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Birthday Blues

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    It started earlier last week. This was Eric and Randall’s first birthday after their creation. Bim, who always looked for opportunity to celebrate, began to rope up the other egos into helping, even the newest trio.

    Google, to his credit, had been actually using his calendar and had already been working on something with Bing. So with gifts accounted for, Bim had Dark mask the surprise in the living room.

    Yancy got a little impatient, because the new ego tended not to understand that personal space or privacy were things that existed. The instant everyone else was awake, Yancy went to go wake up Eric.

    So he was standing over Eric’s bed, just watching him sleep.

    “Yancy,” Illinois hissed quietly, cracking the door open a bit. “He’s still asleep.”

    There was a shocked hiss, and then the room went quiet as Illinois glared at the ex-prisoner.

    “Now he’s not,” Yancy smiled at him.

    Illinois frowned, walking over, starting to pull Yancy out of the room, “Sorry we woke you up, kiddo.”

    Eric flopped back over in bed, turning away from them. Eric didn’t go back to sleep, but it took him a half-hour to drag himself down to the kitchen. Bim, Illinois and the Host were down there. Randall has already been grabbed by Silver and Iplier to keep the surprise going.

    Bim was practically bouncing in excitement as Eric walked into the kitchen, yawning and looking tired.

    “Good morning,” Eric mumbled politely.

    “Hey, Eric, guess what day it is?” Bim asked.

    Eric looked confused for a bit, “Uh, Monday?”

    Bim rolled his eyes, “Duh, yeah, but what else?”

    Eric thought on that for a couple seconds before smiling, “Oh yeah, uh, it’s Randall’s birthday. S-Sorry, I, uh, got him something. Hold on a second.”

    “In a second,” Bim interrupted, grabbing him and pulling him away. “Come on.”

    The shy ego was pulled into the living room where Randall was sitting, talking to Silver. Silver was telling one of his superhero stories, mainly a fight with a necromancer in the sewers that had resurrected a dead beaver.

    “Can you get rabies from a dead animal?” Randall asked.

    “Don’t know, I’m sure if I tried, Doc would skin me alive,” Silver smiled.

    “You’ll wish I had,” Dr. Iplier walked in from the kitchen, holding his mug of coffee like it would disappear into a puff of smoke.

    “Hey, Host, we good?” Bim yelled and after a few quick words the illusions around the room dropped like a series of loose bed sheets. There was a massive banner and a huge double-tiered cake and lots of wrapped presents. All the other egos were in the room, and had been the entire time. Dark was in his red soul form, she was smiling at Eric warmly, Wil’s arm curled warmly around her waist.

    “Surprise! Happy birthday!” Bing grinned, an arm sling around Google who was making no moves to get rid of the arm.

    “Wow,” Randall smiled, looking at all the decorations with awe. “How’d you guys hide this?”

    Eric’s smile began to drop, almost like a mask dropping over his face. Dark in turn, frowned in worry as she watched him.

    “Duh, magic,” Bim boasted.

    “Hey, give credit where credit’s due,” Illinois cut in, he had two small boxes already in his hands. “You were too busy throwing glitter all over the place while I was dragging stuff in.”

    “The Host reminds Bim and Illinois that much of the actual magic was done by him,” the Host gloated.

    “I didn’t see you carrying a cake in,” Illinois handed both Eric and Randall gifts. Randall immediately tore into the box with a quick and curt thank you. Eric just sat there with the box in his hands, not doing anything but casually watching Randall.

    Randall pulled out a motorcycle Lego set, smiling. “Wow, does this thing actually move?”

    Then Eric handed Randall the box he was holding, that same wounded but calm mask on his face.

    “Uhh,” Randall looked at the gift and then at Illinois. “I think that’s yours, kid, it’s got your name on it.”

    Eric looked confused, setting the gift down, looking back at Illinois as if he expected Randall to be corrected.

    “Eric,” Dark called out gently. “It’s okay, you can open it.”

    The shy ego pulled his yellow fabric out of his pocket, looking away from everyone. “But it’s Rey’s birthday.”

    “Eric,” Randall looked at him. “It’s your birthday too.”

    Eric looked like he wanted to break down and start crying, opening his mouth several times as if he wanted to say something but physically couldn’t. “S— I—”

    Google pulled away from Bing to grab one of the boxes on the floor, a long one. It looked like it was wrapped in faux blueprint paper. Carefully the android approaches Eric. “Maybe opening one first will help.”

    The android held it out, not pushing or shoving it into Eric’s hands or lap. Just offering the gift.

    “You . . . uh . . . didn’t have to,” Eric told Google, finding his voice again.

    Illinois knelt down to look him in the eyes, “Yeah, we did. We’re not going to celebrate just Randall’s birthday without celebrating yours too.”

    Eric gave a shaky smile, tears already forming in his eyes. He finally nodded and opened the gift and proceeded to start bawling.

    Inside the box was what looked like a set of prosthetics, but they looked a little odd.

    “They’re made of the same stuff Google and I are,” Bing boasted, walking forward. They’ll be whatever you need them to be as long as you let Googs and I upgrade the software.”

    “I,” Eric hiccuped through his tears. “I don’t know . . . wh-what to say.”

    “You don’t need to,” Ed cut in, he’d been mostly quiet up until this point. “It’s your birthday you deserve to have one.”

    After that Eric had a long crying fit and then Randall helped him open up his gifts. Dark hovering protectively over him until she got into an argument with her blue half and after and long screaming match in the mirror, Dark’s blue soul took over to spend time hovering protectively over Eric like his red soul had.

    The egos had cake and after helping Eric for a bit he was in his new prosthetics, Bing helped him change them to whatever color Eric wanted. Which happened to be a light silver color like his old set had been.

    They watched some movies, and curled up protectively with his new family. Eric had to admit that for his first real birthday, he could see why people liked them so much.