First Snowfall

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Heathen: B | Grade It Now!
First Snowfall

Nebraska. Eric's lawyer explains to Abby that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Eric was mentally incompetent. "[Eric] demanded due process," he explains. Abby worries that he won't stay medicated; the lawyer lets her in to see him in his tiny little cell.

Eric stares straight ahead. He really must not like Abby's new hair. "You requested a court martial?" Abby asks point-blank. "I was done in less than thirty," Eric shrugs. "The worst they'll do is discharge me, maybe a couple weeks of confinement." Abby can't believe this. Eric insists that he didn't hurt anyone or break any laws or act irresponsibly, except for the many ways in which he did both of the latter two things. "I just needed a change," he sighs. "You went AWOL," Abby reminds him. "That's between me and them," Eric replies. "They want me to say I'm crazy. I'm not going to say it." Abby sits down and rubs her forehead while Eric reminds her that Maggie was crazy, and he's not acting anything like Maggie did. "You can say it all you want," Eric wheedles. "I'm not her."

Nathan may not have learned surgery at County General, but he did learn the practice of pouting up on the roof. Elizabeth finds him up there; she's bundled up, but he isn't. Okay there. "You okay?" she calls out. "No symptoms," he laughs bitterly. "Perfect timing, huh?" Elizabeth approaches and hands him an envelope containing his evaluation; without looking at it, he shoves it into his pocket. "There's no middle ground with you, is there?" marvels Elizabeth. Nathan spits that the disease is going to cripple him. "Just when I learn how to deal with another symptom, it progresses," he sighs. "I expected...time. Time to figure out if..." Nathan pauses. "Time's gonna kick my ass," he finishes. Elizabeth can't believe he's just going to give up. "Isn't that what you wanted?" he asks. Damn well looked like it for a while there, but Elizabeth insists that, no, she's just that bitchy to everyone. "I wanted you to recognize your limitations," she says gently. "I thought you were trying to prove something. But you probably saved that little boy's life today." As Nathan listens impassively, Elizabeth credits him with connecting to Dodger at a time when no one else could, and guiding him toward making the right decision. "Any idiot can suture a wound and put in a chest tube," Elizabeth says. I wish Erin were listening. "You have a gift, Mr. Nathan. The gift of a physician," she stresses. "It's up to you to decide if you want to share that gift, and then find a way." She turns and leaves, then stops for a second. "By the way, I keep my promises. I failed you," she says lightly. Nathan watches her go with a glow of respect in his eyes. Unless that's burning hatred. Whatever. They're both fiery.

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