A/N: Thank you all for the wonderful reviews! They are warming my heart.

Splinter stared at him for a long moment, processing what he'd said. "You are saying that Samantha is Rocksteady's sister?"

"Yes, Master." Leo didn't dare lift his head for fear of the disappointment in his father's eyes.

"And you have known about this for several days?"


Splinter sighed. He understood now why Leonardo had been acting so odd the past few days. He lifted the turtle's chin with a finger. "I have no punishment to give worse than you have already given yourself."

Leo blinked in surprise. "But…she's Rocksteady's sister. And he worked for the Shredder and-"

"I cannot judge Samantha on the actions of others, be they relatives or not. I can only judge her on her own merits." Splinter smiled warmly. "And I find those exceedingly good. She has a kind heart and a strong will. These are worthy characteristics, my son."

"Then I haven't dishonored you?"

Splinter's smile grew. "You cannot dishonor me by falling in love. Now go, she needs you."

Leo smiled tentatively, his eyes glistening with unshed tears of gratitude. "Thank you, Master Splinter." He bowed low and then headed back to the bedroom. His brothers were gathered at the foot of his bed and he gave them a smile as well. Things were going to get better from here. They had to. "Hey, guys. I'm sorry about the last few days. I haven't been myself."

"Yeah, we noticed." Raph pointed out, but there was no malice in his tone.

Sams' eyes fluttered open and Leo quickly stepped to her side, sitting on the side of the bed. He leaned over, smiling. "Hey."

She smiled up at him. "Leo." Wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face in it, she shuddered.

He held her tight, drawing in the vanilla scent of her hair. "It's alright. I've got you, sweetheart."

"You came looking for me." She said softly.

Digging his fingers into her curls, he drew in a deep breath at the pain in her voice. "Of course I did. When he told me what was happening. I had to. I had to see you." He leaned back cupping her cheek gently. She flinched and he frowned. "Does it hurt?" She gave a small nod.

"I'll get you an ice pack." Mikey scurried away to dig one out of the freezer. Samantha blushed a bit, finally noticing her surroundings and the three brothers watching them.

"I'll get you something to drink and some aspirin." Raph headed for the first aid kit.

"I need to get something to wrap that wrist with too. I'll be right back." Don left in the same direction as Raph.

When they were gone, Leo eased Sams back onto her pillow. He looked away shamefully. "I'm sorry for what I did. I can't expect you to give up your family any more than I can my own." He finally looked back at her with pleading eyes. "Please forgive me."

She lifted her uninjured hand to wrap it around his neck and pull him down into a passionate kiss. Her fingernails dug into the base of his neck as his arms slid beneath her, encircling her in warmth and strength. His body was on fire as her tongue wrestled with his, expressing everything she couldn't put into words. At last he pulled away panting. She chuckled. "Does that answer your question?"

He smiled. "Yes, more than enough."

Her hand slid from his neck to his cheek. Her gaze held hope and pain, when she spoke. "I love you, Leo. Let's not ever do that again."

He turned his head to kiss her palm. "Never ever again." His smile widened and there was a sparkle in his eye. "I love you too, Cupcake."

She tried to smile as well, but ended up grimacing as it hurt her face. Mikey appeared with the ice pack. "Here, dudette."

"Thank you, Michelangelo." She took it gratefully, pressing it against her bruising face.

"Here you go." Raph appeared carrying a glass of water and two pills, which Leo took. He lifted an eye ridge at them. "Cupcake?" Leo shot him a glare, but his brother shrugged. "Sorry, couldn't help but overhear."

"It's a nickname my brother gave me a long time ago." Sams took the cup and pills from Leo, downing them in a few gulps.

"Your brother?" Don appeared on Leo's side of the bed with the bandage for her wrist. As he began the process of wrapping her injury, Leo sighed.

"You better sit down guys. We have a story to tell you and you may not believe a lot of it." His gaze met Sams. "But it's all true."

A little while later they sat about the room in silence. Finally, Raph spoke. "Man, that is just hard to wrap my head around. From what we know of Rocksteady, you two are nothing alike."

"He's been on the Shredder's team for a long time, Sams." Don explained softly. "We're just not used to thinking of him as anything other than a bad guy."

"Yeah, no wonder Leonardo's been in such a funk the last few days." Mikey mumbled.

"You may know him as Rocksteady and by what he is now. But to me he's Joey. He saved me, protected me, and gave me a chance to be what I am now." Samantha looked down at her hands and Leo covered them with one of his. She met his gaze. "Was he…was he okay?"

Leo sighed. "Yeah, he was still a little upset when we left, but other than that he was fine."

"I want to see him."

Leo gave a small nod. "Okay, but for now you need to rest." He gestured to his brothers and they filed out of the bedroom area. He kissed her brow. "When you wake up, we'll see what we can do."

When the knock came on the warehouse door, Bebop hurried to answer it. He was only slightly surprised to see Sams and the turtles. He stepped back allowing them in. "Hey, Rocksteady!"

Across the room, he looked up from his plate, where he'd been pushing around his food. His eyes lit up as his sister approached. "Sams!"

She hugged him. "I was worried about you. Are you okay?"

She released him and he frowned down at her. "I'm fine. But you…" He ran a finger across the bruise on her cheek. "I'm sorry. I never wanted him to touch you again."

"I know. It's okay."

She smiled and his gaze fell to her wrist still wrapped in the tight bandage. He lifted her hand gently. "I'm sorry about this too. Does it hurt?"

She shook her head. "No, not much."

Leo, who was standing just behind her, frowned. "What do you mean? Did you do that to her?" Rocksteady lowered his head and Leo took a step forward, grabbing his shirt front. "Did you!"

Samantha stepped between them, a firm hand on Leo's chest. "It was an accident. We were arguing. You should know by now he would never intentionally hurt me."

Leo didn't know that for certain. He'd only seen the siblings interact for a few minutes at a time. He released Rocksteady, but continued to glare at him. The mutant sighed. "I didn't mean to. Sometimes I don't know my own strength."

Leo's frown turned from one of anger to one of pity. He could see how the idea of hurting Sams caused his old foe pain. He sighed, slipping his arm around Sams' waist. "So, what do we do now? You guys can't go around the city robbing banks and making trouble."

Bebop snorted. "So, how exactly are we supposed to survive? There ain't no jobs for mutant warthogs and rhinos out there." He lifted an eyebrow. "Unless you know somethin' we don't?"

Raph folded his arms. "Sorry, bub, but we don't even know of any for turtles."

Rocksteady sighed. "Even if we could find somethin', nobody'd hire us. Not with our records."

"Actually, your last arrest as Joseph Riggs was when you were only seventeen." Don pointed out. "And those records are sealed in the juvenile system. You haven't been arrested for anything since then, have you?"

Rocksteady and Bebop exchanged looks. Bebop shook his head. "Not under our real names."

"Then no employer can find that information out." Don assured them.

"Still don't matter. I mean look at us, we're worse freaks than you four." Rocksteady turned away from Sams as she reached for him.

"He does have a point. They did scrap the bottom of the ugly barrel when it came to you two." Raph commented, gaining a glare from Leo.

Turning his attention back to Rocksteady, Leo couldn't help but tense slightly at what he was about to propose. "So, if you two were normal humans again, would that mean you'd go straight?"

"It'd be hard." Rocksteady turned meeting Sams' gaze. "But I'd do it for you, Cupcake."

Bebop sighed. "Yeah, it would be nice to see my mom again. I ain't wanted show up and scare her loookin' like this." He looked down at his pink-brown skin with little hairs sticking out everywhere.

"Well, we might be able to help you with that." Leo looked over at Don. "Donatello?"

His brother looked skeptically between the two mutants. "You're sure?"


Don reached into the bag he was carrying to pull out a gun-like device. "We have Shredder's old retro-mutagen gun." He held it lightly, making sure not to brandish it as a weapon.

"Retro-mutagen gun?" Samantha looked up at Leo questioningly. "Why didn't you tell me about this?"

Leo sighed, taking her shoulders. "Because I didn't know if they would even go for it."

"Or if they would turn on us." Mikey eyed Bebop suspiciously. "They have been mondo rude to us in the past."

"That was when we worked for Shred-head." Bebop pointed out just as strongly. "We don't no more."

Raph frowned at him. "And that's the only reason we're havin' this conversation."

"Enough guys." Leo ordered, then turned back to Rocksteady. "So, do we have a deal. We turn you human and you guys do the right thing," he looked down at the young woman in his arms, "for Sams."

The two exchanged another look. "Deal." They said in unison.

"Okay, then you guys step over there. Everyone else stay back. We don't want to be hit by the ray." Don adjusted the dial as everyone did as he instructed. He leveled the laser at them. "Here goes nothing."

The ray struck true and before their eyes the two mutants became human. Rocksteady stared down at his human hands. They were still large, but they were now covered in pale human flesh not rhino hide. Overall he was only slightly smaller than his mutated form, after all he'd been a large human to begin with. He looked to his left where Bebop was doing much the same, examining the self he'd lost more than a decade earlier.

"This is so….cool!" Bebop grinned brightly.

"Joey!" Samantha raced up to him, hugging him tightly. He now resembled the brother she remembered – the one that had cared for her when no one else had.

He picked her and spun her around with a laugh. "Ain't this great, Sams!"

She giggled. "Yes, it is!" He set her down and she strolled back to Leo, smiling up at him. "And it's all thanks to you." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "I love you, Leo." She leaned up kissing him warmly. Leo felt a blush rise to his cheeks at their rather large audience, but it quickly faded under the passion of her kiss, his arms tightening around her. At last she pulled away, still smiling. "Thank you."

He brushed a hand through her hair. "I'd do anything for you, Sams."

Mikey grinned at the couple and elbowed Raph, who rolled his eyes. Raph turned his attention to the dark skinned man with the purple mohawk. "So, Bebop, what you gonna do now that you're human?"

Bebop shoved his trademark purple sunglasses up his nose with a wide grin. "Me? First I'm, getting' a haircut. Then I'm goin' home to see my mama." He started towards the door, but paused. "And its Arnold. Arnold Smith from now on." He waved at his old friend. "See ya around, Joey."

"See you, Arny." Rocksteady still had on a large smile of his own.

"And what about you?" Don asked.

He shrugged. "I don't know. Sams is the only family I got."

"Well, you can come stay at my place for now. We can figure the rest out as we go." She smiled at her brother.

Joey rubbed his neck. "Yeah, about that…" He pulled a paper from his pocket. "Uh, you kinda got evicted."

"What!" She took the paper from him, reading it. "Several noise complaints and destruction of property." She groaned, dropping her face into her hand. Well, that did it. She was back to square one. She'd lost her apartment and likely her job as she hadn't been there in nearly a week without calling in.

"Well, we did get your things out." Joey held up her old duffle bag. He raised a blonde eyebrow at her. "By the way, I can't believe you still got this." He pulled out the children's book.

Leo took the book from his with a smirk. "The Monster at the End of This Book?"

Sams blushed. "It was always my favorite. Joey used to read it to me when I was small."

Leo smiled at Joey. "Well, it seems some monsters really do turn out to be friends." He handed the book back. "Come on, let's go home."

Joey blinked. "You're taking me to your home?"

Leo nodded. "Sams is already family, so that makes you family too. We can only learn to become more than what we are, if we learn to trust. And I think it's time we started to trust you, Joey."

A/N: Yes, it's the end. And as it turns out there's no monster here at all... Hope you loved it! If so don't forget to review!