I Don't Have Anything

"John," Elizabeth soothed, running a hand over her 2IC's arm. "Are you alright?" Brow furrowed in concern, she looked him over. She paid extra attention to the dark circles under his eyes that had appeared several days ago and hadn't left since. He hadn't obviously been sleeping well, if at all.

Sighing, she ignored John's feeble "Yes, I'm fine" and led him by the arm to her office, where she instructed him to sit down. He reluctantly obliged and stared up at her with lost puppy dog eyes, pleading innocence.

"You're not fine," she finally said after studying him again. Reaching over without a thought, she put her hand over his forehead to check his temperature. "You don't seem to have a fever," she acknowledged quietly, more to herself than to him.

John nodded in agreement. "I don't." He took her hand in his and placed it over his heart, pressing it to him like it was his lifeline. "I don't have anything," he said vaguely, drawing the words out.

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. "Do you want to talk to Dr Heightmeyer?" She glanced up into the control room, where everything appeared to be going on as usual – or perhaps a little smoother, which was comforting.

She looked back when John let go of her hand and watched as he grabbed a pen and a scrap of paper from her desk. "I don't need to," he told her, shaking his head slightly. "It's nothing I can't handle. Really."

Again, Elizabeth eyed him sceptically. "Are you sure?" she asked.

"I'm sure," John replied. He scribbled something on the paper and folded it in half. Elizabeth watched hypnotised as he put it down on her desk and wearily stood up. He nodded silently at her then, and left.

Elizabeth let him go and stared after him until he was out of sight.

Curious, she reached for the paper and carefully unfolded it. What was written there made her heart ache in her chest.

I don't have anything because I don't have you.