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and yet here she was...

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When Catra woke up and got ready for work that morning, she most certainly was not expecting to be disturbed halfway through her second session, and yet here she was.

She looked up from her client, Rogelio’s, shoulder to lay eyes on whoever had just burst into her shop, panting heavily with a look of panic in their eyes. It was some girl, blonde, average height, brilliant blue eyes that were so deep she could see them from all the way at the back of the room.

Her shop was small, of course, because she runs it herself and couldn’t afford anything bigger; not that she really minds, she finds it cozy and quaint and prefers it over the last place she worked, which was huge and always loud, and was run by a real dick. Her old boss, Hordak, really didn’t know how to deal with people and clearly didn’t value her or any of the other artists that worked at his shop. But this shop was hers, she saved up the funds for it herself, decorated it herself, manages it herself, and that’s exactly how she likes it.

The girl, the blonde who had rushed into the shop just a moment ago, didn’t move, didn’t say anything, she just stood there. Breathing heavy. Face looking, well frankly, pretty mortified.

Catra simply sighed and returned her gaze to Rogelio’s shoulder to continue the piece, mumbling a quick, “Can I help you?” to the girl.

“Uh…”

“Just so you know, I don’t take walk-ins.”

“Oh. Um…Actually, I’m not here for a tattoo.” The girl said, finally stepping away from the door and instead walking over to the counter at the front of the shop.

“Okay, well, as you can clearly see, I’m in the middle of a session with a client right now, so-“ But she was cut off when Rogelio mumbled to her that he doesn’t mind the new girl’s presence, much to Catra’s dismay. “Regardless, I don’t like people wandering around my shop while I work so if you could please leave, that’d be great.”

The girl pretty much completely ignored her request, instead fiddling with one of the lollipops she had taken out of the candy jar on the counter, “Oh, this is your shop? Like, you own it?” There was a lingering curiousness in her voice which Catra did not appreciate. She was trying her hardest to not be entirely rude to this girl, what with the ‘please’s and all, but she was making it more and more difficult with every passing moment.

“Look,” She finished up a line and then lowered the needle in her hand, “I don’t mean to be rude but what the hell do you want?”

The girl set the lollipop down suddenly, “That was you not being rude? Damn.” Catra’s jaw clenched and she found herself glaring daggers at the blonde whose smirk suddenly faltered under her gaze, “Sorry, sorry.” She sighed, “I realize I shouldn’t be in here, it’s just that…” Realizing that this girl was probably going to take her sweet fucking time explaining herself, Catra returned to Rogelio’s tattoo once more. “My ex is out there and I really, really, reallyyyy don’t wanna see her.”

“And I really don’t wanna see you.” She used her forearm to brush the hair out of her face, “If seeing your ex is such a problem then feel free to go over and loiter in the flower shop next door, I’m sure the girl who runs it won’t mind, but you can’t stay here.”

At that, the girl, Adora, tensed up and began stammering, once again fidgeting with the cherry flavoured lollipop. “A-actually…The girl that owns the flower shop next door…is my ex.”

Catra looks up again, brow raised, “Perfuma? She wouldn’t hurt a fly, I’m sure seeing her couldn’t possibly be that bad.”

Adora let out a nervous laugh, “Yeah, well, we kinda ended…um, horribly.”

“Okay, fine, whatever.” The girl stepped out from behind the counter snd Catra gave her a once over, noting her muscular physic, “Why don’t you just leave from your right, then you won’t have to pass by your ex.”

“Yeah, um, haha… See, I can’t really do that either, cause…” She unwrapped the lollipop and stuck it in her mouth, which Catra didn’t appreciate because those are only for paying clientele, “The girl that owns the bookstore is…also my ex.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Yeah, so um…” She began admiring the art on one of the walls, “Can I just stay here for a little while longer? Please? I promise not to bother you.”

Catra sighed, finishing up the last few details of Rogelio’s tattoo, “Whatever.” She figures the girl simply isn’t going to leave no matter what she says, and while she could technically have her escorted out, she really doesn’t wanna have to go through the trouble. And… Maybe… She finds the girl somewhat charming…

The blonde suddenly squealed her gratitude, causing Catra to flinch and nearly mess up a part of the tattoo. She was quickly shut up by the glare Catra shot her. “Oh, shit. Sorry!” Her cheeks flushed at the mishap and Catra couldn’t help but think it was kind of cute. “I’m Adora, by the way.”

“Didn’t ask, princess.”

“Hm, princess.” Adora repeated, “Takes longer to say than Adora, but sure.” Catra didn’t bother to point out that ‘Adora’ was actually three syllables, while ‘princess’ was only two. “So, what’s your name?”

“What was that you said about not bothering me?”

“What makes you think I was asking you? I could’ve been talking to the dude you’re tattooing.”

“I’m Rogelio!” The man grumbled with a thick accent Adora couldn’t quite place.

“Rogelio, stop talking to her.” Catra glared down at him; she wouldn’t normally speak to clients that way but he was an old friend.

“Sorry, Catra, but she seems nice.” He argued, opting to remain silent after Catra’s gaze grew even colder.

“Catra, huh?” Adora grinned, having found out the artists name after all, “Nice name.”

“Whatever.” Catra grumbled, wiping down Rogelio’s shoulder.

“You say that a lot.” Adora commented, and then, “I like this song.” She began nodding her head along to the The Strokes song playing through the speakers around the shop. “What’s it called?”

Catra really didn’t like this girl. “It’s called ‘shut up and let me work’.”

“You’re a really angry person, huh, Catra?” Catra was taken back at that response but decided not to say anything, knowing that whatever snarky comment she made would simply prove the girl right. “Makes me wonder why you’d take a job where you have to talk to other people.”

Adora continued to make her way around the room, looking at the art all over the walls, tapping her foot along to the beat of the song. She couldn’t help wondering if Catra was the one who made all the art, she figures that probably was the case since they were all in moderately the same style, and this was her shop after all, wouldn’t make much sense to put someone else’s art around the place. She committed her favorite pieces to memory, making a mental note to ask Catra about them later, once she was officially done working on Rogelio tattoo. She thought it was cool how this little shop acted as Catra’s own art portfolio; she could definitely appreciate the commitment and talent it probably took to fill up all the walls like this, and not to mention to be able to even open up your own shop.

She hadn’t even realized that Catra had finished up with Rogelio or that he’d already thanked and tipped her then left, until she turned around and was suddenly face to face with the brunette. Oh, wow. she thought, her eyes are so…

“I’d appreciate it if you left now.”

“I’d appreciate if you let me stay.”

“I hope you realize I don’t owe you that.”

“I know, but…” God, she’s standing so close… “It would mean a lot.”

Adora’s voice had dropped down to a soft, airy whisper and it caught Catra way off guard. As lame as it sounded, she was getting a little lost in the blonde’s eyes.

“I…” Catra’s breaths had gone shallow, she couldn’t focus. Fuck, why am I standing so close… “Okay.”

At that, Adora smiled at her, pretty and gentle and… breathtaking. She really didn’t appreciate how this girl, this random stranger who had just disrupted her morning, was making her feel. She really didn’t appreciate how Adora’s dumb smile was making her smile right back somehow. She simply couldn’t stop herself, Adora’s smile was contagious and the cure was nowhere to be found.

“Your eyes are pretty.” Adora couldn’t stop the words from escaping her lips, not that she would have wanted to. “They’re like… really pretty.”

Catra didn’t respond. She didn’t know what to say, no words were forming in her brain and any that did were swallowed down before she could actually get them out. A part of her wanted to tell Adora that she thought her eyes were just as pretty, really pretty, if not even more so. But she just… couldn’t. And then, before either of them could form so much as a single thought, the door to the shop swung open, letting in way too much light for Catra’s liking.

“Hey Catra, I-“ The woman’s eyes went wide in panic, “Oh, shoot! Sorry, I didn’t realize you were with another client! Am I early? Your text said five past noon… That’s now, isn’t it? Or is my watch wrong? God, I really should’ve listened to Kyle when he told me to switch to digital, these analog watches are so hard to read! Especially when they make the numbers so darn small.” Scorpia was bringing her arm closer, and then further, and then closer to her face, trying to read the time but clearly having way too much trouble.

Catra stepped away from the blonde, finally, and turned to the taller woman at the door, “No, Scorpia, you’re on time, don’t worry about it.” She walked over to the counter, signaling for Scorpia to follow her over so she could check in for her appointment, “And no one even wears watches anymore, people just check the time on their phones now.”

Adora was incredibly flustered, to say the least, and the loss of warmth emanating from Catra’s body being so close to hers was immensely upsetting, not that she was going to admit that. She simply stood there and watched as Catra and the taller woman, Scorpia, talked by the counter. They had a short conversation, signed some papers, exchanged some money, and then made their way over to the bench that had been previously occupied by Rogelio.

“Oh, shit.” Catra glanced at Adora, then back at Scorpia, “Um, sorry Scorpia, my um…” She sighed and ran a hand through her shaggy brown hair, “Friend…is here, do you mind?” Adora’s cheeks flushed once more at Catra’s nervous use of the word friend; of course she knew Catra was just saving herself an explanation, referring to Adora as her friend so she wouldn’t have to tell Scorpia about the whole hiding-from-her-exes thing, but still, it warmed Adora’s heart a little. She felt a little embarrassed at the thought, at how easily Catra made her feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

“Nah, it’s fine with me.” Then Scorpia turned her attention to Adora and waved wildly with a friendly grin playing on her face, “Hi Catra’s friend!” Now Catra was the one blushing, not that Adora could tell, what with Catra’s back facing her and all. Adora smiled, waving back, though it was a gentler, less reckless type of wave.

“Right. So, ahem, anyway…” Catra regained Scorpia’s attention, “Let’s get started.” She began prepping Scorpia’s upper thigh for her tattoo and Adora found herself stepping closer, wanting to admire Catra hard at work.

After a while, Catra’s playlist, which had still been playing through the speakers, pulled up a jazzy type song and Scorpia couldn’t help but snap her fingers along to it. “Um, Scorpia…Kinda making it really hard to keep my lines straight here.”

“Oops, sorry. I just love this song!”

“Oh, me too!” Adora exclaimed, catching Scorpia’s attention as they both began singing along to the chorus. Catra continued her work for another moment or two before her mind decided on a different plan and she found herself sitting back on her stool, watching Adora sing with her eyes shut and her lips turned up into the smallest smile.

“Catra? You good there, pal?” Scorpia asked, following Catra’s gaze and chuckling softly when she realized what had caught the girl’s attention. “Ah, I see what’s going on.”

“Huh, what? Oh. Sorry.” Catra tore her eyes away from Adora, putting all her focus back on Scorpia’s tattoo, silently thanking the heavens that Adora hadn’t caught her staring. She felt Scorpia’s knowing look even without making eye contact with her, though. “Don’t even, Scorpia.” She threatened, not bothering to check if that stupid smirk was on the woman’s face; she knew it was.

“Hey, I didn’t say anything…”

By the time Catra finished up Scorpia’s session, Adora had already sang through, like, six other songs, (and hummed along to another three or four) and it took everything in Catra to focus on doing her actual job, rather than indulging in her own personal concert. It did bring a smile to her face though, not only that Adora was singing, but that she had known the lyrics to most of the songs on her playlist. Despite not liking the girl and not wanting her in her shop for any longer than necessary, she appreciated that they seemed to have very similar tastes in music.

Before Scorpia left, she made a point of whispering something to Catra, something along the lines of… “Ask her out, she’s really cute.” Catra couldn’t remember exactly because she wasn’t really listening, instead she had just made a note of when Scorpia would be coming back to finish off her piece and then bid her goodbye. She was never to keen on other people getting involved in her love life, not that she had much of a love life to get involved in, in the first place.

“So,” She mumbled, taking her gloves off and placing them somewhere on the table nearby, “Is it time for you to go yet, or what?”

“Oh, um,” Adora gulped, “I don’t know, let me see…” She walked over to the door, peaked her head out and then hurriedly pulled it back inside, “Nope. No, definitely not.” Catra sighed, rolling her eyes in fake-irritation. Truth be told, she was starting to enjoy the blonde’s company.

“Fine, whatever.”

“Um, so, is…um,” Adora stepped further into the shop, approaching Catra slowly whilst looking around the room, “Is all this art yours?”

“Obviously.”

“Oh, cool.” She bit her bottom lip ever so gently and Catra couldn’t help but stare, “It’s all really good, you’re really talented.”

Her eyes were still lingering on Adora’s lips, “Yeah, um, thanks.”

“I really like the butterfly ones.” Adora said, eyeing one especially large butterfly drawing on the wall right beside them, “That one’s my favorite.”

“Yeah?” Catra followed her gaze, “Why that one?”

“I don’t know, there’s just something about it.” She turned to look at Catra again, though this time Catra refused to look back, worrying that she’d just end up staring again, “I like the colors, too. Blue and gold. They go well together.” A blush rose to Catra’s cheeks, understanding the double meaning behind Adora’s comment. Before either of them could say anything else, though, the door burst open again and Catra’s two o’clock appointment walked in. She found herself cursing under breath, and then blushing when she saw how Adora’s eyes had widened at her words.

“Hey,” Lonnie murmured, walking up to the counter; Catra met her there. They went through the same list of actions that Catra had gone through with Scorpia and then Lonnie glanced up at Adora, “Oh.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry.” Catra turned to Adora, “Hey, come with me.” Adora nodded and followed Catra into the back room. “I’ll come get you when the session’s done.” She nodded again and then Catra was out of there, shutting the door behind her.

Adora took in her surroundings, quickly realizing that this was probably Catra’s break-room judging by the snacks lying around, the mini fridge, toaster oven, and sketch pads littering every surface. There was also a backpack resting on the love-seat, which happened to be the only place to sit in the room, other than the floor. Adora sighed, pulled out her phone and took a seat beside the bag, making sure not to crush it beneath her. She began scrolling through social media when she had a brilliant idea; quickly searching up the tattoo parlours name on Instagram, she found its official account and began scrolling through, looking at all the past tattoos Catra had done. She liked all her favorites, hoping with everything in her that Catra wouldn’t think it was creepy and would just assume Adora was simply a fellow tattoo enthusiast. More like a tattoo artist enthusiast… she thought to herself, thinking about how hard she was crushing on the brunette in the other room. Then, another genius, but also a little creepy, but still genius idea came to her and she went through the account’s ‘Following’ list, determined to find Catra’s personal account. Okay, maybeeee this is a little weird and creepy and off-putting… she though, but it’s not like people don’t do this all the time…so that makes it okay, right? she wasn’t sure who she was asking, really, especially it was a thought in her own mind.

She finally found an account that looked to be Catra’s and paused before doing anything else, deciding to text her best friends about it first.

Adora: hey guys! urgent!

Bow: what’s up??

Glimmer: let me guess, this is about tattoo girl?

Bow: omg!!!!! is it!!???

Adora: maybe…

Adora: i found her IG…. is it weird to follow?

Glimmer: yes

Bow: no

Bow: who doesn’t like making new friends?? i say follow away!

Adora: actually she doesn’t seem like the friendly type…

Glimmer: don’t do it

Bow: no!!! do itttttt

Adora: well i already liked a bunch of posts on her tattoo account

Glimmer: oml..

Adora: yea so… idk

Adora: yea thought it over,, not gonna do it

Adora: i think she already thinks i’m weird enough tbh :/

Bow: boooooooo :(

Glimmer: sorry bow,, majority rules

Adora switched back to Instagram, staring down at Catra’s profile for a moment before sighing, closing the app, and switching her phone off. She got up and began walking around the small room, staring up at the art that was covering the four walls. Damn, she makes a looot of art… She opened up the camera app on her phone, snapping a few shots of her favorite pieces, hoping it wouldn’t be considered an invasion of privacy. She decided to notify Catra about the photos she took before leaving, just to make sure she’s aware and doesn’t mind.

While she’s admiring a particularly large piece of a sword, the door to the break-room opens and Catra walks over to her. “That was fast.”

“Yeah, it was a small tattoo.” But before Adora can say anything else, Catra is suddenly really, really close to her again, like, even closer than before. And before Adora can even process another thought, Catra has her pinned against the wall by her waist. And before Adora can- Oh.

She melts into Catra’s lips, kissing her back with as much fervency as she can muster. One of her hands moving to cup Catra’s cheek with the other landing on her back, pulling her closer, deepening the kiss. They kiss for a minute, two minutes, three… Forcing themselves to breathe through their noses for as long as they possibly can before pulling away for a moment. Catra pressed a kiss to the corner of Adora’s mouth, then her cheek, her jaw, and as she made her way down to her neck, Adora couldn’t help but say something.
“Not that I’m not totally enjoying this, because-“ She let out a slight moan and quickly bit her lip to control it before continuing her thought, “Believe me, I am, but…” Another moan, this time she let it erupt out of her, “Don’t you have more clients?”

Catra peppered her neck with kisses, biting down gently once or twice, “Not right now, I’m on break.”

“Okay,” Adora let out a shaky breath, “Good.” Catra had no time to process what was happening before Adora had suddenly flipped them around so that Catra was the one pinned to the wall. Adora swiped her tongue across her bottom lip, noting how intensely Catra watched her every movement, jaw clenched, breathing slow but heavy. Catra swallowed hard and a moment later, Adora’s lips were back against hers.

A part of Catra wanted to take back control, the other part of her liked how things were going at the moment. A third part of her knew that regardless of what she wanted, Adora had control and she wasn’t about to relinquish it that easily; her grip was tight on Catra’s shoulders, she was strong and they both knew that. There was little-to-no way Catra would be able to flip them back to their original position, and after a moment or two of Adora kissing her, she decided she didn’t even want to.

After a while their kissing had subsided and they each found themselves sitting on Catra’s love-seat, splitting a microwave pizza.

“You want the last slice?” Catra asked but before Adora could even get a word out, she had already grabbed it and taken a bite.

“I mean, I was gonna say no anyway, but okay…” She mumbled under her breath, causing Catra to shoot her an exaggerated (somewhat fake-looking) grin, one that made her look like a chipmunk because of the huge bite of food she hadn’t swallowed yet. Then, after finishing that slice, Catra wiped her hands off on a paper towel and made her way back out of the break-room, leaving Adora in there, alone.

The blonde quickly took her phone out again, sending another text to her friends.

Adora: :))))))

Bow: what?? adora what does that mean???

Glimmer: …adora what’d you do…

Bow: adoraaaaaaa!!!!!!

She didn’t bother replying, she simply shoved her phone back into her pocket and followed Catra out.

Catra was at the counter so her back was to Adora as she was filling out what to looked to be some paperwork. “Gonna be honest with you, my next client is a real bitch so you might wanna stay back there.” Adora couldn’t help but feel like Catra just didn’t want her around.

“Then why’d you accept her commission?”

“She tends to get really big, really detailed pieces.” Catra replied with a sigh, “That’s good money.”

Adora doesn’t say anything, just returns to her habit of examining the walls. Then, “Can I ask you something?” Catra doesn’t respond, Adora continues anyway, “Why don’t you take walk-ins?”

“You said it yourself, I’m not good with people.” Adora feels a little bit of guilt at her previous comment, “Walk-ins are a hassle and I don’t like to deal with them. When people make appointments with me, we can plan things out, get to know each other, understand each other better...”

“But doesn’t that make for bad business?”

“No, it makes for happy business.” Catra runs a hand through her shaggy hair, “Where I used to work, walk-ins were the worst part of the job. Apart from my shitty boss.”

“Hm.” Adora glanced at the door and as she saw a tall, pale woman with long, flowing black hair enter the shop, she decided to take Catra’s earlier advice (which she concluded was actually advice and not just a way to get rid of her… at least not entirely) and made her way back into the small break-room.

She sat down in her previous spot, scrolling through the spam of texts her best friends had sent her, opting not to reply since the majority were just keyboard smashes, reckless uses of punctuation (mostly on Bow’s end) and too many texts that were literally just the peach and cherry emojis, which Adora truly did not appreciate, but she supposes she deserves it after her vague smiley text.

She sighed and made her way back to Instagram, finding Catra’s profile once again and clicking follow, hoping nothing bad comes of it.

Adora’s gonna be honest (with herself), she doesn’t really understand Catra. One moment, the girl is asking her to get the hell out of her shop, the next, she’s staring into her eyes like she’s been in love with her for a year… And Adora knows almost exactly what that looks like because she has had a thing for Catra for nearly a year now… Ever since she saw her once at Mermista’s bookstore, browsing through the books on art history. Not in a creepy stalker way, just in a… wow, that’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen way. Anyway, back to the matter at hand; one moment, Catra is pinning Adora against a wall, kissing her like Adora just told her the meaning of life or something, making her melt, making her moan, making her feel more alive than she’s felt in years. Making her feel like the world, the whole universe, was doomed but then when they kissed, everything was suddenly… better. And yet, the next moment, she’s shooting her fake smiles and asking her to leave the room… Adora doesn’t understand Catra. And she both hates and loves that about her.

She’s surprised, about two hours later, when her phone beeps with a notification, alerting her that Catra had followed her back, and a moment later, she’s surprised again when the girl enters the room.

“Hey Adora.”

“Hey,” Adora smiled back at her. But then they both just… didn’t say anything. Adora sat there, staring at Catra, and Catra stood there, staring back. Adora didn’t like it. She didn’t like the silence, the awkwardness, the tension between them, so she sighed and took one for the team, “So, are we gonna talk about it?”

“I’d rather not.”

“Okay, well I’m going to anyway.”

Catra sighed and slumped onto the couch beside the blonde, “Then why’d you even ask.”

Adora shrugged, “I don’t know, it’s just a courtesy.” She shifted her body to face Catra, who had her head back against the back of the couch, staring up at the ceiling, refusing to look back at Adora. “You...”

Catra let out a breath, frustrated. “I kissed you.”

“Right. You…” Adora swallowed hard, “Did that.”

“Did you not want me to?” She still wouldn’t lower her head, but Adora could see that she was side-eyeing her, in a way.

“Of course I did-“ Shit. “I-I-I…I mean, I didn’t hate it.”

Catra actually laughed at that, a deep, heavy real laugh. It made Adora smile. “Okay, well I’m glad you didn’t hate it.”

Adora’s smile grew a little, “It was…” She lowered her head, trying to hide her obvious blush, “It was really nice.”

“Yeah?” Catra finally looked at her.

“Yeah.”

“It was really nice for me, too.”

They smiled at each other for a moment, a long, steady moment of silence between them, in which they simply just smiled at each other. It felt special, somehow. As it was an important moment for them to remember, to preserve.

Catra wasn’t used to putting herself out there. She wasn’t used to telling people the things she really wanted to tell them. This was a big step for her, she knew that, and she took it because she felt that there was truly something special about Adora, something that made her want to know her, want to be open with her, want to trust her. She found it funny how things started off between them, with Adora rushing into her shop in a panic, attempting to hide from a couple of exes she apparently had horrible experiences with. With her telling Adora to get out, that she didn’t want her around, that she was bothering her. Something in her is really glad Adora didn’t listen.

Adora didn’t think she would ever do it. She didn’t think she would ever actually speak to Catra. She’d had a crush on her for so long, she assumed that’s what it would always be… a crush. But now, sitting here, smiling at Catra, Catra smiling back at her, them just basking in each other’s presence. It made her feel so much. Made her feel so many good things all at once. She mentally thanked her earlier self, the her from this morning, that had the courage to walk into Catra’s tattoo parlour, knowing full well that it could have gone terribly (evidently, it almost had…)

“But seriously, are you ever gonna leave my shop?” Catra asked after a long while, causing Adora to burst into laughter, “I’m serious!”

“Do you really want me to leave?” Adora wondered, “Do you really want me to go out there and face my exes? They’d have my ass on a stick, ya know.”

“Sounds good, can I have some of that?”

Adora contorted her face in joke-annoyance, playfully shoving Catra’s shoulder, “You’re gross.” They laughed together for a bit before Catra sighed and stood up, telling Adora that she has more clients coming in soon, mumbling something about it being a very busy day. “Would they mind if I sit in?”

“I’ll ask, though I don’t think they’ll have a problem with it.” Catra shrugged, “They’re all really chill.”

The two girls walk out of the break-room once more, hanging out in the main area of the shop for a few moments before three people walk in. Catra quickly leads them to the counter, and after signing the papers, and exchanging the money, Adora notices Catra whisper something to them, to which all three of them glance over at her. She pretends not to notice, instead focusing on the table of Catra’s supplies, which she makes sure not to touch because Catra warned her earlier that she’d have to pay to replace whatever she destroys, and Catra was sure she’d destroy… a lot. The three people murmur their approval to Catra and then make their way over to the workshop area.

The two girls go to stand by Adora while the guy, who she assumes is their brother, sits on the bench and extends his arm out for Catra to begin tattooing his wrist.

“Hi!” One of the girls, the one with curly orange hair, turns to Adora with a friendly grin, “I’m Starla, what’s your name?”

Adora smiles back, “Adora.”

“Ooh, that’s a pretty name. So, are you getting tatted, too?” Starla wondered, while her sister stood beside her, rolling her eyes.

“Actually I’m just hanging out here for the day, ya know, watching the process and all that…” Adora gestured to where Catra was working.

“Sounds like fun.” She grins, “My siblings and I are getting matching tattoos. A star on each of our wrists.” She and Adora continued talking about tattoos for a while, discussing all the ones they’d wanna get someday while Starla’s siblings got their respective tattoos done.

After all three of them had finished up, asked Catra a few questions about how to properly care for their tattoos, and tipped her for her work, they were on their merry way, each of them gushing about how much they enjoyed the experience, especially Starla.

“Did I hear you say you wanted a sword tattoo?” Catra asked, spinning her stool around to face the blonde.

“Yup,” Adora shrugged, trying to be nonchalant, “I think it’d look cool.”

“Really?” Catra questioned, standing up now, “And would that have, I don’t know, anything to do with the sword drawing I have up in my break-room?”

“You have a sword drawing in your break-room?” Adora feigned shock, “Well Damn. What are the odds?”

Catra narrowed her eyes at the taller girl, “Ha ha, very funny. Ya know, I’d be happy to tattoo you some time.” She thought it over, “Provided you don’t talk while I work and you tip me well.”

“I have an even better idea,” Adora crossed her arms over her chest, “How about you tattoo me in exchange for taking me out on a date, and I can talk as much as I want through it all.”

“Soooo I’ll be doing all the work?” She crossed her arms as well, “How’s that fair, exactly?”

“I didn’t say it was fair, I said it was a better idea.”

“Whatever.”

“Again with the ‘whatever’s.”

“Well if you didn’t say dumb things, I wouldn’t ‘whatever’ you as often.” Catra argued, stepping up to the blonde with a semi-serious look on her face.

“I do not say dumb things!”

“Pfft. Yeah, okay…”

“Hey, I-“ Before Adora could finish that thought, a new customer walked in, cutting her off. She managed to mumble a quick, “This isn’t over.” To Catra before she made her way over to the client.

“Yeah, whatever.” Catra mumbled back, frustrating Adora even more.

That customer, a short, skinny, blond boy, had gotten a face tattoo. A tattoo… on his face. Something about it mortified Adora, especially when she looked at him afterwards and realized how out of place the tattoo looked. He had a very young, innocent kind of face and all the tattoo did was accentuate that. But to each his own, she figured, shrugging the idea off and silently deciding that she’d never get a face tattoo.

“I can’t believe he got a face tattoo…” Adora mumbled after the boy, Kyle, had left, “Couldn’t be me.”

Catra didn’t bother turning to face her, simply kept her eyes on the money she had been counting at the counter, “I dunno, I think you’d look kinda hot with a face tattoo.”

So it was decided, Adora was going to get a face tattoo.

“Damn, today was rough.” Catra sighed, fixing up a few more things at the counter before facing the other girl whilst loosely twisting her wrist around, “My hand is killing me.”

“I can imagine…” Adora sighed, leaning against the wall closest to her, “You tattooed, like, a hundred people today.”

Catra chuckled, “Actually, it was more like eight. Normally, I’d have a few consultations but I made sure not to book any for today, since I had so many appointments already.”

“It’s busy work, huh?”

“Yeah, I really enjoy it though, I’ve always had such a passion for art, it’s nice to get to do it for a living…” A soft smile makes its ways onto Catra’s face and it warms Adora’s heart, “And my regulars, like Scorpia, make all the work worth it even on days as tiring as this.”

“Oh, yeah, she was really nice.” Adora remembered, “And her singing was incredible.”

“She performs at that coffee house, Mysta-Café, like, every Friday night, actually.” Catra says, approaching Adora, “You should check it out sometime.”

“Ooh, totally!” And then a thought pops into her head and her smile grows, “Oh my gosh, I should totally tell Perfuma to go, I feel like Scorpia’s really her type.” She pulls out her phone and begins texting Perfuma, only to pause when she sees the look on Catra’s face. Her jaw slacked, eyebrows raised a little, arms crossed over her chest once again. “What…?”

“Perfuma, like, your ex Perfuma?” Catra questions, “The one you had to run in here to escape from? That Perfuma?”

Adora’s eyes widen at her slip up and she slowly lowers her phone, abandoning the text message before she could even hit send. She let out a nervous laugh, “I know… I… I know a tOn of Perfuma’s…” Catra clearly didn’t buy that, granted, who would? Adora was known for being a terrible liar. “Okay, fine, so maybe Perfuma and I aren’t on such bad terms after all…”

Catra rose a brow, “Is she even your ex?”

“Yes! And so is Mermista! But, um, they don’t hate my guts… Actually, the three of us are roommates.” Adora let out another nervous laugh, watching as Catra slapped a hand over her face, “It’s… possible… that I’ve had a crush on you for a while… and couldn’t think of any other way to talk to you… so I made up the ex thing as an excuse to hang out here all day...”

Catra sighed, lowering her hand from her face and shaking her head at Adora’s – incredibly stupid – decisions. “Whatever, at least you’re cute.” And with that she stepped right up to Adora and took each of her hands in her own, pressing a soft, lingering kiss to her lips.

“Okay but about that whatever thing-“

“Shhh, don’t ruin it.” Another kiss.

Catra definitely didn’t wake up that morning thinking she would end up kissing a beautiful, albeit idiotic, girl, and yet here she was.