“All logic, no skills.” Donnie mumbled as he leaned against Raph.
They were watching a movie together, with their family, enjoying each other’s company when the memory, all but forgotten, popped into his head. It had been triggered by the scene they were watching of a bunch of guys arguing in an airplane cargo hold.
“What?” Raph whispered, leaning his head down but keeping his eyes on the movie.
Lifting his head, Donnie whispered into Raph’s ear, “You said that I was all logic and no skills.”
Surprised, Raph looked down at Donnie. “When did I say that?”
“During the argument, on the plane,” Donnie reminded him, keeping his voice low. “After we had lost the piece of the portal device to Bebop and Rocksteady.”
“That was a bad moment for us all,” Raph whispered, looking away. “I didn’t mean that…. I was angry, trying to pass the blame. We all were. And we each said something hurtful.” Raph sighed and Donnie could tell that he was a little flustered. “I shouldn’t’ve said it. You’re a great fighter. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry to, bro,” Mikey said, drawing their attention but keeping his eyes on the movie. “You’ve come a long way in showing restraint and your instinct is pretty spot on sometimes.”
“I think you’re smart, Mikey,” Leo chimed in. “And I hope you never lose your compassion for others. Your big heart is one of your most admirable qualities.”
“We did all say hurtful things to one another,” Donnie said as he sat up. “And, I’m sorry, Leo. I was also upset in that moment and said what I said to hurt you. I know you care deeply about us and you are a great leader.”
Leo gave a stiff nod of acknowledgement and then turned his eyes back to the movie. “It seems we’ve all cleared up that little disagreement.”
Donnie leaned back against Raph, feeling a little better.
Donatello stretched and rubbed his eyes. He had been researching and analyzing the purple mutagen, that he had to carefully scrape off the wall, for several hours. Chief Vincent had requested as much information on the substance as possible. They wanted to know if there was any way to reverse the effects. As far as Donnie could tell, they could not but he wasn’t giving up. If there was a way, he will find it.
He lived for this; learning, researching, experimenting, this was what gave him joy in life. Here he was with the only sample of an alien substance that had the ability to mutate cells. Who knew what kind of possibilities he could discover.
He glanced to his left and noticed Raph was watching him and he suddenly felt a little awkward. “How long have you been there?”
Raph shrugged. “I don’t know.”
The way Raph was looking at him had Donnie’s face start to burn. “Did… did you need something?”
Raph shook his head. “Sometimes I just like to watch you work.”
Chuckling nervously, Donnie adjusted his glasses. “Why? That can’t be very entertaining for you.”
“I like to see the way your face lights up when you figure something out,” Raph answered as he smiled, getting to his feet. “I find you captivating.” As Raph closed the distance between them, Donnie felt himself flush with desire. “I love you,” Raph said, leaning in to kiss Donnie.
That was all it took. Donnie was ready to take Raph into his room and leave his research for another time. It could wait.
That was, until they heard someone clear their throat. Pulling apart, the pair looked at the entrance to see Vern. “You guys are gonna wanna cut that out.” He was carrying a large box and was looking back over his shoulder. “Casey and April are right behind me, taking a leisurely stroll through the sewers like they’re on a walk in the park.” He looked back up at the pair. “That is, of course, unless you want them to know what is going on between you then by all means, continue. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“Wait,” Raph said looking between Vern and Don. “How do you know?”
“Know what?” April asked as she and Casey entered the lab. Not waiting for an answer, she looked over at Vern. “You were walking really fast.”
“Excuse me for not wanting to linger in the raw sewage,” Vern retorted heading towards Don. “And besides that, this is heavy. Here.” He held the box out for Donnie. “I brought you those supplies we talked about.”
“Thank you,” Donnie said as he accepted the box from Vern. “I appreciate this.”
April watched the exchange and then looked up at Raph. “Is there something I’m missing? I feel like there is something that I am missing.”
Raph shrugged. “I don’t know what goes on between the two of them.”
“What’s in the box?” April called out after them.
“Supplies,” Donnie simply answered as he disappeared into his lab, leaving Raph and Vern to handle any other questions April might have.
Alone in his sanctuary, Donnie opened the box. Inside was a selection of protein bars and powder along with vitamins and a few other supplements. In February he would start taking the vitamins and the calcium supplement. The protein and other supplements will be saved for the months following mating season. He didn’t know if it was going to work but it was worth a try. But did he dare get his hopes up?
After sorting through everything and putting it away Donnie left his lab to rejoin the others. April was discussing something with Leo as Donnie approached. They halted their conversation as Donnie got closer.
Leo looked at Don and crossed his arms. “What are your thoughts on going through a medical exam?”
“Who would be performing the exam?” Donnie asked in return, looking from Leo to April and back again. “And why?”
“The who hasn’t been decided yet,” April explained. “They don’t want to start looking until you guys agree. The why is because Chief Vincent thinks it would be a good idea to have someone on hand who knows how to medically treat you guys if you are ever seriously injured while saving the city.”
“That’s… uh… that’s understandable,” Donnie agreed, nodding his head, noticing that his brothers’ eyes were all on him. He understood why they were all waiting for him to make the decision. A medical exam was sure to reveal a thing or two that Donnie would rather be kept secret.
However, it would be selfish of him to deny his brothers the opportunity simply because he had a secret to hide. Then he considered the fact that a doctor might be able to help him. It was an opportunity he couldn’t squander. “We should do it.”
“It told you,” April said to Vern. “They know they can trust Chief Vincent.”
“Really?” Vern looked at Donnie, narrowing his eyes. “You would be willing to let a human doctor do a full exam on you, poking and prodding… all over?”
“I don’t understand why you think they would be against it,” April argued. “It will insure that they have medical help if they ever need it.”
“What… about the mutagen that’s in their blood?” Vern pointed out. “I’m sure Donatello understands the danger of that. Right?”
“The doctors would be warned about it,” Casey interjected. “They will know to take every precaution and destroy every ounce once they are done with it.”
“Or they will store it,” April added. “Just in case any of them needed a blood transfusion.”
“I have considered all possibilities,” Donnie stated before Vern could argue any more. “I think it would be a good idea for us to have a final say on anyone who is allowed access to us. I can do a more thorough background check than the police can.”
“I will pass that along,” April promised.
Leo looked at Donnie. “Then it’s settled…?” When Donnie gave Leo a slight nod, Leo looked at April. “You can tell Chief Vincent that we accept her offer so long as our conditions are met.”
“Alright,” April replied then turn towards Vern with a look that said, ‘I told you so.’
“Now that that’s done,” Casey said, walking past everyone as he made his way to the television array. “Let’s set his baby up so we can watch the games in HD.”
“I agree,” Raph said, joining him. “You for the Jets or the Giants?”
“Giants,” Casey replied as if it was the only answer. Judging by Raph’s reaction, it was the right answer. Donatello smiled to himself as he watched the two of them bond. Donnie had benefited greatly from his friendship with Vern. A friendship with Casey could do wonders for Raphael.
Their little circle was slowly growing and the Turtles were experiencing a greater level of freedom. It was like a rollercoaster, both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. They had to trust their human friends and allies to keep their secrets safe.
Donnie hoped that whoever Chief Vincent found, they would be someone he could trust with is deepest secrets.