A/N: This is your warning.
You gotta get him for me.
Tahno climbed over the railing of the Silk Road bridge, the icy steel biting into his palms. He'd tried every healer. No hope. He'd placed his vengeance in more capable hands. He was done, wasn't he?
He glanced over his shoulder down the dark walkway. Somehow he'd half-expected to see someone there, someone to talk him down. In spite of himself, he wanted to be talked down. But no one was coming for him. That said a lot, didn't it.
Clinging to the steel cables, Tahno forced himself to look down. He couldn't swim without waterbending. Water had never looked so deep before. He tried to couch it in romantic imagery, letting the water take him, being one with it again in some form. He let go with one hand, so close, so close. His heart pounded so fast he thought he might die before he hit the water. But the other hand stubbornly gripped the cable.
Tahno couldn't think of a thing he had in this world left to lose, or anything to look forward to. But he was scared. He was so scared.
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
He climbed back over the railing, suddenly chilled to the bone. He curled around his knees and let himself cry like he hadn't cried since he was a small child. There wasn't an ounce of shame or self-control left in him. Nothing he did mattered, except for the one thing he had just failed to do.
The crying slowed to a trickle when there was just nothing left. He tried to think of the last time he'd slept. The night before the match. The whole night after the match had been spent frantically going from healer to healer, and then he'd been busy with the police…and now he was here. He didn't know where he'd be tomorrow. Wherever cowards that don't have the courage to die wash up.
With difficulty, he dragged himself to his feet. He felt lightheaded, and the cold had sunk into every joint. He couldn't stay here forever. He had to go somewhere. Home, maybe. Not that he'd be able to keep affording that place without money coming in. He'd have to get a job….he pushed the thought away. Not tonight.
He stopped at the liquor store on the way, getting the biggest bottle of the strongest stuff they sold, and only realized when he got to the counter that he hadn't brought any money. He'd thought he'd be going someplace that was free.
"Hey, you're that Tahno, aren't you?" the man behind the counter said. "From pro-bending?"
Tahno didn't see the point in denying it. "Yeah."
"I'm sorry about what happened, kid."
Tahno just stared blankly, not really processing this. "Yeah…thanks." He continued to feel about the place in his pocket where the money would be, if he'd brought it, not really knowing how to adjust for it not being there. Walk away, maybe.
"You look like shit. Here, why don't you just take it, on the house." He pushed the bottle towards him.
Through his haze, Tahno was touched. "I'll pay you back tomorrow."
"Eh, that shit will fuck you up, you won't remember this tomorrow."
Tahno smiled weakly. "Yeah, that's the plan."
Once he was home, Tahno started on the bottle. He knocked it back hard and fast. Considering he hadn't eaten in a day either, he almost expected to throw up, but for once his body seemed to want this as much as his mind did.
He found himself in front of his bathroom mirror, staring at a stranger. Get used to that face. That's the face of someone who can't bend and can't die. That's where you're stuck for the next few decades. He rammed his fist into the glass, cracking it and pulling his hand away bloody.
Tahno stared at the blood a moment, dazed. He couldn't really feel it. That stuff really must've fucked him up after all. Good booze. He drained the rest of the bottle, and wrapped gauze messily around his knuckles.
He felt disgusting. Dirty. He didn't want to go to bed like this. He started running the bath, letting the water run over his hands, soaking into his makeshift bandage. It was so nice and warm. He became aware of himself, the former waterbender taking a bath, and laughed until he forgot why that was funny and cried.
With difficulty, he managed to pull off his clothes, and sunk into the warm bath. He thought about how close he'd come to floating in the icy waters of Yue Bay instead, and for just a moment, was glad he wasn't.
Tahno stared at the ceiling, not thinking, not feeling. The water was getting cold. He should get out now. He should go to bed, or he was going to fall asleep in here.
I'll just do that.
He blinked heavily. The light was getting a bit dimmer, it seemed.
Tahno's eyes closed, and his last muscles relaxed, letting his head sink beneath the water.
Korra stared at the newspaper.
Pro-bending star Tahno found dead in bathtub. The 20-year-old athlete was found drowned yesterday in his own home. Police are ruling the death an accident.
The article went on to briefly recount his career and what Amon had done to him. Korra re-read the part about his death. There was a picture of him next to it. It was one of the ones she'd used as target practice.
See you around, Uhvatar.
That wasn't the front page story, though. She looked again at the front page, Cabbage Corp chairman indicted for collaboration with Equalists. She didn't feel there was any justice for Tahno in that, though. He was just a casualty. Nothing actually changed for him. The world just kept marching on, same as it would have anyway.
It wasn't fair, but then, the world wasn't fair. Tahno would have known that better than most.