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Of Wolves and Cats

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Geralt had gone off to discuss his payment with the town alderman, leaving Jaskier to his own devices. He had played for a while, wondering when Geralt would return until he finally decided to leave the cramped inn and wait outside.

He grabbed the meat stew offered to him and sat down on the steps of the inn. He was mostly paying attention to the road in the direction Geralt had left, and didn’t notice the cat who was oh-so-carefully stealing a chunk of chicken from his bowl. Jaskier only turned when he heard a 'splat' next to him. A grey cat (who would eventually turn white after a wash) was looking quizzically down at their uncooperative prey. Jaskier almost chuckled a the way it stared almost offended at the chicken meat on the floor.

Soon enough, it turned it's big green eyes up at their stair-mate and meowed. Demanding Jaskier's help. Giving in quickly, Jaskier held the chicken while the cat took it from his fingers gingerly. When Jaskier tried to return to his own food, and watching the road, the cat placed a gentle paw against his arm. "Hungry now aren’t we? Little...." he took note is was a female cat, "miss bossy." He gave her another piece of his food.

After a few more rounds of this game, Geralt came back, looking slightly less perturbed than he had when he'd left. The cat had placed herself firmly in Jaskier's lap and fallen asleep. Geralt sat next to Jaskier and asked, "Where'd you find her?"

"Ha! More like she found me. She walked right up, demanding a portion of my supper then promptly fell asleep on me. One would think she'd be more polite to the man who fed her," Jaskier responded falsely disgusted. The cat purred in his lap as he stroked the long fur.

"Hmmm."

"Quite so, Geralt, she needs a bath almost as much as you." He accentuated the last bit with a gentle nudge to his Geralt's ribs.

///

Later once both Geralt and the cat had been washed, Jaskier laid down on the straw mattress, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the warm blankets the inn had offered. The bed wasn't very large, meaning that Geralt and Jaskier had to slightly cuddle to fit comfortably.

"We cant keep her."

"I didn't plan on it, a cat is hard to keep as a companion on the road. Even I know that Geralt."

"Hmmm."

"Goodnight."

"Night."

Moments later the small cat plopped herself in between the two of them and fell asleep.

///

Jaskier placed the cat down onto the dirt road as he picked up his lute again. "Goodbye my dearest!" Jaskier dramatically bent down to pet the cat once more as Geralt mounted Roach.

"Stop calling her that."

"Ah, ignore him dearest! You are absolutely darling." Geralt looked up at the darkening sky.

"We should be on the road before the storm hits." Geralt left no room for argument as he set off, forcing Jaskier to run to catch up.

He didn't notice the cat following them.

///

Geralt soon started to wish that they had just stayed at the tiny inn, instead of deciding to brave the elements. It was cold, it was wet, and Geralt felt miserable. However, they couldn’t just suddenly stop in the middle of the road, no. They’d have to go off the path and find a suitable place away from the rain, a place Roach could stay dry and somewhere Geralt could protect.

The grey sky made it feel much later than it really was, and Jaskier, sopping wet, just wanted to lie down and get dry. It was then that he heard mewling, and he instantly turned around. There, only feet away, stood the white cat from earlier, completely soaked through and upset.

Looking like a demon from hell, the cat ran up and rubbed her head against Jaskier’s calf. When Geralt turned around to check on Jaskier and saw the white cat purring loudly, he knew he was fucked. “Geralt! Look she followed us!” Jaskier said, pointing out the obvious.

“Hmm.” Which in witcher speak meant, ‘Yeah, I noticed'. “We should find shelter soon,” Geralt declared, and turned Roach down the path again, hoping to stumble upon an abandoned cottage or cave.

///

Jaskier was carefully extracting their dinner from the waterproof packs, mostly checking to make sure his lute he had stored there at the beginning of the rain storm was still dry. “Oh! Thank the gods, there’s not a drop on it. Geralt, I told you it would be a good idea to leave room for my own goods.”

Geralt only gave a noncommittal grunt as he tried to start a small fire. He wasn’t going to hunt tonight, instead they’d rely on their dry supplies. The cat had been carried to the mine by Jaskier, who insisted they didn’t leave the poor thing to the elements. Geralt had taken pity on the freezing creature and had told Jaskier that as long as he made sure it didn’t get into their supplies, she could come along until they found a place to leave her.

“Aww, sweet dove… oh! That quite works, she could be a dove with that perfect white fur!” Jaskier crooned at her, scratching behind her ear as she purred.

Once the fire had gotten large enough, Geralt turned to Jaskier, “Bring her to me.” Jaskier did as he was told and Geralt produced a small, dry, rag to dry the newly christened Dove.

“She’s so skinny Geralt, do we have any extra Rations?”

Geralt thought for a moment, trying to think about what might be suitable for a cat to eat. “We have dried fish, that should work.” Geralt continued stroking the cloth against Dove's wet fur. Soon a small piece of pungent fish was being offered to Dove, and she only started purring louder, basking in the affection being given to her.

Geralt felt a pang of tenderness in his chest when he looked down at the sopping wet cat. When he looked up at Jaskier his heart only twinged more. “Don’t feed her all of it.”

“She’s barely had a piece Geralt! Besides this is absolutely nauseating, I think we should give it all to her.”

“Hmm.” Geralt did his best to stay stone-faced but a small smile crept up on him.

“Ah, I knew you had a soft spot for her.”

“No, only Roach.”

“Suuuureeeeee Geralt. It’s not like you’re smiling at a cat purring in your lap.”

“You should change into some warmer clothes Jaskier.”

“Ooooohhhh, you bore. Ruining all my fun!” Jaskier slapped Geralt’s arm gently and rose to change.

When Jaskier sat next to him once more, wearing a warm set of clothes Geralt had insisted on him bringing, Geralt passed the mostly dry cat off. She meowed slightly at the disturbance before settling into Jaskier’s arms.

“She’s absolutely darling Geralt. I’ve never met a cat so affectionate.”

“Have you met many?”

“Oh I had a few as a kid. Mostly just liked sleeping in my bed and demanding treats. This one is utterly adorable!” He lifted the cat up to his face “Yes, you’re adorable, absolutely perfect, your little toesy-wosies! Your little whiskers, the teefies!”

Geralt raised an eyebrow.

“Leave off Geralt, you talk to Roach, you can’t judge me.”

“That’s different.”

Jaskier ignored him and started cooing at the cat once more. “Don’t listen to him, he’s just jealous you’re absolutely darling.”

So maybe Geralt was a little jealous of all the compliments. But, that didn’t mean he wanted to be complemented. No, he was just jealous the cat was getting more attention than him. That’s it. Or that’s what he told himself at least.

He changed quickly and rolled out their bed mats. When the two finished their own dinner, Geralt found the cat had curled herself up onto his bed. “Geralt, look at how cute she is!” Geralt did. And then promptly moved her so he could go to bed.

Moments later she returned, and curled up behind his knees as he drifted off to sleep.