A Wound to Heal
based on this idea that my lovely friend sol over at @broken-horn sent me the other day...just a test ficlet don’t get TOO excited yet
also the “My Immortal” by Evanescence vibes that come with this concept? impeccable. glorious vibes, fam
tw: blood mention, knife wound, bleeding
Jaskier screamed and threw himself in front of his Witcher without a second thought, effectively blocking the blade that would have certainly entered Geralt’s vulnerable, unarmed ribcage and pierced his heart. Instead it cut a gash across the troubadour’s upper arm and part of his shoulder, glancing off him and forcing Geralt’s attacker to reassess his position.
Giving Geralt enough time to attack.
Jaskier all but forgot about the wound in the following struggle; it was small enough to be wrapped or sewn shut. It would be an easy fix.
He could survive this, but even a Witcher would have likely died from a knife to the chest.
“It won’t stop bleeding!” Geralt cried, wrapping the wound in layer upon layer of bandages. “Jaskier, I’ve never seen anything like this before!”
“The dagger,” the bard wheezed from his prone position on the ground. He pointed toward the mage’s abandoned weapon. “Is it poisoned?”
Geralt crawled quickly to the fallen mage’s bloody knife. He didn’t even need to bend all the way down to catch a whiff of powerful magic. Whatever damage this blade had done to Jaskier, it wouldn’t be fixable anytime soon. Not without the help of Yen or Triss, and they were both busy dealing with diplomatic magical shit on opposite ends of the Continent.
“What is it, Geralt? You’ve gone all still and silent on me, Witcher, and you know how that makes me nervous.”
“What? A little louder, dear heart. I don’t have your tragically enhanced hearing.”
Geralt whipped his head around and bellowed out, “It’s magic! What didn’t you understand about that the first time?”
Jaskier looked mortified and so, so sad; Geralt physically flinched back when he met the bard’s eyes with his own.
“I’m so sorry, Jaskier. That was no way for me to behave,” he apologized, making his way back to his injured companion’s side. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you. Especially not because I’m frustrated with myself.”
“What’s got you so frustrated, love?”
“The mage put a powerful spell on this blade, Jaskier. He was intent on killing that Princess no matter how things had shaken out with his original plan. Even a papercut with this knife would have likely led to her eventual death.”
“...What kind of spell is it, Geralt? Am I going to die, too?”
“Probably not, knowing you,” the Witcher teased. Jaskier released a shaky but relieved breath. The Witcher wouldn’t joke if Jaskier was really going to die. He’d be panicking; Geralt always panicked in the face of any non-monster based threat. “With your springy, easy-loving heart you’ll be cured in a week, tops.”
“What about my heart will heal this magical - and still bleeding, mind you, - cut on my arm?”
“You’ll only be bleeding for as long as you have a broken heart. Surely you’ll be in love with a new person by next week, writing ballads about their fair hair and shining eyes like you do when we pass through every other town or village.”
“Very funny,” the bard huffed a laugh. “I’m glad to see that my generous approach to affection is so funny to you. Now let’s get to an inn. I’m freezing and there’s blood all over my arm. It’s still not stopping.”
“I’ll send word to Yen. Maybe she knows a poultice or something that will speed things along to slow the bleeding down while you heal.”
“Thank you, Geralt. I appreciate it.”
I’ll need to head back to Oxenfurt as soon as possible, Jaskier thought. He was sleeping on the edge of the bed, his injured arm hanging off the side and halfway into a bucket so that blood wouldn’t drip all over the mattress and floor. Otherwise Geralt will notice that the wound isn’t closing. Having him nearby probably isn’t helping either. I can just contact Yennefer myself using the school’s messenger service.
Jaskier decided to pack up the next morning and head to his old stomping grounds alone. It was still early autumn but the troubadour couldn’t risk the Witcher finding out just how broken his heart really was. Just how broken it was likely to stay.
Maybe, the bard thought as he rolled his shirtsleeve up over the lump of bandages, I can survive this.
He let his gaze sweep over Geralt, whose face was peaceful in the midst of sleep. His hair was fanned out and messy against the cheap straw-and-feather pillow provided by the inn but he was so beautiful like that. His lips were slightly parted and one of his arms was thrown up over his head, revealing the lines of one strong, well-muscled arm. An arm that could wield a sword as easily as a child swirled a feather through the air.
I can probably survive this, the bard amended. And if I don’t, well, at least it will not have been for nothing.
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"Because the reason why [Ahsoka] doesn't go [through the portal with Ezra] is that she's savvy enough to know that you can't. You can't just leap out of your time.
"Unfortunately, in the middle of this running, I had different bits of exposition--'ButEzraIcan'tgowith youbecauseifIdothisisreallybad--!' It's, like, no! We need to just get away from the fire! Sometimes you write this stuff and then you stage it and you're watching her running and you're like, 'No! When I'm running from fire, I'm just like, "I CAN'T GO! I'LL SEE YOU WHEN I GET BACK!"' and you have to distill it down to, okay, that's very real, because if she stops to have an exposition, she could burn up in a blue ball of flames.
“So [Ezra] doesn't get the explanation, but I tried to portray her-- When I talked to Ashley, I was like: She doesn't know what this place is, but she has kind of instincts about it because she's older and has experienced more. And she's been on the weird side of things before, especially. So this is probably, 'Oh, this is like that weird place I was where they were putting Anakin in a star machine to see if he was the Chosen One [on Mortis]. I've been down this road before.'
“She knows that you can't break those type of continuities, for the lack of a better term. And so she's pretty much figured out that 'I have to go back where I came from, you have to go back from where you came from.' [...] If she leaps in there to service the Rebellion where Ezra's at now, I get that that might be a good idea as a good person, but it's also cheating. Because she doesn't know what she's skipping and who then she's not going to help, or what she has to do independently of all that. So the only things that were a constant were that she went down that staircase.
“The Topps cards were me trying to explore visually, okay, where are we going with that? I tried to do it all in a very symbolically suggestive way. There are lot of elements in those images that are trying to be evocative of a transformative nature in a journey, which is kind of a symbolic journey of a transition from death back to life. Going through an underworld is a theme in a lot of mythology. Having a great wound, coming to an understanding that challenges you and your makeup, and having to walk through the world of the dead into the world of living. It's a very hard journey to then make real because it's a journey that you need to think about more than you actually experience, so that's why we haven't really experienced it."
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