Jaskier growled, biting at Geralt’s shoulders as he straddled him, enjoying the taste of blood in his mouth as he broke skin. This wasn’t him, a distant part of his mind was screaming, he didn’t want blood on his lips, he didn’t enjoy the feel of causing Geralt pain.
But the wolf like creature with fangs and claws and angry eyes pushed him away, howling in ecstasy at the taste of blood. Of Geralt’s blood. It wanted it, all of it, to consume him until there was nothing left and they were whole once more. It wanted to be a wolf again, ferocious and fierce.
Jaskier screamed, sobbing as he came, and buried his face in Geralt’s hair.
He didn’t want this. He couldn’t do this anymore.
“’s okay,” Geralt panted, rolling over and wrapping himself around Jaskier.
“It’s getting worse,” Jaskier whimpered, clutching at his head as the wolf thing prowled and growled. He could feel it itching to consume the bond, render it and bleed it dry.
“The meditations,” Geralt asked sleepily, nuzzling at his crying guide.
“It’s not helping anymore,” Jaskier said, struggling out of Geralt’s arms.
“Jaskier,” Geralt said, sitting up and catching the man as he tripped out of bed, “It’ll be okay.”
“No it won’t,” Jaskier cried, “I have your blood in my mouth, I’m hurting you, and it’s still not enough!”
Jaskier broke free, not even bothering to dress as he bolted from the room. Geralt flopped back down as he heard the door slam in the room next to his, and sighed. He was exhausted. He glanced at the blood still trickling down his chest and swore, he hadn’t realized that his bard had bitten so deep. Usually the wound had clotted by now.
He grabbed Jaskier’s shirt from the floor and held it against the wound as he sat up and checked the rest of his body. Their love making had become more ferocious as the winter had waned on, and it wasn’t unusual for him to be left with painful reminders for days afterward.
It was only in the last week that Jaskier had started piercing flesh. He was right, it was getting worse. And he didn’t know what he could do. Whatever was in his guide’s head couldn’t be in the same room as Geralt without trying to attack him.
At first the other witchers had thought it funny. But even Lambert had stopped laughing weeks ago. Not when they saw Geralt trying helplessly not to harm Jaskier as the other man seemed to go out of his mind with bloodlust, trying to kill him.
Trying to become him, Yennefer had told him.
The shadowy beast was a ghostly whisper of Geralt’s own wolf, and it wanted to rejoin it. But she could find no way for that to happen, not without killing one of them. And so Geralt avoided Jaskier, and when they met they fought. And when they became too desperate for one another, the bond still longing for them to be together, they fucked.
And now Geralt was left shivering in the cold air, staring at the bloody teeth marks Jaskier had left in his shoulder, and had to admit the truth. He was losing Jaskier, and he didn’t know how to stop it.
Jaskier shivered as he sat in the tiny cell hidden away in the bowels of the fortress. He had discovered it weeks ago, fleeing from Geralt. The other man was convinced that they could fight this thing in his head, confront it and defeat it.
Jaskier had bloodied his nose, nearly broken his arm, and then ran. Deeper and deeper, colder and colder, until he found this frozen little room, long since forgotten, and made it his own.
It was still cold, there was no way to safely heat anything down here. He never even dared risk a candle in the darkness. But there must be vents somewhere, because the air was damp, not musty, and he hadn’t suffocated yet.
And it was here he put his meditations to good use. He sank into his mind and let the beast prowl his mind safely, unable to truly escape. He bit his lip, Yennefer would kill him if she knew what he was doing, and started to carefully start building the ice wall in his mind once more.
Last time it had been a hasty thing, more brute force than skill, but now he knew better. He knew how to sink it down deep, securing the foundation, and weave the edges of it through his mind. Weft and loom, weft and loom.
Because this time it wasn’t just Geralt he was cutting off. He was cutting himself off, and defending Geralt against his own horrors.
It wouldn’t stop the rage, he could feel that building every moment he was near his white wolf, but it could block Geralt from feeling the worst of it. And, better yet, of knowing how to find him. He could protect his witcher in no better way than not letting Geralt put himself in danger.
Six hours later he lay on the floor, panting, exhausted, but he was finished. His creature howled and threw itself against the bars of his mind, but the ice held firm. It could not escape. He curled up, hugging himself, and wept.
He was alone. He couldn’t sense Geralt. Nothing echoed through to him. There was nothing to show that the other man had ever been connected to him.
He missed his witcher.
It was past midnight when the bard was finally able to haul himself up the stairs, his footsteps uneven, but he knew that, at least, he wouldn’t have to worry about running into Geralt. The witchers trained hard during the day, and would long since be abed.
He didn’t plant on finding Yennefer in the kitchen, glaring angrily at him.
“What did you do,” she demanded, picking him up and practically dragging him into a chair.
He slumped over, staring at her, and wondered if she would at least let him eat before she cut him down and tossed him out to the wolves. He snorted at that. Wolves. Witchers.
He was far too tired for this.
“Geralt has been going mad for half the day,” she spat, “Lambert had to knock him out before he hurt himself!”
“Another club to the head,” Jaskier asked with a sloppy grin, “He’s not going to have anything left of his mind if everyone keeps hitting him.”
“He was screaming for you,” she said, glaring, “No one could find you. We thought you were dead.”
“Not dead,” Jaskier reassured her, “Had to block the bond. Keep the beast contained.”
“Fuck,” Yennefer growled, beginning to pace, “I told you not-”
“It would have killed us if I hadn’t,” Jaskier admitted, “It was growing stronger. It… I need to stop it from killing Geralt.”
“The bond can still break through-”
“I’m leaving in the morning,” Jaskier cut her off, “The distance will stretch it thin. Yennefer, it’s the only thing that will work. If he won’t kill me, I’ll end up killing him. I can’t do that.”
Jaskier could feel the tears brightening his eyes, and wiped at them. He didn’t want to cry again, this choice was breaking his heart. But there was no other way.
“At least talk to him,” Yennefer sighed, wilting as the anger left her eyes, “You at least owe him that. He needs to at least see that you’re whole.”
“Not whole,” Jaskier said, “Never whole. But I’ll tell him goodbye in the morning.”
“Ciri will miss you,” Yennefer said, wrapping him in a hug as he stood, his legs shaking.
“I’ll miss the little cub too,” Jaskier said, finally giving in and sobbing into her shoulder.
Jaskier had already prepared his horse an hour before dawn. He hadn’t slept that night, and doubted he would get much more than a few hours in the coming days, but his mind was set. All he needed to do now was say goodbye.
But every step he took toward Geralt’s room felt like he was jamming a knife deeper and deeper into his own heart. He didn’t want to do this. Everything in him screamed that he couldn’t run away.
And then his creature howled, and gnashed it’s teeth and roared for blood.
The door echoed as he knocked, and Jaskier winced. He hoped he hadn’t woken the others. He was trusting Yennefer to give his goodbyes to them.
The door swung open, and Geralt stood there, his hair crazed, and his eyes widened as he recognized Jaskier. He grabbed his bard, pulling him close, and wept as he kissed him.
“I thought you were dead,” Geralt admitted, “I thought you had gone off somewhere and killed yourself! What did you do? What did you do!?”
Jaskier swallowed, resisting the urge to just lunge forward and bite into his lover’s unprotected neck. It took every ounce of his will not to surrender to the bloodlust and tear into him, dissolving the bond and becoming one, whole, again.
He had to leave.
“The ice wall,” Jaskier said shakily, still eyeing the slow pulse of Geralt’s neck, “I had to contain it. It wants you dead, Geralt.”
“There has to be another-”
“There isn’t,” Jaskier said, “If you won’t kill me, and I won’t kill you, then there isn’t. I’m leaving.”
“No,” Geralt growled, his hands tightening around Jaskier’s shoulders.
“Maybe, in time, I can control it. But it’s too dangerous. I’ll kill you.”
“We can do something,” Geralt insisted, “Potions, or meditations-”
Jaskier leaned in, biting at his wolf’s lips and drawing him into a kiss. Maybe their last kiss. He could taste blood as teeth clashed, and he cried as he continued. There would never not be blood between them, never not be a battle. No more sweetness in grassy fields, no more gentle passions.
Just anger, and fury, and love, and blood.
He stepped back, slipping out of Geralt’s grasp, and wiped the blood away from his mouth.
“I’ll come back on the winter solstices,” Jaskier promised, “Maybe, in time, I’ll have control.”
“I’ll be here,” Geralt promised, his voice breaking.
Jaskier turned, storming carefully from the room before he surrendered to the rage that was building in his mind. He could freeze himself to the bone, but nothing could ever stop that rage.
“Jaskier,” Geralt’s voice echoed after him, and Jaskier broke into a run.
He could hear what Geralt meant in his name. Love, and forgiveness, and longing. He hoped the years would teach and temper him, give him a way to purge this curse and rejoin his witcher. But he had been following his witcher for decades, and he knew the truth.
The tales of men getting involved with wolves never ends well.