Step 1: Make Friends
Adora made sure to hop onto every opportunity to play with new people. There were about fifty people in the server, which really wasn’t that many, and some weren’t too active or mostly played games that Adora didn’t care about.
So really, all in all there were only about fifteen people that they talked to frequently enough to consider potential new friends - but they were all awesome, so Adora didn’t find she minded the small group much. In fact, it was way less intimidating than trying to befriend an entire server.
When playing as a group within the discord, Adora tended to favor more chill games. They did a lot of Minecraft and Among Us, which was always fun and definitely led to some funny streams and stories, and of course it was always a riot to play ARAMs and URF in League.
As Adora got to know them better, a closer-knit circle started to form - the people they could count on almost every single time to stream with them - and they even developed a circulating team of full fives for ranked and normals in League.
Mid was either Glimmer or Mermista. Bot lane was frequently Bow and Perfuma, but Glimmer liked support on occasion as well. Top was usually Scorpia or Sea Hawk.
Then Catra and Adora tended to fight for jungle.
(Though, in all reality, everyone in their group were pretty flexible players and could fill in wherever they were needed. Sometimes they went in completely different positions depending on the vibe of the day, which Adora definitely appreciated.)
If Catra and Adora really couldn’t decide who got to jungle that game, they would do a quick sudden death 1v1, with everyone spectating - these particular spectators liked to make sure no one was lying, and frequently lended a nice onslaught of shit-talk to whoever was doing worse.
But they were evenly matched in skill, so it usually came down to which champions they picked. Catra was definitely a more aggressive player who liked to get kills and carry, whereas Adora played more utility based champs that could outlast the squishy mages Catra tended to lean towards.
After their sixth 1v1, Adora and Catra started to admit how much they could actually learn from one another when it came to getting better.
And that was how Adora started to talk to Catra more.
Step 2: Get Viewers
“Hey you fucking plebs, some of you gotta go watch my new girlfriend okay?” Adora couldn’t help but laugh over the mic. They had just started up their stream, and Catra was already trying to flood their viewers. “We’re doing some Overwatch so you’ll still hear me and see my game, but She-Ra is still pretty new and we want to get them affiliated as soon as possible, got it?”
Adora watched their numbers rise and immediately flushed deep red after realizing what exactly Catra had said. That was… weird?
“Besides, they’re hot as fuck so I know that’s what half of you look for in a streamer anyway, right?”
pothossimp : whoa whoa whoa ???? Girlfriend ?????? What?!?!?
Adora pulled her foot off of her push to talk pedal and ducked off camera quickly to wipe at her face, a squeak bubbling up from her throat in sheer embarrassment. “Yeesh, Cap,” she started, popping back into the range of the webcam when she could feel her cheeks cooling again. “Embarrassing me already, huh?”
“It’s what I live for, baby.” Catra lowered her voice, soft and sultry, and Adora felt everything in their body heat. “Better start getting good so you can stop stealing my viewers, huh?”
dr__girlfriend : holy fucking shit is she for real? Is this actually happening??????????
Cracking their neck, Adora turned back to the game. “You’re the one promoting me and streaming with me… I think you just want the excuse to talk to me for hours on end.”
Adora kept Catra’s stream up in a small window to the bottom of their screen, and laughed as they watched her roll her eyes and avoid the question. “Anyway.”
Booting up the game, Adora noticed that Catra was talking to chat, but clearly had muted herself in Discord. Curiosity got the better of Adora, and they turned the volume up just enough to get a taste of what she was saying. “... nice, okay? Don’t scare off my friends, it’s hard enough for me to make them.”
Adora rolled their eyes and started making their party, clicking the invite button and sending it off to Catra. Their shoulders tensed when Catra continued. “Stop, no, they’re not actually my girlfriend. It was a joke. Please don’t harass them you weirdos.” They watched Catra glance back at her chat before her eyebrows furrowed. “No, we’re seriously just friends, so don’t start on that bullshit, all right?”
Disappointment shook through their spine, and Adora had to consciously prevent their face from showing it for all of their viewers to see. With a red flush they could feel spreading to their chest, Adora scrambled to mute and minimize Catra’s stream, barely missing the soft pink flush that had spread across her cheeks.
“So, uh,” Adora tried, swallowing hard and turning their attention back to the game at hand and their own stream. “Mystery heroes to warm up?”
Catra let out a soft hint of a laugh. “Let’s do it.”
Step 3: Get Your Own Viewers
Adora had spent most of their time (time that probably should have been dedicated to schoolwork) trying to figure out the best way to get themselves more of their own, well-earned viewers. They had a decent number of subscribers now thanks to playing with their more popular friends, and had hit a twitch affiliate pretty quickly, but a lot of it was feeling rather undeserved.
They never had liked riding on the coattails of other people, and it was why they were so adamant on getting a degree in a field they had some passion for instead of just taking over their parents’ business. Sure, that would have been the easier route, but Adora liked a challenge - liked feeling like they had actually earned something rather than been handed it.
Which is why so much of this felt so wrong sometimes. If she hadn’t had her friends to stream with, where would she be? Would she still be sitting at only double digit followers? Would she have any subscribers at all? Or would she have given up on this venture because she simply wasn’t cut out for it?
Adora could feel the self-doubt creeping in, and they decided that they needed to do something to set themself apart from just being semi-popular because of their friends.
The trouble was, they had no idea where to even start.
“You should just capitalize on those big ass muscles,” Glimmer had so helpfully supplied one night that they were just sitting around on voice chat. “Do some sort of… I don’t know, challenge or something.”
Adora sighed, leaning back in their chair. “Like. Push-ups per sub or something? That sounds… I dunno. Kinda weird?” Chewing on the cap of their pen, Adora stretched their arms up over their head. “Is it weird to like, sell my body for views?” Is that even what they would be doing?
They reached for their drink and rolled their eyes as Glimmer let out a snorting laugh.
“Nahhh, absolutely not! Look how many streamers have OnlyFans and stuff.” Glimmer blew out a heavy breath. “It definitely brings in more viewers, and it definitely brings in more income. I mean, you know” she said, cracking her knuckles, her voice lowering conspiratorially. “Even Catra has one.”
Adora choked on the soda they had been sipping, and gasped for air as Glimmer frantically asked if they were okay, a hint of amusement lacing her concern. There was no way in hell Adora was ever going to let Glimmer know that they had been subscribed to Catra’s OnlyFans for like a year now. They would never hear the end of it.
Better to just let her think Adora had been semi-unaware of the whole thing.
“I’m cool, I’m good!” they wheezed, smacking a hand against their chest. A few more coughs came out before they took in a deep breath. “I am… Good.”
Glimmer paused, but Adora could practically hear the smile that they knew was on her face. “... Did you not know she had one?”
“No… I did…?” They paused, flushing. Thank god they didn’t have their webcams on. “I just never…” Adora pressed themself further back against the chair, as if trying to escape the conversation. “Never really considered how that might up someone’s viewers, I guess?” Their voice shot up, a clear lie about to cross their lips. “I mean I guess that makes sense with how popular she is! Maybe I should help support her or - oh, no, that’d be weird huh. If I subscribed to her. Ha. I definitely... Won’t be doing that.”
What the fuck . Adora muted her mic and dropped her head onto the desk. Repeatedly.
Glimmer rolled on with the conversation regardless, carefully choosing to ignore the weird energy Adora was now giving off. “Yeah... So anyway like, maybe you can set up a goal? For every like, 25 subs or gift subs, you do, I don’t know, like ten pull-ups or something?”
A laugh tore out of Adora’s throat, and they sat up before rubbing a palm against their own red and sore forehead. “Do you really think that would make more people sub or watch me?”
“... Adora? Yeah. Absolutely.” Glimmer laughed and probably rolled her eyes. “Gamers are horny as hell and would do anything for a good show.”
Okay. Maybe they would consider it.
What did they have to lose?
Step 4: Do Not Get a Crush on Catra
Adora startled as a chorus of agreement rang out over the voice chat, everyone calling the end of the gaming session for the night. They couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. It was a Friday night and they were finally able to stay on all night but everyone else was bailing. Ah well. At least they could keep playing something else.
They weren’t streaming tonight - Adora had just wanted a chill game night with their friends. It had been an incredibly overwhelming week with school, and frankly Adora was tired of being so on all week, so luckily they didn’t have to continue to be on and perform for viewers.
But still. It was disappointing.
“You’re all weak as fuck,” Catra hissed, sorting out last details on the map, upping their tasks and cool downs to subtly make the game last longer. “It’s not even midnight!”
Adora laughed, because they had secretly been thinking the same thing. But leave it to Catra to be the one to point it out.
Scorpia chimed in, cheerful as ever. “I’d like to give a very kind reminder that Perfuma and I are in London right now so… It’s almost five am.”
“All right, all right. You guys are fine,” Catra grumbled, but then her attention turned. “But Mermista and Sea Hawk have literally no excuse. It’s not even nine there, losers.”
“Listen, girl,” Mermista hummed, definitely checking out her nails as she drawled on the last syllable. “We have… other things we’d like to be doing tonight. Like—”
“Oh, just, don’t,” Glimmer cut in, making fake gagging noises. “We know you two are like rabbits but please do not give us the details. Especially not while I’m streaming .” Adora knew Glimmer’s chat was blowing up, and they couldn’t help but peek over at their other screen, where they liked to keep their friends’ twitch pages pulled up when they were live.
Gluten_Noodle : LMAO POGGGGGG GIVE US THE DEETS
SpaceBetween : oh dear god please do not my little sister watches y’all
poggeronis : this stream is adult u shouldn’t let ur lil sis watch
DragonOtakuRoxy : god i wish i were either of them. Both of them are so hot i just want to be s a n d w i c h e d
“All right, all right, can we just go?” Adora tried over their loud and played up bickering. “Finish up and let Scorpia and Perfuma go to bed.”
“Our Glorious She-Ra,” Catra mewled as Adora glanced over at her stream, watching her prop her chin in her palm and wink at the camera, as if she knew Adora would look. “So pure, always here to save the day.”
“Just press start, Captain .”
They played a long round of Among Us - with both the extended settings and honestly no one wanting to be the one to end it dragging it out - where Sea Hawk and Bow were the imposters. Sea Hawk had gotten voted off pretty early, but Bow was always a surprisingly good liar. But eventually, with one last spike through Adora’s crewmate’s heart, Bow won the game for the imposters.
A round of GG s later, and everyone was out of the call.
Everyone except for Adora and Catra.
“And then there were two,” Catra teased, her voice soft.
After a moment of almost awkward silence, Adora let out a little laugh. “So,” they hummed, twisting the cord of their headphones between their fingers. They weren’t sure why they were so nervous. It wasn’t like the two of them hadn’t ever played alone before. “Do you want to play something else? I’m not streaming tonight so I don’t have anything set up…”
But something felt… Different?
Adora couldn’t put her finger on it.
Catra muted discord, and Adora turned up the volume on her stream.
“Hey guys, I’m gonna end. I know it’s only been like an hour and a half but…” She started closing off screens until her stream was just her webcam and the chat box. Adora could see a bunch of raging emojis and annoyance in the text, but Catra didn’t seem to let it phase her. “Guys please, I’ll be back tomorrow.”
There was slight annoyance in Catra’s words, but Adora could understand both sides of things. She normally streamed for four or more hours, but she was also completely in her right to end whenever she wanted to.
“Sorry, I just don’t feel like playing anything else on stream, okay?”
She said her farewells and shut it down, taking a few minutes to tidy things up.
It was impressive to Adora that Catra was able to play whatever the hell she wanted, whenever she wanted. With her subscriber count, almost anything would amass her a good amount of viewers whenever she streamed, and things like ending early or changing it up never seemed to negatively impact her.
Adora was still working on a pretty strict schedule, while trying to find a balance of just enough and not too much, and what game gets which viewers - all while doing their best not to ruin their statistics.
“Okay,” Catra came back, requesting a video chat instead of just voice. Adora promptly accepted, tugging once on their messy bun to tighten it up. “What do you wanna play?”
Catra’s smile was so soft it was barely noticeable, but Adora could feel their own tugging on their cheeks in response. “Mmm… Maybe Portal 2? I’ve never done the co-op mode.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s so fun.”
It was six in the morning when they finally said goodbye, both slap happy and giggling, so tired they could barely keep their eyes open.
They had only gotten through the first course.
Step 5: … Fuck
Adora was trying their best to focus on their school work, but honestly learning about the financial and managerial aspects of Physical Therapy was absolutely not stimulating them today. Even having Glimmer on voice chat wasn’t helping like it usually did.
But then Adora heard the tell-tale sign of a new DM, and glanced up at their screen.
Catra’s icon popped up on the side of discord, and Adora felt themselves completely light up. “Hey, Glim,” they mumbled, pulling the mic back down to their lips. “Catra wants to video chat for a bit so I’m gonna go.”
“Ugh,” Glimmer groaned, and Adora heard her drop her hands palm down onto her desk. “Are you two like… a thing?”
Adora flushed and scoffed. “What?” That voice was far too high to be believable. “No! Of course we’re not!”
“Mhm… Okay .” Glimmer didn’t sound convinced at all , and Adora felt like she was scrutinizing them. “I mean you’re on voice chat with her more than me these days, and it’s starting to feel like you’re replacing me.”
“What?” Adora sat up straight, feeling their shoulders tense. “Dude…”
“No no, I’m mostly teasing! It’s totally fine!” Her voice grew a little mocking, edging out the slight discomfort between them. “But honestly I’d feel less offended if you guys were a thing or at least like, exchanged nudes or something .”
“ What ?”
Glimmer hung up with a giggling byeeee~ as Adora sputtered for words, and Adora bit back the nerves that had started slithering under their skin.
Catra and Adora were definitely not a thing.
No, of course not. Catra had even said they were just friends.
But… that had been weeks ago. And they did spend an awful lot of time on video chat now… So…?
No. Definitely not.
They were not going to make this out to be something that it wasn’t.
Adora blew out a heavy breath and tugged their sweatshirt over their head before clicking into their DMs with Catra, where an ongoing call was flashing at the top of the screen.
>> hellloooooo? you gonna pick up or what, princess? I’m losing wood over here.
Adora pressed the call button and couldn’t help the huge smile that spread across their cheeks at the sight of Catra, long hair tied back into a ponytail, no makeup, in her favorite worn-out Metallica t-shirt.
She was… Really, really pretty.
Adora swallowed hard, noting that Catra hadn’t noticed they joined yet - and, thankfully, hadn’t noticed that they were staring .
“Hi there,” they said, hand raising in a small wave.
Heterochromatic eyes snapped up to the screen, and the grumpy look on her face immediately dissolved into something soft, and warm, and Adora knew right then that they were completely and totally fucked .