Sapphire's words rang through Leonardo's head a thousand and one times.
"Our little girl isn't the same little girl she was before. She's become much stronger now, did you notice that?"
"It's all thanks to you."
"Please trust her more. Alright?"
What kind of father hides so many secrets from his daughter? Even if his intention was to protect her, it ended up hurting her in ways he couldn't even imagine. How could he be so arrogant in telling Ana to become an honest and trustworthy leader when he, himself, was not truthful to her or to his family?
"I love you…"
His hands clenched tightly into fists. What kind of husband thinks about anyone other than his wife? How dare he even consider his feelings for another woman when the one who had been with him all this time, who had mended his broken heart, was right in front of him?
What kind of person had he become? He had been too caught up in covering his past, in worrying too much about the future, in trying and almost forcing his daughter to be the perfect, that he failed to notice what it had turned him into.
Leonardo snapped out of his thoughts. His three brothers were all staring at him.
"Hey, you okay bro?" Michelangelo asked in concern.
He looked away. "Yeah…"
Raphael was leaning on the wall. "So, are we gonna talk about this or not? Yer lil' adventure t'night, Fearless Leader."
His brother's voice dripped with a nasty kind of sarcasm. But somehow, Leonardo couldn't blame him. Of course he'd be the most upset. In the past, Karai was like toxic gas in their family, they never really understood her motives and she switched sides so often that they didn't know what to believe anymore. And it was Raphael who knew, better than anyone, how much influence Karai actually had over their eldest brother.
Leonardo exhaled. "Listen, it really was unexpected. I was getting back from Casey's farmhouse and I suddenly saw Ana and Tyler fighting with the Foot-"
"Hold on a sec, the Foot?" Michelangelo said in surprise. "Don't tell me they're back too?"
"Tch, that's not shockin'. What's Karai without her devoted servants?" Raphael sneered.
Leonardo shot him a look but didn't retort. "Yes, they're back and I couldn't let Ana and Tyler get hurt so I intercepted them. It was then that Karai appeared. I honestly didn't know anything about her return until tonight."
"What about her motives?" Donatello asked. "Why did she come back?"
"I don't know," Leonardo answered. "She just… returned."
For a moment, it was quiet as the four were immersed in their own thoughts.
It was Donatello who raised the issue they were all thinking of. "So… are we planning on doing anything about it?"
"What kind of question is that? 'Course we are-"
Leonardo, however, cut Raphael off. "No," was his firm response. "We don't know anything for sure. We can't just make a move without confirmation of her intentions."
Raphael scowled. "So, yer sayin' we're jus' gonna let Little Miss Shredder run around the city as she pleases? Like hell I will!"
"That Shredder incident was years ago, Raph! The past doesn't have a place in the present anymore!"
The turtle in red was glaring at him. "Don't gimme any of that crap, Leo. Ya think I don't know what this is really about? Ya jus' don't wanna deal with this 'cause ya don't want the past, our past, ta be revealed! Yer afraid of Sapphire an' Ana findin' out the truth!"
Leonardo's eyes flared. "They have nothing to do with this! This is something that doesn't concern them! I don't want them getting involved!"
Raphael scoffed. "Tch, whatever. If ya think I'm gonna suck up any of yer bullshit, think again." Without another word, he walked away.
Leonardo watched him go, jaw tight and fists clenching. Then, he felt a hand rest on his shoulder.
"Hey, Leo… lots of things happened tonight and we're all tired. How about we rest for a bit and continue again later?" Michelangelo suggested.
"Mike's right," Donatello said. "Let's call it a night, shall we? We'll discuss what to tell Ana, Tyler and the girls in the morning."
The sword-wielding terrapin turned to them and nodded. Minutes later, the three had separated into their rooms. Leonardo watched the sleeping form of his wife on their bed for a moment. He knew he couldn't fall asleep right away because out of everything that had happened, there was one thing that was nagging him at the back of his mind.
'What am I going to tell Ana tomorrow?'
My mother had a relationship with a turtle. A talking and walking mutated turtle. There was no way it can get any stranger than that. But wait. That turtle had brothers, three to be exact and a giant rat for a father. I mean, exactly how twisted is that?
Alright, my mom and I had a long talk last night about her past in New York, especially the part concerning the turtles. In all honesty, I think mutated reptiles with awesome ninja skills rock but my mom actually had a relationship with one of them.
"It was complicated," she told me. "But I respected him more than anyone. He was a great and honorable warrior, someone whom you could meet only once in a lifetime."
Dude, just try telling me that statement didn't mean she was in love with him.
If I remember right, the turtle's name was Leonardo, the one with the blue bandana over his eyes, the one she called father. That brings me to another issue.
Ana, the girl I met a couple weeks back, is actually related to the turtles; in fact, she's his daughter. A human girl has a giant turtle for a father. Now I know I've seen everything.
But you know what, I'm not one to judge. I guess it can't be helped that the world is really full of surprises and strange things. However, I'm not discouraged. In fact, I'm glad I came to NY with my mom. It gave me a chance to experiences such things. And now, I'm a little closer to my mom since she shared to me about her past, even if she initially didn't want to.
Now, there's only one thing left to do.
It was 4AM in the morning and the sun had just risen, dawning a new day in New York City. Most people, however, would still be in bed at this time. Then again, that would hold true only if one had nothing planned in the first place.
"Slow down, will ya, Ana?"
Leonardo's daughter landed gracefully on a rooftop, an exasperated expression on her face. 'I knew this was a bad idea' she thought to herself and turned around to face her grumpy 13-year-old cousin, leaping after her.
"Remind me again why we're up this early?" he grumbled, a little cranky from his lack of sleep.
Ana sighed. "You know, Ty, if I knew you were going to complain this much, then I wouldn't have allowed you to come along. It's not like I need any help investing that place last night to find clues on that woman. Nobody's forcing you to be here."
"No way! I ain't missin' out on anythin'!" he immediately replied. "I jus' wanna know why we snuck out so early. Why couldn't it wait 'til later?"
"It has to be now," she explained. "Everyone's asleep, including our fathers and uncles. My guess is, they were probably up all night talking about who knows what. This is the only time we could get away without them noticing, understand?"
"Yeah, but…" He yawned groggily. "That ain't gonna help me at all."
"Then, how about me leaving you behind? That a good enough reason for you?" Her eyes twinkled playfully. "Little cuz."
The reaction was immediate. Tyler's eyes flared wide awake. "Who are ye callin' little?" he snapped. He began moving towards the next roof. "Yer the one that gotta be careful so that I don't leave ya behind!"
Ana grinned to herself. 'Still as predictable as ever,' she thought and followed after her cousin. 'However, when I think about it… there's really nothing wrong with being honest with yourself. Maybe if I was a bit more like Tyler then dad wouldn't have kept so many secrets from me…'
The two arrived at the rooftop they had been yesterday. There wasn't anything unusual about the place; in fact, it seemed like any other rooftop and like everything they had been through never happened.
But Ana very well knew, it did.
"Ya really think we'll find anythin' here?" Tyler asked his cousin as they began looking around the area.
Ana didn't answer right away. She was quite aware that it was by a long shot that they were actually going to find anything about the strange woman, especially considering the fact that she was a ninja. Nonetheless, she had to try. This place was pretty much her only chance to find out who she was and about her connection to her father.
'Dead end, huh?' she thought to herself when she found nothing. 'I sneaked out of the lair and dragged Tyler all the way here but… no clues, no leads of any kind… now what?'
She straightened up and looked at the sky. 'Mom will probably be awake soon. If we go back now, we should still make it. Cutting it close, maybe but what choice do we have?'
She sighed. "Alright, Tyler, let's go-" she was cut short when she suddenly felt another presence. She turned her head around just in time to see something flying towards her and immediately ducked so that whatever it was hit the wall instead.
"What the…" She looked up to find out what had been aiming for her head. It was a small blade. Her brows furrowed in confusion.
"Ana!" Tyler appeared at her side. "Ya okay? What happened? I saw somethin' flyin' then-"
"Impressive" a new voice they didn't recognize suddenly spoke.
They spun around to locate the source and saw a young female standing before them. As she approached, they were able to see her features more clearly. Her hair was long, auburn and flew across her face as the wind blew. Her eyes were jade green and burned with a fiery passion. She was almost as tall as Ana and her skin held a pale shade of peach. Although she looked like your average teenage girl, her clothes didn't exactly fit in. She was dressed in armor; shoulder and elbow pads, a vest on her upper body, a skirt below it and long boots. She also had a belt around her waist where a scabbard was hanging from. She looked exactly like a warrior princess.
Except for one other odd thing. Her ears were pointed.
However, the strange female acted like her presence was nothing out of the ordinary and approached the two. "It appears my coming here will not be of waste." When she spoke, she gave off a sort of upright yet arrogant attitude.
Getting over his initial shock, Tyler scowled at her. "Yer the one that threw that knife?" he wanted to know. "Who are ya an' what the shell is yer problem?"
However, the female only scoffed. "How rude. Earthers are such uncouth beings."
"What? I outta-"
"Ty, calm down," Ana told him. "Let me handle this, alright?" As she turned to the new arrival, she couldn't help but wonder, 'Who is this girl? That term she just used, earthers… was she talking about us? What is that all about? What's up with that outfit and… her ears? I really don't have any time for this right now. I'm having enough trouble as it is with that Karai woman. But knowing Tyler, he probably won't let this pass.'
She sighed and faced the mysterious individual. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you being the rude one here, appearing before us without even introducing yourself?"
At first, she didn't reply and seemed to be contemplating on Ana's words. Then, she smirked. "Very well. It would most benefit you to know my name and have it embedded in your head," she said, somewhat haughtily. "My name is Kaida, daughter to the Ultimate Ninja and granddaughter to the Ultimate Daimyo who rules over the Battle Nexus and I have travelled to this dimension in order to challenge you, Hamato Anastasia!"
Sorry for the cliffhanger! Hope you like the new twist! I'll try to update as soon as possible :)