Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Character/Pairing: Splinter, Turtle Tots
Challenge/Prompt: tv_universe Boxes of Emotion (If you join, tell them Kat Lee of Team Bunny Ears sent YOU!)
Word Count: 803
Date Written: 19 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
I still feel the anger welling up inside of me after all these many years. I shut my eyes, and I think of her, of the woman I loved and lost far too soon. I think about her every day but no more so than on this day every year, the anniversary of the day she was taken from me. I try not to let you know that she weighs so heavily upon my mind. I try to live in the past. I try to follow every bit of advice I've gleamed from reading every book upon which I've been able to get my paws. Most days, none of you have the faintest idea that I'm still thinking of her, still mourning her after all this time. It's rare that I allow my anguish to show beyond a mere flick of my ears or whisk of my tail.
I must set an example for you four. I must show you how to live and teach you the kind of ninja that you should be. Allowing you to see my pain will not help you to grow. It will not, in any way, aid you in becoming who you are meant to be, and that is why I hide it, even when it is so difficult to do so. I know Leonardo suspected something was wrong today, but I could not tell him. I can not tell any of you. To live in such secrecy may be more akin to lying than you four than I ever wish to do, but it will not do for you to know my pain.
I wish I could tell you at least a little of the truth. I wish I could find a way to accurately express to you how thankful I am for you four. You've changed my life. Ever since I came across you as babies, you have given me a reason to continue, a reason to strive to put my anger and sorrow behind me, a reason to be a better man -- such as I am. It is because of you four that I smile and because of you that I am able to have hope and believe that there may yet be a chance for this world, and for this old rat. You are what gives me hope and gives me reason to believe that there is more than simply sorrow and pain to this vast world.
I may forget how to show it. I may push you too hard, as three of you complained I did today. I wish I could explain my reasons to you. Maybe when you're older, I can finally tell you a little of everything I have suffered. Maybe then, I can explain why I push you so hard to become better, faster, and stronger than any of the opponents our lives will bring you, and trust me, my sons, they will come. They will come to test you, to test me, to test us.
I only pray you never suffer the sorrow I have, that you never actually have to face the horror of Oroku Saki, and that nobody beyond else five ever learn of your existence. If they do, I know the world will do its best to rip you apart, to rip apart your beliefs that I have instilled in you, to rip apart your very hearts and bodies, as Saki did to myself and Tang Shen. I pray you never know such pain and that you are allowed to stay here with me, away from the horrors of the world, safe from the pain it gives, safe here, where I can watch over you, protect you, and guide you.
And maybe one day, I think, feeling my tail swish as I blow out the final candle at the entrance to your room, maybe one day, I can finally find a way to tell you a little of my past, a little of the truth of this world in which we must live and somehow survive without telling you of all my heartbreak. Maybe I can find a way to express to you how grateful I am to you all for giving me a reason to strive to put all of this behind me and giving me renewed hope and love. Maybe I can tell you a little of Tang Shen's beauty and the love we shared all too briefly. Perhaps I can even find a way to tell you how much I love you all, but for now, my sons, sleep. Sleep well, sleep peacefully, for tomorrow is another day. I only hope no terror will befall us while the next sun still shines, but know I'll always be here, guiding you, watching you, teaching you, protecting you, loving you forever, my sons.