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Exciting Times

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Some of the best stories started with a kidnapping. At least, that's what Jaskier had assured himself for the fifth time as he lay, strapped to what he assumed was someone's dining room table, blindfolded and gagged.

Granted, he wasn't exactly sure how he got himself into this mess. He vaguely remembered finishing a set at the usual pub in Oxenfurt, having a few drinks with some beautiful ladies, then nothing.

He still had his pants and boots on, but he could feel the cool air on his chest, making him shiver.

Clearly this was one of two things- kidnapping, or a kinky night gone wrong and they'd forgotten to let him go.

He tested his bonds again, trying to kick a leg to no avail- only causing his knee to ache. He tongued around the gag, coughing at the acrid taste of whatever had been on the fabric they'd wadded up.

He let out a yell, muffled by the gag, and banged his head back on the table. Maybe, the lovely women would realise their mistake as they, too, awoke from their hungover naps, and would untie him. He hoped someone did before he gave himself brain damage.

Silence.

"Fuck!" Jaskier yelled into the gag.

Now, he started to worry. If this was a kidnapping, what did they want him for? Money? Sacrificial reasons? If it was money, well. He was bound to disappoint as he was fairly sure he had maybe enough in his bank account to afford a singular shoe.

Sacrificial, however. Now that would be a story to tell, if he survived. He could imagine it now; sitting atop a bar, regaling an enthralled crowd with a tale of how a handsome bard was whisked away by ne'er-do-wells, intent on stealing his virginity and sacrificing him to some sexy goddess.

He was startled from his thoughts of how he was going to describe the buxom goddess and how she tried to rip his organs out, sexily, by a loud crash outside the room, followed by chanting.

Then, everything was quiet once more. He was 70% sure he'd pissed himself.

Jaskier struggled against his bonds again, yelling around the fabric until he gagged, turning his head to the side. This was either his dear rescue party, his dearest sweetest Witcher, or his kidnapper. If it were the latter, well. He was ready to at least attempt to kick someone in the head before they yanked his guts out to be thrown on an altar.

But, he couldn't help but feel his heart speed up at the idea of possibly seeing Geralt again. It had been weeks, but a man could hope, couldn't he?

The bard screwed his eyes up behind the blindfold, humming to calm himself down as the door slammed open, making him squeal. Wonderful, very attractive. What a great damsel in distress he was.

Then, his bonds slackened. Without hesitation, he sat bolt upright, scrambling to rip the gag and blindfold off, blinking as his eyes readjusted to the candlelit room.

He sat upon a dining table, as he had suspected, surrounded by candles and statuettes dedicated to some god he didn't recognise. And there in the doorway stood a figure, watching him. He rubbed his wrists as he stared back, grinning slowly as the figure entered the room with the grace of smoke.

"Yennefer, fancy meeting you here!" Jaskier piped up jovially, as if he hadn't been strapped to a table for hours, "Have you seen my shirt?"

Yennefer, dressed in what he could only describe as a absolutely dazzling black dress that left little to the imagination with the way it hugged her figure, glanced him over as she began rummaging through the room.

"Next room. Can I ask why you were hanging around cultists?" She smiled a little at the blank look he gave her in response, "Ah. Poor thing. They were planning on sacrificing you to a fertility god, if that helps your ego."

Jaskier wanted to vomit. He hopped off the table, taking one of the small phallic statuettes from one of the shelves as he moved into the next room to retrieve his shirt, covering his mouth and nose when the pungent stench of viscera hit him.

He didn't dare look too long at what had become of the 3 cultists, now decorating the small flat. He glanced out the window as he put his shirt back on, noting it was already night. Great.

When he wandered back into the altar room, Yennefer had settled against the table, flicking through a rather large tome she had hauled off the floor. She chewed on a nail as she flicked through the pages, lost in her own world as Jaskier peered over her shoulder. To be honest? He couldn't read a lick of it.

"Wow. That looks, uh....- Wait, you didn't come to rescue me. Frankly, my dear, I'm offended that you value a book over my-"

She cut him off with a look, slamming the book shut as she turned on him. Purple eyes ablaze, hair a mess, Jaskier would have been very aroused if he wasn't so damn terrified of the energy she exuded in that moment. Scared and aroused, maybe he could multitask.

"Yes. To be honest, I had no clue you were here. I was nearby for a ball, awful stuff- even you would have been bored, and it so happened that something I thought I needed- this book- was in the area."

"Fuck me, you really are terrifyingly beautiful when you're angry."

She smouldered. Jaskier raised his hands defensively, before gesturing for her to continue.

Yennefer sighed, tucking her hair behind her ear as she closed her eyes briefly.

"... you have as much of a right to know as anyone. Geralt's gone."

Chapter Text

"Gone? Are you absolutely sure he hasn't just, I don't know, ran off to Skellige for a holiday?"

Jaskier was in denial, plain and simple. Geralt didn't generally do holidays; even weekends away from work bothered him. Even with Jaskier there to distract him from his worries.

Yennefer gestured for him to move into the next room, he complied. She followed, hauling the heavy book with her. "I'm very sure. I was planning to meet him a fortnight ago, and when he didn't show up, I started looking for him."

She sat herself down on one of the few chairs not covered in gore or broken, resuming her flicking through the book. Jaskier stood in the middle of the room, hesitating.

"You don't think he's dead, do you?" He asked after a moment. He really hoped not. He always hated composing songs for funerals, even if they were grand epic pieces, detailing how the brave warrior was eventually bested by his greatest foe; an unhealthy amount of narcotics and alcohol.

Yennefer hummed her response, shaking her head slightly. "I'd have found a body, or at least signs pointing to that. A trace, if you will. Would you mind keeping an eye on the hallway?"

The bard didn't like the sound of that one bit. Geralt was gone without a trace, which meant either he really didn't want to be found or something fucking weird was going on. He went to the door, opening it a crack so he could stare out into the empty hallway for five seconds before turning back to the mage.

"What about the Princess?"

Last he had heard, Geralt had been making his way to pick up his charge, a task the witcher had grumbled about the last night he had spent with Jaskier.

"I hope she isn't a brat. I already have one of those in my life." He had said.

He closed his eyes, thinking about that last night and treasuring it. It took Yennefer clearing her throat for him to snap out of his reverie.

"As I was saying, before you got lost in your fantasies," there wasn't any harshness to her tone, but perhaps it was the knowledge that she could and probably had read his mind that made him wince. She continued after a pause, watching his face, "Cirilla went missing around the time Geralt did. But, she has supposedly been seen, here and there."

Jaskier made a broad gesture. "What are we fucking around here for then? We have our suspect, we should go-"

"And kidnap a Princess? Sure, except this is real life, not a song. In our waking lives, sometimes Princesses aren't damn damsels in distress and are the ones causing the problems in the first place." Yennefer chastised, "You're more than welcome to go after her, but I'm not entirely sure he's with her anymore. Or that she knows where he is."

For once, he's speechless. He chews his bottom lip and looks back out into the hallway. Empty. It's all a lot to unpack and he's not sure where to begin beyond Geralt being gone and his charge possibly being some harbinger of doom.

Maybe it was time for him to begin composing Geralt's final song.

Yennefer continues her search, almost at her wits end when she comes across a peculiar page. It's carefully folded, tucked in between two pages discussing the use of fresh semen in offerings. She plucks it out, and so as to not rip it, slowly unfolds the piece of paper. She almost drops it, breathing a sigh of relief.

"Lock the door, come here."

Jaskier looks back at her, frowning. He looks to the eviscerated corpses, then at her again. "... can I ask why? I'm not about to be sacrificed am I? To be honest, one attempt a week is enough for me."

She shakes her head, leaning forward to pull a small coffee table closer to her, placing the paper on top of it. "I just need you to be in the room. This… should help me reach Geralt. If he is alive, in this earthly realm. If it doesn't..."

He doesn't want to think about what she's implying.

"You're awfully trusting of a book that was in the hands of cultists ." He points out. So, with a sigh, Yennefer stands and beckons for him to come closer. Jaskier decides this is very unfair. He's never been able to resist a pretty woman staring at him with that look in her eyes.

When he's within reaching distance, she reaches out and takes his hand. "Trust me. Just this once, for Geralt's sake."

He swallows, nods, and takes a seat on the floor beside her chair. She knows him all too well, and knows how to twist him around her finger.

The sorceress removes a small blade from where she had been concealing it on her thigh, and sits down again. Meticulously, she reads the page over once more, mouthing the words before she cuts her finger, just enough to draw blood. Then she closes her eyes, painting simple symbols across her eyes, mouth and throat, beginning to chant.

Its happening so fast that Jaskier barely has enough time to cover his ears when she screams, let alone enough to yank the blade away before she can begin the ritual in the first place.

Her screams cut off as soon as they began. Yennefer's eyes roll back into her head and the slim blade falls with a clatter to the floor.

Taking a moment to make doubly sure that Yennefer isn't about to wake up and rip his face off or something of the sort, Jaskier moves closer. Tentatively, he takes her hand, watching her lips move as if she were still chanting but with no sound coming out.

"Please don't be possessed."

He wonders, not for the first time that night, what he had gotten himself into.

~~~

"She will be the end of all that you love. She will save all that you love."

"Geralt!"

Geralt woke with a start. He reached out, feeling cold moss under his fingers. The witcher inhaled, focusing around him as he tensed, ready to fight. The forest was almost silent around him, though he could hear birdsong and a waterfall in the distance. He frowned as he sat up slowly, sure that he had just heard a voice he often found himself missing.

"Yen?"