Number 16, Questioning. Demyx goes to see Vexen just to make sure he's not really going deaf.
Demyx stared at the ceiling. "No...those kind of go along with ear infections, and you already asked about those..."
Vexen didn't respond to that, just wrote something down on a sheet of paper. "Have you had any recent difficulties in..." Demyx couldn't make out all of what he said. "...a sound?"
Demyx swallowed hard, instinctively. "I'm sorry, difficulties in what?"
"In locating the source of a sound," Vexen repeated, a little louder.
"Oh. Um, no. No problems."
Vexen wrote that down too, and something else. A little cold knot formed in Demyx's empty chest - he'd caught that mistake, when he couldn't quite make out the whole question - it was nothing, it had to be, but of course Vexen would think it was something... "Have you suffered any unusual dizziness, attacks of vertigo, difficulty maintaining balance, or motion sickness?"
Motion sickness? Demyx, motion sick? Was he out of his mind? "No. Nothing like that."
"Do you know of any family history of hearing loss?"
Demyx just stared. Family? He'd never really had one of those; he couldn't even remember his mother's face... "I have no idea. I know my grandmother had some trouble hearing sometimes, but that's just normal aging." Right?
Vexen wrote it down anyway. Then he pulled out a laptop with attached headphones and a little box with a little button on it. He opened the laptop, fiddled with it for a while while Demyx sat there wondering what he was doing. When he was finally satisfied, he handed Demyx the headphones and the button. "Put these headphones on, and take the button in your hand. Whenever you hear a tone in one ear, quickly and firmly push the button. Testing the right ear first."
Demyx had no idea how long the test went on, but he thought it had gone pretty well - he'd pressed his share of buttons, and heard about the same number of tones in each ear. Hell, if Vexen had wanted him to, he could have named exactly what pitch was being played in which ear when. "So...is that it, then?"
Vexen shook his head wearily. "No. I will..." Part of the sentence was too soft for Demyx to make out. " -form repeat testing, and possibly other testing beyond that, if...-so demonstrates a similar pattern."
Demyx could almost feel his blood freeze, and he was pretty sure Vexen wasn't doing it. "Similar pattern of what?"
Demyx vaguely remembered nodding his way through Vexen's brief explanation, which he heard about three-quarters of and paid close attention to almost none of, though he did remember that he was supposed to show up again the next day for another test. He also vaguely remembered stumbling his way back to his own room, turning the stereo on, and sliding to the floor, without particularly caring what volume it was set at. His memory sharpened at the point where he thought Is this for real, or a nightmare? Am I going to wake up to find out I just dreamed the whole thing from sheer anxiety and my real hearing test tomorrow is going to be normal? Or did I just take it, like I thought I did, and Vexen said I had some hearing deficiencies? "Hearing deficiencies" - is that some sort of euphemism for "partly deaf"?
But he only vaguely remembered curling up on the floor and starting to cry.