A/N: Alright, if you're a new reader and you didn't read "Things Change", I highly suggest you read that first as there will be big time spoilers in this fic. Otherwise, please read, review, and enjoy. Please tell me what I need to improve on as well! This fic will be more centralized on the brothers and not on any specific "enemy".
Disclaimer: I do not own the TMNT nor any characters associated with them except for my OCs.
The darkness seemed to reign king in the newly refurbished pumping station. The walls consisted of dark blue-gray bricks and in some places were covered by bookshelves. A man-made waterfall streamed underneath a raised platform and into a great pool that flooded out into the surface world. The platform was clear and open underneath a high ceiling on which, flood lights ran parallel to the ground in straight lines. The lights however, were off, and, only the brief flicker of light from a large television chose to fight the dark. In the flickering glow of the TV, there was a large pale blue couch that looked as if it had seen many years. A tall and lanky green figure was sprawled on the couch, pointing a remote at the television. The purple mask he wore was faded and torn at the edges. A bored expression was heavily etched on his gentle features as he continued changing the channels and looked for a good documentary.
A blur of orange and white fur bounded onto his bare plastron and Donatello chuckled as he gave the kitten an affectionate scratch behind the ears. He smiled as the kitten yawned and curled up on his plastron for a nap. Don watched the orange ball of fur fall asleep. He sighed and relaxed. It hadn't been this calm in a long time. What with all that had happened recently, he was glad for the small moment. He frowned in memory of the recent turn of events and sighed in resignation as he gave in to his overactive mind. Klunk turned to him with a look that seemed to say 'either talk or let me sleep'.
Don smiled slightly and stroked her fur gently. "Alright, Klunk, I'll talk." He said with a chuckle.
"A few months ago, Leo went out on the surface, and he was captured and tortured by the Shredder," Don began, pausing and wondering why he wanted to tell this brutal story to Mikey's cat. He sighed. "I'll just get it out of my system." He thought to himself. "When Raph, Mikey and I went to rescue him, we found both him and the Shredder both severely burned and unconscious on the Foot Tower's rooftop garden. We brought Leo back home, but, we made a huge mistake in doing that. We didn't know it, but, Leo wasn't… himself. Somehow, Leo and Shredder had "swapped minds". Raph and I came back to the lair one day to find… to find Master Splinter dead. We later found out that it was Leo who killed him, the Leo who was not our brother. He wormed his way into destroying our family. It would have worked, but our real brother who was trapped in Shredder's body, brought Karai and an army of Foot ninja to the lair. There was a bloody battle, and our imposter-brother attempted to kill Mikey. The real Leo jumped in the way and everything seemed to stop for a second, just before they began a duel to the death. It seemed they were at a stalemate, but, they both crashed into my lab equipment and were electrocuted. I can only assume that that was when they were sent back to their original bodies." Don continued as he stroked Klunk's soft fur.
"Then, my brothers were hell-bent on thinking that the Shredder was still in my own body." A darker voice continued. Don jumped and turned to spot Leo leaning on the edge of the couch. A rough patch of jagged brownish skin covered his left cheek and the right eye-hole on his mask was sewn shut. A dismal expression was etched on his features. Don swallowed. "How long were you listening?" He asked.
Leo shrugged, his one visible hazel eye held Don's reflection. "Long enough to hear enough," He answered cryptically. Don looked away guiltily; he knew his brother hated talking, hearing, and even thinking about what had happened. Leo leaned over and jabbed a finger into Don's bicep. "Well you already started the train to hell; you can't just pull on the brakes and expect to stop it." He said.
Don stared up at him confusion. "But you always," Don began with a confused expression. Leo waved it off and vaulted over the couch to sit on the left side of his brother. Don rose to a sitting position, gently moving Klunk onto his lap. "There's no point in putting it off, Don. Just continue. I'm sure Klunk wants to know what happened, seeing as she was smart enough to hide out during the entire mess." Leo yawned; there was a heavy dark circle under his eye. Don sighed in defeat.
"We were wrong. I was wrong. We had planned to execute Leo, though we thought he was the Shredder. However, both of them escaped us. Mikey was faster than either Raph or I, so we were left behind while our baby brother ran ahead. By the time we caught up to Mikey, it was nearly too late. He was seriously wounded and would have been dead if not for Leo who was fighting both Karai and the Shredder off. The two ran off when they realized we outnumbered them, not to mention that the Shredder was extremely wounded at the time."
"His arm was nothing but a bloody stump, if that's what you meant." Leo cut in, wrapping his fingers around his own right arm. Don glanced at him and nodded slowly.
"I checked Mikey's vitals and I knew his heart was dying," He said, turning his gaze back down to Klunk who stared up at him with huge yellow eyes. "That was when Leo gave him his heart. Raph ran off to the Foot Tower to search for an artificial heart for Leo and met Tenjin, a ninja loyal to Leo. Tenjin guided Raph to Stockman's lab, where Raph found what he was looking for, and, got him out of the tower safely. I placed the heart in Leo and both of our brothers recovered." Don told the kitten. She mewed as if to say: "The end?"
Leo turned his gaze to the kitten. "It was far from over, Klunk. I left the lair with Tenjin to find us a safer home, but, Karai attacked. She killed Tenjin's brother and kidnapped Raphael. I went after her to bring him back safely."
Don glanced at Leo. "Though it was Tenjin who actually brought him home," He continued quietly. Leo's hazel eye snapped up to meet his. They were both silent for a moment.
"I killed the Shredder while Tenjin brought my brother home." Leo stated, turning his gaze to the flickering television. "The end," He said with a rough and dark tone.
Don glanced at him. "There was something off about Leo when he came back… Something different… Something dark. He was also carrying something in a black garbage bag. Whatever it was, he hid it from us very well." Don thought to himself as he patted Klunk gently. "A lot has changed in the past few months." He thought silently. He glanced at Leo and stared at his one visible hazel eye. Don had come up with many hypotheses as to how Leo had lost his right eye, but he figured they were all wrong. He had just known that Leo had disappeared for a few days after Raph's return, and when he did come back, his mask was already tailored to hide his right eye.
"You never told us how you lost your eye." Don found himself saying before he could stop himself. Leo slowly turned to regard the purple-masked turtle; the right side of his mask was now visible. Leo remained silent for a moment. "In my last battle with the Shredder, he gouged it out with his thumb while my tanto found its way through the gaps of his armor." Leo stated, not hiding a single gruesome detail from Don. He then loosened the knot that tied his mask and it dropped to rest on his collar bones. Don forced himself not to heave up his dinner at the sight.
Leo's right eye was nothing but a pulpy mass of dark violet red flesh. His eye had indeed been gouged out and left nothing but an empty socket. Leo's hazel eye contrasted intensely with the empty socket. If Don had been Mikey right then and there, he probably would have "freaked out". Instead, Don swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded to Leo. "I can see why you wouldn't want to tell us." He said calmly as the scientist in him took over.
Leo simply shrugged and relaxed against the couch, turning his head so that Don would not be plagued by the horrific wound. Leo stared at the television with a blank expression. Don turned to see what Leo was so keenly staring at and blanched. "Um… Leo?"
"Yes, Don, that is a pornographic movie that is playing on the screen."
Don felt a chill creep into his shell. "Well… would you… would you mind if I changed it to something else?"
Leo snorted. "You're wondering if I get off on this, don't you?"
Don blinked. "Well… um, Leo… We're turtles… Not humans… and," He trailed off, rambling about the differences between human and turtle reproductive systems. Leo felt a headache coming on and he replaced his mask before standing up and starting to walk off into the inky depths of the pumping station. "Wait, Leo, don't you," He began, peering over the edge of the couch. Leo just waved him off and continued onwards. "Go to sleep, Don, I could see the dark circles under your eyes."
Don sighed as he turned the television off. Leo was right in that Don needed sleep, though he was being quite the hypocrite. Don knew for a fact that his older brother hadn't slept in a few days. He leaned back to lay on the couch and Klunk cuddled up close onto his plastron. Don yawned deeply and his eyes began to close. "I'll just take a short nap." He murmured.
Leo, with stiff shoulders and deep breaths, paced furiously in the open area that had become the dojo. His mask was splotched with faint crimson spots. A tired and angry look was etched upon his features. The talk with Don had done nothing to ease him about the past. If anything, he was even angrier afterwards. The memories of his dead father were too fresh to be spoken of, like a wound that kept opening. He stopped suddenly and clenched his hands into fists.
"I don't care how long ago it was." He hissed angrily.
Oh, but you fail to recognize that I care now, Leonardo. He may have been my sworn enemy, but he was a skilled ninja… although too kind-hearted. That is why he died.
Leo snarled angrily at the voice in his head. "If I could kill you again, I would make it so much more painful and slow." He growled. The grating voice in his head laughed.
You cannot change the fact that I killed your sensei. Neither can you remove my presence from your mind. We were melded together after our journeys through each others' bodies.
"I don't need you to re-explain your existence in my head. I heard it before I killed you, Shredder, and I still hear it after your death. Either you were right, or I've gone insane." Leo snapped.
Lower your voice before someone hears you.
Leo gritted his teeth but he did quiet down. "What would you care if I was caught 'talking with myself'?" He breathed angrily.
I would rather not have my carrier's freedom or reign of movement impeded or reduced to nothing.
Leo opened his mouth to reply but clamped it shut and whirled about at the sound of light footsteps. His hazel eye framed the slim but muscular figure of a human approaching him at an easy pace. The human was clothed in dappled gray and there was a dark patch on his shoulder where a crimson Foot symbol was removed from the stitching.
"Leonardo," He greeted softly with a slight bow. The turtle bowed in turn. "Tenjin," He returned. They both rose and remained silent for a moment. Tenjin stared at Leo all throughout the silence. The turtle itched uncomfortably under the scrutiny while an intense anger boiled deep inside of him. He slowly looked away.
"Have you told you brothers of the nightmare, yet?" Tenjin asked.
Leo froze at that and shot Tenjin a fierce glare. "By 'nightmare' you are referring to the memories that the Shredder left in his wake," He snarled. It wasn't a question. Leo had been receiving many 'flashbacks' of memories that the Shredder had left in his body, among them was the memory of his father's murder. The turtle was none too happy to have such recollections.
Tenjin nodded, although his eyes narrowed under his mask. Leo tensed furiously. "Why would I have told them about that?" Leo growled. "I swore not to speak of it with your brothers, but, I figured you would have told them about these memories of yours." Tenjin spoke. Leo was suddenly inches away from Tenjin's face, a dark and angry mask had taken over his usually serene features. "They are not mine. I did not commit the atrocities that I have seen. I did not record them into my head. They were already there!" Leo snarled. The human met Leo's glaring gaze. "Leonardo, I would advise you to calm down. You are beginning to anger me." Tenjin spoke calmly, although there was an edge to his voice. Leo drew back slowly. "Anger? You know nothing of anger, Tenjin." He hissed.
Tenjin glared at him. "Obviously, you are upset or in pain over your father. Perhaps, you should grieve and recover as your brothers did."
"Hypocrite. You still cry over your brother's death." Was the angry response Tenjin received. Tenjin froze at that. "Take it back. Take that back right now."
Leo laughed in ill humor. "It's perfectly fine for you to chastise me about my father's death, but when it's about your brother, everything changes."
Tenjin unsheathed a wakizashi quickly. "My brother's death was not twisted by delusion, Leonardo!" He shouted angrily.
He really thinks you're making it all up, Leonardo.
Leo's katana hissed as it exited the scabbard. "Delusion? You've no clue as to what demons I have to fight to remain rational." He hissed as he ran forward.
Tenjin tensed and their blades met with a loud clang and flying sparks. Tenjin froze as he caught sight of the coldness and darkness in Leo's one hazel eye. It was then that Tenjin remembered who Leonardo was underneath his fears of his memories. It was then that Tenjin deeply regretted what he had said.
Don sprung up quickly as another clanging noise echoed in the pumping station. He snatched his bo staff from the floor next to the couch and sprinted towards the sound. He skidded to a stop as he made out two shadowy forms leaping about and slashing wildly at each other with glinting blades. Don's eyes narrowed and he managed to make out Leo's mask tails as well as Tenjin's dappled gray cloak. He froze in surprise at that. "Why are they fighting?" He thought to himself. Tenjin and Leo were close, having bonded in many battles on the surface. They had been with each other through the worst. "Maybe they're sparring…" Don thought, but he could tell from the extreme screeching and clanging of metal on metal that they were not.
He turned at the sound of footsteps to spot Mikey and Raph sprinting towards him. Don turned his gaze back to the two combatants. Suddenly blood sprayed wildly and there was a screech of pain. Both Leo and Tenjin froze. Suddenly a bright light came on, blinding everyone. Don squinted through the brightness, turning to spot Mikey with his hand on the light switch and a look of horror upon his round features. Raphael stood next to him on the dark concrete that covered the floor and stared past Don.
The purple masked turtle turned slowly, catching sight of Leo and Tenjin standing eerily still with stunned expressions. Leonardo's katana blade was coated in a thin sheen of blood. Tenjin looked at his body, but there were no visible wounds. He turned his head to look down, following Leo's stunned gaze. Lying in a bloody mess was a matted orange ball of fur. Don's breath was caught in his throat.
Leo turned his gaze to his katana and then to his youngest brother who still stood frozen by the light switch. Raph, however, moved forward quickly, and in an eye blink he was standing between Leo and Tenjin. Raphael gripped Leo's wrist in a vice and his face was but an inch from Leo's. "What the hell did ya' do?" He snarled heavily, struggling to speak clearly. Leo's face was detached and his one eye roved to meet Raphael's amber gaze. He remained silent. Raph growled and his grip on Leo's wrist tightened, threatening to break the bones.
Tenjin sheathed his wakizashi and took a step back. Don's staff however, jabbed him painfully in the side. Tenjin held his hands up and shook his head. "I beg for your forgiveness, Donatello, I lost myself to my anger." He said in defeat. Don approached the ninja and his gaze flicked aside as more ninjas melted out of the shadows and behind Tenjin. There were seven ninjas behind Tenjin, all standing with their hands hovering over their weapons.
Raph moved to stand next to Don, his hands resting on his sais. Leo still stood in place. Tenjin turned to Leonardo. "I bid you a warning, Leonardo. Do not become the one that you slew. Do not let your rage temper you." He spoke clearly before turning to Raph and Don. "I deeply apologize for my actions. My brethren and I shall take our leave."
Mikey numbly approached the corpse of his kitten, passing both Don and Raph. He dropped onto his knees next to the dead kitten and tears streamed from his eyes. Leo watched with a cold detachment before turning his gaze to Tenjin.
The two nodded. "That would be for the best." Don said stiffly with a glance at his crying brother and the stiff Leo. Tenjin nodded and both he and his brothers fled the scene, melting into the shadows and disappearing. Don and Raph turned to Leo.
"That doesn't excuse you from what you did, Leo. What the hell were you thinking?" Don spoke with a glance at the bloody form of Klunk. Leo slid his katana back into its sheath, not bothering to clean the blood from the blade. Leo took in a deep breath, gathering his composure. "I lost myself. Tenjin… he… he just made me extremely angry and I didn't see Klunk…" Leo sighed in regret. He knelt down next to Mikey and placed a hand on his younger brother's shoulder. Mikey flinched away from the contact but he didn't meet Leo's eyes. The older turtle froze and released a breath before standing and walking away.
"Hey, where the hell are ya' goin'?" Raph snarled after him. Leo ignored his brother and continued, eventually melting into the shadows. Don turned to Raph and shook his head. "Don't go chasing after him. He needs to cool down. Right now, let's try to handle this." Don said, gesturing to the crying Mikey and the bloody form of Klunk.
A/N: As there was always a confusion on Klunk's gender, I decided to go female as it will fit better with what I plan on going for. Anyways, please review.