Warning: I'm bored…
I don't own TMNT.
"Why did you do that Raph!? It's was foolish and dangerous!"
"So what!? You do it all the time!"
"I stick to the shadows I don't jump into battle in the middle of broad daylight!"
"Would you get off my case already!? When are you going to stop nagging me?"
"No and I'll stop nagging when you start listening!"
"Why should I listen to you anyways!?"
"I'm the leader of this team-!"
"A point you never let me forget!"
"A point I'm never allowed to forget!"
"Forget this, I'm out of here!"
"Raph, no it's dangerous now that the Foot are roaming around!"
Raph scoffed and headed for the door, "I don't care!"
Leo's eyes narrowed and he rushed forward, placing himself between his hot headed little brother and the doorway, "You're staying right here Raph."
"Get out of my way Leo," Raph warned, his hands going to the hilts of his sais at his belt.
"No. Raph why can't you just listen to me once in awhile?"
"Because you're a stuck up show off!"
"What!? I'm not the one dropping into gang battles in the middle of the day!"
"Would you drop it already!?"
"Why Raph, why do you resent me and why the heck are you doing this!? Everyday you're getting yourself into more and more trouble!"
"I don't need a reason Fearless Leader! And why do you even care!?"
"Because one day I may go out to find you and only discover your corpse!"
"I'm not gonna die!"
"You don't know that!"
"And that makes it any different when you're out and jump into battles yourself?"
"I've trained more and can handle more opponents than you."
"Are you trying to say you're better than me!?"
"No, if you trained more then I-"
"I do enough training!"
"Would you just listen to me!?"
"Would you get off my case!? Look, not everyone can be as perfect as you are!"
"I'm not perfect!"
Raph groaned, "Yes you are!"
"How in the world did you come to that conclusion!?"
"How can I not!? You're the perfect ninja, the perfect leader, the perfect son to Splinter and the perfect big brother. I'm never gonna measure up to ya so would you just drop it?"
Leo blinked when he realized the words and the fact Raph had stopped yelling, "Wh-what?"
"I'm out of here," Raph mumbled before shooting past Leo and out the door.
"Raph wait!" Leo yelled after him.
Leo sighed in defeat and prepared to go after him when another voice stopped him, "My son?"
Leo turned and bowed, "Sensei, I'm sorry about-"
Splinter held up a hand for silence, "I feel Raphael has let many emotions out this night and I believe it is time you spoke with him about the matters we discussed previously."
Leo nodded his head, "Yes sensei, I believe it is time as well."
Raph punched the side of the sewer tunnel and clamped his eyes shut. The door to his home was right in front of him but he was pushed back by some emotion running through his head. Fear? Raph shook his head, even though he knew that was true. He'd said it, he would never live up to the standards Leo had set. Raph wasn't and never would be the perfect ninja, son or big brother. He tightened his resolve, let a scowl cross his face and entered his home. He found his little brothers sitting on the couch, Mikey was watching TV and Donny had his nose buried in a book.
They both looked up and after a quick glance at one another Mikey spoke up, "Master Splinter wants to see you in the dojo."
"Where's Leo?" Raph asked.
"I think he's in his room," Donny said.
Raph took a deep breath and headed for the dojo, glancing wearily at the second level of their home and at his big brother's room. With a more normal expression he entered the dojo and froze because Splinter and Leo were inside. What shocked Raph the most was the training Leo was doing. He stood on his left foot on top of a thin bamboo pole, with weights stacked onto his shoulders.
"Very good Leonardo you have made it to ten minutes," Splinter said.
"Thank you sensei," Leo said as he closed his eyes as his muscles strained.
Splinter sensed a presence and looked to find Raphael in the doorway.
"That will be enough Leonardo, your brother has arrived."
Leo glanced at the doorway and took a deep breath. He jumped off the pole, allowed the weights to slip to the floor and caught the pole as it fell slightly to the right.
"It seems your balance requires more training my son."
"Yes sensei," Leo said with a bow.
Raph scowled, "There he goes, being perfect again," he thought.
"Raphael come my son. Leonardo please put these away," he said motioning to the weights.
As Raph walked over to his father and kneeled before him he glanced over at the weights, they totaled 100 pounds! Leo came back and kneeled beside Raph.
"Raphael," Splinter said stoutly.
"Master Splinter I- I'm sorry I didn't-"
Raph lowered his head, ready for whatever punishment his father would give him.
"It has come to my attention that you are becoming much more daring, my son, you are jumping into unnecessary battles and placing more problems onto your shoulders. You are both here to discuss this constant bickering between you. You are brothers and you should not fight as so."
Splinter turned to his oldest, "Leonardo, you have taken many responsibilities onto yourself, easing many from my own shoulders. I am thankful and very proud my son."
"Thank you sensei," Leo said.
"Raphael, you are becoming much more rebellious and I fear for you and our family's safety."
Raph clamped his eyes shut, "Here it comes," he thought.
"One day Raphael, I will be gone and I will expect you to respect Leonardo as the head of this family when that time comes. As it is, something has been brought to my attention. This team has always needed more than simply one leader."
Raph's eyes snapped, "What?"
Splinter turned to his oldest, "Leonardo?"
"Raphael," Leo said turning to him, "I've discussed this with Master Splinter for many years now and I believe it's time we made your position of the team official."
"Why my son, second in command," Splinter said.
Raph's breath caught, yeah the whole second in command happened usually unexpectedly, but to actually have his father say it filled him with pride. He felt himself smile.
"As you know, I bestowed the medal my Master Yoshi won at the BattleNexus to Leonardo as a symbol that named him the leader of this team."
Raph set his eyes on questioning and watched as Splinter reached into a small box beside him, pulling out another. The one Leo had received was silver but this medal was gold. Raph felt his breath leave him.
"This is the very medal granted to my master by the Guardians," Splinter said stepping towards Raph.
"Master Splinter you can't mean-"
"Yes my son, as of today this medal is yours."
Raph went to protest again but as the medal was slipped around his neck he was speechless. He stared down at it and caught the glimmer as the lights reflected off of it.
"But why?" he asked both his father and older brother.
"You don't have to worry Raph," Leo said.
"Worry about what?"
"I overheard your last argument with Leonardo," Splinter said, "Raphael there is no need to live up to your brother."
"Master Splinter, may I speak with Raphael alone?" Leo asked.
"Of course my son," Splinter said and left the dojo.
"Leo what the shell is this all about!?" Raph yelled.
"Just officially naming you second in command," Leo said with a smug smile and a shrug.
Raph's breath caught again, to actually have Leo say it knocked the wind out of him.
"Raph one day Master Splinter's going to be gone and some time after that, I'm going to be gone as well."
Raph felt like he had been punched. Leo gone? Raph shook his head and was about to protest when Leo spoke again.
"One day I won't be here. I need to leave behind a leader I can count on and I know no one better for the job than you."
Leo then got to his feet and walked out the door. Raph stood in the middle of the dojo, staring at the medal around his neck. He might as well have just been shot. He had thought about life without Master Splinter but never had he thought about life without his older brother to lead the way.
"What am I thinking?" Raph asked in a whisper, "Leo's always gonna be here."
But a distant voice reminded him of the times Leo had come so close to death, how it was his job to protect their team and a another voice that sounded like Splinter said to him that Leo was the oldest.
It was an unspoken law but none of the younger turtles were allowed to go before Leo, he would make sure of it.
Spring break. I'm bored again. Hey I didn't put Leo in a life or death situation this time. Aren't you proud of me?