A/N: Uh, not much to say about this. Probably set before the series started, but not much before, and it's OOC, I guess.
Lem couldn't stop smiling. He rarely could, but tonight was different. As he and Ronnie sat in the car, watching unsuspecting drug-dealers, eating Pringles, and drinking cokes, barely keeping in touch with Vic and Shane, he just couldn't stop grinning.
Ronnie was eating a chip. Slowly.
He had taken one out of Lems' hand and had nibbled it slightly, as he distractedly watched a guy pull up to the curb, to talk to their mark (they weren't actually supposed to do anything tonight, unless Vic and Shane got too carried away, but it was good to pay attention.), and somehow Lem found that to be an adorable quirk his friend had.
"That was my chip, man." Lem said suddenly, as he leaned back in his seat. Truthfully, Lem didn't care for Pringles. They lacked the chip-flavor he bought chips for, but Ronnie seemed particularly fond of them. So whenever they had to pull a long night like this, they bought Pringles.
Ronnie turned to look at Lem, the chip held loosely in between his thumb and index finger. He frowned as he looked at the chip, and then to Lems' hand, which was still over the Pringles container, holding three chips, to Lems' face. Ronnie blinked slowly, as if he were confused, "Oh, sorry." he said before a grin broke out across his face and he held the chip up, "You want it back?"
Lem laughed as he picked the container up, and peered inside, before looking at Ronnie, "Sure, man." he challenged as he dropped the container and extended his hand.
Ronnie rolled his eyes before turning back to the window, before popping the chip into his mouth, unfazed when Lem chuckled, and punched him lightly in the arm.
"Whatever, Ronnie." Lem said before dumping the few remaining chips into his hand, and tossing the container into Ronnie's lap, which seemed to finally get the other man's attention.
Ronnie slowly picked the container up and peered inside, before slowly looking at Lem, "Those the last?" he asked as he motioned toward Lems' hand, receiving a raised eyebrow, and a defiant nod in response, Ronnie held his hand out, "Gimme a couple."
"No, these are mine." Lem said childishly, as he popped one into his mouth.
Ronnie narrowed his eyes at Lem, knowing they couldn't do anything loud, or they would blow their cover he leaned back and folded his arms over his chest. "Lem, they're mine."
"No, I think that they're mine, now." Lem said as he continued to grin, before slowly putting a chip into his mouth, almost laughing over how annoyed Ronnie seemed to be getting. Over chips.
"Lem, don't be an ass." Ronnie said leaning forward, and trying to snatch the remaining chips, only to be surprised by Lems' speed, as the other man pulled his hand back, knowing Ronnie wouldn't reach any further. "Come on... please?"
"You gotta give me something." Lem said suddenly, as his face flushed, and he inhaled deeply, puffing his cheeks out slightly, as if he were suddenly embarrassed.
"Like what?" Ronnie asked, confused, as he looked around his area. Noticing that he still had a candy bar, and an extra coke, he slowly glanced toward Lems' side. He seemed to have drunk all of his coke, and he'd definitely eaten his candy earlier. "You... want a coke?"
Lem bristled slightly, as he straightened up in his seat, which was strange to see, but it still amused Ronnie since his partners head touched the roof of the car when he sat up like that. "Nope." Lem said softly as he picked the Pringles can lid up, and seemed to be inspecting it.
"Uh, candy?" Ronnie asked as he lifted the Snickers bar out of the dash, and offered it to his partner.
Lem frowned suddenly as he turned to look at Ronnie, obviously torn between making Ronnie suffer the embarrassment of guessing further, or just giving up. Lem hesitantly placed the chips on the lid, and placed it on the dashboard, "No." he said it quietly, as he pushed the lid across the dash toward Ronnie.
Assuming he was close, as Lem was giving him his chips Ronnie looked at the candy bar, before back to the other man, "It's sweet though, right?" he asked as he dropped the Snickers onto the dash before picking the chips up from the lid.
Though it was barely visible in the dim street light, Ronnie noticed that Lem's face had gone red, "I dunno." he said as he shifted down in his seat, and looked off toward their mark, though his eyes were unfocused. "Probably." he added as he raised his hand to nervously run his fingers through his hair.
Ronnie slowly leaned back in his seat, looking at his friend curiously as he slowly began to nibble a chip. What did he have that Lem could want that might be sweet? Turning back to their mark, he decided to consult Vic in the morning. He seemed to talk to Lem quite a bit.
"Vic." Ronnie said as he rushed to catch up to his boss, before the man left the barn. Pausing as Vic turned to face him Ronnie suddenly got nervous, as he slipped his hands deep into his pockets and looked down at the floor.
"What is it, Ronnie?" Vic asked, slightly worried by the shifty way Ronnie was acting. Noticing Shane approaching, he didn't warn Ronnie, as the other man gave a slight shrug.
"I was talking to Lem tonight, and he said something strange." Ronnie said as he looked up at Vic, once again.
That seemed to get Vic's full attention, looking around the hall Vic grabbed Ronnie's arm, and walked the man outside to stand by his car, not bothering to tell Shane to go away as he did so, he pushed Ronnie back against the car roughly, "What did he say?"
Ronnie could understand why his boss would get suspicions about the conversation with the way he'd worded it, and the strange things they'd been doing to get results, but he was still surprised by Vic's urgency. "Uh, it was just..." Ronnie paused to nervously wipe the back of his hand over his mouth, "He was trying to get me to give him something for the last of our chips." he nervously hunched his shoulders, as he quickly pushed forward before Shane could laugh at him, "And he asked me to give him something in return for them. He never told me what he wanted, but when I asked him if it was sweet, he said he didn't know, but that it probably was. I was just wondering if you knew what that meant?" Ronnie bit the inside of his cheek nervously as he looked to the ground, once again putting his hands into his pockets.
Shane and Vic slowly exchanged looks that clearly asked why the men were trading items for chips, then a strange, and completely out of place look of utter confusion crossed Vic's features, as a look of sheer enjoyment flashed across Shanes.
"Oooh doggy!" Shane exclaimed, as he quickly leaned against the roof of the car on one side of Ronnie as Vic flanked the other side. Leaning forward, unable to suppress the laughter that rumbled in his chest, he slapped a hand flat against Ronnie's chest, as Vic let out a sigh. Shane quieted down enough, however, to lean close to Ronnie, and quietly whispered into his ear, "I know what he wants."
Vic folded his arms over his chest, as he looked toward the door, watching Lem as he paused in the hall to talk to some of the uniforms.
Ronnie seemed nervous to be so closely trapped between the two, as he looked in between them, Vic's face was grim, and Shane's was too excited for this to be a simple request on Lems' half, "What...?" he asked quietly.
Shane bit his bottom lip, as he grinned wider, leaning closer, to once again whisper into Ronnie's ear, with a hint of laughter to his voice, he said in his most seductive voice; "Your sweet ass." before slapping his friends arm playfully, and taking a slight hop backward, as Ronnie whipped around to look at him.
As Shane howled with laughter Vic pushed Ronnie away from the car, as he motioned for Shane to quiet down, "Ronnie, don't listen to him. He's just being an ass." the look Vic gave him caused Shane to immediately go quiet. "Just go home, I'll try to talk to Lem tomorrow."
Shane raised an eyebrow at Ronnie, before beginning to walk backwards to his truck, "I'll see you tomorrow, Princess." he said winking.
Ronnie watched with disdain as Shane walked away, for the first time since joining the team, he felt like he wanted to hit the guys. He regretted asking Vic's advice, as he saw Vic pulling out, looking at him strangely, but smiling. Waving to Shane and Vic as they pulled out Ronnie frowned as he turned to walk back to his car. Giving a slight start as he noticed Lem standing behind him, he took a quick step back, his hand going to his gun, "Jesus!" inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes to calm down.
"Hey, I'm sorry!" Lem said as he took a step forward, gently placing his hand on Ronnie's arm, "I-I didn't mean to scare you, Ronnie."
Ronnie shook his head as he opened his eyes, "No it's fine. I guess I'm just a little jumpy tonight." he said smiling awkwardly at Lem. Shane's words, and the strange looks Vic had given him were still on his mind. But he quickly pushed them down, as he grinned, and threw his arm around Lems' shoulders, "Let's go get a beer, Lem." he said smiling.
This was the first time Lem had used his name all night. He put it off as friendship, just like he put Shanes' words off as a prank.
"Okay, great!" Lem said, his grin from earlier returning, as they walked to Lems' jeep, "You wanna ride with me?"
Ronnie looked over at his car, and then back to Lem, trying to ignore the hopeful look in his eyes, and the expectant tone to his voice, he nodded slightly, "Yeah, why not."
Ronnie was surprised to see that Lem got drunk so easily. For such a big boy, he can't seem to handle his liquor all that well. And it's now that Ronnie realizes that that's just what Lem is, a big boy. He doesn't have the sharp edge Shane does, the roughness that Vic's got. Or even the street smarts the other guys have (Ronnie can't say that for himself, he's not the most street wise guy around).
But Lem has a boyish air about him, even drunk. Maybe especially drunk. And there's something about it that makes Ronnie smile, while he sits beside Lem, still drinking his first beer, while Lem works on his sixth, and he listens to Lems' rambling. It's fun, but at the same time it worries Ronnie, because the drove here in Lems' jeep. And he knows Lem is going to be too drunk to drive, and thanks to Shane he feels very nervous about it.
"I'm hungry." Lem says suddenly, reminding Ronnie of a teen more than a man right then, "You wanna go a burger?" Lem asks as he sets his bottle down. Ronnie notices Lem isn't looking at him, but he doesn't mention it.
"Sure." Ronnie says as he stands up, and pays for their drinks, "Let me drive though, Lem." he says as he holds his hand out for the keys.
Lem looks up at him slowly, and frowns slightly, as he stands up, "I'm not drunk." he says, but he slowly surrenders the keys anyway.
"Yeah, and I'm not a brunette." Ronnie says playfully, as he throws his arm around Lems' shoulder, and walks him out of the bar.
Lem seems kinda nervous, and Ronnie tries not to notice. Shifting in his step so that he's walking closer to Ronnie Lem slides his arm around Ronnie's waist, causing the other man to stiffen slightly, "Ronnie about earlier..."
"Yeah?" Ronnie asks slowly, as if he's nervous of what Lem might say.
"I'm sorry if what I said made you uncomfortable, or anything." Lem says as they reach the Jeep. Pulling away from Ronnie he leans against the hood while his friend watches him closely, "I... I didn't want anything weird, like you think, though."
"What... what did you want?" Ronnie asks nervously, as Shanes' words come back to his mind. Turning to the door of the car Ronnie slowly starts to unlock it.
"It doesn't matter, any more." he said as stood up slowly, "I changed my mind." he added as he slipped his hands into his pockets, and looked down at the ground, as he hesitantly walked over to the door as Ronnie opened it.
Ronnie frowned as he stood looking up at his friend, wondering why the other man was being so secretive, and wondering if Shane was right, and Lem was just too embarrassed to admit it (though he was glad, if that was the case). "Right... Well, let's go grab a burger." Ronnie was trying to sound cheerful, but his voice fell flat. He felt bad. He should, he knew, get his friend to talk about this, no matter how awkward it might make them both. Because Lem was his friend; and he didn't want his friend to be upset.
Much to his own surprise Ronnie found himself slipping into the driver's seat, without pushing the matter. Because he knew Shane was right.
And after a long and strange night of burger joints, and bars, he found himself in Lems' apartment, sitting on the couch beside him, drinking a beer, eating Pringles, and watching TV.
When Lem leaned over and awkwardly kissed him, missing his lips half the way, Ronnie didn't push him away, he just turned his head slightly, to allow Lem to get the kiss out of his system.
He wasn't gay, and he didn't think Lem was either, but he knew how badly curiosity could pull at a guy, so he let Lem kiss him. He was surprised at how much he himself was enjoying the kiss, for such a big guy Lem was surprisingly gentle, and he didn't try to get tongue, which relieved Ronnie just slightly (and though he wouldn't admit it, it disappointed him too).
When Lem finally pulled away, breathing heavily, Ronnie smiled softly at him, as he leaned back in his seat, both of them shifting in their seats to get more comfortable, Ronnie took a long drink from his beer, before softly saying; "Guess guys love the stache, too."
They both laughed.