You must wish upon each star, my love, a new star each time til you find your wishing star that makes them come true.
Lambert is five when he first wishes on a star, wrapped in his mother’s arms and looking out at the sky. In the little hovel at the edge of town, there’s nothing but trees surrounding them, providing a pure black vignette to the sea of stars above them. He scrunches up his eyes and thinks in his head as hard as he can, but his mother stops him.
You need to say it to them, they can’t hear you in your head.
He looks at his mother’s face, the last time he’ll see it, and nods. “I wish…” He frowns a little, but she’s patient, always patient with him. “I wish father would go away.”
His mother’s face doesn’t warp into one of pain, but her eyes shine with tears. He can feel them seeping into his shirt, and the next day, he can still feel them there, sadness in his skin.
That’s the day his father offers him for the Law of Surprise.
He doesn’t get a moment alone at Kaer Morhen. He’s constantly being chased down halls by large, scary men that remind him of his father. Only now, they have battle scars and yellow eyes, and carry swords that could chop his head off. At night, he still sneaks to the window and looks for a new star to wish on. He’s still got a heart, at least, so he wishes for his friends, he wishes for them to be okay.
They end up in graves, and Lambert ends up a Witcher.
On the Path, it’s perhaps a boon that he’s alone. He talks to the stars at night, wary of making wishes that might be twisted. He tells the stars how much he hates sleeping on the fucking ground, how he loathes smelling like shit all the time, how he is growing numb to the curses thrown at him when he walks through an ungrateful town.
“Wish I woulda let that cesspit burn,” he hisses one night, exhausted and defeated.
He returns to Kaer Morhen that winter to find it sacked and smoldering.
He keeps his mouth shut at night.
He hears Geralt found a djinn, and it nearly killed his bard. “Yeah, well, wishes will do that,” he says bitterly into his drink. Geralt talks about a sorceress, mad as a bat and beautiful as the stars. “Stars ain’t beautiful. They’re annoying and useless.”
He keeps his mouth shut at Kaer Morhen.
It’s a fucking chort. It’s always a fucking chort. Lambert’s had a heavy dose of fear for them ever since he learned about them. Just something about them always freaked him out. Every time he faces one, he remembers a frightened child wishing on a star, please please please never let me meet a chort.
Yeah, well, this is the third one this fucking month.
It’s very nearly dead by the time Lambert gets a jagged horn to the side, the beast’s last effort to take him down. Instinct and training take over to finish the job, but pain floods in right as it’s finished. He manages to stumble away, almost back to his campsite, before collapsing to his knees.
He groans and lets his body go the rest of the way, face-up. He winces at the midday sun glaring in his face. It’s warm, but he feels his body going cold, trying to stop the bleeding. He’s had worse, and probably will have worse, but with the combination of potions in his system he can’t help but feel like this is the end, dread flooding his thoughts. He’s gonna die from a chort, in the goddamned dragon mountains. How fucking ironic.
Well, might as well be stupid to death, like they always said he’d be.
“Sun’s a star, right?” Lambert rasps, coughing up blood. “Well here you fucking go. You’re a star I’ve never wished on. I wish…” the words taste like bile in his mouth. “I wish...fuck, I don’t even know. Just. Don’t let me die alone.”
There’s a strange pulse all around him. He feels the sharp aching sign of his insides knitting back together, his potions kicking in. He sucks in a gasp, and when he opens his eyes, there’s…
A bard. Standing over him.
“Hello, you wouldn’t happen to be in need of a traveling companion, would you?” Lambert is stunned.
“I um. What?”
“Oh, you’re a Witcher. I’m. Gods, I’m such a fucking idiot, I’m—”
“Wait!” Lambert sits up, groaning and clutching his side. “You. Hold on. Come back.” He’s wild with confusion. “Did you. Did you come from…” Lambert points one solitary finger to the sun, his fucking wishing star. The bard’s big blue eyes follow his finger up, and then look at him, bewildered.
“No, the! Nevermind.” Lambert grumbles. “Why’re you out here alone?”
The bard barks a laugh, though it’s sad. “Suppose it was a matter of time before I was. I don’t really know how to be on my own.”
“I don’t really know how to be...not on my own?” Lambert doesn’t know why he instantly trusts this bard, but the wary look he’s given in return seems to say the same of himself.
“Well. Guess we better figure that out, then. I’m Jaskier.”
As they walk together, Lambert takes a peek at the sun through the treetops, and gives his thanks.