The Blood on My Hands.

Raph's view point:

The one odd thing about the whole horrible situation was that for once in my life, I was grateful that I couldn't talk. I was grateful that I couldn't do more than grunt, and snarl like a pissed off, helpless animal. I was grateful that I couldn't tell Leo what I really thought of his so-called attempt to save us.

Why in the hell was he telling me this now? I hated it. I hated it, because it sounded like last words, and what was worse, it made me hate Leo.

I swallowed back the snarl, as best I could, and let my head fall back against the cold chill of the metal table, and flinched at the dull ice that tendrilled over my aching head. The gag apparently buckled in the back of my head, because I couldn't lay my head flat, not without getting a metal buckle gouging into my skull. I ignored the dull prick of pain as the corners of it dug into my scalp ,and stared at the bright white of the fluorescent bulb that glared down at us.

All of this, of course, was little more than a slight pain in the ass, compared to my dear brother's deathbed confession of wishing that I had gotten pissed off enough at him to murder him. If I could have punched him, I would have. Hell, I would have choked him, if it would have gotten rid of that sick, broken look in his eyes, and give back a bit of his strength.

I didn't know what was worse, remembering Leo straddling me with my sai jutting through my wrist, or him laying there, already looking like a condemned prisoner waiting for his execution.


Leo shifted and I saw his eyes, filling up, and spilling over with more tears, as he looked at me, with that desperate pleading tone that I hated to hear, too.

"I don't understand why the hell you let me live. Why you didn't just shove your blade through my throat and kill me, why you didn't fight back and give me exactly what I deserve."

He choked out the last word, an ugly, high-pitched breaking that I had never heard from his mouth before that.

At that point, I was trembling, and sweating with the sudden cold shock of the flashback, of him standing over me, me being pinned down, and then, that aching, tearing pain of my sai sliding through my bone, and the hot blood, and the icy, biting shock of the whole thing….


I sucked in a sudden breath, feeling awareness being poured back down, as I felt the cold table, and the straps, and the helpless stare of the bastard who had put me here.

I jerked my head towards his voice, and sucked in a breath to steady myself. I twisted my bad wrist, and the pain gave me a bright, searing, cleansing wave of rage.

Leo shut his mouth, finally.

I lay back, seething, watching my own plastron rise and fall, heard my breath hissing in and out between my clinched teeth, ignoring Leo's huge, terrified eyes, as I dug my fingers into my palms, and screamed.

I growled again, as I arched my legs up and tried and failed to rip the straps off, and twisted and writhed and screamed again, like a helpless, wounded animal. Rising, falling, choking, and doing nothing but banging my injuries against the table, and making a hell of a lot of noise.

Leo flinched, and begged, "Raph, stop! Please!"

I twisted and wrenched against the restraints until I finally slumped back, panting and exhausted and aching. I had done absolutely nothing, of course, but make a bad situation slightly worse.

Leo had gone quiet again, and I heard him breathe out when I stopped.

"That won't free you, Raph. Please don't think that I haven't tried that enough to know by now." Leo said quietly, as he closed his eyes and slumped.

"It's part of their torture, I think. To leave us here, helpless, and give us nothing to do but think about how else we might be broken. For all I know, they may just leave us to die in here."

I grunted and shook my head. I sure as hell wasn't planning on dying. Not here, and definitely not like this.

Leo looked at me again, and my gut clenched when I saw that bitter, defeated smirk on his face.

His voice was oddly gentle as he shook his head.

"Part of the torture has to be the helplessness, right, Raph? You look like you want to strangle me with your bare hands right now. Look me in the eye, Raph, and tell me the truth. If you weren't strapped down right now, you'd kill me."

He looked at me, with those searing, dead eyes, and waited for my answer.

I growled and shook my head, hard. There's few things in life that I'd swear to never doing, but putting a brother in the grave was one of them. I didn't know if I could ever forgive Leo for what he did. I didn't know if I wanted to. But, I did know, as much as the sky was up, and there was ground beneath my feet, that I would never, ever hurt Leo like that, no matter what he did.

Hadn't I showed him that already? Or was being held captive in this white room screwing with his head even more than it was with mine?

"That's what I deserve, Raph. And, it looks like I'm getting what is coming. I'm just sorry that you're going down with me."

I growled, and bared my teeth, and chomped down as hard as I could. I winced when I felt something sharp snap between my teeth, and I spat out the frayed, spit-soaked gag as much as I could.

"Shut the hell up." I snarled, a low, gut-deep hiss, full of hatred.

Leo jerked back in surprise, and I saw him stare, wide eyed at me, as I swallowed and worked my aching jaw as best I could.

"Leo, what the hell is wrong with you?"

He winced as if I had just hit him.

"This is low, even for you, you know that?" I laughed, a harsh, bitter chuckle that held back some tears.

"What do you mean?" Leo asked, softly, as I shook my head and snorted in sick amusement. The whole situation would have been pretty funny if it weren't so damn sad.

"You really don't get it, do you? All of our lives, we've been at each other's throats, and I bet you never even bothered to ask yourself why. Then, again, why the hell would you? It's always been easier for you to play Saint Leo and blame me for the fallout than ever take one bit of responsibility for things being like this between us all these years. Hell, you can't stop playing the martyr, even when you finally get the chance to be one, can you?"

Leo recoiled, and I shook my head.

"You hate me." I spat.

Leo's mouth thinned into a hard, bitter line, then.

"I always knew, deep down inside,Leo, that you were a manipulative bastard. I just never knew that you'd take it this far."

Leo breathed out , and said in a tight, trembling voice, "Raph, I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

"Cut the crap, Leo. You know damn well what I'm talking about. You're using me as the easy way out, just like always. You really don't have any idea how much of a hypocrite you are, do you? Tell me something. Out of the three of us, why did you decide to stab me? I'll tell you why. You thought I'd stab you back, and give you your cheap way out, right? A nice, clean death, and a nice, clean solution to the mess you made, courtesy of your vicious, pissed off brother, Raphael. I always knew that you hated me, Leo. I always knew that you thought that I'm the worst of your brothers. I just never thought that you'd ever, ever think that I'd be a murderer."

Leo swallowed so hard that I heard the gulp. I let out a brittle, thin laugh.

"You never did think anything good about me. If you did, then you would have known that I'd never, ever do to you what you've done to all of us."

Leo had the grace at least to look away, and I saw the tremble in his shoulders.

"I was trying to save you." He said, through his tears.

"By assuming that I'd butcher you? By thinking that you'd get to play martyr, and leave me to deal with the blood on my hands? Great plan, fearless."