Raphael startled awake. He glanced at his bedside clock and saw that it was late. The lair was quiet and he wondered what woke him. He slowed his breathing to listen to the sounds of his home. The water rushing through the pipes above, faint sounds of distant sirens, an occasional beeping from who-knows-what in Don's lab, and then, Raph heard it. A faint clatter from somewhere below, within the lair. He swung his legs over the side of his hammock and padded quietly out of his bedroom. A sliver of light cut through the darkness in the main part of their home. He approached the source and found the bathroom door slightly ajar. He could hear rustling and a hushed voice coming from within. Followed by a louder clatter and a muttered curse. Raphael silently pushed open the door to the bathroom and took in the scene before him.

His brother knelt on the cold bathroom floor, stormy blue eyes wide with surprise, and first aid supplies scattered haphazardly across the tiles.

"Leo? What is going on? What are you doing?"

His older brother averted his eyes before replying, "Sorry. I didn't want to wake anyone."

At first Raphael saw no obvious injury, then as his eyes quickly scanned over his brother's figure, he noticed the rivulets of blood streaming down the arm furthest away from him. A deep gash on his shoulder.

"Shit! Leo, you're bleeding…"

"Raph, I'm fi-."

"Don't even start with that bullshit!" Raph knelt quickly and gathered the supplies strewn about. "You're fine, my ass."

Leo sighed and admitted, "Ok. I need help. I can't bandage my shoulder with one hand." He held up the packages of sterile wipes and bandages.

Raph turned him slightly so he could cast the light better on the injury. It was clearly deep. "This is gonna need stitches, Leo."

"Can you do it?"

Raph held his brother's eye for a moment and nodded. He himself was all too familiar with coming home wounded and not wanting to be discovered by the family. Raphael started to carefully clean the wound, before applying an antiseptic and topical analgesic. Leo shut his eyes tightly for a second, taking in a deep breath.

"Do I want to know what happened?" Raph asked as he continued to work on his brother's injury.

Leo slowly opened his eyes and pretended to focus on his brother's hands, "No. You don't."

Green eyes meet blue. "Who did this to you?"

"I said, you don't want to know."


"Just drop it, Raph. Ok? If you can't do this without asking questions then maybe I should go back to doing this myself!" Leo made a motion as though to pull away from his brother, but Raph gripped his wrist tightly while ignoring his comments.

"It was her wasn't it? That's why you're dodging the question."

Leo looked at the floor and that was all the answer Raphael needed.

"Dammit, Leo! Tell me you didn't go looking for her!"

"I didn't!"

"You suck at lyin'! You know that, right?!" Raph took a deep breath, trying to quiet the rising anger as he continued working on his brother's shoulder. How can Leo be so stupid? How can his brilliant tactician of a brother be so naïve when it comes to Karai? Why does he insist on trying to protect her? Help her? Love her? "I told you before, it doesn't matter if she's Splinter's daughter. She was raised by Shredder and nothing you do is gonna change that! She's the enemy and that is the way it is."

"Raph, I can help her! I know it… I just need to get through to her," Leo looked lost in thought for a moment.

"What you need to do is forget about Karai! Was this not a clear enough hint for you?" Raph pulled sharply on the last stitch, thankful that the cut was not too wide. Leo hissed in pain.

"Watch it," Leo warned.

Raph glared at his brother and fought the urge to hit him. To knock some sense into him.

"You'd better not go looking for her again. I'm sure as hell not going to patch you up, again!" Raph dropped the remaining first aid supplies into the small bag and finished covering the gash with bandages.

Leo sighed, rubbing the back of his neck with his uninjured arm, "You're right. Of course, you're right… I don't know what I was thinking. It won't happen again, Raph."

"Yeah… yeah…" Raph had to walk away from his older brother right now. Before he did or said anything that he would regret. He loved his brother, but simply could not understand this attraction. Karai would never be anything other than their enemy. Someone who would undoubtedly hurt his big brother again when given the chance. He turned away from Leo and paused at the bathroom door, throwing one last glance over his shoulder, "Like I said, you're a shit liar, bro."