Summary: The minute he woke up, all he heard was silence. Nothing but complete, empty, dark, silence. It wasn't until he remembered did he understand why. It was gone; forever. What will he be useful for now?
Notes: Don't take the idea offensively, just let me explain! Okay, I'm HOH (Hard of Hearing) myself. My hearing is slowly getting worse than what it already is. After daydreaming a bit, I wondered why there are no HOH or Deaf people in movies/cartoons. I watched the movie "A Quiet Place" and I thought about it; it was the first movie in a long, long time to have a deaf/HOH character.
I can kind of understand children cartoons though, I mean, it's for kids right? But what about fanfiction? Are you telling me no one has thought of this? Sure, blind has been thought of, but not HOH or Deaf?
I understand it's kind of out of the box since our disability is really overlooked, but it would be nice to see at least ONE story of one of the turtles going deaf/HOH.
Also, Don might be a genius, but without REAL training in this field, I would imagine it would take a very, very long time before he could figure out how to make hearing aids, let alone configure them to Mikey's hearing level for a right fit.
So, without further ado, this one-shot!
Disclaimer: I do not own this franchise or the mentioned movie "A Quiet Place".
Silence. That was all he heard.
He hated silence. It always scared him.
What was going on? Why was his brothers and Sensei all crowding him? Why were they looking so confused?
Didn't they hear the deafening silence too?
Mikey was going to start panicking, his mind racing to find an answer, but then he noticed something.
Their lips were moving.
Machines were operating.
They lived in the sewers of Manhattan.
And not a sound was made, or at least for Michelangelo.
He looked at his brainy brother, Donatello, with confused and scared eyes.
He needed someone to tell him something; anything! Someone had to make sense of what was causing him to be deaf to the entire world.
He saw Raph look down and Leo avoid his eyes. He felt Sensei place a soft, furry hand on his forehead. It occurred to him then that his mask had been taken off.
He could feel the sadness in the room radiating.
'What's going on?' He was panicking now. For real anyways. He felt someone pat his shoulder; Raph.
'Raphie... say something, anything, please...' Mikey refused to believe it was just him.
Someone else had to be experiencing this silence.
He couldn't be alone.
That's when the memory came flooding back to Michelangelo.
They were cornering him, the thug. They had the man right against the wall.
"Nowhere to run scum." Raph growled, being the first to begin stalking towards him.
"Oh really? You shouldn't be calling me a scum, freak!" The man smirked after the insult, making the brothers on edge.
That's when they heard gunshots being fired behind them.
On instinct, all the brothers got down, using their shells as shields against the bullets. Then, Donnie noticed something in the corner of his eye.
"One threw a fricking grenade! Run!" He had panicked. The explosion would be close enough to damage their fronts as well.
Mikey hadn't had the chance to follow his brothers, because next thing he knew, he was on the ground, having to duck an incoming bullet which would've gotten a headshot on him.
Mikey went to get inside his shell, but he still heard the large 'BOOM' of the grenade, it was the last thing he ever heard.
Then he was knocked cold.
Mikey felt tears enter his baby blue eyes. His family noticed and his their faces immediately fell.
Mikey then looked at his hands which he had crossed on his lap as his tears fell. He couldn't help it.
Salty tears hit the blanket as Mikey's body went rigid.
He then heard something. It was ringing.
Mikey felt his tears dry slightly but not completely as he looked around for the sound. He couldn't figure out where it was coming from; it sounded like it was circling inside his head.
He then felt something on his lap. Looking back down, he saw a notebook. He looked up to see Don holding out a pen for him with wet, sad, gentle eyes.
On the first page of the notebook was the sentence, 'What's going on bud?'
Mikey wiped away his tears with the back of his hand before writing, his hands shaky.
'I can't hear a word dude. Everything's silent. I only hear this ringing noise in my head. What is it? I also remember what happened. I didn't lose my memory or anything, just my hearing. What's going to happen now?'
When Don read the notebook, his emotions went from sorrow to pity to slight relief.
He saw Don's lips moving, probably repeating what he wrote to their other two brothers and father. He saw similar emotions on their faces as well.
When Mikey received the paper, he felt a small watery smile appear on his face.
'Well, I can make hearing aids. I think anyways. It'll take awhile, but I have a feeling I can get a pair that is at least functional. Don't know how they'll look though. We'll just see what happens as we go. I believe the ringing (most likely is) is Tinnitus. I'll look more into how to fix it. Also, Leo and Raph say that they're glad you're awake and Sensei wants you to know that we all love you. This new obstacle won't change a thing between you and any of us.' Don smiled at his baby brother once he looked up. Then Mikey noticed everyone was smiling at him.
He smiled back, well, tried to anyway.
Raph then snatched the notebook and scribbled furiously onto it. He threw the notebook softly like a frisbee into Mikey's blanket-covered lap, Mikey just had to look down to see the message scribbled so roughly on the paper, it made an etched design.
'And well get u thro it bonehead. We r ur family for a reason.'
Mikey chuckled lightly at his brothers "writing" before crying. He began sobbing as he felt two pairs of strong arms wrap around him, one beefier than the other. He felt a furry hand on his shoulder and a thick-skinned hand on his other shoulder.
He knew his family was supporting him. He was thankful he still had that at least.
'C'mon, just try them. I promise they'll work better!' Donnie pushed, his eyes pleading his baby brother not to lose hope.
Mikey gave his big brother a look of sadness and frustration.
'Stop. Just stop. It's not going to work. I've never heard before, I won't hear now.' He signed back. Mikey had learned sign language with his entire family for the past half-year he had been deaf. He wasn't allowed to fight with his brothers like he used to, causing him to develop this hate towards his disability.
Raph had gone out for revenge, looking for the same group of thugs, for so many weeks. Leo wouldn't stop him either; every once in awhile he'd even go with him. They eventually stopped, but it took far too long for Mikey.
They really did need to learn how to let go.
Donnie had been working nonstop to make working hearing aids for Mikey. His hearing was completely gone, making everything twenty times harder. Every test and trial failed though, and Mikey just wanted his brother to give up. He wasn't insulting Don or blaming him in any sense or form; he just knew it was impossible.
He was deaf now. That was that.
He wasn't a ninja anymore. He wasn't the same as his brothers. He wasn't able to play video games right because he could no longer hear the console noises, nor would he ever hear the sound of his favorite music or cartoons. He couldn't hear Donnie's lisp again or Raph's rough but (only for him on rare occasions) loving and passionate voice or Leo's words of reassurance and care. He couldn't hear his Papa's lullaby again.
He couldn't be anything that made him, him.
And that was that.
'Please...' Don signed, the look on his face making Mikey guiltier than he had ever felt.
'Please just stop.' He signed, before turning and leaving the room as tears were starting to fall down his freckled face.
Mikey laughed as he watched Donnie sign the story that April was telling about Casey and Raph both being such meatheads.
It had been a year and a half since he became deaf. He was much more acceptive of it now. Donnie was still working on a hearing aid that worked well enough, but Mikey had learned how to live without hearing. He stood close to the stereo's speakers (Which Raph had brought home for him one day) to 'listen' to the music. He could feel the beat coming off the speakers. He had subtitles on for everything. He and his entire family were fluent in sign language. He was still learning to read lips though, they figured sign language should be taught before lip reading. Sign language had taken forever for them to learn. They already knew fluent Japanese and English, having to learn a third language (off the internet no less) was a bit hard.
Donnie had even invented this wrist gadget for him. It was networked to the phones. Whenever there was danger and one of the brothers had to push the emergency button on their T-Phone, it would vibrate intensely, signaling to Mikey something was wrong. It was an alternative to yelling. There was also an app on the T-Phone (Don had designed it himself) which would vibrate much less to tell Mikey someone wanted him. Each pattern of vibration was different for each family member.
Mikey and Raph were both sitting on the couch, Mikey signing to Raph about the latest level of 'Space Destroyers' he defeated.
'...telling you! Man, it took so long!' He complained.
Mikey watched his brother shake his head as he chuckled before throwing an arm around him and giving him a noogie.
'Alright idiot, we're going out.' He signed, seeing Leo make his way over.
Leo waved as a way of saying 'hello' to Mikey, before talking to Raph and telling him it was time to go, as he had predicted.
Mikey's face fell. He tried to hide it every night, but it never worked.
He put his head down as he saw Raph get this look on his face, one of determination. It was the look that normally meant he was going to do something crazy, dumb, or surprising.
Raph waved a hand in front of Mikey's face to make him look at him, 'Dumbass, you're, deaf not useless. Get the shell up and get your gear.' He signed.
Mikey's eyes widened as he jumped up, but before he could rush and get his things for the first time in almost two years, he felt someone grab the carapace of his shell.
Turning him to face Raph, of course, there was a catch.
'They can't know, okay? Leo and Don don't want to let you out, but I've got a plan. Just go to your room, get your gear on, and I'll get you when it's time for us to sneak out. Don't make a sound, got it?'
'Don't know if I could Raphie.'
Mikey almost panicked when he saw his brothers gone, but thankfully, he found them waiting out in the tunnels.
'Took you long enough.' Raph signed with an irritated expression.
'Sorry! Just couldn't find my stuff! Been so long since I wore my belts and weapons! What did you do to sneak away?' Mikey was beaming as he excitedly (and quickly) signed to his big brother. He wanted to go now.
'Told them I promised to play a game with you. Made it a pity thing. They fell for it. They think we're at home playing games since the past week of patrols have been quiet, those two should be fine by themselves.' Raph smirked as he signed this to his brother. Mikey smiled as well, and the two turtles set out for topside.
'Remember,' Raph began signing once they got on the roof of an old building surrounding the sewer hole they came out of, 'We have to go west. They're patrolling the north today.'
Mikey nodded in response, a big smile still splitting his face.
As the boys ran the rooftops, Mikey noticed his brother had made this little protection attachment to him. Raph was directly to his right. Like, right against him. He almost wanted to stop and tell him to chill the heck out with the formation.
But Mikey knew if he wanted to continue going out with his brother, he had to let him get out this overprotective energy; After awhile he'd relax, and the phase would pass...
Mikey wished he could speak without it coming out as jumbled, slurred words. Without being able to hear, he couldn't hear himself speak, and over these past two years, Mikey never actually wanted to speak.
He just figured signing would be enough since what he said could or couldn't make sense to them anyways.
But now, he wished he had made himself speak more.
"Go," Mikey spoke, or at least he thought he did. He knew his mouth moved. He knew his voice made some kind of noise. He didn't know how low or high; he just knew he spoke.
But he knew Raph probably heard it.
Mikey felt his tears come into his own eyes as well. His brother wasn't leaving.
He knew he wouldn't.
That's when Mikey felt the bullet in his side. Raph must've tackled the guy, making the thug's aim towards the side of his head go down to his side, the fleshy, vulnerable part in between his plastron and shell.
He fell to the ground, he could see Raph's lips moving, Mikey could make out Raph saying his name. Probably screaming it.
Raph fell to his knees next to Mikey, scooping his baby brother on to his lap. He took off his mask as well as Mikey's, and tied them together, making a longer, thicker bandage.
He pushed the bandage regretfully into Mikey's side, effectively slowing down some of the bleeding but causing his baby brother to wince and cry in pain.
Mikey's eyes said it all. Raph growled and pushed more pressure, determined to keep his baby brother alive.
If Mikey had just heard the gun clock behind him...
If Raph had just warned him.
Both teens blamed themselves for this.
Mikey tapped weakly on his older brother's shoulder.
Raph looked down with sad eyes, seeing his baby brother try to sign, his arms falling as more blood left his body.
'It hurts. Hurts.' Raph felt a couple of tears drop from his eyes as he forced himself to keep calm for his brother.
'You'll be fine. You'll be okay. Don't worry, okay? I'll take care of you. I'll watch over you. Stay awake, okay?' Raph pleaded with his brother, having a difficult time signing as one hand was busy holding the pressure on his wound, which didn't look like it was going to stop bleeding any time soon.
Raph reached into his belt for his T-Phone, his hands shaking as he pressed the emergency button. He gave a weak chuckle as Mikey's wrist band began to vibrate, causing Mikey to notice and smile weakly as well.
'Love you...' Mikey signed, barley able to keep his eyes open.
'No, no. You can't go. You've got to stay. I can't lose you, I need you. Stay alive.' Raph signed, now it wasn't weak, but forceful. He was not letting his baby brother die.
He would make it out of this alleyway. Damnit, he would.
'Can't... I... am... sorry...I'll miss... you... hero...' Mikey signed the words as short as possible, unable to keep signing at this point.
Raph's vision was blurred as he spoke softly, "I ain't a hero...I lead you to your death baby bro... I am so sorry... I love you." He nearly sobbed, and to his surprise, Mikey read his lips. Something Raph wasn't even aware his brother was starting to do.
'Never... your fault... one last outing before I died was... worth it... thank you, big brother,... my protector...'
Raph forgot about putting pressure on the wound at this point, as it was clear Mikey wasn't able to hold on and took his baby brother's hand into his.
'I love you so much.' Raph signed, his face twisting into something of a broken, despaired face. He was 'ugly 'crying now.
'Can... I go now?' Mikey signed. Though he didn't have to ask, Raph saw the question in his pained, saddened, but loving baby blue eyes, shining with unshed tears.
Raph nodded, tears dropping onto his brother's plastron. Even if their brothers showed up right now, Mikey wouldn't make it. It was too late.
'Yes. You can little brother. I am so sorry...'
"Thank you." He spoke. For the second time in two years. The first was "Go".
And just like that, Raph never heard anything but silence from his baby brother. And just like that, headlights of the Shell Raiser filled the alleyway.
And just like that, Raph cried.
I know, I kinda broke an honor code. Wrote this in 20-30 minutes so it might seem rushed. I'm just going on a trip soon, so I need to get some story updates in before it's time. Hope this story isn't bad! Also, I never intended for this to turn into a deathfic. If you guys would like to see more moments that could/would occur with a Deaf!Mikey in the turtles' universe, let me know!
Don't forget to review!