I love your writing!! I love reading all of them, my favourite pieces are the ones with the wolf pack and Jaskier! Small request for the three brothers rough housing and having fun with each other and Vesemir with Jaskier are walking into the room and the brothers all scatter because when younger Vesemir use to get onto the boys and they are use to the ‘last person there has to deal with Vesemir’ and Jaskier is rolling on the ground at the sight of three buff Witcher’s scattering like kids
The façade of emotionless, stoic Witchers fell away piece by piece in Kaer Morhen and Jaskier was delighted to bear witness to it. He never could have believed Geralt was capable of not only smiling but also whining like a spoilt brat. But seeing the younger Witchers’ antics, it fill Jaskier with a bitter kind of joy. They probably never got the chance to be carefree, foolish boys, at least now they got the chance to make up for it. In all his observations and indulgent peeking, Jaskier found an unlikely accomplice; Vesemir. He had been a wonderful reassurance and guide in understanding the others.
“Just wait. It’s when they sleep more comfortably that things will start to pick up.”
Never had truer words been spoken. Jaskier was all too used to Geralt not sleeping but rather spending the night kneeling in a meditative state. The few times he slept, it was with his back pressed against a wall and curled into a tight, protective ball. It seemed to be something that all Witchers took to doing, having met a few along the Path, Jaskier had seen them all resting and it was always the same. Just watching them made him exhausted most of the time, what they did, Jaskier wouldn't call rest. That all changed in Kaer Morhen.
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't an early morning rise for Witchers during winter. It was a time for rest, to take what comforts they could in a world that so cruelly discarded them like used toys. So, more often than not, Jaskier was the first to wake and get breakfast going. He liked to wander through halls and check in on all the Witchers, making sure they were sleeping soundly. Some mornings, Vesemir joined him, though usually he would go out to the coop to let the chickens out for the day and then milk a goat if they were planning on a treat like a hot chocolate.
The two of them took to waking the others up together if breakfast was something that was better while it was still fresh and warm. So Jaskier got to see as, ever so slowly, the others relaxed into their home. Perhaps the most noticeable one was Lambert. Over the course of the week he unfurled from a tight ball until he was sprawled on his back, limbs splayed in every direction, even his fingers were spread wide. The first time they saw him like that, Vesemir smiled.
"Even as a pup he tried to take up as much space as possible. Whether it was to see bigger or because he felt he didn't get much in his waking moments to claimed them in his sleeping ones, we'll never know."
Eskel was a little more subtle. His bed filled up with throws, pillows and anything soft, including clothes from anyone in the keep. If Jaskier stared hard enough, he was quite certain he could see the frills of his missing, softest chemise.
"You'll probably just want to send Lambert in most mornings. If we'd let him, Eskel would hibernate the day away."
Really, Jaskier couldn't blame him. Eskel was nothing more than a mop of dark hair under all the bedding. He wasn't even a lump, just straight up disappeared and melded into his bed. How he could breathe under all the weight was a wonder but he seemed happy enough.
Perhaps the least obvious but most difficult to deal with was Geralt. He was a cuddler and aggressively so. There was nothing Jaskier could do to get out of his vice-like grip in the morning. He couldn't even be mad at Vesemir when he stuck his head in and promptly chuckled.
"Guess you've replaced the pillows," he said. "If you want to get up, grab one of the big pillows and he'll hold onto that. Eventually."
Sure enough, Geralt snuggled into the pillow after a little while and Jaskier could make his escape. Thankfully, the others tended to be able to get themselves up at some point. There was no official training, no chore schedule. They were all adults, they all chipped in where needed and, somehow, everything was taken care of.
This freedom also led to some more unruly times. Namely, they seemed to love roughhousing. As Jaskier had observed before, they were like over excitable puppies who never got a chance to be young and silly. They were more than abundantly making up for it now. When they weren't sleeping, they were causing mischief somewhere. Inevitably two of them would partner up against the third, usually with very loud consequences.
Even better was their reaction when caught mid-shenanigans. Jaskier was pulled into Vesemir's secret and was permitted to join the fun.
"I just love how they scramble to pretend it wasn't them," Vesemir had admitted one morning. "They're idiots but they're my endearing idiots."
Right on cue there was an almighty crash from the library, followed by a yowl and raucous laughter. Immediately, Vesemir started towards the noise with loud, measured steps.
"Listen," he urged Jaskier.
There were definite sounds of a scuffle, grunts and yelps. It was only as Vesemir turned the door handle that a cry went up.
"Shit! Vesemir! Run!"
As the door opened, Jaskier gotto see three grown Witchers falling over each other in an attempt to...who even knew what. Maybe they were aiming to sit on the couches and look presentable, maybe they were trying to flee. Eskel had somehow managed to hop up onto an armchair and was in the process of pulling himself silently into the rafters.
"Just what is going on here then?" Vesemir asked. A smile was wisely hidden under his moustache.
"Nothing!" It was a chorus of fake innocence. When Vesemir fixed Eskel with a stare, he got a few pullups out of it.
"In the library." It wasn't even a question, Vesemir's voice was full of disbelief.
"What better place to exercise the body and the mind?" Lambert piped up, edging towards the door.
In front of Geralt was a coffee table, or rather, what was left of it. He was the unlucky one to be blamed this time.
"It wasn't me!" Geralt protested, hands up to show his innocence. "I found it like this." In the silence, Vesemir stared flatly at him. Looking around desperately, Geralt gulped. "It was Jaskier!"
Nobody moved for a moment at such a brazen lie. Jaskier was behind Vesemir, there was no way it could have possibly been him. However, Jaskier was the one to recover from the shock first. "Indeed, it was me. My apologies. I took a tumble while...dusting, yes, dusting. I was dusting the-" there was nothing in the vicinity of the table, "-carpet."
Jaskier stared Vesemir in the eye, everyone aware of how bad the lie was. In the end, Vesemir nodded.
"Very well. And because I raised three very polite and kind pups, they will help you tidy away the broken table. And they'll take over the dusting from you. Can't have you falling and breaking something again. What if it's your neck next time?"
Punishment handed out, Vesemir cast his three wayward idiots a final glare.
"Well, hop to it. Breakfast can wait until you're done."
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