Hi! So I've finally got at least one review and four favs for my first story, "Shells and Wings," and I'm already crying (with tears of joy). Thank you! So, I present to you, my dear readers, my second installment, "Let It All Out." Enjoy!
Warning: It'll get disturbing during the climax of the story, so be prepared…
"Some ninja! You're just a big screw up!"
April gave Mikey a sympathetic look before she left with the others, leaving him alone in the hallway with the mop as his only companion. The freckled turtle sadly walked into the living room, which had been completely trashed from his wild partying.
Why are they always treating me like this? I was just having fun! No one knows how to have fun anymore…
Mikey's eyes brimmed with tears. He missed the good old days when they were still a family, when they had a real home, when their father was still by their side to guide them through their most difficult trials and tribulations. No! He refused to cry. He wasn't a crybaby. He was a ninja! A strong, brave, radical, awesome ninja...!
"Some ninja! You're just a big screw up!"
"A big screw up!"
He tightened his grip on the mop as those words replayed over and over again in his head. A screw up, huh? Mikey gritted his teeth and his breathing grew heavy. I'll show them! If I'm such a problem to them, then I'll just run away! Yeah! That's it! I'll go back to New York and find Sensei on my own! I'll…wait, what am I thinking? If I run away now, then I'll really look like a crybaby to them. Besides, I can't leave poor Ice Cream Kitty all alone. Who'd take care of her? April, maybe. But still…
Mikey sighed and observed the living room. Boy, he really did make a mess. There was a whole lot of work to be done…
He diligently wiped the living room table with a wet washcloth. They wanted the place to be "spotless", then "spotless" it shall be.
It was awfully quiet without the TV on or his beloved Ice Cream Kitty to keep him company. But he had to focus. If he didn't have the room cleaned by the time they got back, he'd be in even more trouble than he is right now.
All they ever do is yell at me and make me feel like an idiot. I just want everyone to be happy and have a good time. And what do I get for my efforts? More yelling and being called mean names…like…
Mikey started to wipe the table harder than necessary.
Wow. They didn't expect the living room to look this good.
Everything was put back into place and wiped down, and all the trash had been picked up. And it looked like Mikey had also dusted and vacuumed the area as a bonus. Even the chimney looked like it had been thoroughly cleaned! The whole place was practically shining with cleanliness.
"Wow," Donnie whispered, "Mikey really outdid himself, didn't he?"
"Yeah," Raph said with a smirk, "Now if only he'd clean his room more often, but that's asking too much, isn't it?"
Leo smiled to himself. Mikey's finally being responsible for once. Sensei would be proud. Hey, where is Mikey anyway? "Mikey?" Leo called for his brother, frowning when he didn't get a response after calling for him a second time. Was he angry with them? Probably, since they were a little harsh on him, even though their intentions were good and they never wanted to hurt him. He glanced behind him to find April looking at him, at all of them, disapprovingly.
Leo sighed and gave her a nod. "Guys, we should apologize to him."
Raph looked at him like he had grown two heads. "What?! Why?! He was the one who completely trashed the place! He can't keep doing this every time we turn our backs on him! We did what we had to do!"
"That may be true," Leo folded his arms and looked at Raph with narrowed eyes, "but you didn't have to go so far as to call him a 'screw up'."
"Leo's right," April decided to join in on the conversation. "You all acted like total jerks. You never appreciate him." She then pointed a finger at the hotheaded turtle. "Especially you, Raph."
Raph looked offended by that. "That's not…! I mean…!"
They looked up the staircase to find Mikey staring down at them, an angry expression on his face. "None of you do," Mikey's voice sounded hurt and resentful, which made each of their hearts squeeze with guilt. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some training to do."
As Mikey went down the stairs and towards the door, he stopped for a moment to give Raph a cold stare. "'Cause after all, I am a ninja," he said quietly but loud enough for Raph to hear.
"Mikey, wait!" Leo tried to stop him from leaving, chasing after him. "We just wanted to…!"
Mikey slammed the door hard in Leo's face, causing him to flinch and stumble backwards a bit.
The punching bag swung back and forth as Mikey continued to hit it again and again. Usually it was Raph who took his aggression out on the helpless object, but Mikey was so frustrated, so angry that he just couldn't hold it in anymore. If he had stayed any longer in that farmhouse, he'd probably trash it all over again. He decided to stomp to the barn that night and try out the newly built punching bag.
His knuckles started to hurt from the endless punching, but he wouldn't stop until he had let it all out.
Let it all out.
A small, distant voice echoed in his mind. He started to punch more aggressively.
Let it all out!
The voice seemed to grow louder, angrier. A growl rumbled in his throat, and he began to assault the punching bag with everything he got. He punched it, scratched it, even bit it.
"Some ninja! You're just a big screw up!"
"A big screw up!"
Somewhere within his mind, a very large, ominous figure thunderously stepped out of the shadows. Its eyes had no pupils and were completely white. And full of anger.
The figure was revealed to be a giant, and very angry, version of Michelangelo, himself. And out of its mouth came a deep, booming voice.
LET IT ALL OUT!
All hell broke loose.
Raph couldn't get the image of Mikey giving him that cold stare out of his head. He tossed and turned on the chair, trying to sleep but failing miserably. The guilt was finally too much, and with a heavy sigh, he got out of the chair and went outside. He started to call for his brother.
"Mikey! Where are you?"
No response. Only the singing of hidden crickets and cicadas was heard.
"Look, I'm sorry about earlier, okay? Now come back inside!"
Still no response or sight of Mikey.
Raph huffed in annoyance. He hoped that Mikey hadn't wandered off into the woods, because then he'd never find him. "Mikey, come on! It's late! Don't make me come looking for you!"
Suddenly, a crashing sound was heard from within the barn. Raph's heart jumped. He immediately dashed toward the source of all the commotion and stopped at the entrance. He could hear an inhuman growling, objects being thrown around, and glass shattering. He gripped both of his sai, ready to attack whatever was intruding their barn.
Raph ran into the building and immediately came to a halt when he saw who the attacker was.
It was his own baby brother.
Most of Donnie's lab equipment had been shattered and destroyed. The new punching bag was torn to shreds, like a bear had mauled it. Numerous punch holes were in the walls of the barn.
Mikey was growling and snarling like a wild animal, kicking the work bench with such aggression and getting close to splitting it in half.
Raph had to do something, and fast. This wasn't like Mikey at all. In fact, it wasn't Mikey at all. It was as if some demon, some beast had taken complete control of him.
Mikey didn't seem to hear him and continued to kick the bench. Desperate, Raph ran to him and grabbed him in a tight hold. The angry turtle immediately began to thrash and roar, scratching at the arms that surrounded him. Raph ignored the pain and blood oozing from the wounds.
"Mikey, calm down! This…this isn't you! You gotta…!"
Suddenly, Mikey bit down on Raph's arm. Hard. The older brother couldn't help but scream in pain and loosen his hold on his little brother, who took the opportunity to break free and pounce on him. Punches and scratches met Raph's face. He tried to lift his arms to shield himself, but Mikey's legs had pinned them to the ground, leaving him defenseless.
Just when he thought the assault was never going to end, the blows had suddenly stopped coming. Raph's entire face felt like it was on fire. Slowly and painfully opening his eyes, he saw Mikey hovering over him, breathing heavily and eyes still white with rage. His knuckles were bleeding and blistered from the continuous punching.
It both scared and saddened Raph to see Mikey like this. So full of unresolved anger and acting like a savage.
And it was all his fault.
"You never appreciate him! Especially you, Raph!"
Raph felt a lump in his throat and his eyes burned with unshed tears. He had to get through to Mikey. He just had to. After all, back in New York, during the invasion…
"That's enough, Raph! Enough! It's okay, bro. Sensei's a Master ninja. He's gonna be just fine. It's gonna be all right…"
A quivering, choked voice escaped Raph's throat as he spoke to his angry brother.
"It's okay, Little Brother. You're gonna be just fine. It's gonna be all right."
Suddenly, Mikey's bright blue pupils returned and his breathing grew steadier. His eyes were unfocused and shaky, like he had just woken up from a bad dream. Eventually, he became aware of his surroundings and looked down at Raph. His confused face slowly twisted into one of horror.
"Raph?" Mikey choked. "What happened? Did…" His shaky, bleeding hand gently touched his brother's bruised and scratched up face. "Did I do that?"
Raph only gave him a pained smile. "It's okay, Mikey," he whispered. "It wasn't your fault."
Mikey immediately got off of Raph, helping him to his feet. Once they both stood up, Mikey put his arms around his brother and began to sob into his shoulder.
"I'm so sorry, Raph," Mikey's shoulders shook as he continued to cry heavily. "I didn't mean to…!"
Raph shushed his baby brother, gently rubbing the carapace of his shell and resting his cheek on the top of his head. "Shh…Mikey, it wasn't your fault." Raph couldn't help but let one tear slide down his cheek. "It wasn't your fault."
"I really liked that Napoleon dude," Mikey chirped as he and his bros walked back to the farmhouse. "I hope we'll see each other again soon."
Not long after Mikey's episode in the barn, the Turtles ran into a group of mutants called the Punk Frogs. At first, the frogs distrusted humans and labeled the Turtles as "traitors" for associating with them. But thanks to Mikey's friendship with Napoleon Bonafrog, the Turtles were able to convince the mutants that most humans were not the monsters they made them out to be. Napoleon and his family then decided to go to Louisiana where their "relatives" lived.
"I'm sure you will, Mikey," Donnie said as he patted Mikey's shoulder. He then looked down at Mikey's hands, which were wrapped in bandages. "And it's a good thing you never had to use your fists. They still need to heal, after all."
"I know, right?" Mikey smiled sadly at his brother, then looked over his shoulder. Raph was casually chatting with Casey. Much of his face was swollen and covered with Band-Aids, and some of the bruises had turned purplish black. The upper parts of his arms were wrapped in bandages as well from the intense scratching. Mikey flinched with guilt at the sight of his injured brother.
"You go on ahead, D. I'll catch up." Mikey walked back past Leo and April. "See you back at the farmhouse, guys," he told them. He finally approached Casey and Raph. "Hey, Case. Can I talk to my bro for a sec?"
Casey gave him a smile and nod. "Sure, man." Before leaving, he gave Raph's shoulder a friendly punch. "See you later, dude." Raph nodded at his human friend and looked at his baby brother with a smirk.
"Hey, Little Brother. How are you holding up?"
"Better," Mikey said quietly, but he couldn't look at Raph. All those bruises and Band-Aids reminded him of that terrible night at the barn. He instead focused on his feet.
"Hey. Mikey, look at me," Raph's soft voice encouraged him to finally look up. "I know you're feeling guilty about what happened. Don't. It was all my fault, okay? And I'll gladly take more punches to the face if it'll help you deal with the pain and anger." Raph gave Mikey a warm, loving smile."'Cause that's what brothers are for."
Mikey swallowed and felt his eyes tear up again. "I'm so ashamed," he whispered. "I was totally out of control."
"Yeah, well," Raph gently rubbed his brother's head, "sometimes we just, you know, gotta let it all out. And goofy and carefree people like you are no exception. Just remember, whenever you do lose yourself to anger, you can always count on me to help bring you back. 'Cause after all, you've always been there to help me."
Smiling brightly after hearing those words, Mikey slung his arm around his brother's shoulder and walked with him back to the farmhouse.
So…whatdyathink? Reviews are always welcome.
I wasn't satisfied with how Nick ended "The Croaking." Let's face it, none of us were! LOL! So I've decided to do my own take on the episode. If you caught the reference to the episode "Journey to the Center of Mikey's Mind," good for you! :) Also, I based the part where Mikey loses it on a scene from the original Mirage comics.