There! Got the last chapter out, and now I can begin writing my other plot bunnies lol.
After their ordeal with the parasite, they decided that a trip up to Casey's Grandma's farmhouse was in order. So they gathered supplies, packed up the Battle Shell and began the trip up there.
It was a rather silent drive. Mikey was still very tired, and he spent most of it leaning against one of his brother's shoulder, asleep or partially awake.
Their littlest had been rather quiet since he fought off the parasite, but he always had a large smile on his face, which was a big relief to his family. His older brothers were planning on confronting him in the comfort of the peaceful forest.
When they arrived Mikey was much more awake and jumped out of the truck, cheering happily. Then, placing his orange kitten (What, you don't think he'd forget to bring Klunk did ya?) on his shoulder, began to give the cat a tour of the place (despite Klunk have being there before.) His brothers chuckled and began unpacking while their father went in to the house to begin making some tea.
Mikey sighed quietly as he kicked his feet in the nearby lake. Klunk was resting a few feet behind him on his back, enjoying the sunlight that he didn't always get because of their rather dark lives in the sewers.
Mostly he was feeling embarrassed since the parasite. He knew that his brother's had seen some…rather personal emotions that he had hoped they would never find out about.
He knew his role, to keep his brothers from driving each other crazy and themselves crazier with dark emotions and frustrations. The fact that his brothers knew he wasn't always so happy-go-lucky made him feel like he had failed somehow.
Groaning slightly, he fell back against the embankment and let out a loud breath, kicking his feet again so a few drops of the cool water fell on him, making him giggle slightly.
Suddenly he felt three presences behind him and he startled slightly. Tilting his head back so he could look behind him, he smiled when he saw his older brothers standing there. Well, two of them were standing; Donnie was kneeled by Klunk and was teasingly poking his belly, unconcerned about his sharp claws trying to get a hold of his thick finger.
"Hey guys!" He chirped, keeping his position. "Nice day huh?"
Leo smiled softly. "It is, I'm glad we came up here."
"Same." Don agreed, still torturing the kitten.
Raph scoffed before walking over to where Mikey laid and sitting next to him, placing a finger in the water and twirling it slightly. "Yeah, whateva."
Feeling mischievous, Mikey grinned evilly before kicking his foot again, getting his brother with a nice splash of water.
Sputtering in surprise, he glared darkly at his youngest brother. "One…two…" Squealing in terror, Mikey tried to scramble up but was grabbed around the middle and yanked into a "friendly" headlock.
"Leggo!" Mikey laughed, trying to squirm out from the knuckles rubbing against his scalp.
"Nope! This is whatchu get twerp." Raph chuckled.
Leo and Don were laughing at the scene. Suddenly Don had an idea. Walking up to the still squabbling pair (that were dangerously close to the edge of the water, might I add), he nonchalantly shoved the two in the lake.
They both yelped in surprise, and Leo and Don were sent into downright hysterics. Mike and Raph looked at each other before grinning evilly.
"Get em!" Raph yelled, jumping out the water. Mikey followed with a battle cry.
Donnie eeped before he took off running. Leo laughed as he watched them chase Don around for a bit before Don suddenly changed direction. With a few leaps he landed behind Leo and gripped his shoulders tightly, keeping his older brother firmly in front of him. "Turtle shield!"
"What! No!" Leo yelped, trying to squirm away from his little brother but it was too late. Raph and Mike, unconcerned about the barrier in front of their target, tackled them both, sending them tumbling into the grass and causing a rather big wrestling session, laughter filling the clearing.
Klunk watched them rough house for a few moments before yawning and rising to his feet and bounding towards the farmhouse. Maybe the rat would give the cat a few moments of peace.
Finally spent, the four brothers fell into the grass, forming a circle with their bodies, their heads in the middle and almost touching. There was a peaceful silence as the four turtles tried to catch their breath and basked in the warm rays of the sun.
After a few moments Leo glanced at Raph who glanced at Don and they nodded slightly. Mike had his eyes closed and his chin tilted up, a big smile on his face as he enjoyed the heat of the sun.
"Mike…" Leo started, somewhat unsure of how to begin. "You know…that you can always talk to us, about anything, right?"
Mikey tensed slightly. He knew this conversation was coming, he shouldn't be so surprised. He opened his eyes, but looked away from his brother. "Yeah…I know."
"Are you sure? Because…what we saw…" Leonardo sat up, leaning on his side and gazing at Mikey in concern. "We had no idea, Mike."
"Well maybe I wanted to keep it that way." Mikey grumbled, sitting up and crossing both his arms and his legs.
Raph and Don both sat up as well. They glanced at each other for a second before Don scooted closer and placed a hand on his little brother's shoulder. "Mike, we're sorry."
Mikey looked at his immediate older brother in surprise. "For what?"
"For our words. We shoulda known…" Raph started but was interrupted.
"Nah, there's no way you woulda known." Mikey said, flapping a wrist as if to wave away their concerns.
Leo grabbed that wrist and pulled Mikey to face him. The orange turtle refused to look at him, instead finding the grass very interesting.
"But we should have Michelangelo." He winced at the use of his full name. "We are a family, and if our words hurt you then you should have told us!"
"I didn't want you to confirm, okay?" Mikey yelled, yanking his wrist away from the leader and scrambled back, only to run into Don.
"Confirm? You'd think we'd say that we weren't joking?" Leo said in surprise.
Mikey looked downwards as Don wrapped an arm around his shoulder comfortingly. "I just…I don't know…I was scared…"
Raph watched silently for a moment before gently tilting his brother's chin up with one finger. "Ya knucklehead. We don' think yer useless, if dat's what yer thinkin'." Mikey winced slightly at the word.
"You are so important Mike." Donnie said gently, rubbing Mikey's head with his free hand.
"We need you bro." Leo said, a gentle smile flitting across his mouth.
Mikey looked at each of them. "You…really mean it?"
"You are the natural in this family Mike, in everything." Don said.
"We know you goof around, but if any of us were in danger of course you'd be the first on the scene." Leo included.
"Hey, ya beat me at Battle Nexus rememba?" Raph growled. "You were…pretty clever." He looked physically ill for saying that but the joy it brought to his little brother's face was worth it.
"And we are proud of you Mike." Leo said gently.
"Very very proud." Don included.
"Yer our lil' bro," Raph said, before he grimaced. "And…we love ya."
Mikey searched each of their faces for a second before looking down again. "So you guys…you guys don't think I'm useless? You won't…leave me?"
"Never!" Don said, tightening his grip.
"What was it Leo said? If one o' us goes we all go? Well it's true bro." Raph grinned.
Leo smiled and tilted Mikey's head up again. "Stop looking at the ground, your eyes belong up in the air where everyone can see."
Mikey giggled slightly. "You sap." Leo blushed slightly.
But as the orange turtle looked at the sincerity in his brother's eyes, even Raph's, he start to tear up a bit. He surged forward and wrapped his arms around Raph, despite the slight protest from the red turtle. Leo and Don scooted and wrapped their arms around the two as well. "I…love you guys." Mike choked out. The older brothers looked at each other, relieved that they seemed to have reassured Mikey.
"We love ya too."
Master Splinter was out on the porch, a cup of steaming tea in his hand and a warm cat in his lap as he waited for his sons to return. Finally from the woods came his four sons, smiling and joking and the old rat couldn't help but smile. Everything was back to normal, he could sense it. His littlest's worries had been addressed, and his older sons had their younger brother back.
He sat up straighter as his sons came closer and couldn't stop the feeling of immense pride he felt for his babies. He had raised them to be strong, independent and infinitely caring for all beings, especially to each other. Master Splinter gently placed the cat onto the porch and set his cup down and stood to meet them. Who said a giant rat couldn't raise four mutant turtles?
Master Splinter is the best dad. I'm super jelly of the turtles lol. Well, it's done! Thank you all so much for the support and I'm glad alotta ya liked the story! I'll be writing more TMNT stuff, so keep and eye out if ya like. :)