Hello again after an embarrassingly long time... :I
I found some time and motivation to force myself and finish up this story. This chapter is the next to last. I wanted to publish this one and the next one together but don't want to keep you waiting anymore. So you get this now and the next one, that's already half done, hopefully soon. :) Also please note that this chapter might feel like it's written by another person... It's been a while. :P
Thank you all who stuck around and all those who reviewed and forced me to finish this up! From now on I'll no longer post multi-chapter stories until I've written the whole thing already! XD
Anyway, enjoy and of course leave a review.
Chapter 13 : Nothing and Everything
The sound of chirping birds around him was getting louder and louder. Each bird's song drowning out the other's until no sound was distinguishable anymore. It formed into a buzz similar to television's static then stretched into a howling underwater echo.
Silence. Darkness. Nothing.
Michelangelo's chest tightened with pain and nausea. He was still cold but it didn't bother him anymore. The darkness around him was caving into him, numbing him. His stomach twisted. He was scared of a thought crawling into his mind that he just did not want to hold onto. But there was nothing else than that one thought.
'I broke Leo's promise…'
He gulped and turned around to get a better look of his surroundings. But the lack of change in the darkness made him question if he moved at all.
This surely must be the same place Leo was stuck in. It was like the dark void he had described; eternal empty space… Nothing as far as the eye could see.
No answer. The word was completely swallowed by the dark.
Mikey made a move in a random direction to see if he would stumble across something, anything, and as he made a few steps he felt like he was walking through slush of wet snow but at the same time his feet didn't feel any cold or any pressure on the skin. He reached down to feel the ground but as he did he realized there was no ground at all either. His hand went right pass his feet and further down.
He was frightened by now but he felt too detached to panic. He wasn't even sure if he was really there. He didn't feel nor see his body at all. The silence made him feel hollow and absent.
He dove into the blackness and wandered through it in search of something besides himself. Maybe he would find Leo. Maybe he would know what to do. No, wait! He stopped in place. Leo couldn't find out. He couldn't know he broke the promise so quickly. But what else could he do?
'Think! Think, Mikey!'
He was sure he heard a whisper of something behind him but before he could make out if it was real or not it was already gone, leaving him completely alone again. It was still the only thing he could hold onto. He turned around in the direction of the possible noise. Having to trust himself if he turned in the right direction at all since he was practically blind.
Slowly he started making his way forward. The slushy snow, he was sure was somehow there without being there, became thicker with each step until it was hard for him to move.
Mikey was now positive there was something in that direction.
"Hello?!" he shouted again and got no reply. The silence on its own was deafening. He needed to hear something.
This time he heard whispers further ahead. They were too quiet to make out but Mikey was sure they were words. And even if they weren't, it was still something.
"Yes!" He ran further into the thick blackness, desperately tearing his way through. "I'm here!"
The whispers and mumbles were getting louder. Mikey could make out someone talking but he wasn't sure who.
White light, like an unexpected sunrise, suddenly blinded his eyes. It was painful and it chilled him to the bone. The sudden sensation was overwhelming and making him nauseous. He stumbled back.
'I think he's waking up-'
He heard someone familiar speak and felt rough hands on his shoulders pulling him into the light and shaking him.
"Can you hear me?"
Why was everything so bright and loud? He was freezing and his foot started to hurt out of nowhere. The sudden sensations were overwhelming.
His eyes slowly adjusted to the strong light until he was able to make out smudges of color and soon the face of his brother.
"Mikey? Bro, do you see me?"
The dazed turtle blinked a couple of times, finally feeling the ground beneath him. He looked at Donatello who was holding him and worryingly staring at him. Raphael was kneeling right beside them, the same expression planted on his face.
Mikey was so glad to see them and … –What the heck are they wearing?
"Why do you two look like a criminal and a flasher?" Mikey mumbled.
Donnie and Raph released the breaths they were both holding upon hearing their little brother speak. They smiled at Mikey's remark and were more than happy and relieved to see he was mostly alright. They had stumbled on him lying on the cold ground already ten minutes ago and he wasn't showing any signs of waking up until a few moments ago.
Raph had been completely panicking and so Don had shooed him away and told him to call April and Casey instead, while he had tried to warm and shake their little brother into awakening.
"Are you alright?" Donnie felt his brother's cheek for the hundredth time. He had been so scared Mikey was already in a hibernating state.
"Yeah…" Mikey nodded and tried to get up from the cold ground. His body was aching and freezing.
Donnie eased him up into a sitting position. He wrapped the blanket that had been covering Mikey's front, over his shell too.
Mikey hardly processed what was going on.
Raph leaned closer and gave him a soft pet on the head. "Don't ever scare us like that!" he warned in his brute way.
Mikey was experiencing the worst brain freeze but still forced a shy smile onto his features. What was he supposed to say to that? It's not like he wanted to go through all that happened.
"Guys?" came a shout from afar.
Mikey was confused for a moment but Donnie simply reacted with "Over here!"
"It's April and Casey," Raph assured him.
Mikey nodded with another brief smile. His slushy head felt extremely heavy again. Pressing it against Donnie's plastron he tried to find some balance. The forced sleep was winning over again.
He barely understood his name being called. Everything was muffled and blurry again. But he was no longer scared like before. His brothers were there, and his friends close. He didn't need to worry.
Completely exhausted he gave into sleep one more time.