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rockefeller state of mind

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Kate is mortified.

She’s gotten herself into a lot of embarrassing situations, ones that may seem way worse than this if observed objectively, but at this moment, she wants to do nothing more than stab herself with one of her arrows.

Because,

Yelena is standing right in front of her, arms still in front of her like she’s ready to block a punch (because that’s what they’re doing, they’re literally in the middle of a fight, what the hell), her eyes glint and her lips curve upwards to form an infuriating grin.

“Did you just moan?”

Kate can already feel her face turning an angry red. She resolutely doesn’t meet Yelena’s bemused gaze and focuses on her shoes instead.

Completely unbidden, a memory comes to Kate, her old combat instructor, post victory, screaming at her: Never take your eyes off your opponent!

“No.” Kate says weakly.

Yelena raises a perfectly shaped eyebrow.

“No!” Kate says again, her voice cracking. God damn it. “No, I just. Squeaked. I make weird noises when I fight. It’s a… a quirk of mine.”

“A quirk.” Yelena echoes, amused. Kate wants to die.

“So if I…” Yelena takes a step forward, slotting her thigh between Kate’s legs, mirroring the position they were in right before Kate decided to be a complete fucking idiot and moan in the middle of a fight, who the hell even does that? “If I do this...” She jerks her leg up ever so slightly so her thigh rubs right against Kate’s crotch, and she doesn’t moan, thankfully, but her mouth falls open and her breath stutters like she’s in some weird soft-core lesbian porno.

Yelena smirks, very, very smug.

“I have to say,” Yelena drawls, “I quite like this… quirk of yours.”

Kate stares.

Yelena steps forward again, and now they’re impossibly close to each other, Kate can feel the blonde breathing against her chest. She swallows and looks down at her, and while Yelena still has that insufferable grin on, she looks almost… nervous?

“Oh. Hey there.” Kate squeaks. Yelena is moving her hands now, one of them comes to rest on her waist and another starts idly tracing patterns on her arm. “Is this,” Kate swallows again. “Is this a thing that’s happening right now? ‘Cause we were literally just fighting and honestly, I was like really in the mood, not that I’m not into what’s happening right now, I’m just kinda confused and-”

She stops speaking, mostly because of Yelena’s mouth on her own.

Yelena leans back not even a moment later to look up at Kate, eyes searching. “This is okay?”

Kate fights the urge to burst into hysterical laughter, because what the fuck is happening? There’s an entire streetwide fight going on outside, Clint is somewhere down there, by himself up against an entire fucking mafia, and Kate is up here kissing someone who happens to be THE NATASHA ROMANOFF’s sister and also wants to murder Clint?

????????

“Yeah.” Kate says, cause Yelena’s like, smokin’ hot. “Totally okay.”

This time, it’s Kate who leans down ever so slightly and sucks Yelena’s bottom lip into her mouth, kissing her unlike she’s ever kissed anyone else, hands on her waist. It’s rough and even a little painful, Yelena’s teeth tearing at Kate’s lips before shoving her tongue in her mouth. And it’s just them, just two women in their combat suits and an array of weapons at hand, making out at the top of the Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve, hundreds of feet above Clint, above everyone.

Kate’s hands slowly travel up to Yelena’s stomach, her hands slipping under the tough leather of Yelena’s suit. She moves her hands even further north until one brushes a nipple. She grins against Yelena’s mouth, feeling rather proud of the quiet whimper Yelena lets out.

And then Yelena shoves her against the wall, breaking their kiss, but to Kate’s relief, her mouth immediately finds a bit of soft skin under Kate’s earlobe to suck at, her tongue painting devious patterns down her neck, sending shocks of heat straight to Kate’s stomach.

“Fuck,” She hisses as Yelena starts sucking a hickey on her neck. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

Kate feels Yelena’s hand skim her belly and make its way to her belt. She valiantly attempts to undo it while peppering kisses to Kate’s collarbone, her other hand busy groping the brunette’s ass, but after a minute, she gives up, leaning back and bursting into a bout of self deprecating laughter.

“Your pants are evil.” Yelena informs Kate. Kate ignores her, too busy wrenching her belt off. She grabs Yelena’s hand and shoves it right back where it was, at the bottom of her stomach. Yelena, thankfully, gets the hint and slips her hand inside her pants with a grunt.

“Evil.” She repeats, struggling to fit her entire hand in. “These are so tight, there’s no way this is comfortable.”

“They make my ass look great.” Kate replies and Yelena nods her enthusiastic agreement. “It’s worth the sacrifice.”

“See, my pants make my ass look great, and I’m not suffocating my vagina in there.” Yelena pulls at her pants with her unoccupied hand, demonstrating. “You Americans, always giving up comfort for looks. It doesn’t always have to be one or the other, you know.”

Kate shuts her up by sticking her tongue in the blonde’s mouth, and they’re back on track again.

Yelena finally (finally!!!) moves her hand a little more down, the tips of her fingers brushing against her clit.

“Oh fuck.” Kate whimpers, burying her face in Yelena’s neck. She smells good, like some sort of vaguely fruity body wash mixed with the fainter scent of her natural musk. She breathes in quick, exhales slowly, and begins to place wet, openmouthed kisses along the line of her collarbone.

Yelena moves her hand in slow, agonizing circles over her underwear, right above her clit but with only just enough pressure for her to feel anything. Kate whines into Yelena’s neck, wordlessly urging her to go faster, harder, anything that would make her feel it.

The blonde chuckles, low and husky, and Kate feels it in her core, throbbing and needy. She groans in frustration when Yelena does nothing, grinding against her hand. Yelena presses a quick, chaste kiss to Kate’s lips and moves the fabric separating her hand and Kate’s pussy, letting her hand press up against the wet heat. Kate moans, jerking against Yelena’s hand.

“Please.” She whimpers, biting at Yelena’s earlobe, sucking at it. To her surprise (and eternal gratefulness), Yelena doesn’t question it any further, slowly pushing a finger, then two, three, inside her.

And then all of a sudden, she’s done teasing. She fingers Kate, quick and dirty, mouthing at her neck and grinding against her thigh. Kate lets her head fall back against the wall, a quiet, steady stream of swears leaving her mouth. Yelena curves her fingers inside her, and Kate goes, “Oh fuck.” and comes with a sob.

She slumps forward, head flopping on Yelena’s shoulder. Yelena gently sits them both down and leans away from Kate, fixing her clothes.

“Oh my god.” Kate says, dazed. “That was like, the best orgasm I’ve ever had. Oh my god.”

Yelena stands up, looking amused.

“Where are you going?” Kate is too floaty to care about how whiny she sounds, or the obnoxious pout her lips form. “Come baaack. You didn’t get off.”

Yelena laughs. “You owe me one, then. I still have a Barton to kill.”

Kate blinks. “Wait, what?”

“I truly hope this isn’t the last I see of you, Kate Bishop.” Yelena says, and with a final grin and a mocking solute, she backs out of the doorway.

A moment later, Kate hears glass shattering.

Goddamn.

Chapter Text

The first thing Kate does, obviously, is tell Clint.

Well no, the first thing Kate does is attempt to run after Yelena but the blonde is long gone, and Kate is left standing by the shattered window, hundreds of feet above the fight, her pants still unbuttoned.

And then, she still has to pull herself together and she and Clint have to fight off like a shit ton of angry men in red tracksuits and she kicks so much ass her toes feel a little numb. Later, when everything is over, they go to a little coffee shop. Kate sits by the window with her legs pulled up to her chest and Clint props his legs up in the space next to her. They sip hot chocolate and Clint fusses over her multiple cuts and bruises while simultaneously pretending not to care. It’s cozy, but Kate was distracted. She fought against Kingpin and lived to tell the tale, but the only thing she can think about is the way Yelena’s hand felt on her waist, her breath on her neck…

“I’m getting some cake, you want some?” Clint asks, standing up.

“I had sex with Yelena.” Kate answers. Clint sits back down. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t like planned or anything, we were just like, fighting, and - she’s insane by the way, I totally thought she was going to kill me or something - and we kinda ended up going at it. Only for a bit though.”

Clint stares blankly at her. “You are joking right?” Kate grins nervously. “I mean, it wasn’t like, full sex or anything, we were still dressed, mostly, and she kinda just -”

“I don’t need the details!” Clint interrupts quickly, looking vaguely nauseated. He lets his head fall, hitting the table. He thumps his head down a few more times, which Kate thinks is just excessive. Really, all she did was get off with a trained assassin from a Soviet-Russian Training facility who believed that Clint murdered her sister in cold blood and wanted to kill him for revenge.

“Let me get this straight.” Clint says, voice muffled by the wood. “In the middle of us fighting with the Tracksuit Mafia, you and Yelena Belova, a hired hitman, decided to go off and have -” he lowers his voice to a whisper “sex?”

“I still don’t get how you can say Tracksuit Mafia with a straight face.” She says instead of answering him. “Also, the politically correct term would be hitperson.”

Clint sits up again, silent for a second. “I can’t tell if you’re messing with me.”

“About having sex with Yelena? Or your gross misuse of the term ‘hitman’? Because I’m dead serious about one of them.”

Clint groans. “I’m so sick of you.”

“Why’d you invite me to Barton Family Christmas then?” Kate asks, sticking her tongue out at him.

“Cause you have no friends. Wouldn’t want you to spend the holidays alone.”

“You liiiike me.” Kate crows, flicking her straw at him. A clump of whipped cream flies at his face, landing right on his nose.

Clint’s eyes go a little cross eyed, trying to look at it. He takes a deep breath. “It’s not too late for me to take my invitation back. Stay in the city and starve, see if I care.”

Kate rolls her eyes at him.

“Wait…” Clint says suddenly. “Did this happen when our comms were off?”

“Yeah.”

“You said it was a glitch! I spent half the fight worried that you were stranded and would die because the comms weren’t working!”

“Awww, you do care!”

Clint flips her off.

 

 

#

The Barton house is… quaint. There’s a big Christmas tree adorned with ornaments that have probably been in the family for generations, topped with a slightly crooked star. Kate stands awkwardly to the side and watches Clint’s reunion with his family, trying not to think about the reason that she couldn’t celebrate the holidays with her mom was because her mom is currently occupying a single bed somewhere in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

Cheery.

But aside from that, Christmas isn’t too horrible. Clint’s kids are pretty nice, and Kate amuses herself by snooping around his house, silently freaking out about the fact that she’s literally in The Hawkeye's house. She watches them open presents and to her surprise, Clint and Laura hand her one too.

“Aw, I didn’t get you guys anything!” Kate exclaims, turning red. She totally would’ve, but they drove to Clint’s house immediately after getting coffee and she didn’t have any time for Christmas shopping. All of a sudden, she remembers the new sweaters she got her mom, waiting in it’s purple wrapping paper to be delivered.

“You didn’t need to, sweetheart.” Laura says gently, motioning her to open the present. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she does.

It’s a single trick arrow. She turns it over in her palm, bemused. Clint clears his throat. “I uh, didn’t get much time to properly teach you how to make them. The trick arrows. So I thought I’d, you know, show you how. If you want.”

Kate stares at him, openmouthed. “If I - if I want? Clint, are you freaking serious right now?” She launches herself at him, throwing her arms around his neck. He sits stiffly under her sudden embrace and awkwardly pats her back twice. Kate leans back, beaming. “This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten. Ever.”

Clint shrugs, scratching his neck. “Well.”

“Dad never lets me touch his trick arrows.” Nate sighs. That evening, right before dinner, Kate lets him touch the shaft and he gazes down at it like he’s seeing God or something. After dinner, they all play Monopoly and Kate teams up with Lila against Laura who’s scarily good at like, everything, and the game ends up devolving into them throwing little houses at each other, forcing Clint to retreat behind the sofa and beg for mercy.

It feels a little bit like home.

 

 

#

And of course, that’s when all hell breaks loose. The day starts off normal enough, it’s the second day of the new year and everyone is slowly recovering from their holiday hangover. She plays chess with Nate and gets absolutely annihilated by Lila at MarioKart, but it’s okay because she beats Clint later. Lila tells her that beating her dad doesn’t count because he doesn’t even know how to hold an Xbox controller, but Kate chooses to ignore that. She’ll take her victories where she can get them. Later in the evening, Kate is in the guest room, packing to go back to the city when the doorbell rings.

“I’ll get it!” Lila yells from somewhere downstairs. Kate hums a Christmas carol that’s been stuck in her head all morning as she places a grey turtleneck into her suitcase.

A few seconds later, she hears Lila yell, “It’s for you, Kate!”

Briefly, Kate wonders if it’s her mom. Which is absolutely insane, because her mom is serving 25 to life in an extremely secure prison hundreds of miles away. But still, her heart pounds as she makes her way downstairs.

It’s not her mom, obviously. However, it is a Yelena Belova in her full glory, clad in sweatpants and a puffy black coat, a backpack slung over her left shoulder. She doesn’t know if that’s better or worse.

“Get inside.” She whispers to Lila, unable to take her eyes off of the blonde. Lila glances at her and then at Yelena, confused, but heads back inside. As soon as she disappears down the hallway, Kate shoves Yelena backwards and follows her onto the porch, shutting the door behind her.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Kate hisses, desperately wishing she had her bow and arrow. To shoot herself, preferably.

“Relax.” Yelena says tiredly, holding her hands up. “I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to talk to Barton.”

“You rang the doorbell.”

“What did you expect me to do? Kick down the door?”

“I mean… yeah? You did try to kill Clint. Wasn’t sure if you were like, still mad.”

“Well, I didn’t. Kill him.” Yelena looks down at her shoes, as if this confession took a lot out of her, but Kate already knows everything that went down when she fought Clint. She doesn’t entirely understand the whole story, but she believes with all her heart that Clint is a good man and that he loved Natasha.

The door opens and Clint bursts out, bow in hand. He looks kind of ridiculous in his reindeer patterned pajama set with his arrow carrier slung over his shoulder, ready for combat. “You okay?” He asks Kate.

“Yeah.” Nope.

“Barton.” Yelena says, shifting her weight onto one leg. “Nice house. Bit small.” Clint grips his bow tighter and purses his lips a little, something Kate now recognizes as a nervous tick.

“Why are you here?” He asks. Yelena looks up at him, letting out a long sigh. “I am going to be staying in America for a while. I have some work here.”

“Am I safe in assuming that this work has nothing to do with my death?” Clint asks warily. Yelena shrugs. “Depends on my mood.” Kate isn’t sure if she’s joking. Clint doesn’t seem to be sure either.

“Ookay. Is that all you came here to say?”

Yelena watches him carefully for a second, her eyebrows creased, irritated. “Oh for crying - put that arrow down, Barton. I am not going to shoot you on your own Передний двор.”

“I don’t know what that is.” Clint says, lowering his arrow.

“Can you shut up for a second Barton? Your stupidity is making it incredibly hard for me to apologize.”

Kate’s head snaps towards Clint, who is as expressionless as ever. He regards Yelena for a moment, and then speaks. “You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I tried to kill you.”

“I’m still alive.”

“What is your problem!” Yelena cries, exasperated. “Just shut up and listen. Sorry for trying to kill you. Now accept my apology.”

Clint is quiet for a long time, long enough for Kate to start feeling uncomfortable. Yelena’s expression is carefully blank, still staring at him right in the eye, gaze challenging. Kate clears her throat, unable to take the stifling silence anymore and gets ready to say something when Clint says, “Okay. We’re having vegan tacos tonight. Dinner is in half an hour.”

He turns around and walks inside.

And now it’s just the two of them. Alone.

“So.” Kate says, unsure of what to say. “What’s up?”

“Oh, you know,” Yelena replies, “travelling around America, throwing a bunch of chemicals at women brainwashed by an underground Soviet bootcamp that enslaved women for years by technological manipulation. You?”

“Oh.” Kate says. “Well. Not that.” The last time they were alone together, they had sex. And because she has no filter, she says, “The last time we were alone together, we had sex.” She bites the inside of her cheek, feeling her face burning up.

But Yelena just grins and leans against one of the chairs on the porch. “Are you going to invite me inside, Kate Bishop?”

“Oh, yeah. You can come in.”

 

 

#

Dinner is an excruciatingly awkward affair. Kate heard Clint and Laura fighting in furious whispers in the kitchen, right before setting the table.

“She tried to kill you, Clint.” Laura had said angrily. “Multiple times. Do you really think it’s wise to bring someone like that into our home? Near our kids?”

“I tried to kill Nat.” Clint said, and Kate can hear the grief in his voice. “How is that any different? We were both just doing our jobs. And she was in grief, Laura. Her sister was dead and she had no reason to believe I hadn’t killed her.”

“I just don’t feel comfortable about this.” Laura sighed, but with less conviction. “I want to trust her, honey. I just don’t know her.”

“She’s Nat’s sister.” Clint said quietly, and that was the end of the discussion.

Now, they all sit around the table while Kate speaks way too much to fill the awkward silence.

“And that’s why you should never try Jell-O shots for the first time when you’re on a yacht in the middle of the Pacific.” Kate concludes her long winded and only slightly embellished story with a forced laugh, biting the inside of her cheek when nobody else laughs, stuffing her mouth with a bite of taco instead.

“That was very enlightening.” Yelena says. “I have never been this grateful to not be American. Or rich. Or friends with you.”

Laura laughs and Clint relaxes a fraction. Kate pouts in Yelena’s direction and the blonde fake coos at her, patting her thing placatingly. And leaves her hand there. On her thigh. Which is totally fine, it's normal, it's cool, she doesn’t mind at all. This is not affecting her in the slightest, she isn’t suddenly hyper aware of her entire body and how every single nerve ending seems to be leading back to the space on her thigh that is connected to Yelena’s hand. It’s cool.

“So, how’s college going for you?” Laura asks Kate, and she has to physically stop herself from groaning out loud, glad as she is for the distraction. It’s like she’s back home, sitting across from her mom and Jack while they bombard her with questions about college. Only difference is, here, she doesn’t feel like the walls are closing in on her more and more with each question asked. Here, the teasing is lighter, the questions are manageable.

“It’s going pretty okay. I’m glad it’s almost over though.” She answers. Laura nods understandingly and moves on to another topic, something completely unrelated. Kate feels a sudden rush of affection for Laura. She’s just gets it, she knows when to press and when to let things go, unlike her mom. How different would she be, she wonders, if she grew up with a mom like Laura? Suddenly, she feels bad, her mom wasn’t horrible. She was just… detached. She loved Kate to death, but she never really expressed it, not in the right ways at least.

As if Yelena can sense that she needs out of her head,, her grip on Kate’s thigh tightens, and she’s yanked back to reality. From what she can gather, Lila, Yelena, and Clint are having an animated conversation about archery, and Clint is getting incredibly into it, waving his hands around as he speaks.

“It’s just so practical!” Clint exclaims, throwing his hands in the air.

“Completely useless.” Yelena states in that deadpan tone of hers. “What will you do when your opponent is two feet in front of you? Say, ‘Oh, wait a minute, let me adjust my bow and notch my arrow so I can slowly shoot at you’? No! Just use a knife, so much more practical.”

Clint stabs his guac with his chip a little savagely. “If you’re any good at archery, your opponent won’t even get close enough for that to be a possible situation.” He says sourly.

“You don’t need to be good at using a knife to stab someone with it. It’s just chh.” She demonstrates stabbing Nate in the shoulder with a chip and feeds it to him when she’s done. Despite herself, Kate grins.

They eat desert, which is an absolutely divine apple parfait that Clint made. While he explains in painstaking detail how he made it, Yelena’s hand moves further up her thigh below the table. Kate glances nervously at Clint who’s sitting right across the table from her, but he’s still droning on about the right cinnamon to sugar ratio. She shifts her gaze to Yelena next, but her expression betrays nothing. Her thumb is now rubbing little circles into her thigh, her fingertips grazing the waistband of her jeans. For one delirious, terrifying, wonderful moment, Kate thinks Yelena is going to stick her hands down her pants right there at the dinner table, but Yelena places her hands on her lap and acts as if nothing ever happened.

What the hell.

 

 

#

Clint offers his second guest bedroom to Yelena and she accepts without much protest, but she lets him know very clearly that she’s only staying for one night because she ‘can’t stand the stench of redneck for too long’.

Kate finds Yelena in Nate’s bedroom, speaking quietly to the little boy, tucking him in. She leans against the doorway and watches them together. Nate giggles at something she says and Yelena smiles, a soft smile that Kate has never seen before. It makes her happy.

“She’s good with Nate, isn’t she?” A quiet voice says behind her. Kate turns and sees Laura, also watching her son and Yelena fondly. Kate nods. Laura turns her gaze to Kate, her expression slightly sad. “We’re going to miss having you around the house. Especially Clint.”

“I’m going to miss you guys too.” Kate says, and she’s surprised to find that she really means it. She may have lost her mother, but she found a new family with the Bartons.

Laura smiles. “Well,” she yawns, “I’m off to bed. Sleep tight.”

“Good night.” Kate whispers. She turns back to Yelena and Nate and sees Nate fast asleep, Yelena looking right back at her. Kate jumps a little, not expecting to be caught out so soon. Yelena gets up and walks over to Kate. She stands in front of her, quiet.

“Hi.” Kate says nervously.

“Let’s go to my room.” Yelena says.

“Oh. Okay.”

Clint’s guest rooms are very tidy. The bed in Yelena’s room has grey bed sheets and a big brown comforter is folded at the end. Yelena pushes Kate right onto that comforter so that she’s sitting, legs dangling off the edge of the bed, and slots herself between her thighs.

“Hey.” Yelena says, and begins to attack her neck with kiss after kiss after kiss.

“So we’re going right at it, okay.” Kate breaths out on an exhale. “That’s cool. Cause like, I was kinda wondering if the thing at the Rockefeller Center only happened as a distraction so you could get to Clint easier, and I wasn’t totally sure if you actually wanted… anyways, yeah. But I guess not since we’re like, doing stuff again. Unless this is another distraction and you want to kill Clint again. Please don’t tell me you want to kill Clint again.”

Yelena leans away from her and Kate whines, grabbing at Yelena’s shirt. “Come back?”

“Really, I have so many distractions that would work way better. Using sex to distract you is such an impractical idea, Kate Bishop, and honestly so juvenile. I’m kind of disappointed that you’re not smart enough to understand that.”

“Hey!” Kate protests, offended. “I’m smart.”

“Sure you are.” Yelena placates, placing a kiss on the corner of her mouth. “You’re very smart.” She mumbles into her neck, kissing a trail down to her chest, her hands making their way up her shirt. Kate’s breath hitches as Yelena pushes her hands under her sports bra and brushes her fingers over her nipples, rolling them between her fingers.

“Fuck.” Kate whispers. “Yelena, what are we doing?”

“Shhh,” Yelena murmurs. “I’m making you feel good.” She pushes Kate's shirt up to her armpits. “Off.” She says, and Kate obeys, yanking it over her head. Yelena tugs at her bra and she pulls that off too, now completely topless. Yelena leans back a little and looks her up and down, and Kate blushes a little under the scrutiny. She’s not insecure, not really, she’s hot and she knows it. But the way Yelena is looking at her, like she's a meal she can’t wait to devour… it heats her up.

“Nice tits.” Yelena says bluntly and Kate snorts, the tension broken. Yelena leans down and slowly traces a nipple with her tongue, and Kate bites down a whimper. Yelena sucks and bites at it, rolling her other nipple between her fingers until Kate moans quietly, yanking her back by the hair. Yelena looks up, offended.

“There’s like, so many people in this house. We absolutely cannot have sex right now.” Kate says. Yelena ignores her and begins suckling on her other nipple, and Kate lets her. “Are you absolutely sure?” Yelena asks, sinking to her knees. She begins to mouth at the thin fabric of Kate’s leggings covering her crotch, and Kate closes her eyes, praying for strength.

“Ye-es.” She says, breaking off into a moan as Yelena grazes her clit with her teeth through her leggings. “Yelena, stop.”

Yelena sits back, her eyes narrowed. “Nobody can hear us.”

“I know, I know, just…” Kate sighs. “I just can’t be completely into it if I’m constantly worrying that someone might hear or walk in on us.”

“Some people find that prospect thrilling.” Yelena says, and Kate is secretly pleased at how petulant she sounds.

“I wouldn’t mind a controlled risk.” Kate muses, her mind wandering off in a completely unnecessary direction. Vaguely, she wonders if Yelena is into tying people up, and she has to bite the inside of her cheek to bring herself back to the present. “But the idea that Clint might walk in on you going down on me is almost enough for me to swear off sex forever.”

“That’s a horrible idea.” Yelena says, aghast. “What will I do then?”

Kate laughs, and then.

And then she has an idea. She chews on her bottom lip, thinking. It could work…

“Please don’t do that.” Yelena says, sounding pained. Kate looks up. “What?”

Yelena runs her thumb over Kate’s bottom lip, and since she has absolutely no restraint at all, Kate closes her lips around it, swirling her tongue around the tip. Yelena’s eyes go a little dazed and she watches her thumb in Kate’s mouth, rapt. She leans in close, so close that Kate can count each eyelash on her eyes and feel her breath on her face, and gently pulls her thumb out of her mouth. When they kiss, Kate opens her mouth immediately, letting Yelena taste every part of her mouth. It’s slow and almost sweet, until Kate’s treacherous body grinds up against Yelena, and suddenly they’re horizontal on the bed, Yelena straddling her hips.

“Come with me to my apartment.” Kate says, dropping a kiss on Yelena’s shoulder. “I’m leaving tomorrow. You can like, stay there for a bit. And chill. Like, do your thing there, whatever it is that you do. We could be like, roomies. It would be fun.”

“Roomies.” Yelena echoes. Her mouth is red and slightly glittery, owing to Kate’s lip gloss rubbing off on her mouth. She shouldn’t find it as hot as she does, but she feels the sight of it in her belly, a deep ache that feels so good.

“Roomies.” Kate confirms. “But you don’t have to pay rent or anything, I have that covered. And my last semester of college is starting in two days so I’ll be gone for like half the day usually, so we might only see each other in the evenings, but that’s okay. You’d probably get tired of me if you saw me 24/7.” She pauses, thinking. “That’s only if you want to move in, of course.”

“Okay.” Yelena shrugs, and goes back to kissing Kate's neck.

Kate scrambles backwards and sits up on her heels, looking at Yelena. “Wait, you said okay?”

She shrugs again. “Yeah? I needed a place to stay anyway. I’m taking a break from the assassin scene now that I’ve liberated all the ex-Widows.”

Kate doesn’t have any idea what an ex-Widow is, but she doesn’t particularly care, not now at least. “Oh. Okay. Well, I’m leaving at ten in the morning tomorrow so you better be ready by then.” Yelena nods and Kate adds: “That means we can’t have sex today.”

“Ah,” Yelena groans, flopping back on the bed, next to Kate. “there it is. Why are you so hell bent on not having sex with me, Kate Bishop?”

“Do you seriously think I’m trying to not have sex with you?” Kate scoffs. “I just want it to be good when we eventually do have sex, ya know?” She feels stupid as soon as she says it, she feels like she’s a teenager again, lost in fantasies about having sex for the first time with someone that she loved. In reality, she ended up fucking some guy from her high school after prom in the limousine that his dad had rented, and Kate spent the whole time desperately wishing she was anywhere but there.

“I don't want this to be a one time thing though.” Yelena says, turning over onto her stomach. A few strands of hair fall in front of her eyes and Kate has the urge to brush it behind her ear, bury her hand in her hair. Yelena continues, “Being roommates is also optimal for having a friends with benefits situation going on too, am I correct?”

Kate exhales, feeling vaguely disappointed for some reason. “I mean, yeah. I’m down with that. But still, no sex until we get home. I’m not ever bumping nasties within a five mile radius of Clint again.”

Yelena snorts. “Bumping nasties.” Kate laughs too, but once their laughter tapers out, the room is uncomfortably silent.

“Okay then.” Yelena says brusquely. “Good night.”

“Night.” Kate says awkwardly. “See you tomorrow. When we drive home. To my house.”

She’s all too aware of Yelena’s eyes on her when she leaves the room. Before she falls asleep, she silently brings herself off with the memory of Yelena’s mouth all over her body.

Chapter Text

Clint is actually weirdly calm about the whole situation which throws Kate off because she expected the complete opposite. She had decided to corner him when he was still half asleep and give him a run down of the whole situation, but there’s really no delicate way to explain that the assassin she had sex with mid-fight is going to be moving in with her.

So she just says, “Hey Clint? Yelena’s driving back with me today. She’s moving in with me.”

Clint just groans into his cereal. “So they really meant it with the whole U-Haul lesbian thing.”

“That’s a stereotype, Clint.” Laura calls from the kitchen where she’s spreading peanut butter on a slice of toast.

“An accurate one.” He grumbles, and that’s mostly the end of it.

At 9:30, Yelena comes stumbling down the stairs in the same clothes she was wearing yesterday, her hair swept up in a half hearted ponytail. She makes a beeline to the coffee maker and stares at it blankly for a minute. She prods at it for a second but seems to give up after a bit, turning around instead and passing an empty mug to Kate.

“I need coffee, Kate Bishop. Four creams and three sugars.”

Kate wrinkles her nose, disgusted. “Four creams? Just drink milk at that point, Jesus.” But Yelena continues to stare blearily at her until she sighs and drags herself to the coffee maker to make Yelena’s abomination of a coffee.

And then it’s almost time to leave. Clint insisted on driving them to the airport and wouldn’t take no for an answer, so exactly at ten a.m, they’re being rushed out the door. Clint stands by the door muttering about how they’re going to be late while Kate hugs Laura and the kids goodbye, promising she’ll be back for Easter. Then, Laura surprises Yelena with a hug too. Yelena goes completely stiff, but she smiles a little when Laura releases her.

“You’re always welcome here too.” Laura tells her.

 

At the airport, Clint pulls her to the side while Yelena is getting their bags. He looks incredibly uncomfortable, and Kate is immediately apprehensive.

“Hi.” He says.

“Hey...” Kate says, suspicious. Clint clears his throat and looks anywhere but Kate’s face.

“So, I just wanted to make sure that uh, you know.” He pauses and looks at Kate meaningfully. Kate however, has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

“What.” She says blankly.

“Look…” Clint starts again, shifting. “I just want to make sure you’re being safe.”

“What the fuck!” Kate yelps, and Yelena glances over from the other end of the car, amused. “Are you trying to give me The Talk?”

“No, God no!” Clint exclaims, looking vaguely horrified. “No!” He lowers his voice a little. “No, I’m just trying to say… be careful with Yelena. She’s been through a lot, more than you know, and I just don’t want either of you getting hurt.”

“Aww Clint, you big old softie.” Kate exclaims, happily surprised. “You looooove us.”

Clint sighs and turns to walk back towards Yelena. Kate follows him, asking, “Why’d you have to phrase it like that though? Like, seriously, I nearly had a heart attack.”

He ignores her all the way until they check their bags in and it’s time to part ways.

“See ya around.” Kate says to him, surprised to find herself almost sad to be leaving. She never felt like that when she was at her mother’s house, it was just a place she always wanted to leave.

Clint pulls her into a very awkward bro-hug, they do the whole back slap thing too which leaves Kate in an uncontrollable fit of giggles. “Miss you already!” She calls over her shoulder as they walk into the security line, blowing him a kiss.

 

 

The plane ride is boring. As soon as they sit down, Yelena reclines her seat all the way back and slips on the complimentary sleep mask.

“It’s like, a three hour flight.” Kate grumbles. “You can sleep when we get home.”

Yelena obviously does not respond, seeing as she is asleep.

Kate puts on her headphones instead, and spends the next three hours watching some documentary about whales, desperately wishing she downloaded some episodes of Queer Eye or something.

 

 

Before she knows it, they’re home. Kate unlocks the door, mildly surprised when she sees that her apartment isn’t a total wreck anymore. She had arranged to get it cleaned up, but for some reason, she kind of expected it to still be charred from the fire, the windows smashed open and all her stuff in disarray.

But it’s tidy, tidier than it usually is when she’s living there. Yelena heads straight for the couch and flops down on it, face first.

“Uh,” Kate says. “No shoes on the couch?”

Yelena lifts her head up just enough so Kate can see her rolling her eyes, and kicks her shoes off. “Where is my bedroom?”

Ah. Kate hadn’t exactly thought of that yet. Her apartment had one bedroom located in a mostly open loft area, it was basically just a slightly modified studio apartment.

“The sofa bed is yours!” Kate says. “It’s great. Super comfortable. I sleep on the sofa bed, usually, because it’s way better than mine. So. You’ll like it.”

“How do I open it?” Yelena asks, leaning over one edge of the sofa, poking at the side.

Kate laughs nervously. “Uh, you can’t. I lied. I need to buy a sofa bed, but I was totally planning on doing that anyways.”

Yelena raises an eyebrow. “You invite me into your home and you don’t even have a place for me to sleep?” She asks. “Very rude of you, Kate Bishop.”

 

So, they go shopping. Yelena glares suspiciously at every shop attendant that tries to help them, but it’s a successful trip, mostly. They buy a sofa bed which is almost as good as the one Kate described and she has it delivered over to her apartment. Yelena insists on playing a claw machine that she sees in the middle of the mall and loses each of the seven times she plays, getting increasingly more upset as the time goes on. Kate has to placate her by buying her a little elephant plushie from a corner store on the way home and very pointedly tells her that it was cheaper to get the elephant than it was to play the claw machine seven times. Yelena retorts with, “Aren’t you the heiress to a multimillion empire?” Kate, wisely, keeps her mouth shut.

When they get back to her apartment, they set up the privacy curtains that they bought around the sofa area. Once it’s done, she’s down a living room, but up an almost-friend, so she thinks it’s a more than okay trade off.

 

 

#

They transition into living together fairly quickly. Yelena is a little messier than Kate is comfortable with, but eventually, she gets used to seeing random socks all over the place.

(Like seriously, all over the place. She went to make a smoothie one morning and there was a candy cane patterned sock right there, next to her blender. Insane.)

She’s sure Yelena isn’t too pleased with the way she wakes up at daybreak everyday to go on her morning runs. Yelena sleeps much later than she does and makes her displeasure known whenever Kate moves around the kitchen a little too loudly in the morning. Despite all that though, they grow accustomed to one another.

The thing is, it’s been three weeks and. They haven’t had sex.

It’s not just that, it’s also that Yelena kind of drew in upon herself as soon as they got to the apartment, and they hardly spoke, the extent of their interactions being Yelena asking where something was or Kate asking if Yelena wanted something from the bakery. Kate would be at her classes for most of the day, and Yelena would be doing whatever it is that she does, and they’d just… coexist. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it wasn’t what Kate expected, exactly.

It’s a Saturday morning, a rare morning where Yelena and Kate are awake at the same time, and they’re sitting at the table eating cereal together. The sunlight is soft, peeking through the half-open blinds, and Yelena has her radio playing quietly in the background. Her radio is an old green 90’s transistor radio which she pulled out of her backpack once they moved in and placed on the table next to her bed. It’s almost always on, and it used to get on Kate’s nerves, but the background noise has become almost comforting to her.

The scene is almost achingly domestic, and Kate can’t take it anymore. “Why aren’t we having sex?” She blurts out. Yelena looks up from her Froot Loops. “Was waiting for you to bring it up.” Yelena says like the answer is obvious and it wasn’t the only thing Kate could think about for the last three weeks, and shrugs.

“This is a two way thing, you know.” Kate says a little sourly. Then, suddenly unsure, she adds on, “Right?”

Yelena rolls her eyes and pushes her bowl to the middle of the table. “Come here.”

And it’s a little bit embarrassing that that’s all it takes for Kate to rush over to Yelena, but she can’t really bring herself to care, not when the blonde is so close, smelling like the same body wash that Kate uses and looking like she knows she has complete control over Kate. She sits on Yelena’s lap, carefully positioning herself so that she’s straddling her, her knees on either side of her lap. Yelena snakes her hands around her neck and pulls her into a kiss that tastes like artificial fruit flavors and mornings, and Kate never wants it to end. She threads her hands in Yelena’s hair and pulls softly, opening her mouth. They exchange lazy, openmouthed kisses on the kitchen chair for a while until Yelena gets impatient and tugs at Kate’s shirt. She takes it off obligingly, but pauses.

“I haven’t made you come yet.” She says breathlessly as Yelena peppers her chest with kisses. “Wait, wait let me-” She pushes Yelena back, trailing her hand down her side.

“You don’t have to.” Yelena says, sounding unsure. Kate looks at her, confused. “You do realize that sex is a multiple people activity, right? I want to give you as much as I get.”

Yelena nods hesitantly and allows Kate to slide off her lap. “I’m not gonna do this if you’re not a hundred percent okay with it.” She says softly, holding her hand out. Yelena takes it, her carefully constructed, careless expression cracking for a second as she smiles back. “You may have your wicked way with me, Kate Bishop.” She replies.

Kate lets her grin grow wider as she pulls Yelena backwards to the sofa bed. The sheets are rumpled and the blankets unfolded, and it smells so overwhelmingly of Yelena that Kate can’t breathe for a second, overcome with pure, unadulterated want. She pulls Yelena onto the bed and they both tumble down, their limbs tangled together, Kate on top. She takes her time undressing Yelena. She kisses her way down to the v of the blonde’s shirt and bites softly at the flesh there, sucking and licking until she feels a hickey form under her mouth. Yelena writhes beneath her, breathing heavily as Kate slowly eases her shirt off. She reaches around Kate’s back and unclasps her bra, licking her lips nervously as it comes loose. She throws it to the side, not taking her eyes off of Kate.

Kate returns the favor, taking Yelena’s bra off too and she sits back, admiring the woman in front of her. “You’re beautiful.” She breathes, sliding off the bed so she can kneel by Yelena’s feet. She unbuttons her jeans and pulls them off, revealing a pair of nondescript blue cotton panties. She leans forward and mouths at the fabric and Yelena moans above her, her hands coming to rest in Kate’s hair. Kate teases her a little longer, licking and sucking at the fabric, until Yelena tugs at Kate’s hair. She moans into Yelena’s thigh, the dull ache in her scalp sending white hot bolts of heat to her stomach.

“Is this another one of your quirks” Yelena asks curiously. She tugs at Kate’s hair again and Kate has to bite back a moan, but her face betrays her. Yelena looks delighted. “Does pain turn you on, Kate Bishop?”

You turn me on, Kate wants to answer. But instead, she chooses to answer with something else. “Not pain, exactly.” Kate muses, nuzzling into Yelena’s thigh. She drops an absentminded kiss there. “It’s mostly just someone else being in control, I guess.” It’s not untrue, but it’s not the whole truth. Kate suspects that she enjoys it when it’s Yelena in particular doing the controlling, but she’s not going to examine that feeling at all. Definitely no deeper underlying reason there.

Yelena considers her carefully. “You like being told what to do.”

“I guess.” Her fingertips skim the edge of Yelena’s underwear, dipping inside once they reach her hips. “I don’t really mind, though. I’d rather just… go with the flow.” She pushes the underwear down Yelena’s legs and discards them in one fluid motion. Yelena takes a sharp breath, her legs twitching as if she means to cover herself.

“You’re beautiful.” Kate repeats, pressing a firm kiss to her belly. She kisses her way down, stopping once she gets to Yelena’s opening, glancing up at her. She’s sitting up, leaning back on her elbows, her head thrown back, trembling. She sees Kate watching her and raises an eyebrow, asks: “What are you waiting for?”

Kate leans back in and presses her mouth to Yelena’s folds, letting her tongue sneak inside her. She laps at her entrance slowly, with barely any pressure and Yelena groans, gripping Kate’s hair tighter and grinding against her mouth.

Yes.” Yelena moans, rolling her hips again as Kate finds her clit and begins to lick it. “Fuck, harder Kate.” Kate obliges and begins to suck on it, bringing her fingers up to rub against her folds. She continues licking and sucking at Yelena’s clit as she slowly pushes two fingers inside her. Yelena moans, gripping her hair tighter and tighter. Kate begins to finger her faster, her tongue moving at the same speed as her fingers. Above her, Yelena lets out a string of swears, grinding against Kate’s face even harder. Kate gets lost in the sensation, her thoughts going fuzzy as Yelena’s heat envelops her, the blonde becoming the only thing she can think about, it’s as if she’s the only thing Kate has ever known, ever will know.

Yelena grips Kate’s shoulder, yanking her back to the present. “I’m going to come.” She moans, and Kate speeds up until Yelena is crying out in pleasure, seizing up and then all of a sudden, going limp against her.

“Fuck.” The blonde breathes, falling backwards onto her back.

Kate rests her cheek on Yelena’s thigh, and the blonde absentmindedly combs her fingers through her hair, still lying down. “You called me Kate.” She belatedly realizes. Yelena hums but says nothing. They stay like that a little longer, Yelena petting her head and Kate tracing little hearts on the inside of Yelena’s thigh.

“That was my first time.” Yelena says after a bit. Kate’s finger stalls, her heart beginning to race.

“What?”

Yelena turns a delicate shade of red and drums her free hand on the bed. “It was my first time with someone else.”

Kate stands up and Yelena’s hand drops to her side. “What do you mean?”

“What do you think I mean?” Yelena says, rolling her eyes. “I was in the Red Room for the majority of my life, and when I escaped I was a little too busy trying to save the other enslaved Widows to get laid. And it wasn’t really my first priority when I did get some time to rest.” She pauses, looking at Kate with an unreadable expression. “And then I died. So, yes, this was my first time.”

“So, the thing at Rockefeller, that was the first time you…”

“Yeah.” Yelena shrugs nonchalantly.

Kate doesn’t know what to say. She doesn’t really know what to think either, she hasn’t ever taken anyone’s virginity before, not without giving her own. But then, she also recognizes that virginity is a social construct and all that fun stuff, but still, she didn’t know it was Yelena’s first time with someone. As if Yelena can sense what she’s feeling, she grabs Kate’s hand and says, “It’s really not that big of a deal.”

“Not that big of a deal?” Kate exclaims. “If I had known, I could’ve at least made it better for you.”

To her surprise, Yelena laughs. “Stop fishing for compliments, Kate Bishop. You did perfectly fine.”

“Fishing for - I’m not fishing for compliments!” Kate protests. “And I did way more than fine.” That makes Yelena laugh even harder, and she pulls Kate back onto her lap. “You’re so fucking infuriating.” Kate informs her, before capturing Yelena’s bottom lip into her own mouth. Yelena smiles into the kiss. “Your turn now?”

Kate quickly forgets about her indignation after that, because Yelena may be slightly less experienced than her, but damn, her tongue can do some seriously impressive things.

 

 

After that, it’s like a dam breaks loose. They have like, a lot of sex. Most of the time now, Kate falls asleep with Yelena on the sofa bed, but she’s always up before Yelena, never missing a day of exercise. Once, Kate comes home from college and Yelena is at the door, welcoming her with a flurry of kisses. They don’t even make it to the bed, they end up with their hands shoved down each other's pants with Kate pressed up against the wall, Yelena’s mouth on her neck. Another time, Yelena is awake when she gets back from her morning run, and she accosts Kate before she can step into the shower, sucking a hickey into her still sweaty neck.

“That’s so gross.” Kate breathes, her nose wrinkling, but her complaints quickly cease when Yelena drops to her knees right there in the bathroom. But mostly, it’s Kate who initiates. It usually just takes a meaningful glance or an intentionally placed hand, and they’re suddenly all over each other.

One day, Yelena visits Kate at college. She’s just about to go into her first class when she sees Yelena leaning against the wall by the door, holding a thermos.

“Hey roomie.” Kate greets, surprised. “You forgot your coffee.” Yelena tells her, holding up the thermos. Kate did forget her coffee, and she was cursing herself all the way to class. She was running late too, so she would’ve had to wait until after to get a cup. Overcome with a sudden burst of affection for the blonde, she beams at her and plants a quick kiss on her cheek. “You’re a lifesaver.”

Yelena turns pink, and Kate is 99% sure it isn’t from the cold.

They begin to exchange sporadic texts. Kate texts her whenever she’s bored in class, sending her memes or just moaning about the boring professors. Yelena usually responds with crisp, straight to the point messages, but slowly, she warms up to the whole ‘texting for fun’ thing. In the middle of class, the same day Yelena brings her coffee, Kate pulls out her phone to text her.

Kate: hey
Yelena: Hello. You should be focusing on class.
Kate: yes ma'am
Yelena: Save that for when we’re in bed. I’m not going to fuck you if you flunk out of college.

After that, Kate can’t concentrate at all for the remainder of the day, and as soon as her classes are over, she rushes home to Yelena who welcomes her with open arms (and spread legs).

At one point, Kate realizes that they fuck more than they actually talk to each other, and for some reason, that upsets her.

You’re being stupid, she tells herself. This is what you wanted, a no-strings attached, friends with benefits situation.

But was it really? She wasn’t the one that brought up the term ‘friends with benefits’, it was Yelena. What else could their relationship be though? It’s not like she wanted Yelena to be her… girlfriend or something. The second she has that thought, she shoves it into the deepest corner of her mind and locks it up. Nothing good ever comes out of exploring those kinds of thoughts.

Instead of dwelling on that, she decides to text Clint.

Kate: hey
Clint: How’s it going?
Clint: Laura and the kids says hi.
Kate: its going ok college is good stuff is good
Kate: hi laura and the kids
Clint: How is Yelena?
Kate: 😏
Clint: Delete my number immediately.

Unfortunately, texting Clint is the best thing that happens to her all day. The rest of her day goes horribly, she’s late to her first class because she gets stuck in traffic, and her favorite breakfast place is closed for the day. She forgets her bag in her last class and only remembers when she’s halfway home, and she has to turn back.

When she’s leaving the classroom for the second time, she runs into Alia, a tall, dark haired girl that sits next to her in one of her classes. They’ve gone out for lunch a few times together, Kate likes her well enough. They get to talking and eventually, Kate invites her back home for dinner. She shoots a quick text to Yelena while they’re in the car, letting her know that she’s bringing someone home with her.

Yelena greets them at the apartment, all smiles and witty jokes. Kate breathes a secret sigh of relief, she didn’t know how bringing other people around would go. She likes Yelena a lot, truly, but sometimes she was a bit… rude. Or maybe that was just a Kate-specific thing. She watches this weird, alien version of Yelena offer to get Alia a drink and make a joke about their kitchen layout.

“Your roommate is so cool.” Alia whispers to Kate when they walk to the corner of the apartment which now acts as a pseudo living room, the old couch and an armchair making a little triangle with the TV. Kate nods, a strange, tight feeling in her chest. “She is.”

Yelena comes into the living room and hands them their drinks. Then, she perches on the armrest of the chair Alia’s sitting on, instead of sitting next to Kate on the sofa which would’ve made way more sense. She scowls into her drink as Yelena laughs at something Alia says, laughing hard enough to have to grab the back of the chair to steady herself. It wasn’t even that funny, Kate thinks sourly. And then, to make matters worse, Yelena leaves her arm around the headrest, and Kate feels positively sick at how domestic she and Alia look.

Kate tunes out the rest of the conversation, sullenly nursing her drink and giving monosyllabic answers whenever she’s addressed. She doesn’t know why she’s being so contrary. It’s probably just that she’s not used to sharing Yelena with other people, she’s gotten so used to having her all to herself. Maybe it’s healthy then, that they’re spending time with other people, and that Yelena is getting along with Alia so well.

So why does her chest hurt everytime she looks at Yelena and Alia getting along way better than she and Kate ever have?

She sighs, swirling around her half-empty glass. She can’t even blame her stupid thoughts on alcohol, they’re just drinking tea. Suddenly, she desperately wishes she had something a bit stronger. A whole lot stronger. God, she’s acting like an idiot.

When they migrate back to the kitchen to eat, Kate makes sure to sit on Yelena’s side. She feels much better, much more sure of herself and she involves herself in the conversation again. They talk about their classes and their plans for the future, and Kate can relax a little. But then, Yelena says something that makes Alia laugh, and suddenly, those two are the only ones in the room again, their topic of conversation derailing and turning into something Kate has nothing of value to add to.

By the end of the night, Kate is so frustrated that she’s one step away from kicking Alia out. Technically, her friend has done nothing wrong, but looking at her makes Kate increasingly irritated. While she and Yelena continue their conversation about Eastern European politics, Kate amuses herself with envisioning the different ways she could have Alia “accidentally” come into contact with one of her trick arrows. Finally (finally!!!) around 12 a.m, Alia stands up and says, “It’s pretty late, I should get going.”

“Oh, so soon?” Kate asks happily, ushering her over to the door. Yelena shoots her a strange look.

“This was really fun! We should do this again soon.” Alia says, oblivious. She leans against the door jamb, looking right at Yelena. It seriously irks Kate. “We should.” Yelena replies, smiling back. Kate internally rolls her eyes and resists the urge to reach for her bow which is hidden in the closet right next to her. Instead, without thinking, she steps forward and slips her arm around Yelena’s waist, pulling the blonde close to her. Yelena turns towards her and cocks her head ever so slightly, questioning. Kate lightly shrugs back, resting her head on Yelena’s shoulder.

Alia takes in their position and smiles slowly. “You guys make a cute couple.”

Kate smiles too, very smug. “Thanks.” She says before Yelena can say anything. “I’ll see you in class!”

She shuts the door as soon as Alia disappears down the corner and turns to face a very angry looking Yelena.

“What was that?” She asks, her eyebrows narrowed.

“What was what?” Kate replies nervously. This is the closest to being mad she’s ever seen Yelena. Even when they were beating the shit out of each other, Yelena wasn’t angry, but now…

“You let her think we are together.” Yelena says. Kate shrugs, exasperated. “Does it really matter?”

“Does it really matter?” Yelena repeats, incredulous. “Yes, it matters, because we are not together! We fuck sometimes, that’s it. That’s what you wanted.”

“That’s what you wanted!” Kate says angrily. “Don’t pin that on me.”

“So what do you want then, huh?” Yelena asks, a hard edge to her voice. Kate rolls her eyes and turns to walk away, ignoring the lump in her throat that’s quickly forming. “Whatever.”

“No, don’t you walk away Kate Bishop!” Yelena yells after her. “Why are you acting like this?”

Kate stomps up the stairs and throws herself into her bed, seething quietly. And then, she realizes that it’s been weeks since she slept in her own bed. Blinking away sudden tears, she ducks under the covers to block out the noise of Yelena moving around downstairs and desperately wishes that she had never invited Alia home in the first place. Her tears start to fall then, and she angrily wipes at them.

Fuck, she thinks. I’m in love with Yelena Belova.

Chapter Text

Kate wakes up disoriented. Instead of the yellow glow of the partitions set up around Yelena’s bed that she’s used to seeing when she wakes up, it’s the dark green walls surrounding her bed that she’s greeted by. She groans and lets her eyes fall shut again, embarrassment washing over her as the events of last night come back to her. God, what the hell was she doing, acting like some sort of jealous girlfriend?

“Dumbass.” She whispers, burying her head in her pillow. The pillow smells like her detergent which also smells like Yelena. She breathes in the scent and feels such a strong rush of affection it makes her lightheaded. Sighing, she wonders how hard it would be to suffocate herself with it.

After a few minutes, Kate drags herself out of bed and slips her glasses on. She gets ready quietly, trying not to remind Yelena she exists. By the time she’s done brushing her teeth, she can hear her roommate walking around. Nervously, she makes her way down the stairs.

Yelena is in the kitchen, clad in one of Kate’s shirts and a pair of pajama bottoms, facing away from her and fixing herself a bowl of cereal. Heart pounding, Kate walks up to her and slips her hands around her waist, resting her cheek against Yelena’s hair. “I’m sorry.” She says quietly. “Please don’t be mad at me.”

Yelena is quiet, focusing on pouring milk into her bowl, but she tilts her head back just a little bit, leaning into Kate. Eventually, she says, “You are an idiot.”

Kate nearly sobs with relief. “I am.” She quickly agrees. Yelena sighs and turns around so that they’re standing toe to toe, Kate’s arms still around Yelena’s waist. “I’m not mad at you.” Yelena says, looking somewhere to Kate’s left. “I am just… confused.” She purses her lips slightly and considers Kate, eyes searching. “Why did you get so upset?”

“I…” Kate trails off, unsure of how to respond. She could just say it, say that she wasn’t satisfied with their relationship, that she wanted to get to know everything about Yelena, to be able to cuddle with her on the sofa and show her off to all her friends.

Now that she’s accepted the fact that she’s into Yelena as more than just a friend, it’s so easy to picture a future with her. She can already see them curled up in her bed, pretending to watch something on her TV but sneaking glances at each other instead, holding hands under the covers. She can see them going back to Clint’s for Easter together, can picture the incessant teasing they’ll have to endure, but together. It would be so easy for her to just tell Yelena that she wants

“I guess I was just tired.” Kate says instead. “I had a shitty day yesterday. I didn’t mean to take it out on you guys so weirdly.” She swallows through the lump in her throat, her stomach swirling with anxiety. She should’ve said something. She watches Yelena’s eyebrows crease; she knows that Yelena knows she’s lying. But she doesn’t call Kate out on it, simply nods and says, “Okay.” and gently extricates herself from Kate’s arms. They eat their breakfast together in complete silence, and even though they aren’t fighting anymore, Kate feels like she’s missed something big and messed everything up for good.

 

 

#

On the four month anniversary of Yelena moving in, all Kate wants to do is get blackout drunk. In the days following Alia’s visit, the apartment had fallen into an uneasy calm. They didn’t argue, they still had sex, but that was the extent of their interactions. It was like the first few days after Yelena had moved in, they simply existed in each other’s orbits. Kate was too nervous to reach out this time, and Yelena seemed to just… not care.

Kate had plans to go out with a few friends from her Business Management class to celebrate the end of a particularly difficult group project. Usually, she doesn’t tell Yelena if she’s going to be out later than usual, but that morning, she stops at the sofa where Yelena is sprawled out, doing something on her phone.

“What’s up?” Kate asks awkwardly. It’s the first thing she’s said to Yelena in a few days, unless you count ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘fuck Yelena, harder’ or ‘it’s your turn to wash the fork’.

“Talking to my dad.” Yelena says without looking up. Kate blinks, startled. Her dad… of course Yelena had parents, but Kate never really thought about that. She just always assumed Yelena was just floating around, untethered to anyone or anything, but if she was talking to her dad, they must have some kind of relationship.

“Oh.” Kate says. “Tell him I say hi.”

Yelena looks at her strangely. “Alright.” She types something into her phone and then turns it to face Kate, showing her a text message typed in Russian.

“I can’t read Russian.” Kate says.

“That’s embarrassing.” Yelena replies, pulling her phone back.

Kate rocks backwards and forwards on the balls of her feet, chewing on the inside of her cheek. “I’m going out with some friends tonight.” She tells Yelena. The blonde hmms in response, not looking up again. “Do you want to come?” Kate blurts out, watching surprise dawn on Yelena’s face. She cheers internally. She has emotions!!!

“You want to introduce me to your friends, Kate Bishop?” Yelena asks teasingly, but Kate is already having several heart attacks because yeah, that’s exactly what she wants to do, introduce Yelena to all her friends, but as her girlfriend, not just her roommate who she occasionally has sex with.

Kate just laughs nervously and shrugs. “Is that a yes?”

Yelena shrugs too. “I will think about it. Need to check my schedule.”

Kate snorts. She doesn’t really know what Yelena does all day, aside from eating all her food and making fun of her interior design choices (“It is so depressing, Kate Bishop, it looks like you live inside a boiler room. Open a window, add some decorations, and for God’s sake, please buy another fork.”).

“Okay.”

Yelena watches her. “Anything else?” Kate shakes her head. “No. Nope.”

“Bye, then.”

Kate nods and walks backwards towards the door. “Come out with us tonight.” Kate says, bumping into a chair. She moves around it and continues walking backwards, pointing at Yelena and then at her own head. “Think about it! And say yes. Please.”

Yelena rolls her eyes. “You’re getting late.”

“Say yes!” Kate calls back to her, opening the door and leaving.

 

 

When Kate is eating lunch, she gets a single text from Yelena.

Yelena: Is this event black tie.

Grinning, she wipes her palms on her jeans and unlocks her phone to reply.

Kate: nope we’re just going to this bar near campus very not black tie
Yelena: I am free tonight.
Yelena: Don’t make me regret this Kate Bishop. I am a very busy woman.
Kate: THANK U BEST FRIEND!!!!!!!!! this is going to be so fun i swear ur going to love my friends they r all very cool and they will love u too hopefully u should wear ur leather jacket u look so hot in that
Yelena: Your lack of punctuation makes me feel so ill, I’m not reading that.
Kate: loser
Kate: k gtg i have class SEE U TONIGHT!!! i’ll be back at like 5 ish we leave at 8
Yelena: Please buy another fork on your way back.

 

 

#

When Kate gets back home, Yelena is already dressed. She’s wearing a cropped yellow top and high waisted black cargo pants (and her leather jacket, Kate tries not to feel too smug about that) and she looks delicious.

“Is this ‘very not black tie’?” Yelena asks, gesturing to her outfit. Kate doesn’t answer. She drops her bag and reaches Yelena in two long strides, grabbing her by the neck and pulling her into a rough kiss, all teeth and tongue. Yelena’s hands automatically grip her waist, pulling her backwards to the sofa, Kate landing on Yelena’s lap. She nips at Kate’s lip and pulls back, frowning.

“You messed up my makeup.” She grumbles. It’s true - her lipstick is smeared, and Kate can taste it on her own lips. She smiles a little to herself, and Yelena grumbles even more, but she grins too.

“Can I do your makeup?”

And that’s how they end up with Yelena straddling Kate who is lying back on the sofa, doing her eyeliner. Yelena is focused on making sure her eyeliner is perfect, Kate is focused on Yelena’s already perfect face. She traces her laugh lines with her eyes, wanting to smooth out the little crease between her eyebrows with her lips. She wants to take the time to memorize every part of Yelena’s face, wants Yelena to give her that time.

“Stay still.” Yelena chides, gripping her face by the chin. Kate sighs internally and does as Yelena says, going still and looking straight into her eyes. It isn’t the worst predicament.

By the time her makeup is done, it’s almost six p.m. Yelena disappears into the bathroom to redo her own makeup, and Kate, having no concept of privacy, follows her in. She leans against the sink counter next to Yelena, who rolls her eyes when she sees Kate come in.

“What do you want, Kate Bishop?” She asks tiredly.

“Mm.. nothing.” Kate replies. She hugs Yelena from behind and watches their reflection in the mirror: Yelena, re-applying her lipstick and Kate, wrapped around her like a koala. Like an unusually long backpack. Kate giggles at the thought and Yelena watches her, amused. The other girl’s hair is done up in a ponytail, revealing her long, long neck that’s basically begging to be marked up, so really, it’s only natural for Kate to tilt her head down and start lightly sucking at a patch of skin on her neck.

“Tch, you’ll mess your makeup up!” Yelena exclaims, exasperated, but making no move to stop her.

“I can just put it back on.” Kate mumbles into her neck.

“My neck is Chanel Rouge Coco red now.” Yelena says dryly, observing her neck in the mirror. Kate’s dark red lipstick is rubbing off on Yelena’s neck. “You can wipe it off later.” Kate tells her, biting at her earlobe.

Yelena sighs, resigned, and goes back to putting her own lipstick on. Kate leans back and admires the hickey that’s forming on Yelena’s neck. Yelena, however, is less pleased.

“We’re going out!” She cries. “I can’t meet your friends for the first time like this!” She glares at Kate’s reflection in the mirror. “You are so awful.”

Kate rests her chin on Yelena’s shoulder and giggles. “Are you nervous about meeting my friends, Yelly Belly?”

“What the hell is a Yelly Belly?” Yelena asks, affronted, but Kate notices that she never denies being nervous. She presses a quick kiss to the blonde’s cheek.

“They’re going to love you.” She says.

“Obviously.” Yelena replies.

Kate watched her slide her rings onto her fingers, noticing that her weapon-rings are part of them.

“You know we’re most probably not going to get attacked when we go out right?” Kate asks. “We’re going to Fallen Angel. That’s like, one of the safest bars in the city, there’s like an insane amount of security there.”

“Doesn’t hurt to be prepared.” Yelena shrugs, running her fingers over the rings on her other hand. Kate wishes those fingers were somewhere else, specifically inside her. She voices this particular thought to Yelena who quirks an eyebrow and says, “I’ve already ruined my makeup once, I’m not doing it again.”

“But you don’t need to ruin your makeup! I just need your fingers.” Kate whines, pressing her hips forward against Yelena. “Please, I need it so bad.” She kisses a trail down from Yelena’s ear to the base of her neck, whispering soft pleas between each kiss. Yelena watches her do this in the mirror, mouth falling open slightly.

“Fine.” She relents, her voice a little breathy. She walks them towards Kate’s bed, which is a first, but also convenient because it’s the closest to the bathroom.

“Get on the bed.” Yelena tells Kate, and she complies immediately, pushing some of her old clothes off of it. Yelena watches her get comfortable while slowly taking her rings off and placing them on the bedside table. Kate almost asks her to leave them on, but remembers that some of them are actually lethal weapons, and decides to keep her mouth shut. Yelena finally gets on the bed and goes straight for her pants, not wasting any time.

“I am not going to kiss you.” Yelena informs her as she pulls Kate’s pants down to her thighs. “My makeup is immaculate right now and I am not going to mess it up again.”

Kate nods, more focused on Yelena’s hand making its way inside her underwear. Her finger circles Kate’s clit, making her whimper, her ab muscles flexing.

“You’re so needy.” Yelena says, lazily rubbing Kate. “You couldn’t even wait until I finished getting ready. You are not really behaving like a good girl.”

The immediate surge of arousal she feels after that startles her. She knows Yelena just said that as a throwaway comment, but her body definitely liked that. Yelena seems to notice that, and her hand momentarily stills. And then, she slowly presses two fingers inside Kate. “You are a good girl, aren’t you?”

“I am…” Kate moans, bucking up into Yelena’s fingers. “Fuck, I’m good I swear, Yelena please…”

“Please what?” Yelena asks, still slowly pushing her fingers in.

“Faster, please.” Kate pleads, and is rewarded with Yelena speeding up, thrusting her fingers even harder into the wet, enveloping heat. Kate cries out, grinding up against Yelena. “Fuck, fuck, fuck…”

Yelena scissors her fingers inside Kate and she moans loud and broken, so so close…

“Come for me, Kate.” Yelena whispers, bending her fingers. Kate comes with a sob, gripping Yelena’s thigh.

“Fuck.” She whispers again, dropping her hands on Yelena’s shoulders. “That was good.”

“That doesn’t mean much, coming from you.” Yelena snorts, already getting up. “A light breeze will get you going.”

“Hey!” Kate protests, flopping back lazily. She feels a bone-deep satisfaction, making her feel incredibly languid. RIght now, all she wants to do is cozy up with Yelena and maybe put some trashy reality TV on for background noise, but mainly focus on the other girl. Yelena however, has other plans.

“It’s an hour until eight.” She tells Kate, as if she doesn't know how to read the time. Kate rolls her eyes at her. “You better be ready by then.” Yelena continues. She lifts up a dirty shirt from the ground with her pinky and tosses it at her. “My god, Kate Bishop. Even my mother did not live like this. And she used to share living space with pigs. Your room is quite literally messier than a pig sty.”

Huh. A mother that lived with pigs. Kate files away that piece of information in the Random Facts About Yelena section of her brain. Some of the other occupants of that section are (but not limited to):
1. When Yelena gets sleepy, her accent gets even stronger, and sometimes she starts speaking in Russian without realizing it.
2. Her hair is so soft, like it’s so soft.
3. She unironically enjoys the worst shows in the whole world. Kate has caught her mumbling the dialogues along with the characters in Glee several times.
4. Big boobs.
5. If something isn’t diabetes inducingly sweet, she doesn’t want it.
6. When she’s nervous, she drums her fingers in some sort of pattern, Kate thinks it might be Morse Code or something.
7. She’s only called Kate by her first name one time.

“Yes Ma’am.” Kate mock salutes, tossing the shirt aside to where it will inevitably be forgotten again. Yelena raises an eyebrow at her. “Fifty nine minutes.” She reminds her, turning to leave. “I’ll be downstairs.”

God, Kate is so whipped.

 

 

By 8 p.m, Yelena is a nervous wreck. She’s pacing back and forth in the kitchen, ignoring Kate. Kate, on the other hand, is endlessly amused. She’s leaning back on a kitchen chair, watching Yelena work herself up.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this anxious.” Kate says delightedly. “It’s so fresh. I kinda like it.”

Yelena pauses, her combat boot clad foot furiously tapping against the linoleum tiles. “You’re making fun of me.” She says. Something about her tone makes Kate frown, feeling suddenly guilty.

“No, no I’m not!” Kate rushes to say, straightening up. “I’m just like… joking. Like we usually do?” She grins sheepishly at Yelena, but the blonde still doesn’t meet her eyes. Kate swallows nervously and stands up, cautiously walking over to her.

“I’m sorry if I crossed a line.” She says hesitantly. Yelena nods, a single jerky nod, and bites her lip. “No harm done, Kate Bishop.”

Kate doesn’t sit back down. “Are you like, genuinely nervous? About meeting my friends?” She asks. Yelena shrugs, turning away from her.

“No. Yes. I…” She trails off into a frustrated sigh. She tugs lightly at the end of her hair, her other hand coming to a rest on the counter, fingers tapping. “Sometimes, talking to new people is difficult. Mostly, when there aren’t any set… what should I say… parameters? Parameters of conversation.” Yelena falls silent, thinking.

Kate stands as still as she can, unwilling to interrupt Yelena even by accident. She’s never opened up about anything really, and Kate doesn’t want to disturb the sudden flow she has going.

“Like, when I am on a mission, it is simple. I have to apprehend my subject, say whatever I need to say to get it over with, it’s all just ‘Drop the weapon or I shoot you’ and then boom! I shoot anyways. And then they are dead, so that is all done. But talking to people in social situations, I’ve never done that before. What do I even talk about? The weather?” Yelena curls her nose, looking over at Kate. “I’m being silly, I know.”

Kate sighs, a single breath filled with so much affection for the blonde that her chest aches with it, she physically can’t keep it in any longer or she’ll explode.

“You’re not being silly.” Kate says softly. “You don’t have to worry, I’ll start the conversations, you can just jump in whenever you feel like it. I don’t want you to feel like you need to do anything that will make you uncomfortable.” Kate pauses, struck suddenly with an idea. “If you ever get uncomfortable or tired or something tonight, you can just like, say a certain word and we can leave, no questions asked.”

“Like a safeword?” Yelena asks, amused.

“Yeah! Like… ravioli.”

Yelena quirks an eyebrow and Kate grins. “Yeah?”

The blonde rolls her eyes, but nods. “Whatever.”

Kate presses a chaste kiss to her lips. “Ready to go?” Yelena takes a deep breath and nods. “Yup. Let’s go meet your friends.”

 

 

The inside of the club is pretty chill, and Kate sees the surprise on Yelena’s face.

“This isn’t what I was expecting.” Yelena says, watching the group of guys yelling the lyrics to Halo on the karaoke stage.

“It’s a karaoke bar, everyone literally just gets drunk and sings.” Kate laughs. “Ooh, I see them!” She grabs Yelena’s hand and drags her over to the table where her friends are sitting.

“Kate!” Hannah, one of her friends, cheers when she sees them. “And Kate’s super hot friend!”

Yelena smirks and says, “Yes, that is my government name actually. Kate’s super hot friend.”

Everyone laughs and Yelena looks immensely pleased. Kate flushes with happiness.

“Everyone, this is Yelena, my roommate slash best friend in the entire world. Yelena, this is Hannah, Mirian, Austin, and Hunter.” She rattles off their names, pointing at each one of her friends. Everyone calls greetings at each other, and they settle down into their seats.

“Do you go to NYU too?” Austin asks Yelena.

“I’m taking a break.” Yelena says lightly. “College isn’t my thing.”

Austin nods understandingly. “Yeah, I get that.” They say. “I’m going to be taking a break from college after this semester to focus on my start-up.” Yelena expresses her interest in this, and they both break off into their own separate conversation, and Kate turns towards her other friends.

“She’s hot.” Mirian mouths at Kate, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively. Kate grins and tells her to shut up, but she not-so-secretly agrees very very much.

“How did you two meet?” Hunter asks, and Kate has absolutely no idea how to respond to that because, well. How exactly would she explain the whole situation?

”She broke into my apartment to tell me that she was going to kill my new BFF who also happened to be an Avenger, and then we had sex in the middle of a shootout while I was actively trying to prevent her from killing said Avenger BFF and then I asked her to move in.”

That would be met with a completely normal reaction, obviously.

“Through a mutual friend.” Kate says instead, and it’s not a complete lie. She doesn’t really think Clint would consider Yelena a friend though, and vice versa, but she digresses.

Her friends accept that explanation, thankfully, and they all turn towards Austin and Yelena, joining their conversation.

 

 

“Are you having fun?” Kate asks Yelena a while later, once they’re all a few drinks in. Yelena is slightly flushed, and her limbs are all loose and relaxed. “I’m having a great time, Kate Bishop.” She says happily. “Your friends are so nice. And this seat is so smooth.” She runs her hands up and down the suede booth she’s lounging on, grinning. “We should get one of these in our apartment.”

Kate leans over and feels the material too, groaning out loud at how satisfying it felt. “Oh, I love that.” She mumbles, moving her hand back and forth. “Yeah, we need this.”

They continue to rub the booth for a full five minutes like a couple of weird-ass idiots until Hunter asks them what the hell they’re doing, sending the entire group into an uncontrollable fit of giggles.

“Hey,” Yelena whispers to Kate a few minutes later. “Let’s dance.”

“You dance?” Kate asks, surprised. Yelena shrugs. “I do some ballet.” She looks away, eyes defocusing a little as if lost in a memory, but she looks at Kate again and smiles. “It’s not like dancing in a club takes much talent.”

So they dance. It’s a little awkward at first, trying to figure out how to stand together, and the music is loud around them, limiting their communication to visual only, but they end up with Yelena’s hands on Kate’s waist, Kate with her arms looped around Yelena’s neck. Yelena pulls Kate right up against her, and Kate is glad the club is dark enough that Yelena probably can’t see her face reddening. She’s not a prude, it’s just… being around Yelena is enough to make her feel things that she definitely shouldn’t be feeling in public.

Kate is so focused on Yelena’s body in front of her, she doesn’t even know what music is playing. She just moves her hips to the beat, nearly choking when Yelena’s hands slide down, fingers grazing her waistband. She presses her face to Kate’s neck, her mouth open and wet on her skin. They sway to the music like this for some time, Kate’s fingernails digging into Yelena’s back and Yelena nuzzling into her neck, dropping little kisses every now and then. Kate drags her nails down Yelena’s back and her hips jerk, almost involuntarily.

“Fuck.” Kate whispers, burning with desire. “Yelena, let’s go home.”

“Let’s.” Yelena agrees quickly. They hastily say goodbye to Kate’s friends and all but run out the club. It’s cold outside, and Yelena wraps her scarf around Kate’s neck after berating her for a full five minutes for not dressing appropriately for the weather.

“Listen,” Kate says. “I could dress hot, or I could dress comfortable.” Yelena rolls her eyes and mutters something that sounds like “You always look hot”. Kate flushes and trips over literal air, causing Yelena to burst into a fit of loud laughter. And, honestly? Kate would bust her ass again without a second of hesitation if that meant she could hear Yelena laugh like that again.

As soon as they get home, Kate flops down on Yelena’s sofa bed and kicks off her heels. “I’m so fucking thirsty.” She mumbles into a pillow. She can hear Yelena taking her shoes off and moving around. She hears water running, and a second later, Yelena appears at her side with a glass. “Drink.” She says.

Kate rolls over onto her back, gratefully taking the glass. “God, I love you.” She groans, taking a huge gulp of water.

Yelena doesn’t say anything. Kate finishes the glass and turns to look at the blonde, who’s looking back at her with a carefully blank expression. Kate replays her words in her head and a thrill of panic shoots through her, and she quickly opens her mouth to explain her words away. “I mean, like, I love you as a friend, like in a friend way.” She laughs nervously. “Like, obviously. Why would I… what other way would I mean that in?” She forces out another laugh.

“Obviously.” Yelena echoes faintly. She points at the glass. “Are you done?”

Kate nods and Yelena takes it and walks back to the kitchen. Kate watches her, feeling like she’s said something horribly wrong, but unsure what.

Yelena comes back and sits on the bed. “I’m tired.” She says shortly, and looks expectantly at Kate, as if waiting for her to get out of her bed. “Oh.” Kate says, surprised. “I thought…”

Yelena leans forward and grabs her blanket from the foot of the bed. “Good night.” She says, laying down and turning away from Kate. Kate awkwardly slides out of bed, watching Yelena squirm into a comfortable position. “Right. Good night.”

 

 

A week later, it’s already Easter, which, what the fuck? It feels like it’s only been a month since Yelena moved in, but it’s already April, and Kate and Yelena still have a weird kind of energy between them, not really mad at each other, but not completely comfortable with each other either. Kate is, for lack of better words, fucking tired of it. Living in this weird purgatory with Yelena is seriously stressing her out, but mostly, it makes her sad. She misses her best friend.

A few hours before they’re supposed to leave for the airport, Yelena comes up to the loft, leaning against the railing on the last step. She knocks on the wall, unnecessarily, because Kate can clearly see her.

“What’s up?” She asks. Yelena looks nervous, which makes Kate nervous.

“I uh,” Yelena looks at a point somewhere by Kate’s shoulder, “I don’t think I’ll be coming with you to Barton’s house.”

Kate’s heart drops, but more than the immediate devastation she feels, she’s mad.

“Yes you fucking are?” She says forcefully, snapping her suitcase shut and storming over to Yelena. “Look, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but I. Don’t. Care.” She growls, jabbing her finger into Yelena’s chest. “You’re skipping out on this trip over my dead body.”

Yelena looks incredibly surprised at Kate’s sudden bout of anger, and she backs up on her step a little. “Okay?” She says.

“Okay.” Kate says firmly. “Go pack, we’re leaving soon.”

“Okay.” Yelena repeats.

 

 

Clint’s home is a breath of fresh air. Kate can feel pounds of pressure being lifted from her shoulders the second they get out of the rental and breath in the crisp, country air. She runs through the front yard, yelling out a greeting when Clint opens the door.

“Hey best friend!” She cheers, launching herself at him and enveloping him in a huge hug. “Did you miss me?”

Clint steps back and makes a face, holding the door open so they can come inside. “Not at all.” He mutters. “I was dreading today, actually. I have been drinking heavily all morning just thinking about seeing you guys again.”

 

Laura rolls her eyes behind his back. “He’s so lying.” She tells them. “He was beside himself when you left.”

“Lies and slander!” Clint exclaims, hurrying away. Kate and Laura laugh, and Yelena hovers behind them, holding their bags. Kate follows Clint into the kitchen, but pauses by the wall, listening to what Laura is saying.

“... so glad you came.” She’s saying.

“Thank you for having me.” Yelena’s voice is quiet and it wrenches Kate’s heart. She doesn’t know what’s going through her head right now, but more than anything, Kate wants her to know that she’s wanted here, that she belongs. She quietly makes her way to the kitchen where Clint is sitting at the breakfast bar, looking at something on his phone.

“Hey.” She says. Clint nods at her, pocketing his phone. “So.” He says. “How’s your semester going?”

Kate groans dramatically, throwing her hands up in the air and slumps down on a chair. “If I wanted to talk about college I’d go to my mom’s house.” She pauses, remembering that her mom does not in fact live in their house anymore. Because she is in prison. Damn. She looks up at Clint and stretches her mouth into an insincere smile. “College is going wonderful. I love school.”

Clint just grunts and pats her head like a dog. “Only a few months left, you got this.” Kate smiles for real, hiding it in her hair. “That was very nice of you, Clint.”

Clint, of course, pretends not to hear. “How’s it going with Yelena?” He asks instead, and Kate immediately wishes they could go back to talking about college.

“I need to tell you something.” She says seriously. “And you need to promise to keep it a secret.”

Clint draws an X over his heart. “Scout’s honor.”

Kate glances towards the foyer where she can hear Yelena and Laura still talking, and tiptoes closer to Clint. “I kind of like Yelena.” She leans back, looking meaningfully at Clint. He stares back, blank.

“Like, in a romantic way.” She says, raising her eyebrows at him. His expression doesn’t change. “Are your hearing aids in?” She asks, ducking her head around to check. Clint jerks back, narrowing his eyes at her. “Yes they are, unfortunately.”

“So..? Thoughts?”

Clint shrugs. “Do you expect me to be surprised?” He asks. Kate’s mouth drops open and she crosses her arms over her chest. “Yes? I’m,” she drops her voice, “in love with Natasha Romanoff’s sister, why aren’t you surprised?”

“Because it’s kind of obvious.” Clint snorts. “You wear your heart on your sleeve, it’s not a bad thing.”

Kate chews her bottom lip, thinking. “Do you think she’s noticed, then?” She asks nervously. “Because I don’t think she’s into me. Like at all. I dunno.”

Clint’s face does something weird, like he’s trying to either hold back a laugh or start crying. “I don’t know much about Yelena,” he begins, “but I do know that both of you are equally clueless. It’s incredibly frustrating to watch.”

Kate frowns. “What’s that supposed to mean?” But Clint just shrugs and goes back to his phone. “Go say hi to Lila.” He mumbles absentmindedly. “She’s been dying to see you.”

 

Kate leaves the kitchen, her mind swirling with various thoughts, all of them centered around a certain blonde woman. She sighs loudly, dragging herself up the stairs. Being in love sucks, she decides. She'd much rather just get a cat.

Chapter Text

Kate is a lot of things, but a coward isn’t one of them.

Okay, that might not be completely true. Sure, she can march into a fight completely unprepared, no weapons or anything without feeling even the slightest slimmer of fear, but telling Yelena how she feels? She’d rather eat glass. Lots of glass.

But the next morning she wakes up feeling oddly brave, filled with an optimism so strong it makes her feel sort of sick. She knows what she has to do, and she doesn’t care how she does it, as long as it gets done.

Vaguely, she wonders if bravery is just stupidity that only leads to positive results by chance.

Speedrunning her morning routine, she barely gets her toothbrush out of her mouth before she shoves her feet into a pair of socks and runs downstairs.

Where the entire Barton household, plus Yelena, are sitting around the table, breakfast halfway done.

“She lives.” Clint says. Kate makes a face at him and slides into the only empty seat, in between Laura and Yelena. Clint passes her the stack of pancakes and she takes two into her plate, hardly focusing on what she’s doing, hyper aware of Yelena’s presence next to her. She hasn’t looked at her completely yet, but she knows what the blonde looks like in the morning, courtesy of the several mornings they’ve spent curled up together in Yelena’s sofa bed. Her hair is always down and slightly untidy, and her face is more relaxed, eyes less guarded, almost innocent in her half asleep state.

Kate aches with a fondness for Yelena, so deep it almost hurts.

“I need to talk to you later.” She tells Yelena quietly. She finishes the rest of her food in silence, hyper aware of Yelena’s eyes on her for the rest of the meal.

 

 

Unfortunately, later really is later. The Barton’s apparently have an Easter egg hunt tradition that they forced Kate and Yelena to join in on. Yelena grumbles and whines all the way through choosing a basket and taking pictures in matching bunny ear headbands, but Kate can tell she secretly enjoys the whole ordeal.

They run around the Barton’s massive property picking up eggs and filling their baskets while Clint and Laura sit on their picnic blanket, drinking coffee and giggling together like teenagers. Yelena has Nate on her shoulders and he squeals with laughter every time she swoops down to pick up an egg, making airplane noises at him.

“Ooh, I see a big one!” She exclaims, running forward, placing her hands over Nate’s legs to keep him steady. “Me too!” Nate whoops, nearly jumping off of her shoulders in excitement. Kate and Lila watch Yelena pretend to drop Nate and hoist him up at the last minute, her Black Widow training allowing her to play all sorts of tricks with Nate.

“She’s really good with him.” Lila observes. Kate smiles fondly, unable to take her eyes off of Yelena and Nate laughing together. “Yeah.” She agrees. “She is.”

Lila shifts her gaze to Kate. “You’re in love with her.”

Kate whips her head around to stare at Lila. “Clint told you?”

“You told my dad?” Lila makes a face at her. “No, it’s like, really obvious. You literally have hearts shooting out of your eyeballs.”

It’s Kate’s turn to make a face at that. “No I literally do not.” She retorts. “Sure, I might have some feelings for Yelena, but it’s not like I’m in love with her. I mean, yeah I am in love with her, but that doesn’t mean I’m in love with her. Although I am. But not in like a… you know.”

Lila stares blankly at her. “I thought old people were supposed to be like, not a mess.”

Kate gasps, mock offended. “I am not old! You’re old!”

“I retract my previous statement, you’re literally two.”

“Oh, I agree.” A smooth accented voice cuts in. Kate glares at Yelena’s smirking face. She’s got grass stains on her shirt and mud streaked through her hair, and Kate has never wanted her more than she does at this moment.

She thinks it would be slightly inappropriate to have her wicked way with the blonde right there on the grass in front of all the Bartons, so instead she says, “You look adorable with those ears.” She reaches out and flicks one of the grey and pink bunny ears sitting lopsided on her head. Yelena stares at her, her face slightly pink.

“Oh.” She says, visibly taken off guard. “So do you.”

Kate smiles at her and Yelena smiles back, uncertain.

And then Nate is there, shaking Yelena’s arm and saying, “Let’s go ‘Lena, I wanna get more eggs!”

Yelena and Nate run off together again and Kate releases a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding.

“Dude.” Lila says. “Heart. Eyes.”

“I wasn’t.” Kate mumbles with no conviction. Lila watches her, curious. “I wasn’t talking about you.”

 

 

A few hours later, they’ve all cleaned themselves up and are sitting around the Barton’s picnic table, finishing up their lunch.

“I don’t think the kids have had this much fun doing an Easter egg hunt in ages.” Laura whispers to Kate. “They’d almost grown out of it. You guys should make this a yearly thing, we would really love that.”

Kate grins. “I’d love that. I’m sure Yelena would too.”

They take their plates inside and clear up the table. Everyone sort of migrates back to their own individual little spaces in the house, and Kate and Yelena are finally alone together, in the kitchen. The second they both realize this, they lock eyes. Yelena looks away quickly, examining her bitten down nails. Kate takes a step closer to her.

“Follow me.” She says quietly.

She walks up to the guest room, not waiting to see if Yelena is following her. She sits on the bed, holding her breath until she hears Yelena’s barely discernible footsteps. She appears by the doorway and leans against the frame, looking at Kate.

“Yes?”

“Come here.” Kate says. Yelena arches an eyebrow.

“Please?” Kate adds. Yelena regards her for another second, her gaze searching. She seems to have found whatever she was looking for because she makes her way towards Kate, slow and sure. She pauses right in front of Kate, looking down at her. Kate’s face is level with Yelena’s stomach, she leans in and nuzzles into the dip of her bellybutton. Yelena pushes her back slightly and lifts her chin up with her pointer finger and thumb.

“Yelena,” Kate whimpers, “please…”

Yelena leans down and closes the gap between their mouths, kissing her rough and hard. Kate moans into the kiss, grabbing Yelena’s hips to level herself. Yelena pushes her down into the bed and hovers over her, pressing kisses all over her jaw and neck.

“We can’t have sex.” Yelena murmurs in between kisses. “Not right now, everyone is here.”

“Okay.” Kate agrees helplessly. Yelena presses their mouths together again and Kate opens her mouth, allowing Yelena to push her tongue in. They kiss messy, all tongue and teeth with Yelena’s thigh rubbing between her legs, her holding Kate’s hands above her head.

“Fuck Yelena…” Kate moans, wriggling around trying to get a little more friction from Yelena’s thigh. It’s like a light switch for Yelena and she draws back quickly, breathing hard. Kate whines at the loss, reaching out for her. “Come baaaaack.”

“No sex.” Yelena reminds Kate, but she sounds less certain.

“That’s a stupid rule.” Kate grumbles. “Who even came up with that?”

“You did.” Yelena deadpans. “Last time we were here.”

Kate sighs. “Yeah, well now I’m horny.” She explains patiently. “So come here and fuck me.”

Yelena leans forward and presses a quick kiss to her nose and Kate nearly melts. “No sex.” She repeats.

Kate groans and rolls over burying her face in her pillow. “You suck.” She says, her voice muffled. She can feel Yelena’s gaze on her back.

“This morning, you said you wanted to talk?”

Kate freezes, face still squashed into her pillow. All the braveness she felt this morning suddenly evaporates and the thought of having to tell Yelena about her stupid crush suddenly feels like the most daunting thing in the whole universe because she’s right there, standing right in front of her all gorgeous and waiting, and she could be Kate’s.

Yelena could be hers.

Kate rolls over and looks at Yelena, who’s looking down at her, expectant.

She swallows.

“So, here’s the thing.” She starts off. “I like, don’t have the greatest track record with relationships. My first real relationship was in high school with this guy, who used to be my best friend, and we started dating because we were like, bored and teenagers and stuff, y’know? But turns out, I’m a raging lesbian and I just hadn’t admitted it to myself, and that relationship ended horribly and I lost my best friend and a boyfriend. And then in my freshman year of college, I met this girl, this older girl and I really thought she was it, but we ended up going way too fast and fucking it up, and I couldn’t really handle being in like a serious, long term relationship, I couldn’t do it. For her. And that’s it, I guess. I don’t really have an extensive dating history. Unless you count Bumble hookups, but those were like, one night stands. So they don’t count.”

Yelena blinks. “Why are you telling me this?” She asks cautiously.

“Um, cause we’re friends?” Kate says automatically. Yelena’s expression drops ever so slightly, and Kate nearly misses it, but it’s enough for her to quickly take it back. “I mean, no. We’re not friends. I mean, we are. You’re awesome, and you’re like my best friend ever. But I,” she takes a breath and looks resolutely at Yelena’s knees, “I kinda like. You know?”

Yelena’s expression is carefully blank. “I don’t know, Kate Bishop. I don’t know what you’re trying to say.”

Kate swallows again. She stands up and walks over to Yelena, leaving a careful distance between them.

“I guess I was telling you because I wanted you to know exactly what you’d be getting into. Um.” She fiddles with the sleeve of her shirt. “I would like to date you.” Kate says quickly, just throwing it out there. “Like, properly. If you want, of course. The whole thing, you know. Dinner and a movie, maybe. Flowers and chocolate, no sex until after the second date. Which doesn’t apply to us, obviously. But yeah.”

Yelena is quiet. Kate chews on the inside of her cheek, trying not to stare directly at her and analyze every quirk her face makes and try to figure out what it means, what she’s thinking.

“Uh, it’d be cool if you like, said something.” Kate forces a laugh.

Yelena bites her lip. “I need to tell you something, Kate.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Yelena turns away and begins to pace nervously, her hands clasped. Kate watches her, getting more and more nervous the longer Yelena paces.

“I’m not a virgin.” She blurts out suddenly.

Kate laughs nervously. “I know? We’ve been having like, a lot of sex, obviously you’re not a virgin.”

Yelena shakes her head, brows furrowed in irritation. “No, no. I mean, when we first met. Before that. I lied.”

Kate very carefully keeps any emotion down. She has no idea how she feels about this new piece of information. It’s not like it changes anything, not like it matters, but… why?

“Oh.” She says, debating whether to ask or not. Yelena saves her from too much internal conflict and begins her explanation.

“I was under the control of this man, his name was Dreykov.” She begins, her eyes clouding over. “I do not know how long exactly, but it was a very long time. There were many of us, he had us do all sorts of things, we would carry out missions for him, hurt people, kill them, and… sometimes he would,” Yelena pauses and takes a shuddering breath. Kate’s stomach is churning, she thinks she knows what’s coming but she hopes to God it isn’t what she thinks. She takes Yelena’s hand and strokes her thumb over her knuckles, nodding encouragingly.

“Sometimes he would pick some Widows.” Yelena whispers. “Only the ones he liked best, the ones that performed the best. He would treat them - us, he would treat us so kindly. A nice hot bath, wonderful, rich food, a soft bed. Then he, once it was all over, he would,” Yelena breaks off into a sob, slumping forward into Kate. Kate immediately wraps her arms around her and guides her to the bed, positioning both of them so that they’re sitting next to each other, Yelena holding on to her and leaning into her side.

“I’m sorry I lied.” She gasps through tears, burying her face in Kate’s side. “Sorry I’m crying, this is so…”

Kate swallows past the lump in her throat and shakes her head firmly. “No, you… it’s okay, Yelena, God, of course it’s okay. There’s nothing to apologize for.” She runs hand that Yelena isn’t leaning onto through her blonde hair, trying to be as soothing as possible. “It’s okay, baby. Let it all out.”

Yelena makes a noise, and a moment later, Kate realizes it's a laugh. “What?” She asks, grinning nervously.

“You called me baby.” Yelena says, almost accusing. She looks up at Kate and grins a little. Kate flushes and looks away, incredibly embarrassed. “Sorry.” She mumbles.

“No, I liked it.” Yelena says quickly. She’s as red as Kate, and it deeply reassures her.

“Oh.” She says stupidly. “Okay.”

“That’s a yes by the way, Kate Bishop.” Yelena says. “Just in case you were too busy crying to figure it out, I’m spelling it out for you. I’ll do the whole flowers and chocolates and no sex until after the second date thing with you, if you would still have me.” She smirks at Kate.

Kate gapes back at her. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Yelena confirms.

“What do you mean though, if you’ll still have me?” Kate asks. Yelena drops her gaze, looking slightly uncomfortable.

“I mean, I am damaged goods. I completely understand if you wouldn't want that.”

Kate takes a deep breath and cradles Yelena’s face with her palms.

“Yelena.” She says softly, fond. “You are not damaged goods, do you understand me?”

Yelena blinks rapidly, her eyes watery again.

“Do you understand?” Kate asks again, fierce. Yelena nods quickly, a few stray tears making their way to the bridge of her nose and falling down to the ground.

“That… man, he may have done whatever, it doesn’t matter. He’s an asshole and he’s gone. He doesn’t matter. We’re the only thing that matters, okay? Just you and I. As far as I’m concerned, he didn’t exist at all. He was just an unfortunate blip on your radar that had to be dealt with, but he’s gone now, he’s irrelevant. Now, now it’s just us, Yelena.”

Yelena nods again, even more tears making their way down her face.

“I hate you for making me cry now of all times.” She sniffles. “When I thought about this moment, it didn’t involve me in hysterics.” She leans back, crossing her hands in her lap.

Kate giggles. “You thought about this moment?”

Yelena shrugs, playing with her fingers. “Of course I did. I’ve been waiting for you to say that for so long.”

Kate gapes at her. “What do you mean?” She exclaims, almost offended. “How long? Why didn’t you say something?”

“Probably the same reason you didn’t.” Yelena laughs. “I am prone to human emotions like anxiety too. It is very inconvenient.”

Kate continues staring at her, openmouthed. “How long?” She repeats, completely shaken. She feels almost insane, like she’s going crazy. Yelena too…

“Honestly, since the moment I first saw you. I- oh!”

The rest of her sentence is cut off by Kate shoving Yelena backwards and climbing onto her lap, kissing her fiercely.

“God,” she breathes, pressing their foreheads together, “you can’t just say that.”

Yelena grins, openmouthed and relaxed. “You wait ‘till we get home, Kate Bishop. You have no idea what I’m going to do.”

“God.” Kate repeats faintly. “You’re going to kill me.”

Yelena fake pouts. “Oh, I hope not. It would suck for you to die before you could have sex with your girlfriend for the first time.”

It’s Kate’s turn to grin goofily at the other woman. “Girlfriend?” She asks. Yelena nods, ducking her head to press a quick kiss to Kate’s collarbone. “Girlfriend.”

Kate giggles. “Well, I don’t put out until the third date, sorry.”

Yelena rolls her eyes. “We already live together, we’re doing everything backwards anyways.”

“You make a fair point. Let’s have sex right now.”

“I can literally hear Clint playing Just Dance.” Yelena says disgustedly. “How are you still horny?”

“I just have a really hot girlfriend.” Kate grins. Yelena flicks her nose and Kate sputters, offended.

“This is abuse!”

“Oh, shut up.”

 

 

A few days later, when they’re loading their bags into their rental, Clint pulls Kate aside.

“Listen.” He says. “I’m doing this completely against my will, but Lila seems to think…” he sighs, trailing off. “She seems to think I’m the guy for the job.”

Kate watches him expectantly. “... Okay?”

Clint sighs heavily again. “So, if you wanna, you know, ask a young lady out, there’s few things you have to keep in mind.”

Kate bites her lip to keep herself from laughing. “Oh.”

“You better have it planned out, first of all. Make sure you know exactly what you want to say, so it seems thoughtful and not rushed. You wanna make her feel special, not just an afterthought. Don’t do anything flashy for the first date or you won’t be able to top it for the second. And-” He pauses, narrowing his eyes at Kate who’s struggling to keep a straight face.

“You son of a bitch.” He says calmly. “You already told her.”

Kate bursts into uncontrollable laughter, leaning over and holding her stomach, staggering backwards like she’s drunk. “Oh my god, Clint, I’m so sorry, I just…” she breaks off into another bout of laughter, nearly wheezing. “Solid advice, dude, I’m serious.”

Clint stands impassively, glaring at her. “How long were you going to let me go on like that?”

Kate hiccups, trying to calm down. “I dunno, as long as you were going to talk?”

Clint sighs and turns away. “You’re not invited back!” He yells when he reaches the door, passing by Laura who’s coming out. She gives him an unimpressed look and walks over to Kate. “That’s a lie, you’re coming here for Nate’s birthday party, no excuses.”

Kate laughs, nodding in agreement. “Of course.”

“And you bring your girlfriend along too.”

“Oh come on.” Clint yells from the porch. “How does everyone except me know?”

Laura ignores him. “Drive safe, fly safe.” She says, giving her a hug. She walks over to the car where Yelena is talking to Nate.

Kate says her goodbyes to Lila and Cooper, and waves goodbye to Clint who grudgingly waves back.

“Love you guys!” Kate calls out to the Bartons once she’s seated in the car, window rolled all the way down. “I’ll see you at graduation!”

 

 

On the plane ride home, Kate and Yelena hold hands. They get back to the apartment and Kate pauses at the sofa bed.

“Can we get rid of this?” She asks.

“Please.” Yelena replies almost immediately. They smile at each other, and all of a sudden, Kate just knows. She knows that this is it, this is her person.

“What?” Yelena asks after Kate stares at her for a little too long. “Do I have something on my face?”

“No.” Kate says fondly, placing a quick kiss to her forehead. “Come on, let's take a nap. I’m tired as fuck.”

Yelena raises an eyebrow. “I recall you saying as soon as we get to the apartment…”

Kate laughs, shaking her head. “Nap first.” She pulls Yelena with her to the stairs, smiling at her. “We’ve got all the time in the world.”