When Santana landed a job at a coffee shop a few blocks from the diner, Kurt immediately jumped at the opportunity. He needed the extra money, and it was easy enough to talk Santana into getting him an interview. He had experience from working at the Lima Bean and luckily, the owner was so in need of help that Kurt was offered the job on the spot. After some strategic planning, he was able to work a couple shifts a week into his schedule.
Compared to the high energy environment of the diner, working at a quiet coffee shop was a nice break in his week. It always smelled of fresh cookies and dark roast beans, and Kurt genuinely enjoyed making cups of gourmet coffee for patrons. He moved around the counter like a machine, and once he got into a rhythm, he was pretty good at it.
Kurt loved the routine, and when there was downtime, his boss didn’t mind if he did some homework or experimented with flavors for fun. The regulars knew him by name, some of them college students as well, and others friends of the owner who had been coming in for years. The shop itself wasn’t well known or particularly flashy from the outside, so any new customers that came in were usually there because they’d heard from a friend that the cinnamon rolls were to die for and the white hot chocolate was orgasmic.
Everything was running smoothly, so of course something had to throw Kurt off.
That something was an unbearably cute guy, Blaine, who started coming in on Tuesdays about a month after Kurt started. Blaine, who wore adorable bowties and boat shoes and had a disarming smile that made his entire face light up with the kind of joy normally reserved for small children at petting zoos. Kurt both looked forward to and dreaded seeing him, because while he was gorgeous and friendly and sweet, he also made Kurt’s vocabulary drop until all he could manage was single syllable words.
“It’s Tuesday.” Santana tossed some extra lids on the counter and leaned against it.
“Congratulations, you’ve figured out how to read a calendar.”
“The question is,” Santana continued, ignoring Kurt’s jab. “Is it going to be the day when you stop the deer in headlights act and ask out your favorite coffee guzzling dreamboat for a dazzling night of scandalous hand holding and feeding each other gherkins and mini sausages?”
“I don’t like gherkins.”
“Sausages it is. Who knew you were such a rascal?”
“Santana, I love you, but shut up. I’m not sharing sausages or pickles or anything with anyone, okay? Leave it alone.”
“No can do, Hummelina.” Santana tapped her nails on the counter and smirked at him. It was infuriating. “I’ve been watching this trainwreck for too long. You’re into him, he’s into you. What’s the problem?”
“I am not into him, and he’s certainly not into me, so why don’t you go find another soul to suck into your demon chamber.”
Santana rolled her eyes and walked away, leaving Kurt to grumble irritably while he finished setting up for the afternoon rush.
He started writing the specials of the day on the small chalkboard that hung in front of the pastries. Unfortunately, that’s when a group of seven or eight people came in all at once, followed by a couple more. He set the board aside and started to take orders. Glancing at the old grandfather clock in the corner, Kurt realized that Blaine would be there soon for his medium drip.
Fabulous, Kurt thought. He was already flushed and a little sweaty from serving several cups of steaming beverages in a row, which was not the way he usually liked to present himself.
It was then that Santana swooped in next to him and grabbed the abandoned chalkboard.
“What are you doing?” Kurt hissed. He had four cups lined up and customers waiting and he didn’t trust the delighted smile on Santana’s face one bit. “I could use some help, you know.”
“I am helping you,” Santana said sweetly as she scribbled on the board furiously, then finished with a flourish. She set it in front of the pastry display looking extremely proud of herself. “Consider the special of the day advertised. You’re welcome.”
Kurt watched out the corner of his eye as she spun around and went back to mixing frozen drink orders. He heard chuckles from the customers in line, and one of them, an elderly woman who always bought blueberry scones, winked at him when he cashed her out.
The next customer was another regular, a man with multicolored hair and stretched ears who leaned in as Kurt handed him a cup of chai tea and said, “I hope you get lucky, dude.”
Something incredibly weird was going on.
Kurt had no idea what Santana wrote on the board, but every customer either stared at it in shock or started giggling when they saw it, so he was sure he would be doing something truly devastating to her later. He glared at the back of her head as he steamed milk, and as soon as he finished the last customer’s drink, Kurt grabbed a towel and ran some water over it, determined to wipe away every bit of whatever awful things Santana wrote.
Of course, that’s when the bell above the door jingled again, and Kurt looked over to see Blaine approaching, dreamy as ever.
Kurt cursed under his breath and plastered a smile on his face. He clutched the wet dish towel so hard it began to drip over his wrist, beads of water cool against his warming skin.
“Blaine, hi!” Kurt said cheerfully. “Usual?”
“Yeah, that’s, um,” Blaine stammered, and Kurt’s stomach dropped to the floor as Blaine’s eyes read over the board. Blaine laughed nervously, then said, “The special today is really interesting.”
Blaine was looking down, a blush forming across his nose and cheeks.
“Oh, it’s a new flavor, very exotic,” Kurt said, laughing nervously. “You can add whipped cream, too, if you’d like.”
Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say, because Blaine suddenly started to choke on air while Santana’s cackles echoed through the shop.
Panicking, Kurt lunged over the counter and grabbed the board, tearing it from the small hook that held it in place. He could practically hear the blood draining from his face when he saw what was written in the obnoxiously bright white chalk.
Instead of advertising their new Moroccan coffee, the board said:
Today your barista is:
1) hella gay
2) desperately single
For your drink, I’d recommend:
Giving him your number before he dies of sexual frustration
The kicker was a stick figure drawn on the side, complete with a bowtie and ‘Blaine’ written above it with an arrow pointing down to the offending picture.
“Oh my god, I’m going to kill her,” Kurt mumbled, slamming the board face down onto the counter. Blaine was looking at him curiously, one eyebrow raised and the hint of a smile on his face. “I’m so sorry about, my coworker has a hard time with boundaries and appropriate behavior in public.”
Blaine moved in closer, leaning over the counter and covering Kurt’s shaking hands with his own. “It’s really not a problem.”
Kurt could smell Blaine’s cologne, and mixed with the usual aromas of the shop, it was making him dizzy. Or it could have been because Blaine’s thumb was stroking over his knuckle.
“This is a disaster,” Kurt said, smiling despite himself. “I’ve sort of had this giant crush on you for ages, and this was not part of the plan.”
"Full disclosure?" Blaine said, continuing when Kurt nodded. "I’ve had a crush on you, too."
"I think that makes this even more embarrassing," Kurt said, his lungs suddenly unable to get enough air and his heart thudding loudly in his chest.
“It doesn’t have to be,” Blaine said. “I think a date might salvage the situation, don’t you think?”
“Date?” Kurt was clearly back to his usual Blaine-influenced minimal verbal skills. Wonderful.
“Yes, a date. Unless you don’t want to, I just thought that maybe…”
“No!” Kurt quickly shouted. “Yes! I mean, date, yes. Thank you.”
“Okay,” Blaine laughed. He pulled a notepad out of his bag and snatched the pen that was hanging from the front of Kurt’s shirt. Kurt swallowed hard as his eyes followed the movement of Blaine’s fingers. “Here’s my number. Can’t wait to hear from you.”
“Um, do you still want coffee?” Kurt asked, which made Blaine laugh again as he nodded. Kurt made up his drink, trying hard not to spill or burn himself. They’re fingers touched as Blaine paid and Kurt bit his lip to hide his grin when Blaine walked backwards out of the shop, holding Kurt’s gaze for as long as possible.
A moment later, while Kurt was still standing dumbfounded in front of the counter, Santana came over next to him.
“That was the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen,” she said.
“Yeah, but I got a date out of it.” He turned to Santana, lifting up the chalkboard that was, thankfully, not broken. It was his turn to smirk. “Wendie is working tonight isn’t she?”
Santana’s eyes widened at the mention of their coworker, who she had been crushing on for weeks.
“Kurt Hummel, don’t you dare!”