Chapter 2: What Now?
Training and meditation has always been a big deal in their lives. It didn't matter if the skill was learned over the years or just recently. Practicing skills and mastering katas is important to being a ninja. So without a doubt the four brothers would always wake early in the mornings to rehearse these lessons.
And doing so wasn't hard at all, after all, 15 years of practice shaped them into who they are now. But there was always something that came up when it came to morning practice. So when the time showed for sparing the eldest brother had been able to sense something off.
And namely, a certain hot-headed brother had been the source of this vibe. It was something he noticed that Raph didn't seem to be himself. The fact he seemed a lot sloppier than usual was really ticked Leo's sense.
He remained on the side watching his two brothers spar with one another. Seeing Raph against Donatello allowed him to see if anything were to be wrong since Donatello took their training just as serious as Raphael. For a while Leo got to see that they were at an impasse but as the battle stretched he noticed his second youngest brother starting to falter. Raph's winning streak was a 70 percent average compared to Donatello. Though the genius always had his way of besting the muscled brother when it came to certain fighting methods. What he lacked in strength and aggressiveness, he made up with tactics and proper timing. But as stated before Raph was the one who usually won the matches.
Today was not one of those matches however.
That was proven when Raph was knocked down on the matted floor. Twice.
That’s a new record.
“Yame.” Leonardo clapped his hands, instantly the two brothers stopped. Donatello pushed his bow to the side and offered a hand to the red turtle.
Raphael looked up, green eyes glancing at the other’s face before at the appendage. He shook silently and rose on his own, leaving the older brother perplexed. “Raph?”
“I don’ even wanna talk about it.” He stated quickly, brushing away any dust from his plastron.
“Raphael.” Leonardo started.
“I said. I. Don’t. Want. To. Talk.” He growled leaving the dojo.
“Hey guys I-” Mike’s voice was cut off when he quickly moved out of the way. He pressed his shell against the hallway wall to give space for the tempered turtle to leave the room.
“What the shell just happened?” He questioned looking at the two elder brothers in a mix of worry and confusion.
They both looked at each other as if to find an answer. They didn't.
“He seemed to be unfocused during your spar with him.” Leonardo added to the taller.
“Might be the case, he’s been acting weird these last past days.” Don concluded.
“Ya think it might be because of the talk?” Mikey peered in.
“Wait.” Leo cut in. “What talk?”
“A few days ago he came in my lab and asked some specific details about our relationship.” Donnie answered. “He seemed pretty invested in knowing what it was like to have a partner.”
Leo rose a hairless brow. “A sex partner?”
“No.” Donnie looked at the doorway where the emerald turtle left. “Just a partner, a companion.”
“That doesn’t sound like him.” Mikey speculated. “He just told me he wasn’t into incest. And trust me, uh, no offense but I’m not into that either.” He clarified carefully.
Leo just gave him an annoyed look. “Well either way, we should probably ask him what’s going on. Who knows if this is going to affect him when we go into an actual battle.”
The two others agreed. But they just stood there unmoving.
Leonardo gave them both a look, this made the youngest jump in realization. “Wait, you mean right now?!”
“Yes.” Leo persisted with a bit of emphasis.
“Geeze… and I thought training was hard.” Mikey groaned placing a hand to his forehead.
Donnie just shook his head in bemusement as he followed the now leaving leader. It didn’t take long to find the tempered brother locked inside his room.
Just as the three approached the locked door, they heard the sound of a punching bag swinging back and forth. Didn't take rocket science to know that Raph gave multiple punches to his personal punching bag.
Sweat started to drip off his body but that didn’t stop him from trying to gut the bag. He expected his brothers to come by, and he was waiting for it, so instead of actually going to respond he decided to crack his knuckles against the bag.
“Raph.” Leo’s voice echoed on the other side of the door a few minutes later.
He knew it.
“I said I didn’ want ta talk!” He shouted back glaring at the door stopping his punches momentarily.
“Stop with that glare. We just want to know what’s wrong.” The leader stated.
Figures. He rolled his eyes and continued to his original exercise.
“Look bro, we don’t mean any harm. We just wanna know if you’re really upset.” Mikey said as well.
He wanted to ignore them.
He won’t even bother to face the door anymore.
“Raph, if it’s the conversation we had before-”
“Shudup.” He said unable to contain his anger. “I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t even bother Don!”
The other side when silent.
He gave a tiny sigh. He didn’t want to embarrass himself more than he already did. It was bad enough that he went to talk to Donatello about the situation, but now he was starting to get frustrated over the fact that he was getting upset about it.
Right now he didn’t want to see them.
“Look, eventually he’ll get over it. Just leave him alone for now.” He heard Donatello speak again, but it was quieter and less directed. At that he knew that Don was speaking to his other brothers, rather than him.
“I agree, he’ll eventually come around.” Michelangelo whispered.
There wasn’t a response from fearless, but just with the silence he knew that the leader understood and followed through with the decision.
“Alright.” He added softly.
At that point Raph stopped hitting the bag, which indirectly allowed him to hear their near silent footsteps. Finally.
He then willingly went back to hitting the bag.
Time passed, he wasn’t sure how long but eventually his own muscles were starting to ache from overuse. At that he finally gave the bag a chance to recover as well as himself. His stomach was also crying, which now meant he needed at least a snack. Or a drink.
He unlocked his door and slowly opened. Sure enough when he walked out, he saw the usual condition of his home. The television was on, the same sappy soap his father was so invested in was on. Figuring it best to leave his father watch his shows in peace he tried to sneak past him-
“Finally got it out of your system?” The sudden voice of his father echoed in the living room. Raph exhaled heavily, he walked closer to his dad knowing it better to hear his words and then leave.
“Leonardo came by to explain to me about training.” The elder mutant turned to his son. “Is something concerning you Raphael?”
*Of course Splinter-junior would spill the damn beans.* He thought bitterly. “It’s nothing master. Just the typical.”
“Care to explain?” The elder investigated further
“Master, look. No disrespect, but I’m not in mood to speak about it.” He repeated, why was everyone so concerned with him lately? Where was all of this when the whole secret relationship fiasco was happening and no one bothered to breath anything to him!?
His father’s brown eyes bore into his green ones. “I expect you to come to me when you are ready to speak my son.”
And by that he meant to see him later tonight.
He huffed heavily. “Fine.”
Splinter smiled a bit, “now go get something to eat.”
“Hai Sensei.” He added turning towards the kitchen. Shorter lector then he thought, but hey he's not complaining. Right now anything, even Mikey’s special chili, sounded really good.
However, his appetite suddenly dropped the second he saw the one who ratted him out.
“I’m not in da mood of your tricks fearless.” He said defensively.
“I wasn’t even going to say anything.” Leo said before taking a sip of his teacup.
“Ha, yeah right. You always want to say somethin’.” The younger said with a challenging stare.
Leo placed the small cup down. “I’m simply just having some tea. Unless you wanted some.” He offered.
“No thanks.” Raphael denied moving towards the refrigerator. Already his tongue wanted to take a dose of bitter beer.
“You taking that is going to damage your health at one point.” Leo advised.
If he got a dollar every time Leo mentioned that drinking beer was like drinking poison, he'd be the richest being on Earth.
“And I’ll deal with it.” Taking a sai he uncorked the bottle cap. “Get the hell off my shell.”
He could feel fearless rolling his eyes.
“What? No lectures?” Raphael challenged turning to his older sibling.
“No.” He removed the cup from his lips. “I just plan to enjoy some tea.”
Something was up. “What hell is it?”
“What do you mean?” The leader asked looking directly at his eyes.
“Cut the crap Leo. We all know that you don’t just enjoy a cup tea in the kitchen unless ya were waitin’ for something’.” The sai user accused.
“And what might that be?” The older asked for proof.
Leonardo’s face might as well be a blank slate this point.
“Why you no good sunna of a-” He never got to finish his sentence when the alarms blared out.
Raph was instantly up looking around as if the kitchen was about to blow. “What da fuck?”
“Not now. Let’s move.” Leo commanded getting up from his seat and heading towards the direction of the alarm.
Someone had infiltrated their home. Again.