Jaskier would argue that he has a lot of good ideas. Geralt would argue the opposite, considering how many times the Witcher has to work him out of trouble as a result of Jaskier’s good ideas, but that’s nothing but slander on the Witcher’s part. Jaskier has a lot of good ideas, and this may be his best one yet.
He isn’t shy. Words have always come easy to him whether he would compose yet another Continent-seizing hit that would spread throughout the land like a wildfire, or lulling women and men into languid kisses and into his bed or theirs. Geralt might have his swords and potions, but Jaskier has his own weapon, and it’s even more deadly.
And what was he going to do? Go to a near-abandoned keep perched at the top of a northern mountain, with his only company for the season being other Witchers, and not try and enjoy himself? Gods be good, he isn’t insane.
He’s chuffed. A smile hasn’t left his lips as the bodies around him finally settle. One would think after spending so many winters together, that they would each know where to go and where to lie. Apparently not. It’s a forest of legs and arms, and through it all the warmth of a lit hearth and the mingling scents of bathing salts and soaps blankets over them. With the warmth sureness of having bodies around him, gathering him close and keeping him comfortably in bed, the world outside slips away. The rest of the Continent, the wars brewing in the far south, even the storm that has been threatening to tumble through the ridges and peaks of the mountains for the last few days and nights; all of it ceases to exist and there is only this room and the keep around them.
A low hum rumbles through the hollow of his neck. “Go to sleep, little lark,” Geralt murmurs, eyes still closed and breathing beginning to deepen and thin. Jaskier can’t see Geralt’s face, but he imagines it’s softer than usual. His brow smoothes and his lips part ever so slightly when he sleeps or dozes. Even in the mediations he does either out in the wilds or in the corners of tavern rooms, Geralt looks completely at peace when he’s teetering on the edge of wakefulness and sleep.
He’s home now, surrounded by his family, and for the first time that year, his shoulders can finally slacken and fall, and he can breathe. This far north, bundled high up in a keep many people don’t even believe exists anymore, no one will come to bother them.
Geralt’s arm is strung across him, holding his waist hostage as he has Jaskier gathered close while he dozes by the bard’s side. Just beyond Geralt is Lambert, lying on his back, like Jaskier, but with his shoulder and side pressed against Geralt’s back.
Geralt explained it to him once; the need for them to bundle together, to make sure that they’re well and alive and here. And if Jaskier finds himself at the epicentre of it all, then he’ll gladly have three well-built Witchers clambered around him. Eskel dozes by his other side, already lost to sleep as he drifts further and further down. His hold on Jaskier slackens slightly, but his arm slung over Jaskier’s shoulders and his leg strewn across the bard’s won’t move any time soon.
He’s effectively pinned; arms and legs of Witchers strewn over him and each other, a maze of limbs that he has no plans of trying to worm out of any time soon. There isn’t even a need for the blankets or furs of the bed. Witchers run warm, it seems; when they’re freshly washed and their skin is soft, and sleep threatens to take them under as they doze.
Lips press to his neck, just over his pulse-point. Jaskier hums. A smile still stretches across his lips. He’s thoroughly pleased with himself; and Geralt surely knows that. He must feel how Jaskier is almost trembling with having everyone around him, dozing and sleep-soft and willing to let him in to their huddle for the winter. Oh gods. He’s going to have this for the whole season. His smile only grows.
If Geralt can feel it, he doesn’t say anything. His arm tightens around Jaskier’s waist as he moves slightly closer; a warm line along Jaskier’s side and huddled close to him. The bed is big enough for the four of them, quite comfortably. If one of them were to roll away during the night, they would have the space for it.
And Jaskier has to wonder what it must have been like all those sun-turns ago, when they were scrawny and weary-eyed pups who banded together when their training turned harsh. A place like this, that haunts all of them in some way, with more ghosts lurking through the halls than stones making them up, can still be their home. Rooms of tormentors and teachers became their own. This is their space now; and Jaskier is more than a guest. This is his home too. A nest to fly to when the winter winds roll in.
A hand reaches over Geralt, lightly swatting at Jaskier’s thigh. “I can hear you thinking, pigeon,” Lambert grumbles, turning over on to his side. Over Geralt’s shoulder, Jaskier spots one golden eye trying to glare at him through the heavy sleep fog that is lapping over them. “Shut the fuck up.”
Geralt kicks back, aiming for Lambert’s shin. “Stop talking,” he rumbles, eyes still closed. Jaskier looks down at him fondly, noting how his brows are starting to knit together. He reaches as close to Geralt’s face as he can; his own limbs are lost to the entanglement he’s in, but he manages to brush the back of his knuckles against Geralt’s cheek, smoothening out his expression again.
Lambert all but scoffs behind him, but bundles close all the same. Eskel barely budges. Jaskier listens to his long and languid breaths, to how slowly his heart beats within the depths of his chest. Jaskier stretches his neck as best as he can, pressing a light kiss to Eskel’s forehead and watching with delight as the man’s brows knit together and his nose wrinkles. His hold on Jaskier tightens and he burrows close, setting his nose against Jaskier’s bare shoulder and breathing in a lungful of scent. The moment that he does, his frown slips away and he falls back to sleep.
They’ve all seemed to have had quite a year. Hunts and contracts and run-ins with Destiny, Jaskier can’t blame them for filling their stomachs with as much of Vesemir’s food as they could, padding down to the hot springs not long after and letting their sore muscles soak until they were soft. All Jaskier could do was bundle his wolves into their den, smiling as each of them found their own place around him and each other. And within moments, as soon as Eskel blearily waved his hands and all the candles throughout the room quenched, sleep lapped over them.
If he could have a winter of this, that would be good. Good things are few and far between these days, no matter where they go. Whispers of war and insurgents to the south, kingdoms starting to squabble among themselves, and all of the monsters, both other and human, lurking in the shadows. The Continent, and the rest of the world, can be shitty. Jaskier’s eyes have been cracked open to that throughout the years of travelling with the White Wolf.
But he trudges through the other three seasons just to have this; warm nights bundled inside of Geralt’s room, his wolves dozing and snoozing around him and keeping him safe and held. And he’ll fight every celestial and god in order to keep it this way.
He sinks further into the mattress, feeling sleep start to tug at him and lure him down. His eyelids grow heavy, and with the warmth of the room and the bodies around him, it’s a struggle to keep his eyes open. He’s just about to fall under when Geralt shuffles next to him, breathing out a long and languid sigh against Jaskier’s neck. When he speaks, it’s nothing more than a rumble that comes from the centre of his chest. “Are you still cold?”
Jaskier snorts, a sound that rouses the wolf furthest from him and earns another swat to his leg and a grumble to shut the fuck up. Geralt kicks back in Jaskier’s honour, getting Lambert in the shin.
Jaskier reaches up, carding his fingers through Lambert’s hair first, soothing the wolf’s hackles to lie down and settle. Lambert can be a bristly one, and downright cranky when the night wears on a bit too long, but Jaskier’s smile turns fond when he can feel the red wolf slowly melting under his touch. He tries to keep his voice low; something completely pointless when he’s surrounded by Witchers with enhanced hearing. “I’m much warmer now. Thank you, darling.”
Geralt knew exactly what he was doing. They all did. And still, Jaskier managed to lure three wolves into his bed. It’s not his fault. The keep is perched on the highest peak within the mountain, battered from all angles by sharp winter wind. The Witchers have their augmented bodies and don’t feel the cold, while Jaskier trembles and shivers and tries to wrap himself in as many layers as he can.
Or, as he discovered, just get a bunch of Witchers to warm him up instead.
Geralt hums against his neck. One that knows Jaskier is more than comfortable and pleased with himself, that he got what he wanted and is incredibly smug about the whole affair. But he breathes in his bard’s scent, letting it coat and settle on the roof of his mouth and lure him back to sleep. “Glad to be of service,” he murmurs, drifting off.
Jaskier beams at the ceiling, his smile unmovable as he feels each of his wolves slowly sink further into sleep, knowing that they feel safe with him to let their guards down. He revels in it.