A/N: I do not own TMNT, therefore I borrow!
To my fantastic reviewers. Thank you guys SOOOO much for your support and I hope to see it even for the final chapter. Sorry that it's so late today, but I hadn't finished it yet XP so I've been working on it all day. And let me tell you! This chapter seriously got away from me. So enjoy the extra length and please tell me what you think afterward!
As always, please enjoy.
"Raph," Leo hissed impatiently. "What are you doing? We don't have time for this!" The two of them had just returned the paramedics to the ambulance, but before Leo could turn to go to where the Battle Shell waited a few yards away, Raph had climbed up onto the hood of the vehicle and was doing...something.
"Clearin' my conscience," Raph replied, tracing his mud-covered finger across the windshield.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Leo trudged his way over to see what Raph was doing. And he nearly laughed out loud. Scrawled across the windshield, in mud of course, were the words:
Sorry—It was an emergency
Backwards mind you, so they could be read from the inside.
"You stopped us for this?" Leo huffed indignantly, to disguise the fact that he was a bit amused.
"Mikey would've done it," Raph said simply, sliding off the hood and wiping the remaining mud off on his elbow pad. That shut Leo up real quick.
"Speaking of. We need to get him home." Leo said seriously.
Raph grunted his agreement and followed after his brother as they returned to the Battle Shell. In the back they found Michelangelo once more resting with his head in Master Splinter's lap, Donatello across from them, April in the driver's seat, and Casey riding shot gun.
What had the blood draining from their faces, however, was the dark, grim expression their father wore, Donatello's slow deep breathing like he was trying to calm himself, the white knuckled grip April held on the steering wheel, and Casey's unusual silence.
Leo's gaze snapped to Mikey, who seemed fine other than the injured limb and the fact that he'd passed out ten minutes ago and as far as Leo knew, had yet to wake up. "Did we miss something?"
Donny pressed the palms of his hands against his eyes, almost as if he was trying to rub away an image seared onto the lids. "Mikey stopped breathing."
"What d'you mean stopped breathing!" Raph snarled, his eyes flying to his little brother. He calmed slightly at the sight of Mikey's chest rising and falling, but not much. "He's breathin' now, so everything's okay right? Right?" He added again when he felt like he wasn't getting an answer quick enough.
"Yes," Don replied firmly. "He's okay. We handled it," he said, looking to Splinter.
The grim line Splinter's mouth had settled into softened in a reassuring way for Donatello.
"Why didn't you call us?" Leo demanded. He was scared, scared that something like that had happened without him knowing and he'd been only fifty feet away. So he did what he always did when he was scared. He got angry and slipped into his leader-lecture-mode. "You should have—"
"Leonardo." Splinter interrupted sharply. How he managed to sound gentle at the same time was anyone's guess.
"What happened?" Leo asked softly after he took a moment to calm himself. He shot Donatello an apologetic look, which Don accepted with a faint nod. "Was it for very long? Do you know why?" Leo continued.
Don sighed, wringing his hands in an attempt to stop them from shaking. "Sometimes people stop breathing when they pass out," he shrugged a shoulder. "There's no specific reason why, and no. It wasn't for very long. Ten...twenty seconds. Felt a hell of a lot longer though."
Raph blinked at that. Don wasn't one who gave in to the urge to swear very often, even when situations were just begging for one. Obviously he was shaken up. They all were.
"Guys?" April ventured softly from the front.
Leo was the one to respond. "We're good April. Take us home."
With a nod she started the vehicle.
Leo claimed a spot next to Donny, putting him in the perfect position to watch over Mike and offer comfort to his brother. "I'm sorry," he began. "that I...we—" he amended after receiving a nasty look from Raphael, "—weren't here when it happened."
"I am not," Splinter spoke. It was something he wished he hadn't seen. Better yet, he wished it hadn't happened at all. It was an image that would haunt him for a great length of time, the fact that at least two of his sons had not witnessed it was a small comfort.
"There any more surprises we should be worryin' about?" Raph asked from his spot behind the driver's seat. "Cuz I don't know how many more o'those I can handle today."
"Agreed." Don smiled bitterly. "But no, I'm fairly certain the worst is over. Mikey woke up for a moment, after he started breathing again. It's probably best he stays unconscious for awhile longer...at least until we can get him home and give him something to help with the pain."
"Agreed," Leo repeated, leaning over until his and Don's shoulders bumped. They watched Mikey breathe the whole way home.
It wasn't the pain in his leg that finally woke him up, but his intense thirst, though once he was conscience it didn't take long for the pain to become a factor again. Pushing himself up groggily onto his elbows Michelangelo looked around.
He was home.
The room was dim, but the rest of the lair looked bright. In the background he could hear the TV with the volume turned down low.
Michelangelo frowned. The last thing he remembered, Don had just given him a shot and he could breathe again. And then...
Mikey sighed and scrubbed his hand across his eyes. "I passed out."
"Yeah. Thanks for that."
Mikey's head jerked up in time to see Don walk in, a glass of water in one hand and what Mikey hoped was some sort of pain killer in the other. "Ooooh," he crooned, holding out an eager hand as he was still propping himself up on the other. "I really should be freaking out about my bro being some kind of mind reader, but I can't bring myself to care much right now."
"I'm no mind reader, Mikey," Don protested as he took a seat on the edge of hid bed. He passed the glass to him and helped him sit up straighter so he could press the pills into his other. "I just know you."
Mikey hummed his agreement as he drank greedily. He left just enough to swallow the Ibuprofen and then handed the empty glass back to his brother. "Ahh," he said, making a show of wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, "that hit the spot."
Shaking his head at Mikey's antics, Donny placed the glass on a nearby table. "How're you feeling?"
Mike took a moment to consider, his eyes rolling toward the ceiling as he thought. "Better," he paused. "Yep, I feel better. What time is it?"
"Eight in the morning."
"Wow. I must've been tired. How long till the medicine kicks in?"
"Maybe about twenty minutes," Don replied simply, but his expression was anything but. Don was watching him, which wasn't unusual because Donny watched them all very closely after injury, but this? This was different.
Mikey frowned suspiciously at him. He reached over and shoved playfully at his shoulder. "All right, Doc. Spill. What aren't you telling me? Was I stung by some alien-mutant-jellyfish and I only have a month left to live?"
Donny rolled his eyes. "You read too many comic books."
"Au contraire!" Mike protested with a thick, overdone French accent. "But seriously dude," he said, slipping flawlessly from goofball to down-to-business. "I mean, I know kidnapping an ambulance wasn't fun...like at all. But it's not like we kept it or damaged it or anything. So what's wrong?"
Donny hesitated. As always, Mikey's power of perception was astounding. "After you passed out, you..." he trailed off, cringing mentally at the memory. Mikey watched him with gentle eyes, urging him to continue. "You stopped breathing."
Mikey blinked. Twice. A third time. "Oh."
Don nodded somberly. "Oh."
"Must've been scary..." he murmured.
"Far from a pleasant experience, yes." Don said with another nod.
With his mouth set in a hard line, Mikey reached over and planted both hands on Donny's shoulders. Then he proceeded to take several deep breaths. "Well as you can see, I'm breathing now. You said that sometimes happens when someone passes out right? I feel fine, even the medicine's starting to help with the leg, so there's no need to treat me or watch me like I'm made of glass 'kay? I'm sorry too. About causing everybody so much trouble. But as a wise meerkat once said...'Hakuna Matata'"
Don smiled, a real one and Mikey returned it wholeheartedly. "Soooo, you good?"
"Yeah, Mikey, I think so. Thanks."
"Hey, Don," Leo said from the doorway. A small smile played across his features at the sight of Mikey sitting up, bright-eyed, and grinning. "There's something you should see on the news."
"The news?" Don frowned in confusion. Pushing off of the bed and rubbing the top of Mikey's head as he passed, Donny hurried into the living room.
"You doing okay?" Leo asked of Mikey, uncrossing his arms from across his plastron as he walked over.
"Sir yes sir!" Mikey chirped cheerfully, even throwing in a little salute as he tossed his legs over the edge of the bed.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Leo warned, sliding over to block him from standing. "Where do you think you're going?"
"What? I wanna see what's on the news too!" Mikey pouted, looking up at his brother imploringly.
Leo regarded him with a cool expression and Mikey could practically see him imagining how things could go wrong if he let his little brother walk around.
"It's a sting, Leo," Mikey protested. "A nasty one, sure, but a sting. It's not like it's a broken bone. I can walk no problem."
Leo hummed thoughtfully.
"Cooooome oooo,n Leoooooo," Mikey begged. "I haven't moved since...yesterday. I could use a stretch."
"Fine," Leo finally conceded. "You've got fifteen minutes and then it's back to resting."
He shrieked playfully, ducking when Leo tossed a lazy punch his way and then hopped out of the room with Leo trailing behind.
Raph was sitting on the couch, one ankle crossed over his knee with his arms tossed carelessly over the back. Don leaned back against the armrest, his arms crossed loosely across his chest and Master Splinter sat in his usual place in his chair. All of them had their eyes trained on the TV screens.
"...word from Shaelyn Richards. Miss Richards, please tell us what happened."
"I don't remember too much about what happened," the woman admitted. "All I know is that both Travis and I were knocked out fairly quickly and when we came to, we were sitting up front with the ambulance pulled over safely on the side of the road. I think we would have both started doubting things if it weren't for the headaches and the message left behind.
"Written across the windshield in mud were the words 'Sorry—It was an emergency'"
"Wait...what?" Mikey gawked.
"Michelangelo," Splinter greeted warmly. "It does me good to see you up and about."
Mikey returned the warm words with a smile. "Does me good too, Master. Who left the message?"
"That'd be Raph," Leo supplied, ignoring the scornful look Raphael shot his way.
"You?" Mikey gasped disbelievingly. "Since when do you apologize?"
"Since I started hittin' girls apparently," Raph muttered. "What're you doin' up?"
"Stretching my legs!"
"...been terrifying, except we can't help but get the feeling that whoever did this is sorry. We are relatively unharmed and they only took what we assume they needed. Only a few needles, an iv bag, and a dosage of epinephrine are missing. Everything else is accounted for."
"Thank you for your time Miss Richards. Coming up next: What the authorities are planning to do to insure something like this doesn't happen again..."
Raph reached for the remote and hit mute.
"We're famous!" Mikey announced with a grin, leaning on the back of the couch.
"That's nothing to be excited about," Leo told him. "Is there any reason to be concerned, Don?"
"I don't think so," Don said, reading the subtitles that flashed across the screen because of the muted volume. He turned to his family. "I'll keep my eyes out for any new information however." He shot his brother a look. "What are you doing up?"
"Is it a crime to be standing on my own two feet?" Mikey demanded. "Leo said I could."
"For fifteen minutes," Leo added when Don's look shifted to him.
"Well by the time we get you upstairs, those fifteen minutes will be up," Don said, unfurling his arms and pushing away from the couch. "Come on. Let's go."
"But Doooooonny," Mikey whined. "I'm fine."
"Don't bother," Raph told him, smirking over his shoulder. "You'll never out stubborn Don."
"He's right, Mikey." Don said with a smug look. "March. Please, for my peace of mind?"
Mikey sighed, knowing he was beaten. "All right. For a little while anyway." He let Don lead him away. "Heeeey, think I'll get a cool scar out of this?"
"Yeah," Raph snorted, calling after, "like any of us want a permanent reminder!"
That's when a pillow from the couch hit Raph in the face. Mikey's guffaws echoing after.