A/N: Alright, I'm a sucker for fluff and this has been bouncing around in my head since I did my first OneShot with Mikey in it. I had a TON of fun writing this so please read and review! I absolutely LOVE reviews, they're addicting, like chocolate…or crack…or ya know…chocolate…
A/N2: Yeah so review please, thanks!
Disclaimer: I do not own the turtles. I didn't own them last week. And next week isn't looking too good either. Sigh…
They all knew something was wrong with him. It was the silence that gave him away. Michelangelo is never silent. Donatello was the first to try and talk to him; he got nowhere, only a smile and a false promise of being okay. Leonardo was the second to try; he too got nowhere, only another grin and false promise. Leo fought a bit harder, trying to wheedle out what was going on by offering video games and pizza, but Mikey just waved him off and went to train. Raphael was the last to try; another unsuccessful attempt. Raph ended up yelling at Mike and instead of the usual taunts Michelangelo would throw back at him, Mikey stayed silent; leaving the room without another word. Raph cursed and slammed his fist into the wall, cracking his knuckles and making them bleed which forced him to go to Donnie's lab.
"What happened?" Donatello demanded, getting up from his chair and walking over to Raphael.
"I punched a wall." Raph replied, allowing his little brother to manhandle him into sitting on the medical table.
"Why the shell did you punch a wall?" Donnie asked, pouring rubbing alcohol on cotton balls and walking back over to Raph.
Raph looked warily at the purple banded turtle, reflexively covering his injured hand with his non injured one. "Do ya have to use alcohol?"
Donnie chuckled. "I'm all out of peroxide, sorry."
Raph groaned and still held onto his hand.
"C'mon Raph, give it up." Donatello said holding out his hand.
Raph slowly revealed his hand to his genius brother and tried to talk his out of it. "Ya know Donnie, it isn't that bad. It's just a little bl-DAMN IT!"
Donnie ignored his brother's attempts and pressed the alcohol soaked cotton balls on the open wounds.
"Don't be such a baby Raphie." Donatello said with a smirk.
"Stuff it in your shell." Raph replied through clenched teeth. His uninjured hand was gripping the metal bed tightly. Donnie continued to smirk as he wrapped his brothers' fingers with medical tape.
"All done. Now, would you like to tell me why you punched a wall?"
"I talked to Mikey and it got me nowhere." Raph answered angrily.
Don sighed. "Let me guess, you yelled and he called you some names and-"
"That's just it Donnie, he didn't. He didn't say anything. He just…walked out." Raphael interrupted.
"He…he didn't reply? Nothing? Not a taunt or joke or anything?" Don asked, shocked.
"Something is seriously bothering him. Master Splinter tried speaking with him earlier today and even he didn't get anywhere. He's meditating about it right now." Donatello told his older brother.
"It's not like the lil' goofball to not talk. We can't ever get him to shut up normally." Raph replied.
"And now that he's not talking, we're worried." A voice said from the door. Donnie and Raph looked up and saw their oldest brother, Leonardo.
"Whoda thought we'd miss the lil' motor mouth?" Raph asked with a wry smile.
"We gotta figure this out." Leo agreed.
"What do we do?" Donatello asked.
"I say we ambush him and force the lil' punk to talk." Raph demanded.
"That's a terrible idea Raph." Donnie said.
"Actually…I think it'll work." Leonardo replied.
"Really?" Don and Raph asked at the same time.
"Yeah, we've tried every way possible to talk to him and he's just not responding. He'll probably respond to this." Leo said.
"What if it's a negative response?" Donatello asked.
Raph shrugged. "Negative, positive, who gives a damn? As long as he talks."
The brothers agreed and set out to find the youngest.
Mikey was currently taking his frustrations out on Raph's favorite punching bag. He knew he'd get yelled at for it later, but he didn't care. He was just…so angry. He knew he shouldn't be ignoring his brother's like he was, but he didn't feel like talking. He felt like hitting things. And since he didn't want to hurt his brother's he trained at all hours of the day. It was the only productive thing he felt like he could do lately. Master Splinter had tried to talk to him earlier today but Mikey waved him off, assuring his teacher that he was fine. He knew that Splinter didn't buy a thing that came out of Mike's mouth, but he was grateful for his father knowing that he needed space. Now if only his brother's would take a page out of Splinters book and stop bugging him. He knew they were only concerned, but he didn't want or need their pity. He needed to just concentrate on training harder, on being better.
That's what started this whole thing in the first place; him not being good enough. Their last fight with the Foot really shook him up. His usual fighting style didn't work against this group, he had a ton of trouble keeping up and it eventually led to Raphael getting hurt. Raphael had to keep covering Mike's back, his normally spontaneous fighting style was useless against this group of Foot ninjas. Raph had pushed Mikey out of the way right as a Katana made its way across the room, slicing Raph in his bicep.
And it was all Mikey's fault.
He knew he should train harder, should try harder. He was good, don't get him wrong, but if he applied himself a bit more he'd be even better. Sensei and Leonardo were constantly telling him that, but he never took them seriously. Never took anything seriously. Until now. The old Michelangelo was gone, and in his place a new, more serious one. He wouldn't let one of his brother's get hurt because of him again.
He was so engrossed in his thoughts and angers that he didn't hear his three brothers' enter the room until he was tackled from the side.
"What the-" Mike cried as he tumbled and rolled before being pinned on his back, arms above his head with Leo holding his right arm, Donnie holdin his left, and Raph straddling him.
"Why good evening Michelangelo." Raph said with a smirk on his face.
"What the shell do you think you're doing?" Mike demanded, struggling against his brother's tight hold.
"I think besting you would be the appropriate term." Donatello replied.
Mike narrowed his eyes. "Lucky shot."
"Luck had nothing to do with it, you were distracted and we took the opportunity. Speaking of distraction, what's going on?" Leo demanded.
"Nothing." Was Michelangelo's immediate reply.
"Liar." Don retorted.
"Liar." Don repeated.
"What's the meaning of this anyway? You can't just interrupt my training like this alright? Now get off." Mike said as he struggles renewed. Leo and Donnie pressed in harder, making Mike yelp.
"Listen here Mikey, you're gonna tell us what's been buggin' ya, got it?" Raph demanded, leaning in close to his little brother's face.
Mikey glared at Raph and said nothing.
"Don't bother lying to us either, we know something's wrong." Donatello added.
"You're not eating properly, you're not sleeping properly, you train at all hours of the day, you refuse to talk to any of us, and you haven't played a single video game or watched T.V. in over a week! Now, out with it. What's wrong?" Leo demanded, a scowl on his face.
Mikey glared daggers at all three of his big brothers.
"Don't make us make ya talk Mikey…" Raph threatened, his amber eyes burning holes into his little brother's blue ones.
"What are you gonna do Raph? Hit me? Go ahead." Mikey said quietly back, his voice deadly serious.
Raph almost flinched at that, Leo and Donnie both did, but he knew he had to remain impassive. It was so hard though, he could see the hurt and frustration in his youngest brother's eyes and it was killing him. The overwhelming need to protect, to fix his problems, hit him like a sucker punch to the gut. This whole brooding thing was his and Leo's job, not Mikey's. Mikey's job was to smile, to laugh, to joke, to lighten every situation no matter how bleak it looked. This new and unimproved Michelangelo was something Raph never wanted to see again.
Raph narrowed his eyes at his little brother, racking his brains for a way to make Mikey tell them what was wrong, when an idea popped into his head. It had been years since any of them had done this, but Raph was pretty sure Mikey would be just as susceptible now as he was back then.
"There are other ways of making ya talk." Raph growled, a smirk growing on his face. He made eye contact with Leo and Donnie and they immediately understood, smirks growing on their faces as well.
"I'm not afraid of you." Mikey said defiantly, chin lifting up as he continued to glare at his big brothers.
"What do ya think bros?" Raph asked.
"He's most definitely asking for it." Donatello replied.
"I don't think we have any other choice…" Leo said in mock sadness.
"So…tickle torture?" Raph asked looking at Donnie and Leo.
"Tickle torture." They both replied at the same time.
"Wha-? No! NO!" Michelangelo cried as Raph attacked.
Mike snapped his mouth shut, trying desperately to stave off the laughter. He couldn't think straight as Raph attacked his sides with vigor. While being a turtle offers a lot of protection against frontal and back attacks, there are gaping holes between the shell and plastron on the sides, leaving him completely vulnerable. His sides were a weak spot too, which didn't help.
"Ya gonna talk now Mikey?" Raph asked, an absolute evil grin on his face. Mikey said nothing, knowing the moment he opened his mouth he wouldn't be able to hold back his laughter.
"Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo! What are you doing?" Master Splinter demanded as he walked onto the scene. Four heads popped up to look at their father as the tickling immediately stopped.
"Oh thank God…" Mikey panted. He was exhausted, trying not to laugh while being tickled to death was a lot harder than he thought.
"We think we may have found a way to make Mikey talk about his problems Sensei." Leo responded, looking a bit embarrassed.
Splinter narrowed his eyes at his three sons before shifting down to his youngest. He could see a ghost of a smile on Michelangelo's face and he could think of nothing better than to see the full mega-watt 'Mikey' grin on his son's face. Suddenly, a grin grew on Splinter's own face.
"You'll get nothing out of him if you continue to concentrate on his sides. He is most sensitive under his arms. Also, his neck has proven to be rather sensitive as well." Splinter commented.
Mikey's eyes grew wide as his three big brother's eyes lit up in delight.
"Sensei! Why'd you- Oh no…no! Nononono! Don't!" Mike yelled as Raph attacked his underarms with renewed vigor.
Mikey broke and it was like a dam had opened. Laughter spilled out of his mouth as he squirmed underneath his big brother's assault.
"R-Raph! Pl-Plehehehehease!" Mike begged as Raphael tickled his brother senseless. Raphael smirked and continued tickling Mikey's underarms; chuckling a bit himself. Leo and Donnie were laughing right along with Mike.
"I'm having a hard time understanding ya little brother. What was that?" Raph asked in mock wonder.
"Don't what?" Donnie asked, his smirk growing wider.
"T-Tickle mehehehehehe!" Mikey shouted through his laughter.
"What was that? Tickle you? Why, it'd be our pleasure!" Leo said, holding Mikey's wrist with just one hand, freeing his other one to tickle his little brother's neck. Leo was rewarded with a childish shriek.
"Do not forget his sides!" Master Splinter called as he made his way back to his room, carrying a hot cup of tea now.
"Sensei! Don't t-tell them-ACK! L-Leo! Please! I-I'll tahahahahahalk!" Mikey begged, his shoulders scrunching up to protect his neck. Donatello got into the fray and freed one of his hands and spidered it along Mikey's side.
"You'll tell us the truth?" Donatello asked.
"Yes! I s-swear!"
"The whole truth?" Raphael demanded.
"YES! The wh-whole f-friggin' HAHAHAHA truth! Just plehehehehease! Pleasestopticklingme!" Mikey got out before dissolving into laughter again. His older brother's tortured him for a few more minutes, reducing their orange clad brother to a sputtering, writhing mess. By the time they finished Mikey had tears running down his face and he was slightly hoarse from laughing for so long and so loudly. Donnie and Leo released his hands and he immediately brought them down to protect himself from another attack. Raph rolled off of him and they allowed Mike a few minutes to collect himself. Mike lay on the floor, panting for breath, a wide helpless grin on his face.
"I…hate…all…of you…" Mikey panted.
"Man it's been years since we've done that." Leo said with a smile.
"I forgot how fun it was." Donnie stated.
"Can we…choose…another target…next time…?" Mikey panted again.
"Alright Mikey, we stopped, now out with it. Or we go for round two." Raph threatened. Mikey 'eeped' and struggled to a sitting position away from his brothers.
"You can tell us anything Mike. You know that right?" Leo asked softly.
Mikey said nothing as he looked at his big brothers. They cared about him. They cared a lot about him. And he cared about them. Knowing that he had caused them so much stress that they felt the need to take such drastic measures to get him to talk…well, it made him feel like complete and utter crap. He owed it to his brother's to let them know what was going on in his head. Shoot, if the tables were turned and it was Leo, Donnie, or Raph acting like he was; he would be doing the same thing. Except it would only work on Raph and Donnie since Leo wasn't the slightest bit ticklish.
"I know…and…I'm sorry. I've just been…frustrated lately. That last fight with the Foot…I was all over the place; even more so than usual. Normally my type of fighting works, but it didn't work this time. Raph had to watch me constantly and he ended up getting hurt because of my stupidity. I don't want that to happen again." Mikey added quietly.
The three older turtles were quiet for a moment, before Donnie finally spoke. "Not everyone's fighting technique works in every fight Mikey. I mean, look how many times Raph has been injured because he's just charged into the fight without thinking. That's his technique and it doesn't always work."
"Hey, let's focus on the knucklehead here alright?" Raph muttered embarrassed slightly.
"What Donnie's trying to say, is that whether something works or doesn't work, we're always going to watch out for you. You're our baby brother." Leo said with a smile.
"But you shouldn't have to! I should be able to watch out for myself!" Mikey exclaimed.
"Hey, the same thing goes for Donnie alright? He's just as watched out for as you are." Leo responded.
"Yeah. We look out for the both of ya." Raph added.
"And I do the same thing for hothead here." Leo said, nudging Raphael in the side.
Raph rolled his eyes. "And all three of us watch over Fearless here."
"You are a great fighter Mikey, really you are. I wish I could be half as fast as you are. You're always a step ahead of us, of the enemy. It's graceful. It might not work in every fight, but that's what you have us for alright? We help each other out, that's what brothers do. " Leo said firmly.
Mikey looked up at Leo, Donnie, and Raph. They really were great brothers. And he was lucky to have them. A grin grew on his face and he nodded at them. Raph grabbed him in a loose headlock and gave him a noogie; Donnie and Leo patting his shell. Master Splinter smiled from his concealed position at the scene before him; thankful that Michelangelo had finally opened up. The seriousness of the situation needed to end though so Splinter threw out one last piece of advice.
"Did I mention how ticklish Michelangelo's feet are?"
"Sensei! Can you give a guy a break? Donnie…stay back…L-Leo…you just stay there…Raph, I swear I will prank you every day for a month if you come any closer…I mean it guys…leave me alone! No. NO! Wait, wai-AH! Nooohohohohoho! Plehehehehehease!"
Master Splinter smiled as the dojo was filled with laughter once again.