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you wear nothing but you wear it so well

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Geralt doesn’t wear his courting jewelry—the medallion is apparently a witcher thing, not an omega one—and Jaskier supposes that makes sense. Geralt leads a very active life, and probably saves the jewelry for situations it won’t run the constant risk of getting ruined in. Certainly a nice set of earrings would be a lot more fragile than the plain studs he wears instead. A lot of omegas don’t wear their courting jewelry day to day, anyway, or at least not most of it. Geralt’s hardly unusual in that.

It’s a bit of a shame, though, because Jaskier’d like to see him in it.

Then again, he has enough to worry about when it comes to figuring out how to court Geralt. Jaskier is actually not exactly certain how old Geralt is, but he knows there’s at least a few decades’ worth of alphas he has to measure up to in there, so that’s . . . intimidating. He really doesn’t need to see constant physical proof of just how much better said alphas probably were than him.

Jaskier doesn’t have self-esteem issues, exactly, but he’d like to know who wouldn’t be intimidated by several decades’ worth of . . . of warriors and mages and princesses and gods know who else.

Jaskier isn’t actually particularly inclined to big flashy displays of courting jewelry—he’s always thought simple little pretties an omega could wear whenever and wherever they liked were better—but again, decades. It’s hard to look at someone like Geralt, gorgeous and fierce and so brutally kind, and offer up something simple. Unfortunately, a bard can only afford so much in the way of courting jewelry.

He doesn’t have any jewelry on him at all the first time, in fact.

It’s cold on the road, and so they sleep close together, which is the closest thing Jaskier has to an excuse for the morning he wakes up pressed against Geralt’s very fine back. Pressed very intimately against Geralt’s very fine back.

Yes, of course he has morning wood.

Of course.

“Ghk,” Jaskier manages, sleep-stupid and disbelieving of his own idiocy, and Geralt turns and looks at him. Jaskier is immediately and guiltily aware of just how improper sleeping next to an unbonded omega he’s not even courting actually is. He doesn’t think about it, usually, but . . .

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, and heat rushes through Jaskier's stomach, and for some unfathomable reason, Geralt lets him grip his wrist just where his scent glands are and . . . be very improper.

"Sorry," Jaskier says, letting go almost immediately. That was . . . no, he should not have done that. "Very sorry, I didn't—"

Geralt puts his hand on his chest. Jaskier pauses.

He starts to open his mouth. Geralt kisses him before he can say anything. Jaskier is not an idiot, and kisses back. Geralt's mouth is soft and sweet against his, and he smells better than anyone else Jaskier's ever met.

Heroics and heartbreak, like he said.

Jaskier is very aware of how easily he could get his heart broken like this.

It would be so, so worth it, though.

Geralt pulls off his shirt and pulls him on top of him. Jaskier does the reasonable thing, which is kiss his bared chest. His nipples are pierced, which is a bit old-fashioned but therefore not really a surprise. However old Geralt is, it's much older than him. His navel is pierced too, but he's just wearing cheap stand-in jewelry, which, again, makes sense. The road is not the place for courting jewelry.

Jaskier does dearly wish he had something to give him, though. He feels a bit bad about it.

He pulls back for a moment, about to apologize for that, and Geralt pulls him back in before he can say a thing.

Well. Never let it be said Jaskier turned down such a gracious gift.

He kisses Geralt's chest and strokes a hand down his side and Geralt makes a very soft sound and tugs at his clothes. Jaskier wouldn't have expected to be allowed so much so easily, but then, it is Geralt. What does he care about reputation or propriety?

Jaskier shrugs out of his jacket and shirt and their bodies tangle up together quite wonderfully. Geralt's skin is a little cooler to the touch than Jaskier expected, scarred but lovely, and Jaskier tries to put his hands on as much of it as he can. Geralt encourages the process. It's the most encouraging he's ever been, in fact, and if he was going to pick any time to be encouraging, well . . . Jaskier's not complaining. At all.

He takes Geralt's pants off and is mildly surprised to find that the other actually does have one piece of courting jewelry on—a single gold anklet. It's a lovely little thing, but Jaskier, obviously, doesn't ask. Not really the time, for one thing. He runs his hands up Geralt's gorgeous thighs, wondering for a moment but quickly distracted by the bounty before him. Geralt is a beautiful sight, and an eager one; he pulls Jaskier down again and rolls them over, and the next thing Jaskier knows his cock's being ridden with glorious shamelessness and impressive skill. He curses a few times, running his hands up Geralt's arms and over his body, and Geralt makes some very quiet but very, very sweet noises.

Jaskier doesn't think he's ever fucked anyone so . . . easy is definitely not the word he's looking for, but . . . straightforward? Geralt doesn't waste any time on flirting or coquettish behavior, and he makes it very clear what he wants, and Jaskier likes that very much. It’s much simpler than what he’s used to.

Also, again, Geralt really is excellent at sex, and turns out to be insatiable on top of that. Jaskier has been given a gift, and he is going to treat it with all due respect and reverence. At least, he does his best to keep up, and he doesn’t entirely embarrass himself, so there’s that.

They definitely don’t get on the road as early as usual.

“You are incredible,” Jaskier says slightly rapturously, after. “And somewhat ridiculous. I think my legs are numb.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, and gets up to get cleaned up and go take care of Roach. Which, well . . . Jaskier wasn’t really expecting much in the way of post-sex cuddling from Geralt of all people, but he wouldn’t have minded him sticking around the bedrolls a little longer.

Again, though: Geralt. Jaskier gets up too and cleans himself up, then starts packing up the camp. Geralt takes his time with Roach, who obviously deserves the attention. Jaskier leaves him to it, still feeling loose-limbed and content, and tries not to look too obviously adoring. Seems a bit early for that.

He really does wish he had something to give him, though.

Jaskier weaves a crown of flowers in imitation of any kind of gift, and Geralt actually humors him and lets him put it in his hair. It's no proper courting jewelry, of course, but there's several rather romantic ballads involving similar temporary stand-ins for real gifts and Jaskier is, admittedly, a romantic.

He considers singing one of those songs as they head along down the road, but for once there's something sweet about the silence, and he doesn't feel the need to fill it.

Jaskier feels sort of . . . flattered, honestly, that Geralt would let him take liberties without him even having given the other anything, and appreciates that Geralt isn't holding his slightly impoverished status against him. Although he's definitely going to have to fix that first chance he gets, of course, obviously, because he's not a bastard and he isn't going to take advantage of such a kindness.

Unfortunately it's a while before he sees Geralt again. In the meantime, well, he's taken a few other lovers—he and Geralt don't have anything official, after all, and also he'd really like to give a better performance if Geralt lets him into his bedroll again—and been through a few more pieces of jewelry for those lovers. He's yet to find anything that really suits Geralt, though, at least not in his budget, so he still doesn't have anything specific for him.

Also there's a monster hunt going on at the time, and it's not quite the moment to be fussed about courting. Geralt is a practical man; he wouldn't appreciate it.

Jaskier would give him flowers again, but there aren't many flowers in horrible old dungeons, it turns out.

Afterwards, with Geralt's beast dead and Jaskier's notes taken, Geralt kisses him again. Jaskier really wishes for flowers. Better things than flowers, really, but he'll settle if he has to.

They have sex in the horrible old dungeon while half-covered in monster slime, which is a real testment to just how beautiful an omega Geralt is. Jaskier seriously doubts he could knot anyone else under the same circumstances. With Geralt, though, it’s just a normal part of knowing him.

It definitely does not allow him time to pick up a courting gift, though, and neither does arguing with the villagers about fair pay for Geralt’s work, which takes the better part of an hour and does not endear Jaskier into putting money into the local economy.

“Honestly,” he huffs as they leave town while they’re ahead. “You’d think they didn’t even listen to my songs.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, unhelpfully.

Jaskier finds flowers along the side of the road as they walk, and weaves Geralt a little bracelet. Geralt humors him again and lets him put it on him. Jaskier really, really needs to get him some proper courting gifts, but the sight of Geralt in the little woven bracelet is very . . .

Well, they don’t make it much farther before they stop to fuck again, put it that way.

In Jaskier’s defense, who’d say no to Geralt of Rivia taking off his clothes? Only a fool, that’s who.

They’re on the road for a while on their way to the next town; longer than necessary, because Geralt really is insatiable and Jaskier is absolutely not going to be the alpha to turn him down. He’s had decades of alphas, and Jaskier is going to do his damnedest to keep up with previous contenders.

Jaskier goes shopping for courting jewelry in town, but again, there’s not much in either Geralt’s size or style, and what little Jaskier finds that he thinks the other might like is much too expensive for his slim wallet. Not that he really knows what Geralt would like, because all he’s ever seen him wear are cheap stand-ins and that one anklet. It’s not much to go on.

He gets interrupted in his shopping when he overhears a pair of betas fretting about mysterious deaths outside town, and decides bringing Geralt a job is much better than bringing him jewelry. It is Geralt, after all.

Geralt listens to the betas, grunts unhelpfully, and heads out of town. Jaskier trots after him, because Geralt doesn’t tell him not to follow, and after some searching, night starts to fall.

“Head back to town,” Geralt says.

“Alone?” Jaskier says. “In the dark? With a murderous possible-monster about?”

Geralt scowls.

“Yes, not our finest plan there,” Jaskier says. “No offense.”

They keep searching for a little longer, until Geralt makes a frustrated noise and turns back towards town.

They don’t make it far, unfortunately, before things go a bit to shit. Geralt hears something, and leaves the path. He makes Jaskier wait. Jaskier is not thrilled about this, but would be less thrilled about dying horribly so deals with it.

Then things go to shit, of course. He smells unfamiliar pheromones, almost the sweetest ones he’s ever smelled, and a stranger steps onto the path with him.

The stranger is beautiful, all smooth dark skin and lovely braids and shining golden courting jewelry covering her flawless naked body. She looks and smells like an omega all done up for a particularly luxurious heat, and Jaskier is . . . slightly overwhelmed. Just a bit.

She trails a sharp nail up under the soft hollow under his jaw, not quite touching him, and he isn’t quite sure what to do.

She looks, actually, like the exact opposite of Geralt, he finds himself thinking distantly.

Odd.

“Well, I suppose you’re here to kill me,” he says, and she laughs. It’s a very pretty sound, but not a very reassuring one. Under different circumstances, he’d . . . he doesn’t know, run away or something. At the moment, though, he’s a bit distracted by an overwhelming urge to let this very lovely omega throw him down and have her wicked way with him.

She’s probably not actually an omega, of course, and definitely is going to kill him, but it’s very difficult to get his burning body to listen to either of those perfectly reasonable points.

“Aren’t you a delicious little morsel, handsome boy,” she croons, probably meaning the “delicious” part literally, which is definitely a bad sign. Again, Jaskier’s body is not listening to him about the “run away” plan, which he finds entirely unfair. It’s a very solid plan, in his opinion. Definitely better than Geralt’s “leave the weak and vulnerable bard alone in the dark” idea. “Why don’t you get out of those stifling clothes for me?”

“Dammit,” he says as his body decides that’s the idea to listen to and shrugs off his jacket. The omega laughs again.

Geralt snarls and appears out of the dark, tackling her to the ground. She shrieks in outrage, and Jaskier jerks back quickly. He stops feeling the overwhelming urge to take his clothes off and starts feeling the overwhelming urge to go climb a tree and hide.

The omega doesn’t look like an omega anymore, is the strange thing. She’s bigger and more muscular and her courting jewelry’s all vanished, and she suddenly reeks of alpha, virile and vicious as she pins Geralt to the ground and he struggles underneath her, grunting in pain. Jaskier considers hitting her with a rock.

Yes, that sounds like a good idea. He scoops one up off the ground and chucks it as hard as he can, and the not-omega shrieks as it hits her in the head.

“How dare you!” she roars at him, and yes, very much an alpha now. At least, that was definitely an alpha voice she just roared at him with.

Those don’t work on other alphas, though, is the thing.

“If you didn’t want rocks thrown at you, you shouldn’t be bothering my witcher,” Jaskier says irritably, picking up a bigger rock and hefting it meaningfully. Geralt is panting underneath the alpha, making very strange sounds that Jaskier does not like and, more concerningly, not stabbing her.

“I’m going to devour you,” the alpha snarls. Jaskier looks at her for a moment, then throws the rock. She dodges it with a furious screech.

“Geralt,” Jaskier says as calmly as he can. “Please do something.”

“Jaskier,” Geralt moans, fumbling for his silver sword.

The alpha glowers at Jaskier, and then stops looking like . . . well, herself.

“Be still, my witcher,” she purrs in Jaskier’s voice, looking back down at him with Jaskier’s face, and Jaskier makes an offended noise.

Excuse you!” he says. She ignores him. A strangled sound comes out of Geralt’s throat. It’s dark, but not too dark for Jaskier to see how strange he looks, his eyes wide and expression desperate as he utterly fails to struggle with the monster on top of him.

“My obedient boy,” the . . . whatever the hell she is croons, putting a hand to Geralt’s cheek. “I’ll give you such pretty things, my witcher.”

Geralt puts his sword through her face. Jaskier jumps a bit, alarmed.

“Well, you were quick to do that,” he says as the monster’s body slumps to the ground, a little affronted. That was still his face, after all.

Geralt doesn’t say anything. He’s panting, and staring at Jaskier. There’s blood all over him.

“Geralt?” Jaskier says warily.

Geralt whines.

“Oh, well, that’s not good,” Jaskier mutters, hurrying over to him. The moment he puts his hands on him, Geralt throws himself at him, scrabbling desperately at his clothes.

“Jaskier, Jaskier,” he chokes, and Jaskier would say something but he’s a bit more alarmed by the fact the other suddenly reeks of heat. Not pre-heat, not early stages—full-blown, full heat, from a dead stop. “Succubus. It’s. Succubus. Skin!”

“I’m going to make some assumptions about what all that means,” Jaskier says, wincing as the other tears his shirt. “And be very grateful she didn’t touch me.”

“Jaskier!”

“I’ve got you,” Jaskier says as soothingly as he can, pushing a hand back through Geralt’s hair, and Geralt makes a cracked, miserable noise and shoves into the contact.

“Touch me,” he begs, pressing his mouth to Jaskier’s chest and gripping the shreds of his shirt in his hands. It’s . . . concerning.

“Of course,” Jaskier says, stroking the other’s hair again. “We need to get back to town. Can you do that for me?”

“No,” Geralt chokes, which . . . fair. Very fair, under the circumstances. Heat doesn’t usually hit like this, all in a huge and horrible rush while someone’s covered in blood and still in all their armor. He can’t imagine how awful it feels.

“Okay,” Jaskier says. “That’s alright. That’s okay. Come here, alright? Just . . . let's at least get you away from the dead monster. Next to the dead monster is not the place to solve this problem."

Also, said dead monster still looks a lot like him, which he's not exactly thrilled about.

Seriously. Ew.

Jaskier grabs his dropped pack and jacket and guides Geralt to his feet and away from the dead succubus, off the path into the shelter of the trees. He hopes she doesn't have any friends around. Geralt follows him easily, anxiously, desperately, and Jaskier shifts into “heat partner” thinking. Normally he might mention things like how gross all this blood is or how dark and miserable the woods are but normally Geralt wouldn't be in a hypersensitive state of mind, or likely aching with sudden-onset heat pains.

"Does it hurt?" Jaskier asks.

"Yes," Geralt manages stiffly. "I. I killed. I didn't. It hurts."

"Fortunately I can fix that," Jaskier says, sparing a nasty glower for the succubus's body. Geralt goes through enough, he doesn't need thrown face-first into godsdamn heat drop.

He can't imagine how much killing an alpha took in that condition, never mind that she was trying to kill him first. Omegas can get downright vicious when a partner they don't want touches them in heat, but "vicious" isn't "murderous".

Also, it probably didn't help that she'd looked and smelled like an alpha he was letting court him at the time. Jaskier doesn't harbor any illusions about Geralt liking him as much as he likes him, but he knows the other likes him.

Obviously, considering what he lets him get away with.

Jaskier sits Geralt down against a tree and starts taking off the other's armor for him. Geralt whines again, grabbing at him. It doesn't make things as easy as it could, put it that way.

"I've got you," Jaskier soothes in his alpha voice, and Geralt doesn't relax, exactly, but some of the tension leaves him all the same. He doesn't clutch so desperately at his arms, at least. "I'll take care of you."

"Is it dead?" Geralt asks, still wild-eyed and panting.

"Pretty dead, yes," Jaskier says. "Unless succubi can survive being stabbed in the face with silver, anyway."

Geralt relaxes a little more, though he doesn't really settle. Jaskier takes off the next piece of his armor. It must feel horrible on skin burning with heat. Geralt's sweating, too.

"What do you want?" Jaskier says, because even though he's compromised, Geralt is still the best judge of that, obviously.

"Touch me," Geralt says, his face twisting painfully.

"I can do that," Jaskier says, cupping his face in his hand. Geralt leans into it, panting heavier. His own hands squeeze Jaskier's arms bruisingly hard. Jaskier doesn't dissuade him. What's a few bruises between . . . friends? Unchaperoned acquaintances?

Lovers?

He can really worry about narrowing that one down later.

"What else?" Jaskier says, then takes off the last of Geralt's armor for him. Geralt's breathing a little steadier, mercifully.

"More," he says roughly. "Touch me more."

"Anything you want," Jaskier promises. He runs his hands up Geralt's shoulders and the sides of his neck. Geralt keens. He's louder than Jaskier would've expected, but he hardly blames him. Dropping into heat like that . . . No, he doesn't blame him at all. If anything, he's surprised he's not noisier.

"Please," Geralt groans, spreading his thighs. Jaskier drops a kiss against his sweat-soaked forehead and settles in between them.

"I'm here," he says. He shrugs off the remains of his destroyed shirt, wishing their bedrolls weren't back in town with Roach. There's nothing for Geralt to nest with here; no creature comforts Jaskier can offer against the harsh scrape of bark and mast. He doesn't think Geralt can make it very far like this, though, much less all the way to town.

"Touch me," Geralt says again. Jaskier strokes his shoulders and Geralt pitches forward into him, getting blood all over him and clinging to him tight. Jaskier wraps his arms around him in return, thinking dark thoughts about monsters. It helps him get his pheromones up, which he hopes is some comfort.

"I have you. You're alright," he says in his alpha voice. Geralt moans against his shoulder, body shaking. Jaskier strokes his back. "What do you need?"

"It's heat," Geralt says. "What the fuck do you think I need?"

"I didn't want to assume," Jaskier says, still stroking his back. He can definitely see why Geralt might not want to be fucked right now, personally.

"You don't have to," Geralt says tightly, though he doesn't loosen his grip on him. "I'm—I can handle it."

"That sounds like an awful idea," Jaskier says frankly.

"I'm disgusting," Geralt says, touching the blood on his face.

"Oh, that's really not the issue," Jaskier says. He's already bloody anyway. Who cares?

Okay, it's off-putting. Very off-putting. But he'll deal.

"There's blood," Geralt says, clearly forcing himself to pull back. Jaskier barely keeps himself from leaning after him. "Everywhere. I . . ."

"When is there not, with us?" Jaskier says wryly, taking his hands to squeeze. "It's alright. Really. I'll take care of you however you want."

"Mm." Geralt's staring at his mouth. It's not subtle. Jaskier squeezes his hands again.

"It's alright," he says again, putting alpha in it, and Geralt melts against the tree and lets him put his hands on him. "You're good. I have you. Can I take your shirt off?"

"Please," Geralt groans. Jaskier strips the other of his shirt much more carefully than he divested him of his and lays it aside neatly, and Geralt moans again. Because Jaskier is a terrible person, the sight of him all flushed and half-naked with his pierced nipples perked all prettily is . . . very distracting. Yes, even with the blood.

"Well, you remain a lovely sight," he says, clearing his throat as he smooths a hand up Geralt's side. He seems to be calmer now, at least, now that he's settled a bit and Jaskier's gotten his hands and scent all over him. Though perhaps that last bit's just him flattering himself. "Here, just—give me a moment."

It's heat, not any normal roll in the hay. Unnaturally brought on or not, Jaskier's got to be decent about things.

He grabs his pack and starts looking through it, keeping half an eye on Geralt just in case, and Geralt watches him with a heated, faintly confused expression. Jaskier turns his pack inside out, and grimaces to himself as he turns up exactly one piece of courting jewelry. He usually has a few to choose between for random trysts, but just one? That's . . . not great.

"Damn," he says, inspecting said piece resignedly. It's a ring, and not a particularly impressive one. He bought it months ago as part of an assorted set, and it's the only one of the set he hasn't given away. It's such a plain little thing, is the thing, even for his tastes. It's just a thin silver band with some abstract curly designs engraved into it, no complicated metalwork or gems or anything like that.

Definitely not something that measures up to Geralt, but . . .

"Sorry," Jaskier says with a regretful sigh. "I don't have anything nicer."

"What?" Geralt says, looking mystified. He guesses it's a little mean to get distracted when the other's still heat-brained.

"Sorry," Jaskier says again, then holds out the ring. It's better than nothing, at least. "May I?"

"I . . . yes?" Geralt says.

"Thank you," Jaskier says, then takes his hand and slips the ring on. Geralt's a big omega and unfortunately it only fits his smallest finger, but at least it fits, so Jaskier's not a total failure of an alpha.

It looks much prettier on Geralt than it did in Jaskier's hand, but Jaskier can't help feeling that's much more because of Geralt than anything about the ring itself.

"There," he says, and lifts the other's hand to his mouth to kiss the ring. Geralt blinks at him. "Now we can do this properly."

"Properly," Geralt echoes slowly, and then throws his arms around him and drags him in to kiss. Jaskier kisses back, obviously, wrapping his arms around him in return. Okay, yes—he's definitely made Geralt wait long enough.

They fuck against the tree, probably stupidly, and Geralt gets leaves in his hair. Jaskier tries not to laugh about it, but it's adorable, honestly. Geralt seems—distracted, a bit, but he is bloody and slightly injured and probably getting poked in uncomfortable places by twigs. Jaskier certainly is.

He catches the other inspecting the plain little ring once or twice and has to repress a wince. He definitely needs something better next time. And he'll get Geralt something extra to make up for it, too.

It's not a full heat, mercifully, so they only have to spend a few hours in the woods before they can get re-dressed and head back to town with the succubus's head, which fortunately has melted into something far more monstrous and far less . . . Jaskier. Geralt gets paid in appropriate and timely fashion, and Jaskier cleans himself up a bit and then charms the locals in the inn tavern with songs and stories while Geralt gets a bath upstairs. It's just about an ideal result, given the way their lives typically go.

Jaskier goes shopping in the morning, and after some searching finds a silver cuff bracelet that looks like it'll fit Geralt and won't break his budget. He's not sure if it's Geralt's style, unfortunately, but it's a pretty thing with some lovely patterns on it—branching twigs and leaves and flowers all intricately woven together. Definitely an improvement on the ring, if nothing else.

He offers it to Geralt before the other leaves town, and Geralt gives it a strange look.

"What's this?" he says.

"Well, a ring's not much, for a heat," Jaskier says. Especially their first heat, monstrously-induced or not. And he's been a bit remiss with the courting gifts anyway, all things considered. A bracelet is the least of what he owes Geralt at this point. "Do you not like it? It's alright if you don't, I'll just—"

"It's fine," Geralt cuts him off brusquely, and holds out his wrist. Jaskier tries not to look too besotted as he puts the bracelet on him.

"Thank you," he says.

"For what?" Geralt asks, and Jaskier blinks at him.

"What, do alphas not usually thank you when you let them put courting jewelry on you?" he asks, puzzled. Talk about ungrateful, damn. "That's awfully rude."

"I—" Geralt cuts himself off and pulls his wrist in against his chest. His expression is . . . odd.

Maybe he usually puts it on himself, come to think of it. That seems like a Geralt kind of thing to do.

He's flattered the other let him, if that's the case.

They go their separate ways. Jaskier resolves to have a better gift on hand the next time he sees Geralt—because there will, of course, be a next time—and spends an unnecessary amount of time window-shopping the courting jewelry in just about every town he passes through. Emergency situations are one thing, but he wants the next piece to be really good. Something that will impress even an omega with decades’ worth of suitors in their history.

Something Geralt will look at and like, and maybe see cause to wear a little more often than he wears the rest of his courting jewelry.

He finds the topaz earrings in a little city he’s only passing through on his way to somewhere else, and they’re perfect. They’re silver clasps hung with little clusters of dangling stones the exact yellow of Geralt’s eyes, and Jaskier spends far, far too much money on them. Well, whatever; he can skip a meal or two to get Geralt something actually properly pretty.

Or three.

. . . look, it’s fine, it’s worth it.

He stows the earrings away carefully in the bottom of his pack, and then he waits to see Geralt again. It won’t be too long. It never is.

It’s a few months, actually, but in witcher-time that’s basically a few minutes, so Jaskier counts himself lucky.

“Geralt!” He grins up at him as he pushes past the strangers on the town street, and Geralt looks back at him blankly. Jaskier briefly feels like he’s interrupting or unwanted, but then he notices the bracelet and ring the other’s wearing and . . . well. Alright, then, never mind that feeling. That feeling has been effortlessly obliterated.

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, slowing his steps for him to catch up, and obliterates that feeling beyond all existence.

“What are you doing here?” Jaskier asks, hooking his hands together behind his back, under his lute. “Something dangerous? Something witcher-y? Something, oh, catchy?”

“Definitely not,” Geralt says dubiously. Jaskier beams up at him. Geralt’s wearing his courting jewelry; he can’t not.

“Does that mean you’re free for dinner?” he asks.

Geralt . . . blinks, slowly, and looks back at him.

“Why?” he says, the beautiful idiot.

“Because I want to take you to it,” Jaskier says. Geralt blinks at him again.

“. . . fine,” he says, and Jaskier beams.

“Nothing fancy,” he says. “A nice traditional tavern, just like we specialize in. Unless you have a preference?”

“I’ve been here three hours,” Geralt says.

“Going to take that as a ‘no’, then,” Jaskier says. It’s a decent-sized town, just big enough to get lost in, but he already knows where all the respectable establishments are. It’s not hard to pick out a place Geralt should like. The ale and food are a little better than they’re used to having when they travel together, and the corners are suitably shadowy for hiding in, so it should be perfect, in fact.

Geralt doesn’t talk much; mostly eats and drinks. Jaskier doesn’t mind carrying the conversation, obviously. He never has.

It’s very distracting every time Geralt reaches for something with that braceleted and beringed hand, though. The jewelry is nicely polished, and he’s obviously been taking care of it. The sight makes Jaskier a bit overexcited, probably, but in his defense, he’d never expected Geralt to actually wear it. For heat, hopefully, but not day-to-day.

It makes him wish he had even more for him, honestly, but dumping an entire jewelry box on him all at once would be a bit extravagant.

“I got you something,” he says when Geralt’s cleaned his plate, probably still a little too excited about things, and Geralt tilts his head.

“A job?” he asks, attention sharpening. Jaskier tries not to laugh. What does Geralt think, he’d waste time plying him with food and alcohol when all he’d have to say is “found you a payday”?

“No, Geralt,” he says. “Afraid it’s a bit less useful than that. Though I hope you’ll like it almost as much as chopping up nasty beasties.”

“Hn,” Geralt says. Jaskier pulls the little pouch he’s been keeping the topaz earrings in out of his pack, then slides it across the table to him. Geralt looks down at it blankly for a moment, then picks it up and opens it to look inside.

He stills.

“I thought they’d suit you,” Jaskier says, a little more anxious than he perhaps should be, and much more anxious than he’d be with someone else. Geralt brings it out in him, he supposes.

Geralt picks up one of the earrings and looks at it. He turns it, and the light catches quite prettily on the stones, or at least Jaskier thinks it’s quite pretty. Hopefully Geralt agrees.

“They match your eyes so perfectly,” Jaskier says as he folds his arms on the table, trying not to sound like a sap even though he most definitely is one. “I thought they must be meant for you.”

“For me,” Geralt says, his eyes flickering to Jaskier’s face.

“Yes,” Jaskier says. “Obviously. Can’t say I know any other omega witchers with lovely topaz eyes, anyway.”

“They’re . . .” Geralt trails off, and Jaskier tries not to jitter nervously.

“It’s fine if you don’t like them, of course!” he says as cheerfully as he can, though he really hopes Geralt does. “I’ll just have to find something better, in that case. What are your feelings on tourmaline? Amethyst? Amethyst would suit you, I think.”

“You don’t have to find something better,” Geralt says. Jaskier genuinely cannot tell if that’s Geralt saying he likes them or Geralt trying to let him down gently.

“Does that mean you’ll accept them?” he says when Geralt doesn’t elaborate, shifting slightly in his seat.

“Yes,” Geralt says, a little abruptly, and Jaskier feels warm all the way to his core.

“May I put them on you, then?” he asks hopefully, though that might be a bit much. Geralt pauses for a moment, but nods, and Jaskier thrills and gets to his feet to step over to the other’s side of the table. Geralt doesn’t tilt his head for him, but it’s fine; he’s easy enough to reach. He’s still wearing those same plain stand-in studs as the last time Jaskier saw him. They aren’t even close to pretty enough for him.

Jaskier takes the studs out carefully, laying them on the empty pouch, and takes the earrings from Geralt.

“Thank you,” he says, and slips the first one into the soft lobe of his ear to gently fasten. It’s . . . intimate, a bit. He hadn’t considered how close the scent glands in his wrists would be to Geralt’s face, or how easy it would be to touch the ones in the other’s throat.

He should’ve, perhaps.

Geralt holds himself still, though, and doesn’t show any sign of minding. Jaskier puts the other earring in for him, then steps back with a little wave of his hands.

“There we go!” he says, heart in his throat, and the stones really do match Geralt’s eyes perfectly.

Geralt tilts his head slightly, as if he’s reconciling the dangling weight of the earrings, then looks up at him. He doesn’t say anything. He’s wearing his jewelry, though, and so Jaskier could not possibly care less. That says so, so much more than any words could.

He’s beautiful in it, no surprise.

“You’re gorgeous,” Jaskier says, as an alpha who’s never seen the point in restraining such sentiments. He wants to kiss Geralt very, very badly.

Geralt lifts a hand to his ear and touches the hanging stones, his expression unreadable.

“They’re heavier than they look,” he says distractedly. Jaskier resists the urge to fret over that. It’s Geralt. He says things like that.

“Too heavy?” he asks anyway, unable to hold back the question. Geralt shakes his head.

“No,” he says quietly. “Not too heavy.”

Jaskier is much too happy hearing that, but he doesn’t care. He’ll be as stupidly happy as he likes while Geralt’s wearing his courting jewelry. Three pieces of it, even! Together!

It might as well be a damn holiday.

“Do you want to go out? Maybe take a walk?” Jaskier suggests hopefully, because his inner alpha definitely wants to show off his lovely, gorgeous, bejeweled omega.

“I want to go upstairs and bang you like a drum,” Geralt says matter-of-factly.

“. . . you know, Geralt, you have the best ideas.”

They rent a room and go upstairs, and Jaskier indeed does get banged like a drum. Geralt, as ever, is insatiable, but tonight seems even more eager than usual. Was it the topaz, Jaskier wonders? He should buy him more topaz. Topaz was such a good idea.

In the morning Jaskier wakes up to Geralt getting out of bed and pays a bit too much attention to the fact the other’s still wearing his courting jewelry. Which, obviously he would be, he fell asleep with it on, but still.

Jaskier glimpses the dull metal of Geralt’s stand-in piercings as he gets to his feet, and wonders if Geralt would let him replace them. Some pretty silver hoops for his nipples, maybe, and maybe more dangling topaz for his navel. It’d look good on him.

Well, so would just about anything. It is Geralt, after all. He could make a leather strap look high-end, in Jaskier’s opinion.

“Good morning, omega,” he hums, voice a little raspy from sleep. Geralt looks at him, then crawls back into bed with him and, again, proves himself insatiable. Jaskier, not for the first time, entertains fantasies of getting him an entire jewelry box’s worth of courting jewelry. He doesn’t wear any of his other pieces, after all, except for that one anklet. He’s practically a blank canvas.

Jaskier could spend a lot of time filling that canvas, given the opportunity.

“Let’s go shopping today,” he says impulsively afterwards as they’re knotted together in a sticky mess, because he’s just far too eager. Geralt gives him a bemused look.

“For what?” he says.

“Give you two guesses, and the first one doesn’t count,” Jaskier says, lightly flicking one of the other’s pierced nipples. Geralt frowns.

“Supplies?” he says doubtfully.

“. . . well, I did say the first one wouldn’t count,” Jaskier muses. Brought that on himself, really. “No, I want to go to a jewelry shop. Pick out some pretties. You up for it?”

A strange expression flickers across Geralt’s face. Jaskier tries to figure it out, but it’s gone quickly, replaced by neutrality.

“Sounds incredibly boring,” Geralt says, and Jaskier tries not to laugh.

“You are the only omega I know who would say that,” he says wryly. Who doesn’t like getting shopped for?

“. . . we can go,” Geralt says, that strange expression flickering across his face again. Jaskier still can’t figure it out. It’s gone quickly, though, so that’s . . . something, he supposes. Hopefully it’s nothing to be worried about, but he assumes Geralt would tell him if it was.

“Wonderful,” he says, kissing the other’s neck, and they clean up and get dressed and go shopping. Jaskier is very aware of how claimed they both smell, and especially aware of every understated sparkle of Geralt’s jewelry in the sunlight. It’s quite a sight.

He resists the urge to try holding the other’s hand. He doubts Geralt would appreciate the sentiment.

They find a little jewelry shop and go inside, and Jaskier chats up the clerk while Geralt looks at some of the displays. He doesn’t seem particularly interested in any of them, though; he doesn’t touch anything or pick anything up for a closer look.

“Gold or silver?” Jaskier asks him. Geralt looks away from the spiderweb-delicate necklace he was looking at and blinks at him.

“What?” he says.

“Gold or silver,” Jaskier repeats, mouth quirking in amusement. “Which do you prefer? Your opinion as an omega, and all.”

“. . . silver,” Geralt says, slowly.

“Of course,” Jaskier says with a laugh. “It’s got to be useful, I suppose?”

“It might as well be,” Geralt says. “It doesn’t do much else but look pretty.”

“Well, it does a few things,” Jaskier says, mouth quirking again. “Looking pretty is fairly high up there, though.”

The clerk pulls out some very lovely silver pieces, most of which look a bit . . . ornate, Jaskier wants to say. More for temporary display than regular wear. And he'd really like Geralt to treat these as regular wear, at least when he's not having a monster hunt.

Also, the really ornate stuff's really expensive, and he is but a humble bard.

Practicality, and all that.

It takes a little effort to get Geralt interested, ironically enough, but eventually the other helps him pick out some little pretties, all in silver—a couple of rings and a set of nipple rings, exactly like he'd pictured, and a navel piercing. They even have a topaz one, though the stone doesn't dangle. Jaskier figures it's a reasonable compromise. It's a bit much to buy all at once, he knows, but he does owe Geralt for how patient the other's been with him, and especially for the liberties he's let him take.

"You're overspending," Geralt says, eyeing him dubiously as the clerk takes a moment to add up the bill.

"Worth it," Jaskier says with an easy shrug. He's made good money lately; he might as well share the wealth. Half of it's off songs about Geralt anyway. "Besides, I know an omega who deserves it."

"Mm," Geralt says. He's not very good at taking compliments, as ever.

They head back to the inn, and Jaskier carries the jewelry as they walk and idly wonders if Geralt will let him put all this on him too. Nipple rings are definitely intimate to put in.

With any luck, it'll lead to further insatiability.

They get back to the room, and Jaskier debates between asking Geralt if he can put the jewelry on him and asking Geralt if he wants to get lunch, because they are but men and he is a hungry one. Also, if Geralt does want to have sex, past experience has shown it'll likely be a marathon.

Yes, lunch sounds like a good idea.

So he asks, and Geralt grunts an agreement, and they go downstairs and eat. Geralt is quiet, unsurprisingly. Jaskier is not, equally unsurprisingly. Geralt mostly just picks at his food, though, which is very surprising. He doesn't often turn down a meal.

"Are you alright?" Jaskier asks him, mildly concerned the other might be dying and just hasn't thought to mention it.

"I'm fine," Geralt says. It's unconvincing, mostly because he's still picking at his food. Jaskier keeps a paranoid eye on him, but he does seem fine otherwise, just subdued. Which . . . well, subdued for Geralt is rather subdued.

"Do you want a bath after this?" Jaskier suggests, not even in the flirtatious way. Geralt's mouth tightens.

"I'm fine," he repeats.

Okay, yes, he's dying.

"One moment," Jaskier says, putting a hand to the other's forehead with a frown. He doesn't feel feverish, at least, and his eyes aren't glassy, and he's not bleeding anywhere obvious. Also, even Geralt could probably not get stabbed in the middle of town in the middle of the day, at least not without some fuss.

"What are you doing," Geralt says.

"Being paranoid, apparently," Jaskier says. "You've barely touched your meal, though."

"Mm." Geralt looks down at his plate, then methodically begins to eat like a normal person. It'd be reassuring, maybe, but it's really not.

"Alright," Jaskier says, barely resisting the urge to fret. It's natural for an alpha to feel protective about an omega they're courting—any omega they care about, really—but he doubts Geralt would appreciate being fussed over. It's not a very Geralt kind of thing.

They finish eating and go back upstairs. Jaskier talks Geralt into a bath in the hopes it'll cheer him up a bit and washes his hair for him, combing it out carefully in the process. Geralt lets him do it, which is . . . something, anyway.

He doesn't bother taking off the courting jewelry for the bath. Jaskier resists the urge to see that as an invitation.

Maybe it is, though, he thinks as Geralt turns his head just enough to glance back at him.

"You don't need to keep combing," Geralt says.

"Doesn't it feel nice?" Jaskier asks. Geralt is silent. Jaskier wants to soothe the tension out of his shoulders. He settles for combing his hair a little longer, and Geralt doesn't protest again. Doesn't even move; just sits very still and very quiet for the treatment.

Jaskier talks, because someone has to, but Geralt doesn't answer, so after hitting four or five dead ends of conversation, well . . .

He starts to sing, quietly, not one of his own compositions but a long-ago lullaby from his youth, and some of the tension finally, finally seems to ease out of Geralt's shoulders. Jaskier keeps it up in the vague hope it's helping and neatly braids the other's wet hair down his back, fantasizing a bit about putting a pretty comb or clip in it. Maybe for Geralt's next gift, he thinks, tying it back with the usual cheap leather thong. That's a good idea.

Geralt gets out of the bath and Jaskier is momentarily distracted by the glorious sight of dripping wet naked skin and muscle and scars, and has to fan himself a bit.

"Quite a sight, as always," he says appreciatively. Geralt looks back over his shoulder at him. Jaskier would meet his eyes, but he's a bit busy watching a water droplet make its way down the other's spine and lower back. It's a very valiant water drop, in his opinion.

"You're staring," Geralt says.

"So I am," Jaskier agrees, and they are very quickly in bed after that, Geralt spread out beneath him like a beautiful and slightly damp buffet. He hardly knows where to start.

Well, there's one obvious place, actually.

"May I?" he asks, lightly touching the other's navel piercing. Geralt frowns faintly, pushing himself up on his elbows.

"What?" he says. "What's taking so damn long?"

"While I appreciate your single-minded nature, I am not a complete cad," Jaskier says primly. "You know, in general. So, may I?"

". . . fine," Geralt says, though he sounds oddly . . . guarded? Jaskier's not sure. He leans down to drop a kiss against the piercing, and Geralt sucks in a breath and tilts his hips meaningfully.

Again, Jaskier appreciates the single-minded nature.

It's not quite what he's going for, though, so he straightens back up and unscrews the piercing before setting it aside on the nightstand and fishing the little package of jewelry out of his pocket. He lays it on Geralt's bare stomach and unfolds it, and Geralt inhales a little sharply.

"Thank you," Jaskier says, carefully replacing the stand-in piercing with the topaz one and then kissing it too. Geralt tenses, but not enough to disturb the jewelry laid on his stomach. Jaskier looks down at him with a hum, just appreciating the view. "It really does suit you."

"What are you doing," Geralt says, his hands fisting against the blankets.

"Taking my time," Jaskier says, then lightly tugs at one of the other's nipple piercings. "May I?"

"Yes," Geralt says slowly, and Jaskier smiles at him.

"You're so generous with me," he says. "It's the sweetest thing."

"I'm not sweet," Geralt lies, his hands still tight against the blankets as Jaskier gently takes out his nipple piercings, careful not to pull or pinch anything. He assumes they're sensitive, for obvious reasons.

"Mmm, if you say so," he says, picking up one of the nipple rings to put in. To Jaskier's entire lack of surprise, they look very good on him. Geralt's breath hitches, and Jaskier kisses the little hoop, then leans back to put the other in and kiss it too. Geralt stifles a groan.

It's really very nice, putting jewelry on him. Jaskier could get used to it.

"Thank you," he says, ignoring his very interested cock to take one of Geralt's hands and massage the tension out of it until it goes soft in his grip and he can slide one of the rings on his finger. Maybe he should've done this first, actually, but Geralt doesn't look any less affected. His eyes are blown wide, and he's staring.

It's a bit flattering, really, Jaskier thinks as he kisses the ring, then repeats the process with the other one. It's not especially expensive or pretty jewelry, and he doubts it really measures up to past alphas' gifts, but that Geralt seems to like it anyway . . .

Well, it makes him feel very good, that Geralt seems to like it anyway.

And he really does look lovely in it.

"You're such a sight," Jaskier says, gently tugging one of the nipple rings. Geralt hisses, his fingers curling. "I wish you could see how pretty you look, but I suppose I'll just have to enjoy the view for both of us."

"Jaskier," Geralt says, his voice thin. Jaskier can smell his arousal, and it smells very good indeed.

"My mouth or my knot?" he asks.

"Both," Geralt says, still staring at him with those blown-wide eyes and, well . . . who is Jaskier to ignore an omega's request? He eats him out, and then when he's oversensitive and moaning he fucks him, and then Geralt clings desperately to his body and locks his knot and Jaskier has never, ever felt more wanted.

Geralt's fingers leave bruises, after. Jaskier admires them almost as much as the jewelry.

They spend the rest of the day in bed, a long time even for Geralt. Jaskier enjoys it. Basks in it, really. Geralt's wearing his courting jewelry, courting jewelry he helped him pick out, even, and he seems to like it as much as Jaskier does, which is . . . a lot, honestly. A whole hell of a lot. Jaskier's definitely going to bask in that.

So he does.

The next day they get back to their normal monster hunting and composing, but Jaskier can't shake the warm feeling he keeps getting from looking at Geralt's beringed fingers and cuffed wrist and dangling earrings; from knowing the other's wearing piercings he bought for him under his clothes. He never expected a gift like that, but it's a lovely thing.

Maybe Geralt just doesn't wear courting jewelry when he's not being actively courted, Jaskier thinks. Some omegas don't, and that would definitely explain the stand-in pieces. Then again, so would monster hunting.

Well, either way, Jaskier is very, very glad Geralt's decided to wear his. It makes him feel wanted, desired, and honestly he wasn't entirely certain how welcome his more . . . emotional advances actually were. If Geralt's wearing his jewelry, though, just his jewelry . . . well, that's more than just keeping each other's bedrolls warm on occasion. Not an out-and-out commitment, but something more all the same.

Jaskier really likes that, for obvious reasons.

He starts putting aside money again, and stops buying trinkets for other omegas; stops really spending time with other omegas at all. If Geralt notices, he doesn't say anything, but his own visits to the whorehouse seem to have tapered off significantly, so . . .

So.

Jaskier feels pretty good about things, all things considered. They don't see each other quite as often as he'd like, perhaps, but when they do Geralt lets him into his bed or bedroll and he's always wearing his jewelry, whether they meant to meet or not. Jaskier relishes it.

"When's your next heat?" he asks one day a few months later as they're eating dinner in a dirty little tavern and he's doing some mental math about what he can and can't afford to spend on Geralt's next gift. He's been saving up since their little shopping spree, but he's only been able to save so much. Geralt frowns at the question. "I was just thinking, well . . . I'd like to share a proper one with you one of these days, if you're amenable to the idea. As opposed to a 'brought on by a murderous succubus wearing my face' one. Not that I didn't enjoy the experience, it just could've been more . . . romantic?"

"Romantic," Geralt echoes.

"I'm a romantic alpha, Geralt, what can I say," Jaskier says, lacing his fingers together and resting his chin in them. "I'd like to bed you properly this time. If you're amenable to the idea, that is."

"I'm . . . amenable," Geralt says, and Jaskier grins.

"Wonderful," he says warmly, hooking an ankle around one of Geralt's under the table. Geralt tolerates the affection, but seems more interested in his meal.

Well, it is Geralt, after all.

They make plans to meet for Geralt's next heat. Jaskier thrums with delight and excitement and waits eagerly for the day. Geralt . . . is Geralt, mostly. Jaskier's not sure he's ever seen the man excited.

He hopes he's looking forward to it, at least.

He hopes he can find something respectable to bring him for it, because that's proving difficult. He's been looking ever since they made their plans, and nothing's turned up. At least, nothing affordable. It's a heat gift, so it doesn't have to be practical, but it does have to be within his unfortunately slim budget.

Can't all be princesses, so . . .

In the end, though, he finds a lovely, sturdy torque made of twisted silver in a lavish little market, and is relieved by the price tag. That's affordable. That's more than affordable, compared to some of the prices he's been seeing. He won't even have to skip any meals.

At first he worries it might not fit Geralt, just because that'd be just his luck, but careful inspection makes him mostly sure it will, and he's always been fairly good at eyeballing that sort of thing. That'll be fine, then, that's something proper to bring him, and—

And hm, he thinks, momentarily distracted by the flash of silver on a very delicate chain.

The clerk spies weakness and pounces, and Jaskier . . . well, Jaskier is weak, and buys slightly more than he should. Unsurprisingly.

It's for Geralt, so . . .

He hopes the other likes it.

Jaskier leaves with his inadvisably expensive haul, and waits for Geralt's heat. There's not much waiting left to do, fortunately, so he manages not to jitter out of his skin in anticipation.

They meet up outside the inn they'd planned to meet at, and Jaskier barely resists the urge to kiss Geralt everywhere he can reach right in the middle of the street. Geralt isn't in armor, but is wearing his earrings and rings and bracelet, which fills Jaskier with pride and delight and makes him wonder if Geralt's wearing the piercings too. Not quite appropriate to be stripping one's omega in the street, though, so he reserves his curiosity and takes one of Geralt's hands to kiss.

Geralt gives him an odd look for it, for some reason. Jaskier can't figure out why.

He supposes he could just ask about the piercings, come to think, but he'd rather see for himself. He won't mind if Geralt's wearing the stand-ins, obviously, but if he's not . . .

Well, that'll be quite the little treasure to unveil, later.

"You look lovelier than ever, omega," he says with a smile, letting go of Geralt's hand. Geralt pauses for a moment before lowering it. Jaskier watches the gleam of his well-polished rings as he does and feels warm.

"Blame the heat pheromones, not me," Geralt says, clearly unimpressed with the compliment. He is just wearing a beat-up old shirt and pants, nothing Jaskier hasn't seen before, but his hair is neatly combed and his clothes are clean and tidy, and Jaskier can smell flowery soaps and perfumes on his skin and in his hair. They complement his pheromones nicely; more nicely than Jaskier would've expected. Geralt is not the sort of omega he'd expect to care to know how to complement his pheromones. Then again, Geralt's even more sensitive to scent than most, so perhaps he should've.

Jaskier's not quite sure how to say I really like how you put yourself together today without sounding either ridiculous or overeager, so . . .

"I really like how you put yourself together today," he says, resigning himself to being ridiculous and overeager. When isn't he, really? "Heat pheromones and all. Is that lilac?"

"I don't know," Geralt says uncomfortably. "It just smelled—right."

"Well, it's delightful," Jaskier informs him, then holds his arm out for him. "Shall we?"

"Hn," Geralt says, but takes his arm. They go inside, and Geralt’s already gotten a room so they head up to it. The room smells like lilac and a few subtler flowers and Geralt, so it’s already Jaskier’s favorite place in town.

There’s food and wine and water by the bed, extra bedding folded on the chair, and everything’s all set up for a proper heat. That’s really more the alpha’s job, but Jaskier doesn’t mind. Geralt did get here first, so it makes sense he’d set up. Saves time and all.

“You really are lovely,” he says, then takes Geralt’s hands in his own and leans up and kisses him. He smells sweeter than ever with pre-heat in his pheromones. Jaskier’s never smelled it on him before—the succubus incident didn’t allow for it, obviously—and he’s relishing it now.

Geralt kisses him back, delightfully, and Jaskier squeezes his hands in his own. He meant it to be a chaste little peck, honestly, but Geralt kisses back much more hungrily than that, and, well, Jaskier’s not going to be the one to complain.

So lovely,” he purrs between kisses, and Geralt makes a soft noise between their mouths. Jaskier sighs quietly, adoring it. He’d say more, but then Geralt might stop kissing him, so . . .

They kiss. Geralt makes more soft noises; Jaskier doesn’t let go of his hands. He feels warm and dizzy and like doing this until he godsdamn knots.

Not actually very helpful a thing for a heat partner to do, mind, so eventually he does break off the kiss. At least, he means to break off the kiss, but then Geralt chases his mouth and at that point, well, there’s no helping it. They’ll just be doing this until Geralt gets bored or they die, whichever comes first. Jaskier isn’t going to be picky.

Geralt really does seem to be willing to keep just kissing him for as long as he can. Jaskier, again, has no complaints. Eventually, though, he does have to stop and catch his breath for a moment, because the spirit may be willing but the body is only human.

“You are entirely overwhelming,” he says frankly and breathlessly, letting go of the other’s hands to smooth his hands over his chest. Geralt gives a low grunt when his fingers catch against his nipples through his shirt, which Jaskier could listen to all week and also reminds him—“Oh! I almost forgot, silly me. Do you want to see your gift?”

“Gift?” Geralt asks oddly, like it’s some kind of surprise or something that Jaskier would bring something to a heat. It’s not that Jaskier doesn’t appreciate him cutting him a break on that, but he’s neither bastard nor broke enough to show up for a heat empty-handed.

“Yes,” he says. “Of course. I’m not sure it’ll fit, though.”

“Most omega jewelry doesn’t,” Geralt says.

“Yes, I’m not blind, Geralt,” Jaskier says wryly, petting his chest again and idly wondering which piercings he’s wearing under his shirt. He can’t quite tell through the fabric. “I did take that into consideration in my shopping.”

“You shouldn’t waste your money,” Geralt says, his expression flickering oddly.

“Worst case scenario, I hock it and get you something else,” Jaskier says with an easy shrug. He presses a kiss to Geralt’s jaw, then steps back from him and takes his pack off. He should really get the jewelry out before the other’s heat symptoms start, all things considered. It’s only polite, after all. “And I’d do that if you didn’t like it, too, so it’s really not a concern.”

“I’ll like it,” Geralt says, and Jaskier feels warm.

“While I appreciate the sentiment, I really will get you something else if you’d prefer,” he says as he digs into his pack. “I’m still not really sure what you do like, aside from silver. And you at least don’t hate topaz, lucky for me. I should get you more topaz.”

“You don’t have to,” Geralt says, watching him dig.

“You’re very kind, but I’m capable of being respectable, really,” Jaskier says, then comes up with the velvet-wrapped torque and a triumphant noise. “There! Well, this is the big thing, anyway.”

“The big thing?” Geralt frowns, then stills as Jaskier unwraps the torque to show him. It really is a pretty thing, he thinks. One of his better finds.

“I know you already wear a necklace, but, well . . .” he says, trailing off with a shrug. “I thought it’d look nice on you.”

“Mm,” Geralt says.

“Will you accept it?” Jaskier asks, searching the other’s face. It’s not really clear if he likes it, though when is it ever, really. He’s used to it by now.

Geralt pauses for a moment, then dips his head in a nod. Jaskier breaks into a smile—can’t help it, really.

“Then may I?” he asks hopefully, holding up the torque, and Geralt nods again. Jaskier tries not to look too smitten and reaches up to put it on him.

“Thank you,” he says, and makes a pleased noise as he settles the torque around Geralt’s throat. It does, in fact, look nice. Very nice. Geralt lifts a hand to touch it, and Jaskier smiles wider. “Look at you. What a beauty.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, then strips off his shirt roughly. Jaskier makes a delighted noise. Geralt’s wearing the silver piercings.

“Oh, but I love seeing you in those,” Jaskier says. Geralt ignores the compliment, already halfway out of his pants. He is, as ever, the least romantic omega Jaskier knows. Then again, he is about to be in heat, so Jaskier doubts he’s feeling particularly patient. Although . . . “There’s one other thing.”

“Another thing?” Geralt frowns at him. Jaskier smiles sheepishly, pulling out the other velvet-wrapped gift in his pack and setting the pack itself aside.

“You don’t have to wear it,” he says. “I just, er . . . saw it. When I was shopping.”

He unfolds the velvet. Geralt’s frown deepens as he looks down at it.

“It’s another necklace,” he says.

“Not . . . exactly,” Jaskier says carefully, picking up one of the loose ends of chain and the little clasp on the end of it. “You wear it a bit like one, though.”

“So what is it, then?” Geralt asks impatiently.

“A body chain,” Jaskier says, gesturing at his throat. “You wear the top around your neck, and the dangling ends . . .” He reaches out and flicks one of the silver hoops in Geralt’s nipples meaningfully, and Geralt startles.

“It’s too delicate,” he says abruptly. “I’ll break it.”

“Then I’ll buy you a better one,” Jaskier says. “I mean—if you want it.”

Geralt looks blankly at the chain.

“What’s it for?” he says.

“I mean . . . it’s just supposed to look pretty,” Jaskier says with a shrug, not really understanding the question. “What else?”

“I’m not that kind of omega,” Geralt says, his eyes still on the chain. Jaskier . . . frowns, tilting his head.

“What, the pretty kind?” he asks doubtfully. “Because if that’s what you mean, I have some arguments. And ballads. And probably a mirror, somewhere.”

“No, I mean—” Geralt struggles briefly, then shakes his head. “Things like that. They don’t look right on me.”

“Oh, well, that I definitely have some arguments against,” Jaskier says, because he is an alpha with taste and also because picturing Geralt in this has been extremely distracting ever since he bought it.

Extremely.

"You don't have to wear it, obviously," he says. "But I would really like it if you at least tried it on."

"Mm." Geralt's still just looking at the chain. Jaskier resists the urge to fidget.

"Alternately I can just put it away and we'll pretend this never happened," he continues, because he never can shut up. "And next time I'll just get you—I don't know, maybe a comb, I've been looking for something you could put in that lovely hair of yours. No luck yet, obviously. Or another bracelet or two? Something less, er . . ."

"Pretty," Geralt says.

"No, it's definitely going to be pretty," Jaskier says, shaking his head. "Everything's pretty on you."

Geralt looks . . . flustered, almost, which makes no sense to Jaskier. You'd think the man had never been complimented, which—hah. In what world?

"I'll wear it," Geralt says, a little awkwardly. Jaskier lights up; can't not.

"Are you sure?" he asks. "You really don't have to."

"No. I will," Geralt says. "But when it looks stupid, I'm taking it off."

"That's fine," Jaskier says, rocking back on his heels. "But when it doesn't look stupid, I'm going to be very smug."

Geralt snorts. Jaskier leans towards him like a flower towards the sun, trying not to smile too widely. Geralt isn't good with too much open affection; he doesn't want to chase him off.

"May I put it on you, then?" he asks hopefully.

"Fine," Geralt says. He shifts uncertainly, apparently not quite sure how to hold himself for it. Jaskier carefully lifts the chain off the velvet and steps towards him to loop the collar of it over his head. Geralt watches him warily. Jaskier can't imagine why.

"Thank you," he says, carefully adjusting the lay of the chain and keeping it from tangling in his hair or the medallion. It's an intricate little thing, very delicate and pretty, and there's several draped layers involved, so it takes a little sorting out before everything lays correctly. Geralt watches his hands.

"It doesn't look right," he says, voice a little tight.

"You are very wrong about that," Jaskier assures him as he separates out one of the loose ends and gently fastens it to one of Geralt's nipple rings. Geralt's breath hitches. Jaskier tugs on the chain, very lightly, and Geralt's breath hitches again.

Lovely, Jaskier thinks.

He fastens the other dangling chain to the other ring, then steps back to admire the results. Geralt's already very pretty tits look resplendent, the layers of the chain sparkling gently atop them and shifting slightly as he breathes, and Jaskier has to bite his own knuckles.

"Don't fucking laugh, you bastard," Geralt mutters. His ears are red.

"Oh, that is really not what's happening here," Jaskier says, shaking his head slowly. "Not even a little bit."

Geralt bares his teeth at him. Jaskier looks at the torque curving around his throat and the topaz in his ears and the glittering chains over his chest and his navel piercing and beringed and braceleted hands and feels . . . entirely overwhelmed. It's not much, really, but it's so much.

"I want to do so many things to you," he says with great feeling. "No wonder you don't wear your other courting jewelry, you'd never make it down the street without alphas throwing themselves at your feet."

"Jaskier," Geralt says tightly, his hands curling into loose fists.

"Really, look at you," Jaskier says reverently, stepping back in to run his hands over the other's chest. It's a very enjoyable process. "If you're going to be this generous with me, I'm going to have to be very generous with you."

"I'm going to make the bed," Geralt says abruptly, then steps back and turns towards the extra bedding. Jaskier makes a mournful noise at the loss. Then again, hate to see you go, love to watch you leave.

"Do you mean you're going to nest?" he says as he hooks his hands together behind his back, because the bed looks pretty made to him.

Geralt grunts unhelpfully, but does indeed start to nest with the extra bedding. Jaskier admires the sight of him, and especially admires the way the chains on his chest shift and reposition as he moves. The body chain was such a good purchase. Geralt looks so good, and smells even better, and Jaskier wants to eat him alive.

Geralt makes a fairly bare-bones nest; doesn't even use all the bedding. Jaskier's used to more luxurious ones, but at the same time it suits him. It seems very Geralt.

He really wants to get his hands on him again.

"Will you ride me at some point?" he asks, because Geralt's occupied but that doesn't mean he can't talk to him, and if he's going to talk to him . . . "I want to see how it makes the chains move."

Specifically, he wants to see them fucking bounce, which is fairly assured with how eager Geralt always is. He can't imagine that changing in a proper heat.

"Fine," Geralt says, like he doesn't like riding him just as much as Jaskier likes it. Jaskier represses a laugh.

"Thank you," he says. "I do love it when you do that."

Geralt looks back at him. Jaskier stops admiring his ass and thighs to make eye contact.

"Mm?" he says.

"You don't have to do all this," Geralt says.

"Talk?" Jaskier says, not understanding. "If you want me not to talk, we—"

"No," Geralt says. "The rest of it."

". . . watching?" Jaskier tries. "Do you not want me to watch you?"

Geralt scowls, looking frustrated.

"No," he says. "The . . . compliments, and the . . . the gifts."

"The courting gifts?" Jaskier says carefully, not sure what Geralt's saying. Does he mean he doesn't want to be courted? That he doesn't feel the same? Then why has he been wearing the jewelry?

"I don't need it," Geralt says.

"I realize you must have gobs of the stuff, but that hardly means I shouldn't do my part," Jaskier says, frowning faintly at him. Geralt's mouth thins. "Do you not like them? Is that it? I can get you something better."

"You don't need to get me anything," Geralt says stiffly. "Why are you bothering? You already know I'll roll over for you."

". . . Geralt," Jaskier says, raising his eyebrows. "I'm courting you. You do realize that, yes?"

"That's not the point," Geralt says.

"It . . . is?" Jaskier squints at him. Well, this isn't what he expected out of the other's pre-heat. At all.

Then again, well, omegas do tend to get . . . vulnerable, emotionally speaking. So maybe it makes sense.

Even if the idea of Geralt being emotionally vulnerable is a very odd thought. Everyone is sometimes, after all. The man's not a rock.

"You think I should just fuck you without giving you anything?" Jaskier says. "What, really?"

"It's not like I'm not getting anything out of it," Geralt says. "You don't need to keep giving me things for it."

"That's not the point of courting jewelry!" Jaskier protests indignantly. "I don't think you're a whore or something!"

"I don't have gobs of it," Geralt says. Jaskier frowns. "I don't have any other courting jewelry."

"You mean you sold it?" Jaskier assumes, puzzled. "Or lost?"

"I mean not many people knot a witcher without getting paid for it, and they damn well don't court you for the experience," Geralt says tensely, looking down at his nest. "So you don't have to do . . . all this. It's not necessary."

"Geralt," Jaskier says, genuinely appalled. "What kind of bastards have you been sleeping with? Of course it's necessary! Especially for a heat of all things!"

"It's not," Geralt says. The look on his face is strange and pained, and nothing has ever made Jaskier want to dump a jewelry box on someone more.

"Geralt," he says, crossing over to the bed and reaching out to push his hands up Geralt’s arms. Geralt shifts away from him. “Geralt. Even if I weren’t trying to court you, I’d still be giving you things. Witcher or not, it doesn’t matter, you deserve the same courtesy I’d show any omega.”

Dammit. Is this why Geralt let him knot him without courting gifts, before? Dammit. He’d just thought . . .

Well, he hadn’t thought, apparently. He’d assumed. Like an idiot.

“I said it’s not necessary,” Geralt says. Jaskier doesn’t know what to say to that.

“It’s necessary to me,” he says, finally. “I don’t want you to feel . . . I’m not trying to take advantage of you.”

Geralt snorts, giving him a dubious look.

“Take advantage of me?” he says. “What, you think you’re taking liberties? It’s not like anyone can breed me. Or mate me. It doesn’t matter if I’m used goods.”

“I am fairly certain I could mate you, actually,” Jaskier says. “Witchers aren’t invulnerable to mating bites, last I heard.”

Geralt glares at him, his sweet scent turning sour. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to make a flippant remark about, Jaskier thinks. But . . .

“Well, are you?” he says.

“Who the hell would care?” Geralt says, which isn’t a “yes”. Jaskier wants to touch him again very badly, but restrains the impulse.

“I’m courting you,” he reminds the other. “What did you think I wanted out of that?”

“Sex,” Geralt says.

“Yes, besides that, Geralt,” Jaskier says in exasperation. “If you were just a convenient bedfellow to me, we wouldn’t be going out of our way to share your heat, now would we? I wouldn’t be here at all.”

“Mm,” Geralt says.

“And I don’t just buy you the first junk I see, you know,” Jaskier continues, scowling. “I look for things I think you might like. Well, alright, the body chain might be a little bit more a thing I like, I’ll admit, but—”

“You look for things?” Geralt asks oddly.

“Of course I do!” Jaskier says. “I’m not just pulling random nonsense out of my pack every time! You’ve been shopping with me!”

“That’s not . . .” Geralt trails off. Jaskier resists the urge to touch him again.

“That is,” he says. “I think about you when you’re not around. I think about you a lot when you’re not around.”

“You shouldn’t,” Geralt says, and Jaskier throws his hands up in the air. Gods save him from beautiful idiots.

“Well, I do!” he says. “So there!”

“You’re an idiot,” Geralt says, like he has any room to talk. Jaskier makes an offended noise.

Excuse you!” he says, and then Geralt kisses him and he sort of forgets where he was going with that one, for obvious reasons.

“Idiot,” Geralt repeats, and kisses him harder. Jaskier puts his hands on his hips and leans into it. He smells so good. Better than anything, up to and including murderous sex monsters. Geralt wraps his arms around his neck in return, noising quietly, and Jaskier purrs into the kiss.

“You’re delicious,” he says. “And very stupid. I’m going to buy you so much jewelry.”

“You don’t have to,” Geralt mutters.

“No, but I’m going to,” Jaskier says firmly, kissing him again. “By the time I’m done with you you’ll godsdamn drip with it.”

Geralt makes another quiet noise. Jaskier kisses it out of his mouth.

“I mean it,” he says. “I’ll get you so much jewelry you can’t even wear it all at once.”

“I don’t need that much,” Geralt says, staring intently at Jaskier’s collarbone.

“Too bad!” Jaskier retorts. “I’m the alpha, I decide how much courting jewelry happens. You like silver, yes? And topaz? What else? Did you like the flowers on the bracelet, I could find you more flowers.”

“Shut up, Jaskier,” Geralt says, kissing him again. Jaskier’s willing to table the discussion for the moment, but it’s definitely going to come up again later. He’s going to take notes. Detailed ones.

Geralt pulls his jacket and shirt off, then pushes him down into the nest and gives his pants the same treatment. Jaskier does his best to be helpful about the process. Geralt still doesn’t smell like full heat, but his scent is sweeter and riper than it was when he got here, and Jaskier buries his face in his neck and breathes in deep.

“Delicious,” he says with a pleased sigh.

“Lay back and let me ride you,” Geralt says, as, as ever, the one with the best ideas.

“If you insist,” Jaskier says, and does as instructed. He skims his hands up Geralt’s stomach to the chains strung over his chest, purring to himself. Geralt huffs at him, looking annoyed, and Jaskier hooks a finger in the dangling curve connecting the collar of the chain to his nipple ring and gives the lightest little tug.

Geralt hisses. Jaskier’s mouth curves into a smile.

“Lovely,” he says warmly.

“Don’t distract me,” Geralt says.

“I am absolutely going to distract you,” Jaskier promises. “Distracting you is the least of what I am going to do.”

“Idiot,” Geralt huffs, leaning over him. His hair all falls in his face. Jaskier really does need to get him that comb, or at least some kind of hairpin or another.

So lovely,” he says with a content sigh, reaching up to cup his face in his hands, and Geralt just barely leans into the contact, staring down at him intently with those beautiful topaz eyes. Jaskier could purr.

Does purr, a bit.

He clearly has work to do and jewelry to save up for, but for the moment, well . . . for the moment, he’ll just have to come up with some other ways to make Geralt feel as important as he is to him.

He’s sure he can think of something, under the circumstances.