He really likes the silence, doesn't he? Maybe not silence per se, but definitely stillness. What was it our father had said? Something about stillness of mind and body being a ninja's greatest weapon? Something like that, but Leo has taken it to heart over the years. Always meditating, always seeking to perfect himself in what he knows is an imperfect world. No, not "perfect," because nobody's perfect. "Perfectly proficient, perfectly prepared and perfectly calm." Close enough, if you ask me. But whatever it is that he seeks within himself day in and day out through hours of meditating and demanding that we train with him until we ache is admirable.

Leo's pretty admirable in general, even if he doesn't think so all the time. We tease him, call him our "fearless leader" because that's the role he's assumed for himself. Even when we were little, he was always looking out for the rest of us, and we always looked to him to tell us what to do if Master Splinter weren't there. That's a lot for one guy to shoulder, and though we never asked him to take responsibility for all of us, I don't remember him ever complaining about that task. And I know it can't be easy; I know just having me around makes things a little bit harder.

But I try, I really do. I don't know if anyone knows just how much I adore my older brother, but I do. I mean that honestly, too. I know I'm regarded as a goofball, and more often than not seen as completely hopeless, and that my choices and actions have disappointed my family more than once, but there are some things that I am completely sincere about. The fact that I truly adore my Leo is probably the biggest truth in my life. In my eyes, my brother is infallible; if I'm in trouble, I can trust him to help me, even when I don't deserve the help. If I'm bothered, he'll advise me to the best of his abilities. To me, he can do no wrong. I'm pretty sure he knows, so that probably doesn't take any stress off of him striving to set a good example for the rest of us, does it?

All of the pressure really weighs on him though, doesn't it? It shows. Sometimes he just gets so moody when he feels that he has failed us, or our father, or worse, himself. He just gets into this funk and nobody really knows how to get him out of it, or we know better than to interfere lest he feel worse. But why is the solution to him feeling bad about himself to let him be? I know that's how he prefers it, but it just doesn't seem fair to me. Why can't we help? Why won't he let us help?

He's still off meditating, and probably will be for some time yet. Even if he won't let me try and talk him out of his mood with my jokes, I will let him know that I am good for something other than bargain entertainment. He hates it when I'm in his room (so does everyone, really), but this will only take a second and won't disturb anything, except hopefully what I want it to disturb.

Michelangelo made a quick sprint into the Federal disaster area that he had pronounced his bedroom and then almost immediately afterward sprinted right back out. Leo was still off in the dojo meditating, and so had no reason to worry about being seen entering his brother's room, but still felt the need to be cautious. The last thing he needed was someone else giving him a hard time, especially when he was just trying to be nice. Mikey popped quietly through the door and over to Leo's empty, perfectly made bed and placed a small framed photo with a lemon colored sticky note on his pillow. It was Michelangelo's favorite photo of he and Leo, out in Central Park, goofing off and honestly having a good time. The photo always cheered him up, so maybe it would cheer Leo up, too. But more than the photo, he'd hoped that his little yellow note would drive the feelings home. He glanced over his shoulder as he left, smiling gently; he really hoped this would lighten his favorite person's heart.

By the way - - I love you.