Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Fiction ❯ Masked Insecurity ❯ Façade, Anger, and Insecurity ( Chapter 5 )
Leonardo found himself on his side, water being forced out of his lungs. He coughed hard, spitting up more water. He felt drained. Exhausted. Everything ached. He moaned once he had cleared the last of the water out.
"W-what happened?" he asked hoarsely.
"Sadness pulled you out of the river," Michelangelo said. "You okay, dude?"
"I need rest," Leonardo said after assessing himself. He slowly pushed himself to sit up, and Splinter wrapped his arms around him.
"Sadness, may we rest here?"
"No. There is a place near another forest that is better."
Leonardo was suddenly grateful for the slow pace that Sadness marched to. He struggled along, weary beyond anything he'd ever experienced. They didn't stop soon enough for him. Sadness clapped his hands and soft cushiony mats appeared. They were similar to the ones Leonardo and Splinter slept on. Soft blankets and two pillows each were provided. They were fed pizza, a recipe they had never had before that was absolutely delicious. Then Sadness lay down and went to sleep. Leonardo waited a few minutes before he was sure then he looked at his family.
"What did I do to Raph?" he asked weakly.
Michelangelo and Donatello glanced at each other.
"Well, Sprinkler is an old one," the purple masked turtle said slowly. "In fact, I'd forgotten about it."
Michelangelo sighed, staring into the fire. "You and Donny would bully me and Raph when we were little. Raph finally got so sick of it that he punched you in the head. You went flying and hit your head against the sink. It cut you open. There was blood everywhere. You had this weird personality change after that, and you didn't seem to remember any of the teasing. You still don't."
Leonardo frowned. "You're lying. Raph is the one who teases. I can't see me or Donny doing that."
Michelangelo suddenly looked angry. "You're getting off scot-free for seven years of teasing me and Raph mercilessly. You feel no guilt. You don't think about it. And you know something else? Raph and I still do think about it. When we're lying in our beds in the dark, we can still hear your voice, taunting us. He told me so a while ago. And I know I still do. And it still hurts. Because you honestly didn't care if we hurt. And sometimes I wonder if you do now." He fell silent, taking off his mask and wiping his eyes. "I'm going to bed."
"I never teased you!" Leonardo exclaimed.
"Shut up, Leo."
Everybody stiffened. Where had that voice come from? They looked around and saw nothing. They all suddenly felt uneasy and slipped into their covers, falling asleep.
Leonardo woke to a dead fire and noticed a bed was missing. Sadness was, too. Instead, another turtle was standing there, staring at him intensely. His mask, which he wore, was red mixed with violet. Leonardo stood, careful not to wake the others. He walked over and gestured for the turtle to follow him. When they were far enough away, Leonardo smiled.
"Hello. Which emotion are you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" the purple Raphael demanded.
"Yes, actually, I would."
"I am Façade."
"Façade?" Leonardo asked. "Like, hiding something? Why would he have an emotion like that?"
"Raphael is always hiding something from you. Besides that, I'm not an emotion. Some of us are, some of us aren't. Peace isn't an emotion, but I don't see you bitching at him."
"What are you then?" Donatello asked, walking up to them. Michelangelo and Splinter followed.
Façade narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms, staying quiet. Splinter spoke up.
"I have never seen a mind as advanced as this," he said softly.
"How is his mind advanced?" Michelangelo asked curiously, touching Façade gently. The red and purple masked turtle smiled.
"What Father is trying to say is that until your mind reaches a certain point in development, and I mean mind walking wise, you can only have emotions be represented. They are a basic part of any individual's psyche. I am a facet of Raphael's being. I am much more in depth and complex, with strange, sometimes stupid reasons for the way I am. But reasons they are, and I might add they are reasons that connect with what makes Raphael tick and they are important to him as a person."
"Why do you answer him?" Donatello asked.
Donatello jolted, staring at the…facet. "What?"
"You heard me. Now, let's go. I'm sure you want to meet Anger, and it's to him we head next."
They walked with the turtle, unsure of what to think. To Splinter and Michelangelo, he was jovial and nice, but to Leonardo and Donatello he was not. He called them names, creative and mean. This, they thought, was where Raphael kept his teasing. He was merciless, so they trailed behind him. As long as they didn't draw attention to themselves, Façade didn't even seem to care that they were there. Soon the ground grew hot and they came to yet another forest. But this one was eerily quiet.
"Here you are, Mikey. You'll want to continue going straight. Trust me, you'll find him with no problem. Just look for the lava."
"Yep. And, for your sake Mikey? Don't provoke him. Don't crack any jokes. Just talk. Father, I'm pretty sure you're safe. He doesn't get mad at you very often. But maybe…No. Never mind. I shouldn't even mention that stuff. Raphael does get jealous of his brothers, but that's an emotion that you probably won't even see today. He's a spiteful thing. Anyway. You two," he said, smirking the smirk that Leonardo often wanted to punch off of Raphael's face. "You two better be careful. Especially you, Leo. Anger really doesn't like you."
"Gee, I never would have guessed."
Façade walked away, slamming his shoulder roughly into Leonardo's, just like Raphael did. They were left alone. Leonardo could feel the ominous air of the forest. Light didn't seem to filter through the boughs the way they had in the first forest. Michelangelo stared for a few minutes with the rest of his family then stepped into the trees. The others followed. They stayed close together, walking quickly. The bushes around them would rustle, and Leonardo would see a blur of green, but he couldn't make it out. Finally, when they had been walking for a few hours, he lunged for a bush and caught hold of something.
"Ha!" he said triumphantly, pulling out a turtle.
Michelangelo's jaw dropped and the other three just stared. It was a turtle that wore no mask, and it had to be Raphael because it was his mind. But there was a big difference between this Raphael and the others. This one looked no older than seven. He screamed fiercely, struggling in the blue masked turtle's grip. Leonardo tried to calm him down, setting him down and speaking gently, but the turtle was panicked. Suddenly the turtle kicked him in the shin and shot behind another turtle. This one had a crimson mask. He placed a hand on the small turtle, who grabbed his legs and buried his face in them.
"Not smart, Leo," the crimson masked turtle said, narrowing his eyes.
"Anger?" Michelangelo asked softly.
"Don't kill him."
"My son, who is that small turtle?" Splinter asked, pointing to the child.
"He is a part of Raphael."
"Which part?" Donatello asked.
Anger looked as if he were debating whether or not to answer the question. "He is a very large part of Raphael," he stated slowly.
"But he's so small!" Leonardo exclaimed.
Anger growled and there was the smell of smoke. "Choose your words carefully Leo. The ice in my parts are nonexistent. You have nothing to skate on. Understand?" Leonardo nodded, even though he was irritated at the turtle's abruptness. "Good. Now, this is Insecurity. Say hi, Insecurity."
"Hi," he muttered, not looking up.
"Hey, little guy!" Michelangelo said, walking over bravely. Anger watched carefully as the orange masked turtle knelt down and held out his arms. "Come here?"
Insecurity glanced up at Michelangelo, biting his bottom lip nervously. He slowly peeled himself off of Anger and suddenly dashed into the open arms, hiding his face in Michelangelo's neck. The youngest brother stood up, holding him tightly. He shushed him gently, rocking him.
"See? It's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you."
"You always did have a way with him," Anger said thoughtfully.
"I suffered, too. If my mind was advance enough, I'm sure I'd have something like him."
"They were easier on you than me."
"True. But I was with him most of the time. I saw how much it hurt him."
"You swam the river the easiest. Even Father had trouble."
"Yeah. I've never felt it that deep, but I have felt it before."
"Can I see him?" Leonardo asked, holding his hands out.
"No," Anger said fiercely. "You may not touch him. And I will know if you do, because he'll scream. Touch him, and you will find out why Raphael can't control himself when I take over."
"Hey, little dude. Go and say hi to Donny. He won't hurt you."
"Promise?" the little voice asked.
Insecurity was set down and he went over to Donatello. The purple clad turtle reached for him, but a growl from Anger had him stop. So he knelt down instead, and lightly tilted the chin up. Insecurity jerked away and kept his head down.
"Aren't ya gonna look at me?" Donatello asked gently. Insecurity shook his head. "Why not?"
"Because I have black eyes."
"So?" Leonardo asked.
"Black eyes mean you have no soul. That means the devil's gonna getcha."
"Who told you that."
Insecurity sniffled. "You did."
"I did not!" Leonardo said angrily.
Insecurity flinched. "You said that and lots more."
"You're in denial, Leo. I know how to unlock your missing memories, although it'll be from a different perspective," Anger said.
"Well please do. I refuse to believe that I teased Raph. That is so unlike me. What do we need to do?"
"I have your permission? He's not going to scream?"
"Just touch him, Leo."
Leonardo felt Anger's watchful eye on him as he knelt down and reached out. Insecurity batted his hand away and walked closer. He pressed his forehead against the older turtle's and Leonardo found himself staring into inky black pools. Suddenly he was falling deep into those eyes and he saw himself as a child. He and Donatello were laughing. They were all bathing. Raphael was hunched over, covering himself.
"Whassa matter small fry?" the child Leonardo asked. "And you know I don't mean your height."
Michelangelo frowned at him. "Shut up Leo! It's not funny!"
"Yes it is," Donatello said gleefully.
"Well it's the truth, for both of you!"
The scene changed. Again and again he saw himself verbally tearing into Raphael, and sometimes Michelangelo. Donatello occasionally joined him in his cruelty. The insults were horribly creative and incredibly effective. He saw Raphael's confidence erode with every snarky comment, every cruel sentence. He saw the scene change again, and this one told him why Raphael never showed anybody his eyes.
This time they were slightly older, Leonardo was beaming happily, staring into a mirror.
"I like my new eyes," he said happily.
"I like mine, too," Donatello said with a nod.
"Hey guys! Mine changed, too!" Michelangelo exclaimed, running in. Raphael was sulking in the doorway that he had just come from. "See? Orange and green!"
"Ooh, pretty!" Donatello exclaimed, leaning close to see.
Leonardo got a mean glint in his silver and blue eyes. "Hey Raphie. What color are your eyes?"
Raphael, knowing pain was coming, ran. Leonardo cornered him in the bathroom, grinning meanly.
"I said, what color are your eyes?"
"You know what color they are, Leo!" Raphael snapped, his voice shaking.
"Sprinkler's about to turn on," he teased. "And you do know what black eyes mean, Raph?"
"I don't want to."
"Black eyes mean you have no soul. And that means the devil's gonna getcha. You're going to be stolen away in the night because you're not good enough to be our brother. Your pathetic, small fry. And you know I don't mean your height."
As Leonardo saw himself laugh, he noticed a change in Raphael's eyes. The insecurity, which had reigned throughout all of the scenes, seemed to freeze. Anger roared up so quickly that Leonardo gasped. He literally saw Raphael's personality change right in front of him. The child Leonardo caught his first glimpse of the new Raphael and stopped laughing. Raphael approached him menacingly, cracking his knuckles, and Donatello and Michelangelo appeared in the doorway and froze when they saw the black-eyed child.
"Raphie?" Leonardo asked, sounding scared. "Raphie, I'm only teasin'. You should know that, only teasin'."
"Shut up, Leo," Raphael growled, backing him into a corner.
"Raph? What's wrong?" Donatello asked.
"Shut it brainless. Leo and I are going to 'practice' fighting."
Leonardo tried to defend himself, but even back then, Raphael had been stronger. The frightened turtle broke free and tried to run, but he propelled himself straight into the fist Raphael had just swung. The momentum flung him hard and fast into the sink. His skull connected with a dull thud and he sank to the floor, dazed. Blood rushed down his temple, pooling onto the floor. The current Leonardo felt Raphael's delightful rush of pleasure at seeing his tormentor down. Michelangelo suddenly screamed, soon joined by Donatello. Splinter appeared in the doorway. He gasped as he took in the situation.
"Leonardo!" he cried.
Leonardo's perspective suddenly shifted and he was staring through Raphael's eyes. Time sped up and Splinter called Raphael into his room. Leonardo was lying motionless on his father's mat with white strips of cloth wrapped around his head, looking quite dead. The white of the cloth was stained with red on the right side. Splinter pressed a hand onto Raphael's shoulder.
"My son, my son, where did your anger come from?"
"He wouldn't stop. He wouldn't stop tormenting me, Father. So I shut him up."
"Raphael you can't hit him. He is your brother. Now, I hope this anger dissipates. Go. Leonardo needs rest."
Raphael walked to the bathroom, passing Michelangelo and Donatello, who were sleeping on the couch. He stood in front of the full length mirror, staring at his eyes. He pulled a long strip of red cloth out of his shell and placed it to his face. There was one-way cloth on the eye, so he could see out, but nobody else could see in.
My eyes might change colors, he thought as he tied the mask over his face. But they'll never know. I'll never show my eyes to anybody ever again.
There was the sensation of falling again and suddenly Leonardo slammed into his own body, gasping. He was sitting with Insecurity in front of him, whose eyes were looking down. Those memories, they were true. He remembered everything. He had said those things to Raphael.
"Leo? You okay, dude?" Michelangelo asked, grabbing his arm and helping him up.
Shame filled him as he stared at his orange clad brother. He had teased him, too. He had to get away, so he broke free and he ran. He ignored the voices calling for him to stop, running as fast as he could so he wouldn't have to face them. In this mind world it seemed that he had incredible energy, since Raphael's facets and emotions weren't controlling him. He stumbled into a stream and swam through it. He was panting at this point and collapsed, gasping for air. He heard a soft voice singing. He dragged himself up and found himself staring at a bathing Raphael. He was in a pool of water that had steam coming out of it. He wore no mask and his back was turned. He was also the last person Leonardo wanted to see. As he watched, Raphael reached over on the shore and pulled out a red mask, tying it effortlessly around his head. He stood and Leonardo saw that he wore no shell, only a skirt of red with slits up the sides. Then he walked right for him.
Raphael stared silently down at his brother before offering him a hand. The blue masked turtle cringed and buried his face in his arms. Sobs came from him. Though he knew he didn't deserve Raphael's kindness, his brother helped him up and stripped his shell off before lowering him into the pool. The red masked turtle lowered himself into the pool as well, holding his brother's head above water. It was an hour before the distraught turtle could speak.
"I'm so s-sorry, Raph. I deserve everything you've done to me over the years. I was stupid and wrong. Please, please forgive me."
Raphael said nothing for a few moments. "You hurt me Leo. And now, all these years later, you have the audacity to be mad at me for my temper."
"I-I don't understand."
"My anger masks my insecurities. That's why Insecurity likes to hang around Anger. Anger protects him from more pain."
"Oh. That actually makes sense. He seemed to like Anger a lot."
"Yeah." There was a long pause. "You know you're going to have to make it up to me, right? I can't just forget what you did."
"I would do anything for you, Raph. You're my brother and I love you."
Raphael laughed like Peace had. "I guess I love you, too, bro."
Leonardo sighed happily then looked hard at Raphael's mask. He reached for it slowly, and Raphael looked at him sharply.
"Did they ever change colors?"
"I'm not telling."
Leonardo was disappointed, but he sighed and lowered his hand without complaint. He took a deep breath and ducked into the hot water. He came back up gasping for air and noticed that Raphael had gotten out. He followed suit and as he walked over to him, something started dragging on his skin. He looked down to see that he wore a blue replica of Raphael's skirt. It felt strange to wear clothing, but it was a good strange.
"Raph? Do you know where the others are?"
"They're making their way here. You ran a long way and they're moving at a shamble. They should be here by tomorrow afternoon."
"Oh. Okay." Leonardo rolled his shoulders. "Man, I'm still sore from that river. How can you stand that much emotion?"
"I've always been emotional. It's nothing new."
The blue clad ninja hesitated, then embraced his brother. Raphael stiffened then melted into the embrace. He just didn't care if he seemed soft or needy at the moment. They stood there for a few seconds then Leonardo released him.
"Tired?" Raphael asked.
Raphael conjured up two mats and they lay down to sleep.