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In the Ungodly Hours of the Morning

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“Insomnia is a bitch.”

Donnie looks up at Leo when he says that, but the younger turtle isn’t looking at him. He's staring at the wall in front of them, eyes tracing over the grooves in the brick, the detail in Mikey's “NEON LEON” graffiti job, the box turtle’s first ever commission. Leon had given him one hundred and fifty dollars for it, and he doesn’t regret it to this day. 

“You deal with it often?” the softshell asks quietly, readjusting so Leo can more comfortably wrap his arm around him. His cheek is squished against the slider’s shoulder, bandana-free eyes staring down at Leo's pink bedsheets. 

“...Yeah. It's fine, though, I sometimes get a nap in during the day.” 

Donnie doesn't answer. He hadn't been surprised when he'd ventured into Leo's room after a night terror and seen the slider was still awake, his eye mask pushed up on his forehead. All the Hamatos know he's often up at ungodly hours of the night, sometimes playing the Switch or watching a movie on his phone on mute in the living room, sometimes staying in his room all night. 

“So,” the slider tries after they sit in silence for a bit, “you wanna talk about it?”

Images flash in Donnie's mind. The Shredder’s claws, blood, pain

“N-No.” 

“Hm.”

As the purple-loving turtle digs his face deeper into the younger’s shoulder, hiding his tears, he remembers how different Leo is at this time. When the Lair is dead quiet, other than the constant hum of Donnie’s lab, and the striped turtle isn't as… goofy, for lack of a better term. If it were the middle of the day and their home were bustling, Leo would be bugging him to spill, accompanied by some lame puns and a lot of poking.

Now, he has the sense to not push. Maybe because he wouldn’t want to be pushed right now. Donnie knows insomnia isn’t the only thing that keeps his brother up sometimes.

His thought process is interrupted when he feels a slight twinge in his shell, and he gasps sharply. Leo wordlessly pulls him tighter to him, making sure not to touch the healing scratches on his elder twin’s shell. 

“Sorry I wasn’t there,” is all he says, still not looking at Donnie. 

The softshell crosses his arms, sniffing once as a stray tear lands on Leo's bicep. “Don’t be. You were getting that collar, your plan helped us stop him. He'd probably still be around if you hadn't gone to Big Mama.” 

“...Hm,” the slider says again. 

Maybe he's too tired to try and argue right now, Donnie thinks. 

“I'm glad you had your Battle Shell on.”

“Me too…”

Silence again. Man, they need to talk more, the softshell thinks, shrinking a bit at the realization. 

“Wanna try and get back to sleep? You can stay in he—” Leo starts. 

“I'll stay.”

Leon nods, not surprised, then grabs his blanket with his free hand and drapes it over both of them. 

He finally looks down at his brother when he hears quiet snores, smiling just a bit.