The world is silent here, he thinks, or hopes that he's thinking, because his mind feels numb, heavy, and his head is sore like it's going to burst. The world is silent here. The rumbling in his ears reminds him of one particular rumbling, warm and familiar, that seems so far away now. It might indeed be far away. He can't be one to know.
In the darkness, he thinks he hears his name.
He's probably dreaming.
His thoughts are roaring mercilessly, hitting him like rocks and still too quiet to shake him. He's floating.
Swimming. He swims and swims and drowns and chokes and thrashes, his arms, his legs, his everything, and he hears his name, Jaskier, Jaskier, Jaskier, and it's dark, so dark, he can't see a thing and he swims and screams and he can't breathe, he can't breathe, he can't breathe, he can't–
Water falls over his face.
The world is silent here. There's something magical about the sea, truly. Vast, unknown, suffocating. So beautiful on the outside, so terrifying on the inside. He feels it running inside his veins, intoxicating him, his blood no more than sea water, he tastes the salt on his lips, or some old dried tears. It doesn't make a difference, really. He's sinking. Becoming one with the waves, becoming the waves. The world is dark here and yet oh, there's so much light, enough to bring a heart to beat again. Or silence it forever. As the water embraces him, it doesn't make any difference.
He can't breathe.
It's comforting, in a way. The sea feels like a cold blanket, the gentle caress of the storm, and the light is so warm, singing his name, or screaming it, he can't hear. His ears are captivated in the melodic rumbling and he remembers, when he was little, when he stuck his ear into those huge shells, listening to the gentle sound of the sea that sounded so much like what he expected to hear. He knows now that what he was hearing was his own hope. Because the sea sounds nothing like that from the inside.
It sounds like his greatest fear and his greatest confession at the same time, and it feels like the arms of a loved one, or like a blade on his throat.
A dark thing, deep, beautiful. A blessing and a curse, to be part of it.
He remembers so much. He remembers all of it.
He wants to open his eyes. One last time, a voice whispers. Water is running down his lips.
Someone is screaming his name.
And then he's lost, breathless, the sea suddenly far away and he's cold, and the screams louder in his ear and he can't breathe, water running down his lips and he thinks, now, now he should open his eyes, now it's his chance.
He opens his eyes.
White hair, like the foam of the sea. Troubled face, like the crushing waves. A rumbling voice. A blessing and a curse, facing the sea with his own eyes.
Water down his lips, down his lungs.
Jaskier, Jaskier, look at me, breathe Jaskier, I can't lose you, breathe, please, please.
What a beautiful sight, the sea. He thinks, now he will feel its arms around him, now he will look into its eyes. Bright amber, like the sun mirrored on the waves.
His lips curve in something old and distant, a smile.
What a beautiful sight, the sea. He thinks, if he keeps his eyes open, he can stare at it forever.
Water down his lungs.
He can't breathe.
He keeps his eyes open and it's so easy now.
A distant scream.