I don't own TMNT or UY.
Leo was sinking lower and lower onto his folded arms. He was blinking slower than what was normal and his eyes were busy fogging over. Usagi was watching him out of the corner of his eye. He gave an inward sigh as he took another bite out of his apple.
After Usagi had filled Leo in on what he'd gone through before landing on Mikey's lap, and after Leo and he had both calmed down from their semi-argument, they'd gone on to lighter, less stressful topics to ease the tension. Leo had told Usagi of his own adventures since their last meeting and Usagi had in turn told him of some of the things he'd gotten himself into which didn't involve him almost getting killed. After a while Usagi had to swallow his pride and admit that he was starving. He hadn't eaten anything in well over half a day. Leo'd offered that they get him something like a sandwich or something they could heat up in the microwave, but Usagi was already feeling like he was imposing too much on Leo's hospitality, and settled for an apple. Once he'd finished it however Leo pushed another one into his hands which Usagi didn't resist too much.
After some time their conversations had quietened down, and now Leo was having a hard time staying awake. Usagi watched him as he battled to keep his eyes open, feeling rather guilty at keeping his friend up when he himself had already gotten a few short hours of sleep. He sighed to himself thoughtfully as he ate what was left of the fruit. It tasted strange but he didn't mind.
He thought about what Leo had said in conjunction with his story, what his friend's opinions were on Usagi's actions and his personal feelings regarding his choices. The samurai had to admit that, once Leo gave him a different perspective on the whole thing, his hang-ups over 'running away' were, in a way, pretty selfish. After all, as Leo said, it was true Tomoe would be mourning his death because she wants him to stay alive. When he returns all he needed to prepare himself for was perhaps a very angry Onna-bugeisha who would most likely slap him for scaring her, but not some-one who'd scorn him for keeping himself alive.
Usagi caught himself smiling at this, but only for a moment before it faded again. He was thinking of her reaction to his return while he was still sitting here, in a safe, comfortable environment drinking tea and eating fruit. He was not hurt in any way. The blow to his head had disorientated him but it wasn't anything serious. The most he had to show for it was a slight headache which was slowly subsiding and possibly a bump. Other than that he didn't even have so much as grass-burns, and his armour, thanks to Raphael, was polished and clean.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with him... and Tomoe was thinking him dead.
It wasn't fair. There wasn't a single way he could think about it that made it seem the least bit justified. Although he felt a little uncomfortable about it, Leo's convinced him escaping from the gunman the way he had was a smart move, not a cowardly one. But now things were ok again.
He swallowed the last of his apple, putting the core down on the table. "Leonardo?"
Leo jerked upright in his seat with a start, blinking rapidly to himself. "Huh?! Wha??"
Usagi stifled a laugh, rather unsuccessfully. He then gave his friend a more sincere expression. "Leonardo... I must go."
Leo yawned, pulling down his mask to rub at his eyes. "Go where?" he asked groggily.
Usagi smiled at him. "I must go." He repeated simply.
Leo retied his mask, frowning at the samurai lightly. "Go... you mean go back?"
Usagi gave a nod.
Leo's frown deepened as his sleepiness got pushed aside. "But it's still the middle of the night! What about the other's? Raph, Mikey, Donny and Master Splinter? They'll want to say good-bye! You can't just slip away like a thief in the night!"
Usagi couldn't help but laugh at this. "You are worse than a child Leonardo."
Leo pulled a disgruntled face. "It's the truth though." He gave a more serious expression, frowning softly. "Raph'll be pretty mad if you just go without even telling them why you came."
"You can tell them." Usagi said matter-of-factly as he pushed himself to his feet.
"He'll want to have heard it from you." Leo said as he got up as well. "Not to mention Mikey'll be upset."
"I am sure that when you tell them of the circumstances they will forgive my rudeness." Usagi said, giving Leo a warm smile.
Leo's frown flickered. "But you barely even got here. And you've hardly had any rest or food after everything.... and now you're going back to a war-zone..."
Usagi's smile faded just slightly at this as he blinked at Leo, rather surprised. "I will be alright."
Leo's expression tightened slightly. "You don't know that."
Usagi frowned, tilting his head slightly as he gave Leo a quizzical stare. Leo stood glued to the spot, glaring back. He seemed stuck somewhere between two emotions, and Usagi couldn't quite place either of them.
Usagi's expression softened as he straightened again. "Leonardo... remember why I said I was unhappy to have come here?"
Leo blinked, confused by this. He thought for a moment before answering. "Lots of reasons, but you seemed the most hung-up because of Tomoe and because you were guilty about her thinking you'd been killed."
Usagi gave a slow nod. "...And she still does." His sympathetic attitude melted and he gave Leo a more pleading, anxious look. "Leonardo I can not do this to her. I can not keep sitting here in comfort for no reason other than 'it is safer here than it is there'. That is not only unjust but it is cruel. I must go back. I must let Tomoe know I am alright, and then I must help her with the predicament we have found ourselves in." He smiled again. "Although in all honestly, my anxiousness to return stems mostly because I want her to know I am alright."
Leo chewed on his lip, trying hard to think of an excuse he could use on the rabbit to make him stay till morning other than 'I really don't want you to go because I'm worried sick something might happen to you'. Sadly he had to admit though, Usagi was completely right. As much as Leo hated it, he knew if he thought Usagi had been killed and was wrong about it, he'd want to be set straight as quickly as possible. But that was also kind of the problem.
"You're jumping head first into a war-zone," Leo said. "What if something happens to you? I wouldn't even know about it till who knows when. How am I even gonna know if everything works out and you're fine? I'm gonna sit here worrying like an idiot."
Usagi rolled his eyes. "I take it back. You are not worse than a child, you are like an overly concerned mother." He smiled, more affectionately. "But I understand your concern, although I have nothing I could really say to ease your fears."
Leo seemed very unhappy with this answer but said nothing. Usagi placed a well-meaning hand on his shoulder. "I am sorry my friend. I honestly am."
Leo sighed. "Don't be. It's not like you're wrong. It's just..." Leo gave a short, huff of a breath. "...Forget your damn manners and drop in once things calm down for you ok?"
Usagi gave a brighter smile at this and nodded, taking back his hand. "Alright. We have a deal."
Leo nodded, managing a shaky smile, if only to hide what he was really feeling. "You owe me big time. Raph's gonna have a few words for me when he wakes up and hears I let you go."
Usagi gave a laugh at this, turning to leave the kitchen. "I am sure you will survive." He turned to glance at Leo over his shoulder as he walked. "But if I am already indebted to you, perhaps I should save asking a second favour."
Leo raised a brow suspiciously, not completely trusting this. "Well... that depends on what you want doesn't it?"
Usagi gave Leo a more genuine smile as he walked over to the coffee table where Raphael had carefully put his armour for him, every inch of the brass cleaned of gore and violence.
"I was wondering if you would perhaps help me with this annoying suit. I have a hard time tying the cords of the breastplate on the back, and once I have one shoulder guard in place I have difficulty securing the second."
Leo blinked at this for a moment before he gave a nod, his expression becoming a little sombre again.
With Leo's help it didn't take long to get the intricate garment of woven silk and brass properly fastened, tied and clasped over Usagi's more familiar blue kimono. Unlike his armour, there'd been no time to clean the silk, but Usagi didn't show any signs of minding too much. Leo supposed that when the only things you owned were, literally, the clothes on your back, you couldn't complain or start getting picky or you'd just drive yourself insane.
Still, and Leo was aware this was just him being ridiculous now, seeing the calm blue silk stained with the grease from brass and flecks of both blood and soot, punched a hole in his chest. It was another testament to the fact that Usagi had barely arrived from the 7th circle of hell and before Leo had been able to say 2 words to him, he was going straight back. Leo'd barely seen him.
His expression betrayed him.
"Come now Leonardo. Do not look so morbid." Usagi said, he sounded almost like he was scolding him. The samurai was tying the last strap on his right gauntlet before securing his daisho at his side. "You are bound to attract bad fortune with an attitude like that."
Leo said nothing, staring at his friend silently. Usagi groaned. "For heaven's sake do not look at me like that. You act as if I am walking to my doom and you will never see me again."
Leo flinched at the sentence.
Usagi blinked at the reaction, faltering with the fussing over his outfit and freezing for a moment. He straightened. He stared at Leo for a moment before he gave him a soft frown, but a kinder expression was behind it.
"...You fret too much." He said.
Leo found his tongue had decided to glue itself to his palate. When swallowing didn't dislodge it he merely dropped his gaze, frowning to himself in irritation at his behaviour. What was he? A toddler?? This was getting stupid, and knowing it was just made him feel even worse.
Usagi sighed, lowering his gaze to the floor as he reached up and retied his ears into their top-knot. He thought for a few moments as he did so. He gave his head a shake once the knot was done and picked up his helmet before turning back to stare at the dejected figure of Leo standing in front of him. He pulled a face to himself, tensing and untensing his hands around the brass in his hands.
He wasn't good with this kind of thing. Usually the people he had to say good-bye to always understood the risks of the world he came from because they lived in it themselves and knew what to expect. Not to mention they all pretty much trusted Usagi had the knowledge and experience to keep himself alive out there in the wilderness. The only person he knew who acted this distressed when he left was Jotaro, and that was because the boy was young and was afraid of the great unknown Usagi would step back into whenever he left.
But then... that was Leo's situation too wasn't it? The only problem was Leo knew enough of the world to have a better idea of what kind of dangers would be waiting for Usagi. What kind of comfort can you give some-one for something like that?
Usagi stared at his friend for a few moments before he finally spoke again. "I made a new ally since we last met."
Leo looked up at this, giving Usagi a confused stare. Usagi pretended not to see it, putting his helmet on his head and securing it under his chin, giving Leo a light-hearted smile. "A priest. He is a fine man and has saved my skin more than once since I met him. I have not known him long, but I consider him a valuable friend." He finished tying the strap, completing the outfit. He gave Leo a smile. "However when I met him it was not under the best circumstances."
Leo blinked, completely lost as to what the hell Usagi was talking about or why. It was almost on auto-pilot that he asked; "Why? What happened?"
Usagi gave a laugh, as if Leo's question was completely unexpected. "I can not tell you now! I am in a hurry." His smile calmed into something warmer and more sympathetic. "I will have to tell you next time I see you."
Leo blinked softly at this before he gave a nod in agreement. He found himself able to return the smile, although perhaps not as easily, and with more sadness to it.
Usagi's however, perked as he turned and, with some chalk they'd dug up from somewhere, opened up a portal to lead him back to his own world. Once the intricate symbols were scrawled and he'd recited the strange words, causing the glowing circle to appear in front of them he turned and gave Leo a last, reassuring smile.
He stood silently for a few moments before he finally turned to leave.
"Abayo." He said simply, his expression saying the rest for him.
The glowing circle flashed, surging for a brief second before it sunk in on itself, thinning to a thread-like slit in the air before breaking apart and disappearing completely.
"Be safe." Leo said to the empty room.
The sun was rising.
Despite popular thinking, the sun rarely burns red when it first rises in the sky. Instead, it first burns the clouds soft pink, making them contrast the sky which slowly floods full of a lighter shade of blue. Then, the thinnest line of pale yellow appears on the horizon, and the pink of the clouds melt away to their normal, every day white. It's at this point that the first sliver of bright hot white makes its appearance and the sun starts its daily routine. Unlike sunset when the colours are harsh and sharp, dawn is more often than not made up of softer, gentler tones. Perhaps this was done on purpose to reassure the world that it was going to be a good day.
Usagi was panting by now. It was more than a short walk from the forest of the southern shore to the nearest town, and he'd tried to make the journey as fast as possible.
The tall look-out tower was the first thing he saw, followed shortly by the first few roofs of the houses making up the humble town. He could hear the sounds of voices as husbands and wives woke up for their daily chores accompanied by the yells and energetic cries of children. Ahead of him, the main entrance to the town had its first sleepy-looking pedestrians follow the road to wherever they needed to go. Usagi found his second wind and sped up his pace.
The simple peasants he passed as he entered the settlement stopped in their tracks to gawk at the fully armoured samurai marching, both literally and figuratively, as bold as brass into their town. Usagi ignored them completely, making a B-line for the magistrate's home where the mad would most likely still be this early in the morning.
Ahead of him he could see one of the village watchmen stare at him before he turned tail and ran in the same direction Usagi was heading, more than likely to alert the magistrate himself before Usagi could get there. He noticed a second one also take to his heels, but he turned down a different street and disappeared to who knows where.
The samurai wasn't put off. He didn't expect any less. What else were they suppose to do when an armoured, unknown samurai wanders into their town but tell some-one official about it? He'd have been worried if they didn't show some level of fear or suspicion to his suddenly appearance.
He'd just turned a corner, spotting the large white walls of the magistrate's estate in front of him when some-one called out to him from behind.
He stopped, turning to see who it was, although he'd already recognized the voice.
She was running hard to try and catch up with him, apparently panting, However it didn't seem like it was because she was out of breath. Her lavender kimono was tied rather sloppily, she'd obviously done so in a blind rush. Her hair was unbrushed, making it even more curly than usual and causing it to bounce with her step. She called out to him again.
Usagi felt himself smile.
"Tomoe!" He called back.
Onna-Bugeisha – a female samurai
Daisho – a double sword set made up of a katana and Wakizahi.
Abayo – Outdated way of saying farewell. Translates more or less to "I pray you stay well" I believe.
Lemme know if I screwed up anywhere 8)
I hope you guys enjoyed it, even if it was rather short. ...it would be SO easy to use this as a starting point for a much larger story.. ..if I ever figure out what that much larger story is XD;;
Originally I wasn't going to include the last section of this story... but I felt it was needed.
Thank you very much for reading every-one, and double thank you for those who commented and gave their support. 3
Till next time~