Authors Notes: Heeheehee... I wrote this chapter while high on seven cans of Sunkist, at 4 in the morning, after no sleep for two days. I can hear colors.

Pleasantly Depressed

Chapter 8 - Of Penlights and Bedside Manners

By Skandranon

Time stretched on forever. Such a strange word, time. It has no meaning. After all, what is time? Why do people continue to delude themselves, thinking it exists?

The world was numb and burning in fire. Peculiar, that it can do that. Numbness, after all, is a lack of feeling, while you would need said feeling to sense the burning. Did he feel the burning? It was so difficult to tell now.

Let us assume that he did in fact feel the burning. Then perhaps the numbness wasn't what its name suggested at all, but rather a detachment from sensation. This then would allow the sensation to be felt, but the person would be numb to it, noticing it but uncaring.

Such an odd word, person.

Space had no meaning here. Quite a few things had no meaning here. Furthermore, if space had no meaning here, then how could there be a here? And if time was nonexistent, how could there be a before or after here?

Let us assume time and space do, then, exist, as they must, since there are words for them. Therefore, this world actually did have time and space, as it would have to to be a world and a now, which it was. Thus, the lack of time and space are illusory. That, or time and space themselves are illusory.

Such big thoughts to have on your own. He fondly wished he had someone to discuss them with. However, people did not exist here, or their nonexistence did not exist here.

Such an inconvenience.

It became clear to him that there definitely a now and a here, for he was feeling their effects. It also became clear that he was not numb to sensation, and the burning did in fact reach him. And it hurt.


Really hurt.


He became aware of a few other things now. Such as, he had a body, and it hurt. And there was light. And it hurt. And people do exist, and he was being spoken to, and the sound hurt.


Did that sound come from him?

"Ah, how the fallen hero does rise again."

Many things were starting to exist now. Such as memories. He knew that voice, rough and sandy, with an undertone of butter. Irv...the name was escaping him, but he was sure he would capture it eventually. Irvine! Right, with the hat. How could he have forgotten the hat?

"Here's a heads up, Squall. I'm about to hold your eyes open to check your dilation."

And now a female voice, motherly almost. Had a Trabian slang to it. What was Trabian? Agh! Bright light! Light bad!

Sleep well, Lion mine?

Hey, numbers existed. That made three people, the last one with a voice like chimes and crystal. And cold.

Hm. He should really try this speech thing.

Light bad! No light!

The voice inside...what was a voice doing inside?!...chuckled, like a frozen brook that's just now thawing, with ice on top and rippling water underneath. Don't tell me, tell Kadowaki. Vocal cords. Nervous system controls vocal cords, makes sound. Tongue and lips form words.

Who are you?! Where am I? What is...oh, hi Shiva. What's a vocal co...never mind. How do I-

Just try it. You'll figure it out faster than I can explain it.

Oh. Now that he thought about it, it did made sense. "No light!"

Well, that was what he meant to say. He didn't have the speaking process down pat yet, so it came out more like "Nnai."

Wait, what's a Kadowaki? Oh well, worry about it later.

"He said, 'no light'."

Kadowaki looked up from her ministrations, sizing up Irvine skeptically. "Yes, I know. I know because I see patients drugged or near unconscious states almost every day. I've picked up the drawled accent, thank you."

He snorted and leaned back against the back of the metal chair, shifting until the edge wasn't biting into his spine. "Just trying to help."

Satisfied, Kadowaki dropped the eyelid, flicked off the penlight, and started fussing with a tray of tools. "You want to help? Keep talking to him. We need to lure him out of the coma."

Irvine leaned over the bed, tapping lightly on one of Squall's pale hands. "You missed an interesting ride home. I suppose I'll fill you in on the details later, or let Selphie give you the embellished version."


He blew a bang out of his face, annoyed. "I'm only fluent in drunk. My post-coma's a bit shaky."

"He said he doesn't give a shit." She cheerfully went about filling pointy objects with mind-altering chemicals.

Eyelashes flickered, then truly batted twice, and the cloudy grey within opened up to the world. "Wermelamai."

"'Where the hell am I'," she translated, then stuck the pointy object into the soft arm. The face that was distantly attached to the soft arm didn't seem to appreciate the gesture. "You're the hell in the infirmary in the hell of Balamb Garden, Commander Leonhart. And before you ask, since I know you'll get around to it eventually, no. You're bed-ridden for at least two more days."


She blinked. "Ehm, for some reason, he just said 'Déjà vu'. I hope he's not having delusions, otherwise I'll have to take him off these wonderful painkillers."

The eyelashes fluttered and batted again, only in reverse, and the eyes slid shut. "Kadowaki, he's going under again."

Checking the pulse, she shook her head. "He's out of the danger zone now. Best to let him get some real sleep." Bustling about as only nurses and maids can, she hooked up a sedative to the IV. "Still haven't a clue what took him out in the first place. He has no coma-inducing injuries, no head bumps, no spinal bruises. Only thing I can find is an unusually weak heart, and it's nowhere near trauma levels." She shrugged. "You orphanage kids always make my work difficult."

"Live to entertain," he murmured, and flexed his neck again. Still a bit stiff, but healing.

"You really should get some sleep now that he's stable. I don't like you spending the nights in a hospital chair after injuries of your own. And," she raised a hand to ward off the coming question, "yes I know they're uncomfortable. They're supposed to be. So that people won't spend the nights in them." She sighed. "There's no understanding SeeDs."

You couldn't really get a word in edgewise with Kadowaki unless she asked you for it. With her, you took your pills, ate your pudding, said yes ma'm, and slept when she told you to, or she'd take the choice away.

"Run along now, Kinneas, and get something to eat."

"Yes ma'am."

Return to Archive | next | previous