Nothing was ever ordinary for the residents of Dalton Academy, and Windsor House made sure that never changed. The inhabitants nearly always made sure to keep a Nerf gun or two in hand (occasionally three, out of fear of an attack from behind; you can never have too much ammo). Even visitors, such as family, friends, hopefuls who wished to one day attend the school, have become aware of the happenings behind the grand gates of the academy. Those who are interested in attending the school, however, pray for residence in Stuart House or Hanover House. Others, on the other hand, visit the school, ready for war, even if said war includes Nerf guns as weapon and delicious, homemade cookies as the prize for victory.

One boy was different. No, he did not have a scar on his forehead, nor was his face disfigured. He was not born green, nor was he some sort of Sex God. Then again, he was far from ordinary.

A cashmere sweater hung off of the boy's shoulders, too big for his petite frame, but it was what he felt most comfortable in while he was working. That, and he had once been complimented while wearing the sweater, something that did not occur very often. Skinny jeans hugged skinny legs, the white of the denim causing his pale skin to look a bit darker than usual. To complete the look, a blue Pixie boot covered his feet, slightly blistered due to tripping and falling in numerous shoes that had been already too uncomfortable for his feet to handle. A gold opal ring rested upon his ring finger, a bandaid beneath it due to the fact that rings had a tendency to turn his skin green, but they were much too complimentary to his dozens of outfits to resist.

A wooden paintbrush was held in between his index finger and thumb, pointed at the canvas before him. That was his usual position, except for when he needed to stop and think; that was when he held the bristles up to his chin, as if the turquoise colors on his flesh allowed his brain to function better. Warm brown eyes squinted at the half-finished painting before him, struggling to continue. It was a portrait, in fact. Green-gray eyes stared back at him. Well, one green-gray eye. The other was still a few thin, black strokes coming together to create the body part, the coloring unfinished.

Sure, it was good. Well, the boy assumed it was good. He was always his own worst critic. It just...it was not special. Sure, a portrait of the boy he so desperately desired would be a wonderful birthday gift, but there was no true emotion behind the painting. All of the emotion was still bottled inside, only able to escape when he could no longer take it. It was much too difficult, trying to portray happiness in his work when all he could feel was disappointment, frustration, sadness. When he looked into the half-finished eyes of his hopeful-boyfriend, all he could see staring back was Micah's pair, shining with joy as he laid eyes upon Shane Anderson.

Shane Anderson, the boy of Reed Van Kamp's dreams. Reed stroked a strawberry blonde curl out of his hair as he sighed, almost dreamily but more out of desperation, his mind flooded with images of the boy, curly black hair covering his head, eyes staring at...Micah. That was who it always came down to, wasn't it? And how on Earth was Reed supposed to give Shane a birthday present if all he can think of when he sees Shane in his mind is Micah beside him?

Reed needed some sort of inspiration, and he needed it fast. It was a bit difficult to be inspired, however, when he had not seen the boy of his dreams for months. In fact, the last time he had seen him was when Micah decided to visit, spur of the moment. Just his luck, just what he needed! How could he paint Shane if he had not seen him for ages? He was arriving in merely a day, for his birthday, and Reed had absolutely nothing for him! He knew he would not find use in Alexander McQueen heels or a Chanel bag. Maybe a Shaina, but certainly not Shane. Kurt's cookies were to die for, but they would not be special and from Reed personally.

The brown eyes fell upon a hidden container of the freshly baked cookies. The room always smelled like chocolate chips and fresh dough, two of Reed's favorite scents. And he knew Shane loved baked goods. But could Reed really bake for Shane? He was not exactly the baker in this pretend relationship that he formed in his head, but he could sure as Hell try. It was the only way he could show Shane his true feelings without actually vocalizing them. Besides, how hard could baking a cake be?


Nearly twenty hours later, a pair of black urban brogues stepped out of a car and onto the cobblestone walkway. Brown skinny jeans tightened around the legs in the right places, while a fitted, black blazer hugged Shane Anderson's chest and waist. The green eyes fell upon the gold watch embracing his wrist, making sure he was not late. Right on time.

Allowing himself into Windsor House, Shane's footsteps echoed throughout the hall. It was a bit impressive that he could hear his own shoes on the marble floor. It was not often one could hear himself think in this building, let alone the tapping of new shoes on the ground. Then again, morning was the quietest time of the day here. It was when everyone was asleep or in class, and on this Thursday, Shane assumed everyone was in Algebra or at Warblers practice, some form of actual work. Luckily, he had asked Blaine to leave his door unlocked for Shane to enter his room and relax until birthday festivities. He had never liked to make a big fuss of the anniversary of his birth, and he would much rather spend his day at Dalton rather than back home.

Stepping through the abandoned hallway, he glanced at the doorways passing him by, names written upon them to warn the visitor of who resided beyond the closed door. Some names were written big and bold, others in scratchy, messy handwriting, while one door had "Kurt" and "Reed" written in perfect cursive upon the woodwork. A soft sigh escaped the parted lips, almost like a sad melody. There was so much he wanted to say to Reed. So much, and he made sure to say it all as often as he could. Reed, on the other hand, was a bit more difficult to get emotions out of. It seemed that it was easier for Reed to show that he has been hurt physically, rather than emotionally.

Shaking his head, the black curls moving with him, he stepped away from the door to perch himself across the hall, in front of his brother's door. He found his way blocked, however, by a large canvas set upon an easel. A smile caused his lips to curve up toward the heavens as he found himself gazing at simply himself. Gray-green eyes found their perfect replica, eyebrows thickened, hair curly, lips smooth and pink. The painted eyes, however, were not looking at the viewer. Instead, they were looking at a boy next to him. The other painted boy was much shorter, with even curlier hair and bigger, curious eyes. A bandage was painted across the boy's arm and in his hands lay a large cake - ed cake batter covered by cream cheese frosting, with the words "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHANE!" written in red icing. A bit of the icing was also on Reed's face. Both looked happier than Shane had ever seen them.

Suddenly, the canvas shifted, causing Shane to jump back a step. Although he was taken aback, the way he moved was still graceful, the work of a dancer. The same strawberry blonde boy in the picture stepped out from behind the easel and now stood in front of Shane, carrying an exact copy of the cake that was painted on the easel.

"Shane, I'm so sorry. I should have told you from the start. I...Well, I love you. Okay, I said it." As Reed began to rant and ramble, he stepped toward Shane, but tripped over his boots, nearly dropping the cake, but luckily Shane clutched onto the smaller boy's arms and prevented him from falling. They looked into each other's eyes, Shane listening intently.

"I skipped Warblers practice so I could see you. I wasn't sure what time you were coming in, so I slept here. I worked on the cake all night and had to make three batches until it came out perfect, and I blended my arm instead of the batter." A blush crept up and covered the high cheekbones as Reed lifted his arm, revealing a bandage identical to the one in the painting, showing the injury as if to prove his story true. "And then I worked on this painting because I finally got the inspiration to make you something, or somethings, for your birthday, the cake and the painting. And I can't stop thinking of you and Micah, but I need to suck it up and just come right out and tell you the truth, and if you don't like it then you can run back to Micah and be with him. But I need a chance. I need...a chance to be with you. I love you. And no matter what you say, I-"

Reed was suddenly cut off. His lips, caught in mid-sentence, were captured by another pair. He felt Shane's hand rest on the back of his curly head and Reed was certain he was going to drop the cake or melt into a puddle. Luckily, Shane's free hand steadied his, so he would have to go with the latter and simply melt.

The kiss was magical, perfect. It was everything. And as Shane pulled away, his smile was sure to lighten the whole hallway, let alone just his gorgeous eyes.

"It's all you had to say. I never wanted to make you uncomfortable or hurt you in any way. All you had to do was be open. Hell, I've been open from the moment I lay eyes on you," a short laugh escaped Shane's kissable lips. "I never believed in love at first sight until I met you, Reed Van Kamp."

And that very vision, of them standing before each other in the middle of the hallway, cake in hand, was the perfect replication of the painting on the easel. If anything, if possible, they were happier in person than they look in the painting. And that's the way it would always be.


I would include a Polyvore link that I got the Reed and Shane outfits from, but FFN won't allow me to include the link. Also, this is my first Glee and my first Rane fic, so be nice. It's not really for an audience. It's really for my girlfriend. But anyone is welcome to enjoy it and rate and review it. :)

All credit goes to Glee, CP Coulter, and Nicole for the outfits.

Dedicated to my girlfriend. Happy birthday, baby. We've really gone so far, and we've had our own obstacles and our own Micahs, but what matters is that, at the end of the day, we're still our own, real-life versions of Reed and Shane, Mark and Roger, Brian and Justin. And that'll never change. Happy birthday. I love you.