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Rodney McKay and the Crazed Gay Yenta

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by chelle and The Grrrl

(Author's emails: thegrrrl2002@gmail.com,mmmchelle@gmail.com)

***

"You are blind."

"What?" Rodney said, not really listening.

"Blind," Radek repeated. "You are blind."

Taking a long sip from his coffee, Rodney ran his finger over the screen on his laptop, following the power conversion results as if they were a visible path. He took a second sip before putting the cup down on his lab bench. Sheppard had fixed the coffee just the way Rodney liked it.

"He brings you coffee."

"What?" Rodney said again. Couldn't the man be quiet for two seconds?

"Colonel Sheppard, he brings you coffee."

"Yeah, so?"

"You don't think that's odd?" Radek asked, looking at him.

"No." Rodney frowned at the numbers on his screen. "What's odd about it?"

Radek sighed. "Last week he followed you to the biolab."

"And?"

"And he is the military commander of Atlantis. The city was in danger. Don't you think his place was in the control room?" Radek was using that tone of voice again, the one that was just this side of snippy. That was Rodney's tone. He had no business using it.

"He couldn't have done anything in the control room."

"Did he do anything in the lab?"

Rodney thought about that for a moment. "He went in first, you know, to make sure it was safe."

"I see."

Radek sounded far too self-satisfied for Rodney's comfort. "What do you see?" he asked, actually looking up from his laptop.

"Nothing," Radek said, holding up his hands before turning to face his own computer.

"No, no, it's not nothing. Just tell me."

"He sent me to the control room to monitor your jumper when you went out to see the whales. Anyone could have monitored your jumper."

"What? You're mad you didn't get to go along and have your eardrums popped?"

"The colonel wished to be alone with you. He made that very clear."

Rodney frowned and scrunched up his shoulders. "We're friends."

"Of course you are." Radek pushed up his glasses and turned back to his screen.

"What are you saying? That we're not friends?" Which was ridiculous, because they were obviously friends. Sheppard had just brought him coffee, fixed exactly the way he liked it.

"I am saying that perhaps he is interested in more than friendship."

That took a full minute to sink in. "Don't be ridiculous," Rodney said, his stool scraping the floor as he stood. "He's a guy and I'm a guy. And neither of us do guys."

"I only know what I see."

"Which is?" Rodney demanded, puffing out his chest slightly even as he crossed his arms in front of it.

"One, Colonel Sheppard has demonstrated a marked preference for being wherever you are."

"We're friends! And we're on the same team."

Radek ignored him. "Two, he teases you. Granted the Colonel is the sort of person who teases the people he likes, but he teases you more than anyone else. Three, he brings you coffee. Four, he puffs out his chest when you're around." Radek demonstrated by throwing his shoulders back and drawing in a deep breath.

"Oh, he does not," Rodney said, but he had seen Sheppard look exactly like that a few times. "Stop that."

Shoulders falling back into place, Radek looked up at him. "I am telling you, Rodney, he has crush."

Rodney snorted, hoping that would bring an end to the ridiculous conversation and returned to both his figures and his stool.

"Mark my words."

"Consider them marked. Now, can stop with the girlish chitchat and get back to work?" Rodney asked.

"Yes, of course," Radek said. "These results are in error, by the way."

Rodney looked closer at his screen. "Damn it, they are."

***

"Thank you for joining us, Rodney," Elizabeth said with an arched eyebrow.

"Sorry, sorry, I know I'm late." Rodney glanced around the room, and sure enough, everyone was already there--Radek and Elizabeth seated at the table, Sheppard slouched against the wall and gazing out over the control room.

"Nice of you to show up," Sheppard said.

"I know, I said I'm sorry. I overslept--six weeks on Earth totally screwed up my internal clock." Rodney placed his coffee cup and laptop on the table and grabbed a chair, settling in and starting up the computer.

Sheppard went straight for the chair beside him.

Rodney made a point of ignoring the knowing grin on Radek's face. There was nothing odd about Sheppard sitting next to him. Sheppard always sat next to him. That was simply the way they sat.

"All right, let's get started," Elizabeth said. "Rodney, you have the data?"

Rodney loaded the city map up onto the room's main screen. "Yes. As you can see, I've highlighted the areas of the city that are newly drained."

"And ready for exploration," Sheppard said, turning a hopeful look to Elizabeth.

She smiled tolerantly, which meant she was going to say yes. Rodney bumped Sheppard's knee with his, and they shared a glance. "All right. Come up with a schedule," Elizabeth said.

Sheppard smiled, and Rodney smiled back, his smile fading when he felt Zelenka's eyes on him and turned to find Radek giving him his 'I was right' look. Rodney glared back at him, because sticking out his tongue was beneath a man of his intelligence.

***

"You know what would be cool," Sheppard said as they left the meeting.

"Parts for a ZPM with instructions."

"Besides that."

"More personal shields," Rodney said leading the way through the control room and toward the mess.

"Those would be handy."

But apparently not cool. "Weapons."

"Phasers."

"Tricorders."

"The energy detectors are kind of like tricorders," Sheppard said, taking the lead as they headed into the mess.

"They don't do as much."

"And they don't look like salt and pepper shakers."

"Those were only the medical tricorders." Rodney put a hand on Sheppard's arm, stopping him before he could get into line. "A sonic screwdriver." Sheppard frowned at him and Rodney added, "You can break into anything with a sonic screwdriver."

"Never mess with a man holding a sonic screwdriver," Sheppard said, holding out his arm and twisting his wrist the way the Doctor always did when he was using the screwdriver.

"Exactly," Rodney said happily.

It was intriguing, having so many new areas of the city to explore. Sheppard seemed to be excited about it too, because soon after they loaded up their trays and sat down to eat, Sheppard slid close and pointed to Rodney's laptop. "Come on, let's do the schedule. We'll start from the bottom levels and work our way up."

Rodney shook his head as he started up the computer. "No, no, no, the lower levels will have the most damage--the good stuff? Will be on top."

Radek appeared, taking a seat at the table across from them. "Colonel, Rodney," he said by way of greeting. He raised his brows at Rodney, and Rodney scowled at him.

"Nope, bottom first," Sheppard insisted. He flashed a grin at Radek.

"Aren't you listening?" Rodney pointed to the map of the city, broken up by levels. "Right here. This is where we should go first."

Sheppard dipped a french fry into the puddle of ketchup on Rodney's plate. "Nah."

"So where do you think we should start?"

"Here," Sheppard used a french fry to point at the room three levels beneath where Rodney was pointing.

"No food on the monitor," Rodney said, slapping his hand away. "Give me one good reason why we should start there."

Sheppard grinned at him slow and insolent. "I like bottoms."

The sound of Radek choking caused them both to look across the table. "Are you okay?" Sheppard asked.

"Fine," Radek croaked, tapping his chest with the end of his fist. "Just swallowed wrong."

Rodney glared at him for a moment, then took advantage of Sheppard's distraction to open his word processor and start drafting the schedule with the upper levels first.

"Hey, I thought we were starting at the bottom," Sheppard said.

Snagging a french fry from Sheppard's plate, Rodney popped it into his mouth. "Sorry, already done."

Sheppard sighed. "You just want to jump right in on top, don't you, Rodney."

"Yes, I do."

"Hmm. Okay, we can do that. I'm flexible."

"Glad to hear it." Rodney glanced up from his keyboard to see that Sheppard was grinning at him again, a great big happy grin.

Rodney shook his head. Sheppard was a little weird sometimes. Rodney refused to look across the table at Radek, because Radek, well, he was obviously weirder, with his crazy theories about crushes.

He was surrounded by weirdoes.

Getting back down to business, Rodney ate his lunch with one hand while typing with the other, only half-listening to Sheppard and Radek's conversation. If he got the schedule out to Elizabeth this afternoon, odds were she'd approve it by the evening and then first thing in the morning, he and Sheppard would be out doing what they did best. Exploring.

"Hey," Sheppard interrupted, bumped Rodney's shoulder. "I gotta run--training session for the new recruits."

"Yeah." Rodney waved a hand distractedly. "I'll send you the schedule when it's finished."

"Good."

"Oh, wait--" Rodney turned in his seat to catch Sheppard before he left, but Sheppard hadn't gone anywhere yet, he was standing next to Rodney, close enough that Rodney was looking right into his chest.

Which was sort of puffed out.

"Yes, Rodney?"

"Um..." Rodney leaned back so he could see Sheppard's face. "First thing tomorrow morning good for you?"

"Sure." Sheppard slapped him on the back only it wasn't much of a slap, more of a pat. "See you at dinner." With a quick nod at Radek, he left.

Rodney looked across the table to find Radek smiling at him, a very knowing, very annoying smile. "Oh, give it up," Rodney said.

"He can be flexible."

"Shut up." Closing his laptop, Rodney picked up both his tray and Sheppard's, carrying them to the return area. When he turned around, Radek was right behind him. Apparently, Radek had decided to obey orders for once and shut up, because he didn't say a word the entire walk back to the lab.

He smirked, instead.

Rodney wasn't sure it was an improvement.

***

"I think I will join you for dinner," Radek said from beneath the console, just as Rodney was starting to get hungry. It was Wednesday, and Wednesday meant roast pork. With gravy. And if he was really lucky, mashed potatoes.

"Be my guest." Rodney checked his watch: 1730. If Radek would just hurry with the damn crystals instead of continuing with his elaborate fantasy they could finish with the rewiring. And then Rodney would be able to focus on important things, like the exploring he and Colonel Sheppard were going to do the following the morning.

"I wish to see if he flirts with you some more. Is very entertaining."

"You're demented. The colonel was not flirting with me." Rodney tapped the console impatiently. "Anytime now with the crystals, Radek."

"Top, bottoms, flexibility. I know flirting when I hear it, Rodney." Radek slid the last one into place, and the console lit up.

"We were talking about the exploration schedule." Rodney activated the diagnostic program. "And you know it."

Radek slid out from under the console and pointed a finger up at Rodney. "You were talking about the exploration schedule. He was flirting."

With a sigh, Rodney pushed back in his chair and stared down at Radek. "What are you, some kind of crazed, gay yenta?"

"There was chest puffing." Radek sat up and puffed out his chest in imitation of Sheppard. "He's worse than a pigeon. Ever see their courtship display? They strut with their chest feathers all puffed up, much like the Colonel."

Rodney scowled in disbelief. "You are--that is just wrong, very, very wrong. And you know what? I'm going to tell him you said that."

Unperturbed, Radek shook his head. "No you won't because then you'll have to tell him why I said it. And you don't want to take the chance that he might be flirting with you."

"There isn't any chance. He isn't flirting with me. He's just weird, like you."

"Weird, yes, that is true. After all he is flirting with you."

"He is not."

"Is."

"Isn't."

"Is." Radek puffed his chest out a bit more. "Although maybe you're right. I think it may be more courting instead of flirting. Perhaps both."

"Fine," Rodney said, suddenly afraid that Radek might start cooing. "Come to dinner, but I'm telling you, there will be no flirting. Or courting."

***

"Oh," Rodney moaned, shoveling another forkful of potatoes dripping with gravy into his mouth. "Oh god, this is good."

Swallowing, he attacked his pork with gusto, slicing the meat into neat little squares before stabbing a piece with his fork. He slid it around in the gravy, coating it thoroughly. With a happy noise he popped it into his mouth and chewed blissfully.

Sheppard was staring at him, looking a little wild around the eyes.

"What?" Rodney asked. "It's quite tasty."

"Yeah, I can tell," Sheppard said in a tight voice.

Rodney glanced at Radek beside him. No way Radek could claim Sheppard was flirting with him this time, he'd barely spoken a dozen words since sitting down. Radek shook his head. "You don't think it's good?" Rodney said, because how could Sheppard not think this was good.

"I just didn't think it was pornographically good."

"What?"

Radek chuckled.

Rodney glared at him for a moment before looking back at Sheppard. "I do not look pornographic."

Sheppard flicked his gaze down to Rodney's chest, gazing at it for a moment before looking back at Rodney's face. "If you say so." The words were spoken in a manner that if Rodney didn't know better he'd think was borderline pornographic itself. Except this was Sheppard and him and nothing between them was even remotely pornographic.

"I so say so," Rodney huffed, taking another bite of his pork. He refrained from moaning this time. But out of the corner of his eye he could see that Sheppard was still watching him with an odd expression.

Rodney's face grew warm and he focused on his food, making swirls in his mashed potatoes because no, Radek couldn't possibly be right, could he? Sheppard wasn't the kind of guy who got crushes on other guys. At least, Rodney was pretty sure he wasn't.

No, Sheppard was just being friendly, in his weird Sheppard kind of way.

Nodding to himself, Rodney returned to wolfing down his food.

"Colonel?" Radek asked, "Has Dr. Weir approved of the schedule?"

"Yup. We're going out first thing tomorrow. Right, Rodney?"

Rodney glanced up. "First thing," he confirmed through a mouthful of food.

"Should be a most interesting outing," Radek said.

"I hope so," Sheppard said. "You'll be available to monitor us from the control room?"

"I wouldn't miss it."

The dark look Rodney sent Radek's way had no effect other than to make his own forehead ache. He gave up. Pointedly ignoring Radek was his second best option, so he did, and finished up the last of his dinner.

Out of sheer curiosity, he let out a low, sighing moan as he swallowed the last tasty bite.

Sheppard's eyes got really wide, and he looked a little strangled. After a moment, Sheppard said, "I'm gonna get some dessert. Want anything, Radek?"

Radek shook his head. "I am fine, thank you."

"I'd like--"Rodney started to say, but before he could finish Sheppard cut him off.

"I know what you want, Rodney." It was said in a tone that sounded almost resigned.

Rodney watched him walk toward the food line.

"Maybe the colonel's crush is not so hopeless after all," Radek said, drawing Rodney's attention.

"Don't be ridiculous. For the ten thousandth time, Sheppard does not have a crush on me." If Rodney sounded a little less sure of that than he'd been before that was only because he'd been listening to Radek's prattling. "I'll prove it."

"How?"

"I'll ask him out."

Radek leaned back in his chair. "This, I must see."

"I can't do it in front of you," Rodney hissed.

"Why not? Unless you are a chicken to match the Colonel's pigeon?"

"I am not twelve. Calling me a chicken is not going to--" Rodney stopped as a chocolate pudding cup complete with whipped cream was placed in front of him. He looked up at Sheppard. "Thanks."

"You're welcome."

Sheppard smiled at Rodney as he sat and picked up his spoon, digging into his own pudding.

"I was thinking."

"You do that a lot," Sheppard said.

"Very funny." Rodney replied and Sheppard grinned at him. He was kind of cute when he grinned, and Rodney had to stop listening to Zelenka. "We haven't played dinner--I mean chess-- in a while. Maybe we could have dinner and play tomorrow night?"

"Sure."

"My quarters? Six thirty?"

"Sounds good."

Okay, that had to be the easiest date Rodney had ever arranged, which probably meant that Sheppard didn't realize it was a date. Which was good, because it was a point for his side, for the not-crush argument. So, right, Sheppard not realizing was a good thing.

Except he looked at Rodney from under his lashes and smiled around his spoon, and then Rodney thought maybe Sheppard knew it was a date.

This was all Zelenka's fault. Rodney glared at him, getting only an amused smile in return.

***

"Man, it stinks down here." Sheppard carefully picked his way through the pebbles of glass piled on the laboratory floor and peered at the remains of the containers, stacked up one on top of the other. "And if the ancients were so damn smart," he said, "How come they didn't invent unbreakable glass?"

Rodney was on the verge of demanding that Sheppard stop interrupting him with stupid questions, but then paused and gave it some thought. "Huh. Good point."

"So, are you getting anywhere with that?" Sheppard motioned to the open panel where Rodney was attempting to find a live crystal to attach a lead.

"Not yet, give me a chance, okay?"

"I distinctly remember someone insisting that the upper levels would be less damaged and more likely to yield cool stuff." Sheppard rested his hands on his P90 and surveyed the room. "This is the third lab and I'm not seeing any cool stuff at all."

"It was a perfectly reasonable assumption, Colonel Bottom," Rodney snapped.

Sheppard frowned at him for a second, his brow furrowing in a way that was kind of interesting, then said, "You say that about all your assumptions, Rodney."

"Because it's always true."

"Uh-huh."

Sheppard leaned a shoulder against the wall, right next to the panel Rodney was working on. "So, tonight--what are you serving me for dinner, Dr. Top?"

"Whatever they're serving in the mess." Rodney reached down to take hold of the dangling lead, now very close to Sheppard's jutting hip.

"You're not getting me something special?"

"It's dinner and chess."

"Oh."

Rodney glanced at Sheppard to find him frowning again, only now he looked a little disappointed. Okay, Rodney had to be imagining that. Sheppard would not get disappointed over Rodney not going out of his way to get them a special dinner, because Sheppard did not think this was a first date. The only person who thought that was Radek. "I have some wine. Jeannie sent it in a care package and we could have it with dinner."

Brightening a little, Sheppard asked, "Is it any good?"

"How would I know? I haven't opened it yet." Remembering the lead in his hand, Rodney connected it to a crystal he thought just might have juice left in it, then checked the computer. "Ah. There we go."

"What? What do you have?" Sheppard pushed off the wall and hovered behind Rodney.

"Just a minute." The panel lit up, flickered briefly and then went dark again.

"Rodney," Radek's voice came in over the radio. "Power surge in your area--wait, it's dropping again."

"I know, hold on--" Rodney watched his monitor, and sure enough, ancient symbols began to scroll across it. "Are you getting this?"

"Got it."

Sheppard edged closer. "What's it say?"

"I don't know," Rodney glanced over his shoulder and was startled to find Sheppard's face right there, just inches away. "It's um, in ancient." He held the computer up to show Sheppard.

"Oh," Sheppard said, but his eyes were not on the screen.

They were on his mouth. Sheppard was looking at his mouth, which was pretty damn weird. Even weirder was that Rodney found himself contemplating Sheppard's lips. They were sort of curvy, and if Sheppard had really been flirting with him all along then Sheppard might want to kiss him, and Rodney wasn't sure how he felt about that, not at all.

"Gentlemen," Elizabeth announced over the radio.

Rodney jerked away guiltily. Sheppard did the same.

"Congratulations. I believe you have just discovered an ancient aquaculture laboratory."

"Aquaculture," Sheppard stated as Rodney rolled his eyes.

"It's not my fault that everything the Ancients studied wasn't interesting." Resting his hands on his hips, Rodney glared at the computer screen.

"Uh-huh." Sheppard hopped up onto the console next to Rodney's open laptop, his legs apart.

"Hey, maybe there's something about Sam in here," Rodney said, scrolling through the data. Unfortunately, he wasn't as fluent in Ancient as Elizabeth.

Sheppard leaned back on his elbows. "Oh, goody."

Intending to tell him to get off the damn console, Rodney looked up and froze. Sheppard was all stretched out, with his legs apart, drawing Rodney's eyes to the bulge between them.

"Rodney."

Startled, Rodney lifted his gaze to Sheppard's face. "You should get off the console."

Looking at his watch, Sheppard said, "We should get going anyway. It's almost 1100."

And they were supposed to be done at 1100.

Elizabeth's voice came though the earpiece. "I'll go through the information," she said, "And let you know if anything interesting comes up. See you topside, gentlemen."

Rodney nodded. "Right. Well, that was a waste of a morning." He reached to shut down his laptop, which was right next to Sheppard's thigh, because Sheppard hadn't gotten off the damn console yet.

"Although," Sheppard said, "what kind of aquaculture?

"What do you mean?"

Sheppard shrugged, nudging Rodney's computer with his thigh. "Maybe they were doing some kind of weapons work for the war. Like--like breeding giant killer sharks."

Rodney stared, incredulous. "Oh yes, because sharks would be so useful against the Wraith, an enemy that attacks from space."

"Maybe they're space sharks. Never thought of that, did you?"

"No, because it's too--too--" Rodney faltered. Sheppard was watching him, legs swinging back and forth as if he planned on staying up on the console all day long and it was entirely possible that Sheppard was teasing him.

"Think about it. It would be really cool."

"Flying space sharks."

"Yup." Sheppard nodded.

"Can we just go now?"

Sheppard hopped down and Rodney began shutting down the laptop and disconnecting the leads. As they left the lab, Sheppard clapped him on the shoulder. "Maybe we'll find something more fun tomorrow."

"Like flying space sharks?" Rodney asked in his best sarcastic tone, the one he saved for special occasions and Sheppard.

"You never know." Sheppard said it with a grin that was almost suggestive. Now Rodney was really imagining things, because who could turn a ludicrous conversation about space sharks into innuendo? Okay, Sheppard could, but why would he? The whole thing was baffling and not in the good way.

***

"So, Rodney, how did the fishing go?" Radek asked.

"Oh, very funny."

"Maybe you should have let Sheppard do that bottom thing he wanted to do." Radek was grinning, looking entirely too pleased with himself.

Turning away from him with a glower, Rodney opened up his laptop. "What did you get done this morning?"

"I was monitoring you, remember?"

"Multi-task, unless your fevered imaginings about me and Colonel Sheppard were too much of a distraction."

"My imaginings are far from fevered, at least where you're concerned. Am not so sure about the colonel's though."

"Look," Rodney huffed. "Sheppard and I will be getting together in…" He looked at his watch. "Five hours. Once we've had our little date, and I've proven to you that he is not interested in me, we can drop all this nonsense and get back to what passes for normal around here."

"And if the date goes well?"

"It won't."

"What if it does?"

"It won't."

Radek held up his hands in surrender, and Rodney shifted his attention to his now fully booted computer.

"Music."

Rodney sighed.

"A successful date needs music, Rodney." He started to point out that he didn't want the date to be successful, but Radek raised his finger. "For you to really disprove my theory, you must try to make the date successful, otherwise is not accurate test."

"Fine. I'll put on music."

"What kind?"

"I don't know, some Mozart."

Radek shook his head. "Colonel Sheppard does not strike as a Mozart kind of person. I will make you something." When Rodney opened his mouth to protest, Radek added, "Accurate test."

"If I let you choose the music, can I work, in silence, for the rest of the day?"

"Yes."

"Okay, then." Rodney turned back to his computer and opened his email. Radek was blissfully silent, and Rodney began to relax, opening various reports, nodding a greeting to the scientists filtering back into the lab from their lunch.

"Excuse me, Schumann," Radek called out. "I have question for you. What kind of music do you prefer to use to--to 'set the mood' as they say?"

Rodney clenched his fists.

"As in a romantic mood?" she asked in heavily accented English. "Something rich and strong. Perhaps Wagner. Or Beethoven."

"Really? Interesting."

"Oh no, god no," Coleman said. "Something less obtrusive. You want something mellow. Like smooth jazz."

"Do you have a date tonight Radek?" Schumann asked with a grin.

"Hey, what's wrong with some good old rock and roll," Becker said from across the room. "Nothing like getting it on to some Rolling Stones. Or Springsteen. Definitely Springsteen."

"No, no, no," Radek said. "It's not for me."

Rodney selected Radek's name from his contacts list and began typing furiously. I know a thousand places to hide a body in this city.

"It is for a friend," Radek explained.

"Oh, yes, that's what they all say."

With a vicious stab of his touchpad, Rodney hit the 'send' button.

"Listen, if you want romance to happen, you need a seductive Latin beat," Donaldson insisted. "so you can dance together. Hold each other close. All that touching, with that kind of rhythm? Something is going to happen." He swayed across the floor, holding an imaginary partner.

Coleman giggled. "Remind me to never go on a date with you." She turned to Radek and poked him in the shoulder. "Come on, if it's not you, who is it then?"

"I cannot say," Radek said, of course the way he looked directly at Rodney gave him away, and Coleman turned to look at him with a big smile.

"Dr. McKay."

Glaring at them both, Rodney said, "It is not a date. Radek's delusional, as usual."

"McKay needs seductive music," Radek said

"He would," Schumann said.

"Hey!" Rodney spun, turning his glare on Schumann.

"Sexual Healing," Coleman suggested.

"When a Man Loves a Woman," Donaldson added. "It's great for slow dancing."

The inappropriateness of that suggestion made Rodney choke and Radek grin.

"Definitely some soul," Schumann agreed. "But no country. All those songs about broken hearts set wrong mood for a first date."

"As much as I appreciate your dating suggestions, this is a science lab, not a musical version of Dear Abbey. How about I choose the music for my not-date and you all work, hmmm?"

Exchanging a look, the three resumed working, but Rodney was sure he heard Donaldson humming "When a Man Loves a Woman" under his breath.

"I am choosing music, McKay," Radek said, pointing at him. "You agreed."

"On the condition that you let me work, not discuss it with half the department."

"They are not half the department." Radek folded his arms across his chest.

"Fine, whatever." Rodney made shooing motions with his hands even though Radek wasn't going very far. "Just let me work."

***

Since it wasn't a date, Rodney wasn't going to wear anything special. Radek might argue that it was going against the 'try and make it successful' specification, but seriously, Sheppard saw him every single day and knew what he looked like and there was no point in trying to fancy it up. So Rodney grabbed a pair of khakis and pulled on a button-down shirt over his t-shirt, looked in the mirror and declared himself dressed.

At precisely six thirty there was a knock on his door.

"Hey, Rodney," Sheppard lingered in the doorway with his hands stuffed in his pockets, as if he needed to be invited in. He was dressed in typical off-duty style, jeans and the ubiquitous black t-shirt, yet he looked different--neater, somehow.

Still, they didn't look anything like 'date' clothes.

"Well, come on," Rodney said, ushering him in. He was going to take great pleasure in telling Radek how very wrong he was.

"Don't mind if I do." Sheppard sauntered past Rodney.

"I have dinner on the warming tray," Rodney said, pointing to the table. "It's that chicken, with the peppers and rice--you like that, right?"

"Sure." Sheppard grinned.

It was a nice grin, and despite the casual clothes Sheppard looked pretty good. Rodney frowned. And then it hit him--Sheppard had shaved.

He had no idea why Sheppard would shave for the occasion, except for the obvious. Granted, Rodney had shaved, shaved and showered for the sake of accuracy and shutting Radek up, but why did Sheppard have to go and shave too?

"I don't know about you, but I'm starving." Sheppard sat at the table, and lifted the lid of the warming tray. "Looks good."

"Yes, yes--" Unsettled, Rodney strode toward the table, then stopped. "Wait, first I just need to-- He grabbed the remote and switched on Radek's music mix. Soft jazz filled the room, while not Rodney's choice of music, at least it was innocuous.

Sheppard picked up one of the wine glasses. "Wine glasses? Fancy."

"Jeannie sent them with the wine." Rodney frowned as the oddity of that hit him. "Do you think she was trying to tell me something?"

"Probably," Sheppard said.

"Well, she should just come out and say it, instead of sending messages in glasses like I have some sort of sibling decoder ring."

"Did she include a corkscrew, too?"

"She did," Rodney said, brandishing the corkscrew and picking up the bottle. He read the label. "I'm not really much of a wine guy, but I think it's red."

"Beer's better," Sheppard agreed.

Corkscrew part way into the bottle, Rodney stopped. "Would you rather have beer? I can try and get some."

With a soft, totally unexpected smile, Sheppard shook his head. "This is fine."

Sheppard being nice, agreeable and smiley was weird and kind of unsettling. Rodney focused his attention back on the bottle, wiggling the cork free and pouring some in Sheppard's glass and then his own before sitting.

Sheppard raised his glass to Rodney.

Trying to quell his panic, Rodney cautiously raised his.

But all Sheppard said was "Cheers," and brought the glass to his lips and took a swallow. "Oh, hey, this is good," he said.

Rodney let out a pent-up breath. "Oh. Oh. Good, yes I--" He drank from his glass--gulped it, nearly. "Yes, good."

"Very good. Your sister is a classy girl," Shepard said as he helped himself to the chicken.

The automatic response slipped out before Rodney could stop himself. "She's married."

Sheppard put his fork down. "Rodney? I'm not trying to make time with your sister."

"No, no, of course not." Rodney put down his glass and fumbled with his napkin. "Because she's not even here, she's all the way out --" Rodney waved his hands in Earth's general direction, "there and I'm, you know--"

He stopped short and went for his wine, because he was about to say I'm right here and where the hell did that come from?

Sheppard was watching him with raised eyebrows, fork poised halfway between his plate and his mouth.

"Why don't I just have some chicken?" Rodney said, reaching for the warming tray. "I did check to see if they had any of that pork left over from last night, because I really like it, a lot, you know, with the gravy and all but they were all out."

Sheppard sighed. "Bummer."

"Oh, you like it too?"

"I just kind of like that you like it," Sheppard said.

Rodney stopped, chicken half way to his plate. That didn't mean anything like what it sounded like. They were friends. Sheppard liked it when Rodney got things that made him happy, just like Rodney liked it when Sheppard got things that made him happy.

"Rodney." Sheppard nodded at the chicken.

"Oh, right." Rodney dumped the chicken and rice onto his plate. He filled his fork and began systematically cleaning his plate, intensely aware of the way Sheppard was watching him.

"I know you didn't skip lunch."

Putting his fork down, Rodney picked up his wine glass. "Just hungry."

"I can see that."

"It'd be easier to eat if you didn't watch. It's disconcerting."

Sheppard looked kind of amused by that, leaning back in his chair and sipping at his wine, his eyes never leaving Rodney. "You're sitting directly across from me."

Frowning, Rodney said, "Good point." He picked up his fork again, determined to ignore Sheppard and his leaning at least until his food was eaten.

"And maybe I like looking at you."

Rodney began to flush, because that was definitely a flirtatious thing to say, and the tone had been kind of flirtatious, too. Then he caught sight of Sheppard's smile. "That's teasing," he said, pointing his fork at Sheppard. "You're teasing me again."

"Maybe."

Glaring at Sheppard's broadening smile, Rodney huffed and returned to his eating. The music changed to something Celtic and Rodney made a mental note to berate Radek for his taste at the first opportunity. The music was nice, but the singing was a little too much like high-pitched wailing to be romantic.

Sheppard didn't comment on his choice in music, fortunately. Sheppard didn't say anything, which was kind of a relief, although after a few minutes Rodney started to wonder if maybe he'd said something wrong.

The music changed again, and Sheppard said, "Nice song."

"It's the Beatles," Rodney answered as Paul McCartney sang "who knows how long I've loved you."

"I know that. I was just pointing out that it's a good song."

"Of course it is. It's the Beatles."

"The Beatles were capable of writing poor songs, you know," Sheppard said.

"Name one," Rodney countered.

"World Without Love."

Rodney rolled his eyes. "The Beatles never recorded 'World Without Love.'" Didn't Sheppard know anything?

"But it was written by Lennon and McCartney."

"Mostly McCartney. And it isn't that bad."

"I don't care what you say. I won't stay in a world without love," Sheppard quoted.

Rodney winced. "So it's sentimental, most music is. That doesn't make it bad."

Sheppard grinned at him. "Did you just defend sentiment, Rodney?"

"Your dinner is getting cold," Rodney said.

"You did. And, listen, a song even more sentimental."

As the refrain from Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" filled the room, Rodney decided he was going to strangle Zelenka. "I suppose, yes, the lyrics could be interpreted as having some sort of sentiment incorporated into them, yes."

Sheppard raised his eyebrows.

"All right, all right, this isn't my music, okay? I--I--borrowed it from someone."

Without taking his eyes off Rodney, Sheppard lifted a forkful of chicken in his mouth and chewed.

Rodney resisted the urge to fidget under the scrutiny and instead took another sip of his wine even though he was starting to feel maybe a little too loose. "What?" he finally blurted out, wishing the damn song would just finish up already. "What?"

"You borrowed music, just for tonight?"

At a complete loss for words, Rodney nodded.

"For dinner with me?"

"And chess," Rodney pointed out. "We're playing chess, too."

"Oh, right, and chess." Sheppard picked up the wine bottle and refilled Rodney's glass, then his own.

"Assuming of course you still want to play?"

"I always like playing with you, Rodney."

Sheppard's voice was low and suggestive and it made Rodney feel warm and maybe it was the wine that made him nod and say, "Me, too."

Which made Sheppard's face light up. Rodney liked the way it looked, and he liked that he could make Sheppard look like that, all happy and pleased and even worse, it made him want to reach out to Sheppard and maybe touch him--especially since Sheppard wasn't slouched back in his chair anymore, he was leaning forward across the table and--

"Um, uh, speaking of which, we should get the board out, right? I mean, assuming you're finished with dinner," Rodney said, nearly knocking his wineglass over as he gestured toward Sheppard's plate.

Sheppard moved Rodney's glass out of danger's way. "Almost finished." He cocked his head to one side, and Rodney realized he was listening to the music, which had changed once again. A slow grin spread across his face. "Subtle, McKay."

Flushing, Rodney looked around for the stereo remote. Not finding it, he strode across the room and jammed his finger into the stop button. "I told you I didn't pick it out."

"I like it," Sheppard said. He'd followed Rodney across the room and reached up to press the play button, once again filling the room with the words "let's get it on." He was standing close to Rodney, really, really close, so close that if Rodney took a deep breath his chest would probably bump into Sheppard's. "You defend 'World Without Love' and you don't like Marvin."

"I like 'Heard It Through the Grapevine.'" It had to be one of the most ridiculous things Rodney had ever said, especially since he said it in a soft, flustered sounding voice, and if there was anything he wasn't, it was soft and flustered. But he could see the green in Sheppard's eyes and smell the wine on his breath.

Then he was tasting the wine on Sheppard's lips because Sheppard was kissing him, soft and easy and nice and--

"Oh god," Rodney said, jerking back. "He was right."

"Who?" Sheppard frowned at him.

"Zelenka." Rodney took a step back and waved his hand between them. "He said you were interested, and I said he was crazy. This whole date was supposed to prove him wrong, and then you had to go and kiss me." Crossing his arms, Rodney glared at him.

"Let me get this straight, you invited me here just to prove to Zelenka that I wasn't interested in you?"

"Exactly. And now you've gone and ruined it, because clearly you really do like me. All that talk about tops and bottoms and, and flexibility. You were flirting with me," Rodney accused.

Now it was Sheppard's turn to cross his arms and lift his chin. "Yes, Rodney, I was."

"You practically draped yourself over that console this morning, leaning back and offering up your, your--" Rodney waved his hand in the direction of exactly what it was Sheppard had been offering up.

"You're the one who looked."

"You put it out there. A guy would have to be blind not to look."

"You have no right to get all self-righteous about a little flirting, not when you led me on." Sheppard rested his hands on his hips and glared at Rodney in a way that was almost unnerving.

Except Rodney was a lot braver than he used to be. He rested his hands on his own hips and glared right back. "It was a simple experiment."

"An experiment, right, with wine and romantic music. Sorry it failed." Sheppard's tone said he was anything but sorry. He started toward the door and Rodney scrambled to block him.

"Wait, wait--I'm sorry. I thought we'd have some food, play a couple games of chess, and I'd tell Zelenka that was all that had happened. I didn't mean--" Rodney broke off, unsure of what it was he had meant.

Sheppard drew himself up to his full height, his expression guarded. "Didn't mean what, Rodney?"

"To be a jerk?" Rodney offered. "I honestly didn't think you were... Come on, you like women. How was I supposed to know you liked me?"

"The flirting."

"I thought that was just Zelenka's overactive imagination. The man's crazy. He's a big, crazy, gay yenta. He compared you to a pigeon."

"Excuse me?" Sheppard's eyebrows went up, but his expression was a little less closed off, as if maybe for a moment he had forgotten he was angry.

"A pigeon." Rodney started to puff out his chest, then stopped. "You know what, can we just forget about Zelenka and finish our date?"

"So you admit it's a date?"

"There's wine." Rodney pointed to the stereo. "And music."

As if on cue, the opening strains of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" filled the room.

Sheppard's lips twitched.

Encouraged, Rodney added, "And you kissed me."

"I thought we were on a date."

"If you stay, we could be."

"And you'd be okay with that?" Sheppard was studying him closely, his eyes practically boring into Rodney's face.

Swallowing, Rodney nodded.

"Okay enough to dance with me? Because if this is a date, there should be dancing."

Rodney stared at him. Sheppard couldn't be serious. They were guys, and men didn't, not with each other. Rodney couldn't even remember the last time he'd danced with a woman. "You're teasing me again, aren't you?"

Sheppard shook his head and took a step closer, reaching out to rest one hand on Rodney's waist. "No, Rodney, I'm not." He pulled Rodney a little closer. "I don't expect you to put out on our first date, but a little dancing, that's not too much to ask, is it?" He was using that low tone again, the one which made Rodney feel warm in weird places.

"No, no, I guess not." Rodney reached out and tentatively placed a hand on Sheppard's shoulder. "Our first date?"

Sliding his hand around to the small of Rodney's back, Sheppard drew him in close. "Uh huh." He took Rodney's other hand in his and began to swaying to the music, moving Rodney with him.

"Oh," Rodney breathed. It was strange being so close to Sheppard. Rodney could feel the heat radiating from Sheppard's body, and Sheppard's hand felt big and heavy on his back. And Sheppard was taller than him-- only by a little but it was oddly exciting. He stared down at his hand resting on Sheppard's shoulder and flexed it, feeling the solid muscle and bone.

Sheppard leaned in, lips nearly touching Rodney's ear. "Although you should probably know that I do put out on the first date."

"Really?" Rodney shivered and moved closer, seeking Sheppard's heat. His hip bumped Sheppard's as they swayed together. "So, um, you mean I might get lucky?"

"If you play your cards right," Sheppard said, his cheek brushing against Rodney's.

"I'm a terrible card player."

Sheppard chuckled, soft and low, his breath tickling Rodney's neck. "I know. Believe me, I know."

"Can we go with another metaphor then?" This time Rodney let his cheek rub against Sheppard's.

"Uh, sure."

Rodney turned his head slightly and his lips touched Sheppard's skin, just above his jawline. "Good. Because I--uh,"

Sheppard tightened his grip. "Rodney--"

Rodney kissed Sheppard's cheek, gliding his lips over the warm, smooth skin until he found Sheppard's mouth. This was probably what it was like to be a puddlejumper, Rodney thought as Sheppard kissed him back, easy and smooth and shockingly sensual, with their bodies still swaying, Sheppard guiding him into the rhythm.

Letting go of Sheppard's hand, Rodney slid his hand up to cup the back of Sheppard's neck, Sheppard's freed hand finding its way to Rodney's waist.

They kept moving, shuffling in slow circles as the kisses got deeper and Rodney tightened his grip on Sheppard's shoulder.

"Dancing was a really good idea," Rodney whispered.

"Mm-hmm," Sheppard agreed and kissed him again.

"I've been known to put out," Rodney said quietly, afraid of speaking too loudly and breaking the mood.

The corner of Sheppard's mouth quirked up, the mouth Rodney had been kissing for several songs at least. "Really?"

"Especially when I've been plied with alcohol."

Sheppard chuckled. "It was entirely your sister's fault."

"She wasn't the one who kept refilling my glass."

"It was good wine," Sheppard said, his lips on the edge of Rodney's ear, his breath ghosting across it.

Rodney shuddered. "It was." Sheppard's lips grazed his ear and Rodney turned his head, letting Sheppard nuzzle the side of his neck. "Oh, wow."

He slipped an arm around Sheppard's waist and held him close, winding a hand into Sheppard's shirt. It was new and exciting to have Sheppard up against him. Flat chest, no soft curves anywhere at all and Rodney liked it, liked the strength he felt as Sheppard moved with him and oh yes- that hardness pushing into his thigh, Rodney decided he liked that too.

"Yeah, wow," Sheppard breathed. He swayed forward with the music and Rodney took a corresponding step back, only to have his leg bump up against something solid. "Oh, look," Sheppard said. "It's your bed."

Rodney glanced over his shoulder and grinned. "Yes, it certainly is."

"Maybe we should sit a bit. You might be tired from all the dancing."

"Now that you mention it, yes, I'm feeling a bit--" Rodney sat down on the bed and tugged Sheppard down next to him. "Not tired at all, actually."

Sheppard nestled in close, his thigh pressed against Rodney's. "Me neither."

Rodney slid a hand along Sheppard's bare forearm. "Just so you know, though--I, um--I've only ever you know, 'danced' with women before."

Sheppard nodded. "Rodney--"

"And yes, yes, I do really want to do this, okay? Because just dancing with you is really hot, and if the dancing is that good, god, I want the rest of it with you."

Sliding an arm around Rodney's waist, Sheppard nuzzled the side of Rodney's neck. "We'll take it slow. Anything you don't like, just say so."

"Like I'd keep quiet about something like that," Rodney said, even as he tilted his head to the side, giving Sheppard better access to his neck. Light suction, an almost not there graze of teeth, Sheppard was good at this. Rodney's head swam at the thought of the other things he might be good at.

"Why don't you make yourself comfortable," Sheppard murmured, "While I go get our wine glasses."

"Okay. I can do that."

Sheppard stood, then beamed down at Rodney as if Rodney were the coolest thing ever. Rodney wasn't sure how to react. He tried grinning back, and Sheppard looked so happy that he practically bounced over to the table to pick up the glasses.

Bemused, Rodney frowned down at himself, wondering what Sheppard meant by 'comfortable'. He was already pretty comfortable. But since he was on the bed, he figured he could at least take off his shoes, and did so. After a moment's contemplation he pulled his feet up and scooted back on bed so that he was sitting against the pillows. When Sheppard returned with newly topped-off glasses, Rodney pointed to his feet. "Comfortable?"

Sheppard nodded and placed the glasses on the bedside table before kicking off his own shoes. Climbing on to the bed next to Rodney, he handed Rodney a wine glass. "Cheers," Sheppard said, raising his glass.

"Do you ever actually make toasts?"

"When I can't avoid it." That was all the answer Rodney got before Sheppard leaned in and kissed him again. The wine tasted even better on Sheppard's lips than it did in the glass, and Rodney wondered briefly if that could be a new category for classifying wine--tastes good on John Sheppard's mouth--except Rodney wasn't sure how he felt about other people testing wines on Sheppard's lips.

"The wine suits you," Sheppard said, breaking their kiss and taking another sip from his glass.

Rodney copied him. "I was thinking the same thing about you."

"Cool" was all Sheppard managed to say before they were kissing again. Sheppard wiggled an arm in between Rodney's back and the pillows, drawing him a closer, although not much because they were already pretty close. His other hand he rested against Rodney's upper arm, glass and all. Rodney barely felt it because kissing.

When the need for air forced them apart, Sheppard started to bring his glass to his lips, only to jar Rodney's glass and send wine from his cup onto Rodney's shirt.

"Sorry, sorry," Sheppard said, putting his glass on Rodney's bedside table. "Should I get a towel?" Rodney was holding his damp shirt away from his skin. "Or maybe you should just take it off."

"Hey, wait a minute, was that a move? Even I know that was a move," Rodney said looking up at Sheppard, vaguely disappointed that Sheppard would resort to something so obvious. Sheppard was supposed to be the suave one, not that Rodney would ever tell him that.

"It wasn't, really," Sheppard insisted, all wide-eyed innocence.

Rodney just looked at him.

Sheppard deflated. "Okay, maybe it was. Sorry. But you'd still be more comfortable out of your shirt--both of them--wouldn't you?"

"I would have taken it off if you had just asked."

"Where's the fun in that?" Sheppard asked. "Here, let me help." He took Rodney's wine glass and placed it on the table, then began unbuttoning Rodney's outer shirt.

"Thank you, yes, very helpful of you," Rodney said, amused. Sheppard was fun, unexpectedly so. Rodney took the opportunity to kiss him again, because Sheppard's mouth was right there. He was growing ridiculously fond of Sheppard's mouth. It was soft and playful, Sheppard's tongue a sly tease. He let Sheppard pull his stained shirt down off his shoulders and then struggled to free his arms.

"You're wearing too many shirts," Sheppard grumbled. He plucked at the hem of Rodney's t-shirt.

"Okay, okay," Rodney said, pulling back. "You take yours off, too."

A moment later they were both shirtless and Rodney's breath caught. Sheppard's chest was broad and hairy and very very male, with little brown nipples and for a second it was kind of weird to be sitting in bed with a bare-chested Sheppard. But he looked good. Reaching out, Rodney asked, "Can I?"

"I think that's kind of the point."

Sheppard was already touching, moving his hands up Rodney's arms, fingers spread out as if to cover as much of his skin as possible. Rodney brushed his fingertips over Sheppard's chest--warm skin, coarse hair--then delicately circled a nipple. When he glanced up Sheppard had that happy look on his face again so Rodney put both hands on Sheppard and touched him all over, running a finger over his collarbone, gliding a hand down over his ribs, curling his fingers around Sheppard's waist.

Then he found himself pushed back against the pillows as Sheppard kissed him again, and he was good with that, the kissing took on a whole new feel with his hands on Sheppard's naked back. Sheppard seemed to think so too, his mouth growing rougher, less playful and more intent, so much more so that when Sheppard moved down to kiss his throat, Rodney groaned and slid down the pillows.

"Okay, yes, yes," he whispered, wanting to encourage Sheppard.

Sheppard was definitely encouraged. He licked, then sucked a nipple and Rodney moaned again, burying his fingers in Sheppard's hair. He shifted his hips. He was hard, he was horny and suddenly it seemed like they had danced and touched for hours and so Rodney took the hand that was stroking his thigh and moved it to where he wanted it, directly on top of his cock.

"Rodney," Sheppard breathed, and slid down and began mouthing Rodney's cock, right through Rodney's clothes.

Rodney stared down in astonishment. "Oh god, you have no idea how hot that is."

Pressing his cheek to Rodney's dick, Sheppard nodded. Maybe Sheppard did know how hot it was and how good it felt when he pressed his face into Rodney's crotch and nuzzled his cock. He should've known Sheppard would be good at this; should've known he'd be hot, and when Sheppard started mouthing him again, Rodney decided he'd happily give up any remaining claim he had to straightness as long as Sheppard didn't stop.

"Can I take these off?" Sheppard asked, sitting up and tugging on the button on Rodney's pants.

"Please, yes, that would be--" Rodney stopped talking in favor of lifting his hips as Sheppard lowered his zipper. Then they were working them down together. Rodney sat up enough to pull his socks off and drop them on the floor. Clad only in his boxers, he looked up at Sheppard who was sitting back on his knees, staring. "You need to take yours off, too." He tried to tug on the edge of Sheppard's jeans, but there wasn't much loose fabric to tug.

"You sure?"

"We're having sex. That's generally easier when both parties are naked."

Sheppard pointed at him, smiling broadly. "Good point."

Rodney let his hand slip from the waistband down onto the prominent bulge in the front of Sheppard's pants. Sheppard's cock felt thick and hard and Rodney liked the way Sheppard's face went unfocused as he squeezed.

With a small noise Sheppard leaned in for another kiss, but Rodney held him back. "No, no, no, naked. I want you totally naked."

"Oh, right." Sheppard pulled back and gestured at Rodney's hips. "Get rid of those boxers."

Rodney wriggled out of his underwear, watching as Sheppard jumped of the bed and stripped off his remaining clothes. Whoa, nice ass--surprisingly smooth given how hairy the rest of Sheppard was, but nice looking, Rodney thought, and definitely a guy's ass and then Sheppard turned around.

Yes, definitely a guy. A naked guy with a big hard cock.

Sheppard climbed back on the bed. "Okay?" he asked, hesitating. "You look a little..."

"No, no, it's just that even though knew you had one of those," Rodney said, "it's a little startling to see it like that. All naked and...interested."

"Kind of like yours." Sheppard kissed Rodney's knee.

Rodney glanced down at his cock, which was showing a keen interest in the situation. "Very much so."

Sheppard crawled up between Rodney's legs. "So this is good?" he asked, voice full of promise.

"Best first date ever." Rodney eased down the pillows until he was lying flat on his back beneath Sheppard.

Sheppard spread himself out over Rodney and kissed him. He was warm and smelled good. Really good. Rodney wanted to just breathe him in but Sheppard kept kissing him and sliding his hands along whatever parts of Rodney were within reach. Lifting his hips, Rodney arched up into the press of Sheppard's cock, sliding his hands over the smooth skin of Sheppard's back.

Pushing back, Sheppard mouthed Rodney's neck, sucking just enough to make Rodney move his hips against Sheppard's. He loved the novel feel of Sheppard's body, solid and heavy, the crinkle of coarse hair--very intriguing and deserving of further investigation.

"Wait, wait," Rodney panted, and Sheppard drew back, looking down at him with a concerned frown.

"Do you want to stop?"

"No," Rodney shook his head. "I don't want to stop. Just, here." He patted the bed beside him. "Lay down."

Sheppard obediently slid off of him and onto the bed. It took a little maneuvering on the small bed but they ended up with Sheppard on his back and Rodney perched on a hip, looking down at the body stretched out next to him. "You look really good naked," Rodney said, resting a hand on Sheppard's stomach and sliding it up through his chest hair, watching the hair curl around his fingers.

"So you're used to the penis thing now?" Sheppard teased.

"Totally over it." Rodney moved his hand down to Sheppard's stomach then slid his fingers into the curls of Sheppard's pubic hair. Sheppard's cock twitched so Rodney touched it, dragging his fingers along the length of the shaft, such soft skin--warm and silky smooth and when Rodney wrapped his hand around it Sheppard breathed in sharply.

Rodney leaned down and pressed a kiss to Sheppard's shoulder, then to his chest, enjoying the feel of Sheppard's skin, gently nipping and sucking while fondling Sheppard's cock. Sheppard seemed to like it, moving restlessly beneath him, reaching out for Rodney's cock and holding it in his hand. Rodney grew bolder, sucking a nipple while and moving his hand down over Sheppard's balls, cradling them in his palm.

"Oh--oh fuck, Rodney," Sheppard moaned, pulling his knees up.

It was totally hot, to hear Sheppard talk that way and suddenly Rodney wanted Sheppard to lose it, he wanted to see Sheppard come. He wanted to make Sheppard come. "What do you like?" Rodney asked, nuzzling his way up Sheppard's neck. "John--tell me what you like."

"Touch me." Sheppard raised his head to watch Rodney's hand curl back around his cock. "Just touch me."

Sheppard sounded desperate, so different than his usual cool demeanor and Rodney felt it right down into his gut. He started to stroke Sheppard, going with rhythm that usually worked for himself, then stopped and quickly brought his hand to his mouth and licked it before resuming. Sheppard moaned and jerked his hips at Rodney's wet hand but soon they got back into synch, Sheppard pushing his cock up through Rodney's fist in time with his strokes.

"Is that good?"

"Very good," Sheppard whispered, his breathing harsh and ragged.

Rodney licked his mouth, kissed his chin, his neck, anyplace he could reach, then moved down and sucked on Sheppard's belly, watching his hand slide over Sheppard's cock. He twisted his wrist, rubbing his palm over the slick head and Sheppard really seemed to like that, judging from the noises, so Rodney did it again and Sheppard clutched his shoulder and came all over his hand, and it was totally, utterly cool.

"Wow," Rodney said.

"Yeah." Sheppard was smiling the happy smile again, only now he looked a little dazed. Feeling quite proud of himself Rodney smiled back. Realizing his chest was puffing out a bit, he hunched his shoulders.

"Something wrong?" Sheppard asked with a frown.

"No, no nothing's wrong. Everything's good, very good." Rodney gave Sheppard's cock a final stroke and let it slide free. He held up his wet hand and grinned. "Really good."

"Good." Sheppard used his low voice again, slowly stroking Rodney's cock as he spoke. "I thought so, too."

"Oh." Rodney stared down at the hand on his cock.

"Your turn to lay back and enjoy." Sheppard sat up and Rodney willingly took his spot on the bed. Leaning over him, Sheppard kissed him softly. "What would you like?"

"Anything. You're the one with all the experience. You should choose."

"Can I blow you?"

Rodney nodded eagerly. "Yes, yes of course you can."

Sheppard kissed Rodney's chest, then trailed kisses down over his stomach as he crawled down the bed and settled in between Rodney's legs. Rodney watched, openmouthed as Sheppard stroked his thighs, making him spread them wide and it was a surprising turn-on, to be offering himself up to Sheppard like that and to have Sheppard give him that beautifully lecherous grin before sinking down and taking his cock into his mouth.

"Oh god," Rodney said weakly.

With a happy hum, Sheppard settled in, sliding his mouth down over Rodney's cock. He sucked, then pulled back and let it slip out of his mouth and into his hand. He ran his tongue over the head as if tasting it, then nuzzled all the way down to gently suck Rodney's balls. Rodney craned his head, trying to watch, pulling his legs up as far as he could.

When Sheppard licked his way back up and swallowed Rodney's cock down again, Rodney gave up, head falling back on the pillow with a loud moan.

"That feels--" Rodney started to say, then stopped when Sheppard teased the head of Rodney's cock with his tongue, still sucking lightly. Rodney had no idea how he was managing to do both at once and he really didn't care because it felt incredible.

With the kissing and the dancing, all that touching, and watching Sheppard come he was already close, it wasn't going to take much to finish him. He didn't want it to end, but he wanted to come with Sheppard. Maybe when it was over they could-- Rodney tightened his hands in the sheets and moaned. The pleasure was building at the base of his dick and any minute Sheppard was just going to suck it right out of him.

He was quiet when he came, hips jerking, Sheppard's swallowing making it even more intense. By the time Sheppard released his cock and crawled up the bed next to him, Rodney was convinced there wasn't an ounce of energy left anywhere in his body.

Sheppard smiled down at him and Rodney cupped his cheek, guiding Sheppard into a kiss. He could taste his own come on Sheppard's lips and that was wonderfully dirty. "You give amazing blow jobs."

"It's not that hard. Just takes a little observation."

"Will you teach me?"

Sheppard's smile got even brighter at that. "Sure."

That smile was addictive and Rodney smiled back. "I'm a very good student, you know. I devote a lot of time to my studies."

Chuckling, Sheppard kissed Rodney's shoulder.

"When do you think we could start my lessons?"

Sheppard shifted his hips, rubbing his cock along Rodney's thigh. He was hard. Blowing Rodney had made him hard again. The thought alone was almost enough to make Rodney hard again himself. "Whenever you're ready."

Hand on the back of Sheppard's neck, Rodney pulled him into another kiss. He was ready now, and he was pretty sure his dick would catch up soon. "So why don't we--"

Bold music suddenly filled the room, startling them both.

Sheppard pulled back with an incredulous expression. "Is that--?"

"Yes. Beethoven's Fifth." Rodney rolled his eyes.

"I don't think I can compete with that," Sheppard's eyes were bright with suppressed laughter.

Rodney reluctantly untangled himself from Sheppard's warm body. "How about we try round two sans music?" Sheppard's laughter trailed after him as he padded across the room.

***

Rodney was late getting to the lab the next morning. Radek was already there when he arrived, reviewing the system monitors.

"Okay, first thing?" Rodney said, stabbing a finger in the air at Radek. "You have the worst taste in music. Ever. That Celtic thing? What was that? Not to mention 'Let's Get It On' and, oh yes, Beethoven's Fifth."

Radek responded by gazing at Rodney's face for a moment, then glancing down at his watch.

"Yes, I admit," Rodney said. "I'm a little late. I had to--had to--um, take care of a few things this morning." He face grew warm at the thought of Sheppard, sleepy-eyed and pliant in his arms.

Radek nodded. "Translation, I was right."

"I didn't say that," Rodney said, but he might have been flushing a little. "But it's entirely possible that maybe you were, a little."

"A little?"

"Well, not about the Colonel looking like a pigeon." Rodney stuffed his hands into his pockets and looked down at the lab bench, because was absolutely not going to look at Radek. "But the other stuff, the flirting, you may have been right about that."

"May?" Radek's smile was downright insufferable.

"All right, fine. You were right. I was wrong," Rodney enunciated clearly. He pulled out his laptop and opened it up. "Now can we get to work?"

"You had a nice time last night, yes?"

Rodney was about to point out to Radek that their conversation was over when the door slid open and Sheppard came bounding into the room, a steaming mug of coffee in each hand.

"Hey Rodney, how's it going?" Sheppard said, beaming. "Thought you might want some more coffee, buddy"

Rodney's heart beat faster at the sight. "Yes, John--thank you. Sheppard. I mean, Colonel. Thank you."

Sheppard handed him the coffee, and then seemed to finally notice Radek watching them with an amused grin. "Uh, hi Dr. Zelenka," he said. "Sorry, I would have brought you some--"

"Good morning, Colonel," Radek said, his grin broadening. "Is all right, I have my own."

"Right." Sheppard's cheeks looked a little pink as he rocked on the balls of his feet. "Rodney, we have the next section of the previously submerged areas to explore--1300, right?"

"That's what the schedule says."

"Cool." Sheppard gave Rodney a jaunty thumbs up, then with a quick nod to Radek, fled the room.

Radek chuckled softly. Rodney sipped his coffee--fixed just right, of course--and began checking his emails. "By the way, Radek?"

"Hmm?"

"Thank you."

"You're welcome, Rodney."