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when the storm settles down, i'll come back to you

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When Jaskier hears those words, something in him breaks. He can almost hear the shards of his glass-like heart shatter, spreading all over his chest like a raging fire, destroying everything in its wake.

“If life could give me one blessing, it would be to take you off my hands!” Geralt screams at him, furious.

And Jaskier knows he doesn’t really mean it. He knows Geralt is just letting out all of his pent-up rage and it just so happened that he was on the receiving end.

But even though Jaskier knows all of this, the words still reverberate in his chest, they etch themselves into his bones, they get stitched with blood-red threads right into his heart, where Jaskier will never be able to forget them. Where he will wear them until the very end.

He can feel his throat clenching, he can feel the tears are coming and when they do come, they roll in like a storm, with his heart beating out the thunderstorms and the tears carving out river beds into his cheeks.

„Right, then.” He says, his voice trembling, his lips quivering. He’s a mess, a primal state. Geralt turns around and Jaskier is grateful, he’s relieved the witcher won’t see him like this, reduced to a bawling mess.

He takes a deep breath, focusing on the air filling his lungs, stretching them to their full capacity, the seams keeping him whole stretching with them, almost breaking.

The bard turns around and starts walking.

He thinks of the seaside and the coast, and he ponders on things that matter the most to him. The tears keep falling, casting a veil over his blue eyes, eyes filled with salt water, ocean eyes. He doesn’t know where his feet take him.

Later, Jaskier has no idea how he managed to find his way to the camp. The only thing he remembers is the road marked with his sadness, and the tearing howl he lets out when he realises just what exactly matters the most to him, who matters the most to him.

His cries echo out in the mountains, the mountain tops sharing his pain. It starts raining not soon after.

//

When Jaskier finally gets to the coast, he breathes in the salty air, the smell matching the water filling him to the brink. He drowns in the bright sun, letting the light devour him whole, letting it reach the darkest corners of him and fill them with the healing rays.

He stays on the cliff until the sunset. His legs dangling off the edge, the lute in his arms, his fingers strumming out songs of adventure and heartbreak and death. The waves underneath him carry his voice far and wide, the siren song of his heart.

His eyes involuntarily drift to his left side from time to time, each time surprised to find no one there, and yet each time hoping, yearning for the presence of one particular witcher.

The blue of the ocean mirrors the blue in Jaskier’s eyes, and the blue of his soul, the bruised purple parts of him that would never forget and would never let live.

He spends a few weeks by the coast. Most of the time, he can be found either on the cliff or on the beach below, composing tunes and rhymes, pouring his misery into the most beautiful love ballads the world would ever hear. And each time, his eyes still unaccustomed to the gaping wound of absence to his left, fill with tears sooner or later.

Until one afternoon, Jaskier glances to his side and he sees the oh so familiar figure, the hair white like the crests of waves and the eyes golden like the sun shining on them both, and he can feel his throat drowning again.

“Jaskier, I apologise. I never meant those words.”

The white wolf looks at him, and the look is full of deep-strung regrets, of long-nursed sadness. Jaskier can’t help but smile, and the light reflects from his hair, transforming it into the bronze fields of wheat in August, into warm embraces and soft smiles.

“I thought you’d never say that. I was ready for spending the rest of my life moping around and singing my woe out into the world.” He says, and he can feel the words scratched into his bones fade, and he can feel the seams keeping him together tighten.

“How could I when life’s biggest blessing was throwing you into my hands?”

It’s so unlike for Geralt to say something like this Jaskier just can’t help but laugh, a life-giving force Geralt missed oh so much.

“Yen helped you with that one, didn’t she?”

“She did.”

Jaskier leans against Geralt, rests his head on his shoulder. The witcher puts his arm around the bard and Jaskier melts into the embrace, humming something under his breath, the warmth radiating off the witcher seeping into his bones and into his heart.

They sit there until late evening, watching the sun go down together. They observe the rays drowning in the vast ocean, the water consuming the light.

But the light stays within them, mending the broken pieces and cold hearts, washing over the dark spots, illuminating them golden.

They smile at each other, stars in their eyes and a silent promise between the two of them.