Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Fiction ❯ Masked Insecurity ❯ Peace and Sadness ( Chapter 4 )

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

Leonardo opened his eyes to the most beautiful sight he had ever beheld. He was in a grassy meadow. Flowers bloomed everywhere, in all different colors and shades. A forest was a short way away, thick with trees of every kind. He heard a gasp behind him and saw his family drinking in the sight before them.

"I have never seen a mind like this before," Splinter said, sounding impressed.

"Dude, ours is New York. This is just…wow," Michelangelo said, sounding wonderstruck.

There was movement in the forest and Leonardo saw a figure peek out. "Hey! There's one of Raph's emotions."

They began walking toward the forest, but by the time they got there, the figure was gone. Michelangelo whistled.

"Hey, we know you're in there. Who are you?"

There was a rustling in a bush and Splinter walked over and reached in. He pulled out a version of Raphael. He wore a mask, which all of them immediately thought was unusual. Usually the masks were tied around the arm or in their hands. The mask was lined with blue.

"Who are you?" Donatello asked.

"I am Raphael," the blue and red masked being said.

"Which emotion are you?" Leonardo asked.

"I am Peace."

"Peace? Raphael is not peaceful."

"I am felt at night, deep in the night, when he presses a hand to Mikey's cheek and kisses it softly. I am felt when he carries a sleep deprived Donny to his room and sits with him until he falls asleep. I am felt when father embraces him after a spanking."

"Why does he have an emotion for that?"

"Because, my son, peace must be very important to him," Splinter said softly.

"I am felt so few times. He desires me, but because of Leonardo, he doesn't find me very often," Peace said solemnly.

"Me? What did I do?" Leonardo asked, bewildered.

Peace didn't look angry or annoyed, but his words were firm. "You hit your head too hard that day in the bathroom. You don't remember things that changed Raphael's life and perspective of the world." He turned to Michelangelo and Donatello. "Do not tell him how he used to be until his old words surface."

They nodded. "Sure, dude. Hard to explain to him anyway," Michelangelo said with a shrug.

"Good. Now, I am to lead you to the heart of Raphael's mind. Our mind. At least until you meet another emotion."

"Lead the way," Leonardo said.

They walked through the beautiful forest, seeing animals of all kinds. It was still a little dazzling to the turtles, who had only seen New York. Michelangelo and Donatello whispered together behind Splinter and Leonardo.

"Father?" the blue masked turtle asked.

"Yes, my son?"

"Why did Raph say that I created a monster inside him?"

The old rat looked at him for a moment. "Raphael apparently wants you to figure out how you did that."

"But I couldn't've done it. Could I?"

"Yes, dude, you could've. And apparently you did."

Leonardo turned to look at Michelangelo. "What do you mean?"

"Peace was right. You hit your head too hard," Donatello said.

"Now wait just one minute, Donny. You used to do it, too. It apparently hurt Raph more than we knew," the orange masked turtle said, first harshly, then softly.

"I…I know," Donatello said, looking ashamed.

"What are you two talking about?" They looked at him silently.

Leonardo sighed then saw a rustling in the foliage off to the side of them. He lunged over to it and reached in like Splinter did, but instead of pulling somebody out, there was a searing pain in his hand. He yelled, jerking hand back to find blood rushing out. It was a bite, he found out when Donatello cleaned the wound with some medical supplies that Peace pulled out of thin air. A small, neat little bite.

"Ouch," Michelangelo whistled. "That had to hurt."

"It did and it still does," Leonardo grimaced.

"I suggest not doing that to him. He is different than the rest of us," Peace said to Leonardo. "And he had very strong emotions toward you."

"Why didn't you warn me?"

"Same reason I didn't list you for the times he feels peace. You disturb him. You wound him. You sc…" Peace paused for a moment, tilting his head as if listening. "Never mind. Now come, let us keep going."

"Why is this forest so nice?" Michelangelo asked, walking over.

Donatello, Leonardo, and Splinter all noticed Peace relaxed even more than he already was. "This is where Raphael feels peaceful. He likes walking through it, watching the deer and birds, petting them nicely. So, this is where I reside in his mind."

"Sweet," Michelangelo said, smiling.

Peace's face turned soft and he leaned over and kissed the orange masked turtle's face. The silly turtle looked surprised, pressing his hand on the cheek that he kissed. He smiled and kissed Peace's cheek back. Suddenly Peace did something that the other turtles hadn't seen Raphael do since they were about seven. He laughed, and not a harsh, mean laugh, or even a sarcastic one, but a genuine, happy laugh.

"Raph!" Donatello gasped then began laughing himself. They all laughed, even Splinter. It was just so infectious!

When they had calmed down, Peace smiled at Michelangelo. "He is sorry for all the teasing."

"Don't sweat it dude, most of the time I know he's joking," the orange masked turtle said, waving his hand dismissively.

"That, my dearest brother, is exactly what he wants to hear," Peace said as he began walking again.

They trekked through the forest, and though it was a very peaceful place, Leonardo didn't feel peaceful at all. He struggled with his thoughts and feelings at the back of the group. What had he done to Raphael? He couldn't remember doing anything bad enough to warrant the red masked turtle's wrath…had he? Apparently he had hit his head really hard. Maybe that was why he couldn't remember.

A drop of water hit his head and he looked up to see grey sky peeking through the thinning trees. We must be nearing the end of the forest, Leonardo thought. Peace paused when they got to the edge of the treeline.

"Another one of us is over there, but you must find him. I suggest doing it swiftly. Whenever somebody who doesn't belong is in this part, it creates a torrential downpour."

He bid them goodbye and walked back into his forest. They began to search, and the rain, which had been sparse drops, steadily became worse and worse until they could barely see each other. They finally took shelter at the edge of the trees. All except Leonardo. He squinted. There was a shadow ahead. He hurried over to it and found a hunched over figure.

"Hey! Can you turn the rain off?" Leonardo said loudly. The figure looked at him and nodded. "Then please do so!"

The figure raised his hands and clapped them together once. The rain almost immediately lessened to a drizzle. The rest of his family walked over to them.

"Good job, dude!" Michelangelo said.

"Thanks," the Raphael sitting on the rock said, smiling slightly.

"Oh. Um, see, I wasn't talking…."

His face fell. "You didn't mean me."

"Well, no, but that was a good job that you did, stopping the rain."

The Raphael didn't cheer up. In fact, he grew more upset. "You're just saying that," he moaned then immediately began to cry.

"Hey! No! I mean it. None of us could've done it."

"Yes you c-could've! Y-you're just not st-strong enough yet!" he sobbed. "And once y-you are w-what will b-b-become of me?!"

None of the turtles really knew what to do with this weepy Raphael. His mask, which he, too, wore, was red mixed with black. He sobbed again and Splinter came over, wrapping his arms around the distraught turtle. He said word after word of comfort. Slowly, the Raphael stopped crying and just leaned into the warm arms of his father.

"Better?" Splinter asked softly. When Raphael nodded, he then asked, "Now which emotion are you?"

"I am Sadness and Neglect, but you can call me either," he said miserably.

"Neglect is harsh, so I'm going to call you Sadness," Michelangelo said thoughtfully.

"Ah, Mikey, you could call me Ridiculous and I wouldn't mind," Sadness replied, smiling slightly.


"Because you suffered nearly as much as I did."

Michelangelo's face got the strangest expression on it and he looked sadly at Leonardo and Donatello. "Yeah, dude. I guess I did."

"Where to from here?"

"That way," Sadness said, pointing. "But you'll have to cross the river."

"River?" Michelangelo asked.

"The River of Sorrows. Touch the water and you'll cry. And crying is bad."

"Crying is not bad," Leonardo argued.

Sadness raised the area where his eyebrows were supposed to be. "And when's the last time you cried, Fearless?"

Leonardo blushed. "Well…I don't need to."

"Don't want to be called Sprinkler?" Sadness asked, sniffling.

"Sprinkler? What in the world are you talking about?"

Sadness stood. "Come. This way."

He walked along slowly, looking as if he was going to a funeral. Leonardo was even more confused now that he'd met Sadness. What was the sprinkler comment about? He asked Splinter, who just stared at him back.

Finally, the rat said, "This journey is mainly for you, Leonardo. I shall not lead you to the end so easily. There would be no lesson learned then."

There were no more words then, and they reached the river soon after. Sadness walked into the water and his mask immediately became wet.

"You must know how deep his sorrows go. You must cross the river with me. It is a deep river, so swimming is required. Come along."

True to Sadness' words, the instant they touched the river, they began crying. They followed Sadness as best as they could, but the farther across the river they went, the deeper the waters, and soon more than their eyes were reacting. Their hearts ached to the point where it could honestly be qualified as physical pain. Their limbs became heavy and it became a struggle just to stay afloat, let alone swim through the frigid waters.

Michelangelo made it first, sitting down on the bank away from the water. Splinter came next, and he was so exhausted that he flopped onto the bank, panting. That left Leonardo and Donatello. Donatello kept swallowing the water, and he noticed it wasn't fresh water. It was salty. The meaning of the River of Sorrows suddenly hit him like a ton of bricks and he moaned. He and Leonardo had done this to their brother. He deserved to drown in these waters…He suddenly found himself throwing up the water he had swallowed. He was safe on the bank. How was that even possible?

"Come on Leo!" Michelangelo called. "You can do it."

Leonardo was so close to the shore, but he couldn't take anymore punishment. He was going to drown. Michelangelo stood and was about to go the two yards into the river to pull him out, but Sadness stopped him.

"It's time he drown in Raphael's sorrows. He created them, with some help," Sadness said, pointedly looking at Donatello.

"B-but Raph!" Michelangelo exclaimed. "You aren't that cruel!"

Leonardo felt his head go under and his heart felt like it was bursting with the agony. He gasped and swallowed water. He was going to die! His last thought was that nobody should ever suffer this much, then everything went black.