Author's Note: Tarzan and Jane are honestly one of my favourite Disney couples. The scene where they're swinging on the vines at night and they stare at each other just gets my heart every time. Anyhow, enjoy! I obviously don't own Disney.
After little over three months of marriage, Jane Porter—having retained her last name—realized she had been raised in an idealistic bubble. Her parents never argued during their marriage, or if they did, Jane wasn't around to witness it. She had grown up with the belief that unions were calm and generally good events, that the raising of voices was seldom, if ever, and that she would be happy. Well, she was happy, most times, but things were not "generally good" a lot of the time.
It started a week after Jane married her love, Tarzan. Being King of the Apes, he was often swinging through the jungle making sure his gorilla family was safe and well cared for. Jane understood, for they were her family, and she had been doing the same for her father since her mother died when she was thirteen. That wasn't what bothered her, and honestly, sometimes she didn't know what got her started. Some days she had a headache and all Tarzan's gorilla cries got on her nerves. Other times it was his manners that upset her. It was hard to get used to the jungle atmosphere after just a long time in a proper English setting. Yet mostly, it was Jane's own feeling of uselessness that got the fighting started. Although she knew there was hardly a thing she could do to help Tarzan in the jungle because of her inexperience, she felt like she was wasting away. Even her artistic muses stopped inspiring her. She hadn't picked up a pencil in over a week, and for her that was a travesty.
So as the days wore on, Jane became angrier with herself. Tarzan just happened to be the unlucky gent who got the brunt of her frustration. In her mind she knew it wasn't his fault, but honestly, when Jane was in the middle of a rant, she didn't care. As awful as she felt afterwards, she couldn't bring herself to truly apologize. British pride and all that.
Coming up on their fourth month of marriage, the couple, still living in Tarzan's tree-boat house, sat down to a quiet dinner. At least, that was how it started, until her graceful husband began slurping away at the noodles she cooked, causing her eye to twitch. After three more minutes of his bothersome noises, she sighed and placed a hand on her forehead.
"Tarzan, could you please refrain from that insistent slurping? It's giving me a headache," she requested nicely enough, not wanting to start another fight. Just that morning they argued about what things she should request at the port to be brought from England. Two fights in one day was not an ideal for either of them.
Her husband blushed lightly but said nothing and tried to stop, but it was hard, seeing as the noodles were long and got tangled together. Soon enough, the slurping started again, and this time Jane just could not take another second of it. She slammed her spoon on the wooden table and glared at him.
"Honestly Tarzan, can't you at least try to be civilized! I'm not asking much!" She exclaimed, her voice reaching the shrill tone it always did whenever she got excited.
When she saw his eyes narrow, she should have known not to start anything. He had had a long day, both were tired, and really, fighting wasn't solving anything. Yet despite that, both glared at each other, unwilling to back down.
"Is that was this is about, am I not civilized enough for you?" He retorted. "You know my past Jane, if you didn't want a jungle man you shouldn't have married me!"
Jane snorted, "If I recall correctly, it was a surprise wedding; I didn't have much time to make a choice!"
That caused both of them to pause in shock. Had she just insinuated she regretted their union? Both were unsure, mainly Jane, of the meaning, but Tarzan wasn't willing to stick around to find an answer. He pushed back his chair calmly then stalked out the door without a second look. Jane tried to reach for him, to say something, but she did neither. The Queen of the Jungle stared out the door and breathed deeply, trying to calm down.
Once the echo of the swinging vines ceased, she made her way to their deck and sat on the edge. It took time, but she was no longer afraid of heights or falling. Tarzan taught her enough so that she would be safe if he wasn't around. He loved her, he did, and she him, but sometimes . . .
'Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice.' Jane glanced at her wedding band and smiled briefly. She remembered overhearing Tarzan with Professor Porter, trying to decide what ring to order from London. He wanted her to have something special that would last forever. At the thought, her chest ached and she clutched her heart, her eyes sliding shut.
What would her life be like now if she chose London over Tarzan? Her friends sent letters occasionally, but she did miss them dearly. Her mother's grave was in London, old suitors, classmates, parties; dancing, late night boat rides with her friends, oh the things she did when she was free!
Jane remembered the time she and her best girls Elizabeth, Clarice and Anna snuck out of their all-girl academy dormitory to go to a gathering of youths in the city. At the party, there were alcoholic beverages, smokes, and dancing, so much dancing! Not the proper kind that she learned in school, oh no, this one was teeming with inappropriate gestures. That was one of the reasons Jane loved it. She felt like a rebel in those days. Now? Now she just felt lost and alone. Terribly, terribly alone.
Yes, those were the years before her father was commissioned to study the apes and she went along to help. Professor Porter was a world renowned researcher, so it made sense the state funded his trip. At the time, Jane was twenty, working with her father with hopes of going to art school. Unfortunately, the trip side tracked her plans, and while it took some time to get there, in her heart, she didn't really regret coming. No, in fact, she was most glad she had.
The creaking of boards signalled someone was there, and the young lady turned to see who it was. If it was her husband, she didn't know what she would do. What if he told her to leave, that he didn't want to be married anymore? That would break her, she was sure.
Jane made out the silhouette of an ape, and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh Terk, it's just you," she said quietly. "For a moment there, I thought you were Tarzan."
The female ape grunted as she settled beside the human. While the two had a rocky start to their friendship, they had grown to like each other enough that they would confide about things bothering them or offer advice if needed. Being a mother to two babies, it wasn't often Terk left the group, but it seemed this was important.
"Well you know ol' Tarzan. As soon as he came storming over I knew it had to be somethin' important," she replied.
"Is he alright? He didn't hurt himself, did he?" One time, when they got into a huge fight, Tarzan swung away and accidentally lost his grip, causing him to fall onto a branch that scratched him up.
Terk shook her head. "Nah, he's fine. He's in good hands with Kala. She'll talk some sense inta him," Terk reassured. Jane nodded, just glad Tarzan was alright.
"So what did you two kids fight about now?" Having been with her mate for well over a year now, the ape had a habit of calling Tarzan and Jane "kids" seeing as their newness to the world of monogamous commitment. It used to bother Jane, but now she just accepted it as one of the many Terk quirks that she had come to love over her time in the jungle.
Jane sighed and brought her knees up to her chest, curling into a ball. "I lost my temper and said things I shouldn't have," she mumbled.
Terk snorted. "Isn't that always how it starts? Now come on, tell Mama Terk what you said," she encouraged.
"I might have accidently insinuated I regret our marriage. And I don't, honestly I don't, but the way it came out-"
"—made it sound like you did. I gotcha, no worried. I can see why the kid is so upset now though."
The lady nodded. "I messed up horribly, and I wish I didn't keep doing it, but I'm not sure how to stop! Every day I just get angrier and angrier. One day I'm going to explode!"
Terk nodded as she listened. Although the ape wasn't always the sweetest of creatures, she was a good listen, smart too. Her advice was seldom given but often the best Jane ever got. She hoped Terk would have a suggestion as to how to fix her crumbling marriage.
"Well ya see kid, it's like this: you keep sticking your foot in your mouth because you're bored and fighting gives ya some action. It's not the best, but it's all you've got." Terk looked at her friend. "I know it may not seem like it, but I understand your feeling of loneliness and anger. I felt like that when you first came and Tarzan was obsessed with ya. I didn't know what to do without him. I got over it though, and so will you."
"But how!" Jane asked in despair.
Terk smirked. "Easy, find a hobby! You're good with that drawing thing, right? Why not make a business or somethin' out of it? Arrange something with those folks in London to sell your work. I'm sure your stuff is pretty neat. I mean, you can get pictures of things no one has seen before. That'll sell!"
Jane considered the idea for a moment. Whenever she sent drawings to her friends, they always said how popular it was at parlours and other gatherings. Why shouldn't she sell her work? She didn't really need the money, but it would at least give her a purpose.
The young lady beamed and gave her friend and brief hug. Terk didn't exactly like embraces, but she put up with them from Jane. "Whatever would I do without you?" She muttered.
Terk chuckled and retracted herself from the hug. "Luckily for you kid, you don't have ta worry about that. I'mma head off though. Those kids will be climbing all over Groga by now, and if I know my mate, he's itching to go foraging." With that, Terk waved goodbye.
Now alone, Jane wondered what to do. 'First things first, I should clean up from dinner.' Little did she know that as she cleaned the dishes, she would be struck with an idea for a new painting. Almost immediately after the house was clean, she pulled out her watercolours and started her creation.
It was pitch black when Jane finished. She stood from her easel and walked backwards, staring at her work. The woman barely heard the thump of Tarzan's feet land on their doorstep.
"What's that?" He asked quietly. Jane whipped her head around in surprise and a blush immediately rose on her cheeks.
"I-I didn't hear you come in! Not that I need to, I mean this is our house I just-" she looked at the painting again, "w-well it's a painting. Of us. More or less that time we went swinging on the vines for the first time, when I first—when I admitted to myself that I love you," she explained nervously. Her gaze darted around, unsure where to settle, unsure what even to say really. She could feel him staring at her though, forcing the words out of her.
"I don't mean to get mad at you Tarzan. It's completely unfair, honestly, because I'm not mad at you, but myself. I feel—I feel like I'm lost. I don't know what to do here, or how to behave. It's still a challenge to get used to the jungle, and you know how much I hate admitting when I'm having difficulties," she shook her head and stared up at Tarzan who hadn't moved from the doorway. "But that doesn't excuse my behaviour in these past three months. And it certainly doesn't excuse what I said at dinner. I—I could never regret marrying you. I'm so sorry for ever saying that."
Having getting what she needed to say off her chest, the two stared at each other for a moment, letting the words sink in. Finally, after what seemed like ages, the pair's feet began moving towards each other until they were almost running. Somewhere in the middle of the room, they crashed against each other, like waves upon sand, and Jane clung to her husband tighter than she had when he rescued her from the baboons. He returned the clutch, burying his head against her bedraggled tresses. They stayed like that for some time, taking courage from their embrace, until Jane raised her head to give him a kiss. Tarzan beat her to it though, and picked her up off the ground in the process. She laced her arms round his neck and forced herself to forget every nasty word they said to each other, every fight they had, and focus on the good. Yes, there were tough times, there always would be. That came with being married. Jane knew that nothing in the world would change how she felt about her jungle king, and that was more than enough for her.
Thanks for reading! Leave a review if you want :)