AN: This story is kind of a combination of several ideas I got from different songs. The main two are "Last Chance" by Maroon 5 and "The Way I Loved You" by Taylor Swift. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own The Legend of Korra or the songs mentioned above!
Last Chance (The Way I Loved You)
"What are you doing here?" Korra demanded. She had turned away from the mirror and was suddenly face to face with Tahno.
He raised his eyebrow. "Good to see you too, Avatar," he quipped.
Korra willed herself to calm down. True, it was her wedding night. Also true was that standing before her was the man she had been with for several months while she and Mako were "taking a break." Her heart was doing a very interesting interpretive dance in her chest as she stared at Tahno. Korra told herself it was just her wedding nerves, as well as their past, that was making her feel this way.
"I'm sorry, I meant, what are you doing here?" she asked in a much more polite tone.
"You didn't think the Avatar's wedding would actually stay 'invitation only,' did you?" Tahno smirked.
"I didn't think… well…"
Tahno interrupted the Avatar's mumbling. "Incidentally, I do have an invitation. Someone thought the new Water Nation Councilman should be invited to the Avatar's wedding."
Korra blushed. "Congratulations, I didn't know."
"I think I'm the one who should be congratulating you, Korra."
The sound of her name on his lips sent shivers up her spine.
"Why did you come back here?" Korra asked and she sounded strained. Tahno had found her in her dressing room. The wedding wasn't going to start for another hour or so, and Korra had been prepping herself mentally. She was already decked in a beautiful, sky blue dress with glitter that made it sparkle like freshly fallen snow. Her hair was piled artfully on her head, and her makeup made her eyes shine.
"I just thought I'd like to see you again before you become his," Tahno replied causally.
Korra couldn't believe what he was saying. She sank into the chair at the boudoir. "You shouldn't have," she told him. Her emotions were running wild now. She was remembering all the things they'd told each other, all the touches they'd shared. It wasn't right for her to be thinking about him like this on the day she was marrying Mako!
"Why? You've decided to marry the firebender. Surely my presence won't change that."
"I don't know," Korra squeaked. Tahno had always had an effect on her that made her tell the truth.
Tahno's eyes widened. When he had begun this endeavor, he hadn't ever thought the Avatar still had feelings for him. He had honestly just wanted to see her one last time before she was married. Now it seemed he might still have a chance.
Tahno kneeled down by Korra and put his hand on her thigh. She twitched but did not move away from his touch.
"Korra," he breathed. "I know that I'm not the most reliable or composed person in the world"—images of being stood up and screaming matches came to Korra's mind—"but I really care about you. The Spirits know what I would give to have a second chance with you, but if you're having any doubts at all about the firebender, don't do this. Not for me, for yourself."
Korra didn't know what to say. Ever since she had been a teenager, she had seen herself ending up with Mako. She couldn't explain the tryst she'd had with Tahno. It had been a stupid decision, really, born out of her loneliness and desire to make Mako jealous. But it had ended up being something… more. Much more.
She had never felt more alive than when she was with Tahno. Just seeing him made every nerve in her body prickle. And when he touched her it was like he could read her mind. His kisses felt perfect; not at all like Mako's. Mako was sloppy, and he tried too hard. Beyond that, Korra felt Tahno treated her more like she had imagined being treated in a relationship. When she and Mako were just friends, they had bickered like children. Then she became his girlfriend, and that all stopped. He let her have her way for fear of making her upset and making her leave him. It didn't feel natural. Tahno had no such reservations. If he thought she was wrong he would tell her. If she wanted to debate it, he would be the first to raise his voice. Tahno had never treated her like some kind of precious commodity he couldn't bear to lose. In fact, he'd often just treated Korra like a friend. They would wrestle, tease each other, have waterbending fights, watch TV…Sometimes they wouldn't kiss or touch for days. Then, he'd bring her flowers and want to cuddle. On the days he wanted her, Tahno wanted her more than anyone she'd ever known.
It was a very up and down sort of relationship. Korra never knew what kind of mood Tahno would be in. Maybe that was what she liked about it. She liked that Tahno didn't change himself for her sake. He didn't shy away from her negative qualities, like her temper or jealousy the way Mako did. Mako was always quick to let Korra have her way and assure her of how much he needed her or how pretty she was.
Her relationship with Mako was comfortable. They fit each other's needs. She needed someone stable, not only in personality but also in life. As they had gotten older, Mako's temper had cooled. He had to grow up fast by taking on the responsibility of his younger brother, and it seemed to have taken its toll. Mako was quieter and careful with money. He had taken over Future Industries after they discovered Sato was working with the Equalists, and he made a good living. It was much more reliable than being the Avatar. Korra couldn't maintain a job while she was traveling about the world trying to help people. She had not grown out of the impulsive, loud teenager she had always been.
Mako was what she needed—but he wasn't what she wanted. She missed the drama of their old life: saving Republic City from Amon, fighting Equalists, and Pro-Bending. Now that she was an adult, Korra couldn't expect her life to remain that demanding. Yet, she could find the drama in her relationship. A relationship with Tahno would always keep her on her toes. She could be herself with him, even if it meant yelling and fighting and deciding to bring home another stray bearded cat they didn't have room for.
Korra put her hand on top of the one Tahno had put on her knee. He looked down at their hands, and then back up at Korra. There was a light in her eyes and the familiar smirk he remembered from when they were teenagers.
"What is it, Korra?" Tahno asked, not daring to believe.
"I think you just stopped me from making the worst decision of my life," she replied. Then she grabbed his face and pulled him up to her lips, kissing him deeply.
Asami stopped dead as she started to walk into Korra's dressing room. She couldn't say she was surprised to see Tahno, although she was a little surprised to find him kissing Korra. Asami had guessed from some of the long talks she had had with her good friend that Korra might not be in love with Mako anymore. Her short relationship with Tahno had changed her, and had changed her expectations of what a relationship could be. Although she didn't look forward to the aftereffects of Korra's decision, she knew it would be better for the Avatar in the long run.