Yennefer isn't asleep, but she's halfway there, when she feels Geralt's fingers trace against her inner forearm. She opens her eyes to see him lying on his stomach, face turned towards her, eyes on her hand. His hair is a disheveled mess, like strings of dirty snow strewn all over the place. She has a theory that he spends more time than he'll ever let anyone realize to make his hair look as good as it does usually, because Yennefer has seen it at its worst and it certainly doesn't look combed back and orderly.
"Why did you keep the scars?" Geralt asks, his voice quiet, eyes and fingers tracing her wrists. "I would get rid of mine, if I could."
"Really?" Yennefer says turning to lie on her back, facing him. "I'm sure you've heard many naked people tell you how attractive they are."
He gives her something between a humph and a laugh. Behind him she can hear Jaskier snoring lightly.
"Perhaps people would compliment my beautiful eyes, if the scars weren't there to distract them," he finally looks at her, his small smile reflected in the corners of those unnatural eyes.
"Is it a secret, how they make witchers?" she asks. "I know the principle but not the details. Is that intentional?"
He hums his ascent. "It was a particular formula. Herbs, training, magic. It's lost now. They murdered everyone who knew, burned every place it was written down."
In a different world, Yennefer thinks, it would be logical to assume that the witchers themselves did that. To avoid inflicting their fate, or worse, a pointless death, on future generations of boys. But that's not the world they live in, so Yennefer knows Kaer Morhen was sacked by people who'd never been harmed by the ways of witchers.
"Was there ever a time when you wanted to be a father?" she asks instead. Fair's fair, he was the first one to drag too-personal questions into this.
She expects an immediate no, but he thinks about the answer for a bit. His back rising and falling peacefully with his too-slow breath. It's a little scary to see, to feel how slowly a witcher's heart beats. She wonders if Jaskier is ever disconcerted by it, accompanying Geralt on his travels.
"If there was, I can't remember it," he says, finally. "I was too young, when the time came to choose. Before that all I wanted was adventure and glory. For my teacher to be proud of me. For my mother to find me, somehow. After it was done, I never let myself consider it a real option. I knew I'd die fighting some monster, at some point, and wouldn't have to worry about who I was leaving behind." He looks at her sharply. "That's the one scar I would have chosen to keep, I suppose."
"Scar?" Yennefer asks. She doesn't have scars from when she asked a man to tear her open, no numbing the pain, and take out the parts of her that could create life, in exchange for a very long life of power and beauty (which in itself was just another kind of power). She remembered every moment of it, and probably would for as long as she lived, but she doesn't have a mark for it on her body.
He grunts and grabs her hand with his, pulling her arm towards his body. They're lying close enough, so it's not a stretch. He puts her hand on his buttocks, palm down, and then slides her fingers lower, over the soft, muscular curve, down to his thighs. He spreads his legs, shifting on the bed, and finally guides her fingers to his scrotum.
She's about to make a joke about how, if he wanted her to touch him he could have just said so, but then his fingers shift hers gently, searching, caressing, until finally she can feel it. The skin of his balls has a ridge, an unnatural stiff line, thick as a needle. She'd never noticed it before, when they'd fucked. Of course, she also wasn't looking for it.
She can trace it from the skin between his legs, all the way around the sac. She can't tell where it ends, with him lying on his stomach.
She knows he's watching her face closely.
"Were you..." she doesn't quite know what to ask. Was it necessary? Of course it was, or at least he believes it was, because that's what his teachers told him. Was it painful? Of course, unless they knocked him out for the procedure, but she wouldn't put it past witchers to consider it a trial to be passed. What did they do, exactly? Cut him open and tear up whatever they had to and then sewed him up with magic, of course, until his parts worked again, somehow. "Why would you keep this, given a choice?" she says, finally, pulling her hand back to her side.
He grunts again, and changes positions, as if now that he's done exposing himself lying on his back is no longer acceptable. He lies on his side too, hair changing shapes from one disheveled mess to another.
"Because it matters, I suppose," he says. "I chose this, and I can't - I won't - take it back."
"Have you let the boy feel it?" she says, suddenly desperate to lighten the mood. "Has he worshiped it with his tongue?"
Geralt laughs, his genuine, surprised, unguarded laugh that Yennefer suspects not many creatures walking the earth have experienced.
"I totally have," comes Jaskier's sleepy voice, from behind Geralt. "I've never met anyone with scars down there that could still give you a satisfying time in the bedroom, let me tell you. That is one lucky break."
This time Geralt's laugh is mixed with a frown, probably at such a casual and incorrect interpretation of witcher training customs, but Yennefer is laughing loudly and in earnest.
"Are many witchers impotent, Geralt?" Jaskier asks, somehow sending her into an even bigger laughing fit. Geralt gets control of his amusement to let the frown take over.
"And don't try to tell us," Yennefer says, "that you don't personally know, Geralt. How many decades did you spend in Kaer Morhen before you were fully qualified to leave? Who else would you all have possibly fucked in there but each other?" she gives him a lovely, innocent smile as his frown deepens.
"Should I assume the same about Aretuza then?" Geralt growls. Behind him Jaskier sits up, smiling faintly, and starts trying to comb Geralt's hair into some semblance of order.
"Oh no," Yennefer says, “I knew how to open portals from a young age. Walls were no obstacle." She was also almost fully grown by the time Tissaia acquired her, but there was no need to get into those details.
"Witchers are not impotent," Geralt says. "Most boys don't survive training past their fifteenth year. Of the ones who make it, I've never heard of them being... maimed in that way." He's silent for a moment before adding. "Well. It's very rare, in any case."
Of course. Even magic has its failings. And witcher magic was fairly limited as it was. Well, Yennefer is glad this one specific witcher didn't pay for his powers with the ability to have an erection.
Jaskier bends down to kiss Geralt's shoulder, which illicits another familiar grunt.
"You boys do make a pretty picture," Yennefer says.
Geralt looks at her, smirks, and pulls Jaskier down for a proper kiss. Yennefer does appreciate active attempts to entertain her.
"We have to head out soon," Geralt says, looking at her, when he and the bard pull apart.
"Well," Yennefer says. "I suppose there's just enough time for another round."