Author's Note: Here it is...the final chapter of Honor Bound. YAY!!! Or...boo? Eh, which ever. Anyways, I know a lot of people were hoping for Raph's story on how he won Angie to be next but ::Blushes:: the disk I had saved all that info on and all my ideas for that one got messed up and won't read anymore. So it's going to take me some time to try and remember all that I had jotted down and such. So...Dark Shadow will in fact be next up. I'm soooooo sorry guys! I really had planned on writing Problem Girl next (trust me, I was royally peeved when that disk got messed up!). Well, hope you all enjoy it and don't hate me too much for taking a micro-break to re-boot my brain before starting in on DS.
Chapter Twelve: Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)
"Mama? Is Uncle Leo gonna be ok?" Casey asked quietly as he followed his mother, aunt and uncles back down into their hidden home below the streets. Donatello had used his belt and bandana to form a make-shift tourniquet around his brother's shoulder in hopes of helping to stop the bleeding, and both he and Mike were trying their hardest to carefully help him back to the lair.
Angela glanced down at her son and offered him a small smile as she placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Of course he is. He's got your Uncle Donnie, and Uncle Greggy, and maybe even Ying-Su to help make sure he'll be alright." She said as they followed the others into the lair.
Ying-Su sat on the couch, holding tight to Henry as George sat curled up against her side. Elizabeth was in front of her, happily playing with Tabby and Laney, along with her beloved doll Molly. Ying had returned only moments before from fulfilling her part of the plan and was glad to see her children were still safe and sound in the protection of their underground hide-out. Upon hearing the door open, she lifted her head and felt her heart stop when she saw Don and Mike helping Leo in.
"What happened?!" She exclaimed, jumping from her place on the couch and rushing to their side in hopes of helping also.
"Relax Su…he'll be fine. I'm just gonna need your help getting the bullet out of his shell, and Greggory might need your help sewing him back up." Donnie answered, offering her a knowing smile as they went into his lab.
"I'll call Greg." Called Raph as he headed for their payphone.
As Mike, Don, and Ying got Leo into the lab and onto the bed, Leo slowly opened his eyes fully and let out a low, long sigh. He'd been putting his mind into overload to make sure he stayed conscious long enough for them to get him home and out of harms way. He knew the last thing any of them needed was for him to lose consciousness and have to drag or attempt to carry him the whole way home. Now, in the safety of his home and family, he felt his energy being renewed and the pain in his shoulder dulling.
"What happened back there?" He asked softly, trying to conserve his energy. He knew in order to continue to fight off the pain; he was going to need all the energy he had.
Don smiled as he gently rolled his brother onto his side before looking up at Ying-Su. He could tell she was trying to hide her feelings: her appreciation, her concern, frustration, and even the hint of admiration she was trying to keep even from herself. She had risked a lot by helping them, and she knew that Leo had risked even more to help her—despite the fact she never wanted nor asked for it to begin with.
"Well…before or after you blacked out for a minute or two?" Mike asked, smirking a little as he pulled Casey into the room with them as he started to walk by.
"After. I remember before." Leo answered, chuckling softly.
"Su took that chip we found up to the police, like we planned. And judging by how quickly they got there, I'm guessing they already pretty much knew what was on it." Don started as he washed his hands and pulled out sanitizer for his medical utensils.
"Yeah, then Gwen and Angie and Casey showed up! And after Don tossed them the decoy doll, Gwen and Angie hit the lights and dude you shoulda seen this little guy go to town on those thugs!! Yoda was right, man. 'Size matters not'! Casey kicked mobster butt!" Mikey finished, smiling proudly at his oldest nephew as he squeezed his shoulders and shook him around gently. Casey smiled just as brightly and nodded.
"Yup! It wasn't that hard." He said, shrugging a little as he continued to smile. Leonardo felt a smile of his own creep across his face. Now he knew just how proud of them Splinter was the first time they put their courage up front to win a battle. Nodding slightly, he glanced over at his two younger brothers before looking up at Ying-Su.
"Would you please ask Gwen and Angie to come in here?"
"Sure…" Ying turned and left the room only to return a moment or two later followed by her two new friends. Both Gwen and Angela were smiling slightly as they stepped into the lab, trying hard to avoid looking at the bullet wound in their brother-in-law.
"I wanted to thank you both, and you Casey, for doing what you did. Particularly Casey. What you did was not only courageous, it was also a sign to your father, uncles, and I that you are advancing in your training and that with a little more time you'll soon be able to join us on patrols." He paused as he watched Angela's eye go wide at the thought of her son joining the patrols. It was something none of the mothers wanted to think about, but still something they all knew was inevitable.
Casey's eyes widened in wonder as he pulled from his Uncle Mike's grasp and took a few steps closer.
"Really? I…I'll get to go on patrol with you and Dad?"
"In a few more years, yes. You've still got a lot to learn before then, but you're heading in the right direction. And because of that," Leo glanced at Gwen who smiled and nodded as she pulled a folded piece of fabric from her back pocket before handing it to Leo. "You have earned your very own bandana."
Casey's eyes grew as large as small saucers as he looked at the burgundy fabric his uncle held in his hands. Hesitantly reaching his hand out, Casey ran his fingers over the smooth, cool cloth.
"Burgundy is a color which means many things, but the two most important ones are that of leadership and maturity. And tonight you have proven you are on the track to both of those traits. I know I speak for the rest of the family when I say, I'm very proud of you." Leo stated as he carefully sat up to tie the bandana around his nephew's forehead.
Ying watched in wonder as the young boys eyes filled with a mixture of excitement and honor. She knew how important it was to hear a family member say they were proud of what they had been doing or had done, and to hear a family member who was raised in traditional Japanese ways say they were proud of them made it all the more special and important. She watched as Casey smiled proudly and his young shoulders squared slightly as he stood up straighter, sharing a quiet moment with his beloved uncle before turning and running from the room to show his bandana off to the other younger children.
Sighing heavily, Leo leaned back down on the table and waited as Donatello started his careful pursuit of extracting the bullet. Ying-Su watched as blood continued to trickle down Leo's shoulder and arm. Stepping up next to him, she pulled a cloth from Don's medical supply box and pressed it firmly but gently on the wound.
"I want to thank you, Leonardo, for everything. For helping my children and I, even though I was so persistent in trying to shove you off. If it weren't for you and your family, mine probably wouldn't still be here today. So, thank you." She said softly, smiling down at him sweetly.
Leo lifted his eyes and felt them lock onto hers. A thank you from her was the last thing he had expected to hear. He had, after all, basically kidnapped them and forced them to stay hidden underground—and in a lair surrounded by the filthy sewers of New York City at that. Gulping some, he quickly broke the stare and looked down at the floor for a moment in order to help regain his cool demeanor. Looking up at her once more, he prayed his eyes wouldn't betray him as he opened his mouth to speak.
"No need to thank me. I was just honoring the promise I made to Edward. He was a good friend; and a person who was killed needlessly. It was the least I could do to make up for not holding up my original promise of making sure he'd be protected until the hearing. But now that The Wind and his men are in police custody, you and your children are free to go back to your home. I'll have Mikey lead you topside and shadow you to make sure you get home alright. I'll also make sure that Raph keeps an eye on your home until my shoulder heals and I'm able to take over for awhile." He answered calmly, already starting to rebuild the part of the wall she had started to take down just by being there. He didn't want to be sad or upset at the thought of her leaving, but part of him screamed for her to stay.
Standing behind his brother, Don lifted his head to look between the two. He had almost removed the bullet from Leo's shell, but wanted to spare the glance to see how Ying-Su would react to his insistence she return topside. He watched as a small smile began creeping across Ying's face and a rather mischievous glint appeared in her eyes.
"You honestly think you are going to just save my life and the lives of my children and then just walk out of them? What kind of woman do you think I am? I have honor to you know. And I'm now bound to you for saving our lives. I'm not going anywhere." Ying stated, allowing her smile to grow as the look of disbelief appeared in Leo's cool brown eyes.
"But…you don't have to stay. I fulfilled my promise. You're safe, you can go home."
"Don't disgrace me by telling me I can't fulfill this bound of honor to you! Besides," she shrugged as she looked up at Don and then back down into Leo's eyes. "I've kinda gotten used to you and your family. It's nice to be apart of such a large and protective family. And also, you are going to need someone to help you take care of that bullet wound and make sure you don't over do anything. I don't really think you're brothers are skilled nurses or able to tell you to take it easy. So, you are certainly stuck with me for awhile."
Donnie suppressed a chuckle as he watched Leo stare at Ying-Su in surprise and disbelief, his mouth hanging open like a fish out of water. He could tell his fearless brother was terrified as he stared up into the eyes of a woman who only days before had assaulted him with couch pillows and had sworn he was the one behind the murder of her husband. Stammering to find words, Leo blinked in sheer panic as Ying-Su smiled brighter and leaned down to kiss his cheek.
"Welcome to the family."