A/N: Awhile ago, I had mentioned on Tumblr the idea of a crossover between Guardians of the Galaxy and TMNT. This is not the way I had originally envisioned it, but then Taisi drew some art (linked in my profile page) and it hijacked everything. But she drew it after I prompted her while watching Guardians, so it's ultimately all my fault. So instead of a crossover, have a GotG fusion.
There are lots of parallels from GotG, but none of the actual characters; spoilers for the film, though, since this pulls dialogue and plot directly from it, and probably most of it won't make sense if you don't at least know the plot of the movie. So I really own nothing of this. (And I don't know if there will be more or not; the Muse is still figuring it out.)
Title comes from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
If you're ever in trouble (I'll be there on the double)
This, Mikey thinks much, much later, is going to make one shell of a story.
He's not thinking about making history right now, though. Mostly, he's just trying to figure out a way to save the planet – and the universe, ultimately. Because even though they've crashed his ship, Shredder has an Infinity Stone in his possession, and Mikey's not convinced this is over. With an Infinity Stone in Shredder's hands, the universe is doomed, and no matter what Raph might think, there is no outrunning it.
So yeah. Need to save the world. First, though, he's got to try and pick himself up out of this crater, which sounds like pretty much the most painful thing he's done since he almost died in space with Leo.
Which was roughly ten hours ago, now that he thinks about it. It feels like a week.
So, really, that's not so bad, he tells himself. You survived that, thanks to Leo, and the Ravagers; you already survived this crash, the hard part's over – just. get. up.
And he pushes himself to his knees; sees Raph and Don off to his left; hears Leo groaning to his right; nearly laughs at the sound of the music still playing on the tape deck that has somehow survived both the Party Wagon crashing into Technodrome and the Technodrome crashing into Xandar.
But the chuckle dies in his throat when a dark laugh rumbles out of the billowing smoke, and the breeze kicks up in time to reveal Shredder walking out of the Technodrome's wreckage. His armor is dented and scratched, and one arm looks a little twisted as it hangs limp at his side, but he walks with strength and purpose, and his other hand is firmly gripped around the warhammer, and the Infinity Stone gleams from where it's fused with the metal.
I hate it when I'm right, Mikey thinks as Shredder starts monologuing about how weak and feeble they all are, about how Xandar's doom has come – nothing all that far from what he's already said to them at least three times before, so Mikey tunes him out in favor of focusing on trying to push himself to his feet.
Behind him, Raph suddenly roars with rage and charges at Shredder in his grief at losing his best friend. (And Mikey's not thinking about the stranger who'd been walking with Raph a few days ago when Mikey literally ran into him for the first time in years on Xandar; he's not thinking about Casey's gap-toothed grin at successfully rerouting the Party Wagon's shields to protect the turtles; he's not thinking about how Casey couldn't move from where he'd been pinned against the console and thus couldn't join them in the shield; he's not.)
Shredder tosses Raph aside with a burst of energy from the Stone, pausing for only a brief moment before going right back to his monologuing. Villains, Mikey thinks as he looks over to where Raph's landed, needing to make sure he's okay. His brother is on his hands and knees, shoving debris aside, and Mikey's eyes get wide when he sees what Raph's found: the Hadron Enforcer. And it's still in one piece.
They have a second chance. They can do this.
And then Shredder starts wrapping up his monologue, plants his feet as he prepares to swing the warhammer into the surface of Xandar, and Mikey panics for a moment because they need to fix the Enforcer, but they're out of time.
So Mikey does what he does best, what he's always done in his years with the Ravagers.
"Oooh, child, things are gonna get easier," he sings along with the Five Stairsteps, moving so he's right in Shredder's line of sight as he starts dancing. "Oooh, child, things'll get brighter – listen to these words – oooh, child, things are gonna get easier."
And wonder of all wonders, it works. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Leo staring at him like he's gone completely insane, but Shredder freezes and slowly lowers the warhammer, completely distracted by the turtle singing and dancing in front of him. "What are you doing?"
Mikey smirks. And Leo always said those hours spent dancing along with the music were a waste of time, ha! "Dance off, bro, me and you," he says, doing his best to keep Shredder from looking over where Don has joined Raph in trying to fix whatever's wrong with the Enforcer. So he waves his arms and points to his other brother, who's conveniently standing in the opposite direction. "Leo!"
Leo is still looking at him in utter confusion, but he hesitates only for a moment before jerking around a little bit in what appears to be some sort of dance move. Mikey can't tell if he's moving like that because he really doesn't know what to do – he's seen Leo dance, he knows he can do better than this – or if it's because he's so sore from their rough landing. "The, uh… broken robot? Okay, cool, not what I was expecting, but it works – and take it back," Mikey says when Leo's done, starting up his own dance routine again.
And if looks could kill, Mikey would be dead under the weight of Shredder's glare. Normally, he'd be a little scared right now, but this is exactly what Mikey was hoping would happen. "What are you doing?" Shredder roars.
Mikey's smirk turns into a wide grin as he sees movement out of the corner of his eye. "I'm distracting you, you big turd blossom!"
Shredder whirls to see Raph standing tall, the Hadron Enforcer strapped to his chest, and Donnie crouched next to him with two cables in his hands. Before Shredder can do anything, Don touches the wires together, and the Enforcer fires, knocking Raph back a step just as it had to Leo when he'd fired it onboard the Technodrome. Raph's aim is true, and he's learned from their last mistake; this time the missile makes contact with the warhammer, shattering it into pieces.
Time slows down for Mikey as he sees the Infinity Stone falling free from the shattered remains of the hammer, and without a second thought, he dives for it. He saw what just a hint of its power did back on Knowhere; if that thing hits the ground, it will destroy Xandar and kill his brothers, and he cannot let that happen, not now, not after they've finally been reunited after all this time. He just got his family back, and Shredder is not going to take them away –
And then the Stone is in his hand and it burns, gods, it burns unlike anything he's ever felt before – hot and cold at once; it's like he's being filled, like he's being stripped away; he knows everything and nothing; he's connected with every single thing in the universe, down to the last atom, and yet he's utterly alone; there's power surging through him, living and alien, and it's consuming him, it's destroying him, taking him apart one cell at a time, and he can't protect his brothers, he has to but he can't–
"My son. Take my hand, Michelangelo."
It takes a moment for the command to sink in, but slowly Mikey turns his head, wide eyes searching for the warm, familiar voice, hardly believing what he hears.
And it is him. Splinter is there, lying in his bed, just as he had been all those years ago, back when they were still a family, still together, before the Foot raid, before everything – but it's different, because Splinter isn't wheezing out his last breaths through illness-weakened lungs. Instead, he's looking at Mikey, hand outstretched, a small smile on his face, and his eyes warm and full of the love Mikey's always remembered, even after all this time.
There's something burning in Mikey's eyes; when he blinks, his father is gone and Leo is there instead, blood and dirt and rips and tears marring the familiar garb that marks him as a Ravager, same as Mikey. And like Splinter, Leo's holding his hand out, but his eyes are wide with fear, and his face is panicked, and he's screaming like there's nothing more important in the world than what he's trying to say right now.
"Mikey, take my hand! Please, Michelangelo, I can't get any closer – you have to take my hand!"
Mikey has never heard Leo sound so terrified. Even when Mikey was floating in space outside of Knowhere after Karai had destroyed his pod, and Leo had nearly killed himself trying to save him, his brother hadn't been nearly this scared.
And so Mikey reaches for Leo's hand, because Leo needs it. There isn't much Mikey can do for Leo, not really, even though he wants to – because Leo will always be older and better, and he will never need Mikey like Mikey needs Leo – but Leo needs Mikey to take his hand, so Mikey can do this.
The power from the Stone surges as soon as Leo latches onto Mikey's hand, and it hurts as it leaves, and yet everything is suddenly a little easier because Mikey's not alone, not anymore. Leo's there, and through their connection, Mikey hears I've got you now, Mikey, please, stay with me, I can't do this without you, I can't, I won't, don't leave me, I CAN'T–
The power surges again, and then Donnie's voice is there, too, overlaying Leo's with me, too, I'm here, too, don't you leave me behind, I just got you back, Leo, Mikey, please–
The pain, the pressure, the power suddenly settles into an even hum as Mikey feels a firm hand settle on his shoulder. Together, Raph says, and all their minds hum with equal agreement, we do this together or not at all – they split us up once, I'm NOT letting them do that again.
And together they stand straight and tall as Xandar comes back into focus around them and the Stone affirms, NOR WILL WE.
In front of them, Shredder's eyes are wide with shock behind his mask, and his stance is defensive as he stutters, "How – how can you – you are mortal, you are nothing, you–"
"You said it yourself, dude," Mikey replies, his brothers standing solid and strong beside him, the power of the Infinity Stone and the warmth and grounding of family running through his veins. "We're the Guardians of the Galaxy."
He opens the fist clenched around the Stone, releasing a wave of power. One moment, the Shredder is there; the next, he's gone, not a trace of him left.
The Stone surges again, looking for the next target, the next thing that will try to separate this clan – and then Don is there with a container, forcing it closed around the Stone. The power is suddenly gone, and Mikey staggers as his knees buckle – he feels strangely empty now, and for a fleeting instant he wants to yank the orb out of Don's grasp to hold the Stone again.
But then an arm snakes around Mikey's back, and Leo pulls him into a firm hug, and Raph and Don are both there a moment later, enveloping him in a group hug, and Mikey smiles as he leans more heavily into his oldest brother, letting the warmth and contentment of family settle into the spaces the Stone left hollow.
"I'm gonna stain your jacket," he mutters into Leo's chest, because he is – he can feel blood trickling down from his ears, from gashes on his face, thinks there might be some coming from his eyes, and even though Leo's never fully enjoyed being part of the Ravagers, he's always loved his jacket.
Leo chuckles, a little wetly, and Mikey doesn't need to look to know that Leo's trying not to cry. "I needed to get a new one, anyway."
Almost as if on cue, Slash is suddenly there, one hand holding his jacket back so that they can see the yaka arrow resting at his hip, ready and waiting to be called into action. "I do believe we had a deal, Leonardo."
Leo tenses, tightening his hold on Mikey even as Don and Raph shift in closer, standing protectively in front of them so that the sunlight deliberately reflects off the insignias on their Nova Corps uniforms.
Slash merely smirks at the show of force and adjusts his stance in a way that Mikey's seen a hundred times before – he's settling in to whistle, to call the arrow out.
Before any of them can move, Mikey pulls out of Leo's grip and snatches the orb away from Don. He contemplates it for a moment, tossing it from his left hand to his right and back again, before throwing it to Slash. "Take it, then," he says, ignoring the wide-eyed look his brothers are giving him and gesturing to the destruction around them. "Take it and go. But you can't open it, Slash – you know that, right? You've seen what it can do."
Slash gives him a long, considering look. Mikey stares back, using every ounce of willpower he has not to blink or rub at the sticky moisture of the blood on his cheeks.
Finally, there's the slightest softening of the lines around Slash's eyes – the tell-tale sign of genuine relief that Mikey has only ever seen in a handful of instances throughout the time he and Leo have been with the Ravagers – and he chuckles as he tucks the orb into a pocket on his belt. "I'm sure we'll meet again, Michelangelo. Leonardo."
"Don't bet on it," Leo says coolly, tugging on the back of Mikey's jacket so that he's standing behind Don and Raph again. Slash chuckles again and walks away, the rest of his crew trailing behind him. The only one to give them a second glance is Leatherhead; Mikey smiles and gives the first mate a wave, and LH smiles back, bowing once before taking off after his captain.
The turtles stand in silence until the Ravagers are gone, kicking up dust in the wake of their ships. Mikey lets out a gusty breath, grinning as his brothers turn to look at him. "He's going to be so mad when he finds out I switched the orb on him," he tells them, pulling the orb with the Stone out of the hidden pocket at his hip and tossing it in the air a couple of times.
Raph laughs, Leo chuckles as he rubs Mikey's head, and Don's shoulders slump in relief as he shakes his head ruefully. "Mikey, he's going to kill you."
Mikey shrugs a shoulder. "Nah," he says with a smile, leaning into Leo again as he tucks the orb away. "I've got family to watch my back."
Raph grins broadly, and Don and Leo both look a little teary-eyed at that, but before they can say anything, something stirs in the wreckage of the Technodrome. They turn, tense and ready to fight whoever of Shredder's minions is about to emerge.
A huge sheet of metal is suddenly blasted apart, and Casey Jones stumbles out a moment later, a shield around him flickering a few times before fading out of existence entirely. Half his head is coated with drying blood; he's limping, and his left arm is tucked in close to his chest as he staggers out into the daylight. Blinking a few times at the scorched earth around them, he looks at them, bemused. "What'd I miss?"
The shock of it only lasts for a split second, and then the turtles are rushing toward him, laughing and shouting and maybe even crying a little all at once (Jones, you knucklehead! Raph and Don bellow in unison) as they swamp Casey into a group hug (what, you think I'm gonna shield you guys but not me? I like you guys, but not that much, Casey replies, the tearful grin on his face belying the nonchalant tone of his voice).
And as they huddle together – there, in the shadow of the wreckage of the Technodrome, with the remnant of the Nova Corps running toward them, April O'Neil leading the charge – Mikey holds on to his brothers as tight as he can.
Because it's been nearly six years, and they're half a universe away from where they were born, but here, with his family surrounding him, Mikey is finally home.