Dear readers,

This fic counts to the shortest ones I've ever written, so there's no sense in bothering you with a long introduction. But some things I still want to mention: "late afternoon sun" is nothing but a little future-musing. This chapter mainly focuses on Bryn, but you will soon enough find out that it's not just her who this is about. ;)
As the description says this story holds the Bryn/Doubar pairing, which still is pretty much uncommon in the world of AoS, but which I have grown to like a lot. So this is for everyone who finds this to be strange: give them a try. They CAN be sweet together. ;)
Deep inside I will forever be a Sinbad/Maeve shipper though which explains why – here as well – a little site note about those two cannot be missing.

Okay then. That's all I wanted to say. Now go off reading, folks. I hope you enjoy. :)


P.S.: This is not a promise, but I got the feeling this might turn into a series of little "silent joy" stories. So even though I'll mark this as complete now, there might be updates in the future.

Dedicated to: whispers of the sea – Thanks for encouraging me, honey! :-*

Silent joy - late afternoon sun

Brea's hazel hair shimmers in the late afternoon sun. Her happy laughter spreads through the air and the mild evening breeze carries it to me.
I stand at the reeling and watch my daughter play. Her radiating smile reminds me of how lucky I am and of the family I have found here. It's the only family I ever wanted to belong to.
I had never expected this all to happen, had never thought that - with all what my past had revealed to me – I would find peace and happiness like this…

She stands at the bow with her cousin, laughing merrily at the little magic tricks she does for her. Sinbad's and Maeve's daughter has a watchful eye on my little one, I know. Being a few years her senior she naturally took on the role of a protector. Being not all that much older than her, she enjoys playing with her just as much as my Brea does playing with the redhead. The two have been like sisters ever since and sometimes I believe to detect the same unspoken bond of love and trust between them that their fathers already show. Maegan is the mirror image of her mother and she has her spirit, too, but her sense for adventure and her kind soul she got from Sinbad. My little one again – well, she inherited my affinity for magic, her father's joyful nature … and his golden heart.

I look up as a squeal of glee suddenly rings through the air. She obviously managed to perform a little spell that her cousin has showed her earlier today and I send the little redhead a knowing smile which she returns briefly. I know she helped a bit with the spell but of course I will keep that a secret. Then I see Brea turn towards me, her pale blue eyes seeking mine, before she flashes me the broadest of her smiles. I know that magic is part of her soul, just as it is part of mine. It flows through her veins and fills her every being. Maeve and I, we both can sense that. Her powers are growing stronger fast and even though Maegan helped her now, she will soon master the little spell on her own. For a moment I lower my gaze and direct it to the bracelet on my left wrist. Absent mindedly I trace its lines with my index. My little girl holds the same magic as I do. And her heritage for one part is the same as mine. A silent sigh escapes my lips as I watch the golden sunrays play on the rainbow coloured surface. She, too, one day will have to decide on which way to follow. Her grandfather and aunt will not forget about me – or her. And one day she will have to choose. But just like me, she will not be alone.
I lift my sight again and feel a small smile return to my lips. I chose my path long ago. And so will Brea. Her left wrist is gilded with the same kind of jewelry that I and Maegan's father share. Given by DimDim on her third birthday, it will guide her through this world. And just like her cousin's hers wears a runic embroidering – a spell of protection that has been cast on it by Caipra. I blink shortly as in just this moment the small golden coin around her neck hits the sunlight and glistens brightly in it; and I know that her grandmother will always watch over her as well...

A ship is no place for a child, I had heard many say some years ago. But - even though we of course try and avoid heavy weather and dangers as best as we can - Maegan and her both have proven them all wrong. Their lives are connected to the seas around them and neither of the two had ever had troubles onboard. They are the centre of the whole crew and each and every sailor watches over them when they are around. They play with them whenever they got time and have even started to teach them the basic rules of sailing. And often enough Maeve and I have to step in and keep them from spoiling the two too much.
Quietly I chuckle as I recall one of the many occasions when the two girls had twisted Firouz and Rongar – who have become their favourites onboard – around their little fingers, when suddenly I feel two strong arms encircle my upper body. Instantly I recognize them and contently I lean back into the warmth of the one they belong to.
"She's got her father's eyes", I - after a short moment of silence - seemingly randomly send his way. I know he will get the deeper meaning behind it and smile as I sense my heart fill with a silent joy that I once had never believed I would ever be granted to feel.
"And her mother's smile", comes the reply and I feel myself blush a little when suddenly a thought crosses my mind.
"Maybe we should watch out for those sailors then once she has grown", I address him, but do not miss to let a slightly teasing tone mix with my words. The silent snort he gives on that reaches my ears and I cannot help but chuckle at it. Even though I can only see it from the corner of my eyes, I know that he sends me a faked glare before he answers to me: "Nha, I'll make sure she only gets the best of all first mates." I can hear in his voice that he's joking; know that he is playing around with our own story – just as am I.
"Of course you will", I half laugh at him as in my head I already picture that poor guy who has to pass the test that Doubar for sure will set on him. I let the image linger for a moment before finally I tilt my head upwards to meet my husband's gaze. Doubar's pale eyes are fixing me while his eye-brows are slightly risen in an amused gesture. And I can see in them the smile that covers my lips and which makes him allow a similar one to settle on his face. A soft laughter escapes his throat while he shakes his head lightly. Then his eyes leave my face as he directs them to lie on our daughter just as mine had before. And I detect in his gaze this honest love that exceeds all boundaries. I know that Brea means the world to him. Their loving hearts are of the same kind and even though I know that this makes her be vulnerable somehow, I also know that this is her greatest strength. It is what will lead her through this life. It is what has brought us here.

Ever so slowly I draw myself closer to him, savouring his warmth and noticing contently that he replies by tightening his embrace just a little more.
My past is long gone and my present and future are now lying in front of me. Here, in the glistening late afternoon sun that warms everybody who meets her golden rays, I see my life unfolding. It's there with the Nomad, it's there with Doubar and most of all it's there with her. I feel truly lucky and for the first time in my life I know that everything is as it should be.
Everything has its reason, DimDim always uses to say. And it's true for me. Here, with the ones who mean everything to me, I found home. And while I linger here, sharing this moment of peace with the one my heart belongs to, I can see the future begin. I can see it in her smile. I can see it in her eyes. There, in her innocent heart, a light is glowing, and deep inside I know that she will follow it just like I did. She will follow it and help to turn this world into a better one…

author's note: Just in case anyone wonders - I sticked with the "Bryn is Rumina's sister" plotline here, meaning the grandfather and aunt she mentions are Turok and Rumina. ;)