Author's Note: Sorry for such a late chapter, been bogged down by Christmas and such. The Turtles are finally ready to start training with the Ancient One. This chapter mostly focuses on Donnie being away from home and the turtles getting their weapons. I've tried to add how the weapons match their personalities but if I'm missing any details just let me know! Rate and review!
Chapter 12: Away From Home
"Now I want you to listen to the Ancient One…" Cheyenne firmly stated as she helped Donatello tie his headband on. "Be very respectful towards him and do what he tells you to do-"
"-When he tells us to do it." Donatello automatically finished. "I know…you've told us that all the way up here."
The brunette smiled sadly. "Sorry…that's a bad habit of mine…but you know I can't help it."
"I know…you don't have to worry." He placed his hand over hers. "I'll be good…and I'll make sure to keep the others out of trouble."
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo stood nearby, sadly observing the sorrowful but tender moment. They were each holding a suitcase that contained their personal belongings, but mostly contained extra clothes and pajamas to especially keep warm as the winter wore on. Donatello was holding his suitcase, which had his clothes, laptop, charger, cell phone…but most of all, it had a photo of himself and his sister concerning a time they took a vacation to Cincinnati, Ohio with their aunt…one of the few times he went out in the general public. It took almost a week…but they were back in California…back at the Ancient One's home…to officially begin their Ninjitsu training. Of course since their sister had proficiency in martial arts…she wasn't required to stay…and she would come back to retrieve them once the training was completed and head for New York.
"Can't believe this is the day…" The brunette lamented. "But…I know you're gonna do just fine…so I should stop worrying."
"You?" Donatello asked in humor, trying to lighten the mood. "I-I'm the one drenched in sweat here…e-even with the cold…th-that's unusual, isn't it?" He let out forced laughter, though it was evident his eyes were brimming with tears. "I mean, how weird is it for me to sweat in the middle of winter?"
Cheyenne suddenly stopped him when she reached up and gingerly wiped away his tears. "Bro-Bro…don't cry…and don't act like you're okay when you're not…you're just lying to yourself." She suddenly took his hand with both of hers and just held it, transferring some of her warmth to him. "I'm coming back for you guys…I promise…so stop with the act."
The taller turtle's lips finally started trembling and his eyes threatened to spill more tears. It was at that moment that Raphael walked over and took his brother by the shoulder; she had already given him, Leonardo, and Michelangelo some heartfelt goodbyes. Donatello didn't want to budge from his spot; he actually wanted to get back on that RV…but his brother's firm grip told him otherwise. Instead, he bent over and allowed his sister to kiss him on his head before she had to leave.
"I gotta go…" Cheyenne murmured. "…I love you guys…take care…"
The turtles slowly waved off the brunette as she walked back to the RV, started up the engine, and drove away. Donnie was the last to come inside as he made himself watch the vehicle get farther and farther away until he could no longer see it. A sigh escaped his lungs as he forced himself to turn around and walk back into the home of the Ancient One. This was it…this would be day one without his sister…and he would count the days until they saw her again… Hopefully…there wouldn't be that many…
"This is where you guys will be sleeping." Leonardo stated as he slid the door open to reveal a room with futons in it. "I know it's not like what you're used to…but they're more comfortable than they look."
The other three turtles walked into the room and set down their suitcases, making themselves get accommodated to their new living quarters. The feel of the room was…calm, almost relaxing…but it would still never compare to being at home with Cheyenne. Still…they were teenagers and would soon become men…so they had to grow a backbone and be strong. Well…it was obvious Donatello would take the longest to learn that lesson. The other three noticed him opening his suitcase and pulling out a picture…the picture of him and Chey.
"Donatello…are you coming?" The blue-eyed turtle suddenly asked. "Father wishes for us to come to the dojo…to discuss our training and pick out your weapons."
The taller turtle sighed before he gingerly placed the photo back into the suitcase and closed it shut. "…Yeah…I'm coming…"
"C'mon Donnie, this'll be fun!" Michelangelo insisted. "Think positive, Bro!"
"Fun…" He muttered somberly. "Right…"
Raphael frowned as he grunted and started raising up his arm…and his fist. "Donnie…am I gonna have to punch ya again? I thought we talked about this…"
Donnie waved his hands and frantically shook his head; the first time Raph punched him hurt enough and he didn't want to be reminded of it at all. "N-No Raph!" He relaxed and got up from his knees and off the floor. "D-Don't worry…I-I'm gonna be fine…"
Leo suddenly stepped towards him, placing one of his hands on his shoulder, which he could feel was shivering like crazy. He softened his eyes and lowered his voice to a whisper before asking, "Are you sure, Donnie? Listen…if you need to talk…I'm willing to listen."
To his surprise, Donatello took his hand and dropped it off of his shoulder. "I said I'm gonna be FINE, Leo…j-just don't bring anything up, okay?"
As Donatello pushed past his brothers to get to the dojo, hoping that they would drop the issue of Cheyenne, the other three turtles stared at him walking away before exchanging concerned glances. He seemed to be doing just fine during Christmas…but maybe it was all just a ruse, even after Raphael gave him a lecture…and a punch followed by a lecture should've done the trick. Now they started to worry; if he kept this bottled up inside there was no telling when he would blow.
"Okay, that's it." Raph growled. "We need ta stage an intervention."
"Very good…all four of you are together and ready for training." The Ancient One mused as he stared at the turtles, wearing the headbands their sister gave them. "Ah…seems as though you've taken the first step in getting the look of a ninja…but I believe you will need more than just masks."
Confused, the brothers watched as the Japanese man went towards a corner to retrieve something from a supply cabinet; what exactly did he have in mind? When he returned…he came back with elbow pads, knee pads, and bandage wrap. Ah, this was what he meant. And then…
"All right boys…besides your masks, remove all articles of your clothing."
Except for Leonardo, the other turtles looked at each other nervously before Donatello dared to ask, "Beg your pardon?"
"Just do as he says, Donnie." Leo assured. "Besides, it won't hurt us; it's not like we have what's down there hanging out in the open-"
Donnie suddenly lifted up his hands and clasped them over his head. "Okay, okay, TMI Leo! TMI!"
Michelangelo started laughing like crazy while Raphael just rolled his eyes. Without warning, the Ancient One tapped the staff he was holding, causing them all to stop and turn their attention back to him. Although they hesitated at first…the turtles finally complied and started removing their clothes, setting them in a corner of the room. They proceeded to help each other into this new gear, Mikey needing the most help because he kept getting tangled in the bandage wrap. Raph for some reason put extra bandaging around his right knee, though he didn't want his brothers to know that as a kid he always had problems with that knee. Donatello was the last to finish his preparations just because of how meticulous he was. Once everyone was geared and ready to go, they stood in a row in front of the Ancient One.
"Good…now you have the looks of a ninja down." He smiled and stroked his beard before his expression grew serious. "Now it is time to give you your weapons."
Mikey suddenly started jumping up and down and raising his hand. "Ooh, ooh! Can we pick 'em out!? Please, please, can we!?"
The Japanese man shook his head, much to the orange-banded turtle's dismay. Instead, he went over to a wall and beckoned them to come to it. The four turtles followed the man to the wall, and all except Leonardo stood in awe at what they say, Raph whistling at the sight.
On the wall, hanging in plain view, were a myriad of weapons made for a ninja. Everything from shuriken to kunai, swords, manriki, there were even nunchucks, just about every weapon imaginable that a ninja used. Donatello was especially in awe; just the look of them sent shivers down his spine. He was about to reach out and touch the metal tip of a kama when the Ancient One cleared his throat.
"While you may think it strange…you will not be choosing your own weapons. I will be making that choice…and I will make the choice based on what I have seen of your personality traits. Not all weapons are suitable for an individual ninja, and their special weapon must be chosen carefully." He paused and turned to the blue-banded turtle. "Leonardo already has weapons of his own. My son…if you would please show them…"
Leonardo nodded as he went to an adjacent cabinet and pulled something out. The other turtles examined him strapping something onto his back, belts going over his chest, before he stood next to them again. Once he got back into position, he stretched his hand behind his shoulders and pulled something off of his back…those things revealed to be sharp twin katanas. His brothers stared wide-eyed at the objects, causing the Ancient One to smirk.
"Leonardo-kun's katanas are a representation of his adherence to a moral code and a sense of honor. They also play a representation to his spirituality. As a child, he practiced with many other weapons, failing with them…but the katanas are in essence a mirror of himself." He paused as Leo sheathed his swords. "I examined specific personality traits from when you first came here…along with what Cheyenne-san told me about you." His eyes suddenly went to the red-banded turtle. "Raphael-kun…step forward."
Raphael breathed out a long-held sigh before he begrudgingly stepped forward. The Ancient One glanced at the wall before he reached up with his short arms and pulled something off. He proceeded to open Raph's fists and place the objects in them…which turned out to be strange, three-pronged weapons.
"You Raphael-kun…are more suited for the sais." The Ancient One stated. "Your personality is lethal yet passionate…and with these you can shift from causing a flesh wound to doing mortal damage…but you can also use them to guard yourself."
The red-banded turtle smirked and bowed to the Japanese man. "…Thank you, sir."
As he stepped back, the Ancient One called out, "You are next, Michelangelo-kun."
The orange-banded turtle stepped forward, gulping, as he watched the man retrieve another set of twin weapons and placed them in his hands. These looked familiar…something like what he saw whenever he watched Bruce Lee movies or stuff on YouTube.
"Michelangelo-kun…your personality is reflected in the nunchaku. Freely flowing…and highly unpredictable. They also require use from someone who has a lot of potent energy."
Mikey grinned. "Thanks, Ancient One!"
When the orange-banded turtle stepped back, Donatello knew that it was immediately his turn. The Ancient One didn't even have to speak his name as he stepped forward, feeling his heart pounding out of his plastron. Just what kind of weapon was he going to be given? Would it be a weapon worth using? He was more adept at using his brain instead of his fists…so what was really the point of giving him a weapon? He decided to close his eyes, opening up his hands in dreaded anticipation in what he would get. The turtle instantly felt something touch his palms…it felt like wood and cloth. He opened his eyes…and found a wooden staff at least six feet long wrapped in cloth similar to what was wrapped around his hands and feet.
"A…stick?" He asked in confusion.
The Ancient One shook his head. "Donatello-kun…that is a Bo staff. Your personality is different from that of your brothers…you do not enjoy fighting or getting close to someone who intends to do harm. You prefer to keep your distance…because if you were forced into using your own brute force…you would do more damage than you would intend."
Donnie felt his mouth gape open and his eyes blink rapidly; he managed to figure that out about him in just a day? Unless…Chey told him about that. It suddenly made him remember the day this whole mess started…the day those weird ninjas broke into their home. He remembered how he took the handle of the broom and hit one of the ninjas when they threatened to cut his sister's throat. So…that's why he was suited for a staff. Thinking about this made him ponder an unusual question…one he felt he needed to ask the Japanese man.
"Ancient One…if Chey were up here training with us…what weapon would you have picked out for her?" The purple-banded turtle asked. "I know she uses pistols…and those aren't exactly ninja weapons…"
The other turtles looked at him before turning their eyes to the Ancient One. He pondered, stroking his beard once again, before answering with a chuckle, "That is easy…and it may surprise you." He paused and pulled a leather pouch off the wall…and when he opened it, it revealed long, black metal needles.
"If she were here with us…her weapon would be the senbon." He pulled one out and held it up so the turtles could see. "They were originally intended for acupuncture…but have since evolved into one of the most difficult weapons to use. To use them requires an extensive knowledge of the human body…particularly those of pressure points, veins, and arteries."
Donatello swallowed a lump in his throat; well, Cheyenne was training to be in the medical field…so that probably would suit her. He bowed his head and stepped back before saying, "T-Thank you, Ancient One…"
As the boys looked over their new weapons, the Japanese man stroked his beard and recalled when he and the brunette had their private meeting about the fate of the turtles…and he also had another important issue to bring up…
"So, it's agreed that they'll come up here to train with you?" Cheyenne asked, kneeling on the floor. "Since you've seen my skill against Leo…I won't need training…so I can't stay with them."
The Ancient One nodded in affirmation. "Agreed. Their time up here will not only teach them combat…but also independence…particularly with Donatello-kun. It isn't hard to sense his anxiety…he is acting as though part of his soul is extinguished."
The brunette sighed. "I'll talk to him…I'll make sure they're all prepared for the stay."
As she started to get up, the Japanese man suddenly stopped her. "Before we speak with the boys…I must ask you…where is it that you learned skills intended for assassination purposes?"
Cheyenne's eyes widened and she let out a soft gasp; so he knew the original purpose of the martial arts she knew…but she couldn't let the boys know…especially not Donnie. But there was no way she would lie to the Ancient One…so she decided to come clean…to an extent.
"…My mentor taught them to me…for self-defense purposes, of course." She suddenly let out a laugh. "I always thought karate was too cliché…"
"Koppojustu…Aikido…and I can safely assume Hapkido is on the list as well?"
"Y-Yes…but I've never killed anyone…not with my martial arts. I had to use my guns to kill at one point…the ninjas sent by Oroku Saki…they were about to kill my family after they poisoned Donnie…"
The Ancient One nodded. "I understand…though I am not a fan of firearms. It seems you want to keep the rest of your arts a secret from your brothers…so I agree that I will keep your secret…until you are ready to come clean."
Cheyenne smiled and bowed her head. "Thank you, Ancient One…"
Donatello groaned as he rubbed at the fresh bruises on his arm, trying to get the dull ache to go away. He glanced around the room and found his brothers sound asleep as if they weren't in pain. But they had to be…they all gave each other a good beating with their new weapons…and he almost broke his Bo staff in half during sparring…well, Raph almost broke it…deliberately. How was he even going to sleep when it was nothing but a futon on the floor instead of a nice, cozy mattress…just like at home?
The taller turtle sighed and he pulled the photo of him and Cheyenne out again. A somber smile crossed onto his lips as he stared at the photo; it was a day he remembered well. Their aunt took them to King's Island and Cheyenne was practically begging to get on the roller coaster. At the time, he was combating a fear of heights, but she dragged him to the coaster since he was tall enough and she felt she needed to wear heels.
He remembered that the moment they got off the heart-pounding ride, he shoved his face into a nearby trash can and hurled, losing the hot dog he ate less than an hour before. Though he didn't enjoy getting sick…it was a memory he didn't want to let go of.
"Sissy…" He whispered dejectedly. "It hasn't been a day yet…and I already miss you like crazy…"
He felt water stream down his face, causing him to reach up and wipe underneath his eyes. It was at that moment that he realized that enough was enough with the moping and the pity-party. If Chey were here, she'd tell him that though it was okay to cry, he needed to be strong, inside and out, and that she would always be there when she was needed. She would tell him to be brave…to believe in himself. He suddenly laid down on his shell and stared at the ceiling…holding the photo on his plastron directly over his heart.
"Sissy…from now on…I'll stop crying…I'll stop feeling sorry for myself." He closed his eyes and felt at ease to know his brothers were right there beside him…and they would be there whenever he needed them. "I'm gonna be brave…I'm gonna stand on my own two feet…so don't worry about me…okay?" Donnie suddenly held the photo to his face and kissed the spot where Cheyenne was. "Goodnight…I love you…"