Nope! I don't own them! I wish I do, though…^^
When we were kids, Mikey was the center of attention… all the time! Always making jokes and pulling pranks on us. He was so filled of life!
Now that we grew up, he hadn't changed at all. He's still being the cheerful and fun-loving turtle in the world… and we loved him that way.
He was very curious… always asking endless questions, fool questions, innocent questions… but there was a question that has been bugging me lately. A question you made me when you were 6 years old.
I remember it clearly; we were going on a picnic with Master Splinter. It was Donnie's birthday and we all were having fun. After the birthday cake and some orange juice, you asked me the weirdest question I've had ever heard on my young life… because if I remember well… I was 9 at that time.
"Leo, when I turn 16… What are you gonna give me?"
"Mikey, you're only 6! Don't you think is a little earlier for a question like that?"
"Well… Master Splinter says time flies so…"
I don't remember exactly what did I tell you. Maybe I stayed I silence… maybe I changed the topic of the conversation, I don't know. Now… 10 years later, the question comes to my mind again.
Why? Because in two weeks is your 16th birthday.
April, Casey, the guys, Master Splinter and I have been working on your "Sweet 16's party" This party has to be especial; you've been waiting it for 10 years!
We've already sent the invitations; all your friends from The Justice Force are coming! Everyone has already the perfect gift for you… well, everyone but me.
I wonder what I can give you.
April bought you the new video game you wanted, Casey got you an autographed skate from your favorite skater, Donnie got you the limited edition of your favorite comic book and Raph is gonna make you the biggest cake you've ever seen… at least that's what he said.
You've been more cheerful than usual lately… or that is what we thought.
I've noticed your speed in our rooftops sessions is lowering; when you catch your breath it's like you want all the air in your lungs at the first inhalation! I've seen you grab your chest with your hand, like if your heart wants to escape from your body… and that painful expression on your face!
I've asked you what's wrong but you always say you're ok and you give me that smile of yours, that especial smile!
I know I should trust you but… something's not right with you.
Maybe you're just overworking yourself… maybe it's the pressure of the in-coming party. Maybe it's just my imagination!
Yeah, I hope it's just my imagination.
2 WEEKS BEFORE MIKEY'S 16
Well… as I said before, Mikey was the center of attention… he was our joy, our hope, the soul of the party… the heart of the family!
He got our attention more than ever that Sunday, that horrible Sunday. We were in Casey's grandma's house, you bumped into something (at least that's what we all thought) and you almost lost balance but I caught you before you fell down.
I asked you again what was going on with you but you smiled at me again. You're lying, I know you are lying. You don't want me to worry about you but I can't stop worrying about any of us! That's my nature; I'm the big brother here.
Once we were installed in the living room, you were to the kitchen for some food. I still remember what happened when you appeared with the tray full with snacks and glasses. You froze for a second and then… the expression I'd seen before returned on your face, you were in pain.
Before any of us could do something you fainted. Food and broken glasses laid all over the floor. Don tried to wake you up but you didn't react, your pulse was weak, you were so cold!
1 WEEK BEFORE MIKEY'S 16
A week had passed now… next week will be your birthday. And here we are… back in our lair. Everyone is worried about your condition; Leatherhead has been checking your progress… which is not good.
"Anything LH?" Raph asked.
"I fear yes, my friend… but these are not good news" Leatherhead said with concern.
"What is it? What have you found?" Leo asked desperately.
"Perhaps you should call the others, Leonardo"
In a matter of seconds, everyone was reunited in the living room. Leatherhead's face spoke for him… these have to be really bad news!
"So, LH… what's happening to Mikey?" Don asked.
"Michelangelo's heart has been affected by a rare disease but I still need to make more analysis before any final conclusion"
I knew it, I knew something was wrong! Leatherhead confirmed my worst thoughts. I should have done something, I should have insisted 'til you told me the truth! My baby brother is dying… and it's my fault!
"Leo, don't blame yerself" Raph said placing a hand on Leo's shoulder.
How did he know I'm blaming myself? Am I too obvious?
"How do you…"
"I know ya, Fearless, more than ya think. It's not yer fault. And don't worry… Mikey's gonna be ok, Leatherhead said we can't be sure of his condition"
"I know, I know… but what if… what if he's wrong? I mean, even geniuses can make mistakes… what if Mikey is really dying?" Leo said burying his face on his hands.
I wanted to cry… to let out all the pain that was consuming me from the inside. But I couldn't… I couldn't cry. I don't cry very often… maybe that's the reason.
I entered into the lab and I see you there… motionless… lying still… the fun-loving turtle, the noisy turtle we loved was quiet… too quiet. If I could do something to ease your pain, little brother.
I can't believe you're gonna miss your especial day! It's unfair, it's really unfair! I grab your hand… it's cold. I try to think positive but you're the positive one… always smiling at the worst situations, always laughing. But now, your smile has disappeared… you haven't wakened up since last Sunday.
3 DAYS BEFORE MIKEY'S 16
You're finally awake! You're still weak, pale… but…you keep asking about your birthday party. Hehe… even in your pain you're still being the childish Mikey we all know, that's a good sign… you're still with us… alive.
But our happiness was taken from us when Leatherhead and Donnie came out with the final tests.
You were dying… your heart was giving up… you wouldn't survive the rest of the week.
April cried like a helpless child when she heard the bad news, Casey is trying to comfort her.
Hmmm… interesting! This is the first time I see Raph crying! Though he denies it, I can see he's lying… his eyes are red and his bandanna has marked the tears lines on it.
I'm still beside you… seeing you sleep and feeling scared with the thought that you're not gonna wake up again. I'm falling asleep, too… I'm so tired. Then… I hear your voice again…
"Leo… I'm gonna die… huh? Leatherhead told you that… didn't he?"
"No Mikey… you'll be ok. We're gonna find a solution like always… besides, you can't leave us; we've already sent the invitations for your 'Sweet 16's'!" Leo said trying to smile.
"When people die… where do they go? Can they see their beloved ones from that place? Can they come back to the world?"
"Well… nobody comes back from death, Mikey. But… if I die… I wouldn't leave you alone, that's for sure. I would find a way to be with you, to communicate with you… I would use the wind as my last resource"
"Eh? Could you explain me that?" for once in your life, you were paying attention! Whoa… you're definitely sick!
"Well… it's kinda hard to explain but… if I die you will know I'm with you when you feel the wind surrounding you and a warm breeze caressing your cheek" Leo said placing his hand on Mikey's cheek caressing it a little.
"Like now?" Mikey asked referring to his brother's touch.
"Yeah… like now"… Leo answered grinning a little… "I'll let you sleep now, ok?"
"Ok… thanks for taking care of me, Leo. You're the best" Mikey said smirking and closing his eyes.
2 DAYS BEFORE MIKEY'S 16
A ray of hope has come to our life! Leatherhead told us there is a way to save you! But he doesn't seem to be happy with the good news… and Donnie is not happy either.
"Michelangelo can be saved… but…"
But? There is a 'but' here? And why LH and Don are so serious? Is the solution that bad?
"But?" April asked.
"He needs a heart… a new one" Don answered.
Now I understand your long faces! A heart? Where the shell can we get a heart for you?
We were the only ones in this world, the four of us! A heart… all that we need is a heart! Where can I get you a heart? Where? Mikey… my baby brother… I don't wanna loose you. In two days you'll turn 16, you can't die!
A heart? A heart! We need a heart… YOU NEED A HEART!
Mikey's Sweet 16!
I'm feeling dizzy… where the shell am I? Hmmm… this is not our this… Leatherhead's lab?
Ouch! … wait… I don't remember this scar in my chest… did my heart finally let my body?
I'm waking up… my eyes are blurry… eh? Is that…Silver Sentry? Angel? Everybody's here?
Oh! I remember! TODAY'S MY BIRTHDAY!
FINALLY! MY SWEET 16'S PARTY!
Aww! Too bad I can't get up… my heart hurts…
Wait… it doesn't hurt anymore! My heart doesn't hurt anymore!
Sensei is happy for having me back. I feel like I've had 10 cups of coffee! I feel alive! I can't wait! Let's start the party!
Whoa! I've never seen Leatherhead's lair so decorated! They'd have been very busy while I was sick.
I'M FINE! I'M CURED! Leo was right! They saved me! Just in time for my birthday!
Hey! Speaking of Leo… where is he anyway? Everybody's here… but… where is Leo?
Hmmm… oh! I remember… when I was a kid I asked him what was he gonna give me for my 16's… I guess he's searching the greatest gift for me!
Knowing Leo… he's been thinking of that all these years… Yeah, that's definitely Leo!
22:00 o' clock
Whoa! That was the best birthday party I've ever had! Raph is a good baker, I admit. That cake was delicious!
I can't believe all the wonderful gifts I've received! I loved April's one… and Casey's one! Oh! And Donnie's gift, too! All the gifts are amazing!
But… Leo didn't appear! Hmmm… weird… he promised me he was gonna be here. I hope he's ok… maybe… it has to be the traffic! Yeah! The traffic!
We're back to our lair.
Wait a sec… why all the guests are coming with us?
"Eh… Silver Sentry… Justice Force? Don't you have to go back to your place? I don't wanna sound rude but…"
"Angel, are you gonna stay with us tonight?"
Silence again… this is getting weirder and weirder! Leatherhead is coming, too?
"Ok, you guys! What the shell is going on here? Why don't you go back to your places? It's not that I dislike being with you but… The party is over!" Mikey said but they entered into the lair leaving Mikey behind.
"Wait…. Don't tell me there's another party!" Mikey yelled happily.
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! TWO PARTIES! YAY! THIS HAS TO BE THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!
I ran as fast as I could… I can't believe I can run again! And I'm not tired!
When I entered into the lair… everybody was dressed in black… there candles everywhere… Leo's favorite candles. Now, this is weird! Weird and scary!
"Eh… guys? Isn't it a little late for a Halloween party?"
Nobody was laughing… instead… they were… crying? Why? It's my birthday! We'd have a great time! What's wrong?
"Michelangelo, my son. Have a sit, please" Splinter said with a serious voice.
Oh-oh! That voice… that voice means trouble! What did I do now? I don't remember pulling any prank lately.
"This is for you. Open it, my son" Splinter said handing Mikey an envelope.
A letter? Hmmm… To my baby brother… Leo's handwriting! Aww! Leo wrote me a letter! How cute!
By the time you're reading my letter, you must be sixteen years old, with a strong heart beating in your chest. That was what LH promised me. He operated on you.
You can't even remotely imagine how sorry I am… unable to be with you in this moment.
WhenI knew you were going to die I felt I would die with you, and I wondered what could I do.
After a lot of thinking and feeling a thousand things inside me, I finally decided that the best way to do something for you was to give response to a question you made me when you were 6 and which I didn't answer.
I decided to make the greatest gift anyone has ever done.
I give you my whole life, without any condition.
Live, Mikey… my baby brother… live and be happy.
I also want you to know that today, tomorrow and always I'll be by your side. I love you and I always will.
Your big brother.
"No… no! … This… this is a joke, right?"
I looked at the others' faces… this was not a joke. No… no! this must be a joke! This has to be a joke!
"Leo… quit kidding! Where are you?"
I ran upstairs… his room was empty. No… no Leo! Don't do this to me! I checked the others' rooms.
Hmmm… maybe in Donnie's lab! Yeah… he's hidden there! He has to be there! Leo can't be… he can't be…
Don noticed his orange masked brother was going to his lab and tried to stop him… "Mikey, don't go to my…"… but it was too late.
Yeah… Leo was there… in a coffin! He was dead! I saw his chest… the same scar that I have!
No… this is not happening!
"No… Leo… no!" Mikey sobbed on the coffin. Raph tried to comfort him but Mikey pulled him away.
"Mikey, wait!" Raph said as he saw his little brother running to his room.
Leo… no! This is a nightmare! A NIGHTMARE!
I must be death… Yeah! That's it! I'm death!
I died yesterday… the party, the happiness… it's only an illusion! I'm dead and maybe in heaven!
But the scar in my chest is aching… it's real pain… that means… I'm alive!
No, no, no, no!
Leo… my big brother… he gave me his heart! He's death because of me! This is not fair!
Yesterday, I cried 'til I fell asleep. My eyes are aching and my heart, too… but this time… is not for the disease. It's for the pain of losing Leo… our protector… our leader… our big brother.
We buried him this afternoon. The ceremony was beautiful… even Raph was crying a few minutes ago!
Everyone is in the house now.
I'm still here… in front of the headstone. I don't wanna cry again… I must be strong!
I have your heart, you were strong… I'm supposed to be strong, too!
But I can't hold back the tears… I miss you, Leo. I miss you so much!
I shouldn't have made that stupid question… your protective instincts made you chose your death instead of mine… I can't stand it, I can't!
I wanna hug you one more time but the only thing I can do is hug this cold headstone. Tears are leaving my eyes; they look like little crystals on the flowers that decorate your tomb.
"Thanks bro, thanks for everything. Maybe I didn't say this to you very often but… I want you to know that… I love you. I should have told you this before… or maybe I did but… I should have told it you more often. I know you're gonna be there for me… always… but… I need you now!" Mikey said crying fiercely.
The wind is becoming weird… hmmm… feels nice… a little… warmer?
Hey! This is kinda familiar… it's like… déjà vu or something…
"Nobody comes back from death, Mikey. But… if I die… I wouldn't leave you alone, that's for sure. I would find a way to be with you, to communicate with you… I would use the wind as my last resource"
"Well… it's kinda hard to explain but… if I die you will know I'm with you when you feel the wind surrounding you and a warm breeze caressing your cheek"
"Yeah… like now"
It's you! … Has to be… you're with me now… I know.
I can feel you.
You're always gonna be with me… now and forever.
Thanks Leo, love you… big brother.
No turtles have been harmed in making this fan-fic… I was feeling a little depressed and this story came to my mind. Aww! The mystery of inspiration!