'What's this?' You ask? Another one-shot? But didn't Pi just write one last month?
Well, yes I did. However, this is a special occasion. Today happens to be the twenty-third of March- the day TMNT comes out in theatres! (leaps for joy) I will actually be seeing it in just a few hours.
So, I write this short, short one-shot in its honor. However, it takes place in the new cartoon arc, so you know.
Also, for those of you who don't know, satori is the Japanese word for a sudden moment of enlightenment.
In addition, the questions in italics are the narrator, not a voice or such.
Disclaimer: I do not own the TMNT… as much as I'd like to, it simply won't happen.
Do you know what it's like?
The figure sat on his knees on the rooftop, a breeze whipping at his blood-soaked bandanna tails, twisting them into intricate patterns, blue drawings against the night sky, before undoing them- erasing them and beginning the process once more.
Have you seen death?
Leonardo's hands rested against the concrete surface of the rooftop, weight shifting from one side to another. One wouldn't exactly be able to call him upright; as he sat there, he constantly weaved in all directions.
Swallowing, he leaned back a little, head tilting up to see the moon above him. Across the rooftop were strewn the corpses of various members of the Foot, bloody and cooling.
In his stomach, between the plates of his lower plastron, was a katana.
Have you felt it moving within you?
The pain was unbearable; he could feel the cold, hard metal in his gut, the hot pain that flared out from it and throughout his entire body. Leo was dizzy from the pain and knew that he had no more than a few minutes of consciousness left.
Almost a third of the way in, the blade was caught between two of his ribs, stubbornly refusing to budge. Not that he wanted to pull it out- he'd once heard that in situations like these, it was better to wait until medical help could be provided.
If he could survive that long. He wondered if this was the end.
Have you heard it call your name?
Since his first battle, Leo had always known he would go down fighting. It didn't matter the enemy. Eventually, he'd find a match he couldn't win.
So many times before, he'd thought he'd found that battle. Leo had been in the presence of death before, had felt life leak out of him like water from a broken container. In those fights, he was always sure he was going to die. And every time, much to his surprise, he would wake up. Alive.
There was nothing like that feeling. It made the suffering and healing time worth it. Because after experiences like that, nothing felt better than being alive.
Do you know what it's like to lose everything in that final second?
But Leo always knew, that if he had to do it all over again, he would. Because every fight was for his family. His family… he would miss them.
He was finding it harder to breathe. But when he tried to ease it, moving to get more comfortable, he aggravated his wound and winced. Beneath him, his right hand slipped and his support crumbled, sending him to the ground. Leo watched as the world became darker, yet he held on.
Dying was always painful, no matter how many times he lived through it, and he often wondered how much his attempts accomplished. For there would always be an enemy.
What is worth such an agony?
As his vision cleared, he made out a shape before him. A ninja lay dead to his side, his vacant eyes forever fixed in place. Unseeing as they were, Leo felt as if his previous foe was staring at him. He couldn't shake the feeling.
As the turtle's thoughts became more sporadic, he wondered what this man had been like in his life. Leo knew nothing of the men he harmed of killed, but surely they had lives outside of the Foot.
Had this man had a family? A wife and children? The blue-clad teen shook his head softly, the rough feel of the wet concrete sinking into his face. How was it that someone who'd put up such a fight in life ended up as hollow as this?
Like he was sure he too would find himself soon. How was it possible?
Or do you still not know?
How fragile life really was- like a spider's gossamer thread waiting to snap. It could happen at any time, and there wouldn't always be the chance to rebuild.
So very, very fragile.
Leo closed his eyes. Understanding flowed through him then, from where, he wasn't quite sure. But then… he could understand why life was so delicate. For it was not death that mattered, the end to the thread, as cold as frightening as it might be. No- what mattered was life, that fragile life which could be taken away so easy.
It wasn't about how or when you died. It was how you spent your life.
He fought for life, real, true life with his family. He fought for his life, but theirs too. It was the only happiness he had.
Because when one of them fell, they all fell. Even if it was the smallest drop, even if they got back up again, it effected them all. And Leo had the scars to prove it.
"I'm sorry…" He whispered. He had tried.
And then everything went black.
Everyone dies- when will death claim you?
In that complete darkness, in that void, Leo felt nothing. No longer did he register the pain or the things around him. He didn't even move two minutes later when the katana was pulled from his stomach.
He didn't move at all until he woke again, nearly three days later.
And much to his surprise, he wasn't dead.
"Leo?" He heard Don's voice. Turning, he watched his brother smile. "Hey, how're you feeling?"
"Like I got hit by a bus," Leo mumbled, smiling back to assure Donny that he was all right. "What happened?" He asked as he tried to sit up. Hot pain stretched over his stomach.
"Shh…" Don hushed him, placing his hand on Leo's shoulder and pushing him gently back down onto the bed. "Take it easy. You were hurt pretty badly… You almost died."
Will you be ready?
His brother proceeded to tell him how he'd been found on the bloody rooftop, and with his wound, how he'd barely survived. IT would take months for him to get back to normal.
Leo looked down, shocked by his luck. Once again, he was still alive.
Don smiled reassuringly at him. "Hey, you just rest here. I'll get the others. We've all been worried sick."
Giving him one more pat on the shoulder, the purple-banded turtle walked out.
Will you be afraid?
In this room, on the wall in the right corner, was a mirror. Raising his head, he looked into it and met his eyes. They looked haunted.
Knowledge, good or bad, changes people. The concept of right and wrong is broadened.
On the roof, near his death, Leo had learned the meaning of life. It was love and life itself. He was so determined to live every moment of it… but for some reason, what if it couldn't be done?
Do you know what it's like to live?
What if it couldn't be done? Things happened. So often, he'd come face to face with death. What if they reunited again too soon, before he got to finish his life?
Now he knew why his eyes looked so haunted. They reminded him of the dead Foot ninja he'd seen- blank and lost.
Leo had felt death before- pain was such an everyday occurrence for him, he couldn't remember the days without it.
And someday, someday soon, he like everyone else would die. It was as sure as the sun's rising.
The turtle bit his lip. But would it be before or after the life he had to live?
He'd felt death before- in his gut, from the inside-out. And he'd come to understand just how delicate life was.
When it's taken from you, will it all be for nothing?
Leo shook his head. Until that day, life was all that mattered. Smiling, he heard his brothers' footsteps as they approached.
All that mattered was his family. That was the meaning.
When the time comes, will you be ready to die?
And until the day he truly took his last breath, he was going to do all he could to stay with them.
The end! I told you that'd be short.
And wow! Surprise! A one-shot where NOBODY died? (gasps) I know. It's a rarity. And it might not ever happen again.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed! Please review!