A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed, favorited, alerted, or just flat out read this story. You have all been completely wonderful! This is the last of the Holiday Trilogy. I'm sorry to say that I am not planning on writing any more following this story line (though I'm not going to say that I won't, given that then I probably will, lol!). Anyway, thanks to you all for sticking with me for so long!
HUGE thanks to Moogs for betaing this for me (and for putting up with my wackyness!)
Disclaimer: You'd think after all this time, I'd have a little more than nothing...
It's all over. It's FINALLY all over…I hope. My bros said I was out for almost two days but it was partly Donnie's fault for giving me the sleeping gas stuff. He said that he did some surgery on my neck and completely disabled that thing in my neck and it won't be able to ever work again even though he couldn't get it out.
But that electro-doodad isn't what scares me.
What scares me are the dreams. The memories.
I didn't remember at first and no one would tell me what happened. I musta scared them real bad or something. But the dreams… I can't believe I'd do that. I finally coaxed the truth outa Leo—but he didn't like telling me. Shell, he only told me 'cause Sensei practically scolded him to tell me.
Only Sensei knows about the voice. I wasn't even going to tell anyone, but he already knew. He was doing the whole 'meditate and connect with your mind' thing when I started having a seizure. Oh yeah, did I mention that? Only found that out 'cause Raph practically flew off the handle about it.
I dunno…that voice… It's worse than having some sort of freaky alien thing burst out of your chest. No, it's some freaky me thing bursting into my mind. And I don't know if it's really all gone. It's like some part of me woke up and now's just taking a nap. I didn't even know I could feel like that. Is this what Raph feels like all the time? Afraid that if he gets too angry, he'll lose control? That something will pop up and start taking over?
I really didn't want this.
I didn't want to have to feel all grown up like this…
There was a soft rapping at the door to his room and Michelangelo spun around, blocking the book lying open on the table. Standing in the doorway was Master Splinter.
"Come, Michelangelo. It is Easter morning. Today is a time for being with your family, not for hiding alone."
Michelangelo bit his bottom lip.
"Are you feeling alright, my son?" Splinter walked into the room until he was directly in front of the youngest turtle. "Something is bothering you." This was a statement, not a question.
Michelangelo's shoulders slumped. "What if it comes back?" he whispered, his voice cracking. "I-I don't know what it'd make me do!"
His sensei set a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Should this voice return, we shall face it together. Your family is here to support you, Michelangelo."
"Yeah, well…" the turtle sighed. "I wish it didn't have to be like this. I just want to be like I used to."
A sad smile tugged at the corners of the rat's lips as understanding flickered in his eyes. "Healing requires time, my son. Nothing truly great is ever done immediately."
"No offense, Sensei, but I don't think that this is really 'great.' It's more like 'how can life totally mess with Mikey.' Why did all this have to happen to me? It's not like I did anything!" He could feel a tear starting to form in the corner of his eye and quickly wiped it away with the back of his hand.
"Michelangelo, do you know what an Easter egg symbolizes?"
"Um, what?" Splinter's question caught him completely off guard. "What's a candy egg got to do with anything?"
Master Splinter shook his head with a smile. "Not a 'candy egg,' as you call it, but a true Easter egg." He pulled an un-dyed egg from inside his kimono and held it out for Michelangelo to see. "The shell of this egg is beautiful, perfect, is it not?"
Michelangelo took it in his hands and looked it over carefully. The shell was absolutely smooth, without a single blemish. "Yeah, Master Splinter. What's it for?"
"This egg could to remain as it is, with its shell exactly as it has been since it was laid; or a new life, in the form of a chick, could spring from it. Now, in which way is this egg more desirable? As a whole shell that can only be still and never grow or explore? Or as a chick who has the entire world laid out before its feet?"
"What exactly does this have to do with me, Sensei?"
"In order for the chick to live, the shell around it must first be broken. The process of breaking through the shell is long and hard for the chick yet it must persevere."
"Sorry, Sensei," Michelangelo handed the egg back. "I'm still not getting it."
"The lesson of the Easter egg is simple, my son. While what once seemed to be wonderful may now become cracked and discarded like the broken shell of an egg, the process of change brings forth something even more wonderful."
"So you're saying that I should just grow up?" Michelangelo sounded hurt.
"No, my son. I am asking you to not be disheartened because of what you know has changed."
"Do I still get Easter candy, though?"
Master Splinter laughed, a twinkle shone in his eyes. "Yes. You may still have your candy. Come and join your brothers."
"Okay." A genuine smile crossed Michelangelo's face and he felt suddenly at peace. "I'll be there in just a minute. Let me finish this really quick."
"All right, my son, but do not tarry for too long."
"'Kay, Sensei." Michelangelo turned back to his diary as Splinter left the room. He picked the pencil back up with a smile.
I think I'll be okay with all of this.
So there you have it. The end. Please review and I'll give you a piece of left-over digital Easter candy! Flames will be used to melt chocolate for an ice cream topping!