RE8 Ladies + S/o with chronic pain HCs
Type/cause of chronic pain is kept ambiguous, but some of the hcs might seem geared towards migraines, since that's the main thing that I personally struggle with (and these are very definitely comfort hcs). Features Alcina, Bela, Cassandra, Daniela, Donna, Mother Miranda, and as a 'lil bonus Ava. Not particularly long, but the combined length of every character is enough to be put under a read-more (About 2,500 words in total).
It’s difficult for her to know that you are suffering, but be unable to deal directly with the source of the problem. Chasing off unwanted nuisances or hunting down threats to the castle was one thing, trying to solve complicated medical issues was another thing entirely. If only she could tear your condition asunder without tearing you asunder.
That being said, she’ll still support you endlessly, however she can. It doesn’t matter how expensive or hard-to-access possible treatments are. If there’s something you haven’t tried, and are interested in trying, she’ll find a way for you to get it.
The biggest, and arguably most helpful, thing that she does is set up a space for you within her office. She spends quite a lot of time there for her family’s business, but doesn’t want to leave you alone on bad days. So this was her idea of a nice compromise.
There’s a very comfortable sofa that folds out, a cabinet filled with the softest blankets, and several pillows of a few different sizes. Servants are instructed not to interrupt Alcina’s work without good reason, but she has a couple who ensure your snack cabinet is always well stocked.
If there are certain environmental factors to your condition, such as sensitivity to light and sound, she does her best to reduce their effects. Lights remain dimmed (or she’ll rely on candlelight), her music will be kept quiet enough to be soothing, and she’ll refrain from taking any calls while you are with her.
To think that Daniela once tried to claim that Bela would “never need to know any of that (medical) stuff”! Sure, there haven’t been many people who have needed (and received) treatment from her, but that didn’t mean the skill was useless. Admittedly, she doesn’t know enough to replace one of your doctors, or try to create her own version of a cure, though no one really expected that much from her.
Still, she knows enough to help soothe your pain. Obviously there are different techniques for different kinds of pain, and she does research before trying anything specific. Bela’s also aware that you’ve been dealing with this for far longer than she has, meaning that you probably wouldn’t be pleased if she came in, acted like an expert, or assumed that you hadn’t really thought about the most popular remedies. So she’s tactful with how she approaches things, always checking if you’re familiar with a subject before she tries to explain anything.
Bela ends up surprising you with a lesser-known skill of hers: Massage. Studying anatomy has given her a decent idea of the body’s more sensitive spots, and the rest she’s figured out through her own, ahem, experiences. Regardless of where you’re in pain, your girlfriend can help reduce your suffering. Okay, well, if your pain is more internal than external, it’s a bit harder for her, but she can still help you relax.
One of her favorite things to do after giving you a massage is to just pull you in close for some cuddling. Preferably you’ll be in her lap, with her arms around your waist, her chin tucked on top of your shoulder. Then she’ll do her best to whisper you praises, reminding you how strong you are, and that she’s incredibly proud of you.
She’s, uh, not great at this. At least not at first. Maybe she’ll never be more than good at it, though. But she’s definitely trying! And learning! By Jove, that’s something, right?
First things first, she’s always ready to try to distract you, primarily through kisses and gentle touches. Fingers softly trailing over your skin, lips tickling your neck, featherlight in all the right places… It’s not inherently sexual (though it can quickly go that route if you ask), just intimate. It’s harder for your brain to process pain when you’re also processing pleasure, so there is some science behind Cassandra’s methods, even if she herself isn’t entirely aware of that.
While she’s not great with words, there are certain things that she manages to articulate well enough. For one, she makes sure you know that you aren’t a burden. Taking care of you- no, helping you take care of yourself- is a labor of love, if a labor at all. More than that, she knows full well that you probably don’t like feeling pitied, or coddled. That, over time, being sick ends up being beyond frustrating. She never wants you to feel like your condition defines you, or like it puts any strain on your relationship.
That said, she’ll avoid telling her family any specifics unless you do first, and ensures that the staff know how to accommodate you (without telling them why, because it’s none of their fucking business, and she’s their boss, and for fuck’s sake it’s their job to do what she tells them. Maybe she gets a lil bit overzealous with it). At no point will she ever complain about helping you, or otherwise indicate that your needs are “troublesome”.
At the end of the day, the best comfort she brings you is her presence, simply being near you, endlessly loyal, tireless in her affections. Especially considering she gets clingier the worse your symptoms get.
Hope you enjoy cuddling. Seriously. There’s nothing Daniela loves more than curling up with you, and that goes double for bad pain days. Some adjustments will be made position-wise if you need, but she’ll still hold you as close as possible, for as long as you need. Although she might eventually fall asleep (because damn are you comfy), she’ll play with your hair or run her fingers along your scalp until she eventually dozes off.
If you want a little more from her than light snoring, or if she feels like going above and beyond, or honestly just if she’s thinking about how much she loves you (so all the effing time), she’ll do something she’s always loved in movies/books: Reading to you! She’ll pick special books that neither of you have read before, so you can experience them together on your sick(er) days. Which does, of course, mean that it might take months to finish even a single one. Surprisingly, Daniela won’t even briefly consider reading any without you. Even if the plot is really good.
But, uh, if you wanted her to read to you on a day where you aren’t bedridden? Hell yes, my friend, she’s absolutely down for that!
On days where she’s too busy to spend hours upon hours in bed with you, or days where her ADHD is just particularly bad, she tries her best to leave you with a “substitute”. AKA a massive fucking teddy bear, in a reddish brown color, with a green bowtie. Custom ordered (The Duke did not dare tease her for it). There’s a heart stitched onto the stuffed animal’s chest, which features your first initial alongside a D for Daniela.
Additionally, she has a blanket she only brings out for you, which she periodically sprays with her favorite perfume. That way you can hold it close when she’s not around, as if you were cuddling her. For her sake, though, don’t hold the teddy bear or blanket too tightly when she is around. Homegirl here will get jealous of inanimate objects, even ones that she gave you.
“I think I have a tea for this…” Damn right she has a tea for this. Donna has a massive garden, with dozens if not hundreds of different plants, including a variety of herbs/spices. At least one of them has to be a little helpful for you. Whether it relieves pain, helps you nap off some of your misery, or just distracts you by tasting bloody-well delicious! Besides, few things make you feel quite as loved as holding a cup of freshly brewed tea in your hands, knowing your lover made it just for you. Like a hug in a mug, it is!
Similarly to Alcina, Donna will also try to create a comfortable space for you, but isn’t likely to put it downstairs with her workshop. Instead she’ll let you take over one of the larger guest rooms, customizing it to suit your specific needs. There will be some easy to care for plants for decoration (ones that won’t mind potentially missing out on natural sunlight), a couple relaxing paintings, and a shelf near the bed with things to help you pass the time, mainly books.
Furthermore, she’ll do her best to keep you company as often as possible. She’s naturally a fairly quiet person, so you won’t have to worry about sound if that’s something you’re sensitive to. While she prefers using a sewing machine, she’ll do things by hand while you’re in pain, just to reduce the chances of you getting irritated by the sound.
Speaking of potentially irritating sounds… by god can Angie be difficult to be around when you’re ill. Thankfully, Donna is perfectly understanding of this, and, as the only person Angie ever listens to, makes sure to give the doll a stern talking to about your health. To your immense surprise, it actually works. You’re not exactly sure what was said, but Angie certainly becomes a lot more compensating afterwards. She’ll keep her antics to herself, and usually even on another side of the house from where you rest, but only for as long as you’re tucked away in your room. As soon as you set foot outside, her restraints are metaphorically removed. All hell breaks loose (as is her universe-given right as the physical embodiment of both Chaos and Entropy).
If the two of you weren’t lovers, there’s a decent chance you would completely misinterpret her actions. She might come off as irritated, like she has bigger concerns than your health, you fragile little human. After all, she is a goddess (well, practically). But the truth is that she’s aching inside every time you have a bad pain day, knowing that (for once) she cannot cure your ailment. Maybe if she had infinite subjects with the same condition as you…
But, at the end of the day, that’s the problem. There’s only one of you. One of her beloved, her little human darling, so dangerously fragile in comparison to the scale she works on. Even with all the time in the world, which she most certainly has, she cannot cure you without taking incredible risks. With your life at stake… It is a gamble she refuses to take. You are hers, and while she hates to see you suffer, the truth is that she’ll always be selfish enough to let you endure on your own.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t help, though, just that she doesn't do a full-out experiment on you. Instead, she keeps notes. She’ll track your activities, bedtimes/when you get up, dietary habits, when you have pain, what you do to treat said pain, how effective the treatments are, etc, etc. All of this can be very useful in establishing patterns (a skill she’s gotten very good at, in her many decades of being a scientist), which can in turn lead to less pain days.
(For example, many people with migraines find that certain foods seem to trigger a migraine, or at least increase the chances of getting one. Though admittedly they don’t always end up cutting the food out of their diet. I mean, come on, you want me to give up chocolate? You want me to drink normal milk, like an adult? Kidding, kidding, I don’t have any food triggers. Nor do I particularly enjoy chocolate milk, nor do I dislike it.)
Moving on! While her work seemingly takes precedence over your condition, Miranda is not heartless, and she does do some things to lend you more direct comfort. Specifically, she tries to work in the same room as you when she can, normally while making electronic copies of physical documents, or while looking over the details of a finished experiment. She’s not always one for cuddling, so she won’t often get in bed with you during the daytime. But at night? Yes, fine, she will wrap her arms around you, maybe one of her wings too if you like how soft they are.
Just don’t think that she secretly loves every second. It’s not like she’ll spend half an hour whispering about how sweet and adorable you are as soon as you fall asleep, or anything like that. It’s twenty minutes at the most.
“Oh, fuckin’ mood!” Followed by a solid thirty seconds of pure regret. Seriously, though, Ava has spent xer entire life (starting at age 10) dealing with chronic migraines. For a while xe also dealt with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which meant lots of chest pain, but that (thankfully) faded as xe grew into an adult, as is fairly common with the condition. If anyone in Castle Dimitrescu understands unrelenting, unexplainable pain, it’s xer.
That being said… Ava never really managed xer chronic pain, at least not when xe was at xer worst. Xe had to drop out of school because of it. Hell, xe didn’t have a “real” job until xe was almost 23! Didn’t have a chance until things just calmed down for xer. So xe gets anxious whenever you talk about your health, worried that things are (or will at some point be) as bad for you as they were for xer. Other than that, though, you might initially think that xe doesn’t care, or didn’t understand the conversation.
Truth is, xe knows how absolutely fucking ANNOYING it can be to have to explain your health to every new person you meet (like the dozen different doctors you’ve met over the years, possibly every nurse who takes your pulse and thinks it’s a little bit high). So xe did a shit ton of research on your condition, in order to reduce how much you need to explain. Sure, xe will still have questions, and there are always aspects that only you can tell xer, but it’s a nice gesture.
As for helping you destress, xe’s pretty much a mix of Bela and Miranda. You’ll get plenty of massages (because Ava has learned from personal experience what sort of touches help with which sorts of pain), but also some scientific insight on any noticeable patterns. Lots of holding you close and telling you that you’re the coolest person in the world, and that Ava feels beyond lucky to have you.