I hadn’t had much of sleep last night. Too many thoughts about repairing Battle Shell rolled in my mind and at times I felt desperation sneak into my mind. What if I couldn’t fix her? Shut it, Donnie, shut it! Of course I could fix her! I had fix and build so many things in my life that fixing her wouldn’t be nothing – except time consuming. Working alone with it was a challenge what I loved however.
When I last time had looked the clock it had been 4:57am. A perfect time to get up and go to work in garage. I worked in silence, keeping the volume of my working as minimum and low as possible. That’s why I only focused on finding working wires what I would need to lights, turn signal, windscreen wipers, radio and so on. I found good among of working wires so I decided to check under her to see how much new metals I would need there.
While laying under her on my shell I noticed 2 small light green legs coming towards me. Pushing myself out under the vehicle I came face to face with little Leo who looked at me head slightly bend to the left.
“Good morning, Leo.” He gave me one of his sweetest smiles nodding back at me. “I uh… Hope I didn’t wake you up.” and he only shook his head. Hesitating a moment and poking his toe on the floor he sat next to me and looked under Battle Shell.
“She’s a very big mess but don’t worry, I can fix her.” After a moment of silence little Leo jumped up with wide smile on his face repeatedly pointing at himself.
“You… Want to help me to fix her?” He nodded so eagerly I started to fear his head would fall off and that would be something what I couldn’t be able to fix. Laughing a bit with kindness I tapped his shoulder. “Alright, alright. You can help me. Let’s get to work then, shall we?”
Lowering welding helmet’s glass on my eyes I started to weld two bigger and thick pieces of metal together… after making sure little Leo was out of sight and not looking the light of course. I have to say having little Leo there handing me small items what I managed to describe to him was fun and it made my work faster and easier since I didn’t need to run back and forth all the time.
Sudden tapping on my shoulder made me jump and almost drop welding rod with yelp. Lifting dark glass off on my eyes I heard silent chuckle behind. I faced none other than my oldest brother who had his eye ridge lifted in asking way while there was small smile on his face.
“Too deep in your work again I see.”
“Sorry, Leo, but you know how I am.” Taking the helmet off I gave him my back, making clean and empty spot to it on the table. “Did you need or want something?”
“Actually yes. I need and want you in the kitchen. Dinner’s ready and I don’t want you to miss it. You need to fuel yourself so you can work.”
“Dinner? Is clock so much already?!”
“Time flies when you’re having fun, right?” Turning to look at empty tray further away in stool Leonardo smiled a bit. “I’m happy to see you have eat all the little snacks what little Leo has bring you.”
“Of course. I mean I couldn’t had say no. It would had made the poor boy cry.”
“I see. Well, I hope you will show up at dinner table. He’s waiting you there already. He insisted of having a seat next to you.” All this my brother said while walking away from me. I must admit it felt nice to know little Leo wanted to sit next to me and was waiting. Taking a look of the work load behind me I sighed deeply but decided to go to eat. My workload wouldn’t get any smaller or bigger if I sat down and enjoyed some time with my family. After all I knew they felt bad when I spend too much time working instead of being with them. I know they love me and I love them so spending some time with them is only fair.
After dining I returned back to my workload, little Leo right behind me. It was nice to see him so happy and eager to help me. We spend hours on working together fixing Battle Shell and it started to come together piece by piece. We both stood side by side while watching our handy work with approving nods.
“What do you think? Looks pretty good, huh?”
Little Leo laughed clapping his hands together eagerly while jumping still a bit. He must have been feeling proud of our work.
“But this is all what we currently can do for her. I made a list of the items what I need to keep on repairing her. Can you get the list from the desk, please?”
Little Leo nodded eagerly and ran to long desk at the back wall, but stopped. I watched him staying still and soon I heard silent sobs. What was wrong? Worried with confusion I made my way through the stuff next to Leo, looking down at him.
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
Leonardo slowly lifted his hand, pointing one finger at two papers on the desk. I didn’t understand… It took me a lot of thinking before one reason hit my mind.
“You can’t… read?”
Little head nodded few times, small hands wiping tears away from him eyes. Of course. It all made so much sense! Splinter in his world had never taught him to read and now that there was two paper on the desk Leo didn’t know which one I was asking for. Kneeling down I placed hand on his small shell, rubbing it gently.
“Hey, it’s okay. No need to cry over this, Leo. It’s all good.” Sobbing he turned to look at me with big teary eyes and I once more convinced him that all was good.
“Say, can you count?”
He looked unsure but he lifted up 4 fingers. So he at least could count on four. Probably because of he and his brothers. Sighing I stood up rubbing my chin. This was something what I needed to inform my brothers about. How come we never hadn’t see or realize this before?
In that same evening we all had gather in living room after Raphael had put little Leo to sleep in his bed. He had fall asleep pretty quick, probably being exhausted after all that working and then little playing with Mikey. Raphael approached us and it never stopped to amaze me how he could move so silently while being so big and raw pile of muscles. He sat on the floor to collect little Leo’s drawing supplies as Leo’s focus turned on me.
“So what did you want to talk about, Donnie?”
“Oh yes. Um, I noticed today that little Leo has some issues.”
“What issues?” Raphael’s head instantly snapped up as he snarled slightly. Little Leo was so precious to him that I couldn’t blame him from his reaction. Pushing my glasses better on their place I continued. “It seems he can’t read or count. Splinter in his time never taught him. He knows how to count to number 4 but that’s all.”
“Keep your voice down, Mikey.”
Master Splinter had join us as well and was now stroking his beard, being deep in thoughts. “Then we must help and teach him if he so desires.”
“I agree with Master Splinter.” Leonardo stated turning his gaze from father on us. “But how we do it?”
“I suggest this; Leonardo and Donatello can teach him to read. Michelangelo teach him to write and Raphael, you teach him to count.”
“Why Mikey get to teach him writing?! He has the most horrible handwriting!” Of course Raphael needed to protest but father lifted his hand to silent my rebel brother.
“Because Michelangelo needs to practice focusing. This is perfect task for him.” Father couldn’t hide his smile when Mikey started to whine.
“So it’s settled. Don and I teach him to read in turns. Mikey teach him to write and Raph count. But let’s try to keep it as easy and fun to him as possible.”
“No offensive, sensei, but what are you teaching him?” Leonardo asked turning to face father better.
“I’m teaching him to play piano since he has no interest of any kind towards martial arts. And with my leg still healing I wouldn’t even be able to teach him. But I must say he has improve a lot with his skill of playing piano in this short time.”
“I really want to hear him playing it someday.”
“You will, my son. But it’s getting late. I recommend you all to go to bed and sleep. Teaching little Leo will start tomorrow. You all take turns to teach him at least one hour per day for now on.”
Leonardo escorted father to his room and bed while the rest of us went to our own beds. I wasn’t tired however so I made a little schedule of our turns to teach little Leo but my focus was cut off when Leonardo came next to me, looking down at me, gently taking paper and pencil out of my hands, placing them away.
“You don’t need to teach anyone yet. Go to sleep. You will need it. Oh, and one more thing – No staying awake whole nights now anymore. As long as we need to teach little Leo, we can’t have you staying awake all nights and then be dead tired when teaching him.”
“Somehow I saw that coming.” I murmured while removing glasses off on my face, placing them on small wall shelf next to my bed. Wishing Leonardo good night I heard him walking away, turning lights off, only leaving small lights there and there. I really loved to fall asleep when there was dim lights on in our lair.