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The Way I Love You

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Geralt only ever got sloppy drunk when Jaskier was the DD. It wasn’t necessarily that he didn’t trust anyone else, it was that he didn’t trust his drunk boyfriend not to goad him into something stupid. 

The last time they’d both gotten fucked up outside of their apartment they woke up with three traffic cones and a “Speed Hump” sign in their living room. When they asked Triss what happened she sent them a video of them giggling as they tried to fit the sign into her trunk.

After hanging the sign in their apartment, they decided it may be best to take turns. 

This particular night, they’d dropped Triss and Yen off and were on their way home, Geralt’s head lolling against the window as he fought to stay awake. 

“I’m not carrying your perky ass upstairs,” Jaskier laughed, snapping his fingers near Geralt’s ear. 

Geralt grumbled but sat up straight and leaned into Jaskier’s outstretched hand, “Radio.”

Affectionately rolling his eyes, Jaskier pulled his hand away and flipped on the radio. Geralt immediately gasped and started singing along off-key and slurred. The first time Jaskier heard Geralt scream along to Taylor Swift he’d been shocked if extremely endeared. 

“BUT I MISS SCREAMIN’ AND FIGHTIN AND KISSIN' IN THE RAIN! IT’S TWO AM AND I’M CURSIN’ YOUR NAME! SO IN LOVE THAT WE ACTED INSANE, AND THAT’S THE WAY I LOVED YOUUUUUUUUU!”

Jaskier turned the volume down to a reasonable level when Geralt cranked it so loud his ears might start ringing. He rolled his eyes when Geralt started singing it to him, taking the shortcut home and trying to ignore the little pit forming in his stomach. 

When the song ended Geralt turned the radio down and picked up his hand not gripping the steering wheel, “Jask?”

“Mhm?”

Even in the car, Geralt glanced around conspiratorially before whispering, “I have a secret.”

Fear flared in Jaskier’s chest but he took a deep, calming breath, reminding himself who he was talking to. His boyfriend thought secrets were fun. Mostly because Geralt’s version of a secret was keeping what he made for dinner a surprise until Jaskier got home. He’d even felt guilty not telling Jaskier he was seeing a therapist when they’d started dating. For all his gruff exterior and suspicion, Geralt really was an open book with those he loved and trusted. Jaskier had a very different idea of what secrets in a relationship meant. 

“What’s that, love?” 

Geralt giggled as he traced the edges of a magnolia on the back of Jaskier’s wrist, “That is the way I love you.”

Luckily for Jaskier’s car, they were rolling up to a stop sign. He had time to lose his breath for a moment and fight back the initial feeling of shame and anger with himself before he pulled his hand away and gripped the steering wheel as he punched the gas. 

Through gritted teeth, he said the gentlest thing he could think of, “We don’t kiss in the rain.”

Geralt frowned, almost pouted at him, “I still love you.”

A part of Jaskier wanted to scream at Geralt, another part wanted to pull over and make him walk home, thankfully the loudest part reminded him the idiot was just drunk. He didn’t know what he was saying and he thought he was being sweet. There was also a good possibility he would cry himself to sleep in the passenger seat if Jaskier yelled at him and last time he tried to carry Geralt to bed his back hurt for a week. 

“I love you too,” Jaskier sighed as he pulled into their parking spot. 

He didn’t sleep well that night. Not because his sweaty, smelly, and fidgety boyfriend clung to him in his sleep, but because he couldn’t stop thinking about the ride home. 

Jaskier had lived in relationships like that for most of his adult life. Hell, even in his teens. They were nothing but all-consuming passion with no connection to support it and left both parties jaded and lost. When he left his mentor he’d sat in Yen’s chair for hours and hours until his arm had gone numb, and the only thing he could think was ‘never again’. 

And now Geralt thought he was being cute. The ridiculously meticulous and serious man was only ever sappy when he got drunk and now instead of reveling in it as he’d like, Jaskier was staring at the clock on his nightstand calculating how exhausted he’d be in the morning as the minutes ticked by. 

Turns out, he was barely in the land of the living by the time Geralt shuffled into the kitchen with his hands in his hair and a pained expression. 

“Feel like shit.”

Jaskier hummed in agreement as he sipped his morning tea and shifted in his seat to see better out the window. 

After popping a few anti-inflammatories and nibbling on a cracker before giving up on food, Geralt lumbered up behind Jaskier and draped his arms over his shoulders, “What’s wrong?”

“S’nothing. I’m just being… touchy.”

Geralt pressed a light kiss over the hellebore tattoo on Jaskier’s neck, “I doubt it.”

Tears threatened to spill from his eyes as Jaskier laid his hand over Geralt’s arm across his chest, “I don’t want to lose this.”

“Why…? What makes you think you would?” Geralt was a little slower on the draw hungover, but he knelt next to Jaskier’s chair and rested a hand on his knee as he waited for a response. He only ever looked so worried when Roach had an abscess and it broke Jaskier’s heart. He didn’t want to say anything and ruin everything. 

After a deep breath in, he mumbled out his answer, “Do you really love me like that song?”

“What song?” Geralt breathed, his thumb brushing back and forth over Jaskier’s knee.

“The uh, Way I Loved You one.”

Geralt searched his face for a beat, the crease between his eyebrows only deepening, “Of course I do.”

“Fuck,” Jaskier breathed, biting his lip to keep it from wobbling as he forced all the air from his lungs in the hopes it would do something to stop the tears from falling. When it was clear he would lose the battle he leaned forward with his elbows on the table, hiding his face in his hands.

“You… don’t want me to?” Geralt sounded close to tears himself, but he didn’t take his hand off Jaskier’s thigh. 

“No- yes! No?” Jaskier sniffed and wiped at his face but didn’t lean back to look at Geralt, “I- Geralt I can’t just fill a hollow relationship with lust. We ha- I thought we had more? But if you want the- the fights and the hate fucking- I don’t- Geralt I don’t want that. Not with anyone but not with you. Ne-”

“Hey, hey,” Geralt tugged at Jaskier’s arm, gathering him to his chest when the brunette melted into sobs, “I don’t want that. That’s not what I meant. I’m sorry, love. I’m so sorry I let you think that.” He cradled Jaskier’s head to his shoulder, pressing kisses into his hair between softly spoken apologies and reassurances. They stayed there until Jaskier’s tea went cold and his sobs were closer to little gasps. 

Eventually, Jaskier lifted his head and met Geralt’s eyes, “H-how do you love me?”

Geralt licked his lips, his voice barely above a whisper, “Not- It’s not hollow.”

Jaskier squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his forehead to Geralt’s, “Please?”

One of Geralt’s hands came up to cup Jaskier’s cheek as he took a deep breath, “I’ve never loved anyone like I love you… I never wanted to be romantic with anyone until you. You… You make me feel… safe. I’m never bored of you or numb or sick of you. This is the first relationship I’ve had where I bother to fight, Jask. I love you so much it makes me do things I never thought to do and I’m glad and I never want to change anything about us. Never.” 

A shiver ran down Jaskier’s spine as relief flooded his whole body. His throat ached from crying and his shoulders were sore from holding all that tension in a way they hadn’t for years, but he’d never felt so good. Geralt loved him. Him. Not some tumultuous relationship or the sex or the drama of it all. Someone finally loved him for him. 

It hadn’t really hit Jaskier till then. They’d said ‘I love you’, sure, but he hadn’t really believed Geralt, just like he’d stopped believing the string of selfish lovers before him. 

“Thank Mellitelle,” Jaskier laughed, just on this side of hysterical as he tightened his grip around Geralt’s shoulders, “I fucking love how boring we are. And you. Fuck I really really do love you.”

“Even when I smell like my regulars?” Geralt teased, intentionally huffing a little extra and dosing Jaskier in his horrendous hangover morning breath.

Jaskier wrinkled his nose but smiled and kissed him anyway, “Of course.”

“Mhh,” Geralt pulled away for a moment, brushing his thumb over Jaskier’s crow's feet in a silent request for him to open his eyes, “Can we go back to bed?”

“The crying does it for you, huh?” Jaskier chuckled, his voice was still weak but his laugh was genuine.

“I’m so dizzy, Jask,” squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head ever so slightly, Geralt plopped back onto his heels. If Jaskier hadn’t witnessed just how much he drank he’d say he was lying, but Jaskier was truly surprised he’d even climbed out of bed this morning.

“Mkay, up. Back to bed then.”

They settled under the blankets and tangled themselves back together. Geralt hummed, closing his eyes and squeezing Jaskier a little tighter.

New, happier tears threatened at the corners of his eyes but he pushed them down, opting to trace the corner of Geralt’s buttercup tattoo peeking out of his shirt, “I love you.”

Geralt took a deep breath in before he sighed out a rumbling, “I know.”

“No, Geralt. Really,” Jaskier laid his hand over the yellow and green ink, “I’ve said these words more times than I can count but I don’t think I ever really understood them until you.”

“Jaski-”

“I love you,” Jaskier’s interruption was far smaller and far more fragile than he had intended. His words just continued to spill out, “You’re steady and calm and I’ve never had that. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like and I’m constantly scared I’m gonna fuck it up…”

Comforting fingers ran through his hair as Geralt murmured his reply, “Me too,” Jaskier just squeezed his shoulder in a bit of solidarity and a bit of selfish comfort, “But I think we’re doing alright…”

“Why’s that?”

“Well,” Geralt started, shifting so he was practically engulfing Jaskier, “we both still love each other, and…” his boyfriend pinched him when he trailed off, pretending to fall asleep in a way that always made Jaskier giggle, “Ow- and you use the hooks by the front door.” 

“I do, don’t I?” Jaskier sniffled, “And you used your words.”

“I’d use all the words for you.”

“All of them?”

Geralt really was drifting away this time, his words coming slowly as his arms relaxed and Jaskier felt their full weight over him, “Not well, but I would…”