ave / stories / Party Crasher Memories ch.8

A danger gone, the two companions kept walking down the corridors. Catra's mind was clouded. Despite her best efforts, the lizard had managed to get her worked up. She didn't like that. She had loved being in power, and her first time with them had taught her how good it could feel not having it. With Adora, she had learned to love it, to relax and let someone take care of her, to trust someone to be intimate with her. But not Double Trouble. She did not want to trust them again. Not after what they had done to her.

Another part of her was bothered thinking about Adora. It had felt good when her friend - well, wife now - finally trusted her enough to be forceful, awkward as it was. But . . . there had been a thought in the back of her mind, a memory both of them couldn't help but think of. Because unlike Adora, Catra had crossed the line. She had hurt her, intentionally and carelessly. Double Trouble was right, she had more in common with them than with anyone else here. However much she tried, however `bad' Glimmer or Bow or the other princesses could be, Catra was evil, deep inside. Made to be evil, grown and taught to be unrepentantly evil. And she hated herself for it.

Lost in thought, she kept navigating the corridors on autopilot, only stopping when Double Trouble grabbed her shoulder and roughly shoved her behind a door, pressing a dirty hand against her mouth.

"Sorry to interrupt you like this, but you didn't seem to be paying much attention," they whispered in her ear, and let go of her mouth, pointing into the room ahead. Distracted as she was, she had lead them right to the throne room. Behind the round table and the chairs, in front of the tall murals, was a figure, staring up at the icon of Angella, wings spread around the throne, as if guarding it.

"Wait here," Catra whispered back and tugged her companion behind the door before entering the room, still tiptoeing. She awkwardly walked around the table, clearing her throat to get some attention. The figure spun around, raising their arms in a combat position.

"Oh. Catra. Heh, didn't see you there." Micah dropped his arms. "Get it? See you? Because it's dark, and you were behind me-"

"I got it, my king." She awkwardly half-bowed, half-nodded. It was hard to court a king who didn't seem to care about their position.

The king wiped his face, throwing a last look at the mural. "I always seem to find myself here when I can't sleep. My little girl, leaving on a trip . . . but what about you? Couldn't sleep either? Though, with Finn-"

"Actually, I had a slightly different issue. I . . . an old friend called. They need help with a curse, and . . . I thought you might help."

"Well, bring them over! Let's see whether I can help. I hope we don't wake anyone up, it's quite late out. So, where's this friend of yours?" Micah started rubbing his hands together, apparently looking forward to get his mind off things.

With a sigh, Catra waved for Double Trouble to enter. Their steps were significantly louder, pointedly so. At the opposite end of the table, they did a curtsey, their green eyes not leaving Micah.

"My king," they hissed through a grin. In an instant, Micah's battle staff was in his hand, a spell shining at the end, his pleasant smile gone and forgotten.

"You have a lot of guts showing your face around here. Catra, get away from here, I don't want you to get hurt."

"Oh, please, give me some credit! I don't need a lot of room to take you on."

"Hey hey hey, calm down, both of you!" Catra raised her arms and voice, and seemed to get the effect she wanted as both of them stopped hissing at each other, still not looking away.

This was already going worse than she imagined.

"So, you know each other. That makes things easier. Double Trouble's been cursed and can't shift anymore, we thought you could help."

"`Double Trouble', huh? Suits you."

"Why thank you, I picked it out myself."

Catra snapped her fingers. "As such," she glared at Micah. His presence threw her glare back at her. "They cannot shift, and I believe they are smart enough not to pick a fight with royalty when they can't escape." This time she glared at Double Trouble, who smiled back in agreement. "So, I believe we can come to a truce and sort this out, no?"

The spell at the end of Micah's staff faded, and he put the staff back to the ground. "I am not helping them," he stated plainly and turned to leave the room.

"What? Oh, sure, some benevolent and helpful king you are, caring for the well-being of-"

"Catra!" He turned back to face her, fear and anger mixed on his face. "You don't know who that is. They are a traitor and a backstabber, and they will not hesitate to turn their back on you once you've helped them!"

"Nah, that sounds like Double Trouble all right. Trust me, I know them." She leaned closer. Micah, despite being a bit obvious, leaned in as well, keeping his eyes on the unwelcome visitor.

"They are helpless right now, and we can use them. As long as they don't feel in danger here, they won't betray us."

"Do you think you can guarantee that? Knowing them as I do-"

"I worked with them for years, and against them for another. I know how to keep them in place."

Micah sighed. He knew Catra well enough to know when she was being serious, but he also seemed to have some history that she didn't. He seemed hesitant as he leaned back against her ear.

"If anybody dies here, their blood will be on your hands." Without waiting for a response, they paced back to their staff, summoning a sorcery kit and spreading it on the table, the staff never leaving his side. "Do you at least know what kind of curse it is?"

"Transmutative abjuration. Counterspells polymorphing. I managed to snag a scroll to test that out."

"Stealing from us no less . . ." Murmuring under his breath, Micah's hand twitched, making the glyph line uneven. Slamming the vial on the table, he started evening it out with his finger.

"Why, such grace."

"Don't sass me, you bastard."

"Oh, such an insult! I wonder what your sister will think if she heard that . . ."

"My sister has nothing to do with-" The king inhaled sharply, and decided not to pursue the matter further. Catra stifled a chuckle - apparently, hers wasn't the only skin they knew how to crawl under. "Was she the one that cursed you?" Micah asked, trying to cover the anger in his voice.

"Who else could it be."

"Should I ask why?"


The next minute was silent, neither of them throwing another bicker. Catra was glad - she didn't have to babysit two grownups. Though, she also kind of regretted it - Double Trouble had their ways of finding out about stuff that people didn't want to talk about, but she knew next to nothing about them. Perhaps she should ask Micah? He seemed to know them well enough, if his first reaction was to attack them.

The king finished drawing out the sigil, which ended up bigger and much more complicated than Catra had expected, taking up half the table. Apparently, all those years on Beast Island had done nothing to diminish his talent if he had managed to come up with a counterspell for such a curse with so little information. Gracefully waving his hands over it, the glyph began to glow, the powder burning away as the sigil of pure light rose to his hands. He pointed it at Double Trouble. "This better be worth it," he said as he flicked his hands, sending the spell over them.

Double Trouble froze up as the spell passed over them. They looked down at their hands, the wounds quickly closing up. They then looked up, at Catra. She looked back into eyes like hers, blue, murderous and cold.

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