Donatello turned away from the window, and gazed out onto the dark sky. Sitting down, he leaned his back agains the wall, and let out a deep sigh. Life was...torturous. Life was never going to the same. And...he didn’t know what to do with himself. Where would he go after this? Who could he turn to? He had no allies, no friends. Those he once considered such were very far from it. His brothers, April, his...his father. The sacred oath amongst family, one that never could be severed, had been broken. He had broken it, he had caused everything to happen. His foolish, foolish actions had ripped not only his family, but New York and probably more apart.
The window squeaked, and Donatello jumped, pulling his arms to the ledge beneath him, and began to swing into the darkness. Swiftly, a hand grabbed him, yanking him back up, and slamming him into the wall. A voice growled at him as blank, empty stared into his own. “What the heck do you think you’re doing here?”
Don stared at his older brother. He may have been taller than Leo, but at this moment he still held a superiority that could make Don falter.
Leo had apparently gone from knowing that Don was present, to considering him a threat. With that, he acted with a quickness that Donatello had only Master Splinter and Shredder to have.
Slamming Don’s shoulder into the bricks again, Leo glared at him. “Answer me!”
“I...I wanted to...to know they got here safe.”
Leo’s firm grip did not loosen. He waited for a mere moment, and nodded. “Why?” His voice was a little bit more calm, but it still had its same intensity. “After everything...after everything you have done, why would you care?” Leo blamed Don...and made sure to pour every bit of poison he could into his words as he said so.
“Because, believe it or not, I do care,” Don snarled, gaining back his courage. Something began to stir inside of him though, and it made him cringe. Leo may be a worthy adversary, but he would be simple enough to take down. Slowly, Don began to reach for his blade, fighting his unsteady hand not to do so.
“Donnie?” A voice, barely above a whisper, came from the still open window. And there...there stood April. He once loved her like he had never loved another, and never would. As time had passed though, and her father came home, he had realized how unattainable she really was. She was no more than his sister, and from thence forward remained as such. However, the way the moon cascaded onto her face reminded him of the past times they had...innocent times.
Leo relaxed his grasp, but still held Don close.
The three of them stood silently. None knew what to say, even though there was plenty to be said.
Gazing up, April stared Don in the eyes. She gave him small smile, but a genuine one. “Are you hungry?”
It was...so random, so odd that Don let out a slight chuckle. “No, but thank you,” The question reminded him that he had not eaten, not in a long time. He just had not been hungry, but it did not seem to slow his energy. Too much exertion, yes, but not the lack of food. “How’s...how’s Mikey?” His brother’s name felt foreign on his lips, and he flinched as Leo dung his nails deep into his arm. His older brother cast a look at April, but she either did not notice or cared not notice it.
“He’s going to live,” Her words were sweet relief to him. However, he could still feel the mounting pressure, the urge to complete a mission. His mission. At this point though...something was blocking that off. Emotion was blocking that off. Instead of the negativity of grief and sadness and frustration and bitterness and...and everything, there was a flicker of something he had not experienced in a long time, if ever.
That stemmed from something he dared not even approach. She cared for him. Not in the way that he had always selfishly wished he had, but in the way that she always did. The April way. She loved him. He was her brother, and she...she forgave him.
“Do you want to come in?” The words flowed out of her mouth like honey from its comb. Her smile was infectious, and Don returned it in favor. It felt good to actually smile. It was...it was something positive, not from humor at the expense of others.
“No!’ Leo pushed Don behind him, placing himself between Don and April. “He is not welcome here April.”
“This is my home Leonardo, and I am your senior, in case you forget Whomever I say is welcome here is. That is final,” There was a fierceness to her words that trifled Leo’s, but he did not back down. He appeared to have taken Raphael’s stubbornness. That in of itself was menacing, but coupled with Leonardo’s abilities made it dangerous.
“I will not have him here! I cannot stand by and wait to see what he will do to them!”
“He is your brother Leo!”
“He is no brother of mine,” It was clear cut, plain and to the point. “He has dishonored himself and no longer bears the name Hamato. I have two brothers April, and they are in that room,” Leo pointed to window. “They need my protection. I will not be protecting them if I allow him access to them.”
“He saved them Leo. He protected them, when you could not. Can you put your grievances to the side for just a moment and relish the fact that your brother, your brother Donatello, has gained some sense of honor back? He could have left them there to be tortured and die. But he didn’t. He could have killed them before they made it here. But he didn’t. He watched their back, and he made sure they got here safely. What is the definition of a protector? Someone who keeps others from harm, someone who preserves. Even you, in all your difficult, stiff-necked, contrary, obstinate pigheadedness cannot deny that!”
Leo sneered before turning and facing Donatello. “I hate you,” His upper lip curled in disgust. Wheeling his hand back, Don watched but did not duck as his brother smashed his fist into his face. Don stumbled, but did not fall. His vision was blurry and blood began to drip out of his nose, but he could see Leo’s form disappearing back into the house.
His words ran in his ears. His fears were confirmed. Hatred, detest, abhorrence, and loathing had corrupted Leo’s soul. Perhaps not corrupted...but rather carefully placed into his heart by Donatello himself.
Hate...red flashed before Don’s eyes, and he stood up straighter. His hand slid up to the staff of his scythe. They were wounded, not expecting it. It was the best opportunity. He wouldn’t have to hunt them down, they were all in one place. Her would get Leo first, then Raph, then Mikey. April wasn’t threat, she wouldn’t know what to do. If she fought him as well, then she would pay the price.
All in one instant, Don felt pressure on his chest. April was looking once again into his eyes, her hand on his chest. “Let it go. He’s been through enough already. We all have,” She hung her head low, placing it on him. “Oh God Donnie...I’ve missed you so much,” She began to wrap her arms around him, burying herself into his body. “We’ve fallen apart without you.”
Every single bit of detriment faded away. Resting his head against hers, Don reluctantly wrapped his arms around her petite waist. How many times had he wished for this? He would have never wanted it to be like this though.
They stood there for he knew not how long. Finally, she pulled away, wiping tears from her eyes. He hadn’t even noticed she had been crying.
She let out a weak laugh, smiling up at him. “I’m sorry...”
Letting out a breath of relief, April sat down, gesturing Don to join her. “What do we do, Donnie?”
“I don’t know April. I really...really don’t know.”
She leaned against him, breathing very slowly. “Your brothers need you, you know. I...I need you. And I think you need us too.”
Don was silent at first. “I do need you. I want to be with all of you. But April...it’s beyond my power.”
“I read your notes. The ones in your lab, the ones you left behind when...” She left her sentence hanging, but they both knew what she meant.
“You proved me right. Beyond everyone else, your proved me right. You’re still there. Like everyone, you have your ups and downs, but we can help find your strong suits. We can help you. I can help you. You just have to let us...and I want you to let us. Let me help.”
“It’s not that simple.”
“It is that simple! Donnie, please! Please...”
“April, don’t you understand? Leo is right! I am a threat. I’m a threat to them, and I’m a threat to you. Master Splinter is dead because of me!” The words rang out into the empty street below. “You don’t know what I know...”
“Then explain it to me. Show me.”
Don glanced around. “I know that I can knock you out with one hit without you making a sound and drop your body from this height. I know that I can be inside of your room in less than three seconds after that. I know that Leo has his guard up, but Raph and Mikey are sleeping. I know that Leo and I would probably fight for about a minute and a half, but in his state he would mess up and I would slice his throat. Raph would be up by then, but he does have weapons on him and I could run my blade through him with no problem. Finally, I know that Mikey would still be sleeping, and it would be only a matter of seconds for my to slit his wrist and he would bleed to death. Do you understand now?”
Horror. Utter...horror was etched across April’s face. She fought to regain her composure, but she no longer leaning against him. “Would...would you do that though?”
Don held his breath before answering. “No. Not right now. I can’t...because there’s enough of me to tell the...”
Don nodded. “I can tell the other side no. But sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. I do not want to put any of you at risk like that.”
April nodded. “Okay...”
“I...” Don looked over at the now rising sun. “I’m going to go away.”
“For how long?” April cried softly.
“For a while. Until I know what to do.”
“And what if you don’t know what to do? What if it takes someone to lead you there?”
“Then I will stay away for good. A student is no good to a master if the master is only training the student to kill the master. It would then be redundant.”
April shook her head. “No...”
Don softly grabbed April’s arms and turned her towards him. Gingerly placing the lightest of kisses on her forehead, he sighed. For once, he actually knew what decision he was going to have to make. He wasn’t fighting it from any directions. He felt...like himself again. “It is how it must be.”
Standing, Don looked into the window. Mikey was breathing, but with nothing but a bandaged nub left where his arm had once been. Raph was out cold in a chair, a bandage around his now missing eye. Leo sat, meditating in the middle of floor, his dead eyes wide open. They were all incomplete.
“You guys are brothers. A team. You are a apart of them, and no matter how cruel they can seem,” She was referring to Leonardo, “They miss you incredibly so. You don’t have to leave. You can stay and...and figure things out. They can be your strength, and you can be theirs.”
Turning away, Don grabbed the balcony. “No...I just needed to see them one last time.”
“Why?” April’s lip quivered, tears dripping down her face.
Don’s final words rang in April’s ears as he vanished.
“Because it was time to say goodbye.”