Prompt used: Claw
They were gone, Leo thought, as he hid in the shadows. Surprisingly, the smugglers did not try to find out if the Ghost of the Jungle was in the abandoned ruins of the Aztec temple or not. The hiding place had seemed rather obvious to him. The ruins were likely to have some shade to create dark hiding spots. The cartel’s lackeys must be done with him, convinced that the Ghost was dying. Leo put no more thought into why the men had stopped chasing him. He was bleeding to death, and was far too exhausted to speculate about the motives of the criminals. Anyway, their departure was a blessing in his state.
Leo looked at his shoulder to check the wound. It didn’t look pretty. The bullet had gone through his shoulder and the wound was still bleeding profusely. He could see the flesh of his muscle and a flash of bone and started to feel dizzy. He needed a plan.
With clenched teeth, Leo rested his head on the hard stone of the wall. It was not a mortal injury, no vital organ was touched, but he was tired out and half-starved. He could easily catch an infection and develop a fever. That would slow him down, and then he would not be able to manage an effective escape if he was cornered. He would die. What was bothered him even more was the prospect of dying without seeing his family again.
No, it could not be! It would not happen! He needed to survive, and see them once more. Mikey's bright blue eyes, Don's kind face and Raph's buzzing energy. He needed to see them again, he wanted to hold them once more, and hear their voices. If he was about to die, he wanted it to be in their embraces.
He loved them so much. Too much, according to Master Splinter, who ordered him to leave and spend time in Central America to learn self-restraint. Leo was to come back only once he had a cool mind, and better control of his emotions and affection towards his siblings. Leo knew Splinter thought that his feelings were perverted and twisted, but twenty-six months in Central America had not dimmed his feelings. All his commands could not change Leo’s heart and soul. The longing was deep in his bones, as much a part of him as his own shell.
Leo would not die alone in the jungle, far away from his brothers, without telling them how much they meant to him.
Determined to live another day, Leo dragged himself onward, until he reached a statue of some kind of feral Aztec god or demon. It looked more like a monster to Leo, with its mouth open in a silent roar, revealing massive sharp teeth. It looked ready to rip Leo’s throat out. It was probably the Jaguar God, even if it seemed slightly different from other representations he had seen before. The jaguar statue seemed to have been sculpted out of another larger piece, because it seemed to have almost two bodies. Maybe it was Mayan.
After two years, Leo had still difficulty telling the two cultures apart, since both civilizations were implanted in Guatemala, and (to his Buddhist opinion) had a lot in common. If Donatello was there, he would know the difference.
With a sigh, Leo pushed away the nostalgia again. It wasn’t doing him any good longing for Donnie right now. His genius brother was far away and could not help.
Anyway, Aztec or Mayan God, it did not matter. Leo needed to clean his wound before it got infected and this statue had what he needed for that.
From the Jaguar God's mouth, clear water cascaded into a carven stone platter. It must be meant for washing the hands of the priest after a sacrifice. The water smelled bright and clean, it must be from some untouched underground river. Perhaps the statue had been carved into a natural outlet of that unseen stream. The obsidian stone was shiny like a mirror and had a drain in the center, probably to drain the blood of the sacrifices.
Living for two years in the Guatemalan jungles, Leo had become familiar with many of the old beliefs of the people’s conquered ancestors. Leo knew that people of all ages and sex were sacrificed to get a good harvest. The blood of virgins or of great warriors was the most precious. Sacrificial victims mounted the bloody steps of the pyramid with dignity and pride.
Leo could admire their fearless attitude, but could not help but think it a waste. It was no wonder the Conquistadors were disgusted when they arrived in the Americas, and had therefore tried to exterminate these people, who were already weakened by their own infanticide.
How could these ancient people be so barbaric in their behavior, but be such great builders?, Leo wondered, looking at the magnificent remains of this vanished civilization.
It was tragic, either way. Genocide was a tragedy and greed for gold was a sin.
Leo stretched his arm out on the obsidian plate, to wash his wound. He did not remember the last time he had bleed so much, he thought as he watched the blood stained water made a swirl before vanishing in the drain. He had the creepy thought that it was the first blood feeding the God for five centuries. He was a virgin and a fierce warrior, the deity had better be pleased, he thought with melancholy.
He wasn’t still a virgin by choice. He had been exiled before anything could happen. But Master Splinter was probably right. Leo had needed to leave before he did something beyond repair. If he had stayed at home he doubt he would stay a virgin for long.
Puberty had hit Leo first and changed him, Splinter had decided. He had become possessive with his brothers, wanting to control them more and shadowing them when they left the lair. He had also become more ‘touchy’, according to his Sensei, and so he’d needed to cool down in a tropical jungle. He’d only been sixteen years old at the time.
In any case, his brothers were probably of the same opinion. They had to be having a good time without Leo there to watch them. Raph was probably playing the vigilante with Casey, and Don studying anything he liked with April, he thought with jealousy. Meanwhile, Leo was alone, without anyone to spread ointment on his skin, which was devoured by mosquitoes, he thought bitterly, pulling his shoulder roughly out of the water as his arm grew numb from the cold.
Could he really go back home? His brothers must have changed, and would not likely accept being bossed around by Leo again. Splinter had not even let him tell them goodbye, nor explain why he was going on a ‘training mission’.
Would his brothers still like him, he wondered, as he tore off a piece of his cloak to wrap his shoulder tightly. It still hurt like a bitch.
When Leo was done, he opened his mouth to the water pouring from the jaws of the god like a liquid tongue and cleaned his face. The water was fresh and had a hint of a mineral flavor that pleased Leonardo. He felt light headed and decided to sleep. The men chasing him would definitely be gone soon, and so he could afford to close his eyes for a moment to regain his strength.
Forming a pillow with his arms and using his cape as a blanket, Leo fell asleep.
A nightmare woke him, and it took some time to realize where he was. By the cool air and the grayish beams of moonlight, he knew it was still the night.
He did not remember the nightmare, his mind only holding onto a glimpse of gore and a roaring feline. Then he noticed his hard cock. The dream must have been erotic before turning violent. Had he dreamed of his brothers again? But he only remembered some spotted fur and crimson blood... It was probably because of the statue, he realized, looking above him.
Memories from the day before flooded his mind. He had slept in the Jaguar god’s temple, after being chased by about fifty drug dealers and bandits armed with AK-47s. He could dodge blows from the machetes, but the bullets fired by so many people during a grueling 5-hour motorcycle chase were another story. It had been a close call.
Leo sighed and closed his eyes as his hands relieved the throbbing pressure between his legs. He drank some more water and felt better. He looked at the wound. It’s seemed in a good way of healing. His shoulder was not throbbing, like he had feared, but was just a little numb.
Carefully he poked his head out of the temple, even though he knew the Banditos wouldn't wait in the jungle at night.
They were, unsurprisingly, nowhere to be seen. By the position of the moon, Leo supposed it was nearly 3:00 am, which meant he’d slept for maybe seven hours straight. He hadn’t slept so well since leaving New York City. For once, he had not been bothered by bugs, or snakes, or whatever. Even the familiar noises of the jungle did not seem to breach the peace of the Temple.
It felt almost as good as home.
The home he needed to get back to.
He could use a little more sleep, but now, he was hungry. After a whole day and night of fasting, his stomach refused to be ignored any longer.
Even if the moon was only a crescent in the sky, Leo could scan the place easily. The jungle was more illuminated than usual. Perhaps the rest had improved his eyesight? Well, it was a good thing for him, Leo thought, feeling the ache of his empty stomach.
Suddenly, his eyes locked onto movement in a tree.
It was a kinkajou.
Leo did not even think, licking his lips. Since his arrival in Guatemala, almost two years ago, he had tried to respect the life of other animals. He had eaten fruit and sometimes bugs, and twice a week, had fished from the rivers. Never before he had killed a mammal or a bird, or even less, a turtle, in order to survive. Suddenly, he found that reluctance foolish. If the kinkajou was too dumb or slow to save its own life, Leo would not spare it.
Those ideals had only weakened him. If he was weak, he wouldn't be able to walk to the airport and sneak onto an airplane to go home.
Catching the prey was easier than he’d expected, and Leo stayed in the tree, eating it raw after skinning it awkwardly with his katana. It wasn’t that he liked it raw, but making a fire would give away his position. Still, the meat was tastier than he thought it would be.
Satisfied, Leo managed to get a comfortable position on the branch, wiping the blood away from his face as he rested. He needed to be in good shape to walk the little over six-hundred miles to the airport. The near-death experience and the unbearable longing for his brothers had made up his mind to return to home, cool minded or not. Splinter will have to live with Leonardo’s decision either way.
For eight days Leonardo slept when the sun was up, and traveled by night. He had calculated that it would take him thirteen, but he had felt quick and light on his feet as he ran, and made good time.
Leo had hunted prey the whole way to regain strength. He ate anything he could get his hands on, really, not even remembering what he had caught. He just knew that he was feeling great and full each day, sleeping draped on a lower branch, not even worried about discovery or attack. He was ready for anything, in even better shape than when he arrived. Leo did not want to be weakened in front of his family.
He had waited in the shadows for a good moment to sneak onto the airplane.
Feeling the fresh air of October remind him of good memories. From the plane, he had admired the gorgeous colors of the trees, lush green and ghostly blue from mist. He couldn’t stay, he must keep going since it was daytime.
Leo left Guatemala when the moon was still shining, but the time zone was different in New York. It was already past 6 AM, and the streets would already be full of humans, so before the plane landed Leo jumped into the river, swimming eagerly to a sewer entry.
He missed his brothers so damn much. What they would say, seeing Leo after he’d been gone for two years and two months?
Had they changed while Leo was away? He hoped not. He liked them the way they were.
And what about Master Splinter? Leo did not ask if he could come home, but Splinter had told him to come back when he would be able to control himself. In a way, he was much more in control. Being alone for two years had made him autonomous and independent.
How would it be to obey a Master again, Leo wondered.
He had been his own Master for two years straight. He must have lost his habitual obedience; but also the practiced skill of giving orders. When Leo left, he was his brother's leader. Would they no longer respect him? Who had replaced him as leader when he was away? Raph? Donnie?
If it was Raphael, making him step back down would be hard, he thought, biting his lip in frustration. He remembered so many arguments with his pig-headed brother among his siblings.
Raphael had not stayed when Splinter told the family Leonardo was leaving. Donnie was moody and Mikey was sobbing, but Raphael had run topside.
Would he still have a place in his family?
Leo stepped into the lair, breathing in the familiar odor of Doritos.
Mikey was stretched out on the couch in front of the TV, snoring quietly. When Leo was in charge, his little brother had a curfew and a bedtime. Sleeping like that was not good. He was too much in the open, in case of attack, or could catch a cold. Who had allowed this?, he scolded in his mind. Then he got closer, looking at Mikey’s smooth face.
His brother had not changed a bit, he decided, with relief.
He got closer again, sniffing Mikey’s sweet scent.
In the jungle, his sense of smell had grown sharper, as had his other senses. He had noticed it while hunting on his way back. He could smell humans Mikey, and Leo grew livid. It was a male human scent. What did that mean? For the smell to be that strong, the human must have hugged his little brother at least. Who had touched Mikey?
“My son, welcome back.”
Leo turned around quickly toward the voice.
His Sensei and adoptive father was there, in front of him, and it took a moment for Leo to remembered to bow.
“Sensei, I’m back from my training mission,” he said calmly.
Their voices made Mikey stir and open his eyes.
“Leo? It that you?” he asked, his blues eyes, which Leo had missed so much, wide, shining with happiness. ”You’re so tall now!” he said, before throwing himself onto his eldest brother.
Leo returned Mikey’s embrace but stayed composed in front of their Sensei. Indeed, he must have grown taller, because Mikey barely reached his shoulder, even if Michelangelo had always been the shortest.
“Where are the others?” Leo asked while Mikey was still nuzzling the crook of his neck. ”Where are Don and Raph?”
“Your brother Donatello must be still sleeping. He works very hard each day but will be up soon,” Splinter replied. “Your brother Raphael just came back one hour ago, and so he is asleep.”
Leo frowned. “Where did Raphael go?” he asked. ”And what about Donnie? He was usually already up at this hour!”
So much had changed since he left, and Leo was not sure he was happy about it.
“Donnie has a job now,” Mikey answered. ”He works as tech Support from 8 am to 5:30 pm. It’s not that bad. He can stay here, in the comfort of his office. I’m not that lucky! My van can be stuck in a traffic jam for an hour! He has some crazy clients on the phone but he doesn’t have to amuse brats at a birthday party like I do!”
Mikey explained and complained loudly about his job. It turned out to be a job as a mascot for kids’ birthday parties and, relieved, Leo understood that the human scent was coming from a seven-year-old little boy.
“My son, you must be tired from your long journey. We will have some tea in my room,” Splinter said and even though he had spoken in a polite voice, Leo heard it not as a suggestion, but an order.
Despite how it stung, Leo quietly bowed.
“But Sensei,” Mikey intervened earnestly, ”we haven’t seen Leo in ages! We missed him so badly!”
The affirmation warmed Leo’s heart, but Splinter did not care too much.
“Your brother is tired, my son. You should let Leonardo rest and then organize whatever you want to celebrate his return.”
Leo knew it was a consolation given to Michelangelo, to keep him calm and patient, but the ploy to separate them did not fool Leonardo, he accepted the delay of their reunion. Mikey seemed eager to see him and that was already satisfying.
However, he followed Splinter into his room as an obedient son.
They drank tea and Splinter asked some questions about his journey, but Leo felt like they were only playing an act. He answered as well, telling about the events of his time away without giving any emotional details. Honestly, he felt like the last two years were only a blur. Leaving the jungle had made him forget about all he could have felt there.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to have seen the world and learn,” Leonardo pretended, sipping his tea.
These two years had only created a gap between him and his brothers. He had learned things, true, but mostly about the cruelties and desperation of humanity.
‘It’s true that you seem to have gained a new wisdom,” Splinter said, in a cautious
tone. ”I sense a change in your energy.”
“I have matured,” Leo said. “I was alone, and so I made myself a harder shell.”
This comment seemed to not please Splinter that much.
“Now you are with family again. Donatello was the leader while you were not here. I will give you the position back, but you must behave like a leader.”
Leo understood the meaning behind this, but answered like he had not.
“I will lead my brothers in battle and they will come home unscathed,” he exclaimed seriously. “I learned to be a better warrior while I was in the Jungle.”
Master Splinter, nodded, thoughtful.
“We will see.”
Dismissed, Leonardo left the room feeling that the gap and mistrust with his Sensei were still there. He would show Splinter that Leonardo was in the right.
Mikey was waiting next to the door and he grabbed Leo’s arm.
“You must feel jetlagged, Leo, Let me show you your room. It’s exactly how you left it.”
Heart pounding, Leo savored the first physical contact he’d had outside of battle for twenty-six months. Mikey’s hand gripped his biceps, so warm, dragging him to his old bedroom. Leo could feel the life running through Mikey’s blood. The urge to grab Mikey and shove him against the wall was great. But then what, he wondered.
An instinctive part of him knew what he wanted to do, but what if Mikey freaked out and yelled, and Splinter decided to send Leo away all over again?
He could not bear it. So whatever vivid urges ached in his bones, Leo had to choke them down.
In deep thought, he noticed Mikey was staring back at him.
“I didn’t remember you having these eyes. They are amber now, like Raph’s, but different, too. It gives you the look of a big, hungry cat,” Mikey joked. ”And you made yourself some good muscles! Raph will be so jealous! It’s crazy how two years can change someone. Have I changed too?”
Without replying immediately, Leo stepped into his bedroom. It was exactly like he had left it, and it was strange how familiar and foreign it looked all at once.
A mirror was hanging on the wall and Leo looked at his reflection, curious after Mikey’s comment.
In Central America, he never got to have a look at himself. The turtle in the mirror was a good head taller than Mikey and his shoulder was easily three inches broader from each side. He took a closer look. It was indeed true that his eyes had a more golden hue than before, if he remembered correctly. Last time he checked, two years ago, his eyes were hazel. The change did not bother him.
Michelangelo had not changed a bit.
“You are as cute as ever, Mikey,” he said, without thinking, brushing with his thumb over Mikey’s young face.
The orange-clad turtle blushed.
“You think so?” Mikey said, looking down.
A tiredness took Leo and he stretched his long limbs.
“I need to sleep, Mikey. In Guatemala, I was active mostly at night. It could take me a few days to start being normal again. Tell Don and Raph I’m here and I will see them when I wake up.”
“Oh, Raph is never awake before 4 pm, so you’re fine, Leo. What do you want as a welcome dinner?”
Leo was looking around him, still full of wonder to see it all in the same state he had left it. Was that the same book he was reading, when Splinter had told him to leave? Leo brushed a hand over the hard red cover.
“Oh, well, meat would be fine. Anything you have.”
“Oh, I didn’t remember you as a meat lover! You were kind of all over veggies, before,” Mikey commented, “But, well I’m not complaining! I’ll see what I can do with that. Money is not an issue like it was before.”
Money did not interest Leonardo and he yawned.
Before leaving, Mikey hugged him one last time.
“It's good to have you back, bro. I missed you.”
Mikey’s face was in the crook of his neck, and Leo inhaled deeply. He was not jealous of the human smell, anymore, since he had got an explanation. The scent from his little brother was sweet and strong at once, and Leo felt that urge again, so he took a step back and laid down on his bed.
“I will see you in a few hours, Mikey. I’m going nowhere,” he said. ”I won’t leave any of you again.” His eyes closed before he could see Mikey’s expression.
Leonardo was dreaming again. He was in the jungle, hunting. Hunger nagged at him. There was prey so close at hand.
When he woke up, an appetizing smell of grilled meat came to his nostrils. It took a moment for Leo to remember where he was.
He looked at the time on the digital clock. He had slept more than seven hours, after drinking tea with Sensei and chatting with Mikey, who seemed to have fulfilled his promise to prepare a delicious dinner for Leonardo.
The thought of his younger brothers had him jumping out of bed. Since it was now 5:30 pm, it meant that Donatello had finished working and Raphael had to be up. They would all be there, sitting around a table and waiting to eat a piece of delicious meat prepared for him. He was already licking his lips at the thought.
Eagerly, Leo left his room for the kitchen he had not sat in for twenty-six months. Even before he got to the door he heard a grumpy voice, which he immediately knew to be Raphael’s.
“What the fuck, Mikey? Why the hell are you fussing over your pots for a guy who didn’t bother to write us for frigging years while he took a vacation!?”
The comment stung like a stab to the chest and anger took him. How dare Raphael blame him for leaving when Raph knew WHY Leo had been sent away, more than anybody else. Raph had always played the alpha of the bunch, and to keep the peace, sometimes Leo had let Raph be. But now, Raphael needed to know his place.
Leo stepped boldly in the kitchen.
“Doesn’t anybody tell you to watch your language anymore? I think you were the one on vacation, Raph. News flash, I’m back.”
All of them snapped their heads toward him, startled, obviously not having heard him coming. Don and Raph were staring at him with disbelieving eyes, like they did not know Leonardo was back.
“Leo?” Don asked first, almost choking in surprise. “Is that really you?”
Leo’s eyes landed on his genius brother.
Donnie had grown taller, less than him but more than Mikey. He seemed tired, but really happy to see him, rising from his chair for an embrace.
“Leo- it’s so nice to see you again. We were so worried. Don’t mind Raph. He was the most worried of us all,” Don added.
Curious, Leo turned toward his hothead of a brother, who was very flushed.
“Bullshit! I wasn’t that worried,” Raph denied fiercely. ”But sometimes, you’re too naive, Leo. Who knows where that big heart of yours could land you! Besides, even if you are a prick, you’re still my bro.”
It was the closest Raph could get of expressing his feeling and Leo found it almost cute.
Guessing what Leo was thinking, he got even more flushed.
“Obviously, we have been worried sick about your ass for nothing, since you look like you had a great time!” he barked, looking at Leo from head to toe.
Leo knew why his brother was so pissed. He had got taller, and bigger than him too.
Donatello was still hanging onto Leo’s arm like he was afraid Leo being there was a figment of his imagination.
“Raphael is right! You gained some weight in Guatemala. Sun and fresh air have been good to you. We were all afraid that you would starve, eating only bugs,” Don commented with a sweet smile. “After dinner, can I have a look at you? I’m sorry, but I have to make sure you didn’t bring some illness back with you.”
Leo met the question with a smile.
“Let’s talk about it another time, Don. I’m starving here.”
Eagerly, Michelangelo put down a cooked ham with pineapple, joking it was to remind Leo of the tropics.
Master Splinter joined them and for a moment Leo felt almost like he had never left home, except for the fact that his brothers were asking lots of questions. Well, Donnie and Mikey were, mostly. Raph was silent, but Leo instinctively felt it was because Raph was moved by his return. His brothers must have feared he was indeed dead.
He asked for a refill of his plate and Mikey served him, very pleased with himself. Their hands touched for a moment, as though Mikey was letting his hand linger on purpose. Their eyes locked and Leo licked his lips.
A warmth had crept into him throughout the meal, like he was getting drunk, little by little, and a restless feeling had grown in him, leaving him itching for something, though he couldn’t exactly put his finger on what. He needed to DO something.
“What about the level of criminal activity?”Leo blurted out.
“Oh! I’m so glad you asked!” Mikey exclaimed, stepping back to explain with wide gestures. “The city’s got a hero now, who has taken our place. He is so cool!”
Leo looked up, stung. How could Mikey tell him that someone was doing Leo’s job, like this guy was a better fit for the work?
“Explain yourself,” he asked sharply.
“Well, he is called the Nightwatcher and…”
Leonardo was not listening. Deep down, he knew it was important, but another part of him was crushing the thoughtful and serious leader. New York was theirs, was Leo’s. In the jungle, each predator had their own hunting territory and the city was all his. The more he thought about someone else stepping into his position, the more the room felt hot around him.
Leo fidgeted uncomfortably in his chair, his throat tight.
“Leonardo? Are you alright?” Don asked with concern.
“Yeah,” Leo replied, his voice a little raspy. ”Can I have some water, Mikey?”
Suddenly worried, Mikey came back with a glass full of water and Leo poured it down his throat.
“No need for this NightWatcher to continue playing vigilante,” he declared once he was done, slamming the glass back onto the table. “I’m back! Tonight, let’s make it well known to the criminals of this city that the turtles are back to keep them in line!”
“Why can’t there be enough space for both us and the NightWatcher?” Raph protested, as Mikey nodded in agreement. “How dare you boss us around, and the city, the first frigging day your arrogant ass is back? Nobody could force ME to listen to you and I'm sure as fuck the Nightwatcher won’t either.”
Leo narrowed his eyes and was about to snap back when Master Splinter spoke.
“Your brother is right. You all vowed to protect the life of innocent citizens. Perhaps it's time you return to the path of your real destiny,” he said. ”On his journey, your brother learned ancient wisdom. I can feel it. He will lead you in battle as he did before, and with even more success. My Master Yoshi will be avenged.”
The praise was unexpected, at least for Leonardo, even though Raph complained loudly about how Leo was obviously still the favorite.
Leo shot him a death glare. How could Raph pretend he was Splinter’s favorite when he had been the one sent away. Just thinking about it was putting Leo in a blind rage. He had been too docile to accept exile without protest, when he had done nothing wrong.
Sexual needs were natural, and so Leo should not have been restrained about it. Splinter was thinking that loneliness would make Leo adopt celibacy. Well, he was sorely mistaken. In the jungle, he had slept, eaten, drunk and fought when he wanted. He had learned independence there, and it was an exalting new power. A power that he would show off right away.
He had to set clear boundaries. Splinter had been a good Sensei to them, but now he was old, too old to rouse fear when Leo was in his prime.
Still, having Sensei’s approval was not a bad thing, even if Leo did not need it at all. Leonardo did not care about Yoshi, having never known the man, but he was itching for a fight. A real one. In the jungle, he had been alone against so many smugglers, but leading his brothers, they would be formidable. More than this NightWatcher. Leo was the apex predator in this urban jungle and he would show them all.
“We are going on patrol tonight,” he stated. “Raphael, report to me what has happened lately in the streets and in the underworld. I know you are following criminal activity carefully and with great attention.”
Praise well placed, before an argument heated up too much, was sometimes enough to distract Raphael from anger. Whether or not Splinter approved, Leo needed his brothers to like him and follow his lead.
As expected, Raph flushed and explained in detail about what had happened lately, mostly mentioning the Purple Dragons.
“...so, now people avoid this place the moment it gets dark, you know? Because Purple Dragons will just stab them or shoot them for some green.”
“At the moment the moon shines? I see… It’s already 8 pm and it’s dark outside.”
His gut told him so, and outside the moonbeams would illuminate his prey. He was feeling even more eager than Raph usually was to bust skulls. Leo was blood-thirsty, like he had never been.
“Let’s do this now!”
Michelangelo was actually very impressed with how Leo’s skills had improved during his two years in the jungle. He even felt a sting of jealousy realizing that Leo was now running faster and jumping higher and farther than himself.
Competition between them had always been part of the four turtles’ lives. Each of them had skills to balance the rivalry: Leo had the leadership ability, the strategic mind, and the more precise strikes; Raph had the muscle and Don had the brains; and it was Mikey who had been the most athletic, the most agile and quick. But that was before Leo’s return.
Michelangelo was a little hurt to see that he was not even special anymore, when Leo did not seem to hear him and jumped from one roof to another despite Mikey’s attempt to prevent him, insisting it was too wide a gap.
He was not the only one surprised by Leo’s new amazing skills. They all had a hard time keeping up with the leader. Mikey noticed the curious look on Donatello’s face, and the pissed off one on Raphael’s, while they were panting along behind Leonardo.
Suddenly, the leader stopped in his tracks.
“There. Rapists. I can hear them. They are three streets from here, five men and two girls,” Leo declared in a low, threatening voice. “They are our prey for tonight.”
Mikey was stunned. He hadn’t heard anything apart from the usual city noise, and the word ‘prey’ was odd.
“We will split and attack them on two from the front, to remove all exits for them. Mikey, you’re with me. We’ll attack from the West.”
The command had been made in a sharp tone and Mikey knew better than to protest. Anyway, it was not like he had time, since Leo was already running away. Raph muttered that Jungle Boy was the same prick as ever.
Running frantically after the leader, it was only when Leo stopped again that Mikey heard them. Panting breath, grunts, sobbing and choked pleading were coming from a dark alley. Leo had been right. But they were five stories up and Mikey could not spot them in the dark.
“There,” Leo said pointing at a precise spot in the shadows. ”I’ll go first, you jump after. Don and Raph will cut off their retreat if any of these miserable bastards escape me. But I don’t think they will.”
Leo looked at him, and Mikey was dazed by Leo’s eyes shining in the dark. They almost glowed, like bronze moons, or mirrors reflecting the street lights and wet pavement.
“Let’s kill them,” Leo purred.
Shocked by the savage suggestion and the tone in which it was spoken, Mikey was too frozen to prevent Leo from jumping over the edge. When he realized Leo must be a pancake in the alley and moved to look down, Mikey could see that his brother had lept gracefully to attack. He could only see flashes of steel.
The thugs outnumbered Leo and the alley was dark as hell. Mikey climbed down in a hurry, trying to remained collected enough to be able to fight if it was needed. But he could not focus enough to calm down his pounding heart. Leo’s words were still replaying in his mind:
“Let’s kill them…”
He might not have seen his brother in two years, but he remembered Leo to be a man who only attacked as a last resort. Seeing Leo pounce from five damn stories, too eager for a fight, was slightly disturbing. It was more Raph’s way, and even Raphael never used the word “kill”. Raph would use a violent expression, like ‘let’s beat them to a pulp’ or ‘I feel like smashing some skulls’ but nothing more explicit. Their Sensei had taught them the importance of life and that they should spare anyone they could, the exception being made for the Foot.
And even Raph would not jump from such a height in eagerness to fight.
Maybe the jungle and the loneliness had been rough on Leo and had hardened his personality, Mikey told himself. He dropped lightly to the concrete, where he could hear a different type of grunting. He could understand that. Mikey would never have survived two years alone in a dangerous rainforest.
The girls fled past Mikey, too blind with panic to notice him. He heard a very short, agonized cry, followed by the ringing sound of a blade falling to the ground. Then, the coppery smell of blood reached his nostrils.
Certain that Leonardo must be in trouble, Mikey drew out his nunchuck and stepped into the fight. He couldn’t see shit, only shadows, and he wondered how his brother and these guys could fight under these conditions.
Then he tripped on something leathery and round, that seemed to tangle up his feet. He guessed one of the girls had forgotten her purse. Mikey lifted the purse to throw it towards the street. However, his fingers brushed something hairy, and then, despite the darkness, he realized what he had tripped over.
A human head - no, two set in a row.
Leo had just sliced these two guys’ heads off, without even asking for surrender or anything.
It hadn’t been a figure of speech. Leo really meant to kill them.
Mikey couldn’t help himself. He threw up in the alley, faintly aware of tearing sounds and soft gurgling afterwards. Whatever he felt about Leo right now, he should still help him in the fight. Searching for his nunchuck, which he had dropped in shock, his hand found the sharp blade of a katana.
Leo was disarmed, but obviously not too bothered by it.
He saw dark silhouettes in the shadows, the biggest shape moving too fast. Something was uttering animalistic cries. Even knowing he might be traumatized for a lifetime by what he would see, Michelangelo pulled out his t-phone to light up the alley.
The first thing Mikey saw was the arterial spray of blood splashed halfway up the wall of the alley, and then two bodies, sprawled one over the other, covered in gore. Then his brother's face appeared in the beam of light and Mikey almost dropped his phone, horrified by the vision. It could not be his brother, and yet it was him. Leonardo's whole face, his shoulders, his arms were stained with blood. Through the blue bandana, now almost black with blood, Leo's pupils were a narrow oval in an iris of reddish gold.
Mikey took a step back.
“Go away,” Leo growled. ”Go away and return home with Donnie and Raph. Then, wait in my room. Tonight is a good night for mating.”
Mikey thought his shock could not be bigger than the nightmarish vision he had had, but the word 'mating' was enough to kick him out of it. He mouthed the word, gaping in bewilderment. Mikey was not dumb, he knew what mating was, but he couldn’t believe he had heard it from Leo’s mouth, after a slaughter.
“Go, home, Mikey!” Leo ordered again, his voice now a rumbling threat. "I still remember the sensation of piercing a shell and the taste of Guatemalan turtles."
Mikey ran as fast as he could.
Raph and Don had seen nothing of the slaughter, because when they arrived from the East, the fight was already done.
“Leo is cleaning up evidence. He wants us to get home,” Mikey explained in a shaky voice, after bumping into them one block away.
“Well, he won’t order me to do shit,” Raph protested, but Mikey reached out for his brother’s hand, pleading, preventing him to join the leader.
“Please, let’s go home… Don’t fight him,” he begged.
“What happened to you, Mikey? You’re acting like you’ve seen a ghost!” Don observed.
Mikey thought he would have preferred that.
“I don’t feel well, I just puked my guts in the alley and Leo told me to return home with you.”
Unconsciously, Mikey was making a shield between them and the direction of the alley.
“But what about the rapists? We can’t leave Fearless alone,” Raph kept insisting while Donnie fell quiet.
“He… He will be fine.”
Was Leo serious about having eaten turtle in the wild? Could he be joking, or trying to scare him, or had he done it because he was starving? They were not 100% turtle, after all, so it couldn’t count as cannibalism, right?
Convincing his brothers to not go after Leo had been hard but Mikey had managed it. Raph had bitched about Leo having all the fun, and Donatello had stayed out of the argument, watching Michelangelo plead with Raphael. Mikey did not dare hesitate once they reached the lair. As soon as his brothers had their backs turned, he slipped into Leo's room, his heart pounding.
Leonardo had not come back yet. Not knowing what to do and feeling awkward, Mikey took a random book from his brother's bookshelf and lay on the bed, trying to distract his troubled mind with reading. It was impossible. The words were dancing in front of his eyes without reaching his brain. The vision of Leo covered with blood haunted him, as well as the order to mate. Was that part of leadership too? Or had worse things than starvation happened to Leo in the jungle?
Mikey wondered if it was normal to be more disturbed by Leo's demand for sex than the butchery he had witnessed. Did Leo mean that too? If so, Mikey had to brace himself. His hands trembled considering how aggressive Leo had become. Mikey was a virgin, his sex ed class had been late night TV, and what he knew about male sex made the idea frightening. Leo would wreck him ruthlessly.
“You are here,” Leo purred. ”That’s perfect. I need you so badly, Mikey.”
Startled, Michelangelo looked up. Leo had crept silently in the room, and was standing in front of him, at the foot of the bed. Thankfully, Leo had cleaned himself, the youngest noticed with relief. Only his bandana was still tainted with blood. Maybe guessing what he was staring at, Leo untied it.
“Pump yourself to full length. I need a vigorous lover,” he urged, his eyes gleaming dangerously. Leo was always sober, but Mikey thought his brother seemed high. “I hope you still have some stamina in you, and didn’t get soft from eating too much birthday cake.”
With a lump in his throat, Mikey did as Leo told him. His nervous dick slid half-hard into his hand, and he stroked falteringly. As a healthy teenager, Mikey had a lot of practice with his own cock, but the burning gaze of someone else, made Mikey self-conscious. The idea of what would happen next was enough to prevent a real boner.
Leo might be an alluring mutant, but Mikey couldn’t have a hard-on after such a gory scene and knowing he would get his ass destroyed.
“I want you, in me...” Leo whispered, slowly crawling onto the bed. “I want to feel your cock, full of life, breaching me, fucking me into the mattress, all night long until I pass out. I want to be soaked with your cum. You won’t leave this room until I’m dripping and too tired out to move.”
At this, Mikey’s mood did a sharp one-eighty and he eagerly pumped his dick faster, not believing what he had just heard. Never in his life, he had thought someone would talk dirty with him, and even less his proper older brother. More importantly, he had never thought someone would be that eager for him.
Leo's hand climbed Mikey’s thigh like a cat climbing a tree, caressing him gently. His breath felt like mist on Mikey’s trembling skin as Leo dropped soft kisses onto his exposed neck. The amber look was so lascivious that Leo did not even look like himself anymore. He was gazing at Mikey and Mikey’s cock like he was a delicious piece of meat, and Mikey did not know if it was unnerving or a huge turn on.
“Fuck me, Mikey. Fuck me like you mean it,” Leo whispered sensually.
Mikey could not reply. He was already about to reach climax but he couldn’t bring himself to let go of his cock, his hand was glued to his body.
Leo pinched him, hard, and Mikey met the lustful eyes full of erotic promises but also of threats. Leo’s cock was hard too. Mikey could see how his older brother was horny, more eager to have sex than any porn star he’d ever seen. But Leo also looked like a lover who would not stand being denied or disappointed.
“Not yet. You need to cum inside me.”
Leo gripped Mikey’s cock and lowered himself onto it with a low growl. Mikey was encased in a sheath, painfully tight and hot like a furnace. There was no time to linger on how damn fucking good it felt, before Leo started to move and Mikey jolted with pleasure.
“Fuck, Leo, slow down, damn it!”
Usually, Mikey would not have cursed in presence of the leader, but his mind was blown by pleasure. His cock was squeezed, almost crushed by Leo’s hot flesh and he was helplessly approaching orgasm.
Mikey could not help it, even if he knew he had been in Leo for barely three minutes, and he came hard with a silent shout, still conscious enough to not wake up the other members of their family.
He felt something slightly warm and liquid on him, and saw that Leo had come as well, so maybe Mikey’s honor was safe. Maybe now Leo would be relaxed or calm enough for them to actually talk about what had happened.
“That was good, but I’m not done yet. Two minutes for a breather and I want you again. I need some water. Bring me a cup.”
Maybe two minutes was a figure of speech, even if Leo seemed out of his mind with lust. Anyway, Mikey would not complain. It had been fucking hot, and he kind of hoped to have the opportunity to be better next time. Mikey stood up, jelly-legged from the sex but obedient, his brain still mushy from the afterglow.
The slaughter of earlier was now far from Mikey’s mind, which was too busy thinking about how he got laid before Raph and how good it had felt. Besides, he got laid with Leo, when Mikey always knew Raph had kind of a soft spot for. Raphael had been so mean lately. Would Leo let him boast about it?
When Mikey came back, Leo was lying on the bed, pumping his cock slowly, breaching himself with a finger and Mikey’s mouth grew dry from desire. Never had he seen something so erotic.
He brought the cup to Leo’s lips, not wanting his brother’s show to be interrupted.
“Give it to me, Mikey,” Leo said after having finished his cup in one gulp. “Give me all your young body can” he purred, taking again Mikey’s cock in a vice grip. “Fuck me again, until sunrise.”
Mikey did not have to put himself in the mood, he was already hard and Leo churred his approval.
This time, it was longer and more passionate. Leo was bouncing eagerly on his lap, encouraging him with naughty words, asking him for bites and kisses, and Mikey felt like he was in a Madonna video from the 90’s.
The night became a haze, time measured by orgasms. Mikey was about to cum for the third time. The first two times, Leo had come at the same moment, and it seemed it would be the same again. Each time, Leo had stopped to rub his cum-stained cock on Mikey’s thigh, but the youngest did not mind. Showers were made for messes like that, and besides, it was kind of sexy. Who would know Leo had such a kinky side?
They were sitting in each others’ arms, and Leo was staring at Mikey with such bedroom eyes, gleaming with a golden light, that Mikey told himself he could not unsee that face. How he could act normal around Leonardo after such a night?
“Tell me you are mine,” Leo demanded, ”Tell me you’re only mine. My faithful lover until the end of time.”
From anyone else, it could have been taken as a cheesy line, but spoken in a frantic voice with that fierce look of ownership, it was not the same.
“I’m yours, Leo,” Mikey panted. It was not like he had a choice, with those burning eyes staring at him so intensely. It wasn’t like Mikey could get another lover anyway. And he had always liked Leo, missing him deeply while he was gone.
A sharp pain sent a jolt through his whole body and Mikey came at the same time, feeling almost like he was having a seizure, and he barely restrained his yell.
“In case you forget, so you never betray me,” Leo whispered. Suddenly, before Mikey could ask what he meant by these words, Leo passed out, his sweaty and sticky body dropping forward onto Mikey’s.
It took almost twenty minutes for Mikey to have enough strength to move. Leo was heavy and Mikey was exhausted after having performing sex for... five hours, he noted, after a glance at Leo’s alarm clock.
It would be the morning soon, and their Sensei would surely make them practice again, now that Leonardo was there to help with the supervision.
With great care Mikey disengaged from underneath his brother, not wanting to disturb his rest, and looked at his sleeping form with wonder.
Leo had been truly fucked all night long. Mikey could not imagine his brother performing his kata with the pain he would feel in his lower back. He himself was throbbing from head to toe. Leo was an intense lover, he thought, and as many times as he had asked Mikey to bite him, he had bitten Mikey as well.
Mikey realized with anxiety, that he would probably be covered with bites, hickeys and bruises for a few days. What would his brothers and their Sensei say, seeing Leo in the same state? Raph might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but Don was too clever not to guess the truth.
Too exhausted to think, Mikey went to bed. Waking up in two hours would be hard.
With red-rimmed eyes, Mikey made his way to the kitchen. He desperately needed some protein after having been sucked dry by Leo’s high standards in bed.
Go figure that his brother would be hard to satisfy, even in bed. He still wondered how Leo had been so experienced, taking Mikey’s cock as easily as he blocked a blow.
And what about Mikey himself? Had Leo wanted him for a long time, since before he left? Or on his journey, had he realized he loved Mikey? Did Leo love him? He had not said anything about love. Their mating had only being animal noise and dirty talk. So many questions and no answers. Maybe next time he could ask, if there was a next time. Mikey hoped there would be. Leo was an addictive lover. Who would have believed it?
Mikey had taken a shower before heading to the kitchen, to wash away the reek of cum and sweat and to have a look at himself.
He had been surprised to not see many marks, and so half-relieved he entered the kitchen. Another thought began tormenting him. What he would say to Leo? They were lovers now, and Leo seemed to imply that he wanted it to be long-term. How was he supposed to act with him in front of his other brothers? Did their new relationship have to stay a secret? What that what Leo meant when he asked Mikey to not betray him?
Waiting for Leo’s cue was the best option, he decided.
Michelangelo stopped in his tracks. The turtle he’d been obsessed with since last night was sitting at the table, sipping his tea and reading the newspaper next to Donatello.
“Hi, Mikey,” Leo said in a neutral but kind voice, expressing nothing specific. “You’re late.”
Mikey muttered some apologies, heading toward the fridge to get some eggs. Leo was questioning Donatello why Raph was not up, yet.
“He got a new schedule and lifestyle when you were away. Let him get used to your leadership again.”
“You were the one in charge, Don, and you let him practice bad habits. You know training is at 8 every morning,” Leo retorted sternly.
“I can’t believe you want to train, Leo. You’ve only been back here for twenty-four hours. Give us a break,” Don said, slightly irritated by Leo blaming him. “I never asked to be in charge to begin with and you know training has never been my thing!”
“Donnie, being in good shape is mandatory for our job,” Leo protested.
Mikey wondered about Leo seeming like his old himself all of sudden. Donnie was bitching about how his real job was to be Tech support, and that besides, Leo was able to do the ninja job by himself.
“What do you mean?” Leo protested. “I need all my brothers with me!”
“Well, you didn’t act that way last night when you went after these punks by yourself,” Don deadpanned.
Mikey almost dropped the pan, all the memory of the ‘punks’ coming back and in a flash he remembered the severed heads.
“Well, Mikey was there. Right, Mikey?” Leo asked. “We warned them that we were back and now, they won’t bother young ladies ever again. A job well done!”
How could Leo be so calm about that fight, and lying about a ‘warning’, when the guys probably didn’t even have the time to blink before being beheaded. How could Leo drag him into that slaughter? How had the jungle made Leo so bloodthirsty and cruel?
Mikey did not look back in answer. He watched the white of the egg cooking in the pan. It had the same color as Leo’s semen, he decided, white and thick. His mind was full of blood and cum, like he had seen a snuff film.
“For Plato’s sake, what happened to you, Mikey?” Don shouted.
Startled, Mikey turned his head to see Donnie’s concerned face.
“Oh, my God,” Leo exclaimed too, standing up to get closer. Mikey, stiff with tension, felt Leo’s hand brushing his shell. His entire body still ached from Leo’s warm touch, and Mikey was afraid to react too much in front of Donatello.
“You look like you have been attacked by a wild animal!” Don yelled in a worried voice. “What happened to you!?”
“What? I do? What do you mean?” Mikey asked. He was worried too now. He could not see his shell. What if it showed marks from sex with Leo? What if that made Leo mad at him?
“You’ve got a deep claw mark on your shell, Mikey,” Leo said with deep concern too. ”Did those guys yesterday hurt you? Are you in pain?” he asked.
“It’s impossible human could do that, unless you count the Shredder or Freddy Krueger,” Don snapped back, leaning in to examine the mark closer. “What in hell could have three-fingered claws like that enough strong to make an inch-deep gouge in a bone carapace?”
“Did you hurt yourself while working, maybe? Don’t you remember when you felt pain on your shell?” Leo wondered. “It's impossible you didn’t feel it!”
Mikey, fascinated, noticed how there was no indication of a lie in Leo’s eyes. How in the world was he able to keep such a poker face? He wondered whether Leo should know that he had been the one doing it during their rough mating, because it could be nothing else.
“Can I see?” Mikey asked, and Don took him by the hand and dragged him to the two-piece mirror in his lab. He called over his shoulder, telling Leo to stay there and not to worry.
Mikey, horrified, looked at the reflection of his shell. There were three long, deep scratches.
He remembered the sharp pain he had suffered while he was chasing his third orgasm and realized that it was probably at that moment that Leo had scratched him, that blow as a possessive reminder. But how Leo could have done that, when turtle shell is made of bone and turtles have no nails?
And what about Leo acting all innocent about it? Even Master Splinter could not have told if Leo was lying and pretending not to know. The leader seemed genuinely sorry for him, and not remorseful at all. How it could be? The Leonardo that Mikey knew was honest. Mikey was not in pain, not physically, but he felt a cold creep though him. Suddenly he felt like he had been raped by something foreign.
“Tell me, Mikey. What happened in that alley? What scared you so much?” Donatello asked seriously. Mikey could only stare over his own shoulder into the reflection of Donatello’s warm, ordinary, brown eyes.