Disclaimer: I don't own Korra, but I think this is pretty obvious. Yeah.
Important note: It takes place right after ep. 6. It's pretty much my headcanon for what happens to Tahno after... well. If you don't want spoilers of the episode, don't read it.
Tahorra. First posted at my tumblr (greycrayon). Good reading! C:
He felt the very familiar touch of the water dripping from his hands as he wake up. The dirty ground in which he was lying felt cold against his chin, and while he lifted his own body up, he noticed he was feeling a great pain in a lot of muscles. His arms. His legs. His back. His head.
Tahno's eyes captured the confuse images of metal benders all over the place, alongside with fragments of what once was the pro-bending arena. Some of them looked at him with pity and annoyance merged in a single glare, others just gestured for him to go away of that place.
What the hell just happened?
The only thing he remebered clearly was the dizziness he experimented while being thrown off of the ring. Tahno rarely was pushed out of the ring in his regular pro-bending matches, so he guessed that feeling so unfamiliar with that was normal. But, wait. He wasn't thrown off by another team. Someone pushed him into the water, while holding him and his teammates.
Then it all come at once at his head - the masked face, the sudden panic that took the entire place, the voices, the fear he felt.
"I'll give you everything. Just please don't take my bending!"
That's right. His bending.
Forgetting the annoying pain that kept his legs trembling, Tahno turned to the water around him, and noticed that his hand was trembling too as he lifted his arm in the usual position he always used to bend water.
He made an abrupt movement with his right hand, which would usually make the water rise abruptely in a cilindric form and blast into the nearest solid thing. But nothing happened.
Tahno tried his best to not panic. That was a rough movement, and he knew that some waterbenders had problems doing it. Even himself, probably.
He lifted his arm again, and tried something more soft - a simple movement that should make the water float in the air. But again, nothing happened.
His hands trembled more. Well, that could be the work of a chi-blocker. That's it. A few minutes and it would be gone. Just a few minutes.
Tahno decided to wait, feeling incredibly impatient. As if his situation wasn't enough, now he noticed that a lot of the police metal benders that were surrouding the place started to stare at him, like they knew - or saw - something he didn't. He had the impression that one of them called for the Avatar name - Korra -, but wasn't sure. He hoped she wasn't around. The last thing he needed now was his great waterbender rival.
After what seemed an eternity for him, Tahno walked towards the water once again, and lifted his hand. This time, he tried a begginer's movement, that probably even a blind child of any water tribe could do.
And he couldn't.
He felt his eyes burning - a very uncommon sensation for him. Then, a single tear rolled down his cheek. Others were coming, but he supressed them. They weren't tears only of sadness - they were tears of anger, frustration, and emptiness, too.
He'd rather be dead than without his bending ability. Without being able to be a pro-bender.
- No. - he whispered, as he tried to do the same movement he tried just a few seconds ago. Nothing. - No. - Again, nothing. - No. No!
He stared at his empty hands - they looked stupid now. Tahno felt pathetic. The few metal benders around him started to go away, probably noticing that he finally realized what happened to him. They didn't want to watch that man in pain. Tahno missed his bending even more, wishing he could blast some cold water on those stupid police men.
Now he let himself fall on the floor, and kept staring at his hand while the tears were fighting against his eyelids. He couldn't see it, but his face was even more pale than usual.
Tahno screamed. He punched the floor, injuring his hand. And he couldn't care less about that damn hand. He just wanted to bend again.
He didn't know how long he kept sitting down and staring at his hands, without really see them. Tahno only knew that, at some point, a voice he knew very well came to his ears.
"You still here?"
Tahno violently wiped his tears, almost punching his own eye as he did so. Then he turned to face his most formidable pro-bending rival - the Avatar.
"And you still alive?", he replied, trying to wear his best ironic smile. "I thought that those equalist guys came for you."
"Not really. They just wanted to make a big mess. I guess we're at war now." She paused and took a long time staring at him. "Are you alright?"
Ah, what a funny question, he thought.
"Why do you even care?"
"It's not about me caring or not. It's about you looking like shit."
Tahno smiled a little.
"Why, thank you. I'll take it as a compliment, coming from a person who always calls me 'pretty boy'."
Korra rolled her eyes, and decided not to answer.
"Anyway, you better go home now, Tahno. There's a investigation going on here and all. I don't get what the hell you're doing here. I thought you fled in the moment Amon came."
The name made Tahno shrink. Korra kept staring at him, and she knew that something wasn't completely right. He wasn't telling everything.
"...What are you hiding?"
"You look weird. You're not even standing up."
"I don't see how this means I'm hiding something."
"Body language means a lot, pretty boy. You're not telling me everything. And I'm not talking about you cheating on pro-bending matches."
"You know nothing, Avatar." He stared at her emptily. "And that's why you have no right to judge what I do or to want to know every single shit about me."
Korra felt the anger going through her veins.
"Fine!" she almost screamed as she turned away. "Do what you want. You're right. I don't care. And if you keep being a jerk, no one else will care too."
Tahno watched her ponytail wavering in the air as she turned away. He had to say it. She would find out anyway, even if he kept quiet. She was the damn Avatar. He'd rather tell her himself than having her listening it from someone else who could distort what he went through.
"I've lost my bending."
Korra stopped walking. She slowly turned to him, with big surprised blue eyes.
"He took it away", said Tahno in a low voice, avoiding the blue orbs. "I think he did the same to my teammates."
The Avatar breathed in and out slowly, and kept staring at him. She knew that kind of fear - the fear of losing everything she was. Everything Tahno had just lost. His pain was probably thousand times stronger than hers.
"I'm... I'm so sorry, Tahno."
He kept himself in silence for a while, before answering.
"Don't pity me. I'd rather having you make fun of me or some shit. Just don't look at me like I'm some sort of poor little thing."
"I don't pity you!", she said, but Tahno could see her eyes filled with pity. Pity and a little bit of sadness. "It's just... so terrible. I wish I could have done something." She took a small breath. "You know, no matter how much of a jerk you are... you don't deserve it. No one does. I'm truly sorry for you, Tahno."
Tahno decided not to answer. He thought about how many times she called him a jerk, and how much he wanted to be in his best mood to answer that in a proper way. But he wasn't.
The next thing he knew was that she was sitting in front of him.
"There was a time I thought he would take my bending, too" said Korra. "I challenged him, and he captured me. He could have done it, but he said he was saving me for something bigger. I have nightmares about it." She regretted saying the last phrase, almost sure that Tahno would tease her. But he didn't. His empty eyes were staring the space next to him. She wasn't sure if he was even listening, but decided to continue.
"He tried to take Bolin's bending away, too", Korra said as she noticed how messy the usually-flamboyant hair of Tahno was. "But we were lucky to save him just in time."
"Good for you and for your friends", he said in a low voice.
"No, there's nothing good about it." Korra stood up, and walked until she was blocking his vision completely. Tahno stared at her, looking a little annoyed. "There's nothing good about having to worry everyday if our bendings will be taken away. If we can have a pro-bending match without a bunch of equalists destroying everything." For the first time, to Tahno, she looked more like a real Avatar than a little girl. "You are a victim of Amon, Tahno. You can fight with us. You, more than me, or Bolin, or Mako, knows what is it to live in fear. To be taken away of yourself."
"Well, it's great to know I'm the source of such great knowledge. But I don't think it'll be helpful to you, Avatar."
"You can fight against him, you can fight with us-"
"You keep saying this", he interrupted her, stooding up slowly to face her properly. The pain attacked his legs. "But you forgot I don't have a way to fight anymore. I've lost all the power I could have, dear Avatar."
"Bending is not the only way of being powerful!" Korra got closer to him, resisting to the urge of shaking Tahno by his collar - maybe he would work better with a little bit of violence. "And winning Amon it's not about power. There's a lot of ways you can help, Tahno."
"You've forgot", he said slowly, "that I'm not your friend. We're rivals."
Korra changed her usual annoyed face she used for Tahno to a softer expression.
"Do you see that arena?" She pointed out the place. "Up there, we're rivals. But it's in pieces now." She patted on his shoulder, and Tahno almost cried as he felt his entire body in pain. "Let's end up this mess so we can get our arena back and engage in a fair combat. Then I'll be your rival. But we'll need to face Amon to get it back."
Tahno used his best ironic smile.
"I'm afraid I can't be your enemy on that arena anymore. Not your enemy or anyone's enemy. Not in pro-bending." His chest got a little tight.
"Then let's be allies!" She spoke so loud that Tahno shrank with surprise. "You and me, pretty boy. I'm sure you've got what it takes to punch Amon's face. Just let me know if you appreciate the idea."
With that, she walked away, taking a shortcut to go upstairs, where Lin Beifong requested her presence. Tahno sat down again, her words floating on his head.
It felt like a part of his emptiness walked away and disappeared, just like Korra did.
ahsdjodfko I just love this pairing. I know they'll never be canon, but whatever. I love every pairing at TLoK, but this one is pretty much my OTP. Shall I write another chapter of this? xD