Mist and Shadows
Author's Note: Whoa. An real story update. Wow. This is the SAINW fic I've been blabbing about on my livejournal for months (yes months). And it's so sad that it's not longer, but alas, there is a sequel (more like a prequel,) I just have a million other stories before it. Bleh. Anyway, enjoy.
Beta'd By: Darkraven18/SwiftBlade87
Michelangelo opened his eyes. It took a moment for him to register the fact that it was no longer dark and that the pain he had been feeling only moments before had diminished into a light, tinglyfeeling. He was now lying on his back, staring up at, well, he wasn't sure what he was looking at, but all he knew was that it was white and misty. It wasn't exactly bright, but it was a bit disconcerting after growing as a nocturnal creature.
He sat up, and blinked, still unsure of where he was at. It looked like he was in a white room filled with white fog. He could almost see the particles floating around him, cool and comfortable. It made him think of Donatello, and how he would explain why the fog was there and such, and it made his insides ache slightly before he shrugged it off. He had thirty years of experience of shrugging off the pain that Don's disappearance caused.Suddenly, somewhere to his right, Mikey saw a dark shadow start to form, growing larger as it moved towards him. He leapt to his feet and took a stance, his right arm going towards the nunchuck on his belt, only to find it missing.
"Huh?" he questioned, his arm patting down his belt, at a loss as to why his weapon was no longer there.
The figure spoke as it moved closer. "Mikey?"
"Leo?" Mikey blinked again, taking in the sight of his brother as the fog seemed to part so he could take a better look at the cloaked figure.
The blind turtle's trench coat flapped around slightly, but there was no wind to push it. Leonardo looked a little disoriented before he smiled, a facial expression Mike hadn't seen on the scarred face for a long time.
"Hey, Mikey. You're here too, huh?"
The voice sounded younger than he remembered, reminiscent of years gone by of when Leo was a fifteen year old who only acted like he was fifty, instead of actually being fifty.
A sudden burst of emotion started at his core, before it quickly spread throughout his body and Mike did something he hadn't done in years. He ran to Leo and tackled him in a hug. Leo barely caught him and bore the weight of them both. Mikey rained kisses onto his brother's face and gripped him tightly.
"I'm so happy to see you!" Mike screamed, squeezing his brother relentlessly. Leo chuckled.
"I am happy to see you, too." Mike lowered himself, but never let go of Leo. The sudden euphoria he was feeling was so great, it took him a moment to comprehend what Leo had said. He pulled back slightly, still keeping Leo in his grasp.
"Wait, see? You can see?" Leo removed a hand from Mike's grasp for a second to lower the glasses he had been forced to wear for the past twenty years and blinked. The eyes that were once dull and cloudy were focused and bright once again. Mikey squealed, and wrapped his arms around his brother.
It wasn't until Leo was fully laughing, his back vibrating under his hands, when Mike realized that there was something different with him too. He backed away from Leo again, but this time he was staring at, yes, two hands.
Leo blinked and grasped the appendage, which had not been there only moments before, with awe.
"Your arm, Mike!" The two turtles stared down in excitement, and then jumped when another voice joined their party.
"Yeah, I think it's this fog or somethin'." The fog parted and Raphael came into view. "It fixed my eye, too."
Mike squealed again and jumped into Raph's waiting arms. He received the same treatment that Leo received and when Mike was lowered, the red mask was taken with him. Two perfectly healthy eyes stared back. Mike could see the familiar smirk in his brother's eyes, even if it wasn't present on his face. Suddenly a small cough came from behind them and Mikey backed away from one brother to let the other through.
No words were spoken as Leo and Raph hugged, albeit more calmly than their hugs with Mikey were. So many bad words had been spoken between the two for far too long, it was amazing for anyone to witness the love these two brothers showed by a mere embrace. No words came to Mike's head as he watched his beloved older brothers reunite. It was as if the misty fog had not only healed their physical wounds, the scars of which the 'chuck wielding turtle could actually see slowly disappearing on Leo's face and Raph's arms, but it was healing their emotional ones as well--at least, most of them anyway.
Leonardo and Raphael finally parted, but did not allow too much room between them. They stood, looking around in the strange mist contemplating, before Leo spoke up.
"So," he muttered, his eyes still blinking in amazement. "I guess we're dead."
Raph smirked. "That would be a good assessment."
It was on the tip of Mike's tongue to crack a joke on Raph's apparent expanded vocabulary, but he frowned instead.
"Yeah, well, we had expected it, didn't we?" Mike said, "The Shredder needed to be stopped at all costs, we agreed on that, but . . ."
Mike paused, almost not daring to say it. But he didn't need to. Leo finished it for him.
"Did we win?" It was a true testament to how well trained they were as warriors. They knew that death had not meant failure or victory, that it was just a cycle of life. But the destruction of the evil that plagued mankind was important for the survival of those who lived on Earth.
Raph bit his lip, a habit he had picked up in recent years. "I think we did…I mean…Don isn't here."
That was painfully obvious. Even though they had spent most of their life without him, they never felt right without Donatello by their side. It was the reason why they couldn't get along with each other. Having the three of them together only made them miss the fourth more and the feeling of incompleteness they always felt was a heavy pressure that never went away. Apart, though, there were times when they could pretend that the last was just at home, waiting for them to return so he could tell them about his newest project or whatever it was that Don would usually talk about.
And as they stood in silence, a fourth shadow appeared many feet away, indistinct in the clouded mist. Both hope and dread filled Mike's stomach, for he knew without really seeing who that fourth shadow was. If he was here, they had lost. If he was here, they were together. He held his breath as the fog started to clear and the image of another turtle came into view.
The three brothers stared at the figure as he moved closer. Mikey fought his instincts to run and jump into the turtle's arms, instead he drank in the visage of their long, lost brother.
They noticed the difference right away, and their suspicions were confirmed. They had suspected when they had seen the young turtle for the first time in thirty years, having not changed one iota, that he wasn't their Don. But this Donatello had old battle scars that they didn't remember seeing before. This Donatello looked older than the one they had just joined in battle with, but still looked wise and gentle. This Donatello had a haunted look in his eyes that they never wanted to see. This Donatello, they knew, was their's.
And with tears in his eyes, Donatello came forward.
"I thought I'd never see you guys again," he said softly. Mikey just blinked at him, then grinned.
"Dude. Never say never." And with that Mikey jumped into his arms, and Don held him as kisses rained down on his face, which was now salty from his tears. More bodies joined in on the hug and they were all talking at once.
"We went crazy without you-"
"-and then you came back, but not really you, some other-"
"-His name was Bishop, and he was trying to create an army to fight-"
"I just wanted to hate you for so long, but I just couldn't-"
"I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry!"
They continued to talk over each other, not really caring if their words were heard. Soon, Don was just sobbing into his brothers' shoulders as they forgave him and themselves.
Many minutes, perhaps even days, passed before they could bear to part from each other, even if it was to lose physical contact, but part they did and they stood and stared at each other, watching scars and wounds heal themselves in the white mist. Silence reigned for those moments as they drank each other in.
Finally, Raph broke the blessed silence and grinned. "Well, I guess this is it. I knew we'd be together in the end."
Leo smirked, but not unkindly. "You had to be right, for once." It was a familiar banter, even though it hadn't been used in many years, and Raph could only give his bark of a laugh as a rebuff.
Don turned his head suddenly, focusing his attention behind him. A soft smile, so achingly recognizable of their days of youth, flitted upon his face. "Yeah, I think we all are together now." The other three suddenly noticed the dark shapes coming into view. Mikey squealed again and ran towards the dark shapes.
The three remaining turtles laughed as they watched their youngest brother lift up one of the dark shadows. Don placed an arm around the other two and started moving them forward. "C'mon guys, lets get this family reunion started."
The joined turtles walked forward into the mist, unafraid and unbroken, disappearing into the white comfort of home.
Author's Notes 2: Ack, not exactly how I wanted the Donnie reunion to go, but it could have been worse. Got any questions, ask me. I have so many ideas and thoughts about this fic, that I'd just have to write a paper on it. LOL. Ask away, really. Oh, I was listening to Into The West by Howard Shore and Annie Lennox during the last part of the story and the title itself is from the lyrics of another song on the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King soundtrack. Hehe, get the theme.