logan! in a coma! seeing The Amazing Dr. Brown! uh.


He shows up wearing some mod-goth monstrosity, like he got fashion advice from a hardcore fanatic and forgot what stores to go into. The first thing Veronica notices is that he's totally comfortable in the waiting room; he's not nervous, or ill-at-ease, or anxious. He's not even excited, like suddenly there's a little boy or girl in the picture. This kid is just standing there, trying to make the candy machine work as if everything is peachy keen, normal, average, and Veronica's hair stands on end.

They won't let her see Logan; someone's orders. Thinking nasty things about Trina only takes you so far into the day, so when the kid sits down near her, Veronica says, "you have family here?"

He seems surprised she spoke. "Uh, my dad, yeah."

"I'm sorry," Veronica says, and means it sincerely. If she ever lost her dad--

"No," and the guy looks embarrassed. "He's a doctor here."

She sits up - so what if she's in the waiting room of the hospital where her not-boyfriend is laying in a coma, kind of chatting up another guy? It's better than chewing her fingernails so much they bleed - and that was Thursday. "So the intensive care has the best vending machines?"

The guy has a way about him, a nervousness not born of being in the hospital, Veronica realizes as he ducks his head again. "He's a brain surgeon, actually." A pause, and then, "I'm Ephram."

"Veronica," she says. "So your dad's the hotshot the Echolls estate enticed all the way from Boulder, huh?"

Ephram smiles, but it's sad. "Everwood, actually. That's him - The Amazing Dr. Brown."

Veronica nods, pretending to be impressed. "Is he any good?"

Ephram ducks again, and the smile drops off his face. "Depends. So why are you here?"

"I know," and Veronica consciously forces herself to amend, "I knew Logan."

Ephram doesn't look like the kind of guy to give her any kind of false hope or promises that his dad can provide a miracle; it's been a week now and some things money just can't buy. Better prison clothes. A defence attorney that can remove videotape from the evidence lock-up under the new sheriff. Waking up from a coma. But Ephram doesn't say that Logan will wake up, don't worry, everything will be fine, and Veronica appreciates it, even as she hates him for it.

Instead, he offers her some honey roasted peanuts, and she takes a handful, even though she hates nuts. There's only so many hours a day you can spend hating Trina or planning how to break into a ward protected by a private security force. Veronica hates feeling this helpless. She asks, "so do you know how Logan's doing?" Off his look, she explains, "they won't let me see him. I'm not family."

Ephram doesn't ask for any more explanation, but he answers, "my dad doesn't really talk about it much. I have," he adds, and looks away, "seen people worse do okay."

She still hates him. But she takes more peanuts.