/*Mature Content Warning*/

I Want You to Stay

Chapter Four


No matter how hard she tried, Korra could not get used to Tahno's presence on the island. For one thing, his dark, somber exterior stood out like a sore thumb among Tenzin's cheerful family and the pleasant acolytes, but that hardly justified why thoughts of him rarely left her mind. Especially when she was trying to sleep at night.

The knowledge that he was in a bed somewhere under the same roof as her would sometimes have her tossing around in her sheets, punching her pillow in frustration. Some essence that Tahno possessed was causing some sort of aggravated energy to be pent up inside her, and it was steadily getting worse. She couldn't write it off as annoyance like she once had back when they were enemies; in fact she had felt no true animosity towards him at all since that fateful night when he had been "equalized".

Tahno had been nothing but cooperative and civil ever since he had agreed to stay at the Air Temple, so there was nothing she could find at fault with him. He had been very subdued at first, keeping his head lowered and barely speaking at meal times, and Korra had felt it would be best to give him his space for a while. He had been through a lot in the past few months after all.

But after a couple weeks of adjusting to the routines of the temple, as well as helping supply information about the Red Monsoons to the Council and the police, he seemed to be warming up more. Confidence returned to his manner and stride, and even some of that old charm was making a come around. In those weeks, Korra and Tahno didn't do much chatting outside of a brief greeting whenever they crossed paths, but each time she was left with a prickling of heat crawling up her spine and a fluttering pulse that she refused to acknowledge. The same feeling also came over her whenever their eyes happened to meet across the dinner table.

The reason behind all this mysterious energy hit her like a ton of bricks one afternoon while she was crossing one of the courtyards. Tahno was leaning casually against a wall and talking to a few of the Air Acolytes. Pretty, young, female acolytes. Even from the distance between them, Korra could still make out the smooth tone of his voice, and the blushes and fluttering eyelashes of the young women as they tittered up at him. Jealousy flared up inside her with such violence that for a moment she happily envisioned each one of them falling off a cliff.

"Oh, Avatar Korra!" one of the girls suddenly chirped as she noticed Korra standing there gawking at them. "Have you heard some of Tahno's stories? He's so funny!"

"Oh yeah, he sure is," Korra answered sourly as she walked closer to them. Tahno turned to face her expectantly as she approached, and there was nothing she could do to cover her ill mood. "You should hear about the time he met Naga. I never knew guys his age could make that kind of sound," she said before letting out a fake laugh. "By the way, Tahno, before I forget, Pema has that wart cream you were asking about."

That part was a boldfaced lie, and Korra wasn't entirely sure why it had jumped out of her mouth. Tahno stared at her quizzically with a raised eyebrow and she felt herself flush slightly, but she didn't care. She didn't want any other girls interested in him. She wanted his flirtatious behavior, and she had never been adept at hiding her feelings. Then without another word she turned on her heel and left before he could retort.

Later that night she laid in bed with too many thoughts running through her mind to possibly get any sleep, so she quickly gave up in favor of a walk under the stars in hopes it would give her a clearer head. And apparently she wasn't alone in her restless night. She found Tahno out away from all the sleeping quarters, practicing his waterbending, and she was suddenly struck by the pleasing way he pivoted his figure with the fluid movements.

"Ah," he said as he caught sight of her watching him. "Did you bring my wart cream?"

Korra chewed on her lip awkwardly before responding. "Very funny. I'm not sure why I said that earlier, okay?"

"You know, you haven't said much of anything to me lately, except when the topic of the Monsoons come up. Then it's all business," he informed her while letting a stream of water slosh down into a bucket.

"You've been great with all that by the way. Lin told us today that her force has just about closed in on Mad Wolf, and it's all thanks to you."

"Glad to be of service," Tahno said with a false lightness. "So, you can't sleep either?" he asked, changing the subject.

Korra shook her head. "I've had some stuff on my mind…" she trailed off, aware that he was observing hey carefully. "And anyway, I've always preferred staying up late. Tenzin hates it when I do though. He thinks a 'disciplined spirit' should be early to bed, early to rise."

Tahno rolled his eyes. "No disrespect to Tenzin, but I don't think that's even remotely true. It's those damn firebenders that like to get up at the crack of dawn to greet the sun, and airbenders too I suppose. Waterbenders are natural night owls, fueled by the moon. You may be the almighty Avatar, but water is as much your heart and soul as it is mine."

"That's good. I'm gonna use that on him next he snaps at me for sleeping late," she stated as she couldn't help but smile. "So what move were you working on?" she asked, gesturing to the bucket.

"Nothing, just playing around with some of the basics. It's soothing," Tahno answered with a shrug. "It's strange how much more you appreciate the fundamentals of the thing you love after it's been taken away from you," he murmured quietly before shaking himself back into a lighter mood. "So… we never scheduled that rematch, did we?"

Korra narrowed her eyes. "It was kind of difficult to do that after you ran off," she accused.

"I honestly never thought there'd be an opportunity," he replied in defense. "It was just something that came to mind while I was with you. It was like for a moment I had forgotten I was as good as dead."

"Well you're not dead," she said with a crafty glimmer in her eye. "So I hope you're not actually trying to back out of it."

Tahno let out a low chuckle. "In your dreams."

"Alright then, let's do it."

"What, right now?"

"Sure. Unless you have something better to do," she challenged.

His lips formed a sly, half grin as his eyes briefly sized her up. "Alright, alright," he worded, lifting his palms as if it he was doing her a favor. "But we do it probending style, official rules and all," he listed, ticking off his fingers, "and waterbending only."

"Probending rules, huh? I wonder why? You never seemed to care that much about them before," Korra observed suspiciously as she crossed her arms across her chest.

"I just want it clear what this is," Tahno clarified. "I'm not asking for a one on one duel with the Avatar. I'm not an idiot. All I want is a rematch with my old probending rival."

"And how do I know you won't break any of those rules?"

"If you can prove I break any, I'll forfeit," he ceded, giving her a wink.

It didn't take long for them to prepare an area. They went further from the temple so as not to disturb anyone, locating a good spot towards the back part of the island near the beach. Korra earthbent trenches into the ground and filled them with water after making a tiebreaker-sized ring for them to fight in, and then they both stretched before facing off. The bright, nearly full moon shone down on them, giving just enough light.

The battle started off slowly as they each took the time to watch each other's movements, zeroing in on the ideal spots for attack. Korra could feel the moon pumping energy into her chi pathways and knew that he must be feeling it too. Ice wasn't allowed in probending, so nothing but flowing water passed between them as they struck, kicked, and dodged. Several times one of them would have the other nearly to the edge of the circle before the one almost overtaken did some clever maneuver that had them right back in the center again. They began going faster and faster as the minutes wore on, and despite the slight chill in the air, they were both eventually covered in sweat and panting.

At one point, Tahno took advantage of Korra getting back on her feet after a fall to quickly strip his shirt over his head. Korra did the same a little later as he was recovering from one of her water strikes, leaving just her midriff-baring undershirt. As hot as she was feeling, Korra was getting anything but tired. The excitement was building, growing stronger as the shifting of his muscles was now clear for her to see, adrenaline speeding up as he kept his predatory gaze glued to her body as they circled around each other.

Finally, Korra was sure she had him. She was just about to deliver the blow that was sure to knock him out of the ring, but a split second before she could, he twisted around, switching their positions. Then, faster than she could blink, he hooked his foot around her ankle and brought them both crashing to the ground with her on top of him. He flipped them over and pinned her down so she couldn't hop back up.

She still wasn't out yet according to the rules of probending, but she was suddenly finding herself unable to move. They were both breathing hard, bodies hot and pulsing against each other as their eyes remained locked in unsettling intensity; deep, ocean blue staring up into light, icy blue. It was too much. Korra grabbed his shoulders, prepared to push him away, but instead she pulled.

Instantly Tahno dropped his head down to meet hers, attaching their lips with unadulterated hunger. Korra's hands slid down the length of his back, urging him to push against her more, then they went up to grip his hair. She used her hold to find the best angle as their kisses deepened, and she arched her back, pressing herself closer to him, wanting more of him. He seemed to reciprocate her unspoken need and groaned as her thigh rubbed against his erection.

Korra wrapped her legs around him and rolled them over so that she was on top, straddling his lap. She lifted up to remove her undershirt, and he quickly sat up with her, moving his mouth to her bared breasts. She threw her head back and moaned up at the stars as his lips covered one nipple and his fingers tweaked the other. Then he was wrapping his arms around her waist to pull her back to him, using his teeth to nip at the smooth skin of her neck.

Before long he was on top of her once again as they made short work of the rest of their clothes. Then he guided his length inside her as she bit lightly down on his shoulder, closing her eyes against the initial discomfort. Pain turned to pleasure as he rotated his hips, and she began to move with him. The rhythmic push and pull of their bodies at first matched that of the waves on the shore not too far away, but soon they were moving faster.

Their sounds of ecstasy became muffled as their lips and tongues intertwined, as they kissed and nibbled at each other's jaw or neck, or as they gasped into each other's hair. She heard Tahno's moans growing louder as he apparently was nearing his climax, and then he moved a hand down to where they were connected. Her pleasure spiked impossibly higher as his fingers worked against her clitoris, and she felt her own release throw her into a state of absolute bliss as the white hot waves rolled through her nerve endings and seemed to stretch out to her fingers and toes.

A minute later they were laying side by side, Tahno propped up on his elbow as he skimmed his fingertips back and forth from between her breasts to her naval. Korra met his satisfied smirk with one of her own as they took the peaceful moment to catch their breath.

"So who won?" she asked him after a couple more minutes.

A small laugh left Tahno's mouth as he quirked an eyebrow. "Let's call it a tie and have another rematch later," he said in answer before sweetly touching his lips to hers once more.