ave / stories / Party Crasher Memories ch.5

"Wait, you mean to tell me King Micah, that Micah, the one who apologizes for days for tripping on your rug, is trying to kill you? And you're RELATED?"

"No, he just created the curse. I never said he was the one who cast it. We are related, though."

"Then who did?"

"Castaspella, his sister. Oh, and head sorceress of Mystacor. Same position Shadow Weaver was competing for, if I remember correctly. How's the old hag doing?"

"She . . ." Catra remembered her face, her voice, somehow carrying through the noise in that room, her final lie and how it kept her up at night. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Oh. Oh, okay. I'd offer to pay actual money for that story, but . . ." They gestured at the room around them. "I am rather short on funds at the moment."

Catra thought for a moment. Double Trouble liked earning money, so they must hate parting with it. Come to think of it, they also hated parting with information. "I'll tell you."

Their eyes widened in anticipation, then squinted. "Where's the catch?"

"You tell me about Casta."

They sighed. Catra was surprised - it wasn't a theatrical sigh, and it wasn't very obvious. Did they act it, or were they just that unhappy to talk about themselves? They remained motionless - it was hard to even tell if they were still breathing. Without a warning, they pulled out a small flask out of the mess of blankets, and took a swig.

"She is my grandmother. She blames my parents' death on me, and is out for blood. Your turn." The green eyes bore into her, daring her to question them. There was hate in those eyes, hate at themselves for revealing even that much to a stranger, to anyone. But . . . there was also something else.

". . . you had a family."

"No, I popped out of a rock one day. What do you think? But," they leaned forward, the light beams of the lamp carefully caressing their face, "I think I already did my part of the deal. Now tell me kitten. How did poor old 'mom' die?"

"She . . . we were running for the Heart. It was the only thing capable of stopping Horde Prime at that point. There was a guardian, and . . . she took it down." She was shaking. It hurt her to remember, but it somehow felt easier, more distant, like the lizard was drawing the story out of her for their entertainment, her emotions cast aside. She looked through her memories, and felt almost like reading a book - impartial, distant, cold.

". . . that's it? No dramatic reveal, no mysterious coincidence? Come on, at least tell me she took of that mask."

A grin crept up Catra's face. Desperation. "That's all you paid for, Double Trouble."

The silhouette leaned closer. Below the glowing green eyes, a sharp grin appeared. "Still feisty. Well, I'm in enough trouble already." They slithered up, still agile despite their wounds. "Come on. Let's see that old wizard."

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