Disclaimer: I own nothing

Title: Of Birthdays and Memories

Rating: Way G on this one folks.

A/N: Short and sweet.

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Greg Hojem Sanders would happily tell anyone who asked that he was 'almost five and was gunna have the biggest and bestest party ever!' He knew five was a big year. It had to be. His dad and papa were both calling him their little man now. That had to mean something. Didn't it?

When his birthday rolled around, it was big and to Greg, definitely the best. Sure, it certainly lacked in numbers, only his parents and grandparents attended, but their gifts were things he had been asking for. Things he wanted and couldn't wait to show off. One particular gift, from his Papa Olaf which made it even better, was a child sized microscope with accompanying slides and books.

Cradling the box to his chest, he knew, he absolutely knew he had to show his friend Mikey. Mikey was the only other kid in the complex and was nice enough to play with him, despite a near six year age difference. Condominiums were not known for children and the one his parents lived at had even less than the norm.

After gaining permission from his amused family, Greg carefully hauled the box and its containing instrument outside. He instantly spotted Mikey across the grassy courtyard and carefully made his way over. His eleven-year-old friend was with a few other boys and Greg, loud and boisterous Greg, was suddenly very unsure of himself.

"Mikey, would you like to see what I got for my birthday?" He asked when he came upon the group.

Mikey's older friends laughed when they saw Greg, who was holding up his gift slightly away from his little body, waiting patiently for his friend's reaction. What came, however, shocked him into tears, "Whatever, short stuff." Mikey walked past Greg as he spoke, his friends tailing him.

Had he looked back, Mikey would have saw a little boy, just five-years-old, staring after him with tears running down his cheeks.

--

Of all times to remember something so trivial, it had to be today. Maybe it was because he thought of this as another all important birthday? Another stepping stone for Greg Sanders? Surely for some, thirty was not that big a deal. In reality, however, thirty was a huge deal for him. It marked the end of his "childhood." At least, it did in his own mind.

His own mother had been thirty at the time of his birth. She had held off much longer on having children than her own parents, not wanting to follow what she called their mistake. Even though the mistake had been her. So yes, Greg decided, thirty marked the end of "childhood" thanks to his mothers example.

That explained why it was an important year. Now why that memory? Greg looked at the magazine in his hands with a frown. It probably wouldn't have been remembered at all if he hadn't stumbled onto the stupid magazine. The one with an older model children's microscope gracing the cover. The one that was identical to the one given to him be Papa Olaf exactly twenty five years prior.

Sighing and wondering what possessed him to buy the magazine, he tossed it onto the coffee table and turned his attention to the courier wrapped box in front of him. Papa Olaf was well on in years, but the spry older man still managed to send him a gift on his birthday and every holiday he could.

Greg tore away the courier paper, followed by the bubbly blue wrapping paper underneath, before sucking in a breath in shocked happiness. His papa never ceased to amaze him. Carefully getting rid of the rest of the paper, he lifted the box to get a closer look.

It was a framed photograph. The frame was metallic black and very box like, giving the picture and matting a sense of depth. The photo...the photo was amazing. Hugging it to his chest, he knew there was one person he absolutely had to show it to.

He stood and carefully made his way to the bedroom, not wanting to take any chances in dropping his precious cargo. Upon entering the room, he saw his target half buried in the closet, "Nick?"

The Texan stood and looked at him over his shoulder, "Greg? I didn't hear you come home."

Greg shrugged and held out the frame slowly, "Nick, do you want to see what I got for my birthday?"

Unlike so many years past when his young friend had just scoffed and walked past, Nick gave him a large dimpled grin and walked over to stand in front of him. He gently took the frame from Greg's hands and turned it over to see the picture on the other side. Then, he too, sucked in a breath. Nick looked up at Greg, "We should hang this. In the living room maybe?"

Greg nodded happily and gave Nick a kiss before following his lover in to the living room. Two well placed nails went into place before Greg placed it on the wall, secure in knowing the nails were deeply embedded in wall studs. He stepped back and leaned against the strong chest of his lover as they both looked on at a waving Greg and Papa Olaf, who were standing behind their two loves, Nick...and a now deceased Nana Olaf.

Fin...

Would you all believe I got this idea from a toddlers cartoon? Seriously. I had 'Stanley' on for some unknown reason and I happened to look over at the TV and while I had no idea what was going on in the cartoon due to lack of sound, just from watching a bit of it gave me a darn bunny. Funny how that happens.

And before I get yelled at, yes I am working on my other stories. Patience loveys, patience. It won't be too much longer, I swear. Just fixing details and all that rot. Promise.