Pacific Rim Oneshot: Love Is…

New York City

February 14, 2025

2304 EST

Knockknockknock.

Raleigh's eyes cracked open at the sound of Mako knocking on the door between hotel suites. Not surprised. I can't sleep either. He got off the bed and opened his half of the door. "Hey."

Mako had clearly been crying again. "Did I wake you?"

"Nah. Wasn't tired. I'm still on Hong Kong time. You?"

Mako gulped. "Not tired." She blinked, trying to fight back the tears that threatened to overwhelm her again. "Mind if I come in?"

Raleigh stepped back to let his copilot in and gestured to the room beyond. "By all means."

Mako followed Raleigh over to the bed, where they sat down. "Raleigh… I've been meaning to ask you this for a month." She looked at him, still fighting back the tears. "When does it stop?"

Raleigh wiped his face with his hands. I know what she's asking. The pain, the sorrow, the regrets, the tears… and the nightmares. He slung an arm around Mako's shoulders and pulled her in close.

Mako wasn't normally a cuddler, but with Raleigh… it was soothing. So she didn't fight it. Instead, she laid her head on his chest. "Raleigh?"

"Mako… you know what my answer is. You've seen it."

"I know… but I want to hear it. From you, not from some stupid shrink."

Raleigh sighed and hugged Mako tighter. "Mako… you can't fight this. You have to let it out, or it'll overwhelm you. It'll drag you under, and you'll drown."

"But it hurts so badly."

"Hey." Raleigh tucked a finger under her chin and lifted her head. "Trust me, it's worth it in the end. I fought it for five years, Mako. Please, don't make the same mistake. We're in this together, alright?"

Mako nodded, slowly letting the tears leak out. She leaned against her copilot, thankful to have him there. Someone who understands what it's like.

Raleigh scooped up Mako and set her in his lap. "Shhh… It's okay. Let it out."

Mako finally let the tears come. "Sensei…"

Silently, Raleigh simply comforted Mako as she mourned her adoptive father, holding her tight.

Slowly, Mako's sobs faded away. "Shhh…. It's okay. I'm here."

Mako just nodded, totally spent.

"Want some tea?"

A shake of the head was the only response she gave, but to Raleigh it spoke volumes.

"Come on, it's been a hell of a day, huh? Let's get you tucked in."

A nod.

Raleigh carefully stood up and carried Mako back to her room. "See? It's not so bad. Trust me, you'll feel better tomorrow."

Another nod, smaller and slower than before.

Raleigh set her down on her bed and pulled the blankets over her. "Let me know if you need anything. I won't mind."

Mako groaned softly as she settled into the bed.

Raleigh went to the door and started to close it.

"Raleigh?"

He stopped. "Yeah, Mako?"

"Thank you. For being here for me."

He gave her a gentle smile. 'You are most welcome, Mako."

Mako rolled over, turned off her light, and instantly fell asleep.

Raleigh continued to smile for a moment more as he finished closing the door, then got back into his own bed. He closed his eyes…

Finally, sleep came.