Helllooo~ Here's some angst and fluff for you!
Getting the man to stand was a challenge. Sinbad nearly collapsed on Alibaba when he first made it to his feet. He managed to slide to his knees beside him with a pained look on his face. Alibaba took his hand hesitantly.
"Mister, Sinbad?" He asked softly. "Are you ok? Are you injured? Or, or sick?"
(His mind flashed to his mother. They didn't know something was wrong until she collapsed one day, freaking her customer out enough to start calling for help despite his state of dress.)
"I…" The man let out a soft sigh. "I'm ok. I just exhausted my magoi earlier when I…never mind. I'll be alright just give me a little more time."
Alibaba wanted desperation to ask more, but he didn't.
'This guy is offering to pay for mom's medicine, I don't want to make him change his mind.'
He bit his lip and waited, still holding his hand.
(It was cold.)
"Ok, I think I can stand now…sorry I might have to lean on you a little bit as we walk. Are you strong enough?" There was a whisper of a teasing smile on his face.
(Alibaba decided not to tell him how strained and weak it looked.)
Alibaba grinned widely. "Of course! I'm suupper strong!"
The smile was wider now, less tired. "Well, then I'm counting on you."
Their pace was slow. Alibaba wanted desperately to race the man to wherever he lived and get the money for his mom's medicine and go back home to tell his mom and Mariam. But, he didn't push Sinbad.
The man was obviously struggling with just putting one foot in front of the other.
They walked slowly down the beach to the rickety stairs that let up to the street. Alibaba held his hand the entire time, occasionally using his other hand to hold the man steady when he swayed. They had just left the dock area when Sinbad started talking.
"You know…my mom was sick too. It happened a couple of years after my father died. Started out as a small cough, but it kept getting worse and worse."
Alibaba looked up at him. "Did she…"
The smile he received was more of a grimace. "Yeah, I ended up involved in a…conflict of sort and when I finally got back she…she was barely hanging on without me getting her medicine. I…it was all my fault. I chose to…I chose to leave…this is all my fault. If I wasn't so stupid…no, not just stupid. I was so stubborn trying to…I lost them…no, I killed them. It was my fault…she was right…it was useless for me to even try…I'm just…"
Sinbad slid to the ground again, his knees hitting the cobblestone harshly.
"Mister!" Alibaba stumbled from the sudden fall, barely managing not to get dragged down by the man as well.
Sinbad hunched over, his shoulders shaking. "All my fault…everyone is dead, and it's all my fault."
Alibaba looked down at the bigger hand in his own.
(It was trembling.)
He didn't know what to say.
"I'm sorry…" His whispered.
Alibaba glanced around, noting the meandering shadows. They must have been drawn in by Sinbad's less than quiet break down.
He tugged at the man's hand. "Mister, hey, Mister Sinbad. You have to get up."
The man barely even twitched, still muttering to himself. Alibaba bit his lip in frustration. The shadows were moving closer. He could hear whispers now. If they didn't move soon, then thieves would take advantage of the weakness.
He tugged at the man's hair with his other hand and hit him on the back of the head. "Mister! You promised me you'd pay for my mom's medicine!"
(Well, it wasn't really a promise, but still, he said he'd pay for his mom's medicine. And even if he didn't say anything about medicine and money, Alibaba wasn't going to let him sit there and get robbed.)
His eyes filled with tears. He ignored them and whispered harshly. "Mister Sinbad, stand up! I'm taking you home, you promised."
Hazy golden eyes peered up at him. "Mentor…?"
He blinked slowly. "No…you're…"
Alibaba sniffed. "I'm Alibaba."
"Right…" He looked around. "Right, I'm…sorry…I just…"
Alibaba tightened his hold on the man's hand. "It's ok, let's just go."
"Right, I promised…didn't I?"
Alibaba helped him to his feet again and they continued. The shadows faded away into the darkness, once they say them moving forward and Alibaba was able to breathe a sigh of relief. They walked silently for some time after that.
(It was suffocating. The silence felt like a weight on his shoulders that he just couldn't shake.)
He glanced at Sinbad out of the corner of his eye.
(He really didn't look very good. That dead look was back in his eyes.)
It was only when they had turned down another road, leading into the richer districts that Alibaba finally gave in and opened his mouth.
"So, that's why you looked like you're dead? 'Cause your mom and friends died?"
The man sighed. "My mother died many years ago, but yes…I…made a mistake and…my friends paid for it."
His eyes grew even more distant and Alibaba wished he had never said anything.
(Well, now he had to try and fix this…it was his fault he was looking really sad again.)
"I think…even though Kassim is mean and Mariam tries to braid my hair and clings to me all the time, I would be really sad too if they died." Alibaba paused, trying to think of something better to say when the man swayed. "But, Kassim...he'd probably say that you gotta keep moving forward. He's tough, you know? No matter what happens he's always tough. Since mom collapsed he took charge and took care of us…um, well, I guess what I'm trying to say is…ya can't just sit there like old man Jahl."
Sinbad sighed softly. "Don't worry, kid. I'll make sure I get your mother's medicine…"
Alibaba felt a flash of anger course through him, bright and furious. "That's not why I said that! I was just…"
He frowned and looked away.
"I was tryin' to help ya…" He muttered, feeling his cheeks grow hot. "You just looked so sad and dead. I just wanted to help…sorry, I'm no good at it."
(Kassim would probably laugh at him. Or hit him for trying to help an obviously rich guy instead of stealin' from him.)
(Maybe it would have been easier just to take the necklace, even if mom would have been disappointed.)
The hand in his slipped out of his grasp and found its way to his head to ruffle his hair.
"Thanks, kid." Sinbad patted his head and peered down at him curiously. "You know, you've been telling me what your mom and friend would say, but I'm curious…what words of wisdom does Alibaba have?"
Alibaba blinked owlishly up at him.
Sinbad gave a weak chuckle and took his hand again as they continued down the path.
The silence after that was more natural as Alibaba thought about his question. He turned it over in his mind, again and again, trying to come up with something cool like Kassim or wise like his mom.
"Here." The man murmured when they arrived at the stone steps of a very large building.
Alibaba felt his mouth drop open. "You live here?"
(His mind flashed to their little tent wedged between other tents and shacks like it. It barely fit the four of them.)
"What do you do with all the space?"
That earned him another weak chuckle. Alibaba felt a smile tug at his lips at the sound.
"Well, it's my business as well as home for a lot of people. Or at least it was…"
They started up the steps.
"Mister Sinbad, who exactly are you…?" Alibaba murmured.
(Did he accidentally stumble upon a noble?)
The man smiled sadly. "I'm a merchant, just…a merchant."
Alibaba tilted his head. "Oh, you sell stuff for money? I talked to some of 'em at the big bazar when mom took us over there. They were really cool. They told us stories about all the stuff they had for sale. Kassim and I pretended to be merchants for a little while after that. We went and picked up some seashells from the beach and would try to sell them to travelers from the desert since they wouldn't know much about 'em." He felt himself laugh at the memory. "We told 'em that they were real rare, you know? Real rare and expensive. Some of 'em even believed us! Mom didn't even scold us when we brought the money home. She just laughed and laughed. We ate good for weeks!"
The man's hand was trembling again. His glanced up, afraid he said something wrong, again. Instead of the distant look he had been getting used too, he found warm, amusement.
Sinbad smiled. A full and honest smile.
(Ah, that's nice.)
"You're something else, kid." His eyes crinkled. "I might have to hire you."
They took the last few steps to the door and opened it slowly. Alibaba wasn't sure exactly what he was expecting.
(From what he understood Sinbad had lost a lot. But, he didn't know how that would look in his home. Would it be completely empty? Or maybe covered in blood stains?)
He didn't expect the greeting they received.
There were so many people crowding around. Peeking into the room further he could see candles lit and people still hanging back looking varying degrees of happy even with tear marks still on their cheeks.
"I'm sorry for worrying you." Sinbads wavering voice made him turn his attention back to the man.
Alibaba looked up at him. There was an older boy clutching the front of his jacket with pale, shaking hands. He had never seen someone with such pale skin and hair before. There were others too with strange features and clothing. They closed in, their hands clutching and brushing Sinbad as if to make sure he was really there.
Sinbad himself had his face turn to the ground, shadowed by his hair.
(But, Alibaba could see his expression due to his shorter height.)
He tugged on his hand.
"You know mister..." He ignored the way multiple pairs of eyes turned on him sharply. "…it's ok to cry."
There was a pause before the first couple of droplets hit Alibaba's face. From there everything seemed to descend into a whirlwind of movement and grief as the people pushed closer to try and comfort the sobbing man, whispering assurances and words of love. Alibaba allowed him to be tugged from his grasp and brought further inside to be doted upon and wrapped in soft looking blankets.
He felt the touch of a cool breeze on his back and he turned to look back out at the empty streets.
(How strange. For a moment he thought he saw the shape of a beautiful woman.)
I like to imagine it was Rurumu who couldn't stand to see one of her children suffer because of her death. (Let's be honest, she definitely considered Sinbad one of her sons, along with Ja'far). That's why Alibaba kept seeing the Ruhk. Because she pushed them together in hopes of helping Sinbad out of his funk.
I also have another Magi fic that I am working on, that I'll probably have posted sometime...today I guess since its already midnight. huh.
Well, let me know what you think!
(BTW- I'm on tumblr as Xejisss if you have any questions or want to chat. Honestly, that's the best place to talk to me. I'm horrid about keeping up with pm's.)