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How to Care for Your Witcher

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Geralt had thought one bard was bad enough, but two bards was almost overwhelming. Dandelion had crashed through a portal into their camp in the middle of the night, looking more than a little confused, but his cornflower blue eyes shone with the same curiosity that Jaskier’s did and Geralt never had any doubt that the blond haired poet was another version of the bard that he knew so well. Jaskier, naturally, had been completely enthralled by the new troubadour who has flounced around the camp with his lute on his back and the most ridiculous hat on his head. The feather was so large that when he bowed, it brushed the floor.

The two idiots hadn’t shut up all night, leaving Geralt lying in his bedroll staring up at the stars and wishing for blessed silence so he could just get some sleep, but, of course, it had been a pointless wish. There had been no stopping the two bards once they got going. They spoke about rhymes, cadences and witchers. Geralt had kept one ear open once he’d heard his name mentioned but Dandelion had raised an eyebrow at him before the two of them switched to scratching in their notebooks.

The morning wasn’t going much better for Geralt. He was exhausted and surrounded by chattering bards. Dandelion didn’t even seem to be concerned about returning to his own universe, which Geralt thought was just baffling. He didn’t even like normal portals, let alone ones that led to other worlds.

“And then, Toruviel handed her lute over, just like that! Isn’t that just remarkable?” Dandelion giggled, his fingers dancing over the extravagant design on the bulbous body of his lute.

“Toruviel?” Jaskier asked with a cock of his head, tongue flicking out to lick his lips. “The she-elf?”

“Yes, a spirited pretty little thing, wasn’t she?”

“No, no, no. Well, I mean… yes, very pretty, but it was Filavandrel’s lute!” Jaskier exclaimed.

“The King of the Elves, giving away his lute,” Dandelion scoffed, “You must be mad!”

Jaskier stammered and pointed at the blond. “You!”

“Would you just shut up?” Geralt groaned, his headache becoming almost unbearable with every passing second.

“Oh, my darling, you should have said!” Dandelion cooed, catching Jaskier’s eye and winking, which Geralt thought was concerning. The two of them conspiring with one another could only cause trouble.

Jaskier caused enough trouble on his own without the help of another Julian Alfred Pankratz.

“Geralt, my dear witcher, please rest! You should have said something sooner,” Dandelion’s voice dropped to a near whisper, and he gently guided Geralt back to his bedroll, sitting cross legged on the ground so that Geralt’s head was resting in his lap.

It felt strangely intimate for a man who was supposedly a stranger, and yet Geralt knew Dandelion, just as he knew Jaskier. His bard mirrored Dandelion, sitting in front of Geralt, concern clear in his eyes. He reached out his hands to Geralt, an invitation rather than a demand. Geralt let out a long, slow breath and placed his hands in Jaskier’s. This was something he recognised. Jaskier would often sit like this with him after a hunt, humming something low and nonintrusive, rubbing circles into his wrists to keep him grounded until the toxicity wore off.

Dandelion seemed to be familiar with the routine and the two of them worked in perfect harmony. Long fingers scraped along his scalp, pulling through his hair and presumably separating the long strands into sections.

Geralt closed his eyes, taking steady deep breaths as he settled into a meditative state. The voices of Dandelion and Jaskier became muffled, distanced like he was listening through the ocean. They were talking quieter than they had been the night before, more mesmerising, like a lullaby. He hummed softly, a low purr beginning to rumble in his chest as Dandelion tugged at his hair. The motion was rhythmic, in time with the soft gentle harmonious melodies of the poet and the bard. Jaskier’s grip was firm around his wrists, his thumb rubbing continuous circles until the thoughts cleared from Geralt’s mind and darkness overcame him.

The soft purring grew deeper as Geralt lost consciousness. Jaskier never got over the amount of trust that Geralt placed in him during these moments. He was so very vulnerable, almost human, smaller than the big scary witcher he was in his waking moments. It was truly magical and Jaskier felt blessed. He sighed happily, licking his lips as he caught Dandelion’s eyes, cornflower blue and sparkling just like his. It was the only thing about their appearance that was identical despite the similarities in their personalities, and Jaskier felt like he was looking in a mirror every time his eyes met Dandelion’s.

And right now he was certain that even their expressions matched.

Dandelion had a look of complete wonderment on his face. The braids now ran along either side of Geralt’s face, Dandelion’s fingers long and nimble as he worked. It was a different design to the ones Jaskier preferred to weave into Geralt’s long silver hair but it was no less beautiful, and just as artfully crafted.

“Do you do this for your Geralt too?” Jaskier asked in a hushed voice, trying to keep his voice as light as a summer breeze.

“I do, although, my Geralt appears to be more willing to ask if he needs help. Yes, he sometimes acts like a lone wolf, but Geralt knows that strength comes from the ones you love,” Dandelion replied airily, a cute little frown between his brows as he concentrated on his work. When he wasn’t speaking, his tongue peeked out between his lips.

Jaskier chuckled. “Geralt doesn’t need to ask.”

“Actions over words?”

“Actions over words,” Jaskier agreed, now staring wistfully at Dandelion’s long golden curls. “Perhaps, once Geralt is feeling better, I could braid your hair?”

Dandelion beamed at him, glowing brighter than the morning sun. “Oh, my darling Jaskier, of course!” he cried in a whisper.

“It’s a date,” Jaskier winked at the poet before sighing and pressing a kiss to Geralt’s wrists which was rewarded with a louder purr instantly rumbled in the clearing. “Rest well, my love, dear heart.”