Chapter Four

Casey's mind went into overdrive as he ran through a list of possibilities of ailments that Raphael could now be susceptible to. The first on the top of the list was hypothermia, which, as the minutes ticked by, Casey was positive Raphael had acquired. The next was frostbite. However after stripping Raphael of his soggy clothes, Casey had not found any signs of frostbite, but a rather large bite wound on his shoulder and chest, and discovered that Raphael's right ankle was broken. He knew this by the bruising and swelling of his leg, start from halfway up his calf and disappearing into Raphael's snow boot. Knowing it was better to leave the boot on; he was sure he would only cause more harm if he tried to remove, he also knew that if he took the shoe off, Raphael's foot would freeze within minutes.

"Hang tight buddy," I'm going to find something to splint your ankle," Casey murmured to the half-conscious turtle.

He was already bone cold and exhausted from dragging Raphael off the ice and into the snow bank. The daunting task of trying to get him back up the hill and the three kilometres back to the farmhouse was something Casey didn't want to spend too much time dwelling on.

Glancing over his shoulder to make sure Raphael was still okay; Casey headed over towards the tree line and furiously began to dig in the freezing snow. He managed to find two sticks, both roughly the same size. Running back over to the quickly deteriorating Raphael, Casey used the cord that was in his jumper to splint Raphael's ankle.

"Here buddy, you're freezing," Casey murmured to the shivering turtle, pulling his thick snow jacket off and putting it on Raphael. Casey also took off his gloves and slipped them on the turtle's frozen hands.

"th-th-thhh-anks," Raphael managed to say through blue lips.

"Come on, I'm gonna get you home," Casey said, wrapping his arm around Raphael and helping him to his feet.

Raphael grunted at the pain and automatically shrunk closer to Casey for warmth. Casey wrapped his arm around him tighter, and together they slowly and painfully made their way up the steep snow-covered bank.

Once they had reached the top of the bank, Casey gently sat Raphael down on a nearby log. The short trip had drained what little energy Raphael had left. He held his ankle painfully off the ground, unable to put any pressure on it, and was shivering uncontrollably, that for a minute Casey thought he was going to fall off the log.

"Hang tight buddy, we're gonna get you home,"

Stepping away from Raphael, Casey pulled out the small radio from his pocket.

"Leo. Come in Leo."

"Casey, what is it? Have you found anything?" Leo's voice came through the radio, fuzzy and somewhat distorted.

"Yeah, I found him," Casey said.

"How is he? Is he-

"He's alive," Casey said, cutting off Leo's frantic questions. "I found him half submerged in the lake. He's freezing, and I think he has hypothermia and possibly a broken ankle. He can't walk and I can't carry him."

"Stay where you are; I'll come and get you."

"We're a few metres from the lake, on top of the bank,"

"I know where that is. Stay put and keep him conscious. I'll be there in five."

Casey sighed and put the little radio back in his pocket. Moving over to Raphael, he sat beside his friend and wrapped his arms around him to keep him warm.

"Leo's on his way. We're get you back to the house in no time,"

Raphael nodded his head dropping and his eyes beginning to flutter.

"Hey, you gotta stay awake man," Casey said, feeling panic wash over him as he shook his friend awake. "You can't go to sleep yet, okay? Now tell me what happened? It's not like you to go for an early morning swim in this weather."

"Bear,"

"What?" Casey frowned, leaning closer to his friend to hear his muffled words.

"Bear," Raphael repeated, looking past Casey's shoulders, his dull eyes wide with fear.

Casey glanced over his shoulder and froze. A brown bear, obviously female by her size, stood only ten metres away, head bowed and ready to charge, a low growl rumbling in its throat.

Casey leapt to his feet, moving to stand protectively in front of Raphael. There was no doubt that this bear was angry, and Casey knew it was only seconds away from charging. Looking around desperately for some sort of weapon, Casey picked up a large fallen tree branch, swinging it around like a bat.

The bear charged.

Casey ran to meet it, hoping to steer it away from his injured friend. He heard Raphael cry out after him, but he ignored him as he swung the branch at the bear. The bear growled loudly and swiped a paw at Casey. Ducking quickly, Casey leapt to the side and rolled, coming quickly to his feet. The bear leapt at him again, and Casey managed to wake it across the nose with his make-shift bat. The bear howled in anger and pain, whirling around to charge at Casey.

Keeping the tree branch held protectively in front of him, Casey backed up slowly, trying to put some distance between himself and the enraged animal. But the bear charged, teeth bared and head bowed. Casey stumbled and hit the ground, looking up in horror at the bear that was quickly closing in on him. Bringing a hand up to shield his face, Casey turned his head and closed his eyes tightly, waiting for the impact he knew was to come.

But it didn't.

A loud cry split the air, followed by more angry growls from the bear.

Lowering his arm and opening his eyes, Casey stared in shock as Leo leapt out from the snow-covered trees, swords in hand as he charged at the bear. Swinging his katanna, Leo slashed the bear across the eyes, blinding it. The bear roared and shook its head in pain, crimson drops falling to the snow around it.

With a fierce cry, Leo leapt at the bear and drove his katanna straight through the bear's thick fur and into its chest. The bear fell heavily to the snow and didn't get back up.

Panting heavily, Leo cleaned his katanna in the snow before sheathing them behind his shell. Extending a hand to Casey, he helped him to his feet.

"Thanks," Casey panted with a lopsided smile. "Thought I was a goner there for a second."

"Nah, we ninjas have perfect timing," Leo said.

Casey turned his head to make sure that Raphael was still sitting safely on his log. His heart froze and his face paled.

"Raph!"

Leo swung around to follow Casey's gaze. Raph had slumped to the ground in a heap, unmoving and unresponsive.

Leo rushed to his little brother's side, gently rolling him onto his shell.

"He's unconscious," Leo said with a sigh. "We have to get him back to the house, now."

Nodding, Casey helped Leo carry Raphael between them. His skin was ice cold, and his breath came in wheezing gasps.

Trying to keep him as warm as they could, they hurried back to the farm house, praying that Raphael could hold on for just a little while longer.


A/n: I apologise for the long wait on this. When I wrote the first chapter of this story I had hoped that I would have it finished within a week or two. Sadly, that was not the case. But nevertheless, only one more chapter to go. Fingers crossed that this last update will be quicker.

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Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think :)

~Cat