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can i offer you a little salt for that wound

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After Blaviken, Geralt decides a clean break is what’s best.

Stregobor won’t fuck around. If they’re lucky, he’ll never figure out they’re coming for him, and if they’re not lucky, then he’ll go for everyone and anyone that Geralt cares about. He’ll go for the people Geralt loves that can’t protect themselves. Maybe Stregobor won’t find anything, maybe he doesn’t even really know who Geralt is or what they are, even though he’s seen his face and his resources seem limitless. Or maybe he does and he’ll know to go straight for Jaskier and Yennefer.

Geralt won’t survive losing them, so he has to leave them.

Unfortunately, they both know him too well for him to get away with lying to them. Well. He lies to them about a lot of things, actually, but not about his feelings, although not out of a lack of trying.

So he tells Yennefer and Jaskier they only lie they’ll believe – the one they’ve always feared, the one that’ll hurt too much for them to look closer.

It’s not like they talked to each other before. It’s not like there’s any reason for them to do it after.

Geralt tells Vesemir to add him to the mission to take Stregobor down, even though it’s one of the deep cover ones he hates, even though it’s slated to last months and he stopped agreeing to take those five years ago. He’s pretty sure Vesemir only agrees because Lambert and Eskel are on it too and he’s hoping they’ll talk some sense into him.

His brothers try and convince him that Blaviken is just a bad job, that it’s not his fault and he doesn’t have to do this, doesn’t have to take responsibility like this, that it happens, and not to make any rash decisions, but Geralt knows better. Someone who’s capable of what happened in Blaviken won’t hesitate to destroy good people, people like Yennefer, people like Jaskier. If Geralt stays with them, he’ll put them in danger, if he lets Stregobor live after he’s seen his face, then he’s putting them in danger.

He can’t put them in danger. He needs Yennefer and Jaskier to be safe. So he keeps them safe in the only way he knows how, in the limited time he has before he has to be on a plane heading back to Blaviken.

He leaves them.

~

Two months after Geralt breaks up with him, Jaskier runs into Yennefer at Coachella. She’s in black satin booty shorts, floral fishnet tights, and a black crochet crop top with silver temporary tattoos over her arms and silver feathers into her hair. Her purple and silver eye makeup is admittedly fantastic. He can’t help but wonder if she chose the silver to match Geralt. Not that he’d be here. He hates crowds, he never came with Jaskier to any of these types of things. But then again, what the fuck does he know about Geralt anyway?

“Oh fuck no,” she says, which he thinks is pretty fucking unfair, all things considered. “How the hell did you get in here? What’s the point of paying several thousand dollars to get into the VIP tent if they’ll just let anyone in?”

That question literally makes no sense. “Your makeup looks nice,” he says, because his brain still isn’t fucking working, and she just scowls at him. Her scowl pisses him off, actually. She doesn’t have anything to scowl about. “How’s Geralt?” He didn’t mean to ask that. God, he’s such a fucking idiot, just kill him, why can’t he control his mouth?

She flinches before her face twists into a snarl. “Fuck, you’re such a bastard. I have no idea what he sees in you.”

“Nothing, clearly,” he sneers back, and wow, okay, it’s not like he expected Yennefer to be gracious in her victory, exactly, but there’s no reason for her to be cruel to him. “Okay, whatever, enjoy the show. Tell Geralt,” his throat seizes up, and fuck, why is he like this, why can’t he get over him. “Actually, if you’ve ever liked me even for a second, just don’t tell Geralt anything, don’t tell him you saw me. We never had this conversation. Bye.”

He tries to storm away with his head held high even though he can feel tears pricking the back of his eyes, but then someone’s yanking on his wrist and he looks down to the black and silver ombre manicure and wants to die. He looks up at Yennefer, prepared for another fight, but her eyebrows are pressed together, her anger having gentled into confusion. “Why do you think Geralt’s been talking to me?”

What – what the fuck? “Uh,” he says, “because he dumped me so he could commit himself to your crazy fucking decade long supernova to ice age and back romance? You won, Yen, you don’t have to be such a bitch about it.” He shouldn’t have even bothered trying to compete with that, he’d known what he was getting into when he started dating Geralt and it had been a recipe for heartbreak from day one. But Geralt had been so earnest and so open and said he could love them both if they’d let him and Jaskier had wanted to believe him so badly, had wanted Geralt to love him so badly –

He tries to yank his arm out of her grip, but she doesn’t budge. Where’s security? Surely part of their job is to keep him from being manhandled. “No,” she says, so ferociously intense that he actually thinks she might hit him or something. “No, Geralt broke up with me because he wanted to settle down, wanted something steady and good and nice, and none of that shit is me, it’s all you.”  

They stare at each other for a long, tense moment, and then both growl, “Motherfucker,” at the exact same time.

“I’m going to kill him,” Jaskier says faintly. He’s not a violent person and also Geralt could literally hold him down with one finger, so realistically he’s just going to cry about it, kind of like he had when Geralt had done it, and for the two straight weeks after. And like, this morning, but that’s neither here nor there.

“Fuck killing him,” Yennefer growls, “I’m going to destroy him.”

She’s so scary. She’s never given the impression of being the crying type. Jaskier wouldn’t be that surprised to learn that she processes her emotions through murder.

“Uh,” he clears his throat, “are you going to let me go?”

She looks down to where she’s still holding onto him, something calculating in her expression before it smooths away. “No. You’re going to tell me everything you know so I can figure out what the fuck is going on.”

Knowing what’s going on sounds nice, and will be a new experience for him, but. “Okay, but can we do it later? I have to go on in like, two hours, and I feel like this might end in tears – mine, to be clear – and I can’t go on stage all phlegmy. Then there’s an interview I have to do and like two parties my manager will kill me if I don’t show up to, and I don’t think you’ve ever met Shani, but let me tell you, she’s almost as scary as you are. Scarier, sometimes, because she will book me on obnoxious morning shows when I piss her off. She keeps on threatening me with The View and I think she’s joking, but I really don’t know.”

Yennefer blinks at him a few times. “You – what? Are you – I thought you were some starving artist or something?”

Now it’s his turn to stare. “Yennefer. I – what? No. I mean. I was, when Geralt and I first got together, I guess. Well not really, I had like a million of youtube followers still, I just didn’t know what to do with them, and I had a lot of student debt. But no. I’m, uh, not really much of a starving artist these days.” She frowns and he bursts out with, “For fuck’s sake, Yen, my name’s on the damn billboard.”

“No it’s not,” she says, confused.

He can’t believe she’s going to make him say it. He feels like such a heel. “It totally does. The Viscount. That’s me.”

You’re the Viscount?”

He thinks he should find her disbelief a little insulting, but he’s too surprised by it to bother. “Yes? You’re at a music festival and you don’t even know who’s playing?” He wants to ask how she can be here and no know who he is, but that sounds a little too pompous even for him and a little like something Valdo Marx would say. It’s not like he’s headlining, after all. But still.

“I knew the Viscount was playing, I didn’t know that it was you. I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention to music. Triss loves you, actually,” she adds.

“You don’t pay attention to music?” His voice is raising to a rather unflattering octave. “You’re at Coachella!”

The look she shoots him is pure derision. “You don’t really think people go to music festivals for the music, do you? You’re not that naïve.”

“I go to music festivals for the music,” he argues. The rest of it is fun too, obviously, but he really is there primarily for the music, otherwise he’d just spend his weekends at ragers. “I just can’t believe this. Didn’t Geralt talk about me at all?”

“No.” The bluntness of it should be what he expects, it’s not like he’s ever known her to pull her punches in the times they’d accidentally crossed paths or endured an evening together for Geralt’s sake these past five years, but it still hurts. “Why? Did he talk about me?”

He considers lying, because it hurts, but that’s not fair. It’s not her bluntness that’s hurting him after all. “All the time.”

Her face goes – not soft, exactly, but just a shade closer to vulnerable than he’s ever seen it. She presses her lips together then says, “I didn’t let him. He’d try, sometimes, and I’d tell him to shut up. Or leave the room, or whatever. I didn’t mind, in the beginning, but I did, later. So.” Oh. That’s, well, that’s better, at least. “Why did you?” she demands.

“Why did I what?” he asks, still in the middle of convincing himself that none of this actually matters and failing miserably.

“Why did you let him talk about me?” she asks.

“Uh,” he runs a hand through his hair then regrets it, his many rings snagging on the knots in his hair so he has to awkwardly yank it out part way through. “I don’t know. It made him happy. He liked talking about you. I want him to do things that make him happy.”  He considers not saying the next part, but well, she’s been honest with him. “I liked hearing about you through him, too. You, the way he talked about you, you sounded so – it made sense, why he kept going back, why he couldn’t let you go. He finds you so easy to love.”

“Stop that,” she snaps, and he wants to step away from her but she’s still holding his arm. “I’m not the one that’s easy to love. That’s you. You fucking slipped into his life, like you’d always been there. I had to carve my place out, but you just fit.”

He laughs, and even means it, a little bit. “I’m not easy, except maybe in the metaphorical sense. I just annoyed the shit out of him until he agreed to go out with me.” Yennefer opens her mouth, and he doesn’t know if it’s to agree with him or not, but he doesn’t want to find out. He meant it before, they don’t have the time to do this right now, he cannot cry before he goes on stage. He really doesn’t want to go on The View. “Look, seriously, I have to go. Do you, uh, do you want to come to the parties with me after? They’re like, fun exclusive parties that you can’t buy your way into, but they’re not formal or anything. I can bring whoever.”

He doesn’t like her. But she’s being nice to him, for Yennefer, and he can be nice to her too. If she’s not here for the music, then she’s here for the parties.

Her eyes are a little wide. She says, “I came here with my friends,” which isn’t a no.

“Bring them,” he says easily. “It’s kind of, you know, not formal as in I can bring people, but formal as in you can’t wear that, you’ll stand out, but not in a good way.” He looks around, through the throng of people constantly walking past them and catches sight of Essi. She’s standing by a security guard and staring at him, but he just crooks his finger at her.

She pats the security guard on the arm and then comes over to him, smiling a little too brightly to be real. “Hi Jas! Make a new friend?” It’s not like he’s ever known Essi to be subtle, but the pointed glance to where Yennefer is still holding onto him is a little much.

“Something like that,” he says. “Yennefer and her friends are coming with us after the interview. Can you make sure they’re party ready?” Essi has been his best friend since before he could talk and won’t let him hire her as his opening act, but will shamelessly cash in on being his plus one to every event he’s invited too. He doesn’t even feel a little bit bad about asking her for her help with this.

“Yennefer?” she repeats, something ugly twisting in her face. “Geralt’s Yennefer?”

Shit. “Essi, it’s not like that-”       

“No,” she snaps, “Jas, are you fucking with me? I know you’re nice, but there’s nice and there’s fucking, self flagellation, or whatever. No. Absolutely not. She can fuck off and he can too.”

If anything, Yennefer just looks amused. “You’re fun. Geralt broke up with me too. At the same time as he broke up with Jaskier, it sounds like. If that’s what you’re worried about.”

“He what?” she demands, then shakes her head and turns to him. “You know what, no, we don’t have time for this. Shani will literally murder you with her bare hands if you don’t start getting ready right now.”

“Essi,” he wheedles. He’s so not above pleading.

She huffs and rolls her eyes. “Yeah, yes, okay, I’ll help or whatever. Go.”

He glances between them nervously, but they’re both giving him the same expectant, slightly derisive look, and he knows better than to argue against that.

“Bye,” he sighs. “Have fun.”

They turn those looks on each other, at least.

~

Yennefer thinks she might be on the cusp of some sort of panic attack or mental breakdown if she were the type of person to have those.

Geralt didn’t leave her to complete his white picket fence dream with his underage twink. Who, okay, was only six years younger than them and had been twenty two when he and Geralt started dating, and actually, judging from the sheer shirt and snakeskin pants that she’s not convinced weren’t painted on, he’s not that much of a twink these days either.

Essi is pulling out these ridiculous, delicate dresses Sabrina is highly suspicious of even as Triss is a step away from vibrating she’s so excited, but Yennefer can’t really bring herself to get into it.

She can’t figure out if she’s happy or not.

Jaskier is apparently more than a catch than she’d given him credit for, although she knows all this had never mattered to Geralt. He’d probably hated it, actually, and she knows that money or power aren’t things that appealed to him. Ironic, considering who he’s been dating, but she supposes she hadn’t had much money or power when she’d first met Geralt as an angry teenager. She’d still been half way through her doctorate while working two jobs the first time she’d taken Geralt home and let him bury his face between her thighs.  

As devastated – displeased, she corrects to herself – as she’d been when Geralt had ended things between them, it had been a comfort to think of him with Jaskier, who loved him without any of the baggage and mess she always brought, who made him laugh and smile and didn’t want to tear him apart just to see if he could.

Yennefer has never met something or someone she didn’t want to take apart, has never seen anything bright and shining that she didn’t want to claim as her own. It had made sense, Geralt getting tired of her constantly running hot and cold towards him, him getting tired of all her shit and her lifestyle when instead he could have Jaskier. She hadn’t blamed him. She hadn’t even questioned it.

She should have questioned it.

~

Jaskier is a professional so he shoves whatever the hell he’s feeling to the side as he performs. He’s had a lot of practice these past two months, after all, so he ignores all the questions swirling in the back of his head, grabs his guitar, and his smile doesn’t even feel like a lie, because he loves this. It’s almost everything he’s ever wanted. He’s the fucking Viscount, he’s playing at Coachella, and he’s going to do what he does with every performance, which is try his hardest to make it the best one he’s ever had.

When he finally steps off the stage, drenched with sweat and buzzing under his skin and up his spine, Shani is waiting on the wings with a bottle of water in one hand and a margarita in the other.

Shit.

“Essi told you,” he says, using every ounce of self control he has to grab the water first.

He chugs it as Shani shakes her head. “Really Jaskier? Really? Look, I can’t say I’m not glad that she’s just as miserable as you are, but it’s not like you liked her before you though Geralt left you for her. What the hell are you doing?”

He finishes the water and hands it to a passing crew member with a huge smile. There are no trashcans around here, so he only feels a little bit like a jerk. He takes the margarita next, taking two large swallows. Not as strong as he’d like, but he does still have the interview to do, so. “I’m not glad,” he says. “I thought Geralt was happy with her, but if he’s not with her and he’s not with me then what the fuck is going on, Shani?”

He hadn’t wanted a manager at first. Hadn’t wanted to sign with a big label and all that came with it. He could afford his shitty apartment and date nights between gigs at bars and his online presence, even though he’d always refused partnerships that wouldn’t let him talk shit about a product he didn’t like, and he’d thought that’s all he’d needed.

It would have been, but then he’d met Shani, who spent months being his friend before he’d agreed to let her be his manager.

Even then, he’d only agreed because of Geralt, because he’d liked her and trusted her when he liked and trusted pretty much no one around Jaskier. The only person he’d warmed up to faster had been Essi, who’s known Jaskier since they were toddlers, so that was saying something.

She frowns, but only taps the side of the margarita, “Get through the interview, go to the parties, and we’ll talk about this later. Okay?”

“Okay,” he says, because what other option is there? “I’m going to need about ten of these later though.”

“That can be arranged,” she says warmly, squeezing his arm even though he’s pretty disgusting right now. He loves her.

He gets changed and lets the glam squad make him look presentable again for the interview, where he’s charming and funny and quickly changes the subject when his love life comes up, like he always has. Geralt had insisted not to be included in any of his social media posts, had wanted to stay out of the public eye, and Jaskier hadn’t minded, really. He’d known Geralt was a private person, and had more than suspected the real reason Geralt had always been nervous about appearing with him in public. When the random paparazzi shot caught them together, they just assumed he was a bodyguard, and it was fine.

It made it easier, when Geralt broke up with him. His fans had thought he was single the past five years. Now they’re right. No harm, no foul.

By the time finally makes it to the first party, he’s ready to climb behind the bar to get his own bottle of tequila. He could do that, but he won’t. This is Taylor’s party, and he likes her too much to make an ass of himself. He also promised to hit Katy’s after this though, and he kind of hates her, so maybe he will just show up long enough to prove he came and to steal some liquor and then leave.

Ariana’s is tomorrow night. He’s pretty sure he’s not going to be capable of walking out of that one. He never is. Good thing falling down drunk is a good look on him.

“Holy shit,” he says when he meets his new entourage by the entrance.  “Okay, you all look fantastic.”

Essi is in short tight gold dress that he’d helped her pick out last month and she beams and bounces over to kiss the air next to his cheek, unwilling to mess up either her lipstick or his highlighter. “Thanks, babe. This is Triss,” a woman in a matching velvet blue and silver crop and mini skirt smiles at him and waves excitedly, “and Sabrina,” a blonde in a white sheer dress over a sparkly purple bodysuit gives him a far less enthusiastic greeting.

“Nice to meet you,” he says, but he’s really not looking at either of them.

He’s looking at Yennefer.

She’s in a long, tight dress made of intricate black lace that covers all of her and none of her, and all she has on underneath are flesh colored bra and panties, so it really looks like she’s wearing nothing, with her lips a deep plum that he itches to get on his own mouth. She’s really hot when she’s not looking at him like he’s something she scraped off the bottom of her shoe.

“Oh, fuck no,” Shani mutters, quietly enough that he’s pretty sure he’s only one who hears her. He hopes he is, at least.

Yennefer’s head is tilted to the side, and he’s suddenly conscious of his own clothing choices, sparkly black skinny jeans and a purple silks shirt that’s mostly unbuttoned. It almost matches her lips. “You clean up nice,” she says, and he’s pretty sure she means for it to come out grudging, but instead it’s predatory.

“I do,” he agrees, and when she laughs he catches a flash of her teeth.

~

They don’t make it to Katy’s party.

~

Yennefer wants and so she takes, it’s what she’s good at.

They go back to his room, because it’s nice and fancy and paid for, and she’s never been a fan of kissing, really, but he is, seemingly can’t get enough of her lips. He isn’t even gross about it like lots of men are, mostly keep his slobber to himself and doesn’t jam his tongue down her throat, he’s just – kissing her, really nicely, in a way that no one’s ever kissed her. That she’s never let anyone kiss her.

Geralt used to try and she’d just push his head down, would tell him if he was so eager to use his mouth then she had a better place for him to put it. He’d laugh against her thighs and lick into her while she scraped her nails through his hair and she thought that maybe it was love.

She doesn’t know why she’s letting Jaskier, except that he’s so warm and soft and eager about it, except that she doesn’t want to push him away, because the last time she pushed someone away, they’d left.

“What are we doing?” he asks, eyes blown wide as she throws her legs over his waist, pulling up her expensive, beautiful dress so she can ride him. Sometimes she has to push at guys to get them where she wants them, has to pull away and push and snarl until they figure out that she’s not going to let them fuck her on her back and definitely not from behind like she’s a fucking dog.

Geralt is the only one allowed to fuck her when she’s on her back, the only man she’ll let hold her wrists and hold her down, because he’s the only she trusted to never really hold her down, hold her back.

Jaskier goes easily, still so fucking soft in all the ways he’s not hard, not in the strength of the muscles flexing under his skin or his cock pressed up against the warmth of her cunt, but soft in all the other ways.

No wonder Geralt loves him so much.

“If you have to ask, we’re probably not doing it right,” she says. “Have you fucked anyone else, since?”

His breath hitches and he shakes his head. “There’s condoms in the bedside drawer, if you want.”

She considers it, about grabbing one from her purse, but she doesn’t bother. It’s not like she has to worry about getting pregnant and she hadn’t let Geralt use condoms when he fucked her, so it seems pointless to have Jaskier do it. Usually she requires condoms, but – well, she doesn’t want that now, even though she usually does. Now she doesn’t. She wants him like she has Geralt, his bare skin inside her with nothing in the way. She lifts her hips and reaches underneath her to guide him where she wants him, just popping the head inside before dropping herself on his cock, the burn of it worth the way he groans and throws his head back, all the veins on his neck throbbing as he raises his hands to her hips and doesn’t grab them, skimming the air over her skin like he wants to touch her, but not doing it.

Yennefer grabs his wrists and brings them to her chest. She’s still wearing the bra and the dress, but he doesn’t complain, just thumbs her nipples through the two layers of fabric and looks up at her with his brilliant blue eyes.

She comes twice before he does and then again when he eats her out, her legs thrown over his shoulders while he kneels at the edges of the bed.

Jaskier’s wiping his mouth on the inside of her thigh around the time she remembers her own name. She repeats his question from earlier, “What are we doing?”

He laughs, but it doesn’t sound mean. She knows what mean laughter sounds like. He crawls up onto the bed, collapsing next to her. He reaches out a hand and cups her cheek, rubbing a calloused thumb against her bottom lip. Her lipstick from earlier is all over his mouth and chin in the places where eating her out hadn’t wiped it away. She’s really made a mess of him.

She sucks his thumb into her mouth, because it’s there and she can, and he smiles her. “I don’t know.”

This doesn’t just feel like a fuck. He’s not looking at her like he’s just someone he slept with because she’s was there and beautiful. If that’s all he was looking for, he could have gone home with pretty much anyone else, someone less weighted. Triss would have been delighted, even, and it’s not like Sabrina is picky.

But he hadn’t done that. He’d gone with her and now he has her lipstick on his face and he’s smiling at her, soft, and she wants to claw her skin off, wants to tear herself open so he can see what’s inside, so he’ll stop looking at her like that.

“I’m not easy to love,” she says, and then hates herself for saying it, considers smothering Jaskier with the pillow before he can mock her for saying that just because she fucked him.

But he doesn’t mock her, instead he murmurs, “Me either,” and tilts close enough to kiss her again, languid and slow, and normally she doesn’t like tasting herself, but it’s mixed with the taste of him since he’d came inside her first and it fades quickly enough, anyway, so it’s not too bad, and then it’s just being kissed nicely again, nicely and thoroughly, and there’s no way he can get it up again that quickly, so it’s not even so he can fuck her again.

He’s such a freak.

She kisses him back.

~

“We shouldn’t do this again,” Yennefer says in the morning.

Jaskier is used to this. It’s been a few years since he’s had to deal with an awkward morning after, but he had a wild youth and ignoring the twinge in his chest is just like riding a bike. “Yeah, of course, absolutely.”

She nods, her shoulders dropping in relief.

They fuck in the shower.

“Not doing this again?” he pants, head tipped back as the disgusting shower water gets into his mouth but he really can’t bring himself to move.

She’s hot always, obviously, but she’s a special sort of searing like this, wet and slippery and streaks of half rubbed off silver body paint across her shoulders and her mascara all over her face. “Fuck it,” she says, stepping under the spray so it stops hitting him in the mouth. “Whatever. Do that thing with your knuckles again.”

They don’t manage to have an actual conversation until Coachella is officially over and they’re back in the city, back to what constitutes their normal lives, what with Jaskier being a popstar and Yennefer the head of research and development of some sort of medical company that does things he doesn’t understand.

Essi and Shani have a lot of opinions on it that they don’t keep to themselves. They at least wait until they’re having brunch to share them, and it’s hard to be terribly bothered about anything with bottomless mimosas.

“I am not scraping your drunk ass off the sidewalk when she tears your heart out and eats it,” Essi threatens. It doesn’t work, because he knows that she totally will.

“Have you considered for one moment not making the worst possible decision at any given moment?” Shani wonders, rubbing at her temples.

Jaskier finishes off another mimosa as Essi snorts and says, “Oh, you met him when he was all settled down and boring. If fucking his ex’s other ex who he’s hated for half a decade is the worst decision he makes in all this, we should count ourselves lucky.”

He takes umbrage with the boring part of that, but, well. A lot of his misspent youth was spent sleeping with people boyfriends, and girlfriends, and husband, and wives, and he’d only had to shimmy out of windows for about half of those. Geralt having a girlfriend and still wanting to be with him hadn’t exactly been his first foray in non-traditional relationships.

Well, it kinda had, because all those couples had just wanted to fuck him, but Geralt had wanted to date him, and that had been. New. Novel, even, perhaps.

God, he’s not going to start crying at Essi and Shani in the middle of brunch. He’s done it a few times already and it would really not inspire confidence that he knew what he was doing with Yennefer.

He doesn’t know what he’s doing with Yennefer, but that’s not something he’s just going to come out and tell them, after all.

“Everything will be fine,” he says with more confidence than he feels, then flags down at waiter for a mimosa refill before they get a chance to articulate the skepticism all over their faces.

Later, when he’s panting on Yennefer’s floor with his pants around his knees and he can feel his come dripping out of her from where she’s sitting on his thighs, he asks, “Is it weird to rebound with your ex’s other ex?”

“Are you worried about being weird?” she asks, and he can’t decide if her tone is leaning more towards mocking or unimpressed, and then what he decides is that he doesn’t care.

“Not really,” he shrugs, pushing himself onto his elbows, eagerly tilting his head and pursing his lips in a ridiculous and obvious plea for a kiss.

Someone could cut themselves on her smile.

He hopes that someone is him.

After they’ve cleaned up and ordered thai, they settle on her expensive white leather couch with styrofoam containers carefully balanced on their knees as they sit sideways with their backs braced against the arms of the couch and their feet pressed together. “Did you get in a fight?” Yennefer asks in between bites of yellow curry.

He shakes his head, stomach curdling, but forcing himself to continue eating anyway. “No, not really. We didn’t get into a fight, or even a disagreement, or anything. He was acting weird, I tried to get him to talk to me about it, he got all tense and upset, so I let it go. It happens after, um, you know, it just happens, sometimes, and I try not to push and usually he’s fine in a few days. So there’s that, but it’s not, like, unusual, you know? That’s always happened. Uh. Sometimes.” There is so much he’s not saying, and either she knows exactly what it is and there’s no reason for him to say it, or she doesn’t and he can’t explain and she’s going to skin him alive. “What about you?”

“Same,” she answers with a shrug, and then there’s an awkward silence as she violently stabs at her chicken but doesn’t make an effort to eat any of it. She huffs, her hands stilling, and asks, “Do you know what Geralt does for work?”

“Do you?” he asks cautiously.

“Not a fucking accountant, that’s for sure,” she mutters then bites her bottom lip, looking at him from under her eyelashes rather than head on.

Relief floods him and he’s nearly giddy with it. “I know, oh my god. Like that’s really the best he could come up with? Yes dear, just another business trip where the client took you hunting after and accidentally shot you, again, because that’s a thing that happens. Honestly, what accountant has that many scars?”

“So many scars,” she agrees. “And the cuts, and the bruises, and the silences, which were the worst part.”

They really, really were. “Can’t ask him to talk about it when you’re not supposed to know anything about it.”

“Yeah,” she says, wrapping her hair around her finger. “Did it bother you? The lying?”

The denial comes to his lips automatically, but he hesitates, then shrugs. “Not the lying, exactly. He was just so terrible at it that it was hard to even feel like he was being dishonest, even though of course he was. But I knew he was lying, so it didn’t feel that way. I minded the not knowing, the guessing, having to kiss him goodbye for every business trip and knowing that I didn’t really know where he was going or what I was sending him off to do or if I’d see him again, if I’d just get a notification that there’d been a hunting accident and I’d have to live with that.”

Yennefer nods, putting her food on the coffee table so she can pull her knees to her chest. “I hated it. That’s part of the reason why – it just didn’t seem fair, that he wanted all of me, when he wasn’t offering the same. I couldn’t live with it. With the not knowing, with the lies. It just made me angry.”

“Did you ever confront him about it?” he asks quietly. “I almost did. I’d question things, sometimes, just little things, but he’d just get so scared and miserable that I could never push it further.”

She snorts and shakes her head. “No. I’d just get mad and kick him out.” Her mouth tugs down at the corners, more a grimace than a frown. “He probably knew that I wasn’t buying it. He’s not dumb. But I wanted him to tell me without have to ask and pry. When I was younger, I decided that if I couldn’t have all of him, then I didn’t want any of him. It didn’t last, obviously.”

“Obviously,” he echoes. “Have you tried to contact him since?”

“No, of course not,” she says dismissively. His silence must be very telling because she blinks. “You have?”

He shrugs. “I love him. I didn’t want to just lose him like that. If he didn’t want me anymore, that’s one thing, but I thought maybe I could still be his friend, or just, I don’t know. I just couldn’t let him walk away without a fight. But his number is disconnected.” He’d almost called Yennefer a half dozen times, but they’d never really gotten along, and he’d though Geralt was happy with her. He figured that even if he’d asked her to pass a message along to Geralt, that she wouldn’t, and he’d just have humiliated himself for nothing.

She leans forward, taking his own container of take out from his hands and putting it next to hers. She crawls forward, curling onto his lap and leaning against his chest with her head tucked under his chin. He curls an arm around her waist because he thinks she’ll let him, and she feels small like this, in his arms. He hair smells like lilac.

He has to lick his lips before he can continue talking, trying his best to keep his voice from shaking and only partially succeeding. “Do you think he’s okay? Do you think something happened to him? I don’t understand why he’d leave both of us. He loves us.”

“I think,” Yennefer says, tangling her fingers into his chest hair, “that Geralt is a coward, deep down. I think to do what he did to us, he must have been terrified, but just because he was scared doesn’t mean he was justified. I think I want to kill him for trying so hard to hold my heart and then breaking it.”

“Yeah,” he breathes.

She licks the tears from his cheeks and he kisses her until he doesn’t feel as empty as he had before.

~

“Yen, honey,” Triss says, wringing her hands together, “I don’t want this to come out wrong.”

“Can’t come out wrong if you don’t say it,” Yennefer points out, but isn’t holding out much hope. She’s working on a report for Tissaia who won’t get mad at her if it’s late, but will look disappointed, and Yen would rather drown herself in acid than deal with that. Not that she’ll ever tell Tissaia that, obviously.

She thinks she knows, though. It fucking sucks.

Sabrina snorts from where she’s buried under several thousand pages of data points. “We thought you’d just get it out of your system and move on, but it’s been weeks. Fucking the Viscount is one thing, he’s cute, but dating him is weird and creepy.”

“I’m not dating him,” she says automatically.

Triss’s eyes go very round and she bites her bottom lip.

Fuck.

“I can do whatever I want and that includes Jaskier,” she says. “Stop wasting time, the sooner this report is done, the sooner we can go home.”

When they’re done, she drops the completed report off on Tissaia’s desk and doesn’t go home. Instead she goes to Jaskier’s, letting herself in because she has a key and knows the passcode, and shit, this really has gotten very out of hand.

He’s not home, which isn’t that much of a surprise since he’s in the middle of recording a new album and some weird dubstep artist that Jaskier went to school with keeps hogging the studio and forcing Jaskier to record at really inconvenient times. She doesn’t know anything about Valdo Marx except that Jaskier hates him and Sabrina thinks his music is catchy.

Yennefer strips, sliding into his bed completely naked and with her makeup still on. She doesn’t want to talk about it, exactly, but she hates the idea of not talking about it more. When hours pass and he still doesn’t come home, she gives in and turns off her phone, letting her eyes slip shut. She’s exhausted, but she’s sure he’ll wake her up when he gets home and then they can have sex and talk about this.

That’s not what happens.

She wakes up the next morning with her face pressed into the nape of Jaskier’s neck, her arm around his chest, and her leg thrown over his hip, her body molded to his back.

Unbelievable.

She bites his shoulder and he twitches, waking up with a groan and trying to shift away without actually putting any distance between them, which obviously doesn’t work very well. “Mm?” he mutters. “M’tired, Yen.”

“You didn’t wake me up,” she accuses.

He warily opens his eyes, looking back just enough so he can see her face. “Was I supposed to?”

“I came over unannounced and was naked in your bed and you didn’t wake me up?” she demands.

He blinks at her, opens his mouth, closes it. “I – you were sleeping? You don’t sleep enough. Besides, you have a key, you can come over whenever you want.”

She keeps staring at him but he just continues to look confused. She can’t tell if she wants to strangle him or not. “Are we dating?”

“…Yes? I’m not sure what else you’d call this.” His face goes blank, something she’s never seen before, and it causes a spike of anxiety to go through her. “Are you breaking up with me?”

“No.” She should, probably, she’d kind of figured that’s how this conversation would end, but she can’t. She could, she means, but she doesn’t want to. His face slackens in relief and she pulls back just enough to pull him onto his back, so she can sprawl across his chest. He trails his hand down her back, pressing his calloused fingers into the knobs of her spine like he’s playing a piano. “Do you think it’s messed up, you and me together, us dating, when we’re still in love with the same man?” It had been less weird to fuck. Sabrina and Triss have a point, not that she’ll ever tell them that.

Jaskier’s quiet for a long time, fingers still tapping against her back. She tries to guess the song he’s pressing into her skin, but she doesn’t know enough about music to figure it out. “I think,” he says finally, “that it doesn’t matter if it’s messed up, because we’re each other’s only hope. Who else will understand us? Who else will know what it’s like to be loved and left by Geralt Rivia?”

“We could get over him,” she suggests.

He laughs. “Sure, okay. You first.”

Yeah, fair enough. “And if he comes back?”

He might. If he didn’t just randomly decide that he’s not in love with them anymore after ten and five years respectively, if whatever mission or trip he’s on doesn’t kill him, if he’s not too much of a coward to come to them after everything.

Jaskie tries to smile and doesn’t do a very good job of it. “Then we’ll have him and we’ll have each other and it’ll be even better than it was before.”

He’s such a fucking optimist.

Yennefer kisses his chest to hide her smile, shifting more on top of him so she can shove her thigh between his legs, pressing into him. Her smile sharpens when he hardens against her, when she pins his wrist next to his head and bites his lips as he bucks against her. She thinks grinding into her thigh might not to be enough friction, might not be the right kind, but his breathing gets shallower as his pupils blow wide. She bites his jugular, just barely hard enough to draw blood, and he comes against her hip with a strangled groan.

She decides to be nice, lets him catch his breath as she kisses his jaw, but then she hauls herself up, grabs the headboard, and straddles his face, close enough that he just barely has to lift his head to lick into her.

She comes with his thumb against her clit and his tongue inside of her and when her voice breaks and she lets out this embarrassing squeak in the middle of her moan she can feel him laughing into her cunt.

Yennefer doesn’t care if it’s weird and messed up, doesn’t care that he’s loud and annoying and smiles too much and is too nice and is an optimist, of all things.  

She’s wants him and so she’ll have him.

~

Two months since the first time they slept together, Yennefer is wearing his shirt and nothing else as she flips pancakes at the stove and Jaskier sips his coffee and doesn’t get in her way. He can order them food, but making it is a little beyond his skills. The best he can offer her is frozen waffles and strawberries that are only a little bruised.

Geralt had done all the cooking while they’d been together.

He’d ordered a lot of delivery those first couple of months.  

“You know, your place is kind of shithole,” she says, glancing around his apartment. “Don’t you make like, a fuckton of money?”

“Yeah,” he says, because he does. “It’s not a shithole. It’s nice. It even has a washer and dryer.”

She snorts, flipping the pancake onto a plate before pouring more batter. Each one of them is a perfect, fluffy circle, like on tv or in a restaurant. He hadn’t known real people could make pancakes that perfect. Even Geralt’s tended to come out more like ovals. “Whatever.  It’s not rich and famous popstar nice.”

Well. That’s true.

“It’s what Geralt could afford,” he admits. They don’t tiptoe around him. They haven’t from the start. Maybe they should, but it seems pointless. He’s their center, the thing connecting them even though he dumped them both and then fell of the face of the fucking planet, apparently. “He insisted on paying half the rent, and this is ...what he could manage. I told him I didn’t have a problem with paying for all of it, or that if he was worried about it we could stay in the same shitty apartment we were in, which is the one I’d had on my own before I figured out how to make money, mind, so that place really was a dump. Cheap as hell though. But it didn’t have a gate or any security or anything, so Geralt wanted us to move. I really didn’t care where we lived, honestly. Anyplace would feel like home as long as he,” he stops, unable to finish, his throat closing up and his eyes burning. He’s getting better at this, truly.

Yennefer turns off the stove and walks over to him, dropping herself into his lap with no attempt to soften herself, so the motion causes his breath to come out in a soft huff and his arms moves just enough that his coffee sloshes out of the mug onto the floor. He curls his free arm around her waist and she locks her wrists around his neck and drags her soft lips against the edges of his stubble. “Finish what you were going to say.”

He swallows, then rasps, “Anyplace would feel like home as long he was there.”

She hums and he feels it against the underside of his jaw. “No place has ever felt like home to me. Not the house I grew up in, not the shit apartment I stayed in during school, not the fucking penthouse I bought so everyone would know that my dick is bigger than theirs. None of it.”

God, she’s so fucking terrifying, and then she says things that just break his heart in this cool, detached tone of voice like none of it matters.

“I could move,” he says, “I could afford it. But I’m worried it wouldn’t feel like home, if it wasn’t someplace that Geralt had touched.”

“I’m someplace that Geralt has touched,” she says, like she’s teasing, like it’s a joke, but he not laughing when he finally captures her mouth with his.

It’s too soon, it’s far too soon, they’re both still bleeding all over everything, but it being too soon doesn’t stop it from being true. “Yen,” he mutters against her lips, “you were wrong, before. You are easy to love.”

He keeps his arms loose, in case she wants to run, in case it’s too much, in case it’s nothing that she wants.

She kisses him like she’s trying to devour him and he doesn’t notice dropping his coffee onto the table, doesn’t hear the steady drip as it spills onto the floor.

Instead he grips Yennefer’s hips and lets himself be devoured.

~

Yennefer’s spread out on Jaskier’s hotel bed and his eyes are blown wide and thrumming with energy. He’s just finished the last show of his west coast tour, and she’s far too busy to follow him around like some homeless groupie, but she does take first class flights out to fuck him after his shows, and now it’s done, the tour is over and he’ll be home and in one place until the next one. She doesn’t say she’s relieved that it’s over, that she’s happy to be able to keep him for now, but she doesn’t have to, because he knows. Because he knows her and loves her and gives every single bit of himself to her, doesn’t hold back, doesn’t take it back even when she has a bad day and is a huge bitch and gives him every reason to, and he never, ever lies to her.

The night before he left for his tour, she let him fuck her while she was on her back with her legs spread, the only man besides Geralt she’s ever let fuck her that way, but it’s not enough. He’s fucked her the same way a dozen times since, and it’s good, it’s great, but it’s not enough.

“Hey,” she says, breaking the kiss and gently pushing him away. He goes easily, head tilted to the side, smiling at her like he always smiles at her, soft and open, and it makes her heart clench every time. She turns, pushing herself up on her hands and knees. “Like this.”

She’d thought about this, but she can’t believe she’s actually doing it.

He’s still behind her, and he can’t see his face but she can imagine it. She hates not being able to see his face, that’s part of the reason she hates this position, the fact that her partner could be doing anything behind her and she wouldn’t know. But she trusts Jaskier, she doesn’t have anything to worry about it.

He touches her hip, and he’s allowed to do that now, but for the first time she has to push down the urge to flinch. He rubs a soothing circle into the jut of her pelvic bone and that helps. “Why?”

She doesn’t want Jaskier to ask questions, she just wants him to fuck her, wants to get this over with, but she should have known that he wouldn’t do that, wouldn’t make this easy for her. “I’ve never let anyone fuck me like this. Not even Geralt.” It hadn’t been that she’d trusted him less, it had been that he hadn’t trusted her and so she wasn’t going to trust him on principle, it was that she hates being on her hands and knees waiting to get fucked like an animal and she hadn’t even let Geralt kiss her nicely so of course she hadn’t let him fuck her like this.

It’s not enough for Jaskier, of course. “Why me? Why now?”

Yennefer wants to see his face, she hates that she can’t see his face, but she won’t turn around to look at him. If she does, that ruins the point of all of this. “I want you to have something that he doesn’t. I want something that’s ours and not his.”

He’s quiet again and it’s only the soothing circles he’s rubbing into her hipbone that keeps her from snapping at him. “Okay,” he says, and relief and anxiety course through her in equal amounts, but he’s fine, he’s good, and it won’t be too terrible, because it’s him, because it’s Jaskier.

She can hear him shifting behind her, and she’s ready for his cock, but she’s not ready for his mouth on her. She lets out a cry that’s more surprise than anything else as he presses his lips against her cunt. The angle must be awful for him, but his hands are gentle as he spreads her thighs wider so he can get his tongue deeper inside her. “Jaskier,” she chokes out, “I want you to fuck me.”

“I will,” he promises, nudging his knuckle against her clit. “You’re not wet enough.”

“We have lube,” she points out. She hadn’t expected to be wet for this, to like it, she just wanted to do it.

Yennefer can feel his smile. “No.”

She means to argue, but then he does something with his tongue and his hand at the same time that steals the breath from her lungs, and he doesn’t pull back until she comes and she’s soaking and her arms are trembling from the effort of keeping herself upright.

He gets on his knees behind her, rubs his hard cock over her slippery cunt and asks, “Okay?”

She almost smiles, because she still doesn’t like it, but it’s already better, he’s made it better before even getting inside her. “I told you to fuck me, Jas.”

Jaskier snorts but pushes into her slowly, even though she’s so wet now that it’s easy. He grips her hip with one hand but slides the other up from her hip to the back of her neck as he thrusts into her, his fingers tapping up and down her spine.

Yennefer doesn’t know whether to be insulted or impressed that he can tap out a song against her back as he fucks her, but either way she’s laughing. She can’t see him but it doesn’t matter, because those quick, light touches against her back couldn’t be anyone else, and she can’t feel like an animal like this, with his slow thrusts and his light fingers pressing a song into her skin. She still can’t recognize the song.

Her arms give out, so she’s on her elbows with her hips in the air, which seems worse to her somehow and she means to push herself back up, but the change of angle makes her toes curl and she moans without meaning to. Jaskier lets out a breathy laugh and shifts so he can lean over her, so he can continue tapping onto her spine, and that just pushes him even deeper, makes it even better as he fucks her.

She’s not expecting to come, didn’t think it was possible for her to come while being fucked like this, so it takes her by surprise, rolling through her body and leaving her shaking. Jaskier’s fingers starts losing their rhythm, and he’s pushing into her once, twice, and then he’s coming, moaning a garbled version of her name as he slams his hips into hers.

Yennefer’s not sure which of them collapses first, but they’re both lying on the bed and panting. Jaskier is on top of her for a moment, too heavy and sticky, but then he’s rolling off of her, just enough so that he’s not crushing her but still close enough that she can feel the warmth of his body. “Okay?”

She’s facedown in the pillows and turns just enough to see him, to see the worry line between his eyebrows and the way he’s anxiously running his teeth over his lip. She reaches out a hand and cups his cheek, feeling a thrill of warmth somewhere in her chest when he leans into her touch. “Okay.”

Jaskier turns to kiss her palm, his face easing into a smile, and then she’s dragging her body close enough to kiss him, slow and nice and just because she wants to.

~

Stregobor takes his last breath and Geralt finally feels like he can breathe again himself. He and his brothers have a whole tower of people to fight their way out of first, but there’s a helicopter waiting to take them away if they can just make it to the back of the vineyard.

The odds aren’t looking good.

They probably would have died in the tower, their corpses laid out against Stregobor’s, if Aiden hadn’t showed up. Lambert is thrilled. Vesemir is going to be pissed that another organization even knew about this mission. Eskel couldn’t give two shits either way if he tried for a week.

Geralt just wants to go home.

He doesn’t know what home is for him anymore.

He tilts his head back against the seat, feeling heavy, an exhaustion that’s barely physical pricking against the back of his eyes. He thinks of the view from Yennefer’s penthouse and the sound of Jaskier trying to scrape off the burned parts off of toast he’d left too long.

They get two hours at the safe house to pack up and shower and change before they have to get back on the helicopter and head toward the jet that’ll take them home. He can already hear all the bitching from Vesemir about having to burn this house now that Aiden knows about it, but if Aiden’s playing a double agent, he’s the best Geralt’s ever seen.

He’s pretty sure Aiden’s just both loyal to his company and in love with Lambert, just like Lambert’s loyal to them and in love with Aiden, not that Vesemir will ever listen to reason about this. He sleeps through most of the ride back, waking up just long enough to hear snatches of conversations between his brothers.

They’re finally back in the city, and he can get a hotel room or crash at Eskel’s and definitely not with Lambert since Aiden’s here. But first he calls Vesemir over the comms, so that he can be sure he’ll answer, and doesn’t care that his brothers will be able to hear everything. “Geralt?” Vesemir answers, not concerned or cautious because he’s never those things, but possibly a little bit like that if he was.

“Where are they?” He doesn’t bother being specific. Vesemir knows, and Geralt knows that he’s been keeping track of them. Geralt wouldn’t have gone on this mission if he hadn’t known Vesemir would be keeping an eye on them just in case him leaving them hadn’t been enough to keep them safe.

His brothers have gone still and so has Aiden, although he can’t hear them. He doesn’t need to hear them to see the tension suddenly in everyone’s body language.

Vesemir sighs. “You should let this go, Geralt.”

Let them go, he means. He should. He will, if he has to. But he knows he hurt them, possibly and probably past the point of forgiveness or repair. But he owes them to try. He owes them the truth, if nothing else.

“Fuck off, you sanctimonious son of a bitch,” Lambert curses and he and Eskel both startle at the ferocity of it. “Not everyone can get off their whole life to the greater good or whatever. Tell Geralt where his people are or I’ll go to headquarters myself and beat it out of you.”

Vesemir is more than twice their age and he can still wipe the floor with all of them in a fight, but that’s not the point of the threat, the point is just making it. He really does love Lambert when he doesn’t want to kill him.

“The Seven Cats,” Vesemir says after a moment, thankfully sounding more amused than pissed as he names one of the more popular clubs in the middle of the city. It had been converted from an old performance hall, with its three floors and all the balconies and all the original molding and art. He’s been there with both of them before.

“Yen of Jask?” Geralt ask.

“Both.”

He blinks. “Excuse me?”

“They’re both there,” Vesemir says, then cuts the comms off on them.

Well. He hopes he doesn’t show up to them in the middle of tearing the other’s hair out or anything. That’ll definitely end up on the front page of some tabloids, and then Shani really will make Jaskier go on The View.

“You’re not really going to go confront them in the middle of a club fresh off a job?” Eskel asks.

His voice is gentle so Geralt just rolls his eyes. “No, I’ll go in the morning.” If he waits any longer than that he’ll either crawl out of his skin or never do it at all. “I just, I want to see them, is all.”

“Well, that’s not creepy or anything,” Aiden says sarcastically before clapping his hands together. “I’m in, let’s go.”

“No,” Geralt says, alarmed.

Lambert crosses his arms. “Come on, you said you’re just going to look. I want to see them too. You haven’t told us anything about them, Geralt, and you’ve been sleeping Yen for ten years. We don’t even know their full names.”

It had always seemed best, keeping these two parts of his life separate. But no matter how their conversation goes tomorrow, that’s going to be over. “Fine.”

Aiden and Lambert high fiving almost make him take it back, but it’s Eskel’s eager smile that stills his tongue. There are so few people that he loves and he’s tired of keeping them apart.

They end up breaking into the club because there’s no way they’ll get through the front door. He’s still unsure if them being on opposite sides of the club would be good or bad, or how he’s even going to find them in here without getting caught himself. It’s occurring to him that this was possibly a ridiculous idea and he should just cut his losses and try and get them to meet him somewhere tomorrow when he sees them.

They’re in the middle of the dancefloor on the floor below, together and not fighting. He leans against the edge of the balcony to get a better look. There’s a bubble of space around them, people crammed together but still leaving space around them both, and he can’t help the fond smile tugging on his lips. “Now they get along,” he mutters, and he tries to sound irritated but he knows that it comes out fond. Years of a cold war between his two loves, then he’s gone for six months and they’re dancing together in clubs.

They’ve definitely figured out he hasn’t left one for the other, then. He’s not sure if that’ll help his case or not.

He aches to touch them even from so far away, even though he knows he gave up the right to do that when he walked out on them. They’re so beautiful. Yennefer’s in dark shorts and matching deep cut blazer with nothing underneath and black suede thigh high boots. Her hair is out and a mess and his fingers twitch with the urge to run through her hair just like has a thousand times before. Jaskier has on a deep blue bodycon dress the same shade as his eyes with a sheer silver button up on top, white fishnet tights and bright sapphire heels that Geralt feels his cheeks heating just to see. The last time Jaskier had worn those heels, Geralt had fucked him in them.

“Um,” Eskel says, and Geralt looks over in alarm at the strangled note to his voice. “That’s Jask? Him? Right there? Jaskier? Julian Alfred Pankratz? The Viscount?”

“Jaskier is a stage name, although he's gone by it since before I met him,” he says, blinking. As far as he knows, Jaskier’s parents are the only ones that call him Julian. “I told you he was a musician.”

“A musician,” Eskel scoffs, eyes wide. “As if that really covers it. I hate you.”

Aiden has a strange look on his face. “Is that Yennefer Vengerberg?”

“Yes?” he says cautiously. This seems like it might have been a mistake.

“The same Yennefer Vengerberg who’s revolutionizing stem cell research and once told a pharmaceutical company to suck her dick in court when they tried to buy one of her patents?”

Geralt stares. “Why do you know that?”

“Geralt, it’s a meme, and she’s gorgeous,” Aiden says, despairing.

Lambert elbows him in the side. “Yeah, actually, I feel like we’re ignoring the important thing here. Geralt, what the fuck? Look at them. How did you manage to get one, never mind both? Did they lose a dare? I didn’t think people looked like that in real life.” Lambert pats his shoulder and Geralt just rolls his eyes. “Look, you’re really attractive, truly, a solid eight because we have to minus two for your personality, although maybe adding one for your jawline alone.” As if Lambert of all people has room to talk about losing points for personality. “But they are solid twenty out of tens. Didn’t Yennefer used to model?”

“To help pay for grad school and in between working at the lab, yeah,” he says, and he definitely hadn’t told them that. Lambert rubs at his temple.

“Oh, fuck,” Aiden says faintly and Geralt looks down.

Huh.

Jaskier and Yennefer are kissing.

“Um, are you okay?” Eskel asks gently.

“Yep,” he says, trying to keep his face under control.

Lambert makes a retching noise. “Uhg, gross. You’re not bothered by this at all, are you? You think it’s hot!”

It is hot. It’s also been the subject of several fantasies he’s had over the years that he had absolutely kept to himself, because Jaskier and Yennefer had barely managed to stay in the same room together and definitely didn’t want to hear about how attractive he thought they’d look all over each other.

His imagination hadn’t done it justice, actually.

“I’m going to throw up,” Lambert threatens.

Geralt rolls his eyes. “If they don’t want me, then they’ll have each other. That’s good.”

He doesn’t know what he’ll do with himself if they don’t want him. He loves them but he doesn’t need to be with them if that’s not what they want. He can manage, as long as he knows that they're safe. But he hopes they won’t cut him out completely, that they’ll still let him call them on Sundays and get lunch with him sometimes. If not, it was still worth it, to know that they were as safe as he could make them.

He’d do anything to keep them safe. It’ll probably be for the best if they don’t want him, actually. Vesemir is right. He should let them go. They make so much sense together, beautiful and powerful and perfect, in ways that they’d never made sense with him, with his scars and his bloody hands.

“Hey,” Eskel says softly, “are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he says, tearing his eyes away. “Let’s go.”

He should let them go. But he owes them an explanation at the very least.

His brothers both offer him their spare bedrooms, but he refuses, taking the hotel room instead. Mostly it’s so he can spend a couple hours staring at the ceiling, trying and failing to figure out what the hell he’s going to say, without someone asking if he’s okay.

He doesn’t know if he’s okay. He’s not going to find out if he’s okay until tomorrow, when he talks to Jaskier and Yennefer.

Geralt falls asleep staring at the ceiling, all the things he wants to and has to say running into each other in his head until they stop making sense even to him.

The next morning, he spends too long getting dressed, as if what he’s wearing will really matter to either of them, so he wears what he always wears. Black jeans, black boots, black t-shirt. The leather jacket is grey, so there’s that. He almost doesn’t put his hair into his customary half ponytail because he knows they both like it better loose, but at that point he might as well just put on the distressed jeans Jaskier loves so much and the deep purple, almost black button up that Yennefer bought him because she liked how he looked in it.

Fuck.

He puts on the distressed jeans and the button up and keeps his hair loose.

It’s not like them laughing at him will hurt more than losing them, after all.

Geralt grabs the thick yellow envelope and takes his motorcycle to their – to Jaskier’s apartment. It’s closer to The Seven Cats than Yennefer’s, so he’ll start there. He uses the passcode to get past security but draws the line at using his key on the front door. He left. This isn’t his home anymore.

He takes a deep breath, runs his hand through his hair and straightens his shirt, takes a moment to feel like an idiot, then rings the doorbell.

Yennefer’s smiling when she opens the door, wearing Jaskier’s boxers and her own tank top, but she freezes when she sees him, her smile slowly sliding off her face. His hand tightens on the yellow envelope and he has to force it to relax. “Yen?”

Her blank face shifts to fury and when he sees her hands clench he already knows what’s coming, doesn’t tense as her fist comes toward his face even as he hopes that she doesn’t hurt her hand.

It doesn’t land. She stops an inch from his face and she’s so close that he can smell Jaskier’s cologne on her. “Really?” she demands. “You were just going to let me hit you?”

He shrugs, feeling a little lost. “Seemed fair.”

“Fucking hell,” she mutters, her anger bringing color to her face so now she’s not so pale. She steps back and Geralt’s worried she’s going to slam the door in his face but instead she just nudges it open a little wider and says, “Get in here or I will hit you, for fuck’s sake.”

He steps inside. She closes the door behind him and then locks it. He risks a glance around and everything looks like how it was when he left, no major redecorating having been done in the past few months. There’s a pile of vegetables part way to being cut on the counter, which has to be Yennefer’s doing, because Jaskier can’t cook for shit.

“Jaskier!” Yennefer shouts, not taking her eyes off of him, like he might disappear if she looks away. “Come here. Now!”

“Darling, you know my skin routine is very specific,” he calls from the bathroom and if Geralt weren’t so anxious he’d smile. He’s gotten lectured about trying to rush Jaskier out the door so many times that can name all fourteen steps of his skin routine.

“Jaskier, now,” she snaps.

The bathroom door opens, letting out a cloud of steam, and Jaskier steps out, only in a pair of sweatpants, his chest bare, and his hair still damp. “Yes, yes, what–” He sees Geralt and stops, blue eyes going impossibly wide.

Geralt opens his mouth to say something, what he isn’t entirely sure, but it doesn’t matter. Jaskier runs towards him and Geralt resigns himself to getting hit for real this time.

Jaskier doesn’t hit him.

He throws his arms around him, dragging him close. Geralt’s completely unprepared to have his face shoved in Jaskier’s neck, smelling like the bodywash Geralt prefers. “Are you okay?” Jaskier asks, voice high, and pushes him away just enough to run his hands over his chest, light skimming touches, then doing the same to his arms. It takes Geralt a moment to realize Jaskier is searching for bandages. “Are you hurt?”

Jaskier is crying, blue eyes filled with tears and spilling down his cheeks. He hates it when Jaskier cries. He hates it even more when Jaskier is crying because of him. He raises a hand to brush his tears away then hesitates, unsure if touch is welcomed or even allowed.

But Jaskier grabs his hand in between his own, squeezing. “Are you okay?”

He has to swallow twice before he can speak, and he means to answer, but what comes out is, “I’m sorry.” He looks to Yennefer, who’s scowling with her arms crossed. “I’m really sorry.”

“Honey,” Jaskier says and Geralt has to bite back a careful intake of breath at the endearment, at how easily it seems falls from his lips. “Are you hurt?”

He starts to shake his head then changes it to a shrug partway through. “Not really. Just. Little stuff. I’m fine.”

“No hunting accidents this time?” Yennefer sneers.

Geralt swallows, looking between them, not sure where to begin but Jaskier squeezes his hand and says, “We know you’re not an accountant, darling.”

“I am an accountant,” he protests, because he hadn’t gone through the effort of completing his undergrad degree to be told he wasn’t an accountant. “I’ve been doing both of your taxes for years.” Jaskier raises an eyebrow and Yennefer’s scowl deepens so he hurries to add, “I just, um, do something else also.” He knows they both suspected something, but they didn’t push, even though sometimes Yennefer really seemed like she’d wanted to.

“What happened?” Jaskier asks. “Honey, why did you leave us?”

He’s alarmed at his suddenly blurry vision for a moment before he realizes that he’s crying. “There was a bad job,” he says, forcing his voice to come out evenly, rubbing his arm over his eyes so he can see clearly again. This is hard, he doesn’t usually have to talk this much, doesn’t usually have to explain himself. But it’s what they deserve. “I made a mistake. Innocent people died and someone bad got away. Someone really bad. He’d seen my face, he could figure who I was, and I needed to get away from you. I needed to fix it. I needed you to be safe and not to go looking for me or asking any questions and I couldn’t tell you the truth, because if he did go after you and got past Vesemir and got to you, he’d never let you go once he realized you knew something. So you couldn’t know anything.”

“And you couldn’t think of anything else besides dumping us both and vanishing?” Yennefer asks, biting.

Geralt shakes his head. “No. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I couldn’t risk you, even if it meant hurting you.” He holds out the yellow envelope. “Here’s everything about the mission and about me. My company and partners’ information has been redacted, but if you want to know more, I’ll figure out a way to tell you more.”

“The truth?” Yennefer asks, a strange look on her face as she takes the envelop from his hands.

He nods. “Yes. The truth.” He takes a deep breath, doesn’t squeeze Jaskier’s hands even though he wants to, and says, “I’m not asking you to forgive me. I understand I hurt you and that I lied to you, that I’ve lied to you about a lot of things. I understand if you can’t move on from that.”

It’ll break his heart, but he’ll understand. Fair’s fair, after all.

Fuck, there’s his blurry vision again.

“Honey,” Jaskier says, soft and distressed, and when he lets got of his hand Geralt doesn’t feel it in his chest, that would be ridiculous. This is fine. This is what he deserves.

Jaskier presses himself against him, clasps his hands around the back of Geralt’s neck, and kisses him.

The wounded noise he makes into Jaskier’s mouth would be embarrassing if he cared. He tries to be slow, not to presume anything, but Jaskier deepens the kiss and when Geralt grips him around the waist he can feel Jaskier’s hard cock against his hip. Six months of celibacy that he hadn’t though twice about and now he feels like he’s going to die if he doesn’t get his hands on Jaskier in the next thirty seconds. But he needs to be sure. “Jask,” he pulls away with a gasp, but doesn’t let go of his waist so he can’t go very far. “Jask, what are you – do you – I don’t understand.”

“I love you,” Jaskier says and Geralt almost wants to close his eyes but then he wouldn’t be able to see Jaskier’s face. “I’ll always love you. Honestly, even if you hadn’t had a good reason, I probably would have taken you back anyway. I’m yours as long as you want me.”

Shit. He forces himself to let Jaskier go. “You shouldn’t let me – let anyone – treat you like that. You don’t have to take me back.”

Jaskier looks at him like he’s an idiot. It’s a familiar look. “If you don’t want me to be with someone who treats me poorly, then don’t treat me poorly.”

Well, it sounds so simple when he says it like that.

“Okay,” he says. “I won’t. Not again.”

Jaskier beams at him then turns and goes, “Well? Yen?”

Yennefer is already reading through the thick stack of documents. “Hm?” She glances up, and she doesn’t seem as angry as before, so there’s that at least. She catches his eye, and she’s not smiling, but there’s a softness around her mouth that wouldn’t be there if she hated him. No matter anything else, she doesn’t hate him. “I’m going to finish looking through this. Go ahead.”

“Go ahead?” he repeats, confused, but then Jaskier is pulling him toward the bedroom and oh, okay. He stumbles after him, unable to not follow him even if he doesn’t want to stop looking at Yennefer. “Are you sure?”

“Oh my god, shut up,” he says, pushing Geralt onto the bed then working on unbuttoning his jeans. “Take off your shirt.”

Maybe wearing Yennefer’s favorite shirt was a mistake, because he has to undo all these delicate buttons with trembling fingers instead of just ripping it off like he’d do with pretty much any other piece of clothing. Jaskier is preoccupied with tugging off his shoes and jeans and underwear, at least, and by the time he manages to shrug off the shirt he’s completely naked and possibly harder than he’s ever been in his life. “We really don’t have to fall right back into bed if you don’t want to, I know this is a lot,” he forces himself to say.

Jaskier glares. “Geralt, honey. Do you want me to fuck you?”

The full body shiver that is extremely obvious with him laying back and naked on the bed is probably answer enough, but he says, “Yes.”

“Good, because I want to fuck you, very badly, so if you could just lie back and stop saying things to piss me off, it would get me inside of you a lot faster.”

He doesn’t moan at that, but he does bite his lip hard enough that he tastes blood, so he’s not sure what he thinks he’s proving here.

Jaskier softens and crawls over him, kissing him and licking the blood from his lip. “None of that now. Don’t damage what belongs to me, darling.”

Geralt hums against his mouth because he can’t manage much else, although it raises into a whine when Jaskier reaches between his legs, completely ignoring his cock to rub a knuckle against his hole.

“Fuck, wait,” Jaskier kisses the corner of his mouth and lunges for the side table, yanking the drawer open and grabbing a bottle of lube before scrambling back over to him. Geralt pushes himself up on his elbows so he can get Jaskier’s mouth on his that much sooner, breath hitching when a slippery finger presses into him. He’s so eager that he wants to tell Jaskier not to bother, to just fuck him and the pain will be worth it, but he knows better than to waste his breath, knows that Jaskier will just roll his eyes and ignore him.

He can’t even hold onto the spike of fond irritation, not when Jaskier grabs his hair in a fist to hold him in place and deepens the kiss. He can feel dull ache as Jaskier stretches him, of course, but he’s so focused on the filthy eager kisses and his hair being pulled that keeping track of the passage of time isn’t exactly a high priority, so it feels like barely any time at all when Jaskier pulls his fingers out of him and murmurs, “Okay, it’s okay, calm down. I’m right here.”

Geralt holds Jaskier’s bottom lip between his teeth for a moment then licks it before he says, “Fuck off.”

Jaskier laughs, dropping a kiss on the tip of his nose. “How do you want me?”

He blinks, the many positions they’ve fucked in over the years behind his eyes, but he just wants Jaskier, however he wants to take him, so he just shrugs. Jaskier huffs and before he can demand something more specific, he says, “I just want you. Whatever way.”

“Geralt,” he sighs, soft, “you have me.”

He’s still a little bit in shock from that, actually, but he doesn’t say that out loud. He’s pretty sure that counts as something that would piss Jaskier off.

Jaskier huffs then says, “Okay, I’ll take you how I want you, then,” and moves down his body, spreading Geralt’s thighs so he can fit between them, rubbing the head of his cock against Geralt’s hole. “Ready, honey?”

He growls and Jaskier’s laughing as he pushes into him. Geralt’s growl cuts off into a moan as Jaskier fucks himself into him with short, sharp thrusts, until he’s pressed all the way inside of him. He pants and Jaskier’s hands are warm on the underside of his knees, keeping him spread wide so Jaskier can push himself even deeper, and the only thing wrong is that Geralt can’t kiss him like this, open and full and still wanting Jaskier’s bitten-red lips on him. Jaskier just looks so good as he fucks him, he’s inside him and Geralt still wants him closer.

“Okay, fine.” Geralt and Jaskier both look over as Yennefer steps through the door. She kneels on the side of the bed and presses both her hands against Geralt’s chest and leans over him. Jaskier doesn’t pause, if anything he speeds up as Yennefer presses him into the bed and snarls, violet eyes flashing, “If you ever pull this shit again, it won’t be this easy, understand? And if you ever lie to me after this, I’ll cut you open, break your ribs apart, and squeeze your heart in my fist so you know how it fucking feels. Got it?”

He should probably not be as turned on as he is right now. “Got it,” he says, although the last part comes out strangled.

Yennefer smiles, then, and she runs her hand through his hair. He’s expecting her to wriggle out of Jaskier’s boxers and sit on his face, is eager for it even, to eat her out as Jaskier’s fucks him, but she doesn’t do that.

Instead she leans over and kisses him.

She’s kissed him before, obviously, but not like this. She kisses him slowly, carefully, slips her tongue between his lips and doesn’t make it harsh or demanding like she usually does. He moans into her mouth as she cradles his head in her hands, lifting him up just enough that his neck aches and she has the perfect angle to kiss him as deeply as she likes.

“Can you come like this?” Jaskier asks, ragged. “Without us touching you?”

For a moment Geralt doesn’t know what he means, because obviously they’re both touching him, but then he realizes Jaskier means his cock, hard and leaking against his stomach and untouched by any of them, even himself. Normally the answer would be no, but it’s been six months and Jaskier feels so good and Yennefer’s kissing him so sweetly, so he makes a noise that he hopes sounds like yes, but he’s not willing to stop kissing Yennefer long enough to make it any clearer.

Jaskier must figure it out though, because he goes harder, goes deeper, and doesn’t slow until Geralt is tangling his hands in the bedsheets and gasping into Yennefer’s mouth as he comes. It rolls through him, more intense than he’d been expecting, leaving him shaking and panting as Jaskier fucks him through it and Yennefer barely pauses long enough between kisses for him to breathe.

Jaskier doesn’t last long after, his nails digging into Geralt’s skin as he finishes inside of him, leaving him warm and wet and filthy. Jaskier groans as he slides out of him and Geralt can feel Jaskier’s come leaking out of him.

Yennefer giggles as Jaskier curses and then cleans them up with what feels like one of his shirts, the material soft against him as Jaskier wipes it between his legs and over his stomach before tossing it to the side. He collapses in bed next to him, cuddling up to Geralt’s side and resting his head on his chest. Yennefer pulls back but before Geralt can feel more than the first stirrings of panic she’s sliding down next to him, mirroring Jaskier’s position so they’re both draped across his chest.

He puts his arms around both of them, giving Yennefer an extra squeeze and asking, “Do you want…?”

She shakes her head, shifting just enough to kiss the underside of his jaw. “No, this is good. Later. You’re not going anywhere, are you?”

There’s a challenge in her tone and Jaskier tenses against his side, but he just smiles and answers, “No. I’m not.” There will be more missions, more jobs, but that’s different. He’ll leave, but he’s not leaving them. If he’s capable of coming back to them, then he will.

“Good,” Yennefer says, and that seems to settle both of them. She tosses a leg over his hip and Jaskier rubs a hand over his ribs, just firm enough not to be ticklish.

Geralt shouldn’t say anything, he should savor this very good moment, but he can’t help himself. “So,” he says, trying not to sound too amused, “it seems like you two are getting along better.”

“Shut up,” they say at the time, and he’s laughing before he can try and stop it, loud and obnoxious and having nowhere to escape to when they both start poking him in the ribs, nowhere to squirm to that doesn’t push him into more prodding fingers, each of them with scowling mouths and laughing eyes.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.