We Can Get Through This (I'll Do the Hardest Part with You)
The arguing was quite normal when it came to their war strategy meetings but this was a level she'd never seen before. Tension over how to deal with Horde Prime was making things worse.
Sure, they'd managed to get Glimmer back, but…
Well, Catra's presence was not helping relieve things.
Adora wasn't sure how to feel about the presence of her former best friend. At one point, fighting with Catra by her side was everything she'd ever wanted. But after everything… She just didn't know.
At the very least, she knew that Catra was more willing to work with them than with Prime. And Catra had even apologized to her and Scorpia and several others and was working hard to make up for what she'd done before. Everyone could see that she was trying to make things better.
But on the other hand, She-ra was still gone, so Adora's usefulness in any capacity was decidedly limited.
Adora sighed and rubbed her forehead. None of this arguing was helping at all and they really didn't have time to waste. Horde Prime's forces were stronger, faster, and more powerful than anything Hordak had and despite his demeanor, Prime was surely angry about losing his valuable hostages.
Adora glanced over to Glimmer who looked as tired as she felt. Neither she nor Catra would talk about what happened on Prime's ship, but apparently it was enough for Glimmer to trust her. So Adora would trust her for now.
Glimmer met Adora's gaze and gave her a strained smile. Adora sent her some pleading eyes and at Glimmer's slightly envious but understanding nod, she slipped out of the room.
She just… needed a moment to herself. It's not like she was contributing anyway. No one would probably notice.
It'd been long enough that she'd forgotten that there was someone who'd always noticed her.
Adora pushed some loose strands of her hair back as she walked to the nearest balcony. She leaned against the railing and took a deep breath, not even registering the barely there footsteps following behind her until their owner spoke.
"You know if all the alliance does is argue like this I'm surprised that Hordak didn't manage to take over before we were old enough to fight, even without taking into account when the alliance split up."
Adora jumped at Catra's voice, her guard immediately rising. However, as she turned to her, Catra didn't make any effort to get too close. Sure, she walked onto the balcony and perched herself on the railing to look over Bright Moon, but she made sure that there was plenty of space between her and Adora.
Adora's insides twisted because she didn't know if she wanted Catra closer or gone entirely.
"It's not always this bad." Adora muttered, feeling the need to defend her allies.
"Hmmm." Catra hummed, her tail flicking back and forth. "So what's bugging you?"
Adora clutched the railing tighter. "Nothing."
"Yeah, right." She scoffed. "Clearly."
"You don't look fine."
"Well, it is."
"Adora," Catra's claws scrapped at the railing, "I know you and you're not fine. You weren't even talking during the meeting or trying to call order - "
"Maybe it's because I have nothing to contribute!" Adora nearly bit her tongue at her outburst. She had tried to keep everything in, but as per usual, Catra was able to draw things out of her that no one could.
Catra blinked at her in surprise. "What?"
"I'm not - She-ra is still gone. How am I supposed to help if I can't be She-ra?" Adora had admitted this to Bow before, when they were trying to figure out how to rescue Glimmer, and he'd reassured her that she wasn't alone and they could do it together and still win.
But even now, in the aftermath, with things more dire than ever, she couldn't help but feel like a liability. During the rescue there had been so many times when She-ra could've made things infinitely easier.
With She-ra, Glimmer and Catra could've been rescued much sooner and Glimmer wouldn't have those moments where she'd stare off into the distance and shudder, Bow being the only person who can snap her out of it.
And they'd only been captured because Adora had broken the sword to stop the Heart from going off.
"I'm useless." Adora said lowly, wet heat pricking at her eyes.
She braced herself for Catra to laugh. For her to tell her that she was right, that she was useless without the sword, that this was all her fault.
However, after a long moment, all she got was an incredulous, "Huh?"
Adora looked up.
Catra had an old, familiar expression on her face. It was her 'Are you being more brain dead than usual' face for when she thought Adora was being particularly dumb. It startled the tears right out of her to see it directed at her now.
"What do you mean you're useless?" Catra squinted at her. "Who cares about She-ra? We've still got you."
Adora stared at her. "'Who cares about She-ra?' Everyone does! That's what I bring to battle! I'm not enough without her!"
"Did you hit your head or something? You're acting like you and She-ra are separate people."
"We are! I become She-ra!"
"No, you are She-ra! She-ra is just you! Taller, buffer, and somehow blonder, but still you!"
"No, she isn't. Without the sword - !"
Adora blinked and jerked back. Somehow, without her notice as they fought, she and Catra had gotten nose to nose. Catra crouched before her, leaning into her face with a scowl pulling at her lips.
"Is Glimmer or any of the other princesses' magic a separate entity or whatever?" Catra leaned forward even more and Adora leaned back to compensate and gulped.
"Exactly. No. It's part of them, an extension of who they are. That's why Sparkles struggled without access to her powers on the ship. It's the same with you." Catra tipped back onto her haunches, finally giving Adora some breathing space. "She-ra is still you. Maybe you were chosen to be her or whatever, but now she's just a part of you, an extension. So even without the weird princess transformation, she's still here.
"And even without the She-ra factor, we still have you."
"But… I'm… not..." Adora felt as if she were on the verge of breaking, fragile in ways she rarely let herself be. Not even a month ago, she would've been afraid to be so vulnerable around Catra, knowing she'd only take advantage of her. But now…
"You're Adora." Catra said simply. "The girl who brought together the Princess Alliance when it was in tatters. The girl who's saved dozens of towns and villages, power or not. The girl who was chosen to be a Force Captain in the Horde. The girl who was constantly at the top of the simulations. The girl who managed to keep up with the feral little child I was."
Catra huffed a bit and then reached forward and tapped Adora on her forehead. "You're Adora, and you've always been enough. You're the only person who thinks otherwise."
Adora's breath caught in her throat.
It felt like something had indeed broken at Catra's words, but instead of feeling like she was crumbling to pieces, it was like something had been set free. She felt lighter than she had been in ages, maybe since that very day in Thaymor.
"Well, maybe Shadow Weaver expected more." Catra withdrew her hand and looked away, her cheeks stained slightly red as her usual attitude returned. "But honestly, forget about her."
Adora snorted and burst out laughing. As she wiped tears from her eyes, she noticed Catra's tail whipping back and forth and a smile tugging at the other's lips.
For the first time since Catra came back and apologized, Adora felt like maybe they could return to what they'd once had. Before the misunderstandings and fights and the whole trying to destroy each other thing. Maybe they could have something even better.
It was something Adora wanted to live and see. Someday.
But there was a war to deal with first.
Adora regained control over her final giggles and turned back to the door. "Let's return to the meeting."
"I was just waiting on you, Princess." Catra leapt down and brushed past her, her tail caressing her hand slightly before retreating.
"Of course." Adora hid her smile.
"Besides," Catra nonchalantly added as they got closer to the war room, "you've got me on your side now. Horde Prime won't know what hit him."
"No, he won't." Adora agreed, thinking over how capable Catra had proven herself to be as her enemy, and she finally revealed a bit of her smile as Catra smirked back at her.
"Shall we?" She asked as she opened the door and into the room, not waiting for an answer.
"Yeah, we will." Adora said, mostly to herself.
Because together, it didn't matter what the world threw at them, they'd make it through and win.
AN: I am going to die this weekend from the finale. I'm so pumped.
So after the release of the soundtrack and AJ's cover of "Warriors" and her saying that it's a Catra version of it, I've been bursting with emotion. Thinking about Catra and Adora and them working on the same side is just making me aslkdjfoiwjepiwefj
And I was listening to the song "True Kinda Love" from the Steven Universe movie, and the bridge especially made me think of Catra and Adora coming together and fighting against an enemy rather than each other. I thought it'd be sweet if it was Catra saying or singing it, but I couldn't really see her singing it and it was a bit too sentimental for her to say it either. But I thought I could get her to say the spirit of it at least and not seem too OOC. Their team-up is going to be beautiful.
Plus, the clips and trailer have made it clear how much Adora is struggling with not being She-ra and in the past she's hinged, like, her whole role in the Rebellion as being She-ra and fighting. However, Catra has known her her whole life and knows what's she capable of more than anyone, so if anyone could help her regain her confidence in this regard and assuring her that it wasn't her protection that made her like her, it would be Catra.
I figure Adora will probably regain her ability to turn into She-ra by the end of the space rescue, but it was interesting to think of. And part of me's hoping that Catra will have something to do with her getting her powers back.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this! Thanks for reading!