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Old 08-25-2011, 02:03 AM
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Default Be My Guide (Trudy, Norm)

A/N: This was written a while ago for a friend, and I found it last night as I was reorganizing my Avatar fanfic folders. Written from the prompt: Trudy/Norm, lost in a fairytale, can you hold my hands and be my guide (although it turned out more pre-Trudy/Norm than anything else).


Be My Guide



“I wouldn't be jealous of Sully,” Chacon said after she found Norm in the library. It was two days after the first excursion (and their first meeting), and the next one wasn't taking place until tomorrow. Except for Jake, who had found the clan, and got to be out every day, who had to learn everything on the damn wing and-

“I'm not.”

“Uh-huh,” and she grabbed a chair from another table, spun it around and straddled it. She was wearing an actual uniform, one with short sleeves and jungle-green camoflauge patterns all over it. It was oddly, oddly distracting; she was, he realized for the first time, a professional soldier as well as a pilot. She knew what she was doing with the hand-gun in her holster, which somehow looked more obvious now. There was also a clean, straight contrast between her sleeve and the skin on her upper arms that his eye kept being drawn to. He blinked, focused on her words. “Look, I get it – you worked for this mission, yeah? I been around Avatar-drivers for three years now, I know what goes into your trainin'. And suddenly this uneducated hick turns up, and he's the one who wins big.”

“Yes. No,” he added, seeing a flash in her eyes. Uneducated hick, and in his mind's ear he could hear Grace's scornful voice asking, how much lab training have you had. He wondered, briefly, how much Chacon had to have fought to get even the grudging respect of Augustine and the others. “It's...I worked, for years, and-” and he could hear both pain and a childish kind of sulleness, so his voice trailed off.

Her smile is wry and sympathetic. “Yeah. But on the bright-side, you don't have to go through Na'vi bootcamp.”

“Bootcamp?”

“Well, ain't it? Crash-course in how to survive, how to become one of them. I mean, seems kinda like Marine bootcamp to me. You don't join, you are accepted. You gotta work at it, let your sense of self be changed.”

“...you're worried about him.” It was one of the thoughts in his head. The other ones were about cultures, cults, and rites of passage, and the 'former USMC' on her records, and the Bible locket at the base of her throat, and those thoughts he kept to himself.

“Someone's gotta be.” Norm could feel his mouth thin out, curl, and Chacon's smile was sudden and impish. “But I can multitask,” she added. “I said I was gonna show you Pandora, didn't I?”

“You did.”

She leaned forward, and she smelled clean. Clean clothes, clean skin, clean hair that he wanted to run his fingers through. But he wanted to listen to her more, and kept his hands on his datapad. “See, if Sully's goin' through bootcamp, you've been to the academy. I can trust you not to be a damn idiot and waste my time.”

“Waste your time?”

Chacon's smile faded, and she looked competant and highly unimpressed. “Like wandering' off to poke at **** so I gotta ditch my plans and spend the rest of my day in search maneovers.”

“You didn't saying anything.”

“Not in front of you guys, no,” she said, and Norm decided that he liked the image of Chacon tearing strips into Jake. It warmed the edges of his jealousy, made those edges soften, just a little. “But you know this place is bigger than Corporal Sully.”

“It...yes.”

“And you can get lost in it.”

Again, he blinked, refocused on her face. She'd lost the smile, and was looking at him with that competant kind of tiredness that for some reason was one of the sexiest damn expressions he'd seen in a while.

“I don't...understand.”

Her hands moved on the back of the chair, blunt fingernails digging into the metal for a moment. “Avatar-driving...the drivers are like junkies.”

“We...are?”

“Yeah. Only, you aren't shootin' up, you're goin' places. Closest thing...” She laughed suddenly, and then shook her head. Whatever it was she just thought, she wasn't going to share. “Like war-junkies, I guess. Brass call it going native, but it's not quite it. It's...” She rubbed the back of her head, causing locks of her black hair to free themselves from her bun and pins. “You get hooked, until....until out there is all that is real, and back here, with us, is the bad, kinda boring dream.”

Norm was silent for a moment, watching the thoughts move across her face. “You've seen it happen.”

“Ye-e-ep. Like I said, been flyin' Avatar-drivers for three years. I've seen what happens when you can't go back, too. And the burn out.”

“They didn't mention it.” Not the RDA, nor the techs, nor the scientists, nor anyone else.

“No. Why would they? You're an investment, Doctor Norman Spellman, and they don't want you runnin' away.”

“But you're telling me.”

Her eyes flicked back to his face, locked with his own eyes. I See you, the Na'vi said in greeting, and he Saw her. Or he thought he did. “Maybe...I don't want you to get lost in the woods.”

“But you still want to show me.”

“Hell, yeah,” and her grin came back. “Just be careful.”

“I will,” he promised, both to see her smile at him again, and because it gave his mind something else to concentrate on than Jake's smirk.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:12 AM
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You're a great writer.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:13 AM
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You're a great writer.
*beams* thank you!
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:01 AM
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That's brilliant. I don't think I could write dialogue anywhere near that well.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:18 AM
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That's brilliant. I don't think I could write dialogue anywhere near that well.
! Thank you! And it's...practice. A LOT of practice.
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