Adora knew this was wrong.
Sneaking out of Bright Moon in the middle of the night, running along the hidden paths of the Whispering Woods, going where she was going… All of this was wrong.
But Adora couldn't help herself.
She wanted to see her.
Adora emerged in the small clearing that had become their secret spot. She glanced around but she didn't see anyone.
Huh. Maybe she had arrived first for once.
Adora followed the sound and looked up into the branches of a tree on the other side of the clearing. There, eyes aglow in the moonlight, perched Catra, her usual smirk on her face and her tail lashing out behind her.
"Catra." Adora curtly said, but despite her tone she allowed herself to drink in Catra's appearance.
She was alive. She was safe.
Catra hadn't been on the frontlines of any of the battles in the past week or so. Normally, one wouldn't expect to see the second in command of an army there, but even though she'd risen in the ranks, usually at least one battle would be one of Catra's personal schemes and she'd appear to lure Adora away.
And Adora hated how it worked. Every. Single. Time.
So Catra's absence had been unusual, and Adora hadn't remembered her being so injured the last time they'd seen each other. All it had left her with were fears and questions that she really shouldn't have. After all, Catra made her choice. She was the enemy.
Adora couldn't help but worry anyway.
Catra leaped down, nimble as ever. "Are you ready?" She asked as she settled into a fighting stance.
Adora removed her sword from her back and leant it against a tree. Then she fell into her own stance. "Always."
Without further ado, the two of them launched at each.
Because, naturally, they were fighting.
But it wasn't the way that they did on the battlefield. That was no holds barred, life or death kind of fighting. There Adora would be She-ra and Catra would be the only person who could go toe-to-toe with her. The sounds of the main battle would be in the background making a steady beat for them to follow as they went back and forth, both physically and verbally.
This was more like the way they used to spar in the Fright Zone.
Adora knew that she was the one who planted the idea. One exhausted complaint as they were fighting about how no one was really at her level of fighting. Pretty much all of the princesses mainly relied on their powers to fight, and while Glimmer was getting better at hand to hand, she still had a long way to go. Bow specialized in long range attacks. And the various soldiers around Bright Moon, while being pretty decent, were not up to Horde standards.
Catra was the one who proposed the idea. Apparently, no one at the Horde was at her level. It had probably shocked everyone how proficient she was considering her training reputation, but now that she was applying herself, Catra had revealed how good she was. And she really was the only person who could take on She-ra, the literal avatar of a goddess's power.
So Catra had offered a solution. They could train together, and finally have a sparring match that would make them work. Adora could learn Catra's moves to be able to fight her better as well as practice her skills in case of emergencies where she didn't have her sword. Catra could finally have someone to hone her skills against and she'd know how to counteract Adora if she successfully got the sword away from her.
It was a win-win.
They did have rules though.
1. No trying to convince the other to come to the other side.
They would only argue anyway. They'd already had the conversation dozens of times.
2. No talking about what was going on in the war.
Neither wanted to slip information unintentionally.
3. No sword. Hand to hand only.
Adora wasn't complaining about that one as it gave her an excuse to touch Catra.
4. No telling anyone.
The last rule had been Adora's contribution. Catra clearly had no intentions of telling anyone she was meeting up with a traitor (though she had implied that one of their scientists probably suspected she was leaving, but ultimately didn't care). Adora couldn't afford to let anyone know though.
And that's how she knew it was wrong.
Especially since she didn't really come here for the sparring.
What she came here was for now, both of them laid exhausted on the ground, catching their breath from the intense session they'd had. From the corner of her eye, Adora could watch Catra all she wanted. She could see that Catra was still alright. There was no talking and the two of them could just be.
She knew Catra had let her go due to everything that happened, but Adora still couldn't bring herself to fully let go in return.
It always ended far too soon for her liking.
Catra sighed and got up, stretching as she did so. "Same time and place in two weeks?" She nonchalantly asked, as if she didn't care about Adora's reply.
"Like usual." Adora sat up and her eyes followed Catra as she made her way to the treeline.
"Works for me." Catra sent her a final smirk. "If it's too much for you to handle, then you know what to do." And with that she was gone, slipping into the shadow of the trees with barely a sound.
Adora stared after her, unable to make herself move back towards her side of the woods though she knew she had to. Their fourth rule rang in her head.
5. If at any time either one of them wants this to stop, all they had to do was not show up to their next session (injuries and sickness notwithstanding though they'd have to let the other know that's what happened).
At least on her part, Adora knew that she wasn't going to be the one to stop this. This was the only way she'd get to see Catra without her trying to tear her to pieces. She wouldn't give it up.
And Catra was way too stubborn to stop.
Adora knew that the only way either of them would stop would be if someone discovered their secret.
There was no way Adora would let that happen.
So she ignored the sickly feeling of knowing she'd have to lie to Glimmer and Bow again about why she was so tired; she ignored knowing that this was wrong.
This was one secret that Adora would definitely keep.
AN: I'm betting you were thinking they were going to be doing something a lot dirtier than what they are actually doing. Oh my.
But yeah, I just thought that if there was some way for them to meet up and see each other, they may try to work something out. As long as they had a convenient excuse such as training/fighting. And Catra wants this just as much as Adora, but she'd never admit it. Catra is always the first to show and the first to leave. She's also banking on Adora being the first to chicken out with her good nature obviously winning over her. She underestimates Adora's need to pine.
Still, do you ever think about how badass Catra is considering she can fight one-on-one with She-ra, who's pretty much a goddess? Yeah.