Everything was falling apart, and Adora was just barely holding herself together. Her mind whirled as she paced back and forth at the edge of the woods, trying to get her thoughts in order.
Her sword was broken so She-ra, her greatest way to contribute and help, was gone.
Light Hope was gone, but given that her programming had clearly overtaken any sort of personality she had that may have been for the best.
Glimmer was gone, taken right before Bow's eyes in a beam of light, and Bow was dealing with that about as well as she was.
According to Bow, Hordak was also gone, taken at the same time and by the same power as Glimmer, so that was the best news Adora had gotten all day.
Still, Adora tried to tell herself, things could be worse. They could still come back from all this.
Even if they suddenly had a whole new and more powerful threat quite literally hanging over their heads -
Even if Shadow Weaver was walking around as if she owned the place -
Even if both the Princess Alliance and Horde were in shambles after taking each other out and the Heart of Etheria shook everything up -
Even if -
Once upon a time, that voice would have soothed all of Adora's worries away, calmed her down like no one else could.
Now, it only made her blood pressure rise even further.
Adora whirled around and drew what was left of her sword on reflex. "Catra!" She growled.
How dare she. How dare she turn up now, after all of this, when everything was messed up and so much was gone.
She was not about to lose anyone or anything else.
Catra leaned against a tree, smirking in that way that always made her chest feel tight. "So…" She drawled, fangs glinting in the light. "I heard that you - "
Adora wouldn't let her get in her head again. She pounced, shoving Catra against the tree, sword at her throat. "How can you be here? Why do you always do this?" She yelled. "What is your angle? What do you want from me?"
Catra blinked at her in surprise, but really, how could she not see this coming? Sure, they may not have fought directly against each other since the Valley of the Lost, but they'd done this dance way too many times before.
Adora flinched as Catra threw her head back and laughed. Adora narrowed her eyes at her.
Something was… off.
"Oh, my, my, my." Catra's eyes crinkled, the last few chuckles petering off as she grinned at her. "And I thought she was obsessed, but you are, too! It's mutual, isn't it?"
"What?" Adora jerked back, taken off guard. Alarm bells were ringing in the back of her mind.
Catra chuckled again, "You know, it only took her a few seconds to tell the difference. But you…" Her smile was just a tad too wide, just enough off center to tug at Adora's instincts.
Adora stepped back.
"I'd like to think it's because I've gotten to know her so well, but you didn't even notice the first time I took her form." Catra sighed heavily, and then she blinked again.
"Double Trouble." Adora scowled at them as they laughed again and turned into a black and green amorphous shape before once more assuming their normal appearance. "What do you want?"
"Ah, so suspicious." They touched their hand to their chest, as if insulted by her reaction. "Just thought I'd give a demonstration of my powers. I find it helps to give a reminder to potential employers."
"I remember your powers all too well." Adora snapped. The whole Flutterina incident had been a headache and a half, and she did not need the kind of stress Double Trouble brought on top of everything else. She asked again, "What do you want?"
Double Trouble leaned back against the tree, nonchalantly examining their fingernails. "The better question is always, 'what do you want?'"
Their eyes came up to meet hers as they grinned. "Horde Prime is making his preparations to land. Just thought you'd keep my skills in mind for what's up ahead." They rubbed their fingers together. "For the right price, of course."
Adora groaned and pushed her hair back as she started to pace back and forth. "I'll keep that in mind." She managed to get out. After all, it was better to have Double Trouble on their side rather than on the other. She was sure that Glimmer would approve of it once they got her back.
She paused and narrowed her eyes.
"Well, Scorpia should have my deets." Double Trouble straightened. "I mostly worked with Catra, but she was her second. And I don't think Glimmer left my contact number with anyone."
"Wait." Adora threw out a hand to stop them. "Why are you here? Why didn't you go back to Catra?"
"Besides the fact I don't think she'd take me back after Glimmer paid me to betray the Horde?" Double Trouble tapped a finger to their chin. "Well, after taking out Hordak and the verbal smackdown I gave her, I really have no clue where she went."
Something in the core of Adora's chest went cold.
"What - what do you mean?" Adora stammered.
"I mean, that if she was anywhere to be found, I would've found her. She didn't seem too injured, but she and Hordak really did a number on the place." Double Trouble shrugged. "Shame, the poor kitty's desperate for positive attention from practically anyone. Makes her an excellent target."
"So you last saw her in the Fright Zone?" Adora's breath was shuddering in her chest.
"Yes." Double Trouble rolled their eyes. "Ugh, you really are just as obsessed." They flipped up onto a branch and waved. "Call me before I get a better offer!"
And they disappeared into the trees.
Meanwhile, Adora's heart was pounding hard and heavy in her chest.
Bow had searched the Fright Zone top to bottom after Glimmer was snatched, hoping that whatever, or whoever given it was probably Horde Prime, took her just teleported nearby or she had used her own powers to get away. There had been no signs of anyone being there, the place totally deserted and demolished.
There hadn't been any trace of Catra anywhere there.
In fact, much like Double Trouble had said, there had been no signs of Catra anywhere since the Heart of Etheria had almost been activated. Huntara has seen nothing of her in the Crimson Wastes and none of their allies had seen hide or hair of her.
The cold in her chest spread out through her body.
What had Double Trouble said? Catra had fought Hordak? The Fright Zone had been in shambles, probably more than just the Heart of Etheria leaving it in ruins. And if their battleground had been left in such a state, how well could Catra possibly be doing even if she had apparently won?
Adora began to pace back and forth, her thoughts whirling around once more.
Why should she even worry about Catra? They were enemies, had been for the past three years since Adora had left the Horde and Catra rose through the ranks to second-in-command. Catra had made it blatantly clear that they were no longer friends, she shouldn't waste her time on her. She should be happy that Catra wasn't going to cause trouble especially with an even greater threat on the horizon.
But from what Scorpia had said, Catra still somewhat cared about what she was up to, how she was faring, and -
No. Adora shook herself and stopped. She couldn't get taken in by the thought of Catra anymore, she had bigger worries. It shouldn't matter if Catra was - if she was -
Adora's breath caught in her throat.
Something had happened and Catra was now gone.
Like her sword, like Light Hope, like Glimmer, Catra was gone, disappeared without a trace.
And Adora had now reached the core of the problem.
You would think that she was used to such a thought given how long they'd been enemies, that they'd been on opposite sides, but even with things at their worse, Catra wasn't truly gone.
Even when they didn't fight face to face, as had become the norm since the portal had been opened, Adora still often had been able to see Catra on the frontlines, commanding troops. Before that, Catra herself had been the one drawing Adora in, again and again. She'd still clearly been there, even in opposition.
Catra had always been there, for better or for worse.
And now, she was gone.
Adora fell to her knees and curled up as the last pillar that had formed life as she knew it collapsed. She choked at the wetness welling up in her eyes, telling herself, Catra was an enemy. She knew what she had chosen. I'm not responsible for her or whatever choices she made that lead to this. SHE WAS MY ENEMY! I SHOULDN'T BE WORRIED ABOUT HER!
Her heart didn't care as it cried out for Catra, reflected in the sobs that escaped Adora's lips.
She wasn't sure how much time had passed before she managed to compose herself, but she did. She straightened up and rubbed away the lingering tears and the marks they'd left. She brushed back her hair until not a strand was out of place. Adora took back control over the things that she could affect.
And Adora stuffed the fact that Catra was gone into the box in her mind that she had built and dedicated to Catra since she left the Fright Zone.
She had her moment to mourn but she couldn't linger any more. She had no clue where Catra was or how she could help her if she did know. Besides, Catra would probably reject her help anway.
Bow and the others were counting on her. She couldn't fall apart here. There were people that she could help.
She did her best to move forward, because that was something that she could do. But even as she shared a weak smile with Bow or struggled to understand Entrapta's infodump of where Glimmer probably was or softened at the sight of Frosta, Perfuma, and Scorpia's antics, she felt that word with each beat of her heart.
Gone, gone, gone, gone…
If, by the end of all this, Catra really was truly gone, she would deal with it then.
Though Adora had no idea how her heart would be able to survive that.
AN: So this is an idea I've had ever since season 4 ended, and I started it, but I've been unmotivated until now to actually finished it. I started another fic just so I could procrastinate by writing it.
It just sort of struck me that even we, the viewers, didn't realize Catra was also teleported onto Prime's ship until Glimmer was being threatened and she revealed herself. So, like, basically no one would know what happened to Catra. Bow only saw Hordak and Glimmer taken, Double Trouble was the last person who saw her but they got the heck out of dodge after vibe checking Catra, and given the state that the Fright Zone was in, it wouldn't be ludicrous to assume that Catra was gone and/or dead.
And that would probably suck for Adora given that her stress is at an all time high between losing her sword (and what she views as her usefulness) and being in charge of the Rebellion in the absence of Glimmer.
I'm also working under the assumption that Prime doesn't immediately reveal that he has such a key player in his grasp by having snatched Glimmer.
Anyway, glad that I could finish this before the final season premiered. I know that I, for one, am not ready for the emotional massacre that I will probably experience.
Like I thought the SU Future ending was bad for me, this one is gonna wreck me just as bad.