Hey fellas! The final chapter is here.
Repeat: I'm not the turtles' owner… DAMN YOU NICKELODEON!
Love ya lil' bro… Should've told ya before…
By the time the others appeared into the scene, Raph was already dead. With great sorrow, they took the teenager's body to the lair where Splinter was waiting. Once they arrived, the old rat collapsed on tears as he hugged his son's corpse. When the guys called April, she almost lost control of the car because of the shock. She couldn't believe this was happening; the Foot was going to pay for what they've done, sooner or later they had to pay. Taking a teenager's life just for a foolish revenge!
As the others prepare the burial ceremony, Mikey never left his room. His brother was dead because of him, he had died on his arms, his last words… he had heard his last words! Mikey couldn't even stand near the coffin where his brother was gonna rest… forever.
During the trip to Casey's grandma's house, no one said a word. The silence was broken only by April's muffled sobs. During the ceremony, no one had dry eyes. One by one they expressed their inner feelings. Leonardo started. He took a step forward and put a rose, red as Raph's bandanna and also as his brother's favorite color.
"Raph, no matter how many times we argued or when you said you hated me, I knew you were lying. You never had hard feelings with any of us. We love you and you'll never be forgotten"
Then, Leo made space for the next one: Donatello.
"There were so many times when I felt like I needed to be perfect on my work… that every experiment I worked on it needed to be perfect and that I couldn't allow me to make mistakes. But then you made me see I was wrong. You made me see I didn't need to be a genius every time. You made me see I was already perfect. Thanks bro. I'll never forget that"
With this, the purple masked ninja place his rose in the coffin and stood beside Leo. The next one in line was Casey.
"Raph, buddy… you were like the brother I wished to have. You were there when I needed you the most. Sure we always put ourselves in trouble… Heh, what a pair of boneheads, huh? But we always managed to protect each other. I hope you watch my back… from a better place now"
Casey placed his rose and something else in addition…
"I'm putting here my first hockey mask so you won't forget me 'til I go where you are now… take care of it, Raph… it's my favorite, you know"
Right after Casey, April approached to the coffin and placed a pink rose.
"My rose is pink because is my favorite color. When you look at it, remember me Raph… if it wasn't for you, I would never meet the man who's now my husband and I thank you for that. I thank you for introduce me to my perfect man. I love you… my little brother"
April collapsed on tears after the last words. Casey tried to sooth her and she buried her face on his chest. Master Splinter walked slowly and placed his hand on the coffin, his eyes remained closed as he talked.
"Raphael, my son, you were a brave warrior; loyal to your family and passionate on battle. Perhaps you are gone in body but your spirit will live in our hearts"
"Mikey… would you like to…" Leo encouraged his little brother but as a few days ago, he remained in silence.
"It is alright my son… it is your decision if you do not wish to talk right now" Splinter comforted Mikey.
The orange masked ninja moved a step forward and placed his rose which had some tears that shined like crystals. But no words came out of his mouth; once his rose joined to other ones, he left the place in silence. After this, Casey and Leo started to bury the coffin while the others went into the house. During the rest of the afternoon, they talked about family experiences, remembering their happy moments with Raphael. The night finally came; all of them tried to get some sleep… all but one. Leo got up and decided to check if the others were fine when he noticed Mikey's room was empty, his bed was cold… a clear sign that he hadn't been there in a long time.
The blue masked ninja walked as stealthy as he could through the stairs. He didn't want to wake up the others; he knew no one had slept very well in the last few days. In completely silence, he left the house and started to look around the place for any sign of his little brother without success.
"Where he could be now? Mikey? Mikey... c'mon bro, don't scare me like this, where are you?"
No response. And then, just when he was going to the house again, he saw a familiar shadow kneeled next to Raph's grave.
"What's he doing there?"
Meanwhile, Mikey looked at the epitaph for one more time:
Son, Brother, Warrior
His spirit is a fire that will not be extinct
from our hearts
We love you
Each word hurt… every single word… Mikey closed his eyes fiercely, trying to stop the tears but failing miserably. He jumped back with a gasp when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"I thought you were here" Leo said kneeling beside his brother.
"What are you doing here? You need to sleep, bro"
"You need some sleep too, Mikey. It's been a long day"
"I couldn't sleep so… I came here…"
"Yeah, I can see that" both turtles remained in silence when Mikey spoke again.
"I used to do this before…"
"When I couldn't sleep… I used to go with Raph. Of course, he never liked to be awake in the middle of the night just because I couldn't sleep and he smacked me or something… but he always ended up helping me to sleep again" Mikey said with a sad smile and tears on his eyes.
"Mikey, I know this may sound cruel but… you have to let it go"
"No, Leo. This is my fault; he's dead because of me!"
"That's not true. It wasn't your fault and you know it"
"If I hadn't pull that prank… he probably would be riding his bike, racing Casey right now"
"Mikey, he saved you that night. But you're ruin his job; if you don't let it go, you'll be killing yourself… the cheerful and always happy Mikey we all know… Mikey, his sacrifice will be in vain if you don't stop blaming yourself for something that you didn't do"
"It's just… Leo, I… I don't want to forget him"
"And you're not, Mikey. Listen, what would he say if he saw you like this?"… Leo wiped Mikey's tears away… "He told you not to cry, Mikey. He wouldn't want you to be miserable for the rest of your life"
"I miss him, you don't have idea how much I miss him, Leo!" Mikey said hugging his brother and still sobbing.
"I miss him, too… I miss him, too" Leo also had tears in his eyes but held them. He needed to stay calm for his little brother.
"Mikey, tell me something… why you didn't talk at the ceremony? It would be nice if you'd have said a few words"
"Because what I had to tell him, I had already said it to him before he left us… I said that I loved him and that was all he needed to know from me"
Suddenly, a warm breeze surrounded them.
"Did you feel that?"
"What?" Mikey asked with a puzzled gaze.
"The wind it's warmer… you know what that means?"
"He's here… every time you feel that the wind becomes warmer around you, be totally sure he's there… looking after you, not physically but in spirit. He's still protecting you, Mikey. The only difference it's that now you can't see him… like the great ninja he was, he's protecting you… 'in the shadows'…"
"Heh, nice speech Leo" Mikey smirked.
"At least it made you smile… a little"
"Thanks Leo… and Raph… thanks for being there for me" Mikey looked at the grave.
Leo and Mikey stayed there 'til the sunrise greeted them. The warm colors in the sky made them remember they were not alone; some hotheaded turtle was looking after them.
"Well readers… I hope you liked it. Whoa… I can't believe I just had killed one of the turtles!"
R: Yeah… just a question… why me?
"Ahhhh! Raphael-san! Hehe… hi… eh, why your sais look more shiny and… and pointy… and sharp?"
R: Let's just say… I sharpened a little more for mah targeting practice… but I need someone who help me… ya know what I'm saying?
"Y-yeah… hey, Raph…eh… look, I'm a little busy right now. You know, work to do and… duties…and…and…"
R: I'm not asking ya if ya had time… am I?
R: At the count of one… two…
"Ok, gotta go now… please reviews… and hope Raph leaves me on one piece for my next fan-fic" T_T