The epilogue has arrived! Sorry for the wait. You guys have been amazing and I'm happy you loved this story. I'm sad to see it finished but all good things must end someday.
Good news I have a one shot of chapter 10 coming soon where the bros were at the lake, if you remember that, then you will see a very cute brotherly bond coming up. And a wonderful thank you to Glazier blue, without her my writing would not have improved.
An hour ago the vibrant sunset combining the molten orange with bright pink and fiery red had change to a cerulean dark blue before darkness ascended across the city. The silvery moon with the starry twinkling stars begun to get overpowered by several puffs of dark grey clouds. These cotton balls shifted, blanketing the sky to revealing the spits of rain falling down, softly hitting the concrete before splashing ferociously creating variety of puddles.
However this didn't stop the four brothers jumping upon each building, their reflexes smooth as they landed on their feet to the manhole. They had done their nightly patrol and of course encountered the purple dragons conducting a bank robbery but also showing from a birds eye view a can of mutagen inside the van. Naturally the turtles had the upper hand and charge their ninjutsu skills striking the thieves knocking them unconscious with stars swirling around their heads. However in all the commotion they had forgotten the shadow ninja escaping the scene and leaping into the van. With the back doors open he drove off down the road forcing the turtle to skid out of the way unharmed and hiding their faces due to the smoke from the vehicle. Raph cursed, Donnie sighed and Leo gritted his teeth crossing his arms and Mikey…was nowhere.
Anxiety and panic arose from the siblings when they saw the littlest orange terrapin emerged through the smog holding the sparkly green mutagen along with a duffel bag of cash. Happiness, hugs and a slight reprimanded which dissolved from the mission being completed and all brothers were safe. After returning the money outside of the bank, the rain pounded down as they reached the sewer with Michelangelo grasping the successful prize in his arms.
Master Splinter was drinking his hot tea watching a nature program when his boys spring over the turnstiles shaking their bodies to release the water. As he stood up the movement popped his extremities. The rat clutched his staff raising his eyebrow. "So how did your patrolling go my sons?"
Fearless stared up at his father, his blue eyes gleaming with pride. "It went great Master Splinter; we defeated the purple dragons, saved a bank and guess what else we have". Leo placed his hand over Mikey's shoulder who presented the chemical to his father. He smiled proudly at his youngest ready for an explanation when Raph rubbed Mikey's spring head grinning widely.
"Sensei he pulled a fast one on us! The van speeded off down the road narrowly missing us and due the smoke we couldn't see Mikey, when he suddenly appeared like a hero with the cape flying behind him as he held the mutagen along with a huge load of cash. Mikey became a comic book character saving the city and our lives" Donnie and Leo smiled down at the blush brightening on Mikey's face as Raph's eyes showed affection and love.
Master Splinter felt the different aromas off his children electrocuting his heart with euphoric. His sons had succeeded in working once again as a team…which today was a triumphant considering this is the first outing with Michelangelo. He placed a furry hand on top of his smallest child's head. "Well done Michelangelo, your victory has saved a lot of people from becoming bankrupted and rescuing the mutagen for exploit purposes I am proud" the blush deepen reaching his ears as Mikey looked down at his feet, the smile tender.
"I-it was no big deal sensei. I-I saw them trying to get away with mutagen and I had to get it" he replied gently. The words sounded so innocent but they could hear the underlining behind it. His sibling's eyes reflected sadness and pain remembering the first incident which seems long ago, yet it wasn't.
Splinter sensing the change in mood ordered his children to dry off while he placed the mutagens inside a container in Donatello's lab. As he walked out closing the metal door he saw Raph sitting on the floor his shell embedded in a large pillow flicking the channels. Then saw his blue and purple sons strolling in, Donnie having a towel wrapped round his neck with his laptop on his legs as he sat down on the sofa. Leo was opposite him leaving Raph in the middle as he saw his little brother switch from program to program.
"Raph pick something" said Leo slightly irritated due to the frequent flashes from the screen. Raph grunted "I would Leo if something decent was actually on". Splinter observed the scene when he saw Mikey hiding halfway in the hallway before darting off back to -he assumed- his bedroom. Decided not to get involved for he knew Mikey had a good reason he sat down on the armchair as the second brother sighed dropping the controller. "Ok I give up! Maybe a movie night?" he said gazing left and right at his family.
Leo agreed and Donnie simply nodded his eyes wandering away from his PC. It was then they saw Mikey coming into the living room with an item behind his back. "What do have Mikey?" said Donnie tilting his head raising his bandana. He hid the wince when his little brother squirmed, pinching his lips debating whether his idea was good. He pulled out the DVD showing it was an action/sci-fi movie. The family realises it was the new film that Casey gave to Mikey when he discovered the love of the Matrix series…although that was two weeks ago. In fact four weeks have passed since the near fateful disaster of soul collecting, sacrifices, betrayal and diabolical events almost brutality ripping the family apart, that it seemed reasonable why Mikey was still so…timid. Nonetheless it left a coldness stinging feeling in their bodies when the youngest member reacted in such a way.
However the siblings and father will support their baby brother's insecurities and day by day will restore his persona. Leo leaned forward his orbs portraying kindness. "Do you want to play this Mikey?" he said softly. The orange turtle viewed his family before nodding. "If it's alright with everyone and maybe April and Casey can come round we haven't seen them in a while?" He said quietly but loud enough for them to hear.
Splinter didn't have to use his senses to know how his sons were feeling, for this is a common trait that they had thrust upon Mikey. Accidently forcing him silent and then to developed a low tone like he was as you say quiet as a mouse, that even Splinter was dumbfounded by this new…speech. A tiny bubbly baby to an energetic, enthusiastic teenager now sort of reduced to a shy, meek little turtle that is afraid to disappoint or upset his family again. Even the fact he asks for permission is a cause for alarms. The father viewed his oldest boy walking out to get the phone to call their friends to grabbed –no doubt- a few slices of pepperoni pizza. Donnie had switched off his laptop getting up to gather a few covers and pillows for themselves and their guest. Splinter smiled in amusement as Donatello crimson sharply muttering about April's visit.
And lastly he glanced at his second and youngest. Michelangelo had put the video in the TV slot pausing before it started and settle down on an orange beanbag beside Raphael. No words exchanged for there was no need as they had each other's existence. Donnie came back in and handed them quilts, putting everything in order for the night. Then the purple sibling went into the kitchen to make popcorn as last time Leo decided to have a go and…well he is not called the kitchen destroyer for nothing.
Twenty minutes later their favourite and only human friends arrived with Casey holding four large pizza boxes in his right hand. "What's up dudes been sometime? Glad we can crash the party" he stated with teased tone. April rolled her eyes in humour. "Ignore him guys but still great to see you guys".
Leo and Raph snorted while Mikey giggled as Donnie somewhat successfully mumbled his words to get April to sit next to him. She complied bringing a pizza to share with him; the three bros can literally see Donnie's heart melting with delight. As the movie roleplayed Casey sat beside the youngest turtle tugging and chewing the slimy pizza. Mikey was too preoccupied with the screening that he took no knowledge of the pizza dripping on the floor. But his red terrapin brother grimaced. "Seriously Casey you need to know how to keep that jaw close. I thought Mikey was bad but you are the champion".
The boy smirked then swallowed his Adam's apple bobbing. "Well excuse you Raph but I like to taste my food instead gobbing it down in one gulp. And beside men like it fast and greasy, chewing slowly is for girls".
"Excuse me?" Casey hunched sensing a chill from his left side. He turned to see April crossing her arms, her eyes narrowed into a darken expression; he swore he could see her whole body submit a black aura ready to batter his brain. He smiled sheepishly before glaring at the savage grin Raph portrayed, while Fearless chuckled and Brainiac rolled his eyes slapping his head.
Suddenly a pair of hands thrush out each side startling his brother and friend "Dudes I'm trying to watch, it's getting good" Mikey stated his voice a little louder but still not in comparison to his original voice, however an improvement. They remained quiet until the film finished when Casey jumped up in excitement. "Wow that was so cool! What did you think Mikey do I know how to pick them or what?" The teen copied his movements putting his hand out for a high-five. "Thanks Case that was awesome!" The others could see the shine illuminate the baby blue orbs that was significantly enhancing every day. Although a few weeks have gone by, physically their brother is now of normal weight having lost a few pounds but is still emotionally equipped to nightmares, however he maintains the happiness revealing he is becoming Michelangelo once again.
Leo watched the male grabbed Mikey asking him to play a match on the pin-ball machine. Another common occurrence everyone realised was the littlest turtle would stare at Raph before answering. It wasn't because he was afraid to be alone with Casey but the haunted dreams of his red-clad protective brother dying being absorbed by the darkness, those abominable evil demons crackling like madmen as they wrench his sibling away. Despite knowing the truth Mikey needed the comfort and safety to be around his hero by following him around like a mother and her ducklings. Raphael of course mumbled his tough-guy image supporting a bright red face as his baby brother happily strolled behind him wherever he went. But they all knew he enjoy it by the smile persistence upon his features.
Recognizing the pleading eyes the second bro agreed to whip Jones's ass as they walked towards the game. April observe the cute scene warmly. She was glad that her humanoid friends have escaped the purgatory horror and repair their shattered spirits after Raph…She closed her eyes recalling her own events of when she woke up from her body experience coma, to seeing the supposedly dead body of their saviour. These four weeks have been strenuous and stressful, filled with anger and self-conflict along with emotional and mental challenges for the family. To April they were a very strong, close-knit family who are pulling through and thriving.
The girl then laughed when the hockey player appeared behind Donnie and grabbed his computer causing the purple teen to yelp and demanded his laptop back. Which only further created havoc once you add Raph bouncing like a frog on top of the boy only for him to land on the genius's shell, it no wonder boys cause the most collateral damage. She was also relieved that their sensei had retired early although she doubts that Splinter would interfere. April frown looking at their leader picking up senses of relaxation but a hint of troubled, tried and the never-ending word called guilt. She sighed moving over to sit next to him who was unaware of the red-haired female.
"Leo?" He startled dropping his hand from his chin, his blue eyes widened then calm his nerve noticing April's perturb manner. "What is it April?" he stated attempting to hide away the tightening feeling in his chest. Her hand touched his arm and whispered "Its ok Leo everyone is fine you don't have to keep being brave".
He peered into her same coloured pupils as his own before resting his head over the top of the sofa. "I know but, you know what I am like April. To me there will always be a 'what if' could I have been able to prevent this all from happening? To stop myself and Raph from raising the devils of hell unleashing their powers upon my youngest bro almost destroying his soul, I just wish it never happened" Fearless felt drained as he used his arms for support when he placed them on his knee hiding his face from April.
"I am the big brother and leader and yes even though my brothers classify me as a mother-hen it is my responsibility to protect them, and my mind keeps on rewinding back to the days I almost lost two of them and the third deep in loneliness and regret". She removed her hand instead placing it on his face. "That is just like you Leo that is why you are our fearless leader, however this does not mean every single thing needs to burden your shoulders. Despite what had occurred I'm glad we can't turn back time-". Leo scrunched his eyes at the response what does that mean? The girl raised her other hand indicating she hadn't finished. "Many people would love to erase the tragic memories, to change the wheels of a clock so it never happened or would never establish. Yet nothing works out the same way twice, time has a will of its own Leo. If we did somehow alternate time those creatures would have taken Mikey and Raph's lesson would have been his actual death. I'm glad things did not turn out as worse than I thought it would be…maybe because Klunk really did like Mikey".
Leo flinched. They all stopped speaking about the furry feline friend a week after Raph woke up. The uncontrollable tears of Mikey losing his pet and the treachery were heart-breaking for them all. He gazed over at the four roaming over the machine like vultures. Donnie and Mikey on the side cheering their partners as they battled their way to see who could get the ball inside the pin first, albeit it was meant to be a one-player game…but oh well. They were having fun and their spirits were high, that was enough for fearless. He looked back at April who dipped her head to the left, the red hair covering one eye.
With serenity and gratitude he said "Thank you for what you did for all of us, you and Casey I am very glad to have met you both". Her mouth fell open just a little, her orbs shimmering in appreciation and pleased to have been a huge help in saving them. During the quiet moment they failed to see Casey studying the two with a straight face which switched to a Cheshire grin. He placed his hands to his face and bellowed "Yo Donnie, Leo is about to kiss April!" Exclamation followed by multiple bruises as Casey rushed to hide from the fiery girl leaving the flush, embarrassed leader to splutter and jumble his words to a disturbingly gleeful Raphael and a stock-still wide-eyed Donatello. In the background all you can hear is the loud, booming cheerful sound of Michelangelo laughing.
After the lively event resulting in Casey's head forming a large purple bruise customize by April they all decided to settle down and get some sleep. Donnie offered his bed to her who denied having brought her sleeping bag. The four bros said goodnight to their friends resting on the sofa.
Once the eldest and third youngest closed their doors Raph entered his room with a shadow of identical feet trailing behind him. They have not stopped sharing a bed since the first week he remembered how to breathe again. The night-terrors terrorising him as they captured Mikey begging for his role model as the blackness devoured him. No matter how much the red-clad turtle ran he was too late. Screaming and sleep deprivation from both siblings led to both forming a single room with a double bed. Or in this case Raph applying a cosy, soft mattress to replaced his rock-hard one so they –Mikey- could hopefully siesta.
The youngest turtle quickly bounced on the bed grabbing a fluffy pillow as his brother rolled his eyes gently shoving Mikey to the wall. "Move over Squirt I don't need you becoming a starfish". The orange teen huffed shuffling around on his side. "I'm not that fidgety…am I?" The protector glanced at Mikey's concern eyes before chuckling softly, tapping his baby bro on the head. "No you're not I was only joking….Instead I have an octopus for a brother" His green pupils sparkled as he began poking Mikey's side causing him to shriek unsuccessfully protecting his body, mainly because he was trapped between Raph and a wall. "R-Raph s-so mean h-haha st-stop!" As the teen allowed his orange sibling to rest he noticed a mischief look appearing on his features. "Mikey?" he said with a tone as the boy smiled narrowing his eyes and pounced. The older teen grunted as he landed on top of his plastron wrapping his spring green arms around his bright green skin.
He failed to show his annoyance when you have a beaming, teethe baby bro staring back at you. He waited patiently as Mikey shifted position laying his head on his shoulder claiming the spot under Raph's neck. "I was right you definitely are a wiggly octopus. Feels like you have four arm and four legs". He muttered sarcastic but humorous. Mikey just rubbed his head affectionately his eyelids becoming heavy. "Raph?" he whispered.
"Yeah Kiddo" he replied placing both arms around his little brother. The baby bro yawned snuggling deeper in the heat of his shielded, safeguard big brother. "I love you Raphie". Tightening his hold and pressing his head to lay on Mikey's, the youngest pretended to ignore the trembling body of his hero's defences breaking down like it did every night for over three weeks, allowing him to express his true emotions when the teen blatantly pointed out how much he truly loves Raph. "I-I love you very, v-very much Mikey. I-I always have and will. I said this before and I'll say it repeatedly. Despite my outburst of rage, the insensitivity that flies out my mouth, you mean the world to me. Don't change especially t-that voice of y-yours" Raph looked away as the tears threaten to fall. Been a month and it still frightens him. The thought of them coming back to take Mikey he couldn't bear it another time. Not only that but the extra shadows around the room only added the anxiety that the room had been adjusted with a ceiling light attached to the right corner of the left side of the bedroom. It was aimed just a few feet from the bed with a low lighting to give that sense of comfort and security. The deep breathing of his baby sibling as he caress his shell made him yawn and sink deeper inside the covers. A tiny whisper 'I won't' breathed into his ears as they both slumbered into oblivion.