A lot of thanks to my beta reader "The Wishyles"! All remaining mistakes are my fault, not hers!

Parts of the story are inspired by David Hewlett, complaing about his hair.

The Stockholm syndrome

Only a few guests were still at the party following the presentation of the Nobel Prizes. The band members, who had entertained the audience for the whole evening with classical, and less classical, pieces were packing up their instruments. A single pianist was still playing softly on a beautiful, glossy black grand piano. A few couples were swaying to her music.

Dr Rodney McKay was sitting at the bar staring into his empty champagne flute. He was figuring out whether he should have one more drink. In his opinion champagne was overrated. Yes, it sparkled and tickled but apart from that it was just expensive, very expensive. He snapped his fingers and when he finally caught the bartender's attention, pointed at his glass, "Same again."

Watching the bartender, he saw a tired, bearded man with a bald head in the mirror. "I'm not getting any younger," he said to himself shaking his head. The man in the mirror copied him. Some years ago he had decided to compensate for the lack of hair on his head with growing facial hair, much to Jennifer's regret. She had needed months to get used to it.

Talking about Jennifer, here she was, "A nice party, isn't it, darling?"

"If you think so. Can we finally go?"

"I don't know what's wrong with you. The music is beautiful, the buffet exquisite, lots of old friends are here and guess what, I was introduced to the royal family!"

"I've had enough of royal families. When I met Queen Elizabeth II last year., she almost severed my ear," McKay grumbled.

"She just scratched it a tiny bit." Keller stroked his cheek softly. "I was pretty amazed that in her old age she was able to hold a sword anyway, don't you think so, Sir Rodney?"

He grumbled once again, took the glass of champagne and emptied it in one go, "Can we go now?"

"What's bothering you?"

"You know perfectly well!" McKay stared at his glass again. Maybe he should have one more. For the very last time. Keller sat down next to him and put her arm around McKay's waist, "Rodney, I for one think it's very nice of Radek to have us invited to his Nobel Prize ceremony."