part 20

Don lay curled against Leo's side, his head pillowed on Leonardo's shoulder. The slight burn from their earlier encounter was settling into a mild and satisfying ache, one he hoped to enjoy on a regular basis.

Although the lab was fairly sound-proofed, they'd both heard April greeting Master Splinter as she came to join him in the dojo. They also heard Mikey's voice as he shouted a morning greeting to the pair. His voice had a lilt to it; a sound that always signified extreme happiness in their younger brother.

Vaguely, just vaguely, they had heard the deep rumble of Raphael's voice as well. The tone was full and resonant; the sound a rare treat that was served only when Raph was truly happy.

Since then they'd heard nothing. Leo lay with his hands clasped behind his head, staring up at the ceiling with an enigmatic half smile on his face. Don watched his leader's expression for several long minutes, trying to read his thoughts.

"Something Don?" Leo finally asked, aware of his younger brother's scrutiny.

"Do you think they've . . . ?" Don fell short of completing the sentence, a little afraid that giving voice to it would somehow lift the spell.

"Yes, I do," Leo answered, turning his head slightly so he could meet Don's questioning eyes.

"Leo, how did you know any of that would work? So many things could have gone wrong," Don said. "How did you know Mikey wouldn't be angry with Raph for kissing me? How did you know Raph would come to me instead of going straight for your throat?"

"Because I know you guys," Leo told him, his gaze warm as he stared into Don's eyes. "I knew that Mikey would rush to save Raph from himself; that's what he always does. And he always forgives Raph too, no matter what stupid thing the hot head has said or done."

"It could have all blown up in your face," Don said. "This plan was so . . . ."

"Detailed?" Leo finished for him. He laughed and said, "I've had years to develop it, Donny. I saw before any of you did where Mikey's infatuation with Raph would lead and I knew it was right. But Master Splinter was in charge and we had to follow his orders. When he made me leader it became my responsibility to make this a real team. It was my choice how to best handle the biological changes and urges we were all having. I decided the solution to both of those problems was for us to all be together as lovers."

"Fearless," Don said somewhat dreamily. "That's how you earned that nickname."

Leo shifted a little, pulling a hand from beneath his head so that he could stroke Donatello's cheek.

"More like fearful," Leo said seriously. "If I hadn't stepped in Raph never would have embraced his true feelings for Mikey. You and I would have been together and I think Mikey would eventually have joined us. But he wouldn't have been happy. He would spend his entire life wondering if his choice was what had pushed Raph further away. Raph would have left us. There would be no team and worst of all – no family."

"Exactly how long ago did you know how they really felt about each other?" Don asked.

"I think ever since Mikey announced that he was Raph's wife," Leo said with a chuckle. "I figured that had to have come from some game that Mikey had come up with and he'd talked Raph into playing. Raph went along with it because he wanted to play that particular game, although I doubt he really understood why. Back then it was just another show of the possessiveness he's always felt towards Michelangelo."

"But Raphael has always let it be known he was attracted to women," Don said, trying to understand what it was that Leo had seen. "He was the one who always had a porn stash full of naked females. He'd always hang out late at night watching hookers and listening to Casey brag about past conquests."

"That was because Raph had the most contact with humans, Donny," Leo told him. "He let human society dictate what had to be normal for him. He let them tell him he had to be a homophobe. The conflict inside of him was just too great because his natural self is gay, just as we all are. That we mutated into a life form that must of necessity seek each other out in order to copulate wasn't a concept he was able to grasp. Raphael was getting too many mixed signals."

"You're telling me that these last couple of years you've been trying to get Raph to acknowledge his true self?" Don asked. "Trying to get him to release his insecurities?"

"Pretty much," Leo answered, his hand exploring Don's face, neck and shoulders. "The funny thing about Raph is that if you want him to do something you tell him the opposite. Of course, that only works if he really wanted to do it all along. I knew that deep inside of that stubborn muscle-bound body was a real desire for Mikey, so I worked on letting him know it was okay for him to let Mikey go because I wanted our youngest brother for myself."

"That could have backfired," Don insisted.

Leo shook his head. "Maybe if it was someone else pursuing Michelangelo, but it was me, Don. Raph really felt as though Mikey was his and that I was trying to come between them. He still refused to accept that he felt that way about Mikey because he was in love with him, but it did push his thoughts more towards why I desired Mikey so much. That made him see Mikey in a whole new light."

Don sat up a little so he could see Leo's face more clearly. "Master Splinter must have been working against you, Leo. He went through a lot of effort when we were young to keep those two apart."

Leo sighed and watched his fingers idly sketch patterns on Donatello's plastron. "That was one of those mixed signals I was talking about. Mikey was always so overt about his feelings for Raph that Master Splinter felt he had to step in and prevent an incestuous relationship from occurring. That was the logical thing for him to do as a Father. Master Splinter's only frame of reference in the matters of the heart were human – Master Yoshi and Tang Shen. He didn't understand our mutation until you explained things to him."

"That's why he was so accepting of us when we went to him," Don said.

"That and he knew I was trying to find a way to get past Raph's resentment of me," Leo said. "He knew I was working on a plan of some sort and he started giving me insights into your personalities; things he knew about all of us from having raised us. I don't know that I could have foreseen all of your reactions if it weren't for his assistance."

Don felt his face heat up when Leo said that. "That's embarrassing," he muttered.

Leo rolled over and raised up on his elbow so he could look directly into Don's eyes. "He told me that you like doing things for us Donny, not that you had a secret desire to be dominated in the bedroom. I'm not sure he'd even know what that meant. You know, I have watched you for a very long time Donatello. I came to understand your desires pretty quickly."

Twining his fingers with Don's, Leo leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his brother's mouth. Don's shudder made Leo smile.

"You are very special to us, to me, and not just because of your intellect," Leo said quietly. "It's your personality, Donny. You are the one who binds us together, the only one who is capable of producing tranquility in all three of us, despite the fact that our personalities differ so greatly."

Don's brow wrinkled. "What I don't understand is why Mikey pushed Raph away at least twice. I thought being with Raph was all Mikey ever truly wanted."

Leo studied the deep brown orbs that were mere inches from him, loving the depth of emotion he could see in them.

"Mikey acts on instinct," Leo explained. "He understands motivations far better than any of us. He knew Raphael wasn't completely into him, even though Raph himself thought that he was. Raph was still holding back his acceptance of the type of relationship Mikey wanted to have with him, and Raph's anger at me gave the hot head something to cling to that he did understand. Mikey took all those mixed signals to mean that Raph didn't care for him at all."

"Poor Mikey," Don murmured. "He's worked so hard to get Raph to love him and in the end he was left to think that Raph was playing some game with his feelings."

"Raph wasn't trying to play with Mikey, he was just completely confused. Part of him was still screaming that incest was terribly wrong," Leo said. "I saw that the only way to get to Raph was through those passions, through that aggression that makes him who he is. Left to his own devices, he was never going to acknowledge his true desires. He was firmly enmeshed in the idea that what we were doing was wrong and against nature; he was out of balance with his chi, his life force."

"Couldn't we have brought Mikey into the plan? He's suffered a lot in the last couple of years," Don asked, his compassion showing in his eyes.

"No," Leo said as he cupped Don's chin. "Mikey had to feel that turmoil for real; he had to feel vulnerable and stalked by me or Raph wouldn't have sensed Mikey's fears. Raph made a promise to himself that he would always protect Mikey, so as long as Mikey was in some peril, Raph wasn't going anywhere."

"But if Raph already felt protective of Mikey, why couldn't he acknowledge how he really felt?" Don lifted a hand to Leo's bicep, letting his fingertips trace the line of hard muscle on his brother's arm.

Leo pulled Don closer, smiling again when he felt Don drape a leg over his hip.

"Mikey couldn't get past Raph's barriers because no matter how much Raph loves Michelangelo, Mike isn't at all submissive. But I knew you could fire those sexual feelings in Raph, especially once he discovered that you had become sexually active with me," Leo said.

"The idea that I'm submissive did seem to break down his inhibitions," Don acknowledged.

"Raphael is a very dominate being and pushing his desires on you in an aggressive fashion made him embrace his sexuality. Finding that he was responding to your obvious arousal made him finally realize who he really was," Leo said.

"When it came to him he pulled away from me," Don said. "He accused us of plotting to keep him away from Mike so you'd have an open field. Raph didn't know that he was the target all along."

"He was definitely the biggest hurdle," Leo said. "But make no mistake my sweet Donatello, Mikey is a prize I'd someday like to claim."

"You're still determined to bring us all together?" Don asked.

"I am," Leo said, his grip tightening around Don. "There are only the four of us and separating into pairs does not make for a balanced team. Raph kissed you because he was attracted to you and that isn't going to change. You and I are both attracted to Raph and Mikey, and Mikey has been extremely pliable for you. He's also, despite a bit of trepidation, responded favorably to my advances. The four of us sharing ourselves with each other is the ultimate goal."

"When? Is there a timeline?" Don shifted so that his plastron was against Leo's.

"Not really," Leo said. "We should maintain the status quo for a while. Raph and Mikey need to become comfortable with their new relationship. Are you impatient already Don? Raph, Mikey and I are all very aggressive about our needs; does that thought excite you?"

"That's right, tease me," Don said in a low voice, squirming against Leo so that his brother could feel his growing need.

Leo slid a hand down to Don's thigh and began stroking it. "Don't worry, Raph will come to you eventually. Mikey likes the excitement of trying new things and he'll talk Raph into it. Mikey doesn't see you as a threat; he has shared too much with you to ever view you in that light. Raphael is very much an alpha male so it won't take much for Mikey to bring the two of you together."

"You are also an alpha, Leonardo," Donny whispered as Leo rolled him onto his carapace. "How do you foresee getting together with Raph?"

Leo nipped at his chin and Don tilted his head back so his brother could lick at the skin along his neck and collarbone. Don's legs opened automatically and Leo quickly clambered into the offered space.

"You know how easily Mikey can talk Raph into anything. They'll enjoy Raph's dominance for a while, but at some point, Mikey will coax him into catching while Mikey pitches," Leo said, dipping a hand between Don's thighs and catching hold of his wiggling tail.

Don groaned with pleasure, beginning to lose the thread of their conversation.

"B . . . but you and R . . .Raph," he pressed, determined to understand how Leo planned to bring the two most dominate males in the lair together.

"Once he's bottomed for Mikey, it will be easy enough to maneuver him into that same position with me," Leo grasp on Don's tail tightened and Don's hips lifted, his arousal presenting itself in all its hardened glory.

"Le~o," Don moaned, desperate for more.

Leo's mouth hovered over his as he whispered, "You should know by now that I always come out on top."

A final hard thrust and Raph's seed began to flow into Michelangelo. Mikey's hands were wrapped tightly around Raph's muscular forearms, his head back and his eyes barely open as he rode out the waves of delight coursing through his system.

"You're mine, Mikey. All mine," Raph whispered hoarsely, staring with wonder into the face that dominated a lifetime of his dreams.

"Mmm," Mikey moaned, "I like that Raphie. Say it again."

Raph leaned down and caught Mikey's lips with his own in spite of their heavy breathing. The sweat on Mikey's face rubbed onto Raph's, carrying his scent along with it. Basking in the intoxicating aroma, Raph wished he could wear it always.

After several long and satisfying moments, necessity made Raph roll off of his little brother. They lay side by side, their hands clasped between them as they worked to catch their breath.

"I'm such an idiot," Raph finally said.

Mikey couldn't help but grin. "That's a great opening, but only if you follow it up by saying how could you possibly have resisted me all these years."

Raph propped himself up on his elbow and stared into Mikey's wide, blue eyes. Try as he might, he couldn't indulge in self-reproach while Mikey was looking at him with mild amusement.

"Ya' really can't stay mad at me for long, can ya'?" Raph asked with awe.

"Nope," Mikey responded. "Do you know why?"

"'Cause ya' love me?" Raph answered with a touch of his usual cockiness.

Mikey laughed. "Yeah, that too," Mikey told him. "But it's also because I know you aren't trying to be mean. Mostly it's your defense mechanism working overtime."

"Ya' always did understand me better than anybody else," Raph said.

"That's because you're mine too, Raphie. Forever and ever," Mikey said softly.

"Ya' can skip the next part of that 'cause ain't nothin' gonna ever keep us apart," Raph told him.

"You're not gonna turn into a big old mushy teddy bear are you?" Mikey asked mischievously.

Raph grinned and thumped him on top of his head. "Just 'cause ya' got me body and soul don't mean I'm gonna start letting ya' get away with shit, Michelangelo."

Mikey's laugh was cut off as Raph stole another kiss from him. Mikey pressed his free hand against the back of Raph's neck to keep him from moving too far away as their lips separated.

"I love you 'husband'," Mikey said, somewhat breathlessly.

Shaking his head, Raph couldn't help but smile. "I love ya' too, 'wife'. Forever and ever."

Almost a month had passed since Leonardo had come to Master Splinter and asked for his blessing in allowing his sons to become lovers.

Master Splinter strolled through the lair as it rested in its 'nighttime' mode. He was at ease knowing all four of his children were safely ensconced inside their home, an occurrence that happened with pleasant regularity these days.

Normal bickering and annoyances still brought excitement to their home on a frequent basis, but there was none of the underlying confusion and resentment from before.

Entering his room, Master Splinter lit a handful of candles and settled down in front of them with a sigh. Miss O'Neill would no longer be a member of their household in a few days and as much as he had enjoyed her company, he was happy to be returning to a bachelor abode.

Master Splinter allowed himself a smile at the way things were turning out. He was quite pleased with himself in having chosen Leonardo to be the team's leader. As he had noticed when Leonardo was quite young, the boy had a natural gift for strategy and level-headedness.

His eldest son had shown great skill in the planning and execution of his long, drawn out campaign to bind his brothers together. Leonardo had recognized the point at which he needed to gather more intelligence and had sought out his Father for the information.

The presentation of his plan was succinct and addressed every point that Master Splinter could think to ask. When his son had finished outlining what he meant to do, Master Splinter was left with only the one option; to help his eldest achieve his ultimate goal.

Master Splinter had extracted the promise that when that goal was within sight, Leonardo would present himself with at least one of his brothers in order to make a formal request for permission to pursue a sexual relationship.

Master Splinter really had thought Raphael and Michelangelo would discover how much they needed each other on their own, but there Leonardo had proven to have a better insight into Raphael's mind.

Whatever Leonardo had done to bring his two youngest brothers together had left some residual resentment with Raphael, but Leonardo had maintained a calm attitude and eventually the animosity had faded.

During that time, the Daimyo's son had attacked Leonardo and issued a challenge that had forced their entire family to watch the eldest fight a battle for his life. Something about that battle had brought out a fierce protectiveness in Raphael. It had also summoned forth a swell of pride in his oldest brother as Raphael had watched Leonardo persevere and overcome his adversary.

Since then Leonardo and Raphael had grown much closer, sharing long midnight runs and quiet conversations. Master Splinter was most pleased that the enjoyment that they had felt in spending time together when they were young hadn't been lost as they approached adulthood.

Recently Master Splinter had noticed a subtle change in the way Casey Jones and April O'Neill behaved when in each other's company. Chuckling to himself, Master Splinter decided he would try his hand at bringing them together. Being a Father was extremely satisfying, but being a matchmaker made him feel young again.

Nodding at his plans, Master Splinter felt a deep sense of fulfillment and peace. He had taken on the hardest job that life could offer, that of being a Father. His one mission as he accepted that task was to see that his son's grew up to be happy.

Master Splinter felt that he had accomplished that.