Just a few notes on this story.
I began it a long, long time ago, but I stopped writing it some time around chapter twenty, realizing that it was the kind of story that would be very difficult to end. However, I started writing on it again, bringing it up to chapter 32. It took me a couple years to add any more to it after that, but I have again been working on it.
It used to be called "Fallen", but I have changed the name to "Far From Grace" -- and I am now in the process of correcting a few of the mistakes that have been in here from the beginning. I suppose that calling it a story or a fanfic wouldn't be strictly correct. It has evolved (devolved, perhaps) into something of a soap opera. I am not sure how much longer this story will go on, but I have plans for it.
It takes place in the Archie Universe. Oyuki, who is heavily involved in the story, is not an original character, though at times she may seem that way. If you would like to learn about her, check out my Author's Info page.
Really high T rating for… well, a lot of stuff. Drugs, suicide, etc. Please, use your best judgment in deciding if you want to read ahead, but do remember that you were warned. Please do not be angry at me for the things that I put Mikey and the rest through in this story. Writing it has been a rather cathartic experience for me, and it has, surprisingly, helped me through some tough times in my own life.
Michaelangelo spat out a mouthful of blood and smiled... he knew that it would be the last thing his opponent would see.
"Any last words, freak?" the man said, stepping closer to the turtle.
Mike bared his teeth and glared past the gun that was aimed at his head.
"Sure, I got some..." the ninja said. "But they ain't gonna be said to you." The stranger pulled the trigger but Mike was faster; between the click and the bang a well-placed foot to the face sent the man tumbling backwards. He teetered on the edge of the building, flailing his arms. That was when Mike noticed something shiny on the man's left hand: a wedding band.
Oh, damn! This spaz is married, he thought as he reached out, grabbing furiously for him.
A brush of leather against Michaelangelo's palm and he had the jacket tightly in his grip. The stranger still fell, out of the too-loose fitting garment. Mike dove forward, reaching down as the man fell out of sight into the darkness below. He heard the man's impact on the concrete and squeezed his eyes shut.
Off in the distance the sound of sirens grew nearer. Mike assumed that someone must have heard the gun go off the first time, about five minutes before. He wasn't even sure what had started the confrontation... just that the man hadn't been happy about a stranger showing up when he was talking to his friends... the other creeps ran, this one didn't. He had chased Mike all the way to the top of the roof and distracted him with a gunshot then kicked him in the mouth. The rest was just a flash of images - and all that Mike really knew was that there was a dead man... a dead husband lying on the ground two hundred feet below.
Mike jumped from rooftop to rooftop and watched from a distance as the police pulled up and jumped out of their squad cars. One of them stepped forward and placed his fingertips against the man's throat and then looked up at the other cop, shaking his head. Mike knew what it meant, but he didn't really need the confirmation, there was no way a human could have survived that fall. Solemnly, the ninja made his way back down to the street and then the sewers, dragging the man's jacket behind him. He had seen people die before, he had killed people before, but somehow it felt different this time. He thought about the man's family and wondered if they would ever be able to forgive him. He stopped and leaned back against the sewer wall, realizing that they would never even know what really happened. This man's death would go down as just another murder on the streets of New York City.
Murder... Mike thought.
"...Yeah, we're all fine here," Leo said into the telephone. "How was your trip?"
Donatello and Raphael sat quietly on the couch as their brother spoke to Splinter, who was at that moment a half a world away. Their sensei had suggested to April and Oyuki that they take on the task of filming a documentary, April accepted the challenge and chose real life in Japan as her subject. More specifically, the subject was a comparison of life in Japan in the nineteen-fifties to that of the new millennium. Splinter agreed to be the voice of the past, Oyuki reluctantly accepted the role of the present - neither one of them would actually appear on film, which worked out well all around. It had been a week since the ad hoc documentary crew had left and they decided to call from their first location - Hiroshima, a place that held deep emotions for them all.
"...Good. Huh? ...of course! No, he isn't here right now. Yeah, I'll tell him..."
Don tapped his foot on the floor impatiently and Leo recognized the signal. "I think Donny wants to say something," he said into the phone. "...Okay, I will. Bye..." Leo turned to Donatello and put a hand over the receiver. "Make it quick, he only has a few minutes on his calling card."
The purple-clad turtle took the phone and offered a hearty, "Hi, Master!" He was silent for a few seconds while Splinter spoke to him on the other end. "...I'll be sure to do that," he said finally. "...No, it's cool. Well... yeah, okay. It's nice to hear your voice. Yeah, we miss you, too. Wanna' yap at Raph? Okay, love ya'!"
Don thrust the phone out to Raphael, who took it with a roll of his eyes. He sighed before speaking into the receiver. "Hello? Yeah... No... I won't... Yeah... Okay, bye." He pushed the button, turning off the phone. Leo and Don looked at him as if expecting something. "What?"
"That was a pretty quick conversation," Don said, leaning forward and opening a pizza box that was sitting on the coffee table.
Raphael shrugged. "His card timed out. He said they would probably just write letters so they won't have to pay twenty bucks to talk for five measly minutes next time."
"Mike's gonna' be disappointed that he missed the call," Leo said, helping himself to a slice. "Splinter said Oyuki wanted to talk to him."
Raph grinned. "Heh, I'll bet..."
"Mike's been gone for a while. Where'd he go, anyway?" Don asked.
"Out, I guess," Raphael said, picking up the remote control and flipping on the television.
"Thanks for yet again stating the blindingly obvious, Raph," Leo said sarcastically.
"Well, how the hell am I supposed to know where he went?"
"It was a rhetorical question," Don clarified.
Raphael shrugged. "Whatever."
Michaelangelo paused outside the door to the lair and looked at the jacket. He didn't know why he hadn't just dumped it somewhere along the trail home, it would have been so easy just to toss it away... he wondered why it wasn't so easy to toss away the guilt. He tried asking himself why he felt so bad this time, the question only led to a larger one: why didn't it hurt this bad every time? Where was that limit where one is able to decide if a person deserves to live or die. Mike and the others made that decision frequently, blindly... they thought they knew that they were the good guys and that it was easy to pick the bad guys out of a line-up of the usual suspects. The usual, ordinary, normal, regular... people. He tightened his grip on the leather and opened the door, walking past his brothers who sat eating pizza and watching TV.
"Hey, Mikey," Leo said, glancing up for a second before returning his attentions to the horror movie of the week. "Nice coat, bro... want some 'za?"
Mike shook his head and tightened his grip on the jacket. "Nah..." he said. "I'm not hungry."
The others all looked at one another in amazement.
"You okay, pal?" Raph asked sincerely. "You aren't coming down with something, are you?"
"No, I'm good..."
"Well, then," Don said, holding out a slice.
"I said I'm not hungry!" Mike yelled. The room fell silent except for the annoying ramblings of a used car salesman on the television.
"I'm going to bed early," Mike said in a less angry tone. "I'll see y'all tomorrow."
"Night..." Leo offered weakly.
"Later," Raph said.
Don sat motionless, still holding the slice of pizza out towards where Mike had just been. "Uh... g'night," he said as sauce dripped onto the floor. A few seconds later the door to Michaelangelo's room slammed shut.
"Jeez, what's eating him?" Raph asked when he was sure his brother was out of earshot.
The other two turtles shrugged and returned their attentions to the television.
"Damn!" Mike said, sitting down on his bed. He looked at the coat in his grip and began to look through the pockets, not quite sure why. His hand found a bundle inside and he pulled it out, grimacing. It was drugs... a lot of drugs. He shook his head.
Well, he said to himself, I guess this guy's rep remains intact... since I got the evidence... He wasn't certain whether or not he should feel better by that fact, so he tossed the bundle aside and tried to force it out of his mind. Rooting some more, he came out with a wallet. He opened it slowly and did a double-take; the wallet held about three hundred dollars, some credit cards, some pictures - and a badge.
Mike felt like he was going to be sick. Jesus... God, I killed a cop...
He stared at the open wallet and let it sink in. A cop. He had killed a married cop. He pulled the pictures out and began flipping through them, unable to stop himself. There was one of a dog, a woman in a silver dress, a baby... He pulled out the baby picture and flipped it over, reading the back.
Mandy, seven months, it said, then below it, I love you, Daddy...
Mike shoved the pictures back in the wallet and threw it on the floor. He had to do something about this, tell someone in authority. Yeah, right, he said to himself. Simply by virtue of what he and his brothers were they were out of the Law's reach - they could not answer for their crimes to anyone but themselves. Even if he wanted to he could not confess to this crime... this murder.
He jumped at the sound of a knock on his door.
"Who is it?" he called out, grabbing the wallet and bundle and shoving them under his mattress. On top of everything, he didn't want his family to think that he was doing drugs - nor was he ready for them to find out what had happened.
"It's Leo! Can I come in?" came the reply.
Mike laid back on the bed and put on a poker face before calling out, "Yeah!"
The door squeaked open and Leonardo poked his head inside. "You okay?"
The turtle came in the door and shut it behind him, walking over to Mike's bed and sitting down. "You just seem a little out of it. Are you feeling well?"
"Mmm..." Leo said, rubbing his chin, searching for a conversation subject. "Oh, hey! I forgot to tell you, Splinter called."
Mikey sat up on his bed and was suddenly paying much more attention to what was being said. "How are they doing?"
Translation: how is Oyuki doing, Leo thought with a smile. "Fine. They're in Hiroshima now, next week they'll be heading to Kyoto."
"He say how long they'll be gone?"
Leo shrugged. "Don't know. It'll probably be a while. A couple months, I guess."
"Months?" Mike said, slumping. "Why that long? I mean, it isn't such a big country and the bullet train can..."
Leo let out a short laugh. "They want to get some good footage, get a real feel for the place - that takes time."
Michaelangelo cast a downward glance. "How's Oyuki?"
Leo knew that question was coming. "She's good. She wanted to talk to you."
"I'm sorry I missed the call," Mike said sadly.
"Hey," Leonardo cuffed him on the arm. "Don't worry about it, she said she'd write to you."
Yeah... too bad I can't write back, he thought. He wished that they had an address in Japan so he could drop Oyuki a line and tell her how he was doing. He rescinded the wish when he remembered what, exactly, was going on. He didn't want her to know that... not yet.
"I'll look forward to it," he said, instead.
Leo slapped his brother on the knee and stood up. "I'll let you get some rest now," he said, walking for the door. as he turned the knob he glanced around at Mike. "You sure you're okay?"
Mike smiled a completely unconvincing fake smile. "Never better." He winced, remembering that he had already said that.
Leonardo sighed and left, shutting the door behind him. Mike flopped back onto his carapace and rolled to his side. Real smooth, he told himself. He looked across to where the jacket lay and pushed it off the bed. He listened to his brothers as they laughed and yelled at the television. They didn't know, they had no concept of the confusion that Mike was feeling at that moment. He wondered if they ever felt the same way, if they ever hated themselves for something they'd done. He wondered if they ever even thought about it - or if maybe they just didn't care.