Author's Note: Soon it will be obvious to you that I have too much time on my hands and that one of the reasons I started shipping April/Stark was that they both like old movies. I don't think I'm very good at writing humor, but I thought I'd give it a try. Also I've never really paid close attention to Mark, so sorry if he seems out of character.
Mark Sloan had never imagined there would be a day at Seattle Grace-Mercy West that would be so slow, so drama-free, and so boring. He had been loitering around the nurses' station for fifteen minutes, going over his charts, and nothing had happened, not a single spat or an exchange of glances between two blushing interns that hinted at their intention to steal, not so stealthily, into an on-call room. Sloan sighed. He used to be the one stealing into on-call rooms. And supply closets. Now he was a dad—not that he'd trade that for anything—and he was single—though he wasn't sure he could call himself unattached—and now he lived vicariously through the escapades of others. But nothing was happening today.
Stark appeared at the other end of the counter, flipping open a chart as he nodded at Sloan.
"Dr. Stark," Sloan replied. Sloan liked the man—Stark had saved his kid's life; he kind of had to like him—but Stark was short and grumpy and a little flabby. He wasn't the kind of man who got nurses to give him sidelong glances, let alone sneak into on-call rooms with him. If Stark was the only one around, there wouldn't be any drama any time soon. He went back to his charts.
Sloan looked up again. April Kepner arrived with that fresh, rosy smile of hers, bringing Stark a stack of charts.
"Oh, hi," Stark greeted her simply.
Sloan fought the urge to sigh again. April was probably the only attractive woman in the hospital he had never thought about sleeping with. Maybe some deeply-rooted, instinctive sort of morality had kicked in, telling him a manwhore like himself had no business with a pure, innocent virgin. But it was more likely because she was kind of annoying and she cried easily.
Stark and Kepner. The grinch and the goody two-shoes. These two were possibly the least likely pair in the hospital to have even the tiniest steamy exchange for his amusement. Still, he had nowhere to be, so Sloan picked up another chart, inevitably overhearing their conversation as he worked.
"These should be all set," Kepner said in that perky little chirp of hers. Mark thought miniature horses would have voices like April Kepner's if they could talk.
"Fantastic. Are you still up for a movie tonight?"
That was interesting. Mark peered at them sideways through narrowed eyes.
"Yes, I'm sure," April said, her tone overly reassuring. "To Have and Have Not is one of my favorites."
"Good," Stark said. Was that a schoolboyish nervousness Sloan heard in the older doctor's voice? Stark tapped his fingers on the countertop softly; it seemed like he wasn't even aware he was doing it, but Sloan could tell the action reflected a quickening in his heart rate. Suddenly there was some potential for drama—but Stark only repeated, "Good," giving April a little close-lipped smile.
No steam. Sloan nearly rolled his eyes.
"I'm glad it's on," April said.
"Me too," Stark said, almost too eagerly. "It's been far too long since I saw it." It sounded like he was fishing for words to smooth out the awkward wrinkles of the conversation. Sloan didn't think he was doing such a good job with that.
"Well, you won't be disappointed," April smiled.
Had she been any other woman, Sloan would have assumed that comment had a double meaning. But she was April Kepner, and the look on her face was not in the least seductive. Stark only smiled blandly back at her.
"Well, I'm sorry to say I don't have anything for you at the moment, Dr. Kepner, so go take a break."
"All right," she chirped. "Whistle if you need me."
Sloan stared at her. Whistle? Was she a sixty-year-old woman?
Stark smiled again and nodded. April started towards the elevators, but suddenly stopped and turned back around. Stark looked up at her. She tilted her head down, her chin nearly touching her chest and her curls falling around her face, and gave him a slanted glance. Stark raised his eyebrows expectantly, clearly as puzzled as Sloan was.
"You do know how to whistle, don't you, Steve?" April asked, her voice suddenly deeper and much less miniature horse-like. Sloan would almost call it seductive. "You just put your lips together and blow."
Stark blew a tiny laugh through his nose, reddening slightly but otherwise showing no reaction to this display. April bobbed a little on her heels, instantly transforming back to her usual perky self, and turned away again. She gave Stark a smiling glance over her shoulder before turning the corner.
Stark went back to his charts, shaking his head almost sheepishly to himself. Sloan couldn't help but gape at him.
"What the hell was that?" he blurted out.
Stark glanced up, realizing that Sloan had witnessed the whole exchange.
"Lauren Bacall," was the only explanation he offered, shrugging nonchalantly before he too departed, leaving Mark Sloan completely bewildered but certainly no longer bored.