A/N (a): Well, ladies and gentlemen! This is it! The end of TOWCaBeT! And I was going to sit on this chapter until tomorrow, but it is going up early thanks to some poking I got from a couple of readers. (yeah, you know who you are). Thank you to everyone who has read this "little" tale. And special thanks to those who have taken the time to review.
Disclaimer: I do not own the ninja turtles. I make no money from this and I mean no harm. Please do not sue.
Leonardo was sitting in the living room reading. Or pretending to at any rate. He had not flipped a single page during the past half hour. His mind was elsewhere.
Donatello wasn't much better off, he had been standing in the doorway watching Leo for the past ten minutes. Deciding that it was about time to make his presence known, he spoke.
"Hey, Leo." Don said as he came more fully into the living area and took a chair near his brother.
"Oh. Hey Donnie, what's up?" Leo asked.
"Not much, good book?"
"Uh, yeah... I-"
"Real page turner, huh?" Don asked with a hint of a grin that told Leo he was being sarcastic. "You weren't reading it at all, were you."
"No, not really." Leo admitted with a bit of a laugh. Don just nodded, not saying anything else. It was Leo who eventually broke the silence between them again.
"Do you regret coming back?" Leo asked. "I mean, I know that you probably would have liked Gorijan."
"I might have been happy there." Don admitted. "And I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't have loved the opportunity to learn from them." Leo nodded and was about to speak before Don continued. "The technology and engineering there was amazing, but the ends does not justify the means."
Leo looked up at Don, searching his brothers face. What he found there spoke of his brothers discontent. "Any regrets?" Leo asked. The question was not answered right away as Don took a moment to word his response.
"The only regret I have, is that we left the system the way it was. That we didn't do anything to try and change it."
"It's not our system to change, Donnie." Leo told his brother.
"It's still not right. Someone should do something."
"And in time, I am sure that someone will, but it's their problem to deal with."
Don sighed. "Yeah, I guess you're right." Then he changed the subject. "What about you? You looked upset about something."
"Heh... it's silly." Leo insisted.
"It can't be that silly if you're upset about it. Come on, spill." He settled back a little as though for a story. It was a movement that pretty much told Leo that he wasn't going to be so easy to chase off.
"I guess I just... I think I miss John."
"You're kidding, right?" Don responded. When Leo shook his head, Don continued. "You miss him?"
"I think so. I mean, he was as annoying as anyone I have ever met, but I don't know. It's just weird. And it's not like he was really a bad guy. He was actually... kinda sweet." Leo was relieved that Don's response had been a short you're kidding and not openly busting out laughing.
Donnie nodded at Leo's response. "You do know that he's better off there, right? That's his world, just like this is ours."
"Yeah, I know, and I'm glad he's there and I'm here. That's how it should be, but still... I guess I just kind of miss having him around."
Don chuckled and clapped Leo on the shoulder. "That's ok, Leo. You're allowed to miss him"
"He kissed me." Leo said, still not quite believing that had happened.
Once more, Don found himself laughing quietly. "Yeah, I saw that."
"I just... no one's ever kissed me like that before, and..."
"Well, Leo," Don commented. "I'm not exactly qualified to give romantic advice, but it is a big world out there. Maybe someday someone else will come along who doesn't mind the whole giant turtle thing." Don had to smile at the weird look his brother gave him. "Hey, it's a nice dream at least. You dream of another John – someone who can love your for who you are without that troublesome what getting in the way – who maybe isn't quite as annoying, and I'll dream of a Gorijan that doesn't include brainwashing. How's that?"
Leo chuckled and turned to Don with a quiet smile on his face. "I think that sounds fair." He spared the clock a quick glance. "Come on, we're going to be late for training if we don't get moving. He stood and offered his brother a hand up.
Don accepted the help up and walked with Leo toward the dojo.
& ELSEWHERE &