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Freedom in the Dark

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He had been warned that the night would be dark, and long.

He had not been warned that it would be like this.

The sly smile and the suggestion that he remain with Geralt now make disquieting sense. The potions and the spells have done their work, and then more besides. Geralt, having slumbered for so long, is now awake, his breathing laboured, his movements fevered. He is more a wild thing upon waking than Eskel has seen him before, frantic and writhing as he tears off the blankets.

“Hey,” Eskel tries to soothe, and Geralt casts about for the source of his voice, his eyes wide. They are more pupil than iris, the candlelight reflected in a thin ring of gold. “You’re safe. It’s okay.”

Geralt’s attention catches on Eskel, his movements stilling but his elevated heart rate and breathing remaining. He tenses when Eskel leans forward to press a hand to his shoulder, making Eskel hesitate in his action.

“Are you hurting?”

Geralt’s gaze slips away, and he shakes his head roughly. He is trembling, Eskel realises, his fingers gripping tightly at the blanket. He holds it close, as a shield.

“Can I get you anything?”

Geralt licks his lips, his voice cracked. “Water.”

Eskel leaves his bedside, filling a cup from the pitcher and turning back to find Geralt wearing a tight, pained expression. “What is it?” Eskel tries to coax from him as he settles on the stool by the bedside.

Geralt says nothing as he hastily claims the cup, some of the water splashing onto the blanket.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

Geralt should know better than to lie. He should know that Eskel knows him too well not to notice when it happens, rare as it is. Eskel cannot understand why Geralt would lie to him now. It seems out of place. In spite of the reassurances he had been given that the potion and spell had taken hold well and were working as intended, something seems wrong.

He rises, loathe to leave Geralt but in need of answers.

“Where are you going?” Geralt demands, sounding frantic, raw with something that does not belong within him.

“There might be something more that can ease your discomfort.”

“No,” Geralt breathes, panting as if to catch his breath. He stares, wide-eyed and with pupils blown, at Eskel. “Don’t… don’t leave me.”

Concern weighs heavily on Eskel as he returns to Geralt’s bedside, sinking back into his seat. He watches Geralt, the labour of his breathing and racing of his heart unnatural, worrying.

“I must go get—”

“—No!”

Eskel gives a steady, measured breath, at odds with the way Geralt struggles to hold himself still. He seems struck by fever, even though his body will neither flush nor easily break into a sweat. “How can I help you, then?”

A tight, peculiar sound escapes Geralt’s throat, pitched like a whine, and Eskel watches, perplexed, as Geralt turns away. “It’ll pass.”

What will pass, Eskel wonders, sure that there is no way Geralt has gone through this before. “Wolf…” he says softly, barely loud enough for a Witcher to hear, and Geralt responds with what sounds like a whimper.

Eskel falls silent. He listens to the sounds of Geralt’s discomfort, unnerved by it, by the racing of his heart and the stilted rhythm of his breathing. Geralt is not still. He shifts and squirms, as if unable to settle. Something is wrong, something Eskel cannot handle because he has no idea what it i—

Beneath it all, there has been, all along, the subtle, warm scent of arousal. Eskel thought nothing of it. There is no significance in a man waking with a hard cock. He realises now that, for Geralt, it has persisted. More than that, the scent of arousal has become stronger, rich with the tang of precome. Geralt’s discomfort makes a little more sense, but, still, Eskel has no idea why it would be affecting him this badly, not unless...

“I ought to find you something to eat,” he excuses, standing up more quickly than intended.

“No,” Geralt insists again. “No.”

The thought, the realisation of what is happening, has done to him something Eskel wishes he could ignore. His long-tempered desire is now as frantic as Geralt appears to be, his own body reacting with unrestrained longing he thought he had long ago learnt to control.

“I can’t stay.”

“Why not?” Geralt pleads to know, his gaze fixed on Eskel. “Why?”

Eskel pauses a moment to steady himself, swallowing back desire. “You’re an omega, aren’t you?”

Geralt does not deny it. He shifts, squirming beneath the blanket. Eskel can barely look at him for the aching of his heart. All the years, the lifetime they have known each other, and he never knew this. He should have. He ought to have realised that Geralt was as rare and beautiful in this as he is in all things.

The mutations strip away presentations. There are only ‘alpha’ Witchers by virtue of bodily mechanics that cannot be undone once puberty begins; betas lose their advantages too. There are no hormonal fluctuations, no scents, no cycles, no heats, no ruts. All Witchers are rendered infertile, castrated in all but their ability to perform the act.

Eskel has never heard of an omega Witcher before. Male omegas are uncommon, often prized or vilified for their rarity, desired for their novelty or scorned for their uselessness. It stands to reason that omega Witchers are rarer still. He assumed Geralt was a beta. To think that he was an omega, undergoing mutations before his first heat, makes Eskel wonder for a moment what could have been if they had ever been more than just friends trying to survive the Trials.

“And you,” Geralt replies, pulling Eskel from his thoughts, “are an alpha.”

Eskel snorts without thinking. “Was.”

“Your cock still works.”

It is halfway between a question and a statement, and Eskel wavers, everything becoming surreal. “Are you asking me to…?”

Geralt groans. “Please?”

"Isn't there someone else…?"

"No." Geralt's tone is firm. "I want you."

“Just this once?” Eskel wonders, almost as breathless as Geralt.

“Once, twice, a thousand times, I don’t care, just fuck me.”

“Okay,” Eskel breathes, glancing away from Geralt and towards the items left in the room. “Okay.”

There is oil, and salve. He takes both, and then returns to the bed, finding himself pulled down before he can think. His senses feel both heightened and dulled, focused on Geralt’s need to the point of distraction. His own cock swells to full hardness, his body trembling for a moment as Geralt kisses him. It is unexpected, unintentionally clumsy, and he tries to pull away to try again, only to find that Geralt will not let him go.

“Want you,” Geralt murmurs, shifting the blanket and his own clothes out of the way before making rushed work of Eskel's. “Fucking want you.”

“Fuck me?” Eskel pleads, groaning as he wraps a hand around their cocks and feels the hot weight of Geralt against him. “If you w—”

Geralt kisses him hard, with bruising force. His hands are insistent, demanding, as his fingers push between Eskel’s thighs. Oil drips messily between them, Geralt’s pace uncoordinated as he shoves two digits into Eskel’s body. It’s rough, making him gasp and cry out, but there is no other way he would have it. Geralt is near frantic with a need Eskel has never known, and yet his own body is beginning to reflect it back, to mirror Geralt.

It takes too long for Geralt to work a third digit into him, fingering him until Eskel is bucking his hips, needing more. He shoves Geralt’s hand away, biting into the kiss as Geralt lines up. The push of Geralt’s cock inside him is like heaven. The stretch and burn of it, the deep groan Geralt gives, is something Eskel has desired nearly all his life but has never found, because all those who have shared his bed were not the man he wanted. He has him now, has Geralt fucking into him, competing him with each driving thrust, and Eskel pushes him away, pushes him off, so that he can turn over and present himself. Geralt curses, taking his place, fingers biting into Eskel’s flesh as he fucks back into him. The angle is different, making him gasp, and Eskel squeezes his eyes shut as he feels it all, hungry for every little detail, every twitch of Geralt’s cock, every hitch in his breathing. His world is nothing more than the heaven of Geralt fucking him, working himself closer to completion with each moment that passes.

When Geralt comes, it’s near silent, his hips faltering as he spills within Eskel, his breath catching in his throat. There is a scent of salt that is more than just come, and Eskel turns to realise that Geralt’s eyes are damp.

“Knot me.”

He can hear as well as see and taste Geralt’s frustration. There is impatience as Eskel works him open, his own heart beating too fast, and Geralt’s faster still. There is no question of stopping now, no turning back from the need they both share. The candle gutters and dies, pitching them into darkness that cannot conceal the beauty of Geralt’s skin, the pure white of his hair or the hungry weight in his gaze. Eskel switches his fingers for his cock, dripping with oil as he lines up, and with the soft, shuddering exhale Geralt makes as he eases in he feels like he’s taken his first breath.

There is no space for gentleness. Geralt’s hunger demands satisfaction, and his nails bite into Eskel’s skin, scratching and clawing with desperation. Sounds almost like sobs fall from Geralt’s lips, whimpers that Eskel realises are his own making a ruined melody as they move together. On his back, Geralt is spread for Eskel, perfect in every way, every touch, every kiss. His cock twitches, hard and insistent between them, and Eskel kisses Geralt, their heartbeats almost aligned.

“Almost… I’m gonna knot you if I don’t—”

Geralt arches up, biting into the kiss. His touch cuts into Eskel’s back and ass, his thighs clamping down tight, holding Eskel close.

Eskel starts to come with a messy groan, his knot swelling and locking them together. The first spill of his release leaves him blinded with white hot relief, clinging to Geralt through it. He feels the trickle of something warm at his back beneath Geralt’s fingertips just as Geralt tenses around him, the next load milked from him. His own hand slips between their bodies, shakily wrapping around Geralt’s cock, jerking him off. It takes so little to get him there, to feel him climax and spill his load between them, his breathing ragged, his kiss gasping.

Eskel rocks into him, barely thinking, only able to feel. He feels as if he is in a haze, safe and warm, embraced by the darkness, freed from a longing that bound him so completely he had no idea he was a prisoner. Geralt kisses him again, his breathing softer, sweeter, and his arms wrap around Eskel, holding him close.

They remain like that, embracing, Eskel’s knot tying them together until Geralt starts to shift again, needing satisfaction Eskel is only too happy to give. He comes again without his knot going down, Geralt riding him until they are both spent. Their kisses are lazier, gentle touches and shared breaths. As they settle down to rest, Eskel realises their heartbeats are as one, gently beating between them.

The remainder of the long, dark night is ahead of them. They will see it through together, until morning breaks and first light reveals Geralt sleeping peacefully in Eskel’s arms. His own body is littered with scratches, blood dried and crusted on the deepest ones. He pauses to consider them, to remember, to commit to memory the wonderful thing that happened.

When Geralt eventually wakes again, he is himself. There is no frantic need, no unsteady longing. He looks over at Eskel, gaze calm and steady. His hand only trembles once as he reaches out, becoming confident and sure when Eskel answers the gesture with a smile.

In the back of his mind, he wonders if there is a life they could have lived together, as alpha and omega, as mates. He wonders, and then welcomes the life they can live together now, as Witchers.