tired heart, exhausted mind (TMNT 2012 fic)
Summary: Try harder, Leo had said. Donnie’s tired of trying. Set after ‘The Fourfold Trap.’ Donnie appreciation fic, because I’m bitter. B Team brotherly love.
Read it on AO3.
Leo’s voice is still echoing in Donnie’s head, long after they’ve returned home after escaping the traps Karai led them into. He should be resting; his head aches and his body is sore, but he can’t get Leo’s voice out of his head and he’s furious.
Try harder. Like Donnie wasn’t already trying. Like he didn’t already contribute so much to the team. Like he didn’t spend weeks getting no sleep and ingesting more coffee than is recommended to improve their lives. He builds things, things they can use in the field, things that make it safer for all four of them in the field and have assisted them more times than he can count.
And Leo still tells him to try harder.
Donnie’s tired of trying. It’s always on him to figure out the answer. He’s the one who had to figure out the formula to retromutagen and he’s still the only one who can make it. He’s the one who created the Turtle Mech, and even after Mikey’s concoction messed with his head, he’s still the one who had to defeat the Creep.
(Granted, that wasn’t entirely his brothers’ fault, but he’s bitter. Sue him.)
And after all his work, after weeks of experiments and disappointing results, Splinter just magically had the answer with the Healing Hands mantra. He’s had that hidden up his sleeve, for who knows how long, despite every time Donnie and his brothers have been hurt, and maybe there was something Donnie was missing, some sort of requirement that had to be fulfilled before you could use it, but it would have been nice to know about. They could have worked towards it.
Leo can do it now. Which, of course, negates all of Donnie’s medical research and what he’s taught himself. And maybe he’d be grateful, except that Leo seems to think Donnie doesn’t do enough for the team.