Don't Fear The Reaper
Inspiration – I never thought I would do this series, but a comment made by Rene in Duty Bound put the cogs into motion, and here the wider web goes! LOL! So thanks for that!
Premise - There is a first time for everything. A battle, an accident, an execution, a lesson, a sacrifice, a struggle and a suicide. Mike, Raph, Don, Case, Leo, Splinter and Shredder. They've all done it, and now they're going to tell you their stories.
A.N - For the most part these pieces are going to be relatively dark, after all death, and what comes with it is. At the top of every chapter I will be putting in an additional British Certificate. Please pay attention to it. Why? From my POV the PG-13 (which this is labelled with) is too low, but the R (which I associate as 18+) is way too high. For the most part these pieces fall into a 15 (15 or older) category, and will be marked on the chapter line, and in the chapter itself. I have yet to complete the series but I do believe that Don's, Casey's and possibly even Splinter's are going to fall into the PG-13 certificate at any rate.
On the legal disclaimer front, I do not own Buffy, from whence most of the opening quotes shall come, nor do I own the TMNT or anything of that NY universe. To any Buffy fans that read this, and are bored enough, I challenge you to guess which season I own. LOL!
Certificate - 15
Michelangelo; Becoming I
"There's moments in your life that make you. That set the course of who you're gonna be. Sometimes they're little, subtle moments. Sometimes they're not. I'll show you what I mean …" - Angel, BVTS
The night air was crisp, but I couldn't see the moon. I was trapped you see, and terrified. It had happened so fast, one moment me and my brothers had been running the night route, the next we were getting our first taste of battle. I'm not sure how many of them there were, 20 I think, so that broke down to five each, not bad odds really, 'cept they'd done this before, and the guy that got me pinned down is way bigger, and totally stronger than Raphael. They split us up, or maybe I just panicked and went the wrong way, it doesn't matter though, cos in like five minutes flat I was on my own, outnumbered, out gunned and totally clueless on what to do next.
It was horrible, they circled round me with these weird sticks. On one end they had sharp super curvy metal blades wedged in real good, it reminded me of Death's sickle. But if that wasn't bizarre enough they had these long chains sticking out the other end. All it needed was a spike on the end and it'd be some freaky hybrid of all of our individual weapons. Master Splinter told us that when in battle we should listen to our instincts, as long as we did that we'd never go wrong, only problem was that right then mine were still telling me to run. And that was so not an option. The next one was telling me to scream for Raph, and I think I started to do that when one of those metal thingies got me on the arm. It doesn't matter now though, because he didn't come fast enough. None of them did.
There's nothing like a flesh wound to get the juices flowing, instead of hanging around like a standing duck I started to do what I do best. Ducking, dodging and weaving. That worked for a little while. One of them grabbed me from behind and I retaliated against the wooden stick that pressed across my chest as best I could. I bent at the knees and pushed off the soft ground, used my shell to give me extra oomph to send him, and me staggering backwards. I can still remember feeling that guy's hot breath on my neck, it smelt like root beer. Funny all of the little things that you remember? He had real good balance, and his buddies closed in to hit at my legs and middle, going low was where they went wrong. I couldn't tip the one that was holding me so I used him like a leaning post instead, it musta been a fluke but it was like poetry in motion my stubby legs went up, over the end of that sickle thing. The guy behind me wasn't ready for that and he came too far forward, the next thing I knew I was going sideways, and taking him with me into the floor.
Talk about nabbing a break! That was it; I was getting out of there. There were a few scrappy moments on the ground where my feet slipped and skidded in the mud. Another one tried to grab me, but I was getting out, no matter what. I had to. I hit his hand with my chuck, judging by the word that came out of his mouth I musta got it right. I followed up with hitting him in the back of his leg; there was a nasty cracking sound then. It made me shudder, thinking about it now, still does. My instinct was still telling me to run, and you can betcha bottom dollar that was what I was going to do. Pushing off the ground I pretty much tackled the next one that got in my way, then spent a coupla seconds dancing round on one foot to get away from his feet. By the time I hit the tree line I'd lost one chuck, and any hope of a decent head start. Ducking through Hyde Park in the middle of the night was spooky, and when you're running for your life for the first time ever ninjitsu goes out the window. My training and the dojo felt like a million miles away, every now and then I remembered something and slowed down, or ducked back into the shadow. But … I just wanted to find my bros and get the Hell outta there. If I could have found Leo or Raph then everything would have been good, they'd be able to protect me, like they always did. Leo's been training like forever he'd never do something as dumb as just forgetting, and Raph, he's my big brother man. There isn't anything that can scare Raphie.
I thought I'd lost them. I'd been running flat out for about twenty minutes, and I'd turned myself round so many times that I wasn't even sure which part of the park I'd got myself into. But I was safe then, so all was good. I let out a little chuckle; I got out my other chuck out too, man that had been close. Way too close. Now I had to figure out where I was at, that was going to need open space. Well, all the trees looked the same to me, so I figured any which way was loose.
Ever had the feeling that something is following you? Or that you're being watched? It's a really horrible feeling that gets the hackles on the back of your neck right on end, and it makes you real tetchy to boot. Thinking about it now it makes me feel for the folks that me and my bros spy on when we're training. I kept stopping to check the shadows, not that I could see anything out there. It's okay, I had to keep telling myself that again and again under my breath, it wasn't though.
At first I thought it was Raph trying to spook me. It never occurred to me that someone else in the big wide world might actually have the same sai as my bro. How stupid was that? This piece of metal went zinging past my nose, and hits the far tree with such a thud that it bedded in real deep. And instead of ducking into the dark and checking it out ninjitsu 'sty-lee' what did I do? I was so happy to have found someone who wasn't trying to kill me I just blundered right on over. There was only one flaw in that plan. It wasn't my bro.
The guy was huge, and fast. I ducked his first attack though I narrowly missed the swinging fist and sharp knife. I'd already been cut once that night, and there was no way in Hell I'm getting on the wrong side of pointy metal again. He's not like the other guys I ducked away from, it was like sparring with Leo, only without the actual sparring, or brother. This guy had some major skills, every time I tried to make a break for it he cut me off with a lunge or some sort of attack. Raph always tells me to try dominating a bit more, so I swang at him with my chuck, if I can get his hand or something he won't be able to use his blade, and then I could have booked without having to worry about unidentified metal objects flying at my back. It was a dumb mistake, being aggressive isn't my thing, running like Hell is. I don't even know how he got a hold of it, but one second I had my chuck, the next it's being yanked out of my sweaty palms.
"No where to run, no where to hide kid."
You think I don't know that? I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, and I knew I was screaming for Raph. It's instinct. He kept his distance at first, and then he put his other sai away. At first I thought he was going to cut me loose or something, prolong the agony by making me run. But he didn't, nah he span my chuck round instead. Did a pretty good job of it too, I looked into the shadows, and kept backing away from the dude. I remember making out a break in the shrubs just to my right, I gave this guy one quick look, then that was it, I was off. It had already worked once that night, I thought I could make it work again, right? Only I put my foot down wrong and that was it. Everything went into slow motion; I felt my ankle twist sideways and a sharp tug went shooting up my leg. Hitting the dirt that time didn't feel like a break, it felt like a death sentence, I landed hard on the lip of my shell, sure I scrambled round onto my hands and knees and that was when I felt it. Cold metal pressed onto my throat, and bit deep. The links of my chuck went taut, before the guy hurled me up and backwards, he didn't let go of either handle, instead he just let gravity do its thing.
I'm fourteen years old, fourteen and instead of watching TV or chasing girls I'm scrapping about on the floor, fighting for my life. Master Splinter tells us to keep our emotions under wraps, that emotion will be our undoing if we can't control it. But … I'm being choked to death by the chain of my own chuck. I can feel the lump of my throat pressing against the back of my windpipe, and the only thing going through my head is that I'm going to die. I'm going to die two weeks before my fifteenth birthday! And I can't get him off me … I'm going to die, with this 6ft2 white guy who I don't even know the name of all because my Dad tells me that the good guys have to fight the good fight. My gangly little arms can't even reach his elbows to push the pressure point to make him let go. I can't even scream for Raph anymore …
I'm too young to die. Please … don't let me die, I really don't want to. Please, someone come … please I don't want it to end this way. And then there it was, I wrapped my fingers round the smooth handle and just yanked it clean out. I'd never used a knife before in my life; I didn't know what I was doing. Leo doesn't want me anywhere near his swords, and Raph is way too possessive of his sai, I guess that was what Master Splinter meant when he said go with your instinct. When I first got a hold of it the guy bucked up slightly, he lifted my head clean off the ground and slammed it down really hard. It didn't make me let go though, I think the point had been facing upwards and I had cut into him. I don't know, but my hand was partially trapped under him, and he cursed again when I dragged it upwards. I think he wanted to shake me again but then I'd be able to get my arm out and swing at him properly. We were both on the same page there. When you know you've got a chance of getting out alive you get a second wind, I had his knife, and I wasn't going to be letting it go, not now. Not when I had a chance; I just had to get my prize free. I know I got it out, I could feel this hot liquid running all over my hand and I just kept telling myself it was chocolate sauce, in the moonlight it sure as Hell looked like that. The knife was covered in 'sauce' by then and it kept going into that guys side … I didn't even know if he was tugging on my chucks anymore, and I don't think I care, I just wanted it to be over. All I wanted was that horrible, horrible moment to be over …
I was shaking, I was trapped and I was shaking so bad. All on my own with nothing but this dead weight and 'chocolate sauce' for company, and I hated it.
"Raphie …" I closed my eyes and I knew I was crying then, "RAPHIE!"
My bros? The choccie sauce had spread, and my teeth were chattering. I don't know when it happened but the body jerked, that made the knife move, and fresh sauce came out of the fresh tear in his side. I can still feel it running down over my legs and arm, until that happened I didn't realise that I still had a hold of the knife. Dead people aren't supposed to move … or fart. I didn't know where it came from but suddenly this horrible sound came tearing out of him. And it stank … the only thing that made it worse was that my brother's weren't coming this way.
"I'm … here ..." I tried to get them to come over, but they didn't hear me. I'm not usually that quiet, but I couldn't talk properly, my voice was real raspy, the chain around my throat was making it throb real bad., I tried and they couldn't hear me! Why couldn't they hear me?
It burped. I screamed. It did it again. I freaked out again. That time I hit it for the first time in forever, not that it made it move. Instead it farted again. Loudly. And all I could do was whimper and hope my brothers came back this way before morning. It was the smell that did it, that and a night breeze. And even though they couldn't hear me I sure as Hell heard them,
"Alright, who dropped one?" Raph.
"Don't look at me." Leo.
"Well it sure as Hell wasn't me." Raph again.
"It could be a dead body." Yes, yes, yes … Donny must have got funny looks then, cos I heard him having to explain himself, "When someone or something dies the body has to expel all the methane gas from the system … What? I read it in a book!"
I never thought anyone could get happy over a dead person letting it rip, but there you go. I heard them before I saw them. They weren't being very quiet; Dad would be mad about that. More funny random things that you remember. They came straight into the thicket above my head, and that was when it all went weird They stopped and stared at me,
"Holy …" it must be bad. Raphie never got lost for words until that night. I wanted to say something but the lack of Raphiness was making me plain scared.
"Mikey?" Donny was being quiet, I think he was in thoughtful mode, or maybe they just thought I was dead and Donny was the best one to check it out. Donny came over first; he got down on his knees in front of me and cracked a small smile. "Hey …" he musta seen the tears. "You hurt?" I didn't know what to say, instead my face creased up again and I let out this strangled sounding whimper. My lips parted slightly and I sobbed quietly.
"Let's get that chuck off." Raph had come over, and he had on his best 'I'm gonna kick the shit outta anyone that messes wit'my Mikey' face on. He just gave me this small grin, and I moved one of my arms up to hold the chain still whilst he unscrewed one end. "That's bettah." Then he did that thing he did when I cried in practice when I was little, he ran his thumb over my cheek and mopped up a load of salty mush. "Let's get you outta there."
It took all three of them, Don's bo, Raph's sai and a rolling motion to prise the guy off me. Now that I was free I could get a look at his face, and it made me freak out all over again. Not that I was exactly calm to start off with, but you know what I mean. His eyes were wide and glassy, and I guess this musta happened when he jerked but his tongue was cut open too and that was making red drip down all over his chin. Instinct kicked in again and I backed away from him, and that horrible red face. I was panicking again – I was breathing way too fast, I think Donny mentioned hyperventilating I was breathing so fast. Either way Raphie grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go until I started to breathe normally again. Leo just stayed outta the way. Looking back on it, that was pretty weird.
"Mikey!" none of my brothers liked seeing me like this. All wound up and scared, but tonight was one of those moments that is going to follow you anywhere you go. I've killed a guy; with a knife. Not a nunchuck, not a pressure point, not when I was ready. I killed a guy two weeks before my birthday with a knife. And there is nothing on this earth that can prepare you for the sort of mess a body that's bled out can make.
"Arterial spray." Leo put his foot in it just after they pulled the man off me and saw the blood. It ticked Raph and Don off when he calmly said that in response to all of the mess. They didn't talk to him much on the way back.
Raph tried to joke with me on the way home about it. He told me I should be proud, that I wasn't a 'virgin' anymore. And I nabbed him in battle that would please Dad no end. "Extra chips tonight at dinner." Dinner? Dinner's the last thing on my mind. I'm covered in that guy's blood. It's all over my chest and stomach, its run down my legs and falls down onto the floor with every step I take. My left hand, the one that got a hold of the knife is so slick with blood that when I bend it the original coating cracks and flakes down onto the ground. It's splattered on my face too, that was the salty mush that Raph was wiping off, not just caked up, drying tears. No, he wanted to get the blood off too, get a good look at me he said. I can feel it on my shell and every now and then the drops that are still going down from my legs and gut hit my feet. And then I look down and see all of this blood that doesn't belong to me covering my front like a plate of living armour. And it makes me sick. 'Cept I'm too scared to be ill, the thought of food just turns my stomach.
So Don took a crack at the whip, he tried to get me excited over my birthday, its crazy to think that this morning I was getting wound up because my brothers were joking about cancelling my party and returning my presents. I had a massive fit and stormed into my room, slammed the door and I almost cried over it. Almost. I'm always the last one to catch up Raph and Don so I usually bite when they talk about 'the baby finally joining them on the level.'
'Cept now the 'baby's' set a whole new level now hasn't he? The first to kill, the first to know what it is like to end another person's life. There are not words to cover that, and there aren't stories or jokes to take away the fact that the theory is never going to be anything like the practice. The thing is, until they've gone and done it they can never know where it is I am right now. Scared doesn't even come close, I don't think I even know what it is I feel, but Raph tells me it's going to be okay, and as soon as we get in he'll clean up the mess.
Raph looked after me real good that night, Leo went to see Master Splinter and took care of that side of things. Donny went to get things for my arm and neck. He told me that my arm might sting a little bit when he started to clean it out. I didn't really care; I guess I switched down pretty much once I got home, things looked too normal. Crossing the threshold was like stepping through a time warp, everything was exactly how we'd left it just over an hour ago, my half eaten pizza was still sitting on a plate all cold and gunky looking. The chair that Raph had knocked over in one of his hissy fits was still lying on its side waiting for him to pick it up and put it away. I didn't need to wait two weeks to turn fifteen anymore, I knew right then and there things had changed for good. I was older, and there was no going back to the days when I would cry over my bros teasing, there'd be no going back to the days when they could wrap me up in cotton wool and protect me from the big bad things in the world.
I wasn't ready to kill that night, thing is I don't think there is ever going to be a right time to jus' go out there and get it done. My bros, they're still tryin' to dress it up, but it's too late for that, the cotton wool's gone and sooner or later I gotta deal. I just hope that my bro's never hafta go through something like that.
Right now, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, not even my enemies …
o A special thanks to pacphys for beta reading, grammar checking, and helping me with the ending. You're a star! o
o To those that stopped by to read this, thank you for ya spare time, to any that leave a review expect a cyber hug in the post! o