Rated: T. Hints of Eskel/Lambert if you squint, Ciri misses her old home, the witchers dance.
Another midwinter storm in Morhen Valley meant another dreary afternoon crowded around the fireplace with the castle's residents, and Ciri couldn’t be more bored. It was worse than any Cintran diplomatic dinner and Vesemir didn’t allow drills inside the castle unless it had been three days. It felt like an entirely arbitrary rule with an arbitrary limit to it, but Lambert had told her not to question the old man’s peculiarities. This was his keep, so they obeyed his rules.
She gazed out of one of the long windows. It had been snowing solidly for five hours; huge, fat flakes fluttered down, whisked into an erratic frenzy by the occasional gust of wind, and she was reminded of the glittering ballroom gowns the ladies of the court used to wear for their debutante presentations. “I miss dancing,” she said, her chin propped against her palm.
Jaskier the bard, who had been scratching idly at his notebooks for the better part of the afternoon, looked up. “Dancing, Princess?” he asked, using her formal address with genuine intonation, as opposed to Lambert who used it whenever she whined too much. At least it was better than the way he said girl.
“Yes!” She threw her hands up. “Dancing. You know, with pretty ladies, music, when everyone has rosy cheeks and they’re a little breathless. At my last ball, grandmama let me have some wine, and…” she trailed off. The accidental reminder of what she had lost scrubbed the wistful light from her eyes. The witchers gathered around the fireplace—all five of them—exchanged troubled glances.
Jaskier tsked. “Alas, dear one, I’m afraid there shan’t be any of that here. Why, I invited your dear adopted father to many a ball and he always stood in the corner, glowering. Ooh, big scary witcher. And you know what he said when I finally bullied it out of him? ‘Witchers can’t dance.’ Well then, there you have it. Uncivilised, the lot of them.”
Vesemir looked up suddenly, his thick, bushy brows knitted together in consternation. “You said what, boy?”
Geralt squirmed. Ciri’s ears perked, interested at the prospect of a little drama to lift the dull greyness of their dreary afternoon. Geralt cleared his throat. “I didn’t feel it appropriate at the time—"
“You know damn well Papa Vesemir taught us to dance and,” Lambert cut in, sliding out from the bench where he had been laboriously sewing a tear in an old shirt, “you were pretty fuckin’ good, if I remember. Ol’ snake hips.” He placed a palm over his stomach, extended an arm, and swayed his hips in his best imitation of a rising cobra. Ciri chuckled and Coën smiled indulgently from his post, cross-legged, by the fire. Even Eskel, the quietest of all the wolves, glanced up from where he was cutting candles into a wicker basket.
“Sit down, Lambert—” Geralt tried, but he knew there was no use. Lambert didn’t like it when Vesemir felt slighted. As much as he railed at the old man himself, he was very clear that he and the other wolves of Kaer Morhen were the only others allowed to berate, chastise or otherwise upset Vesemir.
“Watch and weep, bard. Fuckin' uncivilised. The first part of the lesson is that you need to dress for the wooin',” Lambert informed Ciri, and whipped a floppy grey felt hat from inside his jacket.
“Lambert—” Vesemir growled in warning.
“Chill your bunions, old man. I’ll put it back. Not a crease.” Lambert slicked a hand over his hair before placing the hat upon his head. His fingertips swept across the brim, and he struck a defiant pose, hands planted on his hips. "Perfection."
Jaskier folded his arms across his chest and Geralt sighed into his mug. Ciri giggled, thoroughly on board with any and all of Lambert's shenanigans. "Yes! Perfect. What next?"
"Next, you need to find yourself a damsel," Lambert explained. "Gotta go for the prettiest young filly in the room." He eyed each of them in turn, weighing his options. He pulled a face at Vesemir, flipped Geralt off, spat his tongue out at Jaskier, winked at Coën and finally, with great ceremony, strutted over to Eskel. One arm tucked behind his back, he bowed low, sweeping his hat from his head. "Milady."
"Are you takin' the piss?" Eskel said.
"I'm deadly serious." Lambert straightened his back and restored the hat to its place of honour 'pon his brow. He offered Eskel a hand, palm up, fingers loose and beckoning. "May I have this next dance?" His voice dropped comically low, eyebrows wiggling beneath the hat brim.
Eskel sighed, long-suffering and tried, but took Lambert's hand, his candles discarded. "Fine, but I'm leadin'."
"No you're not," Lambert said brightly, yanking Eskel to his feet. The big witcher grunted as he made contact with Lambert's torso, rolling his eyes as Lambert placed his hands where he wanted them. One of Eskel's settled on his shoulder, the other clasped in his hand. "Bard. Do your job. Music."
Jaskier, in good spirits enough to not make a quip at such a surly demand, grabbed his lute from the table and twisted the tuning pegs. "Requests?"
"Waltz of the Silver Lilies, No. 3," Lambert said without hesitation.
"Oh," Jaskier blinked in surprise, "an... excellent choice."
Geralt smirked into his mug. Jaskier began to play.
Ciri's eyes lit up as she watched her uncles sweep around the table. Their steps in perfect time, their bodies twisting and weaving as if they were made for the ballroom, not the battlefield. She chuckled again as she caught snatches of their conversation beneath the music as they argued like an old married couple: "by Vesemir's hairy crack, let me lead, Eskel", "you're going to step on my feet", "they're pretty hard to fucking miss", "your weight transfers are off", "in my defence, there's a lot of fucking weight to transfer".
Despite their grumbles, they were perfectly synchronized. Better than any of the loveliest couples in Cintra. They turned, and pirouetted, and swayed, and dipped. Ciri could see the fondness in Eskel's eyes as he gazed down at Lambert and the unadulterated joy in every craggy line of Lambert's face. They had probably learned this around training. A way to perfect their dexterity and poise without risking broken bones. Perhaps they had filled the Grand Hall with dancers; she imagined a glittering chandelier, an old witcher on a fiddle and another on a harp. Hundreds of young witchers stumbling, and learning, and getting better until they grew into their skinny, unwieldy limbs.
She could almost imagine herself to be back home... well, until Lambert said something that got Eskel's goat and he received a solid punch in the gut. Just hard enough to make him wheeze.
It took a matter of seconds for the whole thing to devolve into a wrestling match on the floor. Eskel trapped Lambert in a headlock against his chest, but Lambert reached up, pulled his hair and bit his arm. They scuffled until Vesemir slammed his knitting down and grabbed one of his discarded shoes from the floor to beat them apart. "This happened every time while they were learnin'," he grumped, and jogged over to end their scuffle. "Undisciplined, unruly embarrassments, the both of you."
"Ow, fuck, fuck," Lambert rolled away from Eskel, hands over his head, and Eskel kicked at him petulantly one last time.
Coën shook his head and exchanged a fond glance with Ciri. They both knew that Kaer Morhen was better than any Cintran ballroom. She missed the dancing only because she missed what came with the dancing; time with her grandmama and Eist. What she had now could never replace them, but she could cherish it just as much.
She left the table and settled on the rug at Coën's side to play cards. Eskel and Lambert gravitated together as they did every night, Lambert's head on Eskel's belly, Eskel's hand somewhere on Lambert - his forearm this time - and Geralt chatted with Jaskier as afternoon melted into evening, while Vesemir dozed off in his armchair.
Just another midwinter storm in Morhen valley.
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The Witcher TK AU
Never Tickle a Sleeping Witcher?
[Tickle AU Game] - entries closed, please send no more^^
I don’t think Tumblr wants me to write a Witcher tickle AU, I tried to draft it a few times and it just vanished (including your ask @amazingmsme, just gooone xD) so I pray this one will survive...
Anyway, since I only saw the TV series and don’t remember all of it, and didn’t play the games and read the books (YET) I wasn’t sure about touching this universe, yet my mind already went: what if in The Witcher tickle AU.....
• ...Witchers are rumored to be SUPER ticklish. Like if you have a very ticklish normal person, a Witcher would be twice as sensitive to light touches, scribbles, and finger pokes in certain places.
• They already have a reputation, and have to pay the price for their exceptionally increased strength, speed, reflexes, and endurance with this embarrassing weakness which just goes for every Witcher.
• Good for them is that the world considers the rumor a myth, because it sounds ridiculous. Even better for them is that only few people dare to try to see if it’s true, and those people get their asses kicked. Everyone else who believes it might be true doesn’t even dare to try tickling a Witcher because they value their lives. For most people it comes closer than a joke than that they think it’s actually true.
• Of course, it IS true. Geralt is also unbelievably ticklish, but since no one hardly touches him or dares tickling him, he isn’t bothered with it too much. Sometimes besides slaying monsters he also has to deal with random remarks from people like “Oh, a Witcher? Is it true that Witchers are ticklish?” but he has learned to shrug them off with a “no” and a warning look without getting too embarrassed about it.
• That is until Jaskier barges into his life, and Ciri! I like to think that Ciri would curiously ask about it, and Jaskier likes to make fun of the rumor and fearlessly attempts it sometimes. Of course since they are people Geralt ends up getting close to, he won’t beat them up or threaten them, but he will tickle them to death as a warning not to enter such dangerous grounds.
• Not that this convinces them to give up though. They get closer and closer to tickling him with quick and subtle pokes, or lightly brushing his neck when he is caught off-guard which only happens when he is at ease around them. Still even when teamed up they can’t tickle him properly, it’s hard because Geralt is stronger, agile, and most of the times he wears clothes and armor that protect his tickle spots well.
• Soooo Ciri and Jaskier will have to enjoy the little crumbs that prove more and more how ticklish Geralt indeed is and that this myth/rumor is a fact. But the more they discover, the more frustrating it is to KNOW that it’s true that Geralt is so ticklish, and all this time they fail to hear him laugh or even chuckle since all of their attempts are so short (before he retaliates) that he merely twitches and gasps, and if they’re lucky he will let out a little “hngh!”.
• Of course they are bound to succeed sometime and will then be one of the few people who have tickled a Witcher and made him laugh. Jaskier will also shamelessly chat about ticklish Witchers casually, wondering if Geralt is the most ticklish one because he has to be, how funny it is that they all have such a cute weakness, and that Geralt is actually way more ticklish than Jaskier and Ciri together.
Bonus: Jaskier likes to write and sing songs about ticklish Witchers to tease Geralt, this guy really doesn’t fear the tickle punishments that await him.
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