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Lavender

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EPILOGUE

“You asked me once,” Geralt says, “if I would want something for myself after all this is over.”

Jaskier turns to him with silver hair and ever-curious eyes as they sit on the veranda of their home. He is eighty years old now, but appears no older than sixty with the aid of magical elixirs. The table between them is littered with gwent cards, and papers, and a bottle of Fiorano; their idle entertainments forsaken in favour of watching the sun set into the sea.

Geralt is thankful that they have since claimed this cottage as their own. It has always felt a little like theirs, even more so now that the ocean breeze carries with it the scent of lavender from the physic garden beneath the kitchen window.

The whisper of a song still lingers in the humid evening air; the one Jaskier had been absently humming not long ago. If it helps you sleep, dear heart, I’ll wrap my scent around you / pretend it is my arms and it will ease your weary way / please know, darling, that I love you more than ever / bathe in the scent of lavender as it comforts you to sleep. A lullaby. A love song cogent enough for the Countess to evict Jaskier from her estate but that took Geralt three more decades to parse, likely because he only ever heard it when Jaskier was lulling their little Cub back to sleep. It is a peaceful song, and this is a peaceful moment. He could not have asked for a better day to hang up his swords.

“You said you wanted nothing,” Jaskier reminds him with a wry smile, lacing his fingers through Geralt’s own. “That you needed no one.”

Geralt laughs and shakes his head at the naivety of his younger self. The movement causes his neck to twinge painfully from the cockatrice wound he recently sustained; the injury that instigated his retirement. Witchers aren’t meant to retire, but they aren’t meant to love either. Jaskier had long ago showed him that there was another path to take.

Geralt squeezes their joined hands where two silver rings reside. Jaskier had waited until the death of his father to procure a ring but had made no attempt to hide it when they had returned to the Lettenhove Estate for his burial. There is not a court on the continent that would likely grant them marriage but he considers them to be married nevertheless. Geralt may not have realised it all those years ago, but he did want something, and did need someone, and both of those answers were Jaskier.

“And yet,” Geralt says, recalling the words from that fateful day, as he lovingly brushes his lips against the ring, “Here we are.”

Jaskier blushes, the colour enriched by the setting sun. He is extraordinary. After a few years lecturing in Oxenfurt, Jaskier had segued into politics and became an advocate for many silenced peoples and an advisor for non-human rights in many courts. Geralt couldn’t have been more proud. Well, except for Ciri perhaps; their daughter who fought the Wild Hunt, and found love with a sorceress, and remains young and happy and powerful despite her growing age. An honorary Witcher, and Yennefer’s daughter as well as their own. The djinn curse between himself and Yennefer may be broken but their bond is not. They are friends, which is a feat Geralt used to consider himself incapable of achieving.

Jaskier made it possible, as he has made all things possible. The songbird that showed him the dawn. Jaskier smiles sweetly and tugs on their joined hands to entice him into a kiss.

Geralt has a husband. A family. A home. Things Witchers are not meant to possess.

“Here we are,” Jaskier says, the words repeated against his lips with quiet awe and the softest smile.

Here we are, Geralt thinks, with the sun setting over the ocean and the scent of lavender on the breeze.

Here we are, at home.