Hidden Insecurities: Leo wears a mask of self confidence hiding the sea of insecurities that lie beneath. When words said in anger chip away at Leo's hidden insecurities he starts to pull away. A look at Leo's insecurities and some of the adventures the turtles face in the 2018 remake.
Hello dear readers, as you know I usually write in the 2012 verse, but curiosity got the best of me and I checked out the 2018 remake. The contrast between the characters in these two versions was too big of an opportunity to pass up. Used to the closed off selfless leader in blue, I was surprised to find the 2018 version of Leo, younger and a bit of a rebell. Leo's change in position, both in the team and family, brought out some interesting characteristics in the blue masked brother. It was interesting to see Leo so flippant and carefree. The 2012 version hints at some underlying insecurities and fears hidden beneath the mask of the leader and I had to wonder if this Leo carried these insecurities and fears as well, thus this little drabble was born. I am not used to this version of the brothers, and I mainly wrote this opposed to sleeping but it was worth an experiment. Without further adieu a..
Disclaimer: I do not own the turtles! They are the creation of Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Nickelodeon.
I apologize ahead of time if I mess up names or spelling, I am new to the Rise of TMNT
Chapter 1: A Shadow in the Hidden City
Leo stood at the edge of the rooftop looking down onto the cascade of light and activity the city held. He knew he should be at home with his brother, asleep in his bed. That's probably where they all thought he was right now, not on a random rooftop alone at night in the city. But the thrill of the city, the possibility of an adventure, the new awaiting discoveries to be made, it was all too much to pass up. He loved going out with his brothers whether it was on patrol or just to get Pizza it was always an adventure, but lately he always wound up feeling like a big let down. No not his brothers, they could never let him down, he didn't say it enough but he thought the world of them! No, he was a let down to them. They didn't always say it, but he could sense it. In the way Donnie shook his head at his antics, the way Raph would roll his eyes at his cockiness, or the way Mikey would subtly sigh. They were tired of him, and he couldn't blame them. He knew he was too self-centered. Too much of an attention seeker. Too cocky and free. But to be honest it was all really an act. A facade. A mask he wore to cover the pain. To cover the insecurities he held. If they saw how he really felt…..
Leo shook his head to clear it, the red marked slider was not going to let this get him down tonight. The night was young and there was still so much to do, so much to see. He jumped off the rooftop letting the gravity pull at him dragging him down toward the ground, faster and faster the closer he got. It was an exhilarating feeling. He whooped and screamed and realised all the emotion pent up inside him, and just before he hit the ground he released his grappling hook.
His face inches from the ground he swung safely away from the deadly drop, as the hook took perchance on a newby building; swinging him away from his death and further into the alley. He dropped skillfully to the ground reeling in the hook and sticking it in his belt. Checking twice to make sure he wasn't followed he crept down the alley to the trash can the Bone Man had shown him that one time he had feared his brother's were portal jacked. Turns out they weren't, they just ended up on a beach in Tahiti. But because of the experience, Bone man was no longer a fugitive in the hidden city, and Leo had a way into this mysterious underground that no one else knew about. Pulling up the lid to the dumpster and hitting a hit switch Leo watched as the seemingly normal dumpster materialized into a swirling colorful portal. With an excited smirk set on his face, the young rebel jumped over the edge of the garbage container and into the portal.
The hidden city was alive and buzzing this time of night.
"Hey Leon," a mutant bat called from the docks as he walked by, Leo waved back with a smile, shooting up a signature finger pistol.
A few months ago he would have been nervous walking around alone in the hidden city especially in a place where the police dare not go. But now he felt almost at home in the mysterious place. Ever since the portal Jack incident he had been sneaking down here. A lot.
It all started when he got into a fight with his brothers one night. They had gotten into a tussle with meat sweets that night on patrol and Leo just wasn't fast enough with his portal to get them out of there.
Leo felt anxiety crawling up his spine as the mutant pig charged at them getting closer and closer.
"Hurry up Leo"
"Any Day now"
"Could you move any slower?!"
His brother's voices swirled around him. Each word stung his self esteem and hurt like a punch to his gut. He swung his odachi, over and over again. But all it omitted was a small blue circle barely big enough for his hand.
"This is pointless Leo" Raph growled before giving him a shuff on the shoulder just enough to make him stagger, pushing him out of the way as he barged past.
"This way" Raph yelled over his shoulder to his brothers.
"Whoff that was a close one" Mikey breathed as they stepped into the safety of the lair.
"Yeah, well it would have been if someone could have portaled up home" Raph growled lowly, turning to glare at Leo. He had to fight the urge to just crawl into his shell there and then.
"It was stage fight Raph, there was to much pressure"
"Excuses, excuses" Donnie drawled turning to face his twin. "When will you admit you can talk the talk but not walk the walk"
The walls of my resolve were crumbling, I fought back the tears. My brothers rarely if ever saw me cry. Heck I never let down any of my walls. My cocky facade was a mask I wore daily. But just because I hide it doesn't mean I don't feel. I hated that I couldn't master my weapon like my brothers could. I already felt inferior before this, but since finding the mystic weapons…
I turned to Mikey for support and what he said next hurt worse than any blow.
"Dude I hate to say it but you're kinda slowing us down" Mikey said with a shrug before turning and walking away.
End of flashback
That night he had snuck out just needing some space. He felt like he couldn't breath! It felt like the walls were closing in around him, squishing him, just like that time in the Maze. He had just needed some air so he went to the surface, content on watching the night sky and practicing with his odachi. He didn't know what drew him to the hidden city. Maybe it was a deep ingrained need to get away, to flee his long suppressed insecurities now spoken aloud by his brothers. All he knows is that he found himself at the docks late at night in the most dangerous part of the mystic city.
It had been Barry that had taken him under his wing. Literally, it was raining and he held his bat wing out like an umbrella to shelter the water logged turtle. Since then he comes nearly every night to work on the docks. Barry has him run arends, send messages, deliver packages. Not illegal or anything, it's still in the dangerous part of the Hidden City, but just because of where the docks are located. Barry is in charge of shipping. It's like the major system here, mail, groceries, fedex, ext. Sometimes he just loads or unload boxes from the harbor, supplies from the outside. He doesn't mind this task too much, he gets to talk with Barry, unload some of his own weight. He also likes loading cause he gets to practice his portals. He can practice his focus and control over his sword without the pressure, cause it's not his brothers he's transporting from one place to another just a couple of boxes.
"Hey Barry" he calls as he gets closer.
"How's the little bat or should I say battle" Leo jokes.
Barry just stares at him.
"You know, a battle, like a bottle, but a bat" he prompts.
Barry just continues to stare before letting out a sigh.
The teen gags "you need to brush man, you have bat breath"
The bat mutant just rolls his eyes. "Stop with your puns, you just sound batty"
"Haha good one" Leo laughs grabbing his knees.
"Shipments in we have twenty boxes of fruit we need to transport over to Banana's bakery before morning, a shipment of clothes and material to the store over on 14th st. and about a dozen or so of odds and ends, we need to take to that mystic mayhem shop over off the corner of second st."
Leo shrugs, it sounds doable. "Slow night"
It isn't that hard of a task unloading and transporting the first load over to the Bakery. Banana's of course had no sense of humor when it came to backing.
"You know you should lower your prices" Leo commented, trying a witty way to get a cheap pastry. "Go bannan's with the prices is what I say to my primate friend. Be nutty, try something new. I bet your customers will love it"
Of course the recommendation didn't earn anything but an escort to the door. But hey, at least he had one job done two more to go.
Turning to round the corner Leo found himself thrown into a wall by a sudden force, knocking the wind out of him. He cringed as his head hit the brick violently sending pain coursing through his skull. Distantly noted the blood on his hand as he reached up to grab his head and saw his phone lying smashed to pieces on the pavement beside him. When he turned to face the bully he found him face to face with a troll like man towering several feet above him, the man held what looked like a giant hammer and had a very bad sense of hygiene.
"Watch where you're going turtle freek" He spat sending his hammer smack into Leo for a second time sending him head over heels toward the street. Leo gasped for breath as his arm twisted, his shoulder made a sickening crack as it landed under his weight. The sound of a scream and wheels squealing to a stop were muffled noises that seeped into Leo's awareness over the sound of the blood pounding in his ears as he gripped his arm closer to his body, his head pounding.
"Oh Dios mio" a voice sounded from above him and suddenly he felt himself lifted into strong but very bonny arms.
"Get out of the road bone man" a voice hollered.
"Can't you see this boy is hurt" the bone man spat back. "I nearly ran him over with my car!"
Leo shook his head clearing his vision, recognizing the figure above him he let a grin spread over his face.
"What are you doing here Pepino it is not safe for you to be here on your own, where are your brothers?"
Leo cocked his head to the side to take in the concerned face of the man helping him out of the street. He knew senor Hueso had a son, but he had never seen him act so fatherly before.
"I'm fine Senor Hueso, it was just an accident. And my brothers are at home"
The skeleton let out a sigh. "You should not be on this side of the city alone, especially at night. Let me drive you to the exit."
Leo shook his head. "No, I'm in the middle of a shipment. I can't finish until my job is done" gritted his face contorting as pain seized through his agonizing shoulder.
Hueso frowned. "Shipment?"
"I got a job at the dock"
The skeleton shook his head "that is no place for one so young, you could get hurt or worse hanging down around there"
"I'm just working for Barry, I'm just a delivery boy"
"It doesn't matter" Hueso reached for Leo's hand, shrugging the matter of and treating the teen like a disobedient child. When Leo swatted his hand away. Hueso sighed. "At least let me set your shoulder, you landed on it awfully hard, and bandage your head." Leo reached up and felt the blood clotting the side of his head. He didn't know why he was resisting Huaso's help or even fighting with him for that matter. He was just so tired of people treating him like he can't do anything right. Like he's a liability, like he can't hold his own. This job just was more than an opportunity to practice his portals. It made him feel like he was accomplishing something worthwhile. It felt good to feel like he was achieving something. He liked being able to contribute toward the household. It was nice to be able to pay for pizza, to give his father money for the household instead of asking for an allowance. Sure no one knew he had a job. Who would hire a mutant turtle! He just snuck the money into the chest by his father's bedside, knowing he would find it and think it was money he had stocked away. No one needed to know where the money came from. No one needed to know he was contributing. But he would. For once he didn't need recognition, didn't want it. And it felt good. And he wouldn't feel so worthless anymore. He didn't feel like a liability.
So yeah…..he didn't want to lose his job.
The feeling of cloth being wrapped around his head brought him back to the present. He hadn't realized his thoughts had been wandering, he wonders briefly why he feels so lightheaded. His shoulder hurts, like it really hurts. It would bother him more if his head wasn't so fuzzy, he thinks idly as he watches a very silent Senior Hueso diligently wrap his injuries in gauze.
He'd had run-ins with thugs before. Huso was right in saying it wasn't safe in the hidden city, especially that part of the city. He'd been jumped, cornered and nearly robbed several times, but he also was a trained ninja with a portal sword. He'd even tried to stop a few robberies and minor crimes when he could. Even gotten into a fight a few times, usually self defense. But before today he'd never really gotten hurt. He'd never even really gotten hurt before when with his brothers. Actually besides some scraps and bruises none of them have ever been hurt, he realized with a pang as Hueso finished wrapping his head.
"This is going to hurt Pepino" the skeleton man warned with a frown. "Your shoulder is dislocated, I will need to pop it back into place"
"It i..s?" Leo asked, his voice slurring.
Hueso nodded, putting his hand on Leo's other shoulder to steady him. "You probably are not as aware of the pain in your shoulder because of your head. You are in bad shape Pepino, but I can not take you home like this. Now hold my hand it will definitely hurt"
That was all the warning Leo got as pain radiates up his spine, an intense fiery pain that seized his whole body. Leo screams he sees spots and suddenly his world is plunged into darkness.