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Geralt had a strange relationship with touch. As much as people liked to say that witchers had no emotions, he was at least aware of that much.

People didn’t exactly touch witchers with kindness. Really, they didn’t touch witchers at all, if they could help it, but on the rare occasion they did, it certainly wasn’t kind. Hell, he had to pay people to touch him, exchanging coin for sexual services in hopes to quell the ache under his skin, but it didn’t help. Their touch was hesitant, nervous, and the women and men often reeked of fear, even if their faces masked it well.

But Jaskier was different.

He never feared Geralt, even from the start. He gave out touch freely, like he didn’t even have to think about it, like Geralt was worthy of it. Jaskier looked at him and saw a person where everyone else saw a monster.

And, as much as Jaskier played oblivious and, frankly, idiotic, but Geralt knew the truth. He was smart, observant. And he had clearly picked up on Geralt’s reactions every time he would bump their shoulders together, nudge him in the ribs with an elbow, gently grab his arm.

Slowly, as if Geralt was a startled animal, Jaskier upped the ante of their touches. An arm over a shoulder. Holding hands as they walked, swinging them in tune with whatever song Jaskier was humming. Lingering hugs, eventually leading to longer-lingering embraces.

Which led to where they were today, tangled together in the bed of some ratty old inn, in only their trousers, shirts and jackets shucked across the room for maximum skin-to-skin contact. Jaskier’s hands were making firm sweeping motions across Geralt’s scarred back, and Geralt had his eyes closed to just enjoy the itch and ache under his skin fading away beneath Jaskier’s attention.

And then Jaskier started lightening his touch with every pass, until it was just fingertips dragging slowly across and around and up and down Geralt’s back. The calloused fingers bumped gently along scars and traced gently on unmarred skin, almost dancing up and down his spine.

And Geralt knew that feeling, that strange, tingly feeling blooming wherever Jaskier’s fingers travelled. It was a feeling that, frankly, he hadn’t felt since before the mutations back at the keep. Watching kids drop around you and barely surviving yourself put quite the damper on playful activities at Kaer Morhen. It startled him, feeling that ticklish drag after all these years, and he couldn’t help but squirm against Jaskier, though he deliberately tried not to squirm away .

Jaskier sat up slightly, eyeing Geralt with concern. “Are you alright, dear heart?” He murmured quietly, as if not wanting to break the relaxed atmosphere of the room.

“I -- it’s--” Geralt genuinely didn’t know what to say. 

Did he admit it tickled? If he did, Jaskier might stop. Laugh at him, the Big Strong Witcher with such a childish weakness. Did he then dismiss it and try his best not to squirm as Jaskier continued touching him and soothing the hunger in his skin? He should be able to do that, witchers were carefully trained to control their physical reactions, and he would be able to at any other time, but Jaskier had gotten him so relaxed he couldn’t even get back on that edge.

Geralt took too long to answer and Jaskier pulled his hands away. “Geralt?”

“It’s nothing,” Geralt decided on. “Come back.”

Jaskier raised an eyebrow, settling a hand lightly on Geralt’s arm. “Geralt, what’s wrong? Do your scars still bother you? Phantom pains?”

Geralt heaved a sigh and relented. “No-- well, sometimes, but that’s not it.” It was Jaskier , what was the worst that could happen? “It tickled.”

Jaskier paused. “It--it tickled ? Geralt, you’re ticklish ?”

Geralt scowled. “Nearly everyone is.”

Jaskier cocked his head to the side in thought. “I suppose that’s true, yes, but you just have this aura around you, darling. You don’t quite seem like the ticklish type. Not that this isn’t wonderful information to have,” Jaskier tacked on the last sentence with a playful grin.

Geralt ignored it and tugged lightly on Jaskier’s arm. “Come back.”

Jaskier flopped back down to the bed and wrapped himself up around Geralt again. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Geralt grumbled into his neck.

“What was that?” Jaskier asked quietly, though Geralt could hear the teasing smile in his voice.

“You would’ve stopped touching me.”

Jaskier cooed at him, fucking cooed , and resumed the ticklish touches on Geralt’s back, making him squirm again (but, once again, not away ). Except this time, they became more purposeful. Dragging down Geralt’s back to wiggle at the base of his spine, scratching lightly between Geralt’s shoulder blades, tracing scars (which may have been the worst one, the raised skin far more sensitive than it should’ve been).

Geralt huffed little breaths against Jaskier’s neck, trying not to give into the bubbly feeling building in his chest. He knew what it was: giggles . And Geralt was a witcher , dammit, he was not going to giggle .

“That’s honestly fucking adorable , Geralt,” Jaskier spoke into his hair as he continued his minstrations. “I mean, it’s sad that you’re so touch starved after all these years of neglect and hate, but it’s utterly adorable that you won’t even pull away or tell me to stop tickling because you love being touched so much.”

“Jaskier,” Geralt growled, swallowing the giggles that wanted to follow the word out. “Shut up.”

Jaskier hummed teasingly. “And how are you going to make me, dear witcher?”

Geralt grumbled and surrendered to his fate. His back wasn’t too ticklish, anyway. He could hold in the giggles until Jaskier got bored. And the tingly touch certainly wasn’t unpleasant , not that he’d ever let Jaskier know he kind of enjoyed it.

But then Jaskier must’ve gotten bored with his lack of reaction, because his lithe fingers moved to Geralt’s sides and ribs, playing them like he would his lute. Geralt couldn’t stop the sharp intake of breath he made through his nose, and the huffs of breath he was letting out against Jaskier’s neck got a little shakier.

“Come, dear heart,” Jaskier whispered teasingly, keeping his touch light to match his words and the atmosphere. “Just laugh. Just a little, for me. It’s just us here, you don’t have to hold back. I mean, come on Geralt, it’s not like I’ve not heard you make other silly noises, did you know you snore? What’s a little laughter between best friends?”

And then Jaskier lingered on that sensitive top rib before slipping into Geralt’s underarms, exposed because of the way he was wrapped around Jaskier. Geralt couldn’t help it, then. He let out little humming giggles, still trying to somewhat muffle them, but he couldn’t hold them back any longer. Not with Jaskier wiggling his fingers maddeningly with that feather-light touch on all his sensitive spots.

Jaskier scooted down so Geralt could no longer hide his grinning face in his neck. He gave Geralt a quick, playful peck on the nose before scooting down even further to bury his face in Geralt’s neck.

He blew warm streams of air against Geralt’s neck and Geralt’s squirming became more pronounced as goosebumps prickled their way across his body. One of Jaskier’s hands stayed scritching away in Geralt’s armpit, while the other plucked down his body to trace and wiggle at his hip bone.

The warm streams of air turned to tickly kisses and nibbles. Geralt was letting out rolling giggles now, deep and rumbling up from his chest, losing the battle to even muffle them, now. He felt Jaskier grin against his neck, his lips moving to form words and even that tickled.

“Your laughter is so beautiful, Geralt. You really should do it more often.”

“Shut up, bard,” Geralt grit out around his giggles.

Jaskier continued his light tickles for a few minutes longer. Frankly, Geralt was thankful Jaskier had kept it light. He didn’t want to laugh and wake everyone in the rooms next to them, and he certainly didn’t want to ruin the soft, comfortable atmosphere he’d for once been allowing himself to enjoy.

Eventually Jaskier’s ticklish touches turned once more into firm, sweeping hands, meant to soothe and relax. Geralt swallowed the giggles and chuckles that still wanted to keep pouring out and breathed deeply, tucking his face into Jaskier’s hair.

“We are so doing that again, sometime.”

“Shut up and sleep, Jaskier.”

Jaskier looked up with a teasing grin and sent him a wink. “I didn’t hear a no .”

And Geralt continued to not say one. He simply closed his eyes and relaxed into Jaskier’s touch as much as he could, drifting off to the warm feeling of a body against his and to whatever tune Jaskier was humming under his breath.