A "what happened after the movie" fic that I wrote. I haven't written a fic in a long time and wanted to try it again. I honestly believe that Mikey had to have been injured at least a little after the battle with the Krang, and I believe that what Leo told Mikey in the plane affected him as well. He's the most sensitive one; how could it have not bothered him? I know the title sucks, but it's the best I could come up with for now anyway…

Disclaimer: If I owned them, I'd be spending the cash I was making from the merchandise sales, not writing fic about them.

With the Krang defeated and the key to the city around his neck, Michelangelo felt pretty much on top of the world. They saved the city, maybe even the world, and he had a key to the city to show for it and a side that was in pain every time he moved.

Wait…pain? I was ok a few minutes ago, now it hurts like shell to breathe. Why is it hurting so much now?

They were on their way home from their celebration on top of the Statue of Liberty, all still on Cloud Nine. He could hear his brothers talking one over the other, but he really couldn't make anything out anymore. He had tried to hide the pain he was now feeling from his brothers since they got off the Statue, but Donnie was making a point of hitting every pothole on the streets and that was doing a number on his side.

"Hey Donnie can you stop hitting the potholes? You know, to not destroy this awesome toy that you made?" Mikey asked him. Because you're killing me here brah, really. If you could stop driving like a maniac that'd be great because I might be the one to ruin the inside of your new toy.

Donnie looked at him through the rear view mirror, witty reply in mind (well, what Donnie thought was witty) when he stopped and had a good look at his brother. He saw the small beads of sweat forming on his youngest brother's brow, how he was now taking shallower breaths and the obvious look of pain now showing on his face.

"Mikey , what's wrong!?" Donnie asked, clearly concerned. It was his tone that attracted the attention of the two oldest, their debate about who fought the best again Krang forgotten. They both stopped to stare at their little brother, equally curious and worried.

Mikey sighed and shook his head. "Nothing, really! Just concerned for the truck and you breaking it before we get enough use out of it." He flashed them all his usual goofy smile, hoping that he was hiding the pain well enough.

The three older turtles didn't buy it, but they pretended they did, just to see how long before Mikey let his guard down. If there was one thing they knew about Mikey, it was that he loved attention, except for when he was hurt. He knew the moment his big brothers knew he was hurt that he would be stuck in the lair with three over-protective siblings who would somehow blame themselves for his injuries and watch his every move.

Donnie was back to driving, now being mindful of his speed and the potholes along the way to their secret lair entrance while Leo and Raph went back to their "I'm better than you" contest they were having, yet again. They would glance at Mikey now and then, just waiting for Mikey to cringe in pain, just once.

And then it finally happened. Mikey had to cough and tried to suppress it. That didn't work out the way the small turtle intended. He coughed harder than he meant to and he couldn't stop the small whimper from escaping his throat.

Raph was there in an instant, big brother instincts in full swing. "What's hurting Mikey?" He looked at his brother, looking for anything, but finding nothing. "You're not bleeding, you were walking just fine, jumping, and you've been a complete nut like you always are all night."

Good ol' Raphie, Mikey mused, all tough and mean on the outside, but really a big teddy bear on the inside. Well…looks like I'll be stuck in bed for a month if Raph has his way to make sure I heal. Maybe he'll believe that I just hit myself on something as we were walking to the truck…play the "I'm such a klutz" card.

Raph knows his baby brother well enough to recognize Mikey's different looks and this one was no exception. Raph knew this was his "I'm going to try to lie to him and pretend that everything is fine" look.

"Don't you even try to lie to me numb nuts. I swear if you do, that what I did to your soccer ball will be nothing compared to what I will do to your skateboard."

Mikey's eyes shot up at stared his brother down, a mix of horror, sadness and disbelief on his face.

"But Raphie-boy! Everything's just fi….hey! Donnie! Again with the potholes? Don't you like this truck?!" Mikey yelled through gritted teeth. Raph looked up at his immediate younger brother, a smirk firmly planted on his face, and a slight nod. Donnie gave a thumbs up and kept driving.

"You are obviously not fine, Michelangelo," Leo calmly stated to his obviously in a lot of pain sibling, "now tell us what is going on, little brother."

Mikey looked up to his brothers, sighing in defeat. "I'm just tired and my muscles are sore. Really. That's all." They might have believed that, had he not grimaced so much after that last sigh.

"C'mon Mikey, just tell us. Why are you going to all this trouble to hide whatever's hurting you?" Raph asked, sounding for once sincere and a little worried.

Wow…Raphie's showing he's worried. One thing I didn't want to have happen. Worried big brothers. This pain will pass on its own, guys. I can handle it.

He looked up at Leo, face unreadable as always. There was a small spark of something in his eyes though. Worry? Concern? Whatever it was, it had Leo in deep thought and left Leo staring at his brother to the point that it made the orange banded turtle uncomfortable.

Probably waiting for the perfect time to lecture me about not being careful and how that got me injured. Mikey sighed internally. Never mind that he already thinks I have no brain, I just had to add can't fight to the list of things I can't do.

He looked up and met Leo's eyes again. This time the leader huffed, a small smile showing on his face while shaking his head. Mikey couldn't understand what it was that he found so funny.

"We're at the tunnel guys." Donnie informed them, "We can continue this conversation once we're home."

All four turtles exited the garbage truck, the one usually first to get out, now the last. Every movement sent pain through his chest and being unable to catch his breath due to the pain was really not helping matters much either.

He gingerly stepped out of the truck, tried his best to play it cool and get to his bed. He didn't make it far before a strong hand stopped him in his tracks.

"What's hurting you Mikey." Raph said, his tone of voice leaving no room for debate. "I won't ask nicely again." Mikey saw Leo standing behind Raphael, impatiently waiting for an answer to his brother's question.

Mikey laughed, trying to lighten the mood. "That was you being nice! Work on your bedside manner bruh, I mean, yelling it to me like that…"

"MIKEY!" He stopped his rambling and looked up to see his three older brothers glaring at him, a myriad of emotions staring back at him in their eyes.

"Alright fine! You guys win." Mikey sighed and resigned himself to his fate. "Remember when Krang was super cuddly with me?" His brothers nodded. "Well, I think he may have hurt something…or broken something. I'm pretty sure the crack I heard, and felt, was from something on or in my body."

He looked up and saw his brothers' faces turn from anger, to surprise, to worry. "But, I could be wrong!" He tried to laugh it off. "I mean all the pieces of the Technodrome coming together may have made that noise and shook me up! Who can say right?" He tried to laugh it off, "Right guys?"

"Crack…you heard a crack and you said nothing!?" Raph shouted in disbelief. "Why would you hide that!? For shell's sake we asked if you were ok and you just shrugged it off saying you were fine! This is not fine!" He pointed his hand towards Mikey's side for emphasis.

"We had slightly more important things to worry about at the time!" Mikey snapped back. "It didn't even hurt that much at the time anyway!"

Mikey instantly felt bad for snapping at his brothers, his blue eyes dropping to the floor. "I'm sorry guys, I didn't mean to snap at you bros."

Leo hadn't moved a muscle through the whole ordeal. Mikey noted that he just simply stood there, arms crossed on his chest, staring him down. Great…losing my cool, one more thing for Leo to lecture me about. So what am I to him now? A big hearted, brainless idiot with his head stuck in the clouds, who's inability to fight which got him injured, who now lies to his family about injuries and who loses his temper. Wow…he's won the jackpot when it comes to pathetic brothers.

Leo uncrossed his arms and looked to his blue eyed brother "Donnie's waiting for you in his lab." He informed Mikey, "Let him have a look at you and see what damage has been done."

Mikey found himself on the makeshift examination table in his brother's lab, for once not moving a muscle while his brother examined him. His two oldest brothers waited in the main room out of Donnie's way to allow him to concentrate on Mikey's checkup. Mikey mentioned to Donnie that he didn't feel anything at the time, but Donnie explained to him that "the adrenaline has worn off and that's why you feel the pain now."

Of course, if I had half a brain I would have known that. Mikey thought to himself.

"Two broken ribs, a cracked rib and a small crack in your shell." announced Donnie to Mikey as he pushed his goggles up. "Given the circumstances Mikey, you're incredibly lucky these are your only injuries."

Damn creepy that he can x-ray you with his goggles. Mikey thought to himself. Pretty useful I guess, but also pretty creepy.

"So…how long am I out for Dr. Donnie?"

Donnie sighed and turned to retrieve some pain medication for his injured sibling. "Four to six weeks, at the very least. I want to keep you in the lab with me at least tonight and maybe tomorrow to make sure there are no complications."

Mikey looked up to his immediate older brother worryingly. Before he could ask the question on his mind, someone beat him to it.

"Complications!?" He heard Raph bellow behind Donnie's shoulder, Leo again, not far behind Raphael, leaning on the lab door. "What kind of complications are we talking about here? What's wrong with him anyway?"

"He has two broken ribs, a cracked rib and a crack in his shell. The possible complications cannot be taken lightly. Pneumothorax, haemothorax, chest infections and pneumonia are among the possible complications." Donnie began, completely missing the looks of terror on his siblings faces. "If the rib fracture damaged any internal organs, like his lungs, it could lead to any of the above. The fact that broken ribs makes it painful to take deep breaths, mucous builds up in the lungs and can lead to serious infections, such as pneumonia. He could also end up with a collapsed lung in which case his breathing…"

"Ok, we get it Brainiac, broken ribs are very bad." Raph cut him off, not wanting to hear the details of all the possible negative outcomes of his baby brother's injury.

Raph made his way to his brother's side and lightly punched his shoulder, apologizing when he saw that the motion made Mikey cringe in pain. "When you get hurt, you sure as shell make sure you get hurt good, kid." He put his arm around Mikey, then added with a smirk, "You know what this means right?"

Mikey shuddered "C'mon Raph, I can do stuff, don't keep me chained up to my bed for a month or I will go crazy!"

"Actually Mikey, the first few days I don't want you to do any kind of 'stuff'. " Donnie informed him "Like I said, I want to monitor you very closely to be sure that no complications arise." When Donnie saw that Mikey was going to try to argue, he added quickly "Would you rather lay still for a week and then be able to move around a bit, or get an infection that keeps you bedridden for a good month at minimum?"

"Uhh…good point D!" Mikey laughed, albeit painfully. "One week of bed rest it is! Or couch rest? I can play my games, and watch Netflix and ohhhh! You said you downloaded a bunch of new movies didn't you!? We could watch Batman Vs. Superman! Man that'll be awesome! You did get that one right? You didn't just download documentaries about the history of beakers and the beginning of time did you?" Mikey smiled brightly, his pain momentarily forgotten. His smile was infectious as his two older brothers smiled back at him.

"Couch rest is fine, Mikey." Donnie confirmed, much to his little brother's delight. "Yes I did download that movie and no, I did not download a documentary about beakers. Although, now that you bring it up, it may prove to be an intriguing program to watch." As he said that, the purple banded turtle went to his laptop and began searching for said documentary. Mikey and Raph exchanged glances, hoping that this was somehow Donnie's version of a bad joke.

"But don't forget Mikey," Donnie reminded him as he was typing, "you still have to spend at least the night with me in the lab. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but you are not leaving tonight. Understood?"

Mikey slumped against his brother's shoulder. "Ugh, ok fine D. Whatever you say bro. You're the doc right? I mean, I'm sure I'd be fine out there watching TV, not going stir crazy in here but hey, you know best." Donnie smirked at that. "Mikey, you will be asleep soon anyway and you cannot go, as you say, stir crazy if you are asleep. If you want anything for tonight, we will be happy to bring you what you need. But I swear Michelangelo, if you try to get up out of this lab tonight, I will have you watch a science documentary marathon with me. All science, all day. Wouldn't that be great?"

The sheer look of terror on his brother's face was enough to make Raph burst out laughing at his brother's expense. "Hey no fair! Let's see how you'd feel if he said you'd have to watch that stuff all day!"

Both of his older brothers laughed at that. Mikey couldn't help but start to laugh a little with them, even if it was at his own expense. He grimaced in pain, but he laughed despite the pain. From the corner of his eye he saw movement and realized that Leo was finally coming towards him.

"Don't laugh too much little brother or you may end up in worse shape than you are now." Leo reminded him. "Did Donnie give you anything yet for the pain?"

"Oh yes, the painkillers!" Donnie jumped up from his seat towards the makeshift bed in his lab. "Sorry about that Mikey, got sidetracked when Raph came in asking about the complications." Donnie gave Mikey a couple of painkillers and a glass of water. Mikey hated pills, but he hated all this pain even more. He took the pills gratefully and drank the water. "Thanks Donnie."

Raph glanced between Mikey and Leo, sensing a bit of tension between them. He caught Leo's eye and nodded at Leo's silent request to leave he and Mikey alone for a few moments. He removed his arm from around his baby brother and told him he would come by and check on him in the morning.

"Hey Donnie, let's go get something to eat. Saving the city got me pretty hungry." Glancing up from his laptop, he too noted some tension between the oldest and youngest. Donnie quickly nodded and followed his immediate older brother out of the lab. Before fully exiting the lab, the red banded turtle turned to Leo with a silent warning "don't you dare yell at him for any of this.". Leo gave his own silent reply "I just want to talk to him for a minute. No yelling." Not completely trusting his older brother, Raph gave him one last warning glare and left the room.

Turning away from the door, Leo turned his full attention to his youngest brother. Neither said anything for a few minutes, the silence deafening.

Michelangelo couldn't take the silence any longer. Might as well get this lecture over with. He won't do it so I might as well. Looking down at his hands he let out a deep sigh. "I'm sorry, Leo."

He waited for a few moments, waiting for some sort of comeback, about how he should have known better, fought harder, something. Anything. But the only sound in the lab was from the electronics in the room and their own breathing. Mikey looked up from his hands, and was surprised into silence again.

He was expecting Leo to be upset with him, to lecture him, to say he was disappointed in him, but all he saw when he glanced up was an honest look of confusion on his big brother's face.

"Leo? Dude, you ok?"

"You're sorry?" Leo questioned. "For what?" He was genuinely clueless as to why Mikey was apologizing to him.

Mikey shook his head, in sadness, hurt and everything in between. "For getting hurt, for not really being much help for anything, for having my head in the clouds so much, for having no brain, for having a heart, as useless as that is, for…"

"Stop right there Mikey." Leo held up his hand in front of his brother's face. "You have nothing to apologize for. In fact I…"Leo stopped for a moment, swallowing his pride, knowing that it was for the best "it is I who should be apologizing to you."

I'm sorry what? You? Apologize to me? That's it, I'm in some kind of coma or something or an alternate dimension because this really makes no sense.

"Mikey?" Leo called to him, waving his hand in front of his face. "Are you alright? Should I call Donnie back in here?"

"No! No, I'm fine." Mikey assured him. "I'm just trying to understand why you think you should be apologizing to me. You're right about everything you said about me, so I really don't get it."

"No Mikey, I wasn't right about everything. Master Splinter said to me one day that our greatest strengths are what make us a team. A leader shouldn't expect his team to think with one mind, like I was trying to do, that different points of view make a team stronger. He said that a good leader understands this and that a brother accepts it."

Leo sighed and pulled up a chair next to his little brother's bed. He fell silent for a moment and looked down at his baby brother, then let out an exasperated sigh. "I haven't been very good to you on either front and I want to apologize for what I said. Your head is in the clouds, there is no denying that, but that's a part of who you are and I accept that. Your heart is a part of you, it's what defines you and to say what I did to you on that plane was completely out of line and was said purely out of anger. I am truly sorry I hurt you, little brother."

Mikey sighed and shook his head. "Why apologize for the truth, Leo?" Leo glanced up, honestly surprised. His baby brother was usually the picture of confidence; nothing ever kept him down, at least nothing that his brothers were aware of. "If I was smart I would have been able to get away from the Krang and not get so injured. I would have been able to figure out a way to get the beacon and not get hurt, but I didn't. Heart didn't help, but brains probably would have."

Guilt washed over the leader. His little brother honestly believed what he had told him. What he said, he said out of anger because they couldn't beat Bebop and Rocksteady. He let it out on the one turtle that didn't deserve it, the one turtle that would do anything to keep his family happy. He never felt more sorry for anything than at that very moment.

"The fact that Krang grabbed you had nothing to do with brains or heart and everything to do with the fact that we didn't do a good job distracting him for you to do your part. Any one of us that tried to get that beacon was going to be attacked by Krang. It had nothing to do with brains or heart, or strength or strategy. Whoever that had the beacon was going to be Krang's target."

Leo glanced up at his little brother, waiting for him to say something about what he had said. He found his little brother staring at the floor, quietly contemplating what Leo was saying. He carried on with his monologue, hoping to reach the younger turtle and bridge the gap between them.

"If anything Mikey, it's your heart that got the beacon to begin with."

"What!? Did you get hurt too Leo?" Mikey shouted incredulously. "My heart got the beacon!? Hearts are useless in battle. It did nothing for me out there."

"Having a lot of heart is a lot more than just being happy and supportive. It's about not giving up, going that extra mile, never backing down even when the odds are against you, it's about fighting for what you believe in and for what's right." Mikey looked up from the floor and into his brother's eyes. Leo could tell Mikey was trying to hold back tears.

"You never gave up. You did what I asked without a second thought. You went up there, you got through everything he was firing at you, you got the beacon, you never let it go even when Krang tried to kill you for it and you threw it to Donnie. You never gave up. Shell, he seriously injured you and you kept going! That's heart, Mikey." Leo fell silent for a moment, and then gently placed a hand on Mikey's shoulder. "You and your heart saved the city, probably the world. And I couldn't be more proud of you, little brother."

Mikey's head shot up to stare his brother in the eye. The tears that were threatening the fall earlier now fell onto the small turtle's cheeks, his big brother smiling and wiping his tears. "I apologize for not seeing the importance of what you bring to the team sooner Mikey." Mikey couldn't help but grin at his big brother, raising his arms to hug the older turtle. "It's all good, brah. Better late than never right? But thank you, Leo. I'm glad I made you proud."

Leo smiled and gently released himself from his little brother's hold, apologizing as he made the younger turtle wince in pain. He looked at the clock on the wall; 3:42am. "Alright Mikey, time to get some sleep before Donnie comes in and yells at me for not letting his patient rest."

"Yeah, yeah, Doctor Don always has a thing or two to say about sleep and I'm sure I won't get away with staying up late with him on the job." Leo laughed softly and helped Mikey get comfortable. They chatted for a couple minutes more until finally the younger terrapin gave into sleep. Smiling, he rubbed his baby brother's head before leaving to retrieve Donnie. "Have a good sleep Mikey." You did good kid, get some sleep and heal, you deserve it.

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave a review so I can know if I did a good job or not!