Well, my friends- we have come to the final chapter of the Suicide story.
It's funny. I took the time to read the whole work, starting from the first chapter of the first story to the last one of this, and have seen how much my writing has improved. I'm still not that good, but it's cool to watch it take off.
Mostly, I have to thank you readers for that. Until I came here, I never finished anything that wasn't a poem. Reviewers make all the difference for me.
So, allow me to thank them! To start with a big one to my regulars, who reviewed every chappie, thanks Tewi, Leo's Katana-Babe, Turtlefreak121, Digmon Girl and Jessiy Landroz.
To everyone else who was kind enough to review, thanks: night2frost, Dierdre, Shadowflame611, coldsunshin, Cynlee, Goblin Cat KC, The Sacred Heart 2, spootycup, Chibi Rose Angel, Inumaru12, LadyKatana45, BubblyShell22, MuseSeeker, Basia Lynn, pacphys, jaunt, Spawn Guy, Flaremimi, Bioniclefangirl, RAPHAELFAN02, Janajyo, Moonbeam067,and Neatsue.
And another thank you to those who've read my story but never reviewed. You're out there somewhere, and you know who I am. That makes me cheerful enough.
Now, we shall move onto the ending. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: El Dorado was the lost city of gold- but even it had a map. They don't even make self-help books for people who want to someday own the TMNT.
For three years, since the glaucoma had claimed his vision, Paul Acker's world had been pitch black. It had come at a strange time; he'd been diagnosed with it a year or two after Logan had passed away. By the time he was forty-eight, it was gone.
Paul felt great melancholy over that. But he had to admit, he'd seen quite a bit by then. The man had even had the opportunity to see his first grandchild, even his second, with his own eyes before he'd lost them.
None of the Seven Wonders of the World were anywhere near as beautiful.
Standing at the door, he spoke with his two sons as Marie, Henry's wife, helped pregnant Janet get Johnny into the car while Logan, named after his deceased uncle, played by the trees with his three-year-old cousin, Dinah.
He knew this only by ear. He could hear his daughter-in-laws chatting by the car, the children laughing, in the background of his own conversation.
Soon, however, it was time for them to leave. Paul Acker wished they would get together more often; ever since the twins had moved out five years ago, the house had been mostly empty and lonely.
And he loved seeing his grandkids. He was determined to be a better grandparent to them than he'd been a parent to his own children.
Walking over to Henry's car, he gave his granddaughter a kiss before she was placed in the car. After Henry and Marie had driven away, he moved over to Scott's car, quickly finding Janet.
Back by the trees, he could hear Scott tickling Logan.
The smile on Janet's face might as well have been an orchestra- he knew it was there. She spoke happily. "He's been a lot better this past week. I swear, when he told me that he'd momentarily lost Logan on his way to work, I wanted to kill him." She sighed. "But when they came home, it was all I could do to get him to let go of him. Scott's not even going to work next week- he wants to take time off to take the boys to a movie."
Looking in his son's direction with vacant eyes, Paul nodded proudly. "Good for him."
Eventually, playtime was over though. Once he'd given Johnny a kiss and Logan a hug, the eldest was being strapped into his seat. Before the door closed, however, he said something strange.
"I told ya he was real. But I think he's happy now."
It didn't take long to figure out who he was talking about. It'd been one of his discussions of the day with the boy.
But Scott just tousled his son's hair. "I'm sure he is. And… of course he's real! Just like Santa Claus is real!"
"Santa's not real, Daddy." Logan said, laughingly. "I saw you dressed up like him last Christmas." Then he whispered. "But don't worry, I won't tell Johnny."
By the time the car had driven away, Paul was deep in thought, making his way back to his house.
Little Logan was very astute for his size. It was strange, how may similarities he had with his uncle.
But, for now, he was happier.
Fumbling with the doorknob, Paul was about to enter when he heard a voice. "Nice night, isn't it?" He said referring to the weather.
Recognizing it in only a few seconds, Paul nodded. "Indeed." He smiled. "My kids barbecued." Still not feeling all that threatened, he nevertheless wanted to make sure… "Just how did you find my house, young man?"
The stranger from the cemetery explained himself, somewhat sheepishly. "Looked you up in the phonebook. I… I just came to tell you I read his letter."
The conversation now a little more serious, Paul nodded. "Did it make any sense to you?"
"Yeah, Quite a bit actually." The boy paused for a time. "He wasn't as bad as I'd thought." Another pause. "I wanted you to know that, if it matters, I forgive him."
In most, if not all, of his life, Paul Acker had never been speechless. He was now. "It matters more than you know." After a long break, he spoke, just to make sure the kid, Leonardo, was still there. "Did you understand what it meant?"
For ten years, that had plagued him. His Logan had always been intense, very mysterious. But caring, oh so caring. At least, to everyone but himself.
From the little conversations he'd had with this Leo, he'd been able to understand that he too was like Logan. But not as much as it had first seemed.
He was happy.
Leo finally answered him. "I did… it's very hard to explain, Mr. Acker." The teen was quiet again, putting together the right words. "He wanted to make sure I didn't turn out exactly like him."
"But you understood all of his metaphors? The 'black and white'; the warnings?"
"Yes. Like I said, it's hard to explain. You have to take a walk in our shoes to get it."
Paul frowned, looked down. "He always did have smaller feet than me." He said, half in humor, half in memory of his firstborn's birth, his little feet that could fit in the palm of his hand.
Leo chuckled once at that before turning serious. "I'm sorry for your loss, sir."
Looking up, the old man waved his hand. "Old wounds never die, but they get easier to live with after a while. I'm trying to take joy in life." He smiled. "I have grandchildren now. Cutest things in the world. My grandson was just telling me about the giant turtle that he saw the other day when his dad took him to work. The giant, sad turtle. But I guess he's a happy one now, at least he was when they left." Paul laughed. "Kids say the funniest things, don't they?"
Laughing as well, Leonardo sighed. "They sure do." After a while, he spoke again. "Um… I was wondering, would you like the letter back? I wasn't sure if-"
"Keep it." The old man interrupted him. "I already told you; it's yours. Addressed to you and everything." He paused before adding, "Besides, I have two photocopies. Maybe… one of these days, I'll go and take that walk in his shoes."
"It's a long one." Leo told him. "And not very enjoyable. More of a long hike without the proper gear, really. But it's different for everyone, I suppose. I'm just happy I've finally finished it."
Smiling, Paul nodded at him before opening his door. "Well, that's good for you, my boy. How's it feel to be done?"
"I don't know yet." The boy replied. "But I think there's a lot more than I thought." He said happily. "And nothing's better than the trip home."
When Leo entered the lair, he immediately picked up the smell of pizza, home-baked. If Michelangelo put his mind to it, he could create a pizza worthy of its own chain. He often proclaimed he could beat Domino's single-handedly if he wanted to.
Truth was, the orange-clad turtle would spend an entire day making just one, huge and delicious pizza before quitting for another two months or so. Unfortunately, a business could not be run that way, if you wanted to make money, that is.
After everyone had practically inhaled their servings, movie night began. Having volunteered to pick up the video, Leo had made a little stop at Paul Acker's home, unbeknownst not only to his brothers, but to himself.
Once he had the tape, he'd just walked into a phone booth and looked him up. Finding that the house wasn't far, he made his way over there. Upon arriving, he'd been surprised to see the young Logan there, more so when the child saw him.
But the kid hadn't jumped up and down, pointing wildly at Leo's hiding spot. He'd just smiled and followed his father back to the car, proclaiming again that the giant turtle was real like it was a known fact.
The kid was more mature and mysterious in that kind of way, something that Leo was grateful for.
While Mike and Don got the movie and living room ready, he went to help Raph make the popcorn. Being teenagers, they made an adequate amount: three bags.
Grinning, Raphael poured one into a bowl. "It's good to have you back, bro." He said.
Leo looked up. There had been little mention of the whole situation with Logan since he'd read the letters. Leo himself hadn't even thought much of it until tonight.
There hadn't been a need to. It was as if everyone had just simultaneously understood. They'd been much happier.
Clapping him on the shell, Raph left the room, leaving his brother to finish the rest of the popcorn. Shaking his head, Leo complied.
Once they were done, he came out into the living room with them. His brothers were already settled in their chosen seats, all of them fitting on the couch and somehow leaving room for Leo.
Sitting on the end, next to Donny, the eldest passed the popcorn down. He had no clue how many times he'd thanked his purple-clad brother for stopping himself from taking that scalpel to his wrist. Leo actually no longer had any memory of it, but he kept on thanking him.
That went for Mikey too. His younger brother had found him out there- got him home. And not long before that, Raph had done the same thing, under nearly the same circumstances.
But he didn't always thank them for that. His brothers kept him alive every single day just by being there.
Most of the time anyways. Sibling rivalry naturally meant that there were still moments when he wanted to kill them.
Nearing three in the morning, Mikey was already asleep while Donny and Raph were well on their way. Yawning, Leo realized he was as well.
As of last week, Master Splinter had been dead for a full year. The blue-banded turtle hadn't gone catatonic since that day he'd nearly frozen to death.
Logan, as promised, was never there to haunt him anymore. Now that he'd allowed himself to recover, he was able to finally enjoy the things around him. Nothing was as bad as it'd been.
Danger was still there. I was always there. But he no longer let fear control him from the inside out. Leo's dreams were even free of the empty void he'd suffered through. The world was bright… he could see those colors Logan had spoken of, in a way.
It was as Mikey had said to him all those times when he'd tried to help him through a catatonic episode.
Even when he closed his eyes, falling asleep alongside his family, there was no darkness.
So…? How was my ending? Short, I know- please don't kill me! I'm hoping the 'sweet' factor got in there, too.
Please tell me it was all right! Nothing compared to the original, I know, but satisfactory at least? This is the end! It has to be good! I hope so, anyways.
Well, I greatly thank you for reading this! Now, it's your last chance to review, so please do so! Tell me that this didn't suck!