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08:07 pm: The Courtship of Juan part four
Title: The Courtship of Juan
Fandom: Welcome Back, Kotter
Summary: Epstein starts dating Cutie Pie, but not without surprising results.

Chapter four

Gabe and Julie awoke to the combination of sounds from the alarm clock and the tapping on the window. He reached behind the couch and turned off the alarm clock before they both got out of bed. Again, there was a tap on the window, drawing their attention. They each grabbed their robes, putting them on before Gabe walked over to the window. He threw open the blinds and stood there before the grinning faces of two students. With a short amount of annoyed hesitation, Gabe then opened the window.

“Epstein, what a surprise. And look!” He motioned toward Cutie Pie, sitting by Epstein’s side. “You brought a special guest with you!”

Cutie Pie looked at Gabe with a bright smile.“Hi Mr. Kotter. Good to see you again.”

Epstein grinned. “Nice to catch ya still at home.”

Stepping away from the window, Gabe allowed Epstein to enter the apartment. Once inside, Epstein turned to the window and helped Cutie Pie inside. Then, with her by his side, he held her hand and smiled towards Julie with a small wave.

“Morning Mrs. Kotter.”

Julie smiled with a slight air of annoyance over the two surprise guests. “Good morning Juan. What brings you two here?

“If you’ve come to steal our toaster, don’t bother because it’s broken.” Gabe joked.

Epstein laughed before looking at Cutie Pie. “Don’t be shy, honey.” He looked back at Julie. “Mrs. Kotter, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Susie.”

Julie smiled before extending a hand to Cutie Pie. “Oh! Nice to finally meet you, Cutie Pie. I’m Julie.”

“Nice to meet you too. You can call me Susie, since we’re not anywhere near school right now.” Cutie Pie looked at Epstein. “So, Juan, you told me you were taking me to breakfast before school.”

“I did.” Epstein motioned toward the small kitchen area. “Well it should be over there. You’re slackin’ Mrs. Kotter.” He grinned

“Excuse me, Juan. I just woke up and I didn’t realize I would have to cater to two of Gabe’s students this morning.”

“Actually, Julie, only Epstein is one of my students. She’s just a Sweathog tag-along.”

“Oh I see.” Julie nodded. “Ok, kids, what would you like for breakfast?”

“Oh, we’re not picky, Mrs. Kotter.” Cutie Pie said

“Yeah whatever you’ve got is fine.”

“Fine. I’ll see if we have enough eggs.”

Julie walked over to the refrigerator and looked inside. Then, after getting everything she thought she would need, she went over to the kitchen area. As she started cooking, Gabe started talking and goofing around with the two students. It was not long, though, before breakfast was ready, and everyone gathered to eat.

“It’s always interesting, to say the least, whenever Gabe and I get the privilege of spending time with some of you students outside of school.” Julie smiled, striking up a conversation. “Especially when the visit is in our own home.”

“Of course it’s a privilege for you.” Epstein said in-between bites. “How often do you get to spend time with people like us, y’know?” He grinned

“More often than anyone should face people like you and your friends.” Gabe said, with a slight snicker.

This caused Cutie Pie to spit out her juice. She looked at Epstein sympathetically and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Sorry honey. But you have to admit that was funny.”

Her bright laugh spread to everyone else around the table. The rest of breakfast, although shared in bright spirits, was somewhat hurried as Gabe and the students had to rush to be on time for school. As the students departed by way of the window, Gabe turned to kiss Julie goodbye. Then, after briefly deciding whether to leave by the front door or follow the students’ example, Gabe shrugged and crawled out the window. Shaking her head, Julie then snickered to herself as she closed the window, gazing at the fire escape.


Horshack stood outside the boy’s room, appearing nervous. He tried not to seem sneaky as he watched for any approaching adult, but this was not achieved as well as he planned. As a teacher passed by the bathroom, Horshack flattened himself against the door, lowered his hat over his eyes and shouted an extra annoying “Good morning!” to the teacher. For a brief moment, the teacher caught the great suspiciousness surrounding the student, but then they considered the source with a shrug of the shoulder.

When the teacher left the area, Horshack stepped away from the bathroom door. The moment that he did this, his three friends, along with another remedial student, left the bathroom together, laughing. Before the door was closed, Ricky waved a cloud of smoke away from it with his newsboy cap, so the smoke would not be able to enter the hallway.

Epstein, grinning, placed a hand on Horshack’s shoulder. “Hey thanks for bein’ the look out for us, Horshack.”

“Ugh. That was a close one. I don’t know if I can be the lookout no more while you guys smoke in there.”

“Hey, don’t sweat it, Arnold.” Ricky put on his hat. “Maybe next time we’ll have you join us.”

“Then who will be the look out?” Vinnie asked

Freddie shrugged. “Maybe one of the girls will do it.” He grinned, and then stepped away from the group. “Hey listen it don’t matter right now. Let’s get to class before Mr. Kah-tare wonders ‘bout where we been.”

Taking Freddie’s cue, the students headed towards their classroom. A little ways down the hall, Epstein suddenly stopped the group.

“Hey, hold up a second. We can’t go to class like this.”

“What do you mean, Epstein?” Ricky asked

“I mean we could easily get caught.” Before continuing, he smirked. “C’mon, we all know Mr. Kotter knows we do this. He probably did it when he was in school, y’know? But we don’t know how much of a narc he’ll be.”

“Yeah.” Said Vinnie “But what are we gonna do about it?”

Epstein grinned and started to reach up his shirtsleeve. “Hang on, I got something.”

Freddie laughed “Epstein, I don’t think a note saying ‘please excuse us for being late to class because we were getting high in the boy’s room’ is gonna cut it.”

“It ain’t a note!” Epstein produced a small perfume bottle from his sleeve and held it up for them to see.

“Perfume?” Freddie asked in surprise.

Vinnie gave Epstein an unsure frown. “I dunno, Epstein. Perfume? I mean it’s one thing if you enjoy smellin’ like a chick because of your girlfriend and all. But this is weird.”

“It ain’t perfume. It’s just some diluted air freshener in a perfume bottle.” He handed the bottle to his friends, and watched them spray some of it on themselves. “Mixed with a small amount of perfume.”

They groaned, tossing the bottle back to him. Horshack pointed at the three of them and started laughing. Instead of getting him to stop, Epstein joined him.

“Hey, don’t worry. You’ll barely notice the perfume.” He sprayed some on himself. “Yeah, yeah this is a trick that Cutie Pie taught me. Works real good. See you take whatever liquid air freshener you have around the house and pour some into a perfume bottle with just a little bit of perfume still on the bottom. Fill the rest with water then you’re good to go.”

“And you mean you smoke, and then spray this stuff on you afterwards…”

“That’s right, Ricky, nobody notices the smoke smell. Works every time.”

Vinnie held open his jean jacket and sniffed it. “Hey it ain’t that bad! Doesn’t even smell girly. Good thinin’ Epstein.”

“Hey what did I tell ya?”

With that said, all five boys started heading for their classroom again, with satisfaction.


The students sat in the classroom, laughing and talking amongst themselves. They noticed, but did not halt their conversation as Gabe entered the room. Gabe sat his briefcase on the desk and greeted his students. This, however, still did not gain the attention of the class. Instead, he leaned against the front of his desk, folded his arms across his chest and listened for a moment as his students continued their conversation.

“Y’know,” Epstein leaned forward with a grin. “It’s like what Cutie Pie has said to me. She says-“

Vinnie groaned, cutting him off. “Epstein all you talk about any more is Cutie Pie this, and Cutie Pie that. I’m sick of hearin’ about Cutie Pie!”

Epstein looked at him with a sly grin. “Well maybe that’s ‘cause I got Pie… and you don’t.” His comment was followed by a collection of “ooh’s” and laughter from the other students.

“Hey I’m seein’ somebody!!”

“Who? Yo’ hand?’ Freddie laughed, giving Epstein a low five.

“Hey! Up your nose with a rubber hose!”

Gabe stepped in front of the class, waving his hands. “Ok that’s enough. That’s enough.” The students stopped talking and turned their attention onto him. “Good. Ok now.” He clapped his hands together. “We’ve got a lot to do, so let’s say we get right to work.”

With a collective, disappointed groan, the class started their work as Gabe instructed them. The previous conversation, although quieter than before, continued despite the work they were supposed to be doing. Even as the class period progressed, they knew that the conversation, the essence of it at least, was bound to follow them through the rest of the day.

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