April told me once that I have a beautiful voice. My brothers have never stopped teasing me since.

It doesn't matter now, though.I feel as though it's the only thing I can do to reach you as your body seizes in my arms. Your eyes are clasped shut and your mouth drips blood-tinged foam. Still, I hold onto you and rock slowly back and forth, singing gently.

Torrianse, torrianse

I know you're in pain. Before you closed them, I saw the pain in the blue depths, deep and terrible. It killed me then, the fact that you were hurting and I could do nothing. I know you're in even greater pain now. I don't even have to look at you to know. It radiates off your skin as easily as sweat drips from your brow. Still, I cannot stop it. I can do nothing.

The vile lies at my feet, the name branded proudly upon it. Stocktronic Enterprises. Under that is a short message, something I am clearly supposed to read. Fatal within ten minutes.

Ten minutes. It's already been six minutes, twenty seconds, and you, my brother, are swiftly going downhill.

The others are at least ten minutes away. Not close enough; won't be fast enough. Ten minutes. That's all you have. That's all I have.

Your body seizes again, mouth agape. A guttural cry escapes your lips, flicking pink foam onto your chin. I swallow thickly through the tears and hold you tighter against my chest, my song nearly choked out by the painful lump in my throat.

Koko wa doko no hosomichi jya

Tenjin-sama no hosomichi jya

Seven minutes. It's been seven minutes. Your body relaxes again, sags in my arms, and your head lulls back against my shoulder. Foam dribbles onto my arm, but I ignore it, wishing that time would stop ticking. Wishing that the others would get here quicker. Wishing that I had more than three minutes left with you.

Seven minutes, ten seconds. I stop singing for a moment, letting my tears drip down my snout and fall onto your ailing body. Your skin is so ashen, even the sweat that collects on it doesn't make it shine in the dead light of the half-moon. Your breath hitches, causing me to grasp you tighter…

Then it's released in a shuddering, raspy breath. You cough weakly, blood fresh on your lips.

We didn't notice them-- I didn't notice them. They weren't even ninja, and they fooled me. There wasn't even a scuffle. I didn't get to lay my hand on or thrust my sword into a single person. The sharpshooter probably cost him a small fortune, but Stockman has a whole bank of 'small fortunes'.

When it hit you, you pulled it out quickly. You were fine, you said. A little shocked you'd just been jabbed by a big needle, and too busy looking for whoever shot you to think about what could happen. You were fine until about a minute passed.

Chotto toshite kudashanse

Goyo no nai mono tocsin

It's been eight minutes now. You're so hot in my arms that it burns to hold onto you, but I won't let go. The song is still pouring from my lips, somehow making it past the tears that keep crawling over my lips. You haven't seized again yet, but I'm ready for it. Your breaths are so ragged that I can not only hear them, but feel them under my fingers, feel your lungs struggling to take in a single breath and let it out in a rush.

Letting it out too soon.

Your skin has a strange sallow color, something I've never seen before. The area around your eyes has sunken, as if your body is already decomposing in my arms. Your cheeks, usually so round and full, have collapsed, moving minutely with your gasping breaths.

It's been nine minutes, and warning sirens are going off in my head. Nine minutes. You only have one minute left before you stop breathing all together.

What was the last thing you said to me?

"I-I'm okay, Leo. I don't think anything was in it."

You were wrong, little brother.

It's coming again; another seizure. I can see it, feel it in your tired muscles. When it hits, it's worse than the others, making your legs kicks out, the gravel on the roof digging into your heels.

You probably don't even feel that, do you?

Foam rushes out of your mouth now, more red than pink, and I see your tongue moving in your mouth, trying to push it way. It's blocking your breathing, getting into your lungs. Even though I know you'll die soon, this is something I can fix. For the time being, anyway.

I quickly bring my hand up, knowing I'm risking my fingers if you have another seizure, and quickly swipe the inside of your mouth. Slowly, I drag the sticky red foam out. I do it once more, feeling this is as comfortable as I can make you, and your breathing is… Well, you're breathing again.

Kono ko no nanatsu no iwai ni
Ofuda o osame ni mairimasu

Nine minutes, forty seconds. I know you're not going to die right on the ten minute mark. Stockman's a genius, but no one can decide how hard or how long a body fights for survival, how fast it gives into its fate. You're still trying. Still fighting.

But failing. Your breaths are now shallow, far and few in between. Your body is completely limp in my arms, the heat raging ever strong. I can feel your heart beating against mine as I pull you up and press you tightly against myself. It's weak and irregular. It won't last much longer.

Iki wa yoi yoi, kaeri wa kowai

Never again will I hear your voice, your laughter, your cries, your snores. Never will I see your smile, your frown, your smirk, or sadness. Never again will I watch you, laugh with you-- laugh at you. I know this. I can feel your heart as it slows even more. You stop breathing, but the beat pushes on.

It doesn't last long. You're gone before I can even say goodbye.

Torrianse, torrianse


Go down the path, go down the path

What narrow path is this?
This is the shrine god's path

go ahead down the path
if you have no errand, don't go

I come to pray in celebration for this child's seventh birthday

going is easy, coming back is scary

even though it's scary, go down the path, go down the path

A/N Thank you Ming (Pink Cloud Assembly) for betaing for me! You made it much smoother 3 TMNT doesn't belong to me, not for profit, and hell its 2:30 a.m. and I need to go to bed. Hope you all enjoyed.

A/N: May 31, 2009 – Thank you Ash (Willowfly) for betaing this for me and getting out the little but important kinks to make this even better.