The year was 1250 and word of Princess Pavetta's impending due date of their baby girl had reached Geralt and Jaskier. So, after days of trying to convince Geralt to go to Cintra, they were on their way.
A day later, after a long ride, Geralt and Jaskier ride through the palace gates. A knight guides them to the birth suite where Calanthe, Pavetta, and Duny were. Pavetta had gone into labor that morning. Jaskier waited in the hall while Geralt knocked lightly then opened the door. Calanthe jumped to her feet with a scowl and Prevetta looked at Duny with tears in her eyes.
"Before you say anything, I'm not here to claim. The Path is not suited for a baby. I just wish to know her, to be in her life. The only reason, I would ever take her from here, would be if she were in danger and I would take her for protection and bring her back when it's safe." Geralt said calmly before slowly approaching Pavetta with a small bag.
"A gift for the little Princess." He said, handing it to her. Pavetta looks at him in confusion before opening the bag. Inside was a beautiful pure gold brooch with multiple large emeralds.
"Geralt, we can't accept this." Pavetta whispers in awe.
"Please. I want to. That brooch belonged to a princess called Renfri, she was the first person I loved in a romantic way. She's actually why I got the name Butcher of Blaviken. I got on a sorcerer's bad side. His name was Stregobor. He had been killing princesses that were born under the black sun then cutting them open for research purposes, or at least that's what he called it. Renfri was the only one that was able to escape his assassination attempts; and I absolutely refused to get involved once I got both sides of the story. In retaliation, he put me under a thrall and forced me to slaughter about 20 men and Renfri in the street. She tried to stop me and we crossed swords. The thrall only lifted when I plunged a dagger into her neck. It was one of the worst moments of my life. I never really knew why I kept that brooch… that was… until I got word that you were in labor with this little girl." Geralt said as he gently took Pavetta's hand, which she squeezed during any contractions she had while he explained.
"This baby, I know she is both you and Duny's daughter, but I feel like she's my daughter too. I won't force her to call me dad or papa or father, or anything like that. That title is Duny's but I wouldn't mind it if she called him Dad and me Papa... if that happens, that is your decision to allow. What I'm trying to say is I want you to know that I already know I love her just as much as you two." Geralt said quietly. Pavetta looks at those bright yellow eyes and sees the honesty and love and couldn't help but smile. She saw Duny nod behind Geralt but then the nurse maid came in and checked how dilated she was.
"Princess, it's time to start pushing. Men, out." The nurse said. Geralt pressed a light kiss to Pavetta's knuckles then moved so Duny could kiss his wife, then they both moved out into the hall where Jaskier was pacing.
"Geralt! Is everything alright?" He asked worriedly. Geralt takes in a deep shuddering breath and nods before sitting down in a chair. Jaskier immediately notices the signs of internal panic and goes to sit in Geralt's lap. Jaskier gently guides Geralt's face to his neck and scratches lightly at the base of Geralt's scalp. Duny watches in curiosity as Geralt's arms wrap around the bard and he takes a deep breath with his nose pressed to the spot below Jaskier's ear. Jaskier notices Duny's confusion and smiles softly.
"Certain scents make witchers react in different ways. As his mate, the familiarity of my scent calms him down. It gives him something to focus on." Jaskier said and let out a little yelp as he felt fangs bite him in annoyance.
"Hey, you don't need to bite me! I don't care that you find it embarrassing, so, suck it up, mister." Jaskier said, flicking Geralt's ear but was only rewarded with a chuckle. They sit in silence for a while before suddenly Geralt surges up and stares at the opposite wall in shock, his head tilted slightly.
"What?" Duny asked worriedly.
"I can hear the baby's heartbeat. It's so strong, so beautiful. We should be able to meet her in a few minutes." Geralt croaks, unshed tears in his eyes. It was a pure and amazing sound.
A few minutes later, just as Geralt had predicted, Pavetta screamed one more time and then a shrill cry rang out. Geralt smiles widely as he meets Duny's eyes who was grinning as well. Geralt looks down at Jaskier who gave him a quick kiss before climbing off his lap.
"Congratulations." Jaskier murmurs. Calanthe opened the door and gestured them in. Pavetta was covered in sweat and was breathless but Geralt's attention was on the little girl in her arms. He stood frozen just inside the doorway as the scent of blood, sweat, tears, amniotic fluid, love and happiness assaulted his nose. He could also see the wisps of white hair on the girl's head and hear her fast paced heartbeat.
And then he suddenly was hit with a whirl of confusion, sensitivity and distress. He choked at the feeling of realization that he and the girl shared an empathic bond.
Duny glanced at Geralt before quickly walking closer to his wife to look at his daughter. Pavetta hands her to Duny who cradles her gently before looking at Geralt.
"Do you want to hold her?" Duny asked him and started to rock her as she started to cry, obviously not happy with the change. Geralt gulps and before copies the way duny held his arms. Then she was laid in his arms. Her cries immediately quiet as soft rumbling pur escaped his chest as he smiled tearfully down at her. He can sense through the bond that she recognizes that she's bound to him. He knows she feels his love and snuggles up to him and Jaskier lets out a little huff of a laugh while Calanthe and Pavetta look at him in surprise. Not many people knew Geralt could pur after all.
"Your purring, it calms her." Jaskier whispers as she falls asleep against him. Jaskier runs gentle fingers along her forehead and hums quietly.
"It's not just the purring. We have an empathic bond. She can sense we're destined. She recognizes me. My brother and his child surprise had a similar bond. Vesemir concluded it was because they both had a connection to chaos. I can sense magic in her too, old magic. Have you named her?" Geralt whispers curiously.
"Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon." Pavetta says, hopeful for his approval. Geralt looks down at her again and shifts to gently rub his thumb against her cheek.
"Cirilla. It suits her." He mutters quietly.
"Fatherhood is a good look on you." Duny said softly, making Geralt look up.
"I think I can speak for both of us, Geralt, and say Duny and I want you to be her second father. Duny will be called father and you will be Dad. If I try, I can sense your bond. You belong here with us. Is that agreeable?" She asked curiously. Geralt looks to Duny who nods with a smile.
"That's perfect. Thank you." Geralt said quietly before Cirilla started to whimper.
"She's hungry." Geralt said quietly before handing her to Pavetta.
Jaskeir and Geralt stayed at the palace for the next year and during which, they got to know the royal family while also helping Pavetta and Duny out with Cirilla. Then unfortunately a few weeks after her 1st birthday and a few days after Jaskier left to for a bard competition at Oxenfurt, Geralt got itchy and felt himself being called back to the wild. So, after arranging multiple things with Mousesack with a weary heart, he called for a family meeting. Once everyone arrives, Ciri, who had been playing on the floor with Duny immediately stands up and takes a few hesitant steps toward him. Proudly, Geralt sweeps Ciri up in his arms and presses his forehead to hers.
"Good job, darling."
The others watch as tears fill his eyes and he presses a lingering kiss to her forehead. Ciri looks at him with the bright green eyes and pats his cheeks, obviously sensing his sadness.
"Dada?" She yells, making the tears in his eyes fall as he takes her hand and presses a gentle kiss. He could feel her concern became mixed with joy as he knew she sensed the pride that filled him at hearing her first words and first steps being directed to him.
"Ya, Pup. I'm dada. And I'm alright, Pup." He croaks proudly as he cradles her to his chest in a hug. He feels her open mouth press to his cheek in a baby kiss and he couldn't help but smile.
"I love you." He mumbles and presses a kiss to her cheek as he feels his love echoed back to him before turning his attention to his family.
"I called you all here because I'm leaving for a little while. I have to get back on the path. Mousesack and I have taken precautions and Mousesack will know where I am at anytime and If I'm healthy or I'm hurt. I will also be able to activate an emergency beacon that will alert Mousesack to immediately make a portal and pull me through. We even devised a way that we can talk through enchanted mirrors. I'll come back in a few months. Although, if I end up wintering in Kaer Morhen, it might be longer. It'll depend on where I am and which I'm closer to. But if that happens, you are welcome to portal over. The other witchers winter there too usually. So, Ciri might be able to meet her uncles and grandfather." Geralt said while he played with Ciri on the ground. He had some blocks and was stacking them high so Ciri could knock them down. Her joy through the bond and her laughter was contagious as the bricks came tumbling down.
"We understand. We'll make sure to keep in touch." Duny said softly. They had formed a brother like relationship during the last year and everyone had to admit, Geralt was a great dad. Calanthe had even started calling him her son and Pavetta was now his sister.
That night was filled with preparations and the next morning began with tearful goodbyes.
That night, Geralt sat in a tavern a few towns over and was fidgeting with a small stuffed bird that had a lock of Ciri's hair inside while he downed his sadness in ale until the young woman came up beside him.
"I thought you looked pretty lonely, so I thought I might offer you some company." She said, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.
"I'm not looking for a bedmate. I appreciate the thought though." Geralt said, his eyes and staying glued to the small stuffed bird.
"I understand. So what's a witcher like you doing with a doll like that." She asked. He could smell her genuine curiosity and sighed.
"It's not a doll. It's a keepsake. I have a lock of my daughter's hair inside. So I have a little piece of her with me when I leave for a few contracts. It's my first night away from her since she was born. I didn't think it would be this hard to not be able to hear her heartbeat or hear her giggle." He said quietly, his attention still focused on the sparrow.
"It's just separation anxiety. It's normal for new parents. Congratulations, white wolf." She said before walking off.