Geralt shifts under the covers – which the cheap inn they've been staying at, the past ten days provided for free – as the first rays of the autumn sun hit his face. He stifles a yawn that is threatening to escape his mouth and props himself on top of Jaskier's large naked body, carding his digits through the thick chest hair that dusts his pecs and swirls around his rosy nipples.
It's been almost a year since he woke up in Haern Caduch after the brush he had with Lady Death. It's been nearly a year since he found out Jaskier's secret and confessed his love to him.
And during this year they walked the Path together, trying to make enough coin to get Jaskier a… size adjustment on his glamoured ring. They are nowhere near the price the sorcerer asked for, but frustrating as it may be (for Jaskier mostly), they both enjoy the perks of the bear witcher’s unglamoured appearance – the perks being Jaskier’s, proportionate to say the least, assets.
Geralt plants kisses on Jaskier’s collarbone, travelling up to his bearded jaw and finally his mouth in an attempt to wake the larger man up. Jaskier’s nose scrunches up and his lips curl upward when suddenly thick arms find their way on Geralt’s waist, and with a swift movement, the white-haired witcher is pulled under Jaskier.
“Mmmm morning, love,” Jaskier nuzzles Geralt’s throat, the reverberations of his sleepy hoarse voice sending shivers throughout the wolf witcher’s body. Warmth pools in Geralt’s breeches as Jaskier’s full weight lays on top of him, heavy enough to keep him in place and careful enough so that he can keep breathing.
Geralt’s mouth waters as he remembers last night’s exercise and he silently wonders which god he pleased to receive such a gift. Such bottomless love and care.
“Morning, Jask,” he replies and presses his lips on Jaskier’s forehead, “I’ve been thinking...”
“You think?” Jaskier gasps in mock-surprise and Geralt click his tongue, unable to wipe away the smile from his face. “Alright, alright, tell me.”
“Winter is approaching,” Geralt says carefully, “and I was wondering if you want to come to Kaer Morhen with me.”
“Oh, Geralt! I’d love to!” an excited high pitched squeal escapes Jaskier’s throat and he presses their lips together, tongue dancing in Geralt’s mouth, sending hot waves of want through his body.
The kiss lasts for several minutes, hands tangling on long hair, bodies asking for friction and warmth. They are breathless when they finally pull apart, cheeks flushed and lips red. Jaskier hesitates for a moment but he gets up and sits on the bed, his glorious naked body in full view before Geralt. He furrows his brow, fangs catching on his lower lip in telltale worry.
“What’s wrong?” Geralt asks, cupping Jaskier’s soft cheeks.
“Have you- Did you tell your family about me?”
Geralt hums, “I did. Sort of.”
“Sort of? What’s that supposed to mean, Geralt?”
Geralt hums again. “Told them about my friend, Jaskier the bard, a lot of times, but that was before…”
“They don’t know I’m a witcher or that we are together,” Jaskier says and Geralt nods.
In retrospect, he should have sent a letter or two during this year but he was too occupied with his budding romantic relationship, with… Well, with exploring Jaskier’s massive body whenever he got the chance to, that it completely slipped his mind to contact his fellow wolves. Fuck, they could be thinking him dead for all he knows. Guilt churns in his stomach and it must show on his face because Jaskier hugs him tightly and says, “Breathe Geralt, breathe.” He complies, taking in a ragged breath and releasing it slowly.
“I’m alright,” he murmurs.
“You know what, Geralt? Let’s go send a falcon to Kaer Morhen immediately, let them know we are coming.”
“I know,” Jaskier smiles mischievously. Oh no, what is he planning? “That’s an excellent opportunity to have some harmless fun.” Geralt sighs. “Oh don’t worry, it’s nothing bad, love. Just, well, don’t mention my… witcheriness in the letter? Best case scenario, they just think me an enormous human, and we get the chance to have fun dropping hints till they catch on. And worst-case scenario, they catch on immediately and I’m revealed to be a witcher and we get to see their surprised faces. See? Harmless.”
“Harmless,” Geralt repeats, a small smirk forms on his lips.
“But first,” Jaskier says, pulling a pair of trousers excruciatingly slow up his lovely bottom, “I have to see Elihal for the coat and doublet I commissioned.”
Geralt cocks an eyebrow, “Doublet? When did you-”
“It’s a bit of waste of our funds, I know,” Jaskier continues, tying the lacing on his almost see-through crème chemise, “but Elihal is a dear friend of mine, and I brought them the pelts from those nasty wolves that attacked us some time ago, and well, they agreed to sew me a fancy blue doublet for less than half the price. And you know I like feeling pretty, love. Even like this.”
Geralt hums and smiles, the picture of his massive Jaskier clad in a tight, intricately decorated, doublet, making his mouth water. “Not a waste of coin, if it makes you happy and comfortable Jask,” he says after a while.
The road to Kaer Morhen is, for the first time in Geralt’s long life, not lonely. It’s quite the opposite in fact; the trip is filled with playful banter and songs, with kisses and his bard’s endless chatter about everything and nothing.
Jaskier makes the whole way up the mountain dressed in his new form-fitting doublet and accompanying deep blue fur-lined coat, insisting that the risk of one of Geralt’s brothers seeing him in armour would ruin any chance of “fun”. Which, in Geralt’s opinion, won’t happen in the first place because Jaskier is so blatantly a Bear Witcher – especially physique wise – that even the daftest witcher of the Continent can tell a mile apart what he is.
So he snorts a laugh when Jaskier finds ‘the killer’ troubling to pass in his stiff expensive doublet. And he snorts a laugh when the bard-witcher removes his coat, thoroughly drenched in sweat after scaling a whole bloody mountain in the less than breathable thick fabric. (he also secretly enjoys seeing Jaskier’s chemise cling and crinkle on his wide chest and his pants digging in that gorgeous thick ass and thighs.)
When the grand wolf witcher Keep comes into sight, there’s no gasp of surprise, nor a hitching of breath leaving Jaskier’s lips, which Geralt would have thought would happen when he finally brought his bard to Kaer Morhen. Instead, what he gets is a very practical: “It’s alright I guess. Has some damage but nothing we can’t fix.”
“It’s in better condition than Haern Caduch,” Geralt defends, even though there’s hardly any need for competition on the status of buildings of all things.
“Well, obviously,” Jaskier rolls his eyes, “Didn’t know we were competing, Geralt.”
“No, we aren’t. But you know what? We’re going to fix those stupid ass fortifications that keep failing in both keeps. Because they are our homes.”
Geralt hums in agreement, “Keep your voice down,” he says, “Lambert might be skulking around placing traps.”
“That the short one or the goat shepherd one?”
“The short one. Though compared to you they’re both relatively short.”
Jaskier beams, grinning widely which makes Geralt want to smoosh those cheeks between his hands.
Vesemir is the one that greets them in front of the gate, dragging a big stag, laid upon a sledge, into the keep. His eyebrows shoot to his crown when he notices them, and an almost happy smile is painted on his lips – which is strange, to say the least, and very uncharacteristic of him.
“Geralt my boy,” the old mentor says, “I see you brought your friend.” Geralt nods and Vesemir extends a gloved hand towards Jaskier, “You must be Gerd’s boy, Jaskier. Welcome to our home.”
Jaskier shakes Vesemir’s hand, confusion painted on his features, “Pleasure to meet you, sir.”
“Got a letter from your keep's master last winter,” Vesemir explains, “Thank you for saving this one,” he pats Geralt on the back.
“I – It was a sheer chance if I’m being honest with you sir. But I’m glad I was out searching for timber that day,” Jaskier shoots a small smile to Geralt which Geralt mirrors.
“Well, still thank you. Now come inside before you freeze. We’ll have venison for dinner tonight and if all goes well some of Lambert’s infamous alcohol experiments.”
It seems that Jaskier’s attempt at shenanigans has failed before it started, and Geralt feels a bit sad on Jaskier’s behalf since the taller man didn’t stop talking about his plans all the way up the mountain. Oh well, can’t do much now. They’ll have to do without the whole hapless human act.
“Vesemir, sir,” Jaskier says in a hushed voice, “Do you mind not telling the lads about my school affiliation? Geralt and I want to play a joke on them. See how long it will take them to realise I’m not just a bard.”
Surely, Vesemir will not partake in the hijinks Jaskier so loves. Geralt knows him to be grounded and level headed at all times. And without a sense of humour to boot.
Vesemir shrugs, “Sure, why not?"
Geralt has to physically stop himself from shouting atop his lungs ‘Who are you and what did you do to my father?!” But in the end, he guesses that solitary life in the keep may have its toll on a person. It is, after all, incredibly boring being alone year-round and therefore some form of entertainment is surely appreciated when the chance arises. And this whole human act could theoretically be considered entertaining.
And so their ‘grand plan’ gets set into motion.
As expected, Lambert is indeed early to reach the keep --as always-- and is sitting on the big common table arranging his Gwent card collection. Hm. Seems he got a good haul this year, Geralt thinks. Maybe he should take a look discreetly, see which cards he needs for this new strategy he’s been developing all year and think of a way to make Lambert part with them.
His musings are caught short by Lambert’s fiery head snapping to Jaskier; eyes wide as plates and confusion painted on his features. “The actual fuck,” the younger wolf mutters under his breath, “Who the fuck is this, Geralt? Did you bring a bloody half-giant with you this year? Did -did he follow you?” the last question is said in a hushed voice.
“Ah!” Jaskier exclaims and claps his -enormous- hands in excitement before Geralt has the chance to get a word in, “You must be Lambert. That’s Lambert right Geralt? The-”
“Gee, I wasn’t going to say that. ‘Prickly one’, was what I had in mind.”
“Who is he?” Lambert asks, his voice almost hysterical.
“Jaskier. My bard,” Geralt responds simply.
“You’re fucking shitting me.”
“I’m afraid as Geralt very eloquently mentioned already, I am indeed the great bard Jaskier, greatest to have ever walked the Continent, that happens to be very close friends with mister dark and broody over here,” Jaskier chirps, patting Geralt gently on the back.
“I’m not dark and broody, Jask,” Geralt snorts a laugh at his boyfriend’s antics.
“I suppose not anymore,” the Bear Witcher hums and winks at Geralt. Fuck, Geralt wants to press their bodies together and just kiss him till he’s out of breath. But he won’t do it. Not in front of his brother. He won’t live it down if he does and it’s still too early in the winter to enable Lambert, to give him a reason to make fun of him.
“Well,” Lambert laughs loudly and unreservedly, “Welcome to Kaer Morhen, bard.”
Eskel arrives a week later with two goats following him. Law of Surprise he says, and Geralt hums to himself because at least one of his brothers seems to be in Destiny’s favour. Eskel always gets goats somehow. The goats will- well he’s not sure if Eskel intends for them to eat them or if he wants to start a mini-farm up on the Blue Mountains. But in one way or another, the animals will provide food.
Eskel is completely unphased by Jaskier’s presence in the keep and while this is mildly strange, Geralt supposes humans do come in this size and Eskel surely has met a lot of people in his travels. Jaskier and Eskel bond over their love for poetry, hanging out almost daily at Kaer Morhen’s vast library, dusting old tomes and doing some reading. It’s nice.
And in the evenings they’ll all play Gwent with one another, drink to their heart’s content laugh and sing. Jaskier’s presence on the keep seems to have made everything so much more; more banter, more fun, more fights. Time flies easily this way.
And so one more week passes before they know it and his brothers still haven’t caught on that the bard is not exactly human. Sure, Lambert has insinuated once or twice that Jaskier surely has a giant ancestor in his bloodline but well, thing is, they never mention the obvious.
And it is bloody obvious alright. Geralt has trouble believing that they have not yet noticed Jaskier’s cat-like slit pupils or the huge muscles carefully hidden under his doublet. He has to say that Elihal did a damn fine job at crafting such a… deceiving attire.
It also helps that Vesemir assigns Jaskier to library duty, keeping the ruse going. But the library while big still has only a finite amount of books that need reordering. After the task is completed Jaskier will be helping with the more labour intensive things around the keep, such as the maintenance of the roofs or the walls. And these are tasks he can’t do while wearing his doublet. Surely then, their little secret will be exposed.
It’s a relatively warm night, considering winter is so close upon them and Geralt is tired from fixing a half-destroyed fortification all day. All he wishes for is a warm bath at the hot springs and to spend the rest of the night curled in Jaskier’s big embrace, nuzzling those absolutely scrumptious pecs of his.
He makes his way down the spiral staircase that leads to the springs when Jaskier calls from somewhere above and behind him, “Hold up, Geralt, I’ll join you. The east wing of the library was exceptionally dusty.”
Geralt smiles to himself and waits for the larger man to catch up with him. His nose scrunches up smelling the heavy blanket of dust covering the bard-witcher. Gods. When was the last time someone cleaned their library?
“You’ve dust everywhere,” Geralt remarks.
“I knooooow,” Jaskier whines, “I’m relatively certain my insides are dusted too after today.”
“Disgusting. Let’s get you cleaned up then. Thoroughly.”
“Oh ho ho! You’ve become quite bold, haven’t you, my love?” Jaskier leans in and kisses him on his head, “You reek of sweat, dear heart.”
Geralt hums and smiles, “Come on, we don’t want the others to-”
“-We don’t want the others to what, Geralt? What?” Lambert’s voice echoes behind them.
Fuck. Geralt shares a look with Jaskier. Well. Seems it’s time for the game to end.
“Don’t even think of contaminating the springs you heathens,” Eskel speaks this time.
“Oh ewwww,” Lambert makes a retching sound.
“Oh ye of little faith,” Jaskier murmurs under his breath, “By Melitele, we were just going to bathe like civilized people. We’re not- not like that! I was just hoping you wouldn’t see me in my birth suit, you- you vulgar witchers you! I’m just shy!”
“Shy my ass,” Geralt snorts a laugh.
“Geralt!” Oh, the look of absolute betrayal on Jaskier’s face is priceless.
Geralt shakes his head and releases a sigh of relief when the hot humid air of the springs hits him. He strips methodically and folds his dirty clothes neatly on the floor. Grabs a towel leaving it on the wooden bench close to the biggest spring. He does not wait for the others to get ready and submerges himself in the hot soothing water.
Soon enough, his brothers join him.
“How is it gonna be, bard?” Lambert snaps his head to Jaskier who’s still wearing all of his clothes, lips pursed, sceptically looking at the hot water. “Will you attempt to clean yourself by proxy? Believe me, it’s not possible.”
“If I try hard enough, I might be able to do it,” Jaskier says and continues staring at the steaming water, “Or…” he says after a while, taking a step forward, “I could jump in with my clothes.”
“Don’t you dare!” Eskel’s voice thunders. Geralt and Lambert stare at him surprised. Eskel never shouts. Never. “Strip and enter or stay filthy.”
Geralt tries not to get caught watching Jaskier undress. It’s a sight that never gets old and one he cherishes every single time. There’s something so beautiful in the Bear Witcher’s movements; the way he unbuttons his doublet with care, the way he slides his chemise up, revealing moving muscles covered by a healthy layer of fat. It makes Geralt’s mouth water.
Lambert and Eskel seem to not be paying attention to the bard as he undresses and why would they anyway?
Jaskier enters the water slowly and sits right next to Geralt, those thick arms of his propped at the stone floor outside of the pool.
“Alright,” Lambert huffs, “You’re a lot fucking bigger than you look, bard.” Eskel hums in agreement. “You sure you don’t have a fucking giant in your bloodline?”
Jaskier rolls his eyes, “I already told you I don’t. Look, because I’m absolutely sure you both will never bloody guess it on your own, I’ll be generous and give you this piece of information free of charge.”
“Jask,” Geralt’s yellow eyes meet Jaskier’s blue, relaying the question that needs not be asked.
“Oh, shush, I’m sure Geralt. It’s not even fun anymore.”
“The fuck are you two on about? Because if this is about you two fucking late at nights we know, we can bloody hear you,” Lambert all but shouts.
“Yeah, no, that was never the secret,” Jaskier chuckles, “I’m that tall because I ate all my food as a kid,” he grins mischievously and when the two wolf witchers shriek complains at him he relents, “it was the food and the extra fancy experimental trials.”
“Trials?” Eskel cocks an eyebrow.
“You know, agonizing pain, waking up in a mix of your own blood sweat and tears. Just the whole package.”
Lambert and Eskel stare at him incredulously, and Geralt has to physically stop himself from laughing.
“Oh for gods sake, must I spell this out for you?”
“You’re a fucking witcher,” Lambert says in realisation.
“A witcher,” Eskel echoes.
“Took you long enough,” Geralt smiles smugly, “Seriously, how did you fail to notice? His eyes are slit-pupiled for fuck’s sake.”
It’s Lambert who moves closer to Jaskier’s face, “Oh shit they are.”
“Which school?” Eskel asks.
“Which do you think?” Geralt rolls his eyes.
“Bear,” Eskel and Lambert answer in unison.
“Congratulations,” Jaskier claps his hands, “You’ve won a two-hour performance of Toss a Coin.”
“Please no,” Eskel whispers.
“I’ll garrot you if you sing that blasted song again,” Lambert snarls, and both Jaskier and Geralt fall in a fit of laughter.