A/N: Whoa!! Fourteen reviews (at last count)!! You guys rock - you really do! And I know I've got lots of readers, because I'm getting lots of hits, so you all rock too!!
Well... this is the last chapter. And I have to admit, there was a point where I didn't think I'd make it - that darn writer's block! But you guys have been so supportive, and I really, really appreciate it! So, time for some replies...
I LOVE MIKEY - Sorry... the whole drop-offy thing wasn't so clear. I meant that it would be much more of a transition to the next story. And I'm glad you like the story! Hopefully I'll keep you on the front of your seat one more time!
Tree - Yeah, I wanna give Mikey a hug, too. And thanks for the input on the sequel!
katielgk - I'm glad you think the story is so AWESOME... ;) Glad you like the story line!
Emily - Thanks! I will!
Gohanzgirl - Glad you still like me. I would say my upstairs neighbor is weird... but that would be my sister, and I'm not exactly sure she'd appreciate that... ;) Thanks for the review!
Trixie-Twizzler - Glad you like it! Yeah, I do kinda like the angry Mikey a little... but not for too long - we don't really need another Leo...
Eridani23 -Yeah, the demon's gone... but for good? I don't know yet... and we will be seeing that stupid hunter again... heehee. Glad you like it!
Kirby-Chan263 - Thanks for the review. Yeah, this story was kinda short - a lot shorter than most of my stories. But I'm glad you liked it!
AngryLobster500 - Glad you liked it. Thanks for the input!
vulpixfairy - Sorry! Hope this came fast enough to get you off those tenterhooks!
narutosfangurl - Wow! Thanks for the billion dollars! I think I'm gonna go try and by every bit of TMNT stuff on the planet now... including those rights!
memyselfandi89 - Yeah... I think I'd call it a sequel to a sequel to the Energizer Plot Bunny! (Because, well, you know - it just keeps going and going and going...) And don't feel too guilty... cuz the voice was kinda growing on me too, just a little bit... ;)
KleeZeeNex - Yeah, that was a long review, and I absolutely loved it! Glad you liked that one part - I think I rewrote that three or four times, so it's nice to see that my efforts are appreciated! And I'm glad you like the brotherly moment stuff - I kinda enjoy writing it. I think I've been in a slightly mushy mood lately... scratch that, I knowI've been in a mushy mood lately!
hyourin.tenshi - You're right... the hunter will be taking this to his advantage! And of course I'll make more stories! I like making stories!
Once again, thanks to all my readers and to my reviewers! Without further ado...
Disclaimer: Never use this device near running water.
Finally, Mikey sniffed and pulled away from Leo. He wiped his eyes, keeping them downcast at the floor. "I'm s-sorry," he whispered.
"It's not your fault, bro," Raph said, putting a hand on his brother's shoulder.
"You beat that… whatever it was… that was controlling you. It tried to take over, but you wouldn't let it," Don added. "That's a very good sign, bro."
Mikey hesitated, then flicked his eyes up at them. "I think… it might be… still there. Maybe," he murmured. At their questioning looks, he said, "I can feel… something… but what it is… I dunno, I guess."
"Even if that voice does come back, we'll still be here, bro," Leo said confidently.
Mikey sighed. "I just… can't believe that I was so - so weak to let that… whatever it was take over!"
"Mikey, if there's one thing you've shown us lately, it's that you're far from weak," Don assured him. "I know that if it had been me, I wouldn't have held out against that voice as long as you did, and I sure as shell know I wouldn't have been able to stop it."
"I'm not gonna lie, though, bro - you were kinda scary," Raph admitted.
Mikey nodded. "It scared me, too. Actually, it still kinda scares me."
Don helped his brother to his feet. "So if it ever returns, we'll just face it all together as a family - like we always do."
Leo flung an arm around Mikey's shoulders. "Whaddya say, bro? Shall we do a movie night to help forget about all of this?"
The other three looked at him with wide-eyes. "Okay, who are you, and what've you done with Leonardo?" Raph asked seriously. Leo smirked.
"Only if I get to make the popcorn," Mikey cut in with a mischievous smirk.
Leo made a face. "It's a deal if you promise to stick to either butter or cheese - we're always telling you that they don't mix. Deal?"
Mikey rolled his eyes upward and heaved a huge, exaggerated sigh. "Oh, the things I'm forced to go through for my brothers," he declared. Then he grinned and looked back at Leo. "Deal."
"But Don and I get to pick the movies!" Raph added. He and Don laughed as Leo and Mikey shot them killer glares, jogging back onto the walkway.
"Every time you say that, you always end up being the one to pick them, bro," Don pointed out. Raph smirked.
"As long as it's not any of the Die Hard movies again, Raph - we always have to watch those," Leo called, pulling away from Mikey.
"Dude, Bruce Willis is - Mikey, you okay?" Raph suddenly froze, seeing the look of pain on his brother's face as he stumbled forward.
"I guess in all of the chaos, I kinda forgot I'm a gimp," Mikey said through clenched teeth, leaning on a rail for support. Don immediately came back to kneel beside him and examine his ankle. Mikey sucked in a breath through his teeth as Don probed it.
"It's really swollen up again - I think hanging from the ceiling by your ankles was a very bad idea," Don told him grimly. "You're gonna have to do some serious icing when we get back, and I don't think you're gonna be able to train for the next few days."
"Perfect," Mikey moaned. "Just what I wanna deal with again."
"How're your ribs and hands?" Raph asked, grabbing one of his brother's arms and putting it over his shoulder. He didn't comment on how much his little brother was leaning on him for support.
"Not bad," Mikey replied. "Just a little sore - the ankle is the killer."
"C'mon, let's go home," Leo said, leading the way back onto the metal walkway. Raph helped Mikey hobble forward, and Don took up the rear. The walkway swayed slightly from Mikey's jerky movements.
"Y'know," Mikey began, "I bet Master Splinter's worried-"
Suddenly a volley of shots rang out, followed by several metallic twangs. "Whoa!" they all cried as the walkway suddenly lurched to the right. Don barely had enough time to register the fact that the metal support cables had snapped before he lurched over the railing. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the others flying over the side. Then an emerald-green hand appeared in front of him, which he quickly grabbed. He looked up and saw that Leo had managed to snag the railing with one hand and one of Raph's hands with the other. As his body swung forward, Don felt another hand grasp his ankle. "Hang on!" Leo screamed.
Then a flash of pain tore through his shoulder as the freefall suddenly ended. It was followed an instant later by the harsh pulling of his hip as Mikey jerked to a stop. His eyes widened as the tension suddenly eased when the hand around his ankle slipped. "Mikey! No!" Raph shouted from directly above him.
Don glanced down in time to see Mikey's body crash painfully into a giant metal pipe on his back. There was a sickening thud as Mikey's head whip lashed into the pipe. His arms and legs twitched once, then fell limp as his body slid off and tumbled out of sight beneath it. "NO! MICHELANGELO!!" they all bellowed in horror.
A deep, cold laugh echoed around them. They looked up as heavy footsteps approached the edge. "Well, that's one down. Only three to go," the hunter sneered triumphantly.
"You - you - you-" Leo spluttered furiously.
"You expected me to just leave without taking my revenge?" the hunter asked in disbelief. He reloaded his gun effortlessly as he talked. Don's eyes widened in realization. He must've shot the support cables out! "Unfortunately for you lot, I always get my prey. I never stop." He took careful aim at Leo's head. "And I don't care if there's nothing left of you to stuff and mount. I just want you dead," he finished grimly, fingering the trigger.
Suddenly something whistled by Don's head from down below. Their eyes all widened as a rusty spigot collided with the gun, knocking it off course and sending the bullet into the wall on the opposite side. "Who-" the hunter spluttered as they all looked down.
A shaky green hand suddenly gripped the pipe directly below them. A moment later, Mikey pulled himself up so that he was half-draped over the pipe. His eyes looked slightly unfocused, but there was a determined look on his face. "Hey, guys," he moaned, moving to a sitting position.
"Mikey!" the turtles all exclaimed joyfully.
"You just don't die!" the hunter exclaimed, pointing his gun at the orange-clad turtle.
Mikey couldn't help but grin weakly. "Nope - too annoying to do that!"
"Got that right," Raph muttered with a grin.
Mikey suddenly leapt straight up as the hunter fired. The bullet twanged off the pipe as Mikey grabbed the railing next to Leo. Leo stared in shock and relief at his little brother. He could see blood trickling down the back of Mikey's head, but Mikey seemed to be ignoring it for the moment. "Raph, swing Don up to me!" Mikey ordered.
Raph groaned as he suddenly bent at the waist. Don flung his body forward to add to the momentum. "Gotcha!" Mikey exclaimed triumphantly as he snagged Don's ankle once more. Don immediately let go of Raph's hand and swung backwards so he could grab the railing. In the blink of an eye, he was up and launching himself at the hunter.
"You went too far this time," the brainy turtle growled as he kicked the man in the side of the head.
A moment later, a glint of metal flashed as Raph leapt over Don and brought his sai down into the man's metal hand. "No one messes with us," he ground out through gritted teeth at the wide-eyed hunter. He leapt back when the hunter tried to kick at him.
The man gritted his teeth and raised his gun again. A second later, the barrel fell to the ground as Leo settled into an attack stance next to his brothers. "I don't know why you keep trying to use those - we're just gonna keep wrecking them," he said with a hint of a sneer in his voice.
"This is your last chance," Mikey added weakly, stepping forward. He leaned slightly on Don for support. "Leave and don't come back."
The hunter barked out a laugh. "You just don't get it, do you? I can't - I can never stop. Not until you pay for what you've done to me!"
Suddenly three things happened at once. Don leapt forward to shove his bo into the man's stomach as Raph moved to stab him in the chest while Leo moved to slice his neck. A moment later, the hunter collapsed to the ground, a puddle of what appeared to be motor oil mixing in with blood beneath him. "Whoa," Mikey whispered in shock as his brothers turned back to face him.
"We had no choice," Leo said grimly, putting a hand on his brother's shoulder. "It had to end." The other three nodded.
"Let's get out of here," Don added.
"So… is it okay for me to pass out now?" Mikey asked with a groan as he swayed forward. Leo and Raph immediately moved to either side of him to support him as his legs gave out. Don probed the back of his brother's bloody head.
"Looks like a minor concussion. Good thing he's got such a hard head," Don declared after a moment, his attempt at a joke failing miserably. He was clearly worried, as were Leo and Raph. "Let's get him home."
"Hello?" he called into the bright light. "Is anyone here? Hello!"
Suddenly something seemed to materialize in front of him. He pulled out his nunchucks, tensing for a battle. Then he frowned when the object became clear. The white light around him faded, and he realized he was standing in the Pavilion of Past Champions in the Battle Nexus. In front of him was the statue of him and his brothers. He walked up to it and examined it. He smiled faintly as he examined each of his brothers' faces. The artisans had done an excellent job.
A crack split the air. "What the shell?" he exclaimed, tensing again. His eyes widened when he saw a hairline crack snaking up between his part of the statue and Raph's statue. There was another crack, and the statue split. He watched, wide-eyed, as his statue fell in slow motion to the ground. There was an almighty crash as it collided with the ground, shattering into millions of tiny shards…
Mikey's eyes popped open as he took a few deep breaths. He blinked a few times, trying to calm down. It was just a dream. Only a dream, he told himself mentally. But try as he might, he couldn't quell the uneasiness buried deep in his chest. "Glad to see you're awake, bro," Raph suddenly called softly.
His eyes flicked to the left, and he saw Raph sitting in a chair backwards, his arms propped on the back of the chair. He stared at Mikey, one eye ridge raised. Mikey groaned as he sat up a little bit. One quick glance around the room revealed he was lying in his bed in his room. He winced, holding a hand up to his aching head. "Ugh… how long've I been out?" he groaned.
"About a day and a half. Don figures that your mild concussion and the sedatives that freak shot you up with weren't the greatest mix. You okay?" Raph finished, concerned. "You were starting to moan a little in your sleep."
"It was nothing - just a weird dream. That's all," Mikey replied. Raph stared at him skeptically, so he forced a grin and said, "What's there to eat?"
"Mikey," Raph said softly.
The grin dropped from his face and he sighed, rubbing his neck. They both glanced up as Don, Leo, and Master Splinter entered the room. "Glad to see you are awake, my son," Splinter said with a smile.
"Sensei, I - I'm sorry for running away. I just-"
Splinter held up a paw. "There is no need to apologize, my son. Your brothers have explained what happened out in the sewers," he replied, moving to sit on the bed. He gently laid a hand on Mikey's head. "I'm very proud of you, my son, and greatly relieved. You overcame a great temptation and defended your family and your honor well."
"Thanks, Sensei," Mikey said, flushing slightly.
"You okay, bro?" Leo asked softly.
Don swiftly moved to sit on the other side of the bed. His eyes searched Mikey's face. "Alright, out with it, bro," he demanded after a moment. "Something's still bugging you. What's wrong?"
"He had some kind of dream," Raph filled in before Mikey could reply. "He wouldn't tell me what it was, though."
"Mikey, we told you - we wanna help you through this," Leo said. "Let us help you."
"It's really nothing guys - it wasn't bad. I just…" Mikey trailed off, fiddling with his blankets, debating what to say. Finally, he raised his head to look at his family. "I just think that this Chosen One stuff is far from over. I think… I think something's coming."
"Then we'll be ready for it," Raph said confidently. "Whatever happens, we'll stick with ya, bro. We'll be ready." The others nodded in agreement.
Mikey smiled faintly. "Thanks, guys."
"Get some rest, my son," Splinter said gently as Mikey stifled a yawn. He squeezed Mikey's shoulder before standing. "I am glad you are safe."
"You did good back there, Mikey - really good," Raph added. "And you sure know how to take your lumps." Mikey grinned faintly.
"I have to ask though… how did you - I mean, you had fallen, and smacked your head, and…" Don trailed off, his throat closing up at the memory of Mikey's limp body dropping out of sight.
"I just knew that I couldn't let him get you guys. When I hit my head, I had to fight to stay awake. Luckily there was a pipe a few feet below the big one I hit," Mikey replied, lying back down. He sighed, then grinned. "Besides, it's like I told that hunter - I'm just too annoying to die!"
They all chuckled. "Good thing, too," Leo said.
"Get some sleep, bro," Raph said, standing. "I'll make sure there's some grub ready for ya when you wake up again."
"You? Cooking? Don, you'd better have a few fire extinguishers ready," Mikey teased sleepily.
"Oh, hush. Just because I overheated the mac and cheese one time," Raph shot back.
"I didn't know you could warp a bowl like that, Raphie," Mikey replied with a smirk. "Or make such a horrible smell that would linger for so long. And you guys aren't much better," he added as Don and Leo snickered. "I'm afraid that I'm gonna wake up to find I died by burning to death or something." He suddenly sat up, wide-awake. "Ya know what? I think I want some breakfast now."
"Now? Mikey, it's like three in the afternoon!" Don exclaimed.
"So? Haven't you ever heard of brunch?" Mikey asked as he slid out of bed. When he wobbled slightly, Raph grabbed his shell to support him. "I think a big plate of bacon and scrambled eggs sounds really good. And pancakes! Gotta have pancakes! Or maybe I should try French Toast…" Mikey's excited voice faded as the turtles stepped back out into the lair.
Splinter chuckled as he limped out behind them. He watched as the four of them made their way into the kitchen, joking good-naturedly, and he smiled. It was good to see his family returning to normal. He winced as something crashed in the kitchen, followed by a few shouts and a lot of laughter. He shook his head wryly. Yes, it was good to see normalcy returning - even if it did mean chaos.
A/N: That's the official end! Sob! My baby's all grown up! Thanks for all the support. And since you all seemed interested in a sequel... there will be one! It's going to be called "The Last Stand" and since you are all so great (and because I'm slightly sadistic) here is a slight preview of what's to come!
Halfway across the universe…
Goleck knelt before his leader. "Great news, sire. The Chosen One has been located!" he exclaimed.
"And? There is something you're not telling me," Swarez replied in his low voice.
Goleck hesitated, then said, "It appears he was already awakened twice before - the second time was the half-awakening. The mark is gone."
"So he has one transformation left, huh? That is actually good for me - I get more energy that way. And it doesn't matter to me if he would die anyway - I'd kill him first. Where is he?"
"On a small planet in the Milky Way. I believe it is called Earth," Goleck replied.
"Well, set a course. I want to have the Chosen One's power for myself!" Swarez shouted.
A/N: There you have it - a tantalizing tidbit of what's to come! Let me know what you think... thanks for all of your support and for sticking through this with me! I love you all! Let me know what you thought of both the chapter and the preview, and I'll get the sequel to this up as quick as possible... remember, it'll be called "The Last Stand" (I'm also going to start posting another story called "To Err Is to Be Human" - check it out if you get the chance!) So thanks to all of you once again! Ciao!
Until next time!