Number 94, Last Hope. Demyx's best chance of saving his hearing comes in pill form.
Demyx half-smiled; he'd heard enough to get the gist of what Axel was saying. "I wouldn't consider myself lucky. The reason I haven't been getting sent on missions is because they've had me busting my ass here." Busting his ass, having Vexen fiddling with his ears, nose, throat, eyes, etcetera, virtually nonstop, but Axel didn't need to know that.
Axel winced visibly. "Ohh. Not so lucky, then. That's tough." He turned to his other side and started talking to Roxas about something; Demyx couldn't make out most of what they were saying, but it probably didn't concern him. He'd always sort of been on the outside of their conversations anyway...
He sighed and shook his head. He was done with his breakfast, and Vexen would want to see him now. He left his dishes by the sink, left Axel and Roxas talking about whatever they were talking about, and headed for Vexen's lab for another round of getting his head picked apart.
"All right, I know you're trying to help me here -" or at least I assume you are - "but what exactly is all this stuff for? I mean, messing with my ears, I could understand - I think I've been spending more time hooked up to that audiometer than to my MP3 player lately - but looking at my eyes, my throat, bending my neck every which way, testing my balance three or four different ways every day - what's it all looking for?"
"Attempting to deter-...-ing cause for this hearing loss," Vexen said, as if he thought Demyx should have known that already. Whatever it was he said. Normally he kept his voice at a volume where Demyx could hear him pretty well, but sometimes he slipped.
"Oh..." Demyx thought he said something like "determine an underlying cause", but didn't feel like asking and making sure. He definitely didn't see what most of what Vexen was doing might have to do with why he had to turn the volume up and ask people to repeat themselves all the time. "So what do you think the problem is?"
"That...I have been unable to determine thus far. And that concerns me greatly. I have, however, elimi-...-ous possibilities."
Demyx sighed. "Well, that's comforting..." I think...
"Not necessarily..." Vexen started looking over a sheet of paper and muttering to himself. Demyx tried to pick out what he was saying, with limited success. "Meni-...-perience drop att-...-bvious and severe...acous-...-oma would also prod-...-bular disturb-...-ably cause unilat-...-tient history of aut-...disease, but one might devel-...-aneously...no other sym-...teral hearing loss...-ven tinnitus...-tern doesn't match...find in pure-...related loss, and...pect to find sub...Prednisone. If it helps, it helps. If it doesn't, I suspect nothing will."
Demyx blinked. "What's prednisone?"
"A corticosteroid medication frequently used to treat patients with autoimmune disorders."
"Do you...think that's what's wrong with me?"
"Having eliminated virtually every other poss-...not unlikely. Excuse me for a moment." Vexen teleported away and returned some minutes later with a bottle of pills and a few sheets of paper, which he handed over to Demyx. "Dosage instructions and possible side effects. Read those carefully, and follow the dos-...-tions to the letter. If you have any sudden attacks of severe vertigo or unexplained nausea, or your hearing suddenly worsens, come see me immediately, even if...mission at the time."
Demyx slowly walked back to his own room, reading the sheets as he went. Some of the listed side effects made him gulp. But if it could restore his hearing...