The Lost Boy
part 26

Raph looked up from the magazine he was reading, sensing Leo's presence. A flash of something came and went in his gold eyes before his lips curved up into a half smile.

"I was wondering when ya' was gonna pay me a visit," Raph said.

Leo studied him for a moment, trying to gauge his brother's mood. Raph held his gaze steadily, reaching over to set the magazine on his bedside table.

"Is that why your door was open?" Leo asked as he gave it a gentle shove to close it.

The action wasn't lost on Raph, who continued to look slightly amused but now also a bit wary. "Maybe."

Nothing further happened for a couple of minutes and finally Raph sighed. "Ya' came ta see me, remember?"

"I'm surprised you didn't go out tonight," Leo said mildly.

"Yeah?" It wasn't really a question as Raph cocked his head to the side and said, "Maybe I think it's more entertaining at home right now."

"Because we've found the lost brother none of us ever knew about?" Leo asked in an even tone.

Raph smirked. "That's right. I can't wait ta get ta know the little shit a whole lot better."

"Drop the act," Leo said with a frown. "You wouldn't force yourself on anyone."

"I guess ya' think ya' know me," Raph told him.

"As well as you know me," Leo said. "You like pushing it with me, but you won't go past a certain point. You have too much honor for that."

"Honor's your thing, remember? So I guess that means Mikey got under your skin real good," Raph said. "Master Splinter knows?"

"He knows and his only concern is that I don't let my obligations as team leader suffer," Leo said.

"Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that conversation," Raph said with a grin. In a falsetto voice he did an impression of Leo speaking to their father, "'By the way Father, I not only ran off ta track down my long lost brother, but I decided not ta come home for a whole day so I could fuck him.'"

"Why must you be so crude?" Leo asked in exasperation.

"So~rry," Raph said. "What should I have said, ya' was making love? That running off and ditching your brothers was spontaneous? Ya' ain't done anything spontaneous in your whole tight ass life."

Leo chose not to respond to that jibe, merely looking at Raph. He knew he had to keep his temper in check; dealing with Raph's aggressive tendencies was part of being the leader. Master Splinter had made it clear to Leo that he had to maintain control of his team if he wanted Mikey to be a part of it, and Raph was his greatest challenge. Leo was sure that his father had sent him to talk to Raph as a first test of his ability to deal with his hot headed brother's obvious resentment over the change in family dynamics.

To Leo's surprise, Raph merely appeared thoughtful rather than pushing Leo in order to get a reaction out of him.

"Ya' got it bad don't ya'?" Raph asked rhetorically. "I can tell you're itching ta take this ta the next level with me, the way ya' usually do, but you're holding back 'cause Master Splinter must have given ya' an ultimatum. What was it, keep the reins tight on your team or Michelangelo goes?"

Raph was by no means unintelligent and Leo had a feeling his brother would figure things out eventually.

"I'll do whatever I must to be able to hold onto what I have with Mikey," Leo told him. "Even if it means I can't lead this team anymore."

His brother's eyes grew wide and then narrowed. "I'll bet ya' expect me ta push that ta my advantage," Raph said. "It just so happens that contrary ta popular opinion, I don't want that job. I value my freedom too damn much. Only one of us was born with such a natural stick up his ass and that'd be ya'."

"Then exactly what do you want, Raphael?" Leo asked. "Do you even know?"

"I know what I don't want," Raph snapped. "I don't want ta be alone for the rest of my sorry life, but it looks like that ain't gonna be a choice I get ta make. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought we were the only ones of our kind and then poof, along comes a fourth mutated turtle. I don't know a damn thing about him but a guy can dream, can't he? Then my brother, Mr. Perfect Leader, the guy who always gets everything, goes out and snags himself the only suitable mate on this whole fucking planet."

Raph lowered his head and glowered at the floor, his shoulders heaving with emotion. For a long couple of minutes Leo didn't know what to say; he couldn't apologize for having pursued Mikey, there was no question of whether it was fair for him to do what he had done because this wasn't a game. He and Mikey had a real connection, something they had both felt before officially meeting, and Leo couldn't have taken any chances on losing his opportunity to make Mikey his own.

Then Leo remembered the expression on Donatello's face during the dojo challenge and how his smart brother had seemed during dinner.

"Suppose he isn't?" Leo asked quietly, verbally following his train of thought.

"What the fuck are ya' talking about?" Raph's head came up, his expression fierce. "Don't jerk me around with any of your philosophical shit about how the world's a big place and lighting can strike twice. We might as well have a stupid conversation about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

"The world is too big a place," Leo said, "look closer to home."

"What, are ya' offering ta share Mikey?" Raph gave him an incredulous look. "Give me a break."

"No, I am not offering to share Mikey," Leo said patiently. "Master Splinter has made it quite clear that he has no problem with my finding a mate in my own brother."

"Oh excuse the fuck out of my ignorance," Raph snarled. "I thought for a minute we might actually be talking about me."

Leo repressed the urge to reach out and shake Raph. "What do I have to do, hit him over the head?" Leo thought.

Exasperated, Leo said, "Why do you always tease Donatello? You did it when the two of you were cleaning up after dinner and you do it on a regular basis. He never gets angry about it even when you sometimes go too far. So why do it at all?"

Raph's brow furrowed. "What the shell does that have ta do with anything? I tease Donny 'cause I like how he takes things. He don't get all pissy like ya' do, he just bats the shit right back at me. Makes me laugh. Makes me forget life down here ain't a bed of roses. He's got a nice voice and I like ta hear it."

"You two have a lot in common," Leo said, prompting Raph further.

"What, 'cause we both like ta work on engines and mechanical shit? Yeah, I suppose. He likes ta watch sports, which ya' don't, and he knows what the fuck he's talking about, which ya' don't. I like sparring with him too 'cause he's stronger than ya' are and he gives me a better workout. All ya' ever want ta do is fuss about my damn technique."

"He prefers your company to mine," Leo told him. "He always has."

"Turtle has taste," Raph said smugly.

"In fact, you two have always been very close," Leo said. "Almost inseparable."

"Why the hell shouldn't we be?" Raph demanded. "Ya' gonna begrudge me Don's company now? He's the only one who ever made me feel . . . ."

Raph's voice trailed off and his expression froze, his eyes staring at nothing. Leo remained absolutely still, letting Raph process the things he'd just been saying about their genius brother.

"Don?" Raph said, more to himself than to Leo.

"Didn't you hear the way his voice sounded when you couldn't pin Mikey earlier?" Leo asked.

Raph nodded slowly, his gaze unblinking and directed inwards. "He didn't want me ta get that close ta Mikey, did he?"

The question was rhetorical and Leo didn't answer it, instead saying, "He was very quiet at dinner tonight, didn't you wonder why? He should have been playing twenty questions with Mikey, but I watched him and all he did was keep his eyes on you."

Looking up, Raph fixed Leo with a pained stare. "He didn't talk ta me when we were in the kitchen and I thought he was thinking about some experiment. He's upset 'cause I was playing up ta Mikey ain't he?"

"I think Don cares about you more than he's ever let on," Leo said. "I think he cares about you more than anything else in the world. He's never going to tell you because he thinks you can't see him that way."

"Donny." Raph's fists clenched. "I'm so fucking stupid. He's been right there in front of me all this time and I ain't done a damn thing about it. The way I feel about him it's . . . fuck, I've wasted so much time!"

"Then don't waste any more," Leo said.

Raph jumped up from the bed, passing Leo and jerking his door open so quickly he nearly pulled it from its hinges.

"Leo," Raph said, pausing at the entrance and waiting for Leo to turn around. "I'm happy ya' found Mikey."

Leo smiled. "I'm happy you've finally found Don."

Raph's return smile was bright enough to light up the room. Without bothering with the stairs, Raph leaped down to the floor below and headed towards Don's lab.

Walking down the staircase, Leo watched as Raph opened the lab door and stepped inside. The sound of Don's power drill ceased just in time for Leo to hear the lock on the door being turned.

With a look of accomplishment on his face, Leo spun around and spotted Mikey standing behind the couch, his arms crossed over his plastron and his shell braced on the couch back.

"How did your talk with Master Splinter go?" Leo asked, walking towards his mate.

"Great! He likes me better than the rest of you already," Mikey said with a grin. "How did your talk with Raph go? Did you manage to direct his attention away from me?"

Leo chuckled, passing his hands along Mikey's arms and pulling them away from his chest so that Leo could step in close to him.

"I turned his affection towards someone more suitable," Leo murmured as he pressed a kiss to the side of Mikey's neck.

"It must have been hard since I'm so irresistible," Mikey gurgled, grabbing onto the edges of Leo's shell.

"Terribly difficult," Leo responded, nibbling at the underside of Mikey's chin. "I deserve a reward."

"I can probably come up with something," Mikey quipped before bringing his lips into contact with Leo's.

Several enjoyable minutes later they came up for air. "Now that everything seems to be settled, let me introduce you to that warm shower I was telling you about earlier," Leo said.

Mikey gleefully chased Leo up the stairs and into the bathroom, where they thrilled at the opportunity to strip one another as the water reached the right temperature. Leo moved into the wide stall and held his hand out to Mikey, who stepped under the spray of water and then grinned happily.

Leo chuckled as he watched Mikey twist and turn beneath the water and then Leo grabbed a washcloth and soaped it before applying it to Mikey's plastron. With gentle strokes he cleansed his lover's skin and then allowed Mikey to return the favor.

By the time they had rinsed the soap from their bodies, both were panting with need. Leo pushed Mikey against the tile wall and began to ravish the young turtle's neck with his mouth and tongue while his hands roamed every reachable part of Mikey's body. It was better than his daydream, better still when Mikey clung to his neck and wrapped his muscular legs around Leo's frame, allowing the elder turtle to fully drive into his partner.

The warm water washed away the evidence of their lovemaking and completely spent, the pair stumbled out of the shower stall. Toweling each other briskly, Leo led Mikey by the hand into his bedroom, pulling back his blankets and urging the younger turtle into the bed.

Leo placed their gear on his desk and then turned out the lights before climbing in next to Mikey. Snugly tucked against one another, Leo smiled as Mikey's warm breath tickled his collarbone.

"This has been the best day of my life," Mikey whispered, his voice sounding tired but happy.

"Mine too," Leo said, squeezing Mikey tightly. "It's just the start of many, many more."

"Promise?" Mikey asked.

"I promise," Leo answered. "Now that I've found you, I can guarantee you'll never feel lost again."