After a week of searching the city for the turtles, the Foot was getting antsy about when they would finally destroy the turtles. They hadn't been seen in over a week. And Leonardo hadn't been seen for a long time. Perhaps he had had the baby. It had all been an act! They would get the revenge when they saw them again.
Up at the farmhouse, Leo continued to recover while Tang Shin continued to grow.
Leo spent long hours just holding her. He was always sitting down. The incubator was by his bed.
Sometimes she would wake everyone up at night. Needing changing or feeding. As it was getting colder, the turtles were more active during the day out here.
April saw how attentive Leo was to his daughter, so she invented a way for him to be able to carry Shin around longer, keep warmer, and Leo have his arms free if he needed. She got a carrying pouch that Leo would wear around his shoulders and Shin would be on his front. He could gaze at her all he wanted.
But Don still insisted that she wasn't ready for real long hours out of her incubator just yet. Until she was over 2 months old anyway.
Don, Raph, and Mike trained outside the house. Splinter assisted. Leo remained inside with his baby while recovering most of the time, and other times, he would watch. But Shin was not coming outside the house for a long time.
When Christmas came that year, it was spent at the farmhouse. None of their outside friends came, but the boys did take a trip into the city to visit their friends and give them gifts. They had their reasons for not allowing them to come to the house.
Leo was now completely recovered. He no longer wore bandages and the patch had come off. He would look at his stomach and see the scar down the line on his plastron. It was noticeable, but had been worth it. He had a healthy daughter.
Shin had grown to what would have been about the size of a 9 month pregnant baby should be when born now. Maybe a little bigger. Her appetite had also grown. She was now capable of downing a full bottle of formula.
As Leo's Christmas present from Don, Don declared Shin that she could finally be free of the incubator!
Leo was real pleased, and in return, the incubator was replaced by a cradle. She still needed to be kept indoors of course.
Splinter's present was that Leo could finally return to training. Leo was more than overjoyed at that.
As much as Leo had loved training, he had gotten so used to not training. But he did need to start exercising again. He still had some 'baby fat' to lose. He was also still in no position for a real battle to take place, but he wanted to be back in shape before returning to the lair next spring.
Leo had lost some of the baby fat by eating right, but he hadn't been exercising much because of his healing stomach in past weeks.
Leo began working out on his own for the first few weeks to build up his skills again before he would be pitted against his bros again.
The big day finally came for him to face his bros in training again. Leo had regained his skills rather quickly. The fat was almost gone. He was glad for that. He wanted it gone by spring.
Though it was cold outside, as long as they kept moving, they stayed warm enough.
It was a long winter. The turtles were ready to return home to the lair, but for Shin's sake, they were staying here until it warmed up again.
April and Casey did sometimes have to go back to the city to work at their jobs. But did come up on the weekends and made sure the family had plenty of food and supplies.
Raph had overcome his fear of the new baby. He even fed her sometimes when Leo wanted a break. But now, everyone would take turns holding and feeding her. And the yucky job of changing her diapers.
Little Shin had come to know everybody in her family as a friend or relative, but she responded most to Leo, as her daddy. She would play with his bandana tails. Leo would giggle at that.
"I wonder what mask color we'll get you when you are older." Leo said to her.
"That should be easy." Mike said. "Pink!"
"Just because she's a girl doesn't mean pink is her color Mikey." Leo scolded.
"So it's blue then?"
"I didn't say that. We'll find out when she's older. For now, leave it at that." Leo said.
"Fine Bro." Mike said.
Some time passed. Soon spring was in the air again.
Tang Shin had doubled or tripled in size for a 6 month old baby turtle. She was growing fast. Or so it seemed to the turtle family.
Now that it was April, it had warmed up again. Everyone had been more than ready to return to the city. They were all homesick, but Shin was used to the farmhouse. But being a baby, she would get used to the lair too.
Everyone packed up and headed back to the city.
The first night home, everyone just wanted to be in the old lair. Leo took his daughter on a tour of the lair. Not that it mattered much to her right now. And now, Leo could finally climb the stairs again.
Shin was using her cradle that night in Leo's room. Leo still wanted her very close to him. He would let her have to own room later in life.
The second night home, all four boys went on a patrol to celebrate being home again. Leo was glad to be back in action. Splinter babysat his granddaughter. She did find the most warmth in his arms.
It took a little while, but the Foot soon spotted that the turtles were back in town. And now Leonardo was with them! Something had been up. They would find out sooner or later.
Leo was real happy to reunite with Shin after the patrol. But he was just more than happy to go soaring over rooftops again with his bros even more. He had missed it while being pregnant and on bed-rest. And during the long winter.
The lead turtle had a feeling that the Foot would be on the lookout for him now most of all. But he wouldn't let them get their hands on his daughter. He would be the best father as best as he could be for Tang Shin, and he had his family and friends for backup to help him raise and defend his daughter from danger.
Her mask color would later come to be white. Shin represented the light in the turtles' and especially Leo's life.
Thanks to all my loyal readers and made this story enjoyable to write. Thanks for all the reviews. I really enjoyed them. Hope you read more of my stories.