Sky’s The Limit
Part VI: Narcoleptic
The party died down fairly quickly after that so I headed upstairs, more than ready to sleep. I was already tired and then I’d gone and used my ability. At least neither Alison or Ahti seemed bothered by it. I dreaded to think how Allen would react to the full knowledge of my ability. He didn’t need much more reason to dislike me. I knew the type of person he was, and he would not respond well to learning I could in any way influence his thoughts. Which I would never do. I didn’t really want to go anywhere near his mind to be honest. I’d probably need therapy to recover from all that internalised homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia life had taught him.
I let out a breath and drew one in to ready myself, and opened the door to our dorm room. Allen was lying on his bed, tablet in front of him and a leaflet on his bedside table. He looked up at me the moment I entered and I waited for him to say whatever he wanted to say. Instead he kept staring. I fought a sigh and grabbed some PJs from my wardrobe.
The bathrooms here were gender neutral with stalls which were cool. I remembered having to battle the school on bathrooms. They were fine for me to use the men’s no matter my presentation, despite me pointing out how inappropriate that was if I was in a feminine state of mind. Their response to this for a long time was I used the disabled toilet instead, but our school was small and there only one disabled toilet, and the disabled students needed that. It took their parents complaining for the school to let me use whichever toilet matched my presentation that day. Thankfully none of the girls in my school minded, in fact it was during those times I got a lot of free makeup advice.
I finished brushing my teeth and cleaning my makeup, frowning at the slight stubble I could feel on my chin. Even when I was in a masculine state of mind I hated stubble. I went into a stall and got changed quickly. I heard the door open while I was in there but didn’t think anything of it, until I left the stall. Allen glanced over his shoulder at me. He wiped at the water around his mouth and turned fully.
“Sorry about before. I was trying to make a joke. I don’t think it quite worked,” he said. He shifted uncomfortably before crossing his arms. He seemed fairly intent on avoiding my gaze which didn’t make it easy to believe a word he was saying. I could feel the anger from earlier blazing back to life as I looked at him.
“You mean at the start of class? Or when you were using the T or the G slur?” I asked, aware I was raising my voice; something I rarely did. I saw him physically back further into the sink counter in response.
“I’d honestly only ever heard the T slur before coming here. I won’t be using that or the G slur anymore and I’m sorry. For what it’s worth, I’d much rather have a healing ability like yours,” he replied. I frowned, breaking my own rule and skimming his surface thoughts. I could sense his apology was genuine at least, although his thoughts right now were a distorted mass of various memories and thoughts colliding. I pulled out. I wouldn’t have been able to see more without physical contact, not that I wanted too. It felt messy.
“Probation period,” I said firmly. “If you haven’t done or said anything dum over the next two weeks, I’ll forgive you and there’ll be a clean slate,” I finished.
“Thank you,” Allen said. He opened the door, sensing quite rightly that I didn’t want to talk about it anymore with him. Allison was there and stepped aside as Allen walked past, shooting them a questioning look.
“Are you okay? He didn’t try to hurt you or anything did he?” Allison asked.
“No, he was apologising,” I said, shutting the door behind me and leaning against the hallway wall.
“Wait, are pigs flying?” Allison joked. I let out a small laugh before looking up at them.
“I broke my own rule and checked his mind. He meant it at least,” I said, feeling uncomfortable.
“I don’t blame you. He’s caused a lot of trouble in just one day of being here,” Allison shrugged. I felt some relief at their words.
“I should probably go to sleep,” I sighed. At least the atmosphere in that room would be less tense now.
“You know, if you ever wanted a time out from Allen, you could crash on the floor in my room. I don’t think Rowan would mind if I asked them in advance…” Allison offered. I smiled at the thought. How much better would this whole experience be if Allison were my roommate?
“Thanks, but I’ll be fine I think. I might take you up on that offer later though,” I replied.
“I’ll maintain an open door policy for you,” they murmured, something about their tone made me blush. Were they flirting? With me? Tiredness must really be getting me.
“Goodnight Allison,” I said. I hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should do or say anything else, but then Allison reached forward and hugged me.
“Goodnight,” they said. We might have stayed like that a few seconds longer than friends would, the smell of their perfume making me feel light-headed. The scent stayed with me after we broke apart and I went to bed.
I prepared the Xyrem and took the first dose, falling asleep quickly. Four hours later I woke up again as always and took my next dose.
When I opened my eyes again the clock showed it was 5:30 in the morning. There wasn’t any point in taking a further dose, or I’d be rushing with twenty minutes to get ready for class. I went to the bathroom and then downstairs.
Allen was already downstairs, attempting to talk to Jaeger. I considered intervening but hadn’t woken up enough for something that difficult. I saw pancakes and immediately poured on syrup and devoured them. I had the worst sweet tooth. Sanjay left shortly after I turned up, following by Caroline and Charlie, and then Jaeger and Allen. I shamelessly grabbed a second helping and sat next to Ahti. Annabelle had left the room with Amber – thank you Allison for telling me all the names. I wondered what time Allison would get up. It would be rude of me to knock on their door at this time and wake them up. I briefly wondered how cute they looked sleeping before shaking my head.
“Morning,” Ahti said.
“Hey,” I replied, beginning to dig into my second helping of pancakes.
“These are really nice,” Ahti said. I looked up and had to fight a laugh. They had syrup around their mouth.
“Hang on, Let me get you a piece of kitchen towel,” I said, putting my plate on the coffee table. I grabbed a second for myself and sat back down.
“Why do I need this?” Ahti asked, frowning.
“You kind of have syrup,” I gestured around the mouth region and they were still frowning. “You use the towel to wipe it. It’s a human thing,” I explained.
“Humans are weird,” Ahti murmured, but went ahead and wiped at the syrup around their mouth.
“Heh, yeah. We are pretty odd,” I agreed, finishing my last pancake and letting myself sink into the sofa a little. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I realised it was my parents. “Oh, I’ll be right back,” I said, standing up quickly. This did not go to plan as my legs caved under me straight away and I collided with the table. I winced as I pulled myself up. Luckily nothing was bleeding, just bruised. I managed to throw out my arms so my jaw didn’t smash down.
“Are you okay?” Ahti cried, having made a distressed sound when I fell.
“Yeah,” I said, standing up. “It’s just a thing that happens when I get excited or emotional sometimes,” I sighed. “I have narcolepsy.”
“What’s that?” Ahti asked.
“It’s a medical condition. I experience a very fragmented sleep pattern without my medicine. This leads to me having excessive daytime sleepiness. I sometimes get cataplexy which is what just happened. I used to get hallucinations too but the medicine has stopped that unless I miss a night of sleep,” I explained. Ahti’s eyes widened, another distressed sound that was sort of adorable left them.
“I’m fine, really-” I was cut off by Ahti suddenly hugging me. I let an amused sigh before hugging back. “I better go call my dad back,” I said, ending the hug. I headed into the conservatory and sat near the windows where a tree outside offered shade. I’d spotted it before because it looked so comfy with all the cushions. I was very much correct. All I needed now was hot chocolate and a certain someone to make the place ten times better. I shoved aside the idyllic scene and rang my dad.