title: when dark clouds pass over.

characters: mother-daughter senna and korra, implied makorra.

genre: tragedy, hurt/comfort.

summary: senna comforts her daughter after her friend passes on.

author's note: i clearly don't write songs.


Senna tapped on the door and held her breath. It had been five days since the funeral. She didn't know what to expect.

She heard Korra sigh from the other side of the door. "I'll eat it later, Pema," she said, just as predicted. The moment Tonraq and Senna had landed on Air Temple Island, Pema informed them about Korra's worrying lack of appetite. Senna was grateful to the younger woman, who by the sound of it had been checking up on Korra regularly.

Senna pushed the door open and slipped silently into the room. Her daughter was sitting cross-legged on the bed, eyes closed and forehead creased in concentration. Torn between not wanting to disturb her rare moment of tranquillity and wanting to delve straight into her sadness to work through it alongside her, Senna hung back. She took in her daughter's skinny frame and sunken eyes and her lips moved on their own accord. "Korra?"

Korra's blue eyes, Senna's eyes, flew open. She gasped. "Mum?" she said tentatively, as if worried that Senna was merely hallucination and she was only talking to herself.

Tears pricked at Senna's eyes and she cursed herself for being so weak, for being so unlike Tonraq and the girl before her. Even when Korra was falling apart, she was stronger. Senna swallowed and tried to smile. "Yes darling," she said, not daring to move forward so that Korra wouldn't see how affected she was.

Korra bolted straight into Senna's arms, clutching her waist so tightly it ached. She didn't mind. "Mum," Korra whimpered, burying her face in Senna's shoulder.

A tear rolled quickly down Senna's cheek. "Oh baby," Senna murmured into her daughter's hair, squeezing her tighter. "I'm so…sorry."

As she said those words, the enormity of the loss settled over her like a thin blanket that did nothing to block the cold out. Korra was so young, but she already had her whole world taken from her. Senna hated herself for wanting to cry. You must not. Korra had always been strong for her, and now it was time to give back.

"I'm here, darling. I'm here."

It had been a month since he slipped away. Korra's Mako. Her friend, her teammate, her first love.

Senna was never able to bring Korra up the way she always dreamed. When she and Tonraq had discovered that their daughter was the Avatar, she had been elated. It was only when the White Lotus sentries whisked her away at the young age of four for endless training sessions and field trips, that Senna realised that Korra wasn't hers alone. She belonged to the world.

But when she finished her training and returned from her field trips, Senna and Tonraq had Korra for a few hours at dinnertime and bedtime. Especially bedtime, which Korra saved only for her. But those few hours, though lovely, weren't enough. Senna had always thought Korra's loud chatter would accompany her throughout the day while Tonraq went hunting with the men. She even joked to Tonraq that she might go crazy soon. She never thought that she would be the one pressing Korra for details about her bending, her masters and even Naga's antics, determined to hear her voice for as long as she could. Korra happily obliged even though she was often exhausted, she loved hearing the sound of her own voice too. Senna knew that she was being selfish by depriving her poor daughter of sleep, but she did nothing to stop her, sometimes even falling asleep first on Korra's lap.

Tonraq knew how she was feeling, for he tried to comfort her by reminding her of Korra's achievements and how proud they were of her. "She's progressing so quickly," he would say, or, "She's exceeding everyone's expectations."

But that was the problem. She was progressing too quickly. While Senna loved the brilliant young woman her daughter was maturing into, she missed the little darling who only wanted her to tuck her in and give her butterfly kisses because Tonraq couldn't do it properly. Senna had giggled while Tonraq looked offended and Korra nodded solemnly to affirm her father's shortcomings. Senna had felt somewhat sorry for him, but she was secretly glad that she was needed for something nobody else could give her daughter, and she thanked the spirits that she was born with long lashes and Tonraq wasn't.

Senna pulled back and placed her hands on the sides of Korra's face. She wiped her thumbs gently over the tears. Korra, her strong and brave Korra, was searching her eyes desperately, waiting for Senna to pour soothing words into her bone-dry spirit. She looked so much like the little girl who had once ran to Senna for help when Naga was injured out in the snow and unable to move. The girl who had believed that Senna was able to fix anything. Senna wasn't able to do much then. She simply kept her cool, something both Korra and Tonraq couldn't and still hadn't learned to do well, and sent her husband and the men to track the furry tracker.

Korra had wanted to go, but before her husband could do something stupid like agree to his three-year-old daughter's absurd request, Senna shot him a glare and told Korra that they would wait here for her father. Korra pouted, whined, and pouted some more, to the point where Senna had to send Tonraq out of the house because he was melting already. Senna picked her daughter up, who looked like an otter penguin with its feathers ruffled, and sat her on her lap in front of the fire. She retold the same stories Korra had told her about her faithful companion, knowing full well that she was listening attentively.

"…And Naga the polar bear dog turned out to be a great packer," Senna said animatedly, waiting for her daughter to pick up on her slip.

True enough, Korra's tiny brows knitted together. "No," she blurted, then, as if realising that she had just broken her silent rule, she snapped her mouth shut.

Senna smiled. "No? I thought you said she was."

Korra shifted to look at her. "No, Mummy. I said Track-kur," she stressed, jutting out her lips cutely on the last syllable.

"Oh!" Senna said, slapping her palm on her forehead dramatically. Korra giggled and squealed when Senna blew on her rosy cheeks. "Are you laughing at Mummy?"

Korra's squeals died down and she tucked her chin in to conceal the grin on her face. "Nope!"

Tonraq came home that night with a shivering Naga in his arms. Senna got to work on the animal's splintered back leg immediately while Korra lay down beside her friend, stroking the snow-white fur. When Senna had finished, both were already asleep, Korra's button nose an inch from the polar bear dog's wet snout.

The memory was a good one. Things had been fixed.

As Senna held her daughter in her arms again in entirely different circumstances, she was nervous. She hadn't been a mother for so long. What if she had forgotten how to be one? She had never soothed a broken heart before, let alone one that had been ripped out and taken by a boy who had died too young.

But she was determined. She had longed to do this again, to feel needed again, though she wished that the reason was entirely different.

"I love you," Senna said to the grown woman in front of her, who had grown to be almost a splitting image of herself.

Korra nodded. Senna placed an arm around her and led her to the bed. Korra leaned against the headboard and drew her knees to her chest. Senna sat in front of her and placed her hand on her daughter's.

"How are you feeling?" she asked, regretting the question instantly. Stupid. How else would she be feeling, Senna?

But Korra answered. "Lost, I think." She blew her bangs, frustrated as she tried to find the words. "Like-" she began, her voice shaking. "Like-"

Senna's throat tightened and she squeezed Korra's fingers encouragingly.

Korra cleared her throat. "Like everything inside me has been…scraped out. Like there's nothing left in me…anymore."

Biting her lips together, Senna ran her thumb soothingly over her daughter's callused knuckles. She waited.

"I just, I don't know why Mum!" Korra said through gritted teeth. "He-he promised! It was one promise! ONE. Just stay out of the way and don't do anything. It was simple!" she cried, her voice edging toward hysteria.

Senna bit her quivering lips harder. Don't comfort yet, she reminded herself, it would only rebuild the walls before the turmoil was dealt with. The spirits knew that Korra didn't need any more walls.

"Why did he break that promise? What, to prove something to himself? To me? Spirits, he's such an idiot!" she yelled, yanking her hand away from Senna and pressing the heels of her palms to her eyes. Her shoulders started to shake violently. Here was the turmoil.

Senna enveloped her daughter in her arms, cradling her head against her shoulder. She cried as Korra sobbed. Deep, agonising wails of a girl who was left behind when she all she wanted was to go with. Senna's heart ached at the thought that Korra had shut away this much pain inside of her. She kissed the top of her daughter's forehead, rubbed her back, and stroked her dark hair. She sang a native Southern Water Tribe lullaby that Korra had always asked her to sing when she was younger.

It's time to rest your eyes, my children,

The day has rose and ebbed.

The spirits guard your beds, my children,

From ashes and shadows.

The moon shines on you, my dears.

The wind will not touch you, my dears.

But if it does, remember this.

Though the moon is waning

And dark clouds pass over,

It will be full again.

"I'm tired, Mum," Korra said finally.

"Then you should rest," Senna whispered. She moved off the bed as Korra slid under the blanket. Senna pulled it to her chin and tucked the edges to the sides.

"I'll be here when you wake up."

The moon shines on you, my dears.

The wind will not touch you, my dears.

But if it does, remember this.

Though the moon is waning

And dark clouds pass over,

It will be full again.

fin.