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Catra was intimately aware of the cloying feeling of others looking at wasn’t theirs. People letting their undeserving eyes glance upon what they could never have. Eyes she had come close to clawing out more than once. She had done it before for a lesser offense, she wouldn’t hesitate to do it for a deserving one. 

Still, it was still a beast she had learned to take years and years ago. No matter if she still fussed and glared. She kind of had to tame it, considering the shining (at times, literally) beacon that was Adora. 

Even before the sword, before the princesses, before being hailed the savior of their universe, Adora had always been something of greatness. The best cadet, the brightest in their regiment, the kindest one in their years. People flocked to her in the same way people avoided Catra. 

It was just her . She didn’t need a tiara to make people love her, they already did. Whether or not the blonde herself believed that. She-Ra might have opened doors for the masses to get a glimpse at her but even magic wouldn’t make someone that good. 

Honestly, it’s for the best that Catra had tamed this particular beast back in their time of racing through halls and hushed conversations pressed against each other in a tiny bed. Otherwise, it would’ve been quite dangerous for those of Etheria. 

She-Ra’s attention wasn’t just for the goodness of her and the whole being everyone’s savior bit. She, well, she had muscles upon muscles. She towered over others. She radiated pure strength and confidence. Catra wasn’t dumb, even when they were enemies, she could admit the physical appeal of She-Ra. 

Just as she could admit people wanted to fuck her girlfriend now. 

Adora was beautiful, too. She radiated the same things when she got passionate about something. Not to mention she was equally as fit. But, there was so much that others didn’t see about her, too. Things Catra had memorized and dedicated herself to as much as possible in their youth. Adora was someone they didn’t see and that’s what she reminded herself of as the eyes drank in every bit of the princess that was paraded in front of them. She could share She-Ra with the world but she drew the line at Adora. 

 


 

“Ohhh no, I’m gonna be sick!” Adora exclaimed, pulling at her blonde locks and wrinkling the papers in her hand. 

Catra, being the loving girlfriend she was, rolled her eyes from the bed. She debated setting her book down but thought better of it. Mermista hadn’t threatened her to be done with it by the end of the week but there had been a look in her eyes that said otherwise. And Catra was trying not to piss off the princesses these days. 

She did look up, though. “Adora, calm down, you’ve literally gone against a warlord and a galactic warlord. Everything else should pale in comparison.”

“Yeah, well,” She scrambled for words, crinkling the papers further as she wildly gestured. “I wasn’t worrying what they’d think of me! I just went in, swung a sword around, and called it a day!”

“I think that’s putting it lightly,” Catra snorted as she grabbed the bookmark on the bedside table. Clearly, she wouldn’t be getting any reading done. “It’s just one speech. You’ve given those before.”

“Not in front of all of Etheria! What if I mess up? Or, or make an idiot of myself!” She gasped out, and oh, this wasn’t a normal Adora freak out. No, this was a bit more serious. 

Frowning and wondering the best course of action, Catra quickly marked her place and set the book down before crawling out of bed and to the desk. Gently, she took the papers that Adora had spent the past few hours writing on and set them on the desk. 

Taking the blonde’s worn and rough hands, she gave the most convincing smile she could. “You’re going to do fine! You’ve got this. Everyone loves you already, they’re not going to be judging you for anything, not when this is to celebrate you! And if they do, I’ll be right there to kick their asses. So breathe for me, alright?”

Slowly, Adora nodded. She even did as told, taking in a sharp breath and holding it before letting it out. “You’re right, you are, I just. I need this to go well. I did this huge thing and now there’s even more expectations than there were before and I can’t-”

“You can.” She interrupted before the other girl could spiral further. “You can. You’ve already won the toughest battle here. They just want to hear that there’s peace, that it’s over, from you. You give your big speech and then we can leave, I promise. Stars, I’ll give the speech myself if you really need me to!”

That earned her a giggle and she counted it a success. “Would you really do that?”

She nodded, bringing their clasped hands up to her lips and kissing Adora’s knuckles. “Of course I would. There’s little I wouldn’t do for you.”

Adora nodded with a gulp. “I know. I love you. And thank you. I’ll be, I’ll be alright. Just don’t… please don’t leave my side tonight?”

As if she would even entertain the mere thought of that. “Of course. I love you too, dummy. You just gotta get out of that big head of yours. Everything’s going to go great tonight.”

“You’re right.” She takes a deep breath and that shaky smile is the best thing Catra has ever seen. 

“I usually am,” She smirks, fang digging into her bottom lip. 

Adora rolls her eyes but her smile widens all the same. And then she tugs Catra closer, capturing her in a quick kiss. “Thank you. Again.”

“You’re so very welcome,” She hummed, pulling her back for another taste, a fact she was still adjusting to. It was strange, going from repressing every thought of this kind of thing with Adora to being able to actually experience it. She was more than happy to make up for lost time, though. 

Before she could give that another thought, Adora pulled away with an urgency that sent Catra’s heart racing, trying to find the emergency that warranted such a reaction but failing. “We’ve got to get ready or we’re gonna be late! Look what time it is!”

And oh, yeah. Catra sighed at the time displayed. Adora usually got ready hours before she needed to and the fact they weren’t even dressed for the event yet was a bit of a surprise. So she relented, silently agreeing even as she frowned. 

“We should just skip this thing,” She thought aloud, watching Adora throw her outfit on the bed and hurriedly get everything together. 

“Catra, no,” Adora scolded, not even looking her way. 

She began to peel off the Horde resembling uniform and for once, Catra gave into her old habits, looking away quickly. Sure, they had little concept of personal space in the Horde, what with the communal showers and shared living space. But it was different now and they hadn’t gotten there quite yet. 

So yeah, best to look away because they certainly weren’t getting there in such a small amount of time. Instead, she summoned all the energy she could manage to actually get ready too. Granted, she let out several disgruntled grunts and groans, but that was probably expected. 

Fortunately, she didn’t have to do much to actually be ready. She just had to put her suit on and maybe sort out her hair if she needed to. She missed her hair but at least she didn’t have to do anything with it these days. 

It wasn’t the suit she had sort of brown attached to in the past. That had been lost to the destruction of the Fright Zone courtesy of herself and Hordak, no doubt. That or time and scavengers. But this one would do. At least it wasn’t sparkly and bright like everything else in Bright Moon was. Dark reds with white and golden detailings. It was actually kind of nice. 

It didn’t take long getting dressed and when Catra glanced at the mirror, she needed only a few moments to brush the short locks with her fingers before deeming it good enough. And then she checked on Adora, the girl having been quiet outside of a few struggling noises. 

She gulped at the sight, throat suddenly far too dry. It was a thirst she was used to, sure. One she was even getting reacquainted with recently. But usually it built up these days, not hit her all at once. 

It wasn’t that red dress, though she did mourn that fact Adora wasn’t even wearing a dress. But she was wearing a white suit almost reminiscent of She-Ra. She was always so bright but now it was like she radiated light. She still had that stupid hair poof but for once, the rest of her hair was down. 

Suddenly, Catra didn’t want to go to this thing for purely selfish reasons. Wanted to hide them both away for days and days. And it would be a deserving vacation. They hadn’t really gotten a moment to rest since everything, always on the go, always planning and helping villages. So sue her, she wanted a day, a moment really, with just herself and the woman she loved. 

Seemingly sensing her gaze, Adora looked over at her with a nervous smile. “Do I look okay?”

Catra almost snorted at the thought of saying no. Even she couldn’t lie that well. “Yeah, you do, princess. You ready?”

She sighed in relief, shoulders losing some of their tenseness. She held up a hand, quickly gathering the papers from the desk and going over them briefly before nodding. “Yep, let’s get this over with.”

 


 

It didn’t take long for Catra to realize she really should’ve just convinced the other girl to stay in. It also didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t just Catra who saw Adora all dressed up and thought things not suitable for public spaces. But it was a familiar battle and she made due by latching onto Adora’s arm and only letting go when absolutely needed. 

Such as when the speech needed to be given. Glimmer went up there first, of course. Spoke of how proud she was of her people, living up to her queenly duties, and then it was Adora’s turn. The minute the crowd realized just who it was on stage, they lost it. They grew so loud in their cheers that Catra ended up having to muffle the sound with her hands, silently cursing them all for proving just how obnoxious they could be. 

Glimmer slid off stage in the noise, making herself comfortable where both Bow and Catra waited. And once the noise lessened, she sent an overly knowing smirk Catra’s way. Of course, being the pain in the ass she was, she didn’t say a word. 

Unable to help herself, Catra played into her game, snapping quietly. “What?!”

“Oh nothing!” She hummed, taking a long look around with that same damn smirk. “Just wondering if Adora knows you’re staking your claim on her for the world to see, tonight. Who knew you could get so jealous?”

Distantly, Catra registered Bow sighing, sending a nearly silent plea into the night for a peaceful evening. But instead of responding to him, she cackled loudly. The kind that was taunting and used to make cadets begin to sweat. “One, ‘staking my claim’ is not what this is. This is me supporting my girlfriend. You know, the one who saved the world because I kissed her? Yeah, I don’t need to ‘stake’ anything. And two, I don’t get jealous, Sparkles. I get possessive. And everyone knew that, not my fault you’re dumb enough to miss that.” 

“Oh puh-lease!” Glimmer exclaims, loud enough for Bow to hush her. “That’s basically the same thing! And yeah, we know, you two are soooo madly in love. It’s nauseating!”

“I think it’s cute,” Bow laughs softly, waving off the glare that Glimmer throws his way. 

“Thank you, Arrow Boy,” Catra grins, tongue rolling over the top of her teeth. “And it’s okay, I know how hard seeing true love must be.”

Glimmer groans, throwing her hands up. “You’re never letting that go, are you?!”

“Yeah no, don’t think I will be. What with, you know, none of this even being possible if it weren’t for how madly in love we are,” She snickers, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back against the wall. She hears murmuring from the sparkles of death but doesn’t acknowledge it. 

Instead, she looks up at Adora. To the masses, she comes off incredibly confident, a true hero saving the day once more with her assurance. And she is. But Catra can see the tremor in her hands as she sorts through her papers, the way she can’t keep her eyes focused on just one thing, and how she hesitates just momentarily before each major point. But it’s a nice speech, nice enough for the crowd to cause an uproar all over again by the time she’s finished. 

Adora does her bows and gives her thanks before quickly getting off the stage. Glimmer teleports right where she had been, reminding them of the events of the night and wishing them all a pleasant night in the festivities. By the time she’s done, Adora finally finds her way back to them. 

“That was fine, I did okay, right?” She frets, looking at her wits end. And it’s such a great contrast to the front she had shown hundreds, thousands if it being broadcasted counted. 

Catra grabs hold of her lapels, pulling her close enough to kiss the side of her mouth. “You were wonderful up there. They love you!”

“Catra’s right! It was a beautiful speech, Adora!” Bow agrees, smiling widely as he looks between them both. 

“Oh, thanks, you guys!” She beams with a little nervous giggle, pulling Catra in a bone breaking hug that she doesn’t dare protest against. When she lets go and steps back, her hand lingers on the small of her back, and it’s enough for Catra to feel her tail whip back and forth for a moment before she gets it under control. 

Glimmer pops up before their eyes, rolling her eyes heavily when she sees how close the two are standing to each other. “Please don’t scar the guests tonight.” And predictably, Adora flushes bright red, sputtering but not removing her hand nor stepping away. Glimmer seems to take mercy on her though. “I was joking, mainly. But you did great, Adora! I told you it would all go smoothly!”

“I know, I know,” She laughed, still a little red. “It’s just easier doing these kinds of things as She-Ra. But that’s it for tonight?”

“Pretty much,” Glimmer nods, looking relieved at that fact too. “Now we celebrate with everyone, get a few drinks, and thank the stars we’re entering a time of peace now.”

“Or just thank us,” Catra can’t help but add, taking far too much joy in the nasty look that falls upon Glimmer’s look. 

“Not this again! Honestly, Adora! How you can like someone so insufferable is just beyond me!” Glimmer exclaims. 

“I don’t know,” Adora laughs with a cheeky smile that’s rare but still one of Catra’s favorites. “She kind of has a point.”

Bow ends up hiding his own chuckles. He still fails, if Glimmer’s death stare is anything to go by. He ends up choking, quickly sorting himself up and wrapping an arm around his girlfriend’s shoulder. “I think we should just enjoy our time together and remember how fortunate we are to be where we are today.”

“Agreed,” Adora nods along, sombering as she glances back at Catra. 

And Catra can do nothing but offer a smile in return. She knows how lucky she was. And she’s not about to get emotional with so many people around them. It doesn’t stop her from knocking her head against Adora’s jaw, knowing full well the implications it’ll have to any other hybrid around. 

 


 

Catra doesn’t drink. She doesn’t like the taste nor the way it makes her feel. She found that out briefly when they were young cadets, smuggling contraband that older soldiers had gotten their hands on. 

But Adora has two. It’s enough within the span of an hour for her to get up when Glimmer says she’s going to the bathroom. And with Bow stuck in a conversation with a few of his own friends from who knows where, it leaves Catra by herself. She wanders for a moment, finding her way to the bar. She has all of a second to ponder on if she should get a drink after all when the alcohol hits her nose and she finds it’s a resounding no. 

When she goes to turn away, she finds a pair of eyes on her. It’s also unfortunately paired with a far too welcoming smile. Had it been before, she would’ve hissed, fangs and claws out, reminding people not to try anything with her. Regardless of what that anything is. It’s not before, though. 

Instead of doing what she wants, she quickly looks away. Tries to see if she can spot Adora in the crowd, which she can’t. But for some reason, that action must scream that she’s interested, because the woman actually thinks it a good idea to approach her outright. 

“Hi, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before?” The woman says. And maybe, if Catra hadn’t been hung up on Adora her entire life, she would’ve found the woman to be pretty. She had the kind of looks to be given a double take, warm and inviting on top of it. 

Sadly for her, Catra didn’t have it in her to give anyone who wasn’t Adora any semblance of attention in that manner. Even before they confessed and got together. Sure, she had debated it, especially when Scorpia had shown interest. But just the thought caused a wrongness in her bones that made her sick. 

“What? At the palace? Are you frequently here or something?” Catra frowned, crossing her arms and raising an unimpressed brow. 

The woman laughs, shaking her head. “No, no, I just meant in the capital. I know a lot of people travelled to be here tonight. Did you?”

She sighs. Laments on the fact she’s supposedly reformed now. “No.” 

“Oh?” When Catra doesn’t go to respond to that, she continues on. “I’m Ida, by the way! And I don’t think I caught your name?”

“That’s because I didn’t give it,” And then she smiles with all her teeth. Because even if she’s not recognizable to most, surely her name is known. And she might not be able to rely on her past antics but maybe she can rely on that old reputation, after all. “Catra.”

Unfortunately, that just earns her a laugh. “Oh that’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? Because of the…” Her laugh dies down at the way Catra stares at her, daring her to actually continue with that route. “The um. Well, you know.”

“Do I?” She gives a long look as she takes the woman, Ida, in. Makes it clear that she finds her severely lacking. 

And like the hero she is, that’s when Adora shows up. As to who she’s playing hero to is up for debate. “Catra, there you are! I was looking all over for you!” She exclaims before taking the sight of them in. And then her shoulders rise a bit and that smile dims. “Oh, I didn’t know you were in the middle of something. I’m Adora!”

“I’m not,” Catra corrects, narrowing her eyes to find the source of Adora’s discomfort, because there must be something for her to respond like that. 

At the same time, Ida looks starstruck. “Oh, you’re She-Ra!”

“Aha, yeah, that I am!” Adora nods, awkwardly giving two thumbs up too. She quickly hides them under her arms, glancing to Catra before looking back at Ida. “You know, I was just gonna come get this one, but if you two are in the middle of a conversation, that’s fine. Catra, I’ll be with Glimmer and Bow!”

“Adora,” Catra calls out with a frown, stopping the girl from actually stepping away. “It’s fine, I’ll come with you.” 

“Are you sure?” Adora hesitantly asks. 

She rolls her eyes, nodding. Grabs the blonde by her elbow before stalking off to find the other two. Distantly, she hears Ida tell them goodbye, but she doesn’t bother to respond. Adora does, waving the girl goodbye and wishing her a goodnight. 

Once they’re far enough away, Catra slows down, looking up at the other. “What was that?”

“What was what?” Adora laughs but its clunkiness gives her away. That and the fact she’s a terrible liar. 

“All of it?” She incredulously asks. “I wouldn’t just ditch you like that, dummy. Besides, she was weird. Kept bothering me until you showed up. So thanks for that save,” She finishes with a grin. 

Adora just nods, quiet for a moment. “Oh, that makes sense. I guess I just, I don’t know. She was looking at you weirdly?”

She wondered if she should play dumb, ask what she meant by that, but she knew better than to do that. Instead, she came to a stop, pulling Adora somewhere they wouldn’t be overheard. “I know. It’s why she was bothering me. I didn’t… I didn’t like-”

“No, I know! I know!” Adora quickly reassured and admittedly, it was a bit of a relief to hear. “I forget that um, that people find you appealing?”

“What?” Catra frowned further than she already was. “You forget people find me… hot?”

“Not like that!” She corrected in horror, the flush rising up her cheeks. “I guess I’m just not used to people making their interest in you known. People were always so intimidated by you when we were cadets. But now…”

“Now?” She gently urged, silence being her only response as Adora grew redder. It clicked then and she stopped the smirk that wanted to show. “Adora, are you jealous?”

“What?!” She sputtered as predicted. “N-no! It’s just that I’m not used to people approaching you like that!” And then something must occur to her because she goes still. “Does it? Happen often, I mean? People approaching you like that?”

Catra chuckles at the struggle. “Do people hit on me often? No, Adora. Like you said, people didn’t freely approach me until recently. Don’t worry your little head. Besides, you get hit on all the time!”

“What? No I don’t,” Adora denied and Catra is amazed to find she isn’t even lying. 

“Adora,” She says slowly. “Do you not notice the looks people give you?”

“That’s just because I’m She-Ra,” She waves off, and yeah, that’ll be a discussion for another time. As it is, Catra can only tackle one thing at a time. 

“It really isn’t,” She argues. “People have always looked at you like that! Why do you think I used to get so upset when you used to talk to other people when we were cadets?”

“Because you didn’t want me to have other friends?” Adora hesitantly answers, like she knows she’s about to be told she’s wrong. 

Which she is. “No, dummy. Well, yes! But also because everyone loved you! Adora, She-Ra, it doesn’t matter. You’re passionate and strong and not to mention hot. People wanted you. Stars, they still do! Have you even noticed the looks people have given you in that suit?!”

The blonde looks down at herself, as if to see what’s so special about the suit. Then she looks around, as if to spot the aforementioned looks. “I… really?” She dubiously asks. 

“Oh, I’m quite certain of it, princess,” Catra hums. “Ask Sparkles and Arrows if you’re so unsure, they’ll back it up.”

“No, I trust you. I’m just. Surprised.” She frowned, seemingly still caught up in the revelation. After a moment, she sighs. “I guess it makes sense. I did kind of feel like hissing at that girl. It makes sense why you did that so much, now.”

She snorts, stepping forward and kissing her big idiot. “You were totally jealous.”

Adora pulls away just enough to let her frown be seen before closing the distance once more. “She was clearly interested, anyone would be uncomfortable if someone hit on their girlfriend!”

“Now you know my pain,” She cackled. “Though I’m sure if you kiss me again, it’ll get the point across to everyone, don’t you think?”

She laughs but does as told, keeping it briefer than Catra would’ve preferred. “Glimmer was right, you are insufferable.”

“You love it,” This time, Catra manages to keep her for more than just a chaste kiss. But it’s still not enough when she does finally pull away. 

Adora just gives her a goofy smile. “Yeah, I do.”