Story Title: Curiosity (FFn mirror)
Fan Domain: Legend of Korra
Summary: She never expected the cocky egotistical ex-waterbender to calm her nerves. Curiosity always gets the best of people.
Pairing: Tahno/Korra (Tahorra)
Disclaimer: My first attempt in writing a Legend of Korra fanfic. It’s also signals my return into the fanfiction world. I’ve left it for too long. I don’t own Legend of Korra btw. The prompt for this story were the episode 7 trailers showing Tahno & Korra’s meeting and Korra’s trip to Asami’s place. Hope you like it! :)
She was bummed out that Bolin & Mako wouldn’t be staying at Air Temple Island. After begging and persuading Tenzin & Pema— she sighed. Her efforts were in vain and to make it worse, her heart ached. She couldn’t comprehend the thought of the two boys living under Asami’s roof. She knew she was jealous; it was a perfectly explainable feeling. She wanted to punch a wall and take out her frustrations on a dummy, but she couldn’t. With the arena closed, she had no idea where to go to vent out her anger. She had so many negative emotions pent up in her system that she never thought it’d be wiped away by just one person.
To shock her more, it was Tahno.
It was a quick conversation. Nothing much in her point of view, but probably to Tahno, it meant the world for him. She had stumbled upon him at the police office, sitting alone. Honestly, she wouldn’t have noticed him there if he hadn’t called her out. She took a seat beside him and they had a chat, mainly about Tahno’s futile efforts to find a cure. It was then that Korra noticed that he hadn’t given up hope in curing himself. Even when he said that it was permanent, she could hear a hint of disgust. Probably disgust that he had come to that conclusion. She couldn’t ask him about it because he was called by Officer Bei Fong for interrogation.
Even if their conversation was quick, it left an impression on Korra. It showed Tahno in a new light— not as the ass who cheated his way through the finals. Or as the ass who dared to offer up private lessons. Of course she knew what he meant by private lessons; she wasn’t a 10-year old. But that wasn’t the point.
There was something new to Tahno. Was it personality? Was it character? Was it attitude? Was it presentation? Was it aura? Or was it just the lack of bimbos hanging around him? It perplexed her and it ate her— bit by bit. Curiosity took over and she wanted to know what was going on Tahno’s mind. What other things happened to him after the finals? Why was he alone? How is he coping?
And that sealed her plan for the remainder of the day— to hang out with Tahno. He looked like he needed some cheering up; maybe they could be friends after that. That was her ideal plan and so she sat on the bench and waited for Tahno to be released.
He wondered why she was still there when the interrogation finished. Shouldn’t the Avatar have more important things to do that day? Yet there she was, sitting on the same bench that the two of them were on an hour ago. He noticed her head was down; her eyes were straight at the floor. She didn’t look high and mighty like every encounter they had. She seemed calm and pensive. What was up?
“Waiting for me?” He said attempting to bring out the cockiness he usually used bantering her.
“And here I was thinking that pretty boy needed some company. It looks like you’re back to normal. I’ll be—“
“Where are we going?” He inquired as he toned his cockiness a bit down.
The change in tone took back Korra by a bit. The tone of cockiness had mellowed out and it made Tahno sound like he was interested. Interested in the sense that it didn’t involve his inflated ego. She liked it; it was different. She needed a dash of mellow in her life or at least someone who knew how to do it.
“How about Narook’s Noodle House?” Korra suggested.
“Sure, you’re paying?” Tahno made sure to which Korra replied with a pair of rolling eyes. She stalked off with Tahno following her pursuit.
Tahno groaned as they walked into Narook’s. That was his first time riding a Polar Bear Dog, so the erratic movement shook him. “You are never making me ride that dog again.”
“She has a name.” Korra sharply replied as she took a seat at the first vacant table she saw.
“Gaga was it?” He said as he took a seat across Korra.
“Naga, you ass.” She corrected with a hint of annoyance.
He liked seeing her annoyed. Being able to rile up the Avatar with his cockiness entertained him and kept his attention. He continued bugging her about the smallest things like her orders and her mannerisms; it reached a point where Korra couldn’t take it any longer that she stomped on his foot.
“Dammit Korra. What was that for?!” Tahno exclaimed, which caused the attention of the other customer to be directed at them.
Korra glared at him. “You wouldn’t stop bugging me.”
“It’s fun to see you annoyed,” said Tahno. A smirk formed on his face, which ticked off Korra even more.
“I can’t believe I thought you’d be someone decent to talk to.” She scoffed.
“Hate to break it to you, sweetie, but I was born this way.”
Korra groaned in frustration. “I can’t believe you were the one who made me forget my frustrations back at the precinct.” She dropped her head on the table, her hands tugging the ends of her hair.
So he was wrong? His reason behind her head being down at the police office was incorrect. He had thought she was calm and pensive. Maybe she wasn’t calm, just probably pensive except about what? It got him curious. What had caused Korra to enter such a down state? Who had beaten him into annoying Korra and taking over her thoughts? Could it be the pro-bending siblings?
“What happened?” Tahno inquired.
“I’m surprised you care.” Korra mumbled. “Or are you just doing this to boost your ego?” The suspicion in her voice couldn’t be heard any better.
“I’m not that egotistical. I have some heart. Give me some credit,” defended Tahno.
Korra lifted her head and took one long look at him. She wanted to check if he was really open for listening. His posture was open; his eyes were just looking at her and she couldn’t help but feel a butterfly flutter. He was leaning forward, so he was genuinely interested. She sighed and gave in. It’s not like she’ll have anybody else to talk to about such feelings.
“I assume you’ve heard that the arena will be closed down.” She started to which he nodded in reply. “Mako and Bolin would need a place to stay. I offered them to stay at Air Temple Island but—“ She gripped the fur of her outfit. She didn’t continue her sentence.
But he completely understood what she was saying. Someone else had offered them a place to stay and that would probably be Asami, the girlfriend of a certain Fire Ferret. Was she jealous? Jealous that Asami would have the brothers to herself? Was that it?
“Your order.” The waiter broke the silence. The two of them just looked at the food being placed in front of them. Korra thanked the waiter for his service and proceeded to breaking the pair of chopsticks. Tahno did the same thing except he was still curious as to what she was exactly feeling. After a few slurps, he decided to break the silence.
“Are you jealous?”
That was all it took to stop her tracks. She looked deeply at the soup as if it held the answers to his question. She took another serving of the noodles. Tahno assumed that she wanted to avoid such a question. So her feelings were still in a mix? Was it that?
“I’m not jealous.” She spoke up after gulping down the food in her mouth. “It’s just that I realized how I don’t have real friends.” He raised an eyebrow at her statement, which she quickly caught. “I was on the Fire Ferrets team because they needed a waterbender, but how about now? The pro-bending tournament is over and all I ever connected with them is pro-bending. I was really hoping they’d be able to stay at Air Temple Island so that I’d be able to bond with them under non-pro-bending terms.”
A saddened look graced her face during that whole explanation.
“I don’t have any real friends either.” He shared. “I have fans, not friends. Losing my bending showed me that.”
Korra nodded in response, unsure what to tell the guy in front of her. Well, she had managed to drag him out and showed that she cared. Though… it seemed like he was doing more of the counseling than her. She found the situation quite funny that a smile formed on her face.
“What are you smiling about?” Tahno looked at her. “Are you mocking me? ‘Cause if you are I’ll—“
“Chill man. I just found it funny that you’re the one consoling me when it’s supposed to be the other way around. Well… at least that was the plan.” Korra slammed a fist. “Damn it Tahno! Stop messing with my plans.”
Tahno chuckled at her reaction. She was back to her normal expressive self. It was that expressive self that had caught his attention in the first place. He liked seeing her this way; it showed the fire she had and the guts partnered with it.
“Let’s be friends then.” Tahno suggested.
“What?” The sudden suggestion surprised her. No— it wasn’t even surprise; it was something greater.
“You need a friend; I need a friend. It’s a win-win situation.” He explained as if it was a normal thing to suggest; but to Korra, it wasn’t.
“I don’t know, Tahno…” Her voice trailed with hesitation.
“What have you got to lose?”
“My sanity.” She quickly replied.
“I meant that as a rhetorical question.”
“It didn’t sound like that to me.”
“Just think about it.” Tahno ended.
Should she even try? What did she have to lose by spending time with Tahno? It’s not like the people of Republic City would care. Sure, they were rivals on the pro-bending arena, but all the players are civil outside. Plus, Tahno didn’t have his bending anymore, so his status as a threat had been greatly lowered. If someone were to detest their friendship, it’d be Mako. But would Mako even know? Does Mako’s feelings even matter? She told herself that she’d let Mako go, so why bother with his feelings? They were friends; well, she thought they were. There’s nothing to lose by being friends with Tahno. She needed someone like her— at least at a certain extent.
“Sure. I’m game.” Korra concluded.
It was now time for Tahno to be surprised. The avatar had agreed to his idea. Sure, he had suggested it, but he never completely believed that she’d agree. There was a big part of him that was certain that she’d back out of the suggestion. Hearing such a development shocked him. For once, he felt like there’ll be someone who’ll actually care about his feelings.
“No turning back now, uh-vatar.” The cockiness returned in his voice.
“God. I wish you’d stop doing that.” Korra exasperated.
“You know you love it.” He smirked.
Korra simply rolled her eyes. No matter how cocky Tahno could get, she couldn’t deny the fact that he was great company. Not only that, but he also had some sense of intuition and compassion, which probably not a lot of people would be able to see. Maybe, just for once, curiosity won’t kill anything at all.
So they both agreed to meet everyday after lunch. It was a meeting that each of them placed a degree of importance on. Even when Korra had gotten Mako, Bolin, & Asami to live at Air Temple Island, she still kept her promise to meet Tahno everyday. They’d usually stay at Narook’s Noodle House because of the noise and ambiance it had. Plus, that’s where they first met so it held some sort of importance to them.
Korra finished up lunch at Air Temple Island. She stood and cleaned up her share on the table. She asked permission from Tenzin to be excused from the table and to go out. Tenzin threw a questioning look at her direction. She had been going out too often and usually at a certain time. He knew she was meeting up with someone, but he couldn’t stop her. She was decent & responsible enough to ask permission everyday, so he always gave in.
She smiled and thanked Tenzin. She passed by a Mako and Asami who were just entering the dining area. The quick departure of Korra caught Mako’s attention. Was she avoiding him?
“Where is Korra going? Isn’t it lunch?”
“Yes, it is lunch. Korra requested hers to be a tad early recently.” Tenzin calmly explained. “She’s going to the city.”
“Don’t worry bro. It always happens.” Bolin shared.
“Always?” Mako clarified.
“Yeah!” Ikki exclaimed. “She’s meeting up with a friend!”
“She says it’s a friend, but it looks like something more.” Jinora proposed with her nose still in a book.
“A guy friend!” Ikki shouted.
“Who?!” Mako questioned.
“We don’t know.” Bolin answered. “Korra won’t tell us who. Whenever we ask, she’ll state that she’d have to use the bathroom.”
“That girl…” Mako grumbled.
“Our only clue is this.” Jinora said as she brought out bat-like mask from under the table.
“Wait, wouldn’t that be part of Tahno’s costume?” Bolin pointed out.
At the precise moment, Mako walked out of the room leaving a giggling Ikki & Jinora, a nonchalant Bolin & Tenzin, and a clueless Asami. Who knew that Mako would take it that bad?