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We'll Be Your Family

Chapter Text

"Hey, Donnie? I'm bored. Can you make me something cool?" Mikey asked, leaning over his brother's shoulder.

"Mikey, I'm kind of in the middle of something. Dissecting this piece of Kraang equipment is hard enough, and I don't need you being your normal distracting self at the moment." Donnie replied, glaring at Mikey briefly before looking back to the piece of Kraang equipment.

Michelangelo huffed, backing up, and looking around, smiling as he caught sight of a strange, portal-like object. Maybe it was a cool bubble wand or something! Maybe it could turn everything invisible! Maybe it could make the perfect pizza!

Mikey squealed silently, rushing over to the object, and investigating it. Up close, the small thing didn't look as interesting as it did from afar. It was okay, though. Mikey always liked to test things out before judging them. So, Mikey turned it over, humming, and pressing a button, freezing as it turned on, and a light flickered. The now awakened machine then scanned Mikey, making beeps and whistles before dinging.

"DNA match found. Near exact life form found in Dimension 87k-eca5. Michelangelo 243.9, located and signaled."  the machine droned. "Preparing portal. . . relocating Michelangelo 47.82, now."

The machine then threw a portal out onto the floor. Mikey gaped, drawn in by the colours, and the high pitched sound that only he seemed to hear. Donnie said nothing while this was happening, and Mikey was starting to wonder why. Mayhaps this machine was only working in a way that Mikey could hear.

Which was AWESOME.

Mikey giggled, holding the machine close, and hopping into the portal, screaming as he was pulled through. It was like the world's fastest roller coaster! There were twists and turns, and, for a short amount of time, Mikey believed that he would never be able to get out. Thankfully, though, he was coughed out of the portal, and landed face first on the top of a building. Mikey groaned, but sat up, shaking his head and looking over the area. It wasn't anything fancy. It literally looked like the same New York.

"Well, that was-"

"See?! I told you that I heard something!" a voice chimed.

Mikey turned, screaming as he was met with the sight of four mutant turtles. Which was odd. One would think that Mikey would be ecstatic to meet more mutant turtles, but, in all honesty, he was terrified. These turtles were dressed in the same colours as he and his brothers! They even kind of looked like him and his brothers! What was going on?!

"Hey! Don't freak out! We're just like you! We won't hurt you!" one of the turtles assured. This one looked almost exactly like Mikey.

"How do I know that for sure?" Mikey inquired.

"Uhh, well... we are all mutant turtles. Why would we hurt you?" Mikey's double asked.

"Fair point." Mikey hummed, standing, and brushing himself off.

"Let me introduce you to me and my brothers! I'm Michelangelo, That's Donatello, that's Leonardo, and that's Raphael!"

"AAGH! Why is Raph so HUGE?!?!?" Mikey screamed, regretting his decision after seeing the hurt look on... well... Raph's, face. "Wait! I didn't mean that in a bad way! It's just... where I come from, my brothers have the same exact names as you three. And, we're all the same... what was it Donnie called it? Genoo? Geenu? Jean-Shorts?"

"You mean Genus?" the supposed Donnie of this... dimension... asked.

"Yeah! That! So, it kinda surprised me when I saw how, intimidating your Raph is. Mine has crazy anger issues, and he'll hit anyone that makes him boil over." Mikey explained. "I've had my fair share of smacks, slaps, and thwaps. Part of me instinctively flinches when Raph raises his arm."

"You poor thing! No one should be abused by their own family!" Mikey's double whimpered. "Guys! We gotta take him in! He needs love! We can give him love!"

"Michael, we just met him. How do we know he's not just trying to get free housing?"

"Because! He's me! I would never do that to anyone! Please? Can we just give him a chance?" Mikey's double pleaded.

"Michael-"

"PLEASE?! We can't let him go on his own! He's too young! He's too beautiful!" Mikey's double sobbed.

Mikey looked to his brothers' doubles, who groaned. With a smile, Mikey looked to his double. Mikey may not have known a lot about this version of his family, but he sure did know enough, to understand that his double's cuteness had won this nonexistent trial of trust.

"You'll love being with us! We can drink cocoa, eat pizza, bake, cook, do arts and crafts, and we can do Truth or Dare!" Mikey's double cheered.

"That sounds AWESOME! But... I have a question..." Mikey muttered, gaining everyone's attentions. "You wouldn't mind if I referred to you guys the way I do to my own brothers... would you?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How could you not have heard it?!?!" Raph screamed, looking at the large, circular burn mark on the floor of Donnie's lab.

"I told you! The machine was built, so that only the person interacting with it can hear and/or sense what's currently happening!" Donnie replied.

"Well, can you build another one?" Casey asked.

"Theoretically, yes. But I'll need way more Kraang equipment than I have now." Donnie replied.

"That'll be easy to get! C'mon Casey! Let's go get some supplies!" Raph shouted.

The two teens rushed out, laughing as they had their minds set on destruction of Kraang property.

"Oh man... how could I have let this happen?" Donnie whined.

"Donnie, it'll be fine. We'll get Mikey back." Leo assured.

"Yeah! Besides, this is Mikey! He knows enough to keep himself safe throughout... however long he'll be missing." April added.

Donnie groaned, leaning against a wall and hugging himself. This was most certainly not going to end well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And it's hard enough that we have to deal with Shredder! But, of course, the Kraang have to make everything so difficult!" Mikey huffed.

The others listened with focused interest. Mikey had chosen to explain the happenings of his dimensional timeline after the group had settled down and gathered in the living room, and had gotten his secondary brothers and self riled up once again. These guys got lucky, it seemed. They had to deal with villains and ultra-villains, sure. But, the things they dealt with, were complete and utter cat scat compared to what Mikey had to deal with.

"Whoa! That sounds so cool! Guys, can we have an archenemy?!" Michael (which was what everyone agreed to call the Mikey of this dimension) gasped.

"Michael, we already have five." Donnie reminded.

"Oh. Can we have one more?" Michael inquired.

"Sure, we could always acknowledge Worm Man." Leo replied.

"BOOOOO! He's boring!" Michael whined.

"Take it or leave it. You can't have everything." Donnie chuckled.

"Okay." Michael huffed, smiling as he received a peck on the cheek from Leo.

Mikey tilted his head. Rarely ever had his brothers kissed and/or hugged him willingly. This display of affection began to stir up a bit of jealousy in Mikey. Sure, it was stupid to be upset over someone else's strong relationship, but it still hurt.

"Guys? I think other me needs a hug." Michael pointed out.

Mikey raised a brow ridge, blushing as he realized that he'd started crying.

"Oh, no! I'm fine! Honest!" Mikey fibbed.

"Nonsense! Everyone needs hugs from time to time! Brother Hug! Activate!" Michael shouted.

Nothing happened.

"Come on! You promised!" Michael whined.

Raph, Donnie, and Leo sighed, pulling Mikey and Michael into a tight hug. Michael squealed, nuzzling against Mikey and giggling. Mikey giggled as well, sighing as he took in the affection.

"Thanks. I rarely ever get to hug my brothers like this in my dimension." Mikey hummed.

"That's so sad... your brothers sound like sacks of-"

"Michael. Language." Donnie warned.

"Well, I'm sorry! But they DO! They're always hitting him, and being mean to him, and insulting him! He doesn't deserve it!" Michael scoffed.

"No one does, Michael. I agree. But that's just how they are. We can't change that." Donnie softly sighed.

"We could if they were here." Michael muttered.

"I doubt they'll ever come. They probably wanted me gone long ago, anyways." Mikey whispered.

Michael sniffled, hugging closer to Mikey. This wasn't right! Mikey shouldn't have been treated like how he was being in his dimension! It was a miracle in itself that Mikey hadn't... well.

Maybe he had. But Michael didn't want to think of that.

"We'll treat him like brothers are supposed to be treated. Right guys?" Michael asked.

"Of course! We'll be so much better than those mediocre jerks! We will be the best other-dimensional brothers in the world!" Leo cheered.

"Okay, I think I'm ready for Brother Hug to stop. You guys are screaming in my ear." Donnie muttered.

Everyone then backed away from each other. With a gleam in his eyes, Michael invited Mikey to watch a movie. Jupiter Jim's Last Trip to the Moon. It sounded interesting, so Mikey agreed. Both Box Turtles then watched as Donnie set up the movie. Leo whispered something to Donnie, both snickering after Leo had spoken.

"What's funny?" Michael inquired.

Donnie and Leo looked to each other, smirking, then, they began to sing.

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star-"

"NO! NO! Cover your ears! It's a trap! They're trying to make us take a nap!" Michael squealed.

"How I wonder what you are; Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star... How I wonder what you are."

By this point, both Michael and Mikey had- very reluctantly -become drowsy, muttering as they were drawn up into Donnie and Leo's arms.

"I won't let you win..." Michael yawned, wrapping his arms and legs around Leo instinctively.

"Mhm, sure." Leo chuckled softly, sitting on the couch.

"Of course. You would take the couch." Donnie huffed.

Leo rolled his eyes, moving and sitting on the floor, allowing Donnie to sit on the couch, and leaning against it as he cradled Michael. Both versions of Michelangelo fought sleep for around ten minutes, but fell asleep in no time after doing so. Leo chuckled, closing his eyes as he half listened to the movie. Donnie did the same, his mind focused more on how to get Mikey home, than the movie.

Of course, Michael would be devastated when Mikey left, but, it was for the best that Mikey was sent back to his own dimension. Things would probably be messed up beyond repair if Mikey didn't get back home.

"Don't let him go into the portal... we haven't had our tea yet..." Michael whimpered sleepily.

Donnie smiled, knowing that Michael was very well aware of the situation. Sure, sending Mikey back, would mean sending him into the hands of his own brothers, who obviously abused him to the point of... decoration... but, it was still for the best. Even though he would probably keep getting hit, and insulted, and touch-deprived, it was for the best. Even if Mikey would probably never be able to trust anyone else after being sent back, it was for the best.

Right?

Chapter Text

"And, if you ever want to keep your weapon from getting stuck, make sure to keep a bubble of air between your body and your shell. That way, you'll have a built in pocket, and you can comfortably pull your arm back with your weapon, and not get hurt!" Mikey chimed, showing Michael a few tricks.

Michael listened with heightened interest. It was obvious to Mikey that his double had little to no knowledge on their species. It was understandable, though, considering how Michael was the only Box Turtle in his family. This didn't faze Mikey, however, in his quest to teach Michael. The little guy was a fast learner, and was incredibly easy to train. He had managed to learn almost half of the things Mikey had taught, in under thirty minutes!

"Whoa! There are so many things I didn't even know about my body!" Michael gasped. "Maybe, because of being mutants, we could become invisible!"

"I wouldn't go that far, but, there is something close." Mikey chuckled.

Mikey then moved forwards, placing a hand on Michael's shoulder, and pressing down, dead center. Michael yelped, backing away, and gasping as his scales stood on end and vibrated. With a loud gasp, Michael looked at Mikey and smiled.

"You're magic! I didn't know we could do this!" Michael cheered.

"Neither did I. My Donnie had been studying the possible effects that mutagen has on our bodies, and had talked about certain pressure points. He talked about the scale thing, but he never did test it out. I thought that it would be worth trying." Mikey explained. "It's supposed to make us look bigger, fiercer, and more ready to battle."

"So cool... we should go show my brothers!" Michael shouted, bounding off on all fours towards the living room.

Mikey followed, crouching down behind the couch, where Leo was currently perched. Donnie and Raph were in the living room as well, and neither of them noticed either version of their baby brother walk in. Which gave reason as to why they all flipped shit when Michael hissed, hopping in the middle of the living room. Donnie pulled out his staff, thwapping Michael on the head. Michael sobbed, scales falling flat.

"DEE! Why'd you do that?!" Michael whined, gripping his head.

"Mikey! I'm so sorry! I didn't know it was you!" Donnie shouted, launching himself towards Michael, who nuzzled against Donnie and sniffled.

"Where did you learn to do that?!" Leo asked, hopping onto the floor, and messing with a patch of Michael's scales, which were now loose enough to be maneuvered.

"The other me touched a pressure point on my shoulder, and my scales just went up!" Michael replied.

Leo then started poking random areas on Michael's right shoulder. When nothing happened, Leo moved to Michael's left shoulder, pressing down dead center, and falling back in shock as Michael's scales flew up once more.

"Fascinating! It's as if the area itself has enough strain to control your scales!" Donnie gasped. "Yet another thing to add to my list of mutant abilities!"

"And that's only the tip of the iceberg. You would not believe how many theories my Donnie has come up with about us. And, by us, I mean Box Turtles. I don't know about you guys." Mikey hummed.

"Teach me more." Donnie whispered.

Michael giggled, leaning against Donnie, and listening as Mikey continued to talk about all of the things he'd heard about. One thing that grabbed everyone's attention, was mention of a certain "sweet spot" that the mutant Box Turtles supposedly had. With that, Donnie scratched under Michael's chin, snickering as Michael squeaked before purring, leaning into Donnie's touch. Leo then joined in, laughing as Michael leaned closer. For a while, it was simply nothing more than Donnie and Leo "fighting" to get Michael closer, before one of them accidentally pressed Michael's neck, causing Michael to hiss, eyes like slits as he moved away from his brothers.

"Oh. So that's where the trigger spot is." Mikey muttered.

"Miguel? Are you okay?" Leo asked.

Michael whined lowly, shaking his entire body before calming down.

"Yeah, I'm good." Michael assured. "But, that kinda hurt."

"Oof. Sounds like someone's being a bit abusive today, huh?" Leon chuckled.

"Shut up." Donnie hissed, lightly pushing Leo away.

"Are there any other no-no spots we should know about?" Raph inquired.

"Oh, of course!" Mikey replied.

Everyone looked on, waiting.

"Oh. You want me to say them...?"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"And you most definitely don't want to touch right above the left thigh. It's incredibly sensitive, and it could possibly debilitate him temporarily if he's hit too hard." Mikey explained.

Donnie nodded, writing the information down. Meanwhile, Leo was fighting the urge to touch all of the places he was being told not to. I mean, come on! How was Leo not supposed to be tempted? He was a teenaged male! If he's being told not to do something, he's gonna want to do it!

"Can we at least try and see what it does? How do we know how bad it is, if we don't test it out?" Leo inquired.

"He makes a good point." Raph chimed.

"You two are honestly giving me a migraine. You realize that this is our baby brother, don't you? I'm not going to put him in pain, just so we can prove a point!" Donnie huffed.

"Who said you had to?" Raph asked.

Leo smiled, reaching out, and attempting to touch Michael's upper thigh. Michael hissed in response, scales beginning to raise. Of course, Leo completely ignored this warning, and continued to reach, screaming as Michael threw his hands forward, sharp claws having- somehow -unsheathed from his fingers.

"YOU HAVE RETRACTABLE CLAWS?!?!?!?" Donnie screamed.

"Apparently." Mikey replied.

Leo stood and ran, screaming for mercy as he was chased around the lair.

"I'm SORRY! I didn't think you were being serious! Uncle! UNCLE!" Leo yelped.

Michael growled, having no trouble at all in keeping up with Leo. At this point, it could be said that Michael was just teasing his immediate older brother. If that wasn't the case, then Leo would have been dead meat by now.

"Holy crap. He's super freakin' FAST on all fours." Raph commented.

"Kinda ironic." Mikey added.

Donnie simply watched, raising a brow as Leo came to a halt, hiding behind the others. Michael huffed, pacing before retracting his claws and sitting. This was somewhat frustrating, for Michael. Having all of these obvious rules being set, only for his brother to ignore them. Sure, it was Leo, but even the Slider knew better than to push the boundaries of others! Especially when he knew that he had the possibility of being killed!

"Alright, boys. I think it's time for us to apologize." Donnie finally announced.

"Why do I have to apologize?! Leo's the one who-"

"I understand that, Michael. But, you must admit, you did give chase, just to scare him." Donnie chided.

"But-"

"Mikey, mind your manners." Raph instructed.

"Yes, Raphie." Michael replied, shoulders slumped.

"Oh, don't be discouraged. We get that you were upset, but humility is always a virtue." Donnie assured.

"Exactly! Which is why I gladly say I'm sorry, first. I am being as humble as can be." Leo announced.

"I bet I can be humbler!" Michael challenged.

"Bet you can't!"

"I know I can!"

"Boys! I think we can all agree, that there is only one true humble man here..." Mikey chuckled. "Me."

"Nuh-uh!" Michael and Leo replied, tackling Mikey to the floor.

The three then laughed and giggled as they wrestled. The battle was fierce; names were called, spit was spat, and kitten fights were initiated throughout. Only one terrapin could be left standing as the alpha, and the three were all sure that they would each claim the title! Meanwhile, Raph and Donnie were watching the three fondly. It was nice, seeing how well Mikey had integrated himself into the family. It was as if Mikey had been there all along.

Of course, that's where the trouble of the painful truth came in.

"He's going to need to get home eventually. You know that." Raph whispered.

"You think I don't? The machine was messed up during his travel, and I only have but so many items to repair it. It'll take months before I can fix it." Donnie replied.

"Playing the pronoun game, yet again, brother." Raph chuckled.

"Well, excuse me for wanting to keep our conversation as brief as possible." Donnie scoffed quietly.

"...Donnie, I get that you want all of them to be happy, but, they're going to need to be talked to straight on. Sooner, rather than later." Raph sighed.

"Heh, who's playing the pronoun game now?" Donnie sarcastically responded.

"Donatello, you need to talk to them. They'll be lost and betrayed if you continue to-"

"Don-Don! Raphie! Look-it! I won!" Michael cheered.

"Good job, Michael!" Donnie praised.

Michael giggled, crawling onto Donnie's lap and wrapping his arms around his genius brother. With this, Raph stopped talking, but sent a glare to Donnie. The Softshell didn't reply.

"You cheated!" Leo complained.

"I did not! I pinned you down, fair and square!" Michael scoffed.

"Hey! You didn't pin him! I pinned him!" Mikey whined.

The three younger turtles then began to argue about who did what to who. This started another play fight, which was just as fierce. Each male asserted his dominance justly, by taunting his opponents when he made a pin down, and whining as he was pinned down himself. While this fight happened, Raph rekindled the fire of the previous conversation.

"Donnie. You have to tell them. There is no way out of this." Raph stated.

Donnie growled, standing up and walking towards the ball of fighting youngsters. Raph groaned, facepalming. Donnie could be so frustrating when he got like this!

"Don't tell me what I have to do." Donnie hissed. "Michael, Mikey, Leon. We're going to the top for a while."

"But, we haven't-"

"NOW, BOYS."

The three younger males flinched, standing up and following Donnie out of the lair. When the quartet left, Raph shook his head. This was gonna be absolute hell to deal with. Meanwhile, as the quartet walked, both Mikeys and Leo looked to each other. Where were they going? Why did Donnie look so stressed? Why was the atmosphere suddenly starting to get so tense?

"It's fine. This isn't because of you." Donnie fibbed.

"Then, why are we going topside?" Leon inquired.

"Because we are. And I would appreciate it, if there were no more questions until we get topside." Donnie growled.

Leon rolled his eyes, crossing his arms. Mikey sighed, moving closer to Leo, and sending a smile in the Slider's way. Leo smiled back, wrapping an arm around Mikey. Michael, meanwhile, had caught up to Donnie, waiting a bit, before intertwining his fingers with Donnie's. This caused the Softshell to jump, but he immediately calmed down as soon as he realized that it was Michael. Donnie squeezed Michael's hand, an acknowledgement of Michael's presence.

Michael smiled, humming as the quartet walked on.

This was nice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Donnie! When are you going to have this thing done?!" Raph shouted, pounding on the desk next to Donnie.

"I DON'T KNOW! Look! I'm JUST as worried about Mikey as you are, but it's somewhat hard to concentrate, when no one will shut their mouths, long enough for me to come up with the correct formula to build the damn machine!" Donnie screamed.

Raph sneered, walking out of the lab. Donnie huffed, looking back to his blueprints, and groaning. This was all too stressful. How could he have let Mikey do something like this? If Donnie had just been more careful-

"Donnie. We'll find him." a voice chimed.

Donatello didn't need to look back to know who the voice belonged to.

"Like that'll help, Casey. Everyone's been telling me that for the past two days." Donnie scoffed.

"We just want to keep you from stressing too much. I understand that you and Mikey are close. I respect that. Hell, I admire how close you two are!" Casey chimed.

"Why, exactly, are you going on about this?" Donnie inquired.

"Because. You're letting your love for your brother get in the way of your goal. I can't believe I'm saying this, but, you're going to have to stop treating Mikey like a sibling, and start treating him like a mission. And missions are taken with serious focus. If you want your baby brother that much, you're going to have to prove it, by actually working with your head." Casey replied.

"Look at you, being understandable for once." Donnie chuckled.

"I can come through." Casey chuckled, turning. "Oh, and uh, April still likes me better."

"You would end a conversation like that. You piece of shit." Donnie scoffed.

"Just trying to lighten the mood. Remember that advice. And stop feeling so bad for yourself. It's selfish to think that you're the only one who's worried. Mikey's just as close to me and April, as he is to you and your brothers." Casey hummed.

"...Get out of my lab..." Donnie huffed. "You're wasting my time."

"Whatever." Casey replied, exiting the lab.

Donnie hissed lowly, looking back to his blueprints. Sure, Casey had a point. Donnie was going to have to start treating Mikey as a mission. But, it was hard for Donnie to do so, for some unknown reason. It was as if something was tugging at Donnie's soul. As if something was sending a wave of... jealousy... through Donatello. What could be doing so, the genius had no idea. But it was there, and it was getting stronger by the minute.

Casey was also right about another thing. Donnie was being selfish. But, could you blame Donnie? This was Michelangelo! The heart and soul of the group! A bit broken and shifted, sure. But, the tiny turtle was still the heart! Even if  he had been beaten and bruised beyond compare. He was the heart! The broken, lost, fearful heart.

"Wait..." Donnie muttered, shaking his head. "No. That's not true. It can't be. We're not that hard on him."

So, Donnie pushed his dark thoughts aside. Because there was no way that Mikey was being hurt that much. Mikey was flexible, and could never be that broken.

Because the brothers didn't make Mikey that way.

Chapter Text

Silent steps brushed along the rooftops, as four teenaged mutant turtles walked around the city, no specific destination in mind. It was peaceful. Almost too peaceful for Mikey's taste. The Box Turtle was constantly looking around, prepared to fight off whatever threat that could pop up. Leo smiled empathetically at the sight, rubbing Mikey's arm to calm the younger down. Mikey responded with a huff, only slightly calming down, and pulling out his nunchucks at the sound of clattering.

"It's just a stray cat." Leo assured softly, lowering Mikey's hands. "No one's gonna attack."

Mikey whimpered, pocketing his nunchucks, and shivering. Usually, walking around the city was meant for patrolling. With patrolling, came the instinct to keep a steady guard up. Things had gotten worse in Mikey's universe, and he looked more than ready to explode with anxious tension. Donnie glanced back at Mikey and Leo, sighing heavily, before an idea came to mind.

"Hey! Why don't we go to April's house?" Michael shouted.

"Did you read my mind?" Donnie asked.

"Of course not! Leo is your twin! Not me." Michael giggled.

"...You're twins...?" Mikey asked, clear befuddlement on his face.

"Don't look into it too much. Just accept it." Michael advised. "So? What about it? Wanna go to our April's apartment?"

Mikey smiled, nodding with vigor. The quartet then raced off to April's apartment. Once there, Mikey gulped, unsure of how he would react to this universe's April. So much was different here!

"Oh April! Your favorite best friends are here!" Michael chimed, knocking on April's door. "April? APRIL!"

"MIKEY! I HEARD YOU THE FIRST... time..." April shouted, confused interest flowing through her thoughts at the sight of what looked like another Mikey. "Uh... what's... this?"

"April, we'd like to introduce you, to Mikey of another universe." Michael announced.

"We're still working on a catchier name." Leo muttered.

April stood silently for a second, before smiling widely.

"Why didn't you say that to begin with? Come on!" April encouraged, leading the brothers into her apartment. "Anyone want hot chocolate?"

The brothers politely declined, but Donnie excitedly cheered when April offered to make coffee. Michael asked for some as well, but was told off by Donnie, the Softshell claiming that coffee would stunt Michael's growth. Michael came back with a comment about how coffee affected the growth of something else more... inappropriate... on his genius brother. Leo cackled in response, and Mikey snickered, all three taking enjoyment in Donnie's heavy blush.

"Boys, be nice." April sighed, smiling widely despite her order.

"You're all gonna regret this some day." Donnie muttered.

"Oh? Even April?" Mikey asked.

"Especially April." Donnie huffed. "You're supposed to be the mediator!"

"I mediate myself, bitch!" April replied.

"HOW DARE?!" Donnie screamed.

Michael doubled over with laughter, Leo dabbed, and April smirked. All the while, Mikey was deeply concerned about the four. Why was Donnie so okay with being so- for lack of a better word -rude to April? Wasn't Donnie supposed to like April in every universe? And how come Mikey was just now realizing one of the most drastic changes of this universe?

Leo was being immature! Which was a HUGE change from Mikey's original universe! If that wasn't enough, it suddenly hit Mikey that Raph was the leader of the team! All of this was messing with Mikey's mind, and he found it to be so backwards! Things weren't supposed to be like this!

"Why are you guys acting like this?! You aren't supposed to be acting like this!" Mikey shouted, stopping the actions of the others. "Leo isn't supposed to be so... me-ish! He's supposed to be brave, and strong, and serious! He isn't supposed to be laughing and taunting anyone like this! Donnie isn't supposed to be taunting April! He's supposed to be pining over her! Raph is supposed to be hotheaded and stubborn! Not a big softie, who's too afraid to say anything negative to me! This isn't right! It's ALL WRONG!"

"Whoa, whoa now! Come on, just breathe." Leo cooed, pulling Mikey into a tight hug.

"This is wrong! I don't like this! You guys are scaring me!"  Mikey sobbed, keeping a tight grip on Leo.

Leo simply listened, along with April, Donnie, and Michael. Donnie knew that the realization would kick in later rather than sooner. Thankfully, it kicked in while Mikey was surrounded by a support system. Everyone understood where Mikey was coming from, as well. They'd be just as scared, had it been one of them to fall through that portal.

"Why are you being so nice to me? My brothers don't-"

"We aren't like your brothers." Leo interrupted. "We'd never hurt you, we'd never leave you behind, and we most certainly wouldn't ever make you deal with something as scary as this by yourself."

"But why?"  Mikey whimpered, looking up at Leo sadly.

"Because we love you." Leo replied.

Mikey buried his face into Leo's neck, letting out a loud, pained wail. Fear radiated from the young turtle, and he shook as he felt more arms wrap around him. So much of this was going to take some getting used to. In all honesty, though, Mikey wasn't sure if he would be able to get used to even half of it.

"It's alright. We'll stay here as long as needed." Leo assured.

"Or at least until our arms get tired." Donnie muttered, earning a smack from April.

This earned the group a giggle from Mikey, and he sniffled, shifting as a sign that he was ready to be let go. The group obliged, backing away, and smiling. Mikey smiled back, cherishing the sweet head pat he received from Michael.

"When we get back to the lair, we can make friendship bracelets! I found a bit of yarn while I was out scavenging once." Michael chimed.

"Is there enough to make two for everyone?" Mikey inquired.

"Ahh, backup bracelets. I like your thinking." Michael replied.

The others chuckled, listening to both versions of Mikey excitedly talk about how the bracelets would look. Which brought something odd to Donnie's mind. The Softshell then looked to April with a weird expression. April looked back, raising a brow.

"...I'm supposed to be... pining over you?"  Donnie asked.

April gagged.

"Don't ever let those words form a sentence directed towards me ever again." April hissed.

"Trust me, I wouldn't dream of it." Donnie muttered in response.

Both teens then shuddered at the thought, letting seconds pass before they both hurled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Donatello grumbled, cursing under his breath and looking over multiple papers. The genius had been working nonstop on the portal for hours now, and it was starting to take an obvious physical toll on him. His eyes were bloodshot, had bags under them, and he was almost always hunched over when he walked around. As time ticked, Donnie only ever stopped his work to use the bathroom, eat, shower, or go on patrol, before seemingly gluing his focus on the portal.

A cup of coffee could always be seen in Donnie's hands, and he was consistently told by his family that he was going to drive himself insane if he didn't take a break. Donnie, of course, didn't pay any attention. Nothing was going to stop Donnie from getting his baby brother back. And, when he did, there would be Hell to pay, for whoever was keeping Mikey.

Oh, yes. There would most certainly be a bloodbath. Donnie would very happily tear the residents of the secondary universe to pieces. He may even destroy the universe itself. Such a feat could be well satisfying. It would show Mikey, as well as everyone else, how dedicated Donnie was to getting payback. Towards who, Donnie was still unsure, but he knew damn well that whoever it was, would be sorry.

This feeling of absolute hatred- which was really just jealousy that Donnie masked as hatred -was getting to Donnie's soul. And it made him feel weak. Which wasn't supposed to happen. Donnie wasn't supposed to be weak. He wasn't supposed to be scared. He wasn't supposed to be afraid.

That was Mikey's job.

"...Hold on."

"Donnie, ya gotta get some sleep. If ya don't, Sensei says he's gonna drag you to bed himself." Raph announced.

Donnie didn't say anything. He simply sat still, mulling over what had just ran through his mind.

"Look, I get it. You're worried, and so am I. Leo is too, and so is Splinter! But ya can't let it take control of yer every thought." Raph huffed.

And that was the stone cold truth. As it was slowly becoming obvious that this worry over getting Mikey home, was turning into an obsession. Something that would hinder Donnie's progress by a substantial amount.

"Yeah... I guess you're right." Donnie sighed heavily, turning in his chair and facing Raph. "Say, do you..."

"Do I what?" Raph asked.

"Nothing. Nevermind." Donnie replied.

"Nope! Ya brought it up, and now you're gonna finish the question!" Raph stated matter-of-factly.

"Fine." Donnie muttered. "Do you miss Mikey?"

"What kind of question is that?! O' course I do! What, are you accusing me of not missin' 'im?!" Raph shouted.

"No! Of course not! I just wanted to ask!" Donnie replied. "I didn't mean to offend you."

Raph scoffed, turning and walking out of the lab, muttering something along the lines of "You'd better keep from askin' Leo that" as he left. Donnie sighed audibly, leaning back and closing his eyes. Perhaps he should take Raph's advice. The days had been stressful enough as is with Mikey gone. It'd be for the best if Donnie allowed Leo to keep a straight, calm face.

Then again, Donnie was a bit curious as to how Leo felt about the situation. Surely it couldn't hurt to ask such a small question. Yeah! All he had to do, was ask!

And hope that Leo was feeling the same way Donnie was. Because if he wasn't, Donnie was sure that he was leading himself down a dangerous path.

 

Chapter Text

Meditation. Something that Splinter had informed his sons would help to wane their stresses, that would help ease any doubts and fears from their minds. Each of the brothers had tried it, and had each been surprised by the success of their first attempts. Meditation was always something the boys could do when they were too stressed to focus on the important things in life. Something that Leonardo always attempted to do when he was having troubles. And it usually worked!

So, why wasn't it working now?

Why wasn't the strategy that had worked so well at one time, working now? Leo wasn't trying to keep his focus on anything negative! He was oh-so desperately trying to hold back his fears and frustrations, so that he could be a cool and collected leader. Something that his brothers needed right now. They needed someone with a cool head, someone to turn to when they were unsure of how to feel. Leo needed to be a wise leader, but found it difficult to be so, especially considering how broken even he was about the current situation.

Truth be told, Leonardo was terrified. He had no desire to think of the horrors his baby brother could be facing. It was too much at one moment. And it was slowly starting to break down the wall that Leo had put up.

"Why do you not tell them this?"

Leo jumped, scrambling to stand, and standing straight in respect.

"Father! I didn't hear you come in." Leo stated, glancing to the side awkwardly.

Which was very unlike him.

"My son, I understand that you are broken by this, and I am very proud of your want to be the one your brothers can turn to." Splinter sighed, stroking his beard. "However, you will not be able to do so, if you are just as frantic and distracted as they are."

Leo sighed heavily, fighting back the first few tears that threatened to spill from his eyes. Be it obvious or not, Leonardo could not, and would not bring himself to cry in front of his father. No, this wasn't a matter of pride, it was more of a need to feel strong for Mikey. The youngest of the brothers wouldn't want Leo to be upset, and he surely wouldn't allow Leo to be upset for too long, before cracking a joke, or doing something silly to cheer Leo up. Now, however, this wasn't a possibility.

"We can't just leave him there." came a sudden whimper, surprising both Splinter and Leo. "I know that Donnie's doing his best, and I get that it requires patience! I understand that Mikey knows how to take care of himself, and I can clearly grasp how dire the situation is! Yes, Donnie has been working almost all of the time, but it feels like he's getting nowhere!"

Splinter simply nodded.

"I just can't. I can't deal with this like you can, I can't deal with this like they can! Raph can just push his feelings aside, and go about the day as if nothing's wrong! Donnie buries himself in his work, and all I can do, is try to meditate away these feelings, that wouldn't be here, had it not been for-"

"Leonardo! Do not blame Donatello for this!" Splinter shouted, slamming his cane against the floor. "This is very unlike you, my son."

"I don't know what else to do. I don't want to blame Donnie, but... it's all I have..." Leo responded. "I can't blame Mikey for it."

"And why not?" Splinter inquired.

"Why would I? Mikey didn't know any better! He was just playing!" Leo replied, unsure of why Splinter had asked such a question.

"And that means Donatello knew what he was doing, when he couldn't hear what was happening?" Splinter continued, smirking at Leo's thoughtful look. "Leonardo, you cannot blame your brothers for this. Any of them. As for how they cope, I can assure you that they both have their moments. There have been plenty of times, when I have been needed in their presence."

"Oh... I guess even my brothers are as broken too, huh?" Leo muttered.

Splinter nodded. With a heavy sigh, Leo smiled, thanking his father for the conversation, and bowing as his father left. Once Splinter was gone, Leo looked to the floor, thinking over what Splinter had said about the others, and finally allowing himself to break down into tears. How good it felt, to finally release his emotion in such a way. To finally announce to himself, that he was just as worried about Mikey as everyone else. This was a good, calming moment for Leo, and he cherished having time to enjoy the moment.

Meanwhile, a certain purple-clad brother of his- whom had been listening in on the conversation -was silently contemplating about what had went wrong. Not only between the brothers...

But the mindset in which they'd turned themselves towards Mikey.

Chapter Text

Three voices whispered in the dark that surrounded Michelangelo, and he whimpered as he looked around. There was no light source in the area, and that left Mikey in the sorry position of sitting in the middle of god-knew-where. A soft shush rang throughout the area, and Mikey tensed, sniffing for any sign of familiar smell. The air was unusually clear, and it stayed that way for quite a while, before Mikey caught scent of something familiar.

"Guys?"

The voices then became louder, and Mikey could finally distinguish what he was hearing.

"GUYS! Hold up! It's me! It's Mikey!"

The voices stopped, and Mikey raced towards where he remembered hearing them. As he got closer, Mikey sobbed happily in response to the area getting lighter, and he noticed three familiar figures in the area. Anxious shouts of happiness were thrown towards the figures, but they did nothing in response. In confusion, Mikey stopped, sitting down, and paying closer attention to the figures.

Strangely, the figures didn't move that much. They simply swayed back and forth. At first, Mikey didn't think of why this was; he simply continued to walk forward. Tilting his head, Mikey frowned, looking around, and stopping as soon as he caught sight of what looked eerily like a tree. This finally brought on the realization to Mikey, that his brothers weren't just swaying for no reason.

A paper then fell in front of Mikey, and he yelped, looking down at the paper, and breaking down as he read the words.

' We don't need you anymore '

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mikey awoke with a loud screech, and he was immediately surrounded by arms and whispers of reassurance. Looking around, Mikey panted as he was met with the sight of what he remembered as April's apartment. What was going on? Had the brothers not left? When did Mikey fall asleep? Why hadn't anyone waken him up?

"You passed out a few seconds after the hug." Michael whispered, rubbing Mikey's arm absentmindedly.

Ah. That made sense. Mikey must have been too excited to stay awake. A heavy sigh of sadness escaped from Mikey, and he held on to Michael's arms. How nice it was to feel the warmth of someone so similar to him. To be surrounded by the arms of others who actually cared about his wellbeing. When he wasn't in trouble, anyways.

"Do you need anything? Perhaps some water will help." Donnie suggested.

"Maybe." Mikey sighed.

Donnie smiled, moving to get a cup of water, but not before placing a chaste, brotherly kiss on Mikey's cheek.

And that sealed the deal.

Mikey was no longer going to fret over his brothers. They had never cared about him in the first place. If they had, then moments like this would happen so much more, mind the whole "passing out due to fear and excitement" thing. In this universe, Mikey wasn't judged for being himself, for being the youngest. In this universe, Mikey was accepted for being creative, excitable, and childlike. Very seldom was Mikey scolded for anything in this universe, and very seldom did Mikey have reason to be.

In this universe, Mikey was given the attention he so desperately craved. In this universe, Mikey had no need to look at a blade with such false eagerness. And in this universe, Mikey was loved, and was told that every day.

So, yes. Mikey had decided that this is what he wanted. No longer would Mikey bend to the will of his original brothers! No longer would he allow their hurtful words to get to him! And no longer would he think back to the past, in hopes of finding more times then they claimed to love him!

This was Mikey's final decision, and he would stand with it until his death.

Mikey was going to stay here.

And no one was going to tell him otherwise.

Chapter Text

"Was it my fault?"

Leo sighed, staring down at the floor. This was not a new question, but no matter how many times it was asked, he could never find a way to say no. It was Donnie's fault, and he knew it. This was just his way of looking for pity. Nothing had seemed right since Mikey disappeared; some saying that things could have gotten worse. One less team member, meant one less person on defense in battle, and one more reason for tension to be present.

"I mean, it's not like I could have known that he would play with the thing, right?"

Deep breaths were all that were sent towards Donatello.

"C'mon, Leo. You know I didn't mean for things to be like this. I hadn't even realized that the machine was-"

"WHY DID YOU CREATE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!"

Donnie flinched, taking his turn to look to the ground. If he were being honest, he had no remembrance of why he actually had built the machine. Technically, Donnie didn't have reason to believe anyone would play with the machine. Raph and Leo rarely ever went into the lab unless needed, and Mikey knew the rule about touching things! So, why was it that he played with this one item in particular?

Did Michelangelo just so happen to know that something would happen if he touched this particular object? Was it that Mikey had become fed up with his brothers' constant yelling?

No! Of course not! Mikey would have said something! There was very little chance that Mikey had the mindset to purposefully sabotage the family dynamic!

"Are you accusing our baby brother of doing this to teach us a lesson?" Leo asked, shock clear on his face.

Blushing, Donnie cleared his throat, suddenly realizing that he'd been thinking out loud.

"I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I was just deducing a possibility. Besides! We're his brothers! Mikey loves us! He'd never do something like this to us on purpose!"

"Are you sure, Mr. Theory?"

"...No."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And here's a friendship bracelet for you, Donnie." Michael chimed, placing an oversized bracelet on Donnie's wrist.

"Oh. Well... thank you...?" Donnie replied, looking to the others, who nodded in approval.

"Do you guys really like them?" Mikey asked, a hopeful gleam in his eyes.

"Not just like, we love them!"  Raph replied, laughing as he was thrown to the ground in a hug.

Michael gasped, moving forward to join in, and reeling back as he was hissed at. Everyone silenced, looking to Mikey in terror, unsure of what had happened, and why.

"Oh no. Michael, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to- I was just- I thought- please! Don't hit me!" Mikey shouted, backing himself into a nearby corner.

"Whoa! Whoa! Calm down! It's okay! You're gonna be fi-"

"NO! You all want to hurt me! And I won't let you! You won't hurt me anymore!" Mikey screamed, hissing and growling as he began to cry. "Stay back! Get away from me, you sons-of-bitches! GET AWAY!"

Michael whimpered, backing behind Leo, and shaking. The Slider wrapped a comforting arm around Michael in response, which confused Mikey. Once again, none of this should have been happening! None of the brothers should be this nice!

"AGH! JUST STOP! YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME!"

Mikey then pushed his way through the crowd of brothers, rushing off and sobbing as he did so. With a concerned huff, Donnie announced that he'd go to find Mikey. Raph and Leo nodded, watching Donnie run off, and looking to Michael.

"What's happening? He was okay just two minutes ago..." Michael whimpered, leaning close to Leo and sniffling.

"Miguel... let me tell you a secret, M'kay?"

Michael nodded.

"Sometimes, with people- or mutants -like this Mikey, they've been through... questionable experiences... because of that, he'll probably have moments like this often." Leo explained.

"Is it our fault?" Michael asked.

"Not entirely. But, in a sense, it could be said that it is." Leo sighed. "We're the closest renditions of his brothers that love him. He probably doesn't even remember what love is, considering how he was treated by them."

"This is scary..." Michael whispered.

Raph let out a deep breath, picking Michael up, and hugging Michael close.

"We're all sleeping in the living room tonight. No questions." Raph announced.

"I'll tell Donnie." Leo replied, watching Raph walk off. "And hope that Mikey's okay when they come back."

Chapter Text

"Mikey, please. I just want to help you." Donnie whispered, keeping his distance from Mikey, just in case the younger attempted to run off.

Once again, Mikey had backed himself into a tight space, and growled as Donnie tried to comfort him. None of this needed to happen, and for Mikey to be the reason that it was, made him feel even worse.

There was no one else to blame but Mikey's brothers. His real brothers. The ones who screamed at him. Who insulted him. Who beat him. The ones who did nothing more than abuse him. And the abuse led Mikey to give more reason for those insults, beatings, and screams. Mikey had started hurting himself not too long ago, and when his brothers found out, they weren't necessarily as heartbroken and caring as they should have been. All they did, was scold him. They yelled at him more.

Sure, they slacked up on their beatings, but only for a short while. Once Mikey's wounds healed as much as possible, the others would resume their awful behaviours. Those fifteen, wasted, torturous years, left Mikey broken and confused. At this point, he had no idea how to love anyone anymore. He didn't know what it felt like to truly be loved. Sure, Splinter, April, and Casey were there, but they only helped to fuel the confusion.

Splinter was more of a sensei than a father figure, and only gave wise advice to talk to the others when Mikey walked into Splinter's room, bruised and sobbing. Casey would always have a tendency to join the others in making fun of, or yelling at Mikey.

But... then there was April.

When thought about, April was the only one who truly cared about how Mikey felt. She was the only one who willingly talked to Mikey, and hugged Mikey, and comforted Mikey when he needed it most. Love like that could never be found with his brothers. It was a miracle in itself that Mikey hadn't run away earlier.

By then, Mikey had assumed that no one would love him like April did. But it seemed as if the turtles in this universe wanted nothing more than to give Mikey the love he craved. That he deserved.

"Nngh... no! I don't deserve it!" Mikey sobbed, backing up farther into the alley corner.

"Deserve what? What don't you deserve, Mikey?" Donnie asked, scooting forwards slowly, and reaching a hand out.

Mikey flinched at the action, and Donnie moved is hand back, understanding that touch wasn't going to get him anywhere anytime soon.

"I don't deserve to be loved." Mikey whimpered.

"What? Who told you that?" Donnie inquired worriedly, moving his hand back out instinctually.

Mikey growled loudly at the action, reminding Donnie of the situation. This wasn't Michael. This was another version of him. And this version was clearly in too bad of a state to be hugged into feeling better. This version of Michael needed months, maybe even years of therapy before he was able to accept that others wanted to love him, which really said something about how terribly he'd been treated.

"Mikey, that isn't true, buddy. Plenty of others here love you." Donnie whispered surely. "Michael loves you, Leon loves you, Raph loves you, April loves you... and I love you."

Soft groans of mixed feelings were what Donnie received in response. The genius sighed, glad that he was getting at least somewhere. Now all he had to do, was coax Mikey out of this state, wait for Mikey to fall asleep, and- attempt -to carry Mikey home.

Not an easy feat to manage for one turtle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You've been working on this for nearly three weeks now, Donatello. When, will you, be finished?"  Raph growled, leering over Donnie's shoulder.

"I'm not sure, Raphael. It isn't like I have the power to see into the future." Donnie replied, refusing to look to his older brother. "But I can say, that I'm not getting very far with all of you watching me work and judging me every five seconds."

"We wouldn't have to if this wasn't your fault, would we?" Raph hissed.

Donnie then- being as pissed off, worried, and sleep deprived as he was -knocked Raph to the ground. From that, the two began punching, scratching, and biting each other, drawing blood, and nearly knocking out a few teeth.

"Whoa! Cut it out, you IDIOTS!"  Casey shouted, he and Leo separating the two.

"What's wrong with you two?! You're acting like wild animals!" April asked, feeling as if she already knew the terrible reason why.

"I wouldn't have to be acting like this, if Genius would stop screwing himself over, by acting like he's the only one being affected by this." Raph hissed.

"You all accuse me of being the bad guy, when NONE OF YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M DEALING WITH! It took me YEARS to build this thing! And you expect me to rebuild it in a FEW WEEKS?!"  Donnie retorted, trying to pull out of Leo's grip.

"Donatello! Yame!"  Splinter ordered, shutting everyone up. "I understand that you are all upset, as I am upset as well, but you cannot, and will not aim this anger towards each other! We are a family, and family is to look after each other, not tear each other apart."

No one responded.

Splinter then sighed, instructing the brothers to go to their rooms, and take some time to calm down. Once the brothers were gone, Splinter looked to April and Casey.

"I fear that this will only get worse. They do not fare well with separation." Splinter sighed.

"So what do we plan on doing? Talking to them like they're kids?" Casey scoffed, grunting as he was elbowed in the stomach.

"Sensei... I think there may be another reason why they're being so aggressive towards each other." April sighed.

"And what reason do you think that is?" Splinter inquired.

"It's because... actually, nevermind. They just need some time." April replied.

Splinter sent a knowing glare to April, before turning to leave. If April knew what was really plaguing Splinter's sons, she would no doubt tell Splinter, so as to keep things from getting worse.

"What were you gonna say?" Casey whispered once Splinter got out of rat's hearing range.

"They aren't upset because they miss him." April replied softly. "They're upset because they don't have anyone younger and less skilled than them to control."

Chapter Text

Twelve hours. That's the amount of time it took to finally calm Mikey down. Twelve consecutive hours of fear, anger, confusion, distrust, and sleepiness. Around five hours in, Donnie concluded that Mikey would need to be left alone for a few hours, or maybe even a day or two after episodes like this. It seemed as if Mikey didn't feel safe falling asleep near Donnie, so the Softshell continued to back away, getting around twenty-four feet in sightline, before Mikey actually even decided to lie down.

When Mikey finally fell asleep, Donnie picked the Box Turtle up, keeping Mikey close, and making not a sound as he carried Mikey home.

"You're gonna break our hearts in many ways, Mikey." Donnie chuckled. "But we'll still love you. Whether you believe it or not."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Donnie! You're back!" Michael gasped, tearing himself out of Raph's grip, and rushing up to Donnie. "I missed you..."

A soft groan startled the two, and they looked down to see Mikey's hurt expression. Michael then smiled, pressing his forehead against Mikey's and trilling softly.

"I missed you too." Michael whispered.

"Hey, Mikey? Michael? Why don't you go get washed up. It's way past your bedtime." Leo suggested.

"Aww! But-"

"No, Michael. Go on, get ready for bed." Donnie urged.

Michael huffed, but decided to do as told, dragging an obviously disturbed Mikey with him. Donnie swallowed a shout, deciding to tell Raph and Leo the news before telling Michael.

"What'd you learn?" Raph asked.

"Mikey isn't doing very well. He looked so confused and, scared, even. I was afraid that I might have had to use my tranquilizers to calm him down." Donnie replied. "He seems to be suffering from a few mental disorders, but the main two are Depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mikey's brothers treated him horribly, guys."

"And he thinks that we'll end up just like them." Leo sighed, leaning back on his hands. "God, how sucky does someone have to be, to make someone as sweet and innocent as Mikey this scared of other mutants?"

"Pretty sucky." Donnie muttered. "So, what's your call, Raph?"

"We have to take it slow. If we rush into this, he'll never believe that we want him here." Raph responded. "And I'm glad that you didn't use the tranquilizer gun. If you had, Mikey would have never trusted any of us again."

"So it's agreed? We all keep it cool, and make sure we don't snap in front of Mikey?" Leo asked.

Raph and Donnie nodded. With that conformation, Leo sighed with relief, yawning before lying down on the small nest that he, Raph, and Michael had made during the time they waited for Donnie and Mikey.

"You're not even gonna wait for the Kitsunes?" Donnie teased.

"You think I keep this pretty face by babysitting?" Leo replied, voice muffled by his pillow.

"Leo, at least get out of your gear." Donnie sighed.

With a whine, Leo got up and retreated to his room, trading his gear for his pajamas, and returning to the nest, plopping down onto Donnie's lap.

"Is that better, my dear twin?" Leo joked, placing his hand on Donnie's cheek.

"It would be, if my legs weren't going to fall asleep in this position." Donnie muttered, grunting as he was pushed to the ground. "LEON! I AM NOT A PILLOW!"

Raph snickered, watching as the twins playfully argued, before eventually falling asleep, cuddled together, despite one's previous annoyance. Meanwhile, Mikey and Michael had listened to the twins, one with a smile, and one with a large frown.

"Why are they fighting?" Mikey asked softly, waiting for Michael to rinse his mouth out.

"They're just playing." Michael assured. "The twins can seem like they hate each other at first, but, deep down, they love each other more than anything."

Mikey narrowed his eyes, looking to Michael with suspicion.

"So, they hurt each other, and then say that it's out of love? That's a bit hypocritical, is it not?" Mikey inquired.

"They don't hurt each other, they just squabble and tussle. Y'know, like brothers do." Michael stated, unaware of how much his words had offended Mikey.

"Oh, so brothers are supposed to hurt each other?"  Mikey scoffed.

"Wait, what? I didn't say- HEY! What gives?!" Michael shouted as his toothbrush was knocked to the ground. "I was just saying that brothers normally have small fights! I didn't mean that they beat each other like animals!"

"Okay then. So, the way my brothers treated me, was perfectly fine? If that's the case, then no one will be upset if I do this." Mikey hissed, punching Michael to the ground and laughing as Michael hit his head on the side of the tub.

The loud sound summoned Raph, Donnie, and Leo into the bathroom, and they gasped at the sight of their baby brother, on the ground, with blood pouring from his head.

"Dear god no, MICHAEL!" Donnie screamed, pushing Mikey back, and falling to his knees, pulling Michael close, and letting out a sob of happiness as he caught the sign of a pulse in Michael's wrist.

"What happened?!" Leo asked, looking to Mikey, who had stopped laughing.

"I... I don't remember." Mikey fibbed, looking to his feet. "We were just talking, and it happened so fast! It wasn't my fault! I didn't mean for it to happen! I swear!"

"What? What happened so fast?" Raph asked.

"Well I... he just... started dancing! Yeah! He started dancing, and he slipped, and I tried to catch him, but I couldn't!" Mikey replied, knowing very well that no one was believing him.

"If you tried to catch him, then why were you not on the floor when we came in here?" Donnie hissed, looking to Mikey with clear venom in his eyes.

"Because I... I didn't- I won't... I'm sorry." Mikey sobbed, turning and running out of the lair for the second time.

Raph and Leo looked to Donnie, waiting for a Yes or No to confirm their want to go make sure Mikey didn't get hurt. With a sigh, Donnie nodded, watching as Leo followed Mikey, promising to stay with Mikey for the rest of the night.

"He did this. You know that." Raph sighed, sitting down and grabbing one of Michael's hands.

"But we can't blame him for it. Mikey had a reason for doing what he did, and there's no doubt that Michael said something to unintentionally offend Mikey." Donnie replied.

"How can we do this? You know how much... Michael, loves to hang out with new friends. Mikey is a new kind of situation, and... I'm afraid." Raph admitted. "If Mikey is capable of doing something like this, and not feeling remorse until he knows that he could get in trouble, who knows what he'd do when... Michael wakes up?"

"I get it, Raph. Mikey's dangerous. But we can't abandon him." Donnie whispered, reaching into the cabinet, and patching up the scratch that Michael received. "He needs us."

"Donnie, please. I know how close you and- goddamn -Michael are, but keeping someone as unstable as Mikey here is begging for our baby brother's murder." Raph growled.

"Raph, I understand that it seems brash and biased, but-"

*DING!*

Raph checked his phone, cursing and looking to Donnie with a sneer.

"He went to April's apartment." Raph announced. "I'll go over there and help Leo bring Mikey back."

Donnie nodded, watching Raph walk off.

"And while we're gone, I beg of you, to just think about Mike's safety."  Raph pleaded. "We need to protect our own, before anyone else."

"But, Mikey is our own!" Donnie sobbed.

"Blood before Besties, Don." Raph huffed. "Choose one, not both."

At that, Raph left before Donnie could utter another word, and the Softshell was left with nothing more than an unconscious baby brother, and the knowledge that he would never truly be able to save Mikey.

Or anyone outside of the family, for that matter.

Chapter Text

Scritch, scritch scratch. Scritch scratch scritch. Scriiiiitch. Scra-a-atch. Scratch.

RIIIIIIIIIIIP

Donnie cursed, looking to his hands, and huffing at the sight of freshly peeled scales. The blood pouring from his arm no longer fazed the genius, and this was the eighth time he'd mangled his own body, and the damage was starting to show. Dark red scabs formed over Donnie's left cheek, and he huffed at the sight of the near fresh, pink spot on his neck. Pain was the only thing that could help Donatello keep his focus, but he knew how dangerous this mechanism was.

It was bad enough that Leo was always on Donnie's shell about doing this, and it was even worse that the marks would initiate more fights with Raph. Splinter would do his best to keep his sons calm, but could only do so much. April and Casey attempted to try and get the brothers to talk, but were driven out of the lair by the three pissed off mutants.

Scritch scratch.

More scales. The surrounding area was starting to turn a complete maroon colour. Just a few more layers, and Donnie could make it to muscle. And then to bone.

Scratch.

Just a little more.

Scritch...

Just one... more... lay-

"So, you're back to square one, huh?"

Growls were what Casey got in response, and he rolled his eyes at the animalistic gesture. The human had no idea why the brothers had suddenly gotten so hostile, even with the explanation April had given. Mikey's brothers loved him! No matter how much they acted otherwise.

"I didn't ask for your opinion. Come here so I can take you to Splinter." Casey instructed.

"I don't need to be taken care of."  Donnie hissed, voice gravelly and low.

"Whoa. Dude, what's with your voice?" Casey asked, taking a small step back.

"That need not concern you."  Donnie replied. "Why are you here?"

"Uh, because you haven't come out of here in days. You need some sun." Casey responded.

"Who gave you the authority to come in here?"

"Leo. Duh, who else?"

"Leo... the bastard would try to lure me out of my sanctuary... and you would be the one to listen to him. You're plotting, aren't you? Wanting me to get comfortable once more? Well, that won't work anymore. I won't listen to your orders. I'm getting my brother back, whether you care or not."

Casey huffed, holding back a few choice words, so as to not get jumped.

Like last time. And he still had the scar from where Raph had bitten him. The goddamn bitch.

"Whatever. But, I hope you realize that Leo's gonna try and get you anyways." Casey warned.

"Let the bastard come. I'll let him taste my blood, poured by my own hands before I go out there to face the rest."  Donnie hissed.

With a frown of what was almost sympathy, Casey turned, saying nothing more as he left. Once Casey was gone, Donnie growled, turning to the machine, which wasn't even halfway done, and giving his own frown. The genius knew that it would be well beyond even a year before the family would be able to see Mikey again. If they kept living at this pace, anyways.

Scritch scratch.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Boys! Calm down! You're only making it worse!" April shouted, trying to move Raph and Leo away from Mikey.

Leo currently had Mikey in a chokehold, and Raph took the liberty to take away Mikey's weapons. This earned a disturbing bout of screams of terror, and Mikey thrashed about in Leo's arms. The Slider grunted, tightening his grip, and trying to drown out Mikey's screams, by yelling out random nonsense.

"Let him go!" April ordered, pushing Leo to the side. "Mikey! SIT DOWN!"

Mikey panted, doing as told, and watching as Raph and Leo did the same.

"Now, I understand why everyone is upset, but you cannot, and will not lash out against each other like this! You are a family! You're brothers! And I know that you love each other with all of your hearts! So, START ACTING LIKE IT!"

The turtles looked to each other, each harboring a look of sadness.

"Mikey, look... I understand that you didn't mean to hurt Miguel, but... you can't just go around hitting people that make you upset." Leo sighed, reaching out a hand to place on Mikey's shoulder.

The Box Turtle reeled back quickly in response, cowering in on himself as his pupils constricted. This earned a group sigh, and they all sat down, looking to the floor, and waiting for Mikey to come to terms. It took longer than anyone wanted to admit, but Mikey finally decided to look to the others, sniffling and letting a few tears slip out.

"Hey, don't be upset." April sighed, scooting closer to Mikey. "What you did, was rude and dangerous, yes, but I agree that it doesn't warrant this much aggression."

Raph and Leo nervously chuckled, averting their eyes from Mikey and April.

"It's not like we even came here to hurt him." Leo muttered.

"...You... didn't?"  Mikey asked incredulously.

"No! Why would we? Yes, we're upset, but we aren't going to beat you up. That would be immoral." Raph confirmed.

"Then... why didn't you tell me?"

"We tried! But you kept running!" Leo replied. "You're Mikey! We could never stay mad at Mikey, no matter what universe, or how old!"

Mikey smiled, cautiously sidling up to Raph and Leo, before wrapping his arms around Raph. The Snapper smiled, reciprocating the action, and laughing as Leo and April joined in.

"You really aren't gonna hurt me." Mikey sighed. "For now."

"Or ever. If we do, know that it's not out of hate." April assured.

"Wow. So... you said that you could never be mad at any Mikey? No matter what he did?"

"Not at all."

Mikey hummed, saying nothing more, and smirking.

They could never get mad at their own brother, huh?

Well then, that could never do!

.

.

.

Mikey would just have to do something about that.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Michael? Are you awake?" Mikey asked quietly, shaking Michael's hammock aggressively.

The younger whined in response, opening his eyes in frustration. Upon noticing who had woken him up, Michael yelped, tossing a teddy bear at Mikey and muttering something along the lines of "begone, demon."

"Hey, it's okay. I didn't mean to hit you, I swear. I am so sorry for hurting you." Mikey whispered. "Do you think you could forgive me?"

"..."

"I brought cookies~"

"Okay!" Michael replied excitedly, grabbing the plate of cookies, and swallowing the sweet confections down quickly.

Mikey smiled widely, though, there seemed to be no emotion behind the expression. Once this was realized, Michael stopped eating, looking to Mikey, and frowning fearfully. Mikey, whom had taken noticed of Michael's suspicion, chuckled, placing a hand on Michael's shoulder.

"There's no need to be scared! I told you! I'm incredibly sorry, and these cookies are a gift of apology." Mikey assured. "Now, go ahead and eat. We wouldn't want such a well deserved snack go to waste, would we?"

Michael shook his head, grabbing another cookie, and eating it slowly. All the while, Mikey was watching intently, eyes predatory, and smile deceivingly warm.

"Here, you seem a bit anxious." Mikey chimed, climbing onto Michael's hammock. "How about this: while you eat, I'll massage you. Yeah?"

"I dunno, that seems a little weird." Michael replied, blushing as his comment was ignored. "I... don't feel comfortable with this."

"Shh. It's fine. I just want you to know that I'm extremely sorry." Mikey shushed, booping Michael's snout. "Now, you keep eating, and I'll keep- for lack of a better word -pleasing."

"I'm sure that you could have thought of a better word than that." Michael muttered, grunting and huffing as a cookie was stuffed into his mouth aggressively. "Look, I guess I forgive you for hitting me, but... Donnie says I should rest. So, I will."

"Oh, yeah! Sure you will!" Mikey agreed. "Later."

"What the? Hey! Let go of my arm! Wait, what are you- STOP IT!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Wowzers! I slept like a cat! That sure was a good night, wasn't it?" Mikey giggled, walking into the kitchen with a kick in his step.

"Hmm. You seem... oddly calm." Donnie pointed out. "Where is Michael?"

"I tried to wake him up, but he said he wanted to sleep in." Mikey replied, sitting down at the table.

Donnie hummed, looking towards Michael's room, and leaving the kitchen not too long after. With a low growl, Mikey flashed his teeth, expression returning to its previously peppy one as Raph and Leo looked back to him. With shrugs, Raph and Leo moved to make themselves breakfast, deciding to start a casual conversation with Mikey, and asking if he remembered much from the night before. This earned them a peppy "kinda, but not really" in response, and they agreed to just leave it at that.

Meanwhile, Donnie was consoling a very obviously perturbed Michael, whom had been found vomiting violently.

"Shh, you're okay. You're okay. Just breathe." Donnie cooed softly, hugging Michael close. "What happened, bud?"

"Nothing... I just got sick is all." Michael replied, nuzzling closer to Donnie.

"Are you sure? Nothing happened with your pain pill last night, did it?" Donnie inquired.

"No, the pill was fine. I just felt really sick." Michael assured.

"Alright. You up for breakfast?"

"Mm-mm."

Sighing, Donnie nodded, placing a peck on Michael's cheek, and offering to help Michael clean up.

"NO!"  Michael screamed, throwing his hands over his mouth and blushing, before bursting into tears. "I'm sorry..."

Donnie's brows furrowed, and he held Michael protectively, trying to think of what could be causing the younger to act this way. The thoughts were pushed aside, however, when Michael shuddered.

"Dee?" Michael whimpered, looking up to his brother.

"What is it, Michael?" Donnie replied.

"What... what would you give me for a basket of kisses?" Michael asked.

"...A basket of hugs." Donnie chimed, pressing his forehead against Michael's. "And a million more after that."

"Thank you..." Michael purred, cherishing the gentle, brotherly hold he was in for a few more seconds, before urging Donnie back lightly. "I can clean myself."

"Are you sure?" Donnie asked.

"As sure as Copernicus." Michael replied.

"Heh. That's my baby bro." Donnie chuckled, rubbing Michael's head, before standing, helping Michael up, and walking away.

"...A basket of hugs..." Michael sighed happily. "And, a million more..."

Chapter Text

Guilty. That's how Mikey felt. That's how he felt about what he did. But he didn't show it. If he did, he would be hated, he would be disowned. But not just that, he'd be killed. So, he wasn't going to tell. And the more he convinced himself that things would end up fine, the more he seemed to believe it.

"Just. Give. Me. Your. Arm."

"No! Let me go! DONNIE! LEO! RAPH!"

"SHUT UP!"

Mikey cringed at the memory of Michael's loud yelp, a response to being smacked across the face.

"Let go of me! You're hurting me!"

"Then stop struggling! It won't hurt, if you stop. STRUGGLING!"

And he had been telling the truth. Once Michael had been subdued, Mikey was able to inject a sleeping serum into Michael's neck, knocking the younger out immediately. From there, Mikey had grabbed another nearby syringe, it being filled with some sort of purple liquid. Finding a good vein, Mikey stuck the syringe in, huffing as he urged the liquid in, and shuddering as the last of the liquid finally disappeared.

How desperately now, did Mikey wish he had injected a fast-acting poison into poor little Michael's body, but that was not the case. Instead, he had injected Michael with a chemical, one in which would slowly shut down his immune system, and leave him subject to diseases.

Funnily enough, Mikey had memorized how to get the chemical, and what he needed to add in order for it to take effect. And his brothers always nagged him for having a short attention span.

But, at the moment he didn't feel proud of that. At the moment, Mikey felt like he had done something undoable; something that had been going on for days. He felt like he had just endangered one of the only mutants who truly loved him, despite who he was, and what his background was. Dear god, Michael was the first one to even suggest taking Mikey in!

"No, oh no, what have I done? What have I done?! What is wrong with me?!" Mikey screamed, burying his face in his hands. "Why did you do this to me?! I didn't mean to hurt him! I swear to god that I didn't!"

But he did.

"No! No I didn't!"

But he did.

"NO! SHUT UP!"

He was in the conscious state.

"STOP IT! I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE!"

But it's happening.

"I CAN STOP IT!"

But... can you?

"...You?"

Did it even happen?

"What? Of course it did! I remember it! Clear as day!"

Sure it did.

"SHUT UP!" Mikey screamed, holding his head in pain, eyes opening slowly, and adjusting to the terrified figures above him.

"Uhm... are you... feeling okay?" Leo asked cautiously, an arm in front of Michael.

Mikey groaned, looking to the brothers, and trying to comprehend what had happened. Why was everyone surrounding him? Why was he on a bed? He could have sworn that he was just somewhere else. When did the others even pull him in here?

"You were in the kitchen, and then you started freaking out. You kept apologizing to me about doing something last night." Michael explained. "Raphie pulled you in here, and Donnie had to put you under a sanditive."

"A sedative, Michael. And, yes. You had begun to act in a worrying way, so I had you put to sleep in order to check your brain waves." Donnie added.

"Yeah, and then you started talking in your sleep. Something about a chemical or whatever." Leo chimed.

"And you started to apologize again, and then you started talking to yourself! It was so super scary! I almost peed myself!" Michael finished, holding Leo's arm tightly. "But, you're awake now, and you can tell us about your crazy dream!"

Shaking his head, Mikey tried to think over what he'd been told. This had to be a prank! There was no way that Mikey had dreamt the scenario! It was impossible!

"No. N-no. I couldn't have... what happened last night?" Mikey asked.

"Nothing too spectacular. You came home, I got a little scared, but we made up, and then we all slept in a big nest that Raph, Leo, and I made! I did most of the work though. Then we woke up, and we decided to eat breakfast pizza, but you started to act weird, and you told me to run, so I did, and I told Donnie, and stuff happened, and now we're here." Michael chimed.

"But... no. No, you were in your hammock! Donnie put you in your hammock, and I gave you cookies, and then I... then I..." Mikey trailed off, trying to put the pieces together.

None of this made any sense.

"My hammock? I didn't go to my hammock." Michael replied, thinking before gasping suddenly. "If you had cookies, why didn't you give me any?!"

"I DID, GODDAMN IT!"  Mikey screamed, scaring the brothers, and causing them to reel back.

"Leo, take Michael to the living room and give him his pain pill." Donnie instructed.

"But, Donnie-"

"No, Michael. Go with Leo." Donnie huffed, urging the two off. "Raph... help me subdue him."

Raph nodded, he and Donnie looking to Mikey, who had the largest of smiles on his face. Worriedly, Donnie and Raph glanced to each other.

"The pain pills were there." Mikey laughed. "The pain pills were there! They were there! So it happened! They were there! They were there! They were all there! You're just lying! You know what I did to him, and this is what you're doing to get to me! Well, he's MINE NOW! He belongs to ME! He loves ME! I'M HIS ONLY BROTHER! HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME! NOT YOU! M-"

Shink!

"...Me..."

Donnie panted, looking to Raph, who had the largest look of shock on his face. The pair stared down to Mikey, who had immediately fallen asleep after being injected with a strong sedative. Once this was realized, Raph let go of Mikey's arms, having completely forgotten that he had taken hold of the Box Turtle.

"What the hell?" was all that Raph could let out, before Michael raced into the lab, being followed by Leo, who was panting and groaning.

"Dear lord, he's so slippery. We gotta get new pain pills Don. These things are givin' him superpowers." Leo whimpered, leaning against the wall and shaking the pill bottle around.

"What? New pain- those aren't supposed to have that sort of side effect." Donnie replied. "What does it say on the bottle?"

"I dunno man! Some sort of Octo-tipsin pill or something!" Leo huffed, trying to catch his breath.

"Octo-tip... no. NONONONONO!" Donnie shouted, tearing the bottle from Leo's hands. "YOU'VE BEEN GIVING HIM OXYTOCIN?!"

"What in the fresh hell does that even mean?! I'm just giving him the medicine in the box you labeled 'Pain Pills'!" Leo retorted.

"Wait, isn't that the hormone that bonds mothers and babies or whatever?" Raph asked.

"Yes, it is." Donnie replied.

"Then, shouldn't Mike be attached to whoever's been giving him the medicine?"

"Mikey? Wake up brother!"

Raph, Donnie, and Leo tensed, turning to look at Michael, and gasping in horror as they were met with the sight of Michael using a syringe in an attempt to rid Mikey of the sedatives.

"Are you awake now?"

Mikey stirred, holding onto his head once more, and looking to Michael, smiling warmly.

"I'm good." Mikey replied, accepting the hug he received, looking to the others, and sneering. "Brother."

Chapter Text

Stares. Stares of fear, betrayal, hatred, and agony were sent between four of the five turtles in Donatello's lab, and the heavy scent of aggression flew through the area. Nothing was said, and nothing needed to be said. Mainly because of the presence of someone as sweet as Michael.

"How could you do something like this?" came Raph's sudden question, only worsening the tension.

"Do what? Bond with Michael? Isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing?" Mikey replied, a disgusting sense of humor in his tone.

"YOU KNOW GODDAMN WELL WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT!"

At that, Michael squeaked, looking to his brothers, and fearfully hiding behind Mikey. The reaction then caused Raph to calm down, and he took a few deep breaths, before finally making a decision.

"How about this; we will stay out of your business, allow you to do what you want, and how you want to... if you stop giving our baby brother those pills."

Michael tilted his head, looking to Mikey. The latter huffed, looking to his claws, and pretending to think. The offer was pretty enticing, but also very stupid. For the brothers to allow Mikey to do whatever he wanted, was like giving him the liberty to blow up New York for no apparent reason.

"Mmm... how about no?"  Mikey chuckled, lifting Michael onto the cot he was sat upon. "You see, Michael is mine now. And, no matter how much you try to convince him otherwise, he'll believe that."

"If that's the case, then why are you saying this right in front of him?" Leo asked.

"Because he isn't listening. Look at him! He's cuddled up like a sleeping puppy!" Mikey snickered. "But, if you really want to, I'll allow you to try and pull him out of his trance. I'd like to see how strong your "brotherly bond" is."

Raph and Leo then looked to Donnie, who nodded, walking up to both versions of Mikey, and sticking a hand up to Michael's snout. Michael whimpered, sniffing and gathering the scent, before opening his eyes, and looking to his brother, who started off looking like nothing more than a fuzzy blur.

"Hey, Michael. How's it going buddy?" Donnie asked softly, placing his hand on Mikey's cheek. "You must be so confused right now. It's okay though. No matter what happens, Raph, Leo, and I will always love you. You know that, right?"

Michael sat still, sending a confused look to his genius brother. Despite this, Donnie smiled, moving closer, and pressing his snout against Mikey's. The action reawakened a sudden feeling in Michael, and he shook his head, blinking a few times, before looking to his brother once more.

"Donnie!" Michael giggled, cheering as he was pulled into a hug.

"Oh, thank goodness!" Donnie sighed, pressing a sweet kiss to Michael's cheek. "You had us so worried for a bit. It's good to know that you're still yourself."

"Mm-hm. Sure." Mikey muttered. "Michael, over here, brother."

From that order, Michael's brain seemed to switch off, and he growled, pushing Donnie away, and loyally returning to Mikey's side. Mikey then laughed at the others' faces of shock, making a mental note that he should somehow catch a picture of them some time.

"I can't believe you thought he'd fall for that so easily! Like I said: Michael is mine, and you. Can't. Stop that."

"Boys! Have you seen my TV watching robe? I cannot watch TV with my eating robe! It would be a disgrace!"

Mikey then looked past the rest of the brothers, catching sight of Splinter, and bursting into laughter.

"This tiny piece of garbage is your version of my father?! Oh, this day cannot get any better!" Mikey cackled. "I bet he hasn't even taught you sorry excuses for ninjas anything!"

Leo growled, whilst Raph and Donnie simply sent glares. Meanwhile, Splinter was watching the verbal altercation with interest, wondering how he hadn't noticed this deranged version of his baby Orange immediately.

"Oh, but if you really want to fight," Mikey sighed, pushing Michael towards the others, "take your little pound of flesh and shell."

"You're a sick bastard." Leo snarled.

"I'm sure you really believe that." Mikey giggled, smug look on his face, even as he threw his nunchucks onto Michael's head. "Fight, my loyal brother."

Michael hissed, launching forwards, and yelping as he was kicked out of the air, looking up to Splinter, and whimpering. This had no effect on the rat, and he looked to Mikey, who huffed.

"Fine! I guess I'll take a go, considering how you have no idea how to fight, you worthless piece of shit." Mikey growled, showing no pity as Michael began to cry.

In no time at all, the match started, and Mikey was on the floor in an instant, yielding and complaining as he was let up. With a huff, Mikey aggressively gripped Michael's arm, dragging the younger away. In fear, Donnie and Leo moved to follow, but were shocked when they were stopped by their older brother.

"Something isn't right." Raph muttered.

"No shit, Sherlock! That demon is trying to take our brother away from us!" Leo shouted.

"It is not just that, Blue. This... other version of your brother, is more hostile, much harder to predict. You cannot rush into a battle without properly knowing your opponent." Splinter advised. "Leave him be for the moment, and only intervene once you know what he is capable of."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?!"

Smack!

"I GIVE YOU ONE ORDER, AND YOU LOOK AT IT LIKE IT'S A JOKE!"

Smack!

"YOU'RE A WORTHLESS SON OF A BITCH, DO YOU HEAR ME?!"

Smack!

" WORTHLESS!"

Smack!

"WORTHLESS!"

Smack! Smack! Smack!

Michael wailed aloud, curled in on himself as he attempted to ignore the pain of being struck with Mikey's nunchucks. A punishment that Mikey had deemed perfectly normal.

"I will make you wish you were never born, do you hear me?"

Michael sniffled, looking to Mikey with a scar covered face.

"...You know I love you. Don't you?" Mikey asked. "DON'T YOU?!"

"YES!"

"Good. I love you, so much. No matter how much I hurt you, it's only for the best. Do you know why?"

Michael shook his head.

"It's because disciplined children always turn out strong." Mikey hissed, slamming Michael's head against the floor. "Now, sleep. You piece of shit."

Chapter Text

Soft sobs and whimpered filled the lab, as Donatello worked on his baby brother's wounds, shushing the younger, and placing kisses on the wounds, in an attempt to make Michael believe said wounds would heal faster because of it. Day by day, Michael would always find himself literally crawling into Donnie's lab, bloody scratches, and dark purple bruises covering his arms and legs. And every day, Michael was met with the same, loving, careful treatment.

"He doesn't love you, Michael. If he loved you, do you think he would do this?" Donnie would always whisper.

"He apologizes for it." was Michael's constant response. "If I would be a better brother, he wouldn't have to hit me."

At that, Donnie would always pull Michael into a protective hug, purring and trilling as Michael did the same. The two would always stay in this position for as long as possible, until Mikey would walk into the lab, knowing where Michael would go when he knew he was in trouble. Much to Michael's luck, however, Mikey would always be met with a pissed off genius brother, who had a murderous look in his eyes.

The same look that Mikey's Donnie would send if someone messed with him.

"...Give me the bitch." Mikey would hiss.

And every time, Michael would reluctantly pull away from Donnie, whimpering and crying as he did his best to pull himself to his feet. It always got worse, and, by this point, Michael was finding it harder and harder to even crawl, being forced to cry out whenever he was beaten and left to tend to his wounds. This, not surprisingly, pissed Mikey off with a passion, and he only responded by beating Michael much more.

But, one day, Mikey pushed the boundaries much farther than he should have even considered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"STAND UP! STAND UP, YOU WORTHLESS COWARD!" Mikey screamed, whipping Michael with his nunchucks.

Michael sobbed, trying desperately to stand, but not finding enough strength to do so. Because of this, Michael simply continued to cry, screaming every time Mikey's weapons made contact with his skin.

"I'M SORRY!" Michael wailed, confusion flowing through him as he was beaten more.

"SORRY DOESN'T FIX WHAT YOU'VE DONE, DOES IT?!"  Mikey roared, throwing his nunchucks down, and gripping one of Michael's arms, pulling it back, and placing a foot on Michael's shell.

This earned out pleas of horror, but Mikey paid no attention to them, continuing to pull, and determined to teach Michael the biggest lesson that he c-

SNAP!

Shock met terror in a blinding mix, as Mikey realized what he'd done, letting going of Michael's now broken arm, and covering his ears, trying to block out the unholy screech that Michael let out.

"No! NO! This isn't my fault! I didn't do it! I DIDN'T DO THIS!"  Mikey sobbed, shaking his head, before looking down to Michael. "Omigosh! Michael! What happened?!"

Before he could even get an attempt of an answer, Mikey was thrown to the side, his presence being completely ignored, as Michael was tended to. Shouts of anger and instruction were what filled the area, and Donnie was- thank god -able to set and sling Michael's arm, going through the routine he normally did on a more "tame" day. Thinking of that, though, Donnie snarled, looking to Mikey, and preparing to stand and kill the orange-clad turtle.

"Silence yourself, Purple!" Splinter shouted, placing a hand in front of Donnie. "Take your brother to the lab. Red and Blue, follow him. I need to speak with this one, alone."

The brothers all hissed in unison, before doing as told, not sending an ounce of care towards Mikey as they left. Once they were gone, Splinter looked to Mikey calmly.

"So, you deranged version of my youngest son, tell me why it is you broke his arm." Splinter instructed.

"I didn't. You have to believe me!" Mikey replied.

"Oh, I have to believe you?" Splinter inquired. "My apologies, I seem to have forgotten when you became the one in charge."

Mikey huffed. This old rat knew what Mikey was talking about, but was just being too much of a smart-ass to let it be known.

"I. Did not. Hurt him." Mikey growled.

"Oh, I'm sure you didn't. I'm sure he just so happened to push his arm back far enough to break it. What, with how weak you've made him." Splinter chimed. "When was the last time you fed him? Even for a turtle, he seems underweight."

He doesn't eat unless he follows orders correctly the first time.

"I've been feeding him on a regular basis." Mikey replied.

"Mmhm. And, the last time he's had water? He seems very dehydrated." Splinter continued.

He only gets water once a week. Other than that, I'll force him to drink his own piss.

"He drinks water on a daily basis." Mikey remarked. "It's as if you don't trust me to take care of him."

"Oh, you sure are taking care of him. But, sadly, not in the way your imagination makes you believe." Splinter chuckled, tail whipping around at the mere thought of his youngest son being abused in such a way.

It was a genuine wonder that Splinter hadn't killed Mikey before now.

"Are you implying something?" Mikey scoffed.

"No! Not at all! I am simply asking you about your relationship with Orange! You two seem to be so close. He always looks so happy after you two... play." Splinter responded, forcing himself to even mutter the disgusting word Michael used to sugar-coat the abuse he was being put through.

"Well, he's always eager to do so! We're always coming up with new ways to hang out!" Mikey chimed.

Like today, when I forced him to hold his breath until he passed out, and when I forced him to place his hands in boiling water with a gag in his mouth.

"Yes, he always is telling us about the games you play. Such as- if I remember correctly -Timer. Would you care to explain how to play? Orange isn't very good with explaining things, especially recently." Splinter requested.

Well, it's pretty simple, I force him to eat more food than his stomach can handle, and then I force him to throw it all up, before any of it can be digested.

"It's kind of like an eating contest. We try to see who can eat more food, and whoever eats the most, wins!" Mikey explained. "Of course, he gets sick when we play sometimes, so he ends up leaning over the toilet on those occasions."

"You're a pathetic liar..."

"What?"

"Nothing!" Splinter chimed, smiling convincingly. "You just reminded me of one of my favorite movies."

Mikey nodded, trying to think over what Splinter had said, before tensing as he felt a clawed hand on his shoulder.

"I just want you to know, that I am very proud of you. You've made Orange as happy as I've seen him in a while." Splinter stated. "I just hope he can keep up with the excitement."

And then, without another word, Splinter turned and walked off to check on Michael, leaving Mikey to himself. A few minutes passed, before Mikey finally realized what he'd just done. He had lied straight to Splinter's face. He had just lied, to save his own shell. He had used his own sick lies to hide behind the fact that he... that he... he... was a better friend than he described! Mikey had left out so many great things! Oh, how he'd have to tell Splinter the next time they talked! It would be a better conversation than now!

Because the truth would be told.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How is he?" Splinter inquired as he walked into the lab.

"He passed out, but he should get better." Raph replied.

"I was referring to Purple." Splinter muttered. "I can see how my baby boy is doing. I have eyes."

"Oh. Right... well... Donnie is-"

"He's hurting. But he won't tell anyone." Leo sighed. "I tried talking to him, but the best I could get was a hiss."

Splinter nodded, calling his oldest sons into the center of the room.

"Boys, I must inform you that I have learned more about this enemy of ours." Splinter announced. "He is confused, angry, and scared. He cannot comprehend what he is doing, because he is too sick to do so. However, you must not mistake this sickness for weakness. He is still perfectly capable of killing, and he will do so if he feels it is needed."

"But, father, how are we supposed to predict when... this... is going to happen?" Donnie asked, voice strained and full of anger.

"You cannot. And I do not want you to even try. If it does, make sure Orange is as safe of a distance away as possible, and hide with him. Make sure you are not found, and stay there until I can subdue the enemy." Splinter instructed.

"Father-"

"NO, PURPLE! You will not engage, and that is final!" Splinter ordered.

In response, Donnie began growling, attempting to stare Splinter down, before standing and rushing off.

"Donnie! Wait!"  Leo shouted, looking to Splinter worriedly.

"...Make sure he stays safe." Splinter sighed.

Leo nodded, following after Donnie, and hoping that he could catch up to the genius before something- or someone -ended up dead. Raph, being the only healthy brother left in the lab, looked to Splinter, waiting for a command.

"Go outside and keep watch. I will stay in here with Orange."

"What if he-"

"Fight him off. Injure him. Do what you must to subdue him! Do not show him mercy, no matter what he says!"

"But, pops, you're basically telling me to-"

"Kill. If. Needed. He is hurting our family, and I will not allow him to completely tear it apart."

Sighing, Raph walked out of the lab, standing guard, and keeping watch, nervousness flowing through him as every second passed. Meanwhile, Splinter looked to Michael, moving close, and rubbing Michael's head soothingly, taking note of how corpse-like the young teen was.

"We will defend your honor... Michelangelo." Splinter assured. "And keep you safe from this virus of a living creature."