AN: Random story idea in my head that I had to get out, so probably not my best story ever. Plan to be a two shot. Hope you enjoy!
Bedtime Stories: The Na'vi Princess and Sky Warrior
Jake grins his familiar lopsided grin as he hears his children's excited calls for him. They are supposed to be settling down for the night, but judging by their excited voices, Thomas and Sylwanin feel like doing anything but sleeping. But Neytiri would fix that quick enough with her soft yet firm voice and a soothing lullaby. He sits up though and positions himself to make a leap to the branch nearest him to walk over to his young ones…
Next thing he knows two small cobalt bodies knock him down and land on either side of him on his and Neytiri's cot. Two pairs of large amber eyes sparkle with lively energy and a sweet innocence.
"We want a story," Thomas informs him, as practical and straight to the point as always. Sylwanin nods her head in agreement, clearly taking her older brother's lead. Sylwanin's small hand is wrapped half way around her toy ikran that is woven out of dead leaves and forest moss, made by one of the clan's elders. Thomas is clutching onto his soft, fuzzy blanket, a gift from the old avatar team. They both look at their father expectedly as they lean against him and await their tale, hugging their separate comfort items.
Sylwanin speaks up, "I want a story about a princess!"
"No, I want one about a warrior!" contradicts Thomas, who is scrunching up his face at the thought of yet another princess fairytale for his sister.
"Love stories are better!" Sylwanin sticks out her tongue.
"No, action stories are!"
Jake quickly cut across them. "What if I told you I could tell you a story about both a princess and a warrior with both love and action in it?"
The two little Na'vi study their father with hopeful, yet skeptical, looks. Suddenly, the cot bounces and shifts a little as yet another body carefully landed on the cot, Neytiri's slander blue arms sweep Thomas up in the air and down again as she joins the already crowed cot.
"You two are supposed to be asleep!" Their mother gently scolds. "Why are you still up!"
"Sempul is going to tell us a story about a princess and a warrior," answers Sylwanin calmly, but there is a wide plea in her eyes as well as Thomas'. They want to hear the story before they join the silence of the night. As though to beg even further, Thomas rests his head in Neytiri's lap, still clinging on to his blanket and whispers please Mommy?
Giving in, Neytiri looks at Jake with a small smile. "Alright, one story." She picks up Thomas and sits him in her lap as Sylwanin places herself in her father's arms. Jake, carefully supporting Sylwanin, moves himself closer to Neytiri until he feels her touch. Returning the affection, Neytiri rests her head on his shoulder and looks up at him along with their children, prepared for the story.
And she accuses him of being a baby.
Catching his mate's golden gaze, Jake begins his story saying, "This tale is about two clans in mist of a grave struggle for Eywa's land. This tale is about the two people from those two clans; their own private struggle to find their place in Eywa's balance. This is a tale of the Na'vi Princess and the Sky Warrior."
"Where did the sky warrior come from?" Thomas asks, somehow picking up the subtle hint that this character is not a born native of Eywa's land.
Jake gives a small grin and waves his hand to the star lit sky saying, "Farther than the farthest star in the sky."
Both Thomas' and Sylwanin's eyes widen in amazement as they stare into the starry sky, clearly trying to imagine the unfathomable distance. Jake continues on.
"The sky warrior left his village because it was dying from its own people's greed and deception. He had realized that he could no longer save his home from his own people's hands. There was no longer any green nor were there any wild creatures. And so the sky warrior journeyed to Eywa's land, in hope to find something he had lost: a home to fight for.
"However he had a problem: he couldn't breathe on his own in this new world. The problem had been solved however by intelligent sky people called scientists…"
"Like Uncle Norman?" Sylwanin interrupts, captured by the story. "And where does the Na'vi princess come in…?"
Laughing a little, Jake replies softly, "Patience, my daughter. Yes, scientists like Norman. They invented dreamwalkers, bodies much like the Na'vi in which the people of the sky clan can place their spirits into. And with these bodies, they walked among the Na'vi. When the sky warrior was in his dreamwalker, he finally knew a sense of peace. It was as if he was born to walk among the People of the Na'vi.
"One night however, the warrior was lost in the forest, alone and helpless, surrounded by Nantang. Thinking his dreamwalker body was going to die either way, the warrior challenged them, calling out to their snarls and bared teeth."
Both children's eyes are wide with worry for the sky warrior now, mouths in a tight line.
"Thinking of his will the warrior fought with all his strength, but it seemed to not be enough. One creature tackled him; its teeth inches from his throat… when a stray arrow struck the attacking nantang and saved the warrior. A young Na'vi princess had entered the hunt, rescuing the dreamwalking sky warrior just in time…"
"Sempul, you're telling the story all wrong!" Little Sylwanin interrupts once more. "It's the warrior who saves the princess, not the other way around!"
Neytiri who now has her eyes closed, smirks, in amusement and Jake looks at his daughter with raised eyebrows, his mouth twitching upward slightly. "You've been listening to too many of Uncle Max's and Aunt Rachel's stories have you? Well, this princess was no ordinary princess. She wasn't only a princess, but a strong and proud warrior. She fended for herself and knew the voice of Eywa was within her. She understood that the warrior had been chosen by the All Mother for something very important. So she took him into her village and began to open his eyes so that he could See."
Sylwanin thinks over what she had just heard and nods in approval. It is clear that she has gotten used to the idea of a warrior princess quickly. Thomas is still leaning against his mother, soaking in the story; a thoughtful look is in his bright, large eyes.
"The sky warrior learned the ways of the Na'vi and his eyes were opened more and more each day with each lesson the princess taught him. When it came time to became a hunter and bond with his ikran, the warrior was excited and the princess proud of her student. When the warrior flew out into the vast skies on his new mount, the princess joined him for each and every flight. From there, the two moved from student/ mentor to the closest of friends. And it was as he sailed the skies with her that the warrior realized that he was falling in love with beautiful and proud warrior princess.
"However the warrior's sky clan had other plans in mind. They had come for the stone that Eywa had plentiful of in her land and they were willing to do anything to get it. A large pile of it rested under the princess' village and the warrior's clan wanted her people to move so that they could tear down the village and mine the stone…"
Thomas' and Sylwanin's eyes got big once more. "But what about the Na'vi? And what about Eywa? Didn't the sky clan know that they would be destroying part of Eywa as well as the Na'vi?" They ask in horror, for they could not picture any being not knowing (or not caring) about the All Mother and her children.
Jake shakes his head. "The sky clan didn't See, just like the warrior couldn't before he had met the princess. All they saw were themselves and their greed and delusion of destroying one home to fix their own.
"The sky warrior knew all of this, of course," Jake continues on with the story. "But he couldn't warn the princess until he was officially part of the clan and allowed to speak on his birth people's behalf. Also, he was scared. His spirit was torn between the clan of his birth and the clan of his adoptive people. The warrior didn't want to face the fact that sooner or later, he would have to choose between them."
Jake could feel Neytiri's sad gaze upon him and his children's thoughtful looks. "But," Thomas finally speaks, "he loved the princess though."
Jake nods, "He loved her very much. And after he became a clan member, the warrior and the princess went to the Tree of Voices and confessed their love. They became life mates that night, and the warrior knew he had made his choice."
Jake's eyes sadden as the coming lines are said, "the destruction came the very next morning. The sky clan tore down the Tree of Voices and the Na'vi were calling for battle against them. And the warrior knew he had to confess what he had known all along." Jake takes a quick breath. "And the princess was grieved and she pushed him away, calling him a traitor and an alien, to which the warrior could not deny. He was held prisoner as the Na'vi prepared to defend their home, yet when the sky clan came and brought their rain as gas and fire, the strong tree, the heart of their village, fell and crumbled into ashes and twigs. And the sky warrior was forced out of his dreamwalker and was forced back to the sky clan, where once again, he was held prisoner.
"The warrior though was determined to fight for his new home. With the help of a few trusted friends within the sky clan, he escaped and went back into his dreamwalker. To face the princess and the clan though, he had to take it up to the next level. He had already severed all ties with the sky clan and now he had to prove his loyalty to the Na'vi. The warrior called his ikran and taking to the air, he flew above a fierce toruk. Taking a deep breath, the warrior jumped off his mount and danced with the last shadow until they were bonded brother spirits."
"Toruk makto…" gasp Thomas and Sylwanin, mouths hanging open and eyes shining in awe.
"He had been Eywa's warrior all along!" grins Thomas, who is eagerly waiting for some action now. His sister had gotten her love story.
Nodding, his father goes on, "The warrior flew to the Tree of Souls, where he knew the princess and her clan would be, seeking refuge and comfort in their great sorrow. And as he landed with the setting sun, the People around him stood in shock and awe. The Princess looked slightly stunned and then her face shone with love. It was in that moment, the warrior knew that despite everything, the princess had never really stopped loving him. The princess and the warrior slowly approached each other, ignoring the sea of on lookers. They didn't care. When they met up, they reach out for each other and a moment of I See you passed between them. And the warrior then approached the Olo'eytkan and offered his service to the clan. The proud Na'vi leader accepted it and together they called the clan into battle against the sky people who had destroyed their home and soiled their land.
"Together the princess and warrior took flight upon the toruk and they reached out to the other Na'vi clans and the cry of battle echoed throughout the land. Toruk Makto had delivered his call, and the People had roared their answer. They prepared for the coming dawn, when the sky clan had threatened to attack the most holy placed of the land, the Tree of Souls."
Pausing, Jake waits for any interruptions that might come his way. His little ones however are completely silent, awaiting the outcome of the battle. They seem to not even want to breathe in risk of interrupting their father's thoughts and therefore the tale.
"Many people died in the battle, both of the sky and of the Na'vi. The fight looked hopeless for the Na'vi for the longest time until Eywa decided to intervene. She sent in her own troops of her wild six legged children, tearing through the sky clan's defensives. One such child, a palulukan, heard Eywa's call and found a dismounted and stunned princess on the ground in mist of the battle. Bowing low to the princess, the palulukan allowed her to mount her and together, princess and beast fought the sky clan.
"Meanwhile, the warrior fought in the skies, landing upon one of the sky clan's metal birds and destroying their weapons that were planned to be used against the Tree of Souls. In desperation, the sky clan's war leader, the scarred man, opened fire on him. The warrior managed to destroy the metal bird however and he fell to the forest floor, a little bruised but otherwise unharmed. The Tree of Souls had been saved."
Thomas and Sylwanin are now smiling, pleased that the sky warrior had saved the Tree of Souls and that the princess was safe on her fierce and unusual mount.
"The princess found the scarred man, the one responsible for the attack on her village and her anger grew faster. Ordering the palulukan to attack, she unarmed him of his battle gear and fought until the scarred man killed the palulukan, trapping the princess' legs underneath the body…"
Sylwanin buries her face in Jake's side, and clutches his fived fingered hand with her own. Thomas seems to be clinging on to Neytiri tighter than before, his five fingers wrapped around her four. Both their tails are swinging nervously back and forth, restless.
"The warrior leapt from the trees and fought back the scarred man, defending his mate. For the majority of the battle he held the upper hand with his fury and passion and his will to defend his People. However, the scarred man had found his sky person body and exposed it to Eywa's air. And soon the warrior found himself fighting two battles: one against the scarred man and one against his own sky body which had trouble breathing."
Sylwanin's grip tightens even more.
"In a moment of weakness, the scarred man was able to grab the sky warrior by his queue and he hung him in the air with a knife to the warrior's throat…"
Both children wince at the very thought of being hung by their own queues and grab their own gently as if to protect them.
"The sky warrior was losing not only the scarred man, but to his fight of trying to keep his own breath. One of the princess' arrows flew past his vision and dug itself into the scarred man's chest as the sky warrior felt himself leave his dreamwalker and struggled to find air in which he could breathe. He had held out the fight to long though and he fell unconscious, poisoned by the air of the land he had given his all to defend.
"It was not long however, that the sky warrior felt his breath come back to him. Somehow, someone had placed a mask on him that allowed him to suck in healthy air for him in his sky person body. And as he opened his eyes the princess stood over him, cradling him close to her. She had saved him twice, once in his dreamwalker from the scarred man and another as a sky person from her natural world. She saw him as he truly was… yet she didn't push him away. Instead she clung on to him, clearly never wanting to let go. Once again a moment of I See you passed, only this time the warrior could truly know what it meant. Never before had the princess been more beautiful, body and spirit. And he saw himself clearly for the first time in many years through her eyes, and it gave him a life in which he had never felt before. And it was a life he was never going to give up just because he had been born in the sky clan."
In a small whisper, Sylwanin looks up at Jake and asks, "So what did the warrior do?"
"His spirit passed through the eyes of Eywa," Jake says with a wide smile. "And the All Mother allowed his spirit to live permanently in his dreamwalker so he could stay with his new People forever."
"And the princess and the warrior lived happily ever after, right Daddy?" Sylwanin adds.
"But of course," laughs Jake. "And they lived very happily ever after."
The little Na'vi nods and closes her eyes finally ready to sleep. The story had been told and now she could sleep with dreams of the warrior waking up to his breath and the princess' worried yet beautiful face. They both strongly resembled her parents, that she realizes and she smiles as she drifts off to sleep.
Thomas however is not quite as satisfied as his sister.
"How was it, passing through Eywa's eyes?" He asks his father.
"The warrior felt a peace in which he had never felt before," answers Jake, his eyes sparkling. "The warrior felt like he was finally home."
Thomas is silent for a moment and moves carefully so he could look at both of his parents as he asks, "Will I hear this story again? But next time, the FULL story?"
Jake startles for a moment, wondering what his son meant and then realizes that Thomas saw a little past the 'bedtime story' and more into true story. Looking at Neytiri, he saw his mate nod and he turns back to his son.
"Yes," he answers slowly. "You and Sylwanin deserve and need to know the entire story… when you're older. And not as a bedtime story."
Thomas sighs, still hugging his fuzzy blue blanket. He knows that is the best promise he is going to get for now. And no matter what, his parents kept their promises. Looking at his sister he lies down and closes his eyes.
"Good night Sempul. Good night Sa'nu."
"Oel Ngati Kameie, Thomas." Jake and Neytiri whisper as their elder child closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. Looking at each other in silent agreement, they lie down so that their two children are sleeping peacefully in between them and reach an arm protectively across them and lightly brushed the other's fingers.
"Oel Ngati Kameie my warrior," Neytiri whispers.
Jake grins and whispers back, "Oel Ngati Kameie my princess."