This was so fun! But the real question here is where the hell did Sole find somewhere to actually *bake* these cakes? Also, I’m gonna gonna say that these cakes are for birthdays. Cause you know. Reasons. (Hope that’s alright with you) Also just a warning, this one is reallyyyy long.
Hancock: He was more than a little disoriented when Sole literally pulled him out of bed that evening. “Nooooo, I was sleeping. Do you know how tired I am?” He whined. “I don’t even have clothes on!” He yelled. “I am not going anywhere until I at least have pants on!”
“Fine,” Sole said, throwing his clothes at him where he now laid on the floor next to his bed.
“What could possibly be so important that you literally dragged me out of bed, Sunshine?” He asked looking up at them as he tugged his boots on.
They shook their head. “I cannot believe you could have forgotten this,” they said.
He sighed. He didn’t have a single clue as to what they were referring to. “Could you maybe remind me what it is that I’m forgetting?” He asked pulling the flag around his waist just a little bit tighter.
“No. You’re just gonna have to wait and see now,” Sole told him shaking their head.
“Lead the way then, Sunshine,” he said standing up.
“Close your eyes,” Sole told him. “And don’t open them until I say so.”
“Are you leading me away to be slaughtered?” He asked playfully but closed his eyes nonetheless.
They grabbed his hand. “Trust me,” they said. “I won’t let anybody slaughter you while your eyes are closed.”
“What if I don’t trust you?“he asked as they began to walk.
Sole laughed. “Well, if you don’t trust me then I’ll just let them do whatever they want to you. I mean if you don’t trust me then what’s the point in even having you around.”
“You should know that I’m rolling my eyes,” he told them as they began their very cautious descent down the Old Stare House’s stairs. Sole just laughed.
It was raining outside. He could feel the cold droplets fall directly onto his scarred face and hands, the only things that weren’t covered up by clothes. They were only in the cold rain for a minute or two before Sole had pulled them back under the cover of a roof. The Third Rail.
“Why did I need my eyes closed for you to bring me to The Third Rail?” He asked.
He sighed again. This was getting tedious and the stairs were slowing them down again.
“Why is it so quiet in here?” He asked once they had reached the end of the stairs. You could have heard a pin drop. He wanted to open his eyes very badly then, but he had been told not to until they said so. He reached out for Sole with his other hand. “What’s going on?” He asked his hand finding their shoulder.
Sole laughed again. “I still can’t believe that you could have forgotten this.”
Sole spun him around to where his back was against their chest. “Open your eyes, Hancock.”
And he did. “Surprise!” Everyone shouted, though only halfheartedly by Whitechapel Charlie.
“Happy birthday Mayor!” Someone he couldn’t see shouted.
He turned around to Sole. “How did I forget my own birthday?” He asked incredulously. “Are you sure it’s today? What the hell? What is wrong with me?” He asked looking around baffled. But then he saw the cake. “Is that mine?” He asked suddenly.
Sole laughed. “The cake?” He nodded. “Yep,” they confirmed.
“Good,” he said, already grabbing a fork off the bar and sitting down next to it. People were already coming up and slapping on the back and telling him happy birthday but he didn’t much care. Right now, he just wanted to taste the cake. It was even red, white, and blue. How perfectly fitting, he thought, taking the first bite. “This is great,” he told Sole. “You make it?” They nodded. “You are the best, Sunshine,” he told them smiling. “The very very best.”
Nick: “Aww kid.” He pulled them over to his side and hugged them tightly. “You really shouldn’t have.”
“Well, I did,” Sole said. “Should I sing for you too?” They whispered.
Nick chuckled. “No. No, I think the cake’s enough,“he said. "Say, where’d you get the ingredients for this anyhow?” He asked regarding the cake thoughtfully. It was as perfect as it would have been in the old days but by God it was better than perfect in the Commonwealth now.
“Well, I only spent a couple weeks scouring the Commonwealth, risking life and limb, to find everything I needed. And honestly you would not believe the places I had to go to find some of the stuff.” They paused. “Also, you should know that I threatened to cut a guy’s hand off the other day if they didn’t tell me where they found their cane sugar.” Sole rubbed the back of their neck.
Nick laughed. “It’s okay, Kid. No harm no foul.” Looking down at the cake he smiled. The icing was sloppily thrown on and there were only a couple candles stuck in it, but he loved it anyway. And he loved that Sole did this for him. It was the sweetest thing someone had done for him in a long long time.
Deacon: “Ohhhh my God,"Deacon said trying to sound normal. His internal monologue sounded more like ‘ohmygodohmygodohmygod’ and ‘why did I lie and tell them today was my birthday I am literally the worst person alive’. He laughed awkwardly looking at Sole and pretty much every other member of the railroad standing around a cake with pink icing.
Sole ran up to him and wrapped their arms around his neck. "Happy birthday,"they practically shouted in his ear. He laughed again. "Ahh, hey. Yeah…Thanks. Is that a real cake?” He asked looking over their shoulder.
Sole leaned back. “Of course it is! You think I would bring you a fake cake on your birthday?”
‘Well it is my fake birthday,’ he thought.
Later when everyone had left or had went to bed and it was only Sole and Deacon left sitting on the couch sharing the very last piece of cake that Deacon knew he was gonna have to tell them the truth. He sighed wearily. Why did he have to be such a liar?
“What’s wrong birthday boy?” Sole asked.
“I’m another year older and life is weighing me down,” he tried to joke.
Sole narrowed their eyes. “Bullshit. What is it?”
Damn. He sighed again. “Umm,” he began. “I, well, I lied.” Sole waited for him to continue. “About today being my birthday….” He continued. “And I know I’m like the worst person alive for doing that and like having you make me a cake and I mean who just does that in the Commonwealth? I mean like nobody can just do that anymore. Like come on how long could it have taken you to get all the ingredients together and then find somewhere to bake the damn thing in this godforsaken wasteland? You really have to care about someone to do all that for them and then there’s me! The asshole who can’t even tell said person who cares enough about them to do such a thing that he lied about his stupid birthday for no reason whatsoever!” He stopped, out of breath after that drawn out confession.
He didn’t dare look over at Sole. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “I don’t know why I lied. I just can’t help myself sometimes. I don’t know. There really is no excuse. I’m sorry.”
“You idiot,” Sole said and then laughed. His head snapped up. Where they seriously laughing at him right now? When Sole saw his expression they stopped but still smiled way too big for his liking. “I knew, Deacon,” they said patting his arm. “I knew it wasn’t really your birthday. It was the only date you ever gave me though so I figured it would just have to work.” They shook their head still laughing a little. After a second Deacon joined in too. They were right. He was an idiot.
Maccready: It was his birthday. Which is not something he told most people but somehow they had gotten on the subject of birthdays at one point and he had figured that Sole had forgotten. Really why would they have remembered? Plus he hadn’t even seen them for the last three days so he figured he’d be spending his birthday at the Third Rail drinking again. Like any other day of the week when Sole wasn’t around. Which was exactly what he had planned on doing when he walked in there. Except, everyone was no where to be seen, except Whitechapel Charlie……. “You should probably go on back there,"he told him dispassionately.
Warily, he went back to the VIP lounge where he normally sat and drank. Today though, the VIP lounge was a little worse than overcrowded. And they were all staring at him. And Sole was standing in the middle of them. "What the-” he whispered before stopping himself.
“Well,” Sole drawled. “I figured since it was your birthday…"They trailed off and shrugged. It was then that he noticed the cake in Sole’s hands. "Is that a cake?” He asked stupidly. They nodded.
It took him a second to actually process everything. “You gotta stop doing stuff like this for me,"he finally said, but smiled.
Codsworth: He bumped into three walls, crashed into four people (including a very annoyed Hancock), and almost knocked over the cake in his excitement. Eventually when he calmed down (and everyone who had been run over had been helped up) he told Sole how much he appreciated them making the cake. "Just like the old days,” he had sniffed.
Preston: He wasn’t even sure how the General had found out it was his birthday or how they had somehow gotten all the Mintuemen together at the Castle or how they had even made the cake, but by God was he happy about it all. He didn’t stop smiling the entire time. The cake was the best thing he had eaten in….well ever. He had praised Sole highly for managing to make such a delectable treat. It actually made him excited for his next birthday.
Cait: It was all so strange. First Cait was in complete shock when Sole presented her with the cake and then she was openly sobbing into their shoulder. She was talking too, but Sole couldn’t understand a word of it through her tears. When she finally stopped and caught her breath, she said, “I’m sorry about that. It’s just…” She sighed. “No one’s ever done anything for me like this before.” She sighed again. “And I’m really really thankful for this. I didn’t know you cared about me this much, he’ll I didn’t know anyone cared about me this much. So, thanks.”
Sole just smiled and hugged her. “Happy birthday,” they said.
Piper: She let out the most girlish squeal in the history of the Commonwealth. “Oh my God, Blue!” She bounced up and down excited. “You are seriously the best friend ever! Oh my God!” She stuck a finger in the icing then licked her finger. “Her eyes went wide. "This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted,” she whispered before taking a larger swipe of icing and eating that too. That went on for a while until there was nothing left but just cake. No icing. Just cake.
“You know,” Sole said, “the idea is really to eat all of the cake, not just the icing, right?”
Piper picked at the cake a little. “But the icing was the best part,” she said wistfully. Sole laughed and continued eating their slice of cake with no icing.
Danse: He had never celebrated his birthday, not even when he had been allowed; the brotherhood didn’t technically have any rules about it, but it went unspoken that birthdays just weren’t celebrated. Sole, as it turned out, had not gotten the memo about this. So, it was not only a surprise party to Paladin Danse but for all the brotherhood. To be fair though, Danse was the most shocked by this.
Sole grinned up at him gleefully, oblivious to the slack jawed stares from the other member. “Happy birthday!” They shouted again, because he hadn’t said anything the first time.
He stared at them wide eyed. “Soldier,” he began, but when he saw the cake behind them he couldn’t bear to tell them. He shook his head. “Thank you, Soldier. I appreciate the gesture.” He smiled.
Sole laughed. “Alright, Paladin Danse,” they winked and he laughed. And he wasn’t sure why. It could have been the way they said, ‘Alright, Paladin Danse’, or it could have been that awful wink they had tried to pull off, or maybe it was just the absurdity of it all.
“I assume you made the cake?” He said, nodding the to the misshapen pink came behind them.
They smiled. “Sure did. You can’t imagine how much work it took, but I did it. I made a cake from scratch! In the Commonwealth!” They beamed. “This should like go in a record book or something. 'Oh, yeah,’ he thought. 'April 21: The first birthday to ever be celebrated on the Prydwen. It was the Paladin’s birthday. The cake was pink and misshapen. The only two truly present for said celebration were the Paladin himself and the Sole Survivor of Vault 111, also known as The Wanderer. The Paldin didn’t have the heart to tell them that they didn’t celebrate birthdays in the Brotherhood a
He just laughed though. "I’ll look into it.”
Sole laughed. “Well sit down then, we have cake to eat.” They looked around at the other member who were still staring. “You guys can have some too you know. If you want,” they called awkwardly.
He cringed at their blatant staring at Sole. He cleared his throat. “Back to work everyone,” he shouted, so everyone would hear. “Unless I need to tell Elder Maxson that we have a problem down here.”
Everyone scuttled off quickly and quietly, none doing to cast a glance in Sole’s direction. Though he did hear someone mumble something about 'Danse going soft on us’. He ignored the comment and sat down with Sole.
“Is there….something wrong with….me baking you a cake?” Sole asked slowly.
He shook his head. “No. No, of course not.” He tried to smile.
Sole frowned. “Why was everyone staring at me then?”
He scratched the back of his head. “Uh, well, they’re just not used to it I guess. The Brotherhood isn’t big on birthday celebrations. So, birthdays really just go unnoticed for us. Not usually a big thing.”
“This is not a big thing,” Sole argued, cutting into the cake. “All I did was make a cake, sheesh.” Sole plopped a slice of cake onto his plate.
He chuckled. “Cakes are rare here. Birthday cakes even more so,” he told them picking up his fork.
The first bite was good. Sugary, was his first thought. But then he took a second bite and it was better than the first. Less icing on it. He nodded. “You did good, Soldier,” he told them. They smiled cutting themselves a slice.
“I’m glad you like it, even though you don’t celebrate your birthday,” they joked.
He smiled. “I really do appreciate it, Soldier. Thank you.”
Sole smiled back. “You’re welcome. But really it wasn’t much.”
“Ah, but it was more than nothing and that’s just what everyone else did. So the effort you put into this is both acknowledged and appreciated.”
Sole blushed and look away. Which made Danse blush even harder than them. Hastily, he shoved more cake into his mouth. Mostly so he wouldn’t talk anymore.
Curie: She was super bashful about the whole thing. She wouldn’t even look anybody in the eye while they sang to her. “Happy birthday, Curie,” Sole said directly to her after they were done singing.
Curie laughed nervously. There was so much adrenaline rushing through her veins right now she was actually jittery. “Thank you,” she said. “It’s been so long since anyone had noticed my age passing,” she admitted. “I feel overwhelmed by it all.” She tried to smile a little, but it just became a grimace.
Sole nodded understandingly and came to sit down beside her while the other vault dwellers milled about now. “Did you taste the cake?” They asked after a moment.
Curie shook her head no. Sole smiled offering their hand, “Well, you can’t have a birthday without having some cake so come on.”
“Who made it?” Curie asked taking Sole’s hand.
Sole laughed. “Me, silly. You think I would trust anyone else with something so important?”
Curie shook her head smiling. “How did you even accomplish such a feat?”
Sole winked. “Magic.”
“There is no such thing as magic,” Curie said as Sole cut her a piece of cake and put it on a plate.
“Here,” they said. “Taste it and tell if you think there’s such a thing as magic afterwards.”
Curie rolled her eyes but took a bite. Her eyes fluttered closed it was so good. It was the best food she had ever eaten. Opening her eyes she smiled at Sole. “Oaky, so maybe, maybe, just this once, I’ll agree that if there is such a thing as magic, this cake is it.”
Sole laughed delightedly. “Told you so.”
X6 88: “Happy birthday!” Sole had shouted at him unexpectedly. Needless to say it had startled him a little.
He straightened up. “I told you, I don’t have a 'birthday’.”
Sole pointed at them, “Yes, you do and today it is your birthday and that’s that.”
He sighed. “Fine. What’s that then?” He asked pointing to the pink atrocity on the table beside them. It misshapen and the candle poking out of it was lit.
“It’s a birthday cake,” Sole exclaimed. “Aww, you’ve never seen a birthday cake? That’s sad. But hey, there’s a first time for everything,” they pointed to him again and then to one of the chairs at the table. “Sit.”
Begrudgingly, he sat. “Why is it pink?” He asked. He had had snack cakes before and had liked them, but this. This was not a snack cake. It looked nothing like it and he wasn’t even sure it counted as cake.
“Because there were only two kind of food dye I could find and one was pink and the other was brown and honestly birthday cakes just shouldn’t be brown,” they told him setting a plate and fork down in front of him.
Carefully, and he knew they were doing it carefully because they had their tongue poking out (something they said means that your very focused on something, though he was sure of the correlation between the two things), Sole cut the cake. And then, just as carefully they set the piece they had cut onto his plate. They looked up at him and smiled.
“Go ahead and try it,” Sole told him, still smiling.
He frowned looking at it but looked back up and Sole and knew he wasn’t going to tell them no. Picking up his fork he took a small bite out of the edge of his piece. Contrary to its appearance it actually tasted quite similar to the snack cakes he had tried, only this was better, it wasn’t stale and it didn’t have that strangely metallic taste all prewar Commonwealth food had.
He nodded appreciatively. “It’s good, very good,” he said looking back up at Sole. “Much better than expected actually.” Sole beamed.
Strong: In an unfortunate mishap involving the misunderstanding the function of cake, Strong smashed it. All that work. Gone. Sole just laughed though. “I’ll make you another next year,” they promised, mostly because they almost died getting the ingredients for this one (a feral ghoul literally fell from the ceiling onto them as they were trying to get the eggs (Mirelurk eggs mind you, as if they could have found any chicken eggs)) and they weren’t doing that again for a long while.