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Contracts Under Quarantine

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“Good morning, dear hearts!” Jaskier greeted, grinning broadly at the webcam. “Or, afternoon. Evening? I suppose the time is irrelevant, especially now that we’re all stuck inside—Feels like we’re pulling away from our shared mass delusion that time is anything more than an illusion we’ve devised to keep ourselves some semblance of sane.” He frowned pensively to himself. “Is that too philosophical? Perhaps we’ll just move onto the main event: Quarantine Q and A.”

Geralt grunted in the background, shuffling around the kitchen.

“Oh, you know you’re bored out of your skull, too, even with the few contracts you can take,” Jaskier chided the witcher. “I’ll bet you’ll even answer some of these.”

“We’ll see,” Gerat muttered, emerging from the kitchen with a steaming mug in hand.

“Is that tea?” Jaskier questioned.

Geralt hummed an affirmative, sitting in the armchair next to the younger man’s desk.

Just tea?” Jaskier teased, a smirk on his lips. “I wouldn’t put it past you to put something stronger in there, considering even witchers have to stay off the Path right now.”

“If you know the reasoning, then stop judging me,” Geralt groused, taking a sip.

“It’s 10 A.M., Geralt,” Jaskier laughed.

“And you’re making me deal with a spontaneous Q and A livestream,” the witcher added flatly.

“Ah, yes, speaking of—Let’s have some questions!” Jaskier chirped, scanning over the chat box. “Seems many of you are wanting some clarification for what our Wolves are up to. Well, what all of us are up to, really. I’m holding down the fort, here, as I’m hardly even allowed outside because someone—not going to name names, but it’s very reminiscent of Garroter—is paranoid that I’ll contract the plague.”

“It’s a human disease. You’re human,” Geralt explained.

“Yes, and you’re immune, you lucky witchery bastard, no need to rub it in my face,” Jaskier griped. He gave Geralt a light pat on his arm. “That’s why this one is tasked with getting the groceries.”

Geralt grunted, sipping his tea.

Is Geralt still taking contracts,” Jaskier read, smiling. “Yes! Though only in the immediate area, since he’s not allowed to cross the border. Obviously I can’t attend any hunts, but—Oh!

Geralt’s brow furrowed at the man, spotting a worrying glint of inspiration in Jaskier’s eyes.

“This would be the perfect time to fit you up with a camera,” Jaskier told him eagerly.

“Gets in the way,” Geralt grumbled, not willing to have this argument again.

“We could find an unobtrusive one! Or you could keep it on until you find the monster—At least then I’d have something to work with,” Jaskier tried, pouting. “How am I supposed to get material otherwise? It’s a pandemic, Geralt. If you’re going to insist I stay caged up inside you could at least do me the favor of recording some of your exploits. Then I won’t have to drag the information out of you when you’re cranky and covered in monster entrails.”

Geralt glared over the rim of his mug. “Cranky?”

“Yes. Cranky. You become quite the curmudgeon after a hunt. Though, I suppose it’s a fair reaction to getting guts all over you,” Jaskier shrugged. He turned back to the laptop to check for more questions. After reading a few, he snorted. “Can Geralt get my groceries for me, too?” he read, turning to the witcher with a grin. “How about it, Geralt? How’s that for a contract?”

Geralt crossed an arm over his chest. “Did that yesterday,” he stated.

“You...Wait, what?” Jaskier questioned with a surprised chuckle.

“One of the neighbors,” Geralt elaborated. “Saw her as I was leaving. Asked me to get the things on her list, since I was going anyway. Mother’s immunocompromised.”

Jaskier bit back a grin. “Did you.”

“Hm,” Geralt responded, the answer obvious to his companion.

“Did she pay you?” Jaskier asked, laughing incredulously. “Witchers don’t work for free—you say it yourself all the time.”

The witcher nodded, drinking more.

“How much?”

Geralt shrugged with one shoulder. “Cookies.”

“...Cookies,” Jaskier repeated. “You...She paid you in cookies?

“Fresh-baked,” Geralt clarified, as if that made the confections the immediate equivalent of crowns.

Jaskier blinked at him for a moment, mouth opening and closing. He glanced at the chat again, which was scrolling rapidly as more and more comments rolled in. “...You have so many people asking if they can pay you in cookies to get their groceries,” Jaskier pointed out.

Geralt pondered over the information, watching the chat box with curious eyes. Pleas for assistance were pouring in. Promises of payment. Offers of other food. Actual crowns, even. The monster contracts he could work now would only last so long, and many weren’t as pressing with people locked safely away inside.

“Geralt—” Jaskier started, eyes widening at the witcher. “You—I know that look.” You’re actually considering it was left unsaid, the pair of them aware of the crowds watching them both online.

“...Local requests only. I’ll take the most at-risk,” Geralt decided. “They can use the regular contract email.”

Jaskier let out a cackle. “Geralt of Rivia, friend of humanity, now delivering your groceries for cookies! Oh, we should get Lambert and Eskel in on this—They’re in entirely different areas.” He beamed at Geralt. “Any advice to our audience on how to entice your fellow Wolves?”

“Eskel won’t mind,” Geralt smirked. “Crowns or beer should work on Lambert.”

“Well, you’ve heard it, dear hearts,” Jaskier told the livestream. “The Wolves will pick up your produce. Don’t forget to toss a coin—or some cookies,” he laughed, “to your witcher.”