Everyday Is Somebody's Birthday
rating: +60+x

"Happy birthday to me."

Nobody takes out her lighter, but instead of reaching for a cigarette, she plucks a candle from a little plastic case. She sticks the lit candle into her cake.

"Happy birthday to me."

She sings slowly, so she can place all twenty six candles in the frosting before finishing the song. She almost drools once or twice. It's been thirteen years since she's had an ice cream cake. On her missions she'd had cheesecake, red velvet, traditional, but nothing ever called for ice cream cake. It's a child's cake after all, and when you're Nobody, you're not a child.

"Happy birthday to no one…"

Nobody takes a big breath, and blows out all the candles. She makes a wish, and allows herself a smile.

"You're going to finish that all by yourself?"

A man in a white suit stands in the entrance to Nobody's hotel room. He leans against the doorframe, far too casually for an intruder. He clutches a pair of beers in his right hand, and twiddles with a lock pick in his left. His leather shoes make a sharp tapping noise against the ground

"You could've knocked, you know?" Nobody replies, "You want a piece?"

"Neither of us knock, ever. What flavor?"

"Mint chocolate chip."

The man holds up a hand, "I'll pass."

"You're no fun."

"I'm plenty of fun," he protested, "I brought booze."

"It's probably spiked."

"You think that low of me?"

"Well, I'm not drinking. Beer feels too adult for an ice cream cake," Nobody replied, content with her sobriety.

"Suit yourself."

The man in the white suit opens his beer while Nobody cuts off a slice of the cake. She forgot to grab a fork, so she eats it with her hands. The ice cream is cold and sticky, running down her hands and dripping onto her paper plate. But it's worth it for the taste of mint. It's a cheap mint, but it smacks of childhood.

"You know, if you take too long the cops are going to show up. The alarms in that Cold Stone you robbed are quite loud."

"Why do you care? Last I remembered you like to keep me where you can see me."

"Is it that strange to want a colleague to have a good birthday?" the man asks. He marches over to a cheap armchair, closing the door behind him. They both hear a crack as the man practically falls into the seat.

"Colleague is a strange way to describe our relationship," Nobody replies.

"Couldn't think of a better word."

They both sit in the hotel room for a moment of silence, indulging in their own ways. They'd spent a lot of time in quiet. Working alone means there's not much to talk about, or to talk to. There's a good chance that, over the years, these two have exchanged more words with each other than anyone else. To an unassuming observer, they could've maybe passed for friends.

"Well go on then, spit it out," Nobody remarks between handfuls of cake, "What are you waiting for?"

"Excuse me?"

"Your foot. You're still tapping it. You're counting down to something."

"I mean… it's your birthday party. I thought I'd invite some friends."

"Oh that's cute." Nobody rolls her eyes. She devours the other half of the slice. Her hands are slimy, like they aren't even her hands anymore. Maybe that's not just the melted sugar goo. It's been years since she felt out of place with this host. Suddenly her arms, now her whole body feels gross. Nobody goes to the bathroom to wash her hands.

"Don't you get tired of this?" Nobody asks, taking her mind off her body, "Playing cat and mouse can only entertain you for so many decades."

"We both know I don't do this for fun."

"Well, one of us has to keep things entertaining," Nobody shares a sly smile. The man cocks his head to the side, and sets down his beer. He expected some sort of attempted escape, or at least for her pull a gun. Nobody's smile only grew as the man in the white suit empties pillows out of their cases.

"What're you looking for?" she asks.

"You think you're so clever."

"I believe you were the one who told me it was my only real personality trait."

"I was referring to your smugness," the man bites back.

"Well I'm taking the compliment."

The man in the white suit can't see any signs of a package, or luggage, or even a change of clothes. He checks the desk drawers, they're also empty. He's missing something. Every fiber in his being shouts it. He'd set up plenty of traps for Nobody over the years. There's the church outside of Berlin, the gas station near Glasgow, the trailer park in Montana, the list goes on. But the best he'd ever done was slow her down. Maybe she'd just grown sloppy. Or tired. They'd been at this for years after all. One of them had to make a mistake at some point.

Nobody lets out a giggle.

"I will shoot you I swear," the man in the white suit says. The strain in his voice is obvious.

"But that's against the rules," Nobody chides.

"I don't play by your rules."

"If you didn't have to play by my rules, then what are you still doing here?"

"Excuse me?"

"It's just, you could do so much more. You could actually… be somebody, you know?"

"You're not funny," the man scoffs, opening the hotel room's closet.

"No, I'm serious! Find a job. Take up a hobby. If you're so certain about breaking the rules, then go get a life."

"You of all people don't get to say that. I don't play by them, but your stupid rules are why I'm even here," the man stops looking through the closet hangars. He needs to let out his nervous energy. But is it really a bluff? He can't be falling for another bluff, is he? Nobody exits the bathroom and wipes her hands on the bedsheets strewn about the ground.

"Maybe you can find what you're looking for somewhere else," she says, "As someone else."

"You think I want to be here?" the man's hands curl into fists, "I wanted to do so many things. Be so many people. It's your fault I'm not, because you took that away from me."

"It's just part of the job. It's nothing personal."

"Nothing is ever personal with you. To you, there's no person! It's just nameless faces that get in the way of whatever fuckery you're up to," the man downs the rest of his beer, "Fuck… this is why I hate stalling you."

Nobody pats the man on the back. It's what little she can do for him. She always hated leaving him like this, especially since she knows she won't see him for quite some time. The man's malice and frustration is well founded, but Nobody never had any hard feelings.

"You should probably duck out," she says.

"Bullshit."

"You don't have much longer. I appreciate you stopping by though. Nice to see a familiar face on my birthday."

"I'm not leaving. My people have this place surrounded by now. You're not getting away this time. "

"Are you sure? I know I said the cops were slow before but… there's someone else who's much, much faster."

BANG, BANG, BANG

The man looks back at the door before bolting toward the window. Nobody hears the shattering of glass, but when she looks out the hole where the window used to be, there's no white suit in sight.

CRASH

A soldier dressed in black body armor kicks down the door. Three laser sights train themselves on Nobody. She can see the letters "SCP" painted on the soldier's sleeve.

Nobody points out the broken window, "I think he went that way."

"You know who we are. You're coming with us."

Nobody can't hold back her smile as she presents her hands to the confused MTF agents.

"Please, take me away."


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