After twenty four hours, Mikey was finally released from Donny’s care. He went straight for the sofa and sat down. He turned on the television but didn’t watch it. He just wanted the noise as he sat there, not yet wanting to go into his room.
He thought about what Splinter had told him and tried to understand. To him, Leo didn’t seem like he was having any problems. Splinter said that it was because he hid it from them all but Mikey wasn’t sure.
He looked down at his hand, his permanent reminder of his mistake. Guilt filled him as tears blurred his vision. He knew that they were going to start looking at him differently. That they were going to treat him differently. He didn’t want that. He didn’t mean to hurt himself like that.
He felt the sofa shift next to him and he readied himself for it all. Whoever sat next to him didn’t say anything so he looked over. When saw that it was Leo, he didn’t even try to suppress the groan as he looked away.
For a moment, it looked like Leo was going to get up but, after a bit of fidgeting, he stayed. Taking a deep breath, he asked, “Can we talk?”
Mikey kept his eyes on the ground, “I already told you. I don’t want you out of pity. You don’t need to start paying attention to me, just because you think I’m gonna hurt myself if you don’t.”
“I’m not,” Leo said his voice barely above a whisper. “That’s not why I’m here.”
Mikey glanced over at him, “Are you sure?”
“I…,” Leo sighed. He took a few deep breaths and sat up straighter. He looked over at Mikey, with his mask of control. “I will admit that I feel bad for the way I had treated you. I was… looking after my own needs. I….”
Something on the television caught his attention and his eyes went wide. Trembling, the color dropped from his face and Leo’s eyes stayed fixed on the screen as his breathing became labored.
Mikey looked up in time to see a man strike a woman, in a setting similar to South America. Violence ensued on the screen soon after and everyone was shouting. Mikey looked back over to Leo and reached out for him, “Dude, it’s just a movie. We’ve seen it before.”
Next thing he knew, Mikey was being pulled from the sofa. He hit the ground with such force that the wind was driven from his lungs. Leo had his arm twisted up to the point that he was about to pull it from the socket.
“What are you doing?” Raph yelled, vaulting over the sofa to get to them. He collided with Leo, sending him to the ground.
Leo was quick to recover. He got himself under Raph in a way that he was able to throw him off. Raph landed on the coffee table, breaking it in half.
Holding his arm, Mikey scooted back way from Leo as Donny rushed over. He stopped several feet away from Leo and held up his hands. “It’s okay.”
Leo’s eyes darted back and forth but Mikey didn’t think he was really seeing anything. He kept reaching back for his swords, fortunately they weren’t there.
Donny got down on his knees, keeping his arms out stretched. “You’re at home. No one’s going to hurt you. Look at me.” Don turned to Raph, who was slow to get back on his feet. “Turn the T.V. off, Raph.”
Leo tensed at Raph’s movement and again reached back for the swords that weren’t there. After turning the television off, Raph sat down and looked at Don. “Now what?”
“Look at me, Leo,” Donny said with a slight wave of his arm. “Listen to me. You’re with your family in New York. You’re safe.”
Leo’s breathing was still heavy but his eyes had, at least, stopped darting around. He stood staring at the floor as he got himself under control. “Donny?”
Mikey could see the moment when Leo’s senses came back. The look on his face said it all. He was hesitant to look up at his brothers but he did look at each of them. When his eyes fell on Mikey, there was pain and sorrow in his eyes.
Mikey looked up at Leo in disbelief. He couldn’t fathom why a movie would set his brother off like that.
Leo didn’t say anything and looked to be on the verge of tears. Shifting from foot to foot, Leo looked at his brothers one more time before running up to his room. When the door slammed shut, Mikey finally felt that it was safe to move.
“You okay,” Donny got up and walked up to Mikey so he could examine his arm.
Mikey was only able to nod in response, shock keeping him from being able to speak.
Satisfied that Mikey’s arm wasn’t damaged, Donny then turned to Raph. “Are you okay?”
With a groan, Raph stood up and rolled his shoulders back. “I think I’m okay.” He looked at Mikey, “What the hell happened?”
“Leo saw the movie and freaked,” Mikey answered with a shrug. “I didn’t do anything, he just attacked me.”
“Something must have triggered a memory,” Donny explained. He walked over to Raph and started fussing over him. “He wasn’t attacking you. He was attacking a memory.” Mikey watched how Raph and Don interacted with each other and could see how close they had become. Raph wouldn’t have let Donny fuss over him like that a few years ago.
He envied that connection and, more so, Don for finally getting Raph after all these years. A wave of guilt washed over him as he remembered the night he had come on to Raph.
Splinter came out of the dojo to see what was going on. He looked around at the aftermath and was on the verge of panic. As Donny explained what had happened Raph walked over to Mikey. “You really okay?”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah. My shoulder doesn’t hurt any more. Not really.” He took a deep breath and looked past Raph. He was too embarrassed to keep eye contact, not after what he had done. “I’m sorry, for the other day.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Raph placed his hand on Mikey’s unhurt shoulder and gave it a soft squeeze. “We’re not mad. I want you to know, that I’m still here for you if you need me.”
“Thanks,” Mikey tried to force a smile. “I think I’m gonna go back to my room now and see what’s left of my stuff.”
“Do you need any help…, scattering it all over the floor?” Raph teased as he gestured with his arms, eliciting a gentle laugh from Mikey.
“No. I think I can manage that all on my own.” Mikey backed away, taking care not to step on any of the broken pieces from the coffee table. “Besides, you wouldn’t know where it would all go. There was organization to my chaos.”
“Sure there was,” Raph smiled. “Don’t worry too much about what was lost. I’m sure we can replace it.”
“Yeah, okay.” Mikey took a moment to reassure Splinter that he was alright then continued up to his room. When he opened the door, he saw that his brothers had placed the boxes in the corner. He opened the first box and was glad to see that some of his action figures were okay.
He closed the lid back on the box and moved it to another corner. The next box held his posters. He was a little saddened to see that there was some damage to them from the smoke and fire extinguishers. It’s not that they were in great condition in the first place but they now looked worse.
He looked through each box and as he placed the lid back on the last box the tears started to fall. His art was gone. Years of work gone. Climbing up on his bed, Mikey curled up and let himself cry.
He didn’t know how long he was there before someone knocked on his door. “What?” he choked out, keeping his back to the door.
He heard the door open then Leo asked, “Did I hurt you?”
“I’m okay,” Mikey answered without turning around. He bit back the snarky remark that hung at the tip of his tongue.
Mikey could hear Leo shifting before he said, “I heard you crying.”
“I lost some things in the fire that I can’t get back,” Mikey explained.
“What?” Leo prompted.
“Some drawings.” His answer was followed by the sound of Leo leaving. To make sure, Mikey turned to look at the door. Leo wasn’t there. “Okay?” he scoffed and rolled back over.
A few moments later, Leo returned and placed something on the floor. “I’m sorry,” his voice was just above a whisper. “The ones I got from Splinter helped me so when I saw these I… took them.”
Mikey sat up and looked at the box on the floor, “Is that my art?”
“Yes,” Leo answered, keeping his eyes down cast.
Mikey was caught somewhere between anger and embarrassment. “Did you look through them?”
Nodding his head, Leo answered, “Yes.”
“Get out,” Mikey said through clenched teeth.
“I’m sorry,” Leo breathed. “I didn’t think that they would be so personal. I was expecting more of what you gave Master Splinter. I just wanted to remember….”
Mikey fought the urge to cry but he couldn’t stop the tears that fell. “Go!”
“Okay,” Leo backed out of the room and closed the door behind him.
Mikey got of his bed and crawled across the floor to the box. When he looked in it, he saw that what wasn’t in art books was sorted into folders and that his art books had colored tags stuck to each page.
He pulled out a folder and saw that it had a color label on it as well. Each folder had colored tags on them. The one in his hand had a blue tag. He opened it and saw that it was full of pictures he had drawn of just Leo.
He discovered that red was for Raph, purple was for Donny, brown was for Splinter, and green was for pictures of two or more. Black had pictures of their enemies and drawings depicting fights. White was used for Mikey’s drawings of the Justice Force. Yellow was used for Mikey’s made up stories.
Mikey’s hand hesitated over the last folder. The color on it was pink and Mikey guessed that Leo chose that color because it was the only one left. Or maybe, it was because of what was in the folder.
He opened it to reveal the few pictures he had drawn of his fantasies of him and Leo together. He flipped through them, embarrassed that he had actually drawn them, even more so knowing that Leo had seen them. Most of them weren’t so bad, just of them cuddling or kissing, but there were a few that Mikey drew when he was horny.
When he flipped the last page, there was a piece of paper with notes on it, in Leo’s handwriting. It said what he had thought of the pictures. Not one word expressed any form of disgust or anger at what he had seen. One note even joked about the possibility of Mikey being disappointed since Leo wouldn’t be able to ‘measure up’ to the way Mikey had drawn him. This made Mikey blush a little.
Mikey went back to the other folders to find that Leo had notes in each of them. There were even some in each of the art books. He went through and pulled out each page of notes then climbed back into his bed to read.