The final chapter of "Further Complications". All I will say is I hope you enjoy the chapter and all will be explained in the closing author's note, but I will respond to one particular review that was asking if the 'lone wolf' comment Leonardo made in the plot summary was foreshadowing to Kaito's mutation... and yes it was! And I want to congratulate them for being very sharp eyed. Well, enjoy!
We've been trying to find Kaito for the past two days, but he's still missing.
But I know he's out there. When I was out last night, I thought I heard a faint howling in the distance.
Karai just got suited up for tonight. I kept glancing at her and I saw her looking at the picture of Kaito she gave me that I put on my wall.
I know we are both Kaito's parents and even though I've known about him and been apart of his life for barely going on 7 months now, but I feel like I always have been even before I knew was here and I love him as any father would love their child. But in the back of my mind, I know parenthood is and should be a shared thing between two people, but I know that this is particularly hitting Karai the hardest.
She's his mother and she raised him, cared for him, and although she still isn't good with her feelings… she loves Kaito more than anything.
Also, I think even though Karai had her father around her whole life, it hasn't really seemed to have had an effect on her now that he was gone. But, she only recently admitted to me when I asked her if it was hard when we had to take her father down… she admitted to me that it probably should have been, but her father was never really much of a father to her to begin with. Even though he was there, she always thought that she was still alone in many ways.
Her father never showed any sign of love and affection with her. He basically just treated her as if she was just another one of his soldiers. I think that was probably another reason why it was hard for her to accept the fact that she loved Kaito… and even me.
Kaito was the only thing blood related to her that cared about her as much as she cared about him, in a way it was sort of just like what I tried to show her when we were younger but Karai just could never accept it until she had Kaito.
I walked over to her and put my hand on her shoulder. She glanced back at me, her expression was even but I could still see how unsettled she was as a mother just wanting her son back.
"He's out there. We're going to find him. I know.." I say.
I meant it. I wasn't going to stop until our son was found again.
We were all still split up looking for Kaito. Luckily everyone took the week off for spring break and even though we were back home; mom, dad, and I are still going out at night to search with everyone.
Well this is an interesting way to spend spring break.
Most people go to some beach out west or down south for spring break. But I think me spending my spring break seeing my grandfather's mortal enemy get electrocuted to the point of frying himself and searching for my mutant wolf cousin could one up anyone's spring break any day.
Ever since I found Kaito's yebira and yumi, I bring them out with me on patrol. I don't know why. I really suck at archery and I prefer close combat to long distance any day. But I just feel like maybe I'm superstitious, or totally crazy, and carry them around like lucky talismans, hoping they might lead us to finding where Kaito is.
I was literally looking everywhere.
But the only consolation was that we haven't heard about Kaito in the news. The last thing we need is top cover story being a teenage mutant ninja werewolf terrorizing people in New York. Like this city hasn't already had enough messed up crap happening to it.
I kept going along when all of a sudden I heard a huge crash up ahead.
I whipped my head in the direction of the noise when I looked into the alley and I saw… garbage? It was literally every garbage can overturned in the alley and trash was all over the ground.
I quirked an eyebrow up. "What the…" I was knocked down and pinned to the roof.
Oh… shit. Okay Molly, just keep your big, stupid mouth shut and don't freaking move.
Kaito had me pinned to the rooftop. I heard a low growl resonate in his throat as his eyes were burning with predatory and feral energy as he stared me down like I was some pacified deer, mere prey.
Well, never figured this was how I was going to die; scared shitless and pinned to a rooftop by my feral mutant cousin who looks like he wants rip out my throat, eat me, and pick my bones later.
Oh well, atleast I'll have an interesting obituary.
Also, on the upside I found Kaito… downside is he's going to kill me.
Well, goodbye wor… what?
All of a sudden Kaito started just… sniffing me? I just didn't move. I am literally paralyzed right now. I have no idea what the hell he's doing.
Why won't he just kill me already?! Is he playing with me or something?! I wish he would just do it already. Beats him stringing out my inevitable end at this point.
I was frozen as he just immediately stopped sniffing me and then looked at me. Then all of a sudden I was snapped out of it when his expression shifted and he started licking me like he was some over excited dog.
I probably would have been more relieved that he wasn't going to kill me if it weren't for one thing… his breath smelled like… ugh, garbage.
"Kaito! Kaito, off!" I reprimand and I realized that I was literally talking to Kaito like he was actually a dog. He backed away from me as I sat up and realized that not only now did I also smell like garbage too, but I was also covered in slobber.
"Ugh Kaito... sick." I say to myself as I tried to wipe some of the slobber off my hands and face.
I looked to my left and saw an arrow on the ground. It probably flew out when Kaito knocked me down. I picked it up off the ground while I kept trying to wipe Kaito's slobber off myself and right now feeling like I definitely needed a shower when I get home.
I was about to return the arrow to the yebira when I just heard Kaito panting rapidly about 6 feet away from me and I saw his tail waving around behind him, skimming along the surface of the rooftop like a windshield wiper. He was back on his haunches and his panting was still going as his eyes were locked in my direction.
I was wondering what the heck was going on with him… and mostly hoping he wasn't going to tackle me and slobber all over me again.
I proceeded to put the arrow away when I noticed his eyes moving when I kept moving my arm behind me.
I slowly put my arm down and his eyes followed. I kept moving my arm and his eyes kept following as he kept on panting and I could still smell the garbage on his breath from here. I kept looking between Kaito and the arrow until it finally clicked in my head… Oh no way.
It was the arrow.
I smiled as I got an idea and kept playing along and decided to see if it would work. "You want it, Kaito?" I say, slightly playfully. Again, I'm talking to my cousin like he was a dog. Then I chucked it to the next rooftop and… Oh no freaking way.
Kaito actually leaped over to the rooftop, picked it up in his mouth, came back to me, and then dropped it at my feet. His expression looking almost playful as he looked like he wanted me to throw it again.
Well, just when I thought tonight couldn't get anymore weird. But I just kept playing along, but I needed something more to buy me some time to call Uncle Leo and tell him that I found Kaito.
Then I took Kaito's yumi off my shoulder and I got an idea. Hey as long as no one gives me target, I can shoot an arrow.
I took the arrow and smiled as I said, "Alright Kaito, ready for a little more distance?" Ugh, I seriously feel like a total weirdo right now… eh, what am I gonna do?
My life's already so damn weird.
"Fetch." I say as I shot the arrow into the distance and Kaito took off after it.
Okay, time to call Uncle Leo.
I almost didn't believe it when Molly told me that she found Kaito, but to be honest I was even more surprised when all of us got there only to see her shooting one of Kaito's arrows and Kaito kept running off and fetching it repeatedly.
I just looked at Molly and she just said, "Please don't even ask." But I didn't care about that, the point was that we found Kaito.
That's all the matter to me right now.
We had to sedate Kaito so we could take him back to the lair and give him the dose of retromutagen Donnie thawed out for him.
We had to carry him so he was on one of Donnie's lab tables, which was pretty much a group effort, even with Raph doing most of the heavy lifting. Kaito was a huge wolf/human hybrid mutant and dead weight on top of that. He was really heavy.
Then I saw Donnie loading up the retromutagen into a syringe. The orange liquid in the tube glowing brighter and brighter to me as Donnie came closer. "Okay, just let me locate his jugular vein and we should be on track." Donnie said and then he eventually found the right spot in Kaito's neck and slowly injected the fluid into his system.
I glanced at Karai who was next to me, her eyes were completely locked on Kaito. I just looked down and grabbed her hand, but she still wasn't looking at me. I knew she just wanted Kaito back… and so did I.
At first nothing was happening, Kaito was just lying there. Then Kaito's body did a sudden thrash. It made me remember when I mutated from a humanoid turtle into a human. Although in Kaito's case he's mutating back into a human.
His body continued to contort as his form started to slowly shift back. The fur on his body shedding off in huge clumps on the floor. I heard the cracking of bones in his body that gave me a huge flashback to when that happened to me from my second mutation. I kept watching and feeling pained as he was shouting at the top of his lungs in pain.
It was ripping me apart on the inside to see my son in pain, but I knew this had to happen. I knew it was what had to be done to get my son back.
Then it all stopped and just collapsed back down on the table. I was slightly relieved that the pants from his uniform still hung in through his mutation and covered him enough so he wasn't... indecent.
Trust me, there's nothing weirder than mutating and coming out of your haze to see a bunch of people, even if they are your family, staring at you naked. Believe me, I know and so do my brothers.
I was slightly concerned when I didn't see him moving, but then I saw him suck in a sharp deep breathe before starting to pant in deep breaths and his eyes shot open as he started staring at the ceiling.
We didn't mean crowd him. But Karai and I couldn't stop ourselves from running right up to the table to be near him.
"Kaito... are you okay?" I was finally able to ask. He glanced at Karai and I and I was relieved to see his eyes back to what they were before.
"Mother… Father?... What happened?" He said as he slowly started to sit up, holding his hand on his head, still readjusting.
We knew Kaito probably had no idea what exactly went on. The mutagen probably completely warped his brain when he was mutated. Although it was clear he maybe vaguely recognized me and Karai, and even Molly earlier, you could tell his humanity was taken from him in his mutant state. He acted more like an animal rather than a human being.
So I just went on explaining to Kaito everything that happened when he was mutated.
Then he got a weird expression on his face as he started to scrunch up his nose slightly as he said, "Ugh, why do I have this weird taste in my mouth… ugh, it's like…" His eyes shot open as he looked at us and said looking completely disgusted and horrified, "Please tell me I didn't eat garbage."
That was when I heard Molly say, "Kaito, trust me. I'm sure you didn't." "Yeah dude, you're all cool." Mikey adds, smiling at him. I saw relief wash over Kaito's face as he rested his head on his knees, sighed and said, "Yes… thank you."
That was when I heard Mikey whisper extremely quietly to Molly, "He was totally eating garbage, wasn't he?" But Molly responded just as quiet so Kaito couldn't hear, "He doesn't have to know that."
I had to smile a little at how Molly and Kaito have a great bond between them. It just makes me feel really good about how everything has really turned out.
Maybe now… I can finally be with my family.
The next day
I just woke up again a little while ago.
Donatello, or Uncle Don to me I guess, told me ome of the side effects of retromutagen was drowsiness. At first I thought it was just an over exaggeration, but after I walked to the bathroom this morning and I passed out on my way there, I learned my lesson.
Besides, he is a doctor in something and a genius so maybe I should listen to him and believe him about this stuff. That and he is technically my uncle and I should show respect for his input.
So he's put me on strict bed rest for the next couple days while the mutagen works its way out of my system. I will admit I'm feeling a little bit stir crazy being confined to father's old room and not being allowed to get out into the sunlight, but it's not entirely too bad.
I've been reading lots of comics between my passing out episodes.
Then I heard knocking on my door before it just opened. Molly came in, her expression even as she said, "Hey, I got your weird soda that you like." Then she tossed me a bottle. I smirked as I sat up and cracked open the bottle and said, "Thanks." I took a sip and I felt my eyes rolling to the back of my head.
Ugh, that's nectar.
"And some more of your fix." She adds and then I almost dropped my soda bottle when this plastic grocery bag hit me in the gut. I swore my face almost split in half when I saw that it was literally loaded with candy.
"You're a freaking life saver. I feel like I haven't had sugar in days." I say. What can I say? Sugar's my vice, not proud of it, but I don't care.
"Thanks, what's with the sudden offerings? Part of a get well package or something?" I joke with a smirk. Then I just saw guilt go over Molly's face.
I quirked an eyebrow at her as I put my bag on the floor and said, "What's up?" "Well, you know. Paying the price for you saving my sorry butt back there. You know just part of me acting like a dirty coward." She says, still looking pained. I knew what she was talking about. "Molly, you weren't a coward and you don't owe me anything. Maybe if I did that for some stranger… but you're part of an exception." I say.
"How am I an exception?" She says rolling her eyes.
"Because we're family... and let's face it, I'm pretty sure if that were me back there, you would've done the same thing." I say, knowing that I was saying the truth.
Before I knew about any of my true background, I had no friends… or even a family, but now I do. Especially when it comes to Molly. I think of her as the thing I never had, a friend… a cousin.
Someone that actually knew what it was like to be me and vice versa for her. We both understand each other and we have a bond that goes down much deeper than blood... and that's what makes me really appreciate having that.
I saw Molly smile at me as she said, "Well, you got me there." We both let out a laugh. "You know, before the whole me mutating thing, we were making a pretty good team back there." I say.
I meant that completely. Molly is the only person I met my age that I see as a complete equal to me and back there, when we were finally fighting together on the same side, we were a great team in combat.
I saw a smirk cross her face and she crossed her arms as she replied, "So you don't mind sharing the beat down of an opponent with me?" I smirked as I stood up and walked over to her as I said, "With my cousin… I'd share that honor any day."
We both grinned at each before Molly held out her hand to me. I grabbed her hand before we both pulled each other in for a hug.
Hey our relationship may have started out totally awkward because of me, but I'm glad with how everything turned out now.
That I finally feel like I belong.
2 years later
"Leo, you need get going downstairs, Kaito and Molly are already down there." Karai tells me making her way down the hall. "On my way down. Are you coming?" I say as I started to head for the stairs. "I'll be there after I check on her." She replies as she continues to walk down the hall.
As I walked down stairs to the dojo, I couldn't stop thinking about all that's happened to me in the last 2 years. Well, it all started after we were able to unmutate Kaito.
After that whole situation, everything started to finally settle down, well settle down as much as things can for our group.
After the police made an investigation of the warehouse fire where we all faced off against the Shredder, they found… what was left of him and they pinned the whole incident on him and determined his cause of death as an accident, Karai inherited everything.
But Karai immediately wanted nothing to do with it. I just remember her doing everything possible to get rid of everything that had to do with her father, either selling or disposing of almost everything she inherited.
I especially remember her walking in one day and then she had an intense look in her eyes as she looked at me and said, "I want to make one thing clear right now. I never want to hear the Foot Clan or anything about my past mentioned ever again."
I knew what she meant though. I knew she just wanted basically a fresh start for herself and just leave the past in the past. But I didn't know how serious she was about it until later that day.
We were in my room, or our room at that time, and I was still just completely content with finally having her be with me, but then she looked at me with absolute seriousness as she told me that she was ready.
At first I had no idea what she was talking about, until it finally hit me... She was saying she was ready to marry me. I was confused and when I asked her if she was seriously ready and when she told me she was, I literally thought I was going to explode.
But I think this was also just a part of her finally wanting to move on and that she was finally ready to be with me on the highest level possible for two people.
It was just a small thing when we got married, but I just didn't care. The day Karai and I finally got married was, still is, and always will be the greatest thing that I have ever had happen to me in my life.
But it wasn't just Karai who was throwing her past behind her, it was Kaito too. Especially when a little before we planned to get married when he told us that he wanted to take my last name, which was also what happened with Karai when we got married.
Like I said, it was a clean slate for both of them and I think that was the reason Karai wanted to stay in New York. There were too many memories and nothing left for her back in Japan and she just wanted to start a new life in New York with me.
Then when we finally got married, I still wanted one particular Japanese custom associated with our wedding that Master Splinter helped me with. After our wedding; which was a completely baseline, informal thing with basic vows, rings, and marriage certificate at city hall; I asked Master Splinter if he could give us a traditional Japanese blessing and then it ending in Karai and I sharing a small glass of sake to seal our marriage in a spiritual way. It was something I really wanted us to do.
Out of all my brothers, I was the one that was the most attached to Japanese customs that we picked up from Splinter and I can even speak and write in Japanese the best out of all my brothers.
Also both Karai and our son are Japanese and were raised with Japanese customs and I want to keep that aspect in my lifestyle with my family, especially now that our family is no longer just the three of us.
There was one night when I just decided to put an... idea out on the table. I love Kaito and I love that I am able to be the father figure in his life now, but I am not going to lie when I say that wasn't going to fight the concept of having more children, or at least one more.
I liked being a father and I at least wanted one more child and to give Kaito a sibling.
It took about 6 months but then she finally said she was ready for it… and now we have our daughter.
One thing we were trying to figure out for a while was a name for her, once we knew we were having a girl. We wanted her to have Japanese name like her brother and even though Karai told me her giving Kaito a "K" name was just coincidence, I wanted to just keep the "K" name thing with our daughter and eventually we agreed on a name, Kaya.
Her name is actually really fitting for her. Her name comes from the phrase 'resting place' and she is a pretty quiet and content girl so far. Karai told me that we were lucky she wasn't like Kaito when he was a baby, who she told me was not good with sleeping through the night, but Kaya's been fairly good in that respect so far, though she has her moments too.
At first I thought it was going to mean a big adjustment for Kaito, but I can see that he enjoys being an older brother, even if the age difference is 15 and a half years between them.
He offers to help with her a lot and I see him just kind of carrying her around sometimes or just holding her and then Karai telling me that he didn't get those instincts from her, which makes me laugh.
But that wasn't all that happened in two years.
We moved out of the lair a little before Kaya was born and all of us wanted to adapt to a life on the surface, although Kaito and Molly still like to hang out down there sometimes.
I didn't know what to do for a job and neither did Karai. The only thing we really knew was ninjutsu and Karai knew how to run business affairs from… past experience, so we decided to just put it into something we knew.
We found this building that actually used to be a dance studio with two divided rooms with a really good amount of space and the fact that it had a duplex type system with an apartment above it was what really sold it for us. So we revamped the place and created our own martial arts dojo, that we're actually just opening up today with our first set of classes.
Also, with Molly and Kaito both being 16 now, I gave them jobs to work at the dojo and I'm putting them in charge of the younger level classes. I trust them enough to do it, they've both been training long enough to know what to do to teach to their students.
Especially now that Raph and I decided to take a step back from patrolling at night. It was a little harder for Raph, but Molly and Kaito are both 16 and they've been doing really well keeping the streets clean and Raph and I were able to respect that they need space, although Raph and I still join them once in a while if we aren't too busy.
But both of them have done really well and it's nice to see them both getting along well and Molly finally looking like she belongs at family get togethers with Kaito there now.
I walked out into the dojo and looked out over the group. They all went silent as they looked up at me.
I smiled as I started, "Hello and welcome to your first day in training. My name is Leonardo Hamato, but you all can call me sensei. I'm going to teach you all the basics of being a martial artist. But this isn't something to take lightly. Being a successful martial artist takes hard work, dedication, perseverance… and if you are all willing to go through with those expectations… then I'll be glad to teach you from everything I learned from my training in the past 31 years. For those of you 14 to 18, you'll be with me and/or my wife who should be down here later, and the rest of you will be with my son and niece, Kaito and Molly. Good luck everyone." I say.
At this moment all I could do was think back to the time before I was a human.
I was a mutant thinking that I was just going to be spending my whole life away from society and being content with it. Now I am actually living the life I always wanted. I'm married to the woman I love, I have a family of my own, and I get to pass on my skills in martial arts to others for a living alongside my wife.
I can safely say that although my life was anything but uncomplicated, I finally ended up with all I could want in the end.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the final chapter of the series… or is it? Well, I've been hearing many reviews asking about a fourth story and if there was going to be one and I'm going to finally give you an answer. Yes, there is a fourth story and I am actually going to post the first chapter for it tomorrow. The story is going to be called "Summation Situation" and will start out with a T rating just to give a heads up. I will say that the story will be more of a spin off and focus more around Kaito and Molly's life as the newest generation of vigilantes, but there will still be Leorai and Raph and Mona in it as well. But all will be explained in the first chapter of "Summation Situation". Thank you all so much for everything and I hope to see what you all think of the newest story. Stay classy everyone!