After nearly 60 days of school, procrastination, writers block and other real life issues getting in the way, I present the final chapter.
Disclaimer: Don't own, never will. Plot and plot devices are mine however.
"Proof of Murphy's Law: Murphy's Law cannot be proven, yet is correct, as when you try to prove Murphy's Law, you will see that the proof is incorrect. This is obviously due to Murphy's Law; therefore Murphy's Law is correct and proven."
"Well." He paused. "This kind of sucks."
Michelangelo was in a pitch black void. Infinite darkness spanned in all directions showing no end. The nothingness was not cold and despondent, but it was not warm and welcoming either. There were no melancholic emotions or gentle joys felt from being in the space.
It was just there. It just was.
The young turtle sat in an Indian style on the ground (what he assumed was the ground in the void since he couldn't exactly go through it) and was drumming his fingers with one hand and propping his face up with the other.
Mikey could see himself in the complete darkness. He was as visible and bright as if he had been sitting in daylight. This made no sense since there was no light source anywhere nearby but he figured not to ask question and to go with the flow. Things were easier and a lot less painful for his brain to think about things that way.
Speaking of which, Michelangelo was thinking. It was an activity not often associated with the orange clad ninja, but it wasn't like he had anything better to do.
"I still have no clue what's going on," he finally spoke out loud.
His voice echoed through the dark and continued down into the eternal nothingness until silence reigned again.
It was true.
Ever since he had gotten back from retrieving his brothers stuff they had all been acting so secretive and protective around him, leaving him in the dark.
It was pissing him off.
He knew that whatever was going on involved him. The strange blackouts and blanks in his memories were a serious indication. Then there was when he'd be in one location and then instantaneously in a completely different place with no recollection of ever moving.
And then there were those strange machines he kept running into.
Just thinking of them made him shudder.
Who would make those things? They weren't completely mechanical yet they weren't completely organic. They were terrifying splices of both thrown together to create horrific beings. What was their purpose?
"I am so confused," Mikey moaned.
"Want to talk about it?" A new voice cut through the silence.
Michelangelo jumped and stumbled out of his sit, grasped his nunchucks (which had some how magically reappeared in the dark void) and looked around wildly. "Hey, who's there?"
"Good luck with finding me. I don't have a body. My names Vincent by the way, but that makes me feel old so you can call me Vinny." The voice was boyish and warm, a nice change from the monotone boorishness of the void.
"So, like, how do I know you're not some large freakish chicken of doom or something that's waiting for the right moment to disembowel me?" Mikey asked skeptically.
"I err," The voice made a puzzled noise; "You don't really."
"Meh, works for me. Vinny huh?" Mikey stuffed his nunchucks back into his belt and dropped onto the "floor". The voice was surprised at the trusting attitude. "That makes you sound like the Italian mafia or something."
"I assure you there's no relation. You're Michelangelo, right?" The voice echoed.
"How'd you know?"
"I just know these things," Vinny responded impishly. Michelangelo chuckled.
"Ha-ha… I'm having a conversation with a disembodied voice. I am so losing it."
"Hey! I resemble that."
"Sooo, care to explain where this is?" Mikey waved his hand in emphasis at the nothingness.
"Ah, yes. We are currently located in the ever so scenic, middle of absolutely no where," was the chipper reply. "A wonderful little place that is a nexus between one's mind and life and death!"
"Aw, man," Mikey groaned despondently.
"Hey, don't worry buddy. You're not entirely de-"
"Not that. Raph was right! My mind is empty. I owe him ten bucks now."
Vincent went silent. That was an unusual response. People in the void normally reacted much more hysterically. "Aren't you a little bit concerned? I mean, you are right on the cusp of life and death."
"Well, you see you said this is between life and death, which means 'I'm not dead yet.'" He spoke with a false, cheesy British accent. Vinny chuckled.
"You got me there. So, since neither of us are going anywhere how about we chat for a bit?"
"Ah okay…" Mikey paused, "What do you want to talk about?"
"...It really sucks being the younger brother sometimes." Vincent sighed.
"Tell me about it," Mikey agreed wholeheartedly.
"You always feel like you have to prove yourself in your older brother's eyes. You are always waging a futile battle to make them proud of you, only to screw up horribly."
"Well I don't think I agree with that last part. At least not completely," Mikey spoke up, "Not all of the time at least. There are those moments." Vinny went quiet.
"I don't either actually. Not anymore. I just wish I could have realized before my…mistake."
"Let's just say some bad judgment on my part hurt my older brother. A lot," he explained.
"Man, I can completely relate." Mikey rolled his eyes. "I mean it's my fault I'm in this mess. If I was a tiny bit more observant…"
"Yeah. And if I was a bit less stubborn against you guys, maybe I wouldn't have had my ass handed to me in that fight."
"What?" Mikey asked, completely horrified.
"Huh? Oh, I fought you guys."
Mikey gave a long excruciating blink.
"You know about a year and a half ago. Was a Foot delivery boy basically. Ran into you guys. Got the life beaten out of me, literally…"
Michelangelo could only gape in complete shock as realization sunk in.
The voice he was talking to… it was one of the Foot ninja they had killed.
The world was silent to Raph.
He was engulfed in a numbing wave of thoughts and emotions that completely drowned out the outside world. All that existed was his wounded little brother behind him, and maniac in front of him.
That maniac was going to die.
"You," Raph growled through clenched teeth.
To Raphael it was as if the world was covered in a red haze.
In the span of 1 second, numbness turned to hate. Hatred turned to rage, and then finally rage transformed itself into an apocalyptic fury.
Raphael literally rocketed out of the spot he had been standing and threw himself at the large man.
His bloodstained Sais were left gleaming dully on the ground.
Raphael swung blindly at the ninja, just desperate to make some sort of contact. His strikes were bone crushingly powerful yet his hits never made the mark. While his adrenaline was giving him an extra boost in strength and speed, his rage and sorrow was affecting his accuracy and balance.
The man, a skilled ninja himself, danced and twisted out of harms way with a melancholic indifference. It was almost as if he didn't care if he was hit or not in the long run, but that would be inconvenient for what he needed to do.
The man ducked a potentially dangerous kick from Raph and regarded the young turtle coolly. "Well most of my work is completely done. All that is left is to kill the rest of you." He sidestepped a punch. "The question is how will I do it? Shall I be quick and efficient? Slow and torturous? Perhaps I should kill the strongest of you first. Or do you think I should pick off the weaker of you while the others watch helplessly?"
Raph let loose a strangled scream of frustration, wound back a particularly strong punch and let it fly.
The ninja ducked under his arm, grabbed it as it went by and the next thing Raph knew he was in the air.
Air quickly became ground.
Raph was slammed into the ground with immense force. He could feel waves of pain wash through his body in frantic surges but the pain was quickly washed away by his adrenaline and drive for revenge.
Raphael would not let that bastard leave this place alive even if it killed him.
The red clad ninja gripped the ground and slowly struggled to pull himself up. The large ninja he had been fighting stood over him and watched with mild curiosity.
"Raph, stop!" Donatello cried desperately as he watched his elder brother make a great effort to stand, but it fell on def ears. Raphael began another attack and kept on his furious assault. His judgment was being clouded by anger. "This is bad."
But Donatello couldn't focus on Raph. He had a much more critical problem at hand.
"Mikey?" Donatello crawled over to his little brother. The youngest was sprawled on the floor unmoving. Donny stopped at his side. "Mikey if you can hear me hold on! Mikey?" His little brother remained unresponsive.
For once Donatello did not know what to do.
The metallic suit Michelangelo had on was keeping pressure on the wound, preventing it from bleeding as quickly as it would otherwise. Donatello placed one if his rattling hands over the wound to stifle the bleeding further. "Come on, Mikey. Don't do this to us. Don't do this to us!"
Donny snapped his gaze over to his blue clad brother. Leo was just sitting there doing nothing.
"I didn't…I couldn't have…" Leonardo began to mumble incoherently to himself, lost in his own thoughts.
"Leo? Leo, snap out of it!" Don tried rousing his brother out of his funk but the eldest remained unresponsive. He was too lost in his own world.
"It's my fault…Everything…my fault…"
'Nice, Leo. Perfect time for Fudoshin(1)." Donny growled. The youngest quickly located the body of Doctor X, commandeered his white lab coat and started tearing the fabric into thin strips.
Donatello's breathing sped up as he worked, and he could feel the blood pounding in his body.
He was scared.
Shakily, Donny began wrapping Mikey's wound with the strips of cloth best he could even though he knew it probably wouldn't do much.
"Come one Mikey. Hold on for us," Donatello pleaded quietly to the youngest. "You still need to show me the picture you drew. I'm the only one who hasn't seen it yet."
Numbly, Donatello heard a grunt from Raphael as he was hit by the large ninja he was fighting. It didn't register though. All was background noise.
This was all such a mess.
Mikey was dying. Raph was in a blinding rage and about to get pummeled into the ground. Leo was being rendered absolutely useless by his own guilt.
Everything was falling apart before Don's very eyes.
Fearfully, after Donny finished his hap hazard job of dressing the wound, he placed the side of his head against Mikey's chest. To his horror he didn't hear anything.
Mikey's heart had stopped.
"No. Don't do this to us Mikey!"
Mikey opened his mouth, and shut it. Then he opened it again but promptly snapped it closed once more.
Then he drew a complete blank. How was one to respond to that anyway?
'Oh gee. Sorry that my brothers and I killed you and stuff. No seriously, our bad. Here's a complimentary fruit basket to make things better!'
As if sensing Mikey's ambivalent unease, Vincent spoke. "Look I don't blame you," the voice echoed sternly. "Okay, that's a lie. At first I blamed you. In fact I completely hated you all. I died in my prime and was taken away from my older brother, virtually the only thing I cared about. I probably would've haunted you four if I knew how. But after I had time to mull it over I realized that we were all victims of circumstances and, really, I dieing was sort of my fault too."
Mikey stayed silent and so Vinny continued, "I mean we were the ones who were trying to kill you all at first. You guys were acting out of self defense."
"I'm…I…" Gosh darn it. There was still that stupid blank!
"When you're dead, you realize how frivolous some of the stuff you do in life really is," Vincent's voice had a faraway quality to it, almost like he was remising something. "Like us Foot ninja fighting you guys. I mean you four weren't really our enemy personally. We didn't even really know why we were fighting you. But still, you got on our masters bad side and that was good enough a reason for us to kill you. No questions asked." Vinny chuckled darkly. "What a stupid reason."
"Why are you still here?" Mikey blurted out.
The voice responded with silence.
"What. You don't like my company?"
"No I mean you're dead. What about the white lights, and transcending to a higher place, or spirit world, or whatever it is people do when they die. I mean, it can't be much fun being a disembodied voice in a big nothing."
"I can't," came the sullen response. "I can't because that intelligent idiot of a brother of mine… No that husk that was my brother is too busy trying to bring my dead body back to life."
"No way… your?" Mikey gaped.
"Yeah…" the voice trailed off and the Mikey could here a trace of sad humor in the voice. "I'm the body you saw in the glass jar."
Michelangelo was extremely confused at this point.
"Oh look. You're fading away."
Mikey looked at himself and realized he was becoming transparent.
Catching on to Mikey's terror, Vincent explained, "Don't worry. You're on the cusp of life and death, remember? You're being pulled by one of those sides, though which one I'm not sure."
"Gee, that's comforting!" Michelangelo spat sarcastically as he became more transparent by the second.
"Hey. If it's the living world you're going to, I need to ask you a favor..."
Michelangelo nodded. It was the least he could do after what happened to Vincent.
Vincent relayed his message and soon after, Mikey disappeared completely.
Vincent was alone again.
"I'd like to think," he started, "That if circumstances were different, we probably could have been friends..."
There was still no sound. There was still no pulse.
"Come on Mikey. Come on. You're stronger then this! Come on!" Don cried desperately.
This was wrong! This was all wrong! This wasn't supposed to happen to Mikey. Not sweet, innocent, jubilant Mikey. Not their youngest brother.
This was exactly what they had been trying to prevent. This was the exact moment they had been trying so hard to keep from happening.
But everything had gone wrong.
And, in the end, they were all the cause for all of this to happen.
It was Murphy's Law at its finest.
It was ironic really, Don thought, how fragile a string of events were tide together. This whole stupid situation led back to one thing.
If Donatello, Raph and Leo had taken five minutes out of their time to look at the image Michelangelo had wanted so badly to show them, this wouldn't be happening.
If they had, Mikey wouldn't have been so distracted by it during the whole mission they had so long ago. Those five ninja's never would've been able to sneak up on Mikey and hold him hostage. They would've never lost their weapons, and then Mikey never would have gone after them. Mikey never would've fought the first mechanical monster and never would've gotten hurt. Mikey never would've had the loyalty chip implanted in him through the injury on his forehead and never would've had those blanks.
Mikey never would've been controlled by the nameless ninja they were pitted up against now, and never would have had to fight his own brothers.
And then he and his brothers never would've been the reason that Mikey was dieing now.
Don knew that what should've and what could've didn't matter in the long run. Not now at least.
There was only what was, and how to fix the events that had happened.
Keeping his little brother alive was a really good start in Don's opinion.
Don clasped his hands together making a fist and slammed them down has hard as he could onto Mikey's plastron.
Their physiology was different from a human and resuscitation would also work differently. Beating on Mikey's chest would not be as effective because of the plastron, but Don couldn't think of the proper way to start the youngest's heart again.
He couldn't think straight and that was the only thing he could come up with. So he kept on pushing down on Mikey's chest as hard as he could.
Behind him somewhere, Raph hit the wall with a crack and landed on the ground unmoving. He was out cold.
The broken looking man loomed over the irascible ninja, contemplating his next move. However, instead of finishing Raphael off, he turned his sights on Donatello.
"By age. That's how I'll kill you all, yes." The man nodded to himself, seemingly happy with his decided resolution.
As soon as Donatello realized that the man was turning his sights on him he briefly felt a wave of chilling adrenaline surge through his body. Yet Donatello would not give up on his set task and remained by Mikey's side.
The large man began walking toward Donatello but the second youngest would not budge. He would not give up on his little brother.
Only the ominous sound of boots hitting the floor allowed Donatello to know how close the other was getting.
Using all of his strength he slammed both off his fists down on Michelangelo's chest one last time.
Before he could check the effects of his attempt, He was kicked heavily in the gut. The blow was strong enough to send him back several feet. When he landed he instinctively wrapped his arms around his stomach and gasped, winded from the blow. Slowly but surely his constricted lungs loosened. He was able to take breaths of air in the form of short hiccups.
A dull throb was running up and down his left leg. He had twisted his ankle badly on impact. While it wasn't broken, he couldn't stand on it either.
He couldn't get away.
"Yes. By age." The man drew a long sword from a holster on his back.
Donny weakly tried getting to his feat but only succeeded in rising to his knees.
He wouldn't be able to move in time.
Before the man could even draw his sword he was bowled over by a green and blue blur.
"Get away from my little brother!" Leo roared as he tackled the man away from Don.
"L-Leo," Donatello rasped out.
The eldest finally was snapped out of his thoughts when he realized that his other little brothers were in danger as well.
Leo was in a condition similar to Raphael, completely enraged. However, in his polemical state he had a clearer mind.
That tall, pony tailed bastard had made him hurt one of the few people he swore to protect. That did not go down with the fearless leader.
And he'd be damned if he let one of his other precious siblings get hurt as well.
That man would pay.
Both the turtle and the man crashed in a tangled heap on the ground, from which Leo quickly extracted himself from. He backpedaled and dropped himself into an offensive stance.
Leo was weaponless but he wouldn't need his swords.
He would tear into the man with his bare hands.
The other ninja stood as well, towering over Leo nearly twice the turtles height. He positively loomed yet Leo would not back down.
Donatello watched in horror as his eldest engaged in combat with the former Foot elite.
He was jolted out of his thoughts when he remembered something vital.
"Mikey!" Don all but screeched and looked to where his younger brother was.
…Or rather had been.
Only a small puddle of blood remained at the spot, but the youngest turtle was absent.
Donatello looked around wildly but to his horror there was no sign of Michelangelo. He was simply gone.
Donatello groaned. "What the hell is going on now!?"
Leo and the nameless ninja exchanged a few more blows before jumping back to their respective sides.
Then the two began to circle each other like two predators after each others blood.
"I don't know what happened exactly," Leo started through gritted teeth. "You said we killed your younger brother and I'm sorry." the other made no response; "You are a Foot ninja. And I am assuming he was as well. The circumstances were bad. Truly, I'm sorry for your loss." The Man's hand twitched. "But even so, that did not give you the right to do what you did to Mikey!"
"Don't you mean what you did to Michelangelo?" The man asked with a pococurante tone.
Leo froze and that's all the large ninja needed.
Leo's opponent fluidly spun around and slammed a well aimed back kick into his stomach sending the turtle flying backwards.
"Leo!" Donatello called in alarm.
The tall man stepped over the body of a gasping Leo and made his way over to Raph.
"Raph!" Donatello called desperately but his older brother wasn't responding quickly enough. Raph was now conscious. However he was still in a daze from all of the blows he had received and was still was trying to collect him self off the floor.
The ninja stopped directly in front of him. Raph barely seemed to realize that he was there.
The large man lifted his blade and positioned it above Raphael's head.
Raph looked up and understanding dawned on him. He was about to be killed.
Out of instinct, he closed his eyes.
"I will kill you all one by one." The man said flatly.
"RAPH!" Donny cried, reaching out to his second eldest as if he could pull him away from the inevitable harm.
And with that the sword came down.
Blood sprayed into the air in a red fan.
Donatello's jaw dropped in disbelief.
Raphael felt warm droplets hit his skin, yet he felt no pain or injury. There was a dull thud next to him and the ring of metal hitting the floor. In a haze, he opened his eyes
The man in front of him was staring at him blankly. A small red stream steadily dripped from his lips, and a red stained, metal sliver was sticking out of his side awkwardly.
"How?" The man asked hoarsely.
The blade retracted back, disappearing into the body leaving only a two inch long, half an inch wide red line on his skin as evidence of it being there. The man stood in shock for a brief moment longer but then dropped to his knees.
Behind him, wielding one of Leonardo's swords, stood Michelangelo.
"This can't be," The man said in disbelief. "Everything was perfect. My plan was flawless. How can you be alive?" There was no ire in his broken voice. Just simple curiosity.
"Hey, if anything can go wrong it will. Murphy's Law's a bitch ain't it?" Mikey stabbed Leo's sword into the ground and leaned against it heavily.
"It's only fair. An eye for an eye. It is what you deserve." The man clutched at his wound to slow the bleeding and carefully stood.
"Didn't some old guy say that an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind?" Mickey snapped back.
"It doesn't matter. I will simply take care of you myself," The man turned on Mikey.
"Ayup. You probably shouldn't do that dude. You'll piss Vincent off."
The man stopped in his tracks and narrowed his eyes.
"What do you know about Vincent," he hissed. It was the most expression he had shown the turtles.
"When I was in this weird in between place I talked to him, your brother, the guy your keeping in a tube, in that backroom." Michelangelo pointed to the aforementioned place, "And he told me to tell you, I quote, 'Stop being a freaking idiot and let me die in peace you moron! You're keeping me trapped in a disembodied limbo with your freaky-deaky experiments and it doesn't even have a deck of cards. So will you hurry up and let me go so I can see mom and dad! Yeesh, you were always a selfish one. By the way, can't wait to see you soon. Bye.'…unquote."
"How do I know this isn't a trick?" The man asked skeptically.
"He told me to tell you that the book you threw at his head when he was assigned to guard the dock warehouse was on Giotto di Bondone your favorite painter. It was given to you as a gift by your parents three years before they died. Vincent said you read to much so he stole it from you and his it under his floor boards. He gave it back later after you went on a rampage."
The man stared ominously at the turtle who returned it with a flat look of his own.
Wordlessly the man turned and jogged weakly across the room, despite his injuries.
Metal doors slammed behind the man leaving only the four brothers in the large metal room.
Raphael looked up at his brother in complete awe as if it was all a dream and if he looked away his little brother would disappear.
"Mikey?" he asked hesitantly.
"Yes, Raph?" Mikey smirked, tiredly.
The three watched him in a numb daze.
"Geeze, Leo. You need to keep a better hold on this thing. I've been using it more than you." Mikey motioned toward the sword he was using as a crutch.
"Mikey," Leo was speechless. "But I…I…"
"I said you missed. The vital stuff anyway, and it was a clean cut. Remember that stuff you told me about memory: heart memory and muscle memory and what not? I think your muscle memory remembered not to hurt me too badly" Mikey shrugged, but then winced in pain. "Okay. Getting dizzy now." He began to lean forward but before he could fall Raph and Leo caught him under the arms and kept him steady.
"When we get home, you three better tell me what the shell is going on," Michelangelo mumbled halfheartedly.
Things sank in.
Mikey was okay. He was okay.
Donatello could feel tears of joy welling up in his eyes and he let them run freely. He crawled over to his Bo staff and used it as a crutch to limp over to his brothers.
Raphael was blinking rapidly to keep the watering of his own eyes at bay, but that didn't stop him from grinning ear to ear. "You dumbass," he said affectionately, shaking his head.
Leo felt himself swelling with relief and happiness. He hadn't killed his little brother. He hadn't killed Mikey.
He was ok.
The little happy moment that was building up was completely shattered when a new voice entered the conversation.
"You will not get out of here alive!"
The four turned their heads.
Dr. X was standing in the middle of the room with an empty gasoline canister. A wide manically grin was stretched across his burned face, his porcelain white teach were stained with blood from being hit earlier.
Mikey looked at him quizzically, "Who's the nut job?" he questioned.
DR. X lit a match.
"You've got to be kiddin' me," Raph said in deadpan.
Dr. X dropped the match and the floor was instantly set ablaze.
"I think you hit him to hard Raph!" Don limped back a step.
"And we're only getting started!" The burnt man grinned. He retrieved a small round device from his clothes with a small blue button encrusted in it, "I always figured this might happen so I rigged this whole structure with explosives."
"And this just keeps getting better and better don't it?" Raph said flatly.
X hit the button.
Several distant explosions reverberated through the large room.
Everything was ablaze almost instantaneously.
Dr. X cackled madly. "Fire! Isn't it beautiful! We are going to burn. Burn you hear! The fire is all consuming!" The picked up another canister of gasoline and began dumping it over himself.
"He's off his rocker!" Don yelled.
"Forget him. We need to get out of here!" Leo yelled. The eldest went to collect both of his swords and Raph's Sais. Then he went to Donatello to help him walk in his injured state.
Raphael swept a semiconscious Mikey off his feet. "Which way's the exit?"
"That way…" Leo trailed off.
"In front of the exit stood Matsuo. The elite ninja who had stolen their weapons in the first place.
Raphael snarled. "If that bastard wants to fight let me at 'im!"
"Wait Raph." Leo held his hand up hesitantly and scrutinized the ninja impeding there way.
Matsuo tossed something into the air which Donatello instinctively caught.
They were Michelangelo's nunchucks tide together with his bright orange bandana.
"Leave." Matsuo stepped to the side giving them free passage.
"What?" Donatello was dumbstruck.
"I said leave. You are free to go."
Hesitantly the three passed through the exit. Donatello looked behind him and noticed Matsuo was just standing there.
"Aren't you coming too?" He asked.
"I will stay here with him to the very end. That is my yakusoku o mamoru (2)." He said steadily and turned away from the turtles.
The three younger turtles looked at him quizzically but Leonardo understood what he had said perfectly. Leo stared at his back with an understanding but firm gaze.
"Let's go," he said quietly.
The younger ones shared a puzzled look and quickly followed their eldest's lead.
After the four brothers were gone, Matsuo set off.
He stepped over the charred remains of the insane Dr. X, and walked swiftly through the burning room until he reached the metal doors to his friend's private room.
He pried the door open letting the orange light from behind flood through, and, mindful of the short set of steps at the front, entered.
Inside the large room was cool and dark. The flames had not yet reached it but it was only a matter of time.
His long time friend and comrade was standing in front of the dully glowing canister which held his younger brother's body.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I was making you suffer." the man mumbled. He began to type something in the keyboard next to the canister and then the green glow went out leaving the room in total darkness.
"My friend. I'm sorry," Matsuo said softly.
"Renaissance is the French word for rebirth." The man said monotonously, "I truly believed I could bring my brother back to life. That he could be given his own renaissance… It didn't work."
Matsuo watched him silently.
"I tried everything. I tried giving him life through mechanics. We tested it on so many people but it never worked. We were simply left with half complete abominations of nature and science. I couldn't do that to him. So I used those half complete mistakes and tried using them for revenge. I was so close."
Matsuo looked at his old friend sadly, "You never believed your plan would work."
"I suppose not." He sighed and remained staring at the green cylinder longingly.
"Don't worry my friend. I believe we will be seeing Vincent soon enough."
The flames were starting to spread into the room they were in. They completely engulfed the door. There would be no way to get out now.
The large man slowly turned and faced Matsuo.
Much to Matsuo's surprise, his friend smiled, "Yes that would be best."
Matsuo smiled in return. That was the closet thing to sanity his friend had expressed in a year and a half.
The room was consumed by flames.
And they were all, including Vincent, finally free.
Deep in the recesses of the burning abandoned hospital, there was a hallway filled with strange mechanical beings.
They were neither fully organic, nor fully mechanical. They were both.
Each one was assigned a name and a number. They were named after beings of the Renaissance.
They were unfortunate creatures, people at one point, that had fallen victim to be part of a mad experiment where the many had suffered in vain for the one.
They were all burning.
They felt no pain though. There was only relief. Freedom from their aching existence.
One of the creatures, only a torso suspended on the wall, watched the flames.
When they reached him, as they began to consume his form, he did not scream in pain.
He merely sighed in content.
"And we of the Renaissance give our ode. To the departed painter, Michelangelo."
Because of the one called Michelangelo, they were free.
Soon there was nothing left of the torso except for a molten puddle of metal.
The platform below it began to melt as well. The black paint of the words printed on it began to bubble and slide off of the platform.
'El Greco' disappeared.
The four brothers watched the building creak and sway in the flames. Pillars of smoke floated into the afternoon sky blocking the sun from view. They were sitting on one of the neighboring buildings rooftops to avoid being seen by the approaching police and fire trucks.
"I wonder what his name was." Michelangelo asked whimsically.
The mysterious man who had fabricated such a terrible plot of revenge out of insanity and the love for his younger brother; they never even found out his name.
And they never would. There was no way they man would survive the flames.
But Michelangelo felt that at last he would be reunited with his little brother and the two could finally move on in peace.
But it showed that even the nameless enemy could fall to tragedy as well.
"Mikey. I can't tell you how happy I…we are to have you back." Leo said quietly and then enveloped his little brother in a monstrous hug, "I'm so sorry. For everything."
"Leo. You're doing it again," Mikey said flatly. Leo pulled back slightly.
"The woes me, everything is my fault thing. Don't." And then Mikey flashed him a grin. Leo smiled back.
Donatello added himself to the hug, "Never EVER do anything to get yourself in a situation like this again or so help me I will lock you in a closet, you hear me?" Donatello groused in good nature.
Away from the three Raph stood with his arms crossed, looking up at the sky. Mikey looked over the heads of his two brothers at him.
"Raph what're you...Are you crying?" Mikey asked incredulously.
"Somethin' in my eye," Raph grumbled as he wiped his eyes fervently.
Mikey gave a big goofy grin.
Out of all his brothers, he knew Raph was probably the happiest of them all right now.
Raph was a big ol' softy.
"Get over here." Both Leo and Don grabbed Raph by his arms and pulled him into the hug. Raphael offered little resistance.
And so the three huddled around their youngest and enveloped him in a group hug.
The little brother they hadn't lost. They still had him.
They still had him.
They finally realized how much they needed the youngest.
They would definitely not lose him again.
They stayed in their hug on the rooftop for some time, consumed by their own thoughts. The outside world was drowned out completely. Not the sirens or the sound of snapping wood under the intense blaze of the building could draw them out of it.
"We have to get back. I need to treat Mikey's wounds properly," Donatello sniffled slightly, "And I have to get rid of that chip in Mikey's head."
"Yes! Home!" Mikey agreed wholeheartedly, "Let's go home! Just please no detours this time, okay?"
Good ol' Mikey.
Splinter awoke slowly.
He expected to be awoken with feelings of dread.
Especially after what had happened.
When he had encountered his youngest, Michelangelo was not in his right state of mind. He was being controlled by an outside source. Unfortunately Splinter didn't realize this until it was too late. That was why Mikey had been able to knock him out so easily.
That did not bode well.
Yet as he awoke he felt… at peace. .
Emotions of happiness and relief washed over him.
His sons were alright. All of them were. He could sense it.
Splinter smiled and sat up.
He began his trek to the kitchen.
If he were to await his sons' returns, he wanted a nice cup of tea also for the wait.
(1): This was mentioned in the first chapter.Fudoshin; immobile mind (unaffected by anything external)
(2): Roughly means 'Unbreakable promise'
Wow. Just…Wow. After several months it's complete. No more. Nada. Zip.
I'm rather proud I finally finished. There's definitely a huge sense of accomplishment. I'm really happy with how it turned out too.
To all my readers, especially those who have stuck with me from the beginning, thank you for sticking with me this long journey. I hope you all had an enjoyable read because I had an awesome time writing this.
Special thanks to moogsthewriter for writing me that note. It helped me get off my lazy bum and finish this chapter.
Reviews are loved. CC is welcome. Flames are used for marshmallows.