Disclaimer: Praises to Angela Robinson for creating the wonderful world of DEBS!


Lucy Diamond's Guide to Dating

by Athena (a.k.a. Larceny at All Things DEBS)

Scud bellowed at Lucy, chasing her up the stairs. He did not appreciate her decision to cancel a date with a beautiful assassin. After all the hard work he invested into searching the underworld criminal dating database for candidates, and researching trendy—yet discreet—restaurants for her blind date, this was what he got? The nerve of that woman!No, this will not do. Not after spending so many hours designing such intricate, top of the line graphics to make it all so much more enticing.

"Lucy, come on, you gotta get out there."

"I am out there!"

After much further bickering, Scud managed to persuade Lucy to at least give the blind date a try. He only really had her best interests at heart, after all, and he ranted at her like a big brother would. Even if she claimed that she didn't need to get a date, he had to do something, or else her bitchy attitude would get increasingly insufferable, thus causing lower morale among the other henchmen. If anything, she at least needed a good lay.

Lucy stormed past her head henchman to get as far away from his supposed assistance. "Why are you being so persistent at this? It's not like I can't get women on my own!"

"And when was the last time you did that, huh, on your own?"

Lucy huffed and crossed her arms. "Why should I? You should know by now that they come to me and not the other way around."

"Well if you bothered to get out of the lair for a change, then of course they would."

"Wait a minute," she narrowed her eyes. "What's in it for you? You're never this aggressive about my love life or lack of one."

"What, can't a friend help another friend out?" He shrugged, only to receive a dry stare. "Okay, fine. I need a wing man, er, woman."

"That's ridiculous. You can get women just fine with or without my help."

"But I'm out of my game, what with me spending so much time to search for you all over till I found you in Antarctica."

"Reykjavik!"

"Whatever. Come on, who better to spot for me, but no other than the debonaire Lucy Diamond extraordinaire herself!"

Lucy narrowed her eyes.

"At least give me tips or a refresher course in seduction?"

She rolled her eyes in exasperation at his pleading eyes, then released a sharp breath. "Fine."

Lucy pulled over not too far from DEBS sorority house. Lucy shut off the engine and turned off the lights. She unbuckled her seat belt and was about to walk out when Scud grabbed her arm.

"This is insane," he said. "When I said go out there and meet women, I didn't say to date the enemy! She's out of your league, Luce."

"Pssh! No one is out of my league."

"She's a DEB!"

"Wait here."

"Lucy, I beg of you..."

Moments later, Scud sat in the back seat with the other blonde DEB. She looked rather cute, even with her pigtails. They added a certain... innocent factor—the kind you just want to corrupt with glee, except Scud wasn't out for corruption of any type. Well, not this early anyway. Now if only he could get her to stop glaring at him. It's not his fault that she got involved in all this. Like that would help any if he tried to explain.


Tip #1: Smile and Make Eye Contact

"It's simple enough, right? It's your first cue to get her attention and see if she might be interested. A simple and genuine smile will do more wonders than giving her a stupid pick up line. When you look at her, gaze a little longer than necessary, and if you look away, make it seem like you're reluctant to do so, even a little shy. If she lowers her lashes and gives you a coy smile back, chances are, you've already won the first round."

In the car right after abducting the two blondes, Scud glanced at Janet every now and then, giving her his most charming smile. She didn't seem too impressed, what with the crossbow pointed right at her and all. Realizing this, he moved it away just a bit. It didn't seem to remove the scowl and disgust that spread across her face. He sighed quietly and hoped for things to get better.

Lucy didn't seem to fare just as well, for he noticed that the blonde up in front sharply zipped up her track suit and crossed her arms. He looked at the rear view mirror and saw the her fume quietly, jaws set while looking out the window. Lucy, on the other hand, seemed unfazed by the situation. He noticed her glancing every now and then at the Perfect Score, till finally a corner of her mouth tilted up. He knew that mischievous glint in her eye; something was definitely brewing.

Lucy and Scud strode inside the Junk Pit as if they owned the place, and people parted the way automatically in awe. Moments later, things resumed back normal to the usual mingling, laughing, drinking, and dancing. Guys nodded or tipped their beers at them in deference, and some girls glanced over, whispering and giggling like little school girls.

Hanging around and observing Lucy for years had taught Scud a thing or two about exuding confidence. She didn't need to try to be confident, she just was. Somehow. How she did that, he wasn't so sure. Maybe it was all about her attitude. Maybe because her reputation, her dangerous aura, while eliciting fear, coupled by her undeniable charm was utterly seductive. She either stood or moved with purpose. She allowed people to approach when she wanted, or if she was interested, she gradually advanced on her 'prey'.

While Lucy got all the action, Scud was largely ignored since all attention was centered on his friend. However, he did get the occasional groupie or two, or the actual interested woman, except the interest was mostly one sided. He found them selfish and devoid of intelligence. In time, he found himself somewhat useless or even bored, yet he couldn't help but live vicariously through his friend. If only he could only find someone who didn't rob banks, take hostages, blew off buildings, and all that...

For once he wanted to try to get a companion, an equal, and to win her over all on his own. He wanted someone with brains, and not the underworld professional type who could execute your demise type of smart. For some reason, such girls did go after Lucy, though. Even bad girls attract other bad girls, and Lucy is the baddest of them all. That's far from what he wanted, except finding his ideal companion was rather difficult in the world where they lived in. Oh, what to do...

It's high time that Lucy, too, should quit with the groupies. She deserved far better and so

Before long, he spotted their 'guests' making their way around the floor, looking so out of place with their bright colored clothes amidst the dim light. They walked cautiously and seemed almost afraid to touch questionable people in dark garbs with their wild, drunken gesticulations. Scud motioned to Lucy in their direction, and without a word, she stalked over to the Perfect Score. Within seconds, she dragged the DEB towards a booth, which left him with the other blonde. He couldn't very well just leave her alone there, could he? She might do something drastic, like call her friends and alert them of being kidnapped.

Besides, she looks kinda cute. It wouldn't hurt to say hello, would it? He smiled to himself. Scud puffed up his chest and walked over. Here we go.


Tip #2: Body Language

"Your body can communicate all sorts of signals, just like smiles and eye contact. Make sure you're facing her as often as possible. If she faces you back, that's means she's also interested. Stand tall and still unless you're gesturing now and then, and most importantly, be smooth and project confidence."

Janet saw Scud approach. Immediately her back went straight and stiff, she crossed her arms, and her frown returned. She glanced at him briefly before darting her eyes around the room in assessment. She faced away from him, and despite subtleties to face her, she just kept moving away in another direction. He sighed and looked over to the booth in the corner and saw Lucy being her charming self, except the Perfect Score was turned away with her arms crossed, mimicking his present company.

What is it with blondes?

It became more and more apparent that the girl next to him seemed perfectly fine to remain silent. So he glanced over to check out Lucy's progress once more. This time, she looked like she was practically snarling! Now, Lucy can be a royal pain at times, but she's polite enough with her dates.

As several more minutes ticked by, he couldn't stand the awkward silence any longer. He started to fidget, put his hands in and out of his jeans pockets, shifted side to side and forward and back, and looked around a lot.

"Are you gonna just stand there all night?" said the blonde to his right, to his surprise.

"Well," he replied, standing to attention, "you looked like you just wanted to be left alone."

"Duh, of course I feel so alone." She rolled her eyes and looked over to the same booth. "My friend's over there in the corner with your friend doing who knows what. Maybe torturing her for information or something."

"Lucy wouldn't torture anyone! Not in the way they didn't like anyway," he snickered.

Janet gaped at him, appalled.

"It was just a joke!" Not really, but he held his hands up in defense anyway.


Tip #3: Make Her Laugh

"Another obvious but important technique. Make her laugh, and laugh at her jokes, but don't be so obvious or overdo it. It should feel natural. You're a funny, witty guy, on your good days, so use that to your advantage."

"I guess the phrase 'Come here often?' is definitely out of the question, huh?" Scud chuckled, only to be met with yet another dry stare. "I'll take that as a no. I'm Scud, by the way."

"Yes. I know," Janet replied, refusing a handshake.

"Oh?" Scud retracted his hand awkwardly to his side. He started to wonder whether she can go into any mode other than snippy or snarky. He was just being friendly after all. "It's only fair if you tell me yours, right?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"I don't have to tell you anything."

"It's not as if you're gonna tell me a government secret, right?"

"Oh yeah? Well, if you tell me your real name, then maybe I'll tell you mine." Scud paled at her reply. Pleased with herself, she added, "Come on, it's not like you're gonna tell me a criminal secret, right?"

"Touché. Alright, maybe I should just call you..." Scud paused for dramatic effect, looking upwards with his hand on his chin. "Pinky."

"Excuse me?"

"You look like the type to wear a lot of pink."

Janet gasped, suddenly remembering her abduction earlier. "Are you dissing my sweater?"

"W-what?"

"I'll have you know that that sweater—which your friend ruined—is one of a kind." She huffed. "There's nothing wrong with pink and I like it!"

"Okay, okay! I..." Scud cleared his throat and said with confidence (or so he hoped), "I have a pink shirt, too."

"Yeah, right."

"I'm serious. It has a gun on it even." Scud gave her a lopsided grin. "See? There's nothing wrong with pink. I think it's the new black. Most criminals are just too traditional to wear something other than black." He was glad to finally hear the other chortle. "Fine... Norton Jediah Burlington IV."

"Huh?"

"Now you know why I prefer to be called Scud." His brows knotted when Janet started giggling, which escalated gradually into hysterics. Sighing in resignation, he shook his said. "So now will you tell me yours?"

"Janet. Janet Cardigan," she replied proudly despite his raised brow.

"Nice to meet you, Pink... I mean, Janet."

"Back at ya, Nort... I mean, Scud." Finally, they shook hands with a smile.


Tip #4: Girls Love to Talk

"Find something she finds fascinating, especially something that she's passionate about, and engage her in a lively conversation. Oh, and girls like to talk about their feelings and stuff. If that's not really something you want to get into, just nod your head and say 'hmm' or 'uh huh' every so often and let her do all the talking. That way she thinks you're paying attention."

After a lengthy (and rather one sided) discussion about Janet's love of sweaters, Scud finally sighed in relief at the change in topic.

"So," Janet paused to take a delicate sip on her sippy straw, "what is it like to be Lucy Diamond's sidekick?"

"Hey, I resent that."

"Her henchman?"

"That's head henchman to you!" Scud smiled, also taking a sip of his Virgin Mary cocktail, which matched Janet's. "Actually, it's not that bad."

"Is it hard to be in Diamond's shadow all the time?"

"First of all, if it wasn't for me, there would be noLucy Diamond!"

"Oh? How's that?"

"I, I—"

"Do all her dirty work?"

"No."

"But you make them happen with your lowly henchmen."

"Well, yes, but—"

"Do you plan all her evil schemes?"

"They're not evil. Just a bit naughty."

"Uh huh. Do you fetch her coffee?"

"No, only whiskey. And not very often."

"Well then," Janet looked at him in triumph. "That makes you her sidekick."

"It does not! Hmph!" He turned to the bartender and ordered a beer.


Tip #5: The Triangle Technique and Subtle Touches

"When you're chatting, make sure to have a lot of eye contact. When I know she's attracted to me, I start that triangle technique, which I use a lot. You know, you look at her left eye, then travel slowly to her lips, linger there a little, then slowly turn your gaze back to her right eye. Repeat. If she follows your gaze and her mouth parts slightly, she'll think that you might want to kiss her. If you pull back, she'll think maybe you feel a bit embarrassed to have been caught staring at her lips. For now, tilt your head a little and lean forward just a tad as you gaze into her eyes. Otherwise, if you're feeling bold enough, go for the kill and lean forward some more till your lips touch.

"Oh, and whatever you do, you need to able to stimulate as many senses as possible. So find excuses to touch her, like her hand. Comment on her jewelry, or her hair. Definitely the hair."

"Is there something in my eye?" asked Janet.

"Huh?"

"My eye. Did my contact lens fall off or something?"

Scud's eyes widened a bit. "Oh, no, not at all. You, er, wear contacts?"

Janet nodded. After a moment, she asked, "Are my lips chapped?"

"Uh, I don't think so."

"Because you were staring."

"Was I?" Smooth, Scud, just smooth. "Say... Is that your natural hair color?"

Janet looked at him as if he had grown two heads. "Of course it is!"

"Oh. Sorry, just wondering. There's not a whole lot of true blondes out there these days." He sighed in relief when Janet nodded. "So what do you call that thing you did with your hair?"

"My hair?" Her brows knitted in confusion till she felt the side of her head. "Oh, they're pigtails. Haven't you seen them before?"

"Yes, I mean, no. Maybe. Well, not very often." Scud swallowed. Kill me now! "Um, can I touch it?"

"Why?"

"Just for the hell of it?"

Janet shrugged. "You're so weird."

After sliding his fingers down the braided lock of hair, Scud smiled a little. "Your hair is very shiny, er, nice."

"Thanks. I think..."

"So, um," he glanced down and spotted something on her arm. "You have quite a watch there."

"This? Every DEB has one."

"Really? It looks heavy."

"Yeah, but you get used to it."

"Is it like training for wielding a heavy gun?"

"I suppose, but we still wear them while wielding a gun."

"Ah. Can I see it?"

Again, Janet gave him a strange look, tilting her head with a little frown. "It's just a watch."

"Yeah, but I've never seen something so big. For a girl." Before Janet could object, he added, "Woman, I mean woman!"


Tip #6: Bond Through an Activity

"Find an activity you have in common, or introduce her to something exciting that she's never tried. Let her feel the rush of excitement and adventure, even danger or something nerve-wracking."

After the near-debacle of the hair and watch incident, Scud scanned the room desperately for a solution to recover from the situation. His eyes lit up when they stumbled upon a familiar sight.

"Hey, do you know how to play foosball?" he asked the pigtailed blonde.

"Not really... Is it fun?"

"Uh huh." Scud's chest puffed up. "It's like table soccer. I can teach you how to play if you like."

"Sure."

"Do you know how to play soccer? Or know about it anyway?"

"Yes."

"So as you see, the top of the table represents the soccer field."

"Ah, and the holes at each end are the goal posts?"

"You got it."

"What are these bars for?"

"They're used to control the 'players' of each team. We each have four bars."

"I see."

"You've got your goalkeepers on one bar, plus another bar next to it for your defense guys."

"Okay."

"Then there's the middlemen for trying to get the ball towards your attack guys on the fourth bar, which is closest to my goalkeepers. You rotate the bars to fight for the ball, even spin the handle when you feel like it. You with me so far?"

"I think so..."

"Okay, let's do a few test runs." Scud inserted a coin in the slot, which produced a ball. He grabbed it and showed Janet how to fight for the ball with the middlemen. Janet, being new, was not fast enough to grab the ball towards her players, so Scud directed the ball towards the attack men. "So you see how I am now in a position to—"

Slam!

"Woops, sorry!" Janet said with a cringe. "I was too early, wasn't I? Was I supposed to hit it like that?"

Scud grinned, surprised. "Uh, yeah, eventually when you've got the hang of it."

"Sorry, I just got a little excited."

"No, it's okay. It's a fun game after all. Ready for round two?" At Janet's nod, Scud inserted the next ball into the slot. They began to fight for it with the middlemen.

"So I do it like this, right?" Janet asked, moving her bars to and fro and switching between bars.

"Exactly. You're doing pretty g—"

Slam!

Janet jumped up and down with a girlish giggle. She clapped her hands and grinned at Scud.

Scud had to snap shut his gaping jaw. Eh, beginner's luck, he thought. He ran his hand through his hair and rolled up his sleeves. "Alright. Now that you seem to get the hang of it, let's get serious."

For the next fifteen minutes, the two battled it out. People started to crowd around them and place bets. Mostly on Janet. Ball after ball wooshed by Scud's men and plowed into the goal. Several games later, Scud grimaced as discreetly as he could as Janet squealed in victory. Again. He'd never felt so emasculated in his life. He gave a weak smile as she clapped her hands with glee.


Tip #7: Ask for her opinion

"While chatting, whatever she's discussing, casually ask her, 'How do you feel about that?'. It shows that you actually care to know what she thinks or feels."

"Is your friend hitting on my friend?" Janet asked all of a sudden.

"Hmm?"

She motioned her head to the couple in question.

"You're not wrong."

"Oh, no, Amy's not into that. Especially not Lucy Diamond."

He gave her a roguish glance. He stared with amusement at the surprise, wonder, confusion, and panic that washed across her face. Did she not see how Amy laughed at Lucy's jokes? How she would bite her lower lip and play with her yellow hair? Or sat a little too close to his friend, not seeming to mind that the brunette's arm hung over the booth as if staking claim. And—ha!—the blonde is now just in her t-shirt... without a bra! Looks like it's not only her body pointing towards Luce. He snickered and imagined slapping his friend on the back with pride.

"So what do you think about that?" Scud asked.

That broke Janet out of her stupor. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

"What if your friend actually likes Lucy?"

"No, that's impossible."

"You wanna bet on that?"

"On what?"

"Fifty bucks says your friend's interested in good ol' Lucy."

Janet glanced back at the two. She looked so helpless that he almost took it back. Then all of a sudden her face brightened. "I could use another sweater. You're on!"

Moments later, Scud looked Janet, who looked as if she had just swallowed a little foosball. "I'm just joking. You can keep the fifty bucks."

"I can't believe it!"

"Well, that's Lucy for you. She can make a girl join the other team."

Janet crossed her arms. "Not Amy. Amy's too good for her. She's a, a—"

"A lowly criminal?"

"Yeah! Er, no. I mean, well, she is, but..." Janet ran her fingers down her braids and bit her lip.

"It's okay," Scud reassured her. "We get that all the time. She's not that bad, though, once you get to know her."


Tip #8: The Drive Back

"When you take her home, keep her interested by continuing with a lively conversation and laughs. At this point, you should have her number or whatever. Don't ask for it, let her give it to you. That way, she'll be wondering why you didn't ask, and if she likes you, she'll give it to you herself."

An awkward silence reigned on the way back to the DEBS Top Squad house. Amy sat tense and seemed lost in her own little world. Lucy stared ahead in bafflement, wondering where she had failed in her otherwise flawless seduction scheme, which never ever failed! Scud and Janet, on the other hand, smiled amiably and got along just fine. In fact, Scud himself struck up a casual conversation about whether she'd done anything she wasn't supposed to. Janet mumbled something about stealing sweaters. That was a plus in his book!

Then they started chatting about computers, gadgets and technology, starting with that ridiculous 'crossbow' Scud had held earlier. In addition to the geek factor that bored Lucy and Amy to tears, the duo started to share a few private jokes about the two seated in front. At least that provoked a reaction, except it further irked and embarrassed Amy, and made Lucy glower at Scud. The intensity alone shut him up, but not for long, for he burst out snorting. He did feel terrible about interrupting what could have been a serious make out session in the booth, but there was nothing he could do now but suffer Lucy's eventual bitching.

Alas, Lucy dropped off the two DEBS near their house. While the brunette chased after Amy, Scud tried not to jump for joy when Janet gave him her email address. Suddenly feeling suave, he leaned his arm on the top of the car.

"Oh, I don't know. I'm a criminal and you're a cop," he said, earning a giggle. After a short while he feigned as if relenting and gave her his email address.

As Lucy fumed with disappointment, Scud danced a secret, happy jig in his head. It didn't matter that he didn't get a chance to exercise Tip #9 about The First Kiss, nor Tip #10, which involved getting inside her house and into her pants. Janet's too good for that; she seemed like the quality type of girl that made him feel like a complete gentleman. She deserved one after all, and he planned to woo her as best he could.

Once the initial giddiness abated, the tension of Lucy's blown ego filled the air to its fullest capacity. He rolled down the window as if letting out a noxious odor.

"What?" he asked, turning to his friend.

"..."

"Really, what?"

"So I take it things went well?" she asked bitterly.

"Uh, yeah. Almost didn't, though."

"I see."

A moment of silence passed.

"Um, Lucy...?"

"What?!"

Taken aback, Scud replied with caution, "I'm sorry about earlier. You know, at the booth."

Lucy only grunted, which made him wince. For once she actually found someone she was interested enough to not have to fake food poisoning. How long has been since they've been to the Junk Pit? Though, it's not exactly his fault that things turned out the way they did for her.

"It's just... Janet, she couldn't believe her friend would... So we made a bet and—"

"That's it!" The wheels screeched to a halt. "Get out."

"Huh?"

"I said, get out!"

"What the hell did I do?"

"You, you... you're walking home!"

"Why the hell for?" Next thing he knew, for the second time that night, Scud found himself in the cool night in some suburb in Los Angeles. He could have been supremely vexed at being left behind, but he was too busy being happy. He started walking and, with his fingers around his suspenders, started dreamed of hacking into the DEBS firewall, for once just to chat with Janet online. He dreamed of taking her out on a date, maybe bring her to a sweater shop afterward. He dreamed of someday showing her his high tech gadjets and top of the line computer system. He dreamed of gloating at Lucy. He

"Crap... where the hell am I?"

End


First posted on Dec. 2009 at All Things DEBS forum yuku . com

Yes, I know, this is Scud/Janet centric, but they deserve the spotlight, too. Lucy and Amy are still here, right?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!