Leo had been working for a while and was well in the flow now. He knew he shouldn’t be working out until his injuries had healed. But he had to do something; he had to put his anger somewhere. Carrie watched amazed at the range of movements he was pulling off. She couldn’t help it, every time she thought turtle, slow and sluggish crept into her mind.
Leo pivoted on his left foot bringing his right leg up high, he delivered a powerful roundhouse kick to the large leather punch bag hanging in the middle of the room. He winced slightly as he completed the move, but immediately prepared for the next one. Shifting his weight on to his right leg, breathing heavily to control the pain that was threatening to seize his whole body. Steadying himself on both legs he decided to try a simple back flip. He crouched slightly, allowing the power to build up in his muscles, then he released the energy in a flash. Perfect takeoff! Just as Leo’s hands touched the ground a searing pain rapidly snaked up his right arm. Leo tried to move through it, but his arm collapsed under his weight. Momentum kept his body going, Leo twisted to lessen the risk of further injury to his arm. He landed on his shell with a loud crack. Carrie stood in the doorway, held in place by shock. How could she have caused so much pain and suffering? Leo sat up and placed his head between his knees, he could feel his shame and anger burning inside, his skin flushed a darker color. Leo watched as new blood seeped trough the bandage on his arm.
Carrie slowly moved over to the sitting turtle. Maybe if she spoke to him. She approached carefully, not knowing what to expect. “Are you okay?” Her voice came out a little squeakier than she would have liked. For the first time since the accident Leo looked Carrie in the eyes. She was surprised by how dark they were. Leo looked back at the floor, silently cursing himself. It was bad enough to fail in his own company, but in front of a stranger. “How can you do that?” Carrie asked
“Years of practice.” Leo tried to keep his seething temper out of his voice.
“How many years?”
Silence leaked into the room. It made Carrie fell uncomfortable, like the atmosphere in the room had changed for the worse.
“So, can you do that wall thing like Jackie Chan?” Carrie wasn’t sure why she even said it, but it chased the silence away. Leo gave her a quizzical stare. Jackie Chan was something Mikey would do. Some how Leo had always seen himself as a Bruce Lee.
“What purpose would that serve?” he asked her.
“I don’t know.” She floundered. “I always liked it.”
Leo stood up and looked Carrie square in the eye. “I’m not up to wall running today.” He sneered as he pushed past.
Carrie followed Leo into the kitchen where he took a bottle of coke from the refrigerator. Everything about him fascinated her, the way he walked on two legs, the subtle color changes in his skin even the way he swallowed. Leo moved over to the table where Don and April were still sitting.
“Yahoo is down two points.” Donatello announced from behind the paper.
“Mmmm.” Both April and Leo replied
Leo took a swig from his bottle of coke and moved to stand behind April. He placed his hand on her shoulder and leaned closer, squinting at the magazine she was reading. April smiled and took hold of Leo’s hand; she turned her face towards him. “You okay?”
Carrie felt a pang of jealousy twist through her; she had no idea where it had come from. Tomorrow she would set to work, finding pout all she could about these people.
“I’m hitting the shower.” Leo said as he walked out of the kitchen. As he passed Carrie her stared her down. Carrie sat down at the table with April and Donatello.
“Looks like someone got on his bad side today.” Donatello mused as he folded the paper.
April looked up from her magazine. “Do you remember the time he upset me and we had a row? He didn’t speak to me for months, until I apologized to him!”
“That’s nothing!” Don set the paper down. “You want to live with him, every full moon he acts like a little old lady. Nag, nag, nag!”
“Don’t think I can’t hear you!” came a shout from the bathroom.
April and Don looked at each other and used all their strength to keep them from laughing.
The next morning before breakfast Carrie sat in the training room watching Splinter put the turtles through their exercises. Michaelangelo and Raphael were practicing simple blocks and punches. April was with Donatello learning some self-defense moves. April preferred Donatello as a teacher. He didn’t muck about like Mikey, he wasn’t too rough like Raphael and he didn’t complain when she didn’t get it right the first time. Leonardo sat next to Carrie rebinding his Katana handles, again he had been excluded from practice and it wasn’t helping his disposition. “What are they doing?” Carrie asked Leo as she pointed to Michaelangelo and Raphael.
Leo looked up. “Basic blocking and attack stances.”
“But I thought you had been practicing for years.”
“You should always remember the basics. With out them your skills would be nothing.”
“So you use swords then.”
“Katana.” All these questions were starting to get on Leo nerves.
“Are they heavy?”
“Not really.” He huffed. Leo could feel his resentment growing.
“Are they very sharp?”
Leo’s anger exploded out. “You want I should try them out on you?” He instantly regretted what he had said when he saw Carrie’s face. The room descended into shocked silence.
“Leonardo! Please leave them room.” Splinter was standing over him. Leo looked at his bothers, each had stopped what they were doing and were staring at him in disbelief.
Leo sat in his room, he was so angry he was sure he could feel the heat radiating from his body.
“Is every thing okay my son?” Splinter was stood in the doorway with Donatello.
“I don’t know Master. I feel disconnected from myself some how. It is hard to explain, but I can feel myself in the back of my mind, fighting this new person that I am becoming.” Leo sighed and turned towards Splinter. “I feel flawed.”
“Even the most beautiful diamonds contain many flaws.” Splinter said trying to lift his sons sprits.
“It is like there are two sides of me, each battling to come out. Since this woman came here a side of me has escaped. A side I don’t like.” Leo banged his fists down. “Every movement, every pain reminds me of that failure. It feels like a million knives, each one twisting further.”
“This is a battle you must fight alone. But no matter what the out come your brothers and I are here for you.”
“It is a battle I am afraid to lose.” Leo sighed.
“It is quite possible to develop personality disorders after server trauma.” Donatello added.
“Oh, so I’m mad is that it?” Leo snapped. “Well, I’ll tell you what Donny, why don’t you just drop me off at the nut house and I can tell them I think I’m a turtle!”
Donatello folded his arms and lent against the doorframe. “It is a very common problem. I am sure Raphael has some kind of disorder.”
“Are you suggesting I am in the same box as Raphael?” Leo said a length.
“Enough, this will not help anyone.” Splinter started. “Leo you are to stay here until you feel you have calmed down enough to not threaten anyone.” With that Splinter and Donatello left Leo to seethe.