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Press Until It Hurts (But Not Until It Bleeds)

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Jaskier is fine.

No, really, he’s fine.

All right, yes, so, the situation is not ideal. Of course it isn’t. Let’s just be realistic here. Unrequited love and pining and all that is wonderful fodder for the muse, but only when it lasts, oh, a few weeks. Perhaps a couple of months. After that it moves on from tragic and just becomes pitiful.

And when the person you’re pining for, hopelessly in love with, also happens to be your best friend and the person you’re regularly fucking?

That’s not even pitiful, that’s laughable.

Jaskier just knows that somewhere, someone’s laughing at him.

It’s probably Yennefer.

Ever since Geralt found him and apologized for yelling at him on the mountain (and it was a rather nice apology, by Geralt standards, which is to say he hemmed and hawed and finally shoved a new set of lute strings at Jaskier and told him the road was too quiet without him), things have been different between them. Jaskier could sense it. At first he’d thought it was lingering guilt on Geralt’s part. But then he’d catch Geralt looking at him—no, staring—and Jaskier’s well aware that he’s good to look at, thanks, only Geralt’s never done that before, at least not where Jaskier could see, and then he was sniffing (yes! sniffing!) Jaskier all the time, and then—

Well Jaskier’s still not entirely sure how it happened, but one moment they were lying next to each other on their bedrolls as the campfire had died down, talking quietly, and Jaskier had complained about not seeing anyone (ahem) for a couple of weeks, and Geralt had said something along the lines of, well, what about me, and the next moment, they were kissing.

And then they were doing a lot more than kissing.

Jaskier can see why Yennefer kept fucking him, as disastrous of an idea as it was. Geralt knows what he’s doing.

After that, it became a regular thing. They’ve shared a bed often enough before, but now they fuck in it first before going to sleep. They’ve shared clothes, as well, since they are of a height and if Geralt’s are a bit loose and drab on Jaskier and Jaskier’s are a bit tight on Geralt, they serve their purpose. But now Geralt will toss his undershirts at Jaskier all the time, and seems extremely pleased when Jaskier does so. Apparently he finds it arousing? Whatever. Jaskier’s not going to argue.

In fact, Jaskier’s not going to argue about anything, not when he’s been getting the best and most regular sex of his life. He’s always had a hunch that Geralt is… well, virile, and he is exceedingly pleased to be proven right. Whether he’s riding him, or pinned down by him, Jaskier is never left unsatisfied. Quite the opposite. No matter how hard he tries to maintain his dignity, he always ends up a shivering, sobbing wreck.

...and if he’s wildly in love with Geralt, and always has been, and Geralt has simply (finally) realized that there’s no point in paying to bed whores when Jaskier’s right here ready to swallow Geralt’s cock for free (and do a better job of it than most whores, in Jaskier’s humble and peer-review-backed opinion)... well. It doesn’t matter. Because Jaskier is fine.

He’s completely, one hundred percent, fine.

 


 

Geralt didn’t expect this to be quite so easy.

It was impulsive, what he’d said to Jaskier. But since they’d gotten back together—since Geralt had tracked the bard down and managed to somewhat apologize—he’d been struggling for a way to show Jaskier how he felt. It hadn’t been appropriate to include it in the apology. He hadn’t wanted Jaskier to see Geralt’s feelings as an excuse for his behavior or the reason for his apology. They were two separate things.

But since being away from the bard, Geralt had come to realize how Jaskier was the only person in his life not influenced by Destiny. The only person who stayed with Geralt simply because he wanted to. The only person who truly knew Geralt, in a way that nobody else did, or ever had before, or probably ever would after. All this time he’d been wishing for someone to stay with him, to know him, to never leave him… and there Jaskier had been the entire time.

And Geralt had driven him away.

So. Apology out of the way first. And then—and then to announce, somehow, how he felt. Which had been easier in his head than in practice. But Jaskier had been obviously fishing, in that way of his, the way that Geralt had used to ignore because sleeping with his best friend (however pretty and soft that best friend might be, however much Geralt wanted to hear what that singing voice did when it was breaking in pleasure or smell what that sweetgrass scent turned into when it was doused in arousal) was a bad idea all around, talking about how it had been ages since he’d tumbled someone, and bemoaning his lack of lovers, and so Geralt had just blurted out that perhaps… well, why take other lovers, when Geralt was right here?

“Well,” he’d said, the words feeling terribly fragile in his mouth, “what about me?”

What about him, indeed. He’s a poor substitute for other lovers. He’s well aware of this. Any number of nobles or indeed even royals could put Jaskier up as a lover and bard-in-residence and give him the fame and life of luxury he deserves.

But Geralt said, what about me, and Jaskier had responded with a resounding yes.

And it turns out, dating Jaskier, being in a relationship with Jaskier, is much easier than Geralt had expected. So little has changed. Yes, there is sex. Copious amounts of it. Jaskier is addicting, and eager, and so very sweet with his summer rain scent and his begging and his warm, pliant body. And there’s also buying Jaskier little gifts to please him and make him light up. And there’s waking up early and stroking Jaskier’s hair, getting to watch him as he sleeps, realizing all over again that the bard feels safe with Geralt.

But really, most of it is the same. They banter, as always. They shared a bed before so that’s nothing new. Geralt likes to make Jaskier wear his undershirts more often, now, because he likes knowing his scent is on Jaskier even while Geralt is away from him, just in case a succubus or Witcher or some other scent-reliant creature gets any funny ideas—Jaskier is spoken for. But they shared clothes before, so that’s all similar.

Geralt never realized how much they were together before they were, well, together. They were lovers in every way that mattered, except for the part where now Geralt can kiss Jaskier silent every night and no longer has to violently stuff down the urge to hold Jaskier while they sleep.

It’s… it’s nice, is the thing. It’s really, truly nice. It’s all that he’d wanted with Yennefer that she had never wanted, and never bothered to indulge him in (which is for the best, really, in hindsight). It’s all that he never let himself dream of and yet craved all the same anyway. Jaskier gives his affection with an openness that is startling, and Geralt knows he’s addicted, but for once he’s not scared of having it yanked away. Jaskier’s already proven that the only way to lose him is for Geralt to deliberately shove him away, and Geralt is never making that mistake again.

Yes, Geralt thinks, as he gets upstairs to their room and starts stripping to get into the bath. It’s easy. And while he didn’t expect it, he also can’t say he minds it. Not at all.

 


 

Jaskier’s playing downstairs in the tavern when Geralt comes back, looking like a creature vomited on him. He stomps directly upstairs, undoubtedly to take a bath. He doesn’t even acknowledge Jaskier as he enters and goes up, but then, why would he?

Someday, Jaskier’s going to get used to being in love with Geralt while Geralt doesn’t feel the same. Someday.

He finishes up his set, collects his coin, and chats some people up before joining Geralt upstairs. There are some people who he can tell would be interested, if he decided to take his general audience flirtation to the next level, but his heart just wouldn’t be in it. He’s not sure if Geralt cares if they’re exclusive or not, but he just can’t manage it. It would feel like cheating, even if it strictly isn’t.

Geralt’s in the bath when Jaskier gets in. He looks… fuck, he looks so fucking good like this. Sexy, of course, but Geralt’s always sexy. It’s not that. Okay, yes, Jaskier would be lying if he said all those miles of bare skin, the damp chest hair, those broad muscles, didn’t do anything for him. But it’s not that so much as it is Geralt being utterly relaxed, his eyes closed, his muscles not tense for once, his arms draped over the sides and his breathing deep and even.

These are the kind of moments that Jaskier craves. Nobody else gets to see the White Wolf like this. Geralt wouldn’t let them. But he trusts Jaskier.

He can’t ever ruin this by letting Geralt know how he feels about him.

Jaskier sets his lute down, and Geralt cracks an eye open, like somehow, someone might have impersonated Jaskier’s scent and his walk and stolen his lute, and so Geralt’s got to visually check, just to be sure.

Now that he’s all clean, Jaskier can see that Geralt’s stubble is turning into a full-on beard, and well. That’s just not going to do.

Not that Jaskier hasn’t enjoyed a bit of beard burn now and again, but he has his limits. And Geralt, if left to his own devices, won’t eat a vegetable never mind remember to shave. Jaskier starts unbuttoning his tunic.

“Geralt, precisely how long did you plan on letting that growth continue on your face?”

“Hmm.”

“That’s what I thought.” He sets his tunic aside and rolls up his sleeves. Where did he leave his razor…

“Are you doing what I think you’re doing,” Geralt says, his voice a monotone.

“You know, generally, when someone asks a question, they use something called inflection.”

“Hmm.”

Ah-ha! Razor acquired, Jaskier walks over. Geralt opens his eyes, looks up at the ceiling with an expression of resignation on his face, and says, “Get in the tub.”

Jaskier pauses, and is proud that his voice is only somewhat strangled when he says, “What?”

“If you’re going to shave me, get in the tub. Water’s nice.”

That’s—that’s rather intimate, is the thing, and Jaskier’s not sure that he can take much more intimacy without his heart absolutely shattering in two.

Geralt drops his gaze down to Jaskier, looking impatient. “Well?”

“Right.” He can—he can do this. He can get naked and into the tub with his equally-naked best friend and fuckbuddy and he can sit in Geralt’s lap and shave him and it will all be—fine, really, fine, did Jaskier mention that he’s fine?

His fingers shake a little as he undresses, but if Geralt notices, he doesn’t say anything to Jaskier about it. The water is wonderfully warm as Jaskier sinks into the tub, and a small sigh of happiness escapes him before he can stop himself. Geralt always keeps the water nice and hot thanks to periodic blasts of Igni, and Jaskier greatly appreciates it. He wants to just float in the warmth, close his eyes, and try to forget the terrible situation he’s found himself in.

And then Geralt seizes his wrist and tugs him forward, and Jaskier falls into his lap with a yelp and a slosh of water.

Geralt, the bastard, just chuckles.

Jaskier smacks him on the chest. “You can’t just do that to a man, you know, what if I had tipped the tub over?”

“I would love to see you try and manage that.”

Jaskier holds the razor up. “You’re talking to a man with a sharp weapon, you know.”

Geralt stares at Jaskier, his face a deadpan mask, and then slowly raises a single eyebrow.

All right, so, maybe the man has a point. Jaskier with a sharp razor is still nothing against Geralt, even a weaponless and relaxed Geralt. And besides, they both know Jaskier would never hurt Geralt, just as Geralt would never hurt Jaskier. He trusts in that, if nothing else.

Jaskier settles himself more firmly astride Geralt, and fishes around in the pack by the side of the tub for some of the oil to spread on Geralt’s face. “You could do this yourself, you know.”

“Hmm.”

“I’m only saying.” Jaskier finds the oil and begins dabbing it onto Geralt’s cheeks and chin. He can feel Geralt’s cock between his legs, pressing up against him, half-hard but certainly not there just yet. Jaskier does his best to ignore it. This will probably end in sex, let’s be honest here, but that’s not what this is about right at the moment.

Geralt is perfectly still and patient while Jaskier gets him ready, and that feels like a spear right to Jaskier’s heart. He obviously trusts Jaskier. Why can’t Jaskier be content with that? Why does he have to yearn for more, when Geralt has already given him so much? Why must he be so greedy?

Geralt’s brow furrows as Jaskier wets the blade. “You’re sad.”

Jaskier nearly drops the razor. “I—what?”

“I can smell it on you. Smells like—mint leaves. Crushed roses.”

“Ah.” Jaskier’s heart is in his throat, hammering away. “Tilt your head back, please,” he adds, his voice softer than he means it to be, hooking his fingers under Geralt’s chin and pressing.

Geralt goes, lets Jaskier expose his throat. Gods, even a Witcher would die if one slashed their throat open. Jaskier could kill him like this. And Geralt’s just… just letting him.

If Geralt can do all of this, why can’t he love Jaskier the way that Jaskier loves him?

No matter. It’s not up to Jaskier to decide where Geralt’s attentions best lie. It’s him who’s greedy. It’s him who wants more. Is the complete trust of a Witcher not enough for him?

“Jaskier,” Geralt rumbles.

“Careful. I don’t want to nick you.”

Geralt holds still as Jaskier carefully slides the blade along the skin. It’s a delicate process and yet one that requires no hesitation. He moves the blade again and again, in long stripes, peeling away the bits of dead skin and cutting the growing hairs, revealing the smoothness underneath. Geralt’s whole body feels heavy beneath Jaskier’s touch, his muscles pliant, soaking in the water, and he moves easily when Jaskier prods at him to go one way or another. It’s such an expression of trust, of submission, that Jaskier wishes it were a physical thing so that he could cradle it against his chest and never let it go.

Geralt’s hands slide down from the rim of the tub to wrap loosely around Jaskier’s waist, helping to hold him steady in the water. Jaskier’s eyes burn, and he’s glad that Geralt’s eyes are closed, his head tipped back, so that he can’t see this.

He finishes with Geralt’s neck and under his chin and rinses the blade in the water. “You can tilt your head up, now.”

Geralt does so, his eyes far too knowing for Jaskier’s liking. “Jas.” His hands move up, squeezing Jaskier’s waist lightly. “What’s wrong?”

“Ah, nothing.” Jaskier clears his throat. “Got to take care of the rest of you now.” He scrapes carefully at Geralt’s top lip, pressing his thumb down and stretching out the skin so that he has a flat surface to work with.

Geralt tilts his head at him. “Hmm.”

“It’s nothing, really.” He knows one of Geralt’s disbelieving hums when he hears it. “It’s rather—this is just rather—intimate, and while I know I walk myself into, ah, danger quite a lot, Geralt, and I’m sure I’d be dead ten times over by now if it wasn’t for your timely intervention, but I’m afraid that this is—” He’s just got to do it, he has to do it, before he gets any more hurt or Geralt gets hurt, which is somehow even worse. “—this is the sort of thing lovers do, is it not?”

Technically, they are lovers. But the word ‘lovers’ does not suggest merely the act of lovemaking, it suggests genuine romantic affection behind the act, and that’s what’s lacking.

He goes to dip the blade in the water again, and Geralt says, “Yes?” like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“You’re misusing inflections again.” He presses and scrapes the blade up and over the curve of Geralt’s chin directly beneath his mouth, and then just under his bottom lip. Geralt’s always pressing his lips into a firm, thin line, and so it’s easy to forget how full they actually are.

Jaskier knows he’s staring, but honestly, can anyone blame him?

Geralt blinks up at him. “Sometimes, Jaskier, you make less than no sense.”

“Speak for yourself.” His hands are shaking again. “It’s just messing with my head, that’s all.”

“What, the idea that—” Geralt makes a frustrated noise. “I know I’m not the best at this… business. But you seemed happy. What—did I do something?”

“No.” Geralt didn’t do anything wrong. “Here, I have to finish—”

Geralt takes his wrists and holds them. It makes his hands stop shaking as much. “Jaskier. What is going on. You stink of sadness.”

Jaskier swallows. It feels like he’s trying to force a lump of coal down his throat. “Ah. Well. It’ll pass.”

Geralt’s thumbs rub slowly back and forth against Jaskier’s inner wrists, where his pulse is beating, frantic and raw. “I know I—was terrible at this. With Yen. But I’m. You’re. I want to listen. To whatever it is.”

Jaskier stares at him because—something’s off about that. “You were terrible at what with Yennefer?” Because Geralt and Yennefer were… well, they were terrible at it but they did try…

“Relationships?” Geralt makes a face like he’s just tasted something bitter. “Courting, if you really want to call it that?”

Relationships. Courting. Lovers.

…oh for fuck’s sake.

“Geralt,” Jaskier says, “would you say that we are in a relationship? A romantic one?”

“Yes?” Geralt now looks confused. “What did you think we were doing this whole time?”

Oh gods above. “But—! You said—”

“You…” Geralt’s face scrunches up. “You were going on about how you didn’t have anyone to love, and I said…”

“I was talking about sex!”

“Love and sex are the same thing for you, Jaskier!”

That’s… he’s got him there, that’s true. Jaskier falls easily in love with people, and everyone he’s slept with, he’s fallen a bit in love with. Not as deeply or as long as he has with Geralt, but still. To an extent.

“You were—” Geralt makes a noise of annoyance in the back of his throat, almost but not quite a growl. “You were looking at me, and talking about how much you needed—what was I supposed to think? And I asked you, and we—have you been—this whole time!?”

Jaskier feels rather… stupid. “Ah… yes?”

Geralt blinks up at him. “Right. Because I let everyone I sleep with…” He gestures between them, at the razor, at Jaskier in his lap, naked. “…do this.”

Jaskier shifts a little. “Well when you put it like that, it sounds entirely stupid.”

Geralt sighs, and brings his hand up to Jaskier’s face. He doesn’t say anything, but his eyes are warm, and his face is soft and open. And Jaskier can’t help but wonder—has Geralt been looking at him like that the entire time? Has he really been so blind that he hasn’t seen it?

Geralt drops his hand away, and then takes Jaskier’s wrist and guides the razor back up to his face, humming.

Jaskier takes the hint, this time. He slides the razor carefully along Geralt’s chin, and his cheek, scraping away bit by bit the bristles. Geralt relaxes, and Jaskier—Jaskier feels like he might actually die, because he doesn’t have to hold back anymore, he can have this, he’s allowed, and he really wants to hurry up and finish shaving Geralt so that he can kiss the man a ridiculous amount.

But Geralt seems so… content, like now that they’ve figured out this problem, all is right with the world. And he’s not so far off.

Jaskier rinses the razor again and starts on Geralt’s other cheek, and an honest-to-gods purr rumbles up out of Geralt’s chest. Jaskier puts his hand on Geralt’s sternum, just to feel the vibrations of it, and the purr intensifies.

“I thought it was because we were… friends,” he says, lamely, as he finishes up and sets the razor aside. He doesn’t want to stop, doesn’t want to let go of this pliant Geralt beneath him, but he also can’t just keep scraping the blade against the man’s skin for no reason.

“Hmm.” Geralt’s eyes are still closed.

Well, since he’s here… Jaskier digs out the hair wash and lathers up his hands, threading them through Geralt’s hair. Geralt’s already washed his hair, but Geralt never does a thorough enough job and besides, now that he knows… he can take his time the way he’s always wanted, massaging Geralt’s scalp.

Geralt slides farther down into the bath, his arms wrapping around Jaskier again and drawing him closer. He’s still hard, Jaskier can feel it, and he’d be lying if he said that his own cock wasn’t interested in this whole pressed-up-against-each-other-naked thing. But that’s just a pleasant buzz in the back of his brain, a side note compared to Geralt pliant and trusting beneath him, letting himself be taken care of.

All the while, his heart is beating, you can have this, you can have this, you can have this.

 


 

Geralt always relaxes when he’s around Jaskier. Never more so when it’s like this.

He should’ve known, in hindsight, that it was too easy—becoming more with Jaskier. He should’ve realized that there would be a catch, and that the catch would be that somehow Jaskier thought it was just sex when—what has Geralt ever done to give the bard the impression that he did that casually? Unless he’s paying for sex, he tends to only have sex with people he has—people like Renfri, and Yennefer. If anything he jumps too quickly into giving his heart to someone, for crying out loud.

Jaskier is sitting on his lap, naked, in the tub, shaving him with a sharp object, and he didn’t think, at any point, that this might be something more than sex to Geralt!?

Honestly. Sometimes his bard, for all his college education and learning, is a complete idiot.

There’s no one else he’d let put a blade to his throat. No one else he’d let push him around, wash his hair, put bath salts into his tub so that Geralt smells nice.

Jaskier’s skin is so soft beneath Geralt’s hands, warm and pliant in Geralt’s lap, and his hands are steady and strong as he scrapes the blade along Geralt’s face, and as he washes Geralt’s hair.

Every other time, being vulnerable in front of someone has felt like he’s giving up a part of himself, like he’s forcing himself to rip away chunks of the pieces that keep him safe and opening himself up to pain. But with Jaskier, it’s still safe. He’s not opening himself up to anything except Jaskier’s fussing, and Jaskier’s fussing is only more safety. More… love.

Jaskier finishes with Geralt’s hair at last. “Dunk,” he orders.

Geralt sinks under the water, as ordered, and holds his breath as Jaskier washes the suds out of his hair. A tap to his head brings him back up, dripping wet, and Jaskier laughs softly.

He doesn’t smell like mint and crushed roses now. He smells like summer meadows and fresh bread, the way he smells when he’s happy.

His hands are firm and true as they push Geralt’s hair back out of his face and slide down to Geralt’s shoulders, kneading them briefly. “There,” he says, tipping Geralt’s chin up and tilting it side to side, inspecting his work. “Much better.”

Geralt turns his face and nudges Jaskier’s palm with his mouth. “Can I kiss you now? Or do you need to smear more stuff on me?”

“You are such a pain.” Jaskier huffs, like it’s an immense favor that he’s doing, letting Geralt kiss him. “All right, then, I suppose.”

Jaskier tastes like the hard sour lemon candies he’s always buying whenever they get to a town big enough to hold a sweets shop. Geralt kisses him languidly, feeling like softened clay after the shave and the hair washing. He briefly casts Igni behind Jaskier’s back to get the water properly warm again, and Jaskier moans in satisfaction at the influx of heat.

“What did you think I was doing?” Geralt asks, because he wants to know, has to know, how Jaskier somehow missed it this whole time. “When I did this?” He kisses Jaskier’s neck, where the scent of him is strongest, and pulls them tight together, nuzzling in.

“I didn’t want…” Jaskier smooths his fingers over Geralt’s newly-bare cheeks and chin, and Geralt purrs in spite of himself. “Hope seemed stupid. I didn’t want it all dashed to pieces.”

Geralt can understand that, in a way. He didn’t let himself hope for Jaskier, for a long time. When the bard could have anyone he wanted, why pick the cranky, asocial, mutated man with a century’s worth of blood on his hands?

And yet, that’s exactly who Jaskier has picked.

“Tell me you understand me now, then,” Geralt murmurs, because he needs this to be sure, he needs this to be certain from now on, because he’s not much one for words and so he’d like to not have to repeat himself, “when I say, what about me? Hmm?”

And he even got the inflection right this time, ha.

Jaskier tilts Geralt’s chin up, like he’s inspecting him for a spot that might have gotten missed by the razor, and then kisses him properly. Jaskier’s skin is always smooth, soft, like silk. Geralt wants to rub himself all against it, wants to make Jaskier’s body flush.

“What about you?” Jaskier teases, and a growl works its way out of Geralt’s throat before he can stop it.

Jaskier just laughs, though, and keeps his fingers on Geralt’s chin so that Geralt’s face is tilted up at just the right angle, and kisses him, over and over. If that’s how he wants it, Geralt’s not going to complain—especially when it allows him to work a hand between them and at last stroke them together.

Geralt chases Jaskier’s mouth as he puts it teasingly out of reach. “You see? No beard burn, much nicer.”

He grunts. Whatever will keep Jaskier happy. Personally, the idea of getting the bard a little pink and raw in places is a bit arousing. “Maybe—” Jaskier adds a twist to his wrist that has his spine melting in pleasure. “—maybe next time, I’ll return the favor.”

“You are rather skilled with a blade. Both kinds.” Jaskier swipes his thumb over the head to emphasize his point, and Geralt grunts, spilling over them both, the water washing it all away.

What, he’s been halfway there this entire time, and if he can make Jaskier come five times on a normal day then he’s allowed one rather fast turnaround, isn’t he?

Jaskier follows not long after anyway, so it doesn’t much matter, his mouth slick and sweet against Geralt’s. It would be nice, to reverse it, to gently slide the blade against Jaskier’s skin and take care of him that way. To know, once again, that the bard trusts him completely. To look out for Jaskier the way that Jaskier looks out for him.

Geralt tips their foreheads together, and for a moment, they simply breathe.

Then he takes the razor up again from where Jaskier placed it on the floor, and he places the blade back in Jaskier’s hand, wrapping the bard’s fingers around it, and he carefully, very slowly, moves it up until the blade is pressed against his throat. It’s not enough to cut. Just enough so that both he and Jaskier can feel the pressure of it.

Geralt makes sure he’s looking in Jaskier’s eyes. He’s not good at… love confessions, such as it were. He’s not good at confessing much of anything, honestly. Articulating what he feels is enough of a trial—actually saying it out loud even more so. But this? This he can do. He can say it like this.

“No one else,” he promises. Jaskier’s eyes are blue and wide, staring right into Geralt’s. “The moment they picked up the blade I’d be gone. Only you, Jas.”

They both hold the blade there, as Jaskier stares at him, and then the bard moves it away, and replaces it with his mouth, a whisper of a kiss that Geralt nonetheless feels seep into his bones, warmer than the water they’re soaking in.

“You’re the only one I’d take care of like this,” Jaskier tells him, a whisper against Geralt’s newly-bare skin, and Geralt was right the first time—it’s easy, it’s so very easy, to do this, to be this, with Jaskier.