sinatra.

A former scientist, graduate at the University of Unisa. Is from Italian descent, born and raised in the city of Cape Town. Use to work at the Stilenden Institute until fired for illegal testing.

Don skimmed the rest until he got to the details of the testing.

Testing involved the obsessive need to cleanse the abnormalities of creatures, often resulting in death or severe maiming of creatures. Chemical formulas, used to 'cleanse' these animals was severely harmful to the environment and….

Heart pounding, he continued skimming through the words.

-Involved in cult activity and wanted by the police in 2 countries-

Swallowing hard, Donatello leaped up and ran to Leo's room. This was the best lead he's gotten so far and he wasn't about to let it go to waist… he had a bad feeling about this guy.

*0*

Breathe in ….

.Breathe out…

Breathe in ….

.Breathe out…

Breathe in ….

.Breathe out…

Leonardo focused all of his efforts on finding Raphael. For some reason he was finding it impossible to contact his brother but he couldn't stop trying, he just couldn't, wouldn't believe the worst…

Focusing once again on his breathing, Leonardo cleared his head while concentrating on the unique spirit of his younger brother.

Still… nothing.

Leo was about to pull away when he felt it: fain and weak but there.

Raphael.

Leo's heart leaped to his throat and he fought for self control to not let his brother slip away. He continued reaching out until he felt his brother respond.

Raph?He called mentally

Silence….

L-Leo…?

Leo felt a wrench of sadness and worry at the weakness of his brother's voice.

Raph! Where are you? Are you alright? What happened? Leo asked franticly.

L-Leo…help….please… I can't – I cant, I'm-

The connection was abruptly cut off by a violent sure of pain from Raphael.

Raph!

"Raph No!" He cried out as he opened his eyes.

A sob wracked his body. Raphael sounded so weak, so desperate….hurt. And that pain….what were they doing to him? His proud, strong brother…. What were they doing that was breaking him so?

Leo sobbed again, weight of the responsibility on his shoulders.

"Raph…."

*0*

Don left his room hurriedly, urgent to talk to Leo. As he neared the room, the sound of crying reached his ears. That heightened his concern and he knocked briefly on his older brother's door before going inside. The room was relatively dark save the few meditation candles that were laid out around the room. Donatello immediately turned his attention to his brother who was sitting in the middle of the floor. Leonardo's head was in his hands and his shoulders wracked with choked sobs.

"Leo?' Don knelt beside him, filled with concern.

Leo shook his head and Donnie felt his concern deepened. It wasn't like Leonardo lo loose his composure like this. Ever.

"Leo what happened?"

Leo took a shaky breath and removed his hands from his face. Swallowing hard he turned to face his younger brother.

"Raph..." he said, his eyes filled with anguish, "I-I contacted him… he's… he's…" fresh tears coursed down his cheeks.

"Raph?" Don asked worriedly, "what happened, where is he?"

"He, the- the connection was cut before he could- Don he sounded to hurt… so weak…. He sounded…he sounded…. Broken…."

Don felt his heart sink at his older brother's words.

… Broken…

Tears threatened to fall as he thought of his proud, strong 'd always been so pasionate about everything, so full of life, fire... What had been done to him that had caused him to…?

Donatello put his arm around Leo comfortingly as he continued to sob, slowly regaining his composure.

Don rubbed his shell slowly, helping him to calm down... Leo's sobs subsided into soft hiccoughs and sniffs. He tried fiercely to regain control but the memory of his brother was still fresh in his mind. Leo didn't know how much more of this Raph could take. And he didn't want to find out.

Donatello suddenly remembered to reason that he had come in here in the first place. Doctor Sinatra. The one and only lead that they had.

'Leo. I was looking on my computer and-'

"-What happened?"

Michelangelo stood in the doorway, a worried look on his face.

"Guys?"

*0*

Raph braced himself against the lad table that he was pinned to. Gritting his teeth and dreading the next onslaught of pain.

"Why won't you talk?" Doctor Sinatra asked, glaring at him disdainfully, 'Tell me where the rest of you freaks are hiding!"

"Go…to…hell...' Raph breathed.

His family was looking for him. He couldn't give up now, not after speaking to Leo. Leonardo had sounded so desperate, frantic. It pained Raphael to think that he was hurting his family so much. And he could do nothing about it.

Nothing,

Raph clenched his fists with fresh anger but was overcome with a jolt of pain.

Sinatra sighed in a long suffering way. 'Fine. If you want to make it difficult.'

He turned from Raph and he felt a moment of relief. That relief turned to horror, however, as soon as Raph saw what he was holding. He strained in his restraints but it was hopeless. He was too hurt and weak to do anything about it.

"Seeing as you won't say anything useful I might as well use this." He stated casually, holding up the two items. He advanced on Raph.

"Don't…don't….. ya… dare-' Raphael was cut off as a strong metal band was strapped over his beak. Sinatra fastened it way tighter than necessary before grabbing the next Item. Raph struggled as a specially designed muzzle was fastened tightly around his head. The intricate mesh pressed hard against his mouth and the band bit into him, completely closing his mouth and making it impossible for him to talk at all.

"Perfect" Sinatra commented as Raph glared angrily at him.

Though he wouldn't show it, even now, Raphael's heart was pounding. He knew that Don would be able to get this off him but it made him feel so vulnerable, helpless…. Like an animal. And he hated it. He hated Sinatra for doing this to him.

"Let's try this again shall we?"

Doctor Sinatra glanced at his torture devices before deciding on the classic scalpel. He picked it up swiftly before positioning on Raph's cheek. Then he slowly and deliberately cut a deep, strait line into the soft, sensitive skin... Raph shut his eyes as the blood seeped out. This wasn't so bad… he'd had worse, but his pain tolerance was going down and it hurt a lot more that it should have.

Without saying a word Doctor Sinatra moved the knife to the sensitive area between Raphael's shell and plastron. Raph couldn't help but tense as the blade touched the already scared skin. Sinatra raised the scalpel and plunged it in hard. Raphael fought hard not to make a sound, bighting back his screams. Worse had been done to him… Worse had been –

Sinatra slowly moved the knife before sharply twisting it and yanking it out only to plunge it back in even deeper.

That broke Raph's resolve and he gave a strangled cry, muffled by his muzzle and the metal band that forced his mouth shut. He breathed heavily, trying to regain composure, but it didn't feel like he was getting enough air in. His vision blurred as the pain continued and intensified. He could feel acid on his skin, burning, blistering and he strained against his restraints reflectively. His wrists, which he was sure were broken, burned and ached intensely as he did this.

Through his haze of pain, Raph vaguely registered Doctor Sinatra talking to him. "You know, you could have saved yourself all this by just telling me before." He tutted, "Your mistake."

Raphael was still, breathing as deeply as he could and trying to regain control over his senses and emotions. Mercifully, the pain had stopped but that was only a temporary relief. Without any warning, something hard and cold was pressed onto his neck, startling him. He tried to turn away from it in vain. Sinatra roughly grabbed his head and forced it to stay down. Raphael was in too much pain to resist much more. He was aware of the sharp bits digging into his skin and he realized that his collar was being replaced.

This new one bit viciously into his neck, it was hard and lined with a type if barbed wire. Suddenly Raphael felt electricity course through him. Burning him as if from this inside. He convulsed his muscled tensing. The barbed wire that bit into his skin seemed alive with electricity, sending waves of pain directly into him.

A scream tore from his throat and Raphael made no attempt to stop it, the pain caused him to scream as loudly as he could with his muzzle on. It felt like he was being stabbed with a thousand knives, his eyes were shut tight as every muscle in his body convulsed. It felt like a lifetime had gone past before the feeling stopped. His body relaxed of its own accord and the muscles throbbed with pain and exertion.

His eyes blurred from pain and the whirl of emotions that raged inside of him. His thoughts cut into him worse than any torture could ever have hope of doing.

He was helpless. Weak. He was hurting his family and he couldn't help them. If anything happened to them he wouldn't be there to protect them. He might never see them again.The realization hit Raph with the same force as the latest attack. His hope began to solely drain and a single tear leaked from his eye as he lost the fight for consciousness and gave into the darkness.

*0*

Leonardo paced relentlessly in Don's room, his eyes narrowed dangerously. Michelangelo sat on a nearby chair watching him and Don's work on the computer. Donatello's fingers flew across the keyboard, a look of intense concentration on his face and he searched through files and files, and pages and pages of information. Searching desperately for a lead on Doctor Sinatra. It was the only hope that they had so far and Don wasn't going to let it go to waste. He stared at the words, his eyes aching with the hours of strain he'd been putting them through.

Michelangelo hadn't moved from his spot since they'd first entered the lab. He sat with his eyes fixed on the floor or watching Leo and Don with almost expressionless eyes. His worry for his older brother completely consuming him.

Leonardo on the other hand could not bear to be still for more than a moment. He paced up and down, looking at Don every now and then. His eye ridges furrowed in worry.

It was getting late. They had been at it for hours. Ever since Don had announced the news when Mikey had come home. It was quiet save the sound on the keyboard being tapped at furiously; the air was thick with tension.

A list of locations and sightings were brought up on the screen. This guy has a serious recordDon thought grimly, and his offences…he inwardly shuddered at the thought.

"Find anything yet Don?" Leo asked, pausing and breaking the silence.

Donatello stared at the screen. "Maybe…"

"Maybe?" Mikey questioned, getting up and heading to the monitor. Leonardo followed suit.

"You see… the police are keeping tabs on him as best as they can but… nobody can catch him." Don said and he scanned for information. "The last place he was rumored to be in is…."

Mikey and Leo stared at the screen when Donatello paused. Three words registering in their brains as they were overcome with a mixture of hope, guilt and anxiety:

New York City.

*0*

"Don are you ready to go?"

"One moment Leo…"

"You said that 10 minutes ago."

Leonardo and Michelangelo waited anxiously by the door, waiting for Donatello to join them. Leonardo tapped him foot impatiently. Don had been the one to suggest this whole thing in the first place and now he was holding them up with…whatever it was he was doing. Michelangelo hopped from one foot to the next, eager to get going now that they had some sort of lead.

After a few more moments of silence, Mikey sighed. "I'll go get him."

He headed into his brothers lab only to find him searching through some papers on his desk.

"This could take awhile…" muttered Mikey, leaning casually on the wall.

"One minute Mike almost got it!" Don called from the depths of a teak chest underneath his desk. Michelangelo vaguely wondered why he even had one of those in the first place and where he'd even gotten it … "…wait-wait, here it is!" Don announced triumphantly, pulling himself out from the box.

"Took you long enough" muttered Mikey grinning

"Heh, sorry about that." He replied looking sheepish.

Leo was just about to call again when Donnie rushed in, duffel bag on his shoulders and looking extremely frazzled, followed my a hyper looking Michelangelo.

"What took you?"

"I was looking for these." Donatello said, holding up an old map of New York.

"Um, Donnie, we don't really need that….we can get around without one…" Leonardo started hesitantly.

"I know that." Don muttered irritably, "But a lot of the buildings on here are now abandoned buildings, some not knocked down yet, plus it shows alleyways and shortcuts we don't know. And…I had to get the latest info on Doctor Sinatra."

"Oh. Okay then. Let's get going. Don, you lead the way."

*0*

Raphael sat in the darkness, leaning against the cold wall, eyes shut. He breathed calm and even, desperately trying to ignore the intense pain he felt all over him. The cold of his cell was making him drowsy, setting off the electric zaps in his collar. Raphael flinched as it renewed the pain that he had felt earlier. The cold also stung his burns and his wrists ached like hell.

They'd left him alone for a while now. But it was hard to know the time in this place. His days seemed blurred with pain, he had no clue how long he had been in here. Days? Weeks? Years? It felt like an eternity to Raphael. He'd tried to escape; so many times that he'd lost count. It didn't matter anymore, he knew that he had no hope now, but he refused to give up the fight completely.

He wouldn't make this easy for them. He had been fighting them every chance he got. Not giving them answers was just one way. He had struggled with the guards constantly until they had started drugging him whenever he was moved.

Raph's arms ached with being bound behind him; the pressure on his writs seemed to increase every moment. The skin around the muzzle straps was painfully inflamed and chafed. The tight metal band bit into his skin drawing blood even now.

All of his pain intensified tenfold when the door was suddenly flung open, revealing an almost blinding light compared to the darkness of him cell. Raph grunted and shut his eyes tightly, turning his head as much as he could.

Rough hands grabbed him and pulled him to his feat, roughly dragging him along. He stumbled, still unable to see in the light. Hands shoved and pushed him and it wasn't long until he felt the harsh sting of tazers against his skin. That feeling snapped his eyes open as he fought not to cry out. He was surrounded by Sinatra's Goons, who were herding him towards something. Raphael squinted, trying to see when it was. As he paused he was punched hard in the face, knocking him completely off balance.

He fell hard, hands tied he had nothing to break his fall. He wasn't down for long however since someone grabbed the back of his muzzle and ripped him up like that, causing Raph to give a small cry of pain. The metal had torn his skin painfully allowing grit and such into it as it continued to sting while he was pushed along.

These people hated mutants. Hated them more than anything in the world and they wanted to see Raphael suffer, doing everything in their power to ensure that happened.

Through all of this Raphael's mind was surrounded by a haze of pain, disorientating him and making him loose his balance often. Someone pushed him too hard, causing him to fall hard on his face. He winced as this happened, bracing himself for pain. The goons didn't disappoint. They started kicking and punching him Over and over.

Raph was in considerable pain already and he could do nothing to defend himself. It was all that he could do not to scream in pain as he was repeatedly hit, kicked and tazed. Finally Raph could not take any more of it. He screamed out, though it was severely muffled to his muzzle. The fought his restraints but he was too exhausted to put up much of a fight.

All of a sudden, everything stopped and Raphael was left with the stinging, painful aftershock of the pain he had just endured. It had all happened so quickly, one moment he had been in his cell, the next….

"I said bring him to the truck. Not kill him." A voice rang out clear above all else.

Even in his current state, Raph felt an intense and utterly consuming anger burn at the sound of that voice. And for just a moment, Raphael felt something that shook him to the core. Fear.

Raphael groaned as he was thrown roughly into the Truck. He breathed deeply, leaning on the cold hard floor and trying to catch his breath. He didn't bother to move. He was too exhausted to even think that much.

Doctor Sinatra and his 'followers' were moving location and so, they had taken the most uncomfortable and painful way to transport Raphael there. Charming.

Raphael didn't even have the strength to resist as the attached his chains to the cage inside the truck. They slammed the door again, after kicking Raph one last time. He groaned softly as all of his injuries started to hurt again. He closed his eyes and once again found himself give in to the all to welcome darkness.

*0*

Don. Mikey and Leo leaped from building to building, searching for anything suspicious. They had covered most of the older buildings on Donatello's Map and were moving in to the second last one.

On the way, Donatello had been briefing them on the cult, telling them about their insignia, their normal disguises that he'd found out when hacking into some gangs site. These guys were good. Kept a low key, did what they wanted to do and were gone without a trace. Don didn't want to have to track them down all over again. It was vital that they found them now before they left the town and went into unfamiliar territory.

All three's emotions held there anxiety, guilt, hope and sorrow. All for their missing brother Raphael. The one who always got them going…so passionate, loyal, hotheaded…. Their missing fire.

A few moments passed without anything eventful happening…

"Um Donnie?' Michelangelo started, staring into the distance.

"Isn't that the insignia that you were speaking of?"

Turning Donatello saw a large truck speeding on the highway. It had the same mark as…

"Yes, yes it s!"

Without a moments hesitation all three brothers tore after the retreating vehicle.

*0*

Raphael opened his eyes slowly; all he could see was darkness and a few silhouetted things. He blinked trying to clear his vision. It didn't take him long to remember what happened. He groaned quietly. By the looks of it he hadn't been unconscious for long since he was still in the truck. He was still too tired to move at all, not that it would have done him any good. He ached all over from the recent thrashing that he had received as well as all his previous injuries.

He shook his head slightly, trying to clear it but that just alerted him to the fact that he had a major head ach so he stopped. The truck went over a bump, jolting him painfully as it did so. Raphael vaguely wondered why the shell they were moving anyway, as far as he could tell they had an old beat up warehouse with a secerete basement that was the huge head quarters. Nothing out of the ordinary, just like every other original villain.

Closing his eyes, Raph zoned out, hearing the murmur of voices coming from the front compartment. He wasn't really interested, just hearing random bits of conversation that he could really give a damn about.

"….move because…"

That caught Raphael's attention and he listened a bit harder.

"….hacked… untraceable…. The boss… nervous…."

So there computers had been hacked into and Sinatra was uneasy….

"…no signal to…"

Raph's eyes snapped open. No signal? Didn't Don once say that every computer gave off a type of signal/code or whatever…. It had taken Donatello years to fully mask there signal so…

Was it possible that his brothers had hacked in? Did they know where he was?

He felt his heart miss a beat, filling with an equal amount of both hope and worry. His brothers might be coming… he would get out of this place. He would see them again. But they might have the wrong location or Sinatra might…. Might hurt them, or worse. Raph wouldn't allow himself to dwell on those thoughts. They would find him. Nothing bad would happen. It couldn't. Tears spilled from his eyes... He just wanted to see his brothers… so badly… he missed them so much….

They rounded the corner fast causing Raphael to bump painfully into the side of the van. He was overcome with pain as all of his injuries were aggravated. Once again, he felt his consciousness slipping even as he clung to it… he had to stay awake to…to….

*0*

Don, Mikey and Leo leaped over the buildings, running as fast as they could after the speeding truck.

"Don," Leo panted, "are you….sure that this…is…the right symbol?"

"Positive Leo." Don replied. Him and Leonardo were lagging a few maters behind Michelangelo. The orange clad turtle was almost, almost keeping up with the truck, a look of intense determination on his face. The truck slowed down as it rounded a sharp corner. Scowling slightly, Michelangelo jumped the gap and pushed himself even harder, trying to compensate for his slight detour. Leo and Don were right on his tail, both running at full speed. Donatello pulled out the remote for the battle shell, pushing with button to activate the honing device.

As he did so he was unaware of his surroundings. He stumbled over a power box and fell into Leonardo, knocking them both to the ground. Leo yelped in surprise as his younger brother landed on top of him.

"Don!" He said, pushing him off.

"Sorry Leo, I was remote piloting the battle shell so that we could keep up with the truck." Don replied sheepishly

Leonardo sighed as he stared at Mikey running far out of site. "Come on, we've gotta go help him."

Nodding, Don and him began running after there younger brother, trying to catch up.

*0*

Mikey on the other hand, had heard the crash coming from behind him. When he saw that his brothers had just fallen, he'd wasted no time in heading back after the vehicle. He breathed deeply, fighting the slight tiredness that marred his constant energy flow. He stubbornly ignored it and continued running, his legs pumping and he flew across the gaps, keeping up with the truck until he was coming level with it.

The sight of another corner only made him run faster, he didn't think that he could keep up with it anymore if he was at much of a disadvantage again. He knew that he was the only one still following the truck, his brothers had fallen behind a while ago. The burning in his chest and the stitch in his side reminded him that he really couldn't blame them. They came closer and closer to the corner and Mikey didn't know what to do, the truck was moving fast and it wasn't 100 % in his reach yet.

Common, common think…um…. What… what would Raph do?

Mikey grinned and without a moment hesitation he jumped, pushed off with all of his strength. He was in the air for a moment before he landed heavily and very ungracefully on the truck's last compartment, making a loud clanging noise. He winced and stood up, rubbing his sore arm. Well, he though, at least it worked….Kinda.

A few moments later, he'd scaled down the side and began working on the latch. After a few moments of failure, Mikey let go with one hand and got out a nunchuck, A few well aimed swings later, the latch was broken and Michelangelo began pulling on the door to open it.

*0*

As he rounded the corner, don on his heels, Leonardo saw the truck in the distance with something…on top of it…?

"He didn't…" Don groaned from behind him.

"Acting just like, like Raph.. Not what we need right now…"

"At least he's on the truck."

Leo shrugged and sped up, intent on catching up.

*0*

It didn't take Mikey long to open the door. He slipped inside, closing the door as he did so. It was completely silent in the back save the light humming of the tires on the road and the occasional creak. Michelangelo Blinked, trying to see in the dark van. He moved his hand, searching for anything that could possibly make it light enough for him to see. After a few seconds of searching he pushed a button along the wall that felt like a light switch. Something flickered in the corner, giving off a faint dying light but at least it was something.

The inside of the van was littered with boxes and crated and a few small containers that looked like they could hold animals. He continued to look around until he came to the back of the compartment. In the back against the walls was a large cage. Mikey frowned curiously as he stepped closer. The light flickered brighter for a brief moment and Michelangelo' breath caught in his throat. He was sure, he'd seem, he was sure… something green was in there….

The orange clad ninja willed himself not to get his hopes up. It could be anything. But he couldn't stop the anxiety fluttering in his chest… what if…

He stepped up, fully able to see what was inside the cage…

Mikey felt like his heart would stop. His breath hitched and tears came to his eyes at the sight. He fell to his knees, staring in horror at the scene before him. That shell, the dark green skin… he'd know him anywhere, no matter what condition he was in. Raphael. His brother, his protector, his friend, was lying on the floor, chained down, back facing Mikey. There were cuts and scars and burns covering most of his skin, twisting on his body. Michelangelo stared, guilt absorbing him. If only he'd gotten there in time. If only he'd stopped this to begin with Raph wouldn't be…

Mikey shook those thoughts away. Without another moment's hesitation, Mikey was on his feet, chucks spinning wildly. He broke the padlock that secured that cage with a perfectly executed strike. Ripping open the door, Mikey flung himself down, tears streaming down his cheeks as he reached out and tenderly touched his brother's arm. The skin was rough under his hand, new and old scars littering his brother's skin.

"Raph…" he whispered softly, in a chocked voice.

Slowly, he turned his brother over, careful of his bound wrists. He softly cradled Raph's head in his hand when he felt the leather band around his head. As Raphael was completely turned, Michelangelo saw the muzzle that was tightly bound on his older brother's beak, fastened with a padlock type object. Mikey stared horrified at the object, feeling anger and sorrow fill him.

"Raphie…what have they done to you…?" he whispered, staring at his brother's broken form.

He softly stoked his brother's head soothingly all the while his tears fell. His heart was breaking at what he saw…what they had done to him… his once proud, strong brother was lying hurt and unconscious in his arms. Broken.

"I'm sorry…." He murmured, 'I'm so sorry Raph…" One of his tears fell, hitting Raphael's face but Mikey paid no heed.

"I'll get you out of this…. I will. Don and Leo are coming…"

He fought off the waves of guilt and shame that overwhelmed him as he held his brother in his arms.

Slowly, Raphael opened his eyes, feeling warm arms around him. He heard the soft sobs of someone near him… someone was talking… he knew that voice…

Michelangelo stared down and his sorowful, loving, crystal blue eyes met amber.

"Raph….?"

Still half asleep, Raphael stared in shock at his baby brother. He was here? But where were Don and Leo. He tried to open his mouth but the muzzle stopped him, the forse causing him to grunt in pain.

"Raph, it's okay, Don and Leo are coming." Mikey soothed, stoking his head tenderly. He stared into his brother's eyes, shocked and pained to see the tears that were gathered there. His brother was so hurt... He tightened his hold, never wanting to let go. "I'm here…Raph…I'm here"

He breathed deaply, savoring the feel of his brother near him after so long without seeing him. His eyes leaked tears as thoughts swam around his head. he'd missed his brothe so much and when he found him he was so broken...

Mikey felt his heart break for Raphael. His brother was hurting so much and there was nothing that he could do about it. He held his brother tightly, rocking him gently.

...

Suddenly the door was flung open revealing a horde of Sinatra's goons.

"You heard the boss." One shouted, "Get him!"

*0*

Michelangelo laid his brother down gently before getting up, eyes narrowed. He pulled his nunchucks out and began spinning them furiously. He took one step forward, positioning himself in a fighting stance. The guards' eyes widened at the sight but they pulled out the respective weapons anyway. Mikey waited for them to make the first move, glaring at them. Unfamiliar anger surged through him as he waited; these men had hurt his brother. He had no doubt that at least some of Raph's injuries had been made by them…

And they were going to pay for it.

The horde of Sinatra's goons charged forward in the small space, leaving the door wide open as the truck sped on. Michelangelo leaped forward, his chucks spinning at a dizzying pace. Mikey spun around, his weapons connecting with guards. He could feel his weapon cracking skulls and breaking bones but he didn't stop. His anger intensified and he whirled round, knocking more down instantly. Most of them didn't get back up.

Sinatra's goons swarmed around Mikey from all sides relentless. He glanced back at Raph, worry outshining his anger for a moment. He spun around, knocking down all those closest to him. He used his weapons to cut a path through them, all the while making sure to knock them down hard. In a matter of seconds, he was at his brother's side again, fighting fiercely to get rid of the men swarming in. He growled in rage as his nunchucks connected with their faces. He kicked out unmercifully, shattering legs as he did so. His eyes narrowed coldly, no body hurt his brother and got away with it. Nobody.

*0*

Raphael stared on helplessly as Mikey stood up with his weapons spinning. He could see by Mikey's tense form that he meant business. He wanted so badly to be there helping his brother… As the guards attacked Mikey jumped forward and started knocking them down. Raph stared in slight shock at his little brother's aggressiveness. Mikey usually taunted his foes, messing around and then, after a while, he knocked them out cold …but Raph could see that most of these guys weren't going to get up again.

They started swarming around the orange clad ninja and Raph felt his heart race with worry. He tensed in his restraints again, but he knew it was hopeless; he was too weak to help his brother. Mikey glanced back at him, eyes filled with worry and concern for his older brother. Raph's heart clenched as his brother made his way through the crowd, knowing them out hard to get to him. A few more well aimed knocks later Mikey was standing next to him.

He flung his weapons out, connecting painfully with faces, arms, and skulls. Raph's eyes widened as he heard an anger filled growl rise from his younger brother's throat. It pained Raph to see the rage and hurt in his sibling's eyes when he knew that if it weren't for him, he would be as happy and carefree as he normally was.

*0*

The swarm was thinning and it was hard to see any of the floor. Mikey was breathing hard as his adrenaline started to ware off. Fighting lackies like this would have been Childs play on any other day, but running after a speeding truck, jumping onto it and then opening it only to find your brother, that you had been searching for for weeks, so broken …well, it took it's toll on someone. Even someone like Mikey who had a seemingly endless energy flow.

Mikey snorted at that thought as he continued onward. He was really starting to get tired; someone landed a blow with a baseball bat on Mikey's shoulder. He winced and picked up the pace, trying desperately to stop all the guards. Even though Mikey's anger hadn't really subsided, he was thinking a lot clearer and his first priority was to get Raph out of there without him getting anymore hurt than he already was.

He glanced swiftly around the room, trying to work out how he was going to get out of a moving truck with Raph who was in no condition to help at all. That thought struck Mikey to the core and he froze completely for a second. The responsibility he had, the fact that he was the one being relied on, that his brother really couldn't help him…. It all came crashing down on him in that second.

He recovered quickly, even though his mind was still reeling with the thought. He looked down at Raph, glad to see that he was conscious and that he had not been injured anymore during the fight, Michelangelo had been terrified that something would happen to him, especially if he strayed to far from his side. Looking at his older brother brought fresh waves of guilt; anger and sorrow into Mikey's heart, making him fight even harder.

He couldn't let Raph go back to that… to have to endure even more torment. He would never forgive himself if his brother had to endure another second of it. He wasn't sure he could forgive himself for letting it happen in the first place.

A few people fell out of the truck as more and more fell unconscious -or worse- due to Michelangelo's vicious thrashing. The crowd of Sinatra's goons was getting smaller and smaller but it wasn't long, however, before more guards climbed into the back, carrying knives and….

Mikey's eyes widened at the sight of the guns in their hands. If they opened fire, they would be almost no place to dodge and Raphael could get hit. Mikey wasn't sure his brother could survive a hit like that, and it scared him.

He didn't know what he would do without Raph in his life. He'd always been there, no matter what. No matter how hard he could be, he was the one Mikey went to when he had a nightmare or even when he needed comfort. Even though Raph threatened to decapitate Mikey if he ever told someone, that was just…Raph. His protective, loyal, loving brother…. And he couldn't picture living without him.

Mikey lunged forward, leaving his brothers side so that he wasn't in danger of being hit. The moment the guards attacked Michelangelo could tell that these guys were better fighters than the last. A lot better. He didn't pause for even a second, knocking down the ones that he could. But his fatigue was starting to get to him. It wasn't long before someone shot at him. He managed to duck and then knock out the one shooting but more followed. Mikey was ducking and rolling and doing everything in his power not to get hit was the machine guns started firing.

*0*

Raphael stared at the battle with his heart racing. So far his brother was winning but he could see the slight sag to his shoulders, he was getting tired. In fact, he was probably exhausted if it was physically showing. Raphael wanted to help his brother so badly; he was facing all these guys alone…no help…no backup. Raph was helpless. More goons entered the room brandishing knives and a few had guns. Raphael started at them in horror. Guns? Mikey was good, and he was fast, but guns? Michelangelo glanced at him fearfully and began fighting again, steadily moving away from his brother.

Raph was slightly confused before he got what his brother was thinking. If he got shot at, Raph wouldn't be caught in the crossfire….

It wasn't long until the sound of gunshots rang out. Mikey dodged but more guards opened fire.

Raphael twisted desperately in his restraints, ignoring the intense pain that it caused. Mikey was ducking and rolling and dodging the bullets as best he could but Raph was scared it wouldn't be enough. His brother had just found him… he couldn't bare the thought of loosing him now… he didn't know how he would carry on, how he could ever live without him. The thought of him brother's had been the only thing that kept him going… all his suffering would be for nothing if something happened to Mikey….

Come on Mikey….He thought, staring at his brother in desperate worry, You can do this… you have to…

*0*

A few moments later there was a numbing feeling in Mikey's left shoulder, he glanced down and saw blood. Seconds later, it felt like his shoulder was on fire, stinging and burning with unimaginable pain. He gasped and dropped his weapon, grabbing the wound. His head was swimming and his breath came in short gasps. He fought to calm the rising panic in his chest and regain control. More people were coming to him… he couldn't let them get him… he had to get Raph out, no matter what.

Pushing through the pain, He picked up his weapon in his right hand and started spinning it, gasping as the pain in his shoulder intensified. Ignoring it, he stepped forward.

"Drop the weapon and back away." A voice said, ringing out over the noise. Everyone went silent and heads turned. Mikey's gaze immediately fell on Raph. His eyes widened and his heart thudded at the sight. A man was kneeling down, a gun in hand….pointed strait at Raph.

"I said drop the weapon." He stated coolly, clicking the safety off.

Mikey immediately complied, his nunchuck clattering on the floor.

"Good." The man stated a smug look on his face.

Michelangelo locked eyes with Raph, regret in his blue eyes. Raph's were filled with worry for his youngest brother. The guards began forcing Mikey to the door with nowhere to go, no weapons and no hope of escape. Michelangelo's heart sank with despair before someone grabbed his arm and pushed. Mikey gave a strangled cry as he was pushed roughly out of the van towards the pavement.

*0*

Raphael gave a muffled cry and he jerked forward as Mikey was pushed out of the truck. His eyes filled with tears and he didn't care. There was no way Mikey could have survived that, not after that fight. Tears streamed down his cheeks and a sob rose from him. Mikey, his baby brother was gone.

*0*

Michelangelo locked eyes with Raph, regret in his blue eyes. Raph's were filled with worry for his youngest brother. The guards began forcing Mikey to the door with nowhere to go, no weapons and no hope of escape. Michelangelo's heart sank with despair before someone grabbed his arm and pushed. Mikey gave a strangled cry as he was pushed roughly out of the van towards the pavement.

*0*

Mikey gave a strangled cry as he was pushed roughly out of the van towards the pavement. He twisted, landing hard on his one foot for a second, he felt a sharp pain and fell back with a gasp, skidding on his shell as he did so. After a few seconds he came to a stop, lying in the middle of the pavement. Pain surged through him and he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to gather the energy to stand.

His shoulder ached and stung as blood flowed from his wound and it felt like it was on fire. His one ankle felt broken and sore from the heavy landing and his back hurt like shell from the forceful impact. Above all that was the ach in his heart, tears flowed from Mikey's eyes as he thought of Raphael.

He was still in there… he hadn't been able to save him… worst of all Michelangelo couldn't get that image out of his head… the image of his older brother with a gun pointed at his head. That shook him to the core. He could have lost his brother right there and then and he had been powerless to stop it… he'd failed him…

As more blood leaked from the wound, he started feeling faint and it wasn't long till he gave into the darkness and despair.

*0*

"Leo, look over there, it's another one!"

"What the shell happened?"

Leonardo and Donatello were seated in the battle shell, following Mikey's shell cell signal. As they rode, they passed bodies littered along the street. They hadn't stopped for them though as the truck Mikey was in was driving to fast for them to be able to afford detours.

"I dunno…. Maybe it was a gang fight or something. They're all warring similar things I think."

Leo shrugged and nodded, eyes glued to the rode. "Which way now Don?"

"Um, right at the next robot."

The backstreets of the outskirts of New York were quiet and practically deserted save the odd car going by. That of course meant that no one bothered to go the speed limit- Leo included. Fortunately for them, the truck was still too large to go as fast as the battle shell could and if the tracker was working right they were coming closer. A few moments later Michelangelo's cell signal came to an abrupt halt.

"I think they've stopped." Don muttered, glancing up at Leo

"So soon?" he inquired

"Suppose so…"

They traveled in silence, getting nearer and nearer to the signal. Leo saw something lying in the road and prepared to swerve, thinking that it was just another one of the bodies they had been seeing on the road.

"The signal is a few feet away…" Don muttered absently, looking up.

Leo frowned in slight confusion… a few feet? But….?

Glancing down at the body, Leo noticed that it was different to the others… realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He slammed on breaks, swerving to avoid hitting the body. Don slammed into the side window and was then was jerked hard against his seatbelt.

"Leo, what's going on?"

Leonardo ignored him, fumbling with his seatbelt in his hast. The moment he had in undone, he flung the door open and jumped out of the car. Confused, Donatello followed suit.

The moment he was out the car, Leo ran to the shape in the road. As he got there, his fear was conformed. Michelangelo was there, lying unconscious in a pool of blood. He was covered in scrapes and bruises and his shoulder was bleeding profusely. Leonardo felt like his heart stopped at that moment.

"Mikey," Leo murmured, kneeling by his brother, "Mikey, can you hear me?"

When he got no response he called his brother, fear gripping him, "Don! Get over here!"

What?" Don came into view, running towards him. "Oh no . . ." Donnie instantly paled.

"Oh my…shell…He was shot…" he murmured, fear showing on his face. "Leo, we need to get him home right now!'"

*0*

Raphael stared at the floor of the truck unseeing, his eyes blurry with unshed tears. More tears coursed down his cheeks at the thought of his brother. Michelangelo couldn't have survived that fall. The truck had been moving…..Tears streamed down his cheeks and a sob rose from him again. He wanted to believe that he was alright, that he could have survived, but he just couldn't see how… even if he'd survived the fall, he'd have lost so much blood….

Raphael bowed his head, as sobs wracked his body. Mikey was gone…. His baby brother…. He hadn't been able to protect him…

All the torture that Sinatra had put him though, nothing…nothing could ever compare to the pain of loosing him…. What was the point of living? Even if he got free… more tears fell from his eyes…

His little brother, his best friend, was gone, and he was never coming back.

*0*

Leo and Don rushed into the lair, Leo carrying an unconscious Mikey in his arms. Their footsteps echoing in the silent lair.

Mikey was laid down in the infirmary while Don hurriedly began to check his vital signs.

"You can do this Donny" Leonardo stated, as he entered the room after his brother, sounding more confident than he felt

Donatello nodded reluctantly and placed his hands on Mikey's wrist, feeling for a pulse. He waited.

Don thought his heart would stop when he felt nothing….

A few seconds later he felt it.

A beat.

A faint, weak, beat, but a beat nonetheless.

He let out a sigh of relief.

Looking at Leo he nodded and got back to work. The blue clad ninja was overcome with relief at his brother's confirmation. His brother was alive.

Despite this, Leonardo paced worriedly as Don patched Mikey up. Don Examined the bullet wound carefully, he was relieved to see that it was a shallow bullet wound and it wouldn't pose much threat to his brother's life. Carefully, he removed the bullet, trying not to injure the arm more.

He cleaned the area and wrapped it in bandages.

Scanning for other injuries, Don was disturbed to see his younger brother's ankle was severely swollen and red. He touched it gingerly, wincing when he felt the clean snap of the bone. He carefully pulled out more bandages and carefully wrapped up the afflicted appendage. After setting his brother's broken ankle and tending to his other scrapes and cuts, Donatello finally stopped working and sat down, looking exhausted. For a moment nobody spoke.

"Don?"

"He's got a broken ankle, scraped shell and he was shot." Don said, sounding close to tears. "He'll live, but we have to watch him, anything could happen... he could…. "

Nodding, Leo sat down as well, concern evident in his eyes. "Don, you haven't slept for days. Go rest. Mikey will be fine, I'll watch him."

"I know Leo it's just…"

Leonardo sighed. "Just what?"

"I need to see if I can find Sinatra…."

Leo felt a jolt in his stomach. Raph…. Leo felt torn. He so badly wanted to find Raph. Only Mikey knew what had happened and if they had found him -though judging by the sight of him…- and he was out cold, but Don needed to rest or he'd get sick too. "Don, we can wait an hour, you need to rest."

"But-"

"No "buts"."

"You promise you'll wake me up?"

"Ninja Honor."

"And you'll watch Mikey?"

"Yes."

"Ok." Don agreed, still a little reluctant, "An hour…"

Slowly he turned his back as Leo took up his post. He began to climb the stairs to his room, heart filled with worry for both Mikey and Raph.

*0*

The door of the truck was roughly thrown open allowing light to pour in. Raph shut his eyes and turned his head away.

Hands grabbed him roughly and he was dragged out. He hit the pavement hard banging his arm on the tar. He kept his eyes shut as he was dragged along, his skin scrapping painfully. Raph ignored it; the pain in his heart was almost unbearable. The guilt.

It was his fault. If he hadn't let himself be captured, then none of this would have happened. His brother would still be alive.

There was a loud scrapping sound as a door was opened. Raph was pushed into a cell and chained roughly to the wall. He remained limp, not resisting or fighting. It didn't matter. Nothing that had been done to him in the past could ever break him… but this….

Raph was overwhelmed by memories. The battle nexus tournament and how Michelangelo would never stop bragging. That stupid turtle titan gig he was always on about. When he'd rescued homeless kitten. How he'd annoy Raph al the time just for the fun of it but was always there for him…

….

"Now….you doesn't reallywantto hurt your poor, defenseless, handsome, adorable- Eeeep!"

.

Raph smiled "Yeah, really. But don't tell anyone"

Mikey smirked mischievously " Oh? Not even Leo?"

" If you tell Leo or anyone else I swear you will die a very slow and painful death Mike"

Mikey giggled and jumped up " LEO…..!"

"Raphie."

..

"Yeah Mikey, you're the little brother you wanna put in a box and try'ta post to china when your parents aren't looking, but the one that nobody can live without."

Mikey chuckled slightly at these word.

"You okay?"

"Yeah…"

"Good. Oh, one more thing."

"What?"

"If you tell anyone 'bout this, I'm gonna do the whole china thing."

"Your secretes safe with me…for now…"

"Mikey…"

"Just kidding."

..

"You're my bro and I love you. Helping each other's what we're supposed to do."

That was the breaking point for Raph and he Sobbed unrestrained. His shoulders wracked with sobs and his muffled cried rang though the room.

Raphael was finally broken.

*0*

Michelangelo opened his eyes slowly, wincing at the bright light above him. He tried to shield his eyes but as he moved his arm, a sharp pain caused him to gasp in pain. He shut his eyes again and tried to clear his head, trying to remember the last thing that he did….

All he remembered was falling and hurting his ankle. He moved it slightly only clench his teeth as pain seared through it.

"Ow…" he muttered quietly.

After lying still for a few more moments, he ventured opening his eyes again. The light was still too bright, but he could tolerate it now. Looking around he saw that he was in the infirmary. He frowned in confusion, his head felt muddled and clouded.

With my luck I've got concussion. He thought, mentally rolling his eyes.

He tried to push himself up with his good arm, but fell back with a soft cry as his back spasmed with pain. A few moments later, Leonardo ran in, a worried look on his face.

"Mikey!" Leo hurried over to the bed and sat down next to his brother. "Mikey how are you feeling, what happened?"

Michelangelo closed his eyes and tried again to get his thoughts in order to no avail, "Confused." He answered, opening his eyes, "And sore…. everywhere." He added as an after thought.

Leonardo nodded in understanding and helped Mikey to an upright position, careful with his injuries. He passed his younger brother a glass of water and a painkiller. "Take this, it'll help.

Mikey nodded and swallowed the tablets.

"Leo." He said after a few seconds of silence. "What happened?"

Leonardo looked shocked, "you don't remember?"

"Should I?"

"Well, yeah, I think so… hold on, I'm gonna go call Don." With that, he got up and hurried out of the room and up the stairs. As he left, Mikey let himself slump into the pillows, feeling exhausted and confused. Why couldn't he remember what had happened?

He felt like he should… like there was something missing, and judging by the injuries he had, it was probably something big…

A few moments later, Leo returned with Donatello, who was looking both relieved and worried.

"Hey bro, how are you feeling?" He greeted as he reached the orange clad ninja's side.

"Um… "Mikey started, unsure.

Don took one look at his battered brother and looked a little sheepish. "Never mind, not that good I guess."

"You could say that."

Don smiled and made his way to sit on the chair that Leo had been occupying earlier. He looked over his brother, checking his temperature and vital signs. Michelangelo was too tired to resist or complain too much, and that nagging feeling that he'd forgotten something was still there. Suddenly it hit him.

"Where's Raph?"

Leo tensed and Don stopped dead in the middle of checking the heart monitor's readings.

Finally Leonardo spoke in strained voice, "You… you don't remember?"

Mikey looked confused, "Remember what?"

"Mikey," Don said slowly, "Raph's been missing for weeks…"

"Missing?" Mikey's eyes went wide and he sat up straighter.

"We were out looking for him when you got hurt. Don't you remember, you fell out of a truck…?"

At Don's words, something clicked in Mikey's brain.

*0*

Flash back

Mikey felt like his heart would stop. His breath hitched and tears came to his eyes at the sight. He fell to his knees, staring in horror at the scene before him. That shell, the dark green skin… he'd know him anywhere, no matter what condition he was in. Raphael. His brother, his protector, his friend, was lying on the floor, chained down, back facing Mikey. There were cuts and scars and burns covering most of his skin, twisting on his body. Michelangelo stared, guilt absorbing him. If only he'd gotten there in time. If only he'd stopped this to begin with Raph wouldn't be…

Mikey shook those thoughts away. Without another moment's hesitation, Mikey was on his feet, chucks spinning wildly. He broke the padlock that secured that cage with a perfectly executed strike. Ripping open the door, Mikey flung himself down, tears streaming down his cheeks as he reached out and tenderly touched his brother's arm. The skin was rough under his hand, new and old scars littering his brother's skin.

"Raph…" he whispered softly, in a chocked voice.

*0*

"Raph…" Mikey whispered as the image of his brother, battered and broken, came into his mind. The memories flooded in, the motorbike's remains, the horror of loosing his brother. The endless days or searching and searching to find no one. The terror of those days, feeling completely alone. The truck… finding his brother so injured… so hurt. Sinatra's goons attacking him. Being pushed out of the van… pain, regret, sorrow.

Tears streamed own Michelangelo's face and Don gave his brother a one armed hug, careful of his many injuries. He rubbed his shell soothingly. As Michelangelo lowered his head, sobbing quietly. Leonardo, sat on the bed next to him, holding his hand in his own, comforting him best he could.

Mikey tried his best to regain control, but the guilt of failing his older brother was too much and too fresh, and more tears coursed down his cheeks and sobs wracked his body. Don kept up his soothing rubbing and Leo squeezed his hand, letting him know that he was there for him.. Michelangelo let himself be comforted by them, calming himself down little by little. But the only thing that could truly comfort him would to be in Raph's strong, protective arms again. He remembered having nightmares as a kid. Raph had always been the one to comfort his at night and chase the monsters away – even though he denied it constantly.

But these monsters weren't going away, not until his brother was back with them again. Where he belonged.

Mikey wiped he eyes with his right arm – left was too painful – and looked up at his brothers with red eyes.

"I found him…" He whispered brokenly, "In the truck…"

"Raph…?" Leo whispered, "He was…he was there?"

Michelangelo nodded silently, fresh tears poured down his cheeks at the though of the red clad turtle.

"How was he.? What…?" Don asked, his voice croaky and strained.

"He was… he was…. It was… " Mikey said, trying to find the right words. "He was so… he was so hurt. The things they did to him… he was… he was chained down and in a cage… he.-." Michelangelo dissolved into sobs. Crying as hard as he could. He felt comforting arms wrap around him and he cried into Leonardo's shoulder.

The blue clad ninja was having trouble controlling his own emotions. He'd heard Raph, and felt a glimpse of the pain that he had to endure. To see Mikey fall apart just retelling his condition shook him deeply. He rocked his youngest brother softly, tears pouring down his cheeks as well…

"Shhh Mikey, it's okay…" he whispered, keeping his voice as even as he could.

Donatello sat on the chair. His head in his hands and his shoulders shaking slightly as he was overcome with emotion. Tears leaked from his tightly shut eyes. Mikey's reaction told him just how bad his older brother's condition was…

Mikey looked up at his older brother. " I couldn't save him." He whispered, "I tried, I tried so hard but I couldn't." he gave a choked sob. "I tried so hard but there…there were so many of them, they had guns and Raph…. Raph they…"

He shifted slightly out of Leo's embrace, his pain filled eyes meeting dark brown. " They… I left him when they started shooting… I …I didn't want him to get hurt but they… I was hurt and they… God Leo they held a gun to his head… Leo… they were, gonna …they were gonna…."

He trailed off, crying harder. Leonardo soothed him gently as he fought to keep his own emotions under control. A gun… They'd threatened Raph with a gun. Leonardo inwardly shuddered as he imagined having to choose like that. To leave his brother behind to more torture and torment or watch him die. He held Mikey tighter, wishing desperately that he hadn't had to go through that.

After a few moments, Mikey's intense sobbing questioned to soft sniffs and hiccoughs. Donatello still hadn't moved from his position on the chair, head in his hands.

Leonardo's heart was heavy at what Mikey had told them… Raph had been so close and then….

Michelangelo slowly lifted his head from Leo's shoulder.

"You okay?" Leo asked softly, a reassuring smile on his face.

Michelangelo nodded slightly. "I guess." He whispered, leaning back onto the pillows. He was now completely and utterly exhausted. The previous night, the day's events and crying had completely drained him. He fought to keep his eyes open but Leo was stoking his forehead soothingly and lulling him to sleep, despite his efforts to stay awake.

"Thanks Leo…" He whispered before he closed his eyes, succumbing to the sleep that called him.

"No problem, lil'bro." Leo said, smiling softly despite himself. His little brother was alright, one less thing for him to worry about and to be grateful for.

Guilt washed through Donatello. It was his fault that they hadn't gotten Raphael. If he hadn't slowed Leo up then they might have caught up with the truck at some point. Tree of them together were very hard to beat, guns or not. But even though Mikey had put up a brilliant fight, one was simply not enough… and it was Dons fault that there hadn't been more. He cried harder at this thought, tears spilling from his eyes.

Leo turned to find that Donatello was still there, silently crying into his hands. He frowned in concern, moving to the chair and kneeling down.

"Don? You okay?" he asked quietly.

Donatello simply nodded his head, but never stopped crying.

"Common, Donnie, I can see you're not."

Don removed his hands, tears still coursing down his cheeks. 'I was my fault Leo…" He said, his voice choked up.

"What? Donnie, No it wasn't. You couldn't have done anything to-"

"It was Leo…. If I hadn't slowed us down, then Mikey wouldn't have had to face them alone, we would've probably won… Raph would be home with us instead of…."

Leonardo, pulled his brother into a fierce embrace as he cried harder. "Listen Don. It was not, I repeat, not, your fault okay? We wouldn't have kept up and you know it. It couldn't be helped." Leo said firmly, " No buts." He added as his brother gave a muffled protest.

He held his brother tightly, rocking him and comforting him, letting him release all the emotions that he had been keeping in for the past few weeks. All of his guilt, sorrow, pain and failure, he cried now, bawling onto Leo's shoulder. Leonardo rubbed his shell in circles, calming him down.

"It's okay don, it's not your fault." He repeated these words in a soft, soothing tone all the while, holding his brother tightly. His brother who had the responsibility of finding Raph on his shoulders, the responsibility to patch Mikey up when he'd gotten hurt, to help Raph heal when he was found… that all rested on his shoulders and Leonardo let him release it onto him as he cried and let it all out.

After a while, Don had regained control of himself and he let go of Leonardo, looking drained.

"Don, why don't you just bunk in here?" Leo suggested softly

"Yeah, I will… thanks."

Leonardo smiled as his brother lay down on the white infirmary sheets and fell asleep right away, a slight smile on his face.

That smile meant the world to Leonardo, it was a smile of someone without a care in the world and Leo was glad that he had helped. He slowly left the room where his brothers slept and made his way up to his bedroom. He slowly removed his gear and lay down on his bed, face buried in the pillow. His heart wrenched with sadness, he took a deep breath…. And he cried.

*0*

Raphael closed his eyes as his senses were overcome by pain. He hung limply, suspended from the ceiling. The shackled closed painfully tight on his broken wrists. He was too high up to touch the ground and all of his weight was on his wrists.

"Are you going to talk today?" Raphael shook his head, but it was devoid of the usual defiant spark. He'd already lost one brother, he couldn't be responsible for the deaths of the others. It would destroy him.

Doctor Sinatra growled at Raph, the first time he'd shown anger so far. "Listen you worthless reptile, you are more trouble that you are worth. You will talk!"

With that, he walked around to the back of Raph and he felt something lightly stroke the back of his lag. A moment later, Raph screamed with pain as he flesh was torn open with a sharp stinging crack. Sinatra Brought up a whip again, thrashing him hard so this the rubber broke the soft skin.

"You… will… talk…!" Sinatra said angrily, punctuating each word with a vicious whipping.

Raphael cried out as the whip hit his body, his legs, his arms and everywhere else. The painful stinging sensation never died down even as Sinatra stopped. Blood ran down his body and tears came to his eyes and his wounds felt like they were on fire. It wasn't over though and Raphael felt himself screaming unchecked as a powdery substance was thrown into the whip cuts. His vision went white with the intense pain that he was feeing…

Closing his eyes, he found himself wishing desperately that he could just die. That all his torment could finally be over. All this pain and suffering. His family suffering. He wished more than anything that it would all end. So that the aching pain in his heart and torment in his body would just come to an end.

He couldn't even faint and as his tazer collar was turned on. Raphael wondered how long he could take this… how long until that welcome death came to claim him.

Electricity course through him. Burning him as if from this inside. He convulsed his muscled tensing. A scream tore from his throat and Raphael made no attempt to stop it, the pain caused him to scream as loudly as he could with his muzzle on. It felt like he was being stabbed with a thousand knives, his eyes were shut tight as every muscle in his body convulsed.

Please…. Just let me die….

*0*

Raphael tried to steady his breathing as Doctor Sinatra approached him, needle in hand. Needles…. He'd never been scared of them in his life…until then. There needles brought unimaginable pain, searing, burning and eating you from the inside out. Raphael shuddered. There was nothing you could do to stop it. You couldn't dodge the thing that would hurt you or retaliate, it was all consuming, and it clouded your senses…

Raph shuddered just thinking about it.

Before Raph could blink, the needle was stabbed painfully into his arm and the content emptied into his bloodstream.

Doctor Sinatra glanced down at his watch, "About…2 minutes." He muttered before turning to the lab table to work on something else.

Raphael tensed, waiting for the pain that always came. That horrible, all consuming pain….

Flash Back

At least his family was safe this was not in vain, but still…he wanted so much to be with them and he was scared that they would never meet again before he died He was wrenched to the ground, his legs wouldn't move and he was dragged along the ground to the waiting table.

The Black clad man stood ready with the syringe. Raph wrestled against the collar and found himself being beaten harshly before he was hauled onto the table and his arms and legs were fastened

The needle pushed in his arm and it instantly burned as the fluid was emptied from the syringe. He convulsed on the tabletop, his head slamming on its clean surface, his cries filled the white room.

End Flash Back

Raph felt none of that familiar pain and began to wonder what was going on. Suddenly, he felt a slight dizziness and nausea, he felt light headed and woozy. He shut his eyes to let the moment pass and once it had, he opened his eyes slowly.

Everything seemed normal…. Well whatever you considered normal…everything was calm enough….

A moment later the door burst open and Don, Mikey and Leo charged in, shouting battle cries and running at Sinatra, weapons ready.

Raphael stared in shock. His brothers were there! They'd come for him! Raphael's heart soared with joy and elation.

Sinatra never turned as they jumped, but simply stepped aside letting them fall to the floor in a heap. They got up and looked ready to attack again, weapons offensive.

Leo's katana's sharpened to perfection. Dons Bo spotless and well kept and Mikey's nunckucks deadly as ever.

… Mikey?

It took Raph a moment to relies that Michelangelo was in the room as well... he was alive?

If Raphael could've, he would have jumped for joy right there and then. His little brother was alive without a mark on him…

He was suddenly aware of Sinatra talking with his brothers.

"…Fine specimen..." don said glancing at him

"… well looked after…" Leo added

"How much?" Mikey asked

"A life." Doctor Sinatra said.

"That can be arranged…."

Michelangelo began to slowly change and melt, his flesh fell away from parts of him and his arm stuck out at a weird angle. His eyes went glassy and lifeless. Raphael watched in horror as his brother transformed before him. Transformed into a living corps. Michelangelo moved slowly towards Raphael.

"You let me die…" he hissed slowly, blood pouring from his mouth.

"No. I…I…" Raph stammered, not even noticing that his muzzle was no longer there.

"Yes…. You didn't help me… I was alone."

"I… I didn't know, I'm sorry!" Raph cried, fear and sorrow coursing through him.

Leonardo and Donatello watched from the side, smiles on there faces as they stared at Raphael's struggling form.

"No…No, get away, I'm sorry! I couldn't do anything!"

Mikey just advanced on him, a smile twisting his features sinisterly. "Time to go home Raph. You can go home… all it cost…was my life…."

*0*

Raph closed his eyes in terror. As he opened then again, he found that he was in the lair, his brothers were around him and they were watching a movie. Turning to him, Leo smiled and said, "Glad to have you back bro."

Raph smiled and felt relieved, but his relief was short lived as he noticed the age lines in Leonardo's face.

"It took us 10 years but you're finally home."

*0*

Raphael's eyes snapped open and he found himself back in Doctor Sinatra's room…

He looked around and a horrific sight met his eyes. There, in the room, strapped to 3 tables were him brothers.

His eyes rested on Mikey, his little brothers agonized screams rang through the room as Doctor Sinatra started dissecting him, cutting his plastron open.

Don was next, he was moaning, covered in cuts and blood and Raphael saw the life slowly drain from those intelligent eyes.

But what horrified him the most was Leonardo's still form, not moving, not breathing, a scalpel through his heart. Dead.

Doctor Sinatra had killed him.

Raphael's heart broke and he heard Mikey scream for him to help…and there was nothing he could do.

He couldn't save his brother.

He could stop Don Dying.

And he couldn't raise the dead.

*0*

"His last know location should be about…. Here." Don stated, pointing at a map.

Leonardo nodded from his place next to don, while Mikey watched from the bed.

It had been two days since the incident and Don had finally found Sinatra's head quarters.

"When do we leave?" Mikey asked

"Mikey, you know you cant go with you're-" Leo started

"Leo, there is no way I'm staying here. You cant stop me."

Leonardo started to protest, but one look in at his brother told him that he wasn't going to win this. Mikey's eyes were filled with fierce determination and he stared at Leo unwavering. "I'm going."

Leo sighed, he knew that with or without them, Mikey would be going. Better to have him in his sights. Besides, Leo knew that it would kill him to be left behind, whatever the reason.

"Fine, but you've gotta stay in the Battle Shell."

"You got it bro." Mikey said, unable to repress his small smile of triumph.

He turned his attention to his genius brother, "When can we leave?" he asked

"I'd say…about 2 hours." Don answered.

Leo nodded. "Lets get started, we have a lot of preparing to do."

*0*

Raphael quivered and shook on the table that he was strapped to. His mind replaying the images that he had been forced to see.

The images of his brother's dying, of the lair burned down. Mikey staring at him with those lifeless eyes… hearing his brothers' screams. Being helpless.

The shredder. Karai…. Bishop….

His mind reeled with these thoughts as he fought to keep control. He wouldn't- couldn't give in to whatever Sinatra had given him. He didn't think he was strong enough. Those visions had seemed so real….Raph didn't know how much longer until he believed them…

Sinatra's continues onslaught of pain wasn't helping things at all. Raph could barely contend with the mental and emotional pain and Doctor Sinatra knew that.

"Are you going to talk? Tell me!"

Through everything, Raphael managed to weakly shake his head. No way would he betray his family…. Never…no matter what images he had to see…. Never.

Doctor Sinatra slowly dripped acid onto him, burning his skin and forcing his to cry out in pain.

Tears came to his eyes as he fought it off. Images of His brothers suffering the same torment came to his head and he resisted the urge to give into that reality…

Not real….not real….

Then why did his brothers' screams sound so loud….why couldn't he help them? He was in so much pain himself that he didn't even have the energy to get up and save them…

I'm sorry…..he thought before he was assaulted with more pain and he succumbed to the darkness and his tears.

*0*

Michelangelo sat in the bed as his brothers hurried to get everything ready. He hated feeling so helpless…..

He stared at the poem he had written all those nights ago…

You were my hero, my hero

The one I could count on, always there

My hero, hero

And now you're gone and I'm alone

it's so cold…

Raphael… his hero… he was there in the hands of a madman…with no one. They had to get him out… they had to….

Don't worry Raph, we'll get you outta there…I promise…

*0*

Leonardo crouched on the edge of a rooftop. His eyes narrowed as he scanned the area. Don and Mikey were beside him, both looking for any signs of trouble.

"Okay," Leo whispered, turning to face his brothers, "From what I can tell, the outer perimeter isn't very secure. There are guards posted here-" he pointed to the side entrance of the opposite building, "-and here. The gates have electric fencing around then and the only entrance is here-" he indicated to a large gate on the far side.

Mikey and Don nodded in understanding.

"I think we have everything we need…." Don muttered thoughtfully, "It shouldn't take me long to disable the fence…. If we can somehow get into the back of a truck coming in, we could avoid confrontation until later…. "He mused

Leo looked thoughtful, "That could work, we just need to be able to get out quickly."

A mischievous look swept over Mikey's face. "Leave that to me."

"What are you planning Mike?"

"You'll see."

"It better not be anything dangerous…" Leo warned

"Me? Dangerous?"

Don sighed and shook his head, "Just make sure we have a fast escape okay?"

"Got it."

Leo pushed himself up swiftly, melting into the shadows. Don and Mikey followed suit. Mikey had a little more trouble due to his injuries. Don supported him as he stood, careful of his broken ankle and his arm- which was bandaged and in a sling. Michelangelo winced as he stood up, his back and ribs aching in protect. He and Don slowly made for the shadows where Leo was.

"You okay?" Leo asked as Mikey came within earshot.

"Yeah, just…a little sore." He muttered, leaning against the wall.

"Okay, let's keep going." Leo said

Michelangelo grimaced and reluctantly push himself from the wall. His brothers helped him over to the ladder and he slowly climbed down, clenching his teeth in pain as his injuries were jerked with every step down.

"Ow." He muttered as he reached the bottom.

Don and Leo leaped down gracefully without the assistance of the ladder.

"Showoffs."

They made there way over the street to where the battle shell was parked, careful to stay in the shadows.

"Okay, "Leo started as soon as they had reached the safety of the van, "Don is going to be disabling the fence just incase there's an emergency and we need a quick retreat."

Donatello nodded.

"Mikey- do you think you can alert us when you see something on the radar? We need to get a ride inside."

Mikey nodded, "No problem Leo."

Leonardo frowned, trying to remember if there was anything he hadn't covered. Don checked his duffle bag anxiously, making sure that he had everything he needed.

Standing up, Leonardo scanned the van before locking eyes with his youngest brother, "You gonna be okay?"

"Don't worry about me. Bro. Just get Raph outta there." Mikey replied solemnly

Nodding Leo flipped nimbly out of the Battle shell, followed closely by Donatello who paused briefly to touch Michelangelo comfortingly on the shoulder.

Then they were gone from view, blending with the shadows and running swiftly away. Mikey sighed and turned to the controls, staring unseeing at the radar screen.

A feeling of unease and guilt grew inside of him as he thought of his brothers- One of them held prisoner and the other two risking their lives to save him-Michelangelo hit the screen softly in anger– and he could do nothing.

*0*

Leonard scanned the perimeter anxiously as his younger brother began work on disabling the electric fence. His shell cell in one hand and the hilt of his katana in the other. His shoulders were tensed as he readied himself for any possible attack. He was so focused that he jumped about a foot in the air when the shell cell started ringing in his hand.

"Hello?" Leo answered, swiftly regaining his composure.

"Leo, something on radar heading your way- If you're gonna do something it better be now!"

"Thanks Mikey – talk later." He snapped his cell shut and backed up till he was standing next to Don.

"How's that coming Don?"

"Almost done." Donatello answered, eyes glued to the power box.

"Um…. You might want to hurry it up…" Leo said, nervously eyeing the road

"Why's that?"

"Um, there's a truck heading this way….."

At that moment the lights on the surrounding fence went out- along with the electric fences current.

"Done." The purple clad ninja stood just as the approaching headlights rounded the corner.

With ought another word, both brothers leaped in opposite directions, jumping into the cover of darkness. It wasn't long though, until both were in the back of the truck, pressed down to avoid detection. Apparently no one noticed that the lights were out- much to their relief as this also gave them extra cover.

Don ducked an incoming blow, crouched and used his Bo to knock several guards down.

He twirled his Bo again and lunged at one of Sinatra's goons. He kicked him in the stomach and hit him in the back of his head with just enough forse to knock him out.

He jumped over the scattered guards and fought his way over to Leo, only when they were practically shell-to-shell did he stop

He crouched down into a sweeping kick, using his Bo to pull himself up; he allowed the momentum to pull him into a flying kick. Knocking several more down.

*0*

Spin, crouch, leap, STRIKE – back flip away and then lunge forward, block- spin, and slice. Leonardo jumped to the side when a blow was aimed at him. He kicked hard, knocking one of the guards down.

Leo saw Don edging towards him and he did the same until they were back to back.

"This is going well." He muttered while knocking down another enemy

"At least this is the only room that saw us…. There's been no alarm or we would've been swamped by now."

Leonardo agreed with his brother- these guards weren't even that hard to fight… lackies.

Don knocked out the remaining few with a few expert twirls of his bo. Leo stepped over the bodies littering the hall- most had just been knocked out, nothing to brutal. They hadn't come here for revenge, they'd come to get their brother and they wouldn't leave without him no matter what.

They made there way over to the next door, leading into an empty corridor.

"Don, have you got any idea where he is?" Leo whispered

"Not really, this place is-" Don trailed off as he and Leo ducked back inside the doorway. Voices grew louder, murmurs and a few laughs breaking the silence.

Leo and Don exchanged glances as they waited for the voices to pass. There was the sound of a door being pulled open and a slight thud. Donatello was almost sure he heard someone groaning in pain but he couldn't be sure so he didn't say anything to his brother.

As the voices trailed off, Leonardo ricked peaking out the door. Nothing. The hallway was completely empty. Sighing in relief, he beckoned to Donatello to follow him. The two made their way down the passage opening each door as they went. Most were unlocked and contained mostly supplies and medical things….weapons etc.

As Leo tried the next door in the row, he was surprised to find it locked. "Donnie come over here!" he whispered.

Donatello hurried over from across the way to see what his brother had found.

"Locked?" he questioned

As Leo nodded, he began to rummage in his bag. After a few seconds, he produced a small explosive. He placed it in the keyhole and there was an immediate snapping sound. Trying the door, Leonardo found that the door opened with no protest. He made a mental note to complement his brother when they got out of this.

The room that they stepped into was stark contrast to the bright light outside and as soon as they closed the door behind them, they seemed to be plunged into complete darkness.

They blinked a few times, trying to get use to the darkness. Finally, they were able to see more clearly. Through the Darkness- Leo thought he could make out a shape in the corner….

"Don, did you bring a flash light?" He whispered, so softly that Don almost didn't catch it.

"Yeah…" he answered just as quietly. He felt around in his duffle bag as Leo tried harder to make out the shape. For all he knew it could be a box or something…. But he had to be sure. And why would anyone lock a room with a box in it….?

Flash light in hand, Leo advanced on the form slowly, Donatello at his side.

When he got close enough he flicked the torch on, shielding it with his hand so it made a soft glow that illuminated the area.

What he saw made his blood run cold.

There on the floor with his back to them, was Raphael.

He heard Donatello gasp beside him, overcome by horror. Donnie sunk to his knees and reached for Raphael- hands shaking. Leonardo felt Numb as he knelt beside his brother, staring at Raphael's battered form.

Tears coursed down Donatello's cheeks as he shakily reached to turn his brother over, wincing at how rough his skin felt. Leonardo reached forward to help, cradling Raph's head in his hands.

Leonardo saw the thick chains binding his younger brother's wrists and ankles and felt the hard collar beneath his hands. He felt anger penetrate the sorrowful numbness. How dare they do this to Raph….

As Raph was turned Leonardo's breath hitched at what he saw.

A Harsh metal/mesh muzzle was fastened on his brother's face. A harsh leather strap bit into his skin cruelly.

Tears came to his eyes as he stared at his brothers broken for…

"Raphael…" he whispered . His heart was breaking at what he saw…what they had done to him…

Anger rose up inside of him as he saw how tightly the muzzle had been fastened. How dare they…. They'd tied Raph up like some animal….muzzled him. They would pay.

Don's shoulders were shaking at the sight of his older brother so hurt. Every injury…he could see what had caused it and it hurt him so much to know what his brother had gone through….gone through alone.

Donatello softly took his brother's bound wrists in his hands. He gasped as he saw how swollen and inflamed they were….broken. He wasted no time in pulling out small metal cutters that could be ideal to handle the area gently while removing the cuffs.

"Leo, turn his a little…" Don whispered, still fighting back tears.

Leonardo complied and Don carefully cut the cuffs off Raph's' wrists. He moved on to cut the restraints on his ankles, wincing at the painful read marks that were there.

Don gently traced his hand over the area around the collar, noticing how there were severe scratches and cuts around it as well as slightly blackened skin. Don closed his eyes feeling sick. How could anyone…?

"I have to take this off at home…." Don muttered, keeping his eyes closed.

"What? Why?" Leo whispered back

"There is…'barbed wire' in the inside, If I took it of…."

Leo grimaced and nodded in understanding, feeling sick at the thought of causing his brother more pain. He fought off the waves of guilt and shame that overwhelmed him as he held his brother in his arms.

Looking over at the muzzle, Don Saw that it was padlocked and the padlock was…

Donatello, turned away, unable to stand the sight….

The padlock holding the muzzle together had been imbedded in the skin at the back of Raph's head…

"Leo…" Don whispered, close to tears again. He indicated the padlock to his older brother and turned away- feeling sick.

At the sight of the metal in his younger brothers skin Leonardo felt horror and rage over come him. His guilt was enormous…. How had he let this happen to Raph…..how?

"We have to get him home. Now."

Suddenly there was a low, muffled, moan from Raphael. Don and Leo froze, staring intently at him incase he woke up.

A few tense moments later Raphael shifted and opened his eyes. Leo had never realized how much he missed his brothers amber pools so much until that moment.

Raphael stared up at him, pain and confusion evident in his eyes.

At the sight of his older brother above him, Raphael's head cleared a bit. He tried to open his mouth but the muzzle stopped him, the forse causing him to grunt in pain.

"Shhh, Raph, its okay…Don't try to talk."

It was breaking his heart to know that until they got home he wouldn't be able to get this….this thing off his brother….that he couldn't relieve his pain.

He stood up slowly, lifting Raph up in hid arms. It scared him to see how light Raph had gotten. He'd always been the haven't…now he weighed less than Mikey or Don…

*0*

Wasting no time, they ran down the corridors as fast as they could- desperate to get out. As the neared the exit they were swarmed by guards. Don held them off while at the same time calling Mikey.

"Mikey- exit now!"

"You got it."

A moment later there was a horrendous crash as the battle shell slammed through the fence. Leo ran with Raph towards the open doors of the van. Don followed suit.

They slammed the doors just in time.

"Mikey floor it!" Don shouted as they sped out the fence.

The enemy trucks were right on their tail.

Leo glanced down at the now unconscious Raphael.

Hold on Raph… just a little longer…

*0*

Michelangelo floored the gas pedal, the battle shell's tires screeching as he rounded the corner. He gripped the steering wheel hard, his knuckles turning white with the strain. He glanced in the review mirror, alarmed to see the number of trucks following them. Glancing at the buttons, he slammed his hand on a larger one. A few seconds later there was the sound of explosions and screeching tires. Michelangelo barely spared them a glance as he rounded the next corner.

Leonardo crouched on the floor, back against the wall, gently holding his brother and trying to keep him as still as he could in the swerving truck. More explosions rang out and he could see Mikey's wince as he began swerving even more violently to avoid being him. Raphael was barely conscious and Leo could see he was about to fall unconscious again. The hectic escape was getting the better of him worn out body.

"Come on Raph, stay with us." He murmured. He'd just gotten his brother back and there was no way he'd lose him again. No risks.

*0*

Raphael's amber eyes were lowered and Leo could see he was fighting to keep them open. He gripped his younger brother as hard as he could without hurting him even more, shielding him from the rough bumps of the battle shell.

Donatello stood behind his younger brother, gripping the seat while his gaze flitted between the road and his injured brother. He bit his lip, considering something he normally wouldn't…. Raph normally did the crazy stuff, and if he didn't it was Mikey or at least Leonardo. Shaking his head, he grabbed a triseraton blaster that they had managed to get during a fight with the purple dragons some time back. He sucked a deep breath while steadying himself. Opening the top hatch, he `hoisted himself up before anyone could say anything as they were so distracted.

On the roof, Don fought to keep his balance while aiming the blaster. Sucking in a deep breath, he fired the blaster. As soon as he did this, he was fighting to stay on the battle shell while the after shock blasted him backwards. The vehicles he had aimed for had gone up in flames, while stopping several others. After regaining his balance Donatello slid inside the battle shell, till shaking from the shock of what he had just done.

"Don what the-" Leo started as soon as he had closed the hatch.

"Later Leo." Donnie muttered, still looking as if he was in a daze

Shaking his head, Leonardo turned his attention back to the brother in his arms.

He was breathing heavily and had a look of pain twisted on his face. Leo's heart clenched as he looked at his injured brother. We'll get you out of this…

*0*

Raphael's head swam as he was jostled in the van. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to work out what has happening and clear the haze from his head. He registered that someone was holding him… gently?… then… what?

The person holding his was murmuring gently and holding him tightly. Raph tried desperately to remember what had happened…. His brothers'…. They'd come… he'd seen them. This gave him the strength to open his eyes again, He focused though the blurring haze until his gaze fell on someone he though he'd never see again. His older brother, Leonardo was looking down at him, his mask streaked with tears. Amber eyes found brown. Leo's eyes widened slightly as his brother met his gaze.

"Raph…" he breathed softly.

His grip on the red clad ninja tightened slightly as he lowered his head slightly.

At that moment the van swerved violently and Leo immediately, shielded his brother, receiving the brunt of the fall himself. Raph was jostled and he fought the urge to cry out in pain. It was at that moment that he realized he was no longer chained up. His arms and legs were free and some of the intense pain he had felt from them had lessened.

He heard another explosion and a curse from somewhere in front and it suddenly struck him what had happened. He felt slight panic enter his heart at the thought of Doctor Sinatra being after his brothers. His eyes wend wide and he shifted. He tried to tell Leo what could happen, he had to do something, they couldn't get his family! As he opened his mouth, he felt the familiar stinging of pain as the muzzle and metal band bit harshly into his skin, drawing blood. He breathed heavily, desperate to explain to Leonardo, but the muzzle forced his mouth shut and he couldn't do anything about it. He gave a muffled cry as it cut him sharply.

Leonardo pushed him down gently, eyes filling with concern at his brother's distress.

"Raph, shh, it's okay, don't try to talk, you'll hurt yourself more..." He urged gently.

Raph met his brother's gaze, fear still in his heart. Leo frowned slightly at the desperation and fear that had entered Raph's eyes. It hurt him that his brother was so desperate to tell him something but he couldn't… he couldn't even talk… and Leonardo was powerless to help him in anyway. He was heartbroken at the sight of tears in his younger brother's eyes as they burned with fear and desperate sadness. He rocked him gently. He would do anything, anything for his family… whatever it took he would find a way to help Raphael.

"Raph, just relax bro…. it'll be fine. I promise." He whispered, holding his brother tightly.

Raphael relaxed slightly at the sound of his older brother's reassuring words but the fear was still coursing through him. All the time while he was at Sinatra, he was able to get through it in the knowledge that his brothers would be safe. He'd been able to face almost anything… but this… the thought of loosing his brothers to that lunatic… it scared him, scared him more than he could ever imagine possible. He moved his hand slightly and Leonardo immediately gripped it, careful of his wrist. Raphael was suddenly overcome with the thought of going home… finally being free….

Tears came to his eyes and he could do nothing to hold them back and they coursed down his cheeks, unhindered due to the lack of his mask.

Even through he distress and fear, Raph couldn't hold back the thought.

He was going home.

*0*

Michelangelo fired another missile, hoping that this one would hit its evasive target. The truck was still after them and Mikey was doing everything in his power to stop being hit and to get home fast. He couldn't go home while he was being followed but he knew how badly Raphael needed Medical attention. He cursed again as the pain in his ankle and shoulder flared to a peak. Driving was doing nothing to alleviate his injuries but he couldn't… and wouldn't pause for even a moment. Not when his brother's life was at steak. He looked behind him again, relieved to see that only one truck was still following him, his heart throbbed and he breathed fast as adrenaline pumped through him. He didn't think about anything but getting them out in one piece and getting Raph home safely. Nothing else mattered. His brother had been through enough and he would never let him go back there. No matter what happened he wouldn't.

Leonardo grunted slightly as his arm hit the side again. Raphael shut his eyes in pain. His head was swimming and it was becoming harder to stay conscious.

"Don, how long does he have?" Leonardo asked worriedly.

"Not long Leo. I think Sinatra planned to finish him off…. He's in desperate need of a blood transfusion and some of his injuries look infected. If we don't do something soon, he could have permanent damage.

Leo nodded and he started down at Raph. The light made him injuries stand out all the worse and he tried not to let his sorrow and anger consume him. He had to stay strong… for Raph. He had to.

There was a huge explosion and then all was quiet save for the screeching tires of the battle shell. Michelangelo breathed heavily as the last truck was taken out. Over come with exhaustion, emotion and pain, he pushed the break before slumping in his seat head on the wheel.

As he stopped, Donatello made his was from the back to see what was going on. His heart nearly stopped as he saw Michelangelo's limp form.

"Mikey!" He cried. "Mikey, you okay?"

Michelangelo slowly raised himself. "Don." He whispered hoarsely, 'Can you drive…. Please?"

Donatello hugged his younger brother tightly before helping him to the floor of the battle shell and taking him place.

The pressure of having to escape… the shock of getting his brother out.. Don doing a crazy stint… all his responsibility and failure had finally taken its toll on the youngest turtle. He forced himself over to where Raph and Leonardo were and cried. He kept his distance incase something happened and he fell onto Raph and injured him more.

He sobbed as he started at his brother's battered form from a few feet away, leaning on one of the chairs. Leonardo was rocking him slightly and whispering to him.

*0*

Raphael's heart stopped as he heard sobs coming from the almost quiet of the van. Those cries sounded… they sounded so familiar but…. They couldn't be…. They couldn't…..

*0*

Leonardo beckoned to Mikey to come closer. Slowly and tiredly, Mikey made his way over to join his brothers.

*0*

Michelangelo made his way over to his brother's side. Moving slowly due to his newly injured wounds. He carefully sat by Raph on the opposite side to Leonardo who was still holding him gently in his arms. At seeing his brother again, Mikey felt fresh tears well up in his eyes. All the guilt and sorrow he had been feeling seemed to double as he stared at Raph's battered form. But under all of his negative feelings, Michelangelo felt a relief and an indescribable happiness. His brother was here, with them…

A soft sob escaped him and more tears coursed down his cheeks.

"Raph…" he whispered.

...

Raphael fought to stay awake as he lay in Leonardo's arms. His eyes were closed and he couldn't seem to muster the energy or strength needed to open them. The trouble had passed and now the van was lulling him to sleep as it moved.

Leonardo was gently squeezing his hand and rocking him ever so gently. He had never thought he would be so glad to see his brothers. He hadn't realized just how much he had missed them… he felt like crying right there and then but it took too much energy to even move in the slightest… it was a battle just to try and open his eyes. As he thought of his family, the memory of Michelangelo being pushed from the truck invaded his mind. He tried to block the thoughts and emotions that threatened to consume him, thoughts of his brother. The thought of his brother…. Mikey…not being there anymore was almost too much for Raphael to bear.

A soft sob broke the silence that engulfed him. He tensed slightly… he knew that sound…. But it couldn't be….

"Raph…" A voice whispered softly and he felt someone lightly touch his head.

No… it couldn't be… could it….? What it… what if it was another of Sinatra's illusions… it just couldn't be real….

"Raphie…" A tear splashed his arm softly and his younger brother's voice rang in his head…

Without another minute's hesitation, Raphael forced his eyes open, ignoring the tiredness. A few seconds later his vision came into focus and he turned his head. A moment later his eyes locked with Safire blue, shining with tears.

Mikey softly stoked his brother's head soothingly all the while his tears fell "I'm sorry…." He murmured, 'I'm so sorry Raph…I couldn't get you out… I…."

Raphael started at Michelangelo, unable to believe what he was seeing. His arm was heavily bandaged and he had other scrapes and bandages covering his body, including bandages wrapped firmly around his ribs. And he was there….

One thought penetrated his numbness: His brother was alive.

He wanted to shout for joy at the sight of his brother, to ask him how…. To tell him that he loved him … so much. When he had thought Michelangelo had died… he hadn't known how he would carry on, how he could ever live without him…

His breathing quickened and tears came to his eyes as his brother wrapped his arms around him, taking him into his arms instead of Leo. The feeling of his younger brother's arms supporting him strongly and lovingly broke any thoughts of illusions in the back Of Raphael's mind and he felt his eyes burn and his throat ach. Michelangelo was alive, his baby brother hadn't died and he was here, holding him... whispering words of comfort.

At that Raphael completely broke down, unable to hold out any longer. Sobs rose in his chest and tears coursed down his cheeks. Mikey drew him close and he sobbed into his youngest brother's shoulder. All his emotions or fear, loneliness, pain and sorrow came pouring out. His pain when he believed Mikey dead… everything he had been holding in since he'd reached that hell hole…. He let it out, leaning against his brother as he cried.

Michelangelo tightened his hold, never wanting to let go. "I'm here…Raph…I'm here" Raph was trembling and Michelangelo felt a protectiveness surge through him.

Raphael's shoulders wracked with sobs as he poured out all of his pain. Raph felt his brother tighten his hold and rock him lightly. His eyes were closed tightly and he let out an almost silent whimper, leaning on his brother for support and comfort and he continued to sob.

Mikey felt his heart break for Raphael. His brother was hurting so much and there was nothing that he could do about it. He couldn't hold back his own tears as he held his sobbing brother, rocking him gently. Mikey hugged his brother tighter, whishing desperately that he could do something but…he could do nothing, nothing at all. No amount of vengeance or revenge could undo what had been done. Nothing he could do would spare Raphael from the pain that he had gone through…

*0*

The van pulled into the garage the turtles used to store the battle shell in. As it shuddered to a stop, Leonardo raised his head from his hands and glanced around. Donatello got up from his seat in front and made his way over to his brother's at the back.

"Mikey…" Leo said quietly, "We're here."

Michelangelo raised his head and nodded, still supporting Raphael in his arms.

Raphael didn't react as the van came to a stop. His head still rested on Mikey's shoulder and a few tears still made their way down his cheeks as his younger brother continued to hold him tightly. He was exhausted and his eyelids drooped as Mikey shifted against him.

Leonardo made to take Raphael from Mikey but the orange clad turtle shook his head and gently picked Raphael up on his own. By this time, Raphael was barely conscious and his body was limp in Mikey's arms. He shifted him so that he would not hurt him more before carefully stepping out of the van with the help of his older brothers.

Somehow, with the support of Don and Leo, Michelangelo carried Raph to the entrance of the lair. He ignored his throbbing injuries as he stared down at Raph who was completely unconscious and felt worry and fear enter his heart.

For the first time that day he felt doubt creep into his heart…

Would Raph be okay?

*0*

Michelangelo laid Raph gently onto on of the beds in the infirmary. He laid his hand on his brother's arm for a moment before moving out of the way so that Donatello could get through. He sighed heavily as he stared at Raphael's battered form. He was lying so still…. So injured… Mikey closed his eyes and let his shoulders sag.

Donatello moved into the room and immediately was at Raphael's side. Carefully, he lifted his older brother's arm, careful of his injuries and immediately hooked him up to an IV before tending to anything else. He could see strait away that Raphael's condition was worse than they had originally thought. The fact that his brother had lost so much blood on itself scared him…. If he didn't get a transfusion soon…

"Leo," He asked quietly, "Raph needs a blood transfusion…"

Leonardo didn't miss a beat, nodding, he walked over to his younger brother and held out his arm without hesitation. Donatello set up the machines and inserted the needle into Leonardo's soft skin. The blue clad ninja didn't even flinch as it penetrated him; his eyes were completely focused on Raphael. The clinical lights seemed to accentuate Raphael's injuries. Leo could see scars littering his body along with bad burns and charred flesh. There were long cuts on his arms and badly healed stab wounds in his sides along with countless other injuries. He closed his eyes briefly as the sight threatened to overwhelm him. There was no way he could afford to fall apart now. Not now.

Once he'd sorted out the transfusion, Don immediately began evaluating his brother's injuries. No matter how many times he told himself that he was the doctor here… that he had to stay detached… he just couldn't. He couldn't pretend that it wasn't his brother who was lying here covered in burns and acid wounds and cuts. He couldn't pretend he didn't know what had caused them…

All of the injuries that covered him…Donnie knew, in great detail how he had gotten them…. He couldn't shake the mental images that his brain had come up with either. He cursed his medical knowledge at times like this….he hated knowing what his brother had gone through… The inhumanity…the cruelty…how could anyone do that? The acid…taizing…beatings… the-the-

He took a shuddering breath and forced himself to keep control. His eyes fell on his brother's plastron. There were cracks and deep cuts which penetrated the hard covering. He was horrified at the sight of burn marks covering deep scars. It didn't take much to figure out what had happened. He was almost sick at the thought of anyone being so cruel…

He gently traced the deep gorges, probably mace by a scalpel or some other knife. The badly burnt area which covered it proved his earlier thought. He shuddered… to put fire on a wound so deep… it was…. It was unthinkable…. How anyone could…

Even as he tried to keep his emotions in check he couldn't stop the small flow of tears that spilled from his eyes as he continued to check his brother over.

He gently caressed Raphael's red and inflamed wrists, closing his eyes briefly in sadness as he felt the badly broken bone beneath. He tenderly lifted it up and carefully pulled out more bandages wrapping up the afflicted appendage. After setting his brother's broken wrists he began tending to his other scrapes and cuts.

The acid burns caused more tears to form in Donatello's eyes. He'd felt the effects of a drop of acid when doing experiments. The burned patches of Raphael's skin suggested that a lot more that a drop was used and it killed him to know that he hadn't been there to stop it happening… that he hadn't been able to help his brother when he needed it most.

But he needed him now and Don was determined that he wouldn't let him down this time. No matter what it took he would make sure that Raph healed and he would be there for him… always.

*0*

Michelangelo sat, his shoulders tensed, as he stared at Raphael, unable to stop the thoughts and emotions that raged inside of him. The guilt that he had felt before had come back and the horrific feeling of helplessness. His brother was right there in front of him and he was in pain but there was still nothing he could do to help.

*0*

Donatello gently touched the metal collar bound tightly around his older brother's neck. The skin around it was badly cut up and had black edges too it. Don could see small node type sections at the lining and something that looked like a receiver panel. He felt sick to his stomach as he realized what had happened. The collar… it had electric charges in it…. They'd used it to shock him… a glance at the panel told him all he needed to know. It was programmed… it probably went of whenever the warrer did a certain something. He stared down at his brother's exhausted form. That something was probably… sleep….

Don felt ill with horror… Raph had been forced to stay away all this time unless he was unconscious… being in all this pain without the ability to have an escape… no rest… just endless hours of being alone and in pain or being tortured and hurt…

Raphael shifted slightly, he gave an almost silent whimper and a brief look of pain crossed his face.

"Shhh, its okay…" Don soothed softly, stroking his forehead.

Raphael immediately fell into a sleep again, his breathing slightly uneven but stable.

Don returned his gaze to the collar... something that was really bugging him. He knew that he had to get it off as soon as possible but he was also aware of the pain that it would cause Raph. He lay his hand on his brother's arm, his head lowered and he tried to figure out what to do.

By this time Leonardo had finished that blood transfusion and was sitting on the other bed watching Don and Raph. He saw the torn look cross over Donatello's face and the way he stared at the floor- deep in thought.

"Donnie? What's wrong?" he asked, concern lacing his voice.

"I… I have to get this off soon…" He muttered, gesturing to the collar, "But it's…. it's gonna hurt him even more and…"

He shifted his gaze, looking anywhere but at Leo. The blue clad ninja stepped up slowly and moved to where his brother was standing. "What is it don?" He asked, laying a hand on his shoulder.

"If… if we take it off… it might… it's possible it might trigger the electric shocks that it's programmed with…."

"Electric shocks?" Leo questioned.

"Yeah…"

"Oh."

"But… but I'm worried that…. Well, while I get it off the shocks might go off and… and I can only stop them once it's off so…. Well…. Raph will most probably wake up and….and he'd…he'd..."

Leo's eyes widened…. "He'd probably flip out…" He muttered.

Donatello nodded sadly, "I'd have to…. I'd have to restrain him…. If I don't he could get more hurt or… or w-worse but…but how can I put him through all that again... how could I do that to him?" Tears fell from Donnie's eyes.

Leo nodded in understanding, tears in his own eyes. "I know Donnie…. I know…."

Michelangelo looked up from his position on the chair. ""Don, he's just been tied up for weeks, how you think he'll react when we do it to him? We're suppose to protect him." He asked tears and anger in his eyes.

"Mikey… you know we have to…" Don whispered.

Michelangelo nodded in defete as he started at Raph's injured form. He deflated, slumping in his seat. "Yeah… I know…."

Donatello gently laid Raphael's wrists into the leather restraints and strapped him down to the bed, careful to tie just above his fractured wrists for fear of injuring him ever more. He fastened his ankles and pulled a strap over his older brother's torso and upper arms, completely immobilizing him.

Don made sure he hadn't tied them too tightly, but firm enough to stop him from lashing out. Mikey and Leo watched tensely, each prepared for the worst.

Swallowing hard, Don approached the collar carefully, ready to cut it off and remove the wire that was digging into the flesh. He just hoped he could do this fast.

*0*

Raphael's eyes snapped open as a sudden wave of electricity course through him. Burning him as if from this inside. He convulsed his muscled tensing. A scream tore from his throat and Raphael made no attempt to stop it, the pain caused him to scream as loudly as he could with his muzzle on. It felt like he was being stabbed with a thousand knives, his eyes were shut tight as every muscle in his body convulsed.

He twisted desperately in his restraints, pulling against the leather and trying desperately to make the intense pain stop, Tears coming to his eyes.

Through his haze of pain Raph could see his brothers overhead, leaning over him. He remembered the time in the battle shell… being rescued… then why was he in so much pain…. Why were his brothers allowing this to happen to him?

Bro's … stop… please…help me… just make it stop!

He screamed again as more electricity flowed through him and he felt himself black out.

*0*

Raphael's screams rang through in the lair as he struggled and twisted desperately

against the restraints. His breathing was heavy and labored as the electricity flowed through him. Donatello felt his heart break for his brother as he worked quickly, cutting through the thick metal band. This was his fault. His brother was in pain because of him.

Pushing the thoughts of guilt aside, Donatello focused on removing the collar from Raph's neck. The barbed wires were deep in his skin and Don had to be extremely careful not to cause serious damage.

Leo clenched his fists and closed his eyes, it was taking all of his will power not to cut the restraints off his brother even though he know it would just cause him more harm. The sight of his brother tied down and in pain was almost more that the blue clad turtle could bear. He breathed deeply, trying to block out the screams of agony and stop his own tears.

Michelangelo was out of his seat the moment Don had started to cut the metal. He rushed over as fast as his injuries would allow. Raphael opened his eyes as the collar's program took effect. He screamed through his muzzle and tears of pain filled his eyes. Mikey's breath quickened as his older brother started to struggle desperately, his pain evident in his eyes. Michelangelo gripped his bother's hand tightly, ignoring the sparks of electricity that shocked his hand painfully. His breath hitched as he locked eyes with Raph. The intense pain and hurt were clear in the amber pools but there was something else… something that shook Mikey to the core. The confused pain and betrayal in those eyes, the pained question evident. Why?

Why…? How could they do that to him? They'd just saved him and here he was, in his own home feeling the same pain he'd felt when he was with Sinatra.

"I'm so sorry…" He whispered as Raphael cried out again before finally loosing conciseness.

Mikey stared as his brother finally went limp on the bed and Don pulled the last of the wire from his skin.

Don dropped the collar, his hands shaking violently as he sank onto the nearest chair. He stared at his blood stained hands, going even paler than he already was. He opened his mouth to say something but all that came out was a croaking sound before he began to cry softly, horrified at what had happened. Leonardo opened his eyes and stared at his younger brother who was shaking, with Raph's blood on his hands, tears pouring down his cheeks as he desperately tried to compose himself.

Michelangelo sat completely still for a few seconds, the shock of what had just happened registering in his brain. Shakily, he reached out to the leather bands on Raphael's wrists, carefully loosening them and checking his brother over. Physically he was no worse off than he had been before except the red strips where the restraints had been. But emotionally…mentally… Mikey didn't want to think how much they'd hurt Raph by doing that. Being tied down and hurt so badly by his own brothers…. Michelangelo shuddered. He didn't know if he could get over that.

The old cuts on his neck were bleeding and Mikey gently started cleaning the wounds before bandaging them up, trying to keep his shaking hands steady. Leonardo was still comforting Donatello who was slowly composing himself after the last incident.

The collar lay abandoned on the floor- nobody had the energy to get up and throw it away. No one even wanted to touch it.

*0*

Raphael felt himself drift from the bliss of sleep back into the harsh reality of pain. He didn't open his eyes. He just lay quietly, breathing deeply and trying to organize his thoughts. His head was muddled with pain and confused thought of Sinatra and his brothers…..

He slowly opened his eyes, wincing at the bright light. Blinking a few times, his vision slowly came into focus. He looked around, noticing that he was in the infirmary. His heart skipped a beat. It hadn't been a dream… it was real… his brothers had really come for him… he was home.

He shifted slightly, noticing that his wounds had been cleaned and bandaged up. The weight on his neck that he was used to feeling was gone and Raphael realized that his collar had, thankfully, been removed.

As he opened his eyes again, he noticed something that he hadn't before. There was a figure kneeling next to the bed. Looking closer he saw that it was Michelangelo, sleeping with his head resting on his arms. Raph felt love and happiness swell up inside him at the sight of his younger brother. Looking around the room, he saw two other's there with him. Both Leo and Don were there, passed out with exhaustion on two chairs near to the bed.

Raphael had almost forgotten the feeling of waking up to his family every day instead of the pain and torture he had sadly become used to.

As he shifted again, Michelangelo felt the movement and stirred from his light sleep. He raised his head and blinked for a moment, trying to work out where he was. His head cleared and he clicked that he was in the infirmary. His slightly frantic gaze immediately rested on Raphael and he sighed visibly in relief. He moved closer to his brother, noticing that he was awake. He breathed deeply, trying to keep his composure at the sight of his brother being…. Well… alright. Better than he had been before at least. Finally Michelangelo couldn't take it and he practically threw himself at his older brother. Raph grunted at the impact even though Michelangelo was being extra careful as he hugged him, tears streaming down his cheeks.

After a few moments, Michelangelo reluctantly let go of Raphael and sat back down, laying his hand on top of his older brother's.

He started down at the ground, being unusually quiet. He didn't say anything for several minutes and Raph felt concern enter his heart. He squeezed Mikey's hand to get his attention.

Michelangelo looked up, his face still tearstained, guilt and shame evident in his eyes.

Raphael looked at his brother questioningly, inwardly cursing his muzzle once again.

Mikey opened his mouth hesitantly, "I…. Raph… I… I'm sorry…" he got out, "For… for everything… I, I failed you… I -I couldn't… I didn't see when you were taken…. I… I couldn't save you in the tuck… and- and I couldn't protect you earlier…. I… we…" He shook his head as his voice cracked.

Raphael eyes widened as his brother started crying again, his words of self blame and guilt echoing in his head.

At that moment Raph wished more than anything in the world to be able to comfort his brother, to tell him that it wasn't his fault. That he didn't blame him. He wished more than any other time that his muzzle was off so that he could tell him… it was killing him to see Mikey so upset and not being able to do anything about it.

He tightened his grip on his brother hand and Mikey turned his tear filled gaze to Raph's.

Raph looked at him and shook his head firmly, a caring look in his eyes.

Mikey looked at him in slight disbelief. "Raph, It was my fault-"

Raphael just shook his head and closed his eyes before opening them again. He jerked his head in the direction of Leonardo.

Mikey looked over at his still sleeping brother before smiling sheepishly. "heh… I sound like Leo don't I… sorry…" he sighed again. "Oh… I just remembered, Donnie said he was gonna take that off when you woke up again." He said, gesturing at The muzzle on Raphael.

Raph nodded, grateful for the news which cheered him up considerably.

Mikey looked up at his brother again, "Good to have you back bro." he said, a true smile gracing his features for the first time in weeks.

Raphael nodded in agreement. It was good to be home.

Donatello woke up with a start. Looking around he saw that nothing was out of place and everything seemed quiet. His eyes traveled to Raph's bed and he was surprised to see that his older brother was awake as was Mikey. As he got up, Don noticed the way Raphael's eyes darted towards the noise as if frightened but Raph's gaze was calm again so Don ignored it.

He gave a small smile as he walked over to join his brothers. He sat down on the opposite side t where Mikey was and glanced at Raph. He lowered his gaze again as the memory of earlier came to his mind. He knew that it had had to be done but…. He'd caused his brother so much pain… he couldn't bare to think about it so he kept staring at the white bed sheets… but he couldn't stop thinking about it so he looked at Raph instead.

"Um…I'll go wake Leo." Don murmured, going over to the blue banded turtle.

He tapped him lightly on the shoulder. "Huh?" Leo muttered

He opened his eyes and glanced around. The moment he saw that Raph was awake he almost ran over, relieved that his brother had finally woken up. He sat down on the edge of the bed and gripped his brothers hand while don went to sort some things out.

"You feeling okay?" Leo asked, concerned.

Raphael shrugged slightly.

Leo nodded. "Are you feeling up to having that removed?" he said, indicating the muzzle

Raphael nodded hard; he would give anything to get the damn thing off.

Donatello came forward hesitantly. "Um… Raph…I'm going to have to give you a sedative for that…"

Okay…. Almost anything to get the damn thing off.

Raph's eyes widened in fear at the sight of the needle in Don's hand. His breathing quickened and he started to feel trapped. He backed up slightly, as far as the bed would allow, he was overcome with flashes… the needles…. The pain… the torment… the visions….

His mind became clouded and He suddenly remembered what had happened only hours before. That thought caused him to tense up as a memory flooded into his mind. Pain. He remembered white hot pain …. His brothers…. They'd been there… standing over him… they hadn't helped…. What…why?

He shut his eyes again and tried to keep his thoughts in order. His brother's wouldn't… they wouldn't do that to him…

He furiously tried to deny it but the familiar ach in his body told him otherwise. He's been tazed only hours before… there was no other explanation. But why? How could they do that….?

His brothers they were ... hurting him… why? What's to say they wouldn't do it again….?

He shook his head and Donnie stopped immediately. "Raph… we need to get it off as soon as possible… listen…. I wont hurt you… I swear bro…. just calm down."

He started approaching again, slowly and carefully.

Raphael closed his eyes and tried to compose himself. He knew that his brother wasn't going to do anything to him but it didn't stop his fear.

A second later he felt a prick in his arm and he started getting light headed.

No… I cant… they… they…

That was Raph's last thought as he was claimed by darkness.

*0*

Donatello looked on sadly as his brother went limp on the bed. His panicked eyes slowly closed as the effects of the drug set in. Leo and Mikey exchanged worried glances at Raph's reaction.

"Don… what…?" Leo started

Shaking his head, Don turned to face them, "We cant except anything different….. There were needle marks on him. A lot. And after what…. What happened earlier…"

Leonardo breathed deeply, closing his eyes. Mikey clenched his fists, seething with hate for the one who did this to his brother. That fear in Raph's eyes…. It was almost more than Mikey could bear. How bad were the things they'd done to him?

Leo opened his eyes, casting Don one last glance. "We'll… we'll leave you too it." He muttered before hastily exiting the room.

Mikey nodded encouragingly to Don, "You can do it bro." with that he turned and followed Leo out of the room.

Donatello sighed and moved towards the bed. He gave Raph a one over before carefully turning him over onto his plastron. He rested his hand on his brother's shoulder, composing himself and making sure that he was ready to do this. After a few moments of calming himself he turned around and headed for the drawer.

He opened it and carefully lifted out the tools inside. He laid them out by Raph before getting antiseptic pads and other medical things. After a bout five minutes, Donatello stood leaned over his brother. His one hand was on Raph's neck, holding the skin and lock firm and his other held a scalpel. He took in a deep breath, unable to believe what he was about to do. Then, without another moment of hesitation, he swiftly brought the knife down.

*0*

Mikey paced uneasily, trying to focus and keep calm. It had been almost and hour since him and Leo had left the lab and still no sign of Don. Mikey felt his heart sink with dread every passing moment even as he tried to stop thinking the worst. Possible outcomes flew through his mind, he tried to have faith in Don's abilities and the fact that it wouldn't be so major but he couldn't help himself. He found himself overcome with worry for Raph every moment since he'd gotten home and this wasn't helping. Sighing he glanced at the clock and back at the lab door. He hopped desperately that Raph was alright.

Leonardo sat quietly on the couch, head in his hands. He was too worried to meditate and he couldn't sleep. He just sat and hoped. He hoped that his brother would make it through this. That they- as a family- could make it through this. What would happen if Raph couldn't take it any more… what if he…. What if he died? Would they be able to carry on?

*0*

With a shaky hand, Donatello sewed the last stitch shut, forcing himself to not pass out. It had been bad. Even worse than he had thought. It had been deep into his brother's neck and Don was grateful that it had passed the spinal cord…. He didn't even want to think of what damage it might have inflicted otherwise.

The area where the muzzle band had been had been rubbed raw from Raph's struggling and in some places had even cut completely into the skin, causing it to bleed. Don had taken care of it and bandaged up all the afflicted areas' being as gently as he possibly could. All the while he had managed to keep himself calm and clinically detached, working as if it was another delicate machine. But the truth was it wasn't a machine. It was his brother… a living being. If a machine was broken, you could just switch it off, fix it up and it would be sorted. But you couldn't switch a person off. Because when you were finished fixing them, there'd be no way to turn them on again. No way to bring back the dead…

Donatello stepped back shakily and stumbled towards the door, flinging it open. As he did he felt dizzy and lost his balance, only to feel strong arm catch and support him.

"Don! What happened" his younger brother's voice rang out, terrified.

Donatello opened his eyes slowly, not even realizing when he had closed them, 'I…"

"Is Raph okay." Leo asked, concern enched in his face

Don managed a weak nod, while trying to get over the delayed shock.

He felt Mikey sigh in relief and a small smile graced Leo's face.

Mikey and Leo helped their brother to the couch where he slumped down, exhausted. He breathed deep and tried to stop the images that flowed into his mind. The metal imbedded in his brother's skin. Fear that it had permanently damaged him… having to cut his already injured brother… hurting him more… the collar…

The pressure suddenly felt too much and Don lost consciousness, slumping forward in the seat.

"Don…. Don?" Leo asked softly, frightened as his brother suddenly slumped forward- unconscious.

"Leave him… he barely slept." Mikey murmured, gesturing to the door of the lab.

Nodding, Leo followed him into the lab.

The first thing that Mikey saw was Raphael, lying on his back and looking- for the first time in a long while- clam and peaceful . It took a moment to notice that the muzzle was no longer there, but as soon ads Mikey did, he nearly shouted for joy. He rushed over to his older brother's side, Leo hot on his heels.

Kneeling down, he gripped Raph's hand firmly, eyes filling with tears of happiness for the first time in a long while.

Raphael's beak was bandaged around the edges and all the way where the strap had been, showing how hurt he had gotten from it. But at that moment Mikey didn't care and neither did Leo. For the first time since he'd arrived home. Their brother looked like Raphael again and he was free of all his bonds and restraints. That was all that mattered. They were together and nothing- nothing would change that. Never again.

*0*

Silence. No one moved in the lair. It had been three hours since Don had finished with Raph and he was still passed out on the couch in the lounge. Mikey was asleep on one of the chairs in the infirmary. Leonardo was the only on awake.

Breathe in….

.breathe out…

Breathe in….

.breathe out…

…..

Leo sighed and opened his eyes. He was wasting his time; He just couldn't meditate, not when until Raph was okay again. He still hadn't woken up….he glanced at the clock….4 am…. Not that it mattered. His thought were consumed by his red clad brother… what had he all gone through….. Whatever it was, it had been hell and he'd had to go through it alone.

"I'm so sorry….I failed you…as a leader…as a brother…." He whispered, carful not to wake Mikey. " I should have been there…"

He couldn't bare the fact that he had failed his little brother so badly. When he realized what had happened… The thought of his brother in the hand of a maniac. He shuddered slightly in remembrance.

They had searched and searched but had been unable to find him and when they had he'd been so hurt… so injured…. He had failed. Even after all his training, dedication and protection over his family, he had failed and Raph had paid the price.

He was snapped out of his thought by the sound of a low groan. Looking down, Leo saw that Raph was shifting slightly.

His breath caught for a moment before he whispered into the silence, "Raph..?"

*0*

Raphael moaned slightly as he struggled to open his eyes. The light was dimmed right down so it no longer hurt his eyes. As he shifted, he heard a voice from over head.

"Raph…?"

He struggled to remember who that voice belonged to for a second but his thoughts cleared and he immediately clicked. Leo.

He forced himself to open his eyes and found himself looking at the concerned face of his older brother. Leonardo smiled as his brother regained consciousness fully.

Leonardo gripped Raph gently and helped him to sit up in the bed. Raph slumped into the pillows as he collected his thoughts fully.

"How you feeling?" Leo asked softly, pulling a chair up closer.

Raphael's immediate thought was that he wouldn't be able to speak, due to having that muzzle on. That's when he realized that he felt none of that heavy weight and biting metal and leather in his skin. The back of his neck ached painfully but he couldn't feel the lock that had been there anymore.

His heart thudded and he opened his mouth slowly, eyes widening when he met no resistance. It was off.

He turned his gaze to his older brother who smiled reassuringly.

He raised his hand and slowly touched the side of his beak finding only relatively smooth skin and soft bandages. No metal, wire, leather or anything else. He lowered his gaze and breathed deeply as his eyes filled slightly with tears. He was free. Finally. After everything that had happened… nothing had felt real but now… now it did. It felt final some how. He was home…. And he was free.

*0*

Michelangelo opened his eyes at the sound of Leo talking. He started as he saw that Raphael was awake, supported by pillows. Mikey saw him lower his head and take a deep breath.

Michelangelo straitened up and laid his hand on top of his brother's. Raphael looked up.

He opened his mouth slightly, breathing in, "Mikey…" He whispered, his voice horse from lack of use and dryness. Tears came to his eyes at the sight of his younger brother. Even though he had seen him alive before he hadn't seemed real… just like everything else… but now…

Mikey felt overcome with joy as his brother said his name for the first time in weeks.

He threw himself into his brother's embrace, being careful of his injuries but hugging him as tightly as he dared. Raphael returned the hug with everything he had.

Now… he was truly home….

*0*

It was quiet in the lair. For the first time in weeks everyone was asleep. Mikey was passed out on his bed, exhausted from the past events and Leo was asleep in room, having given into his tiredness. In the infirmary Donatello had fallen asleep watching Raph. He rested on the bed, his breathing quiet and deep. It had been three hours since Raph had woken up and he'd fallen asleep soon after.

Raphael shifted in his sleep, moaning quietly. He frowned slightly, breathing heavily.

*0*

Steel flashing, glinting.

Blood leaked out from the wound, spilling onto the cool metal.

The burning of fire.

The feeling of helplessness.

That voice the voice of the one.

Taunting. Mocking demanding

Him or his brothers.

Hitting, punching.

The knife broke through the protective plate and slipped in fast and deep. Sinatra twisted the scalpel around.

Dr. Held the large flame to his wound, stopping the bleeding and causing him unimaginable pain.

Hot water around him, thrashing, no air. Too hot!

White-hot pain.

He raised the knife and plunged it in.

His voice horse from his screams that he could no longer hold back.

Raph couldnt help but tense as the blade touched the already scared skin. Sinatra raised the scalpel and plunged it in hard. Raphael fought hard not to make a sound, bighting back his screams. Worse had been done to him Worse had been

Sinatra slowly moved the knife before sharply twisting it and yanking it out only to plunge it back in even deeper.

That broke Raph's resolve and he gave a strangled cry, muffled by his muzzle and the metal band that forced his mouth shut. He breathed heavily, trying to regain composure, but it didn't feel like he was getting enough air in. His vision blurred as the pain continued and intensified. He could feel acid on his skin, burning, blistering and he strained against his restraints reflectively.

His wrists, which he was sure were broken, burned and ached intensely as he did this.

Suddenly Raphael felt electricity course through him. Burning him as if from this inside. He convulsed his muscled tensing. The barbed wire that bit into his skin seemed alive with electricity, sending waves of pain directly into him.

A scream tore from his throat and Raphael made no attempt to stop it, the pain caused him to scream as loudly as he could with his muzzle on. It felt like he was being stabbed with a thousand knives, his eyes were shut tight as every muscle in his body convulsed. It felt like a lifetime had gone past before the feeling stopped. His body relaxed of its own accord and the muscles throbbed with pain and exertion.

*0*

Donatello started as his brother moaned in his sleep, his face twisted in pain. Don stood up immediately, thinking that Raph was in pain from his wounds, he reached out to get painkillers for him. As Don turned, he heard a whisper, barely audible.

'No…. don't…."

He spun at the sound of his brother's voice. As his eyes fell on him, he noticed that Raph's eyes were still closed as he shifted on the bed.

"...Don't…no…stop…."

A nightmare.

Putting the medicine down, Donatello sighed and slowly made his way over to Raph. He should have known this would happen. He sat down at the edge of the bed, quietly watching his brother. He laid his hand on Raph's reassuringly.

*0*

Michelangelo dropped his weapon at the man's command….

"Good." The man stated a smug look on his face.

Michelangelo locked eyes with Raph, regret in his blue eyes. Raph's were filled with worry for his youngest brother. He looked on fearfully as the guards began forcing Mikey to the door with nowhere to go, no weapons and no hope of escape. Raphael's eyes went wide. Mikey gave a strangled cry as he was pushed roughly out of the van towards the pavement.

Raphael gave a muffled cry and he jerked forward as Mikey was pushed out of the truck.

Mikey's eyes slowly opened and he sat up in bed, rubbing his head and stretching his neck. He looked around the room, trying to find what woke him up. Everything was quiet and nothing out of place…. Normal. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, Mikey jumped off his bed and headed downstairs. He yawned as he past Leonardo's room, still feeling half a sleep. He jumped down the stairs, making his way to the kitchen. He glanced towards the infirmary and changed course, heading over to the lit room.

As he entered the room, he saw Donatello sitting on the bed and immediately headed over, filled with worry.

"Don, what's going on?" He whispered

"Nightmare." Don answered grimly

"Cant we just wake him up?" Mikey asked, frowning as a look of anguish crossed his brother's face.

"No… he'll get more worked up…. Let him wake up on his own."

Nodding, Mikey settled on Raph's other side, watching fearfully, hoping he'd wake up soon.

*0*

His eyes filled with tears and he didn't care. There was no way Mikey could have survived that, not after that fight. Tears streamed down his cheeks and a sob rose from him. Mikey, his baby brother was gone….

*0*

Raph sat up fast, his breath coming in short gasps as he tried to make sense of his surroundings.

"Mikey…" He breathed, almost inaudible.

Michelangelo frowned as his brother sat upright despite his injuries and breathed his name softly.

"Raph…" He said softly, laying a hand on his brother's arm gently.

Raph turned his head sharply, eyes widening as he saw his younger brother who was starting at him with concern.

It took him a second to get remember what had happened…. He felt his shoulders slump and he almost fell backwards as he lay down eyes closed.

Hi injured were stinging painfully and the recent memory of when had happened was fresh in his mind. Raph concentrated on calming his breathing as Don checked his vital signs. Mikey hovered worriedly, keeping out of Don's way while keeping and eye on his brother.

What had Raph dreamed of that had freaked him out so bad? Mikey frowned as he remembered the look of anguish on his brother's face… the broken way he'd said his name…. what had happened…. What had he dreamed? Mikey longed to help his brother…. But he needed Raph to open up to him….which wasn't so easy….

Raph still hadn't moved even after Don was finished. The purple banded turtle looked at Mikey and jerked his head in Raph's direction. As Michelangelo nodded, Don slipped out of the room quietly to fetch more medical supplies.

Mikey moved to sit in the chair next to the infirmary bed. He shut his eyes briefly before putting his hand on his brother's to get his attention.

Raph opened his eyes at the touch, turning his head towards Mikey.

Frowning Mikey spoke softly, "Um….do you…. Do you remember what your nightmare was about?" he asked, hesitantly.

Raphael stiffened at the unexpected question. Memories flooded into his head and he shut his eyes with a slight grimis.

"You feeling okay, bro?"

"Been better…." Raph muttered

Michelangelo smiled slightly, wondering weather he should ask again….

"I….I don't wanna talk about it." Raph muttered, looking away from his younger brother.

"Raph…."

Raphael sighed. "Sinatra…." He said reluctantly, "That's all."

Mikey bit his lip…pressing the matter could lead to worse damage but…

"Then what have I got to do with that?" he asked

"Nothing… it's just…. It's nothing…" Raph said, "Don't… just drop it Mikey…"

Hearing the hurt in his brother's voice, Michelangelo let it go… making note to ask about it later.

Just then Leonardo and Donatello came into the room, both carrying large bundles wrapped in material in their arms.

Leo paused to smile briefly at Raph, relieved to see him awake, before following Don to the workbench where he laid down his bundle with utmost care.

As Don put his down, a single item spilled from the material. He twisted to catch it but it was too late. The scalpel landed in the floor with a sharp clang that rang out through the room.

Raphael froze as he stared at the knife, glinting in the lab's light. He tensed as the memories overwhelmed him…. the pain, the flash and ring of steal. Blood… hurt…. He shuddered and backed up slowly. He could let that thing near him…. he fought his fear but the images were overwhelming. He had to get away.

*0*

Leo froze as the scalpel dropped, his gaze immediately turning to Raphael. Raph's eyes were wide and he backed up slightly. Mikey, who was closest to him, spoke quietly and firmly.

"Raph, it's okay. Calm down, we're not going to hurt you."

Raphael forced himself to focus on anything but the knife that was lying on the floor. His brother's wouldn't hurt him. They'd saved him. He wasn't with Doctor Sinatra. He was at home. He was safe.

Safe.

He focused on the thought, calming himself and ignoring his fear. Doctor Sinatra hadn't broken him. He hadn't. He would not get so scared of an object. It wasn't even near to him. He was better than that. He was not broken!

Closing his eyes, Raphael breathed deeply, allowing his mind to stray from the bad, fearful thoughts. He focused on everything good he could think of. His brothers… the people who meant everything to him… Casey, April…. Leatherhead… everyone who had helped them. He slowly calmed down. Opening his eyes again, he saw nothing on the floor and his three brothers's surrounded him, concern enched on their faces.

"Raph I'm so sorry." Don said, looking fearful, "I didn't mean to… I-"

He paused when Raph shook his head, his emotions in check again. "I know Don." He breathed, "It's not your fault."

Donatello looked relieved that Raph was okay again and didn't ague. Raph's breathing was still faster than normal and his hands clenched in tight fists as he fought to regain complete control but he was calm again.

Finally he slumped into the pillows looking, and feeling, exhausted. He shut his eyes as his brother's settled on the chairs around the bed.

As he drifted off to sleep one last thought rang in his head.

He was Raphael Hamato and he would never be broken.

Don started awake at the sound of his cell sell ringing in the kitchen. He jumped out of the infirmary chair, dashing over to where the sound was coming from. He finally found the phone, buried under the paperwork and files he's been researching over the last few weeks. He picked it up and flipped it open.

"Hello?"

"Hi Don."

"April, hi."

"How's it going?" she asked worriedly, "Did you find him?"

Donatello felt a pang of guilt as he realized he hadn't told April yet… he'd been so wrapped in helping Raph he'd completely forgotten…

"Good news, we found him."

There was the sound of a large crash and a voice in the distance, "What?"

Don winced at the sound; he should have known Casey would have been there….

"You found him? Thanks great! How is he, is he okay?"

Don smiled softly at her enthusiasm and concern. "He's… um… he'll heal…"

He heard April sighed at the sadness in her friend's voice. "Anything you need, I'd be happy to help. I could come down whenever, help check him over again?"

"Thanks Ape, that would be great." He said gratefully

"Sure thing. See you later on then."

'Bye."

"Bye, and Don, there's always hope." Don smiled as she said this, remembering the last time he'd heard those words.

Always hope…

Mikey sighed as he closed the kitchen cupboard. Nothing in there either. The past few weeks had been so hectic they hadn't thought to get food. Now that Raphael was home, they definitely needed food. He walked over to the door, grabbing his coat.

"Leo, Don, I'm going out." He called, slipping the coat on and picking up the hat.

Leonardo came into view, a slight frown on his face. "Mikey, we shouldn't be going out now. You're not even fully recovered from the last fight. Where are you going?"

"To get food and stuff, bro. We're almost completely out. So are the painkillers and most of the medicine. I'm not doing anything crazy, you know. Just going to the shops, no rooftop jumping or anything."

"April's coming over later, she could-" Leo protested

"Don needs her help Leo and she doesn't know what we all need. We cant waist time."

Leo glanced over at the infirmary doors and nodded reluctantly. "I suppose… but I'll come with you..."

"Leo, can you come here please?" Don's voice rang out from the lab

"Don needs you bro."

"Mike… just…just be careful okay?" Leo said softly, laying a hand on his brother's shoulder.

Michelangelo nodded solemnly. He patted the shell cell in his belt. "I'll call if anything happens.

Leonardo sighed as his brother exited the lair. He wondered if letting him go had been the right thing… he wasn't completely healed yet… but they did need food and medicine… and don needed his help. Shaking his head, Leo made his way over to this infirmary.

It was going to be a long night.

*0*

Casey and April walked quietly through the sewers, there feet sloshing up the water. Casey was carrying a bag of medical supplies for April and being unusually quiet. Don had sounded upset on the phone…. It had been weeks since he'd last seen his friend, just before he had disappeared and Casey had no idea what condition he was in now. How bad was Raphael? Casey was scared to find out.

April walked next to Casey, her head bent down as they made there way to the lair. Weeks… weeks since Raph had disappeared…. She knew from Don's tone that he was badly injured, maybe more so then the purple banded turtle was letting on. She tried to ignore the scenarios her brain was coming up with and focused on being positive. She hadn't been told anything yet, Raph could be okay… Right?

*0*

Mikey left the lair in a hurry, anxious to get some fresh air and clear his head. He felt overwhelmed my emotion and the stress was getting to him. He made his way silently through the sewers, not making a sound. He was lost in thought as he turned the corner, looking around once in the darkness. His trained eyes fell on two shapes a little way off. Without hesitation, he leaped at them, tackling the larger one to the ground. His nerves were on edge due to the recent threat and he didn't even pause to find out who it was. The man he knocked over gave a startled cry as he hit the ground and was pinned down by Mikey. Someone screamed before Mikey felt hard thuds raining down on his shell.

"Get off him!" a woman's voice demanded

Michelangelo froze. April?

Realization clicked immediately and he jumped off Casey, looking sheepish.

"Heh… sorry." He muttered as he helped Casey get up, "I've been a little on edge lately…"

April smiled reassuringly, laying a hand on Mikey's arm. "No problem, Mike, it's understandable."

"Speak for yourself." Casey muttered, dusting himself off.

Mikey grinned, "Yeah, and being tackled by ninja is unfamiliar to you."

"Not the point." The dark haired man grumbled.

Shaking her head, April turned back to Mikey, "What are you doing out here anyway?"

"Shopping." He indicated to his coat and the hat that was in his hand.

Casey snorted. "Wide selection."

April ignored him and carried on, "You know you could have just asked us."

"I know…but…" Mikey looked down

The red haired woman nodded understandingly and grabbed Casey's hand, leading him forcefully along.

"See you at the lair."

"Bye."

Mikey shook his head dejectedly before making his way up the ladder.

*0*

Don glanced over to the bed where Raphael slept. No nightmares… that was good. He sighed as he continued sifting through papers on his desk that dealt with everything from emotional trauma to physical wounds. He didn't know if any of this would help… he didn't know what Sinatra had all done to him mentally and emotionally… what was said…

He shuddered just thinking of what had been done physically…. If it was anything as bad, Don didn't know how he could help… he just didn't know. Glancing at the clock, he hopped that April was on her way. He needed her advice and opinions as soon as possible. The sooner she came, the sooner they could help Raph….

Outside, Leo watched the door anxiously. He felt torn with worry. Raphael was there in the lab, hurt in so many ways…. Don was there doing his best to help him and under incredible pressure… Mikey was out, injured and vulnerable to attack and April and Casey still hadn't arrived yet.

He slumped down on the couch, head in his hands. All this stress was going to give him an ulcer…. Which would only cause him to worry more….Leo sighed. He rubbed his temples, trying to relieve himself of the building tension headache that was throbbing in his head. He leaned back on the chair, trying to relax long enough for his headache to subside. The thoughts rushing around his head weren't helping things and any attempts to shut them out just made his head throb worse.

He sat in silence for a few moments, pressure resting on his shoulders. Just as he was about to get up the door grated open. He jumped to his feet; hand on the hilt of his katana, ready to face any attackers. He relaxed immediately as the forms of Casey and April emerged from the darker sewer tunnel.

His hand dropped and he walked to greet them, "April, Casey." He nodded.

April smiled softly and took the bag from Casey.

"Is Don in the lab?" she asked quietly

"Yeah… I'll go with you…" Leo answered

"Leo…. How bad is he?" she asked hesitantly

Shaking his head, Leo sighed, "Brace yourselves."

They walked into the infirmary, hidden in darkness save for the computer and desk light at the one side of the room. A figure was lying in the far side of the room, in the corner bed, machine lights beeping steadily.

Cautiously April advanced to the Desk where don sat, hunched over his work, "Don?"

He spun around, jolted out of his thoughts. "Huh? What?"

Seeing his friend he relaxed instantly, standing up as quickly as his stiff body would allow. April frowned at his slightly slumped shoulders and red eyes. The darker patched on his bandana showed that he'd been crying not too long ago.

Sighing, April wrapped her arms around the purple banded turtle and felt him return the hug.

Don slowly pulled away, moving toward the bed. April followed, slight dread filling her.

She felt her heart miss a beat and he blood run cold at what she saw.

*0*

Mikey walked swiftly from the store, parcels in his hand. It was already dark and the shops were starting to close on this side of town. He wanted to get home and check on his brother, he'd been gone for too long. He rounded the corner before slowing down. Something wasn't right. He'd been so lost in thought that he'd barely noticed it before…. But now.

Someone was following him. There was a slight movement and a click behind him and Mikey froze.

Someone was following him and they didn't want him to make it home in one piece.

*0*

Mikey walked swiftly from the store, parcels in his hand. It was already dark and the shops were starting to close on this side of town. He wanted to get home and check on his brother, he'd been gone for too long. He rounded the corner before slowing down. Something wasn't right. He'd been so lost in thought that he'd barely noticed it before…. But now.

Someone was following him. There was a slight movement and a click behind him and Mikey froze.

Someone was following him and they didn't want him to make it home in one piece.

He paused and pretended to be looking at something on the ground. He put his parcels and spilled his hand into his coat, his hand gripping the handle of his nunchuck. There was a rustle of movement behind him and Mikey wasted no time in jumping to his feet, still favoring his one leg. He spun in a crouch and knocked the legs out from under his unsuspecting stalker. The man landed hard on the sidewalk, his gun clattering to the floor. He scrambled to get it but Mikey stepped on it before he could reach, breaking it.

Michelangelo raised an eyebrow, glaring at the man.

"Why are you trying to kill me?"

"Not gonna talk ta ya, mutant scum." He spat on the sidewalk.

The next thing he was being held up by his collar, "Who send you?" Mikey hissed angrily, his face inches from the man's.

"The boss." He said arrogantly, "Mr. Sinatra himself."

Mikey dropped him abruptly and straightened, he started spinning his chuck at a dizzying pace.

"Sinatra?"

"Yeah. What you gonna do about it, huh, slime?"

In one smooth movement, Mikey brought his weapon down in a deadly strike. The alleyway was filled with a resounding crack as the man slumped down in a pool of blood.

"That." He answered simply.

Scanning the alleyway, his eyes fell on a figure in the corner. He was about to advance when two more stepped out of the shadows and more filled in from the street.

"You'll pay for that." A burly one stated, his knife glinting in the poor light.

Michelangelo glanced around nervously…. He couldn't defeat these guys in his condition… some had guns…

Gripping the nunchuck handle tightly, he readied himself.

"Bring it."

*0*

Raphael shifted uncomfortably as doctor Sinatra turned his back on him, focusing his attention on a near by table. Raph scanned the room, looking for some kind of exit or tool to get himself loose with but there was nothing. The room smelt of blood and potent sterilizer and a lingering smell of burnt flesh. Raphael closed his eyes and turned his head, trying to suppress the urge to be sick along with the torrent of memories that were flooding into his mind.

It wasn't long before the advancing footsteps caused Raphael to force his eyes open, fear gripping his heart. Sinatra smirked slightly as he set down a bag on the counter next to the turtle. Raph turned his head slightly, but it was out of his vision. Gritting his teeth, he returned his gaze to the doctor who was staring down at him with an almost amused look on his face.

"Feel up to talking today?" he asked

Raph answered with something along the lines of forget you, only much less polite.

Tutting, Sinatra turned and picked up the bag he'd laid on the counter.

Raphael's head was forced backwards from behind in a vice grip by one of Sinatra's goons. His eyes were forced open and he could only stare in anger and fear as Sinatra brought the bag, which was filled with a powdery substance, forward.

"Last chance." He asked, smiling sadistically

"Not on your life."

"Too bad."

The next moment, Raphael's eyes were burning and smarting in horrendous pain. He tried to struggle but the mans grip held firm. He could only grit his teeth as more powder was pressed into his eyes. A scream tore from his throat as the pain intensified. His eyes felt like they were on fire from the inside and outer. He couldn't blink as the substance was forced into his eyes despite his desperate struggles. The hands holding his head abruptly let him go but he barely noticed. Slumping forward, he shut his tearing eyes and took hitched breaths as he tried to fight of the pain burning beneath his eyelids.

"Pathetic." He heard Sinatra's voice echo from somewhere above. "Put him back in his cell, I have more important things to attend to today. He's not going to talk."

Raphael, for once, did not resist as he was bound and dragged to his cell. He flinched as he was chained down but he ignored everything but focusing on keeping control over his pain and emotions. His fear.

It was only after hearing the door slam that Raphael opened his eyes. They were still burning and aching terribly and he eased them open, hissing in pain more than once.

He blinked a few times before slowly moving his head around. His movements became more frantic when he was met only by darkness. Even though there were no lights in his cell, the grate above always gave him enough to see the shapes and door from his position on the wall. Raphael blinked again as panic gripped him…. No….. No it couldn't be… it…. He couldn't see. He couldn't see anything! He looked around again, desperately hopping to see something… anything but the pressing darkness.

"No…" He whispered, voice strained

More tears began to fall from his eyes and down his cheeks. He couldn't see….. He gave a quiet sob as the realization sunk in….he was blind.

*0*

Raphael's eyes snapped open and he started around the room, his breathing shallow and erratic. He was met only by darkness and his panic increased. He pushed himself up but the pain in his wrists caused him to fall back down with a pained cry.

A moment later, there was the sound of hurried footsteps and the lights were flicked on.

Raphael squeezed his eyes shut to block out the blinding light. Through his closed eyelids he saw the lights had been dimmed and he ventured opening his eyes again. As he did, he was met by the anxious faces of Leonardo and Don above him.

"Raph, what happened?" Donatello asked softly, kneeling down beside his injured brother.

Raph shut his eyes for a moment, fighting to control his breathing. Eventuality he answered, "Nightmare." He muttered softly. At one stage he would've been ashamed to admit it, but not any more. Things like that weren't important… not now.

He touched his eyes gingerly, remembering in panic and feeling of being closed in… not being able to see…. Blindness. Fortunately it had been a temporary thing, lasting only a few days and the side effects a little longer. Physically he'd gotten over it but … mentally… emotionally…..

Donatello nodded and gripped his brother's hand reassuringly. Raphael let himself be comforted by their presence. They sat there in silence for a long while. Raphael going through things in his head, reassuring himself while don and Leo sat there, constant and a source of reassurance.

Everyone jumped at the sudden, shrill ringing of Leo's shell cell. Raphael felt momentary panic for a second until he realized what it was and forced himself to calm down.

Leo flipped open the phone and held it to his ear.

"Hello?"

There was a pause and Leo frowned.

"Mikey what?" He glanced at Raph and then Don, a worried expression on his face.

"Who?" Leo growled softly.

"Okay…. Yeah… hang on we're on our way…."

The anxiousness in his voice was evident now.

"Mikey… just… yeah, just try to keep it up till we get there… Mikey? Michelangelo!"

He flipped it shut swiftly and exchanged glances with Donatello who nodded, eyes wide.

"We'll be back soon Raph, if you need anything, Casey and April are in the kitchen."

"Leo what's happening, what's wrong with Mikey? Isn't he in the lair?" His gaze met Leo's concerned and anxious.

Leo felt a jolt in his stomach. He didn't know what to say… Raph had the right to know… he had to know what was happening yet…. He wasn't stable yet…. News like this….

"We'll fill you in when we get back." He nodded at Raph before racing out of the room, followed by don who paused only to grab his Bo.

Raph looked on fearfully as they left the room….

...Mikey…

*0*

Casey sat in the lounge, head in his hands. He'd known Raphael was bad but… Casey shuddered….. How could anyone do that to another being? How… it was unconceivable… the obvious cruelty. Casey swallowed hard at the thought of seeing his best friend in that state…. Raph… he was always so proud, fierce…. Nothing could ever hurt him… now…

Casey remembered how his friend had shrunk back from him when he'd woken up… seen the fear in his eyes… afraid of his best friend… what had they done to him….?

Casey clenched his fists. He was gonna hurt the ones who did this to him….

Casey couldn't stop the tear that ran down his cheek.

How could anyone do that?

*0*

Leo raced though the sewer tunnels, heart pounding in his chest. He pushed off from the wall as he rounded the corner, anxious to reach topside in time. Mikey was in trouble, serious trouble from the sounds of it. And Sinatra… Sinatra was involved. Leo's hands balled into fists at the thought. That creep had already hurt one of his brothers… there was no way he'd let the same happen to Michelangelo. He'd never forgive himself.

Behind him, Donatello was running just as hard as Leo. His breath came in short, labored gasps as he struggled to catch up to his older brother. The tracker in his hand beeped as they got nearer and nearer to Mikey's signal. They had to find him in time. Sinatra couldn't get Mikey as well; they couldn't- wouldn't- let that happen. Don leaped over a stray piece of rubble as they neared the nearest manhole.

Leonardo scaled the ladder swiftly as Don caught up and leaned on the base for support. He checked the tracker…they were still a few blocks away…. Don hopped desperately that they would reach him in time. There was a grating sound as Leo succeeded in moving the heavy manhole cover. He pushed himself up, looking around warily for any sign of threats. Seeing nothing, he hastily leaped out before crouching down at the rim, waiting for his younger brother to reach the top.

Donatello tucked the tracker into his belt as Leo disappeared from view. He hoisted himself up onto the ladder before easily scaling it. He accepted Leo's offered hand as his older brother helped him to his feet.

'Okay' Leo whispered, eyes clouded with worry, 'Where is he?"

Donatello glanced at his tracker, "Two blocks from here, corner of 1st and 3rd.."

Leo frowned and nodded. Silently he got up and slipped up the fire escape, in the shadows. Don quickly followed suit, flipping up onto the roof.

Don's heart pounded as they began running again, getting ever closer to Michelangelo. His blood ran cold as the blip that was his brother, stopped moving. Although he'd stayed in the same area, Mikey had shown signs of movement, evidence that the fight was still going on…. That…that he was…still alive..

Donatello pushed the negative thoughts away. He couldn't dwell on that… the important thing was finding-and saving- his brother.

*0*

Casey wondered into the kitchen, half heartedly looking around. He was surprised to see April sitting there, head in her hands, eyes downcast. There was a cold, untouched cup of coffee next too her. Exactly the way she was when he had left the room. Casey sighed and looked at her with concern, "You okay babe?"

There was no reply and the dark haired man sat down on a nearby chair.

'April?"

"Huh? What? Casey?"

She looked up in confusion before realization hit and she lay back on the table head resting on her arms.

'What were ya doin'?" Casey asked

"Nothing… I was just… just thinking…"

Casey sighed, "Know what ya mean, this thinking stuff is depressin'..." He muttered

April looked up with a fond half smile on her face, shaking her head. Her eyes drifted to the lab door and her smile faded again, "It's just not right Casey…. I mean after everything….this…It's just…"

Casey put his arm around her, "I know babe…"

*0*

Flash back

April Gasped as she saw Raphael's battered form lying on the infirmary bed.

"Don…how, what…what happened?" She whispered fearfully, her gaze returning to the purple glad turtle.

Beside her Casey was staring, rooted to the spot, a look of shock enched on his face.

"He was… captured." Don answered softly, looking down.

"For…for what? E-Experiments?" April questioned noticeable tears in her eyes.

"N -no…what was done…done to him… It was…nothing like experiments. That…that was …torture…" Donatello shut his eyes, taking a shaky breath.

Casey growled angrily, "Who did this?" His hands balled into tight fists, his anger flaring in his eyes.

"Sinatra." Leo's voice answered icily as he strode back into the room, 'Some wack job whose dream it is to rid the world of anything… 'abnormal'." He shook his head, a mixture of anger and sorrow in his eyes as he looked at his injured brother.

Casey opened his mouth to speak but stopped short as a low groan drifted from the bed.

Raph shifted and slowly opened his eyes.

*0*

Michelangelo was crouched low on the ground, his breath coming in labored gasps. He shut his eyes briefly, trying to calm his breathing. Focus. He thought. They were all around him; he'd only managed to knock down one or two… not nearly enough.

Hope flared inside him at the thought of his brothers... Leonardo had gotten the message, he knew that for sure, but if they'd arrive in time… that was a different story.

A sharp pain in his side caused Mikey to cough hard, winded, as one of the men kicked him in his side. The pain in his shoulder intensified and he winced. Weakly, Mikey pushed himself up but was roughly shoved down. The orange clad turtle's mind spun, confused and slightly disorientated. He breathed in sharply, nausea rising in his stomach.

"What the hell do ya think you're doin' huh?" A rough, unfamiliar voice snapped angrily, "The boss wants him alive, idiot."

There was grumbling from above him and Mikey felt himself being lifted unceremoniously from the ground.

"Ha! Sure is lighter then the last one." A voice barked from overhead

Other one? Wait… Raph! Sinatra! Michelangelo's eyes snapped open, his confusion gone. He twisted viciously, arching his back at the same time.

The man holding him let go in surprise. Flipping over, Mikey landed on his feet, favoring his injured leg while supporting himself with his arm.

He swallowed hard, his injuries stinging and aching.

Leo…Don, get here soon.

*0*

Leonardo pushed himself to run harder as they sped over the rooftops. His brother was in danger and he had to do something, and now!

"Don, we close yet?" He shouted over his shoulder.

"Almost Leo, it should… be right… up ahead." Donatello answered tiredly

Leo just carried on running, a twinge of regret entering him. Donatello could run, that was for sure, but keeping up with him at the speed he was going and keeping an eye on the tracker couldn't be easy; he felt bad for putting his brother through this… but it wasn't as if they had any choice…

Leo was pulled suddenly from his thoughts at the sound of a voice up ahead made him stop short.

"The boss wants him alive, idiot."

The blue clad turtle's heart missed a beat…

No….

Donatello's eyes were wide, a look of mixed emotions on his face. Without a moments pause he pulled his Bo swiftly from his back, spinning it once.

Leo, himself, pulled out his katanas, readying them in front of him. They neared the ledge silently, tense and ready for fighting.

Leonardo's eyes narrowed at the sight of his baby brother slung casually over a large man's shoulder.

"Ha! Sure is lighter then the last one." He barked, smirking at his comrades. Leonardo almost lost it- he was about to jump at the man when he felt his younger brother's restraining hand. Don's eyes were wide, traces of anger still evident. Leo followed his brother's gaze.

Michelangelo's eyes were open, he twisted powerfully while simultaneously arching his back causing the man holding him to let go in surprise. Mikey flipped gracefully landing on his feet, favoring his injured leg while supporting himself with his arm in a type of crouch.

The two older brothers exchanged glances before leaping into the fight.

*0*

It was dark; he was surrounded, outnumbered and injured…. Perfect way to end the day.

Michelangelo sighed as he readied his fighting stance, preparing himself for the worst.

Because of this, it came as a complete shock to the young turtle when two figures landed in the see of guards and around them, goons fell like flies. Mikey's heart swelled with relief. His brother's had the best timing, though a little earlier wouldn't have hurt, he wasn't complaining.

Still, there were a large number of people closing in on him and he readied his weapon while bracing his injured arm close to his body. He couldn't risk getting even more injured than he recently had…

He spun his nunchuck out, dodging blows and landing several of his own. The once overwhelming crowd was thinning significantly with the help of his brothers. Feeling dizzy, but unable to stop fighting, Mikey made his way over to where his brother's were fighting, cutting a path through with his nunchuck.

His injured arm ached painfully but he ignored it as a wave of nausea washed over him. He really didn't feel so good. The edges of his vision started to black. Mikey continued on.

He had to get closer to his brothers or he stood no chance.

*0*

Raphael sat up shakily. Something wasn't right. He knew that Don and Leo had been hiding something from him… if Mikey was in trouble…

The guards began forcing Mikey to the door with nowhere to go, no weapons and no hope of escape. Someone grabbed his arm and pushed. Mikey gave a strangled cry as he was pushed roughly out of the van towards the pavement.

Raph grimaced at the image. He couldn't get that out of his head…no matter how hard he tried, he just could erase the image of his baby brother falling out of that truck. Nor could he shake the feeling of heart ach and fear he got every time he remembered it…

Mikey had left the lair. That much was obvious enough. That on itself was enough to send Raphael into a downward spiral or worry. Sinatra was out there… Raph would never be able to live with himself if Mikey was taken as well… he just… the thought of his baby brother going through torture like he had- The mere thought shook Raphael to the core.

Leo had sounded so frantic on the phone… Mikey was known for his prank calls… but at a time like this, he was deadly serious. He knew better than to play with his brothers' emotions at this stage, when everyone was so upset and on edge. Something terrible had happened and Sinatra could be involved.

Sighing, Raph forced himself to his feet, hissing in pain as his wounds pulled painfully and the pressure on his broken wrists increased to a near unbearable level.

"Ow." He muttered pointedly.

Every one of his many injuries stung and ached, his muscles screaming in pain. As he staggered to the door, the room started spinning and waves of nausea washed over him. He gripped the wall desperately in an attempt to remain upright.

Through all this Raphael stubbornly ignored his many injuries.

He had to know what was happening with his baby brother.

Wrenching the door open he squinted in the light that bombarded him, increasing his pain and disorientating him completely.

"Raph?" He heard a voice ask.

That voice… Casey.

"What are you doin' outta bed man?"

"Where's Mikey?" He asked, opening his eyes fully, staring at his friend.

Casey seemed taken aback at the question as he shifted uncomfortably. "He went out and... he called Don to um... Get some stuff."

"Casey…" Raph muttered, still feeling ill from walking to the door, "I feel like crap, I've taken more pain killers one time then in my whole life, I can barely see straight and you still sound like the worst liar on the planet. Where is he?"

*0*

Leo's breaths were labored; he parried a swipe from a knife and ducked under the swing of another, rolling out of the way of a blow from a baseball bat. These guys were really going all out. They were taking no chances. Still...

He ducked an incoming blow, crouched and used his katana to knock several men down.

they were armatures, just Sinatra's lakies

Leonardo glanced at Don it looked like he was doing ok…

Donatello used his Bo to block a swipe at his neck. He simply pushed the man off, twirled his Bo again and lunged again at the guards. The majority scattered or were brought down with a knock from the Bo; they truly weren't trained too well, though their numbers helped their odds. One stayed up though, bringing his weapon up in time to stop Dons strike from taking off his head but he didn't pay attention to the purple clad ninja's feet. Don kicked him in the stomach and hit him in the back of his head with enough forse to knock him out.

Don jumped over the scattered bodies, glad to see that the crowd was almost completely dispersed. Several 'braver ones' had run away and the rest were knocked out.

Don froze as a crumpled shape, heaped on the ground caught his attention.

No…

*0*

Leonardo scanned the area, frantically searching for his youngest brother.

"Mike!"

He'd been there one moment but now he was gone…

"Michelangelo?"

"Leo over here!"

The voice that called him was not that of his orange clad brother and this fact spiked fear into the young leader's heart. Following the voice, his attention rested on Donatello, hunched over another form. The hint of sea green beneath his purple cladded brother's hands was all it took to send Leo sprinting over to his brothers, the worry in his eyes completely evident.

*0*

"Mikey, listen too me. Stay awake, whatever you do, do not fall asleep!" Don commanded, eyes fixed on his semi-conscious brother. Michelangelo's eyelids started to droop…

"Michelangelo!" Don gripped Mikey's shoulders in an effort to keep him awake.

"But ..D-Don….my head, it hurts…and I'm so tired…" Mikey whispered, tears barely visible in his eyes.

Don's heart broke for his baby brother as he took into account all of his injured.

"I know Mikey, I know…" He muttered in a softer tone, stroking his forehead soothingly, "Just take calm breaths and focus on keeping awake, can you do that for me?"

"Yeah…" the younger turtle muttered sleepily.

"Concussion." Don supplied as Leo knelt beside him. "His other injuries were hurt too." He frowned, "Better get him home fast."

Leonardo simply nodded, guilt flooding his heart. This was the second time Mikey was hurt in the last few days, and both times, it had been his fault. Taking hold of his brother's legs, Leo followed Don's instructions in lifting Mikey up before setting off in the direction of the lair.

*0*

"Raph!" Casey lunged forward as his friend's grip on the wall slipped and he fell towards the ground.

Bracing himself for the impact, Raph was surprised when a jarring jolt of pain revealed its self, instead of the crashing force he'd prepared for. Strong arms wrapped around his shell and he was hoisted upright. A burning shame mingled with an intense self loathing filled the turtle's at the thought of needing assistance to simply stay upright. How could he be so weak? If he was weak then Sinatra had won. Gritting his teeth, Raph reached out blindly, relieved when his hand connected with the doorframe and he was able to support himself.

Casey, on the other hand, tightened his hold on Raphael instead of letting go. "Gees Raph, when I told ya what expect ya to go chargin' outta here like dat!"

Raph snorted.

"Well, yeah I expected it but I thought ya was smarter than dat! Yer hurt man, chill out, your bro's got it covered."

Raph nodded, not trusting his voice. He shrugged Casey off and the dark haired man complied , reluctantly letting go.

"Common man, ya should be restin'…"

Raph glared at him, even in his weakened state- this was the glare that could send hordes of purple dragons running, Casey had witnessed it enough times to know when to back down.

"…or ya could wait for them ta get back."

The resounding creak of the doors caught Raph's attention, his head snapping up, eyes narrowed. The sound of mingled, worried voices reached his sensitive ears.

His bro's were back… and something definitely wasn't right. Not right at all.

*0*

His breath was too short. He couldn't get enough air in to feed his starving lungs.

There was so much blood. So much...so… much…blood…red…bad…bad things.

Raphael stumbled back, one hand reaching towards his throat. His eyes flickered to each of his brothers. They hadn't noticed his reaction, probably because they were all too busy helping Michelangelo. That was a good thing, a very good thing. Mikey was injured after all, that's why there was blood.

So much blood. Bad things.

Raphael grimaced, touching his throbbing head. He had to get out off the room soon or he'd flip out, he realized, and the last thing their family needed now was moredrama. If anything was going to happened – heaven forbid- Raphael, for one, refused to be the cause of it.

Gripping at the wall for support, he managed the few shaky steps to the couch all on his own. Not too bad, considering that he was barely managing to keep upright- well, up until the point where his body forced him to collapse onto the seat.

He buried his head in his hands, reminding himself to breath. Breathing always helped, the scent of his home was a comfort like no other. Michelangelo couldn't have been all that injured, he reasoned with himself. If it was too serious Donatello would have been much calmer. That weird, eerie calm that doctors always did on that stupid medical drama Mike watched. What was its name? Grey's anatomy? Yes, that was right. There were always more love affairs than actual operations in that show. Or at least, that was what Raphael had managed to gather on the rare occasions Mikey had managed to talk him into watching. He wondered what season they were on now. It had been a while…

There, that was better. He felt much better now. His headache was subsiding too. Letting out a gust of air, Raph pulled his hands from his face. Yes, he was definitely fine now.

A small twinge of satisfaction made itself known. He'd calmed himself down instead of letting his fear over-ride him. He'd won against his fear this time. That simple accomplishment made him feel surprisingly good about himself and Raphael had to suppress his smile. He felt a small amount of hope that maybe; just maybe, he could start to over come this. Raphael smiled.

*0*

The building was large, secluded and scheduled for demolition within the next year. It was for these exact reasons that Doctor Sinatra had singled it out as his next base of operation. The doctor strolled through the corridor on the lower floor, occasionally pausing to look through an open door. Now and then he'd offer comments about the work taking place, but other than that he was silent, moving only towards his destination.

Finally, he reached the door at the very end of the corridor. After pausing to consider it for a moment, he reached out and pulled it open. Not locked, he frowned,security was getting sloppy. Still, he went in, ignoring the slip up. He had things far more important to attend to at the moment.

"Anything?"

The man, who could not have been older than twenty, jumped a foot in the air at the sudden question. Turning from behind the computer, he looked up at his boss. "Uh, sir, what do you, uh, mean, sir?"

It was with an air of forced calm that Sinatra said, "The turtle… Astern. The turtle which we have been tracking ever since relocation." He paused, looking critically at the anxious youth, "That's what I mean." He leaned forward, "Astern."

Being addressed by name, apparently, did nothing for the boy's nerves. Astern cleared his throat, "We've found nothing, sir. The tracker's been blocked, sir. We don't know by what."

Sinatra had an odd expression on his face, "Blocked hmm…" He looked back at Astern, "Well, what was its last known location?"

Astern once again looked flustered, "We, um, that is to say, I don't' have it- haven't pinpointed it yet, well not right now, uh, Doctor Sinatra, sir."

Sinatra leaned in, "Don't have it? First you do not know what I was talking about, and then you proceed to tell me that you haven't done the job which has been assigned to you?"

One hand was now resting on the chair handle, "You are loyal to me, aren't you? I'd hate for you to have helped…it escape. It would have been very difficult to accomplish without inside help…. Isn't that right?"

Astern was a strange shade of white, shaking his head until it looked about ready to fall off.

"It wasn't me, I didn't , I mean, sir, I'm loyal only to you sir. Please forgive my mistakes, I j-just, It was my fault for slipping up. I'd never betray you sir- I'll start on it right away. Sorry, sir."

Sinatra didn't move for a moment, before slowly drawing back. "I'll be watching you- Astern."

The youth nodded. Without another word, Sinatra left the room, leaving the door open just enough for Astern's pale face to be in view.

That was how it was done, Sinatra smirked bitterly. Get the new ones to know who the boss was. One person's impudence, one person without fear, and things would fall apart very quickly. That was why the turtle, thatthing, had to be found before there were any more people with knowledge of this place. Maybe this time he would just kill it and be done. Maybe he'd even find its den, then there would be plenty more to purify. He smiled, going over the idea with relish. Yes, he'd enjoy that.

*0*

"Don, everything okay?"

The purple banded ninja looked up from his place behind the computer, "Hmm? Oh yeah Leo, it's fine… Mikey's fine now… Raph's gonna be fine… you're fine…Everything's gonna be… just…fine." Don let his head drop to his hands.

"It doesn't sound fine." Leo said softly, sitting down next to him

Don paused, considering spilling everything to Leonardo- Leonardo who had been there for him through this whole mess. He decided that even though it wasn't fair to dump more on his big brother, he felt as if he really didn't have much choice or he'd explode. Things were so weird and he didn't have an explanation for them. He'd been thinking lately that perhaps he'd done something wrong that had changed something that spiraled out and caused this huge mess. Not been careful enough, fast enough, strong enough… good enough.

After a few moments he looked up at Leonardo.

"Things are weird, Leo," he said softly. "I don't know if anything I've been telling you guys is right, or the choices I've been making..."

Leonardo was quiet for a moment and then said, "You've been doing the best you can Don. Things are okay now. We got Raph back. Mikey's fine now, you said so yourself."

"I've missed too many things Leo. Too many mistakes that could have cost one of us- or all of us our lives. What if there was a tracker? We never thought about that. What if Mike's injuries are worse than we thought? What if something heals wrong? What if we're being watched? There's a million things I've thought up- none of them seem likely but… what if I'm right?"

This time, Leonardo was quiet for so long that Donatello wondered if he was going to respond at all. Finally, he said, "Maybe you're right. Though, nothing you speculate can be guaranteed to be right. But that doesn't mean we should take any chances. You've been right about some things before, most things, that can't be denied. We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Leonardo took a deep breath and then added, "Personally, I hope you're wrong about everything."

Donatello sighed and rubbed his eyes, "Me too."

*0*

"Casey?"

"Hmm?"

"What do you think is going to happen now?"

Casey paused in stride, taking a moment to look up at the buildings. They always looked so nice at night, all quiet, sometimes with the occasional light. Peaceful. His life needed that right now. After a few moments he turned to her, "I think everything's gonna be fine, April." He muttered.

"Really?" April bit her lip, one hand playing with a loose strand of hair.

Casey reached out and took a light hold of her wrist, "Really."

She smiled softly, sparing a glance towards the car, "You know, we should get going."

Casey looked back reluctantly, his free hand snaking around her waist, "Right now?"

April blushed but pulled away, "Right now, Jones."

"Aw, why ya only call me dat when I'm in the dog house?"

April trailed a hand across his shoulders on her way to their vehicle, "Some dogs get to sleep in the bed." She murmured.

Casey's cheeks flamed as he hurried after her, one hand rubbing the back of his neck, "Ya really hate me, don't ya babe?"

"Don't call me-" April cut herself off, slowing her stride, "…babe." She continued more softly.

Casey finally caught up with her, "What, you finally saw my point of view, babe?"

April laughed, but the sound was strange, "Yes Casey." she said, "That's it."

She gave him a meaningful glance, one hand going to his.

Still oblivious Casey kept talking, "Yeah, cause that's why-"

Casey didn't even have the chance to finish his sentence before April's lips were on his.

"Casey…" She breathed, Pushing herself closer to him, 'We're being followed." She kissed him heatedly for a moment, pausing only to whisper, "Play along."

Casey's eyes were wide, but he pulled her to him, allowing her to guide his hand to her side. His hand rested on something thin and metal. A knife hilt.

Casey took hold of it, slipping it to his side, unsheathed.

"To the car…." April muttered, just loud enough to be heard, "Casey… I need you… now…"

Casey had to keep reminding himself that this was just acting, and that they needed to get to the car as quickly as possible before their pursuers caught onto them. But, damn it, why did April have to sound so wanton? He bit his lip, pushing her back towards the car, one arm flinging open thee door, the other still around her waist. They fell into the car in a tangle of arms and legs, Casey subtly angling himself towards the driver's seat. April reached over with one arm, slamming her door shut so that they were in the position of Casey in the driver's seat with her draped over both him and the passenger seat. All the while never breaking the kiss.

April broke away, breathing heavily, one hand on his chest, and then, never dropping her tone of lust, she shouted, "Casey….. Now! Do it now!"

Taking the hint, the ignition was turned, the pedal floored and their van sent speeding down the road, with April flung to the side.

A loud shout of, "Shit!" was heard over the roar of the engine, and Casey pushed harder on the pedal.

"Great acting Casey, now drive! Drive!"

"I know!"

The sound of gunshots alerted them to the fact that things had just gotten a lot, lot worse.

"What the hells going on?"

"Just drive!"

*0*

The streets of Cape Town were always cold this time of year. It was dry tonight- which was a blessing. Johan worried about the cardboard box which he slept in, getting soaked through once again. It was always so hard to find a new one.

The boy shivered, pulling his thin jacket closer to him. Life wasn't fair- he thought bitterly. He'd found that out too young. At the tender age of eleven he'd already been on his own for two years.

He couldn't go to the orphanage. He was already thought a bit unhinged by the police counselors. None of them had believed his stories. He hadn't known that it was bad to tell the other at first- he had only been nine after all. When you were nine you thought you could trust authorities. That the grown ups were right and the world was sweet.

A photograph slipped from his pocket and landed on the pavement in front of him. Johan snatched it up quickly; hasty to bring it out of harms way. It was a photograph of his family. Johan had always loved to take pictures before and his parents had encouraged the habit even at an early age. This was one he had taken. The focus was a little bit out and the camera hadn't been the best quality, but you could still make everything out okay. He stared at the picture for a few moments, allowing the image to be burned into his mind. He couldn't forget. It was his reason for living. Avenging them.

He traced the smiling faces of his family- his mother, father and sister.

He clenched his teeth. He was small, only eleven, what could he do but remember? Never forget. No one else believed him, so the moment he forgot it was over. He would never forget what he'd seen because the moment he forgot was the moment his family's death would go unavenged. That would not happen.

He would live, cling to life no matter what but never, ever forget.

And one day, he swore he would make those creatures pay. He would sort through every one of their kind before finding them. And once he did…

Johan let out a bitter laugh, unfit for a child like himself. Once he did they would pay.

*0*

Doctor Sinatra woke with a start. His heart was beating too fast and he was drenched in a cold sweat. He reached out blindly to his side cupboards. A flood of relief welled up in him at the touch of smooth paper. He fumbled for a few moments longer, before his fingers touched something more crumpled, worn and old.

He smiled.

Still there. It was still safe. He let his head drop back onto the pillows. He was doing the right thing of course, how had he ever doubted his own motives? He had never allowed himself to forget. He'd let his emotions fester and boil and now he was getting closer and closer to his goal.

That picture would forever remain proof enough.

His cell phone beeped- ringing an annoying tune. He made a note to change that.

"What?"

"Sir- we've found accomplices of the turtle. Unit 7 is currently giving chase. Awaiting your orders, sir."

The voice sounded familiar. Was it…Astern, yes that was it. That boy in the control room. Funny he'd remember.

"Good. Alert me if anything else happens. I'll be there in a few moments."

"Yes sir."

The doctor smiled. Yes, he, Doctor Johan Sinatra would soon get what he wanted. It was close- he could feel it.

*0*

It was rare- as of late- for the lair to be so silent. It was a peaceful silence, though, and it promised that things were getting better once again. Earlier that evening, Raphael had made the move to sleep in his own bed, and Don approved that his condition was stable enough for him to move out of the infirmary. It had been hard to convince Leo that he didn't need watching over, but in the end Don had won him over- Mikey and Raph had opted to not taken part in the conversation.

At that particular moment, everyone was asleep, even Donatello had taken a break from his laboratory in order to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Mikey was sprawled in front of the TV- a pleasantly normal thing for him to do. Being able to enjoy just relaxing without the plight of Raphael hanging over his head. He was bandaged up from earlier on. Thankfully nothing too serious- a concussion was the worst of it, but it was getting better. A box of empty popcorn was lying on the floor beside him.

The ringing which interrupted the silence of the lair had been soft at first. Just gentle beeping. Don had been the first woken up by it. In his groggy, sleep educed state, it had taken him a few moments to register what was going on.

Don rubbed his eyes, looking around his room for the source of the notice. Finding his phone beeping with the emergency signal, he lunged across the room to answer it in time.

"Hello-"

"Donnie! Thank heavens. Don we're being chased! I don't know who it is, but they- Casey, turn here! Now! They're serious about this!"

Don's eyes widened at the sound of gunshots in the background.

Shell, Casey and April were in serious trouble.

"April, where abouts are you?"

By now Mikey was standing in the doorway, a worried frown on his face, "Don?"

"We're near the city center. Casey, now! Gotta go, hurry Don!"

And just like that the phone was dead in Don's ear. He spent a moment, just gaping at it stupidly.

"Don?"

"April and Casey are being chased by someone. I don't know who or why but they're in real trouble."

Mikey's face hardened, "So we gonna save them right?"

"Right. Get Leo- tell him the situation"

Mikey nodded.

"Mikey…"

"Hmm?"

"You can't go with us you know."

Mikey grimaced at his injuries, "Right." He turned and walked out of the door.

Shell of all the things to happen, Don thought, rummaging in his draw for ammunition, why did it have to be this? Why now?

*0*

Leo ran out of his room at the sound of his brothers voices. He had only taken a few steps when Mikey appeared in front of him.

"Mikey, what-?"

"April and Casey ran into a bit of trouble." Mikey made to walk past his brother, "They need our help asap."

"What?" Leo stepped forward to catch his brother round the shoulder, "The whole story?"

"Dunno." Mikey shrugged free of his brothers hold, "Just get your stuff together."

"Mikey!" He called to his brother's retreating back, "Mike, what do we tell Raph?"

"How about the truth?"

Leonardo grimaced, scrunching his eyes shut. Shell, bad timing, bad, bad timing.

"Raph," he turned to face his brother. The red banded turtle was leaning heavily against the door post, scowling.

"Raph, I just meant-"

"I know what ya meant Leo." He snapped, "Ya don't wanna upset me."

So blunt. Leo was startled at the perception.

As if reading his thoughts Raph continued, "I got hurt Leo- sure. But I'm not stupid. It's my body that's useless not my brain." He sneered at his own words, "Ya gonna save April and Casey- and I can't go with. I'd be a liability. I get it Leo. I wouldn't have asked."

Leo opened his mouth, but Raph cut him off, "Drop it Leo."

With that he turned and limped into his room, slamming the door shut.

Leonardo rubbed his eyes with one hand. He couldn't deal with this right now. But later- after their friends were safe- then he'd resolve this whole thing with his brother. There was obviously too much going on in this family to be ignored. And maybe they both had some things to say to each other.

Right now however- he'd focus on the problem at hand.

*0*

Why'd did he have to do that? Blow up at Leo? He was painfully aware of Leonardo's feelings, heaven knew he'd felt them often enough himself.

He suspected that he was angry at himself. Angry at his situation, angry that he was useless.

But he wasn't angry and Leo and he wasn't angry at Doctor Sinatra. No- he was scared of the doctor. Too scared to be angry. He'd come to terms with it, admitted it. He noted that he would never have admitted being scared before- so maybe torture changed people? He chucked darkly at his own thoughts- but there was no humor in it.

From behind his closed door he could hear his brothers moving around, packing supplies and what not. He could here the haste in their movements. So they were probably in a really big hurry.

A few moments later- his suspicions were confirmed when Mikey poked his head around the door. "They're leaving now."

Raph nodded, "You not goin' with?"

Mikey shook his head, "I'm not in perfect condition yet." He grinned, "Gonna go help 'em load up though. See ya in a bit Raphie."

Raphael sighed and collapsed fully on the bed.

It would have been nice to help- even in the way Mikey was. To feel more useful.

But right now he'd stay in his room, and try his best to ignore the worry that ate at him from the inside.

*0*

Mikey stood watching as his brother sped off in the van. He touched his injured arm gingerly, hoping that they'd be alright. He had a horrible feeling growing in his stomach about this whole thing and its connection to them. He had the feeling that they shouldn't have gotten involved. But they had anyways- unable to refuse their friends plea for help. Of course.

Feeling far more somber than usual, Mikey strode into their main living room. After a few moments of contemplation, he decided that speaking to Raph might be a good thing. It would take both their minds off the problems or resolve them. Either way was good with him.

With that thought in mind, Mikey set off.

*0*

Don and Leo sped through the streets in their van. Don was driving, his grip on the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white.

Beside him, Leo was looking at the tracker between his hands uttering the occasional, "Turn left." "Right here." "Left again."

In front of them, the streets of New York loomed ominously empty. Strange for this time of night.

"We getting close?"

Leonardo nodded, "yeah, we should be coming onto them after the next corner."

Don Kept his eyes glued to the road, "I have a bad feeling about this."

"A bad feeling?" Leonardo didn't like the sound of that.

'Never mind." Donatello shook his head. "It's nothing. Let's just get this over with."

Deciding to drop it, Leo nodded, "Right."

He glanced again at the tracker, "Almost there."

A few seconds later two vehicles came into sight, both driving maniacally fast, swerving and skidding on the road. Donatello barely flinched, just floored the gas.

"Leo, we're gonna have to take that van out." He said, nodding towards the car following April's van.

Leonardo nodded, Unstrapping himself from his seat. "You handle the driving, Don, I'll get the car."

"There should be a triseriton blaster in the back." Don volunteered

Deciding it was better not to question where his brother had gotten it from, Leonardo walked to the back and glanced around. The blaster was hard to miss.

Slinging the strap over one shoulder, Leo hoisted himself out of the van via sunroof, "Keep her steady Don!" He called.

"Right!"

Leo swallowed hard, getting his footing right. He clicked off the safety and aimed.

The first two shots missed by a mile and Leonardo cursed his bad aim. Shots were fired his way and he ducked, pressing himself against the roof. He took aim again. This time he hit the back, but it wasn't enough to do any real damage.

Leo aimed a final time, right at the wheels. His target had steadied and was focused now on hitting its targets, not avoiding strikes.

Leonardo took a breath, this was his chance to take it out.

With two perfect shots, the enemies back wheel was punctured. Because of its speed, the vehicle lost complete control. It swerved, spinning out and into a nearby building with a terrible crash. Flames and debris flew up from the site and Leo ducked his head to avoid being hit.

Don was slowing down now, enough for him to climb back into the car.

The van stopped, as did April's ahead.

Don and Leo stepped out of their van, and moved towards the one now wrecked against the wall.

"Hey guys! Guys!" Footsteps were coming towards them but the two brothers were oblivious to Casey and April's greetings.

"Donnie is that…?"

Donatello nodded mutely, still staring at the wrecked vehicle, "I thought it was over but…"

Leo nodded grimly, yes glued on the familiar symbol on the van, "I think we've got a real problem on our hands."


~FIN


The rest will be in a sequel. Hopefully a better written one.

What did you think?