Disclaimer: I don't own Korra.
Okay, so this is all part of the Tahno headcanon Nathalie and I came up with. She's writing the next part of it. C:
maybe tahno's ooc maybe he's not
i don't even know anymore because he's perfect and bsdkjfgdsbf i love tahno so much his sleaze personality has so many possible angles to work from sdlkgbsdkjfbd
also, when korra first found out, she was so angry she could have fought a platypus bear with her bare hands (no pun intended, because that was super lame) but then she ranted to pema, who pointed out that it probably wasn't because she was the avatar because he didn't have anything about her or roku or kuruk or yangchen or kyoshi and aang was pretty cool, so.
okay so here, this takes place after they've been dating a while and just so we're clear, you can either think they have sex on a regular basis or not.
i mean, they're not, but if you want to think that, okay. like for me, it's just that they like sleeping in the same bed together; they've both been lonely for so long, they crave closeness.
but sure, sex works.
just so we're clear though, korra doesn't sleep over there every night. like, a couple times a week.
and yeah, mako's totally jealous.
Korra had been to Tahno's apartment many times, had seen the Spartan accommodations and the various jars filled with cash that he hid throughout said apartment. She knew that he wasn't lacking for cash; in fact, it was the opposite. He was practically rolling in it. But other than what he spent on her, he didn't spend very much money at all.
He used his bending abilities to style his hair, having figured out a way to do so since he had arrived in Republic City years before. He used the same water to wash his clothes and his dishes, separating the water from the filth and grime, like in one of Katara's stories about her travels with Avatar Aang and the rest of the gang. He patched up his clothes when they got worn out, and he didn't have a radio. There was no electricity in his apartment at all, only candles. In many ways, Korra thought that Tahno's living style was even more like an airbender's than Tenzin's.
She knew that it wasn't that he was a cheapskate; the people of the Foggy Swamp didn't have many of the same things that Republic City did. Everything that Tahno did here was normal to him because this was what he did for the first fifteen years of his life.
But still, when Korra found an empty glass jar behind the sink one day, she knew something was odd.
"Tahno?" She called, walking into the living room with the jar cradled in her hands. "Hey, did you use some of your money?"
Tahno looked up from the newspaper, blinking at the empty jar. "No—" He started to say before he seemed to remember something and nodded, "Wait, yeah. I did. I went to the marketplace last week." He flashed a smile at his girlfriend. "Are you my keeper now?"
"Hm, no, I just thought it was weird. 'Cause you never use any money," Korra replied with a shrug, plopping onto the couch next to him. She kicked off her shoes, propping her feet across Tahno's lap as she beamed innocently at him. "Can't I worry about your missing one jar of cash?"
"Don't worry," Tahno snorted, folding up the newspaper before he put it aside for the moment, "I still have plenty to spend on you, baby."
"No 'baby.'" Korra wrinkled her nose. "Don't be a creep." She wiggled her toes at him. "My feet hurt." When he gave her a look that clearly asked what she wanted him to do about it, she huffed, "Please help me out here?"
"Remember when I mentioned the scent of losers a couple of years ago?" Tahno asked as he began massaging Korra's feet. At her nod, he smirked and said, "I was wrong; this is the scent of losers."
Korra blinked at him. "Okay, if you weren't so good at this, I would dump your butt right now." She leaned back on the couch arm with a grin. "You are so lucky you have magic hands."
"Is that all I am to you?" Tahno countered with a smile, "Just a pair of magic, non-healing waterbender hands that make you cry over my treatment of your feet?"
"Yeah," came the blunt reply. "Face it, pretty boy; this is all you're good for." The brunette shrugged, blue eyes amused as she raised an eyebrow at the other waterbender. "My feet don't smell. And if they did, you can't bet that they would smell like triumph and kickassery."
"Kickassery isn't a word, sweetheart." Tahno's fingers dug into the sole of her foot, and he smiled innocently at her when she shot him a glare. "I love you."
"Liar," Korra pouted, throwing one hand over her face. "If you loved me, then you'd go toe-to-toe with me."
"When are we going to let that go?" A throaty chuckle sounded from the pale waterbender. "We're on rival teams; do you want to get us both kicked out before the season's even begun?"
"We can't get kicked out before the season starts, Tahno," Korra said slowly, as if talking to someone particularly dim-witted. She crossed her arms over her chest. "Unless you're just too scared to fight me."
"I'm not going to fight you, Korra," Tahno said for what seemed like the thousandth time.
"Look, just because I'm your girlfriend doesn't mean that you—" Korra cut herself off, choosing instead to smile beseechingly at Tahno. "I'm up for those private lessons you offered."
"Two things," Tahno held up two fingers. "One, I think you've had enough…private lessons, darling," he said with a leer. One finger came down.
Korra huffed at him. "I can't decided whether to take that as a sexual innuendo or not."
Tahno ignored her. "And two, I'm not refusing to fight you because you're my girlfriend and I don't want to hurt you, Korra."
Tahno cut her off. "I'm refusing to fight you because you're my girlfriend and I'm afraid you might hurt me." He flipped his hair out of his eyes and smiled at Korra. "You are the Avatar." He looked at her seriously. "But if it ever gets out of this room that I'm afraid my girlfriend is stronger than me, I'm never touching your feet again."
"This isn't Avatar Kuruk's time, Tahno." Korra rolled her eyes, punching him lightly in the arm. "That was a sexist comment and I'm gonna get you for that." She recoiled in mock horror, her arms held up in front of her as she pitched her voice higher. "Oh no! I punched you! How will you ever live with the shame?"
"The same way you're living without a decent foot rub ever again," Tahno laughed, pushing her feet off of his lap. "Now come on, I'm kicking you out."
"What, are you serious?" Korra exclaimed incredulously. "Tahno, I was kidding!"
"Relax." He chuckled. "Go take your nap; if I see Tenzin, I'll just tell him that I haven't seen you. I'm just going shopping."
That caught her attention.
Tahno…going shopping? What in the world would he buy? Korra's interest was immediately piqued. As she tugged on her shoes, she grinned at Tahno. "Can I come with?"
Her boyfriend's silver eyes locked onto her blue ones, and he raised an eyebrow. "You seem strangely excited to accompany me, so…"
Korra's smile grew wider.
She punched him in the stomach. "Jerkbender."
In retrospect, Korra didn't know why she was so caught off guard when she saw Tahno wearing what she had dubbed his obedient grandson clothes. His normally carefully-styled hair was pulled back into a short ponytail at the nape of his neck, hidden by the high collar of his shirt and the large cap on his head. He even had his reading glasses on, paired with some of his shabbiest clothes.
When she barged into the living room after she had heard him come back, she wasn't expecting his appearance. Neither, it seemed, was Tahno expecting hers.
Her hair was loose around her face, framing wild eyes and flushed cheeks. She had shed her parka and fur pelts in favor of one of Tahno's old shirts with his team insignia on it and a pair of boxers printed with flying lemurs. Though Korra was physically stronger, Tahno was still broader than she was in the shoulders and taller as well. His clothes dwarfed her.
It was unclear which one of them actually said that.
"Now, if only I could get you to wear my clothes at night," Tahno said with a suggestive raise of his eyebrows. "I think you'd look much better in the moonlight."
"You're a pervert, you know that?" Korra's hands came to rest on her hips as she glared at him.
His smile mocked her as he removed his glasses and the cap, setting them aside on the table. "So? You tell me all the time."
"Well, you are," Korra huffed, but then she relented and shot him a smile. "Someone has to keep your huge ego in check, you know."
"Does that mean I keep yours in check?" Tahno asked as he walked up to her, leaning down to kiss her on the cheek. When he pulled away, he eyed the boxers she wore with disdain. "Did you really have to wear this pair of boxers?"
"They were the most embarrassing." Korra shrugged, her grin cheeky.
"So, yes?" he murmured quietly, leaning his forehead against hers.
"Yeah," she breathed.
Tahno chuckled, his voice almost as gravelly as it was in the mornings before he woke up properly. "What about the shirt?"
"Don't tell the guys; Mako'll wail about how I'm betraying the team." Korra laughed as she kissed him. She pulled away with a light nip on his bottom lip. "You know, rivalries and all that."
"Mm, he needs some ego handling too," Tahno mused. His grip on the bags slackened and they fell to the floor with a light thump.
Korra suddenly remembered that he was just out and she reached for the bags. "What'ja buy?" Korra asked, excitement laced throughout her voice. "You never buy anything!"
Tahno quickly swiped the bags before she could get them. "That's not true," Tahno said, chuckling as he held the bags high above his head. Korra struggled to reach them. "I buy things for you all the time."
"Ew, that just sounds weird." Korra crinkled her nose, pressing herself against Tahno, using him to steady herself while she reached for the bags in vain. "Why can't I look at them?"
"You'll laugh," he stated stubbornly, shifting his bags to one arm while the other slipped around Korra's waist to prevent her from toppling over.
She was still trying to get to the bags. "Hey, trust me, it can't be any weirder than your shrine to my past life in the hallway closet."
Tahno dropped the bags in shock. As Korra pounced onto the bags, he swallowed hard. "Wait…you…you know about that?"
"Yeah. Where do you think I took the boxers from?" Korra shrugged, plopping onto the ground and looking through the bags with excitement. When she saw it was full of books chronicling Aang's adventures, she rolled her eyes and set them aside. "Really, Tahno? More books about me?"
"Technically, they're about Aang," Tahno said before he blinked. "Wait, so this—" he gestured to the books and in the general direction of the hallway closet "—doesn't freak you out? At all?"
"Tahno, I knew about this for a while," Korra laughed. "If it freaked me out, you would have known sooner."
"And you're not angry, right?" Tahno asked, sitting down on the floor next to her as he picked up the books and attempted to wipe the covers of any fingerprints without her notice.
It wasn't as discreet as he hoped it would be; Korra watched him with amusement dancing in her sea-blue eyes. "Actually," she said hesitantly, a light blush settling high on her cheeks. "I think it's kind of cute."
Tahno paused, looking up from the stack of books with surprise lighting his handsome features. "…Cute?"
"Well, yeah," Korra said sheepishly, scratching the back of her head. "I mean, I got kind of mad when I found out because I thought it was you wanting me because I was the Avatar and then I was like, 'if I was a guy, would he be dating me too?' but it was morning and you were still sleeping and I felt bad about waking you, so I left. Then I talked to Pema about it and I realised that it was only Avatar Aang stuff you had in there—there wasn't anything with any other Avatar—so I figured you probably just hero-worshipped him."
"It's not because, in a weird sort of way, you're him," Tahno said quietly, blinking at her. "Our relationship has nothing to do with that."
"I believe you." Korra took the books from his lap and she bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing when he stopped his hand from reaching for them. "You might be a raging fanboy, but I know that you wouldn't use me like that."
Tahno was silent, watching Korra. It seemed to her now that his eyes were silver, but also the color of mirrors. Truthfully, they were like mirrors as well; she could read the happiness in them, that she had accepted this part of himself that he kept hidden from most everyone.
"Hey," Korra said, scooting closer to Tahno and wrapping her arms around him. She rested her chin on his shoulder. "I get it. I mean, I worshipped Toph Beifong and the ground she walked on."
Tahno leaned his head against hers. "I love you," he said, his voice almost inaudible.
"You better." She grinned.
Later that night, as Korra laid awake next a sleeping Tahno, she chuckled quietly.
His arms were wrapped around the stuffed Appa that she had fetched from the closet-shrine to convince him that she really was okay with the "biggest fan of your past incarnation" thing. She had forced Tahno to sit down and tell her all about his obsession with Aang.
According to him, his grandfather had actually known Aang, and Tahno had grown up listening to stories about the man. Baby pictures showed Tahno as a toddler, bending steam with mud arrows drawn on his head and across his arms. He had not been quite two when Aang died, but he cried for a week all the same. Growing up in the swamp, he hadn't had many opportunities to indulge in his desire to learn more about the great man. When he first moved to Republic City and started earning serious cash, he was finally able to satisfy his curiosity by buying all the books he could about Aang.
The posters, stuffed animals, and everything else was just him being stupid with his money.
("My biggest dream when I was little," Tahno admitted sheepishly, "was to meet Avatar Aang.")
He explained that he actually approached Korra initially because she was the Avatar, hoping that he'd be able to learn more about Aang through interaction with her. He was suitably disappointed that she wasn't like Aang at all, but he couldn't say that he was disappointed that she was so pretty.
("It was like you were trying to make up for not being my hero," Tahno teased, poking her nose, "by being just my type."
"Of girl?" Korra snorted.
"Person," Tahno corrected. "I didn't think of you romantically just yet; I thought that maybe we could be friends instead." He smirked at her. "I don't think you felt the same.")
Now, as Korra looked at Tahno, whose dark hair shone silver in the moonlight, she felt love for him welling up in her chest. It couldn't have been easy for him to admit his obsession with Aang, especially since he revealed that his first love (the one that turned him into a heartbreaker) had completely rejected him when she found out how much he adored Avatar Aang. Since then, he'd moved all his things that involved Aang into the closet, keeping only a few out in the open.
His silver eyes fluttered open and he yawned. "What are you doing still up?" His breath moved several strands of his hair, tickling her face.
"Just thinking," she answered softly.
"Mm, what about?" Tahno asked. "It's close to midnight."
Korra studied his face for a moment; it was peaceful and happy. There was something about a sleepy Tahno that made him so trusting and truthful. She liked it, but she also liked it when he was fully awake and sarcastic, tossing mocking insults at her that weren't really intended to hurt. She reached for his hand, bringing it up and twining their fingers together. "Just about how happy I am."
"Mm, 's because of me, right?" Tahno gave her a small smile, tugging her closer to his body so that he could hug her. "Think tomorrow."
Korra leaned into the warm embrace, her forehead inches away from his and their breath mingling. "Okay."
Her eyes closed.
A week later, Korra was not amused when she opened the door to Tahno's apartment only to find a large poster of Avatar Aang staring into her soul.
"Tahno!" she yelled, slamming the door behind her. "When I start seeing big pictures of Aang on the wall, it's not cute anymore!"