Disclaimer: I don't own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any of its characters.
Well, this is the last chapter. Thank you to those who read and left a review. This story wouldn't have survived without you guys. And who else but Donatello himself could conclude this story? Without further ado, here's Donnie!
Chapter 5 –The Best Medicine
The first thing I realized when I awoke, was that it was warm. The comfortable, snug kind on a winter night when you're most reluctant to get out of bed. I really didn't want to open my eyes, but there were these voices, familiar, soothing voices that begged and coaxed me to awake.
And so, I listened to them.
" Listen, Donnie, about the training - "
" Forget about it."
" But - "
" I know you're sorry. And you know you're sorry, right?"
" Yeah, but - "
" So forget about it."
" … You're a pest, you know."
" Come on, Don. Wake up, all right?"
I shifted slightly. I recognized this voice. But strangely, I remembered this voice to be more rough and harsh. Instead, it was soft and pleading. He was worried, I realized. He was scared for me, that I might never wake up and he would be whispering to nothing but an empty shell.
There was a shout of surprise and delight when my hand twitched. I could hear him hold my hand and squeezing back, murmuring encouragement for my ears alone.
Soon, there were other voices shouting and pushing close by, but he told them to be quiet, shoving them away from me.
Almost like a protector.
" Wha – what happened …?"
" It's all right, Donnie, we got ya."
" Mikey? How …?"
" Just go back to sleep, all right?"
" He's waking up! He's gonna be all right! Donnie's waking up!"
This happy voice I recognized too. He was a child, forever happy and smiling. He would pounce on my back and beg me endlessly to download the latest games to satisify his undying love for them. I remembered how annoyed I would be, but I would do it anyways.
The other two would sometimes berate and lecture him. Upset that he was too lazy to wake up early for practice. Irritated that he played the radio too loud in the mornings. So it would be my job to tell the others to lay off and not to be so harsh on him. Just give him five minutes to get ready. Give him earphones. There! Problem solved.
Out of the others, I noticed he tended to stick close to me, almost like my shadow sometimes. He came to me if he had something troubling him or if he was just having a bad day. Sometimes, we would sit late at night, just talking and we would fall asleep, all tangled together in my blankets.
What else were younger brothers for?
" Here, my son. Some tea to calm your headache."
" But - but how did you know?"
" A father always knows."
" My son, can you open your eyes for me?"
Now this was one voice I would never forget. There was just something about this voice that screamed father and love. He had taken care of me since I was a child and still has to this day. I wanted to reach out, to feel his warmth, to know that I was safe in his arms.
I remembered hurting my knee and he came for me, gently cleaning it and wrapping it. And once he was done, he blessed it with a kiss. I was laughing and he was smiling and together we walked back home, hand in hand.
Even when I lacked the physical capabilities of the others, he never sternly criticized me for it. Instead, he taught and he trained and he helped. I did my part as well. I wanted to make him proud. And the day when I finally defeated the others, I turned around to see a beaming smile of his face.
That smile of his meant more to me than anything else.
" Leo, why are you giving me an extra medical kit?"
" You never know when you might need it."
" Don, you're doing great. We're right here with you. Can you hear me?"
The last voice was a mixture of apprehension and joy. He worried too much for his own good sometimes, really. He was our leader, the fearless one who led us into battle and out. He always seemed strained and stressed so often (no wonder he mediated so much).
I wanted to help him. As the oldest, he already has enough things to deal with, without us to worry about. Doesn't he realize we all want to lessen the burden on him? But, he could be stubborn and he would refuse to listen.
So, I had to resort to other measures. I took the job of looking after the others when he couldn't, making sure they were all right. I was the one who made sure that if there were any injuries, I would take care of it. I worked feverishly on my inventions, so they could get us out of any difficulty, so he wouldn't have to torture himself that he had failed.
I wanted to be the one to tell him that he never did.
" Hey, you guys … thanks."
I opened my eyes.