ave / stories / Party Crasher Memories ch.18

"Catra!" He was still running after her, much slower than her. She had had a lot of practice in running away. Stupid, stupid, stupid! What was she thinking! Attacking the king? Had she learned nothing! And she had thought Double Trouble was a problem!

"Catra, wait . . . wait up!" He was starting to run out of breath. Family. She had to get Adora and Finn- no. Leave. Run away from the castle, Adora would know what to do. But would she know? Damn, family it is. She had to warn them.

Down the corridor, sharp right, left after it - slam the door - the guard tried to grab her, but a pair of sharp claws dissuaded them. A precious moment later, they heard the king's voice, and started running after her as well. Too late. Catra was already leaps down the corridor, and getting further.

She burst back into the main hall, slamming the door behind her and toppling the cupboard next to it.

Finn was clutching onto their mother, who had her arms around them protectively. "What happened."

"We have to go." Catra's voice had dropped half an octave from adrenaline and lack of air.

Reaching away from Finn, Adora summoned her sword. "I left a bag with supplies behind our door."

"Can't go there now." Catra hurried over, reaching for Finn with trembling hands. Finn, understandably, pulled back, staring at her with big, scared eyes.

"Catra, is . . . are you all right?"

A hard banging came on the door. "Catra! Please, I won't hurt you! I just want to talk!"

Adora took another look at the door. It wouldn't survive a magical blast, especially not one from Micah. She turned back to Catra. "What. Happened."

Catra was leaning on the table, heaving hard to catch her breath. "Finn, please . . . come to momma . . ." Finn was still clutching onto Adora, watching Catra with a trembling chin.

"Okay, girls! Get away from the door!" A high-pitched tone came from the other side, giving Catra just enough time to leap towards her family and cover them from most of the wooden splinters that came their way.

Finn yelped at the sudden sound, less hurt and more surprised and stressed from the entire situation. Micah, halfway through the debris, froze in place, afraid he might've hurt someone.

"We're safe!" Adora yelled at him, and turned back to Catra, caressing Finn as they clutched harder onto her. She knew the feeling of claws digging into her. "Catra, calm down."

"Catra! I promise I won't hurt you! I will come in now!"

"My king, I think it would be . . . more advisable if you didn't right now. Just give us a minute."

With an awkward nod, Micah made his way back through the debris. A moment of silence came along in the suddenly very excited room.

"Finn. We must take care of Finn, Adora, we-"

"Catra, sit down." Adora put a hand on her shoulder and gently, but firmly, pushed her onto one of the nearby chairs. She was insistent - much more than usual, not that Catra noticed right now.

"Finn. Come here."

Finn, who had been tightly holding onto Adora's ankle, let themselves be picked up. Adora picked them up and sat down on the chair next to Catra's, arms holding her knees.

"Catra. Listen to me. This is not your fault. Double Trouble is not out for us, and Micah won't hurt you."

"Adora, I-"

"Catra, calm down. You're safe here."

She looked up. She had to wipe tears from her eyes. Finn was looking at her, eyes wide and worried. It was humiliating. She was not supposed to be the one crying.

"I'm . . . I'm sorry . . ."

"It's okay. Things happen. It's been a stressful day for you, and maybe you overreacted a little. It's okay now."

Her little one toddled forward in Adora's lap, reaching out with a chubby hand. Catra took it awkwardly in hers, trying her best to calm her breath.

"Normal people don't live like this, Adora."

Adora sighed. She knew she couldn't talk herself out of that one. "We are not 'normal people', kitten. We saved the world."

Catra chucked dryly. "For this? For sleepless nights and nightmares, and panic attacks over every little thing?"

Adora wrapped their hands in hers, smiling warmly. "Yes. For this. For our little kitten to grow up without having to learn how to use a gun."

She was right. Things were getting better, slowly. Maybe not always for them, and it didn't fix the past. But they were getting better. "Sorry, little one. Momma still has some issues to work through." Finn giggled at her. Momma was smiling again.

Adora grinned, a cocky thing she had learned a while after Catra left. "If you still trust him, I'd suggest we leave Finn with daddy Micah for tonight, while we work through those issues of yours."

Knowing how much Finn responded to her voice, Catra tried her best not to sound needy. "I think I'd like that very much, Adora."

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