Thank you so much to everyone that has read and reviewed this story. You guys keep me writing more! I really hope you all enjoy the additional chapters. I just wanted to leave a small note of gratitude and also point out that the Ellie in the story is not the same Ellie in the film. Sorry for the confusion! It's a total coincidence though! Again, thank you all SO MUCH! I write to make you guys happy!
He knew from the moment he saw her that he would never be able to forget the way his heart skipped a beat when their eyes met for the very first time.
His blue eyes widened a little in both shock and amazement as they scanned over her unfamiliar form, carefully taking in her tanned legs and curved hips and the way her chest seemed to push out a little as she exhaled the breath she'd been holding since her darker hues had met his own. A human female! There was no mistaking it. The war had ended four years ago but Blue Eyes still remembered human enemies and friends that had entered his life and there was no way that he could claim the short brunette to be anything but human. How long had it been now since he'd seen one of their types, one, two years?
The battle between ape and man had all but ended up a massacre. As Caesar had predicted, the human military force did not consider peace for even a second and a bloody battle ensured. Had the humans not been wounded by loss, Blue Eyes wound have predicted a certain victory but the combination of the Simian Flu and starvation significantly cut their numbers. Even their weapons hadn't given them the advantages they once has during the Era of Man once the soldiers realized that their enemy was not a four-legged circus act. Significant casualties were suffered by both sides but in the end it was the apes that rose victorious, ironically aided by the weapons and medicines of man. Had it not been for his father's pity upon the human race, Blue Eyes doubted that there would have been humans left to roam this world but Caesar had always been kind. As long as the humans scattered away from the new ape colonies and lived quiet lives of peace, no ape would bring them any harm. It was a kind decision that could have only been made by a level-headed figure like Caesar.
It had taken months and months for the colony to regain some sort of normality but together, the apes built new homes and established a new society. It had taken even longer for smiles and laughter to return but after four years of struggle, Blue Eyes was starting to believe that peace had found the apes once again.
The humans had kept their promise and scattered as far away from the ape colony as possible and as far as Blue Eyes was aware, there had only been two sightings of them since the war. One he'd seen himself. A bearded hunter of elderly age, a man that was so overcome by fear on their meeting that he swiftly turned around and ran back the way he came. Another had been spotted by Maurice and from what he'd heard, the reaction had been similar.
It had been four years since he'd seen a human female and judging by her wild-eyed look, Blue Eyes assumed that she hadn't seen an ape in a very long time either.
This part of the forest was not unfamiliar to Blue Eyes and he ventured out here frequently with his hunting party but today, he was alone. Normally, his father expressed great discomfort at the idea of his son hunting alone because of the dozens of potential threats but Blue Eyes had a stubborn streak that refused to die out. While he obeyed Caesar's wishes and hunted only with a party, the young ape still wandered into his favourite parts of the woods unaccompanied. Sometimes he came to look for berries or other edible delicacies but other times, like today, he had simply wandered away from his new home for a little peace and quiet. He couldn't tell what the human was doing here but judging by her expression, the woman hadn't expected to practically collapse onto him as she jumped down to her feet from a tall oak tree. Only a few feet separated them. If he reached out, Blue Eyes was certain that he could touch her but he stood completely still, frozen in place with shock and excitement. He had almost forgotten what human females looked like.
She stared back at him with similar amazement and for a moment, the two contrasting figures examined each other in disbelieving silence. To Blue Eyes, this particular human was different to both the friends and enemies of his father. Her clothes - one of many human phenomenons that apes generally found completely unnecessary - were not like the clothes of the humans that visited before the war. Ripped blue trousers had been purposely torn around the knees, exposing muscular calves. Her black boots were worn down and even from a single glance down at her feet, Blue Eyes was certain that he could make out a hint of pink flesh of one of her toes. The fabric that covered her torso was clean but torn in various places. Her clothing looked old, like they were the only ones she'd had since the end of the war.
As his gaze moved up her body, Blue Eyes was startled to find that her brown hues were examining him with just as much focus. The human female seemed particularly perplexed with the deep scars across his chest and seeing her watching him made the ape uncomfortable. A hiss of warning was all it took for the female to jump back a foot, clearly startled by the unfamiliar noise. Now her big brown hues were burning into his own and Blue Eyes couldn't tell just what had made him more uncomfortable - having this woman look at his body or into his eyes.
"Human." Finally, he spoke. His voice was deeper and harsher than even he'd anticipated and he could see the woman tense up in surprise. The true intelligence of his species had been revealed to the humans before the war but Blue Eyes could see that hearing an ape speak still caused the fine hairs on her arms on stand up. "Why is human here?"
"I...I..." She struggled to find her words like a baby chimpanzee learning to talk. Blue Eyes watched her pink lips open and close as his own mouth narrowed into a thin line, his frustration growing as she failed to find words.
His anger surprised even himself but the result on the woman was unanticipated. It had been so long since Blue Eyes had interacted with a human that he'd all but forgotten their strange mannerisms. The brown eyes that had stared deeply into his own shut tightly as he raised his voice, as if not seeing him would somehow protect her. She seemed to jump back a little to increase the distance between them and her arms raised, hands pressing to her heart but she didn't take on a defensive stance. A brief moment of guilt flashed in the ape's blue eyes when the human opened her brown hues again and he saw that they were filled with transparent tears but his sympathy was short-lived. While Blue Eyes would be eternally grateful to the humans that helped his father and the colony, he couldn't bring himself to trust them blindly. They were an especially treacherous species with an insatiable love for war. There may not have been any aggression from the female human yet but Blue Eyes now knew the importance of caution.
"I... I sleep here. In the trees. I've been here for two weeks, maybe three." His eyes drifted to her chest as he watched her speak, noting the way her breasts rose up and down with every breath. She was still nervous, probably a little scared. With a grunt, Blue Eyes encouraged her to carry on and when their eyes met again, she looked away but he was uncertain of the reason why. "There are no others. Just me. I've been on my own for months. I'm traveling," she paused and Blue Eyes seemed to inhale a big, deep breath at the same time that the human exhaled hers. "I'm just looking for friends."
A heavy sigh left the ape's lips and he shook his head, clearly not sure just what she meant by 'friends.' His eyebrows furrowed together tightly but he kept his fists curled by his sides and to his surprise, the human showed no sign of running away. "Friends... other humans? Where are other humans?" Blue Eyes wasn't sure how to react when the young human began to shake her head and mouth 'no.' He took a step back but kept his arms lowered, not seeing the female as a threat. Since she looked at him with desperation in her big brown eyes, Blue Eyes saw no reason for concern at this time. His broad shoulders slumped just a little.
"I'm alone. I've been alone since my mother died six months ago." She paused suddenly and the ape found himself following her every word, his gaze fixed on her lips as she spoke. He liked how her pink lips pronounced the words, even if it was difficult to make out everything she said. "I haven't found anyone. Not ape. Not human." She paused suddenly and the manner in which she lifted her head so her eyes could look into his made Blue Eyes nervous. While he clearly wasn't intimidated by her size or shape, the ape took a step back as the human woman maintained eye contact and extended her hands to him, barely missing the fur of his chest. She was pleading. "My mother told me that there was an ape named Caesar that could help. Do you know him? Could you help me find him?"
By now, Blue Eyes realized that is father's name was a legend in itself. Apes weren't the only ones that sought out the King of the Colony since his father's kindness to humans was well-known, even after the war. The blue-eyed ape huffed as he looked at the girl, crossing his strong arms over his chest, knowing that the act was bound to intimidate her. "What human want with Caesar?"
The reaction that came next was so unpredictable that Blue Eyes was the one who ended up stepping back in surprise as the human approached him with her hands stretched out and her lips curled in a strange smile. Was it relief or gratitude? Blue Eyes wasn't sure but whatever it was, but it gave the human enough confidence to walk close enough to him that her chest almost touched his own. That was the power of his father's name.
"How do you know Caesar?" Her voice was excited, emotional. Blue Eyes could tell from the sudden brightness in her brown eyes that the name along brought promise of hope and safety. He reached out a hand, stretching out his fingers and hoping that his request for silence would be understood by the human as well as it had been by the apes. Surprisingly, her lips pinches together and Blue Eyes sighed in relief, his hands curling together in a tight fist as he punched himself on the heart and mouthed the word 'father.'
Blue Eyes had not expected the human to understand but she took a respectful step back and clasped her fingers together, apparently more in control of her emotions now. "He's your... your father?" the woman repeated quietly but Blue Eyes heard every syllable. He nodded and confirmed the information with a proud grunt. He didn't expect the human to reach out and touch the fur on his forearm to get his attention and he certainly didn't expect her to keep holding him there despite his angry look. He looked at her small hand with a mixture of bewilderment and distaste. Her touch felt strange but soft. Pleasant.
"Please take me to your Father. My mother... she spoke so highly of him. She said that he always looked for the good in a spirit, human or ape. We had been looking for Caesar for years when the bear attack took place." The young ape relaxed only briefly when the female human withdrew her hand. Her words took him by surprise and it was hard to keep his expression neutral and free of sympathy. Almost instinctively, Blue Eyes moved his thick fingers to his chest and traced the pale scars in his dark skin. His own experiences with a bear still scarred him to this day and he knew that he'd been lucky to get out alive. The girl didn't seem to miss his actions but for once said nothing and Blue Eyes was grateful for her silence.
He was the first to break the awkward stillness between the two. As a young ape, he was still curios. "Your mother... knew my father?" There were only inches between them now and Blue Eyes couldn't stop his eyes from drifting down her body. She was small compared to the female apes but the muscles in her arms and legs were defined and strong. She must have been a runner. Maybe a hunter.
"She didn't know him personally," the girl muttered in response and Blue Eyes found himself fixated on her lips once again. There was something about the way the human woman spoke that he liked, a softness, of sort. Her voice was calm. Soothing. "But she knew of his kindness. She told me that if we didn't find a colony first then Caesar was bound to take pity on us. We...I... I can hunt. I can help the colon. I can bring food." Just as Blue Eyes was about to question the human's weapons, the girl pointed up at the tree. In the higher branches, he saw a simple hammock, various bags and an unfamiliar wooden device. She had undoubtedly taken excellent precautions to avoid attracting bears and other vicious predators. He looked to the girl again, raising his hand questioningly but she answered before he'd even had the chance to ask. "It's a bow. I shoot birds and animals. My mother said that if we... if I could offer my skills then maybe I could have shelter. Safety."
A confused look caused the ape's light eyes to narrow somewhat suspiciously and he pointed up at the weapon, demanding that the woman bring it down. She didn't need asking twice. Blue Eyes watched her nimble form climb up the tree with expert ease to retrieve the bow and by the time she returned, the ape had to make a special effort to hide the curiosity in his eyes. He had been watching her lower body with a strange fascination, his eyes running over both the covered and the exposed part of her flesh, admiring the muscle. She wasn't built as strong as an ape but Blue Eyes was certain that her legs could run just as fast. The way the muscle tensed under her tanned skin made him want to challenge her.
By the time she'd bounced back onto the soft ground with a gentle 'thud,' Blue Eyes had carefully masked his curiosity behind an expression of utter indifference and nodded towards the weapon in her hand. The bow, as she called it, had a familiar structure but the young ape himself had never used it so he was anxious to see the woman in action. A bushy tailed squirrel was the first thing that caught his attention and when he turned to inform the human, apparently her gaze was focused on the creature too because her bow was drawn back and she was waiting for his approval. All it took was a slight now from Blue Eyes and the girl released the sharp arrow and sent it flying straight through the squirrel's heart. While he was impressed, Blue Eyes showed no emotion and reached out to grab the human's arm just above her elbow to stop her from retrieving the squirrel. There was no doubt that her shot was impressive but Blue Eyes wanted to see more of the weapon as well. He was confident that he could do the very same thing, maybe even better. "Come. Come see Caesar," he mumbled nodding up to the path he'd originally come from. "You walk first. Go up."
His words had clearly taken her by surprise and a strange, wide smiled curled her lips as she swung the bow over her shoulder. Blue Eyes had never been particularly fond of emotionally strung moments so when the human's eyes began to fill with transparent tears, his own light hues looked away and he shook his head, unhappy with his own defeat but he knew that his father would not leave a weakling alone in the woods, human or ape. While he knew that her hunting skills wouldn't necessarily benefit their colony, he was interested in the weapon and there was something about the human that made it hard for him to leave her here, alone. Maybe too much of his father's sentiments had been transferred onto him or maybe it was pity but as he watched her take slow, tentative steps ahead into the direction of the colony, Blue Eyes couldn't even think of leaving her. She was completely alone, an easy target for predators. He knew that his father would never forgive him and he knew that he couldn't forgive himself either.
Their eyes met again when she turned around suddenly, the unexpected stop causing his strong chest to collide with her back. She kept her composure. "I'm Ellie. What's your name?" A brief smile curved the corners of her lips. Blue Eyes didn't return it and he didn't maintain eye-contact for too long, either. His strong hand moved to her lower back and gave her a gentle push forward. His lips remained sealed as they walked and it was only after a few minutes of following her closely that the ape finally opened his mouth, not expecting that seven simple words would freeze the woman in her tracks.
"I am Blue Eyes. This my home."