Note: This is a fic I'm writing for Boss (Chevy Nova ) after she won a challenge on Cowabunga Corner! Hope you all enjoy!
Title: Brothers in Arms
Summary: Donatello and Raphael are not only faced with the thought of losing a brother, but that what they do might not be good enough to keep the other alive. Two stories about survival: and finding the strength to overcome endless battles in the name of family.
Characters: Donatello, Raphael
Rated: M (violence, lang)
Genre: Drama, Angst, Family
Dis: I don't own TMNT
Part One: Donatello
Donatello looked down at his still brother with a look of complete and utter fear. He'd been hurt bad, worse than usual, and Donatello found himself in one of those rare moments where he didn't know what to do...
It had started off as a simple patrol, but then things escalated so fast not even HE was sure what had happened. Earlier in the night the brothers that usually worked so well as a group unit had split, because Leonardo and Raphael had been going at it again and it had been Mikey's idea to separate the two. Being given what was deemed the short straw, Donatello had gotten his hothead brother Raphael. They had stumbled upon a drug deal and even from their vantage point they could see that the buyers and sellers were heavily armed. Donatello had wanted to call backup, but Raph being Raph had taken out his sai and called THEM his backup before falling to the alley below. Shots had been fired but in the end the dealers and buyers had been contained. Donatello figured it to be a job well done, that is, until his brother slumped against him on the rooftop.
Donatello still remembered the feel of hot, sticky blood on his hands as he lowered his brother down to check on the wounds. The worst of it had been a bullet wound right near the neck, one that scared the ever-loving hell out of him at the time, and still did now.
"Raph! Raph look at me!" he had screamed, hand going over the wound to stop the spurt of blood. Raph lay on the ground, panting: eyes wild with fear like an animal knowing it was about to die. "Stay awake! You need to stay awake!"
Keeping a hand on his brother's throat he had fumbled with the shell cell, the blood making it difficult to find purchase in his grip, and he had called Leo. Having received no answer he growled in frustration before calling Mikey. He pressed the panic button and still, no one came.
Alone, and truly scared, Donatello had pulled down his bandana and pressed it to the wound. A simple bullet graze like this could be fatal to humans, and with their biology similar he had no doubt that it could be fatal to turtles as well. The artery had started pumping rabidly, soaking Donatello's bandana clear through and he knew that they wouldn't be going anywhere, especially when Raphael chose that time to finally pass out.
Looking around the roof he found a storage shed and with minimal difficulty, even with his brother's bulky size, he managed to make it to the shed and close the door tightly. He nearly thanked every deity in the book when seeing a cloth tarp covering gardening equipment and had quickly gotten to work. The small rucksack he usually carried on patrol didn't have the equipment, or the lighting, of his lab and he had been forced to work under a single bulb from a flashlight to stitch up his brother. He remembered his hands shaking as he threaded the flaps of skin back together before wrapping the stitching with first clean bandages from his bag, and then strips from the tarp. What was left of the tarp had been draped over his brother. That was when he noticed that he wasn't breathing.
Panicking he started the procedure of CPR that his brothers laughed at him for making them learn. They had joked that they were turtles and wouldn't need it for drowning and that if someone was choking they'd just knock them upside the head and knock the food loose. Donatello, at this point, was grateful that he was so precise when it came to emergency preparedness.
"Don't die," he panted while attacking Raphael's plastron with compressions. "You don't get to die. Not on my watch. Do you hear me?!"
Two minutes in his arms started getting tired but he didn't stop. Five minutes and he started losing hope. Tears had started to fall and desperate promises had been given from Donatello to Raphael. Finally, after six minutes, he made a fist and rammed it down hard over his brother's heart, the unconscious turtle's body had jerked and a wet, choking inhale of breath had Donatello collapsing on top of Raphael's chest, sobbing until he could compose himself enough to cover Raphael back up with the tarp.
Now, sitting in the dingy shed, with the only sound being the struggling breath of his brother and the rattling shed from the wind, he took a moment to bring his hands to his head and shakily exhale. He didn't think nor care about his brother's blood that now stained his face all he could do was center himself before reaching for the phone again. He dialed Leo once more, and this time he answered.
"YOU STUPID ASSHOLES!" shouted Don, making Raphael whimper in his unconscious state. Donatello rarely ever swore, and even though he wasn't conscious, Raphael could pick up on his brother's anger and frustration. "Raph's been shot and I've been trying to get a hold of you! He almost died, Leo!"
"Where are you?" asked a sobered Leonardo.
"I'm pressing the panic button now. The GPS will lead to our spot. I need help getting him home; I can't fully help him from here. We need the van for transport, get that and make sure the stretcher is in there as well."
"We're on our way, Donnie, just hold on."
Hold on. It's what he's been doing for the last forty-seven minutes. Holding on to the hope that Raphael lived up to the expectation that he was the strongest of his brothers, the most stubborn and least likely to let a bullet wound be the end of him. Dropping the phone Donatello now looked to his right and felt the tears stinging his eyes once again as he crawled to his brother's side. He wanted to just gather him up and hold him to show that he wasn't alone but he didn't want to aggravate his injuries so he settled for what Master Splinter used to do when they were young and sick. He put his hand on his brother's now sweaty forehead and spoke:
"Hang on, Raph. Help is coming. Why do you always get yourself into messes like this? C'mon, Bro, you're strong, you can beat this. Leo is on his way. Don't you want to yell and blame him for you getting shot? You know you do, so hang on Raph just… Hang on…"
Now, an hour after that last plea, Donatello sat on a chair, a cup of untouched coffee cradled in his hands while watching the blood transfer from his arm to Raph's. Tests that had been given ages ago left Don and Raph as the donors, compatible for all the brothers, the O+ of their blood line. Leo and Mikey weren't even a match for one another but now Don had to wonder if he had gotten shot, what would've happened? More than likely he and Raph would be still on that roof, bleeding out. That struck fear in him as well as more anger just as Leo came in to check on them.
"How is he?"
"Fine. Great now that we're back here." Donatello sighed. "Don't ever, EVER, ignore a distress beacon again."
"I'm sorry. Mikey and I just figured that you were wanting out of Raph duty…"
"Well, lesson fucking learned," said Donatello bitterly, memories of Raph almost dying still fresh in his mind.
"Donnie," said Leonardo, hand going to Don's shoulder. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah… Yeah Leo…" Don set down his coffee and started disconnecting the transfusion line. "Me, too."
After redressing Raphael's bandages, Donatello sat as his computer overlooking the results from his tests. Vitals were good and blood work showed no sign of an infection. Raphael, the tough SOB, was going to make it and it was like a switch was flipped and the adrenaline that had been running through his veins for the past thirty-two hours finally ran out. Dragging a chair to his brother's side, Donatello sat there and propped his tired head up on his hand. Leo, Mikey, and even Splinter and April tried to coax him out of the lab and into his bed. Mikey had joked that it was Leo's job to keep vigil over a recuperating Raphael but Donatello just couldn't go. He couldn't leave without seeing for himself that Raphael would make it. Before Donatello could close his eyes, Raphael had to open his.
"MMmpphh…." Groaned Raphael about two hours after Don sat by him. It was very early in the morning, around four Don was certain, and the lair was quiet save for the low mumble of Raphael. "D-Don?"
"Raph! Oh thank God." Donatello stood up fully, taking his brother's hand. "You ok?"
"Wha… 'appened…" Raphael winced from the pulling stitches. "Ow…"
"You were shot. You're ok now. We're home."
"Oh…" Raphael's eyes were struggling to stay open. "Look like… shit… Don…"
"You don't look so great yourself. Got a new scar on your neck."
"Ladies… luv it…"
Donatello laughed. Raph making jokes? Must be really out of it. "Get some sleep, bro. I'll see you in the morning."
Raphael once again slipped into unconsciousness and as he did, Donatello pulled away from the bed. Standing, he left the lab and met Leo on the way out of the recovery room. After explaining that Raph had woken up and that he was going to pull through, Donatello pulled himself into his bed and collapsed. Tired as he was, sleep didn't come easy. Images of Raphael, bleeding out and pale, kept assaulting his mind and when he finally went under it assaulted his dreams as well except this time, it wasn't just Raph. Leo, Mikey, Splinter, and even April and Casey all had slashes around their necks, bleeding out, and all begging him for help… Help he couldn't give. Failing, he was failing to protect his family. This was his job and he… He couldn't…
Jackhammering up from bed he awakened with a gasp and he threw off the blankets that had tangled around his legs. He rushed out of his room, surpassed the stairs that led to the main floor and instead jumped down and rushed to his lab. When seeing Raphael propped up on pillows talking to Splinter, Donatello was able to relax.
"Don." Raphael grinned, and then winced.
"You shouldn't talk," said Donatello, composing himself and falling back into the role of doctor. "We don't want to aggravate your stitches. Your wounds are still fresh and severe enough to cause problems if you break the stitches."
Raphael nodded and Donatello smiled. He was ok.
They were all ok.
END PART ONE