Hard Candy

"There you go." Rodney closes up the access panel and gives Atlantis a little pat. "All fixed."

"Would you two like to be alone?" Sheppard says, appearing out of nowhere and making Rodney drop his Ancient screwdriver and clutch his chest.

"Jesus Christ, Major. You scared the crap out of me. Don't you have anything better to do than lurk around the east dock trying to kill those of us who are actually working to keep this city above water rather than under it?"

Sheppard leans against the wall. "Not really," he says.

"Oh, that's right, I forgot you were only here to stand around and look pretty." Rodney bends down to pick up his screwdriver and when he straightens, Sheppard's much closer than he was before. His lips are a fascinating pink color.

"What is this? Are you trying to intimidate me, because you know I --" he stops, totally distracted by Sheppard's mouth. "Major, are you wearing lip gloss?"

Something clinks against Sheppard's teeth and he opens his mouth to show Rodney a blocky pink candy balanced on his tongue. It reeks of fake watermelon. "Jolly Rancher," Sheppard says, tucking it back into his cheek.

"What is this, high school?" Rodney says. "Did I interrupt pep squad practice or something?"

Sheppard grins at him. "Wanna make out under the bleachers?"

All the blood rushes to his face, cheeks going hot with embarrassment. "No, first of all, I'm not interested in dying. Do you know how many candies have citric acid in them? Pretty much all of them. Secondly, just because you found out I'm gay does not mean you can tease me like this. It's harassment! And extremely unfair and, and, how would you like it if I, if someone that you -- dammit, no!"

"No citric acid, McKay. I checked," Sheppard says, and kisses him.

Rodney flails, drops his screwdriver again, and then grabs Sheppard's head and kisses him back, hard. If Sheppard's going to fuck with him, he's going to get the gayest damn kiss of his life as a souvenir. Plus tongue, a lot of it. Satisfied with his work, Rodney pulls back, ready to say something cutting about Sheppard's ensuing homosexual panic, but Sheppard just gives him a dopey smile and says, "Rodney," and kisses him again, soft and lazy and honest, and Rodney closes his eyes because maybe he was wrong -- he so often is with people -- maybe this isn't a joke.

They kiss, swaying into each other, hands smoothing down backs and sides, slipping under jackets and waistbands. Sheppard tastes like saltwater and fake watermelon and Rodney feels the candy nudge against his tongue as he licks inside Sheppard's mouth, slow and deliberate. Sheppard smiles, kisses him one last time and draws back, leaving the candy on Rodney's tongue. Rodney finally opens his eyes.

"You should come by after dinner," Sheppard says, walking away, backwards, grinning. "There's plenty more where that came from."