Author: websandwhiskers PM
Jake's thoughts on fate, faith, and Tom, post-movie. Jake/NeytiriRated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Angst - Jake S. & Neytiri - Words: 1,022 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 5 - Published: 12-27-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5615915
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So here's the thing: I wouldn't be here if Tom weren't dead. And Tom, if he'd been here – Tom wouldn't have gotten himself chased off a cliff by a thanator his first day out in the bush. Tom would have known what the hell he was doing.
Which means he would never have met Neytiri, would never have become one of the Omaticaya, and all the crazy shit that's happened since . . none of that would have happened, and probably they all would have died.
And none of that would mess with me, if it weren't for the dreams. That's how the world is. I know that a situation can go belly up faster than you can blink because of a sneeze, a pebble, a creaking floor board. One wrong twitch and the whole mission is irredeemably FUBAR, and that's just the way it goes.
Sometimes it goes the other way, too – sometimes you duck and don't know why you did, until you're looking behind you and seeing the bullet hole in the plaster right about eye level. Luck is a moody bitch, but sometimes her mood's good. Not often, but sometimes.
But then there are the dreams, which make this not about luck. Make this something else.
The dreams I had in the VA hospital – the dreams where I was flying before I knew what the hell an ikran was, but I know now, and I know how real those dreams were. How accurate. I had no business having those dreams, knowing what flight would feel like all the way back then, unless this was something other than luck. Something that has nothing to do with Grace's scientific explanations of shared memories, data transfers. I don't care how good a signal those chemicals in the roots put out, there's no roots reaching all the way to Earth, and back in time, besides.
I was not raised with religion; I mean, who the hell is, anymore? I'm not sure I actually know how to pray, though Neytiri would argue with that. I just don't know how to wrap my head around the idea of the All Mother reaching across time and space for me, Eywa whispering to me as I lay paralyzed in a cheap hospital bed half a dozen light years away. Don't know what to do with the idea that the Na'vi didn't just need me – they needed me and Tom. Because it's not just that it wouldn't have worked out without Tom dying – it wouldn't have worked without his living, either. Eywa needed us both, chose us both.
It's six years here, six years back, from Earth, and cryo doesn't exactly do a body good - it's a one way ticket, to all intents and purposes, and Tom was first in line. Spent his whole life on this. He loved this place enough to give everything for it and he never even saw it in the flesh. There's no logic to thinking Tom's voice could be here, one of the Ancestors, that I could hear him. Tom never got the chance to be Omaticaya – if this was all part of some plan, then Tom was a sacrifice, Tom had to die because the people needed a warrior, not a scientist, but they needed that warrior in a Na'vi body. Me, in Tom's Avatar. Tom was never here.
But I hear him, when I go to the Tree of Souls. I hear him, and it's as clear and real as those dreams were. No words, not that I can understand, but it's him.
He sounds okay, I think - sounds like I remember him alive. Doesn't sound like what he must have been that night, in that alley, frustrated and afraid, bleeding all his dreams out onto the sidewalk, onto ground that wasn't earth for another six stories down and hadn't been in two hundred years. You can't be connected, can't give back to a slab of concrete. No roots, in that alley. No uploading memories. No way for him to end up here.
"What troubles you?" Neytiri asks, coming up behind me, arms wrapping around me and chin settling into my shoulder.
Her form is softer now than it was when we first met, just starting to round out in the middle. I can feel the way her front now fits into the curve of my back. There will be just one child; twins are unknown among the Na'vi.
"The People should know his story," I tell her. "His Song." I don't have to tell her who; she knows by now. That was hard at first, maybe the hardest thing I'd ever done – just talking to her. Actually, really talking to her, about things that matter. Letting her see what a wreck she'd taken on after all, after having spent all that time trying to convince her I could learn, that I could be strong and whole, like her.
Tom never got the chance to make the choices I've made - but he would have. No question in my mind, if he could have known - he would have. And I'd like to think that if I could have those dreams, maybe . . maybe he knew, before it was all over for him. Maybe She whispered in his ear as he lay there dying, alone.
Neytiri's quiet for a long moment, but when she speaks it's to say, "Tom Sully also gave his life for The People. Yes. His Song should be known."
Doesn't even make any fucking sense in my own head, but she gets it just like that.
I don't know how to be a religious man; don't know how to have faith. I believe what's there, in front of my eyes – I believe what's right fucking there. Tom's the deep thinker; he can explain it all when I see him again.