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Adora was working too much. The little voice in her head telling her to stop was promptly ignored as soon as it reared its ugly head. She pushed it to the side in favor of Adora doing better - being better.

She'd finally started her first contract as a social worker a few months ago, specializing in foster care. Her usual hours were 8 AM to 4 PM, with opportunities to work overtime. She and Catra had just moved in together around the same time, and they were desperate for savings. It started off with a few extra hours here or there, which spiraled into more hours and soon, it had snowballed out of her control. She couldn't say no. There were too many people to help, and so little time. So what if she ran her body and mind into the ground? She was useful to Catra and the families she supported. It was worth it.

Before she'd moved in with Catra, she could go home, cry it out, be selfish for a while. Living with her longtime girlfriend was a catch in Adora's master plan to hide. Now, when she came home, Catra would see her. See the bags under her eyes she'd been using concealer to hide, see how tired she was. It would force Adora to face whatever she was running from. She didn't want to do that.

She wouldn't understand, Adora thought frequently. It's better to take this on, to do this on my own and say it was someone else's choice.

Adora came home every night to their apartment, exhausted and brain dead. She'd secretly hope that Catra would be asleep by the time she got back, so she wouldn't know when Adora actually got off of work. She'd let herself feel guilty about hiding for a full day before pushing it into the back of her mind. Her feelings were a distraction. Ignoring them was ultimately for the good of everyone, right?

She should have known better. When Adora came home at midnight before her forced day off - Perfuma had insisted under a weak threat of letting her go unless she started taking care of herself - she found Catra reading on the couch.

"Hey, Adora," Catra said nervously. It made Adora jump; Catra was usually at work around this time. Adora couldn't get a good read on what she was walking into, but based on the shit Adora was pulling for the past few weeks, she was sure that she was about to get yelled at. 

She went to give an affirmative hey in return, but Adora was frozen on the spot, bracing herself on the entry table. She couldn't do more than look at her shoes and drop her bag to the floor in defeat. 

Adora heard Catra place her book down on the coffee table and approach slowly, footsteps as recognizable and familiar as her own. She still inhaled sharply when she felt Catra's hand on her waist. Catra brushed her hair out of her face, bringing their eyes to meet as she kissed the corner of her mouth. Adora cursed herself for shaking so much.

Catra led her to the couch, pulling Adora onto her chest, rubbing slow circles onto her back. She pulled Adora's ponytail out and started massaging her scalp, helping with the tension headache Adora had been fighting all day but was too stressed out to notice.

They laid like that for a while. Adora could hear two heartbeats - Catra's at a familiar cadence, and the blood rushing to her own ears faster and faster as her anxiety continued to spike and her words escaped her. Catra was the only person Adora had known her entire life. The only person she couldn't hide from, as much as she'd tried over the last few weeks. 

Adora wanted to say, please, forgive me. I don't know why I'm doing this to myself, but she couldn't speak.

"I miss you," Catra admitted quietly, breaking the silence, and Adora was sure that she would have missed it if she weren't pressed so tightly to her chest.

"I-I'm so sorry," Adora whispered, shaking harder now. Adora felt hot tears rush down her cheeks. She didn't deserve to be held so carefully, not when she'd been so neglectful.

"No - wait, Adora, I didn't mean it like that." Adora could feel Catra's heart rate pick up. "I miss you, and I'm worried about you." Catra clarified.

"You're - You're not upset?" Adora asked.

"I'm…it's…complicated. It feels selfish to be angry about not seeing you when you're doing important work, but I know you're avoiding me. And I'm not happy about it, but you obviously haven't been taking care of yourself. You can't be here for me when you're abusing yourself like this," Catra said.

Abuse? What Adora was doing wasn't abuse - she'd experienced abuse before. This was just hard work.

"There's just….not enough time," Adora replied, muffled slightly by Catra's shirt. She extricated herself, regretfully turning her head to the side to lay her cheek on Catra's chest. Catra didn't respond, giving Adora the space to continue, gently brushing her fingers through her hair.

Come on, Adora. You can do better.

"I'm scared I'm not good enough. If I keep working, that's less time for myself and the things - people - I love, but more time where I actually can be doing something useful. We can save more. They're kids - like we were. What good am I if I'm not useful to them? To you?"

Catra's hands paused in her hair. "You know that's not true," she said firmly.

Adora didn't respond to that, mostly because she disagreed and didn't want to start a fight. Catra felt her tense up anyway.

"We went through a lot as kids, Adora," Catra started carefully, treading lightly when discussing their time in foster care. "I'll still be proud of you if you change your mind and don't want to do this work."

Oh.

"Oh, fuck," Adora said, tears starting again, the full sob she'd been holding back for weeks finally bubbling over. "I…feel like a f-failure, but I just...can't do it. Every time I do a home visit or feel like I'm interrogating a parent, I just have to sit in my car and cry for five minutes before I can move to the next house. I thought working more would make things different, desensitize me, maybe? It just got harder. I'm….a mess. What the fuck is wrong with me?"

Catra just held her tighter, kissed the top of her head. "Nothing's wrong with you. You have trauma, Adora. We both do. Different people need different things to heal, and this just isn't the way you need to heal."

Adora sat with that for a moment. Catra was right - the shaking, the shame, the hiding - it was all stuff that she did when they were kids.

"I'm so sorry I didn't come to you first," Adora murmured, still lost in evaluating the cycle that she had failed to notice.

"It's okay," Catra responded.

"It's not," Adora corrected gently. "Are you okay?"

"I will be. I just…please don't do that again, Adora. I thought you were having second thoughts about living together or something," Catra said softly.

Adora lifted her head and leaned in to kiss her girlfriend. Of course, Catra was feeling neglected. She hadn't been here. She ran her tongue over Catra's lower lip, trying to show her that she was here, she wasn't going anywhere, and felt Catra's breath hitch. It was only a few minutes before Catra lifted her hips below Adora, seeking some sort of friction. Adora lifted her head and heard a low, sleepy whine, only to shift to a happy hum when Adora started kissing her neck.

How long had it been since they'd fucked….three weeks? Adora wanted, but there was a solid chance she'd just pass out in the middle of it if they started something right now.

"We need to sleep," Adora said regretfully, another open-mouthed kiss on Catra's neck contradicting her words.

"Call in sick tomorrow," Catra said, heat and frustration seeping into her voice.

Adora smiled against her pulse point, nipping it lightly. "Already have the day off."

"Good girl," Catra whispered and giggled a bit when she felt Adora shudder.

"Hmm…not fair. Can't hit me with that when I'm so tired."

"Oh, I can think of lots of things I'd like to hit you with when you're not tired," Catra whispered into her ear.

"Pffft -" Adora laughed, despite the dizzy feeling those words brought on. She stood up suddenly, picking Catra up with ease and smirking at her yelp.

"Showoff," Catra grumbled, but Adora felt her smile against her shoulder. She ungracefully deposited Catra onto their bed, stripping until there was Nothing between them. She let Catra's breathing lull her to sleep, taking her under.

————————

Adora woke up feeling lighter than she had in months. Sunlight streamed through the window, and she felt Catra shift below her, her heartbeat slow and steady.

She carefully slid out of bed to freshen up. She'd been neglecting hygiene for....longer than she'd like to admit, and she needed a moment to process everything from the night before. She brushed her teeth while waiting for the water to warm up, giving the extra few minutes as a grace period for the older pipes in the building. She tested and stepped inside the shower, sighing as the water soaked her hair. It wasn't until she was scrubbing her scalp with Catra's shampoo that she started collecting her thoughts.

Adora was a planner. She'd been working towards this job for years - planned every step in her education, studied relentlessly for her licensing exam. Adora knew every path to get to where she wanted to go. But….did she really want to get to where she was going? She never really stopped to question it. It was always what she thought was best, but was it what she wanted? She didn't know what the end goal was anymore, but she knew it wasn't this. She needed to hear Catra say it was okay - okay to give up, to switch plans, to take care of herself first.

Adora was rinsing her hair when she heard the bathroom door open, feet padding on the tile floor; she waited for the sound of teeth brushing to end, opening the shower curtain when she could make out the crinkle of a shower cap. Catra's hair texture didn't require her to wash it as frequently as Adora did, so Adora had given her a shower cap last Christmas with cats on it to keep her head dry. Catra grumbled about how horrible it was, but she'd smiled when she thought Adora wasn't looking. She's been using it almost every day. Adora knew she'd love it.

"Morning -" Catra yawned with a little squeak at the end, facing towards the water to wet the front of her body. Adora yawned in response and wrapped her arms around Catra's waist, briefly kissing the side of her neck.

"I've been thinking," Adora started, running her hands up Catra's stomach to stroke a thumb under her breast, slippery and smooth from the water. She lost the rest of her sentence at Catra's shiver.

"W-what have you been thinking about?" Catra prompted.

"Right. Uh. I'm going to ask for a week off of work to think about what I want to do...you know, career-wise. I need a plan -"

"We need a plan," Catra corrected gently as she turned around to face her, arms looping around her neck.

"Yeah, we need a plan," Adora started, leaning to grab the body wash on the shelf with Catra still attached. "I'll pull out the whiteboard this morning, and we can break it all up into categories - finances, job opportunities - OH! Maybe in the same sector, but just something a little less, uh, close to home, and -"

Catra cut her off with a kiss. "All of that sounds great, but wasn't there something, I don't know…a little more pressing you wanted to get to today?"

"Huh?" Adora asked, pausing a moment before Catra's meaning registered. "Oh."

"Ahh, there she is. Glad to see you've caught up with the rest of the class."

Adora narrowed her eyes, confused again. "Uh, we tried the whole teacher thing, remember? It didn't -" Adora started.

She rolled her eyes. "I know, I know. You fell off of your chair you were laughing so hard at me in my outfit - hey! Stop - laughing - pfft," Catra stammered out between her own laughter, smacking Adora lightly on her shoulder. 

Adora couldn't help but kiss her gently, forehead ruffling up against her shower cap. Catra laughed at the noise. "You always look so cute in that," Adora sighed, placing her head on Catra's shoulder and leaning into her touch.

"You have a thing for shower caps, princess?" Catra teased.

"I have a thing for you in anything," Adora replied honestly.

"You're sweet, but we're not fucking while I'm wearing this," Catra said, leaning closer to Adora to grab the body wash, chest brushing against hers.

Adora leaned in, capturing her lips with hers once before breaking again. "Then take it off, Catra, before I rip it off."

Adora kissed her with more heat this time, smiling at the little noise of surprise she pulled from Catra's lips. She tried to convey what she was feeling - that she missed her, that she needed her.

Catra grinned and shrugged when they parted. "And here I thought I was going to be in charge today...suit yourself." She knew what Adora wanted. She just wanted her to say it.

"I don't want to think anymore," Adora whispered against her jaw. "Please."

"Okay. You're gonna have to wait, though."

"Yes, ma'am," Adora smirked, testing how much she could push Catra into skipping whatever was planned and get to the fun parts already. Weeks without touch were making her impatient. 

She yelped when Catra gave her a smack on her ass, hard enough to sting under the hot water. "You know what to call me," Catra ordered.

"Y-yes, sir," Adora said, trying not to moan at the sting from her slap.

"That's better." Catra gave her a quick kiss before shutting the water off. "Dry off and meet me in the kitchen. I'll lay something out for you."

"Kitchen?" Adora questioned, disappointed.

"I'm going to let that slide," Catra said, sounding exasperated and a little amused. "I said what I meant. Meet me in the kitchen."

"Can I - can I dry my hair?" Adora asked.

Catra's expression softened, walking back to give her another lingering kiss. "You're a good girl, asking for permission. Take as much time as you need to dry your hair and get comfortable. I'll see you in a bit."

Adora watched Catra leave and did as she was told, taking the time to finish washing off her body and dry her long blonde hair. She stepped out of the bathroom and found one of her old, large varsity t-shirts and a set of boxer briefs on the table. Adora paused with her nose to the fabric of the t-shirt, breathing in the scent of - Catra? She must have worn it recently because it smelled....wonderful. She heard the crack and sizzle of something being fried as her bare feet padded to the kitchen.

"Is that...bacon and eggs?" Adora asked, sitting down at their counter.

"Sure is. You're going to eat as much as you want, and I'm gonna make you some coffee, too, if you want," Catra said, passing over a plate. Adora didn't realize how starving she was until she took her first bite, her second, third, fourth, and so on until the plate was clean.

"The water, too," Catra said, nodding her head slightly over to the glass she'd given her as she ate her own breakfast. Adora nodded, chugging the water ungracefully until -

Until Adora was unsure of herself. She finished the water, placing the glass slowly on the table. She'd been neglecting Catra for weeks now. Was this fair? Why didn't Catra want to be taken care of? Rather than her brain switching from that happy, submissive floaty space she loved so much, it had turned into something a little more panicked.

"Color?" Catra asked, sensing her unease.

"Yellow - I, I don't feel like I deserve any of this," Adora said. "I've been doing nothing but avoiding you, and here you are making me breakfast and taking care of me - it just doesn't feel right."

Catra placed her plate on the counter, taking careful steps towards her girlfriend, and wrapped her arms around her. "You deserve it because you're you, Adora. I didn't feel neglected...I just felt locked out. Let me take care of you, yeah?"

Adora sucked in a deep, shaky breath, trying to let the words settle. She believed her. "Okay, yeah," Adora said. They finished their plates - Catra's first, Adora's second with a few glasses of water before Catra stood up to clear the table.

"Lie down on the bed for me, naked. I'll be there in a few minutes," Catra said. Adora felt a sense of unease wash over her. How long would she be gone? How long would she have to stay there by herself?

"Hey, Adora - look at me," Catra said gently. "I'm just going to put the dishes in the sink. I'll be there in three minutes, tops. I promise I'm not gonna make you wait on your own for long."

Adora felt relief wash over her - Catra wasn't going to leave her. She just wanted to take care of her. "Okay," Adora said, pulling her shirt off and making her way towards their room. It wasn't much - a queen mattress they'd bought online, a few mismatched furniture pieces picked out on many trips to local thrift stores. Adora stripped, folding her clothes and placing them on the dresser for later. She sat on the edge of the bed, waiting, breathing, and preparing for whatever Catra would ask of her next.

True to her word, only a few minutes had passed when Catra returned and started stripping. "How are you feeling?" Catra asked, coming over to place a kiss on Adora's forehead.

"I'm okay." 

Catra lightly gripped Adora's jaw, eyes fond. "Let's try that again, kitten. How are you feeling?"

"I'm nervous," Adora whispered, voice breaking. Catra moved her hands from her jaw to her cheek, bending to place light kisses on her cheekbones.

"Color?" Catra asked.

"Yellow. I just want to talk it out before we start anything."

"We don't have to do anything if you don't want to. I can just hold you, we can watch a movie. Anything you want," Catra said. That wasn't what Adora wanted, though. She wanted to make Catra come all over her face, be a good girl, and give her everything she wanted. She was nervous to ask.

"No, I want to. I just - can I take care of you first?" Adora asked quietly. "Please...I just want to taste you - it's been so fucking long -"

Catra grinned, ran her fingers through Adora's hair. "Sweet girl. Of course, you can. Stay there for me, yeah?"

Adora sat obediently, watching Catra finish stripping and quickly grab a few toys to choose from, placing them on the dresser.

"When it's my turn, I think I want to spoil you today," Catra started. "Maybe use the strap. How does that sound?"

"That....that sounds great," Adora agreed, feeling heat rush to her cheeks.

"Good girl. Grab a pillow and get on your knees for me."

Adora was quick to act. She had missed Catra. The way she tasted, the freckle on her hip, the way her legs shook right before she came. She wanted - needed - to feel that, to anchor herself to it. She placed the pillow on the ground with a muffled thud, kneeling on top and waiting for further instructions. Her heart was hammering in her chest.

Catra sauntered towards her, the lines of her hips drawing Adora in. The sight of her like this, after so long, was already heady. She nudged Adora's mouth open, and the soft pad of her thumb felt like lighting on her tongue.

Catra's body was so close; the urge to touch had overpowered her. She ran her fingers along the backs of Catra's muscular thighs, pausing and looking expectantly up for permission.

Catra nodded, dark hair lit in streaks from the mid-morning sun peeking through the shades. "You deserve to have anything you want and more, kitten."

Adora smiled, kissing the inside of Catra's thigh before laying her tongue flat, licking up the length of her. She felt Catra's hands in her hair, nails scratching at her scalp as Adora repeated the motion. She'd missed this. Her hands moved from behind her thighs to grab and knead her ass, pulling her in. She wanted to be as close as possible.

"F-fuck, that's so good," Catra stuttered, panting as Adora circled her clit with the tip of her tongue. She repeated the motion, hung on every moan and whimper until she felt Catra's legs start to shake and -

Catra sharply tugged her hair, lifting her head. "You want me to come in your mouth, don't you?" Catra asked.

"Yes, sir," Adora responded, feeling wet all over.

"Say it."

Adora shivered. "C-come in my mouth, please."

"Only because you asked so nicely," Catra whispered, allowing Adora access again. It wasn't long before Adora felt Catra's legs shake. Her cries become louder, her hand tightened in Adora's hair as she rode out her peak. Adora's face was soaked, and she fucking loved it.

Catra came down, slowly, running her fingers through Adora's hair to gently remove herself. With a light hold on her jaw and arm, she helped Adora stand to kiss her. She licked along the seam of Adora's lips, no doubt tasting herself.

"Mmm...Lie down on the bed, kitten. My turn."

Adora made her way to the bed, placing her head on one of the pillows, struggling to wait for direction. Catra sensed her discomfort and decided to test her patience. She took her time, pacing back and forth in front of the dresser of toys before looking back at Adora. She whimpered as she realized that Catra intended to draw this out.

"I can't decide," Catra said, as she held up two options, "which one I should fuck you with. Which one do you like more, kitten?"

This was easy. "Whichever one you want to fuck me with, Sir."

Catra looked pleased. "Good girl."

Adora felt the praise shoot through her body, making her twitch around nothing. She watched Catra thread the larger of the two options into the harness before stepping in.

Fuck. She looks so good in leather...

The woman in question's voice broke Adora's trance. "Spread your legs for me."

Adora knew she was a mess, absolutely soaked after getting Catra off, and suddenly felt shy. She clenched before Catra came over and helped, fingers lightly sliding between her wet thighs, requesting permission to see. Adora felt relaxed at the touch. It was easier for her if Catra moved into whatever position she wanted her to be in.

Adora sat there, legs spread as her girlfriend looked at her reverently. Catra's mismatched eyes were warm and vulnerable. She ran her thumb lightly over Adora's clit, smiling when Adora started rolling her hips at the soft touch. She was already close just from getting Catra off, and she was sure Catra could see it.

"God, you're fucking beautiful," Catra murmured. Adora whined at the words and the touch. She lifted her hips with more intent this time, trying to line herself up with the strap, becoming more impatient by the minute.

"Patience, kitten," Catra said, holding her hips down, inserting two fingers in easily as Adora inhaled sharply. "I won't keep you waiting."

Catra was true to her word again, fucking her slowly with two fingers, deliberately missing her G-spot. It was too much and not enough.

"Please -"

"Please, what?" Catra asked, punctuating her question with a hard thrust.

"AH! Fuck, please fuck me, sir," Adora babbled. Catra removed her fingers, lifting them up to Adora's mouth and maintaining eye contact as Adora took them.

"Such a pretty mouth," Catra murmured before pushing her fingers farther in. Adora moaned at the intrusion. Catra was moving the strap up and down Adora - once, twice - before removing her hand from Adora's mouth. She gripped Adora's hips, lining herself up and pushing in slowly. Adora hissed slightly as Catra was met with some resistance.

Catra paused, feeling the tension. "Shit, you're still so tight. Be a good girl and relax for me," Catra said softly. "Unclench your jaw, take a deep breath."

Adora closed her eyes and felt herself pleasantly slip. Nothing else mattered besides Catra's words, her touch, the fullness inside her, the warmth of the sun coming through the shades. She focused on her breathing and felt Catra's hands run through her hair.

"Good girl," Catra praised, sliding the toy in halfway before going all the way out. Adora hadn't felt this full in weeks, the stretch from the toy wiping all thoughts from her brain besides fuck and Catra.

Adora cried out when Catra finally slid in, slowly, to the hilt. Adora reached behind her to grab the headboard. She moved her hips slightly, feeling herself adjust as Catra rubbed slow, maddening circles around her clit.

"P-please," Adora pleaded. She needed her to move.

Catra smirked, removing her hand to hold her legs and starting slow, winding motions with her hips. Adora whimpered when she realized that Catra was looking down, staring at her pussy as she fucked her.

"Fuck, yes. Be a good girl and take it for me," Catra said before picking up the pace. Adora moved her hips to meet every thrust, and Catra gave an approving hum. She picked up Adora's legs without warning, spreading her legs even further apart, fucking her harder and faster. Adora was a whimpering mess, crying out at every thrust.

"I think about this all the time, kitten," Catra said between shallow breaths. "How lucky I am that you're mine, that you trust me with this."

Catra slowed down her pace, hitting harder, longer strokes and reaching to touch her clit. Adora could do nothing but cry out in response. Her mind was blank except for Catra - how she smelled, felt, still tasted on her tongue. Adora felt the pressure build in her core, zap through her spine, so close and not enough -

Catra moved closer to Adora's ear, kissing along her throat as her hips slammed into hers. "I'm so proud of you, Adora."

Adora heard her own cries distantly. She reached her peak and let go. The relief of being seen, being loved, and cared for mingled with the sensation rocking through her body. It took her a few minutes to stop shaking, to come to. She only realized vaguely that Catra was talking after there was a hand on her cheek.

"Hey, Adora - I'm gonna pull out, okay?" Catra asked. Adora nodded and mumbled affirmatively. She felt the strap exit her body and whimpered at the emptiness. Catra placed her hand on top of Adora's hip joint, making her jump a bit. She was so sensitive. Catra moved her hand to her stomach, keeping it there to ground her as she removed the strap. She slid her body between Adora's legs, pressed her face to Adora's ribs, and kissed the hard plane of muscle there.

They held each other, waiting for Adora's breathing to even out and her brain to come back to her.

"Hi," Adora said, feeling floaty and warm.

"Sweet girl. How are you feeling?" Catra asked. "What do you need right now?"

"I-I think I might need another shower," was the first thing that popped into Adora's post-fuck brain, and she heard Catra try to hold back a laugh. "What? I'm all wet. Literally all over. Pfft -"

"You just want to see me in a shower cap again, you freak."

"I mean, you're not wrong," Adora said, giggles dying down. "You look hot in everything."

"Okay, fine. Maybe one day, when we're old or something and don't give a shit, I'll let you fuck me in a shower cap." Adora smiled at the thought of growing old with her.

"I'd like that," Adora said, running her hands in Catra's short hair. She heard Catra snort and say something along the lines of "idiot" before they fell into a comfortable silence again. Catra felt like a warm blanket across her torso, helping Adora start to drift to sleep.

"Hey, Adora," Catra whispered sleepily against her stomach.

"Yeah?" She responded, eyes still closed.

"Was this everything you wanted?" Catra asked.

"Yeah," Adora said. "I wanted you."

Catra kissed her ribs, arm snaking around her back to pull her closer. "You have me. You always will."