A She-ra fanfic

Peace - Part 2

After the war

The weak moonlight lit up the view in front of Catra, and the silent rows of flower beds stared back at her. Silhouettes of bushes and the tall outlines of trees were scattered throughout, making the garden look deserted and lonely.

This was you?

It had been the first thought when Adora had told her it had been ShadowWeaver’s garden.

Why did create a garden?

Catra tried to connect the woman she’d known to the creation in front of her, but the flowerbeds were shrouded in as much darkness as her mind and Catra was left blank. She couldn’t make sense out of it.

I didn’t think you enjoyed gardening.

She took a step forward, as if getting closer would give her answers. She could see Adora’s dark figure standing to her side, but she left it for a moment. 

She’d put ShadowWeaver away in a corner of her mind ever since coming to BrightMoon. As a note to sort later, maybe in another form. Not in this life. But it was too late for that, apparently. ShadowWeaver would follow her wherever she went. 

What did you do here?

The flowerbeds didn’t answer. But then, she hadn’t thought they would. She’d never gotten any answers about ShadowWeaver, and this was no exception.

She turned to Adora.

-Why did she create a garden!?

Adora shrugged and looked away, walking carefully in the minefield that was ShadowWeaver. 

ShadowWeaver the Divider, Catra thought. She’d been a force in their life forever, and even now, after she was gone, she remained a splinter between them.

Not anymore. Catra reached out and took Adora’s warm hand in hers and held it tight. It wouldn’t be the same this time, she would make sure of it. It would be alright.

Adora met her gaze, and a weak smile of surprise adorned her face. 

They would be different this time. Somehow.

They sat down, still holding hands. Catra felt the familiar restlessness creeping up again her legs, making itself known and beckoning for attention. A past she didn't want to face. She ignored it.

It would be alright. It had to.

-It will be ok, okay?

Adora echoed her own thoughts. Catra looked at her, wanting to believe but distrusting it nevertheless. It had never been okay in her whole life. Why would this be any different?

The uneasiness pushed its snake head out from the shrouds and began to raise, demanding attention. Catra started to pull at the grass, ripping out straws only to throw them back on the ground. Why did ShadowWeaver have to come back into their lives again? Why couldn’t she ever stay away? 

The pile of ripped out grass grew next to her until she threw the last of it to the ground and stood up. Adora followed her shifting movement with a fretful gaze, unsure what action would appease her this time. 

-What if it won’t be ok?

Catra asked it out loud, wavering between facing a potentially explosive truth and wanting the question unanswered.

Adora stood up next to her and took her hand.

-This time it’s different. This time she’s not around to hurt us.

Catra turned sharply to look at her, a sudden fire within her.

-You mean it was all her fault?

Adora looked at her, surprised.

Of course it was her fault. She manipulated us. She made us do it.

Catra dropped Adora’s hand.

-Oh yeah? And we couldn’t have done anything to stop it?

Adora looked at her, bewildered.

-But we were only kids, she whispered.

-We’re not kids now.

Adora went quiet, and the silence stretched out between them. Catra shifted where she stood. The sticky feeling of blame mingled with the rising disquiet that kept beckoning at her. It had reached her abdomen by now.

Why was it always someone else’s fault?

She slumped to the ground. Man, she was tired. Tired of living excuses so that her world would stay sane. Tired of finding explanations so that the world wouldn’t shake. Tired of always blaming someone else. 

The disquiet snake rose full length and reached her heart. It had never gone this far before and Catra felt her barriers failing. The grip she’d had on reality loosened and from her heart seeped a black sludge that had been fermenting for too long.

She slumped forward, tears streaming down her face. A sagging pile of doubts and confusion.

-Why? Why did she do it to us? Why didn't she betray us? Why didn’t she use us at that last moment? Why? Why did she come here to BrightMoon?

The world became a blur as tears formed and fell down her cheeks. She let them be. 

-And why did she create this stupid garden!?

She took a handful of the ripped up grass and threw it in the air. A quiet whimper escaped from her lips as it fell to the ground.

Adora kneeled down beside her, hand outreached but not touching for fear it would be too much.

-I’m trying to hate her, Adora. I’m trying to hate her for everything she’s done, but I can’t any longer.

Catra covered her face with her hands.

-I can’t hate..

Memories, longings, and disappointments all blended into one slur, slowly weeping from a place she’d done her best to bury.

ShadowWeaver in her room. ShadowWeaver shouting at her. ShadowWeaver ignoring her. 

It all poured out, a sticky goo that slowly loosened from the walls of her heart.

The rebellion. Shouting at Scorpia. Ignoring the others. 

Adora lay a hand on her back, soothing her, but the tears just kept falling.

She wavered and toppled over, like a marionette whose master had cut the strings.

Adora’s soft lap dampened the fall and Catra cuddled up against her, a melting disarray of tears and snot. 

-Who am I if I don’t hate..?, Catra whispered

She lay there for a long while, tears streaming down her face, soddening Adora’s trousers.

She didn’t know how much time had passed, but slowly her breathing calmed down. The tears had washed the sludge from her heart, and she felt calmer than she could remember in a long time.

She felt the dampness of the night had seeping through her trousers, and she slowly untangled herself and sat up. 

-I hope she found peace in the end, she snivelled.

-I’m sure she did.

Catra’s heart sank as she heard it. Always the same Adora, always the strong one. 

-And what about us, Adora? How can we have peace?

Adora studied her with a weak smile.

-We'll find the way.

Catra’s stomach churned. She didn’t want it any longer. Adora being the strong one, never letting anyone in. It had to be another way, something else than what had held them together for so long. 

Was it possible to start anew?

She raised a paw, more forcefully than she’d intended, and cut Adora’s hair tie. The hair fell to her shoulders, and Adora rushed to gather it up in her hands.

-What are you doing?

-You can let it go. You're not with the Horde any longer. Just drop it.

-What do you mean?

Adora clasped her hair in a bun, as if protecting it from ever falling out again.

-You behave like you are still at the hordes, the cheerful, ever strong Adora that’s never allowed to be weak.

Adora looked at her with a disquiet look, as if Catra had opened a door she’d rather seen stay closed.

-But I’m always strong..

-I know, and that’s the problem. So what do you want? Not what everyone else wants from you. What do you want?

They went quiet. Adora studied the grass, and Catra glared into the darkness. Maybe it wasn’t possible to start anew..?

-But.. Who am I if I’m not strong?

Catra heard Adora’s voice choke and turned to look at her. Tears ran down her cheeks and confusion etched her features.

Catra reached out and stroked her cheek.

-You can be yourself, she said gently.

Adora sobbed and dropped to the side, leaning on Catra. She put an arm around Adora, holding her.

-We can find a new way, Catra whispered. You don’t need to be force captain Adora, and I don’t need to be a bully. We can find something else.

Adora’s sobs became quiet wails as the lifelong weight she’d carried shifted. Catra stroked her back, whispering soothing words into the air. 

Slowly the wails were replaced by sobs and soon they became less, and Adora’s body stilled. She cuddled up against Catra and they sat quietly together, the occasional sob breaking the silence.

The moon had wandered over the sky when Adora finally stirred and untangled herself from Catra. The cold had seeped through their clothes, but Catra barely noticed it. She only felt Adora in her arms, finally resting.

Adora turned to Catra with tear-stained eyes, but with a newfound softness in her face.

-Do you really think we’ll find peace as well?, she whispered.

Catra stroked her face, putting a strand of the newly freed hair behind her ear.

-Nothing bad can ever happen as long as we have each other. 

A weak smile lit up Adora’s face, and she stood up on shaky legs.

-Let’s go inside, I’m cold. 

Catra got up and brushed the grass and dirt from Adora’s trousers. They took each other's hand and walked back to the castle.

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