Being a teenaged social outcast in high school is nothing like the movies and TV shows and books told Catra it would be. No one is slapping books and papers out of her hands in the hallways. There are no snickers as she walks by the crowds of popular kids, and the meanest thing she’s ever heard anyone call her is, “Oh, that girl from World History who like…always looks mad?”. Still, it’s clear to Catra that she’s on the outside looking in.
Somehow that feels so much worse than the dramatic bullshit.
Okay…maybe not worse, but certainly more mind numbingly dull. It’s fine though, Catra’s life is dramatic enough at home. She doesn’t need school to be any spicier than it already is. Her routine is chill; she goes to class, fucks around in the theatre department for as long as she can stretch it out, and goes home to do homework, doing her best to avoid her guardian. Rinse, lather repeat.
Or at least, that’s how high school starts.
It’s midway through junior year when Catra’s life gets a bit of a shakeup. The most recent winter break was the longest one yet in Catra’s household. Usually Weaver has business trips around the holidays and various parties to attend. She still had the parties to be fair; they just were all miraculously close to home this year.
So, not only was she home, but Catra got dragged to a bunch of stupid corporate parties with a bunch of dull blowhards she had to play nice with. She also had to wear a dress. It’s velvet and ugly as sin. So, yeah, the break was not the peaceful respite it normally is.
It’s fine now though; she’s finally back and auditions for the next play are starting in twenty minutes. That means Catra is about to have plenty of reasons to stay at school later. She knows some part of Weaver wants to stop her from having any fun. However, if she wants Catra to get into a good school so she can brag about it, she’s gonna need an extracurricular or two. So it slides.
Naturally Catra would rather throw herself off something very, very tall onto something very, very pointy than get up on stage. She sticks to tech shit, thank you very much. Sets and props mostly, but she likes to hang with Entrapta up in the booth when she doesn’t have any work of her own to do. Trap usually finds something to task Catra with while she’s up there anyway, though half the time it’s just holding shit when she runs out of hands.
So that’s where she is now; with her feet kicked up next to the lighting board, ignoring the wary looks Entrapta keeps giving her sneakers. She startles when a set of footsteps comes bounding up the stairs into the booth. Entrapta, of course, is tangled up in wires and too busy to notice. Catra whips around to see who’s joined them. When she spots the dark, cropped curls of Bow she relaxes back into her seat.
“Heya Wildcat! Entrapta.” Bow reaches the top step and pauses there, leaning against the low wall that serves as railing.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Aw, but Scorpia gets to.”
“Yeah well. Just Scorpia.”
Bow laughs good naturedly. “I’m gonna keep doing it. It’s cute.”
Catra growls at him but Entrapta seems to finally register the third presence in the booth before she can snap at him. She blinks, looking up from her tangle of wires. “Oh, hello Bow. Did you know that there’s a whole box of cords that were hidden in the costume attic? Gels too! I think I’ll be able to do some very interesting things for this production.”
Bow chuckles good naturedly. He’s a good guy, and Catra knows this about him, but her hackles still rise. Maybe high school isn’t all the media cracks it up to be in the bullying department, but people do tend to give Entrapta a hard time. Catra is more than a little protective of her by this point.
“I did not, but that sounds rad! I was just coming up to say hi before auditions start. Either of you know what the show is this time around?”
“I do not!” Entrapta replies, before diving back into her box.
Bow turns to Catra and she shrugs. “I don’t think Dr. Net has chosen yet. I heard her say something about Clue but personally I’ve been trying to steer her towards Harvey.”
“Those are both fun! Pretty dark though. Think Principal Hordak will go for gallows humor like that?”
Catra snorts. “That twisted fuck? He’d probably encourage it.”
Bow grimaces. “Yeah…” Something down in the auditorium seems to catch his attention and he brightens. “Oh, my friend’s here; I should go back down.”
“Someone new in the department?” Catra asks with genuine curiosity. It’s pretty rare that someone joins second semester if they weren’t in the fall show.
“Yeah! I tried to get Adora to audition for the last one, but she was busy with other extra curriculars and stuff.”
It takes everything Catra has to not choke on her surprise. “Adora Greyskull is a closet theatre nerd?”
Bow snorts. “Eh, I wouldn’t go that far, but she was asking me a ton about drama, so I encouraged her to come check it out. It’ll be fun to have one of the Best Friend Squad in the department. Adora and Glimmer are so…sporty.” He says it like he himself isn’t athletic, but Catra knows he’s like, super into archery. She has absolutely teased him about the irony of this.
“’Best Friend Squad’?” Catra questions, her thoughts on the moniker clear in her tone.
Bow just smirks and points between her and Entrapta. “Please, Scorpia has told us all about the Super Pal Trio.”
Catra feels her face heat and growls. “That was fucking junior high, shut up.”
“Yeah, you know she still calls y’all that, right?”
Catra grumbles; if she does, she’s fucking stupid. They haven’t been that close for a couple years now, and the sting of resentment pierces through her. “Weren’t you just leaving?”
Far from offended Bow bounces on the balls of his feet. “Right! Catch ya later.”
“By Bow!” Entrapta offers from her spot on the floor. Catra just rolls her eyes in place of a proper goodbye.
With him gone and Entrapta fully wrapped up in…whatever the fuck she’s doing, Catra leans over the board to look out the window that separates the booth from the auditorium. Sure enough, there’s Adora Greyskull looking a bit lost amidst the drama nerds around her. She perks up and waves when Bow emerges from the booth.
Catra is beyond shocked she’s here; Adora is Brightmoon High’s golden girl. She does like, nearly every fucking sport. And if that’s not enough, even though it’s only halfway through junior year, she’s already a shoe in for their class’s valedictorian. Catra’s also pretty sure she like, fucking feeds the hungry or saves kittens from trees on weekends. There’s not really that much of a social hierarchy at BMHS, but if there were Adora would be the shiny golden star atop the metaphorical Christmas tree.
Catra watches her listen while Bow chats her ear off. Then Kyle wanders over to join them and Adora starts looking around, taking in the space. Suddenly she looks up at the booth, and right at Catra. She barely sees her expression morph into a smirk before she’s falling out of her fucking chair.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah Trap, I’m fine. Just lost my balance;, guess I should know better than to tip my chair.”
“You weren’t tipping your chair just then. You stopped when Bow-“
“For fuck’s- will you fuck off Trap? Stars!” Remorse fills Catra’s chest when she sees Entrapta’s mouth set into a thin, firm line. “Shit, I’m sorry Trap, that wasn’t cool.”
“Oh no, it’s fi-“
“It’s not, don’t be a fucking doormat Trapta. You deserve better than that, okay?” Entrapta nods slowly, her lips pursed and quirked to the side. “I was flustered and I’m a dick, I’ll try to be better.”
Eager to move on, or slight already forgotten more likely, Entrapta shrugs and climbs up from her spot on the floor. “Alright.” Entrapta pats the top of her head gently. Were it anyone else Catra would growl at the condescension, but she knows Entrapta is just…doing her best.
“Ready to watch some nerds recite Shakespeare?”
“Oh, is it Shakespeare monologues this time?”
“Eh, I think just anything comedic. But you know these basic bitches; we’ll probably see half a dozen Puck’s before the day is done.”
Surprisingly Catra’s prediction doesn’t ring true. There are only a couple Shakespeare’s and not one monologue from Midsummer’s. It’s nice, and a few of them are actually pretty funny. Bow kills as Sally from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Catra’s not even sure the monologue is that funny, but Bow’s whiny pouting is a hoot.
Catra likes Bow, they’re not friends, not really. School friends maybe, but they don’t like, hang out in their free time. He’s a total softie though, and not bothered by Catra’s abrasiveness. Catra’s never met such an even keeled teenager in her life. His best friend/probably girlfriend is a whole other story though; Glimmer Brightmoon.
That’s right, fucking Brightmoon; the great, great, Catra doesn’t know how many greats and frankly couldn’t give less of a shit, granddaughter of the school’s founder. She’s snooty and as abrasive as Catra, maybe even more so, but her refinement and reputation get her off the hook from being branded as a bitch like Catra is. She hangs out at the end of rehearsals sometimes and she’s just…loud and annoying. It’s whatever though, Catra usually just disappears the moment she shows up.
A few monologues after Bow, Adora steps up. Catra hates to admit it but she’s wildly curious how this is going to go. Turns out she is…completely unprepared for where this is going. Adora looks uncomfortable to say the least. She squints under the stage lights and shuffles awkwardly from side to side.
The performance isn’t…good exactly, but a couple lines in and she’s clearly into it. It’s a monologue about getting her first period, Catra is pretty sure she recognizes it from some movie. By the time Adora is telling the audience about her father handing her a wad of napkins to deal with the problem Catra is snorting with laughter. At the end Adora clears her throat awkwardly and then…and then she fucking curtsies.
And damn, who knew the fucking golden girl would turn out to be so damn funny?
Catra lingers after auditions are through. Up in the booth at first, but Entrapta has to leave and locks up behind herself, so Catra is forced to head down to. Bow and his “Best Friend Squad” are chatting with a couple other folks by the stage, so Catra drifts over toward where the director is sitting.
She plops into a seat in the row in front of her and dangles her legs over the back of the chair to face her. “Sup Dr. Net?”
Netossa eyes her position with a raised brow. “Not much D’riluth. How was your break?” Catra makes a face.
She likes Dr. Netossa, has come to trust her over the last couple years. She freaked out over a bad grade in sophomore year and let slip a little about her home life. One of the things Catra most appreciates about her director is that she hadn’t treated her any different after. She’d been smart enough not to mention certain details, she’s not trying to get CPS called and land her ass in the system or soemthing. Still though, something in her eye that day told Catra she had her suspicions.
Either way she’s chill about it, and Catra knows she understands her grimace to some degree at least. “Blech, is it pathetic if I say I’m happy to be back?”
“Aw, what, you miss me kid?”
Catra laughs. “Gross, no. Just the lesser of two evils I guess.”
Netossa purses her lips. “How was your break Catra?”
“It was fine really, just annoying. I had to go to a bunch of dumb holiday parties with Weaver’s associates.”
“Mhmm, and how is your guardian these days?”
Catra rolls her eyes at the fishing. She knows Dr. Net is just trying to look out for her but it’s not like she can be fully honest here. “A bitch, per usual. Been worse though. She even got me a gift this year.”
That gets her two raised eyebrows. “Oh yeah? Anything good?”
A snort. “Only the latest and greatest eye shadow pallet.” She elects not to mention the lecture on her lack of femininity that came with it.
“You even wear makeup D’riluth?”
“Only when forced.” Catra offers a cheesy grin that gets her a decent laugh.
Out of the corner of her eye she registers Bow and his stupid “squad” wandering over. She’s already planning her escape before the group even reaches them. Glimmer whispers something to Bow and wanders off toward the lobby. Probably for the restroom, but Catra doesn’t think much of it.
“Hey Dr. Net! You know Adora, right?”
Netossa rolls her eyes. “You do realize you all have fifth period with me, don’t you Bow?” Ugh, now she’s included Catra in this. She’ll probably still slip away. “Yes, I’m familiar. How ya doing Greyskull?”
“Oh uh, pretty good Doc, thanks. You?”
“Not bad, Spinney's mom was in town and she’s always a kick.”
“Nice!” Adora smiles at the answer. Catra tilts her head and watches her for a moment. She’s inclined to think Adora Greyskull is a suck up, but she just seems so…genuinely nice. It’s almost more annoying than the alternative. Where’s the teen angst? Then suddenly she’s looking at Catra. “How about you Catra, good break?”
Catra rolls her eyes. She should’ve left when she had a chance. “It’s whatever.” Adora eyes her carefully, like she’s reading into it or something. “Alright well. See you losers later.”
Then without another word Catra hightails it out of the auditorium. She has a weird feeling in her gut. She can’t explain it, which tells her it’s probably a bad feeling. So, she runs all the way home, hoping she can escape it.