A/N: Well hello! At last I have enough of this written to start posting! YAY! As some of you already know, this is a sequel to "I'll be Home for Christmas." If you haven't already read that, I strongly suggest you read that first or you might be very confused with this fic. (While you're there, if you want to leave a review--hint hint--it would be greatly appreciated). Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to TMNT or Srgnt. Frog manga
Two blades. Each is an extension of myself. They must fly in perfect harmony. For the blades to be in harmony, I must be in balance. My every move must be perfect, be exact.
OW! Pain…I drop one of my katana onto the floor. My shoulder is throbbing, but I can't stop now. Reaching down to pick my blade back up is also painful, but no pain no gain, right?
Again. Swinging the blades around. One is dominant, the other is not but could become so if given the chance. That is, if my shoulder will calm down for a bit and let me train. I must once more regain balance, something that is hard to do when a war is raging within me.
Thoughts. All outside thoughts must be pushed aside. They are not important now. Only the movement of my katana. I must focus on my katana. I must focus on my movement, my kata
Slicing through the air. It must be faultless or the move will have failed. The almost-silent singing swish tells me my angle is just right for this kata. I love the soft ring, the feel of control, the sighing of my brother…wait! The sighing of my brother?
Leonardo broke out of his meditative state and looked over at Michelangelo, who was sitting in the corner with the manga he had received for Christmas. For a brief moment, before he felt the gaze of his oldest brother, a strange look was on his face as he stared into empty space. However, the moment he noticed that Leo had stopped practicing, he quickly covered it up with a jovial smile.
"Hey, bro, what's up?"
Slightly concerned, Leonardo sheathed his katana and walked over to his youngest brother. He tried to place where he had seen that look before. It seemed all too familiar and recent.
"Are you okay, Mike?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"
"Um, no reason."
Leonardo sat down next to his brother. Seventeen years of being with each other almost every minute and Michelangelo still thought he could hide that something was bothering him. Leo looked down at the Sergeant Frog book. It looked like it hadn't even been opened. Maybe this has something to do with him not getting the Justice Force comic?
"Do you not like it?"
"Like what?" Mikey looked at him confusedly. Then he glanced down at the manga. "Oh, that? No, I really like it, Leo. Really!"
Leo raised an eyeridge at him.
"Okay, okay, so I haven't actually read it yet, but I really do like it."
"So what were you doing?"
The normally jovial turtle looked down with a solemn expression. Leo was disturbed to notice that his baby brother's normally clear blue eyes were now stormy as though he was waging a war within himself. It was a look that Leo knew frequently crossed his own face, but never had he seen it on Mikey.
"Want to talk about it?" the blue clad turtle asked after a pause.
The youngest turtle did not answer. He just kept staring downwards. His hands started to twitch slightly.
"Um, Mike? You know you can tell me, no matter what it is, right?"
To his surprise, Michelangelo stood up quickly with the manga in hand and hurried towards his room. Leo jumped up after him.
The youngest turtle spun around for a brief moment.
"No, I don't want to talk about it, Leo!"
He turned back around and left his oldest brother staring after him. Donatello entered a moment later. He was looking over his shoulder back at Michelangelo.
"What's up with Mikey?"
Leonardo looked at him, his brows creased worriedly.
"I don't know. All I did was ask him if he was alright, then he went all Raph on me! Any ideas?"
Donatello shook his head. "I don't know. He hasn't told me that anything was bothering him lately. I think the only time I've ever seen him act like that is when Klunk 'lost it' on one of his Silver Sentry comics. Remember? He was depressed for almost a week!"
The realization of where he had seen that look suddenly struck Leonardo. It was the very same look that Michelangelo had had on his face back in Karai's dungeon only moments after he, Leo, had regained consciousness. It was a look of complete despair.
"I should go talk to him."
Leo tried to walk past his second youngest brother, but Donatello blocked his way.
"Just let Mikey blow off some steam for a bit. I'll go talk with him in a bit. However, Mikey is not what I came to talk to you about."
Leonardo's guard instantly went up. "Then what's up, Don?"
"You can't keep training for several hours straight in your condition, Leo," was the reply. "Instead of relaxing like you're supposed to, you've actually started practicing more. Even Raph's not being that stubborn."
"I feel fine, Don."
"But you aren't fine, Leo. If you keep going, you might easily make your injuries worse."
"Don, I'll be—"
"Look, I know you well enough to know you aren't going to stop," Donatello interrupted.
Leonardo shrugged with a slightly sheepish grin, but winced in pain at the movement of his shoulder and grabbed it with his other hand.
"Case in point. But would you at least try to let up a bit or maybe just use one arm?"
"I'll think about it."
"You need to do a little more than think, Leo."
Leonardo turned his back on his brother.
"I appreciate your concern, Don," he said in a tone that indicated that he was done talking.
Donatello opened his mouth as if to say something, but then closed it again as Leonardo withdrew one of his katana and began moving into yet another kata. With a small sigh, he turned and walked out of the dojo—which in truth was really more of just an open space in the middle of their lair—and entered the kitchen.
Raphael was sitting in there at the table with a bowl of cereal. He looked up with a bit of milk dripping down his chin. After quickly swallowing, the red-clad turtle wiped the milk off with the back of his hand. Donatello gave him a brief nod and headed over to the coffee maker. Taking his favorite mug from a nearby cupboard, he poured himself a cupful of the steaming black liquid and turned back around to face his brother.
"So how'd it go?" Raphael mumbled, his mouth still half full.
Donatello shook his head despondently. "No luck with Leo, but that's no surprise. I'm more worried about Mikey, though."
Raphael set his full spoon back down into the bowl. "Why? What's wrong with Mike?"
Don brought the mug back down from his beak. "Something's gotten him really upset. When I passed him on my way to the dojo, he wouldn't even acknowledge that I was there except for a brief glance. Then, he ran up into his room."
Donatello shook his head negatively. "Not Leo. I heard everything that happened. It wasn't Leo."
"Then what's eatin' him?"
"I'm not sure. I was planning on talking with him in a few moments."
Donatello swigged down the rest of his coffee and set the mug down on the cabinet. Raphael watched his brother out of the corner of his eye as he went back to eating.
"What cup number is that today?"
"Five, maybe six. I don't remember right off the top of my head."
"Yer addicted to that stuff, Don."
"Well, would you rather have an awake Don or a cranky Don?" the purple-clad turtle called back over his shoulder as he walked out of the room.
Raphael didn't answer. He just turned back to his cereal.
So please review! I know you're out there! Flames will be used to warm something-or-the-other-that-I-can't-think-of-right-now up.