Disclaimer: I do not own "Avatar". Any characters you do not recognize were created by me for the purposes of this story. Thank you so much for the reviews and favs, they are what kept me writing when I really should have been sleeping! :) -Fallon.
Tsu'tey stood with Jake at the base of hometree, waiting for Ma'tirea to join them. He had asked her the previous day to join them and was getting worried that she had not already joined them. The students were getting anxious waiting to head to the ikran nests. Jake approached him, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder. They couldn't wait any longer for her to join them.
He sighed and turned to mount his pa'li. Tsu'tey took a final glance at hometree, hoping to see her racing down the branches to his side. When he didn't see her, he turned his pa'li towards the leaving group and hurried off to join them.
Ma'tirea's heart ached when she saw him looking for her but she was hidden well among the branches and he was unable to see her. She wanted to run down into his arms but she had urgent business with Mo'at and she couldn't bring herself to tell him about it.
When she was certain he was gone, she hurried down the tree. She found the tsahik near the healing pools, caring for the injured na'vi with the other healers. Mo'at was a very wise, very caring creature and knew the will of Eywa better than anyone else. She took her role as tsahik very seriously and was well respected and loved by the entire clan.
"I see you Ma'tirea; Tsu'tey was looking for you..." Mo'at spoke softly as she entered the tent and looked up to her. Ma'tirea looked troubled and she immediatly excused herself from the other healers. Ma'tirea followed tsahik out of the tent to a secluded spring.
"What troubles you Ma'tirea?" She asked once they were alone.
"There is something wrong with me." Ma'tirea spoke with a slight hint of sadness. "My body does not feel right..." Her voice trailed off and she brushed the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand. Mo'at cupped her face and smiled warmly. Her smile made Ma'tirea relax and she quickly apologized for her sadness.
"Such a strange one you are Ma'tirea, apologizing for tears." Mo'at grinned and urged her to sit on the rocks over the spring. The tsahik sat in front of her and crossed her legs. "Trust in Eywa my child."
Ma'tirea inhaled calmly and closed her eyes. Mo'at chanted softly to Eywa as she trailed her hands over Ma'tirea's entire body. She rested her hands over Ma'tirea's heart and exhaled, letting her hands hover over her stomach. Mo'at opened her eyes and smiled.
Tsu'tey dismounted his pa'li as the students flew overhead with their newly bonded ikran. Jake clasped his shoulder and smiled to his brother as they entered the hometree. Happy children danced around their parents feet as the evening meal was prepared. Tsu'tey smiled as a weeping child was pulled into his fathers arms and wondered if someday he could experience that joy.
The thought of having a child with Ma'tirea made his heart swell. Someday, he thought to himself but at the moment he had to find her. Ma'tirea had told him the night before she would join them and then hadn't shown up, he wanted to know why. His thoughts returned to the night before and the tingles that ran over his entire body as she kissed every inch of him, the warmth of their bond and her seductive eyes. That night was just as amazing as their first bonding was formed under the waterfall those months ago.
Tsu'tey noticed Rina'rey helping to build up the fire and approached her. "Rina'rey, have you seen Ma'tirea?"
"She was near the healing pools earlier with Mo'at but I have not seen her since brother." She spoke quietly to him, slightly shocked that he was speaking to her but more alarmed that he did not know where Ma'tirea was. "I hope you find her swiftly."
He nodded and thanked her, heading towards the pools. At least she had remained at hometree, he told himself after quelling his worries that she was alone in the forest. She was a capable hunter and fierce when backed into a corner, but he loved her and worried none the less. Tsu'tey heard her soft voice float through the air around him and sprinted in the direction of the source.
Tsu'tey dashed around one of the canopied pools and found Ma'tirea sitting gracefully on a flat rock over the clear water. She looked up at him, startled at his sudden appearance but smiled warmly. Her hair was damp and thrown over her one shoulder. He had interrupted her drying off and quickly apologized.
Ma'tirea chuckled and stood to embrace her mate. "I see you Tsu'tey."
"And I see you my love..." He whispered into her hair, the remaining water cooling his face. He looked her in the eyes. "You did not join me this morn, are you alright?"
She nodded quickly. "Yes, I am sorry Tsu'tey..."
He grinned, placing a hand on her cheek and tracing his thumb over her lips. "You are forgiven...but please speak the truth to me, Rina'rey saw you speaking to Mo'at this morning."
Ma'tirea bit her lip. "I needed her wisdom, I was not feeling well."
"And now? Are you well?" He asked, slightly worried by her evasiveness.
She kissed him and placed his hands on her smooth stomach. Her lips curved into a warm smile and she kept her hands over his. "I am pregnant, my love."
His eyes opened wide but he managed to bring his hands to her cheeks as her words sunk in. He kissed her forcefully, parting their lips only to stand back and tentatively kneel before her. She watched as he touched her stomach as if she were the most delicate being in Pandora. Tsu'tey kissed her stomach and looked up to her. "I am going to be a father..." He spoke in disbelief at the blessing before him.
She got on her knees and touched his face lightly. Tsu'tey wrapped his arms around her, careful not to be too firm. "I am truly blessed to be having a child with you Tsu'tey." She breathed into his ear softly as he whispered loving words back to her. They held each other near the springs for what seemed like ages, both overcome with joy and love.
Mo'at allowed a family hammock, an Eywa k'sey nivi'bri'sta or nivi, to be started as soon as Ma'tirea announced to the clan that she was expecting a child. Crafting a family hammock was almost as joyous as the actual birth and took several months to complete, with everyone willing to help in its' construction.
Each morning, Tsu'tey would eagerly search for the materials they needed to make the hammock and bring them to his mate, who would weave them together. Rope, twine and strong mats were bonded together in beautiful patterns with loving care. Not the most skilled at weaving, Tsu'tey would watch like a fascinated child as Neytiri helped Ma'tirea sew the mats together tightly.
Ma'tirea smiled and handed the rope to Tsu'tey, calmly showing him how to bond the materials together. The love they had for each other and their unborn child was put into the nivi. When Neytiri was unable to help, she would recline against hometree, the beauty of Eywa all around her and now within her and work on the nivi that would hold her family.
After many long days of hard work, Ma'tirea watched as the hammock was secured in the branches of hometree by her brothers and sisters. Once the nivi was secured, they brought down the separate hammocks Ma'tirea and Tsu'tey had as single na'vi and placed them on a large pier. Mo'at chanted to Eywa as fire was put to the wood and the hammocks were burned.
Ma'tirea held Tsu'tey's hand as their old hammocks were burned, each knowing that this was a serious step in beginning their own family. That night, they laid together in the nivi. Ma'tirea's stomach was growing by the day as the new life grew in her like a seed. She faced Tsu'tey as they relaxed in the swaddle. She was not able to snuggle as close to him as she used to but she tried regardless.
Tsu'tey smiled to his mate, her baby-swollen stomach pressed against his abs. "I makes me happy to see you grow every day with our child."
She smirked as fatigue fell over her. "And oh how our child grows!"
He laughed softly and kissed her forehead. "You grow more beautiful every day my love..." He touched her chin and she forced her eyes open to meet his. "You are going to be a great mother Ma'tirea."
She kissed his hand and smiled as he rubbed her stomach lightly with the tips of his fingers. "And you will be a great father."
With one last kiss, she fell asleep pressed up against him and he followed soon after.
Tsu'tey cursed his clumsiness. He had begun the toy banshee for his child and it was not going well. Every child was given a toy banshee by their parents, to remind them of the day they will bond with their own ikran. He had the frame made, twigs from the forest floor bound together with twine but was having trouble adding the colored tweed and reeds that made its skin.
The Su'shiri t'acto sa, toy banshee, was very important for a na'vi child to have. Children personalized their toy banshees with shells and twine, making it their own and dreaming about the real one they would ride one day. The pile of twigs Tsu'tey held in his hands now was not fit for his child. He dropped the toy to the ground and sighed heavily.
Tsu'tey remembered the one he had as a child. His father had made it for him and it was beautifully crafted; that was what he wanted for his own child, something they could look at and be proud of. He picked up the toy and tried to tighten the twine. Ma'tirea hadn't even given birth yet and already he felt a swelling love for their baby and wanted to give the child something to show his love.
"Frustrated my love?"
He looked up and saw Ma'tirea step out of the trees. "These always looked so easy to make." He joked, letting the toy fall to the ground. Ma'tirea stepped toward him and slowly bent down to fetch the tattered toy. Tsu'tey stood to help her as her stomach was huge but she brushed his help off with a smile.
"I may be pregnant but I can bend Tsu'tey." Her eyes narrowed playfully to him and she sat on the rock. Tsu'tey sat next to her and kissed her cheek.
"Here." She rested the toy on her stomach and reached for a colored twine. Tsu'tey chuckled at her resourcefulness and she shot him a playful glare. Tsu'tey watched as she showed him how to tie the twine without breaking any twigs. "You try."
He took the toy from her and reproduced the knot she had shown him. He grinned wide in success as the twig held. Tsu'tey lifted it up and looked at it, proud of the knot. "Thank you." He spoke softly to his mate.
She laughed. "And thank you for making one for our child."
"My father made mine." He looked to her seriously. "I wanted the one I gave my child to be just as good, maybe better."
She nodded and touched his face tenderly. "Then lets get started."
Tsu'tey paced in the grass outside the secluded healing pool. Jake stood nearby, watching his friend pace nervously. Tsu'tey held the toy banshee in his arms and remembered making it with Ma'tirea. He would never have guessed then that he would be awaiting the birth of his child not a week later. Swireya opened the leaves and urged him to come inside. The tent was empty except for Ma'tirea.
She was moaning and laying on her side. The baby was coming.
"Ma'tirea..." He whispered her name and touched her shoulder lightly so as not to startle her.
"Tsu'tey?" She was in a daze.
"I'm here my love." He grabbed her hand and turned to Swireya. "What can I do to help her Swireya?"
"Hold her and keep her calm." The healer spoke calmly as she dipped a cloth in water and placed it on the labouring females' brow.
"Is that it?" He wanted to do more to help his mate.
"Only Ma'tirea can push the child into the world, but Eywa will give her strength when all energy is sapped from her tired body." She smiled and rubbed Ma'tirea's stomach, encouraging the child within to move down into its' mothers' hips.
Tsu'tey nodded and placed the toy to the side. He let Ma'tirea lean against his chest and kissed her sweat covered brow. She opened her eyes weakly and looked up at him. "I can't do this Tsu'tey...I'm so tired..."
He smiled down at her and touched her arms. "You are so strong Ma'tirea..."
"Please don't leave me..." She whispered as pain flowed through her body. Swireya looked to Tsu'tey and nodded; the child was coming.
"I'm not going anywhere." He pressed his lips firmly to her forehead as she moaned. Swireya rubbed her belly, urging the child down and helping Ma'tirea along. Ma'tirea pushed against Tsu'tey's chest and held on to his hands. The healer whispered prayers to Eywa as Ma'tirea's breathing became short and panicked. With a loud hiss, Ma'tirea pushed the child from her womb and into the awaiting arms of Swireya.
Tsu'tey's breath remained stuck in his chest as he watched Ma'tirea's body relax as the child came into the world. Swireya cleaned the child and placed the small na'vi on Ma'tirea's chest.
"It is a boy." Swireya spoke warmly as she washed her hands.
Ma'tirea wept as her son looked up to her with huge glassy eyes, every inch of his pure soul open to her. He made no sound, only looked to his mother and father with curiosity. Tsu'tey touched his tiny head that was covered in a mop of dark hair, letting his small queue fall between his fingers. The boys' fingers wrapped tightly around Ma'tirea's finger and his tail wrapped around his small, fat leg.
"He is beautiful..." Ma'tirea whispered as the tears kept falling. Tsu'tey agreed with her and kissed her passionately. "What should we call him Tsu'tey?" She asked, looking up to her mate.
He thought for a moment. They hadn't talked about what to name the child. There had been so much else to get ready for his arrival. Tsu'tey slid his fingers under his sons' chin and smiled in joy when the boy began to suck on them. "Ka'eko." He said confidently, sure that it was his boys' name.
The babe, unable to lift his head, looked up to his father and drooled. "I think he likes it." Ma'tirea spoke softly so as not to upset the newborn. The new mother smiled, her lip trembling as she proudly passed Ka'eko to his father. Tsu'tey held the boy awkwardly at first but soon found the right way to swaddle the boy in his arms. Ka'eko rested his head on Tsu'tey's chest and looked around at the new world before him.
"My son..." He whispered to the boy, who was quickly falling asleep in his fathers' arms. "Whatever you become; know that you are the greatest gift."
Ma'tirea smiled and brushed the tears from her eyes. She slid off the bed and weakly stood beside her mate. Everything had come full circle and whatever happened, she knew Tsu'tey was right. Ka'eko was the greatest gift of all.
Note: Alas the story has come to an end. I truly hope you have all enjoyed it! I tried to show more of their culture in the final chapter, with the toy banshee and the hammock burning. I had to guess though when it came to the birth, but if they mate like us, its logical to assume they give birth like us. I thought adding the bit about the baby not crying would make it different though. I just thought that a na'vi baby would have a greater awareness of the world around them, even at birth and that they wouldn't fuss. I tried to stick to the world Cameron created and used the Avatar Survival Guide throughout the story. Thank you for the hits and reviews, your kind words kept the story going! -Fallon.