Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters are completely the property of Paramount and Pet Fly Productions. I use them out of reverence, solely for fun and not for profit.

Author's Notes: This was just for fun, one of the entries in the Make Techgrrl Happy Challenge. Don't care if I win; just wanna couple of laughs.




"What kind of flowers do I buy her," Jim whispered in an absolute panic.

"Roses are nice," Blair suggested, only to be rudely interrupted.

"They are very presumptuous on a first date, I think," Jim pontificated.

"Well, okay, then, how about her perfume?"

"I'm supposed to buy her perfume? On a first date?" Jim sounded horrified. "It'd imply I think she stinks!"

The Guide groaned. The Sentinel was barely rational. He'd better explain it all in tiny little words. Correction, small words. 'Tiny' and 'little' were probably too long.

"Jim, do you have a sensory impression of her cologne?"

Jim closed his eyes, drew an imaginary breath and spoke dreamily. "Oh, yeah."

"What flowers are in the mix?" Blair prodded.

"Roses, lavender, lilies, carnations..."

"Okay, try lilies or carnations. Carnations are good, but make sure you get fragrant ones." Blair was studying his roommate's outfit with a frown.

"Oh, I get it," Jim said with relief. "Carnations, scented ones. Good idea, Chief."

"Thanks," Blair said, still frowning.

"Where do I take her, though? What restaurant? I gotta make reservations! What will she like?"

Blair stopped frowning and thought a moment. "Do you know what kinds of food she likes? Chinese, Italian, steak, whatever?"

Jim shook his head.

Blair opened his mouth and closed it again.

Jim was on him like a snake. "What is it, Chief? Whatever it is, you gotta help me!"

Blair was looking at a frenzied man whose killing fingertips were only two inches away from his throat. "Okay," he said, stepping back carefully to place the club chair between the two of them. "But you're not gonna like it."

"I don't care," Jim Ellison hissed. "If it makes this date go better, I *have* *to* *know*!"

"You promise not to kill me?" Blair demanded before committing himself.


"Go stand over by the door then."

Jim, suspicious but still desperate, headed for the door of the loft.

"Okay, then, what is it?"

"I was thinking about how the Cong could tell westerners..."



"That's disgusting!" Jim launched himself across the room, but the club chair stopped him from tearing his Guide apart. "I would never... I have... never... how dare you!"

"Settle down, settle down, Jim," his Guide said. "There may be another way."

"Gross me out again and you're a dead man."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Kissed her yet?"

"A smooch."

Yeah, when?" Blair was as excited as a parent whose child had just taken his first step. Maybe Jim was learning from his example.

"After she got back from lunch."

"So did you get any idea of what she'd had?" The Guide waggled his eyebrows.

Jim lowered his. "Yeah, she had Chinese, Cantonese Chinese."

"Okay, don't take her for more, then, or for anything likely to have only spicy items on the menu. Choose Italian or a steakhouse."

"Which is better?"

Blair sighed. "Look, Jim, did you ever get a hint of what kind of music she likes?"

"Why is that important?"

"Country western goes with steak. Opera goes with Italian. The ambience of the restaurant often reflects the traditional music of the region." Blair stopped himself from giving an anthropological lecture on the phenomenon.

"H'mm." Jim thought hard. "I did kinda listen to her as she left. She popped a tape of classical music into her deck." He looked a question at his roommate.

"Go for Italian then. You can find out her tastes in food and music to a greater degree later."

"That makes sense," Jim said, pacing nervously. "Now, which restaurant? La Traviata is expensive and chi-chi, but Giardano's isn't special, except for the chow. It's better than La T's, but nowhere near as pricey. I don't want her to think I'm a cheap SOB."

Blair looked at the cheap SOB and sighed inwardly. "Well, let's think about it. What kind of clothes does she wear?"

"Skirts, dresses, pantsuits. Why?" Again Jim was at a loss.

"Ever touched the material?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Does she wear pure silk or acrylics? The material is a clue to how expensive her tastes are."

"Oh, oh," Jim said, his eyes lighting up. "She wears silk, Chief, and 100% wool and linen. Thanks. I'd have taken her to Giardano's and she'd have probably been disappointed."

Jim was picking up the phone to make a call as Blair circled him consideringly.

"So?" Jim asked.

"That outfit, Jim."

"What's wrong with it," Jim wondered apprehensively.

"I'm not sure it will go with hers."

"Her what?"

"Her colours, Jim," Blair announced patiently.

"Why does that matter?"

"It's the whole magic of the evening thing," the Guide explained. "You swoop in with beautiful carnations in her colour and dressed to colour co-ordinate with her outfit and it all adds up to that 'It must have been meant' feeling."

"Okay. So what's wrong? I'm wearing blue. Blue goes with everything."

"Jim," Blair coached, "think back to the blues you've seen her in."

Jim thought a while. "Got them," he said at last.

"Now, spread a blue colour palette in your mind and analyse her blue's against your blue's."

"Oh, man, you're right. I never noticed that before. She wears blue's with a lot of green in them, aqua's and turquoise's. This," he looked down at his spectacular marine shirt, "is too hard a blue. Thanks. I'd have missed that totally."

"No problem," Blair returned. "Just check the closet and get something that suits her better. And a tie too! Pay attention to her, too, Jim. You want to hear that heartbeat bump bigtime when she sees you at first, feel that pulse rise when you touch her hand, smell the spurt of the fragrance of her shampoo and hair conditioner as she blushes and her temperature rises. If they don't, then we got something that didn't work totally."

"Yeah, yeah," Jim forced himself not to be transported on a dream. He wanted this date to *start* already! "So what colour carnations?"

"Matched to her blusher," Blair instructed and Jim had the shade immediately in mind. A pretty peach to compliment a redhead's milky skin. "But they've got to be fragrant, so go with white if you have to."

Jim was nodding. "Okay," he said. "Any last tips, Lothario?"

"Have a good time, Jim. And I won't be waiting up!"

"You won't have to, Chief. You won't have to. Thanks."


The night beckoned and Jim Ellison was off.

Blair watched him go with a gigantic grin on his face. Thank goodness he already knew everything there was to know about Cassie's tastes in everything. She'd demand roses, force Jim to cancel on La T's and head for Boogie's Joint on the strip, and criticise his taste in clothes just to be bitchy. Hell, she'd done it to Blair when he'd brought carnations and booked at La T's and worn soft blue. It didn't matter that it had all been picked to please her and she knew it and, Blair privately thought, she was pleased. She just had a heart of brass. Jim deserved better and would get it.

Blair was looking out for him, as a best friend and Guide should for his Sentinel. Lucky Jim!

~ End ~

E-Mail Ismaro at ligela@sympatico.ca
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