Catra awakes on Tuesday morning to Melog’s constant mewling. She and Adora didn’t finally fall asleep until well after sunset, talking about the show and processing where they stood. And fucking each other’s brains out. Actually, after they had a good convo, pretty much all of their time last night was spent competing to see who could draw the loudest, lewdest sounds out of the other.
Entrapta had not been subtle about blasting music all night so the true losers were their neighbors. Maybe it was about time that they actually upgraded all that janky-ass soundproofing.
The apartment had been blissfully silent over the past few hours, giving Catra a chance to finally get some peaceful rest after weeks of anxious, sleepless nights. Adora wouldn’t let her go, pulling Catra against her body until the blonde was practically sleeping on top of her.
Right now though, Adora’s mysteriously missing for the first time. Catra’s sleepy mind almost wakes up enough to worry until she hears a panicked voice that sounds like it’s following Melog back and forth across the apartment.
“Please work with me,” Adora pleads, barely able to drown out the sound of loud meowing. “I love you and I love your person but if you don’t let me get back to bed, I’m going to eat the insides of these antique chairs and poison myself.”
“Drama queen,” Catra calls out, voice almost failing her halfway through. “Just open a can of food.”
Melog cries even louder. Catra drags herself out of bed and into her door frame, leaning against it for support as she rubs her eyes.
“Did they eat?” she asks.
Adora pops out so that she’s visible. She’s wearing Catra’s embarrassingly cheesy robe, a thrifted bright gold satin eyesore that’s so short on Adora that she wouldn’t be able to bend over without flashing everyone.
“They sniffed the bowl and ran away from it,” she replies, throwing her arms out to the side in defeat.
“They're trying to trick you into giving them people food,” Catra explains. She gives one quick, annoyingly high-pitched whistle before pointing in the general direction of the cat’s food bowl.
Melog runs over and begins eating with no hesitation. Adora's face is incredulous and offended.
“They know an easy mark when they see one,” Catra tells her.
Mission accomplished, Catra slowly turns around, fully conscious that she's completely naked, and saunters back to bed. It isn't long before Adora joins her, robe forgotten on the floor. She presses up against Catra's back, the skin beneath her fur coming alive. Then two strong hands wrap around Catra's front, coming to stop low on her stomach and linger there. Catra arches up to the touch, a signal that Adora should go a bit lower.
She's dreamt about ‘relationship morning sex’ with Adora, which she imagines is even better than ‘regular morning sex’. She gets to be all wrapped up in the loving arms of her brand new person while filled to the brim with her fingers.
“I love you,” Catra says so quietly that it sounds like she's just sighing. She's still working her way up to, you know, actually making it audible to humans. Give her a couple weeks.
Adora leans down close to her ear and leaves a gentle kiss, before parting her lips. Catra practically shivers in anticipation. Is the blonde gonna whisper sweetly ‘good morning, beautiful’ like she always does or ask Catra to spread her thighs or tell her how amazing she was last night?
In her sexy, sleepy voice, Adora murmurs, “Let's look at your phone.”
“The fuck?” Catra jerks back to look at her face.
The idiot is completely serious, if maybe a little maniacally excited.
“I want to see if there's any pictures of you online. You were so cute jumping up onto me last night. Someone must have gotten a shot of that.”
“Never call me cute.”
“Yes, right,” Adora says with an eye roll. “Drop dead gorgeous.”
Catra tosses back onto her side, pulling Adora to hold her again. “Use your own godsdamn phone.” She tugs the blonde's arms closer so that's not actually a viable option.
“I don't know where it is. You kinda just tossed my clothes everywhere as soon as we got here.”
“That better not be a complaint I’m hearing.”
“Never,” Adora vows. “I like when you're eager.”
She nips at the back of Catra's neck. Finally. One of Adora's arms moves slightly while Catra waits impatiently for Adora's next move...until her hand lands on the end table, reaching for Catra's phone where it's plugged into the wall.
“My Gods, let it go,” Catra urges.
“If you check your phone, I’ll give you literally any reward you want right now.”
Catra considers being difficult. And then she considers the benefits of being generous and patient.
“Fine,” she pretends to huff, already thinking up a myriad of ways for Adora to pamper her today.
Practically shaking with excitement, Adora hands Catra her phone. This gets annoying before she’s even made it past the home screen. Over 60 texts. Countless Instagram notifications. A dozen missed calls and voicemails.
“No fucking way,” she grumbles and throws it back towards the blonde without looking. “Now gimme,” Catra says, grinding her ass back into Adora.
Obviously, it’s naive to think she could just get absolutely ruined this morning, even after everything she went through to get here. Adora rolls away completely, picking up the phone and beginning to click through it. Catra doesn’t waste any time climbing on top of Adora and trying to swat it away. The least Catra deserves is to be the complete center of attention right now. Adora just uses her stupid long arms to hold the phone up out of reach and continue reading.
“The internet has figured out your identity already. You’ve got so many people reaching out to you for business opportunities,” the dummy gushes. “Lonnie says all the Horde merch has sold out and your streams are through the roof. This is so exciting!”
Catra sneers. There’s literally nothing good about this. She barely wanted to work for success. She definitely doesn’t trust any that’s just handed to her.
“Yeah, I’m not cool with getting famous just cause of my girlfriend. Shit, I don’t wanna get famous at all. I just want to make trash music with my friends who I kinda hate.”
Under her, Adora gives a wide, crooked grin. She looks so happy that Catra’s breath stutters for a moment, her whole being just grateful to be in Adora’s presence.
“You called me your girlfriend,” Adora coos.
The phone gets thrown carelessly onto the floor.
Two hours later, Catra’s once again lying on top of Adora, though this time she’s being crushed against her girlfriend’s tits as she catches her breath. Adora had pretty much tossed her around every corner of her small bed, while calling her a treasure trove of filthy names that could make a trucker blush, until Catra had cum too many times to feel her legs.
It was perfect. Adora was perfect. Catra doesn’t think she could possibly feel any more warm and gooey inside right now. She even indulges herself a bit and grooms the hair around Adora’s ear, eyes half-closed as she makes short, slow licks with her rough tongue.
“That was okay,” Catra sighs.
“I'm gonna need you to make me a Catra-to-Etherian translation guide. I've figured out some stuff on my own but a guide would be helpful.”
“The disrespect!” Catra yells with fake outreach.
“Like, ‘that was okay’ means ‘that’s the best sex I've ever had’.”
“Wow, lots of delusions of grandeur here.”
“And ‘I don't like you’ means you like me.”
She buries her face in Adora’s boobs. “No, dummy. It means I'm hopelessly in love with you.” Catra sighs, knowing what she's about to say will break this calm, delicate cocoon they're in. “‘You can't tell me you're in love with me’ means ‘I’m terrified of this. Of possibly losing you when you realize who I am. And of having you and not knowing how to treat you and make you feel as good as you make me feel.’ Obviously.”
“Obviously,” Adora repeats, trying to drop her voice to mimic Catra’s. She tugs at the dark unruly hair laid against her chest until the two of them are eye-to-eye, her own brimming with tears. “Is that why you cried that day?”
“I refuse to acknowledge that that happened.”
Adora pulls her impossibly closer until Catra has to wrap her arms around her blonde head to keep from completely sinking into her and never leaving.
Catra begins slowly, sounding weirdly like Entrapta, “I may have been thinking all of that and had a visceral reaction to the panic, which manifested in the form of perspiration.”
“From your eyes? So, tears,” Adora pushes with a grin.
“You cried too!”
“Cause I’m so fucking in love with you and you never tell me what you’re thinking!” Adora makes a sound that’s halfway between a hysterical laugh and a wail. “It’s honestly terrifying. Every time I thought I had stuff figured out, you’d run off.” A couple of the tears that were threatening to fall finally do. Adora doesn’t even move to hide them. “I know who you are. I want to know more. That’s all you have to do to show me you love me. Just let me in.”
With a sigh, Catra stands. Adora’s reluctant to let her go but gives in when Catra fixes her with a stern look.
“We’re gonna watch a movie,” is all she says, before she walks over to the tv.
It takes Catra a minute of digging around her tapes to find a couple unmarked ones. Honestly, she’s not sure why she even kept these. So much of the junk from her childhood was too painful to be around but there’s a handful of stuff that somehow made the cut. Just a few knicknacks, one or two things that are the closest to family heirlooms, and a few old tapes. She pops one in and rewinds it, hoping it’s what she was looking for and not some embarrassing record of the time she tried to form a one-person girl group.
The tv’s so old that it definitely sounds like it’s eating the black spooled film and wouldn’t that just be perfect. But it loudly clicks, signaling it’s ready to play and Catra hits the button before jumping back into bed. She sits, rather than lying down, and wordlessly whacks Adora with her tail until the blonde also sits up and moves to hold Catra from behind.
The screen comes on, crackly and slightly distorted from overuse and old age. It’s an awkward angle of an auditorium. Catra’s been to too many to remember exactly which one. Slightly left of center is a grand piano, shiny and black and stunning.
“Catrice Weaver,” a tall woman in a hideous tan suit with big shoulders and tacky bronze buttons announces. She shuffles quickly off the stage to minor applause.
“Catrice?!” Adora whispers.
“Bet your fucking background check didn’t turn that up,” Catra drawls. “Now shush.”
The two of them watch as a tiny Magicat – she was probably 9 at the time but looks much younger, too small for her age group – struts on stage in an awful pink frilly dress and confidently seats herself at the piano. Her already huge mane is teased up and hair sprayed into an outdated frozen shell of hair. With a deep breath, she sheathes her claws and places her hands on the keys.
For a few minutes, they watch in silence as tiny Catra more or less perfectly plays a dull concerto. The kid’s got fucking moxie, adult Catra thinks. She hasn’t watched these tapes in almost 15 years but it’s nice to know her theatrics have always been a part of her. Occasionally, Adora almost unconsciously grips her tighter when the music swells or when Catra fucking kills it in the cadenza.
She finishes with more of a flourish than would be typically appreciated. But the crowd thunders out applause as she takes a short bow before rushing off.
Voice sounding hushed and completed awed, Adora says, “That was a-”
“Middling,” a cold mutter on the tape interrupts. 20 years later, Catra still feels ice creep up her spine. Almost immediately, Adora’s arms wrap protectively around her.
The camera instinctively shifts to the left to capture a tall, thin pale purple woman in deep red, her face covered with a veil. She’s practically vibrating with restrained rage, eyes trained angrily on spot where Catra was previously sitting.
Realizing the mistake, the camera swiftly tilts back to the stage.
“Shit, that woman’s a piece of work,” someone behind the camera whispers.
“Yeah, poor kid,” someone else agrees.
“Huh,” Catra says lightly. “Well, trauma is a bitch. I definitely didn’t remember it ending that way.”
“Who was that?” Adora asks. “Your stepmother?”
“Yeah,” Catra sighs. Footage of another recital comes up on screen but she gets up to turn the tape off before it begins. This was a fucking disaster already.
“Was she a professional pianist?”
Catra barks out a laugh as she ejects the tape. “Sheila? Nah. Never had a talent for anything except manipulation. She got me into good programs though. Good schools. Guess I should be grateful for that.” She shrugs.
“Sounds like she was hard on you,” Adora comments carefully. Catra doesn’t turn around to look at her but she can feel the weight of what the blonde’s trying to get at.
“Fine,” Catra huffs. There’s no real annoyance behind it, not at Adora anyway. “I’ll give you the short version. I had two moms cause queerness runs through my genes apparently. One split early. The other had some...mental health issues. Demons she couldn’t beat. She married a horrible woman who promised to help take care of us. Mom dies, I’m all alone with Sheila. I didn’t speak for a year straight after that and someone suggested art therapy. Turns out, I was pretty good with an instrument. Sheila saw that as a way to make some money, maybe get some respect so we went 120% into it. Talent comes at a cost.”
“You haven’t touched a piano since you were a kid, Lonnie said.”
Catra shakes her head. “She took all the joy out of it. I always wanted to sing anyway. Even though I hate my voice just as much as Sheila did. But I like doing it for me.” She pauses to clear her throat awkwardly. Adora doesn’t necessarily need to know this next part but...maybe she does? “I, uh. I sorta spent a long time looking for...I don’t even know. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, Adora. Fucked up a lot of relationships before. Too clingy or too distant or picking all the wrong people.”
Catra isn’t quite sure what she’s trying to explain so when she runs out of words, they’re forced to sit in thick silence for a long moment. Feet pad softly behind her until Adora’s hands are on her hips, turning Catra around to face her.
“Thank you for sharing that with me,” Adora tells her, eyes big and wet again.
“Yeah, I’m sure pieces of my tragic backstory will just pop up unexpectedly whenever they want to.” She looks to the floor. “Don’t make a big deal about it.”
“Which is Catra-speak for…”
Catra swallows and lets herself lean into Adora’s warm body.
“You still love me?” she asks quietly.
Adora pulls her close, hands going to scratch at Catra’s ears. “I love you even more.”
They stand there holding each other for a long moment before Adora speaks again. “You ever thought about talking to someone about all this?”
“I tried. A couple times.” Catra sighs. The support group wasn’t much help but she’d briefly gone to a therapist that Spinnerella suggested a few years back. It was hard work, dredging all of this old shit up and learning to...well, to unlearn everything Sheila had taught Catra about herself. Hard work really isn’t her thing.
But Catra’s fucked tendencies have derailed so so many things over the years, opportunities for the band, relationships, chances to just...be a decent person. As much as she hates to admit it, it probably doesn’t make it very easy for her friends to be around either. All of those goons deserve a little peace. Entrapta’s hints had been less veiled than usual lately.
“Um…” she says quietly. “I’d like to try again.”
Catra nods. “No promises, though. I’ll probably still be a brat.”
“Hmm,” Adora hums. Her lips replacing her hand on Catra’s ear. “Good thing I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
Adora is whining. Melog doesn’t know what’s happening – though Catra’s pretty sure that they actually do – but they love complaining so they’re parroting every annoying sound the human makes.
“Please,” Adora begs.
Melog fucking howls.
“I swear the two of you better put a fucking sock in it,” Catra grumbles.
Her room is a mess. She and Adora have been railing each other on every available surface for less than 48 hours but they’ve managed to scatter all of her belongings everywhere.
In fairness, that’s mostly Catra’s own fault. Adora is very respectful. The Magicat on the other hand has been tossing her own shit around the place with abandon.
The state of the work shirt she’s holding is shameful. Who knows that this substance on it is. The backup shirt is nowhere in sight.
“Please,” the two dummies whine again.
“No,” Catra repeats sternly. “Neither of you is coming to the bar.”
Melog meows sadly again.
“They say they’re willing to make the sacrifice if that means only I can go,” Adora explains.
“No, they said you’re an idiot and should let me go do my thing in peace,” Catra corrects.
“I miss seeing how much you enjoy yourself at the bar. It’ll be just this one time.”
“And then what? You’ll find another queer bar to hang out in?” Catra gives up on her search to narrow her eyes at Adora. “You gonna annoy another bartender til she breaks down and falls for you?”
“You’re so sexy when you’re jealous,” Adora basically growls.
“I’m not jeal-” She’s cut off by being pulled into a kiss.
Later, when Adora’s doing the human-equivalent of purring into the sheets (mostly just non-stop moaning), Catra wipes the soaked fur around her mouth clean.
“You’re staying here,” she orders. “Or going to your own home. I’m not your boss.”
“Please,” Adora says again, but this one is much closer to a blissed out sigh. “I really want to hang out with you.”
Catra moves to give her a hard look. Except. Adora’s hair is all fucked up and wild now. Her cheeks are red, the post-orgasm blush going all the way down to her still-hard nipples. Eyes still closed, Adora puffs little breaths out of her half-opened lips.
Only a monster would say no to this sight.
“No,” Catra repeats.
“I’ll wear a tanktop,” Adora adds.
“Don’t expect this to become a regular thing,” Catra warns later as she mixes Adora’s greyhound.
“Of course not,” the blonde replies. She doesn’t look up from the book she placed on the bartop as soon as they arrived. “I don’t expect you to come to Grayson Health and watch me fill out paperwork.”
If she’s smirking, she hides it well. A little further down, Spinnerella smiles at them like a goof. She looks like she might say something but she's interrupted by yet another person placing their order.
Hidey Hole has never been this popular on a weeknight. Suddenly, the entire queer population of Bright Moon is there, most of them staring at either Adora or Catra herself.
This is part of what she was hoping to avoid.
Blessedly, for all of the people trying to shoot ‘fuck me’ eyes at Adora, she's got her head too buried in her book to notice. If any of them are dumb enough to try to approach her, they take one look at the giant bite mark on the juncture between Adora's neck and shoulder (visible thanks to the tank that she borrowed from Catra) and swerve away. Catra's particularly proud of how clearly you can see the fang marks on Adora’s skin. It's truly a work of art.
She can feel Adora sneaking little glances at her every time she's not paying attention. Catra spends the whole shift skipping around with a goofy smile on her face. This is really gonna fuck up her reputation.
When Adora finishes her cocktail, Catra goes to serve her, even though Spinny’s standing literally right there.
“Anything else I can get you?” she asks. “Another round? Water? My pussy spread out on your face?”
Adora licks her lips slowly, like she's considering. “Can I have the second one now and the last one later?”
“You can have that one whenever you want, babe,” Catra tells her, noticing that her voice maybe is a bit more suggestive than it needs to be in front of these thirsty queers.
“What were the rumors about the show?” Catra asks later as they're walking home, hand in hand.
Adora makes a bizarre high-pitched sound that kinda sounds like, “Hmm?!” She looks completely caught off-guard, eyes wide and confused.
“Being in the bar made me think of it but I didn't want to mention it in front of lookie-loos. Lonnie and those idiots said there was lots of rumors about what happened at the end.”
Adora kinda grimaces. “Some people figured out that I didn't propose.”
“And you said you wouldn’t have anyway, right? Even if you hadn’t found out about the camera guy?”
“No,” Adora says vehemently. “I-something felt off. Just not right. Mermista checked a lot of boxes but she wasn’t the one for me.”
Catra nods, wondering if Adora thinks she’s the one. And what that’s supposed to mean for the future.
She decides to distract from this by asking, “Any other rumors?”
“It was floating around that I had fucked everyone, promised to propose, and then ran away.” She makes a face, like this is super embarrassing.
“Oh,” Catra says cause she's not really sure what else to say. “Well, I always knew you were shifty.”
“I didn't make it past some heavy petting and dry-humping with any of them,” Adora replies, seeming to understand the unsaid question on Catra's tongue.
“It wouldn't matter if you did. You’ll be shocked to learn this but you weren't my first.”
“I know it doesn't matter,” Adora responds, rolling her eyes, “But I'm trying to establish that we can communicate about anything.”
“Well, is there anything you want to ask me?”
“Uh, there is actually,” is Adora’s nervous reply. “My parents have been really insistent that you come over for dinner on Friday.”
“Yes, the people who birthed me and raised me,” Adora explains, nodding.
“I’m familiar with the concept, dummy. I’m less familiar with being asked to meet anyone’s.”
“Mine are fine...mostly.” She thinks it over. “Harmless.”
Catra’s face must reveal how completely bizarre this feels to her cause Adora adds, “You’d be doing me a huge favor. They’ve been texting me non-stop about you since Monday. Let me take you somewhere nice tomorrow night to make up for this?”
“You don’t have to bribe me to get me to do things for you,” Catra mutters. She’d basically do anything for Adora, no questions asked. Okay, honestly, Catra would ask a lot of questions but that would only be for her own amusement.
“I think you missed the part where I’m subtly trying to ask you on a date,” Adora points out with a smile. “A real one.”
Catra almost misses a step and has to recover quickly so that Adora doesn’t notice. If she fell flat on her face just because Adora wants to take her out, she’d be hearing that story for the rest of her life.
Yes, they’re dating technically. But Adora asked her on a date. Like in public and everything. It’s such a dumb small thing but it doesn’t feel that way, not after months of hiding.
Catra’s black heart beats to life in her chest and she can feel herself blushing. She pushes closer, wrapping Adora’s arm around her shoulders.
“Well, way to bury the fucking lead,” she grumbles but they both know it’s just for show.
This is the best date that Catra’s ever been on.
“Can you stop encouraging him?” Adora says absently, eyes still focused on the menu.
Catra will not. Instead, she leans over and lets her teeth tug at the blonde’s earlobe, making sure to angle so the photographer gets the perfect shot.
The restaurant is nice or whatever. It’s small and pretty intimate, which means they didn’t think it was weird when Catra insisted that she and Adora sit on the same side of the table instead of across from each other.
The food is trying to be trendy — what the fuck is a garlic scape and why is she supposed to care that tonight’s special has that in the sauce? — but Adora orders well. A couple of delicious ceviches, roasted oysters with some kind of buttery breadcrumb and sausage topping, lamb chops that officially ruined all other food for Catra forever, and a boring salad that Adora just had to have.
For dessert, Adora’s trying to choose between something that just sounds like fancy chocolate pudding and some fruit bullshit. Catra’s a little too busy fucking with the photographer who’s creepily taking pictures through the window to point out that fruit doesn’t belong in dessert. He showed up pretty quickly after they sat down so he probably got tipped off by someone working there. Adora’s trying to ignore him. Catra refuses.
“Everyone will get to see that you’re mine.”
Not looking up from the menu, Adora replies, “Everyone already knows I’m yours. I’m gonna have to wear a turtleneck to my parents’ place.”
Catra pushes herself further against Adora’s right side, until she’s almost in her girlfriend’s lap.
“Are you gonna have to do interviews where you talk about how amazing I am? I’d like to approve any anecdotes first.”
Adora gives a short laugh but ignores a response in favor of ordering both desserts from their server.
“I'm definitely banned from making any media appearances,” she says when the waiter walks away. “For the next year, things will be nice and quiet for a change.”
“And then you have to write a tell-all book. Obviously, I'll need to approve any mention of me there as well.”
“Right. We have to protect your carefully crafted public image,” Adora jokes.
“You're wearing two different color flip-flops to a Michelin star restaurant right now.”
Catra stubbornly doesn't look down to confirm whether or not this is true.
“If you love me, you gotta love all of me,” she says, poking Adora in the side with a claw.
In revenge, Adora nips at Catra’s ear, drawing a squeak from her.
Out of the corner of her eye, she checks to make sure the photographer got that one. Hopefully she can find that on some trashy gossip blog tomorrow. ‘Adora Grayson Seen With Girlfriend, Is Definitely A Freak.’
“Just so we’re clear. This is super fucking weird,” Catra says, completely straight. Hopefully, there’s no universe where Adora thinks it’s normal to introduce someone to her parents after only 5 days of officially dating.
The Graysons are taking their sweet fucking time coming to the door, which gives Catra more space to panic and try to figure a way out of this.
The clothes she borrowed from Kyle feel tight – skinny brown pants that she has to cuff and a navy button-up that she does all the way up to the neck, the heart necklace dangling in the center of the collar. Maybe she can fake passing out?
No, it has to be an excuse that gets them home and into bed sooner. Adora's got on this red dress that just barely covers her neck and shoulders and Catra spent the entire 50 minute drive from Bright Moon to Thaymor sliding her hands underneath it.
“Look, my parents are-”
“Two really intense old white people?” She waits for Adora to nod. “How many super racist comments should I prepare myself for tonight?”
“None!” Adora stops to consider it. “Maybe just 2 vaguely offensive comments?” she adds with an embarrassed wince.
“Like the kind that are so bizarre I’m not even sure how offensive they are?”
“Exactly. One will definitely be an attempt at a compliment from my dad.”
Catra frowns lightly. “I’m not gonna be nice about it.”
“I’ll step in if it happens. Adam too.”
They’re cut off by the door opening.
It's only super fucking awkward. Not so awkward that Catra regrets coming or her entire birth. But maybe awkward enough that she would only do this for two holidays each year and definitely would insist that they couldn’t spend the night or anything.
The house is a big two-story suburban haven that kinda reminds her of the one from ‘Home Alone.’ Catra's childhood dream was to have a house to booby trap to terrorize burglars. Maybe they'll get to housesit one day…
Randor is a big ol’ bear with thick dark brown hair and a matching beard. He's built like a fucking tree and when he immediately lifts Catra up into his arms in a hug, she worries about being accidentally crushed to death.
“So nice to meet you,” his deep, laughing voice booms into her ear. Adora hasn't even had a chance to introduce them.
Marlena's more restrained. There's not a hair out of place in her fire red bob and her green low-cut dress shows a nicely curvy figure.
She shakes Catra's hand stiffly and says, “Pleased to make your acquaintance,” which is weird.
Adam and Teela seem regular enough, if you ignore the part where they're gorgeous and super in love with each other. They’re dressed like department store catalogue models, so striking in their physical contrast to each other; Teela’s got olive skin, short chestnut hair, and brown eyes where Adam bares a strong resemblance to her sister. His gelled blonde hair is almost whipped into a pompadour in the front and Catra immediately thinks of Adora’s silly poof. Apparently it’s genetic.
“Catra’s an amazing musician,” her girlfriend says at dinner. It’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. So fucking wholesome. “She plays like a dozen different instruments.”
“Teela just got a promotion at work,” Adam announces to the table, except his eyes never leave his sister’s.
Adora smiles but it’s a little...feral. “Catra has 30,000 followers.”
“Ew, really?” she whispers. Adora ignores that she doesn’t need that type of heat, just to glare at her brother.
Adam barely holds in a laugh. “Teela has 200,000.”
“That’s nothing to brag about,” his girlfriend says with a well-hidden roll of the eyes. “They’re following me for beauty tips or gossip and all I post is pictures of Cringer. He’s having a ball with Swift Wind by the way, Adora – you might have trouble getting him back.” She turns to Catra to explain. “Cringer is Adam’s dog. I saw your cat on Adora’s story the other day. They’re so cute.”
“Yeah, Melog is beautiful and vapid,” Catra tells her.
“They’re the best,” Adora adds. “It’s a shame that Cringer isn’t as well-behaved as Melog and Swift Wind.”
Adam’s perfect face shifts into a mask of offended rage. Apparently, that’s the height of an insult in this family. It’s hard to understand whatever boring verbal tennis match is happening between these two when Catra is used to Lonnie regularly making threats on her life.
Before Adam can accuse Adora of besmirching his honor or whatever, Marlena pauses between bites to address Catra.
“Do you have any siblings?”
She says it like watching her two adult kids passive aggressively bicker at each other isn’t a great argument for being an only child.
“No,” Catra replies with a small shake of the head. “I don't have any living family.”
Adora frowns a little at that. “You have a lot of found family,” she points out. “Lonnie, Entrapta, Kyle, Rogelio, everyone at the bar.”
Catra fights to not sneer. She supposes she loves those losers, and they did help her with this whole shitshow with Adora, but she's not admitting that to anyone any time soon. One breakthrough per decade, thanks.
“Do you want a big family?” Marlena asks, supes cazsh. “Adora wants 5 kids.”
“Five?!” Catra shrieks in horror. That’s literally one for each day that they’ve been dating.
Marlena is annoyed by the outburst but everyone else just seems to think it’s hilarious. Adora has the good sense to try to slowly scooch herself under the dinner table to hide.
“We can talk about that later,” she whispers. “Too early!”
Marlena gives no fucks. “If you carry them, Catra, then you can use Adam’s sperm.”
“Why am I involved in this?” he tries to interrupt.
But Marlena just continues, “Then they’ll be able to look like you both, have a biological tie to Adora, and plus – kittens!” Her eyes look too delighted at the idea.
Adam shoots Teela a glance that Catra reads as ‘how are we supposed to compete with that?’ Teela doesn’t seem like she’s interested in entertaining any of this nonsense.
“I’d prefer if our children weren’t brother-cousins,” Adora mumbles to her twin.
“Gross – boys, Adora?” Catra complains.
“Or whatever gender is affirming to them!” Adora whispers.
Randor rubs his beard thoughtfully. “Well, Adora, with Adam as the donor, that means if one of them gets sick, more possible matches for a transplant.”
“Why are you planning on them getting sick already?” Adam questions.
“You have to plan for that, sweetie,” Marlena answers. “Catra, is there any history of family health issues you’d have to prepare for?”
“Deeply inappropriate question!” Adora yells.
“It is not!” Randor argues, matching her volume. “She’s practically our daughter!”
Catra’s eyes go wide. She just met these fucking loons and she somehow already has 2 parents and 5 children.
“Catra,” Teela calls, sounding extremely amused. “I’m gonna open another bottle of wine. Can you come help me?”
Teela’s up and tugging Catra out of her chair before she can respond.
“So,” Teela says when they’re alone in the Grayson’s large, too-pristine kitchen. “They are bonkers.”
“Is it hereditary?” Catra asks quickly. “Are my dozen fake children gonna come out poof-headed and eccentric?”
Teela laughs. Instead of grabbing a bottle of wine from the rack right in front of them, she reaches under the island and pulls a bottle of tequila from the cabinet.
“Adam’s normal most of the time. Though, every once in a while, he’ll do these weird little illogical things, like how he apparently seriously thought a nugget was a separate cut of chicken. I guess, his parents used to say that they couldn’t serve nuggets cause they only bought breasts and…” she shrugs, like she has no words.
Shot glasses appear from another cabinet and she pours one for each of them.
“...Were you the one who had to explain? Isn’t he almost 30?”
Teela nods sadly. “I love him though. Everyone in this family suffers from a critical lack of any fucking chill. They'll calm down a bit once they get used to you.”
“What the fuck am I supposed to do until then? Just have a football team full of kids?”
“I know where Marlena hides all the booze, cigarettes, and weed,” Teela suggests. “WASPs, man.” She raises her shot. “Salud.”
When they return from the kitchen, two shots in and zero bottles of wine in their hands, no one even questions it.
“Catra, you're coming with me for a round of golf next weekend,” Randor informs her.
“Uh, I don't play.”
Randor’s lips droop at the edges and she sees a lot of Adora in him.
“But lesbians love golf,” he says.
“Dad!” Adora and Adam yell at the same time.
“What?!” he yells back, genuinely confused.
“Remember – if you're ascribing a character trait to an entire group of people based on their identity, it's probably rude or offensive,” Adam reminds him.
Randor nods to show that he understands, even if his eyes keep going back to Catra like he’s waiting on her to confirm his thoughts on lesbians and boring sports.
Teela redirects the conversation to something about Marlena and Randor’s upcoming plans to maybe one day hopefully take a break from overworking and go on vacation. Marlena does an admirable job of refusing to agree to absolutely anything.
“We’ll start with putt-putt,” Randor tries to whisper to Catra. It’s impossible because he has the voice of a jet engine. “I’ll teach you. All of my children have to know how to play golf. It’s good for business.”
It’s...kinda sweet. Weird but sweet.
When he walks them to the door later, Randor points to a piano in some stuffy-looking front sitting room that they clearly never use.
“Adora used to take lessons when she was younger. Absolutely terrible,” he explains, ignoring her offended squawk. “Maybe next time you can show us how it’s supposed to be done?”
“No pressure,” Adora adds quickly.
Catra glances at the old, definitely out of tune instrument and then at the hopeful smiling faces of the most beautiful woman in the world and her goober of a father. Adora’s never said a single word that hasn’t been supportive.
“Yeah, maybe,” Catra agrees.
Kyle finishes a Xtina-esque warble that has Catra fighting not to call up Herbert S. Spotify and have their music removed immediately. The audacity he must have to upstage her like this in front of her girlfriend.
Entrapta’s beat comes to a close a few bars after that and she pauses it. Their audience of one breaks out into a loud cheer.
“Amazing job, Kyle,” Adora gushes from her beanbag chair.
She’s wearing a Horde tshirt. When she came into the music room like this, Catra had to clarify, “You know this isn’t a free show, right?”
“No,” Adora had smirked. “Everyone already got a free show when they walked in on me bending you over the bed.” Catra had been perfectly fine with finishing after the band barged in to remind her about practice but Adora’s shy or has boundaries or something.
“Wow. Kyle?” Catra questions. “We’re choosing favorites?”
“What’s it like fucking your second favorite person in the band?” Lonnie teases Adora.
“I didn’t know Entrapta was into me like that,” the blonde responds.
“Amusing,” Entrapta says flatly. “But we have limited time remaining for this session and our exposure has increased exponentially. Perhaps, we should focus.”
“Yeah, stop being so distracting, Adora,” Catra undermines her own words by immediately leaping into her girlfriend’s lap.
“I thought there was a rule against partners at practice,” Lonnie points out, already annoyed.
“Yeah, that was obviously only until I had one,” she replies. Not caring who’s watching, Catra pulls Adora down into a kiss. “We should probably wrap up soon anyway. Gotta head out.”
They have to grab a couple things from Catra’s room first, particularly Swift Wind, who Adam and Teela had dropped off earlier. The mutt is passed out on the bed, attempting to sleepily nuzzle into Melog. Their eyes narrow when the couple enters, Melog looking very unimpressed with Catra's choices and the new friends she’s brought into their life.
“Aww,” Adora coos. “They look just like you. Same cute frown and everything.”
Swift Wind loves the backyard at Hidey Hole. Catra’s never had a dog before, because of course not, but Adora’s extremely relaxed about letting him just run around and do whatever he wants.
“Don’t you worry he’s gonna run away or get kidnapped or something?” Catra asks.
Adora goes all soft and starry-eyed. “Oh, babe. Are you worried about him?”
“Should we get you matching shirts that say ‘dog mom’?” Netossa jokes.
Catra would like to say no, but hey, free shirt.
Castaspella gasps suddenly. “I can knit Melog and Swift Wind matching fall sweaters.”
Catra knew this outing was a terrible idea. Glimmer had called to casually suggest getting some friends together to hang out at the bar and then Lonnie got involved and suspiciously no one was on the schedule tonight except Huntara and some young newbies. When she, Adora, and Lonnie entered, they were greeted by Spinny, Netty, Sparkles, Juliet, and Casta.
Juliet’s so starstruck to meet Adora that she almost fumbles her beer rushing to shake the blonde’s hand.
“She can autograph your tits if you want,” Catra offers.
Juliet must have already built an immunity to her, because she barely reacts. “I think just a picture would be fine.”
There’s no 8-person picnic tables back there so the group has to commandeer both of the two tables that Huntara reluctantly supplies the bar with and shove them together. It’s not even dusk, yet all around them the space is packed with people drinking and pretending they’re not staring. Every time Catra feels her fur starting to stand on end from the attention, Adora draws her closer or pets gently along her spine.
Whenever Catra catches Spinnerella’s eyes, the older woman is practically beaming. It’s so embarrassing.
Lonnie saves Catra by trying to drag more behind-the-scenes show details out of Adora. Everyone’s casually interested, mostly in all the drama, but Netty really tries to zone in on any info about Mermista that’ll help her get an advantage in the betting for Mermista’s bachelorette season.
It’s mostly a chill evening, lots of cocktails and joking around. Even Glimmer’s on her best behavior, probably cause someone’s gotta drive Casta home later.
All this fun comes to a fucking jarring halt when Catra hears a loud, and now way too familiar, voice yell out, “Wildcat!”
Catra’s ears swivel towards the door immediately. She hasn’t heard that name in years. Not since that…
Shooting to her feet quickly, Catra spots someone barreling out the door and through the crowd towards her, a huge red pincer waving erratically in the air above everyone’s heads.
Adora gives her a concerned look before her eyes drift over towards the commotion. “Scorpia?!” she yells.
“Oh, Adora? My gosh. You’re here too?!”
Scorpia. Oh, Gods. That was her name! That fan who wanted to be best friends with Catra for like an entire summer years ago. Who gives someone a nickname the second time they meet them?!
Catra has to picture her face 8 years younger, and with a little bit of leftover acne, but that is definitely the same dorky scorpion girl that came to all their shows and talked Catra’s ears off for hours afterward.
With a shock, Catra finally puts those pieces together. Adora dated someone who used to have a very intense crush on Catra. This information must be protected until it can be deployed on Adora for maximum embarrassment. Her face is gonna be so cute and red when she hears how Catra was obviously superior here because Scorpia liked her first. It was illogical, but Catra still thought it was hilarious.
When Scorpia finally bombards her way through the human bowling pins in front of her, she stops in front of their table and lifts Catra into a huge hug. Her red jumpsuit’s hiding her giant biceps but Catra can feel how much bigger and beefier Scorpia’s gotten over the years. And she wasn’t exactly scrawny before.
“Wildcat! It’s so good to see you!” Scorpia screams into her ear.
Out of the corner of her eye, Adora looks completely conflicted. Confused, worried, a little jealous.
As soon as her feet hit the ground, Catra bounds back over to drape herself across Adora’s shoulders. She’s not sure if she’s protecting Adora or the blonde is supposed to be protecting her. But this is her idiot and if Scorpia wants to fight for Adora, she better get ready cause Catra fights dirty.
Scorpia doesn’t seem to notice how defensive either of them is, instead excitedly gushing, “When Mermista told us that she was still in town and would love to meet the person Adora’s dating, I knew I just had to introduce you two!”
Catra has to crane to look around Scorpia and yep, there’s Mermista standing there in real life and looking like she dressed for a club instead of a gross dive. Adora tries to pretend she’s happy to see the newcomers but her smile looks like she’s being held against her will.
Everything feels like it slows down as soon as Mermista and Catra’s eyes meet. Catra’s certain that Mermista must have said she’d 'love to murder the person Adora’s dating' and Scorpia just misheard. Other than the nuclear fire she's shooting back at the Magicat, she looks as calm and disinterested as she did on tv.
Catra blinks at her slowly, forcing her posture to relax.
“I will leave her for you right now,” Catra tells Mermista seriously. “Just say the word.”
“And I’ll off Catra to be with you,” Lonnie offers, standing quickly. “Then both of your problems are solved.”
Mermista only briefly breaks eye contact with Catra to glance over in her direction.
“Who even is that?” Mermista asks.
“My ex,” Catra replies, rolling her eyes. “Stop cockblocking me, Lon!”
Mermista smirks, glancing slowly at both of them. “Fine. I guess I accept.”
Catra immediately pushes Adora away, using her girlfriend to springboard herself closer to Mermista.
“That's not funny, babe,” the blonde tells her, still smiling tightly.
Catra just looks bored in response, copying her new girlfriend’s casual pose. “Oh, are you still here, Adora?”’
Mermista chuckles so quietly that Catra’s probably the only one to pick it up.
“At least you’re hot,” she says, giving Catra a onceover with her eyes. She seems to appreciate the black suspenders/rainbow cheetah print croptop/pleated gray shorts combo that Lonnie had said belonged at an “elderly lesbian mixer.”
Catra’s tail sways lazily behind her. “You’re not so bad yourself. How’d you almost end up with that giant dork?”
Mermista just barely lets her eyes shift over to Adora and then back quickly. “I guess she has her moments.” She stares at Catra for a second longer before sighing reluctantly. “Fine. You and I don’t have beef.”
“I’m relieved to hear that. It would’ve been a real barrier to us running away together.”
“Why isn’t this how you talked to me when we met?” Adora asks.
“I knew you two would get along!” Scorpia interrupts. “Wildcat, I can’t believe you still work here. I wasn’t sure how to get in touch with you but I remembered this place and figured you probably hung out here. I remember you once saying that you’d die here.”
“That was more of a morbid prediction and less of a declaration of my loyalty,” Catra explains.
“You’re still so funny!” Scorpia laughs. “You have to meet Perfuma.”
Catra assumes that she means ‘eventually’, not ‘right this very fucking minute’ until a thin hippie in a pale green sundress is shoved in front of her.
“Hello, Catra.” Her voice is even more soothing in person. “It’s lovely to meet you. Scorpia’s told me what great friends you used to be.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” she hears herself say, like a tiny clone of Marlena. She can’t really think of anything else to say, brain overloaded by the presence of three people that she’s watched make out with her girlfriend onscreen. And also from being told she and Scorpia were apparently a lot closer than she thought.
Perfuma kindly just moves right along. “Hello to you as well, Adora. How nice it is to see you in the real world.”
She moves closer to Adora to speak and drags Mermista along to introduce themselves to everyone else. But Scorpia could not care less. She remains standing in front of Catra, practically dancing on her tiptoes from excitement.
“I’m so excited to catch up with you, Wildcat!”
“Yeah...it’s good to see you too, Scorpia,” Catra says tentatively. “Why don’t you sit down and chill out a bit?”
“Of course!” Scorpia immediately squeezes onto the corner of the picnic bench, enthusiastically repeating her name to everyone.
Spinnerella instructs their friends to politely pretend that Adora isn’t sitting surrounded by the 4 most recent people she dated, nervously sweating bullets. Glimmer’s all the way at the other end of the table but her delighted grin could probably be seen from the next town over.
Scorpia starts rambling immediately. “Perfuma and I were supposed to leave on Wednesday morning but we were having so much fun sightseeing that we decided to stick around. And then we heard Mermista was still here too and, oh boy! We just couldn’t pass up the chance to spend some time together. Maybe we’ll all go on vacation together next summer. Obviously, Wildcat, you and Adora are invited too.”
“Why does she keep calling you that?” Adora whispers.
Still unsure how that ever started, Catra asks them all, “Don’t you kinda hate her guts?” Adora’s okay and all but Catra’s not about to protect her pretty little face from all the hearts she broke.
“I can only speak for myself,” Perfuma says, “I enjoyed my time getting to know Adora but I’d much prefer to pursue a friendship.”
“I was just happy that I got to meet so many wonderful people,” Scorpia adds. “Perfuma and I are going to be the best of friends now.”
Perfuma smiles patiently. Catra actually hopes for her sake that Scorpia wises up to her feelings soon.
They all turn slowly to Mermista.
“Dude. I said there’d be no hard feelings,” Mermista tells Adora.
“You threw a vase at me,” the blonde points out.
“It flew off the rug! I wasn’t even aiming for you!” Mermista seems to look around and notice all the eyes on her. She takes a breath to collect herself. “Anyway, I was more annoyed at Hope for blowing smoke up my ass for months, swearing you and I were such a strong match and everything was gonna work out. In hindsight, she was just trying to get me to stay so she could watch me have a full meltdown.”
“I was rooting for you,” Catra says. “To commit arson, I mean. Not to end up saddled with Adora.”
“Catra’s been obsessed with me for months. She’s just pretending to be tough to impress Mermista,” Adora lies through her teeth.
Catra makes to leave and never return ever again but she’s pulled into the dummy’s chest, where Adora holds her until she stops fussing. It’s nice there so there’s no need to move. Not for a little while at least.
Adora reaches to scratch behind Catra’s ear as she asks, “Am I looking at the next bachelorette?”
Mermista smirks and shrugs. “Hope made a generous offer that was hard to refuse. My breakdown was the ‘realest’ thing people had ever seen on the show. So Hope wants to capitalize on the hype.”
“What about Sea Hawk?” Adora follows up.
With a devastating eye roll, Mermista says, “He wants to join the cast and compete. He’s convinced that he needs to win my love in front of everyone.”
The secret way she’s smiling doesn’t match her disgruntled tone. Catra can relate to that.
“Wait,” Lonnie jumps in, ignoring Casta’s attempts at shushing her. “When does casting start?”
From there, she pretty much begins peppering Mermista with a bunch of questions about how to get onto her season, if it’ll actually be open to women, and how comfortable Mermista is with a polypod.
Everyone’s complete disinterest in Adora – and more importantly, Adora’s mutual disinterest in them – calms Catra enough for her to enjoy all of her girlfriend’s gentle petting. She doesn’t even notice when she begins purring.
Scorpia’s eyes fill with little hearts. “Aww, I’m so happy for you! You know, when I went back home after my summer internship here in Bright Moon, I was so worried that you’d be heartbroken, Catra. I’m really glad you recovered.”
Adora might be talking but it’s hard to hear over Lonnie laughing at the other end of the table.
It's 10 days later when the network gets in touch with Adora, saying one of their sister channels would love to greenlight a reality show that just follows her and Catra on their journey together.
“The only show you should be on is one of those obstacle courses where they shoot slime at you.” Catra doesn’t even stop setting up the well to give this serious consideration.
Adora pouts, crossing her arms to lean onto the bar. “Come on. What do you think? They can follow your new commitment to your music career-”
Catra whips around to ask, “Who told you that?”
“Lonnie told Glimmer and Glimmer tells me literally everything.”
Those two together are too powerful and must be stopped. Vowing revenge, Catra goes back to focusing on her task.
“And what are they following you doing? Sorting pencils at Grayson Health and waiting until I can afford to put a baby in you?”
“I’m sorry – what?!” Adora screams so loudly that Catra’s certain that her ears are gonna be ringing for the rest of the day.
Thank the Gods she wasn’t holding anything breakable because Catra immediately throws her hands up in alarm, hissing.
“You don’t need to shout around a Magicat, dummy,” she grumbles, covering her head.
“Did you hear what you just said?”
“Why does everyone think I don’t listen to myself when I talk?” Catra wonders quietly.
Adora, she finally notices, is completely shocked, mouth agape and everything. “You’ve thought about kids?”
“No!” Catra replies reflexively. Maybe. “It was a mindless slip.”
She had merely watched Adora trying (and failing!) to teach Melog and Swift Wind to play with a ball together and thought (totally against her will!) that Adora would be a good parent.
Catra was light years away from being able to picture herself in that role.
“It's waaaaaaay too early. But five is an absurd number. Start emotionally preparing yourself to settle for one. Like. A decade from now.”
“Okay,” Adora says, doing a horrible job of hiding her pleased smile. “Well, we have plenty of time to iron out the details.”
Catra narrows her eyes, certain that Adora’s got some secret plan to pump out an entire WNBA starting lineup.
“Anyway, I was thinking about something else the other day,” Catra pivots.
“So you’re just completely ignoring the show or…”
“I have to cut down on my shifts so I have more time to finish polishing some songs and get them recorded so-”
“You’re really gonna record?” Adora interrupts. Then she smirks so perfectly that Catra has to look away so she doesn’t get distracted. “How many songs are about me? All of them?”
“If you legally change your name to ‘Mermista’, then yes. Stop switching topics.”
“I was talking about the show and you literally brought up multiple other thing-”
“If I have less shifts,” Catra continues, “Then we can make a schedule...and see each other more when you go back to work in a couple weeks.”
Adora positively lights up. “Aw, you changed your schedule for me? You’re so whipped.”
Catra dives to reach for the soda gun but Adora anticipates her. She jumps half onto the bar first, grabbing Catra by the shoulders. Before Catra can lift the nozzle, Adora pulls her close and kisses her soundly.
“A schedule sounds great,” Adora says when she pulls back. “Look at you being all organized.”
“Entrapta’s probably gonna write it so don’t give me too much credit.”
“And new songs! I can’t wait to hear them.”
“Yeah?” Catra sneaks in a couple extra kisses since no one’s there yet anyway. “I can’t wait to share them, I guess.”
Adora trails hot kisses to her jaw and then slowly up to her ear. “You’re so talented. I’m so proud to be with you,” she whispers.
Catra can’t stop the way that she moans easily, so damn weak for Adora.
There’s just a hint of amusement in the blonde’s voice when she asks, “Want to...play some pool before Lonnie gets here?”
Catra growls, thinking of the last time they decided to make good use of the billiards table.
“Yeah…” she says, already trying to think of an escape plan. The day has finally come where she’ll have to make good on her threats to slip away and disappear into the night forever just to avoid Huntara following them after this. “But try to think of a new name you’d like to have.” Cause they're gonna need brand new identities to escape Huntara's wrath.
She slips over the bar and starts tugging Adora towards the back.
“Ooh, like roleplay? Sexy.”
Catra rolls her eyes, pushing Adora to take a seat on the table. “You’re such an idiot.”
“I love you too, brat.”