Masque'd Hawk

BY : HunterOpera
Category: Marvel Verse Comics > Hawkeye
Dragon prints: 6668
Disclaimer: I don't own either Hawkeye or any character associated with them in their comic. No money is being made from this.

Kate Bishop heard herself purr, her eyes closed as she drifted out of sleep. In the haze of waking last night was a pleasurable haze, the warmth of a soft blanket a luxurious sensation in the early morning chill. She let her head loll, on her pillow, smiling. She was sore, the good kind of sore, and she stretched her arm and sat up.

At least, that was the idea. Her shoulder stretched, but her arm wouldn't come down. Her eyes shot open, her mind forcing all sense of fatigue away. Darkness greeted her, absolute black all around her – she couldn't see a thing.

Swallowing panic, she felt herself looking around, trying to keep her breathing steady and her movements small. There might be someone watching me, she thought. Can't let them know I'm awake. Feigning sleep, she tried and failed to move each limb in turn.

Wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, and stomach, she thought. Tight but not uncomfortable bounds... leather, maybe? Something expensive. Feels like chain binding me to maybe a bed...? 

She thrashed, then, testing the strength of her bonds. Definitely chains. And she screamed, the fear in her cries not all pretend. The room is big, wherever I am. Like, warehouse big. What the hell is going on? Kidnapping is one thing, but this mattress is super comfy, and this blanket...

“You're thinking about the blanket.” Kate felt shivers creep along her spine at the cool voice, calm and collected. The words seemed to surround her, leeching out of the darkness, seeping into her marrow. “You're wondering who would take you, chain you, and then give you a sliver of kindness. It should be obvious now. One mystery solved.”

Kate blinked as the spotlight came on, a bright white light that fell upon a tall woman in an armchair. The woman had long black hair, blacker than Kate's, and wore white leather armor over midnight blue kevlar. A simple outfit highlighted by the golden mask the woman wore, revealing only the hatred of her eyes.

“What do you want?” Kate asked, lifting her head, trying to face the woman. The light was so damn bright, so damn painful.

“I made a promise to you,” the woman said, sounding bored. “Do you remember? We were in Madripoor when you, to use a phrase, got the jump on me. Kudos on that, by the way. There's very few people that have ever ambushed me successfully.”

“Er... thank you?” said Kate, pulling at her bonds. This could be serious trouble. She'd met this woman when she was trying to help Clint Barton, the other Hawkeye, after SHIELD had used him to find a leak in their network. Her name was Madame Masque.

She'd been one of several people who'd tried to purchase falsified evidence created by SHIELD to trick the leak. Kate had believed the evidence to be real, had ambushed Masque and pretended to be her to get said evidence. Madame Masque had taken it personally.

“Um,” swallowed Kate, a cold sweat pushing out of her skin, “you, er, you said you were going to stub out a whole pack of cigarettes on my face.”

“I did.” Madame Masque sighed, leaning back in her chair. “And as entertaining as that would be, well. Did you know my face was once scarred? Horrifically, I might add. I was told it was permanent.”

“You look great,” said Kate, forcing a smile.

“I do, don't I?” Masque Masque leaned forward, pressing her face into her hands, and when she sat up her face was uncovered. Kate stared at the high cheekbones and artistocratic jawline, the breathtaking profile of the woman and her soft smile. “I've had time to consider this thing between us. I've learned quite a lot about you, Miss Bishop.”

“Really,” Kate said. She'd learned a little, too. None of it good. Giuletta Nefaria. A proper countess, formerly engaged to Tony Stark, an infiltrator of SHIELD, the woman that had stolen the Owl's criminal empire from him and helped put that man in prison. She fought Iron Man to a stand still, and stole his technology. Kate shuddered as the woman stood.

“Oh, yes.” Giuletta walked with a predator's grace, unhurried and unconcerned, the light following her every footstep as she got closer to the bed. “I entangled your father with a girl about your age and sent him off into the world. Dull man, your father. I severed all your bank accounts by rerouting them to me. He wanted you taken care of, and I've used his money to prepare something special for you.”

“Lucky me.”

“Quite.” The Countess smiled. “I know about your little fling with the space boy, and all that running around you did with the other Hawkeye in New York. I even know what drove you away from there, Katie, and into my arms.”

The woman stopped walking, looming over her, but Kate said nothing. She hated being called 'Katie;' it made her sound like a child.

“What was it you've said?” Giuletta asked, her tone making the question a statement. “'I have no powers and not nearly enough training, but I'm doing this anyway. Being a superhero is amazing. Everyone should try it.'

“I never said that,” Kate said.

“Right,” Giuletta said, nodding to herself as she pulled the blanket aside and sat down on the bed. “You only thought it.” A casual hand was placed on Kate's stomach, and the captive girl craned her neck and saw that she was in her superhero uniform.

“What are you doing?” asked Kate, not quite keeping the panic out of her voice when her captor produced a scalpel from one of her gloves.

“Shhhhh,” the Countess said, smiling as she pressed the blade against Kate's face. The girl froze, petrified, waiting for pain that never came. The cold blade made a gentle trail down her cheek and throat, coming to rest on the zipper at her neckline.

“W-what are you doing?” Kate repeated. Madame Masque didn't answer, not with words.

The blade pressed against purple leather, easily parting the costume from neckline to the soft folds between her legs, never once touching flesh. The knife continued, a long single cut down one leg, back around hip and shoulder and arm before being pulled away. Kate strained, hoping that the cuts would have somehow weakened her bonds, but Masque had missed those.

“Shhhhh,” she said again, pressing the index finger of one hand to Kate's lips as the blade returned, slicing through the wrist and arm of the other side, up along the shoulder and down the hip, all the way to Kate's feet. Giuletta put the knife on the floor before returning her attention to the bound girl, peeling the leather off in long strips.

Like an orange, Kate thought, blushing furious. She's peeling me like a piece of fruit.

Madame Masque carefully lay each strip to one side on the floor, standing up and folding the resulting strips, all the while watching Kate. At least she left me my underwear...

She whimpered when Giuletta sat back in the bed, feeling the dull side of the scalpel trace the soft curve of flesh that her bra did not quite cover. She looked away as the cold metal slipped under what little warmth she had left. Off it fell, and out they came.

But Giuletta was not done, not yet. The dull side of the blade traced lower, circling the waistband of Kate's panties.

“What do you want?” whispered Kate, but the older woman smiled. Two cuts, one sharp tug, and Kate was left with nothing.

Giuletta stood, claiming the last bit of fabric, placing them on top of the folded pile and walking away from the bed. One spotlight followed her, another staying on Kate. She watched, helpless and naked, as the Countess' footsteps echoed in the darkness around them both.

Fifty feet away, the light revealed an oil drum. The woman dropped what was left of Kate's costume inside it. A quiver of arrows and a bow followed. Kate closed her eyes, not wanting to see what was coming, expecting the sound of fabric set to flame.

Nothing happened.

“I'm going to make you a deal, Katie.” The girl opened her eyes to see Madame Masque's finger tracing the edge of the drum, the woman staring into the drum. “If you want your costume back when this is over, I'll give it to you.” Giuletta turned to look at her, then left the drum behind.

All comments will be answered at this link, which you can copy/pasta. I know it goes to feedback for every other story I've worked on; I'm doing this for the feedback, and I'd rather have that condensed. Thank you for reading, whether you comment or not: 

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