January 5th, 2011

Maa-chan's Inada-hime

Mrs. Epatha's: Chapter Four, Page Nineteen

Instead of respecting the violent promise in Alexandria's voice, Victoria seemed not to notice it. Her eyes unfocused and she looked thoughtful. "Trembling and crying?" she said, one hand moving from her hip so the index finger could tap her chin. "Was she sweating, too? Dilated pupils? Seemed spacey, like she didn't know where she was?"

Abruptly put off balance, Alexandria blinked, obviously wondering what just happened to their fight. "Um. Well...yeah."

"Ah," said Victoria, nodding. "A panic attack. Is she on medication?"

"Medication?" said Alexandria sharply. "Why would she need medication?"

"No, of course," Victoria muttered, now to the floor, again ignoring the signs of anger in Alexandria. "She's always by herself...so scared of her symptoms, she's probably hiding all the time, just to avoid an attack, so no one knows..."

Then she snapped back to attention, straightening her shoulders and looking back up at Alexandria. "All right then," she said decisively, as though some question had been answered. Spotting Olivia in the doorway, she said, "Ah, perfect. Come with me, Olivia, we're going to see Echo.

"Uh," Olivia managed, gripping the edge of the doorway.

"Hey," Alexandria said, placing herself between Victoria and the door when Victoria made to leave, "What for?"

Victoria frowned at her. "Do you decide who gets to see her, then?"

"Don't make me sound like some sort of controlling freak. You can be a real bitch, Victoria, and Echo is delicate."

Victoria stiffened with anger, and Alexandria smiled, pleased with her hit. But Victoria recovered her temper again before speaking, and if there was a hard edge to her voice when she spoke, it was also clear she worked to keep it under control.

"You can't help her as much as you want," she said. "If she has panic attacks, she needs medicine and a doctor."