He felt movement. That was the first thing Dimitri noticed. At least, he was pretty sure he felt movement? He racked his brain trying to remember what was going on but his memory was a fuzzy montage of images. Looking up through water tinted red? Very large teeth were prominent too. He knew the pain was real, it was still faintly there, but the tentashark had to be a nightmare…right? No. It was too vivid to be something his brain cooked up.
His heart started to race at that thought, had the fucker eaten him? Could you feel movement while you were in something’s stomach? Then again, he’d notice if he was being digested, wouldn’t he? Stomach acid and being in pieces would be hard to miss so he doubted he’d been eaten. Dimitri knew he should open his eyes to check his situation but he was so fucking tired.
He was jerked to the side suddenly, breaking him out of his contemplation of stomach acid and digestion. The pain spiked everywhere giving him the adrenaline boost he needed to try and pull his eyelids apart. His left eye obliged but his right wouldn’t budge instead, it sent even more pain spearing through him. It was just as well as the only thing he could see with his left was a blur of colors.
He was definitely moving somewhere and fast. Yay? There was a small flash of relief at the lack of stomach acid. Shades of blue, red, green, and white melded into each other as the world sped by. Or would that be him speeding by? His brain tried to make sense of what he saw but exhaustion was pulling him back into unconsciousness and he didn’t have the strength to resist.
He woke again later, unsure of how long he had been out. It didn’t feel like he was moving anymore and his body was numb all over. On the one hand, it was a relief for the pain to be gone. On the other hand, not being able to feel anything at all was usually a bad sign like nerve damage. Part of him didn’t care anymore and it was apparently the majority because he promptly passed out again.
That’s how things carried on for a while, him slipping in and out of consciousness. He would have preferred to stay unconscious and away from the shit storm his day had become but there was something that kept prodding him awake. Kenric’s voice nagging in his ear, Always be aware of your situation. Opening his eyes would be the fastest way to figure that out but it just took so much fucking effort. Maybe he should stop trying?
Fuck it, his brother didn’t call him hemorrhoid because he was meek. If Dimitri was anything, he was persistent. Thinking of his brother also brought an ache to his chest he couldn’t quite understand. He was a bit more awake this time and tried to raise his hand to rub his chest over his heart but found he couldn’t. The fuck? He tried wiggling his fingers but he couldn’t manage that either. He couldn’t even feel them. Or his arms. Or his fucking legs!
Testing each of his limbs and finding none of them responding was enough to panic anyone. It happening to someone who’d been through the shit he had since leaving his apartment who knows how long ago was just fucking overkill. Swallowing past the fear, he put all his energy into opening his eyes. He could only manage his left eye but his vision was still so blurry it didn’t calm him at all. The blurs were also moving. No gaping jaws but, fuck. That was way too large to be a person and what the fuck were those wavy bits? There were too many to be arms…
He threw all his adrenaline-fueled panic into moving, making his body listen to him. No matter how hard he tried, nothing worked. It was like his arms and legs weren’t even there anymore. Hell, he couldn’t even open his mouth! Where was everyone? What was going on? He needed to find his crew. He needed to move!
The only part of him that could move was his left eye but fuck it! If that was it then he was going to move it till the fucker popped out of his head! It was the only thing in his control so he pushed the rest from his mind, trying to get past the fear and failing miserably. The darker bluish blurs moved closer to him. He found he could still whimper when he finally felt something. Strange touches trailed over his skin. He couldn’t place what the texture was and the paper thin calm he’d been trying to cling to was crumbling fast.
It was too many unknowns for him to deal with. He couldn’t see for shit and his ears were probably damaged too because all he could hear was faint whistling. It freaked him out more. What the fuck was he supposed to do? He couldn’t move. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t hear. He couldn’t speak, the only sound he could make was a whimper. He couldn’t even fucking feel. He was alone. For all he knew everyone else was dead. He was rapidly losing what little calm he had left at the same time a tear slid down his left cheek.
That was when he felt a warm touch catching the tear. Dimitri’s thready control clung to it. He was so fucking cold any warmth was welcome. It was also…familiar. His thoughts were still too scattered and his mind too panicked to place it but he focused on it for all he was worth. Whatever it was, it was something. The warm touch started to pull away but at his soft whimper, it stayed. It couldn’t leave, he didn’t know what he’d do if it did…
There were more touches, odd tugs, and prods that had the pain spiking again but no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t move away from them. The only thing keeping him from totally losing it was the warmth. It was a solid touch cupping his cheek and he wished he could turn his head into it. Just hide from whatever was happening like he used to hide behind his brother when he was little. This was all so fucked up.
Being terrified must have eventually exhausted him because he jerked awake later after a horrifically vivid dream of teeth and cold. He’d been thrashing in ice water with his lungs burning for air and tiny jaws tearing into him, pulling him deeper into the dark. He opened his eye to reassure himself that he wasn’t still in the dream, not that reality was much better but it was better than nothing.
Things were still blurry but they were also dark. Either the lights were off or his eye was getting worse. He said a silent prayer for the lights to turn back on before trying to distinguish shapes again. There wasn’t anything moving this time but he still couldn’t figure out where he was. He couldn’t freak out. He had to keep his cool. Ken was expecting him to come home, panicking wouldn’t get him there.
Dimitri had to keep repeating that so he wouldn’t make that pathetic whimper from earlier. Thinking of his brother helped. Remembering that he still didn’t know what had happened to the others helped too. Cheshire, Ryan, Cecil, and the researchers had to have made it out of the ship. He was refusing to consider the possibility that anything else had happened because if he did…
They had made it out. That was all there was to it. He had a goal now, reunite with the group. If he just focused on that then he’d be okay. Checking his limbs proved that they were still being uncooperative, which had him panicking again but he shoved it to the back of his mind. The sparkle guppies had done a number on him and it was taking a while to heal, that was all.
He was just bringing his brain around to guessing his surroundings when the lights came on. The relief that brought was immense, his eye was still fucked up but it wasn’t getting worse. Then the sound of Katcha’s voice and the feel of her hands on his face…it broke him down. He couldn’t help it.
“Shhhh, it’s okay, D. It’s going to be okay. We’re all here with you.”
Whimpers and tears were all he could do to answer her but she seemed to understand him. She was softly trying to catch him up on what had happened since the ship landed but his relieved mind was still clinging to the knowledge that everyone was alive! Cheshire quickly caught on to the fact that he wasn’t really listening and just cradled his head while whispering reassurances until he drifted off.