Number 59, No Way Out. Vexen says the last thing Demyx wants to hear.
Vexen examined the latest pair of audiometry graphs grimly."Approximately 36 decibels in each ear. Which is a l(oss of about) 12 decibels in five weeks."
Demyx sighed heavily. After over a month, he'd - almost - resigned himself to the fact that he'd never be able to hear as well as he used to. But every time Vexen tested his hearing again, and he hoped it would at least be the same as it was last time, it kept getting worse and worse, a little more every week. It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to pretend everything was normal, but the worse his hearing loss grew, the more desperate he was to keep everyone else from knowing. He'd never given Vexen permission to share what was going on with anyone for just that reason, even when he'd had a psychiatric meltdown because of the medication he'd been put on briefly - very briefly.
Why? Why can't I admit it? I don't know...I just can't...
He blinked hard and tried to ignore that heavy, painful sensation in his chest that seemed far too much like real grief. "And you still have no idea what's causing it?"
"Considering the prednisone had (no effect what)soever...the complete lack of any other symptoms...and the unav(ailability of any)sort of family history...it doesn't fit the usual pattern, but I begin to suspect the...-lated."
Demyx sighed. Great time for Vexen to turn his head. "You begin to suspect the what?"
"I suspect the loss is noise-related."
"Oh..." Demyx stared up at the ceiling, trying to think what loud noises he'd been exposed to recently enough to kick off this whole chain of misery, and that would have been serious enough to slowly drain away his hearing long after the fact. Maybe that horrible storm in New Orleans...the wind had been strong enough to almost tear his clothes off; maybe it had damaged his ears somehow...
Vexen was talking again. "...likely culprit, in your case."
Demyx straightened up and paid more attention. "Sorry, what's the likely culprit?"
"Repeated prolonged exposure to music. Causing your hearing loss."
"...Oh..." Demyx said in a voice not even he could hear. Some Heartless somewhere was busy wondering why its stolen heart had just shattered like a dropped glass. "I...guess...that makes...sense...excuse me. I really need to go." He stood up and stumbled out of the lab, without waiting for Vexen's permission. Instead of going back to his own room, he wandered the endless white hallways, never quite aware of where he was, or even who or what. All he knew was, it was the music. The music was destroying his hearing.
By the time he somehow found himself back in his own room, his thought process had partially reengaged, though that wasn't necessarily a good thing. It enabled him to think a little more clearly, but he didn't necessarily want to.
He couldn't survive not being able to hear music.
Therefore, he couldn't survive not being able to hear, period.
If the music really was destroying his ability to hear - if a few more fractions of a decibel were bleeding away every time he played sitar or turned the stereo on - maybe, if he stopped listening to music, he'd be able to preserve the rest of his hearing indefinitely.
But if he had to give up music to keep himself from going completely deaf...well, he might as well go completely deaf anyway; what was the point of being able to hear if he couldn't listen to music?
It was like being given the choice to either give up his sitar forever, or continue to play it for a few months, at the end of which his hands would be cut off. Worse, actually. More like choosing between being paralyzed from the neck down for life or dying in a few months. No, it was even worse than that. More like choosing whether to give up his soul now and still be able to hear, or give up both his soul and his ability to hear in a few months.
If I can't feel emotions...if I can't be sad or afraid or anything...why do I want to die instead of make this choice?