Ellie put the supplies away while Steve looked around the clinic. He found that for a 200 year old home it was surprisingly in ok condition. Ellie picked up the package and called Steve over.
"Hey kid!, come here."
Steve entered the room and Ellie motioned for him to sit down next to her. Steve sat down and Ellie handed him the package.
"It's for you." she said.
Steve took the package and read the note attached to it:
I know you must have some questions and for all I know you probably hate me by now for leaving you behind and I understand. I hope you'll understand that it was for the best, the commonwealth is a warzone and we thought you'd be safer if you stayed with Ellie. I want you to know that we didn't abandon you. I mean hell we're family.
Steve's heart warmed at that word. "Family.". Steve had none. No mother, father, siblings. But he had Danse and Jason.
If and as long as I'm still kickin I'll be by your side.
P.S: I went back into your vault to see if I could find anything and I learned that your birthday is coming up and I hope this reaches you by then. Because I got you a little something to wish you a happy birthday.
Steve had completely forgotten about his birthday and checked his Pip-Boy and sure enough it was November 27th, Steve's Birthday.
"Aw, that's sweet." said Ellie reading the note over his shoulder.
Steve opened the package and inside was a picture frame and a Holotape. Steve looked at the picture and almost dropped it out of shock and surprise. The picture was of Steve, his mother, and His Sister. Tears began to well up under his eyes as the memories flooded back in. Memories of his friends. Memories of his family. Memories of that day when he met Jason. He remembered the day that picture was taken it was his 15th birthday his dad had pulled some strings to get enough rations to make a cake. They all shared it and listened to vaults radio station. Then something struck him. Before receiving the picture Steve recalled not being able to remember his mother's face or any of his family for that matter.
"Who're they?" Ellie asked.
"It-It's my mom," Steve Said choking up.
He felt the weight on the couch shift and Ellie wrapped an arm around him rubbing his arm. Tears began streaming down his face as he began to miss his family. Ellie moved in closer to hug him.
"That's it. Sh-sh-sh, let it out." she whispered.
He buried his face into her shoulder as for the first time since that day in the vault, Steve cried. She held him as he wept until he lifted his head and wiped away his tears sniffling. He retrieved the Holotape from the box. scribbled on the label was: Play me. Ellie handed him his Pip-boy and Steve popped the holotape in and played it.
" Is this on? Yeah? ok. Um hey kid I thought since your birthday's coming up I thought I'd try and get you something for your birthday even though we're on opposite sides of the continental U.S.
It was Jason.
I went back and found that photo. I thought you'd like a reminder of your family. I uh also thought you could use a reminder of the new family you have. So I packed another photo in the box for you."
Steve took out the other picture it was of him, Jason, Danse, Piper, Nick, and Lucky in their little settlement out in the desert.
"You can always count on us kid. My grandma used to say that even if you lost your family or never had one you can always find a new one to be apart of and love. And I know that's pretty cheesy but I do think of me and Danse as your sort-a family. You lost your family and I'm not saying you forget about them no, I just uh, I just want you to know that we're here for you we're your family too.
Steve could hear Jason sniffling.
Uh jeez I'm terrible at these. But um that's not all I got you. Look in the box there's one last gift we got you."
Steve reached in the box and fished out a necklace. It was made out of a long leather string with multiple objects on the end. One was a .357 bullet with the words "Big Iron" etched onto the side Jason's favorite song, the "NCR Ranger anthem" he called it.Another was a small Brotherhood of Steel insignia made out of Scrap Metal and Welded together symbolizing Danse and him being from the Brotherhood. The last piece was a small pin of vault-boy giving a thumbs up. The necklace signified the trio Jason, Danse, and Steve. The holotape concluded with the Danse and Jason singing "Happy Birthday" and expressing how much they wished they were there to celebrate.
Ellie smiled, it warmed her heart to see that even in times like these people could still be nice to one another. Steve put the holotape back into the box and hung the necklace around his neck.
"So, how old are you now kid?" asked Ellie.
"Um I think about 16 or 17." said Steve. "Definitely 17."
"Well, happy 17th birthday kiddo. "
He hated being called kiddo but he knew Ellie had good intentions.
"Welp it's getting late
We should get to bed c'mon." said Ellie yawning.
Steve got up and began walking over to the bed he woke up in.
"Hey, where are you goin'?" Ellie asked.
"To bed.". Steve said pointing to the patient beds.
"Nonsense!, it's your birthday plus I'll need those beds for patients. C'mon!". Ellie motioned for him to join her.
"Alright you take the left side and I'll take the right." she said entering another room off to the side.
"Get comfortable!" she yelled form the other room.
She emerged in a gray tank-top and black shorts. That we're a tad too small but Steve didn't want to be rude so he didn't say anything.
"C'mon get in!". She said climbing into the bed and patting the space next to her.
"O-okay then." Steve said kicking off his boots and getting into the bed.
Ellie pulled the covers over her and turned herself to face away from Steve.
"Goodnight and don't get any ideas just 'cause it's your birthday." she said before putting out the candle.
"Got it." he said quietly resting his head on the pillow and closing his eyes.