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“...so I told Rachel if she sticks one more of her little gold stars on my stuff I’m going to shove that whole sheet of star stickers up her...”

Kurt sighed on the phone, letting Santana vent. The rent had gone up on their Bushwick loft, and with Rachel leaving the Spotlight Diner to work full time on Funny Girl they needed more income, so Kurt had taken a part-time job at a 24-hour pharmacy. He was working the late shift so business was light; just the occasional fumbling teen couple needing a condom, or a sleep-deprived father sent off to buy baby aspirin.

Speaking of...Kurt looked up to see a frazzled guy with dark curly hair walking into the pharmacy; probably about his age, wearing a hoodie and a pair of sweatpants stained with some kind of orange-colored puree. Maybe strained carrots or sweet potato,  he thought. Young dad, probably got projectile vomited on. The guy was frantically searching down the aisles, then making his way to the pharmacist’s counter in the back. Kurt couldn’t help but notice the sweats really accentuated the guy’s ass, which rounded out just above a trim waist. Hummel what are you doing? he thought to himself. Ugh, he needed to get laid.

“Yeah, so what else is new?” he heard Santana laugh. Crap he said that out loud. “I keep trying to set you up with one of Dani’s friends, when are you going to take me up on that offer?”

“When pigs fly, Satan,” Kurt said. “Between Vogue, school, the diner and here I hardly have time to flirt, much less date.”

“Excuse me, sorry, can I ask you a question?” Kurt looked up and found himself staring into the warmest, whiskey-colored eyes he thought he had ever seen framed by dark, lush lashes. It took him a second to realize who those eyes belonged to; the frazzled dad in sweatpants.

“Um, Santana, I have a customer, let me call you back.” Kurt hung up and put his cell in his back pocket. He looked back up at the oh my goodness very handsome man. “Sure, what can I help you with tonight?” Oh god that sounded like a line, he cringed inwardly.

“Well I can’t find the pharmacist, but maybe you would know; is pumpkin toxic for dogs?”

Of all the things he expected to hear from that sweet melodious voice, it wasn’t that. “I’m sorry?”

“It’s just that my roommate and I, we were carving pumpkins for our Halloween party, and the phone rang so I left for what I swear was just a second, and when I came back, Roxy had her head all the way inside the pumpkin, eating the pumpkin guts, and I thought Sam was watching her but of course he wasn’t, and I know that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate or grapes, but I thought there might be something I missed…”

“Whoa, whoa, slow down,” Kurt said, reaching for the man’s hand, not to hold but just as a reassuring touch. Kurt needed the guy to breathe, plus he had just gotten a ton of information in a very short amount of time. Roommate, so probably not married; no ring, so definitely not married; Roxy must be the dog, or a very strange child; the orange stuff must have been from the pumpkin carving. Okay, I had this guy totally pegged wrong.

The guy took a breath. Kurt smiled. “Better?” he asked.

“Yeah, thanks. Sorry, first time dad.” Kurt’s smile started to fall. “Well, pet dad, anyway.” That perked him right back up.

“No problem. So how much pumpkin do you think your dog ate?”

“Gosh, I don’t know. Maybe, like, a couple of handfuls, so would that be a cup?”

“Well, let’s check our database and see,” Kurt said. He turned to the computer and typed in his search, while stealing glances at Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy. He scanned through his search results until one particular abstract popped out at him. He scanned through the article. “Hmm. Well, the good news is the pumpkin isn’t toxic.” He continued reading. “In fact according to this pumpkin is actually good for dogs.”

“Really? Oh, thank goodness,” the man sighed in relief. Kurt couldn’t help but notice his soft, relaxed smile. He could barely pull his gaze away from him, his smile was so mesmerizing. But Kurt wanted to be one-hundred percent sure the man’s dog would be okay, so he read the rest of the entry, which offered up a further explanation of pumpkin’s effects. “Uh-oh,” Kurt said.

Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy looked a little panicked. “Uh-oh? What’s uh-oh?

“It says here that pumpkin can act as a laxative and in higher amounts could cause, um, diarrhea,” he cringed. “Um, where is your dog right now?”

“I left her with Sam, and I think he put her in my roo--” His eyes suddenly widened in realization. “Oh, God.”

Kurt pointed behind the man. “Paper towels, aisle 4, cleaning supplies aisle 6,” he offered. The man ran back to the shelves and came back with a roll of towels, a spray bottle of bleach cleaner and another spray bottle of carpet cleaner for pet stains. Kurt rang up his purchases quickly.

The guy stopped at the sliding doors and looked at Kurt as if he was about to say something else.

“Yes?” Kurt asked.

Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy stuttered. “Um, nothing, never mind. Just, thanks.”

**

An hour later, Kurt had just finished checking out an older lady whose failing eyesight kept her from being able to properly read her prescription bottle, and then had written a check (who still does that?). He was still thinking of the customer from earlier; his warm eyes, his gentle smile, his heartfelt worry about his dog. He wondered what the chances were of ever seeing him again.

He didn’t have to wonder long; he nearly laughed as a very familiar head of curly hair and pair of eyes walked toward the counter. “Um, hello again.”

“Hi there! How’s your dog?”

“I think she’ll be okay,” Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy said. “Sam took her outside and said he’ll stay with her until it’s out of her system. Fortunately I got home before she could make too big of a mess...she did go once, but it was in the bathroom so bleach and paper towels took care of it.”

“I’m glad it worked out,” Kurt said, wondering what had brought the man back to the pharmacy. “So, did you leave something behind, or need to pick up something for your party?”

“Oh yeah, the party,” Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy said, in an adorably fumbling way. “Um, okay, look this is going to sound really weird, but we just moved here a couple of months ago for college and we haven’t met a lot of people in the city yet. We’re already asking people we invite to the party to bring an extra and, um, well, I wanted to ask you, but then you told me about what the pumpkin might do to Roxy and hello, priorities, and what kind of dog dad would I be if I’m trying to get a cute guy’s phone number instead of taking care of my baby and making sure she doesn’t poop everywhere…”

Did he just call me “cute?” Kurt couldn’t help himself. He laughed, because oh my god this guy was adorable, sweats and pumpkin gut stains notwithstanding. The guy stopped and flushed with embarrassment, which made him sort of endearing. “So, you came back to get my number?”

“Yeah, actually. That’s okay, isn’t it?”

“Um, I guess? But I try not to make a habit of giving my number to people when I don’t even know their name,” he said, hoping Cute Pumpkin Stain Guy would get the hint.

Which he did. “Oh, I’m sorry...my name’s Blaine,” he said, holding out his hand.

“Kurt,” he replied, taking Cute Pum...sorry, Blaine’s hand to shake. It was warm, slightly dampened with sweat (nerves? How cute, Kurt thought), and a pleasant flutter ran through him from where they touched. He let go to reach for his phone, still in his back pocket. “Tell you what, why don’t you go ahead and type your number in mine?” Blaine did as Kurt asked, smiling as he typed it in.

“Nice wallpaper by the way,” Blaine said as he handed the phone back to Kurt. “I appreciate a man that can pull off a Scissor Sisters background.”

“Thanks,” Kurt blushed as he tapped away on his keypad, smirking as he hit Send and pocketed his phone. “And now you should have my number any second.” All of a sudden, a muffled, tinny version of the chorus to “Take Your Mama Out” started playing from out of nowhere. Wow, that’s weird, Kurt thought to himself. Then he watched as Blaine rolled his eyes and reached into the pocket of his sweatpants. If Kurt’s jaw could actually drop, he thought, it’d probably smash the checkout scanner. “Huh. Well...what a coincidence?”

“Yeah,” Blaine said. “Guess it’s meant to be, huh?”

“Guess so,” Kurt replied, self-consciousness blooming up his face.

“Well, I really need to go now, I need to get back to Roxy and make sure she’s okay,” Blaine said. “But I’ll call you?”

“Yeah, that’d be great.” Kurt said. “See you around!”

“Yeah, see you!” And then Blaine was gone.

Kurt still had a couple of hours left on his shift, and it looked like no one else was going to come in, so he decided it would be a good time to straighten out the cosmetic shelves that always seemed to be in disarray.

He was finishing up reorganizing the lipstick displays when he felt a buzz in his pocket; he took out his phone and saw a photo text from Blaine. He opened it and grinned at what he saw.

A long-haired dachshund looking very guiltily propped up on a pumpkin. Another message came right after:

From Blaine: Roxy says thank you; her tummy feels much better!

From Blaine: She also wonders if you can squeeze some flirting into your busy schedule?

From Blaine: For her daddy, not herself.

From Blaine: Sorry I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your call earlier.

Kurt smiled and quickly tapped out a response:

To Blaine: IDK, my schedule is pretty tight. Maybe we should skip right to the date? ;-)

To Blaine: I think Roxy would approve.