A/N: So, I'm baaack...just spent two months in Tunisia and a week in Egypt, and if I didn't know better I would think that the political troubles were following me! Anyways...new chapter, hope you all enjoy! love xx Shezzi
Dawn sat beside Neytiri at the fire, her mother and father to her right and Tsu’tey to Neytiri’s left. She’d been there for a week now, a week without one sign of Buffy or anything resembling a rescue party. She was getting bored, frustrated and just plain sick of living in the middle of the jungle. She wanted a hot shower, proper clothes, and most of all she wanted a mocha frappechino.
It was getting late and she was exhausted, her body complaining about the many and varied abuses it had been put through this week, abuses that it may have been created for but certainly wasn’t used to yet. Her arms ached from practicing with her bow, her legs from running, jumping and riding pa’li. Her head hurt from everything she was learning, although at times she found herself using things she was sure no one had told her, and from the looks she was giving her, she was fairly sure Neytiri thought the same.
She stretched out her leg in front of her as it started to cramp, hissing through her teeth at the pain.
“Dawn? Do you hurt?” asked Neytiri, using the new words that Dawn had taught her to form the question.
“It is just a cramp, Neytiri. Ummm…” she frowned when she saw Neytiri did not understand. “The muscle is…sore. It’s okay, I just have to stretch it out.”
Neytiri looked where her sister was gesturing, and saw the muscle bunching under the skin. ”Let me,”
she said softly. She moved so she knelt facing her sister and took the girl’s leg in her hands. She began massaging out the knot, Dawn hissing at her at first as the pain increased, then relaxing and producing a sound almost like a purr as the cramp eased. As she slowly relaxed, she curled into her mother’s lap, the woman stroking her hair, and fell asleep. ”She is tired,”
Mo’at said softly to her older daughter as she looked at her younger one. ”She is so confused, in many ways still lost. How is her time with the Sky People?””She is at her most animated with them. Grace teaches her as much Na’vi as she teaches me English,”
Neytiri replied. ”She is definitely comfortable with them. But it is different from how she is with us, Sanu. With us…she is both on her guard and relaxed at the same time, in a way I cannot fathom. It is as though her subconscious mind knows that this is where she belongs, but her conscious mind cannot or will not accept it. We do not understand the place she has been at all. It is as though she has lost her ability to see Eywa, Sanu. It is heartbreaking to watch. Something about her remembers it, remembers how to see, but she can’t, as though something is blocking it. I think, with time, she could learn again. I hope she can.””She will,”
Mo’at stated firmly. ”Your sister’s connection with Eywa was second in strength only to myself and you, Neytiri. It will take time, but it will return to her.”
Mo’at spoke with the Voice of Knowledge, a gift that Eywa gave the current Tsa’hik but rarely.
Neytiri felt peace flow into her as her mother’s words sank in, and she smiled. It was a relief to know that Aw’tsa would be all right, would rediscover how to live again.
“Leave me alone!” Dawn screamed at Neytiri, running from her ‘sister’. She was sick of it, sick of everything! Sick of sleeping in a stupid tree, washing in a river, of stupid six legged animals and pterodactyls and a language she was learning way too fast to be normal.
She wanted Buffy. She wanted Willow and Xander and Giles. She wanted to be HOME. She ached for it, her heart feeling as though it was being torn from her chest. These…people said that she was home now, but she could not, would not accept that.
She ran into the jungle, her bow and quiver bouncing on her back, paying no attention to the direction she was going in, tears stinging her eyes and running down her cheeks. She jumped logs and dodged trees, stumbling over roots and branches but managing not to fall – she supposed having a tail was good for something after all.
She finally came to a stop, her hands bracing on her knees as she panted for breath. Then she threw back her head and screamed her pain and rage to the sky. “I HATE IT HERE!” she yelled at the end of the drawn out, feline shriek. “I HATE THIS STINKING JUNGLE, I HATE THE FOOD, I HATE THE TREES, I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!” She collapsed onto the ground, her shoulders shaking with sobs, her body bent over her folded legs. “I want to go HOOOOME!” she wailed, throwing her head back as she cried out.
She missed everything. She’d had no idea that an environment so completely alien to her own was possible, but here it was. No machines of any kind, completely unpolluted air, absolutely pristine. It was beautiful but…it was so wrong. This wasn’t her world, it wasn’t. This strange feeling of home, of normality that she felt creeping up and wrapping her in a warm embrace was so wrong.
These beings weren’t her family; she knows who her family are, who she is. But…but. There’s that feeling when Mo’at wrapped her arms around her, or when Eytukan placed a hand on her shoulder that screamed that this was right, that this was where she belonged. And sometimes…it was almost like the forest itself was trying to talk to her, which made no sense at all. As she lay back on the leaves, staring up at the canopy, that feeling came over her again. It was energy, but more than energy; an interconnectedness of everything that defied description; the human mind simply incapable of grasping the concept fully. It reminds her of Tse’heylu, but different again. She was trying to grasp it, to understand it, when she was nearly frightened out of her skin. ”Dawn? Dawn, can you hear me?”
the voice startled her, so much that it took her a moment to identify it.
“Willow? Willow, is that you?”
Buffy paced angrily as she watched Willow crouching over the diagram. It had been two weeks since Dawn disappeared. The first thing Willow had insisted had to be done was that all the blood had to be cleaned up; not a drop was allowed to remain, which took four full days, then she spent two days performing a cleansing to remove the stain of the violence and deaths from the building.
It had taken her the next eight days to do her best to work her way through the spell residue and the diagrams to understand exactly what had been done, and Buffy was sick of it.
“Well?” she demanded for the fourth time in the last ten minutes, only this time Willow actually looked up, a small smile lighting her face.
“I think I’ve got it, Buffy. We can’t get there, we can’t get her back here…but I think I’ll be able to talk to her. At least we’ll be able to know if she’s alright. I just need a drop of your blood for an affinity spell.’ Buffy wordlessly extended her hand, and Willow nicked the tip of her finger with her athame, letting a single drop of blood roll down the narrow channel then tipping it down to drip onto the diagram. She held one hand out over the diagram and frowned.
“Dawn? Dawn, can you hear me?” she called.