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The thunder in your lungs

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Jaskier is already in a state by the time Geralt drags him back to the inn.

“What’s happening?” he gasps out plaintively as Geralt marches him one-handed up the stairs, determined to get a locked door between them and everyone else before he deals with this mess.

Jaskier’s reddening face lolls back to peer over his shoulder as he asks, somewhat hysterically, “Am I going to die? Because it feels a bit like I’m dying.”

“No,” Geralt rumbles, eyes pinned on their destination, the rough wood of their room’s door, and keeping the sluggish bard moving through sheer force of will. “Not yet.”

“Not yet!?”

“You’ve been dosed with a potion, a powerful one. Probably meant for me.” Geralt had smelled it just a moment too late, and tipsy Jaskier had taken a deep swig from his mug before he could stop him. Polite was’t his traveling companion’s forte. Jaskier: Commonly a problem, always entitled.

Now, bumbling and burning up in a way all too familiar to the Witcher.

“What? Geralt? Wh-what kind of potion would make me feel like this?”

Geralt herds him through the last of the dim, straw-strewn halls and into their room, locking the door behind them, but has no chance to answer before Jaskier sways harder on his feet. Geralt catches him with an arm around his waist before he hits the floor.

Jaskier’s hands splay against his chest armor, going boneless in his hold as he stares up at him. When he speaks, his voice is woozy and overwhelmed.

And captivated.

“Oh. Oh, Geralt.”

Shit.

Geralt knows from experience that touch sets off the effects of the potion, hard. He needs to keep Jaskier focused at least long enough to explain, but he suspects that if he lets go, the bard will drop like a sack of potatoes. So he just holds the smaller man’s weight with one arm and tries to gather his words … as Jaskier sets to petting him.

“Jaskier, stop,” he growls, trying to wrangle the wandering hands of his amorous bard without hurting him. “The potion, remember?”

From the way Jaskier blinks slowly, it’s unclear he even knows where he is, much less understands what Geralt is saying.

“I know it by smell: A simple lust potion.”

Jaskier hums lazily to show he’s listening, but his eyes are still locked on the hollow of Geralt’s throat, and his fingers spread over the Witcher’s chest where he’d impatiently allowed his hands to be captured.

Geralt pushes on with his explanation, hoping some part of him was actually listening. “It’s usually not dangerous, but this dose was strong — strong enough for a Witcher. You may not be able to burn through it on your own.”

“Oh, is that all,” Jaskier says faintly, an echo of his wry humor beneath the glassy tremor of his voice.

Jaskier is pliant as Geralt practically carries him to the bed, but when he starts to pull away, Jaskier grabs his arm in a surprisingly strong grip.

“Wait, wait, Geralt don’t- I can’t-”

Jaskier looks fine, if a little sweaty and disheveled, but Geralt knows the feeling: the desperation for touch, the heat eating you up inside, the hollow empty longing that grows and consumes the longer the potion isn’t acted on. How much worse it must be for a human. His human, both sturdier and softer than most.

“I’m not leaving you, Jaskier,” he assures him, trying for soothing with his granite-rough voice.

That quiets Jaskier long enough for him to slip away. He takes a moment to check the latch on the door and settle their gear properly, sparing a brief thought for whatever fool had thought to drug a Witcher, before grabbing the water-skin and urging Jaskier to drink.

He drinks deeply, suppressing his tremors, clearly trying to keep a hold on himself. But the magical fever is burning through him quickly if the angry flush on his full cheeks is anything to go by. When he’s had his fill, Geralt leans away to stow the water-skin, and Jaskier follows him yet again, grabbing at his shoulders insistently.

“Geralt, please,” Jaskier begs, unsteady, “you have to help me. It hurts. It’s starting to hurt. I need … please-”

Geralt gathers his wandering hands in a firm grip and meets his hazy eyes steadily, so there can be no confusion. “I will help you. You’ll be fine.”

Then, to prove his word, he sweeps one rough palm over the bard’s warm cheek, back through his damp curls, and tugs gently at the end. More like soothing a frightened horse than petting a lover, perhaps, but Jaskier keens at the touch, leaning toward him like a flower to the morning sun.

Geralt might have found it charming, had the situation been less dire.

As it is, Geralt knows that Jaskier’s waning grip on coherence won’t last much longer, so he takes advantage while he can.

“Lie back,” he orders in a voice he hopes is more stern than scary. Whether he hits the mark or not, it has the desired effect: Jaskier obeys him instantly.

Geralt wastes no time finding a suitable vial of oil in his pack and stripping down. Manhandling an amorous, half-feral bard will be easier if he removes his own impediments first. He’s just let the last of his heavy leather armor fall away, leaving him in dusty breeches and a loose black shirt, when he hears a flurry of movements against sheets and a pained noise from the bed.

Coiffed hair askew, Jaskier has managed to flip himself over and start rutting helplessly against the stiff mattress, a frustrating endeavor judging by his scrunched face. But when Geralt steps back to the edge of the bed, Jaskier’s eyes find him instantly.

One look up at the Witcher through heavy lashes and he shoots up to plaster himself against him, greedy hands reaching and tugging for bare skin.

“Gods, Geralt, please say you want this, you want me,” he pleads, messily nuzzling into him and touching everywhere he could reach. Groping, now, and roughly. Entitled, Geralt thinks with a bit of amusement.

“Bard …” he starts, trying to get enough space from his desperate pushing and petting to address him properly.

Please, Geralt.”

When he just keeps pleading, Geralt finally sighs and grabs his chin in one broad hand, firmly tipping his head up.

“I want this,” he rumbles, letting more affection warm his words than he would usually allow. Enough to be convincing. Then he kisses him, close-mouthed and firm against plush, scalding lips.

Jaskier melts completely at that, a boneless puddle that makes it easy for Geralt to pull off his sweat-soaked chemise and reveal his slick, heaving chest. Geralt shucks his own shirt before the bard’s sluggish fingers can get tangled there again, then tumbles Jaskier into bed and stretches out over him.

The sharp gasp Jaskier lets out when the Witcher pendant swings down and smacks against his over-heated skin sends a matching shiver through Geralt’s gut, and he allows himself a moment to take in the sight of Jaskier splayed and flushed beneath him.

Though the bard is physically weaker, softer than the Path-hardened mutant he follows, he is still a man. A fine example of one, even, with broad shoulders and firm muscles, gently furred. And though Geralt never forgets how easily he could break him, there is still strength in those arms. Strength now compounded by insistence and desire as he clutches at Geralt’s shoulders and writhes insistently beneath him. Writhing for him.

He’d allowed himself to think of it before, but only broadly. Jaskier is an attractive man. Amorous and free with his affections, and his desire for both men and women is quite obvious. If he’d asked, before, Jaskier would likely have gone to bed with him.

But Jaskier isn’t some stranger in a tavern or a casual acquaintance with no strings. Geralt has come to treasure their friendship — as inexplicable and unconventional as it may be — and he has no desire to complicate things. Especially in ways that are sure to end in disaster.

It seems fate, as usual, has other plans. And while he knows he must do this to keep Jaskier safe, Geralt is not fool enough to deny that he is getting something he wants … just hopefully not at the expense of the bard’s friendship.

Content as he might be to hold Jaskier down and drink in the sight of him, the dark flush high on his cheeks concerns Geralt, and he decides he’ll need to take the edge off before they properly get started on what is sure to be a long night.

Thankfully, he’s never needed much sleep.

Tugging open the laces of Jaskier’s breeches, Geralt wastes no time sliding a hand in to cup his achingly hard cock as he lays on him, gently pinning him. Jaskier moans, high and reedy, at the first touch, biting his own lip nearly hard enough to draw blood. So Geralt distracts him with a kiss, coaxing his lips apart with his tongue as he strokes him in a steady rhythm.

As expected, it takes no time at all for Jaskier’s first orgasm to ripple through him, with a low groan against Geralt’s lips and a drunken hitching of his hips.

He hardly bothers to wipe his hand while the poor man shudders and sucks in breath after breath. Some cognizance returns to Jaskier’s bright blue eyes, though the insistent press of his hard prick against Geralt’s stomach hasn’t calmed at all.

“What do you want?” Geralt asks, low and open. Whatever way Jaskier wants this night to go, Geralt is sure he’s amenable.

“Fuck me,” Jaskier hisses, and Geralt has to kiss him again just to clear his own head.

Struggling out of Jaskier’s arms long enough to get naked is a chaotic affair, but Geralt finally manages to free them both of their pants and settle back over him. He rocks against Jaskier, groaning at the raw slide of their cocks, and firmly reminds himself not to take too many liberties. This is for Jaskier’s sake, and he will make it good for him, but it’s no excuse to indulge his own desires beyond what’s necessary.

(Jaskier’s earlier plea skates through his mind, say you want me, but his friend’s potion-addled words could hardly be taken as truth.)

For all his best intentions, he still finds himself pressing a line of kisses down Jaskier’s long neck, nipping gently at the rise of his sharp collarbones, and raking fingers down the smooth planes of his hip, even as his other hand reaches for the vial of oil.

Pressing Jaskier’s thick thighs apart to expose him sends a helpless rumble through Geralt’s chest, and it’s only Witcher control that keeps his hands from shaking as he coats one finger in oil and presses slowly inside.

Jaskier’s moan is loud, unashamed, any gathered coherence instantly washed away under the heat of the potion and its demand for touch.

Geralt rocks his finger into him as quickly as he dares, not wanting to hurt Jaskier but also not wanting to leave him to the ravages of the potion any longer than he must. Geralt presses and slides against the hot, velvety drag of the man beneath him and marvels at at how easily Jaskier opens for him. Despite his desperation, Jaskier is relaxed. Loose and vocal and achingly trusting, though surely he must know as well as Geralt what violence just this one broad hand is capable of.

Geralt slows long enough to pet at the soft skin of Jaskier’s inner thigh and twist his fingers just so, just to pull another of those sweet wavering moans from his lips. Then, satisfied with his preparation and spurred on by the dangerously glazed look in Jaskier’s blue eyes, he slicks up up and presses his cock into him in one long, slow slide, watching and feeling his painfully hard prick sink past his dripping rim.

Urging Jaskier to wrap his strong legs around his waist, Geralt pauses to let him adjust, leaning in to nose at the soft spot of skin below Jaskier’s ear and scent him deeply. There is no tang of fear, no bite of pain, just heat and lust and need.

The needy moans and groans never stop, but when Jaskier’s hips start twitching against him, Geralt moves. He sets a steady pace, just this side of harsh, pulling heated breathy gasps from Jaskier with each strong thrust. Jaskier takes it readily and meets him, fervent, breathing like a race horse driven past its limits. His weeping cock is trapped between them, thick and red and gorgeous.

Geralt, his own breathing and movements perfectly steady, feels as though he can barely keep up.

He drives them both forward, relentless, driven wild by the way Jaskier tightens his legs to pull him even deeper with each powerful thrust. Jaskier claws at him, nails scratching sharp pinpricks down his back and leaving lashes of heat in their wake. Geralt kept his hands firmly on Jaskier’s surprisingly thick thighs, trying hard not to bruise.

Geralt rocks in extra deep, and Jaskier throws his head back to moan wildly, his throat long and pale and covered in a sheen of sweat that Geralt can’t resist licking in a broad, warm stripe along his stark tendon.

Jaskier turns to capture Geralt’s lips in a wet, searing kiss as he rocks up to meet Geralt’s thrusts. When his rhythm starts to stutter, he breaks away to tuck his burning face into Geralt’s neck.

Jaskier comes with a feral, wanton shout that Geralt is sure every patron of the bar downstairs hears, and Geralt fucks him through the aftershocks, groaning as Jaskier spasms around him. When he collapses with a sigh, Geralt slows and pushes back to look at him. But even as Jaskier gasps for breath, heaving stomach a slippery mess in the low lamplight, it’s clear that it’s not enough. Jaskier’s arousal shows no sign of flagging.

Jaskier blinks up at him for a moment and then smirks, feral and feline, before pushing at Geralt’s shoulder until he has him on his back, straddling him. Geralt automatically reaches for the wooden headboard and, with another flash of that feral smirk, Jaskier seats himself on Geralt’s cock with one smooth motion, only stopping when his ass is flush with Geralt’s hips.

Geralt, for his part, nearly snaps the headboard in half one-handed.

Jaskier pauses, grinding his hips in little circles and moaning absently, and Geralt swallows as Jaskier clenches worryingly tight and hot around him. Jaskier’s eyes flutter, his dark lashes sticking to flushed skin, and the sweaty curls of his soft hair are wrecked. It makes a gorgeous picture: Jaskier seated above him, well-fucked and still hungry.

Jaskier pushes up, his toned thighs flexing at Geralt’s sides, and then drops down in a smooth, slick drag on his aching prick. The bard’s head falls back, Adam’s apple bobbing as he moans and shivers and arcs with the sensation of it.

Bracing his hands on Geralt’s hard stomach, Jaskier fucks himself on Geralt’s cock, his rhythm smooth and experienced but harder and faster than he’d have expected. Geralt’s hands fly to Jaskier’s hips. He’s gripping too hard, he knows, but he can do nothing else but hang on as Jaskier’s relentless pace drives a guttural growl from him.

Jaskier wrings his own pleasure from Geralt without a word or flicker of hesitation, pushing relentlessly toward relief with every motion. Geralt would be content to let him, but his own control is burning up, curling dangerously at the edges as his defenseless companion moves and groans above him.

When Jaskier next pushes down onto him, Geralt thrusts up to meet him, and Jaskier gasps, eyes flying open and meeting Geralt’s as his hands slip up to Geralt’s chest, bringing their faces closer. Rapt, Geralt watches the splotches of color across his fine cheeks, the startling blue of his eyes, as Jaskier fucks back onto his cock with reckless abandon, pink lip tucked under his teeth.

Geralt pries one hand away from Jaskier’s soft hips to smooth over his stomach, firm with a hint of softness, into the soft hair at his chest, and then, completely without his permission, it rises up to cup Jaskier’s burning cheek.

“Gods. You’re beautiful.” The words scrape out of Geralt’s throat before he can catch them.

Jaskier’s next moan is more of a sob, thick and throaty. As his eyes squeeze shut, he leans into the callused hand on his cheek and grinds down, hard. With a choked sound, Jaskier comes again across Geralt’s chest. Geralt is surprised to follow him over the edge, vision whiting out as he rocks up and empties himself inside Jaskier, in devastating, near-convulsive waves.

When he comes back to reality, Jaskier has pulled off and collapsed against his chest, surely exhausted. His enhanced senses trickle back and the sound of them both breathing as if after a battle is, for a moment, the only sound in the small room. It smells of sex and stale frustration and sharp, roast-rich relief, but Geralt barely has time to wonder if the worst of the potion’s effects are over before Jaskier is once again petting at him weakly, licking and biting at any part of Geralt’s neck he can reach as he rocks his still hard dick against him.

He can’t help the sigh that leaves him. Thank the gods for Witcher stamina.

Geralt coaxes him into a slow, messy kiss as they stroke and caress each other in the mussed nest they’ve made of the inn’s bed, and it doesn’t take long for Geralt’s cock to harden back to attention. Mindful of the way Jaskier’s muscles are shaking and weak, Geralt moves him as gently as he can, pulling him onto his side and curling against his back. The way eased by oil and cum, Geralt rocks back into Jaskier, easy and slick.

Quietly devastated by the fit and the way Jaskier sighs with pathetic and thoughtless relief as his cock slides back into place, Geralt wraps both thick arms around Jaskier’s chest, props one of his legs up against his own, and tucks his face into his sweaty curls. Jaskier’s scent is musky, salty with heat, and sweetened by the needlessly expensive floral oils he wore. Geralt held him close and moved against him, inside him, gentle and implacable.

Jaskier’s moans are broken, raspy things, but full with blissed-out, overwhelmed pleasure. The voice that the bard cultured and shaped as an instrument bled out uncensored like this, warbling soft and loud and helplessly molten as he was fucked. Geralt breathed in the scents of him, tasting the desire thick on his tongue.

Still good for him. Making him feel good, even in this weak, wrecked state. Not hurting him with clumsy, inhuman strength.

Still good.

Geralt litters Jaskier’s shoulder with kisses and cards fingers through his thick chest hair, past the point of restraining his own indulgences. Whatever happened after, he would be carrying memories of this night until the end of his long life. He may as well capture as much as he could.

The moments stretch like soft candy, warm and slow as lazy summer days, and when Jaskier cums again it is with a quiet mewl and a weak shudder. He slumps further into Geralt’s hold, truly boneless, and it’s clear that both his cock and the potion are finally spent. Good.

But when Geralt goes to pull away, Jaskier stops him with a gentle shake of his head.

“No,” he rasps, fingers reaching for his where they held his leg aloft. “Stay. Finish.”

So Geralt returns to that slow, gentle rhythm, movements slick and easy, Jaskier a shivering sensitive wreck in his arms. It’s not long before Geralt tips gently over the edge and comes in him again. Acting on instinct, he stays inside him for a moment, holding him close and breathing deeply with him as they come down.

Jaskier’s eyes are barely open, and he’s clearly drifting, though some of his sense seems to be returning as he hums and stretches. When Geralt pulls out and lays Jaskier down, moving to pull away and get a wet cloth, he’s horrified to see tears spring to Jaskier’s hooded eyes.

“Are you alright? Are you hurt?” Geralt asks immediately. Then, after a beat, almost too low to hear: “Did I hurt you?”

“No, no, Geralt, nothing like that,” Jaskier insists in a wavering mumble, but his attempt at a smile is waterlogged and false. The tears keep falling, even as he frustratedly wipes them away, ducking his face as if he could hide them. “Please, ignore me, I don’t know why I’m crying.”

That he’s embarrassed is obvious, especially when he mutters something about “for all my experience” and "crying like a virgin on her wedding night.” And despite his words, Geralt can’t be sure he hasn’t done something wrong. His instincts tell him to withdraw. After all, if it is his fault, he’s the last person who should be comforting Jaskier. He’s never been much good at comfort anyway.

But over his long life, he has learned that his first instincts mostly led him wrong when it comes to emotions. And more than anything else, in this moment, Jaskier looks like a man who needs a hug.

So Geralt carefully lays back down and gathers the sniffling bard to his chest, relieved when he comes easily, gratefully. Jaskier snuggles into Geralt’s chest and, slowly, the crying seems to settle and quiet. A few peaceful minutes pass before Jaskier speaks up in a slightly watery voice.

“Well, that’s … never happened before.”

“Side effect of the potion, maybe,” Geralt mumbles, staring at the wall.

“Maybe,” Jaskier allows, unsure. He thumbs absently at Geralt’s chest. “It really wasn’t anything you did, you know. That was good. Very good.”

He’s quiet for just a beat. “And thank you. I think you may have saved my life, again.”

Jaskier’s voice is serious in a way Geralt doesn’t like. He settles him more firmly against his side. “It certainly ranks among the more pleasant favors I’ve done. Certainly more fun than killing monsters or finding lost goats.”

Geralt can feel Jaskier smile against his shoulder. When he speaks again, he sounds more like himself. “I suppose that means the potion didn’t completely damage my finer skills.”

Geralt hums, as if in thought. “I don’t know. Seem to remember doing all the work.”

Jaskier’s exaggerated, affronted gasp is ruined by a hoarse laugh at the end, but he plows on dramatically. “Oh no, that simply won’t do. I can’t have my dearest friend walking around with such a poor estimation of my abilities. You’ll just have to give me another chance to demonstrate!”

Geralt finally looks down to find Jaskier already looking back, his face unbearably honest in that way of his that never ceased to amaze and terrify Geralt.

There it is: The dangerous complication.

“You would want that?”

“I would,” Jaskier answers immediately, easily. And then he keeps going. “Of course, I don’t expect anything, and I understand that you hardly had much choice about tonight, so if you have no interest-”

Geralt, knowing no other way to stop the nervous torrent of words, swoops down to cut him off with a quick kiss. When he opens his eyes, Jaskier looks a bit dazed.

“I would like that, too,” Geralt assures him.  They’d already crossed this line, after all. May as well make it count. “After some rest.”

“Rest, yes,” Jaskier says dazedly, laying back down half splayed over Geralt’s chest. "I may have to sleep for a week after all this.”

“Next time, keep to your own drink, then.”

There isn’t an ounce of bite to it. The room is cooling, but the blanket Geralt pulls over them is soft enough, and Jaskier is a warm weight against him. The smell of the two of them, of sex and sweat and leather and Jaskier’s flowery oils, of safety and satisfaction and trust, surrounded them. Geralt feels the pull of relaxation drag him down and spares a moment to look forward to a proper night’s sleep, to waking up with a pliant happy Jaskier beside him. To days on the road made lighter by the bard’s chatter and song. To next times.

Maybe they could make it count for quite a bit in the end.