They couldn't believe what they were seeing, standing in the entrance of their lair. They had heard a strange scraping noise for a while before the doorway was filled with a familiar figure and the sight left them in shock.
As the figure stepped into the light, the scraping that they had heard was the twin katanas covered in blood being scraped along the floor by arms that could no longer lift them. The turtle was just covered in blood, all different shades as some dried while others were fresh.
"L-Leo?" Mikey muttered, tilting his head at the leader turtle and started to step forward but was stopped by the red-wearing turtle.
"Wait Mikey, something's not right about him" Raph warned, a sai in his free hand ready to defend them. Glad that the children were asleep on a bed next to their mother, who was recovering from the life saving surgery.
Master Splinter stepped forward and looked at his eldest son with sad eyes. "Leonardo, drop your swords... you are done" He said softly, resting on his stick and studied his son.
Leo blinked and dropped his swords, coming to his sense in hearing his father's words. "S-sensei" He muttered before collapsing, exhausted from the energy he had spent.
Master Splinter sighed and walked over to the blue-wearing turtle, "Oh Leonardo, you didn't have to do that alone my son" he muttered softly and picked up the katanas. "Raphael, run a bath... we will need to wash the blood off before he wakes"
Raph sat up in the bed, rubbing the top of his head wondering where that came from before looking at the clock next to his bed. He crashed back down onto his pillows and sighed, the past was coming back and it was haunting them.
He sighed and thought about all they had been through in the two years when Leo was sent away to Central America, for training. Of how his brother had wrote nearly every week, then one day the letters stopped.
If it wasn't for him then he felt that Donatello wouldn't have made it through the pregnancy, the same baby he had thought he had lost in their last fight with the Purple Dragons but no, there he was, Takeshi.
Raph smiled softly in remembering helping in the first few weeks while Don recovered from the surgery, Mikey had helped with Akira and Yoshi but only Raph could get the baby to settle when everyone else failed.
Takeshi had really taken a shine to him, and now with Leo home... if he stays home... he wonders if the blue-wearing turtle will be able to bond with his youngest son. He sighed and shook his head clear before getting ready for the long day ahead.
** There was just so much blood, he couldn't believe it! At first he was worried that it was his brother's but as he helped Raph was him, then it became clear that it wasn't. He sighed and looked at how much their leader had changed, just by one battle.
There was just so much blood, he couldn't believe it! At first he was worried that it was his brother's but as he helped Raph was him, then it became clear that it wasn't. He sighed and looked at how much their leader had changed, just by one battle.
"Do you think he'll be ok Raphie?" Mikey asked softly as they focused on washing the blood and grime from their brother.
"I really don't know this time Mikey, this is worse than when The Shredder died..." Raph muttered his reply and thought of how badly they were all affected by their enemy's death.
Mikey sighed and remembered that dark time, how after they left the city for nearly a year just to recover from their last and final battle against their long time nemesis. They felt it was needed, for them to be away in the countryside to recover and to bond as a family, the children had loved it as their parents and family recovered.
The small smile from the memories brought forward faded at the sight of their brother now, "You're right Raphie, and I'm worried..." Mikey muttered, "This won't be easy"
"Never is bro, never is..." Raph said and got to work on drying their brother.
Mikey opened his eyes, staring up at the shower and watched the water fall onto him and sighed. He hated when memories like those got into his mind, he cleared his thoughts and remembered that today was when they were going to restart their training.
This would improve to be fun, he thought with a smile.
Stepping out of the shower, working on drying himself he thought about how long it had been since they fought and that worried him a little but it wouldn't matter by the time Leo would be done with them.
He was glad that Leo was back, he hoped that Don would confess that too as he could see it in him. But being hurt, left to carry the burden of looking after the children has taken its toll on the genius turtle.
Mikey sighed and rubbed the back of his head; he'll talk to the purple-wearing turtle and see what happens.
Don sighed and rocked the baby to sleep slowly, humming a soft tune to try and get him to sleep.
"I know you don't want me in here, but can you please let me have a go?" A soft voice spoke from the doorway, a sleepy child in his arms.
Yoshi rubbed his eyes while resting his head on his father's shoulder.
Don shook his head, putting the baby in the crib tucking him in. "No it's ok... just not sure how he would react" He muttered and looked at the sleepy child in his mate's arms.
Leo sighed and nodded, "I know Donny, I'm sorry... please let me settle this one down in his bed then will need you down in the dojo, we're going to need to talk as a team" He said softly. "The training needs to start"
Don sighed and nodded, "Put him in his bed, Akira is training with Master Splinter" He replied and checked the sleeping baby before tightening his bandana. "I'm sorry for being like this Leo, my heart is saying for me to forgive you... I know why you went away but why did you stop writing?"
"Those letters were the only thing keeping me going, to keep us together..." He muttered, keeping his shell to his partner.
Leo sighed, keeping a steady hold on the sleepy child as he walked into the room. He gently put his son down and tucked him into bed, watching him succumb to the sleep the child needed.
"I... I stopped writing because I was ashamed of myself... because I lost myself again within that jungle... I... "Leo couldn't stop shaking and clenched his hands into fists at the memory. "I killed again Donny, and I liked it..."
Don turned and looked at his mate, his eyes wide with shock before turning to anger. "Tell me"
He jumped from tree to tree with ease, brushing only the smallest of leaves as he just generally patrolled around the village he had found while training in the depths of Central America.
He sighed and stopped, looking at the distant smoke. He adjusted the pack on his shell, the cloak around him before working his way through the jungle to the smoke, wondering what he was going to find this time.
The turtle inwardly sighed and felt his katanas in their sheaths on his back, he had not wanted to bring them with him but his Master didn't want him to go to the jungle unarmed. He shivered at remembering some darkened memories that kept him company in the dark nights, of the pools of blood and the screams of men.
He shook his head and took in the smell of the smoke and frowned, he picked up his pace and stopped as he got to the clearing. He looked down and frowned, bandits and plenty of them.
He was about to turn away when loud screaming got his attention, he looked down and growled. There was about ten woman and their children being dragged into the camp, and from the laughter coming from the men, it wasn't going to be good.
He jumped down out of the tree into the bush, sneaking closer and listened closely ready to jump in to fight the woman free.
"Alright men, play time!" One of them shouted, pulling one of the ladies free slapping the little girl away from her. The little girl landed hard on the floor, holding her cheek and crying for her mother.
Leo growled, woman and children being hurt by these bandits. They were going to pay, with their lives...
Leo turned away from his mate, "I-I killed them all... left them in pieces around the entire camp... all the bandits and..." He held himself, feeling himself shake as he retold the story. "I killed all of those bandits because they had hurt the woman and children of the village... the same village I vowed to protect as the ghost of the jungle... all because of the trauma..."
He shook his head, "I'm sorry my mate, I am so sorry that I stopped writing to you and our sons... and for leaving in the first place..." He muttered, "Then learning about Takeshi when I do return home, I've come home too soon..."
Don shook his head and walked over to the turtle, "That's enough Leonardo, enough of the blame! We should have talked to you before we left but... I wasn't well enough to stop you then but I am now..." He said softly and turned Leo around to face him.
"And you should have talked to me sooner about this, even if it was by letter... we needed to talk about this a long time ago..." He added and looked into his mate's eyes, "I know why you did it, and we've talked about this before... about our darker selves... and what you did in that village..." Don stopped and sighed, "I would have done the same, its our parental instincts, not a killing one... you felt children in danger and had to stop it"
A small smile grew on the purple-wearing turtle's face and gently reached up to give a soft gentle kiss, "I'm starting to forgive you my mate"