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07 December 2009 @ 07:14 pm
091 Birthday  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Pairing: N/A
Rating: 15
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary/Warnings: Somewhere, all wishes come true. Even in despair, there are bright spots.
Word Count: 919 / 52 682
Author's notes: My table is here.

091 Birthday

“Are you sure?” Vida asked, frowning.

“I’ve been keeping track. It’s tomorrow.”

“That’s not really long enough to do anything.”

“I know. I lost some time while I was sick.” Maddie glanced across the room. “Clare and I saved some chocolate.”

Vida laughed softly. “He’ll love you forever.”

“I thought so. So can you take him outside, distract him for a bit?”

“Yeah, we’ll head up to the field and see what they’re giving out today. How long do you need?”

Out of habit, Maddie glanced at a watch that had stopped working weeks ago. “An hour or so? Longer if you can manage.”

“Got it.” Vida grinned, clapping a hand on her shoulder. “Have fun, sis.”

“Yeah,” Maddie agreed. “Bossing the others around.”

“Their own fault if they won’t let you move. Hey, Chip! Let’s go walkabout, huh? See if we can get supplies?”

Chip bounced to his feet, grinning. “Sure! Want something nice, Maddie?”

She smiled, nodding. “That’d be good, Chip, thanks. Don’t be too long, ok?”

“We won’t.” Chip kissed the top of her head, grinning at her, and followed Vida out of the room.

Maddie waited until the sound of their footsteps had died away before clapping her hands. “Right! Let’s get to work, shall we?”

“Doing what?” Zoe asked. She was currently sulking because Xander wouldn’t let her leave…or because Nick had shot her down? Because she’d tried to take food and been refused? Maddie couldn’t keep up with the younger girl’s sulks.

“Decorating.” She ignored Zoe’s disbelieving snort, looking at the others. “It’s Chip’s birthday tomorrow. We should try and do…something. Make it nice.”

“Right, that’s gonna happen,” Zoe muttered, just quietly enough that Xander couldn’t complain about it.

“We won’t know if we don’t try,” Clare said, deliberately bright. “Zoe, Xander told me you’re really good at org…origin…paper folding. Think you can make something pretty? I have some coloured paper.”

“Origami,” Zoe said pointedly.

“What are you doing saving paper when I can’t find enough wood to keep us warm?” Nick protested lightly.

“You can burn them afterwards. Come on, guys, let’s get going.” She passed a sheaf of paper to Zoe, half-watching her sort through the sheets, and began directing the boys in moving the furniture.

“Do you have string?” Zoe asked a few minutes later.

“String?” Maddie repeated.

“Thin. Thread, I guess.”

“I have a little sewing kit,” Clare offered. “Nick, where’s your jacket?”

“Is that what this is?” Nick pulled a tiny black box from one pocket and tossed it to Zoe. “I knew it wasn’t mine.”

“I had it with me in the woods that day,” Clare said. “I was always catching my dress on things. Will that do, Zoe?”

“Perfect.” Zoe cut a length of the thread, bending back over her work. “Thanks,” she added absently.

“You’re welcome,” Clare said airily, grinning triumphantly at Xander.

“Vida, haven’t we been gone too long?” Chip asked nervously.

Vida shook him off. “Chip, hush.”

“You can’t even see him properly.”

“I can hear him fine.”

Chip sighed, shifting his bag to the other shoulder. At least Vida had let him shuffle her to one side, out of the queue, and Ryan’s teammates seemed to be able to manage without him.

Eventually they said their goodbyes and Vida came to join him, taking her bag back. Everyone was very careful not to take anything extra from the Rangers outside; they didn’t want to get attacked over what was, really, just a few encouraging words.

“He was asking about Maddie,” she explained. “I guess Leelee told them who the ‘biotics were for. He wanted to make sure she didn’t need any more.”

“You should have said yes. One of us will need them some time.”

Vida shook her head, steering him down an alley. “Ryan says their techs think they’re close. Soon, a week maybe.”

“Really?” Chip grinned. “That’s great!”

“They’re not sure yet. So don’t tell the others, ok?”

Chip mimed zipping his lips and throwing the key away. “Yr cm trs m,” he mumbled.

Vida grinned, shouldering her bag again. “Let’s go.”

The fire had been banked down and partially covered over. That was the best Nick could manage without actually putting it out, but it threw the room into semi-darkness.

Chip hesitated in the door; Vida planted one hand between his shoulders and shoved, sending him into the middle of the room. Maddie jumped to her feet, torch in hand, and the others joined her to yell “Surprise!”

Chip blinked, looking around at the strings of stars hanging from the ceiling, the paper flowers, the two bars of chocolate on the table and the grins on everyone’s faces. “Wow, if this is what you do when I leave I should go away more often!”

Maddie laughed, coming to hug him. “Happy birthday, Chip.”

“Is…it’s not my birthday.”

“Yes it is. Well, tomorrow. I’ve been keeping track.”

“Huh. Time flies when you’re having fun.” He eyed the chocolate over her head. “Is that for me?”

Maddie grinned, letting go of him. “All yours. Go for it.”

Chip grinned, picking up the two bars and breaking each into four. Tossing one to Nick, he offered the other to Vida and Maddie.

“To birthdays,” he said, when Nick had passed out the chocolate. “May we all have many more.”

“Hear hear,” Xander agreed. The others murmured variations on “To birthdays,” raising the chocolate in a toast, and he grinned around at them.

“Thanks, guys.”

“Any time,” Maddie promised, leaning comfortably against him.