"So I Shall Fall"
Genre: Drama, Romance
Time Frame: Scene expansion
Characters: Tsu'Tey, Neytiri/Sully
Summary: She watches the dreamwalker take flight for the first time with a smile that is not completely innocent, a tremble to her hands that is not completely platonic. You watch, and try to pass it off as a trick of your oversuspicious mind.
Notes: I just saw Avatar the other day for the first time, and was immediately swept away by the epic plot and the gorgeous graphics. My muse set pen to paper, and this is the first of her offerings . . . The scene with the banshee bonding was probably my favorite, hands down. (Well, one of them, at least.) And so, here it is from a slightly different point of view . . .
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but for the words.
"So I Shall Fall"
You watch her with a closer eye than most, tracing over her as she spends her days with the foreigner, teaching him your ways and giving him freely of her time and talents. As the days go on, the somewhat fumbling man starts the slow and painful process of growth until the opportunities to rile, and the occasions to taunt and barb becoming fewer and far between. As the man starts to grow, Neytiri's annoyance with him seems to falter, until soon you wouldn't hesitate to call her almost fond of him.
There is something inside of you that seethes as time goes by, something torrid and burning past the peace and tranquility that your whole world personifies. You do not care for it, and at the same time, you find yourself loathe to part from it.
When you gather the group of initiates for the yearly sojourn to Mons Veritatis you were dismayed, but not surprised, when Eytucan allowed Jake Sully to attempt the ritual. While a part of you was hopeful – the bonding ritual could prove fatal to those who chose wrong, or did not have the strength of spirit to subdue their mount – another part of you was uneasy. Neytiri was leaning close to Jake before you set out, no doubt giving him last minute instructions. There was a hope in her eyes over the fear that she no doubt held for his safety. It was a hope that you did not care for.
When you led the group of youths (and Jake) a little quicker than you normally would, taking the hardest path you could think of up through the mountains, a part of you (a part systematically ignored) that said that you were being petty. Another part simply said that you were trying to prove a point. This was not his world. And it would never be. It was yours – a world that echoed under your feet and sang with the time of your blood pulsing in your veins. It was a song that you were fluent in, one which you did not appreciate this other man even attempting to hear . . .
When he made the journey unharmed – breathing slightly faster than normal, only, and glaring fire and annoyance – you pushed down a begrudging respect and set a scowl high on your lips.
When Neytiri stepped onto the clifftop, her Ikran flapping off to wait for her signal, you were careful to school the complete dislike from your voice as you said, "The pleasure of going first shall go to you, Jake Sully."
There was pique in the other man's gaze, but he did not argue. Neytiri was quick to show you her own displeasure, her eyes flashing in a warning before she followed Jake under the curtain of falling water to where the Ikran hordes were waiting, screaming their taunts to the skies above. Neytiri was muttering last minute instructions in a quick spill of verse. There was a tension to her words, to the set of her shoulders, and yet there was also a comfort to them as well. Her words soothed the edges of Jake's unease, slaying the tremor to his hands if not completely the hesitance to his step.
The sync that they showed with each other never failed to cause a dissatisfaction deep within you.
When Jake chose a fiercely screaming beast to tame, you fought to keep from smirking. Oh, this would be interesting, if nothing else . . .
From the start, he showed troubles. The Ikran was quicker than him, stronger than him – and just as stubborn as him. Jake clung to his back like a Marniki, and yet he still showed signs of trouble. More than once, he looked sure to plummet right over the cliff's face and off into the oblivion far below . . .
It was at one of these times, when the Ikran gained the upper hand, when you heard Neytiri scream in warning. Her voice was harshly frantic - pleading, ridden with a true terror. The depth of emotion there was one that drew your eyes to her, instead of Jake struggling just below. Her golden eyes were wide, struck through with a fire that made them even brighter than normal, copper and flame searing them around the edges. Her mouth was open, her scream echoing on her tongue as her hand fisted over the handle of the dagger she had drawn earlier in the battle. Her muscles were tense, rigid and strained as if waiting for action. Her toes dug into the moss covered stone for purchase while her teeth were bared in an unspoken defense of the man fighting for his very life.
When you thought her control would be no more, Jake succeeded in harnessing the Ikran, and leapt into the air, sinking immediately from their view before sweeping up before them in a violent torrent of rushing wind and surprised cries.
Your humor at the other man's troubles was hampered by the look on Neytiri's face.
The tension had drained from her body, and the fear from her eyes. Now, all that was there was a pride that seemed to light up every part of her being. The spotted markings on her brow and on the bridge of her nose glowed even though it was not yet evening, and her skin was flushed a darker shade of blue with her pleasure and satisfaction. She had a hand out before her as if she were flying by his side instead of stuck on solid ground as she was.
You could feel her joy as something tangible. It hit at something inside of you that was foreign and unfamiliar . . . a part of you defined it as fear, even though you could think of nothing that stood to threaten you in that moment.
Her eyes were still tangling with the skies, and the rider bonding with his mount. Behind you, the rest of the initiates had taken up cries at the success of one of their own. Neytiri's joy was as contagious as it was intoxicating, obviously.
It only served to make you cold.
"You forget your place often around that man," you found yourself hissing, your tone a sharp contrast to the others around you.
Neytiri looked over at you, the muscles in her neck and shoulders still shifting as if she was anxious to train her gaze back on the dreamwalker once more. "I do not know of what you speak." The normally warm timber of her voice was frosty, her sharp eyes pointed.
You did not budge at it. "You are close to him," you continued, your voice a harsh thing that coincided well with the screaming Ikrans on their perches around you. "Too close. All too easily you almost forgot yourself over a ritual far older than any of us." You gestured to the blade she still held in her hand. "He will become a grave error for you, indeed."
Her stance was hard once again, her smile sharp as she raised a brow. "Whom I chose to protect is none of your concern. He did not need it anyway. He proved himself well to the task."
The fear in her voice earlier still echoed sourly in your ears, knotting as something unpleasant in the pit of your stomach. You cannot forget it . . . and you doubt that she could either . . .
You hold her gaze for a moment. "See that I am proved wrong."
She did not flinch, did not look away. When she whistled sharply for her mount, you knew that you would have no more sway with her on this matter. The knowledge iced over inside of you.
A look was not spared for you as her eyes once again locked on the dreamwalker, who was now flying smooth and steady. In the space of a heartbeat's breath she let out a cry and launched herself into the air, falling through the clouds to fly at the other man's side with an ease and grace that you had long since admired.
You watched them fly for longer than you'd care to admit, every beat of their Ikran's wings on the air growing an impossible distance that was becoming harder and harder to fall into.