Laynie sees him outside, standing against the wall, sneakers brand new and teeshirt rumpled. He's cute, in an all-American, too-deep-for-thou kind of way, and he doesn't look particularly happy. "Hey," she says, "do you always look so James Dean, or only when you're alone?"
He stares at her blankly for a few seconds, then breaks out into a slow grin. "It's a solitary pursuit, sometimes."
"Too bad," Laynie says, and leans against the wall beside him. "So what are you doing here, anyway?"
The guy turns to face her, courteously, and he replies, "just waiting for someone."
"Are you new in town?" she asks, because really, someone this noticeable should have been noticed in Everwood by now if he was planning to stay. Someone would have alerted what passed for the media in this pathetic town.
"Too bad," she says again.
He waits a moment, and then says, "you live here?"
"Only when I have no free will," Laynie says. Off his confused look, she explains, "summer holidays and when I'm kicked out. It's not that bad, four months a year."
The guy is cute, but he's got that blank look much like her mother after morning snack of tomato juice and Valium. Laynie's interest is waning fast; she liked her friends and family live. he says, "it's kind of pretty, though."
"sure," Laynie agrees easily. "So you in town for the view?" she asks, and then as he gives her that blank confused look again, she takes pity on him and stops joking. "No, I know, you're here to see Dr. Brown, right?"
"A friend of mine," he answers, and there's a flash of something in his eyes. Something definitely alive.
"You're not from around here," Laynie says, and he nods. "Then you must be here about a headcase," she guesses. He stares at her, and - bingo. There's all Laynie needs to figure this guy's story out. Poor kid. "He's good," she says. "Dr. Brown." Laynie swallows. "He's one of the best."
The kid watches her; Laynie knows he's hoping for something else, some kind of reassurance, some voucher that his friend, whoever it is, will pull through and Dr. Brown will perform a miracle. Valium, she decides. She remembers the feeling, and it helps, but it looks like this guy's been on them a little too long. He could use some empty comfort, probably.
"See you later," she says, instead.