Dinner was an absolute nightmare. The food itself was delicious. They ordered from the lovely little Italian place in town that was one of Jaskier’s favourites for board game night with his housemates. Geralt and Jaskier both ordered pizza, which was the totally normal thing to do when ordering takeaway. His mother ordered sea bass with new potatoes, spinach and mediterranean vegetables.
Ciri was snoring quietly in her pram. Geralt had popped home to get it whilst they were waiting for the food as Ciri threw a bit of a tantrum when they’d tried to get her back into her carry cot.
They were eating on the patio table. Jaskier had insisted. They had spent over two hours trying to clear up the garden and his mother was going to fucking appreciate it, seeing as she’d found every reason to pull apart his house.
The carpet was the wrong colour, the oven was shit, his bedroom was a mess (it wasn’t), the bathroom stank even through the jammy door (it kind of did, thanks Regis), the windows were filthy, there were too many beds…
It went on and on and on.
Geralt, who was supposed to be helping to charm his darling mother, was just glaring at her across the table. Jaskier was trying to joke and make awkward conversation but the tension was just too much. He couldn’t do this. Everything he said was met was snide comments from his mother, who’s current favourite topic was Geralt being a single father, because how could Jaskier ever be good enough to help raise a child. Geralt didn’t once defend himself against his mother’s remarks which Jaskier found infuriating but he was immensely glad that Geralt was there to serve as a buffer. He was struggling to remember how he coped in past years without Geralt’s assistance. How on earth had he managed this battle on his own every year?
Geralt had held his hand throughout the entire dinner, which was both amazing and really awkward when it came to eating. Luckily pizza didn’t require a knife and fork. Occasionally, Geralt would lean in to kiss his cheek or brush Jaskier’s fringe from his eyes. Jaskier hadn’t known what to expect from fake dating Geralt. He’d assumed that he would be the better actor out of the two of them, but his mother was throwing him off and Geralt seemed to have slipped into the role as if he were born to love Jaskier, and didn’t that just make him feel all giddy?
Still he could do without the death glares being shot towards his mother whenever she said… well, anything really.
“Geralt. A word, please.” He said firmly, squeezing Geralt’s hand and standing up.
Geralt grunted and turned to flee into the house. Jaskier sighed. “Mother, can you watch Ciri?”
His mother nodded and stabbed at the poor dead fish on her plate. He nodded back and ran into the house.
“Geralt!” He called after his neighbour.
Geralt was now the one pacing in the living room. “What the fuck is her problem?”
Jaskier frowned. Why was he so angry? It wasn’t as if they were actually dating…
Jaskier shrugged and tapped out a rhythm on his leg with his fingers as he tried to recap an entire lifetime of terrible parenting as quickly as possible. “I’ve always been the problem child, according to my parents. I came out when I was sixteen after years of running around in my sister’s high heels and dresses. Mother and Father didn’t exactly welcome the news and proceeded to ignore it until I left for uni. When I said I was going to study music they all but kicked me out the house. Apparently being bi was tolerable but not having a ‘proper’ career was a step too far. After uni, I sofa-surfed for a few years until Pris suggested we all get a house together, that’s when Regis practically adopted us and… well… here we are. Present day.”
Geralt put a hand on his shoulder and then pulled him into a hug.
Jaskier yelped, surprised by the sudden show of affection. “Geralt?” He mumbled against Geralt’s chest, trying to ignoring the blooming love in his heart.
“You don’t deserve that.” He grumbled. “Any of that.”
Jaskier pulled back and furrowed his brow. “Yeah, and how would you know?”
“Geralt?” Jaskier asked, cupping Geralt’s cheek.
“When you moved in you made me cupcakes.” Geralt mumbled.
Jaskier stared in shock at the man in front of him. He’d forgotten about that. They’d been a complete mess and the icing had leaked all over the bottom of the box, but they’d still been edible and Geralt had insisted that Jaskier stay for a cup of tea to try them.
It had just been Geralt in the house at the time. He’d still been waiting for the paperwork to be finalised to be approved as a potential adoptive parent and the house had seemed so empty. It was the same size as Jaskier’s and Jaskier shared with four other people, well, three others and Valdo Marx. Apparently, Geralt had come into some money following a death of a family friend and he’d been able to afford a family sized home. Jaskier had just seen the hot guy next door and decided to spontaneously make cupcakes in a half-baked attempt, pun intended, to get laid. It hadn’t worked and Jaskier had settled for pining for his hot neighbour instead.
How had he forgotten about that?
“Geralt.” He breathed.
“And when I got the flu you came round with groceries and made soup.” Geralt added.
Jaskier swallowed nervously. “I was worried about you. You hadn’t left the house for days and I don’t think I’d even seen you miss a day of work before. You leave every morning like clockwork.”
“You’re a great person, Jaskier.” Geralt chuckled almost nervously, in a way that was making Jaskier’s heart run far too fast in his chest. “And seeing you with Ciri, Jask, you’re incredible.”
Jaskier scoffed trying to calm the torrent of feelings in his poor bisexual heart. “This fake dating is getting to your head, Geralt.”
Geralt hummed and pulled away from him. “Right.”
“Can you please just try and get along with my mother until I can send her off to the hotel room she inevitably booked so she doesn’t have to stay with us, me, with me.” Jaskier stumbled over his words. “Please?”
“Then we can get the pictures for Yen and I’ll be out of your hair.” Geralt grumbled.
Jaskier laughed nervously. Why did that suddenly sound like a death sentence?
God, he was already addicted to Geralt being in his life.
“Right.” He mumbled.
They both sulked back outside to the patio where his mother was cooing at baby Ciri in her pram.
Jaskier turned to face Geralt who had a matching confused expression on his face.
“Geralt, she is just the cutest.” His mother cooed.
“What the…” Jaskier muttered.
“Thank you, Mrs Pankratz.” Geralt said slowly, as if he didn’t trust his words.
His mother bopped the young girl on the nose then turned up to look between Geralt and Jaskier. “Now then, what’s up with you two? Julian, don’t tell me you’ve managed to ruin your relationship with this young man already!” She snapped.
Jaskier gaped. What the fuck?
This wasn’t his life.
Dear god this wasn’t his life.
Geralt wrapped his arm around Jaskier’s waist pulling Jaskier towards him and placing a kiss on Jaskier’s temple. Jaskier’s heart fluttered in his chest he couldn’t help but lean into Geralt’s embrace.
“Not at all.” Geralt said in his lovely deep voice that made Jaskier’s insides turn to goo.
“Geralt was just worried about me.” Jaskier chimed, the fake smile back on his face. “All sorted now.”
“Worried?” His mother scoffed and then turned to give Ciri a smile that, if Jaskier didn’t know better, would have been described as motherly. “Whatever for?”
Geralt smiled too sweetly. It looked wrong on his face. Jaskier gulped and looked between them. “He’s tried so hard to make you proud, Mrs Pankratz and you have not been kind. As his guest you should be grateful that he’s invited you into his home. Yet everything he does is flawed in your eyes. Makes me wonder, is there something wrong with your eyes? Because your son is… he’s one of the best people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet.”
“Excuse me?!” Jaskier’s mother shrieked and Jaskier decided it would be rather lovely if a big hole would just open up under his feet right.
“And yet, you look at my daughter as if she is an angel.” Geralt growled.
“Oh well. She is rather amazing.” Jaskier mumbled.
“If only you had treated your son with the same respect, maybe we could have gotten along better.” Geralt carried on as if Jaskier hadn’t said a word.
“You have no right!” His mother pointed at Geralt. “No right!”
Geralt shrugged. “Perhaps, but Jaskier was too good to say what needed to be said.”
“Geralt, love.” Jaskier squeezed Geralt’s hand, probably too hard. “You promised.”
Geralt closed his eyes and growled. “Jaskier, I can’t just sit here and listen to her bullshit.”
“Why not?” Jaskier pouted. “I’ve done it for years. One day, Geralt, you had to do it for one fucking day. Why couldn’t you?”
“Because I love you!” Geralt snapped.
Jaskier froze and stared at Geralt.
It was an act.
It was all an act.
Except…. what if it wasn’t?
Jaskier lunged forwards and pulled Geralt into a bruising kiss. He needed to, he needed Geralt like he needed the oxygen in the air. He’d been pining after this man for a year and hearing those words, fake or otherwise, it was too much. He felt a prick of tears in his eyes and he sniffed.
“Oh bollocks.” He mumbled against Geralt’s lips. “Fuck, Geralt, you made me cry. You bastard.”
Geralt pulled back to stare intently into Jaskier’s eyes, searching for the answer to some unasked question. “Jask?”
He sniffed and wiped the tears from his eyes. “I love you too, Geralt.”
Geralt brushed his thumb across Jaskier’s cheek and laughed. “You promised you wouldn’t.”
Jaskier snorted. “You promised to be nice to my mother.” He countered.
They both ignored the squeak of protest from the woman in question.
Geralt scoffed. “Some promises are worth breaking.”
“Can someone please explain, what is going on here?” His mother snapped, causing the girl in her arms to start screaming again.
Jaskier gave Geralt another chaste kiss and winked before turning to face his mother with his hands on his hips.
“Mother, dearest. Please return Ciri to her father and kindly fuck off.” He sneered.
“You can’t talk to me that way!” She protested as Ciri was pulled from her arms.
Jaskier tilted his head. “Oh ho ho! I think I can. You!” He pointed at her. “Kicked me out, or do you not remember that lovely little detail?”
“I’m really not. Now as wonderful as all this has been. You should know that this house is not just mine, I live here with my friends.” He snorted. “As if I could afford the rent on a house like this on my own, Geralt here, is not my boyfriend—”
“Yet.” Geralt added with a smirk.
“—Yet.” Jaskier agreed and winked at Geralt. “He agreed to help after spending over two hours mowing the lawn because it was so overgrown it resembled a small forest. The only reason he helped was because I have no idea how to actually do basic gardening tasks because I am terrible at anything that isn’t music and writing.”
“Jaskier.” Geralt growled.
“Oh and falling in love with my incredible gorgeous neighbour before he even asked me out on a date. It’s an oddly specific talent but has served me remarkably well, I think.”
“Julian!” His mother gasped.
“Oh and I did babysit Ciri a few times, but get this… I didn’t even ask for money!” He laughed at the shock on her face. “I did it because Geralt asked me to and she’s actually rather cute.”
“I can’t listen to this.” His mother started to head back to the front door.
Jaskier was absolutely fucking delighted! Oh he should have done this years ago! He should never have let the woman back into his life. It had only hurt him, but then again would he have tried to fix the garden without her? Would he have ever worked up the courage to ask Geralt out?
She would hate that he had only gotten a boyfriend because of her meddling.
“I’m leaving!” She called over her shoulder as she stormed out the front door.
“Thank fuck for that!” Jaskier waved after her and then turned to go back in the house.
He almost ran straight into Geralt who was stood right behind him with Ciri in one arm.
Thirteen years he’d put up with his mother’s torture. More than that if you counted the years before he’d come out. All that time trying to be someone he wasn’t just to please her when he could have just left her and his shitty family behind.
Why had he’d been so scared?
Geralt pulled him into a hug and kissed his hair with a hum.
Jaskier scowled as the thought hit him. “Geralt?”
“Did you really mean it?” He asked as he rested his head on Geralt’s chest, listening to his heartbeat.
“Yeah. Did you?” Geralt pulled back so they could see each other’s faces.
Jaskier laughed and cupped Geralt’s face in his hands. “Oh, dear heart, I’ve never been more serious in my life.”
Geralt tilted his head and glanced down at Ciri. “And you don’t mind, about Ciri?”
“Geralt, darling.” He kissed his new boyfriend chastely and then crossed his arms, putting on his best scary Geralt face. “The child must not be an obstacle.”
Geralt shoved him and he fell over laughing, as Geralt stalked back into the living room.
“I regret nothing!” He called after Geralt before scrambling to his feet and chasing after his grumpy, and still insanely hot neighbour/boyfriend.