Full summary: The gaang need a miracle to pull off an attack on the Fire Nation. Yue, seeing their dilemma, kindly requests the help of the Life Spirit. However, Life works in mysterious ways, and the gaang are transformed into animals! When things look bleak, a certain Dragon of the West and his fiery nephew decide to adopt the cuddly strays. Will this strange road lead to victory or defeat for the Avatar?
Make a Wish
A/n: Woo-hoo, Day of Black Sun! That was awesome! Here's the first chapter of what is quite possibly the oddest Avatar fanfiction ever written. Hopefully I'll have a new chapter out every weekend. Reviews are always much appreciated! Just so you know, there will be mild shipping, but just a pinch. Thanks so much for reading! End a/n.
The afternoon sun sparkled off the ocean in a panorama of colours. Toph was lying in the grass chewing on a piece of hay. While she rested lazily with one leg over the other, Katara thought she rather resembled Jet. Of course, Katara had resigned not to mention him ever again if she could help it. She was preoccupied with sewing up a pair of bright orange trousers. While slipping the needle in and out of the fabric, the Waterbender asked Aang to tell her again how he managed to create such a hole in the first place.
"Well, I was practicing this one Earthbending move," he told her with a slight blush, "and there was this tree. It snuck up on me. One of the branches must have caught the fabric, and, well…"
"It's okay, Aang. I don't mind stitching them up." Holding up the garment to inspect her seam, she smiled at the almost invisible repair. "I do wish you'd pay more attention to the surroundings, though," she sighed, handing them over to the Avatar. "I don't want you to get hurt."
Aang thought he was going to blush himself to death at that last comment as he took them gladly. "Thanks, Katara." He quickly put them on, now suddenly conscious of being in only his underpants in front of her.
"Ugh, am I the only one concerned about the war around here?" Sokka paced back and forth a few yards away, holding a map up in an attempt to read the ancient lines that were fading from use and age.
"Just relax, Sokka." Katara stood up and stretched. "We're all concerned. But a day of rest wouldn't kill you."
"Oh, it wouldn't?" He rolled the map back up huffily. "Because I'm quite certain it would! Aang doesn't even know Firebending yet and… Oh, god, that damned comet is going to be here sooner than we'll be ready."
"You're standing in my light," complained Toph, and she Earthbended the ground under him three feet to the left.
"You're not helping!"
Aang carefully inspected the feel of his pants, bending this way and that. "Chill, Sokka. It's not like freaking out is going to make a Firebending teacher appear out of thin air."
"Why don't you go and find some dinner," suggested Katara, "And I'll make some soup."
"Hmph." He grabbed his knife indignantly. "Fine. I'll go catch something."
Toph giggled. "That's a good one, Sokka!"
He shot one last glare at the girl before leaving in the direction of the forest. Katara walked over to Aang and grabbed his arm as soon as her brother was out of sight.
"Come on, Aang, let's get some quick Waterbending practice in." Dragging her pupil off excitedly before he could object, she scanned the beach for the ideal location and quickly set to work.
Back on the grass, Toph sighed contentedly. "And I can fit in a quick nap before Sokka comes back empty-handed in a few hours." She smiled and stretched out on the grass, wiggling her toes into the dirt.
An hour and a half later, as Toph predicted, Sokka came back, complaining that there was no game on the island.
"The only living things on this island are the trees and us," he whined as he made his way over to the fire in the center of camp. "And these things," he raised an eyebrow and held up a bundle of blue-green roots with dark green leaves sticking out at the top. "Hey, Katara, are these edible?"
"Well," she mumbled, walking back up from the beach. Her clothes were soaking wet and she wringed out a bundle of hair, leaving a trail of water across the ground. "They don't look too poisonous. Maybe we could try them."
"Hang on!" Aang zoomed up the slope in a whirlwind of Airbending. "Let me get a look!" Putting a finger on his chin thoughtfully, he inspected the strange plants this way and that as Sokka held them up. After a few seconds, he came to a sagely conclusion. "Yep. Those are definitely beetle roots. Extremely poisonous. You can get sick just from touching them."
Sokka made a gagging noise and dropped them in the dirt. "Ack! But I touched them!! Does my face look pale? Am I sweating?"
"Well, you're definitely sweating," answered Katara flatly, shaking her head at her brother's antics.
Sokka scurried out towards the ocean and jumped in, then began fervently scrubbing his skin and clothes with the seawater. Back on shore, Katara lamented that it looked like they'd have to use up more of their supplies for dinner. Then she set to work unloading various things from Appa and filling a pot with water.
After dinner, the four sat around the campfire enjoying the warmth. Sokka reclined against a log and polished his boomerang. After a moment he paused, suddenly noticing the conversation going on around him. After a moment, he stood and announced that he was going to bed.
"Oh," Katara said, looking quite surprised, "Goodnight."
"'Night, Sokka!" Aang energetically waved goodbye to the older boy. Toph held a hand up silently and waved back and forth once through.
"See you guys in the morning," and he waved back as he strode over towards his sleeping bag. Gazing up into the three-quarter moon, he whispered to the sky, "We're going to need a miracle to win this war, Yue. I just hope everything is a lot better for the Spirit World. Goodnight."
The landscape saturated with dense fog, Yue looked down from her place in the sky at the boy as he snuggled into his bedding and dozed off. Biting her lip in thought, she wondered how exactly she could help them. She could do nothing much herself, but she had heard of a certain spirit that could really help them out.
Yue passed through the fog, which seemed to go on for miles, and towards the end a bamboo forest took over, the fog reduced to a fine mist that condensed on the leaves and branches. Taking a great number of seemingly random turns and twists, she found her way to the end of the forest. The ground suddenly dropped off into steep cliffs, and whatever lied at the bottom couldn't be seen through the darkness. The bamboo grew right up to not an inch from the sharp drop-off. They were, indeed, very courageous plants, as even Yue felt a bit intimidated at the sight.
In front of her lie a narrow bridge of land, and all along the edges grew giant crystals that shone yellow-green. This was the only light along the path, making it feel like more of a runway. Carefully Yue began making her way across. She knew that at the end it led to a mountain that grew up out of the darkness below, and nestled in the side of it was a small cave where the spirit she sought made her home.
After a slow half-hour of cautious steps, Yue arrived outside the cave's entrance. Vines hung down over the front, making a sort of living door. Nestled in between two crystals a few yards away was a bird's nest, and in it the babies chirped for their mother's care. Various sorts of bugs crawled along the ground, and as a centipede approached her foot Yue hastily moved out of the thing's way. Unsurprisingly, the mountain was like a paradise for all sorts of little creatures. Unsurprisingly, that is, if you knew who lived inside.
Approaching the covered entranceway, she called out nervously, "Um, excuse me. Is anyone here?"
A distinctly feminine voice responded to her, "Come in, Yue. Make yourself at home!"
She then parted the vines and walked through, cautious not to step on any sort of critter that might be on the ground. The cavern was lit well with the yellow-green crystals, and had a lovely scent in the air. Cinnamon? As she rounded a corner, the Life Spirit came into view. She was short, only four feet or so, with long black hair that fell like a river to her knees. Her frame was thin, with almost no womanly curves. This was, of course, normal for how old she appeared—a child, four or five years, with an almost permanent smile and wild green eyes.
"Have a seat," she offered, motioning to a small bamboo chair decorated with crystal. When saying the chair was bamboo, it was hard to convey, because of the sheer impossibility of it, that it was living bamboo that had grown in the shape of a chair. Everything alive in the cave got its light from the strange glowing crystals and not the sun. A small stream of water flowed near the wall towards the back of the cave, where it eventually led out across the lands via underground streams.
Yue had heard the rumors of what it looked like in the Life Spirit's home, but it was all much stranger than she had been told. Of course, it was also far more beautiful than anyone had described.
Carefully she took a seat, and the girl did the same, sitting on a similar chair that was just a tad thinner and higher. Her feet dangled down and she gently swung them back and forth in alternation.
"What brings you to my home today?" She asked, breaking the silence.
"Well," she began, unsure of how her request would be taken, "I'd like to ask a favor of you. I'm sure you have heard that the Avatar has returned." The girl nodded, and her black hair splashed up and down in step. "When I was a mortal, I was very close to him and his friends. It seems that they need some assistance to defeat the Fire Lord."
"Hmm," she seemed to be thinking deeply about what Yue had said. "Well, where are they now? Have they yet reached the Fire Nation shores?"
She shook her head. "They haven't."
"Let's start there, then. Now, how shall we assist them in? And of course, it must be discreet. Having their identities revealed wouldn't be a good thing." She held a finger on her lip and stared up at the crystalline ceiling for a moment. Just as Yue had adjusted to the silence, she exclaimed, "I've got just the thing!"
Yue sat up straight, on the edge of her seat. "Tell me, what do you have in mind?"
The little girl winked and wagged her finger playfully. "It's a secret!"
Realizing she couldn't argue, Yue resigned to nodding in agreement. "Thank you, Life Spirit." She smiled and stood up, then bowed to her. She whispered solemnly, "I hope your plan works," before turning to leave.
On the floor, a small red beetle crawled around Yue, and then darted towards the young girl who was still seated. Pausing at the foot of the chair, it spread its wings and took flight, gracefully landing on her out held finger. Tucking its wings back in, it turned around towards the exit as if it were watching their guest depart.
"Teehee, of course it will work, silly." She smiled mischievously and turned her attention to the bug, throwing it up in the air and watching as it flew away.
End Chapter One