Leonardo looked out over the city and pulled his legs closer to his body. Even though he had been back home for over six months, there was still a lingering rift between him and Raphael. They had made a lot of progress in rebuilding trust, but it wasn't all there yet. Tonight had been another nasty fight and Leo didn't doubt that Raph was out with Casey knocking back a few beers and probably "talking shit" about him. Leonardo sighed at the thought. He himself preferred some quiet alone time, contemplating the urban jungle that sprawled at his feet. Millions of tiny lights twinkled just below. He wasn't so lost in thought that he missed the rustle of fabric and muted footsteps behind him. Leonardo knew who it was without looking.
Karai approached the leader quietly. She could tell from his posture that something was slightly off. During the last few months, they had developed a dubious alliance and she had found herself seeking out his help more and more. "Hello, Leonardo," she said, coming to sit next to him on the ledge. He turned a bit to face her, "Hey. What are you doing here?" Her silky black hair blew softly in the breeze, just as his bandana tails whipped lightly around his face.
"Actually, I was hoping I could get your advice on something," Karai said, while watching the turtle's face carefully. She could barely make out his profile in the darkness. The lights from below cast a soft glow over the contours of his jaw, lips, and nose.
Leonardo nodded, "Of course," but he seemed distracted. Karai found herself hesitating and placed her hand gently on his knee. This caught his attention immediately and he turned to study her hand for a moment, letting it rest against his skin. "Are you alright, Leonardo? You appear more quiet than usual." The leader shrugged, "I'm fine. Nothing that should concern you," he paused for a moment, "How did you know where I was anyway?" Karai seated herself more comfortably before stating, "One of my operatives told me where you were."
Leonardo looked up in surprise now, "What?! Have you been tracking me?" Karai laughed at that and the sound of it echoed around them, "Oh yes. I've been following your every move since I clearly have nothing better to do." Leonardo frowned at that, but before he could say anything Karai said with a smile, "No, actually, they just happened to spot you during a routine patrol." The turtle hoped the darkness hid the heat he could feel creeping up his neck and face, "Oh, well, alright." He couldn't say for sure, but it felt like some part of him was disappointed that she had not been following him closely. The turtle realized with a start that Karai was still talking, "Though you should know that we do keep pretty tight surveillance around this area. The Foot clan has a vested interest in several properties around here."
The turtle leader contemplated her words, "Really? What properties would those be?"
"Leonardo, if you would only accept my offer, you would know," she said watching him carefully, "I still need a chunin. I cannot run the entirety of the Foot clan by myself. And would be more qualified than you?" Karai took a breath before continuing, "Leonardo, Saki is gone. This is a chance to build a new legacy for the Foot. Having you and your brothers as allies will only strengthen us and give us new direction." The leader placed his hand over hers, where it still rested against his leg. He had actually given the offer some thought. Karai would take them all in, even Master Splinter, and provide them with a new home. Leonardo would be paid. He would be able to support his family and Donatello wouldn't have to do tech support anymore. Heck, Donnie would even have his own lab and assistants. Michelangelo and Raph could likewise claim a piece of whatever they wanted. It was a very tempting offer, but if truth be told, Leonardo wasn't sure he was ready. Going from ghost of the jungle to chunin of a clan as big as an empire was a big change for him. The shadows were his home.
Instead of giving her an answer he asked, "Are you hungry?"
Karai was thrown off balance by the question, seldom did they discuss anything other than business. Although she had to admit that their conversations as of late had become more and more casual. "Oh, uh. I suppose. Yes, a little," she admitted, slightly fumbling over her words.
Leonardo stood quickly and her hand dropped away. He looked down at the still-seated form of Karai, "Just stay right there. Don't move." She watched him disappear over the edge of the building and peered down to watch his dark silhouette move easily through the shadows and out of sight. Karai decided to wait for his return. During his absence, she contemplated the turtle. Leonardo had won her over not only with his sword skills, but also with his soft assurance and strength. She had realized already that she wanted him to accept her offer. She hoped to claim him as a working partner, and perhaps something more.
As the minutes passed, Karai was considering leaving when she heard Leonardo's footsteps. He landed easily next to her, even though a bit out of breath, "Sorry, that took way longer than I thought. I'm glad you waited."
"I almost didn't," Karai stated and looked curiously at the two little white boxes in his hands. He smiled, almost shyly and gave her one of the small items. He took one for himself and sat again in front of her, cross legged. She opened the box and inside was a single mochi. Perfectly rounded and of a light green color.
"Green tea," Leonardo said through a mouthful, "The flavor. In case you were wondering." Karai looked at him and smiled widely, "I have not had these since leaving Japan. Where did you get this?" She pulled the sticky mochi from the box and took a small bite of the ice cream-filled treat, "Mmmm…" she made an obscenely loud noise and caught herself. Leonardo paused and they exchanged a look for an instant before laughing. "It's good, right?" he said and Karai nodded. "There's a little place down the street that makes them and the owner knows us. We've helped him out a few times," Leonardo explained. Karai's attention was solely on the treat in front of her. She couldn't remember the last time anyone had done something for her that was both so trivial and sweet as treating her to ice cream. They sat for the next few minutes eating in silence and contemplating the city, while their knees brushed together lightly.
Once they had finished, Karai set the box aside carefully and turned her eyes again on the turtle. He was watching her expectantly and Karai leaned in slowly. She nearly surprised herself by pressing her lips gently against his. They were soft and yielding to the press of her mouth, but he did not respond in kind. Leonardo watched Karai with widened eyes. She asked, whisper quiet against his lips, "Will you come over and look over some things for me?" Meeting his eyes, she added, "And perhaps we could discuss that offer further?"
Leonardo cleared his throat, "Y-yes, I will be there." Karai nodded and stepped away. She disappeared over the edge of the building with the same ease Leo had earlier. Leonardo was left to clean up their takeout boxes and once that was done, he followed her into the night, all the while wondering what this possible partnership with Karai would mean for his future and his family.