Authors Note: Even though it says book 2, there is no reason not to keep reading. I do encourage you to read book 1, but the writing for the first few chapters is juvenile at best, so bear with it (perhaps familiarizer yourself with the epilogue?). I have grown as an author, I assure you. Anything mentioned that happened in the previous book will be explained enough that you *should* be able to follow though (or I'll explain it in an AN). That being said, I will mention that Michelangelo is a darker character now. His ex-girlfriend, Jade, was raped and murdered, and he walked in on the whole scene with the killer still there. He subsequently paid retribution to Jade by murdering her assailant-slowly and brutally.

With that, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.

Book Two; Back From the Dead

A Story for Michelangelo

Chapter One: Preface, Starting Over

I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

-Brown Penny, By William Butler Yeats

Everyone used to call her Penny. Growing up, it was Penny by her friends and her family. It was how she was introduced, and how she introduced herself. He father had, quite often, called her his "Brown Penny" and reminded her of the poem he'd named her after. The poem he'd recited to his mother numerous times before they'd married and had her- their only child.

"My Penny," he'd say to her, smiling a warm smile and hoisting her into his arms "I love you till' the stars run away."

And then she'd met Curtis.

"What is it short for?" He'd asked her over coffee. And she'd responded, "Penelope."

And from then, that's what she had gone by. Penny, Curtis had told her, was a child like name. Something you called a dog.

When her Daddy died, a year after she'd married Curtis, he'd called her Penny on his death bed. It was the last time anyone had called her that.

The bruises were easier to hide when she cut herself off from her family. Curtis had told her they were poison, and any communication with them seemed to make the abuse worse, make his anger greater. Her mother had finally stopped calling, her other relatives feeling snubbed and neglected, had also given up on her. And Penelope Fairchild (no longer was she Penny Brown- as her clever father had come up with), was truly alone.

Curtis had made sure of that.

And then she'd had Julius. Julius, who was more important than all the life she'd lived before the moment she had seen his face. Julius, whose sweet face and big brown eyes brought joy back into her life. Julius, who could not be raised by an abusive father. Who could not grow to see this man as the example of what to aspire to in adulthood. Penelope refused to let that happen.

But fear had hindered her. A year went by, then two, then four. Julius was a four year old boy, and Penelope was still covering her bruises, still on a hiatus with her mother, still calling herself Penelope Fairchild. She was still living a lie, and the fear of Curtis kept her there. Kept her bound and shackled to a violent man.

And then, Julius Carter Fairchild, at four years old, had spilled milk at the kitchen table.

The bruise the man had left on her small and helpless child's cheekbone had tipped the scale. Curtis had left for work, and Penelope had quickly packed their bags. Eight years married to an abusive husband would end on the day he hit their child.

She would have to file for divorce, go to battle for custody, find some way to elude the retribution Curtis would seek at her leaving, the overwhelming anger that would come when he returned home to find them gone. And panic gripped her at the thought of his occupation. Curtis was a Police Officer. He had connections that would surpass any attorney she might be able to hire. He had always made sure to hold his job over her head.

"I'm a cop, Penelope. You think anyone gives a damn you've got a black eye? You ever try to leave, it'll be the last mistake you make."

And then the phone rang.

Once, twice, three times, before her perfectly manicured hand picked up the receiver. She raised the white phone to her contrasting ebony cheek. An authoritative voice spoke before she could even greet her caller.

"Is this Mrs. Penelope Fairchild?" Her brows furrowed, had he realized what she was doing? Had he ordered one of his cop friends to call and hassle her? It wouldn't' be the first time…

"Yes, this is she." Her voice was wavering, almost breathless.

There was a regretful sigh on the other line.

"Mrs. Fairchild… I'm sorry to inform you of this, but your husband… Your husband was killed today while apprehending a suspect in a bank robbery..."

At this, the phone slipped from her hands, clattering loudly onto the floor. Her breath caught in her throat, and yet, with a light touch of her fingers to her inflamed eye, a glance to her son, with his marred cheek, the tears never came.

11 Months Later…

Michelangelo stepped into his apartment, and the great happiness that filled him at the realization that this was indeed his apartment was almost overwhelming. He'd been living here over a month now, as soon as Raphael and his girlfriend Theresa had left permanently for the farm house, and the sensation that he was truly on his own was still a thrill. In lieu of doing a cartwheel, however, he settled for a large grin and slipped off his boots by the door.

His door.

The apartment coming into his possession was truly an act of kindness on Theresa's part. She had met Raphael when she'd been in a world of danger, pursued by a deranged stalker who was bent on slaughtering her. But Ethan Shempski was gone now, an unhappy memory that was dismissed as soon as he was thought of. Theresa had been rescued, after months of torment, by Michelangelo and his brothers, and Mikey himself had taken care of Ethan, using Raphael's sia to cut deep into the man's throat.

Michelangelo lost no sleep over the murder. He'd killed before, it was nothing new. He lost sleep over much worse things than disposing of a monster.

Then Raphael and Theresa, in love as they were, had started a life together. Theresa had taken a mortgage on April's farm house, and she and Raphael had moved there with their large dog Thor, and also with Master Splinter. The rat, as he had aged, had grown feeble and sick, and the farm would be better for him than the cold and dilapidated sewer. It had taken convincing on Leonardo's part, but finally the leader had seen the wisdom in it and had let his father go.

Theresa and Raphael were still in the city all the time. Theresa had agreed to stay with her law firm for another four months, until they found a replacement partner, and so she was commuting three times a week to the office, just down the street from the apartment Mikey now possessed. Once the four months were up she'd be working for the Prosecutors office in the small county the farm was in, her switching of sides- from Defense Attorney to District Attorney- an amusement to all around her.

Raphael came to the city often to see a new family friend; an old client of Theresa's named Corbin. Together the two were hashing out some business plan that both parties refused to comment on. Michelangelo thought that perhaps Raphael was including the man out of some pity, along with a desire to contribute monetarily to bills and other such things. Corbin had been beaten and battered by a gang leader named Benito Escobar, who was no longer living, but had left permanent damage to Corbin. His body was scared- with one particularly nasty cut running from his right shoulder to his left hip. The left side of his face was completely paralyzed, cut from temple to chin. For now he was walking with a cane, but intensive training with Leonardo, coupled with physical therapy would fix that soon enough. But Mikey though Raphael didn't want the man to feel useless, and that in part was why he'd included him in whatever elusive money making idea he'd come up with.

Michelangelo slipped off his long winter trench and ski hat, throwing them on a hanger in the coat closet. He'd been out early all morning, delivering papers while most residents weren't up and about to see his face. He'd been taking side jobs for a while now, determined to pay his share of the bills so he wouldn't have to rely on Theresa- even though she'd insisted it wasn't a big deal (Theresa, apparently, had deep pockets- both from her own profession and inherited family money). He hated owing a debt though, especially of that nature.

He made his way to the kitchen, picking up the pack of Marlboro Reds he'd left on the counter and lighting up as he poured himself a glass of orange juice. Smoking had been a habit he was unable to kick since he'd picked it up all those months ago. The nicotine calmed him, made him feel as at peace in his own skin than he had in a good long while, and he found that he could not give that up. Leonardo and Raphael had both harped on him about it, and they still did on occasion, but for now it seemed they accepted it as something their brother just did.

He inhaled and exhaled deeply, tapping out ash on one of the many well placed trays he'd scattered around the apartment. He still had nightmares. He still had not gained back his carefree and flippant nature. He still refused to talk to Donatello.

But he was getting better.

Looking around his apartment- his apartment- he knew he was getting better.

And it made him smile.

Authors Note: E-mail me with questions or leave them in a review. Anyone wanting to know why Mikey isn't speaking to Don; Donny was in a relationship with Jade (Mikey's murdered ex) after she and Mike broke up. Michelangelo did not find out about this until a good while after Jade had died. Anger and fist throwing ensued as a result.

Reviews? Oh, why, I love them. Thank you for asking. ;)