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To Remember Me By

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"Jaskier, I'm leaving."

Before Geralt could blink, Jaskier had two knives positioned on top of Geralt's hands, digging slightly into the flesh. Geralt stilled.

"No, you're not. You are going to sit there and listen."

"Jaskier," Geralt said angrily, his hands twitching slightly, "my hands, release them." If the fool made a wrong move, Geralt could lose his hands and his livelihood along with them. Jaskier didn't realize the importance of a witcher's hands...but, wait, he did.

"You burned my entire life, I've half a mind just to take yours," Jaskier dug the blades in a little further, just enough to draw blood.

Geralt made to move again but Jaskier kicked him under the table.

"I'll kill you," hissed Geralt with spite. He didn't know whether or not he meant it.

"Sure," said Jaskier, "but not before I fuck up your hands so badly that not even your witch-whore can fix them. With no way to wield a sword, you'd be as good as dead, eh, witcher?"

"This is about the journals."

"That and so many other things. But yes, particularly the journals. Those journals were my life. They were my memories. I can't sleep anymore without seeing the faces of all of my dead friends, screaming at me not to forget. And I try so fucking hard but things keep slipping through the cracks. Names, smells, sounds. It feels like I've abandoned them. They will be forgotten now."

"I thought--" started Geralt. Jaskier cut him off.

"Oh, I know what you thought. You thought they were about you. Because after twenty fucking years of friendship you still think I'm an idiot and a parasite who's only after sex and fame. Are you really so self-centered that you thought those just had to be about you?"

Geralt opened his mouth to speak, but Jaskier applied more pressure to the knives. They were silver, for monsters. And Geralt could feel the way Jaskier's hands were shaking through the blades.

When Geralt fell silent, Jaskier continued, "I truly underestimated you, Geralt. You've managed to push away everyone. Last I heard, not even Yennefer wanted anything to do with your sorry ass. I hope you enjoy going back to being alone and despised. Because you can be damn sure not a single good word about you is going to fall from my lips for a century. Maybe I'll even spread the tale about how you killed Jaskier the bard.

"If you ever decide to open your fucking eyes, and decide you want to be in my good graces again, you can track me down, get on your fucking knees, and beg. And if I ever see your face again, for any reason other than to grovel at my feet, I will kill you."

They both knew that Geralt was far too proud to do such a thing. This was goodbye.

Then, with a Viper's speed, Jaskier took one of the silver knives and carved a shallow cut along Geralt's left cheek.

"To remember me by," hissed Jaskier, "let it scar, will you?"

And then Jaskier was stalking out the door, "Bye, Wolf," and leaving Geralt alone in the inn. All alone.