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Fic: Wasting Away Chapter One (Part A)

Title: Wasting Away
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Leo knows that there's something going on with Raph. He just never expected it to be something of this magnitude.

Lately, Leo has noticed something about one of his brothers that he finds rather concerning. He’s been trying to find a way to broach the subject with said brother, but given that, even at the best of times, his conversations with Raph are rather stunted, Leo’s not really sure what to do. After all, it might be nothing, but somehow he’s sure that it’s not. It sounds ridiculous when he thinks about it, because Raph has been acting nicer to everyone, and Leo means everyone. Mikey, Donnie, Casey, April, him…especially him, and Leo wants to enjoy the reprieve they’ve all gotten from Raph’s normally abrasive attitude, but he can’t ignore certain things that he’s noticed recently.

He sighs as he thinks about it. He should be happy, elated even, that Raph has been getting along with all of them so much better than normal, and Leo wants to just let it go. He really does, but he can’t stop himself from thinking that there’s something more going on here. There’s something wrong, and no matter how much he wants to be delighted with this change he just can’t be, because Raph’s attitude isn’t the only thing that’s changed about him. Leo has been keeping a pretty close eye on Raph ever since the whole incident with The Creep. He knows there’s not much he can do to protect his brother now that they’re back at the lair. After all, Raph has returned to venturing out with Casey alone, but Leo can’t seem to forget how close he came to losing his brother.

A part of him hopes that everything he’s noticed about Raph recently is just his paranoia, but there are just too many minor details for Leo to ignore. Raph’s lost weight. Leo first noticed that Raph was constantly tugging his belt up when they were still at the farmhouse. At the time, Leo had just assumed that the rigorous training regimens Raph was putting himself through and the change in diet were affecting him, but they’ve been back at the lair for some time now and it seems as though Raph is still steadily losing weight. His appetite has changed and he seems to tire easily, but the most concerning thing of all is the fact that Raph seems weaker lately. Normally, moving around large heavy objects would be effortless for him, but recently every time they’ve needed to lug something heavy back to the lair Raph has actually needed help.

Donnie and Mikey haven’t really seemed to notice the differences in Raph, and what little they have noticed they mock him for, instead of showing concern. Leo hasn’t said anything to either of them about that particular behavior, because he’s afraid that if he does, then his reservations will suddenly become more than his own paranoia. That said, Leo doesn’t think he can continue ignoring the obvious. There’s something going on with Raph, and whatever it is it’s affecting him in ways that any enemy could easily take advantage of. Leo has already come too close to losing Raph once. He won’t let fear be the reason he loses him for good.

Leo heaves a large breath and holds it for a moment in preparation for what he’s about to do. There’s a small part of him calling him a coward for choosing to go to someone else about this first, but Leo keeps trying to convince himself that this is just the most logical choice. He just wishes he believed it. He knocks on the door, and then waits for the cursory, “Come in,” before he slides open the door to the lab and steps into Donnie’s domain.

“Hey, Donnie, you got a minute?” Leo fidgets in the doorway while Donnie does something with one of the various glass vials on his desk.

“Sure, Leo, what do you need?”

Donnie doesn’t even glance up from his work, but that doesn’t really bother Leo. The genius of the family is well known for his multitasking abilities. “I was wondering if you’ve noticed anything strange about Raph, lately.”

Donnie merely shrugs as he grabs an eyedropper from the other side of his work area. “Well, now that you’ve mention it, I have noticed that the two of you haven’t really been fighting lately. I mean, sure, you still bicker, but no real fights. It’s odd.”

Leo shakes his head. He’s not surprised that that’s the first thing Donnie mentions. After all, his arguments with Raphael have always been a source of irritation for their younger brothers. “No, I meant more specific than that.”

Donnie still doesn’t even pause in what he’s doing, but Leo is fairly certain that he’s still paying attention to him. “I don’t know. Is there something you’re worried about in particular?”

Leo shrugs, despite the fact that Donnie can’t see it. He’s suddenly extremely uncomfortable with this whole conversation. He didn’t actually think that it would be this difficult to address his concerns, but since he hasn’t actually approached Raphael about this, Leo feels like discussing it with Don might be over stepping some boundaries. That said, he’s here now, and he’s already interrupted Donnie, so it’s only logical for him to proceed. “Well, he hasn’t really been eating lately, and, when he does eat, it’s only a minuscule amount. He doesn’t really seem to have as much energy as he normally does, and have you noticed that he’s gotten weaker?”

Donnie just shrugs again, still staring intently at whatever he’s working on. “Well, Mikey has been experimenting with various types of food a lot since we got back, and you can’t really blame a guy for not wanting to eat that. Not to mention, if he’s not eating, then it makes sense that he’s tired and doesn’t have the same amount of strength as normal. Maybe we just need to have a pizza night, and tell Mikey to lay off of the random food combinations.”

Leo smiles brightly at the suggestion. It makes complete and utter sense that Raph just doesn’t feel like in taking any of Mikey’s insane concoctions. Leo assumes Raph hasn’t actually said anything about it, because he doesn’t want to hurt Mikey’s feelings. They’ve all had such a rough time with everything since returning to the lair, and Raph really has been doing his best to keep his temper under control. Leo just wishes he had thought about all of this before. After all, he’s been practically worrying himself sick over evidently nothing, and it isn’t fair to Raph -- or really any of them -- that he hasn’t put a stop to Mikey’s cooking madness sooner.

“Yeah, you’re right, Don. Thanks a lot. I’ll let you get back to work now.” He turns to leave the lab as Donnie hums an acknowledgment, which Leo ignores in favor of tracking down his youngest brother to inform him that tonight’s dinner has to be something normal…well, their version of normal, anyway.

Leo isn’t the least bit surprised to find Mikey in the kitchen talking a mile a minute to Ice Cream Kitty, while tossing random items into a pot. “Uh, hey, Mikey, whatcha doin’?”

Mikey spins around with a wooden spoon in his hand, laden with some kind of clumpy red goop that splatters across Leo’s plastron. Mikey stares at the mess he’s made with a sheepish grin. “Uh, sorry, Leo. I didn’t mean to get you with my cherry sardine anchovy pizza sauce. You’re not mad, are you?”

Leo glances down at his red covered plastron, but immediately looks away again when the smell makes his eyes water. Normally, he would be aggravated by the mess, but he has more important things to focus on right now. “No, I’m not mad, but please tell me that that’s not what you’re making for dinner.”

Mikey shakes his head as he passes Leo a towel to clean himself with. “No, of course not! This is just for me and Ice Cream Kitty, though if you want some, I could always make more. Tonight’s dinner, however, is going to be hot sauce carrot marshmallow mayo pineapple pizza rolls.”

Leo grimaces at the very idea of that combination and tries not to gag at the smell of whatever Mikey is currently making. “Um, no thanks, Mikey. I was actually wondering if you could make something special for dinner tonight.”

Mikey nods enthusiastically at the suggestion, even though Leo hasn’t even told him what he’s planning. “Sure, bro. You name it, and I’ll make it.”

“Well…” Leo pauses for a moment while he considers the best way to phrase his request. He doesn’t want to hurt Mikey’s feelings, but, at the same rate, Leo doesn’t think anyone would forgive him if he didn’t put an end to the hot sauce marshmallow pineapple whatever rolls Mikey is planning on serving tonight. “I’m sure you’ve noticed how hard Raph has been trying to keep his temper under control and how well he’s succeeded lately, so I was thinking we could make his favorite foods for dinner. You know, as a way to show our appreciation and to let him know that we’ve noticed his efforts.”

Mikey practically jumps up and down at the suggestion. “Aw man, Leo, that’s a great idea! I’ll get started on it right away. Raph’s been so awesome lately. It’s the least I could do. You go keep Raph busy, and we can make it a surprise and everything.” Mikey ushers Leo out of the room, and immediately rushes back over to where he left Ice Cream Kitty.

Leo can’t help but laugh at how excited Mikey is. He really should have done this sooner. He’s sure once Raph has a good meal and a decent night’s sleep, then things will start to return to normal. Leo is about halfway to Raph’s room when he realizes he should make sure that Mikey actually remembers what Raph’s favorite foods are, since the energetic turtle has a habit of getting everyone’s favorite foods confused with his own. However, Leo doesn’t even make it to the threshold of the kitchen before Ice Cream Kitty is in his way, hissing at him. Leo glances down and smiles. “Okay, I get it. You’re on guard duty, but since this was my idea I think you can let me in, right?”

Ice Cream Kitty shakes her head and hisses again. Leo rolls his eyes, but he knows better than to just step over her. After all, there are only so many times someone can be slimed with ice cream before he takes note of the situation. “Mikey, come here for a second.”

There’s a loud crash that makes Leo wince, but, before he can even ask if everything is alright, Mikey is standing before him covered from head to toe in -- what appears to be -- flour. “What do ya need, bro?”

“I just wanted to make sure that we’re clear that you’re making Raph’s favorite foods, and, you know,” Leo gives him a very pointed glare, “not your own.”

Mikey’s brow furrows with the accusation as he folds his arms over his chest. “I know and I’ve got this, dude. Now go keep Raph busy.”

Mikey gestures for him to leave, but Leo figures it’s probably best if they don’t leave their genius brother out of their impromptu surprise dinner. “Oh, and feel free to tell Don about this and get his help once he’s finished with…whatever he’s doing.”

Mikey nods as he once again shoves Leo in the direction of Raph’s room. “Yeah, I will, as soon as everything is ready, I’ll have Don help me set the table and stuff. Just make sure Raph stays out of the kitchen.” Mikey gives Leo one final push before returning to his task. Leo sighs heavily. He just wants everything to go smoothly today. They all deserve some down time and an actually edible meal. It’s been so long since they’ve gotten a chance to just chill and Leo desperately needs things to go back to normal, even if it is just so he can stop worrying so much.

Leo makes his way to Raph’s room, unsurprised to find the door shut tight. He knocks on the door, hoping that he isn’t interrupting something important. Although, Leo doesn’t know what he could possibly be interrupting, since he can’t hear the sounds of Raph working out or playing his drums. He can, however, hear Raph grumble as he makes his way over towards the door. When he opens it, Raph seems genuinely stunned to see Leo standing there, and Leo doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t think it should be that shocking for Leo to seek out his younger brother. “What’s going on?”

Leo’s brow furrows at the question. They haven’t been fighting recently, so, as far as he’s concerned, there’s no reason for Raph to be so on edge. It’s not as though he only comes to Raph’s room for patrol related reasons, except, as Leo thinks about it for a moment, he realizes maybe he does. He makes a mental note to work on that, but right now he has a bit of an agenda to deal with, so he smiles sheepishly and does his level best not to say anything too revealing. Raph always seems to know when Leo is lying, so he generally tries not to do so around his brother. “Um, I was wondering if I could hang out in here with you for a while. Mikey has the kitchen quarantined off with Ice Cream Kitty as his guard and Donnie is working on…something. I don’t know what, and I’d rather not end up in the crossfire when something inevitably explodes.”

Leo figures it should be a good enough excuse that Raph won’t want to go anywhere near the kitchen for the foreseeable future. Not to mention, it’ll give them a chance for some bonding time with each other. Raph stares at him for a long moment before he shrugs and moves aside to allow Leo into his room. “Why didn’t ya just go to your own room and meditate or something, like you normally do?” Raph’s tone is genuinely curious and not at all antagonistic, which leaves Leo at a loss for words.

He doesn’t really know what to say, so he just goes with the truth. “I just wanted to spend some time with you. You’ve been rather aloof lately.”

“No, I haven’t.” Raph responds swiftly with an air of tension.

Leo raises an eyebrow ridge at the rather defensive tone. “Sure, you have. You spend almost all of your time in here. Heck, I don’t even think you workout as much as you usually do, and when you aren’t in here you’re with Casey.”

Leo doesn’t even realize how accurate that is until he says it out loud, and then he just stares at Raph waiting for the inevitable explosion, because he’s sure this is bound to start a fight. He’s so damn livid with himself, because the last thing he wants to do is to have an altercation with Raph, especially when he’s spent so long worrying himself sick over his brother.

Raph clenches both of his fists tightly and Leo braces himself for the unavoidable yelling, but instead all Raph does is sigh heavily. He looks exhausted as he slumps down onto his bed, holding his head in his hands, and Leo just blinks rapidly at the unexpected response. “Yeah, I guess I have been spending a lot of time out with Casey lately, but I’m no more aloof than normal.” Raph glares; daring Leo to argue with him, but it just makes Leo want to smile. However, he’s fairly certain that it would actually start a fight if he did, no matter how much Raph is trying to control his rage.

Leo holds up his hands in the air as if trying to defuse the situation. If Raph is willing to put aside his temper and try to get along with him, then the least Leo can do is try to help. “Okay, but why have you been spending so much time with Casey lately? I mean, did…did we do something?”

Raph’s head snaps up and he stares at Leo as though he’s insane. “What? No, why would you think that?”

Leo just shrugs. He’s not used to Raph opening up this much, and that’s something else he promises himself he’s going to work on later. “I don’t know. I just feel like you’ve been avoiding us lately.”

Raph sighs heavily again as he rubs the back of his head. “I haven’t. It’s just…the lair is just so damn suffocating after spending so much time at the farmhouse, ya know? And the noise is driving me crazy. I mean, I know Mikey and Donnie are just as loud as they’ve always been and the sound reverberates off the walls and pipes the same way it always has, but it’s been making me loopy lately. I guess it’s because when we were at the farmhouse and Mikey was his normally obnoxious self, I could always just go outside. And Donnie was always in the barn tinkering with things, so the noise was a little less deafening then, but now…it’s just…”

Raph trails off seemingly at a loss for words and Leo just nods. He thinks he understands. The farmhouse was so quiet in comparison to the lair. It makes sense that Raph is having difficulty adjusting, especially since he found the lair’s atmosphere oppressive even before they stayed at the farmhouse. “You know, we can always go out into the sewers, if you’re feeling a little claustrophobic.”

Raph glares at him and growls. “I’m not afraid of small spaces, Leo.”

Leo holds up his hands again in a placating gesture. “I didn’t mean to imply that you were. It’s just…I know how stifling the lair can be, especially when compared to the woods, and I thought it might be nice to get out of here for a while. Besides, it’s not like we really want to be here for when Mikey destroys the kitchen or Donnie blows something up in his lab.”

Raph smirks slightly at the thought. “You do have a point.”

Leo gasps in mock shock and places a hand on his own chest over his heart. “You agree I have a point? I never thought I’d see the day. Can I get that in writing?”

Raph rolls his eyes as he practically shoves Leo out of the room. “Alright, Fearless, let’s go before you die of a heart attack.”

The two of them head out of the lair, steering clear of both the kitchen and the lab, and make their way for the sewer tunnels. Leo is a little concerned by how tired Raph seems, but he’s sure that some time away from the lair will be good for him. After all, it always has been before.

They aimlessly amble through the tunnels and Leo can’t help but wonder why they don’t do this more often. There’s no reason the two of them can’t explore the sewers more. After all, they used to do this all of the time when they were younger. Leo doesn’t really know what changed or why they stopped. All he knows is that some time after Master Splinter named Leonardo the leader his relationship with Raphael altered. Leo knows that part of it is his own fault. He knew that Raph was envious that he was named leader and, instead of ignoring that envy and helping his brother move past it, Leo used it against him, mocked him for it, and helped drive a wedge between them. He facilitated the creation of the chasm between them, and Leo honestly doesn’t remember why.

All he knows is that, ever since the farmhouse, the rift between them has seemingly dissipated, though Leo knows he has had very little to do with that. Instead of actively working with Raph to resolve their issues the way he has always desired; a three month coma, severe injuries, a missing sensei, and an alien invasion did the work for him. Leo honestly feels cheated. He may not know the reason that Raph has been trying so hard to control his rage lately, but Leo feels certain it has something to do with those three months he was unconscious and the subsequent weeks after when they believed their father was dead. Leo just wishes it hadn’t taken his utter failure and the near death of both their father and himself to calm his most aggressive brother.

Leo doesn’t know how long they’ve been trekking through the sewers, but as he swiftly glances around he can’t help but smile at where they’ve ended up. They haven’t been here in a long time, but it seems fitting that today of all days their wandering has brought them here. Leo turns toward Raph to see him leaning against the sewer wall. Leo can tell that he’s trying to appear relaxed, but he just looks thin and worn-out. “Are you okay?”

Raph raises an eye ridge at him. “Asks the turtle who’s been so lost in thought that he didn’t even notice we’ve been here for like five minutes.”

Leo rolls his eyes, choosing to let Raph have his fun and ignore the nagging feeling that something is wrong, because he knows that Donnie would have noticed if it was something serious. When they return to the lair, Raph will eat and sleep and things will be better. Leo is sure of it. In the mean time, he just has to keep calm and make sure that a fight doesn’t break out between the two of them. Leo is sure he’s accomplished more complicated things than this. He just can’t think of any right now.

“So, Mister We’ve-been-here-for-five-minutes, you feel like a swim?” Leo gestures to the giant pool of clean water in front of him. They used to come to this part of the sewer and swim for hours when they were children.

Raph smirks and shrugs. “Sure, why not?”

Leo grins evilly as he moves closer to his brother. “Good.” Before Raph can say or do anything, Leo pushes him into the water. It’s times like these that Leo is exceedingly pleased that his brilliant brother waterproofed their Tphones. Otherwise, he’d be getting an earful from Donnie once they returned.

He laughs as Raph breaks the surface, spluttering and glaring the whole time. “Leo, you dork! You know, you’re gonna pay for that.”

Leo is still laughing at the look on Raph’s face when his brother reaches up, grabs his foot, and drags him into the water. Leo breaks the surface with a wide grin and immediately splashes Raph in the face. His brother is winded with his laughter, but manages to create a fairly large wave with his hands in order to splash Leo back. From there, it’s an all out brawl to see who can create the biggest wave, neither one of them really winning, and, for once, neither caring, either. It isn’t long before the splashing contest loses its appeal and the two of them end up wrestling each other in an attempt to dunk the other into the water. Leo is surprised that he manages to push Raph under the water more than a few times, while Raph only manages to dunk him twice, but they’re both laughing and having fun so he thinks nothing of it.

It’s hours later when Leo decides it’s been long enough for Mikey to set everything up. He reluctantly gets out of the water and gestures for Raph to do the same. “We should probably head back. The others will be wondering where we got off to soon.”

Raph nods as he gets out as well. Leo can’t help but smile and chortle as Raph shakes like a dog to get the water off of him. “What do you think blew up first…the lab or the kitchen?”

Leo shrugs. “With our luck, both at the same time.” He really hopes that everything is going smoothly back home and that Mikey and Donnie have managed to have an explosion free day, but he knows better than to assume that that’s the case. Still, Leo’s sure that if anything truly disastrous had happened one of the two would have called him.

When the two of them enter the lair, Leo is far more relieved than he should be to find the place in one piece. They can both smell something amazing coming from the kitchen, and Leo can’t keep the grin off of his face. It seems that the other two managed just fine while they were gone. He knows he shouldn’t find that as surprising as he does, but well…New York’s mutant population isn’t the only reason they’ve all been so drained lately.

Raph sniffs the air before turning towards Leo. “Wait, that smells like chili. Why would Mikey make chili? He doesn’t even really like it, despite the fact that he’ll still eat it.”

Leo can’t help but roll his eyes as he snickers at the perplexed expression on his brother’s face. “Why don’t you just go ask him?”

Raph gives him a very suspicious glare, but doesn’t say anything as he heads towards the kitchen. Leo silently follows behind him with a knowing smirk that he can’t suppress even if he wants to. Raph stops dead as he enters the kitchen to see Donnie and Mikey standing in front a large pot on the stove arguing. “I’m telling you, Mikey; I don’t think it should be that thick.”

Mikey glares at Donnie as he rips the ladle out of the genius’s hand. “You might be the science-ie turtle, but I’m the cooking master, and, I’m telling you, it’s chili…not soup. Of course, it’s supposed to be that thick. Now, stop arguing and move!”

Raph stares dumbfounded for a long moment, and Leo has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from snorting at the expression on his most aggressive brother’s face. “Why is there chili?” The words seemingly tumble out of Raph’s mouth.

Leo’s actually fairly certain that he didn’t even notice that he asked the question out loud until Mikey spins around with a grin on his face. “I’m pretty sure we can’t have chili dogs without chili, bro.”

Raph blinks a few times, still seemingly lost and confused. “Why would we have chili dogs? I’m the only one who really likes ‘em.”

Leo snickers at that, but when Mikey launches himself at Raph and wraps his arms around him, Leo can’t help but laugh out right. “Dude, we’re having them because they’re your favorite, or, at least, we would be if somebody,” Mikey turns to glare at Donnie, “would stop arguing with me about the consistency of chili.”

Donnie holds up his hands in a mollifying gesture. “Fine, fine, I’m done arguing with the great cooking master.”

Mikey beams as he hops back over to the stove. “Great, ‘cause I need you to stir while I get the pretzel buns out of the oven.”

Raph stares in disbelief once more. “You made pretzel buns? I love pretzel buns!”

“No, duh! Seriously, bro, what kind of brother would I be if I made chili dogs without the pretzel buns? Honestly, and you guys call me the dumb one.”

Raph rolls his eyes, but there’s a rather large smile on his face, which actually has Leo relaxing quite a bit. Maybe this is all they really needed, after all. He reminds himself to thank both Donnie and Mikey for this later when Raph is out of ear shot. After all, his younger brother doesn’t exactly need to know exactly how troubled Leo has been about him as of late, anyway.

After Mikey takes the pretzel buns out of the oven, Raph points to an aluminum foiled plate that has been set off to the side. Leo didn’t even notice it before, but now that he’s seen it, he hopes that it’s what he thinks it is. “What’s that?”

Mikey grins brightly at him as he jumps between Raph and said plate. “That, my dear brother, is dessert. If you want to know what it is, here’s a hint, it’s your favorite.”

Raph’s eyes narrow for a second and Leo tries with all of his might not to snicker at his brother’s suspicious nature. “Wait, you don’t mean chocolate strawberry bread, do you?”

Mikey laughs as he glances over Donnie’s shoulder to check on the chili. “What else would I mean? It even has that glaze that you like.”

Raph glares at the room in general as though something is truly off, which makes Leo shake his head. He believes wholeheartedly that Raph shouldn’t be so wary just because they did something nice for him. “But the other two think it’s too sweet and no one likes seeing you on a sugar high.” Leo does his best not to cringe at the aforementioned sugar rush Mikey will undoubtedly suffer later. It’s worth it, though, especially if Raph actually eats more than a few bites of something.

“And yet, it remains your favorite, thus we made it for you.” Leo can tell that Donnie is rolling his eyes just from the tone of his voice, but he doesn’t comment on it.

Suddenly, the smile drops off of Raph’s face as he glares at all of them. “Okay, that’s it! What did you guys do?”

Leo blinks rapidly at Raph’s outburst, unsure of what he really expected when he came up with this idea, but this certainly isn’t it. “What do you mean?”

Raph turns his glare on Leo, who refuses to back away from his enraged brother. “You’ve spent all day with me, doing your best not to get into a fight with me, and these two,” Raph jabs his finger in the direction of the other two, “are working together to make my favorite foods. Obviously, one or all of you did something horrible and you’re just buttering me up before you tell me. So, come on, who was it and what did you do?”

Leo places both of his hands on Raph’s shoulders in an attempt to calm him down. “None of us did anything.”

Raph knocks both of Leo’s hands off of him and balls his hands into fists, clearly trying to keep himself from losing his temper completely. “I don’t believe you! This is some kind of trick.”

Raph is about to storm away, Leo can tell just by the way he squares his shoulders, but before he gets a chance Mikey forces Raph into another hug. “It’s not a trick. We just wanted to do something nice for you, since you’ve been so nice to us lately.”

Raph stares at them with an expression of utter confusion. “What are you guys talkin’ about?”

Donnie steps closer to Raph -- who’s still trapped in Mikey’s death grip of an embrace -- and places a hand on his shoulder. “We’ve all noticed how hard you’ve been working lately on trying to keep your rage under control and we wanted to show our appreciation. That’s all.”

Raph removes himself from Mikey’s embrace and takes a step back. “So, none of ya did anything to my room or anything, like that time Mikey filled my pillow case with cockroaches.”

They all shake their heads vigorously as Mikey sighs heavily. “How many times do I have to apologize for that?”

Leo knows exactly what to expect after that particular inquiry, and he knows better than to give either of the other two a chance to respond to it. “Mikey, shouldn’t someone be stirring the chili or something?”

Mikey’s eyes widen as he realizes no one is watching the still simmering food. “Right, you are, Leo!” He rushes over to the stove and immediately begins stirring the contents of the pot.

Leo just hopes nothing burned during Raph’s little outburst. He so desperately wants everything to go well tonight. “Is everything okay over there, Mikey?”

Mikey waves a hand as if to dismiss Leo’s unease. “It’s all good, bro. You guys should sit down. It’s almost ready.”