Of course this would happen. OK, it was nearly midnight, but Alexander had only ran out for a second to grab a sandwich, and the office lights were still on goddamnit it! Why was his keycard not working?
No-one was on reception at this hour, but he called it anyway, in case it would be redirected somewhere else. No luck. He didn’t have anyone inside who he could call. Jefferson was the only one he knew who would work this late, and he would probably ignore a call from Alexander out of spite. There were a few other wan faces milling about earlier in the evening, but he didn’t know their names, much less their phone numbers. Alexander didn’t have time to make nice with people.
He hovered around the building’s outskirts a bit pathetically, hoping to find a secret broken fire exit or something. This wasn’t just his usual workaholicism. His keys were inside. He literally couldn’t get home.
A familiar sound, a metallic slide, filled him with joy then. He ran from the fire exit he’d been half heartedly kicking back to the front entrance, only for the disappointment to sink in his stomach. First of all, it was Jefferson. Second of all, the door had already shut behind him.
Jefferson raised his eyebrows at Hamilton’s despair, locked out with nothing but a 7-11 sandwich for sustenance, apparently too tired to think of something cutting to say.
“I can’t get back in the building,” Alexander blurted.
“What a shame.”
“Let me try your keycard.”
“My keys are inside. Everything I have is inside. I need to get back in, Jefferson.”
He must have been tired, because instead of dragging the opportunity out and revelling in Alexander’s misery, he pulled his lanyard from over his ridiculous hair and handed it over.
“You’re wasting your time,” he called as Alexander strode past him to the door. “They don’t let anyone in after 11 now. Didn’t you see the memo?”
“But whyyy,” Alexander groaned, scanning the keycard again and again, just in case.
“Because of people like us, I guess,” Jefferson drawled. He made his way back to Hamilton and plucked the pass out of his hand.
“Do you have the number for security?” Alexander blurted, determined to not give up. “Or anyone who might be inside?”
“I bet you do. Asshole,” he added under his breath, as Jefferson made his way towards his car. Jefferson flipped him off without bothering to turn round. He ducked down after a moment and disappeared into his car. His purple car. His purple car that would look garish and ridiculous if it were anyone else’s, but with Jefferson, it was simply his, envied and very cool. Alexander hated him.
He turned back to the building in despair. The sandwich he no longer wanted was still warm in its bag. What the hell could he do? He couldn’t call someone, not at this hour. He’d have to get an uber. That’d be expensive. So maybe he’d walk home. It would take nearly two hours, and he’d lose some of the precious little sleep he actually got. And what would he do once he got home? Sleep on the porch? No, he’d have to call someone. But even with his friends, he didn’t like to validate the idea that some (most) people had of him, that he was nothing but an extra-mouthy hot mess.
He jumped, and turned. Jefferson had pulled his car up in front of the entrance and wound down the window.
Alexander glared at him, expecting a parting shot before the other man disappeared home.
“You need a ride?”
Alexander stared at him. Tried to read the other man’s features in the dark, but he looked only neutral, bored. Maybe a little tired. After another a moment of Alexander’s gawping, Jefferson rolled his eyes.
“My offer will expire in exactly 30 seconds.”
Not knowing what else to do, Alexander stumbled round to the passenger side and got in. He didn’t want to owe Jefferson a favour, but he also didn’t want to walk for six miles. It was annoying he wouldn't be able to finish off his article, but he'd figure something out. He’d come back early in the morning and-
“Don’t eat your crap in my car,” Jefferson warned, before he’d barely even sat down, and Alexander again was reminded of the bag he clutched automatically against his chest, the cause of all this trouble. He bit back a sarky response. Jefferson was doing him a favour, after all.
“Where to?” Jefferson asked, as the car rolled out of the parking lot.
“Er, that’s the thing,” Alexander said. “My keys are in the office in my bag. I don’t know how I’ll get in.”
“You live alone?”
“My roomate’s out of town.”
“No spare key anywhere?”
“With another friend. But I don’t want to wake him up.”
The car slowed, and Alexander could sense the other man’s impatience.
“Well, where am I taking you then, the local dog pound?”
His head hurt. Maybe he should just hover round the office. Maybe someone would come out, and it should open again at 6 or 7am. But it was freezing. Maybe a McDonalds then. But what would he do in McDonalds if he couldn’t work, couldn’t read, couldn’t expect his phone batteryto keep going for more than an hour at best?
“Yeah, just take me home,” Alexander said, giving him the address.
If he knocked long and hard enough, someone should let him into the lobby, and he could find an alcove in the corridor or something.
They drove on in silence. Alexander closed his eyes, vaguely grateful to Jefferson for not bitching him out or turning on the radio, for they would doubtlessly bicker over the song choice or whatever would be on the news.
“You gonna break a window or what?” Jefferson asked then, startling him.
“What?” Alexander startled, before realising what he meant. “Oh, I’ll figure something out.” The last thing he needed was Jefferson telling the whole office he’d slept outside his front door like a dog.
The drive took longer than he expected, considering it was after midnight and traffic was light. Maybe Jefferson was going deliberately slowly to piss him off. But Alexander didn’t think so – he’d been able to see vague shadows under the other man’s eyes, a rare sight, indicating he’d probably want to be home and away from Alexander as soon as possible. Maybe he’d got lost a couple of times and didn’t want to admit it. Alexander noticed even now that they didn’t seem anywhere near close to his neighbourhood. He started fidgeting. You didn’t knock a driver’s choice of route, particularly when they were doing you a favour and didn’t even like you in the first place. But he was sure Jefferson was wrong, and couldn’t help himself.
“Umm Jefferson, not sure how well you know my neck of the woods, but I’m pretty sure we’ve gone the wrong way.”
“I know,” Jefferson said without skipping a beat. “We’re going to my place.”
“What?” Alexander bolted upright. “So I’m meant to get an uber from your place or what? Fuck you Jefferson, you might as well have just left me –“
“No, Hamilton,” Jefferson cut through his jabber, without taking his eyes off the road. “You can stay at my place tonight. It’s not a big deal.”
Alexander gawped at him.
“What?” he said eventually.
Jefferson rolled his eyes. “Don’t look at me like that, I won’t eat you. And what were you gonna do instead, sleep on your porch?”
Alexander looked away. He watched the passing lampposts, unsure what to say. “You don’t have to,” he said eventually.
“Noted,” Jefferson said dryly. “Be sure not to piss me off in the next five minutes or so, or you really will be getting an uber out of here.”
Alexander clenched his teeth and said nothing. Why had he even got in Jefferson’s car? Walking the two hours wouldn’t have been that bad. Was this some sort of owed-favour or blackmail in the making? Well, probably not – Jefferson wasn’t Burr – but still, it made him uneasy.
They reached Jefferson’s place without another word. Alexander vaguely noted pretty houses with pristine gardens, one of which was Jefferson’s. It occurred to him that Jefferson presumably lived alone.
Jefferson led him into a wood pannelled hallway and through to the living room, gesturing vaguely at the sofa.
“Make yourself comfy. I’ll go make up the spare room.”
“You don’t have to,” Alexander blurted. “I can sleep here. Just a blanket would be fine.”
Jefferson waved him off, already heading for the stairs, and Alexander decided it would be more trouble than it was worth to argue with him.
He looked around the room. Rug, nice coffee table, fancy couch, a lot of books on shelves against a wall, that he would be nosing through if he wasn’t so damn tired. He was also now rather hungry, and feeling a little more forgiving towards the sandwich in his lap.
When Jefferson reappeared he blurted, “Can I eat my sandwich?”
Jefferson laughed. “I’ll get you a plate.” Then glanced at the sad little 7-11 bag Alexander was clutching. “Or do you want some real food?”
“No, no thanks.”
Jefferson still lingered for a moment.
“I might have some ice cream, if you want some dessert for after your sandwich.”
Alexander blinked at him. “Really?”
“Yeah, really,” he drawled. “Vanilla ok?” He headed for the kitchen without waiting for a response. Jefferson was such a strange breed of asshole. Alexander didn’t know how to deal with him. But hey, he was inside for the night, he was able to finally eat his sandwich (he forgot he was starving), he was getting ice cream. Things could be worse.
Jefferson returned with a plate and a bowl of icecream each, and then went back and brought two glasses of wine, and Alexander almost choked on his sandwich in shock.
“The southern hospitality thing’s no joke, huh?”
A slow smile spread over Jefferson’s face, his real smile, not his condescending one, and Alexander had to look away when it made him feel something. This guy’s not your friend. He’s doing you a favour because he feels sorry for you. Get a grip.
Jefferson turned on the TV, and they watched the news was they ate. Something about the Paris climate agreement. That was at least something he and Jefferson could agree on – they were both strongly for greener policies and initiatives – but still, Alexander was glad of the peace when Jefferson didn’t offer any comment.
It was strange, being together at 1 in the morning in Jefferson’s house, eating Jefferson’s food, being quiet together. Alexander realised for the first time that, for the amount of run ins he’d had with the other man, for all their animosity, that they’d never actually been alone together before. He didn’t know why this felt important.
And then he did. It was important because it would never happen again. They’d go back to work tomorrow and never mention it, never talk to each other any differently than usual, and the night would disappear as easily as an unremarkable dream.
Unless Alexander was stupid enough to get himself locked out again, and even then he could hardly expect Jefferson to repeat this act of charity.
Jefferson stretched his arms over his head, clearly about to head upstairs. Alexander concentrated on scooping up the very last lick of icecream, on keeping his face a perfect blank, unsure what the nagging feeling inside him meant, but he could analyse it later -all night, if he wanted – once he was alone. He rarely slept in new places.
“Well, I’m gonna turn in,” Jefferson drawled. “The guest room is the first door upstairs on the left. I’ll leave the light on so you can find it.” He nodded at their ice cream dishes. “Leave all that, I’ll clean up in the morning.”
Alexander nodded, glad he had his spoon in his mouth to justify his lack of speech.
Jefferson glanced at him as he lowered his arms, and Alexander felt that glance over his whole body.
“Unless you want a beer or something?”
A couple of hours later they were pretty tipsy while some terrible futuristic movie played on the TV. No squabbling. No nothing. It was…nice. It was different. He kept waiting for something to happen, unsure why he felt something should. He had no idea if Jefferson was disappointed or bored or indifferent.
Jefferson cleared his throat when the movie ended, and there was a little moment when something could have happened but didn't. Alexander realised only then how tense he'd been the whole time, waiting for it.
“Well, goodnight,” Thomas said, almost abruptly, getting to his feet. “Sleep well.”
“Thanks,” Alexander whispered, as he was left alone.
He woke up at six to an empty house, and a crude text from Jefferson saying to help himself to breakfast, that he went to the gym before work, and besides it would look weird if they travelled into work together with Hamilton in yesterday’s clothes. Which Alexander had to admit was fair. He'd cut his losses and get an uber in.
Jefferson had left hot coffee in the machine for him, plus a fresh towel and toothbrush on the couch. Nice of him. So Alexander had showered – refusing to let his mind think of the body that had been in here an hour or so before – cleaned his teeth, redressed in yesterday’s suit, and then went to dig around in Jefferson’s kitchen. He’d like to properly nose around, maybe help himself to that fancy granola or organic bread, but he was already late, so he settled for grabbing a banana from the fruit bowl and a couple of granola bars he found in the cupboard.
He checked his phone absently, munching away, while waiting for the uber. Of course there would be no suitable buses from here. Maybe he could expense it. On second thoughts, no, the last thing he wanted was an uber receipt of him coming into work from Jefferson’s house, even if said receipt was only reviewed by robots or admin zombies.
He pulled Jefferson’s message up a couple of times. For some reason he was expecting a follow up message, which of course wouldn’t come. There was nothing else to say. And Jefferson would be on his way to work by now, and was the kind of person who got absorbed as quickly as Alexander did. He wouldn’t be waiting for a message from Alexander.
Alexander should text him. To say thanks. Or should he leave a note? It didn’t really matter. He would thank the man when he saw him.
His instinct was right; they never mentioned it again, aside from a nod and mumbled thanks from Alexander when he saw Jefferson in the office. This was passing through the hallway, when others were around, and the other man’s eyes had been blank, probably thinking about a work thing, the way Alexander was whenever someone came up to him at work.
They went back to ignoring each other, with occasional fierce debates during meetings, but that was it. And Alexander didn’t know why it bugged him so much.
A few weeks down the line, working late (but not that late, he’d learned his lesson, thanks), Alexander had gone out for a snack and found a new Caribbean place had opened down the street. Most of them were either inauthentic or terrible, or both, but seeing the place he had a sudden craving for jerk stew, or plantains, or hell even a pattie or two. He went inside.
After fifteen minutes with the owner, he came out with a heavily discounted dumplings, stew, plantains on the side and a small bar of rum flavoured chocolate. He loved New York.
It was an embarrassing amount of food, but damn he was hungry, he liked the dude and he was, which happened very rarely, sorta homesick. So instead of taking his haul back to his desk like he normally did, he got himself a glass of water and sat at a table in the breakroom, wanting to enjoy every bite. Damn, if it was as good as it smelled...
“What’s that you got?”
Alexander jumped. Looking up, he found Jefferson leaning in the breakroom doorway, watching him with a faint smirk. He rolled his eyes at Alexander’s reaction, peeling himself off the wall.
“Relax, Hamilton, I was only askin’. Not like I’m gonna steal your damn food.”
He strolled away before Alexander had time to respond, leaving him feeling vaguely stupid. It was the first non-work interaction they’d had since he slept over. And probably the last, the way Alexander had reacted.
He shook his head to clear it. He was really overthinking the whole Jefferson thing - that prick didn’t matter.
The food, strangely enough, served to be a sort of distraction from Jefferson. He’d avoided all thoughts of home since he’d arrived, being so determined to be American, to love America, to move on from his past of being poor, orphaned, bored, hungry, bastardised, lonely, and mainly furious at the idea that he might end up wasting his life simply from being born in the wrong country, with the wrong opportunities.
The new grubby little Caribbean place changed that. Almost without realising it, he had made his peace with his past and who he was. He was grateful for where he came from, and sometimes he missed it. Yes, he missed it. Not least the damn good food.
It was a minor distraction from Jefferson, though part of him kept hoping the other man would wander in again during the late hours. He never did. Two nighttime encounters with Alexander were apparently enough.
In a way he wished he could be more like Jefferson, smooth and unflustered in any situation. For Hamilton, by the time he’d got round to composing himself to face whatever took him off guard, Jefferson had already moved on.
Well. That was if he just waited for Jefferson. And who said he had to?
Without giving himself time to think, he grabbed one of the little takeaway bags and made for Jefferson’s office.
No-one answered the knock, but he let himself in anyway.
Jefferson glanced up from the screen but his eyes remained vague, concentrating on whatever was doing.
“Do come in,” he drawled, when Alexander had already shut the door behind himself.
Alexander fought back the habit to snap. According to Lafeyette, Jefferson just talked this way sometimes and he didn’t mean anything by it. Instead Alexander proffered the bag. “You hungry?”
“What is it?”
He put his hand in the bag and helped himself to a dumpling. “Dang, this is good.”
“They’re called Festival. They're a Caribbean specialty.”
“Where’d you get it?”
“Little place down the road.”
“Huh. You’ll have to text me the name.”
Alexander took a ball for himself.
“What are you doing?” he asked, nodding at the laptop.
Jefferson glanced at it. “Report edits.”
He made no criticism against Alexander for once, and Alexander offered none either. So far so good.
“How about you?” Jefferson said.
“I’ve been eating my bodyweight in these for the past 15 minutes,” Alexander replied honestly. His stomach flipped when that earned him Jefferson’s slow, beautiful smile. “And then I guess I'll go home."
He waited for Jefferson to meet his eye, say something, but he’d already gone back to his laptop. Am I like this when people try to talk to me at work?
“I’ll leave you to it,” he said.
“Thanks for the snack,” Jefferson replied absently, already typing away.
“Sure,” Alexander said, backing out.
He needed to get a grip. So what if he’d slept over at Jefferson's house, and they’d watched a movie over a beer? Literally nothing happened. If he and Jefferson could be civil to each other now and then, then great, but there was no need to analyse the situation over and over again.
Alexander hadn’t told anyone, but now he thought maybe he should have. Because not telling anyone about it sort of made it seem like it was a big deal, like it was a secret. Though Jefferson almost certainly hadn’t told anyone. Maybe Madison. But Madison looked at Alexander with the same ill-disguised annoyance as he always did, so it was impossible to tell.
Alexander kind of wished he'd told someone, even if he was mocked until the end of his days, just so he could have an opinion on a) why this bugged him so much, and b) on how to get it to not bug him so much.
Though he sort of had an inclination of what the answer might be. It had been a while since he’d been on a date (since he’d been fucked, ok), and Jefferson was…well, Jefferson.
Alexander wasn’t the best date. He had screwed up his only serious relationship, and part of him had been relieved. All of him, in fact, for he had no regrets. Work was more important to him.
He may not be the best date, but he did consider himself a good fuck (all that pent up energy was good for something), and maybe that was all he needed, some stranger, some distraction that work or writing couldn’t scratch. That would get rid of that feeling he had about Jefferson. That awful longing that kept him replaying their interactions and told him he might have wasted his shot.
It wasn’t the classiest bar in the world, but he'd been before and it did the job. Lafeyette was late, but Alexander wasn’t too fussed – the sooner he got what he wanted, the sooner he could move on and go home. If he found what he was looking for he wouldn't be waiting around for a wingman.
Alexander wasn’t fussy. Usually wasn’t fussy, anyway. But that night he found himself vaguely dismissive of everyone he met. Lafeyette had come and gone, long since found someone he wanted and pulled. Alexander didn’t really have a type, so he didn’t know what he was looking for, what the problem was. Until he did – none of the men here were enough like Jefferson.
You fucking idiot.
He ordered another drink. Why the fuck not. He probably should hook up, just on principle. If he were younger he’d probably start a fight, just for the hell of it, just to get things out of his system. It was a good thing Alexander enjoyed work so much, as he was clearly incapable of functioning as an adult in any other setting.
So Alexander continued to drink, alone, turning the sharpest version of his tongue against anyone stupid enough to talk to him. He did, however, know when he’d had enough, and he was probably at that point.
He stood, stumbling sooner than he expected. He’d go outside and get some air. Get an uber, the money be damned.
Steadying himself, he took a few steps, and walked straight into someone’s chest.
A pair of arms caught him by his upper arms, steadying him.
Regaining his balance, Alexander prepared to launch into a half-slurred tirade against whoever dared get in his way – and blinked foolishly when he saw it was Jefferson.
“You’re here,” he blurted.
The other man kept hold of Alexander’s arms, as if not trusting him to stand by himself.
“I am,” Jefferson said, looking amused. “And you can barely stand.”
Alexander barely heard him. They’d come together again, in a fucking gay hook up bar, Alexander couldn’t not do something.
He grabbed hold of Jefferson’s lapels and pulled him in for a kiss. A tiny noise of astonishment came – ha, Alexander could take him by surprise – but then his arms came around Alexander, holding him. He tasted good, like whiskey.
After a moment Jefferson drew back, pressing their foreheads together.
“How drunk are you, Hamilton?”
Amazingly, this seemed to work. Maybe Jefferson was hammered too. He tugged on Hamilton until they were sitting in a booth, Alexander finding his way on to the other man’s lap.
“Thomas!” They both started at the interruption, jerking their heads up. Madison was standing over them, wide eyed.
Alexander felt Jefferson relax when he saw who it was.
“Relax, James, it’s not like I’m gonna fuck him.”
Alexander stiffened at this.
“What the hell do you mean, you’re not gonna fuck me?”
“...I’m going,” Madison said, putting down the drinks he’d been carrying.
“Obviously I’m not,” Jefferson said, avoiding Alexander’s eyes. “Look at him, he’s wasted. I’ll just…put him in an uber so he gets home.” His voice tailed off unconvincingly, which was promising.
“You better.” Madison rolled his eyes and walked away.
“Drinks on me next time,” Jefferson called after him vaguely.
“Are you dating him?” Alexander demanded.
Jefferson laughed, stroking his fingers through Alexander’s hair.
“No, Hamilton, I am not dating James.”
Alexander tried to pull him in for another kiss, but Jefferson put their foreheads together again, drawing his lips back.
“He’s right,” Jefferson sighed. “Look at you. I shouldn’t even be touching you.”
“What? Yes you should.”
He tried to run his hands down Jefferson’s chest, but the other man caught hold of his wrists.
“What are you doing here, Hamilton?” he said. “Why are you so trashed?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
The grip on his wrists loosened a little as Jefferson looked aside, as if unsure what to do with this information.
“But I was being fussy,” he added.
That made him smile, that slow, beautiful smile that Alexander realised he’d been wanting to see.
“Oh?” Jefferson said, returning his eyes to Alexander’s. “Then what-"
Alexander was on him again, tongue against Jefferson’s, and this time the other man didn’t push him off.
It was unclear how long this went on for, curled up in their little corner of this smoky club, when the room went a little swervy, the drink finally taking its toll.
“Oh fuck,” he muttered
“You ok?” the other man said, stilling.
“Fuck,” Alexander said again. He had thrown himself at Jefferson, crawled on his lap, and now he might puke. “I’m sorry.”
“Hamilton.” A hand held his cheek. “Fuck. I’m sorry. Here.” He manouvered the other man gently until he was off his lap and sitting in the booth, secure against the leather back. “I’m gonna go get you some water, don’t move.”
Alexander closed his eyes, feeling the room move around him. He wondered vaguely if Jefferson really would come back. Then he flinched as something icy pressed against his forehead. His eyes flew open to find Jefferson grinning at him, holding a glass to his skin.
“Fuck off,” he mumbled.
The other man’s smile faded. “You ok?”
“I’m sorry, Hamilton,” Jefferson said, and Alexander’s stomach lurched as if he might actually be sick. He regrets it already. “You’re wasted. James was right, I shouldn’t have done that. It was a shitty thing to do.”
“In case you didn’t notice I fucking flung myself at you,” Alexander said, slurring slightly.
“Yeah, but you were wasted,” Jefferson said again, gently. “You are wasted. You need to go home.”
“I want to go home with you," he said, because fuck it, it was rare for him to be this interested in anyone, and his dignity was already on the floor.
“You like my spare room that much?”
“Not your spare room. Don’t be an ass.”
“It’s the spare room when you’re like this, Hamilton. Or the couch, if you prefer. Either way, my door will be shut.”
Alexander snorted. But something about this was almost reassuring. It was sweet. And really, he was very drunk. He’d probably fall asleep in Jefferson’s bed even if the other man tried to seduce him.
Another glass of water later, they were in the cab and then in Jefferson’s house. He kept saying Jefferson’s name, and then forgetting what he had to say.
“You’re a real asshole sometimes,” Alexander slurred, letting himself drop to the couch while Jefferson went to get him more water.
“You’re a very friendly drunk, I see,” Jefferson he called, but he sounded like he was smiling.
“You’re so hard to talk to.”
“I’m hard to talk to?”
“Do you think it’s illegal?” Alexander said, already moving on.
“Do I think what’s illegal?”
“Not illegal…um, against…not against the law…you know, this. Is there some kind of rule against anything happening between us?”
“Conflict of interest,” Jefferson murmured, suddenly coming to his side on the couch, handing him a glass. “I dunno. I guess if we were serious we’d have to like, declare it.”
“Declare it?” Alexander looked at him. “Like goods?”
“I don’t know Hamilton, I don’t make a habit of fucking my coworkers.”
“Good,” Alexander mumbled. “I really don’t like Madison.”
“Or my friends.”
A little wave of clarity came over Alexander then, playing back the last hour or so. He swallowed.
“I’m gonna really hate myself in the morning, aren’t I?”
A hand covered his own. “I really hope not.”
“I pretty much threw myself at you,” Alexander went on. “And you’re not interested.”
“Hamilton.” Jefferson took his hand away, voice slowing like he was talking to a child. “Why do you think you’re here?”
Alexander looked at him.
“This is the second time you’re here. Why do you think that is? Why do you think, when you got locked out, that I didn’t call the guy I know on security or tell you you can get away with expensing hotels in far stupider situations than yours?”
“Why do you think I didn’t call Lafayette or take you back to your roommate tonight?”
He moved away, shaking his head.
"But you didn't do anything when we..."
"Because you were tense as fuck and I thought I might be being weird." He ran a hand through his hair. “You’re hard to talk to, asshole.”
Alexander sat there, for once without anything to say. There was nothing to say. He was so happy.
“I have to take you to the Caribbean place,” Alexander said. “You know. Once I’ve confirmed I won’t lose my job. Maybe you could just lose yours. That could work.”
Jefferson smiled at this.
“You’d miss me too much. You’d get bored arguing by yourself in meetings.”
“Can we confirm in the morning that I didn’t dream any of this, please,” Alexander murmured, closing his eyes and leaning in to rest on Jefferson’s shoulder. "Maybe play down the part where I threw myself at you really hard."
Smiling into Alexander's hair, Jefferson didn't respond.