"Your liver enzymes came back high."
Naruto is tapping his hands on his thighs, leaning too far back in his chair. He raises his eyebrows, unsure of what to make of that statement.
The doctor's office is small, and impersonal. There's some random artwork that Naruto could swear he's seen in every doctors office he's ever been in. It even smells the same.
They're all the same.
They even speak in the same, clipped cadence. Always saying things he doesn't really understand.
"What does that mean?"
Hinata, his girlfriend, asks. Of course, she asks. She's super smart, and normal. 'Neurotypical'. Whatever the fuck that means.
She has a corporate job, she's taken time off work to be at his appointment with him. After the doctor called and said his labs were off. She's twisting a bracelet on her wrist that Naruto could never afford.
Because Naruto can't hold a job. Because Naruto can barley make minimum wage, can barely scrape together a twenty hour work week.
Because Naruto's life revolves around pills, and therapy appointments and not drinking, and trying to eat healthy, but (honestly) fuck vegetables. Naruto's life is trying to avoid self harm and trying to do yoga, or writing in a dream journal, both of which he finds utter bullshit.
Don't lay in bed too long but also don't run twenty miles in a day. It's bad for you apparently.
Both of them.
Hinata doesn't have those problems. Hinata is beautiful and wears pant suits and she wake up every morning and gets ready and kisses him and goes to work. Everyday. No problem. She comes home, and cooks dinner and cleans the apartment, because he's always managed to fuck it up. Everyday. She never forgets.
She's never confined to her bed for weeks.
She doesn't suddenly think that she could run for Congress and has a full proof plan to do it.
The difference from 'neurotypical' and… a fuck up.
"It means that we're going to have to try a different medication."
Naruto can see the look, as soon as she tries to mask it. Hinata's look of complete dread. Almost horror. It would be comical, if it wasn't about him.
"I don't want a different one." Naruto finally talks, for himself.
The doctor refrains from rolling her eyes. Every doctor hates when you disagree with them. Naruto knows enough about 'a false sense of superiority'. Doctors are always a bunch of pricks.
Hinata puts her hand on his knee. It's her way to telling him that she'll handle it. Naruto has never had a mother, but Hinata is the closest thing.
Naruto wouldn't ever think of his girlfriend as his mother, but some asshole therapist he was seeing suggested it and now he can't get it out of his mind.
"This medication has really been working well for him." Hinata presses. "We've had a lot of trouble with them before. We thought this was the one."
She's trying to mask her own disappointment. Trying not to sound like the bitch that's like "Who needs liver enzymes?" But, he's not offended. He gets it. Really, he does.
Hinata is the one who always seems to have to deal with it. Either bailing him out of jail, from countless 'public intoxication' arrests, or bringing him to the hospital when the mania peaks. When he's printed out flyers for 'Uzzumaki for Prezzident' on their printer paper and distributed them to their neighbors, or when he wrote his own bible over top a bunch of her old college textbooks.
If he had to take care of that mother fucker, he'd be more than a little concerned about him going off his meds. Meds that were working. Making him more stable.
But… he is the mother fucker.
After awhile, Naruto tunes out Hinata and the doctor. She's stressed. He wishes they weren't there. Hinata takes her work seriously, so if she took time off, he wishes they could do something together. Like get lunch.
Instead she's got a crease between her eyebrows. He can barely make out her words. "He's already been on Lamictal." "Latuda is too expensive." "He doesn't need Xanax, he has a friend that's an addict."
Naruto rolls his eyes and taps his hands.
He's not too worried about it.
They'll get it sorted out.