When they were told that Jaskier was moving their meeting to another location and that he was ‘sending a ride’ they didn’t think that ride would be the Witcher.
“I... can take the bus?” they offered, shuffling further from the curb—further from the sleek metallic grey Porche idling there, and the eerie yellow eyes of the Witcher inside.
His face didn’t change, looking at them through the open passenger window.
The doors audibly unlocked. They flinched.
“O-or I could, yeah, I’ll just...” Words died under the Witcher’s glare, their mouth unaccountably dry.
They got into the car.
The Witcher waited long enough for them to buckle in before pulling seamlessly back into traffic, the engine nearly silent—the sound of the window seamlessly sliding back up into place almost seemed loud in comparison. There was no music playing. They held their bag to their chest, phone in hand, and glanced at their deeply, deeply intimidating driver—when something in the back caught their eye. A slight—shine.
Suspended in what were clearly specially made straps across the back two seats were a pair of swords.
Actual, death dealing swords, of the sort that a Witcher would (of course) have at hand and not at all like the props one sees on television. The aura about them promised death and dismemberment; there was a weight to their existence, like years of having to be sluiced free of blood and other vital fluids had given them malevolent life.
It felt much like suddenly realizing you were in a car with a barely restrained Barghest.
A creature, one might note, that they only knew about due to the song Jaskier made detailing their utter defeat at the hands of his Witcher.
A hard knot caught somewhere in their throat as they looked at the rather distinctive silver and steel swords very clearly suspended for easy access... and they very slowly turned back to the front, clearing their throat. They fingered at the little fluffy charm hanging from their phone; tried to think hard on the fact that this was the same Witcher who sent pictures of cute things to Jaskier. Sent smiley faces with a colon-parentheses like a grandparent who’d soon ask what the eggplant emoji was for. Tried very hard not to think about the follow up pictures.
dead now. smiley face.
Stop thinking about it.
“So,” they shook their head to banish the though, “Um... Nice car?” Their voice was startlingly loud in the quiet car.
Well that sounded... a bit like agreement. Maybe? It also sounded like shut up, kind of, but the next words were already out of their mouth.
“It’s a... uh, Porsche? A rather nice one, too, one of the newer models? Kind of, um...” They swallowed again, didn’t know how to finish saying kind of not what I imagined you driving, as it was a tad impolite. It also didn’t actually get across that they could only barely get past the idea that the Witcher traveled any other way than by horse by conceding that perhaps,
The man travelled by bear. Maybe. Or maybe by way of a cart pulled by an arrangement of monsters—well, perhaps a Porsche isn’t so hard to imagine anyway—
“I know horses.” Their eyes snapped to the Witcher’s face, rambling thoughts interrupted. “This is a car.”
The man really did have a voice like an avalanche, didn’t he?
It took a moment for the words to break through the brief terror of having the man actually speak to them, and a moment longer for the two separate statements to connect.
So... the Witcher didn’t know about cars? Had a fancy car like this one and didn’t... their thought trailed into nothing, eyes drifting down to the rather hard-worn grey hooded sweatshirt and perhaps equally hard worn jeans.
The grey of the sweatshirt hinted in a somewhat terrible way that it might have at one point been white. The jeans bluntly showed off a history of blood-and-other splatter that over the years refused to be washed out.
They remembered Jaskier complaining that the Witcher wouldn’t wear anything other than black steel toed boots, and would wear said boots until they could not be worn any longer.
He had a rather plain black shirt on, too, one that made the shining silver of his Witcher Medallion stand out all the more. He certainly didn’t dress like he’d buy a Porsche, and they knew Jaskier had little to no interest in cars.
They nodded once and faced forward once more, face settling somewhat grimly.
So the Witcher has stolen a car. They knew laws bent in all sorts of ways for monster hunters, Witchers in particular. They still ran through what to do should the media try to come at Jaskier for his felonious paramour, what a PR nightmare—
They—they hadn’t heard... what? Wait.
It came again over the cars speakers, breathless and moaning and just at the cusp of guttural and—
And very obviously Jaskiers voice.
They kept their (very wide) eyes forward, face heating when, after another minute, another notification came through the cars speakers. Mmnh
They dared a glance, and saw a very small uptick at the corner of the Witchers mouth.
What the fuck.
The car came to a stop, was turned off, and the doors unlocked. They barely reacted to having those swords in the back coming very close don’tkillme when the Witcher clicked something from the harness and pulled them between the seats, hauling himself out of the car while they were still fumbling with the door handle.
Their face still felt very hot as they followed the Witcher into a surprisingly packed cafe, the people crowding at the door making way for the Witcher—as anyone would, they think, trying not to stare at the twin swords strapped to his back. He just... carries them around... all the time?
The reason for the crowd soon became obvious—Jaskier was at centre stage at the back of the cafe surrounded by a group of people with instruments. His hands are moving, animated, as he discussed something with them. Hanging above the low stage was a rather small sign:
OPEN MIC MONDAYS
There was something else printed below it but they were too far to read it—they hurried forward, squeezing around a couple who had moved back into the space the Witcher had left through the crowd, rushing to catch up.
They could see Jaskier’s head turn as the Witcher got closer, as if he could somehow sense his presence—saw the way his whole face lit up at the sight of him, eyes yet again impossibly fond for this large, gruff... man.
“Ah, Geralt! Ah, you’ve found my unfailing manager! Did you get my texts?”
Their face flushed anew at the reminder when they saw the Witcher’s head tilt, and the people surrounding the singer all took a small step back. Jaskier’s smile took a teasing edge to it as he strolled forward, hopping off the short stage (more of a step, really) to sidle close enough to hook his arm around the Witchers waist.
“Oh, none of that, darling, you know you can’t bring Roach around with you everywhere. Besides,” Jaskier’s other hand trailed up the Witchers chest to cup the back of his neck. “She would have been bored to tears waiting for us here, unable to hear my dulcet tones, and you know I couldn’t resist bring your own music—this is practically my origin story!”
They looked again at the sign now that they were closer and saw that the smaller text was that exactly—and, despite Jaskier’s rising fame, they hadn’t yet managed to convince their attention hungry singer that he didn’t need to participate in every ‘open mic’ that he found.
A quick glance around saw quite a few people sporting various articles of autographed clothing, clutching autographed napkins. They saw one person proudly showing off the black ink of their autographed clavicle; it was loud in the cafe, but they were almost certain they’d heard the word tattoo thrown around, which, really.
They shook their head and cleared their throat, grabbing attention from where the two were gazing intensely (the Witcher) and adoringly (Jaskier) at each other. It was easier to be relaxed around the Witcher with Jaskier around.
“So this is why we can’t have a meeting at a nice, quiet venue?”
Jaskier smiled winningly, what they internally named his ‘won’t I look lovely on a poster’ smile, and leaned further into the Witchers chest. The other man didn’t so much as sway.
“Well, the fine operators of this lovely cafe have so graciously allowed us use of one of their private rooms—ordinarily,” he said, leaning in closer, “only allowed for special occasions and for those pre-paying for a business lunch! Well, if a meeting with my manager isn’t both a special occasion and a business lunch, then what do I know?”
“Ohoho, now, now,” Jaskier’s head snapped back toward the Witcher, grinning widely and stroking the back of his fingers against the other mans stubble. The other man leaned into the caress, and Jaskier shifted to cupping his face oh so gently. “I’m sure there’s no need for any of that, dearest. They were also lovely enough to allow us use of the room for as long as we’d like today at no charge...” Jaskier turned back to them and winked. “...With lunch.”
They expected it was likely due to the increased patronage brought in by having Jaskier singing at their cafe, and the possibility of yet more after their meeting was done, but decided to keep this observation private.
Jaskier turned back to the Witcher, head tilted, and they were struck by the fact that there wasn’t actually a large height difference between the two; it only seemed that way due to the Witcher’s rather large, hulking presence. Muscles like that could make anyone seem small.
It was interesting seeing how gently he rested those brutal hands against his singer’s slight waist, trailing up and down his ribs, fingers soft against the fabric of his shirt.
“Now as for you, my dear, would you like to stay for my meeting or head out? Ah,” Jaskier tilted his head, and they couldn’t see what changed in the Witchers expression but it made Jaskier look smug. “See, I thought as much, so I had the foresight to ask for something made to go.”
And, see, this was why they were certain right from when they first met that Jaskier was destined for the limelight—because the man made a grand gesture, unwrapping himself from the Witcher, and a woman wearing an apron with the cafe’s logo on it appeared with a steaming to-go cup and a small paper bag. The man had an impeccable sense of dramatic flair and excellent timing.
“Why thank you, Lee,” he nodded with a short, courtly bow and a wink that had her smiling, before handing off the two to the stone-faced Witcher. They thought that was that, but then Jaskier was slipping his fingers through his belt loops, and tugging him closer—that the Witcher went, and easily, was what had their eyebrows rising.
“Now, I’ve fed and caffeinated you now give me a kiss and be on your way.”
They flushed when the Witcher grinned and leaned down so slowly to do just that, earning some hooting from those about the room and some drum pounding from those still on the stage, and had to look away when the kiss went on a little longer than perhaps necessary—
They finally parted, a small smile on the Witchers face surprisingly soft when he leaned down to press one, two more small kisses that had Jaskier leaning in to give one more of his own.
It was a flushed and beaming Jaskier who linked arms with them, glancing after the Witcher as he left, calling farewell to those who protested when it was clear the man wasn’t going onstage for another set...
Because that’s what they’d witnessed the man do again and again, singing and playing and then circling the crowd for a break before going up, again and again until either the venue was closing or, in places with alcohol, until he’d had enough to drink to keep him from making it back to the stage again.
But then, they’d also witnessed in such a situation that Jaskier would simply continue to sing or play from wherever he had landed, be it bar, barstool, table, or floor, and go on further still.
The room that they went to was bright and welcoming, the seats comfortable, and admittedly a nicer place for their meeting than where they’d initially planned. They’d been in contact with a few agents with a variety of contracts and shows that they think would be of interest for Jaskier.
They managed to get through quite a few of them, some of the staff from the cafe bringing in pre-cut artisanal sandwiches, hand sized quiches, a display of fruit cut bite-sized, and finishing with a small bowl each of something chilled and creamy with a drizzle of maple syrup. They’d each gotten through two drinks, too—Jaskier having apparently already given their order before their meeting—before sticking to water.
“Ah,” Jaskier held up one finger, phone no longer face down on the table, “one moment.”
“You know,” they can’t keep from saying, watching Jaskier beam at his phone and type through what looks like a novel’s worth of emoji’s. “The Witcher... he didn’t... read your texts in the car...”
“Oh, d’you like the car?” Jaskier finished typing and settled his elbow on the table, chin set against his fist. “His rust bucket of a car got crushed when he was going after some Royal Wyvern—he was grumbling about it since even he’s aware that he can’t just bring Roach about with him everywhere, despite what he said earlier—
They frowned, head tilting. Despite what he said...?
“...And he was going to pick out any car without doing any research as to how dependable it is, and really, imagine if he’s out and about and his car breaks down and there’s no Roach to be found and then where will he be? So I looked up ‘reliable cars 2019’—”
“Reliable cars 2019?? You—”
“Well of course I’m not going to look up ‘reliable cars 2020’ it’s hardly been any time at all, they could go to shit after six months and we wouldn’t know it, so it was lucky that there were results with that search since we got the first one that popped up!”
“You... you chose to buy the first car when searching reliable cars 2019?” The conversation had gotten away from them
“Of course!” Jaskier lounged back in his chair and popped a grape in his mouth. “I’m not going to choose the second, right? He still has another car for when he needs to go off-roading, obviously, but we call this his ‘city car’ and it’s a, uh, oh shoot what’s it called...”
They couldn’t do more than stare while their singer scrolled through something in his phone, top lip caught between his teeth. “Just give me a moment, I just e-mailed the dealers to have one ready for Geralt, and he insisted on paying in cash, so...
“Ah, here it is, so It’s a 9-1-1 Carrera, um, por-shee—oh! Porsche! Well, well, well,” he looked up from his phone looking mightily impressed with himself. “I accidentally chose a fancy car, huh? You know, there are some words you only ever read and then don’t know how to say aloud until you google it or have someone correct you, but no one ever thinks about the words you’ve heard and said aloud but haven’t seen written out and—oh,” he cut himself off, “ooh!”
His eyes had gone wide, white visible all the way around those marketable blue eyes and mouth forming a perfect O.
“Oooh,” he said again, “I see, the texts, he never checks his texts in the car and complains about it because he can check his texts with Roach since she drives but you,” he says, one hand flat on the table and the other now pointed and being shaken in their direction, “you wanted to say—his ringtone! Oh, no, and it’s, and it’s connected to the car—oh I’m, pff, I’m sorry, you—
Jaskier broke off laughing, one hand raking back through his hair and somehow they are unsurprised to not see a lick of shame or embarrassment on his face. Well, they thought, wry, at least he knows about it.
“You know,” Jaskier manages to get out when his laughter finally dwindles, “this is probably why he told me not to text, but, you know when I changed his ringtone I didn’t quite expect that you’d have to listen to my sex voice with surround sound speakers?” He gave a shrug, smile still curling about his mouth, what can you do?
“Well,” they said, “I guess it’s alright if you didn’t expect it, hmm?” And at least they hadn’t ridden in a stolen car...
They shook their head, then paused. Asked,
“So... you were the one who changed the ringtone?”
Jaskier smiled and leaned back, satisfaction in every line of his body.