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Example #5: This is an example that has been largely and very sadly glossed over either due to paying attention to Leo/Raph bonding or getting after Donnie for his earlier concerns of April being alone with Casey and the ‘chinchilla’ comment. So in the third act of ‘Within the Woods’ Donnie, Mikey, April, and Casey witness The Creep drain Raph of his mutagen and are helpless to do anything about it. Donnie is absolutely horrified. Look at the first pic, you can see the horror in his eyes. When you watch the episode, you hear Donnie repeatedly say no before calling out Raph’s name in complete and utter horror. Then Raph’s a plant and while Mikey flips out, Donnie is still and just keeps looking at his now plantitized brother, just like he did with injured Leo.

Speaking of Leo, when they all hear Leo cry out to lure The Creep out, it gets Donnie to lift his head up. He realizes that Leo came, but he also knows that Leo is in no shape to fight and his condition could get worst. Plus he has now way of knowing if the cries for help were real or not, so that scares him. Listen when he says Leo’s name, he’s scared for him. He doesn’t want anything worse to happen to his big brother, especially now that they lost Raph. Luckily Leo lasts and gets them all freed, but until then Donnie was filled with fear and concern.

Then we get the ending. Everyone glosses over this part and it makes me super sad. So Donnie thinks that he can maybe restore Raph, but as Leo questions this Donnie admits that he isn’t for sure if he can. You can see that doubt and worry on his face. He pretty much failed to help Leo and his mutagen medicine caused The Creep to happen and caused Raph to get turned into a plant. In essence, all of this was his fault. Then in the first pic int he fourth row, you still see the worry on Donnie’s face. He only perks up once Raph’s eyes are fully open and it’s clear that he’s back to himself and you can SEE the relief in his expression. April then informs Raph that Donnie spent the entire night working to save him. The second that she mentioned Leo though, everyone forgot about this. Yes it was super sweet that Leo returned Raph the favor by never leaving his side, but Leo just sat there while Donnie actually worked to fix the problem. He spend an entire night to save his brother with no sleep or breaks in between. He only had an old IV to work with and manged to use it to restore Raph to himself. 

It really upsets ,e that everyone, both in canon and out, forgot about this and Donnie does this kind of thing ALL THE TIME. But no, we gotta get after him because he was afraid of April and Casey making out which maybe it was inappropriate at the time, but other than the chinchilla comment once Raph got found, all of his attention went onto him. He worked all night to save Raph even when he wasn’t sure if there was anything that he could do and everyone forgot all about it. Because apparently Donnie can only be defined by his love for April.

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Example #4: This is probably the biggest ‘Donnie loves his brothers’ instant that I can bring up. During ‘The Invasion’ he wanted to fight the Kraang with his mech, Leo wanted to get out of the city to be ready to fight better. They argued and as a result, the Kraang invaded while the guys were unprepared and it led to Leo getting beaten senseless and near death. I didn’t get all the pics I wanted to get in, so I’ll explain every single reason why I have this included.

First, upon being separated from Leo and Mikey being unable to reach him, Donnie immediately felt guilty for not listening to him from the start and was worried about hat may have happened to him. Then when Leo got tossed int he window, Donnie was so shocked he was more or less frozen in place until the Foot moved in and he was so angry he threw his staff through a Foot Bot with the blunt end straight through the head. Then he decided to follow Leo’s original plan and leave New York after getting supplies and finding Splinter, only changing his mind when Shredder seemingly drowned Splinter and April, Raph, and Mikey all agreed to wanting to end things. At the end when everything failed, Donnie wrapped Leo in an army blanket, could only apologize for not listening in the first place, and his eyes barely wavered off of him even when April tried to assure everyone that she knows where they can hide.

Now moving on to ‘Within the Woods’. You’re probably wondering why I have shots of Donnie leaving the bathroom, huh? Let me explain, you can see how sad and guilt-ridden Donnie still is. He felt so terrible and it was so hard for him to see Leo motionless and practically dead that he couldn’t stand it. Instead he chose to try and attempt to do something to make it better by making a medicine for his older brother to speed up the recovery process. And he was so desperate to help him and ease his suffering once he was awake that he turned to mutagen to do it. No he didn’t sit in the bathroom for those three months, but while Raph just waited for something to happen, Donnie took the steps to actually help Leo once he was awake and while it arguably just made things worst, it’s the thought and intent that matters. He loves Leo, so much that he turned to a dangerous substance to attempt to help him. That’s how much he cares about him.