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'till death do us part (in stupidity and in health)

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Horse Girl❤️:

Stopping at the bank!!! Also I want some candles!!!

What do u prefer for the living room

 

Literally anything that’s not vanilla scented

 

Horse Girl❤️:

:( My perfume is vanilla do u not like it baby



Even after five years of being married, Adora calling her ‘baby’ still spreads delicious heat throughout her body. 



A vanilla candle would make me miss

you more when you’re not home

 

Horse Girl❤️:

AW

DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH ON ME OR SOMETHING

HOW EMBARRASSING

 

We are married you fucking dweeb

 

Horse Girl❤️: 

Still tho

 

Horse Girl❤️: 

I’m picking you up at 4:30 for our Mystacor reservation

Don’t give me that shit about “needing to look pretty  after being on call”

You’re always fucking stunning



Catra can’t help the lazy smile that lifts her lips.

 

Ew stop

People might think you like me or something

 

Horse Girl❤️:

And they would be wrong because I love you

 

Horse Girl❤️:

Also Glimmer just texted and said that Finn got paint on  her mom’s throw pillow

Tbh it’s what she deserves

 

The on-call room for residents is empty, save for her- a rarity on its own. It’s a slow day at Bright Moon Memorial. With all of the college kids gone for summer break, none of them in town to injure themselves in drunken antics, it usually makes for less of a rush for trauma surgeons to get to work.

Today’s shift is unusually short, thankfully, but Catra had still grumbled over the fact that she was forced to leave her warm bed and her even warmer wife before noon today.

Adora was an absolute angel this morning, as she always is. She made Catra her coffee, promised to go run the house errands for her, and sent her to work with a light smack on the ass that woke her up faster than the coffee did.  

Adora had dropped Finn off at Glimmer and Bow’s house on her way out this morning, knowing that it would be easier than to have to go and drop them off before driving across down to get her for dinner. Catra parted from Finn with a kiss on the head and a hug, promising to see them later tonight. It’s still hard saying goodbye to Finn, even if it’s just for the day, and she can’t help the pull of her heart whenever they look up at her with big, sad eyes. She knows Finn will have fun, though, and that Glimmer and Bow will, too- they adore Finn, dote on them obnoxiously and give them too many sweets before nap time. It might be good practice for the pair, given that Glimmer is due at the end of the month. In any case, she’s grateful that someone loves her family almost as much as she does.

It’s not busy today, and nobody needs her immediately, so Catra lets her eyes slide closed on the on-call room’s couch. 

Her phone buzzes.

 

Horse Girl❤️:

The fuck this is the ugliest wells fargo i’ve ever been in

Where is the flavor here

There are NO LOLLIPOPS???



Catra sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. 



Bitch we have our money in BANK OF AMERICA

WHY ARE YOU AT A WELLS FARGO

 

Adora doesn’t respond immediately, but Catra doesn’t think anything of it. Her eyes slide shut once more. She’s on the brink of sleep, teetering on its blissful edge, and-

— her youngest intern slams the door open.

Catra blinks the drowsiness of her eyes, trying to estimate how long she’s been drifting in and out.

“Dr. Grayskull,” Kyle pants. “Doctor, I- uh- multiple- the, uh, victim-“

“Spit it the fuck out, Dr. Noodle Arms,” Catra hisses as she jolts up from the couch. “What is it?”

“Victim with multiple GSWs is eight minutes out,” he says, clearer this time. Catra nods sharply and pulls on her coat, waiting for him to move out of her way.

“Move out of my way.”

“Oh! Oh- uh- sorry,” he stammers, and he jumps back from the doorway. Catra leads him down the hall, to the main elevator, and down to the first-floor ambulance bay. 

She spots Scorpia standing near the information desk, pulling on a trauma gown and gloves. She turns to smile at Catra when she jogs up next to her and the latex slaps against her wrist.

“You hear about the incoming?” Catra says, reaching up to pull on a trauma gown. Scorpia nods and sighs, her face falling.

“Yeah. Real shame. You’d think that our country would have done something about gun violence already, you know? It was a shooting up the block, but I don’t know what building.”

Catra hums a noise in acknowledgement, and turns to- her eyebrows furrow.

Where the hell are the extra trauma gloves?

She can’t answer her question because the sound of ambulance sirens sends a rush of adrenaline into her body- and she loves this part of her job. She gets to be quick on her feet and get her hands dirty, and she knows that out of everyone at this hospital, nobody deserves the title of Chief of Trauma more than she does.

She resigns herself to forgoing trauma gloves, just for the moment, knowing that she needs to be out in the ambulance bay to listen to the victim report. Scorpia dashes out of the doors into the bay, pulling her gown halfway on, and Catra follows her trail. Somewhere in their rush, her intern happens to get ahead of her. They reach the ambulance in mere seconds, and Catra’s calves are already starting to burn at the exertion of energy.

There’s blood stained across the ambulance floor.

It’s not anything she hasn’t seen before- frankly, Catra’s seen worse. This part of her job is always her favorite, though. The rush of adrenaline, pure pumps of sheer exhilaration. She hasn’t operated in over a week, and she’ll be damned if she doesn’t get to today. 

“On me,” one of the paramedics says. The others gather around the gurney, surrounding each side and lift it gently off of the metal floor.

“One, two, three!”

They lower the gurney down onto the concrete of the ambulance bay, quickly but carefully. Blood dribbles down the side of the patient’s exposed hand, blue veins stark against the white of skin. It drips soundlessly onto the ground.

The patient’s chest is heaving in erratic, shallow breaths, and the person is sickeningly pale. Catra seems to notice as soon as the emergency cardio surgeon does. She steps back to make room for him to appraise the patient, and she’s lost in the rush of doctors and EMTs moving to lock the wheels of the gurney for transport. The last click of wheels is the catalyst they need to take off into a sprint towards the ER as a synchronized unit.

A trail of blood streams onto the ground behind them, growing darker as her team runs the gurney inside.

“Three GSWs. Two in the lower abdomen, one in the chest. We think a bullet might have clipped an artery, but her total blood loss isn’t severe enough to be caused by full arterial penetration. She was responsive when we got to her in the field, in shock, but she lost consciousness en route. All wounds have exit wounds,” the paramedic lists as he runs alongside the surgeons.

“What happened?” Scorpia shouts to him from behind.

“Bank shooting. Don’t know which bank, though. Witness said that the patient jumped in front of a kid to protect him from being shot.”

Catra doesn’t register the comment- she’s looking at the thick medical wrap around the victim’s torso, counting the seconds it takes for the blood to spread half a quarter inch further. If the blood loss is too fast, she won’t be able to operate- the patient will be too far into shock for their body to survive it. If it’s too slow, she’ll have to get Kyle to push an anticoagulant for her as she preps the patient, and Kyle is terrible at everything. The amount of blood loss per second has to be just right. 

Catra’s running next to Kyle, who is keeping his pace directly next to the patient’s head, and she can’t see the face of the patient. She’s a woman, Catra can tell from the curve of her waist, but she doesn’t need to focus on anything else besides the dropping vitals of her go-monitor.

This woman is dying, very quickly, and something inside of Catra jumps alive at the aspect of operating on her.

They all storm into the ER flood with the EMTs hot on their trail. 

“ER four,” Catra commands, and the neurosurgeon with them nods sharply. The gurney twists and slides into her favorite ER room, and- shit.

She still doesn’t have any gloves on. 

She can’t touch the patient without them. There’s some in ER four, and she knows because she always likes to make sure that her favorite ER is up to her own standards. Catra cracks her knuckles and takes one step into the ER room, her foot barely in the doorway.

Someone grabs her by the hand and jerks her backwards, violently.

“What the fuck?” Catra hisses, and wheels around to look down at Kyle. “Let me the fuck go. Fuck is wrong with you?”

“You can’t,” he whimpers. “I- I’m sorry, Dr. Grayskull, but I can’t let you go in there.”

“He’s right,” someone adds. Catra turns to see Scorpia come up behind her. Her face is twisted with pain, like she hurt her ankle on the run in, and her gloves are smeared with the thick shine of dark, purple-ish blood.

The color tells Catra that the patient is going into organ failure, and her body is already becoming deoxygenated. She needs to get in there, and she needs to get in there fast.

“What’s the deal? Let me the fuck in there. That’s my fucking ER room. We’ve got multiple GSWs, and I’m the best surgeon on call right-”

“It’s your wife,” the intern breathes to her, his eyes wide with panic. “Dr. Grayskull, it’s your wife.”

Something inside of her chest goes numb.

“Yeah, good one,” Catra mutters, scanning the room. “Where the hell are the extra doubled gloves? I thought Lonnie resto-“

Scorpia steps forward and presses both of her palms onto Catra’s shoulders, pushing down on her to keep her rooted in her spot.

“Catra,” she says softly. “Catra. Adora got shot, and I’m going to take you to an on-call room now, okay? You’re going to sit for a second.”

Scorpia’s words don’t really make sense to her. She can’t process them.

“... What?” 

And the world is blurry, suddenly, and the room’s temperature plummets.

“Adora is in ER four being prepped for emergency surgery. We’ve got the best team going up to OR nine with her, okay? Kyle’s going to call Glimmer and Bow, and they’re going to bring Finn. Me and Perfuma and Mermista are going to take good care of h- Catra? CATRA!”

She’s vaguely aware of her knees hitting the ground and big hands reaching under her arms. 

Oh.

Her wife is dying in her favorite ER.

Someone’s yelling at her, but she can only see the dark stain of Adora’s blood dripping from her fingers and onto the floor of her favorite ER room.

Adora’s chest has three bullet holes in it, and Finn is at Glimmer and Bow’s house so Adora doesn’t have to drop them off before coming to pick Catra up for dinner, and she was at Wells Fargo for no reason. She went there on accident, because she’s so smart but she can be such a ditz, and Catra can’t live a life where she has to talk about Adora in the past tense.

Her head slams into something hard, and then she’s staring up into fluorescent lights.

“I’ve got you, Wildcat,” someone says, but the voice is muffled and all too far away.

“Four is Adora’s favorite number,” someone else says, and Catra’s mouth feels like cotton. 

“I know, Wildcat. I know. Let’s get you up.”

Someone helps her walk to the nearest on-call room on the floor, but she doesn’t know who it is. The rush of blood in her ears is sickening and deafening, and every step she takes away from her wife, dying in her favorite ER, is a numb pull of grief.

She sits down in a chair and vaguely registers that the television is on in the room, hanging limp from the mount on the wall. The local news channel is on, and the breaking news graphic on the screen screams at her in taunting, bold letters.

 

OFF- DUTY FBI SPECIAL AGENT STOPS SHOOTING AT THAYMOR BANK

  • Witnesses say she was shot thrice while shielding a child with her own body
  • The agent, whose name is protected under federal law, was shot three times before grabbing the gun from the shooter’s hand
  • She subdued him before collapsing onto the ground due to her injuries
  • A bystander and eyewitness called emergency services after the shooter was subdued
  • “The adrenaline is what most likely caused her to be able to react, even with her injuries,” according to the ambulance driver.
  • Surveillance footage has been blocked from being released by the FBI in order to preserve the agent’s identity
  • Condition of the FBI agent is not known

 

The person- Scorpia- reaches up to press the television’s power button, and the screen goes black.

“Glimmer and Bow are on their way with Finn,” she says softly, bending down to kneel in front of Catra. “They’ll be here in twenty min-“ 

The sound of her pager cuts her sentence off, and she casts a glance down at it. 

“Okay,” Scorpia continues. “Adora’s ready to be taken into surgery. I’m gonna be in there, Perfuma and Mermista are gonna be in there, and we called Micah just in case. We’ve got the chiefs of Neuro, Cardio, and General working on her. Eleven surgeons in there, three on each wound, neuro to check her head, Micah to step in, and a full nurse and tech staff. Okay? A- and you’ve got your best trauma surgeon in there too, Wildcat. I’ll be right there with her. Okay?”

Catra feels her head bobble. Scorpia smiles weakly.

“Okay. Glimmer and Bow are going to make sure you don’t sneak off to the observation deck. You- I don’t- I don’t think you’re gonna want to see it. We love Adora as much as we love you, and we’re going to take really good care of her.”

The next thing that Scorpia says is something that’s forbidden in their line of work- a promise that no surgeon can ever truly guarantee to keep. It’s a liability, a disingenuous complacency, a danger.

“Adora’s going to be okay. She’s going to be fine. I promise. We can promise you that.”

Out of the corner of her eye, she thinks she sees Kyle run in, his face red and his chest heaving.

“The OR floor is being blocked off from the press and any extra personnel except family,” he pants. “Someone from the FBI just showed up with a request from a federal judge for it.”

Catra feels her head bobble again, trying desperately to listen to the words that sound all too far away.

“Uh, Kyle, little busy right now,” Scorpia says politely. She sends him a thumbs-up. “Thanks, though.”

“Don’t let him touch her,” Catra’s voice says, because out of all of the people who are qualified in her mind to even go near Adora, Kyle the Intern is absolutely not one of them.

“Done deal,” Scorpia chuckles. She stands slowly and looks down at Catra.

Catra can’t move her eyes from the floor. She thinks her hands are shaking.

“We’ll send updates. She- she’s gonna be okay, Catra. Adora is going to be okay.”

She exits the room, quietly but quickly, and Kyle bounds after her.

Catra sits, alone.

 


 

She’s not exactly sure how long she spends in the waiting room. The lights are dim, and there’s no noise coming from the room or the hallway nearby. Nothing in her body responds to her- she can’t move, she can’t think, she can’t feel. Her head is numb, and her eyes are dry, and her fingers might be burning from their hard grasp against the arms of the chair. If she wasn’t on call today, Catra would have gone out to run errands instead of Adora, and Adora went to Wells Fargo for no-

“Mommy?”

Catra lifts her head slowly, painfully. Finn stares back at her, holding a stuffed animal, their eyes wide with excitement and a thumb in their mouth as they linger in the doorway. She blinks, trying to take them in, but her world is white and numb and soundless.

“Hi, Mommy!”

Finn knows the difference between Catra and Adora- that much is true, she can see, through the way Finn interacts with the both of them. It hasn’t quite translated into language, though. For now, they’re both ‘Mommy’.

Catra feels something heavy in her stomach sink at the harrowing, fleeting thought that after today, Finn might only have one.

Glimmer and Bow stand behind Finn, their faces stricken with grief and worry. Glimmer’s jaw is clenched, and Catra somehow processes that Bow’s eyes are filled with unspilled tears. Finn bounds forward towards Catra and jumps into their mother’s lap, nuzzling their head into her sagged shoulder. They leave their favorite plush toy, a little cat named Melog, forgotten on the floor.

“We played robots!” Finn chirps, reaching a hand up to play with the necklace Adora got her for their third wedding anniversary. “Where’s Mommy?”

Is Adora dead? Catra hears instead.

Glimmer and Bow take silent steps into the room and sit across from Catra in the chairs on the opposite side of the row. They’re half-dressed- Bow is in lounge shorts and a tank top, his socks mismatched, and Glimmer’s wearing hot pink Crocs in the waiting room outside of Catra’s favorite ER.

“We didn’t tell them,” Bow says softly. Catra nods, her neck stiff from letting it hang loose on her shoulders for too long.

“Mommy?” Finn asks again, patting their hands on her forearm to get her attention.

Catra takes a deep breath and swallows dryly. When she became a mother, she knew to prepare for the worst- especially given Adora’s line of work.

That doesn’t make this any easier.

“Finnie,” Catra starts softly, and she tries as hard as she can to not let her voice tremble. “Mommy’s asleep right now. We, um, we’re just waiting for her to wake up.”

Finn, ever sharp, raises a dark eyebrow at her, and they look too much like Adora in the moment. “‘S not night time?” Finn asks, and Catra nods.

“No, it’s not night time. You take naps when it’s not night time, right?”

Finn nods, curious.

“Yeah. Mommy’s just taking one right now because she got a little hurt, okay? But…”

Her first year of her surgical internship comes back to her in a painful flash. She’s never been quite the stickler for rules or promises, but she understands why surgeons have them. They’re liabilities, they’re weaknesses, they’re emotional attachments and tethers that prevent you from operating at your best capacity.

Right now, though, Catra’s not a surgeon. She’s a mother.

“... She’s going to be fine, okay? Ad- Mommy’s going to be okay. When she wakes up, you and I can go hang out with her. Sound good?” Her voice trembles with every word, and they sting her tongue as they leave her mouth. She can’t make Finn these promises, can’t have lived for the rest of her life knowing that she may have lied to them, but she has to.

Finn nods happily, content with the answer they are given, and nuzzles their head into her chest. Catra reaches a numb hand up to card her shaking fingers through their small tuft of blonde hair that looks too much like how Adora’s did when they were children. Finn drifts off after a few moments, tired from their playdate with Glimmer and Bow, so Catra turns her attention to the pair. 

“Thank you,” she says quietly, and she’s returned with two soft smiles.

“She’ll be okay,” Bow says softly. “She’s been through worse.”

Glimmer nods in agreement. “Not to mention the fact that this entire hospital worships the ground you walk on. I know they’re not going to take any chances. She’s in good hands.”

“Who’s in there with her?” Bow asks, leaning forward. Catra grits her teeth.

“People I-I trust. Uh, Scorpia called Micah just in case, but I think he’ll, uh, step in as lead if they need him to.”

Glimmer leans back and sighs in relief. “Thank god my dad was in today,” she breathes. “If Scorpia, Mermista, and Perfuma are in there with him, you don’t have anything to worry about, okay?”

“She was at Wells Fargo,” Catra blurts suddenly, and Finn shifts in her arms. “Adora went to a fucking Wells Fargo and I have no fucking clue why,” she continues shakily, dropping her voice. “She- she- we d- we don’t have our fucking money in Wells Fargo.” Glimmer and Bow share a look with each other. 

“I’m sure she had a good reason, but, you know better than we do that she’s just…” Glimmer waves her hand in the air, vaguely, and Catra takes note of the paleness of her skin. “... kind of an airhead, sometimes. I’m pretty sure that the new donut place she’s been obsessed with opened by that Wells Fargo.”

Catra knows that Glimmer’s façade is only to comfort her. Glimmer might be just as scared as she is at the prospect of losing her best friend, but for now, Catra is grateful for the gesture.

“She was off-duty though, right?” Bow asks, and Catra nods slowly.

“Yeah. I- I still don’t know what happened. Scorpia turned off the news when she brought me in here,” Catra says, and suddenly, she’s lightheaded. Finn shifts again, letting out a small sound of contentment, and it pulls her back to Earth.

“I was reading the breaking AP news articles as they came out when Bow was driving,” Glimmer says softly. “... She saved everyone in that bank, Catra. So many people would be dead if she didn’t step in.”

“But what the fuck is the point of that if she dies?” Catra growls, her voice cracking, and Finn jerks awake in her arms. She looks down, panicked, but Finn smiles sleepily up at her and reaches down to play with her fingers.

“We go see Mommy?” they ask through a yawn, and Catra’s heart drops into her stomach with the shake of her head.

“I- Not yet, baby. Okay? Go back to sleep,” she breathes out, and Finn nestles back into her arms. She brings a hand up to hold the back of their little head and lets out a shaky breath. “Please go back to sleep.”

“The FBI is standing outside all of the entrances to the floor, apparently,” Glimmer says when Finn drifts back off. “They gave us a hard time when we tried to get in.”

Catra manages a shaky smile. “How’d you get past them?”

Bow lets out a soft chuckle, his face downcast. “Finn marched up to one of them and told her they would bite her if they couldn’t go see Mommy.”

Catra has to push her palm against her mouth to keep from laughing, and she can’t stop the fresh tears from springing into her eyes. She bites down her laughter, manic and anguished, as she tightens her hold on Finn with her free arm.

“I don’t know what the fuck I’m gonna do if she dies,” she manages to let out through pained, suppressed laughter. “Guys, I- I don’t know what the fuck I’m gonna do with myself. I- I don’t, I can’t-”

“She won’t,” Glimmer says firmly, and she reaches forward to press her hand on Catra’s knee. “Adora’s going to be fine, okay? Some of the best surgeons in the world are in there working on her right now. She’s survived a car crash, poison, being stabbed, and- God, Catra, the two of you survived living at Weaver’s home. She’s unstoppable, okay? She’s going to be fine.”

And Catra is desperate for hope, any sliver, any semblance of it. She nods and decides that, even if it’s futile, she has to believe Glimmer.

She has loved Adora since before she could walk, before she could even spell her name. Adora has witnessed with her the horrors of living in Sharon Weaver’s group home, pushed her through high school, loved her in college, and married her after Catra finished her residency. Adora is her entire life- outside of the toddler in her arms- she is her lifeblood. Every morning that she wakes up to Adora’s snores leads to a good day, and every night she falls in bed with her is just one more reminder that her life, invariably, is perfect.

She doesn’t know a life without Adora- has never been forced to experience it, and never wants to do so. Adora is her anchor, the love of her life, her partner in crime. Adora is the light on every rainy day she’s ever had. It took her so long to finally accept Adora’s love, to love her back, freely and willingly.

Catra thinks that if Adora dies, then she might die, too.

She closes her eyes, slowly, to try and draw her attention away from her pounding heart, cold with fear. She has a child to think about, and she can’t let herself lose it now- not with Finn here. She rests the back of her head against the metal of the waiting room chair, and Bow and Glimmer let the room fall into tense silence.

Catra’s mind draws many blanks, too many things running through her mind, and she’s too scared to let any of them linger. She forces herself to take slower breaths as her veins pump more numbness through her, and in the back of her mind, she toys with the fact that she may be on her way towards going into shock. Finn lets out a sleepy snore below her chin.

She drifts away into a dull state of unconsciousness, just hanging on the brink of disturbed sleep and panic.

 


 

Catra doesn’t know if she falls asleep or not- she’s too scared out of her mind to even fathom the thought- but, still, the slam of the opening door causes adrenaline to flood into her body.

Scorpia storms into the room, her surgical gloves off, but her gown and scrub hat are still on. She’s panting, her eyes are unfocused, and her face is flushed.

When she looks up at Catra, her expression is tainted with pain.

When she looks up at Catra, her entire world slips away soundlessly.

“Sorry,” Scorpia winces. “Just- rolled my ankle on the stairs, I think. Jeez.”

Catra feels the ground underneath her feet again.

“She’s out, Catra. She’s out. She’s fine. Patient room eleven. No neuro problems, minimal blood loss, minimal scarring. She just needs to slee-“

Catra feels her feet hit the ground, hard. She sets Finn down on the floor, as gently as she can, before she’s sprinting out of the waiting room, her hair flying behind her and her heart in her stomach. She hears a faint, ‘Catra!’ behind her as she runs down the hallway.

The numbers on the doors go by- 8, 9, 10- before she comes to a sudden stop at room eleven. The door is cracked slightly open. Catra lets the faint beep of the heart monitor ground her, just for a moment.

Catra braces herself and pushes the door open.

The room is dim, only a few fluorescent lights poorly illuminating the space. A myriad of gauze, bandage, and antibacterial cream packages are piled onto the table in the corner of the room, just across from the hospital bed.

Adora’s eyes are open, and she’s staring up at the ceiling with hooded eyes.

There are so many things Catra wants to say to her wife right now.

I don’t know what I would have done if I had lost you. I need you. I can’t do this on my own. I don’t know a life without you. I don’t want to know a life without you. 

I wouldn’t be able to listen to Finn ask where you are. How are you feeling? 

Please, don’t leave me. Don’t do that to me again. I love you, and I can’t live without you.

Her mouth decides to take a different route.

“Are you a fucking idiot? What the fuck is wrong with you?” Catra voice shakes out, her eyes burning with unshed tears.

Adora lifts her head, slowly, weakly, and meets Catra’s eyes. Her expression is dazed.

“I’m not dead,” she slurs out. “I know I’m not dead because you wouldn’t call me an idiot in heaven.”

Adora’s voice is the best song she’s ever heard in her life.

Catra breaks out into a watery grin and nearly runs to her bedside. She stops to look up at Adora’s monitor- diastolic number: good, temperature: 99.1, systolic number: normal range, heart rate: 99 beats per-

“Your heart rate is too fast,” she breathes out, almost manic, and her heart rate skyrockets, too. “You’re- how are you feeling? Are you dizzy? Do you feel numbness anywhere? What’s-”

“Maybe-” Adora cuts in softly, “- my pretty wife makes my heart race. Or, maybe I’m scared that you’ll kick my ass.”

If the image of Adora’s blood dripping onto her usual ER’s floor wasn’t seared into the back of her eyelids, maybe Catra would have laughed. Instead, she wheels around to glare down at Adora.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” she spits, and it’s only now how angry she realizes she is. “I- Adora, I- what the fuck were you even thinking? I- oh, fuck, you just-“

“There was a kid,” Adora says, and her voice is scratchy with dehydration. “Guy pointed his gun at the kid.”

“That doesn’t fucking make a diff-“

“The kid looked like Finn.”

Oh.

“I looked over, and it was- it was Finn, Catra,” Adora croaks, turning to look at her with teary eyes. “I saw Finn. They had the same- the same eyes. I saw Finn.”

And Catra thinks of Finn, a tuft of sandy blonde hair and bright blue eyes and a tiny, charming smile. Small but devious little hands, an uncontrollable sweet tooth, and adorable babbles in the backseat of Adora’s car when they’re singing along to some pop song on her Spotify playlist. The way they reach up for Adora after a bad dream and team up with Catra during Nerf gun fights around the house. The way Finn can’t quite roll their ‘R’s yet, so when they practice Spanish with Adora, it’s terrible in its own cute way.

She thinks about how their baby will still grow up with both of their moms.

“Okay,” Catra breathes. “Okay. Okay.”

“I’m done,” Adora wheezes, squeezing the nearest part of Catra she can reach. “I’m- I’m done. I’m quitting.”

“Babe, you love your job,” Catra protests weakly. And it’s true- Adora loves her job, loves the sense of duty that it fulfills and the pride she takes in putting her holster on her belt every morning.

“I love you two more. That’s all I want. I- I can’t do this to you again, okay?”

“You were off-duty,” Catra says, anger bubbling inside of her again. “You were at fucking Wells Fargo for no reason, and you were off-duty. You- you didn’t have to do anything, Adora.”

“But, I did,” Adora says. “I had to. I- what was I supposed to do? Let people get hurt? I’m- I’m done, Catra. I work in the Drug Crimes division, I- you know how dangerous that can get. I’m done, okay? I’ll do something else. I’m not putting you two through this again. Not even on the job. I- I can’t do that. Not to Finn. Okay?”

Adora’s voice is slurred, her mind hazy with painkillers and drowsiness. She knows that she’s genuine in her words, though, and all Catra can do is nod. “I- okay, babe. Okay.”

They’re silent for a moment, until Adora speaks again. “Razz had her money in Wells Fargo,” she starts, her voice somewhere far away. Catra’s brows crease at the mention of Adora’s grandmother.

“... Razz has been dead for two years.”

“I know,” Adora says, nodding slightly. “Before she died, she put money in a savings account for Finn. For college, and stuff. It was a lot, and the interest had already matured. I went to take it out for them before the bank started taking hold deductions.”

“Oh,” Catra breathes. She doesn’t know what to say. “Oh.”

“Yeah. I may be an airhead, but I’m not stupid,” Adora chuckles softly. “I know what bank we use.”

The air is lighter in the musty hospital room. The smell of hydrogen peroxide and Lysol is heavy in Catra’s nose. 

“What bank, then?” she teases, cracking a smile. Adora’s pale face falls abruptly.

“I, uh. Um. Cha- Bank of America,” she corrects quickly, her eyes wide. Catra huffs out a laugh and leans down to rest her head gently in the crook of Adora’s neck.

“You’re such an idiot,” she breathes, and a limp hand comes up to cradle her neck.

“I’m your idiot, though.”

“... Mommy?”

The two of them turn their heads to see Finn, Glimmer and Bow behind them, standing in the doorway. Finn’s clutching onto Melog, and one of their fingers is in their mouth.

“Oh, hi, baby,” Adora breathes, and her smile is blinding through watery eyes. “Hi, Finn.”

Finn takes a hesitant step forward, but stops in their tracks. Catra’s brows furrow, but she knows that this is normal for children. Adora looks terrible- needles and wires and pale patches of red covering and twisting in and out of her body as she lay in the stiff hospital bed.

Adora’s face falls, and her eyes widen at Finn’s hesitation to come near her. Catra’s heart lurches in her chest at her wife’s panic and quickly turns her attention to Finn.

“It’s okay, baby,” Catra coos, reaching her hand out towards Finn. “Wanna come see Mommy’s special new bed? It’s really cool. It looks like a spaceship, and I know you like Star Trek.”

Finn nods, shy.

“Yeah. Mommy’s like Captain Riker right now. I know Captain Riker’s your favorite. Wanna come hang out with us? We missed you.”

She’s not really sure who Captain Riker is, let alone what he actually looks like. It’s a show that Finn and Adora obsess over on the weekends, when bedtimes and morning alarms become non-existent. Even still, Adora needs Finn right now, and Catra needs Adora. She’ll say what she needs to say.

Finn nods again, visibly more comfortable. They waddle over towards Catra and stick their little arms up at her. Catra gently pulls Finn up into her arms, settles back down gingerly on the bed, and rests Finn in her lap.

“Thank you guys,” Catra whispers to Glimmer and Bow. Bow smiles, his eyes misty, and nods slowly. Glimmer's fingers are laced together, her knuckles pressing against her mouth.

“We’ll be back in a bit,” Bow says softly. “We’ll give you guys some space for a while.” The two of them back slowly out of the doorway, and Bow leads Glimmer down the hall with his hand on the small of her back.

“Bye, Aunt Gwimbow!” Finn calls, and Adora’s chest wheezes with the small fit of laughter their tiny words send her into.

“You’re Cap’n Riker, Mommy!” Finn says breathlessly, looking at the sickly white wires and EEG patches attached to Adora. Adora nods weakly, still smiling, and takes one of Finn’s hands in her own.

“Pretty cool, right?” she asks, and Finn bobbles their head up and down excitedly. “You know I love you, right? I love you so, so much, Finn. I love you. I’d do anything for you.”

“I love you too!” Finn’s ‘L’s need a bit of work, and the consonant comes out as a ‘W’. A part of Catra’s heart melts. 

Finn cuddles into the side of Adora’s strong, pale arm, avoiding her torso and the wires protruding from it. Catra sits back against the bed at Adora’s other side and leans down to rest her chin against her wife’s head. Adora’s hand jerks up, shaky and unsure, and Catra meets it with the grasp of her own hand. They let their fingers intertwine and rest their hands against the scratchy sheet of the bed as Finn launches into a babble about what they did with Glimmer and Bow this afternoon.

Adora looks weak, but her eyes are shining and her smile is genuine as she listens to their baby, nodding when Finn uses their hands to talk and laughing when Finn does impressions. Adora’s hand comes up to play with the ankle of Finn’s tiny jeans, twisting and rolling denim in what Catra knows to be a tick- a grounding tick that Adora uses whenever she feels too much at once and needs something grounding.

It’s only then when Catra realizes.

Adora was shot three times, and all she’s thought about is how she feels about it.

“Adora,” Catra murmurs into her hair. Adora doesn’t move. “Adora.”

“Mommy,” Finn says softly. “Mommy, why are you sad?”

Panic flies into Catra’s throat as her body moves with its own alarm to twist and look at Adora’s face. Adora’s eyes are open, flickering back and forth between Finn and the chair across the room, her chest is moving with short and uneven breaths, and there’s the telling stain of a tear that slides down her cheek.

Adora’s hand clenches Catra’s suddenly, fierce and trembling.

“Adora,” Catra breathes, bringing her hand up to cradle her jaw. “Adora, look at me. You’re fine. Okay? You’re fine. You’re okay.”

But her wife is slipping away, trapping herself in her own mind out of fear and defense. Adora’s been through hell- this, Catra knows. Adora has survived insurmountable physical pain, injuries, seen things outside of her line of work that would drive another person to the brink of madness.

Adora is still hurt, but this is something that surgery can’t fix.

“I- oh, God, I- I got sh- I got shot, I-” Adora grits out, her jaw shaking as another tear slides down her face.

Before Catra can say anything, though, Finn shoves Melog into Adora’s limp arm and reaches up to pat Adora’s cheeks with two tiny hands.

“Sh,” Finn whispers loudly, pressing their nose to Adora’s own. “Melog’s helpin’.” They squish Adora’s cheeks between their little hands, stained with paint, and Adora’s body goes completely still.

“‘S okay, Mommy. Melog’s helpin’.”

“Okay,” Adora breathes out, sending Finn a small but tense grin. “Melog’s helping. Okay.” 

Adora clutches the stuffed animal closer to her torso and winces with pain at the action. Finn moves their hands from Adora’s cheeks and sits back down to lean half against Melog, half against Adora’s forearm. Finn rests an arm gently over Adora’s forearm and presses a kiss to her exposed deltoid through the hospital gown. Catra presses another kiss into Adora’s hair, letting her lips linger, and squeezes her hand.

“You’re okay, baby,” Catra breathes, and the words are a relief to her. “You’re okay. You’re going to be okay.”

Adora nods weakly and screws her eyes shut. Her fingers curl impossibly tighter around Catra’s hand, and she splays the fingers on her other hand out to touch Finn’s hand. They grab at her index finger, their tiny hand too small to even wrap fully around it, and crane their neck up to look at Adora.

“Melog helped?” they ask shyly, and Adora nods down at them.

“Yeah, baby. Melog helped. Thank you.”

“Y’ecome!”

The three of them sit there for what feels to Catra to be hours. She focuses on Adora’s steadying breaths, the slowing beep of the heart monitor, and the small twitch of Finn’s shoulder- a telltale sign that they’re about to fall asleep.

Catra closes her eyes and presses her nose into Adora’s hair, choking back the sob that threatens to rip through her chest.

She doesn’t step foot into ER four again.