The eyes are what she sees first. She'd been sure that there was no such thing as spirits, not raised to put much stock in myths and legends. She'd always guessed that it could be some kind of elusive animal with a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps following said creature into the denser jungle hadn't been exactly her smartest decision. The handkerchief is not really worth the risk of getting lost or worse mauled by some animal but the presence of whatever it is had caused goosebumps and an insatiable curiosity that overrode her common sense. Follow she had through thick vegetation and rotting leaves and roots that try to trip her up in her skirts. Jane is frozen as that same sense of apprehensive anticipation with a sprinkle of danger once again tickles her senses. The eyes are the first thing she can make out among the foliage.
They are impossibly bright, a mix of blue and green that is startling in its intensity. They are locked on her in rapt fascination and it is that which alerts her first. Second is the skin peeking through large green leaves. It is mud streaked for sure but still a gorgeous bronzed peach shades darker than her own pale tone, much like the sailors on the ships they'd paid passage aboard who spent all their time in the sunlight. Sun-kissed they had called it. That's when she'd truly realized that it was a person she was looking at, albeit a strange and dirty one. Her own eyes widen because he looks feral but he is a person and her heart thunders. She's speaking though she is quite sure there is no possible way he would understand. They are deep in the African jungle and if he speaks at all it for sure would not be in English.
When he rises like Adonis from the bushes she is struck dumb for a moment because even filthy and wild as he is he's also possibly the most handsome man she has ever seen. His eyes are still arresting the way they glow against his dirty skin. It takes her a bit to realize he's actually naked since she is busy marveling at the ridges and muscles like a schoolgirl. Her eyes rake before snagging on his decidedly male appendage and she balks at herself. Her mumblings are more for her own nerves than for him since he doesn't seem to understand as she'd thought.
As she's been taught by her father she remains still and is rewarded when he approaches her slowly. The boy...man? He seemed close to her own age actually, on that cusp where your not quite a full-fledged adult but also are no longer a child. There is a look in those beautiful eyes that sets the goosebumps across her skin again and Jane flushes. There is a mix of fascination and amazement as they seem to devour her while he creeps ever closer. When he is close enough to reach out and touch if she so wanted it is a struggle to remain still but she does not wish to scare him away.
He is wild. Her mind screams it and there are warning bells ringing madly but her heart flutters and she feels no danger coming from him. She is musing to herself about his strange realization when he reaches out one grimy hand to run a knuckle against her temple. Leaning even closer he tugs a lock of hair from the loose braid she'd pulled it into to sniff in a decidedly animal manner. Before she can decide how to react to such an oddity he gets even closer if possible and begins to sniff at her. From her temples to her chin then her neck when the babbling starts again. This close he smells of the jungle and something wild she cannot name.
Shivers follow the path he takes as he gulps down her scent and it is strangely stimulation. Jane is the daughter of a scientist and knows about animals. Understands what it is he is doing but to be the subject of such intense scrutiny is very unlike what she'd ever imagined. Only when he suddenly squats to press close at the apex of her thighs that she remembers propriety and jolts quite badly. The mistake costs her when the wild man disappears into the jungle as quick and he'd appeared. Strange panic makes her heart race anew. Oh, he cannot just vanish! Please! She is drawn to him in a very improper way but cannot seem to care as she rushes to follow him.
The apes are not gentle. His life had been full of battle and tumult but he'd become strong and sure despite Kerchak and his hatred. The troop had come to respect his place among them in no small part thanks to Akut. That did not mean he did not see their differences. He is smaller than any of the family though his mother and brother assure him he is safe. Hairless too except for the long ropes on his head. He does not even sound much like them unless he tries. He wonders often why he is so different.
He spent his life watching. The apes to learn how to survive, the predators to learn their ways and defeat them, every animal he could find who held skills he could imitate and adapt for his own. Had taught himself nearly all the languages of the jungle and it is his own point of pride, the thing he can do that no others can. He's even seen the creatures who look like him yet not. Has watched their odd behaviors and habits to imitate them as well. But he's never seen a creature like him until now.
There are young with it and it is covered by a strange thing he's never seen the like before. When the young scatter he dares to creep closer, close enough to snatch a piece of something in its paw. He is gone by the time it whips around clumsily but the thing in his paw is soft and strange and smells wonderful.
The thing follows him making strange sounds he does not recognize in a voice that is dulcet. He stops because he is curious and so is it so he will let himself be found. When it rounds a large trunk he is crouched in the ferns so he can see it first and that first look is startling. Lovely. So lovely his chest pounds but what really stops him is how alike they are. It's making those silly noises but he is busy studying this new creature like him to take much notice. Cautiously he moves from his cover.
Up close its eyes are a brilliant blue like the waterfalls deep in the jungle. There is hair like his own but this shines and is soft to the touch when he dares to reach out. The color of fallen leaves and smelling even better than the thing he'd taken. Its when he begins to scent it that he realizes it is a female. A female like him. The wonder makes him brave as he drags lung fulls of her sweet scent into him. She is the loveliest thing he has ever seen.
Her body trembles and he thinks she must be afraid but he is hard-pressed to care. Can't help but continue to pull that sweetness into himself before realizing it thickens lower down. He's kneeling, drunk on her scent when suddenly she startles like a frightened animal and stumbles away with more of those sounds.
Years of lessons in jungle survival send him fleeing though he doesn't feel any danger from her. It's alarming when she stumbles after him once again, tone distinctly distressed with a not of pleading he would recognize in any language. When Kerchak barrels from the trees protecting her is not a decision but a reaction. There is a whimper of sound when he falls over her smaller form but their eyes catch and hold even as those huge arms slam down. She shakes beneath him, body absorbing what blows force them into contact though he tries his best to keep above her. She is quiet and through the roaring pain he feels those small paws land butterfly soft low on his sides near his stomach. It is a small symbol of support that grounds him through the brutal assault.
The jungle goes dark around him the moment dominance is proven and the larger male leaves them. He slumps atop her because he cannot move anymore but she does not seem to mind. Darkness is swallowing him whole but she still smells wonderful and her touch is the last thing he knows.
Jane has never been so afraid. It is in animal nature to fight but the first-hand encounter had been paralyzingly violent. She should be dead. The huge ape clearly wanted her dead for intruding on their territory. Why had he protected her?
"Oh please don't die. I'm so sorry."
Just getting him treated is a test of grin and determination. She would not leave him to the mercy of the jungle injured and defenseless as he is so Jane has staggered towards the village, or best she could guess, with him as carefully supported as she can manage. It's so slow going and fear makes her sob desperately but she keeps moving and nearly collapses when she hears voices calling for her.
"Here! Please! I need help!" The braves are quick and careful about taking him. Jane knows how this must look, him naked and mauled and her a battered mess covered in muck but does not care. Is in fact insistent he be moved to her own bed where she can care for him herself. They may be confused but they follow her instruction and she is grateful when they gently as possible deposit him atop her modest mattress. Explaining what has happened to her father is trying as she and some village women clean and treat his wounds as best they can.
It remains this way for days. He is feverish and awakens rarely. When he does the chuffing noises he makes break her heart. It is a clear plea for comfort even if its in an animal language and she does all she can to provide it for him. Jane has rarely left for more than a moment in the days he's been here. She feels responsible for his pain in more than one way.
"When on the sixth day he finally opens those mesmerizing eyes of his they are not glazed with pain and fever as they have been before and her relief is great.
Her voice is soft. Everything hurts and he feels weak but he is alive and that is better than what he expected. Where he is he doesn't know and perhaps he would panic later but those blue eyes make him feel safe. Though he does not understand her he can recognize a greeting when he hears one. His response is a chuff of air more suited to the apes. At the sound, there is an interesting pull of her mouth, a baring of teeth that makes her glow pleasantly.
It's nothing he understands but she repeats it slowly as one small paw points to herself. His eyes light when he realizes what it means. His parrot is gruff but her mouth spreads again and he finds that he likes that reaction.
"J-ja-ne." It's odd but who is he to judge strange things. He tires quickly but her blue eyes shine so he fights sleep. "Tarzan" It is clear she does not understand but he repeats it slowly. Eyes her intently before pointing with a finger towards her and then himself in turn. "Ja-ne. Tarzan." When she catches on he feels a strange pride.
"Tarzan." His own name in that lovely voice lulls him back to sleep.
He is wonderful. Even as sick as he's been he is curious and clever in his moments of clarity. Learning his name had been rather profound it seemed. Something about knowing who he is, hearing him say her own name with that gruff inflection makes her breath catch. She'd been so worried but he is on the mend now and that leaves her finally feeling her own exhaustion keenly. She'd nodded off soon after him by mistake, still learning there against his sickbed with her arms crossed on the surface and her head resting atop them. It must be quite some time before something stirs her for night has fallen when she next opens her eyes.
"Jane." He is there, awake and watching her with that very animal intensity she finds so alluring. It's absolutely improper. Still half dozing her smile is soft and her voice huskier than normal with sleep.
"Hello, Tarzan." Saying his name seems to make him happy. The bearing of his teeth is a loose imitation of a smile but she gets the sense he's never done it before so that makes it special. Tentatively she raises on hand and reaches out towards him slowly, careful not to startle him again. He is watching her raptly but does not seem alarmed so he finished the touch with a soft caress against his cheekbone. It is barely a touch but she doesn't know any other way to convey her thanks and apologize for what happened. She'd been very foolish and saving her had cost him greatly.
Jane is mortified to feel tears spill down her cheeks and is hasty to lean back and swipe away the wetness. Feeling overwhelmed she rises and flees with a murmured apology. Hopefully, the strange man will stay even if she leaves for a time. She must inform her father of his awakening and pull herself into some semblance of decency. There is something about Tarzan that makes her feel without needing any words between them. It's hypnotic. Worried how he would react to her odd father she goes along back to his room, or well her room really but they'd only had the one to use. When she steps through the door he is already watching her, likely has been listening for her since she left to begin with. It's foolish how oddly flattering it is to have this man's attention so focused on her.
Her father bustles in behind her already lost to his rambling theories and she watches as Tarzen tenses. There is a calculation she knows her father does not notice but she herself is not entirely comfortable with until it seems like he dismisses the perceived threat. The assessment had been swift and she finds herself biting back a giggle. It's amusingly fascinating to watch until his eyes snap back onto her. Though she knows he is sadly lacking in any real social skills or knowledge to be caught staring causes a blush to rise despite her best attempts to stop it. With a rather awkward squeak she excuses herself once more and bolts from the small home. It's not till she's a ways down the dirt path that the feeling begins to settle.
Jane is a rational, gently bred Englishwoman. A demure lady did not react this way to a gentleman never mind that he happens to be an entirely wild one. It is the height of impropriety. Guilt makes her tummy hurt but thoughts of him are hard to suppress. Its utter insanity. This time her tears are from frustration but she won't do this in public and again is quick to dash them away. She is a lady dammit! Home she goes knowing she really shouldn't have left in the first place. Its when she reaches the porch that she hears her father calling her name.
When she'd woken and seen him watching her he had expected her to scream. Waking in a strange place had set him immediately on edge until it had registered that everything smelled like her, the female. Jane. When he had dared to move through the lingering pain he had been stunned to find her there. There are some hazy memories of her voice and touch but it's like a dream.
He'd been in too much pain to move just yet so he'd watched her sleep. He enjoyed watching things and she made these little sounds in her sleep that he found rather adorable. Once even he'd watched her nose scrunch in a semi-familiar fashion and had huffed a chuckle. He'd enjoyed watching her. There had been a touch of disappointment when her eyes had begun to flutter. Except, she'd done that mouth thing again and her eyes had been so soft on his own. When she'd said his name it had been deeper than before and he's never seen anything quite like her.
Her paw is small and delicate, a pale miniature of his own rough one. There is no sense of danger still, nothing to make him fear the touch to he remains still and simply watches her eyes as she reaches out. He barely feels it when she does it's so light but it's more powerful than anything he's ever known before. Her pretty eyes gleam and her expression says everything they cannot. The tremble of her lower lips leads to a crumbling of that pretty face and he can feel the apology bleeding from her. She had no reason to feel so. He did not regret it.
His eyes had followed that first drop of liquid from her eyes in confusion. When he'd looked back there had been more falling and how could she be so beautiful when she looks so sad? But then she'd run from him, swiped at those droplets with furious motions before she's gone through some opening. The space around him is strange and fascinating but not so much as her so he strains to listen. There is the sound of her voice and another before he hears them coming towards him once more. Jane steps through first but does not meet his eyes quickly followed but a smaller male. Another like him. The first reaction is to stop and access the new threat. Within seconds its quite obvious this male is no threat to him, not as small and old as he is. Quick to relax he moves his gaze back the pretty female to find her watching him. There is something in the look he somehow knows but before he can work out what it is she brightens to the alarming shade of a blooming flower and once again flees. Tarzan is very confused now but not in danger so he allows the small male to look over his wounds with little reluctance and more curiosity.
He allows it for a time at least. It's painful but that is nothing new to him. This strange new world he has found himself in is interesting and the strange things the male does are more so. Except that Jane has been gone and not come back and now he realizes that he cannot hear her because she is gone. That is not a pleasant thought and despite the pain, he struggles his way to a seated position and says her name.
"Jane." The small male responds in rapid sounds like hers he does not understand but he only grunts and repeats her name. He seems confused but again tries to respond though Tarzan cannot know what he says. With a growl he moves to rise and go find her himself. The male reaches up and makes noises but he is undeterred. When the small one finally yells her name a few times he holds to wait and listen but no response. Another growl then another yell and finally the sound of movement and then Jane.
"Tarzan, no!" His name he knows but the other is new, something the male had also used. He cocks his head at her in question and hopes she understands. Her face still glows pink but she is looking at him now and that is better.
Tarzan watches her, head cocked rather adorably like she is some kind of puzzle to solve. How someone so uneducated can be so intelligent is beyond her but his curiosity it delightful. She shakes her head slowly, repeating the word 'no' again while moving to rest her hands on that chiseled chest to urge him gently back.
She is not quite sure he understands but those incredible eyes blaze at her touch and she cannot help but swallow nervously. Gentle urging has him lying back against the pillows once more and she is happy to watch the lines of tension bracketing his eyes smooth. The blankets she tucks loosely around him so he is able to move freely and when she speaks again she is careful to enunciate each word carefully as well as punctuate it with a soft shaking of her head and another gentle push against his chest to drive the point home. "No Tarzan. Rest."
"Tarzan rest." The rumble is broken and not quite right but both she and her father are frozen in wonder.
"Extraordinary!" Father is beaming and twittering as he is want to do about how clever the boy is and what they could learn from him. Jane is a lost cause as once more she's lost in the eyes that watch her for approval, that clever glint that is a subtle challenge to teach and learn in turn.
"Sleep." This is quiet as she leans in to brush her thumb across his eyelid, watches as he closes them in trust that confuses her at the touch. They open again to fix her with a soft look.
"Sleep." It's endearing how he repeats things, tastes the words on his tongue like others taste food. She turns away to see Father watching her with an uncomfortably knowing look in his eyes but shakes her head when he would speak.
"Daddy why was he up? He needs to rest and heal still."
"I don't know Janie dear. He said your name and made some interesting gorilla noises I would love to study. It was like he realized you'd left and he wouldn't lay back down." So he'd been going to find her then? That's...oddly sweet actually.
Learning their language would be a slow process. These creatures are not like the animals he knows, they are something more and he wants desperately to understand them. Her. There is something about this female he finds particularly amazing. She had come back and he'd felt himself relax again almost immediately. Jane soothed the wild in him somehow, the way her eyes saw him makes him feel less different. He's making guesses about the sounds she's making but he seems to be guessing right. Pride shines in her eyes when he repeats a sound back to her. The way her paws touch his skin he would do anything to make her look at him and touch him that way again.
It's a small touch, just the front of her slim paws against his chest but her skin is impossibly soft. It makes him wonder if the rest of her is the same. Nothing can be that soft can it? He wants to touch her to find out.
"Jane rest." She looks tired and he somehow knows she's been caring for him since the attack. She needed rest more then he did. Her mouth moves in that special way again and he responds with his own awkward bearing of teeth.
"Smile." Jane says and points to her mouth spread softly. Then one small digit lifts to trace his own mouth. "Smile."
"Smile." He likes it./p