Catra knows her day has gone to shit the moment she leaves her front door. She gets about two steps down the hall before being literally body-slammed. It hits her so hard, her vision whites out for a moment.
When she blinks her eyes back open, she finds herself pinned to the wall outside of her apartment by the throat by the most gorgeous woman she’s ever seen. Blonde, tall, and arguably her type. But, more specifically: she’s the most gorgeous woman with the largest teeth she’s ever seen.
“Fuck,” she hisses, pushing on her shoulders, but—
Her attacker doesn’t budge, doesn’t even seem to register it. She’s staring down at Catra with an expression that’s nothing short of hungry; mouth-gaped open a little to bare two wickedly sharp fangs. Her eyes are unblinking, blue like an ocean, but like there’s nothing behind them.
Immediately, Catra’s ears fold back and she hisses in return, tail flicking.
“Let. Me. Go.”
But her captor doesn’t budge, so Catra does the next best thing: digs her claws in.
Her claws are sharp enough to cut steel—she would know, she got yelled at by her foster mom when she was fifteen for clawing the hell out of their bunk bed. It fell down and collapsed on Lonnie in the middle of the night. Lonnie still gives her shit for the scar above her eyebrow to this day.
They glance off of her skin.
Catra gasps in disbelief, or maybe in asphyxiation, but. Her claws have never betrayed her before. She squeezes harder, digs in deeper, but all they do is shred through the bright red jacket the girl is wearing.
Surprisingly, the sharp tearing sound is enough to jolt the blonde into moving again.
“Sorry!” The girl releases her neck in an instant, grasps her shoulders instead. Her expression finally shifts from menacing to abruptly, desperately guilty. “Oh my god. Are you okay?”
Catra grasps at her forearms, hissing still. “What the fuck.”
“Sorry, I—” the girl leans in closely, inhales deeply. “You just smell really nice. Like, imagine: the world’s best burger, or steak, or, well, mm.”
“What is wrong with you?” Catra replies, shoving again. But, same as before, the girl doesn’t even twitch. Clearly, she’s gone again, eyes dull. “I’m not a steak, you dumbass! Get off me!”
There’s no response, but there is a nose at her neck, snuffling deeply.
In any other scenario, with a hot girl’s mouth brushing her collarbone, Catra would be in heaven. But, this is definitely not how she pictured her day going, and she kicks out. The claws on her feet catch on the woman’s jeans, another sharp ripping sound fills the hall.
The woman hisses, but it’s less cat and much more lion—like, the kind of deep, rumbling sound that makes her entire body’s fight or flight urge flare. Her eyes, too, shift a shade darker.
But, just as quickly as she’s let it out, her face slackens and she shakes her head. Literally. Like a dog trying to shake water off its coat. “Oh, wow. Sorry! That, uh, that’s new.”
Catra’s tail is probably fluffed to max capacity, but her face is decidedly blank. “What. The. Fuck.”
The woman just blinks back at her. “So, uh...”
“Wow,” Catra manages to say, deliberately casual, despite the racing of her heart. “You’re terrible at this, aren’t you?”
The girl stiffens, immediately. “I—you’re—that’s—I’m a vampire.”
“Yeah. Obviously.” A beat. “A bad one.”
“I am not!”
“Prove it then.” Catra huffs. “I’ve got places to be, I don’t have all day.”
The woman blinks, big, dumb blue eyes. “Huh?”
She sighs, as aggressively as possible. “You’re going to bite me, right? Then do it. And stop smelling me, you creep!”
The blonde flushes, which shouldn’t even be possible. “I, uh—”
“I know you vampires have, like, forever. But we don’t all have the luxury.” Catra glowers, pointedly bats at the cuff of the woman’s jacket. It rips and tears a huge ribbon off. “Get on with it.”
Catra tilts her head to the side, bares her neck. “Fine.”
“I will! I’m going to, uh, bite you.”
“Then do it already!”
Just like that, the vampire leans in fangs bared and laser-focused.
She closes her eyes, prepares for the pain, but—
Just hot breath on her neck, a soft mouth, but no bite.
She keeps her eyes shut. “Well?”
There’s a thump, a sharp crack right by her ear.
She jumps, more out of reflex than fear. Then blinks her eyes open wide, as a sprinkle of dust and drywall slowly drift by and settle in her hair.
It’s weird, she absently notes, that despite being dead the girl is still breathing. Right in her ear, actually, a ragged, panting sound. Her chest, pressed tight against Catra’s own, rises and falls with alarming speed.
Oh, also weird is the fact that she’s literally buried her forehead into the drywall.
Catra blinks. “Are...you good?”
A too-long silence stretches, her heart working double time, probably roaring to the vampire with half her actual head in the wall. But, she doesn’t seem to notice. Or, if she does, she doesn’t seem to care.
Catra stares up at the ceiling. “Do you need a minute?”
With the crack, her attacker pulls back to glare at her. There’s not even a dent on her forehead, but the little poof thing at the top of her hair is deflated and sad. The vampire scowls. “Look, I’m just really new at this, okay? Like, I’m trying!”
“Yeah,” Catra says, immediately. “Trying to bore me to death.”
“I could literally kill you, right now!”
“Well, then do it already. The suspense is driving me nuts.”
“You’re driving me nuts.”
“Yeah?” Catra retorts. “You’re not the one being held hostage by some random, fang-shy vampire. How did you even get in here? Did someone invite you in?”
“I live here! I invited myself in!”
And that, well, that tickles something at the back of Catra’s brain. “Wait. You’re that one that called that noise complaint on me last year, aren’t you! You ass! I almost got evicted!”
The vampire flinches, then, as if struck. “I don’t know what you’re talking about?”
“Yeah, right.” She huffs. “Hard to recognize your voice when you’re not shouting and banging on the walls, princess.”
“My name,” the vampire retorts, hotly, “is Adora.”
“Now, if you’re not going to bite me, can you put me down?”
Adora blinks at her.
Catra, quite pointedly, wiggles her feet. They hang an inch from the floor.
“Oh, uh, sorry.”
Adora lets her go, although it appears like she has to fight herself to release her. The movement is jerky, and her hands remain clenched for a moment too long in the denim of Catra’s jacket. When she does, finally, release her, her face is almost pained.
Catra feels a lot better when her feet meet the floor. Not quite ‘safe and sound’, but it’s hard to find herself fearing for her life when the vampire is looking at her with sad, puppy-dog eyes. “You’re actually pathetic, you know that?”
She hunches in on herself, arms around her stomach. “You don’t have to be mean about it.”
“You, well, you’re not the one who got jammed up against a wall by a useless vampire,” she says, pointed. “And I’m not paying for the hole on the wall. You’re the one dealing with the landlady.”
Adora wilts, if possible, even further. “But she’s the worst.”
“Should’ve thought of that before you smashed your face through it.”
A long, awkward moment passes, in which Adora brushes dust and debris off her face. It’s spotted in her hair, across her torn up jacket, and pretty much all over the floor around them. It makes her look paler than she is, which is already dangerously unhealthy.
And Catra has had friends who are vampires, if you can call them friends anyway. They were a gang, at best. But, she knows what it means, that sickening shade, pale as death itself. Whatever semblance of a flush Adora had earlier is gone, and she looks fucking terminal.
“Look,” Catra says, haltingly, despite knowing she’s going to regret it. “How long’s it been?”
Adora blinks at her, wordless.
“Since you actually managed to, y’know?” She gestures at her mouth. “I mean, does it usually go this badly for you? Or am I just exceptional?”
Looking at her feet, the vampire shrugs. “A while.”
Her eyes narrow. She looks like Scorpia, when she knows she’s done something wrong but doesn’t quite know how to bring it up—all nervous energy, restless. “A while?”
Adora mumbles in reply. “Never.”
“Never,” she deadpans. Then, she laughs, high and squeaky. “Like, you haven’t—”
“I’m new at this! Sorry, if I’m not exactly a perfect killing machine in a few days!” Adora flings her arms up, glaring at her. Her scowl bares her teeth, which, wow, are they even longer now? “I’ve got eternity to work on it!”
“Yeah, if you make it that long. How long’s it take a vampire to starve? A few months? Weeks?” Catra buries her face in her hands. “Jesus. With technique like that, your dumb ass is going to get fried or staked within a week.”
She drops her hands, sighs, and steps forward. “Alright, do it.”
Adora’s eyes grow wide. “What?”
Catra takes another step, until they’re pressed chest-to-chest.
“Are you seriously—?” Adora breaks off, swallows tightly.
“Go on.” She rolls her eyes, tilts her neck. “Not like I need all of it, anyway. Call it a donation or whatever.”
Adora scowls. “I’m not a charity.”
“Well, call it blackmail. Next time you want to call noise control on me, remember who kept you from shriveling up like a raisin.” Catra reaches out, grasps the back of the vampire’s head and jerks her sharply into the crook of her neck. “Now, come on. Use those instincts or whatever and bite me.”
The noise Adora makes, the groan, is positively indecent.
Catra holds the back of her head, thumb on Adora’s neck. She’s so close, Catra can feel the shudder that passes through her, as she inhales deeply, mouth open and breath hot against her skin. And, well, she’ll chalk her responding shudder up to her self-preservation instincts calling her a moron.
Adora whispers, voice low, quivering. “Are you sure?”
And then, when Catra tugs on her hair and hisses bite, Adora does.
“Oh,” her head drops to the side, eyes blown wide. “Fuck.”
Catra’s had one of these bites before, but never here.
All Octavia ever got was her wrist, and she was damn lucky that she even got that. That was different, in the heat of a fight, and honestly she doesn’t remember much. But this? The neck? It feels weirdly intimate, the heat and adrenaline spiralling between them, sharp and sticky and strange.
Suddenly, she understands exactly why they call that dumb vampire pull a thrall.
Adora drinks and drinks, her hands coming to fist into the back of Catra’s jacket to draw her closer. Until they’re pressed so tight together, they’re like one entity. Then, she holds her there, tight and kneading gently at her.
Catra’s ashamed to say she does it back, one hand buried tight in Adora’s hair and the other fisting her shirt tightly.
Eventually, after an eternity, Adora slows down, the steady pull being replaced by something much, much worse. Her mouth and her tongue working on the curve of her neck, chasing the beads of blood.
She tugs on Adora’s hair, without realizing she’s doing it. “Stop,” Catra gasps.
Adora doesn’t listen, not for a long moment. Keep lapping at the wounds, silent, tongue wet and hot against her neck. She makes a noise, a low, grumbling one, when Catra presses her hand to her sternum.
“Stop,” she says, sharper, but it’s ruined by a whine, “licking me.”
She digs her claws into Adora’s shirt, against her chest. It doesn’t do anything, not really, but the prick must be enough to snap her out of her haze, because Adora draws back slowly, blearily.
She doesn’t miss the way Adora looks at her neck, licks the last hint of crimson from her lips.
“Leave it,” Catra says, feeling off balance and ridiculous, flushed to her toes. “It’ll heal quickly.”
Adora blinks at her. “It will?”
“Yeah. Do you even know anything about vampires?”
The responding look tells her that Adora absolutely doesn’t know anything about vampires.
“It’ll go away overnight, but it’s going to be itchy as hell,” Catra says, remembering cursing out Octavia for a few hours and slathering herself in so much anti-itching cream that she smelled like a baby for a week. “You’re going to owe me.”
“I thought this was in exchange for me not calling noise control next time you decide to play thrash metal at 3AM on a Tuesday?”
She shrugs, then winces. “I changed my mind. I’m extorting you.”
Adora, skin a much healthier shade and eyes a bright, electric blue, shakes her head at her. “I have a feeling I’m going to regret this.”
“Yeah, well. Add it to the list of things we both regret about today.” Catra reaches up, adjusts the collar of her jacket to try and cover the bite wound—she just knows Scorpia’s going to go mad when she sees it, and Entrapta’s going to have a field day. “You owe me. And I intend to collect, eventually.”
Adora groans, and it rumbles through the both of them, brings Catra back to reality.
“Now,” Catra says, tightly, evenly. “Are you going to let go of me anytime soon? I should probably charge way more for second base, you know.”
“Huh?” She blinks, looks at her, and then—
Adora practically throws her back into the wall in her hurry to unentangle herself from Catra. “Sorry!” Adora winces. “I, uh, crap. Um, are you okay?”
“Fine,” she bites, forcing herself to take a few deep breath. “Jesus.”
“I’m really sorry, I’m still trying to figure out this whole ‘super strength’ thing.”
Catra huffs. “Clearly.”
“Do you, uh, need anything? Water? A cookie?” Adora asks, eventually. “When I donate—when I used to donate blood, they always said sugar and fluids after is important.”
Catra lets out a breath, blows a strand of hair out of her eyes. “I’ll be fine. What about you? Not going to go attacking any more poor, unfortunate souls tonight, are you?”
She has the decency to look embarrassed. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what got into me. You just—you smell so much better than I thought. Actually, I don’t even remember coming out here—”
At that, Adora pauses, glances across the hall, face aghast.
Catra follows her eyes, makes out the door next to her own, and it’s blown right off. Like, actually off the hinges. Like, a drunk frat boy booted it out without even unlocking it kind of blown off.
Wow, just how desperate was she? And she couldn’t even bite unless Catra made her? That’s sad.
“I am so dead,” Adora moans. “Miss Weaver’s going to murder me.”
Catra laughs, then, because she can’t help herself. “Well, don’t go getting yourself killed again. You’re in debt to me now, blondie. I expect repayment in full, no dying before that.”
Adora grumbles. “I don’t remember agreeing to that.”
“Well, I have places to be.” She adjusts her collar, again, ignoring the pinpricks of pain in her shoulder. “And I have to try and explain away the mosquito bites on my necks, thanks.”
“Oh.” Adora turns back to her, and she almost looks disappointed. “Okay. I better go try and figure out how I’m going explain this without Miss Weaver ripping me apart.”
She casts the vampire a long, lingering look, then turns on her heel. “I’ll see you later, Adora.”
“Yeah,” she feels those intense blue eyes on her, unwavering, even as she begins to walk away. “Bye. And, uh, thank you!”
Despite the pain in her neck, as Catra flaps an arm in a wave and wanders away on jelly legs, she can’t deny that she’s feeling warm right down to her chest. It makes her feel hot and cold all over, makes her feel like there’s a live wire sparking in her stomach, and she doesn’t want to touch that thought with a ten foot pole.
She catches sight of herself in the elevator’s reflection: she looks absolutely wrecked.
“Shit.” Catra lets her head drop forward, forehead burning against the cool metal. “Stupid vampire.”
Despite herself, she’s smiling.