Disclaimer: Not my characters or my world.


"Owowow! Owowow! Ow!"

If Splinter had been there, we'd have gotten a zero in Daily Stealthing. But Donnie and I were alone, making our way home as our brothers and father carried out the mission without us.

Donnie had gotten injured during a skirmish between us and the Foot. Surprise. You'd think those guys would have better things to do than to wait around, looking to pick fights with us. Seriously, how much better would everyone's lives be right now if they had just hung back and checked their Nightly Prowling Calendar as "uneventful"? Then, I wouldn't have gotten kicked off the mission to bring Mr. I-Can't-Take-A-Little-Cut home.

"Ow, Mike!"

All right. Maybe the six inch gash running down the back of his thigh to his knee was more than a knick. I had his right arm pulled over my shoulder and he hobbled along, using his bo as a crutch while he yelled in my ear. It must have been bad. Normally, Donnie hates being dependent on anyone else…thinks it puts us out or something, I don't get it. Me? I'll take a piggy-back ride whenever anyone offers, which is rare.

Lemme tell ya something about Donnie. I don't know a guy who works harder in a fight to make sure everyone goes home safely. But when some low-life Foot who is too dumb to stay down ends up swinging a tanto into his leg, he takes it personally. I bet when that guy woke up, fingers crossed, his medical bill was through the roof. As for my brother, woe to anyone else ending up suffering his wrath.


Mainly me.

"Geez, Don, I didn't know you such a baby. Heck, Raph doesn't kick up this much fuss when we drag him home!" Not true. If I was hauling Raph's butt home, I'd have been kicked into the wall several times by now.

Donnie flicked me hard behind the ear. "Just get me home."

"Almost there." Glory, hallelujah! I could see the entrance and wanted nothing more than to dump him in the infirmary and hide in my room until Leo got home to work his calming zen magic over my usually beloved brother.

Away from me, evil Raph-clone!

He glowered as I sniggered into my shoulder, but let it go as I punched in the security code. Donnie stopped asking what was going through my mind years ago. Probably a smart move, but it didn't always stop me from telling him anyway. Had he been in a better mood, he would have gotten an earful.

As it was, we went through the living room, past Donnie's workstation, up three steps into the lab, and hung a left. He eased onto the examination table, face-down, and let out a sigh. I backed away and really got a good look at his wound.

Ugly for sure, and the smear of dried blood running down his calf didn't help. He pressed his forehead into his wrists and let out a low growl. Yikes. I eased back. "Okay, so you're still good, right? You can patch it up? This is no problem for the Turtle-Wonder, yeah?"

"My shell…"

His shell? What was he worrying about that for? It was fine. He tilted his head to peer at me through one light brown eye. "Mikey, I can't twist around enough to treat it."

Oh. Problem.

I shot a look to the door, willing Leo to walk in at that moment, bandana tails flying heroically. No such luck. "So, what's that mean?"

"You have to do it."

Oh, sweet Moses on the hilltop. Hands on knees, head inserted between said knees. Donnie pushed himself to his elbows, eyes wide. "Don't pass out! Breathe. Breathe."

Figures, doesn't it? He's bleeding out and has to calm me down? Geez, it sucks being the baby. Nobody thinks you can work things out yourself. Always gotta protect the young one.

Not that I mind, really, it's just…I'm never the one who has to deal with this kind of junk. I should have been hiding in my room!

In. Out. In…out. Okay, all right. I could stitch up a wound. I could do that. I'm around blood all the time. I'd just never gone digging around in an open wound with my big klutz-o fingers before. I'm Mikey for crying out loud! Heck, I didn't even know where my hands had been!

Focusing. We had to clean the wound, I knew that. What do you clean a wound with? I straightened and headed for the door.

"Where are you going?"

"Bathroom. Hydrogen Peroxide."

"Get back here, lame brain." I turned as he pointed towards the shelves and tool chests lining the opposite wall. "No Peroxide. I have everything we need here. In the infirmary."


"Sorry. What do you need?"

He gave me a half-smile, the one we only see when adrenaline's abandoning him and he still has something important to finish. Like when we'd invaded the Shredder's stronghold the first time, or when he worked so hard on containing that freakish outbreak from Bishop…before he went all were-turtle himself. Oh, right, that nightmare had involved a cut on his leg, too!

"Go to the middle chest, third drawer down, and grab a syringe out of the fourth box from the left. In the bottom shelf is a suture kit, cotton pads and some rubbing alcohol."

Sure, getting Hydrogen Peroxide is crazy, but we have to have rubbing alcohol. I'm pretty sure there's not even a difference.

I dumped all the stuff before him, except the syringe, which I pulled from my teeth and carefully handed over. He checked the name on it and gave a satisfied sigh. "Okay, I'll get everything ready. You go wash your hands really good."

Good grief, this was really happening to me! I banged my hip on the table as I headed towards the sink, scalded my hands until I thought my skin would peel off, and stubbed my toe as I ran back to him with my stinging fingers in the air.

He'd managed to produce a mirror from somewhere and, with some inventive twisting, had gotten the needle into the muscle next to the gash. He bit his lip as he removed it.

"What is that?"

"Just an anesthesia. It'll numb my leg and keep me lucid enough to walk you through this."

Whoa! Emergency brake! "Did you just say 'lucid enough'?"

Another half-smile. "Yeah."

I looked at the door. "I don't want to play this game."

"We'll do it together, all right?" My feet felt like lead as I circled to where he had anally laid out all the supplies. Nice. "First, soak one of the cotton pads in the alcohol and clean out the blood. Be sure to get the area around the wound, too."

My fingers caught like fifteen pads and I doused my own hand as I shook liquid over them. I aimed the drippy mess over his leg and looked away as I dabbed at the gash. He hissed as the alcohol ran into the crevice and my knees all but buckled.

I hurried through wiping his skin clean and tossed the pads into a bowl on his workstation. I froze. The bowl already had something in it. Some clear liquid which was quickly turning pink.

Oh, crap. Please don't be an experiment that's vital! I'd take angry, injured Donnie any day over the beast he'd become if I'd messed up one of his projects! Crap!

"Ready for the fun part?" I hid the bowl under the table and he turned towards me holding the threaded and sterile needle.

It was a tiny thing, but I've never been so terrified. It looked like a mini scythe. And in my hands, who knew how much mini damage it could do?

The door remained resolutely Leo-less.


Donnie was staring at me staring at the needle. He looked uneasy, like he wasn't really sure he should hand it over. No offense, dude, I knew he shouldn't.

"Don, I can't feel my legs."

He glanced down. "They're still there. You can do this."

Groaning, I snapped it from his fingers and sidled up against the table, shaking everywhere. I peeked at the exposed meat of his thigh.

Turtle legs! Coming to a restaurant near you!

I should not be doing this.

I frowned. Donnie's muscle. I don't know what it was about that fact, but my hand stilled. My stomach stopped bobbing behind my tongue. And then suddenly, I was ticked. Not sure at who: the Foot guy for doing this, Leo for not being there, I even threw Raph in for good measure. Why not?

I wasn't mad at Donnie though. Poor Don with a tiny ravine slicing his leg. He had done nothing to deserve this. And he only had me to help him. He really hadn't done anything to deserve that!

"What do I do?" My voice sounded all weird and hollow. Which was okay because my head felt the same way.

Donnie hesitated just a second and then he was talking and my hands were moving. Into the skin, through the bottom of the tear, up through the opposite side, loop the thread, twist it and cinch the skin closed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. His voice became background noise as my hands got used to the routine. But I didn't miss how strained he sounded, like he was talking just to stay awake.

Lucid my tail! He was lucky I was such a fast learner - not to mention the baddest warrior in all the freaking universe, I'm just saying. Heh. He didn't even know how bad of shape he could have been in. I mean, it could have been Raph or Casey trying to pull his leg back together instead of me!


I pulled the sticky thread tight for the last time and leaned over the table. Donnie's blood smeared over the steel from my fingers. My smugness vanished. Holy crap, what did I just do?

He pushed himself up and turned again, angling the mirror to examine my handiwork. He looked pale and shaky, too, but I can't be sure if this was because of blood loss or lack of confidence in me.

I didn't really care at the moment since I still couldn't feel my feet. Plus, the shakes were making a comeback and, let's face it, those are just distracting.

"That's…that's good," he said, quietly. "Really good. Can you grab a few bandages from down there?" He must have pointed but I didn't see it. "Mikey?"

I held my finger up to his face. "Can I come back in a sec?"

He nodded, nonplussed, as I backed away from him. I backed all the way out of the lab and halfway across the living room before I stiffly turned away. He stared at me the whole way.

That's when the front door burst open.

Splinter paused at the sight of me, Mr. Bloody Hands. "My son?"

Then Leo appeared over his shoulder. "Where is he?"

I know! What a jerk, right? He had no idea what he just made me do! And here I'd been waiting for him! I furiously jabbed my finger at him, for once so mad I couldn't even whine. Who knew? He blinked and I took the second to relish his confusion before pointing to the lab. It's not often I can catch Leo off-guard. Good to know silent fury from the funny guy'll do it. The night's not a total loss.

They hurried towards the lab as Raph closed the door, frowning.

"So, what the hell happened to ya?"

I continued walking and felt him fall into step behind me. Past the kitchen, down the hall. I flicked the bathroom light on with my elbow. He leaned against the sink as I knelt before the toilet, lifted the seat, and promptly tossed my cookies.

In between retches, I heard a chuckle.

"Yer such a wimp."

Heh. Heh. Sorry if it seemed too bitter. That's the result finding out I'd missed my flight home by three minutes and had a 12 hour wait until the next one - which began a 6 hour journey home. I'm not a morning person, anyway. So thank-you mean Flight Assistant guy managing Gate 10 in Houston airport! You made Don whiny! The day got better and I think the guys evened out by the end. Hoped you liked it! It kept me sane!