Disclaimer: I don't own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any of its characters.

I've noticed that in the 2003 cartoon series, Donatello get his fair share of injuries. So I decided to write about those hurts and revolve one of them around a certain turtle (or rat) in the same process.

There is a reason why these chapters won't have a complete ending as I wanted to focus more on the hurt rather than the recovery as indicted in the title. So hope you enjoy and review!

Four Times Donnie Got Hurt

Chapter 1 – Protector And The Protected


I protected my brothers from a lot of things: Foot ninjas, aliens, the Shredder, the mob, killer robots, rampant mutants, assassins, the Purple Dragons, Bishop, mad scientists … and that's just naming a few. But out of all my brothers, I seemed to protect Donnie the most.

Donnie was the mild-mannered one. The one who loathed to fight. I couldn't remember how the rest of us used to tease Donnie for his pacifism and sympathy. He didn't train as hard as the rest of us, preferring to solve problems through voice and reason rather than force. He didn't have Mikey's energy, Leo's enthusiasm or my endurance. But what he lacked he made up for his brains.

The garbage we found in the sewers, in the garbage bins, in junkyards, wherever, Donnie had the remarkable ability to change it into weapons, vehicles and technology beyond our wildest dreams. His "toys" as he liked to call them, are spun by his fingers, woven together by intricate bolts, screws and metal. When I was a kid, I often imagined him as a wizard, able to make machines whirl to life, to dance and sing at his slight command to the melody he has chosen for them. With a wave of a hand, much like a conductor, he was able to breathe life into these cold, inanimate objects, to give them a soul to call their own.

How Don was able to do what he does, no one could really understand. Leo tried. Mikey guessed. I don't even bother. Then again, Donnie and I are too different to understand each other.

We are the middle brothers, neither the babies nor the adults of our little family. And we couldn't be any more opposite. Don was smart, gentle and kind. I was rash, headstrong and violent. We're like the sun and moon, night and day, clashing against one another, only appearing when the other is gone.

But without each other, we wouldn't be able to survive. He is the logic to my rage. I am the muscle to his plans.

Balance was crucial for us, all four of us, in order to survive. Otherwise, we would crumble to disaster and despair. Donnie is needed more than we – or he – realized. He stuck up for Mikey even though the idiot didn't deserve it. He relieved the pressures of leadership and responsibility from Leo, able to get Fearless to relax and clear his thoughts. He talked to me, calming the storm within me only with a soft smile.

I couldn't exactly say when I started becoming protective particularly over Donnie but I would have to say it was when we were younger, if he had a nightmare, Donnie would come to my bed. Not Leo's or Mikey's, but mine. He would stand at the foot of my bed, crying as silently as he could, staring pitifully at me with his watery eyes until I sighed and scooted over. He would snuggle close, tucked neatly underneath my chin, seeking the shelter and warmth of my arms. Before, during those times, I had wished just for once, he would go Mikey or Leo instead of me. Now that I'm older, I actually feel glad that Donnie chose me over Leo or Mikey.

His attackers liked to pick on him, to prey on the weak and helpless. But my brother wasn't weak or helpless at all. He might not be the strongest but he was one of the most resilient people I have ever known. No matter how many times he fell or failed, he managed to surprise us all. Maybe that's why I couldn't help but protect him. I wanted to protect that determination.

One day, after a particular nasty fight between me and Fearless, Master Splinter sent the two of us to cool off with the usual hand-to-hand training. Leo was paired with Mikey and I was with Don. I kept twirling my sai around and around my fingers, glaring at Leo, who determinedly didn't look my direction. When Master Splinter called me and Don to the floor, I stuffed my sai in my belt, forgetting I should have placed them down on the ground. I was so lost in my rage, I didn't realize that Don shot me a confused, almost wary look as we took our positions.

I charged first, one fist aiming from the weaker area of the plastron, my other fist preparing to hit if the first strike failed. Don dodged, leaping away, ducking from my sudden kick. His foot lashed out, attempting to trip me if I hadn't jumped the last second.

I imagined Leo replacing Don. A surprised face was swapped for an emotionless one. A bō for twin swords. Purple for blue.

Without faltering, my fist connected to his jaw, successfully knocking him over this time. He laid flat on the ground, wheezing and groaning. Grinning wildly, I looped around him, like a prowling beast ready to deliver the finishing blow to his prey. So old Fearless wasn't invincible after all. And I was going to beat him. Exhilaration pumped through me, leaving no room for thought as I rushed once more towards my objective, unconsciously flicking my weapons out, intent on hurting.

" Raph!"

Suddenly, I skidded to a stop, surprised to see another Leo suddenly in front of me, restraining my weapons from getting to where they were supposed to be going. Master Splinter and Mikey was kneeling beside "Leo", who remained on the ground. A nasty purple, blue bruise was forming, coloring his cheek where it had been punched.

Where it had been punched by me.

" What were you doing?" Leo's voice was harsh and I found myself casting my eyes down in order to evade his unrelenting gaze. " This was training, not a battle. No weapons. That was Master Splinter's one rule." His voice grows louder, more ruthless. My sai were in his hands. I didn't realize he took them from me.

I was still staring at the multicolored mass at my brother's cheek. Master Splinter gently inspected it and Don winced, shying away from the touch. I winced too. " Donnie, I - "

" It's all right," Don interrupted. He grimaced slightly as he stood, rubbing his cheek gingerly. " No real harm was done. It was more of my fault anyways. I guess I haven't been training enough."

At that moment, I really hated him. I wanted him to scream, curse and storm at me, to give me what I deserved. Heck, he could attack me right now and I wouldn't blame him for it. But he didn't. He was shrugging his injuries aside, acting as if it was nothing. He even took the blame of his injuries on himself and not me. His kindness towards me only made me feel more ashamed of my actions.

" Really Leo, I'm fine," Donnie was saying to our leader. " I'll just go get some ice." As he passed by me, he gave me a light punch on the arm. " Now, we're even," he cheekily said, completed with an even cheekier grin.

His punch was nothing compared to mine. His was weak, gentle even. Mine was thrown with cold intentions to hurt. Leo threw a glare in my direction before heading towards the kitchen. Mikey was being strangely quiet for once as he, too, followed Leo. Splinter was sternly lecturing me about control and how I would do ten flips for breaking the rule. But I didn't pay attention to any of that. All I was focused on was that bruise on Donnie's cheek that I had caused.

I protected my brothers, especially Donnie, from a lot of things. But there is one thing I cannot protect them from.