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come on baby (come on, come on, darling)

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Catra is quiet.

She isn't the sort of girl often suited to quietness; she is typically louder, rowdier, but today there is something else, something low in her stomach. Her hands keep curling into fists through no actual desire of her own, and when she looks at where others train, her teeth set firm against one another, grinding and clicking together. Today, Adora is gone.

Of course, Adora was gone yesterday, so it isn't as if Adora being gone is something Catra can be surprised by. She was gone the day before that, too.

Sometimes, of course, missions take Adora away, but given Shadow Weaver's fury (barely controlled, bubbling under the surface, lapping her heels and tangible), Catra has every reason to assume that this time, Adora isn't coming back. It isn't as if she's got no reason to run. Catra knows she'd run if she could. But only one of them could, it feels; now that Adora's left, Catra is aware of the dark eyes on her, the menace behind that mask. Not like the menace isn't old. It is very much something that Catra has had ages to get used to

( you're so soft, Catra, you wretched thing. come here, come here. )

and that use wears on her. She shouldn't have had to get used to it.

Never should have gotten used to it.

While she walks from training, however, she bumps into Shadow Weaver, who'd not been there moments ago and who now looks down at Catra with something akin to rage. Catra can tell underneath the mask and she bristles up, her teeth showing, a hiss threatening in the depths of her throat.

“... she left you, Catra,” Shadow Weaver says, after a long pause.

Catra flinches back, and the hiss becomes a low snarl, something daring, something menacing.

“She left me, too -- ungrateful. But she left you.” Her head cocks, and Shadow Weaver reaches down, and they are in her chambers, stone under Catra’s feet, Shadow Weaver’s hand under her chin.

“I wonder why that is. Do you have a guess?”

Catra hisses in breath.

She thinks of Adora, with her fine golden hair, the way Adora nuzzled into her throat, the way Adora understood what she had been through (she’d been through it too, Catra had been horrified to learn -- Shadow Weaver took from her too, took each and every thing that Adora had to give). She thinks of whispering into Adora’s neck:

“I’ll never go, alright? And you can’t go, either.” I won’t be able to make it without you, Catra’d thought in a fit of selfishness, but now she’s got to face those words and they hurt, make her hands shake.

“I’ll never go,” Adora had said.

But where is she now?

She’s nowhere, and Catra is with Shadow Weaver, who cups the back of her neck and cants up Catra’s head, who nuzzles into her temple, and there’s a hand brushing over the taut thinfurred flesh of Catra’s belly (and Catra wants to take Shadow Weaver by the neck and tear her apart, see the way bloodslick shade rolls down her hands, her claws, pools at her feet; she wants to flay the woman alive, wants to--wants--) --

“Do you have a guess, Catra?”

“... because you hurt her -”

It’s boldness that Catra pays for, but it’s boldness nonetheless.

“No. She left,” Shadow Weaver murmurs, “because she didn’t love you. I know what you think,” Shadow Weaver’s lips on her skin, then. Gentle. She’s always gentle when it starts. Kisses soft. Touches soft.

(It’s the only time she compliments Catra, these unfortunate encounters where Catra writhes and squirms and is caught between wanting to die and wanting to make Shadow Weaver so, so happy - )

“And she didn’t love you, Catra. Not like I do. That’s why I must be so… harsh with you, in front of the others.” Shadow Weaver’s hand slips down, strokes over Catra’s thigh. Catra’s breathing comes in heavy bursts as she feels --

She doesn’t want --

A word, whispered against her ear:

“Kneel.”

And Catra does, without thinking.

“I love you,” Shadow Weaver says, fisting a handful of Catra’s mane, pushing her to work.

Catra hates the warmth that bubbles in her chest, smug and pleased. Hates the moment of affection in her heart. Hates how she has to balance her hands just-so on Shadow Weaver’s thighs, hates the way that Shadow Weaver’s gasping makes her want to smile, makes tears prick her eyes, makes her toes curl. It feels so good to be touched. To be wanted.

(This isn't want. This is poison. This is Shadow Weaver doing as she pleases - )

Most of all, in the moments on her knees (and much to her shame), she hates one person most of all, for leaving her here, for leaving her a little lamb in the reach of a lion.

Shadow Weaver comes undone on Catra’s lips and tongue and Catra hates Adora.