Catra didn't need Scorpia to tell her she was pouting. She knew very well that she was.
She couldn't help it though as she stared at where Adora was chatting with Bow and Glimmer. That all-too-familiar sensation of heat and clawing tore through her chest and she forced herself to look away. She knew her lashing tail was broadcasting her true feelings though.
"Aw." Scorpia cooed next to her, reaching out to gently pat her on the head. "It's okay, bestest buddy."
"Hmmm." Catra couldn't really respond to that, but she allowed Scorpia to continue patting her.
She had thought that she was getting better. Sure, she would never get to Adora's level of goody-two-shoes-ness, but she'd thought that by leaving the Horde and all that, she was becoming a better person. Obviously still her, but better than the person who once lashed out at everyone and everything just because she was hurting.
And yet here she was, jealous of Adora's stupid friends.
Not that they were completely stupid. Bow was so similar to Scorpia that Catra had taken him in stride pretty quickly. Plus, he was so earnest that it was hard to dislike him. And Glimmer, for all that she could get up on her high horse about something, was a brand of snarky that Catra loved going up against. She'd also learned that the princess could be incredibly insecure, unsure of living up to someone people constantly compared her to, and Catra could identify with that. Though it had taken her and Glimmer a lot longer to warm up to each other, given how they were both… defensive when it came to Adora.
Still, the old wound occasionally stung when it came to them, especially when she saw them with Adora.
After all, it was after a single day with them that Adora had decided to up and leave the Horde. Leave her.
Despite Adora telling her that it wasn't necessarily them that made her leave, it was more the revelation that the Horde was razing its way through Etheria, at the time it felt like she was leaving her for a couple of strangers. That they had somehow so easily taken her place.
Catra knew that Adora could have other friends beside her, that she should be able to have other friends, but she couldn't help but feel jealous.
"My studies have shown that jealousy is a natural emotion that you have no control over, so as long as you don't do anything untoward, there will be no problem." Entrapta tried to reassure her in her own way, not even pausing as she wielded together the limbs of her latest mini-bot.
"I know." Catra grumbled, but she brightened a bit as Entrapta flicked some of her locks over for her to run her fingers through them.
"Besides, even more importantly," Entrapta's mask flipped up and she grinned at Catra, "my research shows that you are by far the She-ra's favorite person!"
"Of course, she is!" Scorpia nudged Catra so she could lean against her, pulling her closer.
Catra chuckled at both of them and closed her eyes as she leaned against Scorpia. "What's your current project supposed to do?"
As Entrapta's eyes lit up and she babbled about her work and Scorpia got out her pad and started sketching, Catra felt the angry ball in her chest unwind and she slowly relaxed. Without even realizing it, she was soon purring.
She was so content that she didn't notice the way Adora was glancing at her.
"So did you have a good time with Scorpia and Entrapta?"
Catra frowned as she looked up at Adora from her spot on Adora's bed. Her eyes narrowed because the wording was too careful. Adora only used that tone when she was tiptoeing around a topic.
"Yeah, it was great. Entrapta's making a robot to make her coffee and bring it to her in her lab."
"That's good." Adora wasn't looking at her and Catra didn't like the frown on her face. And the fact that she wasn't protesting that Entrapta really did not need coffee to fuel her crazy science shenanigans.
"Okay, what's up?" Catra sat up, because she knew that this was not a lay down type of conversation.
Adora gave her a strained smile. "What? There's nothing going on."
All Catra had to do was raise an eyebrow.
Adora wavered before she ultimately crumbled. "It's stupid."
"I'm sure that whatever this is you've done stupider."
"No, it's - " Adora pinched the bridge of her nose. "Don't get mad."
Now Catra was worried. She perched on the end of the bed and gave Adora her undivided attention.
"I - stars, how do I say this?" Adora paced back and forth. "It's just you - and Scorpia and Entrapta - "
Catra stilled. If Adora valued what they had, she had better tread very, very carefully. Because once people were Catra's friends, she did not let people mess with them.
Luckily, Adora noticed.
"I'm glad they're your friends!" She frantically waved her hands. "I'm so happy that you managed to find other people to be friends with! But this afternoon," Adora looked away, "you were obviously upset and they just - seemed to know exactly what to do. And they did it!"
"Well, yeah." Catra wasn't quite sure what Adora was driving at but she didn't like it. She couldn't tell if she didn't approve of them or something, because as far as she could tell Adora was just talking about things that friends do for each other.
If she started talking about her being a bad influence, or Scorpia and Entrapta being a bad influence, she was so going to -
"You were purring!"
Catra's train of thought derailed at the admission.
"You were purring." Adora said again, a lot quieter but her face basically nothing but a bright blush. "I thought only I could get you to purr."
It finally clicked.
"Adora, are - are you jealous?" Catra stared at her. Quite frankly, she had always thought that Adora was above that sort of thing.
"No - yes - I don't know!" Adora growled and threw herself onto the bed with a huff. She refused to look at Catra, turning away. "It's just… I used to be the only person who could comfort you or get you to calm down, and seeing them doing it so easily..." She curled her hands into fists. "It hurts, like you don't need me anymore."
Catra debated for a moment on how to approach this. She was still a bit surprised that Adora of all people could feel like this, especially to her…
But she also knew what Adora was feeling all too well.
Catra sighed and laid down next to Adora in the other direction so they were back to back.
"You know that's how I felt about Bow and Glimmer for a long time." Adora stiffening against her told Catra that she knew exactly what she meant. "It's better now, but even today I couldn't help feeling a zing when I saw you together.
"And besides, what Scorpia, Entrapta, and I have didn't really 'come easily' as you say. You've missed the whole in between phase that led us to what we have now." Catra paused before flipping over and wrapping her arms around Adora.
"I - I think I understand a bit better now." Adora mumbled.
Catra smirked as she entwined herself around Adora. "Besides, I definitely don't do this with either of them." She nuzzled into Adora's neck. "And you're definitely my favorite."
"You're my favorite, too." Adora said clutching at Catra's arms around her.
And that's why Catra would push down any jealousy that began to sprout.
Because even if Adora had other friends and occasionally chose to be with them over her, at the end of the day, she'd come back to her.
Because Catra would always be Adora's final choice, just like Adora was Catra's.
AN: So already in the show it's pretty clear that Catra is jealous of Bow and Glimmer for essentially "taking her place" as it were and appearing like it was just one day with them that made Adora turn her back on the Horde. That kind of feeling can take a while to go away, so I figured that even after she leaves the Horde and gets to know them herself, she may still feel jealous at times. And feeling like you've been replaced sucks.
In a previous fic for this month I mentioned that Adora kind of gets jealous of Scorpia and Entrapta. This is kind of different because while Adora always got along with others (I'm betting Catra was jealous of Lonnie and the others when Adora went with them too), Catra only had Adora since their teammates didn't like her. So seeing Catra actually getting along with and enjoying someone else's company? Really weird. And again, there could be a feeling of being replaced.
However, ultimately, I think Scorpia and Entrapta will be really good for Catra. They already consider her one, and though Catra seems to as well, she's still in denial as she doesn't want to get hurt again. I can't wait to see more of the Super Pal Trio in upcoming seasons. And I really hope that a day will come when they're all on the same side.
Later AN: Okay, so I was wrong about Catra's ability to make good life decisions despite her previous trauma. Still hoping they're all on the same side again one day but whoo boy did the Super Pal Trio fall apart.