Chapter 1: Once more with Feeling
If he wasn’t near to bleeding out, the ugly gash on his stomach barely holding together, Lambert would really appreciate how Aiden “danced” over the battlefield. Wielding short daggers instead of swords, using them as an extension of his arms and almost flying. Lambert's heart was full of love as he watched his partner scream and attack.
They had camped next to a small stream when a group of bandits and mages had attacked them with the first light of the day. An unusual group to be working together but Lambert didn’t have time to wonder about it much before having to fight for his life.
Aiden pushed another bandit down and rushed to his lover’s side.
“Lambert!” The Cat shouted in panic as he decapitated the last of the mages that had attacked them and cradled the Wolf Witcher up in his arms.
Lambert smiled weakly, his stomach wide open, still bleeding, slowly drifting off.
“I swear you asshole if you die I will make you regret it. You are not allowed to die on me! YOU HEAR ME YOU SON OF A WHORE!”
“Love you,” was the last thing Lambert whispered before closing his eyes.
Eskel was in heaven. The first thing he had done after leaving Kaer Morhen in spring was to ride to the Forest Grove, Lil´ Bleater in tow to meet Dahlia again. The nymph had waited for him, had tightly embraced and kissed him and when they had sunken to the warm moss he had felt like he was floating.
His goat had found rest under the risen roots of the Ash Tree and he found himself bound by similar roots when she grinned at him. “You are mine now Witcher.”
“Yes, yes I am Darling.”
She had grinned at him, almost wickedly, before embracing him.
It was a new experience to Eskel. Her skin felt dry and a bit rough, like smoothed tree bark but Eskel found himself loving the sensation. Her mouth had still tasted of honey and strawberries and he had been eager to find out if she was as delicious elsewhere.
Much later she had looked at him with something uneasy in her bright green eyes.
“You need to go now, Witcher. Your brothers need you.”
He had not understood at the time but she had told him where to go and to ride fast.
When he had reached the campsite he had heard screams and cries and later he had to peel Aiden off his unmoving brother.
“I had the weirdest dream tonight my Wolf.”
“Hm?” Geralt rolled onto his side, so he could look at his lover a lazy smile on his face. They had been lucky and found an inn last night, just before the rain had hit down heavy. Jaskier had curled up on the bed like a kitten and had sung Geralt to sleep.
The Witcher had been drained, tired after a successful hunt and fell asleep with his head on Jaskiers lap, his voice lulling him to slumber was one of his favourite things.
“Oh yes, see I had this dream about being courted.” Jaskiers lips twitched. “I got the Handkerchief and the prettiest spoon and a new winter coat and all the other Courting gifts and yet….”
“And yet my beloved and I didn’t get married yet. Strange isn’t it?”
Geralt looked slightly sheepish and shy to the side as he sat up, while Jaskier turned to face him.
“I’m not mad Geralt, I just want to know if you changed your mind?”
“NO!” The Witcher grabbed for his lover's hands. How was he supposed to explain that he wanted to marry Jaskier, didn’t want anything more than that but he wanted to buy him the perfect home first at the coast like he had always wanted and that’s why he was slowly stirring their travel west.
He wanted to have everything in place for them to settle down if the bard wished so, or a home to come back to between travels.
Jaskier sat up and crawled onto Geralts lap, wrapping his arms around him. “Do you love me?”
“Yes, more than anything.”
“Do you want to be with me?”
“Okay….” Jaskier shrugged. “I just need you by my side to be happy.” There was a pause before Jaskier grinned. “I also need my Lute….and good food…..Aiden…..Music…Dance…Actually….I need a lot of things. I’m a fucking delight!” Geralt snorted and mumbled under his breath but loud enough for the bard to hear. “Fucking high maintenance is what you are.”
“Oh yeah?” Jaskier picked a pillow up and smashed it against his partners face. “I show you high maintenance.” He said before pushing Geralt down and claiming his lips in a searing kiss.
He was just about to unbutton Geralts breeches, eager to wrap his flush lips around his lover's cock when someone knocked so hard on the door that the hinges made a creaking noise.
“This room is fucking occupied.” Geralt laughed but tensed as the knocking continued even more forcefully.
“It’s me!” The bard and the Witcher both looked curiously at each other and Geralt moved to open the door, re-lacing his breeches.
“Eskel? What’s wrong?”
“It’s Lambert. He got injured. We don’t think he will make it.”
Chapter 2: The Children of Ceridwen
In which the attackers are identified.
The journey back to Kaer Morhen took 4 days at full speed. Jaskier was either riding with Eskel or Geralt, not speaking at all. Every time he tried to open his mouth he was overcome with fear. They couldn’t lose Lambert, not now only two months after they had said goodbye to travel the path individually. Jaskiers thoughts were railing, he was scared and worried about Aiden.
Gods, the Cat must be in an even worse state than he was and Jaskier silently started to sob into his pillow. “Sunshine?” The bard looked up to where Geralt and Eskel were sitting at the campfire. Stupid Witchers with their heightened senses.
“I’m not hurt Geralt, just worried.”
There was the sound of shuffling and then he was pulled up and carried over to where Eskel was sitting and put between Geralts open legs, his Witcher holding him close.
“I’m sorry. I know crying about it doesn’t help but…”
“It’s all right Sunshine. Let it out.” Jaskier pressed up against Geralts chest and silently cried until he fell asleep.
Eskel smiled at them, the bard curled up like a child in the Witchers arms.
“I know we don’t talk about those things and I give you shit all the time. But I’m glad you found him.”
“I am too…. Thank you, brother. I wish that one day you will have the same love in your life.”
Eskel nodded and smiled twisting a small wooden ring on his finger.
“We should sleep too. We have an early morning tomorrow.”
Geralt nodded and pulled Jaskier down with him, making sure that his bard was warm and cared for before closing his eyes.
Vesemir stared at the young Cat unsure how to calm him down. He hadn’t left Lambert's bedside in the two weeks since they had gotten back to the keep, had barely slept or eaten, switching between impatiently pacing and frustrated yelling. He had been on edge since they had arrived and Vesemir hoped that Eskel would bring back Geralt and Jaskier fast so that the bard could ease his friend.
The eldest wolf left the room once more after having put some food down and made sure the other rooms were ready for the rest to arrive. April had just turned to May and his boys were supposed to be out and happy and not worrying to lose one of their own. Lambert got worse every single day and at this point, fear found its way into Vesemirs heart.
Finally, after a few more days the doors were busted open and two very tired Witcher and a whirlwind of a bard stormed into the keep. Vesemir didn’t even greet them. He just said “Lambert's room” and went back into his greenhouse, trying to figure out if there were plants that could help heal his youngest son.
Aiden went into a defensive stand as the bedroom door was violently opened but let the dagger fall to the floor as his best friend hurled himself at him. They both fell to their knees, Jaskier holding Aiden tight kissing his head and for the first time in almost a month Aiden let himself cry, shaking in his best friends arms.
Eskel and Geralt sat at their brother’s bed, looking at him with worry.
“What exactly happened?” Geralts voice sounded rough and tired and Jaskier carefully wiped Aiden’s tears away.
“We were on our way to Brugge to meet you. We made camp and we….we were attacked. One of the mages had a glowing knife.” He clutched at Jaskier not ready to let go of him yet.
“I think it was cursed or something because he is getting worse and not waking up…..I… “
Geralt growled in anger. “Who did this!?”
Aiden stood up and pulled a small medallion out of the wardrobe. It was silver and shaped like the head of a cat. It looked very similar to the one that he wore around his own neck. The difference being that Aiden’s medallion had no stones in the eye sockets and the teeth of the cat were not oversized, while the other medallions cat had dark green stones set into the eyes and sharp pointy fangs.
“They call themselves The Children of Ceridwen.”
Eskel and Geralt looked both irritated, their gaze fixated on the Witcher like medallion.
“Who are they?”
Aiden put the medallion down, shame fluttering over his face.
“Assassins, murderers, rapists.”
Jaskier reached for his best friend’s hand, squeezing it tightly.
“Aiden? Who are they?”
“Cat Witchers…They used to be Cats.”
Chapter 3: Distract me please
In which Geralt and Jaskier distract each other
It had taken Jaskier a few hours but he had finally convinced Aiden to eat, and finally sleep. He felt exhausted now and was happily making his way to Geralts chamber when he met Eskel in the hallway.
“Hey. Any news?”
The Witcher shook his head.
“No, but…uhm…. I think I know someone who might be able to help?”
“Oh, that’s great!”
Eskel nodded, smiling shyly and Jaskier wondered who Eskels ominous friend was.
“I will bring them tomorrow. I will stay with Aiden and Lambert tonight. You should get some rest little bard.”
Yawning Jaskier agreed and let himself into the room he shared with Geralt. His Witcher was sitting in the heavy armchair in front of the fire. Kaer Morhen was an old structure and its halls were cold even during the summer. Jaskier climbed into his partners lap and pulled Geralts head against his chest.
“He’s going to be all right Geralt.”
“You don’t know that.”
Jaskier gently brushed his fingers through Geralts hair.
“I do. I know that we will do anything to help your brother.”
Geralt raised his head and pressed a soft kiss against Jaskiers lips.
“I’m scared, sunshine.”
Jaskier slipped his feet under Geralts thighs and curled up against him.
“Me too. But we won’t give up, okay? We fight together!”
The Witcher nodded and picked his love up bridal style so he could carry him over to their bed.
“Jaskier….I….” Geralt had still a hard time voicing his emotions but he pushed through. “I love you sunshine.”
Jaskier beamed at him, warm and full of affection and started to undress until he was lying bare on the sheets. “I love you too my Wolf.” Geralt felt himself stare in awe. He could not help himself. Even though he had seen Jaskier naked countless times now every time was wonderful anew and set his belly on fire.
Jaskiers skin was beautiful and the softest thing that Geralt had even been allowed to touch and caress. He loved the tiny freckles and moles that adorned his skin and one of his favourite things was to map them out with his tongue and taking Jaskier slowly apart in the process.
He loved how much body hair his bard had, loved to run his hands through his chest hair and tug, basking in the low whines that would leave Jaskiers mouth. He felt ashamed to get aroused at such a time when his brother was on the brink of death but he could not help himself as Jaskier laid on display for him.
He pressed his nose against the crook of Jaskiers neck and scented him. Gods he smelled like home, like sunshine and love and warm arms wrapped around him, pressing him closer.
“I’m sorry sunshine…I know it’s not the right time you are just so…..irresistible like this.”
Jaskier shook his head, slightly pressing one of his legs between Geralts who was still fully clothed.
“Please Geralt…I need….I want…distract me.”
Not having to ask twice Geralt licked a wet stripe onto Jaskiers neck, tasting his sweaty skin.
“Sunshine. You smell so good to me. So sweet. And your taste.”
“Geralt. Ghnn.” Jaskier grabbed impatiently at Geralts shirt, fumbling with the buttons and tugging. The Witcher loosened the shirt enough so he could pull it over his head, throwing it onto the floor next to the bed and his trousers followed soon after.
They moved slowly together, naked skin on skin, pressing, caressing and tasting. Jaskier had his head thrown back in pleasure, his eyes pressed close his mouth hanging open as Geralt licked over his sensitive nipples.
One of Geralt´s large hands had wrapped around both of the bard's wrist, pushing his arms high up above his head and keeping them there. His other hand was wrapped around Jaskiers cock, tugging in an unsteady rhythm while his teeth grazed over Jaskiers lovely nipple.
The bard keened, pushed up into Geralts fist, struggling against the restraint of his hands and loving every minute of it.
Another hot kiss was pressed onto the bard’s nipple before Geralt switched sides and licked over the other one. Jaskier was shivering, he felt himself floating but Geralt wouldn’t let him come. Twice he had found himself upon the edge and twice Geralt had loosened his grip on his cock pulling him back.
“Please Geralt, I can’t take it anymore, please let me come.”
“Not yet sunshine, not yet.”
Heavy moans echoed through the room as Geralt let his mouth wander further south, letting Jaskiers hands go and pushing his own hands into the bard’s hips to keep him from pushing down as he sucked him into his mouth.
“Oh, gods. Ohhh Geralt. Mercy. Oh, your tongue….”
Grinning around the heavy cock in his mouth Geralt pressed the tip of his tongue into the slit of Jaskiers crown. He had to apply some force to keep the bard's hips from bucking up as he licked the vein on the underside of Jaskiers cock.
Whimpering Jaskiers hands found their way into Geralts hair. “Geralt. I love you so much please let me come. Please.”
Taking pity on his betrothed, Geralt sucked him eagerly back into his mouth and removed his hands from Jaskiers hips so the bard could fuck his mouth. Moaning Jaskier gripped his hair and pushed only twice before his hot seed ran down Geralts waiting throat.
His whole body was shaking as he pulled Geralt back up into a shaky kiss, tasting himself on Geralts tongue. He smiled against his Witchers mouth and let his hand wander down the Witchers chest and further, wrinkling his nose in surprise as he found Geralts cock soft and sticky.
Geralt looked to the side, a little bit sheepish. “The sounds you make pushed me over little songbird.”
Jaskier threw his head back to laugh and pulled the blankets over them.
“I clean you up tomorrow my Wolf, sleep now. We have much to do in the morning.”
Smiling Geralt pressed another kiss onto Jaskiers lips before rearranging them so they could sleep cuddled up together.
Chapter 4: With a little help from my friends
In which Eskel brings help
Aiden had rested for about eighty minutes before Lambert's unsteady breathing had woken him up again. He blinked his eyes open and rolled onto his side. Carefully he brushed Lambert's loose hair out of his lover's face and took his hand in his own.
“Lamb? I don’t know if you can hear me but I….I’m here. I love you so much you idiotic self-sacrificing asshole.” Now that Jaskier had broken his walls down he allowed himself to cry more, needing the release. “You are my destiny you stupid wolf you hear me. You need to wake up. I need you.”
There was no answer and Aiden curled up into a ball, tears openly flowing down his face and sorrowful sobs leaving his mouth. He fell in an easy slumber, constantly shaking awake and falling back asleep through the whole night.
He was woken again by a soft knock onto his door and a chestnut head of hair peeking through. “Hey….did you sleep?”
Aiden sighed heavy and moved to hug Jaskier. “A bit…not much. I…I’m so scared Jask.”
“I know kitten.” Jaskier held him as long as Aiden needed, not moving away first and letting the other seek comfort in his arms. Afterwards, he gently wiped the tears from his best friends face. “Come on. Geralts outside he is gonna look after Lambert until breakfast, you need a bath and to eat.”
“One hour kitten. Just one hour and you can come back, ok? Please?”
“Okay…one hour.” Smiling Jaskier took his hand and pulled him out of the room before the Cat could change his mind again, nodding at Geralt who slipped in behind them to stay with his brother in Aiden’s absence.
“Eskel is out to bring someone that supposedly could help.”
“Yeah don’t ask me, no clue who it is.”
Wordlessly they walked on, down into the basement to the hot springs and undressed. Jaskier softly sang as he washed Aiden’s dirty hair.
“You should shave too, you look like a street dog.”
Aiden laughed and immediately felt guilty. How could he laugh when his soulmate was on his deathbed? He turned around and hugged Jaskier who petted his hair. “It’s an okay kitten. Lambert would want you to stay optimistic and laughing is part of that.”
Sighing the Cat Witcher nodded, not really convinced but too tired to argue.
They didn’t talk while Jaskier helped his best friend to wash and shave and forced him to eat some leftover soup from the day before and fresh bread. Geralt and Vesemir joined them in the dining room after a while and together they waited for Eskel.
“Any idea who he’s bringing?” Geralt looked at Vesemir, who just shrugged.
Jaskier smiled and tried to lighten the mood a bit. “Probably an enchanted goat.” Geralt smiled softly, while Aiden and Vesemir snorted.
A cough from the entryway had them look up at Eskel who nervously shuffled from one foot to the other.
“So boy? Where’s the help`?”
Eskel nodded at Vesemir and moved closer to the group.
“She agreed to help but I need your word first that you won’t attack her. She is of the fey folk.”
The three Witchers stared at each other and then back at Eskel and then finally at Vesemir who would have to make that decision.
The oldest wolf sighed. “A Cat, A Half-Elven Bard and now a Fey….Where did I go wrong?”
Jaskier chuckled and brushed his shoulder against Aiden while Vesemir spoke on. “You have my word that no harm will befall your….friend…while she walks in our halls.”
Eskel nodded, clearly relieved and pulled the wooden ring from his finger, putting it on the floor next to the table.
He reached over his brother and grabbed the knife that Geralt was holding wiping it clean over his pants and crazing a small cut into his finger.
The blood slowly trickled down and fell and as soon as it made contact with the ring a small flower started to bloom on it, that grew faster and faster.
Jaskier watched in fascination as roots and twigs grew out of the ring, forming the body of a woman. The whole process took only a few minutes and then a smiling woman bowed before them.
“Greetings.” Her voice was deep, yet warm and she slowly walked over to the table, sitting beside Eskel.
“I am Vesemir, Headmaster of the School of Wolf and I welcome you to Kaer Morhen.” He gestured to the others. “This is Geralt and his mate Jaskier.” The bard gave a charming smile and wave. “And this is Lamberts partner Aiden from the school of Cat.”
The Witchers nodded in greeting and Vesemir continued. “How we may address you?”
The Dryad looked at Eskel who slightly blushed and cleared his throat. “Her true fey name will not be spoken aloud but you might call her Dahlia. She is my wife.”
The room fell completely silent until Jaskier whispered in shock. “What the actual fuck.”
Chapter 5: know your roots
In which Jaskier learns something about himself
Eskel coughed and put a protective arm around the Wood Nymph who smiled warmly before she continued. “Your brother has been poisoned with Valerian Root and the only antidote can be brewed with more of the root.”
Aiden nodded frantically “So we need to get some from them.” He was about to stand up when she gently stopped him with a hand gesture. “Yes, but that’s not all.” She tilted her head in thought. “I can use my magic to stop his decay, for now, it won’t wake him up but it will freeze him in stasis so that the poison can’t reach his heart. It will keep him alive until you find the root.”
All of the Witchers and Jaskier visibly relaxed at her words, the held tension draining from their bodies and Aiden made a small choking sound as he let his head sink against Jaskier shoulders, who immediately brought his free arm around him.
“You will have to infiltrate the people who did this and gain their trust in order to find where they store their poisons and herbs.”
Geralt gave Aiden a long look. “I will go with him.”
Eskel nodded, also ready to support Aiden on his quest.
The Dryad smiled and pressed a small kiss against Eskels cheek. “It is admirable that you support each other so much but there is no way one of you could pass as a Cat. You are both bulky where cats are lean, strong where they are fast, and your eyes have the golden gleam of the School of the Wolf.”
She paused for a second and her pupilless green gaze found Jaskier. “The bard here on the other hand, can easily pass as a Cat Witcher and with his magic, he will be a viable asset to Aiden.”
Jaskier stared, mouth hanging open. “My what now?” All eyes focused on him.
“Look, I might be part elf but there is no magic in my blood and –“
Dahlia interrupted him. “You are not part elf my child, you are of the fey folk. My families’ blood flows in your veins.”
Aiden grunted and punched Jaskier in the shoulder. “Always knew you were special Lark.”
Jaskier shook his head. “Look, I will gladly go with Aiden and help but you are mistaken if you think I have any magic in me. I’m as magical as a rock.”
She smiled warmly and reached over the table, her hand hovering over his.
“Has your song never changed people? Manipulated the odds a bit in your favour? Do you not possess and inhumanly charm? Can you not wrap someone around your finger with your words?”
“Well, yeah….but I’m a bard…that’s….”
Jaskier was silent and looked at Geralt who pressed closer to him in silent comfort.
“Shit. Are you telling me I am part Fey and not part Elf?”
She nodded. “I can awake the dormant magic within you, child. Connect you back to your roots.” The skin on her hovering hand shifted, like moving roots.
Jaskier took a deep breath. “Do it.”
Her hand slowly came down upon his and small veins crawled out of her fingertips and buried themselves into Jaskiers flesh. He screamed in agony, his blue eyes blown wide, suddenly shining with starlight before he sunk unconscious against his partner.
Chapter 6: Starshine
In which Jaskier awakens
The next time Jaskier opened his eyes he was buried in the earth, only his head visible, clearly naked and surrounded by hundreds of buttercups. The only reason he did not panic was that Geralt was kneeling beside him, his warm hand brushing through his hair.
“Well, that was new.”
“Sunshine!” Smiling Geralt leaned over him and kissed his forehead.
“Uhm….so what am I supposed to do now?”
“Dahlia said you would figure it out. I am not supposed to help. I….”
“It’s alright Geralt.”
The Witcher nodded and kissed him again, this time directly on the lips and Jaskier smiled.
“How do you feel sunshine?”
How did he feel? Jaskier closed his eyes again to focus inside on his mind and body. First, there was not much difference. He could feel the wet clay around his body and yet it felt warm and comfortable and not cold how he expected. He did not know what he was supposed to do and frustrated he started to hum. Suddenly he was flooded with hundreds of tiny sensations.
He could feel every small ant and bug crawling around in the earth surrounding him. He could feel every root and tree in a mile radius. He could hear the birds chirping in the distance and suddenly their song had meaning. He could hear the wind whisper and telling him stories and tales of lives long past. He could feel the earth and the sun and the moon and when he opened his eyes again they were dark blue, no pupil, no white surrounding them instead the light of a thousand stars shined trough them and he looked at Geralt with all his love.
“Oh, sunshine….your eyes….”
Jaskier blinked and stopped humming. His eyes returned to normal and the hard clay he was buried under started to crackle and break. He sat up and as soon as he had freed himself he was pulled onto his Witchers lap and wrapped into a warm cloak.
“Maybe I should call you Starshine now.”
Jaskier laughed and moved his arms around Geralt. He could feel the magic flowing through him but not the Chaos magic that sorceress used. It was something else, something more natural, bound to the land and he felt exhausted.
“He is okay. Well as okay as he can be. He went back to Lambert's room. Eskel is with Vesemir.”
Geralt kissed him again, holding him close.
“Went back to…well, I don’t know exactly where. But she said she had to go home. Whatever that means.”
Jaskier hummed and all the buttercups around them shifted so that their blossoms looked into his direction. He laughed quietly.
“Shit. I better learn how to control my humming.”
Nodding Geralt picked him up bridal style and walked back into the keep.
“I can’t believe Eskel managed to get married before us.”
Geralt stopped for a second before sighing, watching as Jaskier played with the wolf medallion around his neck.
They reached their room shortly after but before Geralt could say something Aiden came into the room.
“Hey Lark. Nice flowers.”
“Hm, Lambs room has a great view of the courtyard.”
Aiden ruffled Jaskiers hair affectionately and smiled. “Lambert is saved for now. He's sleeping much easier thanks to Eskels wife.”
He looked more relaxed than before and the young bard hoped that his friend could even find some sleep tonight.
“Oh here. I got this for you. It was my brothers….but he…..I kept it to remember him, now it’s yours.” Aiden kissed Jaskiers forehead and pressed a Cat Witcher medallion into his hands.
Geralt watched on as his lover hugged his friend, the ping of jealousy rotting in his stomach. He knew that Jaskier loved him that he and Aiden were just friends and yet he had made a promise to the bard that he had failed to fulfil so far. The wolf Witcher could not help but feel hurt when Jaskier pulled his Wolf medallion over his head and put the Cat one on instead. Grunting he left the room.
Chapter 7: Dont stand in your own way
In which Aiden and Jaskier form a plan
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Jaskier watched him leave, knowing well enough that Geralt was probably experiencing some emotions he didn’t know how to deal with but he needed to talk to Aiden first. “So….what’s the plan?”
The Cat smiled and patted his friend’s hair. “First you will put pants on so I don’t have to stare at your prick while we talk.”
“Oh shit, yeah….” Laughing Jaskier put the cloak away and dressed in loose trousers and a chemise before taking a seat next to his best friend again.
“Okay, so Vesemir and Eskel will make you some Armor. I would give you my spare but you are smaller than me and your frame is different. I already showed you how to fight with daggers but that was very basic. Dahlia said….she said there is no time limit now but those bastard might use their last root and….” Aiden took a deep breath. “10 weeks. We will all train you. Everyone will teach you different things for the next ten weeks. I’m not lying Lark it will be hell. I will teach you how to move like a Cat and our inner political workings. Eskel will take over Magic and Signs and Geralt will teach you how to handle a sword.”
Jaskier nodded and Aiden continued. “Vesemir will teach you about Monster Lore and Potions.” He sighed. “We will start every day….yes every day at 5:30 and you will be thought for at least 10 hours if not more every day. I….”
“I can handle it kitten. Yes, I am not physically on par with you but Lambert is my friend and important to me too and I will do anything in my power to help. There is no way I will let you go on your own. I assume we start tomorrow?”
“Okay, then I better go straight to bed after dinner….”
Jaskier smiled and kissed his best friend on the cheek before getting up.
“Now excuse me, I have to see were my fiancé stormed off to.”
Nodding Aiden left the room with Jaskier, who went looking for Geralt immediately.
He found his Witcher with Roach, which wasn’t much of a surprise to him and hugged him from behind, pressing his face between Geralts shoulder blades.
Geralt turned around and pulled Jaskier in a strong hug, burying his head in the crook of the younger man’s neck.
“So…you will be teaching me swords?”
Chuckling the Witcher nodded. “I won’t go easy on you just because I….you know…”
“Good….I need to learn as much as possible to help Lambert.” Jaskier brushed a lose strand of white hair out of Geralts forehead and took a long look at his Witcher. Over the last twenty-three years he had learned how to read the other quite well and he had seen how he had reacted when he had exchanged the Wolf medallion for the Cat one. Now telling Geralt directly that he loved him would not help him here. The Witcher would just close off but thankfully Jaskier was smarter than that.
“There is a forge here, yeah? For repairs and stuff?”
“Yes?” Geralt wrinkled his forehead.
“Good. Here is what’s gonna happen. You will make me something to wear.”
“I’m talking Geralt.”
The Witchers mouth snapped shut and he looked at Jaskiers stern face. “You made me a promise my dear Witcher and I will hold you to it. Now since for obvious reasons I can’t wear your medallion you will make me something else to wear. Did I make myself clear?”
Geralts lips twitched upwards as he kissed his lover on the corner of his mouth. “Yes, Jask. Very clear.”
“Good. Now let’s have an early dinner I need to get to bed soon.”
“To sleep! I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow! 5:30!!! I swear when Lambert is better Imma kick him in the shin so hard he will limp for a week.”
Something dark and mischievous made its way into Geralts eyes.
“Oh sunshine, when we are through with you, you might just be able to do that.”
*cue 80s music and training montage*
Chapter 8: Frustration and Stress
In which Jaskier feels frustrated
When Jaskier had been 5 he had felt out a tree and broke his leg in two places and yet he was now certain that the pain he was in now was much worse than he had been when his bone had stuck out of his leg. He remembered how his mother had nursed him back to health and how he had hated being mothered on, now he wished he was back there in his bed at home listening to his mother’s stories and eating fruit pie.
He was only on Week 4 not even at half time and every part of his body ached. Every morning he had to run, and at least thanks to his travelling with Geralt he managed just fine even when it got colder and snow fell but the rest of the physical training was awful.
The theoretical part was fine and he was acing the tests that both Vesemir and Aiden prepared for him, his mind a sponge and his early years of schooling about political affairs came in handy as he easily took in the provided knowledge. Learning to fake Witcher signs was much harder.
He understood the theory of Chaos Magic but the source of power within him didn’t come from Chaos it came from nature itself and it took him almost 3 weeks before he was first able to Aard Eskel away from him. Obviously it was not a real Aard. He did the sign but he had to sing under his breath to conjure up his magic and the way he did it was by summoning a small gust of wind to throw Eskel.
Igni came easier to him. The fire of Rage burning in him, eager to take out the ones that had hurt Lambert. They were still trying to find a workaround for the other signs but Jaskier was already tired, yet he did his best.
Sword and Fight Training was the worst. If he had thought Geralt would go easy on him because they were lovers he had been fairly wrong. He had the cuts and bruises to show and even though he was already a decent swordsman after four weeks Geralt was not satisfied with him at all. It got so bad that it had resulted in their first real fight after the mountain.
“Your footwork is still sloppy Jaskier!”
“I know! I am trying-“
“Try harder! A child could do better.”
Jaskier had grunted and corrected his footwork but had still missed Geralt with his sword.
“Do you even want to save Lambert? You are not trying hard enough! It’s useless!”
Logically Jaskier knew that Geralt was just as tired and frustrated as he was, that he was not just worried about Lambert but also Jaskiers safety in the den of cats and yet something inside of him snapped and he threw his sword onto the ground.
“Well, I am done! You know what, you are right!? I am useless!”
“That’s not what I said….I just meant…I wished…”
“For what`?? Peace and Quiet again?”
Geralt took a step back, hurt in his eyes. Why would Jaskier bring up the Djinn accident now?
“Oh let me guess Witcher if life could give you one blessing it would be for a better fiancé. Well since you haven’t given me anything to wear anyway that’s not something you need to worry about anymore!”
Geralts eyes widened in shock, yes he hadn’t gotten around to make something for Jaskier yet but not because he didn’t want to but because he wanted the trinket to be perfect and he was still in the planning stages. He watched as Jaskier stormed off and decided to give him some time to cool off. The bard did surely know that he loved him more than life itself and could not wait to be married to him?
He was corrected when he went to their room late that night and found their bed empty.
Chapter 9: Do you love me?
In which Jaskier is overwhelmed and at his breaking point
Panic made its way into Geralts heart and then when he realized that Jaskier had not in fact been kidnapped or gotten hurt, fear. Bitter Fear to lose his love again crept through his veins and he went looking for Jaskier all over the keep. He was not with Aiden, who still sat at Lambert's side, neither did he find him with Eskel or in the common area.
Finally, he made his way to Jaskiers old room on the other side of the keep and found himself staring at the hallway that led to the room. He could hear Jaskier singing something dark and sad and snow fell inside the corridors outside his room. His magic must have reacted to the sadness in his voice and nervously the Witcher knocked at Jaskiers door.
The singing stopped and so did the falling snow and he could hear his bard shuffle around in the room before the door was pulled open.
“Oh, …it’s you….What do you want?”
Sighing Jaskier shook his head.
“I am tired Geralt. I have been tired for weeks. If you want to break things off than please do so, so I can go back to trying to sleep.”
Jaskiers words felt like a punch right through his heart and Geralt had to lean against the doorframe to keep himself from falling.
“I don’t. Jaskier no!”
The bard looked confused. “No?”
“No! I love you! Why would I….Why?”
Geralt made a step forward reaching for Jaskier but not actually grabbing him uncertain how to proceed. “I know training has been hard on you but you know I love you Sunshine.”
“Do I Geralt? Do I?”
Geralt stumbled closer still reaching for Jaskier who had hugged himself and looked to the floor.
“I…of course I….Jaskier? I….did I….Tell me Sunshine. Tell me how to fix this. Please. I can’t lose you Sunshine. Please.”
Jaskier sobbed slightly and pushed forward to press himself against his Witcher whose arms came around him instantly.
“Tell me Sunshine. Please.”
“You….you courted me…and you refuse to marry me. First, you said it’s because you needed more time but you didn’t tell me what for and I’ve been patient. I tried to see it from your perspective and…tried to be less….needy…less me….but….”
“Then I asked you for another promise token and you…..you refuse to give me one. If you changed your mind Geralt….I…..you haven’t even touched me since training began.”
Geralt lifted the bard up and laid him onto the bed, curling up around him and kissing him.
“I thought…..I was wrong. I….” Words still came hard to Geralt but he realized once more that if he had voiced his thoughts this whole debacle could have been avoided.
“I didn’t want to get married right away because I was saving money. I wanted to buy you a house on the coast. A place for us to retire to if we wished so or to just stay whenever we wanted. A home to be a family.” Jaskiers blue eyes went wide but he needed to get the rest out before he let the bard answer.
“I didn’t give you another token yet because I wanted it to be perfect and I wasn’t certain what would please you. First I wanted to make you another necklace but it would be visible too easily and I can’t risk your safety for my own stupid need to mark you as mine. Then I wanted a ring but again it would be too visible and an earring could be easily pulled off in a fight and hurt you.”
He pressed another soft kiss to Jaskiers warm lips and then his forehead.
“I want to touch you all the time, want to kiss you and make you feel good and I haven’t done so because every night you climb into bed you are exhausted and bruised and hurt and I did not want to make you feel even sorer than you already were.”
Jaskier sobbed again and pressed closer.
“I am sorry Jaskier….I….am not good at this but…I want you and need you in my life. I love you. You are the sun.”
“Fuck Geralt. I am sorry too I was scared. I thought….. I thought you weren’t interested anymore that you wanted to seek pleasure elsewhere or go back to Yennefer or-“
“Never. I am yours until the end of time.”
“I…am yours as well.” Jaskier pushed his head under Geralts chin and closed his eyes. “I am so tired but I want…I want….” He yawned loudly and laughed about himself shortly after.
“Will you hold me during the night?”
“Of course sunshine. Sleep. I am here.” Smiling Jaskier yawned again and fell asleep shortly after.
Geralt stayed awake much longer, his thoughts wildly running through his head. He needed to do better and Jaskier needed a break, at least for a day.
Chapter 10: Take some Rest
In which Jaskier gets a break
When Jaskier woke up the next morning he immediately panicked. The sun was already out which meant he had overslept and just as he was about to jump out of bed and run down to the courtyard his bedroom door opened and he saw Geralt coming in, softly smiling and setting a steaming cup of tea and a plate of food next to the bed.
“Good morning Sunshine.”
“Geralt! I overslept!”
“It’s okay Love, I told the others you needed today and tomorrow off.”
Jaskier blinked at him, staring until Geralts word finally sunk in. “I….I have two days off?”
“Hmm.” Nodding Geralt set on the bed and pulled the covers back onto Jaskier, making sure he was warm and comfortable. “I got you breakfast.” Geralts heart felt happy and heavy at Jaskiers bright smile that illuminated the whole room as the bard reached for the plate to discover his favourite type of bread, thick butter and honey drops on it.
Shaking his head the Witcher kissed his lovers forehead. “No, don’t thank me. I should have realized sooner that you were working yourself to the bone. You did so great we forgot that you are still mostly human and that you would benefit from a break or two. So we decided to give you the rest of the Sundays off. It won’t help I you burn out. I am sorry that I haven’t seen how tired you really were.”
Jaskier licked his lips, the thick honey coating them in a shiny smear. “I am sorry too. I should have spoken up. I just…I wanted to do my best but I guess I can’t ignore my bodies limits.” A soft kiss was pressed to his lips and Geralt smiled at the sweet sticky taste. Smiling Jaskier finished eating and then reached for his cup, slowly sipping the hot tea. “So, what is planned for today?”
“Whatever you want Sunshine.”
“Ah….” The bard smiled and wiggled his eyebrows in an overdramatic fashion. “What if I want to keep you in bed all day?”
Smirking Geralt shrugged. “I said whatever you want.”
“Huh…good…that’s…good to know….”
He finished his tea and stretched like a lazy housecat before hugging Geralt. “Thank you, dear Witcher.” He stood up and stretched once more before starting to get dressed. “So…here’s what I want.” He turned, smiling at his fiancé. “I want a bit of time alone. I love all of you dearly but as you said I need a break, so I will explore the keep a bit…yes I know not to go in the ruined parts, I just want to see some of the old rooms, maybe let inspiration for a song hit me, you know?”
When Geralt nodded smiling the bard continued. “Then I want to have lunch with everyone, without having to help in the kitchen, I just want to sit down and eat.” The Witcher nodded once more waiting for his love to talk on. “Then I want to spend some time with you…talking. I want to still learn more about you and tell you more about me…if you….I mean?”
“I would love that Jask.”
“Great. And then after dinner, I want to take a looooooong soak in the springs so I won’t feel as sore as I did those last few weeks and afterwards I want you to fuck me within an inch of my life. Can you do that?”
A faint blush crept onto Geralts face, accompanied by a soft smile. “Fair terms my Sunshine. I will manage.”
Laughing Jaskier pressed another kiss onto his lover's mouth. “Good, now go. I’ll see you at lunch.” Nodding Geralt took his leave and smiling Jaskier set out to explore the former glorious halls of Kaer Morhen.
Chapter 11: Sing my soul to rest
In which Jaskier meets some poor souls
As soon as Jaskier was dressed he took his notebook and started to explore the formerly glorious, but now ruined, western wing of the keep. Jaskier knew from Vesemir tales that this was where new Witchers had been made before the castle had been attacked and the laboratory and the knowledge to make new Witchers had been destroyed. He knew the old Witcher had mixed feelings about it, on one hand, he was happy that no child had to undergo the gruesome rites ever again, on the other hand, he had mourned the loss of all those innocent lives and Vesemir was also aware that the world needed Witchers even if the world didn’t want them.
The air in the ruined halls smelled stale and thick and Jaskiers new magic let him feel the faint traces of lost lives and he felt tears well up in his eyes. He slightly hummed and he could see the ghost of countless boys of different ages, haunting the halls. The weight of hundreds of brutal and violent deaths hit Jaskier all at once and he crumbled to the floor, filled with such an intense melancholy that for a second he wanted to end his own life.
Thankfully the feeling passed quickly and he regained his composure as he reminded himself of all the good thing that made life worth living. He walked over to the middle of the former glorious hall, sat down on the floor and closed his eyes, while he started to play a soft lullaby. His voice was strong and full of love and when he opened his eyes he could see the shades of all the boys that had died during the trials and during the attack surround him.
There were so many of them that it would have been impossible to count, they were sitting and standing in each other, their forms overlapping as Jaskier continued his song. The longer he sung the more shades started to change colour, going from a dark purple-ish black to a bright white and then vanish, leaving only a warm feeling of hope and love behind.
When he was done only a handful of shades remained, their death too violent to be soothed with a song no matter how magical it might be but overall the dreaded feeling of the room had lifted. Jaskier looked up, with his star-filled eyes and stared at the remaining ghosts.
“I am sorry…I promise when I am stronger I will come back for you.”
There was no direct answer but Jaskier felt like the lost souls understood him as they drifted away, becoming one with the ruined walls once more. He pulled his notebook out and as he sat there for hours drafting the outline of a new song he silently smiled to himself.
On the other side of the keep, four Witcher suddenly felt as a huge weight had been lifted from their minds and shoulders and the sun shined a little bit brighter. Even Lambert smiled in his slumber, much to Aiden’s delight as he curled up against his lover.
Geralt had spent the morning in the smithy, and now covered in soot, grime and sweat he was finally done. Eskel had been so kind as to assist him, not with his hands but telling him what to do as Geralt was not very well versed in crafting something so small and fragile yet he thought it important to do all the work himself. Satisfied with the final result he went to wash up so he could help Vesemir and Aiden prepare lunch.
The Witcher was not surprised to find that his bard had forgotten time and found him sitting on the cold floor surrounded by small flowers in the middle of the ruined West Hall.
“Oh…hey!” Jaskiers big blue eyes sparkled at him and he pulled the younger man up to his feet and into a loving embrace. Jaskier sighed happily against his neck and raised to his tiptoes so he could press a kiss against Geralts forehead. “I am sorry about the flowers….I….”
“It’s all right Sunshine, they look….nice.” The Witcher wrinkled his forehead. “I…it also feels better here like….uhm….” Jaskiers smile turned sad for a moment before he told Geralt what had happened with the spirits.
“I did not even realize what I was doing until they started to move on.”
Pride filled Geralts chest and he softly let his lips wander over Jaskiers face. “You.” The press of warm lips to Jaskiers brow. “Are.” Another kiss, this time directly on the tip of the bard’s nose. “A.” The third kiss was playfully put against the corner of Jaskiers mouth. “Wonder.” And finally, their lips met and Jaskier pushed himself so tight against his Witcher that Geralt had to wrap his arms around the smaller man to keep him from stumbling.
The bard’s mouth opened willing and hot under him and Geralt tongue eagerly dipped into the wet heat. The little moan that left Jaskiers mouth, only to be swallowed by his own made Geralts knees weak and he had to take a step back to regain composure. “Not here Jask…”
“Yes…no…you are right…sorry…” He smiled sheepishly. “It’s just…it’s been a month and I want….I need.”
Smiling the Witcher nodded. “Me too Jask, me too….Lunch first, then I will take care of you, yeah?”
“Yes, love. Lead the way.”
Waving their fingers together Geralt lead his love out of the west wing and back into the main part of the keep where hot food was already waiting for them.
Chapter 12: Your Fingers in my hair
In which Geralt and Jaskier take a bath
“Oh by the way….why are you covered in ash?”
Geralt laughed out loudly and Jaskiers chest filled with happiness and pride, he loved when he was able to tickle a real laugh out of his Witcher. “I’ll show you later Sunshine.”
Accepting the answer Jaskier nodded and sat down next to Aiden.
“Hey, kitten. How are you holding up?”
Aiden leaned his head against Jaskiers shoulder and gave him a quick squeeze.
“Better now that Lam is resting peacefully….I…wanted to apologize to you.”
“We all did.” Said Eskel while serving the hot food, a deliciously smelling rabbit stew.
“What? Why?” Jaskier stopped the spoon he had lifted to his mouth midway and looked confused between his Witchers.
Aiden smiled softly at him as Geralt sat down on the other side of him, Vesemir and Eskel opposite on the other side of the large table.
“Because we did not see how overworked you were…no! Don’t look ashamed! You did so much better than we expected that we kinda forgot that you are still mostly human.”
Jaskiers smiled softly and nudged his best friend’s side. “It is all right. I also pushed myself too hard. We know now and I will take more breaks so I don’t die from exhaustion.”
Nodding the Witchers smiled at their bard and started to eat as well, keeping the conversation light.
After their meal Jaskier dragged Geralt down to the baths to get rid of the ash that still covered his skin. “Let me wash your hair Ger, please….like in old times.”
“4 weeks ago does not really mean old times, but yes….you know me. I ….adore it when you wash my hair.”
Positively surprised Jaskier blinked at the Witcher. “Look at you using all those words.”
Geralt shrugged. “I am trying.”
“You are doing so well love, now get naked and into the water.”
Soon both of them were situated in the steep pool as Jaskier worked soap and oil into Geralts white locks. The silence that hung between them was warm and comfortable as the bard’s tender fingers worked their magic.
Geralt made a deep happy sound in his chest when Jaskiers nails dug into his scalp and he leaned back against his lover. “I missed this. You touching me.”
“I missed it too my dear Witcher.” One of Jaskiers hands stayed in Geralts hair, gripping a few loose strands and pulling slightly, while his other hand made its way around on his torso, brushing slightly over Geralts chest and flicking his nipples.
“Hmmm? Yes, Witcher?” There was a huge smile on Jaskiers face and Geralt could clearly hear it in his teasing voice. Smiling himself the Witcher let his head fall down onto Jaskiers shoulder and closed his eyes. He had missed his lover's hand on his body and was now pushing against Jaskiers fingers trying to get more friction.
“Tell me Geralt, tell me what you need, what you want.”
“Should I not be the one to ask you this, Sunshine?”
Jaskier hands came back to Geralts nipple, gently tugging and rolling it between his fingers, electing a soft moan from the Witcher. “No, it’s my day and I get what I want and I do want to take care of you.”
“How…did I ever gotten so lucky?”
Instead of answering Jaskier lips found the soft part behind his Witchers ear and sucked a tiny bruise into the pale skin. Geralt let his eyes flutter shut, only concentrating on the feeling of his love behind him. The bard's slender fingers dance over his chest and abdomen and soon he could feel them inch closer to his hard cock.
“Yes, always yes Sunshine.”
He could feel Jaskier pressing soft kisses against his neck and shoulders at the same time as one of his hands wrapped around him, fingers applying a delicious amount of pleasure and Jaskier thumb playing with the slit on his crown.
“Mhm….yes….way too long….” Pushing slightly forward Jaskier pushed his own cock between Geralt butt cheeks. His left arm held the Witcher in place, wrapped around his stomach and making sure he would not fall but still Geralt pushed his arms against the edged of the pool as he pushed back.
“Shit Geralt. You feel….gods….”
“Jaskier. Please….please…I need you.”
Grunting the bard's hand moved faster and he bit into Geralts shoulder.
“No oil….just let me…please…”
Laughing Jaskier bit him again. “No way….just gonna bring you off like this. Take you properly later.”
His thrusts matched the movement of his hands and it did not take long for both of them to tumble over the edge together. As soon as Jaskier grip loosened Geralt twisted around to pull his fiancée in a kiss.
“I love you so much Jaskier.”
The bard's smile was so bright and wide it almost took the Witchers breath away.
“I love you too, Geralt.”
Smiling he reached for the soap. “Now…where was I?”
Chapter 13: Wear my gift upon your skin
In which Geralt tells Jaskier about his childhood
After their bath Geralt had taken Jaskier up to his favourite tower, which allowed them a great view over the whole mountain range and even the small town at the foot in the distance.
“Oh, Geralt! This is wonderful, if a bit cold.”
The Witcher slung his arms around the bard from behind, covering his lover in his own coat and pulled him close. Smiling Jaskier rested his head against Geralts shoulder and sighed, staring off into the distance.
The silence that hung between them felt warm and comfortable and surprisingly it was Geralt who broke it first.
“When I first came here, I spent hours….no days up here. I…was not allowed to but it was my refuge. I looked out to the road, looking for my mother. Convinced she would realize her mistake and come back to pick me up.” Geralts arms tightened around Jaskiers and the bard brushed his own hands over Geralts, lacing their fingers together.
“She never came…..I…I was so angry and mad and I still came up her to….vent….”
A soft kiss was pressed to the Witchers neck, as Jaskier turned into his arms and held him tight. “I….one day Eskel followed me up here, wanting to see what I was up to. I was mid venting, punching at the wall and he…he calmed me. That’s the day we became best friends.”
“I am your best friend.”
Chuckling Geralt rubbed his nose against Jaskiers.
“You will never let that go will you?”
Grinning Jaskier pressed a soft kiss against Geralts lips and nodded to urge him on to talk. It was rare that Geralt talk, especially about something so personal and it was all that Jaskier could wish for even if the subject might be a bit sad.
“He was my brother from then on, it was just the two of us against the rest of the world until….a few years later they brought Lambert in. He was tiny, I swear he hadn’t had his growth spurt yet, a scrawny little thing and he kicked and screamed and even knocked an elder Witchers teeth out.”
They both smiled to themselves, imagine a teenage Lambert full of anger and spite.
“It was Eskel again who gained his trust and then it was us three against the rest of the World. I…he is my brother as well. I cannot lose him Sunshine. I can’t. It would kill me.”
“I know Ger, I know. I won’t let that happen. I swear. Soon he will be our usual sassy asshole again.”
“Jaskier…I…am glad you are with me and….with Aiden. If it were you….”
Geralt shook his head in an almost violent matter. “I don’t even want to imagine it.”
The Witcher took a step back and then to Jaskier utter surprise he sunk to one knee.
“I love you more than life. You are my sun Jaskier, the warmth of my home. I don’t want to not be married any longer. Will you fulfil your promise and become mine before you and Aiden leave for your quest?”
Jaskier looked down at his Witcher, his hands gently brushing through his lover’s hair, his blue eyes filled with tears.
“Oh, Geralt. Yes! Please!”
Laughing Geralt, still on his knees, pressed a kiss to Jaskiers belly and then started to undo one of the bard’s boots.
“Hold still sweetheart….”
Blinking Jaskier raised his foot, trusting Geralt with whatever this was.
“You asked why I was covered in soot earlier. I finished making your betrothal gift. It…it’s a bracelet but I thought for safety reasons you could wear it around your ankle for the time being. Geralt held the bracelet up so Jaskier could see and with shaking hands the bard reached out to look at the braided silver. It was an open bracelet, knotted strands of silver coming together in a Skellige like design. Jaskier had seen similar bracelets and he knew usually the ended in two identical animal heads, normally snakes or wolves or lions.
This one had a wolf at one end as well, but the other side was fashioned in a filigree bird head, a lark and all the bard could do was sink to his own knees and throw his arms around Geralt, loudly sobbing.
“Oh Geralt, it’s beautiful. It’s perfect! I…I love it!”
Smiling and relived Geralt claimed Jaskiers lips in a deep kiss before reaching for the bard’s foot. “Will you allow me to put it on you?”
“Of course.” The metal felt cool against Jaskiers skin but not in an uncomfortable way. It was easy to pull his sock and boot back on and he could still feel it, yet he was not hindered by it.
“I love you, future Husband.”
Smiling Geralt took Jaskiers hand and started to lead him back down again.
“I love you too Jaskier. I am so happy I accidentally courted you.”
“Yeah me too- Wait? What!?”
Meanwhile a few stories below the tower Lambert opened his eyes and looked down at his own unmoving form, while the ghostly shade he was now floated above the floor. Lambert stared and tried to reach for his own body, his transparent hand gliding right through it.
“…..Motherfucking Son of a three times vomiting whore!”