Ok this is sometime after the episode, 'Cousin Sid.' You know how Leo got angry? What am I talking about? Of course you do. There was always one thing I noticed. After putting a few pieces together I find myself in a position to be able to blame his family. Yes, it wasn't only his fault for his dark and gloomy attitude. That was partially Karai's betrayal but think about this.
Karai stabbing Leo, you can imagine that. Now imagine something equal happening to one of the others, April firing a bullet into Donny, Casey turning on Raph and attacking him. Surely, you have to understand that such events would have the power to kill the turtles. Betrayal, Leo was angry and depressed. Now answer this, who was helping him? Neither Splinter, Raph, Donny, Mikey nor Casey bothered to comfort him when he needed it the most. April did for a moment, didn't you notice how freely he was talking about his emotions in 'Sons of the Silent Age?'
That's, in my opinion, why Leo grew so angry. His family never bothered to help heal hidden wounds and he was forced to face those thoughts on his own. I don't think he would've pushed them away at first. He was probably hoping someone would help, but no one did. Eventually, the wounds healed, but wrongly. Had there been someone there perhaps they would've healed correctly. He was drowning and they never bothered to throw him a rope. He had to make it on his own and that hardened him.
That's why he probably remained angry so much later. Anyways here's what happens when his brothers sense it and take action!
I don't own TMNT.
I sigh and glance over at my oldest brother. How was I supposed to get lost in the awesome world of the Justice Force if Leo is standing by the window fuming all the time?
It's still a struggle to even sit up and I tell you if Mikey doesn't stop making sound effects while reading that comic, I'm gonna snatch it out of his hands and shove it down his throat! I groan as the movement causes my ribs to shift. My only joy was yesterday when I was able to trip Mikey as he climbed in through the window. They had just left me in the closet so I'd miss out on all the action. Had to be Mikey's idea of course.
I let my gaze shift towards the window and I scowl. What is wrong with him? Ever since Shredder's defeat Leo's just, angry. Our cool headed, confident leader is always glaring out the window as if daring something to try to come and attack us. Fearless, looks ready charge as if he was an enraged bull.
The world seems so small without an internet connection. Oh, well at least I have a computer. I have to remember to thank April later for letting me borrow her laptop. Mikey's making weird noises I'm guessing he thinks are sound effects for his comic. Raph's staring at Leo and my blue banded brother himself is glaring outside, as if our gazes on him have no affect. He's been acting strange, and by strange I mean he's been acting like Raph.
Oh well, I'm sure he'll snap out of it soon.
I can't believe I trusted her! All those battles! All those fights! We were allies despite the worlds we lived in! She betrayed me! How could I be such an idiot!?
The problem was obvious to all the beings in that house. Leo had been betrayed. Betrayal hurt and had the power to shred hearts into meaningless ribbons. The katana wielding ninja turtle was trying to put the pieces back together but he couldn't, not on his own. His heart was wounded but no one was offering a hand to help, a shoulder to cry on, or even consoling words. The first words concerning the subject had been brought up by Raph and he had treated it like some kind of joke. Treated the emotions the eldest turtle felt, like a meaningless joke. Voiced it so easily. Leo was a joke. Yeah, he was agreeing with him.
Only a joke of such a pathetic creature would trust that easily. They were ones to be laughed at, to remove tension from awkward and emotional scenes.
"Ok," I say to my little brothers, "What the shell is going on with Leo?"
"I don't know," Donny says typing away at April's laptop.
"Beats me," Mikey says as his eyes devour yet another comic book our human friends had bothered to pick up for us.
I sigh and glance at the ceiling from where I'm laying down on a bed. My ribs are freaking killing me! Plus, I hadn't been able to smack Mikey for a week. I glance at the window and sigh again. Our Fearless Leader is at it again. He gets stabbed and one week later, he's out training. Sometimes I think of warning him about it.
I just feel like I should randomly shout out, "Leo! You're being perfect again!"
You think he'd get the hint? I doubt it. I yawn and pull a blanket over me to go to sleep. Well, whatever's bothering Leo, he'll either get over it or Master Splinter will take care of it. Nothing to worry about. I'm just gonna relax.
I sheath my katanas and scowl at the fallen tree.
It's Casey, "Wow, that's all lot of fire wood, but you didn't even have an ax."
I frowned and cut the next branch into logs. There all done. The job is sloppy but he doesn't seem to care. I plead with my eyes. Say something to me about this attitude, these actions. But he simply collects the wood onto the sled and walks back off to the farm house. I angrily cut into another tree, leaving a fair sized diagonal cut, a few inches deep, across the trunk. I groan and lean my shell against the tree before I slide down to the ground. I open my senses to find no one else is around. I duck my head and I can't stop my shoulders from shaking before my eyes fill with tears and I do something I haven't in years, I cry.
It was just like the whole nightmare problem. Mikey had three brothers to go to when nightmares scared him, Donny had two and even our hot headed turtle had me to come to. He had a lot as a younger child, before the whole team thing got in the way. In ways I had needed just as much comfort from them. Now, no one was offering a hand to me. All I can do is cry.
I shoot a worried glance at the barn and press my lips together tightly. Leo's changed so much after the Shredder's fall. I've been watching him closely and I need answers because I can't seem to decipher his actions at all. He's just angry, but there has to be a reason. I sigh and walk back inside. I'm sure if it's anything serious Master Splinter will help him.
I watch over my sleeping sons. Michelangelo's dreams are full of the superheroes he drew so much. Donatello's dreams repeat various terms I can not fully understand. Raphael, strangely, is dreaming of ice cream. I smile at that. If only everyone could see how sensitive he is. My forth son, Leonardo, has not returned after leaving the house around 5:00am. I glance at the clock, it is now midnight. Some new emotion has overcome my eldest son. Perhaps, with the Shredder now gone, he is at a loss of what to do. His drive for training has grown drastically. Would he have trained like such without all those responsibilities on his shoulders?
I can only watch and hope that this dark cloud will be lifted.
If only the elderly rat could've sensed that the emotion was crushing the oldest turtle beneath it's weight. He believed his son would fight and overcome such a foe on his own or that his brothers would soon offer support to their big brother.
The problem was that they expected someone else to fix it and in the end, no one was left. Splinter believed Leo's brothers would help him. In return, the three younger turtles believed Leo would simply handle it. April and Casey decided that if it was a real problem, Splinter would handle it. At the end of the cycle, no one could help the blue banded warrior, so he turned to the only source of comfort he had. Himself.
How do you comfort yourself when you feel you're lower than dirt?
Simple, you don't.
You attack yourself instead, because that hatred makes you feel like you're at least fighting something.
I was starting to get around on my legs more when one night I stopped by the barn to rest. I peeked in to see Leo, training! Raph was right we need an alarm system for him.
'Caution: Leo's being perfect again!'
I fight the urge to sigh or groan. Then I hear a thump and peek back inside. Leo's on his knees, his swords shoved into the dirt floor and he's…crying. Wow, I didn't know Leo could cry. Oh wait, that's probably a bad thing isn't it?
I choke out the last of my sobs and take ten deep breaths before attempting to say something nice to my self. I pull my katanas from the dirt and stare at them. I try to find kind words to console myself but none of them seem right.
You're strong…No, I'm not.
You're an excellent warrior…No, I'm not.
You're good with twin katana…I could be better.
I rack my brain for some word, some idea that can comfort me. This is why people go to therapists, how in the world do you comfort yourself? In then end I can only do one thing, I harden my heart. These emotions are overwhelming and I can't find my way out of this darkness. I can only shield myself. I continue to search for words of comfort, but even, 'you're alive,' somehow seems wrong and selfish. I search further but even breathing during all the thinking makes me realize I'm only taking away oxygen from the air that could be used by others.
I feel like a monster all over again.
Come on, I have to know one good thing. I think of my family, but I now feel like a burden to them.
I find nothing and sigh before getting to my feet, "Even my existence seems pointless."
I stifle a gasp. Pointless? Leo thinks his life is pointless? I shake my head. I want to run in and demand he take it back. Leo's our leader. He's Leo after all. Uh, ok I get the feeling we've all been missing something about Leo. He has been awful moody, especially for him. I don't even see him anymore. He leaves before any of us wake up and comes back in around midnight. Well, he does the nights he doesn't just stay away. Isn't Master Splinter doing anything about this? I should probably talk to him. My other bros too.
I get back to the house as fast as I can on my two broken legs and almost trip as I come into the living room.
"Whoa, Mikey what're you in a rush for?" Raph asked as he steadied me as I swayed.
Why did it have to be me that overheard that? No one takes me seriously, but I have to try.
"Can you get everyone here?" I ask my violent brother.
"What for," he asks, placing a hand against his broken ribs.
I put on my most serious face, "Dude, something is really wrong with Leo."
Raph scoffs, "Fearless is fine. Go to bed Mikey."
"I'm serious, just go to the barn you'll see," I insist.
"I ain't got the energy. Look, if it's a problem Leo can't handle, Master Splinter will take care of it."
I shook my head and softened my voice, "Bro, don't you think Master Splinter would've already helped? I mean, maybe he's expecting us to help Leo."
"Leo is fine. Go to bed."
Now I'm angry, something is wrong with our brother and he's just going to ignore it?
"Raph," I say sharply.
His eyes widen a bit. Yeah, I guess I don't use that voice often.
"Get everyone here or I will."
"Yeah, how are you going to that?"
Simple, I yell.
Everyone comes stumbling into the living room.
"Mikey what's going on?" Donny asks breathlessly, probably concerned I got hurt or something.
It worked, everyone's here. Wait, what do I say?
"Is something troubling you my son?" my father asks.
"Oh," I say in a mock sing-song voice before switching back to serious, "It's only that my brother thinks his life is pointless."
They all stare at me dumbfounded, "What!?" I yell.
"I think he's been reading too many comics, messing with his mind," Raph says to the others.
Don sighs, "Mikey if something that serious is going on I'm sure Master Splinter can handle it."
"Michelangelo?" Splinter asks.
"Yes sensei?" I ask back.
"I'm proud of you my son. I truly expected you three to reach out to your brother while this dark cloud hangs over his head."
"Dark cloud?" Raph asks with a raised eye ridge.
"The betrayal of Karai has left Leonardo wounded in matters beyond the body, soul and mind. Donatello how would you react if Ms. O'Neil was to stab you?"
"I would never do that!" April shouts.
"I know Ms. O'Neil. I am simply trying to get my sons to recognize the emotions their brother is feeling."
"Leo's fine," Raph protests, "Fearless will be back in no time."
"Tell me Raphael, what would your actions be if Mr. Jones here tried to kill you?"
I notice Raph and Donny stilling. Even I can't really imagine it. Our friends, attacking us, betraying us? Even they look horrified.
"These emotions you receive from the thoughts are the emotions coursing through Leonardo," Master Splinter says.
"I get it," I mumble, because I really do get it.
We've been leaving Leo to deal with one of the most horrifying times of his life all alone. I only know betrayal like in my comic books, when an ally a superhero had for years turns and tries to destroy them. I may not feel the intensity that Leo feels but I can at least understand. Then, I realize a more horrible truth.
"We've been expecting each other to fix it, or for Leo to fix himself," I say clearly and then I realize that's further cut him away from us.
I narrow my eyes and turn towards the door.
"Where are you going Mikey?" Donny asks.
"Where I always should've been, with my big brother."
I step out, close the door before anyone can answer and quickly but silently make my way to the barn. I peek inside to see Leo standing in the middle of the barn, his swords raised as if he's about to start a kata. I push open the door and step inside. His eyes snap open and then I hear a creaking. His eyes change. I follow his gaze up and see a beam above me crumbling. I can't move. I hear it fall away from the sides of the barn and then Leo's in front of me, pulling me forward and out of the way of the beam. I lose the grip on my crutches and fall into Leo's hold.
"Michelangelo, can't you be more careful?!" he snarls.
I stiffen, Leo rarely uses that voice. I meet his eyes and hope mine are wide and shining. It works and he sighs.
"Sorry Mikey, I just get worried," he says as he helps me to the side of the barn where I can lean against the wooden wall.
He fetches my crutches and tries to smile at me.
"I understand Leo," I say softly.
"Understand what?" he snarls and turns away from me.
Oh great, this is not going good.
I take a deep breath and decide to abandon the whole empathy thing right now and go with the direct approach, "We all trusted her Leo."
He's silent, facing away from me with his head tilted forward, "She betrayed us all, not just you."
His shoulders started to shake. I knew that form too well.
"Leo, what did you see in her? What did you want?" I ask, using the crutches to walk to his side.
He turns his head away from me.
I walk around to his other size and meet his gaze, "You can keep this avoidance game up but I'm not leaving."
"I-I," he stutters.
It's so weird, our Fearless Leader isn't supposed to stutter.
"Go on Leo," I said quietly, trying to encourage him.
Man, I wanted my big brother back.
Why? Why did Mikey have to see it? I-I I can't lose it here, not in front of my baby brother. It was hard enough being the leader but breaking down now, of all times? Oh, it's so hard to fight. Mikey's always so open with his emotions. I can sense his worry but I just can't-
I feel a hand on my shoulder and open my eyes. I see bright blue and step back. He simply follows.
"Come on Leo," he says.
I close my eyes, fine! He can hear my thoughts if he'll just leave me alone!
"Ok, I saw an honorable warrior in her. She followed bushido, she was different from the Shredder. She helped us and I thought that if we could take down the Shredder and have her control the Foot then they would leave us alone and we wouldn't…have to fight anymore."
Great, now I can't stop talking. I turn away from my baby brother and lean my head against one of the support beams of the barn.
I keep going, "I thought, that we could finally be at peace with the Foot. You know how I was, always hoping everything would work out for the better. I wanted to make sure nothing like this would've happened. Some stupid hope that was."
I stop, if I say anything more I'm going to break down. I wasn't even sure if Mikey was still there. I was given an answer when his hand was back on my shoulder. I refused to open my eyes.
Wow, that was a lot to absorb but I did it. I think I'll reward myself with a slice of cake when we go back in. I'll get a piece for Leo too. He needs it. I smile, he and Raphie are such softies. I wipe away that humor for a moment and take three deep breaths. I don't think Leo can hear them. I walk to him and replace my hand on his shoulder. He won't look at me so I figure I'll just talk.
"Leo," I say happily, "You're right she was, but she made a choice. You can't control others and the choices they make. Now, I don't know about you but, a life without fighting seems like it would be a little boring. I know what you're getting at though. It's that protectiveness that's infested us all. I'm not sure who has it worst you or Raphie."
I see a small smile at the mention of our brother's nickname. Yes! Score one!
"Well, it's good you want everything to work out for the better. It wasn't a stupid hope. Like Master Splinter said, it's the sign of a good heart to hope. Heck, you even gave the Shredder that chance at first. It's not your fault they blew their chances. As for all of this happening, hey we finally beat Shredder. He isn't coming back and now we can focus on more important things."
Yeah, I was trying to sugarcoat this as much I could. Leo always falls for sappy stuff. What a softie. I love that about all of my older brothers. They'll fall for my look at any time. I smile more and drop my hand. I notice the piles of hay that are against the wall and go over to one before lying down and sighing . I look back and catch Leo's eyes open and staring at me. I motion for him to join me. He seems reluctant but he does. All right, time for the triple chocolate chip cookie on top.
"You know the best part of all this?" I ask as I move closer to him.
He's closed his eyes again, well fine. He can watch that darkness if he wants. I grab his arm and his eyes fly open. I push it back and then hug him while resting my head in the crook of his neck.
"What?" he asks.
I only have to wait two seconds before his arm is around my shoulders.
I turn and snuggle into him as I murmur my answer, "I still have the coolest big brother in the multiverse."
I feel him shaking and then I feel tears land on my head as he pulls me closer.
"Shh, it's ok. Love ya bro."
"I love you too," he whispers and then it's just a blur as he clings to me and cries it all out.
The most important thing though, is that we don't let go.
Although I realize this is only step one. He'll need Raph and Donny here as well. I decide to just think positive. It's ten minutes later that Leo's sobs finally quiet. He's still got a lot to get out but he's took a good first step in the right direction. I hear the barn door open and glance up, expecting to see our father but it's my other brothers. They take one look and are by us in a second, wrapping their arms around Leo as well. Leo's shoulders shake more violently and I hug him tighter.
Oh, man I can't think strait. You think you know a guy and then he'll like completely shock you one day. Well, this is my day. I never thought I'd be here. I figured this was something Leo would just get over. The first animal we every saw dead was a rat and that scared us for weeks. When we first realized it was dead, Mikey broke out in tears and started clinging to Leo, Don didn't break down but followed suit and clung to Leo too. It was just too personal for us, with our sensei being a rat.
Me? I had at first denied it was dead but when it hit me I backed away, tears building up behind my eyes, ready to run wherever, when Leo reached out and pulled me into the group. I guess I never bothered to look up to see if he was crying too.
I have no idea how to do this. Mikey and Donny, I could handle their cries, help comfort them but never had I ever had to comfort Leo. Not knowing what to do I just took a few memories from when I had nightmares. Leo never said anything, never used them as ammo in a fight and I'm grateful. I would've lost them all. I'm running through all those nights I was scared in my head, I'm trying to remember what Leo did to calm me down.
I'm still scared. I couldn't ever imagine April and Casey betraying us like how Karai had betrayed Leo so Master Splinter had showed us. Something about creating memories through spiritual connections. We had meditated and before we knew it we felt that betrayal. It was just a matter of minutes afterwards that we made our way to the barn. I reach for certain pressure points at Leo's side and apply the right amount of pressure to ease the strain he has on all his muscles.
I never thought I'd have to comfort Leo. He was always the resigned one. Kept feelings to himself. An unhealthy habit he had among many. Surprisingly, he shared a lot of those traits with Raphael as well.
I don't know much any more. I just know that I can cry. That's all there is. I sense my other brothers as they come to my side and bring me into their embrace. My cries have quieted but I can't open my eyes for all the tears. I feel Don's gentle touch as he eases the tense muscles in my body. Raph's hands rest on my shoulders for a minute before he leans forward. He places one on my plastron while the other slowly massages the back of my neck. I let out one choked sob I can't help but let escape. I open my eyes slightly and watch as Raph cranes his neck forward and nuzzles my temple. I let out another chocked sob and then he wraps both his arms around my waist as Donny's hands rest on my shoulders for a moment before wrapping around my neck.
All I can do is lean into them as I try to find words, "I-I'm-"
"Shh, daitan futeki na riidaa," Raph says and nuzzles my temple again, "Yasumi, Nii-san."
I smiled and snuggled closer to my brothers, "Arigato, dai."
With that I slept.
I got bored. Hey, no life or death situation! YAY ME!
The weekends just about over and then I can finally get back to school! YAY!!! Still a school geek, sorry. Anyways, I hoped you enjoyed reading this oh and a few translations.
Daitan futeki na riidaa: Fearless Leader
Nii-san: Big brother
Arigato: Thank you
Dai: little brother(s)
Well, don't blame me if these translations are wrong I really just picked them up from different sites. Oh, I'm going to be posting a new story soon. My first one of the 07' movie verse. Ok, until next time.