entitled: in the dark of night
summary: Korra would never tell him, but Mako sometimes cried in his sleep. —MakoKorra. Canon.
rating: T, for swearing and mention of sex
disclaimer: I do not own.

Korra would never tell him, but Mako sometimes cried in his sleep.

It was unexpected the first time it happened. If it hadn't been for the terrible cramps she was getting, Korra might have missed it altogether.

The cramps in her gut had reached a new level of suck, and Korra had to slip quietly out of bed. Mako had to some sort of pain reliever in the kitchen. Or bananas. She should probably boil some hot water, too.

Korra would've been a lot more comfortable staying at the Air Temple during her monthly hell week, but Mako had persisted—"Why are you being difficult?"—which had led to a very awkward conversation.

("Mako, I've been pissy and unreasonable. I'm on my fucking menstrual cycle so please just let me fucking go home."

To which Mako was thoroughly amused and Korra wanted to wear a bag over her head for the remaining duration of their relationship. Mako pulled her into the apartment anyway.

"We're not going to have sex every time you come over, Korra," he reprimanded. "Sometimes you can come over and just sleep.")

After the silent snacking in the dead of night in her boyfriend's kitchen—which sounds incredibly creepy all put together—Korra returned to his bedroom.

And Mako was crying.

It wasn't wet, soppy tears, but gradual streams—silent enough to not wake him—that fell onto his pillow.

At first, Korra wasn't sure what to do. If she woke him, then Mako might get embarrassed. But if she didn't…

Instead of lingering on what course of action to take, Korra slipped back beneath the warm covers. Suddenly, his arms were all around her and the next thing she knew, her back was hard-pressed against his chest and the tears were falling into the crevice of her neck.

Korra didn't move. She just laid there, limp in his crushing arms.

"Mom," he moaned, desperate and like a child having been abandoned.

She understood.

After that time, Korra became more sensitive in her sleep, especially when she slept over at his place.

Sometimes, the tears were silent. Other times, like the week before and after the anniversary of his parents' death, it was a muffled cry, like a wounded animal.

And each time, in the unconsciousness of his sleep, Mako would reach for something to hold on to. And each time she was there—and she tried to figure a pattern so she could be there when he was in pain—Korra easily slipped into his embrace. And she would lay silent and awake, listening to the moans that shattered her heart and feeling the droplets ice her skin.

His tears were her secret.