Fair warning, been a while (well a few weeks but I have no memory) that I actually read the books, plus I read most in german, so idk how accurate any descriptions and names of where they are etc will be
Tayend saved his life.
The fact keeps whirring through Dannyl's mind, ov the and over again within the seconds or minutes he's laying in the grass, catching his breath and assessing the damage to his body.
'Tayend saved my life"
It's not necessarily that it changes his opinion- he'd already liked and respected the man well beforehand.
It simply strengthened his opinion- and there was something else, something broke within him that he couldn't continue to ignore.
That Tayend was special.
Not (only) because he risked his life for him- Tayend had been special to Danny since they had met.
Forcing himself upright, Danny looks at the man sitting closeby.
The wind playing with Tayend's hair as he looks down the hill...
It's the most beautiful sight Danny has ever layed eyes on.
His heart beating fast, and it has nothing to do with his close encounter with death.
He takes a shuddering breath.
"Dannyl!" Tayend calls out as he hears him, incredibly relieved to see the other awake.
"I didn't know whether you..."
He halts as Dannyl's hand touches his cheek.
Shivering, Tayend covers Dannyl's hand with his own, and Dannyl leans in for their lips to meet.
Dannyl freezes at his own bold move, what was he thinking-
But then Tayend is kissing him back, and everything else is forgotten.
Soft lips on his own, warm breath caressing his skin.
He's never felt anything like this before, and yes, he has kissed women before, but they had been nothing like him.
Not that the mechanics are so different, but the feelings:
Tayend is everywhere, the scent in the air, the feeling not just on his lips but wherever their clothes touch even slightly... And, undeniably, in his heart.
It is mesmerising, breathtaking, making it hard to think-
Once Dannyl does come back to himself and realises what he is doing, he instantly breaks away, completely shocked.
Tayend reaches out to touch his arm, but Dannyl backs away, pushing himself to his feet, swaying a little as he looks down at the other man.
His eyes wide open, he can't help replaying what just happened.
It had been wonderful, oh what would he give to immediately do it again-
At the same time, a voice in his head is shouting wrong, wrong, wrong!
"Dannyl, it's alright, it's-"
But he doesn't listen, stumbling away and leaving Tayend behind.
Frozen in place, Tayend watches him go.
Dannyl's move had surprised him - even after staying friendly towards him after finding out Tayend's secret, and with the rumours surrounding Dannyl's own person, he hadn't believed the other to be interested in men.
And now this...
Dannyl seemed completely shocked by his own actions, so perhaps this is entirely new for him?
It certainly isn't for Tayend, but he can still remember how he felt when he found out about his own true nature.
And Elyne's much friendlier towards lads than Kyralia...
Perhaps all Dannyl needed was time.
He certainly hopes so.
Dannyl stumbles down the hill towards last night's sleeping-place.
He kissed Tayend.
He kissed Tayend, and Tayend kissed him back! Not important, he forces himself to think- while at the same time, wanting to focus on that fact, and that fact alone.
He kissed a man.
He desires a man- it's just as if these rumors about him were true.
What was I thinking?
Groaning, he burrows his face in his hands.
What he did is wrong.
Or is it?
Elyne people don't seem to think so...
And he never judged Tayend for it.
So why should he judge himself?
Tayend does not sleep well that night.
Not just because he chose to stay away from the their camp and obts to lay in the grass instead, where rocks and the uneven ground are paining his back, but also because his mind doesn't stop turning.
He keeps replaying the events of the hours before:
how Dannyl had nearly died, how panic had rendered Tayend almost unable to move upon seeing the other in such agony...
How, then, he'd forced himself to move, knowing he was the other man's sole chance of survival.
And then, what had happened after getting Dannyl back to safety.
Why had Dannyl kissed him?
Had he truly wanted it? Was it a spur-of-the-moment, 'I nearly died and you are the only person around' kind of thing?
Or did he want to experiment with men, and happened to know Tayend would not be opposed?
No, he had seemed too shocked got that.
Maybe he truly wanted Tayend...
But he could not allow himself to hope, knowing that being proven wrong, after letting his mind drift to those possibilities, would, if proven wrong, hurt so much more than never discovering the possibility in the first place.
In the morning, Tayend confronts Danny.
"Why did you do it?"
But Dannyl already knows.
"Why did you kiss me?
Why did you kiss me, make me reconsider everything, when you would then leave?"
He looks close to tears.
It makes Dannyl's heart ache.
"I didn't plan to," he replies, "I shocked myself just as much as you."
"So it was a mistake?"
"Kissing?" He takes a deep breath.
"...No. Just unexpected, maybe."
Tayend's eyes light up hopefully at that.
Dannyl shifts uncomfortably from one leg to the other.
"The leaving, yes. Leaving was a mistake."
Tayend smiles. "Then don't make the same mistake again."
Dannyl does not intend to make the same mistake again.
Nor does he think that he could ever let Tayend go, now that he has him- except if the other ever wanted to leave, Dannyl could never force him to stay.
And Tayend does not think about leaving him, only of their togetherness.
They walk away from the ruins behind them, Tayend gripping Dannyl's hand as he throws one last look into the direction, remembering hie close he had come to losing his beloved.
Dannyl pulls him into his arms, reassuring, gentle
Then they leave the past, quite literally, behind.