When Adora was younger, she had wanted to become a photographer.
There was something incredibly enthralling about it, something about being able to capture the world from behind the lens of a camera, something about forever freezing a perfect moment in time. Any sort of art, really — painting, music, photography, dancing — has always managed to fascinate her.
But she’s older now, and her mother — her foster mother — has made it clear that things like artwork and photography aren’t going to get her anywhere in life. There’s better things to make her life out of, things that she could do to get her places, and photography was never one of them.
Basketball is one of those things, and it’s something that’s helped her through her life. It’s given her plenty of friends and popularity through her high school years, it’s given her something to be proud of, and most importantly, it’s given her a clear ticket to attending college when she graduates from high school.
What it hasn’t given her is a sense of control.
Well, okay, Adora figures that’s a bit of an over exaggeration.
Playing the game itself does give her a sense of control, but having to play the game does not. It had been her foster mother’s choice to get her into the sport, not her own.
Looking back, it was a good choice for her in the long run, but when Adora was in middle school and practically forced to get into something she had little to no interest in, there was no way for her to know it’d help her future.
Ms. Weaver’s always been like that. It’s almost like it’s gratifying to her to have immense control over someone else’s life, and Adora, having grown up under her roof, should be used to it by now.
(Spoiler alert: she’s not.)
But through the years, Adora has pretty much managed to figure out how to stay out of Ms. Weaver’s wrath, and one of those things includes just having to deal with the fact that Ms. Weaver would have a good amount of control over her life until she graduated high school. She’s pretty much come to accept that, having decided a long time ago that there was really no point in dwelling on it.
At least, that’s what she had decided until this very moment, as she stares down at the phone in her hands and at the message that seems to tauntingly stare back at her.
If she weren’t surrounded by a bunch of other sweaty girls in a locker room right now, Adora’s fairly certain that she’d just curl up into a ball and cry. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly where she is, and she has about fifteen minutes to shower and finish getting ready before her first class of the day.
So before she can spiral into a pit of despair, she buries her phone into the mess of papers at the bottom of her backpack, shuts her locker door — slams is a better word for it, and she makes a point to apologize to Lonnie when the girl startles and then glares at her — and then makes her way to the showers.
It’s going to be a long day.
The real story begins something like this:
“So, let me get this straight,” Glimmer says, exactly nine hours later. “Now she’s attempting to force you to go to the University of the Horde? Isn’t that like, a ten minute drive from here?”
From her place in the passenger seat, Adora nods, head pressed against the cool glass window of Glimmer’s car. Outside, sleet smacks against the window and then sadly slides downwards, gathering in gray mush on the ledge. Fitting, Adora decides, for how the course of this day has gone for her.
“But weren’t you planning on going to Bright Moon University? Which is like, a two hour plane ride from here?”
The letterman wrapped around Adora’s frame — white and gold, for their school’s colors — tightens as she curls further into herself with another nod, resisting the sudden urge to cry.
Being that it’s her final year of high school, Adora had opted for taking an easy ride throughout it. Her top colleges have all already offered plenty of scholarships as long as she keeps playing basketball, and she has a rough idea of what she wants to do with her life after she walks across the stage and accepts her diploma.
One of the things she wants includes being free from her foster mother’s control, and yet, here she is, practically being told that one of the biggest things she’s looking forward to is going to be ripped away from her and there’s not much she can do about it.
Adora takes a deep breath in a futile attempt to calm the tight feeling that’s slowly beginning to grow within her chest.
“You’re not going to change your plans just because she’s telling you to,” Glimmer tells her, although it comes out a little more like a question. They pull up to a stoplight, and then she turns to face her friend. “Are you?”
“I don’t know,” Adora answers, squeezing her eyes shut. “What else am I going to do? Just tell her no?”
Glimmer doesn’t seem to understand what the problem is. “Um, yeah? You shouldn’t have to change something as massive as this just because she wants you to stay close to her so she can keep controlling your life.”
Adora sighs, opening her eyes and focusing on the buildings as they pass them. A hardware store and a hole in the wall restaurant flank the intersection they stop at, with a couple of lights on the other side. “It’s not that simple.”
“Why not?” Glimmer asks, voice quieter than before, in a tone that means she’s waiting for Adora to elaborate. Out of the three of them, they may not be the best when it comes to talking about feelings — that spot is reserved for Bow, after all — but Adora is familiar enough with Glimmer to know when she’s trying.
“I don’t know,” Adora admits, plucking at the loose thread on the blocky, golden number “13” sewn into the front of her jacket. “She… she pretty much raised me, Glimmer. If she wants me to stay, I feel like I sort of owe it to her, even if she was never a good mother figure.”
It’s quiet for a moment as Glimmer drives along the backroads that lead to her neighborhood, and toward her house. Rain rhythmically thrums against the roof of the car, a clap of thunder echoing in the distance.
“I don’t think you owe anyone that sort of control, Adora,” she eventually says, voice just barely loud enough to be heard over the rain. “I mean, come on. You’ve told me plenty of times about how she's treated you for the past decade. You’re already eighteen; once you graduate and get out of here, she won’t be able to control you at all as long as you don’t let her.”
Somewhere in the back of Adora’s mind, she knows that Glimmer’s right; that she really doesn’t owe Ms. Weaver anything, and that she should easily be able to slip out from underneath her thumb once she graduates. Although the idea doesn’t exactly sound unappealing, Adora isn’t quite sure how that would even work.
“What are you suggesting I do, then?” she asks, lifting her head and uncurling her knees. “Just pack up and leave at the end of the summer without a word? I doubt she’d let that happen.”
Glimmer chuckles. “What is she gonna do? You’re eighteen now.”
“Guilt trip me,” Adora huffs, visibly deflating and leaning back against the seat of the car. “Manipulate me. I don’t know.”
Glimmer flashes a quick, concerned glance at her. “Adora, if you want to get out of there now, my offer still stands. My mom already loves you.”
Adora quickly shakes her head. It’s not that she doesn’t want to move in with Glimmer, but she already spends a lot of time at her house as it is, and she doesn’t want to feel like a burden. Bow had offered the same thing to her as well, and even though she loves his dads, they don’t have an extra room in their cozy little home.
They pull into the long driveway that leads to Glimmer’s house, and she puts the car in park. For a few moments, they just sit there in silence, until Glimmer eventually speaks. “Well, the only thing I can think of now to do is just show her that you’re the one in charge.”
Adora furrows her brows. “What?”
There’s a pause. Her best friend turns toward her with a mischievous smirk, and Adora doesn’t know whether to be curious or concerned.
(She finds that she's a little bit of both.)
“You need to show Ms. Weaver that you’re in charge now, that she doesn’t have anymore control over your life,” Glimmer tells her, and then gets that look in her eye that makes Adora realize she’s planning something that they might either be able to pull off, or will completely blow up in their faces. “Do you want to know what I’d do?”
Because Glimmer seems to be going somewhere with this, and because Adora doesn’t really seem to have a better idea at the moment, she nods. “Okay, sure.”
“I’d bring home my mother’s worst nightmare,” she grins. “And I have the perfect candidate in mind.”
(In retrospect, Adora should’ve seen the rest of this story coming. She also, definitely, should not have agreed to Glimmer’s completely bizarre and not-at-all-clear plan, and yet, against her better judgement, it’s exactly what she did anyway.)
They manage to track Catra down the next morning, just after first period.
She doesn’t seem to hear them calling out to her as she strolls down the hallway, the wires of her earbuds dangling in front of her chest. She’s wearing a cropped t-shirt despite the fact that they’re still in the middle of winter, tight gray ripped jeans, and a beanie that covers unruly hair that Adora used to enjoy running her fingers through in their younger years. All in all, Adora wonders how her friend hasn’t managed to get dress coded yet, and is totally not thinking about how pretty she looks without even trying.
(“This is a terrible,” Adora had hissed into Glimmer’s ear the moment they saw her in the hallway, waving her hands around for extra effect, “terrible plan.”
It didn’t seem to matter that her and Catra had stayed up till two in the morning the previous night, messaging each other back and forth. It hadn’t really hit her until now what exactly Glimmer’s plan would require until she actually saw Catra in person the next day.
“I think it’s a great plan,” Glimmer had grinned, and that had been the end of it.)
Which leads them to now. Glimmer stops directly in front of Catra, nearly running into her, while Adora stays a couple steps behind. Catra takes a step back, pulling an earbud out and looking up at Glimmer with furrowed brows.
“Catra!” Glimmer starts, giving Adora all of two seconds to back out of this and decide that this really, really isn’t as good of an idea as Glimmer has led herself to believe. “I have a proposal for you.”
Suspiciously narrowing her eyes, Catra straightens up and grips the strap of her backpack. “Yeah, well, find someone else,” she says, shouldering past Glimmer. “Last time I did something for you, I ended up with chemicals all over my clothes, and the teacher had to use that emergency shower to stop anything from getting dangerous.”
Adora has to stop herself from laughing when she’s reminded of what Catra’s talking about. She’s not sure what their teacher was thinking when he had partnered Glimmer and Catra together for a science project a couple of weeks ago, but it had, to literally no one’s surprise, turned out to be a complete disaster.
“It’s not for me,” Glimmer pointedly says as Catra continues to walk down the hallway, before adding, “it’s for Adora.”
Catra pauses a few feet away from them, and Glimmer rolls her eyes. “Oh, so that’s what gets you to stop?” she asks, flashing a glance in Adora’s direction, and then shaking her head and wraping an arm around Catra’s shoulders. “Come on, Cat. I thought we were closer than this.”
Catra frowns and eyes the arm wrapped around her shoulders, but doesn’t make a move to slap it off, which is something she typically would’ve done in the past.
“Yeah,” Adora starts, stepping around the pair so she can stand in front of them. “It’s for me, not Glimmer.”
For a moment, Catra looks surprised to see her, like she hadn’t noticed she was there the whole time. “Well, what is it, then?”
Glimmer gives her a pointed glance. Adora takes a deep breath, but as she opens her mouth to speak, but the words suddenly get lost in her throat.
The thing is, her and Catra’s relationship had always been sort of... complicated.
Catra had been there for her for as long as she can remember — she was her first friend, after all, and where you found one, you could always find the other. As they grew up, their interests changed, and even as they migrated to separate groups at school, they still remained best friends.
Well, at least until high school.
They had a major argument only a couple of months into freshman year, and Adora had watched a decade long friendship be completely torn apart before her very own eyes. On the front lawn of Sea Hawk’s house (there had been a Halloween party, Adora had attempted to invite Catra since they had slowly begun to see each other less and less in high school) things had completely blown up for them, and they spent the rest of the year, followed by the entirety of their sophomore and junior years as enemies.
(Or, at least, that’s what Catra had called it. Adora had never really seen Catra as her enemy, even at their lowest points.)
The summer right after their junior year was when they had finally had a reconciliation. After years of having to remorsefully describe Catra as somebody I used to know to anyone who asked — mainly her friends, or anyone who witnessed their hostile interactions — they had begun taking tentative steps to rebuild the friendship that had completely shattered nearly four years prior.
Adora loved all of Catra’s friends, so much so that Catra’s closest friends — Entrapta and Scorpia — are two people who she considers her good friends now. Meanwhile, Bow and Catra had somewhat gotten along in the beginning, while Glimmer and Catra had... absolutely not.
Their relationship had been filled with deep resentment from the start, being that Glimmer was always there to see Catra argue with Adora before they had their reconciliation. Unsurprisingly, even afterwards, Catra and Glimmer could barely even be in the same room as each other before someone said some sort of insult, only for it to turn into a series of arguments and shouts.
Something had happened between them after Micah had died. Adora still remembers how her and Bow had watched Glimmer retreat further and further into her shell, and had been able to do practically nothing about it.
She isn’t quite sure how or when it happened, but somehow, Catra had managed to get through to her.
When Adora had asked about it, Catra had simply reminded her that she had been in Glimmer’s position before and that the two were apparently able to bond over shared traumas.
They had slowly begun to warm up to each other after that, and although they’re still a complete mess when it comes to working together on school work, the only insults they share are coated in affection, and Adora’s even seen them hang out a couple of times without her or Bow.
All of this is to say that, even though Adora has confidence that her and Catra won’t lose the friendship they’ve rebuilt again, she doesn’t think she wants to risk changing something in their dynamic just to prove something to her foster mother.
And just as she’s about to open her mouth to say nevermind, this was stupid, Glimmer must read the expression on her face as hesitance, because she just straight up says: “We need you to date Adora.”
There’s a long, awkward pause.
Adora doesn’t know why she’s surprised at the fact that Glimmer had just come right out and said it, but she is. Catra blinks, and the bright lights of the hallway make the shock on her face obvious by the way her lips part ever so slightly.
“You need me to what?” she asks, and Adora manages to clamp her jaw shut before she makes herself look like too much of an idiot. Beside her, Glimmer is still grinning. “You want me to date my best friend?”
And even with the situation they’ve found themselves in, Adora can’t help but smile at the words best friend. They had used that term for each other all the time when they were younger, but after their fallout, it was rarely used, even after they had gotten close again. It’s the end of January now, and while Adora’s used it a few times, she’s only heard Catra use it one other time.
“Well, not exactly,” Glimmer tells her. “Not officially. More of like a fake dating thing, just for a few weeks. It’ll probably be over before March.”
Catra still looks bewildered. Adora winces when she takes a couple of steps back, furrows her brows together and averts her gaze from them as if she’s trying to make sense of this whole thing, and then looks back up. “Why?”
Glimmer opens her mouth to continue, and then pauses. She flashes a quick glance at Adora, as if waiting to see what she’ll do.
Figuring there’s no way to turn back now, Adora sighs, and rubs her arm over the sleeve of her letterman. “It’s… it’s, um, to piss off Ms. Weaver. She’s trying to keep me from going to BMU,” she explains, and then winces when Catra’s eyes widen. They had both already been accepted to that college — Catra on a music scholarship, and Adora on a sports scholarship — and Adora knows that it’ll probably hurt Catra just as much if Adora doesn’t end up going. “So this is to show her that she’s not in charge of my life. To prove a point.”
Guilt flashes across Catra’s heterochromatic eyes — the same eyes that Adora had spent the entirety of her childhood being utterly fascinated with — and her entire demeanor visibly changes. There’s another slightly uncomfortable silence, before Catra eventually sighs.
“Can I ask why?” she questions. Glimmer and Adora share a confused look, so Catra quickly adds, “I mean, I get why you want to do it, but why me? Why can’t it be you,” she motions to Glimmer, “or literally anyone else?”
A smile quickly returns to Glimmer’s face, and she pats Catra’s shoulder. “Well, Catra, being that the whole point of this is to prove that Ms. Weaver isn’t in control of Adora anymore, we need someone who isn’t exactly what a mother’s ideal partner for their child would be,” she explains. “Being that you’re, well, you,” Catra suddenly looks mildly offended, so Glimmer pauses and adds, “you know. Broody, rebellious, gives off this resident bad girl vibe, I think you’re the perfect one for the job. Me on the other hand; Ms. Weaver would probably love me.”
Adora doesn’t bother telling Glimmer that while Ms. Weaver will definitely hate Catra, she’d probably still hate Glimmer, even if it’s just a little less. Instead, she turns back to her best friend with a concerned frown.
“You don’t have to do it,” Adora reassures her, not at all wanting Catra to feel pressured. “I mean, this was all Glimmer’s idea anyway, and to be honest, I don’t know if it’ll work, or if we’ll be able to even pull it off—“
“Okay.” Catra grips the strap of the backpack hanging off her shoulder and straightens up. “I’ll pretend to date you to piss off Ms. Weaver.”
Glimmer glances between them with an excited grin — why she’s so thrilled about this, Adora still has no idea — before she brings them both into a hug. “Perfect! This is totally going to work.”
And even though Adora’s still not sure about this plan (and even less sure that her and Catra will be able to actually pull it off), the relief that she feels in her chest is undeniable, so she lets herself be pulled into a hug.
What’s even more surprising is that Catra does, too.
After school, they agree to meet up at a diner that’s less than a mile away from the school itself. Unlike yesterday, it’s fairly sunny today, so Adora declines the ride offer from Glimmer and settles on walking the short distance.
Adora arrives first; Catra had told her she’d be a few minutes late since she had to talk to the music teacher about something, so Adora has already chosen a booth that’s tucked into the back and away from the windows by the time the jingling of the bell above the door signals Catra’s arrival.
“I hope you don’t mind that I ordered for us,” Adora tells Catra as she slides into the seat across from her, pulling her backpack off of her shoulder. “Do you still like the milkshakes here?”
Catra stares at her for a few seconds. “Is that a joke? You know I love the milkshakes here; they’re great.”
It’s been a while since they’ve been to this place. They had come here all the time when they were younger, but those numbers slowly began to dwindle as the years passed, until they completely stopped after their fight. Aside from that, Adora thinks she had been here with once Bow and his dads back in her junior year.
The neon pink lights of the diner cast a soft glow over Catra’s face, and they make her eyes look even more intriguing than they usually are. Adora finds that she kind of gets lost in them for a few moments, chest suddenly filled with a sense of nostalgia and fondness for her former childhood best friend-turned-enemy-turned-current best friend, and everything they’ve been through together in the past decade and a half.
“What?” Catra asks, and Adora pulls herself out of wherever she just was upon realizing that she must’ve been staring. Catra raises a brow.
Adora shakes her head. “I was just… um, thinking.”
“Yeah, no shit, Sherlock,” Catra teases her. “About what?”
“Just…” Adora trails off, not quite sure what to say, before eventually deciding to just avoid the question completely. “Thank you, for doing this for me.”
Catra’s face softens, but her smirk still remains. “Of course. It’s not everyday you get asked to fake date your best friend, so I thought it’d be fairly interesting.”
Again, Adora doesn’t quite know how to respond, but she’s saved from her internal panicking by the reappearance of their waiter.
He sets down a milkshake in front of them both — a chocolate one for Catra, and a strawberry one for Adora — followed by a basket of fries between them. Adora makes a note to leave behind a larger tip than usual to thank the waiter for saving her from having to quickly come up with a response.
“So,” she starts once the waiter has left, intending on breezing past her near melt down, “I was thinking we could talk about about how all of this is going to work; you know, maybe make up a backstory, decide who in all we’re trying to convince, how exactly we’re going to do it—“
“You invited me on a date with you so we could come up with our fake backstory?” Catra interrupts, clearly amused. Adora’s cheeks flush, and she’s about to splutter out if I wanted to take you out on a date, it would be much more special than this when Catra continues before she can somehow manage to embarrass herself even more. “Wow, and here I was thinking you just wanted to hang out with me.”
Adora frowns. “That’s— okay, I know that’s what it sounded like, but that’s not what I meant.” When Catra lifts a brow, Adora quickly adds, “I do want to hang out with you, but I also want to come up with a backstory. Like, you know, killing one bird with two stones— I mean, two birds with one stone. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine, we can just hang out, and maybe we can just wing the rest of it whenever I introduce you to Ms. Weaver — which, might not actually be a good idea — but hopefully we’ll be—“
“Dude,” Catra cuts her off. “I was teasing.”
Adora averts her eyes, cheeks aflame with embarrassment. “Sorry, I just,” she pauses as she scurries through her backpack, pulling out a sheet of paper and a pencil and setting it next to her milkshake. “I’m kind of stressed that we won’t be able to pull this off, and that Ms. Weaver will find out I’m lying, and it’ll just make this all worse… so coming up with a backstory is, at the very least, a little reassuring.”
Before Adora can really register what exactly is happening, Catra’s fingers brush against the knuckles of her own hands. She loosens the balled up fist Adora hadn’t even realized she had been making, and suddenly, her small hands are covering Adora’s larger ones.
“Hey,” she starts, and Adora glances up to meet mismatched, reassuring eyes. “I’ll make sure we’ll pull this off, Adora. It’s going to be fine.” She rubs her thumbs over the palms of Adora’s hands, her fingers warm and soft. “And if coming up with a backstory is going to get you to relax, then we’ll do that, too. Now just take a deep breath.”
Adora stares at Catra for a moment, and then follows her directions by slowly inhaling and exhaling. Catra squeezes her hands.
Adora nods, releasing another shaky breath, slowly feeling the tension begin to seep out of her shoulders. Maybe Catra’s right — maybe they will be able to pull this off.
“Yeah,” she murmurs. “Thanks, Catra, seriously. I really appreciate it.”
Catra smiles at her, soft and sweet like the milkshakes between them. There’s a beat of silence, before eventually, Adora clears her throat and grabs the pencil, and Catra brings her hands back towards the basket of fries.
“So, who made the first move?”
By the end of it, they manage to come up with a relatively simple plan. They decide that, while walking home together one night, they had both decided the moment was right, and had mutually made the first move.
(The both is important. Adora had initially suggested it should be that she was walking Catra home, only for her to kiss her goodnight, but Catra immediately had objections.
“No way,” she had said, “if anything, I kissed you goodnight.”
So, in order to compromise, they decided that maybe they mutually kissed each other goodnight.)
They also decide that this upcoming Friday will be the day that Adora introduces Catra to Ms. Weaver as her girlfriend. Catra’s already met the woman before — only a couple of times, thankfully — but they had all been brief, and honestly, Adora isn’t even sure if Ms. Weaver will remember it.
“Okay, I know I said I think we can pull this off,” Catra tells her as Adora folds the piece of paper filled with what's probably plenty of unnecessary details of their fake relationship and slides it into the pocket of her jacket, “and I do think we can. But what if she finds out we’re faking through someone else?”
Adora tilts her head. “What do you mean?”
Catra shrugs. “Like, if everyone knows we’re not actually dating. I don’t know. Is Ms. Weaver a social person?”
“Well, in terms of work, I suppose she is,” Adora tells her. “Not really outside of it. But… but what if you’re right? What if she does find out through someone else?”
Catra furrows her brows together, and gets the look that Adora understands as what she does when she’s in deep thought. Adora sighs, nervously jiggling her leg underneath the table.
“We’re just going to have to convince everyone else that we’re dating, too,” she concludes.
Catra jerks her head up in surprise. “You want to keep this up in front of everyone?”
“Well, not everyone,” Adora says sort of sheepishly. “Glimmer knows, and Bow probably knows by now...”
“Okay but, like, Scorpia and Entrapta don’t know. Your other friends probably don’t know. The entire rest of the school doesn’t know,” Catra points out, and Adora takes a sip of her milkshake just to give herself something to do. “I just want to make sure that you’re okay with this; that it won’t be something you’ll regret later.”
“I’m okay with it,” Adora reassures her. “It’s not like everyone at school doesn’t already know I’m a lesbian.”
Catra drags a couple of fries through her milkshake and then stuffs them into her mouth. “Good point.”
While Catra had come out to Adora — and everyone else — the summer before high school, it had taken Adora a couple of years to come to terms with her own sexuality afterwards. When she had eventually come out, it hadn’t ended up being as big of a deal as she had initially imagined it would’ve been. Her friends were all supportive, and while she’s sure homophobia still exists in parts of the city, no one at school seemed to really care.
Adora releases a soft sigh, and glances up to meet Catra’s eyes. “Are you okay with this?”
Catra nods. “Of course. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place. I mean, if we’re doing this, might as well go all out, right?”
Adora searches her friends eyes for anything that could possibly contradict what she’s saying. She may not be the best at reading people, and Catra may be really good at hiding her emotions, but Adora’s known her long enough to be able to tell when something’s up.
When she finds nothing but the truth shining in bicolored eyes, Adora relaxes her shoulders and smiles.
Their conversation lapses into relative silence after that, and they split their time between helping each other on homework and eating the basket of fries between them. Adora delights in the fact that it’s not awkward at all; when her and Catra were younger, they had always been able to sit in comfortable silences, but after their fight and reconciliation, those moments were often filled with at least a small amount of tension or awkwardness.
Now, it seems that they’re getting back to how they used to be before everything happened, and Adora couldn’t be more thankful for it.
One hand rubbing up and down the side of her jeans, Catra sighs. “This is totally going to ruin my reputation.”
Adora turns to face her best friend from her place in the passenger seat of the car. They hadn’t arrived at school together, but they had agreed to meet up before they went inside, and Catra hadn’t been in the mood to wait outside of the car in late January weather.
“Your reputation?” she echoes. “What, worried your resident bad girl image will be tainted because everyone will think we’re dating?”
Catra’s brow lifts a playful brow. “Of course. Me, dating the school’s Golden Girl? None of my friends are going to take me seriously anymore.”
Adora chuckles, and turns back toward the front of the school, where a few students are gathered near the front steps. “Half of your friends are my friends, Catra.” They may have run in separate groups in the past, but now, the lines intermingle.
“You’re not being very nice,” Catra says, poking her shoulder. “I thought fake girlfriends were supposed to be nice.”
“We’ve only been officially fake dating for like two minutes, Catra.”
“Already two minutes of wasted time, Adora.”
“What do you want from me?”
“If all you’re going to do is patronize me, I’m just gonna leave.”
“At least you’ll be able to find me some flowers while you’re gone.”
“Now who’s not being a nice girlfriend?”
Catra doesn’t respond, but when Adora turns back over, she sees her staring outside with a smirk on her face. Adora grins, before glancing down at her phone and checking the time. They have a little less than ten minutes before first period starts.
“You ready?” Catra asks, looking at her in concern. Adora looks up and sees galaxies in her eyes, and any nerves she felt about lying to the entire school — and more importantly, her foster mother — just melt away.
Adora takes her best friend’s hand and nods.
Perfuma is staring at her.
Or, well, them.
She’s really, really staring at them.
“Well, are you gonna say something?” Catra eventually snaps, and Adora winces.
A year ago, Catra snapping at Perfuma like that would’ve erupted into a small scuffle between the pair, but now, Perfuma simply stands there for a few more moments, before finally clasping her hands together as a large smile takes over her face.
“So the rumors are true?” she asks, smile widening as Adora and Catra share a knowing look. “You two are together?”
So, it’s Friday now, and being that they’ve decided that today will be the day they start putting up an act in front of Ms. Weaver, they’ve also decided that they might as well start with the school first.
If Adora’s being honest, it really wasn’t that hard. All they had to do was let Glimmer and Bow in on the plan, have them deliberately spread a couple of rumors, and then walk into the building this morning holding hands.
(It was something they had used to do when they were younger, all the time. Now, it feels… weird, although it’s a good kind of weird. Adora chalks it up to being because they’re older and haven’t done it in a long time.)
Shuffling her things around in her locker (which she should really, really organize sometime soon), she listens on as Catra tells Perfuma that they are indeed together.
(The sentence makes her feel slightly warm, but that could just be because her letterman jacket tends to keep her pretty warm.)
Sometime between Adora’s thoughts about this entire thing and her endless search for her textbook, Scorpia has appeared beside Perfuma, presumably for the same reason. Adora tunes out the rest of their conversation — because, seriously, where the hell did she put her textbook? — only to immediately tune back in when Perfuma exclaims her next sentence.
“I knew it was only a matter of time!”
Adora pauses, textbook halfway pulled out of her locker. Not only does Perfuma seem to believe the fact that they’re dating, but now she’s claiming to have seen it coming?
She can’t see what Catra’s reaction to this is, being that her face is blocked from Adora’s view by the door of her locker, and she isn’t sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Scorpia nudges Perfuma’s shoulder. “Oh, me too. All the lingering looks, the tension between you two ever since you guys became friends again, it was only a matter of time before you finally got together.”
Beside her, Catra remains silent. Adora swallows heavily, stuffing her textbook into her backpack, before slowly shutting the door of her locker. The faint chatter of other students occupying the hallways surround them.
Finally — finally — Catra opens her mouth to say something, but before she can, the warning bell rings, letting them know they know have a minute left until class starts. Catra glances up at Adora, and then back at Scorpia and Perfuma.
“I’d um, love to stay and catch you two up with all of the deets about our relationship,” she quickly tells them, “but we don’t want to be late to class. You can ask Sparkles if you want, though. She knows everything.”
And with that, she quickly grabs Adora’s hand, leading her away from the other two. Adora simply lets herself get pulled away in a slight daze, confused as to how their plan has already seemingly backfired, and it’s only been less than three hours.
When she finally does manage to come to, they’re back to a normal walking pace, and Catra is staring ahead of them. Their fingers remain intertwined, and suddenly, a sort of awkward silence surrounds them. Adora used her unoccupied hand to rub her neck.
“So you just kind of left Glimmer to deal with them, huh?”
Catra laughs, and the awkward silence that had surrounded them vanishes. “Well she’s the one who got us into this mess, right?”
A valid point, Adora thinks, although all she does is squeeze Catra’s hand as they continue towards their third period.
Sometime during her second to last period of the day, Adora finds herself mindlessly drifting off into space as her history teacher goes on one of his long rants about the Prohibition era when her phone suddenly buzzes in the pocket of her jacket. She quickly flashes a glance at her teacher to make sure he’s not paying attention, before attempting to non suspiciously glance down at it.
Catra’s contact name lights up the screen, and Adora glances behind her and to the left, where Catra sits near the back of the class.
She juts her chin to gesture at Adora’s phone, so she glances down at it.
hey adora, the notification tells her, do u want to meet up after school so we can head to ur house together?
Adora stares down at her messages with furrowed brows. For a moment, her thumb hovers over the keypad, before she eventually responds with Sure, but I have practice, so maybe a couple of hours after?
alright Catra replies.
She knows Catra usually drives home if her aunt lets her take her car to school, so that gives her an excuse to type out Do you want to stay after school so you can drive me home after? :)
what makes u think i want to see a bunch of sweaty girls running around for two hours
unless the cheerleaders practice at the same time u guys do
then i’ll def stay for the pretty girls in short skirts
Adora rolls her eyes and turns to look over her shoulder, and Catra winks. Being able to support me from the sidelines isn’t enough?
Catra’s next message takes a few minutes. sorry princess, but i already have to deal with coming to your games
A smile lights up Adora’s face. Despite the fact that Catra practically hates sports, ever since their reconciliation, she had barely missed any of Adora’s games. Catra had repeatedly told her it was because she liked watching the other teams lose, not because she liked Adora, and Adora had simply let her have her moment.
Please! I don’t wanna walk home alone :(
i would, but it starts freezing in the gym whenever there’s a team practicing in there, even though we’re literally in JANUARY
you’d think they’d make it warmer
They’re trying to keep us from sweating, Adora tells her, rolling her eyes for the second time. That’s why you should bring an actual jacket instead of just wearing a t-shirt.
The next message pops up with an actual eye roll emoji, followed by well it’s always warm in the school but not in the gym
Adora doesn’t quite know what inclined her to type out What if I let you wear my jacket? , but she sends it anyway. There’s no response for a moment, and she watches the little gray bubbles that tell her that Catra’s typing appear and disappear a couple of times, suddenly feeling too afraid to glance over her shoulder and see if Catra is already staring at her.
why do you want me there so much? Catra finally posts.
Adora pauses. She scours her brain for some sort of answer, but in reality, she doesn’t exactly have one.
After a few moments, she settles on the fact that she probably just wants to hang out with her best friend more often, although she suspects they’ll be around each other a bit more than usual now that they’re going to be… fake girlfriends.
Girlfriends, Adora thinks, shuddering at the word. She’s not exactly familiar with the sentiment — she had a boyfriend her sophomore year, and although he was sweet, he pretty much confirmed the fact that Adora was, and is, only into girls.
It feels… oddly comforting to think of Catra as her girlfriend, even if it’s not real.
Well, if people see you wearing my jacket while coming to my practice it’ll just boost the fact that we’re dating is what she settles on responding with. It’s not exactly a lie.
Catra responds quicker than before. ...fine, i’ll stay
but u better hold up ur end of the bargain
Adora beams. Yes! I will! And thanks for doing this for me, Catra
it’s nothing, Catra tells her, don’t make a big deal out of it.
Adora considers responding with It’s not nothing, because it really isn’t, but before she can, her history teacher clears her throat, and she glances up to find him staring directly at her with his eyes narrowed. Adora gives a nervous chuckle, attempting to inconspicuously slide her phone underneath the papers on her desk.
Her teacher must not be in the mood for lecturing anyone today, because he simply goes back to whatever he was talking about before. Adora breathes out a sigh of relief, before her phone lights up again on her desk.
nice going detective dumbass
Adora can’t resist the urge to smile.
True to her word, when Adora heads for the gym after the final period of the day, she finds Catra already there, sitting at the top of the empty bleachers. A couple of her teammates are at the other end of the gym, and Adora flashes a quick glance at them, before making her way up the steps and towards Catra’s figure.
Catra sits hunched over at the very top, earbuds in her ears and scrolling through something on her phone, leaning against her backpack. She glances up as Adora approaches, taking an earbud out when she sits down next to her.
“Hey,” Catra greets, a slight smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
“Hi,” Adora says, kind of dumbly. They stare at each other for a few moments, before Adora sheepishly extends her arm, where her letterman is folded against it. “This is, um. This is for you.”
Catra’s smile turns into a smirk, and she takes the jacket from Adora’s arms and lets it sit in her lap. “Can’t believe Adora Grayskull is letting me wear her letterman jacket,” she teases. “What an honor. This’ll surely score me some points with the football team.”
She’s obviously joking and Adora rolls her eyes, but bumps her shoulder against Catra’s. “You sure you’re okay with staying? I didn’t pressure you into staying, right? You can leave if you want.”
Catra shrugs. “I mean, you did, but it’s okay. I’m okay with staying. Not like I really have anything better to do.”
Adora gives her a soft smile. Just then, the sound of her coach blowing a whistle echoes throughout the gym, signaling the start of practice, and Adora watches as a couple of her teammates turn to glance in their direction.
Deciding to take advantage of the moment, Adora wraps an arm around Catra’s shoulders and pulls her into a side hug. Catra must catch on, because she quickly leans into the embrace, and before Adora really thinks about what she’s doing, she presses a quick kiss to Catra’s hair and then stands up and quickly descends down the bleachers.
(When she glances back in Catra’s direction halfway through practice and sees her wearing her jacket, an unfamiliar, dangerous warmth floods her chest.)
It’s snowing by the time they arrive at Adora’s house.
They stand at the end of the long driveway leading up to the porch. Catra’s still wearing her letterman jacket, and Adora’s wearing a sleeveless hoodie that she had thrown on after a quick shower at the end of practice. The yard is covered in a light sheet of white, and the sun sets over the horizon.
“Are you absolutely sure about this?” Catra eventually asks after they stand there for at least a solid minute, and Adora does nothing but reach for Catra’s hand. The crisp, cold atmosphere surrounding them nips uncomfortably at her bare skin, but she’s far too nervous to pay any attention to it. “We don’t have to go through with it; everyone at school might be talking about it, but Ms. Weaver doesn’t have to know this ever even happened. We could just stage a breakup and move on.”
Adora takes a deep breath, squeezes Catra’s hand just a little bit tighter, before releasing her grip all together. “No, I’m sure.” A beat passes. “Are you?”
Catra rolls her eyes. “Yeah, ‘course I am, and you already know that.” When Adora doesn’t respond, Catra nudges her with her elbow. “Seriously, you don’t have to keep asking. I’m fine with all of this, if you are.”
“I’m trying to make sure I don’t overstep.”
“How would you have overstepped? The only thing you’ve done is hold my hand.”
“I just don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”
“The only thing that’s making me uncomfortable is standing outside in this weather for so long,” Catra deadpans, but her lips curve up into a teasing smile when Adora glances back over at her.
“You literally have my letterman jacket on, and that’s like, the warmest thing in the world.”
“Speaking of which, do you want it back?”
Adora eyes the jacket that hangs on Catra’s frame. It’s a little too big on her, being that Catra is a few inches shorter than her and far more lithe. She looks small and soft like this, completely unlike the way she tries to make herself appear at school, and Adora feels an overwhelming urge to just wrap her up in her arms and never let her go.
“No,” she tells her, briefly adjusting the collar. “You can keep it on. She knows it’s mine, and her seeing you wear it might solidate everything a little bit more,” she points out, before grinning. “At least, if it doesn’t fall off before then.”
Catra rolls her eyes. “Whatever you say.”
She takes a step forward, pulling on Adora’s hand, but Adora stays rooted to the spot. Catra flashes her a questioning glance, and Adora rubs the back of her neck.
“Before— before we go in,” she starts, suddenly feeling a lot more nervous than she had a few seconds ago. “I just wanted to ask you about boundaries? Like, obviously holding hands is fine, but I don’t want to like, make you uncomfortable by kissing your cheek or hugging you or something, because I know you’re not a big fan of physical affection and—“
“Jesus, Adora,” Catra interrupts, turning around so that they’re facing each other. “For the last time, you’re not going to make me uncomfortable. I’m okay with whatever. Besides, a little PDA is expected from a relationship, right?”
Adora gives a slight nod, staring at the snow covered ground beneath their feet.
“Seriously,” Catra emphasizes, taking a step closer. “If it was anyone else, maybe, but it’s you, so it’s fine.”
Adora takes a deep breath, and finds that she feels somewhat better. “Okay. And, uh, fair warning,” she starts, just before they enter the house. “Ms. Weaver isn’t really… a good person. Like, at all.”
Catra snorts. “I’m a big girl. I think I can handle my own against her for a few hours.”
The meeting goes just as smoothly as Adora — and Glimmer, she supposes — had predicted.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Ms. Weaver doesn’t like Catra in the slightest. When Adora introduces them to each other, despite the fact that they’ve met before a few times in the past, Ms. Weaver doesn’t even attempt to hide her disdain, especially when Adora tells her that Catra is her girlfriend.
(“Your what?” she snarks, eyeing Catra with something that looks akin to disgust. Adora doesn’t even know whether or not she’s homophobic, or if she still just doesn’t like the idea of Adora dating.
“My girlfriend,” Adora repeats, keeping an arm firmly wrapped around Catra’s shoulders. Beside her, Catra simply stands there, arms crossed and looking just about as intimidating as she likes to make herself appear at school, even though anyone who knows her can tell you it’s just a front.
Ms. Weaver clenches her jaw, seemingly glaring daggers straight into Catra’s soul, before stepping aside and allowing them to step toward the kitchen.
Later, just before dinner and while Catra occupies the restroom, Ms. Weaver clasps an iron grip around Adora’s bicep and all but drags her into the room she deems as her office.
“Adora,” she starts, and Adora can tell she’s trying her best not to pop a vessel. “Who is that?”
“Catra,” Adora answers simply. “My girlfriend.”
“I know that,” her foster mother hisses, “but since when? And why in the world didn’t you decide to tell me before bringing that— that vile creature into our house?”
Adora clenches her jaw, yanking her arm out of her foster mother’s tight grip all while attempting to maintain her temper. “Catra’s not vile, and I knew you wouldn’t approve, so I didn’t tell you until now. But I did tell you she was coming over today a couple of days ago.”
Ms. Weaver looks like she might self combust. When Adora tries to leave, she quickly steps in front of her.
“Adora,” she sighs, a deep exhale. “This is just your way of acting out.”
“This isn’t a way of acting out,” Adora snaps, pushing past her foster mother when she hears the door of the bathroom open. Adora’s not exactly the best actor, and all of her friends know it, but at this point, she’s so damn angry with her foster mother that the words sound real to even her own ears. “I’m in love Catra, and I don’t care whether or not you accept it.”)
Dinner goes even worse. It’s awkward at best for the majority of it, silent aside from the few times Ms. Weaver tries to make small talk with Catra, although Adora knows it’s just her way of sneaking insults into the conversation.
“So, Catrina,” she enunciates with aversion, apparently having remembered Catra’s full name from when Catra had first introduced herself all those years ago. “Do you do anything special with your life? Planning on even going to college?”
Catra flashes Adora a quick glance, before clearing her throat. “Um, yeah. I play piano and guitar, and I’m going to BMU on a music scholarship.”
“Bright Moon University,” Ms. Weaver correctly guesses, before shaking her head and going back to eating the lasagna she had put in the oven earlier. “Music won’t get you anywhere in life. I’m surprised your aunt is allowing you to pursue it as a career.”
“I’m not pursuing it as a career,” Catra clarifies with a hardness to her voice. “I’m getting into law. I’m just using music to help pay for it all.”
Adora knows that usually, something like that would probably impress any other parent, but it’s clear Ms. Weaver has already made her mind up about her opinion on Catra. Either way, the point isn’t to impress her, so Adora doesn’t really let it bother her.
Toward the end of the dinner, Ms. Weaver begins to bombard them with questions about their relationship. Adora starts nervously jiggling her leg underneath the table, but Catra rests a hand on her knee and flashes her a reassuring smile, before attempting to handle the majority of them.
When they head upstairs afterward, Ms. Weaver sits down on the couch with a heavy sigh, holds a glass of wine in her hands, and doesn’t even bother trying to force Catra out like Adora had initially expected. All in all, Adora counts it as a win.
“Jesus,” Catra tells her as soon as they enter Adora’s room. “No offense, but she’s a bitch.”
Adora snorts. “None taken,” she responds, and finds that she means it.
Catra peels off the letterman and lays it on the chair that’s pushed into Adora’s desk, before glancing around the room. Adora allows her to do so, sitting down on the edge of her bed and reaching for her phone to check her messages.
“It’s been so long since I’ve been in here,” Catra eventually murmurs. Adora glances back up, watching as Catra steps near the wall where a bunch of old photos are hung against it. “You kept these?”
Adora stands up from her bed to see which pictures Catra’s talking about, only for her gaze to land on the ones near the middle of the collage. They’re some of the first photos Adora had ever taken, back when she was younger and had first expressed her interest in photography and Catra had gifted her with a polaroid camera for her eighth birthday. From then on, she took pictures of everything and anything, and that included pictures of Catra and herself.
The pictures Catra are looking at now includes the first one she had ever taken of them, where they were both sunburned and smiling at the camera after a day at the community pool. The one right next to it is a picture of them on Halloween, taken only a few months after the first one. There’s plenty more of herself and Catra along the wall, and even some of just Catra as they grew up.
“Um, yeah,” Adora admits sort of bashfully. “After our fallout in freshman year, I just… I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them,” she admits. “And considering it’s rare that I bring my friends over because of the nightmare you just witnessed downstairs—“ they both pause to chuckle— “it’s not like anyone would’ve ever seen it and questioned it, so.”
It’s quiet for a long, long moment, and Catra turns to her with a look of sudden sadness. There’s an endless pool of memories in her eyes, reflected off from the lamplight that dimly illuminates the room. This close up, Adora has to crane her neck to look down at her.
Without warning, Catra takes the plunge forward and pulls her into a hug. Although a little taken aback, Adora easily returns it, wrapping her arms around Catra’s shoulders.
“Hey,” she starts, voice soft and quiet. “What’s this for?”
“I’m sorry, Adora,” Catra whispers. “For everything that happened in freshman year. You didn’t deserve any of it.”
Adora sighs, resting her cheek against Catra’s forehead, not quite tall enough to put it on top.
They’ve talked, a lot, but not about this. Not about the fight that ultimately led to their downfall only a few months into high school, the one thing Adora had always regretted not handling better than she had at the time. Not about Adora’s constant pursuit in perfection and her drive to be something more that had lead her to begin to associate with completely different people, so much so that she found herself borderline ignoring her best friend. Not about Catra’s bitterness and resentment that began to grow for Adora, the inklings of a relationship falling apart in mere months.
When they had started taking the steps to rebuild the friendship that had shattered like glass only a few years prior, they had pretty much avoided talking about what caused its downfall in first place. They had both changed over the course of their high school careers, and it was enough.
“That was a long time ago, Catra. We’ve already made up and moved on.”
“I know, but…” Catra trails off, tightening her grip around Adora’s waist and taking a deep breath. “I just… I never really apologized for it, I guess. So, I’m here now, and… I’m sorry.”
“I appreciate that,” Adora says, voice dropping to a whisper. “But don’t act like the entire thing was your fault. I could’ve handled it all better, but I didn’t, and for that, I’m sorry, too.”
For a moment, Adora feels Catra’s grip tighten even further, before it eventually relaxes. “We were both really, really dumb, huh?”
“Well…” Adora trails off with a grin. “We’re still pretty dumb.”
“Well, some, more than others.”
Catra’s soft laughter cuts her off, and Adora rolls her eyes, but refuses to let go. They simply stand there for another few minutes, before eventually, Catra’s phone buzzes on the desk, and she releases her grip on Adora to peer over at it.
Reluctantly, Adora releases her own hold, allowing Catra to step back and text whoever it is that’s messaging her. In the meantime, Adora peels off her hoodie, heading to her closet to change into some cotton shorts and an old t-shirt to sleep in.
“So, should I like, sneak out the window to avoid your foster mother?” Catra asks when she comes back out, only half joking. “Or do you think I’ll be safe heading out the front?”
“You’re leaving?” Adora blurts out louder than what’s probably necessary, and then flushes when Catra looks at her with wide eyes. “Sorry. I just— you don’t want to stay?”
“Stay?” Catra echoes, tilting her head. “Like, the night? Won’t your foster mother be mad?”
Adora shrugs, turning on the lava lamp Perfuma got her for her sixteenth birthday, although it doesn’t do much to add any more light to the room. “Well, the point of this is to prove to her that I don’t care about what she expects of me anymore,” she points out, before adding, “and since when do you care about the rules?”
Catra frowns. “I don’t. I just don’t want you to get in trouble, or something.”
“Aww, so you do care about me!”
“God, you’re so annoying.”
“So does this mean you’ll stay?”
Catra gives a mockingly dramatic sigh, flopping down onto the bed behind her with a poorly concealed smile. “If you insist. But I do have to get back home early tomorrow to give the car back to my aunt before she goes to work.”
“Well, good thing I’m an early riser, then,” Adora grins as she digs out a pair of baggy pajama pants that are a little too tight on herself and an old band shirt for Catra to wear. “I’ll wake you up.”
Catra mutters something about how could I forget, you never used to let me sleep in as she makes her way toward the closet to change. When she comes back out, she folds her clothes and sets them on the desk, and then wearily eyes the blankets Adora is laying out on the carpet.
“Wow, kicking me to the floor already?” she jokes, moving to help Adora lay them out.
“What?” Adora asks, shaking her head. “Don’t be silly, I’m sleeping on the floor.”
Catra knits her brows together. “Why?”
“Because you’re the guest.”
“But it’s your bed.”
“I’m not gonna ask you to stay over and then make you sleep on the floor, Catra.”
“How about we just share?” Catra suggests, waving her arms toward the bed. “We used to share mine all the time when we were younger, and I’m sure during the few times I stayed over here we shared.”
Adora glances down at her bed. Catra’s right, they did share when they were younger, but they’re older now, and therefore, much larger.
(Well, Adora is. Sometimes she wonders if Catra has even grown at all from when they were still in middle school.)
“You think we’ll fit?” she questions, only to watch as Catra rolls her eyes and clambers onto the side closest to the wall.
“Adora, really, I think you think too much of yourself,” she says. “You’re like five seven, not a giant. We’ll be fine.”
“Okay, fine,” Adora grumbles, turning off the lights she had previously left on. It’s completely dark inside the room now, aside from the faint light that the moon provides through her white curtains. “I’m not a giant compared to the average person, but you on the other hand—“
She cuts off with a gasp when a pillow suddenly collides with her face. Faintly, she can see the silhouette of a smile on Catra’s face, before the other girl turns to face the wall, back toward her. “Go to sleep.”
Adora giggles, laying down on her back and snuggling underneath the blankets. “Goodnight, Catra.”
When Adora wakes up the next morning, the first thing she registers is the dim rays of sunlight streaming in through the windows. Being that she usually wakes up this early on the weekends, she’s able to tell that it must be sometime around six.
The second thing she registers is the weight on her arm when she tries to shift her body around to reach for her phone. When she glances down, she’s met with a mess of brown hair just a few inches away from her face, which is very, very unexpected.
But, like, not at all unwelcomed.
Catra is cuddling her. Like, she’s actually using Adora’s arm as a pillow, and she’s sort of tucked into Adora’s side. She feels warm and soft and so, so comfortable, and Adora finds that she wouldn’t mind staying here for the rest of eternity.
The thought makes her head spin.
For a few moments, Adora simply lets herself bask in the comfort of cuddling with her best friend. She lets herself enjoy the arm that’s casually strewn over her waist, the hot puffs of air hitting her neck every few moments, the way Catra’s chest rises and falls like a sleepy metronome, pressed against Adora’s side. The air in her bedroom is cool, too; the thermostat is on a timer, one that Adora doesn’t particularly enjoy, but with Catra currently wrapping them up in a cocoon of warmth, she finds that she doesn’t mind.
Even though she doesn’t usually sleep past six, she’s just about ready to fall back asleep right then and there. Her eyes flutter shut and she feels herself beginning to drift back to sleep, only to jolt in surprise when her alarm blares on the dresser a few minutes later.
As if the phone is on fire, Adora attempts to quickly grab it and shut it off, all while trying not to jostle Catra too much and doing it quickly enough so she doesn’t wake up. She’s a little too late though, because by the time she manages to turn it off, Catra’s stirring against her arm.
“Wha— what time ‘s it?” she asks, voice groggy and filled with sleep.
“Six fifteen,” Adora informs her, reaching back for her phone and wincing at the intensity of it’s brightness.
“Not time to go,” Catra mutters, her words barely coherent. “Sun’s not up, so…” she pauses to yawn, and if it’s even possible, Adora’s chest is suddenly filled with a lot more warmth than just the girl tucked into it. “So ‘m not.”
Trying to ignore the strange, sudden, and honestly quite alarming tingly sensation that’s boiling in her stomach, Adora shifts so she’s facing the other girl. “Didn’t you say you had to get up early to get your aunt’s car back to her?”
Catra’s lips pull into a sleepy frown, but her eyes remain closed. “Not till… mm… sev‘n. ‘V got… like, ‘nother hour.”
“Catra,” Adora laughs. Before she can think better of it, she reaches down to rake her fingers through Catra’s hair, just to push some of it out of her face. “You have to leave soon, then.”
“Catra.” Catra still doesn’t respond, so Adora shifts the arm underneath Catra’s neck so that it loops around the rest of her body, settling a hand on her hip and using her thumb to rub a soothing circle. It all feels strangely domestic. “If you get up now I’ll even make you a quick breakfast.”
It’s quiet for a few moments before Catra groans, rolling onto her back. “I knew I shouldn’t have told you about that.”
Adora smiles, pulling her arm out from underneath Catra to sit up, only to wince when the blood finally comes rushing back to it. “It’s a good thing you did, or else you wouldn’t have gotten up in time.”
Catra finally peeks open an eye — the gold one, Adora’s personal favorite, even though everyone claims the blue one is prettier — and raises a skeptical brow. “You said you were making breakfast?”
Adora swings her legs off of the side of the bed and clambers to her feet. “Sure did!”
“Ms. Weaver won’t try to kick me out?”
“She should’ve already left for work by now.”
Catra rubs her eyes, gives another dramatic groan, and then follows Adora downstairs to the kitchen.
They strike up a bit of small talk while Adora decides to quickly make them eggs and toast. She’s watching the timer go down on the toaster oven when Catra stops responding, and when Adora turns to look over her shoulder, the sight that greets her isn’t all that surprising.
Catra has somehow — and yet, predictably — managed to fall back asleep, cheek smudged against the kitchen table and mouth slightly agape, the hair Adora had just cleared from her face somehow messier than before.
It’s then that Adora really gets to take in her appearance: disheveled and messy hair (more than usual), clothes that are slightly too big, a thin blanket from the couch wrapped around her shoulders. The tingly sensation that had made it’s arrival in her stomach a few minutes ago seems to return, stronger than ever.
It takes her a moment, but Adora begins to recognize the feeling. With a startling realization, she comes to the conclusion that it is entirely possible that she might slightly, possibly, kind of have feelings for her best friend and fake girlfriend.
And it’s then that Adora realizes that she is, without a better way to describe it, fucked.