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Still There

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Jaskier was leaning against a tree on a grassy hill, strumming on his lute, humming and singing foul words about friends who were capable of discarding people on a whim. 

“Is that about me?” A familiar low voice asked, causing the blood to boil in Jaskier’s veins. 

Months had passed since their parting in the mountains, but Jaskier could still remember all too clearly the words Geralt had spat at him that day. Without lifting his gaze, he stood and marched up the hill, away from the man who had expressed very succinctly how little he thought of him. 

“Jaskier, wait!” Geralt shot his hand out to grab Jaskier’s arm and turn him around.

“What is it that you want from me?” Jaskier asked, keeping his voice calm but not devoid of bitterness. As he was standing higher on the hill, lifting his chin allowed him to look down at Geralt with more scorn than he normally could.

“I came to…” Geralt swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing visibly, as if words were stuck in his throat. Jaskier almost turned away to just walk down the hill and leave his former friend behind before Geralt spoke again. “I came to apologize.” He looked as if his words were supposed to change something right away, but Jaskier just kept giving him the same cold glare. “I followed you from town to town, each time missing you by a week, then a day, until I finally found you.” Geralt’s voice was soft, his eyes pleading, but Jaskier wasn’t fooled. He wore his black leather armour, suggesting he hadn’t stopped at an inn to leave his belongings, but had come looking for him straight from the road. 

“Congratulations. Mission accomplished. You may go now,” Jaskier answered in a flat tone, not befitting a poet. 

“Jaskier…” Anguish broke through the single word on Geralt’s lips. He wiped his hands on his breeches as if they were sweating... as if he were nervous.  

“You can’t woo me with your pretend regret. I don’t care anymore, Geralt. I regret caring in the first place,” he lied through clenched teeth, his calm resolve on the verge of collapse. He would rather have died a broken-hearted man than never have cared for Geralt at all. 

“Why are you saying this?” Geralt’s hand dropped from Jaskier’s arm. “You’re still angry… I deserve that, but-”

“Only you would think that you can spit foul words into a friend’s face and then expect to be forgiven without a decent apology. Only you wouldn’t know why I’m still angry at you after all these months. You know, for quite a smart guy, you can be incredibly thick.” Jaskier shook his head, scoffing. “Words can wound more than your swords.”

“I apologised. What else do you want?” Geralt was genuinely asking, the prick. He had the nerve to look clueless and confused before his brows lifted in a pitiful impersonation of a puppy waiting to be kicked. He had to be kicked away; Jaskier’s heart had suffered enough for a lifetime, he didn’t need to forgive Geralt just to be discarded at the nearest opportunity. 

“I want to know how sorry you really are.” Jaskier swung the lute gently on the belt across his chest so that it rested along his lower back. He put both hands on his hips, fairly certain that his next words would be what would drive Geralt away. “So, ah… kneeling would help.”

Without hesitation, Geralt fell to his knees, shocking Jaskier to his core. Once he took in the sight before him however, heat pooled in his abdomen, bringing erotic images with it. Even angry, Jaskier couldn’t help but admire rough beauty when it was before him. Geralt looked up, his mesmerising yellow gaze full of remorse.

“I will do anything, Jaskier. Anything .” Geralt’s gravelly voice sounded with anguish, but Jaskier wouldn't budge. Even if his heart sped up at the sheer proximity of the man it beat for, he kept his mouth shut. He wanted to forgive, but he was afraid he wouldn’t live through another heartbreak; and Geralt was bound to hurt him again. 

Jaskier racked his brain for ideas on how to successfully make Geralt run and never look back in his direction, for both of their sakes. He observed Geralt’s pose, on his knees, with hands to his sides, and wished he was kneeling for a whole other reason than apology and regret. Jaskier’s cheeks flared with heat and his body responded to the ultimate idea of how to push Geralt away.

“Oh really? Prove it.” Hands shaking just slightly, Jaskier unbuttoned the front of his breeches. Geralt’s eyes widened, and the astonishment painted on his face would have been comical if Jaskier wasn’t shaking inside his own body from the horror of what he was about to do, while at the same time finally showing Geralt his well-hidden desires. 

Jaskier’s hands stopped, holding the flaps of his breeches together, waiting for Geralt to flee, call him names, hit him… do any of the things he’d done to him in the past. 

Instead, however, Geralt looked up again with determination painted on his well-chiseled features. 

Jaskier panicked, but tried to keep a neutral expression on his face. Hold it together, Julian, this is the only way to drive him away for good.

He made a high squeak at the back of his throat when Geralt placed his hands high on Jaskier’s thighs. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck…

Anything ,” Geralt repeated and the glint in his eyes changed into something beyond the need of atonement, something more intense than affection. Jaskier had seen Geralt’s affection directed at him before, but this was more, a lot more… It was lust. Could it be possible? 

Here goes nothing, Jaskier thought and parted his breeches, letting his already semi-hard cock spring out. 

He watched Geralt’s breathing pick up, his lips part before he licked the bottom one. His hands drifted up, almost to Jaskier’s hips as he neared closer. The only thing Jaskier could hear was the loud thudding in his ears, and it took him a moment to realise it was the sound of his heart.

“Enough!” Jaskier yelped, staggering away. He stuffed his cock back in, and buttoned his breeches hurriedly. “I forgive you. You proved your sincerity. You may go now!” he yelled, turning his back to Geralt, unable to look at him. He knew however, that he would remember the look on Geralt’s face from moments before for the rest of his life. That couldn’t have been lust, but he would imagine it so in the dead of the night when his hand would wander under the covers. 

“Jaskier!” The shuffling sound suggested Geralt stood up and closed in the distance between them. 

Jaskier felt Geralt’s presence at his back and he wanted to lean into it. He wanted for Geralt to envelop him in his arms and hold him close, as a friend would… or a lover. Geralt was neither. 

“I said, you’re forgiven. We’re done here,” he said with resignation.

“Wait. Did you mean it?” Geralt’s gravelly voice was full of disbelief.

“Yes. I meant it. You are forgiven. Your witcher hearing is not deceiving you. Now, leave.” Jaskier kept his voice level, but it still broke at the last word.

“Look at me, damn you!” Geralt spun Jaskier around with a hard grip on his arms, clearly irked. 

Jaskier pursed his lips, and looked at Geralt from under lowered lashes, anger, and residual resentment still lingering in him. 

“I can’t believe you were ready to suck my cock to say you’re sorry. I don’t want a pity fuck. Go away,” Jaskier spat back, not breaking his resolve, even if his throat constricted with anguish. 

“I wanted to do it, I still do,” Geralt blurted out in a matter-of-fact voice. Immediately, his eyes widened as if he couldn’t believe what had just come out of his mouth. His hands loosened the grip on Jaskier’s arms, until he folded them across his chest. 

“Did you hit your head? Fall off Roach and was dragged for miles? Or maybe-”

“No!” Geralt interrupted, huffing like an exasperated ox, then let out a foul curse at the heavens before focusing back on Jaskier. “Be serious! I need to know...did you really want me to…” He motioned between them in lieu of explanation, clearly at a loss for words. Obviously, now he struggled to express himself, while he had been full of interesting things to say back on that wretched mountain. 

“Did I really want your full, gorgeous lips wrapped around my cock?” Jaskier scoffed in disbelief. This was not happening. 

Geralt nodded, swallowing visibly, waiting for Jaskier’s response. 

“Are you seriously asking me that? You’re impossible!” Jaskier’s voice rose in pitch as his calm demeanor went to shit and he flailed his arms in the air. “I followed you to the ends of the world. I sang ballads about your sorry arse, and rubbed chamomile on it. I sought your warmth at night in the woods…” He pointed an accusatory finger at Geralt’s chest. “And you dare ask if I want your mouth on my cock?” 

Geralt let his shoulders rise and fall in the most annoying, pitiful shrug Jaskier had ever seen in his life. The audacity!

“I can’t believe this…”

“Answer me,” Geralt asked, calmly this time, but that didn’t cool down Jaskier’s incoming outburst.

“Yes, damn it! I want your mouth, your hands, your whole body on me. Always have, you blind, emotionally constipated ox!” Jaskier burst out, his chest heaving, his fists at his sides. He was tired of this charade. He was tired of being hurt and humiliated.

“I…” Geralt frowned and staggered back, sitting on the side of the hill, looking toward the town in the distance. “I didn’t know… why didn’t I know?”

“Cause you’re an idiot.”

“Right.” Geralt rumbled. 

Jaskier glared, huffed, then put his hands on his hips. “Of course I am,” he mumbled under his breath but Geralt and his witcher hearing picked it up anyway, because he levelled an exasperated stare on him. 

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked with a confused note in his voice. 

“Tell you what? It was obvious to everyone around us. It was safe to assume you knew as well, or at least suspected. Since you never showed any interest, I left you be in that regard.” Hid my attraction and sought release elsewhere. 

“But you and all the women…”

“Well, not only women. But men don’t gossip that much, so you just don’t hear those bedroom stories.”

“Oh…”

“Now you know, off you go.”

“Why are you trying to get rid of me?”

“Because I don’t want hope where there is none. I don’t want to open my heart again and have you tear it out and stomp all over it. Been there, done that. No, thanks. I’m not that kind of a masochist.” Jaskier crossed his arms, looming over the sitting man.

Geralt frowned, seemed to mull the words over. He looked up again, opened his mouth and closed it, letting out only a growled “Hmmm.”

Moments passed. Jaskier cocked his hip, waiting for Geralt to finish what looked like intense thinking. 

“I’ll let you sit alone and brood, it’s what you’re good at.” Jaskier picked up his lute and descended the hill, heading to the inn he already had a room at for the night. Leaving Geralt behind was the wisest choice, but he was already hurting at the prospect of never seeing his witcher again, never sharing a meal, never talking for hours until daylight… never feeling Geralt’s heavy arm wrapped over him in the darkness of night.