Catra manages to hold in her yawn until the professor dismisses class. The instant other students start moving, her face cracks in two in a squeaky yawn. At least four different people coo at her – including one of her supposed best friends. Catra turns her head to fix Bow with a glare, but Bow just rolls his eyes and continues packing up his bag. Catra can forgive the other students – over the last three months she has basically become the campus mascot, and getting cooed at is just a part of that reality – but she doesn’t need Bow joining in.
“Wanna go to the library?” Adora prods, gently, nudging Catra’s shoulder. Catra huffs, electing to ignore Bow to turn to her girlfriend instead.
“Yes,” she returns. Adora is already halfway through packing up their things. Catra never takes notes – there is no point to it for her – but Adora always does, even in this bullshit introduction class. All it does is teach them about what the university offers, which they already know, thanks. Adora finishes gathering their things, straightening and offering Catra her hand without a second thought. Catra purrs happily, taking Adora’s hand and pulling herself up with it.
“You coming, Bow?” Adora asks, glancing over Catra’s head at their taller friend. Catra is already busying herself with plastering into Adora’s side. Bow seems to consider it, but he shakes his head.
“Glimmer will get out of her class soon. She’ll be hungry. I want to walk her over to the cafeteria,” he decides. Catra raises an eyebrow at him as they begin to shuffle their way out of the lecture hall with the rest of the class.
“You know she has her Secret Service detail with her. She doesn’t need someone to walk her somewhere,” Catra points out, jerking her head back to indicate the older woman – dressed in casual clothes, but still conspicuous thanks to her age and considerable bulk - who had been sitting behind them in the crowded lecture hall. Now she follows them as they wait by the door for their turn to leave.
It has been nearly three months, and the other students in their classes already don’t give a shit about parting to let them through. Catra has quickly discovered that if there is one place where they will just be accepted, it is college. No one gives a shit what other people are up to. A guy unicycled past them dressed as what she can only describe as a fucking dressed-down clown yesterday and people hardly glanced at him or them.
The campus has largely accepted them with open arms or at least indifference. She never thought she would enjoy waiting in line, but the apathy is kind of nice. They can stand in line at the library checkout counter, and though people do stare and whisper about them, a lot of the time people just keep complaining about their discrete mathematics class or whatever.
“That’s not what it’s about. I’m not worried for her,” Bow returns, frowning a little and raising up on his toes to see over the crowd of students as they shuffle out. Catra rolls her eyes. Yeah, she knows, that is why she said it. Bow has been trying to make the most subtle grand gestures Catra has ever seen over the last few months, and it isn’t working. He is too nice to begin with – Glimmer hasn’t realized the differing intent behind his actions.
Before she can make a more pointed comment, they make it out into the hall, and Bow throws them a wave with a wide smile before vanishing into the hall, crowded with students leaving their classes. Even with their special registration ahead of everyone else to ensure they can end up in classes together and under teachers equipped to handle them, Glimmer ended up in a different intro class than them to accommodate her Intro to Political Science class.
Catra rolls her eyes as she turns away from Bow’s retreating back, ducking under Adora’s arm. Adora dutifully wraps it around her shoulders, smiling as she directs them down the hallway in the opposite direction. Behind them, Huntara talks into her earpiece to inform the rest of their security team they are headed to the library.
It took roughly two weeks for Catra to discover sunbeam naps. The research facility didn’t have any windows, so it was a joy previously unknown. The only reason it took her that long was because they weren’t comfortable staying out in public at first and their suite doesn’t have windows either. They are too much of a safety hazard to have around when they are alone, but the library has floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch two stories high and allow light to pour into the small lounge that has unofficially become theirs – at least on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Catra purrs in delight as she drops her head in Adora’s lap, curled up on the sofa beside her. Adora sets to work on the homework she actually has to try at – Catra finished it as soon as it was assigned, and though Adora will gladly gush about how smart Catra is all day, she doesn’t share the trait – while Catra settles into her nap, warmed by the sun shining in. Huntara’s glowering presence and the fact that everybody on campus recognizes them on sight is usually enough to ensure their privacy during these times – with some limits.
“Fanclub is back,” Huntara grunts a warning at her back. Their security team is much larger than Huntara, but Huntara is their personal guard, always at their side when they are outside of their house. Campus has undergone major security renovations in the last year preparing for their arrival and it might be the most surveilled place on the planet at this point. Adora feels plenty secure even with just one guard within arms’ reach. Besides, it isn’t like Catra couldn’t defend them if need be.
Adora looks up, scanning her eyes around before she spots them. She cringes a little as three hands shoot up to wave the second she makes eye contact. Adora quickly ducks her head down, glancing at them out of the corner of her eye rather than giving them direct attention. There are seven of them today it looks like, and at least they are all dressed normally, even if they light up an inordinate amount when Adora glances their way.
Most of the students view her and Catra as an interesting novelty or, even better, like they could be people. And then there is the fanclub. There seem to be exactly two kinds of people in it – people who love aliens and were excited when the announcement went out to the world, or people who never gave a shit about aliens until they saw Catra.
Their internet usage was monitored and restricted at the base. They knew this, but they had no idea how much. Not until, as part of the many introductory seminars they went through this summer to prepare them their first true foray into society, Spinnerella sat them down and made a valiant effort to remain composed and professional as she uttered the phrase alien fuckers, because yes, they had to call themselves that. At least as a whole. The fanclub on campus is actually called the Foreign Lifeform Appreciation Society.
Adora tries not to hate them. Sure, it feels gross and fetishistic, but at least these people are enthusiastic about having her and Catra on campus. Some of them are really just excited about the idea of aliens and not interested in them like that. It is hard not to loathe the ones with the hots for her girlfriend, though. In the third week of school, one of them managed to slip up beside them as they were walking between classes. He turned to Catra with bright eyes and demanded, “So, do you have a pussy or what?”
Catra’s claws had snapped out and Huntara had instantly begun to move to– do something, separate them maybe, it didn’t matter. Adora was closer, and she got there first. She had never hit someone in her life, but she also wasn’t going to let that stand. It was an entire incident. Anyone who missed the initial question just saw Adora’s hair spark to life before she clocked a stranger in the jaw. The rumours spread – eventually the right rumour spread, with the actual words that were said, and the general consensus on campus was that he definitely deserved it, even if there was a scare about violent aliens first.
The guy wasn’t officially a part of the fanclub, but his social media more than proved he was one of the general alien fuckers. The club knows to keep their distance now. They have a Facebook group that makes them easy to track, and the entire security team has their faces memorized. They can’t get close enough to make another comment like that at least. They still show up often, but after that guy got expelled for sexual harassment, the group claimed it made a crackdown on the creeps.
Adora still doesn’t like them. She bends down to the floor, picking up her backpack and reaching over Catra to place it on the couch, carefully arranging it to block sight of her from the fanclub’s position in the other first floor lounge. She wants her girlfriend to be able to sleep without being watched. Adora sighs as she picks back up her pencil. She can ignore them. They aren’t doing anything right now, Catra has a little privacy, and Adora can tell she is already happily asleep under the warmth of the sun. It is worth it to be here for the gentle rumbling of happiness in her lap.
“How was your day, girls?” Spinnerella asks them when they pass by her office on the way to their suite. They live in a newly-constructed house near the edge of campus. It is sound-proofed and secured. Apparently the university is going to turn it into music practice rooms once they have graduated. Spinnerella and Netossa live on the first floor with most of the Secret Service while Catra and Adora stay on the second floor with Catra’s art studio – and more secret service, specifically Huntara. Doubling down on securing campus and keeping them there was easier than transporting them back and forth from the nearby military base they originally planned to live at, though Netossa is still working there during the day.
Spinnerella is waiting with her door open. She always is when they get out of class for the day. On the rare occasions they slip back between classes, the door is closed, though Spinnerella hurries to greet them whenever she hears them approaching.
“The fanclub was at the library again,” Adora responds immediately, drawing them to a halt in the doorway. Catra rolls her eyes, elbowing her girlfriend as she lets herself be pulled into Spinnerella’s office. Spinnerella’s face twitches a little.
“I hope they didn’t bother you,” she claims, though her expression tells a different story. The problem with the fanclub is free speech and all that – as long as they aren’t even speaking to them, then nothing can be done. Spinnerella and Adora seem to almost be hoping for another transgression so more members can be expelled. The club is far from an official part of the university, and students are free to do whatever they like online as long as they aren’t posting anything that qualifies as harassment, which the club has been careful to tiptoe around.
“Isn’t it stalking to follow people around? I don’t like them watching Catra sleep and stuff,” Adora complains, waving her free hand vaguely while tightening the arm wrapped around Catra’s back. To her surprise, Spinnerella pauses and tilts her head. She looks considering.
“It… could be. It could be enough to force them to disperse should they gather around you, especially with the evidence of their obsession they post online. I’ll have a talk with the Dean to see the university’s policies on it. It wouldn’t be enough for a restraining order, but campus policies don’t require the same evidence that legal proceedings do,” Spinnerella agrees. Catra blinks at her, surprised.
The fanclub has been… a problem, to say the least. They unnerve her, even if statistically they treat her like a person more than the average stranger – half of them also want to fuck her, and considering she and Adora haven’t even tried anything like that, it is unsettling to say the least. Catra has stumbled into her explicit fansites. They have all kinds of ideas about her – what she looks like, acts like, would like. She hates all of it. She shifts a little where she stands, just nodding to Spinnerella once before glancing to Adora.
“I want to paint,” she tells her, dropping her ears and letting her eyes relax, blowing out wide. Adora immediately flushes a little, scowl melting away. It is instantly replaced with an eager expression, the fanclub forgotten in her eagerness to give Catra whatever she wants.
“See you at dinner, Spinny,” Adora tosses her way, distractedly, as she is already turning them to leave the room. Spinnerella snorts, seeming amused by how quickly Adora’s attention span can be redirected.
“Don’t forget to select a painting to bring next week, Catra,” Spinnerella calls after them. Just for that, Catra uses her tail to shut the door behind them with a decisive snap. She may be an adult now, but she is still petty. Not that she doesn’t want to bring a painting to Spinnerella’s parents, but said painting is what she was going up to work on, and she hates being told what to do, even when she was already intending on it.
Spinnerella has falsely assumed that Catra will be picking out a completed piece to bring. As if she does anything by half measures. No, she is making a brand-new painting from her – admittedly flawless – memory, depicting the farmhouse that her pseudo-grandparents have lived in as long as she has been on Etheria. When they reach the top floor of the landing, Huntara splits off the head to her bedroom that shares a bathroom with Catra’s art studio. Catra, in turn, drags Adora into the studio.
Adora works on her homework – again, there is always more – while Catra paints. Catra’s studio has lots of lights installed to make up for the lack of windows, and the lighting is good for hunching over her math homework, but there is also the matter of the distraction in the center of the room. They are alone for the first time in hours, and Catra is all hers to stare at.
Adora doesn’t want to leer in front of the fanclub – she would rather ignore them completely or send glares their way. When it is just her and Catra, though, Adora can appreciate her girlfriend in all her glory. Catra is wearing a loose sweater, the sleeves rolled up around her elbows, painting slowly and methodically. Adora can’t see her canvas from here, but Catra keeps stepping back to survey her work, expression focused, before she steps forward again.
Adora loves getting to just watch Catra like this. Few ever see her this way. She abandons all other focus, her ears moving only to express her emotions and not to listen for sounds. She is vulnerable in a way she rarely allows herself to be. It takes trust, something Catra has never given easily. Spinnerella and Netossa have been in the room while she painted, and Bow managed to film her at it once, but those are the only people outside of Adora who have even seen her like this, much less gotten to study her.
Glimmer got bored before Catra relaxed enough to be absorbed in her painting, but Adora can lounge at Catra’s sketching desk and watch her girlfriend dedicate herself with a single-minded intensity onto not just a piece of art, but a gift. If there is one thing Adora can concentrate for, it is Catra.
“Not that I don’t appreciate the extra light, but you’re messing with my shadows,” Catra says, almost offhandedly as she continues to work at her canvas. Adora flushes as she realizes that her heart got just a little too full and her hair has begun to glow. Usually, her Catra-triggered glowing is limited to lust reactions, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule.
“Sorry, sorry,” Adora murmurs, quickly turning away to stare down at her homework. If there is anything that is going to turn off her body’s chemical reaction, it is statistics. Adora needs the math credit for her gen ed requirement, but it isn’t her strong suit. The sheer boringness of it should help tamp down her reaction, though.
After they started dating – after Catra started getting a bit more handsy while they were kissing and it triggered the glow consistently – they gave up and had to go to the scientists a bit despite the embarrassment of the situation. It was determined that Adora glows when her body needs to repair itself, like after injury or strenuous exercises, and similarly when it needs to calm itself, but the glow can also be triggered by just Catra.
“The best we can determine is that you have bonded with Catra psychologically, and it is causing a physical reaction,” the doctors finally told her, after some extremely embarrassing tests and conversations. Love, lust, bonding – whatever you want to call it, Adora feels it for Catra. Catra looks up from her painting, smirking a little at Adora.
“Don’t worry. When I’m done, we can go to our room and relax,” Catra promises her. Adora swallows, her cheeks blazing. She just nods.
Catra sighs, a slight shiver running through her body in the wake of Adora’s touch. She is almost naked, down to just her underwear and the bralette she wore to avoid any accidents with her crop top that might end up on the internet. Nudity has never meant much between them, but it still feels different when it is accompanied by Adora’s hands roaming over her while she kisses and nips at her neck.
She is laid out in their bed. Their bedroom is small - most of the second floor’s space dedicated to her art studio - but Catra finds it cozy here. The walls are lined with shelves boasting their many house plants, and the underside of each shelf is equipped with special lights to help the plants grow, and only a few of those lights are on now. There is still plenty of light to see by, but the room is appropriately dim.
Catra prefers it that way - just her, Adora, and roaming hands. They haven’t done much more than this and some grinding, despite both of them wanting to. It is hard. Even with their desires, they are aliens, and though Catra’s species definitely engages in sex - and given their anatomy, probably does so in a very similar way to humans - Adora is still a mystery.
Well, a mystery except for the soft groans she releases as she sucks a mark into Catra’s fur and cautiously shifts her knee up to press between her thighs. Catra gasps in response, eagerly shifting her hips down to feel the relief of pressure against her clit. Adora takes the noise as the go ahead it is and slips a hand beneath her bralette to lightly pinch her nipple.
“Adora,” Catra groans, shifting beneath Adora’s touch, mindlessly seeking more. Adora freezes, causing Catra to growl instantly. Adora pulls back a little, which Catra reluctantly allows only so Adora can see her face and read the clear more there. Adora’s expression softens when their eyes meet and then a borderline wicked expression crosses her face.
Adora rocks her thigh forward – in the same moment, she grins down at Catra and twists her nipple. Catra lets out a pathetic, stuttering whimper in response, body twitching up into Adora’s hands. Her ears pin back in embarrassment at the sound, cheeks blazing as she turns her face away to rub her cheek into the pillow.
“Alright, kitty?” Adora asks her. Catra’s flush only grows worse. Adora has always called her that - from their very first meeting, even - but is different when Adora does it like this. It is possessive, and as much as Catra hates being treated like a pet online, she does relish in Adora wanting her like this. Catra is well aware of how much Adora hates the explicit attention Catra gets, and in moments like this, the delight Adora takes in Catra being hers is obvious.
It isn’t like Catra hasn’t had to see her fair share of speculation online of if Adora’s hair on her head is the only hair the glows – it isn’t – but she can’t deny more people have fixated on her than they have on Adora. Catra wriggles a bit beneath Adora’s hands again, still not looking at her, and gives a soft moan when Adora does exactly what Catra wanted her to and rocks her thigh again, pinching with one hand and holding her still with the other. After a moment, however, Adora’s hands go lax.
“Catra,” Adora prompts again, and Catra remembers that Adora asked her question. In her defense, heat is spreading through her gut – a heat she knows won’t really be met. She has gotten off in Adora’s arms exactly twice, both times from grinding like this, but Adora is nervous about them having real sex given how little she knows about her own body. Catra gets it, and she has no desire to pressure Adora, but in the heat of the moment it can be frustrating.
“I’m alright. More?” she asks softly, reaching her arms up. Adora’s expression softens as she leans down, letting Catra wrap her arms around Adora’s shoulders and tug their bodies closer together so Adora is draping over her. Just because Catra probably has sex in a similar way to humans does not mean she is identical. They have both watched porn – separately and together – just trying to figure things out. Catra found it so impersonal. It felt distant and unsafe, even just to watch.
Adora is understanding. She finds how close Catra wants them to be sweet. She was more than happy to turn their bed into a veritable nest of pillows for them to curl into so in moments like this Catra can be surrounded by nothing but softness and Adora. Adora kisses softly at the side of Catra’s face as she rocks her thigh again and plays with Catra’s nipple.
“You want to get off?” Adora asks, quietly, her voice low and a little rough. Catra feels her tail lash beneath her as the words shoot straight to her core. Catra knows Adora isn’t suggesting that they have sex – not really anyway – but this is still an offer she has never made before. The other times just kind of happened in the heat of the moment. She whimpers a little in response, nodding eagerly as she clutches to Adora.
“Want you,” she breathes, a quiet confession. Adora makes a soft, soothing sound as she nuzzles Catra, just like she knows that Catra likes. Despite not having had sex, they have done just about everything short of it, and they know each other well. Adora begins to rock her thigh in a proper rhythm and Catra eagerly rolls her hips down to meet her.
“Okay. I’ve got you, just relax. I’ll take care of you,” Adora promises, her teeth scraping lightly on the edge of Catra’s jaw. That promise lights a fire in her, the blatant intention and desire contained within causing her to whimper. Her tail lashes again as she desperately rolls her hips into the flexing muscle of Adora’s thigh. Adora slides her hands to Catra’s hips, gripping them to bring them down to meet her on each rock forward.
This is- this is so much more than they have done before. Catra finds herself gasping as Adora keeps up the affection to her jaw and neck at the same time that she pulls Catra down to meet her.
“Adora,” Catra manages to whimper again, rolling her hips down and moaning at the spike of pleasure that floods through her in response. Adora hums softly, a gentle acknowledgement and encouragement as she continues to move Catra’s hips for her, a coordinated effort to get her off in comparison to the desperate grinding of previous attempts.
“Love when you say my name like that,” Adora admits, her voice rough but affectionate as she drops a soft kiss to the mark she made on Catra’s neck earlier. Catra doesn’t have a response for that, heat spreading beneath her fur as she desperately follows every tug of Adora’s hands on her hips to meet her thigh. She has gotten off like this on paper, but this time her entire body is singing with the excitement that Adora wants to get her off.
“Ah- Adora,” Catra stutters out in an attempt to satisfy her partner too – and also just as a plea - the syllables broken as her core clenches down on nothing. Her body is eager for Adora in every way. Adora moans, her hair beginning to dimly glow until they are cast in a soft, golden light.
“Mine,” Adora groans, nipping at her neck. That it was what fucking does it – also the long press of Adora’s thigh between her own, but mostly it is hearing the desire for Catra to be hers combined with the bite.
Heat rushes through Catra, a wave of endorphins as she moans and writhes in Adora’s arms. Adora holds her, kissing her face and murmuring assurances that are largely lost on her, but it helps still. Catra falls back into the sheets.
Adora drapes over Catra, cuddling her girlfriend close as she goes limp and purrs. Her breathing is heavy and laboured, but she nuzzles into Adora in turn, even if her movements are weak. Adora is more than happy to cradle Catra close when she is too relaxed to press them together herself.
She has been thinking about this ever since Catra teased her back in her studio. Truthfully, she has been thinking about this since this morning when she got reminded of just how many people lust after her girlfriend. It doesn’t matter what they want though – Adora is the only one who gets to have this.
“I love you,” Adora murmurs to Catra, kissing the base of her ear. She trills in response, nudging into the affection, so Adora repeats the movement on her other ear. Catra’s purr is all the response she needs to give to make her content clear as she turns her cheek to mark Adora’s jaw with her scent.
“Love you too,” Catra mumbles back, words rumbling. Adora’s chest feels a bit tight despite how thoroughly she knows that. In her arms, Catra pulls back from her contented nuzzle just enough to look at her. Her eyes are still blown out, expression relaxed and open, but there is a light of curiosity in her gaze.
“You’re still glowing,” she observes, quietly. Adora feels her cheeks flush, but she doesn’t break eye contact with Catra. She knows what Catra is implying. The glow is loosely tied to arousal, among its others triggers. She draws in a slow breath, thinking it over before giving a slight shake of her head.
“One thing at a time, yeah? I’m- I want to. Soon, at least. But not tonight,” Adora admits, her cheeks blazing. Catra’s eyes go a little wide, her ears perking up and tail beginning to sway in blatant excitement, but she merely nods.
“When you’re ready. That felt amazing,” Catra assures her. Adora feels a bit of her embarrassment ease as she nods. Catra smiles at her, expression soft. It is the only cue they need to lean in and embrace, kissing long and slow. Kissing Catra while she is purring is always interesting, and Adora finds herself giggling a little as they part, happily tucking Catra in beneath her chin.
“Mm, my kitty,” she can’t help but murmur. The words are far softer now than they had been when Catra was writhing beneath her. This is just true, affection and not a claim. Catra purrs in response, nuzzling to her neck.
“My golden girl,” Catra responds, a nickname she came up with a few months in that still makes Adora blush without fail. She doesn’t have a response to that, so she just presses a kiss to the top of Catra’s head as she cradles her.
Yeah, she definitely wants, but it is too much for tonight. She knows she will be fulfilling that promise soon regardless.