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Jaskier’s phone buzzes in the middle of his shift. He finishes serving a gaggle of young women their vodka cranberries before reaching into the back pocket of his skinny jeans.

[iMessage Lambert]: you working tonight?

He smiles. This is a nice surprise. He texts back quickly.

[iMessage Jaskier]: yep. Off at 2.

[iMessage Lambert}: same. Come over?

[iMessage Jaskier]: I’ll text you when I get there

He doesn’t hear from Lambert often, but that’s always been the nature of their relationship. Casual, easy, no strings or feelings involving. Just great, mind-blowing sex. Jaskier can already feel his gut clenching pleasantly at the thought. God he hasn’t had a good fuck in a while. Lambert is exactly the palate cleanser he needs.

Jaskier tucks his phone back into his pocket and resumes tending bar. The Oxenfurt is packed tonight, teeming with drunk and horny young adults. Jaskier serves more shots of fireball whiskey and pints of Stella than he can count, but his spirits are high, the tips are good, and the evening goes by quicker than he expects.

Essi rings the last call bell a half hour before closing and then it’s a dizzying, mad dash to serve the flurry of people crowding the bar. Jaskier doesn’t get flustered, doesn’t even so much as bat an eyelash - he’s been bartending almost two years now, after all, that nonsense has been sufficiently knocked out of him - just takes his section of the bar and methodically serves his customers, while Essi does the same with hers. It passes by quickly.

Between one blink and the next, Jaskier goes from serving a buzzed, rowdy, tempestuous crowd to wiping down the bar and tables. The floor is sticky with remnants of beer and liquor, and he takes a mop to it, wiping at the sweat collecting on his brow with the back of his hand. Jaskier waves goodbye to Essi, who is stacking up the freshly cleaned glassware. “You okay to get home?” he asks, shrugging into his jacket.

She nods. “I’m fine, I promise. Go,” she shoos him with a wink and a saucy grin. “Say hi to Lambert for me.”

Jaskier grins back.

The air outside is fresh and crisp, not cold but cooling, and he enjoys how it feels on his heated skin. He walks down the fairly deserted street, occasionally thumbing through his phone as he does. Lambert’s apartment building isn’t a far walk from the bar, and Jaskier gets there soon enough. He shoots a quick text to Lambert and presses the button on the intercom of the Kaer Morhen complex to be let in.

Lambert lives on the fifth floor, so Jaskier opts to call the lift. He checks himself out in the mirror. His cheeks are slightly flushed, his blue eyes bright, the lone silver earring in his ear catching in the overhead light. He passes idle fingers through his chestnut hair and adjusts the collar of his faux satin teal dress shirt. Jaskier pops open the first three buttons, giving a nice view of his collarbone and the expanse of chest hair underneath.

Satisfied that he looks just debauched enough, Jaskier steps out of the lift and takes one, steadying inhale before rapping his knuckles against the door. “Coming!” he hears in Lambert’s low, signature drawl, and then moments later the man himself appears. He looks good, in a tight black V neck shirt and black pants - the signature bouncer uniform - his copper hair is a little shorter than Jaskier remembers it being, but his smile, wide, unrepentant, and infuriatingly attractive is exactly the same.

“Hey blue eyes,” Lambert greets him, opening the door wider. “It’s good to see you.” He leans forward, catching Jaskier’s lips in a kiss, teeth nipping at his bottom lip. Jaskier kisses him back with enthusiasm.

“Good to see you too,” Jaskier says once they break apart and steps inside Lambert’s flat, Lambert’s hand at the small of his back.

He guides Jaskier into the kitchen. “Can I get you anything to drink?”

“Whatever you’re having, darling.”

Lambert pops open two bottles of Heineken and hands one to Jaskier. They clink bottles and Lambert keeps his eyes trained on Jaskier as they both take a drink. Inwardly, Jaskier smiles.

“How’s Coën?” he asks, just to make conversation.

“He’s good. Moved in with his girl, actually. I have a new roommate.”

“That’s nice. Can I meet him? Or her? Although, you don’t strike me as the type who’d be able to live with a woman.”

Lambert’s answering laugh is wry. “Funny. I’ll introduce you in the morning.” He sets his beer bottle down on the counter and slides closer to Jaskier. His hands rest warm and low on Jaskier’s hips. His eyes, a deep, whiskey-gold, are darkened with lust. “Let’s go to my room,” Lambert murmurs in a tone Jaskier knows to mean that conversation, for tonight at least, is over.

He licks his lips invitingly, and winds his arms around Lambert’s neck. They’re pretty much of a height, Lambert having two or three centimeters on him at most, which means that Jaskier only has to tilt his head a fraction to brush his lips against Lambert’s, tongue tracing the seam of his mouth. “Lead the way, darling,” he murmurs and Lambert grins wickedly, dragging Jaskier by his belt loops.

Laughing, Jaskier lets himself be led, and he soon finds himself pressed against the door of Lambert’s bedroom as Lambert kisses him senseless, dragging his mouth from Jaskier’s lips to his neck, biting his way down. Jaskier throws his head back and moans freely, hands going to divest Lambert of his belt. Their clothes soon follow, landing in careless piles all over the room, and then Jaskier is pushed onto the bed, Lambert crawling on top of him as soon as he retrieves a bottle of lube and a condom from his nightstand.

Lambert fucks Jaskier on his hand and knees, one hand on his waist and the other on his shoulder as he drives into him hard and fast and deep. Jaskier arches his back with a breathless, wanton gasp, and grabs the headboard so he can meet Lambert thrust for thrust.

When he comes his legs give out, and Lambert follows him down, still pressed inside of him. It only takes a few more thrusts before he lets out a guttural moan, biting down on Jaskier’s shoulder as he climaxes.

“Fuck, Jaskier,” Lambert says later as they lie in bed, the sweat on their bodies having long since cooled.

Jaskier laughs. “Yeah,” he replies, breathless. “I know.”

***

Lambert is still sleeping when Jaskier wakes up, snoring softly with an arm thrown over his face. Jaskier leans over the bed to grab his boxers and one of Lambert’s t-shirts. His throat is dry, his tongue thick with sleep. He needs water and coffee, fast.

He pads into the kitchen still half-asleep, scrubbing a hand over his face and through his hair, and then promptly stops. “Oh,” Jaskier says, and blinks in surprise. “Hello.”

Sitting at one of the high-top chairs with a mug of coffee and munching on some toasted bread with jam is quite possibly the most attractive man that Jaskier has ever seen. He’s wearing dark sweats and nothing else, allowing Jaskier an unobstructed view of his chiseled torso, his well-defined abdominals, his muscled arms. His silver hair - does he dye it? Has he prematurely gone grey? Jaskier finds himself desperately wanting to know - is pulled into a messy ponytail, exposing his buzzed undercut. There’s a tattoo on his left pectoral - a wolf’s head, interlaced with two swords. His eyes, ochre with flecks of gold, are trained on him quizzically. He doesn’t say anything.

Jaskier clears his throat. He finds himself painfully aware of the fact that he’s only clad in boxers and a t-shirt. “My name’s Jaskier. I’m, uh, a friend of Lambert’s.”

The man raises an eyebrow. “A friend,” he deadpans, and oh God his voice is low and husky and rough, like gravel. It sends heat pooling deep in Jaskier’s belly.

“He used to bounce at the place I bartend. We hook up sometimes,” he says, shameless and merry, and walks over to the pot of coffee, pouring himself a cup mostly so he can have something to do with his hands. “You must be Lambert’s new roommate.”

“Geralt,” the man supplies.

“Geralt,” Jaskier tests the name; finds he likes the way it rolls off his tongue. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Hm.”

Not a talker then. That’s okay. Jaskier can work with this. “So, Geralt,” Jaskier begins, leaning over the kitchen counter with his own mug of coffee. “How do you know Lambert?”

“We went to school together,” comes Lambert’s faintly amused reply. He joins them in the kitchen, making a beeline for the fridge. “Leave Geralt alone, blue eyes. I don’t want you spooking him.”

Jaskier watches him take out a pitcher of water. “Oh, can you pour me a glass too, please?” he asks. “And Geralt and I are just trying to get to know each other, aren’t we, Geralt? I’m not spooking him. Do I look scary?”

“Hm,” Geralt says, but Jaskier can see the flicker of a smile cross his face. It makes him even more gorgeous. Jaskier is mildly concerned with the way his heartbeat quickens at the sight.

“See? What did I tell you,” Jaskier says, taking the proffered glass of water. He turns his eyes back to Geralt, not letting his gaze stray even as he tips his head back and takes a sip. The water trickles a pleasing path down his throat. “Geralt and I are going to be fast friends.”

“Are we now?” Geralt rumbles, bemused.

“Oh yes,” Jaskier assures. “I’m never wrong about these kinds of things.”

He takes another sip of water. Geralt doesn’t take his eyes away from him.

It feels like a promise.

***

Essi flags him down. “You’ve got some friends here to see you, Jask,” she says with a wink.

They switch sections, and Jaskier’s smile widens when he approaches the counter. “Ah, Geralt, Lambert! So nice of you to stop by,” Jaskier says. “What can I get for two of my favorite people?”

“I bet you say that to everyone,” Lambert teases.

Jaskier grins, impish. “Maybe, but with you I actually mean it. So? Orders?” he asks again, even as he turns to grab a bottle of Heineken and their best single malt whiskey.

Sure enough.

“Heineken for me,” Lambert says.

“Whiskey neat, please,” Geralt says.

Jaskier stifles a grin and slides the drinks towards them. He tries to ignore the way his fingers buzz with electricity when they briefly brush against Geralt’s.

“Is Coën coming too?” he asks. “Will I finally get to meet this elusive girlfriend?”

Geralt hums. “Coën’s coming. He’s bringing Shani,” he confirms, idly picking up his whiskey. He looks good tonight - he always does - in black leather pants and a crisp black dress shirt. Jaskier teased Geralt once a few weeks ago about exclusively owning clothes in various shades of black and he hasn’t really been that far off.

“Fantastic,” Jaskier says. He waves off Geralt’s attempt to pay. “Sweetheart, you must know by now I won’t take your money.”

Geralt lets out this annoyed little growl that shouldn’t drop liquid heat down Jaskier’s spine, but well, here he is. Lambert huffs out a laugh. “Be good, blue eyes,” he says. “Otherwise you don’t get to meet Shani.”

“I’m always good,” Jaskier says pointedly, and then is promptly distracted by another group of customers.

Valdo and Priscilla get there about an hour later to take over for Jaskier and Essi. He’s not stuck working the closing shift tonight, thank god, so Jaskier quickly fixes himself a gin fizz while Valdo and Priscilla situate themselves. He pops open the hatch on the bar counter and slides out after Essi, walking towards the table where his friends are sat.

He spies Coën and a gorgeous redhead Jaskier assumes to be Shani there too. “Hello!” he greets brightly, leaning to give Coën a quick kiss on the cheek before sitting himself next to Geralt. They’re so close that their arms and thighs bump against each other, the heat of Geralt searing even through the layers of clothing. Jaskier is inwardly pleased when Geralt doesn’t move away.

“Jaskier it’s so good to see you,” Coën says. “This is my girlfriend Shani.”

Jaskier stretches his hand across the table, his leg practically over Geralt’s. “So good to meet you, darling. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Shani smiles as she shakes his hand. “All bad, I hope?”

“Oh, absolutely,” he assures to scattered laughter. “Tell me about how you two met. And feel free to embellish. I’m a romantic, you see.”

“Is that right?” And it’s Geralt who asks, his tone somewhere between amused and disbelieving. Jaskier turns his body a little to boldly meet Geralt’s golden gaze.

He feigns a frown. “Sweetheart, I’m offended by how surprised you sound. Don’t I look like the type of guy who wants to be swept off his feet?”

“I wouldn’t answer that if I were you, Geralt,” Lambert says drily. Geralt’s mouth quirks and he hums, noncommittal.

“Brutes the both of you,” Jaskier replies. “That’s it - no more drinks on the house.”

“Oh no,” Geralt deadpans, but his mouth is still curved in that small smile of his, and his eyes are warm and almost aglow as he looks at Jaskier. It’s a mesmerizing sight.

“Jerk,” Jaskier retorts, hopelessly fond. “Shani, darling, ignore these horrid, horrid men and please tell me about you and Coën.”

Shani, bless her heart immediately regales them with the story of how Coën had walked into her emergency room after getting into a fight with a guy at a bar who wouldn’t leave a young woman alone. It’s a good story, and Jaskier finds himself genuinely laughing out loud more than once, his body brushing up against Geralt’s a few times. Geralt never moves away.

They stay huddled together at that table, trading stories and barbs and laughs until closing time. At one point, Geralt winds an arm around the back of Jaskier’s chair and leaves it there. Jaskier feels the heat of his almost-embrace the whole night; the subtle movement of Geralt’s fingers by his shoulder blade. It’s strangely intimate, and Jaskier has to work hard not to be distracted, not to lean in, not to press into Geralt as tightly as he dares.

He still fucks Lambert that night. Jaskier ties Lambert’s wrists together over his head and drives into him with wild abandon. He grips those broad, freckled shoulders tight as he snaps his hips over and over again, and tries very hard not to think about another man as he chases his pleasure.

***

Jaskier can’t sleep.

A pleasantly warm shower coupled with an excellent orgasm and he’s still lying there wide awake. With a sigh, he heaves himself out of bed and grabs his purple dress shirt. He doesn’t bother doing up the buttons, walking towards the kitchen, his mind elsewhere.

He stops in his tracks when he sees Geralt there, sat on one of the high top chairs, idly thumbing through his phone; a glass of water in front of him.

It makes Jaskier smile. “Well this feels like deja-vu,” he teases softly, taking the seat right across from Geralt.

There’s a faint crinkling that appears around Geralt’s eyes when he’s amused, and Jaskier spies it right then. Warmth blooms in his belly. “Can’t sleep?” Geralt asks.

Jaskier shakes his head, woeful. “Happens sometimes. On and off since I was a kid. I’m used to it.”

He doesn’t explain why a child would suffer from insomnia; doesn’t say anything about the utter disregard his parents had for him; doesn’t talk about how their indifference bled into his every thought, obliterating sleep.

Jaskier speaks none of this out loud, and yet, Geralt takes one look at him and hums, “bad childhood?” with all the assurance of someone who knows exactly what he is talking about.

It makes Jaskier’s heart squeeze painfully in his chest. “Is it that obvious?”

Geralt is moving towards the fridge. He fetches two bottles of beer, popping them open before handing one to Jaskier. “Just takes one to know one.”

“Oh.”

Jaskier desperately wants to ask him questions. Wants to reach out, get to know this man, share his pain. He thinks maybe he’s not allowed. He’s fucking Geralt’s roommate; he shouldn’t be yearning for Geralt. He thinks there has to be a rule out there somewhere to that effect. A code. Something.

But he’s desperate and weak and maybe even a little stupid, and the words are tumbling from his lips before he can help himself. “Tell me something about yourself.”

“What kind of thing?”

“Anything. Christ, I’ve known you for a month now, Geralt, and I don’t even know what your job is.”

Geralt’s mouth curves. “That’s what you want to know?”

“Fuck’s sake Geralt,” Jaskier enunciates heavily through a half-hearted glare. It earns him a wider smile. “Just - humor me. Please.”

“I’m a fitness trainer.”

Jaskier’s mouth actually drops open. Geralt seems to be openly enjoying his surprise. “Of - of course you are,” Jaskier mutters, eyes roaming helplessly over Geralt’s body; he takes in the thick, strong arms, the chiseled abs, the sculpted ass.

“And you?”

“What about me?”

“Tell me something about you.”

Jaskier blinks, pleasantly surprised, and fights hard to smother his smile. “I’m a student. Bartending just pays the bills.”

“Really?” Geralt says around a mouthful of beer. Jaskier tries not to stare at the way Geralt’s throat works as he drinks.

“Really,” Jaskier echoes. “Music, mostly, and theatre. Essi and I are in a band together. When I graduate, we’ll start playing full time. Try to get signed.”

“Do you play now?” Geralt asks and he actually sounds interested and oh, it’s doing all kinds of things to Jaskier’s insides.

“Oh yeah we have an Instagram and everything. You should come see us sometime.” Jaskier taps his hand excitedly on the table. “Wait! Are you on Insta? Why aren’t we Instagram friends?”

Geralt quirks an amused eyebrow at him. “You talk about it like it a rite of passage.”

“The most important rite of passage, Geralt! That’s how we know we’re really friends.”

“Hm.”

“Don’t ‘hm’ me. Give me your phone.”

Jaskier already has his palm stretched out, smiling broadly when Geralt hands him his cell. Geralt’s fingers brush briefly against the back of his hand. Jaskier pulls up Instagram, taps the search bar, and adds his personal and band accounts in quick succession.

“Here,” he says. “Now we’re officially friends.”

“Lucky me,” Geralt deadpans.

Jaskier huffs. “Don’t lie to me, I know you love it.” And it might be the lateness of the hour or the beer, but Jaskier feels bold and buzzing with excitement, and he dares a wink.

He’s rewarded with a grin. “Hm,” Geralt says, but does not deny it.

They stay up drinking their beers and swapping stories. Jaskier’s chest feels like it’s filled with sunlight the whole time.

He might be in trouble, he thinks. He can’t be bothered to care.

***

It sort of becomes a ritual of theirs. Geralt appears to be assailed with insomnia with the same, depressing regularity that Jaskier does, and they’ll find themselves in the kitchen or the living room, two bottles of beers and a joint sometimes between them.

In the wee hours of the night, Geralt is more talkative, more vulnerable. Jaskier learns more about him than he could’ve ever possibly dreamed of (“I was an orphan,” Geralt tells him one night, “bounced around foster homes until I turned eighteen and got the hell out”); confides in Geralt similarly raw things about his own life (“my parents never fail to tell me what a disappointment I’ve been to them.”)

They don’t ever talk about Lambert, an unspoken agreement between them. On some nights, Jaskier finds himself desperately wanting to explain to Geralt why he continues fucking Lambert with an astounding regularity, even as his feelings for Geralt grow, but the words often end up stuck in his throat. And Geralt never asks, never pries, never assumes - only indulges Jaskier’s many questions, and even asks Jaskier a few himself.

Jaskier doesn’t entirely know how or why, only that he doesn’t want these nights spent with Geralt to ever stop.

***

Jaskier’s phone vibrates in the middle of his music theory class. He surreptitiously checks it when his professor’s back is turned. It’s an Instagram DM.

@griviafitness: [picture from Jaskier’s band account, @ButtercupandLittleEye, of a poster advertising a date and location] gig tonight?

@buttercupbard: yes! come! bring anyone you like. you’ll have a good time I promise

@griviafitness: if you promise

Jaskier bites down on a smile. Is Geralt flirting?

@buttercupbard: I’ll even buy you a drink to sweeten the deal, how does that sound?

@griviafitness: make it two

@buttercupbard: done I’ll see you there! xoxo

Jaskier spends the rest of the day unable to focus on much else.

***

Geralt does show up later for the gig, Lambert, Coën, Shani, and a man Jaskier doesn’t recognize in tow.

Already up on the stage, Jaskier nonetheless waggles his fingers in a cheery wave, heartbeat quickening when Geralt sends him a short salute. Next to him, Essi snorts, “You’re so gone.”

“Shut up,” Jaskier replies with no heat, slinging his acoustic guitar more firmly around his shoulders. Essi just laughs, brushing a teasing kiss to his cheek before she steps up to the mic. Her off-the-shoulder dress is crimson, matching her lipstick and the tight-fitted dress shirt Jaskier’s sporting tonight. He’s undone the first couple of buttons, exposing a large swathe of his chest and the layered silver necklaces he favors. Like Essi, there’s kohl lining his eyes, the same shade as the dark leather pants he’s wearing.

Jaskier strums one, two notes on his guitar and then Essi begins to sing. It’s a song they’d composed together when they first started this little band of theirs nearly a year ago now; a song about having a wild thing in your chest begging to be set free; to explore and to love and to hurt and to fall and to stand; to partake in all of the world’s wonders and all of its pains. It’s an ode to all the things they’ve wished for themselves as they embark on their mid-twenties. On the second verse, Jaskier joins her, their voices melding together beautifully, rising in tandem as they sing the chorus.

When the song ends, they’re greeted by a flurry of enthusiastic applause. Essi shoots Jaskier a flushed grin, and he smiles back, wide and unabashed.

They perform three more songs, Essi fetching her own guitar for the last two. The crowd is rowdy and generous with their cheers, and Jaskier lets himself fully sink into the moment. He spies Geralt sat at a table nearby, a beer bottle in his hand, legs slightly splayed out. Those amber eyes stay fixed on him, and Jaskier feels a thrill of delight skirt down his spine.

“Give it up for Buttercup and Little Eye, everyone!” The MC says, to a chorus of raucous applause. Jaskier holds up Essi’s hand as they both take deep, flourishing bows.

Instruments stored, and cocktails in hand, they sidle up to the table, Jaskier inwardly pleased when he sees an empty seat beside Geralt.

Across from him, Lambert leans in close. “That wasn't bad at all, Buttercup,” he says around a teasing grin.

Jaskier rolls his eyes with a good-natured huff. “Are you gonna keep mouthing off or are you gonna introduce us to your friend?”

“Don’t mind, Lambert, he’s just rude,” the man pipes up and oh, he’s good. Jaskier likes him already. “I’m Eskel.”

“Eskel. I’m Jaskier. That’s Essi,” Jaskier says, extending a hand; the name sounds vaguely familiar, pinging around his brain. He blinks, pleasantly surprised, when it registers. “Oh! As in Lambert and Geralt’s Eskel!”

Eskel raises a faintly amused eyebrow. “Well good to know they’ve talked about me.”

“As much as these two talk about anyone. Which isn’t much, but you should take your wins where you can get them,” Jaskier says as Lambert feigns an indignant squawk and Geralt huffs out a laugh.

“Better than someone who talks constantly, wouldn’t you say, Geralt?” Lambert goads. Essi tries and fails to hide a snort of laughter behind a sip of her cocktail.

Jaskier shoots her a half-hearted glare before pointing a semi-threatening finger in Geralt’s direction. “Don’t you dare answer that.”

“Hm,” Geralt - eloquent as ever - says. But there’s something like mirth lighting up his eyes, and it makes the breath catch in Jaskier’s throat and his insides clench. He notices belatedly that Eskel has drawn Essi into conversation - and oh he recognizes that expression she’s wearing - while Lambert has latched onto something Coën is saying.

“So what did you think?” Jaskier asks, gathering up his courage. “Three words or less.”

Geralt’s mouth quirks. “You’re very good,” he says almost off-handedly, and it’s not the most prosaic or flowery praise Jaskier’s received, but it’s the best, and he feels himself flushing with it; knows he’ll hold it close to his heart forever.

“Thanks,” he murmurs, embarrassingly breathless. Geralt’s eyes are still on him, soft and warm like sunlight and Jaskier is gone, so hopelessly gone on this man he hasn’t even kissed or touched the way he so desperately wants to kiss and touch him.

Later, when Lambert comes up to him and says, “Ready?” in that low, husky tone that leaves little to the imagination, Jaskier swallows thickly and shakes his head.

“Um, not tonight,” he replies around a pronounced lump in his throat. He tilts his head towards Essi. “I should - I should help pack up and get things back to our flat, you know?”

“No worries, I get it,” Lambert says, and Jaskier knew he would, really, but his shoulders nonetheless slump with relief. “I’ll see you soon, yeah?”

Jaskier nods, and Lambert departs with a lingering squeeze to Jaskier’s elbow.

He doesn’t miss the way Geralt looks back at him, a mix of surprise and confusion crossing his face when Lambert joins him alone. Jaskier manages a small smile and a wave, heart heavy in his chest as he watches Geralt leave the bar.

“Wine?” Essi says sympathetically, and Jaskier is so grateful he could hug, which he does.

“Please.”

***

@buttercupbard: [a video of a baby who remains continuously unimpressed, no matter what toys and funny objects their parents show them]

@griviafitness: what’s this?

@buttercupbard: it’s a meme geralt. You’ve heard of them right?

@buttercupbard: also that’s you, but i thought that part went without saying

@griviafitness: ha-ha

@buttercupbard: i thought so :)))

@griviafitness: that was sarcastic and you know it

@buttercupbard: no take backs!

***

There’s a coffee shop near Jaskier’s university that he enjoys going to in between classes. Cidaris is owned by a lovely man, Borch, who will often let Jaskier have his cappuccino on the house, especially during the stressful days leading up to an exam or a presentation.

He smiles when he sees Lambert walk in, and stands up to greet him with a kiss on the cheek. “Got you your favorite,” Jaskier says by way of greeting as they slide into their seats, handing Lambert a chai latte.

Lambert lets out a small, pleased noise. “Thanks, Jask,” he says, taking a sip. He stretches himself comfortably in the chair, throwing a casual arm around its back. “What did you want to talk about?”

Always straight to business. It’s one of the things Jaskier’s always liked about Lambert as a person and a casual hook-up. He takes a breath. “I’d like us to pause.”

Pause. It’s been their shorthand way of saying they want to stop hooking up for a while. Between the two of them, Lambert and Jaskier had invoked the pause maybe a total of six or seven times. Usually when they started seeing other people.

Lambert doesn’t seem surprised. In fact, he looks thrilled. A sly, knowing grin spreads across his face as he leans closer. “This is because of Geralt isn’t it?”

Jaskier’s eyes nearly bug out of his face and he chokes on his own spit. “Excuse me?”

“Come on, you can tell me. You totally want to fuck him.”

“Jesus Christ, Lambert -”

“Don’t deny it. I’ve seen the way you look at him.”

He feels himself flush bright red. “Am I that obvious?” Jaskier mutters.

“Yes,” Lambert replies, brutally honest, but not unkind. “Not to Geralt though. He’s as dense as a fucking rock.”

Jaskier doesn’t know whether to feel relieved or disappointed. “So he doesn’t know.”

“Nope.”

“Does he - ah, you know, um,” the words come out in an awkward, tangled rush, “date men?”

“Does Geralt date men?” Lambert repeats, eyebrows rising. “Oh, blue eyes, you’ve got it bad haven’t you?”

“I -” Fuck. Jaskier certainly doesn’t have to answer that. “Well, does he?”

“Don’t get your knickers all in a bunch,” Lambert replies, and Jaskier is going to throttle him. “No, Geralt isn’t straight. Couldn’t give a flying fuck about gender.”

Something loosens in Jaskier’s chest. “Oh. That’s...good.”

“Yes, good,” Lambert parrots, gleeful. “I’m sure that’s what you’ll say when he fucks your brains out.”

“Christ on a bike. Lambert,” Jaskier says, strangled, while the redhead in front of him throws his arms up in mock surrender, chest rumbling with a full body chuckle.

“Sorry, sorry, I’m done. It’s not my fault you’re so fun to rile up, Jask,” Lambert replies, hiding what surely is a shit-eating grin behind the rim of his coffee cup.

“Thank you,” Jaskier murmurs. “For being so cool about this.”

Lambert smiles, looking uncharacteristically serious. “That’s our whole thing isn’t it? A good time, not a long time. And Geralt’s a good guy. He’d be lucky to have you. For what it’s worth, I hope this pause is permanent.”

Jaskier flushes, touched. “Me too.”

***

“Remind me again why I agreed to do this?” Jaskier pants out. There’s red dusting his cheeks, his neck, and even the expanse of chest peeking from underneath his sleeveless workout shirt. The hair stuck to his forehead is curling with sweat.

Geralt, standing above him, is clearly fighting off a grin. “You asked if I’d help you work out,” he reminds him wryly.

Jaskier groans. “Fuck, I didn’t expect you to ride me so hard. You could’ve warned me, Geralt.”

“Hush,” Geralt says, voice sounding considerably rougher. Jaskier runs his words back over in his head, and suddenly finds himself grateful that his exercise-induced flush hides the way his skin warms all over. “And give me another fifty.”

Fifty? Are you trying to kill me?”

“You can do it,” Geralt murmurs persuasively, voice gone down to a near purr. It drops liquid heat right at the base of Jaskier’s spine. “For me?”

“Fuck,” Jaskier repeats, strangled, but complies and starts the fifty crunches. He’s breathing hard, sweat dripping down his nose, and his abdominals feel like they’re one fire. He feels a weight and looks up to find Geral has crouched in front of him, hands on both his knees, fingers gently fluttering along the expanse of skin, warm and steadying. There’s a glint in his eyes Jaskier can’t place, but it makes his throat run even drier.

Somehow, Jaskier only has five crunches left in his set, and the pain in his abdomen has transformed, has seeped from his muscles into his very core. When he’s done, he flops down on his back, arm thrown over his face, gasping and breathing hard.

“Yes that’s good. You did so well for me,” Geralt praises and Jaskier is going to combust, he’s going to burn out of his skin. He has to grit his teeth to keep his cock from jumping at Geralt’s words.

Jaskier whines, plaintive, “I think I’m dying.”

“You’re twenty-three, not eighty-eight, Jaskier. You’re not dying,” Geralt snorts, lips quirking.

“At the very least, I think I deserve some sort of beverage for this - this torture you put me through,” Jaskier insists, finally willing himself to sit up. They’re so close Jaskier can almost feel Geralt’s breath ghosting over his face.

To Jaskier’s surprise, Geralt stands up and extends a hand. “Fine. Let’s go,” he says, and Jaskier blinks and smiles wide, sliding his palm into Geralt’s. It fits so well in there, like two puzzle pieces slotting together, and Jaskier wants that touch on him forever.

***

“You haven’t been by in a while,” Geralt remarks idly.

Jaskier nearly chokes on his drink but doesn’t, thank fuck, and forces some nonchalance into his expression. Geralt doesn’t ask, but Jaskier hears the question all the same.

“Yeah, uh, Lambert and I sort of...ended our arrangement,” he fiddles with the straw of his drink as he talks. “We’re still friends and all that. It’s always been a casual thing, but I’m ready to find something...more.”

You. You are my something more. Jaskier bites on his tongue, wishing he was brave enough to speak those words out loud.

“Hm,” Geralt says. “You deserve something more.”

***

Jaskier shows up to the party with Essi feeling oddly nervous. It’s already in full swing by the time they get there, Lambert and Geralt’s two-bedroom flat packed to the brim with people. The air is warm, filled with idle chatter and the faintest sounds of music being played in the background. Jaskier tries not to think about the fact that he hasn’t been here since he and Lambert paused.

He spots the redhead talking animatedly with Eskel and tugs on Essi’s wrist to follow him. “Happy birthday darling,” he tells Lambert, offering up a very nice, very expensive bottle of gin.

“Thanks Jask,” Lambert hums, taking the bottle as Essi presses a kiss to Eskel’s cheek in greeting. The two immediately strike up a conversation that Jaskier is sure must be entirely comprised of flirting but he’s not really paying attention. There’s something he needs to do tonight.

Geralt, I’ve been meaning to tell you, I want you, I like you, he runs the words in his head over and over again, and if you’re interested, I’d very much like to take you out for drinks or dinner sometime. And also fuck your brains out, but we can cross that bridge when we get there, what do you say?

Lambert catches Jaskier’s wandering gaze and smirks. “He’s here, but can you at least pretend you want to hang out with me for a sec? It is my birthday.”

Jaskier snaps his gaze up to Lambert and smiles a little guiltily. “Uh, sorry? Can you blame me for being eager?”

“Not at all, go forth and get that dick, just have a drink with me first,” Lambert says, turning around to the counter and grabbing a mixer and an already-opened bottle of vodka. “Here - I’ll even make that drink for ya.”

“Uh, who are we talking about?” Eskel asks, tearing his focus away from Essi for a moment, as Lambert sets four red plastic cups and pours a healthy amount of vodka in each of them.

Lambert glances over his shoulder. “Buttercup wants to bang Geralt.”

Essi laughs. “That about sums it up.”

“Thanks, Lambert,” Jaskier grumbles with no bite, begrudgingly taking the mixed drink pressed into his hand.

“Anytime, Jaskier.”

Eskel doesn’t join in the teasing, only furrows his eyebrows. Jaskier spies the vaguely concerned expression and something in his chest tightens.

“What’s wrong?” Essi asks the question before Jaskier even forms the words. Eskel doesn’t answer right away, only flits his gaze between the three of them. Even Essi starts to frown. The thing in Jaskier’s chest squeezes harder. Eskel grimaces. “Yennefer’s here.”

What?” Lambert says at the same time that Jaskier asks, “Who’s Yennefer?”

Eskel simply gestures with the tip of his chin. They all follow the movement to the balcony, where Geralt is leaning with his back to the railing, completely engrossed by the woman next to him. There’s a softness in his eyes Jaskier’s never seen there before, and it sends a lump forming in his throat.

“That’s...Yennefer?” he hears himself ask even though it doesn’t sound like his voice. She’s gorgeous - all dark, silky hair falling in soft curls over smooth olive skin and huge purple eyes framed by glittering emerald eyeshadow. She’s wearing a matching green sequin dress. It’s short, exposing mile-long legs and lithe, toned arms.

Lambert swears low and feelingly under his breath. The lump in Jaskier’s throat doubles in size but he finds himself unable to look away, morbidly transfixed. He watches Yennefer say something and Geralt actually tips his head back and laughs, open and expressive. Dimly, Jaskier realizes there’s a weight on his elbow, and lowers his lashes down to find Essi pressing her fingers and squeezing.

He swallows heavily, turning his gaze back to the balcony. “They’re - they’re a they, right?” he croaks, and Essi’s fingers on his arm squeeze harder.

No,” Lambert snarls quickly. “At least, not anymore. Fuck, Eskel why didn’t you tell me Yen was here?”

“I thought you invited her, how the fuck was I supposed to know -”

“You’re supposed to know I’d never willingly put them in the same room together after all that bullshit last year -”

“Jaskier,” Essi murmurs, cutting through the noise in Jaskier’s mind. “Jaskier are you okay?”

“I -” Jaskier blinks sharply, “I don’t know.” He still can’t look away from the balcony. He just watches Geralt, how comfortable he seems, how easy, how happy. He’s never seen him like this.

His hopes for the night fracture like glass.

Then Geralt’s eyes shift and lock with his, and Jaskier’s breath hitches, feeling like he’s been caught. He says something else to Yennefer Jaskier can’t catch before pushing himself off the railing and walking inside. Fear and surprise suddenly seize Jaskier’s heart. He doesn’t want to talk to Geralt.

He spins on his heel to face Lambert. “I should - I should go, I think,” he says, rushed.

Lambert’s eyebrows rise in dismay. “What? Because of this? No, fuck that. Stay. Please.”

“I can’t. I’m sorry,” Jaskier murmurs, shaking his head. He shoots Essi an apologetic look. “You’re good to stay though, right Es?”

“Jaskier -”

“I’m sorry,” he says again, knowing somewhere deep in his gut that he’s overreacting but he doesn’t care. “Happy birthday, Lambert.”

“Damn it, Jaskier, don’t do this.”

Jaskier goes. His heart is hammering in his chest as he tries to navigate the throng of people. He’s nearly at the door when -

“Jaskier.”

Fuck. Jaskier closes his eyes briefly. “Hey, Geralt,” he says, turning around, trying desperately to school his expression into one of perfect pleasantness.

Geralt’s frowning. “You’re leaving already.”

It’s not a question but Jaskier hears the implied why all the same. It sinks into Jaskier’s bones. He shuffles a little. “Yeah, I, uh - something came up.”

Geralt’s frown deepens. “And you weren’t gonna say goodbye?”

He sounds hurt. It makes Jaskier feel worse. “You seemed busy, I -” he squeezes his eyes shut briefly, “I didn’t want to bother you.”

“Jaskier. You never bother me,” Geralt murmurs, so low and so lovely. He even sounds sincere. Jaskier wants to believe him. He nearly opens his mouth to say so.

“Ah, Geralt, I was looking for you,” the words die on Jaskier’s tongue as Yennefer slides towards them. Her violet eyes are on Jaskier as she trails fingers up and down Geralt’s arm. This close, Jaskier can see that her fingernails are painted red, like blood. “And you are…?”

“Jaskier,” he says around a mouth suddenly filled with cotton. There’s a buzzing in his ears. He can’t stop thinking about how well they fit, standing there side by side. It twists his stomach, makes it harder for him to breathe. “I was just leaving.”

“Oh. Well nice to meet you.”

“You too…”

“Yennefer.”

“Yennefer,” Jaskier repeats. His voice sounds hollow even to his own ears. “I, uh, should get going.” Jaskier makes it a point not to meet Geralt’s eyes. “See you around.”

Jaskier leaves.

***

The next day is spent down a rabbit hole of social media during which Jaskier tries to learn all that he can about this Yennefer Vengerberg.

She’s twenty-seven, just a year younger than Geralt, and in the process of getting her law degree from the most prestigious institution in town while clerking for a progressive firm with an extensive record on women’s rights, particularly women of color. If that’s not enough, Yennefer Vengerberg apparently teaches kickboxing on the side.

No wonder Geralt likes her. Jaskier feels like he’s about to choke with jealousy.

“She’s not that great,” Essi says as Jaskier continues to stare unblinkingly at his phone screen, feeling like a goddamn stalker.

He shoots her a disbelieving look. “You’re kidding right? She’s perfect.” He throws his arms up, fighting the urge to grab a pillow and just scream endlessly into it.

“Okay enough of this.” Before Jaskier can blink, Essi snatches his phone and promptly exits out of Yennefer’s Instagram. Jaskier squawks indignantly but Essi plows on, “You are smart and funny and talented and young and you need to go out and get laid. Text Lambert.”

“I don’t want to sleep with Lambert,” Jaskier says. “I want - I want -”

Geralt. I want Geralt to look at me. To hold me. To love me -

“I want to be somebody’s someone,” he finishes, “and while the fuck buddy thing is fun, I don’t want to be doing that anymore.”

Essi’s eyes soften. “Okay, and anyone would be lucky to have you as their someone. Here.”

When she hands him his phone back, it’s pulled up to Tinder. Jaskier glances up at her.

That’s how you find someone,” she tells him helpfully, with a small smile and a pat on his knee. She’s shrugging onto a coat. “You’re gonna be okay?”

Jaskier manages a smile. It’s even sincere. “Yeah. Have fun. Tell Eskel I said hi.”

He waits until Essi leaves before turning back to his phone, biting his lip in thought.

An Instagram notification pops up. It’s from Geralt.

Jaskier opens it before he fully realizes what he’s doing.

@griviafitness: [a video of a clearly hungover Lambert groaning with his hands hiding his face] someone can’t handle their liquor the way they used to

It makes Jaskier crack a smile. His fingers start moving over the screen, typing out a reply. The video’s still playing, Lambert’s groan low and pitiful and, frankly, hilarious. And then a melodious and throaty and clearly feminine chuckle erupts off screen. Jaskier’s fingers freeze.

He abruptly exits out of the app. The ringing is back in his ears.

Jaskier pulls up Tinder and starts swiping.

***

He matches with three women and two men. One of the men immediately sends him a dick pick and well, that’s just that. He DMs all three women and only hears back from one, and it’s clear within the first couple of messages that she’s only looking for a casual hook-up.

Which Jaskier is usually amenable to, except this time.

The other man ends up messaging him a couple hours later, when Jaskier’s had several glasses of wine and is about to go sleep it off.

Jaskier squints at the message, and his mouth curves. The guy is cute, with deep chocolate brown hair, golden highlights, and hazel eyes. He tries not to think about how those hazel eyes look almost golden in one of the pictures.

He thumbs through the guy’s profile again really quickly. Aiden is twenty-five, and in school just like Jaskier is, and right there in his profile, he’s written looking for a relationship. Jaskier quickly messages him back.

They agree to meet for drinks on Wednesday.

Jaskier falls asleep and dreams of Geralt.

***

Aiden turns out to be as charming in person as he is over Tinder.

They meet at this little tapas bar. Aiden greets Jaskier with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “It’s good to meet you in person,” he says, and his voice is lovely.

“You too,” Jaskier replies. They order drinks. A martini for Jaskier. A rum and coke for Aiden. Jaskier leans into the date.

He hasn’t been on one of these in a long time and, it’s nice, this dance, this cadence of getting to know someone over good food and alcohol. Aiden is a little crass, but funny as all hell, and nice to boot. He’s studying to be a doctor for crying out loud, and he wants a relationship. Jaskier should, by all accounts, want him and want him bad, but the spark just isn’t there.

Aiden offers to walk him home, and Jaskier accepts, because if nothing else, he really did have a good time.

They’re almost at his flat when Aiden speaks, “This isn’t it, right?” he says with a wry smile.

“No. I’m sorry. It’s not - you’re wonderful,” Jaskier sighs. He absently kicks at a loose pebble; watches it bounce across the pavement. “I’m kind of hung up on someone else,” he admits.

Aiden’s features twist in sympathy. “I get it, I’ve been there. Not the right time to get back out there.”

“Yeah,” fuck, he really is wonderful. He’d be perfect for -

“Not to make this too weird,” Jaskier starts, his mind racing. “But I think - there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

***

@griviafitness: [video of a puppy that just flops on the floor, too exhausted to keep walking, as its owner coos and giggles off screen] reminds me of someone i know

[iMessage Lambert]: thanks for the hook-up. Aiden is...really cool

[iMessage Jaskier]: yesssss. I knew you two would get along :)

@griviafitness: [another video of a puppy who absolutely refuses to budge until it’s been picked up] or maybe this one is more accurate

[iMessage Lambert]: not that i’m complaining, but why were you trying to date guys that aren’t geralt?

[iMessage Jaskier]: you know why. And it’s not like it worked out anyway

[iMessage Lambert]: is that why you’ve been ignoring him?

[iMessage Jaskier]: I’m not ignoring him

[iMessage Lambert]: then stop being stupid and answer his fucking DMs before his sulk becomes permanent

[iMessage Jaskier]: he’s sulking?

[iMessage Lambert]: YES. Now fix it, I’m fucking begging you

“I saw Geralt last night,” Essi says at the same time like a goddamn conspiracy. “He asked about you. I think he misses you.”

Jaskier closes his eyes. He prays for some hidden well of strength inside of him that he knows doesn’t exist because he is weak, fucking weak, and an idiot with no sense of self preservation who is going to get his heart broken again.

@buttercupbard: rood. I demand an apology or else.

Geralt’s reply is instantaneous. It shouldn’t fill Jaskier’s heart with warmth and hope but well, he’s stupid.

@griviafitness: let me make it up to you. Drinks tomorrow?

@buttercupbard: I’m working, but I get off at 11. Meet me then?

@griviafitness: done.

***

As promised, Geralt shows up at Oxenfurt towards the end of Jaskier’s shift. He’s barely slid into one of the seats at the bar before Jaskier has a glass of whiskey neat sitting in front of him. There’s an expression on his face that Jaskier can’t place and it makes him feel flustered, off balance. “I’ll be done soon; just wrapping up some things,” Jaskier says.

Geralt nods, “Take your time.” He’s wearing a crisp, dark green dress shirt and jeans. Jaskier’s never seen him outside of his uniform of black and the occasional navy, and it makes Geralt look oddly vulnerable, more open.

He still looks good. Of course he does.

Jaskier finishes up his shift soon enough, and sits himself in the high-top chair right beside Geralt with a vodka tonic. Their knees bump. It sends Jaskier’s stupid, stupid heart aflutter.

“So, uh, it’s been a while,” Jaskier begins awkwardly. “How are you?”

Geralt hums. “Good,” he replies. His eyes are fiery and bright. “I met Aiden.”

“Oh,” Jaskier blinks at the change of subject and smiles, a little uncertain. “He’s great, isn’t he?”

“Mhm. Lambert likes him a lot. They really hit it off.”

“Good, good, that’s good. I’m glad.”

There are so many emotions playing across Geralt’s face, like he’s wrestling with himself. “I heard you went on a date with Aiden first,” Geralt says finally, and Jaskier’s heart speeds up.

“Um, yeah, that’s right. He’s great - he’s fantastic - but it just wasn’t meant to be,” Jaskier inflects as much levity as he can in his tone and winds his fingers together, trying to stop them from shaking.

“What happened?”

Jaskier shrugs and figures, what the hell. “He’s not the person I like.”

“Oh.” Geralt is looking at him strangely. It quickens Jaskier’s heartbeat and a blush rises to his cheek.

He coughs, feeling raw and overexposed. “It happens, you know, wrong place, wrong time and all -”

“Yennefer’s just a friend,” Geralt interrupts from really out of nowhere, and Jaskier nearly staggers. “She and I used to date but it - we weren’t very good for each other. We’re mostly focused on Ciri now.”

“Ciri?” Jaskier repeats dumbly because this is quite possibly the most he’s ever heard Geralt speak in one sitting. He’s looking at him so earnestly, his golden eyes so bright and so clear it makes Jaskier’s breath catch.

“Our goddaughter. She’s only six months old and she’s - she’s perfect. You should meet her,” Geralt says, rueful, handing his phone over.

Jaskier takes it like he’s handling something precious. It’s a picture of a baby with a tuft of ash blonde hair so light it almost looks like it’s glowing. Her eyes are very big and very green. She’s smiling, wide and toothless.

“She’s beautiful,” Jaskier murmurs, handing Geralt his phone back. His throat constricts when Geralt answers with an upturn of his gorgeous, cupid bow’s mouth.

“Geralt. Why are you telling me all of this?” he asks, and it sounds vulnerable even to his ears.

“I was going to say something at Lambert’s birthday,” Geralt begins, “but I - I fucked it. I let you leave. And then you stopped answering me; you went on a date and I thought - I thought I’d waited too long. That I was too late.”

Jaskier’s heart is beating so quickly it feels like it’s going to erupt out of his rib cage and offer itself up to Geralt any second now. Hope is blossoming in the pit of his belly. “Too late for what?”

“There’s only one person I want. And it’s not Yennefer,” Geralt replies, his eyes steady on Jaskier and so fucking soft and Jaskier could die a happy man right now, he really could.

“Oh,” he says, and Geralt cups his chin, tilts his head just so, and leans in to kiss him. “Oh.

“Is this okay?” Geralt murmurs right up against his lips and Jaskier huffs out an incredulous laugh, fisting both hands in Geralt’s shirt.

“Okay? Okay?” he says, voice rising. “Yes this is okay you utter imbecile. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for -”

Jaskier never gets to finish before Geralt flashes him a wicked grin and pulls him in for another kiss.

He doesn’t have it in his heart to complain.

***

They crash into Geralt’s bedroom in a mess of hands and tongues and teeth, trying to divest each other of their clothes as quickly as possible. Jaskier is fairly sure Geralt pops a few seams in his eagerness to get Jaskier’s shirt off, but he can’t be bothered to give a fuck.

Geralt lays him down on his bed, licking and biting his way down Jaskier’s throat. Jaskier’s vision is already dotting with stars as he winds his legs around Geralt’s waist, grinding up into the growing hardness.

“What do you want?” Geralt’s voice is low and rough and fuck, Jaskier has never been this turned on in his life.

“Anything, everything,” Jaskier gasps out. “God, Geralt, whatever you want to give me, I want it. Please.”

Fuck,” Geralt groans feelingly and slots their mouths together, one hand squeezing the underside of Jaskier’s thigh, while the other roughly opens up a drawer to retrieve a bottle of lube and a condom.

Jaskier licks his lips, heart rabbiting in his chest. He feels like he’s on the precipice of something great, something life-changing.

The next several moments pass in a blur of sloppy kisses and roaming hands and sweat-slicked bodies sliding against each other and the intimate press of heat deep, deep inside. All Jaskier knows is Geralt and Geralt’s body rubbing gloriously against all his oversensitized skin and the way Geralt whispers brokenly, “Jaskier. Jaskier you feel -” when he slides inside.

Jaskier can only keen and moan and hold on for dear life as Geralt threads their loose and trembling fingers together as he fucks into Jaskier again and again, and it’s so deep and so perfect, Jaskier never wants it to end.

Geralt comes with a low, guttural moan of Jaskier’s name that’s enough to send Jaskier tumbling with him over the edge.

***

When Jaskier wakes up at the first light of dawn, it’s to the sight of Geralt asleep and breathing softly next to him. Smiling so wide his cheeks hurt a little with it, he lifts up a hand to tuck a stray lock of silver-white hair behind Geralt’s ear.

Golden eyes open, soft and bright and wonderful. “Good morning,” Geralt murmurs, voice gravelly and rough with sleep.

“Morning,” Jaskier whispers, fingers skating across Geralt’s chest. “I can’t - I can’t believe I’m here,” he admits.

Geralt’s expression softens and he takes Jaskier’s hand in his; presses a warm kiss to his fingertips. “We’ll just have to fix that won’t we?”

They fuck again, Jaskier rolling his hips languidly into Geralt as he drives into him from behind. Geralt like this is even more perfect, so warm and pliant and responsive, and Jaskier is delirious with it. He pulls at his hair at one point, and Geralt grunts but goes with it, and they share a kiss that’s mostly tongue and breathless, overheated pants, before falling into a heap of tangled limbs on the bed together.

Geralt drags him into the shower a few hours later and it’s harmless enough at first, just an exchange of sweet and deep kisses in the middle of soap suds and shampoo. Between one moment and the next, Jaskier finds his back pressed against Geralt’s chest, trying in vain to grab at the wet tile as Geralt kicks his legs apart, holds his hips, and fucks Jaskier within an inch of his life. Jaskier can only gasp out, “Yes, yes, yes, fuck just like that,” as Geralt sets a brutal, steady, unrelenting rhythm.

“You’re perfect,” Geralt murmurs into Jaskier’s ear. He wraps a hand around him, sets his teeth on his shoulder, and the pleasure-pain is so blinding Jaskier’s vision actually whites out as he comes.

They don’t stumble out into the kitchen until noon, Jaskier flushed and smiling wide, and Geralt’s hand pressed, warm and sure, at the small of his back. Lambert’s in there, a cup of coffee in his hand. His eyebrow is raised and there’s a knowing smirk on his face.

“Oh good,” he says. “Glad you all figured your shit out.”

“Hm,” Geralt hums, while Jaskier just beams, in much too good of a mood to think of something witty and devastating. Instead, he presses a kiss to Geralt’s lips, heart soaring when he feels Geralt smile into the kiss.

Lambert makes a face. “Gross. Kindly keep that out of the common spaces.”

“Hush,” Jaskier retorts and, just because he can, he surges back up and kisses Geralt once more. Geralt makes a pleased noise deep in his throat.

“You’re playing with fire, Jask,” Geralt warns him in a low and heady murmur, even as Jaskier happily nuzzles into his neck, uncaring and so ridiculously happy.

“I see, so that’s how it’s going to be then. Say, Geralt, if you ever want some tips on how to fuck Jaskier, you know where to find me -”

“Motherfuck- Lambert!

Geralt stops Jaskier from throttling Lambert with warm hands at his hips, a deep and open and full-bodied laughter rumbling through him that Jaskier feels in his bones.

Jaskier turns to meet Geralt’s gaze and grins.