Family Ties (A TMNT Oneshot)

Immediately following the events of TMNT 2012 S02E03. Leo struggles with the newfound discovery that Karai is Splinter's daughter.


1. Family Ties (A TMNT Oneshot)

Leo swung his fist at the punching bag with all of his might, watching it fly backwards from the impact but still unsatisfied as the raw feeling of angry and confused emotion swarmed inside of him.

Splinter had known for weeks that Karai was his daughter. Leo’s sister. Why hadn’t he been told before now? Didn’t Splinter know that he had liked Karai since the moment he’d met her? How was he supposed to adjust to this new situation?

He pounded the bag again.

And Karai! She was under the impression that Shredder was her real father. That Splinter had killed her mother. Shredder had been lying to her for her entire life. She had been raised to follow in his footsteps, and that was exactly what she was doing. How on earth was he going to break her out of that routine and make her realize that her whole life had been a lie? What would she do when she found out the truth?

This time Leo roundhouse kicked the punching bag. It wasn’t enough. The bag couldn’t fight back. It couldn’t give him a challenge or knock any sense into him. It couldn’t really help him calm down. Hitting it over and over was doing nothing for him.

Frustrated at both himself and Master Splinter, and not knowing what else to do to release the negative energy inside of him, Leo let out an exasperated yell and fell to the ground, punching the floor, ignoring the pain that shot up his arm.

Karai was his sister.

“Hey, bro,” Raph said from behind him. Leo clenched his fists but did not stand. “You all right?”

“No, I’m not,” Leo muttered.

“What’s up?”

Raph knew something was really wrong. Leo almost never got like this, and when he did, it was not fun for anyone. He knew what it was like to be angry. He got that way on a daily basis for some reason or another. But when his older brother became enraged as he was right now, it was for a very good reason. Something very real was bothering Leo, and Raph didn’t like it.

“I just need to clear my head.” Leo spoke in a low tone. Raph could hear the anger in his voice. He glanced at the punching bag, now swinging back and forth in an attempt to regain its normal position. It wasn’t enough for Leo to punch something that couldn’t fight back.

So Raph said, “Come on. Let’s head to the dojo.”


“So we can get some of that energy out of you.”

Leo took a deep breath and let it out in one short huff, slowly getting to his feet. His hand stung from when he had punched the concrete floor, but he pushed away the pain and instead focused on getting to the dojo with Raphael. His brother, usually throwing insults by now, kept a silent and serious aura about him.

Until they got to the dojo.

They had barely made it inside the door when Raph suddenly turned and lunged for him, taking Leo by surprise. Years of training and instinct took over and he threw himself to the floor, letting his brother fly over him in a rush of air.

Leo quickly jumped to his feet, facing his new opponent. Raph clenched his fists and ran at him again, and the fight was on.

It felt good to run around and aim punches and kicks at an enemy who could think for himself and fight back. It gave Leo the exercise he needed to release some of his anger. Gradually, punch after punch, kick after kick, blow after blow, the blue-masked turtle unsheathed a katana and lifted it in front of him. Raph understood, pulling out his sais and taking a moment – but only a moment – to adjust to the new style of fighting.

Then they were at it again.

Swing, dodge, parry, shove, strike, was all that went through Leo’s mind as he and Raph fought each other silently, making noise only to grunt when they were hit or let out a battle cry. Neither of them knew how long they fought, and only one knew why they were truly doing this exercise in the first place, but it was their own unique way of spending time with one another. They enjoyed it for what it was and for the time it lasted.

But eventually Leo wore out, and he simply stopped swinging his katana through the air. He stood in the middle of the dojo, breathing hard, sweating, but satisfied. Most of his rage was extinguished like a flame that had been put out. Raph saw that his brother was finished and put his weapons away.

Exhausted, Leo simply dropped his sword and then collapsed on the ground a second time, the anger draining out of him more rapidly now. Raph sat beside him and crossed his arms.

“So what’s going on, bro?”

Leo took a breath and answered, “It’s Karai.”

Normally Raph would have started teasing him right now, or making fun of him, saying that he couldn’t believe Leo was still hung up over this girl that was obviously the bad guy. She clearly wasn’t worth the time or effort. Even Mikey could see that.

Raph didn’t say a word this time. He only nodded, ready to listen.

Leo pulled his knees under him and sat facing his brother. “She...there’s more to her than we thought.” He paused, trying to determine what to say next. “Splinter didn’t hurt her mother. We know that. But...he has met her before. It’s been a long time, and Karai doesn’t remember, but the fact is there and we can’t ignore it anymore.” He closed his eyes. “I can’t ignore it anymore.”

Unbeknownst to the brothers, Donnie and Mikey stood in the doorway, quietly listening in on the conversation. They had heard the loud noises coming from the dojo and ignored them at first; after all, Leo and Raph sparred with each other all the time. But the noises kept going – longer than usual – and Mikey had come to Donnie’s lab to inquire about what was going on.

Donnie didn’t know, but the shouting and thumping turned to clanging as metal met metal, and when those noises went on longer than normal, he knew something was really wrong. Leo had to be in one of his rare bad moods. It was the only explanation he had.

Now, standing in the doorway and listening in on what Leo was saying, Donnie knew he had been right. He and Mikey exchanged curious glances.

Raph was quiet when he spoke. “What can’t we ignore, Leo?”

Leonardo looked his brother in the eyes with a frown and replied, “Karai is Splinter’s daughter.” 

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