“We’re nearing the area, Raph.” I said. Raph knew about Don’s location since he found him when Rigel called for help. He’s in the sewer tunnel under the oak tree. We searched that area many times yet he is hiding there all along.
I never saw Raph that… Soft earlier. I knew he still loves Don. He had been searching for him nonstop. I knew Raph’s decision before was a mistake. But I can’t blame him. During the time Mike and I talked about confessing it, he and I already packed our bags. We will run away if Father does not agree. I love Mikey and will go to anywhere with him. Fortunately, Father agreed and gave his blessing.
I wish they would be together again.
“We’re here, Leo! I’m going upwards now!” Raph said as he steered and accelerated as fast as he could.
Light had pierced through, signaling that we have reached an open space. Leo opened the door to scan the room for unpleasant surprises then I came out after. There are a lot of mechanical parts and blue prints. We definitely reached the correct place.
My thoughts froze when I saw a familiar skin under the table.
I ran after the moment Raph yelled. Raph gently held the shivering Donatello. He had gotten blue and pale. He had a shallow breathing and intense shaking. Not good. We must get Don out of here and make him warm.
“Raph, you carry him to the tunneler. I will get his bags.” I ordered. Raph didn’t waste any time and carried Don with blankets wrapped around him.
I picked as many bags and things as I could. Don was done in the packing. I saw the screens of the security cameras. Every pathway is blocked by snow. We definitely made the right plan not to travel above.
Once the things are loaded, I steered the tunneler downwards again to return to the base. “How is Don?” I asked. I saw in the mirror that Raph is embracing Don, sharing his body heat to him.
Don is being layered by so many blankets but he needed medical help. Leo had send April a message to prepare warm tub of water and the heater. “Breathing is still shallow.” I answered. It’s been so long since I embraced him, the reunions sure are not positive.
I’m always scared whenever Don is sick. There I said it.
Don is a healthy guy but his habits are going… Out of bounds usually. He is crazy over some experiments and scientific breakthroughs which had helped us a lot during missions. Yet, he is pushing himself too hard.
I… I can imagine he had to juggle everything just to raise Rigel. I don’t know… I wanted to be part of Don’s life again.
But it is much complicated now.
“We’re here.” Leo said and opened the door. Mikey and Casey are there to help.
Don is not good. We rewarmed him slowly but he is having a fever. Leatherhead and April are currently checking on him, while I’m carrying baby Rigel. He is so cute. He had Donnie’s skin but… The eyes. The eyes are like Raph’s.
Leo accompanied Sensei in the attic and to report what happened. Raph remained to Don’s side until now. I won’t be surprised that Raph will love his kid in a short time.
Since he still loves Don.
It’s been a day and Don is still not waking up but his health is responding well. It is currently my duty since Leatherhead needed some sleep after all. He is currently staying for a while at the abandoned basement where Kirby used to stay in.
Don may never believe or see it, but it’s endearing to see Raph beside him again. Until now, I’m still trying to convince Don to give Raph another chance as he still loves him. The usual reason I say is for Rigel’s sake.
I felt so drained, like I’m really in zero energy. Am I dead? I’ve been hearing noises earlier. I heard Raph’s voice, he told me to go back. He told me he loved me. He told me to stay for Rigel. There is darkness around me.
But I fought it. I tried.
I… I opened my eyes. Hngh! It’s too bright! I blinked and slowly getting used to the brightness. I moved my head.
I saw Raph sitting beside me, he is sleeping.
It’s… It’s been months since I saw him like this. He used to do that to me when I was sick…
Raph’s here. Why he is here?! Why am I in… April’s house?!
Oh, no… Oh, no.
They had found me. I don’t know how… But they had found me.
What am I going to do now?
They had Rigel… I tried to move my body. I feel so… Weak.
I removed the blanket and dragged my legs to the floor. I used the side table as a support. I groaned softly by the shock of my muscles to move. I had victory to my head when I’m able to move, with the support of the side table and the walls.
I’m almost halfway. I’m panting, my knees are shaking but I can do this.
I stopped and looked behind. Raph had awakened, still a little drowsy. God damn it.
My heartbeat is racing. Before I can move, my knees shook and just fell on the ground. I can hear the heavy footsteps going closer.
“Are you okay? You could’ve just wake me up if you need something.”
“I don’t need your help. I don’t want to stay here.”
I heard Raph sighed. I’m testing his patience.
“You’re still recovering. You are staying here until you got better enough to walk. Come on, I’ll help you get to the bed.” His hand is warm when he touched my shoulder.
“I told you I don’t need your help!” He is nearing his limit of patience now.
“Why are you being stubborn?! You could’ve died there, Don! If I had to bring your ass back to bed, I will do it!”
“Put me down!” I yelled yet my throat hurts.
The door slammed.
“What is going on?!”
We were waiting for any progress until April heard some noises from the bedroom. I rushed and opened the door.
“What is going on?!” I yelled. I saw Raph carrying Don while he is struggling.
“He wants to escape by the window.” Raph said.
“Raph. Put him down.” I commanded. He grunted but he did put him down gently to a spare chair. I thank the deities and fate that my brother is alive.
“Hey, Don…” I said and kneeled down to his level. “It’s been a while.” I miss Donatello. Things are not well in the lair. There are a lot of broken parts. Our patrol in the tunnels increased as the security is not updated anymore. None of us are experts to that kind of thing. I miss the clanking and noises Don does whenever he is at work.
“Come on, Don. Rigel will be upset if his… Mother is not well.”
I could see Don’s shock in his face.
“Y-You knew…” He looked at April. “You tricked me!” He yelled. “I trusted you!”
“I’m sorry, Don. They found me.” She said.
“Where is my son?!”
“Rigel is sleeping in his crib.” April said. Don attempted to stand up. “I want to see him!”
“Don, you are sick. I’m sorry but I can’t. I don’t want Rigel to catch your flu.” April explained fast as Don’s patience is getting thin. “Rigel had a weak immune system, remember?”
This stopped Don and nodded. He is still hostile to us. I had to make Don cooperate or convince him.
“Don, there is a blizzard outside. You are sick and almost died due to hypothermia. We missed you, Don. Just rest here for a while.”
Don looked up.
“You will stay here until you get better. Then, we will let you go with Rigel.” I saw Raph wanted to speak. “Not now, Raph.” I understood Raph’s action of protest but I had no choice.
“… I don’t believe you, Leo.” Don replied.
“Donnie, you know me. I abide by my honor. You have my word.”
Don sighed. “Fine. But I don’t want HIM inside this room.” Don spoke and looked sharply at Raph.
“Understood. But at least let Raph carry you back.”
“No, I can handle this on my own.”
I sighed. “Mikey is currently preparing some soup.” Don is near the bed now and I’m relieved he went back to the bed. “He will bring it here shortly.” I said. April already took her leave. “Raph, come on.” I said.
Raph and Don just glared at each other but Raph had left with me.
Outside, Raph slammed his fist in the wall in frustration and anger. Their meeting is definitely not pleasant.
“I lost my temper…” He murmured. I knew Raph wanted to talk to Don again to sort it out but Raph had a negative response whenever someone showed anger at him or tested his patience. I can see how Raph got hurt when his anger slowly dissipated. He told me some of their memories together and I knew that showed how Raph cares to Don.
But Don doesn’t let him.
I heard Don had woken up. As much as I wanted to run and be with one of my brothers, I had to prepare food for him.
I miss Don. He is usually the peacemaker whenever there is tension. He helped us get some sweet ass stuff. He usually fixes or upgrades my game system. It made me realize how much we needed him when he ran away. I heard Don resisted to Raph earlier as well.
I walked to Don’s room with a tray of food. Inside, Don is writing something. His aura is definitely in an alert mood.
“What are you doing here?!”
“Chill, Don. I’m just bringing some chow. It’s only me, Mikey.” I calmly said.
“Oh… I’m… I’m sorry.”
After putting the tray on the table, I sat down and carried the bowl.
“I’m okay, Mike. I’ll feed myself.
“Come on, Don. Just this once. I miss feeding you whenever you’re sick.”
“Oh, when we were tots.” I blew the spoon and offered it to him. I’m just glad he didn’t argue much and accepted the meal.
“It’s been a while since we last talked.” I said. “Don’t worry, I will not ask questions you aren’t ready to answer. I just want you well.”
Don had gone silent. Among us, I’m the usual brother he had shared some of his troubles. It got lessen when Raph and him got together. Now that I think about it, I noticed Don is asking me such random questions, like about love relationships. It is probably about Raph.
“I shouldn’t be here. I’m a disgrace to the clan.”
“You’re not Don.”
“No! I am!”
“We knew about the kid and your relationship to Raph. Leo and I…”
“I heard it from April. I’m happy for you two.”
I’m sorry if I’m prying but… It’s not too late, you know… At least consider it.”
“It’s too late, Mike.” Don said. “We can’t turn back the time or had another chance. I won’t be surprised if he only did that for consolation since he had a new mate or exploring to some dimensional chicks.”
“We both know Raph isn’t like that. It is not consolation. We knew Raph is genuine to his feelings and actions. Also, he tried. But… Only one prevailed and it’s you.”
There is a long silence and Don just laughed. “I’m sorry Mike but I will not believe you in that! He left me, Mike! He left me!” He emphasized. “He gave up! And so I gave up on him as well!”
I was a little taken aback by the outburst.
“Oh… I’m really sorry about that.” He spoke.
“It’s okay, Don. I understand your insight but I’m just hoping you two can talk it out.” I said. In the positive side, Don finished his meal and took his medicine.
“You rest well Don, okay?” I said. Don nodded softly, much to my surprise. I knew he is still broken hearted by what happened to Raph and him that result too much bitterness in him.
I quietly went out of the room.
The snowstorm is still raging outside. We are all in our sweaters and blankets near the heater. Don is responding to his health well as his flu is slowly dissipating. Mikey had shared his discussion with Donnie to us. He is still hurt by what had happened to them and wanted to cut all ties. I looked at Raph. He is only staring at the window. He is broken by what Don said. I can attest to Mikey’s explanation that Raph truly loved Don. I accidentally see him in his room viewing their pictures together or just touching his anklet. He started wearing it a few weeks after Father gave blessing to Mike and me.
I learned my lesson during my travels. People make mistakes and wrong decisions. We have to learn from them to move forward. I know Don is the most forgiving person among us. There will be a moment where he is calm enough to talk to him.
I knocked before I peeked. It is my duty to give him food now as Mikey is taking a nap. I went inside when Don saw me carrying something.
“Hey, Don. Are you feeling better?”
“I’m fine. Thank you.”
I sat down while holding a bowl of congee. “That’s good.”
“Remember the deal, Leo.”
“I’m not forgetting it. Honestly, I’m just sad that you distrust us easily. We are family, Don.”
“We still are. Nothing will ever change that.”
“I don’t need your lectures, Leo.”
“You will not get one. Here, eat up. You need more strength.” I gave the warm bowl to Don. “I’m just scared in what happened. I almost lost my brother and I didn’t do anything about it.”
“I… I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“I know. You had to do what you had to do. I know you did everything for Rigel. He is a very happy little kid even though he seemed to have a dislike to me.” Don laughed. It seemed he knew it instantly why Rigel didn’t like me.
There are so many faces that I see. They are like Mama! I’ve been hearing that Mama is sick but is getting better. Uncle Mike-Mike told me that I’ll get sick if I went to Mama quickly. Aunt April is playing my toys with me beside this thing that makes me warm. This toy is my favorite. Mama said it is a motorcycle and it came from my Papa.
I saw this big man sitting far away and looking at the window. He carried me before they left.
He seemed sad.
“Aunt ‘Pril.” I tugged her shirt and I pointed at the man.
“Oh, do you want to talk to him?”
I nodded and she carried me.
“He wants to talk to you.”
The big man is surprised when Aunt April gave me to him. The big man has a big chest! He is bigger than Mama! I giggled to cheer him up. But he is very sad. I don’t know why he is sad. Is it because of Mama?
“Hey, lil guy.” He smiled a little and shared my toy with me. He is surprised at my toy. I wondered why. “I am Raph.”
I blinked. His name is familiar… Oh! He’s the guy that sent Nightwatcher to save Mama!
“Ra… Raph… Thank… You.”
Mr. Raph is surprised but he only patted my head. Mr. Raph is a nice guy after all.
“No problem, kid.”