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it’s a long way forward (so trust in me)

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Geralt is not making a nest. Jaskier has noticed this. Geralt is in fact drinking a rather foul-smelling potion that sours the sweetness of his scent and muffles its otherwise obvious meaning.

“Does that stop heat?” Jaskier asks curiously, absentmindedly tuning his lute as he speaks. He hadn’t thought anything could, but, well . . . witchers and their potions.

“No,” Geralt says darkly. Jaskier infers from this extremely uninformative response that the only effect of the potion, therefore, is to make Geralt smell like something rotten. Which is one way to deal with heat, he supposes, except he can’t imagine it helping any other symptoms of it. Not that he has first-hand experience with any of those, as an alpha, but everyone knows what kind of nonsense omegas have to go through.

He’s never actually been around for one of Geralt’s heats before. This is all a bit novel.

Geralt appears to be the sort to suffer through his heats, unfortunately, as opposed to, oh, the sort to ask for help? It’s not as if Jaskier’s doing anything particularly important, after all. Then again, picturing Geralt asking for much of anything is a bit off, much less picturing him asking for that.


He wasn’t actually sure Geralt had heats, before he smelled his pheromones changing today on the road. It doesn’t really make sense that he would—witchers are infertile, aren’t they?—but what does Jaskier know, anyway. He’s not exactly an expert, and Geralt isn’t exactly forthcoming.

He could ask, he supposes, but he doubts he’d get an answer.

Geralt puts away his empty potion bottle, waits a few minutes as his scent grows less and less like pre-heat and more and more unpleasant, and then they get back to their travelling without further delay. There’s supposed to be a village somewhere around here, allegedly with monster problems, and Geralt is apparently perfectly willing to spend his pre-heat monster-hunting instead of, say, nesting. Jaskier cannot imagine that being pleasant, but when is Geralt’s job ever? And the man knows his own limitations, obviously.

Jaskier still thinks this whole thing would go a lot smoother if the other would just come down off Roach and sit on his knot for a few hours, but that is apparently too logical a course of action for a witcher to take.

They find the town. They talk to the people. The monster is nothing special; Jaskier does not expect to write a great ballad off the back of the eighth time he watches Geralt slay the same breed of beast. Still, one never knows where inspiration might strike, and the town is clearly in need—enough so that they more than welcome the sight of Geralt, and not even particularly grudgingly. They seem to find his drugged scent unpleasant, but so does Jaskier so he hardly blames them. Usually Geralt smells rather nice, in his opinion, and the other's heat scent was frankly mouthwatering before he chugged that potion.

That's neither here nor there, of course.

Jaskier never pretended to be clever about who he thought smelled mouthwatering. Usually it’s someone he shouldn’t even be sniffing at, as Geralt’s sour-smelling potion has very firmly reminded him.

Still. He could be helping the other right now, and who knows why Geralt isn’t asking for it. Jaskier’s certainly cheaper than a whore.

. . . he didn’t mean that the way it sounded.

They head out into the woods, Geralt in silence and Jaskier humming along to a new melody he’s trying to coax out of his lute. He’d talk, usually, but he figures Geralt’s suffering enough and the man clearly can only stand so much communication in a day. Jaskier likes to get in early, before anyone else has time to wear him down, but they had to talk to a lot of townspeople to narrow down what sort of beast to expect.

Geralt doesn’t like to be taken by surprise, obviously. Jaskier can more than see his point.

It's not much of a fight, in the end. Jaskier barely stops fiddling with his lute before Geralt's lopping the beast's head off with brutal efficiency. Jaskier doesn't even get his shoes particularly dirty.

"That's going to take some embellishing," he muses.

"Jaskier," Geralt rasps, standing over the beast's body and staring at him with pitch-black eyes.

"Yes?" Jaskier says, blinking back at him.

Geralt . . . pauses, and says nothing. His expression is strained. Jaskier wonders how close his heat is now; he can't smell him well enough to tell, under the potions and blood. Probably Geralt would not appreciate knowing he's wondering about that, though.

"We should head back," Jaskier says, because however close Geralt's heat is, it can't be long now, and simple as that fight was, he doesn't look his best.

Also, best to get paid as efficiently as possible. That's usually the wisest course of action.

"Hn." Geralt turns his head away, the black fading out of his eyes. He starts walking back to Roach. Jaskier follows, of course. He strums a little tune, but stops when he notices how tight it makes Geralt's shoulders. Normally he'd probably ignore that, if he even noticed, but normally he's a bit less . . . attentive-feeling.

Normally Geralt doesn't need taken care of like he's about to need, of course. But it's fine; they'll get paid, and Geralt can go spend his heat in the whorehouse, and Jaskier can spend it writing a new song, perhaps, or earning some extra coin at the bar.

Problem: turns out there's no whorehouse in town.

"What, really?" Jaskier asks incredulously. "What do your unmated people do for their cycles?"

"There are no unmated people out here," the mayor says, which simply can't be right. "We don't need the immorality of whorehouses in our town."

"Oh, wow," Jaskier says. Geralt's hands fist by his sides. "Wow, you just said that out loud and everything. So what if somebody gets sick? Or dies? Nobody around to handle that?"

"No," the mayor lies, which Jaskier translates to mean "nobody willing to lay with a witcher".

"Hmmmm," he says. "Well, that's an issue."

"Jaskier," Geralt says through his teeth.

"Yes?" Jaskier looks to him. Geralt doesn't speak, though, which is unhelpful. He looks very, very unhappy, though.

He still smells sour, which is probably not helping with this problem. Besides that, it's a small town, and never mind that the people here were willing enough to hire Geralt to kill their monster; they're clearly not willing to do him this particular favor, and there's not enough population to expect to find an outlier.

"Hm," Jaskier says. "Well—where's the inn?"

"No inn," the mayor says. Jaskier stares at him. Alright, well . . . that's not helpful. Geralt cannot spend his heat in the woods. Jaskier is simply not going to allow it. The man's already miserable enough.

"Well, does anyone have a room we can rent?" Jaskier asks.

"No," the mayor says. "But the woodsman's family is all dead by the beast. You can stay in their cottage."

"That would be lovely, thank you," Jaskier says. Well . . . it's still out in the woods, but a cottage is a definite improvement over a campsite, at least. "Could you point us to it?"

The mayor shows them the way. Geralt is dead silent the entire trip, his fists clenched tight around Roach's reins. Jaskier does the talking, as usual. The woodsman's cottage is lovely, actually, which is . . . a bit unfortunate. It's a small cottage, only one room, and Jaskier attempts not to notice any of the little signs of abandoned life in it. He doesn't know where the beast attacked the family, but it clearly wasn't here. It looks as if someone's just stepped out for a moment.

Geralt definitely notices that. Jaskier is fairly certain the man will never admit it, though.

"Won't this make a nice nest!" he says brightly, pretending that the family has in fact just stepped out and will be back in the morning. He's told worse lies.

"We've a healer in town. She'll be ready," the mayor says, eyeing him grimly. Jaskier realizes the man thinks Geralt is going to hurt him, which . . . might actually be a concern, come to think of it. Hm.

Well, faint heart ne'er won fair maid. Or helped out a suffering witcher, either.

"We'll keep that in mind, thank you!" Jaskier says in the same bright tone, and the mayor huffs and eyes him for another long moment, but leaves them there. "Wasn't he just a bucket of sunshine. Perhaps I should've played a few more songs of your heroism."

Geralt growls. It's not a very omega-like sound, but it is a very Geralt one.

"I'm just saying, it couldn't have hurt," Jaskier says, bustling around the place in search of spare bedding. He can't bring Geralt much, but it's the decent thing to do and all. Can't expect any self-respecting omega to build a nest with the contents of one bed.

"What are you doing," Geralt says as Jaskier layers a few quilts he found in a trunk on the bed. It doesn't really sound like a question, but Jaskier answers anyway.

"Getting you something to nest with, obviously," he says. "What, are you going to use one lousy set of sheets?"

Geralt is looking at him very strangely.

"What?" Jaskier says. "I mean, I realize I'm not your first choice, but you need someone around. And what kind of alpha can't scrounge up some nesting material?"

"I don't need all that," Geralt says.

". . . nesting material?" Jaskier says, squinting at him in confusion. "Do witchers not nest?"

"We don't," Geralt says tightly.

"That is the saddest thing that I have ever heard, Geralt," Jaskier says. He deliberately fluffs a pillow. "What, you get mounted on a bare mattress and call it a heat?"

Geralt doesn't say anything.

. . . Jaskier thinks he hates people.

"Correction, that is the saddest thing that I have ever heard," he says, heaping more quilts on the bed and seriously considering adding the rug. "You need a nest, good lord, be nice to yourself for five minutes."

Geralt comes over to the bed but makes no effort to start nesting. He just stares at Jaskier, who stares back at him expectantly. Geralt . . . continues not to nest.

"Well?" Jaskier says.

"I don't need all that," Geralt says again, and Jaskier gives up.

"Fine," he says, and starts building a nest himself. Jaskier does not actually know how to nest, but he's watched enough partners do it that he has a rough idea of the particulars. It won't be pretty, but it should be functional, and Geralt's always preferred functional to pretty anyway.

"Jaskier," Geralt says.

"Do you mean 'thank you, Jaskier, you're so thoughtful, Jaskier'?" Jaskier says, struggling with getting the heaviest quilt into a nice position. "'Jaskier, you're an alpha of so many talents!'"

"I told you I don't need it," Geralt says. "You're wasting your time."

"First of all, you absolutely need it," Jaskier says. "Second of all, you also both deserve and should have it, because it's the most basic possible comfort and heats are miserable enough as they are."

"It's a nest," Geralt says. "No one needs a damn nest to sate a heat."

"The more you talk the bigger and softer I want to build this thing," Jaskier says, jamming a pillow into the . . . well, the nest-ish structure he's building. Look, he's working on it. "What was your plan here, Geralt, seducing an alpha with that wretched potion and nowhere to shack up? Did that seem like a good idea to you?"

"Whores don't care," Geralt says.

"Unfortunately for you, those are in short supply at the moment," Jaskier says, though he suspects whores do in fact care but just want to get paid. "You'll have to settle for me. Don't worry, I happen to be quite good at this."

The side of the nest falls in. Jaskier fixes it hastily.

"You," Geralt says, oddly.

"Well, who else?" Jaskier asks. "Oh come on, you're not getting picky on me now, are you?"

Geralt is just staring at him.

“Geralt? Hello?” Jaskier waves a hand in front of his face. Geralt doesn’t track it; just keeps staring at his face. “Something wrong?”

“You,” Geralt says again, and Jaskier makes an offended noise.

Excuse me—”

Geralt plants his hands on his shoulders and shoves him down onto the bed. Jaskier lands in his mess of a nest, which surprisingly holds up to the abuse.

“Oof,” he says, more out of surprise than anything else. Geralt’s still staring at him even as he strips off his shirt. “Oh, you don’t want a bath or anything first? There’s still, er . . . blood, in your hair. A bit. Also possibly some viscera and oh no alright then.”

Geralt’s taken off his pants and crawled on top of him, and if Jaskier weren’t willing to fuck someone with a little blood and guts on them, well, then he wouldn’t be here anyway, would he. Geralt already smells like death anyway thanks to that stupid potion; a little actual death won’t hurt.


He really is very beautiful.

“That potion is doing your scent no favors, you realize,” Jaskier says, putting his hands on Geralt’s bare hips. Geralt swats them away, then unfastens Jaskier’s pants and drags them down around his knees. Jaskier might be a bit surprised by the forwardness, but it is, of course, Geralt. Always one to get right to business, and certainly never a shrinking violet. The issue with that, of course, is that given that “down to business” attitude and the rotten scent Geralt’s putting off, Jaskier’s knot isn’t quite in the condition it needs to be right now. “I don’t suppose you’ve got the patience for a bit of foreplay—oh!”

Geralt is very, very down to business, as the fact that he is currently eye-level with Jaskier’s cock should attest.

“I suppose one could argue oral counts as foreplay,” Jaskier muses, then curses very loudly as Geralt wraps his fingers around his cock and drags his tongue up it. He’d put his hands in his hair, but if Geralt didn’t want him touching his hips he definitely doesn’t want him touching his hair, and also the whole . . . the blood issue. Because there definitely is some blood in there.

That should really bother him more than it’s bothering him, actually. Instead it’s just making him feel a bit fond, because of course Geralt would climb into bed with dried blood on him, the idiot. Of course he would.

“You are incorrigible,” Jaskier informs him breathlessly. He’s not really sure what to do with his hands; Geralt’s are quite busy pinning his hips to the bed. Pinning his hips very strongly to the bed. It’s not a subtle message, so Jaskier doesn’t even try to move, which is easier said than done. Geralt’s tongue is very clever, is the issue there.

He is by no means complaining, mind.

“You really are the determined sort,” Jaskier says, because if he can’t move and he can’t touch Geralt, at least he can talk. And if Geralt has a problem with that, well, he doesn’t have a hand free to shut him up, does he. “How close is your heat to cresting? I realize asking when your mouth is occupied is a bit silly, but it’s somewhat important, obviously.”

Geralt lifts his head exactly long enough to say, “Shut up,” and Jaskier huffs.

“What can I do, do you want me to lay here like a log?” he complains. “I mean, to each their own and all but really, Geralt, that’s a bit rude, don’t you think?”

Geralt swallows him down and growls around his cock. Jaskier . . . forgets what he was saying, mostly.


Geralt works his mouth and hand around him, and Jaskier does his best to stay still and not immediately put Geralt off, because despite what he said he does, obviously, want to do this the way Geralt wants. It's heat, after all. Omegas in heat don't get as stupid as alphas in rut, but they do get very sensitive about things. Geralt probably less so than most, he expects, but he doesn't want to find out he's wrong the hard way.

Geralt getting upset would be . . . very unfortunate.

"You're very good at that," Jaskier says. "No surprise, you've had all the time in the world to get good at it, but you know, some people just don't put in the effort."

Geralt ignores him. Jaskier practically feels at home, except for the part where Geralt's sucking him off, and that probably won't last long because—

It does not last long. Geralt gets him fully hard, and then immediately pulls off him and moves up over his body. Jaskier opens his mouth to say something, and Geralt sits down on his cock and completely blows it out of his head.

It probably wasn't important, he decides.

"So that's a 'no' on the foreplay?" he manages feebly. Geralt gives him this look and then starts moving, and Jaskier just . . . groans, mostly, and grips the bed because he can't grip Geralt. Speaking of being good at things . . .

Very good at things.

"Oh lord," Jaskier says, and Geralt rides him—easily, really; quickly but not urgently, and like he's not even in heat at all. Jaskier wants to fuck up into him very, very badly but would bet his lute that Geralt wouldn't let him get away with it. "Oh, you're really good at that, oh, oh, oh—"

"Shut up," Geralt growls again, but he doesn't cover his mouth or punch him so Jaskier figures it's fine.

"If you want me to shut up you should be worse at this," he says. "Which—oh—you are definitely not being."

Geralt grunts irritably, but doesn't tell him to shut up again. He does do something downright inspired with his hips, though.

"Fuck!" Jaskier chokes. Geralt does it again, and Jaskier digs his fingers into the bedsheets. That is—that is a lot, is what that is. "Oh, Geralt, Geralt, fuck, you're a glory."

Geralt looks no less irritated, being Geralt. He plants a hand on Jaskier's chest like he actually needs held down for this, his big palm pressing down and fingers splaying wide, and Jaskier groans. He wants to grab onto the other very, very badly. Just . . . so badly, damn.

He's struggling to keep his mouth shut, but it is not easy.

"Slow down, slow down, I'm gonna come," he manages to get out, and Geralt gives him this look like he's an idiot and just rides him harder. Jaskier pushes his head back into the bed, cursing roughly. If he didn't know better, he'd think Geralt was more interested in getting him off than getting off himself.

. . . damn it, Geralt. How does that even make sense?

Geralt grinds down into Jaskier's lap and he comes shocky and sharp, because he is but a man and Geralt rides cock like a damn professional. Geralt squeezes around his knot, locking them together tight, and Jaskier groans, long and low. He has to stop himself from trying to touch him again.

"Geralt, what the hell," he wheezes weakly, propping himself up on his elbows. "You didn't even come!"

"I don't need to come," Geralt says. "The knot's all that matters."

". . . Geralt," Jaskier says disbelievingly, staring up at the other. It's true an omega doesn't technically need to come during a heat, that just getting knotted is enough to keep things from deteriorating too badly—except oh, for how miserable that idea is.

"I just need to sate the heat. Nothing else," Geralt says tersely. Jaskier is honestly completely and genuinely speechless, possibly for the first time in his life. This cannot be the way Geralt spends a normal heat, refusing to nest or even come. He refuses to believe that.

"I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that," he says. "How do you want to come? Now, or when my knot goes down? I could eat you out. I assure you, I've gotten rave reviews about my tongue."

Geralt glares at him. Jaskier does not want to touch him any less.

"Seriously, you can't possibly actually spend your heats like this," he says. "I know you get off when you have normal sex, it isn't subtle. What's the difference now?"

"Hn," Geralt says, unhelpfully. Jaskier scowls. Geralt clenches his body around his knot, and he gasps, nearly forgetting—

"Don't try to distract me!"

Geralt just grinds down around his knot ruthlessly, and Jaskier chokes and fists his hands in the sheets. It's too much too quick, and he is, again, but a man.

"Geralt," he practically whines, like a very cool and confident alpha who definitely has it all together, and Geralt puts his hand over his mouth and hisses threateningly at him, eyes flashing bright. That is . . . very attractive, dammit. Jaskier would like to have a very stern word with his libido about this one.

Geralt keeps his hand over his mouth. Jaskier considers several ways to deal with this problem, including the very mature option of licking it, but doubts they'd be particularly effective. Geralt's stopped grinding, at least.

Jaskier has so many questions. Just . . . so many.

Geralt keeps his hand over his mouth until his knot starts going down, unfortunately, and then gets off him and returns to his bag to swallow a potion. Jaskier hopes it's not the one that makes him smell terrible but isn't actually holding out much hope for that.

He's a bit distracted by the sight of Geralt standing there naked and sweaty with his come slipping down those well-muscled thighs, though, so that's . . . certainly something.

It isn't enough to keep his tongue in his mouth, though.

"You seriously want me to lay here like a dead thing and not even get you off," Jaskier says. Geralt sets down the empty potion bottle on the table, next to an abandoned plate. He doesn't turn to look at him. "That is honestly what you want for your whole entire heat."

Geralt grunts. He doesn't look at him. Jaskier could goddamn burst.

"Fine," he says, because he can't exactly say he knows better than an omega does about their own damn heat. "I'll do whatever you want. Just . . . come here, will you? Let me touch you a bit?"

"I don't need that," Geralt says.

"I need that," Jaskier says frankly, because Geralt is beautiful and not touching him at all may, in fact, actually kill him. "I won't touch your hips again. Or . . . wherever you don't want touched."

Geralt looks back at him, finally, and narrows his eyes. Jaskier tries to look like a good, capable alpha who's going to do whatever it takes to sate Geralt's heat. That might be easier if his pants weren't still down.

"Fine," Geralt says. "But you stop when I say stop."

"Wouldn't dream of doing differently," Jaskier says, holding his hands up in a position of surrender. Geralt comes back over, naked and beautiful and kind of perfect, somehow, despite the messy hair and the dirt from the fight and all the scars. Jaskier decides not to say that, since he likes his tongue where it is. He opens his jacket and shrugs out of it, then peels off his shirt and kicks off his boots and pants and throws them all out of the nest, because they're really just in the way. Geralt watches him the whole time with dark, intent eyes, which is certainly an experience.

Jaskier moves over to make room for him in the nest. Geralt gives him a look, but gets in. Jaskier counts that as a victory.

"Where can I touch you?" he asks. Geralt just eyes him.

"Not my hips or chest," he says finally. "And not my cock."

"Understood," Jaskier says, settling a careful hand on the other's ribs in hopefully-neutral territory. Geralt makes a noise. It's . . . a strange noise. Jaskier can't figure out what it means.

Nothing bad, he's assuming, since Geralt doesn't kick him out of the nest.

Well. Alright, then, he figures, and leans in to kiss the corner of Geralt's mouth. Geralt inhales sharply, jerking back from it, and Jaskier blinks at him in confusion. He hadn't said anything about not touching him there, so . . .

"Don't use your mouth," Geralt says roughly.

"Alright," Jaskier says, not understanding. But Geralt asked, so Geralt is going to get. He traces the other's ribs instead, fingers light, and Geralt doesn't jerk back from that. Jaskier feels like he's trying to calm a skittish animal, almost. It's not a familiar feeling to be having in the bedroom, to be honest, and definitely not a familiar feeling to be having around Geralt.

Geralt's letting him touch him, though, so . . .


Jaskier strokes down Geralt's side, careful to stop well before his hip, and Geralt stays very still for it. Jaskier wants to kiss him, but since he can't he settles for putting his fingers to the other's lips. Geralt eyes him warily over that, but doesn't say anything.

Jaskier really does not understand the way Geralt is reacting.

“You’re acting very strange, you know,” he says, tracing the curve of the other’s jaw. “Does it really bother you that much?” Bad as he wants to touch him, he doesn’t want to do things Geralt hates.

“It’s fine,” Geralt says, his voice clipped.

“That doesn’t sound fine.” Jaskier cradles his face in his hands, then presses their foreheads together. Geralt stares blankly at him. “Mmm. I do wish you’d talk to me, sometimes.”

He doesn’t mind, usually—if Geralt would rather be quiet, then that’s fine—but in a situation like this . . . well, it wouldn’t hurt to get a little more clarity, that’s all.

“Just a bit, mind. I’m not asking for the moon here,” he says wryly. Geralt’s eyes flick away, just for a moment. Jaskier lets go of his face and strokes his ribs again. “Your heat symptoms kicked in yet, or did we head off the worst of them? Though I suppose that’s technically not an ‘or’ kind of question, is it.”

“I’m fine,” Geralt says. Geralt would say he was fine with a sword in his gut, Jaskier is fairly certain.

“Alright,” he says. “Shooting for slightly better than ‘fine’ here, though, given the circumstances.”

He touches Geralt’s face again. Traces his cheekbone; puts his thumb against his lower lip.

“Stop,” Geralt says, and Jaskier reclaims his hand regretfully. Geralt rolls on top of him, bracing a hand against the mattress. He’s leaning over him, but the only place they’re actually in contact is where Geralt’s sitting on his stomach. Jaskier wants to reach up and touch him again, but obviously that’s not an option. He opens his mouth to speak, and Geralt reaches back and wraps his fingers around his cock.


“So forward,” Jaskier says, more or less coherently. Geralt gives him a dubious look, squeezing his cock. It’s something of a dichotomy. “Your hands are divine. Honestly I would not have expected to find sword callouses a turn-on, and yet here we are. Lovely. I could lie here all night, really, which is probably for the best because I think that’s what we’ve agreed on.”

If he can’t touch him, he can at least talk to him, he thinks, and hums to himself.

“If you write a song about this, I will kill you,” Geralt says.

“Maybe just for you,” Jaskier says, perhaps slightly too honestly. Geralt looks at him strangely, his eyes . . . flickering, a bit. At least, Jaskier’s not sure what else to call it. “Just a little melody, perhaps. Obviously not something to play in a bar.”

“There’s nothing song-worthy about heat,” Geralt says derisively.

“You are worth so many songs, Geralt,” Jaskier says, definitely too honestly. In his defense, Geralt is beautiful and naked and on top of him and has his hand around his cock. The combination is a bit overwhelming. Usually he only has to deal with one or two of those things at a time, and the hand around his cock part is definitely new.

Geralt mutters something Jaskier doesn’t quite catch and squeezes his dick in a very promising way that has Jaskier struggling not to rock his hips up.

“Sorry?” he says. Geralt doesn’t repeat himself, just watching him in silence. It would make a lesser man feel self-conscious, Jaskier is sure, feeling very self-conscious. “What’ve you got against heat, anyway?”

“It’s a problem,” Geralt says, which is honestly more answer than Jaskier would’ve expected.

“While I can see that, given your lifestyle, tonight we have a lovely little cabin all to ourselves and nothing else to worry about,” he points out. “Which is, I feel, the opposite of a problem.”

“You don’t think the lack of a whorehouse is a problem?” Geralt says dryly.

“That is even more the opposite of a problem,” Jaskier says. “If you think I mind bedding you, you are sorely misinformed. You’re wonderful. The only problem I’m having right now is that you seem to be determined to stoically suffer through your heat as opposed to, oh, enjoying it?”

“It’s heat,” Geralt says, his eyes flicking over Jaskier, who does not feel self-conscious, again. Of course not. “Nothing enjoyable about it.”

“Tell that to your dick, Geralt.”

“I’m more concerned with yours,” Geralt says, and takes the opportunity to slip it inside himself. Jaskier curses a bit, partially over how it feels and partially over how damn good at distractions Geralt is.

“I mean it,” he says breathlessly, fisting his hands in the sheets again. “Just because it’s heat doesn’t mean it has to be miserable. I’m certainly not feeling miserable.”

“I don’t intend for you to be,” Geralt says, already moving his hips just about as mercilessly as last time, the bastard.

“Oh, I assure you, I am not,” Jaskier says fervently, digging his heels into the bed and breathing heavily. “You can understand me—ah!—feeling the same, surely? Dammit, you really are good at that. Not to change the subject. Literally, I am not changing the subject.”

“You don’t need to worry about it,” Geralt says. “It’s just heat.”

“If it’s just heat, why don’t you want me to touch you during it?” Jaskier says. He’d feel a bit insulted, really, except it’s so clearly something about Geralt and not him. “What do you think I’m going to do, bite you? I only do that when I’m asked.”

“No one’s ever bitten me,” Geralt says. Jaskier . . . pauses.

“. . . I did not mean that kind of biting,” he says finally. He wasn’t even thinking about mating bites when he said that, in fact, because of course Geralt wouldn’t want that. But at the same time—“Really, no one?”

“No,” Geralt says.

“Geralt,” Jaskier says, biting back a groan as the other rocks his hips down tighter. “You are killing me, you realize. You can’t tell an alpha something like that when you’re on their knot.”

“Hnn,” Geralt says, and then does in fact sit down on his knot, taking him to the root and clenching around him so hard Jaskier sees stars.

“Ah!” he groans, barely able to keep his hips from jacking up or his hands from grabbing onto him. Geralt plants a hand on his chest again. It’s a bit more intense without clothes in the way, for the record. “Oh, oh, oh, I mean it, you know, you can’t just tell me you’ve never had a mating bite like it doesn’t matter.”

“It doesn’t,” Geralt says.

“It really, really does,” Jaskier manages tightly. He knows he’s not the big and virile cliche—he’s been mistaken for a beta or omega enough times in his life—but he’s still an alpha, dammit. Geralt can’t just say something like that to him.

“Why do you care?” Geralt asks.

“You make me crazy,” Jaskier says, with great feeling. “You’re on my knot, you won’t let me touch you, and you’re telling me you don’t belong to anyone.”

How does he not? How has he never?

Jaskier has no idea how he’s supposed to stay still and just take this, and the only reason he’s managing it is because Geralt wants him to.

“Why would I?” Geralt says, and Jaskier really might be about to lose his mind.

“Geralt,” he says roughly, clenching the sheets in his hands. “Please let me touch you.”

Geralt just looks at him again, keeps riding his dick too-quick and all slicked up and wet inside, all slicked up with his come inside, and doesn’t. Fucking. Answer. Jaskier grits his teeth painfully, needing so badly to bite down on something, and shoves his head back into the bed. His hands try to rise up and he forces them back down to the bed, grabbing the quilt over his head instead. Better. They’re out of the way up there.

“Okay, that’s fine, that’s fine,” he says, mostly to convince himself. “No problem, that’s fine. Geralt, Geralt, Geralt—”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, and Jaskier shudders roughly. Geralt’s always smelled stray, but this is different; this is very, very different. He’s going to come again, and Geralt’s not going to come, and no one’s going to take care of him, no one’s going to satisfy him, no one’s going to treat him right because he won’t let Jaskier treat him right and that’s . . . the worst, actually, the absolute worst.

“Geralt,” he manages again, and not much else. Geralt leans heavier over him, weighs him down, and Jaskier bares his teeth up at him without meaning to. He wants to bite him. He wants to give him that. He wants to bite him to the blood, deep enough so it becomes another one of his scars, so he never forgets even when Jaskier himself is dead and gone and someone else is singing about him.

No one’s ever bitten him.

Geralt drops down on his knot and clenches roughly around him and Jaskier absolutely cannot hold out a moment longer, and comes with an unholy shout. Geralt grunts as he does, locks his knot like he wants it there, like he wants Jaskier there, and Jaskier snaps his teeth and wants them in Geralt’s skin.

Is that really enough for you? he wants to ask, but knows Geralt would lie.

“Ah,” he gets out, blinking up at the ceiling hazily. Geralt slides the hand on his chest down over his stomach, and Jaskier shudders again. He feels oddly exposed, somehow, like he’s . . . like he’s not sure how to define. Geralt’s very close to him, and seems further away than he’s ever been.

Jaskier wants to do something, but can’t think of a single damn thing he can do.

Talk, he supposes, but that really hasn’t done much good so far.

“Geralt,” he says, because talking’s all he can do. He lowers his hands back to his sides and tries to keep his teeth in his mouth and his breathing even. “Well. Any more sanity-destroying little asides for me? Want to tell me something else that’ll drive me up the wall?”

“Your knot’s bigger than I thought it’d be,” Geralt says. His hand is still on Jaskier’s stomach.

“I really did not mean that,” Jaskier says, now guaranteed to be up every single wall in this cottage. “What do you mean, 'thought'? You’ve thought about my knot? In what context?!”

Geralt gives a halfhearted shrug. Jaskier might die. Geralt’s thought about his knot. How is he supposed to take that?

“Geralt,” he says, practically pleading. It’s not a very alpha tone of voice, but generally speaking Jaskier doesn’t trot out his alpha voice all that often anyway. People tend to laugh at him when he tries to, for one.

“Don’t make a fuss about it,” Geralt says. “I just wondered.”

“Oh, well, that’s better,” Jaskier says, feeling mildly hysterical. Geralt has wondered about his knot. “You’re telling me that and you don’t want to come.”

“No, I don’t,” Geralt says.

“Hell,” Jaskier says, throwing an arm across his eyes. Geralt cannot keep being on top of him and beautiful and saying things like that. He cannot. “You do remember how alphas work, yes, Geralt? You have some concept of that?”

“Obviously,” Geralt says in irritation. He sounds like he does when he frowns. Jaskier would look at him, but that would require looking at him.

“Then please don’t sit in my lap and tell me how badly you need taken care of and how much you don’t want it,” he says.

“I’m not going to make you do that,” Geralt says.

“That’s the problem!” Jaskier says, pulling his arm away to stare up at the other in disbelief. How does Geralt not know that’s the problem?! “I want to do that! Very badly, as a matter of fact! What exactly about our relationship so far makes you think I wouldn’t?!”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, and . . . hesitates, almost. Jaskier could fucking die.

“You’re telling me you’ve never belonged to anyone and you spend your heats being miserable to yourself and I shouldn’t even touch you!” he says.

“I don’t spend my heats being miserable to myself,” Geralt says.

“Then what on earth is this?!” Jaskier demands. He’s never actually had an argument while he was tied with somebody before, but Geralt is, of course, Geralt.

“It’s nothing,” Geralt says.

“It is so obviously something!” Jaskier says. Geralt puts a hand over his mouth, and he makes an outraged noise.

“I’m not going to make you do that,” Geralt says. “Just because I . . . want something, doesn’t mean I have to have it.”

“That doesn’t even make sense,” Jaskier says. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting things, I know you know that!”

“You’re not a thing,” Geralt says. Jaskier is about to yell at him again, but then properly processes what he just said and . . .

“What?” he asks, stupidly. Geralt gets up off his softening knot and come and slick drip down his thighs. Jaskier has to concentrate very hard to not get distracted by that. “What does that mean?”

“It means what I said,” Geralt says, which is not helpful at all.

“You want me?” Jaskier says, propping himself up on his elbows again as Geralt gets out of the nest and off the bed. “Did you miss the part where I’m already here?”

“You know that’s not what I meant,” Geralt snaps in exasperation. He crosses the room to his bag for no reason Jaskier can see. He doesn’t pull out any potions or anything, anyway.

“I don’t, actually,” Jaskier says. “But you don’t have to want things you already have, Geralt.”

“Mmm.” Geralt doesn’t look at him. He doesn’t look at anything, really; just finds a rag and cleans himself up a bit. Jaskier pushes himself up carefully, sitting up in the nest that Geralt refused to build himself and wondering . . . a lot of things, really, but mostly just how Geralt could possibly think he didn’t have him.

“You smell like death and there’s blood in your hair and dirt all over you and you won’t even let me do anything,” Jaskier says.

“I’m aware,” Geralt says icily.

“All that, and I’m still here, aren’t I?” Jaskier says. “You have me. Stop worrying about whatever you’re worrying about and come back to bed.”

Geralt looks at him. He’s beautiful, again; beautiful and tired and a mess, and probably just barely on the cusp of full heat and still struggling to stave it off, and . . .

“I mean it,” Jaskier says, holding out a hand towards him. “You have me.” He has no idea why Geralt actually needs to be assured of that, but, well—heat, he’s going to assume. Heat makes people think all kinds of stupid things.

Geralt looks at his outstretched hand, but doesn’t move towards him. Jaskier resists the urge to fidget. He can be patient, he tells himself.

He can. Really.

It’s a long, long moment before Geralt finally steps back towards him, and he stops just out of reach. Jaskier . . . well, there’s only one thing he can do.

“Come on. Let me be a proper alpha for you, yeah?” he says. “That’s all I want to do.”

“I didn’t say you weren’t a proper alpha,” Geralt says, frowning at him.

“You asked me not to be,” Jaskier says. “Which I can do, honest, but I really don’t think that’s the best course of action. Especially if the only reason you don’t want me to do it is because you want me to do it.”

Geralt’s eyes flicker. He doesn’t say anything. Jaskier takes a chance and gets up onto his knees so he can reach out a little further and catch the other’s hand in his own. Geralt doesn’t pull away, and even shifts in closer. Just barely, but—closer.

Jaskier can work with that.

“You do understand what I’m saying, don’t you?” he asks.

“I understand,” Geralt says, and Jaskier hopes he does.

“Can I touch you?” he says. "I would really like to touch you. Not picky about the where."

"You stop when I say stop," Geralt says, stepping in closer. Jaskier tries not to beam, but, well . . .

"Where can I touch you?" he asks, smoothing his hand up the other's forearm. Geralt shrugs, which isn't helpful, surprise surprise. Jaskier decides he'll just ask as he goes. "Can I touch your chest?"

". . . yes," Geralt says. Jaskier lifts his other hand to the other's pec, smoothing across and then cupping it. He brushes his thumb over one of Geralt's nipples, and Geralt grits his teeth. He doesn't say anything about stopping.

"My mouth?" Jaskier checks, and Geralt nods silently. Jaskier leans in and kisses just below his collarbone, then works his way down to mouth at his other nipple. Geralt inhales a little more harshly.

If Jaskier hadn't smelled pre-heat on him on the road, he'd have no idea. Maybe witchers don't feel their cycle as much as other people do? Is that a thing?

He flicks his tongue across Geralt's nipple and Geralt puts a hand on the back of his head, very lightly. Jaskier takes that as encouragement and licks his nipple again, pinching the other in his fingers. Geralt inhales again, sharper this time. Jaskier decides to consider that encouragement too and drags his tongue up his chest, then bites down.

Geralt bares his teeth silently. Jaskier probably likes that too much. Nobody would think he was the alpha between them, but then again, when does anyone ever? The amount of times their scents have been mistaken is . . . quite a lot, really.

Jaskier would like it if people couldn't tell the difference at all; if their scents were so intertwined that there wasn't a difference.

If they smelled like pack, he means.

Witchers probably don't do that, though.

He bites his way back down Geralt's chest and Geralt's hand tightens on the back of his head, holding him close—as if he's going anywhere. Not a chance, unless Geralt changes his mind.

"Ribs?" he asks, glancing up at the other, and Geralt nods. Jaskier puts his hands on his sides to stroke, mouthing at his chest. Geralt bares his teeth again and doesn't make a sound. Jaskier doesn't mind, honestly.

Not that he wouldn't appreciate a few sounds, just he knows who he's got his hands on right now.

He kisses Geralt's chest just beside the medallion—close enough that he feels the metal of it press into the corner of his mouth—and curls his fingers against his ribs. There's scar tissue there, but he doesn't bother avoiding it. It's all long healed over. Geralt doesn't do anything; doesn't tighten or loosen his grip on him. Jaskier . . . well, he's willing to take his time.

He kind of wants to take his time, actually, or at least as much time as heat allows for. Geralt was in such a damn rush.

Jaskier drags his nails down Geralt's ribs and kisses his chest again, mouths across it, touches him as much as he'll allow. He takes his time, just like he wants to, and Geralt's breathing picks up. Jaskier considers pulling him back into the nest, but . . . no, not yet.

"Alright?" he asks, sneaking a peek up at the other and kissing his chest again. Geralt looks restless and . . . confused, almost, which Jaskier doesn't understand.

"Fine," Geralt says, which isn't the ringing endorsement Jaskier was hoping for but could be worse.

"Only fine?" he asks anyway, cocking an eyebrow at him before kissing his chest again, smoothing his hands up his sides. "I can do something else."

"No," Geralt says. "This is—fine."

Jaskier hums to himself, letting his hands wander a bit but careful to keep them within declared territory. He can't tell if Geralt actually likes this or is just humoring him, which is a bit frustrating. He just wants to make him feel good.

"I could eat you out," he says speculatively. "I like doing that. Especially after I've already come in someone." Hard not to, really; it makes his partner smell like his.

"You don't have to do that," Geralt says tightly.

"You keep saying that like you think I wouldn't want to," Jaskier says, peering up at him again and flattening his hands against his sides. "Really, what did I do to make you think that, because I need to never do it again."

"Mm," Geralt says. He doesn't look away, but the look on his face is very hard to read. Jaskier mouths at his chest again and Geralt's own mouth tightens.

"Come on, omega," Jaskier coaxes. "Let me treat you nice."

"You're doing fine," Geralt says, his voice rough. His hand presses a little tighter against the back of Jaskier's head and Jaskier decides to take it as a direction and drags his tongue across his nipple. He keeps watching Geralt's face, looking for . . . approval, maybe, or some kind of tell.

No, nobody would think he was the alpha in this situation.

He sucks at Geralt's nipple and Geralt finally, finally makes a noise. It's barely more than a breath, but it's a noise all the same. Jaskier fucking thrills with it, immediately dragging his tongue across his nipple again, and Geralt digs his nails into his scalp. His eyes don't quite close, but they almost do.

Jaskier groans, shifting back a bit with intent to move over and give the other side of Geralt's chest the same treatment, but Geralt keeps that tight grip on him and makes it a bit difficult. He settles for pinching his nipple again, rolling it between his fingers, and Geralt makes another noise.

Jaskier really, really likes that.

"Sensitive?" he says, kissing Geralt's chest.

"Mm," Geralt says, his hand still tight on the back of his head. Jaskier thinks he can safely assume that's a "yes".

"Good," he says, kissing his chest again and mouthing across it; cupping his pecs in his hands to squeeze. They're very nice pecs, as a matter of fact. Jaskier could spend quite a while on them.

So he does. He kisses and mouths at Geralt's chest, squeezes and strokes it, and lavishes languidly thorough attention on both of his nipples. He deliberately bites down and sucks to leave faint little marks on his skin, completely shameless about the desire to mark him up. Why would he want to do anything else?

"You have such pretty tits, Geralt," he says, taking a moment to admire them, as well as his work. It's not his most elegant turn of phrase, perhaps, but as long as it gets his point across he figures it's fine. Geralt exhales raggedly, digging his nails into his scalp again. "Really, one of the loveliest pairs I've seen, you should be proud. You could bounce a coin off these. Are you sure I can't write a song about them?"

"Yes," Geralt growls in irritation, and Jaskier laughs.

"No fun," he says, then starts to sing: "Bounce a coin off your witcher . . ."

Geralt growls again, shoving his face into his chest to muffle him. Jaskier, obviously, is not complaining. He laughs again, then gives Geralt's chest a kiss and pushes his hands up his sides. He doesn't even care about that sour smell to his pheromones anymore.

"I want to put my mouth all over you," he says. "Several times over, ideally. I really want to, in fact, so what are your feelings on that idea?"

"Better than you talking my ear off," Geralt says.

"Wow," Jaskier says. "Okay, someone gets cranky in heat, I see."

Geralt grunts. Jaskier leans back and tugs coaxingly at him, pulling him towards the nest. Well—as much as he can, anyway, which is not very much. Geralt might as well be a rock.

He really does feel a bit silly, having to coax an omega into a nest. He did his best with it, okay? He's sure Geralt could've built a better one himself, but . . .

Geralt leans down over him. For a second Jaskier expects kissed, but alas, that's not Geralt's goal. He's just pushing him back to make room for himself in the nest. Jaskier goes with it, obviously, and Geralt ends up kneeling between his thighs.

That should really be the other way around, Jaskier can't help but feel.

"Can I kiss you?" he says, because now he's thinking about it and now that he's thinking about it he really wants it. Geralt gives him another one of those unreadable looks.

"Why?" he asks.

"Because you are a very kissable person, Geralt," Jaskier points out reasonably. It could not possibly have been this hard for Yennefer, he thinks. It was probably a breeze for Yennefer.

Ugh, of course it would've been.

"Fine," Geralt says, and leans in and cups Jaskier's face in his big broad hands and oh. Just like that, Jaskier is being kissed, and it is a very, very good kiss. He no longer cares how much easier it was for Yennefer.

"Oh," Jaskier sighs dreamily, and kisses back. Geralt kisses slowly, warmly, thoroughly, and Jaskier feels like he could float. As much as he wants to touch Geralt without distraction, it's so much better when it's both of them touching each other.

He puts his hands on Geralt's chest, smoothing down. Geralt grunts into his mouth. Jaskier—well, it's not very alpha of him, but he purrs. Geralt seems to soften at the sound, surprisingly. At least, he doesn't seem quite so tense anymore.

"You're very good at that," Jaskier says breathlessly, smoothing his hands over Geralt's chest again. Geralt doesn't answer, just kisses him again. Jaskier is fine with that. Geralt leans into the kiss and pushes Jaskier down into the nest again, and Jaskier goes. He wants to roll on top of the other, but Geralt clearly prefers this position and Jaskier isn't going to begrudge him it.

As long as he lets him keep touching him, anyway.

"Let me get you off?" he says. Geralt huffs. "If you don't actually answer my questions you realize I'm going to have to assume things, and that seems like it'd end poorly."

"You can get me off," Geralt says. Jaskier thrills.

"You're too kind," he says. "Can I touch your hips? Thighs?"

"Yes." Geralt looks impatient, like it's not him who's been being the picky one. Jaskier could laugh about it, but he's more occupied putting his hands on Geralt's hips and tugging at them.

"Up here?" he says, and Geralt moves forward grudgingly and Jaskier slips down until his head's between Geralt's very nice thighs. "Hm. Assuming you could kill me like this?"

"Obviously," Geralt says, clearly annoyed.

"Nice," Jaskier says, a bit more approvingly than he means to. Geralt snorts. Jaskier kisses the inside of his thigh, and Geralt . . . well, he doesn't snort again, at least. "I know you love it when I shut up, so please feel free to smother me."

"You'd die," Geralt says dubiously, and Jaskier laughs and leans in to bite his way up his thigh. Geralt, unsurprisingly, has a lovely cock, which isn't news because he's seen the man naked before, of course, but is definitely something he's noticing much more intimately right now. He wants it in his mouth.

"Your cock is gorgeous," Jaskier says admiringly. Geralt just puts a hand on his head and guides him right where he wants him and, well, who is Jaskier to deny an omega in need? He drags his tongue up that gorgeous cock and Geralt growls down at him and he digs his nails into the other's thighs. They are very, very nice thighs; did he mention that?

Jaskier mouths at Geralt's cock and Geralt keeps his grip on the back of his head and grinds into the contact, not greedy or needy but definitely demanding. Jaskier groans. He is, as ever, a terrible alpha. Geralt doesn't seem to want him to be a good one, though, so . . .

Well, that might work out for them.

He drags his tongue up Geralt's cock one more time, then wraps his lips around it and sucks. Geralt growls again, and Jaskier hums around him. Geralt grinds harder against his mouth. Jaskier drags his nails across the other's skin, hoping to encourage the behavior, and Geralt definitely gets the message.

Jaskier gets his mouth fucked, which is lovely, and Geralt grunts and curses and snarls above him, which is pretty damn lovely too. Jaskier could listen to that all day even without the rush of being the cause of it. He wants to talk, but his mouth is obviously occupied, and for once he thinks he'd rather listen anyway.

As long as Geralt keeps sounding like that, anyway.

He does, pleasantly enough, and Jaskier sucks and licks and mouths at him, works his jaw ‘til it’s aching, and shudders with desire when he feels the other’s slick and his own come drip onto his chest. Geralt still smells dreadful, but he tastes delicious, and Jaskier bets his slick would taste even better.

Geralt comes harshly, when he comes; comes hissing through gritted teeth and fisting his hand tight in Jaskier’s hair, and Jaskier feels heady and heavy and like he could keep doing this forever. Geralt yanks him back, breathing heavily, and Jaskier licks his lips and stares up at the other’s twisted face.

That’s quite a sight, he thinks.

“Mmm,” he says, cracking his jaw, and tugs at Geralt’s hips again. His cock is one thing, but . . .

Geralt moves with the tugging, seeming too distracted with aftershocks to resist, and curses viciously when Jaskier licks across his hole.

“Jaskier—!” he chokes, which might’ve been intended to be a warning but really doesn’t sound like one. Jaskier can’t help licking him again, anyway, and Geralt shudders beautifully for it. Jaskier does the obvious thing, which is hold onto him and push his tongue inside him, and Geralt does the perfect thing, which is ride his tongue like it’s going out of style. Jaskier noises encouragingly, and Geralt snarls down at him again. He’s a flushed mess, and Jaskier wants to mess him up even more.

“Jaskier, you fucking—ah! Ah!

Jaskier translates that to mean, “Jaskier, you stud of an alpha, don’t stop”, and doesn’t. He thrusts and curls his tongue inside Geralt, slides his hands up his thighs, holds onto him like he’s what’s keeping him close when they both know Geralt would already be a mile from here if he wanted to be. He eats him out as greedily as he knows how, messy and aching with it, and Geralt keeps cursing his name over and over and over again. Again, he could listen to that all day. And he’s going to, if it’s up to him.

Geralt comes again and shouts. Jaskier absolutely basks in it. Geralt grabs him by the hair again and shoves him away, moving off him, and Jaskier grins up at him, smug with the pride of an alpha’s job well-done.

“Better?” he asks lightly.

“Shut up,” Geralt pants, his body shaking as he gropes for Jaskier’s cock. “Get in me.”

That might be heat talking, Jaskier suspects.

“Gladly,” he says, rolling onto his side and nudging Geralt onto his, and the fact Geralt actually goes with it is definitely heat talking. Jaskier wraps an arm over Geralt’s stomach, pressing up against his flushed and sweaty back, and Geralt hisses nastily back at him.

In me,” he repeats.

Jaskier obliges, of course.

“Ah!” Geralt chokes, and Jaskier rocks his hips into him. Geralt reaches back and grabs the back of his neck, like he’s the omega or something, and Jaskier barely keeps his teeth out of Geralt’s. A mating bite is serious business. Not a lifelong commitment or anything, obviously—they rarely last more than a cycle or two, and even mated pairs need to constantly reapply them—but always intense and intimate and not just the kind of thing one does willy-nilly. Jaskier’s had far more partners than he’s given mating bites to, for certain.

He would absolutely give Geralt one, of course, no questions asked—but Geralt would have to ask.

“You really should let me write a song about this,” Jaskier says against the other’s throat, because he’s got his mouth free now and he’s all full of words that want to get out. Geralt hisses, digging his nails in tight as teeth on the back of his neck. They might leave marks, at this rate. “Oh, you flirt.”

“Just fuck me,” Geralt grits out. Jaskier, thoughtfully, snaps his hips in tighter. Geralt curses again. His nails are definitely going to leave marks.

“I assure you, I have no intention of stopping,” Jaskier says. “Although, I do have to ask—what is an omega witcher’s stamina like? Should I be worried?”


“It’s just a question,” Jaskier says. “Almost definitely won’t make it into the chorus.”

Geralt snarls viciously. Jaskier drops a kiss on one of the soured scent glands in his throat, because he can. He wants Geralt to smell as much like his as possible when this is all said and done. He doubts he’ll get to enjoy it long, but he wants it all the same. He’d like to know who wouldn’t.

He imagines Geralt leaving the cottage smelling like his pack and buries his face in the other’s shoulder, his hips jerking quicker. That is . . . a very nice thought. Geralt’s never smelled like anyone’s pack, at least not in the time Jaskier’s known him. Smelling like his . . .

Yes. It’s a very nice thought.

“You know how people always think you’re the alpha between us?” he muses. “I want to make you smell so claimed that no one ever makes that mistake again.”

Geralt jerks, his nails biting deep into Jaskier’s neck and on his arm. Jaskier might be bleeding. He really does not care.

“Would you like that?” he asks, because he is an alpha and there are certain things he just can’t let go. “If I made sure people always knew you belonged to someone?”

“Jaskier,” Geralt grits out roughly. Jaskier kisses his scent glands again.

“I would,” he says, and lets just a bit of his alpha voice rumble through the words. Geralt chokes.

“Jaskier,” he says again, and this time it’s the closest thing to a whine Jaskier’s ever heard out of him. “Jaskier, don’t—don’t just—”

“Don’t just what?” Jaskier asks, after the end of the sentence doesn’t come.

“Don’t just say that,” Geralt croaks. “Don’t say things you don’t mean.”

“Alright. Only things I mean,” Jaskier says agreeably as he moves a hand down to stroke the other’s cock, rolling his hips inside him so his growing knot presses against his rim. Geralt makes that choking sound again. “I want you to smell like mine. I want you to smell like mine, and I want everyone to know what it means.”

This time, Geralt really does whine, a punched-out thing that sounds like it’s painful in his throat, like it barely escapes. Jaskier licks across his scent glands, and Geralt moans. Jaskier could say a lot more, but isn’t sure where to start. There’s so much he wants to say to Geralt, and, well—captive audience, or just about.

“So pretty,” he says senselessly, stroking Geralt’s cock a little quicker, rolling his hips in a little rougher. His knot pops in, and Geralt keens.

Jaskier is so glad he’s letting him do this.

“You close? Gonna come for me again?” he coaxes, rubbing Geralt’s cock harder; grinding his hips in tighter. “Come on, Geralt, you know I want to smell like yours too.”

Geralt makes a strangled noise that almost sounds like Jaskier’s name, and comes. Jaskier presses up tight against his back and thrusts just a few more times, ‘til he’s coming too and Geralt is moaning from the pressure of his knot all swollen up inside him. Jaskier rumbles low in his throat, and Geralt’s nails drag across the back of his neck.

“So pretty,” Jaskier rasps again as they both catch their breath, and Geralt closes his eyes and hides his face in the side of the nest. “So good. You’re so tight and wet for me, and you move better than anything.”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, shuddering.

“I don’t know how anyone ever lets go of you, I don’t know how anyone ever lets you go anywhere without scenting you up,” Jaskier says—rambles, really, because how is he supposed to keep his tongue with Geralt in his arms? “You’re so delicious, so sweet—”

“Enough,” Geralt grunts, tightening his nails on his neck again.

“You realize I’m not an omega, right?” Jaskier says. “I mean, I hope you do, you’re locked around my knot right now. The hand on the scruff isn’t doing much, is all I mean. Except for being unbearably hot, anyway.”

Geralt squeezes his neck. Jaskier buries his face in his shoulder with a low, pleased groan. So he likes being pushed around a little; so what?

“The heat’s receded,” Geralt says.

“You mean in the ‘the heat is done’ kind of way or in the ‘the heat is going to come back worse kind of way’?” Jaskier checks. Geralt shoots him an irritated look. “Worse. Got it.”

“Of course it’ll come back,” Geralt says tightly. “I can’t get bred. Nothing to do but burn through it.”

“I mean, I’ve done harder things than that,” Jaskier says, skimming his fingers over Geralt’s stomach. “Assuming an omega witcher’s stamina isn’t, well . . .”

“It is,” Geralt says shortly.

“. . . I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s a shame Yennefer isn’t here.”

Geralt shudders. Jaskier pokes his shoulder meaningfully.

“Yes, like that,” he says. “We could take turns. Take proper care of you. Then you’d really smell like you were somebody’s, wouldn’t you.”

“Hnn,” Geralt says thinly. Jaskier’s already trying to come up with ways to handle a witcher’s stamina in the bedroom. It’s hard enough to satisfy an omega in heat as it is.

Well, there’s a few tricks to try. As long as the omega feels like they’re locking a knot, that’s what matters.

“Not that I’d really want to be pack with that woman, but for your sake, well . . .” Jaskier trails off, hooking his chin over Geralt’s shoulder and tightening his arms around him. “Are you thirsty? Hungry? I can get you something after my knot goes down.”

“I’m fine,” Geralt murmurs, shaking his head. Jaskier presses a kiss to his cheek.

“If you’re sure,” he says. After the next round he’s definitely grabbing some water for him, at least. Maybe coaxing him into a bath, too. “Is that dreadful potion ever going to wear off?”

“It’s not supposed to,” Geralt says. “Supposed to last the whole heat, so no one bothers me.”

“Well, that’s horrible,” Jaskier says conversationally, because that sounds miserable. “In the future, you realize, I would be willing to bother you however you’d like. Just for the record and all.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Geralt says.

“You saying that makes me worry about it, Geralt,” Jaskier says. Makes him worry about it quite a lot, in fact.

“It’s fine,” Geralt says.

“It’s not fine,” Jaskier says, tightening his grip on him. Geralt grunts. “You should be taken care of when you’re in heat. You should have a nice big nest and a good alpha.”

“Witchers don’t nest,” Geralt says. He’s looking at the wall.

“None of you? Ever?” Jaskier says skeptically. Geralt would know, obviously, but . . .

“None of us,” Geralt says. “Ever.”

“Well.” Jaskier hooks his chin over his shoulder again; squeezes his arms around him. “I suppose I’ll just have to build the nests, then. When it comes up, I mean.”

Geralt lets go of his neck and looks back over his shoulder at him. Jaskier feels . . . not trusted, exactly, but . . . something. Something.

“I realize it’s probably not the prettiest nest you’ve ever been in, but I’ll get better at it,” he says.

“I’ve never been in a nest before,” Geralt says. Jaskier buries his face in the other’s shoulder and barely keeps his teeth in his mouth. He probably should’ve realized that, but he didn’t.

“Ngh,” he says. “Geralt.”

“What?” Geralt says.

“Let me take care of you,” Jaskier says. He wants to bite him so badly his teeth hurt. “Please.”

“I just did,” Geralt lies.

“No, you let me make you come,” Jaskier corrects. It’s something, but—“That’s really not the same thing.”

“I don’t need taken care of,” Geralt says. Jaskier does not even have the fucking words.

“You don’t have to need it,” he says, a little bit of alpha slipping into his tone. “You can just want it.”

Geralt doesn’t say anything. Jaskier presses his mouth against his throat, catching one of his hands to grip tight in his own. Geralt . . . well, he doesn’t pull away. Admittedly, they’re tied, so there’s only so “away” he could get.


“When my knot goes down, I’m going to get you a drink,” Jaskier says, tracing lightly across Geralt’s stomach. “And something to eat. And clean you up a bit too, before you get too sticky.”

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, and nothing else. Jaskier kisses his throat again. Geralt just . . . doesn’t say anything.

Jaskier thinks that’s a “yes”.

He waits—mostly—patiently for his knot to go down, stroking Geralt’s stomach and holding his hand in his own. Geralt doesn’t grip him in return, but still, he doesn’t pull away. That might be the most he can let himself do, Jaskier finds himself thinking.

Eventually, his knot does go down, and Jaskier pulls himself away regretfully. He gets that rag and cleans Geralt up, then himself. Geralt watches him silently. Jaskier could say a lot of things, but can’t pick.

He goes to the table, then the cupboards. There’s a pitcher of water left out, and a decent amount of food in the cupboards. He gets around a plate of cheese and bread and apples and a cup of water, and brings both to the bed to present to Geralt like any decent alpha would. Geralt looks at him like no one’s ever done that for him in his life.

He takes the plate, at least.

Jaskier goes around the cottage as Geralt eats, chewing on an apple of his own and familiarizing himself with where everything is. There’s not really much he needs to find aside from what he already has, but it doesn’t hurt to know, does it?

Depresses him a bit, knowing the people who set this place up will never be coming back to it, but that’s a horse of a different color.

“How’s the food?” he says, because he never can stay quiet for very long, and looks back to Geralt, who’s never turned down a free meal in Jaskier’s presence and isn’t likely to start now. He’s cleaned most of his plate, which soothes something primal in Jaskier’s alpha instincts.

“It’s food,” Geralt grunts, taking another bite of cheese.

“Don’t be so grateful, Geralt, you’ll embarrass me,” Jaskier says dryly. “Heat symptoms back yet?”

“No.” Geralt polishes off the rest of the cheese, and the apples go quickly after. Jaskier takes the empty plate from him and leaves it on the table, then goes outside for a bucket of water, then gets the soap and comes back to the nest.

“May I come in, omega?” he asks.

“You built it,” Geralt snorts.

“For you,” Jaskier says. “So, may I come in?”

“. . . fine,” Geralt says, eyeing him . . . guardedly, almost. Jaskier thinks he hates whoever made Geralt so guarded that it lasts through heat.

“Thank you,” he says, and puts a bit of alpha in his voice again—just enough to give it a low, approving rumble. Even Geralt has to feel something from that, right?

Geralt doesn’t look any less guarded, unfortunately.

“Hn,” Geralt says, licking crumbs off his fingers. Jaskier wants to kiss him again very damn badly, but that’s not taking care of him.

“You’re so lovely,” he says, taking the other’s hands in his own and kissing those instead. They’re dirty and chapped, their nails ragged and torn, and Jaskier aches at the sight of them. He knows Geralt doesn’t care what his hands look like, obviously, but for an omega in heat to be such a mess . . .

It makes him sad, that’s all. Makes it obvious that no one’s been taking care of Geralt like he deserves.

“Let’s clean you up,” he says, dipping a clean cloth in the bucket and soaping it up. “The water’ll be a bit cold, alas, but such is life.”

“I’m fine,” Geralt says.

“I know,” Jaskier says simply, taking the cloth to the other’s dirty knuckles and rubbing away the dirt and grime and probably-blood on them. Geralt doesn’t say anything, but lets him do it. Jaskier is careful and thorough, working his way from one hand to the other and then up Geralt’s arms. Geralt watches him, again, and stays silent.

He’s a mess, no surprise, but he lets Jaskier clean him up a bit at a time; even lets him work the blood out of his hair and wipe the dirt off his face. He looks better that way—soft and clean and taken care of, even if he isn’t, exactly.

At least he’s eaten, and he’s not dirty anymore, and he’s in this cozy little cottage and some semblance of a nest. Jaskier can soothe his instincts with that, and keep his damn teeth in his mouth.

“Better?” he says. Geralt grunts, looking away. Jaskier sets aside the cloth, then leans in and kisses the corner of his jaw. Geralt . . . softens, even if just barely. Jaskier runs a hand down his arm, then pulls his hand to his mouth and kisses it again. “How do you feel?”

“Fuck me,” Geralt says.

“Not exactly what I was asking.” Jaskier kisses his hand again. Geralt falls back into the nest and drags him down on top of him. Jaskier slots in between his thighs easily, and Geralt tugs roughly at him to grind their hips together. Jaskier groans. “Is your heat—”

Fuck me,” Geralt demands.

That isn’t necessarily a “yes”, especially since Jaskier didn’t even manage to get the question out. Still . . .

“I will,” he says, pressing a kiss to Geralt’s throat. “I’ll take care of you.”

“Just get in me,” Geralt snaps, his eyes wider than usual and teeth bared. Jaskier hums against his throat, reaching down to stroke himself to full hardness. It isn’t hard, with Geralt underneath him and asking for it.

It’s not quite what he wants, but . . .

“I will,” he promises. Geralt grabs onto him; grips him tight. “I’ll give you whatever you need.”

He’s not actually sure this is what Geralt needs, but it’s what he’s asking for, and Jaskier isn’t going to pretend to know better than him.

Geralt growls, and Jaskier pushes into him. Geralt’s growl hitches, and Jaskier kisses his throat again and rolls his hips into him. Geralt makes another hitched noise, clinging tighter to him, and Jaskier reaches up to smooth his damp hair back off his head and fucks him.

“Is this good? Does it help?” he asks as tenderly as he thinks he can get away with, which admittedly isn’t very.

“Harder,” Geralt snarls. He’s a wolf, alright.

Jaskier can do that, though, so he does. Geralt curses him out, sounding so angry for some reason, and Jaskier does his damnedest to give him what he’s asked for.

“I’ve got you,” he says not-quite-tenderly, stroking the other’s hair again, looking him in the eye, and Geralt shoves him off. Jaskier makes a surprised noise, but Geralt’s already flipping over beneath him, pushing his ass back against his cock. Jaskier groans, his head dropping forward, and Geralt reaches back and grabs his hip.

“In me,” he hisses, and of course Jaskier obeys. He pushes back into the other and thrusts so deep his knot’s pressing against his rim, and Geralt snarls hotly and pushes back. Jaskier’s growing knot pops into him, spreading him wide, then out again.

“You’re good. It’s alright,” he says, pressing a soft kiss to the back of Geralt’s neck. “I’m here.”

Geralt makes this noise, this hurt noise, and it’s all Jaskier can do not to bite him.

“Geralt. You’re good,” he says, getting a hand underneath the other to stroke his cock. He puts alpha in his voice, because it’s the best he can do, but Geralt just makes that hurt noise again, grabbing the quilt and fisting his hands in it. “Please, you’re good, I’ve got you.”

He doesn’t know what he’s doing wrong, but Geralt’s body is tense and his pheromones are miserable and every time Jaskier tries to stop, tries to ask him what’s going on, they get even worse. He’s doing something wrong, he’s making a mistake, but he can’t figure out what or how and Geralt won’t tell him and he—and he—

“Geralt,” Jaskier says, practically pleading, and Geralt buries his face in the nest and pushes back into his thrusts and doesn’t say a damn word to him. Jaskier doesn’t know what to do, so he talks, because it’s the only thing he can do. “Geralt, what is it, tell me, am I hurting you?”

“Yes,” Geralt says, his voice raw and broken, and Jaskier freezes, horrified. “Don’t stop!”

“I don’t want to hurt you!” Jaskier says.

“Then stop saying things you don’t mean and fuck me,” Geralt hisses, digging his fingers into the bed.

“I mean it,” Jaskier says. “I mean all of it, Geralt, I swear, I’m not—”

“Get off!” Geralt snarls, and Jaskier immediately retreats, pulling out of him and practically scrambling to the other side of the nest. Geralt shoves himself upright and rakes his hair out of his face, panting for breath. He’s beautiful. Jaskier has no idea what to do for him.

“I’m just trying to take care of you,” he says, a little more desperate than he wants to sound. Geralt looks back at him, face flushed and eyes dull.

“I don’t need that,” he says.

“But don’t you want it?” Jaskier says.

“No one has ever wanted to take care of me,” Geralt says through gritted teeth, which isn’t an answer. “Don’t lie, Jaskier. It doesn’t help.”

“I’m not lying!” Jaskier says. “Why would I lie to you about that?!”

“Why would anyone?!” Geralt snaps. “In a hundred fucking years, why would you be the one who means it?!”

“I do mean it!” Jaskier shouts, alpha voice and all, and Geralt looks at him with obvious fury, eyes too wide and jaw clenched.

“Don't fucking alpha me,” he says tightly.

"I'm not trying to—I just want you to believe me!" Jaskier says. "It's not a lie!"

"It's always a lie," Geralt says.

"Geralt, how long have we known each other, and you think I'd lie to you about something like that?!" Jaskier demands. He thinks he'd be offended, but—it feels like something about Geralt, again. Not him. "I'm just trying to do my job!"

"I'm not your job," Geralt snaps.

"Taking care of you is!" Jaskier says. Nobody else is doing it, after all, and someone has to. That's the least of what Geralt deserves.

"You're human!" Geralt says. "You're human and you're weak and you're a liar—"

"What does being human have to do with it?!" Jaskier says. "And I'm not lying! What would that possibly get me?!"

"I don't know!" Geralt looks furious, still. Jaskier just wants to soothe it away.

"Nothing," he says, trying not to sound tender. Geralt wouldn't appreciate it. "It wouldn't get me anything. So why would I do it?"

"I don't know," Geralt says. Jaskier wants to touch him so badly.

"Your heat—" he starts, and Geralt cuts him off.

"I don't want to hear anything about my damn heat," he snaps. Jaskier could say a lot about heat, probably, and just what it might be doing to Geralt's emotions, but . . . well, it's not like Geralt doesn't already know that, is it.


"I'm just trying to make it easier on you," he says. "That's all. I swear."

"I don't need that," Geralt says.

"But you should have it," Jaskier says, barely able to keep the alpha out of his voice. Geralt doesn't want that.

But how many times is he going to have to say the same thing before Geralt hears it?

"I don't want it," Geralt lies, and Jaskier's heart clutches painfully in his chest. Hearing that from any omega, but especially Geralt . . .

"Geralt," he says. Maybe he should lie. Pretend like it's not killing him that Geralt feels like this about the idea of being taken care of, like it doesn't matter that he's never had a mating bite, like it's fine if he just knots him and abandons him.

He really doesn't think he could do that.

Geralt looks miserable. Jaskier feels miserable. He's supposed to be good with words. Words are supposed to be what he does.

Why doesn't he have the right ones?

"I'm not lying," Jaskier says helplessly, wanting so badly to reach out, to touch him, to soothe away that look on his face. If Geralt would let him do that, anyway, which he sincerely doubts.

"Just stop talking, Jaskier," Geralt says tiredly, and Jaskier bites back so many words. "Come here."

He goes, obviously. He moves in close and Geralt pulls him in closer; practically cradles him with his body, putting an arm around his back and a hand on the back of his head.

"You're a good alpha," Geralt murmurs. "You don't have to pretend, alright?"

Jaskier doesn't even understand. He's not pretending anything. He's trying to be good, but he's not pretending.

"Fuck me," Geralt says, reaching down to squeeze his cock, and that . . . that's something he'll let Jaskier do for him, at least. That's something.

Not enough, but something.