Somebody to Lean On

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Secrets Left Unsaid


Leo watched Raph scramble out the back as his dad, Samuel Itami, burst through the door.

"Leonardo Itami!" His dad screamed.

Leo flinched at his father's voice. He walked to Samuel, slowly. "Yes, dad?"

"Who was that?" Leo's dad screamed.

"It was just the neighbor boy, Raph! He goes to my school." Leo quickly explained, taking a small shuffle back.

"Fine, idiot. Get your grade up in Geometry; it's lowered down to a C." His father scoffed and grabbed a can of beer from the fridge.

"I'm sorry, dad. I aced my English test, though." Leo tried to get off the subject of bad grades.

"Wow, I'm shocked that a retard like you would be able to get such a good grade." His father mocked before taking a long sip of the beer, a little dribbled through his unkempt beard.

"I have all A's and B's except for Social Studies." Leo muttered.

"What was that?!" Samuel demanded.

"Nothing," Leo shrunk back and almost crashed into a table.

"I signed you up to take some Martial Arts. It starts today after school. Maybe it will give you a future since you have no hope of going to college." His dad said, with a stern but slurred voice.

"But... dad..." Leo began.

"Go to your room for talking back at me!" Leo's father screamed and pointed a finger to his room.

Leo dragged his feet to his bedroom and locked himself in, curled up in a tight ball on his bed.

...

The next day, when Leo got on the bus, he was surprised when Raph sat next to him.

"Hi," Leo gave an impish smile.

"Hi... Leo, I have four questions for you." Raph faced Leo.

"What are they?" Leo asked.

"First, why did you give me your college money?"

Leo squirmed in his seat for a moment, "I uh... realized that I had enough... so I gave you the extra,"

"But in your note, it said that you decided not to go to college." Raph replied, suspiciously.

"I was being stupid for the moment... and... I didn't want to sound like... um... I was bragging about my money." Leo's voice decreased in volume with every passing word.

Raph wasn't completely convinced but decided that he would leave it at that until later. "Okay, second, how did you know I needed the money?"

"I overheard you and your family... I wasn't eavesdropping, it's just you were yelling it at the top of your lungs and my window was open." Leo hastily explained.

"Alright, why'd you kick me out the moment you heard your dad coming home?" Raph asked.

Leo looked very uncomfortable. His eyes wandered around the bus, avoiding the gaze of Raph's amber eyes. "He isn't very welcoming to people he doesn't know that well, ya know."

Raph raised an eyebrow at the answer, "really?"

"Yeah, he... uh freaked out one time when I brought home a friend for... studying." Leo muttered.

Raph could see the lie showing but decided to leave it... he'd find out eventually. "Why was there five cans of beer in your kitchen?" Raph asked, surprisingly gently.

Leo's eyes widened to the size of bowling balls and Raph could see the sweat form on his brow.

Before Leo could make a stuttering reply, Mikey and Don boarded the bus and took the seats across from him.

"Hi Raph, uh, hi Leo." Don said, surprised to see Leo sitting there.

"Sup," Raph said, annoyed he hadn't had time to talk to Leo alone. Despite that, he decided to give Leo some space. They had only properly met the day before and he was already asking really personal questions. He would give the boy a break.

"Hi," Leo quietly greeted, a look of pure relief on his face.

"Hi, Leo." Mikey said, happily.

Leo looked at Mikey with a half-grin spread across his face.

Don leaned over to Raph, "Do you want us to move?"

Raph shook his head, "It's fine."

The bus came to a sudden halt at the school. They maneuvered their way through the compact isle of teens.

"I'm going to take ninjutsu apparently." Leo said to no one in particular. He appeared to be off in his own little world of contemplation.

"Wait, is it at Hamato dojo?" Mikey asked excitedly.

"Uh, yeah, why?" Leo looked confused, but somewhat relieved that Mikey knew the place he was talking about.

"All three of us are going there... well, Mikey and Don are going to just start, like you. I happen to be three months ahead of you guys." Raph smirked at the playful glares Don and Mikey shot him.

"Anyways, we're all going, so it's going to be fun!" Don said.

"Cool," Leo's eyes lit up.

"Lighten up, Leo! We're all friends, we aren't gonna bite," Mikey said.

Leo's smile widened a little more as he nodded. "Well, see you guys in geometry." Leo said as he stopped at his locker. "Friends-" he murmured, "This is new."

...

The rest of the school day had been uneventful. They had sat together at lunch and rambled on about the first day of ninjutsu.

The four of them were headed towards the dojo. They opened the door to be met with a small desk with a large training room behind it. Suddenly, a medium sized man stepped out. His golden brown eyes glinted in the lighting of the room.

"Good day, sensei." Raph bowed out of respect.

"Hello, Raphael. You may go warm up. Your friends and I will return in a moment." The man said.

He turned to the other three and greeted them. "Hello, I am Splinter Hamato. I will be your sensei. You three must be Leonardo, Donatello, and Michealangelo."

They nodded.

Splinter looked the three boys up and down, taking note of their stances and body language.

"I will run you through some tests to see what we need to work on." Splinter said. "Now, come."

They walked into the dojo. "Now, stretch out, I need to see your flexibility."

The three boys joined Raph in the middle of the mat and went into the splits. All three were pretty flexible. Splinter was pleased that they didn't have to start at square one of flexibility.

After they had all stretched, Splinter had Raph demonstrate a very simple kata. They mimicked it with ease.

As the difficulty of the katas Raph demonstrated increased, Leo, Don and Mikey all began to slowly struggle. Pretty soon, Splinter ordered Raph to stop.

"Good job, you all have very good skills. Now I want to test your stealth. That is the ninja's most powerful weapon. I will sit here, with my eyes closed. You are to try and approach me and try to take my staff from in front of me." Splinter said, "But first, i must speak with Raphael." Splinter stepped out of the dojo with the red-headed boy.

After a minute, they came beck in. "Alright, you may begin." Splinter said as he sat down cross legged and shut his eyes, his staff in front of him.

Mikey was the first to approach. He decided to try and take Splinter from the side. Before he could get even close to the staff, "Michealangelo, quiet your breathing."

Mikey halted in surprise at the old man's acute sense of hearing.

Donatello decided to go next, settling for a strategic approach from the back. After taking a few steps, Don stopped. He decided to try and take him from the right instead. After moving to the right, he changed his mind, and stepped to the left side of the man.

"Stop contemplating, Donatello." Splinter said calmly. Don whispered a 'yes Sensei' in disappointment. He went and sat down next to Mikey and Raph. Leo was the only one left.

Leo had stayed in the same spot the whole time. Quiet as a mouse.

Suddenly, he ran forward, his feet barely touching the mat and grabbed the staff from in front of the man.

"Well done, Leonardo. You know your strengths and weaknesses and used them to your advantage. Just as I used yours to my advantage." Splinter smiled at the slightly shocked faces of the boy's.

"What? We just met you, how would you know?" Mikey asked, eyes as wide as bowling balls.

"Raphael told me about you. He said that you, Michealangelo, were the wild one. A good quality for a lot of things, but stealth is not one of them. I knew you would be the one that would charge right in."

Mikey blushed at the truthful words.

"He told me that you, Donatello, were very smart. That is a good advantage, but you can over contemplate and that will be your downfall."

Don was still shocked about the fact of Splinter knowing this stuff.

"You, Leonardo, Raphael told me you are the quiet one. I knew you would be a challenge. Being quiet isn't always the best choice, but, in being a ninja, it is very important."

Leo blushed a deep pink and looked at the ground, embarrassed.

"I told Raphael to tell me because your enemies will study your strengths and weaknesses and use them against you." Splinter explained.

...

After perfecting some basic katas and watching Raph train on some slightly harder ones, the class was over.

Leo and Raph walked home, splitting up at their houses.

Leo saw his father's car poorly parked in the driveway. 'He needs to stop driving' Leo thought, sadly.

He entered the house to be met with a blast of odor and alcohol. That was a large disadvantage of having a small house. He went straight to his room without making a sound. He hoped his father hadn't heard him.

His hopes were shattered when his bedroom door opened, revealing his dad, leaning awkwardly against the door frame. "Leonardo, we need to talk."


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