inspired by this post by @penandinkprincess || post season 2 yennskier || read on ao3
It’d been raining all morning.
Jaskier had begrudgingly awakened at the pit-patter of raindrops against the brittle glass of his room, had narrowed his sleep-heavy eyes at the slivers of grey light coming through the holes in the curtains. He’d wrapped his blanket around himself and got up to close the blinds, plunge the room into darkness once more — but then there were sounds coming from the kitchen, and chatter in the halls, and even though his bed was warm and enticing, guilt started wrapping itself around his heart.
So he’d gotten up.
He’d dressed himself in his warmest clothes — the few to his name, after everything — and headed down to the main hall for breakfast. He’d found dirty plates and used cups but no trace of their owners, as it appeared everyone had already cleared out in favor or tending to their tasks. (He hadn’t been given any — had timidly asked Vesemir what he could help with, only to get a frown and no reply, and he doubted the remaining Witchers remembered he was there at all).
So he’d been left to his own devices, after a bowl of porridge and a glass of goat milk, snowed peaks making for distant company. After wandering around aimlessly, half afraid of getting lost — no one had been kind enough to show him around yet — and half afraid of getting scolded for putting his nose where it didn’t belong, he found himself in front of Yennefer’s door.
The room she’d picked was three doors down from his. Her magic was still paper-thin, still fickle and unpredictable, but she’d managed to transform the room into something a bit more cozy, homey. Her fire was always stoked and her walls didn’t have any holes in them, her bedspread brand new, goose feathers heavenly to the touch.
Yen was decidedly not a morning person, he’d learned. Now that her guard was down — as low as it could go — being among people she trusted, it seemed like the ever-present need to be alert at all times receded a bit. Jaskier would see her at noon, impeccably dressed and not a single hair out of place, but never earlier than that. Not that he was a morning person by any means — especially not now, not when waking up made dread sit heavy on his chest, made his heart ache with longing for the present he’d lost, for the future that would never be.
Her scent had faded, over time. Lilac and gooseberries, Geralt had mentioned a handful of times, the scent of her magic and her soul intertwined. It wasn’t entirely gone, now; it had evolved into something else. Something softer. Less all-consuming.
That new scent of warmth and tender feathers of hope greeted Jaskier at her door.
She was sleeping.
It never ceased to amaze him, the way she slept. In a way, it was obvious — she slept the way she did everything else: with passion, fire, drive. With a clear objective in mind and a delimited pathway to get to it. With calculated loss and gain, with stone-cold decision.
But also, looking at her sleeping form: messy, unpredictable. Unique. Her bed was a nest of furs placed there without reason or rhyme, pillows strewn across the floor and her mattress as she laid in the middle of it, arms and legs stretched out as if trying to prove she did need a queen-sized bed, for all her long limbs and whatnot, thank you very much.
As he walked closer, he could see her face peeking out from under the covers. Calling her hair a rat’s nest would be doing rats a disservice; it was tousled beyond recognition. Jaskier smiled at the drool drying on her chin and the way there were at least half a dozen furs resting on top of her, but her feet were firmly stretched out from under them.
It surprised him still, how much love he had for her.
Noon was still hours away. The rain kept falling over the valley, pit-pattering against Yennefer’s slightly sturdier window, her maroon-colored curtain painting the grey light pink, bathing the room in a soft glow.
It wasn’t magic, he knew.
“Yen,” he said.
“Urgh,” came from under the covers.
He smiled. “D’ya wanna wake up? Have breakfast?”
A pillow hit him in the face.
(It was magic).
“I agree,” he said, because he did, because without words Yennefer had said It’s too cold, it will rain until evening, there’s no use.
Because he understood.
“I’ll leave you to it, then,” he said softly, softer than he’d meant to.
A blanket-covered hand lifted the furs.
Come here, she meant.
Jaskier hesitated. He didn’t want to impose, didn’t want to bother. He didn’t want to intrude in the only moment of solitude and peace she would probably get. Not after everything.
Not for nothing.
The blanket-covered hand shook the furs twice.
Don’t make me come over there, she meant.
Jaskier smiled. “Okay.”
He set his boots beneath her bed and took off his breeches, folding them over a nearby chair. His long underclothes would do just fine.
Slowly, gently, he climbed into the bed, stepping into the space she’d carved out for him. Under the covers, the cold air of the keep was replaced by an embracing warmth, the sheets no longer stiff and half-frozen, but buttery soft and well-loved instead. Yen’s hand dropped back into the bed, and the furs fell over them both, encasing them in a universe where no snow could ever reach them.
Her eyes were closed, her breathing steady. There was a decent amount of empty space between them, which Jaskier decided would be prudent to keep.
Yen seemed to disagree.
In a swift movement unattributable to a woman who seemed dead to the world, she wrapped herself around him like a growing vine. Her arms gently placed him close to her chest, the grounding pressure holding him there, his head tucked beneath her chin, her too-human heartbeat under his warm cheek.
(Her feet still peeked out of the furs). (She took thermal regulation very seriously).
And Jaskier curled up against her, his hands resting on her stomach, his legs bent at the knees, seeking the warmth that came not from the covers, but from within her core.
A glaciar, he’d said once. The woman that bleeds ice.
How wrong he’d been.
Let’s sleep in today, he heard in his mind, Yennefer’s voice a honey-sweet echo.
He pressed a kiss to her hand.