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Separate Ways · She-Ra Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
You Trust Me, Don't You?
Compressive stresses and heat flows; differential equations pulling her through abstract vector spaces; all the flows of current and thaumaturgy and EM radiation weaving themselves together into cybernetic systems. They dance with her. They ask nothing of her except to be understood. They never give her awkward silences or judgemental look. They never betray her. And they –

“Aha!” she cries, scribbling on whiteboard in four places at once. “Log day …. Five?” She pauses. “No, six. I have just realised I can double the power output of our primary offensive drones' weapons by building a resonant RF cavity around the primary coils where power losses are greatest. Of course, this would melt the coils, rendering the weapon inoperable before it could fire. Perhaps some sort of cooling system? Oh, wait!”

Another flash of inspiration drags her back to her work on modelling the knotty nonlinear network of Old Ones' tech hiding beneath the surface of Etheria. If she compares the frequency spectrum at the moment balance was restored –

“Hey, Entrapta.”

She hadn't noticed Catra enter. Grinning, she leaps up, grabs an overhead conduit with her hair, and uses it to swing across her lab to land in front of her. “Catra! Hi!”

“I've got something for you,” Catra says, spinning something around on her finger.

It's a tiny marzipan rabbit! So Cute! And so detailed! And then it's gone.

“The kitchen staff are pleased to be able to work on something new,” says Catra.

“Ah!” Entrapta activates her recorder and holds it up to Catra. “What time is the small food made? I can get a delivery robot there just in time to pick it up.”

“You can work on that later,” says Catra, taking the strand of hair holding the recorder and gently moving it aside. “I want to know what you're working on.” She strides across the lab, leading Entrapta with her.


“Mhm,” said Catra, gazing over the machinery. “As the … effective leader of the Horde, I need to keep up with all the important goings-on.” She leans in to face Entrapta and runs her hand down her hair. “And you are very important.”

Entrapta stares at her. She's not sure what this feeling is, but it's nice. And soon it's joined by a much more familiar feeling: That of a problem waiting to be solved. Ah! She sidles out of Catra's grasp and leaps back to land in her chair. Her inertia carries it a few feet away from the desk.

She loves figuring out how to explain stuff to Catra. It was difficult at first, but then she started seeing it as something she could solve. Which words should she use? Which concepts does she need to explain and which can she take as given? And each time she tries, Catra gives her unambiguous feedback about whether she's succeeding or not (oh, how rare to have unambiguous feedback from people!) She's been finding lately that when she's not working on tech, she's been running through her mind new ways to explain things to Catra.

Spiderlegging forward with her hair, she goes back to her whiteboard. She's already decided to explain her work on the weapons, because she knows Catra likes to hear about weapons, and they're easier to work with. She plans the simplest causal chain which actually captures something of the process: Resonant cavity leads to power output leads to heating leads to the need for cooling. But how to explain resonance?

“Maybe we have a way to increase a weapons' power output!” she begins, drawing out a rectangle on the board.

They go through it step by step. Every so often, Catra interrupts with, “Wait, go back a moment,” or, “And what exactly does that does that mean?”

And in what feels like no time at all, Entrapta draws to a close, saying she hasn't figured out how to get a cooling system in there without weighing the whole thing down – oh, but maybe if she tries –

“I'm sure you'll solve it in no time,” says Catra, putting her tail on Entrapta's shoulder. “Good work.” She walks through the lab, looking around. Entrapta watches her, wondering what she's going to do. She doesn't seem to be leaving.

Catra stops by a huge piece of paper that covers the wall, filled with a tangle of arrows and differential equations. “And what's this?” she says.

“Oh, that's the same stuff as before! It's a map of every connection I can think in Etheria's system of Old Ones' tech! As you can see, the equations governing its behaviour are highly nonlinear! In fact I hypothesise these may simply be the low energy limit of a much more complicated set of behaviours and …” She catches herself. “I don't know how to control it yet,” she says. That's usually the point where Catra loses interest.

Except she doesn't. She peers at it and tilts her head. “Explain it to me,” she says. “Simply.”

“Really?” says Entrapta. That's unexpected. Has something changed, or is there something she hasn't accounted for yet?


Her nerves buzz with excitement.

“Well?” says Catra.

Entrapta scrambles over. She's so excited that she starts off talking about the dozen tiny measurements discrepancies that led to her hypothesis, but Catra stops her. “Simply, remember?”

“Right, yes, of course!”

It's clear Catra finds it difficult, but with numerous questions, then begin to make progress.

Entrapta is halfway through pointing out the effects of a second-order derivative term when one of Catra's new trinkets beeps.

“Ooh, what's that?”

Catra growls. “It says I've got to go. Responsibilities.” Her tail flicks back and forth. She's clearly annoyed. (At Entrapta? For taking too long?) At the door, she says, “Maybe we can finish this next time.”

When she's gone, Entrapta rewinds her recorder and plays back the entire conversation, noting down every point Catra asked a question and in response to what.

At the end of the day, Catra flopped down on her bed. Her own bed. In a private room. It had taken her a while to realise what was missing. She couldn't smell Adora on it. She was left with nothing but the faint odour of oil and ozone that pervaded everything here.

And wasn't that a stupid thought to have?

Sitting on the side of the bed, Catra slammed the heel of her hand into her forehead repeatedly to punctuate the whispered word “Idiot!” She stood up and paced back and forth. She'd been too busy to think about it before, but now she was alone. And she knew from experience there was no way that thought was going to leave her alone. From there, it all went back to the choice, the blade slicing through the last remnants of web, watching her friend fall, turning and walking away.

She took a deep breath, trying to sweep the turmoil away by recounting her successes and thinking about how she would have killed to get a position like this. Ugh, killed. Really not the right word.

Realising she was on the edge of starting the same cycle of thoughts again, she turned and headed outside.

The mathematics is being coy. She can tell it's on the edge of giving up its secrets. Somewhere deep inside there, she can sense the truth hiding. Her conversation with Catra earlier gave her eighteen new ideas on how to unravel this thing. Seventeen none-starters, but maybe the number eighteen ... She's interrupted by a thought:

“Log, day six. Could I use the drone's wheels to pump the cooling fluid? But then they could only fire while moving. No, no, no. Perhaps an acoustic heat pump? Ah! Now that is interesting!”

“Hey, Entrapta. Still up?”

Entrapta drops her thought and spins around. She propels her chair over to Catra. “What?” she says.

“It's past midnight,” says Catra, coming over to meet her.

Entrapta checks the clock on her desk. “Oh! I hadn't noticed.” She swings back round to face Catra. “You don't normally visit at this time … do you?”

Catra shrugs. “We never finished our talk.” Her tail coils round some of Entrapta's hair, and with this connection, she leads her over to the wall chart. “We were at complex numbers, weren't we?”

Entrapta's voice escapes her control as she leaps into her explanation. “Ah, ye~es! Now see this section? This governs … ”

And her didactic technique is improving! Catra asks less questions, needs her to repeat less often. She tried out her hypotheses on the fly and observes Catra's reactions. And at last, she comes to the end of her surface level explanation, finishing with, “I still don't know where to go from here. It's not data. I have plenty of data! It's understanding. And if I did, I can't guarantee we'd ever be able to control it.”

Catra's tail is resting on her shoulders, brushing against the back of her neck on its journey from left to right. She hadn't noticed it there before.

“Well!” she says. “That's all I have. Maybe I'll know more tomorrow! Goodnight, Catra.”

Catra nods. She nods and she doesn't leave. Instead, there's a silence. She looks at the door and then Entrapta again. “Uh,” she says.

And suddenly anxiety is tightening cold tendrils around Entrapta's neck and chest. She knows the silent moment. Past experience tells her this is the result of saying something wrong, of transgressing some social boundary no one had told her about. Upsetting someone is something she learned to tune out after it had happened a few times, but she doesn't want to upset Catra.

“I ...” Catra looks at the door again. “I have to … look after morale.”

That's something Entrapta wasn't expecting. But it's not clear how she ought to respond. “Okay?” she says, hoping for another cue.

“Yeah. Shadow Weaver never did. But I'm doing things different,” Catra says. She's hesitating less now. “Are you happy here, with me?”

“Of course!” says Entrapta. She gestures in four directions at once. “Look at all this! I never thought I would get a chance to work on problems like these! And have someone listen!”

A smile spreads across Catra's face, and Entrapta smiles back. She's on solid ground here. A smile is usually a good sign.

“I'm looking out for you,” Catra says, taking up a strand of hair and combing it with her claws. “You trust me, don't you?”

“Yes!” says Entrapta. And she realises she does. That momentary unjustified anxiety proved it. Talking to Catra, she doesn't have to feel like she's walking on eggshells, just waiting to blunder. Talking to Catra makes her feel safe. Unlike her last interaction with the princesses, which …

But that thought hurts, so she drops it.

“Good,” Catra says. “You should.” At the door, she pauses and looks back. “Goodnight, Entrapta.”

That was smart, Catra told herself as she strode down the corridor. There was no one about; the night shift guards were a long way away. She broke into a leap and bounded down the corridor, laughing. You keep your important assets safe and happy. Make life good so they don't want to leave. And now she was in Adora's position: The one who was looked up to, not the one who was looked after.

Morale visits, yes. Everyone would like that.

In her room, she leapt, performed a midair pirouette and landed on her back. After bathing in the euphoria of success, she at last gave in to the dreary, inelegant necessities of reality, and got up to lock the door and get undressed.

In bed again, her mood had dampened. The bed was cold and empty. An unwanted image of the sword cutting through web borne on a swell of guilt assaulted her.

This time, she found a way to stand her ground. She thought about the conversation she'd just had with Entrapta. Entrapta's face, body language, even her hair, communicated in a way that was immediate and utterly guileless.

You trust me, don't you?

And Entrapta had said yes.

And in that moment, Catra decided she wouldn't betray that trust. Not like Adora had done. “No,” she whispered, so softly her voice was barely more than a purring susurration. “I won't do that. I promise to be worthy of your trust.”

Days pass. She designs a new acoustic heat pump, a new rocket, a new set of communications protocols. She works on, negotiates with, inveigles the mathematics. She plans out, studies, and hones her didactic technique. She teaches Emily to pay catch without destroying nearby infrastructure (thus resolving a source of tension between Scorpia and the lead maintenance teams).

And afternoon and evening she talks to to her friend.

“Log day E … leven? Yes, eleven. Catra's visits have increased in both duration and frequency. Over the past five days the amount of time we have spent talking has increased by a factor 2.4 compared to the five days before that. No doubt this signifies something. Some change has taken place. But what?” She pauses and leans back inside the hole of a robot to inspect its innards. Other improvements have already taken up a lot of space. “I may need to make some adjustments to the transmission,” she tells her recorder, then pauses, scratching her chin with a strand of hair. “Despite the increased time talking, I've seen no evidence my productivity had diminished. On the contrary, I suspect it has improved. Could this correlate with a subjective improvement in mood? It's hard to say without hard data, but it is certainly a hypothesis.”

In her office, Catra leant back in her chair with her feet resting on the desk. She stretched, long and languid, then resumed listening to the recordings.

First, there was Scorpia, talking to some cadet about how difficult it was to get a dress fitted, especially in the Fright Zone.

Entrapta's overheard logs made for more difficult listening. Until: “Could this correlate with a subjective improvement in mood? It's hard to say without hard data, but it is certainly a hypothesis.”

She paused the recording with a sharp gesture. Her tail went limp. For a few seconds, she stared into the speaker grille as if it would give her the answer she wanted.

Entrapta is fixing Emily's catch behaviours when the strap on her wrist buzzes.

“Hi, Catra!” she says brightly, at the same moment that Catra greets her. She pulls her head out of the robot shell and smiles at Catra.

“I'm getting predictable, am I?” says Catra.

“Predictability is good!” Entrapta ensures her. “Predicting something is the first step to understanding it!”

“If you say so,” says Catra after a moment. “So … you've noticed I've been visiting you more. The time we've spent talking has increased by …” She checks a slip of paper in her hand. “a factor of 2.4.”


“You're probably wondering how I know that.”

“No, I'm not. You've got a listening device there.” She points with her arm and hair, two lines to pick out a point in three dimensions.

Catra stares at her, then at the patch of wall where the bug is hidden.

“I took it apart when I found it, but I made sure I put it back together again and that it was working,” Entrapta assures her.

“Wait, wait,” says Catra. “You knew I could hear you all this time?”


“And you still make logs talking about me?”


Catra's eyes are wide. It's another silent moment. A whisper of anxiety claws at Entrapta, but this time she sweeps it away to see what happens. And she's right, it's not a problem:

A smile spreads across Catra's face. “That's what I like about you,” she says, putting her hands on Entrapta's shoulders. “No pretence. Everything you've got is right here.” She steps back and gestures at Entrapta from hair to boots. And then she's back in close, coiling a strand of hair around her index finger. “I get you,” she says.

And for once, Entrapta's not sure what to say. No one has ever said they get her before, not in that sort of way. How does one respond to that?

So instead she takes Catra's hand and all but drags her over to Emily. “Now look at this!”

They sit, shoulders pressed together, talking about control systems. And then at some point she realises she's not explaining her theories any more, she's just talking about what she likes about affectionate robots and about her favourite size of foods and about how Catra likes to trick her opponents in a fight. They reactivate Emily and play for a while. Then they go back to the drone design.

“And then pressure waves in the air –” Entrapta is interrupted by a yawn. “Oh,” she says as she realises it, “I'm really tired.” Her line of thought dissolves into staticky fuzz. she slumps back into her chair and her hair goes limp.something

“Is this how you always go to bed?” Catra says, leading Entrapta across the lab to an untidy mass of blankets in the corner.

“Usually with Emily helping instead of you,” Entrapta murmurs. She lets her head fall against Catra's shoulder. They linger like that for a moment, then Entrapta finds herself in bed, with Catra heading out of the lab.

The bed was still empty, still cold. The very absence of Adora seemed to have imbued it with memories of her.

“Log day sixteen. The Old Ones' system remains impenetrable. I have discovered some principles which seem to hold in all circumstances, but there's no theoretical structure to put them in … It's almost like trying to socialise with princesses.” Now there's something she wouldn't have told the recorder before. There was nothing objective in that statement. She rewinds and deletes it.

She takes a cake from the dray, drops it into her hand, and rolls it back and forth between her thumb and index finger. “Have I misread the signals? Have I taken a wrong tuning several theories back and not noticed?” The cake is delicious, but offers no hints. She spins round on her chair slowly. Emily, now able to recognise these moments of despondency, skitters over and presses against her leg. She leans into the robot and rubs her fingers over the polished aluminium.

The band on her wrist buzzes.

“Hey, Entrapta.”

“Catra! Hi!”

Emily retreats into the corner and settles down; the conditions to engage her comforting routine are no longer present.

“So, uh, what are you … working on?” Catra pauses, then examines the model and the chaotic tangle of arrows on the wall diagram. “The Old Ones thing again?”

“Yes! But this problem is proving difficult even by the standards of Old Ones' tech,” says Entrapta. “I don't have any updates.”

“Oh, well, uh.” Catra looks back at her, gives her a smile after a second, and shrugs. She paces back and forth a bit. She's hesitating more often than usual, Entrapta notices. Why is that? Has something else changed? “The thing is,” Catra begins again, stopping, but the doesn't go on.

Entrapta decides to try something. Catra isn't as close as she normally gets, but she's close enough for Entrapta's hair to loop around her upper arm. “What's wrong?”

Catra winces at the touch, but only for a moment. She takes a deep breath. Her spine seems to straighten. “I'm going to sleep with you tonight,” she announces.

“Okay!” says Entrapta.

Catra stares at her. She opens her mouth to speak twice, but all that comes out is a sort of choked chip. “I-I meant I'm going to, uh, sleep in the lab tonight. At the foot of your bed.”

“That's what I thought you meant,” Entrapta says. “There's definitely enough space. Twenty square feet should be enough for both of us.”


“Wait. What did you think I thought you meant?”

“It … it doesn't matter,” says Catra. “Don't worry about it.”

Something inside Entrapta flares. “Don't 'it doesn't matter' at me!” she shouts, leaning in towards Catra so their faces are inches apart.

Where in the world did that come from? Streams of liquid fire run up from deep inside her to her tense fingers and frizzed hair. Surprise at her own reaction is followed by the icy realisation that she's said something like that to Catra of all people. Both serve to dampen her reaction.

And Catra is standing there, not retreating, not wincing (going by a recent conversation she's had people yell far worse things in her face before), but still taken aback.

“People always say that,” says Entrapta, pulling back and turning away. “When I don't …”

And she trails off when she feels Catra's arms around her. “Okay, okay, I'm sorry,” purrs Catra. “I won't do it again.”

Entrapta swallows and leans back. She can feel the residual tension draining out of her.

“Now, how about you show me more about how you taught Emily to recognise vital systems and not target them.”

Catra woke with a tiny yelp. Her fluffed up tail snaked across the blanket in front of her. Dim red light from somewhere behind her cast her own body into a landscape of surreal shadows. For a moment memories of dreams and reality intertwined, and she could almost feel the weight of the sword in her hand. The tears running across the bridge of her nose and the side of her face were real though.

She could smell the presence of someone else, feel the warmth, the tiny motions of the blankets. Adora, she thought briefly, but the smell told her otherwise. And then she remembered helping a suddenly tired Entrapta across her lab. They were both curled up on opposite corners of the pile of sheets. The hum and the faint red light coming from the corner was Emily.

She lay there for a while, listening to Entrapta breath, feeling caught in some ambivalent blend of the familiar and the strange. Perhaps an hour passed. She didn't fall asleep.


The response came after a train of quiet snuffles. “ … make it cuter. And add lasers …”


Entrapta shifted, stretched, and nearly kicked Catra in the head. “Yeah?” Emily's light outlined the slope of her hip. It could've been kilometres away, an unreachable geographic feature of some alien world.

Catra bit her lip softly. “We're friends, right?”

“Yes!” A bit of blanket beneath Catra's leg revealed itself as some of Entrapta's hair.

“Good,” said Catra. She took another deep breath, let the question die on her tongue, then tried again: “Am I a good person?”

“Why are you asking?” said Entrapta.

Catra pressed the heels of her hands against her forehead. Coming here was obviously a mistake. She should've just stayed in her private room and fought through the pain.


“I feel guilty,” said Catra. The words came out without her expecting them to, feeling like as much an admission to herself as they were to Entrapta. “I don't know know why. I have nothing to feel guilty about. She's the enemy! She made that choice. But … ugh! … I don't know.”

“Oh,” said Entrapta.

For a while, all Catra could hear was the counterpoint of their breathing, Emily's faint hum, and the distant, almost inaudibly infrasonic blended growl of machinery that pervaded every building in the Fright Zone.

Entrapta's hair looped around Catra's hand. “Well, I like you,” she said.

Catra dreamed again. This time, not of swords or hidden underground caverns but of home. Of the moment she had seen that tiny crack in Entrapta's blithe attitude and worked her claws in to dig out the pain beneath. She woke again, followed by a single sentence.

They left you and they're not coming back.

The fact of the matter had been irrelevant to her at the time. But thinking about it now, that didn't seem like the whole truth. Given what Entrapta had told her about the moment of separation, it was possible that no one had come back before her because they thought she was dead.

But if Catra told her that, she'd lose her.

The Horde would lose her, which was much worse. Entrapta was an asset, the sort of asset that might mean the difference between victory and defeat.

On the other hand, how could she not tell her?

The mathematics are opening up. Hidden connections start to reveal themselves and weave together into a hidden foundation of beauty beneath the ugly masses of variables. She squeals with glee, she leaps around the room, she plays with Emily. Running on an intellectual high, she completes a redesign of the Zone's communications protocols in a break. She tears down her old wall chart and makes a new one, several layers of abstraction deep but far clearer.

She's going to have so much fun explaining this to Catra.

And this thought makes her realise it's been two days since she's seen Catra. Catra hasn't visited since sleeping in the lab.

Her hair flops down towards the ground. She's becalmed.

She hold up her recorder. “Log, day …” She looks around the lab in a desultory fashion, then shrugs. “She's stopped visiting. Did I say something wrong?” She looks around at the patch of wall behind which the listening device is hiding.

After an hour of fighting with the mathematics, she finds that even though she's making progress, it comes slow and painful. After sitting in silence, starting at her new wall chart, she sends her chair rolling across the floor to the whiteboard. She activates her recorder.

“Okay, Catra,” she says into the recorder, scribbling symbols across the whiteboard. “Look what happens if we assume that this matrix here is a product of two others, like this …”

“And then look what happens! The resonance pattern I told you about last tie appears! Aha! Isn't that great!?”

Catra stabbed the button in front of her to stop the recording. To replace it, a tiny thrumming growl arose in the back of her throat.

There was a knock at the door of her office, and before she could answer, the door opened wide enough for Scorpia's head poke through.

“There you are!”

“What is it?” said Catra.

“It's the time you usually give the top cadets their feedback.”

Catra turned to look at her. “I'm sure you can manage,” she said.

Scorpia put her claw to her chest, her eyes suddenly glistening. “You trust me to do that? Oh, wow!”

“Yeah, just try not to pick any of them up without their permission and you'll be fine!”

“Yes, ma'am!” said Scorpia, saluting. She vanished back into the hallway, leaving the door open in her excitement.

Catra pushed it closed with her tail, leant back in her chair, rewound the recording, and began to play it again.

She's discovered a problem. The solution she thought she had, the one that looked like it was going to tie everything up in a nice little know, in unravelling. One of the last few moves to try and make the whole thing consistent has suddenly swamped her in free variables, numbers with inexplicable, arbitrary values that don't let her control anything at all. More of them, according to her best guess, than there are atoms in the universe.

But she was so close! It almost feels like the mathematics has betrayed her.

Maybe she should drop this and work on something easier for a while, like building an upgrade to her acoustic cooling system. She bites her knuckle, staring at the tangle of equations.

“Hey, Entrapta.”

Catra! As soon as she's heard the voice, she's running across the lab to the door. “How are you? Where have you been? (I saw you in your office.) Are you okay? You look okay!”

Smiling, Catra holds up her palms. “Whoa, whoa. Take it down a gear for a second, okay?” When Entrapta tries to follow this as best she can, Catra rewards her by stroking her hair. “I'm sorry I didn't talk to you earlier. I've been busy. And … I had some things to think about.”

“Like what?”

Catra seems suddenly interested in the wall. She takes a deep breath. “You,” she says.

Entrapta isn't sure what to make of this.

“Anyway,” Catra says. “There's something important I should tell you.”

“Ooh, what?”

And Catra looks into Entrapta's eyes. They hold the gaze … how long? It's hard to say. Longer than Entrapta was expecting. She waits, half entranced by that heterochromic iridescence – what complex optics go into such structures?

Catra steps back and, after a moment, smiles broadly. “I … really think you belong with us. And I'm glad you came. Now … show me what you were working on?”

Entrapta's hair fluffs up. She takes Catra's hand and leads her across the lab. “Oh! Yeah! Come and look at these new assault bot models! Even more powerful, without all the overheating!” Catra glances at the wall chart on the way, but Entrapta leads her past it.

After all her efforts, after the early signs of success, the mathematics of the Old Ones' tech has remained refused to let her in. But that doesn't bother her. She belongs here. With Catra.
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#1 · 2
Adorbs Totes Adorbs.
In all seriousness, though, I like what you accomplished here. And in just under 5k words, to boot!
Honestly, I think you played up their similarities and the way they can complement each other as well as possible. I think I would've liked to see the full extent of their feelings, see how they try to make sense of their new situations and how they find company and understandment in each other.
Really, stellar job, and I'd like to read more of this.
#2 · 2
Alternate Title: Cuteness Overload, Not Even Joking


Sorry, allow me to compose myself. Author, I like what you did here. I like it so much that I feel tempted to say you don't have to change anything about it, aside from a few typos here and there.

I didn't think my top pick would be not only the longest of the batch but placed right in the middle. Truth be told, though, this entry doesn't feel that long; it might be because there are over a dozen scenes which organize the beats of the story in nice little bite-size segments. It might because there is hardly a sentence wasted, or the fact that the buildup in the relationship between Entrapta and Catra is borderline perfect.

Seriously, that ending blue-balled me in how it gives us a tiny slice of how this relationship could further evolve, but has enough restraint to not go all the way. At first the anti-climax of the ending irked me, but it's honestly kinda beautiful in how it goes just far enough to feel cathartic.


The prose is quite beautiful as well. I'm impressed at how deliberate certain phrase choices are (especially in Entrapta's scenes), and how even the tense changes between Entrapta and Catra's POVs have purpose. Entrapta is all about the present while Catra's mental state is stuck in the past for most of the story. I could be wrong about this, and the tense changes might've been arbitrary, but I highly doubt this; they're too consistent to be just there for the lulz.

Now, sadly, there's no such thing as a perfect story, and this entry does suffer from one big flaw, and unfortunately I can't ignore it. It has to do with how Catra is characterized here. Don't get me wrong, Catra's arc is very well-handled for the most part, but she's way too nice from the outset.

Catra is not a nice person by default. She's moody, lazy, and tends to lash out at others, seemingly for no reason at times. But here she is far too composed and introspective at the beginning, and while we do get sort of an explanation for her behavior (her combined desire to become a nicer leader and her growing attraction to Entrapta), for much of the story it doesn't feel earned; I just feel that her arc could've been handled better, even though the conclusion is pretty satisfying.

Actually, if Catra got into an emotionally vulnerable situation, like out of "Fuck Adora!" this would smooth out both her arc and her interactions with Entrapta. Is it okay to want to steal something from one entry and put it in another? Because this entry could've used something like a hallucinatory confession, but maybe without all the bodily fluids.

Aside from that, though, I find it hard to fault this entry. I can see some people taking issue with how many scenes there are in a relatively concise word count, but I honestly prefer it this way. You can squeeze a lot of stuff into your story if you have a lot of concise scenes, as opposed to a long unbroken scene, and I think that's a good deal of merit in that tactic.

Okay, there is one last thing I wanna bring up. This is either one of the most masterfully written romantic buildups I've witnessed in a while, or one of the most hilariously incompetent attempts at developing a platonic friendship. I hope to god it's the former, and considering how many passages feel like something out of a romantic comedy (or even mildly erotic romance), I'd say the romantic subtext was extremely deliberate. It's like some of the stuff in the show if it was allowed to be taken to a PG or even PG-13 level.

I know that the show likes to be "ambiguous" with its relationship dynamics, but for the love of god I hope the author didn't intend to go down that same road here. That would be mildly upsetting.

Author, please don't let me down. This entry is too good.