Thank you so much for all of the wonderful reviews; I appreciate every single one.You guys are the best readers ever!
Disclaimer: I forgot to do this last two times, but just in case you're wondering, I don't own National Treasure or Disney.
A/N: This is the final chapter of this story, but don't worry--I will definitely be writing more National Treasure fanfics in the future!
I turned just in time to see Abigail swatting at Riley, who had obviously been sticking his fingers in the chocolate icing. Even though it had been mutilated a little by Riley's "taste-testing," Abby's cake looked much more appealing than her broccoli casserole.
"This is really good, you know. I guess we won't need the fortune cookies I brought." Riley smiled wickedly.
"If that was an attempt at flattery, then it's no wonder you haven't got a girlfriend," Abby huffed. "And what, exactly, is wrong with my food?"
Riley glanced up at me, and I had to work really hard not to laugh. "Never mind, Abby," he said.
Looking at Riley, I decided that the kid was finally back to normal. Or close, at least. His hand was still encased in a cast that extended to his elbow, and said hand rested in a sling to keep the pressure off his shoulder. The bruises on Riley's face still lingered, and he had trouble sleeping sometimes, but today he seemed really happy. That made all the difference.
"Well, should we sing?" Abby prompted.
"Ugh, no," replied Riley. "Not unless Ben really wants his ears to bleed."
I laughed at that, but Abigail tried to reassure him. "Come on, Riley, your voice can't be that bad."
"Who said anything about me?" Riley said, looking affronted. "You're the one who sings so loudly in the shower that people a mile away cringe."
"Ha, ha," Abigail said humorlessly, but I could see a faint blush creeping into her face. She really did sing like an opera star in the shower.
"So, are we doing this, or what?" I interrupted.
"Okay, on the count of three," Abby said. "One, two, three!"
It was utter cacophony for a moment, as Riley had started singing on "two" and Abigail on "three". Both sang louder, trying to overpower the other, until Riley finally gave up and joined Abby.
"Happy birthday, dear Ben . . . Happy birthday to you!"
I couldn't help but smile. This was perfect. The best birthday ever.
After we had all eaten a slice of cake (or in Riley's case, three slices), we moved on to presents. There were three carefully wrapped gifts sitting on the table, and I chose the smallest one first.
I read the tag aloud. "'From Mom and Dad'." I tore off the paper to reveal a brand new diver's watch.
"That was thoughtful of them," Abigail said.
"Yeah. I've been planning on getting myself a new one," I said, admiring it.
"Mine next," Abigail said excitedly.
I glanced up at her, one eyebrow raised. She was practically vibrating. "You must have found something good," I observed.
"Just open it." She shoved the second box at me.
I moved as slowly as I could, cutting each piece of tape with my thumbnail and unfolding the paper at sloth-speed. Riley couldn't contain a laugh, and Abby couldn't contain her impatience.
"Ben!" she snapped. I laughed and quickly pulled off the wrapping paper. Inside was a framed picture of us—Abby, me, and Riley—all standing in front of our house. It was the closest thing to a family photo I'd ever had, and it seemed really significant considering recent events.
"Thanks, Abby," I said softly. She smiled brightly, and I pulled her into a kiss.
"Ew," Riley complained, but we ignored him.
Finally, I pulled away. Riley sat up straighter in his chair as I reached for the final present.
It was wrapped in newspaper, but the pages had obviously been chosen very carefully. They all were either pictures or articles concerning the finding of the Templar treasure and the adventure at Mount Rushmore. I examined the wrapping for a moment with a smile, and then gently pulled it off. Underneath was a box.
I glanced up at Riley, sensing his silent excitement. And then I lifted the cardboard lid. "What on Earth . . ." I started to say, but then Abigail started laughing hysterically and Riley cracked a grin.
"Ben . . ." Abby laughed, "Do you know . . . what that is?" Her words were interrupted by giggles.
I examined the object in my hands for a moment. It was a hat, I could tell that much, but I didn't understand why Abby and Riley were laughing. "Obviously not," I said.
Riley rolled his eyes. "Honestly, Ben, have you never spent time watching movies?"
I stared at him, confused for only a second. And then it hit me. "Indiana Jones?" I asked, examining my gift more closely.
Abby broke into another fit of laughter, while Riley nodded sheepishly. "If I'd known how long it'd take you to figure this out, I would have bought something simpler."
I grinned, jamming the hat on my head. "No, I see the connection. Treasure hunter, intellectual, hero . . . did I miss anything?"
"Only the part about being obsessed with giving things away to museums," Riley answered with a smile.
I laughed again. "Thanks, Riley."
"No problem." Riley looked very pleased with himself.
Abby suddenly stood up. "Hang on a second," she said quickly. "I'm going to go get the camera."
She dashed up the stairs, leaving Riley and me alone.
"So, how are you feeling?" I asked, hoping he'd be honest now that Abby was out of earshot.
Riley sighed hugely. "I'm fine, Ben. You can stop asking."
"You know I won't."
"Yeah." Riley grinned a little. "You're a great friend, Ben."
Suddenly, Abby reappeared, brandishing the camera. "Okay, Ben, smile!" she said brightly. I obeyed, and the flash nearly blinded me. "Good one," she remarked, admiring her photography on the view screen.
Satisfied, she picked up the cake plate and marched back to the kitchen with it. I glanced at Riley. "Want to help me get the camera and delete that picture?"
"You know I won't," Riley said, repeating my words from earlier.
"Yeah," I answered. He was probably saving me from Abby's wrath. "You're a great friend, Riley."
"The best," Riley said with a smile. "So, do you have any more green jelly beans?"
A/N: I know I have not explained Riley's fear of hospitals yet, but that is being saved for my next story. Hopefully, I'll be able to get that up soon for you guys!
So, what did you think of "Happy Birthday?"? Please let me know!