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it's time we found a way back home

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Adora raises a hand to knock on Catra’s door, but stops before her hand touches the cold steel. She helped Glimmer clean up after their dinner together and thought about checking on Catra before going to sleep. She should let her rest, though. After today she must be even more tired than she already was. 

She lowers her hand, she can check on her in the morning. She’s about to turn around when the door slides open.

“Thought I heard footsteps. Hey, Adora.”

“Hey.” Adora smiles. Catra doesn’t look angry to see her, which is a relief. “I just… wanted to check in. Again.” She chuckles, feeling a bit awkward.

“I’m better now,” Catra raises one hand to the back of her neck, tensing up slightly, “with that thing off me.” 

Adora feels the need to comfort her, to reach out and hug her. Maybe she could, maybe they are allowed to do that now.

“Sparkles’ food also helped. Who knew she could cook?”

“Right?” Adora grins. “Well, Wrong Hordak also helped her.”

“I can’t believe you guys brought in a clone.” Catra snorts. “I mean, I can. It was Entrapta’s idea, wasn’t it?”

“Of course it was.” 

Catra's smile fades quickly. She looks down, ears falling flat on her head. She takes a deep breath in, a hand holds her other arm. “Do you think… they will accept me?”

“Bow and Glimmer? Pretty sure they already did.” Catra looks up at her. “They are the most welcoming people I’ve met. We became friends on the same day they captured me after I─ you know, found the sword…" She instantly regrets saying that, thinking Catra will get angry again, or will show that same hurt look from when everything changed that still haunts Adora to this day.

Instead, her ears perk up and the corners of her mouth curl up.

“You let them capture you!?” She cracks up.

Adora blinks, then scoffs. “They captured you too!”

“I didn’t have a magical sword that could turn me into an eight feet tall warrior!” 

Catra’s laugh fills Adora with so much warmth she can’t even think of a snarky reply. “Shut up.” She laughs with her.

“How did you survive this long without me?”

“It’s been…” Adora sighs, her voice lowers, “really hard, actually.”

Catra stares at her, with that soft familiar look once so common to Adora, reserved only to her, and almost forgotten. Adora's heartbeat quickens.

"Adora─" a slow blink. Catra reaches for Adora's head, holding her gently with both hands as she presses their foreheads together. Adora's breath catches in her throat. "I never said─" she closes her eyes, "thank you. For getting me out of there." Her breath is hot over Adora's mouth.

Adora places her hand over Catra's, closing her eyes, and exhales a shaky breath. "Of course. I'm taking you home." She squeezes her hands and wishes she could be even closer.

There's a low, soft purring, before Catra pulls away. Adora holds her hands until they're down, only then opening her eyes again.

"Goodnight, Adora." Catra says, eyes still soft, cheeks darker.

"Goodnight." Adora replies, feeling warm all over, but cold now, too, without Catra's warmth.

She walks back to her room, with something deep in her chest aching, feeling the ghost of Catra's hands on hers, their foreheads together. She hopes tomorrow comes quick, that they get to Etheria soon, and that she can hold Catra close again.