Chapter 2: One Year Ago
“Let’s go!” Mikey said to his brothers, “Splinter said we can play hide-and-go-seek in sewers!” Mikey began to drag Raph to the entrance.
“If you don’t let me go now I will beat the green off of ya!” Raph snapped.
“Sorry Raphie,” Mikey said and he advanced to Leo.
“Don’t call me Raphie! We are not five anymore!”
“Oh because six is so much older!” Mikey laughed as Leo followed Mikey.
“Yeah it is,” Raph said pulling Mikey into a playful headlock.
They finally made their way to just outside the lair.
“Okay who is it first?” Mikey asked.
“Mikey,” the other three responded at the same time.
“Aww man!” Mikey complained, “why is it always me?”
“Bad luck,” Raph laughed.
“Before we start remember the rules---” Donnie started.
“Stay in the first four tunnels,” Raph finished.
“All right Mikey start counting,” Leo said.
“1...2...3...4...5...” Mikey started as his brothers ran off in different directions.
“Ready or not here I come!” Mikey yelled. Making his way down the first tunnel. It took him ten minutes, but he found Donnie high on a ledge, “Donnie! I found you!” Mikey shouted laughing, “That was such an easy spot.”
Donnie rolled his eyes, “I thought it was good.”
“That’s okay!” Mikey smiled, “Now you get to help me find Raphie and Leo.”
“All right let’s go,” Donnie said, as they checked the rest of the tunnel before tuning around.
Donnie and Mikey went down the second tunnel.
“Hey look at that pile of rocks,” Donnie commented.
“Yeah what about it?” Mikey asked confused.
“Just never noticed it before, that’s all,” Donnie said finally.
Mikey shrugged. Quickly he ran ahead, Donnie soon found out why, he could see Raph. “Found you!” Mikey shouted smiling, tagging Raph in the back of his shell.
Raph groaned and got up. “Let’s go get Leo and get this game over with.”
After finding nothing in the third tunnel they headed to the fourth tunnel to find Leo.
Raph was counting. Mikey made his way down the second tunnel. He noticed a pile of rocks in a well lit area. Carefully, Mikey climbed into the hole he saw behind the rocks. When he got settle into the hole, his foot knocked some rocks and they began to fall, covering the hole. It was now completely dark. Mikey hated the dark. His heart began to race. “Okay I can get out of here,” Mikey told himself. He tried to push the rocks but they did not move. His heart pounded against his chest, he tried to calm himself down by talking calming breaths they way Splinter taught him.
He tried to think of something else. If Donnie was here he would tell him that his fear or the dark was irrational. Mikey dropped to the ground, he pulled his knees close to his plastron, he started rocking back and forth. Mikey closed his eyes.
“Mikey where are you!” Raph shouted. It was a well know fact that Mikey enjoyed hiding in the second tunnel. After checking Mikey usual hiding spots, Raph gave up and left the tunnel.
Raph went down the first tunnel. He slowly made his way looking for his brothers. Raph hated being it, he hated this game it always took so long.
Making is way down the first tunnel Raph shouted, “If you can hear me get out!”
Leo sighed, he was hidden in a large upright pipe. Raph went over to the pipe and violently pushed it over.
“Ow! Raph that hurt!” Leo cried out, “you don’t have to be so violent, Raph.”
“Oh come on it did not hurt!”
Leo sighed, “let’s get the others.”
“I already check the second tunnel, let’s go right to the third.”
Game or no game Mikey did not care anymore, “HELP!” he called out. Mikey called out a few more times before he stopped, he could hear footsteps.
Mikey turned around. He could see a pair of glowing red eyes staring at him.
“R-R-Ra--ph is-is th-that y-y-you?” all of a sudden Mikey felt a chill run down body, he never felt so cold in his life, even Raph pushed him in the freezing cold rain water a few weeks ago. Mikey’s heart began to race even more than before, he could feel a piercing pain in his heart, it was not because he was struck there, it was because his fear, his darkest fear felt as if it was burning a hole in him.
The glowing red eyes started to move slowly forward. Ever so slowly they approached him. Mikey closed his own eyes, but when he did all he saw was the red eyes looking at him. Mikey screamed, his screams bounced off the walls.
“Donnie, Mikey, you in here?” Raph shouted
“You know that is now how the game works right?” Leo said sighing.
“Makes it easier,” Raph grumbled. Leo laughed.
Raph and Leo check over the entire third tunnel.
“They must both be in the fourth tunnel,” Leo said.
“This will be easy!” Raph exclaimed.
After a few minutes, they had no luck. “Easy?” Leo said.
“Yeah watch this. Mikey! Donnie! Get your shells out,”
Mikey slowly opened his eyes again, when he did red eyes we even closer. He went to scream again, but no sound came. Mikey’s breathing became fast a heavy, he could not catch a breath. His heart felt as though it was going to beat right out of his chest.
Mikey laid on his side, he pulled his knees close to his plastron, he covered his eyes with his hands. He closed his eyes tight, he was not going to open them again, as long as he was in the hole.
“Have any of you seen Mikey?” Raph asked, “this was the last tunnel I checked, still have not found him.” His brother’s shook their heads.
“Let’s all check this tunnel and then move on Mikey has to be somewhere,” Leo said.
Before they left the fourth tunnel Raph shouted, “Okay Mikey game’s over! Come out!” They paused for a moment, that was the rules, if game over was called you had to come out. Nothing. Into the third tunnel they went and they still could not find Mikey.
They wondered up and down the second tunnel. On their way back Donnie stopped them. “Hey guys, this may sound weird, but those rocks are not the same was they were when I came down here with Mikey,” Donnie said.
“What do you mean?” Leo asked.
“Well I could see a small hole behind the rocks before. Mikey could have fit into it,” he gasped, “I think Mikey his stuck in there!”
“We need to move the rocks!” Leo shouted.
“They are heavy!” Donnie said.
Raph grunted as he helped move the rocks, Leo’s was breathing heavy.
“We are through!” Leo exclaimed. Leo peered into the whole, he saw his youngest brother curled up in a tight ball.
“Is he in there?” Donnie asked breathlessly.
“Yeah, he is,” Leo said weakly. He looked at his brother He was laying on his side, his knees close to his plastron, his hand covered his eyes. Even with his eyed cover Leo could tell that Mikey had been crying, but stopped; his small body was shaking slightly. He reached his hand forward, and placed it on Mikey’s shoulder; it was freezing cold. “Mikey,” he whispered.
Mikey heard his name and felt his brother’s warm hand on his shoulder, Mikey launched himself at his brother, he started to cry all over again. Leo pulled his brother into a hug, Mikey was crying into his shoulder, clinging tightly onto his oldest brother. “e-eyes,” Mikey mumbled, his breathing was fast. It was hard for him to control.
Leo carried Mikey off the rock pile and sat down with him on the cold ground. Mikey’s eyes were clamped tight. “Mikey,” Leo said soothingly.
Donnie knelt down next to his brothers, “we need to get him back to the lair,” he said more to Leo than anyone else.
Leo sighed, “Mikey I need to carry you on my back, can you let go of me?”
Mikey whimpered but complied. Raph and Donnie helped position Mikey on Leo’s back. Mikey sobbed all the way back.
“Mikey when we get back, I can read you that book you like,” Donnie tried to sound cheerful, but it was hard. Raph held back slightly. The four brothers reached the entrance to their home. Splinter was walking to the kitchen for a cup of tea when he saw Mikey on Leo’s back.
“My sons what is wrong?” He asked urgently.
“We don’t really know,” Leo said weakly.
“He was hiding in a hole, but there were rocks, they were in the front of the hole blocked him in. When we found him he was curled up in a tight ball. . .crying about red eyes. . .” Donnie did his best to speak without crying, but it was hard.
“Let me see him,” Splinter said taking Mikey off of Leo’s back. He gently cradled his youngest son in his arms, even with his eyes shut Splinter could see the fear all over his son’s face. He began to sing to his young son, “sakura sakura noyama mo sato mo mi-watasu kagiri kasumi ka kumo ka asahi ni niou sakura sakura hana zakari,” a tear slipped down Splinter’s eye, he brought his son close to his face, he kissed him on the top of the head. This was Michelangelo’s favorite song. It seemed to calm him slightly. His eyes were still closed tightly, but his breathing was still no calmer.
Mikey’s soft sobs became louder, he let out an ear splitting scream. Mikey’s shaking got worst, “eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes,” Mikey repeated over and over. Splinter could no longer hold his trashing son, quickly he carried Michelangelo to his and his brother’s shared bedroom. Splinter gently laid Mikey in his bed.
“Michelangelo,” Splinter said softly placing a paw on his son’s head. “I want you to listen to my voice, you are safe, wake up,”
An odd chocking sounds came from Mikey’s throat. He was crying and trashing in his sleep. Splinter could not break Michelangelo from his deep dark slumber. Splinter sat by his youngest son’s bed for several hours meditating. He has instructed his oldest sons to stay quiet and watch some TV. He then felt a soft tug on the sleeve of his robe.
“Sensei, is Mikey going to die?” It was Donatello who spoke.
“No, my son,” Splinter said picking Donnie up and holding him in his lap. “He is sick, a very different kind of sick. I am helping him as much as I can.”
“Can we help?” Donnie asked after thinking about what Splinter said.
“We have to be careful,” Splinter said gently, “he has no control of his body and he were to accidentally hit while thrashing it will hurt a great deal.”
Donnie nodded, but reached a hand out to put it on Mikey’s head. Splinter placed his hand on top of Donatello’s. Mikey’s eyes slowly opened, his usually bright blue eyes, were pale, almost grey. His eyes were full of pain, as soon as he saw is father and brother, his breathing calmed slightly.
“D-Daddy?” Mikey’s voice was hoarse, he began to cry all over again. Mikey’s small hand held tightly onto Splinter’s paw.
“Yes, Michelangelo,” Splinter’s voice was gentle.
Mikey began to cry, “eyes,” Mikey lost it, in between the sobs came loud screams. His small body began to shake. Splinter picked up is young turtle son and held him close.
Donnie sat on the other side of the room, he covered his ears. Splinter looked at his other son, “Donatello, it might be best if you go wait with your brothers in the living room and watch some TV,” Splinter said. Donnie quickly stood up and ran out of the room.
“Donnie is Mikey okay?” Leo asked, when Donnie came back.
“I don’t know,” Donnie said, “Splinter said he is not dying.” Donnie squeaked out.
The three brothers sat in silence listen to their youngest brother’s screams and cries.
“What do you think happened?” Donnie whispered.
“I don’t know,” Leo said, “it must be bad for Mikey to have a reaction like this.”
“He just wants attention,” Raph huffed.
“You did not see him when I first found him, he was in fear, pure fear. There is no way he is faking this.” Leo’s tone was serious, “I want to see Mikey,” Leo said finally.
Leo stood in the entrance of his and his brother’s room, Splinter singing to Mikey, the continuation of the song he was singing when they first brought Mikey home. “sakura, sakura, yayoi no sora wa mi-watasu kagiri kasumi ka kumo ka nioi zo izuru izaya izaya mini yukan,” a tear slipped down his cheek, he has never see is youngest son, or any of his sons, in this much pain, emotional or other wise. “Leonardo is there something wrong?” Splinter asked looking at his shocked eldest son.
“N-no,” Leo stammered, “I just wanted to see Mikey,” he said softly.
“Come here, just be carful, if he goes into a violent trashing fit, he could harm you.” Leo nodded, “he is awake,” Splinter said answering Leo’s unasked question.
“Hi Mikey,” Leo said looking at his brother. Mikey was laying on his side. His eyes were wide open and blood shot, tears slipping down his face. Leo reached forward and ran a finger under Mikey’s eye to stop the tears.
Mikey reached out and grabbed Leo’s hand, and then tucked it under his head like a pillow. Splinter could not help, but to smile.
“It would appear Michelangelo does not want you to leave,” Splinter said as Leo looked at him confused.
“Can you fix him?” Leo asked.
Splinter sighed, “Not this time.”
“But, sensei,” Leo whimpered.
“The only way we can help Michelangelo is by being there for him. There is no cure for nightmares. When he is well enough to concentrate I will help him meditate,” Splinter could see the concern in Leo’s eyes, he continued, “medicine cannot cure everything. Some wounds can only heal in time.”
“But, I don’t see any cuts or bruises,” Leo was confused.
“Some wounds you cannot see, Michelangelo’s fear is a hidden wound,” Splinter put a hand on Leo’s shoulder.
Mikey’s eyes slowly started to close. Five minutes later Mikey was finally sound asleep.
“Sensei,” Leo started, “you think I can take my hand back I think it fell asleep with Mikey.”
Splinter smiled gently, “Yes Leonardo, just slip it out gently.”
Leo slipped his hand out from under Mikey’s head. Mikey moaned softly in his sleep. Raph and Donnie stood at the entrance. Splinter beaconed them in, they sat next to Leo on the floor.
It was long day for everyone, soon everyone in the room was sleeping.
Nearly two hours later they were woken up by Mikey’s screams. He sat up in a cold sweat, his heart racing, and he was shaking slightly.
“Mikey!” Raph called, surprising everyone as he pulled his younger brother into a hug.
“It’s dark in here. . .” Mikey complained.
“I will turn the lamp on too, will that help?” Leo asked, standing up.
It was a long night, Splinter soon realized that Mikey was night terrors, he spent the entire night waking Mikey up before a night terror would happen.
The next morning Splinter cancelled their lessons, since hardly anyone slept the night before. Splinter made a small breakfast and sat at the table with sons.
Raph was supporting his head with his arm, he had fallen asleep. Leo was sitting straight up, he too had fallen asleep. Donnie was using his breakfast plate as a pillow. Mikey was doing his best not to close his eyes, even Splinter was fighting the urge to fall asleep. One by one Splinter carried is oldest sons to their beds and then he sat on the couch with Mikey.
“I don’t want to sleep,” Mikey mumbled with half closed eyes.
Splinter sighed, “you don’t have to right now, but you will have to sometime.”
“Okay,” Mikey said numbly, nestling against his father’s warm, soft body.
Splinter checked the time, Mikey had been asleep for over two hours, his risk of night terror was over, but he still could suffer a nightmare. Splinter’s ears began to twitch, he could hear soft footsteps, sounded to him like Donatello. The purple clad turtle entered his sight, he motioned for him to be quiet.
Donnie reached his hand out and put it on his brother’s shoulder, “Mikey sleeping?”
Splinter smiled and nodded.
“Sensei why was it Mikey?” Donnie asked softly.
“What do you mean Donatello?” Splinter asked.
“We were all hiding in the sewer, why was Mikey the only one who saw the eyes?”
“From what I understand Michelangelo was the only one in the small tunnel when it was completely dark,” Splinter started.
“Do you think there is something alive?”
“I cannot answer that,” Splinter said sadly.
“Can we cover the hole so if the eyes are alive they can never get Mikey?” it was Leo who was speaking.
“Yes, Leonardo we can,” Splinter said with a smile, “once Michelangelo is well enough for me to leave him alone with one of you.”
“Can I tell Mikey when he wakes up?” Leo asked.
Splinter said nothing, he sighed and looked at his sons, “could one of you please get Raphael? I would to speak to the three of you.”
“I will get him,” Leo said, turning around. “Raph,” he called, “Splinter needs to talk to us. It sounds important.”
“yeah okay,” Raph said following his brother.
Leo, Raph, and Donnie knelt down in front of Splinter, who was still holding a sound asleep Mikey.
“My sons, what I am about to say is very important,” he started. “Your brother is suffering from both nightmares and night terrors,” his three sons juts blinked, “they are different, they form during separate time during your sleep cycle.” The three oldest turtles nodded, “unless Michelangelo bring it up on his own terms, do not question him about his night terror, nightmares, or the events that happened, it will only cause him to relive the events, do you three understand?”
“Hai sensei,” they said all at once.
“If he does wish to speak of the event I would like you to be sensitive and listen to him. If you feel you cannot speak to him about the events please bring him to me.”
Splinter brought Mikey to his bed, he made a nest of pillows and blankets for him to sleep in. It seemed keeping him warm kept him from having a nightmare or terror, it was unconventional, but it worked.
Splinter made lunch, and after he went to check on Mikey. Despite leaving him sleeping on his back when he checked on him he was on his plastron, with his head tucked half way into his shell, his arms tucked under his head.
A week past since Mikey’s scare. Mikey would sleep less than two hours at a time, on the rare occasion he slept longer he would suffer a night terror or nightmare. Much to his brother’s dismay, Mikey refused to allow them to turn the room light off.
Raph was sitting on the counter helping Splinter clean up after breakfast. Leo and Donnie were playing Go Fish with Mikey.
“Leonardo, once I am finished here we will go out and search for supplies in the sewer. Raphael, Donatello you will keep and eye on Michelangelo while we are gone,” Splinter said.
“I don’t need watching,” Mikey yawned. Splinter just smiled at him.
After a few moments Splinter called, “Leonardo it is time to go.”
Leo nodded and stood up, “hai sensei.”
“Donnie can you read to me?” Mikey asked his purple clad brother.
“Sure, Mikey, do you have a story in mind?” He asked.
“If You Give a Cat a Cupcake!” He called out the name of the books Splinter found a few weeks ago.
“Okay!” he said smiling. Donnie sat down and Mikey leaned against him.
Before Donnie even finished the book Mikey had fallen asleep. Donnie gulped. He was never alone with Mikey during a night terror; nightmares yes, but not from this event. Mikey was sleeping for about forty-five minutes. Donnie remembered Splinter would wake Mikey up after about an hour, just before his night terrors typically took place. Donnie had his arm wound Mikey, he could feel him start to shake. “Mikey wake up!” Donnie cried, but it was too late Mikey started to scream. He clung tightly to Donnie, crying. “Shh, Mikey it’s okay,” Donnie said gently.
“Donnie, make them go away,” his voice cracked.
“They’re gone. Splinter and Leo are making sure they stay done,” Donnie said gently hugging his brother.
After a few moments Mikey calmed down. “Don’t leave.” Mikey mumbled into Donnie’s plastron.
“Don’t worry I wont.” Donnie said.
Splinter and Leo came back to see Mikey in Donnie arms.
“He had a night terror,” Donnie said, “he was only sleeping for forty-five minutes.”
“I see,” Splinter said placing a paw on Mikey head.
“He just fell asleep,” Donnie said.
Splinter nodded. “Would you like me to take him to his room?” he asked
“No, I think he is comfortable,” Donnie said.
“Let me know if you need anything.”
A month after his fright Mikey allowed his brothers to turn off the main room light, and only sleep with a nightlight.
Three months later Mikey finally went into the sewers again.
But Mikey never forgot the red eye eyes he saw that day.