At first, Arianwen thought it was just another migraine.
Dr. Caitrin hadn’t been able to do much for her, any more than the doctors back home had. She’d frowned, run some tests, run some more tests, and sent Ari back to her room with some aspirin and a note for light PE activity on the bad days.
And this was a bad day. First the shit with Gillian in Lit, and then Januarius had followed her back to her room, making some noise about a dance or something. Like she wanted that noise. Like she wanted the flashing lights and people everywhere, up in her face, jostling her. He might as well have been asking her to dress up for a torture session.
This place didn’t understand the meaning of “introvert;” they didn’t understand the meaning of “spoons,” or what it meant to run out of them, and they seemed to think every problem could be solved with judicious application of beer, or possibly whiskey. Januarius had flat-out offered to cook her up some nice pain pills in his dorm room! His roommate, Azra, had been trying to get Ari to agree to a make-over.
It was enough to make a girl hide in her room and never come out, except when she tried that, Luke or Doug came knocking. Doug had, of all of them, been the most helpful, helping her figure out a program of light exercise that seemed to make the migraines last less long and come less often, and helping her come up with work-arounds for the dizziness and nausea. He seemed to have a lot of practice dealing with her symptoms, but he was even more close-mouthed than normal when she asked him why.
Just another oddity in this very odd school. And now this headache, this stabbing through her temples, the pressure in her sinuses, the nausea and spots in her vision. The spots that were dancing in some sort of pattern. That was new. Should she call the doctor? No, of course not, there was no phone.
If she passed out… the thought terrified her. She could hit her head. She could not wake up. They wouldn’t come in her room; it could be Monday before anyone noticed she was missing. By then…
She opened the door. If anyone messed with her, she’d mace them.
Januarius was standing outside her door, hand raised to knock. He frowned at her, suddenly looking worried. “Ari, we’re got to get you to the doctor.”
“Yes, please,” she gasped. The lights out here were horrid, causing stabbing pain right above her nose. She closed her eyes to rub them, and
Every clock-tick seemed to last an eternity. Every heartbeat was at least a week apart. She could see the spaces between the seconds, for a brief flash of clarity. Then there was nothing but endless pain.
“I’ve got you,” Januarius whispered, and, blessedly, horribly, terrifyingly, she passed out.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/309947.html. You can comment here or there.