Raphael sat on the chair, mumbling something under his breath while rubbing his sore head. Giving angry look towards Alfred, who was more further away dusting, Raphael spoke to Leonardo who brought him a bag of frozen peas.
“How the hell someone so old and skinny can be so strong? Those hits really hurt.”
Leonardo chuckled as he placed the bag on Raphael’s head. “Don’t blame Alfred. You brought this to yourself.”
“Of course you take his side.”
“I’m not taking anyone’s side. You kept repeating the naughty word while knowing perfectly well Alfred would give you a hit for each of those words. You could had stopped it all at any moment by stopping saying the word.”
“You mean fuck?”
Neither of the boys didn’t notice it, but Alfred instantly stopped dusting, keeping his position, being ready to strike. Leonardo smirked shortly while leaning down towards Raphael, whispering; “You better stop saying the word. Alfred will hear you. He has excellent hearing.”
To this Raphael only mumbled and growled.
Door bell rang few days later, surprising Raphael completely. Neither Alfred or Leonardo had said anything about someone coming to a visit. As Raphael approached the stairs on second floor, he heard voices. Two women and Alfred. Standing still Raphael watched over the railing, down at the front door where two new women were standing, Alfred taking their coats as Leonardo approached them. Just in case Raphael decided to go down too, to be near Leo and Alfred if they needed some protection.
Standing slightly behind his master Raphael noticed how these women were looking at blind turtle, giggling, smiling and flirting with him more or less. And Leonardo answered to their flirt. It was… rather weird since Raphael never hadn’t even thought that Leo would be flirty turtle.
“You look as handsome as always, Leonardo.” Said woman around her 40’s. She had black hair on her shoulders, white cleaning outfit on and a name “Mary” on it. Next to her was younger woman, probably around her 20’s, with long bronze curly hair. She was giggling in a good way, obviously liking to keep her eyes on Leonardo. Her outfit was white too with a name Liz on it.
Leonardo smiled at the two. “Thank you. Tho I think I might have got one more wrinkle since your last visit. But I sense few of you are missing.”
“Ah, yes! Four of us are sick, but we didn’t want to cancel our coming here today so we agreed that Liz and I will come to do smaller cleaning today. When all of us are well we will come to do bigger cleaning.”
“That sounds good to me. Just keep me updated when you are coming. Alfred?”
“I will take care of these ladies like always, sir.”
“Thank you. You know where to find me if something comes up.”
“What about me?”
Leonardo stopped, turning to face Raphael. “Do whatever you were doing or relax. It’s all up to you.”
Silently watching after Leonardo, who disappeared in long and dark hallway, Raphael sighed. His instincts were telling him to follow the other turtle since he had been hiding a lot lately. But Raphael fought against the urge. He had still some works to be done and the way how Alfred was looking at him suggested that he would leave Leonardo alone. So Alfred must had known what was going on. Perhaps he and Leonardo had talked about it. Somehow Raphael felt hurt about this. He understood Leonardo and Alfred shared decades long trust and friendship, but Alfred was a human. Raphael thought Leonardo would share some things with him too because they both were mutant turtles.
Groaning silently to himself Raphael started to climb up the stairs, hearing Alfred escorting those two ladies in the room where they could start the cleaning.
Heading towards the kitchen, planning on getting a snack, Raphael heard noises in near by room. He became curious, heading in another room. Watching from the doorway Raphael leaned against the wooden frame of the doorway, smiling to himself while crossing his arms over his chest.
“Troubles of reaching up there, ladies?”
Both women jumped since neither of them hadn’t seen or heard Raphael’s approach.
“We, uh, really could use some help. That bookcase is so high and…”
Pulling broken chair behind old office table both women looked like if they had killed a puppy. “We are sorry. We didn’t mean to break it. We will replace it.”
“We thought it could handle one of us standing on it, but it didn’t.”
“It’s only a chair. Don’t worry about it. Besides I can fix it so no harm done.” Approaching the women Raphael eyed them both, stopping in front of them. “So, which one of you is gonna wipe the top of the bookcase?”
“I think Liz would fit better. She is taller than I am, having longer arms too.”
When Liz was about to protest about that, Raphael squatted behind her aiming his wide shoulder right under her rear. Taking a hold on her, Raphael stood up, lifting her to sit on his shoulder. She yelped in surprise, taking tight hold on Raphael’s head and arm. “You’re crazy!”
“I’m just helping.” Looking down on old turtle’s eye she blushed. “S-sorry. You scared me. But, please, don’t drop me.”
“No worries, you are in good hands. Been lifting a lot heavier stuff in my life than you.”
Mary was smiling as she kept eyeing Raphael’s muscular arms and form as he held Liz, who was now dusting the top of bookcase. “Your arms are quite a sight, handsome. They really show you have been lifting stuff.”
Raphael laughed softly. “More than you ever know.”
When Liz was done, Raphael landed her down carefully. Last thing what he wanted was to drop poor girl or scare her more. “Need any more help?”
“No, thank you. We only have some vacuuming left. We will come do better cleaning when the whole group is here.”
“As you wish.” Taking broken chair in his arms Raphael left the room, hearing “thank you” behind him.
There was one room upstairs which Raphael had made to be a room of manly handicraft with all kind of supplies – even that Alfred had been against it. When Raphael had stated he will keep it clean, Alfred had given in. Raphael spent some hours there every now and then, doing whatever he could. Fixing a chair would be an easy task so he got to work instantly. Fixing chair went nice and smooth, radio keeping company to him. Only after the chair was done Raphael realized he had forgot the snack when he had ventured to help Liz and Mary. Taking the chair he headed back to downstairs, meeting Alfred at the main hall.
“Where are the cleaning ladies?”
“You wanted their number?”
“Oh ha ha, geezer. You are so funny as always.”
Alfred couldn’t help but to smile. “I’m glad you enjoy my humor.”
“Shut it and answer me.”
“If you must know, they left about half an hour ago. They finished their cleaning so they headed to their next target or home.”
“Thank you. You should had answered to me like that right away, you know.”
“I was in a mood to tease you a bit.”
Sighing Raphael growled slightly. “I noticed.” Eyeing old man a bit Raphael tilted his head. “Heading somewhere?”
“To grocery. One of the turtles eats more than the other.”
“But it is true, Raphael. You eat a lot.”
“I can’t help it. I’m massive. I need a lot of fuel.”
“No.” Alfred said calmly as he pulled his jacket on. “You need to stop eating so much snacks.”
“You can’t be serious…”
Opening the front door Alfred continued; “Because even your snacks are at the size of a lunch.”
“They are not!” Raphael protested heatedly, marching towards Alfred who opened his umbrella, getting ready to step in the rain.
“Do me a favor. Check on master every now and then while I’m gone.”
“…? Is there something wrong about him?”
“He tends to… Never mind.”
“No! Don’t you dare to do that!”
“I’m sorry, but it’s not my business to tell that. I’m sure he will tell you when he feels comfortable enough for that.” With that Alfred lifted umbrella above his head – and stepped in the rain, heading towards garage to get the car. Raphael stood at the doorway watching after Alfred until he drove away. Closing the door Raphael couldn’t help but to worry about it what Alfred just had said. But even more he worried it what he was about to say.
He wanted to go find Leo, ask questions, but then again it would had alarmed Leonardo that Alfred had said something – and Raphael didn’t wish any harm for the old man, so he kept his mouth shut, focusing on his work. Still, his mind raced with many questions as he returned the chair in its original room.
Few weeks went by and Raphael’s worry over Leonardo had only grown. The turtle seemed to be avoiding them as much as possible. Why? Raphael had tried to get information out of Alfred, but he said nothing so Raphael waited couple more days. When things kept being the same Raphael approached Leonardo when he was standing on his small balcony, facing the sunset.
Stopping next to other turtle Raphael leaned on the railing with his arms. “Quite nice view you got from here.”
“Thank you.” He sounded… too unhappy. And it worried Raphael.
“Has Alfred say or do something to you? Or are you missing those cleaning ladies?”
Surprised expression faced Raphael. “Why would you say or think such things?”
“I dunno. Perhaps because you been acting weird the last 3 weeks. Wanna open up and tell me what’s going on?”
“Could you describe me the sunset?” Leo’s reply on question with such question was surprising. It confused Raphael for a moment, but when there was such pleading look on other turtle’s face, Raphael gave in.
“Okay, so. The sky above us is getting dark blue and then it slides down towards the horizon, turning lighter blue. There’s some darker purple clouds which had lighter pink as a reflection from sun’s light. There’s some small hints of red and orange on the sky and clouds too. It’s quite pre---”
Sudden loud sob from next to him made Raphael stop. In panic he looked at the turtle next to him who had pressed his head down, tears rolling down from his tightly shut eyes, such pain visible on his face, lips trembling and nostrils leaking. Oh shit… Oh shit, shit, shit! Now he really had done it! Not even stopping to think what to say or do, Raphael followed his instincts. Slowly and carefully he slid his arm over other turtle’s shoulders, stepping right next to him while pulling him gently right next to him. Leonardo’s head trembled a bit when Raphael pressed his cheek on top of it, sighing silently. His hand rubbed light green shoulder ensuring way, hoping it to bring some comfort for smaller male.
“I’m sorry.” Leonardo finally whispered with trembling voice. “There just… comes times when I miss my sight.”
Still rubbing Leo’s shoulder Raphael nodded, talking with calm deep voice; “That’s understandable. You don’t need to be sorry.” But Leonardo’s words echoed in his mind. So he hadn’t been blind his whole life if he was missing his sight. Sniffing Leonardo rubbed his eyes, Raphael’s hold remaining on him as Raph spoke once again.
“Listen, I happily will be your eye. Just a word and I will tell you what I see.”
Sniffing Leonardo turned his head, forcing Raphael to lift his head up. Leo’s face was right towards his, and so close, but those blue eyes stared far away in the distance, not focusing on Raphael’s only eye. But relieving thing was to see small smile on other turtle’s lips.
“Thank you, Raphael. I appreciate that, but I don’t want to bother you.”
“What the hell are you mumbling about? I can easily tell you what I see whenever you just say the word. You are not bothering me.”
There was another smile which soon faded away, last few tears escaping from blind eyes.
“But there… also are times when I feel lonely.” Turning his head away Leonardo sighed deeply. There was heavy pain in the sigh.
“Hey.” Raph almost whispered, nudging Leonardo once closer to him gently. “You aren’t alone. I’m right here and Alfred is downstairs.”
Sudden burst of small laugh escaped from Leo and it, kind of, amused Raphael. He hadn’t meant his comment in a humor way at all. He had been dead serious actually, but perhaps it was the way how he said it which made other turtle laugh at it. And heck, Raphael didn’t mind it one bit. As long as it made Leonardo laugh and cheer up, he was happy.
After calming down from his slight laugh, Leonardo turned to look at bigger turtle once again. Sweet smile on his face this time, happiness and thankfulness shining from his eyes. “Thank you, Raphael.” A hand rose on Raphael’s left cheek. “You are truly something. You have been here about two months now and you worry so much about me and Alfred, always making sure we are fine and we have all what we need. You are special and precious. We truly appreciate you and everything what you do for us.”
Swallowing Raphael turned his head a just a bit, not letting Leo’s hand fall off from his cheek. He was happy that Leo’s hand wasn’t on his right cheek since a single tear would had hit his hand. Clearing his voice Raphael smiled, tapping Leo’s shoulder where his hand still rested. “Just doing what I’m best at.”