This must be the fifth plan that her so-called tactician has suggested to her and that Adora has shot down. She wonders why she even bothers? She might as well make her own plans and not even bother asking for advice or help if all her soldiers are this useless. The soldier, Adora doesn’t even know their name, is running out of ideas and she can tell they are. She’s tuned them out, busying herself with cadet reports from her Force Captains and other busybody paperwork. Maybe sixth time will be the charm?
"Maybe if we used She-Ra-" Adora takes a sharp breath in. So much for the sixth time being the charm.
"Absolutely not ." Adora brings her fists down on the table in front of her, a growl of rage escaping her throat as the sword, holstered to her side, seems to grow heavy. "I told you to never suggest that again."
"B-But Lord Adora, if you used She-Ra, you could crush the Rebellion in days."
"I am not-” She lets out a sharp exhale of exasperation. “ She-Ra ," Adora spits that name. "is a Princess, her power is too strong, I cannot control her and I won't use her. I have told you this before and I am growing tired of your ignorance." She stands up again, straightening her back almost painfully upright while folding her arms behind her back. "Come up with another plan, or I'll simply find someone else who can." The soldier is practically shaking in their boots and Adora huffs. Sometimes she wonders how they've gained so much territory when it seems like all her soldiers are afraid.
"Lord Adora!" Adora groans. She runs a hand through her bangs, pushing them back atop her head as she dismisses the strategist with the flick of her wrist.
"Scorpia, what is it?" Adora asks. She snaps her fingers as a signal for Scorpia to follow her as she walks towards her throne.
"So, these letters arrived by a courier today, they're our invitations to the All Princess Ball." Scorpia explains. Adora frowns. She pauses at the base of her throne and turns on her heel before she sits in it.
"Princess Ball? Sounds dull." Adora says, reaching her hand out for the scroll. Scorpia places the scroll in her palm and Adora looks at it with distaste.
"Every Princess will be there! They host it every ten years, this year it's Princess Frosta's turn to host, she's neutral to the Horde and the Rebellion."
"Wait, so the Rebellion just... invited us? Are they stupid?" Adora asks as she unfastens the scroll. She watches in disbelief as the thing falls open and rolls, and rolls, and rolls . "They've sent me this to torture me, I'm sure of it."
She tosses the end of her scroll across towards Kyle who was standing nearby. “Kyle, read it to me.” Meanwhile, she leans back in her throne and closes her eyes. It’s a busy day in the Fright Zone, she doesn’t normally have so many people hanging around her, she likes solitude usually, and they’re beginning to give her a headache with their constant yapping.
Kyle’s voice becomes like background noise to her as she thinks this over. If every Princess was going to be there, that would be a perfect opportunity to do… something . Adora just doesn’t know exactly what that something will be. “Kyle, shut up for a second,” Adora demands and he silences immediately. “Scorpia, why did they even invite me? You, I get, you’re a Princess, but me?”
“Well… She-Ra is kind of an honorary Princess, I guess? And Frosta is neutral in the war with the Rebellion so… you know, they have the whole neutral ground rule, it’d be against the spirit of the ball to not invite us.”
“ Ugh , Princesses, they’re so self-righteous, I feel nauseous just thinking about it.” Adora groans, running her fingers through her hair. Scorpia was currently knocking her pincers together nervously. “Kyle. Resume.” Adora orders, relaxing back into her throne. “This is Catra’s idea. I just know it.” Adora says, mostly to herself, though her words were more than loud enough for Scorpia to hear them.
“You know, I’m thinking… it’s not?” Scorpia says. Adora opens one of her eyes and looks at the woman while raising an eyebrow in question. “The Princess Ball is a tradition, I got sent an invitation to the last one and, well, you didn’t have your sword then but, I’m sure they would’ve sent you one too. Catra’s got… nothing to do, with any of this.” Scorpia explains.
“It’s her, I know it is, she’s the only one out of all the Princesses who has any sort of intelligence. She’s their strategist, this is one of her games.” Adora argues. Scorpia holds her claws up in surrender and Adora groans again. Kyle was still rattling off the invitation details, and he was only about halfway through the scroll.
“What’s your deal with her anyways?” Scorpia asks. When Adora scowls at her, she quickly backtracks on her question. “I just mean, you seem to have a focus on Catra over all the other Princesses.”
“She’s the worst one! She’s - ughhhh - she’s so annoying! Every plan I come up with, there she is! Countering my plans! Can you believe that?! She has the audacity to go toe to toe with me . “ Pfffft… you know,” Adora grins. “maybe this Ball isn’t such a bad idea... You know what, maybe it’s exactly the opportunity I’ve been looking for.”
“Uh,” Scorpia glances at Kyle, then back to Adora. “does this mean we’re going?”
“Oh, we’re going,” Adora stands, her cape swishing dramatically with her motion. “and we’re gonna teach Catra, and those rebels, that they can’t outthink the Lord of the Horde.” Adora places her hands on her hips before she frowns. “Kyle! Did I say stop reading?” The boy scrambles to go back to his reading and Adora grins. Now she just had to find an outfit for this stupid event, something that would distract her enemies so she could pull off her plan.
No way Catra could plan for what Adora was about to pull off.
* * *
The Princess Ball is just as obnoxiously bright as Adora thought it would be. People look at her like she has a second head or something - which is fair when Adora considers that she’s practically public enemy number one - but Scorpia had said that the Ball was neutral ground and she trusted her. She had left her sword at home, she didn’t really need it for her plan and, besides, this thing had a no weapons rule (boring and dumb if you ask Adora).
Adora had never been to a ‘Ball’ in her life and she hadn’t exactly planned on it. She’d had to get an outfit made by the department that made the Horde uniforms and, she had to admit, they had a lot of skill. Turns out, if you can make multiple Horde uniforms you might be considered a tailor, or seamstress, or whatever the fuck (Adora doesn’t know), but they can make some fancy clothes that aren’t uniform.
Scorpia was wearing some sleek black dress that, Adora had to admit, did her back a glorious justice. She wonders how Scorpia got all those muscles - and here she thought she was the muscle of this op. Lonnie was wearing a three piece suit that looked pretty good actually and the red matched Scorpia perfectly. Kyle, because they couldn’t bring Rogelio, since cold and lizard are never a good combination, was in a simple red suit - white shirt and red tie. Adora wonders how he always manages to look like a teenage boy, scrawny and skinny, even at the age of twenty-two - he seriously hadn’t changed since their cadet days.
Adora herself was dressed in a black turtleneck, that was skin tight, and she wore a fitted red blazer over the top with some black harness thing that gave it ‘flavour’ and she had fitted red pants on. Their colour scheme was definitely red and black, the colours of the Horde basically, and they stood out like sore thumbs among the bright pinks and blues of the Rebellion members around them. Whatever, Adora didn’t come to win any fashion shows, but they sure as shit did look good .
“Is everyone clear on the plan? Kyle ?” Adora mumbles, fixing her eyes sternly on the boy. He seems to cower a little under her intense gaze. Kyle is afraid of her which should be strange, considering he’d seen Adora’s awkward teenage years, but, also, Kyle is afraid of pretty much everyone with authority, even Scorpia - Scorpia !
They all nod to signal they knew the plan and what they had to do. “Good, this has to go perfectly, I mean it, Kyle, I’m serious.”
“Will you lay off him?” Lonnie asks and Adora rolls her eyes at her. “He gets it, Adora.” Adora scowls.
“It’s Lord Adora.” Adora reminds her, Lonnie shakes her head.
“You forget we used to bunk together, we saw you in your tighty whities, you’ll always be Adora to us.” Adora smiles a little at that. Her squad were her ‘inner circle’ so to speak, the only other person who hadn’t been in her squad, and who Adora trusted unconditionally, was Scorpia.
She concedes to Lonnie and gently slaps Kyle on his back, which almost sends him flying. “Whoops, sorry about that.” Adora says.
They pause at the doors of the Ice Castle while two guards go to open the much too large doors. “Let's just… get this over wi-” Whatever Adora was about to say dies in her throat as the doors to the castle are thrown open and her eyes immediately land on a certain woman. She’s standing in the centre of the hall, chatting to the Sparkle Princess, she’s smiling too and Adora’s stomach suddenly flip-flops.
Catra is dressed like a traditional Magicat, they tend to wear robes, though Adora normally sees Catra in battles and robes are not practical in battles. When Adora sees Catra, she’s usually in some tight vest shirt that exposes her arms in all their glory, with a little window on her chest that has a little tuft of hair that sticks up out of it - and it’s really cute. She usually has a belt around her waist with a little winged pin on it, tight - very tight - leggings, that are ripped in places that Adora is sure she made with her claws. She never wears shoes, and Adora doesn’t know how she hasn’t hurt her feet yet, but it makes her deadly in a fight - especially if she pounces on you with those things. Typically, her hair is drawn back into a low ponytail, her bangs falling wherever they please really, and she has a golden brace on one of her arms.
Usually she’s dressed for battle and, no, Adora has definitely not spent a long time closely examining her whenever she saw her. But tonight. Tonight she was dressed like she wasn’t expecting a fight. She was dressed in traditional Magicat clothing that Adora had seen some of the civilians wear, but Catra is a Princess, and clearly her clothes were of the highest quality.
The robes were intricate and folded in a way that Adora could never figure out, the colours had clearly been chosen carefully to pair well together with the different cloths. Adora couldn't figure out if they were different, or just a bunch of colours on one fabric, and pinned and tucked and god knows what else, to give the effect they were giving right now, but Catra looked downright exquisite, royal, beautiful .
She was dressed more brightly than her friends, even if her outfit was technically more muted colours, the accenting of the bright gold made her practically shine under the lights. Her hair was down and a little wild, the only sign of Catra’s more… fierce attitude, and framing her face was one of the Magicat royal crowns. Sometimes, Adora forgets that Catra is a Princess, but her regal presence is completely undeniable right now. She still wasn’t wearing shoes.
Adora sees the exact moment Catra notices her because her smile falls almost immediately and she looks confused before she looks downright pissed. Adora wipes off whatever look she was giving Catra - maybe she was drooling a little, she honestly doesn't know - and fixes Catra with her trademark smug smirk. Catra scowls and Adora’s smirk only grows. She sees the woman start to make her way towards her but Adora quickly slips into the nearby crowd.
No way she was talking to Catra before she talked to Frosta first. Adora had done her research; she knew what she had to do, she couldn’t let Catra distract her - yet. “After we greet Frosta, you all go execute the plan, I’ll keep Catra busy.” Adora reminds them.
They climb the steps to the throne and stop at the top where Frosta was sitting on her ice throne. Adora bows a little and her soldiers follow suit. “Princess Frosta, revered hostess, we were so happy to receive your invitation to the Ball.” Adora greets charmingly. Frosta just blinks at her, which throws Adora little if she’s honest. Is it possible to be intimidated by an eleven year old?
“Princess Scorpia, Adora,” Frosta says, and Adora doesn’t know if she likes hearing her name so close to the title Princess. “You are welcome, please enjoy the Ball-'' If Frosta was about to say more it gets cut off by a certain someone.
"You invited her ?!" Catra asks, gesturing at Adora vaguely. Although she was talking to Princess Frosta, she had her blue and gold eyes trained intensely on Adora. Adora would be lying if she said she didn't enjoy having the Magicat's full attention on her.
"Scorpia is a Princess, she gets an invitation," Frosta replies and, for an eleven year old, she speaks like she's been leading for a long time - Adora's almost impressed, when she was eleven she was just mastering how to fight with a staff. "She-Ra is an honorary Princess, she also gets an invitation. The Kingdom of Snows has remained neutral in the fight against the Horde and the purpose of the Princess Ball is that it's neutral ground for everyone . They're Princesses, they get their plus ones, they stay."
"Yeah Catra." Adora chimes in.
"She- You-" Adora grins as she sees Catra go from obvious anger to exasperation in the matter of a few seconds. "She's from the Horde! She's the Horde Lord ! She's evil !" Catra protests.
"My decision is final." Frosta says and Adora winks at Catra as she bows respectfully to Frosta and makes her way down the steps. Her squad splits off from her when she reaches the bottom. She hears Catra following quickly behind her and she smirks to herself before she's ambushed by the woman at the bottom of the long staircase.
"Whatever you're planning, I won't let you get away with it." Catra growls. Adora places her hand to her chest and gives Catra a mock hurt look.
"Well now you're just hurting my feelings."
"You don't have feelings." Adora huffs before she looks around her surroundings. "I'm going to follow you all night, wherever you go, I go."
"Well if you're interested in me Kitty you could just say so, stalking isn't really my thing." Adora says nonchalantly, while examining her nails. She looks up to see a pretty pink colouring the cheeks of the Magicat.
"Don't call me Kitty," She bites back, "and I'm not stalking you, I'm making sure you don't do anything… evil."
"You assume I'm up to evil? Ah !" Adora grips her chest in an exaggerated way. "You wound my heart… Kitten ." Catra narrows her eyes and Adora laughs.
She brushes past Catra and heads towards the table where there was a spread of very Rebellion looking food. "Why are you here, really?" Catra asks, turning her back to the table she leans up against it.
"Oh, you've cracked me, let me spill my evil plans to you."
"So you admit you have evil plans?" Catra asks, raising a brow. Adora glances at her before she rolls her eyes.
"Aren’t you Princess types supposed to see the best in other people?" Adora questions as she examines a piece of food curiously.
"In you? Impossible." Catra says and Adora actually finds herself smiling. Catra has a sharp tongue, Adora knows this from their many exchanges on the battlefield, and she appreciates a woman who is just as witty as she is, and doesn't take any shit from anyone - it's actually insanely attractive to her, which is why she's flirted with Catra on multiple occasions during battles.
Catra is always so serious while fighting, Adora used the flirting to throw her off balance, but Catra took it in stride. She only half means the flirting she’s directed at Catra… the Half-Moon Princess is extremely attractive, Adora isn't blind, but the likelihood of that happening was next to none.
Catra clearly doesn't plan to take her eyes off of Adora at any point during this Ball and that is exactly what Adora wants. She was counting on the fact that she is the Horde Lord and Catra would assume she was up to something and try to get to the bottom of it.
Truthfully, Catra seemed almost amused by Adora's teasing, even if she wouldn't admit to that. There was always this energy between them when they interacted, and Catra couldn't hide that little spark in her eyes. Still, Adora hadn't expected her to focus on her all night quite as strongly as she was. "You're really going to act as if you have nothing in mind?" Catra asks, looking at Adora in utter disbelief.
Adora regards Catra fleetingly, she knew it annoyed Catra to no end to be ignored and if there was anything she liked to do, it was annoying Catra. "Oh, I have plenty of things in mind, would you like to hear some of them?"
"I would like to hear what evil plan you have." Catra clarifies, probably knowing that Adora would take the unspecified question and run with it.
Adora pouts at Catra nipping her opportunity to have some fun in the bud. She turns to her, seeing her mismatched eyes essentially glare holes into her. "You're obsessed with me Kitten, can't I just be out here to enjoy the Princess Ball? I have an invite you know?"
"First of all, I'm not obsessed. Second of all, no you're not. Both you and I know that you're not here to simply enjoy Princess Prom." Catra rolls her eyes at Adora. She opens her mouth, clearly about to say something else, but is interrupted by Frosta making the announcement that the first dance of the night was starting. "Of fucking course..." Catra grumbles.
Adora half smirks when she hears the announcement, she turns fully to Catra and extends her hand. "Care to dance, Princess?"
"...Fine. But only to keep an eye on you." Catra places her hand in Adora's and maybe it was a trick of the light, but Adora could've sworn Catra was blushing.
Adora leads Catra onto the dance floor, easily making her way through the crowd who seemingly parted to let her through - probably had something to do with her status as Horde Lord. She sees more than a few people glaring at her, but no sign of Scorpia, Lonnie or Kyle. Good. They must be getting on with the plan while all eyes are on her - plus she'd seen the Sparkle Princess arguing with her friend before, too distracted to pay attention to Scorpia or the others. Rookie mistake. Adora feels confident in her plan. Reassured. And she has all of Catra's attention right on her.
She stops in the middle of the dance floor and turns to face Catra. In the light that had dimmed somewhat at the announcement of the dance, Catra looked even more stunning than when Adora had seen her upon entering this place. The lights caught the gold threaded into her outfit perfectly and her eyes were glowing slightly in the dark.
Adora smiles and lays her hands on Catra's hips. "You know, the Horde teaches its cadets ballroom dancing. Supposed to be good for coordination and such. Can you believe that? A bunch of Horde soldiers learning to dance? But it's true." Adora wanted to get more inappropriate with her touching but she opts to instead run her hand down Catra's arm before she takes her hand in her own, to lead the dance. "I used to have two left feet, I had to practice every day, or I paid the price."
"You'd pay the price? For being unable to dance?" Catra asks. She slaps Adora's hands when they get a little too low for her liking. "I mean, it does help with endurance and coordination. Dancing is actually one of my favourite hobbies. Though it is kind of hard to imagine you having two left feet since you're leading the dance right now. Rather well, actually, though I hate to admit it."
"You dance, Catra?"
"How do you think I became so quick on my feet, idiot?"
"Figured you learned that running away from me in battles." Adora shrugs as she pulls Catra a little closer, her large hand feels almost too comfortable against the small of Catra's back.
"Running away from you? You mean like you ran away from me four days ago?" Catra rolls her eyes.
"Excuse me? I did not run away from you."
"So what was it that you did then?" Catra grins, knowing that she had hit one of Adora’s nerves.
" Obviously I was performing a sound tactical plan and seeing if you'd watch my ass as I ran away," Adora says simply, trying not to laugh at Catra's surprised expression. "Pretty sure it worked."
"As if. I was not looking at your ass. I was too busy laughing as you ran with your tail between your legs." Catra scoffs. Adora's pretty sure she's lying, but what are you going to do? "But, sure, call it what you want. We both know you ran away because the Rebellion was winning." Catra probes her, trying to get another rise out of her to combat Adora’s previous attempts to make Catra seem like the coward between the two of them.
"I could crush the Rebellion in seconds if I wanted to."
"So why haven't you, Lord Adora ?"
"Because unleashing She-Ra would go against everything I stand for," Adora moves closer to Catra's face, so close that she could pick up the scent of the perfume she was wearing, "and maybe I want to give you guys a fighting chance."
"And here I thought that you would do everything possible to win. You all aren't afraid to fight dirty, so I don't see why you wouldn't use She-Ra." Catra points out. She glares at Adora but, for a moment, Adora swears that she sees something there before Catra refocuses her attention into a scowl.
"... I'm protecting you from her."
"Protecting me ?" Catra looks at her, clearly confused who exactly Adora meant when she said she was protecting someone.
"Protecting everyone ." Adora states. She can feel herself slipping a little, feel her mask of confidence and bravado giving way to her anger and her... Adora looks away. "You wouldn't understand."
"...Then help me understand."
Adora shakes her head. She couldn't possibly explain this to Catra, she's a Princess herself after all, she'd never understand. Instead, she moves her hand lower and gives Catra a teasing grin again. "I'm sure I can make you understand a lot of things, if you gave me the chance." Adora whispers, suggestively, aiming to fluster Catra more than anything. The attempt seems to work, to an extent.
Catra's cheeks fluster slightly and she frowns at Adora. "And what exactly are you trying to make me understand?"
"How about the fact," Adora says quietly. She moves her lips to Catra's ears, moving inches from her face, she could feel Catra's heat pressed up against her that it almost had Adora herself blushing, "that you seem to find me so distracting. All your attention is on me, Kitten."
Catra shivers as Adora's warm breath caresses her ears. Her hands, which had come to rest on Adora's neck, shook, just a little. "My attention is on you because you're planning something." Catra hisses, though her soft blush takes much of the bite from her words.
"That sounds a lot like an excuse." Adora says quietly but, truth be told, she's enjoying being close to Catra and dancing with her.
"It's not. It's the truth." Catra frowns deeply, staring straight into Adora's eyes. "...what are you planning?"
"You keep asking me that."
"And I'll keep asking until you answer me."
Adora groans and then she spins Catra away from her before pulling her back in. Her arms wrap around Catra's waist and her front presses to Catra's back as she sways to the beat of the music. She hooks her chin over Catra's shoulder. "I already told you. I'm not planning anything. Princess Frosta didn't seem to have a problem with it, why do you?"
"Because I don't trust you. You haven't given me any reason to trust you." Adora knew that Catra was being affected by being pushed up against Adora, in her warm embrace, it was obvious from the way she was blushing, to the slight tension in her body. Catra was trying so hard to resist her, rather than giving in to her temptation.
Adora laughs a little at Catra's response. She trails her fingers down her hips, suggestively , before she turns Catra back around. She takes her arms in her hands and guides them to rest on her broad shoulders while she rests her own hands on Catra's back. "Okay, fine, maybe I am planning something."
"What is it then?" Catra narrows her eyes, obviously waiting for Adora to answer her question. Her cheeks were still flushed from when Adora had had herself pressed up against her back, and they seemed only more flushed with the way Adora's hands had rested on her hips. "Come on, tall, blonde and handsome. Why don't you tell me?"
"Where's the fun in that, Kitten?"
"Don't call me Kitten, asshole." Catra hisses, though this time, there seems to be a mixture of annoyance and almost fondness in her voice - if Adora wasn't mistaken.
"Let me tell you what I think," Adora says, leaning her head forward so she was nearly touching Catra's to her own, "I think you like this little game of ours. You like my attention on you, you don't even care that practically everyone, including your friends, have been staring at us since you took my hand." It's a shot in the dark but Adora is trying to get a read on where Catra actually is, because this feels... intense, in a way Adora hasn't experienced before, and it doesn't fully feel like it's because they're so-called 'enemies'.
" A game ? You think this is a game?" Catra raises her eyebrows at Adora's words. "I'm here to keep an eye on you, and that's it. Truly you need to get over yourself and bring that big ego of yours down a notch. It's pretty damn close to getting as big as your forehead." She bites back, a smirk on her lips.
Adora scowls and leans back a little. If she's honest, that did kind of sting. "Ouch... that was just plain mean." Adora points out. "Thought you princesses were uppity about your moral ethics, and here you are attacking someone who has come to neutral ground and done nothing to hurt you. I mean, really Catra? That is low ."
"As if you haven't gone much lower than that, Blondie." Catra rolls her eyes at her. "And you basically admitted that you're planning something. The question now is, what?"
"Maybe I'm planning on seducing you so you'll sleep with me and then I'll have your undying loyalty, who knows?" Adora jokes, knowing full well that Catra would blow a gasket.
" Ha ! You're crazy if you think that's gonna happen."
"I don't know Kitten, your eyes have been all over me."
"Oh please. Stop flattering yourself." Catra huffs, letting Adora dip her down as the dance continues. "Like I've said for the millionth time now, I'm keeping an eye on you because I know you're planning something."
Adora holds Catra in the dip before pulling her back up and spinning her out at arms length. "Yeah, you're right. I am." Adora steps back, releasing Catra's hand, she glances down at her watch before looking back at Catra with a smug smirk. "Any minute now."
Catra's eyes widen. "What do you mean any minute n-" She was interrupted by an explosion going off, sending everything shaking and even throwing her off balance. "What the fuck?!"
Adora laughs, unfastening her blazer.
"Guess not even you saw that one coming, huh Catra? Maybe you're not as smart as I thought you were." Another explosion rocks the castle. "While you were so busy keeping your eyes on me , Lonnie, Kyle and Scorpia were planting heat bombs around the castle."
"Are you serious ?! Oh, I am so going to kick your ass!"
"Not if you want to save your precious people." Adora winks as another explosion goes off, causing debris to fall from the ceiling. She could hear Frosta yelling for people to remain calm over the general panic in the room of people screaming in fear. "Anyway, I gotta run Kitten." Adora says as she turns away from her slightly. "Guess you have to choose what's more important to you? Catching me? Or saving everyone at this ball?"
* * *
"Guess you have to choose what's more important to you? Catching me? Or saving everyone at this ball?" Adora grins and Catra feels her blood boil. That stupid fucking- Why is the Horde Lord so stupidly attractive? Catra growls as she sees the woman turn tail and run, she's half tempted to run after her, but she can't.
"Go after her! I'll help here!" Glimmer appears out of nowhere, like she often does, and gives Catra a confident nod that makes Catra reassured that she will keep her word. She begins sprinting after the Horde Lord, it's a little hard since her current clothing isn't made for running, nor is it made for fighting, but she's fast, all Magicats are, and Adora seemingly almost enjoys the chase.
They come face to face at the back of the Palace, Adora with her hands in her trouser pockets looking casual and cool and fucking relaxed . It's infuriating. " Adora ." Catra says firmly and Adora does that stupid smirk of hers.
"I'm flattered that I'm more important to you than those Princesses at that dumb Ball." Adora says smugly and Catra raises a brow.
"Glimmer has that covered." Catra responds coolly. She knows Adora finds it irritating when her teasing is thwarted, and she does see her pause before the woman snorts.
"Please, Glimmer?" Adora raises an eyebrow in a mocking way. "What's she going to do? Sparkle at it?"
Catra extends her claws. "I'm bringing you in."
"Oh yeah? You and what army, Kitten?" There's that godawful nickname again. Catra wants to scratch her eye out for even daring to continue to use that. Like, seriously ?!
"I don't need an army to beat you." Catra says dismissively. "Your plan already failed, Lord Adora."
" Pffft ," Adora scoffs. Catra isn't blind, she's well aware of how attractive the Lord of the Horde is, and she is - she is extremely attractive - but she's also, you know, evil , technically speaking. Still, what a shame someone so hot is the leader of something so bad . "I did not fail. I never fail."
"Really? Because you've lost a bunch of battles before." Catra almost laughs when she sees Adora scowl at her in disapproval. "Why are you doing this?" Catra asks. "Hurting innocent people? Why? Is your heart so cold that you don't care about anyone other than yourself?" Adora scoffs again at that.
"Innocent people? This is Princess Prom, Kitten, no one here is innocent, especially Princesses." Catra could scream. She was that frustrated with Adora's answer. And she means it. Catra can tell that she means it.
Catra shakes her head. "What about all those towns and villages that got caught in your rampage, huh? Princesses aren't innocent but you are?" Catra sees Adora's hands ball into fists and her eyes flash with anger. Catra gets the impression, as much of a smug asshole she is, Adora has some serious anger control issues.
"That's-! Ugh ! We're at war , besides, you rebels always evacuate towns when my armies roll through." Catra shakes her head in utter disbelief.
"You think we always manage to get there on time?! We don't, and sometimes people get hurt . Civilians. People who aren't princesses and have nothing to do with the war!" Catra tears up in frustration, her teary eyes looking at Adora.
For a moment, Adora's anger dissipates and she looks, to Catra at least, like a different person. She turns her head to the side in slight curiosity. "What do you want from me Catra? Princesses... they're violent instigators who can't control their powers, I- I know that myself, why do you think I never transform? She-Ra is too powerful, too out of control, but me? I can control myself, the Horde's mission has always been to bring order, that's all I'm trying to do."
Catra freezes for a moment. It is so easy to forget that Adora was once a Horde soldier. She was raised like any other Horde soldier, brought up on false truths, taught to believe , to follow orders without question. She is a soldier. From birth to now. She hasn't known anything else. And that... that softens Catra. She's helped plenty of defecting Horde soldiers to know that deep down, even as the Lord of the Horde, Adora is just like them. She's the same scared soldier as any of them, and maybe she deserves some sympathy for not realising the things she was taught from birth are all a lie.
Catra walks up to Adora and places her hands on her shoulders. "Do you hear yourself? Us ? Violent instigators? We never attacked you until you invaded Rebellion towns and villages, causing harm and damage. You're calling us violent instigators and yet here you are blowing up the castle of an eleven year old. You . You're causing violence and chaos, not the Princesses." Catra can see the fear, the confusion, the utter refusal to believe what she's hearing, reflected in those... beautiful blue eyes.
"The princesses are dangerous." Adora repeats. "They can't control their powers. I want to protect Etheria."
Catra sneers. " Protect ?! You're destroying Etheria!" Adora's face smooths back out, a perfect mask of stoicism. "You can't even think on your own... you're just saying whatever crap they taught you." Catra's ear twitches as Adora's lip turns up at the corner in a lopsided smirk.
"Sorry Kitten, but you really should be more careful about who you get close to... and also who might be standing behind you." Catra opens her mouth to ask what the hell she means by that when she feels a sudden sting in her back. She instantly feels woozy and drops... right into Adora's arms.
Her vision starts to darken at the edges but she sees Adora's right hand woman, Scorpia, looking slightly concerned down at her. "Gosh, she's just so small, Boss, maybe my venom was too much?" Scorpia asks.
"She’s fine." Adora says dismissively.
Catra's ears wiggle when she catches the noise of what she assumes is a drop ship. Shit. She's being taken. They're taking her. Fuck. She's paralysed and losing consciousness fast. There's no way out of this. The last thing she sees before she's pulled under is Adora's bright baby blue eyes looking at her with, what Catra thinks is, a shred of concern, and her silky voice saying: "Guess my plan didn't fail after all, Kitten."