Lyra, what are you doing? You haven't even finished Parlor Tricks yet, why the hell are you starting a new story?

Well I'll tell you why. It's actually making me write more. I KNOW RIGHT.

So this isn't Kataang. But it is Avatar. IN THE PAST. It's about Wan Shi Tong before he left the Spirit World, Tui and La before they became fish, the world before the Avatar, and a pretty lil thang called the Sun Spirit.

It definitely won't be as long as Parlor Tricks. Like not even close. But it'll be different yet still full of Lyralocke fluff. Just awkward spirit fluff. HA.

Disclaimer: don't own Avatar



CHAPTER 1

The other spirits had always thought Wan Shi Tong was a bit weird. Even for a lesser spirit, he just never seemed to fit in.

Unlike the rest of the spirits, he spent all of his time watching the physical world, fascinated by the growing civilization of mortals. He wrote down everything he saw and soon had so much information, he created a library, the first library, in the Spirit World to hold all of his findings.

This was no surprise to most of the spirits, as Wan Shi Tong was the spirit of knowledge. He had such passion for learning, he began to write down everything about the Spirit World as well. His library grew and grew with his knowledge, and every day the mortals below became more advanced. Their civilization became greater, and soon the rest of the spirits found them quite interesting as well.

The mortals knew of the spirits, and worshipped them for all they had been given. The spirits responded in kind, keeping the world balanced and beautiful so their new civilization flourished.

Wan Shi Tong didn't mind that the other spirits were now so invested in the very thing they had criticized him for. He was proud of the mortals, the humans as they were called, for coming so far. And he was grateful to them for letting him chronicle their lives in his library.

He wanted to know more. So he did something no other spirit had ever done. He left the Spirit World and took on a human form to walk among the mortals, to teach and to learn from them.

When he returned, the greater spirits reprimanded him for his foolishness. When he walked the earth, he was mortal. He could be killed. But Wan Shi Tong would hear none of it. He believed in the humans, in their infinite potential, and he would continue to do as he pleased.

Nobody stopped him, writing him off as a fool. But one young spirit heard him. She listened, and for the first time, she wanted to learn more.

That was the first time anyone had set foot in Wan Shi Tong's library.

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Wan Shi Tong scribbled furiously on a sheaf of paper, delighting in his human fingers as he recorded the leaps and bounds a certain tribe had made today. He spent most of his time in his human form now, rather than his spiritual form of the owl. It was so much more fun, and easier to write without all those feathers.

He looked up in surprise. He heard a sound. In his library. He frowned, confused. Nobody had ever come to his library before. He listened a moment longer before shrugging. Perhaps he was hearing things.

But then he heard it again. A distant echo. He got to his feet and peered from behind the shelf he was occupying. His eyes widened in surprise. The doors were open. He couldn't help but feel a thrill of curiosity. Nothing like this had ever happened before. He looked around grinning.

This is a very large place, he mused to himself. I must find this spirit.

So he listened, and the sounds of rustling parchment drew him deep into the stacks. As he drew nearer, he noticed the light was changing. Something was glowing nearby. He looked around one final bookshelf.

And he saw her.

A beautiful spirit was standing at a shelf just yards away from him, reading from a scroll. But it wasn't just that. She was in a human form, just like him. And she was glowing.

Wan Shi Tong recognized her with some astonishment.

Sol, the Sun Spirit.

He blushed nervously. The Sun Spirit, here? She was a greater spirit, not like him. He didn't even know if he should talk to her. He sneezed nervously and she turned to look at him. He froze. But then she smiled at him and he felt like he would melt into a puddle.

"Oh, there you are!" she exclaimed, moving toward him with the scroll in hand. "You're Wan Shi Tong, the Knowledge Spirit."

It wasn't a question, but he nodded mutely anyway. She grinned and bowed politely.

"We've never been formally introduced. I'm Sol, the-"

"Sun Spirit, yeah, of course I know who you are," he blurted, blushing again in embarrassment.

She laughed lightly. "Of course. You know everything, don't you?" she asked, and he was surprised by the genuine curiosity in her eyes.

"Um… well… not everything," he stammered, scratching the back of his neck. "Just… a lot." She nodded thoughtfully and he couldn't stop himself from speaking again. "You… you're in a human form. Like me. I've never… I mean… no other spirit has ever uh…"

"I saw you in your human form once," she saved him from his verbal floundering with an excited smile. "When the other spirits had you on trial for walking the earth. I…" This time, it was her turn to blush, and she began glowing a bit brighter. "I didn't know we could do that. And I watch them too, sometimes. They're just… just so…"

She struggled to find the right word, unaware that Wan was staring at her in disbelief.

"Fascinating," he finished for her. She snapped her fingers.

"Yes, that's it, fascinating," she said triumphantly. Then her attention was drawn to her fingertips. "Wow, did you see that?" She snapped again and grinned. "I like this body. This was a good idea." She looked up at him. "You're a genius!"

Wan just stared. He felt like his breath had left him. "I've never met someone like you before," he said quietly without thinking. She stopped snapping her fingers and looked up at him again. He blushed and cleared his throat, which made her laugh.

"I've never met someone like you before either," she said just as quietly. She began to glow a little brighter when he smiled at her.

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"It's incredible. Their bodies are mortal, but their spirits are as strong as any of us."

"Wow… I can't imagine…"

Wan chattered away happily as he and Sol left his library. She had been visiting him every day for months now, and he always accompanied her all the way back to her home up in the clouds even though he didn't have to. She had never met someone so sweet and caring, and she wondered at this feeling that overcame her whenever he was near. They walked slowly down the long mountain path from the library, Wan speaking animatedly with his hands.

"You should come with me next time," he said quietly, glancing at her. She sighed a bit and looked at her feet. This wasn't the first time he had asked her.

"Wan… you know I can't…" she began.

"Have I told you about the nomads?" he asked abruptly.

She smiled fondly. He always did this when he was nervous. He changed the subject as quickly as he could without looking back. He was the quirkiest spirit she had ever met, and it fascinated her to no end.

"Yes, but you can tell me again," she replied, smiling at him. He blushed a bit and hurried on.

"They worship the Wind Spirit, Vayu, and he just can't get enough of them. Their spirits aren't like any of the other tribes, they meditate and they travel the world, it's like nothing I've ever seen. Vayu hasn't visited them yet, but I think he wants to."

Sol frowned at this, and Wan slowed to a stop.

"Did I say something wrong?" he asked nervously. She glanced at him with a smile.

"No, Wan, of course not," she said earnestly. "I could… I could listen to you forever," she continued very quietly, glowing brighter and focusing demurely on her feet. "I'm just worried about my sister…"

"La? Why, did something happen to her?" he asked, alarmed.

"No, well not really," she sighed. "You know she and Tui are in love, right?"

He grinned at her. "Of course, I know everything, don't I?" She laughed at his teasing and nudged him with her shoulder.

"They've been running off to the physical world together in secret," she said in a rush. "To visit the tribes in the north and south that you talk about, the ones that live in the snow." He nodded his understanding. "I'm worried Shangdi will find out."

Wan frowned distastefully at the mention of Shangdi. He was their ruler, the spirit above all spirits, and he had made it quite clear to Wan that he disapproved of spirits walking the earth. He was the reason Sol was afraid to accompany him on his journeys.

"Don't worry about him," Wan said gently. "What's the worst he can do?"

"That's the thing," Sol sighed, running a distressed hand through her hair in a way that made Wan's eyes go wide with curiosity. "I don't know the worst he can do. He's never actually punished anyone before, just threatened to." She sighed and looked down. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to unload all of this on you, but-"

She stopped abruptly, eyes wide, when Wan reached forward and ran a hand gently through her hair. She swallowed hard, trying not to blush and failing as her faint glowing light intensified. Wan didn't seem to notice, because he did it again. She managed to catch his hand before he did it a third time.

"What are you doing?" she asked, bewildered.

He looked at her, eyes bright with discovery. "I didn't know you could do that!" he exclaimed. "My hair isn't long like yours, I can't… do that." He glanced back down at her to find her smiling fondly at him. "Oh, I did it again didn't I?"

She laughed and laced her fingers through his. "Yes, you did," she said quietly. They resumed walking, this time in silence. Wan had a habit of getting immensely distracted by his human form as well as Sol's. He was embarrassed, but Sol found it adorable. They had only discovered this holding hands thing a few weeks ago from watching a nomad man and woman walking together far below. Human affection and intimacy was still new to them, and they had yet to fully perfect the art of the hug.

The thing about the human form that most fascinated them both was how much they felt. Everything felt different on human skin. And the touch of another human… that was something they couldn't get used to. It was thrilling, holding hands. Wan was born an owl, Sol a fox. They couldn't touch like this in their true forms. Tui and La had found human form gratifying as well, as koi fish couldn't kiss.

Sol had seen her sister kiss Tui, the Ocean Spirit, only a few times. They had learned it from the people of the southern tribe. It was how the humans expressed a special sort of affection, love. She had never shared this with Wan, and she wondered if he knew about it. She licked her lips in a distracted way as she pondered this. Her lips were so soft and sensitive… she couldn't imagine someone else touching them. She glowed brightly at the thought and Wan glanced at her.

"You okay?" he asked with a smile.

She nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine," she began. "It's just… this human form, it can be so distracting."

"Tell me about it," he sighed. "I can't keep my eyes off you."

She looked up at him and he froze in horror. She laughed, delighted.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, I shouldn't have-" he stammered. She squeezed his hand and he stopped.

"It's okay," she giggled, tilting her head to the side a bit as she looked at him. "I watch you too, you know."

"Really?"

She laughed again at the genuine surprise in his voice. "Of course. There's only so much I can learn from myself. We walk differently, and we move differently, and you have all these little quirks."

"I do?"

She stopped again and turned to face him. "We're different, you and me," she said quietly.

Wan's face fell at this. She frowned, worried she had done something wrong. He scratched the back of his neck, a gesture that she had learned meant he was bashful.

"Yeah, we are," he sighed. "I mean… I'm just the Knowledge Spirit. I'm not important, not like you."

Her eyes widened in comprehension. "Oh, no, Wan, that's not what I meant," she said, regret in her voice. But he still wouldn't look at her, so she took his face in her hands and forced his eyes to meet hers. They stared at each other for a long moment before her curiosity got the best of her. She brushed her thumbs against his high cheekbones, biting back a grin when the skin burned beneath her touch.

"Your face… it feels different from your hands," she noted quietly. He closed his eyes and shivered, and she quickly drew back from him. "What, did I hurt you?"

"No," he laughed a bit. "I didn't mean to shake like that, I just couldn't help it. It was a weird sensation, I've never felt it before."

New sensations fascinated Sol. Her eyes widened and she smiled eagerly. "What was it like? Did it feel good?"

He shrugged, a look of intense thought on his face. "It was like… awareness," he said thoughtfully. "Like my body was telling me that you were really close. I don't know how to describe it."

"Oh man, I want to feel it too!" she burst out in excitement. Wan smiled, reminded forcefully of the day they met. "All these feelings, they're just so unusual!"

"Okay, here," Wan said with a laugh, taking her face in his hands and stroking her cheeks with his thumbs. She blushed, glowing brightly, and placed a hand on her stomach.

"What happened?" he asked, dropping his hands to his sides.

"My stomach feels funny," she said, confused. "Like it's full of butterflies."

"Gross."

She laughed, and her laugh always made him laugh, so the two of them resumed walking, hand in hand, laughing.