The Issue of Trust
By Krisa Star

Note: My answer to the "one hour fanfic" challenge posted to the Sinbad/Bryn list. :-) It doesn't have much of an ending because I ran out of time, but the story is complete despite that.


At first glance it was just another beautiful day on the Nomad. Blue cloudless skies, bright sunshine, just enough of a warm breeze to get the ship to its destination, Basra. But no one on the Nomad was enjoying the weather. On a day which should have been full of cheer, the crew was instead tense, serious, and even downright gloomy.

Recent events had caused these emotions to run high on the Nomad. More specifically, it was the discovery of Bryn's parentage that had brough the crew to this point.

Sinbad silently watched Bryn from his place at the tiller. She was leaning against the mast, staring out at the sea, her hair blowing gently in the breeze. The captain hadn't really spoken to her much in the past couple of days, mostly because he was unsure of what to say. After all, one minute she had been a friend and just another member of his crew, albeit a beautiful, mysterious, magic-wielding crew member. The next minute she was the product of the union between light and dark. She was the daughter of Turok, the sister of Rumina.

She couldn't have been taking this very well to begin with, and some of the crew's suspicions of her could only have made it worse. Granted, not everyone thought she was capable of evil. For example, there was Firouz, who, being the scientist he was, relied on his observations to make his judgment, and what he'd seen and known of Bryn over the past year had proved to him that she was on the same side as he. But at the same time, there was those like Doubar, who suspected that Bryn could be a spy of Turok's, whether she was aware of it or not, and also feared that her powers could possess a darker nature than once thought.

Rongar came up on topside, looked seriously at Bryn for a moment, then walked over to Sinbad.

"And what do you think of her, Rongar?" Sinbad asked, finally taking his eyes off of Bryn.

The Moor shook his head slightly, then shrugged. Gestures weren't adequate enough to say what he thought of the sorceress at this moment.

"I see," Sinbad replied. "I don't know. I still can't believe she's his daughter. She's got a good heart. Rumina, on the other hand--"

Rongar nodded, then gestured to Dermott, who was perched near Bryn. He inclined his head toward Bryn before turning back to look at Sinbad.

"You're right, Dermott does still trust her, and he normally has good judgment in these matters. Except for when he didn't take a liking to me at first, of course." Sinbad smiled slightly, to lighten the mood a little. His blue eyes remained serious, however, especially when he spoke again. "Has anyone had much of a conversation with her since we found out?"

With a shake of his head, Rongar indicated that no one had. At least, no one that he'd known of.

"I was afraid of that." Sinbad sighed. "I'm going to talk to her. Can you take the tiller for awhile?"

As soon as he'd passed tiller duty on to Rongar, he joined Bryn at the mast. "Thinking about Turok and Rumina?" he asked quietly.

Bryn didn't turn her head to look at him. Her gaze remained fixed on the waves as she said, "You haven't said much to me since..." She didn't complete the sentence; there was no need.

"I know. I should have, though. But it's been hard for me to come to terms with it--"

"It hasn't been any easier on me."

"I'm sorry, Bryn."

"For what?" She finally glanced at him. "There's nothing for you to be sorry for, Sinbad. I don't blame you for not speaking to me. And it's certainly not your fault that Turok and my mother--" Bryn shuddered at the thought.

Sinbad didn't know what to say in response. Instead, he just stood beside her, silently watching the sea with her, waiting for anything else she might say.

After a moment of silence, she spoke again. "The sea's so peaceful today. I wish everyone here was as content." Bryn left Sinbad and her place at the mast in order to stand by the rail of the ship. "I wish I could be at peace. But I can't. I'm afraid, and uncertain, and angry. And a lot of other things."

"Anything I can do to help?" was all Sinbad could think of to say.

"I don't know. Maybe you should have just left me in that village."

"Why do you say that?" He still stood by the mast, watching her.

She turned her head so that Sinbad could see her profile. He almost wished she hadn't done that... it hurt to see the pained expression on her face. "The atmosphere is... I can't describe it well, but... I think it would be better without me here. Then there would be no one to fear or distrust. Not that I blame them. I don't even trust myself right now."

Sinbad moved so that he was standing behind and slightly to the right of her. He rested a gentle hand on her shoulder and said softly, "I trust you, Bryn." He hadn't said the words to make her feel better, although he did hope they'd have that effect on her. He'd said them because no matter how uncertain he was, no matter how afraid he was of any dark powers Bryn might have inherited, he was sure of one thing. He was sure that she was still the same Bryn he'd befriended a year ago, the Bryn who he'd fought beside, confided in, and trusted his life with.

Bryn turned around to look into his eyes. Seeing his sincerity, she took his hand and squeezed it gently with a silent "thank you."

The End

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