“Doc, come on, you have got to be shitting me.”
Netossa doesn’t even bother to look at her student when she rolls her eyes and says, “I’m not, and language, D’riluth.”
Catra scoffs. “Oh, so we’re old enough to be parents , but I can’t say the word shit? Seems fair.”
“On the contrary, the whole point of this project is to illustrate to each of you that you are not in fact, ready to be parents.” The teacher paces the room to stand in front of Catra’s desk and drops a load of packets onto it. “Pass these around, will you?”
It’s pretty fucking obvious that it’s not a real question. So, with no small amount of grumbling, Catra sets to the task of passing out the packets for this stupid flour baby project to the rest of the class. Netossa drones on in the background about the project and it’s all pretty much what you’d expect; ten pound bag of flour signed by their teacher so it can’t be replaced, carry it around for two weeks, and don’t let it get busted or whatever. There’s also like, some dumb log they have to keep and get signed off on. Catra rolls her eyes at the thought of asking Weaver to sign off on that shit.
Catra can already hear the unnecessary lecture on teen pregnancy and the rant on the great sin that is homosexuality that’s sure to follow when she points out the futility of Weaver’s efforts. Something to look forward to she supposes. Who knows though, maybe Weaver will make Catra’s greatest wish come true and quit her job running the group home. She could have her desk cleaned out by the time Catra rolls up the minute curfew sets in and turns her into a pumpkin. It’s good to have dreams, right?
Either way this project is gonna be annoying as fuck, but it’s fine. Scorpia’s in this class with her and Catra’s pretty confident she’ll be thrilled to take the lead. Thank the stars she’s a lesbian too, that girl has baby fever harder than any seventeen year old ought to. She’d probably “forget” to take her birth control or some shit. Not like, actually obviously. She’s responsible, hence Catra’s comfort putting her grade in her close friend’s hands.
And then Doc has to go and fuck that up for her.
Catra’s standing between Bow Archer and Glitter Princess, ignoring their shared coquettish look -which is super gross and tells her they’re either fucking or desperate to- when Doc says, “Partners will be randomly assigned by me-”
She’s not sure whose head snaps up the fastest; her own, Sparkle’s, or Bow’s. Most of the class is pretty up in arms honestly. Not Adora though, she just looks down at the packet Catra had dropped on her desk, pretty unfazed.
Adora gets why Bow and Glimmer are upset; they just got together after dancing around each other since the sixth grade. Obviously they were hoping to pair up. She’s not bothered that neither considered who she’d pair with. Which sounds facetious...but it really isn’t. She’s happy for them! Plus it isn’t like she doesn’t have other friends in this class; Perfuma has health this period too. That’s kind of who she’d planned to pair with honestly. There is a chance this could work out in Perfuma’s favor though. Adora knows she’s been crushing on Scorpia D’ream since the start of the year. You never know, maybe the universe will decide to help a girl out.
Honestly, Perfuma’s ballsy enough that she might have just asked Scorpia outright to be her partner if she had the choice. Although, there’s the whole...Scorpia/Catra, um...dynamic? Whatever, pretty much everyone in their grade knows that Scorpia is half in love with her best friend. And Catra only consistently tolerates like two people, so a lot of people have speculated over the years over whether or not there’s anything there. Adora thinks they aren’t dating but she mostly tries to stay out of what isn’t her business.
Adora’s eyes drift out the window, zoning out entirely for the time being. Back in the real world Catra flops into her seat and shares a commiserating look with Scorpia, who looks borderline distraught. She’s really a direct contrast to Catra. See, where she has basically no emotions, Scorpia has all of them-usually all at once. It’s kind of nice. When it isn’t totally annoying that is.
At least she has Entrapta. Not unemotional entirely but unflappable and upfront, Catra’s other close friend is a good mediator between her and Scorpia. Ugh, not that she’s like, mushy about the sense of balance between the three of them. She just likes what she has is all. So, the prospect of hanging out with some rando from class and a ten pound sack of flour is not ideal.
At the front of the room Doc is still prattling on, talking about the stupid log they’re supposed to fill out and the couple of worksheets included in the packet. And then it’s time to partner up and pass out their “babies”. Immediately any hopes Catra has of getting lucky are dashed; Scorpia gets paired with Perfuma. Figures. Perfuma’s like, fine, whatever. Catra’s pretty sure she’s bi or gay or whatever, so that’s chill. She’s just also...peppy. Catra’s pretty sure she’s on the tennis team and president of botany club or something. She’s always passing out fliers-which seems weird, right? Like, she’s running the plant club, shouldn’t she be trying to make her club eco friendly or whatever? Not that Catra gives a single shit of course. It’s just stupid, send an email.
She sort of listens to everyone else get paired up. She feels a little bit guilty for being smug over Shimmer and her boyfriend getting separated. Just, if the preppy popular kids had lucked out and she hadn’t she’d have been a little miffed is all. Immediately the paralyzing thought that karma’s gonna get her by pairing her with Sparkles grips her. She exhales in relief when a couple groups later Mermista lands her as a partner instead.
That leaves just...Kyle, who is good for one thing and one thing only-and it’s not partner projects; Adora, she’s hot so at least her baby momma would be a catch, she’s a total jock though and Catra’s pretty sure she’s straight so she keeps any lusting to a minimum; and Rogelio, who would be fine she supposes, he just talks even less than Catra and she is not up to be carrying any conversations.
“Alright, Grayskull?” Adora’s head snaps back from the window upon hearing her name. Hopefully she hasn’t missed anything she can’t find in her packet.
“Yep!” She glances around the room to see who the remaining potential partners are. She’s not too fussed between Catra and Rogelio, but if she gets Kyle she’ll be pissed. She’s seen that guy break a ton of shit over the years-not exactly the person you want to be trusting not to drop your flour baby.
“You’re with D’riluth.”
“Great!” She turns to Catra to offer a smile, but the other girl is looking toward the front of the room.
If Adora had been able to see her face, she would have seen a purposefully blank expression. Catra’s trying to mask her reaction because, well, she doesn’t understand it. Adora’s fine for a randomly assigned partner. She’s a total jock and sort of obnoxiously friendly- hardly makes her intimidating. So...why does Catra feel like she’s gonna hurl all the sudden?
They land in front of Netossa’s desk about the same time. The surface is covered in stray flour and Catra raises an eyebrow and points at it. “You giving us damaged goods there, Doc?”
“You’ve got a perfectly healthy baby, D’riluth, mazel tov.”
“Uh huh, so whose baby has been bleeding all over your desk then?” Doc just gives her a dry look in response, but Catra thinks it’s funny enough for the both of them. Plus, Adora snorts beside her, so at least someone appreciates her.
“Maybe we should weigh them?” Adora says. “You know, just to make sure if anyone’s underweight we know that now.”
Catra eyes her from her periphery. Adora’s delivery is very...respectful. Catra swears she sees a flash of something in her look though. Doc either isn’t fooled or doesn’t care. She just says, “Yeah, you see a scale here, Greyskull? Just don’t tear the thing open and you’ll be fine. Now go name your kid and talk custody.”
Adora literally fucking salutes her like a total ding dong. “Roger that.”
“We’re not naming our fucking kid Roger.” Catra snipes reflexively.
“Language.” Netossa chides, almost bored.
Adora just raises an eyebrow at Catra, amused. “Not what I was suggesting, but sure, go off.”
Catra rolls her eyes at her and stomps back to her desk. None of the adjacent desks are free so Adora just hops onto Bow’s. He’s sat in the desk to the right of Catra’s, working on naming his and Sea Hawk’s baby. He looks up at Adora when she plops down, unfazed by her choice in seat. “Adora! Guess our baby’s name!”
“Uh…” She can’t help but turn and smirk at Catra who rolls her eyes and turns to dig in her backpack for something. “I dunno...Roger?”
“That is a good one though!” Sea Hawk chimes in. “Jolly little Roger. Perhaps your and Catra’s child…”
“Stars, Greyskull, are you gonna be this annoying the entirety of the next two weeks?” Catra asks.
Adora shrugs at her, and turns to Sea Hawk. “Mama Catra already vetoed it.”
“Mama...what is wrong with you?”
“Did you want to be Mom instead?” Adora looks her dead in the eye to ask the question and Catra swears she sees that same intangible flash in her eye she had up at Netossa’s desk.
“Isn’t the whole point that no one is supposed to want to be a mom?”
“Whatever, I wanna be Pops.”
“Nope.” Adora grins at her and Catra cocks her head to one side.
“I literally cannot even with this.” She turns away from Adora’s grin, oddly reluctant to do so. “Archer.”
His head whips around. “Yeah?”
“What’s your baby’s name?” Catra asks, and Adroa pulls her knee up and props her chin there to look at Catra. Adora feels weird. Not bad weird, just like...a little giddy. Or excited? She just has a good feeling about this project. Catra’s sort of funny, which Adora sort of knew from all her snarking in class over the last several years. She’s just always so subtle about it, it’s easy to forget she’s not just snappish.
She tunes back in the conversation to hear Bow announce, “...Jordan Adventure Archer-Hawkins.”
“ Adventure? ” Glimmer pipes in from the next row. “Oh, you are so getting no part in naming your future children.”
Bow pouts at her. “It’s a cool name!”
Unmoved, she says, “Guess you better procreate with Sea Hawk then.”
“What did you name your kid then, Glitter?” Catra can’t help but butt in, because apparently she’s possessed.
“It’s Glimmer, we’ve been going to the same school for over a decade, Catra. I know you know my name.”
“Uh huh, like I said.”
“Whatever, her name is Luna Amphitrite Sealineas-Brightmoon. She’s an aquarius.”
“Stars a-fucking-live.” Catra mutters to herself.
“Problem, D’riluth?” Mermista asks.
Catra smirks at her. She likes Mermista, they’re still sort of friends. They were kind of close in grade school but once Mermista got all into sports they just naturally drifted apart. Catra thinks most of Mermista’s new friends- not to mention her idiot boyfriend- are stupid, but beyond that there’s no ill will between them. Honestly, she’s pretty sure Mermista thinks all her friends- plus her idiot boyfriend- are stupid too so.
“Not with you here to ease my troubled mind, Mermista darling.”
“Yeah, I already had a baby with someone, no need to waste your time trying to seduce me.”
“I have no problem being a homewrecker, you should know that by now, Mermmy.”
“You are literally insufferable.”
Catra puts on a pout. “Aw, that’s not what you were saying last weekend.”
“Ah-” Sea Hakw starts with a squeak, inserting himself into their banter. “Last weekend?”
Catra rolls her eyes, fun ruined. “For fuck’s-we were studying, dude. You were literally there.” She narrows her eyes at Mermista and says, “I still don’t know why though.”
Mermista shrugs unrepentantly and Adora speaks up. “Hey D’riluth, much as I wanna see you get the girl I think our baby is starting to feel left out. Still needs a name.”
Catra laughs, “Sure, whatever. What gender?” It’s part of their stupid worksheet they have to fill out; name, gender, birthday, birth story (which like, what the fuck is that?), and miscellaneous info.
Adora makes a face at the question, like Catra came up with it or something. “Uh, gender is fake?”
The response raises Catra’s brow. “You want me to write that?” Adora shrugs so Catra just puts it down, Doc can fucking fight her; Grayskull’s not wrong. She looks up at the...at the girl? The girl who wants to be called Pops and declared gender fake in place of assigning one for their child. “What are your pronouns?”
Adora startles, eyes widening. “Uh, m-mine? Or the babies? If we’re not giving them a gender maybe they/them? Or like, any pronouns? Um, whatever vibes. I don’t really care.”
Adora panics at the question, just like she’s been doing for the last eighteen months or so. She should maybe reflect on that a bit more. Or like, at all. She probably won’t though. Blessedly, Catra lets it slide. “Sure, they/them is cool. Name?”
“Um…” The bell rings, cutting Adora off.
“Alright, I want those Baby Bios finished by tomorrow!” Netossa calls as everyone starts to gather their shit. “Don’t forget to fill out your logs, I’ll check tomorrow to make sure y'all are doing them right before the weekend starts. Kyle!”
“Sh-Fu-uh, yes ma’am?”
“Your baby is about to fall and crack it’s head open. It’s only day one, let’s get our head out of our ass, okay, kid?”
He manages to save his precariously balanced baby from the edge of his desk as the rest of the class watches on. Catra turns back to Adora with a shake of her head. She’s slid off Archer's desk and is saying goodby to him and Glitter. “Hey Greyskull.”
“You wanna go to the library or something? Finish this up?”
“Oh, um, I can’t right now. I was gonna see if you could, um, watch...it.” She bites her lip and nods at the sack of flour resting in Catra’s lap.
“It? You mean our kid?” Catra says.
“Sorry! That was so rude, I-you’re teasing me?”
“What gave it away?” Catra asks around a snicker.
Adora rolls her eyes good naturedly. “Whatever, I just have practice until like, five. If you’re not busy you could come over for dinner and we could do it after that?”
“Oh.” Adora watches Catra consider the offer, her face gives nothing away. “That should be...fine. I just have curfew at nine, where do you live?”
“Kind of on the edge of Erelandia, I’m kind of close to Razz’s Diner?”
Catra frowns, Adora knows she’s a little out of the way so she offers, “If you can meet me here at five I can give you a ride? And like home too?” A thought occurs to her and she adds, “Or-oh, do you drive?”
“Bike.” Catra offers with a shake of her head. “If you don’t mind…”
“Totally! Wanna just meet me in the lot at five? I’m parked in stall 55.”
“See ya then.” And then, because why wouldn’t they, Adora backs out of the room and shoots finger guns her way. Catra rolls her eyes at the gesture, hating that she’s amused.
Scorpia is waiting for her just outside the door to the classroom. She’s sort of staring off into space until Catra walks at, at which point she greets her best friend with a beaming smile. “Wildcat!”
“Hey Scorp.” She says, not waiting as she leads them toward her locker so she can grab the books she’s stashed there throughout the day. Dutifully Scorpia follows behind her.
“Bummer we couldn’t partner up for Doc’s project. We would be such amazing parents together…”
“Yeah, it’s gonna be fucking weird hanging out with Grayskull for this shit.”
“Oh, you guys are hanging out?”
Catra pauses for half a second to narrow her eyes at Scorpia’s all too innocent tone, but she decides to let it slide. “I mean, duh. We were like, the last to get paired up so we didn’t finish our worksheet. We still have to name this thing.” She hefts her sack up to illustrate her point and Scorpia nods.
“Right, of course.”
“What’d you and Miss Flower Power go with?”
Scorpia blushes at the question which like, Scorpia blushes all the time about almost anything so it’s not that weird. But it’s still a little weird. “Flora?”
Catra rolls her eyes. “Naturally.”
“Yep!” Scorpia says, unfazed by Catra’s sarcasm. “Flora Garnet D’ream.”
Catra stops at her locker and absently starts twisting the dial. “You guys didn’t hyphenate? Seems like that’s what everyone else was doing.”
Scorpia’s blush deepens. “Oh, well, Perfuma said she likes my last name, so…”
Catra eyes her in her periphery. “Oh yeah?”
“Ye-yeah. Um, she said, well she said if we were actually gonna be moms together she’d...probably take, um, take...my name?”
Catra stops what she’s doing to turn toward her friend and cross her arms over her chest. “Why Scorpia D’ream, was that girl flirting with you?”
Scorp looks like she’s staring down the headlights of an eighteen wheeler. “ What? No! No, she wouldn’t-she’d never-don’t be silly, Wildcat.”
“I dunno…” Catra turns back to dig through her locker. “Sounds pretty flirty to me.”
“Well.” is about all Scorpia can come up with.
“So, she’s watching the kid?”
“You don’t have your flour.”
“Oh! Oh, yeah she has tennis tomorrow so she offered to take her today.”
“Nice one. Hey! I was gonna ask you, what did you put for the birth story section. Like, what the fuck is that?”
“I think it’s just supposed to be like, did you adopt? And if not, who had the baby. Were they born in a hospital or not. Stuff like that.”
“Where the fuck else would a baby be born?”
Scorpia shrugs. “Perfuma wanted a home birth. With a doula.”
“With a what ?” Catra slams her locker shut and leans against the door.
“You know, like a birthing coach kind of deal.”
“Ugh, your wife is such a fucking hippie.”
“My-my! Pft! She’s not my-my, no we’re just, you know, we’re coparents is all. Just for two weeks. No big deal!”
“Uh huh, cause casual coparents just casually take each other’s names.”
“So! What are you doing now?” Scorpia changes the subject with all the subtlety of that eighteen wheeler she’s doing a shit job of avoiding.
Catra shrugs, pushing off the locker. “I’m meeting Greyskull in the lot at five, don’t really wanna go home. Figured I’d just go to the library or something.”
“Mind if I tag along?”
“Free country, do whatever you want.” So, with more enthusiasm than quietly doing homework under the watchful eyes of Mr. Archer merits, Scorpia follows Catra to the library and they struggle through their calculus homework for a couple hours.
At five o’clock, Adora is just finishing up towel drying her hair from the showers. She startles when someone claps her on the shoulder. “Hey Greyskull.”
She turns to see Mermista smirking at her, obviously having caught her jumpiness. “What’s up?”
“A few of us are gonna go to Razz’s for some food, you wanna come?”
“Can’t, D’riluth and I have to finish that flour baby shit.”
“Merms.” She gives her a chiding look. Mermista rolls her eyes but looks appropriately chastised. Lame is like, Mermista’s favorite word but she’s been working on cutting it out.
“Sorry, not lame. But boring. And dumb.”
Adora just scoffs at the assessment. “Where even is your baby right now? Doesn’t Glim have cheer on Thursdays?”
“Hawk is babysitting. This project is so fucked up, like I know it’s supposed to teach us how annoying babies are but some of us already knew that?”
Adora laughs and hangs her towel in her locker to dry, slamming it shut and leading them out of the locker room. “Totally.”
“Ugh, yeah, and now Sea Haw is getting baby fever.”
“What?” Adora cackles at the thought. If that’s true, Mermista is gonna be tearing her hair out by the end of this. That or she and Hawk are gonna be off again by the end of the weekend.
“Right? So not the point! And what does he think? Like I’m gonna ruin this physique,” She waves an arm down herself and Adora has to admit, Mermista Sealineas really is hotter than she has any right to be. “carrying his dumbass child? As if.”
“Hm, you could always go the adoption route.” Adora offers like she’s being helpful or something. “Or find a surrogate.”
Her friend groans but keeps following Adora toward their cars so she’s clearly only so annoyed. Still she says, “Yeah, I’m breaking up with Sea Hawk just so I can ask you out and dump you too.”
Adora laughs and waves when she sees Catra standing next to her car. “Please, you wish you could pull me.”
“Oh, like I’ve never caught you staring at my ass, Grayskull, get real.”
They approach Catra who is raising her brows at them. “Thought I was next in line if you ever got around to dumping the boy toy, Merms.”
“Don’t you have a girlfriend, D’riluth?”
Catra makes a face. It’s kind of cute, her little nose all scrunched up like that. “No, what?”
“Oh.” Mermista frowns. “You and Scorpia aren’t…”
Catra’s face relaxes but she’s still frowning. “Why do people always think that? That’s never been a thing.”
Adora raises her eyebrows, rocks back on her heels, and sticks her hands in her back pockets. “I mean, I ain’t never seen two pretty best friends.”
Catra turns to narrow her eyes at them but Greyskull’s smirk doesn’t falter. “What?”
“Saying what exactly?”
Greyskull raises their arms but before they can speak Mermista cuts in. “Ignore her, she’s just being gay.”
That’s news to Catra. “You’re gay?”
That earns her a weird look from both of them. “You’re kidding.” Adora says.
“How the fuck would I have known that?” Catra says, immediately on the defensive. Truth be told she’s a little bothered she didn’t. Does she need to get her gaydar checked?
“Uh, have you ever seen a lesbian before, D’riluth?” Mermista asks.
“Only when I look in the mirror every morning.” She deadpans back.
“Thanks.” She smiles winsomely. “I try.”
Adora snorts, drawing Catra’s attention back to them. “Listen, as novel as coming out again has been, I’m starving so we should head out. D’riluth, where’s your bike?”
“Later losers.” Catra shoots Mermista a goodbye in return and Adora just sends her off with a middle finger, which earns her a scoff.
“Oh, I just left it locked up.”
Adora tips her head toward her small pickup. “We can throw it in the back if you want. Then you have it to get to school in the morning.”
“Aw, and here I thought I had the perfect excuse to skip tomorrow.”
“Psh, and leave me alone with our-holy shit! Catra! Where the fuck is our baby?”
“Relax, it’s in my backpack.”
“In your-dude! You can’t leave it in your backpack . That’s fucking child abuse.”
“It’s a bag of flour.” Catra stares right back at Adora, looking her dead in the eye.
“Yeah, and if any teachers catch us without that bag of flour we lose like, twenty-five points.”
“What are you talking about?”
Adora rolls her eyes, concerned about what this says about Catra’s participation in this project. “Did you even read the packet? Someone has to be holding that thing at all times. Or like, it can be sat down but you can’t just chuck it around like a grocery item.”
“It is a grocery item.”
She throws her hands up in frustration. “D’riluth, you’re killing me here! The whole point is to treat it like a baby. Please tell me it hasn’t been in your bag for the last two hours and you got someone to sign off on your log while I was in practice.”
“For shit’s sake.” Adora yanks her car door open and hops in, Catra following suit after a moment’s delay.
“It wasn’t in my bag the whole time! I just didn’t get a signature.”
“Okay, well where were you?”
Adora relaxes minutely. “Mr. Archer was there?”
“Okay, okay this is fine. Can you just-will you go before school or at lunch tomorrow and have him sign it?” Catra stares at the person across from them as Grayskull starts up the car and back out of their spot.
“Are you gonna take this whole project so seriously?”
Adora rolls their eyes, not turning to look at her. “Are you gonna be this cavalier about our grade the whole time?”
“Ugh, whatever.” Adora bites their lips together and doesn’t respond, leaving them in silence for the minute it takes to reach the roundabout in front of the school.
“Just, go grab your bike and we can talk about the project after dinner, okay? I’m starting to get fucking hangry.”
Catra obliges, leaving Adora alone in her car. She wasn’t kidding when she said that. The last time she ate was lunch and Coach had them running laps up the bleachers for the first half of practice. She needs carbs and she needs them now. Catra tosses her bike in the bed of the truck and hops back in. Adora hands her the aux cord and they don’t bother with chit chat for the fifteen minutes it takes to drive to Adora’s place.
When they walk in the door Catra is immediately hit with the smell of home . It reminds her of going to the D’reams’. It doesn’t smell the same exactly; where the D’reams’ house always smells like a yankee candle and fresh cookies, Adora’s smells like incense and lasagna. Catra assumes it doesn’t always smell like pasta, and she hopes that’s what’s for dinner.
“Um, shoes off?” She asks tentatively, suddenly a little nervous about meeting Adora’s parents. Catra’s not good with parents-generally speaking. Linda and Garnet D’ream don’t have a judgemental bone between them and are as gushy as their daughter, but they’re really the exception, and it still took years for Catra to actually trust them.
“Hm?” Greyskull hums distractedly. “Uh, yeah, if you don’t mind. Mara’s not super fussy though.”
“My sister, she’s-”
“Ey, Squirt, that you?” Catra looks up to see a woman walking out of what she assumes to be the kitchen-it’s where all the amazing smells are coming from. This must be Mara, but if this is Greyskull’s sister then Catra is...confused. They look nothing alike. Where Adora is like the all american wet dream with her blue eyes, blonde hair, and athletic build, Mara is the embodiment of tall, dark, and handsome; dark skin, eyes so brown they’re almost black and long brown hair pulled into a total horse girl braid.
“Hey Mar, dinner ready?”
“Almost, I just threw one of the pasta bakes Razz dropped off in the oven fifteen minutes ago. And who’s this?” Mara turns to look at Catra and Adora follows her gaze. It’s not like she forgot Catra’s here too. She just...food.
“Oh, this is Catra D’riluth. Catra, Mara.”
“Nice to meet you.” Catra offers with a small wave. Adora furrows her brow at the change in her demeanor. Catra has a reputation for being, um, brash? She’s just not known to be shy is all, but the Catra in front of her…Adora turns back to Mara.
“We’re doing a project together for health.”
“Yeah, that stupid flour baby thing.”
“Aw, Dor, you reproduced? Never thought I’d see the day.”
Adora snorts and says, “Yeah, well enjoy being an aunt for the next two weeks. It’s the only chance you’re ever gonna get.”
Catra’s kind of surprised by Adora’s announcement. Of course, she thought Greyskull was straight until twenty minutes ago, she’d just kind of assumed they were a total normie. “So where is my little nibling?”
Grayskull snorts and Catra feels her face heat, suddenly remembering the location of their powdery offspring. “ Someone thought her backpack was an appropriate means of transporting our child.”
“Yeah, guess I should just…” Catra gestures to her backpack and Adora raises an eyebrow that seems to say, duh . She rolls her eyes and pulls the stupid sack of flour out. Luckily there are no puncture wounds from errant pencils or book corners.
“Gimmie.” Grayskull demands, making grabby hands at the “baby”.
Catra readily hands Adora their baby and she cradles it like an actual child. “They got a name?” Mara asks.
“No, that’s part of the work we need to do after dinner. That and like, birthday and I think I saw something about a birth story?”
Mara snorts and Adora knows and is immediately unnerved by the look in her eye. She turns to Catra and says, “Oh, just wait until you hear Adora’s birth story.”
“Oh, this is happening, Squirt. Go set the table.”
“No way! I’m not about to leave you unattended with that lead in.” Catra can’t help but laugh at their indignation.
“Don’t make me ground you.”
“You would never.”
“Bet me.” The siblings engage in a staredown and Catra can practically hear The Good, The Bad and The Ugly playing in the background. Finally Adora huffs and breezes past her sister in a huff. Catra hesitates, unsure if she should follow, until Mara inclines her head and says, “C’mon, I’ll get you something to drink.”
They follow Adora into a kitchen and it’s...amazing. The group house kitchen is...well, the term dingy would be generous. Which is unfortunate because Catra used to love to cook, up until middle school when she had to move into the group house that is. She’s still allowed to sometimes, if she wants, but the joy has really been taken out of it. The Greyskulls’ kitchen though...it’s massive and open with big stone counters and tons of natural light. She snaps out of her day dreaming when Mara asks her what she wants to drink.
“Oh, um, just water please.”
“Coming right up!” She grabs a glass and Adora starts setting the table off to the side. Catra goes back to drooling over their oven. She wants to bake a pie in that oven. Mara hands her a glass and Catra thanks her. She’s directed to sit at the table and within minutes the siblings have joined her and their plates are loaded. “So…”
“Mara, I swear on the stars.” Catra gives Adora a look, unsure where the threat is coming from. Then she remembers the story Mara had offered to tell and she can’t help the wicked grin that spreads across her face.
“Aw, come on Grayskull. It might help to have an example of a birth story, right?”
“Well I’m telling it anyway.”
“Mara, would you please just-”
“Nope! So, I’m eight, right? I kind of know what’s going on but not really. I also didn’t care that much, I was still pretty pissed that my mom had gone and gotten remarried-” Ah, so that explains them looking so different then. “and sort of hated Adora by default.”
“Aw, don’t worry, Squirt, you grew on me. So Ma is like...super, super pregnant, right? Adora was due to be a new years baby, so the new year comes and we just have a quiet night at home. One of Ma’s friends was on call to watch me if and when the time came and she was over that night. She was trying so hard to get me excited but it wasn’t gonna happen. But the new year comes...and no baby.”
“Okay, sorry for not being able to tell time in the womb .”
“Please.” is all Mara has to say to that. “Winter break ends, I go back to school-no baby. At this point, I’m thrilled. She’s a week late, maybe she’s just not gonna come.” Catra snorts at the childish logic.
“What, you thought she was just gonna reabsorb me or something?”
Mara shrugs, stuffing a bite of garlic bread in her mouth. “Maybe. So now she’s like two weeks late and I’m overhearing stuff about like, inducing labor and c-sections and shit. I didn’t really get it then, I just knew they were trying to force her out basically. So I’m pretty distraught, right? Like, I thought this thing was gonna disappear and now they’re trying to get her out? So, Ma senses I’m upset and the day before she’s gonna have her c-section or whatever we have a mommy daughter date. A little bonding time before the baby comes.”
“Literally an infant!” Adora defends around a mouthful of pasta-which, gross.
“Uh huh, we both know you’re a little shit, Squirt. You’d have done it either way.”
“Done…” Catra prompts.
“So we go to this stupid kids salon and we’re gonna get our hair and nails done and then get lunch, okay? The minute , and I mean the literal second , we sit down boom-Ma’s water breaks. Little asshole crashed my mommy daughter date.”
Adora rolls her eyes and gives Catra a look that’s probably meant for Mara but is also somewhat conspiratorial. “And she’s held it against me ever since.”
“You were already eighteen days late! You couldn’t have waited one more?”
“Wait, eighteen? ” Catra asks
“Literally not my fault!”
“Okay, well now I feel like we have to make the flour baby like, three weeks late and you have to carry it. Karma or whatever.”
“Gross! No way.”
“I mean, it does seem fair, Squirt…”
“Childbirth is disgusting, you carry it.”
“I’m not carrying it! Gross, how would I have even gotten pregnant at seventeen?”
“I don’t know! That’s your business.”
“Uh, you’re the dad in case you forgot.”
“Hey man, I just stepped up to the plate.”
Catra scoffs and Mara leans back from her empty plate, watching their banter in amusement. “How very noble of you, Grayskull.”
“What can I say? I’m a good guy.” They smirk at her, shoving the last of their pasta into their mouth. Which like, that bite could have been three for any sane person.
“Ugh, you’re disgusting.”
“Alright, children. Why don’t you take your baby and go do school work in the living room.”
“Oh! We should like, feed it right?”
“ What? ” Catra looks up at Adora who is standing with the baby in their arms.
“Seriously, did you pay attention at all in class today?”
“Please, you were the one staring out the window the whole time.”
Adora raises her eyebrow and looks down at Catra who is slowly turning pink under her gaze. “What, were you watching me or something?”
“No way! I was the one passing out the-and when Doc called us up - and you-you’re-ugh! You’re insufferable. Just feed the stupiud thing, I’m getting my bag.” She storms off and Adora watches her go.
“Can babies eat lasagne?”
“Absolutely not. You’ve never mentioned a Catra before…”
Adora knows she’s getting teased, but she’s not that bothered; there’s nothing to be teased about. “We’re not really friends or anything. She knows Merms though.”
She rolls her eyes. “Sure, I guess.”
“Kind of your type.”
Adora looks to the heavens for a hand. Doesn’t do her any good. “My type? Mara, I’ve dated like, two girls.”
Mara snorts. “Don’t forget poor Kyle!”
“We’re both gay, and it was one dance!”
“Worst beards ever.” Mara snickers.
“You’re actually the worst, did anyone ever tell you that?”
“Go do your homework and entertain your little girlfriend.”
“I’m so not dignifying that with a response.” Adora says before turning on her heel and marching to find Catra in the living room.
While waiting for Adora, she’d plopped herself on the couch, pulled out a textbook and put their worksheet on top of it. She looks up when her host walks in the room. “Hey.”
“Uh, do you have your shit?” Catra can’t help but snicker at the dumb face Adora makes when they look down.
“Lol, no. Hang on a sec.” They lope out of the room and are dropping in front of Catra with their bag. Instead of sitting on the couch next to Catra they drop criss-cross applesauce on the floor. For some reason that like...irks Catra. Not like she actually cares, she just...notices. Adora’s oblivious to her light scowl though, and she clears her expression by the time they’ve found their own packet and look up. “Any ideas for names?”
“I like Finn.” Catra blinks, surprised they have an answer ready. At her blank look Adora looks down and starts doodling absently on their paper. With a shrug they say, “I was just thinking about it while Coach had us doing laps.”
“I mean, Finn’s fine. I’m really not bothered. Did you think of a middle name?”
Adora frowns. “No, middle names are weird, like picking one is hard enough.”
“Agreed, let’s just not give them one then.”
Adora grins brightly. “That’s kind of dope, total power move to literally not have a middle name. Why were kids always so weird about knowing each other’s names in like, elementary and junior high?”
Catra snorts, feeling her face warm but hoping they won’t notice. “Yeah, well some parents are sadistic fuckers, so.”
And that was clearly the wrong thing to say because, “Okay, now you have to tell me yours.”
“Aw, come on D’riluth.”
Catra rolls her eyes. She asks, “Yeah, you know you’re saying that wrong, right?” even though she knows perfectly well Adora’s clueless.
“Oh. Sorry. Do you mind saying it for me?”
“D’riluth.” Adora repeats, literally no change in her pronunciation.
“The D and the R are separate sounds, Grayskull. The apostrophe’s not just for decoration.”
“Oh, so almost like a De sound?”
“I mean softer, kind of like a D eh sound.”
“Now they’ve got it!” Catra says, half genuinely congratulatory and half sarcastic.
“Thanks for helping me get there.”
“So Finn D’riluth or Finn Greyskull? Or should we hyphenate? Finn D’riluth-Greyskull.”
“Do you care?”
“Not really.” They sit there for a second, at an impasse. “What if we mashed them together?”
“Like a monster mash of our names.” Catra cackles at the description and Adora smiles indulgently. She really has a nice laugh, it’s cute; so much higher than the timbre of her speaking voice. Adora bets she’s a good singer.
“What does that mean?” she asks eventually.
“I was thinking like D’Gray.” Adora says.
“Huh. That’s kind of dope actually. Finn D’Gray?”
“Let’s do it.” They share a smile before both scribbling it down.
“Um, when’s your’s?”
Catra makes a face but Adora just waits patiently for an answer, she’s going somewhere with this. “October 28th?”
“Okay, mine’s in January…” She does some quick mental math and… “What about June 10th?”
“Halfway between each of ours.” Adora explains plainly.
“You just did that in your head?”
“I mean, I might be off, but yeah.”
“Weird, okay, works for me.”
“Great!” They jot it down and Adora asks absently, “That makes them a gemini, yeah?”
“I have literally no idea.”
Adora looks up at Catra, she’s making an annoyed face at her paper as she writes out their baby’s birthday. She looks so grouchy, it’s honestly pretty funny. “Huh, I’ll have to ask Glim.”
“Guess you will.”
“Birth story.” Catra looks up with a smirk and Adora’s blood pressure spikes. “No! I don’t even want to think about the ordeal of birthing a child. No way.”
Carra narrows her eyes, so subtly Adora almost misses it, then backs off with no further hassling. “Fine, whatever. So where did little Finn come from then?”
“I mean, do you wanna be it’s bio mom?”
“Okay...um, what if we found them...um...in a box?”
“A box ? Do you not love our child or something?”
Adora laughs at her indignation. “Hey, we’d be rescuing them! Giving them a good life.”
“We’re teen parents, Greyskull. I don’t think ‘giving them a good life’ is gonna be in the cards.”
“Hey! Some teens moms turn out to be dope parents. Or have you never seen Gilmore Girls?”
Catra snorts and Adora preens at the success of her joke. “Alright, Lorelai , I’m sure we’ll be sending little Finn off to Harvard in no time.”
“Yale.” Adora corrects.
“Pft, whatever, same difference.”
“I’m just saying, if you’re gonna make a pop culture reference you should get the details right.”
“That show is like, a hundred years old. How am I supposed to remember where she goes to school?”
“Wow, okay, it is really not that old.”
“Uh huh, look at their outfits and tell me that shit isn’t dated. And doesn’t the kid have a pager?”
“Wow, we have gotten wildly off topic. What’s your middle name?”
Catra laughs so hard at the abrupt question her head tosses back with the force of it. She wipes an errant tear from the corner of her eye and looks down to see Adora looking all too smug. “I’m literally not telling you that.”
“Aw, come on! We’re gonna raise a child together and you can’t tell me your middle name?”
“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…”
“It’s not really incentive if I don’t give a crap, you know that right?”
“Aw,” Adora leans forward and sets their elbow on the table and their chin in their hand. They bat their eyelashes and it’s not like it sways Catra. It just like, makes her stomach do one tiny somersault. Which is annoying. Catra hates girls. “you don’t wanna know your coparent better?”
“Think it’s better if I don’t actually. I’ve already seen your kitchen, that’s already too intimate.”
“Ooh, yes, very sexy; my kitchen.”
“I mean, not to egg you on but if I’ve ever seen a sexy kitchen…”
Adora sits up at that. “Do you cook or something? Oh my stars, hidden talent!”
“What? No. Stop!”
“What’s your favorite thing to cook?”
“Pie.” Catra answers reflexively, regretting it instantly at the look in Adora’s eyes.
“You know we still need to settle on a birth story, don’t you.”
“I will do one hundred percent of the work on this project-”
“in exchange for pie.”
“I’m not making you pie!”
Adora pouts. “Disappointing, but if you say so. Just let me know if you change your mind. I like strawberry rhubarb.”
“Birth story, Greyskull.”
“Yeah, yeah. Um, what if...oh! Stork baby.”
“Come on! How else are the two of us gonna produce a child?”
“Greyskull, this is for health class.”
Catra closes her eyes for a beat then gives Adora a look. “I’m blaming this entirely on you when Doc gives us shit.”
“Fair enough. Okay, last section is just any extra details we wanna include. Likes, dislikes, and it also says nursery details?”
“Okay...what do babies like?”
“Sure, whatever.” Catra writes it down.
“Oh! And dinosaurs.”
Catra looks up to gauge Adora’s seriousness. They look eager and totally earnest, so she writes it down. “Fine.”
“And Applesauce.” Catra hesitates and Adora unfortunately doesn’t miss it. They pout and ask, “What’s wrong with applesauce?”
“Pft, nothing. Just, uh, mushy peas are clearly superior.”
“Okay...you’re being weird but whatever. The kid can like peas I guess. Because apparently they’re part alien.”
Catra snorts. “Yeah, well they did come from the sky, so.”
“Fair enough. Dislikes...applesauce?” Catra glares at them but they just grin back.
“Sure. Whatever. Do you wanna put anything about the nursery?”
“No? Can’t they just have a crib in our room. Or rooms, whatever.”
“Sure.” They each catch up on their notes and then look back up at each other. “So…”
Adora smiles and says, “So.”
“I guess, custody?”
“Oh, right! Okay, I have basketball Tuesday through Thursday and I go to GSA on Fridays at lunch. I can probably bring the flour to that though. Oh, and I volunteer at the foodbank Sunday afternoons. You?”
“Uh...I work a shift Saturday afternoons-”
“Where do you work?”
“The froyo place near the school?”
“Oh, nice one.”
“It’s whatever, the novelty of free froyo wears off pretty quick.”
“Makes sense, I guess. Weird to think about. I’ve only ever worked at Razz’s and the menu is huge .”
“You work at the diner?”
“Just during the summers, other breaks sometimes but just depends if Razz needs the help.”
“I like it. You were saying about your schedule though, sorry.”
“Right, so Saturday afternoons and Fridays I have drama.”
“So that’s kind of convenient then! We don’t really overlap. I can take them Monday and Tuesday until sixth period. Then if you can take them Tuesday through Thursday , I can take Friday and Saturday and you take Sunday? Does that work?”
Catra makes a face and Adora checks in her head that the time is balanced. “How are we gonna switch over the weekend?”
“Oh.” Adora shrugs. “I can just drop them off with you before my shifts on Sundays if that works.”
“Sure, if you don’t mind.”
“It’s only a couple weeks, no problem.”
“Great...well that was pretty easy.”
“Yeah, uh...should I take you home I guess? Or we could study if you have other stuff to work on. I was just gonna do some calc and maybe start a lit paper.”
“Actually, do you have Lashor for calc?”
“Yeah, I’m in the first period class.”
“Yikes.” Catra shoots them a commiserating look and they send one of appreciation right back.
“Okay, well do you have any idea what’s going on right now?”
Adora laughs and smiles smugly. It’s annoying, that smug smile. Catra’s seen it before, they’ve been going to the same school for almost seven years after all. She just never noticed how completely infuriating it is before. She just wants to-to...ugh, she’s not even sure, she’s just all riled up. So much so she almost misses Adora saying, “I actually kind of kill at that class. You wanna work on the practice problems together?”
“If you’re down…” Adora just smiles and pulls out her books, and then they set to work.
A couple hours later Adora is stopped in front of Catra’s place, dropping her off. She lets her get out of the car and halfway up the walk before leaning over the passenger's seat to call out the window. “Hey D’riluth?”
She turns around and the moon and the streetlights cast dramatic shadows over her face. “What’s up Grayskull?”
“It’s pretty cool we got paired up for this.”
“Oh...yeah, I guess it is.” Adora winks and Catra just rolls her eyes and turns around without another word. She watches until Catra is safely inside before leaving. Then she flips on her music and drives off into the night.