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you met me at the perfect time

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“So how was your latest monster hunt?” Jaskier asks, looking up at Geralt, who’s on Roach’s back and ignoring him as they walk. They’ve just run into each other, which is the usual way they meet up. Really, the only way they meet up. Jaskier wouldn’t mind occasionally making plans, personally, but Geralt is apparently allergic to those. “Anything exciting happen?”

“Hn,” Geralt says, not looking away from the road ahead.

“What kind of beast was it?”

“Hn.”

“Did you kill it?”

“Hn.”

Really, Geralt, give a man something to go off here,” Jaskier sighs. “Some scrap or another. A bit of spice for the muse. Some flash in the pan.”

“They were vampires,” Geralt says.

“Were they difficult to deal with?” Jaskier says.

“Hn.”

“One of these days I’m going to start just making things up, you know,” Jaskier huffs. Geralt rolls his eyes.

“You do make things up,” he says.

“Based in truth!” Jaskier says indignantly. “Well-informed truth! No thanks to you, may I add!”

Geralt ignores him, and Roach breaks into a trot. Jaskier makes an outraged noise, jogging to keep up. It doesn’t work very well.

“Geralt!” he says protestingly. He has no idea why Geralt’s so difficult all the time. Honestly, you’d think he didn’t flatter the man to death at every given opportunity. He has, in fact, directly gotten him laid before, not that Geralt was even remotely grateful for it, the bastard. Jaskier is the kind of wingman other men can only dream of, and Geralt doesn’t give the slightest damn about it.

It’s very frustrating.

“Quiet,” Geralt says, pulling Roach to a halt. Jaskier’s about to bite his head off, but then he notices the woman standing in the middle of the road ahead, back turned to them and heavy brocade skirt and gloves soaking wet.

That’s . . . definitely not suspicious or anything. For one thing, there’s no river or lake around here, and it hasn’t rained for days. For another, that’s a very expensive dress for a woman alone to be wearing.

And that’s awfully dark for water.

“We have no quarrel with you,” Geralt says. The woman laughs. The sound of it’s flat, and it echoes oddly through the trees. Jaskier edges back a few steps, just for precaution’s sake and all.

“All humans have a quarrel with me,” the woman says.

“I’m not human,” Geralt says. She laughs again and turns her head; just her head, and just a little bit too far. There’s red smeared around her mouth and on her grinning teeth.

“Witcher,” she says coyly. “Come and play with me, pretty boy.”

Geralt’s eyes flash. The woman laughs again, lifting a hand. She stretches her fingers, and they keep stretching into long, spindly claws, splitting through the fabric of her gloves.

“Stay out of the way, Jaskier,” Geralt says as he draws his silver sword, like Jaskier’s an idiot or something.

“Oh, believe me, I want nowhere near the way,” he says, eyeing the woman’s bloody claws and edging back a little further. He likes getting the story up close and personal, but not as much as he likes, oh, living?

The woman laughs in a way Jaskier really doesn’t like, and his back hits . . . well.

Dammit.

A pair of bloody arms snap around his middle, and he curses loudly.

“Geralt!”

The woman laughs louder, and so does her friend who’s got her arms around Jaskier’s body, pin-sharp claws this close to his throat. Geralt whips his head around, sword up defensively, and Jaskier grimaces, trying to lean away from the claws at his neck. This is bad, definitely. He’s actually very good at not getting taken prisoner, for the record. It’s hardly ever happened, and only that first time with Geralt.

The elves were much less . . . pointy, too.

“Drop your sword, witcher,” the woman holding Jaskier croons, tightening her grip on him until his ribs creak.

“Absolutely do not drop your sword, Geralt,” he says, then grunts in pain as she squeezes the breath out of his lungs entirely.

“Hush, little boy,” she says. “The adults are talking now.”

Jaskier gives her an offended look. He’s nearly twenty, for fuck’s sake.

Rude.

“Let the human go,” Geralt says. “He’s not involved.”

“Oh?” The first woman turns fully around, revealing glittering, gore-drenched finery, and grins with a mouth full of fangs. “Then whatever is he doing out here with you, witcher? The one who killed our sisters?”

Geralt says nothing. The women laugh. They seem to like doing that. Jaskier tries to figure out if there’s a single damn thing he can do about this situation, but comes up empty. This isn’t his specialty, unfortunately.

“The sword, witcher,” the first woman says, practically a sing-song, and Geralt grits his teeth and drops it to the ground. Roach shifts restlessly beneath him, prancing nervously in place. Jaskier absolutely cannot believe Geralt was stupid enough to do that. “And the other one.”

The other sword hits the ground. Jaskier is going to have to have a long talk with this man about his suicidal tendencies after this, assuming either of them survives.

“Good boy,” the woman croons. Geralt’s lip curls. Jaskier would struggle or something, but he’d probably get his throat cut trying.

"Geralt, for fuck’s sake," he says, a bit breathless due to the restricted air flow and all. "Don't be stupid about things."

Geralt doesn't look at him.

"What do you want?" he asks the women, who bare their bloody teeth in savage smiles.

"What do you think witcher tastes like, Isadora?" the first one says.

"I don't know, Marina," the second says. "Let's find out."

She throws Jaskier aside uncaringly, and both women—both monsters—dive at Geralt and Roach. Jaskier hits the ground painfully, all the breath knocked out of him anew, and Roach rears back as the monsters’ claws score her flanks. Jaskier debates how helpful he can actually be for about half a second before deciding that “helpful” here is definitely going to translate to “staying the hell out of the way”. Geralt’s weapons are too close to Roach’s hooves for Jaskier to retrieve either of them, and even if they weren’t, he’s useless with a sword and couldn’t trust himself to throw one to Geralt either. “Out of the way” is definitely the better part of valor, here.

Besides, since when does Geralt need help dealing with monsters, anyway?

The fight is quick and brutal and messy, and Jaskier watches attentively just in case something particularly lyrical happens. The monsters knock Geralt off Roach’s back and slice him up fairly well, but on the ground he can reach his dropped weapons and well, after that it’s very obvious how things are going to end.

Not the cleverest monsters, perhaps, Jaskier thinks as Geralt runs them both through in turn. They scream very loudly before they die, enough so that Jaskier’s surprised not to be deafened, but they die all the same.

Geralt stands over the bodies, breathing heavily and with blood dripping off his silver sword. Jaskier comes over and catches Roach’s reins before she can wander off.

“Women,” he sighs, adjusting his lute’s strap over his shoulder.

“You could’ve died,” Geralt says in a strange tone, and Jaskier takes one look at him and realizes—oh, he’s going to have to do something about that, isn’t he.

.

.

.

Jaskier’s not magic or anything like that, of course, so the place that seems like the place to start is praying. The gods have generally been kind enough to him that at least one of them must like him, he figures. He'd definitely be dead by now otherwise.

Or worse, back home.

Ugh.

"What blessing do you seek from the gods, traveller?" the priestess of the temple he’s just walked into asks. "A cure? A boon? A quest?”

"Oh, I'm not really worried about any of those things," Jaskier says, flashing her a grin. "Just some temporary immortality will do."

". . . 'temporary'?" The priestess blinks at him.

"It only needs to last me as long as a specific friend of mine is going to be around," Jaskier explains. "I don't suppose there's a pre-written prayer for that kind of thing, is there?"

"That's . . . no," the priestess says. "Definitely not."

"Ah, well, I suppose I can write one myself," Jaskier says. "Do you suppose they'll mind if it rhymes?"

.

.

.

Jaskier spends some time writing his prayer. It seems the wisest thing to do, rather than rushing it. A god's not going to appreciate hasty work. Anyway, he's got the time to spend, so long as he manages to avoid any untimely deaths in the process. And he's survived this long, hasn't he?

Admittedly it took witcher-ly intervention once or twice, but all the same.

He writes the prayer, anyway, and then he goes around the continent singing it, because of course he does. It does quite well, actually, so far as his songs go. It doesn't really catch on with any other bards or anything like that, but it’s definitely appreciated by the crowds he sings it for.

He doesn't play it for Geralt, since that idea seems a bit silly. But otherwise, people like it.

He hasn’t seen Geralt in a while anyway.

He finishes playing for the night late in the evening in the latest tavern, and a girl in plain, sturdy clothes approaches him as he’s collecting coins off the floor.

"That was a pretty song," the girl observes.

"Thank you, I wrote it for a god," Jaskier says as he straightens back up. "Or goddess. Really whoever happens to have some investment in the fate of stupid witchers.”

"Witchers?" She tilts her head. "You're no witcher, boy."

"Oh no, definitely not," Jaskier agrees. She's gorgeous, so he decides not to mind the "boy" even though he's fairly certain that she's younger than him. Then again, who knows when one's going to meet a mage or a succubus or the like, so maybe not. "I know one that I need to avoid dying on, though. Just 'til he dies himself; you understand.”

"It was a love song, wasn't it?" the girl says.

"Of course," Jaskier replies easily.

"Hm," the girl muses. "I suppose we could make some sort of deal.”

"Sorry?" Jaskier blinks at her. She smiles.

"You are quite the charmer, aren't you," she says with a coy smile, stepping in close, and ah, there's a familiar script to follow.

"At your service," Jaskier says with a little bow, and she laughs.

"Yes," she says. "That sounds good to me."

.

.

.

Anyway that's how Jaskier sleeps with a goddess.

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.

"Ah," he realizes afterwards as they lay in bed together, the girl-goddess lightly toying with his hair.

"You really have been singing that song for quite a while, haven't you, Jaskier," she says with a smile. He's mildly grateful not to be called "Julian", because he's fairly certain she knows the name.

"Well, I figured I should put in the effort," he says. "Can't expect an answer to just any old prayer, can I?"

"It is a lovely one," the goddess muses, stroking his hair again. "Tell me, dear Jaskier, what do you have to offer in exchange for immortality?"

"Absolutely nothing," he says. "Aside from an elven lute and some pocket change, anyway. That's all I've got."

"Oh, you have some things," the goddess says. "Your youth. Your pretty eyes. Your lovely voice."

"That all sounds terribly inconvenient," Jaskier says frankly. "I have a witcher to keep up with. Immortality won't do me much good if I can't do that."

"Hm, true," she says. "That would rather defeat the purpose, wouldn't it."

"Rather, yes," Jaskier agrees.

“Hmmm,” the goddess says again, tugging lightly at his hair.

“Presumably there's something I could do?” Jaskier suggests.

"That would be fair," the goddess says. "Well. You do write such lovely songs, Jaskier. And you certainly have a silver tongue."

"I do," he agrees, not really seeing the point in playing modest with a goddess.

"Say my name, Jaskier," the goddess says. "Carry it across the continent on your silver tongue, wherever you go. As long as you do that, I'll let you live as long as your witcher lives."

"It would be my honor, my lady," Jaskier says, taking her hand to kiss the back of it. She laughs.

"Ah yes," Melitele says in amusement. "Ever the charmer."

.

.

.

"Melitele's tits!"

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.

Saying a goddess's name on occasion is hardly an imposition. Jaskier makes sure to include it in a few of his more oft-repeated songs, replaces all his usual curses with some variant of it, and every now and then goes to the local temple and says a prayer or two, just for politeness's sake.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Geralt says, giving him a strange look.

"It's a temple, Geralt," Jaskier says. "Give you two guesses."

Geralt frowns at him. Then the abbess comes up to them and starts talking about some missing girls, which overtakes the conversation rather neatly. Apparently Geralt’s in town for a reason. Jaskier’s just here to play a few taverns and scrounge up some coin, himself.

He follows Geralt out of the temple, of course. The taverns can wait for another night, and Melitele will forgive him the delayed prayer, he's sure. She knows his priorities by now.

"What's the plan?" he asks.

"Stay out of this, Jaskier," Geralt says, striding ahead. Jaskier hurries to catch up.

"Well, that's rude," he huffs. "Do you know what happened to the girls?"

"Jaskier—" Geralt starts in exasperation, but then someone calls out, "Witcher!"

The line of Geralt’s mouth sours, but he turns towards the voice. It's a bit difficult to tell if it was a condemnation or an address, so Jaskier eyes the man who spoke warily. The man comes up to them and starts talking about sheep, of all things, which are apparently being mutilated in the fields outside town. Geralt’s mouth sours further.

"With all due respect, there's missing girls for him to worry about," Jaskier says to the man. "Sheep seem secondary to that."

"How many sheep?" Geralt says. Alright, then, Jaskier apparently does not understand witcher priorities.

"Six already," the man says.

"Hn," Geralt says.

"I suppose that is a fair amount of sheep," Jaskier admits.

"We can't afford to lose any more!" the man says, wringing his hands. "Please, if you could just take a look—"

"Where?" Geralt asks, and the man sags in relief. Jaskier raises an eyebrow at Geralt, but Geralt ignores him and the man leads the way out of town. Jaskier is going to assume Geralt thinks this might be related to the missing girls, because generally speaking Geralt worries a lot less about livestock than people.

They spend the entire night in a muddy, miserable field. Jaskier spends most of it bored out of his mind, though eventually a monster does show up and then they stalk it, which Jaskier isn't very good at. Basically he just stays behind Geralt. That's usually the thing to do.

Geralt kills the beast. They don't find the girls, unfortunately.

Well, at least the sheep will live another night, Jaskier supposes.

.

.

.

At the market in the morning, looking for a bit of breakfast, Jaskier runs into Melitele again.

"Ah, Jaskier," she says, resting a hand on her swollen stomach. She's in her mother aspect this time, so she looks pregnant. Or . . . is? Jaskier’s never been entirely clear on how that one works; all he knows is that Melitele exists as maiden, mother, and crone. It's a goddess thing, he assumes. "How's your witcher?"

"Foolish and self-loathing," he says. "Also too heroic for his own damn good."

"Oh, still?" she says in amusement.

"Always," he says. "Sorry for skipping that prayer yesterday."

"Well, your witcher was there," she says, still looking amused. "I wasn't surprised to see your attention waver."

"I don't suppose you know where those girls are, do you?" he says, just while he has her ear. Seems like the thing to do and all.

"Have you been down to the river?" Melitele replies.

"Nowhere near it," Jaskier says. She smiles. "Thank you."

"Of course," she says. "Now perhaps the next time you say my name, you could avoid cursing it?"

"Yes, my lady," Jaskier says sheepishly.

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.

Jaskier mentions the river. Geralt gets a strange look on his face, then picks up his silver sword and heads straight for the river without even stopping to put on his armor. Jaskier jogs after him, idly watching him walk as he does. Specifically, watching his thighs shift and flex as he walks, because they are a masterpiece of nature.

They get to the river and Geralt walks right in. The water soaks his pants and shirt very distractingly, but he's only visible for a few moments before he disappears beneath the surface. Jaskier halfheartedly considers following, but his lute would never recover. He'd probably be a bit too close to the action for his taste, too.

"Hello there," a voice says behind him.

Dammit.

"Melitele's tits," Jaskier mutters, then turns around to look at the very, very handsome man standing behind him. His hair and clothes are wet, and his looks could give even Geralt a run for his money.

He's smiling, and his teeth are very sharp.

"Now what are you doing out here all alone, pretty boy?" the man says, smile widening. Jaskier debates yelling for Geralt but doubts the man could hear him now.

"I'm twenty, thank you very much," he says. "Hardly a boy."

"My apologies," the man says with obvious amusement, giving him a neat little bow and then holding out a graceful hand. Jaskier has never wanted to shake a hand less.

"No thank you," he says, folding his arms. "I like all my body parts attached."

The man laughs.

"Won't you sing for me, clever boy?" he says coaxingly, his voice sweetly seductive. Jaskier scowls at him. "They say you have a silver tongue."

"I only sing when I please, I'm afraid," Jaskier says. He briefly wonders if this is another god, but no, he doesn't think so. It's certainly not an aspect of Melitele, if nothing else. "Perhaps you'll catch me in the tavern later."

"Perhaps," the man says, then snaps a hand out and grabs his arm, squeezing it hard. Jaskier curses in pain, trying to jerk back, but his grip holds like iron.

Really, what has he done to keep getting grabbed like this?

"But perhaps not," the man says, grinning widely and leaning in close enough that Jaskier can count his needle-sharp teeth.

Jaskier curses again, trying to break free, and the man laughs.

"Oh, it's too late now, bard," he says. "You're stuck with me."

"Let go!" Jaskier snarls.

"Sing for me, pretty boy," the man croons, putting a finger under his jaw and tilting his head back. Jaskier tries to bite it. “Oh! Feisty, aren’t we?”

“Fuck off,” Jaskier says, kicking him in the knee and then cursing in pain—that felt like kicking a damn anvil, and so clearly didn’t even phase him.

Dammit.

“After you came all this way to see me?” the man says lightly, grabbing his face and turning it from side to side, as if he’s inspecting him or something. Again, his grip holds like iron. “Oh, no, I’d never be so inhospitable, my dear.”

“I don’t recall accepting any invitations,” Jaskier says, still struggling ineffectually to yank out of the other’s grip, and the man laughs.

“You’re a funny one, aren’t you,” he says, mouth curving into an amused smile. “I’ll tell your witcher that, when I’m eating him.”

“Bastard,” Jaskier hisses.

“Sing for me, my dear,” the man says, forcing him to tilt his head back with that iron grip. “I want to taste it when I rip out your throat.”

“Go to hell,” Jaskier says, and the man sighs.

“Shame,” he says, and then he rips out Jaskier’s throat.

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.

.

“Ow,” Jaskier wheezes. Melitele leans over him with a mild expression, gray and old and bent over a gnarled walking stick.

“How’s that immortality, boy?” she says. Jaskier looks up at the sky overhead, trying to figure out if he can actually get up. Chances seem slim.

He is in . . . so much pain.

“Oh, it’s peachy, my lady,” he rasps, blood bubbling in his throat. At least she’s held up her end of the deal, he supposes; can’t complain about that. “I assume Geralt’s not dead yet?”

“You’d have long since bled out if he were,” Melitele assures him.

“Well, that’s a good start,” Jaskier says, voice still barely better than a rasp. He lays a hand on his stomach and finds his clothes completely soaked in blood, then sighs. He doesn’t really want to know what his throat looks like. “This is going to take a while to heal, isn’t it.”

“Mmm, depends on your idea of ‘a while’, I suppose,” Melitele says. “You can talk, at least.”

“Oh, I suppose that’s not taking too long after all, then,” Jaskier says. He touches his throat gingerly and winces in pain, but it’s more intact than he was expecting. Definitely more intact than he remembers it feeling upon first getting ripped out.

It really does hurt, though.

“Don’t pick at it, boy,” Melitele says, rapping the bottom of her cane against his arm.

“I assure you, I am not,” Jaskier says, dropping his hand away from the wound anyway and very carefully pushing himself up into a sitting position. She’s definitely a mother, he thinks wryly. Melitele crouches down beside him, looking him over critically, then hums to herself.

“Shame about the doublet,” she says. “I always liked that one.”

“Me too,” Jaskier sighs. "I suppose I'll have to go change."

"Mm, seems likely," Melitele says, rapping him with her cane again. "Come on, get up, get going."

"Ow," Jaskier says reproachfully.

"You can't lie around dying all day," she says.

"I'm not even actually dying," Jaskier says.

"No, but your body's still trying to bleed out," Melitele says. "Go get a bandage."

"Yes, my lady," Jaskier says, and gets to his feet and dusts himself off, like there's a point with all the blood. Well, it's habit. "Can I walk you back to town? Or to the temple?"

"Won't be necessary," Melitele says. "I'm already there."

"Oh, well, alright then," Jaskier says. She shoos him along, and he heads back to town. Fortunately there aren't too many people out at this hour, so he manages to only traumatize the innkeeper and a maid. He goes upstairs and cleans up, and sighs to himself as he inspects the messy wound in his throat in the mirror. It definitely needs bandaged, so he bandages it, then gets dressed in less bloody clothes. He supposes it'll scar, from the look of it.

Well, he can start wearing high-collared shirts if he must.

The door opens and Geralt walks into the room covered in mud and blood and stares at him.

"Ah, there you are," Jaskier says. “Did you find the girls?”

"You're alive," Geralt says, strangely.

"Yes?" Jaskier blinks at him. "Did you think I wasn't?"

"He said . . ." Geralt trails off.

"Oh, the bastard at the river?" Jaskier realizes, touching his bandaged throat. "Yes, he did scratch me up a bit. Could've tried harder, really."

Geralt just stares at him. Jaskier’s grateful for his deal with Melitele. Geralt would've found his corpse on the shore otherwise, wouldn't he have, and that would've been unpleasant. Geralt sees enough dead people, he doesn't have to go and make it worse.

Well, that was sort of the point of this to begin with, wasn’t it.

"Oh, don't look at me like that, Geralt," Jaskier says. "I'm not about to go and die on you now."

Geralt doesn't say anything. Jaskier tilts his head.

"Geralt?" he says, and then gets slammed up against the dresser and kissed. "Oh!"

Geralt kisses very well, for the record. Like . . . very well.

Jaskier kisses him back, because he's not an idiot, and Geralt pins him roughly against the dresser and kisses him harder. One of the drawer knobs digs painfully into the small of Jaskier’s back and mud and blood gets all over his clean clothes. He does not care in the slightest.

"Geralt," he manages breathlessly, and Geralt puts his hands under his thighs and lifts him up to set him on top of the dresser. Jaskier wraps his legs around his waist and cups his face in his hands as he kisses him again. Geralt bites him, delightfully, so Jaskier bites back.

"Jaskier," Geralt mutters, digging his fingers into his thighs and kissing him again and again. Jaskier tightens his grip on him in return and lets himself be overwhelmed by it. Geralt is . . . definitely overwhelming.

If he'd known he'd get kissed like this just for having a near-death experience . . . well, he probably still would've tried to avoid it because it really had hurt, but he would've minded it less.

"Fuck," Jaskier breathes as Geralt bites across his jaw and drags his big strong hands up his thighs and over his hips, smearing more mud and blood all over his clothes. Again, Jaskier does not care. It's going to be a bitch to clean later, but that's Future Jaskier’s problem.

Geralt growls. He hooks his fingers in his waistband and tugs, and Jaskier lifts his hips reflexively. Geralt strips his pants off him, throwing them aside, and then grabs his doublet and gives it the same treatment.

"Bandages!" Jaskier says with a quick wince. "Watch the bandages!"

Geralt growls again and shoves his hands under his shirt and rucks it up. His eyes flash in a way that makes Jaskier’s stomach do a flip and his hands push heavily up Jaskier’s sides. Jaskier squirms under the treatment. Geralt kisses him again and Jaskier moans. Geralt finds his nipples and pinches them; he moans again.

"Goddess, Geralt," he pants. Geralt kisses harder and pinches tighter and Jaskier scrabbles at his back. "More, more, come on—"

Geralt bites his mouth and wraps a hand around his cock, and all the air gets knocked out of Jaskier’s lungs. There's something he should say or do, but fuck if he can concentrate well enough to figure it out. He clings to Geralt and gets kissed so hard he's sure his mouth will bruise, and Geralt strokes his cock with a brutal, vise-tight grip that sends painful shudders up his spine.

"Geralt," he tries, but Geralt just kisses him harder and strokes his cock harder and keeps overwhelming him. "Geralt, I'm gonna—I'm gonna—"

Geralt pushes his weapon-calloused thumb over the head of Jaskier’s cock and squeezes his shaft. Jaskier chokes and comes all over his hand in messy spurts, shuddering helplessly as Geralt strokes him through it.

Yes, that was definitely worth bargaining with a goddess to experience.

Geralt kisses him again and Jaskier melts into it. He'll return the favor in a moment, when his body doesn't feel quite so much like jelly. He's looking forward to returning the favor, in fact.

Then Geralt’s come-slick fingers unwrap from around his cock and drop down to press back behind his balls and Jaskier realizes Geralt already knows what he wants and, well . . . who is he to deny him?

Besides, getting fucked can't be that hard.

"Geralt," he starts, meaning to mention the fact that he has no idea how to do this, but then Geralt drags the slick pad of his thumb across his hole and oh but that's distracting. "Nhn!"

Geralt works a thick finger inside him and Jaskier clings to him, panting. That. That's a new feeling. Geralt curls his finger and Jaskier makes a really undignified noise at the way it feels. Geralt kisses his jaw and cheekbone and presses in another finger, which feels a lot bigger than just one did. Jaskier feels dizzy.

Geralt fucks his fingers into him, and then he really feels dizzy.

Well, Geralt seems to know what he's doing. Jaskier doesn't really have to worry about not having done it before.

Geralt keeps kissing him, keeps fingering him, keeps overwhelming him, and Jaskier internally thanks Melitele and does his damnedest to keep up with the man. It's not easy, but the effort is more than worth it.

"Fuck," he groans senselessly, and Geralt works another finger inside him. The stretch is unfamiliar and strange and burns a bit, but not in a bad way. Geralt so very clearly knows how to make it feel good, and Jaskier is so very willing to take advantage of that fact and turn over the reins.

It's Geralt, after all, not some stranger or dubiously trustworthy acquaintance. That's safe to do.

"Jaskier," Geralt grunts, low and dirty, and Jaskier shudders. "All good?"

"All good," Jaskier manages, because he can barely breathe but he can't imagine being anything else. Geralt kisses him again and rocks his fingers deeper into him. Jaskier moans, kissing back and digging his fingers into his hair. "Geralt!"

Geralt takes his fingers out of him and Jaskier hisses. Geralt tugs the front of his pants open and Jaskier gets a look at his erection and squirms. It is . . . it's big. Big and gorgeous and tempting. He wants to touch it, stroke it, suck it, but—well, Geralt clearly already has a goal in mind and Jaskier is very, very willing to help him achieve said goal.

Geralt spits into his hand and slicks up his cock with it. Jaskier spreads his thighs a little wider, skin tingling with nervous anticipation. Geralt kisses him again, his mouth hungry and intense, and Jaskier wraps his arms around his neck and holds onto him.

"Geralt," he mumbles between kisses, and then the head of Geralt’s cock is rubbing against him and then the head of Geralt’s cock is pushing inside him and oh, oh, oh

Jaskier moans much louder than he means to and Geralt thrusts shallowly inside him. It's . . . a lot. It's so much.

"Fuck," Jaskier wheezes, all the breath knocked out of him as he clings to the other's shoulders. Geralt keeps thrusting, rock-steady and metronome-perfect. Jaskier curses hoarsely, dropping his forehead against the other's shoulder and trying to move back into him. It feels . . . fuck, it's so much.

"Jaskier," Geralt murmurs. Jaskier shudders again.

"Is it good?" he asks tentatively, biting his lip. Geralt puts his hands on his hips and snaps his own in deeper, and Jaskier chokes. He's so big. "Fuck!"

"Jaskier," Geralt repeats in a rasp, fucking him harder. The dresser is shaking a bit. Jaskier clings tighter to him, struggling to breathe. Geralt wraps a hand around his cock again and strokes roughly, and Jaskier practically keens. Geralt keeps fucking him metronome-perfect and Jaskier gasps and curses and aches. It's not quite slick enough, a little too tight a fit, but he doesn't really care about either of those things. Geralt’s still touching him, Geralt’s still in this close against him, Geralt’s still here. Jaskier would be fine with anything, it feels like, so long as it was Geralt doing it.

That's maybe not the healthiest thought he's ever had, but he doesn't care about that either.

Geralt keeps stroking his cock, keeps fucking him, and Jaskier curses and moans and claws at his back. He feels like he’s doing this wrong, but Geralt doesn’t seem to care.

"Geralt, Geralt, Geralt!" he gasps out, and Geralt leans into him heavily and thrusts deeper and presses a kiss against the arch of his cheekbone, and that, embarrassingly, is the last little thing that tips Jaskier over the edge and has him coming into the other's fist with a shocky little cry. That little instant of intimacy is the sweetest, best thing he could've imagined.

Yes, the deal with Melitele was definitely worth it.

Geralt grips his hips tightly and thrusts into him a few more times, and Jaskier makes some noises he's never made in his life, and Geralt bites them out of his mouth and comes inside him. Jaskier claws at his back again, hands fisting in his wreck of a shirt. Geralt pulls back from him, breathing heavily, and they're both covered in mud and blood and come, and it's pretty much exactly what Jaskier would've expected from this, if he'd ever expected Geralt to actually do this at all.

It's a bit disgusting, actually, but Jaskier’s willing to forgive that.

"Well, I should get scratched up more often," he says with breathless levity, and Geralt’s face twists.

"Don't," he says.

"Alright," Jaskier says, feeling his own expression soften in response. Geralt’s doesn't smooth out, but the tension in his shoulders eases slightly.

"Good," he says.

Jaskier leans forward and kisses him again. Geralt kisses back.

It's all very, very worth it.

.

.

.

Jaskier checks under the bandage in the morning, after Geralt’s gone to take care of Roach, and is mildly surprised by the lack of scarring. Well, that was thoughtful of Melitele, he thinks to himself.

He leaves the bandage be for the time being, figuring he'd rather not explain to the poor innkeeper and that unlucky maid. They were really upset enough without having to worry about dealing with the effects of magical healing.

He definitely does need to go make that prayer today, though.

Geralt comes back from the stable, closes the door, and kisses him again. He pushes him into the wall and puts those big strong hands all over him.

. . . well, Jaskier can put that prayer off just a little bit longer.

.

.

.

"You look pleased," Melitele says, kneeling beside Jaskier in the temple that afternoon. She looks like the girl he first met again.

"Blissfully," he replies blissfully. "How are you, my lady?"

"Oh, well enough," she says. "Not quite blissful, but well enough. And not quite as sore as you."

"Worth it," he says. He has bruises. They're delightful.

"I'd imagine," she says, clearly amused.

"I'm going to write you a new song," Jaskier decides. "Something a bit more flashy."

"Oh?" Melitele says, still amused. "I'm not all that flashy, myself."

"People like flashy," Jaskier says. She laughs.

"Ah, true," she says. "Will it be pretty, Jaskier? I do like a pretty song."

"As pretty as my talents can make it, my lady," Jaskier replies, inclining his head to her. She smiles.

"You're one of my odder priests, Jaskier, but you do do your work well," she says.

"Well, I do my best," he says.

.

.

.

Geralt’s leaving town, and Jaskier’s intending to follow him. Geralt will probably act like he’s being a nuisance, but given the latest developments in their relationship Jaskier really isn’t going to be bothered by the treatment. Not that he ever has been, really. He’s never minded Geralt pretending to be the heartless sort, since for one thing it’s understandable and for another he’s just so very terrible at it.

Anyway, he’s got Melitele’s name to spread, so it doesn’t do to be sticking around in one place for too long.

“Don’t follow me,” Geralt says, guiding Roach towards the road.

“If you want me not to follow you, you should stop leaving me behind,” Jaskier says reasonably, obviously following him. Geralt glowers down at him.

“You’re going to get yourself killed one of these days,” he says.

“Ah, but not today,” Jaskier replies easily, and strums his lute as he walks. He does have a song to get started on, after all.

“I mean it,” Geralt says.

“Don’t worry about it, Geralt,” Jaskier says. “It’ll take more than getting killed to get rid of me.”

“Hn,” Geralt says, and Jaskier keeps following him.

Geralt keeps Roach at a walk, easy to keep up with, and Jaskier smiles.

Yes, he definitely made the right deal.