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Mating Rituals

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"My, my. Aren't we all piss and vinegar," muttered Beckett under his breath. McKay shot him a suspicious glare, but clearly hadn't picked up the words, though probably the meaning.

Not that Beckett had anything against McKay, on the contrary. It was just a little too easy and a little too much fun winding him up and watching him go. Or let one of the others wind him up. Since the accident-prone McKay spent an extreme amount of time in the infirmary, Beckett had the joy of watching him go on and on about the others not understanding him.

Beckett wondered who'd gotten McKay grinding his teeth this time. Probably Ford or Sheppard. Beckett was sure that Ford often did it on purpose, but he wasn't all that sure about Sheppard.

"Carson, pay attention," whined McKay.

Beckett sighed and smiled a little. "Relax, Rodney. It's just a scratch." He padded McKay's arm just above the dressing.

"A scratch? A *scratch*?" McKay looked as if he were about to start spewing fire and brimstone. It was almost an endearing look on the irate Canadian.

"Look, Rodney. I've dressed it and given you some mild painkillers." Shrugging as he put away his things, Beckett leaned close to McKay and asked in a serious voice. "I can't do anymore unless you expect me to kiss and make it better?"

The look on McKay's face was a priceless mixture of surprise and something else. Beckett's musings were broken off by the alarm and Dr. Weir's request for medical assistance in the control room.

With a muttered curse, Beckett pulled back, grabbing his emergency kit, knowing that his staff would follow him. Of course McKay followed as well, injury obviously forgotten.

Carson sighed as he sat back in the chair. These days emergencies seemed more the rule than the exception and sometimes he wondered what kind of a quiet life he could have lived had he stayed behind. Then again, life sure wasn't boring out here.

A small cough made him turn around and Beckett shot his visitor a tired smile.

"Rodney... don't tell me you need my services again," he joked in a low voice. It was getting late and his shift was theoretically over.

McKay coughed again at Beckett's words. "Eh... not really... though I was..." His hand brushed over the dirty dressing on his arm.

"Want a clean on?" Beckett asked with a smile. "Or can't you live without my company?"

McKay glared at him. "Do you think I get hurt on purpose?" he asked sourly.

"Well, flattering as it may be, as your doctor I have to advice against it."

McKay sputtered. "If you won't redress the wound then just forget it." With that he turned to leave.

Beckett rolled his eyes. "Don't be such a drama queen, Rodney. Sit down and let me have a look at it."

McKay huffed but nevertheless hopped up on the gurney Beckett was patting.

Carson smiled as he removed the dirty dressing. "So, have you eaten yet, Rodney?"

The Canadian shot him a suspicious look.

"Just wondering if you wanted company." Cleaning the injury, Beckett dressed it again.

"I um..." McKay looked a little flustered. The usual, at times overconfident attitude seemed to have taken a backseat to the more interesting side of the scientist. The side that never failed to intrigue Carson.

Beckett took a quick look around. The infirmary was mostly quiet and no one was paying any attention to them. Beckett made sure to block any interested eyes with his back as he leaned slightly forward.

"I did offer to kiss and make it better," he repeated his earlier offer as he leaned even closer, dipping his head to brush his lips over the dressing." But if you have other plans...?"

It might not be the best thing to offer in the middle of a base partly populated with military personnel, but Beckett had never been much for putting restrictions on himself. Besides, both he and McKay were civilians. Then again, maybe he was reading the other man wrong?

A quick look as he pulled back told him he had read McKay just right. A pair of darkened eyes met him and Beckett smiled innocently.

"Half an hour, my quarters?"

McKay nodded and a small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.



"Okay," McKay agreed before jumping down from the gurney.

"Half an hour," he shot over his shoulder as he left.

"Half an hour," Beckett repeated with a smile as he watched McKay leave. To think he sometimes regretted winding the man up for fun. Seemed it was just the right way to get through the man's walls. Beckett chuckled as he got ready to leave. Just his idea of a fun foreplay.

The End