Well, this is it. It's taken three months, 10 chapters, and many late nights to finish this fic, and I just want to thank all you readers out there who gave me support and reviews throughout the whole process. It's been a crazy trip! So much for a short 4-chaptered story like I originally thought it was going to be…
Thanks to Dierdre, Sassyblondexoxo, misterfooch, Reinbeauchaser, pacphys, Melodist, Lunar-ninja, tbreader, sporksareweird, The REAL Cheese Monkey, Isis-Lament, FF Demon-Angel, Shadowflame611, PossDownUnder, engelina, Sunel, Chibi Rose Angel, Buslady of SoCal, Lil Kimi, Lioness Goddess, jigsaws231, Loolaa, Vampy, Cynlee, Entropy, and Sasami1. I couldn't ask for better readers/reviewers/critics!
And so, without further ado, here is the real last chapter of "Scientific Method."
Splinter leaned his cane against the wall of the dojo and stretched, every muscle in his lithe body tense. He had spent the last hour or two trying to meditate, to clear his mind of the anxiety that was currently residing there. He had failed. Miserably.
So for the first time in a long time, he turned to violence for his answer. The old punching bag shuddered under his blows, dust billowing off in clouds. Seconds, then minutes passed, and as time wore on his blows became wild and uncontrolled, the strikes of one who has nothing left. With one last kick, the bag split spectacularly, sand and rags spilling out onto the once immaculate floor of the dojo.
Splinter sank to the floor as well, cradling his head in his hands. Silent tears forged trails through his graying fur. Why… why am I to be punished in this way? He remained hunched over and utterly distraught for what seemed to him like an age.
Later, long after the candles had burned down and out, he froze as a pair of strong green arms encircled him. He blinked, trying desperately to see through tear-blurred eyes.
"Leo…nardo?" He asked slowly, the hope in his voice heartbreaking to hear. "Is it.. could it be you?"
"Hai, Sensei." Leonardo replied quietly, still holding the furry frame of his father in his arms. "It is all of us. We're home."
Splinter felt more arms encircle him, and Splinter's face was once again covered in tears, though not all of them his. The turtles, his sons were all weeping, in happiness, in sadness, in sympathy.
"I'm sorry…" whispered Leo, so quietly and grief-stricken that Splinter almost did not hear him.
Splinter lifted a paw and laid it on Leonardo's head. "You are here, my son, all of you, and that is all that matters to me." Leonardo sniffed, then smiled through his tears and nodded.
They were home. And everything was as it should be, once again.