Donatello's eyes cracked open to meet with the pitch late night darkness of his room.
He sighed. It was yet another night of wakeful sleeping. He rolled on his side to see his youngest brother, Mikey, lying on his back next to him and snoring lightly.
“No wonder I can't stay asleep,” He thought.
He groaned and rolled over on his stomach. Maybe a change in position could help him get to sleep. He shut his eyes and snuggled as close to his blankets as his flesh would allow.
After several minutes of shifting and readjusting, Donnie still had no luck getting back to sleep. He glanced out of his open door and saw it again: a faint light shining from somewhere off in the lair. He had seen it every night for the past week around the exact same time.
He sat up and stared at it. Where was it coming from? He couldn't tell. Perhaps one of his brothers had been getting up to go the bathroom every night around this time? Couldn't be Mikey, though. He was right there.
The curious little turtle threw his blankets off of himself and trudged off toward the mysterious light. He made certain to be extra quiet so as not to wake anyone or be caught snooping around, lest he could get into trouble.
He went to the spot on the floor which the light shined on. He was surprised to see how faint it actually was even up close.
He followed it with his eyes, looking ahead to see where it was coming from: the dojo. Maybe it was Splinter, but what would he be doing up so late?
He crept into the dojo, beginning to question whether or not he should return to bed. Though it could mean trouble, his curiosity just wouldn't allow it.
There in the middle of the room sat his father surrounded by several candles, his back turned to the doorway.
Donnie walked cautiously toward Splinter. “Daddy...” he hesitated.
Splinter did not move, but said, “Donatello, what are you doing awake?”
“I-I couldn't sleep.”
Splinter finally turned and looked at his son. He gestured for him to sit in his lap. “Come, my son.”
Without further hesitation, Donnie complied and crawled into his father's lap.
“Is there something trouble you?” Splinter asked.
Donnie shook his head. “Not exactly,” he said. “I just keep waking up in the middle of the night. I think it's because of Mikey's snoring.”
Splinter chuckled. “Well I don't believe there's anything I can do about that. I have tried turning him over onto his side, but he just winds up on his back again.”
“Is Mikey's snoring keeping you up too? Is that why you're sitting in here?”
Splinter smiled and ruffled Donnie's head. “No, my son. I am in here because I'm meditating.”
“Well, how come you always do that?”
“It allows me to gather my thoughts and relax,” Splinter explained.
“Oh...” Donnie wasn't certain if he understood or not, but pretended that he did.
Splinter shook his head. “I choose to do this the most when you boys are asleep. That way I do not have to worry about what you are doing.”
Donnie cocked his head.
“Though, ironically, you boys are my main thoughts when I am meditating,” Splinter went on.
“Yes,” Splinter replied. “I meditate on each of you; all your individual traits that I love and how far each of you have come since the day our family began. These are things that make me feel peaceful.”
Donnie leaned in and rested his head on his father's chest.
“Were you thinking of me when I came in?”
Splinter held him a little tighter. “As a matter of fact, I was.”
“Really? What were you thinking about?”
“I was thinking about how exceptionally you have been doing with your schooling. I am very proud of you, Donatello.”
Donnie gave him a sleepy grin. “I like learning.”
“I know you do, my son, and you are quite a pleasure to teach,” he laughed. “I just wish you were that eager to eat your meals.”
“Your brother, Michelangelo, is the exact opposite. Getting him to eat his meals is no problem at all, but getting him to focus on his schooling is quite a challenge.”
Donnie shrugged. “Mikey likes to eat, but he's kind of a dummy.”
“Now, now,” Splinter scolded, “your brother is not a 'dummy'. He just has a bit of an overactive imagination. Maybe you could help him?”
“Well I help him sometimes,” Donnie added.
“Yes, you do and I am very proud of you for that, but maybe if you two sat down together sometime you could have a better breakthrough,” Splinter suggested.
Donnie sighed. “Maybe, but he'd probably just wanna play.”
Splinter chuckled. “Not if I tell him that he must listen.”
Donnie yawned. “What other things do you think about me?”
“Well, how you interact with your brothers and they with you,” Splinter replied. “You and Leonardo have quite a few things in common. The two of you seem to very much enjoy eachother's company. You seem to butt heads with Raphael quite a bit. You take a lot of interest in education and Raphael lacks motivation in that respect and you seem to like insulting one another for those things.”
“He calls me a nerd,” Donnie defended.
“Yes and you call him unintelligent,” Splinter countered. “However, you are both wrong. But although you fight and pick at one another, I know you love each other. You only fight because you care for each other.”
“I guess that's true...”
“Michelangelo really looks up to you,” Splinter went on. “Although you are opposite in many ways, the two of you share a passive-aggressive nature.”
Donnie yawned again. “That's true,” he agreed. “He just gets on my nerves sometimes.”
Splinter chuckled. “Well, that is what brothers do, my son.”
“Daddy...” a small, pouty voice said from behind the two.
He smiled. “What is it, Michelangelo?”
Mikey stepped around the candles, dragging his blanket. “I woke up and Donnie wasn't there. I got scared and couldn't go back to sleep.”
Splinter gestured for him to sit on his lap as well and Mikey did so without hesitation.
“Sorry, Mikey,” Donnie said, “I couldn't sleep either so I came in here.”
“Well I believe it is way past time for the two of you to be getting back to sleep,” Splinter said. “Michelangelo, will you be alright if Donatello goes back to bed with you?”
“Alright,” Splinter held them both close to him and carried them back to their bed. He tucked them both in and kissed them good night for the second time. “I love you both.”
“Love you too,” they said in unison.
With that, Splinter returned to his quarters.
Donnie turned over to Mikey and grinned. “We really need to get you a night light or something.”
“Who needs a nightlight when I have a big brother?”