Title: Wishful Thinking
Fandom: DuckTales (2017)
Main Character(s): Donald Duck
Disclaimers: DuckTales © Disney
Notes: Happy birthday, Donald! I wanted to write a story in honor of the occasion……Unfortunately, it’s me, so as hard as I tried to write a happy story to celebrate today, that’s….not what ended up happening. Sorry, Donald.
After all, isn’t that what birthdays are for?
Every year, Donald only ever really asked for one thing for his birthday.
Sure, there were plenty of things he would have liked to get for his birthday. But after all he’d done to provide for the boys as best as he could, the last thing he ever wanted from them was to spend what money he could give them for an allowance, just to get a gift for him. It got a bit easier for them after they all moved in to the manor, since Scrooge was (mostly) willing to help them pay for gifts, but…well, after what happened at the party, Donald was just resigned to not receiving birthday presents.
But he didn’t mind too much, as long as he was still able to get what he always asked for from the boys: he always asked to take a picture.
Granted, he had many, many pictures of the boys stored on his phone. But every year on his birthday, after most of the celebrating was over, he would ask the boys to take a picture of the four of them. Embarrassed as they always were at first, they would eventually agree and, while the boys argued about what poses they would do or threatened to cover the other’s face in the shot, Donald would set up an old instant camera he had. Once they were ready, they would take the photo, which would print out from the camera, and then the four of them would eat cake while the picture developed.
Things had been a little different this year while celebrating at the manor. While he still asked to take the picture, it had taken a bit longer to get everything set up since it wasn’t just the four of them this time. To be honest, he hadn’t entirely planned to have Scrooge and Webby be part of it. But looking at the photo afterwards, he decided that he liked having them in the shot anyway.
(Not that he’d admit that to Scrooge.)
The cake had also been ruined due to…reasons, so instead they had cupcakes while waiting for the photo to develop. That also worked out well in the end as Donald, once celebrating was done for real, headed off on his own; cupcake in one hand, and the picture in the other.
Normally he would wait until after the boys were asleep for this, but since moving in with Scrooge, he was the only one to really use the houseboat anymore. So, knowing he wouldn’t be interrupted, he walked into the boat’s kitchen and placed both the picture and cupcake onto the table. Looking around in some of the drawers, he found a slightly-used-but-still-good candle (at least he wouldn’t have to worry about some evil spirit or whatever jumping out of this candle) and a matchbook. Placing those onto the table as well, he then went to the bedroom to get one more thing.
He returned soon enough, placing the additional item on the table as well. Once he was ready to start, he carefully stuck the candle into the cupcake and lit it. Then, with the light from the flame, he set in front of him the instant photo and the object he had retrieved from the other room.
The cover of the photo album was a bit worn after so many years, despite being hidden away until this time every year. And the album itself was small, each rectangular page only large enough to hold one picture and maybe a little extra for scrapbooking. But it was good enough to suit his purpose; each page had the photo from a prior birthday, showing just how much the boys had grown each year as he slowly flipped through the album.
Finding the next empty page, he wrote the year on this newest photo before setting it in place, preserving that moment in time with all the others. Studying the picture for a moment, watching the candlelight dance across the glossy surface of the picture, he sat back in his chair with a sigh.
He’d given up hope so, so long ago…or so he told himself. And yet, he continued to take the picture with the boys every year…to have something to show for all the years that were missed. Because on this day, every year, he let himself indulge in wishing. After all, isn’t that what birthdays are for? To believe that maybe, if he wished hard enough, the wish that he made every year would finally come true.
That someday, he would be able to give Della the photo album as a present…for when they would be able to celebrate this day – their birthday – together again.
It was a long shot, he knew, but he still made that same wish as he blew out the candle.
“Happy birthday, sis,” he murmured.