Tales of Hamato Yoshi
The Elites carried Karai into Saki corporations, making their way to Oroku Saki’s office. When he saw them enter with an unconscious Karai, Saki couldn’t decide whether to be angry or worried.
“What happened?!” he demanded.
“We- we do not know.” The elite holding Karai explained. “She ordered us to wait outside, and when we finally entered, we found her like this...”
Saki just looked down at Karai and put a hand on her face before looking back up at the elites.
“Take her to the infirmary.” he ordered. “Now!”
The elites bowed and carried Karai off, unaware of what was transpiring inside her head.
Saki came to visit her down in infirmary as Dr. Chaplin was examining her. His face was scrunched in confusion and he was chewing on the end of his pen nervously, as if unsure of what was going on.
“You better have some news for me, Doctor.” Saki threatened.
“I’m afraid this isn’t anything like the last time you brought her to me.” Chaplin told him. “You see, the last time, her brain activity was relatively normal. But now...”
He gestured to a screen, which was showing brain activity that was far above normal standards.
“I’m not exactly sure what is going on, but whatever damage was done, her cerebral cortex is working overtime to get everything in order, and ceased all unnecessary functions in order to work at the greatest capacity.”
Saki raised an eyebrow at this.
“What did that girl do to her?” He asked.
“I don’t know, Master.” The doctor replied, looking down at Karai, whose eyes were moving restlessly behind her eyelids. “All I know is she just needs to fight this on her own. All we can do is wait… and pray.”
Saki looked down at Karai, running his fingers through her hair. He was getting sick and tired of seeing his daughter in such a state. Standing over her bed, his free hand clenched hard enough to pop his knuckles.
“Fight this Karai.” he told her, “Fight this, then we will make them all pay.”
The Hamato siblings returned home, all of them flopping onto the large couch that dominated the living room.
“Well, we did it.” Hisako declared, leaning back on the couch. “The memories were implanted… now we just need to wait while they settle.”
“Yeah, however long that will take.” Raph snorted.
“We just need to be patient.” Leo told him.
Splinter heard his children talking and came out to join them.
“I take it your mission was a success.” he noted.
“We’ll know once Karai comes to.” Donny informed him. “And hopefully when she does, she’ll be a bit more open minded.”
Splinter let out a sigh of relief.
“I do hope so.” he admitted.
“In the meantime,” Leo spoke. “Maybe you can tell us what happened between you and Shredder?”
Splinter let out a nod, taking a seat in his usual easy chair. The others sat forward on the couch, eager to listen.
“I suppose that I should start from the beginning.” Splinter mused. “The day my life changed irrevocably.”
Tokyo, a lifetime ago.
A young Hamato Yoshi stood on a street corner, his stomach rumbling loudly. He looked down at it, rubbing it as he searched his pockets. He had a few yen he’d managed to earn, but it was hardly enough to get himself some food. He sighed, leaning against a lamp post in defeat. As he did, something caught his eye. A blind man was making his way across the street, his cane tapping along the asphalt as we walked. Coming right up the road the man was trying to cross was a large truck, one that was definitely not stopping anytime soon.
“Ojiisan!” Yoshi shouted, running towards him.
The blind man stopped walking, turning towards the source of the voice that had called out. Yoshi then barreled right into him, tackling him out of the path of the truck seconds before it hit. As Yoshi pulled himself free of the blind man, he helped him to his feet.
“Are you alright, Ojiisan?” Yoshi asked, checking the man for injuries.
“That I am.” The man informed him, holding a hand out as he searched for the boy. “Thank you for saving me.”
“You are welcome.” Yoshi told him, bowing respectfully.
As he bowed, his stomach growled loudly once more. The man’s hand found Yoshi’s head, feeling the weeks of dirt caked in his hair and on his skin.
“You are filthy, child.” he commented. “When was the last time you had a proper bath? Or a full meal?”
“I… I do not remember, Ojiisan.” Yoshi replied meekly, keeping his eyes on the ground.
“Where are your parents?” the man asked.
“Dead Ojiisan...” Yoshi admitted. “They were killed by the Yakuza...”
The man shook his head solemnly.
“Well, if you have nowhere else to go, perhaps you would be willing to allow me to take you to my home.”
Yoshi’s eyes went wide as he looked up at the man.
“You mean it?”
“Of course.” the man replied. “It is the least I can do for the honorable boy who saved my life.”
Yoshi smiled as the man held out his hand. Yoshi took it, unable to keep a smile off his face.
“What is your name, young one?” the man asked.
“Yoshi. Hamato Yoshi.”
“Now what I didn’t know at the time was that the man I had rescued was one of the five Grand Masters of the honorable Foot Clan.” Splinter told his children. “And that his home was the Foot Clan fortress, a large fixture that sat on the edge of the city, watching over the innocent people of Japan from the evil Yakuza.”
“Wait, the Foot were the good guys?” Raph questioned. “How is that possible?”
“This was before the Shredder turned them into the criminal empire we know today.” Splinter told him. “In those days, you five may have fought alongside them rather than against them.”
Raph snorted at the idea, until Leo elbowed him hard in the gut.
“Please continue Sensei.” Leo insisted
Splinter nodded, then continued.
Yoshi looked around the large fortress, completely awestruck by the entire spectacle. Though the man leading him could not see his expression, he could hear the gasps of surprise, and that brought a smile to his face. As they walked in deeper, one of the many housekeepers of the fortress approached him, bowing respectfully to the man.
“Welcome back, Grandmaster.” she greeted.
“Thank you Miko.” He replied, then he gestured to Yoshi. “This is Hamato Yoshi. He will be joining the recruits as of today.”
Yoshi gave a respectful bow, one Miko matched. She then offered her hand to him.
“Come along Yoshi.” she told him. “Let’s get you cleaned up, then we’ll introduce you to the rest of the recruits.”
Yoshi followed Miko, taking one last look at the man, who gave him a wave. He smiled, then turned towards Miko, curious about what this new life he’d been given would be like. No matter what they asked of him, he would be sure not to let them down.
The bath had felt like he was washing away all the pain and suffering he had endured during his time on the streets, and the meal was one of the best he’s ever eaten. He’d never felt happier as Miko led him down a long hallway full of doors leading to various bedrooms. She approached one door, opening it to reveal a young man around Yoshi’s age. His hair was a bit long, pulled back in a ponytail that hung down his neck.
“Miko-san.” The boy greeted, bowing respectfully.
“Saki, I want to introduce you to Hamato Yoshi, a new recruit brought in by the Grand Master.”
The boy turned to Yoshi, bowing again.
“It is a pleasure to meet you.” The boy told him. “I am Oroku Saki, third generation Foot ninja.”
“The pleasure is all mine.” Yoshi assured him, bowing as well.
“Saki, you are going to be Yoshi’s aniki. You will help him to fit in around here, teach him the rules, and help him to adjust to his new life.”
“I will do everything I can.” Saki promised.
Miko smiled, then took her leave, allowing the two boys to get acquainted.
“You and the Shredder were friends?” Leo asked in shock.
Splinter sighed a bit at the memory, of how innocent the two of them had been back then.
“We were more than that.” Splinter answered. “We were aniki, brothers. We trained together, ate together, roomed together...”
He chuckled a bit.
“We were a lot like you five when we were younger.” he compared. “Though, just like brothers will do, we developed a bit of a rivalry, one that extended into our training as we entered adulthood.”
The attacks were constant, like a dance. The upper hand continued to go back and forth between the two opponents until finally, Yoshi caught a punch and flipped Saki onto the ground.
“I win again.” Yoshi declared offering his opponent a hand up. “Though you almost had me this time.”
Saki let out a sigh, accepting the hand up.
“Indeed.” Saki agreed. “Perhaps you’re finally starting to lose your edge.”
“Either that, or you’re finally gaining yours.” Yoshi joked, slapping Saki’s back.
“Either way, your little winning streak is starting to give out.” Saki retorted.
Yoshi let out a lighthearted chuckle.
“Don’t put me on the sidelines just yet.” He quipped. “I may not be a third generation Foot Ninja like my aniki, but I’m no slouch in a fight, as your sore bum is no doubt aware of.”
“Yes well, he who never loses never learns.” Saki jeered. “So I have that on you at least.”
“That you do.” Yoshi agreed, taking up his fighting stance. “Now, shall we try again?”
“Even with the fierce rivalry between us, our friendship never wavered.” Splinter remarked. “No matter how many times I beat him, I never saw a hint of anger in him.”
His face fell slightly, something that didn’t go unnoticed by his children.
“I’m sensing a ‘but’.” Mikey whispered.
Splinter gave a single not.
“Indeed Michelangelo.” he admitted. “Our rivalry came to a head when Saki and I came of age to lead our own team. However, only one of us could be a leader.”
Both Yoshi and Saki knelt before the five Grand Masters of the Foot High Council. Each were clad in samurai armors of different colors, marking them as individuals. Their full face masks covered their faces and allowed no expression to be visible behind the smooth metal.
“Oroku Saki.” One of the Grand Master’s voice boomed. “Hamato Yoshi. Both of you have proven yourself honorable, and capable warriors, and both of you would make excellent leaders one day.”
“However, one of you has proven yourself as the superior fighter and strategist.” a second declared. “And it is this dedication and wisdom that has made our decision easier.”
“The decision of who will become the leader of our newest Foot battalion has been made.” The third declared.
Both Yoshi and Saki waited, keeping their eyes on the floor below them.
“Hamato Yoshi.” The five Grand Masters declared.
Yoshi’s eyes went wide as he looked up at the council in disbelief.
“Me?” he asked.
One of the Grand Masters rose, removing his helmet to reveal the blind man, not much older, smiling down at Yoshi.
“I knew I sensed greatness in you when we first met,” he told him. “And you have yet to disappoint me. Continue to bring honor to the Foot Clan.”
“I will try.” Yoshi replied. “Thank you.”
Both Yoshi and Saki bowed in response. As they did though, Saki couldn’t help but feel a bit cheated. He was a third generation Foot Ninja. His father and his father before him had all become leaders when they came of age. Still, he forced his jealousy down. Yoshi had earned this position, and he would respect the Council’s decision.
As they left, Yoshi couldn’t help but laugh a bit.
“I must admit… I did not expect to be chosen...” Yoshi said in a bit of shock.
“Neither did I.” Saki replied a tad of disdain in his voice.
Yoshi looked over at his friend, stopping short.
“Saki, is everything alright?”
“Fine.” Saki replied. “Why would it be otherwise?”
“Saki...” Yoshi said softly. “Are you… are you jealous?”
Saki was hesitant to respond.
“Only a little.” Saki admitted. “Mostly because it was a family tradition to lead a team.”
Yoshi placed his hand on Saki’s shoulder.
“I am sure you will become leader one day.” Yoshi assured him. “Just give them time to see the capable ninja you are. The one who gave me a reason to be the best.”
Saki smiled at this.
“You are right of course.” Saki admitted. “Now come. We have much work to do, leader.”
Yoshi chuckled at this as the two went off.
The first mission the team went on was a stakeout mission. Reports had come in of a Yakuza smuggling ring near the Tokyo docks. All along the shadowy rooftops of the rundown warehouses and storage yards, Yoshi’s team of ninja watched every Yakuza thug watching the place.
“It is as heavily guarded as we suspected.” Saki whispered to Yoshi as they both perched on a shipping container. “Guards at every entrance into this place, patrols in teams of two rotating every hour. Whatever is going on in there, the Yakuza are guarding it very carefully.”
“We need to find a way into the docks without raising suspicion.” Yoshi ordered. “We cannot afford to be seen.”
About that time, there was an odd noise coming from inside the docks. It sounded like a fight, and a very uneven one. Curious, Yoshi pulled a spyglass from his belt, focusing on where the noise had come from.
“What do you see, Yoshi?” Saki asked.
He focused as a figure darted into his line of sight. It was a young woman, one who looked quite scared, and a bit hurt. Her clothes were stained, and from the way the Yakuza were trying to grab her, they needed her alive.
“There is someone else down there.” Yoshi explained. “An innocent woman.”
“What?” Saki nearly exclaimed. “What is she doing there?”
“I fear she may be a prisoner, and that she is what is being smuggled.”
The very idea made Saki’s blood boil. He stood up, grasping his weapons so tightly his knuckles turned white.
“We must take action.” Saki declared.
Saki didn’t have the chance to listen before jumping down towards the Yakuza. Once they saw the ninja land in front of them, the Yakuza thugs all drew their various guns and weapons, opening fire. Yoshi cursed, then contacted the rest of the team.
“Spread out!” he ordered. “A moving target is harder to hit!”
All the men nodded and spread out across the docks, Yoshi jumping down to protect Saki. As he was dispatching Yakuza thugs, he turned to Saki in anger.
“Our orders were reconnaissance only!” Yoshi exclaimed, his sword slicing through a Yakuza gun. “Now you have put our entire team in jeopardy.”
“Would you rather an innocent life be lost to this evil?” Saki asked kicking away a Yakuza thug.
“While I understand your intentions, your rash actions may have endangered that innocent life, as well as everyone else’s!”
Almost as if to prove his point, one of their team members took a bullet to the leg, one that send the poor guy falling off a rooftop and hard onto the concrete. Yoshi’s eyes went wide as he darted towards his fallen comrade.
“Stay with me.” He ordered. “You’ll be alright.”
One Yakuza attempted to aim his gun at the two of them, but was taken out by a fire extinguisher wielded by the woman Yoshi had seen.
“Some rescue this is.” she joked, offering a hand.
Yoshi took it, rising to his feet and quickly pushing the woman behind him as a new thug came running at him with a large knife. He caught the man by the wrist and struck him on the neck taking him out.
“We are outnumbered and outflanked.” Yoshi realized. “Foot ninja, disappear!”
The Foot Ninja then disappeared into the shadows, carrying their wounded along with them. Yoshi took the woman in his arms, escaping with her as well.
The injuries sustained during the botched mission were numerous. Many would no longer be able to serve as ninja while others would be lucky to live through the night. Needless to say, the Foot High Council was less than pleased.
“14 injured.” One of the council members declared. “14, 5 of whom are lucky to even be alive!”
“Your actions tonight are unacceptable Saki.” a second council member condemned.
“You disregarded the orders of your leader, put your entire team at risk, and you exposed yourself to the enemy!”
“I meant no ill will.” Saki replied. “I meant to save lives tonight, not endanger them.”
“Yes, the young woman you rescued.” the fourth Councilor, the only female member, recalled. “While your intentions were noble, the fact remains that what you did caused more harm than good.”
“... I have no excuse.” Saki finally replied.
The council exchanged a few murmured words, then they turned back to Saki.
“Considering the crimes you have committed, we would be well within our right to expel you from the Foot Clan and cast you from our ranks.” The first councilor declared. “However… Yoshi spoke on your defense and begged us to give you a second chance.”
Saki’s eyes went wide at that. Considering how angry Yoshi had been, he hadn’t expected him to come to his defense.
“However, do not think this excuses you from punishment.” The fifth councilor declared. “Until we say otherwise, you are to remain inside the fortress, and will be assigned regular guard duty, on top of other chores and duties we deem fit to assign you.”
“I accept my punishment.” Saki said resigned to his fate.
“Good.” The second Councilor said with a nod. “Then your first assignment is simple.”
He clapped twice and a door to the side opened, allowing for the woman they’d rescued from the docks enter.
“This is Tang Shen.” The fourth councilor explained. “She will be staying in the fortress until we are certain that the Yakuza will not try and reclaim her. You will show her around, get her settled, and then have her meet with Miko so she can get acquainted with her future duties as a housekeeper.”
“It will be done.” Saki said bowing, and smiling.
He then walked over to Tang Shen.
“Shall we get started?” Saki asked offering her an arm.
With a smile, she took it. As they walked out of the room, Shen looked at Saki, blushing a bit.
“I was told I have you to thank for my rescue.”
“Yes.” Saki confirmed. “Though I may have been a bit brash in my going about it.”
“Yes… I overheard...” she looked down. “You got into so much trouble for my sake.”
“I could not let an innocent remain in the hands of those vile monsters.” Saki told her. “It infuriates me how the Yakuza work like that. Treating human life like it was something to be bartered or sold. It disgusts me.”
“Okay, I’m calling BS on that!” Raph exclaimed. “After what he made you-know-who do to Hisako!”
Hisako winced a bit at that as Splinter looked at his son.
“This was a different time.” Splinter explained. “Before he let anger and hatred cloud his mind.”
“How’d that happen?” Mikey asked.
“Allow me to continue…” Splinter replied.
Tang Shen adjusted to life in the fortress quite quickly. Her kind personality and her ability to see the good in everything made her a joy to be around. Many of the soldiers and guards grew instantly smitten with her, Saki and Yoshi being no exception. Saki was taking a walk around the garden when he saw Shen tending the flowers. He decided to walk over and talk to her.
“Shen.” Saki greeted.
“Saki.” Shen replied looking up.
“I just wanted to see how you were adjusting to life here.” Saki told her.
“Very well, thank you.” she told him, straightening up and wiping her hands on her skirt. “I could not have asked for a better place to call home.”
“I’m so glad. Since you’ve been here, this place has never felt more like home.”
Shen giggled slightly, looking up at the sky.
“With all the trees and flowers, I’m almost reminded of my home back in Kyoto.”
“What was it like?”
She seemed to drift off a bit, smiling.
“Beautiful… especially in the spring. The sakura trees would blossom and the petals would fall like snow, blanketing the entire world in their rosy embrace.”
Her face seemed to fall a bit.
“My father use to take me every spring to see them...” she said softly, a tear running down her face, “Until…. Until they came.”
Saki placed a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her.
“I am sorry Shen.” he said.
She wiped her eyes, then shook her head to clear her thoughts.
“It was years ago.” She admitted, “Before the Yakuza killed him and took me… It was those memories that kept me from losing hope.”
“That hope has made you strong in ways not many consider possible.” Saki encouraged.
“Thank you Saki.” she told him. “I could not have asked for a better friend.”
Shen returned to her work and Saki returned to his duties. Leaning against a wall, Yoshi smiled, having overheard the entire conversation. As he thought about Tang Shen’s words, he found himself getting an idea.
Later that day, Shen was cleaning the floors of the dojo when Yoshi walked in, nearly startling her. She gasped in surprise, nearly throwing her cleaning cloth across the room. Yoshi intercepted it, handing it back to her.
“Can’t lose this now can you?” He joked.
“Yoshi!” Shen exclaimed, breathing a sigh of relief. “I know that stealth is key to your profession, but give a girl some warning next time.”
“My apologies.” Yoshi replied. “I merely wished to talk to you. And to ask you something.”
“Go ahead.” Shen assured him, taking the cloth from Yoshi. “But I must continue working. These dojo floors look like they’ve never been cleaned.”
“It is just…” Yoshi began. “The cherry blossoms are in bloom tonight, and I was hoping you would do me the honor of joining me to see them.”
Shen stopped mid swipe of her cloth, looking up at Yoshi.
“The cherry blossom?” she repeated. “How did you-? Did Saki tell you?”
“I only overheard.” Yoshi admitted. “I thought you would enjoy it. Was I wrong?”
Shen gave a small smile.
“It… has been awhile since I last saw them.” she admitted. “It would be nice to see them again.”
“So may I take that as a yes?” Yoshi asked.
“Yes.” she told him. “I’ll be ready at 7.”
“I will see you then.”
He walked of, closing the door behind him. Once he had, he punched the air in excitement, silently cheering.
That night, Yoshi approached Tang Shen’s room, more nervous than he had ever been on any mission or training exercise. He felt as though a swarm of butterflies were fluttering in his stomach. Slowly, he raised his fist to knock. Just as he was about to knock, the door opened.
Tang Shen stood in the doorway, her long black hair tied up in a bun and held there by a pair of ivory chopsticks. She wore a gorgeous pink kimono decorated in cherry blossoms and other spring flowers. She’d painted her lips and was smiling shyly.
“Am I overdressed?” she asked.
“You look beautiful.” Yoshi answered.
Shen blushed at the compliment. Yoshi then offered his arm, which Shen graciously took as he escorted her out of the fortress. They walked through the gates, Shen looking back in surprise.
“I know you said we were going to see the sakura blossoms, but I figured you meant the trees in the Fortress. Are you sure it is safe to leave?”
“We will be fine.” Yoshi reassured her. “I will never let any harm befall you.”
Shen smiled as the two continued walking. They soon reached a large park, one filled with almost two dozen sakura trees. Shen’s eyes went wide as the light of the setting sun illuminated the falling petals.
“Do you like it?” Yoshi asked.
Shen’s eyes lit up like fireworks at the sight, smiling brighter than Yoshi had seen her do since her arrival.
“It’s absolutely amazing...” she gasped, “I’d almost forgotten how beautiful it was”
Yoshi was delighted to see Shen so happy. Eyeing a sakura on a nearby branch, he plucked it and placed it behind Shen’s ear. Her hand went up to her ear, her fingers brushing against the petals of the flower as she pulled it from her hair. Giving it a sniff, she slid it back into place, looking up at Yoshi.
“Thank you...” she told him, happy tears running down her face, “From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
“Of course. I would do anything for you Shen.”
They stared into each other’s’ eyes for a few moments, then Yoshi decided to go for it. He leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. Shen was taken aback by this at first, but didn’t object. Shen then returned the kiss, the two practically melting into each other’s embrace.
“Smooth moves Sensei.” Mikey complimented. “A kiss on the first date.”
Splinter chuckled at the remark.
“Well…” he simply said.
“So what happened next?” Leo asked.
“My courtships with Shen continued.” Splinter explained. “And during this time, I thought of little else but her. I was so blinded by love that I did not see the anger and jealousy that had taken root inside of my old friend.”
Saki and Yoshi were in the dojo for their daily training. They traded blows at a surprising speed, neither able to land a hit due to the other’s quick reflexes. Though their little battle was intense, Yoshi had a large grin plastered on his face, one that did not go unnoticed by Saki.
“You seem unnaturally cheerful today, Yoshi.” He noted, a tinge of something off in his voice.
“I’ve never been happier.” Yoshi noted, bringing his arm up to block an attack. “I just can’t stop thinking about Shen.”
Saki’s teeth clenched a bit at the mention of Shen’s name. He attempted a grab at Yoshi, but Yoshi side stepped, trapping Saki’s arm behind him.
“Is that so?” Saki hissed, twisting in order to free his arm.
“Indeed.” Yoshi told him, reforming his stance. “She makes me feel like I could take on the entire world, and I would if she asked me to.”
Saki scowled as he deflected another one of Yoshi’s strikes.
“You two have been… close since the spring festival.” He begrudgingly admitted.
“We have become more than close my friend.” Yoshi told him. “I intent to ask for her hand in marriage.”
Something inside Saki snapped as he grabbed Yoshi’s arm and flipped him onto the ground, twisting it. Yoshi let out a yelp of pain, struggling in Saki’s grip as he felt his arm being dislocated, the muscles burning. Finally, Saki snapped out of his trance and let go of Yoshi’s arm. Yoshi got to his feet, rubbing his arm in pain.
“That was…. Extreme, Saki.” Yoshi said, grunting a bit in pain.
“My apologies Yoshi.” Saki replied. “I guess I just got caught up in the moment.”
Yoshi chuckled, doing his best to make light of the situation.
“Well, at least now you can finally say you bested me.” he joked.
“Indeed.” Saki concurred. “So you and Shen….”
“I am taking her to Kyoto.” He explained, still rubbing his arm. “Her family had a temple there, one left untouched by the Yakuza. There, we will start our life together.”
As he said that, a chuckle graced Yoshi’s lips. Saki was excessively put off by this, but he attempted to hide it.
“I am… glad for you.”
“You know, it is funny.” Yoshi commented. “Though you have received great pains for the actions you took that fateful night, had you not disobeyed our orders, Shen would not be here. In a way, I owe you my happiness Saki.”
Saki clenched his fist upon hearing that.
“So it would seem.”
Yoshi looked at his arm, wincing a bit.
“Perhaps I should go see a healer about this.” He mused. “Do not worry though. I will tell them it was an accident.”
“Yes, go my friend.” Saki agreed. “And enjoy your happiness with Tang Shen.”
As Yoshi walked out of the dojo, he barely heard his old friend muttering under his breath.
Tang Shen and Yoshi were married in a grand ceremony beneath the sakura blossoms. Their honeymoon was one to remember, and it wasn’t long before Shen was with child. They both sat under the stars, Shen rubbing her slightly swollen stomach with a look of contentment.
“Which do you think it is, Yoshi?” she asked. “A boy, or a girl?”
“I would love it either way.” Yoshi replied.
Shen chuckles a bit, leaning against him.
“If it is a girl, I want to name her Miwa.” She mused, going over the name in her head. “Hamato Miwa...”
“And if it is a boy?” Yoshi asked.
Shen’s smile grew bigger.
“When I was a little girl, I loved the renaissance period, especially the different artwork.” she told him. “My four favorite artists were Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo.”
“Oh so that’s where we got our names.” Mikey discovered.
“Yes it is.” Splinter agreed. “Stop interrupting.”
“I think those are all wonderful names.” Yoshi told her, smiling down at her.
Shen smiled as well, then sat forward a bit, holding her stomach.
“Seems they’ve already inherited their father’s warrior spirit.” Shen joked. “I best go lie down.”
Yoshi kissed her forehead, then Shen walked into the temple they were staying in, leaving Yoshi to look up at the stars. As he looked out into the night, a figure emerged from the woods surrounding the temple. Sensing their presence, Yoshi reached for the blade always at his side. However, when the figure emerged from the darkness, Yoshi let out a sigh of relief.
“Saki, you scared me.” he called out, removing his hand from his sword.
Saki said nothing as he just stood there. Yoshi took note of the two sets of bladed claws on his hands.
“Saki, is something wrong?” He asked, walking down to meet his friend.
“... I have come to collect what belongs to me.” Saki told him.
Yoshi’s eyes went wide, his hand instinctively resting on the hilt of his sword.
“Saki? What are you talking about?”
“It is as you said, ‘old friend’,” Saki practically spat. “You owe your happiness to me.”
With that, he charged forward at Yoshi, who quickly drew his sword and blocked the claws. Yoshi quickly shoved Saki back, looking at him in confusion.
“Why do you attack me?” he demanded. “We are aniki, brothers!”
“We were never blood!” Saki yelled pressing the attack.
From inside the temple, Tang Shen could be heard calling out in confusion.
“Yoshi? Is everything alright?”
“Shen! Stay inside! I will handle this!” Yoshi shouted back.
Saki continued dealing strikes to Yoshi, who was only barely able to deflect them. Finally, Saki kicked Yoshi into the temple, sending him crashing through the door. As Yoshi got up, Saki came in for another strike. Yoshi quickly grabbed Saki’s arm and shoved him against a wall.
“We have fought side by side for years! We risk life and limb together! Why do you throw all that away now?”
“The only thing I am throwing away is the shade I have lived in for so long.” Saki spat back. “Gaining nothing but coming up second to the great Hamato Yoshi!”
“All this because I continued to best you when we sparred?” Yoshi questioned.
Saki then shoved him off and came in close for the strike, which Yoshi barely dodged.
“Because you continue to take everything from me!” Saki yelled “Leadership, respect of the council, and now Tang Shen! Well no more!”
Saki then kicked Yoshi to the ground. Yoshi kept crawling away as Saki continued stabbing at the ground. Yoshi finally brought up his sword to block the claws. By this time, the noise had drawn Tang Shen from her room. She emerged into where they were fighting, clutching her swollen stomach.
“Saki?” She questioned in shock. “What are you doing here?”
Saki looked up to see Shen clutching her stomach. He had a pretty good idea of what that meant, and it enraged him even more. He then kneed Yoshi in the face and leapt up prepared to deliver the final blow. Shen’s eyes went wide as she ran to block the blow.
“Saki, no!” she screamed.
It was too late. Saki brought the claw down right on Shen’s face. She clutched her face in pain, blood dripping from her fingers as she fell to the ground. Yoshi was by her side in an instant, checking to make sure she and their child were alright, Saki slowly got up, barely able to comprehend what had happened. He then turned to Yoshi even more enraged than before.
“You! You did this!” Saki yelled. “You turned her against me!”
Yoshi stood, placing himself between Shen and Saki.
“No. You did that yourself.”
Now on the offensive, Yoshi struck first. Saki deflected the strike and knocked him away.
“I will not let you take her from me!” Saki yelled running at him.
Yoshi got out of the way as Saki sliced some candles behind him. The candles fell to the ground and started igniting the tatami mats like kindling. The old wooden temple was soon engulfed in flames, weakening the structure by the second. Shen, still clutching her bloody face, saw the oncoming flames and new time was of the essence.
“Yoshi! Saki! The temple is lost! We must flee!”
Yoshi and Saki were still clashing, though the former could see that Shen’s words were true.
“Saki, if this pointless battle continues we will both perish!”
Saki just growled and shoved Yoshi back. However, before either of them could do anything, part of the ceiling caved in, separating the two of them. Yoshi’s eyes went wide as Saki disappeared behind a wall of flames. He stood there in shock before Shen took his arm, pulling him to safety.
Once the two of them were safely out of harm’s way, they both stared at the burning building in shock and horror, holding each other close.
“Saki...” Yoshi whispered, his voice filled with grief.
“We cannot stay here.” Shen told him. “When the council hears what has occurred this night-”
She couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence, but she didn’t have to.
“We must leave Japan.” Yoshi declared, holding Shen and placing a hand on her stomach.
“Yes.” Shen agreed. “We can go to America. I’ve always wanted to visit New York.”
“Then that is where we will go.” Yoshi decided.
He led Shen away from the burning temple, never looking back.
“After that, Shen and I came here.” Splinter continued. “I opened a small dojo, Miwa was born, and for three wonderful years, we were a happy family.”
Everyone just stared in awe. Then a question came to Leo.
“Hang on, Sensei.” he said. “You said that you left Saki behind in the temple.”
“I did.” Splinter agreed. “I thought he had perished that night, but it would seem he has survived.”
“But that still doesn’t explain Karai.” Raph interjected. “I mean, you said he seemed to get even madder after seeing Shen pregnant.”
“That is true, but I think I know why Saki took Miwa.” Splinter answered. “Saki believed that Shen should have been his, and he no doubt also believed that her child should have been his. When he believed me dead in the accident, he saw his chance to take what he believed was rightfully his.”
“And took Karai, raising her to believe the lies that he did.” Donny surmised.
“Exactly.” Splinter agreed. “I can only pray that it is not too late to right the wrongs done to her by Saki’s treachery.”