Elizabeth put a hand on John's shoulder. "Is everything okay, John?"

John somehow resisted the urge to squirm, although it wasn't easy when Elizabeth was using her concerned-mother voice. Even Rodney had trouble standing up to the concerned-mother voice. "Yes? I mean. Yes. I'm fine. Why?"

Her gaze strayed upward. "No reason."

John tried to follow her look, which only resulted in his eyes rolling back in his head. "What is it?"

She patted his shoulder, her smile reassuring. "Just so you know, if there's anything you want to talk about, I'm always here."

He took a step back, giving her a doubtful look. "Well...okay. Thanks."


"Could you--" Zelenka broke off mid-sentence, tilting his head and frowning at John.

John looked up, confused. "What?"

Zelenka drummed his fingers on the table, choosing his words carefully. "If you are...preoccupied? We can do this another time."

John blinked. "Preoccupied?"

Zelenka sighed, leaning over to pat John's shoulder. "Go. Rest, maybe. You deserve a break."

"A break for what?"

Zelenka just shook his head, pointing at the door.


"Colonel!" Rodney crooked his finger. "Just the person I wanted to see. Did you--" He stopped, eyes wide as he looked John over. "What's wrong?"

John somehow resisted the urge to bang his head against the nearest wall. "Why does everyone keep asking that?"

"Because, your--" Rodney made a vague gesture, pointing at his head. "You know."

John raised a brow. "My head? There's something wrong with my head?"

"No, no!" Rodney held up his hands. "Well, not exactly. It's mostly your hair. And by 'mostly', I mean 'entirely'. Your hair, I mean. It's--" He sighed, reaching over to pat John on the shoulder. "Are you sure you're okay? I mean, if you need to talk about it, then...you know. I'm. Here, and things. For you, I mean."

"What's wrong with my hair?" John was very proud of himself for not shouting.

Rodney gave him a sympathetic look. "Well, your hair's kinda...you know. When you're...you know. It goes flat."

John closed his eyes. "When I'm what?"

"When you're sad," Rodney said with exaggerated patience, "your hair goes flat."

"It does not!"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Do you want to talk about it or not? It's not often that I'm going to invite you to share your feelings, you know."

"I'm not sad," John muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets.

"Of course you're not," Rodney agreed. "Because your hair decided to lie down for no reason at all."

"I can't believe you're all predicting my moods with my hair," John said.

"I can't believe your hair has moods."

"Oh, shut up."