Chapter 1: Hey Baby
“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.
Catra sees Adora around a lot the next day. She wonders if their paths have always crossed this much or if it’s just a weird coincidence. Obviously she knew that they shared a few classes; Adora sits a couple rows behind her in bio second period and they’re in gym together after lunch. She’s kind of actively ignored them in the latter; jocks in gym class are obnoxious as a rule. Even Mermista, who also has gym fourth period, is a little insufferable. And yet despite never having interacted in fourth period previously, Friday afternoon Adora jogs up next to her during warm up laps.
“What’s up, Greyskull?”
Adora smiles, spinning around to look at her and keeping up their pace like a total showoff. Catra rolls her eyes and is totally not impressed. “Oh, you know, just chilling.”
Catra narrows her eyes. “Don’t you normally run with Mermmy? Also where the hell is Finn?”
“Mermmy?” Adora snorts.
“Dude, our child?”
“Don’t you dare start calling me that.” Catra jumps at Mermista’s voice coming from right next to her. Because apparently she’s running with them too now. Catra just wanted to listen to her music, is that really so much to ask? She pulls out her earbuds, resigned.
“Aw, but it’s cute!”
“Ugh, Catra came up with it when we were six .”
“ Aww! ”
“Shut up, Greyskull!” Catra growls. Adora just smirks and Catra wonders if it wouldn’t be super easy to trip her given that she’s still jogging backwards.
“I’m not-I mean, I didn’t say anything.”
“Sure you didn’t.”
“I just hope our kid ends up being as adorable as their mama is all.” And then the little asshole winks and turns around to run away. Catra is equal parts baffled and stunned.
“Uh, might wanna pick your jaw up off the ground, D’riluth.”
“Fuck off.” Catra clenches her jaw and turns to glare at Mermista.
“How was hanging out with Adora last night?” Mermista asks, unfazed.
“Fine? We weren’t really hanging out, it was just homework.”
“Hm, that’s not what she said.”
Catra’s pace slows without any intention to do so. She asks the question knowing that she’s just letting Mermista best her at this point, but unable to help herself. “What’s that supposed to mean? Did she say something?”
“Do you care?”
“Do you know you’re a real bitch?”
“If you say so, Kitcat.”
Catra just grunts and when Mermista doesn’t say anything more she speeds up again. Mermista keeps pace with her. They make it halfway around the track before Catra breaks down and says, “Is there anything I like, should care about? Like, Greyskull didn’t say anything weird…”
Mermista scoffs but it’s soft enough Catra isn’t bothered by it. “Just that it was cool hanging out or something like that, I wasn’t really listening. Not that I care or anything, but did you like, have a good time?”
Catra narrows her eyes and can’t help but wonder if Adora put Mermista up to this. “It was fine.” She knows Mermista won’t read that as especially icy coming from her but just in case...she adds, “Adora seems pretty chill. Kind of a dumbass.”
“Oh yeah,” Mermista laughs. “Total dumbass.”
They fall back into silence and Adora approaches a few paces behind. She forgets that Catra and Mermista are like, actually kind of good friends. Like, she knows they used to be tight but Catra’s not around that much. She’s never been at any of Mermista’s parties or been invited when the friend group goes out. Well, maybe she’s been invited-but she’s never come .
Adora picks up her pace and blows between her friends, turning around to run backward so she can look at them. And so she can show off a little obviously. If you’re ever gonna flex, might as well be in front of a pretty girl or two, right? “Hey slowpokes.”
Catra rolls her eyes and Adora grins at her. She totally thinks Adora is funny. She turns to look at Mermista when her friend says, “You’re really in fine form today, Greyskull.”
“Why thank you.” She bats her lashes and lays a hand over her heart.
“Hey, you never said where Finn was.” Catra points out.
“Oh, Bow is babysitting. He has lit this period and gym next so we’re gonna trade off.”
“Huh, guess I should talk to Scorp and Trap about babysitting on my days.”
Adora shrugs. “I’m sure Bow wouldn’t mind just doing it all five days. And I can just give Finn back to you in sixth on your days.”
“Uh, if you’re sure he won’t mind….”
“Wow, A plus communication.” Mermista applauds, only half sarcastic.
“Gee thanks, Mermmy. The approval I’ve been waiting for all my life.”
“No problem, D’riluth.”
“So, now that you’ve seen what I’m capable of, you gonna take me out or what?” Adora watches her friends banter, suddenly uneasy. Should she like...leave them alone, or…?
“Bad timing, dude, Hawk and I are on again right now, so. Wouldn’t want to fuck that up.”
“Ugh, why not though?”
“I know you secretly like him, you get that, right?” Catra rolls her eyes, a bit miffed at the accusation.
“What? No way. That guy is so pretentious.”
“True. You still like him though.”
“I think you like him enough for the both of us, Mermmy.” Catra winks and Mermista just rolls her eyes. Catra turns back to Adora who has been watching them like a volleyball match. “I’m literally just waiting for you to break your neck, what the fuck are you doing running like that?”
Adora preens, frankly pleased at the attention. “Just that coordinated, babe.”
Catra groans, Mermista too for that matter, but Adora notices the former turn a little bit pink. It’s probably not wishful thinking. “You suck.”
“Gross!” Mermista says. “I’m out.” And then she picks up speed and passes them both. Adora turns to run forward and watches her go.
“And then there were two.” She turns and smirks at Catra who rolls her eyes when they lock gazes. “Don’t worry, I’ll go slow so you don’t have to run alone.”
“Wow, you really think you’re hot shit, huh Greyskull?”
“I think my results speak for themselves.”
Catra’s eyes take on a determined, competitive gleam. Adora’s throat feels like, a little dry? She should have brought her water bottle outside probably. “I’ll race you.”
“Oh, that’s definitely a mistake.”
Catra fakes a pout and looks Adora up and down. Yeah, they’re a jock and look stronger than any seventeen year old ought to-like seriously, how much time do they spend working out? But Catra is scrappy. And more importantly, she’s fast . “Afraid to lose to the theatre nerd meathead?”
“Pft, yeah, you know that’s super transparent, right?”
Catra shrugs, because of course she does. “Is it working?”
“You know what, sure, let’s do it. A lap?”
Adora tips her head back and laughs, slowing to a stop at the next delineating line and stepping aside to let a group of Sophomores pass. “Ready?”
“Yep!” And without a moment more, Catra is off.
“Hey!” Adora shouts, working to catch up. “I didn’t say go, that’s cheating!”
Without looking back Catra laughs and says, “Who said you got to say go?”
“Well someone should have.”
“Hm, well too late now.”
“Catra!” Adora laughs again, running even faster. Their classmates jump out of their way as they zoom past, both equally determined. And alright, she’d maybe, definitely underestimated Catra. Or overestimated herself. She gets close to caught up, they’re pretty much neck and neck for about half of the lap. Then Catra really shows her what she’s made of. With a quarter lap left to go, Catra speeds up and absolutely zips through the last of their race.
Adora catches up, panting and laughing again. She bends over, bracing her hands on her knees and looks up to ask, “What...the fuck?”
Catra laughs with her and flops onto her back to the side of the track. Adora is right behind her, and she turns her head to look at her red faced classmate who’s grinning over at her. It might just be the grass under them, but Adora’s eyes look especially green today. She’s pretty sure they’re more greyish usually. “Told ya.”
“You still cheated.” Adora tries and fails to pout; she looks like a total doofus.
“Please, I beat you by way more than any head start I got from any alleged cheating.”
“Seriously, why aren’t you on track?”
Catra shrugs and sits up, Adora stays in her spot and just looks up at her. She watches Catra look down between her knees and start ripping at the grass there. “Why would I do that?”
Adora doesn’t have a good answer for that, truth be told so she just hums and thinks on it. Finally she comes up with, “Seems like you like to win.”
That gets her a laugh and Catra turns to look down at her. And then, like a total dick, she throws a small handful of torn grass at her face. While Adora is snapping up and sputtering like an idiot, Catra cackles and says, “Yeah, that’s true I guess.”
“Ugh! Rude! I’m leaving you and I’m fighting for full custody. I can’t let little Finny be brought up with this kind of influence.”
“Hm, sounds like I win again.”
“Wow, Mom of the year over here.”
Catra flutters her eyes sarcastically and stands, not bothering to hold out a hand for Adora. “Alright, Pops , I think everyone’s heading inside.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Adora pushes to her feet and follows Catra into the gym, unbothered when Mermista wonders over again to steal Catra’s attention. Truth be told, Adora feels pretty good today.
Catra doesn’t do much before her shift Saturday morning. Entrapta calls, but she forgets why before Catra even picks up the phone. So instead she just spends a couple hours telling Catra about the new anime she’s all into right now. Catra half listens while she cleans her and Lonnie’s room and then does her nails. By the end of the call she knows more about the characters than she probably would if she’d just watched the whole thing herself. This was probably the more entertaining route.
She shows up to work less than stoked about the day. She’s alone for the first couple hours of her shift, so that’s nice at least. Kyle will be in next which is sort of a mixed bag; she can get him to do most of the shitty tasks, but if he makes a mess again they’ll be getting out late for sure, even with Lonnie to help them close. Catra does her best to get them set up for the night and then hops to the back to put on the good music. There are customers in the shop when she gets back and she does her best to shift her expression from, ‘I hate you on principle’ to, ‘I want to be anywhere else but it’s not personal’.
And then she sees who it is.
“Don’t you think Finn is a little young for froyo?”
“Catra!” Adora beams, awfully happy to see her for someone they’ve never spoken to regularly, but okay. They have the flour sack in their arms and they’ve put a damned onesie on the thing. It’s decorated with a bunch of tiny bananas and a little monkey on the front. It’s so extra, Catra can’t help but laugh. Sparkles and Archer are with them too, which is less amusing, but they also have zoo animal onesies on their “babies”. So. Catra’s not sure what she thinks.
“Seriously, what are you fools doing here?”
“Rude.” Glitter snipes, but Adora just talks right over here. Her little indignant sniff is pretty funny.
“Thought lil Finny should see where their Mama works to provide for them.”
“And what are they wearing ?”
“My old baby clothes.” Adora grins, pretty proud of her idea to raid the boxes in the attic. She was honestly surprised Mara had kept it all.
“Oh stars…” She sounds annoyed but her smile is wide, so Adora counts it as a win.
“I have others if you don’t like the monkey. Not all of them are zoo animals though.”
“Tragic.” Catra teases.
“Totally. Pretty much all onesies though. I burned all the dresses.”
“Wait, you what? ” Glimmer exclaims, clearly alarmed. Bow and Catra just burst out in laughter.
Adora turns to smirk at her friend. “When I was like, two.”
“ Why? ”
“Meh, I don’t do dresses.”
“Is that a fact?” Adora turns to look at Catra at her question. She’s giving her that calculating, narrowed eyed look Adora’s caught her making a few times in the last few days. It makes her insides wriggle.
“Fair enough. Are you losers getting anything, or…”
“Yes!” Bow pipes up. “But first, do you have high chairs?”
Catra levels him with a look and he’s annoyingly unflinching under her gaze. “I’m not getting out those stupid things and wiping them down later for your flour children. Just set them on a table or something.”
“Hmm, doesn’t seem very responsible.” He pushes with an obnoxious grin. “What if they fall?”
“Sucks to suck.” Catra suggests, completely deadpan. Adora can’t hold back her snort.
“Parent of the year.”
“Shut up and get your froyo or I’m kicking you out.”
“You would never.”
“Try me.” They stare each other down and Catra does a remarkable job of keeping her face impassive. Adora on the other hand, doesn’t bother to try. Eventually Catra breaks with an eye roll and shortly after, a couple comes in behind them. Not wanting to get Catra in trouble or anything, the trio gets their food and out of the way. Adora drops a ten in the tip jar and Catra sticks her tongue out at her.
They find a seat by the window and settle in. Before long Glimmer asks her, “So what are we doing here?”
Adora looks at her blankly. “Getting froyo?”
“Adora, you don’t even like froyo.”
“I like it a little bit!” She looks down at her tiny cup of froyo-it’s definitely not a typical Adora Greyskull portion size, and the cup is mostly toppings, but she likes it!
“ What? ”
“I just think it’s weird.”
Adora opens her mouth but Bow cuts in with, “It isn’t something you’ve ever suggested before.” Then he pauses before adding, “Seems like you and Catra are getting along pretty well.”
“She’s chill I guess.”
“Please.” Glimmer scoffs.
“What’s that supposed to mean!”
“You're not slick, Adora Greyskull.”
“I think what Glimmer means ,” Bow cuts in diplomatically, “is that you seem to have taken...something of an interest in Catra since you got paired up.”
“It’s been three days!” Adora defends.
“ Exactly! And how much time have you spent talking about her?” Glimmer asks.
“Uh, not that much?”
“For fuck’s sake.”
“What! I just...never knew how cool she is. She’s always been so…”
Adora shrugs and looks over at Catra. The couple that came after them has already left and now Catra is looking bored, slumped over the counter and scrolling through her phone. Adora sorta wants to give her a noogie. She turns back to Glimmer and says, “Kind of, I was gonna say brash or something. Intimidating.”
“So bitchy then.”
“Damn, Glimmer.” Adora laughs. “I didn’t know you hated her so much.”
“I don’t hate her! I just think that maybe you’re getting in a little over your head.”
Adora laughs and leans back, crossing one leg over her lap. “Over my head? I’m just making a friend. Maybe, I don’t know, we only hung out once.” Glimmer groans prompting Adora to laughingly ask, “What now?”
“Adora, babe, I love you but you’re being super slow on the uptake here so I’m just gonna help you out. You’re developing a thing for her. Quickly.”
Adora laughs in her face. “I mean, she’s definitely hot. I don’t think that constitutes having a thing for her though.”
“Adora! We came out of our way so you could flirt with her.”
“You guys wanted froyo!”
“That is true.” Bow points out fairly.
Glimmer scoffs. “After you suggested it! Originally we were going to Razz’s for pie.”
“Also true.” Bow says.
“I thought it would be funny! She hadn’t seen the onesies.”
“And you couldn’t have texted her?” Adora’s a little stumped by that one and Glimmer lets out a triumphant, “Ha!” loud enough to catch Catra’s attention.
She looks over at the three preps sitting in her lobby and rolls her eyes. She finds a rag and busies herself wiping down pristine counters. They’re not being that annoying overall, but she still hopes they leave soon. Something about having Adora and their friends there is putting her on edge. They’re kind of loud, it seems like Bow and Glitter are giving Adora shit or something, they keep laughing over something. Probably not her, that would be totally paranoid to think. Even if she’s caught all three of them looking her way at one point or another.
Catra sighs and goes to the back to switch the music again, starting to feel fussy. Adora looks up when she hears the door creak, frowning at Catra’s disappearance. She hopes they weren’t being too obvious about the whole talking about her thing. If they made her uncomfortable Adora will be forced to kill her friends. Or give them a stern talking to. Or just like, ice them out for an afternoon. Whatever, there’s gonna be hell to pay is all.
“Have you thought about asking her out?” Bow asks, drawing her attention back.
“Oh, uhm, no? No! I don’t have a thing for Catra D’riluth, you guys! I barely know her.” And that’s true, but sitting there Adora finds herself lowkey wishing that wasn’t the case.
Sunday afternoon, Adora is running late. She’d been helping Mara with some project in the garden and lost track of time. Of course she can’t show up to serve food covered in dirt, so she’d had to take a shower too. By the time she makes it to Catra’s she’s completely frazzled. Catra asked her not to come to the door, so she texts her that she’s there. A minute goes by. Then two. Then five more. Adora calls but gets no answer. She tries again immediately after, her eyes on the dash watching her time run out. Still no answer, she’s getting a little annoyed and thinking about just saying fuck it and walking to the door when it finally whips open.
And irate Catra is storming down the path, and a woman’s voice comes booming out until it’s cut off by the slam of the door. Catra walks up to the driver’s side window and leans in with a scowl.
“Hey...D’riluth. You all good?”
“I’m fine, Adora. Just give me the stupid thing, I know you’re late.”
Adora nods slowly, but doesn’t reach for Finn. “What are...what um, are you doing today?”
Catra narrows her eyes at the question. What the fuck does Grayskull care? And aren’t they late? “Homework probably. Don’t you need to leave?”
Adora bites their lip and looks over to where Finn is sitting. “Would you wanna come with me?”
“The food bank could always use an extra set of hands, you know? So, I dunno, just if you felt like getting out of the house…”
“I don’t need you to save me , Greyskull. I can handle getting yelled at.” Under her breath she can’t help but mutter, “Not like it’s an uncommon phenomenon around here.”
Adora puts their hands up in a deferential move. “Totally! No, I don’t want to-that’s not my intention. I-uh-sorry.”
Catra deflates at their obvious panicking. “Whatever, I can’t. Someone has to watch Finn, right?”
“Oh. I...I bet Mara wouldn’t mind.”
“Dude, aren’t you late?”
Adora looks at the time, she actually is like five minutes late already. At the same she’s literally never been late before, one time surely won’t be a big deal. If it’s for a good reason. “A little, it’s not a big deal.” Catra doesn’t respond so she adds, “Listen, if you’re not interested I can give you Finn and go. You’re not gonna like, hurt my feelings or anything. If you do I can call my supervisor and I doubt they’ll care.”
“I…” Catra looks down at her feet, not really sure what she wants. Like at all. “I’m not wearing shoes.”
Adora smiles, feeling a bit like she’s won something. “Go! Get them and whatever else you need. I’ll call the food bank and Mara.”
Catra stares a moment more and just nods once before going back to the house. She can feel Greyskull’s eyes on her as she retreats and wonders just what in the fuck she’s doing. What, she’s gonna go volunteer at some random food bank because some person she barely knows suggested it on a whim? Then she opens the door and remembers where her willingness came from.
“Catra! Do not walk away from me again.” Weaver thunders.
Catra slams the door, embarrassed at the possibility of Adora hearing the tirade. “Stars, what the fuck do you want from me?”
“Language! You insubordinate, horrible little-”
“Yeah, I’m garbage, I get it. Isn’t your shift over yet?”
“ Some of the staff don’t care for you children like I do. Mr. Grizzlor is running late this evening.”
“Great.” Catra mumbles, unable to help herself.
“Now, as I was saying-”
“Sorry, we’re gonna have to do this tomorrow or something. I have to go.”
“Pardon me? I have not given you permission to go anywhere.”
“Well it’s for school. So unless you want to tell my social worker that you made me stay home and miss it, you should probably let me go.”
“We are not finished, Catra.”
“Sure, whatever. My ride is running late so I need to go now.”
Weaver glares at her as she shoves on her shoes, and she’s still standing there staring her down after she runs upstairs to grab her backpack. They don’t exchange goodbyes. Unless you count Catra slamming the front door behind her as hard as she can manage a goodbye that is. It should get her point across at least. Adora looks up from her phone when Catra opens the door.
She looks pissed, her eyebrows pulled tightly together and the muscles in her jaw flexed tightly. If it were Bow or Glimmer, she would ask right away. But Catra isn’t Bow, and she’s definitely not Glimmer. So, after a moment’s consideration, Adora turns on her truck and hands Catra her phone. The aux is plugged in and spotify is already open for her. Catra accepts it but doesn’t move at first.
She’s considering Adora, she’d sort of been braced for a light inquisition. They give no indication of even so much as a passing curiosity however, and slowly she relaxes. She throws on an album and rolls down her window, propping her elbow in the corner and her head in her hand. The ride to Adora’s isn’t too long, about ten minutes, and she’s quick running inside to drop Finn off with Mara.
They’re halfway to the foodbank when Catra breaks the companionable silence. It hasn’t even gotten awkward, even if Catra’s used the time to spiral lightly over what Greyskull must think of her. Like she’s some sad sack orphan who needs to be whisked away from her house or something. Adora’s been chill though, humming along to the music and driving like a grandpa with so-so vision, unbothered by the girl she barely knows festering in her passenger’s seat.
“She hates that I’m gay.”
Adora blinks slowly, like she’s coming to. “Oh. That sucks, being gay is dope.”
Catra laughs shallowly. “She’s not even supposed to work on Sundays.”
Adora nods, looking out the windshield and not at Catra. Not like she’s avoiding her eyes, just...not overly attentive the way people sometimes get when they want you to know you have their Full Attention. “And she is…”
“Just one of the staffers. She’s kind of the HBIC though, which is fucked up.”
“So...that’s what she was yelling at you about?”
Adora peeks over at Catra from the corner of her eye. She’s frowning, arms crossed, but she looks much more relaxed than when she got in the car. “Basically. I accidentally let it slip that you’re...not a cis dude.” Adora’s eyes snap back to the road reflexively. “She’s all pissed that the school would let non-hetero couples raise a fake child together.”
Adora snorts without meaning to, and feels herself turn a little red. She doesn’t want Catra to think she’s laughing at her . “That’s so stupid, it’s not like Net gave us a choice.”
“Right!” Catra sits up fully, immediately worked up. Adora likes when she gets all fiery like this.
One time in their sophomore year lit class their teacher denied that Oscar Wilde was actually gay. Catra got so mad Adora and Sea Hawk both though she was gonna punch him, it was awesome . Actually, some guy gave her shit for it after class and she actually did punch him. Adora’s pretty sure she got suspended for violence which was kind of bullshit, but the guy did also at least. So that was...less awesome, but still pretty badass.
“What does she expect you to do?”
“Literally what I asked her!”
“And she just started going off about my eternal damnation.”
“That’s so fucked up. How is she even allowed to work with children?”
Catra slumps back in her seat and Adora feels a little bad for having asked the question. She answers though, saying, “People like that tend to be good at hiding it in front of the right crowd I guess.” Catra looks over to see Adora frown, her brow furrowing, and she feels a little bad for being a downer. “It’s fine though, it’s not like I can’t handle it.”
“No, I know.” Adora responds immediately, which is like, weirdly validating. Then they hesitate though and their voice is uncharacteristically soft when they say, “You know...you know you shouldn’t have to though, right?”
Catra falters at the question. She settles on murmuring back, “Yeah, Grayskull, I know.”
Adora nods and silence falls between them again, even more comfortable than last time. They pull into a lot a few minutes later and hop out of the truck. Catra’s a little nervous, not totally sure what she’s in for, but the shift ends up being pretty chill. Adora ends up getting assigned some inventory task, and Catra is stocking shelves with dry goods. They’re super late, which Catra kind of feels bad about when the get the supervisor is all frazzled, but Adora quietly assures her that Casta is always like that. It also means the shift is only a couple hours, and the time passes quickly.
Catra’s in the middle of putting a load of generic brand cheerios on a shelf when someone sneaks up behind her and gooses her. Naturally her response is to ram her elbow into them. She whips around to get a look at her assailant and...of course, it’s Adora fucking Greyskull. They’re bent over slightly at the waist, clutching their diaphragm and looking at Catra with a mixture of amusement and pain in their eyes.
“Damn, D’riluth.” They wheeze. “Gotta be careful where you’re swinging those elbows, they’re sharp as shit.”
Catra scoffs, loosening her defensive posture. “Well maybe if you didn’t go around assaulting people.”
“You got me there.” Adora says with a laugh. “I can help you finish this and then we’re good to head out.”
“Cool, I’m basically done.” It’s true and the work goes quickly.
Soon they’re gathering their stuff but Adora stops Catra before she can walk out the back door. “Sorry, I just gotta get my hours signed off.”
“Oh, you get class credit or something?”
Adora turns a little red and turns away. “Um...not exactly.”
They turn back with a sheepish look on their face. “It’s maybe, a little bit, um, court ordered.”
“ What? ” Catra laughs incredulously. “What did you even do?”
“It wasn’t that bad!”
“Uh huh.” Catra teases, forcing a doubtful tone.
“It was self defense! Well not-not self defense, but defense!”
“Did you get in a fight ?”
“Well, no. Not that kind of defence.” Catra waits and Adora breaks embarrassingly quickly. “Look, some asshole was giving Perfuma trouble so we maybe decided to egg his house. And TP it. There was also some spray paint, allegedly.” Catra stares at them, agog, and Adora shifts under her gaze. Then they rush out, “ We also maybe got the wrong house. So that was. Bad. ”
Catra laughs once, hard and short. “I-you’re an idiot.”
“Little bit.” They admit.
“Wow, okay, go get your stupid thing signed.” Adora laughs, most of the tension draining from their shoulders and then pops into the office, leaving Catra waiting by the door.
“So!” Says a voice from beside her, making her jump. She turns to see a person about her age smiling just a little too widely at her. She thinks she saw them doing inventory shit with Adora, Star is their name...maybe? “How do you know Adora?”
“Oh, uh, school.”
“That’s so sweet! I’m Starla.” So Catra was close then.
She raises an eyebrow and nods, not quite clear on the angle here but quickly getting an idea. “Catra.”
“Super nice to meet you. Do you think...are you gonna be tagging along with Adora a lot from now on?”
Catra smirks and crosses her arms. “Who knows? It was chiller than I thought it would be.”
“Oh, yeah! I started volunteering to get honor society hours but everyone is so nice, I just kept coming.” And that at least sounds perfectly genuine.
“Good to know.”
“Yeah…” Starla looks for a moment like they almost regret encouraging her, but the expression passes quickly. “I uh, I think they need help on Saturdays if Sunday didn’t work for you for any reason. Adora doesn’t work but Razz is here and she’s always a hoot.”
“Wait, Razz like the diner?”
“Oh yeah, she’s the reason Adora’s doing her community service here.” Starla pauses and then seems to fight a smile or something. The face they’re making is super weird. “She’s her great aunt, did you not know that?”
“Weird, no I didn’t. I know she works at the diner but I didn’t think there was any particular reason why.”
“Hmm, well Razz is great. Shifts with her are always fun.”
“Too bad, I actually work on Saturdays. I’m sure I’ll meet her at some point though.”
Starla purses their lips, seemingly at a loss, but then brightens and says, “Oh, hey Adora! Are you heading out?”
“Hey Star, I thought you already took off.” Adora approaches them, smiling warmly, and Starla is practically basking in the friendly attention. Maybe it’s a little mean, but Catra can’t help but be amused, especially because Adora is clearly oblivious. “We’re just heading out, yeah.”
“Oh cool! I’ll walk out with you.” Catra follows the pair, letting them get a couple paces ahead of her. Starla brushes Adora’s arm, commenting on her jacket or some shit-even though Greyskull has worn the same jacket pretty much...well, always actually. At least as far as Catra can remember.
She hears Adora say, “I think the elbows are gonna blow out soon actually.”
“Maybe we can go shopping or something!” Starla offers, and Catra just barely manages to keep herself from retching. It’s even more of a struggle when they add in sing song, “I can help you pick out something super cute.”
“Maybe!” Adora, ever the oblivious idiot agrees. “Hopefully I can just patch it up though, I’ve had this thing for ages.” They reach the cars and Adora turns around, seeming surprised to find Catra lagging behind. “You coming, D’riluth?”
“Great, I’ll see ya next week, Star!”
“Right...next week. Bye Adora.” Starla sounds a little deflated and their eyes flicker to Catra a couple times, but they wave and hop in the driver’s seat of a little honda.
“Hey, how would you feel about getting some food before I drop you off?” Adora asks over the top of her car. She blinks when Catra laughs in response.
“Dude, you know Starla has like, a massive crush on you, right?”
“ What? No she-we’ve been volunteering together forever.”
“Uh huh, and has she been into you the whole time or…?” Adora just scoffs and climbs into the truck. Catra laughs and is right behind her. She closes the door behind her and turns to Adora to ask, “You really didn’t pick up on that? She’s not exactly subtle.”
“She’s just flirty!”
“Nah, Greyskull. You’re a flirt. She was flirting with you. There’s a difference.”
Adora purses her lips and looks out the front window, unsure how to react to that news. Starla’s dope, and definitely a cutie, but...it’s just not there. “Should I like...say something?”
“What, like ask her out? That’s really up to you.”
“No like...if I’m not-if I don’t...like should I address it or?”
Catra rolls her eyes and says, “If you’re not into her I’d just leave it, it didn’t seem like you’re leading her on or anything.”
Greyskull furrows their eyebrows and nods. “Okay, yeah, good-that’s...good.”
“I didn’t mean to like, make you feel weird.”
They shake their head and smile at her. “You’re fine. I mean, I do...a little. I’m just kind of surprised I guess.” Then their smile shifts into a smirk and they say, “Probably shouldn't be though, I am hot shit.”
“Pft, sure you are, Greyskull.”
“So, you wanna eat?”
“Why Adora Greyskull, was that a come on?”
She cackles when the coquettish question turns Grayskull’s face a bright red. “ What! Gross, D’riluth. No. Like, do you want food? Get your mind out of the gutter.”
“B-But...your-your face! Shit, it’s too-it’s too good.”
“I’m not feeding you if you keep giving me crap.”
Catra wipes at the corners of her eyes. “What, are you buying?”
They shrug. “If you lay off, sure.”
“Is this a date or something?” She teases.
They look at her, gaze burning hot enough to pinken her cheeks, and ask, “Why? Do you want it to be, D’riluth?”
“Psh, got me there, Grayskull. Who knew you were so slick?”
“As much as I’m enjoying making you blush-” Catra reaches out and punches their arm, to which they just grin and roll their eyes. “I am really fucking hungry, what do you want?”
“I’m not picky, you have something in mind?”
“Hmm... you good with a burger or something? I was thinking we could go to the diner.”
“Sick.” Adora starts the engine and hands Catra her phone in a way that has already started to feel routine. She puts on an album, Adora thinks it’s the same artist she’d played earlier, but she’s not familiar with either record so she couldn’t say for sure. She likes it though, she’ll have to go in and save them later.
She drives them to Razz’s and parks out front. Immediately she sees her aunt through the window and huffs- she’s not supposed to be working the evening shifts! Adora waits for Catra to hop out and then leads them inside. She asks Catra to grab them a table and then waltzes behind the counter.
“Mara dearie! What are you doing here?”
“ Me? Razz, I thought you were working the second shift? It’s already seven.”
“Pah! You and your sibling are not the boss of me. I am the boss, that is why they put my name on the sign.”
Adora rolls her eyes and huffs. “We just worry. The doctor said-”
“Eh, what does she know?”
“Uh, a whole lot? Hence the medical degree.”
Razz just waves her hand dismissively. “Do you want food or not, Adora?”
“Yeah, yeah. Is someone else here with you at least?”
“Of course they are! Do you think I would work the dinner shift alone?”
“You have worked the dinner shift alone!”
“Don’t be silly. I would never do that.” Adora rolls her eyes but chooses not to remind Razz of the several times she’s forgotten to write a schedule. Not to mention how she’d stubbornly refused to call Adora, Mara, or literally anyone else for help. They finally convinced her to promote a manager after the third time. “Dee is around here somewhere, and Swift Wind is here too.”
“You mean Steven?”
“Steven is a stupid name.” Razz sniffs.
“Yeah, okay. Whatever you say, Razz.”
“Glad you see it my way!”
“Uh huh, what time are you off?”
“Whenever I want- I am the boss, remember?”
“Stars a-fuckin’-live.” Adora mutters to herself.
“Go sit with your little girlfriend, I’ll send someone over, Dearie.”
“Razz!” Adora’s eyes dart to Catra and of course she’s watching them, laughing her cute little ass off. “She’s not my-”
“Mara already told me, no need to lie.”
“I’m not-Mara is the liar! Ugh, what did she say?”
“Never you mind. Now shoo, don’t make me get my broom.”
“You better listen, Greyskull.” Catra calls out just like, super helpfully. “Sounds dangerous.”
“See? Your girlfriend agrees with me. Mind your manners and keep her company.”
“Pft, what do you know about manners?”
Razz sticks her hand on her hip and looks over her huge glasses and down her nose at Adora-who towers over her by the way. “Uh, a whole lot. Hence the successful business.”
“Please, we both know that’s all the pie.”
“You’re not wrong, but that was very rude, Mara.”
“Whatever you say, Razz.”
“Right you are! Now go , sit!”
“Yeah, yeah.” Adora waves her off and circles the counter again, dropping into a booth across from Catra. “Hi.”
“You are a ridiculous person, Adora Greyskull.”
They shrug, unbothered by the comment apparently. “If you say so.”
“Oh, I do.” And she means it. Watching them banter with their great aunt like that...well it was quite the show. Hanging out with Greyskull has been quite the trip so far, how did she even get here? Usually she can barely get randomly assigned partners to participate , let alone take her out to dinner.
“Have you looked at the menu yet?”
“Why Adora, darling,” A voice comes from behind her and she’s already rolling her eyes. “fancy seeing you here on a school night.”
“What are you talking about, Dee?” She asks as their server lands at the end of their table. They're as gussied up as ever, bright green hair slicked back and makeup done to the nines. “When has that ever stopped me?”
“Hmm, and who is this? Granny Razz says you went and got yourself a little girlfriend.” They eye Catra up and down and she doesn’t know who this bitch is but she’s getting a weird vibe. Like, they seem kind of cool but she wouldn’t trust them to watch her bag if that makes sense.
“Catra.” she says for herself. She doesn’t bother to correct them on the girlfriend part- just cause she can’t be bothered.
Adora takes care of it for her though. So. Good to have things clarified. “Razz needs to learn to stop running her mouth; we’re not on a date, Dee.”
“Hm, pity.” Adora sighs pointedly, sharing a commiserating look with Catra. Well, her look is commiserating, Catra looks a little constipated. She kicks her lightly under the table and raises her eyebrows. Catra rolls her eyes, but she smiles too so that’s promising.
“So, are you here to do your job, or just to give me shit?”
“Oh, I think I can multitask, honey.”
“Whatever, can I please get a veggie burger, a coke, and a slice of whatever pie is freshest?”
“You’re not gonna like it.” They tell her, looking over their pad.
Adora scrunches their nose at Dee’s warning. It’s unfairly adorable- Catra just wants to pinch their cheeks or something. “Key lime?”
“Wait, you don’t like key lime pie?” Catra interrupts.
Adora grimaces. “Razz’s graham cracker crust is….special.”
Dee laughs and says, “She uses coconut.”
“It makes my throat itchy!” Adora defends.
“That’s called an allergy, Darling.”
“I’m not allergic! Coconut is just weird.”
“What the fuck, Greyskull? Like, that’s literally an allergy?”
Adora waves her off and she scoffs at the gesture. “You don’t get it. Dee, just-whatever came out before that, okay?”
“Can do. And for the little girlfriend?”
Dee turns to Catra and Adora barely withholds a chuckle when she catches how annoyed she looks. “Watch it, Dee, Catra is scrappy.”
Catra looks to her and gives her an approving nod. “Damn right. And can I just get the same, but I’ll take the key lime pie?”
“Coming right up. Have fun ladies,” Adora shifts and crosses her arms. “but not too much, this is a family establishment after all.”
Adora flips them off and watches as they walk away, snickering to themself. When she turns back Catra is giving her a weird look. “What?”
“Can I ask you something?” Catra asks, deciding to go out on a limb here.
“You never answered when I asked about your pronouns the other day.”
“Oh.” Adora fidgets a bit in her seat and puts a large percentage of her focus on picking at a hangnail on her thumb. “That’s not really a question.”
“Okay…” Catra hesitates, not wanting to push Adora too far. “Is there a reason you didn’t answer when I asked about your pronouns the other day?”
It’s quiet between them for a minute while Adora tries to come up with words. It’s not like no one has ever asked about her pronouns and stuff before. Some of her friends, namely Bow and Perfuma, have picked up on her weirdness around that stuff and tried to gently bring it up. She just didn’t...know what to say. So she could just brush this off- probably should even. Catra barely knows her, she probably doesn’t want to sit her and emotionally process with her. Adora doesn’t even want to emotionally process alone!
“Adora?” Catra’s soft voice can barely be heard over the din of the diner, but Adora looks up from her fingers. “You can tell me to fuck off. It’s not like it’s my business.”
Adora laughs, a little hollow but genuine. “No, I know. I just don’t...I mean, I think gender is fake, right? But that doesn’t mean-I’m not necessarily trans .”
“Okay.” Catra says evenly. “What do you think being trans means?”
“I don’t-I-doesn’t that kind of vary from person to person?”
Catra shrugs. “I think so. I’m cis so I’m maybe not the best person to give you answers but yeah, that seems to be the case. So for you personally though…”
“Well, okay, but I don’t think I am? I don’t get dysphoria or anything. I just think like, having a gender binary is stupid? And like-I don’t know....”
“You don’t have to experience dysphoria to be trans, Greyskull. Even I know that.”
“Well, yeah, but-”
“Do you like it when people refer to you as a woman? Use she/her pronouns and stuff. Like, does that feel validating?”
“Well no ...but does that feel validating for you?”
Catra pauses to consider the question, which Adora appreciates. She also appreciates the reprieve from answering her questions. “I guess sort of? It certainly doesn’t feel invalidating . I honestly agree that the binary is crap, and I kind of like when people use they/them pronouns for me too. I’ve also gotten he/him here and there since I cut my hair short and I don’t really care.”
“But you’re cis?”
“Yeah, Greyskull, I’m cis but pronouns don’t equal gender. That’s just one part of it. But if you’re uncomfortable being called she or her, that might mean something.”
Adora chews on that for a minute and right around then is when DT wanders over with their food. She looks at them consideringly as they set the food down. Without permission from her brain her mouth asks, “Hey Dee? When did you-how did you know-well you’re non-binary, right?”
They narrow their eyes and cross their arms. “Yes, and?”
Adora feels her face heat, she fucking hates this-she’s not used to feeling so...awkward. It’s terrible, how do people do this? “I was just wondering…”
“Spit it out, Darling, I have other tables.”
“Can I?” Catra asks, giving them a significant look. They send a pleading expression right back. Catra turns to Dee and says, “Yeah, Greyskull’s questioning their gender but they think they can’t be trans because they don’t experience dysphoria.” She turns to Adora and asks, “Did I summarize that right?”
“Uh, basically, yeah.”
DT’s expression has softened and Adora feels both reassured and embarrassed. “Listen, kid, this is kind of a heavy topic for work. Like I said, I’ve got other tables. Come by tomorrow around five and I’ll buy you a coffee and a slice of pie, okay?”
“O-oh, are you sure? I didn’t mean-”
“Please, I have a wealth of wisdom to share. Wouldn’t want it to go to waste.” they say with their usual flair and a dramatic wink. “Now, enjoy your food. Obviously there won’t be a check, but don’t forget to tip.”
Adora laughs, relieved at the shift in conversation. “Can I just give you twenty bucks now?”
“Whatever floats your boat, Honey.” They walk away two minutes later, sliding a wrinkled twenty into their apron.
Adora digs right in, seriously ready for the comfort of some carbs. Catra’s pretty hungry too but she sort of picks at her food. She feels a little...guilty in the wake of Dee’s departure. “Hey Greyskull?”
Adora looks up, their mouth stuffed with fries, and Catra smiles at the image. “Huh?”
“I hope I didn’t like, push or anything.”
“I just-if you weren’t ready to talk about that stuff…”
“D’riluth, don’t be stupid.” They reach over to grab Catra’s right hand where it lays on the table. Both of them feel a jolt somewhere in their gut. Both of them choose to ignore it. “I...I feel weird about this stuff-obviously.” They both chuckle lightly at the admission. “I would have told you if I didn’t want to talk about it though. I-I do honestly. I just...feel like I’m taking up space that isn’t for me, does that make sense?”
Catra looks at them for a minute, then squeezes their hand and drops it, opting instead to start in on her food. “You know the Q in LGBTQ+?”
“Uh, yes?” Adora answers, unsure where she’s going with this.
“I always thought it was for queer.”
“Is it not?”
“I think sometimes it is.” Catra pops a fry in her mouth and picks up another which she considers for a moment before continuing. “It also stands for questioning.” She drops the fry and looks Adora in the eye. “You don’t have to make it weird, dummy. There’s plenty of space.”
Adora smiles, genuinely touched. Catra rolls her eyes but if she thinks Adora can’t see the smile flirting with the corners of her mouth, she’s fucking kidding herself. “Thanks D’riluth.”
“Don’t mention it.” Adora knows she means it, and so they don’t.
Woop! Okay, well if you read the last chapter before I updated it to be a multichap-my bad! It was supposed to be o/s when I started writing this but that ship had very clearly sailed by the time I posted-oops! What's new, eh? Theoretically this should be a pretty short one, I'm thinking similar length to Mark My Words (Which was also supposed to be a o/s once upon a time...) But we'll see. I'm planning to cover the whole two weeks of the project, maybe a bit beyond just to round it out, but depends on how the two weeks go!
Thanks for reading! Until next time...
Catra’s pretty beat Monday morning. She and Adora had hung at the diner until after nine the night before, getting her home just in time for curfew. Luckily Grizz was in by the time she got back, and Weaver was nowhere to be seen. Less fortunately, because she fucked around with Greyskull for over five hours, she had a bunch of homework left to do before she could crash. She barely stays awake in lit, and when she gets to bio second period she immediately drops her head onto her arms to try for a three minute power nap.
Kyle is already in his seat by the time she makes it-and luckily he knows better to greet her when she walks in with grump face. Two minutes into her power nap though, someone else walks up to their table.
“Kyle, move.” Catra looks up to see Greyskull towering over her lab partner, Finn in their arms. Seemingly as an afterthought they add, “Please.”
“Nuh uh, Greyskull. Kyle’s the only one of us who understand what the fuck is going on in this class. He stays, I need him.”
“Aw, Catra.” He smiles at her, and if she didn’t know better she’d say he got teary eyed too.
“Shut up, Kyle.”
“Aw, c’mon, D’riluth. I basically know what’s going on.”
“What’s your grade?”
“B minus, but just cause I have test anxiety.” They say it all nonchalant, a little cocky but not so much that Catra doesn’t believe them.
“...Fine. Only if Kyle’s okay with his new partner though.” She ignores the soft look he sends her way and drops her head back on her arms.
Adora’s pretty fucking confident this is gonna be a no brainer for ol’ Kyle. “I’m with Rogelio right now.”
“Oh.” And yep, if Kyle’s squeaky voice is anything to go by, Adora just got themself a new lab partner. “Uhm, yeah, I mean, sure. I guess that would be okay.”
“Uh huh, figured you’d want to sit with your baby.”
“What! He’s not my-”
“The flour, dude.” They feel a little bad, to be honest, making the poor guy turn so red. Then again they barely even had to try .
“Right! Of course, who else would you be talking about. I’ll just, um, go. Over there now.”
Adora watches him hastily gather his stuff and plops down in their new seat the moment he’s gone. Then they look over to Catra, who appears to be snoozing lightly. “What’s up with you?”
“Shut up, Grayskull. I have thirty more seconds.”
Adora looks up at the clock and sure enough, there are exactly thirty seconds left until the bell rings. They wait the time out impatiently, drumming their fingers against the table-much to Catra’s annoyance. Her head pops up with ten seconds to go.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re super obnoxious?”
They grin, undeterred, but the drumming stops at least. Fucking needy, attention seeking brat. It’s not charming. “Oh, once or twice.”
“Well allow me to be the second or third. What are you doing here anyway?”
The bell rings but their teacher is still nowhere to be seen, so Adora says, “Um, well I’m not a truant for one.”
Catra rolls her eyes at the obvious avoidance of her point. “Clearly that’s not what I meant.”
“What, you don’t wanna hang out with Finn and I? We are a family , Catra.”
“Oh, for shit’s sake.” She groans, dropping her head back onto the table. Into her arms she grumbles, “I’m too tired for your shit today, Grayskull.”
Adora hesitates, not wanting to cross the line. They also don’t want to like, not ask if she’s okay. “Is...everything alright, D’riluth?”
Catra turns her head to look at them without lifting it at all. They look annoyingly earnest-like they actually care or something. “‘M fine. Just didn’t budget my time well and left a bunch of work till the last minute yesterday.”
“Oh.” Adora frowns. “I hope I didn’t-”
“You didn’t, Grayskull, stop giving yourself so much credit.” Adora laughs and nods, looking up when there’s a light ruckus from the doorway. Lance Archer is backing into the room, pulling a TV set with him. Fucking score.
“Alright class!” he says once it’s all the way in. “Mr. Hordak had to leave early due to a family emergency so we’ve got a video lined up for you today. I have to get back to the library so everyone will need to self regulate this period. Spinerella has an algebra class next door if you need anything, and she’ll be checking in on you periodically, so no shenanigans.”
With some sense of general assent, Lance sets up some movie about mushrooms, turns out half the lights, and leaves. Naturally a couple kids dip immediately. Everyone else settles in, chatting quietly-the darkness of the room enough of a deterrent to anyone inclined to speak at full volume.
“Oh fuck yes.” Catra mutters. “Wake me up when class is over, will you?”
“Right, yeah, of course.” Adora answers, but they’re frowning. Not that Catra sees it, which is good- she has every right to nap! It’s not like it’s her job to entertain Adora. They survey the room but they don’t really have any buddies in this class. There’s a few people from the team in here, but no one they’re like, especially close with. Left to her own devices, Adora pulls out their sketchbook and flips to a random page.
They’re sort of half listening to the video, working on their sketch for a while. Honestly, they kind of start to get in a zone, enjoying biology class for maybe the first time ever. Then they jump about a foot in the air when Catra’s voice comes just an inch away from their ear. “Are you seriously drawing Finn right now?”
Adora looks over to find her smirking at them. “I thought you were napping?” they whisper harshly.
Catra smirks at her obviously spooked classmate. “Yeah, well this desk is uncomfortable as fuck. Seriously though, what are you doing?”
Adora looks down at their sketch, which is indeed of the sack of flour sitting on their desk. They look up with a grin and answer, “For the nursery.”
Catra scoffs at the bravado and leans over to look. For being a sketch of a literal sack of flour, it’s pretty fucking good. “Damn, Greyskull, I didn’t know you could draw.”
“Uh, I’m actually trying to get into the art college over in Elberon next year.”
Maybe that shouldn’t shock Catra, it’s not like she actually knows Adora Greyskull, but it does. She’d kind of assumed they’d keep doing their jock shit after high school. “No shit?”
They nod. “Uh huh, kinda expensive though. If I get offered a sport’s scholarship I might go to a D2 school instead, just major in art. It’d be cool to not have to do a bunch of unrelated prereqs though. “
“Huh. I mean, yeah, that’s true.” Adora isn’t surprised that Catra’s surprised, most people are. If it’s not because they’ve cast Adora as a one dimensional meathead, it’s because they actually tend to crush their STEM classes. They like that stuff too to be fair, and it would certainly provide more career options. It’s just...not what they want to do.
“What about you?”
“What about me?” Catra shifts in her seat, pulling a leg up and tucking it under her.
“Do you know what you’re doing next year?”
“Uh, not yet.”
Adora furrows their brow, they can’t tell if Catra doesn’t want to talk about this or what. They pick up their pencil again and resume their sketching. Casually they ask, “Did you apply to any schools?”
Catra slouches in her seat and says, “A couple. I got into a few. I just…” She frowns, and Adora wants to ask but something tells them to wait. So, they work on their shading and let silence settle in. After a few minutes Catra huffs and leans forward, resting her elbows on the desk and her chin in her hand. “I don’t get all the financial aid stuff.”
Adora groans in commiseration. “Tell me about it, it’s such a fucking mess.”
“Totally! And it’s not like anyone’s teaching us how to navigate this. Like, we have to carry around a sack of flour for two weeks but there’s no room in the curriculum to go over paying for college .”
Adora snorts because that is so, so valid. “Have you had a chance to talk to Micah yet?”
“Mr. Brightmoon.” At Catra’s blank look Adora adds, “The senior guidance counselor?”
“Oh. Oh! Uh, no, should I?”
“Totally, he helped me figure all that stuff out. Mara’s been through it so she can help a little too, but she had our parents around and they basically did it for her.”
Catra’s not really sure how to respond. She figured Greyskull’s parents weren’t around since they live with their sister and all. She just doesn’t exactly know like, what’s up with that situation. She decides just to take the advice at face value. “Do I have to like...make an appointment, or…?”
“Uh, I usually just walk in. Sometimes you have to wait a little bit though.”
“Cool. Uh, thanks.”
Adora waves her off distractedly. “Sure, sure. What schools did you apply to anyway?”
“A few different ones.”
Adora looks up at the coy answer and raises an eyebrow. Catra knows she’s being weird, people just always have a reaction to her answer. Well, ”always”. She’s only told the D’reams-who react to everything- and Doc kind of by accident. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, D’riluth.”
Catra sighs. “Whatever, just like Eastern, UE, and um...Krytis University.”
Adora frowns, pauses, and Catra watches as the name registers.”Wait, Krytis like the ivy Krytis?”
“Pretty sure there’s only one.” she says.
It’s quiet for a few beats then Catra, a smug smirk in her voice, says, “You can ask, you know.”
Adora rolls their eyes and lazily turns their head toward her to ask, “Did you get into Eastern, UE and/or Krytis?”
Truth be told, Adora’s like a little...flustered? Not really flustered, just-smart girls are hot, everybody knows that. Right? “Yep.” Catra answers, popping the p and looking cockier than Adora’s ever seen her.
It is fully a front. Catra is like, super embarrassed. It’s not bragging if someone asks, right? Totally. Like, Catra’s hot shit and she knows it, she doesn’t need to boast to earn the approval of others. Mind you, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel really nice that Adora looks so impressed right now. And also when they say, “Damn, okay D’riluth.”
“Whatever, it’s not a big deal. Who knows where I’ll go?”
Adora shrugs, chill but undeterred. “Still impressive.” Sensing Catra is ready to move on, they say, “Where do you eat lunch anyway?”
It’s an unexpected question, so much so it startles Catra into just answering directly without questioning why Adora wants to know. “Oh, uh Doc’s room usually. Or just in that hallway if it’s not open.”
“Cool, well you should join us in the commons if you ever want to.”
Catra lifts a brow and asks, “Us?”
“Yeah, the group kind of rotates but usually Bow and Glim are there. Mermista too-and Sea Hawk unless they’re off again. And you know Perfuma, right?”
“I mean, I know of her.”
“She either sits with us or some other kids from the plant club. Oh, hey, did Scorpia say anything to you about getting paired up with her?”
“Why?” Catra asks, narrowing her eyes suspiciously.
“Oh, Perfuma’s like, super into her. Totally fearless too-I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t ask Scorpia out by the end of the flour baby thing.”
“I knew she was flirting with her!” Catra whispers victoriously. “Scorp’s brilliant but she’s also a total dumbass. So, all I’ve got to say is it’s good that Plumeria has it in her to be direct.”
Adora laughs. “Match made in heaven.”
“Evidently.” They settle into silence once more, Catra watching Adora sketch. They look like a total goober, but it’s cute. Even if the way they hunch over their paper is a little concerning-that literally cannot feel good to their back. They also poke their tongue out every time they erase. Like does that take extra focus or something? Eventually she gets bored though, so she asks, “Hey, not that it’s my business, but are you planning to get coffee or whatever with, um, crap what’s their name…?”
“Dee?” Adora doesn’t look up. In fact, other than their answer and the slight knitting of their brows, they don’t react much at all.
Catra snaps and points at them. “Yes, Dee!”
They bite their lip, staying focused on their sketch, and Catra’s energy settles. After a minute they say. “Yeah, we didn’t confirm or anything, but I figured I’d swing by.”
Catra bobs her head. She’s not good at this...thing. This like, supportive, processing part of friendship. It’s always so messy . Like sure, she can give unsolicited advice until the cows come home. This is pretty clearly different though. “Are you like, okay?”
Adora snorts and finally turns to look at her, brushing a stray hair out of their eyes. “I’m fine , D’riluth. I feel weird about it but it’s not like it’s tearing me up inside.”
Catra nods, a little hurried. “No, yeah, totally.”
“What’s up, Greyskull?”
“Can you like...chill?”
Her mouth drops open and she scoffs, shifting to shove Adora’s arm. It does nothing to move them and they roll their eyes in amusement. “Fuck off , Greyskull. I’m plenty chill.”
“Uh huh, cool as a cucumber over there. Hey-where does that expression come from? Cucumbers are like...meh.”
“Stars…” Catra mutters. Then she answers, “The inside of a cucumber is always like, a few degrees cooler than the air around it.”
“ Ohh , so it’s literal.”
“You’re an idiot.”
Adora opens their mouth to quip back, when the pair are distracted by the sound of the door opening. Spinerella pokes her head in the door. “Hey kids, five minutes left of class. You can leave a couple minutes early if you are quiet in the halls , but feel free to stay if you’re enjoying the movie.” A could kids near the front agree on behalf of all of them, and the math teacher ducks her head back out of the room.
“So…” Catra says.
“What’d you think of the mushroom movie?”
“Oh, uh, I mean the half hour or so I watched was actually pretty interesting.”
Catra nods and turns her eyes toward the front, even as several classmates around there get up and leave. “Might as well catch five more minutes I guess. Not like I have anywhere better to be.”
Adora smiles knowingly at the side of Catra’s head and agrees, “Yeah, me neither.”
Catra slides into her seat the following period a few minutes before the bell. Adora’s dumb friends, who sit in front of her, cut their conversation off conspicuously when she squeezes between them. She gets settled and pulls out her books, then looks up to find Bow Archer considering her.
“Yeah.” Sparkles says with a scoff. “I don’t get it.”
“Get what ? Ugh, you two are so fucking weird.”
“Be nice, Glimmer.” Bow encourages.
“For fuck’s sake…” Catra mumbles.
“So, where’s Finn?” Bow asks, and Catra notices little Johnny whatever-the-fuck sitting on his lap.
“Adora has them, it’s their day.”
“Right, right. I think we knew that.”
“Oh, jeez, Bow.” Glimmer moans, turning around to get out her own shit.
“How are you two getting along?” He asks, totally ignoring his gal pal.
“Fine? It’s been like, no work so far.”
“Never work a day in your life if you love what you do, right?”
“Blech, you sound like a middle aged lady’s pinterest board, what is that?”
“I’m just saying.” He puts his hands up, grinning wide in amusement.
“Uh huh, saying what exactly?”
“This project has been kind of fun. Don’t...you think so?”
Catra scrunches her face and looks at him like he’s totally lost the plot-which he seems to have done for the record. “What? No, this project is stupid as fuck. Total waste of taxpayer money.”
“Oh.” He looks disproportionately upset by this, but perks up a bit to ask, “You and Adora are having a good time hanging out though, right? I mean, on Saturday it seemed like you guys were…”
“Were what?” She narrows her eyes dangerously at him.
Glitter scoffs and turns around, apparently unable to help herself. “Flirting, he means. You two were flirting.”
Catra laughs. “Yeah, and? Have you even met your best friend? I’ve seen them flirt with the lunch lady.”
Glimmer looks low key pissed-probably because Catra’s is right. “Whatever, you know what I mean.”
“Ugh, each of you is worse than the other, I swear.”
“Uh huh, hey Glitter? Archer, you too for that matter.”
“Yes?” He asks, cutting off whatever snippy remark Shimmer was surely about to make.
“How about you do us all a favor and mind your own business, okay?”
Before either of them has a chance to respond, Mr. Archer-as in George; the grown adult, history teaching Mr. Archer- calls the class to order. Bow turns around looking deflated And Catra slouches down on her seat, already looking forward to the lunch period.
Perfuma asked Scorpia out. Evidently she caught her before third period and just...asked.
“Well what did you say?” Catra asks upon hearing the news.
Scorpia turns red and her eyes dart around nervously. “The bell was about to ring! I told her I had to get to class.”
“What! What was I supposed to say?”
“I believe either yes or no would have been ideal responses, depending on your interest in her as a potential love interest.” Entrapta answers without looking up from her science homework. Catra points to her with a flourish and looks at Scorpia with dramatically raised brows.
“Aw, now I feel bad! She just put herself out there like that and I...gosh, I just panicked!”
“Do you want to go out with her?” Catra asks.
“Well I...is that...okay?”
Catra gives her a weird look, totally at a loss. “I mean, yes? Unless you don’t want to. Why are you asking me?”
Scorpia slumps in her seat. “No reason. What should I do?”
“Well, you still haven’t said if you’re interested or not.”
“I think I am? I mean, Perfuma’s great! She’s so nice, and she knows so much about plants…”
“So go out with her then. It’s not like you’re committing to a relationship, it’s one date.”
“She probably doesn’t want to anymore! Not after I blew her off like that…”
“Oh for fuck’s-Scorpia, I don’t know a queer person alive who can’t relate to gay panic. Just go find her and tell her you wanna go out.”
“What, like right now?” The big, hopeless lesbian asks, looking panicked.
Catra lifts a brow in challenge. “You really wanna let it stew?”
“I-I guess not. I don’t know where she eats lunch though!”
Catra remembers what Adora said about Perfuma usually eating lunch with them-if she’s not in the commons, likely Adora and her preppy friends will know where to find her. She sighs with resignation. “Well I guess we better start looking then.”
“You’re gonna go with me?” She looks like she’s trying not to get her hopes up and Catra huffs.
“Duh. Trap, are you coming?”
“No can do, Boss!”
“Whatever. Scorp, get your shit and let's go.”
Scorpia hustles to do as she’s told and catches up to Catra in the hallway. Huffing and puffing lightly, she asks, “Uh, Wildcat? Where are we going.”
“The commons.” she grunts back.
“Do you know something I don’t know…?”
“I don’t know what the fuck you know, Scorpia. Some of the preppy, jockey types eat in the commons, figured we’d check there first.”
The commons is just the area where the four main hallways of the school meet. There’s an office there, the doors to the caf, and a bunch of benches against the wall. The most rowdy kids tend to clump together on the benches, half of them sat on the floor-if they aren’t just dicking around doing goddess only knows what and getting in the way that is. The two friends enter the area and naturally, Adora Greyskull spots them first. They look fucking delighted, and Catra feels a little bad that she isn’t there to see them.
“Catra!” They call with a broad wave, bringing the entire group's attention to her and Scorpia. Bow and Glitter are there-of fucking course- plus Merms, Hawk, some junior Catra can’t remember the name of, and blessedly Perfuma too. Catra was so not up for a wild goose chase.
They approach and Catra nods Adora’s way, ignoring the rest of the group. At least, until Mermista pipes up with, “Hey, D’riluth, should I be offended?”
“What?” she scoffs. “Why?”
“Well, I’ve asked you to eat lunch with us like, at least a couple times and nothing. Then Greyskull asks once and here you are? Seems sus.”
“Mermista!” Adora laughs from beside her, shoving her arm hard enough to make her lean into Sea Hawk. “Shut the fuck up.”
“Why? Because I’m right?”
“No.” She turns to wink at Catra but continues addressing Mermista. “Because you know if you give D’riluth a hard time she’ll never come back.”
“Oh fuck off, Greyskull. I think my skin is a little thicker than that.”
“Sure it is.”
“Pft, you’re an ass.” Adora shrugs, clearly unrepentant. “Well, sorry to say I’m not here for either of you. Plumeria?”
Perfuma turns away from Glimmer with whom she’d resumed her conversation-pretty clearly side eyeing the newcomers. Greyskull looks a little put out, but Catra decides to worry about that later. “Yes?”
“Scorpia wants to talk to you.” She eyes her friend who is blustering dramatically in the wake of her announcement and adds, “Probably without an audience.”
Perfuma turns to Scorpia with a serene smile, seemingly unbothered by her fluster. And honestly? Catra can totally see this working out. “Is that true, Scorpia?”
“Well, I-only if you want to! No pressure. We can just-Wildcat and I can, uh...leave?”
“No, no. I’d like to talk to you. Shall we?” She stands and nods her head toward the adjacent hall.
Scorpia sputters a little but follows her around the corner without hesitation. Leaving Catra just...standing there. Not really wanting to backtrack, cause why bother, right? She takes Perfuma’s now vacant seat on the floor, putting her next to Bow, looking up at Adora, Sparkles, and Merms who are sitting on the bench closest to her. The other kid-Frosta is maybe their name?- seems to barely be present, scrolling on their phone and tuning everyone else out.
Greyskull smiles down at Catra., that now familiar twinkle in their eye. “So...just escorting Scorpia then?” they ask.
“Psh, I mean. Don’t think she was gonna find it in her to come by the time the bell rang so.” They pinch their lips together between their teeth and nod. “What?”
“Nothing, nothing.” Catra does her best to level them with a look.
“Okay,” Glitter interrupts, making Catra roll her eyes. “Not to interrupt your weird little mating ritual-” Adora laughs in her face but she barrels on. When they peek at Catra from the corner of their eye she looks beyond annoyed. “but I have to ask-”
“Do you though?” Catra asks, making Adora choke back a laugh.
“Yes. Did she really just say she had to get to class?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“ Scorpia obviously.”
Catra narrows her eyes and Adora just knows whatever she says next is gonna be venomous. And sure enough, “Glitter, what did I ever fucking do to make you think I’d gossip about one of my friends with you? Seriously, because I’d like to make sure I never do it again.”
The rest of their group is clearly listening in-well except for Bow and Sea Hawk. They’re sat off toward the edge of the bench, talking excitedly about their flour child’s future. Apparently Sea Hawk thinks little Jordan Adventure needs to learn how to sail. Adora admires their ability to keep such a single minded focus-what the fuck is that like? Next to them, Glimmer is squawking indignantly.
“It’s not-I’m not gossiping ! It’s not like Perfuma didn’t already tell us.”
“Uh huh, so you’re telling me the girl who just asked out my closest friend was gossiping about her?” Catra challenges with a cocked brow. Adora’s pretty sure she’s just being a little shit right now and is having trouble withholding their laughter.
“No! That’s not what I said and you know it Catra!”
She shrugs. “Sounded like that’s what you said.”
“You’re such a bitch!”
“Hey,” Mermista cuts in with a drawl. “So, not like I’m not enjoying watching this shit show unfold, but I know Perfuma’s like, super into Lynda-”
“You mean Scorpia?” Adora asks, beginning to lose their battle with their own laughter.
“I already told her she looks more like a Lynda.”
“Dude, you know that’s her mom’s name. That’s fucking weird.” Catra objects.
“Whatever. I’m just saying I know Perfuma really likes her so we probably shouldn’t let Shimmer ruin this for her. She-”
“Oh for shit’s sake! It’s Glimmer ! Will you assholes stop getting my name wrong on purpose?”
“Meh, probably not.” Catra informs her evenly.
“Yeah, not a chance, sorry.”
“Ugh! I hate you both. And second I wasn’t ruining anything for anyone! I was just saying-”
“Yeah, like I know that? But you two were gonna bicker back and forth until none of us knew where the lines were anymore. Don’t-” She holds her palm out to both of them, though neither tried to protest. “try to argue with me. We all know I’m right.”
“Wow, Mermmy,” Catra teases. “ A+ communication. Truly, bravo.”
And frankly, that’s it-the last straw. Adora is dying , just bent over at the waste howling over the built up ridiculousness. And okay, maybe Perfuma was a little stressed about Scorpia’s response-or lack thereof- and took Adora and Bow to the parking lot so they could smoke. But that’s really neither here nor there. It’s funny, just the whole...all of it.
“Whatever.” Glimmer says. “Sorry if I was being overly nosey, we’re all just excited for Perfuma.”
Catra looks at her for a long second and then asks, “So Perfuma really is into her, huh?”
“Oh yeah.” Glimmer says with a light laugh. “And she makes absolutely no secret about it. I’m honestly a little surprised no one’s told Scorpia about it.”
“Psh, honestly? She’s so oblivious they might’ve done and she just misinterpreted it.”
“Ha! Oblivious lesbian?”
“Oh yeah.” Catra laughs, then she eyes Adora and they already know what’s coming. They groan preemptively as she opens her mouth to say, “Not the only one I know.”
“Fuck off.” They say, nudging her with their foot.
“What am I missing here?” Glimmer asks.
Adora rolls their eyes and answers before Catra has the chance. “Catra suspects Starla is into me, you know that girl who’s been volunteering at the food bank with me for ages.”
Glimmer’s face scrunches in confusion and Adora feels a bit vindicated. At least until she says, “What, was this news to you? I’ve never even met her and I could have told you that.”
“Ha!” Catra chimes in.
“Ugh, you know she’s gonna be insufferable now, right?”
“Who, Starla?” Obviously Glimmer knows they’re not talking about Starla.
“Shut up.” They turn and point to Catra. “You too.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You literally did though.” Adora flutters their eyes in annoyance that’s only half genuine.
“Hm, not how I remember it.”
Mermista groans. “You two are the worst. At least Scorpia and Fuma had the decency to go around the corner.”
Adora has something to say about that. “What? Mermista, you’ve literally made out on a couch right next to me .”
“And? You should have chosen another couch.”
“Gross!” Catra makes a stink face to go with her protest.
“Thank you! You’re just lucky I still drove you and Hawk home.”
“What, D’riluth?” Mermista says with a mischievous glint in her eye. “Are you telling me you wouldn’t make out with me on the couch.”
Catra rolls her eyes. “Nah, babe. When the stars finally align for us I want you all to myself.”
The only sign that Catra’s gotten to her is the nearly imperceptible clench to Mermista’s jaw. But Catra sees it. “You think you’re so slick.”
“Am I not?”
“I dunno.” Mermista looks up and makes eye contact with Adora who jumps, surprised at being roped into this. Probably shouldn’t be though. “Adora, what do you think?”
“Uh, what do I think about what?”
They’re being totally serious- how can Adora be expected to remember what was happening in the conversation ten seconds ago? Mermista still acts like they’re being intentionally obtuse. “Do you think Catra is slick?”
“Oh.” They turn to eye Catra up and down and can hear Frosta leaning in to whisper something about them to Glimmer. They won’t be distracted though, it’s a serious question to consider. Is Catra slick…? Finally they answer, still looking at Catra. “I think she’s not nearly as slick as I want to think she is.”
Adora’s friends laugh at the response but Catra, despite the rather obviously pleased smile curling the corners of her mouth, does her best to look indignant. “What is that supposed to mean?”
They shrug. “I mean, I think you’re pretty slick, dude, but Merms here seems to have you pegged.” Fucking Mermista Sealineas, she looks like she won something.
“Nope. Pretty sure I’m an enigma.”
“Wow, D’riluth, think pretty highly of yourself.” Glimmer snipes.
Glimmer opens her mouth to sass back but something behind Catar catches her eye. Catra turns around to see two red faced queers approaching them. Perfuma looks over the moon and Scorpia looks a little seasick, but happy. “Hey ladies!” Glimmer calls teasingly.
“Hello Glimmer, everyone.” Perfuma greets back.
Catra stands and brushes off her ass. Adora hopes she’s not gonna take off just because Scorpia’s back. There’s only five minutes left of lunch so it doesn’t really matter. They just figured they, Catra and Mermista would walk to fourth together. Which also doesn’t really matter, but it’d be cool. She goes to stand by Scorpia, who’s still holding Perfuma’s hand, a fact literally no one-even Bow and Sea Hawk-has missed.
“So?” Catra asks without preamble.
“Oh, uh.” Scorpia looks to Perfuma without preamble. She just smiles serenely back. “Perfuma was very understanding about my...my…”
While Scorpia rubs the back of her neck and turns pink, Perfuma smiles-just a little bit smug- and rocks back and forth on her heels a bit. She finishes up where Scorpia left off with, “Gay panic. Happens to the best of us. I’m gonna take Scorpia on a hike this weekend!”
Catra punches her friends arms lightly, truly happy for her. “Nice one.”
Without missing a beat Adora asks, “Wildcat?”
“It’s just so-”
“I swear on the stars, Adora.”
“I actually hate you.”
Adora reaches down to the bag of flour sitting in her lap and pretends to cover their ears. “Wildcat! Not in front of the kids.”
“Why are you even acting like this is novel? She’s been calling me that since second grade.”
“Well I never noticed.”
“She literally called me that less than twenty minutes ago! In front of you.”
“Aw.” Adora pouts around a smile. “Are you upset I didn’t notice you? Need me to pay you more attention?”
“Frankly, if this is how oblivious you are; yes, thank you.”
Adora laughs. “Noted.” The bell rings and there’s a collective groan. “Ready for gym?”
“Ugh, never.” Mermista complains, but she dutifully turns to say goodbye to her boyfriend.
Catra’s ready to agree but Scorpia steps in. “Uh, Wildcat, mind if I talk to you for a sec?”
Adora frowns, even though they know their disappointment isn’t fair. Catra nods, of course-because why would she not? And she says, “Sure thing, I’ll catch up with you guys.”
With no reason not to, Adora follows Mermista down the hall a minute later. Catra watches them go for a second, not really sure why, but she still misses Adora turning back at the last second. Instead she turns around to see Perfuma giving Scorpia a dreamy smile and a flirty finger wave as Bow drags her down the hall.
“So.” Catra starts as the halls around then begin to empty. “Wanna go get food after school or something?”
Scorpia looks relieved at not having to ask. “Oh my goodness, yes! I have so much to tell you.”
“I’m sure, but cliff notes version; you’re happy?”
Her friend grins widely and shyly admits, “I-yeah, I’m happy.”
“Hiking though, seriously?” Catra teases as they start toward their next classes.
Scorpia turns a little pink and smiles bashfully. “She said there’s somewhere special she wants to take me.”
“Gross.” Catra says around a wide grin. Then the warning bell rings and wipes the grin off her face. “Shit, I gotta jet.”
They say a quick goodbye and Catra races off toward the gym. She pushes through the doors to the locker room just as the bell rings, leaving her five minutes to get changed. Then she rounds the corner and-back muscles. Are teenagers even allowed to look like this? Her face gets hot when she catches Mermista’s eyes and realizes she’s been caught. Her friend makes a face Catra just knows she doesn’t like, and she hurries forward.
“Catra!” Adora turns, smile wide on their face and shirt still notably absent. Like they have a sports bra on and their shorts, but still , can Catra catch a break please? “What’s up?”
“Just...living the dream.” Catra moves past them, just a little bit awkward, to get to her locker at the end of the row.
Adora snorts in response to the remark. “Naturally.”
“So.” Mermista starts in, and Catra ducks behind her locker door. Just to get her stuff obviously. “Your face was a little red, you have to run to get here in time or something?”
Catra leans back to level Mermista with a look. “Yeah, I did actually.”
“Hmm…” She’s obviously not impressed. “Just seemed like you might be a little...worked up or something.”
Blessedly, Adora just looks confused. Catra teases, “Well, you know I’m always a least a little worked up around you, babe.”
“You love it.”
“Okay…” Adora cuts in, a little over being left out. “Should I give you two some privacy?”
Catra’s, “Probably.” is directly overlapped by a loud groan from Mermista.
“Did you guys hear we’re doing the mile today?” They ask, taking that as a ‘no’.
Mermista grumbles, and Catra turns to pull off her shift before answering. Reflexively, Adora turns to stare at the locker in front of them. They look back when she says, “No shit?”
Catra’s not sure if Adora brought up the mile to start something, but she is about to finish it. She gives them a challenging look when the answer with, “Uhm...yeah? At least, that’s what Lonnie was saying in third.”
“Bet I can beat your time.” Catra asserts. Mermista groans and walks away to talk to...someone else, but she’s got Adora’s attention.
“Please, just because you got me in a short sprint doesn’t mean you’ll beat my time.”
“I beat everyone’s time.”
Adora scoffs but they are loving this. Catra’s a little hot when she’s being competitive. “Oh is that so?”
Catra shrugs, like it’s casual, but she’s got an evil little smirk on her face; again, hot. “Every year since eighth grade.”
“Care to place money on that?”
“Pft, I don’t fucking have money to spare, Greyskull, but I’ll still bet you.”
“What terms are you suggesting?”
“Hmm, well...what do you want?”
Adora doesn’t even have to think about it. “Pie, I want you to make me a pie.”
Catra laughs. “You would. Fine. And if I win?”
“Uh...well, what do you want?”
Catra thinks on it, aware that the rest of the folks in the locker room are starting to trickle out. What does she want from Adora Greyskull? Nothing really comes to mind. Well, she has one thought but it’s stupid and probably not appropriate-so she shoves that to the farthest recesses of her mind. Instead what she comes up with is, “I want you to make me a pie.”
Adora snorts and warns, “It’s not gonna be good.”
“Aw, I’m sure the sweet, sweet taste of victory will make up for whatever you lack in skill.”
“Don’t be so sure, there’s a reason that Razz has me work front of house at the diner.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
“Okay, should we like...shake on it?”
“Put ‘em there, Grayskull.” The shake on the deal, both grinning smugly, as if they’ve already won.
Adora talks an awful lot of shit on their way out to the track for someone who loses. By a lot. Like, nearly a full minute, just saying. They’re both plopped on the grass half an hour later, only a couple other people finished with them, and Catra muses about what kind of pie she’d like. They’re supposed to be stretching also but like, how long does that really take?
“Please, I beg you, just keep it simple.” Adora pleads.
“You know, I’m quite fond of meringue....”
“Aw, c’mon! That’s barely even a pie.”
“What, you’re telling me lemon meringue pie isn’t a valid option.”
“Not exactly, more that if you choose it, it’s your fucking funeral.”
Catra laughs and something in Adora sighs internally. That’s her first clue, which she promptly ignores. “Fine, fine. What about pecan pie?”
“No can do, I’m allergic.”
“Oh please, are you gonna find a reason to not make any kind of pie, because that’s just bad sportsmanship. Aren’t you like, team captain?”
“No.” Adora scoffs. “Although I was MVP last year for football…”
“Very impressive, Greyskull. My pie?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, no. I’m like, actually allergic to tree nuts.”
“You’re such a liar!”
“Dude, there’s an epipen in my backpack.”
“Ugh, I hate that I think you’re not lying now.” Catra grumbles after holding eye contact for a prolonged minute..
“Well, I hate that nuts are trying to kill me, so. Sucks to suck I guess.”
Catra scoffs and shoves her to the side. “Well what are my options then?”
“Um...how do you feel about strawberry rhubarb?”
“Isn’t that your favorite pie? You remember who won, right? By an entire minute.”
“Okay, first of all it was forty-three seconds-”
“Uh huh, sure. And second , well, I was honestly kinda hoping you’d have forgotten that. What, do you like me or something, D’riluth?”
“Yeah, or something. I do not like you.”
“Aw, Catarina middle name redacted D’riluth-”
“Okay, well that’s not my name.”
“Well you won’t tell me your middle name!”
“I mean that’s not my first name-stars alive.”
“Oh, it’s not?”
“No! Why would you-you know what? Never mind.”
“Great, what I was about to ask is, Catrina-”
“I’ll get it eventually.”
“Why are you assuming Catra is even short for something?”
“Well your guts are idiotic.”
“Ugh, you’ve officially ruined my bit now. We’ve strayed much too far.”
“Hm, what was it you said a minute ago?” Catra says, “Suck to suck?”
“What’s your middle name?” Adora tries, thinking they might have her this time.
They almost do. “A-hey! I’m not fucking telling you that.”
“Ha!” Adora says with a triumphant fist in the air. “Now I know it starts with an A.”
“You’re still never gonna get it, don’t bother.”
Adora pouts. Well. They pretend to pout. “So not Ann then?”
“Nope, you’re totally right; it’s Anne. With an E.”
“No! What-you’re an idiot.”
“You never told me what kind of pie you want, you know. Can I assume you’re taking my expert recommendation?”
“Expert? You literally told me you can’t make pie for shit!”
“Well yeah, but I’ve eaten a lot of pies.”
Catra rolls her eyes fondly and drops onto her back dramatically. “Cherry.”
“Fine, but I’ll get a strawberry rhubarb pie out of you yet.”
Catra looks up, raising a brow in disbelief. “Not if you keep trying to race me to earn it.”
“Everyone has bad days sometimes, Catra.”
“Hm, not me. I’ve had a bad life .”
Adora cackles and Catra just watches them fall to pieces. It’s a sight she could easily get used to. She pushes the errant thought away reflexively, a first clue which she promptly ignores.
We all did that thing, right, where you make up random scenarios that are never gonna happen as you try to fall asleep at night? Yes, I can take that as a yes? Great. This story is like 47% that, 49% gay stuff and a humble 4% planned. So. Who knows what's gonna happen next?
Anyway, just wanna say, normally I try and respond to comments between updates because I appreciate them so much and love interacting with y'all. Didn't happen this time, still gonna try to get to them but if I don't/it takes a while just wanna say a blanket; thank you so much and also I'm glad the gender stuff is resonating with some folks! All that falls in to the 49% gay stuff and was 100% not planned so. We'll see what happens.
Okay, well til next time, thx baiiiii!!!
Adora rolls up to the diner just before five Monday evening. Mara knows not to expect them home for dinner, but doesn’t know where they’re going. Or that they’ve been referring to themself as...well, them self in their head for the past couple days. It feels...weird? Good weird, but...weird. They linger in the truck longer than they need to, seeing that DT is already there. It looks like they’re flirting with Swiftie, sitting at the counter. They feel a little bad keeping them waiting- even if they are entertained. It just feels like something is about to shift, and the daunting truth makes it hard to get their feet moving.
They do it though, eventually.
The familiar old bell rings when Adora opens the door and DT looks up immediately-like they knew it was them. They whisper something to Swiftie and he smiles, exchanges a wave with Adora, and then drifts off to check in on his tables. DT smiles at Adora as they draw closer, the same sinister smirk they’ve been shooting everyone’s way since they moved to town a decade ago.
“Well there you are, darling.” they call. “I was starting to think you’d gotten locked in your car.”
The familiar teasing loosens Adora’s muscles and they roll their eyes. “Yeah, well, fashionably late and all.”
“Oh, honey, we both know you’re no fashionista.”
Adora laughs. “Okay, rude! I’m very handsome.”
“Well sure, but your look isn’t exactly inspired, is it? T-shirt, jeans, the varsity jacket . It’s all very James Dean but a bit played out.”
“Well, not all of us have a seemingly endless supply of stylish jumpsuits. Seriously, where do you even shop? Nowhere in town sells anything half that stylish.”
They find a way to look exasperated while they preen. “It’s called the internet, darling.” They smirk and point at her. “Also, a sewing machine.”
“Oh, shit, you can sew, DT?”
“But of course.”
“Huh.” Adora nods and finally gets their butt in gear. They'd drifted to a seat at the counter over the course of their chatting, but now they stand to circle the counter, topping off DT’s coffee and getting a cup of their own.
“So, tell me what’s been going on, little baby gay.”
Adora huffs, but shoots them a smile so as not to seem totally ungrateful. They take up their same seat and take a moment to come up with their words. “I don’t know. I guess I...it’s just all confusing, you know? Like gender is fake, right?”
“But I don’t experience dysphoria, I just...feel weird being gendered I guess?”
DT sighs, not impatiently. “Choosing not to subscribe to gender is a valid way to be trans, darling. Tell me, why are you so hung up on not feeling dysphoric?”
Adora shuffles in their seat and takes a sip of their coffee, just to buy an extra moment to think. “I dunno...isn’t that, like, part of being trans?”
“Loving your body as it is, being comfortable in your body, isn’t something exclusive to cis people. Lots of trans people experience dysphoria, myself included, but not everyone in the community does.”
“Uh huh, any other questions?”
“I guess...how do you...know then?” Adora starts picking at a hangnail, peeking up at DT through their eyelashes.
“Honey, do you really think you’re cis at this point?” Adora blanches, opening and closing their mouth like a fish. DT laughs and continues. “It’s okay if you are, but I highly doubt that you’d be sitting here, fretting about this with me if that were the case.”
Adora supposes that’s true, but if it is… “So...what now?”
DT gives them a funny look and narrows their eyes. “What do you mean ‘what now’?”
“Well...if I am trans, what do I like...do about it?”
DT holds their stare for a long, anxiety inducing minute...and then laughs so hard their head falls back with the force of it. Once they’ve mostly calmed they say, “Darling, don’t you get it? That’s the whole point; you do whatever you damn well please. Change your pronouns, change your hair, find a label that works for you, or do none of the above and make absolutely no lifestyle changes if you’re happy just knowing yourself a bit better. There’s no one way to be trans.”
“Can I ask how you identify? Non-binary, right?”
“Mhm, a non-binary thespian.”
“You mean lesbian?”
“That too.” DT answers with a dismissive flick of their hand.
Adora snorts at the response. “Got it.”
“So?” DT asks, sitting forward like Adora’s about to spill some piping hot tea. “What pronouns should I use for you? You can always change your mind of course, but for now?”
Adora thinks about it hard for a minute and about all they can come up with is, “Is it bad if I just don’t care?”
“Oh, honey, no one gives a fuck.”
“Rude.” Adora snorts.
DT just rolls their eyes. “Well it’s true . Listen, people are probably going to default to she/her for you unless you start presenting differently or advocate for yourself . If you don’t care, that’s fine, but if you do; know what you want to be called.”
“I...Catra’s been using they/them pronouns for me. I kind of like it.”
The elder gay’s interest is piqued once more. “Oh, your new little girlfriend?”
“Not my girlfriend, we’re just partners.” Adora huffs.
“Oh for fuck’s-we’re not dating, DT.”
They pout exaggeratedly. “Why ever not?” Then with a wink they add, “Seemed like your type.”
“I don’t have a type!”
“Aw, sure you don’t.”
“Has anyone ever told you you’re kind of a bitch?”
“Just kind of? You wound me.”
“Whatever, we’re just classmates, maybe friends, end of.”
“Fine, fine, I’m sure you’ll see the light in time.” Adora scoffs and DT rolls right past it. “Now, you said you like it when your little girlfriend uses they/them pronouns for you?”
“Well...yeah. It makes me feel sort of-well, like not reduced to a gender? Like I’m a person.” DT does a poor job of pretending to try and hold back their smirk and Adora huffs. “Obviously I know I’m a person, Dee! You know what I mean.”
“She makes you feel seen.”
“I-yeah. She...does I suppose.”
Adora sits with that truth for a second until DT interrupts with a pointed, “Hm.”
“Come off it, I know that ‘hm’ meant something.”
“Just seems like maybe someone is having more than one revelation this evening.”
Adora groans and polishes off their mug of coffee, choosing to ignore the comment. “You need a top off?”
“Just grab me a water, will you?” Adora shoots off a couple finger guns in their direction before wandering off to fill their order. They grab a couple slices of pie from the case for good measure before heading back.
Plopping down, a thought occurs to them and they voice it. “Hey Dee?”
“How can I assist you?”
“I think I...I feel like there are still parts of being a girl I identify with. Does that mean I’m not…”
Dee takes a delicate and leisurely bite of their pie and hums to themself for a moment. “Only you can know that I’m afraid. I’ll say this though, you were socialized as a girl for a long time, Adora. It makes sense if some experiences of quote, unquote “girlhood” shaped you, stay a part of you. It doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a box that doesn’t fit.”
Adora nods, taking a moment to digest all that. They look up after a minute and find DT touching up their eyeliner in their little compact mirror. They can’t help but grin. “Hey Dee?”
“What is it now?” They ask without looking up.
“Thanks. For talking to me about this stuff.”
“Yes, well, as I said before,” They snap their mirror shut and offer Adora a roguish smile. “it would be an awful shame to let my years of wisdom go to waste.”
Adora adopts a serious expression and nods. “So true, bestie.”
DT hurrumps and stands with a level of flourish and flair that just can’t be taught. “Well. You better get home before you turn into a pumpkin, or whatever it is that happens to children at the witching hour.”
“It’s barely even six.” Adora answers as they stand too.
“As I said.” And with that and no goodbye, DT waltzes out of the diner, disappearing around a corner and into the night.
Catra spends a full two hours listening to Scorpia gush about Perfuma after school that day. They go to her house, and after Lynda plys them with snacks, Catra follows her closest friend up to her room so she can unload. Catra spends a lot of time here, like a lot . The group house isn’t exactly the best for having friends over-not that it isn’t allowed-and Catra’s always looking for an excuse to get the fuck out of there until curfew hits. Ergo….
She’s made herself comfortable, flopping in Scorpia’s old bean bag chair and playing video games while she listens to her friend. When Scorpia pauses for breath after listing all of Perfuma’s most admiral attributes, of which there’s a surprising amount, Catra asks, “So, when’s your date? Like, I know this weekend, but....”
“Saturday! It’s a little bit of a drive apparently, so we’ll probably leave around ten.”
“Damn, travelling for a date, that’s ballsy.”
Scorpia furrows her brow in consternation. “What do you mean?”
“Well like,” Catra pauses her game and turns to look at Scorpia who’s snuggled up on her bed now that she’s an active participant in the conversation. You know, instead of just being talked at . “if you’re not having a good time, you’re sort of stuck together. Like, you still have to drive back.”
“Oh.” A frown is added to Scorpia’s look of concern. “You think she won’t have a good time?”
“ What? Dude, no. I’m just saying it’s ballsy. Kinda tells you just how into you she is.” Catra smirks at Scorpia’s immediate fluster.
“What? Psh! No-no way! I’m sure she just-well she likes hiking.”
“So I’ve heard.”
“A-And I’m sure she-well and I just-I mentioned I don’t hike much, I’m sure that’s it.”
“I’m sure it is.” They stare each other down for a moment before Catra laughs and says, “Scorpia, come on, dude. She’s not gonna sign up to spend hours in a car with you, plus the actual date itself, if she didn’t want to spend hella time with you. She likes you.”
“Maybe…” Before Catra can push any more, Scorpia changes the subject by asking, “So, what are you gonna do this weekend?”
Catra shrugs. “Fuck if I know. Maybe I’ll see if Trap wants to hang, get her to help me study for that Math test next week. And I have my shift.”
“Do you think you’ll see Adora?”
The question is pointed, and Catra narrows her eyes at it. “I mean, we exchange Finn on Sundays.”
“Right, but do you think you’ll like, hang out?”
“Why the fuck would we hang out?”
“Because you’re friends?” Scorpia suggests with a puzzled look on her face.
“I mean, sort of...but not like friends who hang out.”
“And because you’re clearly into each other?”
“ What? ”
“Yep, yep there’s a clear bond there, ya know?”
“I certainly do not know.”
“Aw, come on, when’s the last time you go along with someone so quickly? I practically had to beg you to be my friend!”
“Aw, Scorpy, are you jealous?”
“Honestly? A little.”
The clear honesty in her voice stops Catra in her tracks. “Hey, Scorpia, I didn’t mean…”
“I know you didn’t.” Scopra waves her off with a soft smile. It’s weak but genuine. “I’m just saying, you’re not usually the ‘fast friends’ type.”
“Well, sure...but Greyskull and I have been going to school together for years . It’s not like we just met.”
“It kind of is though.” Catra scoffs but Scorpia is undeterred. “When’s the last time you talked before this project?”
“Fine, whatever, Greyskull is cool but I’m not like, sitting over here pining over them.”
“If she asked you out, would you say yes?”
“I-” Catra doesn’t know the answer. How the fuck does Catra not know the answer? Does... does she want to date Adora? No, right? Definitely not. Although...like she’s cool to hang out with, and hot as hell. Cocky too, which Catra kind of annoyingly likes. Scorpia is watching her face closely as she thinks and she shifts her expression into a scowl. “Whatever, maybe.”
“Then maybe you should ask her to hang out.”
“I’m not asking them on a date!”
“Hey, who said date? I never said date. Just..hang out, see how it goes.”
“I...fine, I’ll think about it. Can we watch Netflix now or something? I’m like, tapped out on human emotion.”
“Sure thing, Wildcat.” Catra sighs at the term of endearment, totally unwilling to ever admit how fond she’s grown of it. She watches Scorpia scroll through options and zones out. It’s really fucking stupid when how thoughts immediately drift to a certain blonde from school.
Catra and Scorpia are an episode or two in when Adora gets a text. By then they’ve gotten home and eaten something halfway decent for dinner. Mara had taken Hope on a spontaneous date, so Adora has the place to themself. It kind of feels like a luxury but mostly it feels boring and they just zone out to Netflix. They look down at their phone when it pings and their responding grin is automatic.
what’s up grayskull
Hey! Nm, hbu?
chillin with scorp
how was the diner
Oh, rly gd!
Yah I think so
Gave me sum stuff 2 think abt
Sitting w it 4 now
when are you bringing me my pie
you better not crap out on me
i won that shit fair and square
maybe i should just supervise
make sure it gets done
Adora sits up. Kind of, they’re now cross legged on the couch, hunched over their phone and smirking at the screen. Their heart beats a little harder. Is Catra D’riluth trying to hang out this weekend?
U don’t trust me?
not even a little
Wut xactly r u proposing?
i’m gonna come over
and make sure you make my pie
and hopefully don’t poison me in the process
you text like an idiot on a phone from the early 2000s
Adora laughs, because like, obviously they know that. It’s faster and they think it’s funny, so.
U never capitalize
And have u ever heard of punctuation??
bc I’m cool
fuck off grayskull
Adora laughs so hard they snort and decide to quit while they’re ahead. So, naturally, they throw their phone across the couch and giggle into their hands. Because, you know, they’re chill. After their little...whatever, they haul themself up and off the couch to finish their lit homework at the dining table. Or maybe they’ll just stare off into the middle distance until Mara gets home, but they’re trying at least.
A couple miles away, Catra shoves her phone in her back pocket, shaking her head fondly. Scorpia is eyeing her super obviously so she turns to scowl at her. It’s kind of hard. She might be a little, tiny bit excited about Friday.
“Nothing, nothing!” Scorpia pauses, pretending to watch their show for a minute before asking, “So, who were you texting?”
“No one. Grayskull. What’s it to you?”
“Talking about Finn?” She nods her head to the two sacks of flour sat at the end of her bed. One has a googly eyed face and an impressive collection of flour stickers for hair. The other is wearing a worn onesie covered in tropical fruits.
“Psh, no. What’s there to talk about? It’s a bag of flour.”
Scorpia hums. “So...what were you talking about?”
“None of your damn business.” Catra sulks a little but Scorpia just sits there, quiet and patient, until Catra breaks. “Fine! They lost a race in gym today so they owe me pie.”
“ Aw! ”
“Urgh! Stop making that face.”
“That one, where it’s super obvious what you’re thinking.”
“You...do you mean smiling?”
“Yeah Scorp.” Catra rolls her eyes. “I mean smiling.”
“Huh. What kind of pie is she getting you?”
“Cherry, and they’re making it.”
“Aw, sweet! Does Adora bake too? That’s so nice, you two could start baking together!”
“What? No! We’re not gonna bake together. Well, we are, but just one time.” Catra freezes, immediately realizing she’s said too much.
“Oh really? ”
“It’s just so…”
“Shut up .”
“I am not cute! They just don’t know what they’re doing. I’m going for supervision purposes only.”
“Like we’ll be hanging out.”
“But it’s just a byproduct of my making sure I don’t get poisined by some dumb jock.”
“Because they don’t know what they’re doing.”
“Not because I’m into them.”
“Because you’re not.”
“Unless you are.”
“Stop smiling like that!”
“I really can’t help it, Wildcat.”
Catra groans with all the melodrama they can muster up. “Whatever. Can we watch our show, please? You’re being distracting.”
And sure, both of them know that Catra’s seen this episode of this stupid cartoon they love like, a billion times. Scorpia still drops it. Her stupid, smug, knowling little smile though, that stays. It’s both infuriating and weirdly nice. Catra kind of likes that Scorpia is excited for her, even if there is absolutely nothing to be excited about.
They watch for a little longer before Catra decides to speak up again. “Hey Scorpia?”
“What’s up, Wildcat?”
“I uh-it’s not a big deal.” She pauses, watching the show for another minute before steeling herself with a deep breath and turning to look up at her friend. “I sort of...heard back from some schools.”
“Oh! Yay! You applied to Eastern and UE, right?”
“Uh, yeah. And Krytis.”
“Oh. Ohh , and?” Scorpia’s practically bouncing in her seat and Catra can’t help but let a smile sneak through.
“All of them.”
“Oh Wildcat! That’s so exciting, I’m so proud of you! Can we tell Ma and Mom? We don’t have to, only if you want! Mom will probably bake a cake though, just so you know. She made a cake when I got my first letter. Well, you know, you ate some. But still, ah! Wow, okay, are you going to Krytis? It’s so far away, I’m gonna miss you so much! Have you talked to Mr. Brightmoon yet? He is a genius about all the paying for college stuff. Ma can help too though, she doesn’t have as many resources but she still all but did my financial aid application for me. I mean, I helped but I was so nervous! I kept making all these typos, you know how it is...”
Scorpia rants for a while and Catra just listens. All in all, Scorpia’s a pretty good best friend, and Catra’s lucky to have her.
The rest of the week trickles by at an agonizing pace for both Catra and Adora. By the time Adora gets out of practice on Thursday, they’re nearly dead on their feet. Still, Mara asked them to pick up a prescription for her so they swing by the drugstore on the way home.
“I’m afraid we’re running a little behind today, hun. Looks like it’s not quite ready yet.” the pharmacist explains when Adora gives them Mara’s name and birthday. “Well call you over the intercom when it’s ready though, shouldn’t be more than ten minutes.”
“No problem.” Adora smiles, wandering away to browse through the aisles while they wait.
Drugstores always have the weirdest shit. They pick up a coloring book and think about getting it, but they’d probably never actually use it so it gets put back on the shelf. Same with a small pot of slime. They side eye a kaleidoscope as well but does any one person really need three kaleidoscopes? Probably, but they’d never hear the end of it from Mara...or Glimmer for that matter.
They wander the next aisle over and into the beauty section. And like, sure they use shampoo and face wash and stuff, but there’s a lot in that section and they don’t really know what to do with most of it. For example, what the fuck is bronzer? Is it the same as self tanner? Adora will likely never know. There’s one thing they happen across however, that they definitely do know how to use…
DT’s words drift through the back of their mind, “ Change your pronouns, change your hair, find a label that works for you, or do none of the above and make absolutely no lifestyle changes if you’re happy just knowing yourself a bit better. ” They stand there debating for what must be ten minutes before Mara’s name is called over the intercom. They turn to walk away and at the last second make a snap decision; they grab the hair dye.
They’re antsy on the drive home, like the boxed dye is taunting them from where they’ve tossed it haphazardly on the back seat. They might speed, but just a little! Either way they’re pulling into the driveway and hopping out ten minutes after leaving the drugstore. Inside they find Mara sat at the kitchen counter, dinner simmering on the stove and her phone pressed to her ear. They stand beside her, making their impatience so clear she narrows her eyes and wraps up her call. Which is what they were going for, so...good.
“Hey...Squirt. What’s up?”
They hold up the box. “Will you help me dye half my hair blue?” They pause and for good measure add, “Also, I’m trans. Non binary. Or gender nonconforming. I’m not really sure the difference.”
Mara blinks for a second and a grin slowly spreads across her face. “Cool, you using different pronouns now?”
“Uh, they, I think? I haven’t really...told anyone else.”
“Aw, Squirt.” She looks genuinely touched and Adora blows right past it, suddenly shaky with nerves and excess adrenaline.
“Yeah, um. So they/them, but maybe still she/her sometimes too? Like a mix? And uh, I mean I’m not opposed to he/him. But like, mainly the other two, ya know?”
Mara nods. “Okay, is there anything else I can do to support you?”
“Uhm…” Adora thinks, suddenly feeling more emotion well up than they know what to do with. Their voice shakes a little when they ask, “Can you just like...hug me for a minute?”
“Bring it in, Kiddo.” She opens her arms and squeezes Adora tightly.
As a rule, the Grayskull family have never been huggers. Like here and there, sure. Plus, some of her friends are touchy feely, and Adora’s gotten used to and comfortable with that, but they still rarely seek that kind of comfort. And somehow, despite being cut from the very same cloth, Mara’s hug feels like the best damn thing in the world at that moment. Each can surely tell that the other is crying a little, but they just rock slowly before giving one last tight squeeze and letting go.
Mara wipes surreptitiously at her eyes and asks, “So, blue?”
“Yeah...I was thinking maybe just the ends? Then I can cut it off if I’m not into it.”
“Works for me, did you get gloves?”
“Uh...should I have?”
Mara rolls her eyes and starts leading them toward her bathroom. “No shit, dude, now I’m gonna have smurf hands.”
Adora snorts. “A fringe benefit then?”
Mara turns to glare playfully and points a finger at her. “Watch it, kid.”
“You wanna do this by yourself? Because I am not above laughing at you when you fuck it up.”
“Psh, like you’d ever leave me to my own devices with hair dye in your bathroom.”
“Ya got me there, I guess.”
They get set up in the bathroom, pulling out the ugly towels and reading through the instructions. Mara gets the dye and developer mixed and stands behind Adora in the bathroom mirror.
“You wanted the bottom half, right?”
“Yeah, maybe more like here though, like slightly less than?” They indicate the area they’re thinking and Mara nods.
“Yeah, I can do that.” Adora’s hair is pretty thick so they decide to pull up half so Mara can do it in a couple layers. “So, why blue?”
Adora shrugs, holding the towel over their shoulders in place. “There weren’t a lot of options and I figured this might make my eyes look bluer.”
She sees Mara roll her eyes in the mirror and smiles cockily. “Ah yes, those milkman eyes.”
“Shut up!” Adroa laughs at the old family bit.
“Hey, I’m just saying; my eyes are brown, Mom’s eyes were brown, dad’s eyes were brown…”
“And here I thought you found me in the dumpster.”
“Nah, I just told you that when you were little to make you cry.”
“Rude.” Adora frowns, thinking something smells off but they figure it’s probably just the dye and shake it off.
Mara shrugs and smiles unrepentantly at them in the mirror. “I was a troubled youth.”
“Tragic backstory and all.”
“Who could blame me if I acted out a little?”
“No one, I’m sure.”
“That’s right, Adora; no one.”
“You know you’re an adult now though, right?”
“Hm, no that doesn’t sound right at all.”
The same smell drifts past Adora’s nose a second time, but again, they’ve never dyed her hair before. “Well that at least is something we can agree on.”
“Wow, you know you better-” The fire alarm starts to go off. Immediately the siblings share a wide eyed look in the mirror and Mara bursts out with, “Oh, fuck, the food.”
Another half a beat passes and Mara drops the applicator, definitely staining her rug, and Adora hears her thunder down the stairs and into the kitchen. The alarm cuts off after a minute but there’s still a string of cursing coming from the kitchen.
“Is there a fire? Like, should I call someone?” Adora calls down.
Coughing lightly Mara calls up from the bottom of the stairs. “No fire but, uh, how do you feel about pizza for dinner?”
“Should I call now?”
“Please. Just stay upstairs until I can get it aired out down here, okay?”
Adora grabs her phone off the bathroom counter and an hour later they’re in the dining room, which still smells faintly of smoke, munching on their dinner. Mara looks up after a couple slices and considers Adora long enough that they’re just about to question it until her sister says, “I like the blue, it suits you.”
“Thanks.” Adora grins, fingering the ends of their hair. “I like it too, I’m glad I didn’t do it all over though.”
“Agreed.” Marra gets a stupid, cocky look on her face and adds, “You woulda looked too much like a blueberry.”
“Nuh uh!” Adora laughs back, reaching over the table to shove her shoulder. “Blueberries are purple, everybody knows it.”
“Not this again.” Mara rolls her eyes, convincing exactly no one of her exasperation.
“ Maybe indigo.”
“Indigo is just dark blue and everybody knows that !”
“ROY G BIV!” Adora raises her voice indignantly.
“Well yeah, but counterpoint; have you ever seen a rainbow?”
“Uh, have you ever been to science class?”
“No, never, what’s it like?”
“Oh yeah?” Mara tips her head to the side, the poorly hidden smirk warping the inquisitive look on her face.
“Mhm, it’s where you learn stuff like the fact that there are seven colors in the rainbow .”
“ Ohh , so it’s propaganda.”
“Have you ever been to history class?” Mara mocks.
“You’re a turd.”
“You’re a brat.”
“Can you, like, not in front of my pizza?”
“You started it.” Mara shrugs nonchalantly, picking her food up again and taking an obnoxiously large bite.
“Hardly.” Adora scoffs.
Adora looks up and raises their brow. Mara has her “big sister face” on, Adora can’t really explain it. “Yes?”
They swallow the half masticated pizza crust in their mouth thickly. “Yes?”
“You wanna talk about it at all?”
“Um…” They shift awkwardly in their chair. Mara waits patiently. “No?”
“Okay, well if you ever change your mind.”
“I talked to DT about it a little.”
Mara makes a face like she’s about to laugh but decides not to at the last second. “Dee?”
“They’re just so…” She waves her hands in front of her face vaguely and laughs. “Sassy?”
Adora laughs along with her at the response. “Well, yeah, but they give surprisingly good advice. About this at least.”
Mara nods. “That’s good, I’m glad you had someone with first hand experience to process that with.”
“Yeah, it was good. Felt like they kind of understood where I was going even when I didn’t, you know?”
“Right, right.” Mara’s eyes drift off until she’s staring into the middle distance, then she shakes herself and looks at Adora with a rare serious expression. “Hey, can I ask you something?”
“Sure…” Adora braces herself, no idea what’s coming next.
“Do you wanna see a therapist?” That stops Adora in their tracks, and Mara can clearly tell. “Only if you want, but we can set it up if you do.”
They scowl, trying to wrap their mind around the offer. “D-Do you think I should?”
“Not necessarily, but I imagine you have a fair amount to process coming to terms with your gender identity.” She hesitates and adds. “Plus, well, you never talked to anyone...after Mom and Dad.”
“I did.” Adora refutes reflexively.
“I meant other than your friends and the couple meetings with your guidance counselor.”
“I’m not saying that you have to, or even that I think you should necessarily. I’m just saying that if you do have things to work through, and you think that it could help, we’ll make it happen. Just think about it, okay?”
“Adora?” They look up from the pizza box to which their eyes had drifted. “I think you're a really cool kid and I think it’s amazing how well you know yourself.”
They fight a smile. “Fuck off.”
“Never.” Mara says, and Adora believes her.
If you think that entire drugstore scene wasn't me @ing myself you're dead wrong. And yes, that does mean I own three kaleidoscopes, but can you blame me? So pretty... I don't buy drugstore hairdy though, like do what you want but I need a full rainbow spectrum of options and then some and bartell just doesn't have my hair's back like sally's does. So.
Pie next chapter! Probably...it was gonna be in this one but. Also The hair dye scene was originally gonna be the BFS but I felt like Adora needed some big sis vibes more.
Also, just fyi, I think this story is gonna be a (soft) seven-eight chapters. Don't quote me tho-never quote me on this matter.
Okaaaay, thanks for reading, until next time!!
Adora didn’t text her friends. About the hair that is. They think it’ll be funny to spring it on people, and it is for the record. Glimmer’s reaction really takes the cake though, at least so far. It’s only first period, so there’s still time but she’s set the bar pretty high. Both Glimmer and Bow are in Adora’s math class. Bow is already in his seat when Adora walks in the door. When she slips in he stands and gasps dramatically.
“Oh my stars! Adora! Your hair, I love it! And look at you letting it down for once.” Adora rolls their eyes fondly and takes their seat, Bow makes himself comfortable on her desk.
“Thanks, Mara helped me do it last night.”
“Well I love the blue. I swear your eyes even look a little more blue.” Adora preens smugly. Ha! Take that, Mara. “Was it just spur of the moment or…? You never mentioned wanting to dye it.”
“Yeah, I just grabbed the box at the drugstore last night.”
“ Ooh! Spontaneous, very-” The bell rings, cutting off Bow’s continued compliments. When Spinerella walks to the front of the room and calls the class to order, Bow resumes his seat behind Adora.
Glimmer on the other hand, still isn’t in her seat when the bell rings. It’s not an uncommon phenomenon by any means. Professor Spinnerella is pretty chill about tardiness as long as the late party slips in discreetly.
Glimmer does not slip in discretely, not today.
Adora turns when the door opens and sees her best friend shoot their teacher her usual apologetic smile. Then they lock eyes and Glimmer’s gasp puts the theatricality of Bow’s to shame causing the entire class to turn and look. Her book falls from her hands and she just says, “You!”
And what’s Adora supposed to do but laugh? They’re not even the only one. Glimmer huffs and looks further disgruntled when their teacher says, “Ms. Brightmoon? If you could take your seat.”
Glimmer's eyes snap to her and then right back to Adora. “I’m sorry, are you seeing this?”
“That one of your classmates has dyed their hair? Yes.” She turns and adds, “It looks very good, Adora.”
“Thanks, Spinny.” Adora nods then turns to raise an eyebrow at Glimmer.
“It’s blue .” Glimmer protests, actually stomping a foot.
“And this is math class.” Spinerella says patiently.
Glimmer stomps toward her seat right next to Adora and narrows her eyes at them. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“That this is math class? Glimmer, there’s only a few months left of the school year; I assumed you knew.” A smattering of laughter meets Adora’s quip and she smirks over at her friend.
“You’re insufferable.” Adora shrugs, very aware of this fact. “It looks hot though.”
Spinnerella clears her throat and the friends look up sheepishly. “May I resume my lesson now?”
“Oh, yeah, sorry!” Glimmer answers, appropriately abashed. Her assent doesn’t mean she doesn't spend the rest of the lesson casting less than furtive looks at Adora’s head, because she does. Adora meets each one with increasingly goofier faces.
She’s directly on Adora’s ass the second the bell rings. Adora shares an amused look with Bow and then turns to Glimmer. She’s standing by their desk, a hand on one hip and toes tapping impatiently. “Yes?”
“So, like, is your phone broken?”
Adora scoffs and, tossing their bag over their shoulder, leads the trio out of the room. “No?”
“The camera works? Your snapchat didn’t mysteriously delete itself.”
“I wanted to show you in person!” they defend, coming to a stop outside of Bow’s chem class.
Glimmer struggles to come up with a retort. Failing to find anything sufficient, she instead tries a new angle, simply asking, “Why?”
Adora squirms, not super obviously but she knows her eagle eyed best friend is gonna spot it. “Well it was an impulse. I got a box at the drug store.”
“Ugh.” Glimmer huffs. “ Box dye -you should have called me.”
“Aw, c’mon, Glimmy.” Bow throws an arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders. “It looks good!”
“Yeah, Glimmy.” Adora teases, smirking at the way it makes Glimmer’s cheeks match her bright pink hair. “Don ‘t be a hair dye snob.”
“Whatever, don’t come crying to me when it fades out in like, a day.” Adora waits. About two seconds later Glimmer can’t help but add, “Okay, well do come to me but I’m totally gonna say I told you so.”
“Fair enough. We should get to class though.” The warning bell rings as if to prove Adora’s point.
“I know there’s something you're not saying!”
“Yeah,” Adora admits honestly, “there is. Not really something I want to get into in the middle of the hall with one minute before class though, okay?”
Glimmer stares her down a second more, but resigns herself to the anticipation. “Fine, but at lunch?”
“Sure, we can even go off campus if you want.”
“Deal! Okay, you’re making me late, I have to go.” With a quick kiss to Bow’s cheek she scampers off down the hall, moving so fast she may as well be teleporting.
Bow and Adora say a quick goodbye and Adora hops a couple doors down to their bio class. Rogelio walks in at the same time as them and makes a joke about cutting it so close or something. Catra can’t hear it from the other side of the room, but she does spot Adora immediately, luckily before Adora spots her. She likes the blue, that’s her first thought. Her second is something along the lines of; how did I ever think Adora Grayskull is straight? It’s a fair question, they look really gay.
Adora waves Rogelio off and then, because of course they do, they catch her staring. Their grin grows impossibly wide and smug. The ringing bell cuts off Catra’s groan but she’s sure Adora doesn’t miss the eye roll that accompanies it. Doesn’t seem to knock them down a single peg though, what a terrible pity. Adora drops in their seat and smiles over at her, quirking an eyebrow in question.
“Did you do the homework?” Catra asks.
Adora’s smirk intensifies, Catra really needs to figure out what her tell is. To be fair she’s a pretty good liar-until she’s being a gay idiot. “Yeah, you need to copy?”
“Occasionally.” Catra volleys.
Adora opens her mouth to sass back when they’re cut off by some random lady at the front of the room. And, big surprise, it’s a sub. Catra swears Hordak is like, never here. It’s for the best really, but why is he still bothering to pretend he’s their teacher at this point? Because as much as Catra enjoys doing the nearly endless worksheets subs like to hand out, it would probably be good to actually like, learn something this year.
The sub does her whole spiel and gets Kyle to pass around their worksheet for the day. Catra glances at it and seems like they’re basically just taking notes from the next chapter in their textbook. Oh the joy. The class is given permission to talk quietly amongst themselves and with that the teacher circles the desk and sits at a laptop. She’s almost definitely playing games on the internet, Catra can tell.
Adora looks over at her, head propped in her hand and grinning. And listen, Adora likes her new hair-loves it even! They know they look good. So no, they don’t need the validation of a cute girl very clearly checking them out as they walk into the class. Can’t say they didn’t fucking love it though.
Catra looks up from her textbook, pausing her flip through the pages in search of chapter thirty-four. “So what?”
“Mitochondria. Powerhouse of the cell.”
Catra narrows her eyes at the idiot next to her. “We’re studying recessive genes, genius.”
Adora laughs and shrugs. “Still bears repeating.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“You’re not wrong. Hey, you want some gum?”
Catra withholds a laugh by rolling her eyes up toward the ceiling before dropping them back down to her lab partner. “Sure, thanks.”
She watches them pull out a pack of zebra stripe gum and accepts a stick, inspecting it closely. “Are you gonna like...chew it?” Adora laughs.
“I didn’t even know they still made this shit.” she comments, popping the stick into her mouth nevertheless.
“If they stop making zebra stripe gum I will actually keel over.”
Catra snorts at the assertion. “Lot of stake to put in shitty gum.”
“Wow, rude.” Adora mocks a serious expression and holds their hand out under Catra’s face. “Give it back then.”
“Gross, it’s in my mouth, dude.”
Adora smirks, “Yeah, that’s not the deterrent you seem to think it is.”
“Is that so?” Catra raises an eyebrow and then to Adora’s utter shock drops her gum into Adora’s hand.
“Ew!” Adora laughs. “Catra!”
“Ladies? Please keep it down so the rest of your classmates can study.” their sub calls from the front.
Catra doesn’t miss the way Adora shifts and shoots the teacher a sarcastic smile. “Not ladies, thanks. We’ll be quiet though.”
The lady flushes lightly and mutters a salty, “Thank you.” before turning back to her laptop. Catra just rolls her eyes and turns back to Adora.
She’s still holding out Catra’s gum, a weird look on her face. “So, do you want this back or…?”
“Uh, when’s the last time you washed your hands?”
“I went to the bathroom before first period?”
“Yeah, I’ll pass. I’d take a new piece though.”
“You just said it was shitty! Why should I waste perfectly good gum on you?”
Catra shrugs. “Shitty gum is still gum. Hand it over, Greyskull.”
Adora scoffs but compiles and watches Catra unwrap it and pop it in her mouth for the second time. They snatch the paper and drop her first piece into it with a grimace while she watches on with a smirk. “So...still coming over after school?”
Catra smiles unconsciously and hums. “Mm, pie.”
“I’ll take that as a yes then.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re a smug idiot?”
“Meh, probably. I try not to listen to the haters though.”
“Constructive criticism isn’t hate.”
“You’re an idiot.” Adora scoffs and starts humming, turning their attention to their textbook to find the chapter their worksheet is on. Catra narrows her eyes trying to place the tune. It takes her a second but when she does she has to suppress a groan lest they get in trouble again. “Is that fucking Taylor Swift?”
Adora glances up without moving her head and smirks. Quietly they sing, “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate. Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake-”
Catra sucks her teeth to cut them off. “ Yeah , I just remembered I can’t hang out after school after all.”
“That’s fine.” Adroa smiles, turning their attention back to their book. “It’ll make it so much easier to get the arsenic in the pie filling if you’re not there to meddle.”
“Pft, whatever, I’ll just make you eat a bite first.”
Adora shrugs. “I’m immune.”
“Sorry, to arsenic?”
“Shut up, you are not!”
“If that’s a chance you’re willing to take....”
Catra rolls her eyes at the absurdity and struggles to hold back a smile. Adora Grayskull isn’t half as charming as they think they are. She decides not to dignify the comment with a direct response and instead turns their attention more fully to the classwork. Not that Adora makes it easy, she’s fucking dirstracting. And not in a ‘Catra’s gay, girl hot’ way. Literally every five fucking seconds Adora asks her some random, unrelated question. Like, “What’s your favorite color?” (“Red”), or “If you were a pasta what pasta shape would you be?” (“Literally what kind of question is that? Read your fucking book, Grayskull.”- That just made them pout until she randomly decided on rotini.)
About five minutes before the bell they come up with, “So, do you want kids? Like, for real.”
Catra looks up from the corner of her paper where she’s been doodling in the margin ever since they finished the work. “Dude, what ? No, I’m a fucking child.”
Adora smirks. “Yeah you are. You know what I mean though, like someday.”
Catra glances at the sack of flour sitting on the desk between them. Today's onesie, the same Finn has been wearing since Catra took them off Adora’s hands on Tuesday, has a giant ass banana and the word “ripe” screen printed across it. It’s very stupid, and very Adora Greyskull. She turns back to Adora and shrugs.
“I don’t know, kids are weird. I’d maybe foster, I guess.”
Adora nods like she understands, but not in like, an annoying sympathetic way. “Totally. I mean if I ended up with someone who wanted to have a baby like, more power to them, but pregnancy is freaky.”
Catra laughs at the sheer horror on their face. “Super gross.”
“I think it’d be cool to be a parent though.”
Catra nods and looks at them a little closer, trying to imagine it. She can see Adora being like the Fun Dad ™ type. They low key have the aesthetic down as it is, just like, lesbianified. ...Yeah, Catra definitely needs to get her gaydar checked. “Maybe.”
“Okay class!” They look to the front of the room where the sub has stood from behind the desk. “Pack up whenever you’re ready and you’ll be released as soon as the bell rings. You can turn your worksheets into Mr. Hordak on Monday.”
There’s a general uptick in volume as folks start packing up their stuff. Catra closes her book around her work and starts to follow suit. “So…” She looks up and Adora is watching her, their own things left untouched, and fiddling with the ends of their hair. It really is long . “Wanna just meet at my car after school?”
“Oh, sure, that works, I guess.”
“Cool!” They grin wide and then move to shove their shit in their bag haphazardly just as the bell rings. “See you in gym?”
“Guess so, Grayskull.” With a casual two finger salute, Catra leaves Adora behind and heads in the direction of her history class. Third period drags, slowly. For Adora too.
They’re a little anxious about lunch. Obviously Bow and Glimmer are gonna be supportive, Adora’s just being squirrelly. By the time they land outside of the history class, they’ve wound themselves up to the point of bouncing off the walls. Catra walks out of the room first with Finn in her arms and looks them up and down lackadaisically.
“Are you stalking me?”
“Ha! You wish, D’riluth.”
“I dunno, Grayskull, if I was gonna wish for a stalker I’m not sure you’d make the cut.”
Catra smirks and rolls her eyes at the pout they put on in response. “Mean! First of all, you’re literally carrying my child in your arms. Maybe I’m just here to see Finn. Second, I’d make a great stalker.”
“Oh yeah? What sets you apart?”
“Pft, you mean other than the fact that I’m making you a pie later?”
“I earned that pie, so yeah, other than that.”
Adora seems to consider this seriously. “I’d...ooh! I’d be a generous stalker, buy you stuff.”
“Stuff?” Catra puts her free hand on her hip and ignores Adora’s friends sidling up to them.
“Totally! Hey guys.” She nods at her friends but keeps her focus on Catra. Not that Catra notices or anything. “Like um, teddy bears, chocolates, that sort of thing.”
“That just sounds like wooing somebody, dummy.”
“Who are you wooing?” Glimmer asks, eyes bouncing between the two of them.
“It’s not wooing if I follow you around too!” Adora...defends? Is that a defense?
“I mean, I think that depends on if you’re welcome or not?”
“So you’re saying I’d be welcome?” Adora smirks, and Catra rolls her eyes, perfectly aware that she’d walked right into it.
“I don’t remember saying that.”
“Seriously, what are you guys talking about?” Glimmer huffs. Catra smirks at her with a quick glance and raises her eyebrows at Adora.
Adora finally turns to her friends. “I’d be a good stalker, right?”
Bow furrows his brow in concern and confusion and Catra squeaks out a laugh. Adora flashes her a grin, it’s a cute little laugh. “Uh...would anyone be a good stalker, really?” he asks.
“Who are you stalking?” Glimmer demands with a little stamp of her foot.
Glimmer looks between them and a sinister smile comes creeping over her face. “ Aw ,” she coos, “you’re finally wooing Catra?”
“Finally?” Catra asks Adora. She’s still grinning but her face is decidedly pinker.
“I’m just saying, if I’m being wooed, I missed the memo.”
“I wasn’t offering to woo you! You’d know if I was wooing you, D’riluth.”
Catra’s stomach flips and she suddenly decides it’s time for her to go. “Right, well-”
“Are you joining us for lunch, Catra?” Bow asks, a friendly smile on his face.
Before she can answer something flashes across Adora’s face and she’s immediately fully on board. “You totally should!”
“Gross, no. Like thanks and all, but the commons are annoying as fuck at lunch.”
“We’re going off campus.” Glimmer supplies, copping an attitude like Catra ought to have known that somehow.
“Oh, well, still n-”
“Please?” Adora looks at her beseechingly and Catra gets...a feeling. She sends Adora a questioning look and gets a slightly more intense version of the same expression.
“Uh, I need to get something from my locker…”
“I’ll go with you!” Adora offers. She turns to Bw and Glimmer. “Meet at Glim’s car?”
They look at her just as strangely as Catra is, so at least she’s not the only one in the dark. Glimmer keeps her eyes narrowed but Bow nods slowly. “Sure, buddy. We'll see you there?” He eyes her questioningly and when she nods, he starts to drag his girlfriend away.
Adora and Catra watch them go and the latter turns to face her friend when they disappear out the double doors at the end of the hall. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
They look a little distressed. “I have a favor to ask.”
“It’s um, I’m kind of asking a lot so feel free to tell me to fuck off if you want.”
“I feel free to tell anyone to fuck off at any given moment, Greyskull, spit it out.”
They laugh, and Catra successfully manages to dispel a little of their tension. “Right, of course. Um, I’m coming out to them.”
“It’s-they asked about my hair and, um, why. I told them I’d explain at lunch, so they already know something’s up.”
“I’m not worried!”
“Clearly.” Catra scoffs and Adora rolls their eyes with a smile, genuine though nervous as it may be.
“I know they’ll be chill, just, Bow invited you and I thought….I thought maybe it would um-”
“I get it.”
“Yeah?” they ask, a hopeful look in their eyes.
“Whatever, you’re buying me lunch if I come though. I don’t have cash on me.”
Catra groans but it’s mostly put on. Does she love the idea of driving around with Shimmer in her free time? No. Does she get where Adora’s coming from, wanting someone there who knows what’s going on? Totally. She shifts Finn to her other arm. “Where are you nerds going?”
“Er...I don’t actually know. Taco Bell maybe?”
“Yeah, never mind, I’m not coming.”
“What!” Adora laughs. “What teenager doesn’t like taco bell?”
“Uh, the ones who don’t want a violent case of the squirts?”
Adora blinks at her. And then again. Once more and then they begin to howl with laughter so loud they atart drawing attention, bending over at the waist. Catra feels her face heat and her irritation spike. When Adora looks up Catra has the cutest little disgruntled look on her face. “I hope I never forget you saying the words-”
“Yeah, uh huh, okay, Grayskull, we all heard it.”
“Fine, we’ll go somewhere else, okay? Will you just-” She cuts off, her face morphing into something more vulnerable that makes Catra’s nerves spike in her gut. “Please come?”
“ Fine , but only for the free meal. This is not because I like you.”
“Sure it isn’t.” Catra reaches over to shove Adora before whirling around and marching away. Adora calls after her, “I take it this means you don’t actually need to swing by your locker?”
Catra flips her off over her shoulder and keeps walking. Within moments she hears Adora approaching and suddenly an arm is wrapped around her shoulders. It’s warm, nice even. Every instinct in her body tells her to shrug it off, but she ignores the urge in a staunch refusal to react. Adora lets go of their own volition when the reach the doors and hold them open for her with a flourish. She kind of misses the weight of Adora’s arm.
“So, the hair.”
Adora spins to walk backward so she can smirk back at Catra. “Yes?”
“It’s like, some kind of gender expression thing then?”
Their expression settles into something more thoughtful and they nod. “Kind of. DT said something when we talked about like, not needing to do anything different now that I’m figuring it out, you know?”
Catra nods, not that she knows for experience obviously, but she gets the theory. “Sure.”
“But it just felt like I should, I don’t know, celebrate, I guess. Do something different.”
“Huh, well it looks good.”
She laughs. “You’re such a smug asshole, Grayskull.”
Adora laughs with her. “Know that too, D’riluth.”
“What?” They repeat, looking genuinely confused. Catra passively wonders if Adora knows she’s leading them to Shimmer’s car, cause Catra is just following. Not like she knows where the glitter fairy parks.
“That stupid look on your face, what’s it for?”
The knowing little smirk falls back into place. “Oh, nothing.” They pause and Catra waits for the rest. Sure enough, “Just remembering your original reaction to the hair.”
“ What? ”
“Please! I know you saw me catch you staring in bio.”
“Shut up! I didn-or, well- you didn’t-I wasn’t staring! Get your head out of your ass.”
“You totally were though.” They spin around and Catra spots Bow waving at them from beside Glitter. Adora waves back and turns to Catra. “It’s okay, you can admit you think I’m hot, Catra.”
“You actually disgust me.”
“Nah, don’t think I do.”
“I am literally repulsed by you.”
“No, you think I’m sexy.” Catra stops a couple meters from the car and crosses her arms. Adora stops when she realizes and mirrors Catra’s posture. “Yes?”
“Why do you want me to think you’re hot so bad.” She gasps dramatically and covers her mouth with her hand. “Oh, you totally are trying to woo me, aren’t you, Grayskull?”
“Aw, you are. And you’re so bad at it.”
“Guess you’re just gonna have to try a little harder.”
Adora points an accusatory finger in Catra’s direction. They feel weird, like super amped up or something. Kind of like...they want to tackle Catra and give her a noogie and also run away at the same time. “Don’t forget I still saw your face in bio.”
“Oh and what-”
“Uh, hey guys?” They turn to look at Bow who is watching them trepadatiously. “Not to interrupt but, uh, food?”
“Seriously.” Glimmer laughs. “You can flirt in the car if have to, but I’m starving.”
Both Adora and Catra turn a little pink and grumble, but close the distance to the car when they realize their own stomachs are starting to feel hungry. The foursome ends up at a by the slice pizza place near campus, sat in a booth by the window. They chit chat about class and some report Mr. Archer had assigned in third period. Adora grows antsier all the while, their leg slowly picking up a restless beat shaking under the table. Aftera few minutes Catra sets her hand on their knee and quickly it’s Adora’s heart growing restless.
“So, were you nerds gonna address the elephant in the room, or…?” Catra cuts in bluntly once a lull in conversation settles in.
“Excuse me?” Glimmer asks with a borderline bitchy expression on her face. Unless you ask Catra, then it’s downright bitchy. All up to interpretation I suppose.
“The hair, y’all were gonna talk at lunch right?” She looks to Adora for confirmation and they respond by shoving half a slice of pizza in their mouth. Catra rolls her eyes and makes a face.
Glimmer turns to Adora also to ask, “So...we’re still talking? Even with...her here?”
Adora swallows thickly. “Um, Catra kind of...knows?” She turns to look at her and Catra just stares right back. Adora turns back to her friends. Bow is leaned back in the booth, looking curiously between them. Glimmer looks a little offended.
“Yeah, it um-well, Bow you know how you’ve kind of brought up-well implied at least-and Perfuma too?”
“Uh…” He looks baffled. “What?”
Adora groans and drops her head into her hands, Catra’s hand pats her knee under the table and Adora’s heart skips. She looks up at her friends and glances at the clock. They’re running out of time before they need to go back to school. “I’m gay.”
There’s a long silence and then Glimmer laughs, a little awkwardly. “Okay…. Are you two going out or something?”
“Ew, Sparkles, what? Why would that be such a big deal?”
“Ew?” Adora looks to Catra, smiling a little but maybe a touch offended. Is that really her first reaction to the thought of dating Adora?
“I don’t know!” Glimmer defends. “She’s being all weird and apparently you know why. We already know she’s gay so I don’t know why else she’d be bringing it up!”
Catra responds to Adora rather than addressing Shimmer. “Shut up, Grayskull. You know what I mean.”
“I really don’t though.” Adora teases. Well...half teases. “Seems rude.”
“Not ew like ew . Just-ugh! Stop getting side tracked and tell your friends what the fuck is going on before we’re late to gym, would you?”
“I’m just saying. I mean, ‘ew’ ? That’s pretty big strike to the ego, D’riluth.”
“Right.” They turn to their friends. “I’m gay like gay...gen...der?”
Bow pinches his lips between his teeth like he’s suppressing a smile or laughter and Glimmer’s face scrunches up. “You’re...gay gender? What...does that mean?”
“Adora,” Bow cuts in, “are you telling us that you’re gender queer ?”
“ Ohh! ” Glimmer sighs with dawning realization.
Adora snaps and point at her best boy, tapping her nose for good measure. “Yes, that!”
“That’s great buddy! Pronouns?”
They beam. “They/she/occassionally he.”
“Aw, Adora!” Glimmer reaches across the table to grab Adora’s hands and Catra just sits and watches Adora’s friends make gooey eyes at them. It’s sweet. Enough to give her a cavity, but sweet. She’s never seen Glimmer look so...unguarded.
“Proud of you!” Bow says.
“Anything you wanna like...talk about?”
Adora smiles at him. “I talked some stuff out with DT, I’m good for now but I’m sure some stuff will come up.”
He smiles back at her, encouraging. “Just let us know!”
“You know, I can almost forgive you for using box dye now.”
Adora rolls her eyes at Glimmer and shoots Catra a conspiratorial look. It makes her laugh. “Gee, thanks Glim.”
“I’m just saying, impulse or no; you don’t live that far from a Sally’s.”
“I also have some old blue dye. It would have been free .”
“It was five bucks, Glimmer.”
“You’re really not helping your case.”
“Course I’m not. Should we go back?” They turn to look at the clock collectively, though Glimmer look less than impressed by the diversion.
“Blech, I guess so. Everyone ready?” There’s a consensus and everyone stands to dump their trash and head back to the car.
Adora holds Catra back before she can walk out the door. “Hey, thanks. For coming I mean.”
The earnest gratitude makes Catra shift uncomfortably. “Whatever, like I said; I’m just here for the free pizza.”
“Sure you are.”
“I mean it, Grayskull! Don’t go getting the idea that we’re friends or anything.”
“Definitely not.” Adora answers, just oh so solemn.
“You’re insufferable, we’re gonna be late to gym.” She shoves past them and they follow, unrelenting.
“Pretty obsessed with getting to class. Excited to see me in my little shorts or something, D’riluth?”
“I actually despise you.” They get to the car but Adora reaches around Catra to hold her door shut before she can join Bow and Glimmer inside. When she turns to shoot them an accusatory look their hand is still on their car, bringing them in to lean over her just slightly.
“I think you’re lying.”
Catra scoffs and prays Adora doesnt notice the way it comes out a bit strangled. Sure seems like they do, but a girl can dream. “I think you’re an idiot, so.”
“We’re totally friends now.”
“No, I’m pretty selective about my friends, sorry. You just...don’t make the cut. Maybe next time.”
Adora moves closer and Catra wonders if they even realize they’ve done so. Sure doesn’t seem like they do. “Friends support their friends; you’re a good friend, Catra.”
Catra can feel her breathing change, it’s not as deep as it should be. Adora is like, really close. Their friends are less than a foot away. “I’m a bitch.”
Adora smirks. “That too.”
“And so are you.”
“Two peas in a pod then.” Catra opens her mouth for a rebuttal but jumps about a foot in the air, knocking her head into Adora’s chin, when the honk of the car’s horn startles her. “ Fuck! ”
“Sparkels! You fucking dick.”
Bow’s window rolls down and Glimmer leans across him to shout, “Stop trying to make out against my car and get in already. We’re gonna be late.”
Adora pulls back from Catra to flip her off and she just huffs and rolls up the window. They turn back to Catra, no longer right up in her personal space but still close. “Seriously though, all jokes aside, I appreciate you coming.”
“If I say you’re welcome will you drop it already?”
“Consider it dropped.” They move away and it takes the slam of their door to get Catra’s ass in gear, a fact Shimmer makes sure to give her plenty of shit for. The girl drives like a little demon though, so they make it to class on time. Finn goes with Bow, and Catra and Adora scurry off to the gym.
By the time they make it to the locker room, Mermista is already halfway through changing. She looks between them slowly, like she’s unravelling a mystery. Adora raises an eyebrow and Catra shoots her a challenging look of her own. Merms just scoffs and raises her hands submissivly before wandering over to talk to Lonnie instead.
Adora’s not sure what that’s all about, but Catra has a pretty good idea. She’ll be avoiding Mermista in class today just in case she’s right. Adora’s accused her of a crush plenty for one day, she doesn’t need Mermmy on her case too. At least, not until she knows if it’s baseless or not. Which it probably is. Maybe. Hopefully.
It’s not too hard to avoid unwelcome conversation in the end. They get split into teams for basketball and are directed to play for the remailder of class. Adora immediately turns into a total ham. She’s on the opposite team from Catra and spends nearly the whole game puppy guarding her and trash talking with a goofy smile on her face- much to the annoyance and bewilderment of the rest of her team. Catra’s team doesn’t care, but mostly just cause they weren’t stupid enough to count on her for actual participation anyway. Plus it keeps the opposition's best player occupied so really, Catra is helping more than she normally would.
Mermista is on a different court but Catra doesn’t miss the looks she shoots them. It trips her up more than Adora’s obnoxious defense. She hates feeling like everyone is watching her. They’re probably not, but with Adora acting like a buffoon maybe they are. Finally, with ten minutes left of class, she snaps.
“Grayskull! You realize I’m not like, a threat, right?”
Adora turns, now ignoring the game completely. It carries on around them regardless seeing as they’ve barely been a part of it this whole period. “Only cause you don’t wanna be.”
“Okay, and?” They shrug. Catra groans. “Dude, why are you all up in my business?”
Adora frowns and Catra feels a little bad for getting snippy. “Uh, cause you’re fun to hassle?”
Catra just stares at them, unsure what response that warrants. After another score from Catra’s team Coach blows her whistle and the class is dismissed to the locker rooms. Catra and Adora linger on the court.
“I don’t get you.”
“Okay…” Adora’s arms cross over her chest.
“Do you actually think we’re friends?”
The frown turns into a proper scowl. “I-”
Catra rubs roughly at her forehead. “I didn’t mean it like that, fuck. Just-are you fucking with me?”
She huffs. “You know what I mean, Grayskull.”
They shake their head. “I really don’t.” They pause and when Catra says nothing continue with, “I meant what I said at lunch, Cat. I mean, I know I was being… a little goofy about it or whatever, but I think you’re a good friend. Or-well- I’d like to be friends. I guess I kinda already thought we were.”
Catra frowns. Without confirming or negating anything she says, “We barely talked before last week.”
“Catra, if you don’t want to be my friend-”
“That’s not what I said.”
“Okay...is it the flirting? Cause I’m really just teasing but I can knock it off it it bothers you?” Adora’s stomach drops at asking such a direct question. Obviously she’s been aware of what she was doing-it just seemed like Catra was giving as good as she got. Adora’s more than a little confused by...whatever the fuck is happening here.
“No, I know.” Catra answers. She officially on the defence and the denial is reflexive. Maybe she should ask Adora to tone it down, maybe that is why she’s feeling weird. She doesn’t really want to though. Adora may be an idiot but she’s funny and Catra would be lying if she said the flirting wan’t at least a little bit flattering.
“Are we good then?”
“I-sure, we’re good, Grayskull.” Catra tries to walk away but Adora catches her arm.
“I-I don’t know, I just feel like…”
“Like what?” Catra asks, genuinely curious. Because she feels some time of way too, and it’s altogether too much.
“Confused, I guess?”
Catra laughs. “Well, that makes two of us.”
Adora cracks a grin at that, relieved to see Catra’s shoulders relax with her mirth. “Friends?”
Catra rolls her eyes but it’s fond. “If you want, your funeral.”
“I’m willing to take that chance.”
It’s a whim, a total impulse, one Adora doesn’t so much decide to go with as they do watch on like an out of body experience. They lean in a press a quick, soft kiss to Catra’s cheek. “Friends.”
Catra watches them walk away from her toward the locker room. A few feet away they realize she’s not with them and turn around. Their cocky grin is back in it’s usual place and she’s glad to see it. She still rolls her eyes at it before catching up. With her friend. With her friend, Adora Grayskull.
Google docs recognizes 'lesbianified' as a word, but google chrome doesn't. Make it make sense.
Aaaanyway. It's me! I'm still here, just casually working on three WIPs simultaneously and also, now, moving. So. A beautiful day in the neighborhood. Or gayborhood. Whatever.
This chapter was not at all planned but I went and made these le$beans share like, three classes so what am I supposed to do? Pass up opportunities for banter and gay flirting? As fucking if y'all. So. Pie next chapter! See y'all there! Thanks, as always, for reading!!
“What’s your middle name?”
Catra scoffs and Adora glances over at her from the driver’s seat of her truck. They’re trundling along the road toward her place, windows rolled down with some band Catra likes playing over the stereo. Christine and the Queens Adora thinks she said? She’s played this album once or twice before. Adora likes it. Catra lolls her head to the side to shoot them a bored look.
“Are you ever gonna drop that?”
“Are you ever gonna tell me?”
“Hm, guess you have your answer then.”
Catra turns to look out the window and Adora heards her mutter, “Idiot.” under her breath. They see her smiling in the side mirror though, so they’re not sure just who she thinks she’s fooling.
They carry along in a companionable silence for a bit until Adora speaks up again and asks, “Hey, do you wanna do the health worksheet before we start baking?”
Catra draws her eyes slowly away from the passing trees. “The baby budget thing?”
She grimaces. “So stupid. Uh, what if we do it while the thing is baking?”
“Duh, yeah, sounds good.” Adora flips on her blinker and turns into the neighborhood, hanging another right at the next street, into the cul-de-sac.
“I maybe should have asked this sooner,” Catra starts as she scoops up Finn, hops out of the truck, and follows Adora to the door, “but you got all the shit, right?”
“Uh, you mean like the poison? Yeah, I got it.”
“Welp, that’s a relief.”
Adora opens the door and invites her to go first with a grand flourish. Catra rolls her eyes but heads inside without comment. The house is warm, but quiet- not quite eerily so, but there’s a stillness to it so Catra’s pretty sure they’re home alone. They kick off their shoes and Adora heads straight to the kitchen.
“You want a snack first?”
“Uh, sure, thanks.”
“Cool, I think we have tots if that works? I’ll probably cut up an apple too.” Catra figures that works well enough so Adora gets their food in the oven and slices up an apple for each of them. They set up at the island, Finn plopped down on the corner, and Adora stretches out with a groan. Catra watches them, with their eyes all squinted shut and mouth open wide. She feels weird, like wound super tight or something. Kind of like she wants to push them off the chair and laugh when they fall and also crawl into their lap and take a nap all at once.
“Do you have any other homework this weekend?” Catra asks casually, just making conversation.
“Hm, something to finish for art and some math but I got off pretty lucky.”
“Oh?” Catra sits up slightly with interest. “Can I see?”
“You wanna see my math homework?” Adora asks, genuinely bewildered.
“Your art, dummy.”
“Oh. Oh! Uh…”
“It’s okay if you’re too shy, Grayskull.” Catra assures her, both genuine and teasing.
Adora scoffs. “I’ve just barely started. It’s like, three lines.”
“Ah, so by ‘finish’ you meant ‘start’.”
“Pretty much, yeah.” Adora admits with a chuckle.
“You got any other art sitting around? That’s like, your whole thing, right?”
“My whole ‘ thing ’.” Adora puts air quotes laughingly around the word and Catra huffs.
“Shut up, Grayskull. You gonna show me the goods or not?”
“Well…” Adora inclines their head across the room and Catra follows with her eyes. They’re looking at a still life painting-maybe oil? She wouldn’t know-of a spilled bowl of cherries. “It’s about how virginity is a social construct rooted in misogyny.”
Catra snorts and whips her head around. “It is not.”
“Dude, it totally is.”
“You’re joking.” But the thing is, Catra really can’t tell, and for once Adora’s face gives nothing away.
“I painted that one over summer.”
Catra looks back at it, it’s really pretty exceptional. “Okay,” she says, turning back, “what else?”
Adora laughs and stands, they lead Catra into the living room to a framed watercolor of Mara and some lady. Her girlfriend, Adora says. Upstairs in the bathroom is another watercolor, this one super beachy with shells and a fucking seahorse on it. Catra gives them a droll look.
“This is like, super wine mom vibes.”
Adora laughs, unbothered by the assessment. “Yeah, Mara originally wanted a Paris themed bathroom but she decided the beach was cheesier. Wine mom is pretty much what I was going for.”
They just laugh again and flick off the light, leading Catra further down the hall. They push open the last door on the left and immediately Catra can tell it’s their bedroom. Almost everything is in perfect, neat order. The bed is made up with a red comforter tucked in with hospital corners. There’s a bookshelf filled neatly with the colors of the spines in rainbow order organized by size within the groups. And then there’s the desk.
It’s tucked in the corner under one of the two windows in the room and it’s absolutely piled with art supplies; markers form a small mountain on one corner and several have fallen onto the floor, a bottle of white paint (with a sloppy red and black handprint on it) is laid haphazardly on it’s side, there are at least four water glasses-most of which look like they were eventually turned into rinse for paint brushes, and on it goes. The wall around the desk is covered in sketches which have been tacked up seemingly at random. There also appear to be layers , the topmost of which looks to be a lot of flowers, irises and violets mostly. Catra also spots a couple flours and walks closer to inspect them.
“So?” Adora asks, sidling up next to her.
“They’re good, Grayskull.”
“Aw, but I’m so good at it.”
Catra laughs and turns to face her host. “You’re an idiot is what you are.” She pauses to inspect a few more of the sketches then turns to Adora with a raised eyebrow. “So, your art process is just...chaos I take it?”
Adora laughs. She hopes Catra doesn’t notice the nerves in the sound because, look, Adora isn’t exactly shy about her art. Like, it’s all over her house and she just showed Catra her art space. Still, she does want Catra to like it. “Pretty much.”
Catra nods and turns back to a sketch of Finn. Finally she turns and with an aloof air asks, “So, are we making this pie or not?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Adora gives Catra’s shoulder a light shove and the latter does her best to look offended while still chortling lightly.
Adora thunders down the steps and Catra follows at a more leisurely pace, rolling her eyes fondly when Adora skips the last few steps and jumps over the banister. She beats Catra to the kitchen and looks like a puppy waiting eagerly for a cookie. It’s stupid, and Catra totally hates it. Totally.
“Okay, I got a recipe from Razz.”
“It’s not that thorough, but seems pretty simple.”
Catra shrugs because that’s like, technically true. Pastry is kinda easy to fuck up, but pie crust only has three ingredients or something like that. “Okay, you have everything out?”
“Yes!” Adora bounces on the balls of her feet and gestures to a crowd of ingredients and a mixing bowl on the counter.
“Alright, well I’m just here for supervision, so...hop to it I guess.”
Adora stick out their bottom lip. “Aw, you’re not gonna help at all?”
“Are you sure ?”
She hops up onto a bar stool across from Adora and crosses her arms on the counter. “A deal’s a deal, Greyskull.”
Adora huffs, not really seeming all that annoyed. “Can you pit the cherries at least? We’re never gonna finish this if I have to do that too.”
Catra sighs dramatically but accepts the weird tool Adora is offering her, and the bag of fruit. “Fine, fine. But I’m not touching the actual pie, you got it?”
Adora beams and he’s just so...infuriatingly pretty that Catra thinks about just cutting her losses and leaving right then. “You’re the best!”
With that, they throw on some music and set to work, both quickly getting into the zone with their respective tasks. And then Catra looks up.
“The fuck did you do? ”
Adora looks up, a pouty little frown gracing their lips. Her hands are coated in sticky batter and nothing is going how Razz’s index card says it should. In short, it’s a bit of a fucking disaster. “I followed the recipe! I cut the butter into cubes-which why? It was so hard! And then I-”
“Wait, it was hard ?” Catra’s brain immediately sends up red flags.
“Well yeah! It’s so soft, it just like, smeared all over the wrapper and made the knife all messy. And my hand!”
Catra rolls her eyes up to the ceiling in exasperation. “Fucking stars.” She looks down again and gives Adora a look. They look sheepishly back at her, hands still coated in batter. “First of all, you’re definitely not supposed to be using your hands . And second, you do know it’s supposed to be cold butter, right? Like the whole thing should be as cold as possible.”
Adora freezes. At first they kind of think Catra is pulling their leg but...that kind of sounds familiar now that she says it. Probably just wishful thinking in the first place honestly. “Oh.” They pause then feel the need to admit, “Well it wasn’t, it was room temp.”
“Clearly.” Catra’s not amused, and Adora- with their messy hands hanging glumly over the mixing bowl- isn’t cute. Because this can’t be Catra’s type...right? It’s not charming. This isn’t a crush! “You’re gonna have to start over.”
“Shit, really? I mean, I could put this in the freezer….”
“I mean, you could , but it’s still never gonna turn into pie crust so you’d probably just be wasting your time.” Adora grumbles, but is slightly comforted when Catra snickers at her, looking-dare they say it?-a bit enamoured. “Do you have more butter?”
Adora sighs. “Yeah, I have more.”
“Great, wash that shit off your hands and we’ll start again.”
Adora perks up. “We?”
“Well clearly you can’t be fucking trusted, so yeah, we.”
“Okay!” With a new spring in her step, Adora picks up her bowl and takes it to the sink to clean up.
She hears Catra shuffling behind her and doesn’t think anything of it. At least, not until Catra says, low and dangerous, “Adora…”
They turn around with wide eyes. It’s a new tone for Catra, one Adora does not like the sound of. At all. “...Yeah?”
“I...am literally ...going to murder you.”
“ What!? ” Adora yelps and looks between Catra and the counter. Nothing seems to be amiss. Sure, the counter is a total mess, but Catra already knew that! And it’s not like Adora isn’t gonna be the one to sweep the flour up from the counter and floors later.
“Yep.” Catra answers through gritted teeth. “An eye for an eye, right?”
Their brow furrows at the turn of phrase. “An eye for...huh?”
Catra gestures at the half empty sack of flour Adora had been using. “Finn, Adora! You fucking made your little shit show of a pie crust with our homework .”
Adora can feel every drop of blood leave their face. “Oh no.”
“Oh yes . I can’t believe you! I mean, I know you’re an idiot but come on , dude!”
“I’m so sorry! I’ll tell doc it was all my fault, I swear!”
Catra just stares at her. And stares. And stares. She looks nothing short of incredulous and the longer she looks at Adora, the further Adora spirals. Right up until Catra bends at the waist and just starts howling . She’s gasping for breath, drawing in air with shallow, ragged pants between peals of laughter. Adora laughs too, hesitant and awkward. They’re just kind of...waiting to see what Catra’s gonna do once the hysteria wears off.
It takes a couple minutes, Adora’s hands have gone from dripping wet to merely damp by the time she’s through, but finally she looks up. Her face is red and she has to wipe her face clear of tears. She doesn’t necessarily look mad anymore though, so that’s probably a good sign. Hopefully. “You’re unbelievable.”
Catra shakes her head. “Whatever.”
Now look, Adora doesn’t know why she says what she says next. It’s not like she has any control apparently. Because if she were thinking, the very last thing she would ever think to say after utterly fucking up and potentially tanking their grade is, “So...what’s your middle name?”
And she really doesn’t expect, “Applesauce.” to pop out of Catra’s mouth. Catra doesn’t either, for the record. Her eyes go wide at her own slip up and she just prays Adora assumes she’s fucking around.
They snort reflexively and her shoulders relax. “Oh ha ha.”
“Yep! Ha ha, almost-ahem, almost had ya, Adora.”
Adora narrows their eyes and tips their head to the side. Catra gulps. “Catra…”
“So, uh, pie! Or, I mean, um, Finn? Murder.”
“What?” Fuck . “No, I meant, I mean, no! Shut up , Greyskull, damn.”
Adora picks up a towel without looking and slowly dries their hands the rest of the way. “You...you’re not-”
“It’s Anne! I totally lied the other day. Catra Anne, yep.”
“It’s not though, is it?”
“Catra Anne D’riluth, with an E.”
“Catra Applesauce D’riluth.” Adora volleys back. Catra doesn’t argue back again. “ Why? ”
“I don’t know!” Catra bursts out, unable to lie over her panic any longer. Fucking Adora Greyskull. Catra is a great liar! Normally. At least, when there isn’t some hot blonde idiot robbing her of her chill she is. “I don’t know, okay? Orphan, remember?”
Adora frowns, instantly guilty. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-”
“Shut up , alright? I don’t need you feeling sorry for me or whatever.”
“You do though.” Catra accuses, turning away to start scooping up spilled flour and dropping it back into the half filled husk of their temporary child. “You have that stupid, sorry guilt face.” She pauses then adds, “And you look fucking stupid. So just...save it.”
She can feel when Adora approaches. They land fairly close to Catra, hovering over her shoulder but keeping a respectable distance. “I mean...it’s a pretty cool name.”
Catra scoffs. “Oh, it is not.”
“Are you kidding me? Do you know how many Annes I’ll probably meet in my life? Dozens.”
“Yeah,” Catra grumbles, “cause that’s a normal thing people name their fucking kids.”
Adora steps closer, near enough now that Catra can feel the heat radiating off their body. She just keeps scooping up flour-like honestly, how did Adora even accomplish this mess? “Catra?”
She spins around, her stance aggressive, to find Adora closer than she realized. Close enough, in fact, that she has to look up to see into their face. “What, Adora? What do you want?”
“It’s a stupid name.” And sure, Catra literally was just saying that, but her mouth still drops open at Adora sharing the sentiment so plainly.
“You’re a fucking asshole, you know that?”
Adora shrugs with a smirk. “I still like it though.”
“Like seriously, just the worst .”
Adora shifts, and Catra can’t tell if it’s on purpose or not, but the move brings them just that much closer. She hates to say it’s affecting her but... maybe her breathing is just a little bit less steady. “Catra Applesauce D’riluth. You gotta admit, it’s got a nice ring to it.”
“Enjoy it while it lasts. I’m changing it the day I turn eighteen.”
Adora reaches up and tucks some of Catra’s hair behind her ear. “Hm, that’s too bad. You know what to yet?”
Catra swallows thickly. Why isn’t she just pusing Adora away at this point? There’s literally no reason for them to be standing so close. “N-no. Not yet.” She clears her throat. “I’ve still got time.”
“I can help you brainstorm if you want.” Adora says with a grin, clearly gaining steam. “What about-” Catra kisses them.
It’s a little too hard to be romantic, a bit too sudden to be sweet. It’s...terrifying. It’s not ending , but it’s not deepening either. It just...is. Catra can’t pull away though, she can’t because then she’ll have to deal with the fallout of what she’s just done.
And then a hand comes to rest on her waist, and her heart clenches. Another comes to cup her cheek softly and her heart does a somersault. Adora’s fingers flex gently against her cheek and Catra takes a short, shaky breath in through her nose. Still, they don’t part.
Catra doesn’t know what to do . Without thought, her hands move from where they’ve been hovering over Adora’s chest, to grip them with some sort of intention; one hand on the shoulder of the arm at her waist and the other gripping tightly to Adora’s opposite forearm. A small part of Catra’s brain registers she must be covering them in flour but, well they were already a lost cause on that front, and it really is a very, very tiny part of her brain.
Adora didn’t know what to do either. At first. Now they’re just... savoring it, because they're afraid of facing the fallout of Catra’s decision too. It’s not like they were expecting to be kissed, far from it in fact. But it’s nice. Catra is small and strong and warm and...and it just feels nice to have her so close. In fact, some part of Adora, many parts of Adora in fact, would like to get even closer. Not in like, a saucy way-though that’s certainly not un true. Just...she wants to press into Catra until their atoms begin to fuse, and that sense of desire makes them feel wildly out of control.
It should be terrifying but it’s not . It feels like the first time Adora rode a rollercoaster and wasn’t too terrified to enjoy it. Like...a little terrified, but in a pleasant way. So yeah, she’s gonna enjoy it for as long as she has it. For as long as Catra will let them.
After another minute- or ten, or two days, or who knows really?-Catra steps back with a gasp, like she’s returning suddenly to her body after spending some time in orbit. Her backwards momentum bumps her right up against the counter, her hands pressing against the babinets as if to make herself as flush with the island as possible. Adora freezes. Their arms are still raised in the position they’d been holding her in. They don’t know if they should step back to give her some space or if that would send the wrong message; like that their immediate instinct wasn’t to try and regain some of their closeness, which it absolutely was .
Adora frowns and their arms fall to their sides. “What? Catra, no-”
“I didn’t-I should have-have asked or-”
“Catra, stop. It’s not like I was pushing you away, I kissed you back .” That seems to soothe some of Catra’s anxiety; a bit of tension leaves her shoulders but she’s still frowning. The sight is a little bit heartbreaking. Asora liked it. She doesn’t want to face a reality where Catra didn’t like it too.
Catra rubs briskly at her face. “I don’t know why I did that.”
“I-I didn’t-I’m not-I wasn’t planning to.”
“Okay...well that wasn’t exactly my impression, so…”
Catra’s eyes finally meet Adora’s, they look a little wild. “Are we okay?”
The way Adora pouts at her question isn’t exactly promising from Catra’s perspective. “Okay?”
Catra fights the urge to flinch. “I really didn’t mean-”
“Did you like it?” Adora’s voice is so soft, it’s almost a whisper, and it makes Catra freeze.
“Would that be okay?”
Adora laughs a bit incredulously. “I really hope so because, Catra, I definitely liked it.”
Catra feels most if not all of her tension dissolve. She could cry from the flood of relief quite honestly. “Yeah?”
Adora smiles tentatively. They take a half a step closer and Catra doesn’t react. “Definitely. I-In fact, can I kiss you again?”
Slowly, they watch Catra’s eyes warm up and a smirk spread across her face. “You wanna kiss me?”
“Again, yeah.” Adora answers shamelessly.
“Not sure I should be making out with the person who murdered my child.”
Adora stills-they’d totally forgotten. “Oh, shit, I-”
“Adora?” Their eyes drift back from where they’d strayed to the counter. “It’s Friday, I think we can put off dealing with it for ten more minutes.”
Adora laughs, too many emotions rolling around in their chest to boil it down to just one. “Oh yeah? And uh, what do you wanna do in those ten minutes?”
Catra shrugs. “I’m flexible.”
Adora raises an eyebrow at the response. “Cool, so that idea I had where I was gonna kiss you…”
“Can’t think of anything better to do.” Catra says with an aloof air, bringing her hand up to inspect her nails.
Adora takes another step forward, right into Catra’s personal space. “Catra?”
“Hmm?” She looks up to Adora with pointed apathy.
“I’m only gonna kiss you if you want me to.”
Catra huffs because she’s doing something here . By which I of course mean trying to regain some semblance of chill, but here’s Adora, unwilling or unable to let her. Like yeah, fine, she respects where they’re coming from to an extent, but they’re also obviously fucking with her more than anything “Fine, yeah, for sure.”
Adora laughs to themself because, yeah, they’re pretty much onto Catra at this point. And yeah, it’s pretty obvious what Catra wants-she did initiate the first kiss after all. However, they’re also not gonna relent on getting proper, enthusiastic consent just so Catra can maintain her illusion of composure. And maybe they like to push her buttons. Just a bit. And so they wait. Catra huffs again and shakes her head inquiringly.
“Catra, come on.”
Catra scowls at Adora’s stubbornness. This is a battle of willmore than anything at this point. And that’s not a battle Catra intends to lose; she might as well throw the war at that point. “Come on what, Greyskull?”
Adora groans with a laugh and drops her forehead to rest on Catra’s shoulder. “You’re impossible.”
“Sucks to suck, babe.” Catra answers without hesitation.
“Can you really not just say that you want me to kiss you?” Catra’s heart stutters and Adora, Adora definitely feels it and so their own heart follows suit.
Catra clears her throat. She turns her head to the side, staring out the window. And when Adora uses the new position to snuggle further into her neck, she gulps. “I’m not...good at this.” she admits softly.
Adora hums and Catra can feel it and her words as much as she hears them. “Good at what?”
“I don’t know.” Catra answers, keeping her voice soft.
She feels Adora nod into her neck. “All I need is a yes or no.” Adora murmurs, muffled by her position. Her heartbeat thunders in her ears. “Do you want me to kiss you?”
Catra’s, “Yes.” barely makes it past her lips. Adora still manages to hear it.
The next thing Catra knows, she’s gasping softly at the soft, tender press of Adora’s lips to her throat. “This okay?”
Words are beyond Catra now. Aloof is an impossible dream she clings to. She can't speak, so she nods. Adora presses another kiss, just a feather light as the last, a little bit higher. By the time they’re pressing a third kiss just under the corner of Catra’s jaw, she’s damn near trembling. Not that she’d ever admit it. And if Adora runs her mouth, Cara will make damn sure she lives to regret it. She’s not too worried about it at this exact moment however.
Adora’s nose brushes across her cheek as they move up to whisper in her ear and Catra shivers at the touch. “ Thank you .”
They pull back, pausing to kiss her cheek a little more firmly on their way. Catra can’t stop herself from asking, “Fo-ahem, for what?”
Adora pulls back all the way, smiling so earnestly it makes Catra ache a little bit. And freak out, she’s a little freaked out right now. There’s just a lot of...of feelings happening. Adora shrugs, looking a little bashful and Catra can’t help but laugh at the sight; this person was teasing her with sweet little neck kisses not thirty seconds ago. Instead of answering verbally, Adora cups Catra’s cheek and leans in for another kiss.
It’s less tentative this time, more exploratory. When Catra gasps, Adora groans and uses the opportunity to pull Catra’s bottom lip between theirs. She clings to their shoulders and they grip her hips. One moment she’s being crowded against the counter, and the next Adora is using that grip to hoist her up on top of it so they can stand between her legs. No part of Catra even considers the notion that she wouldn’t wrap her legs around their hips. And she’s certainly not complaining when their left hand slides down to her thigh and they pull her even closer.
Unfortunately, ‘not complaining’ sounds a whole lot like a little whimper escaping her. It’s not a bad noise, like at all , but Adora’s not certain. They pull back, breathing heavily, to see Catra with her cheeks flushed, looking more vulnerable than Adora ever could have imagined seeing her.
Catra snorts and about thirty percent of that vulnerability vanishes. Worth it. Adora is legitimately in awe right now. “Don’t ruin it, Greyskull.”
“Psh, like that’s possible.”
“What, are you into me or something?”
“Oh, yeah, totally. Was that not clear? Cause I can illustrate for you again if my point wasn’t made…”
Catra laughs as Adora moves in as if to kiss her again, and she bats away their hands. “You’re just the worst.”
“Maybe, but you’re covered in flour.”
Catra’s eyes go wide and she looks down to her left and then her right. “Fucking- damn you, Adora!”
She looks so cute, all indignant and puffed up. Adora’s a little disappointed to see that earlier softness leave in its entirety, but she has a feeling she can figure out how to get it back. Catra glares back at her. “Hey, I didn’t hear any complaints when I put you there.”
“Well I was a little preoccupied!”
Adora gives her a look and says, “Yeah, you realize we were doing the same thing, right?”
Catra rolls her eyes, unmoved by that assertion. “How did you spill so much anyway? You’re like a fucking hurricane.”
“Uh huh, I literally warned you this was gonna be a disaster, baby.”
Catra looks at her, the very picture of unimpressed. “Baby?”
Adora sets their hands on Catra’s knees and runs them up and down her thighs a few times. “What’s wrong with baby?”
“I mean, for one; I’m not a helpless fucking infant in case you haven’t noticed.-”
Adora snorts. “Oh, I’ve noticed.”
“And for another, you literally just murdered a baby before my very eyes tonight, so. Not exactly a cutesy pet name at this point.”
Adora grimaces and leans around Catra to look at Finn. “Yeah, we should probably figure out what to do about them, huh?”
“We?” Adora leans back to look at Catra’s face; she’s giving them mega bitch brow. They’re not phased. They come in to peck her quickly on the cheek, then pull back to lean around her again and pull Finn closer. Catra sort of grumbles unintelligibly but doesn't fight her on it again. “Well, you didn’t rip it open at least.”
“Well yeah, but it’s still open .”
Catra eyes it for a minute then turns back to Adora. “You have super glue in this house?”
“Do you really think that’s gonna work?”
“You have any better ideas?”
“Excellent point.” Adora boops Catra’s nose and before she can finish growling at the gesture, they’ve popped out of the room to hunt down some glue.
When Mara gets home twenty minutes later, Catra and Adora are playfully elbowing each other out of the way and trying to funnel flour back into Finn. They’ve used up most of what Adora has spilled, and are now taking from the bag she was supposed to have used. Catra’s pretty sure she’s spilling more than she’s getting in the bag at this point. Adora’s pretty sure if they wind Catra up enough, she’ll kiss them again. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle.
“Hey...kiddos.” Mara starts tentatively, already smiling in amusement.
Adora looks up with a glare. “Shut up, I hate when you call me that.”
Mara shrugs. “And I hate Mondays, unfortunately they still come around from time to time.”
“Okay but you control one of those things and-”
“Adora!” Catra snaps. “Dude, pay attention or get out of my way. You’re not even getting it in the bag at this point.”
Adora looks down. “Oops.”
“Yeah, so speaking of oops, what happened here?” Mara asks. She hops up onto a bar stool and looks between them.
Adora looks to Catra for help explaining and she just laughs in their face. They aren’t that cute. “Yeah, I’m gonna let you field this one, Greyskull.”
They rub the back of their neck and nod sheepishly. “Right, right. So, you know how I was making Catra her pie today?”
“Well I uh, maybe was a little distracted-”
“Wait, distracted? We were working in total fucking silence.” Adora feels their cheeks redden and barely withholds a groan when she sees realization down on Catra’s face. “Ah, I see. Carry on.”
Adora doesn’t miss the look Mara shoots between them, but they absolutely ignore it. “Anyway, I maybe used the wrong bag of flour.”
Their sister looks back to look at Catra who’s returned to her attempt to fill the bag of flour to it’s former fullness. “Lemme see that a sec?”
Catra looks up and raises her brows suspiciously but pushes it across the island. After a minute or two with no words from Mara as she inspects the bag of flour, she asks, “So...are you gonna narc on us or what?”
“Wow, rude. And in my own house too. No, what I am gonna do,” She tips the bag on it’s side and taps the spot their teacher has signed on the bottom. “is forge this for you. Now, I’m assuming this means you didn’t make pie?”
“Nah, your sibling still owes me one.”
“Great.” She turns to Adora. “Go to the store, get a new sack of flour, and get me one of those frozen, Marie Callender pies.”
Adora raises her eyebrows. “Razz will kill you if she finds out.”
“Then keep your mouth shut, capeesh? And I’ll do the same, re your little baking mishap.”
Adora huffs, but they really can’t argue with that. And so, grabbing Catra’s hand to drag her along, they march out of the kitchen. Mara just watches them go, silent and knowing. Catra catches her eyes as Adora pulls her through the doorway and maybe she’s just reading into it, but something in her gut tells her Mara Greyskull knows what happened in her kitchen tonight.
Surprisingly Catra’s not too bothered by the idea, probably because no matter how hard a time Mara gives them when they get back, Catra knows without a doubt that it was one hundred percent, completely worth it.
idk, that doesn't even apply here but I say it a lot so.
Uhh, I really have no idea how much longer this is gonna go on, but I'm thinking two more chapters and a lil epilogue. Ummm, yah. Coolcoolcool, tighttight, chillchillchilll
Thanks for reading this story and to all of you that have left kudos and your lovely comments. Maybe I'll start replying to them again (I'd like to!) but I am living among boxes still after moving and I still haven't filed my taxes, so. Probably not rn. Please know I see and appreciate them all, and also just anyone reading this (meaning you not only read my goofy gay story, but also my aimless ramblings at the end here). Seriously, so cool of you.
Ummm...k g2g, byeeee!
Wait, wait, ps, almost forgot; do we all get the title? Because I think I'm so funny rn. Yes it's a Steven Universe reference, and also this chapter contains life and death and love and birth. Did we see it? Did we love it? I love it. Okay, buh bye for real now.
When Adora drops Catra off Friday night, her ass is still coated in a fine layer of flour. The image of that, combined with Catra whipping around to shoot them a poor attempt at a withering look after Adora had leaned out their window to wolf whistle at the sight, is still burned in Adora’s brain when they wake up Saturday morning. It’s hard not to grin as they go about their day. Really, they don’t even try to suppress it until they go downstairs. They can hear Mara in the kitchen with Hope and there’s no telling just how much of a field day she’ll have with a grin like this.
Adora hops down the stairs two at a time and rounds the corner. The kitchen door is propped open and she can see Hope sitting at the island, chatting with Mara who must be working at the stove.
“Morning.” they say, immediately hiding their face in the freezer.
At first, the only sound is their rustling around, digging out frozen fruit for a smoothie. And then, “So. I was just telling Hope about the mess you made in my kitchen last night.”
Adora huffs and turns around, dropping her pile in front of the blender. “I cleaned it up!”
“Ha! You mean Catra cleaned it up.”
“She did not!”
“I told her not to!”
“Uh huh, you also left the grout lines caked with flour.”
Adora pouts. It’s a bit of a sore spot because, yeah maybe Mara saved their asses by perfectly replicating Doc’s signature, but Adora did almost get them a failing grade. Catra shouldn’t have had to go around behind them with a rag. They tried to insist they were gonna go back over it, which they were , but Catra said that would take too long and she had a curfew. Mara, of course, watched it all and only egged Catra on.
“ Whatever .” Mara mocks, sharing a conspiratorial look with Hope.
Luckily, though much more subtle about it than Mara, her girlfriend is just a savage. She raises a perfectly manicured brow and says, “Your catchphrase in highschool, wasn’t it?”
“Wow, okay. Is that why you never wanted to talk to me back then?”
Hope smiles and Adora crosses her arms to watch the shit show. “No, that was because you ran away every time I approached you.”
“Rude! It’s not my fault you were so intimidating.”
“And it’s not my fault you were so gay. Now, would you like to flip those pancakes before they burn?”
Mara scoffs and Adora makes no effort to hide their chortling. They turn and start making their smoothie and the room falls back into comfortable cohabitation. Mara’s old motown record trickles in from the living room where she’s left it spinning. The reprieve is brief, just long enough for Adora to clean up after themself and plop down in a chair beside Hope.
“I noticed,” Mara starts, sliding plates of pancakes and eggs in front of Adora and Hope, “that my kitchen wasn’t the only casualty.”
“Tell me Adora, how did you manage to get flour on Catra’s-”
“Mara!” Adora’s shriek only serves to make Mara break down into a fit of laughter. “Ugh, you’re just the worst, you know that?”
Her sister tries to speak, but can’t over her own laughter. Adora huffs and digs into her breakfast. Mara calms down enough to grab her own plate and fall into a seat on Adora’s other side. “Seriously though, spill the beans, Squirt.”
“There’s no beans.”
“Oh, sorry. The tea, spill the tea then.”
“There’s no tea either! Mind your business.”
“Really, Mara,” Hope chides over her coffee cup, “there’s no need to pry.”
“Based on what you’ve told me, I’m sure a little deductive reasoning will bring you to a satisfactory conclusion.”
“Ugh! You two are fucking perfect for each other.”
“Thanks.” Mara says, sending a wink to her girlfriend over Adora’s head. “So, was it good?”
“Was what good?”
“Come on, Dor, I’m not stupid. Your little girlfriend-”
“Not my girlfriend!”
“had flour all over her butt. And I know you don’t think I missed the handprints everywhere else.”
“I’m eating in my room.”
“No you’re not.” And since Adora makes no move to get up, she really has no leg to stand on. “Come on, don’t you want to dish even a little ?”
“ Adora .”
“Gross, stop whining at me.” Mara just fusses a little more. “Fine! We kissed, which you clearly already knew. Satisfied?”
“You know I’m not.”
“How was it? Are you girlfriends now? Are you taking her on a date? Come on , gimme that hot goss!”
“Fine, no, and I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Fine?” Mara asks doubtfully.
“Just great?” she wheedles.
Their sister pouts. “I’m just saying, if Hope had described our first kiss as ‘fine’ we probably wouldn’t be dating right now.”
“Oh,” Hope leans around Adora, “is that so?”
“Shut up, babe, I’m making a point here.” Hope raises an eyebrow in that same perfect, refined gesture and Mara huffs. “I’ll deal with you later. Right now I-”
“Darling, perhaps it’s best we allow your sibling to finish their breakfast, hm? Then the inquisition can begin.”
Adora sucks her teeth. “Yeah, no can do. Bow and Glimmer are gonna be here to pick me up in…” they glance at their watch, “ten minutes, so.”
“Hmph, well will you be home for dinner at least?” Mara asks.
Adora shrugs. “I think so.” Mara raises her eyebrows. “I’ll text you if anything changes, but yes, that’s currently the plan. I should be home by four or so.”
“Great.” Satisfied that she’ll have another attempt to grill Adora on their love life later, Mara digs into her own food. And that, evidently, is that. For now.
Twenty-five minutes later, Adora and Finn II are in the back of Glimmer’s car, the former peeking at her phone. There’s really no plan for the day, the three of them just wanted to hang out, so Glimmer is driving vaguely towards downtown. Adora looks up just in time to see Bow looking bashfully away from Glim and they can’t help but roll their eyes at their best friends.
“Hey, what if we got froyo?”
Glimmer smirks at her in the rearview mirror and Adora hates that they can see their own cheeks turning pink. “Thought you just had breakfast.”
Bow turns a bewildered look between the pair. “Since when has that ever stopped Adora from wanting food?” Glimmer glares at him and realization dawns. “Oh. Ohh! Froyo, huh?”
He turns in his seat and Adora looks down at her phone again. Like there’s gonna be anything new there. “Hmm?”
“Well, I like froyo.”
“Yeah,” Glimmer snorts, “but Adora doesn’t. Adora likes-”
“Oh my gosh!” Adora groans. “Will you cut it out?”
“Oh, absolutely not. I take it Catra is working?”
“I don’t know.” They grumble, slouching further into their seat. “She usually does.”
“You two are so cute.” Bow says, turning back around to face the front.
“Shut up.” Adora instructs around a smile. It falls when they look at their phone again and see no new messages. Which is silly. Because Catra probably is at work. And it’s not like they’d texted her either. Sure they’d drafted like, eighteen different messages, but they were all stupid.
Her friends make no further comment for the time being, and Glimmer pulls into the small lot in front of the froyo place. They get out of the door, and to the sidewalk, and Adora freezes. This is weird. This is so fucking weird. And probably inappropriate. What if Catra regrets the kiss? Kisses. And Adora’s just gonna ambush her at work?
“Maybe I don’t want froyo.”
Bow and Glimmer share a look of confused concern, then turn it on Adora. “Uhh...what?”
“Yeah, it’s like Glimmer said; I just ate. Not hungry. We should go to um...to, uh, the beach?”
“The beach?” Glimmer asks.
“Um, or...the mall? You love the mall! Let’s shop.”
“I do love the mall. You, however, hate it. So spill, what’s going on?”
“Nothing! I’m just like, so full all the sudden.”
Bow glances over his shoulder. Adora follows his line of sight and spots Catra saying something to Lonnie, who then disappears into the back. It only serves to panic Adora further. “This wouldn’t have anything to do with last night,” Bow asks, “would it?”
“Last night?” Adora winces at the pitch of their own voice. “Nope! No. Definitely not.”
“Well okay then. I have my heart set on froyo now so let’s go in and you don’t have to get any if you don’t want. We can go to the mall,” he shares a conspiratorial look with Glimmer, “after that.”
Her friends turn away to walk inside and Adora panics. “We kissed!”
Slowly, her friends turn, eyebrows sky high. “Excuse me?” Glimmer says.
“Last night. We-she-and I-ugh! I accidentally used Finn to make our pie, and it was a mess, and there was flour everywhere , and-and she was kinda mad but then she was laughing and she was so cute -and a little terrifying- and then she just…”
Adora gulps. “Yeah huh.”
“Oh, we are so going inside.”
“Wait!” Glimmer looks at her expectantly, tapping her toes. “We haven’t exactly...talked since then. I don’t wanna be, I dunno, creepy?”
“You realize the doors are glass, don’t you?”
Adora furrows their brow in confusion. “Uh….”
“And that it works two ways?”
“So she can see us, like right now.” Adora’s eyes go wide and Glimmer laughs. “I think it might be a little creepier to stand out here for five minutes and then just walk away without saying anything, don’t you?”
“ Fuck , she can see us.” Adora looks up again and sure enough Catra is staring right back at her, smirking. Adora sighs, resigned. “Let’s just get inside.” Glimmer laughs again and Bow cheers, leading the charge but pausing at the door to hold it open for them.
“Welcome in nerds, dummy.”
“Adora’s the dummy I presume?” Glimmer asks.
Catra tears her eyes away from Adora to roll them at Sparkles. “Obviously.”
“Great, Bow and I are just gonna…” She grabs a cup for each of them and they disappear to the self-serve area, leaving Adora alone to approach the counter.
They clear their throat and Catra would be lying if she said their rather obvious nerves don’t make her feel just the littlest bit powerful. “Hey-hi Catra.”
“How’s it going?”
“Great! So good. How is...work?”
Catra shrugs. “Stupid but it’s been kinda slow and I’m working a short shift so. Could be worse.”
Adora kind of awkwardly bobs their head and she just watches on with a smirk. Finally she sees them gulp and they say, “Hey, so...it’s like, okay that we’re here, right?”
Catra narrows her eyes, completely baffled by the question. “I mean it’s a free country.”
Adora huffs, apparently not getting the assurance they were looking for. “You know what I mean.”
“I actually super don’t.”
“Like here , here. At your work.”
“Gonna need a little more from ya, Greyskull.”
“I just-we haven’t talked since... you know .” Catra raises her eyebrows. “I didn’t want to like, come into your space if you, well if you didn’t want...me...to?”
“ What? ”
“I don’t know! I just want to like, respect your boundaries.”
“Yeah, like what if you-you might um, regret what uh-”
“You’re an idiot.”
Adora finally looks up from where they’d started picking at a hangnail midway through their rambling. They look hopeful-which is a stupid response to being called an idiot, but here we are. “Yeah?”
“Literally what would make you think that?”
Adora snorts. “Uh, anxiety?”
Catra laughs and shakes her head. “Okay, whatever, I’ll give you that one. No, Adora, I don’t have any regrets.” She pauses then adds, “Not about that anyway.”
Adora is grinning goofily, but since they went there Catra still feels the need to ask, “Do you ?”
They look horrified. “No! No, no, no, definitely not.”
Catra feels her chest unclench. “Good.”
The stupid grin comes back and the same urge that led to their first kiss starts to bubble up inside Catra. “Good.”
She clears her throat instead of leaning over the counter. “So, what are you dummies up to?”
Adora shrugs. “Just hanging out. I think I might have accidentally signed up to go to the mall.”
“Oh, you totally did!” Glitter calls over. Catra makes sure to glare at her for eavesdropping.
“So I was thinking.”
“Oh yeah, Greyskull? That a new one for ya?”
“Oh ha ha.”
“Carry on then.”
“Right, um, so you know how we have to exchange this lil guy tomorrow.” Adora nods their head down to the sack of flour they’ve dumped on the counter.
“Well I was thinking…”
“Yes, you’ve established that.”
They huff but carry on. “I could pick you up a little early and um, we could get brunch or something?”
Catra raises an eyebrow and, unable to help herself, asks, “Is that like a euphemism?”
Adora implodes. “ What? No! No. Definitely not, no I-” Their hands go up in a submissive gesture and they take a step back...right into the display of cups, thus knocking them literally everywhere. They look mortified. It’s a little adorable.
It’s also loud as fuck. Shimmer and Crop Top freeze over by the toppings counter and Lonnie pokes her head through the swinging doors that lead to the back. Catra almost wishes there were more witnesses, but it’s probably for the best that the place is dead.
“I’m so sorry!”
“Is it always gonna be like this with you?”
“I’ll clean it up!”
“I mean, first Finn, now at my place of business .” Catra throws a dramatic hand over her chest, feigning distress. Unfortunately Adora is too mortified to identify the feigning part.
“ Adora .” Dead silence, like you could hear a pin drop silence, like Catra’s pretty sure she can hear the irregular thudding of Adora’s heartbeat kind of silence.
And of course Sparkles breaks it with a snort and, “Wow, Adora, one kiss and suddenly you’re a giraffe in ice skates.”
“Damn, Greyskull, you already told the glitter twins?” Adora’s mouth kind of flaps open and closed a few times. Catra shakes her head and turns to point at their friends. “Alright, well you, shut the fuck up.” Then to Lonnie, who’s still looking on with interest (interest that is almost definitely compounded by her being in the room when Catra came home covered in flour last night), she says, “You’re break was over five minutes ago, mind tapping me out?”
Lonnie makes a smug face and looks between her and Adora lazily. “Sure, Catra, have a nice break.”
Catra scoffs even as she’s tearing off her stupid little apron. She comes around the counter and grabs Adora’s hand. Adora has no idea where they’re going. Not far they figure, since Catra is still on the clock. As they’re pulled through the door they look over their shoulder to wave at their bemused looking friends. “Uh, be right back I guess.”
Catra leaves them around the building, past a nail salon and a thai restaurant, to an alley in the back. It’s surprisingly clean, they can’t help but notice. Catra stops when they reach what is obviously an impromptu break area. There’s a few upturned milk crates and an old coffee can filled with cigarette butts. They wonder if Catra’s ever smoked, though they assume that’s not why they’re here.
They both go to speak, “Hey Adora.” overlapping with a shy little, “Hi.”
They laugh, both a little awkward, and Adora tries again. “So uh, nice place you got here.”
Catra shrugs and drops down onto a milkcrate. Adora gingerly takes the one next to her. “It’s chill. Kinda annoying when the restaurant guys come out here to smoke, but sometimes they bring weed too and you can score a j.”
Adora laughs, a little more at ease now that Catra isn’t immediately confronting them about what an unnatural disaster they are. “Nice one. I used to buy from Kyle, but his mom caught him and he's been grounded for like, over a month.”
Catra nods like this isn’t news to her. Then again, Adora’s pretty sure Kyle and Lonnie are friends, and the latter lives with Catra. So makes sense. “Entrapta’s been buying directly from Kyle’s source. Some douche from the community college, I guess.”
“Huh, I wouldn’t have pegged Trap as a smoker.”
Catra snorts and adopts a fond little smile. “She likes to get high and do math.”
Adora laughs. “Can you imagine?”
Catra shakes her head, her little smile firmly in place. Adora thinks about kissing it. They don’t though. Instead they watch as Catra groans and stretches out. She’s little, not Entrapta little but Adora’s got a good six inches on her, maybe more. She’s also lean and her movements are languid. Adora feels like a dumbass for even thinking it, but she does kind of look a little feline-esque.
“So,” Catra starts, her tone all business, “just woke up craving froyo this morning?”
Catra watches Adora’s reaction closely. Their blush is barely detectable, but she catches it, and their eyelashes flutter a little. Adora has wildly long lashes but they’re so blonde you can only really tell up close. Catra had never really noticed them before last night, but now she can’t stop noticing them. They offer her a grin and it shakes her from her staring.
“Oh, I woke up thinking about something, but it wasn’t froyo.”
Catra can feel her face heat but she scoffs and shoves at Adora’s shoulder. “You hopeless fucking flirt! I cannot believe you just said that to me.”
They reel right back from the light force, smirking like a dumbass. “Aw, but can’t you though?”
“You’re right, it’s very on brand for you. What was I thinking?”
“Wow, I can’t believe you just admitted I’m right like that. So big of you.”
“Well don’t get used to it.” Adora watches Catra’s knees tent together, watches her drape her crossed arms over them, watches it bring the tips of her fingers so close to Adora’s own hand where it’s braced on her seat. She clears her throat.
“Any reason you dragged me out here to your break area?”
“Oh, like you didn’t come willingly.”
“Course I did, I’d follow you anywhere, D’riluth. Not the point.” They say it like they mean it, like they don’t realize the gravity their words carry. It’s a little hard not to be gobsmacked right now, but Catra likes to think she recovers quickly.
“Um, right, well. Just figured I’d try and save you from your own embarrassment back there.” she teases.
“So you were whisking me away?”
“Sure, something like that.” Catra says it like the sentiment doesn’t make her feel like she’s gonna throw up her lungs.
“Sounds pretty gay.”
“Well, if the shoe fits, I suppose.”
Adora is looking pretty fucking pleased with themself right now. They smile slyly and add, “And romantic.”
Catra laughs. “Wow, cheap date then I take it.”
“I mean, it’s all about the company at the end of the day, right?”
“Hm, still think I like the sound of brunch better.”
Adora perks up instantly, just like Catra secretly hoped they would. “Yeah?”
“Yeah, Greyskull. What time are you picking me up?”
“Dope! Okay, how does ten sound?”
Catra raises her eyebrows and Adora’s heart stops; she’s so fucking pretty. Adora’s a goner for sure. “Sounds like I’ll see you tomorrow at eleven.”
Adora laughs, loud and free and bright. “Deal.” They pause and, with a twinkle in their eyes Catra can't quite distinguish, say, “So...should we shake on it?”
“Sounds dumb.” Catra answers, bland and honest.
Apparently that was the right thing to say, Adora’s practically radiating satisfaction. “Hm, you’re right...maybe we should kiss.”
It’s endearing but it’s also dorky as hell. Catra laughs and runs a hand through her hair. “Think you’re pretty slick over there, don’t ya?”
Adora shrugs, looking no less pleased with herself. “Depends on your response.”
The mood sobers slightly. Adora still feels giddy, but Catra is looking at their lips now. They wonder if Catra’s breathing has stopped also; they definitely can’t hear it even with their own taken away. But maybe that’s normal. They wonder if she's really leaning in slightly, or if it’s just their imagination running away with them. They’re pretty sure they’re not imagining it when Catra’s hand comes up to brush their cheek, nor when she strokes her thumb across it.
Catra slides her hand up, past Adora’s hairline to rub lightly at their scalp. It’s trembling ever so slightly and the realization makes their stomach flip. Their eyes flutter closed and they sigh. Catra’s other hand drifts up to rest on the juncture of their neck and shoulder. She scoots closer and her milkcrate scrapes jarringly across the ground. It doesn’t phase her but Adora’s eyes open slowly, widening when she realizes how much closer Catra has gotten.
“I-” Catra brings her eyes to meet Adora’s which have darkened from their usual soft blue to a stormy grey. “I want you-I want you to.”
“Want me to what?” Catra whispers.
Adora pulls in a shaking breath, and Catra just watches them and takes in all of her senses, every bit of this moment. “Kiss me?”
Catra doesn’t tease any further, she pulls them in close and meets them halfway. Immediately Adora’s arms wrap around her; one at her waist and the other around one shoulder and coming up to cradle her head in their hand. She feels safe, but also low key like she’s plummeting off a cliff. She curses their seating, wanting nothing more than to have Adora closer. Unfortunately it’s this or she climbs in their lap, which seems a little much.
Evidently, Adora disagrees. They pull her closer and closer, the force of their arms gentle but insistent, until she has no choice but to break away or straddle their lap awkwardly. It’s an easy choice. The execution however...they both end up laughing into the kiss, the hand in Catra’s hair flexing with Adora’s laughter. Catra ends up sitting more side saddle over Adora’s legs and they pull away, just far enough to rest their forehead against Catra’s.
Adora’s eyes open slowly and they find that Catra’s are still closed, her eyelashes resting delicately on her cheeks. They’re close enough to count each like wishes already come true. Instead Adora clears their throat and with a little laugh says, “So...um, is this a thing we’re like...gonna be doing now?”
Catra laughs and pulls back enough to look at Adora’s face, keeping her arms around their neck. “You’re an idiot.”
Adora’s cheeks turn pink and they roll their eyes fondly. “I mean, sure, but that doesn’t answer my question.”
“Let’s just play it by ear, Greyskull, alright?”
Adora pouts, “Yeah, okay. But for the record? I like it. Like, big fan over here. Huge.”
“Wow, okay, I already kissed you once, Greyskull, no need to stroke my ego.”
They’re smirking when they answer with a simple, “More than once, actually.”
“So um, how long is your break anyhow?”
Catra shrugs. “Ten minutes, but it’s just Lonnie.”
Adora laughs, aware that they’ve probably been out here for at least fifteen. Or an hour, they’re not great with time. “Aw, so you can’t get enough of me, is what I’m hearing.”
Catra scoffs and stands. “And on that note, I really should be getting back.”
Adora attempts a pout. It only goes so well for them. “Boo, capitalism sucks.”
“‘Nother day, another dollar.” Catra commiserates, holding out her hand to ‘help Adora up’.
Adora takes the hand with a grin, but it’s not until they’ve tugged on Catra’s arm to pull her in for another kiss that she realizes why they look so pleased with themself. To be fair, it’s a really nice kiss. She also really should be getting back, she’s already never gonna hear the end of it from Lonnie.
Catra rolls her eyes like she isn’t counting down the minutes already and takes Adora’s hand to lead her back to the shop. “Uh huh.”
“What? You don’t have a plan?”
Adora looks about as abashed as Catra expected when she turns to raise an eyebrow in her direction. “I mean, whatever you want is chill.”
They huff, looking tentatively pleased. “Well...you know the little bistro? Over on 55th?”
Catra’s brow reaches new heights. “That bougie place? Lucky or whatever.”
“Loo Kee. And it’s not that bougie.”
“I make minimum wage, Greyskull, and you don’t even have a job. It’s bougie .”
“I have a job!” Catra pauses in front of the nail salon, out of their friends’ sightlines, and crosses her arms. Adora lets their hand kind of hang between them, a little bummed at the loss. Catra’s hand is nice; small but very clearly strong . “Okay, I work a lot during the summers.”
“Whatever, my point still stands.”
Adora rolls his eyes and shoves his hands in his back pockets, rocking back on his heels. “Whatever, fine, it’s bougie. It’s also my treat, so. What do ya say?”
Catra feels...weird. “It’s not necessary, we could just get breakfast food at the diner or something.”
“Well yeah, but-”
“I-I just thought it would be nice if we made it...nice.”
Catra feels weirder. Like her stomach’s run off to an amusement park to ride a rollercoaster without her. “You tryna woo me or something, Greyskull?”
“Well duh, D’riluth. Thought you were supposed to be clever.”
“Shut up!” Catra says with a laugh and a light shove to Adora’s shoulder. They don’t so much as flinch.
“Just saying, I feel like me telling you I was a big fan of the whole us kissing thing should have tipped you off.” Other than turning bright red, Adora shows no sign of fluster over what she’s just said.
“You’re embarrassingly earnest, you know that?” Catra says it like an accusation, even though she’s also flustered by Adora’s plain admission. It also comes out much softer than she means it to.
Adora takes a tiny step closer and links a pinky with one of Catra’s. “I’m not embarrassed.”
Catra swallows thickly. “Good for you, I guess.” The sarcasm in her voice is forced at best, maybe even undetectable.
Catra’s stomach swoops again, going through another loop on the rollercoaster of her emotions. “Brunch.”
“It’s okay if I take you to the bistro?”
Catra’s eyes flick down, and she can see Adora trying to catch them again from her periphery. “Not gonna tell you how to spend your money, Greyskull.”
“Yeah?” The glimmering note of hope in Adora’s voice makes Catra look up; their smile is radiant and Catra can’t help the smile that accompanies her eye roll.
“Well,” Adora answers with newfound swagger. “ Loo Kee me then.”
“You’re an idiot.” Catra says with a laugh, a little disbelieving that this- dad jokes told by cocky, earnest thembos- is what she’s evidently into. Because fuck her if she isn’t into Adora Greyskull. She hesitates for just a moment before darting forward for one last peck. While Adora is still catching up to what transpired, fingers of their free hand drafting to their lips, Catra links their joined hands together properly, and pulls her to the shop.
Inside, Bow and Glimmer are standing at the counter with massive bowls of froyo, chatting with Lonnie. Who, by the way, never bothered to clean up all the cups Adora spilled. Catra can tell because tucked under Bow’s ams are two large stacks of cups. Adora notices as well and assumes he did the job to keep them from being totally mortified upon their return.
Truth be told, however, they’re far too giddy to feel their earlier embarrassment. The last twenty minutes have been… a trip. And at the end of it all Catra, Catra D’riluth, agreed to let them take her on a date and kissed them, not even for the first time. Hell, not even for the first time today! Yeah, Adora is far past the point of being embarrassed. Catra squeezes her hand once and Adora looks down at her. She looks away from their friends to grimace at Adora before letting their hand go.
“Well, well, look who’s back.” Glimmer drawls with a smirk.
“Babe!” Bow protests. “I thought we were gonna go with, ‘looks what the Catra dragged in’.” He looks to Catra who has resumed her spot behind the counter. At Bow’s joke she freezes halfway to turning on the sink to wash her hands, and slowly moves them to rub at her temples. “Get it? Like Cat r-”
“I get it, Crop Top.” she snaps, though her voice lacks any real bite. She drops her hands and resumes washing them without further rebuttal. Bow looks equal parts amused and disappointed with this response.
“That was nearly twenty minutes, Catra.” Lonnie comments.
Catra huffs and dries her hands. “And?” She balls up her paper towel in one hand and crosses her arms, leaning back against the sink. “You were just in the back room and managed to nearly take a half. On the clock I might add.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t drag a girl outside when I was slacking off.”
Bow, Glimmer and Lonnie turn to smirk at Adora who is hovering halfway between the door and their best friends. She doesn't look phased by Lonnie's statement, quite the opposite- she’s just smirking back-but Catra barely maintains a wince. She rolls her eyes at Lonnie and says, “Neither did I.”
“Oh really ?”
Catra shoots Adora a look. They’re pretty sure they understand it, so they nod subtly. Catra nods back and points at them, looking back to Lonnie. “Nonbinary.”
Just like that Lonnie's mirth disappears. They turn to Adora, looking genuinely repentant. “Shit, sorry Adora. I didn’t-”
They shake their head. “It’s new, no way for you to know.”
Lonnie nods, looking relieved. “Pronouns?”
“All of them, they mostly though.”
“Cool.” She nods and like the flip of a switch, her swagger returns. She looks back to Catra to say, “In that case; I didn’t drag anyone outside when I was slacking off.”
Catra huffs and pushes off the counter, uncrossing her arms only long enough to toss away the wad of paper towels in her hand. “Your point?”
“The point ,” Glimmer interrupts, “is what were you two doing out there exactly? Hmm?”
Catra shrugs indifferently. "Talking."
"Talking?" Adora's not sure which is more prevalent in Glimmer's tone; her doubt or her disdain. Based on the twinkle in Catra's eye, they're certain she can hear it too.
They recoil at Glimmer’s sharp address and the sudden scrutiny they're under. "Yes?"
"What do you have to say about all this?"
"Um…" They look up to see Catra smirking at them and stick their tongue out at her. To Glimmer, and Lonnie and Bow for that matter, they say, "It’s none of your business?"
Clearly Glimmer thinks that's the wrong answer, but Bow steps in before she can press further. He quickly drops his empty bowl and the stacks of cups in a compost bin on his way to set a hand on his girlfriend's shoulder. " Okay, Glimmer, Adora, maybe we should get going? Let these two get back to work."
"Psh, back to work?" Lonnie quips.
"Fuck off, Lon." Catra says dryly. "Adora, see you tomorrow?"
"What's tomorrow?" Glimmer asks without missing a beat.
Catra gives her a bored look and nods at the anthropomorphised sacks of flour currently dusting the counters. "Swapping Finn. What else would we be doing?"
Adora laughs and shakes her head, her excitement for their date ignited anew. "Okay, bye Catra! Lonnie."
A general goodbye is exchanged and Adora leads her friend out the door and to Glimmer’s car. She lets them in without a word, but rather than turn the car on she spins in her seat to shoot Adora an intense look.
"Okay, what was that really ? 'Talking', honestly."
Adora can feel how red her face gets. “Nothing! Oh my stars, Glim!”
“Glimmer, be nice.”
“Thank you Bow!”
“Whose side are you on?” Glimmer whirls on her boyfriend, but he doesn’t so much as flinch. She huffs and turns back to Adora. “ Come on ,” she whines, “I know you’ve got to be dying to talk about this!”
Adora wavers because…”Okay, a little.” Glimmer whoops. “We’re um, well she said I can take her out tomorrow. To brunch.”
“Adora!” Glimmer exclaims, looking impressed.
“That’s great, buddy!”
They can’t help but beam back at their friends. “Totally! I’m gonna take her to Loo Kee.”
Glimmer’s eyebrows raise, and now she definitely looks impressed. “Wow, pulling out all the stops.”
“Oh yeah, she isn’t gonna know what hit her. I’m thinking flowers for sure, what about chocolates?”
Glimmer snorts, turning around to start the car so they can head to the mall, but Bow seems to be genuinely considering the question. “You’re going for cheesy, right?”
“Oh yeah, big time.”
“Hmm, then I’d say extra big flowers, and save chocolates for another time.”
“Another time?” Adora asks, leaning forward between the front seats with a smug grin. “You think I’m gonna be able to pull off a second date?”
Glimmer laughs and eyes her in the rearview mirror. “Please, you two are gonna be girlfriends by the time we’re turning these stupid sacks of flour in.”
“Hey!” Adora swipes up Finn from the seat on her left and cuddles them to her chest. “That’s my child.”
Glimmer remains unmoved. “No, that’s the sack of flour you replaced ‘your child’ with after fucking disembowling yours last night apparently.”
“Mean! It was an accident!”
“Uh huh, sure you weren’t just distracted by the pretty girl in your kitchen.”
“Well duh, hence the accident.”
Adora’s friends laugh and they sigh dramatically, but when they fall back into their seat with Finn the Second still clutched to their chest they’re grinning widely. Glimmer merges into the turn lane then so she can take them into the mall parking lot. It’s a testament to their giddiness that Adora doesn’t immediately deflate. Malls are...a lot, just endless sensory overload. They know Glimmer will be chill if and when they need to tap out but... still . Why does she like this so much?
“Hey,” Bow starts, like a thought just occurred to him, “what about Doc’s signature? Isn’t she gonna know you replaced Finn?”
Adora shrugs. “Hopefully not. Mara did her best to forge it.”
Glimmer half groans, half laughs as she turns off her car and unbuckles. “Ugh, my mom would never .”
“Young guardian perks.” Adora says with a laugh.
The three of them climb out of the car, and before Bow and Adora’s doors are even shut behind them Glimmer is leading the charge inside. The two share a look of amusement before hurrying to catch up.
“Glimmer, stars, slow down will ya?” Adora calls ahead with a laugh.
She does so, but just barely. “Not my fault you guys are so slow.”
“Yeah, if you’re planning to keep this pace up, I’m gonna need a soft pretzel before we start.”
“We were just at froyo, why didn’t you get fuel there?” Glimmer turns to ask Adora as she and Bow catch up to either side of her.
“Froyo is weird! Like, just let yogurt be yogurt.”
“Uh huh, I seem to remember you being all about frozen gogurt for the entirety of sixth grade.”
“And I’ve matured since then, what’s your point?”
Glimmer huffs out a laugh through her nose. “It was literally your idea to go there.”
Adora rolls her eyes and stops, forcing Glimmer and Bow to stop as well. “You’re not gonna embarrass me by pointing out why that is, you know.”
A single eyebrow is raised at them in challenge. “Oh no?”
“No way.” Adora says with a laugh. “Are you kidding? It totally paid off to go see her; I’m going on a date tomorrow.”
Glimmer brightens at this. “I have an idea!”
Adora eyes her warily then turns to Bow. He raises his hands, clearly lost as well. “Oh yeah…?”
“We have to get you a new outfit.”
Adora hesitates; it’s not the worst idea in the world. It just means an afternoon of playing makeover with Glimmer. “I want two soft pretzels first, a sweet and a savory.”
“Pft, like you weren’t getting that anyway.”
“Fine, two soft pretzels and a pretzel dog. And we get to sit at the food court while I eat it. None of that window shopping and eyeing me impatiently until I finish shit; it gives me indigestion.” Adora crosses her arms and makes her own challenging expression.
Glimmer wars internally, pausing to step aside for someone entering the mall. “We sit while you eat the pretzels, but the pretzel dog we walk with. And you have to give me a bite of your cinnamon pretzel.”
“Just get your own!”
“I don’t want a whole one!”
“Please, we both know what one bite is gonna turn into.”
“That was one time .” Adora scoffs, they both know it wasn’t just one time. With a stamp of her foot, Glimmer says, “You have my terms!”
Adora watches her and quickly gets the sense that they’re just going to have to get another cinnamon pretzel on their way out. They extend their hand. “Deal.”
Glimmer smirks and shakes it. Then, with a wink and a twirl she turns to lead them inside. Adora takes one last look at the sun before they’re pulled through. And if the clear blue sky reminds them of Catra’s right eye, well...yeah it totally does. So sue them, they’re excited! Tomorrow is gonna be fucking lit.
Shout out/Thanks!! to RaptorRed for naming the bistro for me. (just gonna caaasually plug Science Friction here if you're down for E fics. I finally caught up at like, two am lol. So good. cool, casual, okbaii)
And thanks to everyone else who brainstormed names also!!
At this point I might just finish off this fic before I update any others-purely for the satisfaction of crossing something off a list- but as Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat once said, 'I'm just consistently inconsistent'. So. Who knows.
Once again thanks for reading and to everyone leaving a lil kudos or a comment. I 💗 the validation tbh. So. Okthanksbaiiii!
Adora stands in the bathroom eyeing themself up in the mirror. They look good , they’re just not entirely sure they look like themself . Maybe they do. They scoop their hair up into a half assed ponytail to see if that helps. It doesn’t, so they facetime Glimmer.
“Adora!” she gasps immediately. “You look amazing .”
“Yeah?” They bite their lip and peek at the mirror again. “Are you sure it’s not like...too much?”
Glimmer pauses. “Do you think it’s too much? Cause I think you look super hot. Like, even better than when you tried it on.”
Adora looks at the article in question. They’ve never worn a jumpsuit before, but when they were searching for something classy enough to wear to brunch it had seemed...right. They didn’t really want a dress, and slacks felt like too much . Maybe pants would have been good though…
They look back to Glimmer’s face on the screen. “This outfit is giving me imposter syndrome.”
Their best friend startles, then laughs. “Okay…”
“Like, I don’t know if I can pull this off.”
“You definitely can.”
Adora spins and eyes themself in the mirror again. “Does it make my butt look weird?”
“You mean does it make you look like you actually have an ass? Yes.”
“Hey!” They relax their contorted posture to huff at their screen.
“Oh please, you know it’s true.”
“Still rude.” they grumble.
“Adora, if you’re not comfortable don’t wear it. If you’re asking me if I think it looks good though, yeah, absolutely.” Adora goes back to biting their lip. “Hey, other than the fit, are you excited?”
That shakes them out of their reverie slightly and they smile at the camera. “Yeah, getting nervous but...yeah, totally.”
Glimmer laughs. “Oh, you are so gone for this girl.”
“Hmm…” Adora hums absently, then smiles widely. “Oh, yeah.” They answer plainly. “I’m totally fucked.”
Across town, Catra is having a similar experience. Half her fucking closet is strewn across her bed, and Lonnie is reclining on her own on the other side of the room. Not that she’s being a lick of help. She’s on her phone, texting some group chat and snickering every so often. It’s starting to make Catra feel paranoid.
“Can you be, like, anywhere else right now?” she finally snaps after a half hour of this. She’s only got twenty minutes left, and she just knows Adora’s gonna be there at eleven on the dot. Catra doesn’t even have her eyeliner on yet for shit’s sake!
Lonnie eyes her over the top of her phone. “No, actually. Weaver’s on the warpath this morning. You saw her after breakfast.”
Catra groans, because yeah, she certainly fucking did. “Isn’t Grizz supposed to be here by now?”
“Pft, when has that ever mattered?”
“Whatever.” Catra grumbles, snatching up a button down and holding it up in front of her by the mirror on the back of their door.
“You know that shirt makes you look like a butler, right?”
Lonnie doesn’t even react to Catra’s growl. She eyes her long enough that Catra feels her face heat and turns away suddenly. Lonnie whistles, long and low. “You really like this girl, huh, D’riluth?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Good.” Catra snaps, picking up another shirt. It’s definitely too casual. Just like all of Catra’s clothes; she never should have agreed to go to this stupid, bougie ass place!
A few minutes later she sighs, somewhere between resigned and considering calling it, when Lonnie pipes up again. “You wanna borrow something?”
Catra spins around, shocked by the offer. “Seriously?”
Lonnie shrugs, finishes something on her phone, and sets it to the side. “If you want. My clothes’ll probably be too big on you, but you can look.”
“Thanks...Lon.” Catra says with narrowed eyes. She means it, she’s just wary of the unexpected generosity. It’s not like Lonnie’s super protective of her stuff, but this is almost definitely a first.
“Sure, sure. Just don’t get used to it.” She picks up her phone, but pauses before unlocking it. “And don’t spill anything on my shit or you’re replacing it.”
Catra relaxes; that’s more like the roommate she knows and...eh, tolerates? Mostly likes? Whatever. Catra moves to Lonnie’s closet instead and quickly finds a cute crimson button down. It’s definitely too big but she ties it at the waist and pairs it with back skinny jeans. It’s nothing special, but it’ll have to do.
“Okay to take this one?” she checks.
Lonnie flicks her eyes up briefly. “Looks better on me, but do what you want.”
Catra just scoffs and digs through her drawers for her makeup bag. Lonnie’s a bitch, but she’s an alright roommate. Catra supposes she’ll keep her. She does a quick wing eyeliner and checks herself out in the mirror. She gives herself a quick approving nod before flopping on her bed to wait for Adora. They don’t keep her waiting long. At ten fifty-eight Catra’s phone chimes with a text, and when she peeks out the window she spots Adora idling out front.
Catra is careful to slip out of the house quietly, unsure if Weaver has been relieved of her duties for the day or not. She walks, cool and quick, down the path, and flings herself into the passenger’s seat.
“Greyskull.” Catra falls in the car and immediately takes Adora’s breath away.
Adora beams at her, the expression so bright Catra’s fairly certain she’s gonna get burnt. “Hi!”
Catra looks away from her face, unable to take the sheer affection she sees there. “Where’s Finn?”
“Huh? Oh! Mara’s babysitting.”
“Ah.” Catra frowns. “Am I still taking them later?”
“Nah, it’s chill. We can just swap on Tuesday like normal.” They start up the car and hand Catra the aux cord before pulling into the street. “Can you believe there’s only a few more days of this? It feels like it’s flown by.”
“Whatever, let’s just hope Doc doesn’t notice Finn isn’t Finn the first.”
Catra’s statement is met with silence and she pauses her browse through Spotify to look over at Adora. They have a stupid guilty look on their face and when they catch her looking say, “I swear if she does I’ll-”
“It’s fine , Adora. We’ll deal with it when it comes, alright?”
They grin, tentative and hopeful. “Yeah, okay.” The flick on their blinker to hang a left out of the neighborhood and with eyes still on the road casually tell Catra, “Hey, you’re like, rad as hell, you know that?”
Catra scoffs and turns to look out the window. Not to hide her face or anything. Just, you know, looking. “If you say so.”
“I do.” Catra looks back to see them grinning earnestly at her and she rolls her eyes. “Hey Catra?”
“What’s up, Greyskull?”
“Thanks for coming out with me today.”
“Sure thing.” Catra says dismissively, turning her eyes back to her phone. Adora grins, Catra’s face is mostly impassive but they can tell she’s flustered. She puts something on and Adora’s vibing. With the windows down, the sun shining, and the music on their stereo, it feels like summer.
“Who is this?”
“Huh? Oh.” Catra glances at her phone. “Khai Dreams, some old single I think.”
“I like it.”
“Duh.” Adora sees Catra smirking at her from the corner of their eye. “I have excellent taste in music.”
“Clearly.” Adora says with a snort.
“Clearly.” Catra agrees. She rolls her window down all the way for she can stick her arm out and ride the air currents with her hand. It’s cute.
The rest of the ride isn’t long, but it’s kind of...lovely, for lack of a less cheesy sentiment. Just comfortable and familiar and nostalgic, like they’ve spent countless summers riding around in Adora’s car. They hop out and try to race around to get Catra’s door but she’s not having it.
“Wow, Cat,” Adora teases as they pull open the door to Loo Kee, “way to murder chivalry.”
Catra just rolls her eyes and breezes past them. “Funny, thought that sentiment died with suffrage or something.”
“I don’t think chivalry and suffrage are mutually exclusive actually.” A host approaches them from the other side of the restaurant and Adora acknowledges them with a smile and a small nod of their head. “I’m just saying, I only have so many moves, D’riluth.”
“Aw, pretty sure you can do better than getting the car door, babe.”
Adora’s saved from a response beyond choking on their tongue by the arrival of the host. They’d called ahead so they’re seated right away. Both of them dive into their menu, and opt for just water when the server comes by to introduce themself. Adora decided pretty quickly, affording them the opportunity to observe Catra while she finishes choosing. She really is so fucking cute. With her tiny little nose, voluminous hair, and cute little button up all tied up at the waist. She looks good in crimson, Adora decides.
“I can feel you looking at me, you freak.”
“I mean, can you blame me?”
Catra laughs and closes her menu, sending Adora a soft, amused look. “You’re such an idiot.”
Adora shugs. “Managed to get you to go on a date with me, so. I think I’m doing alright.”
Catra clicks her tongue. “True. Really calls my judgement into question though.”
“Hmm,” Adora nods seriously, “Excellent point. Maybe you should take a meeting with the guidance counselor tomorrow.”
Catra sobers unexpectedly. “Actually, um, I met with him the other day.”
Adora sits up in their chair with interest. “Oh yeah?”
Catra nods and looks down to start fussing with her napkin. “Yeah, thanks, um, for the advice. Micah's...surprisingly cool considering his offspring.”
Adora laughs. “Totally. I swear Glimmer inherited literally zero of his chill. How did it go though?”
Catra nods and glances up before turning her attention back to her napkin. “Yeah, no, it was good. He gave me some info on some scholarships. If I go to Krytis I’d probably still have to take out some loans but...with what I have saved, if I get some of these scholarships I’d probably only need enough to cover like, books and stuff.”
“Catra, that’s great!”
She nods and looks up with a sheepish smile. “I guess so. I haven’t made any decisions yet or anything.”
“Fair, it’s a big choice.”
“What about you?”
Adora bobs their head a little. “A couple scouts have been sniffing around.” Catra’s eyeing them up when the server wanders over to take their orders. Once they walk away to put it in she’s still giving them that same look. They shift a little and when she still says nothing, ask, “What?”
“Nothing. You don’t sound very excited about the scouts though.”
“Well…” Adora starts, tone diplomatic. Catra studies them. Adora’s always struck her as pretty...jolly. They always seemed to be able to let shit roll off their back. After spending a little time with them their tells have quickly become more apparent. The way they shift subtly when they're worried about putting their foot in their mouth for example.
“It’d be crazy to pass up a good scholarship. And I mean, one of them is from a D1 school. I kinda doubt they’ll make an offer, but if they did I could potentially go pro after college.”
Catra makes a face, because what the fuck? “Is that even something you’d be interested in?”
“I-always good to keep your options open, right?”
“So that’s a no.”
“I could still study whatever I wanted.”
“Not arguing with you, dude.”
Adora crosses their arms and leans back. “Maybe not verbally,” they point at Catra’s face and she shoots them an unamused look, “but that eyebrow is speaking volumes.”
“ Excuse me?”
“You’re very expressive.”
Catra snorts. “You might be reading into it a little too much.”
Adora sucks their teeth and clicks their tongue. “But am I though?”
“Fine. Do you want to know what I think?”
“I-” Adora shifts a little but finally says, “sure.”
“You’re overthinking it. Just go where you wanna go. Like I know you’re a meathead jock and all, but doesn’t mean you have to pursue it after highschool.”
“Elberon hasn’t even gotten back to me yet.”
Their general air is defeated and that gives Catra pause. Suddenly their defensive stance makes more sense. “Ah.”
“Have they sent anything out yet?”
Adora shrugs and their eyes flick out the window and back. “I don’t know anyone else who’s applied.”
“Oh, I think Ro did.”
Adora sits up in their chair and Catra barely suppresses laughter at the way their limbs flail a bit. It’s endearing. Not that she’d ever admit that out loud. “Rogelio?”
“I think so, he was talking to Lonnie about it a few months back.”
“D-” They hesitate and Catra swoops in so they don’t have to ask.
“I don’t know if he’s heard anything, but you should ask.”
They nod slowly, falling into a contemplative silence. Catra lets them stew until finally they nod slowly and say, “Yeah...maybe.” They shake their head and smile genuinely at Catra. “Anyway, do you know what you wanna study after high school?”
Catra shrugs. “Not really, I’ll probably just focus on getting my gen eds to start, figure it out from there.”
“Smart.” Catra shrugs. Before she can figure out how to respond she sees their server approaching, a tray laden with their food.
They dig in immediately, both hungry as hell as it turns out. The food is...next fucking level. Catra’s never eaten anything so fancy. Hell, she’s fairly certain she’s never actually been served anything with a garnish before. She looks up at Adora at the thought, her date eating with gusto, and Catra can’t help but be charmed. She figures that was the point of Adora bringing her here in the first place and the thing is...it works. It totally works.
“What?” Adora’s question, asked with a full mouth that has Catra’s eyes rolling, snaps Catra out of her reverie.
“Well I was just thinking I’m lucky such a hottie asked me out, but then you had to go and talk with your mouth open.”
Adora turns red, flustered by the compliment but also preening, and scoffs. She swallows her food before she speaks again. “Shut up.”
“What? I’m just saying.”
“Oh yeah?” Adora squares up, elbows and arms coming to rest on the table. “What’s that?”
Catra winks and Adora goes even redder, but doesn’t back down. “That jumpsuit is really working for me.”
“What? It’s sexy.”
Adora flounders, eyes darting around for a moment, before seeming to center themself. They lean in with a single eyebrow raised and in a low voice say, “Well I’m glad you think so. I did get it just to impress you after all.”
Catra laughs and falls back in her chair. “You did not.” Adora says nothing and Catra falters. “Wait, not really?”
Adora takes a bite of food, chewing thoughtfully and holding Catra’s eyes as she does so. “Glimmer took me to the mall.”
For some reason this knowledge makes Catra’s face heat. Maybe it’s just knowing how much Adora actually wanted to impress her… “That’s…” Catra sighs, settling into uncharacteristic earnestness, “Thank you, Adora. For all of this. You’re really...sweet.”
Adora beams back, pleased at having pampered their date. “You’re having a good time?”
“Good! Cause I...I think you’re so cool, Catra.”
“Well you’re a total nerd but...this dating thing is alright.”
Adora huffs but their smile doesn’t slip. “Oh yeah? Just in general or you and I specifically?”
Catra reaches over and squeezes their hand. She’s tapped out on vulnerability so she hopes that’s answer enough. Adora’s smile softens like it is. Catra clears her throat and pulls back. “You know, even if your company sucked, this food would have saved the date.”
Adora laughs, allowing the shift in tone. “Oh yeah?”
“ Oh yeah.”
“Glad to hear it.” Catra gives them a winning smile and takes a Greyskull sized bite. They just watch her, shaking their head fondly, eyes bright and glowing.
Less than an hour later Adora has cashed them out and is holding open her car’s passenger side door for Catra with a flourish. Catra just stands back and snorts watching them.
“You’re an idiot.”
“Yeah, but you like it.”
“Stars save me, I do.”
“So…” Adora waves her hand, indicating Catra get in the car. She does step forward, but stops short of actually getting in the car. Instead, she turns and pulls Adora in for a kiss before they know what’s going on. Only then does she pull back and slide into her seat. Adora looks dazed for a moment, then crosses their arms and leans in through the open door. “Wow.”
Catra rolls her eyes, as if she isn’t smug as fuck with that reaction. “More where that came from if you get in the fucking car, Greyskull.”
“Promise?” Catra only rolls her eyes again at their goofy grin, but they seem to take it as a yes. They close the door and circle the car, sliding into their own seat. “So…”
“Well, I still have to volunteer….”
“Would you maybe, at all, be interested in coming with me again?”
Catra stares at them and their eyes melt into puppy dog pleading. “Goddess sake’s alive…” she mutters.
Adora perks up. “Is that a yes?”
“It’s…” Catra struggles for an answer. Truth be told, she should go home and do homework. Of course she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to keep hanging out with this embarrassingly adorable nerd who seems to really, genuinely like her . Even if that means stocking cereal boxes until she gets carpal tunnel or something. “It’s a fine , if it really means that much to you.”
“It does!” Adora assures her, leaning over to press a kiss to her cheek that absolutely does not leave her blushing. “I just gotta go home and change first.”
Catra smirks and eyes Adora up and down as they start the car. “What? Not gonna wear your hot date fit to the food bank?”
Adora turns just long enough to mirror Catra’s smirk. “You think I’m hot?”
Catra laughs and busies herself rolling down her window, Adora follows suit on her own side. “I thought we covered this already.”
“Well, for the record, you look pretty smokin’ as well.”
“ ‘Smokin’? ” Catra cackles. “That’s really what you’re gonna go with?”
“Well, if the glass slipper fits...Cinderella.”
“Actually, are you good wearing that still? I can run you by your place if you want, we should still have time.”
Catra looks down at herself. “I’m...fine.”
Adora eyes her dubiously. “Really?”
“Well, the jeans are fine...the shirt is Lonnie’s but I shouldn’t get messy, right?”
“Wanna just borrow a tee shirt? It’ll be a bit big on you but…”
“Yeah, actually, if that’s cool.”
“Totally!” In fact, Adora has just the shirt in mind…
Back at their place, they grab a suitable outfit for themself out of their closet. Then they dig around a little and manage to hunt down what they’re looking for. With a smirk they toss it to Catra and tell her, “This is from the seventh grade, so...should only be a little big on you.”
Catra makes a face, sassy but still terribly cute, and holds the shirt up. She gives them a flat look and says, “Okay, this is for our school’s soccer team, so I know it’s not from seventh grade.”
“Ninth.” Adora says with a laugh. “Same difference.”
“Stars…” Adora laughs again and scoops up their clothes. Just as they make it to the door, Catra stops them with a knowing, “Adora…”
They turn and innocently ask, “Yes?”
Catra isn’t fooled. She’s amused, but she isn’t fooled. “Are you trying to fucking brand me or some shit?”
“Why, D’riluth, whatever are you-”
“Uh huh, so you didn’t know this shirt has your last name printed across the back?”
“Oh, it does?” Adora asks despite their nearly overwhelming mirth. “I mean, I can get you a different one….”
“Psh.” Adora watches as Catra whips off her shirt -she’s wearing a sports bra, but still -and tugs Adora’s on. “Not a chance, Greyskull.”
Adora’s more flustered than she thought she’d be seeing Catra wear her name-and number just by the way. “Uhm, uh, ahem. It looks-looks good on you.” Catra just smirks at her and looks away to tie a knot in the shirt at her hip. “So...yeah, I’m just gonna change and I will be...right back.”
“Have fun!” Catra calls after her, laughter in her voice.
Adora changes quickly and gets them on the road. The ride over is chill, Catra throws on a playlist and Adora finds herself humming along. When she pulls the car into park in front of the boodbank, Catra is laughing to herself. Adora looks at her strangely and she shakes her head.
“You realize, right, that this makes us a total cliche?”
“Uh...what are you talking about?”
“C’mon, Greyskull, six plus hour lesbidate?”
Adora feels their face flush and a laugh bubbles up out of their throat. “Huh, guess it does.” They wink and lean in close. She tries to cover it, but Adora hears the way Catra’s breath catches at the proximity. And then they kiss her on the cheek.
When they pull back and go to open their door, Catra grabs the sleeve of their shirt with an indignant, “Hey!”
Adora turns to ask, oh so innocently, what the matter is, but never gets the chance. Catra pulls them into a bruising kiss instead, one hand staying gripped in Adora’s shirt, the other fucking up her ponytail. When Catra pulls back, her grin is smug. Adora makes a show of huffing about it, but neither of them are fooled. Catra just rolls her eyes at the display and hops out of the car.
Once inside, Casta is quick to whisk Adora away, calling back to Catra that she can start unloading any of the pallets in the back. She watches Adora go, eyes wide as Casta chatters away at her, then turns to get to work. She slips into the back and instantly she realizes the scenario she definitely should have thought of, but also definitely didn’t. And she doesn’t even have Adora as a buffer.
She does her best to slip by unnoticed, but Starla of course sees her right away, turning away from her current conversation. “Cat!” she calls over, “back so soon?”
And listen, Catra is empathetic. Starla’s feelings also aren’t her fucking problem, so she witholds her scoff but whatever her expression is doing, she can’t be held responsible for it. “Uh...yeah, I guess. And it’s Catra.”
“Right, of course.” She nods, or kind of, bobs her head awkwardly. Just as Catra thinks enough time has passed she can politely slip away, Starla speaks up again. “Is Adora here then? Or did you come on your own?”
“They’re around here somewhere. Casta grabbed them as soon as we walked in.”
Something in Starla seems to soften, and it puts Catra on edge until she says, “I’ve noticed you’re using them/them pronouns for Adora…”
“Oh, yeah. It’s new but they’re using, like, all pronouns these days.”
“Good to know.” Starla’s walls come back up and she gives Catra a calculating look. “Did you need an assignment? I’m happy to help!”
“Oh, that’s okay. Casta said to just get started on pallets.”
“Great! I was just about to get going on that myself, we can work together.”
“Wahoo.” Catra enthuses dryly. It’s a little rude, so the look Starla gives her is fair, but luckily the other girl doesn’t comment.
They set to work and it’s...fine, just awkward. Starla asks a few basic ‘getting to know you’ questions, and Catra sort of volleys them back just so she doesn't have to talk the whole time. And she isn’t like, a total asshole. All the time. Starla’s asking some follow up questions about what video games Catra likes to play when the latter turns to grab another armful of microwave oatmeal boxes. She hears Starla choke on the questions and turns to see her going red in the face.
“Huh?” She shakes it off and forces a smile. “Totally. I just...remembered I need to do something in the office. Are you okay out here?”
“Sure…” Starla gives her a prim little nod and stalks off. Catra doesn’t bother to watch her go, instead opting to survey the room to see if Adora’s appeared yet. No such luck, so she sets back to work, eyeing the clock all the while.
In fact, Adora is in the office. Casta had asked them to review a couple invoices because she’s, quote, “hopeless with numbers!”. They’re not sure why she hasn’t asked another employee, but it’s not like they mind. So that’s where they are when Starla comes storming into the office. She stops short when she sees Adora there.
“Oh, hey Star!”
“Adora! Hi.” Her smile seems a little forced, so Adora sets down her work and tilts her head to the side.
“How’s it going?”
“Good. Great! So great. I was just, uh, stocking with Catra.”
Adora doesn’t even register the way they brighten at the mention of Catra’s name. “Oh nice! Glad you two are getting to know each other.”
Starla doesn’t respond at first, instead dropping into one of the free chairs across the desk from Adora. “She’s cute.”
“Oh.” Adora clears his throat and ducks his head to hide the way he’s blushing, using the invoice in front of him as an excuse. “Yeah, I guess.”
Starla huffs and Adora chooses not to look up. “Not to like, stick my nose in…”
Adora looks up, arching an eyebrow. “But?”
“Seems like she likes you. Not to put you on the spot or anything, but…” she shrugs, “I’d wanna know.”
“Wouldn’t wanna lead her on if it’s not mutual.” Adora looks back down at their work. A panicked thought of, Have I ever led Starla on? floats through their mind. They don’t think so.... “She seems sweet is all.”
Adora sighs and looks up again. Starla’s expression is weird, like she’s trying too hard for casual. “Well that’s, um, nice of you? But we’re actually…” Starla crosses her arms and Adora loses her nerve, looking down again and fiddling with their pencil. “we’re good.”
“I saw she’s wearing your shirt.”
Adora’s should really work on their foresight. “Yeah, she was wearing something a little nice for working in, so I offered to loan her something.”
“Is she your girlfriend?”
Adora’s head pops up and their face heats up again. “No! Uh, no. I mean, we’re dating. I think. We went on a date. So.”
Starla works her jaw for a second then smiles. “Great! Well, I’m happy for you. Like I said, she’s cute.”
“Uh huh. Well, I was just looking for Casta, so.”
“Oh, I think she said something about helping out up front.”
“Thanks, see you around, Adora.” In a flash, she’s gone and Adora is left feeling flustered.
They finish their review of the paperwork in front of them quickly, scribbling a hasty note for Casta that all looks good and hoping they aren’t wrong. They scan the floor after exiting the office and, upon not seeing Catra, slip to the front. She’s there stocking fruity pebbles in one of the aisles and, after checking they’re relatively alone, Adora sneaks up and gooses her.
She yelps and turns around, landing in a fighting stance, but relaxing when she spots Adora. “Easy there tiger.”
Catra scoffs. “Fuck you.”
“Yeah, yeah. You need help over here?”
“If you want.”
They fall into a rhythm and Adora sees Catra side eyeing them a couple times. After ten minutes or so she says, “Saw you come out of the office.”
“Hmm…? Oh, yeah, Casta asked me to go over some admin stuff.”
Catra nods and another minute passes before she says, “Saw Starla come out a little before you.”
Adora falters, almost missing the shelf with their next box. “Yeah...she said she was looking for Casta.”
“Pft, and you believed her?”
Adora scans the floor, glad the shelving is low enough for her to see over. Starla must be in the back, because Adora doesn’t see her. “Not exactly.”
Adora eyes Catra, who’s working away at a steady pace, a little too aloof to be believable. Adora pauses, crossing their arms and leaning against the shelf next to them. “She thinks you’re cute.”
Catra laughs sharply and pauses, turning to look at Adora. “She did not say that!”
“Uh huh, and what else did she say?”
Adora, if possible, smirks harder. “She asked if you’re my girlfriend.”
Catra’s eyebrows fly. “Oh yeah? And what did you say to her?”
“No, but that we’d been on a date.” Catra gives her a weird look at that and Adora falters. “Why? Should I have said something different?”
Catra rolls her eyes and gets back to work. “No, that’s right.” Adora feels like they veered off course somewhere, but they’re not sure how to get back on track. They just stand there for a minute until Catra turns to tease them with, “Are you here to help or are you here to watch, Greyskull?”
Adora laughs. “To watch.”
“Stars,” Catra mumbles. Louder she says, “Well then you’re doing a great job.”
“Thanks! I think I might get employee of the month again, actually.”
“Hm, I’ll put in a good word.” Adora laughs and Catra shoots her a small grin. Adora’s mouth opens. They almost say what they’re thinking, almost say, ‘ What if I had told Starla you’re my girlfriend?’ But they’ve been on one date, so they snap their jaw shut.
Catra looks over at the click of Adora’s jaw and notices the way it’s clenched. She smiles at them, bemused. They look ridiculous, but the tension in their jaw also highlights just how sharp it is. Catra wants to lick it. And that’s a really fucking weird thing to think, so she shoves the thought down, all the way to the recesses of hell form whence it spawned.
Adora clears her throat and Catra looks up again. “So, you need to get home after this or…?”
“Damn, Greyskull, how long are you trying to make this date last?” They just laugh so Catra shakes her head, grinning like a fucking enamoured idiot, and says, “Yeah, I should get home. I still have math homework.”
Adora pouts but nods. “Okay, I can drop you off.”
Catra eyes them for a minute before offering, “I’m not like, in a rush though. I might have a little bit of time.”
Catra shrugs. “If you wanna park a few blocks away in front of the house…”
“Go on.” Adora teases. “Don’t get shy on me now, D’riluth.”
Catra turns and puts her hands on her hips. “You want me to makeout with you or not, dude?”
“Psh, definitely .”
“Great, then don’t push your fucking luck.”
Adora laughs loudly, surely drawing attention, and salutes. “Roger that. Now, are you here to fuck around or are you going to help me finish this pallet so we can get out of here?”
“I hate you.”
“No you don’t.” And maybe not, but Catra might very well hate just how right Adora Greyskull is about that.
I...have no notes, idk, maybe I'm ill. Either way, thanks for reading!! See ya next time :)
Doc’s eyes are narrowed. Adora swallows thickly and Catra’s fingers drum on her desk to Adora’s right. They glance over, Catra’s face is impassive but she winks at Adora when she catches their eye. Adora finally lets out a shaky breath. Doc clears her throat.
“You know...it almost seems as if Finn’s put on some weight in the last two weeks.”
Adora feels the blood drain from their face, but Catra just scoffs. “Isn’t that like, what babies are supposed to do after they pop out?”
“Sure, D’riluth. Human babies.”
“This is a sack of flour.”
“Wait, what? ” Catra whips around in her seat to face Adora’s desk. “Did you know about this? Who’s the mother? Have you been cheating on me?”
Adora and several of their classmates snicker. It seems like Netossa wants to also, but she holds back. Before she can get a word in edgewise, Adora places their hand over their heart. “Why Catra! I would never.”
“Well then maybe you can explain why-”
“Enough, D’riluth.” Catra slumps back in her seat at their teacher’s admonishment, looking pleased with herself. “Now would either of you care to explain why Finn has gotten bigger in the last two weeks?”
“They look the same to me.” Adora says, forcing an even tone. Catra gives them a thumbs up from behind Doc’s back that only registers as a little sarcastic.
“Uh huh, and I mean, if you recall; I was the one who wanted to weigh them at the start.”
“That is true.” Catra points out fairly.
Doc throws her hands up before reaching down to scoop up Finn, checking out her signature on the bottom. She’s eyeing it like she knows, but even though it’s her signature, she can’t prove anything. “Whatever.” She makes a tick on her clipboard.
“Are adults even allowed to say that?” Catra asks.
“Cat!” Adora says with a laugh.
“What? I’m just saying.”
“Alright, enough out of you.” Doc says, pointing the end of her pen at Catra's face before moving on to the next pair. Adora sighs with relief and relaxes back into her seat until the bell rings.
Immediately after class she sidles up to Catra. Glancing over her shoulder like they might get caught retroactively, she whispers, “I can’t believe that worked.”
Catra laughs and nudges Adora’s shoulder with her own. “Please, I’m very smooth.”
Adora eyes her up in a way that makes her stomach drop to her knees. “Hm, true.”
“Shut up, you fuckin’ flirt.”
Adora makes a face and Catra just huffs and does a poor job of hiding her smile. “Hey, what are you doing now?”
“Uh, going home?”
Adora nods but says, “You could come over if you want. We could make a pie to celebrate our great deception.”
“Our great deception?” Catra cackles, stopping in front of her locker. “You really are an idiot.”
“Maybe.” Adora shrugs, smiling amiably. “But what do you say?”
Catra eyes the sack of flour in Adora’s arms and gives her a look. “You really want to turn another of our children into pie, Sweeney Todd? A touch macabre, don’t you think?”
Adora laughs at the joke, leaning against another locker while Catra sorts out her shit. “Well what else are we gonna do with them? Keep it?”
“Well sure.” Catra slams her locker shut and crosses her arms. “Save it for posterity, pass it onto our children or whatever.”
Adora straightens up with a truly sinister smile and Catra turns red when she realizes why. “Excuse me?”
“That’s not what I meant!”
“For our children?”
“No! Like-like separately! Or your children, kids are gross.”
“Wow, not even my girlfriend and you’re already tryna put a baby in my belly? That’s bold, D’riluth.”
“I actually hate you.”
“No, I don’t think you do.”
“Like seriously, so much.”
“I think you like me.”
“Pft, in your dreams, Greyskull.”
“I think you like me like me.”
“See, I feel like you’re not listening.”
“Oh, I heard you. You wanna rear children with me.”
“No, that’s the thing; I don’t want to ‘rear children’ at all.”
“You do though, you wanna pass on our heirlooms-”
“Heirlooms? It’s a sack of flour, Greyskull.”
“You want to put them in little outfits, take ‘em to the park, buy them bunk beds-”
“Bunk beds? Shit, how many kids are you planning on here?”
“I mean you tell me.” Catra levels Adora with a look, slamming a book into her locker without watching where it ends up.That she can deal with later. This however… “Fine, a race car bed then.”
“Did I mention that I hate you?”
“Hm…” Adora taps their chin, pushing off against the locker behind them as Catra shuts hers. “Have I mentioned I don’t believe you?”
“Have I-” Adora grabs Catra’s belt loop and pulls her in close, smirking at the way her breathing goes shallow.
They take a minute to really ‘put on a smolder’. They feel a little ridiculous, but Catra swallows thickly and her eyes flick to their lips. “So,” they say lowly, taking a lingering look at Catra’s lips as well for good measure. “pie?”
“You’re a dick.” Catra says with a laugh, shoving Adora away and hitching her backpack over her shoulder. Then she struts away, darting easily through the crowded hallways. She’s confident Adora can catch up.
They must get stopped or something, because she beats them to their car. Deciding she might as well uphold her reputation for being hot and aloof, she takes the lead time to drop her bag on the ground and lounge on the hood. Just as she’s thinking about pulling out her phone for something to do, Adora shows up.
She emerged from the school after having gotten caught by Sea Hawk. He had some sailing anecdote he’d been sharing all fucking day, because apparently the three times at lunch weren’t enough. Luckily Adora doesn’t have to search long to find Catra, but the sight of her splayed out on their car stops them in their tracks. She’s waiting for them. They’ll probably even kiss later-if not now. Adora hopes it happens now, and that thought makes their stomach flip and finally gets them moving again.
They stop in front of Catra and throw their hands on their hips. “You totally ditched me.”
Catra just rolls her eyes at the accusation. “Not my fault you can’t keep up.”
“Hmm. I can’t help but notice you came to my car.” Adora observes, dropping Finn on the hood to Catra’s left.
Adora chuckles. “And does that mean you’re coming over?”
“Whatever, if you want.”
“Oh, I want.”
Catra smirks and sits up, sliding to the edge of the hood so her legs hang down. Adora immediately takes their rightful place, standing between her knees and hands finding their way to Catra’s hips. “Oh yeah? Not even my partner and getting needy on me already.”
Adora tips their head back and laughs . “I mean, I am the parent of your future children.”
“Gross.” Cara lifts her arms to wrap around Adora’s neck, fingers sliding past her hairline to scratch her scalp lightly. They hum and their eyelids seem to droop slightly.
“Kids are gross.”
“Our kids wouldn’t be gross! We’re hot.”
Catra’s hands grip Adora’s hair suddenly and they can’t withhold a small gasp at the sensation. She smoothes her fingers over the spot gently, like she’s worried about having pulled too hard. In an attempt to reassure her, Adora turns their head just far enough to kiss the inside of her wrist. Catra clears her throat and shakes her head.
“True, but hot people always make the weirdest looking babies. It’s a scientific fact.”
“Says science, dummy.”
“Sounds fake, but okay.” Catra laughs and Adora leans in a little closer. “Hi.”
“Can I kiss you now?” Catra looks pleased but her eyes dart away to scan the area.
Aftera moment she settles on, “A little bit.”
Adora nods and leans in for a peck. “You know...Mara’s working late tonight…”
“Thought you wanted to make a pie.”
“You’re a flirt, is what you are.”
“Maybe, but just with you.”
Catra rolls her eyes. “Please.”
“Adora, come on.”
“Come on, what?”
“It’s like a fucking personality trait with you.”
“It’s-it is not!”
“It absolutely is.”
Adora frowns and mulls that over. She sees what Catra means but… “Okay, well maybe...but I don’t-I’m not-”
“Adora.” They pause and Catra smiles gently at them. “It’s not a criticism or anything.”
“Yeah?” They look so hopeful at the question, Catra can’t resist another soft kiss.
“You’re an idiot.”
“I… I might be a flirt, but just to be clear…” Adora looks at their shoes, toes digging into the gravel beneath them, and Catra’s heart lurches. Adora looks up again with a stupid, adorable, bashful little smile and it seizes to beat until they finish their sentence. “I’m not really interested in dating anyone else right now.”
Catra’s heart stutters back to life. “Oh.”
Adora’s lips twitch uncertainly, not quite sure if that was the kind of oh they should be happy about. “Yeah, is that...do you have any, um, response? Or whatever.” Catra’s mouth opens and closes and Adora’s words catch up to them. “Totally chill either way! Just like, curious where you're at but I don’t, like, have an agenda or anything.”
“I mean, I’m not really looking to date anyone else right now either but are you...are you asking me to be exclusive?”
“I,” Adora winces as their works eek out from their mouth, “... guess?”
Catra laughs, short and incredulous, and tugs at Adora’s disheveled ponytail playfully. “Wow, very romantic, Greyskull.”
“Shit, sorry! I just-I don’t wanna push or anything. I know it’s like-I mean, we’ve been on one date. And so I-well I know you’ve made it clear you’re not my girlfriend so-”
“Me? ” Catra interrupts. No less taken aback, she pulls away to cross her arms.
“Well you just said-” Adora begins defensively.
“I said? Adora, you literally made a point to tell Starla I’m not your girlfriend yesterday.”
“What!?” they yelp. “I didn’t make a point to tell Starla anything. She asked-unprompted- and I just told her the truth.”
“Uh huh, and then you came and told me…”
Adora laughs, now at a loss of her own. “You also asked!”
“Well yeah, but-”
“Catra.” Adora shakes their head to clear it. “I-do you want to be my girlfriend? Cause I wasn’t trying to send you a message by telling Starla you aren’t. I just didn’t want to make assumptions.”
“Okay, well I didn’t think you were trying to send me a message.” Catra scoffs with a roll of her eyes.
“Fine, whatever, you know what I mean. Are you gonna answer the question?”
“I-well what do you want?”
“Catra!” Adora admonishes with a laugh. Their hands slide down to Catra’s thighs and squeeze once.
“Seriously, I did kind of ask first.”
Adora flutters their eyes exasperatedly but Catra clearly isn’t backing down. “I mean...I don’t know. It feels a little weird to put a label on it after one date but if neither of us wants to be dating anyone else…. And I don’t exactly want you to feel free to change your mind without checking in, so.”
Catra tilts her head to the side, eyes narrowed. She gets where Adora is coming from but something tells her they’re also overthinking it. Her arms uncross and she claps her hands on top of Adora’s. “Okay, how about for now, we’re dating exclusively. We go on two more dates, and if they go well then we stick the label on it.”
Adora blinks...and then laughs. “Very...logical.” They wink and add, “I feel like they’re definitely gonna go well.”
“Hm, we’ll see.”
“I’m overthinking this, huh?”
Catra laughs and shrugs. “I know we’ve only been on one date, Greyskull, but it’s not like we just met.” She grabs the lapel of their jacket and tugs them closer. “Besides, once you’re my partner I can finally snag that purple hoodie of yours.”
Adora pinches her lips together, barely withholding a laugh. “Oh, is that so?”
“Yup, pretty sure that’s girlfriends’ rights.”
“And that’s the motivating factor here, not your unyielding devotion to me?”
Catra scoffs. “‘Unyielding devotion’? Get real, Greyskull.”
“So...we’re doing this.”
“Hm, a memory to last a lifetime for sure.”
“You know, I’ve never had a girlfriend before.”
Catra falters, a little surprised by the information; she’d heard rumors…. “Oh.” She clears her throat. “Yeah, me too.”
“Don’t sound so surprised.”
“I’m just saying, you’re a catch is all.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Wow, touché, Greyskull.” Catra glances around again then looks back to Adora with a newly mischievous glint in her eye. “You know, it’s pretty cleared out around here now.”
Adora pulls back an inch or so to look around as well and sure enough there are only a few cars left in the lot. “Huh, we musta been out here longer than I thought.”
“Guess so…” Catra pulls Adora back in again, close enough now that they’re almost having to bend over her lap. “Kiss me?”
Adora smiles. “Yeah?”
“I’m not much for PDA but if we’re basically alone…”
Adora fills in the blank for themself and leans in to give their girlfriend a kiss. A long kiss. Like a really good, really long kiss. By the time they pull apart, both are breathless. Adora leans her forehead against Catra and hums contentedly. They stay like that a while, but eventually time catches up to them and Adora pulls away. She presses a kiss to Catra’s cheek and pulls the rest of the way back to smile at her. It makes Catra’s teeth ache it’s so fucking sweet.
“So,” they say with a goofy grin, “pie?”
Catra laughs. “Is that a euphemism?”
“Stuff can be more than one thing at a time.” Adora says, taking Catra’s hand to guide her off the car, and to the passenger’s side door. “We can make out while it’s in the oven.”
Catra’s eyes flick back to the sack of flour left on the hood of the car and she sighs dramatically. “Poor Finn, they never stood a chance.”
Adora just rolls their eyes fondly and pulls Catra’s door open for her. “We’ll get it right with the human ones.”
“We better.” Catra teases, ignoring the open door behind her. “CPS and all.”
“Get in the car, Cat.”
“I’m going, I’m going!” Adora waits until she’s in then shuts the door behind her.
They circle the car and pause to scoop Finn up on their way. In front of the hood, they can’t help but take a moment to stare at Catra through the windshield. She’s so pretty, and Adora is so fucking happy when they’re together. They hug Finn closer to their chest and sigh happily. Of course Catra catches them, she makes a face that has them laughing to themself and gets their ass in gear.
“You’re a fucking dork, you know.” Catra informs Adora as they drop into the car.
They turn to smile at her, still sort of chuckling to themself, and it melts her heart where it beats heavily in her chest. “I know.”
Then they turn, start the car, and back out of the spot. Once they’re on the road Adora’s hand reaches over to take Catra’s, pulling it over to rest against their thigh. It’s nice, a simple pleasure Catra’s certain she’ll never get enough of. She tips her head and leans against Adora’s shoulder. After a minute of quiet they start humming a low tune to themself and Catra’s eyes drift shut. It’s nice, and if there are never going to be enough moments like this, Catra will at least savor the ones she gets.
“Hey Cat?” Adora interrupts their own humming in a whisper five minutes in.
“This is nice.”
Catra turns to bury her smile in Adora’s shoulder. “Yeah, Greyskull,” she says, “yeah it is.”
One last shortie chap for y'all before the epilogue! Just that (which is mostly done so it'l be out...soon) and then that'll be that on this! Bringing me down to just two posted wips. We're not gonna talk about the collection of google docs rn, we just-no one has that kind of time.
Thanks for reading as always, the response these stories get never ceases to blow my mind. I was gonna post one lil o/s and here I am 27 stories later showing no signs of stopping. 27, that's how many years old I am. Absolutely wild. Okay, forreal, tysm, I g2g, okthxbaiiii!!!
Catra is done with today. She hadn’t gotten anywhere near enough sleep last night so despite the half dozen coffees she’s had, she’s exhausted. She hears the door to her office open and curses her assistant for the lack of warning. Just in case it’s her boss or something she does her best to shift her expression from, ‘I hate you on principle’ to, ‘I want to be anywhere else but it’s not because I’m bad at my job’.
And then she sees who it is.
“Don’t you think Finn is a little young for a law office?”
“Catra!” Adora beams, awfully happy to see her for someone who got about as much sleep as she did last night, but okay. Adora has their baby in their arms and the kid is wearing one of Adora’s old onesies. It’s the monkey one Catra’s partner seems to like best, decorated with a bunch of tiny bananas. “We were out and I thought lil Finny should see where their Mama works to provide for them. And we’re having so much fun, yes we are. ”
Finn is looking all around the room, taking it in with the awe only a seven month old would experience in a shitty office. “Is that right?” Catra asks, the question is clearly for Adora but she puts on her baby voice-that she’s always denying is a thing- and smiles up at their kid.
Adora takes a moment to respond, enraptured with the vision of their tiny family. “Yep! I was also thinking if you’re ready to go soon we could grab takeout on the way home?”
Catra looks up with a frown. “I thought Mara was hanging with Finn so you could go to dinner with Glitter and the rest of her bridal party?”
Adora laughs at the memory of Glimmer in her dress. “That was the plan, yeah. Then Glim got all gooey about the wedding and decided we’d just have drinks instead. I picked Finn up on my way here.”
Catra snorts. “Bow is so getting lucky tonight.”
“Oh, for sure. And you know…” Adora stalks closer and runs the fingers of their free hand up and down Catra’s lapel. “Bow might not be the only one.”
Catra smirks indulgently but then looks pointedly at the baby propped on Adora’s hip. “Is that so?”
Like a total douchebag, Adora winks. Even running on fumes, Catra’s heart skips and her libido takes interest. “I can be quick.” Catra laughs incredulously and Adora leans in to press a kiss to the side of her head. “In all seriousness, I was thinking we could grab some sushi on the way home and then maybe you can take a bath while I put this little one to bed.” She turns to Finn and gets their attention with an extra eager voice. “ Yes, because I know Auntie Mara didn’t put you down for your whole nap, did she? No she did not. ”
“Again?” Catra says.
Adora turns back to look at their wife. “I mean, she didn’t say so, but you know how she is.”
“Insufferable?” Catra teases.
“Pretty much. Are you ready to go?”
“Gimme like ten minutes to wrap up?”
“Sure! Is it cool if we hang?” And of course it is, so Catra resumes her seat and Adora carries Finn over to the couch in the corner.
Naturally the pair are a total distraction, even if Adora’s doing their best to keep their voice to a quiet murmur and Finn is only babbling. It’s just still so novel- Finn’s only been with them three months now, and Catra still can’t believe it most days. They’re just...perfect. And so, eager to get her perfect family home, she wraps up as quickly as she can and ushers them out the door.
True to their word, Adora and Finn draw Catra a bath after dinner. Adora naturally does all the important bits, but Catra watches from the doorway as the two pick out toys for Catra’s bath together.
“Tugboat or frog, which one do you think Mama will like?” Adora asks the baby propped on her knee. They babble a little and make grabby hands for the little rubber frog...which then goes immediately into their mouth. Adora just laughs, “Tugboat it is then.”
She tosses the toy in then shuts off the water. Tossing Finn up a little as she stands, Adora comes up to give Catra a kiss. “Thanks babe.”
“Of course, enjoy your bath.” And boy does Catra ever. She lays until her muscles have unclenched from the stress of the office and a new baby in the house, and her fingers have turned to prunes. Despite her legs being weak from the heat of the bath, she takes the time to go through her haircare routine because she knows she’ll regret it tomorrow if she skips it. Then she tosses on a robe and goes to search for her partner.
She finds them on her first try, still in the glider in Finn’s room, cradling the baby to their chest. They’re near the end of The Napping House, with a stack of books on the floor next to them, and Finn has clearly been asleep for a while. Catra leans over the back of the chair to press a kiss to the top of Finn’s head, and then one to Adora’s as well.
Adora looks up to smile at her, not pausing their reading, “‘Who bumps the granny, who breaks the bed, in the napping house, where no one now is sleeping.’”
Catra chuckles at the end of what has quickly become one of Adora’s favorite books. “Doesn’t seem to be the case in this house.” She teases in a whisper. “Want me to lay them down?”
Adora pouts but nods. “Probably best.”
Catra smiles indulgently at her partner’s clear clinginess. She’d taken her maternity leave first; Adora had a week at the beginning where all three of them were home, but after that they’d decided it would be better to stagger their leave so as to have more time with someone home with the new baby. So, Adora’d had to wait her turn and just started her own leave two weeks ago. It had left Finn’s Pops more than a little desperate for baby time.
Catra gives them a minute to whisper sweet nothings to the sleeping baby before lifting them up. They only stir slightly, but fuss a bit more once she lays them down. She smiles down at them, waiting to make sure they’ll settle in. While she waits, she finds her eyes drifting up to the framed art above Finn’s crib; a simple sketch of a sack of flour sat on a lab table, dressed in Finn’s favorite onesie.
Catra hears Adora snoring before she even turns around and her eyes flutter closed. If Catra knows one thing for certain, it’s that there are never going to be enough moments like this, so at the very least she’s gonna savor the ones she gets. When her time is up she gathers Adora and leads them to bed, lying down in their own napping house, where everyone is sleeping.
Hey friends and foes (more of the former than that latter I hope...lol, annnnnyways) thanks for coming on another random ass adventure with me. The muses really source from the oddest of places. This one was so fun and I'm so glad folks enjoyed it!
Also, The Napping House is a real book and there's versions on youtube if you google it. There's also libraries. I dunno m'dude, I'm big on picture books and Don and Audrey Wood are actual icons, that's all I'm saying, but do your thing.
Up next you'll hopefully be seeing more of PSRT and Superbloom from me (I tell ya, those magical realism stories can be a lotta work, but when they flow...ooo they hit so good. In my v humble opinion, obvs.) I'm also working on another modern au; picture Momma Catra and Musician Adora, the latter returns home after nearly a decade and meets Finn, Catra's six year old spawn. Bum Bum Buuum!! Should be a good time so keep your eyes peeled for that if it's your vibe :)
Thanks again, see ya next time!