Jaskier was a constant source of buzzing energy, movement, and noise.
Geralt shouldn’t be surprised that the man wasn’t quiet, even in his sleep.
“Darling.” Jaskier sighed into his makeshift pillow, arms folded underneath his ridiculous doublet. He slept on his stomach, sprawled out as though the hard ground were the most comfortable feather bed.
Geralt raised an eyebrow at the sound and glanced over. Jaskier’s eyes were tightly shut, his breathing steady and even, heart rate slow. All signs of the man fast asleep.
Except for his mouth, apparently.
“Darling, dear heart, I need you, please-” Jaskier sighed again, and Geralt rolled his eyes inwardly and got up to stretch and feed the fire. Seducing pretty milkmaids and tavern wenches and nobles’ daughters, even in his sleep. Typical. Geralt settled down on his bedroll again across the fire. Jaskier’s mumbling had dropped down to soft murmurs and quiet sounds. He was nearly asleep himself. If he was lucky, maybe he’d have equally pleasant dreams.
“Gods, don’t make me beg for your cock-” Geralt heard the clear shift-drag-shift of Jaskier’s hips against the bedroll, and then a soft, filthy groan.
Well, at least humans tended to be quick about these things. Geralt rolled onto his side, tugged the blankets over himself, and waited for Jaskier to finish. His dream to finish.
Geralt felt a trickle of sweat down his spine as he heard (not listened , he certainly wasn’t listening) the bard grind against the rough blankets. A sharp, almost pained inhale of breath. The tang of not-quite seawater, sweat, damp fabric, musk. Jaskier let out a soft, sated sigh, and snuggled in closer to his pillow.
After a few minutes, Jaskier began to snore softly. Because of course he snored.
Geralt covered his eyes with his forearm, took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Ignored the scent of Jaskier’s cooling sweat and release, closed his eyes, and slept.
The next morning, Jaskier awoke in a truly chipper mood.
“Gods, I woke up sticky.” He said with a warm laugh as he returned from the river, smelling of clean skin and soap and river water. “Had to wash my smallclothes twice.”
“Hm.” Geralt grunted as the bard draped the offending piece of clothing over a log near the fire to dry.
“Don’t hm at me. Perfectly natural thing that happens when you’re healthy. I’m sure you’ve had those mornings.” Jaskier began whistling like a robin, without shame or embarrassment.
“Must have been quite the dream. To put you in this mood.” Geralt stated with a half smile.
“I wouldn’t know, I never remember my dreams.” Jaskier’s heartbeat and breath were steady. There was no trace of evasion or tension in his body. Not only was he not lying, he wasn’t embarrassed in the slightest. “But I’m sorry if I woke you with my mumblings. I know you’re a light sleeper. I’ll go to the river for an extra wash and a quick tug before we lay down tonight.” Jaskier stretched, lazy and pleased like a cat in the sunshine, then patted Geralt’s shoulder fondly. “We’ll camp somewhere by the river again, yes?”
“...hm.” Geralt agreed.
That was fine by him. It wasn’t like he’d savored the sound of his friend taking his pleasure across the fire. He certainly hadn’t listened eagerly for the dream’s conclusion.
It would be fine.
“I’m off to the river.” Jaskier told him that evening, clad in nothing but his own skin with a towel draped over his shoulder, a small bar of yellow soap in one hand. “Care to join me?”
“No.” Geralt focused on brushing Roach, unable to help the small amused twitch of his lips. “Go enjoy your privacy.”
“Fair enough. I’ll see if I can coax a fish or two out of the river when I’m done.”
Geralt listened to Jaskier moving through the bushes and grass, then hummed quietly to himself. It would be a quiet night.
Jaskier returned within the hour with a large silvery fish, wrapped in leaves. He was dressed comfortably in his loose sleeping pants and a soft shirt, hair damp from the water.
“It’s a shame you didn’t join me, the water’s beautifully warm, and shaded with trees. A lovely spot for a swim. And no monsters either, just curious fish wondering what toes taste like.” Jaskier’s smile was bright and open as he passed the fish over for Geralt to clean and cook. “Next town we get to, I’m going to buy lemons.” He said with the sort of certainty Geralt couldn’t help but be amused at.
“Mmm. You stuff the fish with lemon slices, then wrap it in herbs, roast it. It’s delicious.”
“Delicious.” Geralt echoed thoughtfully.
“Geralt, you’re not an unfeeling wall. Surely you have your own pleasures you indulge in? Good food, good wine? Music? Pleasant company?”
“It’s a small expense to give you a taste of pleasure. I’m buying lemons.” Jaskier affirmed.
That night, rubbing his stomach with a pleased groan after a meal of lightly salted and oiled fish and hard bread, Jaskier stretched out languidly on his back.
“A good meal, fair weather, fine company...and look at those stars.” Jaskier gazed up at the sky with a gentle expression. “Couldn’t ask for better. Thank you for having me along, Geralt.”
“I like your company as well.” Jaskier yawned hugely, letting his eyes fall closed. “You know-” He began, voice warm and easy. “There’s no reason to abstain just because I’m here. We’re friends, after all. If you fancy a swim in the river -” He accompanied the words with a loose gesture, eyes still closed and heartbeat already slowing. “Well, I’ll brush Roach tomorrow. And I sleep soundly, if you feel shy about that sort of thing.”
Shy? Shy. The bard thought he was shy.
Gods be good, why had he ever agreed to bring such a prattling, heedless, confident, sweet faced, lean muscled, filthy voiced little-
“I’m not shy.” Geralt gritted out at last. He was answered by a soft, purring snore and heavy breathing. He sighed and looked up at the stars, which he had to admit, were beautiful in the clear night. “Sleep well, Jaskier.” He rumbled quietly from his own bed.
He waited until he recognized the pattern of Jaskier’s deep, steady breathing and heartbeat before he took himself in hand. Surely you have your own pleasures you indulge in? Yes, and this was one of them. Normally, he didn’t think about having a companion to overhear. But Jaskier was sleeping deeply, and he’d said he didn’t mind.
Geralt unfastened the lacings of his pants slowly, squeezing himself through the clinging leather first before beginning a familiar, steady rhythm with his wrist. Let his thoughts drift while he sought his own pleasure.
His thoughts, unfortunately, kept drifting to the man soundly asleep across the fire. Well, where was the harm, inside his own head? He thought of the bard’s full lips, his comfort in his own body. The way he moved naked through water, slippery as the fish he caught. The way he’d sighed, don’t make me beg, in his sleep, sounding not at all displeased at the thought of begging.
He let himself sink into the sensation, warm friction, skin on skin, the pleasure building steadily, easily.
He was nearly there, could feel his body tight and waiting for release-
“Oh, darling-” Jaskier exhaled in his sleep, low and dark, with a sharper, teasing edge. “The things I’d do to you…”
Geralt spent messily over his fingers with a sharp groan. His heart pounded, each beat slow but heavy as his body pulsed with the wrenching force of his sudden climax.
Jaskier continued to talk in his sleep, and gently prod Geralt to enjoy all the pleasures life on the road had to offer during the day.
It was maddening.
Geralt had catalogued the litany of poetic filth Jaskier had no idea he was composing at night. At length.
If he bothered to write it down, the bard could probably make a tidy fortune.
Regardless of how many times he blithely slipped away to tend to his needs, or didn’t, Jaskier talked.
Sometimes he rutted against the blankets until he spent in his smallclothes (which meant that then Geralt had to endure conversations about the irritating process of laundry and wasn’t travel lonely sometimes, but really when one was traveling with such a true friend what more did one need).
Jaskier’s night talk tended to wander heavily down three paths. Praising his partners, begging for them, and asking how they liked it best. He mixed and matched them like a true musician, and no evening’s performance was repeated.
All three, in whatever combination, made Geralt feel like he was slowly being lit on fire from the inside out.
Once, Jaskier trailed off with a small whispered, gods, you’re right, it’s sweeter for the waiting, I’ll be good for you- and had said no more for the rest of the night.
His favorite, not that he had a favorite, he wasn’t listening, was the evening when Jaskier fell asleep on his back.
Geralt had woken up to the usual starting chord of “Darling…” on a sigh, every sense alert at once and achingly hard. Gods be damned, he’d been conditioned by the little fucker.
Oh darling, you’re so beautiful above me.
I’d season every meal I’d ever eat again with the salt of your sweat.
Gods, you’re so slick, I can feel you- yes, let me in, there-
Don’t touch yourself, wait for me, I’ll make you sing-
Jaskier’s daytime talk was of how good a seasoning fresh air was, the beauty of the scenery, the fineness of Roach’s stamina, and interpreting Geralt’s quiet responses of “hm” with frightening insight and accuracy. The bard could have an entire two part conversation on his own, and Geralt was surprised to find he enjoyed the voice, bright as gold coins, moving from topic to topic deftly.
Jaskier had somehow, with only a hm or mm in response charmed out of him that Geralt enjoyed expensive wine when he could afford it, good new boots, a sword oil only made in the south. Jaskier knew Geralt prefered chicken to duck, and rabbit to either of those. And in the evenings after dinner, when they were both full and Jaskier was inclined to rowdier talk, admitted and learned that they both equally enjoyed the company of men and women, had visited at least one of the same brothels, and neither were adverse to the company of their own hand on the road.
When they lay down for the night, bedrolls at a comfortable distance across the fire, Geralt waited for the steady slowing of Jaskier’s heart rate and breath, but instead the bard sounded...distinctly awake. Waiting for something.
“No, nothing’s wrong, don’t worry about that.” A brief pause, and the sound of a soft, warm laugh. “Would you mind if I...it’s just, I’m not feeling terribly sleepy quite yet.”
“Generous of you, thanks. I’ll be done in a minute. Just roll over, pretend you can’t hear me, and I don’t know, think of Roach.” Geralt huffed out a soft laugh. Jaskier paused, and Geralt could almost hear the smirk in his voice. “Or get a hand on yourself and think of whatever you like. God knows, I will.”
At such an open invitation, Geralt sighed and unlaced his pants, slowly taking himself out and waiting. Stroking slowly, more to stoke the burn of arousal rather than satisfy it.
Across the fire, he heard the barest exhale, and then the brisk sound of skin on skin. Jaskier's heartbeat sped, as did his breathing, but he was otherwise silent.
Geralt gritted his teeth, and curiosity got the better of him after a few tense moments.
"...What are you thinking about over there, then?" The sudden stop of that steady rhythm.
"Geralt.” The sound of Jaskier’s laughter then - surprised, amused, but not scandalized or shocked. “I don’t know, I suppose. Just how good it feels. Nothing particular.” A pause, and the sound of Jaskier’s palm moving again, a little slower. Another laugh, Jaskier’s voice lower and throaty with arousal. “Why, what are you thinking about over there?”
Geralt couldn’t help the low sound he made in response, immediately biting it off at the soft gasp in response.
“My voice? Darling. ” Geralt tensed as though he’d been stabbed, with an equally pained sound to accompany it. He wasn’t prepared for the full force of the word. Not murmured, not sighed into a pillow, but spoken with direction and heat and deliberate intent. At him. “Well, if you’re not feeling shy, I’m certainly not going to object.”
“I’m not shy.” Geralt bit out, squeezing the base of his cock firmly to keep his climax at bay. “I just don’t talk all the damn time.”
“I don’t talk all-” Geralt interrupted his laughter, continuing on relentlessly.
“You talk constantly, it’s like following a brook. Even at night. Your fault I’m so hot for your fucking voice, and then the one time you get your hand on your prick when I’m within earshot, that’s when you shut up?”
“ Darling, that’s all you had to say.” Jaskier’s voice dripped with pleasure. Geralt’s cock twitched in his tight grip. “I wonder…” He added idly. “If there was a favorite performance of mine you were thinking of. That you’d like to comment on.”
Geralt moaned helplessly behind his teeth, fingers flexing on aching flesh.
“You sound beautiful darling. I quite like those low rumbles of yours. You’re so civilized and contained during the day, so unmoved by earthly pleasures. You’re like a druid. It’s...nice to hear a little bit more of the beast in you.” The performative hitch in Jaskier’s breath and the speeding of his heartbeat showed that Jaskier found his sounds more than nice. “Three words or less, that’s all I’m asking.”
“Make me sing.” Geralt gasped out hoarsely.
“Oh, you’re beautifully close, aren’t you. One of those low noises of yours can say as much as a poem. Give me one of those again, and I’ll say anything you like.”
“Fuck-” Geralt groaned, and then he heard Jaskier echo the word, smelled the now distinctive scent of the bard’s release. Seawater and sweat, musk and crushed grass. That was more than enough. He followed soon after, eyes closed tight and deafened by the sound of his own slow heartbeat in his ears.
“Mmm.” Jaskier sighed, sounding the same way he did after a particularly pleasant meal. “That was lovely, Geralt, thank you for that. Much friendlier with someone else. Sleep well!”
Geralt lay on top of his blankets, still shaking from head to toe and trying to catch his breath. When he managed to find his words again, all he could croak out was a wrecked, “...sleep well, Jaskier.”
They didn’t talk across the fire from their separate beds every night, after that. Geralt accepted it with a mix of relief and disappointment. Sometimes Jaskier went for a swim, sometimes he stepped away from camp and wandered off for a bit. He always returned to Geralt soon after, smelling like sun warmed skin and easy pleasure.
Jaskier was as musical as a songbird, unselfconscious and comfortable in his own skin. If there were any currents rippling beneath his placid surface, Geralt couldn’t spot them.
Perhaps that’s just what friends did, in Oxenfurt. He learned about Oxenfurt through Jaskier’s steady flow of words. It’s high towers, capped with red shingles. Drafty hallways, cheery fireplaces. Jaskier’s conversations wandered up and down its staircases and into its classrooms, its subjects, the Seven Liberal Arts.
Geralt, to his surprise, found himself drawn into asking an occasional question. Jaskier lighted on those like they were the finest of treasures. Something as simple as, “Which one did you like best?” Would lead to Jaskier rhapsodizing about his excellent skills as a conversational partner and Geralt’s natural eloquence.
The days he asked questions were the nights that Jaskier found himself “not quite sleepy yet.”
Geralt asked more questions.
The two weren’t related.
“Do Witchers not tend to have friends?” Jaskier asked him during dinner, when Geralt hm'd quietly in response to Jaskier calling him a friend. The word had settled, warm and comfortable in Geralt’s chest, and hadn’t left.
“Brothers, enemies.” Geralt responded quietly. He added, after a longer pause. “Paid company.”
“I’m not any of those things.”
“Hm.” Geralt ate the fish Jaskier had cooked, stuffed with lemon and wrapped in herbs, the skin crispy with oil and flecked with salt. It was just as good as Jaskier had affirmed it would be. Perhaps, Geralt had to allow, perhaps the bard knew more about uncomplicated pleasures than he did.
“Well, I suppose at least one Witcher has a friend.” Jaskier said with a quicksilver flash of a smile.
“Is this what friends do, where you’re from?” Geralt asked that night as the both settled into their beds, opposite the fire. Geralt was looking up at the trees and night sky, and not in Jaskier’s direction. Jaskier’s breath was steady and even, the sound of skin on skin not stopping as he answered.
“Sometimes.” Jaskier replied. Geralt could hear the smile in his voice, the warmth. The familiar curl of arousal in his tone. He still talked in his sleep, but more quietly these days. Geralt had to listen carefully for the soft whispers, now. “Sometimes friends do other things.”
“What other things?”
“Well-” The word stretched out, and slid up and down a few notes in the process. Despite the warm air, Geralt shivered. “I suppose it depends on the friend.”
“Yes, like you and me, for example. We’re very comfortable with each other now.” That was a true enough statement. The bard and he had been traveling together for the better part of late spring, and the slowly warming summer. Nothing concrete had changed between them, the bard’s conversations easy as ever. His comfort in his own bare skin, and occasionally at night, his comfort taking his pleasure at the same time Geralt took his. “Silly to pretend either of us are bad to look at. It might be nice to watch each other, rather than listen.”
“ You’re not bad to look at-” Geralt began quietly, and was shocked to his core at the sound that escaped Jaskier’s lips at the words.
“ Geralt . You really must be stubborn if you won’t see your own appeal.”
Geralt growled quietly in response to that and rolled over onto his side, covering himself with a blanket with a soft huff.
He didn’t expect Jaskier to fucking elaborate .
“I’m sure you’re used to your...company…playing up your strength, your size. How ferocious you are.” There was a knowing heat in those words, and Geralt shivered at the relish Jaskier lavished on the word. His ears grew warm, which was fucking ridiculous. Witchers didn’t blush . “But I personally admire the grace I see you move with. The care you take to avoid unnecessary conflict. The gentle way you are with Roach and I.”
“So...you like that I’m a beast, but a tame one.” Geralt ground out.
“Oh, there’s nothing tame about you, darling. But you can be very careful, very gentle, when you choose to be. It’s attractive. There’s nothing tame in a wolf deciding to eat from your hand.” Jaskier murmured.
Geralt threw the blankets off and met Jaskier’s intent gaze across the fire. Jaskier was settled comfortably on his back on the bedroll, knees splayed out, clothed otherwise for his bared prick in hand. His head turned towards Geralt, watching him across the flames. Geralt’s skin went hot all over at the sight, sweat pricking down his back. “It’s a foolish idea.” He growled, his free hand fisting in the blankets. “Feeding a wolf.”
Jaskiers eyes grew heavy lidded, but didn’t close. He didn’t take his eyes off Geralt’s, his hand moving faster. “Not if the wolf chooses to be fed.” Geralt watched Jaskier’s pupils dilate, the rise and fall of the man’s clothed chest, studied his full, parted lips. Heard the hitch in his breath and the stutter of his heartbeat before he closed his eyes and spent over his fingers.
He followed a moment later with a shudder, seeing white behind his eyelids, feeling tingling shocks travel from behind his ears down to the base of his spine. Soon after, he heard Jaskier’s soft, pleased chuckle. “There, you see? Much better than staring up at the stars. Good night, Geralt.”
“Sleep...sleep well, Jaskier.” Geralt whispered hoarsely, closing his eyes and taking a shaking breath.
Thanks for sticking around if you're still here! It's been a while since I updated this, I love everyone who's read, commented, kudosed, etc. You're lovely, thanks for reading. <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Geralt shook his bed roll out, looking from his usual spot across the fire to where Jaskier was setting up his own.
It wasn’t with anything like longing, not exactly. But he was curious. He wanted a better look at Jaskier. He wanted to be closer, so he could hear his voice better. He wanted to know more about what friends could share with each other. Jaskier was half singing a dirty song under his breath, expression easy as he smoothed down the blankets. “I put my hand upon her knee, mark well what I do say- hm hm hm hm upon her knee...she said young sir you’re teasing me...”
Jaskier looked up from making his own bed beside the fire and noticed Geralt was still standing, lost in thought, his own hands working the dense wool beneath his fingers. “Something the matter, Geralt?” He asked with concern. “I wouldn’t mind if you want to be closer. Always nice to have someone close by.”
“You wouldn’t mind?” Geralt studied the ground next to Jaskier’s bed roll, and after a moment’s thought laid his own out a few steps away.
“When it’s turning to Autumn and there’s a chill in the air, I’ll be begging you to share your blankets and some of that body heat with me.” Jaskier said with a grin, folding a spare shirt around his satchel of clothing and patting it to make it more comfortable. “Too sticky to share now, though.”
“What’s for dinner, then?”
“Sing- sing the one about the knee.” Geralt said quietly, leaning back against his saddle bags and drinking from a bottle of wine. He passed it over to Jaskier with a smile.
“The one about the knee? ”
“You know. You put your hand upon her-”
“Ah! That one. It’s called ‘a rovin’.”
“Sing it for me, then.”
“You’re asking me to sing instead of telling me to stop singing?”
“Never heard it. Curious how it goes.”
“I’m going to say ‘hm’ back at you, Geralt of Rivia.” Jaskier said expansively, obligingly unpacking his lute and tuning it carefully.
“In Oxenfurt there lived a maid, mark well what I do say
In Oxenfurt there lived a maid, and she was mistress of her trade
I’ll always go a ro-oh-vin’ with you, dear maid-”
Jaskier put on a masterful performance of the song, spinning it out as though he was sharing the story of the seduction with Geralt after two or three bottles of wine by the fire. His tone was warm and teasing, and the story left out few details. In the song, Jaskier was the careful lover, and the maid was urging him on with bolder and bolder words, eventually taking his hands and putting him right where she wanted him.
When he twined his fingers through her hair, she said “Now don’t stop there.” When he murmured sweetly in her ear, she whispered back “Come closer, dear.” A hand on her waist, encouraged to make more haste. A hand on her knee, then her thigh, then higher still-
Geralt’s mouth was dry and he hastily took another long drink of the wine as Jaskier concluded with the final verse.
I moved my hand 'til she was done mark well what I do say
I moved my hand 'til she was done and then she asked "Up for more fun?"
I’ll always go a ro-oh-vin’ with you, dear maid-”
“There’s not a version of that with a man, is there?” Geralt asked abruptly, unwilling to hear another chorus about how excited Jaskier was to go a ro-oh-vin’ again with this particular maid.
“What?” Jaskier asked curiously, his fingers stilling on the strings.
“Hm. Nevermind.” Geralt set the bottle aside and turned his back to Jaskier, burrowing in under his blankets, his palms sweating and the back of his neck hot.
“I suppose it would be fairly easy to change, though.” Jaskier mused, looking at Geralt’s tense and turned back with a soft laugh. “Feeling tired, then?”
“Hm.” Geralt grunted, screwing his eyes shut and pulling the blankets closer around his shoulders.
“Hm. Well, rest well, my friend.”
“Goodnight, Jaskier.” Geralt managed, his eyes opening in the dark when Jaskier began to play, singing under his breath.
“I put my hand up higher still...he moaned ‘dear bard, you’ll make me spill’-” The words made the corner of Geralt’s mouth twitch. He closed his eyes more gently and rolled onto his back, exhaling softly and relaxing into the blankets. Geralt was on the edge of sleep, warm and comfortable when Jaskier finally put his lute away and settled in himself. Jaskier was still toying with lyrics, fixing the best rhymes in place and discarding others.
“I made him beg and weep with joy…’you’re beautiful, my white haired boy’…” Jaskier yawned hugely, rolled over with his back to Geralt’s, and was deeply asleep in a few moments.
The song Jaskier's singing is a modified, more consent friendly version of "Maid of Amsterdam" - tailored into "Maid of Oxenfurt." Here are the lyrics/structure of the song:
In Oxenfurt there lived a maid, mark well what I do say
In Oxenfurt there lived a maid, and she was mistress of her trade
I’ll always go a ro-oh-vin’ with you, dear maid
A rovin', a rovin', though rovin's been my ru-i-n
I'll always go a ro-oh-vin' with you, dear maid
In Oxenfurt there lived a maid; and she was mistress of her trade
I asked this maid out for a walk; that we might have some private talk
I asked her if she'd like a kiss; she said 'I dreamed all night of this!'
I twined my fingers through her hair; she said "Sweetheart, please don't stop there"...
I murmured sweetly in her ear; she whispered back 'Come closer, dear'...
I stroked my hand from hip to waist; she sighed and begged me to make haste
I ran a fingertip inside her knee; she laughed and groaned 'Stop teasing me'
I brushed my thumb along her thigh; 'Don't make me wait, I think I'll die-'
She put my hand between her legs; and purred 'Don't stop until I beg'
I moved my hand 'til she was done; she moaned then grinned "Up for more fun?"