The interview had been stressful; he could see the strain of everything that had happened weighing hard on his nephew. Tenzin looked to Lin who gave him a nod before leaving, agreeing to leave them alone for as long as they needed.
"Have you written to your father?" he asked.
Tahno nodded slowly. "Yeah, sent him a letter this morning."
Tenzin wasn't sure exactly what to do, had Tahno been his child he would have had no problems gathering him up to comfort him, but Tahno was his grown nephew, and things were different because of that.
But studying him, Tenzin was quick to remember that Bumi was always quick to comfort his son, gathering the grown man to him as easily and naturally as he ever had when Tahno had been a child, and Tahno had never fought him; in fact, he seemed to take comfort in the familiar affection. Spurred on by these memories, Tenzin reached forward to rest a hand on Tahno's arm, which was resting on the table, only to be surprised by the speed at which Tahno jerked his arm back and away.
Tenzin sat back and waited, but Tahno said nothing, but there was a guilty expression creeping across his face and Tenzin wondered if maybe his own reaction to the younger mans-no, boy's, he seemed so much like a little boy now-displays of affection had garnered this reaction.
"You're welcome to come out to the Island." He tried instead. Tahno always enjoyed his visits to the Island, and he knew the children would be glad to have their cousin stay for a while, even with the current situation, and besides, Bumi would likely never forgive him if he didn't offer.
Tahno didn't look at him. "It's all right. I just… I'm gonna wait for dad to write back… see if it might be ok for me to stay with him for a while, on the ship… Besides, I wouldn't want to put the Uh-vatar off her training; you have enough to worry about with her there anyway. I'll be fine." The Tahno got up. "Are we done? Because I have… you know things to do."
Tenzin stood as well and moved close to his nephew and laid a hand on his shoulder, hoping to show support, and to somehow convince him to come back to the Island anyway. But Tahno's reaction stopped him, he recoiled as if burned and very quickly muttered his goodbyes and left.
Tenzin remained standing for a long time, looking at his hand. Never, not once in all the years he had been alive, had Tahno flinched like that. Tenzin closed his eyes and hoped his brother would write back soon, because he didn't think he was going to be able to get through to his nephew. Nothing he could say would convince him that it hadn't been his fault.