Mikey sat on the roof, lazily dragging his tongue along the wooden spoon as he stared out across the dark horizon. It was so quiet without the sounds of subway trains, car horns and water rushing in pipes. But not silent. The chorus of crickets was just a more peaceful type of noise.
He didn’t normally get up so early, but he was adjusting to the new schedule. Without staying up late patrolling, his body still only expected to get six or seven hours of sleep and snapped him awake before dawn. With everyone else asleep, it felt like he was the only person in the world, generating an odd combination of spacious relief and lonely anxiety within him. He reminded himself that it wouldn’t be for long and tried to indulge himself in the moment as he dipped the spoon back in the bowl.
As though his thoughts summoned his brother to break the spell, he noticed Donnie stumbling back towards the farmhouse from the barn. Of course. Donnie never slept.
Before he could decide whether or not he wanted to get Don’s attention, his brother sensed his presence and looked up at him with bleary eyes. “Mikey?”
He waved the chocolatey spoon in greeting. “Sup bro. Want some brownie tartare?”
Donnie frowned. “Isn’t that just uncooked batter?”
Mikey laughed, taking a long lick off the spoon. “And delicious. I found the box in the kitchen.”
Don raised an eye ridge. “How did you…?”
Mikey grinned. “The bounty of the chickens. Want some?”
Donnie shuddered. “Pass.” He looked longingly towards the house before climbing up onto the roof to join Mikey, too tired to try anything fancy. “What are you doing up here?”
Mikey pointed to the horizon where a blaze of light was starting to burn up into morning.
Mikey smiled at the wonder in Donnie’s voice. “I know. I’ve never actually seen one before.”
“Me either. Not firsthand anyway. Wow.”
Mikey huffed out a laugh and leaned against Donnie who nearly toppled, unprepared for his sudden weight. “Mikey!”
Donnie peeled his eyes away from the growing light to look at him. “What?”
“When we get home…” It was when, not if, because they would. Leo would wake up. They would take back their home. And they would find their dad. They just would. “…do you think we’ll ever see another?”
Donnie wrapped a comforting arm around his little brother. “Yeah. We’ll find a way.”
Mikey smiled. “Good. I want to show this to Leo and Raph when we get home.”
Donnie nodded. “Yeah, me too.”