So, I’ve been struggling to write these past few days, and to get over it I took a heap of prompts that I got sent a couple of weeks ago and combined them to make, just, the most trope-laden thing ever. I think there are 10 or 11 different tropes/clichés in here. 2.5k, rated T.
Jaskier trots down the sunlit road, pleased with the new books bouncing against his hip in his satchel and blithely working out the chords to his newest song, when his attention is suddenly and not altogether unpleasantly caught by the sight of Geralt hurrying from around a corner towards him.
“Geralt!” He chirrups, “How was the—”
“We need to get out of here,” says Geralt, without stopping.
Geralt grabs his arm and starts tugging him back the way he came, not quite running. Jaskier twists around just in time to see a group of men emerge from the bend in the road, peering around. One of them shouts. “The witcher!”
He quickens his pace, still looking over his shoulder. One of the men is pointing, another reaching over his back to grab - oh, fuck - a crossbow.
“We don’t have time for—”
He twists them both around, pulling Geralt towards him and pinning him beneath his body against the closest wall as the crossbow bolt zooms past his back with a deadly sounding thwip.
He’s interrupted by the heavy sound of his bag sliding right off his shoulder and onto the floor, books and all. The bolt has sliced cleanly through the leather strap. He barely has a moment to register the near miss before Geralt grabs his wrist and they really are running, the men a little way behind.
“We need to hide,” Geralt pants. “Just...”
Without another word, he pulls them both quickly left, skidding into an alleyway between two lopsided buildings barely big enough for one person, let alone two. Geralt doesn’t let go of Jaskier’s wrist as he squeezes them both into the tiny, dead-end space, and by the time he releases him Jaskier is pressed fully against his chest, his hands resting on Geralt’s shoulders, their noses nearly brushing.
He should be terrified, Jaskier knows. There’s a sting between his shoulder blades, and the thrum of the crossbow bolt is still ringing unpleasantly in his ears. He could have been killed.
But all he can think of is the heat of Geralt’s body pressed so close to his, the way he feels beneath his hands, the way Geralt’s arms crowd him, the hot huff of his breath temptingly close to his lips. His mouth goes dry and his heart thuds in his chest like a drum - like a whole army of drummers - in a way that has nothing to do with the brush with death.
“Did it hit you?” Geralt mutters, keeping his voice low and his eyes towards the entry to the alleyway.
Jaskier forces himself to speak. “I…” he swallows heavily, wriggling his shoulders, wincing as the pain flares. “I think so. Fuck. Geralt—”
Geralt finally looks at him, and Jaskier can feel his breath on his cheek. His expression is… angry. Pained. “I shouldn’t have gotten you tangled in this,” he says.
Jaskier tries and fails to smile. “I’m already tangled up in you,” he mutters, horribly aware of how true that is. “Too late now.”
There’s a noise from the road beyond - a muffled shout - and Geralt freezes beneath Jaskier’s hands as his head snaps around. This close, Jaskier can see the way his pupils constrict as he focuses his gaze towards the bright rectangle of light framed between the two towering buildings. It’s fascinating, and Jaskier finds himself entranced, even with the looming threat of discovery.
They stand there for a moment, utterly still. Waiting.
But it’s just a merchant, plying his wares. He passes quickly, and Geralt relaxes a fraction, releasing the breath he’d been holding. It tickles over Jaskier’s skin, past his ear, far too warm; far too close. Geralt peers back towards him, his eyes still focused.
“Are you alright?” Jaskier doesn’t respond. He barely registers Geralt’s words. “Jaskier.”
Jaskier blinks, forcing himself to regain at least some semblance of dignity. He reminds himself, again, that there are men after them - armed men.
“I’m fine,” he says. It comes out weaker than he intended, his voice cracking around the final word.
Geralt pins him beneath that gaze, like he’s examining him. And then, with no small amount of wriggling and mavouring of them both, he reaches up and grabs Jaskier’s hand where it rests against his chest, slotting their fingers together. He squeezes, and Jaskier feels like his heart may be about to give out. Geralt leans closer - not that he needs to, in this tiny space - and Jaskier suppresses a shudder.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” He whispers, straight into Jaskier’s ear.
Jaskier is very much not alright. Geralt’s fingers twitch between his own, and their legs are tangled together, and his body is on fire in every place where they touch - which right now feels like it’s everywhere. Geralt’s lips ghost above his ear, brushing against the skin, sending fluttering little butterflies directly down his spine, swirling around his stomach and then - hot and urgent - even lower.
He cannot get a hard-on right now, not when they’re running for their lives, not when he was just shot with a fucking crossbow, even if the wound it left behind is little more than a scratch.
“Fine,” he says, and his treacherous voice shakes again. “I’m fine,” he repeats, this time with more certainty. “Really.”
Geralt frowns at him. Jaskier realises how he must look to the witcher, who can hear his thundering heart, feel his racing pulse in his fingertips. He doesn’t look thrilled: he looks terrified. No wonder Geralt is concerned. Usually, such attentiveness would make him ache, but right now it’s all too much.
He sighs, the expanding of his chest only forcing them closer together.
“Trust me, Geralt.” He shakes his head, as much as he can in the cramped space without brushing their lips together. “You’re so—”
Geralt’s eyes go suddenly wide, and with no warning whatsoever he lets go of Jaskier’s hand and instead clamps his palm over his mouth, smothering his words. Jaskier manages a brief, shocked mumble, feeling Geralt’s fingers pressing into his cheek, before hearing the voices that Geralt must have caught just a few seconds before his human hearing.
They both go still. Geralt watches the entrance to the alleyway, eyes narrowed, while Jaskier watches his face, waiting. His palm is softer than he’d expected, pressed hotly against his lips. He can’t help but wonder what Geralt’s skin tastes like. Sweat and horse, probably. Somehow that thought does nothing to ease the urge to lick him.
The voices grow louder. He’s no idea if it’s the people who were chasing Geralt, or just bystanders going about their lives.
After a long, drawn-out moment Geralt removes his hand. Jaskier has to stop himself from chasing the touch, mouth clamped tightly shut. He can hear his heart pounding in his ears, his skin flushed. He edges closer.
“What the fuck do we do?” He mutters.
For once, Geralt shrugs. Jaskier represses the urge to moan. Clearly Geralt hadn’t thought this far ahead - or had assumed the alleyway would be open on both sides. But… the men were after Geralt, not him. They must have spotted Geralt grabbing him and leading him away, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know who he is. As far as they’re aware, Jaskier was just a human shield, tossed aside as soon as Geralt had no further use for him. Which means—
There’s a shout. Footsteps. And suddenly Jaskier doesn’t have time to chase that thought as a shadow crosses over them both and—
He does the only sensible thing under the circumstances. He twists himself around, shielding Geralt’s body with his own once more, places his hands to either side of Geralt’s face to conceal as much of it as he can, and kisses him.
This isn’t how he’d expected this to happen. In fact, he hadn’t expected this to happen at all, never allowing himself to hope beyond fluttering daydreams. Geralt’s lips are a little dry, but perfectly pliant beneath him, and he doesn’t pull away. Of course he doesn’t: allowing himself to be kissed by Jaskier could be the only thing stopping Geralt getting a crossbow bolt through his chest.
Infuriatingly, it’s a good kiss. Geralt’s hands press to Jaskier’s chest, and he can feel his fingers twitching. He can almost imagine that Geralt is reaching for him - trying to touch him, trying to feel his fluttering heartbeat beneath his ribs. He parts his lips just a fraction - only so he can take a breath, he tells himself - and Geralt mirrors the movement, like he’s letting him in.
Adrenaline mingles with lust, and he can almost forget why he’s doing this - almost pretend that it’s real - surging forwards, letting his hands drift to the back of Geralt’s head, tangling in his hair. He can’t tell if he just imagines the soft noise that Geralt makes as Jaskier greedily licks into his mouth, or if it’s real as he chases the thrill he’d never thought he’d be allowed to have.
And then Geralt pulls back. Fuck. He’s finally gone too far. Jaskier stutters, trying to put into words what he’d been trying to achieve - but Geralt speaks first.
“I think they’re gone.”
Jaskier can feel his face turning red. “Ah…” he mutters. “Are you sure?”
Geralt peers over his shoulder. “Sure.”
“Well, then.” Jaskier unhands his face, finally, and gives him a business-like tap on the shoulders. “We should… um...”
“That was a good idea.”
Jaskier freezes with his hands still flattened against Geralt’s chest. “Oh.” His fingers wriggle. “Really?”
“Hmm.” Jaskier realises that Geralt’s hands are still resting against his chest, his fingers digging into the soft linen of his shirt. “It would have been even better if that had actually been the men looking for me.”
Shit. “Was it… not?”
“It was not.”
“But I’m sure if we stay here they’ll show up eventually, and you can try again.”
Jaskier’s tongue is too large for his mouth. His lungs are devoid of air. His skin has gone numb. “Ahh—” he manages, awkwardly.
“Or,” Geralt says, tilting his head, “we can get out of this town before someone else tries to fire a crossbow at us.” He pauses. “I need to check the wound on your back.”
“It’s not that ba—”
“I can smell the blood, Jaskier.” In a sudden movement Geralt ducks forward, burying his head into the crook of Jaskier’s neck, inhaling. Jaskier doesn’t even try to stop the gasp that escapes his lips. “...Amongst other things,” he continues, lips pressed against his skin. “I thought you were scared, at first.” Jaskier stifles a laugh as Geralt’s lips flutter against him. “You should have been. You were shot.”
He leans back, and with nothing but inches between them it’s clear he doesn’t share Jaskier’s amusement.
“You could have been killed.”
“So could you.”
Geralt scowls at him. “Not as easily as you.”
“I saved you. Twice.”
“You saved me once. The second time is debatable.”
Jaskier sniffs at him. “Ungrateful bastard.” He leans forward, angling for another kiss in an attempt to stop Geralt glaring at him, but Geralt backs even further away, pressing his back fully against the wall.
“Why did you do it?” He asks.
Jaskier really does laugh, now, damn his attempts to be silent. “Why do you fucking think, Geralt?”
With nowhere else for Geralt to go, it’s easy as anything for Jaskier to close the space between them in another, forceful kiss.
“That’s why.” Geralt looks a little dazed, so Jaskier continues. “I assume you’re not going to tell me why you were even being chased by armed men to begin with?”
Geralt sighs. “Not until you let me check the wound on your back.”
“Fine,” Jaskier huffs, keen to seem nonplussed even though now the pain is flaring once more, now the adrenaline is wearing off. “Let’s get out of this gods-forsaken alley, shall we?”
“After you, then?”
Jaskier tries to move away, but in the crush of their bodies and the tangle of their legs, it proves a little difficult. Geralt raises his eyebrows at him.
“This is your fault, you know,” Jaskier spits. “Next time you need to escape, don’t squeeze me into an alleyway barely big enough for a cat.”
Before he can slide away, Geralt hooks a hand around him, tugging him closer again.
“You’re not helping, Gera—”
He kisses him. Jaskier immediately falls silent. “And miss getting to do that?” He says, voice low. “Are you sure?”
Jaskier knows when he’s been beaten. “Next time,” he sighs, “find a wider alley.”
He can feel Geralt’s lips twist into a smile against his own. “Next time I will.”