Raph sat, naked on the front porch swing and stared off at nothing. He had spent most of his time sitting there. They had been out at the farm for about a week and he still felt like he had been hit in the chest.
Mrs. Morrison sat in a nearby rocker, enjoying the fresh air. She was welcomed by his family and made herself at home in the small farmhouse. She stayed near Raph but also kept her distance, leaving him alone when he requested it. She took her duties to keep him comfortable seriously.
Fortunately, Raph’s family kept their distance and respected his desire for them to go through Mrs. Morrison first.
April had the windows open and he could smell the savory dinner that Mikey was cooking. Mrs. Morison had baked a pie earlier, amazing everyone how well she managed given her condition. The scents beckoned him to go back in the house but the thought of socializing kept him outside.
When dinner was ready, Raph ate it out on the porch. Their first night there his family tried to get him to go inside and eat at the table but Mrs. Morrison put her foot down and they gave up.
There were times he could hear them talking about him but it didn’t bother him. Their words barely registered anyway and at least they weren’t talking to him.
After dinner, Raph left his plate on an outside table for someone to collect and went for a walk. He didn’t go far before he was met by Donny. “It’s hard to catch you without your body guard,” he quipped as he ran up to Raph.
Sighing, Raph stopped and looked at Don, “Donny, I….”
“I know,” Donny interrupted him, holding up his hands. “You don’t want to talk and that’s not what I’m here for. I just want to walk with you.”
“Okay,” Raph mumbled and continued on his way.
They walked in silence together, making their way towards the barn. Raph felt a tentative hand touch his and looked down to see Donny reaching for him. Raph’s conflicting emotions had him unsure how to react but he soon found himself reaching back and grabbing Don’s hand.
“Don’t read too much in to this,” Raph mumbled. He didn’t want to admit it but there was a level of comfort in the simple contact with his brother.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Donny replied, moving closer to Raph.
“I’m not ready,” Raph said, stopping by the barn. He leaned back against the wall, keeping his eyes down.
Donny moved in front of him, keeping a hold of his hand. “I’ll be here, when you are.”
Raph looked up into Donny’s eyes. “I don’t think I will be able to love you, like I love him and I still don’t know if I would be able to share you with Leatherhead.”
It was Donny’s turn to look down. “I understand. We don’t have to go beyond friends but if you want to… Leatherhead is okay with us being together, even if it is just friends with benefits.” He looked up at Raph. “I will admit though, I couldn’t love you like I love Leatherhead but I will do my best for you. I love you enough to do that.”
“Pity sex,” Raph looked up at the sky.
“No,” Don held his hand tighter. “It would be more than that. I don’t pity you, Raph. I do love you.”
“I don’t know,” Raph heaved out a sigh.
Placing his hand on Raph’s cheek, Donny leaned in and kissed the other one. “You don’t have to make any decisions now. I just wanted you to know, for when you are ready. I know you are hurting. I would do anything to make that pain end.”
“I don’t want to use you,” Raph looked down at Don.
“You won’t be,” Donny smiled up at him. “You care for me too much.”
Mikey and Leo walked together, down to the spot by the river where they shared their first kiss over a year ago. Once they were hidden among the trees, Mikey brought his hand down for a nice solid smack across Leo’s butt.
With a yelp, Leo turned and glared at Mikey. “Not here.”
“What?” Mikey flashed Leo one of his playful grins and held his hands up. “No one can see us.”
“This is not a secluded enough place,” Leo insisted, rubbing where Mikey struck him as he backed away. “Raph’s out for a walk and could be anywhere. We don’t need him coming up on us while we’re… acting out a fetish.”
With a chuckle and a grin, Mikey tried to slap Leo again but Leo grabbed his wrist. So, Mikey swung out with his other hand but Leo grabbed that one too. They both laughed as they playfully struggled with one another and Leo managed to get Mikey backed up against a tree.
“What are you gonna do now?” Leo teased, still holding Mikey’s wrists.
Mikey answered by leaning in and capturing Leo’s lips. Their kiss was just as playful but soon changed to one of passion.
Leo’s knee came up to part Mikey’s legs and they ground against each other. Using the tree for support, Leo lifted Mikey’s feet off the ground and wrapped Mikey’s legs around his hips. Their tails sought each other out then twisted against each other.
From his position, Mikey could see the road leading up to the house. He stopped kissing Leo and squinted his eyes to see through the trees. “How do you think Raph would react to seeing Bishop right now?”
“Not well. Why?” Leo lowered Mikey to the ground and turned to follow Mikey’s line of sight. He saw the black car as it made its way towards the farmhouse. Leo ground his teeth together as he fought to keep his anger in check. “What do you suppose he wants?”
Together they made their way out of the forest and made it back to the house by the time Bishop stepped out of the car. Bishop watched them as they approached and readied himself for the confrontation.
Before Leo could say anything, April came storming out of the house with Casey close behind her. Her face was red with anger as she charged up to the man in the black suit. “You have a lot of nerve showing up here after everything you have done.”
Leo’s mouth dropped at the sight of April’s outburst. He had seen her mad before but never like that. She got up close to Bishop’s face but he stood his ground, looking down at her through his dark rimmed glasses. “Where is Raphael?”
“No,” she spat out then pushed him away. He staggered back, taking the blow but he regained his composure. “How dare you,” April’s voice was full of spite. “You crushed him.”
Bishop kept his clam, showing little to no emotion as he adjusted his suit. “Is that really the reason for all your anger, Mrs. Jones?”
Leo looked between them and wondered if there was something that he was missing. April’s cheeks flushed and she shook with anger. “You are a liar and a coward!”
“I did what I thought was best,” he responded, keeping his level flat.
“What you thought was best?” April grunted in frustration and started to pace. Casey tried his best to calm her but she was too worked up and she pushed him away. “You didn’t think that I could handle it? I was friends with four mutant turtles and I traveled through time. You didn’t think I could believe that you….” Her voice choked off and her lip started to quiver. “You didn’t think that I would want to know something like that?”
“No,” Bishop answered and Leo swore that he heard emotion in his voice. “You were happy with your life. I didn’t think that you wanted to know that you had any connection to me. I was your enemy.”
“You put yourself in that position,” April shot back. She looked like she wanted to lunge at him but Casey held her back so she pointed her finger at Bishop. “You wanted to hurt the Turtles when they were on your side. You were just too self-absorbed to see it.”
“That’s enough,” Mrs. Morrison stepped out of the house. “It’s good for you to get all of that pent up frustrations out but you need to think about the baby and clam yourself.” She grabbed April and ushered her back towards the house. “Get inside, splash some water on your face and go lie down. I’ll handle him.”
“You’re in for it now,” April snapped as Casey took her into the house. “She won’t let you near Raph.”
Mrs. Morrison waited until April was in the house before addressing Bishop. “Hello, John. Why are you here?”
Bishop’s gravelly voice was low but it still carried. “I want to explain things to him.”
“Explain what?” she shrugged her shoulders. “Why it is that you were disgusted that you two ever shared a bed?”
“No,” Bishop yelled and his voice was full of pain. Leo had never heard any kind of emotion out of the man aside form anger. “Please. I know I hurt him but I want a chance to explain to him what happened.”
“He’s out walking with Donatello. They should be by the barn by now,” Leatherhead stepped out from around the house. “He and I have decided to include Raphael in our relationship. Donny is… making the offer now.”
Bishop looked around, located the barn and then looked back at Leatherhead. “Raphael has no interest in you.”
“No,” Leatherhead agreed as he walked up to Bishop. His eyes showed the building fury within him. “But he loves Donny and we respect each other enough that I believe that we can settle into a good relationship.”
“He lusted for Donny,” Bishop corrected but his voice held a slight tremble. “He’s my soul mate.”
“You rejected him, humiliated him,” Leatherhead roared, rearing up to his full height. “He has been nothing but a shell this last week and now that Donny has finally managed to get Raph to open up, you’re here to shut him down again.”
“Enough of this,” Bishop stepped around Leatherhead and walked away from them all. “I’m going to find him.”
Leatherhead moved to stop Bishop but to everyone’s surprise, Mikey ran up and stopped Leatherhead. “Let him go.”
Leatherhead looked down at Mikey and gestured out towards Bishop as he retreaded towards the barn. “You would let him go and cause your brother more heartbreak?”
Mikey shook his head, “Didn’t you hear him, the way he sounded? He wants to make this right. I say we give him a chance.”
Leo walked over to his mate and took him by the hand. “Mikey?”
“Didn’t you hear his pain, Leo?” Mikey’s eyes were pleading and he looked to be on the verge of tears. “He doesn’t want to lose Raph.”
“I hope you’re right,” Leo sighed as he watched Bishop hurry towards the barn.
Raph cupped Donny’s face in his hand and slid his thumb across his cheek. The scars were faded but they were still there. Donny leaned into his touch and a warm smile parted his lips. “This can work,” Donny whispered, covering Raph’s hand with his own.
“Maybe,” Raph heard himself say as he leaned forward. He didn’t want to be alone. Their lips brushed against each other and then Raph pulled back. “But not right now.”
“I understand,” Donny said and there wasn’t anything but kindness in those words. No disappointment or relief, just acceptance.
“Raph,” Bishop’s voice called out to him and he froze.
Donny, however, turned to face Bishop, ready to attack but Raph grabbed his arm and stopped him. “What do you want?” Raph tried to sound uncaring but his voice broke.
The rest of the family had followed Bishop to the barn and they looked ready to take him away if Raph wanted it.
“Can we talk?” Bishop looked around at the gathering crowd then added, “Alone?”
Raph kept his eyes on the ground, partially hidden by Donny. He knew that if he looked up at Bishop he would lose all control. “Say what you need to say here, then leave.”
“You know I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself,” Bishop said stepping forward to get to Raph but Don stepped in his way.
“Too bad,” Donny snapped.
“There are things you need to understand,” Bishop tried to explain, ignoring Donny. “There is something that I need to tell you that I have never told anyone.”
Donny didn’t move from his spot and Raph remained leaning against the barn with his hand on Donny’s arm and his eyes down. Everyone remained silent and unmoving.
With a grunt of frustration Bishop practically yelled. “I don’t remember much after my conscious is transferred to a new clone and I feel nothing emotionally. I have learned to fake it over the years because I remember enough to get by. It takes a while for it all to come back to me. I never told anyone this, ever. Not even your past incarnations. I have always had them visit family during the time of my scheduled transfers or I went on a business trip. This one wasn’t scheduled so I didn’t have time to send you away.”
They all remained silent as they waited to see how Raph would react. He mulled Bishop’s words over in his head and then, without looking up, shouted. “You stupid fuck!”