A/N: While I will miss everyone when I'm gone, I'm not gonna miss this site X|
Sorry for the delay. I was hoping to post this and House Rules at the same time, except I forgot to HR today! lol Hopefully tomorrow or later tonight.
The lair that was home to four mutant turtles and one mutant rat was uncharacteristically quiet that evening. For Hamato Donatello, he was glad for it. He had holed himself up within his bedroom since training had ended earlier that morning and had pretty much stayed there throughout the day. And blessedly, no one had bothered him.
Oh, he had seen the shadows come and go, knew his brothers or father wondered if they should enter his sanctuary, if just to make sure he was still breathing and well enough alive. The first few times, it had been annoying to the point he made the effort to get up and make his appearance if just to grab a bag of chips from the kitchen.
That bag still lay, unopened, on his computer desk, the greenish color looking back at him as he stared at it. He made another sigh, looking away and at his computer monitor; that was the other thing about his day – his computer had remained off. While he normally kept it running 24/7, the last few days he just decided not to worry about bothering to turn it back on after the last major OS update. Why bother really.
Donatello was depressed and well aware of it. He had had these feelings before after all, though for varying reasons that were never the same. He occasionally had those 'melancholy blues' that one often goes to throughout certain seasons or when something is presented to them that they are unable to achieve. It was something that happened when the winter months came around and they were forced to stay mostly underground due to the cold; as children, it was disheartening to know that they would never be able to see shopping mall Santas – though at that age, they didn't realize the difference – and always worried if Santa would know how to get their presents to them.
As they grew older, the thoughts of being the first and last of their kind took a little more of a toll, but again, nothing that they couldn't really handle. If anything, Donnie thought his brothers all went through some sort of melancholy time at one point, but he wouldn't say they were depressed. No, by now, Donnie knew the difference.
The first time he had felt this was after the Triceratons had tried to take over Earth and the death of Professor Honeycutt. Going through that mind probe had been the worst thing he had probably ever gone through, well, at the time. Master Splinter had been wonderful, of course, in helping him master the nightmares that he kept having; however, there were things that he hadn't wanted to plague his teacher and father with, so he of course set out to look into it himself.
Out of his own sense of worth, Don had used that big brain of his to incorporate more medical learning within his repertoire. While they all knew basic first aid, with the various injuries they were likely to suffer, Don had slowly but surely began shifting his scientific biological lessons over to medicine of the physical and mental kinds. This had lead Donnie to discover that, at that time, he was not only depressed, but was highly likely to be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. He had all the signs and while meditation helped somewhat, he had ended up having April supply him with a bottle of anti-depressants.
The second time Don had felt that nothing really mattered was after he had his second mutation, thanks in part to Bishop's ill gotten alien attack. Thankfully, it didn't last long, just the duration of his rest period and then Leo had suggested they go and get some air and it seemed like he could feel life coming back to him. And of course, that's when they had gotten recruited by the Ninja Tribunal and by then, Donnie couldn't think about life and its meaning.
This time however, his depression was lasting longer than it ever had, going on for nearly four months.
But he couldn't help it. At the beginning of that time, Donnie was just coming out his third month as renewed bachelor, after his former girlfriend had broken off their relationship. He was understanding, of course. She was a princess; she had royal duties and loyalties to her people and her kingdom. He was just some mutated turtle who just happened to be smarter than the average mutated turtle. He understood – she needed to marry someone with royal blood, just as they did in the olden days, when keeping one's land was more important than keeping one's heart.
Donnie had loved that girl, loved her more than he ever could imagine you would love a girl; that was why he had gone to see her that day. He had gotten a ring, thanks to April, he had gotten the ring and he was going to propose, ask her to be his wife. And he had gotten the equivalent of a slap in the face. He tried not to blame her, as he knew it only her custom to follow the doctrines of her people, but he couldn't help but be angry. Was her royal patronage more important than the feelings they had for each other? Were duties more important than love? More important than him? That was all he could think about, all that occupied his mind. Sometimes, he wondered if he should've even bothered. What would've come out of something between them, really? They weren't normal human beings, at least he wasn't, and the probability of either he or his brothers actually being able to reproduce was untested and for all he knew, they were completely sterile.
And truly, wasn't that the whole point of reproduction? Sending out the seeds of your life to a new generation? Did he really want to bring another generation of mutated turtles into the world to be prosecuted? He had finally gotten to the point where he was glad Dellandra dropped him; after all, why did he want to be with some stuck up princess who was probably just using him until she could find another royal that would combine their lands or whatever. Besides, he was a genius! Science and technology had rarely let him down.
There was a reason he spent time around machines.
And then one month ago, a strange turtle from a strange world came stumbling into theirs; a strange being from another dimension, another time, who came to their time to prevent their deaths, or so he said. In the end, the truth was learned and the path was set.
His son. His son.
Even if he didn't exist in his own time period, somewhere Hamato Donatello had a son, a son with Dellandra. Their son. And then, in the blink of an eye, this young turtle with his mother's features and his eyes, was gone. His son was dead. A son that he himself would now never have with a wife he was never destined to marry.
What was so wrong with him that fate deemed it necessary to bring him down further than he already was?
Glancing at his alarm clock, he was shocked to learn he had been sitting in the exact same spot for nearly two hours. His mind was heavy and while he had already taken some of his anti-depressants, even he knew that taking any more so soon afterwards would cause some ill effects that he didn't want to bother his family about. However, he knew he wouldn't settle his mind by himself, so he decided to take a chance and venture out into the lair at large.
Master Splinter knew who it was before he even heard the tapping on his door. He always knew when one of his sons was troubled and while these last few weeks everyone had been troubled, he especially worried for his first youngest son. Donatello had such a gentleness about him and Splinter worried that these events had seemingly crushed his spirit. Not once had this genius son come to speak to him, though he made sure that his son knew that he was open to listen to him should he seek out his counsel.
It seemed he was finally ready.
"Enter," he said, not waiting for the customary knock. He had come out of his meditation as soon as he felt the presence at the door, but he still sat with eyes closed in a meditative stance. "I sensed your troubled spirit, my son," he whispered, hearing the sound as the turtle's knees hit the mat before him, awaiting his father's words.
"These last few days have been hard on us all, but most understandably on you. Niccolo will surely be missed, but you must not grieve forever."
"How could I possibly forget him, Father?"
The ninja master opened his eye to peer at his son. His heart nearly broke at the dishearten and broken look upon the turtle's face, one he hadn't seen since Professor Honeycutt's sacrifice at keeping the Federation and the Triceratons from open war. "I ask that you do not forget him, Donatello," he stated, kindly. "I could not and would not ask that of you. Only that you know Niccolo sacrificed himself so that you may live, that perhaps you would go on to things you never imagined."
The purple clad turtle shook his head sadly, unable to stop a small sob that escaped his mouth. "How am I supposed to do that?" he sniffed. "Nick is dead and Dell doesn't want me. Any life I imagine now is nothing without them in it. How can I possibly go on, Father? How am I supposed to go on when I've had a vision of a future that I'll never have?"
It was then Donatello broke down, the emotions he had been steadily holding on to for nearly five months, suddenly realizing at the enormity of his world now held. He had hit on the true meaning on his random statements – Nick had brought to him a glimpse of what his world could've been, or what his world had been in the dimension Nick came from. It was a thought, though fleeting, which he had envisioned while still together with Dell
It hurt Splinter to see his son this way, so saddened and broken by events. They had all suffered this loss greatly, but Niccolo was Donatello's son, regardless if it was in another dimension; Niccolo was family. The other three had lost their nephew, Splinter had lost his grandson, but Donatello…
His third son had lost so much more.
A sudden knock at his door alerted both father and son that someone wanted their attention. "Enter." The door opened to reveal Leonardo and a ringing phone.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, Master," he replied. "Donnie, your phone's been ringing for a few moments now. I…thought you might want to answer it." The elder turtle entered slowly, approaching his brother before placing a hand on his shoulder. He waited until Don was somewhat more composed before passing the ringing shell cell over to him, but not without giving his shoulder a squeeze and leaving without a word.
The brainy turtle flipped opened his phone, surprised to see the familiar face looking back at him. "Hello Donatello," she replied. "I…I hope this isn't a bad time."