“I can’t believe anyone could be such an unmitigated puss-filled dick,” Essi said, staring at her phone in disbelief. Jaskier groaned and let his head thunk on the bar.
“I can.” His sticky forehead was the least disgusting part of the evening. He'd just come out to forget his ex, and maybe celebrate being free a little (as fucked up as that was) and quite frankly felt attacked by his social media.
“If I believed it from anyone it would be that narcissist,” she conceded, biting on her lip.
“I know,” Jaskier agreed. “That’s the worst part. I feel like it’s my fault being blindsided by this, as though I should have known something was going to happen today.”
Essi snorted. “It’s not your fault your ex is the worst.”
“No, but I was with him for almost 3 years. I don’t know. That’s my fault.”
“Don’t be stupid,” she said. “Look at this desperate fucker. Do you actually think he’s winning? He might be in a new relationship but the look of this guy makes my vagina want to shrivel up and die.”
Jaskier took her phone from her and looked again. Yeah. Yikes. Valdo was definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one. Jaskier hadn’t even tried to join any dating sites post-breakup, but he was pretty sure there were better options. It wasn’t even the guy’s looks so much as he just screamed skeevy douchebag. It was making Jaskier’s metaphorical vagina also want to die.
“You need to get drunk. Maybe laid.”
“No,” Jaskier said, an idea starting to form as he looked at the relationship status change. “No. I need to match pettiness with pettiness. I need to find someone so hot that I’d have trouble getting him - let alone Valdo with his sad, small dick - and make sure to post a picture on Facebook.”
“Would that make you feel better?”
Jaskier smiled with teeth. “I think it would.”
It was their third bar of the evening and Essi was definitely sick of the manhunt. She probably hadn’t realized that when Jaskier was judging men fully objectively and not looking for matching personalities (relationship goals) or a willing body (one night stand goals) he had incredibly discerning tastes.
Probably too discerning.
“How about him?” Essi asked, barely looking up from her phone. She gestured to a guy sitting at the bar trying to make eye contact with a woman across the room.
“Ehh,” Jaskier said. “Sweater vest.”
Essi rolled her eyes. “But cute.”
“I’m not looking for cute. I’m looking for eye-searing hot.”
“I’m having trouble remembering how you’ve ever been in any relationships with these unrealistic expectations.”
“Valdo thought I was hot.” Jaskier thought about that for a moment. “Did I stay with someone for three years out of flattery?”
“Probably. Fuck. Get therapy.”
“You’re going to be working on tonight for a while.”
Fucking true. “Oh god, we just saw Valdo’s taste in men. Tell me true… am I ugly.”
"That’s not an answer!"
“Yes,” Jaskier agreed, pulling at his hair. “I’m so aware.”
“Based on the guy in his status update I’m going to guess you’re the hottest guy he could get.”
“You’re a good friend.” Jaskier pressed his head against her shoulder.
Then, a table opened up across the room, revealing the man sitting on the other side of it. “Holy shit.”
Essi looked up. Then she looked up. “Wow.”
“I hope he’s into men,” Jaskier said. “Or at least willing to play along with pretending to be for long enough for you to get a picture.”
“You’re going to walk up to that?” Essi asked. “You have more balls than brains.”
That was probably true.
“Hi, I’m Jaskier,” he opened with, dropping into the seat across from the gorgeous man. Up close he was even more startlingly pretty, with a chin dimple that highlighted his strong jaw and drew attention to his mouth. “And my boyfriend broke up with me two months ago, only to post his new relationship on Facebook today. Our three year anniversary. It’s the dickest of moves, right?”
The man hummed in agreement, but otherwise didn’t stop frowning in Jaskier’s general direction. Like someone waiting for him to get to the point. Jaskier saw that frown often.
“The reason for the oversharing is that I just forced my best friend to follow me to three different bars to find someone so phenomenally hot for me to spend time with and get picture proof, and here you are. I’d do jazz hands but you don’t seem like someone who responds well to jazz hands.”
“What are jazz hands?”
What a voice. What a sexy, sexy voice. Jaskier knew what he was talking about. He was a connoisseur of voices.
Jaskier wiggled his fingers at him. Tada! “Jazz hands.”
“Huh.” The man took a drink of his beer. “You want to use me as a revenge plot?”
“Exactly. Can I buy you a drink?”
The man gestured to his mostly full beer. “I’m not drinking to get drunk tonight.”
That was only a no to the beer. “Nachos or some other foodstuff?”
The guy seemed possibly interested in food.
“Fine,” he agreed.
Facebook: Julian Alfred Pankratz is in a relationship with Geralt of Rivia.
“Who’s Julian Pankratz?” Geralt muttered, staring at his phone.
“What?” Jaskier groaned, coming out a shitty sleep to a few realizations:
- He’d gone home with the hottest guy on earth, which he should be pleased about, AND WAS PLEASED ABOUT
- He might throw up
- He’d done something last night. Something he’d said “that’s up for tomorrow Jaskier to sort out” because his drunk self was apparently a fucking masochist, and now Jaskier wasn’t really sure what that was.
- Only Geralt was still scowling at his phone and seemed to know his real name.
“Fuck,” Jaskier groaned. His mouth tasted like nachos and the regret of doing shots too late in life. He was 28 years old, not dead, but his hangover didn’t seem to know that. “We didn’t get married , did we?”
Jaskier risked the light filtering in through the edges of the blinds to look at Geralt. His hair was beyond mussed - Jaskier didn’t know hair could get that tangled overnight. He was still frowning at his phone.
“I’ve been calling you Jaskier.”
“I go by Jaskier,” he promised. He was too busy having his own crises to deal with Geralt’s! For fucksakes. “Now, back to the marriage thing??”
Phew. That was probably on him. He wasn’t sure people could actually get fake married overnight. Legally. He’d seen a lot of movies, though.
Ok. Next problem. “I might throw up.”
Geralt turned his head slowly to look at him. Yikes. Too much beautiful-man-face in his face for this early in the morning.
“It’s eleven,” Geralt told him in the dry tone that told Jaskier he’d said that all outloud.
“Eleven after getting to bed at what? Five? Eugh, boo. Do you have any food?”
Geralt did have food.
Well, Geralt had protein bars and electrolytes, which was basically the same thing. Jaskier could always fall on top of a burger on his way home if he had to. He’d finally looked at his phone by the time he was halfway through his breakfast.
107 new notifications.
What the fuck?
Julian Alfred Pankratz is in a relationship with Geralt of Rivia
Geralt and I were going to wait until announcing this wasn’t an asshole move, but now that it doesn’t really matter, I just wanted everyone to know that I’m doing GREAT.
Attached to it was the picture of the two of them together that Essi had taken with the caption of “I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Jaskier tonight”
His drunk self had a lot to answer for. No wonder Geralt had been scowling at his phone.
“I can’t believe I went Facebook Official with someone I haven’t even had sex with yet,” Jaskier mourned. “What is it, 2007?”
It took Jaskier almost the full day to recover enough to actually look through his comments on Facebook. By the time he had, they’d almost doubled and he’d made the mistake of clicking into Instagram to find one of those quintessential happy-relationship-our-feet-are-cute-together bullshit pictures. He had a different following on Instagram, mostly using it for pictures of himself singing.
Yikes. Yikes. Yikes. This wasn’t a contained problem, if you could call their mutual friends and families on Facebook that had been gathering in the wings for 15 years a contained problem . Fucking Facebook. Jaskier friended people he’d met once. He had a database of acquaintances. It was great for - you know - being a musician looking for gigs. He’d done 15 weddings in the last year.
It was pretty shitty when he’d faked having a boyfriend so people wouldn’t feel bad for him.
But, as he read through the comments and realized that some of them weren’t for him, he realized that maybe he wasn’t the one with the biggest problem.
Jaskier: Did you just come out?
Jaskier: Are you EVEN INTO MEN?
Jaskier: I REMEMBER YOU THINKING THIS WAS FUNNY AND AGREEING TO IT
Jaskier: I REGRET COMMITTING TO CAPS SO SOON BECAUSE I MEAN THIS IN CAPS AND BOLDED
Jaskier: WHOEVER LAMBERT IS JUST CONGRATULATED YOU ON FINALLY GETTING DICKED DOWN BECAUSE IT MIGHT MAKE YOU LESS GRUMPY
Geralt: I see you’ve read the comments
Geralt: my brother
Jaskier: YOUR BROTHER?!
Geralt: bold and caps?
Jaskier: and italics what the fuck. Why’d you let me do this?
Geralt: there it is
Jaskier: this was your idea
Jaskier: did you use me to tell everyone you know that you’re gay or bi or whatever you identify as?
Jaskier: what a brilliant opportunity last night was for both of us
Geralt: you went back to sleep and didn’t process any of this yet, didn’t you?
Jaskier had been seen with that, fuck. He made a face at his phone even though Geralt couldn't see it.
A few moments later a response to Lambert popped up from Geralt himself.
@Lambert who says I haven’t been getting dicked down this entire time you heteronormative asshole
Followed by someone named Yennefer posting a picture of a strap on.
Who were these people? Could you love someone based on how their friends reacted to their ill-advised fake-relationship status change? Asking for a friend.
Geralt: for context, that’s my ex-wife
Geralt: we’re ok
Geralt: especially when she’s helping me fuck with my brother
Jaskier was debating the merits of asking Geralt if he wanted to come up with a break-up plan or just date when another comment showed up.
Vesemir left a comment:
You’ll bring him to brunch tomorrow?
Geralt left a comment:
We’ll be there
Vesemir left a comment:
Leave the frightening device at home
Geralt left a comment:
He doesn’t need it
This was followed by a string of variations of LOL and OH SHITs from about 7 different people. Jaskier watched it all unfold feeling like he’d stepped into the middle of something he didn’t understand - yet. He was definitely in trouble, if the way his heart rate increased at Geralt’s he doesn’t need it was any indication. It wasn’t even the dick reference, though that was amazing. It was the snappy, quick response. The underlying sarcasm.
Jaskier had a type. He could end a fake relationship that was based on seeing a searing hot guy across a room, but it was a bit harder when the guy had a personality he liked. If Geralt turned out to have a heart of gold, Jaskier was screwed and would probably be proposing marriage by year’s end.
Yeah, we’ll be there , he commented.
Geralt: my dad
Jaskier: no problem
Jaskier : gonna call
“So I’m thinking,” Jaskier said the moment Geralt’s face showed up on the video call. He was squinting at his phone like no one had ever tried to video call him before.
“Hi,” Geralt replied, looking amused.
“I’ve been debating the merits of planning a breakup for our fake relationship or just… dating? I’m thinking maybe we should date? Do you have input?”
“But do you… are you even attracted to me? Would you pick me?”
Oh fuck, what was that?! Something new to bring up in therapy.
Geralt tilted his head. “You don’t know this about me yet, but I’m capable of saying no. Overly capable, some of my family might tell you.”
“So you’re not saying no?”
“I’m pretty confident I said yes instead.”
“As Jaskier’s best friend and the only witness,” Essi said into the microphone, holding up a glass of champagne to salute the two of them. “Our happy couple gave me full permission to tell the story of what happened the night Geralt and Jaskier met. Like Jaskier himself, the story is partially an embarrassing tale of bad decisions, half-cocked plans, and a lot of heart.”
Jaskier grinned, and nudged his shoulder into Geralt’s.
“And,” Essi continued with glee, “dicks in every definition.”