I'm back :) and your in for one shell of a ride. So buckle up and brace yourself its going to be wild.
This is story is by me and my beyond awesome dark friend Darkunderworld that I could not live without such a good friend... thank you so much for your time on this and your patience with me.
Raphael saw spots dancing before his eyes as the Purple dragon managed to get in a lucky swing, and cuff him across his face with an iron bar. He stumbled back slightly, managing to avoid the next blow. He quickly ducked down and tripped the muscular gang member, who went crashing to the ground with a heavy thud. Raphael was on the thug in a moment, quickly punching the gang member in the jaw with all of his strength, hoping to knock the larger man unconscious.
Raphael was worried about his other brothers. He could hear their shouted yells of warning, grunts of pain, and the clash of weapons against wooden bats, pipes and makeshift clubs. He knew that he needed to end his own fight quickly so that he could help his brothers.
Raphael's punch landed strong and true. There was the satisfying sound of bones breaking and the spurt of crimson blood. The Purple Dragon's eyes rolled up into his head, falling unconscious beneath him.
Raphael grinned, satisfied, and resisted the urge to kick the thug in the side while he was down. Raphael's eyes scanned the dimly lit parking lot, searching for his brothers.
The bark of a gun echoed through the night, and Raphael's momentary grin of victory fell from his face as he heard a an agonizing cry of pain leave Donatello's lips.
Cold fear surged through Raphael's veins like ice as he ran in the direction of where he had heard his brother's cry come from.
Raphael was suddenly hit from behind by something hard and unforgiving, ending his mad dash to his injured brother's side. The sound of metal hitting his hard carapace reverberated throughout the night as Raphael quickly turned; his roundhouse kick hitting the Purple Dragon in the head. The thug fell hard from where he had stood.
Another Purple Dragon barrelled into Raphael, knocking him to the ground. A knife slid along his shoulder and Raphael was hard pressed to hold back his own yelp of pain as he head-butted the Purple dragon, momentarily stunning his enemy enough to throw the lighter man off of him.
Raphael gracefully rolled to his feet, his sole focus on finding Donatello, and seeing how injured he was. He silently prayed that the bullet had done nothing more than graze his brother's flesh. The thought of the bullet hitting true and killing his brother outright was a thought he dared not to even contemplate.
Losing a brother to Death's embrace was a circumstance that would not be unexpected -considering how dangerous their lives were- but it was a circumstance that Raphael would fight tooth and nail to avoid at all costs.
He was able to make out Donatello now, struggling to stand and fight; Leonardo close to his side. His genius brother was obviously wounded, how badly Raphael was unsure. It was then that Donatello fell. He slid to the ground, curling into a ball as he clutched at his left side.
Panic shot through Raphael as he disarmed another Purple Dragon that blocked his view of his injured brother. Raphael lashed out another roundhouse kick, knocking another Dragon to the ground unconscious.
Out of the corner of his eye Raphael could see Michelangelo running towards Donatello, a Purple Dragon aiming his gun at his baby brother's unprotected back.
Raphael pulled back his arm and threw one of his sais as fast and as hard as he was able to. His weapon struck the Purple Dragon in the hand causing the gun to fire as it was knocked away. Luckily the bullet flew wide of its intended victim.
Raphael punched another Dragon in the face, finally breaking free of the Purple Dragons crowded around him. Raphael ran towards his brothers; Michelangelo had already made it to Donatello and Leonardo's side unscathed. His baby brother was yelling at Leonardo as he stood protecting his older siblings from a renewed attack by the Purple Dragons.
Raphael had almost reached his brothers' side, when out of the corner of his eye he detected a faint movement that seemed out of place with the chaos that surrounded them.
He was so close. He could finally make out the details of what was going on in front of him. Donatello was lying on the ground clutching at his side, while Leonardo was crouched down cradling Donatello's head in his lap; Leonardo was firmly talking to Donatello, giving him encouragement, while leaving Michelangelo with the sole and surprising task of keeping both of his defenceless brother's safe from any further harm.
Michelangelo was engaged in a vicious fight with four Purple Dragons who were attacking Michelangelo with relentless ferocity. Pipes and makeshift clubs hammered away at Michelangelo's defences; every so often a weapon would strike its mark. Michelangelo did not cry out in pain, too focused on protecting his two brothers to allow himself the luxury. It was obvious that their baby brother wanted Leonardo to continue to help Donatello, and not have to be bothered with the Purple Dragons that surrounded them.
Raphael was already running towards his brothers, intent on helping Michelangelo, and needing to know the condition of his younger, genius brother.
Raphael's heart pounded painfully in his chest, fear skittering up and down his spine as his attention remained focused on his injured brother, except... Raphael could sense a change in the battle. There was a slight break in the activity around Michelangelo. The Purple Dragons all suddenly turned tail and retreated. The mysterious movement from Raphael's left side became more noticeable.
A lone Purple Dragon threw something towards his brothers. Raphael was so close now. Everything felt as if it had somehow sped up, and yet, proceeded in slow motion somehow. Maybe it was just his mind, working so fast that his world was disjointed, moving too fast and too slow at the same time.
Raphael could clearly see the bomb arching through the night time air, the rest of the Purple Dragons near his brothers running for cover.
His brothers hadn't noticed the deadly flying object turning end over end towards them. It wasn't a grenade, but a homemade pipe bomb of some sort. But regardless of this fact, it was no doubt just as deadly as any grenade would be.
Raphael did not think about his actions, his only thought was to save his brothers' lives; no matter what the cost.
He intercepted the bomb. It hit him square in the stomach. Raphael was able to see Michelangelo's look of shock turn into dawning horror as he dived to the ground hard. Pressing the bomb firmly between the ground and his plastron. Just as he finished doing this his world exploded into tiny bits of unfathomable agony that seared, burned, ripped and clawed through his body before dragging him into blessed oblivion.
Michelangelo could see Raphael running towards him out of the corner of his eye. There was a look of horror and fear on his face that Michelangelo had been unable to understand until his brother intercepted a small object that had arched slowly through the air, unnoticed by them.
His eyes finally recognized the object, and was relaying the information to his shocked brain. But it was as if his mind and eyes were having a momentary disconnect. Horror stricken terror flared to life through him as his mind was finally able to understand what his eyes had been telling him; Raphael had intercepted a bomb.
His older brother, using his body as a living shield, hit the ground with jarring force. The bomb exploded not even a second later, tossing his brother's body through the air like a broken rag doll. Raphael's smoking body hit the pavement a few feet away rolled a few times before coming to a stop; laying perfectly still.
All Michelangelo could see was Raphael lying on his stomach, his black leather jacket covered carapace still smoking slightly. His face was turned away from Michelangelo's desperate gaze, the tails of his brother's crimson mask lying on the pavement, spreading outwards from his head like twin trails of blood.
Michelangelo had already started moving towards Raphael the moment he understood what the flying object was, and so he was the first one to reach Raphael's unmoving side.
The smell of charred flesh, and waste permeated his nostrils. Michelangelo used his last remaining tattered shred of willpower his had left to choke back the hot, acidic vomit that rose up and burned his throat.
Michelangelo reached out a shaking hand, and shook his brother's shoulder gently. "Raph?" He questioned softly in a hopeful voice. His brother didn't respond, so he shook his shoulder a little harder. "Raphie?" He croaked, his voice taking on a desperate edge as he swallowed again and carefully rolled his brother onto his back, fearing the worst.
Unfortunately for Michelangelo, his imagination could not even come close to picturing what the worst could possibly be. Michelangelo covered his mouth with his hand as he vomited slightly into his hand, swallowing the rest back down.
Michelangelo was looking at what was left of his brother. Raphael's stomach was nothing but gaping, smouldering hole. As Michelangelo rolled his brother onto his carapace, the remains of his upper plastron pulled away in places from his flesh, exposing his brother's still beating heart to his horrified eyes.
"Mikey!?" Michelangelo could hear Leonardo's voice, like a bug buzzing in the background, but he felt as if he was unable to process anything to even give his oldest brother a reply on Raphael's condition.
Raphael moved then. Michelangelo jumped slightly, his horrified gaze darting to his brother's bloody face. His nose and ears were bleeding, blood trickling slightly from between his lips as Raphael's agony filled amber eyes flew open.
"You're alive..." Michelangelo heard the stilted, horrified words slip from between his numb lips. Michelangelo could still hear Leonardo asking about how bad Raphael was, but Michelangelo's sole focus was on Raphael.
"-ikey." Raphael managed to whisper out hoarsely through teeth clenched together in unimaginable agony.
Michelangelo's only reply was a choked out sob of disbelief and horror. Tears ran hotly down his cheeks, blurring his vision and causing his nose to begin to run. He dashed his tears away and resisted the urge to sniff, knowing that the smell of his brother's burning flesh and waste would only roll up into his nostrils, causing him to lose control and he would not be able to stop himself from vomiting a second time.
Raphael's body contorted in agony as he bit back a tortured cry of anguish. Tears rolled down Raphael's cheeks unnoticed as he managed to mouth the letter 'K' in question.
Michelangelo's frozen mind managed to grasp Raphael's silent question. "Yeah, Raph, we're okay." He whispered so softly that he was unsure if his brother could even hear his reply.
Michelangelo reached out his hand and grasped Raphael's charred hand in his own. His flesh was overly warm to the touch and brittle, crumbling slightly in his grip.
"D-d...on...?" Raphael stammered out.
"He's okay, Raph." Michelangelo lied. He truthfully had no idea how his genius brother was doing, but knew that he had to be bad enough that Leonardo was not leaving Donatello's side to check on Raphael himself.
Raphael let out a hoarse scream of pain then, no longer able to bite back the brutal waves of agony that was terrorizing his decimated body.
Michelangelo, clutched Raphael's hand even more tightly in his own, the delicate charred flesh crunching under the intense pressure. Michelangelo was pretty sure that his brother could no longer feel his blackened hand anymore, but the rest of his body made up for this small mercy.
Michelangelo had no idea how his brother was even still alive. It was a miracle that he was still in once piece, but with his abdominal cavity completely exposed -scooped out like a macabre pumpkin shell- Michelangelo could clearly see that there were organs that were missing. Michelangelo had -at best- a rudimentary knowledge of their internal anatomy, but he could tell that Raphael's intestines were missing, along with his stomach. That there were other organs missing was almost definite, but he wouldn't be able to recognize any of them in what remained of his brother's mangled flesh.
Black spots danced before his eyes as he resisted slipping into unconsciousness. Considering the amount of damage the bomb had done, turning his brother into nothing more than a hollowed out shell and so much burnt meat, Michelangelo was surprised at how little blood there was. Though a small part of his brain that was still functioning at the moment knew that Donatello would most likely use a long complicated word, such as 'cauterized', to explain this.
Again Michelangelo could hear Leonardo's panicked shout, but he couldn't understand what his oldest brother was asking. Leonardo had become nothing but background noise, his entire focus on his injured brother in front of him; because Raphael was dying. His injuries were so grievous that Michelangelo knew that his brother was not going to survive; even if Donatello himself hadn't been badly wounded, he couldn't save Raphael from his fate.
Raphael arched his back again in painful agony, another scream ripped from his blood stained lips. A great heaving, hacking cough wracked Raphael's broken body, bloody spittle and foam flying from his brother's lips as more tears coursed down his pale, soot stained cheeks.
"Raphie..." Michelangelo choked out wretchedly.
"Oh God, Mikey..." Another ear grating cough shook his brother's broken form as more blood trickled from his brother's nose and lips. "It hurts, Mikey." Raphael rasped between horrible wracking coughs. "It hurts..." More tears streamed down Raphael's cheeks, turning dark from mixing with soot and blood.
Mikey let out a choked sob and gathered Raphael up gently into his arms, pulling his brother close and resting his own tear stained cheek on Raphael's cold forehead.
"Y-you're...you'll be fine, Raphie." Michelangelo lied again as he began rocking his brother back and forth very slowly.
Raphael bowed his back in Michelangelo's arms as another scream of agony shattered Michelangelo's already broken heat.
"Why?" Michelangelo bit out, his voice shaking and yet containing a hint of bitterness. Why did you...? Why did you do it Raphie?"
Raphael's only response was to thrash slightly in Michelangelo's tightened grip. He hadn't been expecting an answer, because Raphael knew that Michelangelo already had the answer; because his brother's lives were in danger. And so Raphael had made the ultimate sacrifice, and thrown himself on the bomb; and his reward for selflessly saving his brothers' lives, was to suffer a pain so horrendously unfathomable, that it was beyond Michelangelo's comprehension.
Michelangelo's own tears ran down his brother's cheek, his mind in turmoil as Raphael spoke again.
"-ikey... H-hurts." Raphael stammered out dully.
"I know." Michelangelo choked out wretchedly.
Raphael thrashed violently as another unbearable wave of pain tore though his still smouldering body. His brother's amber eyes too filled with pain to think coherently anymore.
Michelangelo wondered how long it was possible for his brother to live, and decided that however long it was, was too long. Each moment that his brother lived in unbearable agony, was one moment too long.
Michelangelo choked back his bitter, terrified tears as he desperately searched for a way to end his brother's suffering.
He didn't have a cutting weapon and Raphael's sais weren't anywhere around his body. A horrific thought bloomed in his head. He didn't think about what he was about to do, because if he did he would be unable to deal with his actions.
He slowly reached a shaking hand into his agonized brother's torn open chest, and clutched onto his still beating heart, squeezing it as hard as he was able.
Raphael's eyes widened in shock as he felt Michelangelo's hand close around his heart. Michelangelo pulled him closer, making a comforting noise.
"I'm sorry, Raphie. I am so, so sorry." He whispered in wretched apology for his actions. He then squeezed his brother's heart harder, trying desperately to stop its frantic beating.
"I love you, Raphie." Michelangelo choked out in a broken, soul wrenching sob. His brother's heart was, warm and slick beneath his fingertips, and it began to pump harder, fighting to remain beating against the extreme pressure Michelangelo was exerting on it.
"- nk you. -ove...y-" Raphael choked out brokenly, unable to even get out his half spoken sentence; his words slurred from the immense pain, and bloody foam that bubbled out from between his lips.
Michelangelo looked deep into his brother's amber eyes and saw nothing but relief. Relief that he would no longer have to suffer in unbearable agony. His body gave one last violent convulsion, before laying utterly still in Michelangelo's arms.
And then suddenly his brother's eyes went blank. The intense fighting fire, the unquenchable blaze that always characterized his brother's proud warrior spirit, vanished forever. Michelangelo could only stare in surprised shock. The heart beneath his blood slick fingers had gone horrifyingly still, and Michelangelo realized that Raphael -his older brother and best friend- was gone.
He would never talk, tease or fight beside his hot-headed brother again. Michelangelo threw himself across his brother's motionless chest in raw, mindless grief. His blood stained hand slipped from his brother's heart as he gathered up Raphael's lifeless body and began rocking him back and forth, asking for forgiveness for what he had just done, and telling his older brother just how much he loved him. A keening wail of despair and loss, straight from the very deepest depths of his soul, escaped from his lips.
A hand suddenly gripped his shoulder hard. He knew it was Leonardo without even turning around.
He could hear that Leonardo was talking to him, forcefully pulling him to his feet, urging him to move, but Michelangelo felt nothing but numbness invading his body, and sucking out his very soul.
He could feel that he was moving, somehow he had made it to the van, Leonardo was driving erratically , Donatello was slumped next to Raphael's lifeless body. Michelangelo knew that Donatello still was alive, but had no idea of what his injuries were.
Leonardo was trying to talk to him, yelling at him to do something, but he couldn't understand what he wanted him to do.
"I killed him." Michelangelo whimpered softly. He wasn't sure if his oldest brother heard him. "I just couldn't..." Tears rolled steadily down his already damp cheeks, his mask sticking to his skin, pulling his mask almost too tightly.
Leonardo was saying something, most likely trying to comfort him in some small way. His oldest brother's voice shook with barely restrained grief, but he was obviously trying to hold it together for the sake of his youngest sibling. Leonardo was probably telling Michelangelo how it wasn't his fault that Raphael was dead, but of course this wasn't true. Michelangelo had held his brother's living, beating heart in his hand, and purposefully squeezed it until it had stopped. He had actually killed Raphael with his own hands. Michelangelo looked down at the drying, sticky blood that covered the hand he had used to murder his brother with.
Michelangelo may have spilled this tale out to his big brother, he probably had, his broken, sobbing words most likely reaching a near incoherent cadence as grief and horror bit through him so badly, he could barely even think anymore.
Michelangelo slipped into blessed oblivion, his mind pulling away from the horror of his action and wrapping him up within a comforting, cotton cocoon on nothingness.
Leonardo looked at Donatello desperately. It had been six months since Raphael's grisly death and selfless sacrifice. They had buried their heroic brother beside their father at Casey's farm; another marker to add to a small shrine that sat in their meditation room, against the far wall.
Donatello had managed to survive his grievous wounds, just barely. He had been shot in the right side, hitting several blood vessels causing him to bleed out profusely, but Leonardo had been able to finally stem the crimson tide that had poured forth. Of course he had been too late to help Michelangelo... or Raphael. Not that he would have been able to help Raphael at all, except perhaps end his life instead of allowing Michelangelo to take such a horrific burden upon himself.
His baby brother had gone catatonic during the frantic ride back to the lair. Leonardo had been unable to deal with his baby brother, or even known what was wrong. At first he had thought that Michelangelo was in shock, but it wasn't until later when Donatello had recovered slightly from his own injuries that he had informed him that Michelangelo was in a catatonic state. That was when Leonardo realized the burden of giving Raphael a merciful death, had shattered his delicate, innocent and compassionate baby brother's mind completely.
Leonardo brushed Mikey's face gently with his hand. "You did good, Mikey. Very good." Leonardo whispered. "You gave Raph peace. You ended his suffering. He could only be thankful for that."
Leonardo had uttered the same words over and over again, hoping that they would sink in, and hopefully, bring his baby brother back to them. Losing one brother was painful enough… but two was too painful to even imagine.
Michelangelo turned his head slightly, his eyes opening. Not that this was unusual. Michelangelo could respond to certain stimuli, but it was as if the lights were on, but no one was home.
"He's gone." Michelangelo whimpered in wretched misery.
Leonardo blinked in shock. "Mikey?" He asked not daring to hope that his brother had finally managed to wake up.
Michelangelo's closed his eyes and sobbed wretchedly. "I'm so sorry, Raph."
"There's nothing to forgive, Mikey." Leonardo said softly as Donatello entering the infirmary who hurried to Michelangelo's side, hope flaring on his genius brother's face.
"Raph knew, in the end." Leonardo gathered his baby brother up into his arms. "Raph would have wanted it that way. He could only be thankful for what you did." Leonardo finished, squeezing Michelangelo tightly in a fierce hug, joined by Donatello. "He still loves you." Donatello and Leonardo whispered together to Michelangelo.
A slight breeze fluttered Mikey's mask tails, he looked around in confusion, trying to find the source of the mysterious, soft breeze. Michelangelo looked up at the ceilings empty air, his wide eyes filling with tears, but these tears seemed relieved. "Love you too, Raphie." His baby brother said as he buried his face in his older brothers' necks.
Leonardo clutched Michelangelo close and looked at Donatello who wore a soft smile on his face as he leaned in embracing both Leonardo and Michelangelo tightly again. "We love you, Mikey." Leonardo sobbed with relief; glad that his baby brother had finally made it back home.
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