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Adore You

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Adora grinned as the bright spotlight lit up her face. 

She breathed in the atmosphere, letting the cheering fans sound in her ears. She slap-bassed the strings to her bass for the intro, banging her head along to the beat. Glimmer had her back to the crowd, waiting for her cue to turn around and start singing into the mic. Adora played her notes as the spotlights stopped dancing around, lighting up the entire stage in a purple and pink glow. 

Her black mesh shirt was tucked into a pair of dark blue jeans. She swallowed, catching her breath before she sang her backup vocals. She got closer to the microphone in front of her, glancing at Catra right before Scorpia did her guitar rift. 

Want your bad romance, Adora sang, picking her bass to the individual notes. She bopped her head, and Glimmer turned around to start singing into her mic. She began the first verse, and Adora let the music carry her into the start of the song. 

They had played at Lightning In A Bottle before, and the band was more than happy to return to the festival for a second time. It seemed the fans loved it just as much, because they were almost cheering louder than Glimmer was singing. Her pink hair flopped around her shoulders, her white tank top and red flannel contrasting nicely. 

Scorpia played another riff like an electric guitar master. Adora always had to keep her nails short to finger strum, but Scorpia practically had pincers for nails. It was iconic all over Twitter. After every show, there was at least one thread that talked about her acrylic nails and how she was able to play her instrument so well. 

And along with the Scorpia thread, there was always at least one about Catra and Adora. The fans, for lack of a better word, adored them and their relationship. Almost every interview they were asked about the secret feelings they were harboring. 

It was funny to see them get twisted over nothing.

Catra wore a cropped red tank top with a black leather jacket, paired with a grey beanie. Underneath the pink and purple lighting, it was a sight to behold. Adora shook herself out of the momentary ogling of the drummer to pay attention to the song as Glimmer reached the chorus. 

I want it bad, a bad romance, Glimmer sang, her steady and confident voice echoing across the stage and into the audience. 

Adora sang her little backup vocals, harmoniously joining in with Scorpia as they strummed together. While they had very different instruments and played on very different spectrums of the song, they could still merge and read each other like it was nothing. It was a bass and guitar thing. Glimmer and Catra have never understood. 

She bounced on the balls of her feet as Glimmer sang the chorus flawlessly. She got into it as any lead singer would, more so considering this is their most well known song. 

Funny enough, because the truth about the song could ruin their careers. 

Adora had recorded her vocals for the high note a week in advance. Glimmer couldn’t hit anything above a D note, but Adora could. Shadow Weaver wrote the notes for most of their songs, being the involved manager that she is. 

When the band had first formed, Shadow Weaver wanted Adora to be the lead and star. Adora Carerro was going to be the face of The Rebellion, but she didn’t want it. She wanted to play her bass, and she was okay with backup. She loved the fans and everything that came with it, but being the lead was a bit much for her.

Shadow Weaver had struck a deal that made sense when it happened. If she wasn’t going to be the lead, then she would be the one singing the high notes for Glimmer. 

At the time, Adora had blindly agreed to it without thinking of what that actually meant. Now, two years after, as her voice sang the E and F flat notes, she continued to smile on through her cringe. Glimmer lip sang them like a pro, which she was. She’s been doing this for literally two years. 

Not that she had anything against Glimmer. If anything, she was happier with her voice being mistaken for the other girl’s. But she hates hearing her tracks being played live as she finger picked along to her bass. All four of them were always uncomfortable every time it played, but none of them ever let it show on stage. 

Caught in a bad romance, Glimmer continued before gripping her microphone, closing her eyes as Adora’s backing track played. After studying the expressions she made every time she sang, Glimmer was able to perfect her singing face, and no one has suspected a thing within their two years of performing.

Sure, doing the lip singing thing might open the path for haters to tear them down and they could potentially be cancelled. But it’s not like Glimmer didn’t sing at all. She hated having to take credit for Adora’s notes, but she sang the rest of the song beautifully. The little things don’t matter in hindsight. They were perfect the way they were. 

I want your love, Glimmer sang, to which Adora repeated, I want your love, I want your love

Being backup was her ideal plan. Even if turning down the lead made for Shadow Weaver to constantly berate her and make stupid comments every time she recorded her tracks for a show, she couldn’t have it any better. 

Well, there’s actually one thing that could be better, but that’s sort of illegal. 

Adora headbanged to the song, letting Glimmer’s voice carry her to the chorus again. She couldn’t move too far from her mic since she still had vocals to sing, but she traveled whenever she could, drifting to Scorpia or close to Catra before making her way back to her mic stand, singing her part then letting Glimmer take the wheel. 

Everything was perfect the way it was, and even if she hated hearing her E note play as Glimmer pretended to sing it, she still wouldn’t take up being the lead. 

Even as she sang her backups during the bridge, playing her F flat on her bass then humming out her I don’t wanna be friends in a B. Even if she sort of glanced at Catra as she let out her vocals, then focusing on adjusting the strap of her bass on her shoulder. It didn’t matter. She was happy the way she was. 

Scorpia finished the song with an iconic guitar riff, and Glimmer gave a satisfying growl to finish off their performance. “Thank you, Lightning In A Bottle!” She yelled into her mic, settling it back onto the stand. “We’ll see you next year!” 

The cheers were enough indication that they’d be welcomed back. 

Adora, breathless, held onto her bass by the neck, walking alongside Catra and Scorpia as they made their way backstage. Shadow Weaver was waiting for them, her sleek black hair and red blazer looking off compared to the four girls dressed in street clothes with unruly hairstyles. 

Between Glimmer’s dyed hair, Scorpia’s white undercut, Catra’s mane of a brown mess, and Adora’s blond curls she got from her dad’s side of the family, they were truly a match made in heaven. 

She set her bass down in her case, watching Scorpia do the same to her guitar. Catra threw her drumsticks into her backpack, fishing for a water bottle and downing almost half of it before offering any to anyone else. They all politely declined. 

“Good job, girls!” Shadow Weaver congratulated, her clearance badge folding against her chest as she gave Glimmer a side hug. “You were the third to last performance, and they’re having a little party for all performers once it’s over. I expect to see you there and socializing for potential collabs.” 

The four of them nodded. Scorpia handed her a hair tie, and Adora put her hair back up in a ponytail. The only thing wrong with her mixed genes is how her curls got all over the place. She does not want to be meeting other bands with her hair puffed up to the size of a chair. 

“Oh, and one last thing.” The manager smiled at her, making her uneasy. She hated getting singled out, only because she doesn’t want to hear more pleas to finally become the lead. Shadow Weaver looked between her and Catra before finally saying, “Make sure you two get lots of pictures. We need to give Twitter something to talk about if it isn’t Glimmer’s fake singing.” 

“Ouch..” Scorpia commented when the woman walked away. 

Catra bumped Adora’s shoulder, pointing to one of the booths meant for the people backstage. “Want to grab a drink, princess?” 

Adora rolled her eyes, accepting the offer. “Why not, we’ve got some time to kill.” She let Catra lead her to the booth with a tap that wasn’t carding. Not like it mattered, since they were both twenty one anyways. 

“So someone ran over Shadow Weaver’s kitten this morning,” Catra scoffed, examining the taps for what drink she wanted. “That was super uncalled for.”

Adora shrugged. Her mesh shirt with a black bralette underneath sort of matched with Catra’s leather jacket, and she appreciated their outfit choices. “She’s always uncalled for. I’ve never known a time when she’s been nice to any of us.”

“Except Glimmer.” It wasn’t meant as an insult, but it was true. The four of them loved each other like a family, but the favoritism from their manager was obvious to everyone. “But that’s only because it should be you.”

She rolled her eyes. She liked that it wasn’t her. “Shut up and get whatever you’re gonna get,” she said when they got to the front of the line. 

Catra smirked at her. “So… Can I buy you a drink?” 

Adora chuckled. “Get me a Modelo.” She stepped out of line, allowing Catra to pay for the drinks. 

She sighed as she watched the way Catra moved so naturally, talking calmly with the guy working at the booth. It’d be illegal if she acted out right now, so she sedated herself by hugging her bass case closer to her knees. 

After every performance, she swears she’s going to go through her contract to find some kind of loophole. When they signed on with Shadow Weaver, one of the rules printed was that none of the band members were allowed to date amongst themselves. Apparently leaving them single was better for publicity, as it kept them desirable and made the shippers go crazy as they theorized who secretly liked who.

At first, she doubted being single would do anything to get more revenue. But then she saw threads and tweets every night with a picture of her and Catra, or a shot of Scorpia simply looking amazing with thousands of retweets and even more likes. 

Fans were investing themselves in Catra and Adora’s relationship. While they were just friends, Shadow Weaver loved the idea of basically selling them. Every performance, they’d take a picture together to create speculation on what might have happened backstage. For interviews, they would sit next to each other and whisper random things to have people guessing what they were saying in secret. 

It’s all a game, and a bullshit one. 

Adora plastered on a smile when Catra approached her with her drink. She raised it to her lips, ignoring the burn in her throat as she drank her beer. Catra whistled when she finally came up for air. “Were you trying to waterboard yourself or something?” 

“Or something. I can do whatever I want.” 

Catra threw her head back to laugh, even if it wasn’t that funny. She knocked her bass case with her ankle, smiling sweetly at her. “You come here often, or what?”

If she wasn’t so charming, Adora might’ve thrown up. Instead, she took another sip of her beer, adjusting her shirt with her shoulder as she had no free hands left. “Well, you did buy me a free drink, so I guess I’ll consider continuing this conversation.”

Catra grabbed the mesh sleeve, fixing it for her. “You could’ve just asked for my help, idiot.”

“I can do it better myself.”

When she tried to take another swing from her cup, Catra hit her arm, the contents from her beer spilling on her arm. “Woah, be careful there. Compliments aren’t going to pay me back for that.”

Adora glared at her. She’s lucky nothing got on her case, or she would’ve started an all out brawl. Even though she’s pretty sure fights are another thing that’s prohibited in their contract, the protection of her instrument is very important to her. It all seemed careless to a drummer who just threw her drumsticks in her backpack, but her bass is her literal baby. She can’t even stand a water stain on the case, let alone half the beer that’s dripping down her arm. 

“Hey, you put the pin back on,” she said, looking at Catra’s backpack.

Catra adjusted the straps so she could see what Adora was talking about. It was a round pin, with a goose wearing a bow tie saying ‘Honk If You’re Lesbian’. Shadow Weaver had made her take it off to create speculation about whether or not the two of them were fighting. Or whatever crap excuse she’d given them. 

“Yeah. I never got the okay to put it back on. I just did it,” Catra shrugged as if disobeying wasn’t against the law.

Okay, so technically not illegal. But they would get sued for everything they owned, and Adora actually liked the stuff she has. She doesn’t even want to know what would happen if they ever got exposed for the lip singing. 

The sound of a duck quacking rang. Catra fished her phone out of her pocket, reading the text she got. “Scorpia sent me the address for the party. But seeing as neither of us can exactly drive right now…” To further her point, she raised her cup of Blue Moon and took a gulp.

“I came with Glimmer. I’ll make her drive. Problem solved.” She was a great problem solver, especially as she continued to let her Modelo drip down her arm. She swallowed the rest of her drink, closing her eyes when the burn hit her throat. She coughed, then tossed the plastic cup into the trash.

“Are you good?” Catra asked with a quirked eyebrow, patting her back. “You just downed a whole beer in less than five minutes.”

“It was a sixteen ounce, and I’ve finished more in less time.” Adora was a terrible teenager in high school, but she did learn a few things. “But seriously, I didn't have any water when we got off stage and that song just… does things to me sometimes.” 

Catra looked at her with a small smile. “If it makes you feel any better, I think your riffs, both live and recorded, are amazing.”

The little praises like that are the only things that got her through this. She smiled back. “Thank you.”

The Alvin and The Chipmunks cover of Witch Doctor started playing, and Catra rolled her eyes as she grabbed her phone from her pocket again. She has the weirdest ring tones… “What do you want?” A pause. “Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in two.” She hung up, turning to face her. “Scorpia’s with her car waiting for me. I’ll see you there?”

“Definitely.” Adora bid her friend goodbye, then started to make her way to the parking lot where her own car waited for Glimmer to drive.

“Why didn’t you offer her a ride with us!?” Glimmer demanded as she stomped on the gas.

Adora suddenly remembered why they never let the youngest of the four drive anywhere. She liked to go a little too fast, and she often forgets what she’s doing and before she knows it, she’s accidentally merging into other lanes or riding off to a completely different location. 

She should not have had that drink. 

“Because you’re trying to kill me, that’s why!” Adora shouted, grabbing onto the handle on the top of her car. 

“Well, then get out!” Glimmer responded, making a sharp turn. 

“We’re going fifty in a school zone. If I get out my head is coming off.” Adora removed her hand from the handle, gripping the console in the middle to calm her racing heart. She heard her phone ping, and she looked at the meme Catra sent her. “She left with Scorpia, by the way.”

But Glimmer, who had also been looking at the meme instead of keeping both eyes on the road, laughed. “Ha! That one was funny.”

“The road!” 

“Maybe if you told her you liked her, you wouldn’t be this uptight!” Glimmer retorted, pressing the brake harshly when a red light flashed in front of them. 

No dating meant no feelings. It was the unofficial rule Shadow Weaver had given them. If she actually caught feelings, then it’d be bad news and she’d get into more trouble than it was worth. It’s easier to not feel anything at all. “I do not like her. I don’t look forward to getting murdered by Shadow Weaver, thank you very much.” 

Glimmer deadpanned at her before lowering the sun visor, a picture of herself and Catra hugging at Tropicalia after performing on the mirror. 

“Both hands on the wheel!” 

She removed her hand from the visor, settling it back onto the wheel. “I don’t keep pictures of people I don’t have a crush on in my car.”

“I have pictures of everyone!” 

“Where?” She stepped on the gas harder than necessary, lurching the car forward. 

In truth, Adora was embarrassed to admit where she kept the other photos. She opened the glove department to show the polaroid pictures from different rehearsals, festivals, or plain messing around in the studio. “In my defense, they are in my car. You never said they had to be visible.” 

“Quite frankly, I’m more hurt that you hid the picture of me from last year’s Outside Lands. I mean, the pink sweater with the plaid skirt was a look if I’ve ever seen one myself. For all the shit Shadow Weaver gives us, she can choose out good stuff for us to wear.”

‘The shit Shadow Weaver gave them’ was nothing more than bringing Adora down in an attempt to make her so insecure she’ll have nothing left but to become lead singer for their upcoming album. It wouldn’t make anyone mad, seeing as everyone loved them and all it’s doing is changing vocalist. But she doesn’t want to be super up front and center, and she’s still praying for the day that their manager finally realizes that. When will she understand that nothing she says will make her want to give up the bass to sing in her friend’s place?

She cleared her throat, focusing on Glimmer trying to swerve lanes. “So, how’s your mom been doing? You said she’s almost done shooting?” 

Glimmer’s smile widened. “Yes! She still won’t tell me what the movie is about until the trailer drops, but I know it’s some kind of adventure story. When I facetimed her from her dressing room, she had a cool wizard staff in the back. She says it’s not hers and it belongs to one of her costars, but I couldn’t tell you the truth.” 

“I’ve seen the articles about Angella and Micah’s potential off screen romance. You’ve got the scoop on them?” Adora wiggled her eyebrows even if Glimmer couldn’t see. Well, at least she hopes she didn’t see. 

The singer rolled her eyes, but kept a broad grin on her face. “I’ve been asking her and she won’t tell me either! I’m a hundred percent sure they’re dating but keeping it from the press, but I want to know so bad! But his sister is a lawyer, so maybe she knows some legal stuff. It’s probably better for them to keep it a secret, but I’m her daughter! I should know this stuff!”

“Indeed you should.”

“So if two of my best friends had feelings for each other, I’d want to know about it.”

“Here we go again!” Adora slammed her head into the window. Maybe she should’ve accepted the earlier offer to get out of the car. “You sound like the Twitter stans.”

“But I spend more time around the both of you to know when something is up. She calls you princess and everything. Even Scorpia thinks you guys are hiding something. And everything Scorpia says is correct, so you’re going to tell me the secret.” 

Adora stiffened for a second before coming up with her response. “I’m not trying to get sued for Catra.” 

“That’s harsh.”

Well, yeah. But she’s being truthful here. Shadow Weaver isn’t going to show them any mercy in court, should they break any part of their contract. Adora decided that she wouldn’t give any reason to have a case at all. It worked out perfectly, and she wouldn’t deal with anything unnecessary that would come from legal issues. 

“C’mon, we know it’s all a game anyways.” Adora looked out the windshield as Glimmer turned the car off, the building they were parked in front of flashing with bright lights that could be seen from the outside. 

She double checked that her bass was securely in the backseat before climbing out the car, locking her red Subaru Forester. She left her red jacket in the car, but Glimmer pulled her hand to drag her inside before she could grab it. 

Well, looks like the thin mesh and bralette would have to do then. 

Scorpia and Catra found them quickly, both with drinks in their hands. “I’m surprised we got here sooner than you guys, considering how fast Glimmer drives,” Scorpia chuckled as they walked to a table. 

Glimmer groaned, collapsing into a chair. “You guys are impossible people to please.”

Catra grinned. “For sure. Very little things in life actually get me excited anymore. Not even Scorpia letting me drive her Camero would’ve gotten me that happy, and that’s saying a lot.”

Adora whipped her head up from the glass table in front of her. “Scorpia, you let Catra drive your car!? She was drinking! She had sixteen whole ounces of Blue Moon!” 

Scorpia drummed her nails on the glass. “Oh, no. Don’t worry, Adora. She was holding her beer when she asked to drive, so I knew better. I drove us here. We’re fine, you know.”

She exhaled with relief. Getting a DUI (or any charges, really) meant immediately getting kicked out of the band. Shadow Weaver does everything she can to keep them from getting a negative hashtag trending, and despite how stupid most of the fine print is on the contract, she could sort of agree with this one. 

“Because I am the most responsible one here-” Catra started.

“You’re not,” Glimmer cut in. 

“Because I am the most responsible one here, I have taken the liberty of introducing Shadow Weaver to my old friend Sea Hawk. I knew him back in high school, and his band performed this weekend too. I bet their manager is already talking with ours, so can I please hear a thank you from everybody because I just saved us from socializing.” 

One of their least favorite things to do at parties or social events was mingling with other performers. The ones that seem the kindest on social media are the worst to meet online. It sucks, because the four of them are actually genuine and interested in making new friends. But most people just want to profit off their name, or find some kind of secret to expose them. 

No one talks about that one time they almost collabed with the solo artist Light Hope, who wanted nothing more than to trick Catra and Adora into confessing their super secret relationship. Needless to say, they found nothing, and Catra couldn’t look her in the eyes for a month.

They’ve only ever done studio collabs with other bands and artists. They’re not totally opposed to doing any live performances, per say. But there’s a risk of Adora needing to sing something for Glimmer, and they never know who to trust. Studio recordings are just easier, and the safer way to go.

Everyone gave Catra their thanks, which was right on time as Shadow Weaver walked over to the four of them with a significantly shorter woman, and three boys behind them. The five of them all looked like polar opposites, and she paused to determine who was who. 

“Girls, this is Entrapta Woods, Bow Scribner, Sea Hawk, and Swift Wind from Boys Night Out,” Shadow Weaver introduced. 

The one with a mustache gave Catra a high five that turned into a handshake. Needless to say, old high school friend rituals are weird.

“Hi, I’m Bow,” the boy with a cropped white sweater said. He held his hand out for Glimmer to shake, which the girl accepted eagerly. 

“He’s the lead, and I’m Entrapta!” Entrapta’s shouting was heard over the loud music. She pushed her purple bangs out of her face as she thrusted her hand towards Catra, who stared at it for a moment too long before Scorpia took the handshake. “I’m their manager, and the four of us love your work.”

Bow was still shaking Glimmer’s hand. “You have got to teach me how you do that rift in Bad Romance. You mix so easily between the E and F flat. I need to know your secrets, seeing as I can’t hold any flat note for as long as you do, let alone one that high.” 

Glimmer visibly swallowed, and Adora looked away from the interaction. Shadow Weaver interrupted the uncomfortable conversation to say, “I’ve been chatting with Entrapta here, and she says the boys have never done a collaboration.” 

Bow finally let go of Glimmer’s hand to rub at the back of his neck. “It’s hard to find another with the same vocal range.”

The boy with red hair sat down, everyone else following suit except for the two managers. He leaned across the table, specifically looking at Scorpia. “Without a bass, we have to make up where we lack with vocals. Hi, I’m Sea Hawk, also known as the guitarist who’s backup to Bow. Catra has told me you are also the guitarist?” 

Scorpia noticed his glance at her nails, to which she smiled. “Hi! Yeah, I am! My nails don’t bother me, by the way. I don’t do any backup, but Adora does. I’m Scorpia by the way.”

Adora waved. “Hey, guys. I’m Adora.”

Glimmer rolled her eyes playfully. “She’s the bass and the best backup singer I could ever ask for. Seriously, she’s amazing. You guys have to hear her sing properly one day because it’s just the best.”

Catra scoffed. “We get it, the princess is amazing in your eyes. Can we move on now?”

Adora cocked her head at her friend. Catra noticed the table had gone silent, and she cleared her throat. “Sorry, that came out wrong. Uh.. I’m Catra, but Sea Hawk already knows that. I’m on drums, but I don’t sing. I mean, I can sing, I just choose not to. I have more skill in my hands than with my throat.”

“Wow..” Adora whispered under her breath. She looked away to hide her face, suddenly wishing she remembered to bring her red jacket to blend in with her cheeks. 

The boy with colored hair let out a loud gasp. He had an undercut similar to Scorpia’s, with orange, yellow, pink, purple, and blue strands highlighted in his otherwise dark hair. “You’re drums too? I do drums! I love meeting other drummers, especially ones that don’t sing. Wait, that’s not what I mean. I mean like… other drummers have judged me for not being a singer but honestly I just prefer the sticks. I see nothing wrong with it.”

Catra smiled. “Right! I’ve dealt with the same thing! We have Adora and Glimmer to sing, there’s no need for any more of us.” 

“I’m Swift Wind, by the way.” He extended his hand towards the other drummer, who happily took it. “I can do other instruments too.” 

“Is everyone introduced?” Shadow Weaver asked, continuing when they all nodded. “I’m glad. I can see a new friendship blooming. I will be talking with Entrapta, should anyone need me.” 

“Well, Bow finally has a leading lady to sing with him, so I hope she sticks around,” Sea Hawk laughed, making everyone around the table join in.

“Speaking of that, would you want to share a drink with me?” Bow asked Glimmer, only having the nerve to look slightly off put.

Glimmer sighed. “I wish I could, but we have to wait seven more months before I can legally drink. But if you’re really offering… I’ll have a Pepsi.” 

Catra fastened her lips over the straw to her drink. When she put the cup down, Adora grabbed the cup to take her own sip. When Catra deadpanned, she put her most innocent look on. “What? I was thirsty.” 

“Well, that’s what happens when you drink a sixteen ounce in negative three seconds,” Catra whispered. “Your actions have consequences.” 

“Not when it’s alcohol prompted actions.”

“You are so right.” 

“I’m three years ahead of you, it seems,” Bow’s laugh interrupted their whispering. “But I will have one Pepsi coming up.” He turned away from her to address the rest of the table. “Does anyone else want anything?” 

Sea Hawk made a request for something with lime. “Adora wants a Blue Moon because she can’t keep her hands off mine.” Catra hissed when Adora smacked her on the arm. “What’s with you now?” 

“I was perfectly fine just sharing with you,” Adora told her, only momentarily glancing at Sea Hawk’s interested expression. “No need to make the poor boy wait in that huge line.” Catra snickered. “What can you be laughing about now?” 

“One Blue Moon for the bassist, a Pepsi for the singer, a hard lemonade for me, and something with lime for the guitarist.” Bow settled the drinks on the table. Glimmer and Adora stared at him with wide eyes, but Sea Hawk seemed unimpressed. 

“What…?” Glimmer started, but Bow’s chuckle cut her off. 

“His friends Baker, Soda Pop, and Busgirl, are always working the bar and tap at these parties. He always gets to the front of the line super quickly,” Sea Hawk explained. 

“Well, if it isn’t for my two favorite bands!” 

The booming voice made them all turn around to the source of it. Adora recognized the man dressed in a white suit instantly. 

Horde Prime is one of the most vicious interviewers out there. Anybody who ever talks with him is always coerced into giving him some kind of sensitive information that he exposes, and he doesn’t have a super clean record when it comes to women. Usually, The Rebellion steers clear and doesn’t even talk to him. They can’t be rude if they’ve never met him. But without Shadow Weaver to keep him off, it seems today would be the day they finally meet the man. 

The thing is: no one can deny him. If someone rejects an interview, he finds a way to paint you in a bad light. If the press is out for blood, he’s the one that kills you and skins your body to feed the media. Once he talks to you, there’s no backing out. It’s always a lose lose situation, unless you’re a mastermind and can avoid his traps. 

No one has done so yet. 

The seven of them froze as the man grabbed a chair and pulled it up to their table, sitting down in between Adora and Glimmer. “Hello, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Horde Prime. I’m sure you’ve all heard of me, but I assure you I am not as nasty as the rumors make me out to be. I just tell the truth, and wait for the rest of the media to act on it. No hard feelings, really.” 

Adora glanced over to where Shadow Weaver and Entrapta were talking, but neither of them saw the exchange going on. Horde Prime glanced at her glass, picking it up before tracing a finger along the rim of the cup. She resisted her urge to flinch, knowing he’d write her off as a rude narcissist if she did. 

“What is this, a gin and tonic?” Horde Prime asked her. “Or perhaps a Jack Daniel? I don’t know much about drinks, excuse me.” 

She almost rolled her eyes. If his reputation among women was true, he knew way more about alcohol than he was pretending to. She didn’t understand the point of lying in the first place. He placed her glass back on the table, and she raised it to her lips uncomfortably. She took a sip, putting it back down to re engage in the conversation. 

“If you don’t mind me asking, were you at the show tonight?” Bow asked, a polite smile on his face. 

“Oh, no. Well, technically yes. I stay backstage and interview everyone, but I don’t actually watch the performers. These after parties are what I’m here for anyways,” Horde Prime explained, mirroring Bow’s smile. 

“Wow, that’s cool,” Catra remarked. She drank from her own glass, pretending to be interested. “Say, why only the after stuff? I mean, the performers are pretty neat too.” 

Adora rested her foot on top of Catra’s as a warning to chill out a bit, but she couldn’t get her message across clearly. She wanted to dig herself into the ground as Horde Prime responded, “Yes, I agree. The set lists are usually quite nice, too. But I’m not going to lie to you. I prefer sticking around for what’s actually going to help my job.” 

“Wow..” Catra whispered in mock amazement. She could see the boys getting more and more uneasy as their conversation went on. Even Scorpia was beginning to look a little worried. 

Before Catra said something that’d probably ruin her career, Entrapta came rushing over. “Hey guys! We want all of you to take a picture together. So c’mon now, let’s go.” 

Horde Prime grinned at the manager. “Entrapta, I haven’t seen you since last Thanksgiving. How are you?” 

She didn’t say anything to him, instead choosing to usher them off their chairs and to a deserted white wall. “Sorry guys. I didn’t notice, but I came back as soon as I saw.”

“Her husband is related to him, so she knows a lot of stuff,” she heard Bow whisper to Glimmer. Interesting. 

“Okay everyone! Pose!” Shadow Weaver announced. The four girls backed themselves against the wall, and for good measure, Adora swung an arm around Catra, who was on the edge. The boys crouched on the floor, Bow sitting on top of Glimmer’s Vans as Scorpia settled her hands on Swift Wind and Sea Hawk’s shoulders. 

Shadow Weaver let out an exasperated sigh as they got themselves in the ridiculous pose. “I wonder what your parents are doing right now.” 

“Acting!” Glimmer chirped, making the group laugh. 

They finally smiled for the proper picture, Shadow Weaver and Entrapta taking turns. They were all sent the pictures immediately to post to Instagram and Twitter, including a candid one of them all laughing. 

Catra grabbed her by the wrist, pulling her to the dance floor. “Come on, let’s get this shit out of our system!” 

The song changed to one by Light Hope, and they made a disgusted face at each other. The two laughed, and Adora notably stopped giggling first. She watched how her friend’s eyes crinkled, how her highlighter reflected off the blue lights of the party. 

If anyone ever got to have a good look at Catra, they were truly blessed. Even the Catra with no makeup, eyebrows wiped off and hair up in a sloppy ponytail, it was just as mesmerizing. Adora smiled as they bounced to the music, their linked hands in between them. 

She realized her white nail polish was chipping, but that came from the bass. Meanwhile, Catra had black acrylics that have accidentally scratched everybody at least once. Though that one time she clawed at Shadow Weaver’s arm might not have been a mistake… 

Adora was fine one second, thinking about her friend and her long nails. But her eyelids suddenly felt dense, and she stumbled over her feet. Catra laughed at her, but Adora could tell something was wrong. 

Her whole body was heavy, and her knees were starting to buckle. 

Something was very, very wrong. 

“Princess?” Catra caught on, looking concerned. “Woah, Adora. What happened? You had a drink and a half.”

Adora clutched at Catra’s arm, her tongue feeling like dead weight. “I don’t know. I don’t… I..” 

“Okay, we’re getting you back to your car.”

Adora let Catra lead her to her red car, trying her hardest to stay awake. She had an arm around her friend as they walked, but she was honestly more confused than anything. She was completely fine just a minute ago, but she wanted nothing more than to go to sleep now.

She must’ve been shutting her eyes because Catra slapped her upside the head. “Hey, no no. Adora, wake up. Shit…” 

Adora opened her eyes, and she noticed that they were outside the club that the party was being hosted at. She shook her head and tried blinking the sleepiness out of her eyes, but she still felt just as droopy. She could feel a hand searching in her jacket, and she assumed it was for her keys, but moving her arms would be too difficult. 

The second she hit the headrest of her car, Adora let herself succumb to the sleep that’s been calling her for the past five minutes.