"Got any plans for tonight, Doc?"
"What?" Rodney looked up from his x-rays and noticed all the pink and red hearts, cupids, and flowers stuck to every surface of the office. Hadn't he outlawed Valentine's Day?
"You know, hot date." John waggled his eyebrows. He was leaning against the reception desk again, grinning that lazy grin that made Rodney's heart race and his brain hurt.
"For your information -- not that it is any of your information because I am your boss and my personal, private life is, as I've said, none of your business -- uh, no," Rodney said, ending on an admittedly less than strong note, but it was hard to think with John smiling at him like that. "I don't have a date."
"Not too late," John said irritatingly. Then, as if his hygienist training had alerted him to a potential cavity, he stopped leaning and slinked off into the waiting room to greet, and undoubtedly flirt with, the next patient. The x-ray crackled in Rodney's hands.
"Get rid of those daisies," he snapped at Paula. "I'm allergic."
"Yes, Dr. McKay," she said, not getting rid of the daisies. He stomped off before he had to enforce his rule. He'd already lost that fight. She was probably the one responsible for the paper cupid taped to his office door, too. He ripped it off and locked himself inside.
"Swish," John said.
The patient swished.
"So," said John, "how do you feel about hockey?"
"Hahey?" said the patient. "Ah eery ike asketall ehder."
"I need suction over here!" Rodney demanded.
"Sure thing, Doc," John said, vacuuming around under the patient's tongue. "What about you, you like hockey?"
"Oh, because I'm Canadian? So I must like hockey, and maple syrup, and being polite, and long walks in the rain, and, and -- poutine. It's French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, who wouldn't like it." Rodney drifted off for a second.
"Oun ud!" said the patient.
Rodney glared down at him. "What?"
"He's okay," John said, looking a little hurt.
"What? What? Did I ruin a precious childhood memory? I'm trying to work here."
"Just thought you might like hockey." John shrugged.
"Oh, for -- hockey's fine. I like it fine," Rodney said.
John perked up, green eyes twinkling above his mask. "Cool."
Later, as Laura helped their last patient out to the waiting room, Rodney took off his goggles and found John staring at him weirdly over the exam room chair.
Rodney sighed. "What now?"
"Aren't you going to ask me if I have a date?"
"I wasn't planning on it, no."
John scratched at his hair. It was always a mess from the masks and from him storing his safety glasses on top of his head. "That's too bad," he said, "because I have this great plan."
"Oh no," said Rodney.
"It's like this. You and I go get a beer and watch some hockey."
"That's your great plan?"
"Hey," John said. "We have zing. You can't dismiss zing."
"There's zing?" Rodney said, flustered.
"Yeah, c'mon, Doc. They've got the game on at the Yukon and their chili fries are to die for. Maybe they'll even throw on some gravy for ya."
"I am kind of hungry," Rodney said. "And, yes, you win, I'm a big Canadian cliche, I love hockey. I used to watch it all the time when I was younger. My sister, Jeannie, had a huge crush on Wayne Gretzky. It was the one thing we could agree on."
John was already grinning that grin that made Rodney crazy and he realized what he'd said. "On hockey!" he added a second too late. "We agreed on hockey."
"I also agree on hockey," John said, slinging his arm around Rodney's neck and leading him out of the room.
"Wait," Rodney said, "we have zing?"