Chapter Eight


An older turtle would have held back his tears. Mikey cried.

A turtle who cared about his reputation wouldn't have let his tears out. Mikey couldn't stop sobbing.

A turtle who had others depending on him would have only cried when he was alone in his room. Mikey cried everywhere.

A turtle who wanted to get it together quickly would have limited his grieving to only during the small hours of the morning. Mikey cried every day for a week.

An angrier turtle set on vengance would've stormed Bishop's headquarters and hunted him down to murder him in cold blood, or he would've died trying. Mikey just sniveled and dragged himself around the lair like he had weights fastened to his legs.

A turtle who liked to keep busy would've buried himself in his work so that he didn't have to cope with the horrible, wrenching emotions, or feel anything. Mikey did nothing but sit and cry.

That night, Splinter found Mikey huddled over Vittoria's cold body and held him for hours. He held him just as he had when Mikey was a child, when he used to be afraid of the dark. He sang to Mikey in a low voice, in Japanese, a sad, gentle hymn that Mikey didn't understand.


Leo, Raph, and Don removed Vittoria's body. They cleaned the floor and washed the couch. When they were finished, it looked as though she had never died. Mikey dragged himself out of his room and collapsed onto the newly cleaned couch, burying his face into the cushions.


Leo put in a movie. It was one of Mikey's favorites. He joined Mikey on the couch and placed a gentle hand on his shell. Crawling forward with his elbows, Mikey scooted up and put his head in his brother's lap. He sobbed while the opening credits rolled, and Leo just rubbed his shell back and forth, mimicking the waves of the ocean. He would soothe Mikey. He would be the constant in the middle of his storm.


Donny was welding two pieces of metal together when he saw Mikey huddled on the couch out of the corner of his eye. His expression softened. He put down his tools and took off his welding mask. As he walked over to Mikey, he saw that he was gripping one of his comics, and though he had it turned to the first page, it didn't look as though he was actually reading. Instead he just stared, while tears continuously streamed from his eyes. Donny sat down next to him, and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He gently pried the comic from Mikey's grip, set it down on their laps, and began to read.


Mikey was curled up in his bed, the lights turned off, his body shuddering and jerking. If he was asleep, he was having a nightmare. If he was awake, he was still crying. Raph entered the room and walked over to Mikey's bed. He put a hand on Mikey's shoulder, and sure enough, Mikey jerked awake. The nightmare had been bad enough that he'd even continued to cry in his sleep. Still not quite awake, and with the horrible remnants of the nightmare still clinging to the corners of his mind, Mikey threw his arms around his brother's neck and broke down in fresh sobs. Raph said nothing, and did nothing but hold his brother and try with all his might to send his own telepathic message, to assure his brother through the connection of their minds and spirits that the pain would pass.


Mikey emerged from his room with a true smile on his face at last, and his brothers knew that he was going to be okay.

"I'm gonna go out on the roofs for a bit," Mikey said. "Get some air. I've been moping around here for too long."

Splinter nodded in approval. "That is an excellent idea, Michelangelo."

Mikey smiled and waved goodbye to them, and then leaped up through the sewer system toward the surface.

On top of the same skyscraper where he'd taken Vittoria, he breathed in the fresh air and felt more alive than he had in two weeks. He felt as though he'd been living in a monsoon – the second week had been more subdued, but still painful. Even now, it still hurt to think about her, but little by little, Mikey knew he would eventually return to his cheerful self. He had to. It was what Vittoria had loved about him. It was his happiness that had allowed her to stay happy, even at the very end.

He looked up at the night sky, at the vastness of the stars, and said, "Let's meet up again at Christmas, Vittoria. Right here, on this roof. I bet I'll have all kinds of stories by then to tell you."

There was no answer in his mind. There was no whisper of her presence. But Mikey still believed she was listening. Clones went to the same place as everyone else.

Thanks for reading this story!

Now to explain why I killed my OC: When I started writing this, I planned to have Vittoria become Mikey's girlfriend and live with the turtles henceforth. But then I realized a couple things: one, there was no way I could create, in a short story with no history or background or tie-ins to any TMNT past, an OC worthy to be Mikey's girlfriend.

Secondly, and more importantly, I realized that I didn't want to focus on Vittoria, because TMNT has never been a romance story - it's been a story about brothers and family bonds and fighting and living through things together. So therefore, it would be truer to the spirit of TMNT to have Vittoria just be a difficult thing that Mikey has to go through, with the support of his family around him. I didn't want to add an OC and change the family dynamic - those four brothers are the stars and I didn't want to separate them in any way.

So who's excited for Nickolodean's reboot series in 2012? I am! I hope the animation isn't a turn off but from what I've read online it's looking like it's going to be pretty cool!