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the great northern bake off

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When Jaskier’s agent asks him, “How would you like to tweet about the new season of The Great Northern Bake Off like you usually do, but this time you’ll get paid for it?”, he coos excitedly down the phone at her.

Then she adds, “You’d just have to host it first, too.” The cooing takes on a very distinct pitch that some people would call ‘screeching’, but Jaskier calls it ‘enthusiastically imbuing his voice with glee’. His cat, Mirabel, is of the former opinion, but she’s also used to Jaskier and as such only meows at him in complaint rather than flee the room to escape the noise.

“Yes!” he yells down the phone. Who needs to think about logistics when there are baked goods ahead? “Absolutely! I’m packing right now!” (He’s not. More squealing is needed first. He may need to get a pillow and scream into that, lest his neighbours hire hitmen to take him out.)

 “Not so fast,” his agent says. “Let’s go over the details first.”

He’ll have to move for the duration of the shoot; no problem. Oxenfurt Castle, the location for the shoot, is beautiful, especially in summer. And! He’s already familiar with the area, it being near his old university stomping grounds. He gets to stay ten weeks at a castle and gets paid for it? Sign him the fuck up.

Then there’s the time schedule. The competition itself will take place on weekends and those will be the really camera-heavy days; however, as a host, he’ll also be working some of the weekdays, as these will be used to film the masterclass segments with the judges. It leaves a lot of free time though, especially compared to what he’s used to from the theatre. It’s practically a holiday!

Then there’s the technicalities; he’ll have to sign a bunch of papers stating that he won’t trade insider info prior to the show airing or post about it online in any way. Easy-peasy! Jaskier is neither that stupid nor that starved for cash. Also; that’s just really unfair to the competitors.

Then there is his co-host. “They’re trying to book one of the former champions,” his agent says, “Yen—”

Yennefer Vengerburg?

“Yes, and about her: you’re going to have to take it down a notch when tweeting about her. No more ‘the crazy witch is at it again and it is UNNATURAL’—”

“But I meant that complimentarily!”

I know, Jaskier, but not everybody understands your particular brand of… flattery, especially not on the internet where the reading comprehension level is in the negatives, and I really can’t be bothered to deal with defamation rumours—”

“But how will I express my undying fealty then?”

Like a normal person!

“Fiiiiiine.” Maybe Yennefer likes ballads? He can do ballads. And lute solos. It’s going to be great. And if it doesn’t… well, at least he can say he got stabbed by Yennefer Vengerburg and fuck yes is he getting a t-shirt made to commemorate it. “Ooh, who are the judges this year? Tissaia again? I love her—”

“Tissaia didn’t have the time for the full season. She’s on the list of guest judges, though.” She flips through the contract. “They’ve got Triss Merigold—”

“I would die for her.”

“That’s nice, but don’t fucking do it. And then—”

“Did they finally get Vesemir? Tell me they got Vesemir!”

Stop interrupting me! No, they did not get Vesemir. Or, well, they did for a guest judge slot. As for the full-time judge, they got that protégé of his, G—”

GERALT RIVIA?” Jaskier shrieks and falls off the couch.

*

Here’s the thing: Geralt Rivia doesn’t do TV. Well, he’s done TV before, but it’s mostly ended in tears. The man is gorgeous, like a terrible, avenging angel descended from on high to bring proper baking techniques to the masses, but he’s also somewhat terrifying and doesn’t do well in the talking and not-glaring department. More than one MasterChef competitor has been reduced to fear sweat, despite Geralt not doing anything but standing there. And glaring. And hmming. The man has a wide variety of hmms. (Jaskier may have a meticulously labelled notebook devoted to the man’s hmming. Maybe. Definitely. (Side note: he will definitely be leaving that at home).)

Not important. The point is: for a wholesome, family show such as the Bake Off, Geralt is an odd choice for a judge. He’ll be a good counterpart to Triss’ gentle, upbeat nature though, and besides, it’s not like Tissaia is known for being warm and fuzzy either.

However, no one can deny that Geralt is seriously skilled—beyond skilled, even, and that’ll be enough to deflect any concerns about his suitability. He’ll bring in viewers they might not otherwise get. And, most importantly, when Jaskier looks at him, he hears the wedding march playing in his head (and not softly; it’s blaring).

His agent forbids Jaskier from mentioning the latter, lest he ‘ends up murdered in a fit of pique, gets cut into little pieces, and then fed to the hell-beasts that probably live under Rivia’s home’. Jaskier’s agent needs to stop reading urban fantasy. It’s obviously not good for her.

Besides: Jaskier knows how to read the room. He and Geralt will be bosom buddies before the first competition ever starts!

*

… He may have spoken too soon.