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My Tears Ricochet (The one where Tissaia's a country Star)

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She was nervous. She hated feeling nervous. She hadn’t been back to this bar in years. Had left this small town and hadn’t looked back. Well. That’s not quite true. She often looked back. She found herself looking back, searching, always searching for her.

For Yennefer.

Rita had promised her she would finally shut up, if she just agreed to play here. At Aretuza. The local country bar in their small home town Thanedd. She’d been on tour for the last two years. She hadn’t been home at all. She had just carried moving from venue to venue, from concert to concert, appearance to appearance. She wanted a distraction.

Wanted to forget her.

It’s impossible though. Impossible to forget those violet eyes and that mischievous smirk. She smells lilac and gooseberries in the middle of night when she’s trying to sleep. She’s haunted by her. Haunted by the girl who she had left behind.

She hadn’t wanted too.

She wanted Yennefer to join her. Wanted to take her away from the small town, to give her the life she always felt she deserved. Yennefer could change the world with her voice. They’d spent so many years singing together.

Until he came along.

Until he quietened her voice.

She had nothing against Geralt. Not really. She knew he loved Yennefer. You could see it in the man’s eyes. She supposes he could see it in hers too. It had always been awkward when they were around each other. Yennefer could never quite understand why. Not until Tissaia had left with broken bottles crunching underneath her feet, a cut on her left cheek and a broken heart.

She hated thinking of that night.

She’d told Yennefer she was leaving the night before she was supposed to go. She couldn’t bring herself to tell her before-hand. They’d been singing together in the Studio Tissaia’s father had built her, at the back of their ranch. They always sang for fun. Though Tissaia had tried so many times to tell her that she could make something of herself with a voice like that.

The voice of God damn Angel.

Yennefer had stopped singing with her at Aretuza. She said it was because Geralt’s band mate Jaskier had told him that Yennefer was becoming a distraction to their own fledgling country career. “The White Wolf” was somewhat of a good singer but he had nothing on Yennefer, nothing on Tissaia and especially nothing when their voices were combined.

Fucking Jaskier.

She was going to tell her. Going to tell her she’d been signed, going to convince her to come along with her. She was just scared. Scared Yennefer would say no. Scared Yennefer wouldn’t leave her subpar boyfriend and bandmate behind to start a new life out of their small town. She had been ready. Guitar on her lap, she reached on and grabbed Yennefer’s hand and the other girl had smiled.

That beautiful, scare free smile that it felt like Yennefer saved just for her.

Then the door had swung open and Jaskier had stormed in. He threw a contact at her. He’d managed somehow to get a copy from her manager Calanthe. She suspected that Stregobor had stolen it from Calanthe’s office. Stegobor was the While wolf’s manager and he hated Tissaia. Hated that their management company would support an out Lesbian country singer.

Yennefer had picked it up and Tissaia got a front row seat to watching her best friends heart break.

There had been so much yelling. So many accusations. Yennefer had accused her of keeping it from her that she was leaving because she hadn’t even planned to tell her. Like Tissaia could ever leave Yennefer without so much of a goodbye. Tissaia had accused Yennefer of giving up on her dreams and herself for the biggest dick that came along.

Yennefer had slapped her after that, her long nails cutting into Tissaia’s cheek.

She could still the scar, every time she looked into the mirror. Geralt and Jaskier had remained silent, watching a friendship implode in front of them. She had begged Yennefer to come along, begged her to sing next to her on stage.

She had refused.

So, Tissaia out of options, admitting something she’d known since Yennefer was 12 and she was 14. She admitted she’d loved her. She’d admitted she’d loved her more and more every day since they’d met. She wasn’t willing to leave town without Yennefer knowing. Without tossing her Runaway gray cowboy hat in the ring.

She’d watched Yennefer stop breathing for a second before her eyes moved to the White Wolf.

She watched Yennefer make her choice and stood up before she could say anything. She knew when she’d lost a war. She told Yennefer when she would be leaving, where her first tour stop would be, she’d told her she’d be happy for her to join whenever.

All whilst blood slowly dripped from the cut on her face.

Yennefer had said nothing. As she turned to leave, she heard the smash of a bottle and looked down at her feet. Yennefer had thrown a bottle on the floor. She turned round and looked at her best friend, the woman she was in love with, watched tears fall from violet eyes. She took in the woman’s angry expression on her face, took in the hurt in Yennefer’s eyes before sighing.

She turned round and found Jaskier smirking. So she did the only thing she knew her father would tell her to do, she punched him in the face and broke his nose.

With that, Tissaia De Vries, the rising country star from a small town with a Hedgehog for a mayor, too her leave and went on tour. She’d found that before every tour she would think of those eyes, filled with anger and hurt and then she would go on and sing about how broken she was. How lonely she was and how much she longed for Yennefer.

She wondered if Yennefer knew she sang every song for her.

Rita, her second guitarist had noticed that for a country star, who had five best selling singers on a two year tour, she was pretty damn miserable. So, Tissaia who’s only friend at this point was her guitar, had spilled her guts. Rita had been offended when Tissaia had said her guitar was her only friend, she’d informed her that she had been her friend for the past year and a half and Tissaia needed to accept that.

Then Rita had demanded to extend their tour to one last stop, Aretuza.

She’d told Tissaia there was no way she could move on and be happy until she put a nail into the coffin that was her and Yennefer’s relationship. She couldn’t go on like this. Couldn’t go with her life being haunted by the woman she’d left behind. Tissaia wasn’t short on offers from other women, she could be happy if she let herself.

So, she’d told Calanthe they would be returning and the woman had rolled her eyes but smiled.

She still found it amusing Tissaia had broken Jaskier’s nose, thankfully the woman’s husband was the chief of police of their small town, so no charges were brought against her.

Tissaia took a deep breath as she looked at the curtain. She could hear the crowd talking outside. A crowd full of her friends and family. She’d been told by Rita that Yennefer was there, she was working behind the bar. A job she’d taken after Tissaia had left.

She didn’t know if she could do this.

She felt Rita move to stand next to her, the blonde reaching out and taking Tissaia’s hand in hers. She smiled at her, trying to convey that she was fine, that she would be brave and that she could do this. The blonde beamed back and hugged her quickly before going out on stage.

If only life could be easier, if only she could have loved someone like Rita instead.

She moved to the right of the stage and quickly looked into the dirty mirror, that most of the stars of the stage had looked in before her. She’d dyed her hair half way through the tour. She’d been told by the tours make-up and hair duo that dying her hair would signify a change in her life and in herself.

So now she was country star barbie, Tissaia De Vries.

She fixed the dark grey cowboy hat on her head and smoothed out her blue plaid shirt. Black skinny jeans and black cowboy boots finished off her outfit. She was a Southern girl after all and a country singing, she couldn’t imagine wearing much else.

She looked at herself and took another deep breath before pushing the red curtain out of the way.

She walked across the stage smiling and picked up her dark blue electric acoustic guitar. She tipping her hat at Rita who stood beside her. She looked at the crowd, watching them smile and whoop in front of her. She recognised many faces. She could see Jaskier pouting, Geralt’s stony expression, Triss and Sabrina waving at her excitedly. She couldn’t wait to see her friends after this. Her eyes moved to the bar.

There she was. Yennefer Vengerberg. The woman behind the songs. The Woman behind the heartbreak.

Yennefer’s eyes said it all, as they always did. Still full of so much hurt but she could see the love there. The love she held for Tissaia. The country star watched as the woman smiled at her, uncertain but wanted to convey that there was love there.

I missed you, Tissaia mouthed. Not caring about everyone around her. About the crowd staring up at her.

Me too, Yennefer mouthed back. Tissaia smiled before looking away.

“Well, its good to be back Y’all!” Tissaia said into the microphone as the crowd cheered at her. “See so many familiar faces in this crowd, I see you Sabrina and Triss, it’s damn good to see you all, thank you all for coming tonight, I’ve been away for just over two years now and I’ve missed you all every day damn, apart from you Jaskier.” Tissaia smirked as she watched the man role his eyes, nose clearly still bent slightly the wrong way. “So lets get this small concert started, I guess.”

She watched as the lights lowered and she began to see, trying her hardest not to look at Yennefer but as usual she just couldn’t look away.

“We gather here, we line up, weepin' in a sunlit room
And if I'm on fire, you'll be made of ashes, too
Even on my worst day, did I deserve, babe
All the hell you gave me?

'Cause I loved you, I swear I loved you
'Til my dying day

She watched her as she sang. Watched the woman stare up at her. Their eyes connected and she could see the same memories running through Yennefer’s mind as they ran through hers. The anger, the smashing of the bottles, the small scar on Tissaia’s face.

“I didn't have it in myself to go with grace
And you're the hero flying around, saving face
And if I'm dead to you
Why are you at the wake?
Cursing my name, wishing I stayed
Look at how my tears ricochet”

She remembers the voicemails from Yennefer, the angry ones, the drunken ones, the ones where Yennefer would whisper, she was sorry, that she didn’t know, she didn’t how Tissaia felt. That she didn’t know how she felt about it. She’d deleted every single one but she couldn’t stop them running through her mind.

“We gather stones, never knowing what they'll mean
Some to throw, some to make a diamond ring
You know I didn't want to have to haunt you
But what a ghostly scene
You wear the same jewels that I gave you
As you bury me”

“I didn't have it in myself to go with grace
'Cause when I'd fight, you used to tell me I was brave
And if I'm dead to you
Why are you at the wake?
Cursing my name, wishing I stayed
Look at how my tears ricochet”

She recognises the necklace around Yennefer’s neck. It was the one she’d given her when she’d turned 21. It belonged to Tissaia’s mother but Tissaia had wanted Yennefer to have it. Wanted to convey to her how much she’d loved her. How much she meant to her.

Yennefer had been everything and then she’d been nothing 3 years later.

“And I can go anywhere I want
Anywhere I want, just not home
And you can aim for my heart, go for blood
But you would still miss me in your bones
And I still talk to you (When I'm screaming at the sky)
And when you can't sleep at night
(You hear my stolen lullabies)

I didn't have it in myself to go with grace
And so the battleships will sink beneath the waves
You had to kill me, but it killed you just the same
Cursing my name, wishing I stayed
You turned into your worst fears
And you're tossing out blame, drunk on this pain
Crossing out the good years
And you're cursing my name, wishing I stayed
Look at how my tears ricochet”

The song was winding down and soon she’d have to looked away from those eyes that had haunted her for all these years. She knew that Yennefer would know who this song was for, who all of her songs were for. Yennefer stood behind the bar, tears shining, angry and saddened by the words of her former friend.

Tissaia stopped singing and the crowd erupting in applause and she smiled.

“one song down, a couple more to go, hopefully this one will be a bit more upbeat, but country music isn’t really country music now is it without a little heartbreak!” The crowd cheered and Tissaia spun around, playing the guitar in a livelier matter.

She ignored the pained look on Yennefer’s face. This wasn’t about her now.

Ten songs later and she was done. Her back and face covered in sweat from the stage. She stood in the small dressing room, watching Rita throw Reece’s Pieces into her mouth from the corner of the room. She wiped down her face with a towel, trying her best not to smudge her make up. Knowing she would have to go greet her friends and family. She’d seen the ring on Triss’s finger from the stage. She wanted to hear the story of how Sabrina had proposed.

She heard a knock at the door and watched as Rita stood up to open it. The woman soon put her hands on her hips. Tissaia could hear her telling them to leave and the other person arguing back. Sighing she moved to the door to see Yennefer staring back at her. The woman’s dark hair hanging loose, red tank top and dark denim skinny jeans combo, cowboy boots of course finishing the outfit off.

“I can’t believe you’re blonde now.” Yennefer blurted out, Tissaia couldn’t help but laugh as embarrassment covered Yennefer’s face at her suddenly saying that. “I can’t believe of all the things I could of said, that’s what my brain forced me to say.”

“Well, you haven’t changed a bit now have you.” Tissaia said softly, she turned to Rita who was staring at her. “Rita, you can let her in, you mind going to find Phil?” She knew Rita had a soft spot for their drummer, who was trying to convince Rita to date her.

“If you’re sure boss, just remember I’m here if you need me.” Rita turned to Yennefer. “If you hurt her, if you so much as damage one hair on her head, I’ll break my guitar over yours, you hear me?”

“I hear you.” Yennefer nodded, smirking at the blonde. “I can’t promise this is going to pretty but I think us talking is pretty damn overdo don’t you think?” The dark-haired woman turned to Tissaia and she responded by nodding in agreement.

Rita moved out of the way and let Yennefer in before taking her leave to find Phillipa who no doubt would finally succeed in seducing the guitarist tonight. Not that Rita minded. That was something that was also long overdue and with the tour over, they didn’t have to worry about it going wrong and things being awkward on stage.

Yennefer sat down in the chair that Rita had been sat in before and Tissaia moved the chair from the dressing table to sit down in front of Yennefer. The Brunette’s eyes were all over her. Taking in the change of hair, the clothes that clung to her body.

“I still can’t believe you’re blonde.” Yennefer murmured and Tissaia chuckled. “Your songs were beautiful, I don’t think you’d played any of them to me before you left, I could tell they meant a lot to you and I suppose I could tell they were mostly about me and I’d like to talk about that.”

“You broke my heart Yen, yeah I went about leaving the wrong way but I suppose I knew if I told you earlier I’d have more time with you, more time before I admitted I loved you and you chose Geralt.” Tissaia shrugged and looked away. Two years had passed but her heart still hurt whenever she thought of them together.

“If you would have told me earlier, you idiot, I’d have left with you.” Yennefer sighed and Tissaia’s head shot back to her. “Yes Tissaia, however I was put on the spot by Jaskier and then my feelings were confused and I was angry you’d kept it from me, hence all the emotional drunk voicemails and letters you received but it would have given me time to sort through my feelings, it would have given me more times to tell you that I loved you too.”

Time stopped for Tissaia. Yennefer sat in front of her, admitting she felt the same. Admitting that she loved her, that she would of gone with her.

She would have gone with her.

“I…” Tissaia swallowed. “You loved me or you love?”

“I love you.” Yennefer said softly, moving forward to put her hand on her knee. “I have always loved you, I would of chosen you over Geralt in a second, the moment you left, I broke up with him, punched Yaskier and broke his nose a little more, got arrested and then got a job in Aretuza to try and save some money to join you but…then I realised, you might meet someone out there, might of love someone else, I didn’t wanna go out there and make a fool of myself and, I thought you’d be happier with out me, after all, I scarred your cheek.”

“I don’t care that you scarred my cheek, you should have come, you could of come, Yenna, there has and never will be anyone else, I just hope you like blondes.” Yennefer laughed as tears slipped down her face. She surged forward and kissed Tissaia.

The blonde threw her arounds around Yennefer and pulled her in close, her cowboy hat falling to the floor. They kissed for what seemed like hours. Making up for lost time.

“Join me, sing with me.” Tissaia said softly against Yennefer’s lips. “Sing with me, Yennefer Vengerberg.”

“I wouldn’t want to sing with anyone else.” Yennefer replied kissing her softly. “I’ll love you to my dying days.”

“I love you too, always.” Tissaia whispered. “Always.”