Other notes: This is yet another one of those "alternate meeting" fics...and Maeve's in this one. Also, this fic is a reworked and expanded version of "In My Life," which I posted at the Bryn forum under the name of "Someone you might know..."
The crew had been searching for Dim-Dim for sometime, and they'd gotten a lead--Dim-Dim might be on the Isle of Twilight, an isle as magical as the Isle of Dawn. So the crew sailed to the Isle and continued their search. Upon finding a rather large town on the island, they'd split into groups and started looking.
Sinbad, Maeve, and Dermott were in the marketplace, asking random people whether they knew anyone fitting Dim-Dim's description. They weren't having much success, unfortunately. Sinbad sighed and leaned against a wall, crossing his arms over his chest. "This search is going nowhere fast," he said.
"Sinbad, we have to keep trying," Maeve said. Dermott agreed with a chirp as she continued, "We can't give up until we find Dim-Dim."
"I know, Maeve, I know. But it seems an impossible task." He looked around the marketplace, moving away from Maeve as he did so. The crowd was starting to thin out slightly. Perhaps they might actually see Dim-Dim himself...
A trim, pretty young woman with dark hair caught Sinbad's eye. The woman was examining vegetables in a nearby stall. Almost as if she knew someone was staring at her, she looked up. Her eyes met Sinbad's, and she smiled.
With that smile, Sinbad was in love.
He smiled back at the stranger. Maeve followed his gaze and said something to him, but he didn't respond. He just watched the dark-haired woman until people moved in front of him, blocking his view. Sinbad muttered curses under his breath as he tried to move around the crowd to find her again. But when the people were finally gone, so was the young woman.
"She's lovely," Maeve commented. "But it's odd that you seem so fascinated with her, considering she doesn't seem to be the brainless nymphet type."
Ordinarily Sinbad would have responded with a quick retort. But because he was so taken with and distracted by the beautiful stranger, his only response was a "Huh?"
"Never mind," Maeve answered. "Come on, let's keep trying to find Dim-Dim."
Sinbad reluctantly stopped his search for the young woman and resumed his search for Dim-Dim. He made up his mind to find her later, though...
"I'm home!" Bryn called as she entered the cottage. She set down her basket of vegetables, then sought out her father. "Papa? Papa, where are--oh, here you are!" she exclaimed as she found him sitting on a bench in their small garden in the back, studying one of his magic books. She gave him a light kiss on the cheek.
Dim-Dim smiled benevolently at his adopted daughter. "Good morning, Bryn. How has your day been so far?"
"It's been good," Bryn replied, sitting on the grass at Dim-Dim's feet. She smiled as she remembered the handsome stranger she'd seen in the marketplace. Again she recalled his killer smile, his sea blue eyes, and a faint blush colored her cheeks.
Dim-Dim studied her for a minute. He knew what she was thinking, of course. He'd sensed that Sinbad and Maeve were nearby, and he'd located them with his magic earlier. He had seen them in a scrying pool just as Bryn and Sinbad's eyes met. But what could Dim-Dim say? He didn't want to both embarass and anger Bryn by telling her that he'd seen what had happened earlier. So he decided to pretend he didn't know. "What happened?"
"I saw a stranger in the marketplace," Bryn said with a dreamy smile.
"You see strangers all the time, dear."
"I know, Papa. But this one was different somehow. I couldn't tell you how he was different, but I sensed that he was...he was special."
Sinbad was indeed special. Dim-Dim wanted to see the young sailor and formally introduce him to Bryn, but he had to wait for Sinbad and Maeve to come to him, the way he had on the Isle of Dawn. He said nothing more and began to think about what fate might have in store for Bryn and Sinbad.
He loved both of them like his own children. Dim-Dim had watched Sinbad grow up and raised him like a son. Bryn, on the other hand, had been raised mostly by Cairpra. Several years before, Dim-Dim had heard of a young girl whose mother had been killed and whose father was none other than the infamous Turok. The girl herself, who had great potential to use white magic, had been injured and lost all memory but her name. Dim-Dim had cared for her for about a year before he sent her to Cairpra. Bryn had remained with Cairpra for the next few years, with Dim-Dim visiting her from time to time. Then two years ago Dim-Dim was, as he put it, "relocated" to the Isle of Twilight, an island with almost no contact with the world outside of it. Cairpra, fearing for Bryn's safety, then sent her to Dim-Dim, and Dim-Dim had been raising Bryn ever since.
Not like she needed that much raising anymore. Over the past two years Bryn had grown into a rather bright and lovely woman. But Dim-Dim still had not told his adopted daughter what he knew of her past, despite her repeated questioning, and he also had made every attempt to keep her on the island, where no harm would come to her. Bryn, however, was becoming more and more eager to explore the outside world. Dim-Dim finally came to the conclusion that if she really wanted to leave, she must go with Sinbad and his crew. They were the ones most able to protect her.
Sinbad really had come at the most convenient time, Dim-Dim thought. With this thought he returned his attentions to Bryn, who he finally realized had risen and moved to the far end of the garden. He heard her humming as she sat under one of the trees, smiled, and decided to leave her be for the moment.
Bryn hummed to herself as she once again recalled the stranger's glance. He wasn't just a handsome mystery man--although he certainly fit that description. But as she'd told Dim-Dim, she'd sensed immediately that he was special. She knew, somehow, that we was kind-hearted, smart, brave--someone she could love.
Perhaps someone she already did love.
Did her father know she was he in love? That might explain the odd air he'd assumed after she'd told him about the stranger. Then again, Dim-Dim also assumed that air whenever she asked him about her past.
Finally, Bryn's thoughts became words, words sung to the tune she'd been humming. First she sung of the stranger she'd seen.
"I saw him once
Then he was gone
We were like dreamers at night
Who meet as in a trance, then part again!
Two phantoms in the shadows of the moon
Can people really fall in love so soon?
He walked alone
He seemed alone like me
Could he have known
That moment was my destiny?
I had to run away,
And it was like a dream.
"I saw him once
The dream was true
"I saw him once,
And once will do!"
"In my life
There are so many questions and answers
That somehow seem wrong
In my life
There are times when I catch in the silence
The sigh of a faraway song
And it sings
Of a world that I long to see
Out of reach
Just a whisper away
Waiting for me!
Does he know I'm alive?
Do I know if he's real?
Does he see what I saw?
Does he feel what I feel?"
She noticed Dim-Dim approaching, smiled faintly, and continued to sing. Her next words, set to a different melody, were for him.
"In my life
I have all that I want
You are loving and gentle and good.
But Papa, dear Papa,
In your eyes I am just like a child
Who is lost in a wood."
Dim-Dim shook his head and replied, singing,
"No more words
No more words, it's a time that is dead
There are words
That are better unheard, better unsaid."
Bryn stopped singing and glared at him. Would he never tell her what he knew? After a moment of silence, she left him alone in the garden and headed back inside.
Sinbad and Maeve stood on the doorstep, with Dermott perched on a nearby tree. They'd gotten a lead to Dim-Dim, implying that the master magician lived at the cottage, and Sinbad was about to knock when he heard a faint song. It was a beautiful song, with a melody that seemed to fit his thoughts perfectly. He turned away from the door and sat on the step.
"Sinbad, what are you doing?" Maeve asked.
"I need a minute to think."
"About that girl again?" She frowned.
Sinbad smiled. "Do you hear that song? I don't know why, but it makes me think of her." The singing stopped, but Sinbad already had the melody committed to his memory. He decided to put his own words to the melody.
"In my life
She has burst like the music of angels
The light of the sun!
And my life seems to stop
As if something is over
And something has scarcely begun!"
Maeve sighed. They'd found themselves on this island because she'd wanted to follow every possible lead to Dim-Dim. But if she'd known she might lose any chance she might have had to win Sinbad's heart, she might not have suggested that they come here. She sung, at the same time as Sinbad did,
"In my life
There is someone who touches my life."
Maeve stopped singing for a moment and while she paused, Sinbad continued,
He stopped, remembering the stranger's smile. Finally, Maeve finished.
She stopped and looked at Sinbad. "Come on, Sinbad. You can think of her later. We should see if Dim-Dim really lives here or not."
"Alright." He stood up. "Thank you for listening to me, Maeve."
Maeve smiled at him, although the smile was a sad one. "Any time."
Sinbad smiled back and knocked on the door.
Bryn, hearing the knock, called "I'm coming!" and moved toward the door. She paused and smoothed her hair to make herself a little more presentable. Finally, she opened the door--
--and found herself staring into the most beautiful pair of sea blue eyes she'd ever seen.
Sinbad stared. The woman from the marketplace! His heart pounded. Neither he nor Bryn said anything for a moment as they each realized who the other was. Maeve, too, was silent, watching as Sinbad and Bryn gazed at each other.
Bryn finally broke the silence and smiled. "Hello," she said. "I'm Bryn."
"Bryn?" Sinbad took her hand and kissed it lightly. "I am Sinbad. And this is my friend Maeve."
Bryn nodded to Maeve, then turned back to Sinbad and simply looked at him for a few minutes. Sinbad and Bryn just stood there, staring into each other's eyes. Maeve was watching them, a flicker of pain crossing her face. The moment of silence was broken by the sound a familiar voice.
"Bryn, who's at the--" Dim-Dim began as he reached the front door. Then he grinned. "Sinbad, my boy! It's good to see you again!"
Sinbad, who had not yet released Bryn's hand, finally looked away from his newly found love. "Master Dim-Dim!" He let go of Bryn's hand, entered the cottage, and embraced Dim-Dim.
With surprise, Bryn asked, "You know each other?"
"Didn't I tell you, my dear?" Dim-Dim replied as he let go of Sinbad. "Maeve, dear child, come on in!"
Maeve finally smiled and moved to hug him tightly. "Dim-Dim, I've missed you."
"Yes, I know." He grinned. "Oh, Bryn, I've known Sinbad since he was a child--and a troublemaker, at that. And Maeve here was my apprentice before I was, well, relocated. Close the door, and we'll all talk."
Bryn shut the door, and they moved to the back room to eat and converse.
After the meal, during which Sinbad and Maeve had recounted their adventures and Dim-Dim had told them of what had happened to him the past two years, Bryn rose to put away the dishes, then went back out to the garden. Sinbad soon followed her, as she thought he would.
"Bryn," he said softly from behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Does this feel like a dream to you?"
She leaned back against him. "It does. And if it is a dream, I never want to wake up."
Sinbad smiled at that. He inhaled the warm, pleasant scent of her hair, then said, "Neither do I. I fell in love from the moment I saw you in the marketplace."
"Did you really?" Bryn tipped her face upward, turning slightly so that she could gaze into his eyes again.
He simply smiled. Then he moved away from Bryn and took a few steps away from the cottage. "It's a beautiful night. And I have a beautiful woman to enjoy it with." He stopped walking and held out his hand.
Bryn took the offered hand, and the two of them walked to the far end of the garden, where Bryn had been singing earlier. As they reached the spot, Sinbad began to sing.
"A heart full of love!`
A heart full of song!"
He noticed Bryn staring at him with some surprise. She was merely amazed to hear him sing, but Sinbad misinterpreted the stare. With frustration, he continued,
"I'm doing everything all wrong!"
Oh God, for shame,
I've only just learned your name!"
And yet he was already so deeply in love. He could only imagine how he'd feel about her after he'd known her another month...
"My dearest Bryn
I am lost in your spell."
Bryn smiled and continued where he left off.
"A heart full of love"
Sinbad's voice joined hers, and they both sang,
"A heart full of you."
Bryn then stopped and listened as he alone sang the next words:
"The words are foolish but they're true
Oh Bryn, oh Bryn!
Oh, were we dreaming when we met?"
"Who can say?"
"Who can tell?"
They smiled at each other, their gazes full of joy and love.
Maeve watched the two of them from the back door, her expression pained. She saw them stop singing to gaze at each other lovingly. Maeve began to sing as well, her soft song forming a counterpoint to what the happy couple would sing next.
"He was never mine to lose.
Why regret what cannot be?
These are words he'll never say.
Not to me
Not to me, not for me.
His heart full of love.
He will never feel this way!"
Out in the garden, Sinbad and Bryn were oblivious to Maeve's counterpoint as they continued their melody. Sinbad began with,
"I saw you waiting and I knew."
"Waiting for you."
That was followed by Sinbad singing,
"At your feet."
"At your call."
Then, as Maeve reached the last two lines of her own song, Sinbad and Bryn sang in harmony,
"And it isn't a dream,
Not a dream after all!"
They stopped and drew even closer to each other, their gazes locked. Neither said anything for a moment as each took in the other's loving gaze. Finally, Sinbad reached up and gently cupped Bryn's chin in his hand. He leaned over and pressed his lips to hers in a sweet, tender kiss.
Maeve looked on, watching as Sinbad and Bryn kissed for several moments. She saw them finally break the kiss and embrace. Bryn rested her head on Sinbad's shoulder, and he lowered his head to lightly press his lips to her neck.
The smile that touched Maeve's lips was sad but accepting. "Well, at least he's happy," she murmured. She stepped inside and closed the door, leaving Sinbad and Bryn alone to enjoy their newly found love.