|No more chances
Author: Simone Robinson PM
"-I felt a stabbing sort of pain in my neck. I don't remember doing anything. What did I do?-" A battle with the foot leaves Michelangelo sick and dying. His brothers must push past their guilt and find a cure before it's too late.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Drama - Michelangelo - Words: 16,808 - Reviews: 147 - Favs: 76 - Follows: 56 - Updated: 11-15-09 - Published: 08-15-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4475744
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
N o. M o r e. C h a n c e s
I am Bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Sigh. I had been 'misbehaving' during a mission 'again'. I had officially been banished too my room. Lying on my Very high bed and staring at the ceiling, I started to wonder.
Something wasn't right, I had been fighting those seriously irritating foot ninja for the umpteenth time and I was doing pretty good, even if I say so myself.
I felt a stabbing sort of pain in my neck and the necked thing I knew I was surrounded and my brothers were saving me and scolding me for being so reckless, I don't remember doing anything…what did I do?
I stared up at a spider on my ceiling, wondering if it was bored as well. All of my comics were in the living room, along with the video games, TV, play station and all my other stuff. I guess I could draw or write or something constructive like that, but I was too lazy. So bored, but way too lazy to get off my butt and find something in my room to do. That was soooo annoying, and kinda odd.
My brothers usually complain that I have too much energy and cant sit still. Maybe I could sleep, yeah that was always and option, if I could sleep. I was still magorly psyched from our little run in with the foot.
I sighed and rolled over onto my stomach, then to my right side, then left, then my back….um, shell. After a moment I felt myself drifting off…odd I hadn't really expecting to fall asleep, not when I was so hy-hype….
I can't believe him. How could he put his family at risk like that? I mean, he is never focused, never trains unless he HAS to and he even gets out of that sometimes. We were winning and then he had to loose focus, if we hadn't been there he wouldn't have made it out in one piece.
I need to talk to Master Splinter about him. We need to cut him from the team, for the good of the family….
Oh my…did I just think what I thought I thought? Oh shell, I think I'm gonna be sick, I just considered, willfully considered, abandoning my own brother just because he messed up. I can't believe that I would even think about doing that.
I ran to the dojo and began practicing my katas. My brothers always wonder why I practice so much. Well, besides the fact that I want to be able to protect my family, it's my way of dealing with things. Donnie shuts himself up in his lab or room to work though his problems, Raph…well Raph just gets mad and then goes out, Mikey is either very open or he holds everything inside.
I still can't believe myself. I punched the air viciously pretending that it was the foot, I was so angry, mostly at myself, then at the Shredder and the bloody Foot ninja, and at Mikey. Yeah…I was still a little angry at him, I mean, he was the one who put us in danger, almost got killed and then he had the audacity to pretend that he did nothing, acting all confused but…
I can't believe I wanted to abandon him….
Leo's pissed, shell, so am I! That little….AAGH! I can't believe he, he just…!
What? Who was that? I took out my sais and twirled them, ready for any attack, it then hit me that an intruder wouldn't be making a noise…that shout sounded kinda like…Mikey?
If that little overdramatic thinks that he's gonna get off the hook that easily, he's in for a big surprise. After what he did, he'd be lucky if we forgive him at Christmas. Next year.
A heard another pained cry; this was really getting irritating so I decided to go shut him up. It never once crossed my mind that there might be something seriously wrong.
I got to his room and pounded on the door, "Hey Mikey, would ya keep it down!'
I gotta admit, when I didn't get any reply I got a little worried about him, call it instincts, but I had a feeling that something was wrong, he mentioned feeling offish when we got home, but all of us just brushed it off as the trying-to-get-out-of-punishment act.
I heard a low groan from the other side of the door.
"Mikey, quit kidding' around, I mean it!" Ok, now I was getting worried.
"Mikey?" I tried the handle, no luck, obviously locked.
Donnie is gonna be soooo pissed, I thought as a prepared to break down to door. Two minutes later the door was flat on the floor and I was standing in the middle of my brother's dark room. Odd, I mussed, Mikey's room is always too bright.
I looked up and say a figure spread out on Mikey's bed, since I couldn't see very well, I turned on the lights.
"…too bright" came the voice from Mikey's bed. I was relieved that he was awake, but my relief turned into pure worry when I noticed how weak and exhausted he sounded.
"Mikey, you ok?" I asked as I advanced to his bed, I was hoping, praying that this was some kind of trick, a prank even; this was so not Mikey-like to act like this. I heard his gasp in pain before the whispered answer came " N-no…I-I don't feel well Raph, I- aaah!"
My eyes widened as my brother came into view. He was covered in sweat, but shivering violently, his breathing was labored as if every breath was causing him great pain. He was holding his head and his eyes were squeezed shut.
"Michelangelo! What the shell?" I admit it, I was freaking out, I couldn't think clearly. Mikey had been fine half an hour ago and now…
I did the only logical thing that I could think of.
"Donnie! Get over here!"
Ok, I need to add exactly 2,4 ml of sodium in order to….
" Donnie! Get In here!"
Oh dear…I think that was more then 2,4 ml and that would cause it to react with the …
Run away, run away…
I stumbled out of my smoking lab, coughing and spluttering. What could have been so important, stupid, inconsiderate….
" Donnie! This is important! Hurry it up, brainiac. I scowled darkly at Raph, even though he couldn't see me.
" Raph, I'm busy whatever it is can wa-"
Raph cut me off. " It's Mikey, he's sick, he's got a fever and stuff, Don, he looks really bad!"
My anger dissolved into worry at my older brother's words, it takes a lot for Raphael to show his concerns and when he does, it's always serious.
" I'll be right there" I shouted up, I hurriedly grabbed my first aid kit and headed up to Mikey's room. When I walked in I saw Raph kneeling by my younger brother's bed, whispering something to Mikey. He moved out of the way for me and I couldn't stop my gasp.
Michelangelo was shaking, he was glistening with sweat, holding his head and moaning in pain. From a glance I could already see that he was drifting in and out of consciousness, his fever was already reaching peak, way too fast. I was afraid that he would slip into a coma if he fell asleep.
" Raph, we need to bring his fever down, get Leo to fill the bath with cold water and phone Casey, he needs to bring down all the ice that he can."
My older brother looked like he might pass out, but he nodded and left the room swiftly.
" I just hope we're not too late…" I whispered
"…never pay attention, not focusing. You could have gotten us all killed!"
Leonardo just ignored his and carried on. " Shut up Michelangelo, I'm not finished. This is what I'm talking about you can never concentrate for more than a few moments…"
" Leo, I don't feel so good."
Raphael butted into the conversation as usual
" Don't try that one ya little twerp! We aint falling for it!"
" Don, you believe me don't you?" Mikey looked at his older brother with his eyes wide. Donatello felt his anger lessen, but he still didn't believe him.
" Sorry, Mikey"
" I didn't even do anything I don't remember-
Leo and Raph, kept scolding him and Don, feeling to angry with the loss of the shell cycle ( Mikey's fault), just kept quiet or agreed with his two older brothers.
Finally, after about half an hour, Mikey looked totally defeated.
" I'll, I'll just go to my room-"
" Yeah, and you can stay there!"
" If we never see ya again it will be too damn soon!"
' Mikey, just...go"
He warned us, he told us that he didn't feel well and we didn't listen. I didn't listen. I should've checked his out like I did Leo and Raph but I just assumed that he was trying to get out of trouble.
I didn't believe him.
None of us even listened to his side of the story, now we may never get the chance.
No, don't think like that, he's not going to die, he is NOT going to die. I felt a tear run down my cheek as a realized how weak my brother's pulse was. He just couldn't die.
I was still in the dojo when Raph came in.
" Leo," He started " We have a s-situation."
I sighed and turned to face my younger brother, " Look Raph, whatever it is, I'm sure you can handle it." I rubbed my temples at the sudden headache that had sprung up while I had been practicing.
" Leo, we need your help now!"
I looked up at Raph and saw, for the first time, that he was slightly pale and I could see the fear in his eyes. I felt unease stir up…
" What is it? What's happened?"
" It's Mikey, he's-" I cut him off irritably
" Look Raph, Mikey's been confined to his room I'm sure that-"
" Damnitt Leo," Raph said (–cough shouted cough-) 'Mikey's sick, real bad, Don's with him.."
" What? What happened, how is he, is it serious?" I asked frantically.
" No time to explain, bro. Don told me to tell ya to run the bath with cold water, Mikey's fever's running' pretty high." He hurried out off the room, his shell cell already half way to his ear.
When he had gone I just stood there blank… than it finally sank in, my little brother was sick and judging from the way Raph was acting, I'd say that his condition was anything but good.
Without giving it a second thought, I raced up the stairs and into the bathroom. Kneeling down, I put in the plug and turned the cold tap on, full blast. I couldn't believe what was happening. I had felt it, something bad lingering, since we had gotten home, I felt it as soon as I had reached the dojo. I had heard Raph's voice shouting down to don, and heard his panicked reply , and I had done nothing, I had just brushed it off, when my very being was at unease.
I had failed them again.
As I stood up to call Don, he saved me the trouble by rushing in.
" Oh, Leo, good, is the bat, I mean, the bath ready?" He asked, speaking very mixed up, to put it mildly, he looked really stressed out.
" Yeah Donnie. Look Raph never explained much he just-" I began, but he cut me off
' Oh, yeah, has Raph called Casey yet, he was going to bring Mikey for ice, err, I mean.."
" Um, he had his phone when he left. So could you please tell-"
" Thanks Leo." He replied and then was out of the room and down the passage before I could call him back. I shook my head, smiling. That was Don for you. In a situation, he was the cool, calm and collected one, (even if he was, as he so often stated, a mechanic, not a doctor)…until he got stressed, then he's act like he was on a permanent caffeine high. He still got the job done, just no one else could figure out what the hell was going on. Although It took quite long to become this stressed
My smile left me the moment that I remembered Mikey, I decided to go check on him. I walked out of the bathroom and headed for his room. It was dark in the room and I could hear labored breathing coming from the bed. My heart clenched with worry at that sound.
" Mikey?" I asked worriedly " Mike!"
" L-Leo?…." He cried out, in obvious pain, which only made me walk faster.
" Shhh! It's ok Mikey, It's ok. When I saw my brother, it was all that I could do not to gasp. His breathing was shallow and it seemed to be a terrible struggle just to take in that life giving air. Life giving. I shuddered at the thought.
" Shhh Mikey, please, it's ok" I whispered soothingly
" No-its-its just, I-I wanted to say…."
I looked into my brothers blue eyes and saw sadness and guilt and sorrow and regret.
" Leo, I'm- I'm ….sorry…."
At the last word his eyes fell closed and his breathing somewhat calmed.
" Mikey! Mikey wake up!"
I was so scared that if he fell asleep then he wouldn't wake back up, I'd never hear his outrageous comments right before he was smacked on the head, never wake up in the middle of the night to find his asleep on the coach with the words " HIGH SCORE" burned onto the screen. I would never here his laugh , or his jokes or-or….
Drawing in a shuddering breath I broke down into sobs crying into the bed.
I was thinking of the last time that we had spoken.
" Look, I don't remember doing it ok, why can't you see that?"
Leonardo rounded angrily on his brother.
" How can you say that! How can you not believe me? I'm your brother Leo!"
Then you can damn well start acting like it! Splinter's not here, and I'm in charge while he is away, start having more respect for people. Shell, sometimes I swear you're worse than Raph! Sometimes I wish you weren't around!"
Mikey froze with shock and hurt.
" I'll-I'll just go to my room"
"Yeah, and you can just stay there for good!"
What if that was the last thing that I ever said to him. I buried my face deeper into the pillow, not bothering to stem the steady flow of tears that were falling.
After I called Casey, I made my way into Mikey's bedroom. When I got there I saw Leo standing up, he turned to he and I could see that he had been crying, even though he still had his mask on. I felt fear grip me as I approached.
" Leo, is-is he…"
" No." I felt relief wash over me, " but I'm worried, he's fallen asleep."
I felt my eyes go wide, even I knew that that was not a good thing.
" Leo, is the bath ready?"
" Um...yeah it should be...why-"
I walked past him and picked up my baby brother gently. I ignored Leo's curious glance and headed to the bathroom.
I was sitting, watching Mikey, his fever was still getting worse even though he was in a bath filled with ice cold water. Don said that someone needed to be there in case something should happen like he could wake up or if-if his condition got worse…
Not like he had to worry or anything, I wouldn't leave if my life depended on it.
I hate this. I hate feeling helpless. My baby bro is unconscious, he aint getting better, and there's nothin' I can possibly do!
As I said, Mikey's fever's gettin' worse by the minute; Donnie is so stressed out right now. When he did tests he found something in Mikey's blood, something that could cause a momentary high and temporary memory loss. Don has a good suspicion that that's the cause for Mikey's actions earlier. Other than that he has no idea what's wrong with Mikey so he doesn't know how to cure him. Its killing Don, being helpless, but not as much as it's killing me.
I'm the kinda guy that needs to get things done. I can't just sit still and do nothing. You can ask my bro's. I hate to admit it, but it's been my downfall almost as much as my anger. But right now, I can't do anything, nothing at all. I can't go out and beat the bad guys and that will solve the situation, its outta my hands and I hate it.
Leo was sitting right next to me; he had this haunted, empty look in his eyes when he looked at me earlier. It really creeped me out. I didn't know what happened when I was out, and wasn't to sure that I wanted to find out. Leo was just sitting and staring, but it didn't look like he was really seeing anything, ya know? He just had this blank look about him so I decided to risk it.
" Leo? Hey, Leo!" I was still relatively quiet but I shook him to get his attention
He started slightly at this and looked at me, his eyes still had a bit of that dead look about them, and I had to repress a shudder.
" What is it Raph?" He sounded so exhausted and emotionally drained.
" Leo, what's buggin' you? What happened to make you act like this? And don't give me that crap that you're just worried or something , I don't buy it."
" I really am worried Raph-" I was about to argue but he cut me off
"- but Mikey said something to me earlier and I-I, he, just before he passed out, he-he said sorry Raph" He met my eyes and I could see that his were shinning with tears. He looked down again. " He apologized…" he whispered, I could see that he was trying to keep from crying in front of me.
" Leo, why don't you rest a little?"
He protested but I convinced him in the end.
" What good are you to Mikey, if you're about to fall asleep?"
" Donnie said that someone has to be here incase something happens!"
" Yes, Someone Leo, emphasis on one.'
We carried on like this for a minute or so before Leo finally cracked and relented to go and rest for 2 hours. He must've been really shaken and tired if he gave up so easily. I just sat down when the full impact of Leo's words hit me.
Mikey apologized. Apologized for something that wasn't even his fault. He blamed himself because we blamed him .I blamed him .
" You almost got us killed Mikey, and you're making excuses?"
Mikey was holding his head and breathing a little deeper that usual but everyone ignored it. They just assumed that this was a way to get out of trouble and it just made them even angrier.
" Why don't you believe me? I really have no idea what I did wrong! One moment we were fighting the Foot and the next we were in the Battle shell, and-"
" You expect us to believe you? After the stunt you pulled? Ha! Fat chance! It's all your fault, everything that we went through out there is your fault" no one had bothered to contradict Raphael
Leonardo pretty much took care of it from there. Lecturing Mikey and ignoring his protests.
"I'll just go to my room…"
"Yeah and you can just stay there for good!"
" If we never see you again, it will be too soon!"
I clenched my fists and tried to calm my breathing, the ache in my throat and the burn in my eyes but I couldn't stop the tears. What if I never see him again? What if those were the last things that I ever said to him. If anything happens to my baby brother I will never forgive myself, ever. We never believed him and now it may cost him his life.
I was so lost in thought that I almost didn't hear the low groan coming from Mikey. I nearly jumped out of my shell, it was so unexpected.
" Mikey? Mikey! Are you okay? Mikey please say something." I was desperate for him to wake up, even for a moment. He coughed weakly and opened his eyes slowly.
" R-Raph? What…?" He tied to sit up but slumped back with the effort that it took
" Mikey, just stay still bro, how ya feeling?" I knew that that was a stupid question but I needed to ask it.
" I-I don't feel so good, I feel so, so h-hot and I-I can't see so well…I think-I think, I'm gonna pass out. Raph I-" he broke down in a fit of coughing, each breath seemed to be harder to take. I helped him to sit up and I tried to calm him down a bit. Finally the coughing ended and he lay back down looking exhausted and flushed.
" Mikey, please hold on! Donnie's doing what he can, please bro!" I was getting really upset now, my brother was practically dying right before my eyes and I couldn't do anything about it!
" I-I wont …give up Raph, …I …promise…" with that, Michelangelo passes out, but something about his breathing told me that things had gotten a whole lot worse.
I sighed dejectedly and exited the webpage. None of the symptoms of any diseases seemed to mach Mikey's. Except fever of course almost everything had that listed as a symptom. I had searched under all known diseases, but many of his symptoms didn't match.
I was just about to start working on finding a seeminly-none-existant cure (which I was determined to find, mind you) when someone entered the lab.
I looked up to see Raph standing in the doorway, his breathing was slightly labored as if he'd run all the way here. Which he probably had.
"Yes, Raph…?" I sighed looking at him warily
"Um...its Mikey, he kinda woke up and he was drowsy and stuff…then he lost consciousness, he won't wake up Donnie. He aint responding to nothin'!" He answered with underlying panic.
I felt the blood drain from my face.
Drowsy? Sudden loss of consciousness? None responsive?
Please, no… please! Not what I think it is!
Please, just once, let me be wrong!
I grabbed my med kit and pushed passed Raph, who was looking very confused.
"Hey, Don! Wait! What's goin' on?" He shouted after me, but I was too consumed with my thoughts to answer him.
The tiredness, struggle for breath, dropping in and out of conscious. It was all starting to make sense now. Why didn't I realize sooner! That would be why it didn't show up under illnesses…it wouldn't be classified as an illness... after hours of desperately wanting to know what was happening to my brother, I almost wished that I didn't. I can't treat this!
I entered the room that Mikey was in and knelt down and started to check his vital signs. His breathing was shallow and raspy. Thankfully his pulse was steady, but it was very weak. I laid my hand on his forehead, he was burning up really bad; we're half reptile, Cold Blooded! We shouldn't get fever's this high! I steadied my breathing and stood up slowly. I gently tapped my brother's face, nothing happened. Frowning, I did it a bit harder, with no response.
The chemicals in that vile, it had…
I grabbed a small torch from my med kit shined it into Mikey's eyes. I felt my heart stop when nothing happened. No dilating pupils, his eyes weren't reacting to the light at all. I dropped to the floor in a heap…
…I had been right.
I wish Master Splinter was here…
…Things are so much harder when he's gone. I know he's just on holiday, visiting the Daimio, but who am I suppose to go to when he's not here? To make matters worse I have no way of contacting him, I've even tried meditation, but I'm too worried to concentrate.
Raph wanted me to go and rest, but how could I possibly rest when my little brother is so sick? I decided to lay down on the couch, to put Don and Raph at ease, but there's no way that I could possibly sleep.
I can't believe that we acted like that towards Mikey or that he apologized. I think I'm over the shock now, but I still feel really bad. I mean, how could I have just ignored him like that? Not listen to his side? He was right, it hadn't been his fault, but we hadn't listened.
I felt a small ache in my throat and faint burning in the backs of my eyes. Shaking my head, I buried these feelings. I couldn't break down, not now…my brothers needed me…Mikey needed me…
…but it wasn't fair. Mikey...the one that was in dearest to us all. He always seemed to step in when everyone else just wanted to give up, and offer that last bit of encouragement that we all needed to get going again. What would we do if, something serious happened to him? We were a team...we couldn't function with a piece of the puzzle missing...
I shook these thoughts from my head and instead turned my attention to Raph, who had just run into Dons room. I head soft voices and then Don came running out with his Medical Kit.
"Hey, Don! Wait! What's goin' on?" I head Raph call after him, but he was ignored.
Raph scowled but he looked more concerned than angry. I pushed myself into a sitting position.
"Raph, what's going on?"
He started at the sudden question and turned an accusing stare on me.
"Aint you suppose to be resting?" he questioned
"I was." I answered casually, "Now are you going to answer my question or not?"
"…half a mind not to tell you…" he muttered under his breath before answering
"Mikey woke up earlier, h-"
"Mikey woke up? Is he alright? What did he say? Is he st-"
Raphael cut me short in a slightly annoyed voice, "Leo, if you're goin' to keep interruptin' me…"
"No, no, I'll stop interrupting." I promised hastily.
"Good. Now, as I was sayin' , Mikey woke up, but lost consciousness again. He didn't respond at all anymore so I went to call Donnie. I told him what happened and he rushed out like that. He didn't tell me nothin'."
I felt my heart clench at his words.
What if there was something seriously wrong? Some fatal disease or something? Something that Don couldn't fix!
Heart pounding, I turned and hurriedly started running towards the bathroom, much to Raph's annoyance.
"Not you too…man…oh forget it…wait for me!"
When I reached the room, I found Don sitting on the floor next to Mikey, staring into space. I could practically hear the wheels in his head turning.
"Don?" I questioned cautiously
Don continued to stare into space, muttering odd phrases that I couldn't make head or tails of.
"…micro chemical impulses… unbalanced chemical reactions…Frontal and Parietal lobe…"
I touched him gently on his shoulder, but turned when I heard a noise at the door.
Raph entered the room, and seeing Donnie in his 'trance', pushed past me. He then proceeded to use… less subtle methods to wake him up...
"Don! Hey Donnie! Rise and shine, genius!"
"Huh…what?" Don's head jerked up, and rubbed the back of his head. After having Raph shout repeatedly into his hit him over the head, it was a wonder that he wasn't deaf and brain damaged.
"You zoned out, brainiac, that's what." Answered Raph.
"Oh, sorry, it's just that…"
I was really concerned at his hesitation and sudden uneasiness. "Don, what is it?"
"He's… what…?" I asked, dreading the answer
"He's in a –in a coma…" Don looked up, eyes shinning with tears.
I felt my heart drop into my stomach.
I looked over at my youngest brother, lying so still, he could have been dead…coma…I had known that this was serious, but… My legs gave way under me and someone caught me and laid me gently on the floor
"Leo? Leo...you okay?"
"Yeah," I replied, slowly sitting up, "I-It was-it was just a s-shock, that's all…"
Raphael continued to look at me for a moment, before nodding and turning to Donnie.
"W-What caused it? How serious is it? Is he going to…?" he couldn't seem to finish the rest of his sentence, and I couldn't really blame him.
Donatello sighed and slowly turned his gaze to us.
"Offhand…very serious…I'm not entirely sure, but whatever was in that dart that Mikey was hit with, probably triggered it." He blinked hard and continued in a oddly detached voice "The chemical's in that liquid would have, theoretically, sent micro electric, chemical impulses to the brain, that would cause unbalanced chemical reactions that would affect the Frontal and Parietal lobe, leading too loss of conscious thought and movement and the ability to interpret sensations…among other things"
He chocked back a sob, "That w-would ultimately result in complete shutdown of the cerebral hemisphere…resulting in, in….death…"
He shut his eyes and tears flowed freely down his cheeks. On impulse I reached out and embraced him in a tight hug. Tears were in my own eyes as well. I hadn't understood all of what my younger brother had said, but I got the idea, especially the end result. I rocked him slightly on the cold floor, rubbing his shell comfortingly.
"Don…we'll get through this, you'll-we'll find a way, we will save him." I said, but my voice was already cracking.
"Leo, I-I don't know if I can do anything for this…" He sobbed. "I can't work miracles, I don't even know what chemicals w-were used or what they- they had to do with this. How c-can I fight this? What if I can't save him Leo? What if- what if I-I, he…"
He buried his face in my plastron, sobbing uncontrollably. I felt the hot tears coursing down my face as I was overwhelmed by sadness. I looked up at my red clad brother, he was just standing there, and odd expression on his face. He was staring transfixed at Mikey; he suddenly tore his eyes away, and ran out of the room.
"Raph!" I called. He was hurting but he wouldn't let us help. I would talk to him soon…I glanced down at the sobbing brother in my arms… but right now. Donnie needed me more.
…resulting in, in….death…
I couldn't get Don's words out of my head as I ran.
Mikey, my baby brother was in a coma, a coma that he could die from if he didn't get help. I leaped over the gap between rooftops, running to trying and clear my head. I couldn't do anything to help him, nothing. I mean, if Donnie was having trouble…
I felt a single tear run down my cheek.
No, it wouldn't come to that. He wouldn't...die. He'd pull through this, just like he always did. When we were kids, Mikey got sick once, it was so bad that we all thought he was gonna die, but he defied the odds and pulled through, he always does. Like in any situation or a fight with the shredder, he would do it again, he had too.
I stumbled to a stop, panting heavily. Running for over an hour solid tends to exhaust one ya know. I closed my eyes and steadied my breathing. After a few moments I stood up and walked over to the roof edge and looked at the blinking lights. Everything looked so normal, so perfect, but everything was messed up for me, for us. I felt my anger build.
Why us? Why not one of them? One of the nameless people on the street? People that we risk our lives to save everyday.
He was so innocent, so carefree….he didn't deserve this…
Angrily I turned and hit the wall nearest to me. My hand burned and ached but I ignored it and struck it again. I wished that I had someone to take my frustrations on, namely the people that caused this whole this, the ones who hurt my baby bro.
I paused in mid strike. The foot. That was it, that was the answer. I can't believe that we didn't see it before. We'd been so wrapped up in everything and finding a cure, we didn't see what was right in front of us.
The foot created this virus, ten-to-one they'd have the cure.
I pulled my shell cell out, intending to call Donnie. I wondered briefly if he'd already figured it out himself while I was out but I never got to ask.
I looked down to see a shuriken lodged in my phone. I looked up, shocked, to see a small ambush of foot ninja surrounding me. Taking out my sais, I smirked despite myself. I was going to enjoy this. Without further invitation, I spun my weapons and launched myself at the foot. I did a back flip, landed on my hands and did a sweep kick before pushing myself off the floor and landing on my feet.
The moment I landed I was swarmed by more foot ninja.
I dodged as a foot ninja sliced at my head; I quickly recovered and threw a kick at the ninja, sending him flying. I snorted. Rookie. I'd been right, I was enjoying this.
Two ninja's ran at me, swords raised. I caught the swords easily between my sais' prongs and with a flick of my wrist disarmed the attackers
I Smirked "Come an' get it"
The more the foot came, the better I fought. I felt my earlier exhaustion melt away, replaced with pure adrenalin. The foot were slowly dwindling, getting fewer and fewer. This only fueled me on. I did a back flip to avoid being hit with a bow staff, only to have a ninja 'sneak up' on me. Without a backwards glance I raised my fist and knock him down. Surveying the scene of unconscious foot in front of me I shook my head.
"Pathetic…" I muttered, "…Call yourselves ninja."
Suddenly, I tensed. Someone else was here.
Turning, I saw the gigantic figure of Hun looming over me. He reached out to grab me, but I still had enough energy to dodge him, I landed hard on the floor, absorbing the impact by rolling as soon as I landed.
I got up weakly, my earlier adrenaline rush disappearing fast, giving way to exhaustion and pain from the few lucky shots the foot had managed to land. Hum smirked at me and before I could react, I was dangling from my left arm which was in Hun's vice grip. I winced as he gripped harder.
"You don't have a hope of defeating me, turtle." He said as I struggled in his grasp. "Not after a fight like that. Give it up." When I didn't stop, he growled and crushed my hand more. Hun raised his fist and punched me hard in the gut, winding me and leaving me gasping for air. He dropped me with a disgusted look on his face.
I closed my eyes as he advanced, trying to gather my energy.
"This will hurt you a lot more than it will hurt me." He stated, triumph in his voice. "Don't worry. You won't be alone for too long. Your brother, Michelangelo, will join you in oblivion soon enough."
My eyes snapped open when he said this. Mikey! I felt a growl form in my throat and my anger grew, along with my energy. Something inside of me snapped. I did a back flip, landed on my hands and pushed off the floor, landing on my feet, collecting my discarded sais on my way.
I stared at a surprised Hun through a red haze "All right ya badly dressed, law breakin', good fo' nothin', low life street punk!" I growled, "Ya want a fight? Ya got one!"
Leaping at him, I held nothing back. All I felt was anger; it totally consumed me as I fought. Punch, roundhouse kick, jump. Reverse punch, heal kick.
I continued, not stopping till he was on the ground, battered, defenseless and at my mercy. I raised my sais, ready to finish him off, wanting to end this miserable creature's life!
Suddenly, my haze cleared. Hun was still cowering in front of me…and I still wanted to kill him. I leaped on him, pulling him up by his shirt 'collar', sai at his throat.
"..?" I growled at him. I was using every bit of will power that I had to stop myself from killing him right there and then.
"I- n-nothing-" he stuttered. I pressed the blade harder to his throat, drawing blood.
"Wrong answer." I spat, "Care to try again?"
"Master Sh-shredder used a dart to, to inject poison, t-that puts victim in a c-coma that results in –in death." I pressed harder; I knew all of this already.
"How long does he have?" I didn't really want to know but it was essential.
"a-a few days…it depends." I shut my eyes briefly. A few days…we had a few days….
Opening my eyes, I glared at the man cowering under me. "Is there an antidote?"
"I-he, no, I can't say-"
I moved the sai across his throat lightly. "I'm counting to 3."
"One…" I saw the panic in his eyes. I knew he'd crack…
"Two…" I smirked… any second now…
"Wait!" He cried out suddenly. "Yes! There's a cure, it's at Foot HQ. Now let me up!"
"Why the hell should I?" I spat, "You don't deserve to live, punk." Mikey wouldn't want that, Huns not worth it…a voice in my head warned. I spun my sai and without any warning, hit him on his temple with the hilt. His eyes rolled back and he lost consciousness. I got up, disgusted at him and myself. Hun for well…being Hun, and me for not finishing what I'd started and ending his worthless life.
….Since when did I start listening to little voices in my head anyway? I must be loosing it…
Suddenly the realization sunk in…there was a cure…
Alkalis, Turpentine… what were they thinking! This stuff is not supposed to be ingested!
I sighed and shook my head. Things were not going well, I'd found traces of shell-knows-how many chemicals in there but none of it makes any sense, I can't find anything that relates to a coma in any way. I have too kept looking. I have to find something, anything! Mikey's counting on me, I can't let him down! I don't know how much time he has left.
I glanced down at my cup. Empty…just like the other 27 ones in my lab. Rubbing my tired eyes, I got up and headed towards the kitchen to get more coffee. When I entered the room, I was surprised to find Leo there, coffee in his hands as well, staring into it.
Leo hates coffee…
"You okay Leo?" Stupid question. Of course he wasn't okay!
"What? Oh, yeah, I'm fine…" He answered vaguely.
I sighed, "No, you're not Leo. It was a dumb question."
He looked up at me and I noticed that his mask was slung loosely around his neck and not over his eyes. He looked so much younger without it, more vulnerable …
"I am Donnie…" he muttered quietly, "I have to be…"
"Leo." I said, sitting down next to him, "You don't have to do this. We're here for each other…you don't have to be the only one who's strong." Leo shut his eyes, tears falling.
"Why him, Donnie? He's so…I don't know….he just doesn't deserve this….not him…." Leonardo's voice trailed off.
We sat in silence for a while, comforting each other by just being there. After a while I decided that I should get back to work.
I got up, filled my cup with coffee, strong with a lot of sugar- I needed a lot of energy. When I left Leo was still sitting there, staring into his coffee…he wasn't ever going to drink that.
Sighing, I walked into the lab; I was heading over to my computer when I heard a sound I prayed that I'd never have to here…
My cup shattered on the floor….
"Mikey!" I shouted, running over. I stared at the monitor in horror, this wasn't supposed to happen yet, it was too soon! I took a deep breath and hit on his chest -hard. I waited a moment before repeating….I waited for a heart stopping moment before I heard it…
I sighed with relief and almost collapsed right there. Fortunately, Leonardo chose that exact moment to enter the room. He stared at me and Mikey for a moment before running over and immediately supported me, setting me down on a chair. I stared at him, shock finally setting in.
"Mikey…" I whispered, "…He…he…al-almost…he..."
"Shhh, its okay Donnie, its okay." Leo murmured soothingly, "Take a deep breath and tell me what happened."
"I-I he, I came in and the monitor…. he, his heart it…it's too soon…it shouldn't have…not yet, he…Mikey… he almost…" I was suddenly overcome by emotion again and I began to sob uncontrollably.
"Shhh Donnie, its okay…"
Leonardo wrapped me in a tight, gentle hug, which I returned, needed the comfort. He took a deep, shuddering breath and I guessed that He'd figured out what happened. He held me foe a while. Calming me down. The second time in 24 hours.
I pushed myself up and slowly, weakly started to move towards my desk but Leo held me back.
"Don, you just had a big shock and you haven't slept for days. Go rest."
"L-Leo…he's running out of time…he need a cure f-fast…"
Leonardo sighed. "Please Don; you're no good to him if you're half asleep, just an hour or two. I'll wake you up." He pleaded.
I considered it…one hour…Then I'd be awake enough to actually help Mikey…
"You promise you'll wake me up?"
"And you'll watch Mikey?"
"How do you know me?"
"Ok." I agreed, still a little reluctant, "An hour…"
Slowly I turned my back as Leo took up his post. I began to climb the stairs to my room, too tired to jump…my mind filled with concern for my little brother and what could've happened…
I sighed and opened my eyes. I was wasting my time; I just couldn't meditate, not when my little brother's life was in danger. Mikey still hadn't woken up….I glanced at the clock….half an hour had passed since Donnie left to get some rest.
Little over half an hour after Mikey-
No, I shook my head, he didn't.
…but it was close…
I inhaled sharply, trying to get rid of that inner voice that was reminding me of…of how close I'd gotten to loosing my youngest brother….forever. I looked down at him, so still… yet looking as if he was sleeping….his fever had gone down a lot. That was usually a good thing but it only made me worry more. According to Don, he was only getting worse…I didn't understand everything that he said but it was something about the part of his brain that triggered fevers was being affected. It was…shutting down…
That scared me. A lot.
Another thing that was worrying me, nagging at the back of my mind, was Raph. He'd been gone for a long time now…something could have happened to him. What's happening to Mikey's upset him a lot more then he'll ever admit. He's scared; I saw it in his eyes when he looked at Michelangelo. I never though it would be so worrying to see that. Raph's always acting brave and tough…and a lot of the time he really is. But seeing him so scared….it made me realize just how bad things are. More than anything else ever could.
Shifting, I looked at the door and then back at Mikey….Raph would have to wait, I couldn't…wouldn't leave Mikey alone. Last time….
I was snapped out of my thoughts by the sound of the elevator doors opening. I looked up immediately. Raph was swaying slightly as the doors opened fully, leaning on the side of the elevator.
He began forward, looking slightly unsteady on his feet. I quickly glanced at my ailing brother, reassuring myself that he would be alright, before dashing to Raphael. When I got closer, I saw that he had cuts and bruises all over. I noticed that his hand and wrist were badly bruised and swelling slightly.
"Raph, what happened!" I asked.
He looked at me, blinked as if trying to arrange his thoughts before answering, "I was….Attacked by the foot…" He shook his head slightly, "Hun too…they…they almost took me down…"
I looked at my brother in shock. The foot? They didn't normally attack for no reason, unless a turtle out by himself was just too much of a temptation. I pushed my doubts aside and focused on Raphael. He was still looking kinda dazed…he probably had concussion or something. I put my hand on his shoulder.
"We should take care of that…" I urged, moving towards the lab.
"Huh? Oh." He glanced down at himself, "Right."
I hesitated for a millisecond before entering the room, thankfully Raph didn't notice or it would become an argument for sure… I walked passed Mikey's bed, looking back to make sure that he was still okay, before heading towards the first aid kit.
I sensed Raph stop, "Leo…what happened?" He asked quietly, in a tone that meant one told the truth or else.
I turned to see what he was looking at. My eyes fell on the shattered cup that Donnie had dropped. I'd forgotten to clean that up…
I looked upwards meeting his eye, "Don dropped-"
"You know what I mean."
I sighed and reluctantly nodded, "Mikey….he's getting worse Raph…" I trailed off, looking at the heart monitor. I saw Raph follow my gaze to the machine. An almost invisible expression of shock and horror crossed his face. He gulped slightly and turned his gaze on me.
I closed my eyes, nodding slowly. Opening them again, I saw Raphael clench his fist angrily, staring at the ground. "I'm gonna kill 'em." He whispered. "All of 'em…for doing…this." He hissed the last word.
"Not all of them." I answered, looking at him, anger in my eyes. He opened his mouth to argue but I cut him off. "Shredder…and at least a quarter are mine."
He looked shocked for a moment, but he nodded, "You got it bro…."
We were silent for a few moments before Raph suddenly brightened, "Leo, ya seen Don?"
I frowned at his sudden change in mood, "Yeah, he's sleeping….suppose to be…why?"
Raph smirked slightly, "Because I just remembered that I had really good news too tell ya two."
I'd been lying in bed for the past…half an hour and still hadn't fallen asleep. It seemed like and eternity but I just could not fall asleep no matter what I tried, my head was buzzing with chemical formulas and theories. I needed to do something, anything. Mikey's life was in danger and I was lying around while I was the only one who even had a chance of curing him…not that I could do much but I had to at least try.
I turned over fitfully, jumping when I heard a grating sound from downstairs followed by quiet voices.
Raph must be home, I though, getting up. Well, no use in staying here…
I opened my door, heading towards my lab where I knew my brothers had gone. The moment that I got to the bottom of the stares, I heard their voices again, Leo said something that I couldn't make out before they were quiet again.
As I reached the door I heard Raph speak, "….just remembered that I had really good news too tell ya two."
"Really?" I asked, stepping into the room. "What?"
"Donnie! What are you doing down here? I though you were resting?" Leo said accusingly.
I just gave him a look before turning to Raph. I noted all his injuries briefly, "What happened to you?"
"Um…foot…" he answered, looking slightly sheepish.
"The foot?" what were they planning… "Um…Okay….so what's this good news you have, Raph?"
"I was interrogating Hun, and he told me what he knew 'bout what happened to Mikey." He stated.
"Hun was involved too?" Leo asked frowning, "I don't like the sounds of that."
Raph scowled at Leo for interrupting him. "Yeah I know, me too, now can I please continue?"
"Yeah, sorry, go ahead."
"Yeah well, Hun mentioned that there was a- don't know how true this is- but he said there was a cure at foot HQ."
I froze. A Cure?
It slowly penetrated my tired brain…a cure…Mikey would be alright…
I watched Don and Leo kinda…freeze when I told them the news. Leo shook his head slightly…
"You…sure?" He asked, hope in his voice.
I nodded, "Yeah, that's what he said…and something tells me he didn't lie…not in the situation he was in…" I chuckled inwardly at the memory.
I turned my gaze to Mikey….feeling happier than I had in a long time…finally we had hope. My baby brother wasn't gonna die…we wouldn't let him. I finally didn't feel so damn helpless anymore…I could do something. And I would….and the foot was gonna regret the day they ever crossed us…hurt Mikey. They went one step to far.
Donatello moved towards him computer, gesturing to us to join him. Me and Leo went and stood on either side of him. I leaned slightly on his chair, looking at the blank screen. Suddenly a 3d schematic popped up, I recognized the building immediately. Foot head quarters. I didn't even question how Don was able to get it so fast, I just watched as his fingers flew across the keyboard. The schematics rotated, zooming in and showing a floor that I don't remember being on.
"If these are correct, then this is where the foot keep all there medical equipment." Don said. "All we need to do is bypass the system on the-"
Don froze suddenly…, pausing, I heard it too.
…beep beeeep beeep…beep..beep..…..
The steady beeps of Mikey's heart monitor were speeding up….
Don was up, out of his chair in seconds, rushing to Michelangelo's side. Me and Leo were close behind.
When I got there, I felt my blood run cold. Mikey was twisting and thrashing. His body convulsing. I felt panic enter my heart as I watched Don.
"Damn…" He cursed, "This shouldn't be happening, it's going two fast….this shouldn't…"
Leo was standing next to me, fear and horror on his face.
Donatello looked up, "…this happened too soon, I knew this would happen sometime but I cant predict what's going to happen now. It should be over soon….hopefully… get me more pillows and a wet cloth or…something…anything…"
I nodded, rushing out the door.
Hold on Mikey, I thought desperately….please…just a little longer…
Heart rate increasing by…25.1 %
Not good, not good…
Blood pressure up 30%... bad…this is bad…
"Don, this alright?"
I looked up as Raph ran into the room carrying pillows and a bowl with water. Leonardo got up and went to help him, concern etched in his face. I looked back down at my younger brother as I knelt on the stone floor checking his vitals. What I was finding was anything but good…
Michelangelo was shaking violently, eyes glassy and wide. Unfocused and unseeing. It shook me to see him like this…he was so full of life, you could see it in his eyes…eyes which were now void of all emotion but a shocked, unseeing fear.
I pushed those thoughts aside. I had to help my brother, do what I could. I'd promised him…
Donatello Pushed himself away from the computer to look at his younger brother. He was lying still on the infirmary bed with the occasional, fitful movement. Don slowly stood up and walked over to him. Sitting down on the chair, his gaze lowered as he stared at the floor, guilt and fear washing over him.
"Mikey…" He whispered, "I'm, so sorry….this- this is all my fault…if only I'd…I sh-shouldv'e listened…..I should've….shell….Mikey, I'm so sorry." A single tear slid down his cheek.
He turned his eyes upwards, staring at his brother, "I'll fix this Bro, I swear it. Its m-my fault this happened…I promise…whatever I do, I'll find a cure, I won't let anything happen to you."
End Flash Back
… There was no way I'd break that promise.
…Beep. Beep. Beepbeepbeepbepbepbep...
I felt panic rising as Mikey heart rate sped up….
Jumping up, I ran to the side of the room, desperately searching for something…anything that could help. If this continued Mikey would… Feeling more and more panicked, I grabbed the only thing available… I took a deep breath, steadied myself and….
I cringed at the sound of the dart hitting my brother's shoulder. Feeling even more guilt wash over me… I'd just shot my baby brother with a tranquilizer gun…when he was already so sick… I approached quickly, ignoring my older brother's shocked, accusing gazes and focusing only on helping Mikey.
"Donnie…." Leo stated quietly, moving closer.
I closed my eyes for a moment, calming myself and steadying my breath. I couldn't fall apart now... my family was counting on me… Michelangelo was counting on me…I needed to keep a cool head.
"Tranquilizer gun." I stated, "It was the only thing I could think of at such short notice." I inwardly winced at my detached voice but I couldn't help it, how could anyone expect this of me? To be both brother and medic! How could anyone expect me to sit here and explain that my only younger brother was….
"If I hadn't…If I hadn't …he would have gone into immediate cardiac arrest and- and…" …And there would have been nothing I could do to save him…he would have..
My voice cracked and I squeezed my eyes shut to block out my tears.
"Don, we didn't-"
"Leo, its fine, just, just see to Mikey." I opened my eyes. "The tranquilizer didn't quite stop the seizure, we have to be careful."
Moving over, I knelt down beside the bed and motioned for the water. Wetting a cloth, I squeezed it out and lay it on his forehead, pressing lightly. I noticed the small tremors still coming from him and swallowed hard…We'd come so close to…
I felt my eyes grow wet again before someone moved my hand from Mikey's head, replacing it with their own. Leonardo gave a slight smile, "Ill do it Don." He said quietly, understanding in his voice.
I gave him a grateful look before standing up and heading towards the computer. I had to do more research on this…although I already knew what the outcome would be without that cure….
I sat in the dark room; my only light the blinking machines and faint glowing from the computer. It was deathly quiet and I could here the low murmur of my brother's voices in the next room. I stared down sadly at Michelangelo, thoughts racing in my head…
Your brother, Michelangelo, will join you in oblivion soon enough."
"If we never see you again, it will be too soon!"
"You expect us to believe you? After the stunt you pulled? Ha! Fat chance! It's all your fault, everything that we went through out there is your fault"
He was covered in sweat, but shivering violently, his breathing was labored as if every breath was causing him great pain. He was holding his head and his eyes were squeezed shut.
"You almost got us killed Mikey, and you're making excuses?"
"I-I wont …give up Raph, I …promise…"
"…never pay attention, not focusing. You could have gotten us all killed!"
" Shut up Michelangelo, I'm not finished. This is what I'm talking about you can never concentrate for more than a few moments…"
" Leo, I don't feel so good."
" Don't try that one ya little twerp! We aint falling for it!"
…beep beeeep beeep…beep..beep..…..
"Mikey….he's getting worse Raph…he would've…"
"resulting in, in….death…"
If only we'd listened, hadn't jumped to conclusions…Mikey wouldn't be…
I sighed softly, glancing at the digital numbers on the clock. 5am… Not like time of day was important. All that mattered was that we saved my little brother in time…
I'd been sitting here for about 2 hours, keeping watch after Leonardo. I flexed my bandaged hand absently. A burning, painful sensation caused me to stop abruptly.
My breath caught as I looked at him…so still…so weak…my vibrant baby brother….
We would find a way to save him …I felt a single tear slide down my cheek… we had to….
"April? Yeah, do you think you could….? Really? Thanks April you have no idea.. Okay, see you. Bye."
I put down the phone and turned back to the computer, bringing up foot schematic and all the information that I had been able to collect. This had to be perfect, be completely mistake free, we couldn't mess this up. If we did Mikey would be the one to suffer. Steeling my expressing, I zoomed in on the floor where they kept the medical equipment. There…. Bringing up the security system info, I couldn't hide my small smirk…
… Childs play. Really they were making this too easy…
Something nagged at the back of my mind, but I brushed it aside in my hast, whatever it was…we'd just take extra precautions. We had to do this…and do this right. We would not fail, we couldn't….
A sudden beep alerted me that the test I'd been running was complete. If I was correct, then I'd figured out the chemicals that had been used. With the thousands of possible reactions, it would take days, weeks to figure out a cure and even then it could be incorrect… Mikey didn't have that much time.
I needed to know just how much time he did have.
Steeling myself, I clicked on the Icon… what I saw made my blood run cold….
I entered the lab where Don was working. He'd been up all day with no rest and I was starting to worry. One of my brothers was already ill and I didn't want to see another one in the infirmary.
"Don, you awake?" I asked softly into the gloom. The only light was the one radiating from the computer screen. I shook my head slightly when I saw my brother's hunched over form. He'd probably fallen asleep in front of the computer again from being over worked.
As I got closer, I rested my hand gently on his shoulder. He was trembling.
"Donnie?" I said, taken aback.
He started slightly, straightening himself up, "Leo?" He looked slightly shaken up, his eyes red.
"Don, what happened?" I was getting worried now. Don had been keeping it together, arranging things with April, working out a plan of action for the break in at foot HQ. What caused him to fall apart all of a sudden?
"Two days…" He whispered hoarsely, looking down.
"Two days?" I asked, confused.
Donatello took a shaky breath, "He …he has…" At that he trailed off, resting his head in his arms again.
For a second I was thrown off, what my brother said just didn't make sense… until it clicked.
Two days. He has two days.
The news rocked me to the core. I had known that we didn't have much time but….
I sunk weakly into the nearest chair, my head in my hands.
Two days. We had to get the medication in two days or Michelangelo, my baby brother, would die.
It was dark in the lair by the time I woke up. Glancing at my clock I saw that it was 8:12 pm. Wait, eight o'clock? I'd slept seven hours? I pushed myself up from my hammock, furious with myself for sleeping his long. Grabbing my mask, I hastily pulled it around my head before heading downstairs. The moment I landed at on the bottom floor, I was greeted with the sight of Bags and equipment. Everything was packed and ready. I noticed the extra weapons, medical supplies and everything else we would need for later that evening.
Why was everything already packed? We were only leaving at midnight…
My thoughts were interrupted as someone bumped into me. Whatever he'd been carrying was thrown out of his hands and onto the floor. Looking down I saw that Leonardo was already kneeling and swiftly picking up the fallen rope and other stealth equipment.
I frowned slightly. Leo? The great ninja master had just…bumped into someone?
"Uh… Leo?" I questioned
"What? Oh sorry Raph." He said, turning to walk off.
I put my hand on his shoulder, causing him to stop in his tracks. "What's goin' on here bro?"
He turned slowly, looking at the floor. "We're just getting ready, you know… so that we don't forget anything…"
He wasn't making eye contact. "This isn't the time Leo. What happened?" I demanded. Worry flooded me but I kept it under control, I couldn't do anything until I knew what it was.
Leo shook his head.
I gripped his shoulder harder, my eyes narrowed.
"It's… Don found something out… he…" Leonardo sighed deeply, "Don found out… how much time Mikey has."
I clenched my fist, bracing myself for the information. My heart was going over time, pounding in my chest. "How long?" I got out.
The answer was whispered but I heard it as if it were shouted out loud. "Two days."
The words echoed in my head. Two days…
My breath quickened slightly and I felt a dizziness take over my. Shutting my eyes I tried to fight it off. I felt my brother's hand grasp my shoulder. "Raph?"
I ignored him. We only had two days to save him. After all this. All this hell we'd been though. After everything Mikey had been through... It all came down to this… two days. That was all the time that we had left. After that… game over.
The thought shook me even more and I felt rage boil inside of me. Shredder. He'd pay. Him, and every one else in that building would regret the day that they ever messed with my family. In fact, they wouldn't even live long enough to regret it.
I opened my eyes slowly, looking into the concerned face of my older brother.
I nodded curtly. "What are we doing standing around? Let's get goin'. I'm gonna call April and Casey, we've gotta leave earlier." I stated my voice surprisingly in control.
"Raph… let's stick to the plan.
I turned to face my brother. "Leo, we aint got time for the plan." There was that word again, time. At one point it meant almost nothing… now, now it was the one thing that my brother did not have. "A few hours earlier could make all the difference." I added.
Leo sighed, "I'll talk to Don." He began to walk away but paused, looking over his shoulder. "We'll save him Raph. We'll get the antidote in time."
I simply nodded. There was nothing else I could do. We had no time for doubts. If we didn't believe we could do this… if we gave up, it would be over and everything we went through would be in vain.
We had to do it… we had to succeed… for Michelangelo.
Taking a deep breath I turned, walking to the dojo.
We would succeed.
Casey and April
In the dark, two figures made their way silently to the large warehouse at the other end of the street. April walked next to Casey, her head bent down as they made there way to the lair. It had been several days since Mikey had fallen ill, she'd only been in contact with Don though e-mail and the shell cells due to the fact that she'd been away visiting friends. She'd headed back a few days after Don first phoned her, making the trip back to New York. Don had asked her to get a few supplies for him and she'd spent the remainder of her time before that day getting them for him. She was worried. The things that Don had asked for… they were for critical conditions… if Michelangelo was that bad…
She'd been able to tell by Don's tone that he was more worried and upset then he wanted to let on. The red head tried to ignore the dread in her stomach and focus on being positive. Michelangelo would be fine… Right?
The warehouse was completely dark as I waited by the door. April and Casey were on there way. I was eternally grateful for April's medical knowledge and her willingness to stay and watch over my brother. To make sure that nothing happened and that he wasn't alone. I clenched my fist, leaning my head back on the wall as thoughts of what we were about to do filled my head. Worst case sinarios, doubts and everything that could go wrong circulated in my head.
One thought penetrated my mind deeper than any other.
What if Hun had lied? What if there was no cure?
The thought was so horrifying that I pushed it from my mind as I hunched over, back to the wall. I couldn't think like that… it wouldn't do any good. There was a cure and we would find it… we just had to. I wouldn't loose my only little brother… I wasn't strong enough.
My eyes snapped open at the sound of thudding against the door. I pulled the lever that opened the door, recognizing the knock as Casey's. It was loud and impatient.
Sure enough the silhouetted forms of April and Casey appeared, slipping inside before I shut the door again.
Seconds later I felt April wrap her arms around me and I returned the hug gratefully.
She looked me in the eyes, caring and worried, "How is he?"
I sighed heavily, my eyes lowering to the ground.
She nodded in understanding, not hesitating to head into the lair. As I turned to follow her, I felt Casey, clad in his fighting gear, clap me on the shoulder.
I could barely read his expression but he gave me a reassuring nod before turning and following April. I smiled slightly at this act before heading down to the lair myself.
As I waited for Don to come back down with April and Casey, I felt completely on edge. Next to me, I could feel the same tension radiating of Raphael. This was it. The moment we'd been waiting for… was almost here. I breathed deeply, trying to concentrate and at the same time, clear my head. I was of no use to my brothers unless I was in control. I had to keep a cool head.
I shook my head slightly. Like every other time, I was too unnerved to meditate. I just couldn't clear my thoughts from what we were about to do… and what was at stake if we failed. And my baby brother…
We'd had so many close calls… I was so scared to leave the lair. I knew we had to… it was the only way to save his life. But I could never forgive myself if I left the lair and he… he… if there was something more I could have done.
I'd spent my entire life trying my best to protect my family and now... at the time it mattered most I had let Mikey down. And I had to make it up to him.
I stubbornly ignored the ach in my throat. I couldn't cry. Not now. I had to stay strong for my family… and for myself. Leaning back in the seat I breathed deeply. Keep calm. Keep it together.
It didn't take long for Don to come back. At the sight of our two friends I couldn't help but smile wearily.
April immediately came over and embraced me softly, her smile small but encouraging.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of Casey talking to Raphael.
Returning my attention to April, I took a step in the direction of the lab, "April?"
She took a breath before following me into the infirmary. As we entered I almost hesitantly flipped on the light switch. The light was fairly dim but one could see very well by it. I slowly moved to the far end of the room where my brother resided.
As we got the bed I felt more than heard April's silent gasp. She neared the bed, kneeling down unsteadily.
"Oh my gosh…" She laid her hand gently on Mikey's, tears evident in her eyes. She drew a shuddering breath and I saw her trying to keep composure. At her reaction, my own emotions stared and I kept my eyes locked on my baby brother. He looked so fragile…weak… still… a sight that would haunt me forever. I heard the others entering the room before Donatello appeared at April's side. I heard him murmur something to her and she wiped her eyes hastily. She nodded and they continued in soft whispers.
I shut my eyes briefly before turning back to Casey and my brother.
Casey looked visible shocked, his gaze was cast downwards. Next to him, Raphael said nothing. They already knew the basic details, there was nothing to say.
When Don had finished explaining to April, they both stepped up, Casey wrapped his arm around. April didn't look well and her eyes were red. None the less she still gave me a small smile as our gaze's met. It was a huge effort to return the gesture.
"We should get going…" I said softly, looking at everyone gathered in the room. Donatello nodded, almost reluctantly. Everyone except Raphael turned to exit the room.
I turned as I neared the doorway, meeting his gaze. His eyes were a blaze with different emotions. He opened his mouth to speak but I cut him off. For once in my life I understood my brother completely.
"We're leaving in five minutes." I said before exiting the room.
Yes, For once in my life I understood Raphael without question because I was feeling the exact same way.
Leonardo turned and left the room leaving me alone… almost.
I walked closer to Mikey on the infirmary bed. Kneeling down, I fought to keep control of my raging emotions. I was feeling anger, hurt, hope, despair, excitement, anxiety and so many other, nameless emotions.
"Mikey…" I whispered, "We'll get that cure bro..." My voice trailed off as reality cut into me. He wasn't even awake to hear me… if we failed, if something went wrong. This could be the last conversation with my brother and he wasn't even awake to hear it. In the dimmed light, before we went to the foot HQ… I let my fears and my doubts surface.
"Mike, I'm sorry… for everything. For not believing' ya, for what I said… I didn't mean it, any of it." I paused, my eyes burning and my throat tight. "I'm so sorry. I shoulda' been a better brother."
I gripped Michelangelo's hand tightly. "Hold on bro… I won't let you down." I wiped away the tears I hadn't even known were there before shakily getting up. If this was the last thing I ever said to my brother, it had to count.
"Love ya bro." I whispered
Turning, I left the room to join the others.
It was the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice that had led him to this point. It could've happened to anyone in the Big Apple, anywhere overlooked by Lady Liberty herself; but it happened to him. Good ol' New York.
Casey cursed under his breath as footsteps thundered past his hiding place. Was it really too much to ask to have one relatively easy mission? Honestly, some people just went over board. Come to think of it, the predicament he now found himself in, though quite contradictory to his morning endeavors, was quite expected. Casey pushed himself off from the asphalt, dusting himself off. When one did what he did, this type of thing was part of the course, but still…
He turned a disgusted expression upon the tattered remains of his jeans.
Once, just one he would have liked to go home with no mangled clothing or broken limbs.
Casey was brought back to his senses as resounding gunshots echoed through the air, resulting in a tirade of shells cascading down onto nearby objects. One of which just happened to be said mans head.
Right, he decided, rubbing a tender spot where he had been hit; this officially sucked. And, he concluded, felons had no originality left whatsoever; rooftop shootouts, after all, were extremely over done. And come to think of it, when the hell had the foot started using guns any how? And more importantly, who were they shooting at? Definitely not the guys, he would have known. Probably shooting at the birds for... Dishonoring the building or something dumb like that. Stupid ninja.
After a brief scout of the area, he reluctantly concluded that the only way up was by way of a grime covered ladder, so rusted with age that Casey was doubtful of its ability to hold his weight. Extremely doubtful, in fact. A second round of shots returned his thoughts to the job at hand as well as the urgency to intervene. If he didn't get a move on, the chances of there being anyone left to arrest was very slim; and as that was, in the end, his job, he wasn't all that keen on reporting in a failed mission. A mission with no informants or hostages... Leo would be on his case about it for weeks. Yeah…. Casey mused, beginning to scale the ladder, Gotta love this town...
The sight that greeted him upon reaching the top was significantly grim. The young man sighed; it seemed he'd be reporting in another failed mission. On the bright side – Casey made his way in between the undesirable obstacles in his path before scooping up a weapon filled bag - It made retrieving the extra weapons so much easier. Although Casey never would understand why they carried extra bags of weapons around with them. A brief grimace swept over his face at the sight- and stench- of the rooftop he now occupied before he flipped out his shell cell.
"Hi. Um… yeah, there've been some issues….what? No… just get over here."
Casey clicked the phone off angrily. Of course it wasn't his fault. Just because he'd been a bit preoccupied. It was like saying an exocentric person was odd… okay, that was probably not his best comparison but honestly who cared. And besides, who was Leo to talk? He was, after all, the very reason they were scouting the area this before actually breaking in. Stupid paranoid turtle.
I put down the phone irritably. Casey had reported in, something about issues… I'd lived with Raph long enough to know that there was probably no one alive anymore. I sighed again, on one side I should be happy about the lack of problems we should have with less guards but also, any chance of reveling a trap was out.
Reluctantly, I pushed the speed dial and waited for my younger brothers to answer.
"Hello?" Don was the first to pick up; I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was worried. With good reason. I myself could feel trepidation flow through me.
"What's the news?" Raph's rough voice broke the silence next, startling my from my trance.
"Meet at The second entrance, seems Casey had a little..." My voice was laced with sarcasm, " unplanned situation so it's all clear."
I heard my brothers' collective sighs of relief before a small click indicated someone had put down. Raph, obviously.
"Okay Leo, see you there." Don replied before he too, closed the connection.
With determination in my heart, I sprinted off in the direction of the foot entrance.
Leonardo was crouched on the edge of a rooftop. His eyes narrowed as he scanned the area. I approached behind him carefully; Raph and Casey were already on either side of him. I was amazed at how calm Raph was being because of this, and it hit me just how much this was taking a toll on his emotions. How much was this affecting him if his hot headed brother didn't even have the fight inside to add rage to his list of necessary things? He was putting us first, above anything else, even his rage. I joined their watch.
"Okay," Leo whispered, turning to face us brothers, "From what I can tell, the outer perimeter isn't very secure. And there," he indicated to a small opening on the far side. "Is where we get in."
We nodded in understanding.
I went over the list of things we needed in my head, we had everything we could possibly need. My clinically detached mind swayed… we have everything we needed but time…
I stubbornly ignored the thought. We couldn't be negative or it could cost us dearly.
Leo pushed himself up swiftly without another word, melting into the shadows. Me and Raphael followed suit, Casey followed as well, admit not as graceful.
I breathed deeply, this was it, the moment of truth. Make or break time. We would get the cure. There was absolutely no choice in the matter.
In the lair
In the gloom of the lair, April's head was buried in her hands, tears making her way from her eyes as her thoughts swam.
The reassuring beep of the monitor soothed her anxious mind, though not enough.
The guys were out there risking there lives.
And Mikey… oh Mikey… the sunshine and light of the family… so broken.
Yes, the reassuring beep of the monitor soothed her anxious mind but in an instant things could change.
"Don, have you got any idea where this room is?" I whispered frantically as we raced through the foot passages.
Donnie had been right about security, it simply was a matter of knocking out guards and getting in unseen, not too hard a task. This area of the base was surprisingly unguarded. It sent spirals of unease thought me, but I had no choice but to ignore them. I had no time for anything but saving my brother. My desire for revenge at seeing those lowlife punks who dare to call themselves ninja- it sent more anger into me than I have ever felt in my entire life. But I could do nothing, because seeking revenge could hurt Mikey. And right now, my little brother meant more to me than any other thing in the entire world… even revenge.
"Yeah I do but this place is confusing, I-" Don trailed off as we were forced to duck into a nearby doorway, a sound of voices alerting us that we were not alone. As the voices trailed off, we entered into the now deserted hallway. Sighing in relief, I joined them on checking the rooms. With no numbering it was almost impossible to tell which door was the right one…. Most were unlocked and contained weapons etc, but nothing remotely like Don was looking for. I could see the worry in his eyes and crease on his face every time we hit a dead end. I felt the same. Time was running out and we needed that cure. Mikey needed it. .
The last Door Donnie tried was locked. This alone rose suspicion in my brother, I could see. I had to agree. A locked door when all the rest were open. Don grabbed a small tablet like thing, "Stand back." He warned. He placed the explosive in the keyhole and there was an immediate snapping sound. Trying the door, Leonardo found that the door opened with no protest. I made a mental note to complement Don when they got out of this. That guy really was smart.
The room that we stepped into was stark contrast to the bright light outside and as soon as we closed the door behind us, we seemed to be plunged into complete darkness.
I blinked a few times, trying to get use to the darkness. While Don fumbled for the light switch.
No one moved.
My heart skipped a beat with realization.
We weren't alone. Not by a long shot.
"This aint gonna be as easy as we thought."
They were everywhere. Everywhere I looked I saw more and more foot ninja. They were crouched on the table tops and leaning against the walls.
And blocking the exit.
To put it simply. We were totally screwed.
I growled in anger, my hands gripping the handles of my Sais. Beside me, I saw Don and Leo reach for their weapons as well. Whatever the outcome, this was gonna be one shell of a fight. My anger flared at the thought of these lakies trying to stand in our way. Stand in the way of saving my baby brother. I spun my weapons. They could just try to stop me- there'd just be a few less scum-bags stinkin' up the planet. I could deal with that.
I heard Donnie curse under his breath- that fact alone scared me out of my anger. Don was cursing? He never cursed even in the direst of circumstances... if he was this worried…
Something had to be wrong, more wrong than it appeared to be at first glance anyway.
Then I saw him.
Saki was standing there, in between the countless number of foot ninja, packed into the large room. He was lacking his usual headgear and I could see him smirking.
I don't think I've ever hate anyone as much as I hated that man at that moment. Flashes of what he did to my brother flickered through my mind.
My own accusing shouts and guilt and the sight of my baby brother writhing in pain was almost more than I could bear. My knuckles were white as I gripped the hilts of my katanas. I wanted to run him through. I wanted to forget about honor and good will and second chances.
I wanted Saki to suffer in this moment as much as we had over the last few days. He had to feel the anguish and pain and hurt and. guilt that came with watching one of the people you cared for most in the world be drained of life before your eyes.
I wanted him to suffer.
I stepped forward, weapons raised.
If it was a fight he wanted, shell he was gonna get it. And it would be the last fight he ever took part in. Shredder would see what it meant to cross my family and there was no way he was coming out of this alive.
We had been tricked. No- correction, I had been tricked. My brothers simply trusted my judgment and I had ignored my gut feeling- the overwhelming facts that this had been- simply put- far too easy. And the easier a mission such as this was- the more likely there was a trap waiting.
How had I not noticed the distinct lack of foot in the halls- the silence? Hun had been alerted of this when Raphael had questioned him. How had I not realized that he would have told the Shredder? How could I have been so stupid? Because of me my brothers' lives were on the line.
And if we didn't succeed…
I felt guilt and despair enter my heart.
Oh Mikey… I'm so sorry.
My eyes flicked towards my brothers and I watched Leo's expression with a mixture of admiration and anger.
He was going make Oroko Saki suffer. I knew he was. My own heart ached painfully at remembrance of what this man had done to us. Anything that Leo did- I would be right beside him all the way. No matter the odds, no matter the consequences. My anger and emotions were overwhelming my logic and I didn't care.
What were facts and numbers if all they did were tell you that your little brother was dying and that there was nothing- absolutely nothing that you could do to stop it.
They meant nothing.
And Saki would pay; he would pay with the only thing he truly cared about. His life.
Suddenly, without warning, the hordes of ninja packed into the room were moving and Shredder was shouting out his commands, not moving to join the battle himself.
I was enraged at his cowardice. He knew we couldn't reach him if we were so overwhelmed by ninja.
He could get away.
The realization made my blood boil. He could- but there was no way we would let him.
Without another thought, I leaped towards the on coming ninja, even before my brothers had time to move.
We would defeat these ninja and their master and we would save our brother.
My eyes widened in shock at the sight of my younger brother flinging himself at the many ninja coming towards us. Shaking my head, I advanced on them as well, relishing the sensation of my weapons making contact. I didn't have time for mercy and I didn't have time for honor, and to be truthful- I really didn't care. Knocking another ninja down, I roundhouse kicked several out of the way, jumping on their bodies to move forward. I think I heard something crack. I think they deserved it.
I hadn't even realized how many had gone down until I caught sight of the Shredder. He didn't look pleased and his face was twisted into a sneering scowl
Rage flowed through me and I forced my way on through the thinning sea of ninja- mowing down any that stood in my way. No mercy. I would do anything- absolutely anything to protect my brothers and save Mikey. Anything.
It wasn't until I got closer to shredder that I saw what he was holding. And I felt my blood run cold.
April slammed her hands down on the young turtle's plastron.
He wasn't breathing, his heart wasn't beating.
April felt tears come to her eyes at the realization.
"Come on Mikey! Breath damn it!"
Mikey's life was in her hands, if she failed…no she would not fail! She couldn't….
Push… Come on Mikey…don't die on me!
Push… April was starting to loose hope, this wasn't working
"Personally, I find these things a tad boring… no chance of missing you see. But I have to admit, the Triceratons know their weaponry."
A gun. Not just any gun. A blaster.
And it was in Oroko Saki's hands.
I cursed under my breath. Damn him- he was so dishonorable I could be sick.
"Drop the Gun shredder! Fight us honorably!"
"Honor? Hmm, no, where's the fun in that?"
I felt sick. Fun? How was pointing a gun at me and my brothers even remotely enjoyable? What kind of twisted game was this man playing?
Saki looked me directly in the eyes and I felt disgusted at myself for not killing him earlier. Then none of this would have happened… Mikey would still be awake and causing his havoc in the lair… and I wouldn't be helpless… one movement would kill my younger brothers and possibly myself.
"Is this what you came here for?" Saki asked.
He was smirking and holding up a vial. I may not be expert in science but judging by the look on Donatello's face… it was the cure and it was in that monster's hands. Don's eyes were wide and despairing, his knuckles had turned white in their grip of his bo-staff. He shook his head wordlessly
"Shredder…" I turned at the sound of Raph's voice, growling out the words. "Hand it ova."
"Oh that hardly seems fair." Saki was enjoying this. "What do I get out of this little deal?"
He had the key to our brother's life in his hands and he knew we would do practically anything for it. My heart sunk at the realization that we could do nothing to stop this mad man. He was a blaster trained right at us and the remainder of the foot from the room behind and beside him. He was protected and a single move may cost us our lives.
"Drop your weapons."
I was surprised at the command. And reluctant. Our weapons were the only protection we had against Saki… if he didn't have them…
My heart stopped when his hand tightened on the vial. "I said, drop them."
I stared at my brother; his face was a mixture of despair and rage. The sound of Raphael's Sais hitting the ground was all the persuasion I needed.
My own Katana's fell to rest of the floor and I briefly shut my eyes before turning to look at Donatello.
We were defenseless.
The question rang through my head as I stared at Saki. What had we ever done that had been so bad that we were made to go through this? To be so close to saving our brother but completely unable to reach the one thing we needed. I clenched my fists. What had we done?
I focused on controlling my rage and emotions… I needed to stay calm if we were going to get out of there any time soon.
Before I could move, Raph was speaking, "What the hell do ya want Shredder?"
I knew he was stalling, that he didn't expect an answer of substance. And I was grateful. My eyes roamed the room, searching for something-anything- that could help us in this situation.
The shredders answer was so unexpected that it forced me out of my rational thought. Trade? My shock was mirrored on my brothers' faces.
"What kind of trade?" I stared at Leonardo. He was glaring at Saki but he was …trembling. The realization hit me like a tone of bricks. After everything that had happened, I hadn't realized the toll this must have been taking on him. All his self blaming tendencies… and the fact that we had shouted at Mikey before…. It must've been torture for my big bother.
"Leo…" I breathed softly but no one heard me.
"You see, there's an experiment I've been needing to conduct." He smirked. "I need a test subject."
I stared in horror at the metal clad man before me. Experiment? Was this… my eyes widened… had all this been for an experiment? To get us to volunteer? My little brother had been put through all this pain….
I closed my eyes, fighting to regain control over my emotions.
"Donnie?" Leo's voice broke through my thoughts but I ignored him. All of this suffering…
"It seems you're as smart as they say Donatello."
At the sound of Shredder's voice, my eyes snapped open. "You're sick."
He sneered at me before his eyes turned to Leonardo, "Well? What will it be? One of you… or Michelangelo?"
A look of anguish passed over my older brothers' face and more anger stirred inside of me. How could he ask Leonardo to do this? To choose. It must've been torture for him and now he ran the risk of loosing another brother… I wasn't sure that he was strong enough to get through that… I know that I wasn't.
I had to do something… Leo shouldn't have to choose…
I stepped forward, my eyes locked on Shredder's. "Give them the vial."
I heard a gasp as Leo figured out what I was doing, "Donnie, no. Don't do it- Mikey needs you." I heard the silent plea in his voice- I need you.
I clenched my teeth at the logic in my brother's sentence. They did need me to administer the cure but…
Before I could respond I felt myself being pushed roughly out of the way.
Catching myself, I spun to see who had pushed me. My eyes widened at the sight of my hot-headed brother now beside Saki and in the grip of the foot.
"Raph!" The sound of Leo's voice made me realize just what had happened…
"Raphie..." I muttered softly, meeting my brother's gaze.
He averted his eyes, staring at the floor. The remaining foot grabbed his arms and twisted them behind his back. A flare of sadness erupted in my heart at Raph's wince of pain. His hands were secured tightly and his shell and arms held by the foot.
Leo made to go forward but the laser trained on him caused him to stop, his eyes were burning with anger and hatred.
We were helpless.
"Raphael…" It pained me to hear Leonardo like this, devoid of his usual strength. This was all wrong. We'd come in here to save a brother, not loose another one. Even though I'd been willing- I couldn't bare to see Raph like this.
"No contest Leo." Raph's eyes were hard. "Mikey needs Don, and you gotta get him and dis cure outta here."
My brother's accent was more pronounced… he was… scared. My throat tightened at his logic. He'd given himself up so that-
"Touching." Saki looked at Leonardo. "Catch."
Leo caught the vial on pure reflex, clutching it to his plastron.
I looked at my brother in despair "Raph, we'll-"
"Don't come afta me, not till Mikey's betta." His gaze was defiant and determined. He'd made up his mind.
My heart ached to see my strong brother, allowing himself to be controlled by this monster… discarding his pride and free will for us…
"Raph," Leo leaned forward, still reluctant to go forward in case Saki fired the laser at any of us. "We're not leaving without you!"
"Get outta here Leo." Raph was glaring at Leonardo's hesitance. But behind his anger… I saw that he was afraid and worried… the least we could do was be safe so that we could rescue him later.
But leaving without him hurt…. Abandoning our own brother. I felt my throat ach and my eyes burn.
"You might wasn't to listen to your brother before I change my mind about letting you leave."
I glared at Shredder but he simply snapped his fingers at the ninja.
Several made their way towards us though they had no weapons ready. "Escort them out."
Another went behind Raphael and I could only watch as they forced my brother's head back while a rough cloth and band were fastened on my brothers' beak, silencing him.
I could see a spark of fear as Raphael's eyes met mine before he ducked his head in shame, submitting to the hands restraining him.
"Raphael…" I was grabbed by the ninja, even though I struggled, I was forced out of the door and pushed down the passage. My eyes brimmed with tears at the thought of leaving Raphael in the hands on this monster and all that he had sacrificed in order to ensure Mikey and our safety.
Leo's pained shout hurt more than I thought anything could,
So. The rest of this fic, with Mikey and the rescue of Raphael will be posted in a sequel.
What did you think?