It was habitual. Ritualistic, even. Tahno could tell you exactly what would happen. It would start with a misworded phrase, an accidental slur, or a simple misunderstanding. Korra would get defensive, and Tahno would react. It would get rather… interesting, for lack of a better word. Then, when it was all said and done, Tahno would show up at Korra’s doorstep two days and countless mirror rehearsals later with a type of offering. The expense of the offerings varied, if it was a simple argument where their voices and tempers rose, but nothing else, he would bring a new coat or a pair of boots. However, if it was a full blown fight complete with yelling himself raw and Korra throwing things, he would bring a single blue rose and a puppy eyed stare. Korra would appreciate that more than some lavish gift, unlike the women in his former relationships.
And it wouldn’t hurt to bring the damn polar bear-dog something, either.
Anyways, he would arrive in the evening, attempt to give his well rehearsed speech, but under Korra’s intense blue eyed stare, he’d end up winging it. It would still go well, but Tahno would hold his breath until she invited him in. When she did, all of his breath would come out in a big whoosh of air, and he would be home free, for the most part. He would step in and close the door behind him quietly. His eyes would sweep the room, and he would find the counter laden with Water Tribe food from the restaurant that Korra so adored, delivered by a rather sympathetic Bolin.
She would hand him a plate, and they would eat. The conversation would start slow and slightly awkward, but it would pick up speed and so would become warm and comfortable. But Tahno would only truly relax when Korra laughed. When she laughed, then he new he was truly forgiven. They would finish eating, but they would linger at the table, still talking after the plates had been wiped clean. By the time they were finished, Korra would announce she was tired, and Tahno would admit the same. Korra would excuse herself and change, Tahno would stay at the table, his chin resting casually on his hand. When she came back, he would get up, and try to say his goodbyes, but Korra would insist he stay the night.
It’s almost over, anyways. She would say.
He would fight back, albeit weakly, but would shove him gruffly and affectionately on to the bed. She was the only girl Tahno had ever known that could pour those two specific emotions into the same action. She was also the only girl who could shove him onto a bed without any sort of lust or need.
Tahno would promptly remove his shirt and they would both settle down in Korra’s bed. Korra would nestle herself against him, nuzzling his chest slightly. Tahno would, without hesitation, wrap his arms around her. Their breathing would synchronize, and they would fall into a deep and comfortable sleep. The next morning, they would both awaken to someone banging loudly on the door.
Korra! The voice would bellow. Korra, are you up?
Korra would pick her head up so she didn’t yell in Tahno’s ear.
Go away! She would howl back. I’m sleeping!
Korra would unhesitatingly collapse back onto the bed in her former position. Sometimes, if Tahno listened after Korra fell asleep again, he would hear the intruders, The Fire Ferrets, talking as they walked away.
He got her back. One voice would say, Bolin, Korra called him.
Of course he did. The other one, Mako, would growl. He always does. I will never understand why you insist on checking on her the morning after. The food at least I can kind of relate to.
I just like to make sure! Bolin protested. Korra is really sweet and I don’t want to let this guy hurt her! She’s sleeping with the enemy here!
Korra’s strong. Mako would point out. If he throws her away, then it’s his loss. Korra will survive and come back with twice as much strength as before. I doubt he will.
That’s when the conversation will fade, and Tahno would turn his attention to the sleeping lover wrapped in his arms. It never failed to remind him how precious she was, and although he hated it, he had to agree with the fire bender. If he lost Korra, he wasn’t sure he would make it. It only made him work twice as hard to keep this treasure with him, and him only.
A few weeks or so, the cycle would repeat itself, but Tahno realized that he wouldn’t have it any other way.