This series of Tahnorra drabbles follows the prompts for Tahnorra Week 2013, and each one is meant to take place in the same world as the modern AU Tahnorra story called "We Love the Water".
Day 1 - Misfortune
It was the great misfortune of all great beings. Her size was both her strength and her downfall. It was in her blood to be great; to be even more than what she appeared. She could make anyone's day better with just her presence. She took on the role of best friend with pride and love, giving others her strength by simply listening and being there for them when they needed her. The knowledge and drive to keep danger away was as ingrained into her as the instinct to romp and play. It was in her nature to rise up to any challenge and pursue her goals with great determination and enthusiasm, to protect her loved ones, to share in their joys and sorrows, and to remain loyally by their sides until she could no longer.
Korra sat on the couch, her shoulders slumped in grief as she gripped the framed photograph that Tahno had given her so tightly that her fingers turned white. It was a picture of herself and Naga when the huge, fluffy Tibetan Mastiff had been just a puppy and Korra still a child, and Tahno had taken it upon himself to have it professionally touched up and framed. He now sat by her side with a comforting arm around her as her tears fell onto the glass. Tahno had anticipated this response, because loosing Naga was, to date, the worst thing to happen to Korra. A few months ago, it had been discovered that Naga had developed cancer, an unfortunate commonality for her breed, and Korra had taken it extremely hard. Tahno had been in the veterinarian's office with Korra when they finally put Naga down, and the helplessness he had felt on witnessing her pain had been nearly unbearable. On that day, Korra sat in the floor, holding Naga's large, furry head in her lap and stroked her while the vet gave Naga the injection that would allow her to pass on peacefully. The giant dog's last breath left her body in a heavy sigh, and Korra felt a piece of her heart tear away and drift off with it.
Korra knew it had been the right thing to do, even with all the misery and heartache the decision had brought her. Her best friend had been in a constant physical agony that couldn't be fixed, so all Korra could offer was to put her friend in as much comfort as possible and make sure her last meal was her favorite before taking that final trip. Her parents had gone with her to the vet as well, and it was Tonraq who picked Naga up and carefully laid her down in the bed of his truck after it was over. They drove back to their home and brought her body to a special grave that had been dug in the woods behind the house. Then Korra hugged Naga one last time before leaving her father to place her in the grave. She let her fingers weave into the soft, white fur, and buried her face into the neck of her steadfast companion as she said goodbye. Then Tahno wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they slowly walked away from the grave, holding her close as her frame shook with grief.
And now he sat with her, embracing her once again after presenting her with the gift of the framed picture a few days later. He had been prepared for the fresh wave of sadness he had known it might bring on, but he also knew that she needed something tangible that she could see and touch. Something that would eventually spring memories of happier times that she could treasure and use to help herself heal. But for now, he accepted the role of anchor as she continued to suffer through the storm of loss and misfortune.
"Thank you," Korra muttered between sobs as she clung to him, staining the shirt over his shoulder and chest in her bittersweet tears.
"You're welcome," Tahno whispered gently. "I wish I could have done more."
Author's notes - Thank you to Alaburn for betaing for this, I would be so lost without you. :)