Whew. I came home early. I'm still sick and really delirious.

Anyways, I've decided that I won't do an epilogue. This chapter will be both the last chapter and the epilogue.

DISCAIMER: I don't own ANYTHING, except for the title of the story and the title of the chapters and story plot. Everything else, I'm just borrowing.

So, a few things to note:


:italics: are dreams/memories


Oh, and Madvy, I agree with you one hundred percent! (maybe you could write to them as well…the more the people who write to them, the more they'll be forced to listen!)

(thinks a little. Then decides she's too sick to care.)

Silhouettes above the cradle, hold me down
They won't let me go the wrong way…

--Silhouettes; by Smile Empty Soul

Chapter 10: And all is well.

Leo sat in the dark, listening to the silent whispers from the kitchen. He was too far away to hear what they were saying, but somehow, Leo knew.

I think they understood…

At least, I hope so.

He closed his eyes, before smirking as he remembered what he said to them after they caught him training.

He was so stupid. He should've known they were there.

They were impressed…

Sure they were. Just like they were back then.

They said so.

People say things all the time. It doesn't mean they think that too.

Remember what the little child…what's her name…Emily said to you? 'The eyes are the key to the soul'.


Their eyes said that they were pretty honest.

Leo sighed as he opened his eyes again. He hated arguing with himself. But he'd noticed that he'd been doing it for some time now. He suddenly chuckled.

Yeah. Not only am I scarred to death of my own brothers; I'm mentally unstable too.

Leo hit his head on the wall purposefully. I'm so stupid. Why would my brothers be pleased? I just showed them again how 'good' I was compared to them. And they hate that…

They must hate me even more now…

Leo slowly shook his head as the familiar feeling of being cold took hold of him. He shuddered.

I had promised myself years ago that I would NEVER make up a stupid kata ever again.

I promised, and then I broke it…


:He couldn't help it. He was just so bored. Leo sighed as he picked up his Katanas and slid into a familiar stance.

Even though he had torn up all the notes into itty-bitty bits, he had practiced it so much that he had memorized it.

He felt so bad that he was going against everyone's wishes…but he couldn't help it.

'Everyone has their own hobbies right?' He silently asked himself, trying to justify his actions. But the familiar feeling of guilt and being cold washed over him.

He slowed down to a stop. He nervously glanced at the door, as if waiting for someone to just burst in. But no one came.

But Leo shivered. He bit his lip, then put his swords back, perfectly in place. Splinter would be angry if he knew that he practiced without permission…

He quickly and quietly sneaked out of the dojo, although it was completely unnecessary. Nobody but him was home.

But still in his mind they were always home. Always watching. Always keeping him from doing the wrong thing.:

Leo shivered again as he remembered that. It had been two more months before he practiced in secret again. But he had only practiced for five minutes then as well. Then, he had quit for a few years. Just recently did he start to make up katas again.

There was a knock on the door, interrupting his thoughts and almost making him jump out of his shell.

He was so glad they knocked now. He had time to prepare for them. Usually the only warning he had was the door slamming open…

The door opened and Donny stepped in. He closed the door behind him, but did not turn on the lights. Instead, he just stood still for a few seconds waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, before he slowly went over to Leo.

"Hey." Don said, standing in front of Leo's dark huddled form in the usual corner.

Leo blinked before looking at him. "Why…?"

"Why I didn't turn on the light?" Don finished for him, before shrugging. "I didn't want to." He slowly sat down next to Leo.

Leo tensed a little before slowly relaxing.

Suddenly, Don hugged him.

Leo, caught by surprise, immediately shut his eyes and tensed, waiting for blows, but once he realized that he wasn't going to be hurt, he cautiously opened his eyes and relaxed.

"Why didn't you tell us?"

Leo blinked as he looked at Don, who was still hugging him. "Tell what?"

"How bad of a brothers we were."

"You guys got better…"

Don smirked. "Yeah. After we realized why you were doing it. To keep us safe…"

Leo stayed silent.

Don hugged him a bit tighter, unwilling to let him go. "You still could've told us. Shell. We were so horrible to you! Jeez…I can't believe that we just realized it…"

Leo looked down at his younger brother sadly. "Everyone has secrets, Donny. This was just one of mine."

Don shook his head. "You shouldn't have kept that. Jeez. How you kept it inside you for all these years…I'll never know. God! It makes me wonder that if the physical abuse wasn't really the Shredder's doing…"

Leo, this time, shook his head hard. "No. We are actually much closer now then we ever were. If you guys wanted to abuse me, I think you would've done it years ago. Now, we just do brotherly fights. Not fights like back then."

Don didn't answer right then. After a moment of silence, he spoke again. "You're right. But the guilt is still there. Man! If I had the chance to, I'd go back and start it all over again if I could…"

"But you can't." Leo pointed out, feeling braver than he ever did. Somehow, his fear of abuse was gone because his brother needed him.

Don smiled. "I know. But I still wish I could."

"I know."

Another silence.

Then, Don spoke up. "Is it too late to start over? To wipe the slate clean, so to say?"

Leo allowed a small smile on his face. "It's never too late, Don. I just think that it'll be a while before—"

"Oh not right now!" Don interrupted. "Jeez. I'm not that kind of a miracle worker! I can't wipe my own slate clean that fast! Nor can you! Shell, not one can!"

Leo chuckled at that.

Don smiled as well. It was the first time he'd ever heard him laugh after the abuse…

"And about that kata you did,"

Leo tensed, waiting for the put-downs,

"Man! Everyone was so impressed! Jeez, even Raph! And you know what that means…"

Leo stared. "Raph? Impressed? Really?"

Don nodded. "Jeez. You're a miracle worker! Raph ain't never impressed about anything!"

Leo could hardly believe it. They actually liked it?

"You know…back then…I'm sorry we treated you like that. We didn't even give you a chance to show us…"

Leo shrugged. "Everyone has their own secrets…" He whispered.

Don sighed. "Yeah. Except you know all of ours, and we know none of yours."

Leo stayed silent for a few minutes, and then everything started to spill out. Everything. His feelings, his fears, everything that he had stored in himself over the years.

And Don just listened. He just listened silently, while showing that he was there and listening by hugging him.

Days had passed since that one moment. Everything had slowly improved for him. His brothers were each starting to make up for the past by trying to make things right in the present. Of course, it would be a long time before everything would be completely perfect, but they were steadily working their way towards perfection.

And in a way, all is well…Leo decided, as he slowly fell asleep in his bed, feeling safe for the first time in months.

That's it people! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please don't forget to review and tune in for my other stories as well. Thank you!