Actions

Work Header

it takes some time to get anything right

Work Text:

Jaskier goes to the coast.

It’s the last place he can imagine Geralt being, so it seems like the thing to do.

.

.

.

“This is as far as I go,” the driver says gruffly, and Jaskier thanks him for the transport and hops down off the back of his cart. It’s a little coastal village and not really the kind of place one can expect to turn too much of a profit, but he’s not particularly worried about turning a profit just now. Although, sometimes the little villages are surprisingly happy to see a new face, and surprisingly generous in turn.

Quite a few people do look at him, probably because he’s better-dressed than anyone else in the square, though their collective interest doesn’t last long. They’ve all got the look of people with work to do, and most are likely of a mind to get it done. A few children chase each other across the square, presumably unoccupied, and Jaskier goes in search of a tavern. It’s habit, really; he’s always made his best money in taverns, discounting the occasional unfortunate banquet.

It’s not a very large village, so it doesn’t take much to find the tavern. There only seems to be the one, so Jaskier’s not exactly spoiled for choice, but that’s fine; the place will suit his purposes well enough.

It’s a grim little town and a quiet little tavern, but the tavernkeeper himself seems amenable, and it takes very little effort for Jaskier to get permission from him to play a few songs. He’s used to talking fair pay for Geralt out of much more stubborn people, so it’s really not—

He won’t be doing that again, he realizes, and steels himself against the strange and sinking sorrow of it. He flashes the tavernkeeper his best grin and goes to set himself up in a corner that’s conveniently out of the way of any servers but also conveniently visible to any patrons that might come through. He’s an experienced performer; he knows just where to do that kind of thing. People are freer with their coin when they can see a face, too, and he’d rather not end up, for example, eating bread off the floor.

He’s not that broke, mind, just the times it’s come up really left an impression.

People trickle into the tavern as Jaskier’s tuning his lute, and he idly counts heads. Not a particularly respectable audience, but it’s early. More people will be in tonight. The town’s no more spoiled for choice than he is, so far as taverns go. He’ll start with some of his quieter songs and liven up the mood later.

It’s easy, because it’s something he’s done a thousand times in a thousand places, but somehow he feels out of sorts anyway.

Well. Not “somehow”.

It’s very obvious, the somehow.

Jaskier starts to play.

.

.

.

“I'm weak, my love, and I am wanting . . .”

.

.

.

He should probably have picked a different song.

.

.

.

The night goes well. The villagers seem to relish the new music and seem to find Jaskier entertaining enough, at least for an evening. Jaskier makes more than enough to rent a room at the inn for a few days and won’t be having to eat off the floor, which is all he needs, really. He’s a simple man, after all.

He remembers Geralt’s face as the other was shouting at him.

It’s . . . distracting.

Jaskier shakes off the unpleasant memory and moves on with his night.

It doesn’t matter what Geralt thinks of him anymore, after all.

.

.

.

Jaskier stays in town. There’s other villages on the coast, obviously, but he doesn’t much feel like finding them just now. It’s nice to just stop for a while, for once. He goes to the tavern once a week and sings, earns enough to make it through the week at the inn, and then he does it again the next week.

It’s . . . easy. It’s easy, so he does it. He learns some of the local names and faces, and far more of the local names and faces learn him. It’s not really the kind of village that can support a full-time bard long-term, but they find him interesting and want to hear his stories, and as long as they keep paying, well . . .

Jaskier sings a lot of songs and tells a lot of stories, some truer than others, and the villagers come to expect him to be certain places at certain times, so he goes to those places at those times. The tavernkeeper gives him a free ale or a free meal every now and then, the innkeeper starts to gossip with him, and a few of the unmarried young women start following him around from place to place, giggling every time he speaks to them.

He’s popular, he realizes eventually, which is . . . novel. Not that he’s never been popular before, but it’s been a while. And usually by now he’s done something to cause a ruckus and messed it up.

He hasn’t much felt like himself lately, he supposes. He hasn’t been talking as much as he used to, aside from telling stories, and he hasn’t been flirting with people or really met anyone he wants, and . . .

It’s just . . . he hasn’t much felt like himself.

That’s all.

.

.

.

He goes out to the water sometimes, and sits alone and watches the tide come in.

.

.

.

“Oi, Jaskier!” Magda calls, waving to him from across the street. She’s the bakers’ oldest daughter. Said bakers aren’t thrilled about how much time she spends around Jaskier, but consider him harmless enough not to complain much about it. Jaskier pauses, and Magda hurries over to him.

“Hello, Magda,” he says pleasantly, and she beams at him, her cheeks already pink.

“I have something for you!” she says, and holds out a wrapped basket. He accepts it; he’s used to getting little presents from the villagers by now. They can’t always afford to spend coin on him, but more than once he’s been given some useful little gift or another. Magda’s, it turns out, is enough fresh-baked bread to feed him for two days.

“Thank you,” Jaskier says. The people here are too proud for him to turn down a gift, even if he wanted to. Magda keeps beaming at him.

“Will you be at the tavern tonight?” she asks, like it’s not the same night he always goes to the tavern.

“Gladly,” he confirms anyway, and she giggles.

“I’ll see you tonight, then!” she says brightly, then runs off down the street. Jaskier has three more interactions that follow the same script in the time it takes him to get back to the inn, and goes in juggling four separate baskets.

“Oh, let me help you with that, dear,” the innkeeper—Nell—says, bustling over to give him a hand. He lets her, because most of the people around here like being useful more than anything else.

“Thank you, Nell,” he says, straightening the baskets still in his arms.

“I see the girls have been plying you with gifts again,” she says wryly.

“Well, one was from the butcher’s boy. He gave me some sausages,” Jaskier says. “Edmund, I want to say?”

“Edwin,” she corrects. “Edmund’s the fletcher’s little troublemaker. Shall I help you carry all this to your room?”

“Oh, right,” Jaskier remembers. “And yes, please, thank you very much."

She follows him up the stairs to his room and he thinks, briefly, of Geralt. There’s no good reason to; he just does. He dismisses the thought immediately and pushes it down out of sight and out of mind, because he doesn’t have the time right now. Or . . . ever, ideally. Nell starts talking about Edmund and what he’s gotten into this week, and Jaskier makes polite noises and does his best to listen attentively. Tonight he’ll go to the tavern, and he’ll pay her for next week’s stay in the morning. He’ll be eating bread and sausages tomorrow.

He’s . . . settled, he realizes. He knows he can’t stay here for good, but for the moment . . . yes. For the moment, he’s settled.

It’s a strange feeling, given that he hasn’t settled anywhere for longer than a snowstorm since he was seventeen.

It makes him feel like he should be moving on, but . . .

But.

.

.

.

Jaskier plays some sadder songs than usual, not quite sure why. He tries not to think of Geralt, but for some reason the other keeps circling back through his thoughts. It’s just one of those nights, he supposes.

He has those nights, sometimes.

.

.

.

“I'm weak, my love, and I am wanting . . .”

.

.

.

It’s been a while in this town now, and Jaskier still hasn’t gotten around to leaving yet.

.

.

.

It’s been a while in this town now, and . . .

.

.

.

It’s fall, now, and raining heavily outside. Jaskier’s in the tavern, playing for a decent-sized crowd and thinking of nothing in particular besides the next song he’s going to sing.

The tavern door bangs open between verses, and a soaked to the bone man in black and blood staggers through it, clutching an unconscious girl in his arms. Jaskier stares, and his audience stares too. The man collapses. A couple of the young men run over.

“The girl,” the man rasps. “Help . . . the girl.”

Well, even if the silhouette weren’t screamingly recognizable, Jaskier would know that voice anywhere.

It’s Geralt.

Geralt’s hood falls back, and inhumanly white hair spills out of it. The young men recoil, looking alarmed. Jaskier . . . Jaskier sets aside his lute, and stands up. Geralt is barely conscious, and he can only tell the man is at all because he’s not crushing the girl beneath him.

“Well?” Jaskier says, feeling oddly . . . himself. “You heard the man.”

.

.

.

The girl isn’t very badly off; she’s got a nasty lump on her head that’ll need watching and some scratches on her hands, but not much else. Geralt, on the other hand . . . Geralt’s a mess.

“He’s dying,” Vera says matter-of-factly. She’s the closest thing they’ve got to an apothecary in town.

“I doubt it,” Jaskier says as he rifles through Geralt’s belongings, because as bad as Geralt looks, he’s seen him look worse. “Can you bandage up the worst of it?”

“I can, but it’d be a waste of bandages,” Vera says. She’s refreshingly practical, is Vera.

“Humor me,” Jaskier says. Vera sighs, but she reaches for her bag. Jaskier fishes out a potion he's forgotten the name of, but not the shape of the bottle of, and goes over to the table Geralt's laid out on. The other's barely breathing and the potion bottle is half-empty.

So . . . that’s a concern, and all.

He manages to get the potion down Geralt’s throat at least, so that's a start.

.

.

.

The girl’s awake when Jaskier gets back to her. Someone’s sat her down and gotten her a drink and there’s a bandage on her head and another one around her ankle. She says her name is Fiona.

Jaskier might believe her, except he’s been to Cintra since that disaster of a banquet. He’d kept his head down just in case the queen might decide to cut it off, of course, but it’s not hard to get a look at royalty from a distance. Gods know they’re out and about enough.

“Is Geralt alright?” the alleged Fiona asks anxiously.

“No,” Jaskier says. “But we’re working on that. Have you eaten?”

“No,” she says, and the tavernkeeper immediately goes to fix that. Fiona looks bemused to be presented with a bowl of the stew that’s been cooking in the back, but accepts it readily enough. Jaskier glances back towards Geralt, just for a moment, then shifts all his attention onto the princess currently sitting in front of him. Why she’s with Geralt, he has no idea, but he wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t Geralt’s idea. And if it was, things must’ve been damned dire.

Come to think, he hasn’t been near Cintra in a while. He wonders what’s going on over there. This part of the coast is isolated, and Jaskier likes it that way, but for Geralt to come all this way with the Lion Cub of Cintra and show up covered in blood . . .

Well. Maybe being a bit less isolated would’ve been helpful.

“What’s got you travelling with a witcher, girl?” Nell asks, and Fiona presses her lips together tight.

“Oh, that’s just Geralt,” Jaskier says dismissively. “He attracts all sorts of stray creatures.”

“You say that like you know the man,” Nell says, frowning at him.

“Haven’t I ever told you about the White Wolf?” Jaskier replies airly, as if it’s just a minor oversight that he’s neglected to mention this man who’s so deeply affected his life. “He’s quite the impressive specimen, actually.”

“He is?” Magda says, sneaking a peek towards Geralt’s motionless body where Vera’s still fussing over the bandages.

“Oh, yes,” Jaskier says. “Let me tell you all about it.”

.

.

.

Geralt spends the night unconscious. Jaskier spends it telling stories. It’s hardly the first time he’s talked a town into letting a witcher stick around for a few days, though he imagines Geralt will appreciate it even less than he has in the past, assuming he appreciates it at all. He ought to; Jaskier sees “Fiona” put up in a proper room and well taken care of, and sees the townsfolk into an entirely new opinion of witchers. It’s not hard; they trust him, to his mild surprise. They’re even mostly fond of him.

How unfamiliar, Jaskier thinks, but can’t deny blossoming a bit under the attention.

Fiona listens to his stories from the stairs. He pretends not to notice her, since she’s clearly trying to keep hidden. Fiona isn’t “Fiona”, of course, but Jaskier decides it’s best to keep thinking of her that way.

It’s a long night, but he’s had worse ones.

.

.

.

“Jaskier, dear!” Nell calls in the morning, and Jaskier cracks an eye open and looks at the door of his room. He drags himself off the bed and opens it to peer out at her, and she pushes a basket of breakfast at him.

“For your witcher,” she says firmly. “Vera said if he isn’t up this morning, he’s dead, so you’d best go make sure he’s up.”

“Thank you,” Jaskier says, holding the basket to his stomach. It’s rather full, so Nell’s being rather optimistic about Geralt’s appetite after being half-gutted, but, well, it is Geralt. Probably he will be hungry.

He won’t be dead, Jaskier tells himself, and heads down the hall to the room the young men put Geralt in last night after Vera was done stitching and bandaging him. He knocks, then opens the door. Geralt sits up in bed immediately before hissing in pain and grabbing his stitched-up stomach.

“Nice to see you too, lovely as always,” Jaskier says, deciding that the only thing to do is pretend the mountain never happened. Otherwise he doesn’t know how he’s going to get through this conversation. “Good job on not being dead. I brought breakfast!”

"Where's Ciri," Geralt grits out, still clutching his stomach.

"Fiona is in her room," Jaskier replies dryly. "Probably still asleep, given the hour. Lay down, you'll rip your stitches out."

"I need to see her," Geralt says, swinging his feet to the side of the bed and planting them on the floor. He pushes himself up with a low, pained grunt. Jaskier watches resignedly. Well, some things never change.

"You realize I could just bring her here, yes?" he says. "That's a possibility that's crossed your mind?"

"Hn," Geralt says. Jaskier sighs.

"Sit down," he says, setting the basket on the dresser. "I'll get her."

Geralt doesn't sit down. Jaskier rolls his eyes. He doesn't care what was in that bottle, there's no way Geralt's in any shape to be walking around right now. He turns his back on the other to leave the room, and Geralt falls over like a wet sack. "Oh for—you are hopeless."

"Geralt? Are you in there?" Fiona says from the other side of the door, and Jaskier sighs again and opens it.

"He's in here," he says. "On the floor like a fool, but in here."

"Geralt!" Fiona rushes past him and puts her hands on Geralt's shoulders. Jaskier would've done the same thing, honestly, if the mountain hadn't happened. He's quite sure Geralt would sooner bite him than let him touch him, though. Geralt grunts, pushing himself up against the side of the bed. Fiona kneels beside him, hovering a hand over his bandaged ribs.

"Are you alright?" Geralt asks, and Fiona laughs helplessly.

"Am I alright?" she says. "You could've died!"

"I'm fine," Geralt says, the fucking liar. Jaskier folds his arms.

"You are being held together with spit and spite," he says. "A strong breeze could knock you over. I could knock you over.”

"What are you doing here?" Geralt says, the bastard. Jaskier draws himself up, face flushing hot with anger. What kind of question is that?

"I live here, actually," he snaps. "What are you doing here, Geralt?"

"You what?" Geralt gives him a blank look. Jaskier wants to throw his breakfast at him and seriously considers at least dumping it over his head.

"I live here," he repeats. "It's quite nice, actually. Very scenic. Lovely people."

Geralt keeps giving him the blank look. Jaskier might hate him a bit. Or a lot.

He could fucking apologize.

He could at least say something.

.

.

.

Geralt doesn’t apologize or say anything and Fiona frets over him with the clear paranoia of someone used to losing people. Jaskier leaves breakfast on the dresser and goes downstairs to square up with Nell. He has a little extra money he’s been putting aside; he can pay for their stay for at least a night or two. Nell refuses the money, though, bless her, and Jaskier feels foolishly grateful.

“Thank you,” he says.

“Oh, no need to thank me, dear,” she says. “Your friends are in quite a state, after all. It’s the least I can do.”

“All the same, I appreciate it,” Jaskier says, because “they’re not my friends” wouldn’t be particularly convincing after last night. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Worry about your witcher,” Nell says firmly. “I’ll take care of the rest.”

.

.

.

Jaskier goes back upstairs, feeling a bit ridiculous, and unthinkingly knocks on Geralt’s door.

Well, no. He’s thinking a bit. Normally he wouldn’t bother to knock, after all. The amount of times he’s just flitted into Geralt’s latest temporary room and started talking is . . . not insignificant.

Obviously that isn’t the kind of thing he should be doing anymore. Or ever have done, apparently.

Obviously.

“Who is it?” Fiona calls warily. Jaskier opens the door. Geralt’s sitting on the bed again, looking rough. Fiona’s standing in front of him with the basket of breakfast.

“Only me,” he says with a little bow, adding a bit of flourish with a hand. “How’s breakfast?”

“It’s fine,” Fiona says. “Thank you.”

Geralt is looking at him. Jaskier feels sick. He wants to just pretend the mountain never happened, but . . .

Never mind.

“Excellent!” he says brightly, straightening back up. “You’re all paid up for the week. Plenty of time to recover, if you’d like it.”

“You paid for our rooms?” Fiona says with a frown.

“Well, no, but the innkeeper is a very kind woman,” Jaskier says with a shrug. “I did try to pay, for the record. I am a gentleman and all.”

“Does she not know who she’s putting up?” Geralt says. Of course that’s what he cares about, Jaskier thinks in mild exasperation. Has he forgotten how good at his job he is?

“She knows,” he says. “I told everyone about you. Well, not about Fiona, of course.”

“There’s nothing to tell about me,” Fiona lies nervously. Jaskier raises his eyebrows at Geralt, who stoically ignores the expression.

“Why would she put up a witcher?” Geralt says.

“Because you need putting up,” Jaskier replies practically. If he tried to say “because you’re my friend” he’d choke on it, he’s sure. “Even a witcher needs some recovery time with wounds like those.”

“I was dying,” Geralt says, raising a hand to cover his stitched and bandaged stomach.

“Yes, so the local hedge witch informed me,” Jaskier says.

“Why am I not dead?” Geralt says.

“I don’t know,” Jaskier says. “I gave you half a bottle of that one potion you always drink when you’re about to bleed to death and it seems to have helped.”

“The Kiss potion?” Geralt says, his expression turning strange.

“I don’t know what it’s called,” Jaskier says. “It was the one in the square vial.”

“How did you know to give me that one?” Geralt says.

“Because you always drink it when you’re about to bleed to death, were you not listening?” Jaskier says in exasperation. “I assumed it had to do something helpful.”

“Coagulates the blood,” Geralt says.

“That would be helpful, yes,” Jaskier says. “You’re alive and moving, so I assume it did its job.”

“I didn’t realize I had any of it left,” Geralt says. “I thought I was out.”

“Should’ve looked harder, I suppose,” Jaskier says with another shrug.

“You saved his life,” Fiona says, and Jaskier laughs. Then he looks at her and realizes she’s serious.

“Oh,” he says, shaking his head and holding his hands up. “No, no, no, definitely not. It’s his own damn potion, first of all.”

“You found it,” Fiona says.

“Not my fault he lost it,” Jaskier huffs, folding his arms. “I’m not his keeper.”

“Hn,” Geralt says. Jaskier wants to throw something at him, but there’s a limited supply of things to throw and Fiona’s holding most of them. Jaskier seriously considers going over and grabbing a bread roll or something, but he has more dignity than that.

Really.

. . . alright, fine, so he doesn’t.

“You’re impossible,” Jaskier says, then goes over and takes a bread roll from Fiona and pelts Geralt with it. Geralt startles, then hisses in pain, clutching his stomach. Jaskier is not sorry. “Impossible!”

“Um,” Fiona says. Jaskier picks up the bread roll and takes a vengeful bite, glowering at Geralt, who just glares back at him. Jaskier wants a turn to do the yelling this time, he thinks. That’d be fair.

“Impossible,” he repeats, because Fiona doesn’t really deserve getting dragged into the middle of things no matter how much of a prick Geralt’s been.

“Fiona,” Geralt says, still glaring. “Go back to your room.”

“Are you going to fight?” Fiona says, looking worried.

“Absolutely, yes,” Jaskier says. Geralt’s glare darkens. Like he has the right, the bastard.

Fiona looks between them worriedly. Jaskier considers throwing the rest of the roll at Geralt again. It’s an option, certainly.

“It’s fine, Fiona,” Geralt says. “Just . . . wait in your room.”

“You shouldn’t fight,” she says, putting aside the breakfast basket with a frustrated expression.

“Fiona,” Geralt says, and Fiona gives him another frustrated look, but leaves. Jaskier throws the roll at him after all.

“You’re so terrible with people,” he says as Fiona shuts the door. “Do you have to be this terrible with people? Could you not just be decent for once?”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says.

“Really!” Jaskier says. “You’re the worst!”

Geralt reaches out and grabs his wrist and drags him towards him. Jaskier makes an outraged noise, and would say something, except, well . . .

Except then Geralt leans in and kisses him.

“What,” Jaskier sputters in disbelief. “What are you doing?”

“Hn,” Geralt says. He leans back. Jaskier wants to hit him.

“You’re awful,” he says incredulously. “Don’t treat me like that. I’m not—don’t treat me like that. How dare you! Would I do that to you?!”

“Treat you like what?” Geralt says.

“You know what I mean! Just because I wrote a few songs about you—” Jaskier snaps, and Geralt squeezes his wrist. Jaskier bares his teeth at him.

“This isn’t about the songs,” Geralt says.

“No, this is about you ditching me on that stupid mountain like I was nothing because someone dumped you!” Jaskier says angrily. “Like we aren’t friends! Like we haven’t been friends for half my life!”

“Hn,” Geralt says. Jaskier hates him.

“Say it!” he says. “Say it once, so I know you’re not completely stupid!”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, and pulls him down into another kiss. Jaskier makes a furious noise and bites him. Geralt bites back, and Jaskier really does mean to yell at him some more, but . . . but . . .

Fuck, he thinks, and kisses back, pushing his hands into the other’s hair. Geralt sighs raggedly and wraps his arms around him. Jaskier should knee him right in the stitches, he thinks savagely, but instead he just keeps kissing him because he’s stupid, he should know better, what is he even doing? What are they doing?

He should absolutely knee him in the stitches.

Geralt pulls him down, and Jaskier goes, and ends up on his back on the bed with Geralt kissing his mouth and jaw and throat and pushing his hands up his sides. Jaskier clings to him, hating him, and keeps kissing back.

Stupid. He’s so stupid. Doesn’t he know better than this?

Didn’t he write that damn song?

“You’re terrible,” he breathes, and Geralt grinds their hips together carefully and kisses him again, hungry and demanding. Jaskier bites him, dragging his hands through his hair and across his back. He’s so angry.

He’s missed him so much.

Geralt pulls at his clothes. Jaskier drags them off or open, whichever’s quicker, and Geralt gets his hands inside them. It’s been too damn long since he’s been touched. Geralt’s probably fucked his way through half the whorehouses on the continent since he’s last seen him, but Jaskier hasn’t had the heart for his usual romances and people don’t really touch him otherwise. Geralt’s hands feel so good, big and strong and broad. Jaskier’s never let himself think very much about how Geralt’s hands must feel, but the answer is good, great, perfect. He’s dizzy with it.

“Fuck, you feel good,” he rasps, because again, he’s stupid. Geralt exhales shakily, grinding their hips together again. Jaskier presses a kiss to the other’s temple, raking his nails across his back. Geralt groans. The remains of their clothes don’t last too much longer. “You bastard—”

“What are you even doing here,” Geralt mutters, and Jaskier gives him a disbelieving look.

“I told you I was going to the coast!” he says. “Do you even listen when I talk?!”

“Hn.” Geralt kisses him again. Jaskier growls into it. Of course Geralt doesn’t listen. Of course it wouldn’t have occurred to him to find him here. Of course.

Bastard.

He yanks Geralt’s hair. The other groans again and kisses him harder, pushing his hands down his sides. Jaskier clings to him, resenting, but can’t bring himself to break away like he should. He’s not an idiot. He’s not some terrible burden for Geralt to bear. He’s not—

“Jaskier,” Geralt rasps, low and dirty, and like an idiot, Jaskier melts for it. He kisses him and moves up into his body and doesn’t knee him in the stitches even though Geralt would really deserve it.

“Geralt,” he says, not even spitefully. “Oh, do that again.”

Geralt kisses him again. That’s not what Jaskier meant, but he isn’t going to complain either. He wraps his arms around the other’s neck and a leg around his hips and moves into him, grinding up greedily. He’s missed this. He’s wanted this. Missed doing it with people; wanted to do it with Geralt. He’s not going to deny himself now.

He should, probably, because it’s going to hurt terribly later, but . . .

But.

“Geralt,” he repeats, and Geralt kisses him again, and they pant into each other’s mouths. Geralt runs his hands up and down his body, touching him with a near-reverence Jaskier never would’ve expected, and Jaskier knocks his head back and gasps for air. Geralt kisses his jaw and throat and collarbone and wraps a hand around his growing erection. Jaskier gasps louder.

Geralt is completely silent, mouthing down his stomach in an extremely promising fashion as he strokes him to full hardness. Jaskier threads his fingers through the other’s hair and Geralt grunts, then swallows his cock with unexpected eagerness. Jaskier curses—quite eloquently, if he does say so himself—and barely keeps his hips from jacking up into Geralt’s mouth. He really hasn’t done this in a while.

“Oh, I’m not going to last at all,” he manages. Geralt bobs his head, rolling his tongue up, and Jaskier in fact nearly comes right there. “Fuck!”

“Mm,” Geralt says. Not that he usually has much to say, but the fact that he currently can’t talk because his mouth is full of Jaskier’s dick is extremely, extremely distracting. Jaskier curses again, biting the side of his palm and tugging at Geralt’s hair with his free hand.

“I mean it, Geralt, fuck you’re good at that, I cannot believe how good you are at that,” he half-babbles, breath coming rough and fast. “Genuinely, the fact that you have experience and expertise sucking cock is going to keep me awake for a week. I have questions about this. Very, very many questions. Oh—”

Geralt grunts again and bobs his head and swallows him down as far as he can, which is very damn far indeed, and Jaskier knocks his head back harder and keeps cursing over and over, desperate and wanting. He pushes one hand through Geralt’s hair and muffles his voice with the other, biting down roughly on the meat of his palm.

“Geralt, Geralt, you’re so good, oh, I love it, you’re so good,” Jaskier rattles off rapidly, still gasping for breath. Geralt . . . slows, and lifts his head, and Jaskier has to bite back a curse of disappointment. Geralt doesn’t even have the mercy to stroke him off.

“You don’t have to do that,” Geralt says.

“What?” Jaskier says dizzily. “What am I doing? I’ll stop.”

“The . . . compliments,” Geralt says, looking uncomfortable. Jaskier blinks at him. He stopped because of that?

“You are the stupidest man alive,” he swears. “I’m going to compliment you, Geralt, for gods’ sake. I’m going to compliment you and you’re going to deal with it, in fact, because you ditched me on that stupid mountain instead of just getting drunk and going to a whorehouse like every other broken heart on the continent would’ve done!”

“I just mean it’s not—necessary,” Geralt says, his mouth twisting awkwardly. Jaskier scowls at him, propping himself up on his elbows.

“Idiot,” he says. “You’re good. You’re amazing. Honestly I hate you a bit for it, lately. But I didn’t write all those songs about you because you’re not worth complimenting.”

“That’s not what I said,” Geralt says, and Jaskier gives him a pitying look.

“Isn’t it?” he says.

Geralt’s mouth twists again. Jaskier resists the urge to jitter. Geralt is a grown-ass man who should know he’s worth complimenting, but also Geralt is still this close to his dick and it really, really wants some more of his attention. Geralt could have some mercy, is all he’s going to say.

“You’re good,” Jaskier says. “Really.”

“Mm,” Geralt says, and ducks his head and swallows his cock again, thank fuck. Jaskier groans.

“Oh, so good, the best, Geralt, no one’s better, I’m going to go crazy,” he babbles, dropping his head back and tugging at the other’s hair. Geralt swallows him down further, then bobs his head, sucking roughly. “Good, good, just don’t stop this time.”

Geralt doesn’t stop. Jaskier keeps rambling every little bit of praise that crosses his mind over and over, and Geralt keeps sucking him off with far more skill than Jaskier feels he should rightly have. Geralt’s already beautiful and wonderful and in possession of a gorgeous dick; he doesn’t need to actually be good in bed on top of all that.

Jaskier may tell him some of that, slightly accusingly but with all seriousness, and Geralt may respond by giving him the best head of his life, which he is definitely not going to tell him. He’s already hopeless enough, he doesn’t need to be that obvious about things.

Fuck, though. Fuck.

“Close,” Jaskier groans, and Geralt swallows around him, and he comes down the other’s throat with a loud moan, hand fisted in his hair. Geralt swallows every drop, the bastard. Jaskier lets go of him to cover his face and Geralt presses a kiss against his hip. “Fuuuuuck.”

“Alright?” Geralt asks quietly, voice rough from having Jaskier in his fucking throat, and Jaskier practically wheezes.

“Oh, very much so,” he manages, trying to catch his breath. “Just . . . a moment, if you please. Be right with you.”

“Mm.” Geralt lays one of those big strong hands on his stomach, heavy and warm, though not quite as warm as an ordinary human’s. Jaskier could think of some better places for it.

“Okay,” he says, dropping his own hands away from his face to look down at Geralt, who’s laying on his side and seems content to stay where he is. He’s not quite high up enough to be tucked under Jaskier’s arm, which Jaskier would fix except obviously that’s a secondary concern right now. “Ugh, look at you. Terrible. Stop being so . . . everything.”

“‘Everything’?” Geralt echoes, and Jaskier sighs and pushes himself up, then slides down the bed so they’re on the same level.

“Everything,” he confirms, putting a hand on the other’s hip and looking at his cock. It is, of course, gorgeous, and even bigger than he’d previously noticed it as being. The temptation to sit on it is very, very high, but given Geralt’s still all stitched up Jaskier doubts the other’s really up to properly fuck him. Frankly he’s amazed Geralt managed to suck him off without catching any stitches on the sheets or putting too much pressure on his wounds. Core strength, he’s going to assume.

Then again, it’s Geralt. He may’ve just been ignoring the pain.

Ugh.

“Normally I’d return the favor but I need to keep talking, so you’re going to have to settle for my hand,” Jaskier informs him.

“You don’t have to,” Geralt says.

“Do you not want me to?” Jaskier asks. “Because otherwise it’s happening.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, not quite looking at him.

“Taking that as a ‘yes, Jaskier, please ravish me now’,” Jaskier drawls, raising his eyebrows at the other and wrapping a hand around his cock. It is . . . definitely a handful, unf. “Gods damn, Geralt, you’ve been holding out on me.”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, his voice just barely thin. Jaskier squeezes his cock, then pushes his thumb over the head of it. It immediately spits precome and he smiles. Well, that’s nice, he thinks. At least some part of Geralt properly appreciates him. He gives it a stroke in reward, and Geralt grunts. Jaskier starts properly jerking him off and presses a kiss to the corner of his jaw.

“You’re very good,” he murmurs, and Geralt lets out a low hiss. “Not always good to me, I’ll admit, but I suppose we all have our faults. Are you going to come for me?”

“Hn,” Geralt says, gripping his shoulders tight. Jaskier kisses his jaw again and earns another little hiss.

“Of course you are, you’re good,” he says. “Come on, lover, let me see.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, but it really doesn’t take much more before he’s coming. Maybe it’s been as long for him as it has for Jaskier. He spills all over Jaskier’s fingers and Jaskier hums to himself and reclaims his hand to lick them clean one by one as the other recovers. Geralt watches him through heavy eyes and doesn’t say anything. Jaskier hums again.

“Lovely,” he says, and lets himself sound approving even though he probably shouldn’t. Geralt’s mouth tightens, and Jaskier kisses it.

“I didn’t think you’d be here,” Geralt says. It hurts, irrationally, but Jaskier’s good at rolling with things that hurt.

“Well, I am,” he says. “I didn’t think you’d be here, to be honest. In fact I rather assumed this was the last place you’d ever go.”

“Why?” Geralt says, frowning at him.

“Because I told you I was coming out here, Geralt,” Jaskier says wearily, stroking the other’s face despite himself. “Why else?”

Geralt’s eyes flicker. Jaskier considers kissing him again, but doesn’t. Considers yelling at him again too, but doesn’t do that either.

It’s tempting, mind. Very tempting.

“You’re terrible,” he says.

“Hn,” Geralt says. Jaskier sighs.

“Terrible,” he murmurs again, then kisses him after all. Geralt kisses back, slowly, and Jaskier still hates him a bit, but . . .

Well. He could never really hate Geralt, honestly. Even when maybe it would be better to.

Gods, how he’s missed him.

“So good,” he says, and wraps his arms around him. Geralt hides his face in his shoulder, big strong hands gripping his hips, and Jaskier lets him. He still doesn’t say anything, and Jaskier lets him do that, too. He thinks about Fiona in her room and Nell downstairs and all the other townsfolk and this little village he’s made a little bit of a life in, and wonders what it’d take for Geralt to let him follow him again. It’s stupid, and he knows better, but . . .

But Geralt kissed him, and touched him like he wanted him close, and didn’t just chase him off or throw him out. And Jaskier’s weak, probably, and stupid, definitely, but it makes him want to follow him. Even if it’s to another banquet, or another Yennefer, or anything similar.

He’s always wanted to follow Geralt, after all.

Not like that’s going to change that easily.

“I couldn’t find you,” Geralt says quietly, pulling back just enough to look at him, and Jaskier . . . blinks.

“What?” he says.

“After the mountain,” Geralt says. “I couldn’t find you.”

“Oh,” Jaskier says, a little baffled by the statement. That makes it sound like Geralt looked for him. “Why were you trying to find me?”

“Hn,” Geralt says, unhelpfully. His hands stay on Jaskier’s hips. Jaskier doesn’t know what to say to him.

“Alright,” he says finally, for lack of anything else to say. “Alright, that’s fine. Shouldn’t have expected an answer, clearly I’m assuming too much. Very silly of me, that.”

Geralt kisses him again. Jaskier’s starting to wonder if he thinks he’s making some kind of point, doing that kind of thing. Then again, being touched like that after so long feels . . . much too good, so maybe there is a point somewhere in there.

Or maybe Geralt’s just being difficult, as usual. Jaskier’s been willing to put up with that since the day he met him, though, so he supposes there’s no point in thinking twice now.

“Eventually I’m going to get a full sentence out of you again,” he says, touching the other’s face. Geralt presses his mouth into his palm. Jaskier . . . can’t complain, really.

Still.

“Geralt,” he says. Geralt looks at him; makes a quietly assenting noise. Jaskier doesn’t really know what to say or think, much less do. The bastard still owes him an apology as far as he’s concerned, no matter how good he is with his mouth.

But for the moment Geralt is here and looking at him, so . . .

Well. That’s a start, isn’t it.

It’s not like he’s ever wanted anything else, after all.