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Cygnet

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Author Note: so only a few wolves died, Eskel is still alive because that was just bullshit.

GxJ

Geralt watched as Jaskier huddled close to his bowl of food for some warmth and made his way to the far corner of the still damaged dining room. Even several days after the disaster of Voleth Meir attacking the keep and the loss of several of his brothers, the clean-up was done and Jaskier had helped as much as he could while radiating pain and sadness.

"You need to speak with him Geralt." Yennefer stated as she eyed the bard with concern. She knew the main reason why he avoided Geralt, her and Triss knew of course because they were healing him of the wounds left of that Fire Fucker but… there are some wounds that can't be healed easily.

"I know but the only people he doesn't avoid is you, Triss and oddly Vesemir." Geralt replied, his eyes narrowing as Jaskier winced and rubbed his hands. "I… Blood…"

Yennefer and Triss snapped their heads to the door as a flurry of chaos crackled across the air. Both sorceresses followed closely after the witchers prepared to defend and counterattack. The doors slammed open with a loud bang and Yennefer cast a shield the moment she saw who was in the middle of the courtyard.

"Rosalie?" She gasped, pushing past Geralt and Lambert with ease to her old friend's side.

Rosalie's normally pristine hair was a mess, her own violet eyes dark and smeared with kohl. What was worse was that Emmett her husband was slumped over covered with blood; his armour was absolutely shredded.

"Yen, thank fuck you're here. Look we need help."

Vesemir rushed forward to grab Emmett of the Bear school. "What's happened?"

Emmett grunted as he stood straight the best he could while not pulling at the open gashes on his chest. "We need everyone, Isa snapped."

Vesemir and the others inhaled sharply, they had just lost brothers and it had been a very long time since a Witcher went off the deep end and needed to be put down. Isa was a rare breed, like Geralt she managed to survive very well against the mutagens, but while Geralt had only had to suffer through another round of the Grasses… Isabella had suffered through four.

It was Marcus of the Bear school who had found out that Carlisle and Aro had kept her in the bowls of the Viper schools castle and put her through not only bear, but cat, vipers, and something unknown to everyone but those two. As a result, Isa had permanent alterations to her eyes, to the point that she must wear a veil to cut the light down as her eyes look like she swallowed Cat every few hours and her durability to everything else was twice as much.

But she had the most restraint of them all. No one knew what protected her from the insanity, but she was one no one had to worry about.

"How?" Lambert asked with wide eyes. "The fuckin' lass has a grip on sanity the likes none of us 'as ever seen. What made her snap?"

Emmett snarled at them all, he didn't have time, it was only his wife's hand on his back that stilled him in his own rage. "She lost Cygnet. She went to meet him as regular and only found his blood and rumours that Nilfgaard attacked."

"Look we need to go there's only so much time that Maria, Jasper, Peter and Marcus can hold her off," Rose stated watching as all the witchers dashed inside, it didn't take them long to come back out with potions, weapons and armour.

Triss hummed and eyed Ciri. "I'll stay here and make more potions for when is needed, Ciri will you help me?"

"But I…" Ciri began to protest only to stop when Geralt shook his head.

"You're a capable fighter Ciri but you can't come this time. A Feral Witcher can take on the best of us and even we struggle. The best way for you to help is to make sure that we have enough Swallow and White Honey for us when we get back. Jaskier will be staying too, and you know how he is, you'll have to keep an eye on him." Geralt stated his heart twisting in his chest at the thought of Jaskier.

He may not come back from this, and he had so many regrets when it came to Jaskier but… he couldn't let him come along. He already lost the bard once but this would be different, if Isa killed him then Geralt would lose Jaskier for good.

"What is going on, why is everyone prepared for battle?" Jaskier's voice rang out, stilling Geralt and others.

Jaskier frowned as he huddled further into his trench coat and stepped out into the snow, burying his hands in his armpits to keep them warm. His eyes took in all the worried faces of the unnamed witchers with a sense of dread, something was wrong. Geralt caught his eye, and something eased within his chest, okay so it wasn't Geralt thank melitele but then…

"Emmett? Rosalie, what's happened!?" He gasped out as he took in the beaten Witcher and Sorceress. "Where are the others?"

Rosalie felt her eyes widen as she took in the dishevelled boy before her, her heart racing in horror as she cast a glance at her husband who was paling even more so at the scene. "Fuck… fuck! FUCK!"

"Cygnet!? You're alive?" Emmett grunted out and stepped out of Rosalie's arms, clutching Julek tightly.

"Alive? Of course, I am alive, why wouldn't I be? I know I look like shit but being chased across half the bloody continent from some fire fucker and then fighting a fucking psychotic witch… why would you think I wa…" He trailed off as something finally clicked into his head.

He was ready for bed, a long night of performing and an ever longer day of securing passage for the elves to reach Cintra. He couldn't be bothered undressing and just flopped on the small bed he had acquired after the mountain incident when he finally got back to Oxenfurt.

'Julek… Julek…'

A groan escaped his lips as he heard the subtle vibration and whispered words from the box that rested in his bedside drawer.

'Julek, I'll be with you soon to take you to Haern Caduch with me. War is coming. See you soon little Cygnet'

A sharp hiss escaped through his lips, that was just the day before Yen found him, thanks to helping her, being tortured… everything after the fact… he forgot that he was being gathered to return to the keep. Horror the likes he had never felt before welled up within him as he took in the grim faces of those before him, the blood…. Fuck.

"What happened?" He demanded as he pushed out of Emmett's embrace.

Rosalie grimaced as she glanced down at Julek. "She found your lute broken Julek and went searching for you. Everyone she spoke with said you were dead and then she found that room that was coated in your blood… it took Marcus and Mey to get her back to Haern Caduch with the help of others. She took out a mass of Nilfgaard's army and the fuck who tortured you but by the time that happened… Julek she's gone feral… maybe seeing you will calm her enough for Maria and Peter to knock her out."

Jaskier closed his eyes and nodded, his hands carefully pulling out the tuning fork he always wore and moved towards Emmett.

"Are you sure?" Emmett asked as he cast a look over to Geralt and back.

With a nod Jaskier let Emmett take the necklace and waited, his body tense in preparation for the pain that will come from the strong illusion he's worn for many years to break. A gasp escaped him as he heard the gold snap followed by the burn of fire trailing up his skin and washing all that was Jaskier the Bard into Julek of the Swan Clan once more.

"What the fuck?!" Geralt snarled, stepping forward towards his bar… Jaskier with confusion and rage that the other Witcher caused, only pausing when Yen placed her hand on his arm.

"Geralt, surely you knew he wasn't human… they just broke a very old glamour, all will be well." She murmured low enough for only he to hear, her eyes never leaving the bard.

Tan skin turned paler, hair darkening and oh… oh… his ears pointed in the familiar way of an elf, but it was his eyes that took all that knew him off guard. They were still blue of a deep river, but they shone with chaos behind them… yet… yet it was his left eye that horrified them all… it had the familiar ring of gold and slight cat like iris of a Witcher.

"The fuck?" Lambert uttered as he took a good look, his eyes flickering to Vesemir who for once looked pale beyond belief.

Jaskier slumped and removed his jacket, letting it drop to the ground as he rolled his shoulders to remove the stiffness. "I'll explain later but please we need to go."

Rosalie and Yen exchanged a glance and opened a portal.

Jaskier didn't hesitate to sprint through.

GxJ

The first thing they all noticed was the screaming, the snarls and the scent of blood, the first thing Geralt noticed was that Jaskier was not in front of them. Rosalie and Emmett rushed forwards leading them all through the slightly repaired keep to where the snarls were growing louder.

"Thank fuck!" Aiden yelled as he caught sight of them all, his eye going right to Lambert. "We've managed to get her in the training room, but Marcus took a bad hit. Garrett had to drag his ass down to the healing where Kate is waiting."

"Where is Jaskier?" Geralt asked as he took in the destroyed room and still not finding him.

"Cygnet? He went in." Aiden stated with a confused brow. "Thank fuck he's alive too, I didn't want to kill another one of us but… Isa is unhinged."

Vesemir silently told his boys to go and help while he looked at the seeping wounds on the Cat before him. He wasn't overly fond of the school, no one was but this one he had met before one lone winter when Lambert dragged him in.

"You'll be fine soon; the wounds are already closing." He uttered, eyes snapping to the door as several snarls vibrated the door. "How bad truly?"

Aiden let out a harsh breath as scrubbed his head. "She decimated hundreds of troops Vesemir, half of Oxenfurt was on fire and fuck… she killed Nilfgaards sorceress with her bare hands before we could get her."

GxJ

Jaskier ran the halls of his home with all the speed he could muster, following the sounds of screams as he did. His heart pounded loudly in his ears and fuck he hoped he was not too late. He hoped and prayed to Melitele that he could pull her out of this. He couldn't lose her.

"Julek? I thought you were dead!?" Aiden was the first he saw as he pushed through the doors.

"Not now, others are coming…" He rushed out as he slammed bodily into the massive doors of the training room.

The thick wooden doors held back most of the noise and the scent of blood. The usually neat area was scorched, battered and nearly coated completely in blood. He ducked left avoiding the dagger that was kicked off course and rushed over to Peter who was holding his hand at his hip, keeping the blood at bay, his free hand was forming Quen.

Jaskier quickly ducked under the arm, his eyes flicking over the room to see that Isa was fighting off Garrett and Jasper, both tag teaming and dodging the best they could against her rage. Maria was off to the side chanting and… fuck Marcus was down. He watched as Garrett rushed the Elder Witcher out of the room with haste, Kate's name on his lips.

"Fuck kid, she was told you were dead," Peter grunts out as Julek began to roughly sew the wound on his hip, just like he was taught long ago when in a rush.

Hissing as a sharp pain of a blade whizzed past his leg as Peter lost focus when the door slammed open once more and the others rushed in. His heart picked up again as he took in the familiar black eyes of Cat ingested Witchers, their swords were drawn as they charged towards Isa.

"NO!" He screamed, his hand flinging out to cast Quen just as Isa snarled and turned, her own black pools locking on Geralt. Because of course, that idiot of mine is first…

Both slammed into the shield with a resounding boom, shattering the shield and sending two of them backwards. Isa twisted mid-air and landed on all fours sliding backwards in momentum with bared teeth while Geralt was caught by a surprised Eskel and Jasper. In a blink Isa was up and snarling again, her claws slashing out and if it wasn't for the fast reflexes of all Geralt would have been slashed from hip to shoulder.

They all charged at her, Jaskier slipping between them all and taking a fist to the face for his mistakes. Isa's eyes were unfocused and there was no way that being seen by her would make her snap out, not in this haze. He took another flurry of hits and kicks, even an elbow to the ribs from Coen as Isa ducked out of the way, leaving him in the way of the hit and sending him backwards.

Jaskier rushed forward, using Peter as a vault and diving for Isa, disarming her of her weapons with a practised ease. He had spent many days and nights with her practising as he recovered from the mutations that they managed to stop. His reflexes were not as fast as hers or even a regular Witcher but she made sure that he could keep up with them all, fighting dirty so to speak and he always used it against her, though albeit reluctantly then… but he couldn't be more thankful now, even more so as he wrapped his arms and legs around her like a limpet.

"LET GO OF ME!" Isa snarled as she struggled within the grip. "THEY WILL PAY FOR HIS DEATH!"

"Isa stop!" he begged. "I'm not dead!"

Geralt rushed forward as he watched Jaskier's grip slipping and helped, his own hands joining Jaskier's to keep her still.

"NILFGAARD LIES!" Sharp teeth snapped inches from Geralt's face causing him to jerk back and look at his brother.

"Eskel! Axii!" He shouted and watched as Eskel's fingers formed the familiar sign.

"NO!" Several voices rung out just as the blue hue of the sign hit her.

Isa snarled and bucked, sending Geralt flying but Jaskier stuck, his dagger digging into her shoulder to keep holding on and whispered apologies. A cry of pain escaped his lips as she slammed him into a broken part of the wall, feeling something in his side crack. It gave her a moment of pause, but it wasn't enough and a moment later she was upon Geralt who was rushing towards Jaskier, only to gasp as Isa dug the dagger that was in her shoulder into the gap of his armour and into his stomach.

Yen and Maria rushed to Jaskier, their hands glowing with power while Garrett and Peter dove at Isa as the Wolves went for Geralt. Rosalie was at the door with strain on her face trying to break through the rage of haze that Isa's mind was in.

"MOTHER STOP!" Jaskier screamed stilling every single person in the room, including Isa. "Stop!"

His eyes tracked the way that his mothers form seemed to jerk, recognition flashing bright across her blackened eyes, and it gave him an idea. It had been a long while since he sung it, but then again it had been a long time since he was a child. His eyes flickered over those who helped raised him, those that knew the song and then to the Wolves of Kaer Morhen.

"Vargen ylar i nattens skog

Han vill men kan inte sova

Hungern river i hans varga buk

Och det är kallt i hans stova."

Vesemir frowned as he saw the others stiffen, their hands grasping their chosen weapon of choice as they eyed his pups warily.

"Cy..Ju?" Isa managed to utter, ending in a snarl.

Jaskier felt hope bloom before starting again, perhaps the old tongue she taught him can't reach her right now. Goddess, he wished for his lute right now as it would help but his voice would have to do.

"The wolf is howling in the forest of the night.

He wants to, but cannot sleep

The hunger tears his wolven stomach

And it's cold in his burrow."

The wolves stiffened as they watched the Bard sing, his eyes closed and voice a soft whisper. Their eyes scanned the room to see the others, their brethren even if they were from the other schools pin them with a stare.

"Wolf, wolf, don't you come here… I will never let you take my child…" Isa gasped out, her body collapsing in the arms of those who held her gasping. Her eyes cleared of the grief-stricken haze to see her son before her. "Julek?"

Relief coursed through him as he rushed forward, ignoring all the injuries on him and her both as he pulled her into his embrace. "Mother."

"I... I thought you were dead… how?" Isa asked as she grasped him tightly, her eyes taking him in. She savoured every drop of him but saw all the injuries he had sustained since the last she saw him… and the fact that he was de-glamoured. "Julek?"

A sigh escaped his lips as he understood what she was asking. "Let us get you to Kate and Mey first… You're injured and I'd rather you not bleed to death after all I- we just did to bring you back to the present."

Isa's eyes scanned the room and took in the sight of her kin, eyes stopping on the familiar white hair of the White Wolf. She felt the rage bubble up, a snarl building in her chest as the memories of what her son told her he had done come flooding back.

"Its… its okay… I'll explain but… he apologised." Jaskier managed to get out, his eyes avoiding Geralt at the blatant lie.

All chose to ignore it for now as a pained wheeze escaped Isa.

"What… What did I do?" She asked as Peter saddled up to her other side. "I can't remember anything after finding the room full of Julek's blood."

Clearing his throat with unease Peter sighed. "We're not sure exactly till we found you but… Fuck Isa, half of Nilfgaards army is gone, their sorceress is eviscerated, and blood eagled, no one has done that in centuries… Oxenfurt was on fire… you…"

Isa felt her stomach roll with bile, and she managed to shove them both away from her as she puked up all that was in her stomach. Her eyes clenched shut as she tried to force down all the emotions she was feeling, she couldn't lose her very tenuous grip on sanity again.

"Fuck, FUCK, FUCK!" She screamed out in agony as she realised what she had just done. It took Julek literal years to build back Geralt's reputation from the Butcher of Blaviken and the start of making Witcher's, as a whole, better… now she's gone and fucked that up. Isabella the Berserk, Mutilator of Zerrikania, beast of Korath… now slaughterer of Nilfgaard.

"Stop," Jaskier stated as he watched her form grow tenser and tenser, he knew exactly what she was thinking. "Whatever the voices are saying they're not true. Not completely. Nilfgaard will always see us as monsters, they killed thousands… Cintra and many other towns are gone. You possibly saved all of the North."

"Plus, Fringilla was a bitch." Yen stated calmly, hearing and seeing all in the Witcher's head.

Isa snarled at the sorceress, "that doesn't make it right or easier coming from you of all people."

"Isa, we need to get you to Kate now," Maria stated, stopping whatever Yennefer was about to say in her tracks. "The wound I rushed to heal is opened and if we don't get to her now, then you'll bleed out and Julien risking his life and his revealing himself to the Wolves would be for nothing."

"Maria!" Jaskier stated, snapping his mouth shut when the woman narrowed her eyes at him.

Not now Julien, she would rather bleed out and die than get healing… you know what she is thinking. You know how she feels about what she is and does…

A sigh escaped his lips as Maria pushed her thoughts into his head and nodded, helping his mother to her feet with Peter once more and began their way down to the healing chambers. Thankful that Emmett and Rose had kept moving to keep the doors open so they weren't hindering their progress forward more.

Aiden held up his hands as they continued, keeping the wolves that came with them from following. "Maria! Rose said that Triss is back at the wolves keep making salves and potions."

Maria cast a thankful nod over her shoulder to the Cat Witcher and left, closing the door to the training room behind her.

"Look, I know you want to help right now but you can't." Aiden started as he turned to the others, his eyes locking on Lambert briefly with a flash of pain before glancing at the White Wolf and sorceress. "Isa's grip on sanity right now is very tenuous, take that from me. Her rage at the two of you will push her over the edge and she, they don't need that right now."

Geralt frowned, "What do you mean?"

"You can't be that thick." The Cat uttered in disbelief. "Jaskier is her son. Her son who has been hurt beyond repair by the person he considered his only friend for decades… and the sorceress who added on that every time you fucked off to fuck her."

"That's not fair on them." Eskel started, snapping his mouth shut as the Cat's sharp gaze flickered to him.

"Yes, we know, a wish pulled them together. But the fact remains, how would you feel if you had to watch someone you love completely to disregard you for another? But that could be forgiven if it wasn't for the mountain… Why is it whenever I find myself in a pile of shit these days, it's you, shovelling it!"

The words burn and slap Geralt with the ferocity of an Arch Griffin, the words he uttered so long ago thrown back in his face so casually and not from the person he expected it. His breathing hitches as he hears the sudden inhale of Yennefer, could smell the acrid scent of fury and pain that radiated off her skin.

She knew… she knew now. He had apologised to her long ago, properly for the sake of Ciri but Jaskier he… fuck Geralt didn't apologise, did he? He uttered the words as they made their way to rescue Ciri, but they weren't actually the ones Jaskier wished to hear, that Geralt needed to say.

"How?"

Aiden cocked a brow at that. "How do I know?"

"Yes."

"Garrett is my brother; his wife is a Mage who is kin to Rosalie. Rose is married to Emmett of the Bear school and sister of Jasper the Mage and Peter of the Griffin school… but overall… I shouldn't have to fucking say this. We all know Isabella's story here, you of all know what it does to…" He trailed off with a hiss, reigning in the Cat Madness.

Yen frowned. "We didn't know that Jaskier was a Witcher, let alone the son of one."

Vesemir eyes his Pup and the sorceress taking in their body language and turning back to Lambert's Cat. "They have a point; the bard has been travelling with Geralt for near 20 years now and though we knew he wasn't human the fact that he was a Witcher never was brought up. Marcus and I were old friends, we spoke long ago and cater…." He trailed off as a thought popped into his head.

"Mir, I do not know how Isabella did it, but she stopped the mutations. Aro had taken her child, injected him with the same mutations as hers but she stopped it. Aro is dead, he suffered the same fate as Carlisle and Edward and now Cygnet is a thing… half human, half Witcher." Marcus explained with a bewildered experience that made Vesemir's stomach churn, all thoughts on Isa and Geralt and their mutations.

"And he lived? He is sane?" He asked.

Marcus lifted his eyes up and something in them made Vesemir shudder. "Yes, but Isa's even now more unhinged. He is of her blood now, even if he was a Child Surprise, they used her blood for the mutations. The violence that she enacted was… beyond words. Yet he also keeps her sane, he sings to her when she reaches a rage, a bard he wished to be…"

"Fuck." He uttered; he should have connected the dots long ago. What sane person would join a Witcher on the path for even a week let alone 20 years, what normal human would be able to survive that long. "Fuck."

"You figured it out then." Marcus's voice pipes up from the door, his voice barely above a whisper. Age had finally caught up with him, more so than Vesemir but then again that doesn't surprise him. Marcus was the second made from the original Witchers.

Vesemir nodded sharply sending a glare towards his pups quickly. "I had never met him before he turned up to Kaer Morhen. How is she?"

"She is not well," Marcus sighed. "She was heavily wounded, toxic and… it was Korath all over again."

A pained hiss escaped Vesemir at that, the reminder of that place. He had gone with Marcus, Caius, Vlad and the Whitlock's to the tower of Edwardand Carlisle. Isa was a Child Surprise to one of the elder witchers before the schools formed and who had worked for a Mage, Edward, who had become obsessed with… delusional into believing they were in love and begged his supposed father to make her immortal like them. Carlisle became obsessed when he realised that she was… immune to power so to speak and the experiments… it was horrific… they used a mixed blend of mutagens from several of the schools and then another when she lived… but that sweet girl was no longer who she used to be.

It was a bloodbath.

Isabella was fierce, and sweet but trained like all children even though she couldn't and wouldn't be put through the trials and woman were more… viable to death than boys. Yet…yet she did survive and by the time they all reached the Korath Desert, the three and the entire small town that lived there was slaughtered.

It took Marcus and Didyme nearly a decade to even speak.

It took even longer for Jasper, Peter, and Emmett to get her to leave.

Then the fall of Haern Caduch.

The sacking of Kaer Morhen happened.

Then everything went to shit and Vesemir lost contact for a while with the others, until one spring Isabella showed up at the same shitty town he was in, she had smiled at him. That was when Vesemir was told about the Child Surprise, that Marcus and a handful lived.

It was only a Witcher blink later when Marcus and he finally had that talk.

"Come, I will show you the bathing rooms and then to the great hall to eat. I am sure that Lottie would have made enough for all, she cannot fight and her chaos diminished during Sodden." Marcus rasped gesturing for them all to follow him.

Bathing was done in a haze for Geralt, his mind far away as he thought about Jaskier and everything that's happened. How could he keep something like this from Geralt? Did he not trust him? If life could give me one blessing… his own words were whispered traitorously in his mind and it brought forth all the things he had said to the Bard.

All things that in the end Geralt thought Jaskier knew was a loving tease… after all it was Jaskier who made the effort to understand Geralt, who understood him… but now the Wolf was questioning everything. It made his chest tighten in pain as he realised how much pain he had caused his best friend, the man he had come to love.

Fuck. But it explained so much, why Jaskier was never afraid of him, not even after the first time he punched him on that shitty road long ago at Posada. Why he always laughed at the townsfolk when they told him that Geralt was swallowed by a monster or dead. The deft hand at healing, the way he knew to organise his potions and herbs.

"Geralt!" Ciri's voice echoed through the hall and effectively pulled him from his darkened thoughts.

He blinked twice as he caught Ciri around the middle, taking in the fact that he can't remember how he got to the Great Hall, or how he got the food that was in front of him. Ciri babbled at him telling him how Triss showed her how to break down and grind the herbs that were safe for her to do so to make potions and healing balms.

"Geralt are you even listening?" She asked with a huff, earning a slight smile from the others.

"Hmm," he hummed. "I am proud Ciri, but why are you here? How?"

"An angry mage came to get Triss as she's apparently the best healer besides Mey? I was told to come as they didn't wish to leave me alone." Ciri explained as she moved to cuddle into Yen's side and steal a bowl of food.

Yen was staring at him, concern barely hidden within their depths. Are you alright?

No… he replied with a shake of his head, twisting enough to gesture towards the vague direction of Jaskier, his eyes slipping closed as the regret and pain filled him once more. He had so much to apologise for. So much.

Fuck.

GxJ

Jaskier helped carry his mother to the healing rooms, his eyes flitting around nervously and even more so to the doors that were closed behind him. Now that the adrenalin was no longer pumping furiously in his veins, the whole day caught up to him and the explanations he will need to give.

Fuck, he will have to explain the lie to Geralt… the man who took minor lies as a massive slight. The man who he had loved since that fucking awful week after the elves. Curse his bard heart. His eyes slipped close briefly at the regret and the fact that he had finally got the man by his side again only… only this may break whatever tentative peace between them.

"Stop stressing Cygnet." Isa croaked out, even half-dead and in serious brain she still mothered him. "I am… functioning and the wolf will deal."

A huff escaped Peter's lips. "The Wolf as you so call him was a friend to you not long ago."

"He was till he broke my son." Isa snarled, her whole body vibrating with the action and stilling both men as she gasped in pain, her hand flying to the wound on her chest. "He was a friend till I found that out… till that fucking mountain."

"Mother… I…" Jaskier started, his voice catching in his throat as her eyes squinted at him, daring him to say a word.

"I know you love him still Cygnet, I know you always will… that is a curse of a Swan. We mate for life." She grunted, pushing them on. "But he hurt you and no amount of friendship that he and I once shared will change the fact that I will gut him painfully slow and have Mey heal him for you."

"Who am I healing now besides you?" Didyme asked with raised unimpressed brows.

"Geralt."

"No one."

"Wolf."

The three replied at once, causing Mey to sigh exasperated and help them shift Isa onto a cot. Her hands flew to the wound Maria had healed briefly and began to knit the skin together once more with a few muttered words of Eldar, her eyes glowing bright toxic green as she siphoned off the plants that were brought in for this specifically.

It wasn't long till Triss came barrelling in with Maria and Rose, her hands full of vials and balms. It took them nearly two hours to fix what they could and put Isa under a healing sleep after shoving her mouth with reluctant potions.

"She will sleep for a day or three, depending. If I didn't know how her mutations worked then I would be questioning how she lived still… now come here Julek, I wish to hug you and assure myself you are indeed alive." Mey whispered tiredly, pulling the bard into a hug and whispering words of love into his ear.

"Marcus took the others to the hall, that is where they will be."

"They are, Jasper is with Kate and Garrett keeping them there," Maria explained as she stepped into the room, her own grey eyes assessing the bard. "Glad you're alive Cygnet, we couldn't lose her so soon after we apparently lost you."

Emmett hissed as Triss touched the tender marks across his torso and cast a look at his wife who held the now repaired lute in her hands. "We were worried."

"I'm sorry." Jaskier breathed out pained. "There was no time, between the torture, Geralt finding me and then finding Yennefer who had taken Ciri under the power of Voleth Meir… everything after that… I forgot she was coming to bring me here."

Several of the elders hissed. "Voleth Meir escaped?"

Locking eyes with Didyme, Jaskier nodded. "She possessed Ciri, killed some of the Wolves, and… it has been a long fucking month. But she's gone, banished back to the realm she came from."

It soothed Didyme and worried her at the same time, this was something she was going to speak with Marcus about. Perhaps it was time to put the petty feud between them and Vlad to deal with… all that information.

"Go eat, she will be fine," Didyme ordered with a sigh, watching as they all reluctantly left only leaving Jaskier in the room. "You too, there are conversations that will need to be had, the glamour cannot be recast again… Athenodora is gone, and she was the only one powerful enough to make one to mute the mutagens."

A deep sigh escaped his lips. "I know. I'm not thrilled it is gone but between my mother and my life as Jaskier… I'd choose her."

Humming, Mey placed her hand on his shoulder as his eyes cast to the door. "Go Julek, she will be here when you return."

GxJ

"Geralt." Jaskier called with a tired sigh, his eyes downcast and his body hunched in.

Geralt stood hastily from the chair in the room he was given, facing Jaskier with wide eyes. "Jask, you're okay."

"Yes," He replied, eyes still downcast. "For now. We need to talk."

"Hmm."

Silence stretched between them awkwardly, for the first time since meeting neither knew what to say. So many times, both had opened their mouth to say something but always snapped it shut with an audible click.

A deep sigh escaped Geralt's lips as he sat back down, his hands hanging between his knees in defeat. "Why didn't you ever tell me? Were you ever going to?"

"No-Yes-I don't know Geralt… Me being this way was a result of torture the likes I never wish to remember but do. I spent my whole life as this abomination and after years of begging I was granted the illusion I so desired because really… look at me." Jaskier hissed in slight hysterics, causing the Wolf to look at him.

Pale skin blotched in different shades, his eyes blue as the sky in spring, but it was one human eye, one eye of a Witcher staring back. Scars marred his face, nothing as bad as his brother or Coën or even Aiden but enough to know that Jaskier found them bothersome. Yet, yet Geralt still saw Jaskier, the boy who laughed at him in Posada, who treated his wounds and made sure that the villagers didn't cast him out. Fuck, even like this Geralt saw him, saw his wonder.

But that isn't what Geralt was supposed to look at, no he was supposed to see the same thing that Jaskier has spent the last twenty years trying to drill into his own head. With a swift move, he was up and pulling the Bard into his arms.

"You told me that my eyes and hair, my mutations, didn't make me a monster." He whispered softly. "What makes you think that I will let you think the same way? You're the same man who found me in that shithole, with the eyes of a Witcher or not."

Jaskier tensed in Geralt's arms before collapsing completely. This wasn't like the quick hug in the jail cell, no, this felt entirely different and Jaskier wished for it to never end.

"I have loved you for many years I think." Geralt muttered against Jaskier's hair, breathing in the scent of spring leaves, chamomile, and early morning mists. "And I will continue to love you for many more."

Surprise shot through Jaskier causing him to jerk back and stare at Geralt, inhaling deeply to spot the lie only to find none. There was no lie in his words, only truth and something within Jaskier just fell away.

"Gods Geralt, I've loved you since Posada." He chuckled back, gasping as Geralt surged forward and pulled him into a searing kiss. It was his dream come true, after so many years of wanting, of watching him and Yen disappear for a romp… he was finally getting his happy ever after.

Pulling apart with a gasp Geralt rested his forehead against his bard and closed his eyes with a contented hum, squinting as the bard gave a soft chuckle.

"Hm?"

"I'll try not to let Isa kill you," Jaskier explained with a smirk, watching as Geralt's eyes snapped open and dilate.

"You joke but Isabella and I are very much the same. She and I had undergone multiple trials except where mine was multiple doses of the Wolf School, hers were many others as you should know… but… I may be strong, stronger than normal witchers… Jaskier… Isabella has always beaten me, she is a force to be reckoned with." Geralt explained with a slight note of apprehension.

"Ah but my love, you forget, if I ask her not to kill you, she won't." Jaskier chuckled and placed another kiss upon the wolf Witcher's lips. "But come, let us go find my kin and your child surprise, I'm sure they would like to hear the story."

"Hm, yes, let's."

GxJ

Okay don't ask why I ended it there, but I did... Maybe, MAYBE I might write a oneshot or snippets of time in this Universe.