If you have not read TTQ do not read this fic as it is a potential spoiler, and set after the events that unfold in Sachaka (near the end of the book).
I have finally read and finished TTQ and as my favourite characters are Dannyl and Tayend, I was thoroughly disappointed that their conclusion was pretty lacking, i.e. Lorkin referred to them in just a couple of sentences….?! So to make myself feel better I am writing my own conclusion for them. It is written in a blind, hasty fury (kind of) so please excuse any spelling/grammar slip ups, and I would love to hear any feedback and also what you thought about the book, how D/T should have concluded etc.
Tayend was struggling to look down at the book in his hands. He couldn't take his eyes away from the magician sitting just a short distance away.
"How are you getting on?" Tayend asked cautiously.
"What?" Dannyl said slightly distractedly. He too was sat looking at a book, sitting at a desk in Achati's library. He looked up at Tayend then seemed to hear what his friend had just asked.
"Oh, um…Yes, there is a good range of different viewpoints here, from various tribesmen and Ashaki. I should be able to gather up some…"
"No, Dannyl." Tayend said shaking his head. "How are you getting on?"
Dannyl paused as if to consider how to answer, then his eyes returned to his book as he simply said "I'm fine."
"You never were very good at showing your emotions. I blame your upbringing."
"Tayend what do you want me to say?" Dannyl said exasperated.
Taken aback a little Tayend still persisted. "I just want to know you're ok. You've recently lost someone close to you and I…"
"Look, Achati knew what he was doing. We both knew that what we had wouldn't last and he would always side with his king and country, as I did with my guild and Kyralia. He made his choice and I made mine. We both knew things could end badly and that's just how it is." Dannyl said keeping his head down, avoiding Tayend's eyes.
Tayend wanted Dannyl to let out how he was feeling but he also didn't want to push his friend too far in case it backfired and Dannyl became mad with him and made him leave. And Tayend dreaded that.
The silence between them resumed and Tayend continued staring at Dannyl, uneasy with the tension in the room and with a sickening feeling of sympathy, guilt and yearning. What could he do at this moment? He wanted to comfort his friend but knew that Dannyl was inwardly very fragile and when pushed too far…He sighed to himself sadly and tried once more to read his book.
Tayend's head snapped up to look at Dannyl, who had an apologetic look on his face.
"I didn't mean to be so abrupt. You're right, as always. I can't deal with my emotions very well, but I think that's why we are such good friends, because even when I can't express myself you seem to know just what I'm trying to say." Dannyl said with a small smile spreading across his lips.
Tayend smiled back. "Well after that beautiful sentiment I guess I'll have to accept that apology."
"You'd better because I'm not gonna make a habit out of it."
The two laughed, and then looked at each other.
"So, how about you Tayend? How are you getting on?"
"Well, I have to admit it's nice to be assisting you with your research again. I'd almost forgotten how good it felt to lose myself in some good books."
"And it's nice to have your help again."
"No problem…So when can I expect my payment?"
Tayend laughed loudly, and upon seeing this Dannyl smiled fondly if a little ruefully due to falling so easily for his friends' joke.
"Anyway," Tayend continued, standing up, bringing his chair next to Dannyl's, sitting back down and leaning towards him. "This book may be of interest to you. It's written by an Ashaki that was in charge of a settlement in Duna, when they tried to take over."
"Ah! Really! That's excellent. Any more information on storestones?"
"Yes and some new information in this book here on some other possible uses and techniques as well."
"Excellent Tayend!" Dannyl said excitedly whilst flicking through the indicated pages. "You've been so helpful; this is great research you've found here."
"Oh, well, you know, I am brilliant."
"I have to admit, you really are." Said Dannyl beaming at Tayend.
Then before he knew it Tayend moved in towards the magician and kissed him.
Tayend lost himself, he felt almost like he could melt. The feel of Dannyl's lips, so soft. The smell of him; memories came flooding back to him, memories of first meeting Dannyl, of the first time he visited him at the library in Elyne, of that night in Armje.
Then Tayend suddenly became aware of what was happening. He tore himself away from Dannyl and roughly sat himself back in his chair, almost as if an invisible force had pushed him away. Tayend's breathing had quickened, he had to take a few seconds to understand what had just happened. Then he sheepishly looked up towards Dannyl, whose eyes were wide, his breathing also faster than usual.
"Dannyl…Dannyl I'm sorry. I…got carried away...I mean it felt like when we were first…I'm so sorry, something just took over and before I knew what was happening…oh Dannyl I'm so sorry."
"Are you done?" Dannyl said in an emotionless tone.
Tayend could only manage nodding his head, and with that Dannyl returned to his books once again.
For a short while Dannyl appeared not to notice Tayend's apology, but then he bowed his head and brought his hands up to his face, took a sigh then rested his elbow on the desk and his head on his hand.
"Oh, I've done it again haven't I? I've snapped at you when really I'm angry at myself, and I…I think I'm jealous of you as well. I mean, you have no problems showing how you feel. I've always been envious of that. I guess…I'm confused."
"Confused?...You loved Achati didn't you?"
"No, I don't think I did, but he did mean something to me, we had a great respect and affection for each other…I feel weird talking about him like this with you. After all we've been through."
"That's why I'm here for you Dannyl, because of what we've been through."
"And that's why this feels strange Tayend." Dannyl paused, then closed his eye as if bracing himself. "I have to confess something."
Tayend cautiously moved closer to Dannyl, ready to give his friend support in any way he needed, he knew Dannyl was finally about to pour his heart out to him. And I'm gonna be here for him, no matter what he's about to say.
Dannyl took a breath. "Remember when you said to me that you would…take me back without a second thought? I thought about that for a while and realised something. I admit when you first came to Sachaka I was annoyed, I felt like you were intruding or something and I wasn't too keen on having you here, but more recently I feel like we've reconnected, and I've…I'm really happy you've been here with me through all of this. It's been so good to have a friend around who understands me and has supported me. Thank you."
Tentatively Tayend reached his hand out and gently took hold of Dannyl's, he looked into his eyes and saw sadness. "I will always be in your life to support you and be there for you. Friends, lovers, I cannot go through life without you in it."
"And I feel the same about you. You know, it still amazes me how synchronised we are, my friend. I'm so glad you came here to Sachaka."
Tayend squeezed his hand tighter. "You're going to be ok Dannyl. I guess you just don't see what everyone else here sees in you, what I see."
"And what do you see?" asked Dannyl intrigued.
Tayend moved off his chair and sat on the desk in front of the magician. Still holding his hand he squeezed it tighter and brought it up to his chest and placed his other hand on the magician's neck, his thumb gently rubbing Dannyl's jaw, he felt Dannyl's pulse slightly quicken.
Looking the magician straight in the eye and adopting a caring but serious tone Tayend spoke from his heart. "I see a man of elegance, justice and nobility. A man who stays strong even when he is hurting inside. A man who has more friends than he realises, a man who fights for what he believes in…I see a man who has so much love in his heart to give and yet is so scared let anyone take it. But when he lets you in he is the most caring, sensitive and passionate man that anyone could ever ask for. That's why I fell in love with you all those years ago and why I am still here with you today."
Dannyl's forehead crinkled as he closed his eyes and bowed his head. Tayend gently brought his forehead to Dannyl's, he could hear his friend's breathing had changed. Hoping he had not upset him, he brought his hands to his shoulders and soothingly stroked his upper arms. This seemed to help as Tayend could feel the magician's muscles relax under his hands.
"Is that really what you think of me?" Dannyl's quiet voice asked.
Dannyl moved his head to look at Tayend, who leaned back a bit so as not to make Dannyl feel crowded.
"Tayend, I want you to promise me that no matter what we will always be there for each other. We will always be friends no matter what comes our way. I…I need you Tayend. You're the only one who really understands me."
"Of course Dannyl. I always have and I will always be by your side."
"Promise?" Dannyl held out his hand.
"Promise." Said Tayend as he took his hand and shook it.
"Wha…hmmm." Was all Tayend could manage to say before Dannyl pulled the younger man towards him and firmly started kissing him. He had been taken by surprise but the kiss held such passion that Tayend could not help but let out a moan of pleasure whilst wrapping his arms around Dannyl so tightly as if to never let him go. He felt Dannyl embrace him back and one hand moved to the back of his head as if keeping Tayend in place. Tayend moved over to straddle Dannyl and pressed his body fully into the magician's. He moved his hands to the sides of Dannyl's face, caressing him and then worked his way to his chest feeling him greedily. Then he playfully eased his tongue into Dannyl's mouth and the kiss went even deeper, Tayend relishing every second, having previously feared he would never feel Dannyl's lips on his ever again. Dannyl moaned and Tayend deepened the kiss even more, quickening their breath.
After what seemed like ages, they both pulled away, breathless, again Tayend brought his forehead to Dannyl's, their noses touching, keeping his arms around his neck and Dannyl holding Tayend around his waist, one hand softly rubbing Tayend's lower back.
When their breathing had slowed down, Dannyl tenderly caressed Tayend's cheek.
"I don't want to hurt you again Tayend."
"Then don't." Tayend became anxious at the words Dannyl had just said.
"I'm worried that if we get back together something will happen to break us apart again. I don't want to be the one to cause you pain again."
"But Dannyl we all take that risk in any relationship we enter into. And how can we be expected to live without friendship and love."
"You're such a smart arse."
"I love you too."
"Sorry, but I can't hold it in anymore. I love you, I've never stopped loving you. Even when you were with Achati. I only ever want what is best for you….And right now that's me." He added with a mischievous grin.
"This is a lot I have to take in here Tayend. I still feel ? Felt? Something for Achati, but I also know how strongly I still care about you."
Tayend moved his head to the nape of Dannyl's neck and embraced him. "I'll do whatever you want me to Dannyl. If you need time I'll give it to you. Whatever you want."
Dannyl tightly held Tayend close to him and breathed in the scent of him. He thought back to how they met, the time he healed Tayend after he was stabbed, their time together at Armje and how Tayend had saved and changed his life all in one night. Tayend had made him who he was now, and he was eternally grateful for that. Tayend had given him a happiness he had not known existed, and at that moment of realisation the words tumbled out of Dannyl's mouth.
"I love you."
Well that's it. As previously mentioned I created this not long after reading the book mostly to appease my own dissatisfaction, and I may well write a different version in the future if I'm not satisfied with this on reflection. Hopefully you guys like it, and I really do encourage you to please review, and I'd be happy to see others' work too