It takes Geralt longer than he cares to admit to notice.
Well - maybe “notice” is the wrong word. He’s noticed .
He just fails to connect the dots for an embarrassingly long amount of time. And of course, it’s Yennefer, who is always observing, always thinking, always five and ten and fifty steps ahead of everyone around her, who puts two and two together.
And her violet eyes are shrewd and narrowed as she watches Jaskier from across the expansive quarters of some lordling’s estate - one she’s put under her spell, compelled to do her bidding - watches Jaskier strum his trusty lute, humming a tune; watches with undeniable fondness the way Ciri curls into the bard, tucking her head as close to his chest as she can without disturbing his arms, her eyes fluttering shut, an utterly pleased smile on her face as Jaskier continues his little lullaby.
And you’re still so young
Still so innocent
But when you speak
There is greatness on your tongue
There is no distance you won’t overcome
No setback or defeat you won’t come from
And I’ll be standing
Right there beside you
Watching and cheering
Because I love you
Jaskier’s voice is soft and sweet near Ciri’s ear, and she’s fully asleep now in the crook of the bard’s embrace.
And Yennefer’s violet eyes are shrewd and narrowed because even in the dim candlelight, she sees it clear as day.
Jaskier is glowing.
Properly, unmistakably glowing . His entire body is surrounded by a faint but very present ethereal white light, and his smile is hopelessly fond, ocean eyes bright and adoring as he continues singing Geralt’s Child Surprise to sleep.
And Yennefer’s mind is running wild with thoughts of love and glowing and what glows when it loves when -
Everything slots into place all at once, like the final pieces of a puzzle.
“Did you know?” she asks Geralt in the courtyard the next day, her tone conversational, as the witcher fastens Roach’s harness, ready to depart on yet another monster hunt. A banshee this time, terrorizing a nearby village. “That Jaskier is a star.”
Geralt pauses, turning to fix the sorceress with a look that is half-wry, half-amused. “I had no idea you were such an admirer of his singing, Yen,” he replies dryly.
“A star you insufferable Witcher,” she snaps. “Immortal beings that reside in the Heavens and occasionally fall to Earth, assuming human form? Or did you miss that lesson during your witcher training?”
An expression of what can only be surprise crosses the Witcher’s typically stoic and stern face, but it’s gone in a flash, and Yennefer would have been left to wonder if she’d dreamt it, save for the briefest flickers lurking in the gold irises. “There hasn’t been a fallen star in centuries.”
“That we know of. Stars used to be murdered because eating their heart supposedly granted everlasting youth. Maybe they grew more careful.”
“Yen - ”
“He glows, Geralt,” Yennefer interrupts, voice quiet and serious. “Or have you not noticed?”
Geralt starts, eyebrows furrowing as he considers. His lips press into a thin line.
He just, well, he hadn’t pieced it all together . He needed Yennefer, who is always five and ten and fifty steps ahead, to force his eyes open to what he’s thought to be improbable, impossible.
And he doesn’t very well know what to do with this information - if there’s anything he should do. Because Jaskier - Jaskier, who is always talking, always saying too much, always revealing and confiding - hasn’t mentioned it, not even once.
Which is incredibly unlike him.
But Geralt is so deeply intrigued. Can’t help but wonder why.
And so he starts to mess with the bard almost (“mess” might be the wrong word. Geralt is a Witcher first and foremost, always striving to keep his knowledge of mythical and magical creatures as up-to-date as he can. Geralt experiments ). Tries to figure out exactly what makes the starlight under Jaskier’s skin come through.
It becomes a bit of an obsession while they’re on the road, going back and forth between Ciri’s training in Kaer Morhen and monster hunts. But Geralt feels possessed, addicted, unable to stop.
Jaskier doesn’t shine after a particularly good meal.
Or when his singing is received with loud cheers.
Or when he’s offered the chance to sleep on a plush, soft bed instead of the hard, unforgiving ground.
But Jaskier does shine when -
Geralt draws him a warm bath.
When Ciri throws her arms around his waist and hugs him tight.
When Geralt watches him sing with a small, barely-there smile.
When someone plays with his hair; kneads his neck.
When Geralt gently tends to a wound on his hip, focused and guilt-ridden, because he’d just looked away for one second when the kikimora struck the bard.
And Geralt notices, notices that the bard seems more likely to shine when the Witcher has his undivided attention.
It’s both disarming and intoxicating to have the power and know it.
Because, see, it’s been established that Geralt is a bit obsessed, a bit enthralled . And he’s drunk with the heady knowledge that one well-placed look or touch and Jaskier will shine with starlight.
And they’re in an inn in a small town one day, just the two of them, Ciri temporarily away with Yennefer to learn control of her magic, when it all comes to a head. They’re both fairly drunk, and Geralt is unabashedly enjoying the flush of red on Jaskier’s cheeks, at the base of his neck, and quickly spreading onto his finely haired chest.
It’s his significantly lowered inhibitions that push Geralt over the edge he’s been toeing for a while now, and they’re both laughing and stumbling a little as they make their way into the room they’re renting for the night when -
Geralt crowds Jaskier up against the door, caging him in, and there’s an absurd rush of pride welling within his chest when Jaskier - heart thrumming wildly - starts to glow.
He takes a hand to wisp a lock of brown hair away from blue, blue eyes and the bard lets out a deliciously breath gasp.
And glows even brighter.
The Witcher’s mouth curls. He presses even closer to Jaskier.
“I know,” Geralt breathes, so close to the bard’s lips, “that you’re a star.”
Jaskier visibly swallows, his eyes huge and blinking and wide. “You do?”
And Geralt’s grin is wide as he says, “You’re glowing right now.”
Emboldened (by the grain alcohol or the shine of starlight, he doesn’t know), Geralt noses along the line of Jaskier’s neck, senses assaulted by starlight and sandalwood and pine. He hears Jaskier’s breath catch when his lips press against the delicate skin of his throat and then -
“Oh, fuck, Geralt. Geralt! What are you doing?”
Geralt pauses; leans back to meet Jaskier’s eyes; is pleased to note that he’s still glowing. He raises an eyebrow. “What does it look like I’m doing?”
“Do not pick right now to have a laugh, Witcher,” Jaskier says, eyes as serious as Geralt’s ever remembered them being. Then more quietly, “Not now. Not about this.”
Geralt understands. He presses closer once more; wedges one huge leg between the bard’s. “You glow more around me,” he says without preamble.
“I most certainly do not you -”
“I enjoy it.”
Jaskier very nearly reels. And blushes. And glows brighter still. “Really?” he breathes. Geralt is pleased to note that Jaskier is now more receptive; body more loose and less tense and Geralt suddenly cannot wait to uncover all the starlit skin underneath; to trace it all with his tongue and coax all kinds of beautiful sounds out of Jaskier.
“Yes,” he replies, voice deep and gravelly. He watches Jaskier’s eyes darken, hands coming up to thread themselves around the Witcher’s neck and head tilted up. The air is alive with thick, sinful, delicious tension.
And as Geralt bends his head down, a hand twining itself into fine brown hair while the other encircles a narrow waist, he watches the starlight; watches the finely haired chest heave; watches Jaskier’s eyes close with anticipation.
And adds -
“It’s my favorite thing.”
- before slotting their mouths together.