“Are you sure this is the way, Donnie?”
“Yes. Just keep on going straight. I will tell you when to turn and where.”
Leonardo didn’t question his brother like his lover Raphael did as they crawled in air duct in Shredder’s tower, heading towards the lab. Don had managed to hack, with April’s help, into Baxter’s files and found out he had managed to create new mutagen from Rocksteady’s and Bebop’s blood which held Krang’s mutagen. This stuff would make those two even more powerful and turtles mission was to stop that from happening.
Hearing Don’s voice again in little headphone over his ear Leonardo halted, taking next tunnel to left, Raph silently following him. Soon they came started to hear voices and Leonardo signed Raphael to stop behind him which he did.
“Is Mikey in position?” Leonardo whispered in small microphone.
“Yes. Should I give him a sign?”
“No. Not yet. Raphael and I will eavesdrop a bit what Baxter and Shredder are talking about down there. I will contact you when Mikey can have the stage.”
Staying perfectly still Leonardo noticed Raphael crawled next to him silently, becoming still like a statue. Together they listened how their nemesis kept going on talking.
“So you are absolutely sure this will make those idiots stronger?”
“Certainly, Master Shredder. Their strength will double at least if not more.”
“And their brains?”
“Not so much.”
“Excellent. However I have my doubts. What if something goes wrong?”
“I’m prepared to that as well, Master.” Taking long capsule filled with light blue goo Baxter smiled widely with short laugh. “This will undo everything what has been done to them, returning them back to their original form. I made 2 needles ready, just in case.”
“Good. For once you have use your brains well, Stockman. Rocksteady, Bebop! Here!”
Watching those two making their way into smaller room Shredder took a gun which held 2 darts in them, filled with new mutagen.
“Now, Donnie, now!” Leonardo hissed at the mic, receiving instant reply from Don. Just few seconds after that alarms went on, confusing Shredder and the others.
Raphael and Leonardo smirked to each other, saying together; “Mikey.” Crashing through the grid both turtles landed on their feet weapons ready.
“T-turtles!” Stockman screamed as he retreated behind his desk since he knew better there would be a fight and he wasn’t a fighter.
Shredder growled as Rocksteady and Bebop made their ways next to their master, snorting and growling. Raising his hand Shredder gave his men order to attack, turtles taking them head on. Hearing the sounds of fight from near by room Michelangelo slowed his speed, slowly and silently making his way near the doorway, listening.
“What are you morons doing?! Kill them!”
Peeking inside Mikey saw his brothers fighting and Shredder yelling there with red face. If he didn’t need to have the advantage of sneak attack, he would had laugh there out loud to him. Leonardo spotted his little brother looking inside the room and gave invisible sign to Mikey who nodded instantly.
“Ugh, you fools! Stay still!” Raising his gun Shredder aimed on Rocksteady and Bebop but gun was snatched away from his hold. Seeing green and orange blur moving away from him at the door way and stopping to grimace at him made Shredder’s expression turn from stunned to furious.
“You idiots! After him!”
Seeing two huge mutants coming to him Mikey screamed and ran, feeling ground trembling under his feet. Luckily he was smaller and faster so he managed to escape easily from those two goofs. In the meantime Leonardo and Raphael were taking on Shredder who gave both of them quite a challenge.
Being thrown out of the way against the wall Raphael grunted shaking his head to clear his vision. Getting back on his feet he suddenly noticed Baxter standing there with new gun in his hands, aiming on Leo. Gasping Raph leaped as hard as he could and ran as fast as he could after landing.
Pushing Shredder out of the way Raphael managed to make his way between Leo and Stockman before the sound of gunfire. Hissing with pain Raphael looked over his shoulder, dart hanging on his arm empty. Suddenly his eyes rolled back and his body went limb, Leonardo barely catching him.
“YOU FOOL!” Raising his head in time Leonardo managed to dodge Shredder’s sudden swung with blades. Tossing unconscious Raphael to safety Leonardo lured Shredder away from his mate, trying his best to protect himself and Raph.
“I need some help here, Donnie!”
“I would love to come to aid you but Mikey hasn’t returned yet.”
“Damn it! If he comes soon, take him with you and come to aid me! Raph’s down!”
“And so will be you too, turtle!” Dodging another attack from Shredder Leonardo’s eyes turned to look how Raphael was doing and much for his horror Raphael wasn’t there. Had Mikey heard his help request and came to get Raph?
“Leo! I just remembered – use the bomb what I gave to you earlier.”
A light bulb turned on in Leo’s mind, his hand instantly reaching to belt’s pocket catching small bomb what Don indeed had given him.
“Take this, metal head!” Throwing ball hard between them it exploded, filling the room with smoke. Hearing Baxter and Shredder coughing Leonardo was perfectly fine since this had always been part of his training. Heading to Raphael Leonardo’s eyes widened when he noticed there only were Raphael’s bandanna, weapons and gears. Collecting them with him his eyes kept searching his mate when he saw small movement in the smoke. Moving closer in a hurry Leonardo almost gasped out loud when he saw small little turtle crawling on the floor, making small ‘eep’ sounds.
“Oh shit… Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” Leonardo all but whispered to himself as he snatched little turtle in his hand hoping it wouldn’t bite him. Running past the table he also notices this blue goo capsule, taking it with him too. Running out in time before smoke started to fade in the room saved Leo and escaping was even more easier when Don and Mikey had made road clear for him. Jumping in their garbage truck Leonardo sat on the floor, panting.
“Go, go, go, go!”
“But what about Raph?!”
“HIT IT, DONNIE!”
Swallowing hard Don didn’t want to go against his angry old brother and did as he was told to, unsure about Raphael and why Leonardo decided to leave their brother behind. When they were far and safe Don dared to slow down a bit since last thing what they now wanted and needed were cops.
Mikey had eyed their brother whole trip in silence, noticing his hand hadn’t bee fully opened in whole time.
“Did you hurt your hand?” His question was natural and Leonardo sighed deeply, slowly opening it, revealing small turtle who had withdraw inside his shell.
“A baby turtle! But where…?”
Now Don’s curiosity took a better hold of him and he stopped the truck, turning to look behind, meeting worried blue eyes.
“Donnie, we have a problem...”
At the lair everyone stared small turtle in small terrarium, leaning against the glass and trying to climb out of there.
April’s eyes were wide as she stared this small creature. She hadn’t believe Don when he had called her, telling her to bring small terrarium and little bit of all stuffs what baby turtles need. But here she was seeing it with her own eyes – and even more impossible it was when she knew it was Raphael. Leonardo had told them all what had happened but now they were facing another issue. How they could turn their brother back to normal?
Naturally using mutagen from their bloods would be solution but before they did go and do anything like that Don needed to run tests and search about this more closely but so far it was the best clue. Another issue was keeping little turtle in moist lair, even with the heat lamp it probably wasn’t most suitable for Raphael.
“Could you take him with you, April?”
April instantly saw such suggestion from Splinter hurt Leonardo and she couldn’t blame him. She knew Leonardo felt responsible about Raphael’s fate and wanted to be there near him to protect him.
“With all respect, Splinter, I wish not to separate him from his family. But I have another suggestion; How about Leonardo comes to live in my place with Raphael? Casey and I have been planning on moving together so my apartment would be in free use.”
“That’s very generous but I cannot accept that. It would mean you should keep paying rent about your apartment even if you don’t live there. That’s too much.”
“Oh, nonsense, Leonardo! I would happily pay it and keep the apartment as long as you guys would need it. After returning Raphael back to normal I could terminate my lease. Besides this is a good chance for me to see and try it how well Casey and I get along in the end and can we truly live with each other.” April smiled winking once to blue eyed leader.
Turning to look at his father Splinter only raised his brows with smile to his son. “What are you waiting for, my son? It would be rude to refuse from such offer.”
Nodding to his father Leonardo turned to face his sister, bowing to her once deeply. “Thank you, April. I will accept your offer and will repay you back someday, someway.”
“No, no, no, no! I won’t accept any repays! I’m happy that I can help. Besides we are family.” Her warm smile made Leo’s lips turn into a smile as well. He felt so blessed to have such wonderful and kind human as a family member. Turning to face his family Leonardo made sure he looked each and one of them smiling.
“Well then, my brothers, I will leave with Raphael. Let me know if anything comes up and if you find solution to Raphael’s situation, Don. You know where April’s apartment is so you can come there at night. I will keep balcony door unlocked.”
“Sure thing, bro. Please stay safe and take good care of Raphael.”
Leo nodded to Mikey, lifting terrarium in his hands carefully, April packing all stuff back in the plastic bag beside him. When everything was ready and packed Leonardo and April left after byes.
While walking forward behind April Leonardo couldn’t help but to look inside terrarium, seeing scared and worried looking turtle in panic, trying to get out of there.
“Ssshh, Raphael. It’s okay. I’m here and I will protect you. I’m here. I’m here.”
April heard Leonardo’s silent whispers to Raphael and she felt kind of bad since she could hear pain and worry in Leonardo’s voice. He was convincing himself more than he was Raphael. She just wished Donatello would find solution soon.