Number 77, Test. Now he knows.
"I gotta ask - what's the point of doing this twice?" he finally said when it was over. It seemed a comparatively safe question, until Vexen answered it.
"The first air-conduction test was to establish thresholds at various frequencies for both ears. The second air-conduction test was primarily to confirm previous results. The bone-conduction test is to determine the source of hearing loss - whether the cause is damage to the outer ear or eardrum, or to the inner ear or auditory nerve."
Oh, okay. Makes sense.
Hearing loss. Not possible hearing loss. Not even probable hearing loss. He just said hearing loss.
Oh no. No. No, no, no! NO! It can't be true! It can't be possible! I can't be going deaf! I'm only eighteen - I'm a musician -I have to be able to hear - I can't live without hearing the music -
Demyx wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. He wanted to curl up on the floor and bawl like a baby. He wanted to throw Vexen's stupid little testing device across the room or out the window or into the nearest body of water or at Vexen's head. He wanted to run out of the room and find the deepest, darkest hole in the worlds and hide in it and never come out. He wanted to play himself one last song and die as soon as it was over so he'd never have to live without music.
Instead, he sat there quietly and pretended he was every bit as emotionless as a good Nobody was supposed to be and submitted to Vexen's absurd repeat-after-me games and allowed Vexen to repeat them while one ear or the other was getting blasted with static and listened patiently while Vexen explained that he had some form of sensorineural hearing loss and he'd lost 25 decibels in the right ear and 22 decibels in the left ear and there was no way to know what had caused it right now but it was worth worrying about - and he tried to ignore the sensation like a thousand little sharp claws tearing at his guts. He even cooperated without question as Vexen led him out of the testing room and into a different little room, sat him down in a chair that had an extra arm across it so he couldn't get out by himself, and proceeded to draw four or five tubes of blood.
It wasn't until Vexen had bandaged the little hole in his elbow and let him out of the chair and kept an eye on him for a few minutes to make sure he wouldn't faint and finally let him go back to his own room - when he was back safely in his own room, he let out one wail of despair and collapsed, sobbing uncontrollably.