I'm baaaack! Sorry for the somewhat long update. Hope everyone had a good holiday season. This is my first update of the New Year! Woohoo. This chapter has a bit of a flashback in it, just as a head's up.

Also, does anybody know if there is a TMNT fanfic competition for 2019? I have one story I believe that would qualify (So Long Honey if y'all are interested). Enjoy!

"Alright, Fearless," Raph said, smirking and twirling his Sai. "Hit me with all ya got!"

Leo grinned back, just as eager, and held up his blade. He lunged forward in an attack.

Every since his and Raph's first mind-meeting, as they'd taken to calling it, he and Raph had been sparring once a day. Mikey and Donnie had both finally been able to join them in Raph's mind, but it tired Raph out to keep his mind open for that many people, so the sparring was limited to just Leo and Raph, and sometimes Splinter. That was their thing. But it had taken Raph a little bit of convincing...

"Okay, Raph, this is really serious!" Leo said, frustrated. He wiped his forehead off with the back of his hand and frowned at Raph, who was sprawled out on his stomach on the ground. "I didn't come into your mind to just watch you sit around. Don't you want to be a ninja?"

Raph snorted and flipped a page of the magazine he was holding. "What a dumb question. Of course I do."

"Good," Leo said patiently. "I want you to be a ninja, too. That's why I'm doing this. I am going to help you train to be a blind ninja!"

Startled, Raph looked up from his magazine and cackled, not even dignifying it with a response.

"I'm serious! You already have the moves, but you need to enhance your other senses to make up for the lack of sight."

"Oh, yeah, because I'm definitely going to take the Foot down with my empowered sense of taste and smell!"

"You could bite your opponent," Leo offered, then saw the evil grin on Raph's face. "Or please don't! You could smell your opponents. It would be stronger as they got closer. And everyone's got a different smell to them!"

"You have got to be kidding me," Raph said, unimpressed.

"Look, if you don't want to do this-"

"I do! Stop saying that!" Raph interrupted, pushing himself up off the ground.

Leo sighed. He had his work cut out for him. Not for the first time, Leo silently thanked and commended Splinter. "Okay," he said slowly. "We should train in here, at least to start. You'll just have to use a bandana to cover your eyes. We can surprise everyone with your skills later."

Raph groaned. "If I wanted to pretend to be blind, I'd just kick your shell in the real world!" But he did as Leo said and pulled down his bandana over his eyes. "Okay, let's go already!" He was mid-sentence as Leo flipped him onto his shell and held him down. "HEY!"

"You need to listen and pay attention!" Leo scolded, standing up and helping Raph stand. "Listen for footsteps, for the sound of a weapon, for breathing." Leo made a face. "Or if you smell someone really bad, someone is probably close."

"This is all easy for you to say," Raph muttered, along with some choice words that Leo purposefully ignored. "Fine. Try again."

And Leo did. Successfully. Six times.

"You're not paying attention!" Leo said, frustration rising.

"This isn't working!" Raph snarled and pushed up his bandana. "Just face it!"

Leo sighed and rubbed his eyes. "One more time. That's it." He slid his feet into position and waited as Raph silently prepared.

Raph took a deep breath and tried to focus. He could smell Leo, but that wasn't helpful. He tilted his head towards where Leo was standing and listened. Just barely, he could hear the pad of his feet, so he thrust out his arms and knocked straight into Leo's plastron. With a little unexpected 'oof,' Raph slammed his shoulder into his side and brought Leo down to the floor. He pushed up his bandana and smirked down at a very surprised Leo.

"Hey!" Leo said, winded but delighted. "You did it! Let's go again."

Maybe this will actually work... Raph thought to himself, matching Leo's grin.

I always like writing about Raph getting knocked down, especially because he's usually so resilient in getting back up to fight. This was no exception. Next chapter will go back to the present! And remember, this fic is finished, so it will definitely be finished in the next couple of months. Exciting stuff! Please R&R!