What he did know, was that he was the last. The last of a species, the last protégé, and the last brother. And he had been alone for a very long time.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the turtles.
The lair was silent now. Yet sounds seemed to echo in the silence from times from before.
Of four teenagers and their caring father . The sounds of memories echoed from the walls that were coated in years of happiness, anger, frustration, amusement and love. All of the old lairs seemed to have a rhythm or a beat, but not the same ring.
He’d discovered that in their first lair, the one that they had grown from wobbly toddlers to fluid teenagers, had a soft bubbly beat to the walls.
Sort of like a soft combination of their voices and back ground noises. A beat that was moving and fluid as it softly escalated and then repeated from a slower tempo. As if their first years were the calm and excitement of growing, learning and becoming who they once were.
There were flashes of movement also. Not many but some times If he was still enough he could see them. Like in this moment now.
Phantom images of turtle children flew passed him. One with a purple bandanna chasing another crimson colored banded turtle. A smile lit his face softly as the images disappeared around the corner. He would not chase them, knowing now that it would be useless.
A cough broke the echoing beat of silence and he grimaced as his lung seized on him. His shell cell beeped at him a couple times, comforting in the closing silence. He grimaced knowing that the walls would be truly silent for now.
It had been years since he’d last returned to the city, or to any of the lairs for that matter. There was too much pain too many memories from the past that haunted him. So much resentment and loneliness that suffocated him.
Staying here afterward had nearly killed him. He’d been bombarded by the chaos of his own emotions and grief. He’d very nearly suffocated emotionally and physically from being alone.
Then it all just went away. Some how some way he’d managed to push it all away, as if it were someone else’s pain, some other poor guy’s sorrows. He’d managed to separate himself from everything, and in doing so he cut himself off from most of his own personality.
He’d woken up one morning his thoughts numb and his body moved as if on auto pilot. The crushing weight of his overwhelming thoughts and emotions no longer holding him down. The force was held behind a wall he didn’t remember constructing, but now that it was gone he was safe. If not mentally.
He’d gathered a few items and left. Leaving behind the only world he’d ever known. Leaving behind sorrows so immense that he’d had to push most of it away to be able to live. If being only a tenth of who you once were, with no home and no family, could really be called living.
That had been nearly ten years ago. He hadn’t been back since.
He’d moved randomly at first. The cut off emotions too new and raw to do much more than go through life randomly. Then after about a year of wandering he’d found himself wandering down a random road and saw a sign, he‘d felt something weird begin to uncurl in his chest. A need that wasn‘t fixed by water or food. Something different, and light, and wanting. Then the dead shell cell beeped for the first time since the battery had died a few days after he left nearly a year earlier. He’d found himself following the sign rushing through the night to his destination.
‘Nevada Science exhibit 23 miles’
He’d kept in contact with April and Casey for the most part. Sending post cards from the places that he’d visit. He never wrote much on them, sometimes he’d even remember to jot his name down. More often then not he wouldn’t write anything besides the address. Occasionally he’d be in the same place for long enough to get a letter back.
The way he found the letters that were sent back was odd in any way shape or form. His cell would start a tune, a quick little melody and vibrate once. It was usually a text message that said. “You have mail.” Then the phone would shut off again. It never fazed him, but nothing much did. He’d walk to the nearest mail box and there Aprils letter would be, with a completely different address than the one that he’d picked it up from.
April almost always wrote nearly the same thing every time. A couple updates on her and Casey’s life together, about them and their children. But mostly; ‘Are you alright.’ the hidden meaning was there as always ‘are you sane?’
He hadn’t been sane in a long time. He’d seen and done thing’s in his time their and away that couldn’t be considered sane by any means. That was just how things were now. He’d travel and experience different thing’s with little emotion, but eyes that still sparked in wonder every now and again. The Dull expression in his eyes though, the vacancy shone through like a beacon in nearly any other aspect of his life now, sane was a far off cry of what he was.
He’d once wondered on how he’d been able to cope with everything. The dreams he had sometimes made it harder to not try and puzzle it out. In a way he knew his past. He just refused to acknowledge it. Once when he was wounded from a skirmish and a fever ravished his already unstable mind he tested the walls inside of him. Tried to see if he could ‘feel’ anything. Pushed against the resisting force that held him away from the experiences of his past.
When he’d next felt aware of his surroundings, it was two months later and he’d been in a completely different country. There were many new scars, some weeks old and some fresh. A couple looked to be from fighting, but some were self inflicted. He’d looked at them in dull awareness. Only knowing that he’d have to clean himself up. What did have him blinking in a spark of true curiosity, were the scars that had once been very deep. Even life threatening if not treated correctly. All of those scars and cuts had criss-cross marks, or even stitches in them. Clean and precise. More precise than he could ever manage.
He knew, after the missing two months not to test what he was now.
It was more than a word. It was the feeling, that he felt every moment of every day now. Empty. Vacant. Blank. Void. That was all that was inside of him now. A vague child like curiosity lightened his awareness, but nothing more. It was enough to keep him moving. Occasionally random sights or signs would spark something more within him and he’d find himself doing thing’s that made him feel good, not so much numb, and not fearful of the experience.
There were times though that he could barely remember his own name. Occasionally, on his more lucid day’s he even wondered if he really was who he thought he was. What he did know, was that he was the last. the last of a species, the last protégé, and the last brother, and he’d been alone for a very long time.
His shell cell beeped at him as if hearing his thoughts. He looked at it and patted it with a soft yet vacant smile on his face. The loneliness didn’t affect him as much as it maybe should have. He had moments that being alone had made him fearful, but it would pass with a breeze of cool air and a chirp from his phone. He’d smile vaguely and the feeling’s would slowly vanish.
It was a new feeling that encompassed him, while he was facing the sunset on some random cliff in China. It had him tilting his head in muted wonder. Like a gentle tug in his chest, he felt it all the way down to his toes. It was so different, this feeling. Among all of the emptiness and vague recognition of this life, that like a child, yearning for more, he’d followed the feeling here: Home.
During the journey the feeling had become more. More encompassing. It tingled in his heart and warmed him. It called to him and hugged him. Even the dead shell cell beeped more often. It had taken a while to follow it home even through the coughing that had started a year earlier. It got so bad it had escalated in blood soaked hands. As he made his way slowly back it retreated though, as if the feeling had pushed the illness back slightly. Although the slight weakness he’d started to feel was still there and continued to grow.
The wall inside of him that separated him from anything remotely close to real emotion felt far away now. It had started when he’d felt the tug. He felt even more numb now to the knowledge of his own past as he continued moving as if the feeling was trying to protect him from himself. But it was ok, because like a child he’d started to gaze at the world around him in wonder, amazement and even a little humor. His past though, started to come to him slowly and without pain. He’d reminisced through memory's, laughed and thought of times that hadn’t been thought of in over ten years. He knew instinctively of what had happened later but didn’t dwell on it.
He’d even thought to send April and Casey a letter. A real, letter not an empty post card.
Dear April and Casey,
He’d walked through the sewers with a vague hint of recognition in his eyes as he trailed his hand on the familiar walls and tunnels. First returning to the lair that they had been children in. He blinked at some of the dust covered computers and machinery there before continuing his examination of the ruined lair. A name flitted through his mind. Letters L H surfaced lingeringly and he stilled himself to listen, slight curves of his mouth as the sounds of the past started to make themselves known.
I’m sorry its been so long since you‘v heard from me. I really hope you guys are doing alright.
The coughing fit had startled him and the dust particles in the air. The blood on his hands had made him wonder, but not much. When the silence of the lair had began to encase him, he left and headed in the direction of another old lair.
I don’t really know how long I’ve been gone. And I’m truly sorry that I made you worry.
This one had a different feeling to it. The large chamber echoed in a excited beat of older voices It seemed to have a charge of electricity and an almost otherworldly sound. Yet gruff, amused and laughing words seemed to circle in the acoustics. Nearly destroyed it still sang of the time that his family had spent there.
There is so much that I want to say, and so much that I don’t know how to say.
It seemed that different areas change in tune. From harder faster paced beats to soft hums and even the buzz of electronics. Although one room had more of a living smell than the other’s soft sounds. The Familiar smoky smell filled him with ease, even his rattling breath came easier.
I’ve been gone a lot longer than I think I’ve been. Both mentally and physically. But its all in the past now. I think some how I did what I set out to do. Even though I didn’t know I was doing it.
He settled into a meditative position and sat listening to the sounds of the past. They surrounded him in a coating of protection. Even crumbled and broken their force of life that they’d once pushed into the walls thrummed in his heart. He even heard his own voice in the mix.
I know it sounds weird, but I really had no idea that I was even out to do anything. I’ve only now figured out what I’ve done and where I’ve gone. I’ve managed to blind myself to everything and everyone to protect myself.
His shell cell beeped at him. And he opened his eyes. The comforting sounds and smells of the past still lingering.
I traveled to every place that they ever wanted to. I saw everything that they couldn’t. I may not of experienced it in the way that they would have really wanted. But I did it.
Going to get up, the world spun as he rose. His chest constricting and he fought for control of his breathing as harsh coughs shook his frame. Blood splattered on to the floor where he crouched with a hand balancing him up. A knowing force seemed to help him though. After nearly ten minutes of regulated breathing he opened his eyes and got to his feet slowly. His shell beeped he looked at it curiously, eyes widening, this time the message panel was lit up.
I got to see all of Japan, China, Korea, Australia, Ice land and green land. And oddly enough I think it was Raph that wanted to see the Himalayas. I spoke briefly with the ancient one. I saw the pyramids by moonlight and lived through a sandstorm.
He gingerly took it off of his belt and flipped it open.
I saw the world covered in fireflies, and climbed the highest mountain in the world. I snuck on a submarine and swam with dolphins.
I did more than that though. I drank water in Fuji (its better than the water bottles) , and got drunk in Germany. I drove a race car in the middle of the desert and saw a real wrestling tournament.
A real smile lit his face. As the phone went dead again.
There was so much more that I did and I wish I could tell you about it all but I think that’d take like ten years.
The lair was cool and it seemed to be still in good condition. He trailed his hand on the railing above the work out area. It was clean, barely any dust. April was too good to them.
The sound’s from the walls here was more of a heart beat, that beat in time with his own. Soft noise’s echoed around him. Clicks and clangs from weapons connecting, the hum of a computer going, the noise of agile body’s sliding through air in quick movements. Even the background noise of a random soap opera theme song seemed to be within the mix. Voice’s soft and mixed, created a thread of life that bounced through the silence.
I’ve spent most of my time away in a sort of haze. And yet, some how I collected the experiences for them. Filed the sights, sounds, smells and tastes, all of it for them.
Out of the corner of his eyes he glimpsed Raph at the punching bag one arm around it as he looked up at him a smirk on his face before he vanished.
Life has been very different and difficult after.. Well after. I didn’t handle at all. I know that you guys tried to help me and I really do appreciate what you did for me. Hell for all of us. But I couldn’t stay.
He was starting to feel light headed again, gripping the railing when the feeling of gentle unseen hands on his shoulder and shell helped him to move forward.
Even being countries away, I was even farther away in my mind. Somehow though, I really don’t think I was alone. I don’t think I could have done all that I did alone. I’m sorry that this letter is weird and scattered, but then again I really don’t remember the last time I was coherent enough to write anyone.
Passing the kitchen he smelled pizza and coffee. Another image of three of them sitting, eating and drinking the coffee for breakfast as Splinter passed by shaking his head in amusement.. The vision was gone in an instant and an empty table sat in the darkness. But the smell remained.
They never left me. They’ve been here through all of it with me. I know it.
He made his way slowly passed the entertainment center. Seeing thing’s he’d never even thought he’d see again. Everything was still there as if they’d all just gone on some sort of vacation. He was forced to stop as he started coughing again. Noticing that the music didn’t stop this time he succumbed to the coughing fit and weakly sat on the couch gaining his breath back.
But now. I’ve seen it all. I’ve done what they wanted to do. What they couldn’t do.
Soft weathered hands brushed his sweat soaked forehead and he realized that he’d passed out. Sitting up from the couch he blinked and the image of his father disappeared. Standing up he continued to make his way to his original goal. Flickering candle light peaked through under the door of his goal making him pause in wonder.
I am coming home. But I don’t think I’m going to get the chance to see you guys again. I’m sorry.
He took a look behind him, his tired worn gaze sweeping his home. The memories flooding his heart with a sort of contentment and warmth. There was no more greif, fear, anger, sadness or numbness. It was all pushed away to make a kind of peaceful knowledge of home. Another cough startled his reverie and nearly brought him to his knees. The shell cell took that moment to beep and remind him of his quest.
I really hope you guys are happy. Casey be good to April and April you have my permission to use the moves Leo taught you. Tell the kids that there uncle says hi and he wishes that he could have met them.
He Got close to the door and it opened. Sliding softly to the side. Squinting his eyes a little at the soft burning light in the room he entered.
Tell them that all of there uncles will watch over them.
Walking into the room felt like the opening of a door within his mind and heart. A flood of warmth and love encased him as he viewed the center of the room where there weapons sat on a mantle. He knelt in front of it. Eyes taking in his fathers familiar cane and his brothers weapons the Twin Katana, Sais, Bo, and Nun chucks.
Please don’t be sad for me, us. We’ll see you again. Just remember we’ll always be here for you guys. And if you listen you’ll definitely hear us.
With shaking hands he took a deep painful breath and closed his eyes. A moment later the pain from his chest vanished.
“Its about time.” Raphs curt voice cut through the silence and his eye’s popped open in surprise. He leaped up from his place on the floor tackling his older sibling.
“Raph!” Strong arms wrapped around him.
“Yeah Yeah, I missed you too buddy.” He hugged him close feeling his own eyes tear up from the emotions cascading through all of them.
“Hey what are we? Chopped liver?” Another voice sounded behind him. He turned his eye’s wide and tearful.
There in front of him were his two other brothers and his father. His family. Blinking in wonder he stared was gently pushed from Raph into the next nearest brother. “Leo.” He breathed and his eldest brother’s arms were around him and he was crying.
“I’ve missed you guys so much!” His voice cracked with emotion.
Leo pulled away his one arm loped his arm around his younger brother “We’ve missed you too bro.” Raph was grinning as he plopped his hand on the younger’s head.
Splinters hand on his arm brought his gaze down and more tears to his eyes and down his cheeks.. “My son. You have made me very proud. I‘ve missed you.”
“Father.” Slowly leaning away from the other sibling’s he fell to his knees being enveloped by the softly furred arms of his father.
“Sorry I made you guys wait so long. I got kinda lost on the road to life.” Leo snickered and Raph laughed out loud.
“Yeah we kinda figured that.” Donnie crouched down and took his brother’s outstretched hand as splinter slowly moved back enough for the two to embrace.
“Welcome home Mikey.”
A/N: Well I was sitting at home alone and drinking tequila when this little thing hit me. So as to continue the mood I slapped on some highly depressing music and cried most of my way through this. Lol. Being slightly tipsy will do that to you.
I hope it came out right considering I was slowly drinking through the whole thing. I still can’t believe I just wrote four and a half pages. Any ways please drop me a line or two and let me know what you think!
New A/N: Went through and fixed it up as best I could. There were a lot of errors and spelling mistakes that I made go bye bye. I also added to it and took out parts that seemed choppy and half assed.
Still drop me a line and let me know what you think!