The Teapot Dilemma

By Kay

Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT. Just way too much of its merchandise. Like... turtle pillows. .

Author's Notes: Just a drabble dealing with mourning that I've had lurking on my livejournal but not on here. So, uh, here it is. It's not really got a point. ;; Oh well. Thank you so much for reading and I hope I can give you something better soon, when school is less crazy-awful.

He never knew how large a teapot could be until his father passed away.

It never seemed like much before. But then, everything was different before, and now Leo's life was a shifting set of rules, piano keys that wouldn't fit together on the same plain. Sometimes he managed to make it work, other times they had to change out of necessity, long-standing habits he'd clung to now released. Leo wasn't used to this much free time. Heck, Leo wasn't used to being this busy. A million and one little details clamored at his attention every morning that he'd paid sparse attention to over the years—the plants to water, picking up the living room, reminding Don to not blow out the generator again, setting up for the training sessions, checking Raph's room every few hours in the night to make sure he was still inside of it. Leo had always taken on many duties so his father wouldn't be burdened, but there were still more.

He didn't always feel entirely like himself. Whoever that even was.

But back to the point—the point was that he'd not considered very carefully the sheer amount of green tea that could cram its way into their kettle. Leo liked this kettle. It'd been perfect, once. The handle was wide enough that his thicker fingers gripped it comfortably when he poured the liquid. It was mahogany brown with little scratches down the sides, old and worn. He'd seen his father stroke it before. He'd stroked it in his time, too. Memories imbedded in ceramic. An ideal size for the morning, when Leo could sit at the kitchen table with Master Splinter and they would sip, contentedly, speaking about the day, about books, about whatever topic gently floated into Leo's mind this morning.

Now it was just… too big.

He couldn't possibly drink this much green tea. Leo loved the stuff, but there were realms of reality to consider; physical impossibilities. Why did he always fill the kettle, even knowing that? It was ridiculous. Worse than that, it was wasteful. He sighed and wrenched the stove knob off, but found himself unable to move, just standing in front of the teapot, staring. The scent was comforting and familiar. The mornings were too quiet like this. He felt profoundly alone, his bones aching in the silence, and old. He wondered if his father ever felt like this while they were still children. He wondered how his father solved the teapot dilemma then, as well.

He wasn't aware he was crying until Raph, cracking his neck in mid-stretch, came into the kitchen and froze.

In the end, they shared the tea and even if Leo drank more than usual, at least nothing was thrown out. "It's only been a month," Raph told him gruffly, and harsher yet, "Next time, I ain't swallowin' anything this weak without some toast."

The End