Rachel was starting to love school. Of course she loved the academia and glee before, but she loved school as a whole now. Quinn had quashed any idea anyone had of slushying her and had been helping her start dressing well (if Quinn couldn't wear her quite fashionable clothes to school, then someone would). They soon became one of the school's power couples next to Puck and Lauren, Finn and some random Cheerio, and Brittany and Santana (they weren't together though! They're just 'friends'.)

"Guess what tomorrow is," Quinn sang as she walked up to Rachel's locker.

Rachel pretended to think by tapping her chin before consulting the (not kitten) couples calendar that she made for both of them.

The tapping of Quinn's foot made her giggle as she pointed her finger to the right day. She feigned a gasp and looked to Quinn, "Oh gosh it looks like it's your birthday."

Quinn poked her in the ribs, "You know what tomorrow is."

"Of course I do," Rachel smiled.

"So what are the plans?" the blonde leaned on the locker next to Rachel's. She lowered her voice considerably and smirked, "Because I know what I want for my birthday."

"Oh really?" Rachel asked with a mischievous grin, "And what would that be?"

Quinn leaned forward and whispered in the most seductive voice she could muster, "I want….an ice cream cake."

Rachel laughed and threw her arms around Quinn. She knew what Quinn really wanted. She'd been shunning Quinn's advances for two weeks because she had something extra special planned for her birthday and she was sure Quinn knew that too. "An ice cream cake can be arranged." She pulled back, "And if you're a good girl, you might get what you actually want."

Quinn slipped her arm behind Rachel and pulled the shorter girl to her, planting a baiting kiss on her lips. As she pulled away Rachel followed her, keeping their lips together. Quinn felt two soft hands thread together behind her neck.

Mr. Schue clearing this throat as he walked by pulled them apart. Rachel smiled sheepishly while Quinn admired how adorable Rachel was. Mr. Schue chuckled and shook his head. He wasn't sure how the two girls went from fighting over Finn to getting together but he didn't mind. The inner-glee fighting had been kept to a minimum and every time Rachel and Mercedes would start to diva out, Quinn would diffuse the situation with a soft murmur in Rachel's ear. And Quinn's witty, albeit mean quips were almost non-existent.

Luckily, Quinn's birthday fell on a Friday, which made Rachel's scheming all that much easier. Friday morning, Rachel used her key to open the front door of the Fabray house. Judy had given it to her for this specific purpose, but Rachel prayed that Judy forgot to ask for it back. There was something special about having a key to her girlfriend's house, especially since it was given to her by her girlfriend's mom.

Rachel tried to be as quiet as possible as she lugged in the food that she brought with her. She closed the door and locked it back before making her way to the kitchen. Rachel flipped on the coffee machine because Fabray women couldn't function without the boost first thing in the morning. She got to cooking and occasionally glanced up at the looked at the clock. She had plenty of time to get this all done and ready before she woke Quinn up.

At exactly six forty-two, Rachel picked up her phone and called Quinn.

She was answered with something akin to a "Hmmph."

"Good morning beautiful," Rachel cooed into the phone as she hoped that Quinn wouldn't notice that her favorite breakfast was made positively vegan. Rachel stood in the grocery store for a good half hour staring at the rows of egg cartons but just couldn't bring herself to buy them.

"Hey," Quinn sounded more lucid, but only slightly.

"Happy birthday," Rachel added, "Although your mother informed me that you won't be seventeen until five thirty-seven this evening."

Quinn giggled into the phone. "Thanks Rach." There was a pause on the phone, "My mom must be making breakfast because it smells really good."

"That's nice of her," Rachel smiled to herself, "Must be a special birthday breakfast."

Rachel could hear the rustling of Quinn's sheets and figured she was getting out of bed. "I hope so. I'm starving."

"You always are first thing in the morning," Rachel remembered the last time she spent the night; Quinn had already downed a bowl and a half of cereal before Rachel was out of bed.

"Hold on, I'm gonna put you on speaker so I can brush my teeth," Rachel heard a click and then heard the sink come on in Quinn's bathroom.

"What are you going to wear on this so special of days?" Rachel asked as Judy walked into the kitchen. Rachel pointed to the table where she had already poured Judy's coffee and breakfast was waiting.

"Oh I don't know," Quinn answered after she'd finished, "Probably that purple fringy dress with my white sweater. What are you going to wear?"

Judy smiled, "You're so sweet Rachel." She took a sip of her coffee and got up to hug the girl.

"Is that my mom?" a slow smile spread across her face when she heard what she was sure was her mom's voice.

"Oh I don't know," Rachel giggled, "You know how there are always random moms walking around your kitchen."

Quinn bolted out of her room and ran down the stairs before sliding to a stop in the kitchen. She looked at the table that was set for three. There was French toast stacked on every plate and orange juice was next to a steaming cup of coffee. Next to one of the plates was a white rose.

Quinn hung up her phone the second she spotted Rachel and threw her arms around the shorter girl, "This is amazing Rach."

"Happy birthday," Rachel gently squeezed Quinn.

At school, everyone wished Quinn a happy birthday. Rachel and a bunch of Quinn's friends took Quinn out to lunch where they all wore cheap cardboard hats and took too many pictures.

"Today was like the best birthday ever," Quinn swung their joined hands between them on the way to glee.

"It's not even close to over yet either," Rachel smiled and pulled Quinn past the music room.

"It's not," Quinn furrowed her eyebrows and glanced back at the door to the music room, "We passed glee."

"We're meeting in the auditorium," Rachel stated, "And of course not. Two of your favorite meals and a nice day at school does not a birthday make."

"What else is there?" Quinn asked, stopping in the middle of the hallway.

Rachel stopped because her hand was attached to Quinn's. She turned around the shimmied up to Quinn, "There's the party."

"What party?"

"The party I've been planning for two months," Rachel grinned and stood on her toes to place a sweet kiss on Quinn's lips. "You'll love it."

"Or I could take you back to my house and we could have some alone time," Quinn smiled, kissing Rachel again. This time she deepened the kiss, running her tongue alone Rachel's bottom lip before slowly sucking on it.

Rachel moaned, but pulled away, "We have to get to glee." She swatted Quinn's arm, "You don't play fair. You know I love it when you do that."

Quinn smirked, "I know." She leaned back down to capture Rachel's lips, but Rachel dodged it.

"After glee," Rachel took Quinn's hand and drug her off down the hallway.

"Can we just skip it?" Quinn whined, "It's my birthday."

"Quinn Fabray!" Rachel started a lecture as they neared the auditorium, "No matter what day it is, I would never, ever skip glee because-"

"I know," Quinn smiled at her girlfriend because it was cute when she rambled, "You wouldn't miss it if your hair was on fire."

"You better knock on wood missy," Rachel glanced at Quinn with a smile before pushing open the auditorium doors.

Quinn laughed and knocked on the door as they walked in.

Inside they found that the whole glee club was already assembled. They were standing around talking amongst themselves.

Everyone grew quiet when they walked in. Quinn looked around and then to Rachel, "What's going on?"

Rachel smiled and nodded to Brad who was behind the piano. He started playing and Rachel pulled Quinn into the group. They all started humming to the music and on cue Rachel started singing.

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you would agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

The tempo of the song changed dramatically and Artie rolled forward to started singing with Rachel. Everyone started jumping up and down, dancing improvisation ally around the stage around Quinn and Rachel.

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)

Then the music grew slower and Santana and Brittany stepped up behind Rachel to sing with her to Quinn. The rest of the group just swayed around them.

The time has come and its finally here
Have a candle lit dinner
Or just settle down my dear
Whatever you like boy
Its all up to you
We could celebrate baby
Cause(it's your birthday)
Now close your eyes baby
And listen to the melody
Anything you want me sweet just ask me
It's the day for us to share
So leave your problems up to me
Let start you and me
And make this day history

Its your birthday(we could spend time together)
We gonna celebrate(you and me)
It's your birthday(so baby blow out the candles)
We gonna celebrate(you know)
It's your birthday

When the song was over everyone started laughing and tears were running down Quinn's face. She grabbed Rachel in a fierce hug and held her close while they group piled on around them in the biggest glee group hug of all time.

After a few minutes of hugging everyone and thanking them for the song, Quinn pulled Rachel to her again holding the smaller girl against her body, "You are seriously the best, greatest, most perfect, best, amazingest girlfriend ever."

"You said best twice and made up a word," Rachel giggled against Quinn's shoulder.

"You're that awesome," Quinn kissed Rachel's forehead.

"It's time to go," Puck called from the door, Lauren's hand in his.

"Go where?"

"Party baby," Rachel kissed Quinn one last time before dragging her outside.

Rachel led the blonde out to the parking lot where everyone was piling into cars. Santana and Brittany got into Quinn's car and Rachel slid into the driver's seat, confusing the blonde, but Rachel gave her an assuring smile and plucked the keys out of Quinn's hand. Her phone buzzing in her hand brought her out of her thoughts. After Rachel read a text and sent one back, Rachel started the car and pulled out.

"Ke$ha!" Brittany squealed and leaned forward in the backseat to turn up the music.

Rachel smiled and rolled down the windows. The late fall air was cool against their faces and blew the hair around. Rachel smiled when Brittany started dancing in the backseat. Santana and Quinn were quick to follow. This was amazing to Rachel. She'd never had a lot of friends that were girls…hell she'd never had that many friends anyway, but she felt more like a normal teenage when she was hanging out with Quinn and her friends than she ever had.

Quinn had turned out to be such a blessing in her life. Rachel felt at ease with herself and all the people around her. She now had friends. Not deep, close friends, but there were people who would say hi to her in the hallway and who would let her borrow their notes if she missed class. She felt comfortable at school and had no fear of being slushied or bullied in anyway. Of course there was also the whole head over heels for the girl in the passenger's seat. Rachel finally felt content with life.

"Here Q," Santana tossed a small duffle back into Quinn's lap.

Quinn opened the bag and found her bikini on it. She first wondered how Santana got a hold of it then wondered what it was for. "Are we going swimming?"

"If you want," Rachel offered. She pulled to a stop and Quinn looked up from her bikini and realized where they were. She saw that they were at a small river that ran along the outskirts of Lima. Not only were they at the river, Quinn saw that there were paper lanterns hanging in and around the trees that hovered over tables surrounded by white wooden chairs. Some of Quinn's friends and family had already arrived and there were multiple grills fired up all over the place. There was a stage set up off to the side where Artie was directing the setting up of instruments.

"What is this?" Quinn asked.

"It's a birthday party Q," Santana opened her door and got out, stripping off her top as she went. Brittany followed her and they both stripped down to the bikinis they were wearing under their clothes.

They watched from the safety of the car as Puck ran toward the water, sans his shirt and jumped in. Brittany and Santana jumped in, holding hands all the way down.

"This is…" Quinn started. Rachel looked over at Quinn when the blonde sniffled. There were tears running down Quinn's face.

Rachel moved the middle console up so she could scoot over closer to Quinn. She wrapped the blonde in a tight embrace and kissed her cheek, "What's wrong sweetheart?"

"This is…" Quinn started again, "This is amazing. It's so much more than I expected."

Rachel smiled and pushed Quinn's hair out of her eyes, "I told you. I do birthdays big. Just wait until you turn eighteen."

Quinn laughed through her tears and placed her hand on the back of Rachel's neck, pulling their foreheads together. "I don't think I can ever tell you enough how amazing you are to me."

The brunette dropped a kiss on Quinn's lips and gave her a squeeze before letting go, "Well, I'll never get tired of hearing it." That elicited a smile from Quinn. "C'mon. Let's get to swimming before the sun goes down. You still have a very special present waiting for you at your house, when this party is over. I guess I'll leave you in here to change. When you're done with your swimsuit one of your sundresses is in the trunk."

"You really thought of everything," Quinn smiled and stole a kiss before Rachel could get out.

"I've been planning for two months," the brunette winked at her, "That's a long time to think of everything."

After Quinn changed, a bunch of her friends already in the water and Mike and Puck in the top of the biggest tree tying a rope to one of the branches. She scanned the whole crowd and found Rachel in a bikini peering over her dad's shoulder as she flipped things on the grill.

She walked over to Rachel and wrapped her arms around the girl's waist. Rachel smiled and leaned back into her. Her dad turned around when Rachel stopped telling him the exact time to cook the black bean burgers at.

"Hey Quinn," he smiled, "Happy birthday."

"Thanks Mr. Berry," Quinn smiled back.

Rachel took Quinn's hand and pulled her toward the water. Quinn jumped in and started swimming around with her friends before she pulled Rachel in. The shorter girl tried to be mad, but Quinn reminded her it was her birthday and she wasn't allowed to be mad at her.

The sun set and the food was consumed. Everyone was sitting around, having a good time. Rachel smiled because she knew the party was a success and she hadn't even gotten to her extra special present for Quinn.

"You ready?" Puck rested a hand on her shoulder. The mowhawked boy had refused to put a shirt back on after swimming which was fine with his girlfriend and every other girl in the place with the exception of Quinn and Rachel (and two unnamed Cheerios that were currently making out on the other side of the river).

Rachel nodded. She stood from the table that she had been sitting at with some of the other gleeks. When she got to the stage, she immediately saw Quinn who was sporting the white sundress Rachel brought for her. Her hair was up in the messy bun with strands falling out all over the place. It took Rachel's breath away just looking at her. She let out a small smile and stepped up to the microphone.

"Hey everyone," Rachel looked out over the crowd of people, "I'd just like to say one last, very special happy birthday to Quinn before I release you all to enjoy the rest of your Friday night." Rachel found Quinn in the crowd again, "So happy birthday Quinn. You make the world a better place with your mere presence."

Everyone cheered and clapped, yelling happy birthday. Quinn blushed and bowed her heart quietly thanking everyone.

"Okay," Rachel smiled at the adorable display, "I'm going to embarrass Quinn one last time with a song before the final display of the evening is set off."

Quinn put her hand to her chest and swayed as the music started. Rachel brought the microphone to her lips and started to sing.

Deep within your heart, you know it's plain to see
Like Adam was to Eve, you were made for me
They say the poisoned vine, breeds a finer wine
Our love is easy

If you ask me plainly, I would gladly say
I'd like to have you round just for them rainy days
I like the touch of your hand
The way you make no demands
Our love is easy

Our love is easy
Like water rushing over stone
Oh, our love is easy
Like no love, I've ever known

Physically speaking, we were made to last
Examine all the pieces of our recent past
There's your mouth of tears
Your hands around my waist
Our love is easy

Every time we meet, it's like the first we kiss
Never growing tired of this endlessness
It's a simple thing, we don't need a ring
Our love is easy

Our love is easy
Like water rushing over stone
Oh, our love is easy
Like no love, I've ever known

The entire crowd applauded and Quinn jumped up onto her stage. She nearly toppled them both over with her urgency. She squeezed Rachel hard against her. Rachel kissed Quinn's neck and whispered, "You're so beautiful."

Quinn was about to answer when they heard a bubble of oohs and ahhs come from the crowd. Quinn looked up and saw that above the trees there were fireworks going off.

"How did you get fireworks?" Quinn squealed, her whole face lighting up.

Rachel stepped behind Quinn and wrapped her arms around the blonde from behind. She rested her chin on Quinn's shoulder, "I know people."

After the short fireworks display everyone started to leave. Some people started to clean up, but Quinn and Rachel stayed on the stage, just holding each other.

"You ready for your present?" Rachel whispered in Quinn's ear.

"There's a present after all this?" Quinn asked, tilting her head back, "I don't know if I can take anymore."

Rachel grinned, "Well I can just not give it to you."

"No I want it," Quinn stated and started walking, grabbing Rachel's hand as they walked. "Let's go."

The drive to Quinn's house was silent. Just the whirl of the engine filled the car. Quinn kept Rachel's hand in her own, making sure they were in constant contact.

Quinn's mom was still cleaning up the party mess as were Rachel's dads. They all volunteered to stay and seemed reluctant to accept Rachel's explanation that she had left Quinn's present in Quinn's room, but in the end (after a Fabray/Berry parent huddle) they all shrugged and let the girls go.

Once at the house, Quinn got out of the car and rushed to Rachel's side as the shorter girl got out of the car. She pinned Rachel to the car in a searing kiss. Rachel ran her hands up Quinn's sides and sighed into the kiss.

"Baby, I really, really wanna give you your present," Rachel explained as Quinn trailed kisses down her neck.

"You mean you're not my present?" Quinn looked disappointed and started her way to the front door, grabbing Rachel's hand on the way.

Rachel grinned, "I may be one of your presents depending on how you react to the real one."

"You mean you got me like an actual present?" Quinn asked opening the front door, "After all that?"

"Of course I did," Rachel answered, as if it was obvious. She pulled Quinn to her room and sat her down on the bed, not turning the lights on. Quinn laid back on the bed, her head propped up by several pillows. Rachel walked around the room lighting candles that she had put out earlier in the morning as Quinn was in the shower getting ready. Then she went to Quinn's closet to get the present she hid there that morning as well.

"What are you doing?" Quinn called from her position on the bed. She was sure as soon as the candles were lit, Rachel would be all hers.

"I'm getting your present," Rachel reiterated. After another minute or so she returned with a small rectangular box. "You're a very impatient person Quinn Fabray."

The blonde looked at the box in Rachel's hand. Then she looked to Rachel, "You actually got me something."

"I've been trying to tell you that," Rachel crawled onto the bed next to Quinn with a mischievous smile.

The blonde sat up and turned to face Rachel. When Rachel offered her the box, she gingerly took it. "I-I thought that we were just going to…you know…"

Rachel chuckled at her assumption and her inability to say 'sex' out loud when talking about herself. Rachel dropped a kiss on the curve of Quinn's neck. "We'll think about the gift of the orgasm after you open your present."

Quinn blushed deeply at this, "I just assumed with all the candles."

"As you know, I'm a very dramatic person Quinn," Rachel explained moving behind Quinn and softly kissing her shoulder, "I just wanted to set the mood for your present, which you haven't opened yet."

The blonde smiled at Rachel's theatricality for a simple present and ran her fingertips over the top of the box. It was obviously jewelry. A necklace or bracelet of some kind. She finally decided to indulge them both and flip open the top.

When she saw what was inside she gasped. She expected some kind of costume jewelry from a department store, but this most certainly was not costume jewelry. The small diamonds lay on top of the tiny silver heart shimmered in the candlelight. Fused with the heart was a gold star.

"It's- how did you afford this?" Quinn asked, turning her head look at Rachel.

Rachel just smiled at her, "Don't worry about it." So what if her allowance was cut in half for the next eighteen months? After a very moving PowerPoint presentation to her dads she might add. It was absolutely worth it to see the look on Quinn's face when she opened it. She kissed the sensitive place right under Quinn's ear.

Quinn leaned back into Rachel and looked back at the necklace. "I want to wear it." She carefully took it out of the box and handed it to Rachel.

Once the necklace clasp closed, Rachel kissed the back of Quinn's neck. Then she rested her chin on Quinn's shoulder again and took both of Quinn's hands in her own. After a few deep breaths she moved around Quinn so that they were facing each other. She suddenly looked nervous, but held Quinn's hazel eyes. Rachel licked her lips and began a speech she'd been preparing for a while. "I looked all over town for the perfect present to get you. It had to be something that meant something. To both of us." She smiled. "I think that it's pretty obvious that the gold star represents me. And the meaning of a heart for thousands of years has meant love." Rachel took Quinn's hands again and caught Quinn's eyes, "I love you Quinn. I couldn't tell you exactly how long I have or when it started, but I know for sure, without a doubt that I am in love with you."

Quinn's eyes shimmered in the soft lighting and when she blinked two tears trailed down her cheeks. She let go of one of Rachel's hands and tenderly cupped Rachel's cheek, running her thumb over the perfect cheekbones belonging to the girl. "Thank you for waiting to tell me." She pulled Rachel to her until her lips brushed against Rachel's in a sweet, chaste kiss. She took a deep breath and let out a smile, "I'm one hundred percent in love with you Rachel."

Rachel slipped her arms around Quinn's neck and hugged her close. She could feel Quinn's body expand and deflate with every breath and she had grown to know and love the rhythm of Quinn's heartbeat.

Finally Rachel pulled away, "Can you stand any more?"

Quinn laughed and nodded, "I think so." She wiped her eyes and watched at Rachel got off of the bed. She walked to the closet and stepped inside. A few seconds later, Rachel stepped out of the closet in nothing but a wine red set of lingerie. She smiled at the look on the blonde's face when she saw her. Quinn's jaw went a little slack and her eyes got glossy.

Rachel walked right over to the bed and straddled Quinn's hips, placing one hand on either side of Quinn's face. She lowered her mouth to Quinn's and kissed her slowly and deeply, drawing out the embrace as long as possible.

When she pulled back, she caught Quinn in awe of the effect of the bra on Rachel's cleavage. "So," Rachel smirked, dipping down to suck on a part of Quinn's neck she had learned made the girl squirm. "Is this what you've been waiting for?"

Quinn moaned and squirmed under Rachel's lips, but managed to answer, "This is just the icing on the cake." She felt Rachel's hand plant itself on her thigh and slowly trail up as Rachel's kisses trailed down. She pushed Quinn's sundress up and over her head before kissing a tail down between Quinn's breasts and back up to her lips

"Would you say you had a good birthday?" Rachel grinned against Quinn's lips.

The blonde ran her hands down Rachel's back, trailing back up her spine and wrapped her fingers in the long brown hair, pulling Rachel in for another earth-shattering kiss. As Rachel moved down her body, kissing her way down Quinn's stomach, she finally answered, "Best birthday ever."

The birthday songs are by Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and Destiny's Child respectively.

The song that Rachel sings to Quinn is "Our Love Is Easy" by Melody Gardot

The end.

Hope you enjoyed.