Reincarnation - KimiNinja03 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TV 2012) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

Chapter 1

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Donatello wordlessly scavenged through the pile of debris, looking for anything his scientific mind deemed worthy enough to aid him with his tune-ups or inventions.

His mind seemed to wander from him before he could even realize it. He'd be staring at an object in his hands before he seemingly tossed it aside with annoyance. He shouldn't let his mind wander…if it wanders then he might think about-

'No…no. Not again…not right now', Donatello thought as his glared at nothing in particular; his hands curling around the slightly bent metal plate he was holding.

About half an hour later Donnie sighed as he abandoned the new pile he'd been searching before he stood and stretched his body. A yawn escaped him as he reached for his phone. It was dark, of course, but it wasn't that late. He'd not fallen asleep well the previous night. But that's normal because today was the most hated day of the year.

Donatello groaned as he spotted the messages sent by Leo and Raph; mainly Leo. He was distantly surprised the two weren't out spying on him the way they use to do after-

"No!" Donatello ground his teeth, interrupting his thoughts again before they could go down that path. He knew why his mind kept betraying him. Today was the anniversary…

The purple banded turtle sighed as he shakily rubbed one hand across his scalp and loaded the bag he always carried nowadays over his shoulder. He didn't find as much as he usually does, but oh well. It's to be expected on this day. Donnie quickly walked away to return to the old shellraiser before his older brothers actually did come looking for him.

He made it two whole strides before a terrified scream filled the air. Donnie jumped from the unexpected, and very loud, scream. Usually he and his brothers could tell how bad a situation was by the intensity of the scream, and boy, there was no way Donatello can just walk away from this one. This scream seemed to call directly towards him for help.

Shaking his head the purple banded turtle gritted his teeth once more and jumped towards the source of the scream in a full out run. He found himself jumping off of piles of junk, following the echo of the distressed call to the other end of the junkyard.

"What a waste of space," Donnie heard someone mutter in a very disgusted tone. The sound of spit and then a distressed whimper made Donnie narrow his eyes. He jerked in shock just behind a pile of old furniture when he saw a group of teenagers surrounding a lump on the ground a few paces away from what looked like a homemade shelter. Several cardboard boxes were pushed into another pile of furniture and nick knacks to sinuate a roof while a few worn out blankets made what was supposed to be a palled just underneath.

Donnie ignored the somewhat depressing yet impressively creative shelter to peer at what the boys had been surrounding on the ground. It had to have been a person, what else could scream like that?

"Aww, is the little baby gonna scream for his Mommy again?" The same boy as before taunted, obviously the ring leader of some sorts. The other three boys laughed down at the poor kid in the dirt and one kicked at his half exposed back, "It's not like she can hear you anyways, right? Isn't she dead?"

A half sob made Donnie's heart stop with shock. He's seen some really cruel things, but how can teens like that pick on a small kid? Donnie's brown eyes narrowed in on the group as his mouth twisted firmly. Making up his mind he brought out his bō staff and immediately knew what to do.

The purple banded ninja leapt from his hiding spot and immediately used his staff as a pole, expertly swinging himself in a 360 and kicking all four boys in the chest. They all cried out in surprise and horror as they fell to the ground. Thinking quickly, Donnie dug his bō staff into the ground and used it to spread dirt into most of the boys' eyes.

"Leave. Now," Donnie growled in a low threatening tone of voice, feeling it vibrate in his throat. The boys quickly scrambled away while screaming, tripping once or twice while trying to escape. At the moment Donnie didn't really care if they saw him. Who would believe them anyways? They wouldn't have evidence of his existence.

Donnie turned back to the kid on the ground but was once again floored, his eyes widening to the size of the moon. The kid was shaking, looking back at him with an expression that mirrored Donnie's except fear and confusion shinned in those baby blue orbs of his. This kid looked every bit how Donnie's baby brother had looked...or how he'd always pictured him human in his mind. His sunny blonde hair was short and slightly wild behind his ears while his face was well-rounded, chubby cheeks that had yet to lose their baby fat were filled with freckles.

"D-Don't hurt me…" The kid begged with a small hoarse voice. Donnie let out the breath he didn't remember holding. This kid almost sounded like his little brother too… "I-I don't have any food or n-nothin' b-but…"

Immediately, the overwhelming need to protect washed over him as he put his bō staff away and threw his hands up, trying to put on a nice small smile for the boy to show him he meant no harm.

"Hey, I don't want your food Lil Guy…I was only trying to help. I won't hurt you," Donnie promised as he took one small step to the boy, who froze and looked up at him with shaky eyes. Donnie decided to try to appear more humanistic to the child, "My name is Donatello, but sometimes I'm called Donnie or Don. What's your name?"

The boy seemed to slowly calm down at the tone of Donnie's voice, though he still looked frightened and confused, "I'm Micah…but I don't really like that name so I like to be called Mike."

Pain enveloped Donatello for a fraction of a second before he pushed that pain away like he was used to doing and smiled warmly at the boy. He didn't know why Mike hated his real name but he wasn't about to chase the boy off for asking about it.

"H-Hey Donnie?"

Donnie was startled to hear the boy, Mike, say his name. It felt…nice…and almost familiar, "Yes Mike?"

"Y-You….you are a turtle…" He innocently pointed out like he could not believe it were actually true. He was staring at Donatello like he was the imaginary friend he'd always wanted to create in his mind. Under the full force of that look, Donnie couldn't help but laugh loudly, nearly scaring the boy.

"Yes…I'm mostly turtle…but a little human too," Donnie smiled when Mike became more confused but then his face hardened as he looked upon Mike's injuries, "Can I look at your wounds, Mike? I'm pretty much a qualified doctor…"

Mike curled into himself as he looked somewhat suspicious at the giant turtle, "How do I know you won't hurt me?"

Donnie thought about that and held out his right pinky. He knew it was childish…but that was kind of the point at the moment. He needed to make sure the kid wasn't seriously hurt and to do that Don needed his trust. Mike blinked at him in surprise, "I pinky promise you, okay?"

Mike, still staring at the hand in surprise, brought his own right hand up and hooked pinky's with Donnie, giggling shortly after, "Okay! You're pinky is as big as my whole hand Donnie!"

Donnie smiled warmly, feeling happier than he had felt in days as he knelt down closer to the boy and gently pulled Mike's shirt up to reveal his abdomen, which had been his first concern. His smile dropped when he noticed the level of bruising around his abdomen and ribs. This could possibly be very veryserious…

"What's wrong Donnie? Am I going to die?" Mike blinked owlishly, not sure what to make of Donnie's expression. Donnie quickly looked up.

"No, of course not Mike. It just a bit more serious than I thought…" Donnie bit his lip, weighing his options. Leo and Raph are going to straight up kill him. But Mike lived in the junk yard and Donnie somehow didn't think Mike should go to a foster home since it was obvious by the shelter behind him how the boy spent his nights, "Do you want me to drop you off at a hospital or take you home with me so I can fix you up?"

Donnie was unprepared for the way little Mike's hands curled around his right arm, panic in every inch of his face and so raw in his eyes that it hurt looking at him, "Please, Donnie, I don't wanna go to the hospittle!"

In the midst of everything Donnie thought it was cute how Mike didn't say "hospital" quite right, but that was on the back burner. Donnie quickly but carefully gathered Mike up in his arms after slight hesitation on Mike's part, "Then hold on to me tight buddy and you have to promise me you won't tell anyone about where I live, okay?"

"Kay," Mike nodded, looking too relieved to be going with him then staying or going to a hospital. Donnie smiled reassuringly as he gathered everything he needed again and rushed back to the shellraiser.

Raph and Leo were going to kill him for bringing this homeless kid into their home but he didn't care anymore. He had to help Mike. He had to help the kid that reminded him of his little brother.

"Woah! Dude, what is this thing!?" Little Micah gasped in a mixture of shock and delight once the shellraiser came into view. Donnie smirked a little, feeling a bit pleased with himself for impressing the small human with his old invention.

"I built it from various metal alloys and a train cart," Donnie explained and smiled even more when Mike's eyes widened significantly. He placed the young boy down in Michelangelo's old station, though it caused a twinge in his heart, and strapped him in, "Don't move around too much okay? This thing is not an actual car and if anything happens you could get flung right off the seat, alright?"

"A-Alright," Mike replied looking a bit overwhelmed. Donnie sighed as he stood and went to go to the driver's seat when Mike grabbed his hand, "D-Donnie?"

"Yeah Lil Guy?" Donnie turned his head in surprise and blinked at the blonde boy. Micah looked very troubled all of a sudden, as if he changed his mind, and Donnie couldn't help but feel a little fear. He didn't want to leave the boy behind! What was wrong with him? Why did he already feel so attached to the human child? He probably could stay or didn't even want to stay. But Donnie knew he still wanted to help him. He wanted to see Mike, if possible. Though...this probably wasn't healthy thinking...

"Y-Your home…is it safe? W-Will there be bad men there?" Micah couldn't help but ask as his heart hammered in his small chest. Donnie smiled in a relieved way and patted Mike's hand.

"No, my family will be the only ones there. They're stupid sometimes so ignore them if they shout. I'll explain everything and fix you up, okay?" Donnie promised warmly, hoping to reassure him. Mike looked up at Donnie and smiled, looking at the purple banded turtle like he was a masked super hero.

And in that moment, a moment that hadn't happened in a long long time, Donnie felt like one.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Donnie didn't think he'd be this nervous as he came across the garage door he had built into his lab a few years back, but he was. He was very nervous. He brought Micah in without truly thinking what his brothers would say. What if they notice how alike Micah was to their baby brother and resented him for it?

"Donnie?" Mike's slightly sleepy voice mumbled out from where he sat leaned close to the map, "Are we here yet?"

Putting on a brave face Donnie nodded and got out of his station to cross the small boy in two strides. Mike had obviously been awake too long and it was getting late, the poor child. Mike blinked up slowly at the taller turtle he deemed very friendly and pulled a soft smile, "Donnie, are your family all turtles like you?"

Pausing Donnie helped the boy unstrap himself then helped steady him upright as he could go. He watched Micah wrap an arm around his middle, grimacing in pain. Donnie frowned, "Well, my brothers are turtles like me but my Father is a rat."

That had Mike looking up in utter disbelief, "What? A rat?! How can your daddy be a rat?" Donnie afforded an amused smile.

"You'll believe my brothers and I are talking turtles but you can't believe my "daddy" is a rat?" Donnie asked and Mike blushed, toeing the floor as they made their way towards the Shellraiser's exit. Don's heart leapt in his throat when he distantly heard his lab doors opening. That was sure to be at least Leo if not Raph too.

"Okay…so he's a rat…but he can talk like you or something? How does that even work!? Donnie, you know that turtles and rats can't talk or walk around!" Mike denied with a confused pout that took some of the fear out of Donnie.

Opening the door he just smiled, "It's a long story, Lil Guy. Just come meet my brothers, and remember, don't be scared. I won't let them hurt you."

Micah's eyes widened a lot and he looked much more uncertain now than he ever did but Don's arm was tight around him as they both walked out into his lab. Mike forgot about his anxiety the moment he saw all the cool things that Donnie had in this room. Some of the things looked like they glowed and was…was that a pool of algae?

"Donatello, where the shell have you been?! I've sent nearly 20 messa…." Leonardo was waiting for him and stepped out of the shadows predictably annoyed and worried but stopped in his tracks when he saw the cargo that Donnie had with him.

"Did ya yell at him yet? Cause I'm gonna hit 'em!" Raph called as his voice came closer. Donnie rolled his eyes and pushed Mike slightly behind him because he knew that Raph would probably get vocal when he saw the kid. Raphael stepped beside Leo, throwing him a weird look because he looked frozen until he saw the human child behind Donatello, "Wha….what the hell is that?! That better not be what I think it is, Donnie!"

Micah flinched, his eyes gone very round as he studied Donnie's "older brothers". The one that just cursed was very large and scary. He had a lot of scars on his arms and one on the side of his head. The frozen one was gaping at Mike like he was not real and he certainly didn't look any less scary than the other. How come Donnie was so different than they were?

"Let me explain," Donnie put up his hands, totally predicting these reactions, "He's a homeless boy I saw in the junkyard guys. He was being beaten by some teenagers and he's injured! I couldn't just let them beat on him! They could have killed him!"

"I don't care!" Raphael bellowed causing Micah to flinch again and hide completely behind Donnie, "He's dangerous ta us Donnie! Why would ya do this ta us?!"

Donatello bristled at Raph's accusation, "He's a good kid! He won't tell anybody where we are Raph! He fell asleep the way here anyways! He has no one!"

"Donnie, he's seen us," Leonardo narrowed his eyes as he came out of his shock, "He knows about us now, Donnie. What are we supposed to do with that?"

"April and Casey know about us too along with other humans!" Donnie snapped which caused Leo to pause, "I trust this kid, he's a good one! He needs help! If you don't like it then fine, I'll patch him up and find a good place for him but he's staying the night!"

Raph growled under his breath and Leo sighed, rubbing his temples, "I need to go tell Master Splinter about this…he needs to know…"

"Whatever. If authorities come lookin' for us then…"

Feeling somewhat brave for whatever reason Micah poked his head around Don's shell and near shouted, "I won't tell! I promise!"

Donnie, Leo, and Raph blinked in surprise as all eyes fell on the boy. Mike blushed and hid again, realizing he just spoke back to the big scary red turtle. Don looked at Raph and smirked, crossing his arms. Raph rolled his eyes and followed a reluctant Leo out of the lab.

Sighing in a relieved way that it was over, Donnie turned around and knelt to Mike's eye level, "Okay Mike, step one is done now all we need to do if fix you up, okay?"

Mike nodded shyly and followed Donnie to a big table where he helped pick him up so that he can lay across. Donnie smiled, "Okay, I need to x-ray you to make sure none of your ribs are actually broken okay?"

Uncertainty and fear flashed through the boy's eyes again but he nodded in agreement and did he best to stay still while Donnie scanned a weird machine over his body, "D-Donnie?"

"Yeah Mike?" Donnie waited for the pictures to show up on his laptop and he looked over to see Mike clenching and unclenching his hands, "What's the matter?"

"I-Is Master Splinter your Daddy?" He asked and Donnie's eyes widened for a moment before he smiled and nodded, "W-What are your brothers' names?"

"The one with the red mask is Raphael or Raph and the one with the blue mask is Leonardo, or Leo," Donnie explained while immediately feeling a sickening feeling in his gut at not mentioning his final brother's name out loud.

"W-Why don't they like me?" Mike whimpered as he drew in on himself, "Is it because I'm different? Cause I'm human and your turtle, right?"

Donnie sighed and put a hand on the boy's hand, "It's difficult to explain, Mike. They're scared of you…or rather…they're scared of what you might do. You see, if anyone else found out who we were, that we existed, or where we live we would be taken away forever and bad things might happen to us."

Micah paled at that and nodded in understanding, "So…they don't want me to tell anybody? Cause…I don't have anybody to tell…"

"No body?" Donnie rose an eyebrow, "Not even an Aunt, Uncle, Cousin or friend?"

"I don't have any more family and I don't have friends either," Mike shrugged, "Well I'm friends with this orange looking cat that stays in the junkyard with me! That sucks that I won't be there for him tonight."

Misery clung to Don's heart but before he could feel it too badly his laptop beeped and Mike's x-rays came up. Donnie sighed in relief at seeing no broken bones but then narrowed his eyes at the faintest crack in two of his right ribs.

"What does the pictures say?" Mike asked innocently as he kept one arm around him as a shield, "Am I okay?"

"You will be," Donnie promised as he shut down the lid of the laptop and grabbed something to wrap around Mike's abdomen, "I'm going to wrap this around you okay? It will help keep one of your ribs from sustaining further damage."

"Um..okay..." Mike smiled shyly as he nodded and lifted his arms so Don could work easier. Donnie has just finished, allowing him to get comfortable when he saw a large shadow approaching the doorway. Mike went rigid and Donnie blinked before looking over at the door and smiling.

"Hello, Sensei..." Donnie said, trying to calm his hear beat. What would his Father say about this? What would he do? Would he send Micah away? Surely not when he's injured...didn't he do the right thing?

Micah watched as a very tall, grayish brown rat walked forward with purpose. He gulped when his seemingly brown eyes trained on him before widening just for a moment. A strange forced calm took over his eyes and Micah just blinked stupidly. It was as if he thought he recognized him or something. How come this rat is wearing a robe? And he has a cane...

"Hello Donatello...Leonardo has informed me of our new...guest," Splinter smiled politely at the boy, who quickly but nervously returned the gesture. Splinter frowned upon seeing the young one's injuries and couldn't stop the pang in his heart at the sight of the boy's baby blue eyes and the dusting of freckles on his cheek. Now he understands why Donatello was so persistent about the boy, "How are you, young one?"

"I-I'm...okay. Donnie fixed me up and says I'm okay too," Mike smiled as he looked over at Donnie then at the bedding shyly, rubbing the material of it with his index finger, "S-So you're Donnie's daddy? How can you talk?"

Donnie rolled his eyes and Splinter allowed a smile to form across his face at the child's innocence. He seemed nervous and confused enough, but he was taking everything fairly well. It reminded him of April a bit, "Because I used to be human, child."

"What?!" Micah gasped as he looked between Donnie and the rat, "How did you become a rat?! It's...it's not a super power is it? Can you turn it off? That would be cool!"

Splinter chuckled and Donnie's eyes brightened when he saw his Father laughing. It has been awhile since any of them have laughed, "That is a story for another time. But I can tell you that it is not a super power nor something that I chose to happen to me."

Mike's eyes widened before he blushed, feeling as though he brought up something bad. Splinter saw this and took a seat on the edge of the bed Micah was sitting up on, "What is your name, Child?"

"M-Micah...but I like to be called Mike," Mike smiled upon seeing that he did not bring up something sad to Donnie's Father. But he blinked in confusion when the rat's eyes widened a bit longer than before when he first saw him, "And you're Master Splinter, right? What...What are you a Master of?"

Splinter once again was taken surprise by the child. He was first alarmed by the child's name. It was so close to his youngest son's name that it was painful. And the nickname was...Splinter shook his head and noted that Donatello was trying to appear busy looking at something else, something old and painful happening to his eyes before Mike spoke up again, "I am a Master of Ninjitsu..." He was somewhat impressed that Micah was able to talk normally with them despite the occasional anxiety.

"Nin-get-su?" Mike asked as he titled his head to one side, "What is that? Is that a thing with ninjas? Or Warriors? That would be pretty amazing!"

Splinter and Donnie shared a small smile before Donnie nodded, "It's pretty much about ninja stuff, Mike. Martial arts but with weapons training and stuff like that."

Mike's eyes widened a lot. So that's how Donnie was able to take down those bad kids! That was so cool! Mike wanted to learn something like that too! He opened his mouth to say as such before a growl cut him off. His eyes stayed wide as everyone looked over and he saw that red turtle, Raph, slouching against the wall with that other one, Leo, on the opposite side. Both did not look very happy at all. Well Raph looked unhappy and Leo looked indifferent.

"Are we gonna tell him all our secrets now?" Raph scowled angrily as he looked at his brother and Father. He refused to look at the human at all. He didn't want to even see his face. Leo, however, only had eyes on the human as if he was reading him.

"He is only asking innocent questions, Raphael. I sense no ill will from him. Calm yourself," Sensei frowned at his hot headed son, who grumbled in response, and turned to look at the boy. The poor child was shaking a bit and refusing to look over there because he was afraid to meet Leonardo's eyes, "Micah...you are welcome to stay the night here. Donatello can take you back to your home tomorrow in the morning-"

"Oh, so you're taking me back to the junkyard?" Mike asked with a timid smile as he turned to Donnie, who only frowned in displeasure. Splinter was surprised.

"Your home is the junk yard, Micah? What of your family?" He asked and Mike shrugged sadly.

"I don't have anymore family," He spoke up and Splinter saw that Leo and Raph both went rigid, "I live alone with my cat at the junk yard. But there is a lot of neat stuff there."

Splinter looked at Donatello, who looked back at him with a hidden plea. He wanted to take care of the boy. Splinter knew why, but it was simply too risky for them and for the child...but still. He has no family and no way to truly take care of himself, "You do not belong to a foster home, Micah?"

Something flashed in Micah's eyes before he hid them behind his hair before shaking his head, "How did that happen? Did the government not move you into one after your last surviving family member died?"

"My mom...she and I were homeless before her death..." He replied quietly and Splinter felt a pang in his heart for the boy. Looking over, he saw that Leonardo was staring intently, but with less malice than before and even Raphael seemed to have become slightly less rigid, "And I don't want to go into a foster home."

"Why not?" Donnie questioned with concern as he leaned down towards his level. It concerned him that Micah was hiding something important. Something he was clinging to with his life. Was it something bad enough that he couldn't say out loud?

"The bad men would find me," Mike seemed to trust Donnie more than anyone in the room because he looked up, his eyes wet and large with mild panic and fear, "They don't find me in my secret spot at the junk yard. If they ever see me in town they said they would kill me."

Before Donnie could open his mouth Leo was walking forth with a tight voice, like he didn't believe anything Mike said, "Who are they? Why would they hurt you?"

Micah closed in on himself again and wrapped his arms around his body, trying not to feel the hurt in his abdomen and chest as he remembered those bad men... "I-I don't know...before I hid in my new home they tried to attack me because they wanted...something...a file or whatever. I d-didn't understand and...and...I know that they have big scary dragons on them."

Donnie, Raph, Leo, and Splinter all inhaled sharply at the last part. They knew it wasn't beneath the Purple Dragons to attack a family...or to attack children...but to try and kill children? And why? They still didn't understand. Raph growled and went away from the door at Leo's side, "What file? What makesyou so important?"

"I...I don't know..." Mike shivered at Raph's tone and Donnie tried to put on a smile but it felt miserable on his face as he turned to his brothers.

"See? He can't leave! He needs to stay with us or the Purple Dragons will find him and hurt him!" Donnie argued as he could see Leo and Raph ready to deny this. A conflicted look passed over Leo's face for a moment.

"I can't believe this..." Leo muttered as he rubbed his face, "The Purple Dragons have never stopped have they? What do they want this time? I don't like it, but maybe this is a way we can get rid of them."

Raph looked shocked, "You actually want that thing in this lair with us?" Mike flinched, causing Donnie and Splinter to glare at Raph, "What?! He's probably lying!"

"I'm not!" Micah's eyes shot up, glaring holes into Raph's face like he forgot how dangerous he though he looked, "They've been trying to hurt me for monthsnow! I don't know what they want!"

Raph glared back at the kid, but was surprised when he kept that glare fixed on his green eyes for a few moments longer before turning to look at the ground sadly. Raph sighed and knew that he was out-argued. Besides, he didn't have to talk to the kid and beating the Purple Dragons would be amazing.

"Do not worry, my sons. We will stop whatever the Purple Dragons want or are planning," Splinter assured his sons before turning to the blue eyed boy, "Micah, if it is okay with you...you can stay here with us until we solve this problem you have. You'll be safe here."

Micah didn't seem convinced but he looked up to meet Donnie's eyes and he blushed as he looked away, "Um, yes please..." Raph scoffed and Leo did nothing, his eyes closed and his expression flat. Splinter smiled and Donnie brightened immediately. He felt so relieved. He was so worried about Mike now that he knew the Purple Dragons were after him. There was so much he wanted to learn about the boy!

"This is great!" He smiled as he put a hand on Micah's. Splinter smiled even more at seeing Donatello happy; something he doesn't see often enough, "You can sleep in-"

"He's not sleeping in that room," Leo spoke up, startling everyone, his eyes challenging and his face flat, almost displeased, "He can sleep on the couch, in here, or with you Donnie." Raph seemed happy with Leo's suggestion and Splinter sighed.

Donnie understood why Leo said that but frowned at his two older brothers before looking at a confused and unhappy Micah. He squeezed his hand comfortingly and smiled, "You can sleep in my room. I have an idea."

"R-Really?" Mike smiled back up at him, feeling encouraged. He didn't know why Leo and Raph seemed to hate him so much, but oh well...his mom always told him that he couldn't please everybody.

Micah felt, more than anything, that he wasn't certain what he just gotten himself into. And neither did the Hamatos.

Chapter 2: Might Look Like Mikey

Notes:

I haven't said any of their ages yet, but you'll see it in the stories. But in case you don't see this is how old Micah and the Turtles are in my story:

Leonardo: 23 (Leo, Raph, Donnie are about to be 24)

Raphael: 23

Donatello: 23

Michelangelo (Age he was when he died): 16 (almost 17)

Micah(Mike): 7 (almost 8)

Splinter: 62 (I figured he was in his early 30's when he found the turtles and all the years that go by he'd be around this age)

Chapter Text

Micah's Point of View:

As soon as Donnie said so I jumped off the table and it was funny to see Donnie's eyes widen in alarm when I did so. I giggled and he sighed, rolling his eyes at me before looking straight ahead. I followed his eyes to where his brothers, Leo and Raph were standing by the doorway. Raph wouldn't look at me at all and scoffed as he walked off. That Leo guy just looked at me blankly before following him.

"Micah," I jumped, looking up at Donnie's daddy. He was really tall and the gray in his fur kinda looked cool under the lights. I smiled politely at him while nervously messing with the hem of my shirt, "Please do not go out in the sewer tunnels because you could get lost and it is dangerous, alright? Just listen to whatever Donatello tells you to do."

I blinked at him. Wait, we were in the sewers?! That's straight up nasty! But I didn't want to seem rude because they don't even know me and I'm different from them...but they still helped me out, "Y-Yes, sir...um...most people don't call me Micah. You can call me Mike."

It felt like I had done something terrible to him when his eyes shifted away and something sad entered his face for a moment until he smiled at me again, "I believe in calling people by their given names, Micah. Do not be ashamed of your name because it is beautiful."

I blushed and looked down at the ground, nodding shyly. Donnie's hand patted my shoulder and I looked up at him and smiled. Donnie is as tall as his daddy! I looked back up at him, "U-Um...what do I call you, sir?"

"You can call me Splinter if you wish," Splinter nodded with a growing smile as he looked at me fondly, "My sons will call me something different, but you do not have to do this."

"O-Okay," I nodded feeling overwhelmed again. There was a lot about them that I didn't understand. Donnie's hand squeezed my shoulder and I looked up at him.

"Let's go to my room now. It's late and I have to make you a bed," He smiled down at me and I nodded shyly, shifting a little closer to him. Splinter stared at us both for a minute before his smile grew even more, "You can go ahead to bed, Sensei. We don't want you to get sick again."

I felt confused as Splinter nodded and bid us goodnight. I silently watched him leave and grabbed Donnie's hand. He looked down at me in surprise and I smiled at him, wondering why Splinter would get sick and why Donnie was suddenly looking different.

"L-Let's go, Mike," Donnie gently pulled me along with him and I happily nodded, walking after him. I gasped when we went out of his lab place and into a wide open area. I saw a tire swing! Ooh and a game! They even have a TV! Donnie laughed softly as he continued to pull me past a small pool looking thing into a hall with four doors. He pulled me close to a door that had "Donnie's room" on it. The door beside it had a stop sign on it and I blinked.

"Who's room is that?" I asked him as I tugged on his hand. He blinked after he'd open the door to his room and his eyes shifted to mine, "That one with the stop sign on it? Whose is it? It's pretty cool!"

"It's Raph's room," Donnie said quietly and my eyes widened as I looked back at the room. A chill of fear washed down my spine and I nodded. Donnie just smiled gently and took me into his room before closing the door behind us. I kept a firm grip on him as I looked around the room with wide eyes.

"Wow!" I gasped in awe and he laughed, "Your room looks awesome Donnie!"

I noticed how neat it was right away...my mom's room was never this clean when we did have one together! Donnie's room looks so put together. His bed sheets were brown and neatly folded. He had a desk with perfectly stacked papers on it and there was a photo album, I think, but it was under all the papers.

"Thanks, Mike," Donnie smiled as he looked around nervously, "I can go out later and find you a proper thing to sleep on but you can have my mattress for now."

I blinked, feeling confused, "But what about you, Donnie? Are you going to sleep with me?"

"Well...I usually stay up really late, you understand? So I fall asleep on my desk," He explained while blushing as I sat on his bed and looked up at him. He knelt in front of me and checked my bandages, "If you feel bad during the night wake me up okay?"

"Um, alrighty," I smiled in a confused way as I watched him stand and sit at his desk slowly, "I don't think it's a good idea to fall asleep on your desk, Donnie. It might hurt your neck." My eyes widened when he tensed, his eyes going wide before he looked over at me in surprise, "Am I wrong? I feel asleep at a desk once. It hurt my neck!"

"Y-You're not wrong, Mike, it's just...someone once said something similar," Donnie smiled but it looked forced and I felt bad for making him feel sad, "Why don't you try to get some sleep?"

I perked up a bit, nodding my head as I shuffled under his blankets and sighed in contentment. Donnie smiled genuinely at me as I laid on my side to see him better. I beamed, "I've never seen anything like this before!"

Donnie froze for some reason and looked over with disturbed eyes, "You've never seen what before? A room like this?"

"No," I denied while shaking my head, giggling at his expression, "A bed like this."

"You've...you've never slept in a bed?" Donnie asked, his eyes going really wide. I wanted to giggle at that too, but for some reason Donnie's green skin looked lighter than it did a minute ago. I frowned worriedly and parted my lips to say something, "Have you always been homeless? You've lived in a home before, right?"

"Y-Yes," I nodded, suddenly feeling shy and not knowing what to do with myself, "Only once for, like, four years. Or thats how old I was when I became homeless."

Donnie's mouth dropped open and his eyes went impossibly wide, "And...how old are you now?"

"Seven, almost eight," I answered honestly as I blinked, "I used to live with Mom under bridges and stuff, which was pretty cool. And we had clean mattresses to sleep on because Mom always worked hard to find the good ones. We also had this friend that always gave us free food when we came by. He's an amazing guy! I still went to him for food but he's really old now and has a cousin that helps him around his shop. His cousin is as nice as he is though."

"Oh really?" Donnie asked, something understanding happening to his eyes, "Well that does sound cool. But don't worry, you don't have to worry about that stuff anymore."

"Donnie?" I asked worriedly when it appeared that he had gotten more upset, "It's okay, Donnie. You don't have to worry either! We can protect each other from the bad men, okay? I promise!" I felt confused about what upset Donnie this time but I hope that cheered him up!

Donnie looked startled but then his eyes did something warm that reminded me of my mother and I beamed, holding out my pinky. He laughed and it made me happy as we connected pinkies to make our promise! Donnie smiled at me and I jumped out of bed, hooking my arms around his neck as he gasped. I giggled and then let go of him before jumping back in his bed and snuggling up.

I've slept on mattresses before and pallets my mom always made but this mattress felt different and the blankets were fluffier. My eyes fluttered and I smiled sleepily at Donnie when he turned his head to look at me, "H-How old are you, Donnie?"

"Almost 24," He grinned at me for some reason and my tired eyes flew open as my mouth parted, "What's that face for?" He was laughing.

"Wow! You're old Donnie!" I commented and he laughed even harder, "I'm not joking! You can do a lot of stuff now! How old are your brothers?"

Once again, for some reason thats starting to really annoy me, he froze and looked up at me before turning to his desk, "Leo, Raph, and I are...all the same age."

"Oh...okay," I blinked, biting my lip. I decided not to ask anymore stupid questions because they seemed to hurt Donnie very much. I didn't want to hurt Donnie anymore. Not after everything he's done for me!

I snuggled with the comfy pillows and blankets before my eyes dropped again and I thought about how awesome this place was...I would love to live here with Donnie and Splinter forever! You don't have to worry about me anymore, Mom.

Donatello's Point of View:

I had to stop freezing after every question he asked. I could tell my actions were disturbing him but I couldn't help myself. When he asks questions like that it hurts my heart to think about my baby brother. I can't even..it's been eight years today since he died and I have trouble mentioning him at all. Raph will get near physical in his anger if you mention him while Leo prefers not to talk about. It makes sense though...after all...

"Hey, hey Donnie! Wanna watch me make a Mikey-tornado on these foot ninjas?!"

"No, I don't, Mikey. Just focus on the enemy!"

"Aw c'mon, don't be a party pooper, Donnie!"

"Donnie's right, Mikey. Focus on the battle!"

*SMACK*

"Ow, Raph!"

"Don't whine ta us when we have ta save yer ass from certain doom!"

"No, dude, I'll be the one saving you guys!"

I winced and shook my head as if it would somehow get rid of the painful memories of that night. I didn't want to think about it any further. I sighed and looked over at Mike, who was sleeping so peacefully. I stared at him as he shifted and curled into a impossibly small ball around one of my pillows. I laughed softly and shook my head again.

There was a knock at my door that made my knee jerk up automatically into my desk and I gasped in pain. I growled under my breath and looked to see if Mike woke up from the noise. Whoever was at the door, which it sounded like Leo, did not even care that Mike was trying to sleep. Jerks.

I opened my door and before I got two angry words in Leo grabbed my arm and hauled me out of my own room before closing my door. He kept a firm, but not painful, grip on my forearm as he looked at me, "We need to talk."

"O-Okay," I blinked as he began to lead me to the benches in the pit. I inwardly groaned when I saw Raph sitting in his bean bag chair with his arms crossed over his face. I scowled as I allowed Leo to near wrestle me into sitting down on the bench before he took my other side. I saw what he did. He placed me in the middle of Raph and himself so I couldn't escape, "What is this about?"

"Ya know what this is about," Raph all but snarled and I glared down at him, "Why tha hell did ya bring that thing in here?"

"Haven't I already explained or were you not listening?" I asked flatly and he growled at me. I narrowed my eyes challenging but Leo cleared his throat. I quickly looked at him with the same eyes, "I'm not getting rid of him, Leo. He needs me. He has no one else!"

"Donnie..." Leo's look changed to sadness, "It's dangerous to keep him around. He's a kid...soon enough he'll want to be normal and will want to leave. Are you telling me you'd just keep him?"

"Yes!" I hissed and he frowned at me, "As long as he wants to stay here he can! I already told you he's a great kid! He won't tell anyone! We can't send him out there with the Purple Dragons hunting him!"

"I bet he made it all up!" Raph argued as he stared angrily at the ground. I glared at him, "He might be just a trap or a setup!"

"How so?" I deadpanned, feeling annoyed and fed up with my brothers at the moment, "He's just a little kid, Raph. He's only seven years old and never even had his own bed before. He's not a trap, he's not a setup...he's a kid. Get it through your thick skull!"

"What did ya say ta me?" Raph asked as his temper flared. He stood dangerously and I narrowed my eyes yet again in challenge as I quickly went defensive. Leo stood fast and place himself between us, his eyes blank.

"Don't fight you guys. I just wanted to know all your reasons...I still think he could be dangerous to us. But we need to know what the Purple Dragons want with him. He can stay with us until then but afterwards...he needs to go back where he belongs," Leo explained as Raph crossed his arms behind him. My eyes widened and my mouth parted.

"You...you want him to live alone in a junkyard?" I asked in disbelief and Leo sighed, shaking his head, "Then what?"

"You can help find him some place...but he can never tell about us, Donnie," Leo warned and I nodded, feeling my heart sink in my chest. Leo didn't want him to stay. Raph hated his guts, "What is it about this little boy that's so special?"

I flinched and looked down sadly, "He...he looks like him." I peeked upwards without moving my head and saw Leo freeze, eyes going wide. Raph paused and looked over at me, his eyes wider than Leo's, "He kinda acts like him too..."

They didn't say anything and I regretted telling them at all about it. I used to be able to tell them anything. The used to be able to tell me anything! Why did things have to change?

"Damn Donnie, for real? Yer gonna keep this kid around because he might be like Mikey?" Raph asked with something of absolutely accusing disbelief and my eyes widened as my heart froze in my chest. I should have known...they would never understand, "We all miss him but you're just seein' things that aren't there."

I glared up at him, feeling like I hardly knew him at all and his eyes widened again. I was pissed and hurt, "I am helping him because he needs it. Because he doesn't have family or a home and he's in trouble. It's what we used to do, Raph. There's nothing you or Leo can say about it!"

Leo was just staring at me and I couldn't tell how he was feeling about what I said before or what I just said and frankly I didn't care. I was done with them for the night, "Now if your done badgering and judging me...I'd like to get some sleep."

"Donnie..I.."

I ignored Raph and walked away from them. I walked straight to my bedroom and locked the door behind me. I looked at Mike and saw that he had shifted again to where he was lying on his chest and hugging that pillow. I sighed and rubbed a hand down my face as I sat at my desk and stared at some papers.

I was so angry and hurt that I couldn't focus on the notes and I grumbled in frustration. I laid my head down on my desk and closed my eyes. Today was almost over. It was almost over...

I miss you Mikey.

The Next Morning:

Micah's Point of View:

I shifted and groaned as I felt sore for some reason. I moved my head, hoping to get more comfortable on my pallet until I felt my head hit something that felt like a brick wall. I groaned in pain and opened my eyes, staring at a sort of navy blue or black brick wall. My eyes widened and I panicked, shooting up in bed. That really hurt above my belly and I cringed until I looked around and spotted Donnie sleeping on his desk.

I blinked in surprise and settled down. That's right. Those mean older kids hurt me and Donnie saved me. He was a turtle that lived with his two turtle brothers and rat daddy. They knew how to fight and had a awesome home in the sewers, even if that seems nasty!

The bed was nice and I can't even remember the last time I slept so well! I smiled to myself and untangled my legs from the fluffy blankets. I giggled as I bounced once before remembering I'm not supposed to be moving much of something could break. Donnie said my rib could break and that doesn't sound fun.

I got up out of Donnie's bed and frowned as I neared him. He looked really...tired and sad even in his sleep. I looked at the papers he was laying on and blinked, feeling stupid. What are all those drawings and numbers for? He doesn't go to school or something like that...so why does he do really hard things?

Shaking my head I laid my hand on Donnie's arm and bit my lip. Maybe I shouldn't wake him up, he seems really tired and I don't want to make Donnie sad anymore! I sighed and looked at the wall, pausing when I saw a calendar. He had draw a black line over days that passed and I smiled. I didn't really know what day it was sometimes! I could tell by newspapers every now and then but I was always scared to go very far into town.

My eyes widened when I saw that apparently it was a Tuesday and that it was August 28th. I knew what month it was but it was already the 28th. I looked down, feeling a bit shocked and sad. I jumped when Donnie moved around uncomfortably and then groaned. I watched as his eyes opened and I noticed how brown they were...or it looked a bit red? That's kinda cool and scary at the same time! Donnie's so cool!

"M...Mike?" He asked groggily but then suddenly shot up straight with a gasp, "Mike, how did you sleep? Are you feeling okay this morning? It is morning right?"

I blinked again and then laughed, feeling a bit better, "Yes, I think it's morning, Donnie! I slept great! I love your bed, Donnie!"

Donnie slowly smiled and I smiled back but my eyes found the calendar again. Yesterday had something marked "anniversary" and I had no idea what kinda holiday that was...I want to ask him, but I think it will just make him sad.

"Why are you staring at the calendar?" Donnie asked and I jolted, biting my lip. I didn't want to ask another stupid question so I just shrugged, eyeing the floor.

"I, um, didn't know it was August 28..." I said innocently but honestly. I twisted my lips uneasily, it was something I always did for some reason and Donnie blinked at me, "Um...today's my birthday..."

His eyes widened and he stared at me, "Wha...r-really? So you're eight today?"

"Y-Yes," I nodded shyly. I haven't been with someone on my birthday since that one time two years ago with that nice blind shop owner and his cousin decided to give me special dumplings for a birthday present. They said they only give that out to special people anymore. They tasted like pizza! "But I didn't know that it was so close...sometimes I don't know what day it is..."

Donnie frowned worriedly but then suddenly started smiling. I scooted back as he got up and then he squatted in front of me. I looked at him in awe. Donnie was so tall! How could he be so tall and strong but know so much?! He was awesome!

"Well, you can always ask me what day it is, Micah," He said my full name and laughed when I pouted at him, "Sorry...happy birthday, Mike!"

My eyes widened as he smiled at me. It was the first smile I've seen from him that looked true and happy. Is that a missing tooth. I gasped in alarm and he gasped also, "D-D-Donnie! You're missing your tooth! The tooth fairy didn't give it back to you!"

For some reason, Donnie's eyes went wide before he threw his head back and laughed harder than I've ever heard. I rose an eyebrow. I don't know why that's funny! His tooth is missing! He stopped laughing and wiped a tear from his eye as I pouted, "That's...that's not how the tooth fairy works. She doesn't exis- I...I mean...she gives you money if you put a tooth under your pillow."

I rolled my eyes, "I know that, Donnie! But her magic is supposed to help your teeth grow back and make them healthy! My mom told me so! You're tooth is still missing!"

"Mike...it's a gap in my teeth, not a missing tooth," Donnie smiled as he shook his head. He put a hand on my shoulder and I looked at him confused. He's lying to make me feel better right? That's a big gap. He had to have lost a tooth! I gasped inwardly. He doesn't want to show me that he's sad about a missing tooth! I get it now! "Do you understand Mike?"

"Yes," I nodded and he smiled before we both turned at the sound of knocking.

"Donnie...get out here. We have things to discuss," came a voice through the door. I think that was Donnie's big brother, Leo. Or maybe it was Raph? I don't know anymore, "You...You can bring him outside too."

I watched as Donnie frowned at the door before sighing and standing straight. He looked down at me with a tired smile and held out his hand towards me that I took without hesitation, "Let's go out there, buddy. They won't hurt you, I promise. If they start yelling just run to my room, okay?"

I felt a pang of fear but nodded. Donnie would be out there so I would be okay. Donnie opened the door with one hand and I trudged after him. I noticed the other doors were closed and I blinked when I saw that one of the doors was completely empty while the others had Donnie, Leo, and Raph's names on them. Oh and that cool stop sign!

My eyes went wide as I saw their home again. I looked at the tire swing excitedly, then noticed that the game I saw yesterday was lit up. I smiled wide until I saw Donnie's brothers standing down by the TV and seats. Donnie pulled me along and I followed until he stopped above them and put his hands on his hips. I stayed behind his leg and and peeked around his shell.

Raph glared at me once but didn't look at me again. Leo was looking at me only sometimes. He saw me hiding behind Donnie then ignored me, looking at Donnie. I frowned but kept myself mostly hidden behind Donnie. We both turned when we heard someone and I saw Splinter enter the room and smile at everyone, including me. I beamed back at him but saw that he was moving towards the seats to sit down.

"What's going on?" Donnie asked calmly as his hands moved from his hips to cross his arms just like Raph. I watched them all worriedly. Would they tell me I couldn't stay here? I didn't want to leave!

"We are going out on a mission, Donnie," Leo said and I watched as he didn't look mean when he looked at Donnie. His eyes looked nicer and caring, kinda like my Mom's would get when she looked at me. I smiled a bit at the memory before Leo started talking again, "We are going out to find some Purple Dragons and see why they want the kid."

I frowned. The kid? My name was Mike! I didn't pen my mouth because I was scared to but Donnie seemed okay with everything so I was to. Donnie looked surprised, "We are?"

"As soon as Micah gives your brothers the location of his old home then you will all go investigate there as well. And then you will question some members of the Purple Dragon gang," Splinter explained as my eyes widened. Donnie looked over at me and so did Leo but Raph didn't. I felt myself blush.

Donnie interrupted whatever Leo was going to say by kneeling next to me and smiling, "Will you tell me where your last home was? Where the Purple Dragons attacked you?"

"The scary bad men? Um, my home...I remember that it was near a candy store called Moblie..and our sign had Mad-son street," I blinked as I tried to remember. Mom and I used to find enough spare change to get a treat there. I remember sharing a Hershey with her one time and it was so good!

"Moblie?" Leo asked looking confused and Raph rolled his eyes, "Do you mean a gas station? Mobile?"

I blushed more, feeling embarrassed and Donnie squeezed my shoulder, just smiling, "Thanks, Mike. So near a gas station called Mobile and you live on Madison street? Do you happen to remember the mailbox number?"

I looked up and thought really hard. I haven't live in that home in a really long time. I think it has been almost 2 whole years! But Donnie needed to know. He needed my help! My eyes widened as I remembered something.

"You know, Sweety, if you ever get lost and can't find our home, you should look at the numbers on the mailbox," My Mommy explained gently as he knelt in front of my, holding my hands in hers as she smiled at me. I looked at the mailbox, "You know the numbers? That's how you know you have the right house. The house we live in."

"Okay..." I smiled as I nodded, staring at the mailbox intently, getting a giggle out of my mommy. The numbers...2..8..5

"You know those numbers, right Micah?"

"Of course, Mommy!"

"Good."

"Mike?" I flinched and looked at Donnie with wide eyes. He blinked at me and then sat on his knees, "Its okay if you can't remember."

"No, I remember now!" I pouted and he smirked at me, "It was 2...8...5...285! My mom made sure I knew one time!"

Splinter chuckled and Donnie smiled, rubbing my hair. I blushed and looked down but felt happy that I was able to remember and help Donnie! I hated when I couldn't help someone nice like Donnie!

"Good, then lets' get going," Leo said and I looked up at him. Whoa, wait a minute are those swords on his back?! I looked at him in awe and when he looked at me he seemed very taken back by it and I nearly giggled, "A-April is on her way to help watch the kid."

"That's good," Donnie sighed in relief as he stayed sitting on his knees in front of me. I rose an eyebrow, feeling confused and he turned to me, "April is a good friend of ours. She's human like you."

My eyes went wide and I gasped, "You know more people?!"

"Yes," He chuckled as Raph made some noise in his nose. I flinched when he looked kinda angry. He always looks angry!

"You will like her," Splinter spoke and I looked at him. He was smiling at me so I beamed and nodded. If they trusted her then I do too! "My sons, you can leave now. I will watch after Micah for the short time it will take April to come."

I briefly wondered why Splinter couldn't watch me but Donnie did say that he might get sick and I don't want Splinter to get sick! He's also very nice like Donnie! I watched as Raph and Leo nodded at Splinter and Donnie also nodded. I smiled.

"Donnie, be careful of the bad men!" I told him as I rushed and gave him a hug before he left. Donnie's eyes went wide but then he smiled warmly at me and hugged me back. Wow, I'm so small compared to him! I beamed as he pulled back and ruffled my hair.

"Be good for Master Splinter and April. Don't worry, you will love her," He winked and I laughed, nodding my head.

"Donnie, let's go already!" Raph growled and I stared at him. He didn't look at me and joined Leo at some weird turning pointy things. Donnie rolled his eyes and gave me one last smile before joining them.

"Come sit with me, Micah," Splinter was saying kindly. I felt annoyed that he kept calling me that but kept it to myself as I sat beside him and looked at his stick thingy in surprise, "Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, I slept great!" I grinned up at him, "But Donnie slept on his desk even though I told him not too! Why does he do that?"

To my surprise Splinter started laughing, "We've been trying to figure that out for years!"

I just smiled as Splinter continued to laugh to himself. I found myself drawn towards the tire swing and notice other doors. I really think I'm going to like staying here. April sounds like she might be fun and Splinter is nice just like Donnie!

But maybe I can make friends with Leo...not Raph. I don't think he'll ever want to be my friend!

Chapter 3: Meeting April O'Neil

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Master Splinter observed Micah with kind eyes as the boy sat beside him on the bench, his small legs swinging as he told him a story of how he found his little orange cat in the junk yard.

Little Micah was every bit how Michelangelo had been at that age; kind, excitable, loud-mouthed, and playful. It caused an ache in the aging rat, but at the same time he enjoyed the nostalgia that it brought as he watched and listened to the child.

Though Master Splinter was not a dreamer, he would every now and again find himself wondering what life would have been had he had his boys in his human life, wondering what it would be like if they had been human with him. Those thoughts always fleeted quickly but he found himself thinking a bit about it as he stared at Micah.

Micah obviously seemed hurried and anxious whenever the subject of Raphael or Leonardo came around. Splinter first noticed this when he threw in childhood memories of his own sons, though he did not mention Michelangelo if he could help it. It was something that had been accustomed to in the house because it had been too hard to really talk about him, even after all this time had passed. That and the fact that Master Splinter didn't want to confuse the poor boy more than he might have been.

"Master Splinter, do you think that being a mouse is fun sometimes?" Micah asked, startling him both out of his thoughts and with his random question. He had a tilt to his head that was curious and wondering.

"I am a rat and not a mouse, Micah," Splinter answered in slight amusement when Micah appeared as tohugh he didn't know the difference, "There are differences between the two. And to answer your question…being a rat does have its perks."

"What are perks?" He asked with wide eyes and Splinter couldn't help but laugh at his expression.

"Perks are when you find something good or useful," He explained and Micah let out a soft noise of understanding before his eyes went towards the entrance, "What troubles you, my child?"

"I'm worried about Donnie," He answered, turning uncertainly towards Splinter, who smiled warmly, "He sometimes looks so sad and he seemed mad at his brothers. I want to do something to help him since he's helped me!"

"I believe you are already doing something to help him," Splinter replied and Micah just looked confused. Master Splinter refolded his hands and smiled patiently, "He wanted you to stay here by his side. And here you are. As long as you remain a friend to Donatello then you will be helping him."

It was amazing how much the child's eyes brightened, looking everything like how Michelangelo's eyes would look when he looked at him or when Donatello finished an invention, Leonardo spent extra time watching TV with him, or when Raphael would get protective of him in front of others.

"Master Splinter!" called a familiar voice, one that startled poor Micah. Splinter turned in that direction and smiled when April O'Neil walked through the entrance of the lair almost cautiously before gazing over towards the pit where they were, "There you are! How are you feeling? The guys called me over and told me what's happened."

Micah watched the woman with wide eyes. This was the person Donnie told him about and he said she was a good friend. She looked pretty cool and she was really pretty like how his mom has been before!

"I am feeling much better today than I have," Splinter assured as he watched Micah stare at April in surprise. April beamed at the reassurance and turned her attention to the boy sitting beside Master Splinter. Her eyes widened when she realized why Leo had sounded so tense and agitated on the phone. She looked at Master splinter for a moment in shock and he seemed to know what she thought because he smiled sadly.

This boy…she just had one of those feelings that he was just like….

"H-Hello," Micah spoke up, startling April out of her thoughts. He wasn't sure what to make of how the girl, April, looked at him, "Donnie told me you were here to look after me."

April immediately picked up on the growing attachment between Donnie and Micah then smiled. That was good for Donnie…or at least she hoped it was. The turtles all needed at least one break in their lives, "Hi Micah. I'm April, but you probably already know that since you talked to Donnie."

Micah giggled nervously and nodded, "Yeah, Donnie told me!"

April smiled and Master Splinter scooted to make room for her to sit down on Micah's other side. Micah seemed nervous but way too curious about April to move away. Master Splinter sensed that Micah had many questions and snickered, "How about I go make us some tea, hmm? This way you two can get to know each other."

"Master Splinter, are you sure? I can go make tea," April offered, watching her teacher get up with apparently no troubles.

"Thank you, but I am fine April," Splinter teased, making Micah giggle when April blushed, "I am getting older but I am not immobile yet."

"Sorry Sensei," April laughed and rubbed at her long hair. Master Splinter waved her apology away, knowing she just meant well and then left to go start the tea. Nearly immediately after he vanished Micah whirled around and stared at April, "So…Leo told me that Donnie found you in a junkyard... do…do you like living there?"

"Yes! There are always a lot of neat things and I sometimes meet other good homeless people that share things with me! I also have a cat! Her name is Klunk cause she's really clumsy!" Micah blabbered, suddenly feeling much more comfortable around April now that he knew everyone trusted her so much.

April's eyes widened as she stared at Micah, whose voice was a high pitched bubbly tone she felt she recognized. Her gut was telling her that Micah was not some ordinary kid, which is why he was introduced into the turtles' lives in the first place. But she had only a faintest idea of why Leo and Raph seemed so annoyed by the little guy. He was just like Mikey!

"Um, so you are called April right? You look familiar to me somehow," Micah commented as he scratched at his head in a confused manner, "I dunno why I think you're familiar…"

Her heart leapt in her throat and her eyes must have gone really wide because Micah paused and his eyes went wide too, like he thought he did something wrong. And then suddenly he closed in on himself in the faintest way, but April still knew that he felt ashamed that he'd said something wrong to her, "W-Well…you remind me of someone I once knew, Micah-"

"I wanna be called Mike, please," Micah interrupted sheepishly, like it was important that he say this and April blinked stupidly for a second at the familiarness.

"Mike, then," April smiled after a moment and Mike perked up just a little, feeling a bit better now that she was smiling. April thought Mike was sort of like Mikey again with how empathetic he was to how others felt, "You might have seen me on the news sometimes. Or in newspapers maybe? I'm a reporter for Channel 6 news."

"You're a reporter?" Mike asked, blinking with childlike amazement. April giggled and nodded her head, "That's, like, totally awesome! You must know a lot of things just like Donnie!"

April outright laughed at that, "I don't know if anyone knows as much as Donnie does but thank you, Mike."

Mike laughed along with her and once they calmed down April sensed that Mike had a lot of questions about her, "How about I tell you a little bit about myself?"

"If…if you want to," Mike replied shyly and April got more comfortable on the bench before she faced Mike with a smile.

"Well I have a little girl that's about a year and a half younger than you," April started and Mike's eyes grew to the size of the moon. She laughed and continued, "The guys all love her to death and she loves them too! Her names Shadow and we named her that because she took her Father's midnight black hair…well that and she's always been a very quiet sneaky baby!"

Mike laughed again and April joined him until he calmed and commented, "Shadow's a totally rad name! I love it! I bet me and her could be friends! I can be sneaky too sometimes but definitely not quiet!"

April managed to laugh yet again and nodded her head, "I'll bet you anything you two would be friends. I'll have her come down sometime! She's in school right now though so that's why she's not with me."

"Yeah, I never went to school before but one time I played with other kids on the school playground!" Mike said and April froze, her eyes going wide as she settled her blue eyes on the boy, who acted as though nothing was wrong with this.

"You never went to school? Ever? Didn't your Mom get into trouble doing that?" April couldn't help but ask and then bit her lip when Mike pulled away a bit.

"Nope, never. But Mom didn't get in trouble cause I was homeschooled. Mom actually did know a lot! Or to me she did anyway!" Mike chirped and April felt troubled that Mike's childhood had apparently been so rough.

"I see…well that's good," April put on a smile and then figured she should change the subject because Mike could tell she was acting differently, "So…want to know more about me?"

"Sure!" Mike beamed eagerly and April smiled genuinely.

"Well…I have a husband called Casey Jones, he's Raph's best friend to this day, and he's a coach for ice hockey…"

Master Splinter watched from the kitchen as April told Micah about herself and her life. He smiled warmly to see Micah look at April with such admiration. He would have no problems at all with her.

Donatello observed his brothers as they all jumped from rooftop to rooftop. It was so familiar yet definitely different all at the same time. He could remember all the good times they had joking and playing on the rooftops when there wasn't any action to be had, but he also remembered how many fights were started there too. Fights that caused so many close calls….one that finally took a life-

"Donatello, are you focusing?" Leonardo demanded lightly when Donnie nearly ran straight into a brick wall instead of jumping. Raph was silent but scowling beside him and it was in that way he did when he was afraid of saying something that would genuinely hurt one of his brothers' feelings.

So Donnie scoffed and ignored Leo, jumping up to meet his brothers, who were now giving him weird looks for nearly running into a wall in the first place, "I'm focusing now. So let's go."

Leo looked ready to question him but apparently decided not to as he sighed and returned to leading their run across town. Raph gave Donnie one more meaningful look before he also took off. Donnie's face softened as he sighed and he took off after his brother with the hole in his heart aching.

Leonardo narrowed his eyes from where they stood perched on a smaller brick building. They were close to the gas station that the child described to them. Which meant that his old home must be close.

He turned and was pleased to see that Donatello and Raphael were keeping vigilant as they looked around for anything out of the ordinary. They caught him staring and he jerked his head in a signal to be followed. They nodded and Leo took off with confidence. It had been awhile since they had been so far out in the city, but so far so good. His brothers, save for that one moment with Donnie, were listening to him and respecting his orders. This, he knew, would keep them safe. He could keep them safe better if they listened to him. It would make it easier to watch over them.

"You watch our backs so much that sometimes, only sometimes, you forget to watch your own dude."

Leo's heart stopped and he inwardly shook his head a thousand times to get rid of that reoccurring memory. He scowled and marched on, ignoring his brothers' soft noise of confusion and tried to pretended he didn't feel the ache in his chest that never seemed to truly go away.

"Leo, we're coming up close to Mike's old home," Donnie warned and Leo looked over at Donnie, his lips turned downward at the nickname. Donnie didn't know what to make of his expression so he just looked away, "We're on his street now but this place looks kinda…"

"Trashy and deserted?" Raph finished for him, finally speaking up. Leo had wondered where his usual fiery spirit had been the whole time. Usually Raph couldn't wait to get topside and hurt someone in that way he felt he needed to all the time now.

"Basically," Donnie muttered, feeling awkward around Raph for the time being. Raph scowled at him but said nothing.

Leo sighed and upon seeing that the coast was clear they hopped off the building they were on to run across the sidewalk in as much shadows as they could get. Raph had been right…the place looked very unclean and very much deserted. The houses here looked no longer fit to live in and some were literally missing pieces of wall.

"Nice neighborhood," Raph commented sarcastically, causing Donnie and Leo to look over at him flatly, "What?"

"Nothing, I see his mailbox number ahead," Leo started so no fights could be started. They quickly made it to his house but paused in surprise when they saw that the house was nothing more than a rotted away trailer now. It was littered in the front yard with several unusable toys and the outside walls were turning dark shades of yellow, "Well this is a lovely place."

"Oh and you guys look at me funny when I'm sarcastic?" Raph retorted, bringing a somewhat amused half grin to Leo's face. Donnie, however, looked blank if not a little sad at what he was seeing. Leo and Raph noticed this right away and solemned as they walked into the yard to make it to the house.

"This is terrible…how could he have lived here ever?" Donnie muttered to himself but his brothers still heard him. They said nothing and just watched Donnie as he took a small breath and carried on.

"Let me help ya, Brainiac," Raph spoke up as he sadly watched his poor brother try and move the rusted front door by himself. Donnie swallowed and nodded his head. Leo hurried to the other side and all three turtles pushed the door to the side. Donnie walked in followed by his brothers and their beaks wrinkled up at the moldy smell, "So what are we lookin' for?"

"Anything that would attract the Purple Dragon's attention. The child did say something about how they wanted a file," Leo said lightly as he looked around, "Apparently they have already ransacked the place. That or someone else did it. Let's spread out and see what we can find."

His brothers both nodded and they parted ways, making their way through the old junk to get to other rooms. Donnie went towards the right and noticed the one bathroom and a bedroom. He pushed his way through and his heart ached inside when he saw that the room was a child's room.

He wasn't sure if any other family lived here after Mike, but it appeared as though no one ever did. So this room was last used by Mike, himself. Donnie looked around but wondered what he'd find in here that'd be of use anyways.

Don's eyes were drawn to the side and he noticed a little cat doll but there was a heart patched right on its chest. It was a bit stained on its side and a part of its ear was missing…but it could be cleaned up pretty nicely. Donnie blinked at it and then looked to see if his brothers were watching him. When he confirmed they weren't he picked up the small thing and smiled, it was pretty cute…well after he cleaned it he knew it would smell nicer.

"You've been here alone for a while, huh little guy?" Donnie whispered as his hands curled around the doll, "I bet you miss Mike. I'm sure he misses you but don't worry I'll take you to him."

Donnie wiped off the dust from the stuffed animal and smiled sadly, "There you go for now. I'll get you cleaned up later. You know…my brother would have loved you too…"

Leo watched from the shadow of the hallway with half-lidded eyes and a sad expression on his face. His chest was tightened from listening to his brother talk to the toy, but he said nothing. That was one of the way's Donnie dealt with his pain and if it made his brainy brother feel better then he wouldn't deny him that.

"Donnie?" Leo spoke up as soon as Donnie had put the toy in his bag. His brother startled and turned towards him, but Leo was sure to make his face stoic of any emotion. He was good at doing that. His brothers didn't think he felt anything if he looked that way, "Raph found something."

"Oh?" Donnie's eyes widened and he nodded, climbing out of the room to stand beside Leo, "He found some files?"

"Yeah, but he doesn't know what to make of them so he told me to get you," Leo answered and Donnie nodded, moving away from Leo to find Raph. Leo watched him for a second and again his emotionless mask fell off his face. But a moment of sadness was all he allowed before he returned to normal and followed after his brother.

Donnie easily found Raph in what looked to be the master bedroom. Raph was staring at the mattress on the floor, which had stained papers piled on it before he looked up at Don's appearance, "There ya are! I found an odd crease in tha wall and tore into it only ta find some papers. But I don't understand what they mean."

"What do you mean?," Donnie's brow furrowed and he blinked at Leo's sudden entrance into the room. Donnie started forward, "Lemme see the papers please."

Raph easily handed them over with an annoyed expression, "I tried ta read it but they all seem ta be in another language. That's what I mean."

"Oh," Donnie acknowledged and he flipped paper after paper, each in the same language, but he still didn't understand what they meant, "I know that it's Spanish but Mike's mother couldn't have been a Spanish speaker."

"How do you know that? You don't know them," Leo retorted and Donnie sent Leo a look at the hidden message.

"You're right. I don't know anything about Mike's Mother," Donnie replied in a stubborn way and Leo rolled his eyes, "But I can translate these back at the lair."

"Let's make sure there isn't anything else here first," Leo ordered and Raph nodded since Donnie's face was currently scrunched up in concentration as he studied the papers.

Donnie ignored the movements of his brothers as he continued studying the documents. He saw that Mike's name was on them occasionally but also a woman's name. Lilly. Was that Mike's mother? Guess he'd find out when he got back. He didn't know why but he got the feeling that they were directions of some sorts.

He sighed and flipped the papers over to check and paused when he saw two series of numbers that he didn't understand. Oh well, he'd figure those out too. Donnie folded the papers neatly just as Leo came back from being in the bathroom, "Find anything else?"

"Nope," Raph replied as he stood lazily, "Guess this means we're going home?"

"Yeah, I gotta figure out the information on these papers," Donnie said with a hand rested on his bag, "I feel like they are very important."

"Could they be the files that the Purple Dragons wanted?" Leo asked with uncertainty. Donnie gave a small smile.

"I believe they could be. You know those Purple Dragons don't ever look really hard," He said and Raph snorted, a half smirk on his face, "Raph found these easily too."

"Well, let's head home and report this to Master Splinter," Leo ordered, his face blank. Raph had the privilege of knowing Leo's "false" facial expressions. He was worried for Splinter's health.

Oh well…it wasn't like Raph wasn't worried either.

"So wait, you mean to tell me that talking robots had been after you once?" Mike asked with full disbelief. Splinter chuckled and April laughed, nodding her head, "That's totally crazy! There's no way!"

"It is very much true," Splinter nodded as he placed his tea cup down beside him, "They were a formidable foe, but they are no longer a danger to anyone on Earth."

"Well that's good. But I can't see myself afraid of a talking squishy robot brain that calls themselves Kraang," Mike said with honesty and they laughed again, "I'm not lying! I think that's so gross. Kraang sounds like a nasty germ or something!"

"Ahahaha!" April laughed harder, holding her stomach as Splinter watched in amusement, "They guys would love to hear that one!"

"They would?" Mike asked with uncertainty, "Because I don't think Leo or Raph know how to laugh…"

April immediately stopped laughing and Splinter frowned a little. Mike instantly felt as though he said something bad yet again but Splinter then smiled a little, "I suppose it has been awhile since Leonardo or Raphael has laughed."

"Does Raph ever laugh?" April asked in half amusement. Splinter just continued to smile, "Anyways, don't worry about Leo or Raph right now Mike."

"What can I do to not make them hate me?" Mike asked April as he shyly twisted the hem of his shirt, "I feel like I should say something to make them think I'm good."

"Aww Mike, you are good," April smiled encouragingly, "Raph and Leo just…don't really know how to behave around newcomers anymore. They'll warm up to you eventually."

Mike nodded even though he was very uncertain of that. He didn't want to appear rude to April though, so he just agreed to what she said. Mike looked up to ask Splinter something when he noticed that he'd turned to look at the entrance.

April also turned and her eyes widened for a second before she smiled, half in relief. Mike blinked and turned bodily around to see that Donnie and his brothers were finally back! Mike smiled widely and jumped up, startling April and Splinter.

"Donnie! You're back!" He beamed as he ran as fast as he could and hugged Donnie's leg's, laying his head on Donnie's stomach. Or…that was his stomach right? Turtles are so different with their yellow stomachs!

Donnie's eyes widened at this but then he smiled, immediately warmed by the contact and he put a hand in the little blonde's hair, rubbing it. Mike giggled and looked up at Donnie, "Did you have fun with April?"

"Yes, I learned a lot about her! We swapped stories!" Mike told him even though he tensed slightly when he caught Leo staring at him again with that no emotion thing. Raph completely ignored him as usual and went to sit on the bean bag chair thing.

Donnie and April traded smiles as Mike detached himself from Donnie. April looked at all of the turtles, "Did you find anything?"

"Yeah, some papers that make no sense at the moment," Donnie explained and Mike looked just as confused, "But I'll figure it out in no time at all."

"That's good…well if you guys don't need anything else I need to grab just a few things before I pick up Shadow," April replied and Mike watched in shock as a light turned on for Raph and Leo.

"How's tha little girl?" Raph asked and Leo gave a small smile towards April. Mike's eyes widened to see an actual smile from Leo. Even though he should feel glad that Leo and Raph looked a bit happier he felt upset at the same time.

"Oh she's great and she's been asking about all of you so I'll bring her over soon," April promised and Raph nodded, "Call me anytime guys."

"Thanks April," Leo said as he dropped his smile, "You can call us too, don't forget. Drive home safe."

"Sure thing guys. Bye," April smile was she waved at them and then turned to Donnie and Mike," Bye Donnie. And it was very nice to meet you Mike."

"N-Nice to meet you too, April," Mike smiled at her and watched as Donnie hugged her before she left. His heart hammered in his chest as he looked back at Raph and Leo, who ignored his presence completely as they focused on their Dad.

Why didn't they like him? He thought it was because he was human and they were turtle…but they like Shadow and she's a human girl! She's…human…and they seem to really like her! So it's just him? Is it because it's him? Do they really not like him that much?

"Mike?"

Micah looked up at Don's worried eyes and it was only then that he'd realized he was squeezing the life out of Donnie's hand even though he didn't even remember grabbing it, "I'm okay…"

Donnie knew that was a lie but smiled anyway, "If you say so…I have a surprise for you but you'll have to wait until tonight for it."

"Awww yay!" Mike beamed toothily, already forgetting the hurt he was feeling and Donnie's face softened.

They were both so wrapped up into their conversation that they didn't notice the way Leo was glaring at Mike.

Chapter 4: Remembering and Confronting

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Leonardo had just convinced his Father to rest after they both enjoyed a warm cup of tea together. It had only been an hour since April had left and Leo could think of no greater task right now than to take care of his Father. Splinter had been getting sick easily the past year and Leo definitely didn't want this…newcomer…to cause any more stress to Splinter. To be more precise, Splinter had just gotten over a case of the flu that had left him weak in his bed barely a week and a half ago. He'd gotten a lot better since then, but….no way, Leo wasn't letting a relapse in his health for anything. He wouldn't lose any other loved ones.

"Leo…"

Leo looked up from where he was now sitting cross legged under the dojo's tree in a similar position as his Father would take. It somehow made him feel more connected to him. Donnie was standing there politely with the child peering behind him. Leo quickly composed himself when he felt the itch to scowl at the child, "Yes, Donnie?"

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to work on translating these papers," Donnie said as he padded the bag over his shoulder, "So…I'll be in my lab…"

"Sounds good. Tell me when you've translated the papers," Leo told him and closed his eyes, practically feeling his brainy brother's irritation from here. Leo knew what he was trying to do though. Donnie wanted him to entertain that child while he did his work. But Leo refused to do that. He didn't want to spend time babysitting when he could be furthering his skills.

"Okay…" Donnie sighed, his voice filled with disappointment, "Let's go Mike."

"Alrighty," The child responded in an almost confused tone. Even his voice sent annoyance crawling up Leo's scales. Leo felt them leave and relaxed, thankful that they were gone. A pang of guilt in his heart reminded him that he shouldn't want Donnie to leave, but he couldn't help it when that child was always with Donnie.

Leo let out a long breath and got into a more comfortable position before resuming his breathing, feeling himself drifting away to the meditative plane. The muscles in his arms and face relaxed at the tranquil feeling and for the first time this week he felt more at peace than ever.

Working on getting himself more relaxed Leo searched for points in his spirit that were at unease before he realized just how much darker his inner spirit actually was. Was he really that anxious? Is it…..this all started when that…that child arrived…..

Leo?

Leo whirled his head towards the source of the sound but saw nothing but a blur. He felt confused; Leo knew he heard something!

Uh, Leoooo, dude?

He froze and felt his heart clench painfully hard in his chest to the point where he grabbed at it. But it went away as if it were just a sudden thing and Leo stepped towards the blur in his subconscious.

And before he knew it he was staring at….himself and M-Mikey? No wait…this was a memory. One of Leo's memories. Leo twitched and fought the urge to leave but found his feet frozen where he stood as he could only helplessly watch.

"What do you want, Mikey?" Leo sighed as he kept his eyes firmly closed, feeling displeased that his youngest brother felt the need to annoy him right before patrol. Leo was feeling at unease and he just wanted TWO minutes to meditate before they had to leave. Was that too hard to understand?

"Sorry I interrupted you…but I just-"

"Is it important?" Leo interrupted Mikey to ask, opening his eyes to look into his brother's baby blue eyes. Mikey looked down uneasily, like he knew Leo would get mad no matter what he said.

"Look, I just wanted to apologize for what happened during last night's patrol. I…I'll do better this patrol!" Mikey smiled nervously as he itched his cheek with one finger. Leo stared at him before sighing.

"You said that all the other times, Mikey. It never changes," Leo shook his head and Mikey's eyes widened as he leaned forward towards Leo.

"No, this time I swear it, Leo! Raph was hurt last time and this time I don't want anything to happen to you guys!" He replied passionately and Leo eyed him once to make sure he was being serious.

"If you mean what you say then you'll not goof off during patrol," Leo reprimanded in an irritated manner, "You always goof off, Mikey, but patrol is not a laughing matter."

Mikey flinched at Leo's tone of voice and Leo said nothing before closing his eyes again, feeling a headache coming along. Mikey needed to understand what Leo was trying to say and learn from it. If he had to be harsh for the lesson to sink in then so be it.

"I…I don't mean any harm, Leo…I just want you guys to lighten up and laugh," Mikey explained softly.

"I appreciate the thought, Mikey, but as I said…patrol is not a laughing matter. We have to be careful and look after each other's backs. We can't do that when we always have to concentrate on keeping you out of trouble," Leo retorted immediately, willing his brother to understand. Mikey was quiet for a moment and Leo almost opened his eyes.

"You watch our backs so much that sometimes, only sometimes, you forget to watch your own, dude."

Leo's eyes popped open and he looked at Mikey in confusion and annoyance, "What are you talking about?"

"I know I goof off a lot and stuff, but I can watch out for myself fine. You're the one that's always trying to watch our backs but hardly watching his own," Mikey replied with a straight face Leo had no idea he could make.

"I….that's not true, Mikey. I can take care of myself. All I'm saying is that you need to try harder. You need to stop goofing off and take patrol seriously! Is that so hard to understand?" Leo grunted, his eyes narrowing at his brother as his voice rose just slightly. Mikey stared at Leo and then looked down.

"I just wanted to say sorry. I'll do better this patrol, you'll see! I'll do good and watch your backs, I promise! I'll be serious!" Mikey declared before standing up and leaving. Leo watched him leave and hoped that his brother meant what he said.

Now he could meditate in peace….

Leo cringed at the memory and stepped away instantly when he could, his heart beating in a painful manner. He had been such a jerk to his brother that night….and all he had to say was criticism. Sure, Leo's heart was in the right place….but those words were some of the last his brother heard….

"Mikey?! What did ya do?!"

"Got….your back Raph…."

"Mikey! You can quit playin' around now….Answer me! No, Mikey please!"

Leo gasped and opened his eyes, his chest heaving slightly. He put the palm of his hands on his eyes and let out a shaky breath. Meditating was supposed to help him relax….not make him remember!

"Ya okay there, bro?" Leo jumped and looked up to see Raph in the room, leaning against the wall with a bottle of water in one hand and a towel around his neck. Raph had obviously been beating the life out of his dummy by the pool.

"Yeah, I'll….I'm fine," Leo told him and Raph snorted, rolling his eyes as he walked up to where Leo sat, "I'm fine, Raph."

"And I'm brown," Raph grunted and Leo shot him a look, "Don't lie ta me, Leo. You're paler and you're all sweaty. That's not normal when you're meditatin'. Is it about tha kid?"

Frowning at the mention of the child, Leo shook his head in denial and Raph looked at him skeptically before surprising Leo when he placed the water bottle against his face. The coolness of the water bottle felt amazing against his skin.

"You're workin' yerself up, Fearless. Go get some rest or I'll pull ya upstairs," Raph threatened and Leo found that he didn't feel like fighting against him. He nodded and Raph pulled the bottle away before Leo stood up uneasily.

"I'll take a shower and then go rest," He promised and Raph huffed, nodding at him. Leo walked away and looked back to see Raph already readying himself to train. He smiled a little before resuming his stoic face and traveling towards the bathroom.

Leo tensed as soon as he reached the hall when Donnie's door opened and the child came out, freezing like a deer caught in headlights when he saw it was Leo there. Leo stared at him and his fingers itched to curl into fists. The child looked up at Leo so….innocently…so brightly! And his eyes were heavy with the fear of rejection….

"U…Uh….Donnie wanted me to get more paper for him from his room," The child stuttered, looking at Leo with wide round eyes as his fingers curled around the edges of some of the paper he was carrying. Leo just felt all around annoyed with the child no matter what he did and inwardly it frightened him a little. He didn't want to look at him, he didn't want to hear him, he didn't want him around… "Sorry that I got in your way! I'll go now…"

Leo's jaw clenched ever so slightly at the boy's apology. He hated that this boy acted like a goody-two-shoes. His act was so fake and he was dragging Donnie into all his mess!

The child walked past him carefully and Leo finally lost his resistance, "Are you planning on hurting Donnie?" The child froze and turned to look at Leo with those wide of his. Leo glared at the child.

"N-No! I wouldn't ever hurt Donnie! I really like him!" The child stammered, his expression changing to a horrified one. Leo just stared at the child, "He's helped me a lot! I just want to help him too!"

Leo let the child's words sink into his mind but he still didn't feel any better, "Would you ever want to return to the humans? Would you really want to stay here with Donnie forever? You are not even being serious here…you can't sit there and pretend like you like Donnie when you'll end up breaking his heart!"

Inwardly Leo's eyes widened at what he was saying. He hadn't exactly meant to let the child know so much of his inner thoughts. He wanted to keep them locked away.

"W-What?" The child was shaking, his eyes suddenly small and his skin pale, "I…I don't want to leave! I have no one to go with anyways and I don't feel safe with anyone up top! I like it down here with Donnie! I don't ever want to hurt him! I want to stay with him forever and ever!" Leo's eyes twitched.

"You're just being a problem to him," Leo blurted, feeling annoyed with the child and mainly with himself. The child suddenly looked devastated and every bit how Mikey had looked that night- "I have to shower."

Leo turned faster than he ever did in his life and began walking away, trying to calm himself when he heard the child speak again.

"I'll do better," The child said, his voice shaky and Leo froze where he stood but turned to look at the child, putting on his emotionless face, "I'll do better to convince you I won't hurt Donnie!"

"What did you say?" Leo almost whispered, feeling like his stomach dropped to his feet. The last part of the child's sentence barely registered in his brain.

"I'll do better! I'll do good and I'll be serious, I promise!" The child continued, looking at Leo in a pleading manner. Leo's eyes widened at the child that was so much like his youngest brother. His words…they were just like….Mikey's…from that night? Was this a form of torture? Was the universe laughing at him? "Donnie's the first good thing that's happened to me since my Mommy died! I don't want to leave!"

Leo just stared at the child, feeling his heart race and his head hurt from the swirling words from the child and the memory of his youngest brother overlapping in his mind. He didn't realize he was lost in his thoughts until something touched him.

He flinched away from it and tensed himself to be ready until he saw the child touching his arm before he pulled away with wide eyes, ready to be yelled at, "I asked you if you're okay, Leo?"

"I'm….fine," Leo muttered as he pulled away from the child. He tried to piece together his emotionless mask but knew he was failing miserably, "Just go give Donnie the papers, Mike."

Mike's eyes widened at him and Leo realized he'd called the child by his name. Before anymore words were said Leo darted into the bathroom quickly, leaving the boy in the hall. Leo turned the showers as hot as he could handle and let the water pelt on him as he stared at the ground with dull eyes.

"I…I'm sorry I let you think you were dispensable, Mikey," He whispered as he closed his eyes painfully and turned the water a tad hotter as if to punish himself.

o0o0o

"Donnie! Donnie! You won't believe it!" Mike cried as he flew into Donnie's lab. Donnie whirled in his office chair with wide eyes long enough for Mike to fly into his lap with the papers a bit more crumpled for his liking, "Leo actually talked to me! And he said my name!"

Donnie's eyes widened as his heart skipped a beat and he gripped Mike's arms lightly, "Really? What did he say to you?"

Micah inwardly thought back to the hurtful conversation with Leo. He had learned more about Leo though. Leo wasn't really all that mean…he was just worried about Donnie! He clearly cared about Donnie just like he did!

"It was nothing bad. It's a secret between Leo and I," Mike smiled and Donnie looked at him suspiciously. He giggled and crawled off Donnie's lap before holding out the new papers, "I got the papers you asked for!"

"Thank you….and listen, Mike, if my brothers ever bother you or say something bad to you then you come tell me right away, okay?" Donnie replied with a seriousness to him. Mike nodded with a bigger smile. This was just a good day for him. Leo was glaring at him earlier but now he called him by name! "Good. Now I've translated some of the documents and I believe without a shadow of a doubt that your Mom left them behind."

"Really? Mommy never showed me any Spanish papers though," Mike frowned as he rubbed at his hair, "And I've never seen those bad men before she died!"

Donnie hummed thoughtfully at Mike's words. He'd already decrypted some of the page but he still had a lot to go on. He'd read everything as soon as it all decrypted and then he'd show them to his brothers before telling Mike anything.

"Well don't worry buddy. I'll figure it all out soon," Donnie promised as he smiled down at Mike, who returned the smile brightly, "Why don't you go watch some TV? I have to go check on something."

Mike blinked, "Oh okay, Splinter and April showed me how to work the TV remote thing earlier! I haven't watched any TV in, like, forever!"

Donnie smiled, ignoring the pang in his heart, and then pushed at Mike's back, "Then what are you waiting for? I'm sure there's a lot of cartoons you've missed out on!"

"Yeah! I remember an old one that I really loved watching before we lost our TV!" Mike gushed as he stood up and bounced excitedly on his feet. Donnie chuckled as he stood as well and starting setting his stuff away on his desk.

"What was the name of it? You might not be able to find it now if it's old," Donnie explained politely as he walked behind Mike into the center of the lair.

"It still is! Or I thinks so… it's called "Crognard the Barbarian"! Mom said it was a silly stupid show but I thought it was funny and awesome!" Mike declared with a giggle and Donnie's face turned really pale at the mention of the familiar show.

"O-Oh….how did you…find out about that show?" Donnie asked curiously, rubbing his chest and taking deep breaths to dispel the sudden anxiety. Mike had thankfully not witnessed his reaction as he jumped on the bench and turned the TV on, his feet swinging back and forth.

"One afternoon I was going through channels with my Mom and saw it. For some reason, even though I had no idea what it would be about, I just felt like I would love it!" Mike beamed up at Donnie, whose eyes widened at the odd explanation, "And I was right!"

"W…Well…that's g…good," Donnie stammered, his heart hammering as he tried desperately to control his emotions, "I'll go for right now but I'll be back, a-alright?"

Mike smiled as he managed to pull up the guide on TV and nodded to Donnie, "Okay, Donnie!"

Without any more prompting Donnie rushed towards the kitchen and raced right up to the sink. He turned on the cold water and immediately splashed at his face and chest to dispel the nauseous feeling.

Mike was so much like Mikey…it was so wrong…it was so weird….and Donnie could handle a lot of things…..but nobody could be the exact same as someone else. Especially when that someone else was dead.

o0o0o

Raphael grunted with each punch he thrust out in the air. He could feel himself tiring but he was determined not to stop until he'd went throw most of their recent katas. He'd already done all his work outs and beat up his training dummy….katas were the only thing left. He needed a distraction and that….thing…was out in the living room. Raph wanted to be nowhere near it.

The red banded turtle continued his restless training until he noticed that sliding doors to Splinter's room parted and Splinter came calmly walking out, supported by his favorite cane. Raph stopped and his eyes widened slightly, "Ya okay, Sensei?"

"Yes, my son, I am feeling fine," Splinter smiled as he regarded his most violent son with his brown eyes, "How are you doing, Raphael? You normally don't put this much work into your training."

Raph blushed only a little and just shrugged, his emerald eyes going blank, "It was better than doin' anythin' else."

"You mean better than being around Micah?" Splinter asked, never one to dance around his sons' problems when he knew he could help them. Raph flinched ever so slightly and his shoulder muscles tightened, showing Splinter that he'd hit his mark, "Raphael, Micah is a remarkable boy….I think that you and Leonardo should give him a chance."

"A chance ta what, Sensei? A chance ta stab us in tha back? All he's doin' is takin' our home and lives for granted! He will be done with us once we kill these "bad guys" for him! I hate ta admit it, but I agree with Leo! He should not get comfortable with bein' here!" Raph huffed, slightly winded by his rant, "And when he does want ta leave us, Donnie will be devastated!"

Splinter's eyes softened, "I sensed that most of your worries were surrounded towards Donatello…."

"Of course, Sensei! He's always been fragile since….that night and I don't want him ta relapse again because this child thinks he can just get whatever he wants!" Raph argued heatedly. Then Raph looked a little hurt, "I just wish Donnie would understand mine and Leo's point of view! He thinks we are just tryin' ta hurt him by takin' away this kid when all we're doin' is tryin' ta protect him!"

"My son….I know you and Leonardo care for your brother…but do you not trust his judgment? I have talked with Micah and I don't see any malice….I don't see a child that is spoiled, if anything it's the exact opposite from that, I see a child that had no one else to rely on and has now imprinted on Donatello like a mother," Splinter explained lovingly, moving to put a hand on Raph's shoulder.

"Imprinted, huh? I don't know Sensei…I don't like tha kid," Raph grunted, looking anywhere but at his Father's eyes. Splinter sighed and clenched his son's shoulder.

"I am not asking you to like him, Raphael, but not to ignore the truth. I have always taught you boys not to simply judge someone by their looks or their background. You judge them by what you see with your own eyes," Splinter countered gently and saw the beginnings of doubt shadow in his son's emerald green eyes. He smiled.

Raphael was at a loss for words and it felt like his chest suddenly tightened a little while a lump formed in his throat. Raph swallowed thickly, "I…I just want ta shield Donnie and Leo from pain."

Splinter's heart melted at his normally angered son. Somehow over the years Raphael had calmed into a much more understanding and compassionate brother. But unfortunately he was not open to new things and was fiercely over protective of his brothers, especially Donatello, "Raphael, you can only do your best. Your brothers are very lucky to have you. If it really worries you…then why do you not talk to Donatello about your feelings? You know that he has his reasons for placing so much trust in this boy."

"He said it's because…..because he looks like Mikey," Raph swallowed, only daring to look at his Father. Splinter's eyes had a barely discernable shadow of grief and he smiled slowly, nodding.

"I figured this was the case when I first laid eyes on Micah….but Donatello wouldn't endanger the family over someone who merely looked like Michelangelo," Splinter told him and Raph nodded mutely. Splinter just smiled and patted his shoulder, "I am glad that I was able to talk to you, Raphael."

"I…I'm glad too, Sensei," Raph smiled just a little before it disappeared and Splinter stepped back.

"You may return to your training, my son," Splinter continued with a bigger smile, "I am going to the kitchen for some tea. If you ever need to talk to me please know that you are more than welcome."

Raph nodded, rubbing his neck awkwardly, "Of course, Sensei." And with that Splinter left the dojo, hoping he was able to help his red banded son at least a little bit.

Splinter chuckled when he saw Micah flipping through cartoon channels, his legs swinging back forth as he sang along to the intro song to some old cartoon. It brought back some memories of Michelangelo that he didn't mind remembering. His smile widened as he made his way to the kitchen but paused when he saw Donatello in the room, obviously scrubbing away at the kitchen sink, "Donatello?"

"Wah!" Donnie gasped, whirling around with wide eyes as he stared at Splinter. He relaxed at the sight of his Father, "S-Sensei, you scared me. Are you feeling okay? Do you need some medicine?"

"No, my son, I do not. I am feeling fine but I was hoping for some warm tea to soothe myself," Splinter explained as he watched his genius son, "What are you doing in the sink?"

Donnie blushed and looked down, bringing his wet hands up to reveal the doll he'd brought home with him. Splinter blinked in surprise before he calmed himself, "Is that a doll for Micah?"

"I'm pretty sure it was Micah's old doll. I found it in his old room," Donnie smiled wistfully at the thing. The cat doll was still sustained, mainly on its side and a piece of its ear was missing. But it was orange with a red heart obviously patched onto its chest.

After he examined the doll with soft eyes he nodded as Donatello went back to scrubbing it clean, "This is a nice thing to do for him…"

Donnie made an agreeing noise and Splinter frowned worriedly at the lack of a verbal response before becoming alarmed when he noticed that Donatello's arms were trembling a little, "Yup…a nice thing….and of course it's a cat and it's orange…with a heart…."

Feeling a bit more alarmed at the sudden thickness of his son's voice Splinter edged closer to his son while covering it up by getting the cup for his tea, "Donatello…."

"Mikey loved the color orange you dubbed him with…he loved cats and had the biggest of hearts…I…Sensei…it's like I see him no matter where I go…" Donnie hiccupped, "And Mike looks so much…..he acts so much like….and I can't even tell him about any of this because he doesn't even know!"

"Oh, Donatello, please don't cry my son," Splinter's ears dropped to the sides of his head at his purple banded son's obvious distress. This had obviously been a trying time for not only him but all his sons.

"But Sensei…look at this thing….look at Mike….I know Mike is or can never be our Mikey but I just keep thinking about that possibilities…." Donnie took a deep breath and wiped his eyes on his bicep. He sounded calmer when he spoke again, "I keep thinking that somehow…Mikey wanted me to find this boy…"

"Donatello…."

"I know Leo and Raph hate him for everything he's worth but I don't care. I love Mike; he's impossible not to love! He's everything like Mikey had been and he has no one in his life but us now. Why can't Leo and Raph see that we are doing a good thing here by helping this boy? Is it because he looks and acts like Michelangelo? Is that why they don't like him?" Donnie ranted as he turned to stare at Splinter, whose eyes widened before calming as his son seemed to have gotten everything he wanted to ever say off his chest.

"My son," Splinter began as he stood beside Donnie, "I believe that there are other possibilities but….I think it has everything to do with the fact that Micah resembles Michelangelo."

Donnie's eyes widened a tad before his shoulders slumped and he nodded down towards the sink. Splinter rose an eyebrow until Donnie spoke, "So they are going through unnecessary pain because of me?"

Splinter sighed, "My son, it is not like that and you know this. You are doing a great thing here. I would never have allowed Micah to stay here if I thought he was a dangerous to this clan. You know that as well. Your brothers know this too. They are just fighting their own memories and feelings like you are, Donatello."

Donnie said nothing as he stared down in the sink but his shoulders had lifted in an understanding to Splinter's words. He lifted the doll and squeezed the excess water while Splinter watched him before laying it to drying on a towel he had placed on the counter earlier. His voice was a whisper when he spoke up again, a small smile on his face, "I think Raph and Leo will come to love Mike…..just like you and I."

Splinter's eyes widened yet again and then his face warmed into a loving expression as he nodded. Donnie looked at his Father and smiled, feeling much better after having vented to his Father. Mikey used to be the one Donnie could talk to and vice versa. His baby brother…his best friend…but now the closet thing he had to a best friend was his own Father and that was probably his own fault. He hadn't exactly ever let Raph and Leo get too close to know his true thoughts…save for some of his meltdowns in the past.

"Sorry for throwing all my feelings on you like that, Sensei," Donnie apologized, rubbing the inside on his wrist. Splinter just smiled.

"I do not mind it at all, my son, if this is the only way that I can help you," Splinter replied before his smile fell an inch. He quickly moved around to start his tea and Donnie started out of the door before he paused, looking over his shoulder at his Father.

"It's not the only way you help, Sensei," Donnie murmured softly and Splinter looked over his shoulder at his son, "You help us out a lot more than you think."

Splinter smiled warmly, feeling the warmth expand in his chest and Donnie smiled, leaving the room as he called out Micah's name. Splinter chuckled when he heard the child reprimand Donnie for using his "ugly real name" instead of the moniker he wanted.

Splinter was very glad that Micah arrived in their lives. While his sons seemed to be in pain now….Micah was getting them to open up more than they ever have in the past eight years all together….

Chapter 5: Revelations

Summary:

Raph has a nightmare and Micah learns the truth about Mikey.

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

"Looks like there's nothing out tonight either guys," Donatello simply stated as he peered over the rooftop at the streets. Leonardo, who had been standing beside him the whole time, tsked but remained edgy and tense.

"Dammit!" Raph growled as his hands curled into fists, "I really wanted ta get that Fong back for hittin' me in tha head last night!"

"You really shouldn't be out here in the first place," Donnie argued with narrowed eyes as he turned. Michelangelo had been standing the closest to Raphael and simply blinked at his brothers but remained silent and still, "You could have a lingering concussion or maybe a-"

"Can it, Don," Raph rolled his eyes, his voice down to an angry rumble as he waved dismissively, "I feel fine. It was just a little hit ta tha head. I'm not even feelin' any symptoms."

"You better not be," Donnie growled but then dropped the subject when Leo stood taller, obviously not in the mood for any fighting. Donnie stared at him but didn't comment on his attitude.

"Let's move to check our last stop," Leo suddenly ordered after a moment of silence. The tone in his voice warranted no resistance and Raph just rose an eyebrow at his moody older brother. Mikey moved his eyes away from Leo's when he turned to look at his younger brothers.

No one said anything as they feel in formation behind Leo and followed him across the rooftops. Raph studied Leo as he ran on Leo's left flank before suddenly his vison blurred for a second. It was there one second and gone the next but Raph still ground his teeth together, his jaw rigid. If Leo or Don saw him blanking out even in the slightest they'd be super pissed at him but Raph simply couldn't stay home while his brothers were out here. Plus he really did want revenge.

"Raph?" They had slowed down as they got closer to their last stop and Mikey wanted Raph's attention. The red banded turtle looked over at his baby brother grumpily but almost blinked when he saw the worried look on his face. Aw shell, did he see?

"What is it Mikey?" Raph muttered quietly, since Leo or Don hadn't turned around yet. Mikey's lips tightened and it was obvious he was fighting with what to say.

"Are you okay? You looked off a second ago…" He commented in a whisper and Raph's jaw tightened again as his hands curled into fists. There was an ache in his head that didn't seem to relate to his injury.

"I'm fine, Bonehead, worry about yerself," Raph gruffed and Mikey looked down before looking back up with an odd determination.

"But I'm just looking out for you, Raphie," He grinned, like he was trying to hold onto something. Raph rose a non-existent eyebrow at Mikey, "I got your back! Or...errr.. shell, haha!"

Raph rolled his eyes as his lips tried to twitch into a tolerant smile but before he could reply Leo turned around and Raph shied away from Mikey. Leo simply stared at the both of them and Mikey fidgeted nervously, trying to show that he was being serious.

Donnie turned around as well and looked over the rooftop edge before looking back at Leo, "Nothing here either…."

"Well we can wait a little longer and see if anyone shows up," Leo nodded towards Donnie and shot Mikey one last look. This didn't escape Donnie's notice and he rose an eye-ridge at his oldest brother.

It became awkwardly quiet and Mikey desperately wanted to say something but he was really scared of Leo yelling at him. He seemed to be in a really bad "Raphie-like" mood since last night's patrol. Donnie noticed Mikey's face and crept a little closer to his brother, "Mikey? You doin' okay?"

Mikey blinked in surprise at his immediate older brother and then grinned as best he could, "Right as rain, bro! Just looking for enemies!"

Donnie smiled a little after hesitating. He could feel Leo peering at them from the corner of his eye and Don was starting to get agitated at his older brother. And Raph just looked super confused when he wasn't concentrating. It was like Don stepped into an alternate universe and his skin crawled with the feeling something bad was gonna happen.

After a few minutes of watching Leo sighed, feeling oddly empty at nothing having happened on patrol. He wasn't sure what he was looking for but this anger in him was not going away like he'd hoped, "Guys, let's go…doesn't seem there's anything going on here-"

Leo stopped immediately when he felt the air shift and he had his katanas out before anyone could blink. His brothers followed suit almost at the same time, racing closer to each other in a familiar formation.

"On the contrary, something is definitely going to happen here," Tigerclaw's voice carried out to him and Leo snarled, looking for a trace of the assassin, "And by the time were done here you're going to wish you never made an enemy of the Shredder."

Raphael and Leonardo growled in response to the threat. But for whatever reason, a pulse of despair hit their bodies as well.

Raph gasped as he suddenly blinked awake. He stared at his ceiling and then blinked rapidly, cursing himself when he felt tears escape his eyes. He sat up shakily and wiped his eyes before slamming his fist down on the blankets.

"But I'm just looking out for you, Raphie."

"Stupid bonehead," Raph muttered miserably as he stared dully at his lap for a few minutes, waiting for the sudden misery to die down. Within a couple minutes he slowly stood and checked the time. Was it really only 5:34 a.m? "Well I can't go back ta sleep anyways…."

With that thought in mind the red banded turtle heaved a sigh and left his room, trying to be quiet so he didn't wake his other brothers from their sleep. His eyes lingered on Leo's door, wondering if the older turtle was feeling better. Raph tsked quietly and walked into the kitchen before grabbing a water bottle and heading into the lair.

He stopped when he saw Don's lab door open and he could tell from where he was standing that Donnie fell asleep at his desk again. Raph rolled his eyes and scoffed before heading for the TV. Again he stopped but in shock as he seen that….child…asleep on the bench.

"Are ya freakin' kiddin' me?" Raph muttered angrily. He just wanted to watch a little TV instead of going back to a nightmare….was that so hard of a thing to want? What was this kid doing here anyway?!

Raph glared at the kid and moved his hand to shake him awake so he could tell him to go to Donnie's room or something but he paused when the kid turned his head. Raph's breath hitched when he saw the teary baby blue eyes looking up at him in slight surprise. The kid's eyes were puffy and red, with darkening circles under them. Had he slept at all this night so far?

"R-Raph?" Mike gasped lightly in surprise, suddenly feeling shameful that he was caught crying. He wondered why Donnie's really big brother was suddenly in front of him and not sleeping. Oh no, was Raph mad at him for sleeping on the couch?!

Raph jolted a bit in surprise when the youngster shot forward fast, sitting up like he had just committed a great insult to someone. The red banded turtle blinked and stood tall, trying to ignore the wide, and wet, innocent eyes peering up at him, "What are ya doin' sleepin' here, Kid?"

Micah gulped a little at the question and touched his fingers together anxiously, "Well, I'm not used to sleeping in a room that can be locked…."

"Is that so…?" Raph asked, his heart twinging a little as he remembered Splinter's words from last night. He was determined not to give in and get hurt so he quickly covered the sympathetic look and glared at the kid, "Well why don't ya just leave the door open, Kid?"

"I….I…well…." Mike didn't know how to answer and more tears welled in his eyes. He didn't want to let the big turtle know it was because he was scared. He was scared of random shadows that could silhouette the doorway and grab him. He was scared without Donnie there.

Raph huffed a little at the lack of response, "Ya shouldn't be out here this late, Kid. Just go ta sleep in Donnie's room already." Mike flinched at those words and his fingers curled around each other desperately. Raph was mad at him….oh no….

When Mike said nothing again Raph glared down at him, "Why are ya sleepin' out here for real?" A silent moment passed and the kid's shoulders fell far.

"I had a nightmare," Mike whispered and Raph froze, "I….I had a nightmare….didn't wanna bother Donnie anymore." Raph's eyes widened and he felt another pang that he tried to cover.

"What was tha nightmare?" Raph inquired after a moment of composing himself.

"Mom's death…." Mike finally looked up, more tears streaming down his already pinkish face, "It was all my fault…if I could have done something…if I wasn't so small….if I had just listened to her…"

Raph's eyes widened more and he stared at the kid as his heart skipped a few beats erratically. The kid's dream seemed similar to his own in some ways…. "So the Purple Dragons killed your Mom?"

Mike flinched and looked up at Raphael with wide eyes. He gulped and nodded slowly, looking back down as he squeezed his eyes shut, desperately trying to fend off the tears, "The bad men…the Dragon men…Donnie says that he thinks my Mom took something important from them, though he doesn't know why. When the bad men killed my Mom they didn't know about me at first…"

Raph stayed silent but decided to sit beside the boy, feeling a bit interested in his story if not because of the Purple Dragons, "So what….the Purple Dragons just came inside your home and killed your Mom?"

He shook his head and looked at Raph again, "We…we were homeless when she died. But we had this really good spot under the bridge that we stayed at for a long time. It helped against the weather. Sometimes when I woke up Mom wouldn't be there, but she'd have a note telling me to stay there and she'd always had food waiting for me too."

"So ya didn't know where she was goin' when she did that?" Raph asked as he rose an eye ridge. Mike shook his head, feeling surprised that Raph was actually talking to him this much, "Why would she go after the Purple Dragons in the first place? What could she have taken that meant so much ta them?"

"I…I wish I knew," Mike's shoulders slumped and Raph stared silently, "Though this one time I remember she told me she had something that could put some bad men away. I didn't understand and still don't."

Raph felt frustrated as well, "Well Donnie will figure out. He figures out everythin'."

The red banded turtle was very surprised when Mike perked at the mention of Donnie, his eyes coming to life in a happy way, "Yeah Donnie knows pretty much everything! And he doesn't get mad at me when I ask questions."

"I don't think he'd ever get mad at someone askin' questions," Raph's mouth twitched into a smirk at the thought of his only younger brother.

"Yeah, Donnie is too nice to get mad about that!" Mike agreed, nodding his head happily as Raph turned to stare at him with intense green eyes. When Mike noticed he blinked at Raph, "What's wrong?"

"I'm just gonna ask ya bluntly," Raph warned and Mike tensed, wondering if Raph was mad at him for talking about Donnie. He and Leo seemed very protective of him, "When we get these people for ya….what are ya gonna do?"

Mike blinked, feeling a bit lost but was suddenly reminded of his conversation with Leo last night. He almost face palmed but refrained because he didn't want to look stupid in front of Raph or make him mad again. Of course Raph would be worried like Leo was!

"I wanted to stay with Donnie after the bad men go away," Mike answered honestly as he hoped to pull off an easy smile, his legs swinging back and forth, "I don't want to leave…but if Donnie says me leaving is good then I'll do whatever Donnie wants!"

Raph stared at the kid before feeling more of that odd weight lifting off his heart. So the kid wanted to stay with Donnie after all? "How do ya know ya won't want ta go topside and live with humans again? I don't think ya'd be comfortable with us mutants."

"Mutants?" Mike questioned as he looked innocently up at Raph, "You mean being turtles…? Cause I think that's pretty awesome…I don't care that you're turtles! It's great!"

Thrown off guard by the answer Raph blinked rapidly before opening his mouth, "But still…ya must have thought about leavin'…."

"I haven't," Mike answered, looking confused, "I like it down here….things are awesome and you guys are so cool! I love Donnie because he reminds me of my Mom and he's super nice and smart! If it's okay I don't want to leave him…."

Raph swallowed and curled his hands into fists, "I see….but if ya ever change yer mind and hurt Donnie, I'll beat ya until yer black and blue, understand?"

Mike's eyes got really wide as a flash of fear entered and then exited his eyes, surprising Raph. Then Mike surprised him even more by smiling and saluting him, "Yes, I understand! Sure thing, boss!"

A startled laugh left Raph's mouth at the kid's antics and he shook his head. This is not what he expected from the kid, "Hey Raph?"

"Yeah?" Raph answered turning towards the child again, regaining himself. Mike was looking at him with a small smile.

"Is…is it fun to fight? I've always been curious…." He tapped his fingers nervously again and Raph was surprised by the question before he smirked.

"Fighting is absolutely the best," He replied without a shadow of regret when Mike's eyes brightened, "Especially when you have a good reason to fight."

"Good reason to fight….?" Mike repeated out loud, looking thoughtful before he beamed, "Oh! You mean like fighting to help someone?"

Raph nodded and crossed his arms, getting more comfortable. Mike tried to copy his demeanor and Raph's mouth twitched into a side smirk before Mike stopped moving and looked hesitantly at Raph again, "Hey Raph?"

"What now, tyke?"

"Wait, what's a tyke?

"A little kid like you," Raph smirked and Mike pouted at him, but inwardly felt happy to see anything close to a smile on Raph's face. It was almost throwing him off. But his smirk disappeared after a moment and Mike frowned.

"Um, can I learn how to fight too?" Mike asked hesitantly, his shoulders tensing and almost raising as if he was about to be hit. Raph stared at him.

"Why do ya wanna fight?" He asked immediately, curious about what was going on in the kid's head.

"I wanna be able to help Donnie!" Mike replied without missing a beat and Raph paused, his eyes widening before he let out a loud laugh, "What's so funny?"

"Well first off, you're too small to be tryin' ta fight for Donnie," Raph grinned and Mike pouted even more, "Better luck next time, Tyke."

"Then until I can learn to fight will you help Donnie for me?" Mike suddenly questioned, tilting his head at Raph very seriously. Raph's grin vanished and he stared at Mike for a moment. The tyke was very serious when it came to Donnie, despite his earlier thoughts. But, unintentionally, he could still do his brother harm.

"That's somethin' ya never even have ta ask me ta do, Tyke. I'll always help Donnie and Leo," Raph replied and Mike's eyes went wide with something similar to admiration and Raph scowled, turning away and trying not to blush because he hadn't felt that way in….in a really really long time.

"Okay, good, you and Leo really care about Donnie too," Mike cheered as he slowly laid back down and cuddled with his pillow, "I feel better now! Thanks Raph."

Raph simply blinked at Mike, "But I didn't do anythin'." He continued to be confused when Mike only smiled even more at him before closing his eyes.

"Can you stay with me until I fall asleep, Raph?" Mike hesitantly questioned, opening only one eye to see the hothead's reaction. Raph may have been talking to him now…but that doesn't mean that he liked Mike.

"No," Raph responded with a monotone voice and Mike wilted until he noticed Raph grabbed the remote, "However, I am stayin' here ta watch TV."

Mike somehow felt that was Raph's way of saying yes without actually saying yes. A beam broke out on the orphan child's face and his heart beat excitedly. He was getting Raph and Leo to talk to him more! Yay!

Raph rolled his eyes at the look on Mike's face but inwardly he smiled. It felt good to be able to make someone happy again. He's tried to make Donnie and Leo happy…but he only knows how to make them upset. This was a different feeling then how he's felt in years. Raph looked over to see Mike's eyes closed even though the TV wasn't loud or overly bright he could still seem to sleep through it. How tired was that kid anyways? Despite his best efforts Raph felt a tinsy bit of worry for the little tyke.

The red banded turtle looked over his shoulder and spotted the blanket that usually stayed folded at the back for anyone to use. He grabbed it and lazily threw it over Mike, who didn't even move or flinch. Raph rolled his eyes and leaned back more comfortably, feeling better himself from the horrible memories in the form of that nightmare.

o0o0o0o0o

"Um…Raph?"

Raph jolted awake from the hushed question and the rough shaking of his shoulder. He blinked a few times before his vision focused and he turned his head to glare at whoever dared wake him up. He was shocked to see Donnie standing there, looking confused and uncertain yet there was a soft underlying look there that he hadn't seen in quite a while. His glare fell and he rubbed one eye, "What time is it Donnie?"

"Almost time for practice. Leo's already awake and he told me to wake you up," Donnie explained with a small smile, "Did you not sleep good last night?"

Raph rolled his eyes, his tough guy demeanor returning, "I slept alright, Don. Why didn't Leo just wake me up himself?"

"It might have been the surprise of seeing you," Donnie replied sarcastically with a hint of humor. Raph rose an eye ridge at Donnie's behavior until he felt breathing on his shoulder. He turned his head really fast and his eyes widened when he saw that, probably sometime during the night, Mike had turned so that he was sleeping sitting up, his head pillowed on Raph's shoulder, "I had no idea he moved out here to sleep."

There was a type of guilt outlying his voice and Raph scowled, "Not yer fault if he decides ta sleep somewhere else. That's his fault." Raph stood slowly and let Mike fall over which warranted a glare from his genius brother that he ignored.

"So, did you two talk or something?" Donnie asked calmly, hoping that his hotheaded brother didn't say anything unwanted to the smaller child. Raph gave Donnie a look as he stretched his arms over his head.

"Yeah we talked and no, I'm not tellin' ya what we talked about. Tha tyke will probably tell ya himself," Raph explained and Donnie blinked at the sudden change from "kid" to "tyke", "Let's go before Fearless blows a gasket."

Donnie blinked at his brother before looking at Mike, who had a seemingly peaceful look on his face. Resigning the thought that his brother probably didn't do anything bad, Donnie smiled and followed his brother, happy to see him relinquishing some of that constant irritation about Mike. As they walked in they saw Splinter already waiting on them so they quickly got in formation. Raph immediately noticed that Leo looked better than he did last night and felt really soothed by the fact.

The stretches and katas were simple enough because it was basically muscle memory for the turtles. And soon they were sparring. Leo and Donnie had already sparred with Leo as the winner so Leo was up against Raph. As soon as they started sparring Leo narrowed his eyes thoughtfully at his brother, "So, you actually talked with Mike last night?"

Raph grunted at the fist that connected to his arm as he blocked. He pushed his brother back before retorting, "So, yer callin' him Mike now?"

Leo froze only a millisecond but that was all Raph needed to dodge and sweep his feet, causing the leader to fall to the ground. Leo ground his teeth together as he struggled to push his brother off of him, "I can call him anything I want….what does it matter?"

"It just matters," Raph replied, smirking a little bit when Leo looked frustrated, "And yes, I actually talked with tha Tyke last night. That's all."

"Sure, so the cuddling this morning was just nothing?" Leo scoffed and Raph glared pushing against Leo with extra strength. Leo growled however soon Raph was able to subdue his arms. In a matter of minutes, because Leo was being stubborn, Leo yielded to Raph.

"Very good, however I seen a lot of distractions between you two," Splinter hummed thoughtfully as Raph and Leo got up respectfully. Donnie was staring at them with an almost blank look on his face, "Mind telling me what is going on?"

Leo and Raph looked between each other before Leo turned, "Nothing's going on, Sensei."

"I see," Splinter frowned, knowing he was being lied to but deciding not to say anything, "Then you are dismissed for today. Do not let anything cloud your minds when you are in battle. That is how mistakes are made. I'm sure you four know this very well."

He didn't miss the way all his sons' shoulders tensed and he didn't mean to be harsh, however he knew exactly what all three of them were thinking of. Splinter sighed and his sons bowed respectfully before quietly going their own ways. Splinter looked over at his mantle and quietly walked towards it, picking up the orange cloth that resided there. He sighed and his ears fell flat against his head, "Your brothers need a lot of guidance, Michelangelo. Please help guide them to a much brighter path than they are on now. I miss you my son."

o0o0o0o0o

"So you're done with the nin-get-su?" Mike asked with wide eyes as he watched Donnie walk toward him. He felt a bit worried when he noticed Leo and Raph vanish behind Donnie. However, Donnie smiled at Mike's error in grammar.

"Ninjitsu, you mean, and yes we are done with practice for the day," Donnie explained as he took a seat beside Mike, who had been watching TV, "So do you like the shows on TV?"

"Yup and I'm happy they still have Crognard!" Mike beamed and didn't notice the twitch to Donnie's lips, "So how many more papers do you have to tra…trainslate?"

"Translate," Donnie laughed a little and then rubbed his hands together, "Well I have gotten a lot done and think I know what's going on, but I don't wanna make any accusations without all the facts. I'm almost done decoding them all. I should be done today….you understand?"

Mike's eyes sparkled when they looked at Donnie and Donnie's heart swelled, "Yes, I think so….but Donnie?"

"Yes, Mike?"

"What's ack-sensations?"

Donnie couldn't help it, he let out the biggest and loudest laugh, one that hurt his chest a little and made Mike jump. He really needed to work with Mike on his grammar and schooling. Maybe he could help get Mike on a healthier learning curve soon enough….if he wanted…

"A….Accusations are when you believe, think, or say someone has done something whether it's good or bad….something like that," Donnie explained best he could and Mike's eyes widened as he "ohhh'ed". Donnie smiled warmly and rubbed Mike's hair as the boy giggled at the action, "And hey, before I go into my lab…I have something for you."

"Really?! Like a present?" Mike gushed happily and Donnie laughed, nodding his head as he reached into his pouch and pulled out the stuffed animal. Mike froze at the sight of the orange cat doll and his eyes widened. Donnie frowned, eyeing Mike to make sure that this was a good reaction and not a bad one. His heart hammered in his chest at the thought of upsetting Mike, "That…that is….mine…."

Donnie nodded slowly and kept still as Mike reached out, grabbing the doll from him and holding it in his shaky hands, "I found it when we went to your old home. It seemed like it was condemned and no family had been there since you left it."

Tears filled Mike's eyes and he hugged the doll close, "T…Thank you so much, Donnie! Thanks so much!" Donnie let out a big sigh of relief, his body sagging with the effort. Mike giggled at him and wiped his eyes, "This was a birthday present from my mommy when I turned 3….she picked it because we couldn't have cats….but I really wanted a cat…."

"I knew it must have meant a lot to you….." Donnie swallowed, smiling at the look on Mike's face. Mike nodded and shuffled closer to Donnie until their legs touched, "Did you ever name it?"

"No….but he reminds me of my cat from the junkyard…so maybe I should call him Klunk?" Mike smiled uncertainly at Donnie, who smiled and wrapped an arm around Mike's shoulders in a sort of hug.

"Sounds perfect to me, Mike, anything you want," He replied and Mike grinned happily, pushing his head against Donnie's chest and hugging him back. Donnie smiled again and hugged him just as hard as he was being hugged before they parted, "I'm very glad you like it. Anyways, I'm sorry but I'll be busy in my lab again…but you can play in here as long as you watch out for the water near the tire swing, okay?"

"That's okay Donnie! And sure!" Mike beamed and Donnie smiled, rubbing his head once more before standing and leaving Micah to his TV time. Mike watched Donnie leave before turning back to his doll, "I can't believe Donnie found you, Klunk! I miss you a lot!"

Mike continued to hold his doll while watching TV, trying his best not to get too bored. He didn't want to bother Donnie and he couldn't do much else. Well he might play on the tire swing, but he was afraid of Leo or Raph walking in and getting mad at him for it. Mike sighed from where he was laying on the bench before he saw a shadow race across the TV screen. His eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat.

He got up slowly and noticed the tail ends of something blue before it was gone. Mike blinked before realizing it must have been Leo. But where was he going? Why was he leaving so fast? Was something wrong with him? He didn't look so good when they all came out from their nin….nin getsu practice…Mike looked between the exit of their lair to Donnie's lab and made a decision.

Getting up, Mike hurriedly went after Leo just in case something was wrong with him. He didn't want Donnie to worry about Leo so Mike would just take a peek and make sure Leo wasn't sick or hurt then he'd come back. They wouldn't even miss him. Mike paused when he saw the sewers and he held his breath a little as he followed the path and looked into the right tunnel. He hardly saw the shadow and hurried to catch up to Leo.

He followed that shadow and soon saw traces of blue. Wow, Leo was really fast and he couldn't even hear him running either! He was really good at the ninja stuff! Mike was determined to make sure Leo was okay and pressed on as fast as he could, making sure to not lose sight of blue or Leo's shadow. He huffed with effort and nearly tripped a few times as he followed.

It seemed like forever passed before he saw more solid glimpses of shadows. He grinned as he ran but then nearly outright squeaked when he saw the shadow stop. He froze and slowly crept towards the edge to look around the left corner before hiding again when he saw flashes of green. He tried to calm down and then suck in a breath before looking around the edge again.

Leo was standing there…..just standing there….was something wrong after all? Mike looked around and noticed that Leo was standing in the middle of a sorta big but clean looking room of some sorts. There were openings or…were they empty pipes? But there were a lot of flowers and….holy cats was that grass? Actual grass in the sewers? Mike squinted his eyes and noticed sand around Leo….that was sand right? Or maybe just plain dirt….how did they manage that?

Mike's eyes widened when Leo stepped around and began lighting candles. That's when he noticed it. The clean-cut stone near the middle of the room with writing on it. Mike felt his heart stop; he'd seen one of those before but he couldn't believe he was seeing one here. Leo was at a grave? How can that even be possible and who could be in the ground there?

"Hey Mikey," Leo suddenly greeted and Mike flinched before realizing that Leo wasn't talking to him but to the stone, "I'm sorry it's been awhile since I came here but things kinda got crazy at the lair….." Mike heard the hitch in his voice and frowned, "I guess I came here because I keep on remembering and I've tried to hard not to let myself get distracted….yet that's exactly what keeps happening. They guys would look at me crazy….well not Donnie but Raph would look at me crazy if he ever found out I talk to a stone. But I'd like to think I'm talking to you in some sort of way…."

Mike licked his lips and looked behind him. He should leave but he was too curious. Who was Leo talking about? Who was Mikey? Mike's eyes widened yet again and his heart dropped to his stomach when Leo began talking about him, "There's a new child we're trying to help. His name's Micah and he's in trouble with the Purple Dragons for whatever reason…Donnie has latched onto this child like he's the answer to all our prayers….I'm not so sure he knows what he's doing. Mike….the child, he's so much like you it hurts. And it's as if it's not enough that he acts like you but he looks like you too….well sorta…if we were human that is. He's got your eyes and freckles like yours. It's too ridiculous!"

Mike stared at Leo in disbelief. He's like this Mikey guy? It hurts Leo? Mike nearly gasped and had to cover his mouth with his hand when he realized what Leo's words meant. Maybe….is that why everyone looks at Mike like they were sad? Or they were hurt? Was that why Donnie looked sad a lot or fidgeted around him or things he said? It was because they were thinking of this Mikey guy? Because he was reminding them of this guy?

"Anyways, I'll do some meditating like I usually do when I come here. I just needed to vent," Leo laughed sarcastically, "Even if we can't talk like we used to, even if I might be crazy for talking to a stone…..I'm glad I can at least come here and feel bits of your spirit when I meditate. You calm me baby brother and I miss you a lot. So does Donnie, Sensei, and Raph….but I'm looking out for everyone so continue to rest in peace, Mikey."

Mike backed away, his eyes really wide and his heat pounding really fast in his chest. His breathing came out in pants and he was distantly surprised he didn't trip backwards. "Baby brother"? This Mikey was Leo's….was Donnie's…brother? He was their brother? They had a dead brother?! Suddenly everything made sense and Mike's heart was pounding in a really painful way. It hurt to breathe.

Mike turned and ran as fast as he could. He wasn't sure if he was going the right way but he wanted to go to Donnie right away and apologize for being a burden. For being a reminder of something really painful…

All this time…all this wishing and wanting to help Donnie and the others…..and he was actually just hurting them?

Chapter 6: How it Happened

Summary:

Leo learns Micah is missing and tries to help his brothers. Donnie panics and Raph worries. Micah eventually comes home with them and learns the truth about Mikey's death and more.

Chapter Text

Leonardo's Point of View:

My eyes snapped open just a few seconds after I had gotten in a comfortable meditating position. I heard a shuffle and cursed inside my mind before tensing, glancing to the side. I didn't see anything suspicious but I sensed the something vague and it was only disappearing. Was it a sewer rat?

I felt a bit uneasy because of where I was. No one but Sensei, my brothers, and I know this location. We wanted Mikey to be able to rest in peace and worked hard on fixing this place up for him. Master Splinter and I come here regularly, or he would when he doesn't feel sickly. Raph comes but no one knows when or how much he comes. Donnie doesn't come at all. I don't entirely blame him. The first time we persuaded him to come he'd had a big panic attack that left him weak in bed for half a day. Out of us all, Donnie definitely has the hardest time dealing with Mikey's death.

Glancing the side once again I sighed and got up cautiously before looking around the corner. Whatever I sensed was gone and it didn't have the same presence as any of our enemies. But for some reason I am feeling uneasy. I looked back at Mikey's grave and I felt my body slump a little. I walked back slowly and sat back down near the headstone before taking calming breaths.

In….and out…In….and out. Master Splinter advised me that dealing with your demons in the only way to try to find some closure. So why was it so hard to just do so? I knew it wouldn't be easy, but anytime I got even a fraction close to remembering, my heart would squeeze painfully in my chest and leave me slightly breathless. Poor Mikey…of anyone…he shouldn't have been the one that…

Tigerclaw was hidden in the shadows and I couldn't see a damn thing, "And by the time I'm done here you're going to wish you never made an enemy of the Shredder."

Raph and I both growled at the threat but I felt a pang of unexplained despair hit me. I didn't falter and kept my stance even as the rest of my brothers drew closer together. As soon as we'd moved a herd of Foot ninja came onto the rooftop either my jumping up or through the shadows and I sneered at them. Tigerclaw jumped onto an air conditioning unit while looking at us like we were less than garbage.

"Remember we do not have room to fail Master Shredder," Tigerclaw calmly rumbled to the Foot ninja, who tensed, "Kill them. Leave Leonardo alive long enough so that I can have his head."

I heard either Donnie or Mikey take in a horrified breath but I was unfazed and kept staring at Tigerclaw just as he never let his eyes off me. I gathered up the courage to smirk and called, "Okay, guys, let's just get this over with so we can go home."

Raph grinned by my side, "Now yer talkin' Fearless!"

"I think we are outnumbered, Leo," Donnie said with a touch of worry in his tone that I tactfully ignored for now. I didn't have time to reply before the Foot were upon us. I trusted that my brothers could hold their own against the Foot ninja but I had to keep Tigerclaw from engaging one of them. I could hear Donnie's bō staff whacking people from here and Raph was growling very loudly since he was close to my side. Mikey yelled his catchphrase as usual, but I noticed the determination in his tone that sort of surprised me and reminded me of our earlier conversation. Huh, maybe he took my words in stride, "Leo!"

Ducking in time to not have my arm severed, I missed a Foot's spear by a few inches and was only left with a cut on my arm. Still, Raph roared and all but jumped the unsuspecting ninja. I quickly helped him but we were getting pulled apart by different waves of ninja. I kept my eyes on all my brothers and on Tigerclaw most of all. He was just…watching. Arms crossed and scowl on his face.

"A little help!" Donnie cried as he was being swarmed and my eyes widened, but just as I turned I was kicked in the side. I gasped in pain and quickly pretended to fall forward to swing on my hands, using my feet to trip and then decapitate the Foot around me.

"Booyakasha! Not my brainy brother you numbskulls!" Mikey chirped as he grinned from ear to ear. I whirled around and my eyes widened to see that Mikey was now helping Donnie up by pulling on his arm, several Foot taken down around them. I saw Raph battling his own group with a smirk and felt a surge of power. We could so do this!

"Enough of this!" Tigerclaw roared and I growled, turning to engage him when suddenly he was behind me. I barely had time to gasp and blocked his blade with my katanas. We fought with strength and he got a few lucky hits in. One of which was a gash on my collarbone that made Donnie fuss loudly.

"Oof!" I cried when Tigerclaw finally caught me by surprise and kicked me into Donnie and some nearby ninja he was struggling with, "Ugh, sorry Donnie, you doing alright?"

"They are using cheap tactics. Jeez, they really do mean to kill us," Donnie joked but I looked at him flatly before blocking an attack meant for him. I ground my teeth together when I saw Mikey coming to aide a struggling Raph, who was also battling it out with Tigerclaw.

"We need to destroy the Foot ninja so we can get Tigerclaw alone," I ordered and Donnie's face turned worried but serious as he nodded. We began working on the group surrounding us now, but I noticed more just kept coming. That's when I realized a bit too late that they were trying to keep us from aiding Mikey and Raph. I glared at the Foot and growled loudly, surprising Donnie, "Out of my way!"

By the time we were done….

"NO!"

I gasped loudly when I was jerked out of my small meditation by my ringtone. I blinked and panted for several seconds before hurrying to answer my phone, "Hello?"

"Leo? Leo! Where are you?!" Donnie's panicked voice drifted to me and my eyes widened to hear this level of panic from him. Just like….

"Calm down Donnie, I'm at…the place," I worded carefully but in a way he'd understand. The other line went silent and I frowned worriedly, "What's wrong, Donnie? Are you okay?"

"No…no I'm not okay! Mike's not here! He's gone and I've searched everywhere for him! I wanted to tell him I finished the papers but he wasn't anywhere to be found and neither were you!" Donnie half yelled hysterically and my eyes widened even more, my breathing hitched, "P…Please tell me Mike's not with you…better yet tell me he is…wait.. no-"

A scuffle made me blink and soon another voice answered, "Fearless…" Raph breathed and I was already standing at that worried sound from Raph, "Donnie's losin' it, bro. I'm thinkin' he might have another episode soon. We can't find tha Tyke anywhere in tha lair. He's not with ya?"

I was already moving by this point, clenching my phone so hard it hurt my fingers, "No, he's not with me. I'm at Mikey's grave. Last I seen him he was in the pit!"

"Same here," Raph sighed out and I could hear some loud hitching in the background, "Donnie is insistin' ta look for him in tha sewers. Tha Tyke must have followed ya when ya left."

I froze and my eyes widened. He followed me? Wait that scuffle earlier…was that Mike? "I…I think you might be right…"

"Fearless?"

This was my fault. Again.

"Fearless, speak ta me. Are ya there?"

"Y…Yes…." I whispered as I began running again, "If he did follow me…oh God…he must have heard me talking to Mikey."

"Wait, what? Talkin'….ta Mikey? Ya know what, whatever…if what ya say is true then this isn't good," Raph sighed out and I frowned gloomily as I ran, "Donnie wait, shit! Fearless, Sensei's stayin' behind in case Mike comes back. Meet us halfway."

"Okay," I gritted out as I hung up and picked up my pace. This was all my fault. My cruelty got Mikey killed. My incompetence will probably cost us again. If we lose Micah for whatever reason…I don't think Donnie will ever be the same again. No…that can't happen! I will find this child no matter what! For Donnie!

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Micah's Point of View:

My body hurt so much…I groaned as I opened my eyes and realized I was on more sand. My eyes widened and I panicked, pushing myself up with my arms, realizing they hurt too, but only a little. I felt tears in my eyes as I shakily sat up in the sand and realized I didn't know where I was. There was water…but I remember Donnie and Splinter saying it was the nasty kind of water. The sewer water…

I looked at my arms and my arms widened to see skinned marks. I looked at the ground sadly and cringed in pain when my ankle stung. It hurt to move it. I remember running to find Donnie and the others. I needed to apologize for being such a burden. I made them all so very sad and it hurts, "I want Donnie!" I blinked wetly and felt tears fall on my hands.

Surely I didn't get very far away from Leo…I don't remember running for too long so maybe they will find me soon! It hurts to move my ankle and I'm sure I can't stand much. No…now's not the time to act like a crybaby! "I need to go apologize to them!"

I focused in determination and pushed myself up, cringing when my ankle hurt very badly. I lifted my left…yes that's my left ankle off the ground and jumped towards the nearest wall. I leaned on it and smiled. I did it! I got up even when it hurt, just like Mommy always told me to do! My eyes widened and a big pain hurt my chest for a second. Mommy…Mommy, I'm just a burden again. I'm supposed to make people laugh and smile…not hurt them! You'd be so disappointed in me for hurting so many people…

My eyes widened more as I began breathing hard. When I do return…they'll be mad? I didn't listen to Donnie or Splinter…I left and Leo will be mad I followed! Then when they know I know about their Mikey brother…they'll be done with me! They'll kick me out won't they?! My breathing came and went quickly as I wrapped my arms around myself, hoping this would make me feel better. It didn't.

I didn't even know where to go…do I even stay here and let them find me? I don't know…I don't know! Tears streamed down my face as I began to sob helplessly. I wrapped my arms tighter around myself, hoping to somehow breathe normally as I sat down against the wall ad curled into a ball.

"I'm so sorry…I'm so sorry!" I wept as I put my head in my hands and wrapped my arms around my legs tightly, my breathing hitching with each sob. I wanna see Donnie but I don't wanna see him at the same time. Will I be able to apologize? Or will he finally have enough of me and kick me out?

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Donatello's Point of View:

"We should be runnin' inta Fearless soon," Raph claimed as he ran by my side. I felt as though I was running blindly though. I couldn't concentrate on a single thought other than finding Micah and making sure he was alright. If what Raph told me earlier was true and he heard Leo talking about Mikey, then the time I was dreading for had happened much earlier than I anticipated. And in a horrible way! I was too naïve to think that I could shield Mike from ever knowing about Mikey!

"Why? Why does this keep happening?" I questioned out loud and saw Raph tense beside me. I should have felt odd about accidentally saying my thoughts out loud, but I was feeling a bit disoriented and panicky at the moment, which Raph seemed to understand straight off the bat. It wouldn't be the first time he and Leo would try to get me out of an emotional episode.

I barely stopped jogging even when Raph stopped and grabbed my arm, before grabbing my shoulders so he can look me straight in the eyes. His face was drawn into a worried yet frustrated one that I've seen plenty of times before, "Donnie, get a grip, okay? We'll find tha Tyke and he'll understand once we explain ourselves!"

"But what if we don't find him? What if we don't ever find him?" I asked almost hysterically while my eyes widened as I pondered these thoughts. Raph shook me a little and firmly shook his head.

"Now yer just bein' crazy," Raph huffed as the worry in his eyes escalated, "We'll find Fearless and we'll all search for tha Tyke together, okay? Don't do this ta me again, Donnie, please don't."

"But…but even if we find him what if he doesn't understand? What if he doesn't wanna be with me anymore?" I blurted as I could literally see myself trembling under Raph's hands, my vision blurring slightly from tears. Raph looked shocked before a small warm smile graced his face.

"Of all tha conversations I've had with tha Tyke, tha only thing he was happy talkin' about was you," Raph admitted as I froze, "Surely, if anythin', comin' from ya he'd be able ta understand or try ta. From tha way I've been seein' it…that Tyke doesn't ever want ta leave ya. So banish those thoughts from yer head, bro."

"R-Really?" I inquired hesitantly and Raph nodded seriously, his grip on my shoulders tightening, "I can't do this again, Raph. I can't not be able to do anything again!"

Raph's look morphed into a sad tortured one and a small part of my rational mind regretted what I'd said instantly. The last thing either of us needed was me bringing up the past, which no one could do anything about. I swallowed and opened my mouth to say something when a shuffle had Raph practically pushing me against the wall as he brought out his sais.

"It's okay. It's just me," Leo's voice drifted as he stepped out of the shadows quickly, panting like he ran without stopping. A pang of regret entered my heart again. I'd made both of my brothers' worry about me so much yet again. But still… "I've checked the tunnels as I've gone along. I've seen no trace of Mike…which makes no sense. He can't just disappear."

Raph relaxed before he sighed and stepped away from me, "Same on our end. He had ta have went a different way so let's go back ta where ya came from, Fearless. Maybe he made a different turn."

Leo nodded while staring at me but I didn't have the courage to meet his eyes. I followed behind Raph closely as we ran back the way Leo had just come. No one said a thing but I could feel constant glances from Leo and Raph both. In about 20 minutes we searched every tunnel Leo claimed he did not search but we came up with nothing and my nerves were so shot that the trembling in my body was super noticeable and I couldn't speak without stammering. The only places left to check were near the place. Mikey's grave site. Raph and I both tensed and my wide eyes darted back and forth nervously. I haven't been except a handful of times to see Mikey's grave, but each time I had a panic attack or emotional meltdown.

Soon enough nearly 15 more minutes had passed ad we were nearly at Mikey's grave site. We were searching the tunnel just before the path that would take us to Mikey's grave when I thought I heard a loud scuffling noise. Apparently my brothers heard it to because they were magically right there close to me from where they had been. I stared at the way towards the room full of sewer latches and drains. Micah surely wouldn't have gone in there? That's dangerous!

"Let's check it out. It could be him!" Leo ordered and I could see overwhelming guilt and shame in his eyes each time he looked at me. My lips trembled and I followed behind my brothers as we stalked into the room. I looked frantically side to side but say nothing. My heart dropped to my feet and frustrated tears filled my eyes. I'll never see him again! This was all my-

"Wait, did ya hear that?" Raph whispered to us with narrowed eyes and I could barely even see him so I had to wipe my eyes quickly. Leo and I both went still and deadly silent. The sound of rushing water filled the air but then suddenly something else did to. It sounded almost like little gushes of wind. Almost like whispering. My eyes widened as Leo, Raph, and I whirled to look at each other with wide eyes.

I wasted no time in jumping off the ledge onto the sand, my eyes widening as I searched. As I turned to look behind me I saw him, just curled into the most miserable ball I've ever seen, "Mike!" I rushed towards him and literally fell on my knees as Leo and Raph quickly joined me in kneeling in front of the distressed boy.

Micah froze and slowly looked up with wide eyes before he gasped and hid his face again, "I'm sorry!"

"Mike-"

"I'm so sorry, so so sorry! I didn't mean to do it!" Mike blubbered emotionally and it reminded me of myself, "I won't do it ever again, so please don't hate me."

"I don't hate you!" I soothed trying to touch his arm and tried not to feel hurt when he flinched, still not looking up to meet our eyes, "You have to let us explain, Micah. I'm sorry you had to find out this way…."

Mike went quiet and I looked at Raph and Leo for help, but they looked a bit lost on what to say. I froze when Mike spoke again, "About Mikey?"

Leo, Raph, and I didn't seem to be prepared for the boy that looked so much like our brother to say his name and I flinched, "Yes…I'm sorry I never said anything about it…but it's a long story. We're not mad at you, I promise….so please look at me?"

He shook his head, "Made you all very sad…I'm so sorry…"

"Ya didn't know about him so it's not yer fault," Raph suddenly but in and I blinked in surprise at my hotheaded brother, "I know Leo and I haven't…haven't been too nice ta ya…but we don't hate ya exactly. But ya promised us you'd never hurt Donnie, right? Well yer hurtin' him right now, Tyke." My eyes widened in confusion.

Mike stilled then peeked out of his arms and my heart melted at his red puffy eyes and pale complexion, "You're not mad at me?"

"No, we aren't!" I promised immediately, feeling hopeful at his reaction. Mike looked away and then his shoulder's slumped so I decided to change the subject for a minute, "Did you hurt yourself Mike? Did you fall down here?"

He nodded, "I hurt my arms and my head a little. But mainly my ankle hurts…"

"May I take a look please?" I asked urgently, feeling concerned. He hesitated but uncurled from his ball and Leo moved so he could stretch his legs out for me. I determined that his left ankle was the victim. Mike and my brothers stayed silent as I examined his ankle and determined that there was no break just a big sprain. He'd have to be off his leg for a little while, "You have to take it easy with your leg, but it isn't broken just pretty sprained."

"Oh," Mike replied blankly, still staring at the ground as he went to curl his arms around his knees again slowly. I frowned sadly and pondered on what else to say but was shocked when Mike looked up a bit hesitantly, like he was going to be yelled at, "So if you're not upset with me for reminding you of your brother…then…why have you been mean to me?" I realized that he was talking to Raph and Leo, both of which looked shocked at him.

"Well….it might be hard for you to understand," Leo finally spoke, looking more than ashamed and awkward, "But it was hard to look at you because you reminded us of him and we were worried about what your presence might do to eh family…"

"So because I looked and acted like Mikey, right? So if that were true…why aren't you mad?" Mike looked lost and confused as he eyed the ground sadly, "I just don't understand why you all came to find me."

"I care about you Mike!" I blurted as I touched his arm again, delighted when he didn't flinch this time, "It isn't your fault because you can't help what you look like and you are who you are. I like who you are! We came to find you because we were worried about you!"

"Even Leo and Raph?" Mike asked hesitantly as he shifted his gaze away from mine nervously.

"Yeah, even we were," Raph agreed while nodding, "It'll take time, but yer not half bad Tyke….and ya promised ta make Donnie happy so ya better not go back on yer promise!" Even Leo looked surprised and I just felt confused. Is this what he talked with Mike about last night?

Mike's eyes widened at Raph, "I won't! I was trying to find you all so I could apologize…but then I got lost and tripped….and I thought that maybe it would be better if I left you all alone…I don't want to be a burden."

"No, you're not!" Leo blurted almost instantly as if he were haunted by those words, his eyes wide as he startled all of us, "Sorry…you're not a burden, Mike. I'm sorry that I wasn't being nice to you but I was worried for my family…Plus Master Splinter approves of you and you have no ill will…so you're not a burden."

"Even though I remind you of Mikey?" He questioned innocently, looking a bit better. We all nodded and he frowned, "But…I don't want to make any of you sad. I'll try not to act like Mikey."

I frowned heavily and hugged him, "Don't stop being who you are. We've all had a lot of trouble losing our brother…but it's something we need to deal with."

"Donnie's right, of course," Raph smiled a little and I smiled back after a moment, "Let's go home, Tyke. Ya've also worried Master Splinter."

"Home?" Mike blinked in shock and I smiled warmly at him as we parted from our hug, "You still want me to live with you?"

"Of course," Leo nodded, "I'm sorry that I'm the reason you found out…and I'm sorry we haven't welcomed you properly…but that will change. Just come back us, okay?"

Mike looked shocked before he beamed happily, nodding his head and I let out a big heavy sigh of relief. Mike jumped on me in a hug and I hugged him back just as hard as I stood on shaky legs. Raph and Leo stood with me, smiling at me and I realized that they did their very best concerning Micah for me and I beamed at them both. Their eyes widened before a true smile graced their faces.

"Let's go…" I grinned at Mike, who nodded in my arms. With almost bone crushing relief, I began walking to the path that would take us home. I still had other things to tell Mike and other things to tell my brothers.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Master Splinter was so relieved when we walked through the doors that I realized just how much I had worried him, let alone Micah. After making sure for himself that Mike was alright in my infirmary, Leo forced our Father to go rest since he looked a bit worn out and I was afraid he'd spike with a fever again. Leo also made Sensei some tea while Raph helped me tend to Mike in the lab.

By the time I finished with Mike Leo returned so I took Mike into the pit and sat him down. We all sat close to him and Raph sat cross legged on the floor in front of us. Mike seemed confused and I looked towards Leo and Raph to make sure they actually wanted to do this. This would be the first time in 8 years that we'd retell the story of our baby brother's death and for whatever reason I felt like I could do it…but only if we did it now. Leo and Raph nodded at me seriously and I smiled weakly, nodding my head.

"What's wrong?" Mike asked looking fearful and uncertain. I placed a hand on his.

"I don't want there to be any misunderstandings like this one again," I began, licking my lips as my brothers tensed in preparation, "So we're going to tell you what happened to Mikey. Or well…a version of it that we can tell someone of your age."

"You mean how he died?" Mike asked with large understanding eyes, "Y-You don't have to do it. I know it makes you sad."

"It will always make us sad, Tyke," Raph argued lightly, "But we need ya ta get why ya thought ya were makin' us so sad." Mike went silent and nodded his head in what looked to be some cute serious look.

"So…what happened to him?" He asked as he twisted his fingers together anxiously.

"Well you know how we are all ninjas?" Leo but in, surprising Raph and I. Mike nodded again, "Well we used to always go on patrols at night to fight crime. And you know how Sensei, Raph, Donnie, and I are a clan?"

"Clan meaning family, right?" Mike asked with a small smile. Leo returned the small smile and nodded, "So you fight crime? That's almost more awesome than being ninjas!" We chuckled at his naïve view of our work.

"Well there was an enemy clan called the Foot," Leo explained some more as a deadly serious expression crossed his face.

…..

..

.

(Flashback: Third Point of View) Warning: this has main character death and could possibly be disturbing for some!

"We need to destroy the Foot ninja so we can get Tigerclaw alone," Leo ordered and Donnie's face turned worried but serious as he nodded. They began working on the group surrounding them now, but Leo noticed more just kept coming. That's when Leo realized a bit too late that they were trying to keep them from aiding Mikey and Raph. He glared at the Foot and growled loudly, surprising Donnie, "Out of my way!"

He began finishing his enemies with a deadlier sense of accuracy and Donnie picked up on his urgency, swinging his bō staff with renewed strength. They were trying their hardest to make it to aide their brothers.

Meanwhile Raph was head to head with Tigerclaw, but was holding his own pretty sensibly. He noticed, of course, that Foot were trying to incapacitate him but Mikey had his back, fighting them off so that Raph had a fair fight with Tigerclaw. Raph also didn't miss how the Foot were swarming Leo and Donnie to keep them away. Smart annoying bastards. Raph groaned when he blocked a particular hard hit from Tigerclaw's dagger. His muscles felt like they were turning into led and his eyesight was trying to blur again. He'd be damned if he'd let this slow him down though!

"Raph, you still good bro?" Mikey questioned loudly as he fought against the fray trying to get to him. Raph ground his teeth together and dodged a kick to his chest, "Raph?"

"I'm good, Mikey, let me fucking concentrate!" Raph yelled angrily, unintentionally taking his anger out on his brother. Mikey flinched at the harshness in Raph's voice but tried not to take it personally. He knew his brother was having a hard time. He quickly knocked out the remaining ninja around him and jumped in with Raph, surprising Tigerclaw by kicking him in the shoulder hard enough to send him towards the ground.

Raph and Mikey shared a fiery grin until Tigerclaw practically leapt up gracefully from falling and lifted one of his guns, "You'll pay for that, turtle!" Both brothers tactfully dodged the fire and Mikey whipped out his kasarigama, throwing the chain so it folded around Tigerclaw's wrist before yanking, causing the weapon to soar in the air away from him.

Raph barreled into Tigerclaw's side as he charged for Mikey and began wrestling to incapacitate him. Mikey glanced to check on Donnie and Leo, finding that they were nearly finished with the horde surrounding them, around 10 ninja left to be exact. Mike caught Leo's eyes and smiled triumphically. They were winning! They could do this!

"URAH!" Raph screamed and Mikey's blood went cold as he turned to see Tigerclaw with his heat ray weapon out and Raph's shoulder a bloody mess as he writhed to get back up from the rooftop.

"Raph!" Leo called in alarm from the other side and Mikey growled in anger before using his kasarigama chain, trying to use the technique he had done before. Tigerclaw immediately grabbed the chain and pulled, causing Mikey to jerk forward and let go so that he could not be caught. Mikey dodged the fire from his weapon and got close enough to steal his attention away from his wounded brother, "We're almost done! Hold on guys!" Wow, Leo sounded so worried.

Donnie watched from his angle as he took another ninja down. Raph was bleeding pretty badly and he needed to get there soon! Mikey couldn't help Raph and fight Tigerclaw all on his own. Donnie gasped when he was hit with a dagger on his thigh and literally before anything else happened Leo stabbed the attacker through the chest with cold eyes. Donnie's eyes widened and he shook off the feeling of dread before they turned their attention to help Raph.

Mikey blocked another shot and grinned at Tigerclaw, who seemed to be getting more riled up the longer he was fighting. Leo and Donnie had almost done it and then they can could home together and help Raph. Mikey's eyes widened as he was hit in the face and barely dodged the shot that could have killed him, "Whoa, watch were your pointing that thing, dude!" He grabbed Tigerclaw's wrist, turned his flexible body, and kicked the gun from his hands and watched as it fell off the roof. He quickly jumped backwards to avoiding a swing from Tigerclaw blade.

Tigerclaw screamed in anger and pushed Mikey so hard he fell to the ground. Mikey's eyes widened and he prepared to counter attack but Raph was suddenly tackling Tigerclaw away from him, "Raph! Stop! You'll just make your wound bleed more!" Mikey knew that blood loss wouldn't help Raph, who had been having problems all night he could tell. He got to his feet quickly and leapt back in the fray.

Leo and Donnie had just taken the last ninja down and wasted no time in turning. They charged for Tigerclaw, who sensed this and skillfully kicked Raph into Mikey, before jumping the air to avoid Leo's katanas. He jumped from the air conditioning unit and hit Donnie full force, causing the poor genius to roll across the ground. Leo growled angrily as Raph and Mikey got up to help. Leo blocked Tigerclaw's view of a struggling Donnie, who was trying to regain his sense and get to his feet.

"I've had just about enough of you turtles!" Tigerclaw growled lowly as he engaged Mikey and Leo before surprising them by kicking Mikey square in the stomach and sending him flying into Leo's side. Raph yelled and attacked, his said cutting Tigerclaw's arm. Tigerclaw howled and with impressive will kicked Raph's feet out from under him, sending him on his shell on the ground, "This ends with you!"

"RAPH!" Mikey cried as he and Leo jumped back into the fray, with Donnie struggling to start forward as well. Tigerclaw countered their attacks and Leo's katanas were pushed into the air, one of them flying towards Donnie, causing him to duck back down to the ground in shock. Tigerclaw cut Leo across the plastron with his own katana and pushed him away before blocking Mikey's nunchucks. Raph struggled under Tigerclaw's foot and tried to stretch to reach his sai.

"You…will…perish!" Tigerclaw huffed with effort and managed to throw Mikey on the ground next to Raph. He spun around with Leo's katana just as Leo and Donnie started forward again with wide eyes. Raph's eyes widened as if it were slow motion and Mikey acted without thinking. With his famous speed, he launched to his feet and planted himself in front of Raph protectively.

The katana pierced his plastron with a sickening crunch and he grunted in shock. Tigerclaw's eyes widened at having actually made contact while Leo and Donnie cried out in shock.

"NO!" Raph screamed as Mikey looked down at the katana sticking in his chest below his chin. The pain was almost unbearable and he didn't even know what to do with himself…but he wasn't about to let Tigerclaw have the satisfaction of seeing him cringe in pain or kill his brother! Mikey acted quickly and took his kasarigama blade, slicing it across Tigerclaw's throat so fast it was almost like a ghost did it.

Tigerclaw spluttered in shock and his hands went to his throat, but Leo kicked him out of the way as Mikey stumbled to the ground. Donnie cried out as he knelt next to Mikey and supported him, looking at the wound. Leo immediately knelt by Mikey as well as Raph found the will to crawl to his hands and his knees to be behind Mikey. Their eyes filled with tears at the sight of their struggling bleeding brother.

"Mikey, oh my god," Leo breathed as Mikey's eyes were clenched closed in pain, his body writhing in pain, "Don, do something!"

"I….I can't," Donnie answered with wide yes and he frantically felt around the wound, "If I take it out he'll bleed to death before we get him back to lab!"

"But if you leave it in he'll die!" Raph yelled, his eyes widening at his genius brother. Donnie took in a deep breath and reality set in.

"Yes….either way…he'll die…" Donnie replied as Raph and Leo froze, looking down at Mikey, who was taking semi deep breaths, "I can't do anything….I can't do anything…I can't or he'll just bleed out and suffer…..I-"

"It's okay…" Mikey whispered as he found Donnie's hand and clenched it, "It's okay, Donnie….don't worry about it."

"Don't worry about it?!" Raph cried, his eyes filling with tears as Leo shook his head slowly in disbelief, "You're dyin'!"

"Haha, then it's a good thing you're all here with me," Mikey replied, his eyes wetting a little, causing the brothers to begin to cry as the reality of his words and situation set in.

"Maybe I can fix you somehow," Donnie said in denial, shaking his head back and forth as he thought hard about the wound placement. There was just no way….he'd bleed out in a few seconds tops if the weapon was removed!

"You can't," Mikey replied simply, his body spasming for a moment as he cringed in pain. He coughed in pain and blood escaped his mouth.

"Mikey!? What did ya do?!" Raph howled, his whole body shaking as he shed tears of anguish, "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

"Got….your back Raph," Mikey cringed, squeezing his eyes shut as the pain increased. He felt like he was choking on blood. Leo's eyes widened and tears streamed down his face as he relived what he had said to Mikey before patrol, "I couldn't…..couldn't let him kill…"

"Mikey, please don't talk," Donnie sobbed, trying to shush his brother from using too much energy, "S-Save your energy…."

"I promised to…to watch out for your shells…" Mikey huffed quietly, panting as his eyes searched out Leo's, "I did good, right bro…?"

Leo nodded, his breath hitching as he squeezed Mikey's hand, "You did good, bro…y-you did…."

Mikey smiled feeling more content. Somehow the pain was going away. He didn't feel it as much anymore, "Bros…I'm going to really miss you all….and Master Splinter…" Their eyes widened and Donnie shuddered as he began to sob even harder, "….but don't be very sad….I don't like….it…just be happy."

"How can we be happy?!" Raph demanded through his tears as he tried to wipe his eyes, "Ya fuckin' dyin' and we can't do shit about it!"

Mikey continued to smile as he closed his eyes, feeling tired, "Don't worry Raph….we'll be together….again soon….cause we can never be truly apart….right?"

"Right Mikey," Leo nodded, trying to control his tears as Donnie sobbed and sobbed.

"You…y-you know….I….I r…really…love you bros so very much….I want...you to be able to s...smile and laugh..."

"We love you too, Mikey!" Donnie wailed as he clenched more of Mikey's hand, "Just stay with us a little longer! If I have time I can think of something! I know it!" Donnie looked down to look in his brothers' eyes but realized he closed them, "Mikey?"

Leo and Raph noticed that Mikey had stopped talking after Donnie and their eyes widened. Leo shook Mikey's shoulder, "M-Mikey? You still with u-us?" Mikey's complexion was much paler and he was. not. moving. Leo's eyes widened even more as Donnie's heart raced, "No! Mikey, stay with us! Maybe we can do something!"

Donnie hurried in touching Mikey's neck to check for pulse as Raph leaned forward desperately, "Mikey! You can quit playin' around now…." No response. Donnie looked at Leo and Raph with wide eyes, tears streaming down his face, "Answer me! No, Mikey please !"

Donnie let go of Mikey's hand and wailed into his hands while Raph began punching the ground and screaming. Leo stared ahead at where Tigerclaw also laid unmoving. He looked back at his distraught brothers until he looked down at Mikey, who almost looked peaceful. How could he be peaceful? He was dead now. He'd never cook them breakfast anymore. He'd never use silly pranks against them or bother them with his incessant babbling anymore. So….so how can he….?

Leo felt the tears before he'd even realized they were there. His vision clouded and he closed his eyes, the tears streaming down his face. One of his brothers were dead! One of his brothers were dead !

…..

..

.

"S-So…that bad guy, Tigerclaw, killed your brother but Mikey died trying to protect Raph?" Mike asked with wide dazed eyes, trying to understand why someone could hate someone else so much that they'd want to kill. The brothers nodded while Raph slumped, Leo looked expressionless, and Donnie looked sad, "I'm very sorry that your brother died."

"Thanks Mike," Donnie smiled sadly, "We're very sorry your mother died as well. Sometimes...bad things just happen." Mike smiled back at Donnie and nodded a little.

"If I ever do anything that annoys you please let me know because I really don't want to make anyone sad," Mike frowned as Leo sighed and Donnie just smiled. Raph rolled his eyes and nodded.

"One more thing. I finished decoding all the files that were found in your old home. And I have a better understanding of why the Purple Dragons are after you," Donnie explained while Mike's eyes went wide and Leo and Raph sat up a little straighter.

"So what do they want?" Leo asked with narrowed eyes.

"They did want the files in our procession but I'm pretty sure that's because they are looking for a computer disc and they thought the files contained the location. They do not," Donnie explained while the others looked confused, "Micah, what did your Mom ever tell you about your Dad?"

Mike looked surprised, "Um, she told me that Dad died in an accident with a car." The turtles all looked between each other.

"Yer thinkin' his dad had somethin' ta do with tha Purple Dragons?" Raph asked curiously and Donnie frowned worriedly and thoughtfully. Donnie sighed and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.

"Well according the files in my lab, Micah's Dad was a former member of the Purple Dragons," Donnie admitted while Raph, Leo, and Micah gasped in shock.

"My Daddy was one of those bad guys?!" Mike cried as his eyes widened. Leo and Raph shared a look with each other while Donnie smiled.

"I don't think your Dad was a bad guy. Those files state that your Dad was a part of some plans that he didn't agree with so he sabotaged it, thus betraying the Purple Dragons. Although, it doesn't state what is so important only that your Dad saved evidence on a computer disk," Donnie explained while Leo leaned in. Raph leaned back, however, in shock, "He must have been killed by the other members and covered it up as an accident. They want the disk because the disk contains the evidence of some wrong doings by the gang."

"So they also killed Mike's mom," Raph growled as Mike looked down with tears in his eyes. He looked so confused that Donnie's heart ached for him, "She musta had tha disk and tha files but hide them away. We found the files but where is tha disk."

"I have no idea. The files didn't have any clues that I know of," Donnie shrugged, looking thoughtful, "The Purple Dragons must think Micah has it or knows where it is somehow. Or maybe they have a clue that we don't know about."

"I wish I knew what horrible thing they had been planning that caused Micah's parents' deaths," Leo frowned as Mike stared sadly at the floor, "Don't worry, we'll get to the bottom of this, Mike." Mike looked at Leo in surprise and nodded.

"We need to go back to Micah's old house. We could have missed something," Donnie proposed as Leo nodded thoughtfully. Raph grinned as he punched one fist into the other.

"I want to go with you," Mike perked up and they looked at him in shock, "I want to be able to help and since I lived there once, I think I might be able to help really good!"

Donnie chuckled while Leo and Raph shared a worried look, "I understand what you mean but its dangerous for you topside-"

"Please! I have to go! I need to make up for making you all so sad!" Mike claimed looking deadly seriously. They stared at him for a moment before Leo let out a chuckle at Mike's cute determined face.

"Only if you listen to everything we tell you to do. And I mean everything," Leo replied very seriously and Mike beamed, nodding his head really fast, "Good, then you can come. We could use what you know about the house."

"And if we see any Dragons…well…that'd be just gravy," Raph grinned like a shark, as Leo rolled his eyes, Donnie smiled, and Mike giggled.

Chapter 7: Finding the Disc

Summary:

Leo, Raph, Donnie, and little Mike go back out to Mike's old home to search for the missing computer disc. Raph's feeling useless in helping Donnie and tries to make a difference.

Chapter Text

Raphael's Point of View:

It was insanely laughable at tha way tha Tyke's whole face lit up when we went ta tha dojo ta get geared up for tha mission. His sky blue eyes, as round and blue as Mikey's had been, practically sparkled as he eyed our weapons. I twirled my sai in hands solely for tha purpose of seein' his eyes light up that much more and I almost huffed out a laugh when his mouth parted in surprise.

"Wow! You guys have such amazing weapons! I can't forget how Donnie hit those bullies with that big stick of his!" Mike exclaimed and I couldn't help myself; I barked out a loud uncontrollable laugh at tha way he described Donnie attackin' "bullies". Even Leo cracked a small smile.

Donnie blushed, his beak scrunched up in that way it did when he was embarrassed, "It's a bo staff, not a stick!"

"What's the difference?" Mike asked as he made a face at Donnie. I was smirkin' at Don's slightly flustered look while I finished strappin' on my belt. "Cause a staff and a stick are both made out wood!"

"That they are except a staff is thicker than a stick and therefore more effective," Donnie eventually gave in with a sigh and paused when Leo moved closer, his weapons and belt strapped ta him. Leo looked at both Donnie and I before noddin' in confirmation. While he did this Mike looked at all three of us with wide blue eyes.

"Everyone's good to go. You remember what you're supposed to do, Mike?" Leo questioned as he squatted down ta Mike's eye level. Mike's eyes went wide as he nodded and he almost looked sorta cute.

"Hold on tight to Donnie and stay close!" He replied and I smirked at Donnie when my brainy brother blushed but looked a bit happy. My brother has gotten ta where I can predict him lately. Leo smiled and I visibly paused. Leo's smiled at us before...but this smile seemed more of his true smile than I've ever seen.

"Let me check on Master Splinter one last time and we'll leave," Leo concluded as we all nodded in confirmation. I watched him leave from where I stood on tha other side of Donnie and tha Tyke. Donnie turned ta tha Tyke and suddenly looked serious but his eyes betrayed a bit of playfulness.

"Okay, Mike, don't forget that you have to hold on tight to me when we leave. Your leg is sprained so you shouldn't walk on it much, okay?" Donnie instructed as I watched on in slight amusement and fascination as Mike avidly listened ta everythin' my brother said, his eyes serious.

"Okay, Donnie," Mike nodded after Don finished explainin' and flashed my brother a bright smile. Somethin' warm and fond settled in my chest as Donnie returned tha smile tenfold. Seems tha little Tyke really had a good effect on my brother. Apparently more than his real brothers had...

My mouth turned into a frown and I wanted ta desperately shake my head at tha negative turn ta my thoughts. We got out all tha sadness earlier...I shouldn't be feelin' anythin' close ta sadness again. Even so, I couldn't help tha thoughts that were tryin' ta break through tha careful wall I'd built up for myself. I couldn't be feelin' resentment ta tha Tyke still but I couldn't help but feel sad that I didn't even seem ta be tha least bit helpful in makin' Donnie better.

"Raph?"

I blinked, realizin' that I had been starin' off into space while I was thinkin'. Both Donnie and tha Tyke were watchin' me with almost a twin worried look. I couldn't help but remember all tha times I had made Mikey look at me that way-

"You good, Raph?" Leo interrupted my train of thought as if he knew what it was, which really wouldn't surprise me because we've started thinkin' a lot alike nowadays, and I looked over ta see him watchin' me with a serious expression as he stood in front of Sensei's closed doors. I knew tha meanin' behind that look even when Donnie or Mike didn't. 'Pull yourself together' was written all over Leo's face. I squared myself and stared back until he barely nodded, "Good, then let's get moving."

Donnie sent me a confused look that I ignored with all my might and then he bent down ta let Mike climb onto his shell. I didn't wait around ta watch tha process and looked away, followin' Leo as soon as I felt Donnie shift until he was close ta beside me. We followed Leo out of tha lair and I felt an odd tenseness in tha air as soon as we have gotten past those turnstiles.

This would be a long mission.

Donnie didn't even once show that he might buckle under tha Tyke's weight, which I wasn't sure if that surprised me or not. Tha Tyke looked so small and must have been so thin too, because Donnie had discovered him in a junkyard. He was probably used ta eatin' little and I have a brief moment ta feel sorry for tha kid. Although it occurred ta me...never once did this kid give up; even alone with tha knowledge of his mom's death and the lonely nights at a junkyard where he was forced ta hide from tha Purple Dragons did he just stop. He kept goin'...he kept survivin'...and that alone, if nothin' else, reminded meso much of Mikey that it hurt more than tha past hurts have.

"You seem distracted, Raph," Leo startled me from where we had been runnin' nearly side by side. He looked at me throw narrowed eyes and I huffed, "Maybe we should have waited to do this tomorrow-"

"I'm fine, Fearless, don't worry about it," I immediately replied, feelin' annoyed that he was watchin' me so closely. I flicked my eyes ta where Donnie was near me on my right, but in tha back.

"But after tellin' Mike about our brother's death must have gotten to you-"

"I said I'm fine!" I barked loudly, louder than I had meant ta considerin' I wasn't expectin' ta respond like that. Leo, for his part, had jumped a little as did Donnie, who now settled his wide brown eyes on me. Great.

"Raph..." Leo was lookin' at me, not with pity and not even with worry, but with sadness. I felt angry for him showin' me that sadness. I didn't need him ta feel bad for me or ta treat me like I was slowin' down tha team.

"I'm fine, Leo," I growled, brushin' past his shoulder and walkin' ahead of him, "Let's just continue tha mission!"

"Sure, Raph," Leo replied and I continued ta glare, feelin' tha unexplained anger bubble in my chest. Leo resumed leadin' us back ta tha Tyke's house and I ignored tha confused/concerned looks that both Donnie and Mike were givin' me. I was half afraid that Donnie would question me and I knew I'd blow up if he did.

Thankfully he didn't and most of tha way there was quiet and slow, since tha Tyke couldn't walk on his feet and Donnie had ta adjust ta tha Tyke's weight, no matter how little of an adjustment that was anyway. I began ta feel calmer when we got closer ta tha Tyke's house. After we'd gotten away from the bigger towers we had to stick to the shadows of houses and other small firms ta keep hidden, but my brothers and I were used ta a challenge.

As we ran from another house into tha abandoned alleyway of homes I eyed tha kid from where I was standin' a little in front of Donnie. Tha Tyke was quiet and starin' at tha alleyway with almost sad but blank eyes, as if he wasn't sure how ta react ta his old street. I know it had been awhile since he'd been here, but I expected him ta be sadder than he seemed ta be.

Leo led us straight ta tha Tyke's old home without any problems, which was a bit of a let-down and a relief at tha same time, and I nearly flinched when tha Tyke suddenly gasped, his eyes goin' wide as he looked upon his old home, "This is it! Donnie, this is my old home!"

Donnie smiled a little, but it looked sad from where I was standin', "That's right, buddy. We've been here before."

"It's just like I remember it," Mike breathed, his eyes takin' in everythin' without blinkin'. I turned ta look at Leo but was surprised ta see him starin' at tha Tyke, somethin' sad happenin' ta his eyes. I frowned, feelin' a random sense of guilt from snappin' at him earlier.

"Well let's not just stand around starin' at it," I huffed as I turned and began walkin' up tha driveway. I heard Donnie whisperin' somethin' ta tha kid while I felt Leo's eyes on me. I turned, narrowin' my eyes at him but then blinked when I found him already walkin' beside me. He looked at me and smirked a little, movin' on without a word. I furrowed my brow at him and followed quickly. I barely heard Donnie and tha kid hurryin' after us.

As soon as we entered tha old house we could tell that it was different than when we had come before. It was still messy with things scattered everywhere, but it was messier and more furniture was turned over. Leo frowned heavily as Donnie and Mikey entered, "Looks like they came back for another check of the place."

"Ewww, it smells bad in here," Tha Tyke moaned and Donnie chuckled a little in agreement. I nodded my head without thinkin' about it because I also agreed, not that we can do anythin' about that, "It's also very dirty."

"Yeah well...tha Purple Dragons have been here at least twice," I commented and tha Tyke's eyes went wide, "They are still searching for tha files about tha computer disc they think ya have."

"If my Mommy kept a disc thingy then she'd of kept it in her room," Tha Tyke replied with a very focused look on his face that was a bit cute. Only a bit. Donnie smiled at him and Leo nodded, wastin' no time as he moved towards tha master bedroom. I looked when Mike turned his head ta look at Donnie over Don's shoulder, "Mommy kept things in there that she didn't want me to see or touch sometimes."

"That makes sense," Donnie concluded with that cheesy smile, "Parents often hide things to spare their children any worry."

I rolled my eyes when tha Tyke smiled in a confused way. Donnie would never change in tha way he sometimes talked, even ta little kids that wouldn't understand what he was sayin'. I sighed and they looked at me, "Why don't you and tha Tyke take his room and I'll search this one since Fearless has tha bedroom?"

"Sure thing, Raph," Donnie smiled at me and I went with an easy smirk in return as tha Tyke studied me for a moment.

"If it helps, Mommy spent most of her time in this room when she wasn't in her bedroom or the kitchen," Mike offered with a bright smile, his eyes watchin' me for any negative reaction as if it was practice. I nodded with that same smirk and watched as they walked into Mike's old room, "Oh wow! My room hasn't changed much!"

"Really?! But it's so unclean!" Donnie commented in disbelief and I blinked before laughin' quietly. I peered into the kitchen where I could see Fearless movin' around in tha bedroom. Once I saw that both my brothers were occupied I began ta search as well. Trash and paper littered the room along with cobwebs and an insane amount of dust. I sighed as I got to work shiftin' paper before movin' tha cushions off tha couch ta check for tha disc.

Walkin' over ta tha table I could immediately tell that a TV used ta be there, a small one at least but it was no longer there. I rolled my eyes because it made sense for tha Purple Dragons ta take it and at tha same time it didn't. I looked behind tha table and in tha drawers, but found nothin' but more dusty webs and dead bugs.

I stepped around ta where a run down stereo cabinet rested and peered inside at tha old china dishes and knick knacks. Did tha tyke's mom just leave everythin' behind when they became homeless? I don't really understand that but at tha same time maybe she couldn't carry so much. I have a lot of things that I love back at tha lair, but if it came down to bein' homeless than I'd just at least want Sensei and my brothers with me.

Well, I'd find nothin' in tha livin' room it seemed. Time ta move on. I glanced at tha kitchen and carefully moved there, meetin' tha eyes of Fearless, who seemed a bit blank yet frustrated. Looks like Fearless Leader is havin' no luck either. I flicked my eyes ta tha counters in tha kitchen and began to shift things around. Tha kitchen didn't have much in tha way of appliances, but there could still be places that Mike's mom left that computer disc.

Movin on ta tha cabinets proved ta be a bad idea when a roach fell out of one of them. I yelped loudly involuntarily and moved backward so fast that I hit tha fridge and caused it ta shake. Leo was by my side with swords drawn, which was amusin' somewhere in tha back of my mind, and looked stupified when he saw tha roach, "Really Raph? It's just a tiny roach."

I glared at him as he disposed of it, his eyes reflectin' that he was playin' with me but I didn't find it amusin' when it came ta those tiny devils. Never have...and they know that, "Whatever...so no luck?"

Leo frowned, "None at all. It's so frustratin'. I've checked everywhere; even where we checked last time."

"Nothin' in tha livin' room either," I added and his frown deepened, "Donnie and tha Tyke are checkin' tha other bedroom and tha bathroom."

"Well I'll help you check in here," He replied and I nodded since there were more places ta hide somethin' in here. Plus, I hate ta admit I might need him if there are more bugs. I grumbled under my breath as I got ta work on tha other side of tha room, since I was still paranoid there were more bugs. Leo shook his head at me and I glared before bending down ta look into tha bottom cabinets.

I kept on searchin' this way until Leo startled me by slammin' one of tha cabinet doors shut, "I don't understand! Where in the world would this woman keep a computer disc?! It doesn't even make sense to keep it in a kitchen!"

Blinkin' at my older brother's strange behavior I just shrugged but nodded in agreement when he looked at me. He stared at me for a moment, in tha way he did when he wanted ta ask me a personal question and I frowned.

"Raph! Leo! I found something!" Donnie called loudly from tha other end of tha house and I felt relieved. Saved by Don. Leo and I instantly took off, finding Don in tha bathroom with tha Tyke sittin' on tha toilet. Donnie was hoverin' above tha sink, his hands working at what looked like an old medicine cabinet, "It's old and stuck to the wall, but there's something behind here."

"Can we all just pull it off the wall?" Leo questioned as he turned to our brainy brother. Donnie nodded and I immediately walked up on tha left as Leo took tha right and all three of us pulled tha cabinet off with no troubles. It made a flinchable noise and the sound was gratin' ta my ears. Mike actually put his hands on his ears as his eyes widened at us.

We carefully placed tha medicine cabinet on tha floor before turnin' ta look at tha hole in tha wall. I grinned widely when I saw an old yellow folder of some sorts. Donnie grabbed it and I put a hand on his shoulder, "Great job, Donnie!"

For whatever reason, Donnie and Leo looked over at me in surprise until Donnie smiled back at me while Leo kept starin'. I felt annoyed that Leo was so on my case tonight but was interrupted by tha Tyke, "Wow! I didn't know there was a hole there! Hey Donnie, do you think my mom was a superhero?!"

Leo suddenly laughed a little and Donnie did too while I just rolled my eyes and smiled, "Actually, I think so buddy. She was pretty darn close to it."

"Yay! Did you find the computer dash?" He asked and I actually did laugh that time.

"You mean computer disc? I'm about to check," Donnie smiled as he glanced at me then carefully opened the file before pullin' out some sort of red paper casin'. Leo rose a brow at Donnie, who studied it intently. He flipped tha top of tha case open and pulled out what looked like a CD or DVD. Leo and I grinned widely, "Yup, looks like we found it!"

"YASSS!" Tha tyke scared my brothers and I by leapin' off tha toilet, but hardly rememberin' his hurt ankle. Donnie literally dropped tha file, which Leo looked ready ta dive just ta save tha evidence, and grabbed tha kid while I watched with wide eyes. Everyone paused afterward, "Sorry guys, I just got excited."

"Damn, I don't know who was more dramatic here," I claimed and Donnie chuckled as he straightened Mike out. Leo rolled his eyes at me as he straightened with tha yellow folder in hand. I watched as he gave it back ta Don, who put it in his brown bag that he always seemed ta carry nowadays.

"Anyways, you did good Donnie," Leo praised with a small smile and Don's face glowed from tha compliments in a way that made me smile too. It vanished when they turned around, "Let's get moving. We don't need to be out longer than we have to. We need to figure out what's on this disc."

"Then let's go already!" I quipped with a grin as I ran ahead of them. Leo yelled at me and I heard him dashin' after me but I was already out of tha door of tha house, grinnin' even more. I barely tilted my head over my shoulder ta see Fearless hot on my trail, a very small grin on his face as well. Donnie was behind Leo, with little Tyke on his shell. I laughed and picked up my pace.

Literally jumpin' on tha roof of an old home was fun and it was hilarious ta see Leo's eyes widen a little before he tried tha same jump. I slowed down only a fraction of a second, because my brothers were just as fast, and then hollered over my shoulder, "Come on guys! Tha Tyke could run faster than you on one leg!"

I smirked when I heard Mike burst out laughin' and Donnie laughed right with him. It felt good ta make Donnie laugh; or anyone for that matter. Now I think I understand what Mikey meant with his last words for us ta laugh a smile. My smile dropped at my last thoughts and suddenly I was tackled from tha side. I rolled across tha roof and hit tha ground with Leo beside me, lookin' playful as he coughed a little, "Well, I haven't had to run like that in awhile!"

"You guys okay?!" Donnie called from tha roof above us and I wiped tha frown off my face so they didn't see that I had frowned at anythin'. I playfully pushed Leo off of me and he stood up ta look up at Don.

"We're good," Leo answered as he helped haul me up. I nodded at him in thanks and he smiled a little, noddin' back at me. Donnie jumped down to join us and tha Tyke squealed joyously at soarin' through tha air. I rolled my eyes at his reaction as Donnie joined us, "Okay, let's get going again. We don't need to be out here too long with the Purple Dragons looking for Mike."

"Let them come! I wanna watch you guys fight 'em!" Mike bubbled, his face all bright and happy. I laughed a little.

"I like tha way this kid thinks," I smirked and Leo sent me a look that I ignored. Donnie shook his head at us all.

"We don't need to get in a fight, especially with you here. That's too dangerous," Donnie reprimanded, remindin' me of Leo and his mother-hennin'. I smirked a little as Leo nodded in agreement to Don's words, starin' at Mike.

"Awww, okayyy," Tha Tyke pouted as he looked at me slowly, "But can I watch you practice at home later, Raph?!"

"Sure thing, Tyke," I nodded and he 'whooped' as Leo and Don turned ta me. Donnie surprised me by smilin' warmly and gratefully. Suddenly my heart hurt as I realized how much I missed any of my brothers smilin' at me like that. In tha way that was solely because of me and somethin' I did.

'Thanks, Raph', He mouthed ta and I grinned toothily, noddin' my head just barely as Leo turned around.

"Well, let's go, guys," Leo smiled just a little as he took off. I instantly took off after him with Donnie close behind. We went tha same way we came in; through tha shadows. After 20 minutes of shiftin' through tha shadows of old homes, we made it back into tha main city where we could climb up on high top roofs from fire escapes.

Donnie had ta tell tha Tyke on numerous occasions ta not yell out in glee every time he jumped, which made me keep grinin', especially when tha kid whined afterward. He really was just like Mikey. It was pure ridiculousness. We jumped from roof ta roof and I did fancy flips ta impress Mike, which worked very well. Leo rolled his eyes at me as he competed with me ta impress tha kid. Donnie just smiled throughout it all, as if what happened way earlier didn't happen at all today.

A sudden gush of wind had me slowin' down as my eyes narrowed suspiciously. I looked ta Fearless, who was already alert and ready. I smirked, feelin' that rush of adrenaline I always got before a fight. Donnie seemed ta get it too because his hands curled around Mike's legs. I knew it before it happened.

I ducked out of tha way of a poorly thrown knife. Donnie yelped and Leo literally disappeared from my sight. I rolled on tha ground into a crouch and growled low in my throat. A few of the more experienced Purple Dragons came out from behind a water tower and others behind an air conditionin' unit. Then I heard some windows openin' and footsteps on tha fire escape on tha side of us. An ambush...

The Purple Dragon with purple and blue hair grinned smugly at us, "I knew you'd show up. You always come this way. That's what Bobby says. Good job by the way Bobby, you totally called it!" A random dude at tha side cheered and I rolled my eyes.

"I don't care what ya and Bobby said," I sneered at tha guy, who met my eyes with a narrowed stare, "Ya need ta leave unless ya want me ta beat tha holy hell outta ya." A few guys startled backward and my lips curled up smugly.

"Not without the boy," the Purple-haired guy replied as he brought out a metal pipe. I watched as tha others drew random weapons. I immediately drew my own and I heard my brothers draw theirs too, "Give him to us and then we'll be on our way. No fighting necessary."

"Like hell," Donnie snarled, which startled me and I heard a slightly loud exhale that I knew came from Leo, "You're not taking this innocent kid. You might wanna listen t my brother's advice." I smirked again and I flicked my eyes over a little ta see Donnie with Mike pushed behind him, holdin' onto Don's shell ta balance himself. Tha poor kid looked a bit pale, his wide blue eyes shakin' as he took in tha Dragons.

I smirked again and I flicked my eyes over a little ta see Donnie with Mike pushed behind him, holdin' onto Don's shell ta balance himself. Tha poor kid looked a bit pale, his wide blue eyes shakin' as he took in tha Dragons.

"We're not leaving until we have that boy," Another Purple Dragon argued as he took a step closer, a baseball bat in his hands and a cap on his head. Leo growled as he came closer to us and suddenly tha Dragon stopped. I twirled my sai, ready ta just end tha conversation.

"Well, that's not going to happen. So looks like you're out of luck," Leo retorted and I watched anger bleed into every face of tha Purple Dragons. I watched tha side for tha fire escape, wonderin' when tha others would climb up.

"I thought you'd be stupid, so looks like we'll have to take him the hard way," The purple-haired guy sneered as he jerked his head. The others began advancin' and I smirked, rushin' forwards so fast they didn't see me comin'. As soon as I engaged them I began cuttin' them up real good wth my sai. I heard Leo engage a few too but I kept in mind that Mike was here and would not care ta see us killin' people.

"Donnie, but your mask on Mike backwards!" Leo yelled, somehow readin' my thoughts. Don immediately shuffled ta hurriedly do just that as tha kid squeaked in alarm. I rushed ta my brother's aide and kept them off him so he could move Mike closer ta tha air conditionin' unit ta hide. Tha kid looked from side ta side, his whole body shakin' in waves as he reached out for someone. I felt my heart break a little inside, but not as much as seein' Donnie's face fall hard.

"It'll be over soon, Mike. I'm right here; just put your hand son your ears and it'll be over quick," Donnie promised and mike practically hit himself in tha head ta get his hands on his ears. I turned and body slammed a Dragon away from my family.

"Fucking freaks! That kid's not worth all this trouble!" One Dragon yelled, his nose bloodied by don's staff. I felt sorry for that guy tha moment he uttered those words. Donnie practically jumped on tha guy and I looked away ta check tha fire escape. As soon as I looked over I noticed them climbin' over, only those Dragons were armed with somethin' different than pipes, bats, and tire irons. They had guns.

"Fall back!" Leo near screamed in horror. We couldn't do much against bullets. It took a miracle and a shell ta save ourselves from them. So whenever guns were involved we sorta left fast. I dashed over ta tha kid as that first shots fired out. Donnie threw a smoke bomb down and I hurled off tha roof as fast as I could possibly go, tha kid grabbin' onto my neck like his life depended on it, and it did.

I winced as I landed awkwardly on my feet, but the pain subsided and I saw Leo urgin' me over, holdin' tha manhole cover open for us. I ran forward and clumsily climbed down before jumpin', watchin' as a minute went by before Don jumped down followed by Leo, who closed tha manhole quickly before joinin' us.

Donnie literally cried as I transferred Mike ta him and tha kid was no better than Don was, "Donnie! Raph! Leo! Are you guys okay! That was scary! That wasn't cool like I thought it'd be!"

Leo frowned and so did I as Donnie removed his mask from Mike's eyes and Mike blinked rapidly before huggin' Donnie hard. Donnie sighed in a relieved way, "I know it wasn't, Buddy. Fighting isn't supposed to be cool, though. Especially not the way the Purple Dragons do it."

"I agree," Leo muttered as he shifted and I glanced at him, raisin' a brow at his behavior. He looked pissed, which I understand, but he looked off too.

"What happened that made Leo sound so scared?" Mike asked as he looked from Donnie ta Leo, who blinked at bein' involved. Donnie and I shared a glance and I nodded. Better not lie ta tha kid.

"They pulled guns on us, Mike," Leo answered before Donnie could and Mike's eyes went wide, "That's what they do sometimes when they really want something and know they can't beat us. It's cowardly."

"I think so too! Guns are very dangerous, my Mom said! You're never supposed to us it unless you're hunting for food or unless someone is trying to hurt you!" Mike replied very seriously and Leo smiled, noddin' his head as Don hugged Mike tight. I looked away and realized my heartbeat still wasn't normal. I took a breath.

"Let's go home and see what's on this disc," Leo ordered softly but didn't move to walk in front of us like he usually does. I rose my brow again and he noticed, "What?"

"You're actin' off. What's wrong?" I asked bluntly and his eyes widened. He looked conflicted before he sighed, shaking his head. I noticed the way he suddenly tilted the left half of himself away from me. I glared and grabbed his right arm, jerkin' him ta see his left arm then gasped at what I saw, "What tha hell!"

"It's nothing! We've had worse!" Leo frowned, yankin' away as I stared at that bullet wound in his arm. Donnie gasped, tha color leavin' his face and Mike gasped too, his eyes widenin', "I didn't want Mike to see it, but that's too late. Let's just get home."

"Yes, I need to clean and address that wound immediately!" Donnie fretted as he pushed Leo in front of him. Leo complained and I rubbed my face. What in tha world made Fearless think he could hide an injury from me of all people?

Well, today was both good and bad, but mostly bad. And I really wanted ta kill more Dragons tonight but oh well. I shoulda known they'd pull guns on us. At least Mike is safe and we got tha disc.

I just hope that what we discover isn't somethin' that we can't handle.

Chapter 8: Unveiled Plans

Chapter Text

Micah's (Mike) Point of View:

Donnie had placed me in the pit and turned on the television so fast that I didn't even see him move. It reminded me of a vampire! My eyes still felt wide as I watched Splinter rush Leo into Donnie's lab with Donnie and Raph on their heels. I guess they didn't want me to see all the blood and I'm sorta glad I didn't. My chest already felt a little funny when I breathed, like I couldn't breathe all the way in.

My stomach was hurting a little when I remembered what Leo's wound looked like. I had been hurt before, but not with a gun! That was really horrible, but Leo didn't even look scared at all! I wish I could have seen his face when those scary Dragons brought out the guns, because he had sounded scared then, but he didn't look scared…not afterward at least.

I watched the TV blankly, but my eyes kept going towards the closed doors of the lab to the floor and back to the TV. My hands curled and uncurled around the end of my shirt. I was worried about Leo because Donnie had a really bad look on his face when he saw that Leo was hurt. Briefly I had wondered…did it remind them of Mikey every time one of them got hurt? It probably did…

"I wish I knew what to say to help them…" I trailed off as I curled my arms around my knees and placed my chin on the top of my knees. I felt very sad for them and very worried too. Things were okay when we were out there, but those scary Dragons had to mess it up as usual! Why can't they just leave us alone?! I don't want to be captured, but I don't ever want one of them to get hurt because of me again. Not ever. I'd rather they take me than that!

The door to Donnie's lab opened a few moments later, and I jumped out of my own skin at the sound. I had been lost in thought and I wasn't paying attention to the stupid TV. Raph came out of Donnie's lab, his eyes blank and a scowl on his face. He looked over at me and his look softened for some reason, "Leo's okay, Tyke."

"R-Really?" I asked worriedly, standing up to twist the hem of my shirt anxiously again. Raph nodded quietly, looking bothered, before he walked over to me in two strides. I knew that Raph wouldn't hurt me, but he was so big and I couldn't help flinching, "L-Leo's really okay?"

"Yeah, Leo's really okay," He assured and I finally glanced back at him to see him sit down close to where I had been sitting. His eyes were trained on the TV and I blinked, "And don't go all broodin' on me, Tyke. It's not yer fault that Leo got shot either. It was tha Purple Dragons."

My mouth fell open and I stared at him with wide eyes. He chuckled for some reason and I stammered, "H-How did y-you know that I was f-feelin' guilty?"

"Because-" Raph smirked but then the smirk vanished off his face after he'd paused a moment, "Because ya are just like Mikey."

Instantly, I felt horrible for even asking, "S-Sorry…" I had promised I wouldn't do anything to make them sad about Mikey again!

"Are ya really sayin' sorry for how ya feel?" Raph asked in disbelief and I'm sure that if he had eyebrows, which was funny to imagine, he'd be raising one. I smiled a little when I thought about it.

"No, I think…I just…sorry, I-I mean not sorry but uh-"

Raph shook his head in wonder, "Never mind. I know what ya meant." I watched him nervously, still smiling a little, before deciding to sit down close to him but not exactly next to him. He blinked over at me before crossing his arms and looking away.

Donnie's lab doors opened again and I whirled around in my seat to watch Splinter come walking out slowly. He looked okay for the most part, but he walked slow because he was old and he looked like he was not feeling the best. I wondered if he let his sons hug him, because I would hug him if that was okay.

Raph also looked over at Splinter, who smiled at us both after a moment, "Leonardo's wound was wrapped up nicely and treated for possible infections."

I immediately sighed in relief and wondered why Splinter and Raph were grinning at me, "So Donnie got the bullet out?" They both looked shocked at me all of a sudden, "What? Is that not supposed to happen? My mom said that if you get shot then they have to find the bullets."

"N-No that is correct, Micah," Splinter praised and I wrinkled my nose at my full name. He chuckled and Raph grinned over at me again, "I want you both to join us in Donatello's laboratory. He's about to analyze the computer disc."

"Is it somethin' that tha Tyke can see?" Raph suddenly interrupted and I turned to him in surprise.

"If he can handle Leonardo being shot," Splinter started with amusement and a wink in my direction that I giggled at, "Then he can handle the disc. Micah needs to be aware of what's going on since he is the major part of it."

Raph hesitated before agreeing, "If ya say so. C'mon Tyke." I looked at him in confusion before yelping when he reached over and picked me up like I weighed the same as any stuffed animal, "Ya sound like a dog when ya do that."

I glared up at his smirking face, "I do not!" He only laughed and continued past Splinter into the lab. I immediately recognized that Leo was sitting up on one of the bed things, looking over Donnie's shoulder. They both turned when they heard Raph come in and I then saw the weird looking laptop that Donnie keeps near his desk. It sure didn't look like a normal computer thing…

"Hey Mike," Donnie greeted as he smiled at me and I smiled back, surprised to notice how relieved I felt that he was calm and smiling again instead of looking like he did when Leo was hurt. I looked over and Leo's eyes darted away from mine after a second, "Thanks for bringing him in, Raph."

"Sure thing, Don," Raph said with a growing grin on his face. I had noticed that Raph, like me, always seemed a bit happier around Donnie. Donnie was just awesome, wasn't he? Raph set me on the desk beside Donnie's weird computer thing and Donnie looked behind Raph to where Splinter stood patiently.

"Okay, I loaded the disc in and my computer is recognizing the content now. It will only take a few seconds and I'll be able to see the files on the disc," Donnie explained while looking at his family. I only blinked, feeling a bit confused at what he was saying at first. I think he just meant that soon we can see what's on the disc thing!

"So, we are obviously thinking that Micah's father is involved with whatever is on the disc?" Splinter spoke up after a moment, looking thoughtful. I frowned at the mention of my first name only to realize that he'll never call me Mike. Maybe it was too painful for him to call me Mike…I shouldn't get so bratty about it…

"That's my theory, seeing how his mother inherited the disc and the paper files we found mentioned his father being involved with the Purple Dragons saying that 'He had some evidence of a crime they committed' and then he was killed soon after," Donnie explained some more and my chest went cold at the reminder that both of my parents are dead because of these scary Dragon dudes.

Splinter nodded before, as if he could read my thoughts, his eyes wandered over to me. Raph and Donnie noticed the shift in his eyes and looked over at me as well. I was surprised to see that Donnie immediately looked guilty, "Oh, I'm sorry Mike. I shouldn't have said it so plainly like that."

"It's okay, Donnie. It's the truth, right?" I replied, honestly confused as to why he was looking at me like that. I was even more confused when he looked surprised and Raph snickered at us both. I even saw Leo crack a small smile from where he silently sat, "I don't remember much about my daddy, only the stories my mommy would tell me…but he must have also been some sort of superhero that wanted to bring those scary dragons to justice!"

Donnie chuckled and Raph laughed while shaking his head. Leo smiled even more this time and Splinter smiled softly at me as he leaned in, "I think that you are absolutely right, Micah."

Before anyone could say anything else a loud beep echoed the lab, making me jump. Donnie quickly turned towards the computer thing and I began to feel nervous. What if it said that my dad actually was a bad guy? Or that somehow my mom was too? Why am I even thinking like this?

Raph peered over Donnie's shoulder and they were both so close to me that my leg was pressed against Raph's side. I quickly looked over at a new sound to notice Leo immediately jumping off the bed thing to join his brothers. Splinter moved as well, coming to a stop when Leo did. Had they always moved in sync like that?

Then, after a silent minute of two, Donnie leaned back looking shocked. I literally jumped in fright when Raph made a noise that sounded like a wolf growling. My eyes widened as Leo took a couple of steps closer. I could now make out the bandage wrapped tightly around his arm just above his elbow.

"What is it?" Splinter asked calmly, as if Raph growling was very normal. I immediately looked over at Donnie only for our eyes to meet because he was staring at me with…horror?

"Donnie?" I whispered, my eyes still wide and I could feel some sort of trembling. Was that me? Donnie composed himself immediately and drew in a sharp intake of breath.

"Mike's father was with the Purple Dragons, that much is very true. But this was before they started working for the Shredder. We've known that the Purple Dragons work for the Shredder now thanks to Xever and Hun," Donnie began, licking his lips and pausing for some reason.

Raph looked at him once before resuming, "As soon as Xever joined, because he joined before Hun did, tha Tyke's father realized that Shredder was orderin' tha Purple Dragons to do stuff that went against their usual stuff."

"What did his father discover that is so important?" Leo asked with a serious expression on his face. All the while my heart was hammering in my chest. Who was Shredder? Why do they seem to know him? He must be pretty bad for them to be this…angry?

"He was ordering the Purple Dragons to gather enough chemicals to flush the entire sewers out. Enough to kill anything alive," Donnie muttered with an intense look on his face. Splinter gasped and my eyes flew to him. His eyes were wide and Leo's jaw was clenched in anger, "They were doing it, but it was a long process and it was hard to keep the chemicals safe. Mike's father realized just what they wanted to do, because Xever kept them in the dark about the use of the chemicals, and was horrified that they were stealing chemicals to kill; even if it was just sewer animals/rodents."

Donnie winced and Raph growled again, his eyes blazing, "This was decided when tha Tyke's mother was pregnant with him…just after…"

Leo and Splinter suddenly looked shocked and horrified at the same time, "Just after Michelangelo died."

My heart skipped a beat at their obvious pain and my eyes widened more. I whirled my head around to Donnie and saw his fists clenched, a sad expression on his face for just a second before he looked angry again, "Micah's father set fire to one of the buildings that had the chemicals, so that their plan was foiled and then stole these plans that are on this disc, hoping to prove to the police that the Purple Dragons were taking steps too far with planning to kill."

I gulped loudly and everyone turned in my direction, "Th…Then the scary Dragons killed my dad because they didn't want to be found out…"

"Yeah because Shredder would also punish them," Raph glared at the ground as he crossed his arms and I felt my stomach turn at the truth.

"And then they realized he didn't have the disc or anything on him when they tracked him down and killed him. So they moved onto where he lived, only Mike's mother became homeless without any income to support her and Mike. So they tracked them down and then…" Leo trailed off, looking towards me but my vision was blurring with tears.

I almost jumped when someone wrapped their arms around me and I knew it was Donnie, because Donnie sometimes smelled odd…like band aids and oil. I let Donnie hug me close and blinked rapidly to keep from crying like a baby. I wanted to be strong like Leo and Raph, not a blubbering baby!

"They still didn't find the documents. They must have been tracking Micah's mother for years and when they finally found her and killed her…she did not have the documents they sought," Splinter continued with a soothing warm voice, "This is why they want Micah and have been tracking him down now too. Everything makes more sense now. I cannot believe that the Shredder would go that far to make such plans."

"He's made similar ones before," Leo murmured to his Father, "And we stopped them. That was years ago though….and I had wondered all those years ago after Mikey killed Tigerclaw why Shredder didn't retaliate right away."

I could practically feel the flinches every time one of them said Mikey's name out loud. I felt bad for them but couldn't get past my own sadness at losing both of my parents like this.

Opening my mouth, I tried to say something but it barely came out…like a low whisper. Donnie leaned closer to me and sounded confused when he asked, "What did you say, Mike?"

"Why was my dad with those scary Dragons in the first place? They were never good people," I frowned, my tears burning my eyes. I fiercely moved my arms out of Donnie's crushing embrace to rub at my eyes.

"I do not know," Splinter answered as everyone went silent. I turned to look at him and his ears were flat on his head as he looked sadly at me, "As a parent, I understand that you would do whatever you needed to protect and fend for your child. Your father must have only been there to get whatever income he could."

I nodded, feeling a little better that my dad still wasn't the total bad guy of the story. Leo and Raph shared a look before Raph frowned, "Do ya think they have been restartin' tha plan, Fearless?"

"I believe so. They've kept at a down low…notice how we've barely had any trouble with them other than this recent trouble because of Mike?" Leo spoke with authority and Raph nodded. I felt Donnie nod behind me too, "I think Shredder is renewing the plan but it's taken all these years because the Purple Dragons need enough supply for the entire sewers…"

"Yes, because they are not aware of where we are exactly and the sewers are very large," Donnie replied with sudden awareness, "I see what you mean now, Leo. We've only really had some trouble with some of Shredder's goons but we haven't seen him directly in years."

"Whose Shredder?" I blurted and their eyes darted to my face. I blushed that I might have sounded rude, "He sounds like a super villain from a comic book."

Something flashed across their eyes and I was starting to recognize a pattern in their looks when I reminded them of Mikey. I opened my mouth to apologize but Raph beat me to it, "He is a super villain, Mike. He's bad news and has always been very jealous of Master Splinter."

"He's done terrible things to me throughout my adulthood," Splinter added with a look of regret and sadness that took my breath away. Leo put his arm around his father and Splinter sobered up, "Many evil ninja and mutants follow under his leadership as he rules by fear."

"Mutants?" I voiced in confused horror, "Mutants…like you guys?"

"Yes, but not all mutants are evil like that," Donnie murmured to me and I looked to see a small smile on his face, "We have mutant and human friends alike."

My eyes widened in shock, "Really? More mutants?!"

"Maybe you'll meet them soon," Leo promised with that authority look again that caught Donnie's and Raph's attention.

"Fearless?" Raph asked with surprised written all over his face.

"We're going to need our friend's help with this because this concerns most of them too," Leo declared with a serious look in his eye. I was still blown away by the fact that they were others like Donnie, "I'll make the calls to some of our friends. Raph you should be the one to call Slash…"

"On it," Raph agreed easily as he practically flew out of the room. Splinter watched Leo for a moment before sighing.

"I do not wish for our friends to be harmed but I am worried about if you plan to contact…Leatherhead?" Splinter whispered in a way that sounded painful and Leo froze before standing straight and nodding slightly.

"Let me handle that Father. If he knows the situation, he'll understand…plus he lives in the sewers too so it affects him as well," Leo explained and Splinter nodded calmly, "I am going to ask them to come over tomorrow, so we don't have to keep explaining on the phone. This way they can meet Micah too and understand why…"

My heart pounded in my chest again and Donnie squeezed me in his hug. Leo looked over at us for a second before sighing, "Donnie, you might need to tell Mike about each of our friends, just so that he isn't frightened when they get here. Plus, you'd be the best person to explain…. about Leatherhead."

I wondered who this guy was to make them choke up like that. I frowned worriedly, my own sadness getting pushed to the back of my brain, but before I could question Leo was out the door.

Splinter sighed worriedly, "I am going to make some calming tea for everyone and then call Miwa. It has been a few weeks since I've seen her and she'd want to be a part of this as well."

"That's a good idea," Donnie murmured soothing and I felt annoyingly confused. Why did Splinter look sad at this Miwa girl? Splinter left the room just as I turned anxiously in Donnie arms. He looked down at me in a determined way that made me even more confused, "Don't worry Mike…our friends will love you after they understand…"

Something suddenly occurred to me and I felt very sad, "I'll remind them of Mikey too?" Pain flashed on Donnie's face as he nodded and I hugged him close, "I'm really sorry Donnie."

"It's not your fault, Mike. I am curious about something that keeps coming to attention though…" Donnie trailed off curiously and I looked up at him in confusion, "How your so much like him. Your birthday is the day after Mikey died…"

My eyes widened at this reminder and I gripped my hands together as he continued curiously, "You're not a mutant, but you have a lot of the same physical markers as Mikey had…and you act like him too."

"I…I don't understand," I stuttered, hoping Donnie wasn't angry with me or something. I hope he isn't getting really sad or anything too…Donnie looked down at me in surprise before standing and putting me on the ground in front of him. He rubbed my head affectionately as I blinked at him.

"I'm not angry," He answered my thoughts as if he could read them and my eyes widened, "I'm just curious...I've read a lot over my entire lifetime so I don't really put much faith into religion…but I can swear I've read something about this type of thing before."

I felt even more confused, "About what? Me being like Mikey?"

"Yes," Donnie nodded and I paused. He shook his head and sighed, "Now is not the time though. Alright, I better get you prepared for who you're going to see."

Another thought occurred to me, "Are you asking all your friends to come?"

"Yes, I'm pretty sure…why?" Donnie asked with a look of worry. I smiled shyly.

"So April will come?" I questioned and then Donnie looked surprised before something warm happened to his face, "Yes, she'll come if we call her. Casey too…they always have and always will. This also means you'll get to meet Shadow. She also knows all our mutant friends."

Suddenly I was excited, "I'll get to meet Shadow too!?"

He chuckled at once and nodded his head as I beamed. It's been so long since I've met another kid my age! I wonder if she's nice? I hope she's nice and will play with me! Or at least help explain to me what's all going on exactly. Plus, if she's there I won't feel so...small and helpless.

"Amazing!" I laughed as I jumped once in the air. I remembered something I wanted to ask and sobered up, "Um…and Donnie?"

"Yeah, Mike?"

"Who's...uh…. who's Leatherhead?" I asked slowly, hoping to not cause Donnie anymore pain. Donnie's eyes widened and he startled for a minute before calming himself. I watched him as he turned slightly away, his eyes sad.

"Leatherhead was Mikey's best friend…" Donnie replied and I gasped loudly, blushing after I did so. Donnie looked at me to gage my reaction, "When Mikey…died…Leatherhead always used to have these episodes at certain times…but after that, he'd have episodes often. So often that he ended up nearly killing Rockwell, a teammate of his. When he realized how dangerous with grief he was…he left his team and moved into the sewers."

I was shocked and sad to hear this, "W…Why did he move into the sewers?"

Donnie looked like he gulped or something, his eyes getting smaller as he looked away from me again, "H…He w-wanted to be close t-to Mikey's grave…"

It was silent for a moment before I could reply, "Oh."

"Mikey was the first person to ever show him kindness, even when he had violent episodes Mikey never cared and most of the time only Mikey could calm him down," Donnie explained further, "Leatherhead is a very dangerous alligator mutant but he'd never willingly hurt anyone that didn't deserve it."

I gulped this time and nodded my head, "Alligator mutant…cool…."

Donnie smiled sadly at me, "I think he'll be better off meeting you, Micah. I know I am."

My eyes widened as I looked up at him, because he was so tall, and just like my Mother, I could detect the love and affection in his eyes. This time I lost the war with my tears and I sobbed, curling into myself as Donnie looked horrified. He didn't know these were good tears.

I launched myself at Donnie when he'd taken a step towards me and somehow I knocked us both down to the ground. I was in Donnie's lap as he hugged me tight like before. I continued to cry into his…chest? Then Donnie was shaking too and I felt tears hit my shoulder, but he was holding me so tightly I couldn't move to make sure.

The doors behind us pushed open again so hard that I winced when it slammed into the wall and Raph never sounded so worried when he yelled, "What's wrong?!"

Donnie never said anything and I was trapped in his arms but I felt another pair wrap around us. It had to have been a few minutes at least before Raph spoke again, "It's alright. You'll both be alright."

The promise in his voice made me want to cry more and Donnie finally found his voice, though it was quiet, "Thanks, Raph."

"Anytime, bro. I was on my way here anyways ta tell ya that tha Mutanimals are all comin' tomorrow mornin'. Leo's already called April and Casey. They'll be down with Shadow in tha mornin' too. Basically tomorrow everyone's comin' in tha mornin'," Raph explained and I felt Donnie nod.

"Leo's calling Leatherhead," Donnie croaked and Raph didn't say anything about that, "And Splinter's calling Karai." Wait, who is that? "Karai's real name is Miwa, but we all call her Karai except Sensei."

"Are you a mind reader, Donnie?" I muttered, surprising myself with how scratchy my voice sounded but I hadn't meant to say that out loud, only think it. Donnie suddenly laughed and I felt Raph laughing too.

"I ask myself that all the time, Tyke," Raph commented as Donnie's arms loosened so that I could pull back. Raph surprised me by rubbing my hair like Donnie had done before, "Don't worry about a thing because we'll all be with ya out there. The others will be…glad to meet ya."

I smiled because I couldn't help it and Raph smirked at me. Donnie was looking at Raph in shock before he smiled very warmly in a way that made Raph look embarrassed and turn away. I beamed.

I still feel a bit sad about things….and everything will be hard. But like Raph sad…I'll never have to be alone again. I only hope that their friends will like me so that I can be their friends too.

Chapter 9: Shock

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Micah stared at Donnie's mostly peaceful face while debating on whether to wait for him to wake up or to just go ahead and leave the room by himself. He wasn't sure if anyone else was up other than him, since it was only 6:34 a.m. He also wasn't sure when the other mutants were going to be here.

Although he was very excited to meet another kid his age, he was also nervous to be meeting other mutants. Would they not like him like Leo and Raph did? And what about this Leatherhead? He was an alligator mutant that became violent easily! They way everyone seemed wary of him made it seem like he was worse than Raph and that scared Mike.

'But Raph helped cheer me up last night…and he seems to try. Does that mean he likes me now? Both Leo and Raph really wanted me to come back here that time! But they just did that for Donnie, right? What do they really think of me?' Mike internally asked, his thoughts racing. Mike peeked up at Donnie's face and wiggled out from under one of Donnie's arms as slowly as he could so he wouldn't wake him up.

He padded out of the door and then looked around the lair with wide eyes. Predictably it looked as though no one else was up. Mike felt uncertain and looked at the ground sadly, "But I'm kinda thirsty…"

"Micah?" Mike jumped three feet in the air and looked up so fast that it hurt his neck. Splinter stood there with wide eyes at the boy's reaction but waited for Micah to regain his bearings. Mike breathed out in relief before rubbing his neck. Splinter was just so tall! "What are you doing out of bed so early?"

"I, uh, had trouble sleeping last night," He admitted, looking insecure, his eyes shifting away from Splinter's, "What, um, what are you doing up? Are you ok?"

Despite that he was worried for the boy, Splinter chuckled at the boy's sudden concern for him. So like Michelangelo, "Yes, I am fine. It is normal for me to be awake by 6 or even 5 a.m. Same with Leonardo."

Mike's eyes went really wide, "Leo gets up early? Is he up right now?"

"Yes, he is meditating right now. We usually meditate together during this time until Raphael and Donatello get up for breakfast at 7 or 7:30," Splinter explained kindly and Mike's eyes sparkled at learning something new about the Turtles, "Training then begins after breakfast at 8 except for Sundays."

"Wow!" Mike gushed as he smiled curiously before a thought occurred to him, "And its Saturday, so that means tomorrow there is no training…trainin' huh?"

Splinter's smile fell a little at Micah's sudden struggling expression, "What troubles you, Micah?"

"Um, well, I was thinkin' about stuff again," Mike blushed, twisting his two front fingers together nervously. He wasn't sure what Splinter or even the others would think about his reoccurring daydream.

"Humor me, my boy," Splinter smiled, kneeling slowly in front of Mike, who blinked in surprise at the action, "Tell me what it is that you were thinking of?"

"A-Ah…well I just was thinkin' how cool it would be if…if I learned the nin-get-su…" Mike trailed off, his face turning red as he shifted away from Splinter again. Splinter's lips parted in shock as he took in the boy's words and expression. It truly was something he wanted and was struggling with.

"To learn ninjitsu?" Splinter echoed, his eyes widening, "You want to learn to fight?"

"To protect Donnie, Leo, and Raph!" Mike blurted, his eyes going really wide with hope and admiration, "You're all so amazin'! I wanna learn it too! Oh, please?"

Splinter's eyes widened even more as he took in Micah's expression and his words yet again. His mind played tricks on him as he remembered how Michelangelo had looked when Splinter had announced to the boys at age 5 that they'd be learning ninjitsu.

"I see," Splinter closed his eyes and smiled, his heart warmed by the memory. Mike tilted his head in confusion but his heart fluttered, hoping Splinter would agree, "This would also be a good opportunity for Leonardo and his brothers; focusing on helping another person learn something useful. Alright, I accept."

Mike's eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat before he cheered, "YAY! Thank you Splinter!"

Mike pushed himself up with his feet and hugged Splinter, who was very much surprised by the sudden and familiar affection. He hugged the boy back just as hard, reveling in the memories and emotions, "Although, I may not be your teacher as much as my sons will be."

They parted and Mike looked curiously confused, "What do you mean?"

"I want my sons to teach you more than me. It will be good for them and good for you," Splinter explained with a patient smile and Mike nodded heavily, also smiling at the idea.

"I can't wait! I'll work hard too!" Mike bubbled as his eyes sparkled in that familiar way again. Splinter chuckled as he grabbed his cane and rose slowly. Micah also rose beside him before looking past Splinter and smiling, "Ah! Good morning, Leo!"

Splinter turned around in surprise and saw Leonardo standing there, watching them with wide eyes, "Sensei, you want us to teach Micah?"

Mike pouted that his full name was being used so much and that Leo didn't greet him back, but kept quiet as Splinter calmly stepped forward, "I am aging, my son. I can only do so much now and I believe that you and your brothers will benefit from this. Do you not agree? You are the head of this clan now, my son."

Leo blinked rapidly at his father's words, but knew that they were truthful. Now that he was thinking it over, it would be good for them all to pitch in and do something productive together as brothers…and it would make Micah be able to protect himself, thus making Donnie happy…

"Hai, Father, I agree whole heartedly," Leo bowed and Mike jolted at the unexpected and quick agreement. Leo straightened and shared a knowing smile with his Father before turning to Micah, "Good morning, Mike."

Beaming at the greeting, Mike literally looked like a shooting star which made Leo chuckle, "Good mornin', Leo! I'm so happy that I can learn nin-get-su to help protect Donnie!"

Leo's eyes widened at that and then he smiled warmly. Of course that would be the reason for the sudden interest. And he couldn't say ninjitsu right? That was kinda cute, "I see…I'm glad."

Mike blushed at seeing Leo smiling so much at him. Does that mean that Leo likes him now? Leo might accept him right? Splinter smiled at both of the boys before turning to Leonardo, "My son, why don't I start breakfast for your brothers while you take Micah to the dojo to explain some of the important rules and basics?"

"Hai, Sensei," Leo bowed his head before turning to a shocked Mike, "Let's go, Mike."

"Yeah!" Mike nodded, clearly so happy that he could fall over. Leo chuckled once again before walking away. Mike skipped after Leo, fidgeting in excitement. He was gonna learn to be a ninja! How fun!

o0o0o0o0o0o0o

"We're gonna do what?!" Raphael later exploded from where he was sitting at the island table with the others. While Raphael seemed annoyed and thrown off, Donatello seemed shocked yet pleased.

Leo didn't waver as he locked eyes with Raph, "We are going to do what Sensei wishes, Raph. We're going to train Mike. What's the problem in that?"

Raph seemed caught off guard a second time and noticed that everyone was staring straight at him. Micah looked a bit wounded at the thought that Raph didn't want to teach him. He sighed in defeat, "It's not that I don't want ta...but what if he doesn't have tha potential? What if he can't handle it?"

"I will try hard!" Mike interrupted seriously and Donnie looked down at him with wide eyes filled with wonder. Raph was caught off guard by his shout for a third time and berated himself for being so thrown off this morning!

Splinter chuckled and set down his tea cup, "I believe that Micah has tremendous potential if he applies himself. You are all going to make sure that he can handle the training and judge him fairly without bias."

"Hai, Sensei," Leonardo and Donatello replied immediately, with hints of smiles on their faces. Raphael hesitated under his Father's eyes before sighing heavily.

"Hai…Sensei. If ya feel that strongly about it," He scowled a little, shifting his eyes away. Splinter smiled at his sons and nodded.

"Yay! Thanks guys!" Mike gushed pumping his little fists in the air happily. Donnie smiled and ruffled his hair affectionately while his brothers gave them sidelong glances.

"We can start today, Micah," Splinter offered, his heart warmed by the happiness of a child.

"Yeah! Thanks!"

"But Sensei, what about our training?" Leo questioned with a hint of surprise and curiosity in his voice. Though he had initially agreed whole-heartedly, he was not used to teaching someone else and sidelining his own training. Splinter just smiled at Leonardo.

"We will alternate. You began telling him some of the general basics, didn't you?" Splinter asked and Leo nodded quickly. Splinter then turned to Donnie, "Then Donatello will further explain some of the basics to Micah while you and Raphael do your katas and spar."

"Then one of us will switch with Don?" Raph surmised as he recognized the pattern in Splinter's words. Splinter nodded with a smile as Mike just watched with a confused tilt of his head, "'Kay, that sounds a bit better ta me."

"And to me as well," Leo commented and Raph rolled his eyes as Donnie smiled at their agreement, "What do you think, Donnie? You haven't said much at all."

Donnie's eyes widened and he spluttered, "H-Huh? I think it's a wonderful idea! I'm happy that Mike can learn to defend himself!" Micah smiled up at Donnie brightly.

"But ya don't mind teachin' him ninjitsu?" Raph pressed with a teasing smirk on his face. Anyone that knew Donatello Hamato would know that he relished in both learning and teaching others.

"Of course I don't mind!" Donnie remarked as his face fell flat. Mike giggled at them all as Splinter's smile grew.

"Then let's get this mess cleaned up and meet in the dojo. I will finish my tea as I observe the lessons," Splinter instructed before his sons bowed their heads. Mike caught on quickly and with wide eyes he tried to bow as well but bowed his head a little too low almost hitting his head on the table, causing Splinter to chuckle quietly to himself.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Splinter observed each of his sons with a calm presence as he sat under his favorite tree. He felt much more relaxed than he had in a while and it warmed his heart to see his more troubled sons reaching out, even if they were hesitant about it. His eyes roamed over Raphael and Leonardo, who were beginning with their spar before his eyes shifted to watch Donatello and Micah.

Donatello had been telling Micah all about the 'right and wrongs' of ninjitsu along with some of the other basics. Micah took everything in a cheerful yet serious stride. What had shocked everyone earlier was when Micah was able to recount everything that Donatello had told him. It seemed as though Micah, although still a bit unfocused because of his age, wasn't as distracted as Michelangelo had been, even if it was only a little.

Everyone's reaction had caused a slightly negative response from Micah, who thought he'd done something wrong or out of place, but Donatello and Leonardo both were quick to assure him that he was in the right, only that it was surprising. Splinter was even more shocked when Leonardo had actually joked that they were shocked because Micah had done something slightly "un-Mikeyish". Raphael and Donatello were just as shocked as Splinter was but kept it to themselves. Meanwhile nothing could compare to the brightness of Micah's face when Leonardo praised him.

Even Donatello thought that he'd never seen Mike so bright; not even when Donnie praised him. So was the trigger when Leo praised him? Was it because Mike really wanted to impress Leo or Raph or was it something else? Donnie shook his head as Leo was drawn back into his spar by Raph.

"Didja hear that, Donnie?! I did something un-Mikeyish, which is awesome!" Mike cheered as he jumped up and down before Donnie, who only smiled warmly at him. Apparently Micah really was worried about the whole 'being like Mikey' more than they thought.

"You are doing really well, Micah," Splinter assured with a fond smile on his face. Mike turned to Splinter with a happy expression, "If you continue to stay focused and practice, you may be well on your way to being as talented as my sons."

"Really?!" Mike gasped before hearing Raph chuckle in response, "I can't imagine ever being better but I'm happy that I'm doing good!"

"Then why don't I continue to explain how ninjitsu is different than other methods of combat?" Donnie interrupted with a grin on his face. It really made him feel good to make Mike this happy.

"Sure! Just don't use those big words again Donnie or I won't have any brain seals left!" Mike slightly joked but jumped when everyone in the room erupted into loud laughter. He was shocked to see Leo leaning on Raph, who's fist had connected with his shoulder. Raph was also leaning on Leo with a hand covering his eyes as he laughed. Donnie wrapped his arms around his middle as he laughed harder than he had in days.

"B-Brain SEALS?!" Raph bawled as he fell to his knees by Leo, "Well isn't...that just…peachy!"

"The time he mispronounces words are the best!" Donnie seemingly agreed as he wiped tears in his eyes. Leo couldn't stop laughing to get a word in. Splinter, who was calmer than the rest, noticed with amusement that Mike looked heavily confused.

"B…But that's what Donnie said before…I heard him tell you, Raph, that you had lost some of your brain seals after you had argued that you were having a hard time focusing on the TV!" Mike explained quickly, his cheeks flushing with embarrassment. Raph's laughter stopped and he scowled a little.

"Hahaha! You mean brain cells, Mike," Donnie corrected, his laughter dying down alongside Leo's.

"That wasn't actually what happened," Raph muttered as he crossed his arms defensively. Leo chuckled before exhaling, "Anyways, on a better note, let's get back ta trainin'!

Leo gasped as Raph jumped at him but was able to roll out of the way in time. Mike watched with wide eyes full of admiration while Donnie simply rolled his eyes at his tempered brother, "Watch your knee, Meathead!"

Mike giggled at that while Raph growled under his breath, "Yeah, yeah, Einstein."

"Let's get back on topic. We still have a couple of hours," Donnie ignored Raph and smiled as he turned to Mike, who nodded enthusiastically. Donnie's smile grew as he relished in being able to teach someone willing to learn.

From where he was sitting, Splinter gazed at his family and then to the shelf housing the artifacts of his loved ones that passed on. At last, things were starting to move forward!

o0o0o0o0o0o0o

"You all did very good," Splinter complimented with a truly pleased look on his face. Micah was by his side watching with an open mouth as the turtles laying panting on the floor after their group sparring was over. Splinter turned to look down at Mike, "This is how real ninja practice, as you've heard earlier, it's called sparring. When you've practiced enough offensive and defensive moves you'll be able to start practicing too."

Mike's eyes grew really wide and the turtles turned to look at him, "I'll have to fight against them?! They're too powerful!"

Raph's eyes widened before he started laughing, "You're a riot, Tyke!"

Mike blushed but figured that was a compliment. Leo chuckled and sat up so that he was looking in Mike's eyes, "You'll get better with practice. We're only this good because we've been practicing since we were 5."

Again Mike's eyes grew wide and he looked at Splinter, who nodded with amusement swimming in his eyes, "Wow! And now you're all pretty old, huh? Since you're gonna be 24 soon!"

Everyone, including Splinter, froze and turned to Micah in shock. Mike flinched and his already wide eyes looked to the ground, "D-Did I say something wrong?"

"How did you-"

"Oh, uh, actually I told him how old we were," Donnie interrupted Leo sheepishly, rubbing his wrist as he laughed a little, "I almost forgot I did. Oh and the 28th was Micah's birthday!"

"Your birthday has passed already?" Splinter turned to me and Mike nodded, suddenly feeling shy, "I see. This was when you first joined us…"

"Wait…" Raph spoke quietly and when Mike turned to look at him he paused when he noticed Raph's wide shock-filled eyes, "August 28th? So ya were born…ya were literally born the day after Mikey died?"

Leo and Splinter's eyes grew wide as they realized what Raph was talking about. Donnie had already gone through that shock, but hearing it a second time still sorta both intrigued and pained him. Why the day after his baby brother's death? It almost seemed as if Donnie knew the answer, like it was right in front of him, but no matter how long he thought about it he just couldn't see to understand what was nagging at him.

"Oh right, I'm, uh, sorry," Mike apologized, blushing as he eyed the ground, his eyebrows drawn together in distress. Donnie immediately moved to his knees and shuffled towards Mike before wrapping his arms around him.

"What did we say about apologizing for things that you can't help?" Donnie scolded in a slightly irritated and exasperated manner. Mike's eyebrows stayed drawn but he gave a small smile.

"To not say sorry," Mike replied easily and Donnie nodded, parting from their hug to smile at him reassuringly. It was only then that Micah relaxed a little.

"Donatello is right, Micah. It is simply a very curious thing and I know that I have heard of something like this before," Splinter hummed as he stroked his beard.

"Father? Do you really?" Leo asked with wide eyes, "I also feel like I've heard something kinda like this…but not really."

"Well I haven't," Raph gruffed as he slowly stood and rolled his neck around, "If ya ask me it's all creepy as shit!"

"Raphael!" Splinter scolded the 24-year-old hothead, even though it was mainly because they were in Micah's presence. Raph looked down and flinched when he saw Mike's downcast expression and the way Leo and Don were suddenly glaring at him.

"Wah! I, err, I didn't mean creepy as in you were creepy, Tyke…uh, just tha situation, ya know?" Raph stammered desperately to get his brothers to stop calmly glaring at him like they had plans to murder him. Mike looked up at Raph, "So don't look like that, it's annoyin', get it? I wasn't makin' fun of ya or anythin'!"

Leo face palmed and Donnie shook his head at his brother's poor apology, but Mike's eyes sparkled a little, "Oh, so you meant that just the idea was creepy right? You don't hate me for being born on August 28th."

Splinter and his sons paused once again, looking at the child with wide eyes. Raph shook his head and gave Mike a smirk, "Exactly. I don't hate ya, Tyke."

It was almost like it was impossibly bright in the room with the way Mike's whole face lit up like a Fourth of July firework display, "Yay! That makes me very happy!"

Raph blushed and rolled his eyes, "Yup, only a person like Mikey could be so boldly honest about how they feel."

Leo and Donnie agreed inwardly and laughed when Mike launched himself at Raph for a hug which was halfheartedly denied. Splinter exhaled a breath and smiled before his sharp senses picked up the sound of footsteps, "I believe our guest are arriving. At least some of them."

"Let's go greet them. Mike, can you stay in here until one of us comes to get you?" Leo proposed with a gentle smile. Mike returned the smile tenfold and nodded, excited to meet friends of the Turtles.

Leo, Splinter, Donnie, and Raph left the dojo and filed in close to the turnstiles in time to see Casey Jones, April Jones, and Shadow jones come over the turnstile. Little Shadow had Casey's long black hair that ended mid-back. Some of it was pulled to the back of her head with a teal ribbon. She inherited April's light blue eyes and slight dusting of freckles on her nose bridge, "Uncle Raph!"

"Heya, little ninja!" Raph greeted the sudden embrace with equal enthusiasm. It had been forever since any of them had seen Shadow, "Have ya grown?"

"Of course she grew!" Casey said proudly and April rolled her eyes before greeting Leo and Master Splinter, "Hey Donnie! How's that kid been doin'?"

Donnie gave his friend an exasperated look, "He's doing pretty good right now."

"Hey Uncle Leo! Hey Uncle Donnie! How are you?" Shadow asked politely, grinning ear to ear as Raph set her down. She hugged each of them.

"I'm well, thank you Shadow. You look really pretty today," Leo complimented with a matching grin as she blushed. Donnie laughed and hugged Shadow.

"I'm good. You look healthy, that's good!" Donnie beamed and Shadow nodded before turning her attention to Splinter.

"Hello, Oji-chan!" She burst before jumping hi his arms. Both Casey and April gasped but Splinter caught her with ease and held her as he chuckled.

"Shadow! I told you not to be so rough with Sensei!" April scolded and Shadow apologized but Splinter waved it off.

"So is it just you guys? Yer pretty early," Raph commented as he looked at his phone. Casey shrugged and threw an arm on Raph's shoulder.

"We were pretty curious to see this guy that looks so much like Mikey," Casey replied bluntly and Raph stared at his friend with a scowl, "I heard he acts like 'em too. So I have to meet him and become best buds!"

"You're still a child," Donnie teased and Shadow giggled when Casey glared and blushed, "The others will come in half an hour. But I can go get Mike so you can meet him!"

"I wanna meet him!" Shadow gushed as Splinter put her down on the ground. Donnie nodded and walked off towards the dojo to get Micah. She turned to Raph and Leo, "Is Mike gross? Momma said he was cute and kind! All the boys at school are kinda gross!"

"Heh, well he's only gross when he eats," Raph commented and Shadow giggled again. Casey stared at Raph. Only gross when he eats? That was just like Mikey…He could already see, though, that it was bothering them less and less. April had informed him how tense the situation might be because Raph and Leo hadn't accepted Micah yet. Maybe they had now? Casey grinned a little.

"Here we are," Donnie announced with amusement in his tone. Everyone immediately looked over and noticed the blonde boy holding hands with Donnie. He looked at Casey and Shadow with astonishment. Casey and Shadow looked at him with equal wonder.

"H-Hi…" Mike blushed as he greeted Casey and Shadow. Casey was nothing like he was expecting and he looked sorta intimating with his long neck length black hair and missing teeth. Somehow though, Casey seemed really familiar! But Shadow was really pretty! Mike couldn't remember ever seeing a girl that looked half as pretty as Shadow did. He really liked her hair. And she had freckles too! Well not on her cheeks…oh and she had blue eyes like he did! "I-I'm Mike…nice to meet you!"

"Hello again, Mike," April greeted warmly and Mike's eyes widened a little but he returned the smile excitedly. He remembered April and how he really liked her, "This is my daughter, Shadow, who's a year and a half younger than you. That's my husband, Casey, who's Raph's best friend."

"Oh? News to me," Raph taunted with a smirk and Casey glared at him playfully.

"Must you be so cold to me," He scowled before turning to Mike with another one of his grins. He stepped close but not too close so he wouldn't make Mike feel uncomfortable, "Heya, little guy! Wow, you really do look like Mikey now that I see you up close! I used to call him Mikester by the way, haha, I can call you that too if the guys don't bite my head off for it!"

Don, Leo, and Raph all rolled their eyes almost simultaneously as Splinter and April shared a deadpanned look. Shadow seemed confused but kept on staring at Mike. Mike's eyes widened and he suddenly felt weird as he stared at Casey, "…"Mikester?" …why does that seem familiar to me?"

Everyone except Shadow and Mike froze and looked at Mike oddly before Casey let out a nervous laugh, "What do ya mean? If ya don't like it, I don't have ta call you that-"

"No, sir, that's not it! I just felt like it was familiar, like I heard it before somehow! I also feel like I've already met you!" Mike laughed a little and Casey's panicked look earlier. Splinter and the Turtles remained frozen in shock, "I felt that way when I met April too!"

"Maybe you seen my Mom and Dad in the streets!" Shadow suddenly commented and Mike turned to her, both of them not noticing the weird atmosphere, "It's nice to meet you, Mike! So far you don't seem gross!"

"Gross?" Mike tilted his head, his eyes growing wide, "I don't really think I am. And it's nice to meet you too…I…I haven't seen another kid in a long time."

This time Shadow's eyes grew wide, "Oh…well we can be friends if you want! I know all kinds of games we could play!"

Mike looked at her in surprise before beaming. Shadow saw this and beamed as well, "Thanks, Shadow!"

April smiled, despite the odd tension, happy that the kids were already starting to get along well with each other, "Why don't you guys turn on the TV while we wait for the others to come in before we start!"

"Okay, Mom!" Shadow smiled as she took Mike's hand, who blushed but followed none the less. April turned and saw Casey staring at the flabbergasted yet disturbed Turtles. Splinter seemed to compose himself first.

"Thank you both for coming," He said with a pleased nod.

"Of course!" April smiled politely, bowing her head, "We'll always be here for you guys!"

"Totally, all the time," Casey grinned, earning a reaction out of Raph, "Raph, what was that all about a minute ago?"

"Casey…" April warned and Casey shot her a confused look. Donnie sighed.

"It's always been like that. Sometimes it's easier to handle, but when he says odd things like that it catches us off guard like it just did," Donnie explained as they stared at him, "He does a lot of things Mikey used to do and says a lot of things Mikey used to say. It's very odd."

"Wait, so more than a coincidence?" April spoke up, completely shocked. Donnie seemed to struggle with what to say and Raph shrugged.

"It sure seems that way," Leo responded with a tight expression as he stared at Mike and Shadow, who were sitting side by side watching a cartoon, 'Stephen Universe', "The most disturbing is when he says stuff like that…like he when he says he feels he already knows something he couldn't possibly know. Well he doesn't saw he knows but only that it's a feeling that he knows…it's completely confusing."

"Weird…is that one of things you're gonna be talking to us about?" Casey questioned as he eyes each turtle.

"Yeah, but not one of tha important stuff," Raph muttered as he shifted his weight, "And remember that we invited everyone."

"I know you're worried about Leatherhead…" April trailed off, unsure of what to say at first before she smiled a little, "He will be very shocked but as long as we don't stand too close to him."

"Exactly," Leo nodded in agreement, "He's going to be in for a great shock."

"Who is going to be shocked?"

Everyone whirled around to the entrance and Leo's eyes widened as they took in the Mighty Mutanimals standing there coming over the turnstiles slowly. Slash, Dr. Rockwell, Pidgeon Pete, and Leatherhead was with them too.

"You're here early…" Donnie nearly choked, none of them expecting for them to just show up. Splinter and Leo stared at them in shock. Both had been engrossed in the conversation that they didn't hear them come so close until it was too late.

"Donnie get to Micah," Leo whispered so that only Donnie could hear, since Donnie was closest to him. Donnie turned to him in confusion but then froze at the sudden horrific tension in the air.

Raph and Casey cursed under their breaths. April stepped in front of Splinter while the Mutanimals all backed away from Leatherhead with wide surprised eyes. Leatherhead's eyes were pinned on the two children on the couch, his breathing heavy.

"What is the meaning of this?!" He roared before his eyes clouded over and he roared. Micah and Shadow gasped in horror. Mike began to shake.

THAT was Leatherhead?!

"Leatherhead, don't ya-" LH used nothing but angry brute strength to silence Raph, taking him by surprise and sending both Casey and Raph into one of the support beams with a loud thud.

"Raph!" Leo gasped before jumped in to help secure Leatherhead's arm. Thankfully Donnie had gotten over to the kids and Slash dashed into action by grabbing Leatherhead's other arm. Dr. Rockwell tried to use his power to force Leatherhead still but was struggling.

Meanwhile Micah was standing in front of Shadow but behind Donnie, his eyes wide with horror as he took in the large alligator mutant growling at him. His eyes were pure white and he was super big! One swat from that guy and Mike would surely get killed. Mike began to shake as he watched the others try to calm Leatherhead down.

"Sensei!" April cried when Leatherhead swung his tail around, throwing Splinter into Raph and Casey, "Leatherhead, you have to stop! You have to listen to us!"

Leatherhead's focused was only pinned on one thing, Mike noticed, and it was him. What can he do? That guy isn't evil otherwise Donnie, Leo, and Raph wouldn't have let him in! And Donnie said he was prone to violent meltdowns or something…so what calmed him down?

"Mike! Shadow run into my lab!" Donnie yelled in panic as Leatherhead managed to throw Leo into Slash. Dr. Rockwell cried out in pain as his force was pushed back and suddenly Leatherhead was charging their way. Shadow grabbed a petrified Micah and dashed out of the way just as Donnie was thrown backwards.

"Shadow! Mike!" April near screamed now that the kids were out in the open. She didn't foresee Leatherhead reacting this violently.

Mike trembled as he stood in front of Shadow, determined to at least try and protect her if he could. Leatherhead charged at them while Raph and Casey tried to make it on time, but they knew they'd be too late.

But then, as if it were slow motion, Micah suddenly felt a tremendous feeling hit him as he stared at Leatherhead, waiting to get hit. Leatherhead looked enraged, sure, but he looked more like he was in pain. He didn't want to hurt anyone. He was just upset and couldn't control himself. Leatherhead wasn't a monster at all!

"It's okay, Leatherhead! I know you don't mean it anyways," Mike blurted before cringing, waiting for pain, his arms stretched out on each side to take the impact and spare Shadow. But the blow didn't come at him. Mike flinched when the ground next to him shook and then stilled.

He opened his eyes to see Leatherhead right in front of him, his eyes still wide and white, but looking caught off guard. Mike didn't know what to do exactly but followed this feeling a slowly, as to not startle Leatherhead, reached out and placed his hand on Leatherhead's forehead. Wow, his skin is rough, no wonder his name's Leatherhead!

"Sorry that I surprised you, I didn't mean to. I'm sorry," Mike repeated, suddenly feeling as if it were his fault that everyone was getting hurt, including Leatherhead. Though it wasn't his fault either that he looked like Mikey. But still…

Leatherhead's wide eyes turned green all of a sudden and Mike gasped, also noticing that LH's breathing was slowing, "…You're not…you aren't…but you…. Who exactly are you?"

"My names Micah, but I like to be called Mike if that's okay…um but if not then you can call me something else. Raph does," Mike replied as he retracted his hand. He then blinked stupidly when he noticed everyone was behind Leatherhead, how had he not noticed that, and was staring at them both with wide eyes and open mouths.

"I see…so you're not…I'm sorry," Leatherhead wilted as his green eyes wilted. Mike frowned sadly before moving backwards a little when Leatherhead turned, "I apologize to the bottom of my heart for causing you all this trouble."

"We get it, Leatherhead," April sighed before her and Casey rushed to hug Shadow, who was staring at Leatherhead and Mike with admiration and shock, "Thank you for trying to help Shadow, Mike."

Micah blushed and nodded shyly before shrieking when he was lifted in the air. He turned and was squished by Donnie, "Don't ever scare me like that again, Mike! I don't care how brave you feel! Don't get in Leatherhead's way when he's like that!"

"Exactly! Are ya insane?! Ya nearly gave me a heart attack! Leo almost TRIPPED trying to get over here!" Raph yelled at me and my eyes widened to hear him scolding me. Leo glared at Raph.

"Who almost tripped?! That was you and Casey! And Mike, I'll skin you alive if you do it again, you hear?" Leo scolded and Mike nodded, feeling a bit frightened but warmed by their concern. Splinter was being supported by Dr. Rockwell and Pete while Slash comforted Leatherhead.

Slash sighed when Leatherhead continued to eye the ground dully, "Can someone explain this? Or at least tell us what exactly is going on that we needed to be called?"

"Sure," Leo turned around, "But first let's get everyone settled and comfortable. It's going to be a long story in more ways than one."

Most of the others took a peek at Mike, who hid his face in Donnie's shoulder. He wanted them to accept him and help Donnie, but he didn't want to cause anymore unnecessary pain. Donnie hugged him and pulled away to look into Mike's eyes, "It'll be okay, Mike. I'm here with you too. We'll tell our story together, okay?"

Mike smiled and nodded heavily. For Donnie, Mike was pretty sure he'd be able to do anything!

Chapter 10: Our Story

Chapter Text

Donatello's Point of View:

I placed Mike back onto the floor before turning to face the couch where our friends were getting settled. I caught Master Splinter's eyes and nodded, indicating that he should take a seat as well instead of standing with us, especially since he tired easily these-days.

Leo and Raph promptly stood on either side of Mike and I. Leo stood beside me and Raph stood beside Mike with his arms crossed over his chest as he eyed Leatherhead, who didn't move from his spot on the floor. He looked devastated and shocked even now but I can't exactly blame him for it either.

"So, like, where did you find Mike?" Casey suddenly asked or more like exploded, looking unashamed and every bit of curious. I rolled my eyes but smiled when Mike looked up at me with an unsure expression. I squeezed his hand reassuringly and looked at the others.

"I guess I can just start by explaining the night when I found him," I started as Casey and Shadow leaned forward at the same time. The others also looked highly interested but none more than Leatherhead, who was eyeing me without looking directly into my face, "It was the anniversary of Mikey's death when I met him."

Predictably, April and Casey shrunk back with wide eyes, Leatherhead's eyes narrowed, shifting towards Mike now, and the others' mouths dropped open. I looked at Leo, who smile tightly with a nod and I nodded as well, "I was…doing my own thing that night, just scrounging for materials to fix up the air conditioning units that I had almost fixed up, when I heard an extremely loud scream…"

Mike flinched as he was, no doubt, remembering the events of that night. Thinking about it now only made my scales bristle with rage, "Mike was on the ground in the middle of a circle of angry teenagers who were beating on him. Upon seeing that, I rescued him without really being seen by the teenagers. The thing that got to me was that Mike didn't scream in my face like anyone else normally would have at my appearance."

Something in my voice must have upset Mike because he looked up at me with narrowed eyes, "I wouldn't scream in your face, Donnie! That's just rude!"

Immediately a bit of chuckling and barely concealed laughter filled the room. Casey and Raph were the only ones not afraid to laugh loudly. Leo barely hid his smile at Mike's odd reasoning. Mike acts like seeing someone like me was normal and that it would be rude to scream in my face because I wasn't any different from a human. My heart immediately warmed at how pure-hearted he was. Just like Mikey.

I cleared my throat, trying to control my smile, "A…Anyways, I rescued him and because he had a crack on one of his ribs I wanted to make sure it wasn't anything serious so I brought him home to get him scanned, which didn't blow over well with Raphael and Leonardo at first."

Leo and Raph both sobered up before nodding when everyone looked over at them. I felt conflicted on how much I should tell and what I didn't necessarily have to tell. They surely didn't care for the whole detailed story, did they?

"Obviously, Mike looks like and acts like Mikey. Yer either retarded or blind if ya can't see that," Raph stated suddenly with a serious look on his face while Mike stared at him like he'd just witnessed a shark in water. I was a bit thrown off guard at the blunt statement as well and Leo just blinked over at our red-banded brother.

"Everyone can see that," Slash assured with a look of amusement and surprise on his face as he stared at Raph, who only smirked back at him as if they were having a silent conversation.

"This is an interesting story…." Dr. Rockwell trailed off as his eyes roamed over Mike before looking towards Leo and I, "But this doesn't explain why it was so important for us to be here to hear it, no offense intended to the Hamatos."

"No offense taken, Dr. Rockwell," Sensei smiled politely and Dr. Rockwell smiled back in response, "There is more to the story."

"Then please, do go ahead Donatello," Dr. Rockwell said as he leaned back in his seat. I nodded my head and remembered back to where I left off.

I immediately launched back into the story after I had regained my thoughts. Mike actually stepped out from behind me to comment his own versions and opinions about the "scary Dragon men", which really set Slash and Casey off. The two hated the Purple Dragons with a passion.

"Oh my God, they actually tracked you down and tried to take Mike?" April fretted as Leo explained how we had taken Mike back to his house to find the disc and how the Purple Dragons ambushed us, "And that's how you got your wound?"

"Yes," Leo nodded with a soul-marring frown on his face. I looked down to see Mike staring at no one in particular with his own special brand of a frown on his face. I sighed.

"This disc…I feel like something bad is on it or something," Slash commented as he looked at his teammates, "That's why they targeted the little guy?"

"Yeah, because my Dad ruined their plans to use chemicals to hurt my new family!" Mike near-shouted, his little hands curled into fists in front of him. Slash blinked at him and everyone paused at his statement.

My heart fluttered in my chest at Mike calling us his new family. I looked over to Raph and noticed his eyes were really wide as he stared at mike, but once he caught my staring he looked away and cleared his throat. Then I looked over at Leo and was nearly floored to see a familiar warm smile on his face as he stared at Mike. Sensei caught my eye and he smiled at me while inclining his head towards Leo.

Then I remembered something I had said to Sensei before: "I think Raph and Leo will come to love Mike….just like you and I".

I looked back at Leo before feeling a grin form on my face, my heart beating in a soothing manner. If Leo and Raph came to love Mike like I did, I would be really happy about it!

"And if the Foot clan and the Purple Dragons dump these so called chemicals into the sewers, it would also hurt us," Dr. Rockwell half-growled as his lips curled. Slash's eyes flashed at the realization before he physically calmed himself.

"I wish they would just leave you guys alone," Shadow whispered before smiling a little when Casey wrapped one arm around her and April put a hand on her head in a comforting manner.

"You and me both, kid," Slash sighed as he ran a hand down his face.

"So this is what ya wanted to tell us?" Casey confirmed with an oddly serious look on his face. Raph nodded his head and Casey scowled, "Then, do ya guys have a plan yet?"

"Not yet," Leo jumped in, causing all eyes to turn to him, "Since this also involves you all, and you're our friends, we thought you'd like to know and possibly like to help us out."

"Of course we'll help you out!" Slash immediately replied with a forming grin on his face, "I'll take any chance to dish out justice! No one bothers my family and gets away with it! Right guys?"

"Right!" Dr. Rockwell agreed as the ever silent Pidgeon Pete nodded his head. I was almost surprised that I had forgotten him but nowadays he doesn't speak much, mainly because of Leatherhead though Pete had forgiven him for all his violent tempers and outbursts.

"Right…." Leatherhead trailed off as he lifted his head. I felt myself lean more towards Leo as he looked over at all of us standing up, but Mike didn't budge and only smiled, if not a little timidly, at Leatherhead, "They are after the child because he, and now you all, have information that could shut them down and put them away for a long time, correct?"

"Yes, you are correct," Sensei responded with an ever so polite tone when talking to Leatherhead. I felt that if anyone understood what Leatherhead was going through the most…it was Raph and Sensei, only Raph had a fierce protective streak that prevented him from being as empathetic for Leatherhead. We've all seen what Leatherhead was like when he became violent and it was like dealing with 5 aggressive Raph's.

I blinked out of my trance when I saw Sensei stand up and Leo moving to help him if he needed it, "My friends, it has been a long few days for us. Why don't we all take a much needed break and have breakfast together?"

Immediately after he'd said that, someone's stomach growled really loud and we all turned to Mike with wide eyes. Mike giggled as he hid his face in my arm, "S-Sorry…all that scariness made me hungry!"

I laughed and push him closer to me with my other arm as Slash, Casey, and Raph joined into my laughter. Leo, Sensei, and April shook their heads good-naturedly but went to make the mentioned breakfast. Even Pete looked like he was trying to hide a big smile. The only person that seemed thrown off was Leatherhead, whose eyes were pinned on Mike.

"Hey, Raph, why don't ya show Case and I the dojo? I haven't been in there in, like, forever!" Slash grinned as he slung one of his massive arms around Casey's shoulders. I chuckled at the look on Casey's face for a moment and he stuck his tongue out at me. I rolled my eyes.

"Sure! Maybe we could spar a little for old time's sake," Raph smirked and Slash laughed again while dragging Casey along with him. Shadow and Dr. Rockwell shared a look before Shadow giggled and jumped off the couch to come hug me on my other side.

"Uncle Donnie! Can I play with Mike on the tire swing?" She asked politely, her light blue eyes sparkling in the same way it did for April whenever she mother-henned us or spoke about her job.

I thought about it and smiled when Mike looked at Shadow with hopeful eyes before turning those eyes on me, "Sure, but only if your careful. Stay away from the pool, okay?"

Both Mike and Shadow brightened as they nodded. Mike bounced around me and grabbed Shadow's outstretched hand before being tugged up the small steps to the stairs.

"Donatello," Dr. Rockwell called to get my attention. I looked over at him quickly and he smiled, "Would you mind showing me these files you've been talking about earlier? I'd like to see them for myself."

"Oh! Sure, Dr. Rockwell! Um…" I slowly turned to eye Leatherhead, who looked like he was deeply thinking and lost in space. I turned to the only remaining person in the room, "Pete, can you keep an eye on the children for me?"

"Y-Yeah…" He nodded in agreement, looking relieved to have something to do. I smiled reassuringly at him before leading Dr. Rockwell away into my lab.

Micah's/Mike's Point of View:

Shadow had just finished explaining how to safely get on and off the swing before I started to help push her. I was a bit intimidated by the swing at first, but I had been really wanting to try it out!

I saw the bird mutant guy, Pete, looking over at us nervously from time to time but he'd switch to stare at Leatherhead. I frowned when I noticed Leatherhead hadn't moved yet but was too afraid to make him angry to ask him if he was okay.

"Hey, Mike?" Shadow questioned and I turned to look back at her.

"Yeah?"

"How did you feel when you found out about your Dad?" She asked softly, like she was afraid of doing something bad. I frowned sadly and that slight pause must have made her nervous, "I'm sorry, I was only curious but-"

"No it's okay….I mean, I didn't know anything about him really," I started as I resumed pushing her on the swing, "Mom only told me how he died, but not really the truth. I remember once she told me he was a good man and that she was lucky to have had him or something like that. When I found out about my Daddy I was a bit scared that he was bad, but mainly confused."

"Confused because your Mommy said he was good but he was in the Purple Dragons?" She confirmed and I nodded my head really fast.

"But my Dad wasn't a bad guy even then, though, because he was trying to do the right thing," I explained and she nodded, looking over her shoulder at me with a sad expression, "But it's okay! I'm happier to know the truth!"

"Really?"

"Yeah! And your Dad is pretty cool and silly! I wonder if my Dad had been like that?" I questioned out loud with a big smile on my face. Shadow blinked before laughing, her legs swinging a little.

"Maybe he was! I love my Dad! And my Mom too! Though sometimes they freak out over the weirdest things…" Shadow trailed off with a giggle. I smiled even more at hearing her talking about her parents, "They act like something's always out to get me!"

"Well, maybe that's because of them being friends with the Turtles!" I said out loud and then looked around to make sure that didn't sound insulting or anything. Shadow nodded.

"They told me that…and said that people might use us against them. When I ask who they never give any details…but that's okay," Shadow shrugged before stopping me from pushing, "Your turn!"

"Thanks!" I grinned as we switched places. She grunted as she got me going on the swing, "Wow! It's almost a little scary but this swing actually doesn't go that high!"

"Not really, but it's still fun!" Shadow giggled and I laughed with her until I noticed Leatherhead staring at me intently. My laughter got stuck in my throat and died off as I stared right back at him, "So, you've never seen a kid before me? I'm sorry if that sounded rude…"

I couldn't look away from Leatherhead as I tried to answer, "I-I've seen some but never really t-talked to them before."

"Really? Why not?" She asked, sounding surprised as she continued to push me. My grip on the swing tightened as Leatherhead continued to stare at me like he was thinking of soemting. My heart began to beat faster.

"I…I just n-never really knew w-what to say and was s-scared to talk to them. I don't r-really know a lot of things…" I stammered, feeling upset with how I was reacting when Leatherhead was only looking at me. Immediately after speaking, the swing slowed to a stop and Shadow came around to be in front of me with a look of confused concern on herface.

"Are you okay? Are you scared? I'm sorry!" She fumbled over her sentences and I shook my head as she was speaking, "What's wrong?"

"N-nothing," I replied, thankful to have something else to focus on. She frowned like she was still worried and I smiled a little, "I was just remembering something. I'm okay now."

"I'm sorry I made you remember something," She whispered, looking up at me though her head was down. I shook my head fiercely and she smiled a little, "I just wanted to know more about you because you're kinda interestin'."

I blinked before laughing, "You're the first kid to say something like that to me."

She beamed and I smiled back at her before noticing Pete jump suddenly. I whirled my head to look at him but then noticed what made him jump. Leatherhead had suddenly stood up and was slowly walking towards us. I heard Shadow gasp but when I looked at Leatherhead I saw only green eyes and not those white looking eyes he had before.

"Leatherhead?" Pete questioned, shaking a little as he followed behind, but staying on the couch.

"I'm okay," Leatherhead assured Pete as he turned to look at him. Pete's eyes widened as he nodded and seemed calmer for some reason. I watched Leatherhead approach us until he sat back down in front of us. My eyes traveled down to his long tail as he curled around his body to his feet. That was sorta cute.

"H-Hi L-Leatherhead," Shadow waved, her voice wavering a little. I hadn't noticed that she had both of her hands gripping my left arm. I smiled at her because I didn't want her to feel scared before looking back to Leatherhead, who was already staring at me.

"Are you okay, Leatherhead?" I asked sincerely, not knowing what else to say or ask right off the bat. His eyes widened in surprise for only a second before he returned to normal.

"Yes, I am fine now," He paused after saying this and looked back at me hesitantly, "Can I ask you some questions?"

Suddenly I felt nervous without Donnie here because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to answer right but I nodded, "O-Okay…"

"You know about Michelangelo and his death?" Leatherhead questioned and I froze in shock. I was used to people getting upset and freezing like I was at the mere mention of his name let alone his death…but Leatherhead looked more serious than anybody I've seen.

"Y-Yes…" I nodded, frowning at the floor, "It was terrible to hear about…"

Leatherhead looked sad for a moment before nodding and returning to normal yet again, "Michelangelo was my best friend."

For whatever reason, I felt warm when he said this and smiled as I nodded at him this time. He smiled back, "I wanted to ask something else but I am not sure if you will understand this…"

Shadow and I shared a confused look before I shrugged uncertainly, "Just ask me and I can try my best?"

"Okay," Leatherhead nodded before pausing to look me straight in the eyes, "Do you often see things and know that you recognize them or that you know them from somewhere before?"

My mouth dropped open at the unexpected question and I squirmed under his gaze as I thought about it, "….Yes…."

Leatherhead leaned back like he was just slapped and I felt as if I had said something horribly wrong. I opened my mouth to apologize but then remembered what Donnie said about me just being myself. I had answered honestly and shouldn't feel bad…..yet I still did.

"Do…do you feel like y-you've met me before?" He continued asking and I blinked before biting my lip.

"I…well…I sometimes do…and at times I feel scared of you but at other times it's like I know you won't actually hurt me…or that you won't mean to anyways," I explained without looking at his face. It was silent for a minute and Shadow clenched my arm again.

"Do you think I am a monster?"

I looked up, horrified that I may have made him believe that I think that way. Shadow also looked horrified and no longer nervous. I could tell that even she was pained at Leatherhead thinking this way. I shook my head fiercely, "No! No, I don't! I can tell you're a good guy you are just in a lot of pain!"

"I see…" Leatherhead's eyes actually grew soft and he smiled at me. My eyes grew wide and he continued smiling, "Have you heard much about religion?"

"Only some things from my Mom," I answered feeling lost about these new questions, "I know my Mom was a Christian."

"And you know what that means?"

"A little, why?" I asked, tilting my head in a confused manner. He chuckled as he shifted closer, but still I didn't feel scared.

"That's good that you know a little about religion. Have you ever heard of reincarnation?" He questioned again and I paused at the unfamiliar word.

"Um…I don't think so….at least not right now. I don't remember if my mom ever talked about that thing," I replied and he nodded, looking serious again.

"I do believe in reincarnation," Leatherhead chatted randomly and I rose an eyebrow before looking at Shadow, who just shrugged, looking just as confused as me. I opened my mouth to ask what that was about before Donnie and Dr. Rockwell came running out of Donnie's lab.

"Leo! Raph!" Donnie called loudly and I jumped at how loudly it echoed throughout the room. Leo was out before I could even turn my head, with Splinter and Raph following soon after. Slash, Casey, and April came jogging out in confusion.

"What's wrong?" Leo asked with concern as he magically appeared by Donnie's side.

"Leo, the Purple Dragons have triggered one of my location sensors," Donnie explained and my mouth went dry as my eyes widened. The scary Dragon dudes?!

"Where?" Leo asked, his eyes looking darker just as Raph nearly stomped to their sides.

"12th Avenue on 1st…" Donnie replied, looking serious but I tried to think of where that could even be, "I think they are stealing more chemicals."

"I say we find them and force at least one or two of them to tell us where Shredder and his goons are hiding now," Casey grinned as he punched one fist into his open palm. Slash rolled his eyes but nodded.

"Not only that…Donatello and I could get our hands on at least some of the chemicals they've been stealing. We can run tests on the chemicals so we can take safety and preventative measures should the worst case scenario ever come forth," Dr. Rockwell commented and everyone seemed to look at him.

"April, can you and Pete stay here with the kids and Master Splinter?" Leo asked and April gave him a look that made him chuckle, "Of course, I shouldn't have to ask right?"

"Of course!" She said and Shadow giggled, "But take care of Casey, because if something happens to him not only will I kill him…I'll kill you, okay?"

I blinked at the rare violent words from her, but it only made everyone smile for some reason so I just shook my head, "We'll take care of him, April."

"I can take care of myself!"

"Oh no ya can't," Raph grinned at Casey and I felt myself smiling alongside Raph.

"I want to be of some use as well," Leatherhead spoke up and the room went silent again. I turned to look at Leatherhead and smiled widely. He smiled back at me.

"That'd be great Leatherhead," Slash replied with pleasant surprise. When I looked up I noticed Donnie staring at Leatherhead with wide eyes.

"Then let's get geared up to go," Leo ordered softly, a pleased look on his own face as he looked around at everyone.

"Yes, let me go get more information about the area while you all get ready," Dr. Rockwell stated and I just felt confused about what was really going on. So…they found the Purple Dragon dudes somehow and they are going to get the chemicals to know more about what the Foot clan people are doing?

"Shadow, come here for a second," April called and I snapped out of my trance to see that everyone was heading towards the dojo with Leo. Shadow let go of my arm and I winced at how hard she'd been holding it. She looked over at me and we shared a smile before she danced over to April and Casey.

"Mike," Donnie called and I turned around to see him run up to me. I barely got one word in before he hugged me tight, which confused me at first but I still hugged him back just as hard, "Are you okay? Did….LH say something bad to you?"

I blinked in surprise and shook my head, "No, not really."

"Good," Donnie sighed in relief as he leaned back. I continued to stare at him, noticing how he was on his knees so that he could be eye level with me. When did that happen? "Are you sure you're okay? You seem like you're in shock."

"I…uh…how did you know about the Purple Dragon dudes?" I asked silently, leaning closer to him as I looked at April and Casey hugging Shadow, "I'm confused…"

"Oh, I get it," Donnie laughed quietly as I leaned back to look at him, "A few years back I installed these sensory triggers around the places my brothers and I would patrol at frequently, that way whenever any…um bad guys, as you would call it, came around I would know where to save us some time. That way we are also better prepared."

"Okay, so you wanted to know when and where bad guys were?" I asked with wide eyes, "That's insanely cool, Donnie! What's a sensory trigger?"

He laughed, a big smile forming on his face as he jerked me into his arms for another hug. I don't know what made him laugh or smile like that but I didn't mind it one bit. I liked when Donnie was happy. Donnie was nice, cool, and super smart like so many superheroes I see on TV and hear about in books!

He deserved to be as super happy as anyone could get!

"April, we have your tanto in here in case something happens," Leo called from the dojo doorway. I looked at him from over Donnie's shoulder and he looked over at us before winking on eye. I smiled wide.

"Great! Thanks, Leo. Shadow's been wanting to take a look at that again," April laughed and I watched Casey and Shadow follow her into the dojo with Leo. Now it was just Leatherhead, Donnie, and I in the big lair area.

Donnie pulled back from hugging me but remained kneeling, "Basically the sensory trigger I'm talking about is…like a body scanner, I guess you could say, that I had installed on the side of some buildings my brothers and I always patrol."

My eyes widened as I understood, "Ohhh, so another machine thing that you invented?"

"Yes," Donnie nodded, looking amused for some reason, "You know, you remind me of when I would tell Mikey about my inventions and how he would react….except more childish, which I didn't think possible."

I pouted at the childish part before realizing what he said. My pout dropped off my face and I looked at his face quickly, but this time he didn't have any sadness, wincing, or pain at all when he talked about Mikey. I blinked but then gave him a small smile, "I don't think there is anyone cooler than you, Donnie!"

Donnie looked taken back, "Not even Leo? Or Raph?"

"W-What…uh…well they are cool too, yeah! But not more than you!" I stammered and he just stared at me with wide eyes before laughing, "Whats so funny?!"

"W-Well you really seem to love it when Leo praises you…so I thought that maybe you really looked up to him," Donnie explained as Leatherhead turned to watch us. I looked at him before turning back to Donnie with a grin on my face.

"I do look up to Leo because he is just…I don't know! Raph's awesome too but Leo's like the leader of the whole family, right? I heard Splinter say something like that! So I need to impress Leo the most to stay!" I explained and Donnie nodded, a thoughtful look on his face.

"You're definitely staying, Mike, so you don't have to worry so much about impressing Leo," Donnie said and I shrugged, looking at the ground, "What is it? I mean, you can impress Leo and Raph if you want to, but you don't have to!"

"Well, I was also thinking that…well I didn't know my Dad, but from what I imagine…Leo kinda reminds me of what my Dad would have been like," I smiled as I looked at Donnie, who paused and stared down at me with huge eyes, "Just don't tell Leo because he might think what I said is stupid!"

"I…that's not what I thought you'd think," Donnie smiled warmly, "I think Leo would love that…maybe…but I won't tell him. I'll let you tell him when you're ready."

I nodded, beaming up at him. He beamed back at me and placed his big hand on my head as I laughed and tried to push his arm away from messing up my hair.

Donnie eventually stopped and looked over at Leatherhead, "Are you ready to leave, Leatherhead?"

Leatherhead looked shocked that Donnie even spoke to him, which made me raise an eyebrow at him, but he shook his head and then smiled politely, "Y…yes, I do not need any weapons."

Donnie chuckled, "No, no you don't. I already have my bo staff and my t-phone has a direct link to my computer, so I am ready to go."

"Do you really think that you'll benefit from collecting some of the chemicals?" Leatherhead asked quietly and I looked back and forth between them with a furrowed brow.

"Yes, I do. In the event that Shredder succeeds in his plan, I could know which other chemicals could counteract the chemicals he's using, if I can. And if anyone should, God forbid, come into contact with the chemical, I wanna know how to treat it," Donnie explained and my eyes grew wide in admiration as I stared at him, "That's why obtaining some of the chemicals is important. So I can figure out what it is. It didn't give details in the disc or files."

"I see. Then I will promise you that I will personally make sure you get those chemicals," Leatherhead replied in a low voice, one that was not menacing but still almost sounded like a growl.

"Thank you, Leatherhead," Donnie nodded, another grin forming on his face, causing me to want to smile as well. We all shifted when Leo and the others came out with belts and weapons on them.

"Leatherhead, you ready?" Slash asked and then blinked when Leatherhead abruptly nodded and got up to join his side. Raph and Leo came walking up to us with Splinter by their side.

"Everythin' okay?" Raph asked as he looked between Donnie and I. Donnie looked at me and we shared a smile.

"Yup, I have everything I need," Donnie assured and Raph grinned at him, playfully hitting his arm. I smiled at how happy Raph looked for whatever reason. I looked at Leo and was surprised when he squatted down to face me.

"You'll be okay with April and Shadow here," He said and I nodded my head shyly, not used to Leo being so close to me, "If anything should happen Sensei has a cheese looking phone in his room and our numbers are on the fridge."

My eyes grew wide in shock, "Wait, what? A cheese phone?!"

Raph and Donnie immediately laughed while Splinter chuckled. Leo smiled and took a minute before replying, "Yup, that's the one. Mikey found it in a junkyard when we were 12 and we all decided to give it to Sensei for his birthday that year. Donnie fixed it to actually work soon after."

I felt warm whenever they talked about Mikey to me. It felt like they liked me enough to talk about something that usually hurt them, "That's really awesome! You can really find good things in junkyards!"

"That you can," Donnie commented with a toothy grin. Raph rolled his eyes but still kept that smirk no his face.

"Let's get a move on, guys!" Slash called impatiently and everyone turned when they heard a crash coming from Donnie's lab. Dr. Rockwell came floating out on that thing he sits on with a sheepish face, "Are you ready, Rockwell?"

"Yes, I have the information now. Sorry," He apologized as he floated past us to be with his team. I giggled behind my hand.

"You guys go now. I'll take good care of things here," April winked as he walked up to us with Shadow, "You take care of Casey."

"We will…don't worry so much. Yer like a second Leo," Raph chuckled as he placed an arm on her shoulder and then returned a hug from Shadow. April scowled at him as Leo rolled his eyes and Casey laughed in the background.

"Thanks for staying behind, April," Donnie spoke but April just smiled at him and hugged him. Leo turned back to look at me and I looked back at him.

"We'll be back by tonight. April and Sensei will be here if you need anything," Leo said and I nodded quietly, feeling oddly worried and put off that I wouldn't see them for a few hours. I blinked when Leo leaned closer to whisper to me, "By the way, I heard what you told Donnie about me."

I nearly tripped backwards in my shock and couldn't help the choked gasp that escaped my mouth. He chuckled as the others turned to me in confusion. Donnie narrowed his eyes at Leo so I whispered back, "H-How..did-"

"Ninja hearing," Leo winked as he looked down, "I…was really touched by what you said. Thank you….and I'm sorry I didn't see how good you'd be for the family sooner."

"H-Huh?" I stammered with wide eyes but he continued smiling and stood up straight, leaving me stunned in place.

"Alright guys, let's go so we can get back," Leo ordered and immediately Slash and his team were moving out excitedly. Casey nearly jumped after them. Raph just shrugged and jogged after them. Donnie still looked confused but ran off with Leo soon after.

"What did Leo say to you?" April asked, looking confused and curious. Shadow was silently staring at me. Splinter just looked oddly happy for some reason.

"I…I'm not sure exactly," I replied, scratching my head, "But I think he just told me that he likes me."

"Awww, I told you Leo and Raph would come around. Of course he likes you. So does Raph," April beamed as he knelt to give me a hug. I hugged her back, still feeling shocked.

"I like you too, Mike!" Shadow giggled and I felt a grin form on my face as April laughed.

Leo seemed to like me more and he even said thank you! He didn't seem bothered at all by what I told Donnie. But what did he mean by ninja hearing? That sounds awesome but I'm embarrassed he actually heard me say I thought he was like my Dad! I don't know how I'll be able to look him in the face for a while!

Chapter 11: Someone's Got Other Plans

Notes:

Thanks for all the kudos and other support! It makes me happy! =)

Chapter Text

Leonardo's Point of View:

"Donnie, usually we go on the route that takes us close to the water tower…why are we taking a longer way?" I asked as I barely turned my head to my genius brother. Donnie was keeping up with Dr. Rockwell just on my left side, both were occupied by their devices which were impressive considering that we were at a non-stop running across the rooftops. How did they not run into something?

"I figured that we'd get there safer if we took a longer route than usual. I didn't want us to run into any problems," Donnie replied smoothly and Dr. Rockwell looked up from his phone to nod at me in agreement. I said nothing and turned my head back around to focus. I caught Raph staring over in my direction before he whipped his head straight and I rose an eye ridge in confusion but decided not to ask now.

"Man, it feels so good to be out and about!" Slash commented gleefully and I didn't turn around. It was sort of amazing that Slash's steps couldn't be heard as loudly as one would think. He had worked hard to get stealthier over the years and those years had been good to him. I smiled to myself. However, different from Slash, Leatherhead's feet pounded on the rooftop in a way that showed he wasn't trying to hide it. I shook my head slightly.

"Yeah, it's nice to stretch your legs! Man, I've missed this!" Casey exclaimed happily, skating on his old shoes to keep up. The ex-vigilante had no doubt ended his nightly raids after Shadow was born, but even then, it took some time for him to see that it was more important to not get mixed up in crime when he had a daughter. It was sort of nostalgic to have him fighting a battle with us again.

No one said anything further but I kept eyes all around as we jumped across another set of rooftops to get into more abandoned areas filled with rundown buildings. My eyes were eventually drawn to my silent brother, Raph, who was staring ahead silently. I felt that his behavior was a bit disconcerting. Why wasn't he making a ruckus? Why was he staring at me earlier? Usually, if he had something to say to me he had no problem telling the whole world about it!

My thoughts were causing concern to bubble up in my stomach, but I didn't want to call Raph out for his strange behavior with everyone else around so I just ignored it. If I got a chance, I'd ask him if anything was wrong. If Raph felt something that I didn't he would have let me know surely…

"We need to take a couple of more rights and we'll be on 12th avenue," Dr. Rockwell instructed slowly, cautiousness already evident in his voice. I washed away most of the concern that was plaguing my thoughts and led everyone right. I could tell that everyone was feeling the tense atmosphere now because Slash and Casey were no longer joking nor was Leatherhead as noisy.

When we stopped on a pair of rooftops over 12th avenue, I ordered everyone to stay out of sight so that we could spy on whatever was going on before we leaped into action. I was surprised that not only did Raph not put up a fight, he had nothing to say at all. I found myself staring at him in confusion and Donnie caught my eye from Raph's other side, looking just as put off as I felt. I shook my head and looked behind me at Pete.

"Pete, can you go scout around the buildings and see if you can locate any Purple Dragons?" I asked softly and he nodded, hesitantly flying higher before soaring down a little and around the building as we watched.

"I'm not close enough to sense the location of the chemicals," Dr. Rockwell disclosed quietly as he stared straight ahead with a very focused look on his face.

"We'll wait to see what Pete says and then we can come up with a plan," Donnie replied eerily calm and I smiled a little to myself, "At any rate, I'll be with you."

"Okay," Dr. Rockwell nodded, looking pacified and I leaned forward when Pete soared back in our general direction. We all huddled closer together when he landed in the middle of us, "Did you see anyone outside the buildings around back?"

"Yeah, they were in two groups," Pete told us before he licked his beak. He was nervously wringing his hands in habit. I felt bad for him because I knew he never used to be that way, but I forced myself to overlook that now.

"How many?" Leatherhead asked in a low growl and I flicked my eyes to his face, suddenly wishing I hadn't. For whatever reason, Leatherhead was more raring to go than anyone. His chest almost heaved as he inhaled and his eyes were whiting out but strangely enough, he hadn't completely lost his cool yet. I saw Slash tense up anyway.

"There were 7 in one group but 11 in the other," Pete replied as he looked over his shoulder, "They had bats and other weapons. I can't be sure, but I think there are more inside."

"Maybe the chemicals are inside," Donnie commented as he scowled in annoyance, "Dr. Rockwell and I need to get to those chemicals before they can take it somewhere else…or deliver it to the Shredder…"

"I'll go with you," Leatherhead offered immediately, catching everyone by surprise for a moment, "Their weapons cannot easily penetrate my skin so I can be an asset to you if there is a large group inside."

"Good," I agreed after a second, liking the idea of my brother being on a team with the nearly indestructible Leatherhead. He'd be safe with LH. Raph looked over at Donnie and finally smirked when Donnie rolled his eyes at me, obviously understanding my thoughts. I shrugged. I'd rather be too protective than not.

"I'll also go," Pete said shyly, almost shifting his eyes away when everyone looked over at him, "If for some reason things get crazy, I can fly out with the chemicals so that they don't end up staying in their hands."

"That's a great idea!" Slash praised and Pete blushed, looking down at the ground like it was special, "If there are only around 20 people on the outside then we can easily take care of the rest and join in if things go wrong, though."

"I was thinking the same," Dr. Rockwell agreed with a smile on his face. I looked towards Raph and Donnie, who noticed me looking and stared back. Donnie smiled at me and nodded his head in agreement with what everyone was saying. However, Raph was looking at me in an odd way. I rose a non-existent eyebrow.

"What's wrong, Raph?" I asked without thinking, despite my earlier thoughts of not wanting to single him out. But by now, I was freaking out over his silent behavior. He looked away immediately.

"This just doesn't feel right," He muttered and everyone stopped to turn to him. Now that all eyes were on him he looked a bit embarrassed, "Am I tha only one that thinks this is too easy?"

"We haven't even gotten down there yet," Slash commented, looking confused.

"Actually, I was thinkin' the same," Casey admitted with a sheepish look on his face. My eyes widened as I looked at him before looking back at Raph, "I mean, why would they have only 20 guys guardin' chemicals they've been workin' on and collectin' for years? I know there could be more inside…but what if this is a trap?"

"Well…. when you say it like that it makes sense," Donnie pondered out loud as Raph nodded his head, "But I don't see why they'd benefit from that because they know we have allies on our sides…and the whole point of gaining enough chemicals was to flush us out of the sewers for good. Other than that, their target is Mike, who has evidence of their wrongdoing that could put them away."

"I don't know. I just had a funny feelin' is all. Let's just get this over with," Raph dismissed as he turned to eye the street below. Donnie and I shared a look before I sighed.

"Let's split up into our teams then. Everyone take your time just in case and watch each other's backs," I instructed and they nodded. Right after that, I jumped down into the alley next to our building and flipped over across the street to the other alleyway. Raph, Slash, and Casey followed me easily. I looked over my shoulder at them before noticing Leatherhead, Donnie, Dr. Rockwell, and Pete climbing to the rooftop above us to enter through the glass doorway on top.

"Casey, make sure ya don't trip and fall out there, kay? I don't wanna scrape yer face off tha asphalt," Raph joked, surprising me by his sudden change of behavior once more. Slash laughed as Casey's face turned shades of red and I face palmed.

"I can say the same to you!" Casey growled, obviously embarrassed. I cut their budding argument off with just one look that seemed to literally freeze them in place. I dropped my glare and made the signal for them to follow behind me. I looked around the edge of the corner and noticed the group Pete had described before. They were chatting and only a few of them were actually paying attention to their situation. I studied them and felt relieved when I saw no obvious signs of a gun. Even if they were hiding some we'd be able to dodge in time from how long it would take them to take any guns out.

Reaching into my belt, I grabbed two shuriken and rolled out of the alleyway, immediately throwing the two shuriken at the backs of two unsuspecting Dragons.

"What the fuck!" One screamed as the shuriken lodged into the back of his neck. The other howled in pain and I wasted no time in unsheathing my katanas and leaping towards the group I had just hit, "Holy shit!"

Chaos broke out as I easily took down the first person, whom limply fell onto the ground, making a puddle of blood pool around him from where I had cut into his back. I took out the other when I spun around and thrust my katana into his abdomen and blocked another's bat with my other katana. I could hear Raph's familiar battle roar and Casey's exclaimed "Goongala!" and knew that I was no longer alone on the battlefield.

Everything was going smoothly, especially with Slash with us. He was very intimidating with his size and a couple of Purple Dragons immediately began to run away. Casey laughed at them and used his hockey pucks to knock them to the ground in surprise. Raph was waiting for them and I turned to looked at my own opponent, quickly realizing it was the purple and blue-haired man who had tried to take Micah away from us a few days ago.

"Shit, you came a bit earlier than we thought!" He grunted as he rolled out of the way from my kick. My eyes widened at his words and immediately my heart jumped into my throat.

"What are you talking about?!" I demanded as I charge for him. His eyes went wide and the coward literally rolled on the ground to evade my attack. He quickly pressed something against his ear and I gasped, lunging towards him when I realized it was a Bluetooth device Donnie always talked about before, one that allows you to take calls or make them, "No!"

"They're here, Boss! Time for part 1!" He notified in a fast pace and tried to evade again but this time my katana contacted his shoulder and sliced across his skin. He grunted in pain and swung his metal bar one-handed. I deflected with both of my katana and pushed him back, getting ready to kill him.

"What was he talkin' about, part one?!" Raph demanded as I rolled my wrist and thrust my katana downwards. The purple-haired Dragon rolled over but my katana pierced through his jacket. I grunted from how hard I'd stabbed into the ground and was shocked when the Dragon swung his metal bar into my leg. I gasped in pain and leaned over but quickly composed myself.

"Leo!" Casey cried out and I whirled around when I heard a roaring noise. Lights flooded my vision and I gaped in horror. I leaped out of the way as I van stopped, nearly short of killing the man I had trapped on the ground, "Reinforcements!"

"Move!" I barked and Casey was quick to comply as Foot ninja and Purple Dragons flooded out of the van. I cursed and steadied my remaining katana. Slash dispatched the last Purple Dragon and roared, leaping forward before anyone else, taking on the first fray of Foot and Purple Dragons. I immediately rushed to aid him.

"What the hell is goin' on?" Casey yelled in panic as he stayed by Raph's side, taking on the other Foot and Purple Dragons that pooled their way. Raph said nothing and savagely attacked anyone that got close to our human friend. I gasped when my leg radiated pain but kept going and blocking hits from two Foot ninja. Raph and Casey had been right. This was a trap. They purposefully trigger Donnie's alarm system. But why?

"Leo!" My eyes widened in shock at Donnie's sudden voice and the person behind me froze. I realized Dr. Rockwell must have used his physic abilities to stop him and I whirled around knocking the Purple Dragon out before jumping when Donnie ran towards my side, "We got the chemicals, but what the heck happened?!"

"This was a trap," I hissed as my arms shook from blocking another hit from a Foot ninja wielding a single sword. He was pressing all his weight on me and I shifted on one foot to quickly kick him back and whirled around, slashing his throat. He gurgled in agony and fell to the ground. Donnie quickly dispatched two others and then I felt the tense situation uplifting, "Where are the chemicals."

"Pete and Dr. Rockwell are back on the roof. Leatherhead is still inside taking care of the last of the Purple Dragons. They had guns," Donnie visibly winced when one of the Dragons' got a lucky hit on his arm and I threw a shuriken at him as Donnie used his bō staff to knock him out.

"Leo! Slash! We could use help ova here," Raph cursed as a group of seven Foot ninja bared down on them. Casey looked as though he was coughing, blood coming from his mouth due to a split lip. My eyes widened and I practically flew over Donnie's head to join the fray but was caught short by that damned purple-haired Dragon.

"You're gonna get it for doing this to me!" He sneered and I briefly looked at his bloodied shirt form where I had cut into his shoulder. I rolled my eyes but felt movement behind me and barely dodged the katana that would have decapitated me. As I parried with my own katana and quickly realized the other Foot ninja had my other katana. I growled and bared down on him but hissed in pain when the purple-haired Dragon used his metal bar to hit my arm, I spun and kicked him before dropping to the floor to avoid being cut by my own katana.

Then, out of nowhere, I heard a loud grunt followed by a shout and turned my head, only to freeze in horror at seeing Raph with a dart sticking out of his neck. Casey looked equally as horrified and somewhere in the distance, Slash roared in anger.

"Raph!" Donnie yelled hysterically, his eyes wide in panic. I realized almost too late that I had been dodging a katana and rolled away. The katana clipped my shoulder and I cringed but pushed the Foot ninja away with a sheer strength that surprised me. I whirled around to take care of the purple-haired Dragon but at the same time I turned, he hit me in the forehead with his metal bar and I fell over in shock. I gasped repeatedly as pain vibrated through my skull. Stars danced in my vision and I fought back tears of pain.

The only thing that mattered was that I get to Raph. Help Raph!

…ugh my head feels heavy…

I heavily blinked, trying to clear my vision. My hands shook as I pushed myself up and realized I had been lying down on my shell. I looked up and squinted my eyes when I saw a flash of purple, "Do..Donnie?"

"Leo! Leo, are you okay? How much pain are you in? Can you see me?!" Donnie fretted in a panicked tone. I nodded my head and groaned when the pain flared up again, "No, don't move your head! You were down for a little while. You have a pretty bad concussion."

I groaned in agreement to his assessment but then my eyes flew open when I realized what he had said. I immediately was greeted with the sight of Donnie squatting right in front of me. He seemed okay except for a forming bruise of his upper cheekbone, but what got me were the damp spots in his mask. My heart could have fallen straight to hell with how fast my chest burned in horror and agony.

"No…." I moaned in pain, clenching my eyes shut, "…. Raph?"

"I'm so sorry, Leo! I tried to reach him but then you fell and Slash got there first but there was just so many Foot and Purple Dragons left over from the reinforcements. I tried to keep the purple-haired Dragon from killing you, I couldn't have left you to get to Raph, but if I did then maybe he wouldn't have been taken….but I-"

"Donnie…I understand," I swallowed, my throat feeling dry. Frustrated tears filled my eyes as Slash and Casey quietly stood next to Donnie, their eyes blazing with such manic anger that I was half surprised that they weren't running after Raph themselves. Donnie suddenly sniffed and I looked over at him in horror as he began to wail, "Donnie, we'll get him back. We will."

"But…B-But I couldn't help him! I couldn't do anything…again! What if he dies? Then I'll have failed a second brother!" Donnie sobbed and I choked on my own breath. Casey's face dropped faster than lightening and Slash's eyes widened.

"No…No…please, no, don't say that," I said very quietly, almost in a whisper. My heart hammered in my chest and I reached out to my remaining brother, "Please don't think like that, Donnie. It's my fault, I kept getting distracted by Raph…"

Donnie shook his head and then let me hug him as he sobbed. I was too ashamed to even look at Casey and Slash, but looked over my shoulder to see that the van from earlier was gone. Pete and Dr. Rockwell were standing on the ground now, staring at the ground sadly. Leatherhead was seething off to the side with blood all over his arms up to his elbow.

My eyes trailed over where Raph had been struck with a dart. No sign of him remained and only then did I let tears fall down my cheeks as I embraced Donnie. Why in the world didn't I listen to Raph when he said this was a trap? But why did they take Raph?

"We need to get these chemicals to your house," Dr. Rockwell called over towards us in a sympathetic voice that made me feel even worse than I did now, "We also need to start figuring out where they took Raphael…"

"They…they just took him," Pete echoed, shock in every inch of his voice, "They had a dart? That's how they took him down! Did they have just one or more?"

"I thought the damn chemicals were important!" Slash cursed loudly, "So why didn't they take the chemicals back? Why did they take Raph?!"

"I don't know," I replied numbly, leaning away from Donnie as he wiped his eyes, "But Dr. Rockwell's right…we need to get the chemicals home now and begin looking for a way to find out where Raph is."

"Then let's go," Casey simply replied, sounding and looking much calmer than he initially had. I looked up when he reached out a hand to me, a serious look on his face for once. I took his hand and allowed him to jerk me up. Everyone gasped when I almost stumbled back down. I squeezed my eyes shut as a headache from hell took over.

"We need to get ice for your head," Donnie mumbled as he took my arm, "Let's hurry home now. Dr. Rockwell, Leatherhead, do you guys got the crates? The chemicals in them are contained in glass, so be careful."

"Sure," Leatherhead grunted as he lifted two of the crates and Dr. Rockwell levitated the rest. I said nothing else as I allowed Donnie to guide me forward. Whatever they wanted with Raph, I sure as shell wasn't going to get away with what they did tonight.

Chapter 12: Mikey's Reincarnation

Summary:

Everyone plans to get Raph back and during it, Leatherhead makes an observation that changes the way everyone sees Micah(Mike).

Notes:

Elements of reincarnation are discussed here. I pulled from different things I read about it and I do not wish to offend anyone's religious beliefs! Thank you for reading! :)

Chapter Text

Donatello's Point of View:

I had my arms around Leo, trying to help him walk forward. A huge knot the size of a tennis ball was starting to form on his forehead and I was surprised that he wasn't losing consciousness at this point.

We stepped over some of the bodies on the ground and began walking forward again. Leo almost stumbled over one of the bodies and I gasped, stumbling along with him until Casey quickly came to my other side to help carry his weight.

"Sorry," Leo mumbled quietly, obviously trying too hard to focus. Casey's face morphed into a bit of pity at how hard Leo was trying to stay conscious.

"No problem, Leo," Casey smiled easily and looked over at me. I just stared back at him and he frowned in concern. I realized then that he wanted me to say something to Leo too but I couldn't right now; my mind was racing with multiple thoughts and feelings.

"Hey guys!" Pete called out suddenly. Casey and I turned a little to look at Pete and realized that he was holding something in the air for everyone to see. It looked like a slip of paper. My eyes widened a little.

"What is that?" Slash demanded as he stepped beside Pete. His eyes barely scanned over the sheet of paper before he gasped, his eyes going wide, "Guys, it's a note from the Foot!"

"What?!" I shouted, going pale. I jolted in shock when Leo quickly stood straight up, his slightly unfocused eyes narrowing.

"What does it say?" He asked, still speaking slowly. I was a little relieved that he was still aware of what was going on around him.

"It says, 'We have one of your own. To get him back we propose an exchange: bring us the child and we'll give your comrade back.' -Foot," Pete read aloud, his hands starting to shake.

Immediately my heart dropped to my feet. They wanted an exchange? Micah for Raph? I looked at Leo in horror and was met with a very horror-filled confused expression. Did he even understand what the note was implying?

"Oh hell no!" Casey cursed and I glared at him for how loud it was, "That's why they took Raph?"

"But that doesn't make sense," Dr. Rockwell replied in a confused manner, "We have their precious chemicals and derailed their plans to flood the sewers with it. Why do they still want the child?"

"I do not understand it either. You said he had evidence that could put a lot of the Purple Dragons away for good. However, that evidence is now in your hands, not the child's. Why did they ask for Micah and not the evidence?" Leatherhead pondered as he turned towards Leo and I, his eyes flaring with anger and confusion.

My eyes widened at what he said, "You're right! Why do they still want him? What would they do to him?"

"Exactly, we can't give them the kid," Slash growled in agreement under his breath, "We'll get Raphael back our way!"

"Right…" Leo added quietly, his eyes shining with determination. I blinked at my older brother and then felt worried. He's still talking slow; we need to get him back so he can rest and get patched up.

"We'll talk about this more at the lair. Bring the note," I ordered and everyone turned to me in slight surprise, "Leo needs medical attention…in fact everyone needs a little medical attention. Let's get patched up and then we'll plan to rescue Raph."

"Woah, look at you! A minute ago you were really upset…now you're taking charge," Casey grinned at me, obviously pleased, and I rolled my eyes. As much as I still was panicking on the inside about Raph and now Leo, I couldn't let myself wallow in it when Leo was hurt like this.

"Well you heard 'em, let's go!" Slash smirked, looking raring to go. I smiled a little and continued to lead Leo to the nearest manhole cover.

"D'nnie…" Leo whispered and I looked over at Leo with wide eyes. His pupils weren't dilating like they should and he was wincing. Even so, he was trying to smile at me, "Proud of you."

A true smile grace my face, "Thanks, bro. Let's go fix you up."

Raphael's Point of View:

My head was throbbin' like I had just fallen off a two-story buildin' face first. As if that weren't enough my neck was stiff and tense. What tha shell happened? Did Leo totally kick my shell in a spar?

Cringin', I managed ta open my eyes before squeezin' them shut again when tha light hurt my eyes. I heard a bit of shuffilin' from far away and wondered if my brothers were outside my room.

"Wake up, Freak."

My eyes practically flew open at the strong-toned voice. Now I knew for a fact that my brothers, hell even anyone I cared about, would never call me a freak. I blinked a couple of times and found myself starin' at a cold stone floor.

My body started ta ache and I absent-mindedly tried ta move my arms but found that they were bound upwards, chained ta tha wall. No wonder I felt so achy and stiff everywhere.

"Finally you woke up!" Tha same voice bellowed and I winced at tha migraine I had. I looked up from where I was sittin' on tha ground and saw a Purple Dragon I had not seen in years, Fong. The other two that accompanied him were not with him. Behind Fong I could see a large steel door of some kind and the walls were tha same stone as tha floor.

I gave Fong one hard look as he smirked smugly at me, "Wow, Fong, ya really let yourself go a little."

His smirk fell immediately and I grinned, feelin' amused at how angered he already was. But I was speakin' tha truth, he used ta be really skinny with a go-tee, but now he had a full beard and gained some weight. He wasn't exactly fat or anythin', but it was a big difference from how he had looked years before.

"You're one to talk you fucking freak!" He cursed and my smile fell, a sneer takin' it's place. I ignored his comment.

"Where am I?" I demanded, fed up with tryin' think of where by myself. I wasn't as observant or smart as Donnie and Leo. Fong coughed into his fist and then regained his confident smirk.

"You're at a Purple Dragon hideout. I won't tell you where," He replied and my face fell flat. He's still as stupid as either. Should he even have told me that much? "Of all the things I learned tonight I have to say I was surprised when that purple turtle took down our leader!"

I blinked stupidly and then my eyes widened. That's right! We were stealin' back chemicals from tha Purple Dragons! Then we were ambushed and found out they set off Donnie's trigger sensors on purpose. I was fightin' alongside Casey and we were bein' overwhelmed. I took on 3 at once until somethin' pricked my fuckin' neck!

"You guys just love ta play dirty cause ya know ya can't beat my brothers and I in a real fight," I hissed, feelin' angry and disgusted. Fong growled but seemed to be restraining himself from hittin' me.

"We needed to get at least one of you! It didn't matter which one," Fong explained as he looked around the bricked walls, "And even with the Foot helping us we knew we needed to use drugs to knock one of you out to capture you."

"Why?" I growled and a corner of his mouth lifted.

"Because we needed an insurance policy to get the kid, the chemicals, and the evidence back eventually," Fong revealed and my eyes slowly widened. My blood ran cold at tha word 'insurance policy'. I was bein' used as fuckin' leverage against my family!

"Haha, look at you!" Fong laughed, obviously findin' amusement in my shock, "Shredder is one evil son of a bitch, comin' up with a plan like this!"

"Why do ya want tha kid when yer askin' for tha evidence?" I demanded, narrowin' my eyes as my heart burned. My chest felt heavy and the achin' all over my body was no longer just from my position or tha drugs.

"Cause we don't want any witnesses to know about our plans. Since they involve gettin' rid of you and your family it wouldn't matter if we asked for them. You're all gonna die anyways," Fong smirked cruelly and I growled, snappin' at him but the chains pulled at my wrists, sendin' aches up and down my arms.

"You'd kill that kid just so he can never tell anyone what ya guys do?" I asked lividly, my eyes flashin' at the idea of the kid bein' killed. He was growin' on me and Leo…he was pretty much Donnie's kid. He couldn't just be taken out of our lives like that!

"Pretty much. You never know when he'd tell anyone and who might believe him. He's a liability the Purple Dragons just don't feel like risking," Fong explained as he stretched his arms over his head, lookin' content, "I know I'll feel more at ease with the kid dead!"

"Yer insane. All of ya! This plan won't work!" I denied, shakin' my head, tryin' to dispel the images of Mike dyin'. I'd already lost one person I really cared about, I can't lose another! I won't!

"Oh but it will. We left a note per Shredder's plan. After the death of your youngest brother, there's no way your brothers could leave you behind like that," Fong replied wickedly and my heart fell all tha way ta my feet. He was right. I knew my brothers; they'd never let this go. They'd never leave me behind. But they wouldn't just give Mike ta these assholes, would they? =

Fong chuckled and I shot him an icy glare, "Yeah. That's what I thought. Now you just stay there and be a good boy while we wait for the exchange."

"There's no way in hell they're givin' that boy ta ya," I growled with hate, feeling it rumble in my chest. I felt like I was goin' crazy with how angry I felt in tha moment and Fong's eyes widened at my look, "I swear ta God, if anythin' happens ta a single member of my family or ta that kid, I'll fuckin' kill you!"

My eyes were wide, but glarin' and Fong actually looked a bit frightened his eyes owl-size as he backed up until he hit the door. He glared at me, "W-Whatever, man! You're the one that's insane! Just look at you! I'm outta here!"

He was out of tha door before I could muster a reply and I huffed, feelin' my muscles protest from bein' so tense. I looked up at the chains and wondered how I could possible get of these? I'll have ta give myself time ta get more strength and then I could break 'em.

Sighin', I looked towards tha left where a small rectangular window with bars was. The sky was still really dark so I must not have been out for too long, which was good. I hope my brothers could find out where I was without agreein' ta this stupid exchange.

I wasn't worththa kid dyin', not for one fuckin' second!

Micah's Point of View:

I looked around the room, noticing the circle of sad faces. I swallowed but it felt like there was a constant lump in my throat. Splinter was in Donnie's lab with Leo, who was passed out. I had seen his head when he first came in and freaked out. It looked like there was a small ball on his head!

Donnie assured everyone that the worst Leo had was a moderate concussion and that he was past the point of falling into a coma, which I was relieved. I didn't know much about that kinda stuff but I knew that people could get into comas and possibly never come out. I didn't want that for anyone!

April and Shadow were happy to see that Casey was okay, for the most part. But he and Slash were the ones to tell us about what happened to Raph and I felt like crying.

"If only I'd never met Donnie!" I had cried but was quickly shushed by a mortified April.

"Don't ever say that again, Micah!" She scolded just like a Mom would, "If you never met Donnie then we'd never know about the Purple Dragons' plans to kill everything in the sewers!"

Leatherhead was sitting down by my side and never moved. Pete showed Splinter the note before he had joined Donnie and Leo in the lab. Slash and Dr. Rockwell finished moving in those boxes of chemicals.

When we learned that the Foot wanted to exchange me for Raph I was really upset. I didn't want to leave but I didn't want Raph to get hurt because of me! Donnie came out of the lab around that time and let me hug him. He explained his side of the battle they had and I felt bad when once of twice he paused when talking about Raph getting hit with a dart and captured.

Afterwards Donnie invited everyone to stay over and apparently they've done that before because Slash, April, and Casey already knew where to find extra covers and pillows for everyone to sleep on. I just stayed by Leatherhead and Donnie while everyone went their separate ways to get what they wanted. I turned to Donnie silently and saw that he was staring at the ground blankly.

I grabbed his hand and tugged a little to grab his attention. He blinked and looked at me, "Donnie, are you okay?" What a stupid question!

"Not really, buddy, but I will be when we get Raph back," He said quietly and I knew that only Leatherhead and I heard him. I looked up and watched how everyone else was going in and out of rooms, not paying our conversation any attention.

"Something else seems to be bothering you, my friend," Leatherhead spoke up in a soft tone and I looked up at him in surprise before looking back to Donnie's face. He sighed heavily and nodded, rubbing the back of his neck.

"I feel really guilty. I could have saved Raph before he was captured, you know?" He started and I frowned, "But then one of the Purple Dragons had hit Leo hard across his head and he went down. He was going to be killed so I had to choose. It was either Leo could possibly get killed or Raph gets captured."

"It's better to have a brother captured than killed," Leatherhead nodded, looking sad for Donnie while my mouth fell open. Poor Donnie! I grabbed Donnie's hand harder and he didn't notice it.

"Yeah, true. But in the end, I still chose one brother over the other and that shouldn't be easy to deal with," Donnie simply replied and looked down at me. I nodded fast and he smiled a little, still looking sad.

"How are we gonna get Raphie back, Donnie?" I asked immediately and he twitched, freezing. His eyes went wide and Leatherhead also paused, looking over at me surprise, "W-What's wrong? We are getting him back right? Did I say something stupid?"

"N-No, you didn't," Donnie assured but put a hand on his chest, looking startled, "It's just…well…you…you never called Raph, 'Raphie', before…"

"Oh…" I blinked, barely noticing that I even called Raph that, "I guess it just felt natural to call him that. I wasn't thinking about it."

Donnie looked confused and shocked all over again. I didn't know why. Leatherhead was rubbing his chin and staring at me in that way he was doing before they all had to leave on their mission. I rose an eyebrow at the two of them.

"Very fascinating…" Leatherhead finally commented, startling Donnie and I out of our staring, "You say it felt natural? You didn't realize you had called him that? Does that nickname feel familiar to you?"

I canted my head to one side but thought about what he asked me. Raphie just seemed to fit Raph…I wasn't thinking when I called him that but it did feel like it belonged. Was it familiar? I guess it was in a way…just like other things! Donnie was looking between Leatherhead and I with interest. I nodded my head, "Yeah, it kinda does. I wasn't thinking about it but the nickname feels like it belongs to Raph!"

Donnie paled slightly but nodded, gulping slightly, "Mikey was the only one that called him that…until now…"

My eyes widened and my heart skipped a beat. I just made Donnie even sadder than he was by remembering his dead brother! Why? Why can't I just stop acting like Mikey? Why am I so much like him? I jumped when Leatherhead shifted, his large body getting close towards me. He was looking at me with interest and was smiling. Then I realized that he was tailed was slightly…moving? Was it wagging? What the heck?!

"I see. This is very interesting," Leatherhead commented as he continued to smile at me, "My theory of reincarnation seems to be proving more correct by the minute."

Suddenly it was like a light was turned on for Donnie, who went completely still, his eyes widened to the size of the moon and he gasped loud enough to where everyone in the lair had stopped to look at him in concern, even Leatherhead.

"Don?"

"Donnie? You alright?"

The others began to walk back to us, dropping their items where they were before grouping around us. I felt surprised and startled by Leatherhead's statement and Donnie's reaction. What the heck was reincarnation? Was it a type of religion? What does that have to do with me and Leatherhead's questions for me?

"I-I'm…Leatherhead, what did you just say?" Donnie asked, turning to the alligator mutant. Everyone exchanged glances with each other and Leatherhead, who seemed to realize that Donnie hadn't noticed whatever he had noticed about what he said.

"I said that my theory of reincarnation seems to me proving more correct by the minute. I had my suspicions earlier but I was just asking questions to confirm it," He replied and Donnie's face went pale as he brought a hand up to his forehead.

"Reincarnation? That's what we have been missing this whole time! I…Leo, Raph, Sensei, and I thought this type of thing seemed familiar somehow!" Donnie exclaimed, his eyes lighting up with each word he said. I just felt lost.

"What type of thing?" Slash asked, looking just as lost as I felt.

"Mike doing similar things that Michelangelo did! His features, his personality, his quirks, they are all like Michelangelo's!" Donnie answered and a few of the others gasped. April's and Dr. Rockwell's eyes lit up in understanding.

"I see! The term reincarnation came mean a hundred different things depending on which origin you're looking at, but it fits!" Dr. Rockwell commented and Donnie nodded his head before looking down at me, his eyes brighter than they had been before he had come in.

I decided to speak up now that he was looking at me, "What does reincarnation mean, Donnie? I don't get what's going on!"

"Reincarnation is explained differently in many religions…but what Leatherhead and I are theorizing is that when my baby brother, Michelangelo, died he was reborn as you, Mike," He explained and my eyes widened as I thought about what he said. Wait…when Mikey died….he was reborn as me? That meant...uh..

"Um…what does that mean? He was reborn as me?" I questioned, turning red with embarrassment for being so stupid. Donnie, however, looked patient and smiled kindly at me in a way that reminded me of my Mom. The redness went away.

"I mean that when Mikey died, he was born as you the next day…something along those lines," Donnie chuckled as he noticed my expression, "But this explains why you are so much like him. Despite not being a turtle, you even have features like he did. The freckles, the chubby-like cheeks, the baby blue eyes…"

My eyes widened again and my heart skipped a beat. Mikey was born as me? It was true that I was born the day after Mikey died…but this doesn't make sense to me…I looked up at Donnie's fascinated face, "So…what you just said…that means…I'm Mikey?"

"What in the shell?!" Slash cursed, rubbing his head, "That makes no fricken' sense!"

"I know right? But wouldn't that be amazing!" Casey grinned from ear to ear and I startled at how loud they were. The rest looked too shocked to comment.

Donnie silenced them with a look and Leatherhead chuckled a little, making me look at his face, "In a sense, you could say that you are Michelangelo, but you still have your differences. It's hard to truly understand the idea of reincarnation because there are so many versions…but, in essence, Michelangelo died but was born as you for a new life."

I rose an eyebrow and everyone laughed, "I think I understand now…but if I'm Mikey then why didn't I just recognize all of you and be just like him?"

"Well it's not like that…it's more like aspects of his spirit and soul were born into you…does that make sense?" Dr. Rockwell continued explained and I studied him, thinking over what he just told me. Um…spirit and soul….so like his personality?

"So…I'm not actually Mikey…but I am who I am because of him?" I replied and a silence filled the room. Dr. Rockwell, Donnie, and Leatherhead looked especially startled.

"That is exactly what it means, Micah," Splinter chimed in from the door to Donnie's lab and everyone turned in that direction. I blinked but noticed that Splinter had a warm smile on his face, "I cannot believe I misplaced the term. Reincarnation…good observations, Leatherhead. I should have realized this much sooner."

Leatherhead glowed a little under the praise and I stared at Splinter as he joined our group. I wasn't sure how to react to everything I just learned let alone know how everyone else felt about it. Splinter says I'm right…so that means I have Mikey to thank for who I am? I'm just like Mikey because I'm him reincarnation…that's a pretty big word…

"Micah, how do you feel about this?" Splinter asked me as he knelt slowly in front of me. I blinked out of my thoughts and looked at him, feeling overwhelmed.

"Um, I'm pretty shocked. I don't know a lot about this stuff…but like Donnie says it does explain why I'm so much like Mikey," I nodded a little, feeling more relieved suddenly at understanding why I make them so upset when I do things like Mikey did, "I don't know who Mikey is…except for what you guys tell me…but I like who I am and I love that I got to meet you guys!"

Splinter suddenly looked teary-eyed and I gasped, feeling ashamed and guilty that I made him upset. Then I heard Donnie sniffling and glanced up in horror only to realize they were both smiling at me, not frowning, "I am very happy that you feel that way. You may not be my son, but it still feels as though you are and I think I should welcome you home."

My chest felt very warm by what he said and I smiled without realizing I was doing it. I met Splinter's embrace whole-heartedly and wasn't surprised when Donnie joined in the hug. Donnie squeezed me harder than Sensei did and I giggled a little. I was amazed at how clear my mind was now. I finally know what they were talking about and what they meant! This is why so much seemed familiar and why I wasn't bothered with much at first. I recognized many different things because of Mikey…because I was like him.

And for the first time in a long time, I was happy to be just like Mikey!

Later…

After the initial hugs- that turned into a big group hug by everyone, Splinter went back to look after Leo while the others wanted to get together with Donnie to talk about what they were going to do to get Raph back. No one wanted to give me up to the scary Dragons, which I was both thankful for and guilty about. If they made the trade, then they'd get Raph back. Leo and Donnie would get their brother back and Splinter would get his son back.

I don't know why they still want me when they could just ask for the stuff they wanted, but the others said that it wasn't good and I believed them. I didn't feel very brave because I didn't want to get hurt but I didn't want Raph to get hurt either. Shadow and I stayed together while they talked but they weren't in the lab so that Leo could sleep. Leo wasn't going on the mission, which I somehow knew he'd hate more than anything.

"We can't bring Leo with us nor can we wait until he recovers to get Raph back," Casey said in an annoyed tone, "I'm not sure what we can do!"

"Casey's right about Leo. Plus, I feel like they aren't going to wait more than a day for some sort of reply," April commented and Pete sighed, looking at the ground sadly. I frowned as well.

"We just need to figure out where they took Raph and we can rescue him," Donnie replied, looking very determined and serious. I looked over at Shadow beside me and she was watching the adults with wide eyes.

"Okay, but I'm coming with you this time. My psychic skills can help you locate Raph and help fight," April smirked and Donnie frowned but nodded. Casey just frowned but the others seemed relieved. I blinked at what she said.

"Psychic skills? Are you telepathetic, April?" I asked curiously and started when everyone looked at me in shock before bursting out into laughter. Casey and Donnie were laughing so hard they were doubling over, holding their stomachs.

"It's telepathic, Mike," April laughed, wiping a tear from her eye as Shadow turned away, giggling into her hands, "Ahaha, Mikey said the same thing before! I always wondered if he did it on purpose."

I pouted but felt relieved that no one was upset, "Well if I'm like him then I can promise you he didn't do it on purpose. He was serious."

That set off another round of laughter and seeing Donnie on the floor pounding a fist on the ground had me grinning from ear to ear. I began to laugh as well and soon everyone was just laughing. It seemed like a few minutes before everyone calmed down. Donnie and Casey both looked at each other from where they had been leaning against one another.

"I swear…I think I lost a bit of weight just now," Casey commented and Slash whirled his head to look at Casey oddly before laughing once more.

"What tha hell, Jones?" He laughed and Pete laughed as well, April rolled her eyes but helped Casey off the floor before doing the same to Donnie, "Anyways…as we were sayin'…I think it'd be great if April came too. In fact, we can set up a patrol starting tomorrow and bring her along to see if she can sense where Raph is."

"Good idea," Dr. Rockwell nodded his head while April looked pleased.

I looked at Shadow, "Your Mom's pretty awesome if she has powers like that."

"It is awesome, but also not awesome at the same time," Shadow grunted, pouting, "She always senses when something's wrong with me and I can't keep anything to myself. Mom always knows how I'm truly feeling."

My eyes widened, "Oh really?"

Shadow nodded before she suddenly smiled a little, "And she sucked at pretending to be bad at hide and seek. She almost never let me win."

I thought about that and laughed hard, "You could never hide from April then! And Casey can't either!"

"Nope!" Shadow laughed with me, "Whenever they have arguments Daddy knows he can't hide from Mom because she can find him anywhere! It's so funny to see that part! Dad gets super scared of Mom when she's mad."

"We'll start tomorrow then," April agreed, catching mine and Shadow's attention. The others looked more determined now, "I'll go with Casey on a casual run and see if I sense anything in a certain place so that will narrow the search."

"And you'll keep your phones handy, right?" Donnie asked, looking concerned, "They know about your powers, April. So, you guys could still be targets."

"It's a risk we'll take for Raph," Casey grinned as he bumped Donnie's arm, "Just make sure Shadow stays out of trouble, will ya?"

"I'm never trouble!" Shadow denied and I blinked over at her, "Besides, I'll stay and hang out with Mike! You two can go on a mission and not worry about me for once." Casey and April looked amused at her.

"The only thing I'm worried about is how long that will take. They would want an answer by tomorrow night. If we don't agree by then, Raphael will most likely be killed," Dr. Rockwell commented and everyone tensed, including me. Hearing that Raph might die made me feel sick inside. I couldn't let that happen!

"We'll just have to make sure that doesn't happen," Donnie commented softly and everyone nodded. I looked down sadly. I didn't want anything to happen to Raph and searching the entire city for him with just April and Casey would take forever. They didn't want to give any agreements and they couldn't rescue Rah if they didn't know where he was…

And if they didn't agree to hand me over then Raph would basically die? No way!

I turned around in my seat, staring at my lap. Shadow noticed and stared at me silently. The others finished their talk and began to part ways, moving about the lair to begin fixing everyone a place to sleep. Donnie came to my side and I blinked up at him, "Are you ready to go to bed, Mike? We have a big day tomorrow."

I smiled a little so that Donnie didn't worry, but a plan was starting to form in my own head, "Sure! Leo should be awake tomorrow!"

"Yes, he should," Donnie smiled warmly as he led me to his bedroom after we said goodnight to everyone. Donnie let me get settled into bed first and I shifted towards the wall and cuddled into the bed. Donnie took off his gear to get comfortable and then got in bed next to me before sighing.

"Don't worry, Donnie. We'll get Raphie back," I comforted, smiling when he looked over at me. I noticed how much larger his brown eyes looked without his purple mask on.

"I know, Mike. We're gonna work hard to bring him back," Donnie smiled, turning on his side to face me, "I won't let them take you away."

I tried hard not to frown, "Hey Donnie…how long does it usually take for you guys to rescue someone?"

He blinked in surprise before hesitantly replying, "It depends on the situation…but we never give up…why?"

"I was just thinking how April might not find where Raph is tomorrow and if that happens then you'll have no choice but to give me to the Dragon dudes," I replied and his eyes turned dark.

"If that happens we still won't give you to them!" He frowned heavily and I frowned too.

"But Donnie…if you don't give me to them like they asked…then Raph will-"

"Don't you worry about it, Mike. We'll figure everything out and get Raph back. It doesn't have to be that way," Donnie shushed me gently, looking stubborn on the idea. I continued to frown worriedly. Donnie loved Raph, I knew that…but wouldn't it be easier to give me away and then just rescue me? Why was he trying so hard?

I thought about it for a few minutes until a sound drew me out of my thoughts. I blinked when I realized Donnie was snoring gently. It was then that I noticed the dark circles under his eyes that couldn't be seen with his mask on. Wow, he hasn't really slept much lately. I frowned before re-thinking about my earlier thoughts.

After I was sure it had been awhile I gently moved the covers off my body before shoving a pillow under the covers and covering it up. I got out of bed as quietly as I could and stood there awkwardly as I made sure Donnie was still sleeping. It hadn't been long…so the others probably weren't all asleep yet. But maybe I could sneak out? Or maybe I was lucky and they were all just as tired as Donnie?

I opened the door slightly and realized that the lights had been turned out in the lair. I blinked before shuffling out of the room and quietly closing the door to Donnie's room. I tip-toed in the lair, clinging to the wall and surveyed the room. April, Casey, and Shadow were lying down with their eyes closed on the bench area with Pete on the other side on the bench area since he was small enough.

Dr. Rockwell was sleeping on a pallet near the TV with Slash beside him on a much larger blanket. Leatherhead, I noticed, was curled in the corner of the lair with no blanket. I blinked at that before realizing they were asleep or falling asleep. I snuck out towards the turning things and carefully climbed over them, taking my time not to turn one and wake someone up.

I smiled triumphantly as I began sneaking further from the lair. Donnie would freak out when he wakes up and so will Splinter, but maybe they'll forgive me for making them panic. I just couldn't do nothing when I knew I could help somehow. I didn't want them to lose someone else they loved. They didn't deserve that! They need Raph more than they would need me...even if I were just like Mikey.

It took me a very long time to find a ladder that leads me out of the sewers. I realized that I didn't know the way out of the sewers but I did remember that when I came back from going to my neighborhood with the guys, they went down a latter through some hole in the ground. I just needed to find the right ladder. I wondered if an hour already passed? It just felt like a really long time.

Then, as I looked up, I spotted a ladder down the tunnel I was at and I perked, beaming with success. I paused when I thought I heard some noise…it was soft but it was definitely there but when I turned around I didn't see anything. My heart skipped a beat. I was alone and I wasn't sure where I was or what was down here but I wanted to be brave and do what I planned.

"Mike?"

"YEE!" I screamed, jumping high in the air as I stumbled into the wall next to me. I turned my wide eyes behind me and gasped when I saw Shadow and Leatherhead there, both were panting and staring at me, "L-Leatherhead? Shadow?" I looked but no one seemed to be behind them.

"What are you doing?" Leatherhead asked, looking angry and I held my breath, "I woke up and found Shadow gone. When I chased after her and finally found her she said that you left the lair and she followed you."

I looked at Shadow in shock and she blushed, "I was having trouble falling asleep and then I thought I heard something but I didn't see anything. I felt paranoid and went over the turnstiles to check the entrance and saw you disappearing at a corner, so I followed you. I was worried."

"I'm sorry," I apologized, not able to look at Leatherhead, "I didn't mean to worry you but I had a plan...you were supposed to follow me."

"Why are you so far out? It took us forever to catch up to you," Leatherhead scolded, growling low in his chest. I swallowed and licked my lips.

"I have to do this…I have to get Raph back for everyone," I explained and they paused their eyes widening.

"You were going to rescue Raphael by yourself? You do not know where he is!" Leatherhead almost shouted and I cringed, nodding my head. Shadow's mouth fell open and she paled, "What are you thinking?"

"The others aren't thinking right!" I protested, "They don't want to give me to the Purple Dragons but there isn't enough time to find Raph without agreeing. I don't want Raph to die!"

"Then…how were you going to find him?" Shadow asked quietly, looking at me with worry.

"I remember a place the Purple Dragons always hung out. I know because when they used to chase after me it was because I was close to that part of town. That's where I'm going!" I explained and Leatherhead shook his head.

"Not by yourself," He denied and I frowned up at him, "I am coming with you at the least. If I am not there what is to stop them from simply taking you and then killing Raphael anyway?"

I paled at that and nodded my head quickly before Shadow huffed, "I am coming too! Mike and I can be seen and you can't Leatherhead! I know the city pretty well, especially Chinatown because of my Dad so I can know where to get away, just in case."

"Okay," Leatherhead agreed hesitantly and her eye slit up, "But you are to do just that and listen to me as well. I do not want to be on the receiving end of your parent's wrath." She nodded immediately.

I blinked, "So…you're both going with me to save Raphie?"

"Yup!" Shadow giggled and then looked more serious, "I know some fighting moves because of the Turtles and my parents. But basically, I like you and I don't want you to be by yourself." She blushed and so did I.

"Then let us go rescue Raphael. Lead the way," Leatherhead interrupted, his chest rumbling again. His eyes were serious and calculative, "But if things get serious even for a second, I'm calling Donatello and the others." I paled but nodded my understanding.

Feeling much more determined and brave, I led Leatherhead and Shadow forward to the ladder. I was going to make sure Raph got to come home to his Dad and brothers even if it meant I couldn't come home with him.

Chapter 13: Rescuing Raphael

Notes:

Thanks for all the support I've been getting! Hope you all enjoy~!

Chapter Text

Micah's Point of View:

Shadow and I were walking alongside the sidewalk side by side, doing our best to ignore the curious, and sometimes slightly alarmed, looks we got by other civilians. I knew it was because there was no Mom and Dad with us, meaning just two kids and no adults, so they were surprised and worried. Hopefully no one stopped us because I'm not sure what we could say.

Shadow had a slightly wary look on her face and one of her hands were holding onto my shirt sleeve tightly so we didn't somehow get separated. I glanced up towards the sky near the rooftops and wondered if Leatherhead could really keep up with us. Since he was a mutant alligator, he couldn't walk with us even if there were little people out this late at night. I trusted that he was there though, because I had a feeling he was super serious and wouldn't let us down.

"Hey, I was wondering about something," Shadow whispered as she leaned closer to my side to be heard. I turned towards her curiously but didn't say anything so she continued with a curious look of her own, "How…how long have you been hiding from the Purple Dragons?"

I froze for a moment as memories flooded back to me. Back then, I was constantly worried about what I would do and felt sick to my stomach every day until I found the junkyard. Shadow tugged on my sleeve and I jerked, realizing I almost hit a pole in the ground from being distracted.

"Oops," I blushed in embarrassment and she giggled nervously before turning curious once more, "I…well, I was running and hiding from them for…um, I think it was a few months? I don't know exactly because I couldn't keep track of time."

"Oh…" She trailed off, eyeing the ground sadly, "I'm sorry you had to do that all alone."

My throat suddenly felt thick and I shrugged indifferently, "I…I had my cat at the junkyard, Klunk, and sometimes some friendly homeless people checked on me when they could but that wasn't every day. I'm not alone anymore though."

Shadow looked over at me and slowly grinned, "Yeah, I'm glad that Uncle Donnie found you. They act tough whenever I visited them with Mom or Dad, but I could tell that something was always wrong with them. Mom knew it too so we visited often after….after it happened."

I frowned. I didn't like to hear how Donnie and his brothers were always sad but I understood why they were at the time. They'd lost their brother. I never had a brother but I did have my Mom and losing her was the worst thing ever. I stared at Shadow, "Did they ever tell you about Mikey?"

"Well, I was born after he'd died," She replied with a slight giggle and I blushed, forgetting that she was younger than me, "It was almost two years after he died, so I didn't know much about him at first. Mom tells me stories more than anyone and Uncle Donnie. Uncle Leo never liked to talk about him but sometimes Uncle Raph would also tell me stories. I could tell it made them really sad though. Mom made me stop asking so much. Oji-san, that's Splinter, he tells me the most after Mom and Dad."

I'd realized I had been staring in fascination after she glanced at me and blushed heavily. I blinked and looked away, also blushing, "Why do you call Splinter that?

Shadow laughed this time, "What, Oji-san? It means 'Grandpa or Grandfather' in Japanese. The Turtles and Oji-san can speak Japanese, you know." My eyes went wide and she blinked at my look before bursting out laughing.

I smiled and continued swapping stories with Shadow before realizing how close we were getting to the Dragon territory. Shadow must have noticed too because she went silent for a while before suddenly grabbing my hand. I jerked at the sudden movement before gasping as she pulled me along to the right.

"It's a shortcut I know," She explained seriously, "Daddy wasn't ever afraid to venture around Chinatown and sometimes he brought me along. He'd always teach me shortcuts in case anything ever happened."

I stared in amazement, "What a great Dad…"

She looked over her shoulder at me with a tiny smile, "He'd turn red like a tomato if you ever said that to him, which I do a lot!"

We both giggled and I continued to let her show me the rest of the shortcut. I knew the building we needed to get to and I had told it to Leatherhead and Shadow earlier. It was a place the Dragon guys liked to drink stuff at…I think they called it a bar.

"By the way, you said you know this place where we might find some information…but why were you ever this close to Chinatown if they were after you?" Shadow questioned as if reading my thoughts and I sighed slightly.

"After my Mom died I had to fend for myself, because the people that usually helped me weren't always around. There was this one guy that always gave me food for free but his shop was near Chinatown…so while I was close to the town I'd sometimes go to find things people threw out like old clothes and blankets or something," I told slowly, like telling a bedtime story almost. She listened with wide eyes and then she frowned heavily.

"I…I wouldn't have been able to do that. You're pretty amazing, huh?" She replied and I flushed dark red, staring at her in shock but she didn't notice. She thinks I'm amazing? That makes me happy for some reason…

"M-Maybe you could have, but I was just lucky and met some nice people sometimes," I stammered, rubbing my head, feeling embarrassed. She turned to me and smiled a little.

She looked ready to ask me another question but a speeding motorcycle caused both of us to jump at the loudness. My heart was beating really fast in my chest and I had grabbed Shadow's arm. She looked equally as frightened but we both didn't say anything for a while.

"S-So, the shortcut ends here at a back road. Do you know the place from here?" She questioned as she cleared her throat and looked at me. I took a quick look around and realized that we were actually not that far away from the bar now.

"We're not far. We have to go left," I pointed and she nodded, grabbing my hand.

"You can lead from here then," She murmured, still looking a bit frightened from that loud motorcycle from before. I nodded, smiling at her and she smiled back. I glanced at the rooftops and blinked in surprise when I saw a dark shadow. That was Leatherhead, I hope.

"Alright, let's go. We're almost there," I encouraged and she smiled more brightly as she nodded. I began to lead us further down the next sidewalk, hoping that once we reached the bar I'd be able to learn about Raph from some of the scary Dragons.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Raphael's Point of View:

"Not sleepin' well, huh?" Fong taunted from against tha doorway. I ignored him but stared at him angrily, pantin' from tha beatin' I had just gotten from some of his stupid Purple Dragon buddies. They thought it would be just fine and dandy ta gang up on a restrained turtle.

Fine, whatever. Let them have their fun. I'll come after them and shove my sai up their throats and into their brains after I get free. I smirked, a tiny chuckle escapin' my bloodied lips. Fong looked at me funny and I was just amused by tha fact that he stayed by tha door tha entire time.

"You're such a freak," He spat, lookin' disgusted, "Who the hell smiles and laughs after being beaten?"

For some reason, this made me want ta laugh again but I bit tha inside of my gum when a sharp ache traveled through my right side. I took a quick glance and scowled at tha dark purple bruises I saw on my plastron.

"So…if ya wanted ta trade me fer tha kid did ya really think my brothers will stay quiet when they see me like this?" I asked, lookin' up at Fong before spittin' out a tiny spat of blood on tha ground, "I really hope that ya enjoyed tha show cause I'll be returnin' tha favor tenfold."

Fong froze for a moment, lookin' freaked out by what I said before he snorted and smirked, "From what I heard one of your brother got hit pretty damn hard on the head, so he probably won't even be there. I'm not too worried about the geek and whatever he cooks up. I'm not the one that he'll be facing."

My heart stopped and I couldn't stop my eyes from widenin' at what I heard. Hit in tha head? If he's talkin' about Donnie then it had to be Leo that got hurt. I gritted my teeth and felt myself growlin' out loud. If Leo's out of commission with a concussion or somethin' then who's gonna stop Donnie from makin' rash decisions and watch out for him?!

"The Shredder could have just killed you but I've heard he just wants to finish you and your family off all at one time," Fong chatted away and I glared up at him heavily, breathin' hard, "Still doesn't make sense ta me but he's supportive to the Purple Dragons because we work for him; so, he takes care of us. We need the kid for us and the chemicals for the Shredder."

I jerked forward, the chains diggin' into my wrists as I growled loudly, glarin' at him with hate, "Don't ya dare talk about that kid in front of me again! I'm tellin' ya right now they aren't gonna give up that kid for me!"

"Yes, they will because you see, it's going to come down to you or the kid. Which one will die? Your brother will have to make the hard choice but who'd choose to have another brother die because of them?" Fong smirked cruelly and I felt myself shakin' in rage. I began yellin' curse words and just screamin' my head off at him. I must have startled him because he'd reached for tha door.

I was still screamin', my eyes seein' nothin' but red until suddenly there was a louder noise fillin' tha room. I panted as Fong startled at tha siren. He started shoutin' but I couldn't really hear him until the sirens died off and someone opened tha door, "Fong! That was the alarm, wasn't it? Someone's close to the lair?!"

My eyes widened. Someone was close? Did Donnie somehow figure out where they were holdin' me? I wouldn't put it past my genius brother. I smiled slightly to myself until Fong turned towards me in anger, "Who the….I mean, there is no way they figured out this fast! Who was it?"

The other guy with black haired opened his mouth but was stopped by another man with dirty blonde hair and a dragon tattoo across his face, "Fong! The alarm was triggered by Boston, he says he got a call from Greg that the alligator mutant trashed his bar and he chicken out!"

"Alligator mutant?! That one?! Dammit, that damn wuss!" Fong cursed as he glared over at me, "So they aren't listening to Shredder's demands?"

"Well, it was just the alligator mutant and a little girl. We got information that there was a boy with them too," The blonde man replied and my heart leapt into my throat. Leatherhead, Shadow, and tha Tyke were all by themselves?! What tha hell are they thinkin'?!

"So, wait, the boy is with them? Perfect!" Fong grinned until he paused, "We have to subdue that alligator mutant then we can take the kid."

"What about him?" The black-haired man gestured ta me with a scowl and I glared at them, sayin' nothin', "Do we report this to Shredder and see what he wants us to do with him?"

"Yeah, you go do that Jace. Maybe we'll be able to kill him," Fong smirked over at me and I just growled, pullin' my split lip back in a painful scowl. I didn't care though. The black-haired dragon, Jace, raced off after pullin' out his phone. Fong turned to the dirty blonde-haired dragon, "So let's go put together some teams, they should be here soon."

"Hey, don't think it'll be so easy to get Leatherhead down," I grinned, not lettin' my slight panic show. What about Shadow and tha Tyke? How did they get away from Donnie, April, or Casey? What about tha Mighty Mutanimals? What tha hell was goin' on?!

"Let's just say we have more darts that we used on you," Fong dismissed and I scowled my heart rate pickin' up. They had more tranquilizers? "Let's go, Nate."

"Wait!" I demanded, feelin' my anger and panic risin'. They ignored me and slammed tha door shut. My eye twitched and I growled, "Dammit all! Leatherhead, what tha shell are ya all thinkin', bringin' that kid here?!"

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Micah(Mike's) Point of View:

"Leatherhead, was that really okay?" I asked loudly, feelin' panicked as I held on for dear life on Leatherhead's back. Shadow looked somewhat used to being on Leatherhead's back and she had a grip on my arm to keep me steady.

Leatherhead stopped after jumping onto another rooftop and turned to look behind him once, "I did not mean for things to get that bad, but the Purple Dragons became violent and I finished it."

"But that bar was on catching on fire before we ran off," I trailed off, feeling uncertain about things. Purple Dragons couldn't all be bad, my dad wasn't a bad one. Was it really right to leave things like that?

"Yes, but I have confidence that they can escape. I should have done worse to them for trying to hurt you, Micah," Leatherhead replied and Shadow watched a look pass over my face. She giggled when I frowned.

"My name is Mike, Leatherhead," I told him and Leatherhead nodded once before taking off into another run. I gasped and grasped onto Leatherhead hard, "I-I can't believe I'm holding onto the back of a giant alligator!"

Leatherhead and Shadow laughed a little while I blushed, wondering if Mikey had liked staying on Leatherhead's back or not. Maybe he did. Shadow squeezed my hand and I looked over at her, "I got really scared when that one Purple Dragon grabbed your arm. They, like, instantly knew who you were."

I nodded, "Yeah…I got scared too. I didn't expect Leatherhead to jump off the roof and land on those guys though. That looked painful."

"Serves them right for trying to hurt you," Shadow frowned, "At least we know now that Raph is being held at one of their fall back hide outs."

I nodded, feeling determined all over again as Leatherhead continued to run and jump across rooftops. I was super excited that we were on our way to rescue Raph without having to involve Donnie or Leo. But I was worried about the Purple Dragons at this hideout. Either way I'm not leaving without Raphie!

"I want you both to promise me that you'll let me decide if we should leave or not, even if we have to leave Raphael," Leatherhead suddenly spoke, as if he read my mind. He's not a Jedi, is he?

I blinked and looked away, "I don't want to leave without Raph."

"Mike, if things get bad then we will leave Raphael. He would be extremely angry if he discovered that you were taken trying to help him," Leatherhead explained with a serious look that left no room for discussion. I sighed and nodded but felt that I was still as determined as before.

"He's right, Mike. I don't want anyone to get hurt and Raph would be so mad if me or you got hurt because of him," Shadow said and I turned to her. She smiled and grabbed my hand, "But we can try out best to get him out."

"Yeah," I replied, smiling back at her. She blushed and looked away. I did too and gasped loudly when Leatherhead jumped but onto the ground instead of the other rooftop, "Wah! That scared me for a minute."

Leatherhead chuckled, "Sorry, little one. We are here now. See that warehouse?" He pointed it out across the way to Shadow and I. We both nodded but I realized there was a group of Purple Dragons outside, "That's the one that the other Purple Dragons mentioned. I should have known they would be warned."

"What do we do?" Shadow worried as she stared across the way, "Dad says that the Purple Dragons won't be easy on kids like us."

"They won't," Leatherhead agreed with anger in his eyes. I frowned worriedly because I didn't want Shadow to get hurt and I didn't want them to hurt or kill Leatherhead, "I don't know how many more are inside. We should call Donatello and the others."

My eyes widened and I shook my head frantically, "N-No! We can't call Donnie!"

"Why ever not? There is no way to know how many Purple Dragons are inside or where they are holding Raphael inside," Leatherhead explained and my lip trembled at the truth, "There is no way I am endangering you both like this."

"Please don't call Donnie. He'll be so mad at me and I don't want him to leave Leo or get hurt…." I trailed off, feeling my eyes water. Leatherhead and Shadow looked at me in shock. He sighed and lifted Shadow and I off his back and onto the ground.

"Mike…we have to. There is no way that I can allow this mission to go on with just the three of us. Especially not now; they've learned that we are coming for Raphael. We need to have more numbers," Leatherhead admitted and I frowned, trying not to cry. I don't know why I was getting so worked up. I wanted to help Raph now but I didn't want anyone to get hurt.

"I know…but I just…want to help Raph out quickly…" I trailed off, sniffing to hopefully keep the tears in.

"And isn't that sweet?"

Leatherhead turned so fast that his tail hit me, pushing me onto the ground as Shadow back away to the wall to avoid getting hit first. I gasped and heard something click. Everything happened so fast as a shot rang out. Shadow screamed and I froze. A g-gun?!

"Leatherhead!" I yelled as he rushed forward pushing himself into a group of Purple Dragons that were holding different weapons. He was so big that they had trouble getting out of his grasp or landing hits on him. I saw the group from across the road rushing to help. If they were there then where did this group come from?!

"Mike, Shadow, I'll distract this group, you run somewhere away from them! NOW!" Leatherhead ordered in a voice that sounded more like a loud growl. One that was louder than I ever heard. I jumped but quickly made my way over to Shadow across the way and she grabbed hold on my hand.

We both gasped as Leatherhead roared and swung dragons around before charging towards the next group. Shadow and I both froze when we heard something behind us. A man with a beard smirked at us, "Didn't think this through, did ya?"

My heart was hammering in my chest but I took off running the way Leatherhead ran and ignored the shout from the guy behind us, who was obviously surprised. Shadow kept up with me and warned me about anyone that was coming after us, "We can't go in the building, Leatherhead said so!"

"But he said to run away from the Purple Dragons, but they keep coming from every place to run away from. We need to come inside or they'll grab us!" I gasped out as I never stopped running. Leatherhead kept the Dragons from getting towards us but I never heard him say anything to Shadow or me.

"O-Okay, then we'll go in and try to find Raph!" Shadow replied, sounding scared and I nodded, squeezing her hand as we ran past Leatherhead and a group of Purple Dragons fighting him. I rushed to open the door to the warehouse and pulled Shadow inside.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Third Point of View:

Leatherhead watched the two kids entering the warehouse and ground his teeth together. He told Micah not to go in there because he was not sure how many people were in there or where Raphael was. But he noticed how the Purple Dragons had somehow surrounded them and every exit so going inside the warehouse was the children's only option.

Most of the Purple Dragons were scared to get too close and were trying to hurt Leatherhead from a distance, but his skin was too thick to be hurt by the types of bullets there were using or the pipes or bats.

"That damn brat! He ran away before I even finished what I wanted to say!" Leatherhead turned and saw Fong rushing to join two other groups of dragons.

"You will not hurt those kids and you will release Raphael," Leatherhead ordered lowly and some of the dragons froze or shivered. Fong narrowed his eyes at Leatherhead because he knew that LH was formidable.

"Keep the alligator busy while I go after the kids," He ignored Leatherhead and rushed off. Leatherhead reacted immediately charging forward, barreling into many of the Purple Dragons. He turned and used his tail to hit those surrounding him. While his back was turned he quickly grabbed his phone and dialed Donatello's number.

Meanwhile with Donatello…

There was a certain ringing in his head that seemed to be getting louder. Donatello groaned and turned in his bed before sighing when he realized the noise wasn't going away. What was that blasted ringing?

Suddenly Donatello's eyes popped open as he realized it wasn't a ringing in his head but that something else was ringing. His t-phone. He sat up quickly, getting tangled in his blankets when he remembered he was sharing the bed. He looked over to see if he woke Mike up and to his horror, Mike wasn't even there.

"What in the shell?" He gasped, freaking out as his mind was racing while he was hurrying to stand up to reach for his phone. He tore his eyes away from the spot mike was supposed to be at and quickly answered the phone, "H-Hello? Mike?"

"I am afraid not, Donatello. We really need your help. Mike, Shadow, and I are all at a Purple Dragon warehouse where we learned Raph is being held at in Chinatown," Leatherhead explained in a quick jerky tone. Donatello's eyes slowly widened as he stared at his bed in horror.

"You mean to tell me you and the kids snuck out to find Raph by yourselves?!" He demanded, his heart pounding in his chest while his stomach twisted, "What the hell, Leatherhead?!"

"I discovered Shadow sneaking out and she told me that Mike had left by himself, so I did not orchestrate this. We were ambushed and the children had no choice but to escape inside the warehouse. We need help," Leatherhead replied impatiently, growling at those who were landing hits on him.

Donatello's eyes darkened immediately, "Where are you?"

"I…" Leatherhead stopped speaking and Donatello heard him grunt before he outright yelled and he heard someone scream, "The warehouse in Chinatown that's close to the loading docks. That's all-…know."

"I'll get everyone. We are on our way!" Donatello assured before ending the call. He rushed out of his room only barely remembering to grab his gear. He nearly tripped once or twice while trying to put it on and walk at the same time, "Everyone wake up!"

He had yelled this loud enough to cause everyone to jerk or jump up. Casey actually shouted and rolled over. Donnie finished putting on his gear as everyone got their bearings. April immediately noticed something wasn't right, "S-Shadow?"

"We need to go now. Like right now," Donnie explained quickly just as Splinter rushed into the room with alarm written on his face, "Shadow and Leatherhead went after Mike because for some reason Mike wanted to find Raph himself."

Casey paled as April gasped, both looking horrified. Splinter also looked horrified while the rest looked shocked. Slash blinked, "What is that kid thinking?! He'd have no idea where to start!"

"He must have had some idea," Splinter objected, trying to calm himself. Donatello noticed that he had a certain expression and Splinter looked over at him, "You're yelling woke up Leonardo."

Donnie's eyes widened and the room went silent, "He's finally awake?"

Splinter nodded and Donnie bit his lip. They needed to hurry and help Mike but Leo literally had no idea what was going on. Donnie sighed, "Sensei, please keep Leo calm and don't tell him what's going on. He simply can't help in his state."

"I understand," Sensei replied as his ears flattened, "Hurry. Bring them all back to us."

Donnie nodded and turned to the others, not surprised that they were already arming themselves for battle. April had tears in her eyes but was trying to remain strong. Donnie felt bad for her, "Don't worry, April. Leatherhead is with them and he'd sooner die than let anything happen."

April slowly smiled and Casey nodded seriously at Donnie before joining Slash in giving everyone their weapons. In no time at all, everyone was jumping over the turnstiles to file into the Shellraiser with Splinter watching everyone go sadly.

"Please be safe," He prayed aloud before hearing Leonardo call out his name anxiously. He cleared his throat and put on a face, "I'm coming Leonardo!"

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Micah's Point of View:

Shadow and I were bent over, panting from running as much as we just did. My chest and throat felt like they were burning! I turned to make sure Shadow was okay and blinked when she quickly gave me a thumbs up. I smiled reassuringly at her and she returned the smile.

"So…" She breathed, "So where do we begin looking? I don't think Leatherhead can distract them all so we need to be careful."

I nodded and looked up towards the upper wall, "I had an idea. I was thinking we could avoid the scary dragons if we go up near the ceiling."

Shadow gave me an odd look, "Um, how can we go through the ceiling?"

"Like this," I chuckled as I stood carefully. Earlier we had hidden in a big room with a desk, chair, and a couch, "If we stack the chair up on this desk, we can reach the ceiling and the vent under it."

"Oh!" Shadow gasped, her eyes lighting up, "You meant the vents not the actual ceiling!"

"No, sorry," I laughed, feeling embarrassed, "We'd have to be careful but I think we both aren't that heavy. We can look for Raph that way."

"Good idea!" She praised as she stood as well. I blushed and scratched my cheek before asking her help to stack the chair on the desk. We both grunted as we lifted the chair onto the desk. I climbed on the desk first and onto the chair, "Don't worry, I'll make sure you don't fall!"

"Thanks," I mumbled, still blushing. I reached carefully for the vent but had to get down to push the chair closer before climbing back on. Shadow stood near the desk, holding the chair in place for me. I was able to pull the vent off but coughed at the dust or dirt that came off it, "Yuck!"

"Yeah," Shadow frowned, covering her nose with her shirt. Eventually I could pull myself up and climb through it was just big enough for comfortable crawling room but not enough room to sit up. Shadow came through faster than I did because she said she was used to climbing and stuff because of what the turtles and her parents taught her. Lucky girl!

"I wonder how big this place is," I thought out loud as we crawled forward.

"Probably pretty big since it's a warehouse," Shadow commented slowly as if she were lost in thought. We both went silent and I thought about all the things I wanted to tell Raph when we found him. I hope he didn't stay too mad at me.

It felt like we had been up here for a long time and I was starting to freak out in this small space. Would there be another way to get out?

"Mike! This tunnel you just passed has another vent," Shadow exclaimed and I turned my head because there was no way to turn completely around, "Let's go out that way and see where to go from there!"

"Sure," I breathed, relived that she found another way out. She went first and I had to scoot backwards before turning to the right like she did. She pulled the vent free and poked her head down, "Do you see anyone?"

"There's no one around from what I can see," She whispered before leaning back and turning her head to look at me, "I'll go down first. Try to be as quiet as you can and stick to the shadows!"

"Okay," I nodded, looking at her with wide eyes. Wow, so they really do teach her a lot of ninja-y things! I watched her grab the edge and drop down holding the edge before dropping to the ground. I watched her in wonder, getting closer to look down at her. She immediately rushed to the edge of a wall and I realized it was a hallway with a bunch of metal looking doors. The wall she hid behind must be some open area place.

I tried to mimic what Shadow did but it was hard and I ended up just falling out onto my feet. It hurt and left a stinging feeling in my feet and ankles. Ow….I bit my lip to be quiet and shuffled quietly to Shadow's side. I realized there was a bunch of crates that she was right next to and there was an open area with stairs leading to an upper area.

"I still haven't seen or heard anyone," She whispered before looking at me in concern, "Are you okay? That looked like it hurt."

"It's starting to go away," I replied quietly and she nodded with a smile on her face. I looked at the hallway with metal doors, "I think Raph is in one of those rooms with those big metal doors."

"Me too," She agreed, "Let's check, but if we see any Purple Dragons then we need to run and find a place to hide quickly."

"Okay," I nodded, returning the smile. I walked out and began heading for the first door as she followed me. I realized the door had a handle that pulled down instead of twisting like a normal doorknob. It was a bit hard to pull but I got it open, feeling disappointed when there was nothing but junk in there.

Shadow tried the next one while I went for the one beside the door I just opened. Shadow sighed, "Nothing here."

"Or here," I sighed as well and we both looked at the remaining 3 doors. I had a certain feeling hit me that if he were here somewhere, he'd be in the very back. Shadow called my name as I walked past the other doors to the very last one.

I realized the door had a lock but lucky for us it was the twistable kind of lock so that someone could easily get in from the outside but not the inside. I twisted the lock and jerked around with the handle, trying hard to pull it open.

Shadow joined behind me and helped me pull it open. We both heard a low growling and jumped. Then I realized that I heard that growl before. That growl that Raph uses when he's really upset about something.

I was running before I realized what I was doing. I rushed right into the room and paused in horror when I saw that Raph was sitting against the wall on the other side, his arms chained above him to the wall. Raph's eyes widened when they landed on me and I blinked out of my horrified trance when he looked horrified himself, "Tyke? What tha hell are ya doin' here?! And Shadow?!"

"U-Uncle Raph! Are you okay?!" Shadow exclaimed with worry as she rushed past me and got on her knees to look Raph in the eye. I came closer too, not sure what to say exactly.

"I've…I'm good, don't worry," He replied, looking back at me with anger in his eyes, "What ya are doin' is stupid!"

"I…wanted to help," I said lamely, my head lowering. I looked at his hands, "How…how can I free your hands?"

Raph's eyes softened for a moment, "I think you can somehow pull it free."

"Okay, I'll look and try," I smiled a little, feeling happy that I could have something to do to help. I got on my tippy-toes and looked at the chain thing around his wrists. I'd barely even looked at it long before I felt a chill go down my back and Raph growled loudly.

"Figures you'd somehow find this room, brat," That guy from earlier hissed, looking extremely angry. My eyes widened and Shadow gasped, pressing closer to Raph's side, "At least ya made it easier for me to catch you."

I looked at the guy in horror before staring at Raph. He was glaring at the guy with a lot of hate in his eyes and I suddenly realized that I didn't know what to do.

I probably just made things a hundred times worse instead of making them better….as usual!

Chapter 14: Things Go Wrong

Chapter Text

Splinter's Point of View:

As soon as I reached my oldest son's side, I noticed that he looked near the point of just letting himself fall to the floor with a panicked look on his face. I made haste to his side before he fell and our eyes locked, "Sensei, what was all that shouting? Is something wrong? Why wasn't Donnie in here?!"

I kept trying to open my mouth but he kept firing off concerned questions, "They didn't get attacked or something right? Did they find out about Raph? How's Mike-"

Putting out my hand quickly, I cut him off from asking more questions and looked at him kindly, "Leonardo, please calm down."

Leonardo blinked at me and then again before letting out a shaky exhale and nodding his head at me. When he opened his eyes again he looked much calmer, "My head is pounding but…. but I remember what happened to Raph…."

His eyes cast downwards in shame and self-hatred. I frowned heavily and placed a warm hand on his shoulder, making sure I had his attention again when I replied, "It was not your fault at all, my son. Yes, you are the leader and thus responsible for your team, but circumstances cannot always be controlled."

"I was distracted, Sensei. That led to me getting hit in the head so hard that I fell unconscious for a few moments. Those precious moments could have been used to help Raph," Leonardo disagreed, that look of self-hatred not leaving his eyes, "So, I mean no disrespect but it feels like my fault to me."

"Leonardo…." I sighed sadly, hating how easily my oldest son doubted himself, "I wish that you wouldn't speak of yourself this way…but I truly believe that Raphael would have been taken anyway….or you would have."

"Better me than him," He instantly countered with a sad smile on his face. I tensed because I knew how he felt about things like this. He had always wished to be the first of his brothers to go. It was…. very painful to think of any of my children passing, so I really did not like this type of thinking. Leonardo looked at my face and his own expression fell, "Oh…Sensei, I…I'm sorry! I shouldn't have said that to you…"

"I understand your reasoning…but I do not enjoying thinking of any of my children passing away," I replied, feeling my ears flatten against my head. A flash of my youngest son went through my mind and my chest ached heavily. Leonardo looked down and frowned, looking guilty as if he had the same thought, "I will get you some medicine and tea for your headaches. Do not try to get up."

"Hai, Sensei…" He answered reluctantly before trying to peer out of the lab doors. I felt pinpricks of panic rise in my chest. I knew how my son would react if he knew the certain circumstances as to why Donatello and Micah were not here, "Where's Donnie? Why is he not checking up on me?"

Leonardo looked very worried, uncertain, and a bit hurt. I bit my lip and turned so he could not see my expression. Much like myself, Leonardo was exceptional at reading people by their body language and expressions, "Sensei?"

"Micah is not taking the news well," I lied, feeling guilty for having to so boldly lie to my son like this, "Donatello is trying to calm him down in his room. The others will be back tomorrow for a plan to rescue Raphael."

"Oh…I see," Leonardo murmured with a dull tone, "So Mike knows about the note too? How are they planning to find Raph without knowing where he is?"

"We have not gotten any note on a location for the exchange but everyone has agreed not to give Micah up," I explained and he nodded, a serious look on his face. I held back my frown at the thought of current events. Why did Micah leave on his own to search for Raphael? Did he perhaps feel guilty that we did not want to give him up and thus Raphael would be in more danger?

"Of course not! Mike is an important member of our clan now," Leonardo spoke with such conviction that my eyes widened. I knew that my two eldest sons were coming around to approving of Micah, but I did not know that Leonardo's feelings have grown to this extent.

My oldest son's face suddenly turned warm, "I think Micah is good for this family and I think that Raph is starting to see that too."

For a moment, I forgot about our current situation. I smiled warmly in return, feeling happiness that my son was returning to how he always used to be. It always suited him to look after every member of this family almost until they were frustrated with him. I chuckled to myself. Apparently, that now was going to include Micah as well.

"That makes me very happy to hear," I admitted and Leonardo smiled more as he leaned back. I went to Donatello's medicine cabinet and grabbed the Advil bottle before taking one and going back to Leonardo's side, "Take this, my son. It will help with your head."

"Thank you. It actually really hurts," He sighed and I felt alarmed because he was almost never honest to how much his injuries hurt. He did not like having his brothers worried for his health and he did, though, have a high tolerance for pain. For him to be saying it really hurts has me surprised.

I watched as he took the medicine and swallowed it down with the water that was on the end table beside his cot before he laid back down and looked at me. I checked his forehead and noticed that the bump on his head had not swelled down yet and was still colored a bit purple here and there.

"I'll be okay, Father," He suddenly spoke in a soothing tone. I looked down at him, blinking in surprise as he yawned, "Tell Donnie I want to see him when Mike has calmed down. I can talk to Mike too."

I smiled warmly but at the same time, felt incredibly guilty again. I can only hope that he will forgive me when he finally learns the truth, "I will, my son. Get some rest. I will stay by your side the entire time."

Micah's Point of View:

Frozen where I stood, I only broke out of the spell when Raph growled. I jumped and looked down at him, shocked to see him get up on his feet even with his hands still chained straight up.

"Don't ya even think about layin' a finger on these kids!" He near hissed and I jumped once more when Shadow grabbed my arm near my elbow. She looked frightened and was staring straight at the mustache guy.

"And what can you do about it?" He sneered with a growing smirk on his face that sent shivers of panic down my spine. I looked horrified at Raph and panicked even more. I couldn't let this guy take me now with Raph still chained! Maybe there's a way to get him unchained without this guy doing anything about it.

"There's a lot I can do about it. Why don't ya step closer and find out?" Raph replied darkly, a smirk of his own growing on his face. I noticed the guy pale slightly but he stayed rooted in his spot. I looked at Shadow and suddenly an idea came to mind again.

I stepped in front of Raph and thrust my arms out to shield him, "I won't let you hurt Raph anymore! I'm taking him home!"

The mustache guy's eyes went round with surprise and I heard a gasp behind me. I tilted my head slightly and noticed that both Shadow and Raph were just as surprised. The other guy suddenly started laughing, throwing his head back. I frowned and felt nervous but didn't move.

"Well isn't that cute?" He joked, laughing really hard. I blushed, feeling embarrassed and then angry. Raph scoffed.

"What are you thinkin', for real?" He said with a gruff tone. I frowned even more over at him. I was trying to help…but it looks like I was messing up again. Shadow looked between Raph and me before her eyes went wide. She smiled and gestured with her hand for me to continue. I rose an eyebrow at her as she stood and realized she was reaching for Raph's hands to try to free him.

That's a better idea! I know I can distract the dragon from getting over to stop Shadow! I grinned and then quickly calmed myself as the mustache dragon guy finally calmed down, "What can one kid like you do? Why don't you just be a smart little boy and come with me?"

"No!" I refused and stuck my tongue out at him. He blinked before frowning angrily, "I don't wanna go with you!"

"Well, you don't have any choice!" He growled as he reached behind him and grabbed out a knife. I froze and my heart skipped a beat.

"Don't even think about it!" Raph suddenly yelled and I had almost forgot about him. I jumped and looked behind me to see Shadow rushing with what looked like a hairpin thing? I paled when I realized that I had moved and now the man could see them.

"HEY! What the hell do you think you're doing, little girl?!" The dragon guy roared and began charging towards us. I panicked and did the first thing that came to my mind, for whatever reason. I thrust myself forward with speed I didn't know I had and knocked the guy onto the floor while I rolled beside him. I blinked from the impact and the other guy groaned in shock.

I heard a clinging sound and looked over with wide eyes. The knife that the purple dragon guy had in his hand had been knocked out when I charged at him. The other guy noticed that as well and we both quickly got to our knees, racing to get the knife first.

"Shadow, hurry!" Raph was barking in the background and I gasped when the guy thrust out his leg as he dived for the floor, kicking me in the side. A sharp pain made me gasp and hit the floor again. The guy grabbed the knife and spun around, "Fong, don't ya dare! I'll fuckin' kill you!"

I gasped in pain and glanced at the guy Raph called Fong and felt tears well up in my eyes. Mom…I'm trying to do something but I'm scared. I'm so scared. He got the knife before I got to take it from him! Fong ignored Raph and glared down at me, "You little bastard! Come here now or you're going to regret it!"

Flinching back with wide eyes, I scrambled back as he stomped towards me with a lot of anger in his face. I gasped and nearly slipped trying to push myself up. I took off running just as he reached out to grab my arm. He shouted in surprise and started running after me.

"TYKE!"

Raph yelled in almost ear-splitting volume as I ran away from Fong and out the door. I couldn't keep running away from him in that small room and I couldn't risk him deciding to go after Raph and Shadow again. I'm fast, so I'll just keep running until I lose him!

"Come back here you little shit!" Fong cursed after me and I gasped when I saw how fast he was running after me. My heart was beating wildly in my chest and I felt like I wasn't breathing right as I ran as fast as I could. My legs started to hurt but I was scared to stop and fought against slowing down.

I ran until I came across some stairs. I ran down a few and jumped down the rest when Fong swiped for me again. He's so close to me! I can't run any faster! I felt tears blooming in my eyes from the pain I was feeling in my side from where he kicked me but also in my chest and legs. As soon as I hit the floor again I took off but then cried out when I felt a tug against my neck.

Fong had a hold of the back of my shirt and yanked hard on it. I choked and went flying backwards towards his arms. My eyes widened, "NO!" Without thinking, I thrust my foot towards him and kicked him right where the sun doesn't shine.

He howled in pain and let go of my shirt. I fell to the floor again and coughed, feeling like there was a lump in my throat. I scrambled off the floor and struggled to run straight. My hands and knees were shaking but I turned a corner and looked over my shoulder. Fong still wasn't there.

Taking this chance, I ran for a few moments and perked up when I saw some large metal looking crates that you see on ships. The closer I got the more I realized I could hear something; something like voices. I froze when I saw a large group of purple dragons and slid to a stop. None of them heard me and I snuck behind one of the crates.

I put my hands over my mouth so they hopefully wouldn't hear me breathing hard. My chest was burning…it felt like I couldn't catch my breath. Everything was shaking; my arms, hands, shoulders, legs, and feet.

"Damn, where the hell is Fong?!" One of the dragons yelled and I nervously shifted, curling into myself as if they could see through the crate at me.

"I dunno man but I don't want to go out there!"

"Yeah Steve's team is getting trashed by that alligator mutant!"

My eyes widened and I looked over as another guy said, "Yeah, but John and Patrick's team are out there stalling him. Fong must have gone to where we're holding the turtle!"

"Yeah, but we've never been allowed there. Nate's the only one that's seen the room with Fong but he's down because of that alligator!" The first guy growled, sounding nervous. I bit my lip and thought about Leatherhead. Was he okay? He seemed to be making the dragon dudes nervous enough…

"We need to tell Fong what our lookout saw!"

A scuffle made me whip my head around to the left to see Fong half limping out. I almost gasped out loud and quickly scrambled to the right to hide against the small side away from the group.

"And what exactly was it that our lookout saw?" Fong bit out, his voice strained but I could tell that, somehow, he was even angrier than before. I really wasn't trying to hit him where the sun doesn't shine but it just happened. At least he didn't get me. Mom always told me not to hit anybody there because it could really hurt but to only ever do it if I was in danger.

"FONG!" The group shouted with surprise and I jumped. Someone asked, "What the hell happened to you?!"

"That little shit of a kid escaped after kicking me! I'm gonna teach that son of a bitch a lesson for that! We need to look for that kid but I left that turtle with a little girl that is trying to free him…." He explained and my heart beat fast as I remembered Shadow and Raph.

"We'll both go after them, Fong!" A couple of guys offered and my heart dropped into my stomach, "Do you have the tranquilizers?"

"I know where they are. I'll get them and take care of that stupid alligator. You make sure that turtle and little girl don't escape!" Fong ordered and I frowned heavily. What should I do?!

"Got it!"

I heard then run off and tensed up, hugging my knees. My chest was starting to calm down and didn't feel like it was burning anymore, but I was still shaky and my arms trembled.

Leaning around the other corner, I looked around and saw that all the guys had run off so there wasn't anyone left here. I bit my lip again and felt worried. Should I go back to Raph and Shadow? Raph looked hurt but he was a ninja, right? So, he could still fight, right….?

Donatello's Point of View:

I was chewing on my lip, staring holes through the screen displaying all the cameras. I was sitting in my usual station in the Shellraiser. We all wanted to get there as fast as we could so we decided that taking the Shellraiser would be the quickest way to get to the Purple Dragon hideout that Leatherhead described.

Casey was in Raph's usual station and April was driving, which was Leo's usual station. I reluctantly looked over at the last station…. Mikey's old station. I frowned, feeling sad when images of Mikey goofing off over wrong turns and dramatizing whenever we were being chased by enemies flashed through my mind. Rockwell was sitting in Mikey's old station and was studying the maps intently, giving directions to April. Pete was sitting in the floor next to Rockwell and I glanced over at one of the cameras, watching Spike's emotionless face from where he was hanging onto the top of the Shellraiser. He was too big to fit in here.

Pete looked over at me and I quickly looked away. I was beside myself with worry for Mike and Shadow. In my peripheral, I noticed Casey's soul marring frown. He wasn't even being loud like he usually was whenever something like a mission was going on. His eyebrows were drawn together and his eyes shinned with…. fear? I don't think I've ever really seen him that afraid since the time we fought against rats.

Looking back at the cameras, I saw a bit of my reflection and was surprised that my expression matched his. I didn't know my emotions were showing that much. I silently swallowed and typed on my keyboard with shaky fingers.

"Watch out!" I heard Slash scream all of a sudden and we were hit in the side by something before I even had the chance to glance at the cameras. Dammit, I should have been paying attention to them!

I gasped as Casey and Rockwell shouted but April, as impressive as always, turned the wheel so hard that the Shellraiser spun in a semicircle but did not completely flip over. I let out a tiny sigh of relief after I checked to see that everyone was mostly okay. I watched on the cameras as Slash jumped and hung off the back of the Shellraiser. In front of him were one of the Purple Dragons' vans.

"Damn dragons!" Casey cursed as he looked at the cameras as well. Rockwell and Pete, however, seemed unphased and I understood why.

"Slash will take care of them," Rockwell commented coolly, his face stoic in a way that reminded me of Leo. My heart fell when I thought about how Leo had woken up but I had asked Sensei to lie to him. I knew that was going to be hard on not only me but Sensei and Leo as well.

Slash used his mace and with a powerful sneer, swung his mace straight into the front of the van, causing it to swerve and hit a building. My eyes widened but I didn't feel surprised at Slash's strength. As if knowing I, or someone else, was watching, he turned to one of the cameras and grinned toothily, "Piece a cake!"

I smiled slightly because I couldn't help it until Rockwell yelled, "April! Take a right and then keep straight for 5 minutes. Then we'll be there!"

"Gotcha!" She replied easily, calm before the storm. I felt nervous even thinking about a seriously pissed April and by the look of Casey, I wasn't the only one. I shook my head a little before typing again, bringing up all the Shellraiser's weapons. We were almost there, which means we might run into Leatherhead and the kids soon!

Keeping myself determined yet distracted from my nerves, I made sure that every system was online in the Shellraiser and ready for my command. I wanted to be sure that everything would work when I needed it too. You never know when you're going to need one of the Shellraiser's many tools.

"Oh my God!" April gasped, her voice raising into a shout. Rockwell, Casey, and I jumped in place and as I looked at the cameras I paled. We were coming up outside the hideout, which looked more like some elaborate warehouse, when I spotted Leatherhead, surrounded completely by Purple dragons with a variety of weapons, but a lot of them had guns. On the rooftops you could see some with rifles aiming a him. Normal bullets couldn't really hurt Leatherhead, but he was so outnumbered that it was ridiculous.

"Slash!" I yelled through a mic, "Get to the roof and take out those with rifles!"

Slash, who also appeared stunned, growled and nodded, jumping off the Shellraiser as it got closer. April didn't even slow down and I gasped as we drew closer to Leatherhead. Casey looked panicked, "Babe! You can't! You might hit Leatherhead by accident!"

The dark aura around April calmed and she jerked the wheel. I gasped loudly when we screeched to a stop, many Purple dragons diving out of the way or getting hit by the side of the Shellraiser. Immediately, I brought up a smokescreen and activated it. Then I turned to the others, "Let's go help Leatherhead first. I provided cover for us!"

They nodded and rushed after me as I opened the side doors and jumped out. My heart was racing. Leatherhead was in trouble! Even if his skin couldn't be penetrated by bullets he would still get tired and could still be cut or beaten. I spun my bō staff and dashed into the smokescreen. I remembered where Leatherhead was, of course.

I went dashing, maneuvering past Purple Dragons to get there faster and had to hit some with my bō staff if they got in my way. I pushed a couple of them towards Slash, whom I heard growl in a satisfied way. I finally caught up to Leatherhead.

"LH! Are you okay?" I asked worriedly, scanning him head to toe for injuries. He had a few scrapes and one large cut across forearm. Leatherhead looked over at me with gratitude and nodded, his chest heaving as he caught his breath.

"I am fine. They are persistent little humans, I'll give them that," He commented dryly and I sighed in relief that he was not hurt worse than he was.

"Where did Mike and Shadow go?" I questioned before turning my head and whipping my bo staff out, hitting one Dragon across the head with hit. He cried out in shock and disappeared in the smoke screen again. LH blinked before looking over at me gravely.

"They went into the building. I tried to stop Fong from following them but he did," He replied with a look of shame on his face. My eyes widened and I paled, remembering Fong before I shook my head. Now was not the time to be having a panic attack…not when I was needed.

Looking over my shoulder, I yelled into the smoke, "APRIL! Come with us!"

"Okay!" She shouted back somewhere from my left and I looked back at Leatherhead, who winced as he touched the gash across his forearm. I frowned thoughtfully before hearing Casey's familiar 'goongala'. I smirked a little and then dropped the look when April came into view.

"We're going into the building. The kids are there, probably to find Raph…and Fong went after them," I explained and April's face dropped, her eyes widening with fear. I put an arm on her shoulder, "Don't worry, we'll find Shadow and Mikey."

April's eyes and even Leatherhead's eyes doubled in size. I blinked at their reactions, wondered why they looked so shocked. April suddenly looked awkward but really sad, "You mean Mike."

I felt confused, "Yeah, of course."

"You…. you said Mikey, not Mike," She further explained and Leatherhead looked away. I froze and then looked away as well. April changed the subject, "Let's go, the guys have it covered out here."

Leatherhead turned to the smoke, "My friends! Watch out for their guns and watch out for darts!"

"Ya don't have ta tell us twice!" Slash called back with a battle-ready tone of voice, "I got things here! Pete is staying in the Shellraiser to keep up our cover. Go get those kids!"

"Just be careful, babe!" Casey yelled and April yelled the same back. With that assurance, all three of us went running through and out of the smoke. Leatherhead roared and charged on some of the Dragons that had escaped the smoke and April practically flipped over one of their heads.

We went rushing into the building before April and I were hit from the side. We both went rolling across the floor and Leatherhead gasped in what sounded like pain.

"What the hell?!" A voice I recognized to be Fong yelled as other voices started shouting so fast I couldn't make it out. It was obviously a group. I rolled to my feet and turned, seeing Fong and a group of men behind him. All of them looked floored for whatever reason.

"Leatherhead!" April shouted in worry and I turned to see a dart sticking out of LH's abdomen. He was grimacing in pain but was seemingly okay. It penetrated his rough skin, but didn't bring him down.

If Fong and the others are in front of us with weapons…then who knocked into April and I? I looked behind Leatherhead and my eyes slowly widened.

"RAPH!" I yelled in half relief half hysteria. He was on the ground grimacing just like Leatherhead was, except he wasn't darted. Shadow was hanging onto his back like a monkey, her expression one of shock. Raph was squinting over at me. I rushed over to his side as April joined me.

"Shadow!" She cried out with relief and Shadow's face brightened as she jumped into her Mom's arms, "Thank God!"

"Raph, you okay?" I asked anxiously as I helped him to his feet. He shrugged but nodded at the same time. I could see the numerous bruises and a bloodied lip. Rage burned in me as I scanned him. They obviously took advantage and beat my brother.

I glared over at Fong's group, who were trying to hurry to reload another dart in Fong's dart gun. They all were nervously yet angrily watching us, their weapons equipped as they gathered around Fong.

"You almost got hit with one of those darts if I didn't jump into ya like that," Raph growled and I turned to look at him out of the corner of my eye, "Be more careful!"

I knew he was just worried so I nodded and didn't take it personally, "Where's Mike?"

He tensed immediately and looked over at me with sharp eyes, "He's not with the others?"

My heart fell but I tried not to let it show as I shook my head, "No, Leatherhead said he and Shadow went in here."

"He ran while I freed Raph! He ran away from Fong!" Shadow said with a glare as she l pointed over at Fong, who sneered at us.

"Yeah and I am gonna let him have it when I see the little bastard!" Fong shouted as he clicked the gun and aimed it. April immediately leapt out of the way with Shadow in her arms again. I grabbed Raph by the arm and dove out of the way. Leatherhead, who was more conscious by this time, roared when he saw what happened.

He went charging towards the others who, mostly, screamed. Raph nodded at me with a small smirk that I knew was his way of saying thanks. I smiled back and then we both went charging into the battle, even though he was half limping it seemed like. It didn't stop his fists from working though.

Raph immediately went for Fong, who dove to hide behind his men as he tried to reload his dart gun.

"How the hell is this alligator still moving?!" One Purple Dragon shouted and Leatherhead growled.

"Did you really think that one dart would incapacitate me?" He demanded as if he were insulted. I chuckled as I twirled my bō staff and disarmed one Purple Dragon before pushing him towards Leatherhead as he yelled in horror.

"Donnie, behind ya!" Raph warned and I looked up only to freeze when a shuriken went hurling past my head at one Purple Dragon that ran away from Leatherhead and tried to hit me. I looked over at April, who was smirking and beamed at her in thanks.

Micah's Point of View:

I could hear them! Raph, Donnie, and Leatherhead! I even heard April and Shadow! I moved quickly away from my crate and hid behind another, doing this as I got closer to the open area they were in. I could hear a lot of screaming and growling, which scared me.

Looking around the corner of one of the crates, I could see Raph and Donnie fighting side by side through a group of Purple Dragons while April was throwing shuriken that hit almost every time. Leatherhead was a bit scary though…he was actually really hurting the dragons and they would bleed or not move…

There's still more coming but its not that much. With Leatherhead here it shouldn't be a problem…but where did Fong go? He said he wanted to go find the darts. I noticed the guys that went to find Raph and Shadow were joining and Donnie shouted in alarm when they went for April and Shadow. I gasped and felt angry, but watched in awe when Raph threw one of the unconscious Purple Dragon's weapon at them.

I gasped when Raph almost got hit, but Donnie took it. That guy hit Donnie on his side! I panicked and moved close before a jolt of fear and panic shot through my chest when I saw a sudden shadow. I turned quickly but was hit in the cheek. I cried out in pain and felt my world spin. I stumbled but felt my arm being grabbed roughly before I was suddenly being dragged.

Blinking my eyes open, I groaned and then froze when I saw Fong sneering down at me with a different weapon. It was a dagger. My eyes widened largely and I gasped repeatedly when he put it to my neck.

He kept me in front of him and pushed me away from the crates. How did he find me? Did he come to hide too and find me already hiding? Fong stopped and I saw the others still battling it out. Raph was having a rough time trying to protect himself.

"Well look what I found!" Fong shouted dramatically with obvious anger in his voice. The others, even the Purple Dragon dudes, turned at the sudden loud noise. Donnie and Raph's eyes grew large. Shadow and April both gasped while Leatherhead froze, his eyes growing large too.

"Mike!" Donnie yelled, his face darkening in a scary way when he saw the dagger at my throat, "Don't even think about it Fong!"

"Why not?" Fong hissed before smirking in an ugly way. My chest was heaving but I kept staring at Donnie and Raph. They wouldn't let this guy kill me… "Master Shredder wants him dead anyway for us, the Purple Dragons. You have your brother, so now we can keep the kid."

My heart skipped a beat but Raph's eyes looked so dark that I thought, from here, they almost looked black, "I got a bone ta pick with ya, Fong. Ya fuckin' coward! Hidin' behind a kid, what a piece of shit!"

I glanced up and Fong looked flustered, his hand unknowingly getting closer to my neck. I gasped and leaned my head as far back as I could, feeling a rush of fear. Donnie and the others edged closer. I was surprised at how much Shadow looked like April when they both were very angry.

"What did ya say to me, bastard? Do you want me to kill him now?!" Fong growled, glaring heavily. His men kept their weapons armed and didn't dare move as Raph and Donnie turned to them. They could probably hurt them if Fong's men made any move.

"Let the boy go now and I will simply break your neck to make your death swift. It would be fitting for a coward like yourself," Leatherhead said darkly as he took a couple of steps forward. Those around him too several steps back and distantly I thought that was funny. Fong hesitated and frowned.

"I'm not scared. I still have more darts and more men on the way," Fong replied in a simple tone after a moment. He glared down at me and pulled me back. I cringed and kept my head back as far as I could go.

"Stop!" Donnie shouted, his face still dark but his eyes wide, "Just let him go! He has nothing to do with this! It's between us!"

"He has everything to do with this. If only he hadn't involved you stupid mutants in this and died like he was supposed to," Fong almost muttered to himself but it was loud enough for everyone to hear. The room went almost silent and my eyes widened at what he said.

….better if I died? I did involve them in this…but it did have to do with them and how that bad guy wants to kill everyone in the sewers. I couldn't let them get away with that!

I looked up at Donnie and noticed just how scared he and Raph looked. Despite the situation, it made me feel very warm that they were scared for me. Raph looked scared too…he really cared about me now. I thought about Leo and what he might do…Leo always knows what to do.

Fong pulled out a metal pipe with his other hand and held it closer to the dagger as he glared at my mutant family, "Now leave or I'll kill him right in front of you."

They all hesitated. It would not take much at all for Fong to cut my neck and I was very scared of that. But for some reason...I didn't feel as scared as I did before. It was like a strange calm took over my body. I didn't feel like myself at the moment. I glared up at Fong and decided to try to help my family out since he was so focused on them.

Shifting, I brought my arms closer to my chest. Fong didn't notice as he was watching Donnie look at the others for answers. I knew they wouldn't get past his men to save me from being cut in time so they were considering what to do.

Saying a prayer to my Mom in my mind, I literally used my head and flung it backwards, hitting Fong square in the chest hard. His hands moved by reflex, but it was like my arms did too. I pushed his hands away and felt the dagger cut into them.

"DAMMIT!" Fong growled and I struggled, pushing myself away from him in panic. Fong spun around and it was like everything happened too quick...

"NOO!" Raph and Donnie yelled nearly at the same time as Fong's arm came around, the metal pipe hitting me in the side of my head. I fell to the ground.

I felt pain and then I just didn't. Everything seemed black. Did…..did I just die? Or was I just knocked out silly? Did Fong kill me? Man, I'm gonna feel stupid if my plan to get away from him ended so stupidly!

Looking around me, I noticed that everything just looked black. Simply black. There was nothing else. I looked down at my hands and pushed myself up. I sighed and rubbed my head, surprised that there was no blood. Where was I….?

"Hey!"

I looked up quickly, feeling startled. My eyes grew large at what I saw. There was another mutant! Another turtle!

I took in his light green skin, his freckles, his light blue eyes, and a short orange mask. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! He was smiling down at me in a way that reminded me of myself.

"M-Mikey…?"

His smile grew two times larger and brighter.

Chapter 15

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Micah watched as Mikey smiled even brighter at him, his eyes closing for a moment as if he might explode in happiness. Micah rose an anxious eyebrow, feeling alarmed and confused. Mikey was….dead. And he'sseeingMikey.

Mouth dropping in slow horror, Mike whispered, "I'm dead?"

Mikey's eyes flew open and he noticed how the little guy suddenly looked horrified. He couldn't blame the kid because he was just hit in the head majorly hard with a pipe of all things! He'd looked shocked, confused, and now horrified. Now that Mikey thinks about it, he felt stupid that he didn't see the kid making that connection so quick.

So, he quickly put on another bright smile, "No, no, no, Mike! Hah, it's weird calling you that because that was sometimesmynickname too! I like Mikey better though!"

Something in Mikey's voice made Mike calm down and he smiled timidly, "Y-Yeah…. I've heard that. Uh, I've always liked to be called Mike..."

"Cause it's an awesome name!" Mikey beamed happily and Mike blinked up at the turtle, staring at him because he literally couldn't help it. He hadn't heard much about the turtle but from what hedidknow he just couldn't wrap his head around the fact that he was actuallytalkingto Mikey! Nor that the turtle seemed so happy...

"Yeah…" He trailed off after he realized he had been rudely staring, "But, um, you said I'm not dead? But I'm talking to you….and your…."

"Dead," Mikey said simply, but still smiling. Mike was shocked that he didn't seem sad, angry, or anything! It was as if he accepted that he was dead and that was okay…Mikey noticed Mike's inner turmoil and chuckled, "Of course I know I'm dead! I'm…well I guess I can't say I'm "okay" with it because is anyone really okay with being dead? Blah, anyways, it's been almost ten years now? I'veadjusted."

He seemed slightly amused. His face still the brightest thing in the...room? Or wherever they were!

"I…I see," Mike said slowly, blinking owlishly not fully understanding, "But…I still don't understand…I'mnotdead?"

Mikey sobered up when he saw how utterly lost and confused the poor boy was. He took another step closer to Mike before getting on his knees comfortably in front of him. Mike watched Mikey silently, hoping that Donnie's brother knew what in the world was going on. People that were alive didn't talk to people that were dead…right?

"You're not dead, I promise," Mikey smiled before sighing slowly, "You did get hit in the head really hard and right now you're unconscious…probably a grade II concussion? I don't know, Donnie will know though."

Mike suddenly smiled at the mention of Donnie and Mikey's eyes widened a little at that before they softened and he grinned, "Anyways, it's kinda hard to explain but you've heard about meditation from Sensei…I mean Master Splinter and Leo, right?"

"Uh-huh," Mike nodded, remembering how he thought meditation would be hard for him because he can't stand things being quiet for very long. Mikey grinned again, as if understanding his thoughts.

"Well in a sense, I reached out to you on the spiritual plane. To be honest, I really didn't expect to actually get toseeyou," Mikey babbled his face becoming brighter with excitement, "I mean, I nearly exploded to pieces when I heard that you'remereincarnated! I've tried reaching out to my family too but it hasn't worked yet!"

Mike's eyes grew wide but he giggled at Mikey's contagious excitement. Without realizing both had shifted so they were sitting Indian style, leaning towards each other. A sudden thought occurred to Mike, "Wait, so you knew all that about the...? How?!"

"Oh, that's easy. I've been keeping watch over my family since I died…" Mikey replied, smiling in a tenser way, "I…didn't like how things were going before you came. I was so excited when I saw Donnie opening up to you! He easily freaks out now, you know?"

"He does?" Mike's eyes grew wider and Mikey nodded, his eyes darting to the side before he shook his head, "I didn't know that…Donnie seems to only get sad when I remind him of you…"

Mikey frowned at the way Mike's eyes darkened, "You can't help that! To be honest, I was so surprised by how much you're like me…but I was jealous at how good you are at following instructions in the dojo. I getsodistracted!"

Mike blushed, remembering the "un-Mikeyish" thing he had done in the dojo when learning about nin-get-su, "I mainly w-wanted to impress Leo and Raph…"

"I know," Mikey replied before sighing, "Man, I was so bummed out when I saw how Leo and Raph were treating you, but I also understand. They're both just big softies, 'specially Raphie."

Mike frowned thoughtfully and it got peacefully quiet for a moment before he looked up at Mikey, only to blush a little when Mikey was already staring at him, "Um, so you searched for my spirit on the spiritual plane? That's how we're talking?" He didn't really know what that even meant.

"Basically…. cool, right?" Mikey grinned and Mike laughed a little, feeling confused but deciding to just agree with the orange-masked turtle, "Anyways, I just wanted to meet you once before you wake up or I disappear."

Suddenly it was like cold water was dumped on Mike. Right, this was temporary…he'd wake up cause he's not dead, thank God, but that also means that Mikey will disappear again.

"What's that face for?" Mikey smiled softly as he placed his hand on Micah's head, "I'm happy now knowing that you're gonna be with my bros. I'm definitely at peace now."

Mike's eyes widened and watered at the same time as he looked at Mikey, "Really? You don't care that I'm the one with them now and not you?"

Mikey's smile didn't change, "Of course not! You need them and they need you. Of course, I can't wait for the day that I'll see them again but you make sure to tell them that better beawhile! I'll just be watching over them until then!"

Both Mikey and Mike giggled at that before Mike grinned up at Mikey, "Okay! I don't want any of them to get hurt or….die…. but I'm happy to know that you're not mad at me!"

"Nope! It'd really do no good to be mad anyways," Mikey shrugged as he looked up, "Just promise me, since I can't look out for them, that you'll do it in my place from now on?"

"I promise! I'll do my best to make sure Leo, Raph, and Donnie are safe and happy!" Mike beamed, happy at how the sudden turn in his day was going. Man, the others weren't going to believe him when they find out he talked to Mikey!

"I can't stay on the spiritual plane long, but can you do me a few extra favors?" Mikey asked, almost in a pleading way as his eyes seemed to sparkle with feeling. Mike shifted closer to him after noticing the change in Mikey. He didn't want him to go yet!

"Anything!" Mike promised, hesitantly reaching out and place his small hand on Mikey's arm. He was surprised at the same slightly cold scaly feeling he felt whenever he touched the other Turtles. He couldfeelhim?

"Throughout the years, my family has visited me or asked me…questions," Mikey explained, finally looked a bit remorseful and sad at the reminder that he could never answer them or reassure them, "Tell Master Splinter that when he asked me those two questions last year on the anniversary of my death…the answer isyes and I'm now in peace together with Teng Shen."

"Okay," Mike nodded, eager to help but feeling confused at whoever Teng Shen was.

"And tell Leo that I appreciate him coming to talk to me often and that when he asked me about the day I died tell him the answer isnot even once," Mikey instructed, looking very serious in a way that Mike knew didn't look right on even his own face, "Tell Raphie that he's always doing a great job at protecting Donnie and Leo; that the answer to his question isbecause I couldn't live in a world where he isn't there to tease. He'll know what question I'm talking about."

Mike was staring at him in awe and felt the emotions of love and compassion rolling off him in waves. It made him want to cry and he'd only known Mikey for almost 5 minutes!

"Um, sorry it's so much but lastly…. could you tell Donnie how much I love him? That he wasn't just my brother, but my best friend! It wasn't his fault at all that he couldn't save me,nobodycould. He's the only one that didn't really visit me but I understood. He hardly talked out loud to me either because he didn't believe in that sorta thing…but this one time he did. He asked me something. Tell him the answer isyes, of course I knew."

When Mikey finally finished he could feel the flickers in his spirit. He felt sad, he didn't want to leave but he knew he had to. Mike watched him with wide eyes, they were tearing up. Mikey smiled softly. He really was sensitive to people's feelings just like he had been, "Please take care of them. Make sure they know that the world is still a beautiful place and that life should be enjoyed; that they should laugh and smile more…. but then again, Iknowyou will do it. You'reme!"

Mike closed his eyes and laughed, feeling tiny tears rolling down his cheeks. He continued to laugh and wipe the tears away, "Yeah! I'm glad that I was…ren-car-nated as you, Mikey!"

But when Mike opened his eyes, Mikey was nowhere to be seen.

With Leo

Leonardo stared silently out the lab doors, waiting for his father to return from making him some tomato soup with crackers. He thought about what his father had told him before offering to make him some soup since he was hungry.

Micah was Mikey's reincarnation? That was the thing that he and his family felt they were missing whenever they were shocked about something Mike said or did. He was like that because he wasMikeyin a previous life. However much that Leo knows about reincarnation, he didn't think that Mike would have those feelings. He knew that what Mike was experiencing when he felt like he knew something was most likely dejavu.

Despite his confusion, Leo felt like crying. He felt like it but he wasn't going toactuallycry. The fact that Mike was his baby brother reincarnated made him feel as if he almost had a second chance to be a good big brother to his baby brother. He knew that it must be a ludicrous idea and that Raph would totally make fun of him for even thinking that way, but that's honestly how he felt.

Plus, Micah said it himself that he felt his dad would have been like Leo. Seeing the boy look at him so admirably used to make him want to cringe but now it made him feel really warm. He wanted to see Mike right away….

So why hasn't Donnie and Mike come to see him yet? Why aren't the others back? Surely Master Splinter wasn't keeping something from him? He'd never do that! Leo frowned thoughtfully, looking up at the ceiling.

This terrible feeling he had wasn't going away. It probably wouldn't until he talked to Donnie. Leo moved slowly, sitting up in the cot before stopping when he head throbbed slightly. The medicine his Sensei made him take took away most of the pain, thankfully, but the knot of his forehead still felt like it was stinging almost. Leo ground his teeth together and forced himself to stand, holding onto the cot.

Once he was stable he walked, slowly at first, to the lab doors. When he reached his goal he smirked, feeling proud that managed to do that without his Sensei's help. When he glanced up to look out the doors, he frowned to see no one in the main part of the lair. It's been little over half an hour. Why weren't Donnie and Mike in pit if not in the lab? Sensei told him that they were in Donnie's room…

Leo sighed and walked out of the lab, no longer stumbling. His forehead hurt every time he made any expression and he cringed slightly but felt relieved when he finally made it to Donnie's door. Now he'd get some answers and finally get to see Mike! He knocked on the door and patiently waited for his brother to call out to him but it was silent for a few moments. Leo blinked hard once at the door before knocking louder, "Donnie, it's me, I'm coming in, okay?"

There was no answer and Leo frowned, turning the handle and pushing the door open. Immediately Leo let out a small gasp, his eyes going wide as he took in the dark empty room. He stood there staring at it blankly before it registered what was going on. He ground his teeth together so hard he could of swore he heard a small cracking noise.

"…. Leonardo….?"

The blue masked turtle turned slowly towards the sound of his father's voice and Splinter's eyes widened when he saw his son standing in front of Donatello's room.'Oh no…'Splinter thought with deep trepidation.

"They left to get Raph without me," Leo said in a blank voice, his darkened eyes staring at his father. Normally Leo wasn't one to get mad,especiallyat his Sensei, but he couldn't believe that his brother would leave without checking on him or even telling him what was going on. And why would his Sensei so boldly lie to his face?

The aging rat felt himself starting to sweat when he realized how upset and angry his normally calm son was; all that emotion was directed to him for the first timeever. Leonardo kept his unnerving stare at him, waiting for an explanation.

"My son, it isn't how you are imagining," Splinter replied softly, hoping to calm his son down. However, he didn't realize the inner turmoil that Leo was going through. Anxious and angry questions alike were running through his head. He could barely concentrate on a single thought, "I had to lie to you, Leonardo. I am sorry for that- "

"Why did you lie to me?" Leo asked, his nonexistent brows drawing together. Splinter sighed and took a couple of steps closer to his eldest son, "I can't believe Donnie would just leave without telling me or checking on me. Why did you lie?"

"You are in no condition to fight and if you knew then you'd want to charge after Donatello," Splinter began and froze when he saw Leo get angry again, he put a hand up to stop whatever his son was about to say, "As it is, the moment you woke up everyone had to leave, my son. It was important!"

Something in Splinter's voice made Leo refrain from lashing out, "Did they get new information on Raph?"

"I'm afraid not," Splinter shook his head and sighed, "But Micah took the situation rather…. hard. For whatever reason, he left the lair on his own while everyone was falling asleep."

This had the expression on Leo's face vanishing instantly. Immediately in its place was shock and horror, his mouth parted, "W-What? Micah left the lair by himself?! Without Donnie?!"

"Yes," Splinter calmed when he saw the anger vanish from his son's face, "That is not all. Shadow discovered Micah leaving and followed him. Leatherhead followed her shortly after. An hour later we were all awoken by Donatello, who was frantic because he had received a call for help from Leatherhead stating that they found where Raphael was being held and needed assistance. That is why they left in a hurry and why they were so loud they woke you."

Leo frowned heavily and looked up guiltily at his father, "Sensei, I-I'm sorry for acting so angrily towards you…"

"I understand, my son," Splinter sighed, coming closer to place a hand on his eldest's shoulder, "Donatello and I were both worried about you. There wasn't enough time to explain to you and even if there were…your head injury would only hinder you in battle."

"I know…." Leo ducked his head, frowning impossibly more as he felt self-hatred, "If I weren't so distracted that I got hit then I'd be there to help Donnie and Mike right now."

"It is not your fault, Leonardo," His father warned sternly, "Donatello will be fine because all of our friends are with him. He'll bring Micah and Raphael back with him."

"I wish I could share your positivity, Father," Leo smiled sadly and it caused a painful sting in Splinter's chest. Leo's eyes were slightly mystified, "I just don't want anything to happen to them. I couldn't save Mikey…and I'm scared I won't be able to save them when the time comes for it."

Splinter's breath hitched and he shook his head, clearing his throat, "Do not despair, Leonardo. I hate to see you so unhappy. I also grieve for Michelangelo but we cannot change what happened. I always did believe in fate, no matter how unfortunate it can sometimes be…. let us rejoice that he has been reincarnated into Micah."

Leo's throat went tight and he nodded, hiding his face when he felt stray tears roll down his cheeks. He batted them away and smiled warmly at his father, "I agree…to think he was actually reincarnated. It's like he's always going to still be here, right, Sensei?"

Splinter's eyes widened but then he returned the warm smile, "Absolutely, my son. Now, let's get to the pit and eat together as we wait for the rest of our family to return."

"Hai, Sensei," Leo nodded, his smile dropping at the idea of having to wait for his family to return. Was this how Sensei felt when he had to wait for he and his brothers to return?

With Raph and the others…

"Mike!Mike!"Donnie was screaming, shaking the poor boy's shoulder while April pressed her blue cardigan closer to the side of Mike's head. It was bleeding from a tear on his scalp. It was alarming enough that April knew that it would need stitches, but it wasn't deep enough to cause too much concern. What she, and no doubt Donatello, was concerned about the most was how hard he was hit in the head. He'd have one hell of a concussion.

Leatherhead had already killed three of the Purple Dragons and Raphael was keeping any Purple Dragons or Fong away from Donnie, Mike, April, and Shadow. A while ago, when they heard Donnie and Raph scream, Casey, Slash, Dr. Rockwell, and Pete rushed in before freezing in shock as they took in the events.

Now Slash was right alongside Leatherhead, not even caring if he was killing any of the dragons. Casey immediately raced to April's side and helped Raph guard them. Poor Shadow was sobbing and hid her face in her Mom's back, too afraid to look at the blood that was on her Mom's cardigan. She kept shoving her face back into April's white tank top.

Donnie turned frantically, practically crazed with hysteria, towards April, who's eyes widened when she the state poor Donatello was in. It wasn't like Raphael was any better, but hewasmore composed, "A-April, we h-have t-to get Mike i-in t-the S-Shellraiser!"

"Is he okay to be moved?" April asked in concern before flinching when another loud pitched scream filled the air, close to them.

"P-P-Please, i-i-it w-was j-just ajob!" She turned to see Fong being pushed to the ground in front of Raphael by Slash, who looked unrepentant and furious. April then noticed how the others were gathered around Slash and that the other Purple Dragons were either dead or incapacitated.

"I don't give a fuck! I told ya, didn't I? If ya eventhoughtabout hurtin' tha tyke…" Raph grabbed the dagger that he'd gotten from Slash earlier in the fight while Pete turned away. Casey turned around and held both April and Shadow before using his hands to cover Shadow's ears.

April was thankful because her hands were preoccupied and as she looked up, moments before Fong's violent death, she saw Donnie staring at Raph and Fong without a hint of remorse, just cold rage. Her eyes widened and she didn't even see as Raph continued, "…I'd kill ya…" and proceeded to jam the dagger in Fong's throat.

It was quiet for a few moments and Donnie, whose hysteria and worry came back, turned to finally answer April's question from earlier, as if what just happened didn't happen, "Yes, h-he can be moved. Let's h-hurry!"

She could tell he was so close to losing it, so she nodded and tied the sleeves of her cardigan around Mike's head and then shifted aside when Leatherhead came to pick Micah up. Donnie protested but realized he was shaking too much to properly hold Micah. The others were walking out under Slash's orders and Casey guided Shadow and April away.

"Let's go, Donnie," Raph said softly as he grabbed Donnie's wrist lightly. Donnie nodded mutely and let Raph pull him away from the awful scene, "Sorry ya had ta see me like that a second ago. I…I just needed ta kill him…"

"It's fine, Raph. If you didn't do it I was gonna do it," Donnie replied simply, without stuttering, and Raph looked over at his brother in shock but Donnie had already moved on to worrying about Mike again, "Let's get Mike home, Raph!"

"Yeah, c'mon," Raph shook his head and jogged after April, noticing her worried expression as she looked at the both of them. They both ignored it for now as they climbed into the Shellraiser after the others. Both Leatherhead and Slash climbed to hold onto the sides and the roof of the Shellraiser.

It took off without any words being exchanged. Casey was holding on tight to Shadow, who was still softly crying, traumatized by what had happened. She hadn't seen the murder, but she knew that horrible things had happened. What scared her the most was the blood on her new friend.

Back at the lair…

"Sensei…" Leo murmured as they sat together watching the news. Leo had finished most of the tomato soup his Father had made for him and they decided to watch TV together to pass the time. It made Leo's head hurt but he mainly thought about the current state of things to pass the time instead.

"Leonardo, what is it?" Splinter turned to his son when he noticed he looked exceptionally worried suddenly, "What's wrong?"

"Just now…I felt a jolt of fear…. like something's wrong," Leo admitted, looking frantically at his Father, "Should we call? Should we do something?"

His own anxiety rising, Splinter shook his head and placed a hand on his son's shoulder, tightening it there, "Do not panic, Leonardo. You are very anxious. You haven't been away from your brothers as they went on a mission before. We should have faith."

"I'm trying, Sensei…but…but something's wrong. I just know it," Leo explained, his eye ridges drawing together as he frowned anxiously at the ground. He hated the pain returning to his head and the fact that it was because of that pain that he couldn't be out there with his brother.

Splinter sighed, "Leonardo…." He opened his mouth to say more but both he and Leonardo jumped when they heard the loud roar of the Shellraiser's engine. Leo was up before Splinter could react and was running towards the lab without a second thought. Splinter frowned and grabbed for his cane to hurry after his son.

Leo entered the lab just as Leatherhead rushed into the lab through the garage entrance. Leo's eyes widened and he froze when he saw Micah in LH's arms, a bloodied blue shirt wrapped around his head, "Mike!"

"Leo?!" Leo turned and was met with the two frantic stares of both of his brothers. If they could, Leo's eyes would have widened even more.

"Raph!" Leo leapt without warning, nearly slamming into his red banded brother, who stumbled to straighten them up. Donnie rushed past them for the moment, his attention focused on LH and Mike, whom had just been laid on his examination table.

"L-Leo! What- "Raph paused when he felt Leo's arms trembling around his neck. He sighed, apparently Donnie wasn't the only one overly worrying, "I'm sorry, Leo."

Leo slowly withdrew his hug as the others entered the lab and began moving around and about. Splinter watched everything with wide eyes but stood silent, afraid to be in the way. Leo looked confused at Raph, "Why are you sorry? I'm the one that's- "

"No, don't even go there," Raph placed a hand on Leo's mouth, glaring at him, "To be honest, I couldn't have really dodged that dart and ya couldn't have gotten to me fast enough because they're a buncha cowards! Don't ya even dare…"

Leo suddenly felt half of his weight had been lifted. He nodded, his head throbbing. He cringed and held his forehead. Raph looked worried, "Leo…ya okay?"

"Y-Yeah, the pain meds are wearing off," Leo explained as Raph's eyes widened. Leo ignored this and turned to Donnie before pausing when he noticed Donnie and Dr. Rockwell looking at Mike's bloody head, "What the hell happened to Mike, Raph?"

Raph wasn't surprised to see the sudden anger in Leo's eyes, "Fong is what happened, Fearless. That coward took him hostage in front of all of us and then you'll never believe…. tha Tyke pushed Fong's arm away from his neck, even when he had a knife ta his throat! It hurt his hands though…but he headbutted him! Fong got pissed and swung around, hittin' Tyke in tha head with his pipe."

"Did you kill him?" Leo asked seriously and his eyes widened again when Raph looked over at him with dark eyes, answering his question, "Are you okay?"

Raph scoffed as they watched Donnie work, "Better now that we took tha trash out."

Casey suddenly laughed at what Raph said, making the two turtles jump, "Sorry, I just wasn't expecting ya to say it like that." Raph rolled his eyes and Leo shook his head.

Donnie looked over at them and said, "Can everyone but Dr. Rockwell please leave? I cannot concentrate with everyone's conversations!" Dr. Rockwell felt himself break out in a sweat after seeing Donnie looking so void of emotions.

Leo and Raph stared at him in shock but decided that it was best to let Donnie do what he could. They were just in the way. If he'd need them they'd be there. Splinter sighed and nodded, "Let us go in the other room. We need to reassure Shadow."

Donnie sighed in relief as they left him alone with Dr. Rockwell. Leatherhead had looked reluctant to leave, but was dragged out by Slash. Donnie stared down at Mike's wound and felt his stomach lurch. It would probably need only a few stitches and wasn't deep thank God. Most of the bleeding had stopped in the first 15 minutes which was a good sign.

Dr. Rockwell turned to him, "I put aside a tray for you to clean and stitch the cut to his head, Donatello. I'll tend to his hands."

Donnie blinked, remembering that Mike's hands had been cut, "Do they require stitches?"

"No, they don't," Dr. Rockwell answered with relief, "They may just be annoying to him when he awakes. They are just clean cuts that have long since stopped bleeding. They are on his left fingers and right palm diagonally from where he pushed Fong's hand away from his neck."

"I see," Donnie looked down at Mike's face with pride, "You did well, Mike. Please hang on while I help you. Don't die on me…"

Dr. Rockwell stared at him and then looked away sadly, continuing with his part. Donatello washed the wound on Mike's head before applying anti-septic. After being sure the wound was clean, Donnie began the stitches. He realized that Mike's head was already bruising an ugly red and blackening color. He cringed. Mike would be in some pain for a while as he healed.

"Here's the roll of bandages," Dr. Rockwell said softly as Donnie broke out of his thoughts, "I've finished with his hands. They're cleaned and wrapped up."

Donnie finally smiled, feeling slightly calmer as he took the roll of bandages. He'd just finished stitching Mike's head wound. It'd only needed 7 stitches total, "Thanks for your help, Dr. Rockwell."

"Of course," Dr. Rockwell smiled in a relieved way, "The others are consoling Shadow. I'll go retrieve your family now."

"Okay," Donnie nodded, sighing tiredly as Dr. Rockwell floated away. Donnie just finished wrapping the bandage around Mike's head when his brothers entered the lair with Splinter walking behind them, "How…how's Shadow?"

"Slightly better," Raph sighed and shrugged at the same time, "Can't say I blame her. Thankfully Casey kept her from seein' too much."

"How's Mike?" Leo asked slowly and Donnie took in the bruises on his brother's knee and the bandage around his head. He frowned.

"He's gonna be in some real pain and a grade 3 concussion so he'll probably be fussy…but I think that he'll be okay. I'm about to scan his head to make sure he doesn't have any brain bleeds…" Donnie explained before looking to Leo, "How is your head and knee?"

"My knee is just really bruised and aches sometimes but it's my head that pounds when I don't take medicine. I'm fine…just one shell of a knot on my forehead," Leo scowled and Raph almost grinned when it looked like Leo was pouting.

Donnie nodded and then turned to Raph, who barely looked like he had any injury. He had bruises, mainly around his face and sides, "How about you, Raph?"

Raph blinked, "Oh, I'm just peachy…they decided ta use me as a punchin' bag but I feel fine. Just a lil' sore is all."

"I'll hold you to that," Donnie muttered, scanning his brother over. There were really any cuts just bruises that littered his body. Donnie frowned, feeling angry but was brought out of it by Splinter.

"I am happy that you are all returned safely," He smiled in a relieved way, "Now we can heal and begin to question current events. For now, I want you all to rest."

"Hai, Sensei," They replied respectfully before Donnie turned to get ready to scan Mike's head.

"Did you already give Mike some pain medication?" Leo asked Donnie suddenly, looking at Mikey with worry. Donnie nodded slightly.

"I'm not sure when he'll wake up…so I gave him some before I bandaged his head," Donnie explained as the others listened silently. Donnie set up the machine and while he was waiting for it to start he remembered something. He turned to Leo, "I'm sorry that I had to leave right when you woke up, Leo."

Leo frowned as he saw the guilt and shame in Donnie's eyes, he shook his head, "I understand why you did it, Don. Don't feel guilty. You're all home and that's all that matters."

"Gee, getting' sentimental on us again, are ya mother hen?" Raph commented just to see Donnie smile a little in amusement. Leo rolled his eyes and Splinter smiled fondly. The machine gave a beep and Donnie immediately began to work on scanning Mike's brain.

They watched this silently before Leo looked at Raph curiously, "Hey Raph…did you hear about Mike….?"

Raph looked at Leo quickly, feeling confused, "Huh? Are you high or somethin'? What do ya mean?" Splinter quickly realized what Leonardo was leading up to.

Leo was quick to fill him in on Leatherhead's first assumption of Mike being Mikey's reincarnation. Splinter joined in and they both explained why they believe Mikey was reincarnated as Micah. Raph was speechless.

"Wha…are ya forreal? I don't really know what ta say," Raph blinked, his green eyes wide as he looked at Mike before looking back at Leo, "So that's the feelin' we all had….and that's why Mike is….wow…"

"It certainly explains a lot," Splinter smiled as Donnie finished the machine and raced to his laptop.

"So…it's basically almost like Mikey's here with us again?" Raph voiced aloud and even Donnie looked over at him with wide eyes, "What?"

"I never thought of it that way…" Donnie whispered to himself but then shook his head and began typing away again, trying to bring up the scans.

Leo chuckled before looking back at Raph, "I said almost the exact same thing. That's what it feels like right? But it's important that we realize he's not actually Mikey."

"Of course he's not. No one couldeverbe Mikey," Raph frowned, raising an eye ridge before looking at Mike, "But…he comes pretty darn close."

Leo and Master Splinter shared a bemused glance before Splinter turned back to Raphael, "You are usually not one to so easily believe in spiritual things."

Raph blushed, "Well…it's not wrong, right? We all had that same feeling…plus that kid is not Mikey but he'severybit like him."

"That's a redundant statement," Donnie suddenly commented across the room and they all stared at him before laughing. It was such an old Donnie thing to say.

"Ya know what I was tryin' ta say," Raph smirked before blinking when Donnie's eyes widened at the computer screen, "What's wrong?"

"Oh, thank God!" Donnie suddenly beamed and his brothers were relieved to see him smiling instead of frowning, "It's practically a miracle but there's no brain bleed."

Raph, Leo, and Splinter sighed in relief before exchanging grins. Donnie headed back to Mike's side and grinned over at his family. Mike would be okay, in pain, but okay!

"I'll step out and tell the others- "Splinter began but froze when a barely audible whimper echoed in the lab. His sons also froze but Donnie looked down, noticing how Mike's eyes were darting slightly under his eyelids, his face cringed with pain. The pain medications should be taking affect in a few minutes if they haven't already.

"Mike?" Donnie asked quietly, not trusting his voice. He looked up at a flabbergasted Leo and Raph, "Can you dim the lights? They'll hurt his head."

"They hurtmyhead too," Leo grumbled before doing what his brother asked. Raph snickered but felt excited that the tyke was waking up. Everyone crowded around the examination table as Mike continued to groan and cringe.

"C'mon, tyke, open yer eyes," Raph encouraged and Mike's eyes opened a sliver. Leo let out a huge breath of relief.

"Mike?" Donnie questioned softly. Mike's eyes opened until they were half lidded. Donnie immediately noticed what he already knew, Mike's eyes were not dilating properly, a sign of a concussion.

Suddenly a little more awareness flooded Mike, "D-Donnie?"

Everyone let out a little cheer, which surprised Mike. His eyes opened fully now and he cringed, almost crying at the throbbing in his head. Leo noticed and frowned sympathetically, "Sorry, Mike."

"I gave you medicine, it should work soon," Donnie soothed as he rubbed Mike's cheek. Mike nodded, closing his eyes to stop the tears from flowing, "Do you remember what happened?"

Mike thought about it and opened his eyes, "Uh…. huh…n-not…. not really."

"That's normal for a grade two or three concussion," Donnie assured but was looking at his family. Mike frowned, trying to remember.

"Fong hit ya hard on the head with his pipe," Raph explained in a simple tone and Mike's eyes widened as he remembered bits and pieces of what happened. Raph stopped Mike from moving after noticing that he was cringing in pain again, "Don't move, tyke."

"It's okay. You'll remember it all soon," Leo replied comfortingly and Splinter smiled at his sons reassuring Mike. Mike wanted to nod but knew he couldn't. Donnie frowned and held Mike's hand, letting him squeeze it to feel better. Mike looked up at the circle of faces he'd come to love as much as his Mom and smiled.

Wait…. his eyes nearly bulged out of his head when he remembered, "OH!" It was laughable that even Splinter startled at his shout. It hurt his head and he cringed another moment but tried to ignore the pain to talk, "You won't believe it!"

"Huh?" Raph replied stupidly, his green eyes still wide as they stared down at the kid.

"What is it?" Donnie asked anxiously, absentmindedly squeezing Mike's hand. Mike took a breath to wait for the pain to go away and the others watched him in confusion.

"When that scary dragon…uh, Fong? When he hit me, I woke up and everything was black, like seriously! I thought I died but then I…. I saw Mikey, dudes!" Mike cried, wiling them to believe him.

Four sets of eyes widened at his words and Splinter also froze in shock at Mike's words. Raph and Donnie both shared a look of shock.

"Mike…. there's no way you could have seen Mikey," Leo said he tried not to let his pain show on his face, "He's dead….and you weren't dead you were just unconscious."

Mike frowned stubbornly but hated that Leo looked in pain, "I-I'm not lying. Hetalkedto me!"

Raph scowled, feeling annoyed and Donnie frowned, feeling sad, "That's impossible, Mike. You can't talk to people who are gone."

"But I did! He said he reached out to my spirit on the…uh, spirit plane?" Mike tried to explain and hoped he was remembering that right. Leo and Splinter both gasped, their eyes going even wider. Donnie and Raph seemed surprised by their brother and dad's reactions.

Leo turned to Splinter uncertainly, "Sensei...i-is that possible?"

"I have not known anyone to do it before and trust me, I have tried to contact Michelangelo's spirit, but I could not do it…maybe the differences were in the situation? I am unsure…" Splinter confessed, looking confused and still shocked.

"I dunno either, but it's true! We talked! He really wanted me to tell you guys stuff," Mike continued shyly towards the end. The others turned their wide eyes on him.

"This is a load of bull," Raph muttered and it went unargued. Mike ignored that because he just wanted to fulfill Mikey's wish.

"He said you all asked him questions after he died," Mike explained and this had Raph freezing. Mike turned to Splinter, "Um...if I'm remembering right…he said you asked him a question two years ago? He said the answer is yes and he's in peace together with Teng Shen…."

The Turtles gasped and looked towards Splinter whose eyes were filling with tears quickly as he stared at Micah. Leo frowned uncertainly, there was absolutely no way that Micah knew who TEng Shen was...so he actually heard it from... "Sensei…w-what did you ask him?"

"I…" Splinter cleared his throat, on the verge of crying. His throat felt tight and he was radiating with feeling, "Two years ago on the anniversary of my youngest son's death…I asked if he had moved on in peace…."

Leo's eyes widened and he looked at Mike in shock. So…that was…he actually, "You…you actually….it was really…. Mikey?"

Mike nodded seriously and Leo's eyes filled with tears. Mike frowned and went on because he knew this wasn't going to be easy. Raph and Donnie were still standing frozen to the spot, unable to believe what they were hearing, "Leo…he told me to tell you thanks for visiting him all the time. He said you asked him about the night he died and that the answer was not even once."

Leo leaned back his wide eyes shining with tears and his mouth trembling. Splinter, who was still struggling to contain his own emotions, turned to him, "W-What didyouask Michelangelo, my son?"

"I…. oh my God…. I asked him if he blamed me for his death or if he hated me because of how I treated him that night…." Leo answered quietly before turning and walking a couple of steps away to compose himself. Splinter turned to Mike, who was frowning worriedly at him and Leo.

"I am very grateful for you to do this for us. To be able to hear Michelangelo's words through you is utterly a blessing," Splinter smiled warmly, his eyes still wet. Mike blushed and nodded, before turning to Raph and Donnie, who were still staring at him.

"You can't be serious…. I…" Raph choked when Mike looked at him and suddenly couldn't say anymore. How could he deny that Mike had actually spoken to the spirit of his dead brother?

"Raph…um, he told me to tell you that you're always doing a great job at protecting Leo and Donnie," Mike started and Raph gasped. Donnie broke out of his shock and looked at Raph with his wide brown eyes. Leo turned, his face trailing tears and looked at Raph in shock as well, "He said that the answer to your question is because he couldn't live in a world where you're not there to tease…or something like that."

Raph suddenly hid his eyes and chuckled wetly, "Chucklehead…"

"W…What did you ask him, Raph?" Donnie asked breathlessly while Leo and Splinter watched in awe. Raph took a shaky breath and looked at Donnie.

"I asked him why he didn't just let me die that night…." Raph responded with a thick voice, it being clear that he was trying not to cry either, which was unusual for the red banded turtle.

Feeling both anxious, shocked, and excited, Donnie turned to Mike, who was already staring at him, "W…What did Mikey have to say to me?" His heart was pounding in his chest.

Mike suddenly smiled and looked down shyly, "He…He said to tell you how much he loves you and that you're his best friend not just a brother….um…he also said you only ever talked out loud to him once and that you asked something…."

"Y-Yeah?" Donnie prompted, his face already wet with tears. He knew what question Mikey had been referring to. Raph, though struggling with his own strong emotions, saw how Donnie trembled and wrapped an arm around him as Leo got closer since he was more composed.

"He said the answer was yes, of course he knew," Mike smiled easily, happy to have remembered everything. Though with meeting Mikey, which is something he'd never thought possible, he was sure not even a concussion would make him forget that.

Donnie immediately began crying, hiding his face in his hands. Raph and Leo exchanged a worried look and Splinter simply smiled, knowing that these questions that were answered would bring his sons great peace. It had already done wonders to him to know that Michelangelo now rests in peace with his beloved Teng Shen.

Mike frowned but cringed when he moved his head at all. The pain was not as bad now and he felt kinda…. tired but floaty, like he could do anything! He watched the Turtle brothers hold each other and just let Donnie cry. Raph looked like he was trying desperately not to cry nor smile too much. Leo was smiling in a very relieved way.

When Donnie finally calmed down he stared at Mike with such affection it made his throat tighten and his eyes widen. He couldn't help but wonder, "Um, Donnie…. what didyouask Mikey?"

Donnie chuckled wetly and gave him a watery smile as his brothers finally let him go but didn't move away, "I asked Mikey… 'Did you actually know how much I loved you when you were alive?'" Mike's eyes flooded with tears all of a sudden.

"Of course, he did!" Mike blubbered and Leo looked amused that now Mike was crying as if….as if it was Mikey getting all emotional. Leo chuckled.

"Thanks so much, Mike," Donnie smiled warmly, wiping his face as he walked to lean over Mike and give him a soft hug, "You have no idea, even if it was weird and totally impossible, how much this helped my brothers and I!"

Mike was still crying a little bit and it was hurting his head but he also smiled at them all, "I'm so happy that I could help for once!"

Raph, Leo, Splinter, and Donnie all smiled down at him as he finally broke down and cried. He cried because of his pain but mostly because oftheirs. They had gotten emotional and cried a bit, sure, but he felt like he should cry more on their behalf.

Chapter 16

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

Micah wasn't sure if he could keep his eyes open for long, but he would use his fingers to pry them open if he had to at this point because after he and the Hamatos finished an emotional group hug (one that was basically for his benefit since he was crying in a way that sounded like a distressed whale) the others decided to be brave and enter the room to check on him.

Leatherhead saw how puffy his eyes were and practically launched himself from the entrance of the lab to his side so fast that even Splinter's eyes widened at the speed. Slash immediately began laughing to cover up his shock and so did the others.

"Are you okay, my little friend?!" Leatherhead demanded, his earthly green eyes narrowing at the memory of his friend's injuries. Micah laughed once more and nodded his head. Leatherhead spared a glance at Donatello, who was laughing with his eyes closed. His eyes looked swollen too, in fact, almost all of the Hamatos' eyes were a bit swollen, but he looked more peaceful than Leatherhead's seen in years.

Leatherhead smiled in relief and looked back at Mike, "That is good. I was very worried for you."

"Sorry about that," Mike smiled shyly, averting his blue eyes. Inwardly he wandered how horrible he looked. He felt as heavy as a school bus and his short blonde hair was probably wild behind his ears as usual.

"Its not biggie," Casey replied a little too quickly and Raph shot his head up to catch the tail end of his best friend's strained expression, "We're just glad that you and Raph are back!"

"Me too," Mike beamed, his swollen blue eyes brightening. Leatherhead and Donnie both smiled warmly at the sight of it but Leo and Raph's eyes were trailing towards April and Shadow, who was standing in front of her mom with April's arms around her shoulders. Shadow still looked like someone had abused a small animal.

There was an awkward moment that passed through the room, but Dr. Rockwell was too curious for his own good. He turned to Leonardo and Donatello, "We were wondering what happened when Micah woke up. We heard a lot of crying."

Leo and Raph glanced away while Donnie and Splinter looked at a slightly embarrassed Mike. Donnie smiled a little, "Apparently while he was out, his spirit was forced onto the spiritual plane."

"Huh?" Dr. Rockwell and Slash blinked stupidly. Leatherhead and Casey's eyes widened while April and Pete gasped. Shadow canted her head.

"What do you mean…?" She asked quietly, and Mike frowned when he noticed her there. She didn't look too good!

"I thought I died because I saw and talked with Mikey!" Mike said as blunt and honest as he could. Leatherhead paled drastically while the rest looked at Mike with wide round eyes.

"Wait so Mikey communicated with you on the spiritual plane?!" April demanded in shock, her head going back and forth between Mike and each member of the Hamato clan. When Splinter nodded in agreement, April felt her knees wobble and she almost couldn't keep herself upright.

"Wha…. What did he say?" Pete questioned, looking straight at Mike when he asked his question. Mike looked towards Donnie because he wasn't sure how much he should say or if he should say anything at all. Donnie smiled slightly and inclined his head.

"He wanted to meet me because he was excited about me being his reincarnation!" Mike smiled, his eyes going soft as he stared at the blanket covering his legs, "He was really kind to me and we talked about Leo, Raph, and Donnie."

The Hamato brothers tensed when their names were mentioned, and everyone's eyes were upon them. Mike didn't notice this and continued, "He couldn't stay long because it wasn't natural or something. Or that's how it felt to me! He left me some private messages for his family!"

Splinter and his sons were grateful that Mike didn't go into so much detail. Leo and Splinter were impressed that Mike could pick up on the fact that talking to spirits of the deceased in the spiritual plane typically didn't last long and we're rare occurrences.

"Amazing. Who'd of thought?" Dr. Rockwell muttered to himself as he gazed towards the ground in amazement. Slash looked over at Raph and smiled. So Raph had gotten some peace and relief after all! Pete beamed at how cool he thought it all was.

"I didn't know you could do something like that," Shadow whispered to her Mom, who shrugged a little and smiled towards Mike.

"Well I'm happy to hear that!" Casey brightened like a light switch had been turned on suddenly and Mike grinned at him, "So yer definitely like a little human Mikey!"

Raph rolled his eyes and Leo laughed. Donnie shook his head while Mike continued to grin happily at Casey. The others joined in the conversation and Mike noticed that Leatherhead was frowning towards him, but not at him. It was like he was lost in thought.

Mike gave a tug on Leatherhead's scaly arm, "Leatherhead?"

"Y-Yes?" Leatherhead had flinched in surprise but gave his friend all of his attention. He had just been thinking of how jealous he felt that Micah had been given the privilege of seeing Michelangelo once again. It must be because they have a life-connection; that being that Michelangelo passed on his life to Micah.

"Is something wrong?" Mike asked quietly, looking to make sure Donnie wasn't looking. Donnie was busy trading theories with Splinter and Dr. Rockwell.

"No, nothing is wrong at all," Leatherhead assured him. It wasn't healthy to hold onto negative emotions. Being jealous or sad wasn't going to bring Michelangelo back nor would it let LH see him once more.

Mike sensed that Leatherhead was feeling very conflicted, but he was frustrated with himself at not knowing why. Instead of steaming his mind over it, he laid his head on Leatherhead's big scaly arm and smiled, silently offering his new larger friend his support. Leatherhead's eyes widened before he hesitantly moved his arm, so Micah could cushion his head on the sensitive part of his elbow. Donnie noticed this and smiled fondly at the two.

"Hello?"

It was almost distant and soft, but the foreign sound had almost everyone in the room straight on their feet in seconds flat. Mike gasped, and his eyes widened at their reaction. Leo was already walking towards the lab doors before he froze suddenly. Raph was on his heels before he also stopped, his green eyes wide.

"Karai!"

"What do you mean you had Raphael but he got away?!" The Shredder boomed loudly. His subordinates all flinched and the injured Purple Dragon gang members kneeling before him froze in fear. They were going to pay with their lives after all, weren't they?

"T-The others somehow found out where we had him and they came for him!" One of the healthy Purple Dragons exclaimed fearfully and Shredder snarled at him which frightened the gang member so bad that he couldn't speak anymore.

"Not only did I lose a precious bargaining chip, but I lost another subordinate!" Shredder glowered as he slowly stood. Everyone knew that despite being much older now, he was still as deadly as he was in the years past.

Hun took a step forward, "I apologize for not being more aware, Master Shredder. I should have personally overseen the capture of one of the turtles! I did not think that Fong would have been brutally murdered the way he had."

"And the young boy you've told me so much about?" Shredder sneered towards a less frightened Hun. He was around Shredder more than anyone else other than Fishface, Razhar, and Stockman.

"His name is Micah Flynn. He is the only child of a Purple Dragon gang member named Jason Flynn. You remember what happened with Jason, right?" Hun smirked maliciously and Shredder quieted down as he sat back against his throne.

"Yes, I remember when you reported his betrayal to me. It is because of him that our plan was set back this long," Shredder growled lowly as his eyes narrowed, "So Jason's son, huh? Is it all true what your members have reported to me tonight? Is he really with the turtles now?"

"It is true," Hun nodded as a few of the injured and healthy Purple Dragons nodded frantically in agreement, "Bobby and some of the others unsuccessfully ambushed them the other day to retrieve the boy to find the location of the evidence Jason had against us. That's when we found out the turtles were safeguarding the kid."

"Those pesky little kame," Shredder ground out and he felt one of his teeth crack slightly in his rage, "How did they find out about the boy?"

"We're not entirely sure, Master Shredder. We've been trying to track down the boy for months and suddenly we find him with the turtles," Hun answered truthfully and Shredder nodded. The others Purple Dragons sighed in quiet relief. Thank God, they weren't getting killed! Thank God that Hun was doing all the talking for them!

"It's safe to say now that the Hamatos know everything about our plan. They probably found the evidence that Jason used to have. It's important that we continue to gather the chemicals we need. Stockman's been working on equipment for us so that my Foot soldiers can go into the sewers and search for the turtles. I want them dead!" Shredder ranted on as he clenched and unclenched his fists. He was shaking in silent but deadly rage.

"I will be sure to personally take over the Purple Dragon's part of this mission," Hun bowed in front of the Shredder and so did the others, "I will make sure security is increased as well as lookouts. I'll get you the chemicals you need and I will retrieve the chemicals that are still at Fong's old hideout."

"Good," Shredder relaxed slightly as he nodded. He was pleased with Hun's eagerness, "I will send any Foot soldiers you need to accomplish this mission. If you come across the boy do not kill him because he could be useful! You have my permission to capture any of the turtles should you see them."

"Yes, Master Shredder!" Shouts resonated across the room and Hun looked up, peeking above his sunglasses with a malicious smirk on his face. He'd get revenge for Fong eventually!

"Karai!"

Micah's eyes slowly went wide as he remembered about the girl that Splinter had called over. He had forgotten about the fact that she hadn't come with the turtles' friends! Karai came into the lab and was smiling warmly as she hugged Leo and then patted Raph's shoulder. As this went on everyone else stepped forth to greet her with big smiles. Whoever she was, she seemed to be a big part of the group as well.

Only Leatherhead didn't move from his side but Mike noticed that he did look happy to see Karai there. Splinter was hugging her now and Mike's eyes widened to see tears in Splinter's eyes, however, they looked like happy tears. As April had her turn hugging Karai, Micah finally got a good look at her.

She had short pixie cut ink black hair that was streaked with blonde highlights. Her eyes were a golden brown that looked kinda like Splinter's with heavy black eyeliner. That was the only make up she wore. Mike noticed that she also had a tiny mole under her right eye by her nose. She looked pretty!

"I'm so happy to see you again!" April cried as she squeezed Karai, who only laughed and returned the strong hug, "I'm sorry I didn't get to spend much time with you last time you were here!"

"That's alright! I know you were busy," Karai grinned and then rubbed Shadow's hair. Shadow immediately looked revitalized, "Hey there cutie!"

Karai was the center on conversation for a couple briefer moments with Slash and Pete before the noise died down. Karai then paused when she looked over at Donnie, who smiled at her a little, "Hey Donnie. So, mind explaining to me what's all the fuss about?"

"First off, why are you so late?" Leo asked looking slightly worried, "Did something happen?"

"Ah, sorry about that! It was hard to sneak here without being detected by Purple Dragon or Foot spies," Karai immediately frowned as she looked at Leo seriously, "It wouldn't be good for anyone if Shredder found out I'm back in town."

"Indeed," Splinter agreed with a grave look on his face, "I am sorry to call you back after you've only been gone a few weeks."

"It's okay. I'm glad to see that you're doing better since I left," Karai smiled warmly at Splinter and Micah shyly messed around with his blankets. His head was beginning to hurt again and he wondered what he'd say to Karai when she looked over at him for the first time. Was she also close to Mikey? Would she be angry that he was just like Mikey?

"Basically, Shredder has had a plan for the past few years to get enough chemicals to start flushing out the sewers with," Casey blurted and Karai's eyes widened as she froze in shock, "There was a guy that burned down the building that held a lot of the chemicals because he didn't like what the Foot and Purple Dragons were doing. He was Micah's dad and he was killed along with Micah's mom and- "

"Whoa, whoa, hold up!" Karai crossed her arms in the air to resemble an 'X', "I can't believe this! And who's Micah?!"

Micah flinched and felt himself heat up in embarrassment. What would she say when she sees him? Mike felt the worry in him grow with each passing second as Raph answered, "Sensei told ya about the boy Donnie saved right? Well that's him."

Raph pointed towards Micah then and everyone, including Karai, turned to see where he was pointing. Mike froze at the suddenness of it and then Karai was just staring at him. Her eyes slowly widened as well as her mouth. She stayed frozen like that for a while, as if she couldn't speak.

"His name's Mike, that's what he likes to be called. We found out that his father saved some evidence of the Purple Dragon's wrongdoings and was killed for it along with Mike's mom. They're after Mike because they think he has it. Which now we do," Donnie explained softly as he looked at Karai.

"A-Ah," Karai acknowledged what Donnie said but she couldn't stop herself from looking at Mike. She couldn't help but see his messy blonde hair, baby blue eyes, ad freckles. His eyes were as big and round as Mikey's had been. His freckles looked the exact same!

"It's shocking, right?" April said as she brought Karai out of her trance when she placed a hand on Karai's shoulder, "HE looks just like Mikey only human form, haha!"

Karai couldn't believe what she was seeing and hearing. She glanced at her father and the Hamato brothers but they weren't particularly distressed about it like she thought they'd be. Especially Donnie! Just what had she missed?!

"It's…. it's nice to meet you, Karai," Micah finally spoke up now that most of the awkwardness was over. Karai looked over at Mike again. He almost sounds like him too! His voice is only a little higher pitched since he's not gone through puberty yet. Karai suddenly smiled when she remembered some of the times Mikey's voice would squeak or become high-pitched.

"It's nice to meet you too," She said and for some reason Mike beamed. Was it because of what she said or because she had smiled? She smiled even more when she realized the kid was probably a lot like Michelangelo.

"Miwa," Splinter spoke up earning everyone's attention, "We called you and the others here because we need help. Raph has just been rescued from the Purple Dragons and we know that they are still gathering more chemicals to use against us. We need to begin fighting back."

Karai's eyes darkened at the thought, "I'll definitely help but are you sure you want me involved. When he finds out about me here he'll only become more unstable than he is."

"That's okay," Leo huffed as he crossed his arms, "He'll be easier to take down if he's unstable anyway."

"We need to disable the Purple Dragons before we can do anything about the Shredder," Dr. Rockwell added into the conversation, "They are the ones that are smuggling in the chemicals and collecting rather large amounts of it."

"I see. They don't know where to dump the chemicals exactly so they are just being reckless," Karai sighed as she placed her hands on her hips.

"Dr. Rockwell's right," Leatherhead rumbled and Micah nearly jumped after not hearing him speak in a while, "We need to do something about the Purple Dragons because they'll also try to capture or kill Micah."

Everyone's eyes went wide in either surprise or anger at that and Micah himself felt surprised because the idea didn't make him afraid as much as it used to. It was almost like it didn't matter anymore. Mike frowned at the blankets.

Karai noticed this as Leo went on, "Right now I suggest we rest and we should probably gather as much information on where the Purple Dragons have been getting all these chemicals from. After we find that out we can find a way to cut off their supply."

"That'd be a very good first step. Let my boys and I handle the information gathering," Slash agreed as he narrowed his eyes at Leo and his brothers, "You have all been through so much. It'll be better if you can clear your minds and recover from your injuries. Let us help you out here."

Leo, Raph, and Donnie exchanged serious looks before Raph shrugged, Donnie smiled, and Leo sighed with a smile of his own as he nodded towards Slash. Slash grinned widely at the acceptance and he turned to his team, "We'll go first thing at night!"

"Sure boss," Dr. Rockwell smiled tolerantly as Pete nodded and they looked towards Leatherhead, who looked nervous and a tad reluctant, "You'll come with us, won't you Leatherhead?"

LH looked down at Micah once before his resolved became steel, "Yes. I will join you. I feel that I can be of some use."

"Of course!" Slash laughed heartily and Raph grinned.

"In the meantime, Casey and I are going to take Shadow to my Dad's house," April continued after a moment and Shadow's eyes widened as she turned from hugging on Karai.

"Mom, no! I want to stay in the lair!" Shadow shook her head many times and Karai chuckled. April and Casey looked at each, feeling conflicted, "I promise I won't go out of the lair until you say so! I just don't wanna leave Mike!"

Everyone looked over to see Mike still staring at his covered legs but his eyes were wide and his face was tomato red. Donnie blinked at that as Leo smiled and Raph roared in laughter. Slash grinned again.

April smiled softly, "Okay, Shadow. However, if you leave the lair for any reason, you'll be grounded from coming here for 3 months!" Raph laughed again when Shadow and Casey had twin looks of horror on their face.

"Why doyoulook so horrified?" Karai teased Casey as she laughed loudly "She wasn't even talking about you! What is that face for?!"

Micah's embarrassment died down as he laughed with the rest of the group. It seemed like some sort of determination had revitalized inside himself. He wanted to make sure that this group, especially his new family, stayed this way for a long time!

After all the almost chaotic conversations died down, Leo helped fix Karai a place to sleep in a very small room above the small pool by the tire swing. Mike didn't even know that had been there this whole time.

Leatherhead kept Mike company as Donnie and Rockwell went over some things while browsing on the net. Slash, Casey, and Shadow were with Raph in the dojo while April was helping Karai as well as Leo. Splinter had disappeared into the dojo as well.

Mike was content with talking to Leatherhead because he found out how Leatherhead met Mikey and he thought Mikey was an even cooler guy for not judging Leatherhead the way he did. Mike practically beamed when Leatherhead told him how Mikey said Leatherhead wasn't a monster, but just thought of himself that way because that's what other's thought of him. Mike had said something almost similar to Leatherhead too!

Soon after hearing that story, Leo came in requesting that Splinter wanted to talk to him, Donnie, and Raph together. Mike felt very curious of why Splinter wanted to speak with them in private but didn't want to but into their family business.

So, Leatherhead kept him busy with more stories and Mike noticed that he had a soft look in his eyes whenever he talked about Mikey. He seemed calmer for some reason but Mike was glad for it, "So, Mikey liked to cook a lot?"

"Yes, but as his brothers would tell you he liked to experiment with food. Especially pizza!" Mike laughed, "But when he didn't do that he was an excellent cook!"

"I always wanted to try cooking but didn't have anything to cook with!" Mike babbled, not noticing the flash of shock that came over Leatherhead' face that turned into sadness for his sake, "My mom used to be good at baking, though!"

"That's very interesting," Leatherhead wiped that sad look off his face because Mike didn't seem like he regretted anything in his life. He was quite a child.

Donnie, Leo, and Raph suddenly entered the room and Mike noticed they each had smiles on their faces. Donnie's smile was the biggest. Mike smiled at them as they came over towards him but he also felt confused. Did something happen? Dr. Rockwell just smiled as he kept browsing on Donnie's computer and Leatherhead seemed a bit surprised but kept quiet as the turtles reached Mike's bedside.

"We have a surprise for you, Mike," Leo chorused with a smile as Mike's eyes widened a tad. Raph and Donnie chuckled.

"Actually, it's two surprises," Raph shrugged with a shark-like grin, "Consider them as late birthday presents!"

Mike's eyes widened further and his mouth parted as he felt almost horrified. Birthday presents? He never asked his Mom for any because the one time he did for Christmas she had gotten a really sad look in her eyes. He realized a few months later that it was because she couldn't afford to give him anything. He had never seen his mom so depressed before in his short life.

"Y-You didn't have to!" Mike blurted, looking almost afraid. Leo, Raph, and Donnie's eyes widened at the unexpected response. Leatherhead looked worried, "Ah, it's not that I'm not thankful, but you didn't have to…I mean I'm sure that- "

"Tyke," Raph interrupted with a serious tone of voice and Mike flinched, looking into Raph's face reluctantly, "Ya didn't do anythin' wrong. This was somethin' Master Splinter suggested ta us that we really liked the idea of, okay?"

"You don't have to be worried or anything," Donnie soothed, feeling worried, "We wanted to give you something. You don't have to consider them birthday presents."

Mike wasn't sure how to respond exactly and just smiled, "T-Thanks."

"Think you can hold onto my neck?" Leo asked as he leaned closer. Mike blinked at the sudden question before he nodded almost shyly. Leo smiled, "Okay. I'll give you a lift because you shouldn't be up walking around yet."

"O-Okay," Mike nodded, resisting the urge to tell him he didn't have to do it. He felt like that would just frustrate them even more. Leo turned around and knelt down so that he could grab onto him. Donnie and Leatherhead assisted Mike with getting into a comfortable position as he wrapped his arms gently around Leo's neck. He wouldn't accidently choke Leo, would he?

They silently left he lab and he wondered why Leatherhead chose not to come with them. Was something going on that he didn't understand? He noticed April, Shadow, and Karai in the pit whispering to each other about something. They all looked happy though. Karai gave Mike a playful wink as they went by.

"Micah," Splinter called and Mike whirled his head around to see that Splinter was standing at the door across from Raph's room. Isn't that... the room that Leo didn't want him to sleep in at first?

"Hi Splinter," Mike returned the greeted with a curious look on his face. Splinter smiled warmly at him, "Um…so what's going on?"

"We have some surprises for you. I am hoping that this will make you feel like you belong here," Splinter explained as Mike's eyes widened and he opened his mouth but Splinter cut him off, "I know that you wish to remain here and that you like it here but with this, I think my boys and I will feel better. We want you to feel like you are part of our family now."

Mike looked at Raph and Donnie, who were both smiling and smirking at him respectively. He didn't have to try to look at Leo's face to know he was smiling too. Mike felt himself smile but also blush because he didn't know they still felt scared that Mike would think he didn't belong.

"That being said…we decided to give you Mikey's old bedroom," Leo announced and Mike froze, his heart skipping a beat but he noticed that Raph and Donnie's faces didn't change. They actually wanted him to take it.

"You…don't mind?" He asked just to be sure. He squealed when Leo shook his a little and Raph laughed.

"Of course, we don't mind or we wouldn't have offered!" Donnie answered for Leo, who was chuckling along with Raph.

"Micah, because of you we have been able to move past some of the pain of losing one of our own. You are special to us now and we want you to be a part of our clan. Do you understand what I am trying to say, child?" Splinter explained softly. Mike was too shocked by his words to respond and Splinter smiled, "We want you to officially become a Hamato. We want you to remain here and live here with us."

Mike's eyes began to tear up, "I…I want that too!" Leo, Raph, and Donnie all smiled again at him. Raph looked mysteriously misty-eyed.

"Also, I normally would wait to give this to you when you have completed your first stage of training but I'd like to present you with your mask," Splinter added as Karai suddenly cheered from the side while April and Shadow laughed into their hands. Mike gasped.

"I get to have a mask like Leo, Raph, and Donnie?!" Mike marveled and Donnie chuckled, "I can't believe that!"

"I decided on this while the you foolishly went after Raphael on your own," Splinter teased while Mike blushed beet red. Raph shook his head. After that Splinter took out the cloth from inside his slash in his robe and Mike studied it with wide eyes.

"It's yellow!" He gasped while Raph, Leo, and Donnie turned to see his reaction, "I love the color yellow! Well I like all the colors but I do really like yellow!"

Splinter chuckled, "This is a rite of passage in a ninja's life. The color is meant to represent the person. For you, I have chosen yellow because it is the color of happiness, joy, remembrance, energy, positivity, and optimism. I believe these are all qualities that you have…almost unnervingly so considering your background. You are similar to Michelangelo but you are not him, I think this is important to remember. Your color is similar to his color and meaning as well."

Mike beamed at Splinter, his eyes colors and almost filled with happy tears as Splinter handed over the mask to him with a fond look in his eyes. Donnie smiled happily as he added, "Studies have shown that the color yellow can also mean warmth and that it helps activate memories and encourage communication. There's no better color to describe you! You made us face things that are still painful to remember but you have made them less painful to face after all these years. Plus, thanks to you, our family is able to communicate better."

"I think it's spot on," Leo smiled as he looked over his shoulder at Mike, who was practically sobbing into his hands by this point, "Those are happy tears, right?"

"R-Right," Mike nodded as he wiped his eyes, "I'm just sohappy!"

"We're happy too, Tyke," Raph said as he grinned and placed his hands behind his head, "Just promise that ya will take training seriously and also…don't be as messy as Mikey was with his room!"

Nearly everyone in the whole lair laughed at that but Mike was too focused on the yellow mask in his hands. It didn't weigh much but it felt like the weight of his whole future had just been handed to him. And he could never show how grateful he was for that.

Chapter 17

Chapter Text

Donatello's Point of View:

Later that night both Shadow and Mike feel asleep against cushions on the floor right in front of the TV that was blaring some cartoon I didn't recognize. Mike had not taken of his yellow mask once since putting it on and I noticed Sensei appeared proud that Mike loved and respected it so much. I was a bit worried that the long strands of his mask could wrap around his neck somehow during the night, however, Leo and Raph picked fun at me as Raph told me to stop being such a "momma". That jerk.

The Mighty Mutanimals went to scout out the Purple Dragons around 2 hours ago when it first got dark and promised to contact us if they ran into any trouble. After all, we weren't sure what Shredder was thinking exactly. Karai left when the Mighty Mutanimals did because she wanted to patrol around Shredder's lair. Both Sensei, Raph, and Leo warned her against doing so but was silenced by Karai, who wasn't worried about getting caught because she only wanted tolook outfor him and not search him out in any sort of confrontation.

I know that Leo was mainly worried because when Karai left the country to Japan, where some of the Foot were loyal towards her and not Shredder, the Shredder had quiteliterallylost his mind. He was out of control and blamed my brothers, father, and I for taking his 'daughter' away from him and changing her. In his eyes, Karai betrayed him because of our "lies".

Sighing, I looked back down towards the kids and smiled when I saw that Mike shifted in his sleep where he was curled up right next to Shadow. The two seemed to be hitting it off as friends, but Casey, April, and even Raph speculated that there might be a crush forming there in the future. I had only smiled then because they were already talking about the future with Mike and that made me ecstatic. Plus, I wouldn't mind if Mike and Shadow got together in the future just like Casey and April had but right now, they were far too young to be worrying about that which is something Leo told them; everyone laughed at his expense as Raph told him he was trying to be like our father. Well, Mike did say that Leo reminded him ofhis father. The thought made me grin madly as Leo blushed.

April and Casey had both left to get some things from their home, promising us they would be cautious to and from their house because theycouldbe targeted by the Purple Dragons. We were worried and Raph wanted to go with them but decided against it after Casey reassured that they'd be okay and just needed to get necessities if they were going to stay here for a while.

"Hey Donnie," Leo's voice called out to me softly and I looked towards the other end of the bench where Leo was resting with a blanket around his shoulders. Leo's injuries still needed to heal and I practically had to wrestle him onto the bench to begin with, "When do you think my injuries will be healed enough for battle?"

I frowned immediately and pondered the answer in my head. His knee wasn't so injured that he couldn't walk around on it, it would just be painful for him for a few days due to being hit there with a pipe. His head would pretty much be the same and his concussion will be healed fairly soon.

"To be completely honest, it would be a week before your injuries healed enough to not cause any trouble in a fight," I answered and his expression fell flat, a deep frown forming on his face, "I know it's a long time considering all we have going on but…"

"But ya wouldn't be able to do the mission at 100%," Raph said in a simple tone and we both turned our heads where he was standing outside the dojo with Sensei. Leo sighed and nodded his head once.

"Don't worry, Leo," I comforted with a small smile, "We have our friends to help keep an eye for Shredder and the Purple Dragons until we can make our move."

"This also gives us time to prepare," Sensei added on quickly and Leo looked at us both before he smiled.

"That's true. I just hate that this happened and now we have to wait," He muttered and Raph glared at the back of his head. I fought off a sigh. I understood how they both felt.

"You're not the only one that has to stay behind the entire week, Leo," I reminded as they all blinked at me, "Raph has injuries from when he was captured. They aren't terrible, but by the end of the week he'd be in top shape too."

"Don't bring me into this all of a sudden," Raph grouched while Leo and I smiled at him. Sensei chuckled as he placed a hand on Raph's shoulder, "I'm better than okay."

I rolled my eyes at his claim, "Sure. You've got bruises all over yourself from the beatings."

"We're thick-skinned," Raph grinned like it was no problem at all. Leo laughed softly.

"Your face is still a little swollen," I added with narrowed eyes, "Thankfully, you didn't have any broken bones. It's a miracle. Are you sure you're okay?"

Raph's face softened a little, "I am, Donnie. Just peachy." I probably should have felt skeptical but I believed him. He knew that I would break down if anything really dangerous happened to their health under my watch. I shuddered a bit.

"Are you okay, Donatello?" Sensei asked, never missing anything. I smiled and nodded. It wasn't a lie anyways. Sensei smiled before looking towards Micah and Shadow, "He has not taken his mask off since putting it on."

"I told him it was dangerous to sleep with it on," I sighed, putting my hand on my face, "He could get choked."

"He'll be fine," Raph rolled his eyes again before smirking, "His mask ties aren't as short as Mikey's but they aren't as long as ours. I think that's interesting."

"Me too. It looks good on him," Leo grinned as he stared at Micah's face, "The bright yellow brings out his eyes and blends well with his hair."

"Yes, it suits him," Sensei murmured with a warm smile. We all agreed and then turned sharply when we heard someone advancing towards the turnstiles but relaxed when we saw Karai jumping over them with an amused look on her face. Her eyes traveled to us all and then lingered on the kids, "Welcome home, Miwa."

"Thanks, Father," Karai smiled and then turned to look at us all again, "I had absolutely no luck. I couldn't find where Shredder currently resides."

"That's disappointing," Leo frowned as I wilted and Raph scowled. Sensei sighed but looked relieved that Karai had not seen or faced the Shredder.

"Yup," Karai huffed as she crossed her arms and walked closer to the pit, "I hope the Mighty Mutanimals have better luck tonight."

"I bet they will," Raph suddenly grinned and Karai grinned back as she nodded. I turned my head when Mike groaned and lifted his head slightly off the pillow, glancing towards us with sleep-glossed eyes, "Tyke?"

"What time's it?" He slurred slightly and Karai laughed softly.

"It's past ten, Mike," I answered, feeling slightly amused by the state of him. He looks towards me and smiles slightly, "Go back to sleep, buddy." He nods and lays his head back down, out like a light.

"I was worried he might have trouble falling asleep tonight," Leo remarked as he stared down at Mike. I nodded in agreement.

"I gave him some medicine to not only help with pain but would make him drowsy," I explained as their eyes lit up in understanding, "He will be in pain again when he wakes up in the morning."

"He'll be alright," Raph grinned and I blinked at him, "He's got ya here ta take care of him when it happens."

Smiling warmly, I look away and nod shyly. I wasn't used to Raph praising me so much but was sorta happy he was doing it more often. It made me feel good, like I was doing something right. Karai stayed and talked with us a little bit more before retreating to shower before going to sleep. Raph and I watched as Leo struggled to stay awake as we continued talking after that until he eventually gave out, falling asleep against one of the cushions placed on the benched area in the pit. Raph and I shared a pleased smile.

"So, Leo's head isn't bad or anythin'?" Raph asked me in a hushed whisper. I shook my head and without even saying anything Raph believed me and his smile widened a bit. I smiled again at the sight of it before yawning slowly, "Better get comfy if yer gonna sleep in here, Don."

I nodded silently but gasped when Raph threw me a blanket at my face, one that seemed to have materialized in thin air because I surely didn't see it anywhere before this. At my bemused appearance, Raph laughed, nearly coughing in a sudden attempt to keep it quieter. I rolled my eyes, blushing a little because of him laughing at me but wrapped my shoulders in the blanket and laid across from Leo on the bench.

Eventually, not as soon as I hoped, Raph stopped laughing and I peeked over my shoulder to see him arranging another random blanket to make himself a mat to sleep on the floor above the pit. I felt a bit more at ease, knowing that I was surrounded by so many people that I loved while I slept. I closed my eyes and easily found sleep.

The next morning…

Micah's Point of View:

I woke up to the throbbing pain in my head that felt like a constant migraine. My whole head and face felt like it hurt! I don't think I've hurt like this before. I gulp and it feels like there's a lump in my throat. I push myself up on shaky hands and blink when I see Shadow is still asleep but that April and Casey, her parents, were laying down next to her.

"Mike?"

Quickly turning my head, I winced at the sharpness of the pain but realize that the turtles are all up with Splinter standing behind them. They all look at me in surprise so it must be early or something. Donnie immediately gets up to kneel at my side.

"Your head hurts, huh?" He asked like he already knew the answer. I was in so much pain that I wouldn't have lied if I wanted to. I hated making Donnie more worried.

"Y-Yeah," I frowned, feeling like my eyes would start bulging by the pain in my head. Tears filled my eyes and immediately Donnie was bringing out a bottle from his belt while Leo randomly threw a water bottle that he caught without looking. If I weren't in so much pain I would have gasped. That was pretty cool!

"Here…this is the medicine that will help," Donnie tells me and I trust him, of course! I grab the medicine while he twists the cap of the water bottle and hands it to me. I drink more than I thought I would but as soon as the cold fresh water hit my lips I really wanted more! Donnie smiled.

"Other than yer head, do ya feel okay?" Raph questioned, looking at me gruffly. I smiled a little bit at him but knew better than to nod my aching head.

"Yeah my hands feel weird but they don't sting so much anymore," I replied, glancing down at my palms. The turtles suddenly looked surprised, like they forgot about my hands being cut. Splinter frowned.

"They will get even better in a short time with the medicine we have," He informed me as the smile on his face renewed. I returned it as brightly as I could and felt the fabric on my cheeks. I remembered my new yellow mask and nearly grinned so hard that it hurt. They laughed softly and I remembered that Shadow, April, and Casey were sleeping beside me.

"C'mon, Mike…I want to check on your injuries. Just to be safe," Donnie said as he slowly stood and reached his hand out for me to take. I took it without a second thought and he helped me rise slowly before turning to Leo, "Bro, you come too. Time for a check-up."

Leo rolled his eyes, looking ready to argue, but Raph and Splinter make a face I can't quite see and he sighs before getting up. I wonder what just happened. I turn my head slowly as Donnie pulls me towards his cool lab.

As soon as Leo and I are sitting on what Donnie calls a 'cot', which looks more like a bed to me but okay, he begins checking our eyes with something bright that hurts my head and writing something down in a small notebook. I can't read very well but I make out some numbers that look like he's writing down a time. I glance over and see Leo was blinking slowly. The light must have hurt his eyes too.

Donnie goes towards Leo and starts asking about his knee. My eyes widened because I forgot he was ever hurt there. It looks bruises and only a little swollen but he walked in here without help, right? Donnie frowns and gives Leo medicine, telling him to not walk around today. Leo frowns so hard it should have hit the ground.

I jump when a hand reaches out to touch Leo's shoulder and I calm when I realize that it's just Raphie, "Donnie's right Leo, ya shouldn't walk around today. Yer knee is a bit swollen and it'll get worse if ya walk around on it all day."

"I know," Leo says so quietly that I feel my eyes tear up for him. I didn't get a chance to say anything before Leo carefully gets up and walks out of the lab with Raph trailing behind him. Donnie sighs and I turn back at him as he grabs my hands.

He unwraps the white bandages around them and studies my palms for a minute. I look down to remember the sharp burning sting I felt when I thoughtlessly pushed Fong's blade away from my throat with them.

"Don't worry," Donnie assured me, mistaking the look on my face to mean I was worried about the cuts, "They aren't bad at all. No signs of infection and it's already beginning to show signs of fading. There shouldn't be scaring."

"Okay," I nod with a small smile, "That's good. They don't really hurt much except when I move my hands too much."

"That'll go away in a few days," Donnie smiles back as he rubs something on the cuts that barely hurts and wraps a new white bandage around both palms. He moves away for a moment and I clench and unclench my fingers, happy to see I could still move them.

"Hey, Donnie?" I asked softly after a passing thought occurred to me. Donnie turned from clasping a metal box closed. I guess he put the doctor stuff in that.

"Yeah, Mike?" He answered just as softly as if we were about to pass a secret. That made me smile for some reason. I just love Donnie!

"Um, is Raph okay? You didn't check on him," I reminded as his eyes widened slightly. I frowned a bit as I remembered how Raph had looked chained up to the wall, "His wrists were hurt I bet and he looked pretty beat up from…that scary dragon guy."

I felt the need to not say Fong's name. I remembered how Mikey told me that Donnie was easily startled and disturbed. Donnie frowned at my words and looked out the lab before trying for a soothing smile.

"I tended to his injuries. There wasn't anything really wrong with him but cuts and terrible bruises. They'll heal," He promised me and I sighed in relief. I couldn't remember seeing if Raph's wrists were wrapped up. He acted as if nothing was wrong with him at all. He would only glance at Leo and me.

"I do need to check on his wrists though, will you get him for me?" Donnie asked and I nodded three times enthusiastically as he chuckled softly. I climbed off the cot slowly to not hurt my head and walked out of the lab.

Immediately, I was surprised to see the Jones family up and talking to each other as well as Leo. I didn't see Raph and felt worried at first. That didn't last long as Shadow looked over at the lab and spotted me out. She flew over to me with such speed that I gasped, "Mike!"

"H-Hi," I said as she hugged me. I blushed and hugged her back but felt happy that she was looking much better than she had.

"Do you feel okay?" She demanded as she pulled away. That's when I noticed how silent the room was. April and Casey were staring at me as was Leo, but he looked a bit blank so I was worried about him. I know he was sad.

"I'm okay…Donnie gave me medicine so my head will stop hurting," I told them and they smiled happily at me. I hope it's soon. My head was still throbbing. Leo's expression didn't change and he looked away towards the TV, which I just noticed was turned back on.

"Where is Raph?" I asked no one in particular.

"He's in the dojo with Sensei," April answered, still smiling. I smiled back and thanked her before walking towards the lab. Leo had seemed a bit curious but then turned back to the TV. I should talk to him later! Maybe he won't be mad if I try to make him feel better.

Walking in the dojo, I see Splinter standing next to Raph. They seemed to be talking but I didn't hear what they were saying. I didn't like that they weren't looking too happy. Splinter turned suddenly and smiled a bit at me. I returned it.

"Hello, Micah. Did you sleep well?" He questioned politely. Raph looked at me in surprise before resuming a slight frown.

"Yeah, I slept okay!" I informed before looking towards Raph, "Donnie wants to check on your wrists so he wants you in the lab, Raphie!"

Splinter was surprised about something for only a second but I noticed that Raph's eyes had widened and his mouth opened a little before he shook his head. I had to know what caused that reaction, "What?"

"Nothin'…just been awhile since anyone's called me that," Raph replied with an awkward look on his face. His eyes gleamed with sadness for a few moments and I realized what happened. I think that was the first time I had said 'Raphie' in front of him. Mikey called him that…and I do it without thinking about it. It feels natural. I felt bad.

Before I could apologize Raph forced himself to smile, "So, the Brainiac needs to see me? Gotcha!" He walked past me and his large hand rubbed my whole head, messing up my already messily curly hair. I pouted as he left the room.

"I sense you have more questions," Splinter said suddenly and I jumped, looking over at him. He was smiling warmly.

"How did you know? I wasn't really thinking about asking more questions yet," I admitted with a confused smile.

"I am exceptionally good at reading people," He told me and I laughed before considering if I should ask what I wanted or not, "Go ahead and ask me anything that you want, Micah. I will not bite you."

Grinning at his little joke, I nodded before licking my lips, "Well, I noticed that Leo, Raph, Donnie, and April call you 'Sensei' which you said I didn't have to call you but April told me last night that they call you that because you are their nin-get-su teacher….so do I need to start calling you that?"

Splinter smiled, looking pleased, "It is most respectful to do so. I am pleasantly surprised you made that connection without teaching. Yes, you may call me that, especially during training. You may also call me Master Splinter."

"Okay!" I beamed, feeling happy at his compliments, "Yes, Sensei!"

"As long as we are on the topic, whenever I give you an instruction or command, you should respond to me with 'Hai, Sensei'," Sensei taught me and I blinked before smiling again.

"Hai, Sensei! What does 'hai' mean?" I asked, tilting my head.

"It is Japanese and a phrase that means basically what you said before I corrected you," He told me and I thought about this.

"So, it means 'yes, sensei'?" I asked again and he nodded, smiling fondly at me. I was always glad when he looked like that. Aside from Donnie, Splinter…or I mean Sensei…always made me feel comfortable and safe.

"Are there any other questions for me?" He questioned and I looked at my feet. Thinking how to form the right questions in my mind.

"Y-Yes, um, Leo was sad when Donnie told him he can't walk around a lot. How can I make him feel better?" I asked shyly. Sensei seemed surprised for a moment like this wasn't what he was expecting before smiling again.

"Leonardo is always this way when he feels as though he has failed his loved ones in some way or another," Sensei said looking a bit sad. I felt the same. Why did he feel that? How would he have failed? Sensei noticed my confused look and chuckles, "Just be there for him, Micah. Spending time with him will eventually mellow out his mood."

I nodded brightly as I thought about my next question, "Also, um…is Donnie a doctor? How does he know so many things?"

Master Splinter's smile turned into a grin, "Donatello has always been very intelligent. Others call him a genius and I think even that term doesn't describe his intelligence well enough. He has studied medicine to learn how to help the family. After all, we cannot go to doctors."

My face flushed red. I feel like I should have known that! But I also felt sad. Yeah, they can't go to normal doctors, but that's so wrong somehow, "I wish you could go to doctors. You're people too!"

I must have said something either incredibly stupid or brave because Sensei suddenly had tears forming in his eyes but he looked away and when he looked back they were gone, "You are so much like my youngest son…"

"Thank you, Micah," He murmured warmly before I had the chance to apologize and then I realized I didn't make him all that sad. I think he liked what I said a lot. I beamed.

"You're welcome! I was just saying the truth though," I added genuinely and suddenly I heard laughing. I jumped again. Standing behind me was everyone else, including Karai. Leo was leaning on Donnie slightly for support. I felt like I was burning with how red I turned. And Donnie looks like he's crying!

"W-Wah!" I cried out in embarrassment and Raph laughed harder. I looked away but noticed Sensei didn't look surprised. He knew they were there? He saw my expression and smiled apologetically. It wasn't like it was a secret, but how much did they hear?!

"You're so cute! Just like Mikey!" Karai said suddenly, looking happy, "You just fit in so well with us!"

April and Shadow nodded in agreement while Raph and Casey were laughing and Leo was trying to comfort Donnie. I blinked as some of my embarrassment died down. I felt glad she said that.

"T-Thanks," I said as I ducked my head slightly, seeing the tail of my yellow mask go over my shoulder. I laughed.

Raph eventually stopped laughing, looking much better than he had before he'd left the dojo. I was happy to see that even Leo looked a little better, "Say, Tyke, why don't we train together? Fearless can sit in here and watch to help with the lesson cause I know he can't help himself."

"Oh shut up," Leo rolled his eyes with a barely contained smile. Donnie wiped his eyes and pushing his purple mask back over his eyes.

"G-Good idea. We should while we're out of commission this week," He admitted as Casey looked excited.

"Hey let us join too!" He exclaimed as Sensei laughed and said he'd allow the Jones family to train with us. Everyone suddenly seemed more cheerful and I had no idea what I did, if I did anything at all, to change the mood.

The Jones family was speaking excitedly with Leo and Donnie, following them as Raph helped bring Leo to the tree to sit and watch us. Sensei walked towards me and noticed my confusion.

"My son, Michelangelo, also had the gift to change the negative atmosphere much like you did," Sensei told me with a warm smile and my eyes widened, my chest hurting in a good way. I silently thanked Mikey in the heavens above for bringing me to this family.

I wiped my eyes and turned towards the turtles. They looked up after a second, feeling my gaze and I grinned, "So why does Raphie call Leo 'Fearless'?"

I couldn't help but ask.

Chapter 18

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

"Good question, Tyke!" Raph laughed mischievously as Leo's face flattened in annoyance as he gazed at his green-eyed brother. Donnie also laughed after taking one look at Leo's face. The others were snickering amongst themselves in a way that made Mike almost regret asking.

However, he reallywascurious. It wasn't the first time he'd heard Raph call Leo "Fearless" and he wondered why he did it. Mike waited patiently and when it was obvious Leo was avoiding the question, Raph smirked largely.

"It's a nickname I came up for Leo when we were small. He'd always pretend he wasn't scared when he really was-"

"Whatever, Raph," Leo butted in, his annoyance peaking, "I always knew you were being sarcastic when you started saying it."

"Well if you wanna be accurate Raph only started calling you Fearless that time when you saved us from being discovered by sewer workers-"

"Donnie, don't ruin tha story!" Raph barked, startling everyone including Master Splinter, who chuckled softly soon after. Mike just felt confused. So, what was the real reason he called Leo that? Isn't being fearless a great thing?

"W-What story?" Donnie blinked at his hot-tempered brother, feeling lost and a bit surprised at his brother's 360 behavior. Leo just blinked wide eyes at them both, looking as confused as Mike.

The others at the doorway exchanged awkward looks and Casey spoke up, "Well, how about we spar some other time then!" It was almost laughable how quickly everyone separated except for Karai.

Karai narrowed her eyes between the brothers but a shake of the head from Master Splinter also had her walking away to give the family a moment.

Raph sighed heavily, looking a bit embarrassed, "Sorry, Don. I didn't mean ta yell at ya like that."

"It's okay…I think I understand why you stopped me now," Donnie grinned with a knowing look that Raph glared menacingly at. Donnie laughed.

"What in the world are you guys talking about?" Leo asked looking almost frazzled as Master Splinter and Mike stood off to the side watching them, "Aren't we supposed to be training?"

Raph smirked again, "Yup! You bet!" He then turned to Mike, who blinked in surprise, "Tyke! Lemme show ya how to properly dodge a flyin' fist!"

"Okay!" Mike beamed, jumping away from the spot he had been rooted to. He landed eagerly in front of Raph, "By flying fist, do you mean like a fist that's so fast it looks like its flying?!"

The Hamatos all laughed loudly as Donnie answered, "It's just an expression Mike, but you could say that I guess."

"I dunno if Raph's fists are that fast anyway," Leo teased as Raph shot him a dirty look that he tactfully ignored. Leo sat carefully on the floor with his bad leg stretched comfortably out in front of him. Master Splinter stood by his side and Donnie soon joined them.

"So howdoyou dodge a flying fist?" Mike asked after that moment passed, tilting his head up at Raphael.

"It takes practice predictin' your opponent's moves," Raph explained as he looked down at Mike seriously, "The more you watch your enemy the more you'll learn about their style of doin' things."

"Like about how they fight and dodge and stuff?" Mike smiled, feeling proud that he mostly understood what Raph was saying.

"Yeah, basically," Raph grinned when he saw Mike's smile, "It's much different watchin' their basic attack moves and it's also very important ta study how they handle any weapons they have on them."

"That sounds hard," Mike frowned uneasily, remembering Fong and the weapons he used against Mike himself.

"It just takes time and practice," Donnie told Mike, who blinked over at him, "You'll just start out right now practicing stances, katas, and just building up your strength through exercises."

"Oh! Yeah, because you need muscles to fight!" Mike laughed as the others smiled.

"Yes, so let's start with that! Donnie, Leo, wanna join?" Raph asked eagerly, turning to his brothers before smirking at Leo, "Ya can at least do that, right?"

"Oh, stuff it in your shell. OfcourseI can!" Leo growled, offended as Donnie laughed, walking over to join Raph and Mike. Leo joined them soon after and Mike was beaming.

Mike laid panting on the mats of the dojo after a couple of hours of doing stretches, pushups, sit ups, and practicing his first couple of kata. He was very shaky on his feet when it was time to learn the katas but after more than a dozen attempts he finally landed one successfully and Leo had all but burst out in applause as the other two cheered Mike.

Splinter said all kinds of encouraging stuff to him and Mike blushed the entire time because he started to think he wouldn't be able to do the easiest kata! Directly after that, the Mighty Mutanimals came in and told the Hamatos how they weren't able to scout out where the Purple Dragons or the Foot were.

"How about we go out again tonight?" Slash asked as he turned to his team.

"I think it would be very feasible," Dr. Rockwell replied with his hand on his chin in thought, "We have not discovered anymore useful information and we haven't located any other Purple Dragons."

"It's safe to say they are probably with the Foot," Leo told them as Raph, Donnie, and Mike tensed, "Which means they are most likely with Shredder."

"I agree," Karai stated as she popped out of nowhere. Mike blinked at her in awe at her sudden appearance while no one else seemed surprised. Ninjas were so cool! "I'll go back out with the Mutanimals tonight to have a second try at figuring out where they might be holding up."

"Sounds good just be careful," Leo smiled slightly and Karai nodded. Slash turned towards her then.

"We were going to leave now actually," He announced, and Mike watched everyone else looked shocked. Why was that? "I know that it is the morning and still daylight, but I know a route through the sewers that takes us back to our hideout undetected. There's supplies we need to stock up on for tonight."

"Well, okay. Only if yer sure," Raph narrowed his eyes at his best friend who nodded eagerly.

"Then I'll go with you now. It might be helpful to have a human with you if things go weird," Karai joked, smirking at the Mighty Mutanimals. Slash snickered.

"Be safe you guys," Donnie said, looking a bit worried. Splinter hugged Karai and after a few more farewells they were leaving after promising to return or call when they learned something. Also, Splinter made them promise to call to check in to, so they'd know they were okay.

"Well, I'm beat," Raph sighed after the room was empty and silent for a couple of minutes.

"Same, but I'm getting hungry!" Mike said cheerfully and Raph huffed but then smirked as he poked Mike's belly, "Hey!"

"Yer always hungry!"

"Nu-uh!"

"Why don't I prepare some ramen?" Splinter interrupted with a smile. Mike beamed as he nodded multiple times

"Are you sure, Sensei?" Donnie asked as Raph continued to tease Mike.

"I am sure Donatello. I used to cook it for you all every day," Splinter assured with an amused look in his eye.

"We'll go help you," Leo smiled as he gently rose to his feet and hid a wince from the pain in his knee. Donnie nodded in agreement.

"Woah and what about us?" Raph demanded, raising an eye ridge. Sensei was more than capable of making a meal without their help.

"Well you guys can do whatever you want," Leo smirked at his younger brother, "I need to make some tea for myself anyways."

"And I really do want to help since it'll be easier with two hands," Donnie explained almost nervously when Raph and Mike stared at him.

"Then let's not waste anymore time," Splinter chuckled after Mike's stomach growled loudly. Raph laughed at him as Splinter, Leo, and Donnie walked out chuckling some more. Mike blushed.

"Why is my belly so loud?" Mike grumbled, feeling embarrassed at how the noise echoed in the dojo.

"No idea, tyke," Raph grinned after he stopped laughing. He rose to his feet and stretched. He tried really hard to keep the amusement off his face when Mike followed his example and copied what he did. He poked Mike's forehead hard, "Ya don't have ta keep doin' what I do."

"I-I know that!" Mike pouted, his blush lessening as he glanced at Raph again, "Hey Raph?"

"Yeah?" Raph understood that look immediately because Micah was like Mikey in almost every way. Mike had that look on his face when he was scared of how Raph would react to a question. Most likely the question was about to be personal.

"Why did you get mad at Donnie when he was telling the story about you guys and Leo?" Mike asked as he suddenly stared at the ground, "Was it because you didn't like thinking of Mikey?"

Raph blinked in surprise and felt uncomfortable, "Well, no. It's not about Mikey. I didn't want Donnie to tell the story because Leo was in the room."

Mike eyes widened as he looked up at Raph quickly, "Why?"

"It's embarrassing," Raph muttered as he crossed his arms, "I'm not great at showin' emotions other than anger."

It was silent for a moment and it made Raph feel even more uncomfortable as he realized what he said. He looked at Mike who was staring at him in confusion. He also seemed to be thinking really hard.

"That's not true, Raph! I used to think you were all mean but then I saw how you were with Donnie. You're really nice and care a lot about your family!" Mike blurted, making Raph's eyes widened as he felt his face burn suddenly. He really hoped Casey, April, and Shadow couldn't hear all this from the pit.

"W-What are ya sayin'?!" Raph spluttered as he took a couple of steps back. Mike was startled by his reaction and felt even more confused.

"You don't like me saying that?" Mike asked and Raph looked away from his questioning eyes.

"Don't say stuff like that out loud," He muttered quietly, not knowing what else to say. He's not used to that kind of talk. Not since…. Mikey. Mikey always knew what to say to push his buttons exactly how he wanted.

"Why? I'm saying it because I like you," Mike beamed and Raph face palmed to hide his embarrassed expression.

"I appreciate that, Tyke, but it's embarrassin' if ya say stuff like that in front of other people," Raph explained as his blush disappeared, "If it'll keep ya quiet then I'll tell ya tha story Donnie was goin' ta tell about why I started callin' Leo "Fearless"."

Mike brightened instantly as he jumped towards Raph, freaking him out a bit before he sat down in front of him crisscross. Raph rolled his eyes but sat down in from of him lotus style.

"Well, like Donnie said it started one day when we were all explorin' tha sewer tunnels. We were 8 years old and were allowed by Sensei ta explore as long as we didn't go too far and as long as we went in pairs," Raph explained as Mike cocked his head in confusion, "The reason for that is because there are a lot of dangerous tunnels and sometimes humans, especially sewer workers or construction workers sometimes too."

"Ohhh!" Mike echoed as he finally understood the dangerous side of the tunnels, "I do remember how dangerous it can be when you're not careful!"

"Yeah and that day we were all just playin' around but also lookin' for cool stuff that sometimes washes away down here," Raph told as he his eyes gleamed over as if he were there all over again. Mike's eyes widened as he stared at Raph, "I was playin' with Mikey while Donnie was showin' off somethin' he'd found ta Leo. After that Leo seemed ta be tha first one ta realize that we'd followed tha water trail too far away from our home."

"Oh no," Mike couldn't help but gasp as he got into the story. Both didn't realize that Leo was walking back from the kitchen nursing a cup of steamy tea in his hands. He stopped short when heard Mike gasp and peered inside curiously.

"Yeah, we all freaked out when we realized Leo was right, but Leo was sure he could lead us back and I argued with him as usual all because I was mad that I didn't realize we'd gone too far either," Raph said and maybe it was just Mike seeing things, but it looked like his shoulders sagged with regret. Leo's eyes widened from the door to the dojo as he leaned in a litter further.

"What happened next?" Mike asked quietly, not sure what else to say at the moment.

"Mikey began ta get upset and cry because we were lost but also because I was arguin' with Leo. Donnie calmed him down and assured he could also help so that made me shut up," Raph replied slowly as he stared at the ground, trying to remember all the details, "I can't remember but we must have taken a wrong turn because we suddenly heard voices that didn't belong ta us."

Leo leaned back out of sight when he realized what story Raph was telling. He was curious why Raph was suddenly telling the story now when he didn't want Donnie to earlier.

"Leo being Leo was immediately cautious but at first I thought it could have been Sensei and I ran off to find him first. It's stupid, but I wanted to bring Sensei back to my brothers, so I'd look like the hero not Leo," Raph huffed, crossing his arms. Mike frowned at him sadly.

"When I rushed off, Leo yelled after me and he sounded panicked, but I ignored him thinking of how he always stopped when we heard something. I kept calling him scared when he was really just being cautious. More cautious than I was even then. I ran straight into a group of three sewer workers," Raph sighed as he rubbed at his head. He glanced at Mike to see his horrified expression and blinked before smiling a little.

"Did they hurt you?" Mike questioned, almost afraid to even ask.

"They screamed like you wouldn't believe when they saw me, and I was…scared. Sensei had always told us what would happened if a human were to ever see us," Raph explained without sparing any details about that, "I yelled in fear and one of the guys freaked out and threw a rock at me. It hit me in the side of the head and I fell."

"Oh no! Did you get away?!" Mike asked, freaking out. Raph wanted to laugh at how into the story Mike was.

"Not exactly," Raph's smirk turned into a frown, making Mike lean forward, "My brothers heard the screaming and my yelling. They came and they were scared too. The humans were getting ready to fight us as they called us horrible names but suddenly Leo was standing over me and he looked so mad when he saw me bleeding."

"R-Really?" Mike gulped, not wanting to think about what would happen if anyone made Leo angry.

"Yeah," Raph answered quietly, nodding, "I was still so scared. I could hear Donnie and Mikey crying behind me. When Leo turned ta look at me he looked scared. Then it hit me suddenly that he wasn't likeus. He wasn't scared because there were humans here that could take us away and do bad things ta us. He was only scared becauseIhad been hurt when he wasn't there. He was scared forme."

"W-Wow…" Mike trailed off, thinking about Leo himself. The only time he saw Leo scared was when the Purple Dragon guys pulled out guns on them when they were taking Mike home from their first outing to his house with him. He hadn't been scared of the Purple Dragons then…just the thought that his brothers could be shot? Mike smiled warmly. Wow…

"At tha same time, I noticed what I hadn't noticed before. It hadalwaysbeen like that. Leo was never afraid of what we faced, he's just scared about what could happen ta us. Ta his family. I really respect Leo for that. WhenI'mafraid I just get angry," Raph grumbled, the green in his eyes dimming.

"Then why is it bad for Leo to know this?" Mike asked quickly, looking confused. Raph sighed and dipped his head.

"Well, it's not bad for him ta know. He knows I started callin' him that around that time he just doesn't know why. It's extremely embarrassin' ta tell Leo anything like that. It makes me feel weak or somethin'," Raph huffed, looking up at Mike's face.

"Hmm…well I guess I don't understand because I don't have any brothers," Mike said, his eyes dazing in deep thought, "I wish I woulda had brothers though. You guys are so awesome! I don't think you have to be embarrassed. If you told Leo all that he would probably like the nick name, then!"

Raph laughed, his heart feeling a little bit lighter as he put his hand on Mike's head, "But then his ego would get bigger and then he'd beimpossibleta live with!"

Both Mike and Raph laughed together not realizing that Leo was still watching, his hands holding the now empty cup of tea he'd been drinking. Leo wiped the little bit of moisture from his eyes and smiled at the scene before him. They don't have to know that he heard them. He never realized Raph had such an insight about him that young. He always thought Raph was berating him and being sarcastic when he called him Fearless… but now he knew that was never the case.

"Leo?" Donnie came walking up behind him and Leo turned quickly, "We finished the ramen…what are you doing just standing out here?"

"Oh nothing, Donnie," Leo smiled warmly, "You go get April and the others while I get Raph and Mike."

"Okay," Donnie shrugged off his confusion and headed towards the pit while Leo walked further into the dojo, making his presence known to Raph and Mike. Raph was holding Mike's feet down as Mike attempted and struggled to do more sit ups. They both stopped when they noticed Leo.

Mike jumped up quickly a wild smile on his face and admiration in his eyes that would have made Leo turn red if he weren't already used to it, "Leo! Is the food ready now?"

"Yes, Mike," Leo answered with a smile of his own. Mike practically beamed as he trotted off excitedly for the kitchen. Raph stared at Leo the entire time before glancing away when Leo turned to face him again, "Let's go eat, Raph."

"Sure," Raph grinned a little, relieved when it appeared Leo didn't overhear anything he and the tyke talked about. He bumped Leo's shoulder lightly as he went past, "How's your knee feelin' now?"

Leo's smile widened slightly, "It's not hurting that much anymore."

"Great. Well let's eat!" Raph smirked as he walked off. Leo walked slowly after him but turned his head to look at Sensei's mantle that held his favorite picture and Mikey's mask. Leo smiled again. He hadn't felt this much happiness in a long time.

At sundown

Karai assured Slash and the others that she would be fine going off on her own for a little bit. She was not used to working in a team setting like the Mighty Mutanimals were. Leatherhead was the most reluctant to let her go but he eventually relented when she promised to meet up with them to go back to the Hamatos.

She retraced her last path through the city but when she saw no activity from the Purple Dragons or the Foot she switched to searching hidden places by the harbor. No matter how many abandoned buildings she staked out, she still couldn't find a single clue as to where the Purple Dragons or the Foot where.

"Where are you Shredder?" Karai growled under her breath as she tried to keep her emotions of anger in check. She didn't really want to face off with her ex-father, but it didn't help her anger that things weren't settled. She just wanted to move on with her life knowing that her real family was out of danger.

Plus, knowing that Shredder wants to ultimately kill little Micah just for the information he knows is truly disgusting, but she knows Shredder would be capable of such a thing. After meeting Mike for herself she feels that, just like the others, she has a connection to him. He's just like Mikey was after all…and Mikey'salwaystreated her kindly.

"It's okay, Karai. It's me, Mikey. Yourbrother!"

Karai's heart skipped a beat at the old memory, back when she had been lost in her mind to her mutation when it was fairly new. He was the only one then besides Leo that treated her like family.

"Well, nothing will get done if I sit here and daydream," Karai sighed out loud before turning to go back to the meeting spot for her and the Mutanimals. She went a different way, so she could check for activity as she went back.

Suddenly the walkie-talkie that she had been given by Dr. Rockwell activated, making her halt warily,"Karai? Can you hear me?"

"Yes, Dr. Rockwell I can hear you," Karai answered as she pressed he button. The connection a was a little off, "Have you guys spotted anything? I haven't."

"Sure haven't, Karai,"Slash answered this time, the frustration in his very clear,"Let's keep searching for another hour and then meet up, okay?"

"Alright," Karai smirked, excited at the idea of having more time to do her tracking. She slowed her pace to take her time to search her surroundings. She continued this for the next half hour before becoming frustrated again.

There was nothing out here! The Purple Dragons can't be that good at concealing their presence! Karai ground her teeth together and then huffed. Something loud crashed to the ground on the side of the building she was on. She jolted and pulled out her weapon quickly as she got ready. She calmed herself and went to the ledge to peer off.

There were multiple people standing around in the alleyway next to her building. Someone dropped some sort of equipment that was hard to see. All the people were wearing what looked like suits to protect your whole body, including your head. Karai cocked an eyebrow as more people exited a black van and she got a clear view of what they had with them.

Her heart stopped and her blood chilled when she realized that had guns on them along with a small tank strapped to their backs that hooked into another gun with a long pipe. It was like…. they looked similar to…exterminators.

Karai narrowed her eyes and continued to stare at them. She couldn't see who were in the suits. The van itself looked painted over somehow and was pure black with no symbols. A couple of the people bent over and to Karai's shock, they pulled up the manhole cover that led to the sewers.

Her heart fell into the bottom of her stomach as she watched them climb one by one in to the bottom before closing the lid behind them. Karai's heart began racing as she pulled out her walkie-talkie, "Dr. Rockwell, you there?"

There was nothing but static and she worried that something could be wrong on their end, "Is anyone there? Can you hear me?" There was still nothing but static, "Damn!"

Karai decided that she would do any good just sitting around. She jumped down and pulled open the manhole cover before climbing down and replacing the manhole cover. She landed quietly on the ground and fell into the shadows just in case anyone was around. She tracked the footprint of the people in the sewers and noted that there wasn't any chemical smell so far, so they must not be exterminators for the sewer rats.

She got closer until she slowed her pace. That was when she noticed the shadows against the wall. She stalked them while making sure to keep herself hidden. Suddenly she got close enough to hear them talk.

"Remember that we only need to capture them. However, I want you to defend yourself with either the chemicals or weapons if you have to as long as you do not kill the boy," ordered a voice that Karai immediately recognized belong to Hun, the leader of the Purple Dragons. She sucked in a breath. So, it was them. They were here to capture the others.

Karai turned and began rushing towards another tunnel. Lucky for her she had the advantage of being familiar with the sewer tunnels while they weren't. She need to warn the others now!

Chapter 19

Chapter Text

Micah's Point of View:

"Why are ya guys always gangin' up on me?!" Raph growled as he glared at the screen. Shadow and I giggled at him as Leo rolled his eyes from where he sat with Casey on the couch/bench thing.

April and Donnie were in Donnie's lab doing something I forgot because I wasn't paying attention when Donnie told us. Master Splinter was in the dojo meditating. I think he was just worried about Karai because they still haven't called yet and they are supposed to soon.

"Well if we didn't then Mike and I would get killed by you," Shadow replied a beat too late as she gestured to the screen. We were playing a video game together called Super Smash Bros which I was told used to be a favorite for Raph and Mikey to compete on.

"Don't be a sore loser Raph," Casey teased as he grinned widely at Raph, who snarled at him. I briefly wondered how mad he actually was.

"Shut up Casey! You'd complain too!"

"Would not. That's childish."

"UGH!"

Shadow, Leo, and I burst out laughing at their exchange. I felt a rush of contentment through my body at how happy I felt at the moment. Now that I was a part of the Hamato clan, I didn't have any sad or scared feelings anymore! I didn't have to seek someone out to chat with or have to be afraid to try and find food or blankets to sleep with. I'd almost forgotten what it was like tonothave to try so hard to survive.

"I don't wanna play anymore. Why don't ya guys battle it out?" Raph ground out as he looked towards Shadow with irritation. Shadow just smirked, and I watched Raph's eye twitch in annoyance.

I turned to watch Leo, "Hey Leo…wanna play then?"

Leo seemed shocked that I asked this, and things were silent for a second since I spoke up. Did I do something like Mikey again or are they really just surprised? It was beginning to be extremely hard to figure everyone out.

"I might play just a couple of rounds," He shrugged and Raph's eyes widened for whatever reason.

"Yay!" Shadow jumped in her seat on the floor by my side in glee, startling me. Casey laughed to himself as Raph tossed Leo the controller without words.

"You can play against him first," I told Shadow with a small smile since she was so excited. Shadow beamed at me and I blushed, averting my gaze as she excitedly babbled about which character she would pick. I stayed silent as Leo asked questions to confirm what to do on the game.

I blinked when Donnie and April walked out of his lab together, right when Leo and Shadow were about to start their round. They both looked shocked when they saw it was Leo playing before their faces relaxed. April giggled, "I hope you take it easy on Leo, Shadow."

"Yeah, when's the last time he even attempted a video game?" Donnie taunted as Leo rolled his eyes again while Raph laughed loudly. Casey smirked.

"Maybe he'll surprise you," Casey grinned as his eyes glazed over in thought, "One-time Mikey underestimated him because Leo doesn't ever play games and Leo totally handed him his shell all over the place!"

"AHAHAHA! Irememberthat!" Raph laughed even harder, tears springing to his eyes as I watched in wonder. I don't think I've seen him laugh quite so hard like that. At least, not at a memory of Mikey. Everyone else started laughing too and I smiled.

We were like that for awhile with Master Splinter joining soon after due to all the noise. I noticed that he was smiling fondly, just like a parent would, as he gazed at the group. I looked down thoughtfully. I don't know why I've been all in my head lately after the story Raph told me earlier, but I can't seem to shake this bad feeling deep in my chest.

"How doyoulike the game, Micah?" Donnie suddenly addressed me, and he was smiling. I smiled back because I didn't want him to worry but I felt embarrassed at being caught off guard.

"I'm not that great at it but I'm learning. I love the game though!" I beamed, and he chuckled, "It's my first time ever playing a video game."

I regretted ever saying that when everyone's smiles faded. I'm sure that it was obvious to Raph, Casey, Leo, and Shadow but for me to say it out loud must have been awkward. Donnie's eyes dimmed in that sad way and I hated that I ever opened my mouth.

"That's okay though!" I waved my hands desperately, trying to turn around the mood, "I did other fun things, so I don't feel like I missed out."

Donnie smiled a little, but it wasn't like before and I felt incredible sadness all of a sudden when I realized that I still did this too often for my liking. It's like I can only remind people of sad things. I resisted the urge to sigh.

"Guys!"

We all whirled around just in time to see Karai rush around the corner and jump over the turnstiles with a look of panic on her face. That had the others standing before I even registered anything.

"What happened?!" Splinter asked as he rushed towards her. Karai panted for a few moments before meeting his eyes.

"Hun and a few purple dragons are here in the sewers armed with chemicals. They're looking to capture you guys, especially Micah!" She explained in a rush. I gasped alongside Shadow, April, and Donnie. My eyes widened, and my heart skipped a beat.

"What?!" Raph shouted with narrowed eyes as he jumped up quickly on their level, "How…I mean, where are the Mighty Mutanimals?"

"I lost communication with them, so I don't know what they're up to currently," Karai confessed as she glared down at the floor and crossed her arms, "Hun and the others are going to search everywhere so I came quickly to warn you. They didn't notice me."

"What should we do?!" April fretted, and I looked shocked to see her suddenly at Shadow's side before I realized it. Casey growled. When had they moved?

"We fight them and make them leave!" He grumbled as his hands curled into fists. I looked at Leo and Donnie worriedly. Leo was looking as if he were far away in thought while Donnie was looking at Leo for answers as well.

"We can't fight them if there's a chance they will follow us anywhere close to the lair," Karai argued with Casey as she frowned, "We need to find a way to defeat them without alerting them to where you guys are located."

"Right," Splinter nodded, and he stroked his beard. I felt my heart beating quickly in my chest and panic clogging my throat. They were here forme. They wouldn't be going through this much trouble if it weren't for me, "It also worries me that we have lost contact with our friends."

"We can worry about them later," Leo suddenly spoke, all eyes turning to look at him and at the same time I felt my body turn cold, "I believe we should lead them away from the lair and take this chance to interrogate them on all the details to Shredder's plan."

"What if they won't leave? Won't they just come back?" Shadow stressed as she wrung her hands nervously. I looked at her sadly and felt another pang in my chest.

"You have a point," April smiled slightly as she rubbed Shadow's head, "But Leo's plan is feasible because you can always take away their weapons, so they'd have no reason to stay and you'll be able to force them to retreat."

Something darkened in both Leo and Raph's eyes at some hidden thought they weren't saying out loud. Donnie's eyes widened as did mine but everyone else didn't seem to notice their change. What were they thinking about? A surge of nausea went through me and I gulped, trying to rid myself of all these ugly feelings.

"Then let's get geared up," Raph ground out through his teeth as he clenched his fists angrily. I haven't seen Raph this angry since…. well since he first laid eyes on me. Even then, he still didn't have such darkness in his eyes.

"But your injuries are-"

"Don't worry Donnie. We'll only do a bare minimum and watch out for our injuries," Leo comforted Donnie with a smile that didn't come close to reaching his eyes. Donnie didn't look comforted at all! I frowned worriedly, my body still feeling cold from fear.

"Whose all going to divert their attention from the lair then?" Karai asked quietly, looking at Leo warily. Leo glanced at her.

"Just us for now. We don't want to crowd the place with too many people," Leo replied but everyone else other than Raph looked uncertain as if they didn't believe what he said, "The rest of you should get ready for the worst-case scenario, just in case."

Everyone then looked either shocked, horrified, or mutinous. Splinter turned to Leo with a rare look of fear, even if it were only slight, "My son, it should not come to that if you mean that you would fail."

"You should still be ready for that just in case, father," Leo answered him with a softer look. Splinter nodded after a moment of hesitation, "April, you guys be ready to flee at any moment in case we fail or if something else goes wrong."

"Run away?!" Casey burst, his eyes large in a glare but he was ignored by Leo and Raph.

"Just in case," Donnie murmured, placing a hand on Casey's shoulders. I noticed his hand tightened there like some sort of message only Casey understood but he glanced at Leo and Raph before looking at Donnie and nodding. I felt confused fear. What was going on?

"Let's gear up," Raph repeated as he and his brothers rushed away to the dojo. I watched silently as Splinter and Karai took point on how to get away if the bad guys came to the lair for whatever reason and which best places to hide if we couldn't get away.

I stared anxiously at the door to the dojo, vaguely realizing Casey, April, and Karai were arguing over what to do exactly while Splinter tried to console everyone. Leo, Raph, and Donnie came back out of the dojo and couple minutes after that, fully geared with their weapons and belts.

Donnie caught my eye and smiled at me warmly, waving goodbye. I couldn't muster any strength in the world to smile back but I did give a small wave, causing Donnie to frown worriedly at me but Leo was soon telling everyone that they were leaving.

"Be safe, my sons," Splinter sighed heavily, looking worried himself. They bowed before hurrying off a bit too quickly. I felt like everything was happening way too fast.

For some reason, I don't want them to leave. At least, not withoutme. I feel afraid that I'm not with them. I don't know why I feel that way, but I just do. I can't just sit here and wait for them to return especially if things go wrong like Leo says even if that's just a rare worst case whatever.

'Then go after them! That's what I'd do!'

"Huh?" I gasped, blinking as I looked right and left for that noise. Was that just a running thought in my head? Iamthinking a bit too fast. That couldn't have been Mikey's voice, even if itdidsound like him. It's all in my head!

"Mike," Shadow touched my arm, looking scared, "We need to help the others by packing some bags in case we need to move out of here."

"O-Okay," I nodded, and she walked away. I didn't notice that everyone was now rushing around the lair trying to get things done all at once. I felt a bit unneeded. I glanced over at Splinter and watched as he rushed off into the dojo with April by his side, both were talking about getting April geared up.

Now was my chance. I hesitated briefly as I made my way to the turnstiles, remembering how it went last time I snuck out but then I remembered how Leo, Raph, and Donnie looked and decided it was worth it. I paused when Karai went by, but she didn't seem to notice what I was doing as she carried a couple of bags to Casey and they went towards the bathroom area.

I quickly took that chance to jump over the turnstiles and run as fast as I could the way I saw the turtles go. I looked at the ground as I did to see if I could see which way they went. Mom used to teach me ways to track bad people so that I can better hide from them though it's still very confusing to me since she didn't get to teach me much before she died.

But I won't give up! I'll catch up to my new family and make sure that nothing happens to them. I'll sneak and be there for them when they need me!

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Since Donnie, Leo, and Raph were such good ninjas, they hardly left any indication at all to which way they were going. In their rush though I was able to tell a few things. One of them must have stepped in the sewer water a little but it was enough to show on the floor, so I was able to follow. I figured that since they were good ninjas, this must have only happened because they were in such a hurry.

I quickly became lost on which way to go after the trail went cold on the ground. I couldn't figure out which way they went! I didn't wanna guess and get even more lost, but I also didn't want to go home. Something was telling me that if I went home, then things wouldn't be like there were!

A movement in the corner caught my eye and I glanced up, "Wha….?"

My baby blue eyes widened to see a couple of broken cobwebs. There had been spiderwebs all over the place, but these were broken? Could it have been broken when the others went through them? Or was it always like that?

I hesitated but decided to follow my gut and rushed down the path of the broken cobwebs. I continued to follow this route until I came to another two turns. I looked both left and right. Both looked undisturbed. I frowned, feeling frustrated.

Then, suddenly, my eyes caught disturbed dust and dirt on the ground to the right tunnel. I narrowed my glance in determination and ran forth, dodging various trash and nasty stuff. I kept pushing myself to go faster but it felt like my throat and chest were burning. Another flash of frustration went through me. I wasn't going to quit so easily, even if my body gives out! My new family might be in trouble! They could be going through something terrible!

A flashback of the expression in Leo and Raph's eyes gave me enough burst of adrenaline to forget the pain in my chest and legs. This only lasted five minutes at the most and I forced myself to stop just for a second because it felt like I could breathe. It felt like I was breathing in fire!

I panted and sat down on my feet, trying not to touch the filthy surroundings a much as possible. I remember Donnie describing to me how bad this was and how sick I could get if I didn't stay clean while living with them. This was a sewer after all.

My nose scrunched up and I scowled, rubbing my chest in small circles as I eyed the sewage to my right. There, like everywhere else, was trash everywhere. After calming down slightly, I realized that the noise I could hear in the background was not just the sound of sewer water.

I froze, listening hard. I could hear faint noises, but it was too hard to tell if it were talking or yelling or what. I got up, ignoring my protesting leg muscles and pushed myself to go forward. I turned to the right after the archway towards the sounds.

"Wah!" In a blur I slipped forward slightly and fell to the ground in something sticky. I also hit something when I fell, "Ow…."

I cringed at the sticky feeling and opened my eyes to dare see what I slipped and landed in. As soon as I looked, my eyes widened largely in horror and I sucked in a breath. The red sticky substance that I was partially sitting in, the same redness all on my left arm and hand, had to be blood. I kept gasping as my eyes traveled to the thing I landed on.

With even more horror I realized it was a body. I yelped loudly and pushed myself away until I hit the wall behind me. My heart was hammering in my chest and my hands started visibly shaking. I felt the blood rush out of my body.

The body in front of me was all yellow from the suit he was wearing, and he had some sort of tank thing equipped on his back. From here, I could see that he had bled out from an injury to his side.

I forced myself to look away, unable to believe what I saw. I never…saw a dead person before. Not like that. Not with so much blood. Tears sprung to my eyes as I clenched them closed and sobbed, rubbing my left hand and wrist on my pants but most of the left side of my shirt and arm was covered in the blood. I choked on a sob in my throat and suddenly I wished I could hug Donnie. Did the turtles….do that to this guy?

Leo once made Donnie close my eyes when they fought on the rooftop that one time. I wasn't stupid. I know they were hurting and probably killing those bad men that were trying to do the same to us…but seeing a dead body up close was….

I kept my eyes closed for a couple of minutes before an unexplainable calm took over. The trembling in my hands slowed but didn't go away. The clogging in my throat disappeared and so did the tears. My body felt warmer.

Donnie….Donnie! That's right! I need to help my family! They are probably fighting since this guy is right here! The way Leo and Raph looked wasn't good. They looked ready to…kill someone, no matter what it took.

My eyes opened as I realizedthatwas what everyone else knew. They knew that Leo and Raph were willing to kill those bad men if they didn't go away. They didn't like killing but they would if it kept everyone safe.

Standing quickly, I avoided looking at the body as I clung to the wall and followed it forward. I had just gone past the body when something sparkled in the corner of my right eye. I glanced at it and blinked. It looked like chains. I went toward it and stopped when I saw a bit of red on the chain, but it was longer than I expected.

I picked it up and noticed that at the end there was a thick part. It was a little heavy but when I thought about what the Turtles and Splinter taught me about the nin-get-su so far this looked like one of those Japanese weapons they have but it's different than what Mikey's weapon had been…at least a little different. There wasn't a handle.

"It's still a weapon though!" I brightened as I wrapped part of the chain around my arm, so it'd be easier to hold the rest in my palm. It was heavy on my arm and hand, but I bet it would come in handy if I meet a bad guy that tries to hurt or take me away. I began pushing myself to go forward towards the noises again.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Donnie's Point of View:

Meanwhile with the Turtles…

As I took down the guy in front of me with a harsh whack to the back of his head, I glanced at my brothers. The silence was bugging me. Ever since Mikey died we were all used to the silence a bit more, but usually we still talked even just a little to at least let the others know we were still breathing.

Leo and Raph were just silent though and slicing through our enemies without even giving them a chance for surrender. This kinda scared me. We've showed plenty of mercy in the past, but usually that always comes back to bite us later. I knew that they were just being careful and that ever since Mikey's death they were colder towards those that attacked us, but this was almost too much.

Another guy aimed his chemicals at me through his weapon and I easily dodged in, jumping forward and using my bo staff to push his weapon out of his hand. Immediately after I swung around and kicked him to the ground. I pointed my bo staff at him and unsheathed the blade at the top. I brought it close to his neck and leaned forward.

"Where is Hun and the others?" I questioned in a monotone. The guy's eyes widened at me and his breath quickened but he kept his mouth closed. I pushed the blade closer, "Are there more than one group out here? What is your mission exactly?"

A rush of movement behind me made me dodge and I swung around with my staff quickly, cutting the guy that tried to gut me from behind across the neck. He fell to the ground beside the guy I had taken done before, who screamed in horror. I returned the blade of my bo staff towards him.

"Listen, if you answer my questions then I won't have to do what I just did again," I told him, a twinge in my chest. I don't want to have to kill this man, "Now, what is your mission?"

"Shredder told H-Hun to take these weapons and chemicals so that we could f-find the boy because Hun told Shredder he was with y-you," The man said and I scowled darkly, "W-we are supposed to t-take him in and if we c-can't capture you turtles then we were o-ordered to kill you with this acid."

"I see," I muttered darkly, my eyes narrowing. I withdrew my blade from his throat but didn't take my eyes off him. I heard my brothers still battling it out behind me. Then suddenly, Raph was by my side, looking down at the guy I had just interrogated. I recognized that look in his eyes. My eyes widened, "Raph, wait-"

"I'm not," He said simply, ready to thrust his weapon in the guys throat but I stopped him by forcefully grabbing his arm. He glared at me like I had just spat in his food.

"He's answering my questions. He's cooperating. I told him I wouldn't kill him if he did," I explained, narrowing my eyes at my hostile brother, whose expression didn't change. The guy on the ground cowered before us and I felt another twinge in my heart.

"Why should he get ta live when he was ready ta cover yer shell in acid?" Raph asked with disbelief in his tone. I resisted the urge to sigh.

"He won't try something like that again," I said as I glared down at the guy, who took it upon himself to start nodding like crazy.

"Guys don't even think about starting a fight with each other," Leo warned as he battled it out with the last two standing. Then he's eyes narrowed, and they were void of emotions, "None of them get to live."

"We're not the bad guys, Leo," I scowled at him, feeling my heart plummet at their lack of empathy. It's been this way ever since Mikey's death.

Leo sliced through the two guys that were trying to gang up on him and I swallowed heavily as they fell to the ground lifelessly. Leo turned with his katanas bloodied, "They want to kill our family, Donnie. They don't get to live."

"Leo!" I protested but a yelp startled me. My heart froze when I heard the gurgling and I turned to see Raph had stabbed the man I pardoned in the throat. Raph didn't even seemed bothered about it. I felt great sadness in my heart as Raph stood and he actually looked sad but only because of my expression.

"He didn't suffer. It was quick," He told me as he placed a hand on my shoulder. I nodded, but felt a lump trying to form in my throat. I was not about to start crying, "Donnie…they-"

"Lookout!" Leo yelped and thanks to years of training, Raph pushed me down immediately as Hun came barreling out of the tunnel to the side. He pointed one of the specialized guns that were used to spray the chemicals from the tanks of their backs down at where we had landed. Leo's eyes widened.

"Don't move you freaks!" Hun spat and Raph tensed while my eyes widened as well, "I can't believe you were able to avoid all those chemicals! I saw what you did to my men on the way here!"

"That wouldn't have happened if you'd mind your own business and not attack our family," Leo replied simply, glaring at Hun.

In the distraction Raph kicked out but didn't hit the gun in Hun's hands. He kicked Hun's arm, but the gun didn't go flying. Hun staggered and Raph lunged, however, Hun used the gun and hit our brother across the face before spinning halfway and kicking him. Raph went sliding across the floor and grunted.

"Raph!" I jumped up, angry. I rushed forward, and Leo soon joined my side. Hun aimed the gun and shot chemicals towards us, but we parted and avoided it. Hun decided to keep shooting at Leo to keep him away. I used this to my advantage and swung, hitting him across his back. He grunted and spun around. I braced myself with my bo for a hit, but he swung his legs instead of hitting me and tripped me up.

Right as I hit the ground I felt something cold against my plastron just below my chest. I froze and Raph growled loudly while Leo panicked, yelling, "Don!"

My eyes widened, and I looked over to see Raph had gotten up with his sai in his hands, but he wasn't close to me. Leo had been further away due to avoiding all the chemicals Hun had been trying to shoot at him. Both my brothers didn't dare move as Hun scowled down at me, holding he gun straight on my plastron.

"Hun don't even think about or I'll throw my sai straight in your face," Raph threatened in a low growl.

"Do it and I'll melt a hole in your brother's stomach," Hun sneered. Raph growled louder and Leo glared but I detected panic in his blue eyes, "Now, throw your weapons down."

They both didn't even hesitate and my eyes watered. I was too slow and didn't foresee Hun reacting to my attack so fast or they wouldn't be in this situation! Raph tried to meet my eyes but I refused to look at him. I clenched my teeth.

"Now tell me where your keeping the boy," Hun demanded, and I tensed, afraid they might actually tell him where Mike was, "I only need the boy."

"You are crazy if ya think we'd-"

"Oh, don't even start," Hun snarled at Raph, "I know you are crazy. So am I. I just need the boy. Bring the boy here and I won't melt a hole in your brother's gut."

Leo and Raph tensed and I looked at them. They met my stare with despair and I knew then that they didn't know what to do. They wouldn't let me die. I gulped.

"So, I'll ask one last time. Where is the boy?" Hun smirked when he asked this time and I felt hatred in my heart for him.

"Right here!" Before we even knew what happened, Micah appeared behind Hun and whacked him hard upside the head and the back of his neck with what looked like a chain.

Leo and Raph reacted immediately after that. They pulled me towards them and I struggled to stand as Hun let out a string of curses at the pain. Micah looked so angry and before we could stop him he began hitting Hun over and over again.

"Mike, stop!" I urged, and Mike was breathing hard when he realized what he was doing. His baby blue eyes widened and filled with tears. He looked at us three and I opened my arms, surprised when Raph and Leo did the same.

"Guys!" Mike cried jumping into our arms and crying. I held him tight to my chest while Leo and Raph held onto us. Soon I realized there was blood on him and panicked, "There were dead people and blood everywhere but I just knew something bad was gonna happen to you guys!"

"What?" Leo asked, looking confused and a bit worried, "Mike, how did you even find us?"

"These are questions for later," Raph growled out and we all looked up, alarmed, when we heard more men coming.

"Let's leave. They won't dare continue their mission now that Hun's down and they don't know where we live," Leo ordered and even Raph didn't put up a fight. I picked Mike up and we ran off.

"Leo are you sure we shouldn't have killed him?" Raph scowled and Leo just stared at him.

"I wanted to, but now wasn't the best time for that," Leo said, and I glanced down at Mike, surprised when I saw he was staring at Leo and Raph. He looked worried but there was something else in his eyes. I felt very anxious about what happened earlier.

And how did he even find us? Better yet, where did he find that weapon? He wielded it like…like he was born to..

Chapter 20

Chapter Text

Leonardo's Point of View:

We ran until we had no choice but to stop. This was because Mike still wasn't up to the same amount of exercise my brothers and I were used to. That was okay though because we weren't followed and far enough away to not worry too much about walking the rest of the way to our secret home.

I glanced at Donnie and saw that he was holding little Mike's hand tightly, a look of anxiety on his face as he peered down at the small blonde. I looked down at Mike too but felt a pang in my chest when my blue eyes met his baby blue eyes. He was staring at me with some emotion I couldn't place, however, I knew it wasn't a positive emotion.

"What's wrong?" I asked hesitantly, unsure of what else to say because he had yet to look away when it was usually natural to do so when staring at someone. Mike glanced down at as his feet. My question caught Raph's attention from my other side and he leaned closer to stare at him.

"Where did ya get that chain?" Raph asked after another awkward moment passed and I blinked when I realized Mike was still holding the chain in his other hand. Mike blinked as well, as if he was just realizing he still had the weapon.

"Oh...I...found it," Mike spoke softly and we watched as his eyes widened slightly as if he remembered something he didn't like. I frowned.

"How did you get this much blood on your clothes?" Donnie questioned, his voice increasing with more stress, "Are you hurt anywhere?!"

"No, I'm okay," Mike assured as he glanced up at Donnie shyly, "Its...its not my blood."

My chest went cold and my face went pale as his words registered. It wasn't his blood. It was someone else's...but how could he have that much blood from someone else?! My increasing hysteria was halted when I caught Raph's expression of growing horror, "Raph?"

Donnie looked ready to have a mental breakdown when I asked the hushed question. Mike looked up at Raph too and that made Raph flinch back and look away, "Ya...did ya...I mean..."

"I didn't hurt anyone if that's what you guys are freaking out about!" Mike said so innocently that I was left staring at him for a moment. Donnie breathed a sigh of relief but Raph still seemed disturbed.

I watched as he exhaled deeply and finally turned to look at Mike, "Sorry ya had ta see all that then. Ya...must have fell in some blood?"

Mike nodded and we all went stiff, "I saw...a dead guy and there was a lot of blood that I slipped in because I was running..." Mike glanced up and whatever our faces looked like had him backpedaling quickly, "It's okay though! I freaked out at first but then I was surprisingly okay!"

"Okay?" Raph spit the word out like it poison and that had all of us, including me, jolting in surprise, "Any normal person, especially a kid, would never be okay after seein' a dead body! And why were ya there followin' after us in the first place?! Are ya stupid?!"

"Raph!" I glared at him and he glared back at me. Mike's shoulders scrunched up as he looked at the ground, looking ready to cry. Raph's face dropped when he noticed.

"I'm-I'm sorry...for some reason it felt wrong not to be with you guys when you left. I thought that...I could help so that you and Leo didn't have to kill anymore," Mike sniffed as the rest of us looked on in shock, "I saw your expressions and knew that you were gonna kill everyone but that you didn't like killing..."

"Mike..." Donnie trailed off as he knelt down and placed both hands on his shoulders, "You shouldn't worry about that. You also shouldn't be thinking about things like that at your age."

"But it felt wrong to be staying behind while you're doing things you don't like because of me," Mike said sadly, his lip trembling. Donnie frowned.

"It's not your fault, Mike," I spoke up and he finally looked up again, "This is no one else's fault other than the Shredder and Purple Dragons' fault, okay?" Mike nodded, albeit hesitantly.

"Hey tyke, sorry for yellin' before," Raph sighed heavily and Mike stared at him, "I just didn't like that ya exposed yerself ta all that bad stuff. Yer too young ta see all that. I also don't want ya in danger."

A small smile bloomed on Mike's face and Donnie looked ready to start dancing due to happiness. This had me snickering to myself until another thought hit me, "Hey, Mike? Where did you get that chain? And how did you know how to use it on Hun?"

"Oh..." Mike blinked as he looked at the chain in his hand, "I found this near that dead guy and decided that I could try to use it to help you guys! It was like something was telling me I needed to use it."

"You really wanted to help that badly?" Donnie asked in surprise.

"Of course!" Mike beamed at him and then smiled brightly, "It just felt right when I held it in my hands...but when I attacked Hun I didn't even know what I was doing until it was over."

"Hmmm, I wonder if you wielded it so well because you're the reincarnation of Michelangelo?" I thought out loud as they all turned to me in surprise.

"That could be true," Donnie agreed with a small smile as he rubbed Mike's head affectionately. Mike grinned and soaked up all the attention Donnie was giving him like a sponge.

"Yeah, it makes sense," Raph shrugged, his green eyes a bit lighter for whatever reason. I was still glad to see it no matter what caused it. My hotheaded brother always seemed to be shouldering so much and I knew that feeling. I was glad to see him becoming more like his old self around Mike.

"We should hurry back home," I sighed lightly after a moment, "Sensei and the others are probably going crazy."

"Especially since tyke disappeared on them again," Raph teased as he poked Mike's cheek with a smirk on his face, "I still can't believe ya thought ya could help us."

"Hey!" Mike pouted, pushing Raph's hand away unsuccessfully while I marveled at the fact that not only did Mike take what could have been seen as an insult in stride, he didn't act like what Raph said bothered him, "I DID help! I saved Donnie before that Hun guy could hurt him!"

"That's true. Thank you for that by the way!" Donnie chuckled, his red-brown eyes brightening. I smiled in relief. Mike beamed at Donnie again in return.

"Anytime Donnie!" He cheered and then laughed when Donnie suddenly picked him up with little effort and sat him up on his shoulders. Mike's expression changed to one of shock and awe, "Whoa! I'm so high up cause you're as tall as a tree Donnie!"

"AHAHAHA! Atree?!" Raph laughed loudly and I chuckled as Donnie laughed along with Raph.

"It's true!" Mike burst, obviously pleased about something as he stared at Raph's laughing face. I smiled warmly and waited patiently for my brothers to stop laughing.

"Let's get going now. We don't want to be in these tunnels too long," I ordered and they nodded in agreement. I met Mike's eyes again just as we began moving again and he smiled at me, the type of smile that left small crinkles around his eyes; it was the type of smile Mikey used to smile when he was truly happy about something. I couldn't help but beam at him as warmth bloom in my chest.

Micah's (Mike's) Point of View:

Upon returning home, the others swarmed us asking frantic questions, especially after they saw the blood staining my clothes. I was truly shocked to hear and see how worried they were about me. They were also worried about the Turtles but it was as if their worries were put to rest as soon as theysawthem.

April and Master Splinter took turns reprimanding me. I don't think I'd ever seen him so frazzled. Eventually halfway through the lecture, Splinter glanced my way with soft brown eyes and drew me in an embrace. It was the first time this has happened and I tensed up at first, but then looked up at his face in wonder as I hugged him back.

"Please do not ever do something so reckless again," He fretted and I just nodded numbly, unsure of what to say. Soon after that, everyone was calm again and were hearing all that happened from the Turtles. Donnie didn't leave my side at all during this time while Leo explained everything with practiced grace that spoke that he was used to doing this. Being the leader must mean you do a lot of things, huh?

"So after that hit Hun took, you're sure they're gonna leave the sewers?" April questioned worriedly, but her blue eyes betrayed that she didn't believe that for a second. My heart skipped a beat. What if they never leave us alone?

"Yeah, but probably not for good," Leo sighed heavily, "They're convinced we live down here now so they won't stop until they've found us."

"What should we do then?" Karai asked as she frowned, her hands curling into fists. I glanced up at Donnie, who was staring ahead with a thoughtful expression. His eyes were glazed over and blank, which I've come to realize meant he was deep inside his own mind to solve something.

"We fight them again if they even think of comin' around here again!" Raph ground out as he cracked his knuckles.

"I agree!" Casey grinned from Raph's other side, a fierce look in his eyes. I blinked at just how alike the two were. No wonder they were best friends!

"Wewillfight if they come close here," Leo agreed calmly and I noticed everyone look at him in shock as if agreeing with Raph were a rare thing. Maybe it was and I just don't know that yet, "However we shouldn't go looking for a fight just quite yet. We still have injuries that need to heal." I put a hand on my head subconsciously and noticed Raph's eye twitch.

"And I have some ideas about securing the lair so that they won't be able to find us," Donnie spoke up with seriousness. Donnie looked worried about something at the same time though, "I also think my plans will help protect the lair in case they do plan to flush the sewers with chemicals."

"Nice Donnie!" Casey burst with a thumbs up that had Donnie rolling his eyes but smiling a small smile. Leo and Raph smiled proudly at Donnie.

"That's awesome and all, but what is our next step in stopping Shredder's plan?" Karai inquired, a worried look in her eyes and a frown marring her face.

"The next step is to heal and let the Mutanimals do some information gathering. We still don't know where the Shredder is nowadays to even think of launching an attack on him," Leo explained as he stared directly at Karai. He looked like he was trying to convey a secret message, "I'm hoping the Mutanimals will be able to figure out where he is."

Things were silent for a moment and I stared at the ground in thought. I was brought out of my thoughts when April spoke up, "Has anyoneheardfrom the Mutanimals?"

This had everyone glancing at each other in surprise and worry. Karai blinked for a second, "Not since I was topside. I tried to talk to them through the walkie-talkie but there was only static. I'm not sure if its due to interference though or if they ran into trouble."

"I can track their location from the tracker I installed in the walkie-talkies," Donnie announced as all eyes turned to him. It appeared that no one knew he had done that. I blinked. How cool! Donnie thinks of everything!

"Let us know if you need any help and what you find," Master Splinter spoke up with a kind look on his face and Donnie nodded, looking determined, "The rest of us will take a much needed break."

With that said, Karai let out a sigh and walked out of the room with Master Splinter and Leo frowning after her. April dragged Casey off and I noticed them going towards the pit where Shadow laid sleeping. I had wondered where she was when we first came back but forgot to ask.

"Mike?" I jumped at the sudden touch on my back. I looked up and saw Donnie looking worriedly down at me. I smiled so that he didn't look worried anymore, however, that didn't really work.

"Yeah Donnie?"

"Are you okay?" He asked in concern which made Leo, Raph, and Master Splinter peer over at us in their own concern. My chest suddenly felt warm at their concern but at the same time I felt horrible that they were so concerned about me.

"I'm okay!" I cheered, hoping to make them feel better. Donnie stared at my face for a second before looking at something behind me. I followed his eyes and realized he was looking at all the blood stained in my shirt. The reminder of that and how it happened had my eyes widening and the warmth in my chest vanishing.

"You should get cleaned up," Raph scowled as he crossed his arms and stared at me. That look somehow told me that I had no room for argument, "Ya know how to work the showers right?"

I nodded slowly, "Master Splinter showed me once!"

"What will he wear...?" Leo trailed off in concern and they all paused as if they hadn't thought about that before. I blinked, realizing that I had changed clothes in forever and probably smelled terrible! I blushed in embarrassment.

"Oh, I remember I asked April if she could bring some clothes for Mike here when they were packing to come stay down here for awhile," Donnie admitted bashfully as if he were troubled that he forgot.

"Wow, some new clothes?!" I beamed and for whatever reason Donnie's face morphed into something sad. I felt a jolt when I saw that change. What did I do this time to make him look so sad? I glanced at Leo and Raph and saw the same expression. What happened? They looked as if I had just said something horrible. Plus, Raph almost seemed mad in a way.

Before I could say anything else Donnie grabbed my hand and smiled, "Let's go ask her if she remembered to get you some clothes. If she didn't then we'll figure something out for you to wear, okay?"

"Okay," I said slowly, not sure how to react after what just happened. I let Donnie pull me forward but noticed his hand was shaking slightly. His grip on my hand hurt a little as if he were gripping it so that nothing on earth could pull me from him.

I knew then that they were all still spooked about me following them and putting myself in danger earlier. I thought I'd be helping and it felt as if some strong force was compelling me to go join them to look out for them somehow but of course...I was just a burden. I was just bothering them.

My face scrunched up in frustration the longer I thought about it. When will I be strong enough to protect them? When will I be good enough to make them smile more than frown?

It would have been nice if Mikey were still alive...

Third Point of View:

After April gave Mike some new clothes to wear for awhile and he was cleaned up, everyone crowded around the pit together. Donnie sat in the floor cross-legged while Mike sat in his lap. Donnie was drying Mike's hair and getting ready to trim it a little, since it was obvious that it had been awhile since it was probably trimmed. Raph and Leo sat on the couch on either side of Donnie while Master Splinter chose to sit on the other side with Karai. April and Casey sat with Shadow in between them. She seemed much happier now that Mike was back but was distracted by the TV.

"Jeez, tyke, when's the last time your hair was cut?" Raph asked before even thinking as he watched Donnie work on Mike's hair. Leo was also watching the whole process. Mike tensed up and went to look at Raph but Donnie turned his head around gently, "Don't move, Mike. I don't want to mess up while trimming your hair."

"Um..." Mike trailed off and Raph regretted asking because even though he couldn't see Mike's face, it was obvious he was struggling with his memory and that alone was sad enough. It had really bothered Raph and his brothers that Mike got so excited over some new clothes. Sure it was normal for any person to be excited to get new things but it was the knowledge that he's never gotten new clothes before that bothered them.

"Who cut it for you last time?" Shadow cut in innocently, staring at Mike's face. Mike blinked over at her, trying his best not to move his head.

"This guy called Steve," He replied tightly and everyone was left stupefied for a second, even Donnie, who paused in cutting his hair, "I knew him from before I ever discovered the junkyard."

"Oh..." She trailed off, certain that she had just said something wrong. April squeezed her hand and smiled reassuringly at her though before looking over at Mike with uncertainty.

"Was he a friend of yours?" April asked, smiling in a friendly way. However, Mike looked down sadly.

"Yeah!" Mike murmured, his eyes shining with unshed tears, "We sometimes traded stuff we needed that we scrounged for, but most times it was just him giving me stuff. I know now that he was just trying to take care of me in his own way."

"That's very nice of him," Leo replied softly, watching Mike's face carefully. He was dreading the unanswered question so he didn't ask it. Unfortunately Casey wasn't as observant as any of them.

"So what happened to Steve?" Casey asked in confusion as he stared at Mike. Mike flinched slightly, his eyes going a little wide and his pupils dilating in a type of horror that suggested this was what he didn't want to remember. Casey immediately felt like the shittiest person.

"He...he started making promises that he'd bring back more stuff for me but one day he disappeared," Mike explained slowly, as if each word were hard to get out. Donnie stopped trimming when Casey asked his question and watched in alarm as Mike curled his arms around himself, "I decided to go look for him but couldn't find him anywhere..."

"What eventually happened?" Master Splinter questioned calmly and with a kind tone. Mike peered up at Splinter and frowned sadly.

"One evening when I was out looking for Steve I s-s-saw some flashing lights and knew it was the police. When I got closer I...I saw Steve in a black bag and he wasn't moving," Mike sniffed, closing his eyes because he knew if he didn't he'd start crying. Everyone went silent, "I heard the police talking about how Steve was killed by being stabbed in the chest but that they don't know why. The way they talked about Steve...it was like it actually didn't matter what happened to him because he was homeless."

"Oh, Mike..." Donnie sighed, setting the scissors aside and wrapped his arms around him, "I'm sorry you had to experience all that and that you lost your friend."

Raph's hands curled into fists as he watched Donnie hug the small boy. And here they thought they knew Mike, but he still had more painful stories such as this one? Just how much loss has this boy experienced?! Just thinking about all the pain he must have felt alone made Raph see red and want to go hurt someone immediately. He looked across at Leo and paused, stunned, when he saw Leo's eyes flash with the same type of rage. He was desperately looking at the ground to hide it though. Raph frowned, feeling somewhat calmer knowing that Leo was feeling the same as him right now.

"Sorry," Mike huffed out a tiny laugh as he wiped his face and then hugged Donnie back, "I can't believe I forgot about that before you asked me about my hair."

"It's natural to not think about what hurts, Mike," April spoke up in a kind tone, her eyes full of understanding. Casey looked conflicted between sadness, understanding, and anger. Raph glanced when he saw movement and saw that Karai was looking at Mike with a deep sadness that surprised him.

"Yeah, I guess so. I feel a bit better talking about it for the first time though," Mike smiled, a small but genuine smile and that had Donnie's shoulders relaxing. Mike peered up at Donnie, "You can finished now, D!"

"Huh...u-uh sure," Donnie stammered, caught off guard by the familiar nickname. Even Raph and Leo looked startled at Mike calling Donnie that. Mike noticed this and felt a pang of worry. He did it again, didn't he? Mike didn't say anything though and neither did they. Donnie picked up the scissors and began trimming again.

"Do you like those clothes, Mike?" Shadow randomly asked, but it caused a much needed distraction. Mike beamed.

"I sure do! They'reawesome!" He cried, tugging on the black-shirt with white stripped sleeves and a cat print on the front. He had matching black sweatpants.

"Good, Casey helped me pick them out at a thrift store short-notice," April beamed, happy that the boy liked the clothes. In all honesty Casey had searched for boy clothes that he thought Mikey would have liked and hoped Mike had the same taste. Looks like that paid off.

"Thanks guys!" Mike cheered with a gleeful expression that had Raph relaxing more and Leo smiling too just by proximity. Master Splinter watched all their reactions with amusement.

A few minutes after that Donnie deemed that he did a job well done and Mike burst with excitement and practically flew to the bathroom to check his reflection as the Turtles and Casey laughed after him. Donnie stood and stretched from being in the floor too long before he took the seat between Raph and Leo.

"Now his hair won't look so wild," Leo chuckled as Donnie nodded and Raph grinned, "I think it looks good."

"Yeah it was a little hard to do because his hair is a bit curly but I think he'll like it," Donnie smiled as he glanced over his shoulder nervously, as if he were afraid that Mike would hate it. Raph rolled his eyes and put his arm around Donnie.

"You're worryin' too much again. I'm tellin' ya, the kid loves ya so much he'd probably die before he told ya he didn't like something you did or said," Raph informed Donnie, who blinked in shock while Leo laughed.

"You really think that?" Donnie questioned, looking conflicted.

"I think that at least," Karai spoke up with a small grin. She had felt extremely bad for Mike earlier when he was telling his story but from what she's observed Micah probably loved Donnie and his brothers as much as Mikey did when he was alive. She wasn't sure if she should share that opinion just yet though. Master Splinter nodded encouragingly towards Donatello.

"I'm back!" Mike cried, startling everyone as he ran and then jumped onto Leo and Donnie's lap since they were the closet, nearly knocking the wind out of them. Raph couldn't stop the laughter that escaped his mouth at the look on Donnie and Leo's faces. Mike laughed and laid his head back on Raph's lap so he was sprawled out on all of them.

"Jeez, Mike, you scared the crap outta me!" April sighed, her hand clutching her chest, "I thought you might fall into the cement floor!"

Casey and Shadow were laughing, looking too much alike when they did. Mike laughed again before smiled apologetically at Donnie and Leo. Leo shook his head and sighed, but didn't seem annoyed while Donnie just rolled his eyes and asked, "Do you like you hair? Is it okay?"

"Yeah! I look ten times cuter now, Donnie! Thanks!" Mike grinned cheekily and pushed him playfully.

"Who are you sayin' is cute? Cause I don't see it?" Raph taunted with a smirk as he pulled on Mike's cheek playfully.

"Rawwph!" Mike groaned trying to push him away as the others laughed except Karai. She was slightly stunned at the sudden turn of mood in the room from before but then realized that Mike was good at that, just like Mikey always was. It was like some special power only those two possessed.

Amidst Mike and Raph play fighting while Donnie protested being pushed around, Leo saw movement from the lair's entrance and immediately stood, startling everyone. Master Splinter calmly stood as well as the Mighty Mutanimals came walking in.

"Oh, Leatherhead!" Mike brightened when he saw his new mutant friend walk through the doors. Raph let go of Mike as Mike struggled to get down. Everyone watched in awe as Leatherhead brightened slightly, his tail almost wagging as Mike rushed to hug him. Leatherhead lifted him so that he could successfully hug him close. Everyone, including Donnie, seemed shocked by this.

"I am very glad to see you all unharmed," Master Splinter spoke up after a moment and smiled at seeing Mike and Leatherhead embrace. Leatherhead put Mike down in time for the others to join them at the entrance.

"As are we to see you all unharmed," Dr. Rockwell sighed slightly after glancing Karai's way, "We couldn't get Karai on the walkie-talkie and wondered what happened."

"I'm okay, I guess it really was just signal interference," Karai explained, but looked extremely relieved that nothing terrible happened.

"Did you guys figure out anything about the Shredder or the Purple Dragons?" Leo asked, glancing over towards a serious looking Slash.

"Yeah we think we know where the Shredder meets with the Purple Dragons personally," Slash informed and everyone either gasped or tensed up. Leo's eyes widened at what he was told, "We overheard the next date that Shredder is meant to meet up with the Purple Dragons and we have a plan to attack them to stop them both then. We could use your help though."

"Heck yes!" Raph growled, his eyes lighting up like fire in pitch black darkness. This startled Mike, "We'd love any chance to get back at Shred-Head!"

"Raph!" Leo frowned and Raph scowled, looking over at Leo, "We still aren't ready for another attack."

"We handled our last mission just fine and have fought with worse injuries before," Raph denied, looking stubborn on the idea, "Let's go with them Fearless and make them regret messin' with our family!"

Leo's eyes widened again and he glanced at Master Splinter, who nodded calmly, smiling, "Okay Raph...but we have to do this the smart way."

"Whatever ya say," Raph replied eagerly while Donnie frowned, worriedly thinking something over.

"We were hoping you guys would come with us back to our hideout," Slash spoke up, "It's closer to where we need to go. They won't meet up until tomorrow evening but if you come now, we can prepare in plenty amount of time."

"Now?" Donnie echoed, looking even more worried, "And they're meeting tomorrow? That's so fast."

"I agree," April frowned while Shadow looked between everyone worriedly.

"I think you should go my sons," Splinter addressed and Mike felt his heart stop. No, he didn't want them to go again! "I'm confident you will be able to stop the Shredder this time since he will not be expecting this attack."

"Hai Sensei," Raph and Leo bowed while Donnie continued to look worried but he also bowed.

"Then you should grab what you think you'll need and we can head out immediately," Dr. Rockwell smiled, his face morphing into determination, "We will then immediately begin planning the attack out."

"Wait, are we all going?" Casey asked curiously as he looked behind him at April and Shadow, who both looked worried beyond belief. He clenched his fists, "I think I should stay here with April, Shadow, and Splinter."

"Casey? You sure?" Raph asked, raising a brow at his friend. Casey just smirked and Raph blinked before he smirked back, "Well if you're sure."

"Yeah! I'll protect everyone else here and the lair just in case!" He cheered and they fist bumped.

"I'm going to stay too," Karai sighed heavily while everyone looked at her in surprise, "I have a bad feeling about myself leaving here. They were just attacking in the sewers today and I don't want any chances."

"Okay," Leo nodded, smiling at Karai. She paused and then grinned back, "I think Mike should come with us."

"Huh?" Mike gasped, hope blooming in his chest. He was so hoping that he wouldn't have to ask to come with them that time. He was getting scared outta his mind at the thought of being left behind.

"Do you think that is wise?" Leatherhead questioned, staring at Leo and then at Mike.

"Yes, one of their objectives if him after all," Leo explained slowly, "I have a feeling we should keep him close by. He'll be safe under our care and in your base with Mr. Kurtsman."

"I think so too," Donnie smiled as Mike beamed, relieved and excited. Raph chuckled and shook his head as he rubbed Mike's head.

"Yay! Thank you! Thank you, Leo!" Mike beamed as he launched himself at Leo, who was wholly unprepared for the sudden embrace. Mike wrapped his arms around Leo's neck and his legs around Leo's waist and held on for a big hug. Leo laughed after recovering from his shock and wrapped his arm around Mike's waist and then around his neck to cup the back on his head.

Donnie was practically vibrating with happiness that Leo was laughing and looking happy. Raph just seemed shocked that they were hugging like that all of a sudden while Master Splinter smiled fondly. Karai laughed behind her hand. Mike looked so small because the Turtles were so big, but also because of his age and the way he grew up eating.

Leo squeezed Mike close and knew he shouldn't be surprised that Mike was showing him such affection but he still felt like he wasn't used to it. And he knew he should be embarrassed to hold Mike and hug him in front of everyone, but he was reminded of Mike's story before and thought of how the poor kid grew up only wanting to have a family and be loved. So Leo squeezed him again, harder, just to hear Mike squeal and promised himself that he'd help make up for the affection Mike grew up without.

Chapter 21

Notes:

Hey! Hope you are all doing well during this pandemic! My family and I have been sick (not with the virus) because of all the allergies as well as up and down weather changes where I'm from. I'm finally getting better and feeling up to continuing all of my updates! Hope you enjoy! Stay safe guys!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Third Point of View:

"What do you mean your mission failed?!" Shredder roared, standing so abruptly that both Fishface and Razhar flinched on the sides of the throne-like chair Shredder usually sat upon. Hun, despite being injured, continued kneeling there unflinchingly while his Purple Dragons quivered slightly in their kneeling behind him.

"I was about to capture them when I was caught off guard by that stupid child," Hun ground out through his teeth. He hated sounded like he was making excuses but that was the only explanation he had to give. He never thought the child would attack him with an actual weapon.

"So you failed in capturing the turtles because of one little boy?" Shredder rumbled threateningly, taking a couple of steps down the small staircase from his chair. He felt so enraged to the point his clenched fists were white and his whole body was shaking, "You go around praising your own worth but you let a child catch you off guard? How could you allow such a thing to happen?"

Hun momentarily bit his gum hard as embarrassment and anger rushed through him but he was smart enough to not talk back to Shredder. He's seen what happens when you do. Hun thought about how to respond and thought back on what happened, "I subdued the purple-masked turtle and was threatening him with the purpose to capture his two brothers when the child came out of no where behind me. I didn't sense him beforehand. He landed a hard blow across my head with a kusari-fundo. He continued to hit me with it while I was down until I blacked out momentarily, allowing them to escape."

Shredder went rigid, his eyes widening slightly at the explanation. His rage lessened as confusion rushed forward, "A kusari-fundo? A chain with a weighted end?"

"Yes, that is what he used. He used it quite well, like he knew what he was doing," Hun explained, hoping to lessen his embarrassment over the fact he was caught off guard. When he peeked up at Shredder to gauge his reaction, he didn't expect to see surprise all over Shredder's face behind his kabuto.

"And the child is young...with no prior training?" Shredder asked aloud, his expression clouding over in deep thought. Behind him, Fishface and Razhar shared a bemused look.

"Master Shredder?" Fishface questioned, unsure of what to make of his expression. Shredder ignored the others for a few silent moments.

"Very well. I want to revise our plan of trying to flood the sewers with chemicals. It seems it would take too much time and effort to do so," Shredder said seriously, a manic gleam in his eyes.

"Okay. Then what do you propose we do for now?" Hun asked, looking up at Shredder in both surprise and apprehension. Shredder looked down at him blankly.

"I will hold up my end of our arrangement. The evidence you so fear will be in your hands soon," Shredder smirked and Hun frowned, "In return, I want the boy. It seems there is much I don't know about his circumstances. I'm quite interested in why the Turtles are fighting so hard to protect him."

"Haven't they always tried to be heroes?" Razhar said half-sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Shredder glared his way.

"There's something more to it then protecting an innocent. From what the Purple Dragons have reported, it seems they've formed some special connection with the boy. I intend to find out why the boy is so special in their mind," Shredder spoke mildly, his eyes dancing with interest, "If I find out what their motivations are then I can use it against them."

"So our plans have changed to capturing the boy and the evidence, just as before?" Hun clarified, needing to make sure he was on the same page. Lately, it seemed that Shredder didn't always make sense. Hun stared at him. Well, he wouldn't dare let anyone know that he thought Shredder was literally going insane.

"Yes," Shredder nodded, his tone the rumble from before, "We will work on details later tonight. For now, increase security around the compound and send look-outs to search for any signs of the Turtles or those other pests. No doubt they will try to find me and our current hideout."

"Yes Master," Hun, Razhar, and Fishface said respectfully, bowing. Shredder paid them no more attention as he turned and walked back to sit at his chair, deep in thought again. The Purple Dragons immediately followed after Hun as he walked away without a second glance. Fishface looked at Razhar before closing his eyes and marching off to do what was ordered.

Micah's Point of View:

The place we arrived at was a rather big building that was well hidden among other buildings around it. I watched from Donnie's back as they opened the sliding garage-like door and we entered a big space. It looked just like a big warehouse that you could fit cars inside, only most of the big space was cleared. In the back stood a man in front of a table filled with papers and computer equipment. It was almost like Donnie's lab.

I blinked when the Mighty Mutanimals greeted him. Donnie put me down and looked at me, "That man there is Mr. Kurtsman, he owns this building."

Mr. Kurtsman looked over our way with wide eyes at that exact moment. I stared at him curiously, a feeling a familiarity hitting me. I smiled, realizing that this was a person Mikey knew and liked, that was why I had that feeling. Mr. Kurtsman had a brown hat covering his short grey hair and was wearing a trench coat.

"Hello Mr. Kurtsman," Leo greeted him as the turtles and I got closer to him and the Mighty Mutanimals, "Thank you for letting us stay here tonight."

"It's no problem," Mr. Kurtsman smiled before he glanced my way again. Leo followed his gaze and then he smiled at me. I looked down shyly, "So you're Micah?"

"Mike, please," I replied quickly, looking up slightly. He blinked at the name before smiling.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Mr. Kurtsman!" He greeted, holding out his hand. I stared at him for a second before shaking his hand with a beam, "If you need anything be sure to let me know."

"Okay!" I agreed, still beaming.

"You guys can set up where you'll sleep on the platform," Spike suddenly spoke up and I glanced at him. He was looking at Leo and Raph as he spoke though, "Sorry there's no better place to sleep."

"No problem," Raph shrugged, looknig unphased, "It won't kill us to sleep on the floor."

"Besides, that's why we brought sleeping bags," Donnie added as he padded the large bag he packed before we left.

They continued talking but I zoned out as I looked around, studying the whole place. There was trash littered in some places but it seemed like the Mighty Mutanimals attempted to make this their home. I could tell because of randomly placed couches or chairs. There was even a small TV tucked in a corner on the other side of the room. I wonder if it worked?

I glanced back at the others and noticed that they were moving around the table and around the place now. Donnie, Leo, and Raph were talking intently to Spike, Mr. Kurtsman, and Dr. Rockwell. I blinked when a shadow fell over me. I looked over my shoulder on my other side to see Leatherhead hovering over me, just staring for a minute.

"Are you alright?" He finally asked and for some reason I smiled wide.

"Yup! Areyouokay?" I retorted with a tilt of my head, apparently catching him off guard with my question. He chuckled as he nodded, "Awesome! This place isn't bad at all. I like it!"

"It is a good home," Leatherhead agreed slowly but something seemed distant in his gaze. I decided not to ask about it. I didn't want to bring up anything sad.

"Mike."

I turned my head as Donnie walked over to me. I smiled slightly at him since he was already smiling at me but behind his purple mask, I could tell that he had dark circles under his eyes. He had to be super tired!

"Hiya Donnie!" I greeted with an enthusiastic wave. He chuckled softly as he stopped in front of me, "What's up?"

"Wanna help me set up the sleeping bags up on the platform?" He asked softly. I glanced at his shell and finally noticed he was still carrying the large bag he had earlier.

"Sure!" I said, delighted he was asking for my help. I'd do anything for Donnie, of course! He smiled warmly as he held out his hand to me. I beamed over my shoulder at Leatherhead, who looked startled before smiling back, before taking Donnie's hand and letting him lead me away. I noticed that Spike was still talking with Raph, Leo, and Mr. Kurtsman. They were all leaning over the table staring at what looked like a really large map.

My attention was stolen when Donnie took a right turn to lead me into the back. We went up the stairs that led to a platform that semi-wrapped around the whole building inside. It was kinda high up but heights never really bothered me so it wasn't a big deal.

"How does your ankle feel?" Donnie questioned out of nowhere, almost making me jump. We stopped in the center of the platform, not too far away from where Leo and the others stood below.

"It's okay. It feels really sore sometimes and stings if I move it a lot but it doesn't last long," I answered truthfully, remembering how it didn't hurt that much when I had followed the turtles in the sewers earlier.

"That's good. I didn't even think to check on it earlier," Donnie sighed, looking a bit guilty and even stressed as he fished through his bag and pulled the first sleeping bag out. I frowned.

"It's okay! It doesn't really hurt!" I insisted and he glanced over at me with a small smile.

"You'll tell me if it does hurt though, won't you?" He pressed and I nodded enthusiastically so that he wouldn't worry so much. I'm not sure if it helped. He smoothed the first sleeping bag on the ground and then pulled out the second, handing it to me, "Can you smooth this one as best you can next to the one I just did?"

"Sure thing!" I beamed as I immediately starting doing just that.

"Oh, but don't put them too close. Raph will have a fit," Donnie laughed slightly as I paused. I guess that does sound like Raph. I smiled to myself as I moved the sleeping bag further away and smoothed it as straight as I could. We did the last two in silence and as I stood from finishing mine Donnie sighed heavily and sat down close to the railing with a thud. My eyes widened at him as I saw a confused and distressed look cross his face.

"Donnie? What's wrong?!" I asked, moving to sit down next to him. He sat crisscross and I shoved my legs through the opening of the railing so that my feet dangled mid-air.

"I wanted to ask you something, but I'm not sure how to..." Donnie trailed off, staring at the ground blankly. He seemed to be thinking real hard about whatever was bothering him.

"Well, you can ask me!" I encouraged, feeling determined, "I'll try and answer best I can for you!"

Donnie finally looked over at me with a small smile and it was genuine, making me relax a little. I wonder what he was so worried about? Hopefully he tells me! Donnie stared at me for a moment longer before finally speaking again.

"Do you remember earlier today...when you called me 'D'?" He inquired slowly, like this was hard to ask. I felt confused for two seconds before realizing what he was talking about. I called him 'D' earlier today and remembered how he, along with Raph and Leo, looked shocked when I called him that. I didn't want to bring anything bad up, so I hadn't asked why they reacted that way at the time.

My eyes widened and my heart skipped a beat, "Uh...yes..."

"I'm not mad," Donnie reassured quickly once he looked at me again, "But can you tell me why you called me that?"

Feeling a tiny bit relieved that he wasn't mad or upset, I put my hand over my mouth, thinking hard. I don't remember thinking about calling him that, I just did it. It was something that just came out of my mouth...

I looked over at him hesitantly, "I...I didn't really think anything when I said it. It just kind of came out of my mouth like it was natural."

Donnie's face clouded over and he actually grimaced as he looked sadly at the ground. My heart fell into my stomach, "Sorry. For some reason, when you called me that, it made me incredibly sad."

"I-I-I'm sorry," I stuttered, wide-eyed and unable to do anything else. I knew he might have been sad but hearing it and knowing it was my fault was like a slap in the face.

"It's not your fault, Mike. You didn't know," Donnie soothed but he didn't look at me, "It made me sad because it was Mikey's nickname for me. He used it a lot."

I clenched onto the railing, not remembering when I even grabbed it and looked helplessly at the floor. He isn't mad at me, but it's no denying that I'm the one that made him feel sad, even if he doesn't blame me.

"No one else called me that except Leo but even then it was once in a blue moon. I think even April used it once or twice, but that's only because they always heard Mikey using it," Donnie explained with an affectionate huff. Then he slowly frowned, looking ready to start tearing up, "I don't know why...hearing it from you was really painful."

"I'm really sorry Donnie," I apologized thickly, feeling ready to start crying myself. I'm such a crybaby. He's going to eventually get tired of me if I keep crying!

"Like I said, you couldn't have known," Donnie assured as he wiped a hand down his face, "I'm not mad...I just thought you should know. I don't know, it's silly, but realizing that I'd never hear Mikey calling me that again just made me really emotional. Sorry."

"Y-You don't have to be sorry," I wilted, my eyes burning and my throat still feeling thick. I thought of my mom and how, on occasion, I'd hear a woman's voice out in the streets that sounded like hers. I remember how I'd get excited, briefly thinking it was her alive and well, only for it not to be that way. I remember how painful that felt, "I'm sorry I made you sad."

"You didn't make me sad, Mike," Donnie replied immediately with a strong tone. I flinched when he grabbed one of my hands which were still gripping the railing, "I knew that you noticed my reaction when you called me that so I wanted to explain why."

I nodded and he smiled softly, continuing, "Again, I'm not mad...but please don't call me 'D', okay?"

"Okay, Donnie. I understand," I nodded again, swallowing thickly. Ididunderstand. That was Mikey's nickname for him and he didn't want anyone else using it.

"Thanks, buddy," Donnie slowly beamed and I blinked in surprise when he rubbed my head softly, "I'm sorry I madeyouupset. Are you okay?"

"I'm okay," I smiled, feeling a bit relieved knowing he really wasn't upset with me, "I was sad to know I made you upset but sometimes you can't help getting sad when you think of people you love that died."

"That's true," Donnie said, staring at me fondly. We sat in silence for a minute but it didn't feel uncomfortable.

"So what are you two up to now?"

We both turned to our left to see Leo and Raph coming up the steps. Though their faces were blank, I somehow knew they were worried. They must have seen some of our expressions. For some reason, I couldn't fight a big grin.

"We were just talking," Donnie grinned as well. Leo and Raph sat down next to us, "Did you come up with the plan for tomorrow?"

"Yeah," Leo nodded seriously, looking at each his brothers and then looking at me, "The Mutanimals discovered where Shredder's current hideout is. He will be there with the Purple Dragon and his foot clan when we attack."

"And we'll be stormin' the place tomorrow morning," Raph smirked eagerly as he stared off into the distance.

"All of us?" Donnie questioned as he threw a worried glance my way, "What about Mike?"

"Mike'll be staying here with Mr. Kurtsman, Dr. Rockwell, and Pete," Leo answered softly as he looked at Donnie, "I don't want Mike to be too close to Shredder's compound but he can't be left alone here either. Plus if he's at the lair, it's still possible he could be found since there are lingering enemies in the tunnels."

"Karai will handle them," Raph butt in with the smirk still on his face, "And I feel sorry for them if she catches them."

Leo smirked back to my surprise as he nodded in agreement. I looked at them admirably as I thought about Karai. They respect her so she must also be powerful! Donnie laughed after looking at me.

I pouted as he laughed and leaned back to pull my legs back because they were starting to become uncomfortable dangling there. I shifted to get comfortable and out of my sweatpants pocket fell the chain weapon from earlier. I forget I carried it with me. I paled as the turtles looked down at the weapon before their eyes widened.

"You still have that?" Raph asked his voice both rough and surprised as his expression morphed into a deadpan one. Leo and Donnie both looked blank.

"Y-Yeah, I forgot I still had it on me though," I shrugged as I picked it up and stared down at the chain in my hands. I briefly remembered putting it in my pocket at some point after I cleaned it in the kitchen sink before we left but I can't believe I just forgot about it.

"Do you like it?" Leo asked slowly, staring at me intently. The rest of us looked at him in surprise at the unexpected question. I thought about it. Did I like the chain? I looked down at it. It felt right in my hands. I was happy when I used it to protect Donnie from that Hun guy earlier.

"I do," I answered as I smiled but I didn't look up at them yet to see their reaction, "I don't know why I do but I just do. It feels right. I just saw this before and thought it would be useful, but I'm glad I decided to grab it."

"You used it really well before..." Leo continued and I glanced up to see Donnie staring at me thoughtfully. Raph was frowning in a confused way, "It was as if Mikey were fighting."

I tensed as soon as I heard the name but none of them reacted badly to it so I relaxed, "I...I just started hitting him without thinking. I'm just glad I was able to help Donnie."

Donnie smiled then, "Yeah, you did a very good job."

Beaming in return at the praise, Leo chuckled before looking over his shoulder briefly. I realized after he touched his weapon that this is what he was looking at, "Do you know why we use the weapons we do?"

"Um...because you like them?" I answered uncertainly. They all chuckled.

"Yeah, we like them. It's because it is what we're the best at," Raph retorted as he ran his thumbs over his two weapons. I blinked.

"Master Splinter says that the weapon chooses its master," Leo added in with a nostalgic smile on his face, "He says they reflect their users. Every person is drawn to a different weapon."

"W-What are your weapons called again?" I asked, my hands curling around the chain in my hands. I felt a sense of excitement course through me.

"Leo uses the katana swords," Donnie spoke up as he looked at me gently, "Raph uses the sai and I use the bo staff. Mikey used nun-chucks when he was still alive. You remember those, right?"

"Oh yeah!" I gasped before nodding, "I remember seeing them in the dojo!"

"They're almost similar to the weapon in your hands," Leo explained as he nodded down to my hands. I looked at the chain in wonder, "Except nun-chucks have two handles and a chain. What you have there is a kusari-fundo...which is essentially a long chain with a weighted end."

"Kusari-fundo..." I repeated with a bright smile as I touched the weapon, "So...I like the weapon so much because...it chose me?"

"Maybe," Raph chuckled for some reason, "You haven't yet trained with other weapons."

"Raph's right. Until you try all different types of weapons you won't know for sure," Donnie explained with a bright smile, "But the kusari-fundo might just be right for you."

"Yay! I hope so!" I beamed cheerfully and they laughed.

"You have quite the ways to go before you can use real weapons though," Leo warned playfully and I wilted, "But if the weapon means that much to you then you can keep it in your room for now."

"Really?!" I brightened as Donnie and Raph threw Leo a look I couldn't understand.

"As long as you promise not to play around with it too much, especially alone. You could get hurt, you understand? It may not look like it but itcanhurt you," Leo cautioned seriously and I looked down wide eyed, "You can't use it by yourself until we say otherwise, okay?"

"Okay. I promise, Leo," I nodded seriously and was rewarded with one of Leo's genuine smiles.

"Well, I guess it's okay since you're so excited about it," Donnie sighed with a smile after looking at my face. I giggled.

"Donatello!" Dr. Rockwell called, catching our attention, "Apologies, but could you help me with a few details?"

"Of course," Donnie agreed as he stood and stretched. He glanced at me, "I'll be right back."

"Okay!" I answered cheerfully, making him smile as he walked away. Leo and Raph watched him for a second before looking away.

"Hey Leo...?" I spoke up, feeling a bit hesitant about what I was about to ask. Both brothers blinked before looking at me. It was kind of funny, "Can you help me practice the katas you guys have been teaching me?"

Raph immediately turned to look at Leo and to my amazement, Leo looked dumb stricken for a moment. Then the emotions that ran through his face went from shock, confusion, excitement, and proudness. I blinked, feeling stunned. I'd only asked if he'd practice with me. Why was that such a big deal to him?

"Yes, of course!" He beamed as he stood and I stood as well, still confused. Raph burst out laughing, making me jump slightly at how loud he was.

"Guess ya never thought ya'd see the day were you had a willing student, huh Leo?" Raph teased as Leo blushed slightly, before glaring at Raph.

"What do you mean?" I asked, tilting my head in confusion. Raph turned his smirk on me.

"Leo is such a Splinter Junior, so we never liked to listen to him when we trained under him. No one looked forward to it. But here you are excited and wanting Leo to teach ya," Raph laughed some more as he remembered Leo's expression a second ago, "He looked so excited!"

"Enough Raph," Leo warned, clearly embarrassed as I looked on in shock. He turned to me, huffing, "Don't worry about him. Let's go down below so we can train easier."

"Um, okay," I smiled, walking over to him and grabbing his hand. He blinked down at me, his eyes wide for some reason, "What?"

"Nothing," Leo shook his head before walking away, blankly calling over his shoulder, "Maybe you should be practicing too, Raph!"

"Can it, Leo!" Raph replied, not sounding mad in the least. I giggled to myself as I held Leo's hand. I heard a click and then saw a quick flash before Leo stopped dead in his tracks and glared over his shoulder. I looked as well to see Raph with the T-Phone Donnie once showed me in his hand.

"You did not just take a picture..." Leo growled, trailing off. I watched him worriedly. Was he really mad? Why did Raph take a picture? What's going on?!

"Sorry," Raph apologized, not sounding sincere in the least as he laughed, "I just wanted to take this picture of you holding tyke's hand so you could see how silly you look!"

Leo argued with him while I looked at my hand in Leo's, surprised. Raph took a picture because I'm holding Leo's hand? Wait, was that why Leo was shocked earlier? Because I held his hand? Was I not supposed to?

I let go of his hand quickly, a bit too quickly, earning their attention, "S-Sorry! I'm just so used to Donnie grabbing my hand or me holding his hand that I didn't think about it."

"No, don't worry about it. Raph just likes to pick on everyone," Leo explained with a smile as he grabbed my hand again, this time tightly. He then leaned over closer to me, "You see...Raph's actually a bully."

"A-A bully?!" I boomed, immensely surprised by this.

"Hey! I'm not a bully! Don't tell him that!" Raph growled as Leo laughed loudly though I'm not sure if I made him laugh or Raph. Probably both of us.

"Yeah he is...a big bully!" Leo told me as I looked at Raph with wide eyes. Raph rolled his own eyes.

"Don't listen to him, tyke," He said as he looked at me. I looked between Leo and Raph. Leo was still chuckling.

"Let's start practicing a bit before we finish up for the night," Leo addressed me before pulling me away. Raph fumed behind us as he got up, arguing almost playfully with Leo as he continued to pull me away. I looked up at him and he grinned, winking at me. I beamed, realizing they were just playing and joking around. Amazing! Leo chuckled again.

I thought about something else I wanted to tell them about, but decided against it. I made Donnie sad earlier, I don't want to do the same with Leo and Raph. I was going to ask them about the fact I thought I heard Mikey's voice in my head encouraging me to follow after them in the sewer earlier. I don't know why I thought it was him encouraging me, but it just sounded like a inner thought from him. That's impossible right?

If I tell them I think I heard Mikey's voice in my mind then they'll think I'm crazy.

Leonardo's Point of View:

After I helped Mike practice a few katas, I was both amazed and starstruck by how well he was doing and how well he remembered everything we taught him. It made me remember that my baby brother himself was incredibly gifted at ninjitsu but he lacked the attention span to completely focus on training. Mike didn't seem to have the same attention span problem as Mikey had.

I remember how I used to feel jealous of Mikey growing up because he never took long to master a kata our father taught us. I only got as good as I am now through constant hard work and practice. Mikey could have been even better than me if he had truly applied himself and were still alive today...

Shaking my head to clear my thoughts I looked at Donnie as he explained some of the important mechanisms and locks to Shredder's compound. I had already heard this from Dr. Rockwell earlier so I kind of tuned it out.

Glancing to the side, I watched Raph and Leatherhead with Mike. Mike was beaming as he swung his legs back and forth from where he sat on Leatherhead's back. I huffed, smiling a little. Mike convinced Leatherhead to play with him earlier, much to Raph's and my own shock. Looks like he's currently getting a piggy-back ride. They were close enough to us that we could hear what they said and vice versus, so Raph constantly glanced over at Donnie and Dr. Rockwell as they spoke.

"Oh, that's right!" Donnie suddenly spoke up and something in his tone made both Raph, Mike, and I look over at him. He was fishing in the bag over his shoulder and brought out the disc that was part of the center of our whole problem with the Purple Dragons. I heard Mike gasp when he saw it. It contained information his parents died to protect after all. I frowned slightly.

"I want to entrust this evidence to you Mr. Kurtsman," Donnie said seriously as he handed the item over to said man. Mr. Kurtsman looked at it with wide eyes as he took it, "It contains video, audio, and other evidence needed to prove crimes the Purple Dragons have committed in the past."

"Really?" Mr. Kurtsman gasped as Donnie nodded, "Then...you want me to turn this into the police I presume?"

"Yes, my family can't do it for obvious reasons," Donnie smiled a bitter smile, "But I believe it needs to be turned in to the police."

"Me too," Mike spoke up and we all looked at him. He looked serious, "My mom and dad died because of that evidence. We should make sure the police know about it so they can catch all the bad guys!"

"I'll do that," Mr. Kurtsman smiled gently at Mike, who looked surprised. He does that sometimes when anyone acts kind to him. It's like he doesn't expect it most times. The thought makes me sad and guilty for how I treated him when I first met him.

"Just be careful," Donnie warned warily, "I'm giving it to you but this is what the Purple Dragons and Foot clan are after. Don't let them have any knowledge that you have it or are turning it in. If they figure it out they will target you."

Mr. Kurtsman's eyes widened as he looked at Donnie then at me. I nodded to affirm the seriousness of the situation. His face turned serious and he nodded back to Donnie, who smiled in relief. Suddenly I had a bad feeling and turned to look at Mike before my eyes widened.

Mike's face lost color as various emotions ran across his face. He stared at Mr. Kurtsman blankly, almost as if he weren't seeing him. The emotions that ran across his face were surprise, horror, and anxiety. The horror and anxiety grew on his face to the point even Raph and Leatherhead noticed.

"Tyke?" Raph asked, slightly alarmed when he saw how white Mike now looked. I stepped forward as soon as I realized his breathing was off. The moment I moved Mike started breathing too fast, obviously hyperventilating. Leatherhead's eyes grew large as he quickly pulled Mike off his back.

Everything happened so quick. Leatherhead had Mike sitting up, braced against him as Donnie pushed past me to kneel in front of Mike, looking panicked. I knelt on the other side of Donnie as Raph stood there beside me, watching us in shock. I knew Mr. Kurtsman was standing behind us, mirroring Raph's expression.

"What's the matter with him?" Leatherhead asked anxiously as Mike continued to breath in small pants like he couldn't pull in air at all.

"He's having a panic attack!" Donnie said loudly, his tone stressed. Immediately after that though he switched to doctor mode and started coaching Mike to breath slowly. For a moment it didn't seem to be working.

"Come on, Mike," I interrupted as Mike's eyes wildly landed on me. I frowned, "It's okay. Listen to Donnie. Just breath slowly, one at a time, okay?"

Poor Mike tried to nod as he continued to listen to Donnie murmuring at him and Leatherhead's quiet encouragement. I tried to think back on what brought on this current panic attack but couldn't think of any reason why he panicked. What set him off? I looked at Raph as we shared a concerned look. He was just as lost as I was.

As soon as he was calm enough though, Mike immediately started crying. Not just any crying...this was the ugly-type of crying. The type of crying that left your throat thick and clogged up and the type to leave alligator tears running down your cheeks. We all stared, stunned for a moment.

"Mike, buddy, calm down!" Donnie tried to soothe despite looking close to a panic attack himself. I, myself, felt panicky. What was wrong with him all of a sudden? I desperately grabbed one of his hands and squeezed it.

"What's wrong, Mike? Why are you so upset?" I asked, trying to be heard over his sobbing. He wiped at his face with his other hand but the crocodile tears kept rolling down his freckled cheeks.

"W-What Donnie s-s-said earlier," Mike stuttered and I felt lost for a second, "A-About M-Mr. K-Ku-Kur..."

"Mr. Kurtsman?" Leatherhead finished for him as Mike sobbed. Mike nodded.

"You mean the warnin' Donnie gave him?" Raph questioned, sounding lost and frustrated, "Why'd that make you cry like this?"

Mike sniffed hard, clearly trying to regain control of his crying but failing. I was really worrying at this point because his face was red and his eyes already swelling. Donnie's hands started shaking.

"E-Everyone th-th-that tries t-to help me e-ends updead!" Mike wailed loudly as another round of sobbing and tears started, as fresh as before. Donnie sat back, stunned. I paled as I figured out what he was saying and why he said that.

Raph blanched and uncrossed his arms as he stared with wide eyes at Mike, "You think it's your fault that your mom and dad died?"

Mike nodded, covering his face with his hands, his voice sounding extremely muffled, "A-And my friend from t-the junk-junkyard! Everyone that t-tries to help me g-gets hurt or d-dies!"

"And you got scared thatthatwould happen again? To Mr. Kurtsman?" I guessed as Raph and Mr. Kurtsman tensed. Mike nodded.

I frowned sadly for a second. Mike was just a 8 year old boy and after all he's been through this panic attack seems normal. It was like he was overwhelmed by feelings of fear when he thought about Donnie's warning to Mr. Kurtsman. It seemed to be something he thought about a lot.

"Oh Mike..." Donnie trailed off, tears in his brown eyes. I tensed at seeing that. Donnie opened his arms and Leatherhead silently released Mike as Donnie pulled the kid into his arms. Mike immediately latched onto Donnie and shoved his face into Donnie's shoulder, his crying now lessening.

"I'll get some water," Leatherhead spoke quietly, though his eyes were blank, almost dark. I could kind of understand. Why did an 8 year old boy have to carry such burden and fear to the point of panic attacks?

Donnie silently rubbed Mike's back as Raph squatted down where Leatherhead had been, watching them despondently. It took a few minutes but Mike's cries lessened even more, except for the occasional gasp or sigh that escaped his mouth. I noticed Mr. Kurtsman quietly usher everyone away to give us privacy. I was grateful. Mike was probably going to get embarrassed about his panic attack but he shouldn't have to.

"Are you okay now, Mike?" Donnie asked softly as he rubbed at his blonde hair.

Mike silently nodded, apparently not trusting his voice yet. Donnie scowled sadly, "Sorry, Mike. I didn't think about what you might be feeling."

"It's okay. Not your fault," Mike whispered, "Sorry I cried like a baby."

"It's normal," Raph immediately grunted out, surprising us all, "You're not a baby just because you cried. So don't worry about that."

Mike's tired, emotional eyes, brightened towards our brother. It sparkled to life some and Raph blinked before blushing and looking away. I grinned before turning to Mike, "Raph's right. After all you've been through, it's normal that you got overwhelmed."

He looked at me, looking tired again. His voice was still quiet when he spoke up again, "I'm just tired of it..."

"Of what?" We all asked simultaneously before pausing to look at each other in surprise.

"Of people I love dying," Mike replied tearfully, pressing into Donnie's shoulder some more. A pang hit my heart as I thought of Mikey. The others sent him distraught looks as well. We could all relate to that.

I leaned in closer to his face as he watched me, "Me too Mike. But if we try our best and do everything we can, we can protect those we love."

"Really? You really think so?" Mike asked slowly as he stared at me.

"Iknowso," I answered with a warm smile. He lifted his head to look at all three of us before he let out a genuine smile. The tension in our bodies released at the sight of it.

"Thanks," Mike smiled, his eyes sparkling a little bit more, "I guess...I guess I just needed to say all that."

"Yeah, sometimes we just need to vent," Donnie agreed as he hugged Mike closer, "Don't be ashamed of that. You can tell usanything!"

Mike looked at Donnie in amazement and I chuckled, "What he said. And don't be embarrassed about having a panic attack. It happens to the best of us sometimes."

"R-Really?" He asked, looking at Raph and myself with uncertainty. My face dropped slightly and so did Raph's, but we both nodded anyway. Well it wasn't a lie. Sometimes even we panic and have things like panic attacks.

Mike wordlessly smiled and laid his head back on Donnie's shoulder. We continued talking quietly to each other and to him before he conked out, sleeping against Donnie peacefully.

"Thanks guys for helping me calm him down," Donnie whispered as he looked at us, distraught, "I didn't think he'd have one like that."

"No problem, Donnie...and no one did," Raph sighed, rubbing a hand on his face. I frowned thoughtfully as I stared at Mike.

"Sometimes Micah just acts so mature for his age in some ways and not in others," I spoke up as they looked at me in surprise.

"Hmm...you're right," Donnie agreed thoughtfully, "For the most part, he handles death and tragedy pretty well for his age."

"He kinda had to," Raph retorted darkly and we both sighed in agreement.

"Well not only because he had no choice...I thought it was because he's like Mikey due to his happy-go-lucky type of personality and the way even Mikey was able to push past pain," Donnie explained seriously and I inwardly agreed with him.

Leatherhead returned with a water bottle but blinked when he saw Mike sleeping. He handed it to me instead, "This is in case anyone needs it."

"Thank you," I smiled slightly and he did not return it. He gazed at Mike sadly.

"The rest of us are turning in for the night," Leatherhead informed, "You all should as well so that we can start on the plan first thing in the morning."

"Yeah, you're right," I nodded. Leatherhead bid us goodnight and walked away with sagging shoulders. Donnie stood slowly after repositioning his arms around Mike. We followed silently as he carried him back onto the platform and carefully placed him in one of the sleeping bags.

"Well, goodnight guys. Wake me if you need me," Raph yawned as he went to the last sleeping bag and crawled in. I rolled my eyes and went towards the one on Mike's other side.

"Goodnight."

Donnie crawled into the sleeping bag in the middle of Mike and Raph then sighed, "Goodnight guys."

Tomorrow would be a long day.

Notes:

Let me know what you thought. I appreciate all of your reviews! If anything confused you then be sure to let me know and I'll address it in the next chapter.

Reincarnation - KimiNinja03 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TV 2012) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

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