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And Besides, It Would Still Be All Right

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Natasha was already waiting for him in the hotel room, perched on the dresser opposite the foot of the bed. She was wearing a dark knee-length dress with wicked-looking high heels that dangled idly from her toes as she watched him come through the door. The look on her face was usually less informative than the arch of her feet, but she looked faintly bored there too.

Steve didn't let himself squirm or apologize. She had agreed to be here, and she wouldn't if she didn't want to. She hated it when he apologized for asking for this, and she tended to find genuinely awful ways to punish him for doing things she didn't like.

As opposed to the other ways she punished him, which were the whole point.

Sure enough, she raised an eyebrow when he just stood there, barely inside the locked and chained door. "I told you what it was going to cost you this time. Are you prepared to pay?"

He gave a jerky nod and moved to the nearest empty chair, shrugging out of his leather jacket. He peeled out of the soft t-shirt he was wearing underneath, a size larger than he usually wore.

Natasha made an approving noise. Steve felt himself flush a little with pleasure at that, even without being sure whether she was approving of his choice of shirts or his taking it off promptly.

I do like to look at you, obviously, she'd told him. But I don't want to get naked with you any more than you want to stick your dick in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

He set his shirt down and put his hands to his belt, and Natasha said, "Mm."

It wasn't even a word, but it made Steve go still, heart beating faster and skin tingling at the definite tone behind it.

She turned one hand, curling her finger in a tiny beckoning gesture. Steve went to stand before her at the distance he'd learned: close enough for her to touch if she chose to, but not so close that he seemed to be attempting to intrude upon her.

Her eyes moved over him briskly, not missing any detail, including where he stood. "Good."

He stood slightly straighter, taking his first easy breath in what felt like days.

She put her hand out, and Steve hastened to comply with the silent order, slipping his belt free. He doubled it twice in his hands before he laid it across her palm, trying not to anticipate what she might want to do with that length of leather and a steel buckle. It might be only a tease.

Natasha set the belt down beside her, her hand curved possessively over it. She'd painted her short nails a dark red, almost black, since the last time he saw her.

He jerked his gaze up to her face a beat later than he should have. She raised both eyebrows this time.

Steve flushed hot and bit his lip as he dropped to one knee, hurriedly removing his shoes and socks before he stood again in just his jeans. He unbuttoned and unzipped without hesitation, ready to shove them down and get it over with.

So of course Natasha shook her head. "Slowly."

Steve took a sharp breath and obeyed, peeling his jeans down slowly to reveal the band of white lace, with the little white ribbon bow at the center. Then the silky blue material of the panties came into view, the bulge of his cock already obscene though he was only half hard.

"Well, now," Natasha murmured. "Don't you look pretty when you do what I tell you to?"

"Yes, ma'am." Steve kept up his slow movement, as ordered, despite the shameful thrill that shot through his whole body at the low promise in her words, his nipples tightening and cock twitching. He shivered a little as air hit his bare thighs when his jeans were down that far, the panties fully displayed to Natasha's dispassionate gaze.

She waved a hand dismissively, and Steve was allowed to drop his jeans the rest of the way in one motion. He stepped out of them, and Natasha said, "Turn."

Steve obeyed immediately, though he knew even he couldn't move quickly enough to disguise his reaction to the order.

"Bend," Natasha directed, as he'd known she would. Steve folded at the waist, showing her his ass in the lacy blue panties she'd selected for him. She was still holding his belt, she could--

A hard little point touched the back of his thigh, just above the knee, and Steve watched her drag the heel of her shoe up, up, all the way to the crease of his ass. He had to remember to breathe, to not beg for anything. This was Natasha's op to run; she would tell him if and when he was allowed to ask for anything other than to be here.

The heel dug in as she used him to wiggle her foot back into her shoe properly; he closed his eyes while she repeated the movement on the other side. He held perfectly still, bent double in front of her while she propped her feet on his ass in its dainty blue panties. She moved her feet a little, scraping the points of her heels across the vulnerable line at the top of his thigh.

Then her right foot moved, her sleekly shod toe tapping against the inside of his thigh. He took a shaky breath and shifted his feet further apart, making space for her between his thighs; when she pressed the sole of her shoe against his balls he made a little helpless sound and his cock hardened fully, stretching the front of the panties. His balls were tight under Natasha's toes.

"If I were annoyed about being here tonight," Natasha said, rocking her foot against his balls, not pressing down hard, but letting him feel how she could, "I could make you come just like this, couldn't I?"

Steve shut his eyes and made sure that his hands were hanging open, fingertips against the floor. "Yes, ma'am."

"I could make you come right now," she went on. She shifted her left foot off his ass and settled it on top, using his back like a footrest. Her right foot shifted lower, the pointed toe of her shoe nudging the hard line of his cock through the panties. "I wouldn't even have to touch you; it wouldn't take long at all."

The toe of her shoe was rubbing just under the head of his cock now, and he was getting harder from the unforgiving touch and her cool words. He would pop free of the panties if she kept that up. His face was hot and red from her words, from wanting it, much more than from being upside down. "Correct, ma'am."

"And you'd lick my shoes clean for me," she murmured, pushing up harder, making it hurt just right.

Steve panted helplessly, his cock pinned against his belly by that unrelenting pressure. She had trained as a ballerina; he knew just how much strength she had in those toes.

"If you dared to get any come on my shoes," she rocked her toe, forcing a little whine from his throat, "you'd get right down on your knees and lick them clean so I could get on with my evening without being bothered any further with you."

"Yes." Steve was getting close just from picturing it, and he knew the reality of her putting him in his place like that would be a thousand times better, everything he needed in one brutal rush. "Yes, I--I would, I will, ma'am, please--"

"No," Natasha said, her voice turning cool and brisk. Her foot slipped free of his crotch, the foot resting on his back shifted. With a whisper of fabric and a tiny exhale of exertion, she moved, and there was abruptly a hundred-odd pounds balanced on his upturned ass.

He held very, very still. The silk would be slippery underfoot.

"You're not going to do that," Natasha said, towering above him. "Do you know why you're not going to do that?"

Steve squeezed his eyes tightly shut. "Because you don't--that's not what you want."

One foot shifted, and he felt the leather sole rubbing thoughtfully down--up--his spine. "What don't I want?"

It was hardly the longest he'd ever had to hold still, even in a difficult position, even bearing weight, but he could feel his whole body wanting to tremble. And still he kept himself locked in place. She wanted to stand on him; he couldn't fail her.

"You don't..." Steve played back what she'd said. "You don't want to get on with your evening without being bothered by me."

The exploring toe was replaced with the point of her heel, scraping exquisitely slowly across his skin. He didn't let the sting of it shake him, didn't let himself be made unsteady by the blood gathering in his head or his cock. "What else?"

Steve thought back further, struggling with the words. "You aren't--annoyed to be here. You don't mind t--"

Her weight shifted, both of her feet on his ass again as she crouched. Her thumb traced the line she'd scratched down his spine, and Steve lost the thread of his words.

"I don't mind?" Natasha prompted, and her fingernails dug in a little, just enough to warn him. They might be short, but they were still sharp.

"You don't mind touching me," Steve said, rushing the words out before he could lose them. "You don't mind taking your time with me."

"Correct." Natasha's weight vanished, and he heard the soft sound of her landing lightly on the hotel room's carpet. "So, now that we've established that I'm here to do exactly what I want with you tonight... kneel."

Steve exhaled, his eyes fluttering shut as he lowered himself to his knees and straightened his back. He kept his hands open at his sides and looked up at Natasha when he was in position.

"Acceptable," Natasha allowed, prodding at his thighs with her pointy-toed shoes, tapping against his cock, dragging a hard line up his belly. He kept his eyes on her eyes; any bit of her body that happened to be incidentally visible wasn't for him to look at.

Natasha sighed and shook her head. "So well-behaved. You could get boring, except..."

Natasha leaned past him, her covered breasts coming tantalizingly close to his face while he didn't look, didn't move toward them or away. He heard the small metal and leather sounds of her handling his belt, his only warning before it was wrapped around his neck. She threaded the end through the buckle and pulled it tight, letting the buckle press into his throat. His spine was absolutely straight, his shoulders squared, as he knelt up tall for her.

"Except we both know the punishment's what you're here for." Natasha tugged up on the makeshift leash to make him tilt his head up. He'd closed his eyes somewhere in there; he opened them now to gaze up at her. "So it doesn't matter how good you are. This is still going to hurt, and it's still going to be all your fault for being such a filthy, needy slut. Isn't it?"

"Yes, ma'am." Steve's voice came out mostly steady despite the heat that flashed through him at her words, burning his mind clean of everything but this moment with her.

"Knees wider," Natasha directed, and Steve shifted them wider, a smooth slide on the carpet. Natasha picked up a slim black cane from the dresser where she'd been perched, and Steve tried not to move as a shiver of anticipation came over him.

She touched the cane to his lips, and his eyelids fluttered involuntarily before he forced his eyes open, watching her. "Kiss."

Steve knew the proper way, and tilted his head, kissing the slim black length with his lips parted, stroking up with his tongue and then back down until Natasha jerked it away.

"Ask for it," Natasha prompted.

"Please, ma'am," Steve's voice shook a little. He needed this. "Please, hit me."

The cane swished up, flicking sharply under his chin. Steve's breath caught a little at the sweet sting of it, and his cock throbbed.

"Why should I?" Natasha prompted.

Steve licked his lips. Natasha always had specific answers in mind for this question; he had to pay attention and remember.

"Because I'm prettier when I'm hurting," Steve recited, face hot, breath coming short though his lungs were working just fine. "And I look nice in--in panties. And because it's fun. To hurt me. When I ask for it."

"You are pretty when I hurt you," Natasha agreed, walking partway around him and prodding her toe against the undercurve of his butt, not quite nudging his balls. "And it is fun. But not to hurt you. What's fun for me? Say it right."

Steve breathed in hard through his nose and forced himself to remember what she'd said last time, for him to say this time.

"To--to make me cry," he tried. He was pretty sure that had been last time; he was always so taken out of himself by the end that it was hard to remember which night was which. "It's fun to make me cry. When I ask you--"

He cut off with a gasp as the cane struck him across the back of his thigh, the fiery sting of it lighting up a straight line just below his panties.

"Clasp your hands behind your back," Natasha directed. "Bend your elbows, cutie, you know what this is for."

Steve threw his shoulders back, twisting his arms up behind him to thrust his chest out. His nipples were hard, drawn up tight and flushed a deep purplish pink. Natasha moved so that she had almost the same view of his body that he did, looking down over him. She tugged on her makeshift leash and he tilted his head back, looking at her upside down.

"Why do you have your hands behind your back?"

Steve cringed, biting his lip, and his cock throbbed. Natasha raised her eyebrows, looking more unimpressed with each second until Steve forced the words out. "To show off my tits. So you can hurt them for me."

Natasha touched the tip of the cane, terrifyingly lightly, to each of his nipples. "Do go on."

Steve closed his eyes for a second, then looked up at her. She wasn't meeting his eyes now; she was watching his chest heaving with his quick breathing. She touched the cane so lightly to his pecs, the valley between them, as if playing eenie meenie miney moe to choose the first place to strike.

But she wouldn't hurt him until he asked her to. "Please, ma'am, please, hit me, hurt m--ahh--"

The cane had laid down a stripe angling across the upper curve of one of his pecs. "Thank--oh, oh--"

She hadn't waited to be thanked before striking him again, and again, fast enough that the pain was still blooming in one stripe when she laid down another. He barely noticed when she moved around to stand in front of him, pulling his makeshift leash around so the leather dragged at his throat. He was gasping at each blow from the cane, laying down an interlaced pattern of welts across his--his tits, so proudly displayed for her.

The next touch of the cane was just that: a gentle prodding against his nipple. Steve nearly sobbed at the shock of the painless touch, and then the pain of the welts already rising bloomed to take up all his attention. His chest felt like it was on fire, the hurt peaking now that there were no fresh blows to distract from it.

And then there was, startling a sob out of him, though he realized as the little sting faded that it had only been the flick of Natasha's fingernail on one hard nipple. She repeated the little flick against the other, and Steve managed to only gasp, but his face was hot, his eyes prickling.

The end of the cane tapped gently at the base of his cock and dragged up its length. Steve struggled to keep still, gasping wildly again. The not-hurting touch felt as intense as pain now, and the switch to pleasure was dizzying.

He barely heard the switch before the cane struck his cheek, raising a line of fire from temple to jaw and bringing a sudden flood of tears to his eyes.

"Tell me what you are right now," Natasha murmured.

Pretty was the correct answer, but he couldn't get out anything but a choked noise, and the cane struck the other side of his face, another shocking flash of pain. Tears spilled down his cheeks, stinging against the fresh welts, and Steve sobbed outright.

Natasha was moving around him--Steve lost track until he felt the end of the cane tap against his balls, drawn up tight in the silky panties. He howled at that, anticipating the pain, but when the cane struck him again it bit the tender inside of his thigh, one side and then the other and back again. He arched his back and wailed and felt nothing but pain and the tangled-up pleasure it bloomed into, keeping his cock hard and his balls tense.

Fingers slid into his hair, gentle for an instant before her fist closed, jerking his head back. "Tell me. What are you?"

Yours, he wanted to say, but that was the one thing he really wasn't allowed. He sobbed instead, feeling alone and lost despite her hand firmly gripping his hair, her marks on his body. Not hers, not anyone's, just a needy, filthy slut who had to go begging a woman who didn't want him to give him what he needed. Tears were rolling down his temples and into his ears and he knew he should say something, anything, but he couldn't make himself say anything to paper over the awful empty place inside him.

"If you don't want to talk when you're told to, I don't think you need to breathe, either," Natasha informed him, and the leather around his throat tightened cruelly.

The tingling kicked in pretty quickly, the dark sparkling at the edges of his vision; his mouth worked helplessly and his mind went blank. There was only the pressure and the need to breathe--and then there was mercy, and air, and the slash of the cane across the backs of his thighs. He howled out a precious breath and gasped in another.

"Very pretty," Natasha murmured behind him. "Crying and hurting and so, so--" the cane struck him again, and he only gasped this time, the pain of it blossoming into heat and pleasure and silence in his mind. "Pretty. You're lucky to have a friend like me, aren't you?"

Steve nodded against the stiffness of leather around his throat. "Thank you, ma'am, please--"

Natasha stepped in close behind him. He could feel her closeness, but she wasn't quite touching him, tugging at the belt to make him pick his head up, then look down at himself. His chest was a network of red welts standing out from his flushed, pink, sweaty skin. His nipples stood out hard, and the head of his cock had popped free of the silky panties, an obscene incongruity with the pretty fabric still stretched around it.

Natasha's hand came into view, her fingers curled to make claws of her short nails, so neatly manicured.

"What do you say?" Her breath was warm on his ear, and he had to stay exactly still to keep from leaning into her. She wasn't for him to touch; usually she didn't touch him, either, not directly with her hands. His heart ached and his eyes prickled all over again at the offer.

"Please," he managed, breathy and effortful. "Ma'am, please."

He went rigid in the next second, fighting not to scream or move as her nails raked cruelly across the welts on his chest, ending with his nipple pinned under one shocking sharp nail. He was panting as it went on and on, and Natasha murmured, "Take your hands down, pretty boy. I want you to touch yourself."

Steve let out a broken keening sound, dropping his hands with care not to brush against her front as he did. He brought them around in front of himself, flexing stiff fingers, but didn't dare go further. She hadn't actually ordered him to, had she?

"Oh, good, you listened," Natasha murmured, letting up the pressure on his nipple. Steve sobbed at the rush of pain and the relief that followed, as well as the reassurance that he'd done it right. She raised her hand and raked it through his hair, a rough but not painful touch, and then her fingers closed on the top of his ear.

He keened as she dug her nails in, producing a stunningly sharp pain. "Touch yourself. Now. Show me how much you love this."

Steve barely restrained a sob as he shoved his right hand into the silky panties, taking hold of his cock and giving himself a fast stroke that twisted pain to pleasure.

"Keep going," Natasha instructed, letting go of his ear only to deliver the same excruciating pinch to his nipple.

Steve obeyed, jerking his cock while he arched into Natasha's cruel grip. He tried to pace himself, keep it slow, keep making it last, but Natasha went back to raking her fingernails over the welts on his chest and Steve lost himself in the whirl of sensation. He knew she kept telling him to go on, and the pain never faltered as the dizzy pleasure mounted.

He folded forward as he felt his orgasm start, and all through it there was a firm pressure on the leather around his neck, and Natasha's shoe pressing against the welts on the back of his thigh. He stroked himself frantically, coming in a wild rush, come splashing against his belly and chest and slicking his fingers.

When it was over Steve sagged forward, his face and shoulders slumping onto the carpet. Natasha's hands deftly loosened the belt from around his neck, replacing it with her fingers curving firmly over his nape. Her other hand rested on top of his head like a benediction.

A few tears leaked from Steve's eyes as his body settled back into place, loose and warm and tired in the aftermath. He never knew how badly he needed this until it was over, and he was inside this weightless moment when he didn't need anything at all.

"Get up," Natasha said softly after a while, tugging gently on his neck and his hair. "Go wash your face, Rogers."

Steve nodded into the carpet and then let her coax him up. She moved at the same time he did, neatly preventing a moment when he would be tempted to lean into her.

"Go on," she repeated. "I'll be here when you're done."

Steve nodded, grateful beyond words for the casual reassurance. He went to the bathroom and didn't bother either shutting the door or switching on a light. He didn't particularly want a better look at himself than the indirect light from the other room would give him. He washed his face and, more to the point, scrubbed the come off his chest and hands, barely feeling the sting of his welts as the washcloth passed over them.

He slipped out of the pretty, wrecked panties and put them in the plastic laundry bag left open on the counter. Natasha shared his own feelings on leaving that kind of evidence around for hotel housekeeping to dispose of. There was a dark square of folded fabric next to the laundry bag; it turned out to be a soft pair of boxer shorts, comfortably loose. He put them on and headed back out to the hotel room.

Natasha was, as promised, waiting for him. She'd done one of her impressive quick changes--USO showgirls had nothing on her--and was now wearing a pair of boxer shorts much like Steve's own, and the t-shirt Steve had arrived in. He didn't see a glimpse of her wicked shoes or the figure-hugging dress. His own clothes and belt and the cane had likewise disappeared.

"Cuddle and run, or are you free to spend the night?" Natasha asked.

Steve exhaled, letting his shoulders slump in relief. He had an even harder time believing that Natasha didn't mind this part; the other must at least be fun, for people who liked taking that side. The switch from hands-off to cuddling had never entirely made sense to him either, but Natasha assured him that it was completely different.

She had already reminded him enough for one night that she was here to do exactly what she pleased with him, anyway. It was easy now, with his mind gone quiet, to accept what she offered without worrying.

"I'm free all night," Steve said, moving toward the bed to tug the covers back. Natasha went and gathered the extra pillows and blanket from the closet and came back to pile them all up into a nest that she burrowed into with an expression of bliss. Steve got into the bed when she was settled, and let her pull him close, settling him half on top of her like a blanket.

"Thanks," he said quietly. "You were--really good tonight. Thanks."

"You were in fine form yourself," Natasha assured him, running a gentle hand over his hair and down his spine. "You're gonna make somebody who actually wants to keep you really happy someday, you know that?"

Steve squeezed his eyes shut and turned his face against her arm to hide. He had made someone really happy once, in another life. As much as he needed this, he couldn't imagine making that kind of connection with someone who he didn't know at all yet. Natasha kept promising him very seriously that the women she picked out for him to try dating were his type, but even that reassurance didn't make the idea of it something he could hold in his head.

"Well, more for me in the meantime," Natasha said quietly, snuggling closer to him. Steve exhaled and let himself relax into this: a good friend, a soft bed, and the sweet fading ache of what she had done to him. It was enough, for tonight. He couldn't ask for more.