A day that didn’t mean much to Daisy until only a few years ago. She wished she had known growing up that July 2nd was in fact her birthday. Her twenty-seventh birthday was the first time she got to celebrate on her actual birthday.
The day always seemed to be bittersweet since she discovered it was her birthday. Sure, she did enjoy having a day just for her. It does, however, bring back memories and what-ifs? What if Hydra never stormed the village in the Hunan province where she was born and lived with her parents? It was her biological parents that told her when her birthday exactly was. It didn’t end well with Daisy’s parents, but it does warm her heart knowing that they truly did love her and only wanted what they believed was best for her, even if they went about it all wrong.
She never got to celebrate her birthday, even on the day the orphanage gave her. Foster homes just never seemed to care about her birthday. She once even was rehomed on her supposed birthday, so in her mind, there was no point in wishing for a birthday celebration.
Now, or over the last few years, she had her SHIELD team to celebrate with. Unfortunately, not everyone was together for that day or something big was going on that her birthday wasn’t even a second thought. On Daisy’s twenty-seventh, Jemma was trapped on Maveth, and May didn’t return from her vacation. On her twenty-eighth, she was on the run as Quake the vigilante. On her twenty-ninth, the team was in space in the future. On her thirtieth, she was part of the search party for Fitz with Jemma, so they had other things to worry about, and her thirty-first and thirty-second happened after everyone parted ways and worked hard to build up SHIELD.
Her birthday wasn’t exactly a day Daisy really looked forward to.
Like her thirty-second, Daisy’s thirty-third birthday was occurring in space. Was this how she wanted to spend her birthday? Not exactly. She hoped they’d be back on Earth by now, but things kept on popping up, and their time in space seemed to be lasting longer and longer.
It had almost been a year since the last time she got to speak with her team, her family, through the Framework. Daisy missed them dearly and wanted nothing more than to be back home.
The day had been exhausting. Negotiating with the ambassadors and higher-ups of alien planets was actually a lot harder than Daisy realized. She in no way thought it would be easy, but having had dealt with aliens before gave her some confidence in this part of the mission, but today, it just worn her out.
She did a quick debrief with the team before heading over to her bed, hoping to get some rest.
Kora and Daniel had noticed that as the days came closer to her birthday, Daisy wasn’t herself. They both could see that she missed her family; she always seemed to miss them more often on special days. Both had wished her a happy birthday, which she happily thanked them sincerely. Both cared immensely about her, so they wanted to do something special for her.
It was maybe two hours after she retreated to her and Daniel’s bunk that Daisy was woken up by a knock on the door. She groggily lifted her head and rubbed her eyes, trying to get the tiredness to leave her body.
“It’s unlocked,” she called out.
Kora slowly entered the room, a smile adorning her face. “Did the birthday girl get her rest?”
Daisy nodded slowly. “I mean, not as much as earlier. Still wishing to be back home.”
“I know,” Kora replied. “But I think there’s something that can cheer you up.” Kora’s smile made Daisy a little wary of what her sister and boyfriend had planned, but she still took Kora’s hand, which was held out for her to take.
Zephyr 3 was rather empty at the moment. When Daisy had fallen asleep, it was around early evening, so by now, the agents were either doing inventory, analysis, or even turned in for the night themselves.
When Kora finally brought Daisy to the desired location, Daisy was shocked to see what she was faced with. It wasn’t anything big, but seeing the balloons and streamers hung around the meeting room made Daisy’s heart melt.
“Surprise!” Daniel shouted. Daisy couldn’t help but giggle at her boyfriend’s antics. He approached her, placing a kiss on her cheek. “Happy birthday, sweetheart.”
“You guys didn’t have to do all this for me,” Daisy said, taking in all the decorations and the small cake that she hoped Daniel made instead of Kora. The last time Kora baked or cooked, it didn’t end too well. Let’s just say it ended with the use of a fire extinguisher.
“No, we didn’t have to,” Kora said. “But we both wanted to do something for you.”
People doing stuff for her, even at a small level, was still something Daisy wasn’t used to, but she would be lying if she said she didn’t appreciate it all. She thanked Daniel and Kora endlessly.
“This isn’t it,” Daniel said. He held the cake in one hand while he reached into his pocket and pulled out three, white Framework adapters.
Daisy’s eyes grew wide, knowing exactly what he was trying to say. “For real?”
Daniel nodded. “I was able to communicate with all of them, and they all cleared their schedule for tonight,” Daniel explained.
Daisy was at a loss for words. She felt the tears burning behind her eyes, but she tried her best to keep them at bay.
“What are you waiting for?” Kora asked, taking her adapter into her hands. “They’re all already probably there waiting for us.”
Daisy rolled her eyes before taking an adapter herself. As the three of them sat down, Daisy closed her eyes and took a breath, preparing to once again see the people she cared about most, before she placed the adapter on her temple.
When she opened her eyes, she was met with a dark room. A second later, the lights turned on, revealing party decorations adorning what looked like the inside of the Bus.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAISY!” Coulson, May, Fitzsimmons, Alya, Mack, Elena, and Flint all jumped out from their hiding places.
Daisy finally let her tears fall. Oh, how she missed them all so much. She ran to each of them, hugging them tightly and thanking them for the surprise.
Little Alya came running towards Daisy, her platinum blonde hair bouncing with each stride. “Happy birthday, Auntie Daisy!”
The six-year-old jumped into Daisy’s arms, and she lifted the little girl onto her hip. “Thank you so much, Alya!”
The party begun as the music played and the sounds of conversations filled the Bus.
Towards the end, Daisy found herself sat between Coulson and May on the couch. She looked at the people around her. Jemma and Elena sat on the other couch, discussing and gossiping, Daniel, Mack, and Fitz were at the bar, having their own discussions, and Kora and Flint chased Alya around as the little girl’s laughs filled the room.
“So, how is the big double three?” Coulson asked.
“Not much different than thirty-two,” Daisy replied. “Just missed this.”
May nodded. “Yeah. You’re supposed to be home soon though, right?”
Daisy nodded. “We should be home within the next two or three months unless something comes up again.”
“Well, I’ll be counting down the days,” Coulson replied. “Just know, that when you get home, you’ll still have everyone here on Earth. We may be apart, but we’re all here for you. Always.”
Daisy nodded as she took in the scene of people she loved. Now, the wait until she could return didn’t seem so bad. She now could look forward to the real-life hugs and conversations they would all have eventually. No matter where she went, she would always have those people. She would always have her family.
Suddenly, birthdays didn’t seem so bittersweet anymore. It was finally a day she could look forward to.