Story Title: HYBRID
Genre & Pairings: Post-Avatar, Action/Adventure/Romance/Sci-fi/Fantasy/Spiritual Jake/Neytiri, Norm/OC
Author: Eily's Close
Disclaimer: Avatar, Pandora Jake Sully, Neytiri ...(et all) belong to James Cameron, 20th Century Fox Entertainment, ect. By writing this fanfiction I make no profit or claim to ownership of this property.
Author's note: I have written many fanfictions before (not on this account) but this is my first AVATAR. I watched the movie a few days before Christmas 2009 and loved it. This is a post-Avatar story (ie, what happens next). Please enjoy!
The Na'vi feel in ways a human does not. Whether because humans can't, or have forgotten how, Jake Sully would never know, not now. They were far away from the smouldering corpse of Home Tree, yet the stench of its death still could be detected in the air and in the rivers. There were times when he would stop drinking from the waterjug bush, seeing his reflection. A part of his mind reminded him that he had not always looked like this, that this was not his natural form. But every movement, every sensation, that was all real. He just had to be among The People to remind himself of where he belonged. It had never been that old, dying planet. He'd never felt at home while there. It was here. On Pandora.
The clans were leaving in the morning. All were going home. Yet his clan, the Omaticaya had lost their home. Scouts would arrive tonight. They'd left hours ago, searching in all directions from the Tree of Souls to find a suitable new home. Jake had not gone with them. There was something he needed to do. His human body lay at the roots of the Tree of Souls growing cold, but it could not stay there. His energy had moved on, and it was time to give his body to Eywa.
He could not touch it. It was instinct, some primal knowledge that no creature should touch is own dead body. Neytiri gave him a seeing stare, then picking up the tiny human body herself. He was almost embarrassed to see it there – so small and fragile. He had always thought those paralysed legs to be incongruous with his personality, but now he could see it was all wrong for him. Neytiri would never have loved him, never have wanted to even know or look at him in that body.
Neytiri seemed to know where just to go. They found a small hollow amongst the roots which was lined with leaves. He turned away, unable to watch as Neytiri lay his body down. People he knew gathered around – fellow hunters who had come of age with him, Mo'at, warriors... He did not know when they'd found flowers, but he saw them move past him towards his old body, no doubt to cover it as he had seen them do at other funerals.
Neytiri's cool hand touched his wrist. "You must come," she said softly.
He turned, loathe to look down. His face looked almost serene, down there. A bit like Tom, almost. His breath caught. He hadn't thought much about Tom since his brother had died. He pursed his lips, staring down. A seed of the Tree of Souls floated down, resting upon his human cheek. He was barely aware of the words Neytiri was murmuring beside him. The others began to drift away, for there was much to be done, so that it was only he and Neytiri. He knew she was watching him – his Na'vi body. Waiting.
"It... it's strange," he said at last in English. "I always thought me and Tom would somehow... I don't know, die together."
"Who is Tom?"
Jake turned to Neytiri. It'd never occurred to him to tell her about his old earth life, his human family. He'd been so busy learning hers.
"My brother. We were twins."
Neytiri looked down. "I did not know. What is a twin?"
"You don't know?" he said. "It's when two babies are born, and they look exactly the same." He paused. "Not all humans are twins," he clarified. "We were unusual, I guess. Don't the Na'vi...?"
She shook her head. "That is ... it only happens to animals, not Na'vi." She cast a strange look at him. "Jake..." she breathed. "Toom... is still in the Sky People's world?"
Jake shook his head, looking up at the canopy. "It is a long story. But basically, Thomas should have been here, not me. This," he waved at his blue chest, "was supposed to be his. He knew everything about the Na'vi. But he was killed, a week before he was meant to leave. So I came."
"So you came," she repeated, her eyes following his, up through the trees to the other moon in the darkening sky. "I am glad," she said at last. "Not that your brother died, but that you came."
He turned to her, arms reaching around her. He rested his forehead against hers, looking into her eyes. "So am I."
Her arms slowly held him. "You must tell me," she said, her eyes flicking between his, "someday, about your world. I have made the mistake," she took at deep breath. "It was unfair for me to ignore you when you have learnt everything there was to know about us. I should have known about your brother."
"I am who I am here," he said. "It's all in the past. It doesn't matter."
"It does to me," Neytiri said. "You matter to me."
Her eyes flicked down to his human corpse.
"Perhaps later?" Jake suggested.
She stepped out of his arms. "Yes." They slipped through the forest back to the clans. He was needed at the celebrations.
As they neared, Neytiri seemed to be more excited, speeding up. It was hard to tell, with fifteen clans of Na'vi in the surrounding forest, but it seemed extremely crowded.
"Come, come," Neytiri cried, excitement getting hold of her.
"What's happening?" Jake asked, as she broke into a run. She stopped next to Mo'at, her mother, both watching him. He drew to a halt, noticing everyone was looking at him. Again. He frowned at Neytiri.
She stood at his side, her voice low in his ear. "It's been decided."
He had been appointed Clan Leader. As Neytiri's life mate, and as Toruk Makto, rider of the Toruk, it was more than enough reason. He argued against it, of course – he was not born of The People and did not know their ways as even the youngest child would. How could he lead them? But Mo'at was a convincing woman.
"It is good to have knowledge," she acknowledged. "But we need action. You See our people. Your strong heart will lead you when your knowledge fails."
It was a small party, Neytiri told him, that he participated in tonight. His inauguration would not happen until they had a home.
Needless to say, if this was a small party, he wondered what could be a big party for the Na'vi. Plants glowed, swaying to the singing of the people. There were about 5 000 Na'vi collected, even after the death toll. Amongst the trees Na'vi danced, thousands upon thousands on the ground, in the branches, whooping as they flew past on their ikran. They gorged on fruit and all other kinds of food. Even those of the wounded who could keep their eyes opened gathered around to sing and talk and joke. Jake heard of all the wondrous places on Pandora he had yet to see and know – the sea, the plains, even the polar caps which were secret to those who had not been there, no matter how much he begged to learn of them. "When you clan is settled, perhaps visit the Unatja," the Clan Leader of the Plains Na'vi told him. "In the southern forest. They may take you there."
He fell asleep beneath the Tree of Souls with his arms around Neytiri. Tomorrow they would have a new home. Their world was safe.
When he woke in the morning, his Toruk, which had been hanging around since the battle, its huge shadow passing over him from time to time, was nowhere to be seen. It had finally left completely. An ikran can carry only one for any period of time, and so he decided to walk beside Neytiri, bonded with his horse, or pa'li as they were correctly known as, but allowing a wounded warrior to lean against the beast's neck instead of him riding it. Neytiri had lent her pa'li as well – to three giggling children that stared at Jake the whole day as they journeyed along the path the scout showed them.
He occasionally stared back at the children, finding it funny when they squealed and pretended to look away, giggling. Neytiri would scold them, turning back to the path with a slight smile on her face. Jake found himself thinking she'd make a very good mother. A tiny thought occurred to him – could they have children? His body, after all, was a hybrid of DNA; it could be that they were incompatible. He didn't even know how reproduction of the Na'vi worked! Well, the act of mating was not that unfamiliar... but he found it impossible to imagine the Na'vi women swelling with child as human women did. And if they did, he'd yet to see one, and it seemed unlikely that not one female could be pregnant in the three months (had it only been that long?) he'd known them. He puzzled over this for almost an hour.
His attention was diverted, however, when Neytiri gave out a delighted laugh. His head jerked up, and he stopped, the pa'li beside him halting as well.
It was not Hometree.
But it was almost as beautiful.
A cluster of huge, tall, thin trees with many branches that stuck out at right angles from the trunk had all leant towards each other over a small lake, forming a dome like structure. Hammock leaves and vines and fungi covered the trunks and branches, which formed a cobweb of connections. It was beginning to glow in the dimming light, reflecting off the water, which gave off its own glow from fluorescent underwater plants. Na'vi were already rushing forwards with delight, up, up into the trees.
"It's called the Nest - Arani," Neytiri said to the children. "Up, there at the top, the trees have all melted together to form a platform, where we may pray and have meetings. Although it took us the whole day to get here with all the People of Omaticaya including our wounded, it is actually only half a day from the Tree of Souls, a quarter on ikran. We never lived here simply because we had Hometree, but it is the best home we could have now."
Jake was pretty sure she meant the words for him to hear too.
The children thanked her, running off with one last goodbye, joining their families.
Jake reached over, taking his mate's hand. "It will never replace Hometree. But it will be the Home of a new life, yes?" She whispered, golden eyes reflecting the eerie blue of the waters.
He nodded. Leaving their pa'lis to graze on the banks of the lake, they began to climb the trunk of the closest tree, up into their new home.