A/N: So ends this tale of murder and mayhem. Thanks to those that read and reviewed.
A Murder in Osaka
After the snow plows had come and gone, after the Japanese police had questioned everyone and had taken the body of Oroku Karai away, Finney C. Toriop retired to his room, heavy of both heart and mind. As an off world detective, he did not need to adhere to the Earth's practices, though it was curtesy to do so, therefore, he didn't need to confide in the police here of the true story of what happened.
And though he had a clearer picture of the murder, he did not know or have all the details. Yes, he was positive that the guests in the hotel were the murdered woman's killers – he was sure that the king had used his knowledge of chemistry to make the deadly poison; he was sure Benjiro had posted himself in this hotel for the very task of bringing that poison and allowing the others access; he was sure that Mr. Case – who in realty was the son of the previous murder victim, as well as heir to O'Neil Tech – had stationed himself in Karai's circle in order to have access to her; and he knew that all four turtle creatures were April O'Neil's adoptive brothers.
However, there was a sorrow he felt for this family. Justice had clearly not been done for them; true, the actual murderers had been captured and sentenced, but their leader had gone free, the law unable to catch and try her. While he was not a species of Earth, he had studied Earth law and found it lacking. How a planet could survive when resources went and were used for the criminal element he did not understand. The cases he had seen showed an unhealthy fascination with murderers and rapists and other criminals, while victims and their families suffered.
This did not happen on his planet; victims always had a say in how a criminal be treated. Yes, sometimes it was brutal, but the law was always with the victim, never the prepetraitor.
Hearing a knock on his door, he opened it, rather stunned to see Mr. Splinterson, or rather Hamato Leonardo, standing on the other side.
"Mr. Toriop," he said, bowing in greeting.
"Mr. Splinter…" he started but stopped himself. "Mr. Hamato, forgive me."
"S'alright," the turtle murmured. "May I have a word?"
Finney nodded, opening the door and allowing him in. Closing the door behind him, the inspector noticed the sagging of the creatures shoulders, as though a weight and a burden had simultaneously landed on them.
"I wanted to thank you," Leonardo whispered. "For telling the police about the first solution."
Finney waved him off. "Think nothing of it."
The turtle shook his head. "No," he said. "That isn't right. I've brought a heavy burden on you, I can see it. That's…that's why I've come to confess. You were right, of course, that…that the initial idea was Albie's…but I'm the one who planned the go ahead." Turning from the inspector, he sighed. "Our father taught us that all life was sacred," he whispered. "In all of our adventures, my brothers and I have managed to kill one, maybe two people. Self defense," he added, seeing the look Fin gave him.
"We have never willingly taken a life," he continued. "And yet, we not only willingly took a life, but we conspired to do so. I'd like to think my father would understand, but I know there would be disappointment in his eyes. His master – my grandfather, by all rights – had learned that lesson; that anger, if it festers, was like a splinter." Pausing to look at the alien detective, he said, "I'd like to tell you what happened, if you want to know."
Though the alien had a fairly good idea that this murder was…justified, he only knew particulars about the previous crime and those had been told second hand by Tony. But looking at the turtle, Fin felt that this would ease the tension in the man's shoulders and perhaps, give him the peace he had been searching for in seventeen years. He nodded.
"As you said, Inspector," Leonardo began. "To understand this murder, you have to understand the previous one…"
With a happy sigh, Finney C. Toriop closed his suitcase. While he had been a bit saddened at having to leave the city of Osaka, he thought it better for his conscience if he continued on his tour of the Japanese country and culture.
He had sat and listened to the story of Hamato Leonardo, the oldest of four turtle brothers and the eldest son of an anamorphic Japanese rat for nearly two hours, hearing everything from the beginnings of the his life as a mutant ninja turtle to how he had organized this extraordinary revenge. The entire tale had been fantastic – his story that he was a product of Utrom ingenuity had been true, though it had been a complete mistake due to a traffic accident; but there had been no mistake in hearing the affection and complete sadness that the turtle's voice held in speaking of his father.
He explained that he and Oroku Karai had a somewhat love/hate relationship and in the ensuing years, whatever friendship or love that teetered between them had been shattered the night they had been attacked in the Jones home. There had been bitterness as he described how he had been caught unawares, as they all had, lulled into a sense of security and perhaps domestic peacefulness.
He hadn't learned about his father until later, but had heard the call of distress from his brother, saw two of them fall before him, and heard the sound of bone being broken. He didn't remember much after that. After that night and then discovering April O'Neil's body…it had been hard. He himself had been surprised that his wife hadn't left him.
Leonardo had been just as surprised when Albie – otherwise known as A.C. Jones, the now current owner and president of O'Neil Tech – had told him he had found Karai and he was going after her. There was much discussion and though he had warned everyone of the consequences, even Leonardo couldn't help but want revenge. And they planned, oh did they plan!
Donatello of course had made the fake documents for Albie, had also gone and made the fake passports for everyone, with the help of Albie and Kim, who had always been his little helpers and inventors. It was the royal who oversaw the making of the poison, though it was Nick and Kim who made it. Nick was on par with his father when it came to chemistry and like the little brother he was, he had enlisted his sister, the biologist, in their concoction.
Michelangelo had come up with the story of the mysterious assailant and wanted everyone to make sure they played up Karai's dirty dealings. It wasn't a secret now, which was why, according to information supplied by Albie, that she was leaving the country once more.
Raphael had picked the weapon, a dagger that he given to Casey that last Christmas. Casey couldn't come with them this time, but he sure as hell wasn't going to let the vigilante miss this glorious opportunity.
Then there was Leonardo himself – yes, it had been Albie's idea, but the young man had wanted to go alone; had only told his family so they would know what he planned, so if the police came looking, well…he hadn't gotten that far, the vengeance and heartache too great. But Leonardo…he had always been the leader, the strategist, and if they had the opportunity to right the wrongs done upon them, he was not going to let it go to waste.
It had been his idea to place someone within a hotel that Karai would be in, though he hadn't been thrilled when his son had volunteered for the job. However, it would work; Benji had grown up speaking and hearing Japanese and like his father and grandfather before him, he was quite fluid in the language.
The tale was tragic, that was for sure and it truly did split Finney's mind in two. Ultimately, though part of him couldn't believe he was letting these murderers go, the larger part of him needed to sympathize; this Oroku Karai and her father, from what he had heard, had been the heads of a dispictable organization that sold drugs to children, bought guns to kill people, and other deeds. How could he possibly fault a family who had suffer from these people?
Afterwards, he convinced the turtle there was no need to turn himself in, as Finney was going to be leaving. The snowplows had come, clearing the way for the roads, as well as the front and back of the hotel; the Japanese police had questioned the guests regarding Nagi Sakura. No one mentioned who she really was nor did they mention who they truly were.
The Japanese police were none the wiser, as they took statements, with Finney and Tony telling them what they had concluded – that some assailant had come in through the night and murdered her. Both aliens had been sure the woman's true identity would come out eventually, but by then those who had stayed at the hotel, besides Fin, Tony, and the Doctor, would suddenly ceased to exist and would no longer be in the country anyways.
For Finney, he decided that it be best for him to continue on with his journey and to try to forget this case he had incountered. Looking around his room once more, he made sure that he had everything before picking up his suitcase and heading downstairs. He was surprised to see Tony seemingly waiting for him. They shook hands once they were closer.
"Taking off, huh?" asked the American alien.
The inspector nodded. "While the city of Osaka is great," he began. "I have many other cities to see in my travels before I need to go back home."
"Too bad," Tony sighed. "I'm still here for another day and I don't even get the company of the other guests."
"They're taking off too," Tony remarked, jerking his head to where Hamato Leonardo and A.C. Jones stood in front of the hotel's tele-porter, both aliens watching at the motely group began to say goodbye to each other.
"Uncle Leo?" Albert Casey Jones turned to his uncle, giving him a tight hug. They had done it; he couldn't believe it. They had actually done it. And he held no remorse, none. They had avenged his mother, whom he could scarsely remember; they had avenged the sister he would never know; they had avenged his father, whose body he had found; and they had avenged his grandfather, a kind, gentle being he barely recalled.
And they had been there for him, they hadn't let him do this alone, like he had planned.
Now that their plan was deemed successful and the Japanese police had tired of them, there was no point in staying here any longer than needed.
Leo patted his nephew on the back, proud to have alleviated the demons that he also shared. Releasing him, the former leader saw his youngest brother approaching them, a duffel bag slung over his shoulder and a smile on his face, something that hadn't been there for quite some time.
Michelangelo patted his nephew on the shoulder before pulling him into a hug. Letting go, he hugged his oldest brother tightly as he could with one arm, the way Albie had done previously. "It's good to see you smile again, Mike," the elder whispered.
"Things are better now," the youngest replied, his smile wider. "Well, as better as they can be." Looking between the two of them, Mike chuckled. "You two behave yourselves," he smirked. "Wouldn't want you getting into any trouble."
"Get outta here," Leo joked, tapping the orange wearing turtle on the head. Mike gave a small wave before stepping on to the transporter and zipping his way through the universe.
The elder turtle was the first to notice that his immediate younger brother, Raphael, was headed their way. Something within his brother died the day they found Casey hanging from a rope in his bedroom that he had shared with April. While there was no doubt that the former red banded turtle loved his father and his brothers, it was Casey who understood him, understood the anger that simmered beneath the surface.
Casey, who could sometimes be a bit immature, still could be counted on to protect his soul brother, which was one of the only reasons Leo had ever let Raph leave their former home on occasion. April and Splinter's deaths had been hard enough, but it was Raph who knew something wasn't right with Casey and had sometimes despaired that his friend would do something crazy.
Normally having never been big on affection of any sort, after losing three family members within the span of a year made something in his brother note that he could lose someone at any time. That was why Leo nor Albie blinked when the more temperamental turtle hugged his nephew tightly.
Raph had promised his friend that he would do whatever it took to make sure Albie had everything he needed and it was a promise he kept when he had been awarded custody of his soul brother's child. In those eyes that he shared with his father, Raphael not only saw his nephew, but his son.
Giving one last pat, Raph stood back to look at the boy who had become a man almost before his eyes. He definitely looked more like April, with the hair he had inherited from her, as well as her love of technology, but those eyes were all Casey and as was the stubbornness and temper that went with it.
Looking at his older brother, he could see the guilt and heartache that had been constant on his face all but gone. He knew Leo would struggle with this – that had not only conspired to take a life, but had done so in a grisly manner – but overall, Raph thought he would be okay; that they would finally all be okay.
Neither brother said a word to each other, years later they didn't really need to. The fight and bite that they had between them had fizzled, each with their own demons to fight and destroy, without their antagonism to add to it.
Le clapsed a hand on his shoulder, feeling his brother relax under its weight. He shortened the distance, hugging him as he had their other brother, and whispered, "It's over. It's finally over." He felt Raph nod against his shoulder, the realization that they could move on, if you could ever truly move on from something like this, but there could be healing possibily.
"You should get some rest," he continued, pulling away. "You can finally go to sleep."
The hot headed turtle nodded, slowly, the thought of sleep now a welcomed sight. He gave his brother his customary smirk, one that said once he got his rest, Leo wouldn't, and that they would be up to their same tricks as before. Oddly enough, Leonardo welcomed it, looked forward to embracing normalcy, if they ever had it. Chuckling a bit, he watched as his brother went off as the first, to parts unknown, though Leo sincerely hoped that both had gone home.
He wasn't surprised to see the royal portion of his family coming towards him, Donnie being led by Kimiko. If there was one injury that hurt him that night, it was seeing what his intelligent brother had suffered. From the time they could crawl, Don had loved to tinker with things, anything he could get his hands on.
While Raph's injury had been worrisome for nearly a year and Mike had overcome his missing arm, Don could never and would never be able to tinker with anything ever again. Oh, he had tried and nearly set his arm and his workbench on fire with a saline torch. It wasn't to say that he didn't enjoy teaching not only his children, but Albie the finer points of science or technology, but you could see, sometimes, from his posture that he missed what he had once loved doing.
Nick wasted no time in hugging his cousin, his best friend next to Benji. The three of them had been troublemakers, but who had grown into fine young men, loyal to their family and friends. He next turned to his uncle, his godfather, the one he turned to when his father would sometimes detach himself from them, whether in grief or anger.
He knew Albie did that too sometimes, just as his other uncles tended to do. They all did it at one time or another, thoughts that came rushing to the mind that were too much to handle, too much to remember. April and Casey were his godparents, just as his father and mother were godparents to Albie; he didn't know what he would do if he lost them or even Kimmie for that matter.
He hadn't been hesitant at all when the idea had been suggested.
Kim was next, hugging Albie and giving his cheek a sisterly kiss. She had always treated him as though he was another little brother; she had done that with all the boys, having been the only girl at the time. Of course, that had been one reason why the others hadn't wanted her involved; however, she wasn't the daughter of Hamato Donatello and Ito Dellandra for nothing. They needed her skills and she had reminded them of that.
She gave her uncle a hug as well, happy that he didn't seem so guarded and pensive as before. She had worried for him; she remembered him being so strong in the aftermath and then one day seeing him cry from the strain. She hadn't thought anything of it, running over and hugging him tightly, telling him that things would be alright and that one day, they would get the bad guy.
And they had.
Donatello, at moment's like this, missing his eyesight. Yes, in those first few years, it took some time to get used to, but he could overcome not having his sight. He still had ideas and luckily, thanks in part to the company he shared with April and Casey, he could still make blueprints, through the use of virtual reality.
However, all the technology in the world couldn't restore his eyesight; he had already gone that route. After three years, he just gave up the idea, knowing it would never happen. He would never see his children grow, never see if his daughter finally looked like her mother and he would never see how beautiful she would look on her wedding day.
He would never see his wife's lovely face, nor could he look at the man that stood before him now. He knew the childhood face from his memory, the little boy with April's hair and Casey's eyes, whose first word had been "goongola"; did he resemble his mother more now than he did as a child? Or did he take on the aspects of his father?
Don already knew the young man had the intelligence of his mother and he enjoyed answering questions between him and his daughter. After seventeen years, Don finally felt as though his godson could move on, that they all could move on.
The brainy turtle wasted no time in pulling the young man to him in a fatherly hug. "Your mother and father would be so proud of you, Albie," he whispered. Moving to look at the boy in his mind's eye, he continued with, "Just as all of us are so very proud of you."
Albie for his part tried to keep his emotions in check, however hearing something like that had always meant something to him, like it somehow brought him closer to his parents, that wherever they were now, that they actually were proud of him. Choking back a sob, he answered, "Domo arigato, Ojisan."
The turtle held out arm to his left, unsurprised when he felt the familiar hand of his elder brother. Out of all of them, it was Leo he worried for the most. Yes, Raph couldn't do as many things as he once enjoyed and Mikey was without his arm and he without his sight, but never in a million years could he ever hope to live with the scene that Leo saw that night. And the only way Don even knew about it was he had been there when the police had questioned his brother. Leo never spoke of it again.
His bigger brother always felt things that happened to them were his fault, that if only he had been stronger or faster, their pitfalls would never have happened. There had been an immense burden on the elder turtle in the aftermath, because Karai was targeting them specifically, targeting Leo specifically. After all these years, he still thought this was his fault, if he had never agreed to meet Saki and had never cared for Karai as he had, this wouldn't have happened.
Though he couldn't see his brother, Don felt that the tension seemingly rolling off his shoulders. The brainy turtle had imagined he himself would have difficulties with what they had planned; he never liked violence and certainly, this was a violent act seventeen years in the making, but he found that even he held a center of peace. He felt himself being hugged, his mind always off thinking, and he chuckled when he heard his brother say he wouldn't let go till he stopped.
Leo released him, patting him gently on the cheek. His most cherished brother, whose sight he could never replace…the shades he wore kept the scars that were left after a surgery or two, with no luck. But he, like his other brothers, had tried to find place in this new, sightless world; they could finally be free. The elder didn't say anything – he and Donnie had always been close – and years of training had taught each of them to communicate without the use of words.
And though he knew his brother couldn't see him, Leo knew Don understood the look he now gave him, one that held the promise of more visits, of more time with the family, of a retreat to the farmhouse to relax, play, and have fun. He knew his brother understood when he received a nod and a second hug. He began to lead his brother forward, not minding the slap to his arm in protest; in any event, Leo could still be a mother hen.
He and Albie watched as the three began their leave and disappeared one by one back to their home. They both stood, feeling the presence of a third who stood watching with them. The red head was the first to turn, the first to acknowledge their visitor. Leo didn't want to spoil that; the two were the closest of cousins, bordering on siblings rather than cousins.
The elder turtle had been quite surprised that the whole thing had worked the way it had been planned, or rather they just happened to encounter one of the compassionate alien police officers. He had been quite worried in learning who Toriop really was and he had nearly had a heart attack when he and the other alien decided that they were going to investigate. But the others had worn him down, telling him as long as they stuck to their stories, things would be fine.
As harrowing as it was, things did indeed seem to be alright.
The turtle turned, gazing fondly on the blue alien that stood before him. There were times when Leo couldn't believe the luck and fortune they had encountered in their lives. There had been tragedy, yes, but overall, he couldn't say that he wasn't happy with his life. And before him was proof of that, this young man who he had raised as his own since he was but a baby.
True, he was technically Leo's step-son, but that had never mattered in their family. Just as Master Splinter was their father, despite being of a different species, just as April and Casey were every bit their siblings, Benji had been his son before it had been official. He smiled at the young, his heart still remembering the moment that Benji had volunteered for this aspect. His brothers and he had argued in him going, in any of them doing this, but Ben had stood up and made an impassioned plea. Though biologically he wasn't related to him, Hamato Benjiro was every bit Leonardo's son.
Placing his hands on the boy's shoulders, Leo asked, "Are you headed home?"
Ben shook his head. "I'm going to stay for another week," he answered. "But it will be my last, I notified the manager of that. I figured I'd see you both off though."
Leo nodded, noting that Albie had already moved to the transporter and was waiting for him. Turning back to his son, he said, "Don't keep your mother waiting. It's been hard enough letting you go and spend nearly a month in another country."
"I'm sure Joey kept her company," the young man smirked.
"Yes," Leo chuckled. "But you're our first. It was hard enough keeping Joey out of this."
"I'm proud of you, Benjiro," the turtle whispered. "This was not a task I would have ever asked of you, but you performed it well, better than I could have hoped." Ben ducked his head, his face flushed with embarrassment. "I love you, son. You know that, yes?"
"Yeah, Dad, I know."
Leo grinned, knowing he was responsible for the blush that turned his son's face purple. "I'll leave you to it then," he smirked. "Don't dawdle; your mother and I expect you home in one week, understood?"
"Yes Dad," Ben replied, rolling his eyes slightly. Not resisting any longer, Leo pulled his son into a hug, giving him a fatherly pat on his back. The son was the first to pull back. "I gotta get back to work," he whispered. "I'll see you at home." He gave his father a pat on the shoulder before turning and heading off to whatever chores awaited him.
Leo watched him go, then spun on his heel and walked towards the red head who stood waiting for him. Smiling, the turtle nodded and first the young red head and then he stepped on the pad for the transporter and then were transported to their perspective worlds.