Raphael held his sai in his open hands, balanced on his palms. They balanced perfectly, a comforting weight. Splinter had presented him with a new set to replace the one he had lost during their last battle with the Foot.

He'd not really thought much about them before but today, they reminded him of his family and how they worked together.

The steel shone with a subdued glint, the leather wrapped around the handles was still soft and clean. In a couple of weeks they would look entirely different – the steel dented and scratched, the leather, dark and stiff but today they were perfect.

The center spike made him think of Leonardo – tall, straight and always ready, unyielding in all situations he led the others.

Donatello and Michelangelo were like the tsuba – the prongs on either side of the center spike. Strong in their own right, they held the center together and with their help the center was stronger, able to take on danger that it could never overcome on its own. The tsuba could catch and hold, deflect and destroy with the aid of the center.

The knuckle – the base of the handle was himself – it was an extension of the center and the tsuba, solid and strong, always ready to defend with a heavy strike.

Without any of the other pieces the weapon would not be the same.

If the center were lost then their reach would be diminished.

Should one of the tsuba be lost, the balance would be lost as well.

If the base were to shatter, the rest might still function but it would be weaker.

No matter the battle scars, the sai would always be beautiful in his eyes.