Donnie's POV

He's Like Fire

There's this thing about Raph. He's kind of hard to describe sometimes. And I finally figured out how to do it. It's funny. I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. Why I didn't see the way this fit with him. It's perfect. He's like fire.

It's not just that he's like fire. He is fire. It burns inside of him. It's part of him. Everything he does coincides with that fire. Because it's his instinct. It's what tells him what to do. Though it's not always a good thing. It works for him though. Because it's not just something that's inside of him. It is him.

Have you ever watched a flame? A single flame? Light a candle. You'll see the way it takes a second to catch. You have to hold the match to it for a while. That's Raph's hesitancy to trust someone. He doesn't just go around and pick up new friends. It takes a while for the idea to warm up to him. And even then, he doesn't throw himself all into it. Just like the flame of a candle stays at the tip of the wick.

After it catches, what do you see? The wax of the candle melts off. You see it slowly start to move down the candle. The flame is allowed to move down the wick. But only inches at a time. This is Raph's tendency to keep us at a distance. It keeps himself from going out. From us seeing what he could be without that flame. The flame that keeps us unable to touch the wick in the middle, for fear of getting burned.

Now go a few feet away. Blow. If you hit the candle, you'll see it flicker a little. That's it. Only a little. Now take a step. Blow. Take another step. Blow. It flickers more and more as you get closer. That's Raph's instincts. His reactions. The slightest disturbance in the air around us, and he's ready to go. To protect us. The closer or bigger the disturbance, the more he's ready to go.

Now, don't touch the flame. But you know what'll happen if you do right? It'll burn you. Right? Right. That is Raph's anger. As the disturbance (you) gets closer and closer to the flame, it gets more and more agitated. The flame moves more and more. And if it's able to touch this disturbance, it'll be burned. Just like Raph takes out whoever comes his way with the intention of stifling him.

Now, blow out the candle. That happened a little too easy for you didn't it? Raph isn't like that. But watch the smoke that comes up from it. It curls and twists in the air, slowly getting lighter and lighter until you can't see it anymore. That's Raph after a fight. It takes a while for his anger, his fire, to go away. It takes a while for him to cool down. But when he does, he's the same Raph he was before. Except for the evidence of the fight. Like the black on the wick.

Now forget about the candle. That was a demonstration. Now go light a good big bonfire outside when it gets dark. Don't go burning your yard, house, or (heaven forbid) your neighbor's house down. But build it up. Nice and big. Get in a circle around it and eat marshmallows if you want. But watch the fire. Down near the bottom. What color is it? The embers. They're red. This is his color.

This is why the color red fits him so much. He is the embers of the family. The fire that keeps us warm like yours is doing to you. The one that protects us from dangers in the shadows like a fire would protect you from wolves or bears. And his color reflects that. Because it's perfect for him.

Now try something. Blow on this fire. Go ahead. Try again. Make it move like the candle did. Blow it out. You can't, can you? This is like Raph. Unlike the little candle before, this one is a demonstration of his anger. His strength. Neither can just be blown out. Only he can decide when they dwindle. Because they are both enormous fires. Ones you don't want to mess with. Just like Raph.

And what would happen if you just let this fire go? Just let it sit out in the middle of a forest? It would begin burning would it not? And a forest fire would be started. That is Raph in a war. He is a burning, traveling fire. Never stopping, never resting, until the trees, our enemies, are gone. And then, after it's all over, it would take a long time before the evidence would disappear. Just like his extensive injuries he gets when protecting us.

Now look at the sparks coming off of the fire. The ones that fly off to the sides. Up into the sky. Down to the ground. Float a while. These are Raph's moods. There are days where he has the 'down to the ground' days. Just doesn't really want to be sociable. Then there's the 'fly off to the side' days. Just goes off at everything. The 'up into the sky' days. He's loving and caring, playing with us or just all around friendly. Or the 'float a while' days. Goes from room to room to see how everyone's doing.

He loves us. Two out of his four moods shows that. Because that's another trait of fire. He loves us all to death with a burning passion. Not a lover's passion. One for his family. Where he'd die for us if he had to. Because even though he's fire, he still lets it dim every once in a while and lets us get close.

So look to the tips of the fire. You might not see it on this. If you have to, go back to the candle and put it in a dark room. What colors do you see now? Sometimes they're at the bottom. But what colors do you see around the red? Most of the time there's blue, purple, and, of course, orange. This is us.

He may not let us get close to him, but we try. And sometimes we succeed. It's not always easy to see the love between us around him. Just like it's sometimes hard to see the purple and blue around the bright flame. But we're always there. Especially in the dark. When he needs us the most.

Because even fire needs help. If you let it go for a while, without adding anything to it, it'd die right? Because fire needs wood to stay alive. And that's what we're for. We love him, protect him, and show him that even fire needs someone. Because without wood, the fire would dwindle. And there would eventually be no fire.

When you're done with your big bonfire, take a hose, and hose it down. Kill it. Make sure all of the embers are dead too. Then look at it. What's left of it. Nothing but ashes and pieces of wood left behind. No more hot embers to start up a new fire without lighting it with another. That would be Raph if he left us.

We know there's always a chance that at the end of a fight, one of us might not go home. Might not make it through a serious injury. Because even fire can be put out with the right stuff. Even Raph can be put down with enough force. And what would be left behind if that day should someday come?

Ashes. Pieces of things left behind. A big gray circle in the middle of a green yard. If something ever happened to him, it would be devastating to us. Because all we'd have left would be the pieces he left behind for us. And that just wouldn't be enough. It wouldn't be him.

He's our warmth. Our strength. Our weapon in war that will burn all in our path down. He's part of our love. Part of our team. He's instinct. Heat. Hesitation. He is our fire. And without fire, there'll be nothing left to melt the ice.