Star Wars is the property of George Lucas and LFL. No profits were made and no disrespect is intended with this fic.

Wes Janson's How to Talk to Women 101
Part Three
by Commander Wedge



Wes' alarm went off at ten minutes to 1000 hours. He moaned, pulled the pillow from beneath his head and slammed it on top of the chrono. Five minutes later, the alarm went off again. Yawning, Wes sat up in bed, turned off the alarm, and chunked the pillow at Wedge. "Antilles, wake up. Time for lesson number two," Wes said in a sleep-filled voice. He dragged himself out from under the covers and padded over to his closet. Pulling out a pair of dark grey slacks and a silky black button-down shirt, he retreated into the 'fresher to dress.

“I am awake Janson,” Wedge called out as he chucked his friend’s pillow back to him, “I’ve been up for hours – showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and hair – just been waiting for you to get up before I got dressed.” Standing, he walked over to the closet that they shared and pulled out his boots, leather jacket, a midnight blue button-downed shirt that belonged to Wes and his steel-blue pullover sweater – tossing the clothing onto his bed, he crossed to the small chest of drawers that were his and pulled out a pair of black jeans and a blue-grey short-sleeved T-shirt. Dressing quickly, Wedge than ran his fingers through his dark hair in a vain attempt to smooth it back down and into place without much success – his mother had always told him that his hair could not be tamed and this morning was living proof. Slinging his leather flight jacket over his left shoulder, “Ready anytime you are, Wes,” he said as he headed to the door.

He brushed his teeth and shaved, then carefully combed his thick brown hair into something resembling neatness. He dressed quickly, and then returned to the main room. Crossing once again to the closet, he pulled out his nerf-hide leather boots, pulled them on after socks and began lacing them up. Sitting back on his bed, he placed his hands on his thighs and spoke to Wedge. "Ready buddy? We're gonna hit the Wal*Mart SuperCenter first, I figure I'll start you out slow, then move up to more sophisticated women at the Mall, ok?"

The pair stopped to check out an airspeeder for the day and then left the SFC base. Wes headed for the nearest Wal*Mart, and, luck of the Force, found a parking spot relatively close to the door. Entering the store, they were greeted by the aging Coruscantian Door Greeter. "Welcome to Wal*Mart, folks. Can I point you in a direction?"

"No thanks," Wes peered at the man's name badge, "Kristoph, we know exactly what we need!"

Kristoph nodded. "Well then, you folks have a nice day and thanks for shopping at Wal*Mart!"

Wes steered them towards the perfume counter. "Now Wedge, I'm going to show you exactly how women should be approached, I'm going in under the guise that I am shopping for perfume for my mother's Life Day. Watch the master at work. Plant yourself somewhere close by, but don't make it obvious that you are listening in. When I'm done, I'll wait by the magazine counter over there for you."

Wedge took up a position near the end of the counter where he could both watch and listen to Wes; he pretended to be absorbed in the multitude of bottles and scents that were on display.

Wes approached the counter and sought out the gorgeous brunette female he had seen working behind the counter earlier in the week. "Excuse me, miss?" The clerk turned, and Wes saw that her name was Pandora. "Yes sir, how can I help you today?" she asked, putting on a Wal*Mart smile. Wes flashed her his sexiest grin. "I am hoping you can. My mother's life day is in two days, and I want to get her some perfume. It has been a while since I have seen her, and I have forgotten what her favorite scent is."

Pandora blushed slightly and keyed in a code that opened the perfume showcase. "Well, I will definitely see what I can do. Let me show you some of our more popular scents. Wes smiled and laid a hand on top of hers. "Thank you so much, I really appreciate it." Pandora blushed deeper. "You are quite welcome, I'm here to help!" she murmured. Pulling out three bottles, she picked up the first one. "This is called 'Lover's Embrace' by Kelvin Clone. It is actually my favorite one, and the most popular one we sell." She handed the bottle to Wes. He sniffed the sprayer. "You know, I can't really get the full effect without it actually being sprayed. Would you, ah, mind trying it on for me? It would help a lot," he said, flashing her the grin again. Pandora let out a soft giggle. "Well, I suppose it would be alright. You seem really dedicated to finding the right scent for your mother," she said. Wes sighed. "Yeah, she is the most important woman in my life right now. She has helped me through some tough times. My mother is my whole world - that is, until I find that right girl and decide to settle down. Then, she'll be my whole world." Wes smiled almost shyly as Pandora sprayed the perfume on her small wrist.

"You mean to tell me that a handsome, charming young man such as yourself has not yet been snagged by some lucky girl?" She held the wrist up for Wes to smell.

He took her hand gently in his, and inhaled the perfume that clung to her delicate wrist. "No, unfortunately not. My last relationship was very bad, and I am having a tough time getting over it, even though it ended more than two years ago. This woman just hurt me so deeply, and betrayed my love with one of my closest friends." Wes lowered his head and sniffed slightly.

Pandora put her hand on his cheek. "Oh, you poor dear! That was absolutely awful of her!"

Wes looked into her intense green eyes. "Yes. When I left to join the Alliance, we had been going together for almost a year. I would go home and visit her on leaves, but they were few and far between. On my last visit home, I found out that she was carrying on an affair with my former best friend. I ended the relationship then and there. Since then, I have dated a few women, but none of them have seemed right for me. I really like that one. Can I sample another?"

Pandora shook her head, disengaging her eyes from Wes'. "I'm sorry?"

Wes smiled, "The perfume. I like the scent. It smells wonderful on you, but I don't think it is quite right for my mom. It seems a little 'young' for her, you know what I mean?"

Pandora smiled in return. "Oh, sure. Let me see. Ah. Here. This one is favored by our middle-aged customers." She cleaned the Lover's Embrace off her wrist and sprayed the other on. "This one is called "Corellian Lilly" by Esteban Looder." She once again raised her wrist for Wes to smell.

"Perfect! She'll love it. I'll take a bottle. No, make it two," he said, turning her hand over in his and kissing the back of it.

Pandora giggled, "Sure. I'll ring them up for you, sir."

"Wes."

"I'm sorry?"

"My name is Wes. Please, call me Wes."

"Certainly Wes. Your total comes to 75 credits." Wes pulled the money out of his wallet and handed it to her. While her back was turned to him, Wes gave Wedge a grin and thumbs up. She turned around again, and handed Wes his receipt and the bag containing the perfume. "Here you go Wes. I hope your mother likes it."

Wes grinned again. "I have a feeling she'll love it. And, Pandora, thanks again for all your help!"

She giggled. "You're welcome. Have a great day!" She replied and began replacing the other perfumes back in the showcase.

Wes turned to leave, then, as if having second thoughts, turned back around to face her. "Say, do you think, oh, never mind. Forget it."

Pandora gave him a confused look. "What? Do I think what," she asked.

"I was wondering if maybe you'd like to have dinner with me some time this week. I'll be stationed here on Coruscant for a while, and you seem like a really nice girl, and I'd love to get to know you." Wes asked, pretending to shyly look at his feet, then letting his flashing blue eyes return to hers.

Pandora blushed again. "Sure. I'd love to. You see like a very interesting person. Here, let me give you my number at home. Call me any time, ok?" Pandora scribbled her number on a piece of scrap flimsy that was laying on the counter and handed it to him.

Wes tucked it carefully in his pocket. "Thank you. I will definitely give you a call. And, Pandora, thanks again."

She smiled. "No problem, Wes, and I look forward to your call!"

Wes smiled, almost giddily as a schoolboy and turned away from the counter, and walked to the magazines to wait for Wedge.

Pandora approached Wedge. "Hi! How are you today? Is there something I can help you find?"

Wedge was startled out of his thoughts on how Wes made talking to and picking up women so easy; looking up at Pandora “Uh, no thank you,” he stammered, “I’m just looking.” Turning away from the counter, he made his way to the magazine section of the store and where Wes was waiting for him.

Wes smiled and put down the copy of "Blasters and Blast Cartridges" that he had picked up. "Well, Antilles, shall we?" Wes led Wedge back out the front of the store. "See you folks later!" Kristoph said as the two Rogues walked out of the store. Wes gave him a salute.

They found their speeder in the multitude of vehicles in the parking lot. "Ok - we're off to the next SuperCenter. I hope you took good notes. I want you to try out what I just showed you. OK?" Wes looked over at Wedge, knowing his friend would be blushing and cringing right about now. “Do you think you can do it," Wes asked as they pulled in the parking lot.

They got out and headed to the door. "It's going to be a piece of ryshcate." Wes stepped through the sliding door. "Just remember what I told you. I'll take up a place by the perfume counter and listen."

“Sure, ah notes, uh ha,” Wedge said in a quiet voice to himself; his next comment was directed towards his friend, “Well Wes, here goes nothing.” Taking a deep breath and swallowing hard, Wedge stepped up to the perfume counter about two meters from where Wes was watching and listening. Wrinkling his nose and pretending to engross himself in the vast array of bottles and scents, Wedge finally picked up a sampler bottle in the shape of a Mon Calamari sea creature in iridescent blues, purples, greens and mother-of-pearl.

As he turned it over in his hands and brought it towards his nose to sniff, he was interrupted by the sales clerk’s “May I help you sir?” Startled, Wedge looked up to find a petite auburn haired young lady about his age or maybe a little older, “Uh, um sure,” he stammered as his eyes darted around to find Wes, “Uh, my sister’s L-life Day is coming up in about a w-week and I’m trying to find something special f-for her and, uh, I really like the looks of this bottle and was wondering what this one smelled like.”

Taking the bottle from Wedge, she spritzed some onto the inside of her left wrist than briefly waved her hand around for it to dry before presenting to Wedge to sniff. Instead, Wedge gave her a curious look and shook his head not quite comprehending that she wanted him to smell the perfume on her to get its full effect; finally, remembering the clerk did the same thing for Wes at the last store, Wedge gently took her wrist in his hand, lowered his nose and tentatively sniffed – looking back up at her he gave her a typical lop-sided Corellian grin, “That smells nice, clean and fresh, sort of like the air at the oceans of Corellian after a cleansing rain - I think she would like it.”

“You have one lucky sister,” the young lady replied, “and you have excellent taste – this is one of our most popular scents – would you like me to gift wrap it for you?”

“Ah, sure, that would be fine.”

“So are you from Corellia – you sound like you have a bit of a Corellian accent,” the sales clerk said as she bent down to retrieve an unopened box, “I spent some time there when I was younger. By the way, my name’s Solaria,” she continued as she wrapped the perfume.

“I-I was born on Corellia and raised on Gus Treta w-where my parents ran a refueling station,” Wedge replied, “and you can call me Wedge,” the young pilot said as a slight blush tried to creep up into his face.

“Wedge. I like that name. It’s unique just like you,” Solaria said as she handed him the gift-wrapped container and directed her deep green eyes to his dark brown ones. “I’m not usually so forward, especially with men I have just met but there’s just something about you – would you care to meet me for a drink sometime?”

Blushing furiously, Wedge looked around for Wes and help.

Wes was concentrating on listening to Wedge interact with the clerk, and trying not to look like it. He caught the tail end of the conversation, just as he was finished talking to the other clerk at the counter, a tall human female with wildly colored hair.

Wes saw Wedge looking for him, and from across the counter, Wes caught his eye. He made a calming gesture with his hands, and nodded his head furiously. "Say yes!" he mouthed. "Ask for her number!" He shot Wedge and encouraging thumbs-up. Wes took a deep breath and exhaled gently just as the wild-haired clerk returned with a different scent of cologne. He hoped Solaria wouldn't realize that he was here helping Wedge. She was quite attractive and looked like a nice girl. Wes found himself clutching the counter in anticipation.

"Say Wes, I found this one last bottle that you wanted. I was lucky to have found it. We sell out of it like crazy. Do you want to go ahead and take it?"

"Yeah, Galaxia, wrap it up," he said, trying to see what would happen next.

Galaxia gave Wes an odd look and began to wrap the bottle of men's cologne. She laid a hand on top of his and leaned to whisper in his ear. "Say, Wes dear, you seem a little distracted, you aren't paying as much attention to me as you usually do. What's going on?" She caught his gaze, and followed it to Wedge. "Why are you watching that guy? He looks familiar."

Wes moved his head so he could see around hers, "That's my best friend Wedge – we’re squadronmates back at SFC - he's always had a tough time meeting women and he asked me to help him learn to conquer his fear of the opposite sex. I figured I'd give him a situation, show him how it's done, and let him have at it," Wes shrugged, "He's doing well so far, except that your co-worker threw him a twist when she asked him to go out for drinks. I told him to ask for her number. Well, let's see what happens." Galaxia turned her body slightly and began to intently watch the conversation. "No!" Wes hissed. "Watch, but don't make it look like you're watching. Act like you're going to show me some more stuff." Galaxia complied.

Wedge blanched when Wes mouthed to him to ask Solaria for her number, he had never asked as girl for anything like that in his life: breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly through his nose to help calm himself, Wedge looked down at the counter and then up to the sales clerk, “A-a-ah, would you mind giving me y-y-your number so that I ca-ca-can call you – I-I have to check wh-what nights aren’t my duty n-nights.”

Solaria pick up a scrap piece of flimsy and quickly wrote down her number, “Are you with the military, Wedge,” she asked as she wrote.

“Uh ha, I-I mean yes – I’m an X-Wing pilot with Starfighter Command,” he answered, gaining some confidence now that they were on a subject that covered familiar ground and that he was passionate about but still unable to quell the churning of his stomach that was being caused just by speaking on a personal level with Solaria.

“Cool, I just love pilots,” the young lady cooed to him as she handed Wedge the flimsy with her number on it and rang up his purchase, “Call me soon, ok – you’re cute.”

Wedge paid her for the perfume - his face taking on a slightly redder color - took the piece of flimsy and picked up the gift wrapped bottle of perfume he had picked out to give to Mirax Terrik, who was the closest thing he had to family outside of SFC, the next time he saw her. “I-I-I’ll call you as soon a-a-as I see the duty r-r-r-roster,” he stated and began to turn away.

Solaria reached out and grabbed his wrist before he could move and drew him close to her – she than proceeded to give him a kiss on the lips, “Just so you remember to call me,” she whispered before letting him go, “I really want to go out with you.”

Blushing furiously, Wedge resisted the urge to run from the store – instead he walked quickly towards the exit fighting the urge to throw up.

Galaxia clutched Wes' hand. "Oh, that was so cute!" she whispered.

Wes grinned as Wedge bolted from the counter, looking as he was going to vomit then and there. He gave a small laugh. "Yeah, it was." Wes picked up his bottle of cologne. "Thanks, Galaxia honey. Say, how about the four of us go out to dinner? I'll have Wedge call Solaria later. Whadda ya say?" Wes gave her a sexy smile.

Galaxia blushed. "Ok Wes darling. That sounds wonderful!"

Wes leaned over the counter and kissed her on the cheek. "Ok. I'll call you later," he said, giving her a wink.

Wes followed Wedge out of the Wal*Mart, and met up with him just as Wedge was fixing to bolt out the front doors. Wes clapped Wedge on the shoulder. "Good job buddy! I am impressed! You did well! That blush thing at the end was good. Something I've never thought about doing!"

Wedge gave Wes a side-long glance as he continued to hurry out the doors of the store and to their speeder fighting his gut the entire way: just as he made it to their parking place he lost his fight and his stomach rebelled offering what little he had had to eat for breakfast up to the world. Between heaves he managed to croak out “What blush thing?” Several minutes later, his stomach back under control, he keyed the remote entry lock to the speeder and sat down in the driver’s seat his forehead resting on the steering controls.

Wes laughed, then gave his friend a concerned look. "Wedge? Are you better now that you have displayed the contents of your stomach to the entire planet? Maybe I should drive. Oh, the blush thing. You blushed slightly when you were talking to her, I think that is what prompted her to kiss you. Women love it when men show their sensitive side but don't let the blushing get out of hand. Too much blushing might show her that you are easily embarrassed and lack confidence." Then Wes grinned, "Ok, I think that we have had enough fun for one day. You have successfully proven to me that you can talk to and pick up a woman. The next step will be covered in Wes Janson's How to Act on a Date 202. Let's head back to the base and get started." Wes slid into the passenger's seat. "But first, can we go through a drive through? Like maybe some Endwa from McCorell's. I just love the way it slides down your throat. Mmmmmmmm," Wes said, wiggling his eyebrows at Wedge.

“Yeah, I feel a bit better – I just don’t understand why I had that reaction, I mean, I have been in situations that are much more stressful and tense but…” he turned his head and shot a glare at Wes, “What do you mean ‘lack confidence?’ Let’s see her go up against TIE fighters that out number her squadron three to one and come out alive. I can’t help it if I blush – easily or not.” Wedge sat up straight, “I’ll drive, it will help me clear my mind,” he said as he inserted the key card and started the engines. “Getting something to eat sounds like a plan,” he continued as he backed out of the parking space and sent the speeder into forward, “McCorell’s it is.” Wedge drove in silence for a few minutes; as they pulled into the drive-through lane at the fast food joint, “What’s that you were saying about ‘How to Act on a Date 202’? What date?”

Wes laughed, "Yeah, a date. You know, dinner, take in a holopic at the cinema. Now that you have secured the mission target, you have to act upon the information received. It's just flat out rude not to call a woman, especially after she was as insistent as Solaria was."

Wes looked over at Wedge as they pulled up to the order box. "I want a large order of Endwa and an order of mealbread chips, a mounder potato rice, ooh, and a Fringe Cake. And, umm…a fizz-pop to drink."

Wes waited while Wedge pressed in their order selections to the interactive menu.

"You know, dating is almost like forming a battle plan. You have small engagements, dinner, the holopic, mêlées, meeting her parents, dogfights, stuff like that. You are essentially working towards one goal -- marriage. Now, I'm not saying that you have to marry this girl, she may not be right for you. There are many battles to be fought, and hearts to be conquered." Wes pulled credits out of his pocket to pay for their meal. "So, what say we head back to base, take the food to our quarters and I'll show you how to appropriately act on a date... in public... with a woman."

Taking the credits from Wes, Wedge paid for their meals, “Want to check to make sure everything is there before we leave,” he asked handing the bags to Wes while he waited on their Fizz-pops. “There should be a stega steak burger with no tomatoes, onions and extra pickles, Ralltiirian fried tubers and ryshcate for me.” Taking the drinks from the drive-through window attendant, Wedge set them in the cup holders between the two front seats and dropped the change into the center console. After Wes told him that their orders were complete and confirmed that there were no tomatoes on Wedge’s burger, Wedge eased the speeder back into traffic and proceeded to the base and their shared quarters just minutes away.

He did not say much until after he had parked the speeder and they were in their room; placing their food on the bedside table that separated his and Wes’s bunks, Wedge sat down on his bed, “So you figure dating is like following a battle plan, huh? I can do that but there is no way in the Seven Hells of Corellia that I am going to be working my way towards marriage. Dating is a scary enough idea.” Picking up his burger and taking a bite, “You aren’t thinking of sending me on my first date all by myself are you? No matter how good the ‘battle plan’ might be you know you never send a rookie out on his own for the first time.”

Wes laughed and dug his food out of the bags. "Yeah, Wedge, I'm gonna stick you all by yourself with a woman, then ask you to eat and carry on an intelligent conversation," he rolled his eyes, and stuck a piece of Endwa in his mouth, feeling it slide down his throat after he chewed and swallowed. "What you are going to do, Wedge, is call Solaria tomorrow, ask her out to dinner and a holo for Friday night. After it is confirmed, I am going to call Galaxia and we are going to join the two of you and play chaperone."

Continue in Part Four