The Greatest Gift
Chapter 1: A Fresh Start
A/N: Hey everyone, yup I'm still on a roll popping out Jake & Neytiri stories! I got a request from several reviewers to do a story that was post-movie, so here's my attempt at it. I was actually quite excited about writing this when my brain juices started flowing and I began to come up with draft ideas that were not limited to the confines of the movie's plot. So without further ado, here is my latest composition, enjoy!
Summary: Post-movie. Jake is relieved that the clan is settling well into their new Hometree and is returning to their old way of life under his leadership. However, he finds the greatest joy of his new life in Neytiri's gift to him. A Jake&Neytiri twoshot!
Note: As aforementioned, this twoshot is set post-movie and so the entire plot is my brainchild (gee, I hope it's really as good as I make it sound.) Due to Tsu'tey's unfortunate death during the final battle in the movie, Jake has been appointed olo'eyktan (clan leader). Mo'at, however, is still Tsahik (spiritual leader) as she is still alive. This twoshot is definitely Jake & Neytiri centric.
*** JAKE & NEYTIRI ***
Third Person POV
One month after the final battle
The Na'vi princess found her mate sitting on the cliff's edge, surrounded by the beautiful cove that was situated right beside their newfound Hometree. Luminous streaks of pink and orange coloured the sky as the rays of light began their daily retreat over the horizon. Things had improved drastically since the Sky People had been exiled from Pandora, and the discovery of a new Hometree had brought relief and hope to many of the Omaticaya.
A teasing grin danced across her plump lips as she silently padded across the mossy ground toward him; her Jake. "Olo'eyktan," She greeted cheekily, a melodious laugh bubbling up from her throat as she watched Jake's ears prick in his direction before the rest of him followed.
"You know you don't have to call me that." Jake replied, a teasing hint of chastisement apparent in his husky voice.
Neytiri giggled and gracefully seated herself alongside him, letting her legs, like his, dangle over the rocky edge of the cliff, "I have missed your company. Have you been here all day?"
A peaceful and serene atmosphere surrounded the pair, and aside from the faint thundering of the majestic waterfall meeting the crystal, turquoise water below, all Neytiri could hear was the sound of Jake's steady breathing. She snaked both arms around his torso, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder. Every day she thanked Eywa for having sent her a sign to stop her from impaling him on one of her fatal arrows the night she found him. Had she killed him that fateful night, never would she have experienced the warmth of his embrace and the tenderness of his love.
"Yeah I have been. Sorry." Muttered Jake, returning her embrace and placing a chaste kiss on the crown of Neytiri's head, "How is the rest of the clan?"
"They are well and feasting on the remains of yesterday's more than successful hunt." Neytiri said brightly, grinning up at her mate before her grin dissipated. Even in the fading rays of light she could make out the slight frown on Jake's face. Something was bothering him. "What is troubling you, Jake?"
Jake let out a small laugh, Neytiri knew him too well. Nothing was troubling him exactly. Now that the clan was healing from the recent pandemonium, and was settling into the old ways of life once again, Jake was finding he had more and more spare time on his hands. Time he didn't necessarily want as he had previously been so occupied travelling with a scout party, trying to find a new home for his people, or hunting that it stopped him thinking about the depressing things.
Sighing softly, Neytiri shifted a little before taking his chin in her hand and turning his face toward her, "The people are happy, Jake. We have a new Kelutrel in this beautiful and safe place, where there is abundant food to feed us. You are loved and respected by them all as Olo'eyktan and there is good news." The Na'vi princess beamed at Jake before continuing, "It seems now that there is food and shelter again, many of the women have decided to become with child. Soon there will be little ones in the clan to teach and nurture."
The young male couldn't help but crack a smile at the joyous news, "That's great, Neytiri! I'm flattered that they think so highly of me though." His voice fell and his gaze dropped, "Considering I'm part of the reason that we lost so much, so many…"
Neytiri scoffed at him and cupped both sides of his face, her thumbs stroking his cheeks instinctively, "You narrow-minded skxawng! Have you forgotten that you are Toruk'Makto? We may have lost but we are still here, are we not? You are also the reason we still live, Jake."
The Na'vi princess leant up and kissed him full on the lips before pulling away and smiling fondly at him, to which Jake smiled a sad smile. Yes, he was the reason they still lived and now rejoiced, but there were others he wished could be there also to celebrate with them: Grace, Tsu'tey, Trudy, Eytukan, even his brother Tom. Jake had never mentioned Tom to Neytiri before this and he felt he could no longer keep Tom a secret from her.
"I had a brother. His name was Tom, Thomas Sully. I never told you about him." Jake began solemnly, clearing his throat where it had begun to constrict. "He was my twin, my err- we were born together at the same time." Sensing that what Jake was about to say was of great importance to him, Neytiri refrained from interrupting despite her urge to tell him that the concept of twins was interesting, as it never occurred in Na'vi. "He was a scientist studying and participating in Dr. Augustine's Avatar programme. He was supposed to come here as a Dreamwalker, not me."
The Na'vi princess knitted her eyebrows slowly, both of her hands wrapping themselves around the arm of Jake's that was closest to her, as if she was suddenly afraid of losing him. Her eyes exuded curiosity and wonder as she looked up at her mate. So, Jake had a brother? Had? When Jake fell silent again, Neytiri's curiosity prompted him gently, "What happened to him? What did he look like?"
Jake chuckled at her curiosity, realising their roles for the meantime had somehow been reversed, "Tom, he looked like me. Identical twins are like that. They share the same DNA, the same facial and physical features." Usually he was the one pressing Neytiri for information, with a look of childish wonder scribbled across his face, but this time it was Neytiri who mirrored that childish expression of wonder.
Flashes of Tom's face danced through his mind; Tom smiling, Tom laughing, Tom dead in his coffin. For a moment, Jake wished he could show Neytiri his life as a human on Earth. His brother, his family, his life, and then the thought struck him like a thousand light bulbs being switched on in his head. Grabbing his queue (braid) he held it out to Neytiri, who seemed to catch on to what he was saying even before the words left his lips, "I can show you."
Neytiri grinned at him, taking his queue and joining it to hers. The pleasurable rush of emotions consumed them both, their eyes sliding shut for a single moment before they returned their attention to the other sitting before them. Leaning forward to rest his forehead on Neytiri's, Jake showed her everything; his father and mother embracing; he and Tom running around their garden as toddlers chucking mud and earth at each other as they played. He showed her Tom's smiling face; the same blue eyes, auburn hair, and bright smile.
The Na'vi princess beamed and nuzzled her nose against Jake's lovingly. She loved the bond they shared, so honest and so pure. She could see every thought of his, every rush of adrenaline he had felt and the joy coursing through him as he remembered his Earthly family. Her own joy, at seeing his other life, echoed around his but then before she could show him images of her own childhood, Jake's joy became drenched in a cold film of longing and sadness. Through his eyes she saw his brother lying lifeless in a coffin.
Steeling himself, Jake spoke again, "But then some bastard decided to shoot Tom, murder him, all for the money in his wallet." Jake hissed through gritted teeth, fully aware of the hot tears that were stinging his eyes now. "That's when I got the call asking me if I wanted to take his place here. So I did, and then I met you and every thing changed. I was much happier in my Avatar body than in my own, where my legs wouldn't work and I was stuck to a wheelchair as a means of movement."
Jake sucked in a deep shaky breath. Showing his past and his memories to Neytiri seemed a lot harder than he had envisioned it to be. Maybe it was because he had seen her pain at losing her father, her home and so many members of the clan and now he was attempting to tell her that he had lost loved ones too. That he had suffered the same grief and heartache, and his pain combined with the thought of hers seemed to make it doubly worse.
Neytiri caressed the sides of his face gently, her long fingers attempting to soothe his hurt, "I am sorry, Jake, about your brother, but I am glad that you came to us. Now that you are with me, I cannot imagine what your absence would be like for me."
"I know but sometimes I just wish that they were all here with us too, you know?"
Images of Grace, her father, Tsu'tey and many others zipped through Neytiri's mind as both she and Jake thought of the ones they had lost in unison. Smiling sadly, Neytiri pressed her nose to his and inhaled his musky scent, "Yes, but that is Eywa's cycle. We all lose things, people, but we also gain."
The young male grinned back in reply and remembered back to the last time they had connected queues: when they had first mated under the Tree of Voices. Images of them both embracing and making love involuntarily flooded his mind and he quickly whisked them away when Neytiri giggled upon seeing his thoughts and feeling his sudden rush of desire for her.
A cheeky grin spread across Neytiri's face as she shifted from her spot and brazenly climbed into Jake's lap, wrapping her lithe limbs around his waist. She giggled again when a throaty chuckle rumbled in Jake's chest before he tilted his head to trail kisses along her neck and jaw. Neytiri ran her fingers like little spiders up his brawny chest and kissed his throat.
"My, my, getting a bit restless, are we?" Jake teased huskily, pulling her chin up to face him as he brought his lips down upon hers. Neytiri smiled through the kiss, feeling Jake's desire rise rapidly and loving the way her touch caused his heart to race. Likewise, Jake could also feel her uninhibited desire for him, and that knowledge only served to encourage his arousal even more.
It was only a mere matter of minutes before the pair had abandoned all clothing of any sort and were engaged in the throes of passion, enjoying the pleasure from Tsa'haylu between them and also from their physical lovemaking. Neytiri lay on her back, a permanent smile of content stretched over her beautiful face as Jake covered her face and neck with a flurry of heated kisses and nips. Her hands roamed his strong back whilst her legs wound themselves around his narrow waist, as he repeatedly pushed his hips into hers. Then everything was just pleasure and bliss as they held each other at dusk, whispering words of love and nuzzling each other adoringly.
Once the light had faded completely, Neytiri sat up and disconnected their queues gently, "We should go back. They will be wondering where we are soon."
Jake grinned at his mate through sleepy eyelids, "Hmm yeah, I'm hungry."
The Na'vi princess laughed, "Such a child."
Jake chuckled in reply as he stretched out his limbs. Getting to his feet he pulled Neytiri upright as well, before teasing her, "You and I both know that I'm not a child. A child wouldn't be able to satisfy you the way I can." He smirked in triumph as his mate rolled her eyes and flushed a deeper shade of cobalt, "Besides, if I'm a child then you should be worried, because you have appointed a child as Olo'eyktan of the Omaticaya."
*** JAKE & NEYTIRI ***
About six months had passed since the war with the Sky People, and it had been about five months since the Omaticaya had settled into their new Hometree. The new Hometree was of a colossal size and was a different species to the original. Therefore, it had been a couple of differences in its internal structure that had taken the people time to get used to.
For one, it was about three times the size of the original Kelutrel and instead of a spiral stairway that provided a means of travelling up and down it had a series of internal trunks with grooves in them, which allowed the people to climb up and down. The alcoves were also much larger and had large lily-like flower structures protruding from the alcove walls, which if climbed into, could be used as a bed, like something Jake called a 'sleeping bag'. Hammocks were still used by some, however, who preferred those to the lily-like wall beds.
The Hometree itself was situated at the top of a large cliff, which looked down upon a beautiful cove with a waterfall. Around the Hometree was lush foliage full of flora and fauna, which provided most of the clan's daily food needs, meaning the hunters and gatherers rarely had to venture far to make kills or gather food.
"Pull the bowstring taut," Jake instructed in Na'vi, straightening the young archer's arm as I had taught him once before, "Pick a target and when you're ready, shoot."
The young archer was still in his childhood years, about nine or ten at most. However, his arrow shot far and straight, impaling the piece of fruit dead in its centre. I smiled widely praising him in my own language, "Well done, young one! You have a talent for archery."
The young male grinned at me, "Thank you your highness. I want to be a great warrior one day. Like you, or maybe as great as Olo'eyktan."
Jake let out a hearty laugh and I joined him, remembering the days not so long ago when he barely knew how to even hold a bow straight. I ruffled the plaited hair on the young male's head, "You're well on your way. Trust me, even our Olo'eyktan started out as a clumsy beginner."
The excited cries of several toddlers caused both Jake and I to turn on heel toward them. Four little ones toddled up to Jake as he crouched down to greet them, patting their heads gently and smiling at them.
"Can you tell us the story of the war with the Tawtutes (Sky People) again?" One of the older toddlers asked in Na'vi, his wide green eyes brimming with excitement and eagerness.
Jake frowned teasingly, replying in his much improved Na'vi, "Maybe another time, little one. I can't tell such a long story in a short time like now, but I can do this." Grabbing the toddler with both hands, he lifted the little one up and began to swoop the child through the air as if it was riding an ikran. The toddler squealed with laughter as Jake flew him about, making sounds that sounded nothing like the cries of an ikran, though that only served to heighten the laughter of the toddlers around him who had eagerly begun asking for a turn.
I watched amused as Jake lifted the toddlers one by one and flew them around in the air. Jake was a different leader to my father and my grandfather and probably all the other olo'eyktans before him. He was possibly even a better leader than the previous ones. He wasn't a leader who just catered to the needs of his clan by making sure they had food, shelter and safety, he made sure they were happy and he mingled with them as if he was one of them and not Olo'eyktan or Toruk'Makto.
In his spare time when he wasn't out hunting or planning with other warriors where else to look for food and supplies, he was out among the people helping teach the young ones how to shoot arrows or teaching them English with Norman and Max at Grace's newly re-opened school. Though the need for teaching the people English had vanished along with the exiling of the Sky People, many clan members had taken an interest in the language, wanting to learn it because their Olo'eyktan and Toruk'Makto came from that background.
"Ok, we'll stop here." Jake announced, settling the last toddler back on her feet and panting slightly, "Phew, you're going to run your olo'eyktan into the ground doing that."
The toddlers laughed delightedly before waving and bouncing away on their stubby little legs.
"You know, for tiny little things, they're built really solidly." Jake remarked, flexing and stretching his arms.
I beamed at him, "Every day I watch you and every day you make me more proud. You are such a good olo'eyktan. Your people love you, Jake, and I love you. Never forget that."
"Of course." Jake replied, kissing me swiftly on the lips before the cries of 'Olo'eyktan' sounded again in the distance from several warriors returning from an exploration trip. I watched as Jake ran up to them to respond to their call. The warrior speaking to him looked triumphant and I could only assume that more supply areas had been found.
The image of my Jake playing with the little ones lingered in my mind and it suddenly reminded me that I needed to see my mother about something very important.
*** JAKE & NEYTIRI ***
My eyelids fluttered open and I squinted slightly at the bright light seeping through the cracks of the Hometree's trunk and shining into our alcove. I shuffled a little in my wall bed, smiling a lazy smile as Jake snaked his arms even tighter around my waist when I tried to step out of it. Laughing a little I smacked Jake's arms, which recoiled at the action before I pushed a thick flap of the flower-like bed open and stepped onto the cool ground of our alcove.
"Good morning," I greeted tenderly, scooping a bit of stored water out of a hanging bag made out of angtsìk (Hammerhead titanothere) hide and taking a long drink.
A yawn pulled at the corners of Jake's face as he stretched and stepped out of bed, "Good morning." Upon seeing that I was picking up some of my belongings, he continued, "Where are you going? We're not on hunting duty today. Though we could probably go for a fly on my Toruk and hunt on our own."
I grinned widely at him before walking over and kissing his cheek, "I cannot. I am supposed to be gathering food."
Jake's eyebrows jumped, "Gathering duty? When have you ever been on gathering duty?"
A sigh escaped me and I headed for the entrance of the alcove, "I am running behind time. I will see you later." With that I exited the alcove and swung myself onto one of the Hometree's internal trunks, climbing agilely down, leaving Jake looking on after me looking puzzled. A chuckle bubbled in my throat as the image of his puzzled face replayed over and over in my head. Maybe he would finally finish making his bow today from the wood of our new Hometree, after months of procrastination.
Trotting out of the main entrance, I let the warm light beat down upon my cobalt skin, soaking in its heat and energy. The hunting troop on duty had already set off on their pa'li (direhorses) and in the distance I spotted the group of women gathering water weeds in the cool waters of the stream before the waterfall. A smile illuminated my face as I thought of the reason why I would be joining those women gathering today and for the next several months.
Upon seeing my approach, a young female waved at me, greeting me brightly in Na'vi, "Kaltxì Neytiri!"
I urged my feet on, jogging toward her and wading knee deep into the cool water, before flinging my arms around her in a tight embrace, speaking to her in our language, "Kaltxì Mey'ral! Look at you! You look radiant!"
Mey'ral beamed at me, placing a hand on her swollen stomach and patting it, "Thanks." Her expression turned excited as she looked from my face to my own flat belly, "Are you?"
I smiled at her and cocked my head to the side, "Yes. I saw my mother about it last night. She thinks I am."
Mey'ral squealed excitedly and delivered the news to the other gathering women, the excited Na'vi quickly spilling from her lips. Suddenly, I was surrounded by a flurry of excited pregnant women as they each touched my shoulder and conveyed their joy, some gently feeling my still flat stomach whilst telling me what I should eat and what I shouldn't.
"Jakesully must be very happy!" Mey'ral exclaimed, her excitement still very apparent in her voice as she grinned at me.
I hadn't told Jake that I was with child yet. I had returned very late from speaking with my mother the night before, and even though I had told Jake not to wait for me, he did nonetheless. The hilarious thing was, however, he had tried to wait for me but failed miserably for I found him slumped by the entrance of our alcove, fast asleep, when I returned. He had jolted awake upon my return and apologised for falling asleep, to which I had laughed and told him he was silly for having waited for me. After that we had curled up in our bed and let the night consume us. I hadn't planned on telling him then anyway.
Shaking my head in reply to Mey'ral's statement I said, "Yesterday was a long day for him, and he was tired. I'll tell him tonight when he's better rejuvenated."
Mey'ral frowned a little in confusion, "You mean he doesn't know? But if you're here with us instead of out hunting-"
"He's not aware about all of our clan's rituals yet exactly. He doesn't understand the significance behind it when a female hunter ceases to hunt and goes to gather instead, because she is with child." I cut Mey'ral off and grinned knowingly, chuckling at the look of understanding that streaked across Mey'ral's face when she comprehended my words.
I joined them gathering water weeds after that, pulling up the deep maroon and dark green ones but avoiding the ones that had begun to spot and notch in the leaves. The gathering group consisted only of women who were either pregnant or in their older years and were unable to hunt. The weeds were put in a large woven basket on the bank, which was already more than half full. Ever so occasionally, a crustacean would surface from hiding in the stream bed and those were caught too and thrown into another basket beside the other.
The day passed quickly and before I knew it, the hunting troop had returned and praise Eywa, the hunt had been successful. The cheers and cries of the rejoicing clan members could be heard as the troop entered the Hometree and lowered the kill. I cheered in sync with the other gathering women before heading up the bank and taking the large basket of water weeds with me. Once dinner was prepared the clan would feast, and then after dinner I would tell Jake the good news.
*** JAKE & NEYTIRI ***
A/N: That was the first chapter of my twoshot! What do you guys think? Is it interesting or is it too bleak and boring? Do let me know, because I want to see if there is anyone reading this or I won't bother with the next chapter. :P
Note: All aspects of Na'vi culture in this story are entirely my creation, and 'Pakrü' and 'Mey'ral' are both names that I came up with myself.
P.S Sorry for any typo-errors. I try to correct them all but hey I'm human, I miss them sometimes.