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the aerodynamics of falling

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If she could flip backwards through her life like the chapters in a book, Catra would know exactly which pages to highlight as don’t trust Entrapta, ever. She’d probably add enough exclamation marks, underlines and curse words that her foster mom would rise from the grave just to glare at her one last time.

Still, if Catra’s life were a book, the overarching theme would be life sucks.

Because Entrapta’s decision to rework all of the computer systems, despite her promise of being ‘totally onto it’, has predictably ended up bricking their entire network. And now she, Catra, has to fly her ass all the way across the country to Brightmoon to try and help fix it. 

Fuck,” she whispers, jumping, when the plane begins to push back from the gate.

God, she’d rather drive the twenty-two hour journey, but Hordak had given her that narrow-eyed look and the speech about efficiency being key and time of the essence. Predictably, no word about Entrapta taking out their entire systems. She seriously needs to find a new job. Or maybe she can just kill Hordak and take over the company herself.

The pretty blonde next to her cranes her head to look at her. “Are you okay?”

Also, fuck Hordak for being too cheap to pay for more than economy. Option two is sounding better by the minute. At least in First Class, she could have had her panic attack by herself, not while pressed shoulder-to-shoulder with a girl who must be a linebacker for the size of her muscles.

Catra forces herself to turn her head, to try and bury the panic on her face when she glowers at her seatmate. “I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

She hisses, ears back and tail fluffing in her lap when the plane jolts. “I said I’m fine. Also, what the hell is that?

The girl blinks, glances down at the shaking hand Catra points at her with. “My hoodie?”

“No, that!” She points at the travel pillow, covered in rainbow unicorns, slung around her neck. “What are you, twelve?”

A flush rises on her face. “It’s comfortable.”

“For a kid, maybe. Where did you even get that?”

“Got bored in the gift shop,” she admits. “I thought it was cute.”

She opens her mouth, ready to tell her exactly what she thinks of that, but that’s when they begin to turn onto the runway. “Oh, God,” Catra moans, instead, digging her claws into the armrest until they creak. “I’m going to die next to an idiot.”

“Hey! Are you always this rude to strangers?” The girl retorts, tugging self-consciously at the rainbow travel pillow. “My name’s Adora!” 

“Catra,” she responds, tightly. “There, now we’re not strangers. You’re still crazy. We both are, clearly, to still be on this metal deathtrap.”

“Scared of flying, huh?”

As the plane’s engines begin to spin to life, whining and whirring, Catra squeezes her eyes tightly shut. “Yeah,” her voice comes out tight. “You think?”

“Want to hold hands?”

She blinks.

Then, the noise Catra lets out might be a screech, laughter so high and nervous that, for a moment, she’s pretty sure only dogs can hear it. “You really are insane.”

“You can say no,” Adora offers, forearm nudging her own on the armrest. “But, I used to get so scared flying. My friends held my hand for the first few flights we took together. It helps, promise.”

Catra squints at her. “I’m not going to hold hands with—”

She doesn’t even get to finish. The plane picks that moment to begin to accelerate down the runway, and her hand flies into Adora’s so quickly that the sharp clap is enough to make the couple seated in front of them glance back. 

Adora giggles, grinning in the corner of her eye.

Catra flushes down to her roots. “Shut up!”

“I didn’t say anything!”

She turns her head away, for a moment, glancing out the window beside her. Then, promptly jerks her head back around to Adora when the blurring of the world outside begins to make her dizzy. She squeezes Adora’s hand in a death grip, thankful that her claws are retracted. “If you tell anyone about this, I’ll kill you, okay?”

Adora squeezes back, smiling. “Deal.”

Catra lets herself look forward, away from blue eyes that are unexpectedly warm. She doesn’t get too much time to think on the odd flutter in her chest, anyway, because the force of the acceleration is enough to press her back into her seat with a hiss, tail lashing.

And, when they begin to lift

Well, she absolutely doesn’t shriek.

(Much.)

 


 

If anyone were to ask Catra, she would have sworn that they’ve been flying for an hour already. This is despite the timer on the screen in front of her blinking, telling her they’ve been in the air for fifteen-minutes, and another four hours to go.

Thankfully, the upward climb has eased, and they’re soaring above the clouds now. It still makes her nauseous to look out the window, so she jams the shade down with a jerky hand.

“So, are you flying alone?”

“Duh,” she bites, glancing at Adora. “Why else would I be holding hands with a complete stranger?”

Adora’s mouth quirks at the edges, her thumb brushing over the top of Catra’s hand. “Well, you never know. I’m supposed to be flying with my friends, but they’re in First Class.”

That takes her aback, just a little. “Without you?”

“Too expensive,” Adora shrugs, nonplussed. “They tried to convince me to go with them. My friend, Glimmer, her Mom offered to pay for us all. But, I don’t know, it’s weird.”

“I get that.” A little too well, actually—she still gets that complex, guilty tangle in her chest whenever someone offers her anything that feels like charity. “Still, that’s kinda shitty of them. They should be here with you, then.”

Adora shakes her head. “They wanted to. But, by the time they tried to change the tickets, the plane was fully booked. Anyway, it’s not so bad back here.”

“Tell that to someone who’s not being squished to death by your biceps. How do you even get so jacked?”

Jacked?” Adora squeaks, cheeks flushed but grinning. “I, uh, work out?”

“Is that a question?”

“I work out. It’s my job, basically.”

“Your job is working out?” Catra narrows her eyes. “What are you, a personal trainer?”

“I play hockey, actually.”

“Like, professionally?” Catra asks.

“Yeah,” Adora replies, pointing at her hoodie—which, now that she’s actually paying attention, is white and gold, emblazoned with the logo Brightmoon Rebels. “My friends do, too. We’re on our way back home from a match, actually.”

“And they didn’t pay for your ticket?” Catra responds, eyebrow raised. “What, did you lose?”

The responding wince is enough to say everything she needs to know about that.

“We’ll beat them next time,” Adora says, eyes blazing, brow scrunched. “The Horde are our biggest rivals in the League. After we lost, well, me and my friends decided to hang around and do some sight seeing. Just de-stress, y’know? Anyway, we missed our old flights, so we had to rebook new ones.”

“And here you are,” Catra hums.

“Here I am,” Adora agrees, hand squeezing hers again.

Catra glances down, drawn back to the contact. “I can, uh, let go if you want. It’s, uh, a little better now.”

“I don’t mind,” she replies, eyes warm but soft on her. “Do you?”

And she knows what the correct answer should be here, knows what it would be if they weren’t trapped in plane, thousands of feet above the ground. But, instead, she grips Adora’s hand tighter and says, deliberately casual, “I’m pretty sure there’s no scientific explanation for why planes can fly.”

 


 

Eventually, Catra feels settled enough to dare doing more than just sitting, clutching Adora’s hand in a death grip as she babbles and trying not to imagine herself falling out of the sky. She rifles through her carry-on, phone in hand, intent on listening to some music to try and ease her nerves.

But, there’s nothing.

“Damn it,” she drops her backpack, gives it a too-harsh kick under the seat in front of her. She scowls down at it. “I forgot my stupid headphones.”

“Want to share?” Adora asks, holding out an earbud.

Catra stares back blankly, very obviously flicks her ear. 

“Oh,” Adora wilts a little, looking disheartened. Like a kicked puppy. “Sorry.”

Her stomach flips, just a little. “Ugh, just give me the stupid earbud.”

Adora holds it out, wordless, eyes widening.

“You better not play any of that Taylor Swift shit,” Catra scoffs, fiddling with the earbud until it’s, very awkwardly, dangling inside of her ear. It’s not ideal, but she’ll take what she can get. “Impress me.”  

When she presses play, it’s not Taylor Swift.

It’s Hayley Kiyoko.

Catra smothers wry look, glances at Adora out of the corner of her eye, finds her cheeks bright red and her eyes determinedly fixated on the screen in front of her—the map displaying 3:01:45 remaining. And all she thinks, then, is message received.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 


 

They’ve got about two and a half hours left of the flight, which Adora has filled with mindless babbling and (very obviously gay) music, and the exhaustion of her adrenaline spikes have sucked all of the energy out of her. Now, relatively calm and actually—dare she admit it—enjoying it, Catra finds herself nodding off.

“—you okay?” Adora asks, gently tugging their earphones off.

Catra blinks her eyes back open, slowly, jerking her head back up. “Fine.”

“You can go to sleep, if you want. I think I’ve got a book or something I can read.”

“Take that off,” Catra huffs, tugging on the strap keeping her ridiculous travel cushion in place.

Adora frowns, but doesn’t fight it when Catra undoes it, ripping it away from her neck and stuffing it into the back of the seat in front. “But—”

“Shut up. And this is not because I like you,” Catra says, a purr thrumming in her chest already as she tucks her head into the curve of Adora’s neck. The skin is warm, soft, but there’s a soft flowery perfume that makes her nuzzle in closer, humming. “I’m just tired, all that fearing for my life and shit.”

“Oh,” Adora whispers. “Okay.”

She blinks, slow. “Tell anyone and—”

“You’ll kill me,” Adora says, and, in a move the stuns her, leans her head on top of Catra’s. “I know.”

And, despite the armrest awkwardly pressed between them, the deathtrap around them and her thundering heart, Catra finds herself lulled to sleep by the sound of Adora’s heart beating.

 


 

“Shh! Glimmer, no. Don’t wake them up!”

“Yeah, but we came all the way back here—”

“I know! But they’re so soft and adorable, and her ears.”

“She’s being cuddled by a stranger! We can’t just let them—”

“But they’re so cuuuute.”

Catra’s eyes fly open, hissing. “Can you shut up?”

“Oh, look, Bow! She’s awake.” A girl with purple hair and her hands on her hips stands in the aisle, scowling at Catra like she’s personally run over her dog. “Stop feeling up our friend while she’s asleep!”

The dark-skinned boy behind her, wearing a white-gold croptop, presses his hands to his cheeks. “But, Glimmer, look at her! She’s so cute. I’m sure Adora doesn’t mind.”

“Oh, God,” Catra says, her tail giving Adora a hard thwack across the face. The girl herself lets out a sleepy grumble, batting it away from her nose, but blinks open to squint at her. She glares back. “Is everybody from Brightmoon like this, Princess?”

“Wha—?” Adora’s voice is thick, sleepy. 

She reaches out, grasps Adora’s ponytail gently, and jerks her head so she can see their unwelcome visitors. “We have an audience. Make them leave.”

“Glimmer! Bow!” All sleep snaps out of Adora’s voice instantly, in favor of panic as she sits up straighter. “Uh, you’re here.”

“We’re here,” Glimmer says. “Watching you get felt up by a stranger.”

The gaze, pointed, flicks down to their joined hands, and the way they’re definitely still pressed together.

Adora pauses, and Catra waits for her to pull away, loosens her hold, but—Adora grips her tighter, knocking their elbows together lightly. “Catra’s not a stranger,” she replies, smiling. “We’re friends.”

“Friends who are holding hands,” Glimmer deadpans. “We’ve been in the air for, like, three hours. How?”

Bow beams. “She made a friend.”

“Ugh, Bow,” Glimmer sighs. “Don’t encourage her.”

Adora shakes her head. “What are you guys even doing back here?”

“We came to check on you, obviously,” Glimmer huffs, then softens, something guilty crossing her face. “We were worried about you, being back here by yourself.”

“I’m fine!” Adora replies. “Don’t worry about me.”

“We’re your best friends, we’re allowed to worry about you.”

Catra snorts, then, when Glimmer’s eyes shoot to her, does her best to paint an innocent look on her face. Really, she does. Promise. But it doesn’t seem to work, for the glower she gets back.

“She’s fine,” Catra replies. “I’m holding her hand for you.”

Adora looks at her, mouth opening—

“Aw, Adora,” Bow says, wilting a little, like Catra’s words have physically struck him. “I’m so sorry we left you back here. We’re such bad friends. How could we do this?”

“Bow, it’s okay! Honestly!”

“Yeah, Bow,” Catra huffs. “She’s fine.”

Adora nudges her with her shoulder, gives her a look. “Look, guys, it’s okay. I’m honestly having a good time with Catra. Right, Catra?”

She gives them a bland face. “Right.”

“You know, there’s a seat free up there,” Glimmer says, squinting at Catra. “I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you just—”

“It’s fine, Glimmer. I,” Adora hazards a glance at Catra, smiling shyly, “I think I’d like to stay.”

If Glimmer or Bow have any misgivings about that, they don’t get a chance to voice them. Because they’re interrupted by the click of high-heeled boots and an effortless sashay.

The flight attendant, a lizard-hybrid with stunningly long blond hair, gives them a salacious-looking smirk. “Now, now, you two aren’t where you should be at all, hm? You’re going to miss the champagne, you know.”

“We’re just talking to our friend,” Glimmer says, a little too forcefully.

Bow grabs her elbow, hisses, “Glimmer.”

“I understand.” The flight attendant just smiles forcefully back. “Unfortunately, I’m afraid I must insist you return to your seats.”

There’s a long, glacial silence between them both, a stare down for the ages.

Catra lets out a loud, exaggerated yawn, ending in a squeaky little noise, then leans more deliberately into Adora to watch the proceedings with faux-interest. 

“Ugh, fine!” Glimmer huffs. “We’re going.”

They just smile wordlessly back, arms folded, foot tapping menacingly.

“We’ll wait for you,” Glimmer calls to Adora, even as Bow begins to herd her back up the aisle. “Don’t get off the plane without us!”

“Bye, Adora! We love you!” Bow calls. “We’ll see you soon!”

Adora blinks, shakes her head. 

The flight attendant spares them a single look, their smile razor-sharp and sly. “As you were, ladies,” they purr, looking at their joined hands and closeness. “Let me know if you need anything.”

“Uh,” Adora gapes. “Right. Thanks.”

Catra just wordlessly narrows her eyes back.

She’s sure, even as they leave to shepherd the two interlopers back to First Class, that she can hear them laughing. Or, well, cackling may be a better description.

When Adora finally turns to look at her, she looks mortified. “I’m sorry about Bow and Glimmer. They’re a lot.”

“Yeah,” Catra blows some hair out of her face. “Honestly, I’d have gone with economy, too. Is Sparkles always that joyful, or is today special?”

Adora laughs. “Glimmer’s actually really cool, I promise. But she’s still a little riled up from losing the other day, and she’s our coach’s daughter, so she thinks it’s her job to chaperone us all.”

“Jesus, sounds exhausting.”

“Bow mellows her out,” Adora promises. Then, amends, “Most of the time.”

“Are they, y’know?”

“They’re practically married, they just don’t know it yet,” Adora says, shaking her head. “Our teammate, Mermista, has a betting ring on when they’ll confess. I, uh, have $100 on next month.”

“Wow,” she raises an eyebrow. “You don’t seem like the betting type.”

“Well, they’re my best friends. I know them pretty well.” A pause. “I’m also totally going to cheat.”

“And she’s a cheater, too? Be still, my beating heart.”

Adora laughs, shoves her arm, and then reaches into her pocket to pull out her earphones again. “Want to try and watch some of this ‘in flight entertainment’ we paid for?”

“Only if it’s extra bad.”

“It’s airline entertainment,” Adora retorts. “Of course it is.”

“You know what? That’s fair.”

 


 

Arguably, the landing is worse than the takeoff.

They get about two episodes into some trashy home improvement show, Catra’s chin on Adora’s shoulder as they watch on her screen, before the Captain cuts in over the intercom and announces they’re beginning their descent. That, apparently, is enough to have Catra back on the edge of her seat again.

Catra is white-knuckled, gripping Adora’s hand for dear life, and her claws slip out for a the briefest moment when the plane shudders through the clouds. “We’re going to die. We’re going to die. Fuck.”

“Hey, hey,” Adora soothes, squeezing her tight back, despite wincing from the bite of her claws—she’s not bleeding, but she has small pinpricks in her hand where they dig in. “It’s okay, we’ll be fine. I promise.”

She takes a deep, shuddering breath. “You promise?”

She doesn’t mean for the words to come out as soft, desperate, as they are. But she’s probably point-five seconds from a panic attack, at this rate.

“I promise,” Adora says. “Now, just breathe with me.”

Catra forces herself to breathe alongside her, counting the seconds between inhales and exhales. One, two, three, she counts, four, five, six. It doesn’t stop the adrenaline, but it does make her heart slow a fraction. She loses herself, for small while, in the deep breathing and the squeeze of Adora’s hand in hers.

But, as they come in for the actual touchdown, she’s shaking from the terror.

The jolt of the plane touching down jostles her in her seat, and she grips Adora fiercely, swallowing down her shriek. Her heart is pounding, all animal instincts and common sense that tells her that this is absolutely horrible, they’re going to crash. 

She jams her eyes closed, leans in close to Adora and buries her face into her shoulder. “I’m going to fucking kill you if we die.”

Adora laughs, but pats her head. “I don’t think that’s how dying works?”

“I can do anything I set my mind to.”

“I believe that,” Adora agrees. “But I draw the line at witchcraft, sorry.”

They fall silent, and all she can hear is the bone-deep rattle as they speed down the runway, then the mechanical whir of flaps and breaks kicking in to try and slow them. Her body is drawn tight, frozen for all the tension in her muscles. Waiting for them to fly right off the end of the runway in a ball of flames.

But, thankfully, she’s never more glad to be wrong.

It takes a too-long moment, but the plane slows to a crawl, and begins to pull towards the gates. 

She eases her claws out of the armrest on her free hand. “We survived.”

“This is the part where some people clap,” Adora mentions.

Catra huffs. “I’m not a moron.”

 


 

Disembarking the plane is the easy part, and Catra’s so eager to stop breathing recycled air, she shoots up in her seat before she knows she’s standing. Her legs, regrettably, don’t get the picture.

“Whoa, careful,” Adora says, catching her as she stumbles. “We’ve got to wait a while, anyway.”

Catra groans. “Ugh, why.”

“I don’t make the rules,” Adora replies.

So, she waits. Very impatiently, but with a pretty blonde to occupy her, hand still held in hers.

And Adora doesn’t let go of her hand, even as they stand, shouldering their bags. She doesn’t even seem to realize it, either. She just gently tugs Catra along, thumb absently brushing on the back of her hand. 

She leads on, shouldering into the crowd with ease. They all part like the sea in the face of her determined look and her linebacker shoulders.

“Come on,” Adora says, tugging her forward. “Glimmer and Bow’ll be waiting. Walk with us?”

She rolls her eyes. “Wouldn’t miss it.”

Adora beams in response.

 


 

“Oh my God,” Bow whispers, if you can call it that. “It’s even cuter now.”

Catra’s ears flick to him, then her eyes, glaring. “What?”

Glimmer is, very noticeably, looking at their still-joined hands. “So, that’s a thing, then?”

Adora blinks back at them, then down at Catra’s hand in hers. “Uh,” she makes as if to pull away, slowly, regretfully, but Catra just averts her eyes in the other direction and holds her tighter. Her tail, too, brushes against the small of Adora’s back. Adora beams. “Yeah, I guess so.”

“This is amazing,” Bow enthuses, phone in hand and frantically typing. “I’m telling everyone!”

“Wait, everyone?” 

Catra’s ears pull back. “Everyone?”

“Duh, the team needs to see this. Oh, Perfuma is going to love this!”

“Wait, don’t—”

Too late, Adora and Glimmer’s phones both ping at the same time. Then, a second later, begin to ping again.

“Oh,” Bow looks up, smiling brightly. “Look, guys. Perfuma liked it already.”

“Don’t look at me like that,” Catra huffs, because Bow is looking at her like an adorable creature and Glimmer is looking at her, a hint of actual, honest-to-god laughter in her eyes. “Why am I here? I regret this. Is it too late to leave?”

“Yeah?” Glimmer retorts, smirking. “Then let go of Adora’s hand.”

“I—you—shut up,” Catra squeaks, looking away.

Adora catches her eye, and the smile she’s wearing is radiant, even if she’s blushing down to her toes and already powering her phone off as the notifications begin to ping out of control. 

“C’mon, guys,” Adora says, tugging Catra’s hand. “Let’s go!”

 


 

“Do you need a ride?” Adora asks, as they walk. “I mean, if you’re getting a taxi or anything?”

Catra blinks at her, then shakes her head. “It’s okay, I’ve got a—” she hesitates, debating her words, then sighs, “—friend picking me up. Coworker. Whatever.”

“Oh, okay.”

She actually looks disappointed.

They make it through customs quickly, Bow and Glimmer following behind them, giggling and whispering.

They don’t separate, even when they wait at the baggage claim, and it seems like serendipity when their bags come out together. Of course, Adora’s is a duffle that’s beaten to hell with the Rebellion logo on it. Catra’s is just a shitty suitcase she stole from her roommate, Scorpia.

While Catra waits for the other two to find their bags, she flicks a message to Entrapta on her phone. Recommending, or rather threatening, that she meet her in the next five minutes in front of the building. She gets a quick thumbs up in response, and pockets her phone with a sigh.

It feels too soon, then, that they’re leaving and escaping into the throngs of the arrival hall. 

There’s about a thousand people, it feels like. But they all seem to stare at Glimmer, Adora and Bow in awe—they actually, at one point, get stopped for an honest-to-god autograph. She’d mostly forgotten, to be honest, that they’re apparently professional hockey players—pretty good ones, too, if Adora’s comments on the flight were to be believed.

“I didn’t know you guys were such a big deal,” Catra comments, watching Glimmer sign a beaming little girl’s jacket with a pen from her purse. “Color me impressed.”

Adora shrugs. “Brightmoon is kind of crazy for hockey. But we’re not that big of a deal, not yet. Wait until we win the League!”

She laughs. “I’ll be cheering you Princesses on, then.”

“It’s Rebels,” Glimmer retorts, after the little girl has scampered off, rolling her eyes. “You should know that. Aren’t you from Fright City. That makes you Horde Scum!”

“Fuck the Horde,” Catra replies, instantly. She brushes her arm against Adora’s. “I’ll support the winning team.”

At that, the look Glimmer gives her is almost approving. “Well, no arguments here.”

They wander out, eventually, through the crowds and end up standing at the curb, waiting for their rides together. But, it isn’t long before an enormous, blacked-out SUV screeches up. It mounts the curb, almost takes their toes out, and they jump back with a hiss.

“What the fu—”

The window rolls down, revealing a chirpy man in the passenger’s seat. “Adora, Bow, Glimmer! My friends. It is I, Seahawk, your humble driver, come to ferry you all home.”

There’s an annoyed sigh from the girl the driver’s seat. “You’re literally not even driving.”

“Ah, but it is spirit of the wind in the sails that controls the boat, my dear, not the Captain,” Seahawk replies. 

“Well, your wind has had its licence revoked, again.”

He wilts, wounded. “Clearly, a folly on the part of the DMV.”

“Clearly. And not, like, the car you somehow set on fire.”

If Seahawk registers the sarcasm, he doesn’t show it, turning back instead to look at them. “Alright, friends. Stow your luggage and come aboard our majestic vessel, we shall carry you home.”

“Wow,” Catra says, eyes wide. “And I thought those two were weird.”

Glimmer smiles painfully at her.

Bow, for his part, looks absolutely thrilled. “Pop the trunk, Captain!”

“You get used to it,” Adora says, as they all move to the back of the car, propping open the trunk. “Eventually.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

“Are you sure you don’t need a ride?” Adora asks, as the three of them dump their gear into the back of the car. Glimmer and Bow waste no time clambering inside the car, leaving them to it. “I don’t see your friend—”

Because Entrapta is just like that, she pops up next to them. “Catra! I see you’ve made a new acquaintance. Shall I come back later?”

“Ah!” Adora jumps. “Where did you—”

“Hey, Entrapta,” Catra grumbles. “No, it’s fine. I’m almost ready.”

“Riiiiight,” Entrapta nods, slowly. 

They both pause, waiting.

She doesn’t move.

Catra lets out a loud, drawn out sigh. “I will meet you. In the car.”

“Oh.” Entrapta glances between them, hand on her chin.

She doesn’t move, still.

There’s a very long, awkward moment. 

“Are you coming?” The very bored-looking girl hollers from the driver’s seat. “I don’t have, like, all day.”

Adora waves an arm. “Just a minute, Mermista!”

The girl drops back into her seat with a groan, folding her arms. “Whatever. Because my time isn’t important, I guess.”

“Just, go to the car,” Catra groans at Entrapta, hand on her face. “I’ll be there in a sec.”

“Oh. Okay.” 

And then she goes, pulling a notebook from her pocket and dawdling off.

Catra shakes her head, then turns back to Adora. “Give me your phone.”

Adora blinks, but doesn’t move. 

“Don’t you want my number?”

She whips it out at lightning speed, so fast, she almost clocks Catra in the face pushing it into her hand. “Yes!”

“Well, at least I know you’re eager,” Catra laughs, as she adds her number to Adora’s contacts, sending herself a text so she can save it. “You better use this. I don’t give it out to just anyone, you know.”

“Wow,” Adora says, breathy, when she passes her phone back. She cradles it tight to her chest. “I will.”

Glimmer, proving Catra’s theory that she is, in fact, an absolute monster, leans out the door. “Kiss her!”

The choked noise Adora makes, the pure panic in her face, makes Catra cackle. Even as she flips Glimmer off. But, because she’s never been the type to shy away from a challenge, she steps closer and leans up on her toes.

She presses a soft, lingering kiss to Adora’s cheek. “Thanks, Adora.”

Adora looks at her, eyes wide and cheeks red. “Anytime,” she beams, undeterred, even as Bow and Glimmer heckle them from the car. “Text me?”

She smiles, lets their hands finally untangle. “See you later.”

Adora looks like she immediately regrets the loss, but the look that she gives Catra makes warmth coil in her chest all the same. “Bye, Catra.”

“Bye, Adora.”