Birthdays weren't a common thing on Pandora. Most people were much too preoccupied with things like when they would get their next meal or whether or not to be concerned that they could taste blood when they coughed. Not only that, but time on Pandora moved much differently than it had on Earth. It was easy to lose track of your age when you went to bed more than once in the course of a Pandoran day. Nobody thought birthdays were all too important anymore anyway.

"I'm telling you, red velvet would be perfect!" A heavy thump could be heard as a cookbook was thrown on the countertop.

"Why is it red…? Is that normal?"

"It's just food coloring! Haven't you ever baked anything before, Maya?"

"I've been training my powers my whole life! You think I had time to bake cakes?" Maya replied snappily. "…Besides, I think you'd be too short to reach most countertops."

"Hey, where'd that come from? Let's just bake the cake! ...Red velvet?"

"Sure, I think he would like it."

Metal cooking sheets and bowls and pans clanged as they collided, scraping as they were pulled. The two of them got to work on both of their first attempt to bake a cake. A couple arguments over the recipe and many cleanups later, the cake was ready for the oven.

Away from the kitchen, the other vault hunters were hard at work setting up the other parts of their party. Zer0 spread the tablecloth neatly and evenly, placing party favors on each seat. Gaige and Axton worked together to hang up streamers and other cool decoration they had gotten their hands on.

"He's coming! Everyone ready?" Lilith whispered excitedly. Everyone quickly fixed their final touches and nodded. With everything looking perfect, they all gathered at the table and sat down.

Heavy stomps were heard coming toward the kitchen, accompanied with heavy breaths.

"Hey, if it isn't the birthday boy!" Salvador bellowed, a wide grin on his face.

Krieg blinked a couple times, looking deeply confused. He observed the colorful party decorations literally covering the room. It wasn't his birthday, at least he didn't think it was. Come to think of it, he wasn't really sure when his birthday was himself. He wasn't even sure how old he was. Certainly his vault-hunting friends didn't know either.

"Well, not birthday." Maya allowed a small smile to grace her lips. "But today's the day you joined us! It's been a whole year since you've been with us! I think that's worth celebrating."

Krieg's visible eye widened in surprise and what he was sure to be some form of happiness. His body heated up as he could feel everyone's expectant eyes resting on him. Krieg tried his best to come up with something to say.

"BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR A BLOOD BOY! SWEET SIXTEEN, WHERE'S MY CAR?" The words tumbled out of his mouth before he could really think of what to say but he was greeted with many smiles and giggles from his friends. Even if they couldn't understand his words, the feeling was conveyed. He truly felt at home in his group of best friends. Krieg took bouncing steps toward the table, yanked the chair on one end out, and plopped heavily into his seat. Everyone beamed smiles at Krieg. He was glad he was wearing a mask because he was sure he was blushing. He'd never felt so appreciated and important in his life. A wide smile pulled his lips and though they were covered, the softness in his eye and posture had always been enough to display his feeling.

Proud shouts could be heard from the kitchen, followed by Mordecai leading the cake-carrying Brick to the table. Brick set the cake down gently in the middle of the table. Krieg leaned to see it better and his smile only grew. The cake was iced totally white with a simple drawing done in red icing. A picture of a crude train with a small Krieg standing proudly on top. A laugh escaped Krieg's mask, a rare laugh of genuine happiness not brought on by his buzz-axe.

"You like it? We did our best, man. Anything for our amigo." Mordecai chuckled.

"BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!" Krieg shouted in response, throwing his hands in the air. Everyone could agree with that.

Maya took the biggest knife she could find into her hand and began cutting slices off for everyone, the first slice being for Krieg. She passed the plate down to him.

Krieg's eye visibly widened at the color of the dense cake.

"MEEEEAAAAAAAAAT!" he growled excitedly. Salvador chuckled, patting himself on the back for his choice of cake.

Some of the group hadn't even gotten their plates yet before Krieg had torn his mask off and eaten the entire slice in less than five bites.

Krieg glanced around at all of his friends, actually enjoying time that they had set aside just for him. He felt a warmness in his heart. He licked crumbs off his lips. He knew then that these friends were completely real and he wanted to stay with them forever. And he knew, one day he would be able to tell them 'thank you'. Thanks for enjoying time with him. Thanks for making him feel human and not like a monster. Thanks for making him feel a happiness that he had forgotten about over the years.