As they traveled towards Kagen, Jaskier kept himself busy composing some melancholic love song. Geralt did his best to ignore him, trying to attune his senses to the birds instead. But it was impossible. Jaskier strummed a repetitive series of short soft chords, softly singing chopped bits of the song. He kept fussing with the words and changing them every other minute.
“It’s not fair, it’s not fair how much I love you,” Jaskier sang under his breath, humming a few mumbled indiscernible words before continuing, “ ...spend my days so close to you.”
Geralt despised how the song made his chest ache with wanting. They had been traveling together off and on for more than a decade. Over time, Geralt began to view Jaskier as less of a nuisance and more of a friend. Then he started to view him in a completely different light. He started to notice exactly how blue Jaskier’s eyes were and found himself losing track of his words in favor of staring into his eyes. Geralt started to watch Jaskier’s hands a bit too closely. They were nimble, dancing across the lute’s strings so effortlessly. Sometimes Geralt imagined how they might feel trailing over his skin.
A few months earlier they had stopped in an inn in Novigrad where Jaskier had been an instant hit and Geralt sulked in the corner all evening long. Towards the end, he had to bite down bitterness as he watched Jaskier sing one of his more famous love ballads to the barmaid while she laid sprawled in his lap. Jealous and stewing in his feelings, Geralt had stormed off to their room and not spoken a word to Jaskier for the rest of the evening.
Those envious thoughts were dangerous. Geralt knew better than to think that Jaskier would want anything more than friendship from him. He lacked all the softness of the barmaids and noblewomen that Jaskier chased after. There was no way that his scarred skin could ever compare to their soft, unmarred looks. Jaskier was a man who anyone could love. He had an abundant choice of lovers. There was no chance he would ever want a witcher.
With a heavy sigh, Geralt turned his eyes back to the road. He tried not to look at Jaskier as he continued fussing with the song, changing up chords and words.
“How unquestionably —no, that’s not right. How unreasonably in love I am with everything you do.”
“Are you ever quiet?” Geralt said, hiding his affection behind false cruelties. “I swear I never get a moment of peace with you around.”
“First of all, rude,” Jaskier said, not missing a single string as he continued to play. “Second of all, I am composing a masterpiece. Perhaps if you listened to it a little closer you would hear how my whole heartaches.” Eyes flicking back to Geralt, Jaskier hummed. “I could play the whole song for you.”
With a roll of his eyes, Geralt shook his head. “No reason, you’ll forget about her in a week.”
They were arriving at the town’s outskirts and Geralt slipped off of Roach, patting her neck. He glanced back to Jaskier, who looked genuinely hurt. He slung his lute back around to his back and bit his lip.
“I won’t,” Jaskier said, turning his gaze down. “Trust me.”
Ignoring the temptation to pull Jaskier into his arms to comfort him, Geralt just grunted and led them towards the inn. Dusk was rapidly approaching and they needed to get settled for the night, but Geralt also needed to stock up on supplies. He wanted to brew a few more potions—some of which could take all night. So once the room was paid for and Roach was tucked into the stables, Geralt headed for the apothecary.
It was a small building tucked into a grove of willows. The branches dipped down, brushing over the roof and Geralt spotted a variety of flowers planted in gardens surrounding the apothecary. They painted the grass different shades of blue, red, yellow, and even purple. The splash of color looked almost surreal—like something from a pretentious oil landscape.
As Geralt entered the doorway, his medallion rumbled for a moment, but he thought nothing of it. Apothecaries always contained a variety of items that could set off the medallion’s magic detection.
“Hello dear,” a fair-haired woman said. She shuffled around her small shop, seemingly dancing across the floor with such light footsteps. “My name’s Celeste, let me know what you need.”
Geralt nodded and eyed a few ingredients before he noticed an abundance of bouquets of bluebells. “Lover’s bouquets?” He asked, trailing his fingers across one of the flower’s bulbs.
Celeste laughed, her voice airy. “Oh no, those are for the fae.”
Geralt had to resist rolling his eyes. Of all the creatures he had come across on the Path, he had never once seen a fae. They were creatures of myth. Boogeyman that villagers made up because they didn’t understand that a bruxa could appear as a pretty woman or a fiend could twist people’s minds.
“Do you need one for protection?” Celeste asked. Her eyes were an almost unearthly green. “A witcher such as yourself must come across them sometimes.”
“Hardly,” Geralt said. He decided to change the topic. “I need some ingredients for my potions.”
To his surprise, Celeste didn’t seem too keen to let the topic drop. She pursed her lips and said again, “Never? Have you never encountered a fae?”
“I haven’t,” Geralt said and growing impatient, snapped, “Because they don’t exist.”
At that, Celeste narrowed her eyes. She wandered over to him with a fiery look in her eyes. “Saying lies like that will anger them,” she said.
“It’s not a lie,” Geralt said. “Fae aren’t real.”
Celeste huffed and walked over to one of her shelves. “What do you need for your potions then, witcher?”
Geralt listed off the ingredients and Celeste had each one he needed. She gathered them up quickly, carefully wrapping them for him. Once their conversation of the fae was left behind, she became cheerier again.
“Do you need a bouquet for a lover?” Celeste asked. “I have some lovely roses in a variety of colors.” She picked up an unearthly blue rose, the exact shade of Jaskier’s eyes, twirling it in her fingers.
For a moment, Geralt felt tempted. He imagined coming back to their shared inn room and offering the flowers to Jaskier. How would he react? Part of Geralt imagined that he would realize the meaning behind the gesture and confess that he felt the same. Though Geralt’s fear of rejection won out.
“Witchers can’t love,” Geralt said, swallowing down the bitterness that came along with that lie. “Just the potion ingredients.”
Celeste hummed and set the rose aside. “Suit yourself,” she said. “Forty crowns.” She didn’t overcharge him, which was lucky since he seemed to annoy her. Once he paid her, Geralt nodded his head in thanks and went to leave.
“Wait,” Celeste said, hurrying over to a cabinet near the display of bluebells. “Let me give you a gift for the road.” She pulled out a bottle of wine. It was golden and unlabeled, though the glass had swirling designs etched into the glass. “Here. I’m sure you’ve had a hard journey. Let this ease some of the burdens of your mind.”
It wouldn’t hurt. Geralt nodded and took the bottle. “Thanks,” he said,
When Geralt returned to the room, Jaskier wasn’t there. With a hum, Geralt popped off the cork of the bottle and took a tentative drink. At first, the wine was a little tart, but then the flavor gave way to an overwhelming sweetness. As the liquid spread across his tongue, it made him light-headed with pleasure. Again, his medallion rumbled but Geralt hardly noticed. Before he could think better of it he took another long drink of the wine and set it aside.
They had spent a long time on the road and Geralt wanted nothing more than to drop into bed and go to sleep. He stripped his armor off and set it aside along with the swords. Just as he was about to pull the blanket back and crawl into bed, the door opened. Jaskier bounded in. He smelt of chamomile and his hair was still damp from the bath.
“Ah Geralt, there you are,” Jaskier said, flashing him a smile that made his heart twist. “You took a while at the apothecary.” He walked over and sat down on the bed, idly rubbing a towel over his hair. “Missed out on bathing, which you desperately needed.”
When Geralt opened his mouth to retort, something twisted in his chest. Again, the medallion vibrated. Geralt’s skin suddenly felt too warm and his face felt flushed. “I should have hurried back,” he said, expressing the disappointment he’d normally hide. “A bath would have been a nice way to end the day.”
“And then maybe we’d be able to see the white of your hair again,” Jaskier said with a teasing grin. He tossed the towel aside and stretched back on his hands, humming that song from the road again.
An itch crawled under Geralt’s skin. He eyed the soft skin of Jaskier’s neck, feeling the urge to bury his nose in and breathe him in. Had the wine truly gotten him that tipsy? Witchers were resistant to alcohol. It would have to be a powerful brew to affect his mind. The haziness Geralt felt creeping into his mind was hardly anything like what he felt when drunk. The feeling was the same as when one laying in bed slowly waking from a dream.
Before Geralt could stop himself he took several steps closer. Jaskier didn’t notice, too busy humming that song. That stupid song rattled around in Geralt’s mind. Who was it about? What love of Jaskier’s was he singing so tenderly about? Something deep in Geralt’s chest wanted to scream in frustration. His years of longing were clawing to be set free. Especially in light of Jaskier’s new love—one that deserved such a gentle song. No one knew Jaskier like he did. No one else adored him, protected him, or even loved him so deeply. Geralt deserved that song. Not some vapid noblewoman or ditzy barmaid.
Jealousy ran wild through Geralt and before he could stop himself, he dropped to his knees before Jaskier. He laid his arms and head on Jaskier’s lap, breathing in deeply just as he longed to do for so long. Idly he wondered what in the world he was doing, but then the warmth felt too good to give up. His medallion rumbled again as soft touches of magic wrapped around his mind, soothing his insecurities and ripping away his self-control.
“Geralt?” Jaskier asked, clearly startled. “Uh, what are you—”
“Sing that song for me,” Geralt said and the words felt too sweet on his lips—too open and wanting. What was he saying? Yet, Geralt continued, nuzzling his face into Jaskier’s thigh as he thought of that scene from the tavern months earlier. “The love ballad from earlier.”
“You’ve worked on it long enough,” Geralt said. His eyes started to slip close and he went limp. It felt so good to lose himself in Jaskier’s touch. He felt so safe, so warm. Wishing to stay like that forever, Geralt asked again, “Sing it for me?”
After another few moments of silence, Jaskier slowly reached out and laid his hand against Geralt’s head. “Do you feel alright?” He asked, trailing his fingers down to Geralt’s cheek. “Your skin is hot. Are you sick? Do you have a fever?”
“Witchers don’t get sick,” Geralt said with a huff. “Don’t be foolish.” He peeked up at Jaskier’s face and was relieved to see a slight smile pulling at his lips.
“That’s more like the White Wolf I know,” Jaskier said as he rolled his eyes. “If you insist you are fine then I suppose I have no choice but to indulge you.”
Sighing, Geralt shook his head. “I feel more than fine,” he said and the urge to speak his mind overcame him again. “I like your voice. It’s soothing.” He took another deep breath, allowing Jaskier’s scent to flood his senses. “Sing for me, Jaskier?”
In the quiet of their room, Geralt heard Jaskier’s heartbeat skitter and speed up. He swallowed, nodding a little as he laid his hand against Geralt’s head. Humming under his breath, he trailed his fingers through Geralt’s hair, gently stroking over and over. Then just as Geralt thought he might fall asleep in that embrace, he started to sing. Jaskier’s voice was always sweet, though it seemed for that song he deepened it. The words burst with aching.
“It's what my heart just yearns to say
In ways that can't be said
It's what my rotting bones will sing
When the rest of me is dead
It's what's engraved upon my heart
In letters deeply worn,”
Peering up at him, Geralt’s heart twisted at the soft expression on Jaskier’s face. He kept singing, but it looked as if the words pained him. His fingers trailed down, slowly caressing Geralt’s cheek.
“Oh, darling, please be mine
I promise to fight them all—
when it all becomes too much
And he, he curses at the world
For leaving him behind—
and he's falling out of touch
And he is stronger than I’ve ever been—
I brush my hand through his hair
He's got so much fucking hair.”
It surprised Geralt that the song was about a male lover. He knew Jaskier loved both men and women, but it still made his chest ache. For if Jaskier loved men, why did he never look Geralt’s way? He nuzzled his hand into Jaskier’s hand, heart filled with such adoration for him. The walls preventing him from reaching out for those soft touches had completely collapsed. Idly, he wondered how he still tasted the wine on his lips.
“It's not fair, it's not fair how much I love you
It's not fair, 'cause you make me laugh
When I'm actually really—
fucking cross at you for something
And he'll say
‘Oh, how, oh, how unreasonable
How unreasonably in love—
I am with everything you do
I'll spend my days so close to you
'Cause if I'm standing here—
maybe everyone will think I'm alright,”
Closing his eyes, Geralt sighed. He let Jaskier’s voice wash over him and he wondered why he had never done this before. It felt like Jaskier’s hand belonged on his skin—like he was made to lay across his lap and listen as he sang. The sweet song was made for him, crafted for their love.
“And for some godforsaken reason
I'm still here, love—
like I've always been before—”
Jaskier suddenly broke off with a sob. Before Geralt could ask him what was wrong, he stood and Geralt had to scramble backward as he rushed across the room. “Fuck,” he said, hastily trying to wipe away tears. “I can’t do this. I just fucking can’t anymore, Geralt.”
“Do what?” Geralt asked, confused as to what went wrong. What had he done? He stood and walked over to Jaskier, tentatively reaching out to him. “What’s wrong?”
Voice shrill and panicked, Jaskier shook his head. “What’s wrong?” He repeated. “What’s wrong is that I can not get my hopes up any longer? I cannot read into every little thing you say and do and think that maybe it means something. Maybe there is love hidden in those beautiful golden eyes of yours or maybe I’ve lost my mind. I cannot read between the lines to assure myself you care for me or to delude myself into thinking you might—” He broke off as Geralt stepped closer and laid his hands on his shoulders.
Again, Geralt’s medallion started to hum. Some part of him tried to fight off the words bubbling to his lips, but it failed miserably. With a soft sigh, Geralt shook his head, “You don’t need to worry,” he said. “You’ve been right all along.”
Jaskier opened his mouth to protest, but Geralt wouldn’t let him.
“I love you,” he said and leaned in to kiss him.
Squeaking in surprise, Jaskier melted into the kiss but then pulled back almost immediately. “Oh no, no, no,” he said. “This isn’t right. Something is—” He broke off, smoothing his tongue across his lips. An action that made Geralt weak at the knees. “Why do your lips taste so sweet?” He drew in a shaking breath and his eyes darted over to the open bottle of wine. “Fuck Geralt, you always mock me for shit like this but—” He broke off and lurched forward, kissing Geralt hard as his tongue darted into his mouth. “You fool.”
Part of Geralt was insulted, but the more relaxed thoughts in his mind curled around the fact that Jaskier was kissing him. That he was holding him tight in his arms. He hummed and pulled him closer, deepening their kiss further. The medallion started humming again and Jaskier reached up, curling his fingers around it.
“Where did you get that?” Jaskier asked, chest heaving. When he pulled away, Geralt couldn’t help the whine that escaped his lips and he tried to kiss him again. “Geralt, focus.”
“The apothecary,” he mumbled. “Come back, Jaskier. Stop teasing me.”
“You just drank wine that a witch gave you?” Jaskier said in disbelief.
Frustrated, Geralt snapped back, “She wasn’t a witch. I know better than that.” When Jaskier still looked unsure, Geralt reached for him, cradling his face. “Come here.”
Biting his lip, Jaskier kept eyeing the wine. Geralt couldn’t piece together exactly what was going on as his mind seemed to be getting more and more muddled. All he could think of was how much he wanted to feel Jaskier’s lips on his again. It felt more incredible than he’d ever imagined and he needed more. There was nothing stopping him from finally giving into those desires.
“You know what? Fuck it,” Jaskier said. His eyes were still red and tear-filled but he lurched forward to kiss Geralt. “If my heart gets broken so be it.”
With a pleased hum, Geralt curled his fingers into Jaskier’s hair to pull him even closer. “I won’t,” he said softly. “I love you.”
“So you say,” Jaskier said. He let out a breathy little gasp as Geralt pressed his lips to his jaw and trailed kisses down his neck.
Burying his face in the crook of Jaskier’s neck like he so desperately wanted to do earlier, Geralt breathed him in. He surrounded himself in the scent of chamomile and went weak when he felt Jaskier’s pulse racing against his lips. As gently as he could, Geralt led back towards the bed and laid back on it, pulling Jaskier atop him.
“Why must you be so obstinate?” Geralt said with no real irritation behind it. He stroked his fingers across Jaskier’s cheek, smiling as he nuzzled closer. “I love you, Jaskier. I have for so long.”
“Please let that be true,” Jaskier said, reaching down to tug Geralt’s tunic off over his head. “Because I love you so much, dear heart.”
Face flushing hot again, Geralt rushed to help Jaskier out of his clothes as well. He held him close, trailing his hands across Jaskier’s skin and pressing gentle kisses to every part of him. At the same time, Jaskier returned the favor in full. Just as Geralt thought, his hands were well-practiced, dancing across his skin. When Jaskier dipped down again to kiss him, Geralt felt as if the world was spinning.
“I love you,” he whispered, closing his eyes and arching his head back as Jaskier sucked at his neck. “Fuck, I love you so much. I’ve wanted to tell you for long. Why haven’t I told you before?”
With a soft hum, Jaskier reached down and gently trailed his hand lower. Geralt gasped as he took hold and slowly started stroking.
“Yes,” Geralt said, voice shaking. “Please, Jaskier. I love you so much.”
Burying his face in Geralt’s neck, Jaskier nodded. “I love you,” he said softly in return between gasps. “Does that feel good?”
Kissing up Geralt’s neck and then finally catching his mouth again, Jaskier asked, “What do you want, love? What can I give you?”
Embarrassment flooded Geralt at the first thought coming to his mind. He thought against saying it for a moment, but then the sweet taste filled his mouth and his thoughts became cloudy again. Before he could stop himself, he said, “I want you inside me.”
Jaskier looked uncertain, his hand starting to slow.
When Geralt’s medallion rumbled again, he finally began to realize what was happening. Supposedly the fae were tricksters. Insulting them brought about their wrath more easily than anything. And Geralt told one straight to her face that she wasn’t real. Then immediately lied about not being in love. Her words came back to him, something about easing the burden on his mind. Feeling like a fool for not realizing what Jaskier must have, Geralt had to hold in a laugh. He met Jaskier’s gaze and gave him a reassuring smile.
“Oh, the wine was bewitched,” he whispered and the expression on Jaskier’s face grew pained. He started to pull away, but Geralt caught his wrist and tugged him back. “It’s a truth spell. Nothing more.” With another groan, Geralt arched closer to Jaskier. “I love you. I want this.”
Relief flooded across Jaskier’s face and he nodded, leaning down to kiss Geralt again. Their lips hardly parted as Jaskier reached for the oil and brought it over, carefully and lovingly preparing both of them. “Are you sure?” Jaskier asked one more time, still uncertain, still so nervous.
“Yes, more than anything.”
Warmth spread through Geralt’s whole body as Jaskier pushed inside of him. He curled his fingers into Jaskier’s hips, pulling him closer as they slowly rocked together. It felt more incredible than he had ever imagined and he leaned his head back, taking in deep shaking breaths. His heart felt as if it would burst at any moment and Geralt idly wondered how he could deny himself Jaskier. How could he push him away when it was so clear how much he loved him in return?
“I love you,” Geralt mumbled again, the spell pulling the words from his mind. “I love you, Jaskier.”
With a breathy gasp, Jaskier leaned closer and pressed his forehead to Geralt’s. “I love you too. So much, Geralt.”
In the morning all traces of the fae’s magic had faded from Geralt’s mind. He hummed, leaning on one hand as he watched Jaskier sleep. He had nestled close, resting his head right over Geralt’s heart. Trailing his fingers over his shoulder, Geralt couldn’t help but smile. For a moment, he was afraid that Jaskier might reject him still—that he just played along or the spell hadn’t been a truth spell. That it had somehow bewitched Jaskier too. Jaskier stirred and Geralt’s nerves were enough to make him tense.
Raising his head just a bit, Jaskier studied Geralt’s face. His blue eyes were sharp, almost worried. “How do you feel?”
“Fine,” Geralt said. He continued to trail his fingers across Jaskier’s skin, feeling more awkward without the fae’s magic quieting his doubts and insecurities.
“Just fine?” Jaskier asked, squinting at him.
Taking a deep breath, Geralt reached down to cup his face. “The fae’s magic has worn off,” he said slowly as he smooth his thumb across Jaskier’s cheek. “And I still love you.”
Jaskier’s expression crumbled into one of relief and he lurched forward to kiss Geralt, humming happily against his lips. “Why in the world have you let me pine after you all these years?” He said with mock outrage. “When you’ve been desperately in love with me all this time?”
“I wouldn’t say desperately in—”
With a soft little laugh, Jaskier silenced Geralt with a kiss. He trailed fingers along his jaw as he spoke, “Oh I would certainly consider dropping yourself into my lap and demanding I sing you a love song desperate, dear heart.”
Despite the embarrassment he felt, Geralt smiled. “Fine,” he said and he flipped their positions, gently pinning Jaskier to the mattress as he kissed him hard and long, leaving Jaskier breathless when he pulled back. “Let me show you exactly how desperate I am.”
When Geralt and Jaskier eventually dressed and left their rooms to return to the road, Geralt took a detour back to the apothecary. Celeste was outside, trimming some leaves off the flowers. Despite the annoyance Geralt felt at being deceived, he had to admit that he would have never confessed his love without her trickery. He plucked a bluebell that was growing near the path and walked up to her.
“Here,” he said, offering the flower when she glanced up.
With a cheeky smile, the fae took the flower and tucked it behind her ear. “Why thank you, witcher,” Celeste said. “I was half afraid you’d return to drive your silver sword into my chest this morning.” She flicked her wrist and a blue rose appeared between her fingers. “I am guessing this means you would like the flower for your lover after all?”
Geralt took it and sighed. “Don’t make a habit of bewitching people,” he said as he turned to leave.
“Dear, I only bewitch those who deserve it,” Celeste said. Her eyes sparkled and Geralt’s medallion shook against his chest. “Or those who need it.”
“Sure,” Geralt said and turned to leave.
Before he could, Celeste called after him, “I wish you and your love a long and happy life together.”
Though he didn’t say it aloud, Geralt hoped for the same. He returned to the inn in time to catch Jaskier feeding Roach an abundance of sugar cubes. Immediately, he dropped his hands behind his back and faked a smile. “Ah, Geralt,” he said. “Ready to get back on the road?” Behind him, Roach continued to nudge at his sleeves and lick his hands.
Ignoring Jaskier’s obvious guilt, Geralt walked over and offered the rose to Jaskier. “Here,” he said. “Matches your eyes.”
Startled, Jaskier gently took the rose. He looked between it and then back to Geralt. When his expression dropped into a soft smile, Geralt’s heart swelled with a trembling warmth. He understood one of the lyrics in Jaskier’s song perfectly. How his love made him ache for him. Because he felt like his chest would split in two every time that adoration filled Jaskier’s eyes.
“Let’s go,” Geralt said, lifting Jaskier’s chin with one finger to press a chaste kiss to his lips. “You can sing that song on the road.”
“Is that a thinly veiled request?”
Jaskier laughed, chasing after Geralt as he led Roach away. “Oh darling, you will be hearing that song every day until you grow sick of me.”
“So the rest of my life then?”
Again, Jaskier seemed stunned into silence. His smile wobbled. “Not fair,” he said nearly whining. “I’m not used to you being so sweet to me. How can you sweep me off my feet with every other word you speak?”
“I’m just speaking the truth,” Geralt said, a smirk tugging at his lips. “You seemed to like that.”
Jaskier rushed to his side, leaning against his arm. “Oh, I absolutely do. Please never stop, dear heart.”
“I couldn’t if I tried,” Geralt said and let Jaskier curl their fingers together. He could feel Jaskier’s heartbeat fluttering and he smiled as he watched Jaskier admire the rose. In order to keep that moment, Geralt would give anything and everything.