I want to start by saying a big THANKS to all you ladies who tossed out ideas to help feed the Muse.

As always, thanks to TAE for the beta.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of The Sentinel. However, the old Army Sweatshirt was spawned by my imagination. I make no money from these stories, just warm fuzzies and feedback.

Chapter 9: What is Needed


Jim actually waited for the knock before he opened the door. "Megan, it's about ti... Rhonda? I didn't know you were coming."

At the mention of their favorite secretary's name, everyone turned towards the door. As one they all shouted, "Rhonda!"

Megan ushered the other woman inside, "See, I told you the guys would be glad to see you."

Blair walked by with his arms full of goodies for the gang gathered to watch the Jag's game. "Of course. Come on in. Have a seat and grab some munchies"

All the members of Major Crime came over to greet the new arrivals.

"Hey, Rhonda, I thought you had a hot date tonight with whatshisname?"

"Yeah, I thought you and he were going to dinner and such?"

Simon moved in and rescued his secretary. "Now, now, give her room to breathe."

He helped her over to the couch. "What do you want to drink? We've got beer, soda, juice, and if we don't have what you want, Sandburg will go on a store run."


Jim smacked the grad student on the head, "Quit your bitching and be nice to Rhonda."

"Yeah, she has to put up with us all day. She deserves a break," H put in from his place on the other couch.

Rhonda smiled at her co-workers, "Thanks, guys. Eric called and said that he needed to do some stuff for work." She gave half a smile and sighed, "I'm beginning to rethink our relationship"

The members of Major Crime gathered around to console her. Megan handed her friend a glass of soda, "That's why I dragged you here. You looked like you needed to hang out with friends tonight." The Aussie leaned closer and continued in a stage whisper, "and if hanging out with these guys doesn't make your other trouble seem small, then nothing will."

Rhonda actually chuckled at this, "You mean they're worse outside of the station?"

Megan nodded.

"Gentlemen, I think we've been insulted," Simon stated.

"Nah, I just call them as I see 'em," Megan retorted.

"And on that note," Jim said as he grabbed the remote and switched the game on, "I think it's time for some basketball."

Everyone settled down to watch the game. Soon, the Jags were up by fifteen points. The detectives were mildly surprised at how knowledgeable the secretary was about the sport. She soon forgot about her broken date and her soon to be ex-boyfriend. The new rookie, Van Buren, stole the ball and made a fast break for the basket. He passed the ball off to Olson, who went up for a slam dunk.

The loft was on their feet cheering.


"Now THAT'S basketball!!"

"Way to go!"

High fives were exchanged and the first party foul was committed.

"Ah! Oh, no."

"Oh, crap, sorry Rhonda."

In his excitement, Rafe had spilled his beer on Rhonda's blouse. Blair rushed to the kitchen to get towels and supplies to clean up the mess.

"Don't worry about it, Rafe. It'll clean." Rhonda dabbed at the stain with the towel that Blair handed her. "Besides, it was a present from Whatshisname."

"You lucked out then, Rafe," Jim said as he made a trip to the kitchen with the empties.

The other team had called a time out so the crew set to straightening up a bit, hoping to avoid another party foul.

"I'm really sorry. I'll get it cleaned. I know a really good place. They've been able to get out all the stuff that I get into with H. They even got out the stain from the pumpernickel incident."

"Hey, I thought we were never going to mention that, again?" H asked.

Rafe began taking off his shirt so that Rhonda would have something dry to wear for the rest of the evening.

"Hey, Rafe, you do realize that Sandburg and I do have several dry and clean shirts here at the loft?" Jim pointed out softly.

Rafe blushed as Jim's statement registered.

"Yeah, Rhonda, you can change in my room. Just grab a shirt out of the middle drawer."

Rhonda disappeared into the downstairs bedroom and the gang sat back down to watch the rest of the game. A short time later Rhonda emerged and put her soiled blouse by the door, grabbed a new can of soda and sat back down on the couch.

Jim did a double take when he saw Rhonda sit down. He nudged Blair.

Blair almost choked on his juice when he looked in the direction that Jim indicated. The grad student leaned over and whispered to the captain, "Hey, Simon. Look at what Rhonda's wearing."

Simon gave Blair a look, then did as instructed. He let out a rare belly laugh when he did so. "HA HA, I love your choice in attire, Rhonda. Who's your tailor?"

Rhonda looked down at the borrowed shirt, "What? This old thing? Oh, it's just something I tossed on."

Jim just shook his head and smiled.

Blair was grinning from ear to ear.

Rhonda became a bit more serious as she continued, "Though I never figured you for the Army type, Blair."

The rest of the game passed without incident, ending with a buzzer beater that put the Jags up by one. With the game over and the celebration taken care of, everyone began getting out the poker supplies.

While the others chatted, Blair took Rhonda aside, blushing slightly as he tried to explain that the old Army sweatshirt was actually Jim's.

Rhonda just smiled, "well, whoever it belongs to, it's just what I needed."

Chapter 10

Chapter 8


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