Ray stretched, which turned into a yawn, and then into another stretch. He’d slept later than everyone else, which was unlike him, but he had been up pretty late last night.
He got out of bed, still stretching out his tail, as he went to the privy to pee. He wondered where everyone was. Hopefully they weren’t all eating breakfast without him. Well, they probably were, which was fine. But hopefully they were leaving him some. He was a growing boy, he needed to eat.
Thinking about eating made his stomach rumble, and he scratched it as he peed. He’d get food soon. Once he was done he cleaned his hands, then his face, and went back out into the room to get some clothes.
Ray blinked. Everyone was there, though they hadn’t been a minute ago. “Good morning.”
“Morning,” said Cal, coming over and kissing him. “Happy Birthday.”
“Oh, it isn’t my birthday,” Ray said, confused now. They were all smiling. “I don’t really have a birthday. I mean I do, but I don’t know when it is, so…”
“So we’ve picked a day for you,” Cal told him. “Seems unfair that everyone gets to know and celebrate theirs except for you. So as of right now, today is your birthday.”
“But…you can’t just…” Ray’s tail was twitching.
“Yes we can,” Mick told him. “Because we love you. And also Cal does kind of have full authority to decide when people’s birthdays are. There’s even scripture about it.”
“Don’t ask to read the scripture,” Joey told him, putting a small wreath on Ray’s head. “It’s super boring. We got you presents!”
“What, but you didn’t have to…” Ray looked at the small pile of wrapped gifts on the bed. When had they done all this? Why had they done all this? Ray was fine without. He didn’t need any of this. He didn’t need…
He was so happy.
Cal kissed him again. “We know we didn’t have to,” he said. “We did because we love you.”
“I love you guys too,” Ray whispered, letting them all take turns giving him birthday kisses. It was his birthday. It was his birthday.
This was amazing. Ray had never had a real birthday before. He hopped in place. “Can we do all the birthday stuff I’ve heard about?” he asked. “Can we have cake and wishes and birthday spankings? Oh, did you know in the Bet-Haren Alliance you’re supposed to stand on your hands on your birthday, so the age particles are distributed evenly through your body? And, and in Yassar you have to jump naked into the snow on your birthday, to show how much stronger you’ve gotten in the last year! And in Kyaine when it’s someone’s birthday you’re supposed to pinch them for good luck. Oh! I can’t accept any gifts until I tell you all everything I appreciate about you, like in the Empire, or it’ll be bad luck!” Ray looked at his hands for a second. “That’s a really long list, so I’m going to talk really fast!”
He made sure not to leave anything out, though. This was Ray’s first birthday ever, and he wanted to make sure he did it right so that it could be the best birthday ever too.