Title: Home

Author: Stormy1x2 (travelingstorm)

Rating: PG

Words (Fic Portion): 1918

Summary: Mikey's love of exploring gets him in trouble, and now he just wants to go home.

Notes: 6th story of the Child's Play Arc. Existing for penguins wanted to read Lost!Mikey and this is what I came up with.

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It was cold. And damp. Dark too. It smelled really yucky, and there was gunk all over the walls, the floors and even the ceiling. There was no feeling of antic...antaci...of looking forward to finding something really cool, like the movies Donatello and Raphael had let him watch the week before. The spirit of adventure had died soon after walking through a green puddle of slime and garbage that had stunk really bad and left bits clinging to his toes. 'S'not fair,' he thought, pouting to himself. The man with the whip and the cowboy hat made exploring sound like fun.

Mikey bit his lower lip, jaw trembling. He knew what fun was. This was not fun.

He trudged on, eyes flicking back and forth across the tunnel stretching off into the distance before him. He thought maybe, just maybe, this might be the one tunnel to take him back to the lair. It kinda looked familiar. He stubbornly ignored the voice inside his head that told him all sewers looked the same, and that he was never going to get home, and it was getting even colder and damper-

"I wanna go home now," he whispered, clutching his teddy bear tightly.

Home. His room with his warm bed and Biker Mice blankets, his books and toys and the heater he wasn't allowed to touch but Sp'inter would turn it on for him and then he wouldn't be cold like he is now, and he and his bear could sit and read next to it for hours.

Brownie. Brownie the bear. It had been a present from Raphael. It was old and faded, and showed spots where home-patchwork had kept the stuffing from squirting out and Mikey loved it. He didn't know why the sight of it made Donny and Leo's eyes bug out, or why Raph had turned red as he handed it over, but he didn't really care. It was his bear now, and it went everywhere with him. Especially on adventure trips outside the lair.

"Indy-anna hadda bullwhip, I have Brownie," he murmured, nuzzling the bear to his cheek. The bear had seen better days, especially after Mike had dropped him in the icky river soon after starting his adventure, but he didn't care. The gesture was still as comforting to him as it always was. "Brownie will help me keep the bad things away until Raph an' Donnie an' Leo an' Sp'inter come."

He was well-aware he was probably going to be in big trouble when his family found him. He decided that was fine with him, as long as they gave him his dinner before putting him in his room. Mikey wouldn't even ask for seconds on dessert. People in trouble never got seconds on dessert, he knew that, but Raph would sneak him something at least one time.

He continued walking. His feet were getting tired.

Mikey blinked as he noticed the end of the tunnel coming closer. A faint light ringed the edge of the broken sewer grate and a wide grin split his face. Brownie in hand, he stumbled forward, his eagerness to be home causing him to trip over his own toes in excitement. Slipping a little, in a patch of sewer slime and moss, he fell to one knee with a sharp cry.

"Ow!"

Mikey turned himself over, sitting up and examining his leg. His pads had kept his knee from hurting, but his shin had landed on a rock, and the wide scrape was bleeding sluggishly, small drops of red beading up and trickling down. Donnie could fix it easily. He raised his head to see if he could spot his brothers through the grate--

--and was stunned to see yet another sewer junction, with even more grates leading out in a dozen different directions.

Definitely not the lair.

Not home.

A small sob escaped the young turtle, even as he fought to swallow it back. Raph wouldn't cry – he was too tough. So was Leo and Splinter. Donnie...okay, he'd cry. Mikey had heard Raph once call Donnie a 'softie' and that 'softies' always cried at sad movies. This wasn't a movie, but it was making him sad enough.

So maybe just this once, it was okay to cry. Right?

Another sob slipped out, and this time Mikey didn't try to stop it. He was cold and tired and hungry, his leg was hurting and the smell was starting to give him a headache. He wanted to be home, warm and safe, maybe on the sofa snuggled between his brothers watching one of the DVD's Auntie April had given him. Maybe Uncle Casey would be there, big hands and warm hugs, grumbling about how Pokemon taught kids how to trap animals and saying Squirtle was a 'toon version of Raphael...

Tears were starting to stream down his face, soaking his bandanna, and Mikey tried to wipe them off his cheeks with the back of his hand but there were too many and he finally pulled his legs up against his plastron, burying his head against his knees and sobbing as though his heart was breaking.

"Wanna go home," he choked out again and again and oh, if only wishes came true like the genie in Aladdin, and he didn't have a lamp but he had a Brownie bear and that was better then a lamp because you could cuddle a bear but not a lamp--

"RAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPHHHHH!" he screamed. "LEEEEEOOOOO! DOOONNNNNIEEEE!"

Surely they were out there looking for him right? They were out there with flashlights and blankets and maybe Donnie would have his thermos of hot chocolate he always had in his bag and let Mikey steal sips from. They would hear him right? They had to.

And suddenly there were noises in the tunnel that hadn't been there before. Rumbling noises, loud and echo-y, making the tunnel jump and dance beneath him. Roaring like the lion at the zoo and didn't Raph once tell him about a crocodile in the sewer that tried to eat him and Leo? Mikey's eyes widened and he pushed back against the wall as hard as he could, tucking his arms and legs in tightly, watching the water flowing past him as though a mouth full of sharp teeth were gonna jump out at any minute.

"G-g-go a-a-way," he whispered, teeth chattering with fear and cold. He didn't have lips, but maybe his face was turning blue because that's what happened when you got really, really cold. Would fear turn him blue too? "G-go a-away!"

Loud noises coming closer, surge of water flowing past even faster then before. Something was coming, and it was too big to be his brothers, big and noisy and Mikey closed his eyes because nothing could get him if he didn't see it, like how the monster under his bed couldn't eat his feet if they were under the covers.

No covers now, but maybe it was dark enough and he was small enough and Mikey whimpered in terror as the loud thing roared up the tunnel, sending waves of dirty water along the ledge he was perched on.

'Can't see me, can't see me, can't see me,' he chanted silently.

And then the big, scary, noisy thing went quieter, growling instead of roaring, and a voice suddenly said:

"MIKEY?"

Mikey raised his head in time to see the shadows fall away from his brother and OH it was HIM and then Raph was there, scooping him up so quickly Mikey squeaked in surprise, and then he was squeezing a different squeak from him, hugging him as hard as he could.

"Mikey! Thank God I -" and then fumbling for something, Mikey squinted in the murky light filtering through the grate from the junction and saw a turtle-shell pattern in his brother's hand. "-Guys! I found him!"

" Is he okay?"

Frantic voices, Leo and Donnie voices, and Mikey felt the tears sliding free from his mask and dripping down his face again. He tried to stop because this was Raph and Raph didn't like crying which was odd because there were tears on Raph's face too.

"--looks okay, cold and he's got a cut on his leg but he looks – Mikey? You okay buddy?"

Mikey's teeth were chattering and his leg ached but suddenly, he felt really, really good and tried his best to tell his brother that. Raph was checking him all over anyway, squeezing arms and legs to make sure nothing was broken, running gentle fingers over the cut on his leg - "shallow one Donnie, don't panic-"and then wrapping a blanket around him, rubbing his limbs to get some warmth back. Mikey thought that felt really good too, warm, good heat, nice heat, no more cold, smelly water and if he were a cat he'd be purring right about now.

Raphael picked him up and settled him on his lap, cuddling him close and Mikey snuggled in closer, never one to waste Raph cuddles, rare as they were. Then the big, roaring thing – the sewer slider, he realized with a yawn, not a monster – was moving back down the way he came and Mikey thought he should be upset with that, because that meant he'd been going the wrong way the whole time but he couldn't muster the strength to be angry.

Not when he was in the safest place he knew to be, in the hands of his brother who had found him, would always find him, no matter what, no matter the tunnels, stinky water and slime he had to go through to do it.

"-coming back now...yeah, warm bath, he's chilled right through...probably starving too...I told you it's a scrape Don, not one step from an amputation, he's FINE...yeah, be there in about 10 minutes...over and out."

Mikey blinked his eyes open as Raph slipped the Shell-Cell back into his belt and saw Raph peering down at him, looking worried.

"M'okay Raphie," he murmured, one arm twisting free of the blanket he was wrapped in, reaching up to pat Raph on his plastron. "Y'found me an' Brownie, m'okay..."

"I know you are, kid," Raph said over the roar of the 'Slider. "You owe us an explanation, and you're probably going to be grounded forever, but you're gonna be okay and DAMN IT you scared the shit outta me but you're gonna be fine."

"P-potty mouth," Mikey yawned. That meant money in the swear jar Auntie April had put in the living room, a jar that used to fill fast enough to buy party-sized pizzas every month and maybe they would have pizza waiting for him at home.

Home. Mikey smiled and felt Raph's grip on him tighten just a little more, and that meant all was right with his world again, no more explores unless Raph came too, and Brownie of course, and so he could sleep now. "Love you Raph."

"Love you too kiddo. So much it freakin' hurts. You go to sleep, we'll be home soon."

Mikey nodded and drifted off, listening to Raph mutter and rant about how the Indianna Jones movies would be forever barred from the lair and thought maybe he should protest that, but there was warmth and comfort and that was Raph's heartbeat, strong and steady. He could protest later, once they were back.

Home.

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End