I'd like to start with a HUGE thank you to one of the best writers I have ever encountered, Glazier Blue! She took the time to beta read this for me, and did more than amazing on it! I cannot thank you enough!
Disclaimer: Obviously I do not own TMNT. And, once again, the plot bunny belongs to AJB66613, who is awesome btw.
Leo hesitated in front of his brother's door, wondering if he was really doing the right thing. Donnie wanted to be left alone, that much was obvious, but would leaving him like that help him heal?
His knuckles sounded sharp and heavy as he knocked. Two. Two. One."Don? I'm sorry about... whatever happened with the bleach." No response. "Look, can we please just talk about it? We didn't- Don we're trying so hard but we can't fix anything if we don't know how to help you." Still nothing. Leo ran his tongue over his teeth in annoyance and stared daggers at the door as though it was the sheet of metal's fault that this was happening.
"Donatello." His voice rang with gentle authority, carrying brotherly care while demanding respect. "Just- answer so I know you're okay and then I'll leave you alone." There was only silence for an uncomfortable stretch of almost a minute.
Leo was already opening his mouth to continue his pestering when the response finally came.
"M'fine." Donnie's voice was strained and wet from the crying, though admittedly not as bad as they had originally thought. But still.
"You don't sound fine." He stated.
"There's no hiding anything from you." Donnie muttered sarcastically. There was shuffling from inside, and then by some miracle the door cracked open just enough that Leo knew he was allowed in. He nudged the smooth metal aside and slipped inside. Light poured in behind him, casting a twisted, elongated shadow of his limbs across the messy floor. Donnie sat dejectedly on the bed, his eyes locked on something in the distance that only he could see. Upon laying eyes on his brother, Leo decided with heart breaking clarity that he looked, for lack of a better word... empty.
"Didn't even hear you sit back down." Leo commented offhandedly.
"Cool." Donnie replied in a monotone. The blue clad turtle flinched minutely at the short answer, dropping his gaze to stare guiltily at the ground. He could feel Donnie stared up at him calculatingly, measuring everything he did.
"I really am okay Leo." The big brother's head snapped up to look at him, taking in the exhaustion and fear engraved into his little brother's countenance. Another rumble of something stirred, because that wasn't how his smart brother talked. He would bottle things up something, yes Donnie was a pain in the shell for that. But once acknowledged, he wouldn't play it down, intentionally letting if fester. This wasn't how he worked, this wasn't Donatello. Like shell he was okay!
"You're gonna have to tell me what happened to you sooner or later Donnie. We both know you won't get better without help."
Donnie's eyes hardened as soon as the words left his mouth. His fists clenched at his sides, tensing along with the rest of his body. Didn't Leo understand that some things could not be fixed! "I've been doing fine for this long."
"No you haven't. We've just been ignoring it." Leo plopped himself onto the bed and stared at his hands, watching his thumbs twist around each other nervously.
"Should I check your arm?"
Leo pretended not to notice when Donnie glanced up at him untrustingly. His eyes flickered nervously for a moment as his mind went to war with itself, but he finally dropped his head and shrugged indifferently, settling with a simple, "knock yourself out."
The blue turtle nodded sympathetic, moving to unwrap the bandage, careful to keep his fingers light and gentle against this brothers feverish skin. He didn't look up, despite his brother's gaze still piecing through him. Their breathing evened out until you couldn't tell one from the other. Splinter had drilled that technique into their heads since before they could walk.
There could be one or ten of you, but you should never let your enemy know the difference.
After years of practice, Leo suspected that wasn't the real reason they'd been forced to learn it. He could pick out Raphael's breath from 50 feet away, and he knew that any of his brother's could do the same for him. They were a team, he could feel the connection through the air and hear it in their soft footsteps.
But teams are supposed trust each other no matter what, and Leo couldn't help but wish Donnie would trust them a little more.
"Donnie you know I'd trust you with my life right."
"Yeah 'course." Donnie bit his lip nervously. "I trust you too..."
"Do you though? We're supposed to be a team, and teams don't keep secrets."
"Look Leo, I don't even remember most of it." Donnie snapped but not unkindly. Leo tilted his head encouragingly. "It's just... it all went by so fast. It felt like I wasn't even there- but I was! And there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about it." Tears were gathering in his hazel eyes. "I've never been so helpless in my life. And they-" he was cut out by a sudden onslaught of choking sobs. "They-" Leo's arms were moving before he could think about it, wrapping around the crying turtle, who in turn curled against his chest. "Leo I couldn't stop them... I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry-" his breathing sped up until he was left gasping for air. His fingers tightened around the edges of his big brother's plastron, holding on like his life depended on it.
"Donnie breathe it's okay. There's nothing you could've done alright? It wasn't your fault. None of this was your fault Donnie."It was mine was only implied. Leo ran his fingers over Donnie's trembling arms and shell, pulling him as close as he could without cutting off his air supply.
All this time Leo had foolishly thought his little brother had been understandably upset after his treatment by the Shredder. But Donnie would work through it like he always did, by holding onto that incredibly rational mind set he was blessed with. Though he had being pushed to his limits, but survived through series of horrible events, ultimately growing and learning from them. But now the leader realised that he hadn't at all being prepared for the gut wrenching knots tightening in his stomach, fuelled only by the look of trauma transforming on Donnie's face... What was Donnie going to say that could be causing this much pain?
"Hun was there! He was part of the- it was his job to try… to break me... and I was tied down, I couldn't... and then he-" Donnie paused. The next word replace with something more like a squeak as his vocal chords squeezed closed and the air rushed out of his lungs, and he was suddenly left gasping for breath. His voice softened until Leo had to lean closer to hear him. "He raped me, Leo... He... raped me... and I just laid there and took it because I'm useless and I couldn't do anything to stop him." Donnie stopped himself there, feeling sick at the idea of going into detail.
Leo's eyes widened as a sickening shock froze him solid in disbelief. The eager anticipation that completely encompassed him a moment ago was all but gone. This had honestly not been anywhere on the careful list of cruel things the Shredder could do, and that was saying something.
Hun! That freakishly enormous man had forced himself on his little brother. Nausea saturated his chest as the words pounded behind his eyes like a mantra, and his normal balanced levels of calmness had been hijacked by repulsion... Yet he was unable to express it outwardly at the moment.
He was raped. He was raped. He was raped
Suddenly Leo understood why Donnie had become so detached. The shock had dampened all emotional reactions because it had had too... The alternative of feeling this was so much worse. He hadn't noticed that Donnie had tensed up, suddenly quiet. It was as though Donnie was waiting for a negative response. The younger teen pulled away from him fearfully, trying to escape his embrace. He hurriedly released him and stared into his terrified eyes. This surprised the big brother as the realisation hit him... Donnie thought they were actually going to blame him? After everything they'd been through together, he thought they would be angry!?
"Donnie I... I'm... Donnie I am so sorry." He choked out.
Nothing more needed to be said. In a rush of deafening emotions, Donnie collapsed against him and within seconds was out cold, hands pressed delicately against Leo's chest.
Leo couldn't even comprehend what that meant.. He couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that it was real and Donnie was hurting because of it. He couldn't help but wonder how far he'd gone, what exactly constituted that specific word. He wanted answers, but now that he had them he craved more. It was like Donnie finally opened the door for him, but it only led to a labyrinth of much darker and more sinister looking doors... A part of him wasn't sure if he wanted to open any of them at all.
With a quiet sigh, Leo carefully slid out from under his brother's warm weight and laid him gently on the bed, covering his vulnerable form with a blanket before turning to leave. His eyes lingered for a moment on Donnie's sleeping face. It was the most relaxed he had seen him in years, with his breath whistling through the gap in his teeth.
"G'night otōto," he breathed, running his fingers lightly along the frayed edges of the mattress. Tears gathered in his eyes as he slipped out the door, closing it softly behind him. The soul crushing and vile word still burning a hole in his mind like a flesh eating poison. Leo crushed his hands together almost painfully and watched his knuckles go a pale shade of green as the blood stopped flowing as easy to them... because he knew one way or another Hun's blood was going to be the penalty for this.
Donnie could handle pain. He dealt with pain all the time. Anything from the constant searing headaches and migraines induced by the long periods of time at the computer screen... Or the bruises that Raphael couldn't seem to resist pounding into him. It could get as bad as broken bones and minor concussions, and Donnie could deal with just as easily as a stubbed toe. But this wasn't just pain. What Donnie was currently feeling was nothing short of pure agony.
"You'll regret that turtle."
It'd always just been there and been gone the next day.
"Ahhg... so... perfect..."
But he couldn't tell if this sort of pain would ever go away.
"Mm... you-you're so tight."
Or if he was stuck with it for life. And it would be there forever and ever.
Twisting his mind around until he couldn't remember his own name.
Donatello jerked awake, eyes misty and wide. More pain coursed through his body, never ceasing. His head was pounding so hard he could barely think straight. A moan escaped his lips as he pressed a hand to his forehead, kneading the skin as he tried to dampen it. Needless to say, it wasn't working.
Knowing he wasn't going back to sleep any time soon, the genius groggily glanced around to check if he was alone. Muffled talking reached his ears, but the ringing was overwhelming, preventing any chance of making out any words. To his surprise, no one was even in the room. He was rarely left alone- his brothers seemed to think they could "help" him by keeping him from having any time to himself. Donnie couldn't say he understood their logic.
Running a hand over his tired face, he squeezed his eyes shut in agitation. It had been months since he had returned from the Shredders Lair, but nothing was getting any better. The nightmares weren't going away, his brothers were still coddling him like he was two, and worst of all, he could still feel Hun's hands on him, in places they should never have been, just like it had all happened yesterday.
He struggled to his feet, shuffling across the cold floor until he could hear what was happening outside the room. He could hear his brothers, arguing urgently in the kitchen. April and Casey were probably at school, and Master Splinter was most likely in his room... Just like he had been ever since Donnie had being rescued. The normally supporting father figure and role model in there lives had being about as present as a lingering ghost. Because he doesn't love you. A voice echoed through his mind, light and wispy, yet sickeningly dark. He never has. And you know it. Your mutation had just lumbered you all with him like a unplanned pregnancy.
Funny, Donnie had always been deemed the "smart one" of the four. Yet he was the one who had fallen right into the Shredder's trap. He couldn't tell what his brothers were talking about, but he could guess. He was almost certain it was about him. About how worthless he was. About how much they hated him. Maybe even about the best way to get rid of him. He had tainted their clan's spotless honour after all.
His eyes narrowed and his fists clenched involuntarily. Nothing made sense any more. Nothing was the way it should be. Everything was spinning, and he was forced to take a few staggering steps back as the world twisted around him. He swayed unsteadily on his feet, shaking his head to clear the spots in his vision. He didn't notice when he collapsed onto his makeshift bed which clattered against the wall on impact. His cluttered mind was oblivious to the oh-so-recognisable sound of his brothers running up the steps and bursting into his room loudly announcing there presence. But he did feel the reassuring hand brush across his arm. He flinched away, eyes squeezed shut. Why wouldn't they leave him alone? He already knew they hated him, there was no reason to keep up their stupid act... Better question. Why was everything in and out of focus?
"Donnie! -happened?! Donnie!" Their voices overlapped and merged, becoming one and ten at the same time. Like there wasn't already enough bad going around to fill up his really bad night... He just wanted it all to stop! Everything...Just...Stop!
Moaning in distress, Donnie rolled as far away from the inquisitive hands as he could without tumbling off the bed. Why wouldn't the pain just stop?! His eyes blearily opened, tears dripping out of the corners. There were strange green blobs all around him. They looked... so... familiar? Brothers. They were his brothers. Leo. Raph. Mikey. Brothers.
He let out a shuddering breath and curled himself up tighter. Everything was swimming like he was underwater. And it was so... so dark.