Hey there, don't know if you know me, so, hey, I'm Nausika.
I discovered this gem of a series yesterday and watched the first season in one go ':D
I haven't decided where exactly this take place, but probably before the happenings of and after the Princess Prom.
I am not a native English speaker and open for any sorts of criticism and correction; let me know what you liked and what not!
There was a high-pitched beeping tone, stretching for a few heartbeats. It became louder, pounding through her ears until it started to fade out, subsiding.
Slowly, Catra tried to open her eyes. Her head throbbed fiercely, making her close and open her eyes a couple of times. Nothing seemed to help. At last, she gave a weak growl, pushing herself up to sit. The room was spinning, so she closed her eyes again, putting a hand to her face. It felt as if there was a hammer, dully beating against the inside of her skull. What happened? She frowned, looking around. And where am I?
Sitting upright on a plain bed, her eyes travelled along the pure white walls and ceiling. There was a door to the side of the room, a single window on the other and more beds, standing in rows, good two metres apart from one another. Was this some kind of infirmary in the Fright Zone? If so, she had never been there – the shades of green or grey were missing, but perhaps her vision was playing tricks on her.
Closing her eyes when the throbbing returned, the garish surroundings making her dizzy, Catra raked her brain for memories of how she had come to be where she was now. There had been… she did not remember getting up in the morning, nor the reason of fighting, but there had been a battle, yes… they had attacked a military zone – or village; she did not much care what people called it as long as she would return victorious and finally be recognised for her work. They had been victorious… right?
There was darkness and turmoil in her memories, smoke and screams, which had to mean the Horde had been winning. She had been given a tank to drive! She remembered the tight cabin from where she had spied through the little hole to see her targets. Then…
Catra gave a groan, when her body seemed to adapt the throbbing, dully hurting her without being wounded. She had fired a shot. She-Ra had been there. The glistening of the magical shield, her own blast reflected at the tank…
Shaking herself free of her memories, Catra decided to get up and find something to eat and drink. That, and she needed to know how everything had ended, whether she had led them to victory and whether Shadow Weaver had once again taken all her glory. She would not let that monster of a 'mother' steal away all of her hard-earned credit anymore!
Her steps soon faltered and Catra gave a small squeak when she fell. She huffed upon the impact, freezing up. Why had she not caught herself? Where were her reflexes? Arms stretching out, face at least turning to the side, legs trying to rebalance? The light pulsing of her body turned into an internal quivering, so she decided to get better first. If they saw her to be of no use to them, she would be disposed of. She had to get better and fast!
Without even having made it as far as the next bed, Catra dragged herself back onto her bed – this time more careful. She gave a frustrated growl as she sank down, hoping for no one to have seen her and no one to have heard the whimper in her voice. What if she would not get better in time? What if Shadow Weaver would be the one to check on her, declaring her as useless without caring for her actually condition?
Turning onto her side, Catra crossed her arms beneath her head, closing her eyes. She was the only one she could trust and now, and not even her own body was reliable…
"She could attack you, we'll come,"
"Absolutely," Bow chimed in, nodding seriously. Adora shook her head.
"I don't think-"
"She tried to kill you; she blasted you with that canon; she could be planning an ambush right now!" Glimmer argued, trying to keep up with her friend's suddenly urgent pace. Bow opened his mouth to agree, but Adora once again denied any accusations. She was not sure why she was covering for the Horde's Officer.
"I was the one to step into her line of fire – I won't be long, okay, guys? I just wanna see if she's reasonable or not," Adora tried to soothe her friends concerns, turning to face them with an unconvincing, encouraging smile. She was more than insecure about this, but she could not imagine Catra opening up to anyone but her. If she would at all. Adora was the only chance they had, even if it was more than tiny.
"Just be careful," Glimmer finally agreed, meeting her friend's eyes. Her gaze was soft, understanding of the motive behind the blonde's idea, although slightly concerned. Not for her well-being, but perhaps the instable bond of the two former recruits of the Horde.
"We'll wait right here in case she tries anything," Bow confirmed, nodding towards Glimmer. Both positioned themselves next to the door and Adora turned to face it. Taking a calming inhale under her breath, she unlocked the infirmary's door, stepping in. It closed with a light click behind her.
It was not hard to spot her former best friend – now probably nemesis. Carta was nearly curled up on her stomach, legs drawn to herself, hugging her pillow to her face, sleeping peacefully. She looked the way she always had when sneaking down into Adora's bunk bed, snoring quietly at her feet.
The blonde felt her shoulders sink as she slowly relaxed, guilt creeping its way into her stomach. Why had she ever accused her of being the enemy? How could this be a Horde Officer – this girl, having grown up and laughed and played. Having been rejected. Disliked. Cast out.
As quietly as she could, Adora snuck up to the bed. Catra continued to sleep, so she dared coming closer, seating herself on the chair beside the bed. Her eyes grew soft and sad as she watched her childhood friend's side rise and fall steadily. Her face was frowning the slightest bit, her ears and tail twitching occasionally – she was either dreaming or in pain.
Crossing her arms on the side of the bed, Adora rested her head on them, directly staring into Catra's face. What now? She had pushed her thoughts aside for hours now, though she knew she had to come up with a solution at some point. If Catra woke up, she would have to tell her she was not in the Fright Zone. She was more or less a prisoner, but she had been saved and taken care of.
There were no words Adora could bring herself to say. Not even form in her mind. Could this be the chance to make everything right? Would she be able to persuade her former best friend to join the Rebellion, make her see the terrible things the Horde did to people, open her eyes to the life she could have here? She would most definitely be an advantage over the Horde; she was clever, strong and more agile than anyone else. They could fight side by side, outsmart their enemies and share their victory for the good of Bright Moon and all of Etheria.
Adora gave a discouraged sigh. Catra would never share her glory. She was too ambitious, too jealous and too… damaged. Damaged by her past and – she knew not why – by Adora herself. She would never agree to fight alongside She-Ra, or rather 'below'. She did not care what her target or motive was anymore, as long as she succeeded and gained the wanted attention. Attention she had never gotten while growing up.
What would Adora do? What could she do? Try to persuade Catra and if it failed, what? Lock her up? Bring her back? She knew she was not the only one to decide over the Horde Officer's fate and a part of her was glad. If she showed the cat-girl around while trying to convince her, she could give away crucial information and weaken Bright Moon. If she would keep her here and lock her up, the chances were below zero of pulling the skilled warrior to their side.
They could not just lock her up in the dungeons forever – did the palace even have those? They could not just send her on her way or bring her there halfway – the way she was sleeping told of the unconsciousness to have faded; there was no way Catra would not wake up from being moved. She would hurt others to get free and most likely be hurt back. Adora wondered how much say she would have in the matter at all, whether her stepping in for her former best friend would make Catra see that it could be as it had been – just better – or if the girl would merely see it as showing off again, not accepting the help.
What if the Queen decided to have her killed? She surely would not do that but giving her back would be foolish as well. Perhaps trade her for… for what? Shadow Weaver? The magic crystal? Capitulation?
Adora closed her eyes, sighing deeply. There was nothing she could think of to help her situation. If only Catra could be talked to, won over – she would have such a better life and friends by her side! It was too late to just put her back on the battlefield to be found by her troops – if they believed her to be alive or searched for their commander at all… Perhaps if she would be put to sleep for a while…
Adora furrowed her brows, disposing of the thought. Even if she felt helpless and guilty for whatever outcome it would be, she was glad not to be the one in charge. She was not expected to give orders, she did not have to judge over her childhood friend, she would merely give advice if asked. Not that she minded not being asked.
Unable to supress the pitiful look in her eyes, Adora glanced at Catra unhappily. She lifted her head, closing her eyes as she whispered.
"I miss you," she placed a brief kiss on her former best friend's forehead, her lips merely brushing against her counterpart's face, sending shivers down her own spine, nonetheless. Why did it have to be the way it was…?
Not noticing the momentary stiffening of Catra's tail and ears, she turned, walking out of the infirmary. Neither did she notice the eyes that followed her as she left. She locked the door, not exchanging a single glance with her friends as the three made their way back to Glimmer's room to think in silence.
None of them heard the escape, being too late and staring out the broken window.