Okay so after reading Mikey's Predicament by: dondena, Hurt by: AlyCat3, and Last Words by: ChiakiAngel, I was inspired to do a similar fic but with my own similar plot twist. Then the ideas of individuality vs. conformity took hold and this is the result. Thank you, Simone Robinson. Your fanfics, especially No More Chances have been used for inspiration in dialogue. Disclaimer: Don't own Ninja Turtles, "Pork and Beans", and "The Pretender".
I'mma do the things
That I wanna do
I ain't got a thing
To prove to you
I'll eat my candy
With the pork and beans
Excuse my manners
If I make a scene
I ain't gonna wear
The clothes that you like
I'm finally dandy
With the me inside
One look in the mirror
And I'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot
About what you think
- "Pork and Beans" by: Weezer
It was evening training, and we were supposed to be meditating, but knowing me, I couldn't stay still long enough. I'm pretty sure I have ADHD or something like that. Point is I can't concentrate during meditation. I don't know how Leo does it. I started humming a "Weird Al" Yankovic song, and pretty soon, I was tapping my foot against the floor and snapping my fingers.
I guess I was too loud because Master Splinter hissed, "Michelangelo, enough with that racket. Focus!"
I gulped and tried my hardest to stay still and quiet. Honestly, I tried, but the sound of "Canadian Paradise" crept into my mind again and pretty soon I mumble part of the refrain and chuckled at the song's humor. This earned me a hit in the head by my sensei's cane.
Lesson One: If prone to having songs stuck inside your head, never listen to any of "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs unless you wanted to be scolded and hit on the head by your sensei.
I took a peek at Master Splinter's expression and saw annoyance, frustration, (disappointment?) on his face. My smile quickly vanished, and I put up with the throbbing pain as I quickly got back to meditation. You think that between Raph and Master Splinter's cane that my head would be used to being slapped and caned at but no. Stupid, not-resisting-pain, head. I'm pretty sure caning counts as child abuse, but I don't say anything about it.
Finally, after thirty more minutes of this stupid meditation exercise, we were free to leave. I was thrilled. I was about to skip out the dojo and report to military service at the hands of Call of Duty: Black Ops, but Master Splinter stopped that from happening. He put a paw on my shoulder and asked, "My son, may I see you in the dojo for a minute?"
Even though he was asking, I knew I didn't really have a choice so I just said, "Sure." He's just probably going to lecture me, maybe have me do a few exercises, and that would be it. Nothing too big so I followed him and knelt on the tatami mat. Mater Splinter knelt in front of me and five minutes of awkward silence existed between us. If this were Jeopardy, the theme song would be playing right now. I fight the urge to whistle it right now. I'm already in an enough trouble as it is.
"Michelangelo," Master Splinter started to say. I nearly jump out of my skin. I haven't expected him to speak yet. "I wanted to speak to you about your behavior in the dojo recently. During these past few days, you have become inattentive and often fool around. Many times I have told you to silence yourself and focus. Yet, you continued to go on with your foolishness. I even had to use my cane to get your attention which seemed to have worked. My son, do you know why I am so strict with you and your brothers during training?"
"Uhhhh, because you like to torture us?" I gave a sheepish smile.
Master Splinter caned me on the head again. "No, my son, it is because I want you four to know how to defend yourselves when faced with danger. I cannot bare to lose any of you, but if you continue to goof off, you will miss out on an important lesson of self-defense in the art of ninjitsu. Look at your brothers. They pay attention and train hard. They do not goof off and always stay focused. On the other hand, you have seemed to be inattentive during my lessons and choose to fool around over training. Do you want your antics to be the cause of your death?"
A large, solid rock – no, boulder – dropped down into the pit of my stomach as my father's words, Do you want your antics to be the cause of your death, echo in my head. He's basically saying that who I am will be the death of me. He wants me to change, to grow up, like Leo, Raph, and Donny, but I can't do that. Doing that will destroy my own individuality, and my own individuality makes me unique – makes me who I am. I can't change that for the world even if there's the potential it will kill me.
Suddenly, I feel angry because another revelation just hit me. Master Splinter, my own father, doesn't love who I really am. He wants me to be somebody else. Somebody I'm not. I want to say something that conveys how I really feel. Some kind of comeback I can say, but my mind draws a blank. So I hide my anger and in a happy voice I say, "Oh come on, Sensei, just because I fool around doesn't mean I'm gonna end up dead. I'm just not into this whole ninja stuff as Leo and Raph are. I mean it's not like I'm gonna be a ninja when I grow up." What I said was true. I want to be a graphic novelist when I grow up. The only thing cool about being a ninja is knowing how to defend yourself. I don't plan on being a hardcore ninja like Leo plans to.
Master Splinter just looks on me. Disappointment clearly evident on his face. He lowers his head and sighs. "Oh, Michelangelo, just what am I suppose to do with you."
A smaller rock dropped down into my gut. This feels almost as worse as when Master Splinter said that I needed to change my personality, but the feeling still triumphs any punishment he could give me. I wanted to say something, anything, to stop this feeling of failure inside me, but I couldn't. Instead, I got up and left. Master Splinter didn't stop me nor did he get up. As soon as I closed the door, he began meditating. I didn't want to feel like crap the whole evening so I continued with my original plans for the evening – play Call of Duty: Black Ops.
For awhile, it put me in a good mood, but it didn't have the lasting effect I wanted it to. Maybe seeing what Don's up to will cheer me up. I saved my game and turned off the system. I skipped over to Don's lab and barged right in (much to Don's dismay). "Hey, Donny! Whatcha doin'?"
"Go away, Mikey," growled Don. "I'm working on something very important, and I don't need you interrupting me." He must still be pissed over the prank I pulled on him using his chemistry set.
My mood still unfazed, I said, "Oh come on, Donny, whatcha working on?" I looked over his shoulder and noticed notes about DNA and the green goo that mutated us. I also saw a beaker containing some of the goo that the Utroms gave him right before they teleported back to their home planet. Either Don is doing an experiment on the goo or he's trying to learn its secrets. Either way it's something I would never do.
I move my head for a closer look. Don's notebook looks like it was written in Latin or something, and all his math equations look like kanji or Hebrew. I move my arm back and accidently knock over a vile filled with some kind of clear liquid. The vile doesn't break. It just leans against the beaker, but the clear liquid pours into the beaker filled with that mutating goo. The goo bubbles and foams up. It erupts like a volcano and pours all over Don's notes. The goo (more like green foam) stops bubbling, but it spills onto the floor.
I knew Don wasn't too happy. I could see an emotion beyond annoyance written on his face. I smile sheepishly, "Whoops. Sorry, Don."
Don's expression didn't change, and I knew that staring at him with puppy dog eyes will not get him to forgive me this time. Still Don didn't yell as he said, "Get out, Mikey."
I did feel bad for what I did to Don's experiment. I mean, it was important to him so before I left, I said, "Do you want me to help you clean up."
"If it's any consolation, my blunder may have led to some kind of new scientific discovery for you. A lot of cool stuff and discoveries came about from accidents." I read that in some scientific magazine lying around Don's room while I was snooping around, looking for him.
"Get out, Mikey!"
"Alright, I'm leaving."
Just as I was about to leave, I heard Don mumble, "If you just went away for one day, I could get so much done."
This hurt hearing Don say this. Yeah, I know Don is annoyed whenever I interrupt him, but I never would think that he wished me gone. Nah, Don's just saying that. He doesn't mean that. He's just pissed that I ruined his little science experiment again. Knowing this, I wandered off to find Leo. Turns out that Leo was in the dojo practicing some katas. Shocker. I guess Master Splinter must have left the dojo and headed to his room or else Leo wouldn't be in the dojo. No one disturbs Master Splinter and lives to tell the tale.
"Hey, Leo, how's it going?" I greeted.
Leo was about to perform some kind of flying dragon kick when he yelled out of surprise and fell down. Leo collected his bearings and saw me standing at the entrance to the dojo. I waved at him. "Mikey, can't you see that I'm training?"
Hello to you, too, big brother. "Well, yeah, duh."
"Then why did you interrupt me? Is there something you need?"
"Nah. Just wanted to say hi to my big brother Leo." Then I gave him my famous Mikey grin.
Leo just sighed. Obviously, he wasn't in the mood. "If you don't need anything, then please leave me alone." I was about to leave when Leo said, "Actually, you should probably do some training right now. Lately, you have been slacking off. Your katas are sloppy, and your mind is undisciplined. Master Splinter is right, you know? If you don't focus and train hard, you might fall victim to your enemies. Perhaps, I can show you…"
"You overheard what Master Splinter was saying to me, right?"
Leo smiled guiltily. "Yeah, I'm sorry. I was waiting for you two to finish whatever you were doing in the dojo so I can do some extra training. I couldn't help but overhearing what was being said, but Master Splinter does have a point. I can help you with your training right now."
Me? Training? Yeah, right. Besides, Leo agrees with Master Splinter. They both want me to grow up. "Nah, I'm good, Leo. I don't want to eat, breathe, and live the way of a ninja. You can do that." I left without giving Leo the last word. I head to the garage to find Raph. Raph is my own personal hero. Maybe, we can hang out together.
Raph was working on his motorcycle when I stepped in. "Hey, Raph!"
Raph just grunted. That isn't good enough for me.
I entered into the garage. Raph raised an eye at me. "If you mess up my bike or try to annoy me, I will beat the crap out of you."
"Relax, Raphie boy, I just wanna hang out with my favorite bro." I said as innocently as possible.
"Yeah, right, and don't call me 'Raphie'."
"Why not? You liked that nickname when you were little."
"Yeah, well, not any more. Now if you're just hear to bother me about my name, then get out," Raph threatened.
As usual, Raph's threats normally don't scare me. "Awww. Someone seems grumpy today. Does someone need a hug?"
"Mikey," Raph growled.
I hopped over to wear my big brother was and threw my arms around his neck. This ticked off an even more rage filled turtle as he got up, grabbed my arm, and pulled me forward off his back. I landed on my shell on the hard, cement floor. I groaned in pain.
"Now, unless you want your shell to hurt even more than it already does, I suggest you get the shell out of here."
I got up rubbing where it hurt most. "Why? Don't you love me?" I gave him my puppy dog eyes, but for the second time in my life, it didn't work. Instead, Raph slapped me on the back of my head.
I rubbed the back of my head. "Alright, fine. You just can't handle love and affection."
Raph looked like he was about to slap the backside of my head again so I instantly ran out of the garage. I still was not happy. Then a brand new idea popped into my head: I should pull a prank. An epic prank that will target all three of my brothers! That will make me laugh. I ran into my room to plan my ultimate prank. I thought of some ideas and written them down in my Notebook of Evil, but I crossed them out in not being epic enough. Finally, I came up with the perfect one. It was too irresistible. I started to have fits of giggles because of how hilarious the outcome will be.
I reached under my bed and grabbed three packs of water balloons, a large fisherman net, and some rope. This was going to be so good! Using all my ninja stealth, I raced to the bathroom where I filled all the water balloons. This took about an hour. Tying them was the hard part, and I even broke one or two balloons. Oh well, at least I have plenty more. I filled the net with my precious treasure and used part of the rope to tie the net. Then I skipped over to the second floor where I tied the bag over the balcony. It was a perfect location right underneath the entrance to the living room. I ran to my room to grab a piece of chalk and jumped down to the first floor. Using the chalk, I drew a big X right underneath my secret weapon.
Then I quickly ran upstairs to room to trade in my chalk for scissors, and I waited right by my secret weapon to cut off part of the netting to unleash the watery horror. I so can't wait for this to happen. But waiting was long and about an hour later, Raph, Don, and Leo emerged from their hiding places and headed over to the living room. I waited in anticipation.
Finally, Leo, Don, and Raph walked over where X marks the spot, and to my utter delight, they stayed there obviously wondering what the hell is a giant X drawn on the floor for. Well they are about to find out. I cut most of the bottom of the net, and water balloons poured out right onto them.
I laughed so hard that I nearly couldn't breathe. Literally! Unfortunately, they weren't laughing, and I couldn't get the hell outta here without the guys seeing me.
I jumped down. "Hey, guys. Did you have a water balloon fight or something?"
"Cut the crap, Mikey!" Raph yelled. I giggled. Whoops! Shouldn't have laughed because Raph growled menacingly and looked like he was about to kill me.
"What the hell was that, Mikey?" Don asked.
"A prank. What else?" I nonchalantly said.
"Yeah, I figured that, but what the hell was that?" Don repeated. Man, he was pissed!
I shrugged my shoulders. "I was feeling a bit down in the dumps so I decided to pull the most awesome prank in the universe."
All three of my brothers exchanged looks of disgust.
"Unbelievable," Don simply stated.
"What?" I asked confusedly.
Leo answered for Don. "You're sixteen-years-old, Mikey. Grow up!"
I tried to keep my cool when facing three angry brothers. "Why should I? This is who I am, bros. Like it or leave it."
"Oh, we'll leave it alright," Raph grumbled under his breath. Leo just stared at him.
Then Leo said, "Because if you don't grow up, Michelangelo, you're gonna get us killed one day. You never train when you're supposed to; you never focus during meditation exercises, and you rather be doing things that a ten-year-old would do. How would you be able to live with yourself if your foolishness gets us killed?" Leo's lecture was starting to remind me of Splinter's lecture, and it was getting on his nerves. Hot tears welled up in his eyes and stung them. I wiped his eyes. I had to keep it in, but what Leo said next stabbed me in the heart. "If you don't start changing for the good of the family, I'll have to cut you off from the team until I see an improvement in you."
Cut me off from the team? In this family, saying you're cut off from the team is like saying you are disowned as a brother. And I think I just got threatened to be disowned. My heart was throbbing in agony, but I have to keep the pain hidden from them. Keep them from getting some kind of satisfaction from my pain.
Then Raph decided to make matters worse. "Damn, Mikey. You really screwed up. You're lucky if we forgive you next year." He's not serious. He always forgives me. He doesn't hold grudges forever. Still, it hurts.
Then Master Splinter entered the scene of my crime. He was annoyed. I guess what was going on here interrupted his evening meditation – a huge no-no in the family. He somehow managed to hold down his impatience as he asked (more like snapped), "What is going on here, my sons?"
I was going to open my mouth to answer, but Leo beat me to it. "Mikey pulled a prank on us by dropping a couple pounds of water balloons on us, and none of us are too happy about it." Leo finished his explanation with a death glare directed at me. I glared back.
Master Splinter sighed. He was obviously disappointed that I did not take his lecture to heart. Oh well, sucks for him. "Michelangelo, clean up this mess. I do not want to hear another word from you, or you will be doing extra training for a week." He seemed angrier than all those other times he's been mad at me. I can tell by the slight raise in his voice. When you often get in trouble, you learn to read your parent's negative emotions.
Master Splinter retreated to the dojo. I couldn't tell if Leo, Don, and Raph were either happy that Master Splinter took their side or pissed because they felt that Master Splinter was too soft on me. There was nothing they could do about it so they trudged off to the bathroom to get cleaned up while I slaved over the remains of my most awesome prank ever. Picking up the remains of the water balloons wasn't so bad but cleaning up the water off the floor was. I think I ran through all the paper towels we had that were meant to last us a month. When my bros came back, Raph chuckled at the sight of me furiously trying to dry the floor and remarked, "Missed a spot, Mikey."
I ceased from my work. "Haha. Very funny."
Raph grinned his most evil grin, and Don smirked at me. Seeing me cleaning up this mess brought him such pleasure. That jerk! Leo just shook his head. "You brought this on yourself, Michelangelo." I just glared daggers at Leo and continued to clean the floor. My bros hopped to the living room to watch TV. Darn them! They were having fun while I was stuck with this mess.
Finally, I finished, but I didn't want to be with my bros so I retreated to my room and listened to my iPod. I wisely avoided all the "Weird Al" Yankovic songs on my iPod. I tried to listen to some up beating music to ease the pain in my heart. Cut me off the team? How can Leo do that? He's my big bro. He would never abandon me or Don or Raph. He loves us too much. Leo was just mad. He would never seriously consider cutting me off the team. Right?
Man, today has been really bad so far. So far my all of my family is majorly pissed at me. To top it all off, Master Splinter is disappointed in me just because I don't want to change, and I don't aspire to be a great ninja like him or Leo. Honestly, his disappointment shouldn't really bother me. It's not like I ever did anything to make him super proud of me. I learned over the years to not let disappointment hurt you. I don't need anyone else's pride or acceptance of me. I'm happy with just myself. Then why does it still hurt?
My iPod was not having the effect I wanted so I decided to turn it off. Perhaps a nice cool run will help clear my head. I'll even bring my sketchpad just in case I find anything interesting to draw. That should work. I grab my sketchpad and some pencils and an eraser and put them in a small backpack and flung it over my shell. I slowly crept out of my room and jumped down from the balcony. I was going to sneak off, but I guess that I should let my bros know where I'm going. They may be mad at me, but they still love me.
They were still in the living room. "Hey, guys," I called out, "I'm heading out topside."
Leo nodded in understanding while Don just pretended to ignore me. However, Raph shouted, "Take your time and don't come back. And if we never see ya again, it'll be too damn fucking soon!"
Leo and Don never said anything.
Man that stung. I practically ran out of the lair and jumped from rooftop to rooftop in blind fury and teary eyes. I seriously contemplate running away. So much for Raph holding grudges. So much for my bros still loving me. This day has gotten even worse. My speed kicks up. I feel like I can run forever. I can run around the world six times and not get tired. Maybe I should. I should run forever until either my legs literally fall off or my rage cools down. I wonder if Raph ever feels like this whenever he goes topside after a fight with Leo. I wonder when he does, he feels the same way I feel right now – everybody wants you to be someone else and you refuse to change.
I keep running. Pretty soon my ankles are going to sprout little angel wings like those of that Greek god. I was always good at running. I beat my bros at every race we ever had, and I still have plenty of energy left over. I'm probably a sprinter, but we had races that were two miles long. Maybe, I have a rare combo of speed like that of a sprinter and endurance like that of a long distance runner. I wonder if I could try out for the Summer Olympics if I were a human.
I'm in the bad area of the city where most of the crimes are committed and the drug trafficking business takes place. It's this place I begin to cool down and eventually settle to a walk. I'm miles and miles away from home. That's the farthest I've ever been out on my own, and probably the farthest any of my bros ever been out on their own. I kind of like the feeling. I should make this my new getaway place (my other place is by the river). No one would ever think to find me here, and it's pretty far from the Lair. I settle sit down on a rooftop and look up at the sky. The stars are much more visible than they are closer to the heart of the city. I'm about to take out my sketchpad when I heard a scream. I instantly change into warrior mode as I peer down a rooftop and see a gang of men that look to be in their twenties and a girl that looks to be eighteen in the alleyway. The men were cornering the girl to the blocked off end of the alley way. My guess is that either these men want to rob the chick (which I highly doubt because she seems as poor as they are) or are going to rape the girl (she is hot). Either way I leap into action. My nunchucks are spinning as I stand between the girl and the gang of men.
"Come on, guys. Leave the girl alone," I say as calmly as possible, hoping they would take my advice and leave.
They don't. Why am I not surprised? Instead, they pull out knives, chains, or whatever weapons they had. I noticed that none of them have a gun, and for that I'm grateful. It's easier to fight an opponent when they don't have a gun. They charge at me, and I hit them with my nunchucks while throwing some kicks and punches every now and then along with a bunch of jokes just to get them mad. These guys are amateurs. They only know street fighting not something as highly skilled as ninjutsu. I have the advantage here.
I dodge a blow to my head, and I'm happy I did. One blow from that pipe looked like it could have given me a serious concussion. I elbowed the guy in the gut and roundhouse kicked another who was coming at me with a chain. I have to admit that do have some skill. Usually, I can easily knock a bunch of guys out cold when I fight gang members like the Purple Dragons o even the Foot, but so far, I haven't managed to sent any of these guys to la la land. They're good.
I glance over my shoulder and see the girl staring at the fight scene in terror. I shout to her, "Get out of here!"
She smartly follows my advice and gets the hell out of here. Damn she's fast. She should join the track team. However, because I'm watching the girl runaway, making sure she's safe, I didn't see one of the guys come at me with a knife and plunge it in my heart.
Everything went blurry after that.
A siren was heard in the distance, and everyone ran, leaving me with a blade and agony ripping through me. I sunk down to the dirty street and laid there. My plastron is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it slowed down the blade otherwise I would have been instantly killed. It's a curse because it leaves me with sheer agony, and if I pull it out, I could die. The police siren begins to fade away. I guess they saw some of the guys and chased after them. Good. I didn't have the energy to get myself out of here. How would the guys react if they saw a news report of a giant mutant turtle founded in the alleyway in Soundview neighborhood of the South Bronx? I'm already in trouble with the guys, and it's bad enough as it is. I didn't need to add the discovery of mutant turtles to the list. They would surely kill me for that if this blade doesn't kill me first.
I unleash a feral scream. The agony is killing me. It's like it's ripping through me like a child furiously tearing away wrapping paper to reveal his gift. Only this time the blade is the child, and my skin is the wrapping paper. And what is the gift? My heart. My heart that was already stabbed when Leo threatened to cut me off from the team. My heart that was already painfully stung when Raph said told me to never come back just before I left the Lair. My heart that was already broken when Donny said that if I just disappeared, he could get so much work done. My heart that already had a noose around it when Master Splinter was disappointed in how I turned out to be. Heh. What can the knife do that has not been done? It's just finishing the job.
I reached for my Shell Cell to dial for help when a revelation it me like a Mack truck going sixty-five miles per hour. It came in the form of memories.
Do you want your antics to be the cause of your death?
If you just went away for one day, I could get so much done.
How would you be able to live with yourself if your foolishness gets us killed?
Take your time and don't come back. And if we never see ya again, it'll be too damn fucking soon!
I chuckled darkly because what they said is coming true. I'm never coming back, Raph, for real. Don, your wish is coming true. Leo, I won't be putting you guys in danger anymore because I'll be dead, and Master Splinter and I guess Leo since what you said was similar to Master Splinter' lecture, my antics did cause the death of me, and yet I have absolutely no regrets. I fooled around with my opponents, and I was so focused on the girl that I wasn't paying attention to that guy with the knife. But despite this, I have no regrets. In fact a feeling of bliss welled up inside of me, and its beautiful feeling heals the emotional damage to my heart with this one simple epiphany. I died doing what I do best and just by being me and not by being someone else. I couldn't ask for a better way to die.
I took my hand off my Shell Cell. I decided not to call because what's the point in going back? I don't want to live the life of a masked face and conformity. No, I rather die being myself than live as though I'm someone else. However, I didn't want to spend my remaining hours in pain so I made that fateful decision. I took the blade out of my heart. The pain was intense but quickly ended as I faded off into the darkness.
And within the darkness, a bright light shone.
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?
- "The Pretender" by: Foo Fighters
Do you like it? Did I get Mikey's point of view right?