Story Title: Travel With Me (FFn mirror)
Fan Domain: Legend of Korra
Pairing: Tahno/Korra [Tah(n)orra]
Summary: Proposal. Proposal. Proposal. The idea took over her mind and her being. She needed to forget and move on. He somehow found a way how.
Disclaimer: It’s a slightly indirect sequel to Curiosity, but it can stand on its own (it’ll just be really out of character if you don’t read Curiosity). I was supposed to have this done by 11pm of Saturday and it is now Sunday 1pm. Hm. I really need to get my priorities straight. This was dedicated to the Tah(n)orra shippers around the world because we’re having a three day Tah(n)orra party.
That day was supposed to be the happiest of her Avatar life. After months of fights, lost benders and ultimately a war, the equalist movement has subsided. The threat known as Amon had been detained and, interestingly enough, he was willing to go through reform. He probably accepted that Korra could be the only one to bring balance to the world, for both benders and non-benders.
She was supposed to be happy about the whole development. She had agreed to foresee the reform Amon would be going through. Republic City was indebted to her; she couldn’t ask for anything more— except she still felt betrayed; she felt empty. She felt confused. Instead of feeling elation, she was feeling confusion, if confusion could even be felt.
All because Mako proposed to Asami.
It happened to quickly for her to grasp. At one moment, she was handing Amon to the officers; the next, she heard squeals from behind her. Like any normal person would, she turned around to see what was happening. Her heart quickly dropped at the sight.
Asami and Mako were kissing, but that should be completely normal, right? They were together anyway, so it was completely acceptable. But somehow, she had still kept the hope that Mako would end up with her. She thought the two would have some decency to stray away from public displays of affection in front of her— especially Mako. She thought they, Mako & she, had a secret pact to avoid making each other jealous. However, that wasn’t the case anymore when she saw the scene.
“Look how happy Mako is.” Bolin, who appeared beside her, said. “He was scared that she’d saw no to his proposal.”
Proposal? What proposal? For how long? How long had Mako been thinking of proposing… to Asami even more? The word rang through her mind like the sound of a monkey playing cymbals. Proposal. Proposal. Proposal. Was he just making her hope? Was Mako just leading her one? Was it all a lie? Proposal. Proposal. Proposal.
She wanted it to stop. Her hands were gripping the sides of her head; her fingers wove through her hair. Her eyes bulged out, and to a certain extent, she felt herself hyperventilating. Proposal. Proposal. Proposal. She internally screamed hoping that the outside world wouldn’t hear her.
“Are you okay Korra?” Too late— she was heard.
She glanced to her left; her hands were still at the sides of her head. Bolin shook his head and pointed towards the direction in front of her. She saw Mako and Asami looking at her. Asami looked concerned about what was happening to Korra; Mako though… had a face of guilt on his face. When her eyes met with Mako’s, she immediately fixed herself.
“I-I—“ Great— she was even stuttering. “I have to go to the bathroom.” The three teems looked at her with disbelief. “I mean I have to tell Jinora & Ikki the good news. You know them. They like to keep track of my life.”
Before they could interrogate her even more, she jumped into the water and bended herself out.
She had managed to avoid Mako & Asami for a few days. She’d been sending Bolin messages just to tell him that she was okay and well. Bolin didn’t believe her one bit, but he also didn’t want to stress her out even more. However, he told Korra that Asami wants her to be the chief bridesmaid for their wedding. She wanted to deny the role; she wasn’t fit for the role, especially in her current mental state. It didn’t feel right, especially when she still had feelings for Mako.
Bolin suggested that she think about it and that it was normal for a person to deny such a position. However, there was still this portion of her that would feel guilty if she denied the role. Asami had considered her as the only girl best friend that she had. Korra couldn’t let that friend of hers down, but she also couldn’t say positive thoughts on their wedding day. Her directness in addressing her emotions would only cause problems on the day itself.
She wasn’t ready to confront Mako or Asami jus yet— more so both of them at the same time. The moment Jinora dropped by Korra’s room to say that Asami & Mako came for a visit she quickly attempted to find a way out. Everyone in Tenzin’s family knew Korra was avoiding the couple and reluctantly agreed to cover up for her. However, it seemed like the guards let the couple pass, since the heads of the household were out.
The last thing she heard was Jinora trying to stop Mako & Asami from barging into Korra’s room. By the time they probably opened the door to her room, she had jumped out of the window. Just a few days have passed— she jumped into the water and bended herself to Republic City.
So here she was at the park. The same park where she first encountered the non-bender rally. The atmosphere around her had calmed down over the past few days. She could see a few families spending time there. It was a wonderful sight to see especially the little kids— except that got her thinking again.
Mako and Asami are going to get married and it’s not like she could stop them. She’d be a horrible friend if she did that. However, when they’re married, they’re bound to have kids. The idea freaked her out. The idea of little Mako’s and Asami’s running around her was nightmare. Yes, she still hasn’t moved on from liking Mako. Yes, she still hasn’t come to terms with the situation.
“So what’s the uh-vatar doing in a place like this?” A husky voice said.
By instinct, Korra moved away from the voice and bended water straight at the unknown person. Only when the water had struck the person that Korra realized it was Tahno.
“Shit. I’m so sorry Tahno.” Korra quickly reacted. She bended out whatever water was left clinging onto Tahno.
“You want to fix my hair while you’re at it?” Tahno smirked as he pointed to his hair.
Korra threw the water that she had bended out back at Tahno. Tahno swiftly avoided it, but was still hit by some droplets.
“What was that for?!” Tahno exclaimed.
“You provoked me,” sharply replied Korra. She even crossed her arms to make her point.
“How does fixing someone’s hair provoke?”
“Your smirk caused it.”
“Admit it, you miss my smirk.” He smirked just to prove his point.
“In your dreams pretty boy.” Korra rolled her eyes.
“Are we back to calling each other names, sexy ferret?”
“I’m still not accepting your private lessons, you ass.”
“Who says I’m giving it a loser?”
“Says the ex-pro-bender.” Korra huffed.
By then, the two of them were staring at each other. Tahno looked down at Korra, but Korra wouldn’t allow that. No— she glared back with such an intensity that could burn Tahno. Then… they both broke it off and laughed. Korra laughed to the point that she had to sit on the ground just to make sure she didn’t fall. Also in the scenario that she still couldn’t contain it, she could just roll on the grass, laughing.
“God, I missed you, Tahno.”
“I think what you missed was my beautiful face. You know—“
Another splash of water hit Tahno’s face mid-sentence. He glared at Korra who was just laughing at his face. He shook the water out of his hair and made sure it hit Korra. The droplets had a cooling effect that Korra slowly stopped laughing.
“Narcissistic ass.” Korra mumbled. “I can’t believe I missed you.”
“So no welcome back gift then?” Tahno asked.
“Aren’t I supposed to be getting that from you?” She eyed the ex-pro-bender.
“I’m too awesome to give gifts; I receive them,” explained Tahno and ended it with a smirk.
“Egotistical as ever.” Korra rolled her eyes. “Get up. I’ll style your hair then.”
Tahno sat up and relaxed when he felt the cool water flow through his hair. Other than him, only Korra knew how to fix his hair in its usual manner. After he had lost his bending, styling his own hair became a hassle. Even with hair products, he still couldn’t shape his hair back to its previous form. Waterbending had managed to seep its way through his style that he felt different without it.
“How has therapy been?” Korra inquired as she flowed the water around Tahno’s hair.
“I’ve been let off therapy for 2 weeks now since I’ve reached mental stability.”
“Really? Your ego still hasn’t deflated.”
“Honey, that shows I’m mentally stable.”
Even when she styled Tahno’s hair, she sighed at his responses. Yes— she was certain he was back to normal. His ego was back to normal and his responses were as direct as ever. The therapist did a well enough job to make Tahno reach his lively egotistical state.
“What happened?” Tahno suddenly asked.
“What are you talking about?” Korra was confused herself. What did Tahno mean? What happened? It was such a vague question.
“You looked forlorn before I startled you. Something happened.”
At that precise moment, she had finished styling Tahno’s hair. She carelessly dropped the water at her side that it hit a portion of her clothes. Silence engulfed them and it worried Tahno. Contrary to his egotistic nature, he cared about Korra because of the bond they formed. Without her help, he would’ve remained helpless and stagnant. Without Korra, he wouldn’t have pushed on with his life. When he needed a shoulder to lean on, Korra was the only one left to help— that even came as a surprise to him. When he needed a friend, she decided to become his even when her other friends would be against it. She was there when he was at his most low, so shouldn’t he be in hers? That’s what friends are for, right? Best friends more so.
“Korra…” Tahno’s voice trailed, but it wasn’t his voice that caught Korra’s attention. It was Tahno saying her name that did; it did mean he was serious. He never called her by her real name when he was interested— when he was serious. “Don’t you trust me?”
That hit her the most. She did trust him to a certain degree— maybe even more than her trust for Mako and Bolin— especially Mako. Proposal. Proposal. Proposal. It was penetrating her thoughts again. No— she won’t let it take her over. She won’t let it— not now.
Then she felt an arm circle her shoulders. Was her internal freak out session giving hints to the real world? Whether it was or not, she felt better with the gesture. She calmed down and tried to regulate her erratic breathing. She was going to get through it.
“Mako and Asami are getting married.” She tried to speak out, but came out in murmurs instead. However, Tahno still heard her and he knew— he knew that Korra wasn’t taking it that well. “Asami wants me to be the chief bridesmaid. I don’t think I can do it— not with these feelings.”
The difficulty of the situation was visible in Korra’s voice. It strained as she explained the case and that was when Tahno knew— he knew Korra needed to escape. What could he do? Of course, the only thing he could do.
“Then tell her.” He simply stated.
“You make it sound like it’s easy.”
“No,” quickly replied Korra. “She never had a clue of my feelings.”
“Mako is an ass for leading you on.” The bitterness in Tahno’s voice reverberated through the sentence.
Korra couldn’t help but chuckle in agreement. Tahno was right. Mako had led her on, into believing they had a chance. Was it her fault for holding on to that string of hope? Was it her own fault that she ended up hurt? Was she still weak in the end? Or did she need time to move on? Time away— now that she thought of it, she was never completely away from the boys. In essence, she wouldn’t have time to tread the waters of uncertainty. Since Mako was always round, the connection through proximity stayed. Maybe— just maybe— that was why she couldn’t move on even when she was sure Mako spent too much time with Asami.
“Travel with me.” Tahno suddenly said.
The suggestion caught Korra by surprise. Her train of emotional breakdown was halted by such a sentence and what made it interesting was that it was in sync with her thoughts. She didn’t want to run away per say, but she wanted time away from Mako. She needed to get over her feelings. She needed to find the bridge that would lead her across the river of unrequited feelings. However, she was still hesitant.
Go with Tahno? That didn’t seem just right. It was even fishy that he suggested such a proposal seeing as he was the type to avoid outdoor adventures— except here he was, suggesting it.
“I don’t know Tahno,” trailed Korra.
“I haven’t been honest with you, Korra.” Tahno said, which caught her interest. Honest about what? “I’ve always thought you needed time away from your Krew. I just didn’t know how to tell you without making myself seem like the bad guy.” He had this stoic look on his face. “Except now I don’t care anymore if I do.”
He looked straight at her eyes.
“YOU NEED A VACATION.” He said sternly.
She was taken aback by the serious side of Tahno. When did he become mature? What happened during the time they were away from each other?
“O-okay. I-I’ll think about it.” Korra stuttered.
Korra had her head planted firmly on the palm of her hand. Her left arm had found its place on the armrest and never bothered to remove itself from the location. She had only left that position just once and that was to get her measurements. She lazily watched the tailor’s assistants run around the room searching for cloth, measuring tape, scissors, and whatever else was needed to style a dress. It wasn’t styling, but more of designing— either way, Korra regretted being caught by Mako and Asami.
The two really didn’t back down in trying to get her to go out and help with the preparations. The escape she did last time didn’t work again because when she jumped down, Mako caught her red-handed. So the two knew? They knew she escaped through the window. No wonder it was only Asami who had gone to fetch her.
She grumbled at the recall, which didn’t go unnoticed by Mako. He glared at her, which she didn’t bother to question or acknowledge. She simply let out a ‘hmph’ to express her discontent with the situation. She glanced around the store to find a distraction from the inconvenient situation. She fidgeted in her seat when she couldn’t find anything to occupy her mind.
“Wipe that scowl off your face, Korra.” Mako ordered.
She jerked her head towards his direction and glared at him. “I didn’t agree to this.”
“But Asami wanted you to be, so be nice.”
“Be nice?” She mocked him. “That’s sounds funny, especially coming from you.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” He said a little bit louder than normal.
“Let’s see you ignorant ferret…” Korra started. “One, you could’ve told me about the proposal. Two, you could’ve told me that you didn’t like me anymore. Three, you could’ve told me to give up.”
“Since when have you nicknamed me ferret?” Mako questioned.
“Really Mako? Out of all things to ask, you pick that. I can’t believe this.” Korra exasperated.
Before Mako could even retort, Asami suddenly called for his attention. He glared at Korra one last time before walking towards Asami. All Korra did was roll her eyes in reply and glance at their direction. She needed to calm down; she was sure of that. However, she knew she wouldn’t be able to achieve that within their proximity. It continued wrecking her inner thoughts and it didn’t help that she wasn’t in a familiar place. Then it caught her eye— Asami giving a kiss on Mako’s cheek. Korra was jealous, but she could also see the smile on Mako’s face when Asami did such an act.
Korra was confused. She had feelings for Mako both of want and of bitterness. However, she also cared about his happiness. Why couldn’t fate line up to match her feelings and her life? She groaned and let her head roll back. She looked at the ceiling, staring at nothingness, but with so much on her mind. She wanted to run away now; she wanted to escape. Though people say running away from your problems wasn’t good, it certainly didn’t help her emotional state.
Travel with me.
She suddenly stood up from her seat, which startled the couple. She looked outside to get a brief idea what time it was— late afternoon. The district they were at was quite far from her intentions, so she’d arrive there by nightfall if she attempted it. She looked back at the couple who was still looking at her.
“I’m going outside to get some air,” covered up Korra though her body tensed. She was so used to the bathroom excuse, but she knew that wouldn’t get her outside.
“Oh, sure Korra,” replied Asami.
Korra nodded and exited the door. She could feel Mako eyeing her movements even when she was outside. She took a deep breath and did small jumps to warm up. She looked back inside to see if Mako was still eyeing her— and true enough, he was. She made the biggest grin ever and he knew— he knew what she was about to do.
Korra ran as fast as she could. No way was she going to let Mako catch her or the driver that was waiting for them outside, but it’s not like he’ll move without orders from Asami or Mako.
She was sweating when she arrived at her destination— Tahno’s house. It wasn’t anything fancy considering fancy to her was Asami’s mansion. The house looked like an apartment, from the outside, but she knew it was Tahno’s. It looked a tad worn down probably due to Tahno’s lack of exterior upkeep. But there was something different— it was too quiet.
She knocked on the door hoping it would be heard. Luckily, it was and the door swung open revealing a sweaty and surprised Tahno. However, the surprised look slowly formed into a smirk and Korra was certain he was going to retort something inappropriate.
“Save it, Tahno. Are you going to let me in?” Korra sternly asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Even if I say no, you’re still going to push your way in.” Tahno stated as if it was a fact.
True enough, Korra barged into the home. It wasn’t her first time to be at Tahno’s home. Before her adventures with The Krew, she’d drop by Tahno’s place to check up on him from time to time because both of them were unable to keep their daily after lunch meet-ups, so they’d check up on each other randomly whenever they met. At times, Korra dropped by just for fun because she wanted to escape the stress at air Temple Island and take it out on Tahno.
However, what she saw shocked her. The place that was normally a mess was clean for once. Things were in order and there weren’t balls of paper all over the floor. She was gone for a month. What happened while she gone? Not a lot should’ve happened to Tahno while she was gone, right? Her heart tightened a bit. It bothered her that she didn’t know what happened to Tahno while she was gone. Until she noticed… the place wasn’t clean; it was almost empty.
Then she heard a bird chirping. At the corner of her eye, she saw Tahno approaching the cage with what looked like feed in his hands. Korra saw a blue bird in the cage, which was peculiar. Last time she was at Tahno’s place, no bird existed.
“Since when did you have a bird?” Korra inquired.
“Three weeks ago I think.” Tahno replied. “It was meant for therapy. I was supposed to get a fish, but it reminded me too much about waterbending. Then I saw this blue bird and it was noisy, just like a certain girl I know.” He eyed her to make his point. “She’s named Uh-vatar.”
Korra raised an eyebrow, trying to hold in a chuckle. “Seriously?” She even bit on her bottom lip to stop herself.
“Don’t get cocky. That’s my job.” Tahno pointed out. “So what are you here for? I’d like assume you want private lessons but—“
“Travel with me.” Korra cut in.
Tahno suddenly stopped washing the leftover feed out of his hands. There was a moment of silence where neither of spoke up. Tahno was just looking at his hands while Korra looked away from Tahno to avoid the awkwardness. Korra was still unsure of her decision, but her gut told her that she should bring up the proposal. Tahno, on the other hand, was unsure whether he should be elated or suspicious— only a day had passed since the suggestion.
“Are you sure? There’s no backing out.” He said in the most serious tone he could possibly conjure.
“I’ve concluded I need time away. Plus, you offered, might as well take the chance,” explained Korra.
Tahno hung his head low to try to hide the small smile that was forming on his face. In truth, his suggestion was also for his sake. He also figured out that he couldn’t live a life without Korra— the Korra who helped him return to his feet. She was his pillar of support; he needed her in his life. In a way, his suggestion to ‘run away’ was so he could build a bond that was more than friends with Korra— without having to be judged.
“We leave in a week’s time. Have everything fixed by then,” ordered Tahno.
“What are you going to do about Uh-vatar?” Korra wondered. She found it cute that Tahno named a pet after her.
“Set her free I guess. She needs to be free like a certain someone.” Tahno smirked.
“You might not survive without her.”
“I will. I’ll be with the real thing.” Tahno smiled seductively to which Korra replied to with a splash of water at his face. Wetting Tahno has never gotten old.
“Bo, where is Korra?” Mako questioned.
“I don’t know man.” Bolin replied while shuffling his feet.
“You don’t know? What do you mean you don’t know?” Mako said with his voice slowly becoming louder.
“Calm down Mako. There must be an explanation for this.” Asami said as she tried to calm down her hot-headed fiancée.
“There’s something fishy Asami.” Mako started to explain. “Korra just happens to disappear on the same day Tenzin and his family go for a countryside trip. I know Korra isn’t with them since she was with us when she said good-bye. We left her for just an hour then she suddenly disappears.”
“I know Mako but—“
“Weren’t you the one who wanted Korra to part of this planning?” Mako pointed out.
“Bolin, don’t you try running away.” Mako eyed his brother. “I know you know something.”
“Look bro…” Bolin sighed. “I don’t know where Korra went, but she wanted me to give this to you and Asami. That’s all I know and have.” Bolin handed a letter in his pocket to the couple. “I’ll be at the back if you need me… again.”
As Bolin walked off, Mako tore the envelope open much to Asami’s discretion to be calm. He had tore the envelope a bit too near the actually letter that a portion had been torn. Asami pulled out the letter and opened it.
Dear Mako and Asami,
By the time you’ll receive this, I’ll be boarding on a boat going somewhere. I don’t know where I’m going myself, but I’m with an insanely close friend, so I’ll be okay. Mako, before you go stalking Tenzin if he knew about it, I’ll answer that thought of yours. Yes, Tenzin knows; that is why he also left on the same day. He didn’t want to deal with the drama that would ensue once I leave. I don’t know when I will be back or whether I’ll be there for your wedding. I’m sorry for leaving the two of you hanging, but you have the right to know why I left earlier than scheduled (since you guys know I’m supposed to be traveling as the Avatar after your wedding).
I don’t think I’ll be able to do my job as chief bridesmaid. I know you’d tell me that I could do it, Asami, but I can’t do it when I still have feelings for Mako. I can’t be happy for you two while these feelings of mine for Mako still prevail and being around the two of you doesn’t help either. I decided I needed time away to forget and accept. It’s easier to do such an act if you guys aren’t around. I’m really sorry you two, especially to you Asami.
The waterbender of The Krew,
“Korra…” Asami mumbled. “I’m sorry… I didn’t know.”
The breeze coming from the bay was relaxing as ever. The smell of sea salt lingered in her mind. She couldn’t wait to leave and go on a whole new adventure. Her bags were on Naga’s back since the day before and Naga stayed at someone else’s place the night before. Of course Naga would be going with her. Naga was her first best friend and companion; plus, she helped transportation-wise.
“So are we going?” A voice called out.
Korra eyed the man in question. He had a smirk on his face as usual, which made Korra roll her eyes. “That bird never left your side.” She pointed at the blue bird flying beside the guy.
“She never shuts up too.” Tahno eyed the blue bird that landed on his shoulder.
“So… you never told me where we were going first.” She asked at they boarded the boat.
“I was thinking the Southern Water Tribe,” said Tahno as he glanced at Korra.
A smile formed on Korra’s face and that was all Tahno could ask for at that moment.