Mike12 sat heavily on the sofa and tried not to start crying again. His face was all scrunched up with the effort, and he tried in vain to stop the sobs escaping.
"You okay, Mikey?" Leo12 sat beside him, watching his younger brother with a concerned expression.
"I feel I'm in over my head." Mike12 explained, trying unsuccessfully not to hiccup. "I don't know if I can do this."
"It's okay, Mikey. I know how that feels." Leo12 sighed and sat back on the sofa. He draped an arm over his brothers shoulder and relaxed as he waited for a reaction.
"You do?" Mike12 was distracted in disbelief, looking wide-eyed at his older brother and waiting for a story.
"Yes, I feel like that all the time." Leo12 sighed and stared at the ground. "I mean, I thought leadership would be just like it is on TV. Captain Ryan has always been my inspiration. I wanted to be just like him. I found out the hard way that life doesn't work like a TV show."
"You find being leader hard?" Mike12's eyes grew wider with the realisation. "You don't seem like you're finding it tough."
"That's because you guys are relying on me not to fall apart." Leo12 explained. "If I let myself worry about failing, I wouldn't be able to make half the decisions I make. I have to let the fear go and hope I do good."
"How do you let the fear go?" Mike12 asked, hanging on every word.
"I have to remind myself that I do a much better job when I'm not stressed about failing. If I get scared, my judgement is impaired and I make mistakes. I have to focus and let it slip away. Master Splinter once said that fear is only useful to your enemy. He said it will destroy you if you let it in. It grows slowly and turns into an invincible beast." Leo12 gripped his younger brother's shoulder. "Don't let it take over, Mikey. Fight it."
Mike12 took a few deep breaths. His brother was right. Fear was making him useless. It didn't matter whether he was pivotal to the plan or not. He had to get himself in hand. Right now.
He smiled brightly at Leo12 and wiped his eyes. "Thanks, bro. I think I've fought the beast."
Leo12 grinned. "How'd it go?"
"I won. Beast is dead. Fear is still there, but not as bad as before. Let's get this party started." Mike80 got to his feet and cracked his knuckles. "I want to go release some hot nunchuk fury!"
Leo12 stood up. He grinned. "Time to go slay the bad guys and save the multiverse!"
"Erm, Leo?" Mike12 winced a little. "Enough with the speeches, okay? They make you sound silly."
"Do not! I think that crack I made about Old Mother Hubbard was first class." Leo12 winked at Mike12. "Let's get ready, bro. It's gonna be a long day."