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Subject: Measuring up

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Date Posted: 14:22:48 03/27/08 Thu

Measuring Up
Pairing: Jen/men
Disclaimers: The characters of JAG are the property of Donald Bellisario and Bellisarius Production, Inc. Used without permission. No copyright infringement intended. May be reproduce if unchanged, author given full credit, and no financial transaction is involved.
Summary: Jen wonders why she is still attracting the undesirables.

Good feedback is good for one’s soul and everyone’s happiness.

story #23

part 1

1030 hours
23 Dec
Gunny's Apartment

Gunny sighed with relief as he entered his apartment. It had been over two years since the last time he was home. He was home for the holidays and an extended leave. One didn't use much leave when one was in combat or doing undercover work for the CIA.

He had three months before he had to report back for his next assignment. He wondered what he would do with all this free time. The last time he had this much free time was twenty years ago, the first time he left the marines to become part of the sheriff's department.

Maybe, if he was lucky enough, he would find a young lady to spend some quality time with. He had received a surprise invitation from the Roberts to attend their annual Christmas Eve Party. They usually invited many people from the office. Maybe one of them would be a young petty officer.

He decided he would go into JAG and visit with Jason Tiner to get the scope of the land. Jag being a headquarters unit, turnover was quite small. Many of the officers stationed there were lawyers. Washington was the place for them to further their careers. There were many connections to be made and people to suck up to.

There was a little more turn over with the enlisted. Many of them were young people looking to make money so they could go to college, find a career, or to find themselves. They usually were there only for a year or two.

Fortunately there were many older enlisted personnel who stayed around for many years. One such person in particular came to mind, his good buddy Jason Tiner. When he first met him he thought Jason was a young naive squid who didn't have a clue about the military.

He found out later that looks could be misleading. Jason was a very bright individual who would help anyone who was in need of assistance. He was a very able petty officer who took very good care of the Admiral. He was also very capable of working the Admiral too.

He decided he might as well go to JAG and see if Jason wanted to do lunch. They could catch up and see what was happening around JAG. There were many questions that he would like answers to.

1200 hours
JAG Headquarters

An hour later Gunny walked into the bullpen. It seemed like old times. It felt so good to be there. He looked around to see if he recognized anyone before he went looking for Jason. He whistled to himself when he saw her.

She was beautiful. She had a beautiful hourglass figure. Her hair was tied up behind her head in a fancy manner. She must have pretty long hair he thought. He saw her smile at one of her co workers. It was full and very beautiful. She appeared to be average height, maybe five' four" or five' five".

He was going to have to ask Jason who this beautiful creature was. He shook his head before walking over to where Jason was located. He smiled when he saw the extra stripe. He nodded his head in acknowledgement. It was about time.

He walked up to Jason's deck.

"I see you've been a good little squid." greeted Gunny.

"Gunny!" yelled Jason as he got up and walked around the desk to greet his old buddy. "How have you been? You look great!"

"Can't complaint. Life has been good. Saw a lot of action. Maybe we can do lunch and I can tell you all about it." replied Gunny.

"Sure Gunny, I need to let the Admiral know I'm going to lunch. How long are you here for?" asked Jason.

"Three months." replied Gunny as he took another look around the bullpen where he saw her now talking to Lieutenant Sims.

Five minutes later they were on their way. Gunny needed to know who the beautiful petty officer was. She looked like a Goddess to him. He decided to ask Jason about her.

"Who's the new petty officer Jason?" asked Gunny.

Jason looked on the direction Gunny was looking. He smiled, it was Jen. He waved to her as she waved back. She gave him a beautiful warm smile that would light up a dark room.

"That's Jennifer Coates. She's a real pistol. She saved Lieutenant Robert's life last year after he stepped on a land mine. Colonel MacKenzie brought her back here to Jag with her at the end of her tour on the Seahawk." smiled Jason.

"I heard about that. Is the Lieutenant alright?" asked a concerned Gunny. The Roberts were good people. They took special interest in the well being of all enlisted personnel.

"Yeah, he's fine. He lost half a leg, but he's recovered now. He's back full time, but on limited duty." replied Jason.

"Outstanding. By the way is the petty officer seeing anyone? Will she be at the Robert's holiday party?" asked an interested and inquiring Gunny.

"I don't think you can handle her Gunny, you're too old and ugly. Besides she doesn't care too much about marines. I think she once said something about them being stupider than a donkey's ass." smiled Jason as he nodded his head knowingly.

"We'll have to see about that." replied Gunny as they left the bullpen.

part 2

1800 hours
Robert's house

The next day everyone from Jag gathered at the Robert's house. It was so much larger than the Admiral's house. There was plenty of room for people to spread out in. They were all in different rooms.

Jen was in need of some refreshment so she decided to go out to the kitchen to get something to drink and bring out another platter of goodies for everyone to snack on. She was about ready to go back when Mikey Roberts walked into the room.

She had met him a couple of years ago. He seemed kind of dorky back then, but he seemed like a nice kid. He seemed out of place back them. It was like he was trying to find himself like she was. Did they belong in the Navy?

But now he appeared to look like a total loser. He seemed to be angry with life. She didn't know why. She had heard from Harriet that he was at the academy. Did they kick him out for being too stupid? Did he do something wrong? That was his rap sheet while he was in the regular Navy.

"Hi Jennifer, what you got cooking?" asked Mikey trying to be cool.

Jen shook her head for a moment as she smelled the odor of beer on his breath. She wondered when he had started drinking beer. The last time she was here Mikey was a virgin drinker, perhaps a virgin in real life too. What happened to him? He appeared to be more like his father Big Bud now.

"You're looking mighty fine tonight Jen. You want to go upstairs to my room to do some undercover work? It will be fun." smirked Mikey.

It had been a long time since he had a woman. At least he thought she was a woman. He had been pretty drunk that night. That was before he was an academy cadet, what woman could resist him now he thought?

Jen was ready to gag. What was wrong with him? There must be forty guests scattered throughout the house and he wanted to visit the 'Y'. What happened to cause such a nice dorky kid to become a slivering, slimy weasel. What was she going to do? She had to think of something.

Maybe she could get Bud away for a couple of minutes and tell him. She surely wasn't going to tell Big Bud or for that matter go anywhere near him. He might be proud of Mikey's behavior. Then of course you also had to worry about his wandering hands. They were quite quick for an old guy.

"Sorry Mikey, but I promised Harriet I would help her tonight. I don't have time for any espionage tonight. Maybe another time." replied Jen as she hurried out of the room with a couple platters of food.

1930 hours
Robert's apartment

An hour later Gunny saw Jen alone by the fireplace. She had been talking to another woman he didn't know. The other woman left for some reason leaving Jen alone. He thought it prudent to make his move before she came back if he was going to see any action tonight.

"Hello petty officer, my name is Victor, I'm a friend of Jason. You're looking mighty fine tonight if I may say so. Do you mind if I join you?" he asked as he sat down.

Jen sighed as Gunny sat down. She wondered if the universe was plotting against her tonight. Who was this man to come and invite himself into her personal space? If what he said was true, that he was a friend of Jason's, then he had to be military.

He couldn't be a squid, not with that poor excuse of a haircut. So that meant he had to be a marine who had just returned from a combat mission in Iraq or Afghanistan. Judging by the length of his hair he must have been working with a pseudo intelligence group, most likely the CIA.

The last thing she wanted to do was be with a marine, especially a horny one that hadn't seen any action in a long time. How was she going to get away from him? He looked like the kind that wouldn't give up very easily. He looked like he was the persistent type.

Jen quickly worked through her mind a strategy about how to deal with him. It might help to find out who he was and how he knew Jason. She looked around for Jason wondering where he was. She could surely use him now.

"How long have you been at Jag? asked Gunny not realizing that Jen had zoned out on him. What beautiful hair she had.

"Who are you?" asked Jen questionably in a tone that said you better explain yourself and why are you bothering me?

"My name is Victor Galindez. I'm a Master Gunny Sergeant in the Marines. I worked with Jason at Jag a couple of years ago." he answered with his best smile.

"How do you know me? I've never met you before?" asked Jen.

"I saw you yesterday at Jag when I was there visiting Jason." replied Gunny. "I asked him about you."

"Lucky me." she mumbled before continuing. "So what is it that you want Gunny?"

Jen looked around as if searching for a sign, a sign advertising that she was single and desperately in need of a man, any man. She hadn't been in the Roberts' house ten minutes before Mikey was hound dogging her, following her in an effort to engage her in meaningless conversation.

Then of course there was always Big Bud, Mikey and Bud's father, who thought himself a ladies man, a player. In reality he was a lonely old man looking for companionship.

Now she had to deal with this stranger name Victor. He had mentioned that he was a friend of Jason's and had been at Jag a few years ago. He was also a marine, an old one at that. He had to be at least twelve or thirteen years older than she was.

Did they all think she was so hard up to find a man that she would date any of them; the dork, the grand daddy, or daddy hard ass. She deserved better. She needed someone who was cute, funny, and considerate. She needed someone like Jason.

part 3

"So Gunny," began Jen.

"Victor." corrected Gunny.

"So what kind of man do you think I'm looking for Gunny?" asked Jen. She was letting him know that she thought of him as a marine, not a man she was interested in dating.

Gunny sighed realizing that it wasn't going to be easy to get Jen to trust him. It appeared that Jason might be right about Jen's aversion to marines. Maybe if he could paint the right picture, she would. Afterall he had a few sisters. They had shared with him what they all were looking for in a man.

"I think you want a man of action, a man who's not afraid to take chances, a man willing to sweep you off your feet." replied Gunny with a smile. He was describing himself.

"Maybe, but that's not what I meant." argued Jen.

"Oh, I see. You mean your dream guy." smiled Gunny. He knew there was an advantage to having many sisters.

"My dream guy is the same as every other woman, he's tall, dark, and handsome. You know someone like Commander Rabb. Do you think you measure up to him Gunny?" taunted Jen.

"He is a man of action, he has been known to take risks, and I'm sure he has swept many women off their feet." smiled Gunny.

"That he has Gunny. He and the Colonel make a lovely couple." confirmed Jen. "But that doesn't tell me whether or not you measure up."

"I don't think anyone can measure up to the Commander Jen. He's a living legend." replied Gunny.

"I meant physically Gunny, but I think you knew that. I think you would agree that you come up a bit short. I also have to realize that I don't measure up to having a man like the Commander. He deserves someone as beautiful as the Colonel." sighed Jen.

"You're a very beautiful woman Jen. Any man would be happy to have you as his own." argued Gunny.

Jen ignored his comment. She knew that even if what he said was true, it was a line any man would use to get a woman in bed with them. Besides this conversation wasn't about her. It was about getting Gunny to realize he wasn't the man for her.

She wondered how far she would have to go. She hoped he wasn't too dense after all marines weren't known to be very intelligent, the colonel being the exception. She didn't want to hurt him, she just wanted him to go away.

"I'll tell you what Gunny, I'll make it easy for you. If you can measure up to a particular petty officer we both know, then I might change my mind." smiled Jen. If Gunny didn't know whom she was talking about, then they didn't need to go any further.

Gunny wasn't sure what was going on now. Why would she need to change her mind? They were just beginning their little cat and mouse game. She might offer some resistance, but in the end she would decide to go out with him.

What did she have to change her mind about? Was Jason right about her not dating marines even before she got to know them? Did he have a chance of going out with her? Was he wasting his time? No, that wasn't possible. Spending time with a beautiful woman was never a waste of time.

"Do you think you can measure up to Jason? He's very sweet and attentive, he very cute and funny, and he has a great smile." Jen droned on.

Gunny was a little shock about how Jen was carrying on about Jason. Was she into Jason? Was there more going on between them than Jason let on? Jason was a nice kid, but who would want to be like him? He certainly didn't.

"So are you six feet tall?" asked Jen.

"No." answered Gunny.

"Do you have silky dirty blond hair that I can run my fingers through?" asked Jen.

"No." answered Gunny.

"Do you have eyes as blue as the sky on a sunny day?" asked Jen.

"No." answered Gunny.

"Are you younger than thirty five years old?" asked Jen.

"No." answered Gunny feeling a little depress.

"I'm sure you're Catholic, are you very religious?" asked Jen.

"Yes." answered Gunny.

"My father was a fire breathing hell raising preacher. He turned me off to religion. I was raise a Protestant, I don't date Catholics." declared Jen.

"I'm sorry Jen." said Gunny.

"You don't need to be sorry Gunny. I started believing again when Lieutenant Roberts survived stepping on a land mine. I also don't date marines Gunny. It kind of like religion. Religion is like one's culture. When you start mixing them, trouble is sure to follow.

You of all people know Gunny that Navy culture and Marine culture are two entirely different animals. They mix like oil and vinegar. It just wouldn't work. I'm sorry." finished Jen.

"I guess I don't fit that image either, but is it really that important Jen?" asked Gunny.

"It's not as if I'm looking to marry you. I'm looking to spend some quality time with someone who can appreciate what I've gone through the last two years." moaned Gunny.

"That's why I can't date you Gunny. I'm looking for a long term relationship. Jason may not be perfect, but he's the type of man I'm looking for. I know he would put me first above all else. He would always be there for me, he would do anything for me, and he would always love me." explained Jen

"I don't want slick talkers who promises you the moon, but are long gone before it's time to deliver. I just need a man who is kind and sensitive, a man who will just love me for who I am." sighed Jen as she finished.

"I have to agree Jason is all that. You couldn't find a better man. He's one lucky guy to be loved by you." replied Gunny admitting defeat.

"Well he has to ask me out first Gunny, but I'm sure that day is coming soon." sighed Jen.

"I promise you Jen, before I leave town Jason will ask you out or I'll kick his six all the way to Iraq." smiled Gunny.

the end

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