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“And you’ll be right there?”

“Yes,” Geralt says, tone exasperated. “I’ll be right there.”

They’ve been over this before, multiple times. And still, Jaskier cannot help but fret.

“And it can’t get me?”

“It can’t get you.”

Jaskier watches as Geralt’s fingers start unwinding the long loops of cord he brought along with him to this hunt. There’s something meditative about watching Geralt work, even though Jaskier’s heart is hammering away in his chest like a rabbit’s -- nervous even though he trusts Geralt with his life.

Unfortunately, Jaskier doesn’t even remember the name of the creature they’re hunting. He just knows two things: that its name was long and maybe in Elder, and that Jaskier will definitely have to come up with something much better to call it, if he ever wants to put this adventure to a song. Well -- provided he survives this, anyway.

Geralt had explained, in his usual curt and vastly uninformative way, that the creature that was terrorizing the waterways near a local village was a corrupted water spirit. According to Geralt, it must have been injured or fouled in some way, as they don’t normally attack humans, and typically subsist on wildlife while leaving local populations be.

Must have developed a taste for human flesh, Geralt had said, like it was nothing.

“It only attacks injured or incipacitated humans,” Geralt had also said, as they had been formulating a plan over a rather lackluster stew at the local tavern.

“That makes sense,” Jaskier had. “Easy prey.”

Geralt had stayed quiet.

When Jaskier had looked at Geralt for affirmation, the Witcher had been looking right back at him with his eyebrows raised just a hair’s breadth. It was a look that spoke volumes, and Jaskier had grown rather good at deciphering all of Geralt’s looks. This one, Jaskier hadn’t liked one bit.

Because Geralt couldn’t be implying what Jaskier thought he was implying. Could he?

No,” Jaskier had said, after an incredulous gasp, once he had realized just exactly what Geralt had been implying. “Are you implying that I am easy prey, Geralt? I’m offended.”

Geralt had grunted, but the corners of his lips had curled upwards just a bit with the faint shadow of a smile.

Now, Jaskier understands a bit more.

Sure, Jaskier is definitely still nervous, but he at least feels a little less emasculated, because to make Jaskier the right kind of easy prey, Geralt’s going to be tying Jaskier up and leaving him there, a deliciously easy target on his knees. From the water, Jaskier will look incapacitated and ripe for the taking. A perfect target.

Maybe a little too perfect, but apparently these water spirits aren’t exactly the most logical of beasts, and a gift horse is a gift horse, to them.

The crux of it, of course, is that Geralt won’t actually be abandoning him. He’ll just be hidden behind a large boulder, right off to the side, scent hidden by mountain laurel. Ready to jump out and attack the creature once it manifests into a corporeal form.

To make matters even better, Jaskier is protected within a ring of ash, which the creature, apparently, cannot pass through.

He’s safe.

Unless Geralt dies, in which case Jaskier will be stuck in a circle of ash with a monster circling him until he starves to death. While tied up, to add insult to injury.

But Geralt had assured Jaskier that these creatures were quite weak, actually. The trick was that they were near-impossible to hunt, as they exist as elemental water the majority of the time, only coming out and manifesting themselves to grab injured prey to drag back into the depths for a snack.

Thus: the need for bait.

“Are you ready?” Geralt asks.

Jaskier shifts on his knees in the middle of the ash circle. He tries to get comfortable, as they’re not exactly sure how long it’ll take for the thing to notice him. He doesn’t want his legs to fall asleep, but it’s not as though he can simply sit cross-legged and casual, looking as if he’s about to sit down for a round of Gwent.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Hands behind your back,” Geralt advises.

Jaskier does as he’s told, which he really feels should be commended, since he so rarely follows directions immediately. But now isn’t exactly the time to be pushing Geralt’s buttons -- which Jaskier knows, because he does, in fact, have a keen sense for ‘time and place’. And now isn’t the time, nor the place, for trying to rib Geralt into one of those miniscule smiles of his, no matter how much one might calm Jaskier's nerves.

Geralt touches Jaskier’s hands before he does anything, arranging them into a position that suits him better. It’s more comfortable, too, as Jaskier finds, shifting his shoulders to test it out.

Surprisingly, he realizes that the rope isn’t too rough against his wrists, either. He was expecting something cheap and coarse, with little bits that might splinter into his skin. It’s hardly silk, but it doesn’t hurt as Geralt pulls it tight against Jaskier’s skin and starts making a knot.

Geralt is quiet as he works. He cuts the rope after tying Jaskier’s wrists and then begins to loop a short bit around his ankles, urging Jaskier to rise off his heels with a simple touch. It doesn’t take long, but when Geralt finishes with that, Jaskier finds that he cannot move his feet at all. And when he tugs at his wrists, they don’t budge, either.

It’s a strange feeling, being bound like this. It has his heartbeat skipping in his chest, unsure and edgy. But before he can edge himself into a panic, he reminds himself that Geralt is here, and that Geralt would never let any harm befall him.

“Not even a little slack,” Jaskier says, as he tugs at his bindings again, dredging up a hint of joviality from somewhere under his ribs. “Is that it?”

Geralt comes around from behind him and looks Jaskier over, assessing the picture. He frowns.

“No. It should be more obvious.”

“Well? It’s not like I’m going to stop you,” Jaskier says, when Geralt doesn’t make a move to continue.

“Stop fidgeting,” Geralt says, catching Jaskier pulling at his wrists again.

He can’t help it. It’s only natural. Of course his body wants to move, now that it knows that it cannot.

“It’s very difficult to stay still,” Jaskier says.

Geralt crouches down in front of him, stooping to Jaskier’s level so that they’re eye to eye.

“Stop fidgeting,” he says again. His tone is firm, but strikingly gentle. “You’ll only hurt yourself. I told you that you wouldn’t get hurt, didn’t I?”

There’s something disarming about Geralt’s words, but Jaskier can’t quite put his finger on what, exactly, it is.

So, Jaskier just nods, tongue feeling a little too heavy in his mouth to come up with a good, lighthearted reply. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Geralt isn’t much of a joker, and Jaskier isn’t always a fool.

Once Jaskier has stilled, Geralt sees fit to continue painting the picture of easy prey. He kneels and then begins looping the rope around Jaskier’s midsection and his arms, to truly complete the picture. Dressing him up and decking him out with many complicated loops and knots. With his hands already bound behind his back, these bindings don’t actually do much of anything at all, except provide a pretty sort of ornamentation for Geralt’s scene.

They’re not loose, though. Of course, they’re not so tight that Jaskier cannot breathe, but they are quite firm, putting a surprising amount of pressure against Jaskier’s torso and his ribs. Like an embrace, but impersonal.

Well.

Perhaps impersonal isn’t quite the right word.

Because it’s not exactly impersonal, the way Geralt is knelt in front of Jaskier, working through complicated knots with skilled fingers, leaning close enough to steal Jaskier’s air. This close, Jaskier can smell him -- leather and sweat and a hint of clove lingering around the edges. This close, Jaskier can tell even that Geralt washed his hair a couple days ago with a sage soap, the one that Jaskier picked up for him last time they’d passed through a bustling city. Good to know he’s using it.

So, it’s not quite clinical and not quite intimate. It’s nebulous. A little fragile, too.

Jaskier finds that he rather likes it. There’s so much trust in this moment that Jaskier can practically taste it on the tip of his tongue.

He watches Geralt work, tracking the progress of his fingers with keen, appreciative eyes. Geralt’s hands are rough and calloused, huge in their strength -- but they are shockingly gentle, too. Jaskier wonders, briefly, what they might feel like mapping out invisible lines over his skin, how they might feel holding Jaskier’s hands together, instead the knots of rope that are doing that job now.

When Geralt finishes with the bindings on his torso, pulling back into a crouch in front of Jaskier, Jaskier doesn’t pull at his ties. He is surprised to find his heart has calmed within his chest, though he feels quite warm -- and quite alive.

Jaskier has had lovers tie him up with silk cloth before, has even tied others up too -- and yet it has never once come with this kind of rush, this kind of heat. He feels -- something unnamable, unknowable. Decidedly foreign, but welcome all the same.

“I thought I might have to gag you, but you’ve gone quiet,” Geralt says, as he’s cutting the ends free from the knots, tidying up his work. “Are the ropes too tight?”

“I’m good,” Jaskier says, because it’s the truth. He is good. The firm embrace of the rope is nice, and the care with which Geralt tied him up was nicer still.

Jaskier watches as Geralt steps back once more to admire his work. Briefly, he tries to imagine what he must look like, all bound up and kneeling on the ground at Geralt’s feet. Trussed up and decorated like some kind of object for a show of Geralt’s devising. It’s a rush, a thing of white hot lightning that shoots straight to his gut. Dizzying, electrifying.

Oh, Jaskier thinks. That’s rather inconvenient.

“It would look better with a gag,” Geralt’s saying. Jaskier isn’t quite paying attention. Something about how he should look truly incapacitated, but should still be able to speak, if needs must.

Geralt cuts a shorter strand of rope and crouches in front of Jaskier once more.

“Alright?” Geralt asks.

“Sure,” Jaskier says, feeling a little strangled, but not because any of the ropes are actually cutting off his air supply. It’s just that his lungs feel tight, like they’re caught in Geralt’s unforgiving vice grip.

Geralt nods. “Open,” he says, holding up the rope to Jaskier’s lips.

Another dizzying wave of heat hits Jaskier, but he opens up his mouth all the same. He doesn’t have any smart words for Geralt, doesn’t even have the breath for a whine. It's another rush, Geralt placing the rope in between Jaskier’s teeth, more gently than Jaskier would have thought. Careful hands reach around him to tie the makeshift gag in the back, which just puts Jaskier’s face right in the crook of Geralt’s neck. The smell of Geralt is somehow a heady, dizzying thing. Again, he is assaulted by sweat and clove, musk and leather. He cannot help but take a deep breath, feeling short of breath and light-headed. Like he just can’t quite get enough air into his lungs.

It’s a lucky thing he doesn’t have to fight any monsters today.

Geralt finishes tying the gag and sits back, eye-level to Jasker. “You should be able to spit this out easily, if needs must. Do not do it just to annoy me.”

Jaskier nods. He really doesn’t feel like doing anything to annoy Geralt right now.

Geralt looks skeptical, but maybe he always looks that way. Jaskier wishes he'd come back. Tie some more knots around Jaskier’s body.

“Nod if you're fine,” Geralt says.

Jaskier nods.

He's dizzy, and warm, and definitely knocked sideways with this whole situation, but he is fine. More than, even.

If anything, Geralt looks more skeptical, now. But he tests all the ties around Jaskier’s body, sticking his fingers underneath to, likely, make sure they’re not too tight. They’re not. It’s just that Jaskier feels like he can’t breathe anyway.

“I don’t know how long this’ll take,” Geralt says. “Maybe minutes, maybe hours. Will you be fine here on your knees?”

It’s a little too late to be asking, but Jaskier thinks that he could spend however long on his knees right now, if Geralt asked it of him.

The ground feels steady underneath him, and even though his head spins, his spine is sturdy and the ropes feel like they’re holding him upright. That should be enough. He nods.

“You’ll be fine,” Geralt says, giving a nod back to Jaskier.

And then he’s turning to go. Desperately, Jaskier wishes Geralt would reach out and touch him again one last time, but Geralt’s already walking away, to hide behind his boulder, out of the view of the water.

Leaving Jaskier all alone.

It’s not that he’s scared. Because his rabbiting heartbeat disappeared long ago under Geralt’s gentle touch. But he suddenly feels very alone. Which is strange, because Jaskier spends quite a bit of time alone in the wilds of the continent and he doesn’t ever feel truly without. But right now, it’s a desperate and aching kind of thing -- leaving him wanting, waiting.

He watches the shoreline for a while, relaxing into the rope’s hold. The water is freshwater, so there is no gentle rolling of waves to lull him, but there is the assortment of noises that go along with life by the water. Bugs, animals, wind amongst the reeds. After a while, he can even hear the bubbles from fish and the sound of ripples brushing against the shore from hopping frogs or diving birds. The longer he sits, the louder it gets, a melody of the water’s own to sooth him into quiet contemplation.

He supposes now would be the perfect opportunity to work on new songs, to dream up new lyrics in his head. But his thoughts are too scattered, too transparent. If he were to reach out toward them and attempt to grasp at them, he would simply be clutching at dreams, smokey and intangible as always. They are too fleeting to keep track of, too ethereal and vague. He can’t focus on anything, not even his favorite poems, not even on the task at hand. His thoughts keep drifting, and sometimes, with his eyes blurring out over the reeds and cat-tails, he finds that he can’t even remember what he’s waiting for anymore at all, except that Geralt asked it of him.

The only thing Jaskier finds he can reliably think about is Geralt. His thoughts keep circling back to the man like he’s the center of a storm, with Jaskier caught in its edges. Geralt and his gentle hands, Geralt and his capable touch. Just Geralt, and all of the ways Jaskier wishes he would reach out and touch him.

Jaskier feels safe, even as exposed and trapped as he is. With Geralt’s piercing gaze watching over him, no harm will ever come to him.

The gag isn’t uncomfortable, but it means that Jaskier can’t exactly swallow like he might normally. The rope gets wet, sodden with spit. The saliva starts to drip down his chin, wet and warm. It should be embarrassing, but Jaskier can’t find it in himself to care. He’s been in worse positions before, more degrading ones, too. This? He feels too content to even give it much thought, other than noting that the drool is beginning to drip from his chin to his shirt.

The wait is nothing near minutes.

But the more time passes, the more Jaskier loses track of it. The more it all fades together into a hazy dream.

Normally, Jaskier is impatient. Now, he can find nothing within himself other than peace of mind.

The sun is low in the sky before the water begins to shift and the air starts to sparkle with the iridescence of magic. Jaskier should startle, he knows -- but he cannot help but stare in quiet calm at the sight before him. He feels half asleep, dazed, as the water spirit coalesces into a monster right in front of his very eyes.

The creature is tall, amorphous -- but distinctly humanoid. It’s great and towering, nearly ten feet. Its form, once amassed, is not quite opaque, not quite transparent, stuck somewhere in between. Jaskier can see the vague outline of shapes through it, like one might see the bottom of a lake through a whirlpool: just vague suggestions of color and mass. Like thoughts, through a dream.

Once it takes its first few steps onto the land, Jaskier realizes that the spirit has spotted him and is coming right toward him, albeit slowly. Each of its steps leaves mud in its wake, ground yielding to small streams of water fleeing from its trundeling form. And yes, perhaps Jaskier should be more worried about his own safety -- but he can’t seem to muster up the fear from the depths of his chest. He just watches, enraptured, at the otherworldly display in front of him.

Besides -- Geralt’s suddenly there, charging into the space between Jaskier and the water spirit, silver sword raised in the afternoon light. It catches on the setting sun as Geralt swings, not even hesitating for one moment.

Jaskier watches, completely enthralled as always, as Geralt fights. He cannot feel his knees or his feet, but that doesn’t matter when the creature screams and Geralt slashes. Water sprays as Geralt hacks, and even as Geralt is knocked to his back by a wave of a punch, Jaskier has no concerns. Because Geralt hauls himself up fast and attacks again with all his might, as if this is a much harder fight than it truly is.

After that, the fight goes quickly.

Soon, Geralt is driving the sword through the heart of the beast, rending it upward, effectively splitting it in two. Jaskier watches as the creature explodes outward in a magic rush, dousing Geralt -- and Jaskier, too -- in river water.

He feels it, but only faintly. Like there’s a few second delay between reality and Jaskier’s senses. All in all, it’s not particularly climactic. But Jaskier feels too detached to truly care. The beast is vanquished and Jaskier and Geralt are alive; that is all that truly matters, ever.

When he opens his eyes to blink the stray water away from his lashes, Geralt is already in front of him, kneeling in the mud, hands on the rope gag in Jaskier’s mouth.

“Are you alright?” Geralt asks, once his fingers have untied the rope and freed it from Jaskier’s mouth. His chin is still wet with spit, but he doesn’t give it much more than a passing thought.

Jaskier nods. He’s good, and Geralt slayed the beast. All is well.

“Jaskier,” Geralt says, golden eyes narrowing. His fingers grip Jaskier by the chin, forcing him to look at Geralt, as if he wasn’t already before. Where else would he look? “Talk to me.”

And how could Jaskier ever deny Geralt anything?

“I’m good,” Jaskier says. Then, after a hum, he amends that to: “Great, I’m great.” It feels a little like his tongue is too big for his mouth, like he’s a couple of glasses of wine in. Relaxed and loose, head in every direction.

“It didn’t touch you, right?” Geralt asks. His fingers are still on Jaskier’s chin, holding him tight to keep Geralt’s gaze. Jaskier feels held everywhere, embraced. Cared for and protected. The ring of ash around him has nothing to do with it; it’s all Geralt of Rivia.

He shakes his head in Geralt’s grip. Then, since Geralt asked for his words just a moment ago, says, “No. Didn’t even get close.”

“Your pupils are dilated. And you’re --,” Geralt pauses, maybe assessing the situation. He’s looking Jaskier’s face over like it might hold the answer to his question, the mystery of why Jaskier’s gone all quiet and loose. Under Geralt’s gaze, Jaskier feels so warm. So seen. Geralt hums. “Out of it,” he concludes, like that’s descriptive at all.

Jaskier just hums back.

Geralt’s not wrong. Jaskier does feel out of it. But in a good way. In the best way.

In a gesture of surprising kindness, Geralt places the back of his hand to Jaskier’s forehead, testing for a temperature in the way Jaskier’s mother used to do, so many years ago. It’s such a strange intimacy coming from Geralt that it just makes Jaskier feel even warmer, dizzier. Like Geralt just kicked his feet out from underneath him.

“You’re not warm,” Geralt says. “I’m going to get you out of these ropes.”

At that, there’s a wine, low and pleading. A decisive no. It takes Jaskier a moment to realize that it came from him, unbidden, from deep within his throat.

Geralt pauses with his fingers on the knots.

“Jaskier,” he says, slowly. “Talk to me.”

For the first time today, embarrassment creeps its way onto Jaskier’s face, warm and feverish. He can feel the blush overtaking the apples of his cheeks and then his ears, blood flushing his skin a pink he can feel. The blissful, floating feeling he’d had fades just a bit, giving way to a little more clarity than he’s comfortable with.

He wishes he could play it as a joke, write it off. But he cannot. The more Geralt presses him, the more he’s going to notice. And the more Jaskier will not be able to hide it.

“I like them,” Jaskier says, like it’s that simple. Because it is. And -- it also isn’t, too. “The ropes. And I liked...I liked you doing it. To me.”

He can feel his face flush even redder, body heating up with the embarrassment of the admission. Normally Jaskier is shameless, unconcerned -- but right now, like this, he feels exposed. At Geralt’s mercy. There’s something about Geralt of Rivia that leaves Jaskier undone and laid bare, able to flush like a virgin who’s never yet known the touch of a man. It’s foolish, but it’s simply the way it is.

Geralt’s thumb twitches against Jaskier’s chin, but he doesn’t let go, doesn’t push Jaskier back in horror. He could, so easily, and then Jaskier would be belly-up in the mud -- but strangely, he just looks curious.

“Hmm.” Geralt’s fingers shift against Jaskier’s skin. His grip tightens, just a hair. “You like this. And you didn’t think to mention that, beforehand?”

Geralt probably doesn’t need to even look down to know that Jaskier is aroused. He can probably smell it on the air, as much as that pains Jaskier to admit, as much as he’s tried to bite down on it.

Jaskier takes an unsteady breath and then lets it out. “I didn’t know. I mean. I knew. A little bit -- I mean, who hasn’t let a captivating paramour tie them up a time or two -- but I didn’t know, not really. Had I known, well --” Words are Jaskier’s armor. Whenever he gets embarrassed, it’s hard to stop them from flowing out from his lips. Jaskier takes a sharp breath, then lets it out. “Well, I think I would’ve said something. At least to save both of us this embarrassment.”

Because it is an embarrassment, being aroused like this, trussed up and so unable to squirm away from Geralt’s prying gaze.

He opens his mouth to continue, but Geralt stops him with a quick, “Jaskier,” and then his lips close of their own accord, waiting. He doesn’t really know what’s come over him, what’s made him go so easy where Geralt’s wishes are concerned. Normally, Jaskier has no problem pushing back, no problem holding his ground -- but right now, what he wants is to do what Geralt wants him to do, and isn’t that a funny feeling.

When Jaskier doesn’t continue, and just keeps his gaze steady on Geralt, Geralt continues.

“But you are fine, correct?”

Jaskier breathes out. “More than fine.”

Geralt hums.

Then, his fingers shift on Jaskier’s chin. He has a momentary fear that Geralt will remove his hand, will pull away -- but then Geralt’s thumb brushes over Jaskier’s bottom lip, and Jaskier’s whole body goes hot, heartbeat kicking in his chest.

“You look good like this,” Geralt says. He thumbs at Jaskier’s lower lip until it pulls back from his teeth. “Blissfully quiet, too.”

Jaskier whines again, but this time he’s more aware of it. This time, he’s far less embarrassed. Especially with the way Geralt is looking at him, eyes all dark and gaze focused solely on Jaskier.

“I can smell you,” Geralt tells him, voice rougher than before. Husky and low. He leans into Jaskier’s neck and breathes in with a growl.

Jaskier isn’t expecting to feel the brush of Geralt’s teeth against his neck, but when he does it’s like an electric shock. On the knife’s edge he’s on, the hint of pain, of danger, has Jaskier groaning, swaying forward into the sturdy press of Geralt’s body. Geralt lets him with a pleased noise, and then bites again, harder, before tonguing over Jaskier’s neck, truly tasting him.

It’s so good. He feels so much more sensitive than normal, like all his nerves are alight and alive.

“Fuck, Geralt,” Jaskier groans out. He wants desperately to grab at Geralt’s arms and pull him closer, but he cannot. He’s stuck, arms and hands bound so tight.

“I’ve got you,” Geralt says, hands going to Jaskier’s arms, fingers rough against fabric and rope.

Jaskier moans, squirming. “I know. Gods, I know. That’s -- that’s why. You’re a pillar in a storm, Geralt. So sturdy and safe, and there’s a rush in that. A headiness.” Jaskier takes a breath as Geralt’s teeth graze over his jugular, sparks cascading down his spine. “And your hands. They are things of magic, Geralt. So strong and deft. To have them on me? How could you blame me?”

“I don’t,” Geralt says, but Jaskier can hear the hint of a smile in his voice. Something pleased, maybe even a little smug.

“Good,” Jaskier says. “Yeah, good.” He feels dizzy again, distracted. The embarrassment from only moments ago is gone, nowhere to be found.

Geralt switches sides, slowly licking and teething over new, untouched skin.

“You like this.” It’s not phrased as a question, but Jaskier knows it to be one. Geralt, despite his harsh gruffness, would not want to do something Jaskier didn’t enjoy. He wouldn’t want to take advantage, especially with Jaskier as indisposed as he is.

“See for yourself,” Jaskier says.

And when Geralt does pull back from Jaskier’s neck to look down and assess just how much Jaskier likes this, he hums out a pleased sort of noise at the way Jaskier’s cock is straining at the front of his trousers. The flush spreads down to Jaskier’s neck, but now there’s nothing to it other than pure want and desire, the rush of being seen.

Unhesitant, Geralt reaches down to touch him, palming the straining fabric over Jaskier’s cock to stroke him through the silk. Jaskier bucks at the touch, a whine catching in his throat.

Geralt,” Jaskier groans, straining at the ropes in an impossible bid to break free. He wants to touch, too, wants to get his hands on the specimen of a man in front of him -- but there’s a true rush in knowing he can’t, a rush in knowing that he is ripe and ready for Geralt’s taking -- and unable to do anything other than receive what Geralt decides to give him.

“Mm. Did you need something?” Geralt asks. There’s a hint of condescension in his voice and it shouldn’t make Jaskier moan, brutally turned on by the playfully patronizing tone -- but it does. It goes straight to Jaskier’s gut. Has him shifting in his seat.

Jaskier gasps when Geralt’s palm grinds down hard, giving Jaskier a bit more of what he was wordlessly asking for.

“Should I have you right here, in the middle of the woods? Is that what you want?”

“Gods, yes,” Jaskier breathes out, straining forward, unsteady and unbalanced, because he simply must kiss Geralt, and he must kiss Geralt right now.

He falls and Geralt catches him, with his lips and with his arms. The kiss is heated, fierce with desire and teeth, and Jaskier finds that Geralt tastes even sweeter than he ever imagined him to, which is a truly impressive feat.

It is not that Jaskier has never wanted Geralt -- but simply that he had understood their dynamic to be different, that more had not been on the table, before. He had assumed, given Geralt’s lack of perceived interest, that it was simply not in the cards, as Jaskier had always flirted, always made himself open for advances.

Turns out, all Jaskier needed was for Geralt to wrap him up like a present on a feast day.

Geralt breaks the kiss only to reach around and free the tie binding Jaskier’s ankles together. He makes short work of it with a knife -- and the second he does, Jaskier is clambering forward on his knees to straddle Geralt as he kneels in the dirt. He’s wobbly as he goes, but Geralt hauls him the rest of the way, deft fingers using the rope around Jaskier’s torso to guide him like a harness. And fuck, if that isn’t the hottest thing Jaskier’s ever experienced.

It’s rivaled immediately, of course, by Geralt working his hand into Jaskier’s trousers and underneath his smallclothes to grasp at his cock. His fingers are firm and calloused, and yet they feel perfect against Jaskier’s sensitive skin. Jasker gasps and grinds forward, feeling the hard press of Geralt’s cock against him.

And Geralt? Geralt is huge. Just as much of a monster as Jaskier imagined him, and he hasn’t even seen him yet. He can just feel it, pressing against him, hard and hot through the leather of Geralt’s trousers. Because of course Jaskier has seen Geralt's length soft, right after a bath and wet with moisture, but now he's hard, and that's a whole other matter entirely.

Jaskier grinds down again and grins into the kiss, though any pretense of composure he had is crippled by the moans that Geralt drags out of him with the way his fingers work over Jaskier’s cock.

Geralt, himself, is not silent as Jaskier shifts against him. He breathes out his pleasure in choked off sounds, but even that is music to Jaskier’s ears. It’s a testament to his humanity, that Geralt, so often stoic and quiet, can too be rendered overwhelmed by pleasure just like anyone else.

It’s overwhelming, knowing that Jaskier can render Geralt so human even without his hands. Just with his mouth and some friction.

“Were you serious?” Jaskier asks, panting as he breaks free from the kiss, though it is hard to find his breath with Geralt’s hand on him still, working him over with no intention of stopping.

Geralt slows his ministrations, but does not give Jaskier a break as he pauses to think. “Was I serious about what?”

Jaskier feels like he’s being deliberately obtuse, but he can’t quite find the air to call him on it, thoughts knocked clean out of him as Geralt’s thumb grazes over the head of his cock, smearing precome as he goes.

“Jaskier,” Geralt teases, pressing his teeth to Jaskier’s jaw. He presses a kiss in his wake.

But he thumbs over Jaskier’s head again and begins jacking him off in earnest once more.

“Hnn -- Geralt, I -- fuck,” Jaskier gets out, squirming as best as he can, but it’s not like he can go anywhere. Geralt’s got him with his free hand wrapped around the harness of rope, holding Jaskier up, holding him close.

“Talk to me, Jaskier. Or has a cat got your tongue?”

“Oh fuck you,” Jaskier says, but the bite of the words is ruined by his tone, overlaid with pleasure and a breathless want.

Geralt smirks, and it’s a beautiful thing. Jaskier wants to kiss it right off his face, and so he does. Geralt allows it for a little while, the two of them lost in each other’s mouths as Geralt wrings all sorts of depraved noises from Jaskier’s throat, before eventually he pulls away again, his hand slowing in what might be called a kindness.

“Tell me what you want,” Geralt says.

“Oh, I’m allowed to talk now, am I?” Jaskier asks.

Geralt hums. “Not if you waste all your words complaining.” His fingers tease Jaskier, still, but his touch is slow, relaxed.

Jaskier whines.

Geralt kisses his jaw. His lips are searing. Jaskier half wishes they would leave a brand in their wake. “Tell me.”

“Were you serious about taking me right here?” Jaskier is finally able to ask.

“Is that what you want?”

Jaskier breathes out a laugh, low and amused. “Do I seem uninterested?”

“Not exactly,” Geralt says, giving Jaskier’s cock a brief pump of his fist. Jaskier moans.

“See?” Jaskier leans forward and catches Geralt’s lips in a quick kiss. “Of course, you could simply bring me off in your hand, but I think we’d have far more fun with the former option, don’t you?”

Geralt hums, like he’s considering. Like it’s a difficult decision at all.

“Please, Geralt,” Jaskier begs, imagining it. Just like this, but with less clothing and with Geralt’s giant cock filling him to the brim. Geralt urging him forward, using the rope to guide him. It’s dizzying, electrifying. It’s all that Jaskier has ever wanted. “Gods, please.”

“You make a compelling argument,” Geralt says.

And then, like a traitor, he removes his hand from Jaskier’s cock, leaving him with nothing at all.

Jaskier whines, and Geralt laughs.

It’s a beautiful thing, the sound of Geralt’s pure amusement mixed with pleasure. One of the most melodious things Jaskier has ever had the treat of hearing.

But Jaskier doesn’t have too long to think on that, because then Geralt is maneuvering him and lifting him by the rope harness so that he can undo Jaskier’s trousers and begin working them down his legs after deftly removing his boots. It takes a good deal of strength, and quite a bit of dexterity (and quite a bit of dragging expensive silk through mud), but eventually Jaskier is left without his trousers, and then without his smallclothes, straddling Geralt once more. Bound and clothed on his upper-half and naked everywhere else.

It is quite the feeling.

It would be better, Jaskier thinks, if Geralt was naked, too.

“This doesn’t exactly solve everything,” Jaskier says. His voice is raw, rough with interest. It’s not like Jaskier can do anything to help further this situation along, given his current lack of mobility. It kills him, being so helpless, though it’s heady at the same time. He’s normally never quite this affected -- but then again, he’s never been with someone as captivating as Geralt, before.

“Patience,” Geralt says.

“I know that you’re aware that I don’t have any of that.”

Geralt huffs out another laugh, lips quirking just a bit at Jaskier’s expense.

“You’re right. I should make you wait. Learn some.”

Geralt.”

“You’re lucky I’m feeling impatient, too.”

And then Geralt’s unlacing his pants and pulling them down just enough to free his own cock. He wraps his fingers around it and gives it a few pulls. Jaskier cannot help but watch, mouth watering, enraptured, at the massiveness he’s presented with. Geralt’s fingers stroke the thick weight of it and for the first time tonight, Jaskier truly wishes he were not bound, as the itch to touch is almost too much to bear.

“You’re also lucky I have oil on me,” Geralt says, thumbing over the bead of precome at his slit.

Jaskier breathes out, chest suddenly feeling tight.

“I am,” he says. Because there’s no way in all of the heavens that Geralt could fuck him dry with that monster of his. “Wait, what kind of oil is it?” Jaskier makes a face. “I hope not beast oil. Or, god forbid, necrophage oil. Geralt, that is not going inside me.”

“Hush.” Geralt grips Jaskier’s bindings with one hand, and then lets go of his cock in favor of digging around in one of his pockets for a small bottle. “Simple seed oil. I brought it to use if the knots in the rope proved difficult.”

The bottle is clear and the oil inside is a yellowish color. When Geralt uncorks it, Jaskier is not assaulted with the smell of one of Geralt’s sword oils, which is promising.

“Lucky that,” Jaskier breathes out, watching with enraptured gaze, as Geralt tips some oil onto his fingers to slick them up. Even Geralt’s fingers are attractive, huge and calloused as they are. The thought of them inside of Jaskier is exhilarating. Enough to make his heart hammer loudly in his chest.

“Mm,” Geralt replies, ever eloquent.

But he doesn’t have to be eloquent, because then he’s pulling Jaskier into a kiss and reaching around to slide oil-slick fingers over the sensitive flesh of Jaskier’s hole. Jaskier would jolt in surprise, even if the touch is expected -- and welcome -- but he finds that he can’t go anywhere, given the hold that Geralt’s got on him. Which is a trill, in and of itself. More so, now that Geralt’s touching him, too.

Geralt,” Jaskier breathes out, as Geralt breaches him with a finger, easily sliding it in to the knuckle.

Geralt hums. “You’re practiced,” he says. It doesn’t sound like an insult, only curious as to why it's easier than perhaps imagined.

“I enjoy pleasure of all kinds, as -- ah -- I’m sure you know.”

As Jaskier talks, Geralt begins pressing a second finger inside, easing it in along the first.

“I wasn’t sure how often you partook.”

“I’d partake more often if I knew this was on the table,” Jaskier says, grinding down as Geralt’s two, thick fingers stretch him. It feels so good, so intimate. Geralt has never been this close to Jaskier, and yet it feels natural. Like they’ve been doing this for all the years they’ve known each other.

“Mm.”

Geralt’s fingers curl inside him. Jaskier moans, loud, and his cock weeps.

“There?” Geralt has the audacity to ask. Jaskier can hear the smirk on his lips, and he can see it, too -- so he has no choice but to lean in and kiss it right off of Geralt’s face. Messily, that is, since Geralt’s fingers are currently wringing a frightening melody of moans and breathy sounds from Jaskier’s throat. He can barely stay composed enough to lick into Geralt’s mouth, but he manages somehow. Jaskier is, at the end of the day, a very skilled man. A brilliant multi-tasker.

Or. He is -- until Geralt’s pushing three fingers into him, and Jaskier loses all semblance of control.

If Geralt were not holding him up by the ropes around his torso, Jaskier is sure he would collapse. Because three of Geralt’s monstrously thick fingers pushing into him, stretching him wide, are almost too much to bear.

It doesn’t hurt, not really -- but it is a stretch, edged with the barest hints of pain. Just enough to keep Jaskier on a knife’s edge, just enough to have him groaning in absolute lust, falling forward to bury his face against Geralt’s neck, unable to support himself any longer.

“So much,” Jaskier babbles, “Holy -- Geralt, that’s so much. You’re giving me so much.” His eloquence has gone out the metaphorical window, but he cannot truly be blamed, because he thinks he might be ascending to a higher realm, aided and brought there by Geralt’s blessed fingers. “So full of you,” Jaskier says, pressing an open-mouthed and wet kiss to Geralt’s sweat covered neck.

He tastes dirty, salty, sour. Jaskier cannot get enough of the taste on his tongue.

“You’re doing so well,” Geralt tells him, and Jaskier nearly weeps.

His cock twitches, untouched, at the praise.

“Think you’re gonna kill me,” Jaskier tells him.

“And I haven’t even fucked you yet.” Geralt’s voice is just a rumble in Jaskier’s ear. A growl. And it’s also the only warning Jaskier gets before Geralt’s teeth find the lobe of his ear, before his tongue follows suit and sends a shiver straight down Jaskier’s spine.

Geralt is definitely going to kill him; Jaskier’s never been so turned on in his entire life.

The oil is slick enough to allow Geralt to thrust his fingers in and out of Jaskier, and it leaves him wet enough, too, to allow Jaskier to take over, lifting himself on his knees to ride Geralt’s fingers, fucking himself on them, greedy for it. It feels depraved, shameless. Jaskier is sure that this is filthiest he’s ever felt: straddling Geralt in the aftermath of a hunt, eagerly riding Geralt’s fingers like they’re a cock, tied up like a captive.

Jaskier rides Geralt’s fingers until he’s panting, until his cock is dripping pathetically, until he feels too close to take it any longer. He’s so loose now. So ready.

“You must fuck me,” Jaskier says, so steadfast that it’s not even a plea. “You must, or I think I shall perish. I just might die, Geralt.” It’s a grave situation, truly.

Geralt hums and holds Jaskier down by the ropes, not allowing him to move. He curls his fingers, presses in, and Jaskier nearly screams in pleasure.

“I must, must I?” Geralt asks. Teasing, but a little mean, too. In the best kind of way. In a way that Jaskier was not sure Geralt even capable.

“You are cruel,” Jaskier tells him, though his words fade into a groan as Geralt’s fingers do nothing but milk him.

If Jaskier dies today, then he at least will have left the world knowing true beauty. True euphoria.

“Ask nicely,” Geralt says. “You have always been good with words.”

“Ah!” Jaskier gasps, “That’s the first I’m hearing of that, thank you very -- fuck -- much.”

Geralt makes a chiding sort of noise and presses in once more, cruelly teasing. “Jaskier.”

Jaskier gets the impression that if Geralt’s hands were both not busy, he might be swatted on the arse like a scolded brat. And the thought of that is enough to leave him panting and even warmer than before.

“Yes, yes,” Jaskier manages. Eloquence is not something he can call upon at the moment. His thoughts have about the clarity of the mud that they’re currently kneeling in. “Please, Geralt. I’d very much like it if you fucked me now.” He hopes the pleading need in his voice adds the magnitude to his argument that his words do not.

Three fingers is akin to torture, honestly. Especially when Geralt’s cock is right there, thick and heavy and waiting. Jaskier wishes, still, that he could get his mouth on it. Another time, perhaps.

“Mm.” Geralt sounds like he’s thinking about it. But he clearly loves torturing Jaskier so, because he fucks his fingers in a few more times before finally withdrawing them, leaving Jaskier gasping, groaning, and empty.

“Geralt, please,” Jaskier says, suddenly far more desperate than before.

Before, he simply wanted. Now, Jaskier needs. He’s empty, loose -- and it hurts, just how badly he needs it. His thoughts swirl with it and his gut aches.

Geralt shushes him, lips at Jaskier’s ear. It takes a second to realize that Geralt’s moving, reaching for the bottle of oil to slick up his cock, leaving it wet and ready while he continues to hold Jaskier up with his other hand. Jaskier’s mouth waters.

And finally, finally, Geralt gives Jaskier what he wants.

He hauls Jaskier up by the ropes -- and of course Jaskier helps, standing up on his knees -- but there’s a thrill in Geralt just moving him, pushing Jaskier around wherever he wants him to go. He lines himself up with a hand on his cock, and then Jaskier can feel it, the blunt head of Geralt’s cock teasing at him, pushing against his entrance.

“Please,” Jaskier breathes out, and Geralt gives.

He eases Jaskier down and then, finally, Geralt’s cock is breaching him, pushing inside with the easy slide of oil. Jaskier is loose from the way Geralt’s fingers opened him, but Geralt’s cock is still huge. Inside Jaskier, he feels massive, fat. Almost impossible to take.

For all that Geralt hesitated before, he does not unnecessarily draw out this process. He eases himself in, inch by inch, catching Jaskier’s lips in his own as he does so. The more he presses inside, the more Jaskier feels as if he is being split open at the seams, stretched beyond capacity. He pants into Geralt’s mouth, making the most pitiful noises. Whimpering and whining. It’s pleasure, and it’s pain -- but the best kind, the kind that Jaskier cannot help but chase, greedy and gluttonous for more.

To ease the process -- not that Jaskier needs any distraction -- Geralt reaches down with his free hand and strokes over Jaskier’s length with his still-slick hand. It’s a distraction, but the best kind, the kind that leaves him overstimulated and groaning for more.

Before he knows it, though, Geralt is fully seated inside him. Stuffing Jaskier full. Conquering him completely.

“Gods,” Jaskier gasps, completely at a loss for words. “You’re huge.”

His head spins in the pleasant way it did earlier, leaving him dizzy and desperate.

“You’re doing so well,” Geralt tells him in a gruff voice, mouthing at a spot on Jaskier’s jaw.

And Jaskier thinks that’s the cruelest thing Geralt’s done so far, because Jaskier almost comes right then and there at the praise alone. And while Jaskier does want to end this encounter by coming on Geralt’s cock, he’s not quite ready to do that, yet. He’d like Geralt to fuck the breath out of him, first.

And so Jaskier tells him as much. “Stop trying to kill me and fuck me,” he says.

He wants desperately to be able to reach out and grab ahold of Geralt, to wrap his arms around Geralt’s giant shoulders and bury his face in Geralt’s neck and just let him take, but right now Jaskier is at Geralt’s mercy. Unable to do much more than try to squirm and fuck himself on Geralt’s cock -- which Geralt, quite predictably, does not allow.

“Patience,” Geralt tells him.

Which would be a lot easier to take if Jaskier didn’t feel torn apart. He wonders if Geralt is patient when he has someone’s cock in his ass who blatantly refuses to give him what he needs.

And isn’t that a heady thought? Maybe Jaskier will one day find out.

Jaskier dwells on it as Geralt starts slowly moving, beginning to thrust into Jaskier in small increments, like he’s scared of breaking him.

“You’re not going to break me,” Jaskier tells him. “I can take it.”

“Didn’t exactly sound like that a moment ago,” Geralt says, but he’s giving Jaskier a little more now, moving faster.

Of course, he decides in that moment to stop stroking Jaskier off, and use both of his hands to maneuver Jaskier’s body around by the rope harness he’s constructed. Which is bad -- but also good. Because Jaskier doesn’t need Geralt’s hand on his cock, but it had been lovely, of course, being gifted those extra tastes of pleasure. But having Geralt manhandle him around, having Geralt use his strength and the tight binding of the ropes to fuck himself into Jaskier? Jaskier isn’t sure that can be beat.

“Gods, Geralt,” Jaskier says, voice catching on a moan.

With a change in angle, Geralt’s cock begins nudging up against that spot that makes him sing. He also quickens his pace, likely because of the sounds he’s pulling out of Jaskier. And this time, Jaskier cannot find the breath -- nor the will -- to complain.

It’s truly a feat; Sex has never been this good. Even without the ropes, Jaskier thinks it would be just as monumental, just as earth-shattering. It’s about the man underneath him, the man inside him. The ropes, the cock, even the sweet kisses are just a bonus. It’s Geralt himself who is addictive, Geralt himself who Jaskier wants.

Jaskier breathes out his name like a prayer and lets Geralt fuck him, pace quick and almost punishing.

It’s hard, and it’s fast, and Jaskier loses himself in it completely. Just rising tides of pleasure, threatening to overwhelm and take him out.

It’s so good he can barely think, can barely tie two words together into anything more coherent than a groan or a plea for more. A whimper. A whine. A “Please, Geralt, please.”

“This not enough for you?” Geralt asks, breaking away from the kiss to tease, to nip at Jaskier’s neck.

Gods, of course the man would be full of feral biting -- he’s sometimes more wolf than man, Jaskier thinks. Not that he has any qualms with that. Walking away from this encounter black and blue sounds like a dream. He’d love to have something to remember this by. And, judging by the way the ropes around his wrists are beginning to chafe with all of their movement? He will.

He feels so close now, every nerve in his body alight with it. But it’s not quite -- not quite enough. It should be, Geralt’s cock huge and splitting him open at the seams, fucking into him at a brutal pace -- but Jaskier is needy and Jaskier is greedy. He wants it all.

“Please,” Jaskier begs, voice raw. “More. Gods, Geralt, I need -- I need --”

And Geralt, in a shocking display of kindness, gives him what he asks.

Thick fingers once again wrap around Jaskier’s cock, still partially slick from the earlier oil. He strokes him off in time with his thrusts -- hard and fast and determined.

That’s all it takes. Well -- that, and Geralt biting at his neck and telling him he’s good.

And then Jaskier’s pleasure is cresting, crescendoing like a song. It has him gasping, shuddering, and then spilling his release into Geralt’s hand. His eyes close to the white-hot bliss and he lets himself fall into it.

Geralt fucks him through it, hard and fast, pace unyielding. He strokes Jaskier until he’s gasping, groaning out an oversensitive whine, and then Geralt’s hauling him close, pulling him tight, thrusts going deeper, harder.

Jaskier would have assumed Geralt to be quiet in his orgasm, but the guttural moan that escapes Geralt as he comes is a thing of beauty. Something to compose odes to. It’s completely unconscious, unstoppable, even as much as Geralt tries to bite it off, burying his face in Jaskier’s neck, his hair. He breathes hot and heavy, hips thrusting only a couple more times, pumping his release deep as they both come down from their waves of pleasure.

Jaskier’s breathing just as hard, body slumped against Geralt’s massive frame.

At some point, Geralt must have let his ropes go, because both of his arms are looped around Jaskier, warm and solid, holding Jaskier up with ease. Good thing, that. Otherwise, he’d probably fall right over.

And then, it’s easy, to just be still for a moment. The two of them lapse into a comfortable sort of silence, filled only with their breathing and the sounds of the wilderness around them. Bugs and birds and leaves blowing in the wind.

Gradually, Jaskier becomes aware of his body again. Of the soreness of his muscles. Of the ache in his shoulders from his hands bound behind his back for too long. Of the feeling of Geralt’s cock, not nearly as rigid and as full as before, still pressed inside him.

“Mm,” Jaskier says, taking a page out of Geralt’s book. Because his head is cloudy in the most pleasant sort of way, foggy and cotton-filled, like the world’s just a little bit out of reach.

Carefully, Geralt pulls himself back -- or rather, he pulls Jaskier away, but only far enough that he can get a good look at Jaskier’s face, appraising. He probably looks wrecked, a sweaty, fucked-out mess. Over-sexed is a good look on himself, he knows -- but right now he feels completely dismantled, which means he might look a little worse for the wear.

“Did I hurt you?” Geralt asks. He thumbs over the nape of Jaskier’s neck, right at his hairline.

Jaskier almost wants to laugh, it’s such an absurd question. He still feels dizzy, but reality is coming back to him, albeit slowly, like through molasses.

“No,” Jaskier says, with feeling. Because the last thing he wants Geralt to do is doubt that Jaskier had anything other than an amazing time. “That was -- amazing. Splendid. Truly an exceptional experience. The best -- well, the best I’ve had in a long time. Thank you.”

Because also the last thing he needs is Geralt knowing that he’s the best Jaskier’s ever had.

Geralt hums. He doesn’t look overwhelmingly surprised, but there are hints of it around his eyes and in the corners of his lips. After all these years, Jaskier has definitely learned how to read Geralt like a book rather well.

“Would you like me to untie you now?” Geralt asks.

No, Jaskier thinks, because there’s a part of him that wants to stay like this for hours. But his shoulders hurt and his wrists are starting to sting from a chafing that he didn’t even really notice until just now. He so desperately wants to hold onto this, though, a sudden fear striking him that once he’s untied that this will be the only opportunity he’ll have to share something like this with Geralt. Not just the ropes, but all of the other intimacy of it. Even just the physical proximity. The tenderness with which Geralt touched him. The kindness and worry he’s displaying now.

“Likely for the best,” Jaskier says, even though the words hurt, just a bit.

Geralt nods and eases Jaskier back -- his cock sliding out of Jaskier at the movement. The suddenness of it leaves him gasping, shivering. Oversensitive and suddenly so empty. It’s awful, painful in an emotional way that leaves Jaskier breathing out an “Oh,” that sounds too pained, even to his own ears. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it’s terrible nonetheless. And a complete surprise, to boot.

Geralt makes a sound that rivals Jaskier’s in its earnestness, in its despair. Instantaneously, his arms loop back around Jaskier, pulling him close once more, nose burying in Jaskier’s hair when Jaskier presses his face into the warm hollow of Geralt’s throat. Geralt murmurs an apology, low enough that Jaskier can only feel the melody of it, the sincerity.

He feels better like that. Being held. Breathing in Geralt’s scent as Geralt’s fingers smooth over the space between his shoulder blades, fingertips tracing the knots of his spine.

It’s as Geralt holds Jaskier in the aftermath that Geralt works the knots on the ropes loose, one-handed and slow. Never letting Jaskier go. Exchanging the pressure of the ropes with the pressure of his embrace. An even trade.

Jaskier relaxes into it, softened and loose. Feeling complete and fully sated. The ache from earlier has melted away, leaving only ease in its wake.

Once the ropes are fully off him, and after they have both sat in companionable silence for too many minutes to count, Jaskier expects it to be done. But Geralt only shifts to pull at Jaskier’s doublet, and then his chemise, stripping him from the waist-up.

“Normally the clothes come off beforehand,” Jaskier says, attempting to make light of the situation at hand, and at his earlier fuss. He’s never quite felt that stripped bare before, never felt that needy.

“Hush,” Geralt says.

He shifts them slightly. One of his arms remains looped around Jaskier’s bare waist, but the other begins tracing over the red marks and bruises left in the rope’s wake. Rubbing away all of the lingering hurt, touching the after-images in a way that makes Jaskier feel so good. So cared for.

Geralt’s lips find his forehead, pressing against his sweaty hairline. The gentle gesture is so foreign and so unexpected that it leaves Jaskier gasping out a quiet “Oh.” Like before. But so much more pleased this time.

“Thank you,” Jaskier says, as Geralt’s fingers brush over the bruises on his wrists. He watches, mesmerized, as Geralt catalogues every mark.

Geralt doesn’t acknowledge that, doesn’t say “You’re welcome” like the cheeky bastard he sometimes is -- but he does shift, scooping Jaskier up in his arms as he rises to his feet. He spares a thought to grab Jaskier’s doublet and his trousers, but leaves the remnants of the rope behind.

“Are you going to carry me naked?” Jaskier asks. He feels so small in Geralt’s arms, so laid bare. He cannot help but flush, and cannot help but be knocked off-kilter. He scrambles to find purchase wherever he can. “The scandal!”

“Hush,” Geralt tells him. “Our camp isn’t that far, and your clothes are covered in mud.”

And Geralt’s right, of course.

Besides. Being naked in Geralt’s arms is rather delightful, actually.

Once they’re back at their camp, Geralt sets Jaskier down on his bedroll and covers him with one of their blankets, one that smells distinctly of Geralt. Jaskier wraps himself up in it, a little cold, and a little clingy. Now that they’re back in a more normal space, he unhappily expects things to return to normal.

He doesn’t expect Geralt to strip. And he certainly doesn’t expect Geralt to kneel down in front of him only a moment later, fully nude, with a pouch full of nuts and dried fruit in his hands, offered out to Jaskier for the taking. A skin of water, too.

“Oh,” Jaskier says, reaching for the water first. He takes a long sip, savoring how sweet it tastes to his parched tongue. “Thank you. That’s very nice of you. Unexpected, really. But nice.”

Jaskier’s partners have never been quite so attentive, before. Even in the court, with its feather pillows and silken bedclothes, his flings have always been fleeting, only moments in time. No lingering afterwards for sweet treats or enduring touches -- unless there was the promise of another round. And certainly nothing has ever felt quite so intimate.

“Hush, Jaskier.” Geralt says.

And then he’s moving, pulling Jaskier into his lap. He maneuvers Jaskier easily, turning him so that Jaskier’s back is up against the thick, solid trunk of Geralt’s chest. So that when Jaskier leans back, it’s like leaning in a warm chair, supported and held with Geralt’s arm loose around his waist.

“I don’t know how you can expect me to hush after that.”

“Do I need to tie you up again to quiet you?” Geralt teases. His words are soft in Jaskier’s ear, his breath close enough that it tickles.

Maybe,” Jaskier says, but the word is coated in desire, imbued with a level of longing that Jaskier has only ever dreamed about.

“Greedy thing,” Geralt says. A kiss finds Jaskier’s ear.

And then Geralt’s warm and calloused fingers are looping around Jaskier’s wrists, encircling them with a tight grip. Just holding him. Not too loose, and not too firm. All of Jaskier’s breath flees him at once, all of his sass and cheek melting away at Geralt’s simple touch.

Like this, Jaskier feels safe. Protected. There’s a comfortable blanket over him and the warm press of Geralt at his back. He feels content, through and through.

Like this, Jaskier cannot find a care in the world. Even if he would truly like to go back for that rope.

“Rest,” Geralt tells him, voice fond. 

And right now, contained and contented as he is, Jaskier finds that he doesn’t want to do anything other than obey.

After all, tomorrow’s another day.