The fright faded as the exhilaration of flying took over. The wind whipped her hair back and she felt free, like the times she galloped Angus through the forests of home. This was something she would never forget, and she hoped she could recreate the moment some other time, or even learn how to do it herself. When they stopped, she was relieved to have something solid beneath her feet, but also disappointed as well. Merida shook her skirts out and heaved a sigh as she ran her fingers in her ever-unruly hair. Her eyes sparkled and she grinned at the man. She crouched down as he did and watched him walk forward to a… nest. He lived in a nest? She scuttled forward as he had done, and tilted her head when he “spoke” to her. “Huh?”
His knuckles pressed into the ground and he furrowed his brows as he looked at her. Tarzan was unsure of how he could clarify what he had just said. How could he motion to her what he meant? Looking back a the nest before looking back up to her face, he shook his head before motioning her to lay in it. Using himself as a reference for her, he showed how he would sleep in the nest. Moving again to give her room, he pounded the ground lightly as a signal that she could attempt to lay in the nest for herself. “Ohh ahh.”
Her eyebrows rose as she understood. “Oh…” she said and cautiously climbed to the nest. It was far more sturdy than she had expected, and while not very large, still roomy enough for comfort. Merida curled onto her side for a moment, and wondered what sleeping in the jungle every night, in a nest like this, would be like. She felt like a giant orange bird, as if she could jump and find she had wings to fly over the entire jungle. The thought made her smile, and she sat up, brushing a few leaves from her hair. She sat with her legs crossed, and looked around, noting the abscence of everything, though there were other nests. Looking back to the jungle man, she pointed to the other nests and shrugged.
Where are the others?
Tarzan huffed and shrugged his shoulders forward before gently swiping at the ground and raising his arm in a swinging motion to his lips, mimicking the action of eating. Patting his chest, he nodded his head in the direction of where they would be. A thought crossed his mind as he watched her move about. Would it be safe to show her to his family? What if it wasn’t and they came back and saw her with him? His lips drew into a tight line as he continued to mull over his thoughts. He didn’t want to cause an uproar between this new hairless ape and his family. Pressing his knuckles tighter into the canopy leaves, he huffed again and decided it would be better for her not to see them just yet. At least not until he spoke with his mother first.
She nodded carefully, noticing he was trying to help take care of whatever ailed her. She watched as he placed the leaf to her ankle, feeling his calloused and rough hands against her skin. She offered a soft smiled and put one hand to her lip, thinking about how to approach this. She wasn’t sure he had ever seen another human, let alone a female.
“Do you live here? What’s your name?” She hoped he could understand her, but there was no way to be sure. She was sure he thought she was crazy. But how could he even know what crazy was? She found herself staring at him, watching the way he moved and feeling the urge to reach out and make sure he really was real and still there and that this wasn’t some strange delirium.
“My name is Jane. Jane. Do you understand?” She spoke slowly and nodded as she spoke. There was a calmness she held onto with everything she had. She was in the middle of the jungle, lost, with a twisted ankle, with a man who couldn’t talk. It was confusing to her and she didn’t know if the right reaction was fear, anger, sadness, or curiosity. All she knew was that she felt all four and none felt quite right.
“Jane.” He repeated her and continued to overlook her with concern. He would normally find himself repeating the sound multiple times to see how many ways he could say it, but his concern was more overcoming than his curiosity for something as little as that. Tarzan’s hand cupped her chin and he gently moved her head from side to side to see if she had cuts on her. Again, he repeated the words she had said before, “Hurt. Pain.” From the way she said them, and how she responded to what he said, he figured that they meant what he presumed them to mean.
She kept repeating name and his curiosity was peaked. What did this word mean and why did she keep saying Jane along with it? Furrowing his brows, he began to wonder if she was trying to tell him something important. “Do you understand?” He wasn’t sure how to respond just yet instead of gently repeating some of the phrases she said. “Jane. My name is Jane.”