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With the lights out, it's less dangerous

Chapter Text

Kate watches the snowfall, beautiful white flakes disappearing once they hit the pavement. The hum over the city rejuvenates again after the holiday break; couples and families strolling through the park – they look happy together. Kate sighs and runs her hand over Lucky’s fur as they stop at a crosswalk, waiting to join the rush across to her flat. Christmas at the Barton’s was lovely until she packed up to leave last night; all the awful things her mother has done and her lack of anybody in the city who actually knows her. She contemplates going back to college and trying to be normal but she’s not sure she can do that after getting tossed around like a ragdoll by a freak and then expecting everything to be fine now that her mom’s in jail after revealing to have been working for the said freak.

A scream pulls her out of her head, and she turns quickly - trying to identify the source. Her breathing picks up and she clenches her hands, stepping towards the screams. Her heart hammers in her chest as she feels around her pocket for her Swiss army knife, she picked up from Clint’s barn. Her fingers close over the shaft, ready to take down the threat. She sees a little girl running from her dad playfully; being picked up and swung around his shoulders before hugging her tightly to his chest and Kate’s chest constricts, breath coming out in choppy puffs as she tries to collect herself. It’s okay, you’re okay. She repeats over and over until Lucky’s warm tongue licks at her clenched fist. Kate kneels down to rub her hand behind his ears, “Thanks, buddy. Let’s go home.”

Home is a disaster. Wet and mouldy; even the air smells cold. Kate sighs and leans against the door, letting Lucky’s leash go. Kate presses her fingers into her forehead, trying to push away the stress and fatigue consuming her. She contemplates leaving but there’s nowhere for her to go. Her mom’s tower is completely out of the question – she is repulsed by her mom and the life of lies she has weaved Kate into. The more she thinks about it, the angrier she becomes; she pushes to her feet and starts cleaning. 

She manages to dry her surfaces and scrub the ash off her furniture before collapsing on her couch with a pizza and beer. The TV is the only light in the room and Kate wonders if it would be easier to sit in the dark and just accept it. Her phone chimes with a message from Clint: Glad to hear you’ve made it home. Take it easy, you’ve been through a lot. We’re here for you, Kate.

Kate frowns at the message, wondering how Clint knows she’s made it home. She’s about to text a vague reply when the sound of a click followed by zipping breaches her thoughts. She watches a silhouette pause outside her window before sliding it open, blonde hair shines and Kate hears her unmistakable deep voice bitch about Kate’s lack of security. She turns to face Kate, stopping just short of descending the stairs, “Hi, Kate Bishop. Nice to see your apartment is still very easy to access.” Kate crosses her arms and stares up at the ceiling, she isn’t in the mood for Yelena’s snide comments.

“What do you want, Yelena?” Yelena feigns a shocked expression and presses her hand to her chest, “No need to be so defensive, Kate Bishop. I am merely dropping by for that drink. You invited me.”

Kate’s eyebrows furrow as she watches Yelena descend the stairs to stand in front of her. Yelena’s hands are shoved in a yellow trench coat, tilting her head to stare at Kate – eyes flicking over her body quickly. Kate’s hand rubs at her eyes, “It was a suggestion. I’m not really in the mood, Yelena.”

Yelena’s eyebrows lift and she steps closer to Kate, hand lifting out of her pocket to push her bangs out of her face. “What happened to you?” There’s something etched over Yelena’s face and Kate wants to call it concern but she doesn’t have enough energy to dissect it. Kate sighs and sinks onto the couch, messaging her fingers over her temple.

“You want the short version? Beat up a bunch of Track Suit Mafia Bros; destroyed the big tree; confronted my mom; got the shit kicked out of me by kingpin; my mom ran him over; got the shit kicked out of me again before setting off a chain reaction and blowing that freak sky high only to send my mom to prison and come back to a trashed apartment.” Kate spreads her hands out to gesture to her apartment and grabs a beer before cracking it open and taking a gulp. She hears Yelena moving around her apartment but she’s not sure she can bring herself to care as she tosses her head back on the couch, closing her eyes.

She hears the coffee table creek in front of her and she knows Yelena’s there but doesn’t understand why. “Look, Yelena – I have nothing to offer you tonight. I’m so fucking tired and I just….” She trails off, unsure of what to say next.

Her eyes snap open when Yelena’s fingers cover hers momentarily, prying the beer out of her hand to sit on the table next to her. Kate sighs and tries to contain her disbelief, “Why are you here, Yelena?”

“As I said, I wanted that drink with you but if you’re going to be such a buzz kill I might as well – “

Kate sits up straighter and levels her gave with Yelena’s. “Just go. Yelena. Go. Please” She’s desperate to breathe again and lose herself in shitty beer. Yelena’s presence is too complicated, and she smells so good and she’s so annoying right now and Kate can’t process it all. 

Yelena shows no signs of leaving, tucking her hair behind an ear. She leans slightly closer, and Kate can see her intricate piercings shine against the TV’s light, “What do you need, Kate Bishop?”

Kate huffs and mirrors Yelena’s position, leaning forward on her elbows, “I need you to go, so I can continue my high-calorie intake and fall asleep. Hopefully tomorrow, I can do it all again.”

“You are angry, Kate. It is okay. I want to help – “Kate shakes her head and laughs, dripping in cynicism, “You can’t help me, Yelena. I want to crawl out of my skin. I hate it here.”

“You are not listening to me. What do you need?” She asks again, eyes skirting over Kate’s face until they settle on her lips and Kate hopes she is starting to understand Yelena because the air between them is taught and suffocating.

Kate’s eyes flicker to Yelena’s lips before seeing Yelena’s slight nod, “I want to forget, Yelena.” Yelena pushes forward and kisses her, Kate’s hands already grasping her elbows to bring her into Kate’s lap. Yelena kisses her like she’s the last drink on earth, it’s consuming and very distracting – it works for Kate. Yelena’s hands undo her ponytail to tangle in her hair and tilt her head back against the couch, tongue sweeping along her lips until Kate’s meet hers and Kate sinks further into the couch – taking Yelena with her.

Yelena is everywhere. She’s warm and exact with her movements, each with a purpose and each with raw power. She pulls away to trail her lips over Kate’s jaw and down her neck, tongue circling on her pulse. Kate sighs and slips her fingers beneath Yelena’s skin-tight shirt, hands sliding all around her waist. Yelena releases Kate’s skin with a pop and sits back to pull her shirt over her head and pull Kate’s hands over her skin again.

Kate connects her lips to Yelena’s chest and traces her tongue down the centre of her chest, nipping at a breast. Yelena’s soft gasp, with her thumbs stroking either side of her jaw – encouraging her movements. Kate pulls back quickly to shrug her shirt and sports bra over her head, eyes catching Yelena’s momentarily before pressing her lips back against Yelena’s neck and reaching for her bra.

They both sigh at their skin pressing together and Kate angles Yelena back onto the couch, slotting herself between strong thighs. Yelena’s fingers tease Kate’s navel and button of her jeans while sucking on Kate’s bottom lip. Kate’s fingers brush against hers as she unbuttons her pants and pushes Yelena’s hand down, moaning at the contact.

Yelena’s fingers find her clit and Kate’s hips jerk, she holds herself up on an elbow next to Yelena’s head. “More,” she mutters into Yelena’s ear, “please, more.” She hopes Yelena understand her coded message: make me forget.

Yelena’s teeth close around Kate’s neck; Kate welcomes the pain and pushes her neck into Yelena’s mouth. She feels a hand pushing at the jeans on her hip and then Yelena’s hand returns and she slides two fingers into Kate, moving her wrist quickly given the tight constraint of her pants. Yelena’s thumb brushes her clit and Kate’s hips move on their own accord, helping Yelena find the rhythm she needs.

Kate’s breathing picks up turning into gasps and she moves her lips across Yelena’s neck and ear. A hand grasps her breast, squeezing and rolling the nipple intermittently. Yelena’s fingers curl and Kate is flushed, feeling the heat pulse through her body. It’s good and Yelena is so good, but Kate needs more…needs Yelena to be more…harsh. It’s almost like she could sense her thoughts; she pauses and removes her hand to rest it on her hip and Kate’s centre rests on Yelena’s thigh, sighing. “I told you I wouldn’t be good company.” Forehead falling to Yelena’s shoulder in defeat.

Yelena scratches her fingers down Kate’s back, lips pressed to her shoulder then the back of her ear, “What do you want, Kate?” Kate swallows and rubs her thumb along the outside of Yelena’s thigh. Trying to muck up the courage to explain her thoughts; her mom in prison flashes before her eyes and she thinks of all the people her mom has hurt over the years and how Kate thought she was good.

“I want it to hurt. I’m so…lost. I can’t even focus - even like this.” Yelena pulls sits up and pulls Kate up with her, “You are in pain already, Kate. I will not be the one to give you more physical reminders of what has happened. You don’t deserve that.” She frames Kate’s face in her hands, holding her gaze.

“I’m so numb, Yelena. I’ve never been this alone and it’s all her fault. I hate her so much and I hate me, too.” Yelena shakes her head, hoping to distract Kate from this spiral. She uses her mouth and pulls Kate into an intoxicating kiss while pushing Kate onto her back, pulling her pants and underwear off swiftly.

Yelena’s hands squeeze and tease Kate’s thighs and tits, her thumb brushes against her clit firmly. She circles the bud until it’s stiff and aching, her lips falling to her nipples to bite and suck. Kate arches into Yelena and groans, tangling her fingers into Yelena’s hair – pushing her south. Yelena sucks a bruise into Kate’s hip – lifting her head to appreciate the mark. She glances at Kate, whose eyes are hooded, and cheeks are flushed, “I’m going to eat you out now, Kate Bishop.”

Kate’s hips jump at the touch of Yelena’s tongue against her clit. She feels Yelena’s fingernails digging into her thighs, pushing her back down against the couch. Yelena is aggressive and she feels herself losing a sense of everything except for Yelena. Her moans transition into gasps, short and breathy, body moving in rhythm with Yelena’s tongue. A thumb circling her clit is all she needs before opening her mouth in a silent scream – body going tight, pushing into Yelena’s mouth.

Her chest heaves - brain foggy with only thoughts of Yelena. Kate pulls Yelena up to press their lips together, tasting herself on Yelena, groaning at the taste. Kate’s kisses are lazy and lack coordination, she tries to de-tangle her fingers from Yelena’s hair until Yelena hisses and removes her lips from Kate’s – reaching up to help her remove her hand. Kate’s thumb rubs over Yelena’s lips and her eyes are hooded as they trace Yelena’s face; trying to mesmerize every inch.

“How do you feel, Kate?” Yelena’s deep voice is soft, only for her ears as she brushes her thumbs over Kate’s temple.

“Sleepy. Glad I didn’t scare you off with my self-loathing.”

The skin around Yelena’s eyes crinkle as she smiles, “You are funny, Kate Bishop. You cannot scare me.”

“Mm. We’ll see about that.”

It’s quiet now and Kate doesn’t know what to do next. Should she ask Yelena to stay? Does Yelena even want to? Yelena coming here randomly, makes Kate feel a warmth she hasn’t felt since watching the Barton’s open their Christmas gifts nearly two weeks ago. Her internal battle must be apparent because Yelena’s eyes track hers until their lips meet in a soft exchange.

“Will you – um, would you like to – “Kate fumbles for her words, blaming her orgasm for the lack of brainpower. Yelena nods and tucks her chin on Kate’s chest, “Do not worry Kate Bishop. I understand your attempt at words.” She kisses her again and reaches down for a shirt, finding Kate’s graphic tee and throwing it over her shoulders. Kate frowns at the loss and watches Yelena go to the fridge for a bottle of water. Kate hears her move further in, sliding the boxes around her shelves, searching for something.

“You know, if you tell me what you’re looking for I could probably help you.” She says as she pushes up on the couch, pulling Yelena’s coat to her chest to try and ward off the shivers that run through her body. Yelena makes an excited noise and Kate looks over to see her dragging blankets and pillows over to the couch. She looks stupid cute, and Kate is confused – what does this mean?

Yelena hands her the water bottle while setting a pillow behind Kate’s back, removing her coat and providing a blanket instead. Yelena peels herself out of her pants, Kate’s shirt reaching mid-thigh and Kate’s eyes flicker over the scars on Yelena’s body. A question for another time, because Yelena’s slipping beneath the blanket and settling back on top of Kate. She presses her lips to Kate’s again before pressing languid kisses down her jaw and neck, tongue circling a nipple and pulling it into her mouth. Her fingers trail south and fall over her clit again, renewing the wetness there, building Kate up again. It’s soft and Kate is more than ready to accept Yelena’s distraction.

Her body heats up again, the chill forgotten, and Yelena’s fingers draw moans and quivers from Kate. Yelena’s lips leave her chest to suck Kate’s earlobe. Kate doesn’t register Yelena’s voice in her ear until she runs her tongue over the shell of her ear, “You’re so good, Kate. Your mother’s shortcomings are not your own. You do not need to atone for them.” Kate’s cheeks burn at Yelena’s careful words, turning her face away from Yelena – not ready to hear this.

“I want you to come. Give me another one.” Yelena’s voice does things to her, and those fingers are slick as they brush her clit in tight circles. Yelena’s encouraging voice is in her ear again, almost a whisper, “One more, Kate Bishop. I know you can.” Kate reaches a crescendo; wetness slipping out of her, coating Yelena’s hand, breath coming out in shallow pants. “That’s it. Such a good girl” Kate groans and hides her face into Yelena’s neck, hoping the heat of their bodies will disguise her reaction.

Yelena dips her fingers into her mouth and sneaks a glance at Kate beneath her lashes. Kate’s hand finds her jaw and angles their mouths together again, the air between them is heavy and Kate’s only thought is: Yelena.

Chapter Text

She’s thrown to the ground by ungodly force; the air slamming out of her chest as she gasps against the littered floor. Toy stuffing fills her mouth as she draws the gasps in, fingers clawing ahead – trying to get away. A heavy foot steps between her shoulders, flattening her to the floor; chest and jaw arching as she gasps for air. The voice above her looms, “This is the end of you, Kate Bishop. Send your mother my regards.”


Kate Bishop!

She jolts awake, clutching at her heart and covered in sweat. Her head spins as she searches the room for the threat. Hands settle on either side of her head, a blonde face swimming into vision – her lips are moving, and Kate tries to focus on reading them.

“Eyes on me, Kate Bishop. Eyes on me,” She repeats, and Kate’s panting is pushing blonde hair out of her counterpart’s eyes. Those eyes are focused but calm and Kate finds it comforting. “It’s okay. You’re okay. I’m here, Kate.” Yelena. Yelena’s hands frame her face as her thumbs rub against her jaw – she’s so close Kate can smell the cheap body wash from upstairs, pomegranate fusion, and Kate leans closer. Practically collapsing into her arms - pressing her forehead against Yelena’s.

“That’s it, Kate. Breath with me, eyes on me, you’ve got this.” She instructs softly, matching Kate’s breathing with her own. Yelena’s hand has trailed to her naked chest, spreading a palm over her diaphragm gently. Yelena’s presence is consuming but somehow calming, allowing Kate to settle.

Kate takes in her surroundings, eyes dropping to her lap as she sees the t-shirt Yelena wore last night is wet and so is her forehead, droplets fall onto Kate’s cheeks. She smells so good, and Kate realizes she was just in the shower because her t-shirt is soaked down the back and her bare legs are slippery against Kate’s hips. Kate’s hand tangles in her shirt as she pushes their torses together, enveloping Yelena in a kiss that grounds Kate for a few moments.

Yelena’s thumb strokes her cheek, and they break away when Kate needs air again, “What happened, Kate?”

And just like that, she feels like she can’t breathe again, her eyes dart around her apartment. Sunlight draining into shine against her floors, Lucky flips on his back – clearly enjoying the sunbath. Yelena’s hand smooths across her chest to the nape of her neck, stroking the sweaty hair away gently. It pulls Kate back to her, and she isn’t sure she wants Yelena to know the details, “Just a bad dream. I was watching a scary movie last night – “

Yelena’s shake of her head effectively cuts Kate off, “No. That was not a movie, Kate. You were calling out for help – screaming ‘Kingpin’. This is who hurt you, yes?”

Kate’s eyes burn with shame, embarrassment, rage, and sadness. She’s not sure she can say the words, so she just nods, and Yelena wraps her in a hug. Hands wrap around her shoulder blades while Kate’s tangle more fiercely in the borrowed t-shirt. Kate feels a faint press of Yelena’s lips against her temple before she’s pulling away and pulling Kate to her feet. She grabs a blanket from the couch and wraps it around her body, leading her through the apartment silently.

They climb the steps and Yelena steers her to the bathroom before planting her against the vanity, “There is water on the floor. I clean it. Be careful.” She reaches to turn off the water running in the shower stall.

Kate watches Yelena grab extra towels from the shelf and begin soaking up the water. Kate’s processing returns and she imagines Yelena in the shower, hearing Kate scream, and go to her without even turning the water off or drying herself off. Kate bites her lip as she watches Yelena draw the bath, finding some bubble bathes on the shelves – pouring in an egregious amount that makes Kate chuckle. Yelena turns to catch her smile, setting the bubble bath on the vanity and dumping the towels into the laundry hamper. She turns to slowly make her way to Kate, hands reaching out gently as if asking for permission – to close around the blanket and pull Kate closer. Her hand caresses Kate’s face once more and tries not to lean into it right away, the warmth of Yelena’s eyes eventually making its way. Yelena shuffles them to the tub, making the blanket fall away from Kate’s shoulders. Yelena presses a kiss to Kate’s jaw before stepping back to return to the bedroom.

Kate frowns at the loss of her anchor, suddenly aware of her nakedness and a chill runs over her body before stepping into the bath. The hot water made her sigh, head leaned back against the lip of the tub. Yelena’s presence makes Kate feel so good but doesn’t have the energy to explain things – to ask her to stay until Kate knows how to talk about feelings again. She bites her lip when she remembers how Yelena’s deep, accent thick voice sounded in her ear last night: Such a good girl. One more for me. Come for me. She shivers again in the water, and she knows it’s not because of the cold.

She tilts her head when she hears Yelena return to the doorway, carrying a new set of clothes. Kate’s hand hangs over the side of the tub, pushing bubbles onto the floor. Her eyes catch Yelena’s in the low dim over her bathroom and she motions her closer with her hand, tangling in the hem of the t-shirt when she comes closer and tugging gently, eyes lifting to watch Yelena’s eyebrows lift before crossing her arms and pulling her shirt up and off. Kate’s hand wraps around her thigh and squeezes before shifting forward in the tub allow Yelena to enter. The bubbles shift and push off the ends of the tub to accommodate Yelena’s body, her knees cradle Kate’s body, arms slipping around her stomach to pull her back against her. Kate sighs and settles her hands on Yelena’s thighs.

One of Yelena’s hands trail up her torso to push her hair aside and expose Kate’s neck. Yelena’s breath is warm on the nape of her neck, mouthing the freckles and blemishes on her shoulder before attaching her mouth to the bruise put on her pulse last night. It makes Kate’s whole body feel like jelly and she leans further back into Yelena, whose mouth pulls the skin between her teeth and soothes with her tongue. Kate’s head lolls back against her shoulder, eyes rolling shut in bliss.

The warmth and smells of the bath, coupled with Yelena’s firm presence is all Kate needs to feel the heat between her legs again. Her hand leaves Yelena’s thigh to cover the one resting below her breast, pushing it down between her legs. Yelena’s response is a nip on her collarbone, fingers starting a lazy circle. Kate sighs again and reaches up to grasp Yelena’s neck, pulling her into a lazy kiss, tongue tracing lips, finishing with teeth pulling on Yelena’s bottom lip. Yelena groans and pushes her fingers firmly against Kate, making her hips twitch and moan into Yelena’s mouth.

Yelena’s hand tangles with hers and her fingers are guided to her clit, “Play with yourself, I’ll do the rest.” Kate flushes and obliges, wondering what would happen if she didn’t. The question makes her moan as she circles her clit; Yelena’s hand has cupped a breast and her nipples are taught and arching to be touched. Yelena’s thumb and forefinger roll over nipples as her mouth connect to the place just beneath her jaw – teeth and tongue giving Kate the extra push she needs.

“Fuck, Yelena. I’m –, “ She’s interrupted by a harsh nip at her throat, making her mouth open to draw in a breath.

“Don’t. Draw it out, Kate. I know you can take it,” Kate’s hips and legs twitch at Yelena’s instructions “Your clit must be so hot and stiff by now, make it good for us, Kate.”

Us. Kate zeros in on that word as her fingers circle faster; one of Yelena’s hands trailing out of the water to splay around her throat – not applying significant pressure but it’s the feeling and thought of Yelena applying more pressure that makes her head spin and moans become breathy. A pinch to her nipple centres her and Kate’s breath comes in short pants.

“So close, Yelena. Please.” Yelena hums and strokes her thumb over Kate’s pulse, gently pushing on the bruise there making Kate arch into her hands.

“Ask me properly,” Her hand squeezes faintly and her fingers squeeze the other breast, untouched until now. “Ask me, Kate Bishop. I’ll give it to you; you know I will.” Kate knows she will too and whatever power Yelena has over her in these moments is offered through a physical connection she didn’t even know existed until hours ago.

Yelena’s lips are pressed to her ear, tongue peeking out to leave Kate quivering, “Let me take care of you, Kate.”

Kate lets out a high-pitched whine, giving Yelena goosebumps; she pants into the steamed-up bathroom. Her other hand reaches to cover Yelena’s on her breast and squeezes, “Can I come? Please Yelena, I – “

Yelena squeezes her throat again, breath coming in soft pants against Kate’s ear, “Yes, come for me.”

It’s electric, her body pulsing with satisfaction and her noises echo off the bathroom walls. Kate’s fingers slow to a barely-there-touch as her hips twitch from the aftershocks – collapsing against Yelena entirely. Yelena’s hands splay over her abdomen, squeezing Kate in a gentle hug as her lips soothe over the marks she left behind. Yelena’s fingers stroke her navel, and she feels a kiss pressed to her cheek.

“I may have overdone it with the bubbles.” Her voice is sexy and scratchy, and Kate will do anything to keep hearing it. Her eyes flutter open and she chuckles, seeing bubbles all over the floor around them. She lifts a hand watches the bubbles drop in soft clumps from her arms and Yelena pushes the bubbles away from her bicep to press a kiss there.

“I’m not complaining,” Kate says and turns her torso to press their lips together, kissing Yelena’s smile.

“No, you are definitely not. You’re welcome, by the way.”

Kate rolls her eyes and swings her legs around to circle Yelena’s hips, arms sliding over her shoulder. “You’re the one that offered.” She says with a flick of her eyebrows. Yelena’s hands splay over her back, brushing up and down soothingly.

“Mm. That I did, Kate Bishop. I do not regret it,” That’s good to know, Kate thinks to herself. “You are a formidable sexual companion.” Companion is an interesting choice but Kate’s not even sure if they’re friends, honestly.

“Do you have a checklist or is it all in here?” She traces her fingers over Yelena’s temple.

“I keep tabs. You are near the top of the list,” she says tugging Kate’s hand to her lips.

“There’s a list? Do you have time to keep tabs being a black widow assassin and all that jazz?”

Yelena’s eyes dart off over her shoulder at the mention of her profession; her hands fall from Kate’s body and she’s cold all of a sudden. She hadn’t realized Yelena was keeping her so warm. Kate clears her throat and detangles herself from Yelena, pushing to stand. Watching Yelena’s eyes flicker over her body before settling on the tiled floor and Kate feels the chill take over the room.

“I’m gonna shower,” Kate says, reaching for the knob – turning her back to Yelena. Offering her the out she may need. She steps into the shower and hears the tub draining. The bathroom door’s shutting before she can say anything else.

She doesn’t expect Yelena to be downstairs. Kate shouldn’t have brought up other…. sexual companions. She should have kept her mouth shut and stayed close to Yelena. She wrings her hands out as she tries to distract herself from the thought of Yelena leaving her after sharing such an intense connection over the past twelve hours.

It’s what you deserve, a voice sings in her head, she can fuck you and leave – it’s not like there’s an obligation on anyone.

She slides her college hoodie on and turns the corner to take the stairs. She smells something good and exotic. Cooking is foreign to Kate so anything that isn’t from a box smells good. The radio plays in the background, Motown vibes filter over her apartment. She spots Yelena and smiles involuntarily, trying to compose her face when Yelena turns from playing with Lucky near the fridge.

“Your dog is good at tricks, Kate Bishop. He is very fun.” Lucky barks and noses at Yelena’s left hand, who opens it to reveal a carrot. Kate squints as she watches Lucky gobble the carrot, totally floored he is even near a vegetable. “Don’t look so surprised. Just because you are allergic to your veggies does not mean he cannot enjoy such foods.”

Kate huffs and shakes her head, “I’m not allergic, I just don’t understand why they’re so colourful and boring to eat.” Yelena motions Kate to come closer, pointing to a plate with a fresh omelette, specked with bright colours, vegetables. She feels a finger trace the bridge of her nose, “Do not pull your face up, Kate. They are good for you. You are too thin.”

“You’re such a mom,” Kate says as she sinks into her stool, eyeing the omelette questionably.

Yelena hums and cocks her head, “I did not take you to have a ‘mommy kink’ Kate Bishop, how mysterious of you. What other secrets are trapped in that chaotic brain of yours?”

Kate coughs up her omelette momentarily, leaning her elbow on the counter to eat her food and shield her burning face from Yelena. “You cannot avoid me, Kate. I will know all your quirks and ticks in due time.” Kate’s ears heat up, sincerely hoping there is more of them, naked preferably, in the near future.

Kate clears her plate and moves to take Yelena’s, washing the few dishes quickly. She turns to find Yelena hopped on the counter across from her, leaning back on her elbow, watching Kate. Kate watches her cheeks turn light pink and smirks, “See something you like?”

Yelena recovers quickly and holds Kate’s gaze with a lifted eyebrow. “Yes, the dog is lovely,” Kate shuffles closer slowly, enjoying Yelena’s face trying to hide its expressions, “Very obedient; warm; soft; loyal.”

It’s Kate’s turn to lift an eyebrow, “Are we still talking about the dog?” she asks as she slides her hands to either side of Yelena’s thighs.

Yelena shrugs nonchalantly, attempting (and failing) to be aloof in front of Kate. Her finger traces Kate’s jaw and tilts her chin up, “Very obedient.” She repeats again and Kate sees her pupils zero in on her lips. Kate dips her chin and takes Yelena’s finger in her mouth, nipping softly before sucking – flicking her eyes to Yelena’s. Yelena mutters something harsh and points in Russian.

Yelena’s hand slides behind her neck roughly, bringing their mouths together – tongue immediately seeking Kate’s. Their breathing mingles and Kate slides her hands around Yelena’s waist, hands feeling the softness of another t-shirt that belongs to Kate.

“I like you in my clothes,” she mutters between kisses, trailing down over Yelena’s neck. A hand tangles in her ponytail and she feels Yelena’s pulse bat beneath her lips. Yelena’s legs circle around Kate’s waist, pulling her as close as possible. “You can keep my t-shirt if you’re ever so lonely one night.”

Yelena barks out a laugh, can’t help but press another kiss to Kate’s lips. “So, confidant, Kate Bishop. It’s nice to see it returning. You’re welcome.”

“This is not correlated. I had some beer and it brought me to my senses,” she tries to explain – searching for any reason to deny Yelena this victory.

Her nose crinkles in response to Kate’s poor explanation, “That is funny, Kate Bishop. There is no way that shitty beer made you feel like this,” she punctuates with a press of her fingers against Kate’s bruise on her hip. Her eyes flutter at the contact and she takes a deep breath before looking at Yelena again, “I needed you to take control. Which you did, greatly I might add.”

Yelena didn’t seem to be expecting that response and traced her fingers over the marks on Kate’s neck, concentrating on her movements. Kate’s heart beats all over the place and it's a miracle Yelena doesn’t hear it. The air between them is taught again, and Kate is somewhat familiar with this tension.

It’s a moment or two before Yelena speaks again, “Whatever you need, Kate Bishop.” I need you to tell me what this is and why it feels so good and safe when I’m not sure if I deserve good anymore.

Kate’s response is a nip to Yelena’s lip and trailing hands beneath her shirt. Trying to communicate with Yelena in the only way she knows how right now, touch.

Chapter Text

She’s lounging on the couch, sated and deliciously sore. Yelena’s cheek is resting on her thigh, fingertips soothing the imprints on her hips while Kate’s fingers knead her scalp. Yelena has stayed for over twenty-four hours now and Kate’s not sure what any of it means – other than the toe-curling sex and takeout. Yelena even brought back some vodka after taking Lucky for a run, explaining her shitty beer was starting to affect her brain cells.

A buzz from a phone on the table stirs them both, Yelena reaches over and digs around her trench coat for the object. She swipes at the screen and Kate’s eyes open to watch Yelena sit up, long blonde locks falling over her back. Yelena squints at her phone, muttering something Kate can’t quite hear. She tosses her phone back at her coat and rubs at her temple before turning to Kate, “I have to go.”

Kate sighs and breaks Yelena’s gaze – knowing this moment would come. She knew Yelena couldn’t stay forever, as much as her body wanted her to. Yelena has been comforting, to say the least. Her body aches in places Kate didn’t know were possible – but it’s a good ache and it settles her mind on the present. Yelena’s hand slides from her thigh and cups her face, leaning over for a kiss that feels like goodbye.

She covers Kate with a blanket and collects her clothing strung all over the apartment floor. Kate’s fingers curl into the comforter as she watches Yelena parade around naked and gorgeous, the marks Kate left on her back shine against the light from the overhead light. Yelena turns and Kate can’t think of anything better than her right now. “Kate?”


“I asked if you have seen my pants.” Yelena’s got her underwear and top back on now and Kate tries not to look disappointed.

Kate pushes up off the couch, feeling a fabric beneath the cushion and presenting it to Yelena, “Here.”

She takes the pants from Kate’s grasp and falls into her lap, straddling her hips. Kate’s hands automatically find her waist. Yelena brushes Kate’s hair back from her face, fingers tracing the edges and trailing over her shoulders.

“Where are you going?” Kate asks, feeling the goosebumps rise over her arms at Yelena’s soft touches.

“A loose end to tie up. Somebody decided to use me to do their dirty work and I won’t let it stand.” She says it so casually and Kate wonders how Yelena got involved with all of this, to begin with. Who steered Yelena here into her mother’s web?

“Are you – what are you going to do?” It’s a stupid question because Kate knows and when Yelena tilts her head, her eyes aren’t calm and clear. The same look that met her on the rooftop when she first appeared all those weeks ago. It puts Kate off – she doesn’t know this Yelena that well.  

“What I must do, of course,” she removes her hands from Kate and a shiver racks her body, “You should invest in a new bed, Kate. This couch is not good for your posture.”

Kate lifts a shoulder and looks off to the distance, hands falling off Yelena’s waist to rest on her thighs. Yelena sighs and shakes her head, lips connecting with hers again. And Kate knows this Yelena well. Their kisses quickly turn heated and full of tongue; Yelena’s hands are pushing the blanket down to squeeze at her tits and Kate’s grip her thighs. Yelena’s phone buzzes again and she groans, pulling away to rest her forehead on Kate’s.

“I have to go,” Kate reconnects their lips again, slipping her hands to Yelena’s underwear desperate to keep this, Yelena.

“Just one hour, it’ll be so good and quick.” Kate tries to convince her when she pulls away again. Yelena chuckles – shaking her head, “Nothing is quick with you, but it is always good.” Kate flushes at the comment, arching her chest into Yelena’s hands.

Yelena sighs and slides from Kate, pulling her pants on and swinging her coat over her arms. She pockets her phone and Kate’s underwear, “Buy a bed, Kate. I want to fuck you properly when I get back. And then maybe we can get that drink.” She adds with a wink.

Kate’s brain goes to mush, not understanding how much more ‘properly’ Yelena can fuck her than she already has. She’s about to ask about her underwear but Yelena’s face swims in front of her again when she reaches down to kiss her one last time before mounting the stairs and sliding open the window. Kate stands from the couch, taking pleasure in Yelena’s eyes flickering over her body with a bite of her lip, “See you later, little hawk.”

And just like that, she’s gone into the night and Kate didn’t realize it was so quiet here. Yelena’s voice and her touch took up so much space – everything else had fallen away. Kate sighs and takes a quick shower before cleaning up the takeout boxes and empty beer bottles. Her phone chimes with a text from Clint, asking how to set up a VR headset that makes Kate laugh. All his attributes and he can’t do basic tech stuff – that’s why he has a partner. He doesn’t understand her instructions over text, she ends up having to call him and get the kids to set up the headset. They settle into a familiar and easy conversation about his family and trick arrows – she doesn’t know if she should talk about Yelena or not. It’s the only person she has that’s close to her right now.

Kate decides to take out the garbage like an adult and check her mailbox. A letter from her college admissions office, nicely asking her to return because they love the generous donations her mother has made over the years – a legacy they called her. Kate scoffs and stubs her boot against the elevator wall wondering if there isn’t one thing in her life her mother hasn’t had a hand in? She finds another letter addressed to her without a return address. Lucky greets her when she walks in again, she sits at the kitchen island to read the letter:

Dear Kate,

I know why you did it. You’ve always been so good, but you need to know – I’ve only ever done everything to protect you. Kingpin was a mistake – you helped me realize it. Just like when you were little, and you asked me for a bow. I would give you anything if it meant making you safe and happy. My bail hearing is coming up –

She stops reading the letter, shoving it off the counter and rakes her hands over her face, through her hair. Squeezing until it hurts a little. She glances around the apartment looking for something to displace her anger and pain – the punching bag glows in the dark.

She goes hard at the bag until the exhaustion beats her mind and her limbs, stumbling to the couch and collapsing with Lucky by her side.

She decides to buy a bed. It gives her something to look forward to; the thought of Yelena fucking her into the mattress is a good thought. She flops onto the display mattresses, wondering if she wants something soft or firm. Her eyes flutter shut, and she thinks of Yelena – soft and firm. A throat clearing from an Ikea worker, makes her get up and nod – acting like she was immersing herself in this choice instead of thinking about Yelena. She decides to splurge a little and use her mom’s credit cards; she could easily unfreeze her credit cards, but she’d like to take some pleasure in this.

She buys a new couch; loveseat; and nightstands. She even buys a new set of silverware to put a cherry on top of it all. Thankfully, she is left with the minimal setup after the delivery crew drop off her furniture. She’s not sure she could handle the high velocity of emotions that come as a part of reading Ikea instructions.

She’s got her laptop out, watching a Chicago Med re-run while attempting to build said nightstands. Kate wonders why there’s so much packaging for such a small piece of furniture. Lucky decides to chew the cardboard despite Kate’s warnings.

Her phone buzzes, with a call from a Fanny’s Pizza shining on her caller ID. She accepts the call curiously, hoping she is the recipient of free pizza.

“Kate Bishop, I knew you would answer to pizza.” The sound of Yelena’s voice makes her smile involuntarily, she taps a button on her laptop to pause her Netflix.

“How dramatic of you. Why couldn’t you have just left me your number, to begin with?”

Yelena hums and she hears her shuffle around on the other end, “I do not keep the same number for long. This is encrypted, yes?”

“Just a sec.” She quickly taps on her laptop to pull up her security software, setting up the encryption automatically for this number. “There, this line is now encrypted. And so is every call from Fanny’s Pizza in the future.”

“You are so talented, Kate Bishop. So…. tell me what you were doing today in the retail district?”

“How did you – you’re tracking me?” Yelena makes laughs and Kate can imagine her nose scrunching up at the action.

“I told you, Kate, I keep tabs on my assets.” It shouldn’t make Kate blush, but it does, and she can’t help but wonder if there’s starting to be more to this. She would normally comment on Yelena’s use of the word asset but those parts of her are still bolted shut – with no maintenance insight.

“Nice to know I’m appreciated. If you must know – I went to Ikea and spent a bunch of my mother’s money on some desperately needed furniture.” She wraps an arm around her knees after pulling them to her chest, “I got that bed you asked for.”

Yelena’s chuckle is low and sultry – it makes Kate warm all over. “I knew you would. I make good on my promises, Kate Bishop. You should know this about me.”

Kate’s mouth goes dry, and she struggles to get a response out for some time. “Kate? You are still there?”

“Y-yes,” She sputters, “Yes, I’m here.” Yelena’s laugh makes her blush again, forehead burning against her forearm.

“Would it be a cliché to ask you what you’re wearing?” Yelena’s voice is light and teasing.

“Yes, it would. I’m trying to build this stupid nightstand, but Ikea has made sure I struggle even more today.” She tosses a table leg out beside her, watching the screws roll over her floor.

“What else happened?”

Kate huffs, “Nothing Yelena, just stuff with my mom. It’s no big deal.”

“If it has upset you, Kate, it is not insignificant. Perhaps I can help – “

“Help, like last time? We fucked for, like, an entire day and then you left.” Like every else has left. She doesn’t mean to sound harsh; Yelena doesn’t deserve that and she’s about to apologize when Yelena’s voice cuts through, “Do not act like you were not begging me, Kate Bishop.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry.” Kate sighs and rubs at her head, wondering if this is the moment where Yelena leaves because of her.

“Your mother upset you today; tell me how,” Kate tells her about college and the letter her mother wrote to her from prison – the letter she didn’t even finish reading.

“I’ll never escape her shadow – no matter how hard I try. She’s going to follow me everywhere. I hate it,” Kate finishes with a sigh, “I’m just…I don’t know anymore. You don’t have to listen to this.”

Yelena hums again, “I want to, Kate Bishop – otherwise I would not have asked. Everything I do has a purpose behind it.” Kate feels the warmth behind Yelena’s words and aches to see her face and feel her touch again. “Left side nightstand, bottom drawer. A gift for you, Kate Bishop.”

Kate frowns and reaches over at the soot-covered nightstand, leaning haphazardly on three legs. She pulls on the door and finds a small box; she frowns as she pulls it into her lap – it’s light with an object rolling around when Kate moves.

“When did you have time to do this?” Kate asks as she traces the outline of the box.

Yelena chuckles, “I got it the morning I took the dog out. You were still attached to your puddle of drool on the couch after I blew your mind. Open it, Kate”

Kate rolls her eyes and unearths the object, a purple vibrator stares back at her and her breathing picks up.

“Do you like it? It is purple – totally your aesthetic.” Yelena sounds cocky and Kate can’t function properly. “I can help you; you know – take the edge off.”

“Yelena, I –“ Her voice is breathy, and she rubs her legs together searching for friction.

“Yeah, you can. You deserve to feel good, Kate,” Yelena’s voice is soft and anchoring, “What are you wearing?”

“Um, sweatpants and a tank-top. It’s not – I’m not,” Kate stumbles over her words, knowing this is not the proper phone sex attire but in her defence – how could she have known?

Yelena’s words pull her out of her head again, “You’re beautiful, Kate. Do not doubt yourself.” Kate’s heart beats faster, it’s not the first time Yelena has told her this in the past forty-eight hours. “I am wearing your underwear - very comfortable by the way. Great taste, Kate Bishop.” Kate moans softly imagining Yelena lounging in bed with her underwear - doing things to herself.

“Take your clothes off and get on that bed, Kate Bishop.” She pushes to her feet, mindlessly obeying Yelena’s orders. She stripes herself and her back hits the mattress with a puff of air. “So obedient.” Her accent tingles over the syllables and Kate is arching into the air, searching for contact. “Yelena, please. I need...” She trails off when her fingers brush her nipples.

“Oh Kate, you have already started touching yourself,” she tsks and Kate’s body burns at her voice, “I know your noises.” Her voice is firm, and it feels like Yelena’s right next to her, “Take your hand away.”

It’s quiet, except for their breathing and Kate tries to calm her beating heart. There’s a soft gasp in her ear and Kate knows Yelena’s touching herself and she groans, “Yelena, please. I want to come.” She knows Yelena likes it when she asks, and it has its desired effect because Yelena’s breath hitches and she can practically hear her smile.

“Two fingers on your clit, Kate Bishop. Use your other hand to press into the bruise on your neck, my favourite one.” Kate knows she means the one on her pulse and presses her fingers there right away. Her legs fall aside and her hips twitch at the feelings flowing through her body; even so far away – Kate can feel Yelena on her.

“That’s right, Kate. Press a little harder on your bruise,” she waits for Kate’s whimper before continuing, “I would give you another one – the inside of your thigh. Mm, yeah. Would look so pretty there, Kate.” Her legs rub together, imagining Yelena’s teeth and tongue between her legs. It’s hot and all Kate can think is Yelena everywhere; her voice is sexy and gruff, “Use the vibrator. Start on your clit.”

Kate reaches blindly and grasps the item from her side, fingers rumbling before pressing the button and directing it. She gasps, hand clenching her breast while the other rubs the toy against herself. She hears Yelena talking but the buzz from the toy makes it hard to concentrate on anything else.

“Speakerphone, Kate,” Yelena says louder; making her fumble and bite her lip to follow Yelena’s instructions.

“Yelena, please – “Kate whimpers, hips twitching and body tensing.

“Stop,” Yelena orders. Her voice is firm and it’s commanding and Kate’s absolutely dripping. Her hands stop and she whines, hearing Yelena’s voice again. “So good, Kate. I’ll be back in six hours. Think you can hold it until then? I think you can. Such an overachiever.”

Kate whines and turns her cheek towards the phone, “‘Lena, please. Let me come. I’ll be so good for you. Please.”

Yelena’s breath hitches but her response is firm and soothing, “Just six hours, baby. I’ll make it so good for you when I get home,” Home and baby live rent-free in Kate’s brain – she’ll hold onto those words from Yelena forever. Especially when Yelena leaves her because everyone does, eventually.

Kate sighs, licking lips trying to get Yelena to bend, “Wanna be good for you. Let me come for you.” She bites her lip at Yelena’s strangled groan, hoping she has finally made her cave.

Yelena sighs and mutters her name a few times mixed in with Russian words, “Edge yourself, Kate. Until I get to you. I will break in that new mattress of yours.”

Kate whines and nods, “Okay, Kate? I will take care of you, I promise. Six hours. Be good.” Kate mumbles a response and ends the phone call.

She groans and her legs shake with need, “Fuck you, Yelena.” She grumbles out. It’s slick between her legs and it feels like she’s on fire, every nerve firing off.  

Six hours, then Yelena.

The ache hasn’t stopped, she feels it everywhere and she’s getting desperate. The alarm she set ticking towards the six-hour mark. She gets mad and decides to send Fanny’s Pizza a picture, topless with her hand grasping her breast, and then another with her hand tucking in her underwear. There, she thinks, take that, Yelena.

A bath; a run with Lucky; meditation; an Indiana Jones marathon has left her aching, still. Thinking of nothing but Yelena and her promises. Her phone goes off, signalling the end of her timer. She sighs and rolls over to scream into the pillow; stupid, Yelena. She probably isn’t even going to come back. Why would she listen to such a sexy, deep, voice?

She changes her clothes for the fifth time, deciding on an oversized t-shirt and underwear. She’s shaking her hair out of her ponytail when her widow slides open and Yelena touches down on the stairwell. The breath pushes out of Kate’s lungs, and she leans back against the dresser to hold herself up. Yelena steps into the light and looks absolutely dangerous – windblown and wild. Yelena drops her small backpack on the floor and strides towards Kate, shucking off her jacket and gripping the back of her neck to slam their lips together.

Yelena walks them back into the wall, hands running over Kate’s body – ravenous and passionate. Kate moans at Yelena’s press against the red marks on her hips, “Fuck, Bishop. Those pictures. So good. Didn’t know you had it in you, I’m so impressed.”

Kate flushes, breath coming out in short pants when Yelena separates their lips, “I missed you. I’m going to make you feel good, yes? No games.” I missed you, add it to the other roommates Kate’s brain as gained today. Say it back! Her brain screams, so she does, “Missed you too. Wouldn’t come without you.” Without your permission but Kate thinks Yelena gets the message because her hands are pulling her shirt over her head and ripping at her underwear, fingers finding her clit and rubbing.

“Fuck! Yes, Yelena,” her head drops back against the wall with Yelena’s mouth attached to her neck.

“Inside, inside. Please.” Kate pants into the apartment. Yelena’s fingers comply, curling and rubbing.

She’s quick and forceful with her fingers, lips plastered to Kate’s neck – tugging and soothing on the skin. “Come, Kate, you’ve been so good. Have your reward.” Her words bring Kate to the edge quickly, throat straining with a moan while her hands curl into Yelena’s shoulders. Her hips twitch at the aftershocks, still following Yelena’s light touches to her clit.

She slumps against the wall, catching her breath. Yelena’s touches turn her senses to gush – her hands thread into Yelena’s hair to pull her into a kiss. It’s mostly tongue and appreciation from Kate leans into her counterpart fully, arms threading over her shoulders. Kate nips at her lips gently trying to come down from her high.

“Sorry about your underwear, Kate Bishop.” She says between kisses.

“You aren’t that sorry, that’s two pairs of mine you have taken.”

“Yes, it was for a good cause though.”

Kate chuckles and kisses her again, “How long can you stay?”

Yelena’s lips leave hers and it makes her open her eyes to catch Yelena’s gaze, “Until I want to leave.” Her answer is ominous and not what Kate was looking for but it goes with her whole sexy mysterious assassin vibe and Kate is more than into it.

“’Kay, well my brand-new mattress is right over there – begging to be broken in,” Kate points with her chin and Yelena hums; sliding her hands to Kate’s ass to lift her up on her hips. She dumps Kate on the bed before leaning away to strip. Kate’s eyes follow the newly exposed skin – eyes finding a giant purple and black mark on her ribs. She pushes up and presses a hand against Yelena’s abs, “Are you okay? What happened?”

“I am fine, Kate. Nothing major – just a little scuffle. I won, of course,” she adds with a smirk and Kate finds her whole personality so intoxicating. Kate knows what those bruises feel like, and they aren’t comfortable by any means. She presses her lips to them, not once but many times until Yelena’s body has relaxed under her touch. Yelena’s sigh is music to her ears, her hand threads through Kate’s hair and they hold each other’s gazes.

It's intense, Yelena’s eyes sparkle in the dim lights and her golden locks tumbling over her shoulders – just kissing her breasts. Kate’s fingers find the button to Yelena’s high-waisted jeans, twisting the button and pulling the jeans down. Kate arches a brow at her underwear and presses a kiss to the line, flickering her eyes back up at Yelena.

“Kate Bishop, you are…” she shakes her head and trails off. Removing the last of her clothing and walking over to her backpack.

“Where are you going?” Kate asks from her elbows, appreciating the curve of Yelena’s back as she bends to retrieve her backpack.

“To give you a second gift,” She walks back over with her head tilting and dangling her backpack from two fingers deliciously. She opens the bag and pulls out a harness, tossing it into Kate’s lap with a smirk lining her face.

“Do you want me to…?” Kate asks running a finger along the leather. Yelena’s laugh fills her loft, “You are so funny, Kate Bishop. Really – the funniest.” She reaches in the bag for the purple silicone and Kate’s eyes trace its girth and length, blush filling her cheeks. She reaches forward to help Yelena into the harness while Yelena attaches the silicone. Kate licks her lips and presses kisses along Yelena’s abs, trailing down her stomach.

Her hand wraps around the leather strapped hip, eyes finding Yelena’s, “You don’t have to, Kate.” Yelena's voice is barely a whisper while her hand trails around Kate's neck and tangles in her hair.

Yelena has a slight flush, and her eyes are dark, fixed on Kate who presses open-mouthed kisses on her abs, leading over to her bruise. She nips gently at the reddened skin and tips her head back to look at Yelena. The hand in her hair tightens and Kate watches her eyebrows furrow as if she is trying to understand something.

“I want to, Yelena.” Then, Kate’s head dips lower again. Her lips ghost the harness drawing a high pitched moan from above. 

Chapter Text

The bruises on her ribs don’t exist anymore, all she knows is Kate’s tongue and teeth sucking the pain away. It makes her feel lightheaded; her hand tangles in soft black locks and when Kate’s eyes meet hers, she tries to understand how Kate can effectively make her lose focus on everything in the world except for them. She hopes Kate feels it too because, for Yelena, this is unlike anything or anyone she has ever encountered. Maybe it’s because of a small sample size – no, Kate Bishop is addicting and she’s not sure she’ll ever have her fix.

Kate’s eyes flick to hers from the harness and she tells her no, she doesn’t have to. She doesn’t need that – but then Kate’s nodding and telling her she wants to, and Yelena wants to combust. The hand she has tangled in her hair tightens as she watches Kate’s eyes flutter closed while her tongue trails along the strap. She can barely contain the whimper that escapes her when Kate opens her mouth and pushes her head towards her hips. Kate’s hands have wrapped around the straps, fingertips digging into her skin. She rocks into Kate’s mouth on instinct – watching her cheek hollow around the toy. She traces her fingers over Kate’s cheek, enthralled by this, by her as her hips rock into Kate’s mouth. A flush spread over her body like wildfire, it’s always Kate who always makes her feel frantic but in control.

Kate’s eyes open at the touch of her cheek and find her gaze before moving her lips all the way to the base and back to the tip. wetness coats the toy, and she wants Kate on her back and spread open for her. She untangles Kate’s hands from her hips and pushes her head back gently, watching the spit hang briefly until Kate licks her lips again.

Yelena doesn’t know what to say, Kate leaves her breathless and unearthed; she pushes Kate onto her back and climbs over her, slotting herself between Kate’s legs. Their lips are a fraction apart and Yelena’s hands brush Kate’s hair away before swiping her tongue over Kate’s lips and enveloping them in a kiss.

She hears Kate sigh her name; feels the tangle of those arms around her neck; a leg slipping up to hook around her hip. Her breathing is ragged, and Yelena decides to tease her, rubbing the toy against her wetness – bumping her clit. She loves it when Kate begs – that’s how she knows Kate’s mind is empty except for thoughts of her and this.

“Yelena. Don’t tease,” Kate huffs against her mouth, “I edged myself in the tub and on the couch – just for you, Yelena.” So good, Kate. You’re so good. She groans against Kate’s neck, finding a new spot to mark while her hand trails down to angle the toy. Her hips jog slowly and Kate arches into her – calling her name.

Yelena pushes to her elbows to observe Kate’s face, eyes shut tight while her mouth has dropped open – a flush that has blown over her entire chest and face. Yelena’s sure she’s never had anything so beautiful and precious and so enticing beneath her. Her hips twitch and she just wants to fuck Kate through this mattress until there’s nothing between them anymore. Kate seems to sense her thoughts because her eyes flash open and Yelena feels Kate’s thumb brush her cheek then over her bottom lip.

“You don’t have to be gentle. I can take it, Yelena.” The moan that leaves her is filthy and her hips snap in reaction, pushing the toy into Kate quickly.

All she can hear is Kate panting into her ear. All she can feel are Kate’s nails raking down her back. The bruise of her ribs is non-existent, it’s only Kate.

She’s not gentle – she knows Kate deserves good and soft but it’s so hard when Kate sounds like that and trusts her like this. They’ve never talked about it – they should, Yelena wants to, but she doesn’t know how Kate would react and it scares her. This is safe, fucking her and marking her is safe and she knows she can do this. She knows she can do it well; she can’t fail Kate this way.

Kate’s moans are high-pitched and breathy, and Yelena’s knows she’s close. Her fingers find Kate’s clit, stiff and wet from their fucking – she draws the circles in the way she knows Kate likes and attaches her teeth to the new mark on her neck. Kate’s body jerks beneath hers and her leg tightens on her hip, head tipping back with a scream.

“No games, Kate. I just want you to come,” Yelena slows her hips to a gentle jog, wanting to bring Kate right back to the edge again, “You’ve been so good. You deserve more.” Of everything. You deserve everything.

Kate’s chest heaves beneath hers, pants filling the apartment. Yelena watches her bite her lip and open her eyes. Her question is soft, and Yelena knows she will replay this moment forever, “With me? Come with me?”

Yelena feels her eyes water, so she just jerks her head in a nod and buries her face in Kate’s neck. Her hips circle and she changes their pace – moving to a steady grind that will benefit them both. She gasps when the harness hits her in the right spot, releasing Kate’s skin to get her breaths out. Her hand slips to the leg wrapped around her thigh and pushes it up over her shoulder, basking in Kate’s cry of pleasure.

She feels tiny crescents digging into her back, but the pain is grounding, and she knows there’s nobody else she would accept this from – just Kate. Kate gets her second wind and angles her hips towards Yelena’s, accepting each thrust and grind and it makes her shiver knowing that Kate is this receptive to her.

“Yelena, Fuck, right there. With me, please?” Kate’s pitchy voice has her reeling and all she wants is to give Kate everything, even herself. So, she does, and it’s so good.

She gasps and the world falls away and it’s just her and Kate on this brand-new mattress that Kate hasn’t even fitted with a sheet yet. She feels something dislodge from her brain and she recognizes it as control, so happy and willing to give herself to Kate in whatever capacity she wants.

Her body tingles with release and she feels fingertips dancing up her back, it’s calming and soothing. She mouths at Kate’s shoulder and neck lazily, just because she can. She feels the steady hum of Kate’s pulse, starting to beat steadily again. She pushes herself up, about to disconnect herself from Kate when she’s met with a shake of a head and dopey smile, “Stay.”

Yelena smiles at her and Kate presses lazy their mouths together in a lazy tangle, sighing out her name when Yelena settles back on top of her.

“Was it okay?” she asks as she slides Kate’s leg down her side and around her hip again; messaging the muscles.

“It was alright,” Kate’s grin is delicious, and her eyes are full of light – this version of Kate reminds her so much of the person she was before Kingpin before her mother turned out to be awful. Yelena would do anything for this person to return.

She huffs at Kate’s comment and runs a hand between them to soap up the wetness. She runs it back up the middle of Kate’s body, teasing a taut nipple before taping her fingers on Kate’s lips – eyeing her expectantly. She knows Kate will rise to the challenge. When Kate sucks two fingers into her mouth, Yelena tries to hide her satisfaction, but she can’t, and she learns she doesn’t need to.

Kate tangles their lips together and it’s different from other kisses she’s shared with other people. It’s gentle, appreciative, and comforting for Yelena, who always thought the purpose of kisses was to have a quick fuck and then move on. She meant it a day ago when she said nothing is quick with Kate.

Yelena feels fingers tracing her forehead and eyelids, “You’re quiet. Was it okay for you, too?” Yelena doesn’t know what to say, scared she will say too much or not enough. She traces strong biceps before speaking, trying to gather her words.  

“I do not usually, with others...,” she trails off unsure of what to say but she wants Kate to know there’s no one else she would be this free with. “I do not stay with them this long.”

She settles on that and hopes Kate understands her message. Kate is quiet too, her fingers brush patterns over her back perhaps trying to calm Yelena’s panic. She’s too scared to look at her – in fear it would blow all of this apart; whatever this is.

“I’m glad you’re here.” Is all Kate says and it’s enough for Yelena, for now. She pulls Kate into another kiss, hand finding a nipple and toying. Waiting for Kate’s gasp and twitch of her hips to continue. “Again? You’re really insatiable, you know that right?”

“Kate Bishop, are you saying you do not want me?” Her hips start a slow jog again and she doesn’t realize the question is so complex until it takes Kate a moment to answer, “I want you. You know that.”

Yelena nods and swallows, “Yeah, I do.”

Kate's eyes shine in the dark and Yelena feels like she could get lost in them forever. A hand reaches up and cups her jaw, pulling her down to Kate’s lips again. Her hips move on their own and she can only feel Kate.

She’s surprised when Kate pushes her over onto her back, sighing at the loss when the toy slips out. She straddles Yelena’s stomach and Yelena’s never seen something so beautiful. Her hair askew and face flushed, lips are swollen, and eyes are hooded – she’s straight out of a dream and Yelena will carry this image of Kate on lonely nights.

“Wanna ride you,” she says, and Yelena’s hands fly to her hips, squeezing and brushing her thumbs on the hickeys she has left behind.

“Yeah?” it’s the only thing that comes out of her lips. Kate Bishop renders her speechless far too often.

“Mmhm. I think I deserve it,” she says, and Yelena watches her tongue peek out to wet her bottom lip. “Don’t you?”

“Yeah. Yeah, baby you do,” It slips out of her lips again before she can say anything else – Kate’s already scooting backwards, lifting her hips to line herself with the toy. Her eyes find Yelena’s again as she sinks down, and Yelena nearly comes again at the sight.

Kate starts slow and Yelena knows the angle and the feeling are different in this position; she just rubs her circles into her thighs with her thumbs, watching Kate bite her lip at the stretch. Their gazes connect again, and Yelena knows she’s done for – she would never be able to move onto anything, anyone after this. Not unless Kate is with her. Kate’s moan pulls her out of her head and her hips begin to move up and down quickly.

Their hips quickly find the right rhythm, with Kate moving down when Yelena moves up and it’s perfect. She feels it against her clit, sending fireworks across her body – settling her heart aflame for Kate. Kate’s hand trails to her clit and Yelena is mesmerized by the way Kate’s body reacts and works. Yelena misses her skin already, misses her smell, wants to drag this out until there is nothing left of both of them.

She sits up and nestles her lips into Kate’s sternum, licking the sweat and moisture off her body. She grips Kate’s hips firmer and slows them to a steady grind against Yelena.

“Fuck, ‘Lena. I’m so close.”

She hums against Kate’s neck, “I know. I’ll get you there, Kate.” Her hands guide Kate’s hips so that they both get the friction they need on their clits.

“So good with you,” Kate’s mumbling words into Yelena’s ear while her hands tangle in Yelena’s hair.

“Yeah, fuck. Kate, keep moving like that,” her voice is gruff and she’s having a hard time keeping her words in English.

“Don’t stop,” she whines mindlessly into Yelena’s ear. Yelena’s hand pushes on her lower back to provide Kate with a better angle and it’s all they needed. Kate moans pour into her ear and Yelena tunes herself into her sounds - locking them away in her brain for next time. Yelena’s hand slips lower to grasp Kate’s ass, hips twitching into Kate a few more times before she gasps – calling Kate’s name into her neck.

It's quiet again, save for their panting. Yelena’s ears have stopped ringing enough to know it’s started to rain outside – the moon has clouded over, and Yelena can’t see Kate’s body anymore. Her cheek rests on Kate’s strong shoulder while her hands smooth over Kate’s back. Kate is slumped against her with her arms wrapped around her neck and it’s perfect, again.

She turns them to settle Kate gently on her back, pulling away to unfasten the harness and toss it aside. Kate’s watching her with sleepy eyes; she reaches out to interlace their fingers and Yelena gulps, so glad there isn’t enough light in this room for Kate to see her blush.

“Stay?” it’s a question in the dark – one that Yelena is eager to answer, “Yes. Where are your blankets?”

“Top left in the closet, next to the bathroom,” their hands slowly untangle, and Yelena misses the loss immediately – hoping the touch wasn’t a one-off.

She turns on a lamp and pushes to stand, aches running through her body. Her bruised ribs start to show feel their true nature; her back stings from Kate’s nails and her hips have a delicious ache to them she would take tenfold.  She finds a couple of blankets and pillows and lays them out on the bed; Kate’s still laying on her back with her hand pressing on her new mark on her neck with her head turned towards Yelena.

“Does it hurt?” she asks, wanting to know if she had gone too far. She sees Kate nod in the lamplight, “Yeah, but it’s good. It’s you.” If she weren’t so dead tired, she would take Kate again.

She falls onto the bed, pulling Kate closer to her, “you’d tell me if I did? If I hurt you, right?”

“You wouldn’t.” She says it so definitely and it nearly causes Yelena to burst into tears.

She clears her throat, trying to wash away the emotional tinges, “Please Kate, this is important. I do not want to hurt you while we are together, like this.”

Kate’s hand strokes through her hair and cups her cheek, she moves forward to press their lips together, “I understand what you’re saying. You know me. You know what I need and what I want. I trust you, Yelena.”

Yelena’s heart grows ten sizes, and she wants to find someone and gush about Kate like some teenager. She aches to share it with Natasha; sure, she would be teased but she knows she would be heard and loved. She squeezes her eyes shut to avoid the tears but Kate’s face flashes in front of her again, smiling at her and maybe this will be good for Yelena. Maybe she can have a relationship with Kate that isn’t purely physical.

“I trust you too, Kate Bishop.” Kate’s mouth presses on her cheek in a sleepy kiss, humming her acknowledgement. She tugs on Yelena’s arm until her cheek rests just above Kate’s heart. Yelena feels fingers tangle in her hair and brush of a kiss on her forehead – there can be nothing that feels better than this.

There’s a tickle on her foot and she doesn’t like being surprised so she kicks at the offender – sleep and sex still sating her body. The tickle returns again except it’s wet and gross and Yelena’s eyes open to find Lucky waging his tail at the end of the bed. She looks to Kate’s sleeping face and moves gently – not that it matters. She thinks Kate sleeps like the dead – a luxury she has never known. She pushes from the bed and rubs Lucky’s ears before dressing to take him out for a walk. She glances at herself in the mirror, tilting her head at the occasional mark Kate’s mouth has left behind; turns her torso to see the red lines streaking down her back she smiles, knowing she will wear them proudly for the next few days.

Lucky whines and paws at the door, “Sorry, doggy. I am just admiring your mama’s handiwork. She is very scrappy. Good thing she’s cute.” She grabs more of Kate’s clothes and throws them on quickly, sparing one last glance at a peaceful Kate whose snores are filling the loft.

She finds the leash hung near the door; she’s making her way to Lucky near the fridge when a page crunches under her foot. Her hand closes around the page and her brain clicks – it’s the letter Kate’s mother sent. Her hands smooth out the crumpled paper and folds it neatly in half, she leaves it on the counter.

At least her mother loves her enough to write – it’s not a competition, Yelena knows this as Lucky leads her out of the apartment complex. And she knows Kate has every right to detest her mother, but she doesn’t need to atone for a life of her mother’s sins. Kate was innocent in all this – she fought on the good side despite Barton’s lies in the beginning. She’s good, even if Kate doesn’t believe it right now, she is good.

She thinks of the purpose begin the letter as she buys breakfast for herself and Kate - sympathy, sure. But surely Eleanor Bishop has something bigger brewing her – she has been toying with Kate her entire life, and she supposes, that’s the bit that eats at Kate the most. Thinking it was love but only finding it to be lies and deceit. She leans on the elevator to look at Lucky, sniffing the brown paper bag with great interest, “You will not disappoint her, right?” Lucky’s head tilts adorably, sitting back on his haunches and Yelena chuckles at his cuteness, “You are cute – just like her.”

She dumps food in his bowl and takes the breakfast upstairs. She finds Kate on her stomach, a wet spot next to her mouth. It’s ridiculous how a pile of drool makes her want to stay forever. She toes off her shoes and settles on the bed next to Kate, enjoying her coffee – watching the sunlight shine against her back. She reaches out to trace the lines of sunlight on her skin, fingers ghosting with the rise and fall of Kate’s chest.

She hears Kate sigh, signalling her rise from slumber, she sets her coffee on the nightstand and turns to clear the hair away and press a kiss to Kate’s jaw.

“Morning,” Kate mumbles into the pillow and Yelena adores the sound of her voice – scratchy and low from sleep and sex. “Do I smell coffee and pastries?”

“Yeah, from your favourite place,” she reaches across to hand her the items, accepting the angle of Kate’s back into her chest. Yelena brushes Kate’s hair from her shoulder to press a kiss there.

“Mm, so good. Might be better than sex.” Kate says around her pastry.

Yelena chuckles at her and pinches her thigh, exposed by the blanket, “Take that back, Kate Bishop.”

“Or what, you’ll have to prove it to me? What a shame that would be,” she gestures with her coffee covering her heart.

Her eyes roll at Kate’s silliness but she’s happy to have it returned – even if just in small parts. Her lips move across Kate’s shoulder without a deeper intent – other than to just feel her. Kate’s hand covers hers and plays with the hand on her thigh; the intimacy absolutely floors her. She’s never had this before she thinks as she rests her forehead on Kate’s shoulder.

“What are your plans today?” Kate asks as she tosses her coffee cup in the trash can on the other side of the room.

Yelena is floored at the question – she supposed this is something normal people ask each other in any setting. “I do not have any. I came here straight from the train.”

Kate hums and traces Yelena’s fingers with her own, “A good decision. Do you want to see the Highline?”

Yelena’s not sure she’s heard her right so she lefts her lips off soft skin, “Are you asking me?”

“Who else would I be asking?” Kate chuckles and squeezes Yelena’s hand.

“Yes, Kate.”

The elevator ride is quiet, and Yelena doesn’t know how to make conversation with Kate because she’s thinking this is a date. Why would Kate take her on a date but not call it a date, unless it’s not a date? She glances over at Kate, who has her Avengers hoodie on just to make Yelena roll her eyes when she threw it on after their shower.

“You keep taking all my clothes, I’m forced to throw it back to middle school Kate.” She had said.

“I think you mean last week but I’ll let you win, this time Kate Bishop.”

Yelena’s so deep in her head it takes Kate tugging on her hand to stir her. Kate leads them to the road in search of a taxi – hand still grasped in Yelena’s. She’ll never understand the American way with taxis; if she wants their services – she will get them, there is no choice on from the other party. Kate’s hand is soft, and Yelena moves their fingers so that their hands are intertwined – purely for comfort.

Kate provides the address, and their hands are still intertwined on the ride there. Yelena sees the green grass, enclosed with modern design. It’s beautiful and free – flowers making their way through the earth after being demolished so many years ago. Starting anew – Yelena can relate to that. They stop at a look-off point, the busy Hudson Bay shines back at them. Kate’s hand is still tangled in hers, and Yelena’s found something much more worthy to stare at.

Kate’s talking about the history; about the people being killed by the trains and then track being killed by a new industry – destined for demolition – an eyesore they called it. And now, it has life again thanks to a community undertaking. It’s a nice story, especially when it falls from Kate’s lips. Kate catches her looking with a lopsided smile and Yelena can’t help but match it.

Just pulls her closer, slowly, giving Kate the option to pull back and she doesn’t – she just steps closer to Yelena with that smile. It’s so good. Especially when Kate tips her head forward and Yelena knows she wants to, kiss her, in public. It shouldn’t be this big of a deal, but it is because she’s never done this with anyone. It’s always closed doors and dark rooms – until Kate. And it’s fine, nothing bad happens. Nobody gets hurt, it’s so mundane – Yelena understands why she has never wanted to do this with anyone else until now.

They both sigh when they break apart and Yelena has to look away to hide the blush creeping into her cheeks. Yelena’s stomach growls and it sends them both into a bout of laughter, she didn’t realize these interactions were so easy with Kate. Everything is easier with Kate – she’s starting to understand this now. Kate must decide to take pity on her and lead her further down the park, hands still laced together.

They stop at an Asian food truck; it satisfies Yelena’s need for spicy and hot while Kate looks on with a grimace. Naturally, she makes a show of eating the spicy noodles easily and Kate flicks a potsticker towards her and shoves at her thigh with her foot beneath the table.

“Footsies, Kate? Really? Are you twelve? If you want to flirt with me, just say something,” Yelena can’t resist making Kate squirm; it’s a really fun pastime. They start off again, they don’t have a purpose until Yelena spots a Break Bar with sledgehammers and other large construction tools in the window.

“Kate, what is this?” she gestures to the window with a curious tilt of her head.

“It’s a place where you pay to break things.”

Yelena frowns, “That does not make sense. Why pay? Just find something and break it, big deal. America.” She tsks.

Kate shakes her head, “It’s like…. you have to pay to be angry you know? You can’t just express your anger like this…not here anyway.” She looks thoughtful and Yelena squeezes her hand.

“Let’s go, Kate Bishop. I want to smash things with you.” Kate gapes at her before settling on a smile that makes Yelena very happy, she suggested this.

“Is that all you want to do with me?” she asks with a lifted eyebrow with a smirk forming.

“Keep it in your pants, Kate Bishop. You know I do what I want with you anyways,” it’s smug and Kate’s reaction was worth the gamble.

Kate gathers herself and guides them to the counter. Kate hands her the waiver and fixes her with a look, “Sign it, Yelena.” Yelena rolls her eyes and huffs.

They’re led behind the counter and Yelena pretends to listen to the hipster rambling on about safety protocols just to make Kate happy. Hipster dude points to the hazmat looking equipment they have to wear and Yelena near vomits at the sight.

“Are you serious, Kate Bishop? There are no pockets and I’m not even sure if this is clean – “She doesn’t hide her displeasure and it only gets more intense when Kate’s just standing there looking super cute with her suit already halfway on.

“Our safety regulations state you have to wear this – otherwise we can’t let you in, dude.” Hipster dude is very annoying, Yelena decides. She turns to tell him about all the ways she could smash him but Kate’s hand around her waist holds her back.

“Yelena, dearest, please? I’m really excited to smash things, with you,” she adds the last two words in a lower voice, and she’s convinced. She mutters a couple of choice Russian swear words at the hipster dude while angrily putting on the atrocious looking safety gear.

“Play nice for 10 minutes and then they’ll leave us alone,”

“I like the way you think, Kate Bishop. I didn’t know you were into voyeurism but you’re such a pandora's box of kinks I’m hardly shocked."

Kate fumbles in the suit and Yelena enjoys watching her mask steam up before picking up a fishbowl and launching it at the wall. Kate stumbles into action, smashing a toast oven. The pieces fly everywhere, and they’re complemented with rock music and Yelena kind of gets the appeal now – but she still dislikes the payment part.

“You should not have to pay to express yourself, it is dumb.” She mutters to herself as she watches Kate switch weapons to a steel bat to effectively smash the shit out of a bust. It’s kind of working for her, Kate Bishop is hot and sexy and strong, even in this appalling ‘safety gear’.

They smash various plates and gaming consoles – it’s fun, especially with Kate. Who is currently beating a TV, with great enthusiasm – it’s super hot; this was a great decision. Until she hears Kate scream and it’s raw and unchecked – it startles her, and she moves closer to Kate, removing her headgear to reach out and hold her arm, turning Kate’s attention to her.  

Kate’s mask is steamed up, her breath leaving Yelena unable to read her face. She moves her hands to Kate’s face to pop off her headgear. She’s sweating and wild and Yelena really likes her, “What’s wrong, Kate?”

Kate shakes her head and Yelena helps her brush her hair away gently, “Just,” she pauses staring at the graffiti-covered wall, “My mom. I just hate her.”

Yelena gives her a nod, understanding the sentiment, “And you, Kate Bishop?”

Kate doesn’t follow her and squints at the question. Yelena clarifies for her, “The first night we had sex, very great by the way, you said you hated yourself. How about now?”

Kate is surprised, maybe she thinks Yelena doesn’t pay that much attention to her – but Yelena wants to prove she does. Kate nods after a moment, “I don’t know. I don’t think so, I hate her…but I know I’m not her.” She finishes confidently, eyes holding Yelena’s.

Yelena’s proud of her and wants to tell her but doesn’t know if it’s worth anything coming from her. So, she settles on something neutral, “I am happy for you, Kate Bishop. You deserve to be happy.”

Kate's eyes flutter and she steps closer to Yelena, “I’m going to kiss you now, not sure I can keep it in my pants much longer.”

Yelena laughs, absorbing Kate in a whole-body kiss. Kate walks them backwards until her back hits the wall, Yelena’s hands try to get to Kate’s body, but the ugly apparel makes it difficult and the noises the suit makes are not sexy. Kate’s lips have trailed over her jaw, searching for neck. Yelena sighs and tries to, for Kate’s sake, to get into this with her but when Kate’s hand squeezes her waist, the suit makes a plastic wrap sound and Yelena can’t.

Kate must sense Yelena isn’t into it anymore because she’s started giggling against Yelena’s shoulder, enveloping them both in laughter. Yelena’s not sure she’s ever had this either – free laughter in somebody’s arms. Kate is full of firsts.

“Come on, you can feel me up at home,” Kate says reaches out for Yelena’s hand again. They’re leaving just in time because hipster dude rounds the corner and whatever high he’d been on is quickly destroyed as he beelines for them. Yelena tosses the affronting garbage in his directions before being pulled by a laughing Kate out of the establishment.

It’s all hands and kisses and laughs in the elevator. Yelena with her hands drifting up Kate’s sweater – searching for those toned abs while Kate’s are thrown around her neck. They stumble out and Kate pulls them in the direction of her door, having difficulty unlocking the door with Yelena’s hands nearly reaching her bra. They stumble in, still full of laughter – Kate wrapped firmly in her arms, she’s about to hoist Kate on her hips when a throat clears. Yelena pushes Kate aside and tosses a knife in the direction, a man yelping in pain.

“This is new Kate. Are you really sure you want to keep involving yourself with dangerous people?” Eleanor Bishop stands from the loveseat, walking towards them. She looks like she's trying to let everyone know she was indeed, not in prison. 

“Get out.” Kate’s voice is firm, but Yelena can feel the struggle radiating from her. She walks back to the door and holds it open, motioning for them to leave.

“You heard her,” Yelena echoed, stepping forward with her arms crossed. Analyzing the pathetic beefcakes Eleanor has hired has bodyguards, “She’s the nice one. Leave before you bleed out.” She gestures to beefcake #1 clenching his bicep where Yelena threw her knife.

Eleanor tsks and flicks her gaze over Yelena, “So, is this how you get back at me? Having sex with an assassin that I hired to protect you –“

“You did not protect me!” Kate yells, and Yelena’s heart hurts for her. “You lied to me, my entire life! You’re a fraud and a criminal. Yelena is – she’s none of your business - don’t bring Yelena into this. She’s off-limits”

“Fine, we can talk about your poor coping mechanisms over brunch tomorrow. I’ll be expecting you. There is much to discuss.” Eleanor waves her hand, signalling it’s time to leave for the beefcakes. She pauses next to Kate and lifts a hand to squeeze her shoulder, “So good to see you again, my darling daughter.”

Kate shoves her hand off and all but stalks her out the door, levelling the apartment with a slam and Yelena thinks Kate is going to explode.

Instead, she watches her slide down the door and sob into her knees.

Chapter Text

She watches Kate crumble against the door, unsure of what to do or what to say. They’ve only addressed her feelings through physical means; her hands clench at her sides, her mouth opening and closing a few times before walking over to Kate – still curled into a ball on the floor and Yelena just wants to hold her.

She slides down next to Kate, brushing their shoulders together. She decides to be bold and reach for Kate’s hand, hoping Kate will be open to her touch. She reaches for Kate’s left hand, tangled angrily in those raven locks and gently pulls it away to slide their fingers together. It’s warm and Kate squeezes her hand almost painfully before sitting up straighter – pushing the tears off her face.

“Sorry,” Kate mutters, “I ruined our day together.”

“You did not do this Kate. You could not have known your mother would be here.” She watches Kate shake her head, hair falling to cover her face again.

“I don’t understand how she got out. A judge would seriously let her out on bail?” Kate releases her hand and pushes to her feet, moving towards the letter on the counter. Kate’s eyes scan the letter, and she shakes her head, turning to reach for the liquor in the cabinet. Yelena approaches her slowly, coming to rest on the other side of the kitchen island.

Yelena rubs her hands together, already missing Kate’s touch, “What does it say?” Kate’s mumbling to herself while mixing a drink, she passes a glass of scotch to Yelena and fiddles with her glass.

Yelena sips from her drink, taste buds vibrating at the force of the drink. Kate’s moving again and she’s grabbing a lighter from her draw, moving to the sink with the letter crumpled in her hands.

“Okay. I guess we are not talking about it,” Yelena says and sets her drink down with a sigh.

“There is nothing to talk about. She’s either paid off the judge, or some idiots actually feel she’s not a threat. Either way, it’s corrupt.” Kate throws the rest of her drink back and slams the glass down, shattering it to pieces. Yelena sees the blood running from her hand and grabs a dishtowel, wrapping her hand.

“I’m sorry,” Kate says again, letting the piece of paper flutter to the ground, “Yelena, you don’t have to stay. I can clean this up.”

“It will take more than some broken glass to make me leave, Kate Bishop. Sit on the stool, I clean your hand.” She guides her to the stool, tucking a piece of hair behind Kate’s ear and presses a kiss to Kate’s temple before going to retrieve the first aid kit.

The apartment feels smaller, there’s a tension here again and Yelena knows Kate is looking for an out. Looking for a reason to ask her to leave so that she can be alone and miserable, but Yelena knows she doesn’t deserve that. She’ll stay until Kate asks her to leave – or worse, forces her to.

When she returns, Kate already looking for her and her eyes are tired and puffy from crying. Yelena slides onto the stool across from her and pulls the towel off her hand slowly. She picks up the tweezers and begins picking out the small pieces of glass from Kate’s hand.

“You know, when I was with Natasha, we got into a car accident after being chased by Taskmaster. Totally overboard, by the way, they brought a tank to kill us – they should have known better.” Her eyes catch Kate’s with a small smile as she recounts the story, “Anyway, he blows up the car and we end up in this subway – not a cool way to die. But my arm is bleeding very bad, you see,” she points to the scar on her bicep, “and I want to apply pressure right away like a normal person, but Natasha says, ‘Not yet, trust me' and it pays off because we lose Taskmaster. Natasha used my blood to give Taskmaster a false trail and then we hid above the subway train in the ventilation shafts.”

“She sounded amazing. You must miss her,” Kate’s eyes are warm and attentive, Yelena wants to tell her all about Natasha one day. Instead, she settles on a hum and dabs at the blood running down Kate’s wrist.  

“She was. Turns out, she and Barton hid in that crawl space for two days. I was not excited to relive that experience. We only rested for a few hours – just enough for some games of tic tac toe.” Yelena reaches for the disinfectant, “It will sting, little hawk.”

“Who won?” she asks with a grimace

She rolls her eyes at the memory, remembering Natasha accusing her of cheating and Yelena accusing her right back in defiance, “It was split. Natasha could not deal with my superior tic tac toe skills.”

Kate’s laugh is a melody, and her eyes sparkle again bringing relief to Yelena’s heart. She wraps Kate’s hand gently and presses a kiss to her palm, “There. All done.”



“Why are you here?”

Her heart stops and she doesn’t know what to say. She busies herself cleaning up the first aid kit and cleaning the remnants of the glass off the counter. She could tell Kate she’s only here for sex, but that isn’t true. She could tell Kate she was here because Barton texted her that night, letting her know Kate was back in the city. She could tell Kate she’s here because while it started out as hot and sexy – she really likes Kate Bishop.

“I’ve given you no reason to stay. My life is a mess, and I can’t even go a day without raging about my mom. There has to be something more fun and attractive than this,” she gestures to herself and the apartment, shaking her head.

“You’ve asked me to stay at least twice, Kate Bishop.” She points out, tossing the glass in the garbage can.

“I know, I know. I just…,” Kate trails off pushing her hair out of her face, “I guess want to know why you’re choosing to stay here.”

“Why did you ask me to stay?” Yelena tosses back, not knowing how to express herself properly.

“Because I’m tired of being lonely and the sex is really good,” She pushes from the stool, moving to stand in front of Yelena and her proximity is suffocating. “I think I like you.” Yelena feels the blush heat her cheeks and it’s too difficult to hold Kate’s gaze. She likes me. Are we 10? We might as well be with my experience in actual relationships, she thinks to herself.

“I like you, Kate Bishop. As if that was not already clear. I did bring you coffee and a pastry this morning,” she says, trying to tilt her sentence with humour because that’s safe for them.

Kate slides forward with a contagious smile and slides her arms over Yelena’s shoulders, pressing their lips together. She tastes like scotch and Yelena slides her arms around Kate’s waist, pulling their bodies together.

“You did take me on a date today, Kate Bishop. It was very nice, although I thought we left the smashing behind at the establishment.”

Kate lifts an eyebrow, “A date, huh?” She nods at Kate, daring her to call it something different, “We did kiss, and you showed me a gem of New York.”

Kate rolls her eyes and presses their lips back together. Her hands frame Yelena’s face and the whole world falls away again.

 “It was an okay first date. I really liked the part where you almost got us banned from the smash bar.”

“The suits were appalling Kate, even though you are very hot – it is difficult to get around the texture,” she says with a crinkle of her nose. Kate’s eyes are sparkling again and then she’s kissing Yelena and it feels like the elevator again – before they were so rudely interrupted.

Her back bumps against the fridge and she slips her hands beneath Kate’s sweater, fingers brushing the skin. Kate’s leg slots between hers and she’s about to push Kate’s sweater off when a phone buzzes and chimes.

“Just ignore it,” Kate mumbles against her lips. It’s a great idea, considering Kate’s lips are warm and soft and she tastes like expensive scotch.

Her phone buzzes again and Yelena groans, pressing her forehead against Kate’s shoulder, “Just answer it, or smash it if you’re so inclined.”

Kate pulls the phone from her back pocket and swipes at the screen, she frowns at the message and backs away from Yelena.

“What is it?”

“My mother. Demanding an appearance at brunch tomorrow. She says she wants to explain everything.” She sighs and sets her phone on the counter.

“And what do you want to do, Kate Bishop?” She senses Kate is curious and so is she – this is the woman who hired her and brought her to New York.

“I think I want to go. Give her whatever is she’s looking for – a final audience with me, maybe. And then I never have to think about her again.”

“And if it’s not a final audience?”

Kate moves to get another drink, hands hovering, trying to decide what she wants, “It will be. I have no interest in continuing a relationship with her.”

Yelena nods and steps closer, helping Kate mix a drink that is much smoother. Kate tangles their fingers together and leads them upstairs, tossing her laptop on the bed.

“Pick what we watch, I’m going to change.” She heads off to the bathroom and Yelena’s not sure what to do with this power – she’s never had someone to choose a TV show or movie to watch them. Scrolls through Kate’s Netflix account, shaking her head at the number of ‘Feel-good’ comedies and romantic choices Kate has watched in the past. She settles on a personal favourite: Sex and the City.

Kate emerges from the bathroom, wearing a t-shirt with a faded archery competition on it and purple sleep shorts. She tosses some clothes at Yelena, and it feels so domestic and casual – she supposes this is what they have been doing all along, but they didn’t say I like you until now.

Kate settles next to her, legs tangling with hers beneath the blanket. She chuckles at Yelena’s choice, “Seriously?”

“Do not judge this pick, Kate Bishop. It is a classic and it is in New York – what is not to enjoy?” She presses play and settles further into the bed. Kate’s fingers trace patterns over the back of her hand and she feels the lull pulling her to dreamland.

It’s the anxiety that wakes her; her mother’s ‘invitation’ looms over her and she wonders how she’s going to withstand her bullshit alone. She thinks of Yelena, stepping to her defence without question. She thinks of the way her mom looked at Yelena, with disgust and unease, she’ll do anything to keep Yelena out of her mom’s crosshairs. She’s surprised to find Yelena still asleep beside her. She looks so innocent and good; her fingers reach out to trace Yelena’s cheek – those green eyes flutter open.

“Morning,” Yelena murmurs, pressing a kiss below Kate’s bandage. “How did you sleep? Any Eleanor Bishop-induced nightmares?”

“No, nothing to report,” Yelena hums and presses a kiss to her clothed shoulder, “I’m debating going to brunch though. She won’t do anything but lie and then I’ll be miserable. I’d rather not have my day ruined – especially when it can start off so well.” Kate pulls Yelena towards her, sighing when Yelena’s body covers her own.

“Did you have something in mind, Kate Bishop?” Yelena’s fingers trail over her temple, brushing the hair away.

Kate nods, tangling a calf with Yelena’s and pulling her mouth down. It’s a soft kiss and it’s familiar now. They’ve kissed like this countless times and Kate has come to associate this gentleness with all of Yelena’s touches. Yelena’s teeth tug on her bottom lip and her hands slide beneath her t-shirt, nails scratching at her abs.

She turns her head to the side, allowing Yelena’s lips to make their way to her neck. Her hand tangles in Yelena’s hair, pushing her mouth against the mark on her pulse.

“Best get your concealer out, Kate Bishop. I do not think mommy dearest will appreciate this.” Yelena punctuates the statement with a nip beneath her jaw.

She imagines walking into her mom’s townhouse, hair up with a low collared blouse and she flushes, “I wouldn’t cover them. Fuck her.”

Yelena pulls away to connect their gazes, a smirk lining her face, “You are very hot, Kate Bishop. I would pay good money to see your mother’s face.”

It’s an idea that’s been with her since last night, having Yelena there in some capacity. She was too scared to ask when she was weaker and sad but now, they’re on even ground – filled with fun and sexiness.

“You wouldn’t have to,” she swallows, trying to rephrase her response when she sees Yelena’s eyebrows pull down in confusion. “You could come with me, I mean.” She pulls on her lip, hoping Yelena doesn’t shy away.

“Well, considering I have already met your mother on different circumstances – I look forward to watching her squirm when she sees how I have defiled her daughter.” Yelena’s eyes are lit with mischief and Kate finds her so insufferable and cute.

“Is that a yes?” Kate asks, lips pulling in a grin.

“Yes, I will go to brunch with you, Kate Bishop.”

Kate’s smile is contagious, and Yelena’s expression mirrors her own, their lips meeting again in a tangle filled with giggles and wandering hands. Kate’s about to pull Yelena’s shirt off when her alarm goes off, Kate collapses back against the mattress with a huff.

“My mother is cutting into my sex life. I’ll be so glad to be finished with her after today,” Kate says as she reaches over to shut off her alarm.

Yelena pushes up to straddler her hips, “You are funny, Kate Bishop. I’d offer a quick shower, but I know nothing about you is quick.”

“Is that a challenge?” Kate asks sitting up to shuck her shirt, enjoying Yelena’s eyes tracing her shoulders and chest.

“Are you up to the task, little hawk?”

Kate nods, pressing their lips together in a kiss that’s all tongue and filth; causing Yelena to sigh and settle on her knees. Kate uses her distraction to roll them and pin her to bed before taking off to the bathroom, laugh filling the apartment. She turns to watch a stunned Yelena shake her head and stalk towards Kate, stripping her clothes off along the way and Kate sincerely hopes Yelena gets her revenge in the shower.

They’re only fifteen minutes behind but Kate isn’t worried about being late like she said earlier – her mother can go fuck herself. Kate takes Lucky around the block quickly, opting to leave him home as an excuse to leave early if it comes to that.

The streets are busy and noisy on a Saturday morning and Yelena’s hand is tangled in hers – she could get used to this. She sees the tower, blocks away and her throat starts to tighten, and her heart feels like it’s going to burst. Tires squeal and there’s a loud bang followed by screams; she stops and turns toward the noises, hand feeling her pockets for a weapon and not finding one. The panic sets in and everything is bad again; she can’t find the noises, but she smells smoke and there’s yelling and then – Yelena.

Her hands are framing her face, forehead pressed against Kate’s. Her lips are moving but Kate can’t hear them, why can’t she hear them? She’s pulled off the sidewalk, into an alley. She feels the cold bricks through her coat and Yelena’s hands are unbuttoning her coat, splaying her hand over Kate’s chest, just below her throat.

Her voice is clear and strong, “Eyes forward, Kate Bishop. I’m here. You’re okay. I’m here,” she repeats, and Kate feels her, focusing on feeling her hand. Yelena pushes slightly, mimicking taking deep breaths then reducing the pressure on her chest when she breathes out. Her voice returns to Kate’s ear, “You’re okay, I’m here. There was a car accident, just a nasty fender bender. Scared the little Americans but you are okay, we are okay.”

Kate nods and her eyes follow Yelena’s lips, soaking in the words. She breathes with Yelena and presses their foreheads together again. Yelena’s thumbs trace the tears that had formed, and she kisses her, trying to convey how much Yelena does for Kate. Despite their short time together, Yelena knows her and it’s so good and somewhat terrifying that she’s become this comfortable with Yelena.

“Do you want to go back? We do not have to do this, Kate.” Yelena suggests concern tinting her voice.

“I want to. Let’s get this over with. I’m good now, thanks to you.” She kisses her and she can feel the coldness of Yelena’s fingertips on her face. She pulls away to fix her coat and reaches out to grasp Yelena’s hand, pushing their joined hands into her pocket, “Let’s go have brunch with my criminal mother.”

They arrive at the fancy golden looking doors (overkill in Kate’s mind) and the doorman greets them with great enthusiasm. Kate nods at him, feeling foreign in this place she used to call home. They enter the elevator, and she dreads the long ride up, eyes closing at the awful elevator music.

“You will be fine, Kate Bishop. We can leave whenever you want – the choice is always yours.”

“The crepes are so good. I just want a crepe and then we can leave.” Her eyes peak open at Yelena’s chuckle. She turns to face the mirror, using the band around her wrist to pull her hair up and Yelena’s chuckle turns into a full-blown laugh.

“You are so sexy, Kate Bishop. I will reward you for this boldness after brunch.” Yelena says and she steps closer to Kate, hands reaching in her coat to grip her hips, connecting their lips. That’s how her mother finds them, and Kate can’t find it in herself to care.

Eleanor’s throat clears and fixes Kate with a glare that she one time would have cared about, but now she just wants to make her angrier. Kate pulls Yelena behind her and brushes past her mother, leading them to the dramatic table filled with food.

“I didn’t know you’d be bringing your side piece, good thing I had Charles prepare a lot of food.” Eleanor takes her place at the head of the table while Kate drags Yelena to the opposite end.

“Your beefcakes are chefs too? Do they do house cleaning with a side of criminal activity?” Kate tosses back at her, choosing to ignore the comment about Yelena who pulls Kate’s chair and helps her take her jacket off.

“So, mom. What do you want?” she says with a tilt of her head. Yelena’s reaching for the eggs, hands hovering above the food looking for something else and Kate knows it’s hot sauce.

“Well, my bail hearing went great as you can see. The judge sees I don’t belong in prison.” Eleanor says with a wave of her hand, “I’m sure these so-called charges will be dropped once they see I was coerced – “

“Coerced since dad died? That’s a lot of years to cover up, Eleanor.” Kate watches Eleanor bristle and set her mimosa down.

“Don’t take that tone with me. You were a little girl, Kate. And you wanted everything after he died. It’s not your fault, you didn’t understand what losing him meant beyond losing someone who loved you. He was involved with Fisk and when I found out it was too late, I had to protect you, Kate.”

“So what? You let me live an entire life of lies and fake comfort over some debt to criminals? I thought we were good people, mom!” Kate shouts at her and her knee jumps under the table, bumping it harshly. She feels Yelena’s hand smooth over her knee and she spares a glance at Yelena, who has a soft look on her face.

 “You are good, Kate. You didn’t do anything wrong. What’s harder for you isn’t finding out that I’ve been coerced for essentially your entire life but finding out your dad wasn’t the perfect man you thought he was.”

It hurts, a lot. She doesn’t remember much of her father; she remembers him not leaving the apartment with them in 2012. She stabs aimlessly at her crepe, willing herself not to cry. Her mom still committed crimes and Kate knows she could have gotten out of this year's ago, but she didn’t.

 “You made a choice, and we are defined by what we do.” She says, eyes darting to Yelena who has paused mid-bite to look at Kate.

“It wasn’t that easy, Kate. You were so little with such large ambitions – “

“You are saying it is Kate’s fault you became an accomplice to a crime lord?” It’s the first time Yelena’s spoken, and it throws them both off. She’s staring at Eleanor expectantly and Kate really really likes her.

“Why are you here exactly? Other than Kate’s pathetic attempt to upset me – very mature of you by the way,” she says gesturing to Kate’s neck.

“I was invited, Eleanor. Try to show some respect for your guests.” Yelena says with her eyes wide, voice dripping in sarcasm. “Not very hospitable if you ask me, considering your beefcake over there has been staring at me far too long.”

“I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable, Ms. Belova. Does Kate know all the ‘good’ you’ve been up to over the years? Hardly a clean sheet for you, either.” Yelena holds Eleanor’s gaze, hand gripping the fork tightly.

“I am not here to talk about me,” Yelena says finally and Kate reaches down to cover Yelena’s hand on her knee, squeezing until Yelena’s eyes find hers.

“I take it she doesn’t know, then. It would be hypocritical of you to hate me, Kate but love her.” Kate’s fist slams on the table and she pushes to her feet.

“I told you, Yelena is off-limits. She’s – she’s. We are – “Kate stammers and reaches for her coat, “She’s the only person I can trust, mom. Don’t try and make her into a bad person just because you’re upset that I sent you to prison.”

“You’re my daughter, Kate. I don’t want revenge, I want you safe and with her,” she points to Yelena, eyes boring into Kate’s “you are not safe with her.” Kate’s already shaking her head, her mom has a twisted view of Yelena, and Kate knows Yelena is an assassin, but she also knows there’s a story there and Yelena is good – she feels it. She sees it in her eyes. She knows Yelena is good.

She threads her hands with Yelena’s and makes her way to the elevator. She pushes the button frantically, needing an out. Her mother leans against the doorway, “I want you to take over Bishop Securities. You can do things your way. Clean up the company; run it properly. Think about it, Kate.”

Yelena pulls her into the elevator and it’s quiet. Kate’s reeling: Eleanor wants her to take over Bishop Securities? She probably just wants a good PR move for the company when the news gets out their CEO has criminal charges pending. But her take on Yelena, she seemed so sure…she doesn’t want doubt to settle in. She needs this to be good with Yelena, needs to trust her.

Yelena drops her hand when they step out of the building, looking up and down the street – not meeting Kate’s eyes. Kate steps closer to reach out but Yelena’s farther away again and she’s not sure what this means.

“Yelena. Whatever she said, I don’t believe her. You aren’t bad, aren’t – “

Yelena’s hands rake over her face, and she still can’t look at Kate, “I don’t want to be the only good thing in your life, Kate. I’ll only disappoint you.”

“Yelena – what, what are you saying? You can’t disappoint me; you’ve done nothing wrong.” She steps towards Yelena and this time she doesn’t move away. Her hand reaches out again and Yelena accepts the touch, looking guilty and lost.

“There are things I haven’t told you about what it was like, being under mind control. The things I had to do – I didn’t want to do.” Yelena looks so small, and Kate just wants to hold her.

“Mind control? Yelena, are you saying you were in the Red Room?” She watches Yelena nod slowly and she understands more about Yelena now, her personality and demeanour. “Okay. It’s okay. It wasn’t your choice, Yelena. It’s not your fault.”

Kate sees Yelena’s lip quiver and her eyes are watery, she finally looks at Kate. She’s never seen Yelena look this unearthed, especially in public. She curses her mom for making Yelena feel this way, she’d rather Yelena told her on her own terms instead of being ambushed. She curses herself for asking Yelena to come.

“I’m sorry, for asking you to come. I didn’t know she would be awful to you.” Kate says, tangling their fingers again.

“It is not your fault, Kate Bishop. Your mother had to one up on me, I walked right into it.” Yelena’s hand squeezes hers.

“Let’s go home and order takeout, the crepes weren’t even that good.” Kate starts pulling Yelena on the street, stopping when Yelena doesn’t fall into step next to her.

“You still want me to go with you? After everything?” Yelena looks at her in disbelief “I haven’t even told you everything yet – you can’t trust me, Kate.”

“I can trust you. Don’t doubt me. I like you, Yelena. I’m not asking for perfection.” She pauses, tilting Yelena’s face to hers, “I trust you would have told me when you felt ready and if you aren’t ready to say more, that’s okay too. I’ve looked in your eyes many times to know you’re good, Yelena. Don’t doubt me.”

Yelena pushes their lips together, hands sliding into Kate’s hair, messing up her ponytail. Even surrounded by people with endless noise erupting from the streets, it somehow manages just to be them. Just Yelena in Kate’s arms and their lips tangled together – never wanting it to end.

They pull away when someone whistles at them, Yelena turning her head to yell a few choice words at them. She turns back to Kate and rests their foreheads together, hands tangled in Kate’s coat.

“She did not have hot sauce and the waffles were mediocre. Charles is a terrible chef.”

Kate’s laugh spreads over her face, warming her cheeks. Yelena tangles their fingers together again, leading them back down the street.  

Chapter Text

They stop at a diner on the way, both of their appetites unmet thanks to Eleanor. Kate settles for pancakes and coffee, looking on with disgust as Yelena pours an ungodly amount of hot sauce on her scrambled eggs. Yelena shakes at the bottle, a pout forming her face when she finds it empty.

“Problems, Yelena?” Kate asks as she watches Yelena pop the top off and taps on the bottom of the jar.

“This is not an appropriate amount of hot sauce. They are trying to cheap us out, Kate Bishop.” She shakes the bottle one last time before setting it aside with a huff.

“Or we could just ask for another bottle, like normal people.” Kate points out, digging into her pancakes.

“But we are not normal people – are we, Kate Bishop?” Yelena’s question is light, but Kate knows what she means. They both have trauma and experienced the loss of people they loved far too soon. Also, the vigilante thing is pretty unique – not that Kate’s bragging. She sighs, adding more maple syrup to her pancakes, “You could say that.”

Yelena hums and glances at Kate, eyes widening at the amount of syrup, “Kate, you will die of the sugar disease if you do not stop.” She gestures to the puddle of syrup lining her plate.

“Do you mean diabetes?” Kate asks before popping a strawberry in her mouth.

“Yes, that’s what I said. You must watch your consumption – American products are loaded with sugar.”

Kate tilts her head, pretending to be in deep thought, “I think the syrup’s from Canada – “

Yelena interrupts her, fork wagging in her direction, “Do not play smart with me, Kate Bishop. I am just trying to keep you healthy.”

 “Are you offering to be my personal trainer?” Kate’s eyebrows lift, mouth pulled into a grin. She watches Yelena’s head tilt back and forth, considering the offer.

“I am not cheap, Kate Bishop.” Yelena says, eyes full of mischief, “I am very particular, as you may know. And this will impact your takeout orders substantially. I must teach you how to cook for yourself.”

“I was thinking you could just make me smoothies and spar with me? I’m a simple girl, no need to bring my pizza consumption into this.” She pokes at her pancakes dejectedly, “And why do I have to pay?”

“If you didn’t notice, I have not taken a contract since we started…this,” Yelena gestures between them, rolling her eyes at Kate’s smirk.

“Well, I technically don’t have a job either. Would you accept orgasms as payment?” Kate asks as the waitress comes to stop at their table and Kate is mortified while Yelena is delighted. The waitress stares between the two of them, stammering her words, “Any – um – w-would you - anyone for dessert?”

Kate’s ears heat up with embarrassment, shaking her head rapidly. Yelena’s laugh is obnoxious, and Kate wants to kiss her stupid smirk off her face, “I think we will take care of that. Just the bill, thanks.” Yelena leans closer to Kate on the table, resting her head on her hands, “Orgasms? I could be persuaded, Kate. Care to elaborate more?”

“No. I’d rather keep my takeout intake as it stands, thank you very much.” She accepts the bill from the waitress and pulls out her mom’s credit card – tipping the waitress heavily for her troubles. Yelena tugs her out of the diner, and they head toward the familiar path to Kate’s apartment.

“Would you consider accepting your mother’s offer? Heading Bishop Securities?” Yelena asks her out of the blue, squeezing her hand gently.

Kate shakes her head as they continue down the street, eyes tracking the cracks in the sidewalk. It’s what her mom always wanted for her, she’s not sure it’s what she ever envisioned for herself. She’s probably just using you as a PR piece – let the good daughter take over while Eleanor’s in jail. The company has been part of her whole life – from sponsoring archery competitions to donations to schools to create a martial arts team. She knows the people around her mom's inner circle well – they’ve been at countless parties and events over the course of her life. She wonders how many of those people were part of Fisk’s inner circle too, the only person that can answer that is Eleanor, unfortunately. A horn stirs her out of her thoughts, and she glances back at Yelena, who just squeezes her hand and has a soft smile.

“It’s always been her vision – I’m not sure it’s mine. There are a lot of missing pieces – like why she wants me to take over to begin with? I didn’t even complete my botched internship.” She stares at the red flashing person on the light across the way, “I honestly don’t know what I want to do. I’ve always wanted to be like an Avenger, you know? But we all know it doesn’t pay if certain powers decide you’re no longer part of their plans. I could join SHIELD; they’ve reached out to me a few times already.”

“I am not surprised you are being courted by SHIELD – you are remarkable, Kate Bishop.” She says it so easily and Kate can’t get over Yelena’s confidence in her – it’s so forthcoming and natural. “Did Barton tell them about you?”

Kate mutters an affirmative as they enter the elevator, “I’ve received a couple of encrypted messages, but I wasn’t sure…” she trails off, pushing the button to her floor.

“You weren’t sure you deserved it after everything that happened?” Yelena knows her so well and she’s not scared of it anymore, it’s comforting. She’s tired of explaining and vocalizing her turmoil – she’s let Yelena in and it’s so good.

She nods and threads her hand through Yelena’s once more. She feels Yelena’s lips press to her jaw, “I don’t think it’s a question of deserving anymore. It’s just…trying to navigate my new life. Everything has been turned on its head since the holidays.”

“That is understandable, Kate. Do not rush into anything, you have time.”

She’s floored by Yelena’s uncompromising support. She’s been nothing but constant since the first night. Her brain flashes back to her mom, telling her it’s hypocritical to love Yelena and hate her but Kate knows it’s not hypocritical. It’s clear as day – Yelena is easy to love and there’s nothing that compares to this. Kate’s never felt this before and sure she’s had a few partners along the way but none of them could keep up. None compared to Yelena, who easily falls into step beside her and easily knows what she needs, long before Kate can vocalize it. Kate loves her, and she’s sure of this love. It isn’t defaced in lies or given because she has to, it’s a choice. One of the best choices she’s ever made.

It's overwhelming, realizing you love someone in an elevator – especially when the other person has no idea you’ve dissected all this in thirty seconds. Yelena senses she’s far away and squeezes her hand again, leading them to Kate’s apartment.

Once inside, Yelena calls to Lucky and picks up his leash before turning to Kate, sliding her arms around Kate’s waist. She’s light and happy and Kate really loves her.

“Do not think I have not forgotten your little act of rebellion earlier,” Yelena reminds her with a press of their lips together, tongue peeking at Kate’s bottom lip. “Pulling your hair up and pushing your neck out at your mother earlier today. Very sexy of you, Kate Bishop.” Her teeth pull at Kate’s lower lip, and Kate feels the heat rushing south.

“I think you like the idea of people knowing we have really good sex. Very kinky, Kate Bishop,” Kate’s cheeks flush and her mind empties except for thoughts of Yelena. She presses another kiss to Kate’s lips, full of tongue and promise. Kate tangles her fingers in Yelena’s coat, pressing their bodies together. There’s nothing Kate would rather do than touch Yelena, in any capacity.

Lucky barks at them, and Yelena pulls away with a smirk – fully knowing what she’s doing to Kate, “I will walk the dog. You think of dessert, yes?” She leaves with a wink and Kate’s a puddle of goo.

She pushes her fingers through her hair, trying to calm her racing heart. Yelena’s touch is so precise and purposeful, her comments a few nights ago still ring in her ears: everything I do has a purpose. Her thumbs brush her neck, and she pushes at the bruise there, a shiver taking over her body. Yelena knows her body so well; she knows how to make her sigh and ache; make her laugh and make her quake.

She trails her fingers over the countertop, collecting a shot glass and a bottle of Yelena’s vodka as she makes her way upstairs. She chews her lip as she contemplates “desert” and decides to reward Yelena for going to brunch with her too. She enters her closet, searching for the items she purchased many months ago when college was a thing. Her hands close the blazing red bra and underwear set – she pours herself a shot, trying to give herself some liquid courage. She’s sure Yelena will like it…it’s just, revealing to say the list. She strips in the closet and downs her shot, groaning at the warmth scorching down her throat, it settles in her belly, and she thinks of Yelena – it’s going to be so good. She pulls on Yelena’s yellow trench coat that has found its place in Kate’s closet, pushing her nose into the collar. The tweed coat scratches against her skin, imagining the marks Yelena will leave – she shivers again and grabs the bottle by the neck. She steps to the window Yelena thinks is the front door and leans against it, resting her hips on the railing. She takes another swing and hopes Yelena has taken Lucky around the block many times.

The doorknob jiggles and Lucky bounds in with a new toy, jumping on the loveseat to rip into it. She hears Yelena drop her keys and leash; her expression is unreadable from so far away, but Kate knows she’s looking. Kate takes one last swing from the bottle before setting it down, she feels the gush of air on her chest and Yelena’s at the bottom of the steps when she looks up again.

Her eyes are predatory and she’s chewing her lip so hard Kate thinks it might be bleeding. She watches Yelena take two steps at a time until she’s inches from Kate. Her pupils are blown, hands reaching out to grasp the bottle and take a swing, eyes still on Kate’s and she really hopes Lucky can occupy himself for a few hours.

“You are wearing my clothes, Kate Bishop,” her voice is rough, and it makes her thighs clench. Yelena’s fingers are gentle when they undo her ponytail.

“Yeah. Want it back?” their lips are millimetres apart, Kate’s hand twitching at her sides when Yelena’s trail over her thighs, thumbs circling just below the coat’s hem.

“Yeah,” her fingers push at the buttons, unwrapping Kate like she’s a precious gift. Yelena’s eyes are zeroed in, mouth pulled into a serious line before sliding her hands over Kate’s bare shoulders and pushing her jacket off. She hears the intake of Yelena’s breath and watches her swallow before looking back at Kate.

“You are so divine, Kate Bishop.” Her hands close over Kate’s hips, thumbs stroking the fabric of her underwear as she angles her lips against Kate’s in what could be described as a kiss, but it’s so filled with tongue and teeth she isn’t sure what to say call it – it doesn’t matter because Yelena’s hands are gripping her ass and Kate’s pushing Yelena’s shirt off.

It’s urgent as if they haven’t seen each other in weeks and Yelena is obsessed with covering every inch of her skin with hands a mouth. She hoists Kate on the windowsill and steps between her legs, fingers squeezing at one of Kate’s breasts, rubbing her thumb over the protruding nipple.

“I am going to fuck you, here. Against the window. Maybe we should open it and see if the block wants to know just how much you’re mine.” Mine – the possessiveness makes Kate groan and shove her hands into the back pockets of Yelena’s jeans, squeezing her ass. She doesn’t mind being Yelena’s and she doesn’t mind having people know that – especially if it means Yelena is hers.

Yelena’s teeth are at her shoulder, snapping her bra strap against her skin and Kate can feel the wetness between her legs, it’s hot and she aches to rub her thighs together in search of friction. Arching her chest into Yelena’s hands when she can’t find anything to rub against.

“I really like this underwear, Kate. I will be generous,” she drops to her knees and nips at the inside of her thighs. Her hands close over Kate’s hips to slide the underwear off her legs, teeth and tongue returning to her inner thigh and leaving a mark that Kate knows will ache for days.

Her hips twitch and feels the flush settle deep over her body. She feels heavy as if Yelena had tied her down and she wants nothing more than to be good for Yelena. It’s always rewarding and grounding with her.

Yelena slides a leg over strong shoulders, thumb sliding across to brush her clit – tongue tracing her wetness. Kate’s hands move to grasp Yelena’s head, trying to get her as close as soon as she can. She hears Yelena tsk and slap her hands away, guiding them to close over the railing, “Don’t move them, or I stop. Be a good girl, Kate.”

Chapter Text

“One more, Kate.” Yelena breathes against her back, fingers releasing her breast and sliding towards her groin. Kate moans and clenches the pillow above her head, at the thought of Yelena touching her again. It feels like it’s been hours, but Kate doesn’t know anymore – she only knows the press of Yelena's fingers on her skin and the low voice in her ear. “One more. I know you can, Kate.”

She feels teeth between her shoulders and fingers pinching at her hip. She presses back into Yelena, hands remaining clenched into the pillow as she rubs herself against Yelena; feeling the harness drag against her. Her thighs clench again, in renewed enthusiasm at the reminder of the toy strapped to Yelena’s hips. Memories rushing back at her of her facedown in the bed while Yelena fucked her as a reward for keeping her hands to herself against the window. She shutters at the memory, tongue running over her bottom lip, Yeah, one more. She nods and slides onto her back, a hand releasing the pillow to pull Yelena on top of her.

Yelena’s body is illuminated by the bedside lamp, her breath mingles with Kate’s, and she feels Yelena’s sigh against her cheek when their bodies reconnect again. Yelena’s forehead is sweaty against hers, but her lips are soft and reassuring. Her hands are gentle; the roughness from before is long gone and now it’s just Yelena’s warm body against hers. Her thrusts are gentle, without rush but always with purpose. Her comment rings in her ears, Everything I do has a purpose, Kate. She moans at the purpose of this – to bring them both over the edge.

Kate knows what Yelena needs when they’re together like this; to see her face and grind. She knows Yelena needs a deep, intimate connection, to let herself go – Kate’s so glad it’s with her. Yelena’s arm slides over hers and pulls at Kate’s clenched fingers, releasing them from the pillow to lace their fingers together; Yelena’s soft gasps and jerky movements of her hips means she’s close and Kate knows nothing but her warmth and her sounds. Nothing else matters.

“Kate, I…” Yelena’s low voice trails off on a moan, she feels Yelena’s pants against her neck and her heart could nearly burst. She didn’t know sex could be this good and consuming with someone you love – it’s more than just sex now, between them… it’s like she wants to share every piece of her with Yelena. Kate craves her and her body searches for Yelena’s – knowing the comfort she provides is unparalleled to anything else. Kate’s not sure she’ll ever recover if Yelena were to leave her.

A particular thrust has Kate quivering, and her moans only encourage Yelena to hit that same spot, over and over until she’s arching and sighing Yelena’s name in pleasure. Yelena’s body is taught a top of Kate’s, forehead resting against Kate’s temple as her hips move once, twice, before Kate’s name leaves her lips – pants falling against her cheek.

The only sounds coming from each other, breathing each other in and Kate can barely think of any words to say. She’s grateful they don’t need to talk – so much has been expressed already and it feels so good. Yelena’s eyes catch hers, hands reaching up to tilt their faces together in a gentle kiss.

“Are you okay, Kate Bishop?” Yelena’s voice is scratchy, and it makes Kate’s toes tingle – knowing she did that.

“Yeah. Good” Her voice doesn’t like her own, it’s more airy than usual. She squints, trying to form more words, but her brain isn’t helping her.

Yelena’s chuckle is soft, and she squeezes Kate’s hand, thumb stroking over her knuckles. Kate focuses on Yelena’s touches, eyes rolling shut at the softness against her hand and her jaw. Yelena’s other hand fumbles to remove the harness, her warmth is gone and Kate whines – missing the press of Yelena’s body and her touch.

“Shh. I am here, Kate.” She settles back between Kate’s thighs and laces their fingers back together, offering a squeeze that Kate reciprocates. Kate’s eyes open at the feeling of Yelena’s mouth on her skin again, moving over the aggressive marks she had left. A particular one below her breast makes her jump and Yelena’s eyebrows are pulled together, her expression is stricken, and Kate knows she’s already turning in on herself. Kate’s so glad she finds her voice in time.

“It’s okay, Yelena. Look at me, please,” she pauses until Yelena’s eyes meet hers, “It doesn’t hurt, you just surprised me.”

“Do not lie, Kate Bishop. I hurt you.” She begins to push herself up and away from Kate, “You do not deserve that –

“I know. I don’t deserve that,” Yelena pauses in her movement, their eyes connect again when Kate reaches up to cup Yelena’s cheek. “I’m okay, really.” She takes Yelena’s hand and slides it up her stomach until their fingers brush over the mark. “Just ticklish. Not everything is about you, you know.” She adds with humour, and she’s rewarded with Yelena’s smile and the press of their foreheads together.

Yelena’s fingers trail down her sternum off to the side, lifting the bra Kate had been wearing. Kate sighs at the memory of Yelena’s fingers tracing the fabric, removing it carefully – keeping her promise about being generous.

“You are so beautiful, Kate Bishop.” Yelena’s voice is still scratchy, but her voice is tinged with emotion – it makes Kate’s heartbeat profusely. She can’t think of anything else to say, you’re beautiful too seems too cliché – Yelena’s more than beautiful to her; she’s ethereal and steadfast.

“You liked dessert, then?”

“Yeah. Loved it.” Yelena’s lips press to hers and she tries not to lose herself on the loved it part but it’s so hard – she knows she loves Yelena, and she knows this is more than just sex to Yelena too, but she’s almost too scared to ask for anything more. A part of her still screams she doesn’t deserve it, though that part is buried deep in her psyche; it’s being slowly pushed out by herself and Yelena’s unwavering support.

“I will never be able to look at that coat again without thinking of you in nothing but lingerie, Kate Bishop.” Her comment brings a goofy grin to Kate’s face, she squeezes their hands together – grin widening when Yelena presses a kiss to the back of her hand.

“You’re welcome.”

She wakes to Kate’s hair in her mouth, she tilts her head back further to rid her airway of the obstruction. Kate’s arm is thrown around her waist while her hand rests at the centre of Kate’s chest, rising and falling steadily. She watches a strip of drool run down Kate’s cheek and it’s hard to believe there’s no person she’d rather be next to in these early mornings.

 She moves the arm that’s settled around her waist slowly, not wanting to wake Kate. Yelena detangles herself from Kate and makes her way to the bathroom, turning to take in a glimpse of Kate like this. Sheet pooled to her stomach, drool attached to her pillow and her long legs spread out over the bed. Her heart beats loudly in her ears – she’s never felt this at peace with someone.

Kate’s different from anyone Yelena has even been with; she’s never stayed this long. She’s never actually let herself go with the other person either. Kate knows just what she needs now too, she knows how to play her body and Yelena’s happy to let it happen.

She runs the water over her hands and splashes it at her face, eyes catching the toothbrushes sitting in Kate’s plastic purple cup. Her earrings sit in a small bowl next to the toothbrushes. She spends an unhealthy amount of time examining the objects; how easily their lives have twined together over such a small time. She thinks of the clothes she’s borrowing from Kate, it’s all so easy and Kate doesn’t question her. Doesn’t ask her where she lives, doesn’t ask her about her past, doesn’t ask her about Natasha. She wants to share these things with Kate; she wants Kate to know more about her.

She returns to Kate, who has now spread herself like a starfish in the bed and slips in beside her. Pulling the covers over their bodies; Kate stirs when Yelena presses against her side, her hand coming up to swipe at the drool on her cheek.

“Good morning, Kate Bishop.” She rests her cheek against Kate’s shoulder, tracing her fingers over Kate’s hip.

“Mornin’,” Kate rolls over to press their lips together, noses brushing at Kate’s small movements, “Cheater. You brushed your teeth.” She pulls away, her face scrunching up adorably.

She cups Kate’s neck and pulls her closer once more, “Come here,” she murmurs before pressing their lips back together. Kate’s sigh is breathed into her mouth, and she pulls Kate on top of her, sliding her hands over strong back muscles.

She wants to ask Kate what they are – how they’ve come this close in such a short period of time. She read about ‘Friends with Benefits’ in a column and wonders if that’s what they are. Given she has no basis or experience in romantic relationships and according to Kendall from Long Island – their...entanglement so far matches the description. She feels Kate’s hand brush through her hair and opens her eyes when Kate’s lips have left hers a few minutes later.

“Kate, I have a burning question. I read it in a column in the paper.” Kate’s face contorts with a laugh and Yelena shoves at her shoulder affectionately. Kate calms herself when she sees the seriousness on Yelena’s face. “I want to know if we are, what Americans call, ‘friends with benefits.’”

“Why does it matter?” Kate’s face is pensive, moving her chin onto her hand to observe her carefully.

“I like you, and I would also like to be your friend. Someone you call when you are sad or happy,” She twirls a lock of Kate’s hair around her index finger, opting to focus on that rather than looking at Kate at this moment. “I also like having sex with you. Does this make sense?” She decides to look at Kate then, whose eyebrows are drawn downward, and her eyes are searching Yelena’s for something.

The silence stretches onward and she’s not sure this was wise; being this bold with Kate. She’s about to deflect with humour when Kate speaks again.

“I like you, Yelena. I want to keep spending time with you.” Kate pauses, bringing a hand up to clasp the one that was playing with her hair. “If that’s what you want to call us, it’s fine by me.”

She nods, accepting this is the best answer she will get for the time being. Kate presses a kiss to her lips – it’s short and chaste, and Kate’s already moving away from her. Yelena’s rubs her hands over her face, wondering why she had to go and mess this up.

She turns over on her stomach, shoving her face into the pillow. Lucky takes the opportunity to lick her ear and paw at her hand. She huffs and turns to Lucky, scratching at those adorable ears, “Yes, I think a run is in order too, little one.”

“Is there room for one more?” Kate asks from the doorway, she looks shy, and Yelena’s relieved she wants to be around her after that disaster of a conversation – answering her with a nod.

They make great pace around New York; she even lets Kate run ahead of her at certain moments because Kate’s long legs look really good in athletic wear. Lucky is more than happy to keep up with them, especially since it means she gets double breakfast. They arrive at a particularly long stretch of green grass and Yelena feels her competitiveness strike; she reaches out to place a hand on Kate’s arm, tugging on the soft skin of her elbow.

Kate’s face is windblown and sweaty, her eyes are alight with concentration and Yelena really really likes her. She swallows when Kate brushes her hair away from her face, tucking it behind her ear.

“What’s wrong? You pull a muscle or something?” Kate asks as she adjusts her form-fitting tank-top that displays her chiselled shoulders and biceps far are too much for Yelena’s liking.

“You are so funny, Kate Bishop. I want to end with a race,” she points to the streetlamp across the park, “Loser has to buy breakfast.”

Kate’s smile reaches her eyes as she steps closer to Yelena, tracing her fingers along her sternum. The touch makes Yelena’s heartbeat in a different way than just plain exercise. The fact that Kate gives her these small touches outside the walls of her apartment amazes her, it’s even more amazing that she feels completely at ease letting them happen; where anyone could prey on them and spot Yelena’s weakness that is, Kate Bishop.

“You’re on. Just one more thing before we start,” Kate’s eyes flick to her lips and then she’s kissing her, deeply in the middle of the park. She sighs into Kate’s mouth, tongue sliding against Kate’s and then Kate’s turning away from her and yelling, “Go!”

Yelena watches her take off before muttering, “Сука!”. Yelena’s chest burns as she makes up the yards to Kate, effectively on her heels. Kate Bishop is very fast and very hot, and Yelena is very into her.

Kate’s hand reaches out to grip the lamp poll and twirl herself around to face Yelena again and she’s so glad she’s sweating so that she can mask the blush. Kate Bishop is far too attractive.

“It’s not fair!” she says, waving her arms at Kate. “I was not ready. You saw to that, Kate Bishop.” Her arms cross over her chest in an attempt to look upset.

Kate’s smile is infectious, and she steps closer to Yelena, “It was a good luck kiss. Not my fault you find me so irresistible.”

Yelena produces a noise that somehow tries to mix a gasp and huff, trying to communicate her indignation. She’s about to comment on Kate’s good mood when she sees a red dot cover Kate’s heart, she frowns initially and Kate’s already looking down to see it too when Yelena’s eyes widen, and she tackles Kate to the ground. A gunshot, loud and piercing, coming from behind them.

“Shit, Kate we have to move. Get behind the pillar!” Adrenaline courses through her veins and she all but drags Kate behind the concrete barrier on the street. She’s barely registering the screaming people around them, and Kate’s eyes are frantic, her hands are shaking in Yelena’s. Yelena knows she needs Kate now if they’re going to get out of this, she can talk it out with her later.

“I’ve got you, Kate Bishop,” Another shot pierces the barrier they are hiding behind. Lucky lies flat to the ground with her head pushed against Kate’s thigh. “I need you, now. Okay, Kate? I need you with me. Eyes forward.” Her forehead pressed against Kate’s, willing their eyes to connect. When they do, she sees Kate’s expression change, she goes from lost to concentrated. Kate nods against her forehead.

“Single shooter, six hundred meters out give or take, high ground. Bolt action rifle, three shots already gone. Two more in the mag. We need to get to the subway station across the street, we can lose them there.” Kate nods and squeezes her hand.

Yelena pulls the concealed Glock from her waistband, “I will give you cover fire. Traffic has stopped, use the cars to your advantage. See you on the other side, little hawk.” She’s about to turn and provide fire when Kate’s hand grasps her cheek and pulls her down for a quick kiss, “Don’t do anything stupid. You owe me breakfast.”

She smiles at Kate, pressing a kiss to her cheek, “Go!”. She pops up and fires three shots in the general direction, hearing horns honking at Kate and screams from the gunshots. She turns to check her mag and reload her gun; she watches Kate hobble down the steps with Lucky across the street. Hand clutching her arm, blood seeps through and Yelena sees red. She’s already planning on finding this individual and making them experience a full Russian interrogation.

She hears the sirens and the tires squealing to her left, police have arrived at the intersection. She conceals her weapon and waves them over, acting scared and hopeless. A uniformed officer runs over to her and shields her body with theirs, bringing them to the circle of police cars off to the side. Yelena knows the shooter is gone by now, her brain flashes with images of Kate bleeding out somewhere in the subway station or worse – someone already there to finish the job. Her heart beats uncontrollably. She walks over to the designated waiting area and quickly slips away when the officer has their back turned.

The subway station is frantic, with people running and screaming. Huddling into groups away from entrances and exits. It’s commotion and Yelena needs to find Kate. Her heart drops from her chest when she finds a trail of blood, she sprints down the tunnel until the blood stops at a manhole and Yelena collapses with her hands on her knees. Laughs bleeding through her pants as she turns, she finds Kate knelt beside the stairway. Hand clenched over her right shoulder, Lucky sitting alertly at her side.

She runs to Kate and pulls her to her feet, moving them back into the subway tunnel. The darkness hiding their shadows. Her fingers shake as she brushes them over Kate’s body, searching for more wounds.

“Just my arm, Yelena.” Kate sounds out of breath and Yelena’s close enough to know she’s grimacing. She pulls the knife she had tucked into her sneaker out and cuts the long sleeve of her running shirt off to tie it around Kate’s elbow. Yelena tucks the knife back into her waistband and leans down to pat Lucky’s head.

“You, okay?” Kate asks her. She doesn’t know how to answer that; she’s so enraged someone would try to hurt Kate so bluntly – with Yelena there to watch. She shudders at the worst case; Kate collapsing in the park right there with no way for Yelena to save her.

“Yeah. Kate. We need to go,” she pulls Kate along the tunnel, taking Lucky’s leash and letting her nose guide them. “We’re going to go to your apartment. You’re going to pack a bag and we’re going to my safehouse, okay?”

“Okay. Should I call Clint?”

“Yes. Remind him we do not know the threat right now and what this could mean for his family.”

They exit through a maintenance door sometime later; she spots an unoccupied taxi and hustles Kate and Lucky inside. She prattles off Kate’s address, eyes searching the streets of New York for a threat or a tail. She listens to Kate as she calls Barton, she can hear the concern radiating from him.

“He wants to talk to you,” Kate says and holds out the phone.


“Keep her safe,” he starts and Yelena bristles, she’s perfectly capable of protecting Kate. “Out of state, her mom’s involved with this somehow. Either Fisk is out for revenge or there’s another player in the mix. I’ll work on it from my end. Contact me when you’re on the move.”

“Understood,” the lines goes dead and Yelena hands the phone back to Kate who looks pale, Yelena’s eyes flick to her wound and she watches the blood seep through the makeshift bandage. She finds it hard to breathe in this cab – she can’t lose Kate. Not like this. She’s going to kill anyone who dared hurt Kate Bishop. She doesn’t realize how hard she’s breathing until Kate’s hand cups her cheek, steering their gazes together.

“I’m okay, Yelena. Looks worse than it is. It grazed me, maybe some shrapnel left behind. We’ll get the first aid kit, and you’ll stitch me up.” Her voice is steady, and it brings Yelena back to now, not then or what if, but now. And’s that all that matters as she surges forward and presses their lips together, Kate’s fingers tangling in the hem of her vest.

They make it to Kate’s apartment and Yelena tips the driver generously for driving quickly and not asking questions. They take the stairs with Kate behind her, her gun drawn in front of her, eyes and ears tuned in on her surroundings. She slips inside the apartment and does a sweep, releasing a sigh when there’s no danger awaiting them – yet.

She pulls Kate inside brings her to the bathroom, hoisting her up on the vanity to make quick work of a new bandage, disinfecting the wound, and wrapping the gaze tightly around her bicep. “It will do for now. We do stitches at the next location. Take these pills, I will pack your bag.” She pulls out her phone, seeing the text from Clint about their Uber arriving in 10 minutes.

She leaves Kate with the bathroom door open, gun tucked into the front of her waistband as she empties drawers of Kate’s clothes quickly into her purple duffel bag. She slides the bag across the floor to Kate who begins packing medical supplies and her toiletries. Yelena grabs her laptop and chargers, tossing them in the bag and guiding Kate downstairs. They enter Kate’s “workshop”, and she begins packing her archery suit and gadgets. Kate helps by tossing other items in the bag, along with tools and her trick arrows. Yelena moves to pack two dog bowls for Lucky and enough food for three days.

Yelena sees Kate turn the corner with the bags slung over her shoulders and she shakes her head at Kate’s stubbornness, sliding them off her shoulders and hoisting them onto her own. She sees Kate’s huff of protest and hands her the dog leash and doggy bag. Kate’s about to move to the door when Yelena shakes her head and tugs her to the window. She slides the grapple around Kate’s waist and scoops Lucky into Kate’s chest; she attaches her grapple to Kate’s and tosses the claw into the railing, filtering the rope through her and Kate’s karabiner.

“I know this isn’t the time, but this is so cool, and I can’t believe we’re about to do this!” Kate says excitedly and Yelena can’t help but roll her eyes, because of course Kate would find the fun in this. She wraps her arm around Kate’s waist, and they descend the building as quickly as two people with a dog and two duffel bags packed on them would allow.

The Uber is just in time and Yelena is barreling Kate and Lucky into the car, shoving their bags at their feet. The uber driver glances back at them and Yelena decides she does not have patience for this, “Drive or I drive us, without you. Talk and I give you no stars and no tips, you understand?” The driver gulps and nods frantically, pulling onto the street.

Yelena slumps back against the seat, sliding her arm across Kate’s shoulders, thumb rubbing circles into Kate’s non-injured arm. Kate’s head falls to her shoulder tiredly, glueing herself to Yelena’s side. Yelena types out a text to Clint, her leg bounces and she feels the adrenaline pumping through her still. How could this have happened? How could she have been so careless? Touching Kate in the park – how many times have they so carelessly exchanged soft touches and glances surrounded by strangers and enemies?

Kate’s hand closes around her knee, her lips brushing her jaw in a soft whisper, “This isn’t your fault. We’re going to figure this out.” Kate’s comment brings her back again and she brushes her lips over Kate’s temple.

The Uber driver takes Yelena’s threat seriously and drops them off at the location, without so much as uttering a word. She tangles her fingers with Kate’s and leads them through a series of buildings, entering a hotel through a service door. She hears Kate mutter, “This is so cool! This is so spy-like.” Leave it to Kate to find a good time in all of this.

She swipes a card against the door, and leads Kate to the bed, setting her down gently and tossing their bags to the floor. She begins looking for Kate’s laptop, glancing up at Kate’s long whistle.

“Nice place, Yelena. A penthouse suite? You’ve been hiding this is whole time?” Yelena hands her laptop and watches as Kate’s fingers fly over the keyboard, turning the screen back to Yelena. All camera feeds reflect back to her; she grabs two-burner smartphones beneath the bed and syncs their phones with the cameras, handing one back to Kate.

“It is for emergencies. This is an emergency. Let me fix your arm properly, Kate,” she extends her hand to Kate and leads her to the bathroom. Kate squeezes her hand, she feels herself being pulled back against Kate’s body; hands falling to Kate’s hips, sliding to the soft skin of her back beneath the tank top.

“Breathe, Yelena,” Kate says, tilting their foreheads together. “I’m okay, we’re okay.”

Yelena feels the tears pricking at her eyes and wills herself not to show Kate how broken she is – how weak she can be. Yelena does what’s worked for them up until now, pressing their lips together. It’s easy to do this but she’s not sure it has the desired effect – it just makes her more breathless. She came so close to losing Kate and Kate doesn’t even know that this is so much more than friends with benefits.

“Kate, Kate,” she repeats, hands coming to frame her face, eyes searching the endless depth of Kate’s eyes. “I feel…I am…we are…you are -” She stutters, struggling to form the sentence in English.

“Breathe, Yelena,” Kate repeats again, running her thumbs over Yelena’s jawline. The touch grounds her and she opens her eyes, not realizing she had shut them.

“I feel like we are more than friends. It’s…more, with you,” she finishes, dropping her hands from Kate’s face to trace the end of the bandage. “It is has been more since…” She trails off when Kate’s hands slide from her face to her shoulders.

“You know, I got shot at today and all I could think about was you. Wondering if you were okay. Wondering if you were going to ditch me and go on a solo-revenge binge after the shooter. Wondering if you’d still let me kiss you in a park after today.” Kate’s eyes find hers again and she nods at Yelena, “Yeah. We’re more than friends with benefits, Yelena. You’ve somehow managed to guide me through some of the darkest moments of my life. It’s always been more, with you.”

Yelena’s smile can’t be contained and she’s running her hands up Kate’s tattered tank top again, pressing their lips back together passionately. Her worries fall away with Kate’s confession – she felt the first night when they laid on that lumpy couch together; she knew Kate would ruin her. And she has ruined her in the best way possible.

Chapter Text

She’s sitting on the expansive vanity, her reflection staring back at her, and her eyes shift to Yelena’s concentrated expression; she can’t help but smile. It’s more lives rent-free in her brain. She’s sure she’ll get mad about somebody trying to take her out, but she can’t find it in herself right now to think of anything more than Yelena.

This bathroom is like the size of Kate’s bedroom – she can’t believe this is just for emergencies. Yelena works meticulously on her arm, removing two pieces of shrapnel, pouring more disinfectant before taking the needle and thread. Kate’s pretty sure she should feel more pain but she’s kind of glowing right now. She feels Yelena press a kiss above her bandage and provides her with more painkillers, tossing them back with the cup of water she provides.

“Bed rest for you, Kate Bishop. Doctor’s orders.” Yelena gathers the waste and tosses it in the bin beneath the vanity. “We move out in five hours.”

“I’m feeling quite energetic if you must know. I think you have a magic touch, doctor,” she says the last part as a whisper, leaning into Yelena’s body. She watches Yelena’s mouth pull into a smile, tangling her fingers in Yelena’s tactical vest she threw on back at Kate’s. “I think I could probably take one for the team, so to speak.”

Their lips brush again and before Kate can slide her tongue across Yelena’s lips – she’s pulled away shaking her head.

“This is not the time, Kate. I want to take my time with you,” Kate’s face heats at Yelena’s intentions, “We do not have time right now. We need to get out of the city. Allow me to get our route planned and check-in with Barton.” She pulls Kate off the bathroom and leads her to the bed, pushing the covers back. Kate slides into the bed with a sigh, the tiredness hitting her like a freight train in this luxurious bed.

“Maybe sleep is a good idea,” she feels Yelena’s lips against her forehead, her eyes fluttering shut. “Glad you and Clint are getting along.” Yelena’s chuckle is the last thing she hears before drifting off.

Yelena draws the curtains back and sets an alarm; she runs her hand over her wall, feeling for the button to the secret compartment behind the basic hotel art. She collects her keys, cash, and passports, stuffing them into the backpack. Lucky jumps off the bed and stretches, Yelena feels sorry for her. The stress must have been radiating off her and Kate, “What a good doggy,” she whispers and sets up her water and food bowl.

Yelena moves into the adjacent sitting room, sliding the door three-quarters of the way closed to keep an eye on Kate while she calls Barton.

“We are secure, for now. You have three minutes. Any suspects?” Yelena tries to keep her voice confident and business-like despite the roller-coaster of emotions over the few hours.

“Fisk, obviously. I think Kazi is unhinged – something went down between him and Maya. Maya is off the radar, I know that. SHIELD's involved now, albeit quietly since Kate technically has not accepted their offer. They view it as – “

“Schmoozing a future asset,” Yelena all but growls, Kate is more than a weapon. More than an operative. “Out of state is best for now. I know a place. Look into Eleanor. I do not think she could steep as so low to hurt her daughter, but she needs good press right now. A grieving mother image could do that.”

“It’s an angle. I think maybe we also have to consider the fact that she was not the intended target…” Clint’s voice trails off at the suggestion and Yelena hums, knowing this was always the first possibility in her thought process.

“Eleanor was particularly upset Kate brought me to brunch with her. She said some things about me that Kate didn’t know…” she trails off and feels the shame bubbling inside of her again.

“Don’t go there, Yelena. You are a survivor. You’ve done a lot of good things since breaking the Red Room’s control. You will continue to do good things, like protecting Katie.”

She bites her lip at the tears pricking at her eyes again – she can’t believe she’s getting a pick-me-up from Clint Barton. “Any possible IDs yet?”

“I’ve got a couple of images. I’ll send them to you when they’re cleaned up.”

“I’ll contact you when we reach our next location. Watch yourself, Barton. We do not know the players on the field yet.”

“I like the use of your sports analogies. Very Western of you.”

“Shut up.” She huffs and she’s about to say goodbye when he cuts through again, “She took you to brunch? It’s getting serious now. Tell me, what are your intentions with our Katie.”

She ends the call with a huff, rolling her eyes at Barton’s foolishness.

She grabs a couple of bottles of water and protein bars (not expired – she has learned to keep her stash food fresh, take that Natasha) and drags the chair next to Kate, tossing her legs up on the bed. Kate’s sleeping soundly – she knows this by the telltale sign of drool foaming at the side of her mouth. She pushes a strand of Kate’s hair out of her eyes, sliding her fingers along Kate’s scalp to scratch and knead while she watches the security feeds.

Lucky hops up on the bed, cuddling into Kate. Despite the circumstances, Yelena could get used to this – her working on mission details, rotation watches with Kate – minus the injuries, of course. She knows there are more Widows out there – she feels the pull, feels the responsibility, nobody else knows this burden. She thinks she would like Kate to know. Yelena sighs as she clicks through the security feeds, if only she and Kate could have lived in their bubble a little longer. Now they’ll be on the run until Yelena can eliminate the threat.

It's not a bad prospect, going on the run with someone she is comfortable with, someone she trusts, someone she is more with. It makes it complicated though – she remembers the crippling fear that overtook her when she realized Kate was hurt. Her body went onto autopilot, and it was Kate who had to pull her back.

She sets the computer program to auto-monitor, feeling her eyes drifting shut. She will rest for a few moments – her hand pauses in Kate’s hair, sliding down until her cheek rests on the back of the chair, face trained to Kate’s.

She’s running fast down the subway tunnel, heavy footsteps echoing behind her. She yells at Lucky to run - to get away from here. The ache in her arm has become more pronounced and the blood seeps over her fingers and trails down her arm uncontrollably. She wishes Yelena were here, wants to see her one more time.

Her eyes snap open and Yelena’s there; cheek smushed against the back of the chair adorably. Her hand rests on the top of Kate’s head, laptop perched on her lap. Kate takes it onto the bed and clicks through the feeds, satisfied with the lack of change over the past three hours. She keeps the program on auto, shifting on her good side to watch Yelena sleep.

She looks so small and innocent like this – Kate knows she’s seen too much and done too much for someone her age. Her heart hurts for the life Yelena had stolen from her, she hopes this life is more fulfilling for her. She thinks of her mother, thinks of asking her if she had any hand in this – thinks of telling her how badly her arm hurts. She curses herself for craving her mother’s affection, thinking of the time she got over-excited in a cross-country competition and literally went crashing out with scrapes and bruises. Her mother laid bed next to her and hummed lullabies and it’s all so real to Kate until she thinks of the person her mother really is – filled with lies and weakness.

Yelena’s phone goes off, stirring them both. Kate’s fingers brush the stray strands that had covered her piercing eyes, “Hi.” Yelena’s smile turns into her palm when she presses a kiss there. Kate pulls her closer and kisses her softly, relishing in Yelena’s touches.

Yelena pulls away to hand her a protein bar and water, “I wash up quickly, then we get ready to move.”

Kate nods and takes a bite out of the bar, rubbing Lucky’s belly. She glances around the room again, noting how clean and bare it is. The hotel supplied art with the room service booklet still sitting on the desk, untouched. There’s no sign of anyone ever being here and she supposes that’s what Yelena wanted.

She pulls herself up, the pain in her shoulder arm pulling its way to her shoulder. She rotates her arm a few times, trying to shake out the pins and needles. She rummages through a duffel bag, finding a comfy pair of black pants and a muscle shirt out, she pulls her arm behind her back – reaching for her bra clasp, finding it extremely difficult. How do girls do this with one hand?! She twists around, grunting – this is not the image of an Avenger. Kate knows this much.

“Having trouble, Kate Bishop?” Kate spins around to find Yelena leaning against the wall with her arms crossed over her chest, a small smile playing on her face.

“It’s all grungy and gross,” she says gesturing to her bra, Yelena steps forward and signals for Kate to turn around. Her hands are cold as they slip over her shoulders, fingers undoing the clasps, pushing the fabric off her shoulders. Yelena picks it up off the floor and makes a sound of annoyance, “I really liked this one, Kate Bishop.”

“I’d just like to point out that being with you has had a negative effect on my undergarments,” She feels the press of Yelena’s lips against her back and the low chuckle of her voice. “Noted, Kate Bishop. I will find a way to reimburse you.” She helps Kate slip her arms through the new bra, bringing the straps over her shoulder gently before connecting the clasps again. Kate turns to her, receiving Yelena’s help again to put her muscle shirt on – she smiles when Yelena chews her lip at the look, tilting her head at the zip-up hoodie laid out on the bed. Yelena’s laugh and shake of her head has Kate feeling really good despite the circumstances. Yelena helps her with her hoodie and zips her up, pressing a quick kiss to her lips before turning to pack up.

Kate takes notice of the passports and cash in one bag; she hears the jingle of keys, “So, what’s next?”

“We leave New York. I have a vehicle. Wear this.” She tosses her a beanie and watches Yelena produce a baseball cap for herself.

“Disguises? I can’t wait for my fake passport. Have you picked a name for me yet?” Kate rambles on, the excitement filling her bones at the prospect of learning something new. “I’d like to suggest Francesca Smith; very ordinary. Our friends call me Frankie.” She pulls on her beanie and picks up Lucky’s affects.

“Kate Bishop, first rule. Never use Smith as a last name, automatic red flag. The first name is a pass, however.” Yelena exits the penthouse first, hand at her thigh holster that Kate finds so sexy. She leads them down the stairway to the parking garage, they weave through the cars until they call on an older pick-up truck.

“I was expecting something fast and sleek, sexy. You, know?” Kate gestures at the truck, helping Yelena load the items.

“Kate Bishop did Barton teach you nothing?” she holds the door open for Lucky who hops in, moving to the passenger seat. “This is the perfect getaway vehicle – nobody is looking for this truck on CCTV.” She guides Kate into the truck, hand sliding over her lower back.

Her fingers fiddle over the radio station – searching for the right tune. Yelena’s arm is thrown over her shoulder, fingers running up and down her neck. She finds a folk-rock station she’s familiar with, Cher’s voice filtering through; she hums along to Lay, Baby, Lay. It’s dark now, they’ve been driving for hours; the only thing lighting up the interstate are the headlights.

She reaches for the bag of trail mix Yelena had packed for her, “Where are we flying out of?”

“We are not leaving the country. Just the state. I know a place.” Yelena’s arm lifts off her shoulder and twists over the volume button, American Pie singing out of the speakers. She hears Yelena start to hum, lips following along expertly.

“You like this one?” Kate asks, popping a raisin in her mouth. She watches Yelena nod enthusiastically.

“It was my favourite song when I was in Ohio.” Yelena hums over the course again, fingers tapping on the steering wheel.

“When were you in Ohio?”

“When I was six. My first mission – unbeknownst to me. Natasha, Melina, and Alexei – Ohio. Where we were sent to infiltrate a SHIELD facility and steal their data. Alexei set the facility on fire; we escaped the authorities just barely. We went to Cuba, they put me to sleep, and I only remember the Red Room from then on.”

Her voice picks up again, moving along with the song and Kate’s grateful it’s a long one; the gravity of what Yelena just told her – undoubtedly a precious and painful memory, something she felt safe in sharing with Kate. She’s overcome with gratitude for Yelena and presses a long kiss to her cheek, resting her forehead against the side of her head.

“Thank you for sharing that with me,” she whispers into Yelena’s ear, squeezing her thigh. Yelena’s hand covers hers, squeezing in return before holding her hand out, palm up, “Do not hog all the snacks, Kate Bishop. I need some substance too.” Kate laughs, tucking her head against Yelena’s shoulder and sprinkling her hand with trail mix.

“I’m gonna sleep for a bit. Wake me in two hours, I’ll switch with you.” She hears Yelena murmur an affirmative, pulling the blanket from the floor over Kate’s body.

Yelena doesn’t wake her – lets her sleep until her eyes peel open at a bright light. They’re at a gas station, the digital clock on the sign reading 2:57 am. She yawns, stretching her neck to rid the tension and stiffness. She spots Yelena only a few meters away with Lucky, taking her for a bathroom break. She exits the vehicle which makes Yelena’s head snap to hers, moving towards Kate immediately.

“Gonna use the bathroom. I’m driving when I get back, not a word from you,” she pushes a finger into Yelena’s chest, pressing her against the hood of the truck. Yelena’s salutes her mockingly and Kate grumbles as she walks towards the gas station. She greets the sleep-deprived clerk and heads to the bathroom.

She unzips her sweater to look at her wound, with no blood soaping through and no unusual pain. She eyes up the snacks and an energy drink, opening her wallet to find a few bills – her mother’s credit cards staring back at her. She snaps them in half and tosses them into the garbage, moving to the counter to hand the clerk a few bills.

Yelena’s waiting with her hands shoved into her pockets, eyes tracking Kate’s movements the entire time. Kate reaches out and grasps her hand, pulling her to the driver’s side since Lucky has taken ownership of the passenger side seat. Yelena piles in without much protest, handing Kate the keys. The engine revs and turns over smoothly, Kate guides the vehicle to the main road.

“Where are we going?” Yelena’s hand points to the GPS running on a new burner phone, she steers the vehicle onto the main road. “Okay, this is very helpful, I won’t lie. But where are we actually going?”

“Ohio.” Kate slams on the brakes, jerking everyone forward making Yelena cry out, “Kate! Watch it! This is my baby.”

“You’re taking me to Ohio?” Kate’s floored, had Yelena planned this since they packed up in a hurry? Yelena’s taking her to her childhood – whatever brief and traumatic experience it was, holds a special place in Yelena’s soul.

“No need to get sentimental, Kate Bishop,” she’s teasing, trying to deflect and Kate’s content to let her for now. Considering Yelena has slept yet today. “It is safe, nobody suspects us there. A good place to lay low while we figure this out.” Kate nods and releases the brake, continuing down the road.

Kate reaches out and laces their fingers together and brings their joined hands to her lips, enjoying Yelena’s content sigh. Lucky has decided the floor is a better sleeping spot and Kate bunches Yelena’s jacket into her lap, tapping the space. She sees Yelena’s small smile before she collapses on her back, spreading the blanket over her bottom half.

Her fingers trace patterns over Yelena’s cheek, feeling her body go slack, nose brushing against her stomach, “Would now be a good time to mention I don’t actually know how to drive?” She glances down to watch Yelena’s fly open, yelling a bunch of Russian expletives at Kate.

Chapter Text

Yelena lets her drive for precisely two hours and seventeen minutes, explaining she does not have enough experience to lead them down the interstate during the morning rush hour. For the record, Yelena’s a terrible middle-seat driver. Kate knows for a fact she did not sleep and said a lot of things in Russian, both to her and Lucky, in a not so nice tone. She wouldn’t let Kate drive over 60 km/h and Kate snuck it up to 63 km/h one time before Yelena scolded her and slapped at her leg.

She’s eating a breakfast burrito, sharing her hashbrown with Yelena when they cross the state border into Ohio. It’s a small victory she supposes, she’s not surprised Yelena got them here and she wants to contribute too – she doesn’t want to be a pillow princess so to speak. She’s capable of protecting herself and Yelena – she’s going to be a positive impact on this mission, whatever this mission is.

She takes one of the burner phones to download Candy Crush which was a poor decision on her part. Considering she’s not exactly known for her patience – she grumbles and pouts when she loses all her lives, tossing the phone down in a huff. Yelena’s chuckle is soft in her ear, “Did you lose, Kate Bishop?”

“You can’t really lose at candy crush – it just demands a certain patience and strategy,” She says, settling back against Yelena’s shoulder.

“Things you lack. I see the conflict,” Yelena’s hand laces with hers, trying to soften the blow. “We are two hours away.”

“Tell me about this mysterious place. A cabin in the woods, a super swanky penthouse, oh! How about a trailer park?” Kate rattles off with her thumb rubbing across Yelena’s knuckles, tracing the small scars there.  

“You are far too excited about this, Kate Bishop.” She says, stealing a glance at Kate. “It is a quiet place. Where nobody would look for us. Surrounded by a few trees and many fake rocks.”

It is all she has to offer as a description and Kate is tempted to google “places in Ohio with a few trees and a lot of fake rocks”. Yelena is deflecting, it’s almost as if she wants to surprise Kate – she wants her to form her own opinion because Yelena’s is clouded in lies, happiness, and pain. Maybe Ohio is like a double-edged sword to Yelena.

One of their phones chimes and Kate releases her hand to open the message, “It’s a picture from Clint. Kind of looks like Kazi,” she tilts the phone towards Yelena and zooms in on the picture. Yelena pulls over to assess the picture, she grips the phone so hard Kate’s worried it might break. She nods a few times as if imprinting this picture in her mind; she hands the phone back to Kate and pulls back onto the interstate wordlessly.

Kate flicks the radio on, finding a local station that plays somewhat decent rock. She digs in her bag for her phone, contemplating turning it on, she knows she shouldn’t. She wonders what her mom thinks of all this; is it just some sick twisted game or is she in danger too? Kingpin can’t be happy with Eleanor’s open act of defiance and the fact she’s pending charges mean she could give the justice department a bigger fish for a trade-off; reduced prison time or a laughable consequence like house arrest coupled with pathetic fines.

They pull off the interstate to a city called Aurora; it makes Kate sit up a little straighter – knowing they are close. Yelena weaves through the streets expertly as if she has been here recently.

“Has it changed since the 90s?” Kate asks as she takes in the green grass and historic district. It’s different from New York; it’s quaint and very suburban.

“Yes. Houses got nicer, they built more and more – like your New York.” They stop at a crosswalk, watching school children cross the road. “Not as much space. More money – less and less can afford these so-called suburbs.”

They pull into a driveway to a one-story house, Yelena hits the button on her dash and a garage door opens. It’s a pure white colour that matches the other dozen on the stretch. There’s an American flag hanging near the front step, the grass is precisely trimmed, and beautifully green Kate almost thinks it’s fake. The pull into the garage, Yelena hitting the button again; Kate steps out of the vehicle and glances around the room. The mechanic lull stops when the door collapses shut again, she grabs a couple of the bags and follows Yelena. It’s clean with boxes pilled on the shelves, all neat and organized. She wonders what’s in them as Yelena presses a keycode and scans her biometrics, the lock releases with a hiss and they step through the doorway.

Lucky bounds forward, eager to mark and sniff every inch of the house. The walls are a soft beige, covered in photos from places all around the world. They look personal and raw; Yelena must have taken them on her travels. She touches one of the New York skylines, taking on top of a rooftop – when Kate looks closer, she sees the familiar barber’s shop and knows this was taken from her rooftop. Yelena, she breathes.

“Over here, Kate,” she waves Kate over across the hallway, “Bedroom, bathroom adjacent.” Yelena drops their bags onto the bed, Kate nods at her and she sighs at the thought of a shower.

Yelena laces their fingers together and guides her through the rest of the home, showing her the kitchen and dining area. With a living room, encased by windows providing a gorgeous view of full and luscious oak and chestnut trees peeking over an eight-foot fence.

Yelena fiddles near the fireplace against the opposite wall, snapping kidding wood with her bare hands and tossing it. She turns and stands awkwardly, her hands brushing against her sides, eyes darting around the room. Kate’s never seen her so nervous before and she wants to tell Yelena how good all of this is, how good she is.

“It’s beautiful here, Yelena,” she steps closer and sits on the arm on the couch, sensing Yelena needs time and choices. “Is this the house?”

“No. The house got torn down and they built a bigger house, three stories if you can believe it. Just across the street,” she points out the kitchen window to a modern home, two children are at the end of the driveway with backpacks on, waiting for the school bus no doubt. “I went there once. To see if anything remained from the fake house.”

“You broke into that one too?” Kate can’t help but poke fun at her and she’s rewarded with a slight lift of those lips.

“I do not break anything. I am very quiet and very efficient, you know this,” she parrots back at Kate and steps closer, sliding between her legs. “I just wanted to see…what remained? If anything,” she trails off, staring at the invisible hole in the floor. “They cut down the tree I used to hang from, and they built a workshop over mom-Melina’s garden. Nothing left.”

“I’m sorry. That must have been awful for you,” she squeezes Yelena’s hands, watching as she threads her fingers through Kate’s.

“It might have been, had I been weaker. It is just further confirmation all of those events, or memories, as you say, were not meant to be mine.”

“It’s okay to be weak, Yelena. It’s okay to be angry, downright livid that those memories weren’t what you thought they were.” She tries to explain, shaking her head at her failure to say the right thing to Yelena.

“I am learning how to replace those memories with better ones,” Yelena’s hand cups her cheek, moving their lips toward each other’s. “It is largely thanks to you, Kate Bishop.”

Kate presses their lips together, breathing a sigh into her more’s mouth. She will always want more with Yelena – whatever it entails; Kate is game. Fingers slide into her hair to undo her ponytail, she’s pressing Kate back into the softness of the couch, tongue brushing hers. It’s lazy and somewhat tired from Yelena, she knows it’s been a full day without sleep for her – she needs to take care of Yelena too. Her hands push gently on Yelena’s sternum, causing Yelena to watch her with concern.

“You haven’t slept in over twenty-four hours, Yelena. Let me take the first watch?” she runs her fingers over Yelena’s cheek, tracing the bags beneath her eyes. She yawns immediately after, and they both share a laugh; Yelena pulls her to her feet and leads her to the bedroom.

They strip without words, Yelena moving to help Kate with her bra once more before pulling her into the shower. Kate runs her fingers over Yelena’s shoulders before stretching them into her scalp, providing her with a light massage using the cheap shampoo Kate threw in before they left.

“Pomegranate fusion,” Yelena mumbles tiredly, her accent rumbling over the syllables. “Very Kate Bishop.”

“It was on sale at Target,” she mumbles back, pressing a loud kiss to Yelena’s cheek.

Yelena’s fingers find her bandage, removing the bandage – humming approvingly at the cleanliness, “It is healing well. No abnormal pain?”

“No doctor. Your work is impeccable,” she says, nipping playfully at Yelena’s bottom lip.

“Ha ha. Very funny, Kate Bishop,” she hands Kate a towel, steering her to the vanity where she makes quick work of Kate’s cut; disinfecting and re-bandaging the wound.

Yelena yawns again when she slips into shorts and an oversized t-shirt. Kate steers her to the bed, effectively tucking beneath the comforter. She’s turned to draw the curtains shut and is about to walk out when she hears Yelena’s tired, “Stay.”

Kate looks back at her, overrun by affection for Yelena. She strides across the room and slips into bed, opening an arm to accept Yelena’s shuffle towards her. Her fingers brush through Yelena’s damp hair, already feeling the pull to dreamland.

“Press the button on the lamp to set the alarm,” her command is barely audible against Kate’s t-shirt. Kate stretches to press the button before turning back to Yelena, lips brushing against her temple while everything else falls away.

The ache in her arm is what wakes her. She deactivates the alarm and untangles herself from Yelena who is curled into a ball, sleeping soundly. She slips from the room, searching for food and painkillers. Her fingers trail along with the cupboards, making an exciting noise when she finds Scooby-Doo alphaghetti – quickly popping it into the microwave

Lucky whines and paws at the patio door, head tilting back at Kate, “Sorry buddy, here you go. Try not to pee on everything.” She watches Lucky do doughnuts around the yard, throwing a tennis ball in the air before proceeding to pee on every inch of the lawn. “Okay, well it’s your nature. I can’t fault you for that.” She tosses another tennis ball for him before turning back to the microwave and requesting her alphaghetti just before the timer went off – those are some serious skills; knowing it would wake Yelena.

She sits at the breakfast bar, mindlessly stirring before trying to spell her name, then Yelena’s with her spoon before blushing at herself – thankful there was no one to see that. She takes her meds and lets Lucky back in, lounging on the couch with him. She opens her laptop to review the security system, making sure the firmware is up to date. She syncs the alarm system to their phones before examining the evidence Clint had sent earlier.

She zooms in and out on the picture, her guess is Kazi. His neck tattoos are somewhat grainy, but his greasy flow is visible as he walks through a crowd on a traffic cam. His eyes are black and soulless and while she doesn’t know everything that went on with Maya, she knows Kazi betrayed Maya somehow. It’s been going around lately apparently, family-like people betraying each other – she hopes Maya has found her own path.

She uses her backdoor entry to Bishop Securities – setting a three-minute timer for herself to disallow any tracing of her location. She searches for known associates of Kazi and Fisk’s, finding a shredding company in Pennsylvania under their subsidiary, another shell corporation. She screenshots the address before scanning Bishop Securities CCTV to scan for any Kazi appearances on their properties. Her software dings with a match in Whistler, British Columbia – the Bishop Securities winter resort. The timestamp dictates ten hours ago. It’s a good lead. She screenshots it and exits the software, turning off her phone alarm before it could sound. Kate fist bumps and whispers screams, “Yeah! Still got it, baby!”

Lucky flops across her lap affectionately and Kate picks up the remote from the coffee table, flicking through the local cable stations. The crackle from the fireplace is calming, the neighbourhood is quiet in the early afternoon and Kate could get used to this, especially with Yelena at her side.

She’s hours deep in a Judge Judy re-run when Yelena emerges, looking small and cute as she rubs the sleep from her eyes, making her way to Kate. She pulls the popcorn bowl off her chest and leans down for a kiss, licking the butter from Kate’s lips. Effectively turning her to mush on this brightly coloured sofa.

“Good morning. Or should I say afternoon?” Yelena poses, eyebrow in an arch when she pulls away from Kate. “I see you have found the snacks, not surprising. We will need groceries by tomorrow morning at this rate, it is a good thing I like you, Kate Bishop.” The comment warms her chest, she knows Yelena is very into her – but it’s nice to have re-affirmed every now and then.

She sits up on the couch, watching Yelena tap her fingers on the fridge door – indecisive about what she wants; much like Kate was only twenty minutes ago.

“Let’s go out,” Yelena says abruptly, turning back to Kate who’s dumbfounded.

“You want to go out? When we’re on the run?” Yelena’s head tilts and she approaches Kate tactfully, sliding into her lap to straddle her. Kate’s hands slide across her hips to lace around her back while Yelena’s slide across her collarbone.

“Are you doubting my ability to provide for you, Kate Bishop?” Her tone drips with tease and her voice is so sexy, Kate doesn’t know how to resist her when she’s like this. “It would be weird if that couple across the street arrived early Monday morning and never left the house. Maybe they have something to hide – the neighbours think and then pow!” she exclaims dramatically, “we are the talk of the local Sunday Church group and we both die when Fisk drops a bomb on this house.”

Kate’s nose crinkles at the dramatics, “That’s a bit morbid. I see your point. If you think it’s a good idea – I am with you, always.” She adds the last part softly and accepts Yelena’s responding kiss.

“Where are you taking me for this date?” Kate asks between kisses, enjoying Yelena’s huff of laughter.

“A dive bar. Very sporty and American. Frequented by young people and old people. They serve basic alcohol and great onion rings. Their hot sauce is the best in town. A big college game tonight – they will be tuned into that. Perfect for the ordinary couple to grab a bite and take part in the festivities.” Yelena rattles off and it’s perfectly thought out because of course it is, it’s Yelena.

They let Lucky out while they get changed, with Yelena tossing her an Aurora Aces t-shirt and pointing to her jeans. It’s all in the costume, Kate she said as she changed into a leather jacket and local high-school t-shirt. Kate tosses her a trucker cap as her contribution to the outfits while Yelena returns the dark purple beanie to her.

They set the alarm again, Yelena humming appreciatively at the software now found on her phone. Kate slides into the truck, sitting in the actual passenger seat before Yelena makes an affronted noise and waves her over, settling her arm across her shoulders.

The bar’s already busy and the pub food smells so good, Kate’s already drooling at the variety of foods at each table. It’s noisy but not rowdy, with everyone tuned into the TVs located around the bar. They find a booth near the back exit, very smart, Kate thinks as she squeezes Yelena’s hand.

Yelena orders them a plate of appetizers, making grabby hands at the wings that are already spicy. She chows on the onion rings and makes easy conversation with Yelena about sports – explaining the significance of college-level sports in America, sharing tidbits of her time on the archery and taekwondo teams. Yelena listens aptly, even asking her questions about technical terms. She’s never really done small talk with Yelena before but it’s easy and normal and Kate loves her.

Their food arrives with Yelena downing her ribs in the hot sauce while Kate dips her friends in mayo, picking the pickles off her burger and tossing them to Yelena. “You would dare disgrace your fries in that dreadful substance?” Yelena’s disgust is evident, and Kate is shocked – this comes from the girl that pours bottles of hot sauce on everything at a time.

“You don’t get to judge me. You put that flaming death sauce on everything,” she points at the empty bottle off to the side. The bar erupts in cheers and Kate glances at the TV seeing the scoreboard reflect positively on the local team.

“I have standards, Kate,” Yelena tilts her head curiously at the TV, “I do not get it. He runs the ball into a large, coloured rectangle but is his team still losing? What is there to cheer about?”

“Just pride, the player card says he’s from these parts,” Kate chews on her burger, spitting the lettuce aside much to Yelena’s chagrin. “Sports brings people together, like a common goal.”

“My goal is to get you to eat a vegetable this month. We’re already off to a shaky start,” she says flatly and Kate tosses a bit of tomato at her.

The game ends and a few people shuffle out. The TVs are turned down to play the local news station. Someone walks to the opposite corner and deposits a coin in the jukebox Kate hadn’t even noticed until now. Happy Together rings out and Kate’s eyes find Yelena’s already watching her, they share a laugh and Yelena slides her hand over Kate’s, tracing patterns on her wrist. The waiter comes back to clear their table, Yelena asks for a piece of peach pie to share between them.

They take turns with their forks, Yelena pushing the last bite towards Kate and it’s all so perfect and so good. She loves her, in case it wasn’t clear before. The song winds down and Kate glances around before making a beeline to the jukebox, slipping in front of an older man to use her quarter. Whatever he reeks of regular, and nobody wants to hear Johnny Cash for the umpteenth time tonight. She skips back to Yelena and extends her hand, wiggling her eyebrows at Yelena’s wonderment. The first cords of American Pie trickle out and Kate watches her face journey through many emotions as she accepts Kate’s hand.

Kate leads them to the middle of the floor, twisting Yelena’s cap around her head so they can rest their foreheads together. Yelena’s hands fumble over Kate’s arms and shoulders, unsure of where to put them when Kate’s slide to her lower back. She senses Yelena needs her to guide her through this intimacy, especially in a semi-public place although, most of the patrons have trickled out.

“Link your fingers around my neck,” she waits for Yelena to do so, “Good. Just move with me. Think of it as a penguin waddling.” She hears Yelena’s laugh and then makes a sound of frustration when she steps on Kate’s foot. Kate brushes her lips over Yelena’s temple, “It’s okay. We’re learning together. My only experience in this has been awful; arranged dates a Bishop Security parties courtesy of my mother. Nothing compares to this – to you.” The last part makes Yelena press closer and catch her lips in a breathless kiss. Kate’s hands squeeze at Yelena’s back and even though the tempo of the song has picked up, they’re both content to waddle like penguins as if the chords haven’t changed from the first minute.

The song ends and the regular old man is already at the jukebox, selecting a Fleetwood Mac song and making murderous eyes at Kate. She puffs her chest and she’s totally ready to engage in a passive-aggressive war before Yelena’s pulls her face back towards hers, “Let’s go home.”

“I won’t be pushed out by some geezer, Yelena. I will control the jukebox – “ she stops when Yelena’s lips press to hers, content to lose herself in the softness and depth of Yelena’s kisses. Yelena’s fingers tangle in the collar of her t-shirt and her eyes are endless, pupils blown, and Kate knows that look.

“Let me take my time with you,” she murmurs against Kate’s mouth, eyes still connected with hers. Kate’s nod is automatic and her throat dries, tangling their fingers together as they all but run out of the bar.

Chapter Text

The car ride is quiet, filled with nervousness and stolen glances and flushing cheeks. Their intertwined hands rest on Kate’s knee and Yelena can feel the heat radiating through the denim there. Her hand squeezes Kate’s, only trying to be soft and comforting until she feels a hand cover hers and Kate’s grip on her hand is firm, coupling their hands together tightly. Yelena presses a little harder on the gas peddle, desperate to have Kate in her arms.

If Kate notices the speed increase, she doesn’t say anything, and Yelena knows she’s just as unsteady as she is right now. Kate taking her onto the dance floor of a mediocre bar in a mediocre town to dance to her favourite song will never leave her. The way Kate guided her and reassured her will never leave her. It’s a memory to Yelena. One that is good and filled with love – love, she loves her. She loves Kate and she wants to show her, tonight.

The traffic light a few meters away turns red and Yelena grumbles, swearing at it under her breath. She’d blast the light out of orbit just to have Kate. Her fingers tap on the steering wheel and her left leg bounces. She hears Kate’s sigh and turns to look at her, finding Kate’s cheek turned against her shoulder – looking at Yelena beneath her lashes and she’s never wanted someone so much in her life.

She’s unable to resist the pull of Kate, slanting their lips together. Kate’s tongue is already seeking hers and Kate’s hand tangles into the collar of her leather jacket, trying to pull her impossibly closer. Their breathing is mingled, and their chests are heaving, Yelena would do this anywhere with Kate Bishop. Kate’s teeth are nipping her bottom lip and Yelena’s about to slide her hand under Kate’s shirt when a honk blaring makes them both jump.

Yelena glances at the green light and back at Kate who looks sheepish, chewing on her lip. Yelena tries to shake the blush from her cheeks when she hits the gas peddle again. Her hand slides back on Kate’s knee, squeezing before sliding further up her thigh – pinky brushing the crease of her jeans.

“Yelena,” Kate breathes out, hiding her face between Yelena’s shoulder and the seat. Yelena squeezes her thigh, heart leaping into her throat when Kate’s hand wraps around her bicep. They haven’t even removed a layer of clothing yet and Yelena feels she could come undone at just another kiss.

The tires squeal when she pulls into the driveway, jamming the garage door button impatiently. Yelena’s barely turned off the vehicle when she’s pulling Kate out of the car, gripping the chain and hauling the garage door shut herself. She’s entering her keycode and biometrics when Kate’s hand parts the hair off her neck and presses her mouth there, hands sliding beneath her shirt. She fumbles a few times with her keycode but manages to pull them through the door, spinning to press Kate against it. Lips attaching to hers again and hands pushing the bomber jacket off her shoulders, squeezing her good arm appreciatively when Kate’s muscles flex involuntarily.

She steps back to catch her breath and shuck her jacket and t-shirt, kicking off her shoes. She watches Kate do the same, eyes fixed on Yelena’s and the heat between them is palpable – both of them already breathing heavily.

They slide back together easily; already comfortable with each other’s touches and needs. Yelena scratches her fingers over Kate’s abs, pressing her body into Kate’s to absorb her shiver. Her fingers dip lower to catch the button of her jeans when Lucky whines from behind them. Yelena exhales into Kate, leaning them back against the door fully.

“The dog,” she breathes out, “We must take care of the dog and then…” she trails off, mouthing at Kate’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m on it. I’ll be right back, don’t move,” Kate’s hand brushes up and down her spine a few times before slipping around her to let Lucky outside.

She hears the slide of the patio door and runs a hand through her hair, palm ending up over her beating heart. She dims the lights in the hallway, setting the alarm once more before going to her storage bin – digging for tealights she had stashed in the event of a power outage. She gulps as she sets them around the bedside tables and dresser, it’s so cheesy and cliché but Yelena only ever wants to do it for Kate, to experience this with Kate, only. She’s lighting the final candle when Kate finds her, wonderment crossing her face as she takes in the room – Yelena will never forget this expression. Kate’s speechless and it’s for all the right reasons. When she turns back to Yelena, she’s already reaching for her, hands sliding over her hips, and she’s got her arms wrapped around Kate’s neck.

Kate pulls her backwards and she stumbles into her lap, straddling her on the bed. They’re both flushed and Kate’s lips are swollen from kisses – her eyes are dark, pupils blown, and she wonders if this is what she looks like before she’s about to launch an arrow. Her hands squeeze over Kate’s back muscles, revelling in their defined nature – her shoulders and biceps so chiselled and strong. Yelena’s careful to avoid her injured arm, removing Kate’s bra and pushing her back on the bed. Bending to run her tongue between Kate’s breasts, nipping at her abs before sliding her fingers over Kate’s jeans – removing her underwear and jeans at the same time.

Her fingers tap just above Kate’s knee as she stands between her legs, taking in every inch of Kate’s body – willing herself to take nothing for granted. Kate’s eyes are open, and she remains quiet, everything Yelena needs to know is written all over her face. She strips off her remaining clothes and falls onto Kate, threading a hand through her hair and a thigh between hers as they kiss. Kate’s hand grips a hip and pulls Yelena against her thigh, sighing at the rub against her clit as she uses her teeth and tongue against Kate’s neck.

“I wish we’d brought…” Kate’s voice trails off when Yelena jerks her hips at the words, knowing exactly what Kate means. Her fingers circle Kate’s heat, spreading them in wetness before running her fingers in the tight circles she knows Kate likes. Her head falls back in a moan, exposing more neck for Yelena to lap at. Her hips move gradually against Kate’s thigh, “Me too. Don’t need it to come though. Just you. Just you, Kate.”

She moans Kate’s name when the thigh between her legs flexes and her hips move faster, panting into Kate’s neck. Her fingers lose their coordination, moans turn into gasps and Kate’s attention is turned to her – both hands guiding her hips now while bending her leg to help with the angle.

It’s so good with Kate, she’s never let herself go this far with anyone. The intimacy they share is unparalleled. “Close, Kate,” she mumbles against her neck, feeling the familiar tingle take over her body. Kate’s fingers grip her hips harder, and Yelena wouldn’t mind if they left marks, her hand leaves Kate’s hair to fist the comforter next to her head, back arching with one last push of her hips against the strong thigh.

Her heartbeat rings in her ears and she can’t feel anything except the soft brush of Kate’s fingers along her spine, lips brushing her temple. There’s a heaviness to her body, but it’s grounding and comforting – it’s Kate all over her. She clears her throat, pushing up to an elbow, desperate to tell Kate everything about herself and what this means for her.

“Kate,” she says, and she knows it’s scratchy and low, her name rumbles on the back of her throat. “You’re the only person I have ever done that with.”

Kate’s expression goes from thoughtful to astonishment, leaning up to kiss her. She understands, she sighs and strokes Kate’s cheeks with her thumbs – finding it smeared in wetness and she brushes her thumbs more rapidly, soaping up the tears.

Kate sniffles when she pulls away, nodding at her as if thanking her for something, and Yelena understands what she means at this moment too.

Her fingers track south again, keeping her eyes on Kate’s – circling the tight bundle of nerves. Kate’s mouth opens slightly in a low moan, eyes fluttering shut at the touch – she moves her fingers away tracing the crevice of her thigh instead.

Kate’s eyes open and her eyebrows furrow, looking at Yelena in puzzlement before sighing and nodding at her. Yelena returns her fingers and starts slow, light and sloppy circles making Kate whimper and sigh when she touches her at just the right pressure.

She loves it when Kate gives her this control – it’s always mind-numbing for them both. Kate’s fingers twitch and they fall away from her hips, their fingers bump and Yelena shakes her head, gathering Kate’s hands and sliding them overtop their heads, “Leave them there. You will be a good girl for me?”

Kate’s answer is a gasp and a jerk of her head, flush filling her cheeks.

“Good. I want to take my time with you,” she presses her fingers inside, sighing at the easy glide inside. Their noses brush as she pulls Kate’s lip into her mouth, thrusting two fingers inside to her knuckles – aching to fill Kate until there’s nothing left of them. The airy moans and whimpers tumble from Kate’s swollen lips and Yelena watches her eyes twitch open and shut – brows furrowed in concentration.

She leans down to take the skin of Kate’s neck between her teeth, feeling Kate sink further into the mattress. Her fingers hook and rub at her walls, sliding her thumb over Kate’s clit each time she buries her fingers. Kate’s hips lift off the bed and she’s panting, brushing her nose against Yelena’s. She licks her lips before mumbling, “Yours.”

“Yes, you are. Come for me,” she breathes into Kate’s mouth, sliding a third finger in on the next thrust. Kate’s body arches into hers, a silent scream leaving her as her body tenses around Yelena’s fingers. Her legs quiver and her body twitches with aftershocks – Yelena withdrawals her fingers slowly and brushes her thumb across her clit until Kate whimpers again. Her fingers brush up Kate’s stomach and between her breasts before settling a palm over Kate’s chest – where the red dot tried to take her, where Yelena’s soul belongs.

Kate’s pants slow and when she opens her eyes again, they’re glassy and hooded. Yelena slots herself between Kate’s thighs and tangles their lips together in a lazy kiss, running a hand along her wounded arm, pulling it down gently. She presses her lips along her shoulder and brushes the bandage, filtering her eyes back to Kate’s, “Does it hurt?”

“Good,” Yelena shakes her head at Kate’s response, peeling back the bandage to check on the stretches. “I’m okay,” Kate says again, she brushes her hand up to cup Yelena’s cheek. Her tongue peeks out to wet her lips, Yelena’s eyes track the movement. “Was I good?” Her question leaves Yelena breathless – she’ll give Kate anything she wants.

“Yeah,” Yelena whispers, swallowing at the spacey look on Kate’s face. “Yeah, baby. You were good. So good.” She kisses Kate, tracing her lips with her tongue – feeling Kate’s fingers tangle in her hair. She feels pressure on the top of her head, Kate’s palm pushing her down and Yelena knows exactly what she wants.

“Use both your hands, Kate Bishop,” she trails a series of kisses and nips down Kate’s body, slipping her mouth along the insides of Kate’s thighs. The hands in her hair tighten, pulling her mouth to where it’s needed most. Her tongue finds the wetness there and she’s already lost in Kate’s taste.

Her chest heaves with exertion, her body stated and her mind empty of anything except Yelena. Yelena is leaving kisses on her stomach and between her breasts. The wetness from behind her legs leaves a chill against her skin – Kate detangles her fingers from Yelena’s hair, stroking the strong jaw instead. She pulls Yelena into a kiss, moaning at the taste of herself on those lips.

“Candles, huh?” she asks, watching with amusement as Yelena’s cheeks light with a blush. “Very romantic of you. A pretty good date, I must say.”

“Yes. I really liked the part where you almost got into a bar fight with that old man,” Yelena’s perfect brow lifts as she rests her chin on her palm.

“I could have taken him easily,” Kate says smugly, running her fingertips down Yelena’s back.

“I do not doubt your prowess, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s voice is low, and her mouth moves mindlessly over the skin at Kate’s sternum. It’s peaceful, neither of them needs to say more – their soft touches trace over each other’s skin with actions doing the better part of their communication.

She thinks of the memories here: the way Yelena let her in and tonight, with the candles and the dancing. She hopes Ohio becomes an easier pill to swallow for Yelena; she’s only experienced good things here and Yelena deserves the same. Of course, this isn’t a vacation – there’s a threat out there but the saying, ignorance is bliss is working for Kate tonight.

“I found a couple of leads earlier,” Kate says turning her head to look at Yelena who has pushed off her chest. “I found Kazi on a Bishop Securities CCTV in Whistler, British Columbia. I also found the address of a shell corporation used by Kingpin that’s still active in Pennsylvania.”

Yelena whistles and her eyes go wide dramatically, “My, my, Kate Bishop. You are a woman of many talents.”

Kate rolls her eyes at Yelena’s antics, pinching her thigh and watching Yelena pout just as dramatically, “We call Clint in the morning to discuss our intel.”

“Look at you, working with a fellow Hawkeye,” Kate jokes with her, tracing invisible patterns on Yelena’s collarbone.

“I only work with one. I tolerate the other,” Yelena huffs giving Kate the Russian equivalent of the stink eye.

“Wow that hurts, Yelena,” she mock winces, clutching a hand over her heart. “What do you call this, then?” she gestures between them, humour bubbling through her.

Yelena’s eyes are warm and she’s flicking them all over her face, “You are ridiculous, Kate Bishop. The mirth is following through you, tonight.”

“Really good sex has that effect on me,” she comments automatically, pulling Yelena down for a kiss.

“You are very welcome, Kate Bishop,” Yelena throws back, never one to be outdone. The moonlight shines throw the skylight, illuminating Yelena’s body in a soft glow.

“Sleep? We should probably be responsible while on the run,” Kate points out, tucking a strand of hair behind Yelena’s ear.

“Hmm, yes. Very adult of you, Kate. I get your pills,” her lips brush Kate’s cheek as she throws her sleepwear from earlier in the day.

Kate goes to the washroom, glancing in herself at the mirror. She sees the smudge of Yelena’s lipstick around her mouth and on her neck, she rubs gently at the marks with her thumb. She brushes the tangles from her hair, wondering if this could be life for her and Yelena – obviously without the attempted murder – but the ease of their touches, intimacy, and just knowing each other. She didn’t know she wanted this sort of life with someone; a commitment so to speak, but with Yelena, it all feels natural.

She throws on sweatpants and a t-shirt, settling into bed just as Yelena returns with a cup and her pills, Lucky on her heels. She takes her pills dutifully, opening her arm to pull Yelena on her chest. Yelena leans over to hit the alarm and provide her with a chaste kiss. Lucky curls up at their feet and for Kate, it’s bliss.

The smell of bacon stirs her; the radio’s on and she can hear Yelena humming a tune. She stretches and pushes out of bed, seeing the pills with a fresh glass of water beside them. I won’t be dying of infection anytime soon; she thinks to herself as she steps out into the hallway.

Yelena’s hair is in a bun with some strands sticking out, she’s twirling a spatula when Kate slides in behind her, wrapping her arms around her waist and pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“Good morning, Kate Bishop,” she flips an egg over, squeezing her hand over the top of Kate’s. “Your nose and stomach woke you; I presume.” Yelena turns her head to kiss her softly, “You take your pills?”

“Yes, mom,” Kate grumbles, stepping away from Yelena to open the fridge and take stalk of the newly added items. She hums and picks out a bottle of orange juice before moving to sit at the breakfast bar.

“We call Clint in ten minutes. Eat your breakfast. Here is your protein shake,” she slides Yelena a delicious looking plater followed by a jiggly green substance inside a plastic tumbler. She eyes it with apprehension and hears Yelena mumble a phrase in Russian beside her.

“It is good for you, Kate Bishop. I made it with love,” Yelena’s already on the other side of the room, getting the laptop ready. With love? It’s an expression, probably? Maybe not? “Drink your smoothie, Kate, or I will withhold sex for a week.”

Kate huffs and grumbles, “You wouldn’t be able to resist me.” She sips her smoothie dramatically, wincing at the bitterness of certain god-forbidden fruits blended in. She enjoys the bacon and omelette Yelena prepared for her. That is until Yelena brushes a hand over her shoulder and tells her about all the vegetables she added – Kate considers spitting it out, but she really likes having sex with Yelena, she’ll endure this hardship.

Yelena rewards her with an energetic kiss that’s better than any cup of coffee, tugging her over to the couch where she’s set up the laptop and documents containing intel. Kate encrypts the internet connection and proceeds to video call HawkEar much to Yelena’s appreciation for his contact’s title.

“Ah, hello? Can you two hear me?” Clint’s voice is obnoxiously loud, and his ear is turned to the computer. Yelena sighs and Kate grimaces, yep that’s her mentor.

“Yes, we can,” Kate responds, “You can connect the call to your earpiece via Bluetooth – might be easier for you.” She points to his ear, and he nods, clicking the button on his laptop and responding with an excited noise.

“Much better, thanks for the assist, Katie.” he sticks his tongue out as he selects a space background making Kate laugh. "You two behaving yourselves? Kate is that lipstick?! Why is it on your neck - Oh my God!" He exclaims in disgust, rubbing at his eyes. 

"When two people who like each other decide to -" Kate's teasing is interrupted by a pinch from Yelena. 

“Yes, this is all very nice but let’s get down to business now, shall we?” Yelena huffs and waves the documents around.

Kate presents the leads she found while Clint talks about the S.H.I.E.L.D investigation – their evidence points to weapons and drugs at the shell corporation location in Pennsylvania. Clint shows them a picture of one of the chemicals and Yelena springs forward.

“Show me that image again, blow it up for me, Kate,” her voice is deadly serious and there’s a fear there, she completes the request and slides her hand across Yelena’s back. “Черт!” she yells, pushing to her feet and pacing the room.

“Yelena, what is it?” concern tinges her tone, and she moves to stand as well, she can hear Clint asking for clarification.

“The antidote. He has the antidote,” she kicks a loveseat over, hands moving to her hips as her shoulders hunch up. “The anti-dote Natasha and I nearly died for. He has it and I will kill him. Barton, come get Kate. I will send you the address.”

“What? No!” Kate steps closer to her, weary she still needs to give her space. “I’m not going anywhere that isn’t with you. This is my fight, too.”

“She’s right, Yelena. It doesn’t make sense for you to go alone. It’s too – “

“Don’t you dare say it’s too personal!” she yells at the computer screen, “You do not understand. None of you understand.” I want to, though. I thought I was starting to. She wants to say it, but she knows now isn’t the time.

“Yelena, I want to help you. Please? It’s just me,” Kate watches her chew her lip and stare at her intently.

“Nobody else. No S.H.I.E.L.D, or I swear Barton I will – “

“I hear you, Yelena. No interference, just you two. You have my word,” he’s sincere and Kate knows it. She tilts her head at Yelena, willing her to give him a chance. “I’ll send you everything they have on the warehouse. Be safe you two.”

Kate flips the lid shut and she isn’t sure what to say or do for Yelena. Yelena was quick to brush her aside and maybe that’s just because she’s used to doing things alone or maybe it’s because she doesn’t want Kate there. Yelena’s far more experienced and highly capable whereas Kate’s only been at this whole vigilante thing for about three months. None of you understand plays on repeat. She needs time and she thinks Yelena does too.

“I’m going to shower,” Kate moves across the room, watching Yelena stare intently out the window. She tries not to become upset when Yelena doesn’t acknowledge her comment.

She showers quickly, afraid Yelena’s going to disappear in some misguided attempt at keeping her safe. She dresses in her archer suit, strapping her tactical belt on when Yelena appears in the doorway looking solemn and distraught. Kate leans against the vanity, using a towel to dry at her hair – knowing Yelena has to be first to say something here.

“I am sorry. For brushing you aside like that. It was not my intention – I reacted without thinking,” she explains slowly, fiddling with her shirt hem. “I would like you to accompany me if you would forgive me.”

“Yelena, you don’t need my forgiveness. This is personal to you. I was awful to you weeks ago and you stayed. I’m going to stay if you’ll have me.”

“Of course, I’ll have you, Kate Bishop,” there’s a blush on her cheeks as she approaches Kate, tracing her fingers over the armoured shoulder patterns.

“Okay, as much as I don’t want to leave. We should get on this intel before it goes cold,” She watches Yelena’s smile appear, looking at her with something akin to pride.

“It’s very hot of you to speak in mission terms, Kate Bishop,” her voice dips into a teasing tone, tilting her head to the side.

“Just wait until I talk about arrows, I’ll blow your mind, baby,” she adds with a wink, framing Yelena’s face to kiss her quickly before moving out to begin packing.

Kate’s throwing their things in the back of the truck when Yelena exits the side door with Lucky, turning the lock and setting the alarm. She’s put on her white widow suit and tactical vest, French braid hanging down her shoulder.

Kate leans against the truck door as Yelena approaches, “Thank you for sharing this with me.” She gestures to the house around them.

“Thank you for giving me memories I will always cherish,” Yelena’s hands slip around her waist, pulling her into a hug. They’ve never hugged before – it always seemed too friendly to Kate, but now she gets the appeal. It’s another form of communication for them, it’s meaningful and timeless.

Yelena pulls the door open, allowing Lucky to hop in before guiding Kate inside with a hand on her lower back as if Kate doesn’t know how to enter a vehicle. She won’t complain though, Yelena’s gentleness is always welcome.

They pull out onto the road and Kate watches the garage door shut, sighing at the finality of it. Yelena’s fingers lace through hers again, offering a squeeze and she hopes Yelena’s thinking the same thing she is: I didn’t want to leave, yet. I wanted more time with you, in Ohio.

They don’t take the interstate off-ramp and Kate makes a questioning noise as they continue through the county. Yelena brings their hands to her lips, pressing a kiss to Kate’s hand before catching her eyes, “We have one more place to stop, Kate Bishop.”

Chapter Text

They turn off onto a bumpy dirt road, long and twisty – the green grass pokes back at them through the thin layers of snow. Kate tries to put the pieces together but like most things with Yelena – it’s mysterious. Oak trees line the road, branches hanging at odd angles. Winter has left them bare and lonely; Kate knows only a matter of time before they start to feel full again, and she can relate to that.

They come around and that’s when Kate sees them, the fake rocks Yelena alluded to only days ago. They’re spread out sporadically, some filtered with flowers and trinkets while others are bare; she squeezes Yelena’s hand harder while her other hand grips the dash as she leans forward, willing herself to never forget this moment.

Yelena stops the vehicle and Kate knows which one they are there to visit right away. It rests beneath the large oak tree, littered with teddy bears and candles. Yelena pulls her from the vehicle, hands still tightly clasped together as the snow crunches beneath her feet. Kate’s legs shake at the gravity of this, her heart beats so loud she doesn’t know how Yelena doesn’t hear it.

She stops walking about six feet away, thinking she needs to give Yelena some privacy and respect. When Yelena turns back, she has a small smile and she’s still tugging Kate towards her with a gentle jerk of her wrist.

“Are you sure?” Kate asks, she doesn’t want to overstep. She doesn’t need Yelena to share this – she’ll love Yelena without this. She wants, so desperately, however, for Yelena to share this with her.

“Everything I do has a purpose, Kate Bishop,” her repeated phrase lives on. “Come here, I want to show you.”

They move closer, until Yelena’s kneeling down to brush the snow off the base of the stone. She fixes a teddy bear and straightens out a soggy homemade card with reds and pinks staining its length. Kate’s hands fidget at her sides, eyes tracing over every detail – the unmistakable Black Widow insignia etched into the stone below Natasha’s name. It’s the same insignia Yelena wears on her belt, two now as opposed to one.

The high pitch of a whistle rustles the trees, birds flying from them as a gust of wind passes through. Yelena straightens the teddy bear once again, “It is the whistle she taught me in Ohio. We used it all the time until we couldn’t anymore – until they stopped us. We used the whistle together once more – when we brought down Dreykov. And then in your New York, Barton used it and that’s why he’s still alive.”

Kate drops down beside her, reaching out to touch the stone – she’s almost too scared and Yelena’s hand covers hers as they touch the stone together. The cold granite is smooth against her fingers, and she traces the Black Widow insignia, turning to face Yelena, “Thank you,” she whispers.

It’s all she knows how to say right now, and the tears stream down her cheeks relentlessly. She leans forward to press a kiss to Yelena’s cheek, using her other hand to cup the side of Yelena’s face. Yelena tilts her forehead against Kate’s, covering her hand on the stone once more, “I wanted to bring you someone, сестра,” Yelena’s speaking but she knows it’s not to her, it’s about her. “Someone who has made this horrible place an okay place. Someone who has made me feel alive for the first time in forever.”

“Yelena,” she breathes through tears and a runny nose. She feels Yelena’s head shake against her head slightly, rubbing a thumb over Kate’s cheek, absorbing the wetness. Yelena’s eyes are sparkling and clear as day, “I did not think I could love again, Natasha. I loved you and you left me – twice. I can love her, though. I think I am strong enough to love her.”

Kate’s speechless and she’s crying and there’s snot all over her face, her trembling lips open and close too many times. She grips the collar of Yelena’s jacket, tugging their lips together in a messy kiss. She hears Yelena’s gasp and she presses closer, causing Yelena to fall back on the ground with Kate in her lap. They break away and Yelena’s still talking, lips brushing against hers, “I have loved her since the moment we met. On the rooftop, I am very glad to be the shot she didn’t take.”

“She’s funny and strong. She likes Barton a little too much, you would have been good friends.” Yelena’s smile is pressed against her cheek, kissing the tears away, “She makes me feel good. Even when her universe crumbled, she makes me feel good.” Yelena’s voice is steady and unphased like she had decided this long ago.

“Natasha, I…” Kate doesn’t recognize her voice, small and groggy from the weight of Yelena’s confession. “Sometimes I don’t think I deserve her. She’s stayed and now, she’s helped me realize I deserve nice things and good people in my life despite everything.” She takes a deep breath and clears her throat, “I want to be with her, always. Even when she’s force-feeding me vegetables, I want to be by her side. I want to love her. The way she deserves to be loved.”

“Kate,” she trails off when the tears fall from her eyes too. Now it’s Kate who shakes her head, a smile forming on her lips now too, “If you would have asked me two months ago what love was, I probably would have told you it’s a lie, a commodity to be sold and bought. But I see it now, I feel it now. It’s feeling safe, cared for, driven crazy and then feeling grounded. It’s how I feel when I look at Yelena; when I feel her touch, when she brings my favourite pastries and looks at me like I’m the only thing that matters. I think I am strong enough to love her, too.”

Yelena’s lips glide over hers and it’s a mess of tears and mucus, but it’s perfect because it’s them. There’s no person she would rather profess her love to in a graveyard in this galaxy, or the next. Kate’s trembling lips grow stronger under Yelena’s continued press of tongue and teeth. They’re both panting and the kisses grow harder to maintain, they turn into laughs and the remnants of tears fall a few more times before Yelena wipes at her nose with the back of her sleeve, “I think Natasha would find this gross.” As if on cue, a sharp burst of air barrels through, making them both shield their faces from the wind. They rest their foreheads together once more, fingers tracing the soft skin in front of them.

Lucky’s nose is shoved into her ear abruptly, the cold, ticklish irritation making her giggle and shiver simultaneously. “And this is Kate’s dog, Lucky. He is a very good boy,” Yelena says appreciatively, scratching at his chest.

Kate pulls herself up, extending a hand to Yelena as she stands. She turns to the grave once more, angling her hand down to brush the top of the stone just above Natasha’s inscribed name, “Until next time, Avenger.”

She steps back to pet Lucky, watching Yelena lean down again and rest her forehead against the grave; her words are whispered against the stone. Yelena threads their fingers together when she rises, they make their way to the truck quietly. Yelena slides her arm across Kate’s shoulders as they make their way down the dirt road.

Her stomach rumbles and Yelena’s laugh is contagious, even the dog sighed at her. Yelena reaches down to her cup holder against the door and produces a banana. Horrifying and plain looking. She drops it into Kate’s lap as they return to the main road.

“I’ll just be hungry again in like, 30 minutes if you could just give me something with actual carbs – “she tries to reason.

“Eat your banana, my love,” Yelena says, accent tingling over the last part and Yelena knows exactly what she’s doing here – Kate’s a fool so, naturally, she eats the banana with a flush spreading over her chest.

She tosses her peel on the floor and sees Yelena shake her head out of the corner of her eye. The interstate greets them again as the signs and traffic take over her senses. She misses Ohio already and they haven’t even left the state yet. So, bye-bye, Miss American Pie - Kate’s fingers jump to the radio, hearing the familiar chorus. She turns it up and squeezes Yelena’s hand, deciding to sing along to the tune – smile breaking over when Yelena joins her. They sing whole-heartedly and even Lucky joins in with a few pointed barks and wags of his tail.

Yelena steals a kiss when the song ends, they swerve and Kate shoves at her, “Yelena! The road!”

“Yes, Kate Bishop, I know,” she waves dismissively at Kate and squeezes her shoulder. “I am a great driver. I can probably get your shirt off and not cross the yellow line.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Kate huffs – knowing full well Yelena could probably do that.

Her voice is low, and her lips are brushing Kate’s ear, “Is that a challenge, Kate Bishop?” Kate shoves at her again in exasperation, “Keep your hands to yourself, Belova.”

“Oh, using last names now, are we? Just because you love me does not mean you can just upend our dynamic, Kate Bishop.” Kate tries to fight the blush that spreads over her cheeks by tucking her face against Yelena’s shoulder, “You’re so insufferable,” she grumbles. Yelena decides to take mercy on her and just hums accordingly and Kate can picture the teasing look on her face.

“Speaking of that,” she decides to get this over with now, better to spend two hours bickering than do it at the mission location. “This doesn’t change anything. It can’t change how we operate. I’m going to fight bad guys and so are you.”

“You are referring to our statements earlier?” Yelena asks, clearly seeking more clarification. She continues when Kate gives her an affirmative, “I know, Kate Bishop. I would not expect anything less of you. It is just…the anxiety as you Americans call it each time I am not by your side, or you charge in like a bull in a China shop.”

“I understand that, and I’ll feel it too. When you’re not with me, when I can’t feel you or see you,” Kate offers and Yelena nods in agreement. “You make me stronger, Yelena. I wouldn’t be so reckless.”

Yelena’s answer is a bubble of laughter and Kate rolls her eyes; I’m totally going to be just as reckless. “I know you, Kate Bishop. That part of you will not change but I appreciate the commitment out loud.”

“Let’s review the details of the mission,” Yelena says, shifting gears and Kate knows they need to refocus given it’s only an hour and a half drive to the warehouse now. Her stomach grumbles again and Yelena sighs affectionately, “We will review after I provide my other half with the carbs she requires to function.”

Kate first pumps and her legs bounce with excitement as they pull off at a rest stop, eager to get her hands on some greasy foods. Yelena accepts her hand as they exit the vehicle, “Do not think you are getting fatty foods, Kate. We are preparing for a mission – Subway is as far as you can go, and that is with whole wheat bread and light sauce.”

Kate pouts and wipes at her brow, “I didn’t think dating you would be so hard on my calorie intake.”

Yelena holds the door open for her, eyes full of mischief, “This is only just the beginning, Kate Bishop.”

Chapter Text

The interstate is endless, cars built up around them for the last half an hour give or take. The occasional car honk filters through the crack in the window that Lucky sticks his snout through. The radio has long been silenced since Yelena turned off the vehicle when Kate chided her about the negative impacts of idling. Now it’s just honking and some faint yelling around them.

Kate’s fingers brush over the tablet, studying the warehouse layout. She and Yelena had gone over their infiltration plan after they had left the rest stop. She reaches for the vegetable straw chips Yelena switched out expertly in the store – she tries to hold back the tears when she takes a bite. Carbs shouldn’t be this sad. She drops the bag into Yelena’s lap, monitoring the warehouse security footage and rubbing her fingers off on a napkin – they aren’t even worth licking.

She looks over when the bag spills, tumbling out onto the floor between Yelena’s shoes, “I mean, you’re the one that bought those. I told you they don’t taste good.”

Yelena grumbles in Russian, shoving the crumbs off her lap, crumbling the bag easily and tossing it over to Lucky’s side. Kate sees the crease between her eyebrows, the pull of her mouth into a frown, “We’ll be out of here soon. The tow truck has arrived to clear the lanes according to the local news.”

Yelena’s leg resumes its bouncing, veggie chips crunching beneath the heel of her boot. Lucky squishes between Kate’s knees, stretching himself out to eat the veggie chips at the floor of the truck. Yelena sighs and pops open her door, stepping out to walk around the truck and lean against the hood.

Kate considers giving her time – they’re so close, only forty-five minutes away and she knows Yelena is chomping at the bits to secure her and Natasha’s legacy. Kate slides out after her, rounding the truck to prop herself against it too. Yelena doesn’t say anything, and Kate knows she doesn’t need to – she just wants Yelena to know she’s here, ready to help her.

Kate surveys the deadlocked interstate, seeing other people out and walking; some on their phones speaking frantically while others lounge around the vehicles. There’s a girl showing way too much interest in her, cutting her vision from everything else to focus on how she keeps trying to catch Kate’s attention annoyingly with her stupid casual waves and dramatic stretches. Kate mistakenly meets her eyes for one too many moments and she’s tilting her chin, speaking to her from a couple of cars over.

“Hey!” the weird girl says way too enthusiastically, and it has Yelena sighing from beside her again, “Hey, Kate! Remember me? Amanda from Columbia?”

Kate gives a polite nod before looking anywhere but at weird Amanda. Obviously, they are stranded, just like the hundreds of other cars on their interstate. Why couldn’t Amanda bother anyone else on this interstate?

“I’ve seen you in the papers before,” weird Amanda starts, and Kate is sufficiently creeped out. She didn’t know meeting a stalker at a deadlocked interstate would be her fate today but here she is. “We used to be in Server Side Scripting together! Remember professor Hebert?”

Kate’s eyes fall closed, what have I done to deserve this today? Kate remembers weird Amanda now, as the girl who asked her out to a DnD night and complimented her archery ranking every opportunity she got when they crossed paths before and after lecture time. Weird is an understatement.

“Yeah – yup, I remember,” Kate forces out a dry laugh, wishing this conversation would cease to exist. “Just passing through.”

“You’re wearing your archery suit, but this one is way cooler!” Kate could kill for a lightning strike right now, thinking of you Thor. Help a girl out. I’m an honorary Avenger at this point. Amanda’s enthusiastic voice cuts through again, “I took up archery not too long ago myself. I’m not so bad if I do say so myself. We should exchange numbers and go shooting sometime! I’m still in New York.”

Yelena bristles next to her, pushing off the truck to round Kate and stare at Amanda unenthusiastically. Kate sees her lip curl and her arms cross over themselves, “She is not interested in you, Mandy.”

“It’s Amanda, and who are you exactly?” Amanda gestures to Yelena, moving her head to look at Kate once more over Yelena’s shoulder.

“Someone who will make your voyage very uncomfortable if you continue to flirt with Kate Bishop from across one car lane.” Kate clears her throat and watches some bystanders look on with a mix of fear and concern. Yelena’s already stepping forward and Amanda’s back is already glued to her vehicle.

Kate’s eyes widen and she’s already reaching for Yelena, pulling her back towards the driver's side door, “Okay! And we’re going back to the car. Bye!” She can hear Amanda in the distance as she shuffles Yelena inside, sliding into the driver’s seat. She shakes her head when Yelena looks at her questioningly, “You’ve lost your driving privileges for now.”

“Kate, she was so annoying,” Yelena huffs, crossing her arms over her chest again, her leg resuming its bouncing.

“You won’t get an argument from me,” she says, sliding her hand over to calm Yelena’s leg. “But we have to draw a line somewhere – like threatening a harmless person on an interstate with a bunch of people watching.”

“She was not harmless,” Yelena argues, looking at Kate, affronted, “She had clear visions of you and her. Very pathetic. She took up archery? I doubt it, her shoulders look like they could hold nothing but her phone.” Yelena spits out, shaking her head as she stumbles over her words, “Clearly checking you as if I was invisible, сука.”

Kate squeezes her leg reassuringly, trying to hide the smile forming and the laughter shaking her shoulders. Yelena huffs and narrows her eyes, “What?”

“It’s cute. Watching you be jealous on an interstate with a girl I honestly, didn’t even remember existing until now.” She messages her fingers into Yelena’s thigh, “Besides, most people don’t know we’re together. We’re not exactly the public display of affection couple of the year.”

Yelena’s eyes soften as she rests her chin on Kate’s shoulder, “Not for your lack of trying, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s hand slides over Kate’s abdomen, “I know of at least two occasions where you have tried to get in my pants in public.”

Kate blushes, sliding her hand higher up Yelena’s thigh, “You have really tight pants – not that I’m complaining.” She adds as she toys with the thigh holster, sliding a finger beneath the fabric. Yelena’s groan is breathed into her mouth, teeth pulling at her bottom lip. She angles herself into Yelena more, sliding her arm across Yelena’s shoulders to bring her as close as possible. Yelena’s fingers tuck into her tactical belt and Kate feels warmth spreading throughout her body.

The blaring of a horn makes Kate pull away, Yelena’s lips still chasing after her momentarily. When she opens her eyes, the other cars started to pass, Kate clears her throat and turns on the truck, shifting it into gear. She feels Yelena’s thumb moving across her mouth, rubbing gently at the corner and she’s hypnotized by those piercing eyes and soft smile.

“Eyes forward, Kate Bishop.”

“Right – yeah – yes. Driving now,” Kate puts her hands at ten and two on the wheel like Yelena taught her and presses on the accelerator. Yelena’s hand comes to rest on her thigh, brushing back and forth soothingly.

“Do you wish I was different?” Yelena asks as the interstate opens again, “More open in public as you say?” Kate’s hand flies from the steering wheel and grasp Yelena’s, turning her head sharply towards Yelena.

“No. Yelena, what are you talking about?” Kate’s eyes flit back to the road when Yelena points forward, “I’m fine with this.”

“But do you wish for it? You will not hurt my feelings, Kate Bishop. I genuinely want to know.” Yelena’s hand squeezes hers.

“We’ve held hands and kissed in public before. I don’t need you to smother me with affection in front of others, Yelena. I don’t need you to change anything about yourself for me.” Kate glances at her again, wanting to get a read of Yelena’s face to make sure she understands. “I love you, just the way you are.”

“I want you to have all the things you have dreamed of when you met the person you love. All the dates and cliches, you deserve them, Kate Bishop.”

“I have everything I want with you. I couldn’t ask for more, Yelena. You’ve given so much already.” Kate says unequivocally, bringing their tangled hands to her lips. Trying to convey how very happy she is with Yelena – she doesn’t want Yelena to change compromise herself with some misguided nobility of what she thinks Kate deserves. She will only ever want Yelena.

“I want to give you more. Just give me time, Kate Bishop.” Yelena says softly, the words bringing tears to Kate’s eyes. She brushes them away hastily, trying to focus on the road and not the commitment Yelena is making to her.

Yelena turns the radio back up, finding a rock station. “We need good pre-mission music. Did Barton not do this?” Yelena’s fingers tap on the back of her hand.

“No, he wasn’t really one for mission hype. He was very stoic and business-like – often trying to leave me out interestingly enough,” Kate points out as she shoulder-checks before merging into a different lane.

“I respect that. You are precious cargo, Kate Bishop,” Yelena says brushing her lips against her shoulder, “I want to warn you, I will not be nice. I will be ruthless and lethal – this is personal as you have said, Kate. I am a trained killer; it is hard to shake these reflexes.”

“You’re more than that,” Kate says, leaving the phrase out loud on its own for a moment. Wanting Yelena to understand she’s more than just one thing. “I know who you are. I’m here for you – don’t forget that. I’m your partner – I’m not asking you to change anything. Just let me support you.”

She feels Yelena nod against her shoulder, murmuring an acknowledgement. Yelena turns the GPS towards her, and Kate follows the route, exiting the interstate to continue eastbound. They roll into a town called Harbourcreek, Yelena directs them to an abandoned parking lot. They let Lucky out to pee while they go over the warehouse plans one more time, with Kate checking for any changes on the security cameras in the past hour or so.

“They’ve increased their presence at the east entrance,” Kate notes, swiping her finger across the screen to pull up the blueprints again. “We can probably get in on the north side of the building, the guards there don’t seem as concerned.”

“Okay, you will stay high across the street of the north entrance. I will infiltrate – “ Yelena begins

We will infiltrate. I told you, this can’t change anything between us,” she gestures between them and then points to the blueprints. There’s a smile forming on Yelena’s face, and she presses a kiss to Kate’s cheek, “Your stubbornness is so attractive, Kate Bishop. This really isn’t the time to be so irresistible.” Yelena’s hand trails over her lower back as she leans into Kate’s body. Kate shakes her head, shoving her away playfully, “Focus on the mission. We have work to do.”

“I am so excited to destroy this facility and have celebratory sex with you afterwards,” Yelena slides back next to her, grasping the tablet. Kate chuckles at Yelena’s positive demeanour as she pulls out the binoculars to observe the facility. The streetlights turn on and Kate’s thankful for the early fall of the night during the winter months. It benefits their approach and getaway.

Kate hands Yelena the binoculars and moves to the back of the truck to get her archery gear, slotting her arrows over her back and gripping her bow. Yelena tucks Lucky into the truck, setting him up with water and food – leaving the window down. Kate scratches Lucky behind the ears as she watches Yelena slot her pistols in and slide her Widow Bites on.

She approaches Kate with a newfound seriousness on her face as if she’s started thinking this is a poor idea. Kate is ready to argue with her when Yelena slides her arms around Kate’s back, tucking her face into Kate’s neck. Kate brushes her lips against Yelena’s temple, wrapping her arms around her in return.

“You will be strong and smart, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s voice is a whisper as if this abandoned parking lot was crowded with people. “I want you to come back home with me.”

Kate nods, feeling the familiar warmth spread across her chest at home, “I love you, Yelena.” She feels the arms around her squeeze harder, lips brushing the collar of Kate’s archery suit, “I love you too.”

They break apart and set out to the warehouse, Kate breaks their path to quickly scale the abandoned post-office. She watches Yelena make her stealthy approach, quickly hopping the fence and jumping up to push her feet off to wrap her arms and legs around a guard, slamming them to the ground. She watches Yelena rise to her feet and gives Kate a thumbs up before turning and sprinting toward the building.

“Yelena, get your night-vision ready,” Kate says reaching for the EMP arrow. Kate knocks the arrow and launches it at the warehouse, setting off an electrical charge that she hopes will cut their power. Kate flicks on the night-vision goggles she borrowed from Yelena’s stash.

“Power is out, moving to the entry point.”

“I’m going to set off a distraction south side where dumpster is,” Kate launches an incendiary arrow at the dumpster, taking an educated guess that something flammable is inside. She squints through the glasses, seeing a string of smoke go up before the flames engulf the dumpster accompanied by a loud bang.

Kate watches guards filter from the building, she knocks an arrow and holds – keeping her body steady and focused. She waits until one guard makes to return to the building before launching two putty arrows in quick succession at the group of guards. Their screeching makes her laugh – this will never get old for her.

“Very cool branding move to have the putty be purple, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s voice compliments her and she’s slightly out of breath. She hears Yelena grunt and yells before the sound tunes out. Kate scans the exterior area, finding one guard kneeling at the guard Yelena dispatched when she hopped the fence. She knocks a regular arrow and hits them square in the chest, tossing him back into the trunk with a thunk.

She hears Yelena grunting and struggling over comms – she decides now’s the time for close quarters and launches her grapple hook across the street until it latches into the warehouse. She clips herself on the rope, takes a running start and slides across the street with the help of her bow. She’s gotten much better at this grapple thing – it’s all about momentum and angles, and Kate has plenty.

Her feet hit the concrete of the loading dock and she jogs in, following the trail of bodies Yelena has left behind. She sees Yelena grappling with two guards near a pellet of goods. Yelena spins quickly and lands a kick to a guard’s face, making them stumble back in pain – grasping their nose. She’s spitting sharp jabs at one guard’s ribs, making them keel over while she lands a knee to their face. Kate sees the straggling guard pick up an assault rifle and point it at unsuspecting Yelena.

She moves quickly, sliding across a table and knocking her freeze arrow – she launches it at the guard as her feet hit the ground again. She watches the guard’s shoulder freeze up, spreading to their arm and hand, gun stumbling from their hand. Yelena looks over and nods at her, brushing her hand over her face to fix her braid momentarily.

They meet up at the door to the office. Yelena checks her Glock and nods at Kate before turning and kicking down the door. Yelena enters, gun drawn with Kate following behind her. Kate’s hands trail along the wall, searching for a hidden component where the vials could be hidden. Yelena’s tearing the drawers out of the desks and filing cabinets, smashing the furniture around.

“We need to find them, Kate. We are running out of time,” Yelena breathes, spinning around the room with her hands on her hips. Kate’s about to reassure her when her hand brushes an indent in the wall. She pushes on it and there’s a click immediately after, a small bookshelf pops off the wall.

Yelena’s crouching and reaching inside the hidden wall storage – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when Yelena’s hand returns glowing in a red. Kate glances around the desk, seeing papers strewn all over it. Her eyes catch a name that she has to read twice, Eleanor Brandon. It’s too close to be a coincidence. Her heart pounds in her chest as she gripes the shipping manifest – a shipment of those vials have already been sent to Eleanor’s penthouse three days ago. She kneels in disbelief, feeling the shock seize her.

Yelena’s hand is curled around her shoulder, “What is it? Are you hurt, Kate?”

“No – No, I’m fine. I’m – she – “ Kate pauses trying to collect herself, handing the manifest to Yelena. “I told her. You were off-limits. I told her. I warned her and she decided to hurt you. I’m going to – “

Yelena kneels to level with her, “I’m okay. We have to go now, Kate Bishop. Let’s go, eyes forward,” Her voice is calming, and Kate knows she needs to focus, she takes a deep breath and pushes to her feet.

She’s going to destroy Eleanor Bishop.

Striding out of the office with her bow and arrow ready. A guard missing his pants and shoes comes charging in the south side entrance, there’s no weapon on him – just blind loyalty and stupidity. Kate continues moving towards him and waits for him to get within six feet of her before launching the arrow straight into his shoulder, launching him to the floor like a ragdoll. Kate rips the arrow from his shoulder as she walks by, not even flinching at his screams. She snaps the shaft between her hands and tosses it aside, making a beeline for the truck.

She doesn’t even realize she’s running until Yelena has appeared behind her, leaning over on her knees to catch her breath. Kate tosses the goggles into the back of the truck, along with the rest of her gear. She’s moving sharply, breathing harshly through her nose as she lets Lucky out to use the bathroom.

“Kate – “

She holds a hand up over her shoulder, signalling she doesn’t want to talk. She can’t talk to Yelena right now – her body vibrates with rage. Eleanor tried to take Yelena from her. She’s still involved with Fisk. She tried to hurt Yelena. She has a dozen vials – doing gods knows what with them. She’s going to kill her mother.

Kate turns back to the truck, getting into the passenger side seat and buckling herself in. Yelena settles in on the driver’s side, turning on the truck to get some heat going. Lucky curls up between them, settling his head on Yelena’s thigh.

“Kate – “

“Yelena, not right now. Just drive. Straight to Park and 41st,” Kate slumps in her seat, pushing her elbow against the window and pressing her face into her hand.

Chapter Text

Silence fills the truck – Yelena’s left the radio on low. She can barely hear it, it helps. They’ve been driving for roughly three hours now in complete silence. It’s all too much, she hates Eleanor Bishop. Just when she thought she finally saw the real Eleanor, she’s met with another one. Like a Russian doll, Kate keeps peeling back her layers only to find the next one is harder to crack.

All the work she had done to make herself feel somewhat normal again – all the work Yelena had poured into her to get her back into a good spot mentally is gone. Yelena. She clenches her eyes shut tightly – Yelena deserves better than this. Kate turns to her; Yelena’s hair is undone and messy from running her hands through it, a tell she is overwhelmed. Her lip is split, and her knuckles are bruised. Kate should have paid more attention to her, shouldn’t have pushed her away so quickly. She just needed time – she’s so angry and disappointed, not only at Eleanor but herself, for believing Eleanor was somehow any less capable than this.

“Yelena,” Kate’s voice is rough from the silence and emotions that have been raging through her. The vehicle jerks and Yelena slows down, “Are you hurt anywhere?”

“No, I am fine. Are you hurt?” Yelena glances over, fiddling with her thigh holster. She’s not in physical pain but she feels like there is hurt everywhere – settling deep in her bones and in her mind.

“No,” Kate says, she unbuckles her seat belt – it feels too restrictive for the way the world has seemingly collapsed around her again. She wants to tell Yelena how scared she is of Eleanor Bishop. “I am terrified of her. I hate her so much. It’s more than before, it’s not just lies, fraud, manipulation – she tried to hurt you,” Kate’s voice shakes, and she feels the tears fall over her cheeks, “Maybe I didn’t realize, before, how many people’s loved ones Eleanor was responsible for hurting directly and indirectly. But I understand now,” she continues, nodding to herself. “I understand the range of her chaos and her disregard for basic decency.”

She brushes the tears from her face, unclipping her tactical gear – it all feels too restrictive. She tosses her gear to the floor and the vehicle bumps when they hit the gravel road. The gear shifts, Yelena’s hands fall from the steering wheel as she looks over at Kate, “What do you need, Kate Bishop?”

It’s a familiar question, one that makes her insides hum and her body tingle with memories of their first night together. Kate brushes her hands up and down the length of her thighs, she’s restless and it’s all too heavy for her. She wants to be free of this weight.

“Yelena,” she says, looking back at Yelena with what feels like pure desperation. “I want to forget again.”

Her foot presses heavily on the pedal – she always wants Kate, but this feeling is unique to her. It brings her back to their first night together when knew she had to stay to make Kate feel good. It is conflicting for Yelena; she knows Kate is stronger now – her unabashed confidence is returning each day. This is a setback – a massive one for Kate to absorb and for Yelena too. The eldest Bishop has a dozen vials with her intentions unknown. It’s difficult for Yelena not to think of potential scenarios: Eleanor reverses the antidote to make Widows controllable again or she exploits it, controlling the Widows in either capacity. All scenarios make her shudder, Eleanor cannot be trusted – she knows this much.

She understands how Kate feels too – she wants to forget the potential fracture this has on Natasha’s legacy. It’s so close to failure and Yelena doesn’t know how to navigate this. Kate’s blindly angry right now – the threats against her mother aren’t empty but Yelena knows Kate well enough; she won’t hurt Eleanor physically, however, there are other ways to hurt someone, and Yelena can’t allow Kate to go down that path.

They merge onto an on-ramp at a busy town, traffic is painstakingly slow – Yelena feels her leg start to bounce impatiently. She wants to be horizontal with Kate, to reassure her and work this out together. They have not spoken to each other since Kate asked her to forget again, before that it was three hours and forty-six minutes until Kate had spoken to her. The silence that fills the cab is only because they’re both so lost and need to find each other again; Yelena’s hand twitches against her thigh at the thought of finding Kate again.

She pulls into the first hotel she sees, it’s fancy looking but Yelena could care less – as long as she’s with Kate the location is moot.  Yelena goes about preparing their bags and checking in while Kate walks Lucky. She approaches the counter, memorizing the layout of the building as she tosses her backpack on the counter. The receptionist stares at her for a few moments – he looks scared and weak; Yelena is not in the mood for such people right now.

“I need a suite for the night – this is dog friendly, yes?” She asks as she pulls the wad of cash from her bag.

The attendant shakes his head nervously and pushes his glasses onto his face, “Our – um – policy states only service animals are allowed.” Yelena sighs and counts out multiple hundred-dollar bills, she’s really not in the mood for him right now. “You would deny my wife’s doggy because he is a dog? He is very harmless – I could do more damage than he could.”

The attendant nods, eyes glued to the stack of cash, “It’s just for a night. I’m sure we can accommodate you and your wife.” She slides the cash towards him wordlessly. “I’ll just need a name for the account, ma’am.”

“Fanny Longbottom,” She offers, taking the two hotel cards into her pocket and turning away to meet Kate at the elevator. She watches Kate slump against the wall, an emptiness in her blue eyes that makes Yelena’s heartache. She steps closer to Kate in the elevator, sliding her hands to Kate’s hips and resting their foreheads together. Kate’s blue eyes flutter close and she feels Kate’s hand tugging the zipper of her tactical vest downward.

She nibbles on Kate’s lower lip, enjoying the catch of her breath. The familiar heat is between them now, and they’re both so comfortable with this – wanting each other, touching, teasing, pressing and pulling – it’s always magical with Kate. She grasps Kate’s cheek, pushing her head back against the wall, “You will strip for me when we get inside, yes?”

Kate’s eyes are hooded, and she gives a slight nod before sucking Yelena’s thumb into her mouth. Yelena doesn’t fight the groan that leaves her, pressing her entire body into Kate’s – attaching her mouth to Kate’s long neck.

The elevator door dings and Yelena pulls Kate behind her, making their way down the hallway to their suite. Yelena tosses their bags aside once they enter and sticks the ‘Do not disturb' sign out on the door. She guides Lucky into the living area and sets out his toys, food and water. When she turns, Kate’s already kicking off her shoes and reaching for the zipper of her suit. She grasps Kate’s hand and pulls her into the bedroom, shutting the door behind them.

She moves to the expansive floor-length window pulling the curtains closed, she steps to the light switch and dims the lights. She’s turned back to Kate who’s shrugging off her pants; she’s so breathtaking – long legs and well-defined abs followed by chiselled biceps. Kate Bishop is a dream, and Yelena counts her lucky stars each moment they are together like this. The bed is soft beneath her as she kicks off her boots, her eyes trace over Kate’s form and she croaks a finger, “Come here, Kate Bishop.”

She slides her hands over the soft skin around Kate’s back and sides, pulling her snuggly into her lap. She rakes her nails over the outside of Kate’s thigh and attaches her lips to the space just below her ear, “How do you want it?”

Kate sighs and arches into her touch, slipping her hands into the collar of her suit. She nips harder at the skin beneath her lips, encouraging Kate to speak – she needs Kate to set the tone before she does anything further.

“Intense, long,” Kate mumbles into her ear, gripping her collar tighter. She tilts Kate’s cheek towards her and presses their foreheads together, “We can stop at any time, Kate Bishop.”

“I know. I trust you,” Kate reconnects their lips, sliding her tongue against her bottom lip. Yelena slides her hands over Kate’s body in earnest, rough and calloused across her skin. She brushes her thumbs over Kate’s pebbled nipples, rolling the stiff buds until Kate’s mouth drops to her shoulder in a low moan. She’s reaching down into Kate’s underwear, finding her already slick beneath her fingertips.

“So wet for me already, Kate.” She circles her fingers around the stiff bud, feeling Kate’s fingers clench into her back. Kate’s already panting into her neck and rocking her hips, “Make it good, Kate. No more after this one.”

“Yelena,” she gasps, and she feels Kate’s lips and teeth at her neck. “Want to come,” she whines softly into her ear.

“Ride my fingers, Kate Bishop,” She slides two fingers in easily and Kate clenches around her, “That’s it, taking me so deep already,” She sighs, feeling nothing but the heat of Kate’s body and the ear-melting sounds that come from her. She curls her fingers, ignoring the ache in her arm due to the unorthodox angle, “I wish I had my strap. You would use your mouth and then I would let you ride me.”

Kate’s pants make her body feel even warmer and she wants nothing more than to be bare with Kate. Her thumb brushes over the straining clit and she pushes her fingers all the way to her knuckles. Kate clenches around her again and throws her head back, gasps tumbling from her mouth as additional wetness gushes down her hand.

Kate quivers around her fingers, leaning forward to rest their foreheads together again, “I hope that one was good, Kate Bishop,” she runs her tongue over Kate’s lips, removing her fingers to brush them around her clit again, “I will tell you when you can come. Are you going to be a good girl?”

Kate’s head jerks against hers in a nod, their noses bump and Yelena pushes her tongue into Kate’s mouth. She grasps Kate’s hips and angles her to the bed, pulling away to shrug her clothes off, she reaches for the small grapple rope that is tucked into her tactical belt – leaving the coil on Kate’s navel to tease.

She closes her fingers around the fabric at Kate’s hips, tossing the underwear over her shoulder. She stretches out over Kate, sliding a thigh between Kate’s and the wetness that greets her thigh allows her to rub her thigh easily against Kate. She slides her fingers up Kate’s body, pinching a nipple and sliding them over her sternum, tipping over her chin and rubbing them at Kate’s lips.

“Suck,” she murmurs into Kate’s ear as her own hips find the right angle on Kate’s thigh, gasping when she finds the right angle. Kate’s lips close over her fingers and a shiver courses through her body, she tears her mouth away from Kate’s neck to watch the hollow of Kate’s cheeks. Her eyes are closed, there’s a gorgeous flush across her chest and cheeks.

Yelena’s hips twitch at the sight, she nips at Kate’s throat – tugging the skin between her teeth until Kate’s mouth falters around her fingers, jaw going slack. She removes her fingers and circles them over the stiff nipples before trailing them down her own body. Her lips close around Kate’s earlobe and tugs, “Watch me, Kate.”

She presses her cheek next to Kate’s on the pillow, finding blue eyes staring back at her. She dips her chin slightly and brushes her fingers over her clit, “My fingers covered in your wetness and spit, fuck. Feels good,” her hips twitch and her eyes flutter closed at tight circles she draws on herself.

“Yelena, I want to –

“Touch yourself, Kate.”

Kate’s breathy sigh is breathed against her lips, she tugs Kate’s lip between her teeth and rocks her hips against Kate’s thigh. She feels it building incrementally, Kate’s closeness combined with her pliantness makes it all so easy to tumble over the edge.

“Yelena, please. I’m so close,” Kate mumbles against her mouth, Yelena feels the twitch of Kate’s hips beneath her. She trails her fingers across Kate’s chest, finding the pebbled nipples.

“Stop,” Yelena instructs, continuing her touches across Kate’s chest. Kate whines and shakes her head, continuing the movement of her fingers between her legs. Yelena seizes her hands and pushes them above her head, “Don’t make me tie you up, Kate Bishop.”

The moan that leaves Kate is filthy and her body arches, seeking any kind of contact. She slides her lips down Kate’s neck, tracing her tongue over the bare skin. She sucks a mark between her breasts, fingers feathering the insides of Kate’s wet thighs. She leaves a constellation of love bites down the length of Kate’s body, lifting her head to admire the darkened skin, “You look so good. You are mine, all mine.”

Her lips find the inside of Kate’s thigh, pushing it upward slightly to sink her teeth into the skin. She feels a hand against her head and then soothes the bite with her tongue and lips to glance back at Kate, “Hands, Kate Bishop.”

She reaches for the coil that had slipped beside Kate; she’s searching for Kate’s hand when she finds her wrists already crossed above her head. Kate absolutely knew what she was doing – Блядь, она такая сексуальная. She passes the rope beneath her wrists, binding them gently – she slips a finger beneath the rope and Kate’s wrist, making sure they aren’t tight.

“Is this okay, Kate?” Yelena asks, back at eye-level with Kate. She brushes her fingers along Kate’s bicep, smiling at Kate’s nod. “I need to hear you say it,” She adds, pressing a kiss to Kate’s nose.

“It’s okay,” Kate says, licking her lips and furrowing her eyebrows as if she had to concentrate hard to form the words.

She accepts that answer and slips her tongue into Kate’s mouth as she brushes her fingers over the wetness between her legs. She slides a finger inside Kate, moving slowly despite Kate’s whines and twitches of her hips. She leaves Kate’s lip with a bite of her bottom lip, trailing her mouth down Kate’s body, running her tongue over the bite mark on her thigh before sliding her tongue up the length of Kate’s wetness.

“Please, Yelena,” Kate begs for the hundredth time. She feels like it’s been hours – the amount of time Yelena has spent between her legs. Her hips twitch, trying to move away from Yelena’s mouth. She’s overstimulated and she hasn’t even come yet. Yelena held true to those words when she was in her lap all that time ago; there would be no more until she said so. Yelena’s patience will be the death of her.

Her chest heaves and there’s sweat dripping down her body. She’s lost the ability to form words at this point, there’s only one name that tumbles from her lips. From the stroke of Yelena’s tongue or press of her fingers, she’s forgotten the world exists – she just wants to come. There’s a pinch at her hip, and Yelena’s tongue brushes her clit again before making a trail back up her body.

“You have been such a good girl, Kate Bishop.” The praise makes her cheeks burn and she turns her forehead against Yelena’s, sneaking her tongue out to trace Yelena’s lips. The taste of herself makes her rub her thighs, together seeking any kind of friction.  “With your hands tied above your head because you couldn’t help yourself.”

“I want you to come,” Yelena whispers, sliding her hand around Kate’s thigh to pull it around her waist. Kate arches into her clenches her hands into fists and angles her hips against Yelena’s thigh, searching for the right feeling. “Come for me, Kate.” She repeats against her lips, hand sneaking down to slide through the wetness and draw tight circles.

This is the feeling she was searching for – Yelena’s voice and her touch making her tremble and quake. Her eyes fall shut and a high-pitched moan falls from her lips and her body goes pleasantly numb, she’s so warm and tired. The cool pillow feels so good on her cheek, it’s soothing.

She wakes sometime later, her arm going up automatically to wipe at the drool at the corner of her mouth. She rubs her eyes and spreads her arm over the bed, searching for Yelena in the darkroom. There’s light coming from the other side of the suite, she checks the clock and stretches – feeling the love bites on her ache body ache.

Kate doesn’t bother with clothes; her archery suit is not exactly the comfiest attire after mind-numbing sex. She slides the door open to find Yelena lounging on the couch with her laptop and Lucky in the opposite corner sleeping soundly on the loveseat. She feels Yelena’s eyes run over her appreciatively, the warmth settling in her chest again. She moves the laptop aside and falls into Yelena’s lap, sliding her fingers along her collarbone. Yelena brings her wrists to her lips one at a time as if inspecting them for damage – Kate really loves her.

“You’re wearing too many clothes,” Kate says, tilting her head the sweats Yelena had changed into. “And you’re way out here when you could be in bed with me.”

Yelena looks tired and guilty; she turns the laptop screen to Kate. Her eyes rake over the screen, the tracker showing the package of vials is on track to arrive tomorrow morning. She nods and shuts the screen, turning back to Yelena and tracing the tired lines beneath her eyes.

“Could not sleep. I am sorry you woke alone,” Yelena leans her face into her hand, eyes falling closed.

“I’m sorry, for all of this. It’s my fault you’re a target now –

Yelena’s eyes flash open and her hands caress Kate’s back, “None of this is your fault. I would happily walk this road with you, Kate Bishop.”

Yelena’s pressing their lips together before Kate can respond. Everything about Yelena is reassuring – her touches and her words, there is nobody else should rather have at her side either. Kate sighs against her, threading her arms around Yelena’s neck.

“We do not know the meaning behind her seizing of the vials, Kate,” Yelena suggests a few moments later, there’s a part of Kate that wants to believe her mom is somehow doing something good. But she remembers her mother’s disapproval of Yelena all those days ago at brunch – the way she was actively trying to cruelly expose Yelena’s past. She loves Yelena too much to lose her and what does Eleanor gain from taking Yelena away? It’s not like Kate would ever go running back to Eleanor Bishop.

“She knew your past, Yelena. She knew what those vials meant to you. She’s still involved with Fisk and his associates, even on bail. Her mistake is she doesn’t know what you mean to me. She doesn’t know the extent to which I will go to protect you. I’m going to exploit that.”

“It is very noble of you, Kate. I can protect myself from Eleanor Bishop,” Yelena’s fingers trace patterns over her back.

“I know, but I’m tired of her ruining my life. I won’t allow her to toy with you because she thinks I’ll just come running back,” Kate leans as close as she can, resting their foreheads together. “All of this just makes me run to you. I feel safe, loved, and valued with you. I want to keep that for as long as I can.”

Yelena’s pressing her back against the couch, tossing the laptop aside and pressing their lips back together. Kate’s hands slide up Yelena’s back, pulling the shirt with her as she goes. Their bare torsos brush, Yelena’s hand squeezing her thigh and pulling it over her hip. The gratitude she feels for Yelena bursts from her – she wishes they could have had this earlier in the night, if only she had been strong enough to talk to her.

“Yelena,” she murmurs against the soft lips, opening her eyes when Yelena’s pulled away slightly. “I’m sorry for ignoring you for three hours. I should have talked to you sooner.”

“It was three hours and forty-six minutes,” Yelena says, and Kate narrows her eyes at her, “but who is counting?” Yelena’s smile makes her feel steady again, she kisses her – trying to convey all the gratefulness she feels for Yelena into this touch. Yelena sighs into the contact, sinking further into Kate and threading her fingers into her hair. Yelena’s eyes rake over her face, she’s about to question the look when Yelena is speaking again.

“You needed time to process. You had to be ready to talk. I do not want to pressure you – ever.” Yelena’s lips brush her forehead, “I just want you to know I am here.”

Kate nods and wraps her arms around Yelena’s waist, she feels Yelena’s fingers scratching at the base of her hairline. It’s just them wrapped in each other in some hotel in Pennsylvania – it doesn’t matter where they are, she would be with Yelena anywhere. She brushes her hands over Yelena’s back, tracing all the scars that blemish her skin.

“And fuck my brains out apparently,” Kate offers lightly, Yelena’s chuckle and playful nip at her throat makes her smile.  

“You looked so cute, attached to your little pile of drool.” Yelena’s mouthing at her neck, revisiting the marks she left earlier. “You sleep like the dead, Kate Bishop. I am jealous.”

“Maybe you just need to be tied up and edged for like, two hours – give or take,” Yelena’s laugh is breathed into her chest, making Kate laugh too. Everything is so good with Yelena.

“I sleep best with you. For some reason, I could not turn off my mind tonight.” Yelena says moments later, and Kate knows why she couldn’t sleep – the stress and anxiety of what Eleanor might do with those vials. She feels guilty for making tonight about her – she wants to take care of Yelena too. She’s about to echo those thoughts when Yelena’s lips find hers again, “I would not have changed earlier. I am always willing to be with you.”

“It usually helps – being with you,” she continues, thoughtful green eyes finding hers. “The control you give me, it is grounding. I feel as though I am capable of anything in those moments.” Yelena’s fingers brush through her hair and over her forehead, “It is very easy to lose myself in you.”

She decides she wants to make Yelena sleepy and sated. Kate leans up to capture Yelena’s lips, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth and running her tongue across. Yelena’s groan and a sharp squeeze of her thigh have her brushing her fingers against the waistband of Yelena’s sweats, pushing gently.

“Take them off?” She keeps her question low and soft, wanting Yelena to know she has a choice. Yelena’s hips grind against hers momentarily, and Kate hears the catch of her breath followed by a murmur of an affirmative.

Yelena pushes up to slide her pants off and she’s reaching for Kate’s thigh when Kate reaches out to grasp Yelena’s hip, tugging her closer. “Up here,” she offers, scratching her fingertips over Yelena’s hip and thigh. “Kate,” Yelena is breathless and she’s in deep concentration as she looks at Kate. “If you want to,” Kate adds, wanting Yelena to know she just wants her to feel good, it doesn’t matter how.

Yelena throws a leg over her stomach and Kate feels the wetness and warmth sliding again her abdomen. Yelena’s breathing heavily into Kate’s mouth, fingers stroking her jaw as she rocks her hips slightly against Kate, inching upward.

“Are you sure?” Kate asks, tracing patterns on Yelena’s thigh.

“Yes,” Yelena’s teeth pull on her bottom lip as she guides a pillow beneath her head. “Use your mouth.”

Kate’s body fires off at each synapse, she feels hot and twitchy – her hands shake as they grasp Yelena’s thighs, helping her reach her mouth. Yelena’s hands grasp hers, pulling them over her head to lock her wrists together with one hand and threading the other through her hair. Yelena’s thighs close around her ears, and she’s focused on one singular thing, Yelena.

The alarm clock wakes her this time. She groans and presses her cheek against the pillow, trying to smother the sound away. The warmth at her back leaves for a moment, shutting off the awful blaring.

“Good morning, Kate Bishop,” Yelena breathes against her back, pressing light kisses there and throwing her arm back around her waist. Kate groans again, pulling the blanket higher over her ears – why do they have to leave? Leaving this bed for anything is entirely unattractive right now, especially when Yelena’s lips are soft, and her fingers are soothing.

Yelena shuffles beneath the blanket, coming to lay atop of her. There’s a smile on her face that reaches her eyes, she looks so good like this. In bed with Kate, naked and soft, pressing light kisses all over her neck and jaw.

“Sleep well?” Kate asks, unable to hide the smug smile that crosses her face. Yelena’s eyes are light and playful as she pinches Kate’s side. She connects their lips together and Kate huffs against her, tasting the mint. “How long have you been awake?”

“Only a few moments. Long enough to order breakfast and run Lucky out,” Yelena says between kisses. As if on cue, Kate’s stomach growls and they break apart to laugh. Yelena pushes off, reaching for her sweats and moving to the other side of the suite.

Kate sighs and stretches, there’s still a delicious ache settling over her body. She rubs her jaw absentmindedly, remembering the way Yelena had gotten off on her – twice. She remembers Yelena picking her up and bringing her to bed, whispering praises in her ear. She feels the blush creeping over her body again and chews her lip, trying to contain her smile.

Yelena returns with a tray of food, depositing it in Kate’s lap and climbing in next to her. Kate goes straight for the bacon, using her fork to poke curiously at the omelette. Yelena laughs and presses a kiss to her bare shoulder, “Do not worry, Kate Bishop. It is just tomato, spinach, and cheese. You are fortunate for the limited options on the menu.”

“Not to be a buzz-kill,” Kate starts, offering the muffin to Yelena. “But we need to talk about Eleanor.” Yelena hums, brushing her fingers up and down Kate’s arm. “You should just drop me off at the penthouse. I’ll meet you back at my place.”

“Absolutely not, Kate Bishop,” Yelena says firmly, waving her muffin around. “Where you go, I go. I know you are angry with your mother, but we do not know all the facts yet.” Kate grumbles at that, angry is an understatement. She wants to hurt Eleanor the way she’s hurt her. “Revenge is a dangerous path, Kate. I do not wish to see you follow it. You are too good for that.”

“And what are you going to do exactly? I won’t let you go down that path either.” Kate cuts the omelette, offering Yelena bites where most of the green and red is.

“Perhaps we need Barton’s assistance. I am regretting saying that now,” Yelena rolls her eyes, shaking her head at Kate’s excited glee.

“I knew you two would work well together. Clint’s a good guy.”

Yelena barks out a laugh and pats Kate’s arm, “I would not go that far. We have a common interest in protecting you. It is a matter of convenience.”

“Sure, babe. Whatever you say,” Kate leans into Yelena playfully, pushing the breakfast aside and reaching for her phone to send Clint a text. “He’ll be ready for us in thirty minutes. Take a shower with me?”

“As long as you promise to just shower – I know you, Kate Bishop. You are very handsy when I am naked.” Yelena teases, sliding her hands over Kate’s legs.

“I make no promises,” She tosses back, pushing from the bed and stretching, throwing a brief look over her shoulder before continuing to the massive bathroom. She’s barely twisting the nobs before Yelena’s pressing against her back, hands and lips making themselves known.

They’re only five minutes late and Clint’s annoyed face is staring back at them when they accept the video call. Kate tries to call it a poor signal, but Clint is just annoyed, especially when he sees the dark marks over Kate’s neck.

“Please tell me those are from a fight and not from Yelena,” Clint asks, scratching at his face.

“Would you like the right answer, Barton?” Yelena asks, tone full of mischief. “I am not sure your blood pressure would handle it though.”

“Forget I asked,” Clint waves at them through the screen. “I reviewed the intel you two sent over. Now is the time to focus, Kate. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. There’s been no indication Eleanor knows about the warehouse last night – which makes me believe she is not as involved with the business anymore. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.”

“It’s all bad, Clint. Doesn’t matter how you look at it,” Kate mumbles, picking at the threads on her jeans. Yelena’s hand covers hers, threading their fingers together. It gives Kate the reassurance to focus on the mission – rather than her mother. They need to retrieve those vials.

“What if we just give the intel to S.H.I.E.L.D anonymously and let them roll out the guns and arrest Eleanor,” Kate suggests, looking over at Yelena somewhat anxiously – she knew Yelena was very adamant that nobody from S.H.I.E.L.D is involved.

“And they do what with the vials? With Melina’s formula? I am sorry, Kate, but I do not trust them. They have a very poor track record of keeping important items under lock and key.” Yelena squeezes her hand again and she nods in return – they’ll find another way.

“I’m inclined to agree with Yelena here,” Kate’s eyebrows shoot up at Clint, smiling at him.

“You two working together makes my day, just saying.” Both Yelena and Clint grumble at her comment.

“We need another angle. A way to get close to Eleanor without confronting her,” Clint ponders, tapping his pen against his notepad.

There is a way – she knows how to get close to Eleanor. She can accept her offer as Bishop Securities CEO, pretend to seek mentorship in a ploy to get close to her and find the vials. Eleanor wouldn’t see it coming. She’s not sure how Yelena would fit in though, and that part unsettles her. She would do this for Yelena, to make sure Eleanor has no devious plans with the vials. She would do anything to protect Yelena from Eleanor. She feels Yelena nudge her gently, eyes searching over her with concern.

“I have an idea,” Kate starts, eyeing Yelena and Clint. “She wants me to Bishop Securities CEO – the position she has been grooming me for since I was a child. I could accept, get close to her and –

“No, Kate. I would not ask you to do that,” Yelena interrupts, shifting her body to face Kate.

“It’s a good angle, kid. There’s nothing to suggest your mom knows anything about the incident last night. Let’s say she is completely in the dark, you could exploit her guilt and you’d gain access to the network.” Clint rattles off, nodding as he vocalizes the proposal.

“Barton – we do not know what Eleanor is capable of. Not to mention the emotional impact this will have on you both, Kate.”

“I want to do this,” Kate says firmly, rubbing her thumb against Yelena’s hand. She leans closer to Yelena, dropping her voice to a whisper. “I want to do this for you.”

Yelena’s eyes dart over her face, they’re filled with emotion and a frown is etched on her mouth. Kate needs to convince her.

“Eleanor’s never physically hurt me before,” she begins, louder so that Clint can hear too. “We have the advantage here; she doesn’t know we know. My mom’s a lot of things, but I know she wouldn’t hurt me physically. I could play it as if I came out of hiding and rushed to her in fear – she’d like that.”

Yelena grimaces and shakes her head, dropping Kate’s hand to pace around the room.

“I think, uh, maybe you two need to talk. For what it’s worth, I like the plan kid. You’ve got good instincts and you know you have the advantage here – as long as you don’t overplay your hand, this should work. Contact me when you get to New York.”

“He speaks as if he does not know the suffering your mother has put you through over these last few months.” Yelena spits out, shaking her head vehemently. “I have been here, Kate. I will not allow you to subject yourself to this emotional torture for me. I will do it alone.”

“No, Yelena. It’s too dangerous – besides we don’t even know where to start looking.” Kate approaches her, taking Yelena’s hand in hers again. “I’m stronger now. It’s largely thanks to you, but I know how to compartmentalize her – how to see through her comments and grand expectations of me. I see her for what she is, Yelena. I’m strong enough now, please let me do this. I need to do this. I can send her back to prison for good.”

She knows she doesn’t need Yelena’s permission; she just wants to be on the same page as her. She wants to convince Yelena she’s strong enough now, she can take on Eleanor – especially after she tried to hurt Yelena. She watches Yelena jerk her chin and wipes at the tears around her eyes before pulling her into an embrace. Kate’s arms lock around her waist while Yelena tucks her face into her neck.

“I will be there with you, every step of the way.” Yelena’s lips brush her cheek, trailing to her lips, “You are strong, Kate Bishop.”

Kate pours herself into the embrace, tangling her hands in Yelena’s t-shirt, “Love you, so much.”

She feels Yelena walking them backwards until her back hits the wall. Yelena’s lips are insistent and passionate against hers, and her hands run across Kate’s body – pulling her up onto her waist. She locks her legs around Yelena’s waist, moaning when Yelena’s hand finds its way beneath her shirt to grope her chest.

“You guys know I can hear you, right?” Clint’s voice rings out from the laptop. Kate freezes and slaps a hand over her mouth, looking mortified at Yelena. “I need to cleanse my brain now. Oh god – the images are just flashing at me. Katie, you’re too young to be with someone –

“Goodbye, Barton,” Yelena says, slamming the laptop closed. She turns to look at Kate, hands planted on her hips, and she looks annoyed beyond measure.

“We should probably get going. Clint’s right: we have the advantage, for the time being, I don’t want to lose that.”

“To New York, then?”

“To New York,” Kate repeats, stepping past Yelena to pack up their things. “Can you drive? I’m really not in the mood for New York traffic.”

“Of course, Kate Bishop. It would be an honour to chauffeur Bishop Securities' hottest CEO.”

Chapter Text

She really should have paid more attention to intermediate macroeconomics last semester. All these numbers and graphs and projections make her brain combust – she was done in the first ten minutes of this quarterly meeting. Eleanor insisted that Kate start right away, not wanting her to miss a beat – totally not because of the

You need to know the ropes, Kate. Like we’ve always talked about.

It was almost too easy, accepting her mother’s offer – she questioned if Eleanor was onto them, Clint insisted Eleanor doesn’t know based on their intel. The surveillance S.H.I.E.L.D had conducted following the shooting has shown no signs of Eleanor being tipped off.

It’s been a seamless transition – she went to her mother’s penthouse, tearful and exhausted. Eleanor pulled her in, and Kate knows she was mimicking care for opportunism, she remembers the way Eleanor called the board when she thought Kate wasn’t listening. She told Eleanor about the shooting, how she got lost in the chaos and laid low into her apartment until she was brave enough to come out and go to Eleanor.

And what about Yelena?

She left after brunch – she wouldn’t look me in the eye. I guess you were right mom. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner. I really thought she would be real with me.

It’s not your fault, Kate. It’s all she knows. She was never going to be who you needed to propel you into greater things. I’m so glad she’s out of your life. We can move forward now, together.

She tugs the turtleneck up her throat higher, pressing her fingers against the mark Yelena left last night. Her body hums and she tilts her chin down, pretending to look over the projections; so happy her long hair can hide her heating cheeks. Yelena, she breathes, eyes fluttering shut at the memory of Yelena’s kisses and insistent hands this morning. The way her hands gripped a little too tightly, the way her breathing was laboured after only a few kisses, the way her eyes lacked their usual glow when they parted.

I will be watching, Kate Bishop. You will not be alone.

Yelena, you need to keep a low profile. If my mom sees us –

Do not insult my prowess, Kate Bishop. I will be next to you, hidden in plain sight.

The rustling of chairs and papers pulls Kate from her daydream. She pulls a tight smile and nods at a few of the suits, exchanging pleasantries. She’s collecting her dossier when Eleanor steps next to her.

“I think that went well, Kate. The board seems energized by your participation,” Eleanor rattles off, guiding them through the building. “We’re finally starting to put our vision in motion.”

“Mom, does the board know when your court date is?” Kate asks, pretending to be interested in this public relations nightmare besieged on Bishop Securities, according to the consultants.

Eleanor waves her off, gripping the sleeve of her blazer tightly while they turn the corner, “Kate, please. We have a specific plan for this. It was in your briefing.”

Kate rolls her eyes, picking at the sleeve of her blazer. She knows she should read the daily briefing, but Yelena’s wandering hands make it difficult to concentrate in those early hours.

“Tomorrow night at the gala where we’ll announce our official changeover,” Eleanor continues, shepherding Kate into an empty office. “Here’s your corner office. I know it’s not as spacious as the others, but I’m sure this will be good enough to start your tenure as CEO.”

Kate whistles as she takes in the office. Floor-length windows allow her to see Grand Central Station and the bustling people and cars below. The desk sits bare and empty in the corner while there’s a conference table and black sofa taking up the west wall side of the office. She nods appreciatively as she takes in the office, running her hand along the empty bookshelf and peeking her head into the private bathroom.

“Our next meeting with the R&D team is in two hours,” Eleanor glances at her golden watch. “We’re having a tech sent up to you to help set up your electronics.” She steps closer to pull Kate into a side hug and press a kiss to her forehead, “I’m so glad you’re here honey. It’s all going to be okay.”

Kate nods and swallows, counting to five before stepping away. Eleanor’s refusal to discuss the trial and Fisk in public is damage control. The PR team wants to avoid opportunistic interns (it was in the briefing), and Kate wants to avoid sounding over-interested.

Do not ask all the questions in one day, Kate. We can control this. Yelena had said as they lounged on the couch in her apartment last evening. Kate remembers the way her fingers kneaded through her hair as she spoke. She remembers nearly falling asleep until Yelena’s fingers pinched at her side.

Are you serious Kate Bishop? I am sharing vital spy information and you are just going to sleep instead.

I can’t help it. Not like we slept much last night.

Kate Bishop, I need to prepare you.

I’ll be fine, Yelena. I’m basically an Avenger with a super-spy girlfriend and retired Avenger mentor. I’m pretty solid.

You are many things, Kate Bishop. She remembers the way Yelena pressed her back into the couch and made her feel entirely less solid.

She drags her fingers over the fine mahogany desk, dropping into her high-back leather chair. She twirls around momentarily, brushing her hands over her face. This was never going to be easy, but she’s not exactly the most patient person either. She flips through the company’s menu, wondering where all the real food is. She can barely pronounce some of these dishes. Can’t she just get some fries and a hamburger? Her first act as CEO will be to order a review of this garbage menu. Her second desecrate the board of directors; the last time she’d been in the same room as that many old men was her father’s funeral, another unpleasant memory.

She’s opening all the drawers to her desk when there’s a beep on her intercom, “Your technician is here, Miss Bishop. Shall I send them in?” Kate fiddles with the phone, pressing a bunch of buttons – she’s basically a tech genius but this basic desk phone is proving to be a challenge. She finds the right button and clears her throat, “Yes! Send them in! Thanks – bye!”

Kate cringes immediately, bye, really Kate? She’s straightening her blazer when the technician enters, pushing a cart with a baseball cap drawn low over their forehead. Her assistant, Dee, pops in to ask what Kate would like for lunch but she can’t quite tear her eyes away from the stocky body filling out the plain grey jumpsuit. The curve of that jaw is too familiar – her eyes nearly bug out of her head when she spots the piercings lining the ear.


Yelena moves around the room, closing the blinds over the windows that survey the rest of the Bishop Securities offices. Dee’s asking her a question about lunch and Kate’s fumbling a response, agreeing to whatever Dee is saying, closing the door behind her. Kate extends her hand, opening her mouth to speak when Yelena gives a curt shake of her head. She watches Yelena push the cart against the door, grabbing a device and setting it out against her desk. She pulls Kate to the sofa, holding a finger over her mouth.

Yelena enters the bathroom, taking out a wand-like device and sweeping it around the smaller area. Kate’s foot taps impatiently as she leans against the armrest, peaking around the door frame as she anxiously awaits the results of Yelena’s bug sweep.

“Not bad, Kate Bishop. I like the big windows and bookshelf. The craftsmanship is unparalleled,” Yelena says, walking through the doorway, tossing the bug detector on the conference table. Kate’s already walking into her, threading her arms over her shoulders and sliding the baseball cap off to reveal dark black hair like her own.

“Nice costume. I really like the name tag,” she drops an arm to trace over the sewn nametag, Tasha, on Yelena’s chest.

“I thought you would appreciate the look. I even added my own pockets. So useful,” Yelena says pointing to the pockets around her jumpsuits. “You would not believe the weapons I can conceal in this.”

“Is that a gun or are you just really happy to see me?” Kate asks, feeling the brush of Yelena’s thigh holster against her.

“Very funny, Kate Bishop. I am very happy to see you,” Yelena’s lips brush her cheek as her arms slide beneath her blazer and up her back.

“It’s only been six hours. You couldn’t resist, could you?” Kate pokes at her. She’s relieved Yelena is here; it only adds to her confidence and centres her in this intimidating place.

“I told you; I will be with you every step of the way. Plus, I brought you a toy from Barton. It is very old and flabby, but I know you will like the sentiment.” Yelena explains as she pulls a flip phone from her breast pocket, showing it to Kate before slipping her back pocket. “So old not even Bishop Securities will care to detect it. You will use it to contact me and Barton, yes?”

“Does this mean you have both learned how to text?” Kate asks, brushing her nose against Yelena’s. She feels a retaliatory squeeze at her ass and chuckles, brushing the black wig off her head.

“Again, with the jokes, Kate Bishop. I take it your day is not awful yet?”

“Not yet. We’re just doing a bunch of introductory meetings. Eleanor says the board is ‘revitalized’ with my participation, but I just think they’re looking forward to good PR.” Kate grumbles, leaning her forehead into Yelena’s.

“When the real technician arrives with your laptop – a terrible case of food poisoning will keep the department busy for a few hours, truly awful – you will have access to the network. One step at a time, little hawk.”

“I’m sorry did you just admit to poisoning the entire tech department?” Kate gasps, regarding Yelena with astonishment.

“Yes, do not order the curry today. They may not be the only department affected. I have brought you lunch,” Yelena gestures over to the paper bag on the bottom shelf of the cart. “I also came to tell you I really like this look on you, Kate Bishop.”

Yelena’s constantly keeping her on her feet, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The heels and these pants shaping your ass,” Yelena continues, squeezing in appreciation. She feels the flush spread over her chest and suddenly her turtleneck feels too restrictive for what she wants with Yelena. “The high collar you wear because of my marks; your mother is a fool to believe I would leave you so easily.”

“Yeah, she’s dumb. Kiss me please,” Kate breathes against her, pressing her body against Yelena’s and bumping them into the bookshelf. Her wish is rewarded when Yelena’s tongue slides into her mouth and her lips envelope hers. Yelena’s hand slides beneath her turtleneck to cup her lower back, effectively pressing their hips together. The tangle of their lips keeps Kate grounded – she feels Yelena in more ways than one. Her day is considerably brighter with just her visit here. It’s beyond cute she went through this elaborate scheme just to see her.

“It’s really cute you went through all this just because you missed me,” Kate says a few moments later when they’ve slowed to featherlight kisses.

“I am making sure you are safe, Kate Bishop.” Yelena contests, sliding her hand into the unoccupied back pocket.

“Food poisoning, a costume, a wig, a fake name, accessing my barely created itinerary – you’re lucky I like you otherwise I’d call you a stalker,” Kate points out, scratching at Yelena’s hairline. Yelena huffs and nips at her lip playfully, pushing Kate back against the conference table, helping her up and trapping her hands on either side of Kate.  

“I do not like having no contact with you. I cannot see the expressions on your face or hear the tone of your voice. It is all more amplified knowing how dangerous this is. I cannot control it,” Yelena’s eyes are endless, and her voice is serious, it makes Kate sit up straighter and slide her hands up to Yelena’s face to cup her cheeks.

“I know it’s hard. I want to do this for you. For us,” Kate knows Yelena struggles with this decision – she barely slept last night. Kate found her awake sitting up in bed around three and found her again at five punching the bag downstairs. “I’ll use the phone, I promise.”

“Text 9 if you need me to come to get you. Text 5 if you spot the vials,” Yelena instructs, grabbing the phone and waving the keyboard in her face as if she doesn’t know how to text someone.

“I can’t send sexy pics, then?” Kate jerks her chin at the phone, watching with amusement at Yelena’s reaction.

“It is – that is not – It is for work purposes only, Kate Bishop,” Yelena stutters, glancing between her and the burner phone.

“I’d bend the rules for you,” she flirts back, slipping her arms around Yelena’s neck again. “How much time do we have? I want to christen this office space with you.”

Yelena’s huff of indignation is swallowed by Kate’s lips.

Yelena left twenty minutes later, flustered and slightly annoyed at Kate’s teasing. Kate readjusts her underwear and pants in the bathroom, a smile eating at her face when she remembers the way Yelena’s fingers had worked her over so quickly on the conference table. She collects her blazer and turtleneck from the floor, skimming her fingertips over the mark Yelena left on her abdomen. She fiddles with the flip phone, seeing Yelena’s contact name written in as “Fanny Longbottom” and Clint’s as “Old Man”.

She’s sitting back at her desk, noticing the blinds are back up and the brown paper bag staring back at her. She removes the contents, lip curling at the sight of an apple and a garden salad (without dressing because Yelena doesn’t believe Kate should be able to douse it in sauce to make it taste somewhat decent, apparently). Her fingers close over a small Tupperware container, nearly crying at the familiar aroma of loaded nachos. There’s a small note stuck to the inside of the lid: Kate Bishop, I am only giving you this because I love you. Kate’s heart pounds in her chest and she feels an uncontrollable smile split over her face. She traces her fingers over the words and spins in her chair gleefully, eating a nacho. Kate’s going to do a lot more than kiss the chef when she gets home.

Kate spends the next two hours in an R&D meeting. Meeting with some of the software engineers and consultants who are the true backbone of this company. Kate is honestly enthralled by the meeting – she even pitches them her ideas and promises to review a blueprint to a new robot that promises to be revolutionary for bomb squads. She feels the excitement and positive energy like she could actually do this under normal circumstances – she loses track of the bigger picture for two hours; she hopes it isn’t a bad thing.

Eleanor has to physically pull her from the meeting and she’s rambling on with Eleanor about the projects as she used to when she visited on her breaks from college. She catches herself mid-conversation, remembering this isn’t like before. She won’t gloss any of this over, Eleanor will answer for what she has done, and Kate will protect Yelena.

“Kate? You okay honey?” Eleanor asks, pulling her into her obviously large office.

“Sorry, just got a little excited back there,” Kate offers, jerking her thumb out to the doors behind them.

“It’s more than fine, Kate. Morale has absolutely sky-rocketed with just your presence alone today, although, a quarter of the staff have come down with food poisoning. We’ll need to review our food health and safety protocols.” Eleanor gestures to her couch, taking a seat on the couch across from Kate.

“Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. The kitchen needs an overhaul. Just like the board,” Kate says, gesturing to the company photo on Eleanor’s wall.

“What’s wrong with the board?” Eleanor asks with a huff, leaning back against the couch.

“Have you met them, mom? They’re like eighty with zero relevant work experience to modern security or technology. I get they’ve been here forever, but maybe that’s the problem.”

Eleanor’s eyebrows crease as she regards Kate thoughtfully. A slow nod takes over her face and there’s a smile there; it’s her proud mom smile. Kate recognizes that smile from various competitions and events that Kate won – she remembers that smile when Kate ‘chose’ her alma mater.

“I couldn’t agree more, Kate. A clean slate, just what we need here. I’ll have the paperwork drawn up and we will call an emergency meeting for next Friday. It gives us enough time to search for new candidates – I’ll have Dee email you candidate profiles.”

She might as well make some real changes while she’s here. It’s not like she’ll be CEO for long when her mother catches wind of what she’s up to. She’s heard enough chatter over the years from unassuming employees who lack appropriate benefits and funding for their projects, she can help them. An added bonus is that it would definitely piss off Eleanor, it’s a great aspiration. She’s moving to get up when Eleanor stops her, pushing the gala guest list toward her.

“There is one more thing we should discuss today. The gala, you’ll need a date,” Kate bristles, crossing her arms over her chest. She’s about to argue against it when she remembers the importance of maintaining the lie she has carefully weaved. “It’s short notice but I think Dee’s younger brother is available. He just started interning in the R&D department.”

“Mom – I don’t need a date,” Kate waves at the paper, pushing to her feet. “I’m still…” she trails off, not knowing what to say. How to explain her and Yelena’s fake breakup when she is entirely very happy with

“I know this Yelena business has upset you, but it could be a nice opportunity for you. He’s a very kind young man.” Eleanor pushes the employee profile into her hands. Kate doesn’t spare a glance at it as she stuffs it into her pocket messily. “I suppose it would be too much to ask you to wear the dress I bought for you at Christmas.”

“Yes, it would be. I’m going home now, mom.” She’s already striding out of the office, making a beeline towards her own. She grabs her backpack and coat, tossing them over her shoulder as she makes way for the elevator. She sees the doors closing and picks up her pace, sticking a hand out to squeeze herself in.

“Miss Bishop?”

“Uh, yes?” She turns, looking at the dude with a stack of papers in his arm.

“I’m Caleb, Dee’s younger brother,” He explains, turning to face her. “I know this is super awkward. Your mom – I mean, Ms Bishop spoke to me earlier.”

“Oh – yes. Sorry about her, she seems to think I need a date for this gala thing. Don’t worry about it – I’ll just tell her it’s my fault. Make sure you enjoy the party.”

“I’m with someone – not that Dee cares for him. It’s why she suggested my name to Ms Bishop. That, and she thinks it would be good for my career. I just want to research tech; I don’t want to be part of this high-society sleaze-game”

Kate finds familiarity in that, and she takes a step closer, peering more closely at Caleb, “I’m with someone too. My mom wouldn’t approve so we’re keeping it a secret. I don’t want to be part of this either.”

They step out of the elevator together, with Kate pulling him aside in the lobby. “The project your department presented today – I’d like to discuss what you guys need to get it off the ground. Maybe we can do that tomorrow night and please two family members while we’re at it?”

Caleb’s face lights up in a smile and he fumbles with his papers excitedly with some of them tumbling to the floor, “Thank you, Miss Bishop.”

Kate nods at him, helping him stack his papers, “Tell me all about him tomorrow night, Caleb?”

“Only if you tell me all about your someone, Miss Bishop.”

“Kate is fine. See you later, Caleb,” Kate waves at him, exiting the building and entering the town car Eleanor insists she takes to and from work now.

A hand closes firmly over her waist as soon as she sits in the leather interior, “You are late, Kate Bishop.”

“Yelena,” she breathes into the impatient lips against hers. Yelena’s hands push her blazer down her shoulders. “I was just talking to my date for tomorrow night.”

Yelena rears back from her, “Your what?”

“My date,” Kate explains, wanting to tease Yelena just a little more. “Tomorrow night is the gala, where Eleanor is set to officially announce my takeover at CEO. She set me up with some guy from R&D – a real smartie.”

“What is happening right now?” Yelena asks as Kate hands her the crumpled employee profile.

“He’s totally gay and very happy with his someone,” Kate points out, putting Yelena out of her misery. “Both of our families are trying to set us up with people we have no interest in.”

“You leave me speechless far too often, Kate Bishop,” Yelena says, shaking her head.  “What is this fellow’s name?”

“Caleb. Dee’s younger brother. We can run a background check later,” Kate picks the paper out of her hand and tosses it aside. “How was the rest of your day? Besides poisoning half the staff this morning.”

“I played with your dog and listened to Barton’s ‘dad speech’.” Yelena’s hand threads through hers as she recounts her story.

“Hold on – dad speech?” Kate shifts towards her, pulling a knee up on the seat. “You have to tell me everything.”

“He was very annoying. I threatened to kill him again, but he just laughed at me,” Yelena grumbles, slouching in her seat. “He asked about my intentions – I told him my intention was to protect you from Eleanor and her associates, and then kill him if he asked one more question,” She pauses at the look on Kate’s face, a scowl overcoming her features. “Do not smile, Kate Bishop. It is ridiculous. He does not have the right to ask about us.”

“You’re right. He’s just trying to look out for me, not that he has anything to worry about.” Kate brings their hands to her lips.

“He is keeping tabs on the little hawk.” Yelena shrugs a shoulder, pulling her bent knee across her lap to massage Kate’s thigh.

“Like you did today,” Kate points out, eyes fluttering close at Yelena’s ministrations.  “Barely six hours and you were already knocking down the door.”

Yelena hums and pinches her thigh, “I liked the part when you were half-naked and spread out for me over the conference table. I should visit you more often.”

Her body tingles at the memory from earlier today. The way Yelena had put a hand over her mouth to cover up the noises streaming from her throat – yeah, Yelena should visit way more often.

They arrive back at her apartment sometime later. Lucky bounds towards Kate and jumps up to lick at her face. Yelena is pulling out her company-issued laptop, fingers skimming over the keys as she sits down on the couch. She hears Yelena grumble in frustration and jam at the keys, an impatient clicking sound filling the apartment.

“Okay, let’s not break this. We just got this,” Kate grabs the laptop from her, dropping down onto the couch next to her. “It’s just my password, Yelena. It’s just your name.”

Yelena huffs, crossing her arms over her chest; Kate enjoys seeing the flush filling her cheeks. “How very secure of you, Kate Bishop.”

Her fingers move over the keyboard, running a background check on Caleb as she navigates the company’s mainframe. Yelena pulls her legs up over her lap, tossing her heels aside and brushing her thumb over the arch of Kate’s foot. She manages to pull up the guest list and the results of the background check before a groan leaves her and her eyes shut at Yelena’s soothing massage. Working a nine to five as almost-CEO isn’t exactly how Kate imagined her early twenties.

“Here, take a look. I’m just gonna rest my eyes for a second,” Kate pushes the laptop towards Yelena blindly, leaning her cheek into the couch.

A second turns into a couple of hours. It’s her grumbling stomach that wakes her, a lovely aroma coming from the kitchen that makes her even hungrier. She wipes the drool from her cheek and sits up, pushing away the blanket Yelena must have thrown over her. She stretches her arms over her head and makes her way to the kitchen, where Yelena is standing over the stove.

She slides her arm around Yelena’s midriff, dropping her chin onto a shoulder. She watches as Yelena tosses the stir-fry with one hand, while the other covers Kate’s. There is a scary number of greens and reds in the pan – she tries to steel herself, remembering how good it smells.

“Do not worry, Kate Bishop,” Yelena begins, waving her spatula around. “You will survive this meal. I added extra sauce just because.”

“Just because you love me?” She presses her lips against Yelena’s neck, nipping and sucking at the skin there. The note Yelena added to her lunch this morning is in her pocket, she wants to lock it away for days that aren’t as good as this one. Yelena tilts her neck aside, exposing more space for Kate’s lips to travel, she feels the hum vibrate from Yelena’s throat.

She hears the flick of the knob, signalling the stovetop has been turned off. Her eyes open to catch Yelena pushing the stir fry aside and covering it. Yelena turns in her arms, pushing her back against the island and sliding her hands beneath her wrinkled turtleneck, stroking her thumbs over Kate’s sides.

“Yes. Just because I love you,” Yelena reverberates, her green eyes are clear and heartwarming. It shouldn’t nearly knock Kate off her feet each time Yelena tells her, but it does, and she hopes it never changes. She didn’t know she could love someone so utterly and completely and still be swept off her feet when Yelena tells her she loves her.

“I love you too,” Kate responds, framing Yelena’s sharp jaw with her hands as their lips connect. The kiss doesn’t lead anywhere, it doesn’t angle for more. They are both content with this, just being with each other complimented by soft touches and soft words. Kate tucks her face into Yelena’s neck, wrapping her arms around her waist when their lips part.

Her stomach grumbling makes Yelena step back and pull her over to the stir-fry.

“Eat your food, Kate Bishop. Then we bath, yes?”

Yelena overdid it with the bubbles again – it’s kind of becoming her signature thing now. Kate’s pulling her hair up into a quick bun and slipping inside the hot tub. She sighs once her body is fully submerged, stretching out lazily in the tub. She turns her cheek against the lip, watching her appear in the doorway already missing her shirt and pants.

She pulls her legs to her chest as Yelena settles in across from her. The water sloshes around the sides and splatters against the floor, she gives Yelena a pointed look.

“I will clean it,” Yelena flicks a blob of bubbles at her. “Tell me about this gala tomorrow.”

“It’s nothing special. I’ve been to hundreds of these before. It’s just where the big announcement will be.”

“But you need a date.”

“I don’t need a date. It’s just another Eleanor thing. Caleb knows I’m with someone,” Kate shrugs, stretching her legs out alongside Yelena’s.

Water sloshes again as Yelena jerks forward, “He knows what?”

“He knows I’m with someone my mother wouldn’t approve of,” Kate traces patterns in the bubbles. “It’s harmless, Yelena.”

“Until the entire office is gossiping about your romantic whiles. Great plan, Kate.”

“Yelena,” she sighs, rubbing her foot against the outside of Yelena’s thigh. “He gets it. He’s with someone too –

“You have barely known this man for more than five minutes and you are already putting all our eggs in the casket –

“It’s in the basket –

“In this case, the casket works. Our plan will die and who knows what Eleanor will do to you or the vials.” Yelena’s body shifts around the tub impatiently, water hitting the floor. Kate clasps her hand over Yelena’s ankle, willing her to meet her eyes.

“He has someone, Yelena. Just like I have someone. His family pressures him the same way Eleanor pressures me to find a high-society partner – he gets it.”

“He does not understand. He is just an intern who will turn the information against you. People cannot be trusted, you know this.”

“What would you like to do? Show up at his place and intimidate him? That will give us away. He’s innocent, Yelena.” She rubs her thumb against Yelena’s calf, “His background check was clean, wasn’t it?” Yelena grumbles and shrinks further into the tub. Kate takes that as confirmation.

“I would much rather take you. You know that” Kate pokes her foot against Yelena’s ribs. “I’m sure you’ll find a way to get there. I’d prefer it if you didn’t give everyone food poisoning this time.”

“I make no promises, Kate Bishop.”

They’re tangled in bed together, with Kate’s company laptop and files spilled over the bed. She feels tiredness poking at her as she re-reads the same line five times. She stretches out beneath the covers, brushing her cheek against the soft t-shirt on Yelena’s stomach.

“Did they show you any cold-storage areas today?” Yelena asks, fingers brushing the laptop balanced on her thigh.

“Yeah. On the 23rd floor, R&D lab.” Kate rubs her eyes, grabbing a file from somewhere near Yelena’s knee and handing it to her. “Do you think the vials are being held there?”

“Given the uptick in spending this month in the R&D lab and security upgrades on that floor – I think we have a solid lead.”

Kate sits up so she is shoulder to shoulder with Yelena, looking over the budget that was released this morning. “When can we get in there?”

“They have not provided security clearance to you yet. It would draw too much attention if you went poking on your own.”

“I think I know a way. You aren’t going to like it though,” Kate prepares her, brushing her fingers up Yelena’s forearm.

“This whole situation is unfavourable to me – I doubt it could be worse –

“Caleb works in R&D –

“It has gotten significantly worse.”

Chapter Text

“Absolutely not, Kate.” Yelena shakes her head, brushing the files together hurriedly on the bed. “We are not involving a baby-faced intern who got there because of his family connections. He has no loyalty.”

Kate spares her glance, handing more files to Yelena, “I’m not saying we need to tell him everything. I can gauge his interest tomorrow night at the gala –

“Oh yes, how could I forget this foolish party with that foolish boy.” She snickers, tossing her papers down at the foot of the bed. There’s a scowl etched on Yelena’s face and if Kate didn’t know any better, she might say Yelena is jealous.

“I only have my job because of my family,” Kate points out, stretching her arms out above her head. “It’s just a stupid party, Yelena. It’s not like I have a choice.” Kate mumbles the last part, she’s being honest, but she also knows this entire scenario exists because of her choice to infiltrate Eleanor’s company.

“We need to look at the bigger picture,” Kate reminds her, looking over at Yelena who is digging into Kate’s closet. “The vials, Yelena. I’d do whatever is necessary to get them back to you.”

“Not this though. I do not want you to do this,” Yelena says firmly, bending down to search through the shoes impatiently. Kate squints at her, trying to understand what ‘this’ Yelena is referring to. It could be plain jealously…but it feels more accusatory to Kate as if she would ever touch someone else for the vials. She wouldn’t do that, not to herself or Yelena. Surely this isn’t what Yelena means.

“Yelena, I don’t know what you’re referring to,” Kate begins, pushing herself from the bed to stand in the doorway of the closet. Work out clothes hang from Yelena’s clenched fists; her jaw is set tightly, and her eyes have a look in them Kate hasn’t seen in quite some time. “I would never be with anyone else – I wouldn’t dishonour myself or you like that for those vials.”

Yelena slowly rises, pressing the purple tank top against her forehead. Yelena mumbles something under her breath and drops the tank top from her face, her jaw is set tightly, and Kate wants so badly to reach out and brush against the bone. Something about Caleb and this gala has triggered Yelena, she doesn’t know how to navigate this.

“I did not think you would, Kate. I am sorry for making you think that,” Yelena produces an apologetic smile and places a hand on Kate’s hip, squeezing as she brushes past. “I am going to work out.”

Kate nods, understanding Yelena is asking for space. It shouldn’t hurt, Yelena is entitled to her space. She doesn’t need to tell Kate everything, but Kate can’t stand to watch her hurt either. “I’ll be up here. I’m going to review some potential board member candidates before bed.”

Yelena’s eyes are glued to the floor as she fiddles with her sneakers, giving Kate a quick nod before descending the stairs. The rhythmic thump of fists colliding with her punching bag fills the apartment moments later. She doesn’t want to pry or smoother Yelena, she trusts Yelena will talk to her when she’s ready. She just wants to love her, through everything.

Lucky must sense the unease in the apartment because he’s made his way upstairs and Kate loves that doggy so much. He’ll definitely get pizza tomorrow. Lucky curls up next to her on the bed as she pulls up her laptop and candidate dossier. She shakes her head at some of the suggested names, more of the same. Old men with no relevant education or job experience – are simply there because they have connections wealth. She crumples their profiles and tosses them in the bin across the room.

The streetlights have turned on below, illuminating her apartment in a yellowish glow. She’s made of a list of her own candidates, memorizing their details to present and subsequently convince Eleanor these are the best people for the job. She’s never been overly fond of Bishop Securities – however hard her mother tried to instil the company’s legacy on her. She doesn’t remember her father as CEO, she remembers him as fun and warm. She remembers rock-climbing and fishing expeditions with him, she remembers campfires at their cottage in New Hampshire.

Those memories are blown apart now, especially since Eleanor’s revelation it was Derek who was first involved with Fisk. The company has been entangled with Fisk for as long as she has been alive, or longer. There’s no responsibility on her to fix it – it must be a choice. She’s only here now for justice and Yelena, everything else is just a charade.

Blonde hair appears over the top of her laptop, Yelena’s sweaty face greets hers as she rounds the stairs. Her chest still heaves from her session with the punching bag downstairs. Lucky hops off the bed, nuzzling his nose in Yelena’s hand briefly before trotting downstairs.

Kate smiles at her, closing her laptop and setting it on the nightstand. She feels the bed dip near her knees as Yelena sits there, leaning her forearms onto her knees as her shoulders hunch up. Kate moves toward her, slipping an arm around her waist and resting her cheek on her warm and sweaty shoulder.

“I would never think so lowly of you, Kate. I am sorry if I made you feel that way,” Yelena’s voice is careful, almost like she rehearsed it. Kate strokes her thumb over the thin material of Yelena’s tank top, rubbing her cheek against the exposed shoulder. “I am not threatened by Caleb. It is just the nature of this situation.”

Yelena’s voice is shaky, and Kate feels the vibration of her body, the tense coil of her muscles. “In the red room, Widows were chemically subjugated as you know. Many Widows were ordered to seduce their targets – there was no choice.”

Kate tightens her arm on instinct, wanting to comfort Yelena. She gasps against Yelena’s skin – her heart aches for Yelena, Natasha, and all other Widows who were left without a choice. She’s immediately regretful for her choice of words earlier, she’s known a life of privilege and safety. She could choose not to go with Caleb and there would be no repercussions – it would fit her pattern of behaviour too; Eleanor would not be entirely surprised.

“I’m so sorry, Yelena. I’m so stupid – I didn’t –

Yelena pats her hand, leaning back into Kate, “You could not have known, Kate. I just wanted to explain why I was upset.”

“I love you, so much,” Kate presses herself more firmly against Yelena. “I’m so clueless sometimes. I’ve lived such a sheltered life. I’m so sorry, Yelena.”

“It is not your fault. Do not punish yourself for things out of your control,” Yelena’s hand squeezes hers and she feels Yelena twist to come face to face with her. “I only want to share with you. The way you share with me.”

Kate cups her cheek, brushing her thumb over Yelena’s soft jaw, “Whatever you need, I’m here for you.”

“I just needed to tell you,” Yelena whispers, leaning her forehead into Kate’s. “And maybe I am a little jealous. I want to be the person on your arm. I am proud to be with you, Kate Bishop.”

Kate sniffles, a choppy chuckle coming from her chest. She hadn’t even realized she was crying until Yelena’s thumbs were wiping the wetness from her cheeks.

“Maybe you can be,” Kate says after several moments, a picture starting to form in her brain. “After the announcement, dance with me. I don’t care who sees, it won’t matter. I don’t want to hide you.”

“Kate, your mother will strip you of your title. Do not let your emotions cloud this, just as Barton said.”

“We’re signing the paperwork tomorrow at two. It must be done on company premises according to the legal team, with witnesses.” Kate explains, bunching the tank top in her hand at Yelena’s hip. “I won’t hide you. We’re getting those vials; I’m done playing nice.”

“Then we lose the advantage against Eleanor and our timetable gets moved up.” Yelena reminds her, still brushing her thumb against her cheek.

“I just want to get to the bottom of this. I don’t want you to suffer because of this,” Kate tugs Yelena until they are laying back against the bed. She wraps her arms around Yelena’s waist, trying to be a comfort to her love.

“It is always better with you, Kate Bishop,” Yelena says before kissing her, tongue sliding against her lips and pressing against her tongue. Kate sighs and feels her entire body relax, brushing her hands up Yelena’s back to grasp the tank top at her shoulders.

Yelena nips at her bottom lip, slipping a warm hand beneath her shirt and brushing a thumb at the swell of her breast. Kate’s legs shift against Yelena’s, angling her hips against the thigh there. She feels a hand at her collar, tugging her t-shirt aside, trying to expose the bruises at the base of her neck. Yelena’s tongue is poking and soothing at the skin there, and Kate pushes her body upward, into Yelena’s mouth and hands.

“Yelena,” she breathes unevenly, brushing her fingers against the nape of Yelena’s neck. “Are you sure?”

Green eyes find hers, and she feels the hand beneath her shirt grasp her breast and rub the stiffening nipple. Her eyes flutter close, biting on her lip to contain the moan. A thumb caresses the side of her face, inching its way to her lip and tugging it free. Kate’s eyes fly open again, finding Yelena watching her.

“I am. I want you,” Yelena murmurs and pushes her thumb against her bottom lip, rubbing at the wetness there. “I want to feel good with you.”

Kate feels her entire body fire up, focused on nothing but Yelena and her touches. Kate nips at her thumb, pulling it into her mouth and flicking her eyes up to Yelena’s, whose pupils are blown, and her mouth is slightly agape. She releases Yelena’s thumb, letting her hands fall from their tangle in the tank top. She wants to be pliant for Yelena, to make her feel good – however that occurs.

“How do you want me?” Kate asks as she slides her hand over Yelena’s, squeezing at it through the fabric. Yelena exhales loudly and nips at her throat, sucking at her pulse. Kate squeezes the hand on her breast and arches into Yelena, mewling at the sensations.

Yelena’s hips grind against hers as she pinches at Kate’s nipple. Kate already has an idea, licking her lips at the prospect of Yelena fucking her through the mattress. The question is asked directly into her ear, lips brushing the skin sensually, “Strap?”

“Yeah, baby. Please,” she whines, pushing her body into Yelena’s and squeezing her hips encouragingly. Yelena’s hand brushes her throat, cupping gently and just barely squeezing. Kate’s eyes fly open, unable to suppress the breathy moan that leaves her.

“Strip for me,” it’s not a question, it’s a command and it makes Kate shiver with need. She feels the wetness cooling uncomfortably against her underwear. “Hands up, around the frame.”

Kate’s guttural groan makes Yelena smirk, then there’s a rush of cold air as Yelena leaves her to shred her clothes and slip the harness on. She tosses her clothes hastily, kicking the blankets aside – she’s leaning back when Yelena’s body covers hers again. A hard body pressed against hers in all the right ways, there’s a hum against her throat when she closes her hands around the frame.

“I got a new one today. It is blue, like your eyes,” Yelena’s voice is throaty as she brushes it against Kate’s wet lips then against the inside of her thighs. Kate can feel the difference, it’s not the purple one – her body hums in anticipation.

“Thicker, ribbed.” Yelena continues, trailing fingers down the centre of her chest to tug on her pointed nipples. “Shorter length. You will take it well.”

The praise burns deep in her chest and between her legs, her eyes aren’t quite closed, all she knows is Yelena’s touch and her voice. “Take me,” she murmurs, lips and tongue feeling foreign and clumsy as she forms the words.

She feels Yelena manoeuvring her leg, cupping beneath her knee and pushing upwards. The tip brushes against her clit again before poking at her entrance. She faintly hears the cap and squeeze of a bottle, then there’s a cold sensation against her as Yelena pushes her hips forward.

“Lube for you. Not that you need it, Kate Bishop. You are so wet for me,” Yelena’s words are filthy, and they make Kate feel exposed but safe all at once. They both gasp when Yelena’s hips connect with hers again, and she’s so full. It’s such a different feeling, the breath leaves her completely and she shuts her eyes; trying to accommodate the fullness.

Yelena’s hips move slowly, she’s patient and perfect with Kate. Her mouth closes over a breast, nipping at the stuff bud, rolling her tongue over the sting. More wetness seeps from her and Yelena’s hips have started a slow jog against her. She pushes her hips into Yelena’s thrusts when the slightly uncomfortable feeling transforms into a delicious stretch. Yelena’s teeth tug on the nipple, pausing mid-tug to snap her hips forward.

There’s a sound that leaves her, but she isn’t sure what kind it is. All she feels is the pleasant stretch and the hypersensitivity all over her body – it’s almost as she could feel every nerve ending firing off.

“Taking me so well, Kate Bishop. I knew you would, such an overachiever.” Yelena’s lips are against her neck, pressing at her bruises between words. She shudders at the praise, feeling her body jerk beneath Yelena’s, licking at her lips – trying to form a few words. The words are garbled in her throat, she wants to come – wants to ask Yelena permission.

“So open for me. So wet,” She breathes into her ear, her hips have started to circle, and Kate hears the airy gasp. Kate knows she’s found the right angle; her hands grip the posts tightly, anticipating the selfish fucking from Yelena.

“Covered in my marks,” her voice is scratchy and proud, “Everyone at the gala will know you belong to someone.”

“Yours,” it tumbles from Kate’s lips automatically, feeling it deep in her chest.

“Mine,” Yelena mumbles back as her teeth close over her other nipple. There’s a hand at her throat, resuming its pressure there and Kate’s entire body tingles. Her mind empties and her mouth hangs open, she feels Yelena’s thumb brush at her pulse and press into the bruise there. She’s breathless as she squeezes around the toy, wetness pulsing from her uncontrollably.

“Come for you?” Kate gasps the words out; her throat feels like sandpaper.

Yelena gasps her name, shifting her hips into sharp circles and Kate knows she’s close. Her recklessness and breathy sounds are imprinted against her. The hand at her throat loosens and Yelena’s lips are against hers, tugging at the bottom lip roughly.

“Come for me, my love,” Yelena breathes the command into her mouth, words titling into a groan as her hips shift erratically against her. She clenches almost roughly and whines, pushing her hips into Yelena’s thrusts – her throat is hoarse and she’s sore as she gasps for breath against Yelena’s lips.

There are fingers trailing down her body, swirling against her clit gently before soaping up the wetness. Yelena’s moan is surged into her jaw, making her flush and pulse again.

“So good. So pretty when you come,” Yelena’s praise makes her squirm, shifting her cheek onto the pillow. “I am going to take you on your knees now, Kate Bishop.”

Her alarm goes off at an ungodly hour – it should be illegal to go to work after having back-breaking sex the night before. As CEO, she will make it a policy immediately. The constant blaring stops and Kate moans in relief, pushing her face against the soft pillow. There are soft lips trailing up her back, tongue tracing the notches of her spine.

She feels herself being tugged onto her back gently, Yelena’s hands and voice a complete opposite of only a few hours ago. There’s an uncomfortable dryness in her throat, she clears it a few times before greeting Yelena with a soft kiss.

“Good morning, my love,” Yelena whispers against her lips, thumbs stroking her hips.

“Morning,” she murmurs, shifting her leg aside to accommodate Yelena’s wandering hand.

“Sore?” Yelena asks, concern tinging her scratchy voice.

“A little,” Kate cups the back of her neck, scratching at the fine hairs there.

Yelena hums and gives her one last kiss before descending Kate’s body, lips and tongue covering all the skin she can reach. Her fingers ghost over her, brushing her clit lazily.

“Yelena,” she murmurs, enjoying the tingle at the back of her throat. Her hand pushes at Yelena’s head, “Make me come.”

There’s a nip at her hip and the chuckle reaches her ears, Kate threads her fingers through the messy bun on the back of Yelena’s head.

“Anything for you, Kate Bishop.”

Yelena’s mouth leaves her sleepy and sated, another alarm goes off sometime later and Kate groans, pushing herself up to straddle Yelena. Hands brush up her flank as Kate rubs the sleep from her eyes, leaning down to capture Yelena in an equally lazy kiss.

“I don’t want to go,” Kate whispers against her, “I want to play hooky with you.”

“I am unfamiliar with that game, Kate Bishop,” Yelena says as she regards her curiously.

Kate smiles at her, nipping at the sharp jaw, “I want to call in sick and just stay here with you, all day.”

Yelena returns her smile, running her fingers up and down her abs, “Wait until you are the CEO. You will have all the power.”

“Still want you to tie me up, though,” Kate teases against her neck, chuckling at Yelena’s pinch at her side.

“Go take a shower before you are late, Kate Bishop.”

Kate mock salutes and sneaks another kiss before pushing off the bed to enter the bathroom. She pauses at the door frame, turning back to look at Yelena, batting her eyelashes innocently, “You left me so sore, don’t think I can wash properly – some help, baby?”

Yelena grumbles and tosses the covers back, reaching for Kate and shuffling her into the shower, “You are lucky you are so cute and devastatingly pretty. Keep your hands to yourself.”

“Might have to tie me up –

“Oh my god, Kate Bishop. I swear,” Yelena trails off, grumbling adorably as she turns on the shower, leaving it on cold for a few moments until Kate gapes at her and slaps her arm.

“Not even cold water can quench my burning desire for you –

Yelena pushes her against the wall, finding another use for her mouth.

She’s only twenty-five minutes late, she blames it on traffic and inexperience in timing her commute. The board greets her with snarling lips and disapproving stares, it must have been leaked she is looking to replace them – this will be a dandy of a day. She opens her laptop to read the morning brief and review her itinerary for the day. There’s a meeting with Caleb and his department just before lunch, followed by a fitting at a local clothing store. She glances at Eleanor curiously overtop of her laptop, wondering what kind of fitting she’s going to be wasting her time at.

Her burner phone buzzes faintly in her pocket, there’s a message from Fanny Longbottom. Kate chews her lip as she glances at the phone beneath the conference table; it’s a poorly taken selfie of Yelena and Lucky. Lucky isn’t even looking at the camera and Yelena’s face is etched in concentration, with her tongue poking out of her mouth barely. Kate feels the warmth course through her, she bites at her fist to contain her goofy smile. She commits the picture to memory and deletes it, not wanting to take an unnecessary risk if she were to lose her phone.

She returns to her office at the conclusion of the meeting – Kate still isn’t sure what the point of it was. The concept of ‘meetings to have meetings’ will be destroyed when she becomes CEO. She nods at Dee politely before pushing open the door, she tosses her coat and backpack aside and sits at her desk, pulling up the 23rd-floor blueprints. Her fingers fumble at the desk drawer, pulling out the fat file of operational health and safety she was supposed to review, she compares the two blueprints – noting there is a small corner of space unaccounted for in the northeast corner of the lab in the blueprint sent to her laptop.  

She’s just about to send Yelena a message when there is a knock at the door, followed by Eleanor peeking in moments later. Kate minimizes the blueprint on her laptop and shuffles the papers on her desk, trying to hide the big OH & S label.

“Hi, sweetie!” Eleanor sinks down across from her, tapping her perfectly manicured nails against the armchair. “Today’s the big day, how are you feeling?”

“Uh – good, I guess? A little nervous, I’m not sure –

“You’ll be fantastic, just like we’ve always dreamed.” Eleanor leans forward, taking Kate’s hand in hers. “Don’t let those board members intimidate you. They’ve been trying since I was announced as CEO all those years ago.”

Kate nods, a fake smile passing over her face as Eleanor continues, “I booked you in at a local tailor shop. I know you don’t like dresses and I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable on a night as grand as this.”

Kate squints at her, trying to understand why Eleanor is suddenly making compromises. It’s as if Eleanor can read her mind because she’s giving Kate’s hand a squeeze, “I want you to have everything you deserve, Kate.”

She wants Yelena to feel safe – she wants to erase the anxiety and stress that seeps into her girlfriend each day since the warehouse. She deserves to feel good with Yelena – for anyone to see them together. She wants to dance with her tonight at the gala, she deserves that, but Eleanor’s tangled web has made it nearly impossible.

She checks the clock in the interest of cutting this conversation off as soon as possible. She has another twenty minutes until she meets with the R&D department, but Eleanor doesn’t need to know that. She shoots to her feet and collects her laptop and notes, “Sorry mom, I have this meeting with Caleb in his department right now. I should get going.”

She doesn’t miss the way Eleanor’s face lights up at the mention of Caleb, “Take him to the fitting, use the company card.” She feels Eleanor’s hand brush up and down her back as they walk out to the main floor and Kate’s disgusted. With Eleanor’s essentially showing off Kate to other employees while simultaneously telling her to miss-use company funds.

“I’m gonna take the stairs. Need to get my steps in,” Kate mumbles, shooting towards the stairwell.

“Sure honey, see you at two?”

“Yeah, wouldn’t miss it,” Kate tosses her fakest smile of the morning back at Eleanor before pushing through the door and down the stairs. She descends ten flights of stairs easily, the anger and frustration making it very easy to ‘get her steps in’.

She’s pushing through the door and rounding the corner quickly when she runs into someone. Papers and styrofoam cups splatter to the floor, coffee spilling over the files. Kate brushes the liquid off her hands, about to apologize profusely to the person when she notices the tattoos and trademark greasy looking hair curling around his shoulders.


She gulps and steps away from him, looking around at the nearest exit – just in case. There are busy people stepping around them, a few glancing between them and Kate deducts she’s safe for the time being. He’s traded the tracksuit for a tailored suit, navy with a crisp white shirt and accented red handkerchief.

“Miss Bishop,” his voice drips in fake ooze as he arranges his files and tosses the coffee cups in the garbage can.

“What are you doing here? How did you get here?” Kate asks, stepping back toward him and invading his space. She won’t be scared of him – not here, not anywhere.

“I’m on the payroll, darling,” his head tilts as he adjusts his cufflinks, flashing a gold Rolex. “I am a consultant to the CEO, looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of each other, Kate Bishop.”

Her hands clench and she exhales hard as she steps past him, making a beeline for the company gym found on this floor. She spares a glance over her shoulder before disappearing into the adjacent private bathrooms, locking the door behind her. The smell of bathroom bleach greets her nose, there’s a thumping in her ears and there’s loud music streaming from behind the door. She tugs the collar of her blouse away from her neck, trying to remove the gripping feeling around her neck – it’s suffocating. Of course, Eleanor would be working with him, did she put the hit out on Kate? Or was he acting alone? It's all so loud and Kate isn't sure where the loudest noises are coming from as she slides against the door and sits down on the tile.

Eyes forward, Kate Bishop. It’s almost like she can hear the reassuring timbre of Yelena's voice echoing in her ears. She rubs her hands over her arms, squeezing gently and taking deep breaths. That’s it, eyes forward. You’re okay. She opens her eyes and takes in the bathroom, fitting with a small shower and toilet with complimentary Bishop Securities hygiene products. The logo sewn into the white towels that hang from the rack, she needs to tell Yelena Kazi is here.

She pushes up from the bathroom floor to lean against the vanity, glancing at her watch to see she has roughly twelve minutes before she has to meet with Caleb. She takes the phone and selects Yelena’s number; she’s barely got it to her ear before there’s an answer.

“Where are you?”

“In the bathroom, I’m okay now. I, um, there was…” she trails off and scratches at her hair, trying to collect her words.

“What happened? You do not sound like my Kate,” She can hear the rustling on the other end, she can picture Yelena moving around hastily.

“I’m okay now, I promise.” Kate lets the promise hang in the air, willing Yelena to believe her. “He was here. Kazi, we ran into each other in the hallway.”

“I am coming for you, do not move unless you have to.”

“I’m okay. He said he works as a consultant for my mom, and that we’d be seeing a lot of each other.” Kate leans against the vanity, running her fingers along the spotless marble. Yelena curses on the line, a loud crash sounding off.

“I am coming to you,” Yelena repeats

“No, don’t Yelena. He wouldn’t dare do anything now, I am sure of that. I’ll be careful, I promise.”

“I do not like it. If anything happens to you –

“Nothing will happen to me. I’ll be careful. Tell Clint for me?”

Yelena’s quiet for a moment and Kate knows she is struggling; she wants to soothe the worry for Yelena. “Yes, I will contact Barton. When can I see you?”

“A fitting downtown, I’ll text you the address. I’ll be okay,” she says, for her sake and Yelena’s. There’s a long exhale on the line, “Eyes forward, Kate Bishop. I will see you soon.”

She smiles at Yelena’s comment and hangs up the call, sliding the phone into her breast pocket. She gives herself a quick once and over, fixing her hair and splashing some water on her face before making her way to the R&D lab.

The techs greet her with a mix of nervousness and apprehension. She introduces herself briefly, eyes catching on each gadget and software running throughout the lab. She points to a series of small devices that almost look like pebbles and asks what they are. The lab tech explains they are sensors, able to detect motion from a substantial range. Suddenly she’s being pulled in all different directions, with employees showing her their latest project or tweaks. She’s enthralled in this; she’s always been fascinated by technology and handheld devices. She’s made her way around the lab when she spots Caleb looking through a microscope. She taps him on the shoulder, making him jerk and bump his leg against the table.

“Sorry, I thought you heard me come in earlier,” Kate explains, resetting the clear glass vials that had fallen over on the table. “What are you working on?”

“I’m not really sure, to be honest. Word came down from the department head they needed me to analyze some sort of formula, I have no idea what it does or what it is used for.” Caleb shrugs his shoulders, helping Kate reset the vials in their holder. “Truth be told, they have no clue either, but they know I have experience as a chemist from my grad school days.”

“Where is the formula now?” Kate asks, hoping she doesn’t sound too forward, she doesn’t want to spook Caleb. Yelena was right last night; they do not know his loyalties.

Caleb jerks his thumb to the northeast corner, exactly where Kate thought they would be. “Under lock and key – I can’t even access the vault. We need Ms. Bishop’s biometrics and some dude from upstairs to provide the first key entry. Department head can’t even get in,” Caleb waves his hands around, eyes widening behind his glasses.

“The dude from upstairs, he uh, look greasy to you?” Kate presses, angling closer to Caleb in a whisper. He snaps his fingers and nods at her excitedly and Kate’s heart sinks, she leans against the table, closing her eyes in frustration.

“Kate? Is something wrong?”

“Yeah – no, everything is great. Just great,” Kate nods at him, pulling her fake smile back on. “So, they have you researching something they don’t even understand? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?”

“It is, I can’t say I’ve ever been a part of such a hush-hush project. It’s kind of exciting, but also very scary and I do not want to be responsible for unleashing another plague or something. Haven’t you been read in on it?”

“No, just getting going. Eleanor – my mom, hasn’t had the chance to read me in on everything, yet. I’m just reviewing our spending – I didn’t want there to be any surprises, that’s all.”

Caleb nods and fiddles with his microscope, adjusting the height. Kate slants her foot against the stool, tipping it over ‘by accident’ causing Caleb to bend down. She swipes one of his vials and replaces it with an empty one, sliding it into her pocket before reaching out to help him reset the stool and utter apologies. Kate takes a step away, clearing her throat to switch gears – the gala.

“My mom insisted you come to join me at my fitting today downtown,” Kate shakes her head and sighs, “Just take the afternoon off and go spend some time with that someone of yours. Nobody will know otherwise.”

Caleb’s smile is gentle and there’s a twinkle to his eye – Kate wonders if that’s how she looks when she thinks about Yelena.

“Thank you, Kate. I’ll meet you later tonight, is eight okay? In the lobby?”

Kate nods at him and steps away, waving at some of the other techs as she makes her way out of the lab. She checks the time and ducks into the bathroom again, sending Yelena a quick text with the address and the number five a few lines down. Her feet carry her quickly across the lobby floor, spotting Caleb exiting the building in front of her. She slips into the town car and reaches into her pocket, playing with the vial – illuminated with a florescent red liquid.

She slips it back into her pocket, hand closed over the fragile glass as she exits the car and enters the store. Two people greet her and wave her through the back of the store. She explains her preference for suits and oversized coats, glancing around the nearly empty store for Yelena. The designer takes quick measurements and guides Kate to the private dressing area, fitted with a couch and a small mini fridge with beverages. She leaves the door slightly ajar, removing her laptop from her bag and pretending to work as she waits for some outfits and more importantly, Yelena.

There’s a knock at the door and she’s brought a heap of outfits on different racks, they are hung along the wall and Kate thanks them, letting the assistant know her co-worker will be helping her pick out an outfit. Kate hands her the company card and toes off her shoes, laying her blazer over the back of the couch. The door opens again and Yelena steps through, wearing her black leather jacket and tight black pants – a favourite look of hers.

Yelena flicks the lock on the door and strides over, grasping Kate in a bone-crushing embrace. Yelena’s hands brush over her back, forehead tucked against her neck. Kate slides her hands beneath the leather jacket, feeling the rough material of the tactical vest beneath her fingers.  

“You are unharmed?” Yelena asks when they pull apart, eyes glancing over her body quickly as her hands brush over Kate’s body.

“I’m okay. I found them, Yelena.” Kate explains, pulling her blazer over and handing her the vial she swiped from Caleb’s collection. “Northeast corner of the R&D lab, secured in a vault that requires Kazi’s key and my mom’s biometrics.” Yelena turns the object over in her hands, glancing between Kate and the vial.

“Caleb says he has no idea what it does. He also believes his bosses don’t know anything either. Bishop Securities don’t hire chemists or biologists often.”

“We must move quickly then. I do not wish to expose you anymore to Kazi.” Yelena pockets the vial, cupping Kate’s cheek and stepping closer to her again; tilting their foreheads together. “Did you have a panic attack after you saw him?”

She nods against Yelena, curling her fingers into the collar of her leather jacket. Yelena kisses her gently, framing her face with her calloused hands, “I am sorry I was not there for you.”

“I was okay, really. I just needed a minute and I remembered what you always say to me ‘eyes forward, Kate Bishop’,” Yelena chuckles at Kate’s poor attempt at her accent. “I came out of it quickly and then I called you.”

“I would have come if you wanted me to,” Yelena promises her, stroking her thumbs over her cheekbones. “It was torture not to come to you sooner.”

“Thank you for trusting me,” Kate kisses her, threading her arms around Yelena’s shoulders. “Help me try on some clothes?”

“Kate Bishop, I much rather take you out of clothes than put you in them.”

“You can do both now,” Kate steps away and loosens the button of her pants, turning her back to Yelena. Her fingers brush the hair from her back as she tugs the zipper down, Kate feels the light touches against her spine as Yelena pushes the blouse up over her back. Kate kicks her pants aside, moving to the first set of clothing, a black three-piece suit set.

Yelena’s turning back to her, folding her pants and leaving them on the couch. She sees Yelena’s eyes skim over her body and there’s a warmth that blossoms over her chest and spreads throughout.

Yelena walks over to her, helping button up the white shirt, “We need an expert to help us with the formula.”

“I don’t know any expert scientists off the top of my head,” Kate ponders as she pulls on the second piece of the suit, wrinkling her nose at the heaviness and shrugging it off just as quickly. “We could ask Clint. Ask for an Avenger favour – maybe I’d get to meet Captain Marvel or Ant-Man!”

“I do not wish to involve faces I do not know,” Yelena’s fingers close over the bowtie on the second outfit, flipping up the collar to tie the knot. Kate’s shrugging on the purple checked suit coat as Yelena flattens her collar.

“You sound like you have someone in mind,” Kate turns to the mirror, tilting her head at the look. “I look like a rug.”

“A very sexy rug, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s hands are at her shoulders, helping her peel the suit jacket off. “There is someone, two people actually, but they are so embarrassing, and they will drive me mad.”

Kate turns to her, squinting at Yelena as she tries to guess these people Yelena seems to be close with – otherwise, she wouldn’t even be mentioning them. Yelena’s fingers undo the bowtie and pop a few buttons of her shirt as Kate reaches for the blazing red suit jacket. Kate shrugs it on mindlessly, still caught on these two people Yelena wants to include. She feels hands at her pants, popping the button and pushing down, suddenly Yelena’s lips are trailing over her jaw and she whispers, “I really like this look, Kate Bishop.”

Yelena bends down to push the black slacks away, replacing them with matching red slacks. Her hands squeeze as she pulls the pants upwards, hands dragging against the skin. She tucks Kate’s shirt in and snaps the button closed. Her eyes rake over her form appreciatively, pushing her back against the wall and tangling their lips together. Kate tangles her fingers in Yelena’s hair and nips at her bottom lip, sucking it into her mouth.

There’s a knock at the door that stirs them both, with Yelena pressing against her firmly and turning her chin to the door.

“Do you need anything Miss Bishop?” one of the assistants asks through the door.

“I’ve found the one,” she says loudly, stroking a strand of hair behind Yelena’s ear. “We’ll be out in a few moments.”

Yelena pushes off and picks up Kate’s clothes from the couch, handing them to her piece by piece as she dresses again.

“Who are these people you want to involve? Some other Widows?” Kate pushes her hair out from her blouse, turning to allow Yelena to pull the zipper up.

“It is not important; they can be here later tonight. I will meet them while you are at your fancy party.”

“Do I get to meet them?”

Yelena groans and brushes a hand over her face, “I sincerely hope not.”

Kate tugs her close again, sliding her arms beneath the leather jacket, “Are you too shy to introduce me to your friends, Yelena?”

Yelena huffs and rolls her eyes, smoothing her hands over the lapel of Kate’s blazer, “I am protecting you, actually.”

“From whom, exactly?”

“My parents.”

Chapter Text

To say Kate’s mouth dropped open would be an understatement Yelena had to physically push her jaw shut. Yelena told her they had been staying in some small town in Northern Canada, outside of the city of Prince Rupert. Yelena described it as part of their ‘honeymoon’ but was visibly disturbed at the thought – Kate didn’t pry further into that. The suit was piled into her hands and her satchel slung over her shoulder as Yelena ushered her towards the door, giving her a soft kiss with a promise to talk about it later.

Kate finds herself in the boardroom, adjacent to Eleanor’s office – with millions of legal documents spread out around her. People are explaining things and Eleanor is rubbing her shoulder, attempting to look motherly or something for the company press. She’s still stuck on Yelena – she’s going to meet her parents (maybe, hopefully. Yelena hasn’t confirmed that last part yet). Her parents who weren’t her actual parents, but Yelena didn’t know anyone else and she kind of loves them despite everything – those parents. Super-solider Alexei and a brilliant Widow/scientist in Melina, holy Hawkeye I need to get in the gym and make sure my archery gear is ready.

“Kate?” Her mother’s voice rings next to her, she smiles politely and picks up the pen the lawyer is holding out for her. She signs at least ten different documents, champagne popping followed by a thundering round of applause as she finishes her signature on the final paper. Eleanor pulls her into a hug, kissing her cheek affectionately, “I’m so proud of you, Kate.”

“Thanks, mom,” she nods at Eleanor. The PR team approaches them, moving them into the corner to let them know the press release will go out just as the gala begins later tonight – they do not foresee any leaks (that’s what they always say, though).

Her mother guides her through a series of people, shaking their hands and making small talk with them. When they arrive at the board members, only a couple offer congratulations and only one of them means it – maybe Kate will let them keep their job.

People fizzle out of the office early, with Eleanor dismissing the staff early in preparation for the gala. Eleanor gives her another hug and kiss before taking the elevator, claiming she is going to try and mend things with Jack before the gala. Kate hopes Jack slams the door in her face.

She sinks into her office chair, computer lighting up with emails wishing her well and CEO stuff. She slams it shut and turns to look out the window, she sees her image there and reflects on how quickly her life has changed. First Clint, where she’s found a mentor and a friend. Her mother, where she’s learned love is earned and lies are easy weaved in the face of love. Then came Yelena. There are sometimes no words to describe Yelena – she’s never been one for soulmates or believing in ‘the love of your life’. She knows she would be devasted if Yelena ever decides to leave her, she wouldn’t know how to pick up the pieces or feel safe and loved by someone again. Yelena has given her so much more than touches and earth-shattering sex; she’s given her confidence and hope again. Yelena has been a guiding light in a seemingly never-ending storm and Kate would run headfirst into any storm of hers.

Her keys jingle as she unlocks her apartment door, Lucky’s familiar bark greeting her as she tosses her bag and garment bag over the back of her kitchen chair. The apartment is silent, and Kate knows Yelena isn’t here – it’s odd considering Yelena has been adamant about being there for Kate as soon as she leaves work.

There’s a crash from her workout area, weights cluttering to the floor followed by grumbling and another voice, a feminine pissed off voice, arguing with the gruff deep voice. She ducks behind the counter, wondering why Lucky had not alerted her earlier – and where is Yelena? Kate reaches blinding on the counter, searching for the knife block Yelena came home with one day (for food and training, she had said). She grasps the handle and pulls it in front of her, crouching to the edge of the counter and peeking over.  

There’s a large man waving his arms in a direction Kate can’t see, probably at his feminine counterpart. He’s muscular, biceps barely conforming in the “I love New York” t-shirt and his face is clean-shaven, dark blond hair combed back on his head. Kate sees the shine of a silver tooth when he speaks, his accent is thick, and his mannerisms remind her of Yelena.


She dumps the knife on the counter and steps forward, a smile splitting over her face as she approaches the couple. She peers around the corner, finding Melina with her arms crossed over her chest, and fixing Kate with a stare that feels like an x-ray. Alexei nods at her excitedly and steps forward, “It is you! The Kate Bishop our little Yelena has tangled herself with.”

“Uh, yes. That’s me,” Kate supplies, glancing between Alexei and Melina – the latter looking much more deadly. “What are you doing here? Where’s Yelena?”

“Do not worry Kate Bishop, our Yelena is across town on a wild goose hunt. Her mother is still very crafty,” Alexei’s voice drips and Kate fights the urge to cringe. “She will be very mad when she gets back. We should begin.”

“Begin what?”

“Do you work out Kate Bishop?” Alexei asks as he circles her, looking over her gym equipment and weaponry.

“Yes. I’m an archer,” Kate points to her targets and extra arrows stashed in the corner. “What does this have to do with anything?”

“Your fridge has a good amount of protein and vegetables, though I found many potato chips stashed in a bin over there.” Alexei points to her storage shelves, and Kate can’t be blamed for this – Yelena runs a tight ship, and she needs some delicious junk food somewhere in this apartment.

“Yelena thinks I need an improved diet,” Kate says, shrugging her shoulders. “What are you –

“Enough, Alexei. We must ask her the real questions,” Melina speaks for the first time, stepping so close to Kate she can smell…farm? “When was the last time you had sexual intercourse with someone other than my Yelena?”

Kate’s eyes nearly bug out of her head, “Excuse me? Sex – with – your Yelena –

“Yes, it is a very simple question. Do you get tested for STIs regularly?” Melina is unphased and Alexei has a grossed-out look on his face.

“Uh, well. You see,” Kate pauses, wishing she could be flattened by a truck right now. I can’t believe Yelena’s parents are asking about my sexual history – why does Melina look like she’ll be upset no matter what I say?  “I am careful. It’s, uh, I’m very clean, you see – there’s nobody –

“Melina, look at her! She is red like a lobster. Give her a moment,” Alexei reasons, waving a hand out at a floundering Kate. “So clinical and nasty. We should have stayed on plan with her physical strength. That is the test of a true любовник.”

“A test? Am I being tested for something?”

“Yes,” both heads snap towards her, and she’s at a loss of words. There has been a lot to unpack today and getting tested for STIs by Yelena’s mother was not something she thought would be in the water today.

“Your silence is damning, Kate Bishop,” seriously, is it a family thing to use my full name? “You would dare put my Yelena at risk with your careless sexual health practices. Good thing I brought my kit, Alexei, bring me my bag. We must draw her blood.”

“You’re going to what?!” Kate shrieks, backing away until she hits the couch. There’s shouting and Kate’s heart is racing, and she just wanted to have dinner with Yelena then go to this stupid gala and then come home and have really good sex with Yelena – Yelena bursts through her door, windblown and fuming – the apartment rattles when the door hits the frame.

“Что, блядь, с вами двумя не так? Отойдите от нее!” Yelena shouts, shoulders heaving up and down, hands clenched in fists as she approaches her parents. Kate has no idea what is going on, but Yelena’s mad and she’s really hot when she’s mad and she can focus on that. There’s shouting Russian and Kate doesn’t understand a word of it, she really needs to get on Duolingo.

She’s caught her breath in time to see Melina gesturing to Kate and her black bag; Alexei is holding weights in his hands as if they mean nothing to him, making a bench press motion with his arms. Yelena shoves the bag from Melina’s hand and waves at Alexei dismissively, turning to Kate finally.

Her eyes trace over Kate quickly, as if searching for an injury as she walks over. She leans against the back of the couch with Kate, leaving a gap of space between that Kate finds odd.

“We are just trying to protect you, Yelena,” Melina reasons, sitting at the kitchen island. Kate watches incredulously as Alexei gets two drinks for them (how long have they been in my apartment) – straight vodka, of course. “Who knows what kind of diseases this American heiress carries around.”

“Excuse me,” Kate begins, holding out a finger.

“Do not make assumptions, Melina. It is not within your nature,” Yelena chastises with a shake of her head. 

“It is just a simple blood test. We can see what she hides behind those fancy clothes,” Melina throws her shot back, sliding it back to Alexei who is staring at Kate inquisitively.

“You will do no such thing. Leave. Please?”

“Come now, little Yelena. We have just arrived. We took the train – very slow and noisy, like the train through Italy, remember that honey?” Alexei looks over at Melina, flashing a grin and wink. She hears Yelena gag next to her, she reaches over to pat her thigh, glancing over at her and rubbing her thumb into the side of Yelena’s thigh. Yelena looks back at her, finding those blazing green eyes calmer and she offers Yelena a small smile, it widens when Yelena’s hand closes over hers.

“How much can you bench, Kate Bishop?” Alexei asks, tilting his head aside.  

“Enough!” Yelena shouts, standing from the couch and crossing her arms in a pose that mirrored Melina’s earlier. “You are both here for one thing. The vials. Melina, I am sure you have already found it since you sent me across town on a phantom location, very awful of you two, by the way.”

“I am sorry we had to lie to you, Yelena. We had to meet this Kate Bishop ourselves – decide if she is the right mate for our daughter.” Melina pours two new shots, holding them out to Kate and Yelena.

“It would not be the first time,” Yelena grumbles lowly, and Kate reaches out to brush her hand down her back briefly before sidestepping her and accepting the shot from Melina. Yelena continues from behind her, accepting the drink as well.

“She is not a mate; she is a person.”

“She is someone you care for, you have sexual intercourse with, and someone you have shared intimate things with. You are compatible on many levels,” Melina regards Yelena with narrowed eyes, “What would you call it?”

Yelena huffs and throws her shot back, tossing a scorching look at Melina, “She is not an experiment for you to prod or define. She is Kate.”

“She is athletic – very good in competition. Always the winner, I like that about you, Kate Bishop.” Alexei nods at her, tipping his drink to her before tossing it back. “Are you going to marry my Yelena?”

Kate chokes on her drink, feeling the substance sputter out through her nose. Yelena’s hand is at her back, rubbing gently as she takes the shot glass out of Kate’s hand. Kate accepts the napkin from Melina, wiping at her face.

“That’s enough. Take the vial and leave. Contact me when you have news,” Yelena points to the door, hand curling around Kate’s waist. Melina looks like she has more to say but decides against it when Alexei touches her arm softly, murmuring to her in Russian.

Kate watches the two older Russians move away from the counter, Alexei reaches over to squeeze Yelena’s shoulder and kiss her temple. Kate doesn’t miss the way Yelena leans into him, just barely. Melina looks at them from the door, her eyes are warm, and her expression is open – it’s the nicest she has looked in Kate’s direction all evening. Melina says something in Russian that makes Yelena shift on her feet and turn the tips of her ears red, looking somewhere behind Kate’s shoulder.

The door shuts with a soft click and Yelena exhales loudly, squeezing her hip, and resting her forehead against Kate’s shoulder. “They are so annoying,” she mumbles, and Kate runs a hand through her hair, wondering how she survived that.

“I’ve never had a parent threaten to do a blood test in my kitchen before,” Kate points out, clearing the shot glasses away and shelving the liquor. “Where did they send you?”

Yelena reaches into the cupboard for Lucky’s food, dumping it in his bowl. “To a museum. I knew as soon as I turned the corner, she had duped me, сука.”

“I think I made out okay. Your dad seemed impressed with me,” Kate lifts her eyebrows, pulling her arms up to flex her biceps. Yelena chuckles and steps closer, smoothing hands over said biceps before wrapping them around Kate’s waist.

“The rest of your day was good? No more Kazi sightings?” Yelena asks, tracing patterns over Kate’s back.

“Yeah, it was fine. Signed the paperwork, shook some hands, pissed off some old men.” Kate wraps her arms over Yelena’s shoulder, sliding a hand onto the nape of her neck.

“That is right, how could I forget? You are CEO now. Very sexy of you, Kate Bishop,” her compliment makes Kate snort and shake her head. “Do not forget about the working class – we have much to offer.”

“That’s a good point,” Kate leans towards her, resting their foreheads together. “I am looking for a consultant – someone who can answer my every need. Someone who knows just how to steer me in the right direction.”

Yelena’s hands squeeze at her back and there’s a grin forming on her face. Kate doesn’t want to leave tonight; she just wants to be with Yelena. Her garment bag hangs heavily on the chair, she wants to dance with Yelena so badly tonight. In front of everyone, to show them how happy and strong she is now. She wants to show Eleanor how wrong she was.

“You have someone in mind, Kate Bishop?”

“I might, yes,” Kate pretends to mull it over, scratching at Yelena’s hairline. “She has great hands, good form. She keeps me on my toes, always thinking of different ways to motivate me.”

Yelena’s lips close over hers and she laughs, pressing herself against Yelena fully. She feels the counter-pressing into her back, followed by the slide of a warm tongue along her lips. She sighs, letting her tongue glide along Yelena’s lazily. There’s a hand at the zipper of her blouse, tugging it down and brushing it from Kate’s shoulders. Lips are trailing over her shoulder, fingers brushing over her abs and tucking themselves into her waistband, brushing a thumb over the button there.

“Couch?” Yelena asks from the hollow of her throat, pushing the button through and tugging the zipper of her pants down. Kate nods and pulls Yelena with her, hands brushing over her body to shred the clothes.

They fall back onto the couch, tangled together in a mess of limbs and laughter. Yelena brushes her hair away from her face, tracing the outline of her face gently. She curls a hand over Yelena’s hip, pulling her down against her perched thigh. Yelena exhales into her mouth, moving her hips back and forth slowly – Kate feels the drag of her wetness accumulating against her skin.

“What did Melina say to you earlier?” Kate asks, practically whispering it into Yelena’s ear. There’s a squeeze at her thigh and Yelena’s hips falter against her, flicking her gaze up to meet Kate’s.


“It made you blush,” Kate answers, reaching up and tucking a strand from her braid away. “Not many things make you blush.”

“She said I looked well taken care of,” There’s a blush forming on her cheeks again and Kate’s heartbeats fondly in her chest at the sight. She decides to venture into new territory, wanting Yelena to know just how seriously Kate believes in taking care of her.

“Do I take care of you well?” Kate moves her lips over Yelena’s, breathing the words into her mouth. Yelena nips at her lip in return, brushing her hand across Kate’s sternum as her hips resume their slow motion. “I know I do. Nobody’s ever given you as much control as me, but I think I have control right now. Don’t you think, baby?” Yelena’s eyes flutter closed as she nods, heated forehead falling to Kate’s jaw as her hips jerk erratically. “I take good care of you when I let you pin me or tie me up. When I let you ride my face or push a toy into me while I’m on my knees.”

Yelena’s moan is strangled, her soft gasps turn into pants and her hand cups Kate’s neck, brushing the thumb over the bruise near her collarbone. Kate feels the wetness dripping down her thigh as Yelena’s hips move quickly – Kate flexes in the way she knows Yelena needs for friction on her clit. She feels a strong nip at her throat, followed by a long drag of her hips down the length of her thigh.

“You deserve everything, Yelena,” Kate promises, dropping her hands to Yelena’s hips to guide them in a hard and steady motion. The hand around her throat tightens slightly and Kate feels the heat build inside of her – Yelena’s teeth on her collarbone make her grip those hips harder until Yelena’s gasping and withering in her arms, hips twitching as Kate’s thigh is absolutely covered in slick.

She brushes her hands over Yelena’s back, feeling the hot puffs of air against her neck as Yelena comes down from her high. They’re pressed so closely together; she can feel the erratic beat of Yelena’s heart against her chest. She smooths her lips over Yelena’s forehead, scratching at the back of her head gently, “Clean up for me?”

Yelena’s hooded eyes find hers as she chews on her lip and releases Kate’s throat, using that hand to cup Kate’s thigh and move it aside. Kate feels the softness of Yelena’s lips run down the course of her body until she’s hovering over Kate’s wet lips. Kate shakes her head slightly, using a finger to press over Yelena’s lips. She trails her finger over to the fine bone of her jaw, nudging her gently to the thigh Yelena had just used to get off. There’s a groan that rumbles beneath her legs as Kate guides her face closer. She threads her hand through the undone braid and sighs when Yelena’s lips and tongue touch her thigh.

Yelena’s cheek rests on her stomach, fingers tracing over her bare hip, the sun has fallen and only the light from the lamp and television aluminate the apartment. Kate’s phone buzzes from the coffee table, Yelena reaches to glance at the screen, grumbling when she sees the name before handing it off to Kate.

“He said he’s running late,” Kate thumbs over the message, typing out a reply before opening a delivery app. “What do you want to eat? We’ve got two hours.”

“I make you food,” Yelena kisses her stomach, pushing up onto her forearms, and Kate enjoys the flex of her muscles, eyes training over each curve. Yelena’s reaching into the pile of clean clothes Kate still hasn’t brought upstairs when her phone buzzes again – a message from her mother she can’t even bother to read before tilting her eyes back to Yelena who is adjusting the boxer briefs on her hips – Kate’s boxer briefs. A yellow t-shirt tumbles over her back, making Kate pout at the loss of skin.

She pushes up on the couch to pull the blanket over her body, looking over as Yelena moves around her tiny kitchen with ease, pulling multiple items out. The radio lulls throughout her apartment, and there’s already a delicious smell. She wraps the blanket around herself and makes her way to Yelena, dropping a kiss on her shoulder, “I’m going to take a shower, start getting ready.” Yelena hums and brushes her hand over Kate’s back when she steps away.

She takes a quick shower, focusing on making her hair presentable. She brushes her fingers over the marks Yelena left on her thigh, an imprint of teeth on her hip makes her roll her eyes. Yelena had grown impatient – wanting to taste her, a warmth blossoms from her chest when she thinks of the way Yelena had used her tongue. She grabs her concealer and begins painting over the marks on her throat and chest – she hates having to erase the proof of her relationship with Yelena.

It isn’t difficult, lying to Eleanor. She thought it would be more emotionally fatiguing, but it’s quite simple and Kate can’t help but think it’s because she has a partner that elevates in every way. Or maybe the lying and manipulation is genetic – there’s that too. She wants to wrap this up quickly – she’s not an expert liar by any means, and she knows Kazi will be up to no good. The mystery from the park is still unsolved, despite the piling evidence against Kazi.

Kate doesn’t want to spend her days with Yelena looking over their shoulders, she wants to kiss Yelena in the park without getting shot at.  She wants to dance with Yelena, whether it’s at a fancy gala or a dive bar in Ohio. She knows the danger will follow them, it’s inevitable being the Avenger-in-training she is and Yelena’s contractual nature – the risk will always be there.

She finishes applying her makeup and glances to the small bowl containing Yelena’s many ear piercings. Her fingers glide over the various shapes and points, picking out a pair of small gold hoops and sliding them through her earlobe. She brushes her wet hair back, not knowing what to do with it yet as she stares at herself in the mirror. She’s anxious to end this, to return the vials to Yelena and expose Eleanor for her involvement in organized crime. She sighs and rubs lotion up the length of her arms, there are so many unknowns and that don’t help worrisome thoughts. She knows the antidote is the counteragent to the mind control program, she knows Yelena and Natasha nearly died recovering it while destroying the Red Room, but she doesn’t know what Yelena has been doing with the antidote for all these years, and how her parents fit into this.

Her stomach grumbles and her nose picks out a delicious smell filtering through the steamed air. She pulls on her fluffy housecoat and makes her way downstairs to find Yelena dishing out two bowls, Lucky sits adjacent to her looking up excitedly at the prospect of a bowl for himself. Yelena pushes a bowl towards her, her warm gaze makes Kate’s heart flutter as she accepts the bowl, fingers brushing hers. Yelena sits next to her at the table, brushing her nose into Kate’s robe, “You smell good.”

Kate’s eyes flutter closed as she takes a bite of gooey goodness that Yelena has made for her. It’s creamy and delicious and her leg bounces with excitement, “What is this?”. Yelena chuckles as she eats a spoonful of her own and patting the corner of her mouth her a napkin, “It is the Italian version of your mac and cheese: risotto.”  

“Have I mentioned I loved you today?” Kate says around a spoonful, bumping her leg against Yelena’s. There’s a pinch at her bare thigh and Kate glances over at the slight flush on Yelena’s cheek, “It is a relatively simple dish, Kate Bishop. No need to get all sentimental.”

“It’s so good though,” Kate hums around another spoonful, “you’re so good at everything, it’s very sexy of you.”

Yelena laughs and pushes her bowl forward, turning to face Kate fully as she reaches out to tuck a tendril of hair behind her ear. There’s a quiet intake of breath and fingertips brush at the earring, trailing over the shape and brushing against her neck. Kate scoops the last of the risotto into her mouth before reaching for Yelena’s bowl, eyeing the splash of red knowingly. She scrunches her nose up and pushes the bowl back to Yelena, “You ruined it with hot sauce.”

“It’s a good thing you’re cute, Kate,” Yelena’s hand cups the nape of her neck, “I will try not to take your comment to heart. Nice earrings.”

“Is it okay if I wear them? I like knowing I’ll have a piece of you with me at this stupid gala tonight,” Kate shrugs a shoulder, playing with the hem of her robe at her knee.

“It is more than acceptable,” Yelena’s hand tilts her face to her. “I will find you. I will dance with you as you wish.”

Kate sighs and leans into her hand, “There’s nothing more I’d love, but I don’t want to blow our cover. I’m just going to get out of there as soon as I can.”

Yelena hums and nuzzles her face into Kate’s shoulder, “I will blend in, you will get your dance.”

She brushes her lips across Yelena’s temple and collects their bowls, moving to put them in the sink. She checks her watch and notes there’s still an hour before she has to meet Caleb, she brushes her hands through her hair and makes a frustrated noise – she really doesn’t want to go tonight. Yelena approaches her, and there’s a thoughtful look on her face as she reaches out for Kate’s hand. Their fingers tangle in a familiar dance as Yelena tugs her upstairs, she motions for Kate to sit on the bed and settles in behind her, she feels hands in her hair, separating and pulling on strands of her hair.

“I braid your hair, yes?”

Kate nods and squeezes Yelena’s thigh in agreement, feeling the blush spreading across her cheeks and the pitter-patter of her heart. Another piece of Yelena. Kate clears her throat and settles back comfortably against Yelena.

“Are we going to meet up with your parents again?”

“I hope not,” Yelena grumbles, tugging at the base of her hairline. “They know the job, then they leave us alone.”

“It’s kind of nice, meeting them, I mean,” Kate pauses, choosing her words carefully. “I like learning more about you.”

Yelena’s quiet for a moment, tugging at the strands methodically – a practised routine for her. “They are complicated. So chaotic and incapable of expressing themselves – they nearly performed a medical procedure on you in your own home. They are so annoying.”

“Parents are usually over-protective and annoying, look at mine,” Kate shrugs a shoulder, messaging Yelena’s thigh. “They care for you Yelena, in their own way. Just like you care for them.”

“Just as your mother cares for you, Kate,” Yelena’s fingers finish their routine, moving the robe from her shoulders to knead the muscles there.

“She’s hurting you, Yelena. I can’t just forget that.” Kate reaches for the braid, running her fingers over the ridges.

“She’s hurting you too, Kate. Maybe that is what parents do better than anyone – hurt their children.”

“They make us weaker,” Kate pauses, tracing patterns over Yelena’s thigh, “and stronger.”

“I think that is family, Kate. You make me weak, but strong too.” Yelena’s words are pressed to the skin of her collarbone, wrapping her arms around Kate’s waist.

“You’re my family, too,” Kate snuggles further into Yelena, tilting her head back for a kiss. Yelena’s lips touch hers, hand cradling the side of her cheek. She captures Yelena’s bottom lip and nibbles, running her tongue over the teeth marks. There’s a hand at her waist, pulling the knot undone and slipping the robe off and Yelena’s sinking further down the bed, taking Kate with her. Kate twists and lays between Yelena’s thighs, sliding her hands beneath the yellow t-shirt. Yelena’s hands slide beneath her robe and cup her breasts, making Kate arch into her and moan. Her alarm goes off from the nightstand, making them both freeze and exhale harshly.

Yelena’s hands find the material of her robe to close it, securing it with a knot. “You must go before we start something you cannot finish.”

Kate raises her eyebrows and nips at Yelena’s jaw, “I always finish, especially with you.”

Yelena groans and arches, pushing into a sitting position. “Later, Kate Bishop. I will have you after this stupid party. Wear that lingerie for me again?”

She kisses her again, unable to help herself nor resist Yelena’s promise of later, “Come pick out what you want, bought a couple of new sets for you.”

Yelena’s response is another groan and grip of her hips as she carries Kate to the walk-in closet.

She arrives at the gala at eight, Caleb is already waiting for her inside, but she has to get through this sea of the press first. There are flashing lights and people calling her name – she pauses for ten seconds to allow them to snap their pictures before walking through the doors. Caleb waves at her and bounces from foot to foot, sparing nods at coworkers and other attendees. He holds out his arm and gives her a respectful nod, “You look lovely tonight. Are you ready to fake it until we make it?”

She smiles at him and threads her arm through his as they make their way to the elevator. “You have to tell me his name – I’ll send him a gift for this.” Kate gestures between them, and Caleb waves at her dismissively, “Oh you don’t need to do that. His name is David. We met at a larping event.”

“You must know Grills then?”

“Oh my gosh, Kate! I can’t believe you know the larpers! This is so cool; David is going to freak out.” Caleb guides them through the gala floor, they both exchange fake smiles and fake greetings with attendees. They are directed to a table with Eleanor and a few board members already seated. Caleb pulls her chair and settles in next to her, fiddling with his glasses and smiling nervously at his superiors. Kate can hear him making small talk, but she’s zeroed in on the tattooed figure with a greasy comb-over sitting next to her mother. His arm is thrown over the back of her chair, he speaks with a smirk and Kate wants to smack it off his face. Eleanor finally turns and pulls one of her warm smiles over her face, trying to play this off.

“Kate! And you brought Caleb, I’m so happy to see you both here,” Eleanor reaches across to tap the back of Kate’s hand. “We’re going to get started, come up on stage with me?”

Kate nods and moves to get up, taking a deep breath – steeling herself for what’s to come. Eleanor loops her arm through hers and approaches her PR team at the edge of the stage. The lights are dimmed, and they are directed on stage, Kate stands in the back corner while Eleanor goes to the podium.

“Good evening my friends. I’d love to kick off tonight’s festivities with a reminder we are raising money for Girls Who Code – please make sure to open your cheque books before leaving tonight.”

Kate shifts from foot to foot as Eleanor goes on to thank the gala planners and staff. Kate’s eyes track Kazi’s disappearing form throughout the crowd. She catches Caleb looking back between her and Kazi, he starts to filter back – following Kazi. This isn’t good, Caleb shouldn’t do this, he doesn’t know who Kazi is. She glances anxiously at Eleanor, who is giving some speech about resilience and overcoming hardship – she needs to speed this up so Kate can get the hell out of here and figure out what Kazi is doing.

Cheers and clapping erupt throughout the room as Eleanor has a hand extended in Kate’s direction. Kate pulls on another fake smile and steps forward slightly, looking to Eleanor for a cue.

“My daughter has grown into such a strong and reliable young woman. She’s everything I could ever want her to be. She’s honest, hard-working, community-minded, intelligent, gentle, and courageous. There is no one better suited to lead this company into its next great leap,” There are murmurs and gasps filling the room – maybe PR did manage to keep this on the down-low. “Ladies and gentlemen, I present Bishop Securities’ chief executive officer, Katherine Bishop.”

The applause is thunderous and Kate’s heart pounds – she doesn’t care about this, she’s worried about Kazi and Caleb. The flashing lights combined with Eleanor tugging her to the podium overload her senses. She grips the podium and takes a depth breath, gazing out at a few sourly faces. Her eyes settle on one face, in the back corner with the catering staff – she’s dressed in black and there are glasses framing her face, but Kate would know that posture anywhere, Yelena.

She’s instantly calmer and she tosses another fake smile at the crowd, keeping her eyes on Yelena who has an arm covering her chest, hand landing over her heart.

“Thanks for this. I really don’t deserve all this,” Kate pauses, clearing her dry throat. “I’ve watched both my parents lead this company since I was a baby. Many of you have seen me run these halls in diapers to ripped jeans,” It earns her a few chuckles, and she feels herself relaxing more, relieving her grip on the podium. “I’ve been prepared for this job my entire life. I’m ready to lead honestly and compassionately. We need to invest more in R & D, talk about how we can end conflicts as opposed to financing them. We need to focus on our mission here, at Bishop Securities. We need more from the people who occupy the highest floors of this building and promise you, as CEO, I will get more from our board members and more from your superiors. I’m going to elevate this company – it’s my legacy.”

Thunderous applause rings out and then there’s cheering, and people are crowding toward the stage, trying to get a word in with Kate. Kate’s still focused on Yelena, eyes following the dip in her shoulders and shake of her head. Her eyebrows furrow and she’s about to beeline to Yelena when her mother pulls her into a hug, she’s talking in her ear, but Kate can’t hear her. She needs to find Kazi.

Investors and department heads crowd her as she makes her way through, Eleanor having stopped to speak with some of the invited press. Kate brushes them off with nods and requests for emails or discussions when they return to the office Monday. She excuses herself from a large group, citing the need to use the restroom. She makes her way to the staircase Kazi used, finding Yelena waiting against the wall with her arms crossed.

“Nice speech. Even I am convinced you truly want this job,” Yelena picks at her black apron tied around her waist.

“Can we discuss this later? Kazi’s gone and Caleb went after him.” Kate starts making her way up the stairwell. Exiting on the next floor up to locate a vacated security hub, fitting with multiple monitors. Kate slides the chair aside, moving her fingers over the keys quickly and using her log-in. She checks the cameras on the lower level while Yelena surveys the parking garage. Kate checks the R&D floor; she gasps when she sees Kazi throwing Caleb around the lab and punching him repeatedly. Yelena grabs her hand and they run to the staircase, taking two steps at a time as Yelena removes her Glock from her waistband and tosses her apron aside, revealing the tactical vest she always carries.

Yelena plasters herself to the right side of the door while Kate is on the left. Kate moves her hand on the doorknob and nods at Yelena, who nods back at her. She opens the door and Yelena enters gun drawn. Kate follows behind her and they quickly make their way down to the only illuminated block on the floor. Caleb’s glasses are smashed in the doorway, Yelena signals for Kate to crouch and stay before moving into the lab.

Kate slides in after her, moving around the opposite side of the room Yelena has. She finds Caleb collapsed on the floor, face bloodied and wrist bent at an unnatural angle. Her eyes water as she reaches out to check for a pulse, covering her mouth to contain the sob of relief when she feels the pulse beating beneath her fingertips. She pulls out her phone to initiate the Bishop Security incident response protocol, signalling they need medical assistance on the 25th floor.

“Help is on the way, Caleb. Hang in there for me,” She brushes her hands over his face, trying to stir him.

“Kate Bishop, we meet again,” Kazi’s voice looms from behind her. She goes to stand to face him when she hears him tsk, pressing the barrel of his gun into the back of her skull. “Not so fast. I couldn’t get you in the park, that little side piece of yours ruined it for me. But I get to enjoy it now.” Kate’s heartbeats painfully in her chest and she can feel her throat closing up, eyes tracing over Caleb’s bruised and broken face. “Your mother is so weak. Once I’m done with you, I’ll get rid of her too. That will teach her for backing out on a business deal – I hope she’s the one that finds your body.”

“Nobody will find yours,” the pressure from her head is released followed by a grunt and the clatter of a gun. Kate whips around to find Yelena holding Kazi in a leglock on the ground, his eyes wide and his face glowing red as his hands flail, searching for a weapon that doesn’t exist before gripping Yelena’s legs. Kate picks up the gun and points it at him, glancing between Yelena and Kazi.

“Yelena! We need him! They’ll be here any minute,” Kate reasons, watching Kazi hold his mouth open in an attempt to fill his airway. “Please, Yelena.”

The scream Yelena releases can only be described as feral, releasing Kazi just before he goes unconscious. Yelena kicks him in the ribs angrily and huffs, her eyes are seething and her shoulders heave with exertion. Kate pats him down, searching for a phone or more weapons. She finds the key to the vault, running over to initiate the opening sequence.

“Don’t you need your mother’s biometrics?” Yelena asks from where she is crouched between Kazi and Caleb, reloading and cocking her gun again.

“I can bypass that now with my security clearance,” Kate’s fingers fly over the keypad, inserting the key and plugging her phone into the system. “We need to take Kazi with us, find out what he knows.”

“Yelena! When you invited us to a party, I was expecting a real party not a mission. Even your father needs to loosen up a little,” Alexei announces as he walks through the lab, kicking shattered glass aside. Kate finds Melina tracking in after Alexei’s large frame leaves her vision. Melina makes her way over to the keypad, taking Kate’s phone and sighing.

“We do not have much time, girls. This software is heavily encrypted – even with your clearance. The building is already being evacuated – we disabled the elevators and left a few divisions on the other floors, but it will not hold them for long.”

“This is why you bring the Red Guardian along,” Alexei flexes and charges at the vault door, leaving a sizable dent in it. Kate grimaces as he adjusts his tux, loosening the tie and tossing it aside.

“Oh my god, what are you doing?” Yelena shouts, tying up Kazi and dragging him near the door.

“We have to hurry, Yelena. Your father is only trying to help,” Melina reasons as Alexei runs at the door again.

“Is he going to make a hole in the door? I do not understand why he has to make such a scene every time –

“Got it!” Kate yells as the software beeps, the door pops open with a gush of air. Alexei’s head bounces off the steel, making him stumble back and grumble. He grips the door with renewed anger and rips it off its hinges, making the glass windows shatter through the office as it lands in the gym across the hall. “Was that really necessary?” Kate asks as she jogs into the vault, searching for the red vials. Melina brushes against her back as she searches the other side, there’s a clamouring sounding off from the hallway and Kate hears Yelena and Alexei shouting at each other.

Kate tosses items from the shelf, revealing a sealed glass container and the fluorescent vials. She uses Kazi’s key to open the sliding door, she reaches in and grabs the remaining vials, shrugging off her suit jacket to wrap them up.

“I got them, let’s go!” Kate shouts to the others, finding Alexei with Kazi strung over his shoulder at the doorway. Yelena’s hand brushes over her back briefly before exiting first with her gun drawn, Melina takes up the rear with her gun and staff equipped. Kate directs them to the service elevator, using her phone to enable that lift, “Where are we trying to get?”

“Parking garage, we have a van stored there,” Melina responds from behind her, ushering them into the service elevator. Kate’s back hits the wall as Melina stands in front of her, gun drawn. “Turn off the cameras, we cannot have any trace we were here.”

Kate nods and begins taping away on her phone, turning off the cameras and looping the footage from earlier in the evening to replace any signs of them in the building. They make it to the parking garage, with Alexei leading the charge to the white van. Yelena slides the door open and helps pile Kazi in while Melina takes up the driver’s seat. Alexei has gotten in the back to move Kazi onto the plastic lining the floor of the van. Yelena’s closing her hand around her arm, ushering her into the van when there’s a loud bang followed by a burning pain in her shoulder, making her fall against Yelena. She hears Yelena yell and fires her gun behind her. Yelena's arm encircles her waist as Kate collapses against her, cheek pressed into the rough fabric of her tactical vest.

Her body feels numb, and she can’t breathe properly, she doesn’t have enough strength to hold herself up as she slips further down Yelena’s body. There’s a burning pain in her back – her eyes open and close as she tries to form words. She feels strong arms beneath her as she is hoisted into the van. It’s dark and she just wants to sleep, it hurts so much, and she wants Yelena to make it better. There’s shouting in the vehicle as they take off, Kate’s head lolls in Yelena’s lap, finding it so easy to close her eyes.

“Kate? Kate! Stay with me,” Yelena’s voice is far away, but she knows Yelena’s right here. She feels the scratch of her thigh holster against her cheek. There’s pressure being applied to her back, and she winces, the breath remaining in her lungs leaves her abruptly. “Kate Bishop, you said you would dance with me tonight. Do not break your promise to me.”

She wets her lips, wanting to tell Yelena how much she loves her – how much she wanted to dance with her. Something’s wrong – she can’t talk, she can’t move, and there is an uncomfortable wetness cooling down her back. Yelena’s lips press to forehead, and her fingers comb through her hair, it’s easy to fall asleep in Yelena's arms. 

Chapter Text

Her ears are ringing, the van bumps and shifts with each turn, Alexei’s driving makes for a naturally bumpy ride. Melina shifts Kate’s limp body further into her lap to cut away the shirt and begin packing the wound. Her hands shake as she strokes Kate’s hair away and Kate’s blood tinges her fingertips, leaving grimly stains on Kate’s pale face. She cannot hear anything but the pounding of her heart in her eardrums – how she wishes she could hear Kate’s heartbeat.

“Yelena,” Melina’s hand shakes her shoulder gently, voice filtering through her ears. “We have done all we can for her right now.” Yelena shakes her head, refusing to lift her graze from Kate’s face. She wants her to smile again, she needs her to smile again – there’s nothing like her smile. “I will remove the bullet as soon as we get back to the safehouse. You and your father are universal blood types.”

Yelena brushes her fingers over the delicate features as Melina explains what she will need to do for the procedure. She cannot listen to the dry and scientific explanation – this is Kate, she would give all her blood for Kate. She would give anything for Kate. Kate is laying here, bleeding out in the back of a van because she wanted to help Yelena, she does not know if she will be able to forgive herself for this.

The lightening shifts to pitch black and Yelena can’t see Kate anymore, she leans forward at her unnatural angle to ghost her lips over Kate’s cheek. There is a mechanical door shutting in the background, and Alexei nearly tears the side door off once the van screeches to a halt. Melina hops out and disappears around the corner. Alexei reaches for Kate, but Yelena shakes him off, sliding her arms beneath Kate and cradling her against her chest as she steps out of the van, turning the corner after Melina.

There is a crash of items to the floor and a thin sheet being spread out over a dining room table, Melina motions for Kate to be set there. Kate’s head lolls against the table, she’s far too pale and Yelena can feel the tightening of her chest and throat. Melina rushes around the room, retrieving medical equipment while Alexei sets a bottle of liquor on the table and places an arm around Yelena’s shoulder, hugging her against his massive chest. She leans into him for a moment, she grants herself just one moment before stepping back to Kate and smoothing the hair from her clammy face again. She leans on her elbow to touch her forehead to Kate’s, her tears run down onto her face, and she feels an arm pulling her back again. She doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to leave Kate for one moment so she fights back, pushing and pulling and yelling at Alexei, even though his super-soldier strength is unaffected by her struggles.  

“Yelena, please. Let your mother work,” Alexei reasons, loosening his hold on Yelena. She steps forward again to hover near the table, eyes tracing over Kate’s shirtless torso as Melina sets an IV drip and slides the needle into Kate’s hand. A chair appears at her knees and Alexei offers her a nod before moving to assist Melina with Kate’s positioning. They roll the archer onto her stomach and cut away her bra while Yelena makes sure Kate’s airway is clear.

Melina’s asking for stronger light as she starts to bring her clamps and scalpel over the wound. Yelena sees the blood trickle from the wound, and she turns away, laying her chin on her arm an inch from Kate’s face – close enough to feel the weak puffs of air hit her cheek. Kate’s breathing transforms into a painful wheeze making Yelena swallow and run her fingers over the back of her stained cheek.

“Luckily the bullet has not hit any major arteries. No apparent damage to muscle tissue,” Melina explains methodically, using the clamps to pull the bullet out and drop it into a dish, held out by Alexei. “Fetch a blanket and a pillow, Alexei.” Melina pours more disinfectant over the wound and Kate groans, body flinching against the table. Yelena hisses and looks over at Melina, who is closing and dressing the wound with practised ease, “I will give her the rest of the morphine. We need to retrieve more medical supplies.” Melina draws the medicine from the vial and injects the medicine into Kate’s thigh, “This will do for a few hours. Alexei will stay here. Keep watch over the imposter,” she looks over at her, giving her a knowing look, “and you.”

Alexei places a pillow on the table, helping Melina shift Kate onto her back. Yelena tugs the blanket over Kate’s body, covering her exposed chest. She brushes the sticky strands of her raven black hair away from her forehead, dabbing at her forehead with the wipes Melina had placed at Kate’s side. She feels a kiss pressed to her head and a squeeze of her shoulder before the door clicks open and closed.

Alexei stands beside the table awkwardly, averting his eyes from Kate’s delicate form. He makes a motion with his hand and disappears to the garage, where Kazi is most likely being held. She releases a sob once the door’s been shut, the tears fall freely as she calls for Kate in a shaky-hushed tone. She grasps Kate’s hand between her palms and brings it to her face, whispering apologies into the skin.

She lays her cheek against the table, keeping her archer’s hand warm between hers. She closes her eyes as she plays through the shooting. She cleared the right side, where Kate was shot from – it was her responsibility to access for a threat and she failed and now Kate is here, like this. She remembers the way Kate collapsed against her, barely forming incoherent words until her eyes closed and she went so still. She can’t stay still like this. Kate Bishop is not one who remains idle, she is always moving, always improving, and always pulling her closer. She aches to settle into Kate’s arms and feel those soothing fingers at the back of her head.

There’s a chill in the room, making the fine hairs rise on Kate’s arm. She adjusts the blanket to cover Kate’s arm completely and goes in search of more. She walks over to where Alexei had emerged from earlier, taking in the quietness of the area – she does not know where they have ended up, but it is not a busy street like Kate’s. The room is barely furnished, just an old couch and complimenting furniture. The windows are covered by a tarp, moving loosely as the window pushes through. She slides the window shut and peers down to the street below – they seem to be in an abandoned industrial district – graffiti covers the bricks and craved pavement runs through the streets. There is no traffic or pedestrians – they are safe, for now.

She turns sharply and advances to Kate, kicking herself for leaving her alone for so long. She is only comforted by the rise and fall of Kate’s chest. She narrows in on some chests placed neatly along the wall, labelled and categorized by weight and colour – definitely, Melina’s doing. She uncovers the blankets, closing around the warmest one she can find and returning it to Kate to tuck it around her legs. She sits back in the chair, resuming her position from earlier to watch the rise and fall of Kate’s chest.

There is a loud laugh from the garage, booming and obnoxious – always Alexei, then a loud thump followed by a groan. She traces the outline of Kate’s hand, wondering how many of Kazi’s bones she can break with one stomp. With one elbow. With one twist of an arm. Her chest burns with rage, she will make him suffer. The gun to Kate’s head flashed in her mind – she should have ended him there, despite Kate’s warnings. They do not need Kazi, they need Kate. She needs Kate.

Melina arrives with a large bag over her shoulder, placing a monitor on the table and clipping the heart rate monitor onto Kate’s finger. She sets medicine vials out methodically, perfectly in rows with disposable needles piled behind. Yelena pushes to her feet as Melina sets up a machine next to Kate, it’s clunky and awkward with tubes running in two different directions.

“We are ready to give the transfusion,” Melina explains, holding two small needlepoints in her hands.

She’s already moving around the table when Alexei steps forward, brushing her aside and holding his forearm out to his wife. Yelena scoffs and slaps him aside, sliding between them and rolling her sleeve up.

“Yelena, you should rest. It has been a very stressful day,” Alexei’s voice grates in her ears. She will not allow anyone to take care of Kate like this – she will be the first. She would give everything to make Kate’s eyes open again. “Do not be so stubborn.”

“Do not be so condescending, Alexei. We will switch in fifteen minutes,” Melina pokes at her arm, searching for a vein. She scoffs at them as if she would leave Kate’s side. The pinch and dull pain in her arm is welcomed, she sits in the chair provided by Alexei and watches the tube fill with red as it tracks for the machine. The hum vibrates from the machine as the redness makes its way towards Kate. She sighs and settles her chin on her unused forearm, playing with the edge of the blanket as she watches the archer’s face, looking for any signs of change.

There’s a protein bar and a smoothie set beside her, a hand brushes over her shoulders before the door clicks again and she is only focused on Kate.

Melina shakes her shoulder gently, rousing her from the sleep she had fallen into. She curses herself for doing so and snaps upright, steadying herself on the table to steel herself from the light-headedness. Kate’s chest rises and falls more steadily, she feels herself filling with hope at the colour painting her cheeks again. The hope outweighs the heaviness and fatigue in her body.

Alexei shuffles her out of the chair, grumbling at her when he sees the drink and snack untouched. He pushes the snacks forward forcefully in Yelena's direction as Melina sets the line in his arm. Yelena rests a hip into the table, closing her hand around the drink as she tracks the blood filling the tube, making its way to Kate.

Melina pulls her forward, leading her to the beat-up couch. She sighs as she pops two pills from a pack, holding them to her mouth expectantly with a pointed stare. She rolls her eyes and throws the pills back, grimacing at the bitter taste on her tongue. Melina huffs and hands her the smoothie, “Drink it, Yelena. She needs your strength. You are no good to her worn out.”

She sighs and settles back into the couch, finding the best angle to watch over the rise and fall of Kate’s chest. Her eyes close uncontrollably, she forces them open to grasp Melina’s hand as she pulls away, “You will wake me if something happens.”

It is the first time she has spoken; her voice is hoarse and scratchy. It does not feel like her own. Melina nods solemnly, leaning down to brush her lips over her forehead. Her eyes close against her will – she will sleep for as little as she needs so that she can return to Kate.

The sunlight streams in and the scent of coffee makes her nose twitch. She clenches her fists and shoots up on the couch, throwing off the blanket to stumble to Kate’s sleeping form. Her breathing is deep and there is normal colour painting her face, she touches her fingers against Kate’s forehead, chewing her lip when they return too warm.

“She has a slight fever, nothing to worry about. I checked the wound this morning,” Melina’s voice carries from the mock kitchen in the corner. “She woke once –

“And you did not think to tell me?” Yelena bites, feeling her shoulders haunch and fists clench again. “What is it with you two and lying?”

Melina frowns at that, glancing over at Alexei who has his face hung over his saucer pan, flipping a pancake over the hotplate. “She asked for you and fell back asleep,” Melina lifts a shoulder, closing her hands over her steaming mug. “I wanted you to rest. She will wake soon, for longer.”

“Come eat, Yelena. You must be strong for her,” Alexei pushes a plate of pancakes at her, and she curls her lip in disgust. She cannot eat while Kate lies here like this –


She turns sharply, falling to her knees at Kate’s question. Her hands shake as they trace her face, finally cupping her cheek. Kate blinks repeatedly and shifts against the table, groaning painfully at the stiffness. Kate’s cheek turns into her palm, brushing her chapped lips against her thumb. A tear slides down her face as she gasps in awe, feeling the shockwave Kate’s gentle kiss has set off throughout her body, and suddenly she is wide awake.

“Kate Bishop,” she whispers, curling her body into Kate as much as she can. “I am so glad your stomach has brought you back to me.”

“I’m so glad someone has food – the gala appetizers were awful. About as awful as getting shot,” Kate rolls her shoulder uncomfortably, face contorting in pain as she lets out a hiss.

Yelena looks for Melina, who is already drawing medicine from a vial, “This will sting, Kate.”

Kate grips her arm as the needle slides in, eyes tracking over her face. A frown etches over her face when Kate sees the blood staining her shirt and pants. Yelena senses her worry – she does not want Kate to put energy into her feelings right now, she just wants Kate to get better. She shales her head and brushes her lips over the corner of Kate’s mouth, “I am fine. Do not worry for me, Kate Bishop.”

Kate looks like she wants to say more, and she is saved when Melina flashes a penlight in Kate’s eyes, drawing her attention away from Yelena. There is a stack of pancakes pushed in front of her, rolling her eyes at Alexei’s proud look when she accepts the stack. She hears Kate groan and immediately drops the dish onto the chair, turning to see the older Widow helping Kate into a sitting position. Her brows furrow as she watches the pain constrict over Kate’s face, her chest heaving a little too much for Yelena’s comfort. She reaches out to place a hand on Kate’s thigh and back, rubbing her thumb against the blanket there.

“Take these antibiotics, Kate Bishop,” Melina holds them out to her in a small cup, followed by a bottle of water. “Taken with food three times a day. Then a bath, you stink.”

Kate coughs and winces at the movement, “I took a shower yesterday.”

“The pills will also treat STIs – it is a shame we had to transfuse blood, I have not been able to acquire a sample yet,” Melina helps Kate swing her legs over the table, shaking her head at Yelena’s grumbling. “I am trying to protect you both. Health care in this country is a farce, let alone sexual reproductive health services and information.”

“Can we not discuss this right now?” She gestures to Kate’s hunched over posture as she rounds the corner, placing her hands on Kate’s sides to help her stand. She tries to hold her as gently and firmly as possible as Kate sets her unsteady feet on the floor. “Just take a minute, Kate,” she whispers against her cheek, feeling Kate’s good arm sling across her shoulders.

“I wanna sit on that lump of a couch. It’s gotta be better than that table,” Kate points her head in the direction of said couch. “And I want those pancakes in my belly. I wasn’t joking about the appetizers.”

Yelena sighs at Kate’s lightness, she is not quite ready to accept that Kate is somehow this normal following something so traumatic to Yelena. It cannot be this simple – she does not know how to explain this Kate with her parents watching them like hawks. She shuffles them over to the lumpy couch, settling Kate on the softest side. She slides a pillow between Kate’s back and the armrest, pulling the blanket over her legs.

She accepts the stack of pancakes from Alexei once more, sitting on the edge of the couch to provide Kate with small bites of pancakes. She hears Alexei snort at them and she’s about to lay into him when Melina clears her throat, “We go in the garage to speak with the weasel.”

“Thank you!” Kate shouts from around a mouthful of pancakes, lifting a hand in acknowledgement when Melina all but forces Alexei out the door. She feels a hand grasp her arm, turning her attention to Kate’s soft and tired face. “Hi, you.”

“Please eat,” She asks, holding the plate out to Kate as her eyes trace the edge of the plate, pointedly ignoring Kate’s statement.

“Please look at me for more than three seconds,” the plate is pushed back to her and Yelena sighs, sitting on the coffee table in front of her. “Thank you for saving me.”

Yelena huffs and scruffs her feet against the faded flooring – she did not save Kate, Melina did. She did not protect Kate. She did nothing but whither under her weakness for Kate. She stares down at her hands, still grimy with Kate’s blood between her fingernails – she does not know if she deserves to clean them.

A flash of blue flies out of the corner of her eye, a blue sheet tumbling around her feet. She turns to Kate, gaze dropping to her bare chest before narrowing her eyes at Kate, “This is not a ruse, Kate.” She shrugs her jacket off, throwing it over Kate’s bare chest.

“I love you,” Kate’s voice enters her ears and bleeds down into her chest. She shakes her head and holds her head in her hands, she does not deserve Kate’s kind words. Regardless of their automatic warmth.

“Eat, Kate. Please,” she pleads, wanting to avoid this conversation for as long as possible.

“I love you.”

“Please –

“I love you, Yelena.”

“Enough, Kate. I do not –

“Please look at me. I miss you,” Kate’s hand settles on her waist, so light but so heavy on her conscious.

“I am too scared,” she pauses and swallows, brushing her hands over the black material of her Widow suit. “I have been so weak. I need to be stronger than this, for you.”

“I don’t want you any other way than you are, right here. Right now,” Kate’s hand curls into her tactical belt. “It’s just me. Nobody else.”

“I almost lost you,” Yelena rakes her hands through her hair. She wants to jump out of her body – she so desperately wants to get rid of the crippling vibration coursing through her. “You retrieved the vials for me – as you said you would, and then I failed you.”

“You didn’t fail me, Yelena,” Kate’s hand squeezes lightly at her waist. “It was an accident. We both know these things happen in our line of work.”

“The shooter is dead. I fired three times into the chest, two into the wall because they fell. It does not feel like it is enough.”

“What would make you feel like it’s over?”

She shakes her head, unable to explain what would make it better. She does not know if anything could make this better.

“Come here,” Kate tugs her until she has no choice but to plant her arms on either side of Kate, in fear of collapsing against her recovering body. She feels lips brushing her forehead and hands cupping her cheeks, guiding her lips to Kate’s chest. She brushes the collar of her jacket away, connecting her lips to the warm skin. She kisses there once, then twice, unable to help herself – Kate is always her anchor.

Her trembling lips make their way to Kate’s heart. Beating strongly beneath her trembles. She brushes her lips there, staying until her lungs ache for air. She feels Kate’s fingers in her hair, scratching in that soothing way until she can do. She lays her cheek against the skin, feeling the muscle pulse beneath her. She closes her eyes and listens to the comforting thump – she feels like she can breathe again.

“I love you too, Kate Bishop,” she wipes at the tears bubbling from her eyes, leaking down onto the warmth of Kate’s chest.

“Look at me?”

She lifts her head to meet Kate’s gaze. She does not find disdain or pity. She finds strength and love. She finds Kate Bishop, and herself.

Chapter Text

That’s where Alexei and Melina find them once they return, with Yelena laying barely on top of Kate – lips still moving against her warm chest. Alexei unleashes a scream that is far too juvenile for his super-soldier exterior, “Melina! Look they are doing the hanky-panky! We cannot leave her for two seconds with Kate Bishop!”

Kate flushes and tries to contain her chuckle; it still hurts to laugh – she isn’t successful. Yelena rises and presses a kiss to her cheek, sitting at the edge of the couch and tangling their hands together.

“She needs a proper place to rest. I will take her to my safe house, it is wise we split up for the time being.”

“I agree. We have a problem though, he has very greasy hair and terrible tattoos,” Melina points her thumb in the direction of the garage behind her.

“He will not be a problem for very long,” Yelena squeezes her hand and rises. “Find her a shirt and do not bother her.” Yelena orders as she breezes past her parents, closing the door behind her.

Kate feels a chill all of a sudden, tugging Yelena’s jacket as far as she can over her chest. Alexei averts his eyes and turns to the methodically organized chests, opening the lids carelessly.

“Alexei, darling. They are labelled. Please,” Melina points to the storage containers, bringing the vital monitor over to Kate and clipping it on her finger. Melina sits across from her on the coffee table, tipping her body forward gently to check the wound. She hears her hum and pokes at the sensitive skin. “It is holding well. No strenuous activity for at least four weeks – this includes sex.”

She feels her ears go pink and she turns her cheek away, wishing this was not Yelena’s mother giving these instructions. “Thank you, for everything. I’m not sure what Yelena would have done without you.”

There’s a thump from the garage, followed by a crash of items and a groan. She turns back to Melina, accepting the t-shirt Alexei has tossed their way.

“Is she going to kill him?”

“We can only hope,” Alexei grumbles, pulling his arm away from Melina’s slap.

“I don’t want her to change – I just want her to realize she can be something different,” Kate says, picking at the blanket pooled around her waist.

“Yelena will want to look you in the eyes without any guilt, she will not kill him. She knows it is not your way – she only acts on what she knows. She knows you will not support his death, but she will make him hurt for daring to even glance in your direction – let alone point a gun at you.” Melina explains, sliding the needle back into the top of her hand and hooking up her IV drip.

“Do we have any idea who was responsible?”

Alexei glances over nervously, and Kate knows that he knows something. She lifts an eyebrow expectantly between the two of them. Melina clears her throat and settles a hand on Kate’s arm, “It seems they believe Yelena has abducted you and Kazi. Your mother is scheduled to give a press conference later this afternoon.”

Kate squints at them, shaking her head at the information. “No, I don’t think that’s even close –

Alexei hands her a burner phone, with the news article on the tiny screen:
Newly appointed Bishop Securities CEO, Kate Bishop has been kidnapped. The company announced the incident following a commotion in the upper offices at the popular charity gala. According to a statement from Eleanor Bishop, her daughter had returned upstairs to get a portfolio when she was met with kidnappers. Ms. Bishop believes they are the victim of a targeted attack by a foreign entity – trying to extort the company for cash and assets. Ms. Bishop says the company was hacked while this occurred, concealing the identities of the kidnappers. A security guard was shot and killed by the kidnappers while trying to prevent the kidnapping in the parking garage. A briefing is scheduled by Ms. Bishop for 3:30pm at the local police precinct. Katherine Bishop is described as five-foot –

Kate recoils, shoving the phone back at Alexei. The pain in her shoulder is mediocre compared to the anger coursing through her body. Eleanor has woven a pitiful story to cover her illegal dealings – there’s no mention of Caleb or Kazi. To anyone with a brain, there would be something suspicious considering Bishop Securities hosts one of the greatest firewalls in the content. But this is why PR teams exist, and it is why Eleanor has spent 35% of the budget retaining them.

“We have vials. We can expose her. I’m going to send her back to prison.” Kate shifts on the couch, feeling weak and claustrophobic. “I need to talk to Yelena. Take me to her, please.”

“Kate, please rest. We have time,” Melina reasons, tucking the blanket around her firmly. It’s such a motherly move, and it’s completely irritating at this moment – she wants to make their next move and squash her mother.

A gust of air swings through the apartment as Yelena re-enters the room. Her hands are still clenched in fists and her body is tense, posture perfect, as she strides over to Kate and waves her parents away.

“She looks upset,” Yelena observes, scowling at her parents before sitting on the edge of the couch again. “What have you done?”

“They showed me what my mother has created. There’s a briefing scheduled for later today. I want to take her down, Yelena.”

“I know, but it is not the time, Kate. You do not have the strength – we must take this time to evaluate our plan.” Yelena’s hand cups her cheek, brushing a thumb along her jaw, “I nearly lost you once – I will not do it again. We will control each aspect of your mother’s demise when you are ready.”

She feels her eyes fluttering shut against her will; she tilts her face into Yelena’s warm hand – trying to verbalize her rebuttal. She is tired of being hurt by Eleanor, the longer they wait – the more people suffer. She thinks of Caleb, who had someone waiting for him to get home that night. She remembers the burning pain in her back, and she remembers Yelena’s panic – she’s so tired.

She wakes on a soft surface; the material of the bed is far more comfortable than the lumpy couch she fell asleep on. She rubs the sleep from her eyes, glancing around the room – it’s familiar. Limited art but floor-length windows, a door across from the bed leading to another room – Yelena’s safe house. She sighs and sinks further into the bed again as Yelena’s perfume reaches her nose and surrounds her like a warm blanket.

The room is semi-dark, the sun setting on the horizon as she glances at the alarm clock on the nightstand. Her stomach growls on cue, and she pushes to a sitting position, leaning back against the pillows as she collects her breath. Her hand brushes something warm and soft, she closes over the object again and smiles, glancing down at Lucky curled in next to her hip. Lucky pushes forward and gives her an enthusiastic kiss that she returns.

Yelena steps through the door across from her and smiles at them, leaning forward to brush her lips over Kate’s forehead and ruffle Lucky’s ears. She curls a hand around Yelena’s hip and swings her legs over the bed, pushing upward despite Yelena’s hissing.

“I’m hungry,” Kate reasons, stumbling lightly when she makes her way to the other side of the penthouse. Yelena’s arm closes around her waist, forcing her to slow down. “I’m not going to fall over, Yelena.”

“Clearly you missed the part where you almost tripped out of bed,” Yelena chides as she guides her into a chair. “I have soup for you. Try not to tear a stitch while I get to prepare it.”

“Very funny,” Kate plays with her cutlery, looking out the windows at the busy city below them. “Where are your parents?”

“They are setting up at a new location. Melina has the vials; she will be running tests on them to make sure the formula was not tempered with.” Yelena explains from the kitchen, voice getting closer as she deposits a smoothie on the table in front of Kate. “Do not curl your lip. It is good for you. I made it with love.” Kate grumbles and closes her lips over the straw, eyeing Yelena’s proud smile.

“I have your medications. Melina was very specific – no lifting anything over ten pounds, no exercise of with the upper body, no sex,” Yelena lists from her fingers, shooting Kate a pointed stare. “Do not look so surprised. She said she has already explained this to you. Clearly, she thinks you will be unable to keep your hands to yourself.”

Kate sputters, coughing over her smoothie and shoving at Yelena playfully, “Go get me food.”

The soup is delicious, and Kate knows it’s homemade, she finds Yelena’s ability to cook beyond sexy. Sometimes annoying but also very sexy – Yelena is quite the domestic goddess, not that she would ever say that to her face.

“Help me shower?” Kate asks as she helps Yelena clear the dishes from the table.

“Yes, you stink.”

“Don’t be an ass to your wounded girlfriend. It’s a bad omen,” Kate mumbles, plastering herself to Yelena’s back as she washes the dishes. Yelena’s soapy hand squeezes hers and she murmurs an apology.

The bathroom is as large as she remembers, the medical supplies still littered over the counter from their last stay here. Yelena guides her over to the vanity, helping her shed her shirt and pants before turning to the massive walk-in shower Kate didn’t know existed in real life. Her red slacks pool to her feet and she frowns, sad over the state of her suit Yelena had been so excited for her to wear. She remembers the promise Yelena made for after the gala, the way her touch felt electric as she dressed Kate in the chosen bra and underwear set.

She makes her way to the shower and trails her fingers over the clear glass enclosing the marbled tiled stall. She steps under the spray, hissing at the water trailing around her wound. She sits on the shower bench and motions Yelena inside, “Get in here.”

Yelena looks unsure as she leans on the shower door and Kate rolls her eyes, stepping forward to loosen Yelena’s clothes.

“I’ll behave if you can,” Kate lifts an eyebrow, running a hand beneath Yelena’s t-shirt and up her back. Yelena nods and steps back to shed her clothing, wrapping her arms around Kate’s waist and guiding them beneath the spray.

Yelena’s lips ghost her chest, spending quiet moments over her sternum. She feels Yelena’s forehead press into her jaw as she pulls Kate closer. She loops her good arm around Yelena’s shoulders, stroking Yelena’s arm with her other hand.

“I’m okay,” Kate reminds her, tilting her head down for a proper kiss.

“I know. I just…” Yelena trails off, shaking her head slightly. “You were so pale. So still. So unlike you.”

“I’m okay,” she repeats, resting her forehead against Yelena’s. “You were there for me when I needed you.”

“I feel responsible for this,” Yelena’s fingers trail up her back to rest beneath her wound. “I did not clear the garage – I was too hasty, too careless.”

“Don’t beat yourself up for this, Yelena. You could not have known some security guard was lurking around.”

“I just need time.”

Kate nods and kisses her again, “Promise me you’ll talk to me when you need to?”

“I promise,” Yelena kisses her again, guiding her back to the shower bench and lathering her hands in shampoo.

“We have an abundance of time,” Kate closes her eyes as she feels Yelena’s hands moving through her hair. “My mother thinks you have abducted me, I’m not in a rush to join her anytime soon.”

“I would kidnap you any day, Kate Bishop.”

She snorts and cracks her eyes open at Yelena who has a smile draped over her face.

“Is this your love language?”

“Would you like me to tie you up and make it more official?”

She feels the flush take over her and she shuts her eyes again, thankful for the steamy nature of the bathroom to hide her blush.

“Don’t tempt me with a good time.”

Yelena’s laugh echoes throughout the bathroom and Kate thinks it is the best medicine.

She calls Clint the next morning – he had already spoken with Yelena briefly the day before, but Kate was worried he would blame himself, just as Yelena does. Her suspicion is confirmed when Clint begins apologizing and telling her he’ll cancel the spring break plans for his family to help Kate. She rolls her eyes at Clint’s dramatics – he’s so similar to Yelena sometimes. She tells him to enjoy spring break, she needs to recover while they devise their next steps. Clint huffs and puffs over the video chat, giving her the ‘we’re partners’ spiel, and Kate tells him she has all the help she needs with Yelena and her parents. Clint proceeds to tease her into the next dimension about ‘meeting the parents’ to which Kate retaliates with an explanation of Melina’s concern about her sexual reproductive health. She feels lighter after the call, shutting the laptop to watch Yelena prepare their next meal.

Her mother’s press conference is blood boiling. She has her plethora of sad-looking reps and PR team members huddled around her, handing her tissue after tissue. Eleanor accuses some rival company in China of hiring operatives to conduct an illegal operation against her company. The camera panes to Caleb, with his arm in a sling and leaning against his sister Dee. He looks nervous and uncomfortable; his eyes avoid the camera as much as possible. She hates herself for involving him in this – he’s in this state because of her. Yelena pulls her back firmly against her chest, squeezing their hands together over Kate’s stomach. She murmurs re-assurances in Kate’s ear as the tears threaten to fall. Eleanor pleads with the public to return her daughter safe and sound. She fails to make any mentions of Kazi – he’s a loose-end Eleanor doesn’t want to mention, which means she’s hiding something. When Eleanor goes on to make a tribute to the deceased security guard, Yelena sighs and tries to loosen her grip, but Kate won’t let her close in on herself.

“You couldn’t have known, Yelena. He shot me; you reacted.” Kate says, hitting the button on the remote to turn off the TV.

“His death was needless.” Yelena exhales frustratingly, pressing her forehead to Kate’s shoulder.

“Caleb’s injuries too. There are only two people to blame: Eleanor and Kazi.” Kate squeezes her hands, sinking back into Yelena.

Melina and Alexei visit them on the sixth day, bringing them fresh supplies and potato chips at Kate’s begging. Melina reports there were no alterations to the formula – news that brings visible relief to Yelena. It begs the question – what did Eleanor want with the vials? They float theories around; Eleanor didn’t know what it did and wanted to find out, Eleanor knew its value and wanted to duplicate the formula to sell them, or that she was just storing the vials for Fisk and his associates. Kate leans toward the last theory.

It's the twelfth day and Kate is feeling much better, she can get her own shirt off now. (Not that Yelena will accept that, of course.) She’s been cleared by Melina to begin light workouts – Yelena hovers as she does squats and sit-ups. She’s broken a light sweat and pushes herself up on the couch – accepting the drink of water from Yelena.

“I’m good. Feels good. Just wait until I start lifting,” Kate tips the bottle back, feeling the water dribble out around her mouth. She tosses the empty bottle at Lucky who jumps up to catch it mid-air.

Yelena rolls her eyes affectionately and pats at her face with the hand towel, “Let me check your dressing.”

Kate shifts on the couch to expose her back to Yelena; she watches Lucky roll around on the carpet with a plastic bottle. She feels a kiss pressed to her back as Yelena shifts to allow Kate to turn around again. She sinks back against the cushions and cups Yelena’s cheek, stroking her jaw momentarily before sliding her hand around to scratch at her hairline. Her eyes drop to Yelena’s lips, tracing the pull of her lip against her teeth.

She leans closer, pulling Yelena to her slowly and tangling their lips together. She sighs when Yelena’s tongue slips into her mouth, a warm hand slides over her thigh and squeezes. She’s missed this, the closeness and purpose behind Yelena’s touches. She tugs on Yelena’s bottom lip, earning a groan flex of her hands. She goes into Yelena’s lap willingly, tossing her arms around Yelena’s shoulders.

Yelena’s hands pull at the thin tank top, exposing the swell of her breast. She exhales loudly when the blonde’s lips attach to the sensitive skin there, pushing her chest further into Yelena’s mouth. She feels the familiar heat building between her legs and aches to feel Yelena’s skin against hers. She tugs her tank top off, tossing it aside and glueing herself back to Yelena.

“Kate,” Yelena breathes against her mouth. “We should not. Your wound –

“Is fine,” Kate reasons, finding the sensitive skin at Yelena’s pulse with her lips. “Missed you. Missed your touch.”

Yelena’s hands grasp her waist, sliding up to close her hands over her bare breasts. Calloused palms brush against her stiff nipples, making her arch and moan against Yelena’s skin.

“I do not want to hurt you.”

“You could never,” Kate argues, resting their foreheads together. “You’ll be gentle,” she brushes their noses together, accepting the light kisses from Yelena.

“Take me to bed, Yelena.”

Kate runs her fingers through Yelena’s hair, a smile fills her face as the delicious tingle courses through her body. Yelena lifts her cheek from her stomach and pushes up for a kiss, sliding onto Kate’s good side.


Kate nods at her, nipping playfully at the strong jaw, “I’m cured, doctor.”

Yelena rolls her eyes and brushes strands of black hair away, “If Melina finds out she will kill us both.”

“Probably me first though,” Kate ponders, tracing her fingers over the scarred skin of Yelena’s back. “I’m surprised she hasn’t taken a sample of my blood yet. Alexei is itching to challenge me to a weightlifting contest, I’m sure of it.”

“I would not allow such a thing. You are the match for me – it does not need to be proven,” Yelena whispers against her neck, mouthing at the skin lazily. Kate hums, scratching at the back of her girlfriend’s head.

“Your dad could probably bench me,” She feels a puff of laughter against her sternum.

“I would watch with great anticipation though. Anytime you get that concentrated look on your face,” Yelena traces the mark between her eyebrows. “A little sweat on you – you are very hard to resist in that state, Kate Bishop.”

It’s Kate’s turn to laugh, giving Yelena featherlight kisses, “That’s why I was so eager to workout – I knew it would get you going.”

“You are too funny, Kate Bishop.”

“It worked though,” Kate points out, sliding a hand over Yelena’s thigh. “Got you in bed with me.” Her thumb brushes a jagged scar, frowning at its rough and bumpy nature, “This one isn’t like your other ones.”

Yelena hums and brushes her lips over Kate’s jaw, trailing her fingers down her torso. She’s about to apologize for her observation when Yelena sighs and covers Kate’s hand with hers.

“It was my first after I defected. I took out my tracker after killing the widow that freed me.”

“I’m sorry, Yelena. We don’t have to talk about it.” She brushes her nose against Yelena’s and tries to pull her hand away from the scar in question.

Yelena shakes her head and squeezes her hand, “I did not want it to heal at first – I wanted the pain. I did not treat it as carefully as I do with other wounds.”

“And now?”

“It is a reminder of my mission. To free those who were like me.” Yelena pauses for a moment, closing her eyes. “Her name was Oksana. She was from Melina’s generation – they wanted to free us when they did not owe us anything.”

“It’s the sisterhood you Widows share, it binds you – from the first generation to the last. You’re the last right?”

“I hope so.”

“Is that the plan after all this? Go back to freeing Widows?” Kate asks, pulling Yelena’s thigh over her hips.

“I would think so, yes. I have a responsibility to them,” Yelena explains, tracing her fingers up the length of Kate’s arm. “This business with your mother needs to be resolved and then…” Yelena trails off, uncertainty building in her voice.

“Then you’ll find the next Widow and free her,” Kate supplies, brushes her thumb back and forth over the painful scar. She feels Yelena nod against her, and she knew Yelena would have to leave at some point. She knows Yelena will love her, wherever she is in the world – Kate will do the same. “And I’ll love you – wherever you are.”

“Perhaps it will be our next mission, Kate Bishop?” Yelena opens her eyes, chewing on her bottom lip nervously. Kate’s heart flutters at Yelena’s question, a smile breaking out over her lips and she’s nodding enthusiastically making Yelena chuckle.

“Are you asking me to be your partner?”

“Do not be so coy, Kate Bishop. You have already answered, your smile is all I need to know.”

“Ask me properly – I want to know if this will be worth my while,” Kate wiggles her eyebrows, squeezing Yelena’s bicep when she feels a nip at her neck.

“There is no pay, but I am sure there can be other benefits we can agree upon,” Yelena’s voice is husky and playful. “It will be dangerous, but it would not be without reward. We will be in very close quarters, shoulder to shoulder – chest to chest, even.”

“You really know how to sweet-talk a girl,” She kisses her, tracing her lower lip with her tongue and threading a hand through blonde hair.

“There is nobody I would rather have fighting at my side,” Yelena breathes against her, resting her palm lightly over her chest – she wonders if Yelena can feel the strong beat of her heart.

“It would be an honour to continue your mission at your side, Yelena.” She feels a smile pressed against her lips and Yelena’s hand trails down over her chest to brush at her breasts.

“Let us get started on these benefits, shall we?”

Her answer is a laugh that is quickly followed by a gasp when Yelena’s lips and hands make themselves known.

On day sixteen, Kate has been cleared to begin light stretches with her shoulder. She’s over the moon when Alexei brings her a ten-pound weight, he proceeds to show her the best form for lifting and Kate rolls her eyes – challenging him to one-handed push-ups. She’s matched him for twenty push-ups so far – Melina and Yelena find her and Alexei mid-lift from the carpet floor. Kate groans when they start yelling at each other in Russian, dropping to the floor in a huff. Yelena reaches for her, helping her sit up.

“I’m fine,” Kate sighs, giving Alexei a thumbs up. “I could have beat him – he’s old and I think he cheated on number eighteen.”

Alexei barks out a laugh and reaches out to high-five her, “You are driven by such a strength, Kate Bishop.”

“Yelena,” Melina begins, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I know this will stir up your libido however you cannot engage in sexual activity for at least two more weeks.”

Yelena gapes at her and Kate’s face goes pink – she really hopes Melina does not find out they have had sex three times already. She can’t help it; Yelena is unfairly sexy, and Kate knows how to get what she wants.

“Please stop talking – we are here to discuss the Eleanor problem. Then you can leave,” Yelena motions to the door as she hands Kate a bottle of water.

“Do not be so hasty,” Alexei waves his hands around, planting his ridiculously large frame into the tiny kitchen chair. “Your mother and I have been working very hard all these days, haven’t we honey?”

“Yes. Your father is correct, we have been running surveillance on Ms. Bishop,” Melina offers, showing them video footage on her laptop. “We have bugged her phone – most calls to her lawyers about paying a ransom for Kate.”

Yelena’s hand finds hers beneath the table, linking their fingers together on her knee. She sighs and spares a glance at Yelena, silently thanking her for her instinctual comfort.

“Ms. Bishop revealed she worries Fisk has kidnapped Kate in revenge for speaking with the justice department about his illegal dealings. Kazi is a plant, meant to keep Ms. Bishop in line – just as you suspected Kate.”

She nods solemnly, tracing Eleanor’s thin figure through the screengrab – phone glued to her ear with a hand pressing against her forehead, you look like you’re getting a headache, mom. She shakes the thought from her head, running her fingers over the shipping manifest they picked up from the warehouse in Pennsylvania.

“The greasy American thought he was tough, but I showed him, girls – he did not know the power of the Red Guardian!” Melina clears her throat loudly at Alexei’s explanation, shooting him a glare that makes Yelena grin.

“Oh yes – yes, Melina so what? You did your thing with the pressure points and interrogation techniques. Let me enjoy this one thing!” Alexei proclaims, crossing his arms and turning his expression into a grown-man pout.

“Yes, as Alexei said. We extracted information from Kazi,” Melina begins, shuffling papers into Kate and Yelena’s direction across the table. “Eleanor knew Yelena was a Black Widow, and she suspected Yelena would return to hurt Kate in some capacity, so she sought to keep Yelena away indefinitely in exchange for the vials. Of course, Ms. Bishop fully intended on keeping most of the vials as a backup measure in case Yelena did return.”

Kate bristles at that as if Yelena would be bought off by Eleanor – as if she is a threat to Kate, to begin with. She’s so tired of Eleanor controlling each aspect of her life – she can’t have this; Kate won’t let her.

“Kazi and his associates caught wind of her attempts and chose to blackmail Ms. Bishop as revenge for entering a plea deal with the department of justice. Neither of them was able to replicate the formula, they barely had in their possession before Kate caught wind of it.”

She feels Yelena squeeze their hands and brush their shoulders together in a gentle nudge. She inhales deeply through her nose, releasing the breath caught in her lungs when she feels her mind settle.

“Now we take the play to her. Kazi and his associates are in the dark, they don’t know where we are or what we know.” Kate rises to her feet, letting her hand fall from Yelena’s as she paces the floor in front of them. “We send her an encrypted message; she meets me alone in a location of our choosing. We control the environment and the players – I wear a wire and we call the police to our location when the meeting starts.”

She nods to herself as the plan clicks together seamlessly in her mind, “She will think she is meeting Yelena, my kidnapper, but I’ll be there. She’s going back to jail, tonight.”

“No, Kate –

“Yelena don’t tell me it’s too dangerous. We can control the location – we have the advantage.”

“You said this last time and you still ended up with a bullet in your back.” Yelena shoots to her feet, balling her hands into fists against her sides.

“It won’t be like last time – she won’t have anyone lurking around the corner. If she really loved me, she would come alone. She knows Kazi is out of the picture too.”

Yelena sighs frustratingly and mumbles something Kate can’t hear, turning away to walk into the other room.

“Just give her time, Kate Bishop. I will go talk to her,” Alexei rises, whistling for Lucky to follow them.

“You cannot go tonight. If something were to happen, your body cannot withstand another blow.” Melina gestures to her shoulder, stepping closer to Kate. How does she still manage to smell like a farm? “I know you are eager to end this, but we must do this cautiously; for your sake and Yelena’s.”

“She just thinks I’m going to get hurt all the time. I’m fine,” Kate shrugs, tilting her head toward the room Yelena and Alexei had retreated to.

“You did get hurt,” Melina reminds her gently, “Your blood was all over her, and she did not leave your side except when she nearly lost consciousness. It was traumatic for her.”

Kate sighs, feeling ashamed of herself for trying to brush Yelena’s concern aside. She knows Yelena still blames herself, still carries the burden and guilt, “There was nothing she could have done differently.”

Melina hums, stepping forward to brush her hand along Kate’s forearm, “I agree, however she never got to see Natasha in her final moments. She never got the chance to whisper things in her ear or hold her body in her arms.”

“Natasha was different –

“No,” Melina shakes her head vehemently and Kate sees the emotion cloud her face and her voice, “It was not different for Yelena. It is not different for Yelena.” She corrects herself, stepping closer into Kate’s space.

“You are someone she loves – she has not said so. She does not need to say so, but anyone who cares for her would know.” Melina pauses for a moment, schooling her features. “She cannot watch another person she loves blindly walk into things for the benefit of the greater good. She needs to be your first choice, Kate Bishop."

Kate’s brows furrow, crossing her arms over her chest – of course, Yelena is her choice. “Being with Yelena will always be my first choice. That is why I must do this – to end this so that I can breathe and be truly free with Yelena.”

“Your instinct to do the good thing is what draws her to you, she aches to do this too. With you, she can lean on you to do good things – you must be there to accept her weight. Do you understand, Kate Bishop?”

“I’m starting to,” She turns toward the door, resting a hand on the polished wood, “I’m going to talk to her.”

She finds Yelena curled into the love seat, staring out at the window as Alexei prattles on about his father and an ice fishing story. He pauses and clears his throat when he spots Kate, getting up to offer her his seat with an encouraging smile.

She settles in next to Yelena, playing with the loose threads on the cushion – brushing her pinky against Yelena’s. The contact makes Yelena turn, eyeing Kate tiredly and shaking her head.

“I don’t want to argue either. I’m not here to convince you. I’m here to listen.” Kate traces patters on the back of her hand, finding the familiar scars and groves with her index finger.

“It is too soon. I do not want you to go alone – we need to be wary of the police. They have let Fisk get away with his acts just as complicity as Eleanor has over the years.”

“She needs to be punished, Yelena. I can’t have her squeaking by on my conscious.”

“There are other ways to punish someone,” Yelena pauses for a moment, turning to face her. “But I understand. There is an FBI contact Barton once mentioned – we can go through them.”

“Okay. I won’t go tonight,” She slides Yelena’s palm face-up, linking their fingers together. “We’ll go when we’re ready, together.” She watches Yelena nod, a small smile breaking over her lips, and she feels a hand brush her cheek and tilt her face closer. They share a soft kiss, with Yelena’s thumb brushing her cheek comfortingly.

There’s a screech from the doorway and Kate shifts back to watch Alexei slap a hand over his eyes, mumbling in Russian before switching to English.

“Melina they are fine. About to do the hanky-panky – Yelena do you have dental dams? Your mother wants to know.”

Yelena grumbles at her parents, ignoring Kate’s chuckling as she rises to her feet and points to the door.

“Get, both of you.”

“Okay, Okay. We go now. Glad my future daughter-in-law has great communication skills.” Alexei winks at Kate, accepting the bag from Melina as they make their way to the front door.

“Ugh! She is not – get!” Yelena stutters, shoulders hunching up in annoyance as she crowds them down the hallway to the exit. Kate chuckles as she waves at Alexei just before the door slams shut after them.

She raises her eyebrows at Yelena, taking in the flushed and annoyed posture when she walks back into the room.

“Does this mean I don’t need to ask your father for your hand?”

Yelena huffs and shakes her head, shucking off her hoodie – no doubt related to the flush consuming her body and Kate thinks she’s so cute. Kate follows her into the kitchen, leaning against the counter as Yelena grabs a bottle of water from the fridge.

“I do not need his permission for anything. I am free to do as I choose,” Yelena drinks from the bottle until it crinkles and tosses the empty bottle towards Lucky.

“Yes, you are. It’s just a figure of speech – a tradition with deep patriarchal roots at that. I don’t need anybody’s permission to marry you – other than yours, obviously.”

It is Yelena's turn to lift a brow, making Kate flush at what she’s just admitted. She gapes at Yelena for far too long, the low rumble of laughter across her makes her flush even deeper. Yelena slips in front of her, pressing their hips together and pressing her hands into the countertop behind Kate.

“You want to marry me, Kate Bishop?”

“Well, um. Not right now, obviously. I was just speaking in hypotheticals, but like, not about you being free, you know?” She tries, feeling the heat over her chest.

Yelena hums and flashes a smile before dipping her lips to Kate’s neck, teeth pulling on a mark she concealed before Melina and Alexei arrived. She sighs and loops her arms around Yelena’s shoulders, pushing her neck into Yelena’s hot mouth.

“I would be the perfect trophy wife – I do all the housework and show up to your events effortlessly sexy and gorgeous, attached to your side,” Yelena says between open-mouthed kisses, pushing her hands beneath Kate’s flannel. “Your CEO salary would keep me satisfied – I would not need to take another contract again.”  

Kate groans when Yelena’s hand scratches over her abs and her tongue traces the shell of her ear. She exhales sharply, trying to form the words in her increasingly foggy head.

“You seem to have certain visions of us,” Kate leans back as Yelena’s fingers work swiftly at the buttons of her flannel.

“I have a vision of us right now,” Yelena whispers between the valley of her breasts, her thumbs brushing the waistband of her jeans. “Would you like to hear it?”

She nods, slipping a hand from Yelena’s shoulder to pop the button of her jeans. She takes Yelena’s hand in hers and pushes beneath the waistband, revelling in the sharp intake of breath against the column of her throat.

“I am so glad we could salvage the underwear, Kate Bishop.” Yelena’s fingers toy with the pattern on the lacy fabric, fingers brushing its high curve on her thigh. “I mourn the loss of the bra we picked out all those nights ago.”

Kate chuckles at Yelena’s genuine distress over her loss of lingerie, nipping at the strong jut of her jaw. Hands push at her jeans, shifting them down the length of her legs as Yelena’s hands cup her ass and pull her flush against her body.

She tangles her hand in the collar of Yelena’s shirt, bringing their lips together meaningfully as her tongue traces a bottom lip before sliding against her girlfriend’s. Hands squeeze at her backside, grinding their hips together in a familiar motion.

Yelena sighs against her, slowing their kiss to a lazy tangle as she reaches for Kate’s bra and unclasps it with practised ease. Yelena nips and sucks at her bottom lip, making Kate tingle with anticipation at the lazy and unrushed nature of Yelena’s touches.

“I have a vision of me fucking you against the counter,” Yelena’s words are burned into her mind, she chews her already puffy lip and jerks a nod at Yelena, feeling her eyes go half-closed. “Turn around, palms out against the counter.”

Kate feels the soft brush of Yelena’s sweats against her calves and thighs as she turns, spreading her palms over the counter. Strong hands brush up and down her flank, teasing already stiffened nipples with pinches and rubs – the heat rushes south in her body and she’s already so wet for Yelena.

She moans when fingers brush her clit through the fabric of her ruined underwear, Yelena’s weight settles against her back just barely and there’s a hand at her hip, tugging her slightly backwards to create an angle.

She feels the content sigh at her back, lips tracing the notches of her spine as her fingers drag the fabric of her underwear back and forth against her clit. She groans in frustration – the friction is good, but it’s not enough – Yelena is teasing her. She pushes back further into Yelena, getting a nip at her side in return for her impatience.

“Patience, Kate,” Yelena tsks, tugging at the hem of her underwear making her gasp and lean heavily on the counter. “Are you going to be a good girl and take three?”

Chapter Text

She loves this – the way Kate’s body responds to hers despite the countless hours they have spent together. It’s always new and meaningful. The softness of her skin, the curve of her shoulders and thighs masked in pure strength – it’s exhilarating being with Kate.

“Close,” Kate mumbles as her fingers re-enter the warmth between her legs. The wetness drips down her hand and it makes her groan – she does that to Kate. Nobody else, just her. She nods against Kate’s spine, her forearm flexing as she quickens the pace and curls her fingers. To have Kate, and to be with her like this is a blessing.

She knows she’s hit the right spot when there’s a breathy gasp, followed by a clench around her fingers. She slows her hand, working her fingers gently to guide Kate through her climax as she presses light kisses to her back. Her lips bump the fresh scar on her right shoulder – she traces the raised patch of skin with her tongue. She wants to tell Kate how good she is, how perfect and alive and gorgeous she is.

“You are so good,” she says when she removes her mouth from the scar on her shoulder. Kate shudders beneath her, feeling another clench around her fingers as she withdrawals her hand. “So pretty when you come. I love it so much.”

I love you so much.

She splays her hand over Kate’s defined abdomen and pulls her back firmly, turning her around to guide them out of the kitchen and through to the bedroom. She settles Kate on the bed and removes her clothing quickly, falling into Kate’s open arms.

Their lips find each other easily, tongues brushing and wandering hands make themselves known. She can’t fathom she almost lost this – the only person she could be this bare with. The only person to know her past and all its ugliness – the only person she wants to move forward with.

She doesn’t understand marriage, she still thinks it’s a scam – look at her parents, for instance. They were married in Ohio and still went their separate ways despite their love for each other. She would not be separated from Kate, not like that. There is no greater cause that would ever tear her away so abruptly and for so long. Kate is not a job or a role to played, she is real and warm and breathtaking.

The fact that Kate wants to marry her scares her, but it also makes her heart flutter. It makes young adult Yelena who has watched all the romantic comedies’ heart flutter. It makes Yelena who experienced a sham of marriage as a child scared of what she stands to lose, and how it may trap her again. She shakes her head as she descends her lips into the long curve of Kate’s neck, licking at the sweat and perfume she wears. Kate would never trap her. It is simply the ‘traditional custom’ for Kate she supposes when you love someone, you marry them.

Her hand pulls at Kate’s thigh, pushing it over her hip to grind her thigh against Kate. Their bodies arch together, moans mixing with gasps in each other’s ears. Kate’s hand squeezes her side and brushes up her back, threading through her hair and scratching at her scalp.

“Yelena,” Kate tries to say but it comes out as a moan at a particular flex of her thigh. She pauses and pushes upward to find Kate’s eyes, wondering if her shoulder is bothering her. Kate’s other hand frames her jaw and she smiles – a smile Yelena can never not mirror.


“Check the backpack your parents brought today,” There’s a smirk on Kate’s face that makes Yelena unsteady. She frowns and looks over to the backpack near the door with their other supplies. “They went by my place and picked up a few things,” Kate’s eyes are sparkling, and her tone is playful as she pushes her off the bed in direction of the backpack.

She stretches for a moment and rolls her eyes at Kate’s whistle, throwing a pillow at her before making her way to the backpack. The realization hits her as soon as she closes her hands over the material – this is hers from when had broken into Kate’s new bed. She undoes the zipper and makes her way back, flush eating at her already heated body. She tosses the closes aside and removes the harness, eyeing Kate’s lip bite and a squeeze of her thighs.

“How bold you,” She starts, securing the harness over her hips and placing a knee on the bed. “Getting my parents to bring your favourite sex toy – you must be quite high on yourself, Kate Bishop.”

“It’s a good thing it was your dad, I told him it was tampons. Otherwise, your mother would have set the bag on fire if she’d had looked inside, and then murdered me.” Kate watches her attach the purple silicone, a finger hooking in the leather strap to pull her closer. “Are you going to punish me or reward me?”

She chuckles as she finds herself back on top of Kate again, brushing the tip against her clit. “Always a reward with you, Kate Bishop.”

She pushes forward, watching the pleasure overtake Kate’s face – the bite of her lip and her eyes rolling shut. She will never tire of it – the sounds she makes and the way her body is always searching for hers. Kate is home – Kate is family – Kate is everything she could ever want in a partner.

Kate’s moans spur her on, hips moving to meet hers as she braces her forearms beside Kate’s head. There’s a brush against her clit each time she fills Kate, but it isn’t enough, and she doesn’t care right now – she wants to make Kate feel boneless and loved.

Her lips brush the mark barely concealed on her pulse, nipping at the bruise – it makes Kate shudder and rake her nails down her back. The scratching makes her hips twitch again, circling into Kate when their hips meet.

“So desperate for me, for this,” She mutters into her ear, feeling the sweat beading at the top of her forehead. “Made a plan to get your favourite toy here, fuck,” she groans when Kate’s legs circle her hips. She switches to shallow thrusts, hearing the sharp intake of breath in her ear followed by pants.

Kate’s body arches and her neck strains beneath her lips as her thrusts push Kate over the edge. She slows her thrusts and messages her hands over Kate’s thighs and hips, helping her come down from her high. Kate’s fingers brush over the scratches she left behind, chest heaving beneath hers. She frames Kate’s face between her arms, fingers stroking through the silky black hair as she waits for blue eyes to find hers again.

Kate tilts her chin up, silently asking for a kiss that she provides without a second thought.

“Totally worth the risk,” Kate says when they part, making her shoulders shake with laughter and she can’t help but kiss her again.  Kate Bishop will never cease to amaze her.

“You certainly play high stakes, Kate,” She murmurs against her jaw, pressing light kisses there. “How is your shoulder?”

“It’s good. I’m good,” There’s a squeeze at her ass as Kate drops her legs from her hips, tangling their calves together. “You’re really good at that.”

“At what?” She teases, brushing her nose along Kate’s.

“Sex. Orgasms,” Kate breathes, her fingers tracing over her sternum. “Making me feel it’s just us.”

“I would hope you are not thinking of others while we do this,” Yelena points out, snickering at Kate’s pinch of her ass.

“That’s not what I meant,” Kate nips at her jaw, and a palm flattens against her sternum as Kate shifts forward and rolls them onto her back. “It’s always good with you. Intense, spine-tingling, and mind-numbingly good. Everything else just falls away.”

“I thought praise was your kink, Kate Bishop,” She grins at Kate’s expression and rubs her thumbs over Kate’s hip bones.

“You’re awful at accepting compliments,” Kate pokes at her side and shakes her head. “It’s a good thing I’ve already gotten you figured out.”

“And what does this mean?” Yelena questions, scratching her nails over Kate’s abs – enjoying the way they twitch beneath her fingertips.

Kate’s head is tilted as she observes her, lip pulled into her mouth in a way that makes Yelena want to pull it between her teeth.

“I know how to make you feel the same way,” Kate’s hips move over hers, in search of the toy. She stares up in awe as Kate drags herself over the strap, watching her face contort in a sigh when the tip sinks into her.

Kate’s moans fill the penthouse as her hips move up and down on the toy – the friction on her clit is renewed and she mewls at the sensation, arching her hips into Kate’s.

“Fuck, Kate,” She exhales roughly, brushing her thumb down Kate’s navel to brush her clit and draw the tight circles she knows Kate likes. Kate’s hips stutter above hers, and the moan that tumbles from her lips makes Yelena shiver.

Her brows furrow when her hand is brushed away, and her hand is guided to Kate’s hip. She’s about to question it until Kate’s hand uncurls hers from the bedsheet and guides it to her other hip; she feels Kate’s hand squeeze hers and her hips grind against the toy in just the right way. A moan escapes her – her fingers squeeze over Kate’s hips as she moves her body over the toy in the way she needs.

“Want you to come,” Kate says, face flushed and hair askew. “Use me to get off.”

Her mind blanks at this – she’s filled with thoughts of Kate and need takes over.

She springs forward, using her hands to guide Kate against her firmly, while her lips mash against Kate’s. Her hands clench around those captivating hips and her spine tingles with anticipation as she sucks on Kate’s bottom lip. Fingertips dig into her shoulders as Kate’s pants tangle with hers – her hands grasp Kate’s hips roughly when they move out of turn, shaking her head and nipping at her puffy lower lip.

“I set the pace,” She reminds Kate, her hands lifting her hips barely and dragging her down over the toy. Kate shudders against her and nods, her body falling forward with her face pushed into Yelena’s neck. She brushes her hands over Kate’s back and around her sides, fingertips teasing her nipples before settling back on her hips. “You will have my bruises for days – we’ll both know how they got there.”

A whine is breathed against her pulse, and she feels nails dragged down her back as she drags Kate against her firmly – eyes clenching shut at the pleasure that takes over her body and she moves on autopilot now. It’s selfish of her, but Yelena knows this is what Kate wanted from her. She takes the skin between Kate’s collarbone and neck between her teeth as her body vibrates, her hips arching into Kate’s, and there’s only one person’s name that tumbles from her lips as she falls over the edge.

Much later when the sun has set, Yelena stirs and greets the soft skin in front of her with a kiss. Kate’s body rises and falls with a sleepy sigh, and she smiles when Kate rolls her shoulder back into her touch. She slips her hand down from Kate’s chest to circle the marks on her hip, finding the creases in her skin where her fingernails gripped too hard to fade so easily. Her eyes catch the bruises there and a blush fills her cheeks – her marks on Kate’s body make her feel proud and accomplished. She knows Kate is strong and could easily put her on her back, but she doesn’t – she lets Yelena set the pace and she always takes in the guise of taking care of Yelena. Kate is perfect for her, in every way.

Warm fingertips brush hers and there’s a sigh followed by a stretch of long legs rubbing against hers. “You’re always up before me.”

“I like watching you sleep,” She murmurs against a freckle, brushing her thumb over a mark on her hip. “It is peaceful.”

“You’re sappy after sex.”

She scoffs and pinches her thigh, noting the sleepy chuckle that escapes Kate. “Your confidence never ceases to amaze me – especially after I took you like that.”

Kate hums and guides her hand back over her hip, interlocking their fingers there. “It takes a lot of confidence to give myself to you like that. A lot of trust too.”

Yelena had never thought of it that way – in the beginning, it was just to forget and to feel something. She can’t pinpoint when it changed for her – maybe she’s always felt this way about Kate. The connection on the rooftop in New York, where they first laid eyes on each other – when Kate didn’t take the shot, she can’t say she’s loved Kate since then but there’s always been something about her. Their conversation later that night in her apartment, the push and pull she felt, the goodness radiating from Kate in those moments. The way Kate gallantly took her on in the elevator to protect Barton when she knew she could not match her, the flirting in an attempt to get her to back down – she’s been a sucker ever since.

She remembers the way Kate had dressed for her, in nothing but her yellow coat. It takes confidence to bare yourself to someone in such an intimate way – Yelena knows this all too well.

She remembers the night she left Kate to go deal with Valentina (the treacherous snake never stood a chance) – the way her knee bounced as she contemplated calling Kate from Prague. She picked up the phone five times before dialling the sixth time, she remembers the way Kate sounded on the phone and the concern she felt – how she wanted to make Kate feel good again. The trust Kate has placed with her from the beginning of them to now hasn’t wavered.

Her lips brush Kate’s shoulder and she uses her free hand to push the hair away from Kate’s neck, “Thank you for trusting me this way.”

“You’ve proven to be very rewarding – the pleasure is all mine.” They both break out in laughter at Kate’s terrible pun – she nestles her nose in Kate’s neck to sustain her laughter, squeezing playfully at her hip.

She thinks back to Ohio – the time neither of them wanted it to end. Just two girls on a date at the local bar, ending with a dance that led to one of the most memorable nights in Yelena’s life. In the beginning, maybe Kate was using her to get off but now it’s more – undeniably more for both of them.

They settle into a comfortable silence again, their bodies connected at nearly every inch. She can’t easily outline Kate’s skin anymore – the sun has faded in favour of darkness. Her lips seek out the fresh scar on her shoulder, feeling Kate’s hand squeeze hers appreciatively when she draws near.

“I’m okay,” Kate reminds her.

“I know. Sometimes it surprises me to find it there – I am unaccustomed to it being part of you. I like to think I know every inch of you.”

Kate tugs her hand until it rests over her chest again while she curls impossibly closer around Kate, tucking her chin over her shoulder.

“I know I probably freaked you out earlier when I talked about marriage. Alexei and Melina are less than conventional. And they were a lie to you for so long.” Kate squeezes her hand and exhales before speaking again, “My parents obviously had their secrets too – my mom is everything I don’t want to become. I don’t need an expensive piece of paper to love you – just being with you is enough. Wherever that is. Here, my place, Ohio – none of that extra stuff matters. Just you and me, together.”

Yelena feels her ears heat up as the flush spreads through her body. She’s never been so unequivocally wanted by someone in her entire life. She hugs Kate against her – at a loss of words.

“Does that make sense?”

“Yes, Kate Bishop. It makes perfect sense,” She drops featherlight kisses against Kate’s collarbone and brushes her thumb over her sternum. “We may not have had shining examples of marriage in our lives, but I think if I were to try, it would be with you.”

Kate’s head dips to kiss her fingertips, she chews her lip when the idea crosses her mind. The necklace Natasha gave to her on one of their meetups after they’d freed the Red Room. The gold necklace with an arrow pendant shines clearly in her mind as if she were staring at it in front of her. The necklace around Kate’s throat – exposed barely by her archery suit or ratty old Avengers t-shirt she’s too sentimental to throw away. It’s a perfect vision Yelena wants to be a reality.

“Wait here,” She says as she disentangles herself from Kate, who has rolled on her back as she makes her way to the wall safe hidden behind the plain artwork. Her foot taps as she cracks the safe easily in the dark, reaching around in the comportment until her hands close over the rectangular jewellery box.

She nearly trips over the harness they had tossed aside hours ago, scowling at Kate’s giggle as she makes her way back to the bed. She sits at the headboard and turns on the bedside lamp. When she turns back, she finds Kate already staring at the black box, her hand closed over her knee and squeezing.

She clears her throat and brushes her fingers across the box, flicking the top open. “Natasha gave this to me before the blip. It is one of our last moments together. She said it had given her great strength and comfort over the years. She never said who gave it to her, but I always assumed it was Barton. Who else could be that self-absorbed? An arrow? Really? I asked Natasha if she gifted him one with a pistol – she did not like that.”

Kate laughs and dips her head onto her shoulder, tracing the frame of the jewellery box.  

“And now I want to give it to you, as a reminder of my love and strength for you wherever we are,” She pushes the box towards Kate's hands, watching her long finger trace the simple gold chain. She feels wetness drip down her collarbone and Kate sniffles, wiping at her face before sitting upright and scooping her hair aside.

Yelena fumbles with the box, once, twice, finally extracting the seemingly weightless necklace from the box. Her fingers shake as she presses on the minuscule lever to undo the clasp, threading it through the link and dropping her hands to Kate’s shoulders, brushing her fingers against the chain and her soft skin.

Kate turns and immediately envelopes her in a kiss – conveying everything with her kiss and it’s all Yelena needs. What they have can go unspoken in times like this.

Kate’s arms loop around her neck as she settles into her lap, her blue eyes sparkling with a radiant smile on her face. She brushes her hands up and down Kate’s flank, pressing a kiss to the defined bicep at her cheek.

“You are really sappy after sex.” Kate points out, beginning to shrink away from her when she reads Yelena’s expression. Her eyes narrow and she straightens up, angling herself toward Kate with a raised eyebrow. Kate stumbles out of the bed, turning back when Yelena’s arms encircle her and lift her, marching them towards the bathroom. Her lips smoother Kate’s giggles and the cold water she turns on makes Kate shriek – there’s no place she’d rather be.

Two more weeks come to pass, and they return to Melina and Alexei’s safe house in the abandoned industrial district to plan their next steps. Alexei welcomes her with open arms, claiming he had missed her dearly since they last saw each other last week. Alexei had promised her a weight-lifting match when her time on the injured list will finally be completed.

Melina’s always inquisitive eyes track over her form and she tries not to squirm, clearing her throat and brushing a hand over her neck where her necklace lies, and her hickey goes uncovered. Yelena had convinced her rather effectively to leave it ‘natural’ and that they could not be expected not to make out in four weeks. She hopes her attention is on the necklace and not the mark there.

Yelena sets her archery gear against the wall, tugging her from Alexei’s over-enthusiastic hug to the table. The table where Kate was once laid out and bleeding – good memories. At least they have the decency to cover it with a plastic tablecloth with St. Patrick’s Day cartoon images, Kate fiddles with the cloth and spares a glance at Alexei who shrugs.

“What? They had sale at Dollar Store and Melina said it needed to be a solid colour,” Alexei gestures to the tablecloth, splaying his massive hands over the cartoon leprechauns.  “Plus, it will bring us good fortune. Look at how many coins he has collected!”

“I don’t think there’s such thing as a sale at the Dollar Store, but kudos for the festivities we’re only a few days away.” She watches Alexei smile proudly, giving Kate a thumbs up.

“A drinking festivity! Another chance to show us how formidable of a match you are for our Yelena -

“Oh my god, can you just go torture the American or something?” Yelena interrupts with a huff and Kate spreads a hand over her back, brushing her thumb across the material of her Widow suit.

“Yelena, please, we have extracted all we can from the greasy lump. He is our leverage against Eleanor.”

Kate’s ears peaked at that, turning her attention to the map of a secluded city area that Kate recognizes as the abandoned toy factory that the Track Suit Mafia had been using before Kate and Clint busted their operation and busted out – very smoothly she would tell anyone with a straight face.

“We lure my mom here,” Kate taps on the picture of the building. “Have Kazi there for her already?”

“Yes, and then I will bring you forward. Pretending to be your captor – Eleanor does not know me. We need the anonymity to extract as much information as possible.”

Yelena scoffs and shakes her head, stepping in front of Kate slightly. She sighs and fiddles with Yelena’s tactical belt, knowing this will be another disagreement.

“I am going with her. I will not be told otherwise. Eleanor has proven to be untrustworthy time and time again.”

Melina sighs and nods, “Yes, but you will wear your headpiece. Alexei too. We do not need our faces revealed so foolishly.” She points to the simple black tablet, turning the screen on to reveal a banking app. “Yelena will hand her this. She will pay the ransom of five-hundred thousand dollars –

“A bit a low-ball, don’t you think?” Kate mumbles, looping her finger around Yelena’s belt buckle.

“I agree. Kate Bishop is easily worth two million – Forbes has her listed at number 9 –

Yelena scowls and waves her hand at Alexei, “She is worth much more – do not be so ridiculous. Her intelligence and technological abilities alone steer her above all the Kardashian barbies –

“Okay, let’s focus, please? Yes?” Melina waves them back to the table, nodding at the pout on Alexei’s face and the permanent frown on Yelena’s. “We set the ransom at two million, give her the tablet. While she wires the payment, we bring Kate forward. We threaten to hurt Kate in the guise of extracting the information from Eleanor and the tablet records her every word. We send the audio to the FBI and every news organization in the tri-state area. We release Kate to her mother and leave.”

“Two is fair, considering she has not shot an arrow in over a month her value would go down naturally.” Alexei points out seriously, scratching at his unkempt beard.

Yelena bristles and leans over the table, “You do not get to assess her ‘value’ like she is some piece of meat. You are unbelievable!”

“Luckily for us, Alexei’s involvement will be minimal. He will just be the muscle and he will not utter any words. I am sure this meets your satisfaction, Yelena.”

“Yes, it does,” Yelena points to Alexei. “You have one job. Don’t make a scene.” She instructs and turns to Kate. “This works for you?”

Kate nods and accepts the bag from Alexei, opening it to find similar clothing to the night she was shot. Soiled and deliberately unkempt, Kate grins at Melina’s thoroughness.

“I want to do a couple of practice rounds with my bow. When do we leave?”

“I send the encrypted message in one hour. We meet your mother at seven. Alexei and I will go in advance for recon. Yelena, I will show you how the banking app works.”

Kate nods and slings her quiver and bow over her shoulder, nodding toward the direction of the fire escape. “I’m gonna head up on the roof to get some practice in.”

“Ah yes! I get to see her in action!” Alexei shuffles over to her excitedly, picking up the makeshift targets they had brought over from the penthouse. “Honey, I will be on the roof with my future daughter-in-law.”

She holds a hand up at Yelena’s scowling face, leaning forward to kiss her cheek. “Go do this with Melina, then you join me and kick him out.”

Yelena huffs and dips her head to hide her blush, opting to stare at her feet instead of turning to Melina. She catches what she believes is a smile on the scientist’s face as she makes her way to the fire escape – Alexei is already fitting his massive frame through the window.

Kate directs him to the roof, telling him where to place the targets. Alexei bumbles around like a toddler, excitement beaming from him. He stumbles back to Kate, pushing his frayed hair back over his head. “You do the thing? With the fire arrow? I saw it on TV.”

Kate chuckles as she selects a training arrow from her quiver, running her fingers over its shaft and fletchings. She knocks the arrow, feeling an odd resistance in her shoulders – it’s uncomfortable and Kate can’t remember the last time she had an upper-body injury obstructing her in such a way. Her balance is off, and she struggles to keep the arrow on target. She stops, resetting nock the bow only. She rolls her shoulder and takes a deep breath, shifting her bow into position and pulling back the bowstring. She grits her teeth and fires, feeling a pull in her back as she watches the arrow hit the outer ring of the styrofoam plate.

“It is first time in many weeks, yes? It takes time to get back in game, Kate Bishop.” Alexei tries to console her, but she shakes her head – she’s better than this. A stupid wound, one so small, shouldn’t cause this much discomfort. The scar is no longer than her thumb – she’s been doing light workouts and physio exercises to compensate for the damage.

She nocks her second arrow, pulling back and releasing. The uncomfortable tinge begins to disappear, and she decides quickness is the best option for getting her form back. The styrofoam plate falls apart, five arrows falling to the ground. Alexei skips over to collect them and Kate grins, her aim isn’t where it needs to be but she’s out of practice. She can correct it in a few hours if she focuses hard enough.

Her biceps and back work like clockwork now, nocking the arrows and releasing them with ease. She asks Alexei to toss plates frisbee style, shouting in excitement when the arrow pierces the plate. She wipes the sweat from her brow, propping her bow against the railing.

“We are out of target. I go find more, yes?” Alexei hands the arrows to her, disappearing behind the railing to descend the fire escape.

She shreds her zip-off hoodie to wipe at her face and shoulders. Another set of footsteps clang against the fire escape, its creaky and rusty nature makes Kate only slightly nervous. Blonde hair appears beside her as Yelena easily jumps the railing, holding out a bottle of water toward her.

Yelena nods appreciatively at the scene, styrofoam pieces littered all over the rooftop and some blowing off into the wind. “You have effectively shot through all our plates. We will need more if you want me to cook you more of those homemade hot pockets.” 

“We’ll get more. Besides, we’ll be back at my place by tonight.” Kate says confidently and hangs her hoodie over the railing. “And you can use all the dinnerware your little heart desires.”

“Your confidence is astounding as usual, Kate Bishop. You have enough dinnerware for precisely two people at one meal, and I supplied the other portion.”

"We both contribute equally to this relationship. I do a lot of things for you," Kate mumbles, shrinking under Yelena's raised eyebrow.

Yelena reaches out to brush the wild strands of her ponytail back. “How do you feel?”

“Pretty good for getting shot a few weeks ago. My equilibrium isn’t where I need it to be, and my visualization needs some work but I’m confident I can hit the target with my eyes closed.” She sets the water bottle down on the ground and turns into Yelena, settling a hand on her hip.

Yelena nods and brushes her fingers up the length of her arm, “And how do you feel about the plan?”

Kate shrugs and tilts her head side to side, “I think it’s pretty straightforward. I just hope she loves me enough to tell the truth, you know? Once and for all and then we can be done.”

“What do you mean done?”

“Over. We don’t need to speak again. I don’t need her,” Kate toys with her necklace, feeling the pendent press into her thumb.

Yelena’s eyes track the movement of her fingers, and she takes a step closer, slipping her arms around Kate’s waist. “I know but it does not replace what a mother means. We are all somebody’s daughter. Melina is not perfect by any means, but I am a little glad she is in my life now.”

“I know but she’s made her bed, and I’m so tired. I just want to be at peace – without her expectations or her secrets looming over me.” She loops her arms around Yelena’s shoulders, linking her fingers over the nape of her neck.

“I understand. I would not judge you for wanting to continue a relationship with her, though. Based on your own terms and not hers this time.”

“We’ll see. It depends on tonight,” Kate nudges their foreheads together, offering her girlfriend a chaste kiss. “You’re going to suit up in that weird looking headcover thing, aren’t you? The goggles too?”

“Yes, it is best your mother does not see me.”

“A shame. It would be really cool to have her confess and kiss you,” She explains dreamily, she wiggles her eyebrows at Yelena’s grin. “You can totally picture, can’t you?”

“Right out of a terrible action movie, yes, I can picture it.” Yelena shakes her head and kisses her cheek, tugging their bodies together in a hug. “You will be safe. Melina and Alexei are getting ready to do recon, they are taking Kazi with them. They do not trust me with him.”

“He did wave a gun in my face and threaten me – it wasn’t the first time either,” Kate adds with a grimace, feeling Yelena’s fingertips clench at her back. “But on the bright side, we can go on a vacation with all that money Eleanor’s going to hand over. I’m feeling the need for somewhere warm – preferably where the least amount of clothes is required.”

Yelena gapes at her, opening and closing her mouth comically in response to her statement. “We are seriously going to take the money?”

“It’s two million dollars, Yelena. We split it with your parents, of course, and put the rest of the money towards freeing the other Widows. I don’t imagine there’s a public or private fund for this. I would really like a vacation though.”

“You want to – money to free them?” Yelena stutters, squinting at Kate as if she can’t quite believe her.

“Yeah. If that’s still the plan after all this,” Kate trails off, playing with the collar of her Widow suit.

“Yes, yes,” Yelena repeats, leaning forward to kiss her enthusiastically. “It is still the plan.”

“We are heading out girls! See you at the secret location!” Alexei shouts from below them, making them both laugh. Yelena kisses her cheek once more before moving to pick up the styrofoam pieces littered around the rooftop. Kate picks up her gear and meets Yelena at the fire escape, descending the creaking metal together.

“That is most definitely a code violation. It’s a miracle your dad walked that thing twice.”

“Sometimes I wish he would fall flat on his face.”

Kate drops her equipment on the table, smiling at the festive tablecloth as she picks up the black duffle bag to collect the clothes. She disappears behind a privacy screen and sheds her clothing, pulling on her archery suit – she doesn’t think Eleanor will care about the black combat boots. Kate groans when she feels around her biceps, noticing the looseness of the fabric – this isn’t the elasticity Clint was talking about.

“What is it, Kate?” Yelena’s shadow draws near, and Kate sticks her arm out.

“Look at this! They’ve shrunk! My biceps!” She exclaims, pulling the fabric up between her fingers.

Yelena chuckles and steps closer, inspecting the inches of fabric Kate is referring to. “You were injured. You can’t be expected to always maintain your impressive physique.”

“I knew I should have been lifting earlier. How am I supposed to be the best with this sorry excuse of a muscle mass?” She slaps at her bicep, half expecting it to jiggle due to her force.

“If all goes to plan, we will not need to use your muscle.” Yelena reminds her, squeezing at the bicep in question. “Just your beautiful face and grade nine drama class.”

“You aren’t supposed to know about that. Drama isn’t for me, but I was still the star of the play,” Kate reminds her with a shrug.

“Yes, the school newsletter was very helpful. Your role as the tree was very well documented for the extra theatrics, which you later described as ‘action sequences to spice things up’.” Yelena’s voice shifts to a New Yorker accent and Kate scoffs at her, tossing her clothes at Yelena forcibly.

“My mom took me out for ice cream after that. She told me I jeopardized the play by not discussing it earlier with my castmates. She liked the creativity, but she told me I needed to respect the process more. She was right, I suppose.”

“You were the most flexible tree in the play, Kate Bishop. There is no doubt who has come out on top.” Yelena rounds the privacy screen and helps her button up the soiled dress shirt, leaving two buttons open near the top.

She shrugs the blazer on, chuckling at the well-placed holes and grime on the fabric. “Your mom is really detailed. I’m impressed.”

Yelena nods and hands her the pants, pulling the dress shirt out of the waistband as Kate pulls them up. Kate brushes at her forearms before holding her wrists out, “So, are you going to tie me up? Make it official?”

Yelena groans and slaps her hands away packing Kate’s old clothes into the black bag and heading out to the table.

“You know most girlfriends would be excited to tie up their girlfriend, especially at her request.” Kate follows her to slip her arms around Yelena’s waist, resting her chin on the smooth fabric of Yelena’s Widow suit.

Yelena snorts and fiddles with the tablet, reviewing the recording app embedded into the tablet’s software. “I am your girlfriend?”

“Really? That’s what you picked up just now?”

“Yes. I did not know you considered me to be your girlfriend.”

“Well, you are, so deal with it.” She says smugly, pressing a kiss to Yelena’s cheek.

“I like it,” Yelena squeezes her hands, clicking the sleep mode on the tablet. “I will tie you up in the truck – don’t get any ideas, Kate Bishop.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kate salutes her and shoulders her archery gear, moving to the truck in the garage. They settle into the truck, with Yelena throwing her arm over her shoulder while Kate tangles their fingers together over her shoulder.

“You want to go on vacation? With me?” Yelena asks her as they turn out on the highway.

“Who else would I go with?” Kate questions back to her, squeezing her hand gently. “Should we invite your parents and Clint’s family? Make a family getaway?”

Yelena rolls her eyes and pushes her knee against Kate’s, “Please no – not my parents, or anybody else. Just us, like Ohio.”

“Ohio was nice. We can go back if you want,” Kate dips her head onto Yelena’s shoulder.

“I like the idea of somewhere very warm with you. Minimal clothes, as you said.”

“Can we go? After we finish this with my mom?”

“I’d like that, Kate Bishop.”

Chapter Text

Kate feels her throat tighten the closer they get. The truck jerks as they enter the abandoned parking lot, it’s dark and quiet when they step out. She hears Yelena digging around for her gear and the extra duffel bag. Her fingers tap on the hood of the truck as she observes the building, barely illuminated by a flickering streetlight. Everything could change after tonight.

She imagines Eleanor already waiting for them, her hands shoved into her pockets to stop her from fidgeting. She almost forgot Eleanor believes her daughter has been kidnapped – life has gone on for Kate. She’s had endless days with Yelena, playtime with Lucky, and laughs with Alexei. Melina has seemingly given up trying to open her up again which she considers a win. The vials are safe, Eleanor did no more harm – they haven’t spoken since the gala and Kate’s not sure she has missed her. She probably should, Eleanor has missed her, right?

“You are too quiet, Kate Bishop,” Yelena’s voice is low and soft in her ear. The playfulness she would normally receive is basked in concern – this will be difficult for both of them, Kate knows this. “Are you having second thoughts?”

“No,” She shakes her head, turning to lean against the truck as Yelena shuffles closer. “It’s just…things will change after this. I thought things changed the first time when I sent her away and now, I have to do it again because she just couldn’t stop. I shouldn’t have to do this.”

“You should not. You are correct,” Yelena’s hands slip beneath her tattered blazer to cup her hips. “We can do it without you, and you can just wait here. I will return victorious, and then we can take that vacation.”

She smiles and nudges their foreheads together, cupping Yelena’s cheeks and brushing her thumbs over the strong jaw. It would be so easy to just leave now, forget all this. It’s not like Eleanor stayed in prison the first time and the evidence against her was damning. She knows Eleanor would never stop looking though, she has too many resources and an image to sell – it would benefit her too much to find Kate on some island while she and Yelena browse through a market hand and hand.

“It’s sweet of you, but I have to do this.” She feels Yelena nod against her and closes the distance between them. It’s gentle and nothing but comforting when their lips meet, she sighs and chases more kisses when Yelena starts to pull away. “Just one more.”

“It is always more with you, Kate,” Yelena mumbles into her mouth, and she leans into Kate firmly, pressing her against the hood of the truck. Her hands slip to Yelena’s shoulders as she pulls a lip between her teeth – feeling a flush beneath her layers of clothing at Yelena’s groan and clench of her hands at her hips.

They break apart when Kate’s need for oxygen becomes too great, and she feels a knee pushed between her thighs and lips trailing over her neck – a quickie would do her confidence a world of good right now. Her body sinks back against the truck, and she’s reaching for the door handle when a zip tie closes around her wrist. She gapes at Yelena and tugs instinctively, finding an effortless resistance from Yelena who just smirks and loops another tie around her bare wrist to connect them.

“You did ask me to tie you up, you did not specify when,” Yelena says as she dips her head to fiddle with the ties.

“I thought I could have a quick orgasm and then you could tie me up,” She pouts, hoping Yelena will take pity on her and provide said orgasm.

“But I know how much you like it as foreplay,” Yelena grins up at her as she pokes a finger between the zip tie and her wrist. “Not too tight?” She nods when Kate shakes her head, grasping her chin for a chaste kiss. “You can leave them on when we get back to ours if you are so inclined.”

Kate huffs and falls into step with Yelena as they make their way to the building. Her girlfriend’s warm and comforting hand on her lower back settles her nerves when they enter. She guides Kate to the abandoned office, littered with papers and bullets the Track Suit Mafia weren’t smart enough to clean up – amateurs, truly.

Yelena sets her gear out on the table, turning on the tablet and beginning to pull on her headpiece when Alexei walks in. A grand smile paints the lower half of his face, he pats Yelena’s back and leans over to ruffle her hair. He's whisper-shouting her name and pointing to his own suit when Yelena steps in front of him and shakes her head.

“Yelena,” Kate sighs, tilting her face up to help Yelena push the strands out of her eyes. “It would be weird if my hair would be all perfect. I think your suit is awesome, by the way.” She compliments as she angles her body around Yelena’s frame.

“See? Even she like it. I am the Red Guardian!” He whisper-shouts, flattening his palms over his chest. “I am here to tell you I might have to fake hurt you, Kate Bishop. Do not get so sour, Yelena – I am merely warning Kate so she can react like movie star.”

“I will break your hands if you leave a bruise,” Yelena says as she grasps Kate’s elbow to help her stand. Kate moves toward Alexei, frowning when Yelena’s hand holds her arm firmly. She nods her head at Alexei, and he takes his cue to step into the doorway.

“Just think, vacation after this,” She takes note of Yelena’s curt nod and swallows, stepping closer to tilt their foreheads together again. “What is it?”

“You are brave,” Yelena says, splaying her palms over her back. “I do not like it when I know there is a high probability that you will be hurt.”

“Make that two of us,” Kate returns gently, holding Yelena’s earnest gaze.

“I will be there for you. Every moment then, and after.”

“I know. There’s nobody else I could want to do this with.”

“Okay, let’s go rob your mother and send her to prison.”

Kate can’t stifle the giggle that escapes her as she presses their lips together, noting the mirth and curve of Yelena’s smile too.

Yelena steps away to pull on her headpiece and goggles, picking up the tablet with one hand and cupping Kate’s cheek with the other.

“You look like a bug, but it kind of works for me. I look forward to peeling you out of it later,” Kate wiggles her eyebrows and kisses the gloved palm at the corner of her mouth.

“Are you two done flirting? We have mission,” Melina’s voice cuts through from the doorway as she stalks toward them. “Alexei – you were supposed to send Yelena two minutes ago.”

“Honey, they needed a moment,” Alexei reasons, waving his hands towards them. “Yelena needed to profess her love and Kate needed to reassure her. It is like movie with these two – so well matched.”

“Yes, I know,” Melina nods, pulling on her own mask. “But they can do all the lovey-dovey things later. Eleanor is here.”

Kate straightens her posture and nods at Yelena, who retreats out the door with Melina. Alexei steps forward to pull her into his side, “Everything will work out, Kate Bishop. Melina is a genius. Her plans never fail.”

They wait only forty-five seconds until Melina yells for them – it feels like the longest sequence of her life as Alexei loops a massive hand around her arm and tugs her out. He grunts and laughs, adding extra theatrics Kate is sure Yelena will hate.

“Kate!” Eleanor gasps and Kate’s reminded of the part she needs to play. “Honey, are you okay?”

Kate nods and spares a glance at Kazi, who is tied to a large support beam with duct tape around his mouth. He struggles and screams at them, crippling over in pain when Yelena lands a swift kick to his midsection.

“I’m okay, mom. I just want to go home,” Kate whines, walking toward Eleanor and gasping exaggeratedly when she is pulled back by Alexei. “Please, mom.”

“We know you have secrets, Eleanor Bishop,” Melina’s voice is masked in a voice-altering program. “We know you have ties to the Track Suit Mafia and Wilfred Fisk. Tell us why someone as reputable and rich as you, would have ties with such nefarious people. The people of New York City deserve to know, your daughter deserves to know.”

“It was a forced arrangement. I have been coerced since Kate’s father passed away – the justice department already knows this.” Eleanor steps forward, making a reach toward Kate when Yelena appears between them, effectively stopping Eleanor’s motion.

“Lie, lie, lie,” Melina tsks, turning to Alexei. “We should show her what happens to people that lie.”

Alexei laughs and turns toward Kate, blocking Eleanor’s view as he clenches his fist and lifts his arm high. Eleanor’s yelling is drowned out as Kate hits the floor, guided there by Alexei’s push when he brought his hand down. Kate groans and gasps as she curls up on the ground, peaking an eye open at Eleanor’s shuffling as she tries to break past Yelena.

“Will your daughter continue to suffer for your lies, Eleanor Bishop?”

“Mom, please,” Kate croaks, reaching a hand across the floor.

“Please, I will give you anything, anything you want.” Her mother yells, and Kate knows she’s crying – they’re so close to getting the information. “Whatever it is, I’ll give it to you. Please don’t hurt her.”

“Tell us why you had a known mafia leader hired as a direct consultant to you. Tell us why you had a secret substance you were studying.”

“It was to protect her! Everything I do is to protect my Kate, you must understand, as a mother that’s all I wanted.” Eleanor cries, and Kate flops over to her back, unable to watch Eleanor attempt to be genuine about protecting her. Alexei steps in front of her, shielding her body from Eleanor’s view.  “She met this girl. I knew the girl, I hired her to do something in the past. This person, she’s – she’s not normal, she is dangerous, and I had to protect Kate. She’d already wiggled her way into my daughter’s life – she knew where she lived, she knew everything. But I know her, she isn’t fit to be with my daughter. She’s a Black Widow assassin – everybody knows how cruel and heartless they are. I had to take measures to protect my daughter, I don’t regret it.”

Kate clenches her eyes shut and covers her face with her arms – her heart hurts for Yelena. She isn’t surprised Eleanor regrets nothing, in fact, she welcomes the correct assumption she made all those weeks ago, but she knows those words must sting Yelena.

“I was able to get my hands on the serum that breaks the mind-control of Black Widows. I never wanted to toy with the formula or test it – I just wanted it as leverage in case Yelena ever came around again. I had to protect Kate; don’t you see?”

“It does not explain why Kazi and Fisk are involved in your company, Ms. Bishop. We do not take kindly to people who do not listen to us.” Melina waves her hand at Alexei and points in Kate’s direction. Alexei chuckles and turns to face her, giving her a reassuring smile and thumbs up as he settles his massive foot on her chest.

She rolls her eyes and groans theatrically, waving her arms and feet erratically against the cold concrete flooring, yelling out for her mom.

“Please! Wait! I’ll tell you!” Eleanor shouts, and Melina snaps her fingers, signalling for Alexei to stop. “They found out I entered a plea deal with the DA – I told them everything about Fisk’s organization. Kazi came to me, and he threatened to hurt Kate – I had to protect her, so I hired him. I did as they asked. I was coerced, again!”

“You seem to have a history of blaming your daughter’s innocence as a reason for your crimes.” Yelena’s voice is manipulated too but Kate can hear the joust – Kate chews her lip and mentally wills Yelena not to say anymore, she will put Eleanor on the defensive far too easily. They need her crying and desperate.

“I have only ever wanted the best for her. I don’t want her to go through any of the darkness in this world – she’s lost too much already. Her father was her shining star – I had to step up. Be the parent.”

“Be the criminal, you mean,” Melina speaks again, stepping forward to point the tablet toward Eleanor. “What’s one more infraction? Pay the ransom, and you get your daughter back.”

“Two million? Are you out of your mind?”

“Oh please, your net worth is nearly thirty million – unless you find your daughter is not worth that much? We would be very happy to keep her with us – she’s quite the catch.”

“She’s coming with me. Give me that,” Eleanor takes the tablet and turns aside as if shielding her transfer of money will make it any better. Kate pushes to her feet and begins to make her way over, standing next to Yelena as Eleanor completes the transfer. “It’s all there – we’re leaving now, let’s go, sweetie.” Eleanor reaches out to grasp her bound wrists, pulling her along. “Everything’s going to be okay, I’m going to take care of everything, I promise you. It’s all going to go back to normal.”

“No,” Kate hears herself say, stopping abruptly. She takes in Eleanor’s frantic eyes and shakes her head, taking a step backwards. “No, I’m not leaving with you.”

“Kate please, we can talk about this later. I just need to get you checked out and everything will be okay, I promise.” Eleanor pleads as she steps forward to grasp her shoulders.

“I’m done with you. I just want to be with her,” Kate whispers, and she takes two steps back, three, until she’s turning back to Yelena and holding her hands out. The knife slides through the ties easily, and she’s already tugging at Yelena’s headpiece – barely giving her a moment before glueing their lips together. Yelena’s cheeks are warm from the mask and her hands are steady as they grip her waist – there’s only one person who can make this okay, who can make her promises Kate will believe.

“Yelena?” Eleanor shrieks, her heels click across the concrete and there’s a rush of hair on her face as Eleanor stops just short of them. “What is this?”

“This is the girl, mom,” Kate explains as she brushes Yelena’s hair out of her face. “I never left her. I could never leave her, I love her.” Kate smiles at Yelena and traces the line of her jaw. “Kazi tried to kill me in the park, but she saved me. She saved me from a lot of dark thoughts about myself, all thanks to you, of course. She’s made me feel like me again.” Kate’s turned to Eleanor now, freezing her with her words and all her pent-up anger, “Did you honestly think I would be able to just move on with my life knowing you were a fake, a criminal – you’re a fraud.”

“And now, I have to send you to prison a second time. Is this what you always wanted from me? I can tell you I never imagined this for us. I needed you to be my mom, not anybody else.”

“I am your mother! I made the hard decisions for us!”

“No, you made the easy decision for us. I would have settled for a life of truth and real love, I never wanted this. I just wanted a real mom, instead, I got a coward who hides behind fancy clothes and blood money.” Kate shakes her head and wipes the tears off her face with the back of her hand. She feels Yelena’s hand on her back, and she smiles, reaching out to lace their fingers together. “This is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m done with you. I’m leaving with her.”

“Don’t do this, Kate,” Eleanor pleads, her mascara running messily around her cheeks. “You can’t love her and hate me –

“It’s not about that!” Kate shudders and her throat feels dry from talking, yelling, “I can love her because she’s honest. Nobody’s perfect, but when you love someone, you lighten the load, and you lean on each other.”

“She’s a killer, Kate! She will never be able to be real with you. There are a whole lot of secrets in that damaged little brain of hers,” Eleanor steps closer, within breathing distance from Yelena and Kate bristles, shoving Eleanor backwards, watching as she falls into a heap on the floor.

“Don’t ever speak to her like that. We’re done here, I hope your PR team is ready for the shitstorm of what you just admitted today. We’re sending the audio to every news station state-side.” She tugs on Yelena’s hand retreating toward the office, noting Alexei and Melina standing at the door. “I never wanted to hate you.”

“Goodbye, mom.” She whispers to herself, striding into the office and down the hallway. She has Yelena’s hand in a vice grip as they head out to the parking lot. Sirens wail in the vicinity, Alexei and Yelena are packing up their equipment when Melina places a hand on her arm.

“It was very brave of you, Kate Bishop. Yelena is lucky to have such a strong partner at her side. I have sent the clip to multiple FBI contacts as we discussed earlier. Our safehouse is burned now with the greasy American loose with your mother. Alexei and I take plane tonight, we see you again soon.” Melina’s eyes are genuine as she pulls Kate into a hug, patting her back and providing a small smile when she pulls back.

“It is a shame we did not get to celebrate the little green man drinking holiday, Kate Bishop, but I am very glad to have met you. It will not be last time I see you, I know this,” Alexei pulls her into his side, grasping Yelena on the other side. “The next time will be the wedding and I will be very happy to be your best man, Kate Bishop.”

Yelena grumbles and slaps at him and Kate laughs, giving him a brief hug before leaning against the truck. She averts her eyes as Yelena bids her farewell to her parents, climbing into the truck and shedding the top portion of her costume.

Yelena slides in the truck, turning it over and shifting into gear easily as they follow the van out of the parking lot. Sirens call closer to them now, and Kate reaches over to tangle their fingers together. Flashing lights pass them hurriedly towards the warehouse, Kate exhales and squeezes Yelena’s hand when successfully merges onto the freeway.

Yelena pulls their joined hands to her lips, holding them there for a moment while Kate closes her eyes and dips her head onto Yelena’s shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

“I don’t know, maybe.” She sighs, unable to sort out how exactly she feels about duping her mom and most likely sending her to prison, again. She opts to focus on the brighter side of things for now. “I liked the part where we kissed, and I professed my unyielding love for you.”

“Yes, that was good, Kate Bishop. You did get points from me on that one, no matter how cheesy it was.”

“Your dad did pretty good, a little excited on the sound effects but convincing otherwise.”

“I bet he was dying, not being able to make a scene,” Yelena chuckles as she flicks her blinker, merging into the offramp near her penthouse.

“Your mom approves of me now. We totally had a moment,” Kate traces the material of Yelena’s glove, taking in the black contrast against her bright red pants.

“I think your little speech won her over too. Melina has always been difficult to pry real emotions from – it takes her a long time to trust.”

They pull into the parking garage, exiting the vehicle hand in hand. Yelena punches the code to the private elevator, and they step in together – leaning shoulder to shoulder against the railing. Kate’s body feels heavy – the tiredness starting to eat at her muscles, as well as the emotional fatigue she feels. She trails behind Yelena slightly when they enter the penthouse, Lucky greeting them excitedly.  

Kate’s grateful they took the foresight to clean up the penthouse before leaving today, only needing to pack a few items and Lucky before heading back to her place. Her phone dings with notifications from various media outlets. Yelena turns the TV on and splays a hand over her back.

FBI has confirmed the arrest of New York business mogul Eleanor Bishop. This comes as Ms. Bishop was currently on bail in relation to state charges – it is not clear at this time if there are new charges laid against the security firm's ex-CEO. The FBI has also confirmed the arrest of the mafia leader known as ‘Kazi’ with ties to Wilfred Fisk and the Track Suit Mafia. It is unclear if the arrests are connected at this time. Both are being detained without bail, pending a hearing in federal court next week.

A statement from the company has confirmed the safe return of newly appointed CEO, Katherine Bishop. The company confirmed a ransom was paid in exchange for the safe return of the youngest Bishop but will not be disclosing the details. The company says they are focusing on the well-being of Kate Bishop at this time and have asked for privacy at this troublesome time for the family.

This just in – we have verified audio from the time before the arrest. I repeat we have verified audio that has been sent to us by a credible source. Play the clip –

Kate shuts off the TV, turning to give Yelena a quick kiss on the cheek before collecting her items and calling for Lucky. “We know what happens next. I don’t need to relive it tonight. I just want to go home with you and order takeout.”

Yelena hesitates for only a moment, nodding once before stepping forward to collect her belongings and turn off all the lights. She pulls the door open for Kate and twines their fingers together once more in the elevator.

Kate nearly cries at the smell of her favourite pizza joint – she hasn’t had takeout in what feels like three years. She tips the delivery person generously and takes the pizza inside quickly, Lucky trots excitedly at her heels. She grabs her plate and piles slices on it, grabbing her bottle of wine by the neck and making her way to the TV where the Titanic is playing – Yelena insisted she got to pick the movie if Kate was choosing food.

“I see you have supplied yourself with a month’s worth of grease, my love,” Yelena says as she drops a kiss to the top of her head. Kate can smell the freshness of her shower radiating from her - pomegranate fusion, her cheap body wash Yelena pretends to hate.

“This is like, heaven in my mouth,” Kate explains over bites of pizza, picking off the vegetable topping she got for Yelena and tossing them at Lucky’s eager mouth. “It’s been eighty-four years since I had something so delicious.”

“I will pretend to ignore the obvious dig at my cooking and applaud your Titanic reference, however dramatic it may be.” Yelena parrots at her, settling onto the couch beside her with a couple of slices of her own.

“It’s good to reward yourself for a job well done. Like this food, and then the vacation we will book after,” Kate points out seriously, wiping at her face with a napkin.

“We go so quickly?” Yelena looks over at her, taking an olive from Kate’s plate and popping it into her mouth.

“I just need to get out of the city. Away from all this noise. I just want to be with you, no phones, no parents, no clothes.” Kate adds with a shrug of her shoulder. “Unless you want to go find the next Widow – which I am totally down for and three-hundred per cent support, babe.”

Yelena’s eyebrows lift and a warm smile passes over her face. She takes Kate’s plate and stacks them on the table, turning her body to slide an arm over the back of the couch. “I think a holiday would be nice. We need to reset before going onto the next mission, but the resort must be dog friendly. Lucky deserves to have our undivided attention.”

Lucky barks and jumps up into Yelena’s lap, licking at her face appreciatively.

“I never said we weren’t going to bring you, buddy,” Kate murmurs as she presses a kiss to his head.  “Yelena just wants you to think she loves you more.”

Yelena scoffs and rubs at Lucky’s belly, her voice shifting to an overly affectionate pitch, “Don’t you listen to her. We love you equally. What a pretty boy.”

“I’m going to shower,” Kate says as she rises, dropping a kiss on her girlfriend’s forehead. “Try not to forget it was me who saved you from oncoming traffic, Lucky.”

She finds Yelena sitting up against the headboard when she exits the bathroom. She tosses her towel in the overflowed hamper and slides beneath the sheets to rest her cheek against Yelena’s chest.

“Did you find a place?” Kate rubs her nose against her neck, tracing her fingers along the exposed skin between Yelena’s shirt and her sweats.

“I found three. In three different climates. They meet our pet requirements and my safety requirements.” Yelena tilts the laptop screen toward her, circling her arm around her back.

“Finland? Interesting choice,” Kate scrolls through the tab, finding interest in a resort in southern France.

“They have reindeer. It is where I had to kill one and eat it to get through the night – training exercise.”

“Okay, well, that’s uh, not entirely heartwarming right now. Would you want to re-visit a place like that?”

“With you, yes. We would make it ours. Like Ohio.” Yelena hums and rubs at her shoulders absentmindedly, “They have a see-through igloo – imagine the pretty Northern Lights reflecting against your back as we make love. It would be very memorable.”

“Imagine all the layers you’d have to peel off me just to get me naked.”

“I do enjoy a challenge, Kate Bishop, especially when it comes to you.”



“Yes, let’s go to Finland and get naked,” Kate says, lifting herself to press a kiss to Yelena’s dumbfounded face.

“You will go? With me?”

“Only if you promise not to harm any reindeer.” She explains as she tosses the laptop aside, sliding into Yelena’s warm lap.

“I promise not to harm any reindeer,” Yelena murmurs against her lips, slipping her hands beneath her tank top. Her hips grind slowly against firm abdomen, and she’s already pulling at Yelena’s t-shirt.

“Not many layers standing in your way right now,” She says as her lips trail over Yelena’s neck. “Think you can manage?”

“I think I can, Kate Bishop.”