Author's Note: Don't throw things at me please, xD I know this has taken forever and a day and that I'm fucking REALLY lazy so I can't blame this all on writer's block. I went on a week long vacation recently and wrote this whole chapter on my iPod using the Notes app. I just got home a few days ago and it's taken me forever to edit, but I'm finally done. I'm sorry this probably still has so many mistakes, but I don't want to prolong the wait any longer.
I just hope mostly everyone will still read this and can forgive me in the end!
I have pieces of the next chapter written, I don't know when it'll be posted but rest assured it will be a shorter time than chapter 20 has taken *sweatdrop*
Thank you so much for all the reviews, they really inspired me this past week. You are all too kind! I never thought this story would be so well received! *deep bow*
Story Note: This chapter is kind of plotty, sorry. I know you probably wanted PWP but we aren't there yet (but soon, oh yes, very soon).
He sees the child in his dreams. They are in a long green field that fills the expanse of his vision, and he can see the kid in the distance, running with his queue whipping around in the air, beads clinking and laughter echoing around him. It's so foggy and Jake feels so sluggish he can only watch and not move as the child runs further away, words whistling back in the wind, "Chase me!" and "Win säpi!" but he can't move so he just smiles as Sko'teng looks over his shoulder, and his eyes are so green, so green and familiar, like healthy grass on a summer's day, like emeralds, like the forest-
"His eyes are gold," Jake murmurs to himself as the dream fades away and he opens his eyes. Sko'teng's eyes were a bright yellow color. There was no reason for them to be green in the dream. Jake rolls over onto his side, looking at Tsu'tey sleeping across from him, the bright glowing spots lining his body the only thing Jake can see in the darkness. The only Na'vi Jake knew that had green eyes like that was Tsu'tey, as they seemed rare among the Na'vi. Or at least among the Omaticaya.
Of course, as dreams went, it was probably just his subconscious playing tricks and trying to superimpose those green eyes over Sko'teng's to mess with his mind.
The rain had stopped, and the silence presses down on him from all sides, filling his ears and shuffling across his thoughts.
Jake falls back to sleep some time later.
When Jake climbs onto Txur's back in the very early morning hours, when Pandora is just starting to lighten, he's not really thinking about much. It felt more like a duty than something he actually really wanted to do. Groggily he wraps his arms around his ikran's neck as the beast flies through the air, their connection telling it where to go.
The sun rises, and Jake turns his head to watch it ascend over the horizon, over the trees, casting its light down onto the land. Jake perks up a little, lifting his head off Txur's neck to watch the ground flying by below them. "We gotta be almost there, huh?"
Txur caws, thinking prettyplaceitsagoodplace and Ridermate'sRiderwilllikeit and then otherMatestrongwingsDuriname , Mateagain? in a rush of images too fast for Jake's brain to keep up, slapping them into his subconscious with hints of words that makes his head swim. Txur is obviously excited, and he cants down to the right, wingtip brushing the treetops.
Jake has a mission.
Asuy'ri had told him of the place, a few nights ago.
"Only a few Na'vi know of this place. It is near Tìfnu'ora. It is very beautiful. Perhaps you could take Tsu'tey on a...tìsop there?"
"Yes, Jakesully. I do not know the word in English. A trip for those who are...interested in each other?" She tries again, looking hopefully at him.
"Oh," Jake says, nodding. Then, "Oh," as he realizes what she's talking about. "I think what you mean is a 'date.'"
"Yes that is it! You could take him on one of these dates."
Tsu'tey is only feet away, whittling a knick out of his bow, and Jake wishes she would keep her voice down. He looks over at him to see if he heard, but Tsu'tey's ears are still interestedly pressed toward the weapon in his hands.
Jake lowers his voice anyway, "I don't know. It doesn't seem like something he, or I, would get into. I suck at shit like that."
"Believe me, Tsu'tey would definitely appreciate it. He's never been there, but when we had our time together those years ago, we would fly up to one of the ayram alusìng and watch the sky for hours. He loves the peace of it. I know that has not changed."
Jake twists his lips, considering. "Maybe. How would I know where it is though?"
"The link, Jake! The bond we have between us. I have been there; I'll tell you the way."
And before Jake can even get a word out, Asuy'ri closes her eyes in concentration, and a beat later there is a profound strum inside his mind from the glowing red bond, a ripple in the lake there, and then a burst of information as Asuy'ri relays the directions to him, ingraining them inside his mind like a forgotten memory being recalled.
Jake blinks rapidly as his mind struggles to absorb the new information being poured in, and he wants to tell Asuy'ri to stop, but suddenly her presence recedes back into its bond as quickly as it had come forth.
Asuy'ri opens her gold eyes. "You know how to get there now? Did I do it right?"
"Yeah, I think so. I know where to go. But how? How'd you do that?"
"I am your guide, Jake. Through the bond I can give you information," she explains. "Not thoughts, but information. That is the whole purpose of having a guide in the first place." She brightens, reaching out for his shoulder. "You will take Tsu'tey there?"
"What kind of place is this?" Jake asks, looking once more at Tsu'tey, who is still thankfully scraping away with his dagger.
"It's very beautiful. Very peaceful. Tsu'tey would like it," she says, hopefully, nodding to herself. "You would as well."
Finding the place is like going to an address you've been at a million times, that's how well Asuy'ri relayed the sense of directions. Jake's never been there, but he feels like he has, like his body has a compass implanted in it, pointing directly towards it, like a link in and of itself.
He lands Txur in a small opening in the lush trees, and disconnects their queues, stopping the incessant flow of sensory information. His mind goes quiet without it, and for a moment he has no thoughts and the forest is so silent that it's like Jake floats away without the noise, like he's being held underwater.
"All right, all right," Jake says, sliding off the beast. His feet landing in the white dirt is amplified in the silence, and might as well be sonic booms.
He hadn't noticed the silence of the forest so much before, when Tsu'tey had took him to Tifnu'ora. But now, here alone with only his ikran, the silence presses down on him, and seems to hold its breath. There is no wind, no creatures. It's like this place has been trapped in time for a split second, like a living photograph.
"Fitseng i'awn," Jake whispers to Txur, who blinks his pairs of eyes in acknowledgement.
Jake follows what his mind tells him is the right way, and walks straight ahead for ten minutes, until, per Asuy'ri's directions, there is an intersection. The right path has a brightly glowing tree.
Jake pauses to look at the beacon of a tree, at the bark that is bathed in blue light. All the trees in atxkxe ay Eywa had streaks of bioluminescence streaming up and down them, but this tree is soaked in it, so not even the texture of the bark is visible, resulting in it not appearing to be a tree at all, but rather a glowing stone pillar.
And Jake knows, without knowing, that this is one of the clusters of neurons scattered around the planet. An extremely active part of Eywa's brain. The ground thrums with the energy, and the air seems to vibrate the further he walks, as so many synapses flash across the neural pathways, teeming with information.
It is not painful, but it was eerie in a certain way, like someone was trampling over his grave, like he was walking on a gigantic guitar string that was being plucked by an unseen force, sending strong vibrations to his soul.
Like standing on a beating heart.
Jake walks ahead slowly, knowing any second he's going to see the beauty Asuy'ri had spoke of, but it still doesn't prepare him for it, and when he comes into the clearing, his mouth drops open in wonder and his chest seizes with the beauty.
There is a still, calm pool in the middle, blue as blue could be. Giant, lambent plants surround the area like sentinel guards. Outwards from the pool branches strands of green light every which way that connects the plants to the pool.
In the trees behind the plants hang thick glowing strands like the Aungia'telem around Jake's collarbones, and they seem to whisper to him.
Jake, amber eyes wide, walks slowly, carefully as not to disturb the serenity of it all.
He feels peacefulness bloom warmth inside him, but his throat knots up with the urge to fall down and weep. Not just at the unimaginable beauty, but at the despair, that this could be dug up, destroyed, the pure water polluted with bulldozer smoke, the strands hacked away by knives, the plants uprooted from their post by strong human hands. Like weeding a garden. Uncaring, cold, oblivious. Routine.
Unbidden, Tsu'tey's face swims to the forefront of his mind, smiling and nodding at Jake. And Jakes thinks for the first time how easy it would be to lose him, for him to die. For Jake's people to kill him. To snuff his life out with a gun, no remorse. Not knowing who Tsu'tey had been, and what he had meant to Jake. Not knowing about the great person Tsu'tey was, and not caring either.
And Jake wishes he could go back in time so very badly in that moment. He wishes he could stop himself from telling Quaritch all the weaknesses of the Na'vi and their land that could be exploited. Stop himself from saying those ignorant words in the video logs. To stop the destruction of Hometree and the deaths that resulted; Neytiri, her father, and hundreds of others. He wishes he could have done more to prevent all this from happening.
He wishes Tom hadn't died.
Tom would've done things so much better. Tom wouldn't have been stupid, wouldn't have blindly trusted Quaritch. He would've smiled in awe as he took samples with Grace, and fought back much sooner on what was being done to the Na'vi's moon. And because of his foresight, he would have won.
Jake swallows and sits gingerly by the pool, and tries not to think of those things.
The sun is further in the sky when he climbs back onto Txur, his mind now set. He would bring Tsu'tey here tonight, if only to show him the stark beauty of it. It would be a good experience for them both, even if it wasn't technically a date.
But maybe Tsu'tey would see it as such anyway.
He flies back to the caves, and after he disconnects and lets Txur fly off—no doubt to meet Duri'sen—Tsu'tey walks up to him with two fruits.
Jake catches the one Tsu'tey tosses at him. "Where did you go?" Tsu'tey asks curiously, biting down into his fruit. "Clan had hunting trip without you."
It would have to be a surprise, so Jake says, "To clear my head, you know." Which wasn't a lie. "Sometimes a Dreamwalker has to get away from it all."
Tsu'tey nods, waves his hand like none of that matters anyway, then he perks up when he asks Jake the real pressing question on his mind, "You see the 'evi again?"
The question catches Jake off guard. "What are you—oh. Right, the kid. No... I haven't, actually. Was I supposed to, because I thought you said—"
"Yes, I know." Another dismissive gesture. "You will tell me if you see him again?"
"Yeah," Jake says, wondering what the sudden interest Tsu'tey has about Sko'teng is all about. He finishes the fruit. "We got something else we need to talk about, though."
Jake looks around him at the bustling Na'vi from all three clans carrying baskets of fruit into their caves, and children playing loudly. "We gotta go someplace quieter first."
Tsu'tey nods and follows Jake a ways away from the noise of the caves, over to the path they had taken to get here in the first place. Direhorses suck nectar from the sparse amount of plants, making a 'lurrpp' sound, but otherwise it's much quieter.
Jake feels a sudden tug on his Tsahìk garment and turns around. "What are you doing?"
"Fixing." And Tsu'tey ties it the correct way once again with diligent fingers. Jake sighs, but feels a certain fondness grow in his chest.
"What would I do without you?" Jake says, and it's meant to sound rhetorical, but comes out heavy on his tongue as he thinks again how Tsu'tey could be taken away from him so easily.
Tsu'tey looks up at his tone, searching between Jake's eyes. Jake stares back calmly, and though no words are said, he feels like something important has been exchanged between them.
Tsu'tey breaks the moment to look down again, and knots the sash a second time before he steps back. He looks at Jake like he's seeing him for the first time, before he asks, "You wanted to talk, Jakesully?"
"Yeah, I did." Jake takes a deep breath. "We gotta make a plan to deal with the Sky People... and I know what we need to do."
"Yeah. We gotta get all the clans together for this, to win. That means we'll have to go back."
"Yes," Tsu'tey says slowly, looking incredulous. "But Jake, we will need more than—"
"I know. But I have an idea. Neytiri told me about this creature called a toruk. She said they're very powerful. If I can ride one..."
"Jake," Tsu'tey says, looking stern. "This plan is no good. Toruk could be dead right now. Killed by Sky People. We go back for nothing then!"
"But we need to try, Tsu'tey!" Jake says fiercely, trying not to let his desperation show. "Either we meet them head on or wait here like sitting ducks until they find us! And they will, Tsu'tey, maybe not tomorrow or even months from then, but they will need more of their precious element."
Jake turns around and crosses his arms, walking down the path, watching the Direhorses suck nectar. "They're too greedy not to. We need to have a plan set so they don't take us by surprise."
Tsu'tey sighs deeply, a few steps behind him. "I see Jake. And I am willing to try what you say. But is a big risk, you see? Toruk alive, then maybe, but if not? What to do then?"
"We just keep fighting, that's what we do. That's what Eywa would want. Even if you and me die, at least we knew we went out fighting. Everyone would die like a true tsamsiyu. I'm sure we could at least accomplish something, even a small victory is still a victory."
"And we do this when?"
"I don't know. When you're ready." Jake turns, struggling not to smile. Tsu'tey sounded like he would go along with his plan.
Tsu'tey looks up at the sky. "Not now, then. But perhaps soon. 'A'aw ayvospxì? Who could say? Not even Eywa."
"She'll be helping us, I bet. We have more of a chance then you realize. And if I can get a toruk on our side..."
"Jakesully becoming Toruk Makto... It is not as hard to imagine as before, at least." Tsu'tey smiles at him. "I will tell the clan of your plan, and I think they will like it. The other clans are likely to follow when we leave." Tsu'tey nods to himself. "We will do this in mevospxì."
"Okay, so that's two months right? We'll leave atxkxe ay Eywa in a couple of months? For better or worse?" Jake tries to clarify, to make sure Tsu'tey is on board.
"Yes. Like you say Jake, it is better to fight. The clan will be ready when it is time." Tsu'tey nods at Jake and Jake nods back.
Now that they finally had a plan to take back the planet, Jake feels a weight lift off his shoulders. It would be good to leave here, if only to keep this place safe. It feels good to finally be proactive instead of sitting and waiting.
Looking at Tsu'tey, he's reminded of something else he need to start being proactive on. If he and Tsu'tey didn't mate soon, things were going to start being very bad for them, especially Tsu'tey. Jake was stubborn, but he had never been selfish; causing Tsu'tey pain just because he wouldn't mate with him was not something he was planning on.
But he still doesn't know what do about that.
Jake so much doesn't see Txur land as he feels it, the air gusting across him. In the dark, the beast is only a moving outline.
"Jake, where are we going?" Tsu'tey asks after he chirps loudly for Duri'sen. "Hunting trip?"
"Nah. You'll see," is all Jake says, climbing onto Txur a little shakily, and not because it was hard to see. It felt like a cold brick had dropped into his stomach. Jake supposes it was stupid, to feel nervous about this, but it can't be helped.
Duri'sen lands and Tsu'tey gets on him, but he doesn't stop looking at Jake, like if he searched his face long enough he could tell what this was all about.
It triples Jake's nervousness.
"Just follow me; I promise this isn't anything you won't like." Could he make that promise? "Txur, you know where to go." He could've just sent the thought to the beast, but it's a little reassuring to hear himself sound confident.
The flight this time feels like it goes by twice as fast, somewhat because the darkness seems to make things that way, but mostly because Jake keeps wanting it to slow down so he could get all his thoughts together.
And so Jake figures they still have at least another ten minutes to get there, and is surprised when Txur tips his wing and starts the descent. Jake scans the foliage below, hoping Txur has made a mistake, but even through the black he can see dimly the bald spot in the trees.
"This is it?" Tsu'tey calls somewhere behind him, raising his voice through the headwind.
"Yeah," Jake yells back, wishing it wasn't. He was nowhere near ready. It wasn't so much the action of taking Tsu'tey to this place that bothered him, but the implications. Would Tsu'tey pick up on them? Would he know? Did he want him to know?
Jake had taken his share of women on dates, but that had been easier. None of them were spontaneous, and it was clear what both of them wanted. But Tsu'tey is still an unknown, and hard to read. Jake had no way of knowing if Tsu'tey would just laugh at all this and call Jake a skxawng and Jake would feel like a fool for even thinking this was a good idea.
These doubts start eating at him so much he wants to turn back. But Txur lands and it jostles Jake enough to remind him he's no quitter, and he wasn't going to start now.
Taking in a deep breath, and gathering up as much confidence as he can, Jake slides of Txur as Tsu'tey slides off his own ikran.
"This is strange place," Tsu'tey murmurs, his large green eyes luminous in the dark as he looks around. "How you know about this?"
"A friend told me," Jake says just as softly. "Come on." Tsu'tey follows him down the path, treading lightly as to not make much noise.
A few minutes later they get to the glowing tree, which Tsu'tey stares in awe at. At night it's so bright Jake has to squint. "This is an Aunaywa! You know what that is?"
"Uh... A glowing tree?"
"It is not a tree at all. It is a group of—Grace called them "nerves." It is a life force of Eywa. Most Na'vi will never see one, if they look all their life."
Tsu'tey reaches out a blue hand and gently lays it against the glow, his eyes dilating. "Feel, Jake." And Tsu'tey wraps his other hand around Jake's bracer-covered forearm (not that skin-to-skin contact would do anything this late in the evening, but Tsu'tey is careful) and rests Jake's five-fingered hand against the light.
It isn't painful, but Jake starts as a current of electricity jolts through his hand, whirring into his skin and lighting goosebumps up his arm. The ever-present waterfall sound in the back of Jake's mind roars in his ears suddenly, forming into almost undecipherable words. "Hello Jake, hello Tsu'tey. Hello Jake, hello Tsu'tey. Hello Jake, hello Tsu'tey."
"See? That is Eywa. She is very strong in this place."
"Why does she keep saying hello to us?" Jake asks, rubbing his neck, and then pulls his hand back from the light. The voice changes to, "Hello Tsu'tey, goodbye Jake. Hello Tsu'tey, goodbye Jake."
"I have heard Eywa leaves messages through these. It is possible She knew we would come here. She has not spoke to you in mind...?"
"No. I haven't heard from Her since the ceremony. What does that mean?"
Tsu'tey pulls his hand away, and the watery voice fades away with, "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye..."
"When She is working, Na'vi will not hear Her, not even Tsahìk. It means She is very busy. Most likely trying to fix Sky People's damage."
The last distorted "Goodbye," sounds through their heads, and Jake smiles. "We'll be able to help Her soon enough."
"Yes," Tsu'tey says, looking at the Aunaywa once more like he wants to burn the image into his brain. Then he says, "There is more here. Can feel the energy."
"Yeah, there is. It's just around this turn up ahead..." And Tsu'tey and Jake begin walking again, the Dreamwalker a little ahead.
In the dark, it's difficult to see the right turn on the path, and Jake almost runs into a thicket of shrubbery instead. But he gets his bearings, and tentatively grabs Tsu'tey's lower arm. There's no bracer there to put a barrier between the skin, but the tìprrte'txepvi doesn't activate this time of night, so Jake pulls Tsu'tey around the corner, and into the clearing.
The light that assaults Jake's eyes should be painful, but instead it's belied by the utter joy and contentment one gets when seeing the most beautiful thing in your life. Jake feels Tsu'tey's arm fall from his slackened grip, and hears the deep intake of air. What he sees though, is a totally different matter.
At night, the place is far more beautiful. Everything is lit up, and the plants reflect their glow on the still pool, making it look like it's made of liquid color rather than water. From the glow peace emanates, sinking into Jake's skin. He feels his mind blissfully slow down, his thoughts turning away from stress to concentrate on the present, what's right in front of him.
Several atokirina swim in the air, ghosting from plant to plant, their delicate white tendrils brushing against leaves and buds. Jake absently follows one with his eyes, as it undulates towards him and Tsu'tey, before settling in the air between them.
Tsu'tey's voice brings Jake a little bit out of the trance, and he blinks slowly, turning his head to study his reaction. Tsu'tey's ears are perked forward in stark interest at the sight before him, his chartreuse eyes looking from one area to the next, like his mind can't decide what is the most beautiful.
Together, they step forwards until they're no longer outsiders in the clearing, but fully entrenched in it. The sole atokirina follows. Jake holds out a hand to one of the sentinel-like plants, seeing the glowing yellow bugs whizzing around it. They remind him of fireflies, and a few land on his hand curiously.
Tsu'tey steps to look into the pool, seeing the bright glow of the green bottom beneath the reflections of the plants.
A small pillar of white light is housed in its middle.
Tsu'tey gapes at it for a few moments, unaware of the atokirina that's decided to land on his shoulder. "Jake," he whispers, afraid to speak less he break the peace of this place. "Jakesully how do you know of this place?"
Jake waves off the insects and joins Tsu'tey in looking through the pool at the green plant and the light in its middle. "Asuy'ri showed me. She said you'd like it." He smiles at Tsu'tey, feeling his heart beat slower at the overwhelming contentment that soaks through him.
"Asuy'ri..." Tsu'tey murmurs, and for a moment his eyes are back years ago. "Yes, she would tell you this."
The atokirina floats away from Tsu'tey's shoulder, and swiftly migrates down to the pool, brushing its ends against the still water before sinking in underneath with barely a ripple.
"It is beautiful here, isn't it?" Jake says, knowing his words would never fully encompass the overwhelming beauty his eyes are witnessing.
"Yes," Tsu'tey mutters, like he doesn't really hear Jake. His eyes are trained on the atokirina now floating down in the water towards the white light. "Jake, I think there is something... I think Eywa is—"
"What, Tsu'tey? What are you looking at?" Jake peels his eyes to look in the water, but by now the atokirina has landed on the shard and blends in. "Is it that light? What is that?"
Knowledge blooms in Tsu'tey's chest so quick he gasps, and turns to grasp Jake by his shoulders. "Tewti! Jake! The light, that is a stxeli! It is... It is..." His mind is going so fast now, the thought becoming so hopeful, that he can't find words, just looks with wide eyes at Jake.
"What? What is it? Is it dangerous, should we—"
"No, no Jake! It is good, kosman! Eywa has given us a... She has shown..." Words failing him again, Tsu'tey instead drops into a kneel by the water, lying down on his side, face pressed into the white dirt, and slips his arm into the water.
"What... Tsu'tey, what is going on?" Jake asks in a harsh whisper, kneeling down as well. He watches Tsu'tey's arm interrupt the placid water, sending ripples out and disturbing the reflections of the plants.
Tsu'tey's hand wraps around the small object, and he slowly brings it out of the water, sitting up and facing Jake with the light now held in two careful hands.
Jake blinks at the brightness of it, more confused than ever. "What is that? Tsu'tey please say something here!"
"Is a stxeli," Tsu'tey finally says breathlessly. "Jake, Eywa knew we would come here. This was Her plan. She has left this for us!"
"What is it?"
"Gift," Tsu'tey says, bringing his eyes up to look into Jake's golden ones. "One was given to Neytiri's grandfather's grandfather, to end the sorrow."
"I thought he used Last Shadow..."
"Yes, yes, but Eywa gave him a stxeli. He used this, with Last Shadow, to stop the clans from fighting. It ended the war, you see Jake? This can be used against Sky People!"
"You mean... It's a weapon?" Jake looks skeptically at the white shard. How could such a small, unassuming object help them?
"Yes, but... Also, there is supposed to be something else," Tsu'tey says, gingerly turning the light over in his hands, examining it. "Neytiri's grandfather's grandfather was given a message. He told of how he touched it. But this has no message."
"Well that doesn't really matter, does it?" Jake asks excitedly. "It can still be used! Here, let me see it."
And Jake reaches out for the shard, and Tsu'tey's moving to give it to him. As soon as Jake's first fingertip touches the light, time freezes around them.
Neither can move, and they sit there suspended, Jake's fingers brushing against the shard, and Tsu'tey's hand reaching out to hand it to him. Jake tries to move, cold fear freezing his blood as his body doesn't respond.
Tsu'tey's looking at him, and Jake moves his eyes slowly, so slowly, to meet his stare.
Time rushes forwards.
"Tickles," a small child giggles as the paintbrush moves over his cheek. A hum of laughter, and the paint takes shape of a curled up ikran.
The child holds a mirror with one five-fingered hand (five, how could he have five) studying the paint. "I love it sempu!"
A hug, small arms wrapping around him. Profound love pushes his heart up against his ribs.
Flying, flying. Air hits his body, streaming off his sides. His hands dig, knuckles white, on thick reigns. A light shines in one of them, tucked between his thumb and first finger.
A blast, burning. Screams. The light fades, and falls. He's standing in ash. Gets in his mouth, his eyes. He's calling a name, and someone is calling his back.
The child's face above his, looking down. Sad. Green eyes (gold) welling with tears. They fall, and the painted ikran is ruined, its wings washed away.
The child holds up the faded light.
Footsteps around his head, tinkling of necklaces. The child is moved aside, and another pair of green eyes look down at him.
He opens his eyes, or it feels like he does, but he had never closed them. "Yeah?" Is the first thing out of his mouth, and he becomes aware that he's holding something. He looks down to see the shard clasped in one hand.
"Jake, that was the message. Eywa needed us both to touch it, then She showed us."
"You saw it too? The ash, the little kid? He looked exactly like—"
Tsu'tey nods, eyes on the shard. "Sko'teng. I see now, what you are talking about."
Jake takes a deep breath. "That was the future, wasn't it?"
"Not always. Is much like Aungia'telem. Is a message from Eywa's mind. It is made mostly to... To teach Na'vi. To show them something."
"So she showed me that I need to use the light. But... the ash, the explosion? If I use it that's what'll happen? I felt like I was dying," Jake says, studying the stxeli in his hands. "Does that mean we aren't meant to use it?"
"No, I do not think so. But there may be bad results if we do. But I do not think it is made to harm us."
"And Sko'teng? What does he represent?" Jake and Tsu'tey stand, and Jake gives the shard back to Tsu'tey. "Is he even real?"
"I believe he is a spirit." Tsu'tey puts the shard in his empty knife sheath, as he has left the blade on Duri'sen's saddle. "A guide to us, maybe."
Jake looks at the large plants for a few moments. "So Eywa gave us a weapon to use on the Sky People. What does it do, exactly?"
"Who can say? Many stories are told on how Neytiri's grandfather's grandfather brought peace to the clans, but none on the details. None about what he did finally to stop the war. His secrets died with him."
"But this is still great news, isn't it?" Jake asks hopefully. "This could end the war. Eywa gave us this, which must mean we need to use it."
"Yes, but when?" Tsu'tey asks, watching the atokirina come up from the pool, and float away, its job completed. "We must still wait for the right time."
"Okay, so we stick with our plan still. Go back in a few months, convince a toruk to work with us, get all the clans together, and hope to God this thing'll work when we need it."
Jake shakes dirt out of his Tsahìk sash, careful not to accidentally untie it.
"That is the best plan, for now." Tsu'tey lets some of the glowing insects land on his hand and smiles. "You are a very lucky Dreamwalker, Jake. You should be very happy you brought us here."
"Are you happy I brought you here? Besides the stxeli I mean. Asuy'ri said... She said you like places like this," Jake scratches the back of his neck nervously, watching Tsu'tey with gold eyes.
"I am very happy, Jake. I could not imagine such a beautiful place even in my dreams. It is good, to be so close with Eywa. Good to be close with you." Tsu'tey smiles unguardedly at him, showing white teeth.
Jake smiles back, something inside of him warming. He takes a few steps forwards and kisses Tsu'tey, and feels the pleasant warmth spread all over his body. The forgotten peace of their surroundings comes back full force, quieting their thoughts.
"Jake..." Tsu'tey pulls back from the kiss a little, and then leans forward again, his hands resting on Jake's elbows. And Jake lets his eyes close, and for a moment it feels like he's floating out of his body.
Without the shock of tìprrte'txepvi the kiss seems much more real, even if it's less spectacular. Jake tilts his head, leaning into the other male's body, and it doesn't matter that the beads from Tsu'tey's loincloth dig into his hips, or that their necklaces get pressed between them uncomfortably. The future, the rest of his life, neither of those matter. All that matters is where their lips are connected.
Tsu'tey's hand drops off his elbow, and Jake reaches up with that arm to cup the side of his face. The bond between them thrums pleasantly, as does the vibration under their feet, and nothing has ever felt so right, so perfect to Jake as does kissing Tsu'tey. He feels arousal stir just from the simple kiss, and his skin seems to be stretched too thin on him, and a freezing fire lit on top of it.
Tsu'tey hums, and pulls away slowly. Jake opens his eyes and it's like waking up from a dream. Tsu'tey's face is still close, and Jake can feel warm breaths of air brush against his skin like a lingering caress.
"Tsu'tey..." Jake breathes out, desperation tinting his words. "Tsu'tey I need you to know how much... I just—" Because he's thinking about losing him again, thinking about how he could live a life without him, but he also thinks about how now they really have a chance, to win, for a better future.
Tsu'tey smiles, "I know, Jake." His face turns serious, nervous even, and he looks between Jake's eyes for confirmation. "Oe tìyawn ngenga, Jakesully."
Jake doesn't know what the phrase means, but it's obvious by Tsu'tey's tone. He feels his insides turn cold, then hot, and his whole body tingles. Jake heaves in a breath, the enormity of it crashing into him. He swallows, cups Tsu'tey's face again with weak hands, and lets his forehead rest against his.
"I love you."
It is said with conviction, and comes out strong. Tsu'tey doesn't move away, and Jake feels relief at finally getting the words out. He hugs the other male to him, fingers digging into his back. "I love you so much, Tsu'tey. Tsu'tey I—I don't— I can't..." Because how can Jake tell him how much? The three words would never be enough to adequately describe what Jake feels.
And because Jake doesn't know what to do now, and is lost. It feels like he's drowning in so many things, and doesn't know what direction to go in, what to do. He feels helpless.
But Tsu'tey kisses him, pulling him up to the surface again, and Jake kisses him back like he's taking in precious breaths of air, wrapping his arms around his shoulders, because here, here he feels at peace.
Tsu'tey is here to save him.
Win säpi - hurry up
Tìfnu'ora - silent lake
tìsop - journey, because Na'vi don't have a word for date, pfft.
ayram alusìng - the Hallelujah mountains (floating mountains)
Fitseng i'awn - stay here
'evi - child
A'aw ayvospxì - a few months
mevospxì - two months
skxawng - moron
Aunaywa - "beacon of eywa, signal of eywa". Made up word combining "aungia ay eywa (sign of eywa)" together.
Ma Eywa - oh Eywa
stxeli - Gift. Glowing shards of cosmic energy made my Eywa for specific Na'vi to use. Very rare, very powerful. (More about this in the future)
kosman - fantastic
sempu - daddy
Oe tìyawn ngenga - I love you