day 30, in which the bachelor bids farewell @helianthuspetal
I.

"So… this is it then?”

Daniil stood in front of his house and faced Artemy. He had packed up all his belongings and had his luggage sitting out front. Artemy had a few things he was carrying for Daniil in his hands as well. 

The plague had been but a memory for at least a week or two now. With the Haruspex and Bachelor working together, they were able to enlist the help of the odongh to gather enough herbs to make panaceas for all the infected who were still alive. The Bachelor was able to find Rubin’s formulae for the vaccines and those had been distributed freely to all those who were still healthy. The Sand Pest, officially, had been defeated, and now they had records for how to tackle it if it was ever to show up again. Dankovsky had managed to convince Governor Saburov to implement a law requiring all those older than 5 years old to be vaccinated. 

The plague had been but a memory for at least a week or two now. With the Haruspex and Bachelor working together, they were able to enlist the help of the odongh to gather enough herbs to make panaceas for all the infected who were still alive. The Bachelor was able to find Rubin’s formulae for the vaccines and those had been distributed freely to all those who were still healthy. The Sand Pest, officially, had been defeated, and now they had records for how to tackle it if it was ever to show up again. Dankovsky had managed to convince Governor Saburov to implement a law requiring all those older than 5 years old to be vaccinated. 

Things had been slow and quite peaceful ever since. The two had been spending a lot more time together now that they actually were able to rest knowing that there was no more business to attend to. However, a few days ago, the Bachelor finally decided he needed to go back to the Capital. Even though order was restored to Town-on-Gorkhon, he still had work to do for the rest of society.

“Yes,” replied the Bachelor in a solemn tone. “I’m afraid so.” 

Artemy seemed different. His gaze was not fixed entirely on Daniil, but rather shifting around constantly to the floor, other parts of Daniil’s body, or just staring back at Eva’s house. The two stood in silence for a fleeting moment. Artemy parted his lips to speak, then closed them with a pensive and wistful look on his face before opening his mouth again.

“I just…” he began quietly. “It’s-- It just doesn’t feel real.”

“I… I think I know what you mean.” Dankovsky replied near immediately. ”It’s been a rough couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s finally over, after everything that’s happened.”

“No, I… that’s not what I mean.”

“Hm?” 

“It.. it feels like we’ve known each other for a long time, you know?” Artemy finally met the Bachelor’s gaze. He always had such an intense stare, with those icy blue eyes of his, but this time they shone with regret and sadness. “Just an hour sitting with you in the steppe felt like years of companionship. Every moment I’ve spent by your side, I cherished. Just looking at each other, I saw a part of myself in you.” He chuckled, a soft but sad smile appearing on his face. “It’s funny, isn’t it? I thought to myself, ‘We aren’t as different as I might have--’”

Daniil sharply cut him off.

“If you think this is going to stop me--” 

“No, oynon. I know.” Artemy’s expression was filled with hurt. Daniil’s mouth was slightly agape at the interruption. For once, he was too anxious to speak and only hoped that it wasn’t his words that stung.

“You don’t belong here. I remember you telling me about it; you have work to do out there, and nothing I say could stop you from going back to it. I have no intention of trying to anyway. I suppose… maybe I came on a bit strong with that. All this has just been on my mind for a while, and it feels like I’m a little too late telling you now. Even now I know I have more to say, but I don’t know how to put how I feel about you into words. But for what I can describe, I just…” 

Artemy’s eyebrows scrunched up and his eyes shut tight as he took a very long pause. Finally, he opened them and looked back down at the stone path beneath him, taking a deep breath.

 “...needed you to know.”

A cold silence fell between the two. At this point, neither of them could look at each other. Dankovsky was at a loss for words. Part of him expected something like this to come from Burakh. Part of him didn’t want to hear it. He knew that twinge of anxiety he felt every time they parted ways was going to come back and bite him full force, but he didn’t know it would be like this. God, he didn’t expect Artemy to come out with something like that. His fists clenched tight. Despite what he had just said, he didn’t feel ready to leave either.

Before he could even begin to process the thoughts racing in his mind, a warm, rough hand held his cheek and wiped away the wetness on his cheeks. “Hey,” his familar voice comforted. “Kheerkeen en-Daniil. Khayratay inagni. It’s okay.”

Daniil’s hands reached up to gently touch Artemy’s and press it closer to his skin. His grip tightened. His face turned red and his chin began to tremble. In this moment, he wasn’t the prideful outsider everyone saw him as. Not an oynon, a doctor, or the Bachelor of Medicine everyone else knew. This was Daniil Dankovsky, a man overwhelmed by a love he had never experienced before. He burst into choking sobs as Artemy wrapped his arms around him in a tight embrace. Filled with swelling emotion and confusion, he could only grasp onto Artemy’s clothing and bury his face into his partner’s chest, muffling his wails. A hand reached up and gently stroked the back of his head.

“I’m not-- not the s-sentimental type,” Daniil choked out. “S-so… so I can’t-- even begin to describe how I feel…” 

“You don’t have to force anything, en-Daniil,” Artemy whispered gently. “Be oylgoho. I understand.” He rubbed his partner’s back in an attempt to soothe him. 

“It feels like-- like I’m losing so much even though we won..! They took Thanatica from me, I h-have to.. to- I don’t know what… And Eva… God, Eva...” He finally, hesitantly tried to return Artemy’s embrace, holding on tightly to the back of his cloak. “And.. and now I’m- I’m going to lose you too..” 

Artemy didn’t respond, instead pressing Daniil closer into him in an effort to soothe him. All Daniil could do was cry, to release everything he had repressed since he got trapped in this godforsaken town. Stray thoughts made him wonder what his companion was thinking. Another moment that felt like an eternity. The whole world around him was gone, and he felt like he was here, at the only home he had left. Who knows what he would return to after he left.


After a few minutes, eventually he had managed to calm down. When the sobs died down, and nothing was left but red eyes, Daniil quietly held Artemy for a moment. He just wanted to enjoy his partner’s warmth for a few moments more. Back during his first weeks in the town, Artemy always smelled faintly of blood, cow manure, and that terribly strong twyre. After so much time together, he began to smell so much softer, like the grass in the steppe and the flowers they would always be picking. He reached up to hold Artemy’s cheeks, pulling him down lower and gently pressing his lips to the other’s mouth. A moment passed, and he pulled away, shuffling back a few steps.

“Bayarlaa,” he mumbled.

The corners of Artemy’s mouth curled up in amusement.

“Ah, so the oynon did pick up on some of my language.”

“That’s enough out of you.” Daniil felt a wave of embarrassment wash over him. That’s the same smile he saw when he caught that large, intense-looking man speaking to Eva downstairs for the first time. Despite everything, it’s still the same Artemy Burakh. Eventually, the discomfort lifted and he was able to raise his head to look back at the menkhu. They stared at each other again, more warmth in their gaze than before.

After a few moments, Artemy lifted a suitcase in one hand and grabbed the handle of the rolling luggage. 

“So… off we go then?” he glanced back at Daniil, a pleasant look in his eyes. Something about that expression made it easier to accept his departure from Town-on-Gorkhon.

hey,, hello,, hope you liked it... i'm not a writer, but this came to me at 3am one night and i had to write it. consider this a preview of a longer fic i want to write about these two.
1. I. 1538 0 0