Clogged Drain by KC

Summary: Bodies of water were once doorways between this world and the next. Living in an old water treatment plant means being there when the doorway opens. Takes place during the last season of the NT in their new lair.

Disclaimer: I do not own the turtles nor do I make any money off of this.

Rating: R for violence

Other Info: Oh yeah. It's a ghost story. Starts out slow, gonna ramp up like a roller coaster.

The only reason he didn't scream was because Klunk hadn't moved. Cats had a sixth sense, didn't they? All animals had that instinct about danger, and if Klunk was still fast asleep at the end of the blankets, not crying, not scratching at the door to be let out, not hissing...then his own senses were just playing tricks on him.

And he'd just imagined the faint thump and scratch from the closet.

Michelangelo tightened his grip on the pillow, lying absolutely still. Behind him, Leonardo lay curled against his shell, one arm draped across his waist, and behind his older brother, Raphael and Donatello lay huddled as usual. None of them snored, too well trained for that, so the room was silent, save for the faintest of Leonardo's breaths and Michelangelo's beating heart.

He missed the old lair terribly. This abandoned water treatment plant was bigger, sure, but it was cold, metallic, and any little movement echoed so that all its drips, creaks and groans sounded as if they were in the same room. After the terrible rush from their last lair, they slept in this hastily chosen room only because it was so close to the kitchen. They lay against the far wall, near the space heater, mere feet from the closet.

Scrape. Scuff. Crack.

His look shot back to the closet. That wasn't metal. That was cloth rustling, skin dragging on the floor.

Why couldn't he move? His whole body was frozen to the bone. Sleep paralysis-he seized on the phrase like a prayer. Sleep paralysis, night hag syndrome, when you can't move in your sleep and your brain turns on the fear juice. So he really was asleep. It was just a nightmare-

Crack. Scrape. Thump.

The thing he told himself wasn't real had reached the door.

He gulped. There were no working locks on the doors. They'd all rusted, if there had been any in the first place. The closet was only a little out of arm's reach. Whatever it was, it was there, right there-

The door creaked, a long whine as the door so slowly swung an inch at a time. He had to be sleeping how else could he see it in the dark? The details were so clear the line of the floor, the corner of the room, the door to the main hall. The closet door as it moved, the gaping darkness behind it.

The white hand curling around the door.

He couldn't breathe. A human hand, ghastly white, dripping slime and loose skin. It adjusted on the door, getting a grip, and then came the arm at a broken angle, impossibly bent upwards as it pulled itself along. He felt every jerk of its muscles, as if it was dragging its loathsome body from a grave sucking it back in. Long black hair pooled out from under the door.

Bad movie, he told himself over and over. Bad movies, horror flicks, just a horror flick nightmare. Not real, just a horror flick nightmare-

As if it could hear him, its head snapped up, empty black eye sockets in a white face, jaw hanging brokenly open-the cracking sound was its bones clicking against each other.

Its hand slammed on the floor, dug into the steel, yanked itself right at him, reached out again, again-its head lolled sideways on a broken neck but its empty eyes stayed on him as it crawled, arms twisted almost backwards, open mouth in front of him in an instant, a sound like wind shrieking through a street grate.

Its hands, as strong as steel, went around his throat-and finally he could scream, grabbing at her hands, trying to push her away. Rushing water screamed in his ears and his whole body felt like winter slush-ice filled his lungs, burned his skin-her hand seized his mouth, curling around his teeth and trying to rip his jaw-

The lights came on, blinding him. Someone was shaking him, yelling over his screams, and his fist struck something solid.

"-ikey! Mikey!"

Something slapped him once, then twice. Even though his eyes were wide open, several seconds passed before her face faded, replaced by Leonardo's concerned look, and Donatello beside him.

"Wake up, dumbass!" Raphael yelled. "It's just a nightmare!"

Gasping, Michelangelo put his hands on Leonardo's shoulders, his arms, showing himself this was real, not a dream, real. He was alive. The thing wasn't here. His brothers were with him. Just a dream.

"It's okay," Leonardo said, holding him in return. "Calm down. You're safe. Breathe...dammit, breathe in slow. You're hyperventilating."

"I..." Michelangelo sucked in a deep breath, held it, then let it out in a shudder. "I...oh hell."

"You back with us?" Raphael asked, watching him with one hand still on the lamp. His other hand was rubbing his jaw, and Michelangelo winced as he realized he'd punched him.

"...yeah. Yeah," Michelangelo said. "I'm good. Sorry."

"No more scary movies before bedtime," Donatello said sternly, a relieved smile belying his anger. " scared the crap out of us."

"Sorry," Michelangelo said again, sitting up and bringing his knees against his chest, holding himself. "It was just so damn real..."

A little of the fear ebbed as he felt them move around him, leaving the light on as Raphael crawled back to bed. Michelangelo watched him go, reassuring himself that there was nothing bad. He glanced at the closet. The door was closed.

"Dreamt something came out of the closet," he muttered, starting to feel embarrassed.

"You're too old for a boogeyman," Donatello laughed.

"Not like that," Michelangelo said crossly, whapping him with a pillow. "Like that Grudge flick. Ghost girl chick with no eyes."

"The Juon girl had eyes," Leonardo said, getting to his feet with an eye on the closet.

Irritated that Leonardo would remember a detail like that, or the flick's proper name, Michelangelo grumbled until he realized that his big brother meant to look inside the closet. A wave of nausea and fear ripped right back through him as if he was in the middle of the dream again.

"Wait, you don't have to open it," Michelangelo said, raising his hand as if to stop him. "I'm a big boy, I don't need you checking under the bed."

"I know," Leonardo called over his shoulder. He slid the door open and scanned the inside, and Michelangelo's tension eased as nothing shot out to drag him inside.

Then Leonardo knelt, touching his hand to the floor. As he raised his hand, they all saw it glistening on his fingertips.

Water, and a single strand of black hair.