(trumpets sound) Hooray! Hooray! Hooray for me! I managed to get to a computer to put this up! (claps)
(sinks to the floor) Of course, there is a downside to this. It's late (NOT MY FAULT!) … andI'm back in school. Here's nine more months of grueling 'education'.
At least I have the computers now.
So, here's thanking my reviewers! First, Here's a big thanks to Jessiy Landroz, who reviewed every chapter! Further thanks go to: Lunar-ninja, jaunt, Cynlee, Bioniclefangirl, RealityBreakGirl, Ultra-Geek, greshunkai, LadyKatana45, Reinbeauchaser, Janajyo, Goddess of Idun, Shadowflame611, Chibi Rose Angel, Turtlefreak121, Sakura117us, Zombie Cordelia, Tewi, Basia Lynn, Sassyblondexoxo, RAPHAELFAN02, Anonymous, Lioness-Goddess, engelina, Bareback Jack, RedRebel84, Thalpomene, fanny, Windwalker (A.K.A. A'Tuin), Ted, rose123, Spawn guy, EveryDayPerson, The True Crossover Queen, Aurore Musis Amica, calliopechild, mou, and Sewer Slider! Also, I thank everyone who reviewed Pulse at the Stealthy Stories Forum.
All right, I better get to writing. So here it is! The very last chapter of Pulse! Enjoy!
Oh. P.S.! Nearly a year has passed since the ending of the last chapter!
Beta read by Janajyo, whom I kindly thank!
Disclaimer: TMNT still don't belong to me. For some reason, people only find it amusing that a girl thinks she can someday gain ownership to Mirage Studios when she has absolutely no connection to it, or experience to run it.
New York City. September 16, 2007 AD. 4:46 PM.
Elbow resting against the window of the car door, palm positioned under his chin, Mikey fiddled around with the radio dial using his free hand.
For a while now, the music had been the noise heard audibly in the Battle Shell. At the moment, all of their favorite stations, sharing a poor sense of timing, were on commercial breaks. Sighing, Mike settles for a McDonald's advertisement.
When they'd first arrived with April nearly two hours ago, the mood had actually been decent. Only in the past forty-five minutes or so had it become more somber.
It was a give-in, really. After all, they'd been sitting right in front of a mansion where, in some other future, they'd nearly lost their lives.
A place where, in that alternate future, hundreds of people had passed on- in cruel and perpetual agony.
That was rather hard to forget.
It wasn't like life hadn't moved on for him or his brothers, though. A lot of things had happened in the past ten months. There'd been a few encounters with the Foot, some with Bishop. The third Spiderman movie had been released and a once thought dead villain in Mike's favorite comic book was about to take over the world. April and Casey had been engaged; the four ninjas were nearing their seventeenth birthday.
Still, every once in a while, they remembered. A few things helped it along at times, though.
Especially in the first three months, for brief spasms lasting no longer than ten minutes, one of them would now and then find himself with a familiar injury that was supposed to be gone.
In the first few weeks, for example, on several occasions, Raph would suddenly be walking with a bit of pain in his leg, not to mention a limp.
Don would briefly be overwhelmed with fatigue, his comprehension of what was going on a little more muddled.
Originally, Leo's shoulder would burst into horrible pain. But before the next day of these events had started, becoming far worse, his right arm would, without warning, be completely paralyzed, from shoulder to fingertips.
Simple movements would painfully jar Mikey in the places his own arm had been broken in.
And then, as quickly as it happened, they'd disappear. But it'd only be a mater of time before it happened again.
As the weeks flew by however, the incidents occurred less and less. After the fourth month, though Leo still occasionally loss use of his limb, the only things that were really showing up were scars, said brother's bite mark being the most noticeable.
Each time one came up, they made sure to show it to whoever happened to be around. Though the four of them still remembered what had happened clearly, it was evidence for something that was growing harder to believe.
Their time spent in that hell was something they wanted to forget, after all. It certainly wasn't something Mike wanted to classify under good memories, anyway.
That had been getting easier- to forget the experience. The scars rarely even showed up at all anymore; life had been on a normal track.
But then, a certain mansion had been featured in the news. Completed and in the process of furnishing, its celebrity owner wouldn't be moving in for a week.
Which was why they were here.
This would be the final nail in the coffin. If the scars hadn't been enough proof of their jaunt to that time, their extensive knowledge of the mansion's layout would be. And once the matter was settled, they could put the ordeal to rest.
As best as they could, anyways.
An old friend of April's was the electrician for the mansion and had agreed to give her a small tour of the place, under the premise that the redhead was a big fan of the actor's work. Of course, it probably wouldn't look exactly the same as they recalled it, with remodeling to be done in the future, but the basics were sure to be there.
The turtles had drawn up a map of the mansion and had gone over it with April. It was her job to see if it matched their description.
He hoped they'd be done with this soon. He was tired of seeing a little bear covered in yellow finger-paint and blood in his nightmares every time something about this place came up.
Sighing again, Mike turned the dial once more, curious if the radio had something better to offer this time around.
Annoyed, Raph fought back the urge to throw a sai at the radio. He hated the current song that was playing, but, of course, his youngest brother rather enjoyed it.
It was only because of this that the ninja didn't act. Mike was particularly sensitive about this matter; he certainly didn't look too happy now, that was for sure.
He decided to extend some kindness to the orange-banded turtle in this area by leaving the situation alone. He could take his revenge out on the tuner the next time the song played, which would probably be within the hour.
Raph balanced a sai on the tip of his finger, taking his attention away from everything that was going on. Beyond the steel weapon, he half-mindedly watched Don look at the window in thought while Mikey tapped his fingers along with the hateful melody. From the corner of his eye, he could see Leo stare at the floor, completely stoic.
This was just about how it always was when the thought of Callis' mansion came up. Even the radio, though at home, it was a much larger device. None of them really wanted to talk about it; they all knew how the others felt. It was just some thing that was subliminally conveyed with a look.
He'd always found that so weird- how the oddest things could be shared with them in such a manner. But it wasn't a bad thing, so the turtle didn't mind.
His brothers didn't know about the dreams, though.
Four times, he'd had them. They were very short, and hadn't happened for months now, but he always felt that they connected to the Ardors.
Every time, he was surrounded by trees- dead and burnt. But there were thousands of them, and they provided protection. Once, he'd been running. Two times, he'd been completely still, making out forms in the darkness. The fourth, he'd heard a strange sound, and then the dream had ended.
Raph tried not to let it bug him. And it didn't always.
Only when he thought of the mansion.
Gritting his teeth, Raph vowed to forget about this place forever once they knew it wasn't all just part of their imagination. He hoped that his brothers could do the same.
It was amazing, how entrancing the simple pattern of the floor of the Battle Shell could be, with it's smooth plates and bolts holding it together. Leo couldn't take his eyes off it. And when he wasn't thinking about teeth sinking into his skin, fearing his brothers dead in that place; he was completely lost in how perfectly they came together to perform the job of keeping its occupants from falling to the asphalt.
If only being a leader could be that easy. If only he knew where each metaphorical bolt was to be placed to keep his family out of harms way, Leo could rest assured that they'd all be well.
But life wasn't an armored car that worked so smoothly. It was more like a car crash; you never saw the accident coming until it hit you.
You never knew who was going to make it out alive, or in what condition.
But you couldn't live life without staying off the road. It was a risk you had to take, with nothing but a thousand or so pounds of metal, an air bag, and a seat belt to protect you.
And Leo was determined to use all of that to protect his brothers.
While he never shifted his gaze, he was aware of them, each so quiet. The blue-banded turtle had learned at an early age to be silent, so he could listen. However, he didn't like to see his siblings in the same state without a reason for it.
They, himself included, were a rather loud group of teenagers- when they weren't about to be killed. Sure, you were bound to have your depressing moments. Didn't mean Leo had to like them.
He wanted to be more supportive, but he couldn't bring himself to act. The only relief would come when they'd knew they'd been right and that this was over and done with.
Breathing deeply, yet exhaling quietly, Leo began to crave something sweet.
When April came back, he had a good idea to get them back on the right road, seatbelts on, but a drive for the scenery- the simple pleasures of life.
"Jeez!" Raph said impatiently, flipping the sai he'd been balancing around into his hand, grasping the handle. "How long does it take to give a freakin' tour?"
Donny, in the driver's seat of the vehicle, faced him. "I hate to point out the obvious, Raph, but it is a mansion. And we wanted April to get a good look at the place."
The red-clad turtle snorted. "Yeah, whatever."
Seeing his brother wasn't about to say anymore, Don turned his attention back to the front door of the mansion, and to a little train of thought that had been tickling his mind every once in a while.
Craning his neck slightly, he glanced at the back of his calf. As he suspected, the green skin was smooth, not considering the natural roughness of it, of course.
In that spot, ten months ago, an Ardor had sliced his flesh open with its claws. And sometimes, Don would find a scar there.
While that hadn't happened to him, or any of his brothers for that matter, in over a month now, Don still thought about it.
When it had first begun, their larger injuries had been in play. As they came and went, they got a little less painful each time. The wounds got smaller eventually, different with each incident they appeared.
Like they were healing.
The purple-clad turtle's theory was that, due to quantum mechanics and their change to the timeline, time was still trying to correct itself.
They were never meant to get out of that time frame. But they had. They were never injured, yet they remembered it vividly.
For, in another reality, they had been injured. And they hadn't made it back to the twentieth century.
Thus, the timeline, in its attempt to bring order to itself, occasionally confused the conditions of the four that made it out with the four that didn't. It was happening less now because things were almost straightened out. If it never happened again, then it already was.
But that still left something to think about. In order for those scars to heal, their owner's had to be alive.
In that other reality, had they made it out of the mansion alive?
A tap on the car door knocked Don out of his thoughts. Leo, instantly brought out of his fascination with the floor, headed to the end of the Battle Shell, where the sound had come from. Opening it, he helped April in.
Immediately, the four of them were crowding around her, waiting for the news.
The woman shook her head. "It's amazing. You guys had practically every feature nailed. The hallways, the rooms, the measurements of the pool, even some of the tiling- it matched your description perfectly."
Leo nodded. "So we were right."
Raph half-grinned. "Told ya we weren't crazy."
Sighing, April looked at him. "No one ever said you were… in this particular situation anyways." She joked, trying to cheer them up.
Of course, that got Mikey going. "Yeah, Raph!" He said. "See, now that they know the Ardors were real, they'll definitely believe you about the purple elephants in tutus and the evil butterflies now!"
Shaking his head as his little brother ran around in the confined space, trying in vain to hide from Raph, Don started the car up and began the trip home.
There was something oddly satisfying about knowing this. Why, Don wasn't really sure. It only confirmed a horrible nightmare, after all. But he assumed it was preferable to discovering that the memories were fakes implanted in their minds by some top secret government facility, for whatever the hell of a reason they might have to do that.
The olive-green turtle chuckled softly. Gotta stop watching those movies with Mikey.
Having taken Mike's seat, Leo stared out the windshield. He was the only one that still looked serious. But that was just Leo. The guy could make a pink flower look serious.
"Feel better?" The blue-clad ninja asked.
"Yeah." Don responded. "There's just something about knowing."
His elder brother nodded in agreement. "Good. 'Cause I don't want to come back here ever again."
"We won't." Don assured him.
There was silence for a moment, but Leo broke it again. "Turn right." He said suddenly.
"What for?" Raph asked from behind them, letting Michelangelo out of his grip. It was in the opposite direction of where they were heading.
"The Baskin Robbins is on this street." Leo told them, a grin finally showing on his face. "We never did get that ice cream."
Okay, so that wasn't too horrible of an ending, right? I liked it, and it was longer than I thought it'd be, but it just seemed funny to me.
Oh, and before you ask, yes, I am thinking about maybe doing a one-shot rooting off from this story involving the other reality where the guys didn't make it home. No idea when of if I'll ever get it up, but I have an idea.
Anyways, I hope you liked the story! Please review!