AN: Wow, I'm glad that people liked the first part so much! Now that I look at it, it does make a rather nice one shot… but I still have something in mind. I hope it can live up to the first part!
The Story Circle: Growing up Na'vi Hybrid
Time has gone by too fast. Jake sits on a branch high above the small circle of Na'vi children, who are listening with rapt attention to two young hunters as they recite a seemingly thrilling tale. The storytellers have very some unusual features for a Na'vi: their hand motions reveal five fingers and their bright energetic eyes are slightly smaller than average. They both are also not quite at their full growth for their age. But none of that had ever stopped Thomas and Sylwanin from being one with the clan. Indeed if anything, the young hunters' differences make them ever so much more precious and enduring to all the clan members. Thomas and Sylwanin are the proof to the residents of Pandora of a possible understanding between two very different People. They are a bridge of hope of a lasting peace.
Not that Jake has ever told them this; growing up is hard enough as is without anything else attached. But as he reflects on what his young ones have gone through and experienced throughout their lives, he realizes that they were exactly that: a bridge between worlds.
Thomas and Sylwanin have been and always will be part of the Na'vi People first. Jake and Neytiri have made sure of this from the very beginning. Though English is the family's private language, the siblings have been expected to speak their people's native tongue whenever they are dealing with everyday village life. They went through the expected schooling and training that it took to be a hunter in the clan and they had bonded their ikrans before they were officially adults in the clan. Eywa is very much a part of their lives… how could she not be? Jake can always see his children's sense of peace and joy whenever they make a bond with their ikrans or pa'li or are just simply enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of their wild and free home. They were part of the People in every way. However, this didn't make the struggles of being part human any less difficult…
A bitter hiss met Jake's ear as he finally found his daughter, by herself sitting by the edge of the lake, slapping the water to make her stunning reflection distort with the ripples. She had disappeared from the village while her peers had been learning the basic herbs and methods of healing that all of the Na'vi must learn to survive. When her absence was soon discovered, hunt parties were quickly sent out to look for the little girl. Jake had been out of his mind with worry. Pandora was paradise… yet the dangers were great, especially to a young Na'vi who still counted on her parents and elders for protection. It was one of the greatest moments of relief for him when he finally saw her once more, miraculously unharmed.
Sylwanin had been crying; mud caked her face from the slush that had splashed onto her as she had hit the water in frustration and sorrow. The pain was clear in her small yet bright amber eyes. And Jake somehow knew that whatever happened today while she was with her peers had caused it. Kneeling down, Jake wiped away the mud from her face with his hands and tilted her head so that she looked at him. Sniffling, Sylwanin explained herself.
"N -- Nirito had c -- called me ugly! He said that I – I wasn't even P – People!"
Making a metal note to speak to the boy's parents about this, Jake embraced his daughter, rocking her back and forth right there by the lake. "Shhhh, 'ite, Nirito is Blind. You are very beautiful, and you are most certainly People!"
"He said my eyes were too small and the fur above my eyes was weird and that my hands…!"
Jake silenced her with a soft look and placed his hand flat into her own so that their palms and fingers were lined up perfectly with each other, thumb to pinkie. "And does Nirito not consider me People?"
Sylwanin's eyes widened, "But Daddy, you are Olo'eytkan! Of course he considers you People!"
Jake couldn't help but smile at her angry expression. Anyone who questioned his membership in the clan clearly had his youngest child to deal with. "And how are we any different? You, your brother, mother and I are one. And we are one with the clan, with Eywa. That makes us People.
And no matter who we are we all share one thing in common." Jake placed his hand so that it rested right on Sylwanin's heart. "We all have beating hearts. We all have independent spirits. And those are what make a person beautiful. And you, Sylwanin have a beautiful heart and spirit."
Sylwanin, still upset but comforted, raised her arms and Jake swung her up in the air and carried her back to the village. When Neytiri had rushed out to him in relief, the little Na'vi had already closed her eyes and gone to sleep…
Time passed, and Thomas flung down his bow and arrow in anger as he passed his father. Picking up his son's bow, Jake wondered if he should pursue him or let him get out his anger before he talked to him. Knowing his unfortunate habit of allowing his emotions stew and boil, Jake decided to confront him.
Thomas was found sitting on his favorite branch in the tree of their village, muttering what suspiciously sounded like swearing under his breath. He was staring at his hands, wriggling his pinkies.
"Absolutely worthless pieces of --!"
"Language Thomas," Jake calmly said as he took a seat next to him. "What are you mad about?"
"You swear," his son retorted back. Silence…
"Mo'uto won't change his teaching style in a more suitable way for me to shoot my bow," Thomas finally said softly. He insists that I'm only holding the hunters behind because I wish it. But I'm trying my best --!"
Jake handed him his bow and arrow back and took out his own. "I will have a good chat with Mo'uto later. But now, I will teach you how to use the bow. Come."
For a moment, it looked like Thomas would refuse just to be purely stubborn and have a chance to vent his anger. But with one look from his father, the young Na'vi knew better and followed his father out to the forest with his bow in hand. They had spent the afternoon together as mentor and student, with Jake showing Thomas how to keep his little finger out of the way as they aimed their weapons. Later when Thomas had gotten the hang of it all, Jake walked with him, heading back to their family.
"How did Mom have the patience to teach you to hunt?" Thomas asked. "Surely you had to learn how to get use to your fifth finger too."
Jake shrugged. "It was frustrated for the both of us at times, but we got by. Your Mom was and is a great teacher."
Thomas nodded. "You are a great teacher too, Sempul."
Returning to the present, Jake listens to his children's story that they are telling their eager audience. It is one of Thomas' and Sylwanin's favorites, not only because it is a good and satisfying tale but also because it is a story in which held their existence. Usually when anyone told the story of the sixth toruk makto Jakesully, Jake turned the other way and plugged his ears. The Jakesully in that story was often portrayed heroically pure and true; he was given far more credit then what was due. When he was going to politely correct the story teller however, Neytiri had stopped him with an amused smirk on her face.
"Let them have their hero," she had said. "Because like it or not, that's exactly what you are."
And so he had chosen just not to listen. However, his children tell Jakesully's story just right… it is the same version he had told them all those years before as little ones, wanting a bedtime story. They make the sixth toruk makto so – for the lack of a better term -- human. They add his fears, his hopes, his faults and his joys. They make it far more than a legend – they make it reality. They have so much passion and love in the story that Jake can't help but listen. That is what Jake has wanted for his story. He doesn't want to be a legend; he wants to be real on a relatable level. And that is how Thomas and Sylwanin describe Jakesully, as a blood and flesh creature with feelings.
So in a way they are more than a bridge between worlds; they are a bridge between legend and reality.
"The Na'vi princess raced towards the sky warrior, who didn't stir from his fall from the scarred man's hands. There was nothing wrong with his dreamwalker, yet something was amiss. The princess somehow knew that he was dying," Thomas continues, glancing at his sister for her cue.
Nodding, Sylwanin picks it up, "Looking behind, the princess saw a metal hut in which the people of the sky clan used to live in. Feeling that her love was in there, in danger, she jumped in the hut, crying out in fear, my warrior!
"She saw him at last in his sky people form. She had never seen him as such but in her heart she knew that was her mate. Realizing that the air of her land was poisoning him, she frantically looked around and clumsily reached for a mask in which would allow him to breath. Her hands shook as she placed it on his small pale face, praying."
"The sky warrior found his breath," Thomas picks it up once more. "And he opened his eyes to find himself cradled in his mate's arms. She had seen him as he truly, yet she didn't turn away. She held him close, as though never wanting to let go. Reaching for her, he whispered simply, I See you."
"To which, the princess replied, "and I See you," Sylwanin gives a small grin, clearly seeing the scene in her own heart.
"The battle had ended and the sky clan defeated, though the price was great. Many good Na'vi and sky people had died during the entire struggle only because a few had chosen to be Blind to Eywa's land. The sky warrior found the young Na'vi Olo'eytkan, dying from his mortal wounds. In his last breath, the Olo'eytkan named him as the next leader of the clan." Thomas goes on. "And the sky warrior knew he couldn't let his sky person body get in the way of his new land, his new People and his new mate. And so he made yet another great sacrifice; he passed through the eyes of Eywa to ask for his spirit to be placed permanently in his dreamwalker. Ever since then, he has walked among the People as one of them."
"This sky warrior, Jakesully, has been known by many names: Dreamwalker, warrior, Toruk Makto, Olo'eytkan…Daddy!"
Sylwanin has just caught sight of her father and in her surprise calls out to him. Jake nearly falls off, startled. Eyes widening, Sylwanin rushes over to make sure he is okay.
"And," Thomas quickly finishes off the story for their audience, "Jakesully will always be part of the land, part of the People. For his fight was for all in which he had become a part of in Eywa's land." And with that said, he joins his sister.
Climbing up to their father, the siblings sit beside him and both ask, "Are you okay?"
Jake laughs, "Never better. Nice story you two."
Thomas and Sylwanin grin at each other sheepishly. "We know you don't like it being told in the story circle," Thomas starts. "But –"
"I meant what I said Thomas," Jake cuts through him. "Thank you for telling my story as it is… that's more then I can say for others."
The branch shifts slightly and Neytiri lands besides Thomas once more. "Yes thank you, Thomas, thank you Sylwanin."
The young hunters give small embarrassed, but satisfied smiles at their parents in acknowledgement of their thanks. A calm, yet awkward silence….
"We're going to go to the sky clan hut," Thomas finally said. "Uncle Norman said that he would like to show us something that he found… apparently he wants to know what its place in the forest is…"
"Plus Thomas wants to learn how the sky people control those metal bodies," adds Sylwanin with a teasing smile at her brother.
Neytiri gives a hiss, clearly displeased with her son's interest in the AMP suit. Seeing this, Thomas adds in his plea.
"It's not like I'm going to be driving it! It's unarmed and everything!"
"Science!" Neytiri mutters the word under her breath like a curse word. Jake places a hand over hers in comfort.
"They know the difference between science and Eywa," he points out calmly. "We can trust them and the avatar crew together, you know that. Norman and Max will be on their best behavior as will Thomas and Sylwanin." Jake raises an eyebrow at his child as to say am I correct?
Thomas and Sylwanin nod, eyes wide with their plea. Time has passed, but some things don't change.
"You'll see mother. There is a balance between science and nature," grins Thomas. "We're only trying to help keep it."
"And besides," Sylwanin gives a sly smile, her eyes shining with humor, but serious at the same time. "If it weren't for science we wouldn't exist because you and Dad would have never met…"
"Point taken you two," Neytiri cuts through her daughter shortly, but her eyes are softer and more understanding.
"After, we plan to go to the Tree of Souls to pray," Thomas adds. "Sylwanin and I thought that we had to do – something…" He glances at his sister. They had previously agreed that now they knew the full story of the Na'vi princess and the Sky warrior, they would thank their ancestors and allies who had passed into Eywa before their birth. Grandpa Eytukan, Uncle Thomas, Aunt Sylwanin, Grace, Trudy, Tsu'tey… there were so many of them who they felt had made their very lives possible. And that deserved their thanks… more than they could ever give.
"Oel Ngati Kameie, Sempul. Oel Ngati KameieSa'nu." Thomas and Sylwanin wave goodbye and head out into the forest.
"Oel Ngati Kameie, my children," Jake and Neytiri watch them go until the two Na'vi fade into the forest. Jake holds Neytiri's hands so that their arms are still hanging loosely in between them and gently bows his head so that his forehead touches hers. They have been lucky. The RDA hasn't yet return for the precious stone and threaten the peace that had come after the Great Sky War. And the struggles of the Na'vi princess and the sky warrior are now only part of a legend, and only part of a bedtime story.
"And the princess and the warrior lived happily ever after, right Daddy?" Sylwanin had asked that night, her eyes sparkling with innocence and joy. And for a moment, Jake hadn't been quite sure how to answer that. For there is always the risk of the RDA's return. And Jake still feels as though he cannot let his guard down. But yet, he still agrees with his response all those years ago. For now all is well; they lived very happily ever after.