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A Discerning Eye


Disclaimer: I own nothing.


"Just ask her to dance," Wolf Taylor said to Eric Miller, one thick arm draped around his shoulders.

"You think?" Miller questioned. As always he was eager and willing to take whatever advice the dark-eyed Australian E.O.D Specialist gave him about pretty much anything.

"You've got this," Wolf said.

Apparently needing more encouragement, Eric Miller's attention shifted to Lieutenant Carlton Burk. "You got this," the Tac Team leader echoed, slapping the younger guy encouragingly on the back.

Still uncertain, Miller gave the petite little blonde a doubtful look. "Maybe when the song changes," the kid said.

Having watched this display for the last few minutes, Tex Nolan finally decided maybe he should offer some advice of his own. Miller had looked like the idea of asking the blonde girl to dance was terrifying. And he highly doubted the fact that basically all that'd been playing since they walked in was sixties jazz and rock had anything to do with it. Miller had told Tex his mother taught him to dance when he was a kid.

"Not that one," Tex interjected.

Miller turned just in time to see Tex stand up from the stool he'd been perched on on the other side of the pool table waiting for Burk to take his shot.

Tex sauntered over and handed Wolf the pool cue he held in his hand, inserting himself between him and the kid. Tex laid his own arm over Miller's shoulder and tapped him lightly on the chest.

"That's the one," Tex said. He nodded his head toward a brunette sitting on a stool at the other end of the bar. She sat with one leg bent across the stool and her other hanging down. Eyes on a computer screen, she absentmindedly swayed her shoulders in time to the beat of Come A Little Bit Closer by Jay and the Americans.

Miller's attention darted back to the blond before he gave Tex an uncertain look.

"Hey kid, who are you going to listen to? These yahoos?" he questioned. gesturing in the general direction of the other two. He lifted his beer to his lips and took a sip before he went on, "or a man who knows women?"

Miller's attention shifted to Wolf Taylor again.

"Go ahead," Wolf said, arms folded over his chest, his dark eyes twinkling doubtfully. "I'd like to hear this myself."

Tex met Wolf's amused gaze briefly, lifting his chin in reply before he said, "hey, eyes on me."

He followed it up moments later with, "Don't even look at him." Then Tex went a step further and turned Miller so he couldn't see Wolf anymore. "Look at her and tell me what you see."

Miller turned his head and looked directly at her.

"Don't let her see you looking at her," Tex chastised. "Do some recon."

After a moment of watching her out of the corner of his eye, Miller observed, "she's distracted and comfortable."

The kid's words sounded more like a question than a statement. Apparently all of his tactical training didn't apply to the fairer sex.

"Good. Now what else?"

The brunette's attention moved from the computer screen as she scribbled something down on a piece of paper. She folded one arm over her chest when she finished and began twirling the pencil between her fingers.

When Miller didn't reply Tex spoke, "you know what I've noticed. She hasn't looked at any of us more than twice, not even Wolfman over there." The twinkle in his eyes grew when he saw Wolf's lifted brow. "That tells me she's looking for more than a handsome face and a pretty accent."

A smile curved up Tex's lips when the kid said, "maybe she's not looking for anybody."

"Maybe not, but you're just looking for a dance."

"Women are like whiskey," Tex began, ignoring the snorts of laughter coming from close by. "Some are cheap and some are expensive. They all burn going down. Sometimes it's pleasant, sometimes it's not. And all will do the job but you need a discerning eye." Tex paused to make sure Miller was paying attention before he went on.

"Price doesn't matter so much if you know what you're looking for. You want something smooth or aged to perfection. Something full bodied, that slips across your tongue like honey and will leave you warm but stays aloof so you're always wanting another sip. With the right one, all you have to do is look at the bottle and it'll make you feel warm. Pick the wrong one and she'll bite ya and leave you feeling sick."

An image of Doctor Rachel Scott filled Tex's head, making his chest grow painfully tight for a second. Rachel Scott had definitely been the finest whiskey Tex had ever come across. One kiss had been all it had taken to show Tex he would never want another bottle the rest of his life. And no amount of time would ever change that. The ache in his chest intensified.

Tex forced the image of Rachel's face from his head and the ache with it. He reminded himself he was only partly joking around when he started this. The scantily clad blonde girl with way too much makeup on, had been looking and watching but he was pretty certain it was Wolf that had her attention. If she did dance with the kid, it would just be a way to get closer to Wolf. The brunette, however, hadn't given any of them more than a passing glance and a friendly smile when they walked in. In fact, he hadn't seen her speak a word to anyone all night besides the conversation that she seemed to have going on with the old guy tending the bar.

As if on cue, the older gentleman threw the towel in his hand over his shoulder and leaned against the bar, drawing the dark-haired girl's attention, and said something. A bright smile slowly appeared on her face and lit her pale green eyes, transforming her already pretty features.

"See that?" Tex encouraged. "That smile. And those eyes, whoooooo. Smooth as Tennessee Whiskey or an aged single malt scotch."

One glance at Miller told Tex the kid had noticed.

"What do I say?" the kid asked doubtfully.

"Well, you could always ask her why they call Missouri "The Show Me State?"

After another few seconds, a red faced Miller lifted his beer to his lips, draining the remainder, and walked away. His steps turned almost hesitant as he approached the bar.

"Why do they call it the "The Show Me State?" Burk questioned a few seconds later.

Tex continued to watch Miller thinking for a second he would chicken out, then she looked up at him and that same startling smile appeared on her face. "Hell if I know," Tex said as he turned around and headed back to the pool table. "I always figured they called Oklahoma "The Sooner State" because the sooner you got out of there the better. So maybe Missouri is "The Show Me State" because people want to hurry up and see the other side of it."

Thanks for reading!

Author's Note: Hey y'all, I had this almost overwhelming need to write something for this fandom by times over the last year. And this is short and not what I had envisioned when the muses started bouncing around again a few days ago, but it felt fun!

This is set somewhere around the end of season two, obviously before wolf leaves to go back to Australia. Maybe a month or so after the end of season two. Also sorry if anything or anyone is out of canon. I haven't really watched the show in a while.

I hope you all enjoyed!