Okay, I swear this was not the sort of birthday fic I had intended to
right. Scout's honor.

Duo: You aren't a scout, Em.

I'm a Hentai Scout, and that counts ... for something. Whatever.
Anyway. I had intended to write a steamy lemon, but I got to thinking about GW and the guys and their birthdays and the fact that three out of five don't *know* what day their birthday is... And, well, here we go.
AU. NO yaoi. (Amazing, huh?) OOC. And, well... angst.
Not mine. Just borrowing for the purposes of a birthday fic.

A Good Enough Present by Lys ap Adin

Today is Quatre's birthday.

I don't believe he had intended to let us know, but some things tend to leak out, especially when a guy's buddies with forty men devoted to his service.

Which is to say, Rashid let the cat out of the bag so that his Quatre-sama could have a sixteenth birthday part, despite the war and everything. Say what you will of the man, Rashid is devoted. Sometimes to the point of scariness.

The rest of us have been dragooned into making this day special for Quatre, staying as we are at this desert safehouse. Together we're going to give this day a shred of normalcy, and it's going to be devoted to having a party for a friend.

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Quatre's pleased, even though he's trying to brush this off as no special day. It makes him happy that the Maguanacs have gone to such great lengths to arrange a party, that there's a cake with his name and sixteen candles on it. That the four of us, however reluctantly and clumsily, are wishing him a happy birthday. That there is a pile of presents, motley and ill-assorted, just for him.

At the same time, there's a melancholic shadow in his eyes. I wonder what it's for. The father who isn't here with him, beaming proudly at the son hovering on the edge of manhood? The shadow of the war that trails us all, even when we're trying our best to forget it? Maybe it's both. Still, he smiles. He's good at that, like I am.

The presents delight him, quirky as they may be. Half of them are articles and accoutrements for Sandrock. More than a few are secondhand, since we're isolated here and some of us found out about this birthday thing a little too late to buy him a real present. But Quatre is nothing if not gracious, and no one could tell that he's not as pleased to receive a dog-eared book of plays as a set of binoculars, sparkling in their newness.

Well, the book of plays was the only thing I had stowed in my gear that I could even sort of spare, anyway. I'll kind of miss them, though, but it's the thought that counts....

That's such shit, and I know it. If the thought mattered, then Quatre wouldn't be able to accept my grudgingly given gift. It's stupid to be this petty; yeah, I know. And it's stupid to be this envious.

I can't help it. I'm fucking jealous of him, with his wealth and his horde of servants and this birthday. yeah, he has his own problems and demons. I'll admit to that freely.

Doesn't stop me, though.

I've never had a birthday. Never had a party in my honor. Never been given a present, never had a birthday cake. Never been wished, "Happy Birthday."

Hell, I can't even tell you that I'm fifteen, and not fourteen or sixteen. Fifteen was just he best guess anyone could come up with.

>From what I understand, neither Heero nor Trowa knows his birthday, either. It doesn't seem to bother them. Wufei probably knows his age, but it means nothing to him, lost in his fog of guilt and vengeance as he is. I'm the only one stupid enough to care.

Well, why shouldn't I? I grew up on the streets, unwanted except for a very short time by people who didn't deserve their fate. And Maxwell Church went to its fiery death before the yearly birthday party that Father Maxwell gave to all the orphans.

I only own the things that I can carry--most of it's junk, but it's junk that somehow or another has a meaning to me. So it's damn straight that I begrudge Quatre his birthday party, his gifts, his cake... his life. And hell yes I hate having to be generous enough to give away one of the few things I have in this world just because I couldn't get to the store to buy or steal him something. God knows he has enough stuff anyway.

...Now I'm just being spiteful, and I know it. It's not Quatre's fault that he was born to the Winner family. Maybe it's not mine for being a street orphans who's bad luck to those who're stupid enough to care.

I will be glad, though, when things go back to normal tomorrow. Then we can concentrate on ending this war so that kids don't have to live shitty lives without even one day in the year that they can call their own. If we could do that...

If we could do that, it would be a good enough present for me.

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~Owari~

Eh. Well, like I said, not what I intended.

<glomps> Happy Birthday, Naz!