Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Fiction ❯ Masked Insecurity ❯ Not Letting Them In ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

"Clear your minds, my sons," Splinter said softly. "Open them to each other."

Splinter was trying to teach his sons how to enter each other's minds. Since they turned fourteen, the old rat had taught them to go into their own minds to seek out their emotional problems and hidden thoughts and other such things. Now, one day after their fifteenth birthday, he was beginning to teach them to go into their brothers' minds to help solve each other's problems. Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello were doing well, but if the old rat didn't know any better, he would say that Raphael was just happily walking through his own mind with no thought to his brothers.

Raphael's progress with mind interaction had surpassed all of his brothers. Everybody had naturally assumed that Donatello's progress would be the swiftest because of his intellect, but the purple masked turtle had the hardest time because of his belief that mind walking wasn't real. Now it appeared that the temperamental turtle had hit a roadblock. His brothers were thrilled, because it had taken them months to achieve what the red masked turtle had achieved in the first day, nay, the first hour of their training. But Splinter wasn't sure. He could feel no mental strain from Raphael, no touch of mind against his.

"Raphael," the rat said softly, breaking everybody's concentration. They all looked at him.

"Yes, sensei?" Raphael asked.

"Come, talk with me. The rest of you relax and try again."

Raphael followed his father to the old rat's room and shut the sliding door, which was actually partially soundproofed thanks to Donatello.

"Raphael, are you trying to connect with your brothers' minds?"

Raphael thought about lying, but after about a minute, he lowered his head and groused, "No."

"Why not?"

"The golden rule."

Splinter was confused. "Please explain."

"I don' want 'em in my mind, so I'm not going into their minds. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The rat was surprised at Raphael's thoughtfulness. "That is very kind, my son, but why don't you want them to be in your mind?"

Raphael did lie this time. "Because they're stupid and would mess things up."

"You control the state of your own mind. You can clean up any messes that they make with ease."

Raphael shook his head fiercely. "They can go screw themselves. I ain't lettin' 'em in there."

"Do you want a spanking?" the rat asked.

"No!" Raphael said immediately, hands going to protect his bottom; his sensei couldn't have spanked him through his shell anyway, but the memory was still there.

"Then do not speak like that."

"Yes, Father," Raphael said sheepishly. "I'm sorry." There was a pause. "I'm still not letting them in my mind."

"Why not?"

"Personal reasons."

"Are you hiding something?"

Raphael knew saying no would probably get his thighs swatted in warning, so he said, "Yes."

"What are you hiding?"

"Personal stuff I don't want them to see. Besides, I can deal with my own problems."

"But what if your brothers need your help with their problems?" Splinter's face softened. "You are the strongest of all your brothers, in mentality, will, and, of course, physically. You can handle things that they cannot. You offer a different perspective than any of them have. If you are so worried about your mind, we can come to that last, but please help them. It will bring you closer to them."

A wounded look came onto Raphael's face, but Splinter wasn't sure what it looked like in his eyes. Raphael never took his mask off in front of anybody. There had to be a reason for that, but the red masked turtle never talked about it. The turtle's voice was shaking ever so slightly when he spoke.

"What if I don't want to be closer to them?"

Splinter was surprised. Why would his son not want to be close to his own brothers? Sure they had their differences, but they were still family.

"Would you like to tell me why?" Splinter asked gently, hoping to get closer to his walled off son.

Raphael suddenly looked very small, despite his large stature. "No, Father, I'm fine. Can we go back to the circle now and I'll try this time?"

Splinter sighed and they walked back to where the other three turtles were sitting. He perked up slightly when he sensed Michelangelo's mind pressing into Leonardo's, but not much else was happening. Raphael was standing beside Splinter and he sighed, opening his mind from the walls he had built up over the year of practice. He gathered up the three minds of his brothers as he settled into a meditative position and closed his eyes. Which one would he pick? How about Fearless? What were his problems? He took a deep breath and dove in, pulling his brothers with him.