The hours passed slowly; Mikey had received a transfusion but there was no sign of consciousness yet. While Don cleaned the wounds, he noticed the recent and old cuts on his brother's wrists; most of them were pretty deep and long, luckily they weren't infected… Mikey had done a good job on cleaning, bandaging and hiding them. The genius turtle left the lab after he checked Mikey's vital signs for one last time.
In the living room, the guys had told Splinter everything: Mikey's prank, Mikey's weird behavior and the journal. Splinter couldn't believe the most cheerful of his sons had decided to act that way but the reasons were kinda understandable… not that he applauded Mikey's actions but his brothers' ones weren't so good either. They knew Mikey couldn't be lectured without feeling sad or depressed after that… and they did it all together the same night. To make things worse: neither of them talked to him the following day which aggravated Mikey's depressive state.
"We only need to wait now" Don sighed.
"I'm sorry, sensei. You left me in charge and I ruined it all" Leo said feeling ashamed.
"I think you're not the only one to blame here, Leo" Don said.
"Agree. We all were hard on him… we're all guilty" Raph added.
"I should have tried to talk to him… as I always did when he got lectured! What happened to me?" Leo sighed sadly.
"What is done… is done, my sons. You own your brother an apologize but I fear that will not be enough this time" Splinter said sadly.
Later in the night, the guys decided to sleep in the lab. They felt so guilty that they couldn't sleep knowing their little brother was going to be alone and unconscious; he already had felt alone all this time and they weren't going to let that happen again. While Mikey was unconscious, many thoughts came to his mind: the way he treated his brothers, the time when he hurt two them and "killed" Leo. He thought he had killed his big brother… his protector and leader. This last thought was haunting the young ninja, causing him nightmares… terrible nightmares.
"Huh? Where am I? Guys?" Mikey said. He was surrounded by darkness... nothing but darkness.
"Raph? Donnie? Where are you?" Mikey insisted.
In front of him appeared the empty lair. Then, voices coming from the dojo… the last place he saw Leo, the place where Leo died… the place where Mikey "killed" him. Mikey ran to the place but when he got there… no one was there, not even Leo's body.
"Ok, this is getting creepier and creepier" Mikey said to himself.
"You did it" A voice behind Mikey said.
"AHHH!" Mikey yelled. He turned back just to face up with an angry Raph.
"Ya killed him!" Raph continued.
"Raph? I… I can explain!"Mikey said. Another voice interrupted him.
"I don't think you can do that"
"Donnie?" Mikey said as he saw his genius brother walking near to him.
"I can believe you did that to him, to your own brother" Don hissed.
"It was… it was… I didn't… but…" Mikey stuttered.
"Speechless, Michelangelo?" A new voice said. Mikey turned around just to see Leo stood behind him.
"LEO! Thanks heavens you're…"
"They can't see me, Michelangelo" Leo interrupted Mikey.
"What?" Mikey exclaimed.
"You killed me" Leo continued.
"Leo, it was an…" Mikey tried to explain.
"Accident? Yeah… right" Leo said bitterly.
"Guys, you have to believe me. I didn't want to hurt you!" Mikey said.
"Liar" Leo said.
"Knucklehead" Raph continued.
"Guys, please! You have to listen to me!" Mikey insisted.
"Lazy shell" Don added.
"Shell-fer-brains" Raph said.
"Guys, stop it!" Mikey covered his ears. This was too much for him.
"Please, stop! Bros, I'm sorry; I really am… but please, stop! " Mikey clenched his eyes shut trying to stop the incoming tears.
"We're not brothers of yours!" Leo said angrily. Mikey opened his eyes wide in disbelief.
"Now you're gone, we'll be the perfect team!" Leo continued with an evil grin on his face.
"No more pranks!" Raph said.
"No more silly games!" Don continued.
"No more mistakes!" Leo added.
"You are a mistake, Michelangelo! You always were!" the three brothers said in an accusing tone. Mikey fell on his knees with his ears still covered; little tears started to make his way through his cheeks.
"Guys… please! P-please… s-stop! It hurts… it h-hurts so much!" Mike begged as he sobbed.
"But you like the pain!" Leo said mockingly.
"You love the pain" Don continued.
"Ya can't live without pain" Raph ended.
"N-not true… n-not true" Mikey sobbed. The three ninjas started to walk away… leaving Mikey alone in the darkness.
"Guys? GUYS! PLEASE, DON'T LEAVE ME! PLEASE!" Mikey yelled desperately.
The whimpering sounds made Leo to wake up immediately just to find Mikey tossing his head from side to side, his eyes clenched shut tightly and mumbling something.
"Mikey?" Leo stood up and ran to his brother's side.
"Guys… please…" Mikey mumbled.
"Raph, Don… Mikey's waking up!" Raph and Don woke up and rushed to Mikey's side.
"Mikey?" Leo shook Mikey gently.
"Please… don't… I'm sorry…" Mikey mumbled.
"C'mon, bro. Wake up!" Leo shook him more insistently. Mikey opened his eyes slowly, blinking and trying to adjust to the light.
"Hey Mikey; you give us a scare!" Leo said with a smirk.
"L-Leo?" Mikey managed to sit up with Don's help.
"Hey bro. How are y…" Leo started but was interrupted by Mikey who pulled his blue masked brother into a tight hug.
"LEO! YOU'RE OK! I DIDN'T KILL YOU!" Mikey yelled in a cheerful tone.
"Hehe… yeah, yeah. I'm fine" Leo returned the embrace.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry guys! I didn't mean it, I swear!" Mikey sobbed softly.
"Ssh… it's ok Mikey. You don't need to apologize" Leo calmed his little brother rocking him gently.
"That would be us, bro. We did this to you" Don said with shame on his voice.
"Yeah, we shouldn't have treated ya like that. We knew ya are… y'know…" Raph said insecure of what could be the right words to say.
"Childish?" Mikey ended Raph phrase.
"What? No! No, Mikey… you're not childish. He tried to say sensible; you're the most sensible of us and… we should've known our behavior could affect you" Leo explained.
"But… I hurt you, guys. I hurt Raph, Donnie and I almost… I almost…" Mikey sobbed.
"I think we deserved it… in sort a way" Raph chuckled.
"How did you find me?" Mikey asked trying to stop his tears.
"Leo did" Raph said.
"Lucky us he left the lab… after I told him to stay" Don said giving a sympathetic glare to his blue banded brother.
"But ya can't blame him for that. After all, he found him" Raph stated.
"Guys, could we continue this conversation tomorrow? There's another issue here" Leo said referring to his still sobbing little brother.
"Mikey, we're truly sorry for this. We turned you into this! We're the responsible ones of your suffering. We're not asking you to forgive us; in fact, we don't deserve it! But please, please… stop hurting yourself for something that we did" Leo said fighting his own tears of guilt.
"How do you expect me to not forgive you when I'm the one who has to be asking for that? I hurt you! I disappointed you! If it wasn't for that stupid prank, none of this would've happened in the first place. And… and that horrible nightmare I just had… you guys… you hated me and…" Mikey cried burying his wet face on Leo's chest.
"Ssh… it's ok Mikey. We don't hate you; we could never do something like that" Don said rubbing Mikey's shell comfortingly.
"Yer maybe a lil annoying sometimes but… that's how you are; that makes ya especial and… we just forgot it" Raph added.
"Whoa, Raph. That was deep, bro" Mikey chuckled.
"I'll smack ya later for that, kid" Raph said with a smirk joining his brothers in a group hug.
The following weeks, the three brothers with the help of their sensei, helped Mikey with his internal and external healing. Both wounds needed to be cured: the wounds on his body and especially… the ones on his soul. The orange masked ninja still had nightmares but here was the difference: Mikey was not alone anymore; he had his brothers back to him… to comfort him, to help him to fight his fears. Michelangelo was no more… Mikey was back again and he was going to stay… forever.
Whew! Finally done with this fic. ^^ I've been having some... problems (Hittler mom) ¬¬ I'm sorry for the biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig delay ^^' Reviews please?