AN: Sorry to keep you all waiting for this epilogue, I didn't know how to finish it off and I've had a lot of things going on right now. Luckily, with three weeks off of work I should have plenty of time to catch up on my stories.
Reinbeauchaser: I had tears in my eyes when I was writing that chapter, it was very emotional and I think that that one is my favourite chapter. I did actually think about killing Leo off but I couldn't bring myself to do it in the end, I had two endings planned for chapter 7 and Leo's death was going to happen up until the last minute. Leo on the mend? Hmm, I'm not too sure whether this shows much of an improvement but he's certainly better than he was. Thanks for the review:)
In The Clouds: Wow, that's such a compliment! Like they say, 'all good things must come to an end' and I hope this ending meets with your approval. I originally started this fic with Raph as the one to help Leo, but it changed and Don got the job. Thanks for the review:)
Leo Oneal: I'm glad you liked the story, I did toy with killing Leo but I found that I couldn't do it. That was a hard decision to make for me. Thanks for the review:)
Amberli Raven: As requested, the final chapter to Recovery. Thanks for the review:)
Lioness-Goddess: Heh, believe me, I've been trying to finish this puppy but I couldn't engage the brain. I'm glad it's finally done, and now I can focus on others and maybe get some of them completed too. Thanks for the review:)
Vampy: Yep, Don is great, isn't he? I did enjoy writing him in this fic; it felt so natural and flowed relatively easy for me. Thank you for the compliment, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much and I hope this last chapter lives up to the rest. Thanks for the review:)
Don walked into the dark silent bedroom, he knew Leo was in here even though his brother made no sound and he had to check just to make sure. Make sure of what? He said to himself, that Leo hasn't gone back on his promise and decided to end it? No, he knew that Leo wouldn't do that, his brother had made a promise and if one thing was certain, it was that Leo kept his promises. Still, it doesn't hurt to check.
Don smiled, "Hey, Leo." He replied, "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"
"No, I was just trying to meditate, it's not as easy as it used to be." He heard Leo sigh and then a shuffling sound as he stood. His brother appeared in the ray of light that came from the open door and Don noticed his unmasked eyes slightly straining, Leo spent much of his time in the dark. Don always put it down to the white room that Leo was kept in; it must have made it hard for him to get any rest. It is only natural that he prefers the darker environments now.
"I was wondering, we've been home now for a couple of weeks and I don't want to push you but I was thinking of visiting April. Do you want to come with me?" Don was a little apprehensive about asking Leo, he knew that Leo's recovery was purely under his control and whatever he wanted to do would be done. No one could push him into something that he didn't feel ready for.
Leo seemed deep in thought, as though he was weighing the consequences of the decision, an unnerving silence passed before Leo replied: "I think I can manage that. Are you leaving soon?"
Don nodded pleasantly, "As soon as you're ready."
They didn't speak much on their journey and they both felt that the other was okay with the silence. Don made sure that Leo was comfortable, the safety of the lair behind them and the open space around them made Leo feel vulnerable, he didn't want to make matters worse by distracting his brother's concentration. Leo himself spent a lot of his time relying on his senses to tell him if danger was near, he knew that Don was aware of that fact and silently thanked him for it. He suddenly realised that he owed his brother so much, everything that Don had done for him whilst he screamed and yelled exhaustedly must have been a drain on Don as well. Yes, the other members of the family had done so much but it was Don that had truly helped. Without him, Leo wouldn't be here right now, they all realised that. Don had spoken for Leo, he had said the words that Leo found he could not and he owed his brother dearly. Without warning, Leo spoke softly and quietly: "Thank you."
Don turned his head to look at his brother, the words he spoke came very close to being missed but Don did catch them. "For what?" he replied, equally as soft and quiet.
"We'd be here a long time if I told you everything I have to be thankful for. I guess I'm hoping you'll know what you've done." Leo stopped moving for a moment as a sound caught his attention, he noticed that Don had also heard it and was now trying to narrow down the cause. Suddenly, three Foot Ninja launched themselves at the two brothers. Don pushed Leo to one side and charged the three ninja, the narrow alley made it pointless for Don to use his Bo staff and he resorted to fighting without it. The three ninja, however, found little difficulty with the katana that they carried and felt that they were at an advantage. Don effortlessly avoided their swings and was able to take down one, but the other two adapted quickly. Don picked up the katana that the fallen ninja carried and held off against the other two, he glanced at his brother briefly and could see that Leo was torn. He didn't know what to do, he couldn't let his brother fight alone and yet he was still afraid to help him. Don's expression told Leo enough to know that he didn't want him in this fight, whether or not Leo thought that he was ready for this, Don still felt he wasn't. His brother understood but that didn't make it any easier for Leo.
His mind was made up for him as a forth ninja appeared, this one heading straight for Leo, Don screamed out a warning and Leo's eyes widened frightfully, he stepped back as the ninja landed in front of him. The ninja chuckled menacingly and spat: "You're the freak that my master tortured," he stepped closer still, "I enjoyed watching you suffer then, I'm going to relish it now. Maybe I'll let you live long enough to watch them kill your freak brother as well."
Leo's shell hit the wall and he forced himself not to drop down to the ground, he didn't have any weapons to defend against this man but he wondered that if he did would he be able to stop him anyway? He started to seriously reconsider whether he was ready for this.
The ninja chuckled again, "Or maybe you'd like to see the Master again, we could take your brother along and let him experience first hand what we do to freaks like you."
Leo's eyes widened, "No, leave him alone."
"Or what? You gonna kill me? I would've been scared before but not now; you're nothing but a broken animal. I remember when we first found you and took you down, you fought like he does now," he pointed towards Don, "It'll be fun to see him break too, is he like you? Will he hold on until the end and beg for death? I can't wait to find out." The ninja chuckled cruelly and watched as Don took a blow to the back of his knees, sending him crashing to the floor.
Leo's eyes narrowed and his breathing turned into a growl, there was no way that they were going to take Don. There was no way that Leo was going to allow that and have his brother suffer as he has, no way.
Leo screamed aloud and ran at the laughing ninja, his shoulder crashing into the unsuspecting man's chest. He kept going, pushing and pushing until the ninja's back slammed against the wall. Leo raised his fist and punched the ninja in the face and he felt the breaking of bones, he didn't stop though, his anger fuelled him to continue hitting the man over and over again. When he finally dropped to the floor, Leo stood over him, breathing heavily from the exertion. He was angry with this man, for his threats, his cruelty and most of all, for staying down. Leo wanted to hurt him, wanted to kill him but the man was weak and now he was unconscious.
Two more ninjas appeared and headed straight for Don, Leo cried out and ran towards his brother but a shout from the opposite end of the alley drew his attention.
"Hey, you creeps!"
Casey charged into the alley with his baseball bat swinging, launching himself at two of the ninja and slamming the bat into their faces. They yelled in pain and then silenced when the second blow knocked them unconscious. Don was able to recover and quickly served the same to the remaining two, without hesitating or greeting Casey he quickly ran to Leo.
"Are you okay?" he asked breathlessly, his eyes searching for any injuries on Leo and his hands gripping his face. Don was panicked but not about the fight, Leo had only just built up the strength to face the outside world, he wasn't ready to fight again so soon. "Leo? Are you okay? Talk to me."
Leo could see the concern on his brother's face and reached up to grip his wrists, he pulled them free and instantly wrapped his arms around his brother. "He said he was going to take you, Don. He wanted to torture you like they did to me, I couldn't let that happen, I… I was so scared. God, I was so scared."
Don gripped his brother in a tight embrace, "It's going to be alright, Leo. You're going to be fine, we'll just get you home and safe." Don looked towards Casey, "Thanks, Case. We really needed your help back there."
Casey nodded and smiled, "No problem, you know I'm there for you guys." He replied, "Listen, April's place is closer than the lair. It'd be better for the two of you to stop there first, when you've had a drink and some time to relax then we'll head back. How's that sound?"
Don liked the idea but he had to think of Leo, his brother was in shock and needed to rest. "What do you think, Leo? We still get to visit April and maybe we could call Raph and Mike and they can come over a little later. I'm sure they'd love to see her too."
It was a lame excuse, but he didn't want to head back home alone.
"Leo, honey. How are you feeling?" April draped a blanket over his shoulders and gave him a little reassuring hug. After a moment, Leo looked up to her and smiled.
"I'm… fine, I guess. I've still got some way to go judging by what just happened out there." He sighed heavily and April reached around him again, she hugged him for some time and Leo felt safe in her arms.
"Hey, don't I get a blanket and a hug too?" Don quipped with a grin. April frowned at him playfully and then smiled.
"Sure you do, just don't tell Raph and Mike otherwise they'll be wanting one too."
"My lips are sealed, after all, that leaves more for me and Leo." He chuckled. The room fell silent for a moment and Don glanced at Casey, "Um, Casey? Could you go and ring the guys, ask them if they want to come up and visit?"
Casey winked, "No problem, I'll let them know." He left the room quietly and April turned to follow, "I'll make sure that the kitchen window's open for them, last time I left it closed Mike tried to open it and broke the pane with Raph's sai." She rolled her eyes as she made her way out of the room.
Don called after her, "It was an accident!" he heard a muffled 'yeah yeah' and chuckled a little.
Don turned back to Leo and noticed him studying the patterns on the floor, "Are you sure you're okay?"
Leo nodded slightly, "I'll be okay, it was just a shock that's all."
After a moment Don spoke: "You handled that ninja pretty well, I admit you had me worried for quite some time, but when I saw you deal with that guy, I knew you were going to be okay."
"I was scared to death." Leo whispered. Don's arm reached around his brother.
"And six months ago you would have run a mile to get away from them, this time you stood your ground. And you fought one. That's pretty good going." He soothed.
"I guess. I just can't believe I let you fight those ninja alone, I left you alone in the middle of a fight." Leo complained.
"I pushed you aside because I didn't want you involved in that fight, I don't blame you for staying back. It would hurt me more to see you get involved in something that you're not ready for. It's okay." Don shuffled closer and allowed his tired brother to rest his head on Don's shoulder, "Just get some rest, Leo. We can talk some more in the morning when we're back at the lair."
The ninja walked towards the lone table at the end of the room, his steps were silent but Oroku Saki knew he was there, "Well?"
"They are back, Master. We encountered two of them, the one named Donatello and the other that we captured, Le…"
"Leonardo." Saki turned slowly with a wicked smile on his face.
"Yes, Master. We were defeated but Leonardo had little part in it, it is as you said, he is still weak." The ninja replied.
"Good. I do not want them to regain their strength, hunt them down."
AN: One finished story and plenty left to go, a big thank you to everyone who read this story, and an extra BIG thanks to those who reviewed. :D