Ok, as you've probably already realized this is not an update. Unfortunately, I've had to remove the song lyrics from this piece. Fanfiction notified me that it was against policy to have song lyrics by another artist in my writing, although I gave them credit for their work. I had to remove the lyrics so my account wouldn't be terminated. My apologies to everyone. For those of you who have not yet read this piece or who are reading it again, imagine Linkin' Park's song "In the End" playing in the background while you read this. The lyrics really related to Leo's feelings. Again, I offer my apologies and I hope you still enjoy this even without the lyrics. (Use your imagination)

Disclaimer: No the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are not mine  No matter how hard I wish they were, they're not.

Note: Italics are journal entries.

Ok, this is my first fan fic and it sort of starts off strong but then drags…NO FLAMES PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE. I'm a turtle freak and am especially fond of Leo so…ummm, please don't hurt me. I'm not a great writer and this was just something I picked up in my spare time so try and bare with me. Be kind…I beg of you and now on to the story!

Sticks and stones may break bones…and words do hurt

The black night swirled around the buys streets of the city. There were no stars, no warmth, just a black sky and a never ending downpour of the freezing rain that splattered on the streets below. No one should be out in this type of weather, but one figure stood as a guardian of the city on top of a lonely building. He often came out here to think, to clear his head. It was here that he would think up new strategies and techniques to use in battles. But that was not the reason behind him being there tonight. He was questioning himself. He was upset. He had to get out of the lair. This wasn't the typical reaction you would get from Leonardo, maybe Raphael, but never Leo. He stood on top of the building gazing down at the city below, rain streaking his skin, down his eyes…they almost looked like tears, while his blue bandana tails blew fiercely behind him in the wind. He recalled the events that happened less than 2 hours ago:

Raph stormed out of the dojo with gritted teeth. Mikey and Don followed, keeping their distance, and Leo was the last to leave. Mikey and Don took their places in front of the multiple TV's to play some much needed video games after their intense workout in the dojo. Raph went straight to his weights to blow off some steam. Leo silently passed them to go to the kitchen and make some herbal tea. He had been the victor after a spar with all three of his brothers. Splinter walked into the kitchen soon after.

"Good evening Leonardo."

"Hello Sensei" eyes not leaving his cup

Splinter noticed this, "What troubles you my son? You were the victor of you spar tonight. Are you not pleased?"

"Yes…and no sensei." He paused, "Raph's pretty mad."

"You rightfully won your matches tonight. You need not feel guilty."

"It's not so much guilt as it is frustration. Raph's always been a challenge to beat, heck all of them are, and they are truly becoming more and more skilled…"

"As are you my son."

"Yes…but they get so easily distracted. One day we're going to be in another tough battle and they will lose their concentration and put themselves in danger!"

Splinter sighed, "Leonardo …my son…you must not trouble yourself so much with these worries. They are eating away at you. You are so protective of them. You have taken on the full responsibility of protecting your family and blame yourself if something goes wrong. You are a skilled warrior Leonardo…I have much faith and respect for you my son."

Leo smiled at this but resumed his original position and continued sipping his tea.

"Rest my son. No more training for tonight, you have exceeded the required limit set by me already."

"Training helps me relax sensei. I enjoy it."

"I know…perhaps you should retire early tonight and get some much needed rest." Splinter put a reassuring paw on Leo's shoulder and walked out of the room.

"Raph give it back!" Leo could hear Mikey screaming from the other room.

Leo sighed, put down his cup and walked in the living room to see what the trouble was.

"Raph! C'mon give it back to me!" Raph was dangling the game controller over his head.

"No way Mikey! You've been playing long enough!"

"I've only been playing 10 minutes!"
"Yeah well ya've played this thing all week without lettin any of us have a go at it."

"Raph, give it back to him." Leo said with his arms crossed

Raph gave him a glare, "Mind yer own business Leo."

"It is my business when you guys are being so loud I can't even think"

At this Raph dropped the controller and stepped right up in front of Leo.

"Ya know what Leo…I'm tired of your attitude. What makes you think ya can boss us around? You're always on my back and ya never give us a break from trainin. Ya think ya know so much when in reality you're as dumb as a doornail!"

Leo just stood there and listened with a stern look on his face…he was trying to control his temper but he was losing his cool now.

"What makes you think I don't get tired of hearing all of you guys complain 24/7?"

"We complain cause ya think yer better than us! Yer always tryin to be the hero! Well guess what, we aint gotta bow down to you every time you say the word oh 'Fearless Leader'!"

At this Leo snapped, he hated that nickname and that along with all the accusations just built up into raw fury.

"You think what I do is easy! Listening to you complain all the time! You've always got something to say to me Raph! You never listen! You guys aren't prepared to go into battle! You are too easily distracted by other things and you Raphael let your anger get in the way! If you were to face the Shredder today who knows what would happen!"

"Where do you get off criticizing us on how we fight Leo! We aint the ones who were fooled by the Shredder inta thinking he was a good guy! We aint the ones who got the shell kicked outta us by the Elite Guards! And we aint the ones who keep obsessin over 'im. Why can't ya just admit that ya messed up and that maybe you aint as good as ya think ya are! That maybe we'd be better off without ya naggin us all the time, without ya messin us up all the time! Maybe we'd be better off if ya just high tailed it outta here! We all hate you tryin to be our 'fearless leader' so just give it a rest!"

Upon hearing this Leo just froze. Those painful memories were enough to make his skin crawl, and he had nothing he could say back to the accusation. He showed a hurt look in his eyes but turned around quickly so no one would see. Mikey and Don were sitting on the couch listening to the whole argument, ready to break up the fight if it got out of hand, and were now dumbstruck with their mouths hanging open. Master Splinter was standing in his bedroom doorway with his jaw also dropped at the surprise outburst from Raphael.

Quickly realizing what he had just said, Raphael's hard glare softened and he reached out a hand to his brother, "Leo…wait, I didn't mean it…I just…it slipped…"

"You don't have to apologize Raphael, you're right…I'm sorry."

And with that Leo walked out the door into the cold rainy night.

Mikey looked worried, "Dude, isn't there a bad storm commin in tonight?"

"Yeah, he really doesn't need to go out there, we should've stopped him!" Don exclaimed.

Splinter turned to his sons, "I do not think anyone could have stopped him my sons. Your brother needs to clear his mind. Now, we need to talk about your actions."

Those were the last words that Leo heard as he ran through the sewers to the surface.

Back on the roof:

"I failed them. They really don't need me. Everything that Raph said was true. I'm just putting them in danger."

Leo opened his eyes and took in a deep breath. This had been a really rough night. He was still bent over the edge of the building, gazing down at the streets. The rain picked up harder, if that was even possible, and now it was difficult to even see your hand in front of your face.

Leo heard his shell cell ring and he answered, "Hello?"

"Leo? Leo you need to get back here," it was Don, "the storm is getting way too rough. You don't need to go around jumping from building to building when it's like this."

"Yeah…ok Don, I'm on my way."

He clicked his shell cell shut and put it back in his belt. With that he headed towards home. He didn't see the shining red eyes that were glaring up at him from the alley way below. Four sets of glowing red eyes.

(TBC)