Bottled Up

Disclaimer: The 2003 TMNT series belongs to Mirage and 4Kids.

Note: This takes place sometime after the events of Samurai Tourist.

I have seen it in his eyes, the frustration and the longing for closure. And it hurt me to see my dear friend Leonardo in such pain.

A while back, Splinter-san had contacted me to come pay him and the Turtles a visit. I was delighted to come and see how my dear friends and comrades were doing. Then Splinter-san told me about what was happening.

One of them was going through a rough time. I had never expected it to be Leonardo-san.

When I arrived with Gennosuke, we soon found out exactly what we were dealing with.

Everything else was in good order. Raphael's passion and drive were exactly the same as they had been before. Michelangelo's good humor was intact. And Donatello's intellect and aptitude were still there.

But Leonardo had changed. Not only were his eyes different, but his demeanor and his movements had changed as well. There was an unspeakable rage within him. Something was gnawing at him from inside.

I remember the time I had failed my own master. It was not a moment I liked to recall.

We took the tour of the city at night to see its sights and sounds. We saw many wondrous things that night. It was a city of bright lights and skyscrapers, things we were not accustomed to.

The next morning, we discovered that Gennosuke had gone out on his own. Apparently, that was forbidden in this world.

On our way to find Gen, my friends explained to me the situation and how creatures such as ourselves were not considered common in this world. I understood the situation immediately.

Soon enough, Gennosuke was brought back to the lair but we were forced to confront the assassin Kojima, who had come here for Gennosuke and Leonardo. The battle was hard but we emerged victorious.

Leonardo, however, surprised me with his sheer willpower and ferocity. In that very battle, he fought the assassin with every fiber in his body. He fought like a demon.

And it frightened me to see that.

Finally, it was time for us to return.

We said our farewells and Leonardo, in particular, was adamant about finding his own path. In that regard, I truly cannot fault him. One must always find their own paths in life and despite my pleas for Leonardo to let go of his inner turmoil, I realized that he too must find his own way.

Leonardo, my friend, I know not all the details of what you have gone through, but know this. I support you through your time of despair and pray that one day, you will find what it is you're searching for.

Until then, I wish you the best of luck.