055. last resort

I decided to zig instead of zag. ;) Have some Miket. very mildly nsfw, nothing too pr0ny.

It always started with him minding his own sweet business.

This time, he'd been making a sandwich.

"Ohhhh we put a little mayo, some mayo, some mayo," he sang, bouncing his knees in time as he wielded the butter knife. "Put a little mayo on mah sandwich nooowwww!"

Klunk hopped up onto the counter, and Mikey awkwardly positioned himself between Klunk and the baloney.

"Ah ah ah! Hey! Bad kitty! Come on, I'll give you some later. Down. Klunk! Doowwwwn."

Despite Klunk's yowls of protest, Mikey managed to gently nudge her off the counter with an elbow pad, but not before she knocked the ketchup bottle over and sent a fork pinging to the floor. Sighing, Mike told himself he'd grab it later, and returned to his magnum opus.

"Weeeee put a little mustard, some mustard, some mustard - we put a little mustard on mah - "

His singing was rudely interrupted as a square of blinding light opened with a loud BWAN! behind him. The mustard went flying out of his hand as he let out a high-pitched shriek.

"You all packed?" Renet asked, grinning and cracking her gum.

"Uhhh…"

Mike found himself tongue-tied again by how pretty she was, and stared dumbly at his half-finished sandwich in reply.

"Hah! Silly! They have food there, like, bluh," Renet laughed, grabbing him by the wrist. "Come on, we're gonna miss the fireworks."

Her slim fingers closed around his wrist, and he felt the very familiar sensation he always had when he was around Renet - a hop-skip in his heart, and a sinking feeling in his gut. He glanced over his shoulder at a confused, hissing Klunk and an abandoned sandwich as he went flying into the light, and the last thing he thought was, "I didn't even leave a note."

To his surprise, he landed in sand. In fact, he landed so hard it ended up scraping his hands, and he hissed as he stood up, trying to brush the grit out of his new scrapes and only finding that made it worse.

"Passports and tickets please," a bored-sounding alien was saying.

He was standing at a nondescript, grayish booth, next to an archway, taking the documents from a long line of various life forms of all shapes, colors, and limb-numbers, checking them, and stamping them. He was wearing one of those universal translator collars the Triceratons had.

"C'mon!" Renet said gleefully, grabbing his wrist again. "We're gonna miss it!"

"Miss, excuse me miss, you need to - "

"Official Time Business! Suck eggs, plubitords!" Renet cried, holding some kind of official-looking badge up and cutting the line. "Wooooo hooooo!"

"Miss you can't just - "

"Whoops, DO pardon us!"

Flinging the badge onto the desk, she grabbed a sheaf of papers and flung them over her head laughing. The aliens waiting in line all grumbled and complained loudly in various languages as the bored-looking alien (who was now an angry-looking alien) hastily tried to grab the papers as they fell. Renet grabbed the rubber stamp off his desk, and stamped Mikey square in the forehead before reaching back and throwing it as far back into the line as she could.

"Wuh- Ummm," Mike stammered, looking around anxiously, "hey, maybe we shouldn't - "

"Come on!" she cried with a bubbly laugh, and with that, they were off and running again, feet sinking into the sand.

For the first time, Mike took in his surroundings.

People (people?) of every variety were lounging around in the sand, some wearing clothing, some not, some covered in fur, some in scales, some in skin, some in gelatinous ooze. There were umbrellas, tents, blankets, towels, and coolers all scattered across the huge expanse of sand - even, inexplicably an igloo. (How was there an igloo? Why wasn't it melting?)

Small beings with several heads in purple, orange, and gray ran past them screaming, shooting at each other with water guns. Mike smelled salt air, and realized he could hear the ocean, and in fact, when he looked over to the horizon line, he could see alien creatures wading in the surf. He looked to his left, and saw a boardwalk, complete with games, flashing neon signs in alien languages, and long lines of people walking away with unidentifiable fried food. Beyond that, there were fancy-looking storefronts with impressive gold and silver signs, various live models of all different species turning and preening in the windows, wearing the latest in alien fashion. Towering above all of this were massive sky scrapers, all uniform, with little verandas and patio furniture, overlooking the ocean - a hotel. His eyes followed the buildings all the way up, until -

He gasped, and planted his feet. Renet let out a little noise of surprise as they came to a stop.

There was a dome overhead - almost transparent except for the hazy, iridescent curvature just at the corner of his eye, a tell-tale rainbow sheen to let you know it was there, with a faint hexagonal pattern running through it. And beyond that -

The universe. Stars sparkling, comets streaking, the eerie reddish glow of a dying sun, and there, half in silhouette -

"Earth?!" Michelangelo breathed.

"Yeah!" Renet smiled. "Neat, huh?"

"Renet," Mike whispered, his voice trembling, "what is this?"

"It's the Last Resort!" she said, as if this explained everything.

"No," Mike said, more firmly. "I mean, where the hell are we?!"

"The - Last - Re - Sort," she said, sounding out every syllable like he was an idiot. She laughed lightly, and put her hands on his cheeks.

"Rene-mmph!"

He was interrupted as her lips met his. Her tongue slid hot and sweet over his bottom lip - she tasted of bubble gum. The CD in his brain skipped and he put his hands lightly on her shoulders and kissed her back for a moment.

"Come on!" she giggled, breaking the kiss, turning from him, and beginning to shrug out of her already skimpy outfit.

"Uh," he stammered, sure he was turning red as he staggered after her, "what are you doing?"

"It's a beach, silly," she said, stepping out of her bathing suit-outfit-type thing and chucking it at his head. He blinked against the sand that flew with it, and swallowed hard as she laughed and darted away, the perfect globes of her ass cheeks jiggling as she ran.

When in Rome.

Mikey loped after her with a dopey grin on his face, taking in the local scenery in shock. At one point Renet kicked some sand onto a blanket as she ran past, and a huge purple blob with like, seventy tentacles raised a few to shriek at her in gibberish.

"Sorry," Mike called, grinning widely as he jogged past.

"Hurry up!" Renet teased over her shoulder, the ocean breeze tossing her beachy blonde hair around. "We gotta get a good seat!"

"Okay!" Mike called, having no idea what he was agreeing to.

Finally Renet seemed to have decided on a spot. She stopped running, created a small circle in the air with her staff, and reaching in, pulled out a blanket. She laid it down on the sand, and flopped down criss-cross applesauce, her bosom jiggling pleasantly as she did.

Still grinning like an idiot, Mikey shucked off his pads and belt and flopped down next to her. Beaming and biting her lip a bit, Renet ripped his mask off his head and kissed him enthusiastically. His head still reeling, Mikey sank into her embrace, feeling off-kilter and a little off-balance, like being drunk. When she pulled away her gum was in his mouth.

"Vooda! Tookata wa tunga nabok!" shouted something behind them. Mikey looked over his shoulder to see an angry looking insect-thing scowling and shaking a weird little claw at them. Next to it, another insect-thing was trying to cover the eyes of a little bug with its claw thingies.

"Vayana taketa na pingano, woochak!" Renet called back, and then made the thumbs-up sign and jabbed it into the apple of her cheek a couple times.

The insects clicked in shock, stood, and hastily escorted their little one away, shooting them what Mikey assumed were dirty looks. Renet just laughed, and cuddled up closer.

"Heh…eh-heh," Mike laughed along nervously. He glanced around, realizing that they were drawing a lot of disapproving attention.

"Ooo! Mikey! Buy me a glow stick!"

"Uh…"

Indeed, as Mikey looked around, the surrounding light had begun to wane from deep red to a murky purple, and alien creatures of various shapes were dragging sleds along the beach, little boxes on skis festooned with various glowing, spinning toys and jewelry. He even recognized some actual glow necklaces, just like they had back on Earth.

Earth…

Mikey looked up at the sky again nervously, it was definitely Earth. There was Africa, right there. But…nothing was green. None of the continents were. It was all…brown. And the Sun…that couldn't really be the Sun, right? Why did it look so…off?

"Mikeyyyyy I wanna glow stick!"

"Huh? Oh, uh…"

Mikey realized, with a start, that he didn't have a penny on him.

Suddenly music began to swell from seemingly out of nowhere, and all the various alien creatures on the beach began to cheer and applaud.

"Ooo! Nevermind, it's starting!" Renet squealed gleefully. She wrapped her arm around Mikey's and snuggled close. "We made it just in time!"

Mike glanced surreptitiously down at her boobs, and gulped. His attention was drawn away, however, as various laser lights began to arc across the dome way above them.

"Woah," Mikey breathed, as loud rock music began blaring, and the first of the fireworks went off. "Cool!"

Renet fell onto her back, tugging him down next to her, and she cuddled up to his side. Mikey's face heated, and he reached over his torso to hold her hand. Fireworks danced and embers shimmered and sparkled as they descended harmlessly into the sea. Aliens all around them oo'd and ah'd and applauded. Throughout the show there was narration in some alien language - every once in a while the voice would change and the sound would shift slightly…various languages, Mikey assumed. He kind of wished one of them was English - but then again, that was probably a bit much to hope for.

"Ooo, here it comes!" Renet cried, squeezing his arm.

"What?" Mike asked, grinning back.

"Look!" Renet pointed.

He followed her finger, and with dismay, noticed several detonations on the planet's surface.

"What…what are they…"

Ships…various space ships emerged from the Earth and began racing away from the planet as fast as they could…there were more explosions on the planet's surface. Mikey couldn't tell if they were other launches, or…the explosions began to get bigger. No, that couldn't be right. That wasn't a calculated launch, that was…danger. Something was wrong - very wrong.

Mikey's face slowly fell, as he realized the Sun was changing colors. It was getting dark…and then….intense. Like it was condensing, somehow. Mikey felt his ears pop.

"Renet…"

"Ten! Nine! Eight!" she cried, joyfully.

All around him, aliens began counting down in various languages.

"Renet," Mikey said, shaking her arm, a cold sweat breaking out on his brow, "where did you take me? What is this?! Renet!"

"Three! Two! One! Wooooooot!"

Mikey watched in mute horror as the sky fell apart.

Flaming tongues of fire engulfed the fleeing ships, incinerated, instantly - the sky was awash with celestial hell, the searing light of a vengeful God that left nothing in its path, instantly washed away, the Earth a shadow and then gone, as if it had never existed. There was a powerful rumble all around them, colors washing over the dome, nothing between them and annihilation but a glossy soap bubble. Mike felt like throwing up, felt like screaming, felt like holding on, but there was nothing to hold on to -

"Ow! Mikey!" Renet complained. "My hand, you're squeezing too - ow! Mike!"

And now, the screaming fires receded, shrinking, retracting, pulling everything into a death spiral, a singularity, a rip in the fabric of the night itself, so dark it was blacker than nothing, inevitable and cruel, sucking everything, light, sound, souls, stars, life, death, meaning, into a vortex of loss.

Mike pressed a hand over his chest, and held his breath, tears sheeting down his cheeks.

"Mike?" Renet was asking. "Hey, Mike? What gives?!"

He barely felt her shaking his shoulder. All around them, people were applauding, standing up, and gathering their belongings. A pleasant-sounding voice gibbered over the loud speakers, and there was another round of polite applause as people began to leave. The music faded away, and all around them Mike could hear children chattering happily in alien tongues, the sound of buzzers and bells from the games along the Boardwalk, could smell food frying, but none of it - none of it was real, was it? Was any of this real? Were they all dead? Where was his family, how could -

Whap!

Mike blinked and snapped back to reality, Renet's concerned blue eyes hovering over him, her frizzy blonde hair backlit by the chaos in the sky.

"Mikey, snap out of it," she said, shakily. "You're scaring me!"

"Whuh…where…"

Mike sat up too fast, his head swimming, and Renet scrambled back anxiously.

"Where…the fuck…did you take me?" he whispered, struggling to stay calm.

His voice sounded strange to his own ears - he barely recognized it as his own.

"It's the…Last Resort," Renet whispered back, her blue eyes round and frightened. "It's just…it's just a place, Mikey."

"What kind of place?"

"It's…a tourist trap. A time bubble near Earth. Well," Renet amended, "at the end of the Earth."

Mike looked back up at the sky, at the black hole staring them down with baleful apathy.

"Why would you bring me here?" he whispered through gritted teeth, the Black Hole staring into him even as he stared back.

"I…thought…" Renet said lamely, twisting her fingers together.

"Why did you do this?" he demanded, finally turning away from the black hole above to look into her eyes. "You thought I'd want to see the Earth destroyed in front of me?! Again?!"

"I thought you'd like it!" she protested, her eyes darting nervously between his. "I mean…you like fireworks."

"Firew - fireworks?!" Mike roared.

Several alien stragglers jumped at the sudden outburst and turned around to look before quickly hastening away. Soon, he and Renet were one of the few couples left lingering on the beach.

"Okay," Renet said, trying to make her voice soothing. "Okay, so…you don't like it. That's okay! We can go somewhere else. We can - "

"Stop," Mike said, holding up a hand. He lunged over his knees, pulled them to his chest, and buried his head there, squeezing his eyes shut. "Just…stop."

They sat that way for a minute, Mike trying very hard to slow the beating of his heart. He flinched visibly as Renet's hand landed on his shoulder, and she immediately withdrew it again.

"Mike," Renet tried again, "it's just…it's like, watching a movie right? I mean, it's not like it's happening now. I mean, yes, okay, but not now now, like, not our now, I mean -

"Renet!"

Mike ground the heels of his hands into his eyes.

"Renet…I don't think I can do this anymore."

"Do…what?" she asked, twisting her fingers together again.

She was still naked, and Mike tried not to look, tried not to remember how gorgeous she was, how much fun they had together.

"This. Us. I…I need a break."

"What?" Renet breathed, her beautiful blue eyes beginning to well up. Mikey closed his own eyes and looked away, his stomach in knots.

"But…we're already on vacation," Renet lilted, in a soft non sequitur.

"Take me home, Renet."

"You said you'd like it," she said, her voice getting ragged and wet with tears. "I asked you, and you said you wanted to go, you said - "

"That never happened, Renet!" Mike cried, spreading his hands wide. "That never! Fucking! Happened! Okay?! One minute I was standing there making a sandwich, and then - BAM, it's the Apocalypse, only it's not the Apocalypse, it's - it's freakin' - Laser Floyd!"

"Mikey - "

"And I never know when I'm going to see you again, you just show up, and I don't know where we're going, and I don't know how long we'll be gone, andmy family, I didn't even get to say goodbye, Renet, I - I…"

He ran his hands over his scalp, feeling like he was trying to push his brains back in.

"I can't do this!" his voice cracked.

There was a long, pregnant pause marked only by the sound of the surf.

"But…I like you," Renet warbled. "Like, really, really like you."

Mike squeezed his eyes shut, suddenly feeling totally exhausted and like a total jerk.

"I…I really like you too, Renet," he said wearily. "Just…please take me home."

She sniffed wetly.

"'Kay."

She stood, and he followed shortly after. He didn't bother putting his stuff back on, just carried it in his arms, trying to shake the sand out as they trudged along. Renet didn't bother getting dressed either, but it hardly seemed to matter at this point. She balled up the blanket and stuck it under her arm.

It seemed to take twice as long and three times as much energy walking through the sand in the opposite direction. Renet sniffed periodically and occasionally she dabbed at her face with a corner of the blanket she was carrying.

Mikey wanted to tell her to be careful, not to get sand in her eye - but decided to just stay quiet.

They schlepped past the bored-looking alien, who gave them a surly glare as they passed and hunched protectively over his pile of papers - but Renet just ignored him. Once they were past the gate, she raised her staff, and the same blinding square of light appeared.

"So…I guess…goodbuh-hye, then," Renet gulped, tears sheeting down her face.

Mikey felt like a complete heel. He turned towards her and lifted his hands, opening his mouth to say something, but couldn't think of anything.

"I…I'm really…."

"Just go," she sniffed. "It's okay."

Miserably, Mike nodded. As he passed by he reached up a hand, and kind of awkwardly patted Renet's hair, but that only seemed to make her cry harder, so he slunk off through the square of light, tripped on the bottom of it, and face-planted back into the kitchen, staring morosely at the fork Klunk had knocked over earlier, the wind knocked out of him in more ways than one.

"Mikey? Is that you in there?"

Mike watched as Leonardo's feet came into view.

"I heard a weird…why is the cat on the counter?" he course-corrected, voice heavy with disapproval. "And what are you doing on the kitchen floor? Is that sand?"

"Just leave me here to die," he moaned.

There was an awkward silence.

"Um. Okay."

The feet shifted slightly, paused, and then walked away.

"Hey, Doooonnnnn?"

A few seconds and a hushed conversation later, Donnie's feet appeared, followed abruptly by his knees as he squatted down.

"Heeey, champ," he said. "So, Leo mentioned you were lying on the kitchen floor talking about dying, so I just thought maybe I'd check in…y'okay?"

"Yeeeah…"

"'dja hit your head, anything broken?"

"Noooo," Mikey moaned, rolling onto his side and curling into a little ball. "Just my heart."

With a horrible sinking feeling, he realized Renet's gum was still in his mouth. His face crumpled a bit, and his eyes began to sting.

"Ohhh I thought I recognized that portal noise," Don said. He let out a little grunt as he sat down on the floor. "You and Renet break up?"

"Yeaaaah."

"I'm sorry," Don said, patting his shoulder sympathetically. "What happened?"

"The Apocalypse. Again."

"….oh. That's….rough, buddy."

Mikey sniffed, and rolled over, crawling pathetically into Donnie's arms.

"Awww, c'mere."

He wiped his eyes on Donnie's elbow pad as his big brother shushed him and patted his shoulder.

"Theeeere, there."

Eventually, sated on baloney, Klunk sauntered over, scaled Mikey like a mountain, and curled up on his bridge, settling in with a rumbling purr…and that made it a little better. After a little while, Mikey felt the tremor of new footfalls.

"Hey, Raph," Don said, placidly.

There was a lengthy pause.

"I don't wanna know."

The footfalls receded.

A week passed without further incident.

Mikey drifted through chores, through training, through patrols. The others tried to cheer him up, but to no avail - the Lair was oddly quiet without his boisterous antics and the sound of his laugh. April even invited him over for "girl's night," an evening of nail polish, chick flicks, and all-you-can-eat pizza which usually cheered him right up - but the most enthusiasm he could muster for the pizza was to announce dramatically that "Renet loved pepperoni-and-mushroom," before destroying the eyeliner April had so carefully applied.

"Nothing?" Leo asked, crestfallen, when he came to pick him up.

"Nothing," April whispered. "Not even the tiara."

"But he loves tiaras," Raph objected.

"Give him time," Don said, quietly. "Broken hearts take a while to heal."

They all looked nervously at their feet at that one, trying not to look at Donnie or April.

Another week later found Mikey sitting on the couch, robotically thumbing the game controller, going through the motions of a game he'd already beat a zillion times.

Raph wandered by and looked over his shoulder.

"Easy mode?" he teased, chucking him on the shoulder. "You goin' soft on us?"

"Yeah," Mike replied, bitterly. "I'm going soft on you, Raph. Better take me out behind the barn and put me out of my misery, before I drag the whole team down."

"…yikes," Raph concluded, and lumbered off.

Mike just shook his head and went back to his game. He was just about to beat the level, when -

BWAN!

Mike gasped, throwing the controller aside, wheeling around towards the light -

"Renet?!"

"Hi, Mikey!"

She beamed at him with the same beautiful, broad smile on her face, like nothing had happened, like she hadn't a care in the world.

"So, I got some time off! Well, I mean - technically I'm supposed to be studying," she chirped. "Hah! Like that's gonna happen! Fer shure! So I thought maybe - "

"Renet!"

He vaulted the back of the couch, pulled her into his arms, nuzzling into her neck, blinking back tears.

"Aww! I'm happy to see you too, baby!"

She gave him a little kiss on the head, and then on the cheek, and then on the lips, humming happily, making his lips tickle.

"Oh! Right," she said, stepping back. "So I've got some time off, and I thought maybe you'd wanna take a little vacay with me? I know this place, it's totally grocking cold, they have a beach, and like, all kindsa aliens go there and stuff, and there's this light show kinda thing and I know you like fireworks, so I was thinking - "

Mikey's face fell as she was talking and he slowly put two and two together - this was the conversation she was talking about. She had just overshot the time.

They were still broken up…she - this Renet - she just didn't know it yet.

"And like, I totally stole Lord Simultaneous's passport, Ell-Oh-Ell, but who cares, it's not like he ever goes anywhere, I don't even know why he…has…one. Mike? Is everything okay?"

He shook his head, briefly, pasting a smile on his face.

"Yeah. Yeah, Ren. I'm just…happy to see you."

"Aww! You cutie! So you wanna?"

Mike swallowed.

"Yeah. Yeah, I do. Actually, it sounds great."

"Sweet!" Renet cried, hopping up and down on her toes, her boobs bouncing with excitement. "Ooo! I'm so excited! Let me just pop back in time a bit to pack, and I'll be right back to pick you up."

"Great," Mike said, swallowing a lump in his throat. "Oh, and hey, Ren?"

"Mm? Yeah?"

She turned back to look at him, one foot through the portal already, silhouetted in white light.

"If I do…if I say anything dumb?" Mike said. "I don't mean it. Just…don't listen to me. Okay?"

Renet laughed lightly, leaned forward, and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. She tasted, like always, of bubble gum.

"Oh, sweetie," she giggled, "I never do."

Mike waved as she stepped into the portal, a sad smile on his face as the rectangle closed behind her. He blinked as his eyes readjusted, and he saw Donatello leaning in the lab door, cleaning oil of a socket wrench with a dirty rag as he watched.

"So….are you guys back together? Or…still broken up?"

"Ye-es?" Mikey said, with a shrug.

"Wibbly wobbly?" Don prompted.

"Timey-wimey," Mike nodded.

"Wow," Don said, shaking his head, "time travel sucks."

Mike took a deep breath and blew it out through puffed cheeks.

"You have no idea."