Donny felt Raph’s hand tighten on his arm then let go. Raph’s outburst was followed by silence; everyone gathered wanted to see what he did next. Bishop’s explanation made sense but that didn’t excuse his actions. He should have told Raph about the fact that he temporarily lost his memory after a transfer.
The way Raph was breathing was a good indicator that he was trying to keep his temper in check. Donny turned to face him, placing a hand on his shoulder. Pushing past Donny, Raph charged towards Bishop and punched. He didn’t hold back, putting all of his anger into the blow.
Bishop didn’t move. He took the hit that was so hard his glasses flew from his face as his head snapped to the side.
Raph’s eyes went wide and he reached out to catch Bishop as he fell. Dropping to his knees, Raph cradled Bishop in his lap. “I didn’t think you’d let me hit you. I thought you’d block or duck. Why’d you let me hit you?” Raph rambled out as tears filled his eyes. “You stupid ass.”
“To be honest,” Bishop mumbled and brought his hand up to test his jaw. “I didn’t think you would hit me so hard. I wanted to let you get it out of your system so we could talk. I know how temperamental you can be.”
“I wouldn’t have hit you so hard if I knew you were gonna just stand there like a fucking idiot,” Raph shot back, his voice choking off at the end. “I’m mad at you but not enough to wanna knock you senseless.”
“I love you too, Raph,” Bishop replied, still a little groggy.
“Maybe we should leave and let the two of you talk in private,” Donny offered, stepping forward. “That is, of course, if you don’t want me to check on you before I go.” He didn’t really want to leave them alone. Part of him wanted to stand there and give Bishop a piece of his mind but, in the end, it was up to Raph.
“I think I’m alright,” Bishop said, sitting up with his hand on his head. “I’m going to have a massive headache later.”
‘Good. You deserve it,’ Donny thought to himself before saying. “There are pain killers in the house, when you need it.” He tried his hardest to sound neutral but by the way Raph looked at him, it was apparent that his anger seeped into his voice.
“That is if April is willing to let you have it,” Mikey added in a teasing manner. “I really want to know what all that was about.”
“Now’s not the time,” Leo chided him, pulling Mikey away back toward the house.
“What?” Mikey whined. “You saw how pissed April was when she saw him. He’ll be lucky to get a glass of toilet water.”
Donny followed Leo and Mikey back to the house, “April was mad and I missed it?”
“She was terrifying, dude,” Mikey said in awe, looking over his shoulder. “She looked ready to rip Bishop’s head off and, for a moment, I was hoping she would.”
Leatherhead caught up to them and placed a hand on Donny’s shoulder, “Are you alright?”
Donny shrugged, “I just want Raph to be happy, either with us or with Bishop. He’s been through enough in life.”
“We will be here for him, no matter what happens,” Leatherhead stated then nuzzled Donny’s neck. “And support any decision he makes.”
“I love you,” Donny said with a satisfied sigh, leaning into his lover.
When they reached the house, April was on the porch, pacing back and forth. Casey kept trying to get her to sit but she just waved him off. Angry was an understatement for the way she was acting. She was fuming. She rushed to the edge of the porch as they approached. “What happened? Where’s Raph?”
“He’s gonna talk things out with Bishop,” Leo answered as he walked up the steps, instinctively stepping to avoid the squeak in the last step. Mikey didn’t care so much and the wood groaned under his weight as he rushed up to April.
“You missed it,” Mikey blurted out before April could respond to Leo. “Raph got so mad that he punched Bishop, in the face. His glasses went flying.” Mikey’s animated way of taking had Leo rearing back to avoid being hit. Leo grabbed Mikey’s wrist as it whizzed past his face then smacked Mikey on the back of his head.
“Hey,” Mikey protested and got his revenge by smacking Leo’s butt as the older turtle walked by. The look of surprised indignation on Leo’s face had Donny’s biting back a laugh.
“Good,” April huffed, crossing her arms over her chest, not even noticing the exchange. “He deserved it.” Shaking her head, she looked at Donny. “If he was so mad, why is he talking to Bishop now?”
“Apparently, Bishop suffers temporary memory loss after he is transferred to a new clone and that was the reason he broke it off with Raph,” Donny explained, coaxing April to the swing to sit. “Calm yourself.”
“He’s still an ass,” April huffed, finally sitting down. “And a coward.”
“Why are you getting so worked up over this?” Leo asked, taking April’s hand into his. “I mean, we’re all upset that he hurt Raph but you seem to have a personal grudge.”
With a groan, April leaned back and looked up at the peeling paint on the awning. “When Raph came to see us that night, he told me that Bishop is my grandfather and that he gave my mother up for adoption.”
“He’s your grandfather?” Donny repeated, just to clarify and looked at Casey. When his exhausted friend nodded, Donny asked April, “Does that mean…?”
“Raph’s my grandmother, reincarnated,” she nodded, her voice monotone. “I’m still wrapping my head around that one.”
Mikey placed his hands on either side of his head and then popped them away, spreading his fingers, while he made an exploding sound. He then turned and walked into the house, “I’m gonna have a beer.”
Raph walked over and looked down at Bishop’s glasses, “There broken. Not that you really need them.”
“That would explain why the side of my nose is bleeding,” Bishop quipped, still sitting, slumped over, on the ground as he waited for his head to stop spinning. He pulled out a handkerchief and pressed against his face. “I think you gave me a concussion. I don’t… think I can stand.”
“I wasn’t expecting you to take it,” Raph said, exasperated, throwing his hands out and turning to look at Bishop. “The plan was to get you to duck then punch you in the gut.”
“That would have been preferable,” Bishop said in a flat tone.
“Do you wanna go back to the house, let Donny look you over?” Raph offered, squatting down next to Bishop. There was a large, purple bruise starting to form along Bishop’s jaw.
A slight nod was the only answer Bishop was able to manage. Raph helped him stand, being careful not to jostle him too much, then led him back to the house. By the time they made it to the front porch, Bishop was leaning heavily on Raph.
His brothers rushed out to help bring Bishop into the house and they laid him on Raph’s bed. Panic started to fill Raph and he paced back and forth while Donny looked Bishop over. “I killed him. I hit him so hard that he’s gonna die. We’re too far from the city; we would never get there in time for him to be transferred into a new body.”
“Calm down, Raph,” Donny soothed, trying to put an end to Raph’s rambling. “It’s just a concussion. He’ll be fine.”
“You sure?” Raph’s voice broke, on the verge of tears.
Donny nodded, “I am. Just make sure he stays conscious.”
“Okay,” Raph nodded, wringing his hands together.
“April’s looking for the Tylenol. Someone will be up in a little bit with it,” Donny said as he headed for the door.
“Thank you,” Bishop mumbled as Donny left.
Raph stood with his back turned to Bishop, watching as Donny disappeared into the hall then said, “I hate you right now.”
“I know,” Bishop said with a slight nod of his head. “You have every reason to. I just hope you can understand that I didn’t mean to drive you away.”
“You told the media that Nightwatcher was dead,” Raph pointed out as he started to pace, still not looking at Bishop. “You put a permanent end to Nightwatcher. You’re such a dumb ass.”
“I was confused,” Bishop swallowed hard and it was apparent that he was in a lot of pain.
Raph was a torrent of conflicting emotions. Part of him wanted to walk out of the room and be done with Bishop. Then there was his desire to beat him some more. It was a small part but it was screaming the loudest to be heard. The rest of him wanted to just get on the bed and hold Bishop until he was better.
In the end, he climbed into the bed with Bishop. “I’m still mad at you.” He curled up around Bishop, burying his beak in the nape of Bishop’s neck. Closing his eyes, he breathed in Bishop’s scent. There was a slight difference, a newness to him, but it was familiar enough.
“Okay,” Bishop managed a half smile. “As long as you’re still here.”
“Asshole,” Raph mumbled, ghosting his fingers over Bishop’s swelling jaw.
“You want the last word, don’t you,” Bishop remarked, and closed his eyes as he shifted so that he was turned a little more towards Raph.
“Shut up,” Raph snapped back.
Bishop let out a weak chuckle, “What if I don’t let you?”
Lifting his head to look down at Bishop, Raph grunted out, “Fuck you.” Bishop’s eyes opened and before he could say anything more, Raph pressed in for a soft but deep kiss. The taste of blood in Bishop’s mouth only fueled Raph’s guilt for hitting him so hard and his anger at Bishop for letting him.
“That… must have taken a lot of practice to master,” Mikey said as he entered the room carrying a bottle of pills and a glass of water, causing Raph’s head to snap up. Mikey laughed, “Your mouths don’t seem to fit together well. I mean, how does your big ass tongue fit in his small mouth? And, isn’t your beak hard and rough next to his lips?”
“Mikey,” Raph glared at his brother, looking ready to pounce.
“Dude,” Mikey held his hands up in defense. “The door was wide open. Trust me, if I could have avoided seeing that I would have. I brought the pain pills for Bishop and some water to wash them down.” He placed the items on the bedside table and winked at Bishop. “Don’t worry. I filled the glass myself, from the tap.”