Birthday Blues

‘It’s a waste of time thinking hard about the past. There’s nothing you can do to change it.’
-Romain de Tirtoff

Nosedive sat, looking unusually dejected…for him, anyway. He actually blended in much better with his surroundings and fellow prisoners that way. But depression simply wasn’t instilled in his character, and it worried Wildwing.

Could it be that his spirit has finally broken? Wildwing worried. Or is hopelessness simply catching?

Wildwing had to admit he wasn’t the best role model. The whole Invasion had come down heavy and hard on the white duck, and his already easily crushed psyche was pretty well flattened. The death of Jadestar, and the probable deaths of the many others he knew hadn’t helped.

"Aren’t you going to wish me a happy Hatching Day?" Nosedive suddenly asked. Wildwing turned back to his brother, and found that Nosedive was looking much perkier.

Why doesn’t he ever let it out? Wildwing wondered. "Huh?"

"It’s my Hatching Day."

"Oh," Wildwing looked around himself, and realised that the ice was starting to melt. "Are you sure?"

"You kidding? Every time I get a year older, stuff thaws. I guess I’m just full of warmth," Nosedive grinned. "Now, let’s make with the presents." He rubbed his hands together, and pretended to look greedy. "Come on Wing, I haven’t got all day!"

Wildwing shrugged sadly. "Sorry. But happy Hatching Day anyway."

"We can only hope." Nosedive looked crestfallen for a moment, whether from the lack of presents or the fact that he had to be a slave on his Hatching Day, Wildwing couldn’t tell. "Well, hey," Nosedive brightened. "You can always owe me when this is all over."

I guess it was the lack of presents, Wildwing thought dryly.


"She would have been 15 today," Wildwing commented as they trudged to the latest workplace.

Nosedive frowned. "I know."

"Miss her?"

"Of course I do. But talking about it doesn’t help," Nosedive said gruffly.

Wildwing cast a look of pity over the bedraggled teen. "That could be because you don’t do it very often."

Nosedive shrugged, and tried not to think about his sister. Sometimes he could, when they were happy memories; then it didn’t feel so bad. But right now all he could think of was the fact that she wasn’t there when she should have been. "She’s in Starland, and I don’t wish her back to this," he lied, pointing to the devastation around them. "It’s true that she’s some place better."

Wildwing grunted, but said nothing. Drake DuCaine, Gilkon and Starland…it was all a fairy tale to him. But if it made Nosedive feel better… "I guess so." To his mind, anywhere was better than this, if he hadn’t had to watch Nosedive, he’d have given up long ago.

Nosedive sighed heavily as they reached the open-cut mine. The slaves picked at the rock all day. Their labour was not for anything in particular, just to tire them out.

"Happy Hatching Day Dive," Wildwing told him as they were pulled apart.

"Thanks." Nosedive craned his neck for what could be his last look ever of Wildwing: The groups did not always remain the same at the end of the day.


"Honey, I’m hooooooooooome." Nosedive plonked himself down next to Wildwing wearily. "So, what’s cooking?"

Wildwing held out the small portion of food he’d managed to save, and Nosedive took it gratefully. Wildwing watch him eat it. "You’re late."

Nosedive nodded, and swallowed. "A few of the prisoners tried to escape." He didn’t say anything else, but his look told Wildwing what had happened. He finished eating, and mournfully wished for more. "I’ll never be as tall as you at this rate!"

"You probably would never have been anyway."

Nosedive made a face. "Trust me to get stuck looking like Isobel…" He regretted the words as soon as they came out.

Wildwing frowned. "You think Mark and her are still alive."

Nosedive declined to comment aloud. I hope not. Deciding that was an uncharitable thought, he hurriedly added, For their sakes, of course.

Of course.

Story Copyright Rachel Baker ’99. All characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.