There is this quiet Geralt x Dandelion moment in Sword of Destiny that just squeezes my heart to bits, and I don't think I've seen anyone post about it.
It takes place during the dragon hunt.
Everyone has been trying to convince Geralt, against his will, to kill the dragon. The dragon has maimed Eyck. The party is splitting up. Geralt asks Dandelion what he should do.
The Witcher looked calmly at the tiny, grey-green creature, fluttering its bat-like wings beside the golden talons of the stooping dragon.
"And what is your opinion about all this, Dandelion? What do you think?"
"What does it matter what I think? I'm a poet, Geralt. Does my opinion matter at all?"
"Yes, it does."
"Well I'll tell you then... that dragon.."
"It...it's pretty, Geralt."
"Thank you, Dandelion."
Geralt turned his head away...he lifted his right hand to check if his sword hilt was positioned correctly. Dandelion looked on with eyes wide open.
"Geralt! Do you plan to...?"
"Yes," the Witcher said calmly, "...there is a limit to what I can accept as possible. I've had enough of all this. Are you going with Niedemar or staying, Dandelion?"
The troubadour leaned over, placed his lute beneath a stone cautiously and with great care and then straightened up.
"I'm staying. What did you say? The limits of possibility? I'm bagging that as the title of the ballad."
"It could be your last one, Dandelion."
"Don't kill it...can you not?"
"A sword is a sword, Dandelion. Once drawn.."
I just go a little feral with that passage. Dandelion has a tender heart underneath all the bullshit. Geralt values him and his opinion even though he is 'just a poet'. Dandelion stays with Geralt even though it's going to put his life in danger. Dandelion begs him to spare the dragon. He promises to try. I don't know. I just. My heart. It is just. A mess.
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For @johix - 10000 points for me!!
Gerlion. Soft. No smut--perhaps later.
“Like Est Est,” Dandelion intoned, strumming his lute and watching the Witcher examine his latest bruise. “Like the finest vintage of—no, not quite right… Tsk.”
Evidently, whatever his latest ballad’s subject—it wasn’t wine, Geralt was sure of that; with poets, things were always like other things, rather than simply being themselves—the words to describe it—probably her—were escaping the bard with the fleet, surefootedness of a mountain goat up the crags near Kaer Morhen. Geralt watched his friend mull over line after line, word after word, smiling to himself at Dandelion’s goatee, marveling that it also resembled the beasts near the training ground of the witchers. It wasn’t often he allowed his mind to wander this way, but for once, he had a purse full of coin, the weather was fine, and he had walked away with nearly all of his blood still in his body. They weren’t under a roof, but right now, they hardly needed one.
“And what are you smiling at, hm?” Dandelion’s blue eyes settled upon his friend’s strange, slit-pupiled gold ones and they stared at each other for several moments before both bursting into raucous laughter, one musical and melodic, the other rasping, rough, grating like the gravel of the streets just outside Novigrad proper. “Do you amuse yourself, Geralt, at my lack of muse on this otherwise immaculate day?”
They were camped in a meadow somewhere near the four-points border of Redania, Temeria, Kaedwen, and Aedirn. In the distance, Dandelion could see the mountains of Mahakam, and north, the Blue Mountains. The meadow was surrounded in a light copse of trees, through whose leaves shone pure, gentle sunshine. The birds sang at a distance and Dandelion fancied himself able to charm them closer, ever closer, if only to take a little inspiration from their song. One of the horses chuffed and stamped.
“Roach likes your song, such as it is,” Geralt pointed out once his own laughter had died down, “maybe you should sing to her.”
“Maybe I am singing to her,” retorted the poet, strumming his lute once more and turning from his place on a fallen hardwood log to face the great roan beast. She nickered in his direction and lifted her upper lip a little.
“You’ve got a willing audience, now,” the witcher observed, “so you can leave me be with your humming and strumming.” He waved his hand around to indicate how little either of those things amused, entertained, or even so much as teased at catching his fancy. Dandelion knew it was all a show, of course. The cantankerous witcher had an image to maintain. It would not do, for instance, if the next time he saw Eskel, wintering at Kaer Morhen, the man jabbed him mercilessly with the great bard’s latest ballad, about tears in the soft eyes of a white wolf. No, that would not do at all.
Dandelion ignored him and sang sweetly to the horse, who chuffed again. Her companion, who had not shifted yet, snorted and pushed his head into the side of her neck, nudging at her. She sidled away a little and pushed him back. “Even the beasts feel the freshness in this air, Geralt—let’s go to Toussaint!”
“Huh?” Geralt grunted, removing his shirt to examine a tear with the intention of assessing whether or not it could be repaired or if he would need a new one altogether. “I thought your… little weasel wanted your balls—erh, detached, that is.”
“And ‘served upon a platter of gold-embossed silver at her name day feast’,” Dandelion added, mimicking the Duchess Anna Henriette’s lilting cadence with almost uncomfortable fidelity. “Or… something like that. Yes. But—but, Geralt, her whims change like the wind and I’ll wager that by the time we reach her darling borders, not a single knight errant will be so much as interested in our presence, much less our passage and subsequent arrival at Beauclair and my sweet lady’s bedchamber.”
“I ah… suppose you won’t want my company so far as duchess’s boudoir,” rumbled Geralt, holding the fabric of his shirt up to his eyes and squinting at it, an ugly grin on his scarred face.
“Well,” said Dandelion, strumming his lute and singing the next words as a verse. “Who comes to the lady’s side would be best always to abide with the whims of the lass in the sheets else he find himself out on the streets~”
Geralt snorted, shaking his head and setting the shirt aside. It could wait. He had coin and had not enjoyed a hot bath or a warm bed in ages. The next town they hit, he would indulge in both. Southeast and Aedirn seemed a good way to go. They could thence head south through Lyria, gross the Jaruga, and if their path continued south, they would indeed find themselves wintering in Toussaint. Blessed little place that it was, Geralt did not mind its eccentricities. It was possibly the last place in teh Nordling kingdoms where he felt he could sleep soundly.
“If she asked,” Dandelion added after a moment. Geralt looked up. The bard snorted through his nose and shook his head, setting the lute aside. “No,” he continued, “not even then. I’m not sharing.”
Geralt chuckled and crossed his arms. “You think she’d be scared of me, don’t you?”
“Oh horrified. My little weasel only likes pretty things,” Dandelion informed him, raising a finger and pointing it at himself, “and refined ones.”
The finger, Geralt of Rivia noticed, was still pointing at the bard. He waved one hand around, the other finding his hip as his weight shifted. “All this talk of women—erh, woman—and you haven’t even got your hands on her. You don’t even know if she doesn’t still want you dead.”
“Since her husband shuffled off, my odds have gotten—”
“Shittier,” the witcher interrupted. “When the duke was alive, she wanted you every moment of every day, her pretty little thing. Now, she wants to kill you half the time.”
“Half,” said Dandelion, stepping closer and poking Geralt’s scarred chest, “is better than all the time.”
Once more, they locked eyes until both broke into yet more laughter, mindless and pointless. It meandered as the wind did and they fed on each other’s mirth for a time until, gasping for breath, Dandelion reached out and grasped his friend’s powerful shoulder and waved his other hand around helplessly. “I beg—I beg, Witcher, have mercy!”
“No mercy for you, bard,” responded Geralt, wiping a tear from the corner of one eye. His cheeks hurt in the best way, the way the only did when he laughed, which he had less and less time to do as he aged, it seemed. Dandelion would have said he ought to make time and in that time, make mirth… or was it love? Geralt didn’t remember which, though it was probably both.
“No, no,” said Dandelion finally, running his fingers through his honey-colored curls and shaking his head, “I meant I wasn’t going to share you with her. My little weasel is a selfish thing, you know. She likes pretty things, sure enough, but I like…” He paused, biting his lower lip and nodding as if finding an internal agreement with himself, “I like beautiful ones.”
His arms wrapped themselves lightly about the witcher’s waist and Dandelion was certain that if Geralt was capable of blushing, he would be doing so. The bard counted this as a victory. He did so love taking his friend by surprise. He also thought he might love simply taking his friend, if they ever got around to it. Geralt was a stone in these ways—if he wasn’t being abused and tormented, he didn’t know what to do with himself. Open and gentle affection were so rare, used as bait, rather than the main course. It was indecent, really.
“Have you gone mad?” Geralt’s voice was a rasping growl, as always, but he did not pull away. Dandelion squeezed a little—he could have squeezed harder and the mutated man would barely have felt it—to indicate that he had not, that there was no mistake here. Gradually, then, the witcher’s arms, those corded, scarred things, found their slow way about Dandelion’s shoulders. He moved almost delicately, as if afraid to injure his friend. The bard detected this, but made no mention of it, yet. Perhaps he would save that for the ballad he would inevitably write which would detail in metaphor and simile and symbolism how it was to make love to a witcher.
“I think we’re all a little mad sometimes,” Dandelion observed, “and that is going into my book—Fifty Years of Poetry, will be the title.”
Geralt snorted, warming to his friend’s touch, leaning into him a little. When Dandelion’s head tilted and his lips pressed against Geralt’s throat, however, he stiffened once more, a natural reflex which might otherwise have prepared his body to defend itself against a striga or other such bloodsucking fiend. Dandelion did suck, a bit, but not nearly hard enough to draw anything from the witcher but a moan. Geralt tilted his chin upward, snow white hair spiling down his back as the bard’s hands slid lower, finding purchase on his ass, holding firmly, squeezing a little, even kneading.
“Never mind the taste of Est Est,” said Dandelion, speaking into Geralt’s flesh, lips brushing a scar with the light touch of a butterfly’s wings. “I’ll take a bottle of whatever this is.”
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