The first clue that something weird is going on with Adora comes during the siege on Plumeria. It’s nothing dangerous, per se, but even Bow has to pause for a minute after seeing Adora sneak off in the aftermath of the battle. Everyone else is too busy celebrating and covering the defeated Horde soldiers in flower crowns to notice her blow a kiss at one of the few remaining intact cameras, mouthing a few words he can’t quite make out.
But whatever, she’s a Horde kid. Horde kids are probably just weird like that.
Surely it’s nothing to worry about.
Somewhere in the depths of the Fright Zone, a witch and a cat stand in incredibly awkward silence for a solid thirty seconds.
“Just… Just get out of here.” Says Shadow Weaver, already cataloging the things she’ll need for a prompt and thorough memory erasure. For herself .
Catra, smirking despite being red as a tomato, is more than eager to comply.
The second clue, if it can even be called that, is slightly harder to write off.
The Horde attack on the Sea Gate is causing all sorts of trouble, despite an incredibly effective counterattack courtesy of Bow and Princess Mermista. Well- Incredibly effective right up to the part where a teenager with a bow was almost tossed into an active ship turbine. Man that would have been pretty messed up huh? Just chunky Bow salsa all over the place.
Good thing that dashing totally-not-a-pirate swooped in like he did. That PG rating really dodged a bullet there.
Our beautiful boy's near-miss with a messy and tragic death will all be worth it though. All they have to do is stall long enough for She-Ra to finish whatever the heck it is she’s doing with her sword and the gate will be impenetrable once more, just a few more seconds and-
“Time out!” Comes the shout from the somewhere off the ship entirely, and everyone from the Horde and the rebellion pauses right in the middle of their pitched battle from sheer surprise.
Because what ? ‘Time-out ’?
Can you just do that?
It’s the sharp-looking girl with the cat ears and the tail who’s said it, and how in the actual hell did she manage to get all the way up to She-ra without anyone noticing? Or maybe stopping her? There's not exactly a ton of places to hide on a rock floating in the middle of the air.
Adora, for her part, is looking remarkably blasé about having an entire person balancing on top of her outstretched sword. That girl is apparently ripped.
“Hey babe, guess who got a boat! Think we can put a hold on this fight and go do that Titanic thing real quick?”
“You realize you’ll have to be in front if we do, right? I’m taller than you.”
“We’ll see about that.”
And so the siege on the Salineas ended. Not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with two girls giggling madly as they stood and posed at the prow of a ship.
(Adora ended up in front, in the end, if only because Catra’s mane of unkempt hair made standing behind her a blinding hazard.)
The rest of the assembled soldiers stood awkwardly by, pretending like this wasn't seriously cramping their whole style.
Except for Scorpia, who was even now shaking down anyone she could get her claws on in search of a camera- A sketchbook- Hell she’d take a chunk of rock and a chisel at this point.
She's just so proud!
And then: Princess Prom.
Where to even begin with Princess Prom.
With the preparation, during which Adora insisted on wearing something red, because ‘She’ll definitely go with red, and you just said that dates are supposed to match.’
Glimmer’s closet isn’t exactly known for colors that aren’t pink, purple, or pitch black (From that one phase a few months back-). But she had persevered! Because as weird as Adora was they were friends dangit. And friends helped friends find the perfect outfit to wear. Just ask Bow! They did makeovers together all the time.
Not that either of them stuck around for long once the party began. Bow being too busy mingling with his cool new friends, and Adora disappearing literally milliseconds after that crazy catgirl (Wearing a red tux, go figure.) made her tardy appearance.
Weird how Adora was wearing a scarf later though, once the Land of Snow was done exploding and Glimmer was busy being kidnapped. Then again, it’s the Land of Snow. Maybe she just got cold?
This section of bonus off-scene dialogue has been left intentionally blank, for reasons of spiciness.
Then came one (mostly) successful rescue operation, some family drama featuring an immortal god-queen and her angsty teleporting teenage daughter, and a very interesting treasure hunt for a First One’s artifact (and maybe some cool new healing powers? Please? Don't be a dick Light Hope).
“Oh man- Look how freaking cute you were as a kid Adora! Things have really changed huh?”
“Yeah yeah, you’re one to talk- Oh hey, I think the memory’s changing again?”
“Wait- Isn’t this when we…?”
“Oh. Oh yeah I think it is. Wow.”
“Wow is right, I almost forgot you could do that.”
“... Wanna make out?”
Catra, wily little shit that she is, definitely stole that shiny piece of First One tech in the… aftermath. The less said about that though, the better.
Things came to a head, as one might expect, in the middle of a combination world-ending-superstorm-slash-full-military-invasion type scenario.
Lightning flashed, the sky had gone black, and a veritable swarm of Horde tanks was lined up at the edge of the Whispering Wood, ready to lay waste to all that was sparkly and good.
Queen Angella's formidable rebellion forces were, tragically, stuck in traffic however. Which left the task of defeating an entire evil army to three teenagers, a pair of lesbians, and the Queen herself.
On an unnamed road out in the country, a group of elite royal guards in an SUV stare, unblinking, at the red light in front of them.
The light stares back, unflinching and uncaring of their mortal toils. There is no succor. No bargaining with this crimson devil, only the endless purgatory of a really goddamn slow traffic light.
“Maybe we shouldn't have stopped for coffee.”
Catra, looking as wild and and punkish as ever, is really getting into her requisite villainous monologue too. She's about halfway through citing all the horrific tortures she's reserved for the Princesses when, to literally nobody's surprise, Adora comes jogging right up to the Horde's front lines, chipper as can be.
The soldiers part at Catra's muttered command, though she doesn't look too pleased at all to have her speech so brazenly interrupted. Her pout evaporates instantly when Adora reaches her though, taking her hands and speaking softly enough that it's clear she doesn't mean to be heard.
Alas, Catra is too distracted by the pretty girl holding her hands to realize she’s left her microphone on.
“Sorry-! Sorry, I didn't want to interrupt your moment, but you just looked so pretty up here and I wanted to come wish you luck.”
A series of muffled thuds echoes out, unheard by the lovestruck duo. It's Glimmer, banging her head against a brick wall out of sheer frustration.
“Adoraaa-! I was just about to get to the part about tearing down the castle and using the bricks to make a giant statue of me! Can we please just get back to fighting?”
Bow, that sweet, precious, perfect boy, is already unloading snacks and a picnic blanket, quickly joined by Scorpia and her homemade brownies. They're really the only two content to sit and enjoy the show. It's just so romantic!
“I'll be quick I promise, then we can get back to trying to murder each other.”
Well. Kind of romantic. In the usual Horde fashion of making things way more violent and potentially fatal than they really need to be.
“Uuugh. Fine. But you'd better bring your A-game."
Adora leans in, pressing a quick peck of a kiss right on top of the scowl Catra is struggling to maintain.
In the distance Angella sips at a latté as she rests atop the castle wall, watching a beaming Adora literally skip back across no man's land to the rebel side.
They really don't make genocidal warlords like they used to, huh?
Glimmer at least is quick to grab Adora by the collar of her shirt the second she's in range, both of them ignoring the trickle of blood running down the princess’ forehead.
“Seriously- This again?!” Glimmer is practically frothing with rage. So much rage. “She's a Horde soldier! And you’re in the Rebellion! Didn’t you two have to, I don’t know, break up when you left?”
“Well, you see…”
-A few weeks ago, during the invasion of Thaymor-
“Hey babe, I know it's kind of sudden but I think I'm defecting? And it's not because I don't care about you, or think you're second best or something stupid like that, I just really need to get away from Shadow Weaver's manipulative crap. Also- I kind of want to figure out what the deal is with this super cool magic sword I found in the woods?”
“Yeah- No, that's fair. I'm gonna head back to the Fright Zone though, I think. Hordak isn't going to overthrow himself you know? Once Shadow Weaver finishes her tantrum about you running off I'll come out and drag you back yeah?”
“I'd like to see you try. Love you babe, good luck with your coup!”
“Yeah yeah, see you later you nerd. I'll hunt you like the devil. And uh... Love you too.”
-Back in the present-
“And that's how it happened.” Adora finished, an odd, far-away look in her eye before she continued with a wistful mumble. “I wonder what kind of outfit she'll wear when she murders Hordak and takes his throne…”
“Why are you two so weird?!”