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19 July 2013 @ 01:38 pm
Fic: Lend Me Your Ears  
Artist: missmardybum (Tumblr)
Author: crystalchances (Tumblr)
Rating (art/fic if different): G/PG
Word Count: ~6,600
Warnings (if any): None
Fic Summary: Kurt has a run in on the subway with a man and his dog but doesn't expect to ever see them again. He's wrong.
Link to Art: Tumblr
Note: I am so excited to have been able to write this for Mardy's gorgeous art! She was a pleasure to work with. I also owe anodrethlluvine a huge thank you for his awesome and fast beta job!

---

It was a good thing Rachel had had to leave rehearsal early for that doctor’s appointment, because if Kurt had had to deal with fitting her for her costumes for the new show for the rest of the day, he was pretty sure at least one of them wouldn’t have been alive to tell the tale. Luckily, she was the only one whose fitting wasn’t done, and he was waiting on a shipment of materials for everything else, which meant that he was able to take off the last two hours of the day and go home early. Between Rachel and Joshua, the male lead, Kurt felt like he was at his wits’ end. He’d learned how to handle Rachel over the years, but Joshua had just joined the theater company a few weeks ago and the combination of the same exact personality in two different bodies was almost too much to handle.

Although it was a nice day out – mid-seventies, partly cloudy, and a nice early September breeze – the thirty-some blocks between the theater and his apartment were too far for him to walk. He thought about possibly taking a sketch pad out to the park two blocks from his apartment building, but for now, he’d take the subway and not risk getting sweat on his new (for him, at least) vintage sweater.

He was lucky enough to find a place to sit as soon as he got on, and he settled in for the ride, closing his eyes to focus on the Relaxing Rhythms playlist he’d started on his iPod. Usually he only played it when he gave himself a spa day, but handling two irritatingly cocky actors was enough to cause him to break it out now. He got lost in the gentle sway of the train car as it sped through the underground labyrinth of the New York subway system, only coming out of his reverie when a dark-haired man with a small beagle sat down next to him. He sighed lightly at the intrusion, but didn’t say anything as he noticed that there weren’t any other seats left. He checked how far away they were from his stop before closing his eyes and trying to empty his mind of the hassles of the day.

It didn’t work. It could have been because he was starting to stress about missing his stop if he got caught up in the music, but he knew that that wasn’t the case. It was really because that stupid dog somehow had decided that Kurt needed to drop everything he was doing and show all of his interest to it. He glared down at the dog where it was nosing at his shoulder, but for some reason it seemed to be immune to the icy ferocity Kurt was sending his way.

At least its owner seemed to get the message. “Ringo,” he admonished, pulling it back away from Kurt. “Sorry about that.”

He nodded curtly and closed his eyes again, trying to get some more relaxation in before it was time to rejoin the bustling crowd up on street level. The peace and quiet didn’t last long, however. Before he knew it, the dog – Ringo, what a big name to live up to for such an annoying little creature – started to fight its way out of its owners grasp, this time using its paws to get leverage on Kurt’s arms. Kurt shoved it away, jostling the other man’s arm in the process. He didn’t bother apologizing; if anything, the man should be apologizing to him for being unable to control that stupid mutt.

Which he did – well, minus the insults about the animal. The man actually seemed to mean it, which was more than a bit surprising for a stranger in New York. Kurt didn’t bother to respond and just hoped that the man’s stop was coming up soon.

Things stayed thankfully quiet for a minute or so, but then he felt that wet nose prodding at his shoulder again. He shrugged his shoulders a few times to try to annoy the dog enough to get it to stop, but apparently that just turned it predatory because it started nipping at the fabric of Kurt’s cardigan.

“Ringo!” the man said for what felt like the millionth time as he struggled to pull the dog away. A loud rip sounded out when the man was finally successful, causing Kurt to look down in horror at the messy hole about two inches in diameter now missing from his sweater. He slipped his headphones down onto his neck and turned his attention to the man, who was standing in front of him now, the dog clutched tight in his arms. That he appeared just as upset as Kurt was little consolation.

“Oh my god,” he said, stepping to the side to brace himself as the train began to slow as they approached a station. “I am so, so sorry.”

Kurt snorted and reached out to pull the rough circle of fabric from the dog’s mouth, continuing to look at the man in disbelief.

“I just got him a few days ago and I’m actually on my way home from obedience training and I had no idea he could do that,” he said rapidly without taking a breath, finally stopping to gesture toward the torn fabric with his chin. “And oh my god, I’m just making excuses, and that’s ridiculous because this isn’t something that can be excused. I’m so sorry.”

“Uh  huh,” Kurt said with a scoff. “You’re doing pretty good job of holding onto that thing and staying upright at the same time. You couldn’t have done this before it destroyed a two hundred dollar garment?”

The man blanched. “I- I didn’t think of that,” he said, then bit his lip. “Please let me pay you for your sweater. It’s the least I can do.”

Kurt sighed and glanced up to the marquee that listed the next stop. “Please do, but you have to get off here. This is me.”

The man’s eyes followed Kurt’s up to the sign and he looked surprised. “It’s me, too.”

The train slowed to a stop again, and Kurt stood to follow the man onto the platform, then up the escalator and out onto the sidewalk. He stopped once they were out of the way of other people and turned to face him, still holding the dog in his arms.

“Do you mind coming back to my place? It’s just a block away. You can even wait outside if you’re worried I’m some weird serial killer with a canine accomplice, but I don’t have that kind of money on me and my checkbook’s at home.”

Kurt shrugged off the cardigan so people wouldn’t judge him for the giant hole in it and folded it over his arm, taking a moment to consider the man’s words. He honestly just seemed slightly overeager about everything, but isn’t saying you’re not a serial killer exactly the kind of thing a serial killer would do? He frowned, but decided the guy was ultimately harmless – though the dog was another story.

“That’s fine,” he said tightly. “Lead the way.”

Five minutes later, Kurt found himself standing awkwardly inside a tiny one bedroom apartment that was only a block or so from his own building. He made sure to stand as close to the door as possible, just in case this guy actually was a serial killer, and he let out a little sigh of relief when the man carried the dog into what appeared to be a bathroom and shut the door behind him when he came out.

“I’ll just be a minute,” he said, now back in the hallway. He gestured at the well-worn leather couch just to Kurt’s right. “Feel free to make yourself at home if you want.”

Kurt nodded once to let him know he’d heard him, but he stayed put by the door - better safe than sorry. He did take the time to look around the apartment, though. The rest of the furniture looked equally worn, as if they’d been well used for a decade or more, and they all matched. Either this guy was older than he looked, or they were hand-me-downs. He guessed that it might be the latter when he saw the upright piano along the far wall; Mommy and Daddy must be very generous. Funnily, though, he didn’t see any photos of people that looked like family, though there was a bulletin board on the wall near the piano that was covered with school pictures. Kurt wasn’t close enough to see any details about how old the kids were or if they were the same few children throughout the years, but he was able to tell that they were the only photos in the entire room.

A crash sounded from the bedroom just then, and Kurt decided he was very glad of his choice to stick by the door. He could hear some muttering, and he realized that more than enough time to find a checkbook had probably passed. Surely no one actually had to look that hard for their checkbook, and Kurt’s mind jumped to the worst case scenarios – was the man struggling to load a gun? He reached back for the doorknob, but just as he began to twist it, the man came out of the bedroom, arm extended in front of him.

Kurt ducked instinctively, crouching as low to the ground as his tight jeans would let him, his hands flying to cover his head. He didn’t hear any footsteps or gunshots, though, so he peered cautiously up through his fingers. The man was standing there, frozen, a dumbfounded expression on his face, and Kurt could see the brown leather checkbook cover held triumphantly between his fingers. He flushed in embarrassment at his overreaction and stood back up, finally making his way further into the apartment.

“Uh, sorry,” he muttered, refusing to make eye contact. “Overactive imagination.” He wasn’t sure if his explanation was intelligible with how he was mumbling, but he guessed it must have been since he didn’t receive a confused “What?” in response. In fact, the man was looking at him with a strangely fond expression on his face. Kurt rubbed nervously at his upper arm.

“Right,” the man said, shaking his head as if to clear it. “Sorry it took me so long. I don’t know the last time I had to use a check for anything, so it took me a while to figure out where I’d stashed them.”

Kurt nodded dumbly. That made a lot more sense than his stupid gun theory. “What was that crash?”

This time it was the man who was blushing, and Kurt finally felt like he had a leg up on him. “Oh, that. I, um, climbed onto my nightstand to check the top of my armoire, and I kind of fell over and brought the nightstand with me.”

Kurt didn’t have the decency to stifle his laughter, because that was so not what he was expecting at all. “Sorry,” he said, finally bringing his hand up to cover his mouth. “Were they on top of your armoire?”

The man shook his head. “They were, actually, uh, in the middle drawer of my desk with all of my bank and credit card correspondence.”

“You didn’t think to look there first?”

“I did. I just didn’t see it the first time around.” The man shrugged lightly, and he didn’t seem to be hurt, so Kurt put it from his mind. He was more interested in getting the money he’d been promised to replace the sweater that that stupid animal had destroyed, and the man seemed to be in agreement, because he continued, “Let me just find a pen and I’ll write this thing out for you.”

Kurt followed him wordlessly to the couch, choosing to remain standing as the man sat, grabbed a pen from the coffee table, and opened the checkbook to write. He got as far as the date before turning his attention back to Kurt.

“Who should I make it out to?”

“Oh,” he replied, somehow not having realized that he’d need to give this man his name. “My name’s Kurt Hummel, with a K.”

“Kurt Hummel,” he said slowly as he wrote out the two words. “And how much do I owe you for your sweater?”

He opened his mouth to give the couple hundred dollar amount that it had been worth, but he found himself saying instead, “Fifty. I got a great deal for it online.”

“Just fifty?” he asked, not yet moving to write in the amount next to his name. “It looks like it’s worth a lot more than that.”

Kurt bit his lip for a moment before he realized what he was doing. “It is, but fifty’s fine. That’s all I spent on it, after all.”

“Let me at least give you a bit more for your trouble,” he said, and before Kurt could protest (not that he was actually going to, but the man hadn’t even given him a chance), he was writing one hundred dollars down in the appropriate lines on the check. He signed it with a flourish, tore it carefully along the perforation, and held it out for Kurt to take.

He grabbed it and gave it a once over to make sure that everything was correct, and he couldn’t help but notice the name in the upper left corner. He took out his wallet and tucked it safely inside. “Well, thank you, Blaine Anderson,” he said a bit stiffly. “I appreciate the extra. Just figure out how to handle that dog, okay?”

The man – Blaine – nodded as he stood up. “You’re more than welcome. Like I said, I had no idea he’d do that, and hopefully continued obedience lessons will help.”

“For the sake of the wardrobes of New York City, I certainly hope so.”

Blaine tried and failed to bite back a grin as he held out his hand for Kurt to shake. “I really am sorry.”

“I should get going,” Kurt said, not because he actually had anything to do, but because he could tell this would be getting even more awkward pretty fast if he didn’t leave while he could.

“Alright. I’ll see you out?”

“I’ve got it,” he said, waving Blaine off and turning to the door. “Thanks for the money.”

If Blaine replied, Kurt didn’t hear it, because he hurried out the door, pulling it shut with a click behind him.

---

Kurt sighed, looking down at the sketchpad balanced just so on his crossed legs. He brought his gaze back up again, taking in the greenery of Central Park around him but not really seeing it as his mind wandered. It was a Thursday afternoon, and it had been a little over two weeks since his run in with that stupid dog and its even stupider owner, but for some reason he couldn’t seem to get Blaine Anderson out of his mind.

The man’s dog had destroyed his cardigan. That was inexcusable… except it seemed like logic wasn’t Kurt’s strong suit right now.

It wasn’t like he didn’t know where Blaine lived or what his phone number was (so what if he’d written it down before he’d cashed the check?), but the important thing was that he wasn’t putting his knowledge of those two bits of information to use. He was minding his own business and doing his best to forget about that man. Blaine was a dog person. Enough said.

Except apparently it wasn’t, because if Kurt were to look back at his sketchpad, he’d see his current costume design drawn sloppily onto a much neater body that was a bit too short for Joshua and had eyebrows that were unfortunately pointy. He tried to tell himself that it was coincidental, but a quick look at the rest of his designs would say otherwise, because it was only in the past fortnight or so that they’ve appeared on anything other than faceless bodies that were actually proportionate to the actors who would be wearing the garments.

He sighed, closing his eyes and leaning his head back as far as it would go. There was a nice breeze that made it necessary for him to keep a light grip on his sketchpad and pencil, and under other circumstances, he’d enjoy getting to spend some time outside for one of the last times before the weather started to get too cold for it to be pleasant. Instead, his mind wouldn’t let go of that stupid man. He’d be lying if he didn’t say he’d found Blaine a little bit attractive, once he’d gotten past that awful mutt he’d been carrying. His sketches could attest to that.

A sharp tug on his sketchpad broke Kurt out of his reverie, and it was quickly followed by a shout of, “Ringo, no!” He opened his eyes with a jolt and looked down to see a very familiar dog chomping down on the corner of his sketchpad. He narrowed his eyes and tried to pull it away from him, but the dog’s mouth just moved with it. Another pair of hands entered his eyesight and carefully pried the dog’s mouth open, giving Kurt enough time to get it out of his grasp. He held it up in front of him, dangling it between his thumb and forefinger and looking at the slightly slobbery pages in disgust.

“Uh, Kurt, right?” the man standing in front of him asked. Kurt let his eyes move from his only-ruined-a-little-bit sketchpad over to the man’s blue and white striped cardigan, then upward to a grey bowtie and up even further to an eager face that matched the one staring at him from his drawing.

He nodded. “Blaine.”

“I’m so sorry,” he said, and he physically deflated a little bit. “I was just taking him for a walk and he’s never run away on me like that before. Pulled the leash right out of my hand.” He held up the object in his hand, and Kurt could see that it was now wrapped tightly around his palm a few times.

“Uh huh.”

“He must really like you.”

Kurt looked down at the dog, which was now sitting twisted on the ground, sniffing at its own ass. He rolled his eyes. “Something like that.”

“Did he, uh, do any damage this time?”

He realized he hadn’t actually checked to see how his designs had fared and that he was still holding it out from his body like father who was changing a particularly offensive diaper. He brought it back to his lap and flipped through it, relieved to see that even though there was a puncture wound through the first three pages, Ringo had managed to avoid destroying anything important.

“Luckily, no,” he said, and he quickly folded the cover over to the front and stuffed the sketchpad into the brown messenger bag leaning against his side. He expected to get some cute quip from Blaine, and when he didn’t, he looked up at the other man’s face. It was tinged pink, and it wasn’t from the chill that hung in the air. “What?”

Blaine shook his head, his cheeks darkening a little further. “Oh! Nothing,” he said, but his eyes darted toward Kurt’s bag before returning to his face.

Kurt pulled his bag protectively onto his lap, knowing his own face had likely started to flush with embarrassment as well. Had Blaine seen the sketches? Well, he must have; Kurt hadn’t even tried to keep them from his view when he’d checked to see how they had faired from Ringo’s attack. If he saw the sketches, he had to have noticed the likeness to his own reflection. He probably thought Kurt was some crazy, weird stalker, and that was the last thing he needed right now.

“You’re a really good artist,” Blaine finally said, breaking the awkward silence. Kurt looked up at him, still hugging his bag close to his body. His tone sounded sincere enough, and he wasn’t running in the other direction, so that was probably a good thing.

“Thank you,” he replied, unconsciously straightening his back. “I guess four years of school paid off.”

“You were an art major?”

Kurt shook his head. “Theater. I took a lot of design classes, though, too, and nowadays I probably do more costume work than acting.” He wasn’t sure why he was telling all of this to a near stranger. It was like his instinct to hide and protect himself had flown away the instant Blaine Anderson had walked into his life. He had to bite back a sigh of frustration, not wanting to have to get into what was wrong, because surely his newfound openness would somehow bypass his desire to not embarrass himself, too.

“Really?” Blaine asked, practically bouncing on his toes in eagerness. It was actually a little bit adorable. “That’s really awe- Ringo, no!” He reached down and scooped his dog up into his arms from where it had been reaching for Kurt’s knee with its front paws. “I’m so sorry, Kurt. He’s not like this around anyone else, I swear.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

Blaine laughed, readjusting his hold on the dog. “I don’t know, either. Let’s just say it’s a good thing. He must really want to get to know you.”

“Or he wants to eat me alive,” Kurt pointed out.

“You don’t want to do that, do you?” Blaine asked, turning his head a little to look into the dog’s eyes and his voice taking on that tone voices tend to get when adults talk to babies. Ringo barked once softly then turned to face Kurt, his tongue lolling out of his mouth slightly. If Kurt didn’t know better, he’d say the dog was trying to smile. “That settles that, then! He definitely likes you.”

Ringo barked again and Kurt sighed, setting his bag back on the bench and standing up. Cautiously, he broached the distance between himself and Blaine, and he let his hand fall gently on the dog’s head. He scratched at it a few times, and he was honestly surprised when it didn’t try to bite one of his fingers off.

“See?” Blaine asked, clearly proud that his dog wasn’t acting like a monster for a change. “He’s not so bad, is he?”

“Are you talking to him or me?”

“You,” he replied, his cheeks gaining a bit of a pink tinge again.

“That remains to be seen.”

Blaine’s face lit up. “So that means we’ll be seeing you again, right?”

Kurt thought back on what he’d just said and shrugged. “Maybe.”

“Can I turn that maybe into a yes? Maybe dinner and a movie?”

Kurt blinked at how forward Blaine was, though his heart had started to race the moment he’d mentioned dinner. It couldn’t be that Blaine actually liked him as well, could it? He usually ended up crushing on the painfully straight guys who would never take a second look at him in a million years.

“It’s okay,” Blaine rushed to say, taking a step backwards. “You don’t have to say yes, I just thought-“

“No, no,” Kurt said, and he held up a hand to stop him from talking even more. “Sorry, I- um, well- yes. Dinner and a movie. That sounds like it could be fun.”

Blaine visibly relaxed, a bright smile quickly forming on his face. “Great!” he said, then he bent over to set Ringo back on the ground. “How does tomorrow night work?”

Kurt quickly flipped through his mental schedule, not coming up with any pre-made plans – though to be fair, he’d probably cancel just about anything to go on this date. It was a date, right? Dinner and a movie was always a date. “That works great,” he said, fighting to keep his smile in check. He didn’t want to come off as a crazy person, after all… though Blaine didn’t seem to have the same concern.

“Perfect!” he said, tugging at Ringo’s leash as he started to sniff around Kurt’s legs. “I’ll pick you up at six then?”

Kurt nodded.

“Um, I kind of need to know where you live for that to work. If that’s not too weird.”

“Oh,” he said, looking down just in time to see Ringo start to lift his paws toward his leg again. He stepped just out of his reach and told Blaine how to get to his apartment building. “What should I wear?” he asked, hoping to get a hint as to what kind of restaurant Blaine had in mind.

Blaine looked him up and down. “I don’t think you’ll have a problem no matter where we go.”

“Of course not,” Kurt preened.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Kurt. Six o’clock.”

Trying not to feel too disappointed that he wasn’t getting more information, he replied, “See you then.” He gave a quick wave, and Blaine did the same before continuing further into the park, pulling Ringo along after him.

---

Friday evening at 5:45 found Kurt stark naked and standing in front of his closet, both doors spread wide open. Everything he owned was cleaned, pressed, and either hanging neatly on one of the rods inside or folded just so in its place in his dresser, but it felt like he had absolutely nothing to wear. He wasn’t all that concerned about being dressed appropriately for the restaurant, because Blaine had assured him he’d be fine, but he kind of wanted to impress Blaine with his outfit choice. He didn’t want to wear anything too drab (a few plain pieces were hidden, tucked into the very back of his closet and used for Very Serious Occasions only), but he didn’t want to be over-the-top flashy, either. Normally he wouldn’t care what other people thought of what he was wearing, but for some reason, he wanted his date’s approval.

With a quick glance at the clock on his nightstand, he realized that, if Blaine arrived on time (and he had no reason to suspect he wouldn’t), he only had ten minutes left to get dressed and double check his hair. Closing his eyes, he held his breath and reached out with his right hand, his fingers loosely gripping the first clothing item they touched. He opened his eyes and let out an excited squeal when he saw what his hand had landed on. He had no idea how the shimmery silk turquoise scarf hadn’t caught his attention twenty minutes ago, but now that he had it in his hand, he knew exactly the outfit he was going to wear.

As fast as he could without unduly wrinkling anything he was putting on, he dressed himself in the skinny dark wash jeans that made his ass look fantastic as well as a periwinkle button-down, the scarf wrapped loosely around his neck as an accent. He slipped his feet into his favorite black leather Marc Jacobs loafers and ran to the bathroom to see how horrible his hair had gotten during his clothing crisis. It actually wasn’t all that bad and just needed a little tweaking with a bit of gel, and he was just washing his hands clean when he heard the buzzer indicate that someone was outside. He quickly finished up and with one last look in the mirror, he hurried out the door and downstairs to meet Blaine.

He slowed down as he turned the last corner of the staircase, not wanting to appear overly eager if Blaine should be watching from outside. He tried to act as nonchalantly as possible, but his demeanor gave way as soon as he caught sight of Blaine through the window. He had a huge grin on his face, and he was holding a bouquet of flowers in front of his chest.

“Blaine, hi,” Kurt said breathlessly as soon as he opened the door.

“Hi,” came the suddenly shy response. There was an awkward second of neither of them moving or saying anything, then Blaine held out the bouquet of purple carnations and white asters, with baby’s breath filling in any gaps. “For you. Um, I hope you’re not allergic.”

Kurt’s eyes widened just slightly and he reached out to take hold of the flowers. He was pretty sure his heart had already decided to give itself over to Blaine, and he smiled. “Oh my god, thank you,” he said, the words falling out of his mouth almost too quickly to be distinguishable. “They’re beautiful! And no, I’m not allergic.”

If possible, Blaine’s smile grew even broader. “You really like them? They’re not too much?”

“Not at all!” Kurt replied, and he held the door open and ushered Blaine inside. “Let me just go upstairs and get these in some water.” He started back up the stairs again and turned to see Blaine standing awkwardly just inside the door. “Come on, you don’t have to wait there.”

Once he was sure Blaine was following him, Kurt hurried back upstairs to the third floor and down the hall to his apartment. He wracked his brain in a moment of panic, wondering if he’d left anything embarrassing lying about, but he was pretty sure he was safe. “Welcome to my humble abode,” he said wryly, opening the door and letting Blaine enter first. The other man’s had been about the same size, so he wasn’t too worried about getting judged too harshly.

“This is amazing,” Blaine said as Kurt closed the door behind him. “Does that coffee table have a dragon carved on it?”

Kurt nodded, flushing a little in pride that that was the first thing he’d chosen to comment on. “Yep. I designed it myself.”

“You did?”

“I did.”

“So not only are you an amazing artist, you’re great at interior design too. Any other secret talents?”

Kurt shook his head and chuckled, moving to grab a vase from the top of the china cabinet. “I sing, but my voice isn’t exactly what anyone would pay to hear.”

“I bet you sound amazing. You should sing something for me!”

“Some other time, maybe,” Kurt replied, turning his attention back to the flowers. “Thank you so much. No one’s ever really bought me flowers before. I mean, my dad used to get them for me after performances, but that’s nothing like this.”

Kurt stopped talking and looked over at Blaine, who looked highly affronted. “No one’s ever bought you flowers?”

“Nope. It’s not a big deal.” Even though it really, really was. “But again, thank you so much. They’re lovely.”

“It is a big deal,” Blaine countered, “but Ringo should really get all the credit. He made me go down a street I don’t usually go down on his walk earlier, and we passed a little flower shop I’d never seen before. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision.”

Kurt finished arranging the flowers and brought the vase to sit in the center of his coffee table. “Perfect!” he said, clapping his hands together once. “Don’t give your secrets away like that. It makes you far less charming.”

Blaine smiled widely again. “You think I’m charming?”

“Shut up,” Kurt said with a roll of his eyes. “Let’s go.”

“You think I’m charming,” Blaine repeated, this time turning the words into a sing-songed statement.

“Correction: I used to think you were charming. Now I kind of think you’re more of a dork than anything.”

Blaine pouted, his bottom lip sticking out from underneath the other and his eyes widening in sadness. Kurt sighed. “But you’re a dork in a good way.”

Lighting up again, Blaine held out his hand. “Ready for dinner?”

“Ready for dinner.”

---

The restaurant Blaine had chosen had turned out to be a little hole-in-the-wall wine and tapas bar that Kurt must have walked past a thousand times without ever actually noticing it. He had been a little disappointed when they’d arrived, because all of his experience with Spanish food in the past had been nothing to write home about, but after this meal, he’d definitely changed his mind. They’d shared a pitcher of sangria as well as a handful of tapas ranging from the classic Spanish potato omelet to the evening’s house special of shrimps and scallops in a mint mango sauce.

After a tasty dessert of chilled flan, Blaine had hailed a taxi to take them to the movie theater. Kurt had tried to pay for both the taxi and the movie since Blaine had covered dinner, but Blaine had had none of it. In the end, Blaine paid for everything during their date, and Kurt found himself falling a little more head over heels as a result.

Now, the movie – the newest Jennifer Lopez rom-com that had been so bad it was good – was over, and Kurt found himself standing outside Blaine’s apartment building. Everything had been going so smoothly that it was hard to believe it was actually a first date and not a tenth or twelfth. Both men stopped walking at the same moment, their hands still swinging lightly between them.

“So,” Blaine said, turning to face Kurt and taking his other hand in his as well.

“So,” Kurt repeated. His heart started to race just a little faster, wondering what was coming next. Normally, this would be the part where they kissed and parted ways until one of them called the other the next day. Or maybe Blaine was the kind of guy who had sex on the first date, which really wasn’t Kurt’s cup of tea. He’d never gone past a kiss on the first date, and he’d never, ever had a one night stand. Then there was the possibility that he’d made the quality of the date up in his head and Blaine hated him and was going to crush all his hopes and dreams in the next sentence out of his mouth.

“I had a good time tonight,” Blaine said softly, and okay, maybe Kurt had been being a little melodramatic in his head just now.

He smiled shyly back at Blaine. “I did, too.”

There was an awkward silence for a moment while they stared into each other’s eyes, Kurt panicking internally because what if Blaine wants to go have sex right now? He wasn’t sure if he would turn him down or take him up on it, and he also wasn’t sure which option scared him more.

“Um,” Blaine said, biting nervously at his lip and squeezing a bit at Kurt’s hands. “Is it okay if I kiss you now? I really want to kiss you.”

Kurt couldn’t do anything but nod, all other thoughts completely flying from his head. Blaine started to lean forward, and Kurt matched his pace. They both tilted their heads to the side at the same time. Their mouths were so close, Kurt’s nerves on fire in anticipation… and a loud bark above their heads caused them both to jump back in shock.

Looking up, Kurt noticed a very familiar dog peering out of a second story window, its paws resting on either side of its head on the windowsill. A laugh bubbled up and out of him unbidden, and Blaine followed suit a moment later.

“I’m going to interpret that as a cheer.”

Blaine gave him a look like he’d suddenly grown two heads. “Really? You’re not angry at him anymore?”

Kurt shook his head and shot Blaine a wry smile. “No,” he said. “He’s been pretty insistent that I pay attention to you, and I guess I have to be glad about it.”

“Yeah?” Blaine replied, standing up on his toes like a child awaiting something he really wanted.

“Yeah.”

Blaine let go of his hands, and he felt his heart drop at the loss of contact, but then they were back again, one on each of his cheeks. Before he knew what was happening, Blaine leaned in close, pressing his lips to Kurt’s. On instinct, Kurt’s hands found Blaine’s shoulders, pulling him in even tighter. The kiss lasted far longer than any first kiss he’d ever had, and when he pulled back for air, his heart was racing like it never had from just a kiss before.

The smile on Blaine’s face was ridiculously huge, but he had to admit that his own was probably just as large. He let his hands slide down Blaine’s arms until they couldn’t go any further, then clasped them in front of himself, and Blaine mirrored the motion.

“So, um, I’ll call you tomorrow?” Blaine asked, suddenly sounding shyer than he had been in the entire time Kurt had known him.

“I’ll hold you to that,” Kurt said, trying to cover up how completely crazy he was for Blaine already. “See you later, Blaine.”

“See you later, Kurt.”

They both gave a quick wave, and Kurt turned to make his way the block home, barely making it back inside before he gave a literal jump for joy.

---

Epilogue:

“Ringo, no!” Blaine said in exasperation a few weeks later, pushing gently at the dog’s nose to keep him on the floor and off of the couch.

Kurt hummed in consideration from where he was sitting, curled up into his boyfriend’s side as they watched a marathon rerun of Cycle 5 of America’s Top Model. “It’s okay,” he said quietly, and he wasn’t sure Blaine had even heard him with how long it took him to respond.

“What’s okay?” he asked, squeezing Kurt into his body just a little. “Cassandra’s tantrum? Because that is nowhere near okay.”

Kurt shook his head. “No. She’s absolutely ridiculous.” He took in a deep breath, not able to believe he was really going to say this. “You don’t have to keep pushing Ringo away. I… I don’t mind.”

Blaine twisted his head to face him. “Really? You know he’s still got a long way to go with his obedience lessons. I don’t want him to destroy anything else.”

“Really,” Kurt said with a sigh after taking a moment to reconsider. “He’s kind of sweet.”

It took a moment, but Blaine’s face broke into a huge grin. “You like him.”

“What?” Kurt asked, trying to play it off like he had no idea what his boyfriend was talking about, but then deciding he should be honest. “Well, I guess I do. A little bit. He did set us up after all.”

“That he did,” Blaine agreed. “We never would have met without him.”

“Nope.”

“I’m so proud of you, Kurt.”

He blushed at the compliment and let his head fall to Blaine’s shoulder to try to hide it. They lapsed into silence, focusing their attention back on the television, where Tyra was now handing out photos to the girls who would be staying another week.

Before long, Ringo stuck his paws on the front of the couch, just in front of Kurt’s knees. Blaine tensed against him but didn’t move to make him go away, and for the first time, the dog hopped up and lay across Kurt’s legs. He tentatively reached down and scratched Ringo’s head, making sure to get behind the ears. The dog whined a little before settling down even further.

As the episode ended and transitioned into the next one, Kurt continued to pet Blaine’s dog, and he began to think that maybe the canine wasn’t so bad after all. He really was the reason that they were together right now, and if Kurt were honest with himself, he was starting to enjoy Ringo’s company as well.
 
 
 
amoa on July 21st, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)
Very good job, this was cute and well-written! :)
Kim: squishy expanding heart!meadowlion on July 21st, 2013 05:45 am (UTC)
That was adorable. =)
judearayajudearaya on July 21st, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
oh this was so sweet. Kurt becomes a dog person :D
Bethybethynyc on July 25th, 2013 02:21 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwww!!!!