A/N: Hey readers, welcome to the first chapter of Chronicles of Parenthood the second story in my Entering universe. So I hope you all enjoy the first chapter and I'm sorry that it's a day late. Please forgive me.
Chronicles of Parenthood
Chapter 1: Sitting, Standing and Talking
For everything that had happened in Jake Sully's life nothing could compare to being a parent to twins. He now understood what his mother had meant when she had told him that it takes two to care for twins. With the multiple feeding times and multiple upset tummies, he understood the torture that his mother and father must have endured while he and his late brother Thomas had been growing up. To top it off, there were his sisters Nicole and Rebecca as well. Rebecca hadn't come into their lives until the boys were eight years old and Nicole had been fourteen seeing as Amanda, the Sully children's mother and their father Ian had adopted Rebecca from their friend Alyssa who was Rebecca's stepmother. Though Bec never changed her name to Sully via adoption, the Sullys always thought of her as a member of the family regardless or not if she was adopted. She changed her name once she married Tom. Needless to say, everything was as it should be.
With loving parents and siblings that he loved to hate, his life hadn't been the greatest during his employment into the Marines where during a mission to Venezuela he lost his ability to walk causing him to become paralysed from the waist down. After Tom was murdered by a mugger with a gun all for whatever money he had remaining in his wallet, Jake had taken his place in the Avatar Program and was shipped to Pandora with Bec. With the Avatar that was meant to be for Tom, Jake was given the ability to walk again and it seemed great until he met Neytiri. Being adventurous and curious, he ended up lost in the jungle and was almost killed by a fiercely elegant woman with a bow. That's right a bow with a poisonous arrow notched to the string. If that woodspite hadn't landed on the tip of the arrow, Jake would have become Na'vi meat.
With the three months that passed, Jake found that he was falling in love with his teacher while Neytiri found that she was falling for him in the same manner. Though the romance was forbidden they allowed it by mating under the Tree of Voices on the same night that Jake became a 'man'. The Tree was bulldozed the next morning by the RDA so that they could retrieve their precious 'Unobtanium'. The events that occurred devastated Neytiri to the core to the extent that she had Jake and Grace exiled for treason. Though, she was heartbroken that her life-long friend and the man she had fallen for had betrayed her trust, it was restored when Jake become the sixth Toruk Makto. Jake sometimes wondered if she loved him only for his title or for he truly was. She had reassured him that she loved him for him and not for his monstrous title. His thoughts began to dwell on Tom.
"Jake? Jake!" Bec said shaking her brother's shoulder.
"What?" he said coming out of his trance. "Oh sorry, I was just thinking of Tom that's all," Jake sighed as the memories of his late twin disappeared into nothingness.
"Why were you thinking of him?" Bec struggled to say. It had been almost eight years since his murder back on Earth.
Jake shrugged. "I dunno. He just came to mind," Bec pursed her lips as she blinked away tears. She missed him terribly. He was missing out on their little girl's childhood. She knew that he would be proud of her and would have loved her just as much as Jake loved the twins. "Sorry, what were you saying?"
"I was just saying that it would be great if Lorraine saw the twins a bit more often," Bec looked down to see her niece looking up at her. She looked a lot like Neytiri that it was uncanny.
The twins were now just over a year old and were very much loved by their doting parents. They were loved by their human friends and were very close to Grace, Norm and Bec. Bec was around almost every day while Norm and Grace were around whenever they were free.
"Jake, look at this," Bec said in amazement. Jake looked down to see his daughter sitting in front of her aunt without support.
"Oh my god," Jake gasped. His shock must have alerted Neyake to the fact that his sister had done something extraordinary because he hit his father's knees wanting to be closer to Graycee.
Jake scooped him up briefly and sat him in front of his folded legs. Upon seeing her brother, the little princess squealed happily. Neyake laughed causing his sister to squeal louder. Jake and Bec looked up from the moment giving each other smiles that said 'This is cheery isn't it?' before casting their eyes back on the twins. Their eyes widened as they watched Neyake fall onto his hands and knees and move a pace or two towards his sister before sitting upright on his own.
"Are you watching this?" Jake asked his sister.
"Yep," Bec said without looking up; her eyes were just as wide as her brother's. Absent-mindedly, she pulled her pocket camera from her belt and started shooting a video that was going to amaze her and Jake's parents back on Earth. "Mom and dad are going to be amazed when they see this," she said her eyes still on the screen of her camera.
"Most babies sit up at this age don't they?" Jake asked.
"Na'vi infants are slightly different to human infants," Bec said. "Human babies generally start to sit up on their own before or after they turn one. Na'vi infants on the other hand are different. From what Grace's research has shown is that Na'vi learn slower then what most humans do but the difference is only small," Jake looked at his younger sister as if to say 'What are you going on about?' "Sorry," Bec shut her mouth as she returned her gaze to her niece and nephew. A moment later, she checked her watch to see that it was time for her to return to Hell's Gate. "Oh look at the time," she said getting to her feet. "I'd better get back up to the lab. Lorraine's due to be fed soon," Jake scooped both the twins up as he got to his feet.
"Alright. See you later," Jake chuckled. Bec gave the twins a kiss on the forehead each before turning and heading for the door and disappearing. A second later, Neytiri appeared in the doorway causing the twins to squeal in delight.
"I see you," she greeted in Na'vi. Jake beamed and repeated the gesture. "How were they?" Neytiri asked taking her son from Jake.
"Fine, like always. In fact, they want to show you something," Jake sat Graycee at his feet prompting Neytiri to do the same with Neyake. "Step back a few paces," Neytiri did as ordered and stepped back. Her eyes widened in surprise.
"They are sitting on their own!" she gasped. Jake nodded. "This is wonderful," Tears of joy filled her eyes and started to fall down her cheeks. She had been waiting all year for something like this to happen and it seemed like she had finally gotten her desire. Jake walked around their daughter and over to his sobbing mate. She flung her arms around him to alert him to hold her tighter.
On the floor, the twins looked up at their overjoyed parents. They raised their little arms wanting to be picked up. "Alright, alright. Hold on," Jake released Neytiri before crouching down and scooping up both infants causing them both to squeal pleasantly. Neytiri took Graycee from Jake and tickled her belly for good measure. The little princess giggled causing her mother to kiss her on the cheek.
"Who's hungry?" Jake asked. As if on cue, both twins squealed.
"I'll take that as a yes," Jake said turning his head to face Neytiri who simply smiled.
The family made their way down to Hometree for dinner and joined the human allies at their usual fire pit.
"Hey Jake-o!" Trudy greeted.
"Hey Trudes," Jake said sitting down beside her with Neyake in his lap.
"Hey buddy," Trudy cooed. "Remember me? Aunty Trudy?" Neyake giggled implying to Trudy that the little prince remembered her. "Look at you. You look like your daddy every time I see you," she reached over and tickled his belly.
"What did you expect Trudes?" Jake said. "Most sons inherit their father's good looks," his response earned him a good elbowing from Neytiri who was sitting beside him with a miniature wooden spoon in her hand trying to get food into their daughter's stubborn little mouth. Seeing his mate's struggles Jake pulled Graycee from where she was sitting into his lap. "Try now," he said his hands on Graycee's little shoulders. Neytiri shrugged and placed the spoonful of food to her daughter's mouth and to her amazement Graycee opened her mouth and the allowed the food to go in without complaint.
"That's downright amazing," Norm said from across the fire pit. "How did you get her to do that without her complaining?"
"Me," Jake said with a small smug smile. "We have a strong bond. That may have something to do with it. I really dunno," The way Jake spoke told Norm of the love he had for both his children.
"That's reasonable," Norm nodded before tucking into his full leaf-plate of food. Jake watched as his friend devoured his food. It was a miracle that he could eat that much and not be sick afterwards.
"You full now?" Jake said looking down at his daughter who had more food around her mouth then in it. He wiped her mouth and returned her to her mother's lap. 'There is nothing better than a happy toddler,' he thought to himself.
Dinner passed quicker before anyone really noticed. The twins fell asleep in their parents' laps. Jake and Neytiri dismissed themselves from the gathering and walked silently home with the twins' little heads resting on their shoulders.
Once the family was back home, Jake led Neytiri into the twins' dimly lit room and gently placed the infants down on their cribs before pulling the blankets up over them and tucking them in. Jake turned towards the door where Neytiri stood watching him. She had put Graycee to bed quicker then what Jake had put Neyake to bed. He quietly walked towards her, his feet padding silently across the dirt floor. She led him out the door by the hand. A few moments later, they were lying in bed. Neytiri had her head resting on his chest.
"What a day," Jake sighed.
"I wish I had been there," Neytiri said sounding rather disappointed that she had missed the event that Jake had demonstrated earlier.
"There are always their first steps and their first words," Jake said trying to cheer her up.
"I know but I wish I was there," Neytiri lifted her head and looked at him. He moved his hand from around her back to her cheek.
"Don't worry. You'll get your chance. Now I think it's time we got some sleep," Neytiri gave him a small grin before leaning down to kiss him goodnight.
"Night," Jake kissed her on the cheek as she returned her head to his chest.
A couple of months past and the twins continued to grow and as they grew they developed the ability to walk and stand and at an alarming rate. After the day at the beach with them, it was the beginning of the end of Jake's time to himself.
"DADA!" Graycee screamed from her crib. Jake lay on his and Neytiri's bed in the next room with his moss pillow clamped over his ears. Allowing the pillow to fall away, he sat up and reluctantly climbed off the bed and headed next door to see what his daughter wanted.
"Alright honey, daddy's here. What's up?" he asked as he stumbled into the room. From her crib, Graycee laughed.
"Dada, dada, dada!" she chorused. Pulling herself up with the help of the bars of her crib, her tail flapped wildly behind her as her father approached. "Up!" she cried raising her arms.
"Come here squirt," Jake said as he picked her up. She squealed as Jake tickled her belly. "What's up? You woke daddy up from his nap," he told her. She settled her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. "That's all you wanted? A cuddle?" Jake walked over to his son's crib to see that he was sound asleep.
"Come on lets go and see if mommy's home," Jake walked silently with Graycee's head still on his shoulder out of the room. Just as he left the room, Neytiri walked in, her hair dripping with water it was only then that he realised that it was raining outside. Placing a finger to his lips, he gestured for Neytiri to come to his side.
"How have they been?" she asked her voice a mere whisper.
"Noisy," Jake responded as Neytiri stroked their daughter's hair. "What happened to you?" he pointed to the gash on her chin.
"Oh I walked into a branch on the way home," she told him in a tone that stated that it was no big deal.
"Well as long as you are alright that's all that matters," Jake said with a bright smile. Neytiri returned his smile. Grayce held out her arms to her mother to take her.
"I will take her if you want her off your hands," Jake didn't hesitant to give his daughter to her mother.
"Thank you. I don't know how you can keep your head on straight. How you've coped over the last year is a mystery to me," He felt his gaze lift to meet Neytiri's with her hand rested under his chin. He saw that she had shifted Graycee into one arm.
"I have not been coping," Neytiri told him gently. "I have been living on your strength to guide me through this past year,"
"I never thought you were so wise but it's clear that you could have stayed on to take your mother's place," Jake grinned as he stretched his arms out and pulled her by the waist closer to him.
"No, I have everything I have ever wanted and this is the way I intend to live our life together," she said pulling her hand out from under Jake's chin to rest it on their little girl's head.
"Look," Jake said quietly. Neytiri turned her head to see that Graycee had fallen asleep. "Our conversation must have bored her," Neytiri backed out of his embrace and walked silently towards the room in which their slumbering son still occupied. Jake followed closely behind. He watched as Neytiri placed their sleeping daughter down in her crib and pulled the blankets over her before putting her toy Ikran next to her. She walked back to Jake and was led out of the room. "You never cease to amaze me," Jake told her once they were sitting in front of the fire.
"What is it about me that amazes you?" Neytiri asked, her head resting on Jake's shoulder.
"Everything about you amazes me," Jake told him as he looked down at her.
"Everything?" she asked.
"Yep and there is nothing you can say that will change my mind,"
"I could not have asked for more," Neytiri said with a smile before leaning up to kiss him. Moments like this were worth everything that they had sacrificed. Their titles and privileges meant nothing to them. As long as they had the twins, their friends and each other, that was all that mattered to them.
A few mornings later the twins displayed the next phase in their quick development.
Jake and Neytiri sat in front of the vacant fire pit eating breakfast. They had already fed the twins and had put them in their playpen. Jake looked up for a brief second and saw that Neyake was standing up on his own two feet without support.
"Honey," Jake said turning to his mate causing her to look up.
"Oh my Eywa! They are standing on their own!" Without assistance from Jake, she got up and walked over to the pen. "My baby boy is standing on his own!" she cooed in Na'vi as she scooped her son out of the pen. Jake was now at her side and placed a hand on his son's head.
"You are so clever son," he grinned. Neyake looked up at his beaming parents not understanding what they were going on about. He loved the attention which was something that both he and his sister had inherited from their father.
"Dada!" Graycee cried. Jake looked away from his victorious son to see that Graycee too was standing on her own.
"I don't believe this!" Jake exclaimed as he leaned over the railing of the pen to pick up his daughter. "The twins seem to be learning within seconds of each other. From what I've been told Tom and I never did stuff this extreme," the father of two turned his gaze to Neytiri who was just as amazed as he was.
"Maybe you were right," Neytiri said.
"Right about what?" her mate asked.
"Maybe they do have sky people smartness that skipped you," Jake couldn't help but laugh.
"Maybe you're right. There is one thing I have always wanted,"
"What might that be?" Neytiri smiled.
"That they grow up and become smarter than I ever was. Plus I don't want them to make the same mistakes I made,"
"Was I one of your mistakes?" Neytiri asked.
"No, why would you think that? You are the best thing to happen to me and will always be. What about me? Am I a mistake in your life?"
Neytiri smiled widely and shook her head. "No, you will always the man that Tsu'tey never was. The man I love,"
"I'm glad because of all the women I have been involved with in my past life; you will always be the most important one in my present life," Every word that slipped from Jake's lips were nothing but the truth and Neytiri knew it only too well. Their sacrifices had really paid off and their lives were somewhat perfect in their own little world even if there were a few interruptions.
To be Continued...