Okay, here we go. This will be a two part story and for those who have read my other TMNT story- don't worry, I'm still working on it, just hit a little snag.
Mikey frowned, sitting forward on the couch with his elbows resting on his knees, and straining to hear the TV over Leo and Raph's bickering as they entered the room from the kitchen.
It was turning out to be a long winter and a bad one at that, keeping the four turtles confined mostly to the lair, so it was no surprise that tensions were a little high. Raph especially hated to feel confined and Mikey suspected that Leo felt much the same- although he tried not to show it.
He didn't bother trying to listen to what his two brothers were arguing over this time- it was always something similar, and sometimes even over nothing. It wasn't hard to set Raph off, and all Leo really had to do was make a simple remark- or even use the wrong tone of voice. Of course, even Mikey had to admit that Leo seemed a little more wound up than usual.
It was really starting to wear on Mikey's nerves, and he grunted in frustration and began turning up the volume of the TV in hopes of drowning them out. For a moment he had even thought that he'd been successful until…
"Mikey turn that thing off!..Michelangelo!"
The remote was snatched from his hand before he had even registered the voices words, and he found himself staring up at a very ticked off Leo, who immediately turned the TV off.
Mikey grinned sheepishly.
"Uh…what's up, bro?"
Leo wasn't swayed by the innocent act.
"You're not the only one who lives here, Mikey- can you try and keep it down?"
Mikey rolled his eyes, "Geesh, didn't know you could hear me over you and Raph yelling."
"we weren't yelling," Leo denied, frowning. "We were having a …discussion.. about something, and I was just about to-"
His sentence was interrupted by the slamming of a door, and Mikey couldn't help but crack a grin at the surprised and slightly upset expression on his brothers face as he realized Raph had just left.
Mikey chuckled. "Looks like your debate partner flew the coop."
Leo looked frustrated, and sighed.
"I'm going to meditate." He said, turning to leave. "And when Raph comes back freezing cold and sick, tell him I said 'I told you so'."
"Can do." Mikey chimed, although a bit surprised at Leo's attitude.
He sighed slumping into the seat as Leo left, not feeling much like watching TV anymore. He was so bored. There was only so much he could do to entertain himself and he'd already done it all. Twice!
Video games and hand held electronics had only gotten him by for so long, he'd read all of his comics, he'd done sketches, experimented with different food recipes- even sat through some of Master Splinters soap operas.
He was itching to pull a prank on someone, but he'd obviously already missed his window of opportunity. Tensions were just too high now- it was too risky. Raph and Leo would have him de-shelled and Donnie…
Mikey turned to looked over the couch and into Dons lab, surprised to see that the door was actually ajar. It wasn't that Donnie locked the door a lot, but he usually always kept it shut during one of Raph and Leo's arguments.
Now that the orange banded turtle thought about it, with all the chaos with Raph and Leo, and his own attempts to entertain himself, it seemed that Donnie had all but disappeared. He was either in his room, or more often the lab, tinkering away at something or another. Which made sense- Donnie was probably using all this down time to catch up on all kinds of projects and stuff. He was probably loving it- maybe he was even making something really cool!
Mikey grinned and jumped up from the couch, he'd spare his brother a prank this time, but he sure hoped Donnie had something less science-y and more fun cooked up- or he might have to reconsider.
He didn't bother knocking as he pushed the door open, beaming.
"Knock, Knock, Bro." he announced as he stepped inside. "It's your favoritest little….brother..?"
Mikey's voice trailed off in slight confusion and he blinked at the sight before him.
Donnie was….asleep? At least…he looked like he was.
He was still seated in front of his computer desk, slumped forward with his head resting on the crook of one of his arms, and his other hand laying limp over the keyboard- as if he'd fallen asleep while typing.
"Um..Donnie? You awake, bro?"
Mikey moved closer, wondering if his brother was okay- if he'd really just fallen asleep or…or something else. I mean, who could sleep through all that noise earlier?
He hesitantly reached out and placed a hand on Donnie's shoulder, pleased to feel in rise and fall with each breathe the olive skinned turtle took.
Mikey grinned, relieved and feeling slightly silly for his panic before.
"Gee, bro. You scared me for a sec." He said, giving his brother's shoulder a gentle shake. "Wakey, wakey, dude. This is no place for a nap."
Donnie shifted slightly, letting out a small groan, and nuzzling his head into his arm.
"Almost done…" He murmured in his sleep. "..stupid bunny.."
Mikey grinned- he knew Donnie talked in his sleep, and it was always so much fun if you could get him going. Especially since the usually serious Donnie had such ridiculous dreams.
"What's that, bro?" he asked. "Is that bunny bothering you?"
"Took my Bo…" Don murmured, shifting again. "Don't have time…too busy."
Mikey snickered. A bunny took his brothers weapon?
"Busy doing what?" He asked, grinning mischievously. "Having a tea party with Kermit the frog?"
Don let out a soft groan, turning his head to the side so that it rested on his forearm, and giving Mikey a clear view of his worn out expression as he answered.
"Too busy..fixing things."
This made Mikey pause, glancing up and noticing for the first time all the things scattered about on Donnie's desk. Household things….mostly broken household things…but some fixed.
Mikey frowned in slight disapproval. Was this what Donnie had been doing all this time? Repairing things? Even on his computer screen…there were picture of pipes and stuff. They had been having trouble with the plumbing lately, hadn't they?
He looked at everything again, guilt tugging at his heart when he recognized his Gameboy among all the stuff. Yesterday it had been so important to him, and Donnie hadn't even complained when he'd told him it needed fixing.
"Almost finished.." his brother mumbled, drawing his attention again- and for the first time he noticed how tired his brother truly looked, even while sleeping.
"Ah, Don," Mikey's shoulders slumped, feeling deeply bothered by all this.
How had he gone so long without noticing? I mean, Donnie wasn't exactly the most social turtle, but when he thought about it… Mikey realized that Donnie never went so long without interacting with them. Mikey had just figured he was working on something important - Inventing something (like he enjoyed), not fixing junk. And with Leo and Raph fighting, who wouldn't want to make themselves scarce?
Mikey shook his head slightly.
Those were poor excuses for not noticing his brothers long absence, and his obvious exhaustion. Even when Don left the Lab, it was usually because he was hunger or needed to use the bathroom. They had talked a little, and Mikey honestly hadn't noticed anything wrong. Don acted as calm and layed back as normal- he didn't seem to have had any less energy.
'But that was days ago' his mind reminded him.
He sighed again. His brother needed some serious down time. Sleeping was a good start, although Mikey couldn't imagine him being too comfortable the way he was laying. Waking him up wasn't too good of an idea though- Donnie wouldn't admit to being tired…he'd get straight back to work.
Mikey gave his brothers shoulder a gentle squeeze, "Sleep tight, Don."
He turned to leave, looking over his shoulder at his sleeping brother, hoping he'd get some more rest.
'I'll do something nice for him later.' he decided. 'After he wakes up and-"
Mikey tripped, having not been watching where he was going, and with a half startled cry he knocked into one of the tables near by, sending tools clanging to the floor as he grasped for purchase.
He winced at the loud noises and turned in time to see his brother jerk awake, eyes wide as he turned around in his seat.
"What the- Mikey?!"
His brother blinked over at him, bewildered, and Mikey managed a small grin.
"Heh, hey Don?"
Donnie shook his head at the greeting, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"What are you doing in here?" he asked turning his attention to his orange banded brother.
"Uh..," Mikey grinned guiltily. "Would you believe I'm not actually here?"
Donnie gave him a incredulous look.
"No, really," He insisted standing up, hands out in front of him. "I'm not really here- you were just dreaming so…um..go ahead and lay your head back down and all will be forgotten."
Donnie stared at him for a moment, before shaking his head.
"Just tell me you didn't break anything."
Donatello's light hearted tone did nothing for the guilty feeling in Mikey's gut.
"No, I..uh.." he looked down, noticing the tools at his feet and bending to pick them up, "Sorry, I'll just put these back and um…get out your way so…"
He looked up, meeting his brothers gaze. Don was frowning lightly, brow furrowed in confusion and…concern.
"Are you okay?" he asked, making a move to stand up. "Did something happen?"
Mikey blinked at his brother, but answered quickly.
"What? No, nothing. I'm fine- everything's cool."
Donnie let out a small relieved sigh, shoulders slumping just slightly at the news. It didn't escape Mikey's notice how his brother's hand went to the chair for support either- and he wondered if Don's unsteadiness was from having just woke up, or because he was clearly so overworked.
He didn't let his brother in on his observation and continued quickly, grinning.
"I mean- Leo and Raph had an argument and now Raph's gone topside, but…." Mikey shrugged. "What else is new, huh?"
"They did?' Don frowned, bewildered. "When was that?"
"Oh, about…10 minutes ago maybe," Mikey replied "I'm surprised you didn't hear them- they weren't exactly using their inside voices. Heck, I don't think Raph even has an inside voice."
"Hm." Don made a small noise of acknowledgment and dropped back down into his seat, bringing a hand up to rub his eyes. "Guess I dozed off for a bit."
"Dozed off?" Mikey said, in disbelief. "Dude, you were in a mini coma."
Mikey found himself even more confused and upset when his brother actually looked embarrassed…even guilty. What the shell?
"Sorry. Did you need something?" Donnie asked, unable to hide all the weariness from his voice as he looked up, offering a weak smile. "I'm almost finished fixing your game."
Every word seemed to make the uncomfortable feeling in Mikey's gut worse.
"No, I don't need anything, and take your time with the game. Really." he insisted. "I'm in no rush."
Don blinked, looking slightly bewildered.
"If you're sure…"
"I'm positive, dude. Never been more sure in my life." Mikey replied. "In fact, maybe you should take a break. All work and no play, ya know."
Don smiled dismissively.
"No thanks. I'm fine." He replied, but his words contrasted greatly with his slightly bloodshot eyes, and the bags not quite hidden by his mask.
"You sure?" Mikey asked, still a bit anxious. "Maybe I could help? Do you need anything? Seriously, anything at all? It's no problem."
Don raised an eye ridge at his brothers odd behavior. "Are you sure you didn't break anything? You're acting weird."
Mikey let out an exasperated sigh.
"No, I didn't break anything." He replied. "Can't a guy be nice to his brother?"
"Usually not with out a reason," Don replied, shaking his head. "but okay, if you say so- and no, I don't need anything. I'm kind of in the middle of something right now."
Mikey frowned slightly as Donnie turned back to the computer.
"Oh…you sure?" He asked again, "I mean, wouldn't you rather get some sleep?"
Don shook his head, not turning around. "No. I'm good."
"How about watching some TV? Or we could pick out a movie- Scifi?" he suggested.
Donnie sighed, sounding for the first time actually tired. "No thanks, Mikey. Maybe later- I'm busy right now."
"Can't it wait?" Mikey asked, sounding more desperate. "I mean, it's not like it's going anywhere and you've been in here a lot lately and I was thinking maybe-"
Mikey blinked up at his brother who had turned his seat back around, an exasperated although somewhat apologetic look on his face.
"Listen, I know I've been busy lately," he stated. "And I'm really sorry I haven't spent much time with you- especially with Raph and Leo at each others throats all the time- but I really need to get some of this stuff done. I promise we'll do something fun together after I'm finished- you can even pick the movie, okay?"
It wasn't okay. Don just didn't get it. Mikey wanted him to take a break because he was obviously overworked, not because he was bored and wanted company.
Donnie was actually sorry about not giving Mikey any attention. It was crazy- but of course, that was Donnie for you. He was always more concerned about others well being them himself. Which made it all the worse that his brothers hadn't been looking out for him. Mikey especially.
"Yeah, okay." Mikey offered a smile to his brother. "I'll hold you to it, bro. Just…don't work too hard."
Don smiled. "Sure thing."
Mikey left, bothered still.
Oh, poor overworked Don. Don't we love him!? ^_^ part two will be up sometime soon, and Mikey will attempt to set things right. Please leave a review- I'm still new to the tmnt world of fanfiction, and feedback is always appreciated! Thank you!