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OTP Challenge: Daken/Bullseye

Chapter Text

Bullseye liked Daken best when he was incoherent, when he was speechless and thoughtless in his arms. Naked flesh, sex flushed and relaxed, draped over him like an overgrown feline on the bed. Flawless and beautiful in his embrace, he wanted to destroy him to break him apart, but he was a warm and comforting weight.

He allowed Daken to wrap himself around him, to stroke him with his delicate hands, hiding his claws, and to nuzzle and kiss. Bullseye pulled him up, his hand behind the mutant's head, pressing him to his equally naked chest.

Daken stilled briefly before ghosting his fingers over his arm, tracing his scars. The mutant seldom remained still for more than a few moments, seemingly needing to constantly confirm reality with his touch and senses. In moments like this, Bullseye allowed him the luxury and the invasion of his personal space. He understood the feeling that reality was something that needed confirmation.

Bullseye breathed in Daken’s scent, musk, sex and spice, and tangled his fingers in black silky hair, petting it. Soon the moment would pass, and they would no longer contain their true selves. Hands would cut and tear instead of caress and linger. But for a moment longer, he could remain and pretend that this was something normal they did.

Chapter Text

It took Daken a few moments to scent or hear Bullseye’s presence in the shower room, the water masking most sounds and scents, and the various soaps and shampoos adding to the effect of the latter.

He waited until he could hear another shower turn on before stepping out of the water himself. Quietly, masking his presence completely, Daken crept up on Lester. With a smirk, he observed Lester’s broad back, riddled with old scars and mostly fading bruises, before letting his gaze travel downward to his well-sculpted ass and long legs. His body would have made many professional athletes cry with envy, hadn’t it been for the massive amount scar tissue. It was surprising that it didn’t hinder his movements.

"Darling," he purred into Lester’s ear and wrapped his arms around his waist, making sure to caress him as he went. The sudden rigidity and readiness in Bullseye’s body was arousing, and Daken knew that he had less than a second to calm him down before he attacked. Pheromones, intent to calm and arouse, flooded out of him effortlessly. But it was still a gamble.

"Hands off, shitface, or you’ll lose them," Lester spat, turning half-way and sneering, but there was a slight flush on him, and what little he could sense of his scent was mixed with arousal. Furthermore, he hadn’t attacked.

"Want me to put them elsewhere?" Daken asked, keeping his hands on Bullseye’s body but letting them slide just a little lower.

“Get out,” Lester gritted, growing hard, flushing even more.

"If you so wish," Daken agreed, knowing that their game of push and pull only worked if he was willing to take a step back every now and then. To make Bullseye pursue him instead. But that didn’t mean that he needed to do so without pressing his luck first.

He released Lester’s waist but placed one hand on the back of his head, pulling him down and close.

"A parting gift," Daken breathed and pressed their mouths together. Bullseye’s eyes flew wide open and his flush deepened, spreading to his ears and chest, but he did not think to move. Daken made sure to break contact before he came to his senses, leaving Lester standing stunned under the spray of water. Daken could feel his eyes on him as he went.

"You might want to make it a cold shower, darling," Daken said and smiled at the profanities the assassin hurled at him. He managed to get away moments before the shampoo bottle came flying at where he had been.

Chapter Text

Daken was curious when Bullseye returned from whatever moonlight joyride he’d been on the past few days. Last time he’d seen him, Lester had been a neurotic mess jumping at shadows, and, according to Karla, asking strange questions about Norman’s medication. The implications were clear. Daken considered the possibilities, either Lester had worked out his issues one way or another - or he’d get to see what the assassin looked like when the fragile ties that kept him functioning snapped.

However, It would be a pity if Bullseye was kicked off the team. It would be a less than an optimal turn of events. Regardless, it was potentially very amusing, or a good opportunity to increase his influence. Daken made a point of lingering by the hanger bay when Lester was scheduled to be flown in that morning, curiosity getting the better of him. It would be a very good time to estimate his state of mind. Perfect for an ambush. Regardless of what he had expected, Daken was mildly surprised when Lester literally danced out of the plane. He was singing and twirling, a manic grin on his face and a spring in his step.

Daken decided against approaching him immediately, watching him instead and listened to the song that flowed joyously from his lips. Daken hadn’t expected him to like jazz – he seemed more like the type who enjoyed something noisy and violent. Lester wasn’t half-bad either, his voice a bit gritty from smoking but he could hold a tune. The display painted a smile on his face and he filed it under further use. It was strangely endearing.

As he neared the end off his little performance, Daken slow clapped it out with a very deliberate smirk on his face and an indolent slouch. Expecting Bullseye’s good mood to turn sour at the sight of him, he was yet again surprised by the assassin, who grinned widely at him and gave a deep bow. Masking everything, Daken bowed slightly in reply as if appreciating the courtesy.

“Good trip?” he asked and sauntered up to him, checking him out pointedly, using it as a smokescreen to cover the fact that he was carefully scenting him. Bullseye was sweating heavily, his heart beat was far too elevated, which made his scent strong and pungent. Easy to read.

“The best.” Lester grinned, wide-eyed and nearly coming out of his own skin out of excitement. He stank of adrenaline and endorphins, as well as acrid smoke for some reason… burnt flesh? It was faint, too faint to be his, but definitely there. What had he been up too? Fire had never been his MO from what Daken had observed.

“I can tell,” Daken purred, releasing only a little bit of pheromones to get Bullseye’s full attention: just a little trigger of danger and aggression with the same old undertone of sexual attraction. It was the usual mix that got little Lester very riled up and ready to play. The sudden full body flinch, quickly masked by an aggressive stance, sent him in for another surprise. The trend was starting to annoy Daken, being caught off guard like this was unseemly, but it was intriguing. Bullseye seemed as confused as he was and retreated several steps, swallowing heavily and gritting his teeth to steel himself. The behavior was curious, he’d seen Lester intimidated before and ready to fight a superior foe. This wasn’t it. This was someone preparing for an inescapable and one-sided beating.

“The fuck are you up to, fuckface? I’ll gut you.” Lester growled without any real heat, his scent a maelstrom of fear and shame. Daken had never before scented him this scared, it was on one level appealing but also disturbingly out of character. Macabre curiosity made him want to prod at whatever wound he’d opened up, but the desperation in Lester’s eyes had him backing off for now – pressing him now might break him. A high stakes game was better played in private and after deliberation, too many unknown variables were in play for his comfort.

“Nothing, darling. I’m available if you want me though.” Daken released some pheromones to soothe the fear. Deciding that it might be good to impress upon his pet that he was an ally at a time like this or at least not a threat. Pure emotion filtered across Lester’s face in quick succession, before he snarled and stormed away, only a step away from a fearful retreat. Daken stared at his retreating form, frowning and trying to figure out just what had happened. He wouldn’t leave it that easy. Lester had just given him a mystery to solve.

Daken kept an eye on Bullseye during the day’s mission and wasn’t surprised to see the assassins mood oscillate from maniac to raging at the slightest provocation. After the fourth outburst, Daken made a point of intervening with both pheromones and verbal distractions. The grateful look from the rest of the team was hard to miss, and Ares even patted him on the shoulder as it saved him from the bother of again having to physically removing Lester from whatever had him riled up. Had Bullseye been more mentally present he might have protested, but as was it just served to cement that Lester was too far gone to care for team politics or his usual (public) vendetta with him.

Even Stormin’ Norman noticed the change and partnered them up for the remainder of their mission, which was dealing with the Mole Man and his army of minions. It was ridiculous, but they were many. New York was absolutely crawling with ludicrous self-styled heroes and villains, but really calling yourself the Mole-Man? It was like having a neon sign on you that said ‘I don’t deserve to live’, not that there wasn’t an abundance of inferior lifeforms in the city.

“Damn well keep him in line, Wolverine. I’m holding you personally responsible.” Was Norman’s parting order as they split up to deal with the “threat”.

Daken narrowed his eyes and sneered, but replied with a curt “Yes, sir” to get Norman off his back. He had no intention of letting Lester kill himself, that was a pleasure he reserved for himself if he ever decided on it, besides the humiliation of being beaten by the Mole Man was terrible even by association.

Bullseye was taking point, again in a manic state of over-excitement and recklessness, laughing and killing his way through their opposition with glee. He seemed completely unconcerned with his own safety and fully intent on wading through blood, his own, and their enemy’s. Daken was forced to keep up with him, thrown into the midst of the battle with little next to no concern of strategy – not that it was a great challenge. Regardless, keeping them both alive was a full time job as Bullseye seemed to be completely unaware of everything that wasn’t the dying bodies in front of him. The usual joy Daken felt at gutting inferior scum was drowning in his annoyance at having to mind his teammate like a homicidal and sugar-high toddler. He deserved an award for his patience and temperance.

“God damn it, stop!” Daken kicked what was possibly a moloid in the face, disemboweling another as he pulled at Lester who was still laughing.

“Why the fuck should I? I’m gonna slaughter each and every single one! Listen to them dying! I’m God to them. They can’t touch me,” Lester said, blood-soaked and frenzied, and continued to rant, but Daken stopped paying attention, turning instead to his scent. Even through the blood and gore his emotions were sharp and strong, and unbalanced. Lester was coming off the rails, which – while a sight beautiful to behold – was threatening to get him killed.

The imminence of possible death was highlighted by the beast that crawled up from the hole in the street, it was massive and angry. Moloids ran for cover as the Beast emerged, it was the size and general shape of a four story house.

“For fuck’s sake—,” was Mac’s response to the thing and Daken’s sentiment if in less intimidated terms. Lester, on the other hand, tore himself from his grip, shrieking with high-pitched laughter, and rushed the damn thing. With a growing desire to gut Bullseye personally, Daken joined the fray together with the rest of the team. It was a mad dance of blood, guts and gore, all accompanied by Bullseye’s laughter and the occasional song.

Daken paid little attention to anything but fighting for the next several minutes, keeping Bullseye from being blindsided by any hostiles. By some miracle, they managed to kill and push back the veritable army of subterranean freaks without incurring any casualties. Daken found Lester on the body of the beast, cutting it up and talking to himself at an accelerated rate.

“Hey! We’re moving out,” he called out, not wanting to climb the stinking carcass of the creature. Bullseye flashed him a bright smile and bounded down the beast in acrobatic leaps and somersaults. He was showing off for no other reason than that he could, and unwillingly it brought an amused smile to Daken’s face.

“Aren’t you a wet blanket, shitface,” the assassin said and jogged up to him. This was when Norman decided to join in, landing a few feet away in his Patriot suit, the visor flapping open to reveal his angry face. It was fascinating to see what happened next – as if there had been a switch that had been flipped.

“What the hell were you thinking, Hawkeye? Do you singlehandedly intend to ruin my mission?” Norman roared and pointed accusingly at Bullseye, who took half a step back. Daken noticed the shift in him immediately; Bullseye was once more terrified and barely holding onto any composure, just like in the hanger bay. The common denominator seemed to be direct human confrontation and aggression, he noted abstractly.

“Just doing my job,” Bullseye said, his voice uncertain, noticeably blanching.

“Your job is to obey orders!” Norman said, marching up and invading his personal space. Lester seemed to shrink and cringe, but managed to stand his ground, quite likely because he'd frozen in fear. Any enjoyment Daken might have felt at his discomfort disappeared that moment with Norman and his damn posturing. He was infringing on Daken’s territory.

“Yes, sir,” Lester said obediently, without even the slightest hint of sarcasm or mocking. Daken was stunned to see his hands shake and the look of desperate terror in his wide eyes. There was rage somewhere there, but it was buried in abject fear. It was like watching a train wreck.

“It got the job done.” The words left his mouth before he had the time to consider why. Norman turned on him like an enraged beast. Daken was unmoved by his red-blooming face and snarl, he made a point of smirking and drawing all attention on himself.

“And you! I ordered you to keep him in line!” Norman frothed, but Daken barely graced him with a recognition of his statement by shrugging slightly.

“We won,” he said calmly, eying Lester who was still frozen in place, but whose hands had steadied.

“I won’t tolerate further disobedience.” Norman dismissed him with toothless threat, realizing that a standoff with them was pointless and flew off in a huff.

Daken turned his attention fully toward Lester, sending out soothing pheromones as he approached him. Lester startled and stared as Daken took a hold of him by the arm, leading him to their transport back to the Tower. Daken made sure to touch him firmly, shielding him from other stimuli with his physical presence. Better that he focus on him rather than throw another fit. Lester allowed this with an unusual level of docility, his scent still fear-thick and confused. He managed to compose himself somewhat with his help by the time they joined the others

The trip to the Tower was mostly quiet, the usual bickering was on a low level since Bullseye wasn’t participating. He just kept staring ahead, silent, and fidgeting, not even bother to respond to being addressed or the remarks that flew. Daken observed him with a mild sense of concern, as his scent was a chaotic mess and his heart was still racing a mile a minute. He might have to pressure medical to take a proper look at him and drug him back to his senses. Which, actually raised the question if Lester was off his medication, that he’d gone cold turkey on all of his little pills on his misadventure, and this was just the undiluted, unmedicated Bullseye experience. If so it could all be easily fixed. He knew exactly the person to talk to. 

With a surge of annoyance, Daken attributed his own response to a sense of possessiveness.

When they arrived, Daken lingered and sided up to Karla, giving a pointed glance at Bullseye.

“What’s wrong with him? Besides the obvious,” Daken asked her, eyebrow raised and with as much of an air of nonchalance as he could muster. “I’m not having Norman put me on babysitting duty again. Mac's bad enough.”

“Hmm. Erratic behavior. Elation. Pressured speech. I’d say a manic episode, more so than the usual hypomania he exhibits, possibly with psychotic traits. Hallucinations with all likelihood,” Karla hummed, pleased to be asked for her professional opinion. “A Zyprexa, Clozapine, and Lithium cocktail should knock him on course again. It would render him useless for a while, but better that than him getting all of us killed because of his delusions of grandeur and recklessness. I am surprised that Norman didn’t have him carted off in a straitjacket.”

“That would have been a sight,” Daken agreed and smiled for her.

“Imagine the possibilities,” he added with a dirty wink, to further divert her assumptions of his interest.

“Naughty boy.” Karla smiled and swatted him on the arm teasingly, and they both looked at Bullseye who was animatedly arguing with a HAMMER soldier. It was no surprise to either of them when the soldier fell dead at his feet and several guns were pointed at Bullseye. Ares intervened and carted off Bullseye, who stilled in his grip like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

“I guess that was it,” Karla remarked in a disappointed tone, Daken shrugged and had a feeling that it was just the start. Besides, he would not leave Lester’s fate entirely in the hands of others.

As circumstances would have it, Daken did not have the opportunity to confront Lester in private as the assassin pitched yet another a fit in medical and was put in isolation for the evening. Not even Daken could sneak in there without alerting someone of his presence. Comparably speaking, it was easier to gain access to classified intel than it was to gain entry into medical. Funny how that went.

Regardless, Lester was released late that night, a fact Daken became aware of when he was woken by the sound of glass breaking and incoherent shouting. He knew that if Lester kept it up he’d be incarcerated again, this time perhaps indefinitely. Daken did not like that idea. Whereas, he usually thought little of Bullseye and his little game with him, the thought of his absence grated at him and felt like a – a theft. He needed Lester to settle down, now. Annoyed but determined in his course of action, Daken left his room as he was, naked barring in his underwear. He was lucky as no one else seemed to have paid the noise any attention – yet.

With a claw, he broke the lock and entered Lester’s room unannounced. The assassin was on his knees, stabbing at a wall and rambling incoherently while his room was a mess of shattered glass and broken furniture. Whatever medication they had given him had evidently done nothing to stop his episodes – then again the now broken bottles of alcohol had hardly been what the doctor’s prescribed.

Without further preamble, Daken walked across the glass, unconcerned of any injury, and took a firm hold of Bullseye’s wrists, suspending his hands in the air.

“Let it go,” he told him firmly, and surprisingly Lester obeyed. The knife dropped from his bloodied hands and Bullseye shivered, saying something incoherent about killing and fire. Daken shushed him and let his pheromones saturate the air, pulling him to his feet and into his embrace. The other man sank into his arms with boneless tiredness, and allowed himself to be half-dragged into his bed. The drugs seem to have separated him from his precious rage, rage that had kept the pain and fear at bay.

When Daken joined him, he grew agitated and scared once more, breaking his wrist and a few fingers on the other hand, but Daken soothed him down with more gentle movements, petting and holding him like a scared animal as his bones healed.

When Bullseye started to cry it wasn't altogether unexpected, but, on the other hand, his rambling grew more intelligible. While it was clear that Lester, at certain moments, had no idea what belonged to the past or present, his ranting started to paint a picture. Lester convulsed in his sobbing — shame, fear, and pain mingled together in a wet mess — as Daken cradled him while listening to his sordid story. He had been under the impression that Bullseye had killed his father for some undisclosed but typically tragic childhood abuse years ago, it turned out that the assassin had failed, twice, only to finish his parricidal mission yesterday. He’d burned him alive and waited for hours to ensure that his "old man" was dead. That stressor, combined with erratic medication, had evidently sent him spiraling.

Daken held Lester and did his best to get him to calm down; kissing his cold sweating brow, rubbing circles over his back, and kept him from any too extravagant fits of violence. The bruises and cuts would heal, the tears and snot could be washed off. Everything he did now would determine just how much trust he would win. He had to move very carefully.

Lester was still sobbingly repeating himself, “I’m sorry”s and “kill you”s a constant chorus to trivial memories relived, and in a state of near panic. Daken observed his pain, detached and calculating, and estimated that the best he could do was to get him to sleep. Taking any further advantage would sabotage his future potential, better to encourage dependence. With a very well-crafted face of sympathy and encouraging murmurs, Daken let Bullseye cry himself to sleep, pressing chaste kisses to his face.

Daken slept fitfully, as Bullseye screamed and cried in his sleep, he fought and convulsed, only to fall back into restless sleep when Daken pet and cradled him. The cycle repeated itself throughout the night. He woke up in the same moments as Bullseye, his restless movements and increased heart rate better than any alarm. He watched blue eyes flutter open and go from sleep dulled to crystal clear, the tension in Lester’s body growing as he realizes that he was not alone.

“It’s just me. Nothing's wrong,” Daken hushed him and let his hand cradle his head, wishing for a moment that the other man would let his hair grow out so that he’d have something to hold.

“—get off me,” Bullseye gritted quietly, his eyes shutting hard, shivering with repressed emotion.

“I don’t think you want me to, dear,” Daken replied. “Don’t worry, you’re safe with me.”

The choked laughter that left Lester was nearly hysterical. Daken allowed him to laugh and struggle until he settled and held him instead, still convulsing with desperate laughter.

“That’s a fuckload of shit, Daken, and you know it.” Lester's nails dug into his flesh.

“If I had wanted to hurt you, sweetness, you’d be dead by now,” Daken told him. “Feeling better?”

“Fuck you. Fuck you and your games and sympathy. What do you want from me?”

“I’m on your side—”

“Nobody is, and I don’t care,” Lester told him, staring wide-eyed at him, hands moving up to his face. Daken let him touch him, to claw and caress him, while scenting the arousal he gave off. He knew that Lester was still unstable but lucid, letting him continue this was a gamble that could backfire. Pressing their mouths together while cutting off all pheromones, he gave him his last chance to back off. Instead of being intimidated or angry, Lester clung to him and pressed their bodies together.

“Make me forget,” he gasped as the kiss broke. “Fuck me. You— you want me, right? That’s why you’re here. I’d rather this be a sex thing than sentiment. Don’t you tell me fucking bullshit like you care. I don’t want it. I don’t want any faked shit. Just fucking do it.”

The vehemence of his statement, despite the lies he could smell, appealed to Daken. His little pet was lying to himself, but some lies needed indulging. He kissed Lester open mouthed and hungry, giving him what he wanted if not what he needed. Lester clung to him, uncertain as to what he should be doing, but responded as best as he could. He flinched at Daken’s hands pulling down his boxers but settled when Daken started to jerk him off. Moaning into their kiss, Lester dug his fingers deep into Daken’s shoulders, it was painful, but Daken didn't mind. If anything it kept his mind clear and on his task. He took a moment to rummage Lester’s drawer, finding a small package of lube.

Daken then flipped Lester on his back, registering the alarmed look on his face but, in accordance with his wishes, ignored it. He took him in his mouth, licking and sucking until he was fully hard. Carelessly, Daken removed both of their underwear with his claws, scrapping skin and drawing fine red lines on their thighs. Lester gasped and moaned profanities, the pain making his arousal spike and cock bob, his hands clutching the sheets. Daken grabbed him by the thighs, smearing blood on his hands and along his skin, and dived down between his legs while pulling him up. Staring Lester straight in the eyes, he demonstrative licked at his meticulously shaved skin, from thigh to cock, making him shiver. With a smirk, he lapped at warm skin, working his way down Lester’s cock to his perineum and down. The startled yelp that escaped Lester lips, when he licked at his entrance, made Daken chuckle before he went back to eating him out. After a few more moments of that, he needed to restrain the assassin’s strong, and very much kicking, legs and nipped at his thigh to make him stop moving. They didn’t have much lube at hand so he needed to be through if this was to be a pleasurable experience.

Not that Lester didn't get a good hang of it when he plunged his tongue inside of him and then started to introduce his saliva-slicked fingers. His pet whined and cried out, swearing and begging him, as he started to blow him again while fingering him, slowly working up to two fingers.

“Fuck, you’re going to make me come, you fucking—”

“Not yet,” Daken said, spat in his hand then and bit at his thighs, already having covered them multiple bite marks, and inserted a third finger inside of him. Bullseye swore again and banged his head again the bed, while trying to thrust into his hand.

“Oh for fuck’s sake, just stick it in me already! You can’t be that big, princess,” he barked impatiently, flushing a deep red and squirmed. Daken complied and removed his fingers, noting happily that Lester was comparably clean. He ripped open the package and pressed out what little lube there was and spread it across his own length and smearing the rest on Lester.

“I’ll let you decide that yourself then, pet,” Daken told him mockingly as he adjusted their bodies to fit. Carefully, he guided himself in and sunk down on Lester, spreading his legs wide and high to ease entry. Regardless, Lester gasped at the sensation, tensing before Daken flooded him with a wave of pheromones.

“Move,” he hissed in spite of the unfamiliar sensations, eyes blown wide and a rictus of a grin on his face. Daken moved, at first shallow thrusts then deeper and harder as Lester adjusted to him. Daken stared down at Lester, studying his face, as he fucked him; he had to admit that he liked it; the nakedness, the hunger, and even, when he picked up his pace, the tear mixed laughter. His pet was loud, both in his profane pleading and the hitched laughter, but it felt right. He was claiming what was his.

“You’re gonna break me, go ahead and do it, fuck yes please just do it, please please,” Lester sobbed and pressed back at him, mad eyed and with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I fucking hate you, need you, fuck you, please please, break me already. Fuck, fuck me,” He laughed and clawed at Daken’s arms.

“Don’t worry, pet. Just enjoy yourself,” Daken said and shifted their position so that Lester was fully bent double, leaning down with his hands and placing his full weight on his legs. Lester gasped and keened at the shift and how much deeper Daken ended up fucking him with each thrust. He felt perfect, so damn perfect that he had to keep himself from coming with each movement. With a surprisingly strong sense of affection, Daken kissed him and buried himself deep, grinding down at him, barely moving. Lester clawed deeply at his back and arms, biting at him, coming violently across both of their stomachs. He sobbed as Daken continued to fuck him until he came as well.

Daken let himself slip out and adjusted to hold Lester, who was once more both crying and laughing. Gingerly, and with gentleness that his pet cursed him for, Daken held him and shushed him, kissing him; tasting both blood and tears on his face.

“I fucking told you not to, asshole,” Lester complained between sobs, struggling slightly in his arms.

“You specified fake. I’m rather fond of what’s mine,” Daken corrected, kissing him once more.

“Not yours, fuckface,” he sulked, breath hitching.

“Then let’s just call it a ‘sex thing’,” Daken replied mockingly. “I do like how you beg. I’ll look forward to hearing it again.”

“Go die in a fire.”

“But who would fuck you then? Besides, I might let you fuck me too if you ask nicely.”

“— fucking hate you.”

“Would you feel better if I told you I hate you too?” Daken said, smearing come across his chest in a mimicry of the tattoo pattern on his own. The glare he received made him laugh and press their mouths together.

“I won’t let anyone touch you,” Daken whispered, Lester pretended not to hear but the shift in his scent was enough of a marker.

To hide and avoid that depth of emotion, Lester pitched a fit about how sore he was and the bite marks on his thighs, petulantly kicking at him and complaining that that hurt. Then he started to whine about feeling strange and empty, breaking his wrist again him when Daken laughingly suggest that he fuck him again to deal with that. Lester hobbled off to the bathroom in a huff, blushing deeply and swearing the entire time. Daken lay on the bed and listened to him, feeling his bones and joints knit together.

He felt strangely at home. Sentiment, he chided himself but lost that train of thought as he heard Lester start to sing in the shower. It was the same song as before. Daken listened to his voice and let it lull him into sleep.

Chapter Text

The last thing Bullseye wanted was to be cornered by Daken in the hallway. He was fresh from a wet work mission, killing multiple alleged terrorists, and was in his usual excited state. That is he had a raging hard on, which he needed to deal with. He had intended to do so alone in his room.

"You smell wonderful," Daken purred, having crept up on him from nowhere in that spooky ninja shit way of his, and put his damn hands on him.

"I’ll kill you—" The words died in his throat as he felt and heard claws draw, cutting along his hip and scraping his inner thigh, as Daken’s fingers dug into his hips. He stilled and glared murderously at the smirking mutant.

"Don’t mind me," Daken said, pressing their bodies close together, and nipping at his ear. "Do feel free to help yourself."

"You fucking pervert," Bullseye hissed, unmoving barring his straining erection that jolted with the shallow cuts, the pain arousing him.

"Hmm, but you like it. I think I gave you an order," Daken hummed, licking at his throat, shifting his claws and cutting up spandex.

With a sneer, Bullseye pulled down his costume enough to free himself, shuddering at the cold air on his hot naked flesh.

"I do like that you shave, precious,” Daken commented, fingers and claws lightly caressing him from his ass to hips and thighs. “It is so considerate of you.”

Straining not to move from his position, Bullseye grabbed his own length, jerking in long slow strokes. Daken bit at his shoulder, licked and kissed the mark, still running his hands along his thighs, nicking flesh only enough to draw blood. Bullseye groaned at the sensation of blood running down his skin and quickened his pace.

Daken grabbed his wrist, stopping him and pulling his hand up to his face and, to Bullseye’s surprise, taking his fingers in his mouth. He barely stopped himself from jerking against dangerously close claws, as Daken’s wet hot mouth sucked and licked at him.

"Continue," Daken ordered as he released him with a wet plop. Shuddering and leaning against the mutant, Bullseye brought his slick hand back to his cock, thumbing at the head before he took himself in his hand.

"Faster," Daken told him, kissing his ear and biting at him.

"Such a good boy," he praised him as Bullseye obeyed him unquestioningly. He was starting to feel weak in his knees as he jerked himself, only remaining standing with Daken's assistance. The moan that left him when Daken cut at his thighs once more was loud and uninhibited. Daken chuckled into his ear, caressing him languidly but never touching his cock, leaving him to get himself off.

"Go ahead, precious. Come for me," Daken ordered in a low whisper and grabbed him tightly. With an embarrassing whine, Bullseye picked up his pace again and desperately pushed himself past the edge. He came violently over his own hand and stomach, staining the costume with his semen, and sinking into Daken’s arms breathless.

Blearily blinking the spots out of his eyes, Bullseye saw the two HAMMER scientists come around the corner and stop stunned at the sight of them. It takes him a few moments to comprehend what he saw, and, by then, the lab-coated women have fled in the opposite direction.

He realized the picture he must be making, his pants pulled down to his knees, stained in blood and come, with his wilting erection, hanging onto Daken like lifeline, flushed and panting.

"You were very good. I’m so happy with you,” Daken encouraged and kissed his face, his erection pressing against Bullseye’s backside.

Bullseye was going to kill Daken, gut him and plant his head on a flag pole. But first, he intended to fuck Daken’s brains out.

Chapter Text

"Are you telling me that you’d never receive a blowjob from a man?” Daken asked, incredulous.

"Fuck no," Bullseye sneered at him and felt the hair at the back of his neck rise. He had no idea how their conversation had devolved into sex. Again. He wasn’t nearly drunk enough for this.

"Seriously? A mouth is a mouth. It’s not like your dick could tell the difference," Daken remarked casually, leaning on the couch that Bullseye was sitting in.

"I said, no. I’m not a faggot like you,” Bullseye said and tried to ignore the mutant, he pointedly drank his beer and looked away at the TV screen - the game was just starting up again after a break. But Daken had evidently fixated on the subject.

"It’s a blowjob. Not a marriage proposal. Besides, how would you know if you never tried?"

"Fucking stop talking about it, or I’ll ram a knife down your throat.”

"How phallic. Are you sure it’s a knife you meant?"

"I don’t care how keen you are on choking on my dick, fuckface."

"I like it when you talk dirty."

"I’m trying to watch the game, freak show. Fuck off," Bullseye spat and ignored him best as he could, because just no.

"I’m not stopping you," Daken purred and walked around the couch, kneeling between his legs.

"The fuck are you up to?" Bullseye said, he definitely did not squeak like a pubescent boy when Daken settled his hands on his knees.

“I bet you I can give you the best blowjob in your life,” Daken said with a smug smirk. “If I lose you get to cut me up as much as you like. If I win – I get to come on that target on your face.”

Bullseye’s eyes bulged and jaw dropped at Daken’s insane bet. The stuck up little shit was fooling himself if he thought that he’d ever go along with that just to get to cut him up. Shit, he did that anyhow and he didn’t need to fuck the faggot’s mouth to know that. To fuck that smug smirk right off his face and choke him on it and then carve him up like a Thanksgivings turkey until there was nothing left. Bullseye shifted in his seat and felt his cock strain against his jeans. Damn, he was actually considering it.

Daken’s damn smirk widened and he ran his damn hands along his thighs suggestively.

It’s not like he’d lose. He’d gotten plenty of head from hot chicks. Great head even. Besides it’s not like Daken could tell. He’d just watch his game, choke the faggot and have it done with. Then the real fun would begin.

“You’re on,” Bullseye spat and finished his bottle, spreading his legs just enough to fit him.

Daken scooted up close and unzipped his jeans, tugging them and his underwear down, freeing his half-hard cock. Bullseye sneered and resisted the urge to smash the mutant in the face with the bottle. Resolutely, he turned his gaze back to the game, doing his best to ignore Daken’s hand on him and his hot breath. He only flinched slightly at the wet tongue dragging along his length and the way lips took him in before sucking at the tip. Unwillingly, he glanced down to see the mutant starting up at him with his cock in his mouth, managing to look smug about it.

Fucking piece of shit. Bullseye thrust up at him to get him to gag, but Daken took it in his stride and took his entire length in his mouth with a deceptively smooth movement. The pleasured grunt, which escaped Bullseye’s lips quickly morphed into a curse and he stared back at the screen. The pitcher was fucking around, Bullseye would have brained him with the damn ball for such ineptitude.

He really tried to pay attention to the game, but Daken was bobbing on his cock like some pro. Tongue running along his cock even as he sucked, deep-throating him like nobody’s business, and then worrying the tip with lips and tongue. Did the mutant even have a gag reflex? Bullseye banged his head back and tried to swallow the noises he wanted to make. He wasn’t gonna let the mutant win, despite how good it felt. Daken even looked good doing it. All flushed and stuffed – and then his damn eyes started to tear and it just looked so hot. Even that stupid mop of a mohawk looked good like this, wispy hair falling in his face and just begging to be grabbed.

Bullseye wasn’t one for resisting temptation and pulled Daken off his dick by his hair, saliva streaked his chin and his lips were swollen and red. The little shit even licked at his cock as he went like he couldn’t get enough of it.

“I’m not ever gonna come if you’re gonna fuck around like that, I’ve had better head from a two dollar whore,” Bullseye lied, pretending that is actions were just a means of getting it over with. With a growl, he pushed Daken back on his cock and started to fuck his face.

“That’s better,” he gritted and closed his eyes, holding Daken’s hair in a harsh grip, pressing him down against his crouch. Daken’s grip on his thighs tightened and the mutant stilled in his grip. With firm and deliberate movements, the mutant took control again, seemingly careless of the fact that Bullseye was ripping at his mohawk. Instead, from what he could tell, the little shit was enjoying it, moaning around his cock like some porn star, which felt awesome.

It was disgusting how turned on Bullseye was.

Then Daken really got to work on him. Resentfully, Bullseye felt himself both melt and tense as the mutant blew him, he even moaned when he started to play with his balls. Cheeky shit was cheating. With an undignified whine, Bullseye tried to focus on the game that was in its last innings and thought about baseball. He yelped when he felt teeth scrape at his cock, glaring down at Daken who gave him the most entitled glare ever in response. Then there was lips and tongue soothing him and everything was wonderful.

Bullseye lost it before the game was over. He came with a growl in Daken’s mouth, who kept on sucking him until he was begging for him to stop. It was all too much and he felt like he was going to die from over stimulation. He sunk down deep in his seat, until he was nearly lying down. Dazed, flushed and shaking, Bullseye watched as Daken finally released him, licking and kissing his length clean like a satisfied cat.

“You liked that?” Daken purred and climbed up on the couch and him with equally feline movements.

Bullseye tried to speak, but nothing came out but gasps. He managed to nod.

“Best you’ve ever had?” Daken continued, straddling his chest and brushing his knuckles again Bullseye’s cheek. Dazed and too stupid to compute anything, Bullseye managed something like a yes. Blinking slowly and breathing like he’d just run a marathon, Bullseye was confused for a moment why Daken’s hard dick was in his damn face. He just stared stupidly at it.

A hand gently lifted his face up and he looked up at Daken’s smug, flushed face, as he jerked off. Trying to protest, he opened his mouth, but only a throaty moan came out. The splatter of come, centered on the bull’s eye scar on his forehead running down his eyes, cheek and even mouth, had him spluttering and flushing deep enough to feel like he was burning.

“I liked it too,” Daken told him, wiping the head of his cock off on Bullseye’s cheek, smearing more come on him. Without further ado, the mutant climbed off him and left, leaving him in a state of stunned embarrassment.

Chapter Text

Daken could taste blood as his face healed, a massive cut that had mauled him to the bone — the pain was secondary, endorphins kicked in and kept him from dwelling on it. His mask had fallen off him, but it wasn’t like anyone would recognize him. The greatest annoyance was that he was half-blind and the battle still raged on around him. Instead, Daken waited, letting his opponents pursue him and to open themselves up for attacks. It spared him the bother of stumbling around like some idiot.

Speaking of idiots, Bullseye was shouting at him to join the battle and not to wait for his enemies to “cope a feel”. It painted a grin on Daken’s face, the marksman had it bad for him. Distractions set aside, he was healing and soon running out of opponents stupid enough to go after him. Casually, Daken walked into the fray, killing off those wounded still alive, no point to draw out their suffering. Their screams annoyed him.

"Are you gonna make us do all the work?" Bullseye spat at him, marching up to him blood-soaked and torn. Daken eyed him calmly, blinking blood out of his eyes, and let his scent be the focus of his attention. Blood mixed with rage and lust. Bullseye loved doing "all the work"; slaughter was his natural state, it was hardly the cause of his ire.

"You seem to be doing well enough." Daken cocked his head and wiped his face. The blood was annoying, it still ran down in his eyes and dried on his lashes. Bullseye made a sour face, and, without looking away, killed an opponent who had charged at them.

"Like I need your help," he said, pursing his lips together. "I just don’t like freeloaders."

"What — you want me to pay you back somehow?" Daken remarked with both annoyance and flirtation. The impression was somewhat ruined by him having to wipe more blood from his face. Bullseye sighed and then walked up to him with a huff.

"It’s in your hair, idiot." Bullseye pushed back Daken’s mohawk with his gloved hand, Daken could feel blood and gore splatter off him. "This is why I shave, it just gets in the way," he muttered, a concentrated look on his face, half concealed by what was left of his mask.

"Thank you," Daken said, looking up at him through deliberately hooded eyes with a slight smirk playing across his lips. It was fun to rile the other man likes this, let him know exactly how close in his personal space he’d invaded.

"Try not to be a fuck-up, instead," Bullseye said, seemingly unconcerned, and grabbed him by the neck, shaking him a little. Daken’s eyebrows shut up high and he had to conceal his expression with a blank stare. Moments later, his jaw tightened and he slapped Bullseye’s hand off him. Rage simmered beneath his iron control, and he thought about disemboweling Bullseye.

"Like you, you mean?"

"Why, don’t you have your panties in a twist. Get your head in the game," Bullseye scoffed and turned back to the remnants of the battle, taking down two opponents with one shot. Damn show off. Daken thought about backstabbing the bastard and calling it a day. Patience, he chided himself and left the assassin to his own devices without further comment.

Clean up was quick, no prisoners were taken, it was just a sweep to ensure that everything was dead. Osborn had decided that the “nation” could not afford the price of prisoners. The PR team would spin it somehow; they were paid ridiculously well to ensure that Osborn and the Avengers came out smelling roses regardless of what happened. Daken had slept with one of the consultants to get a feel of what Norman had wanted to hide so badly, turned out that it was pretty much everything he did. The madman had more skeletons in his closet than a cemetery.

Transport was waiting for them, Daken jumped into the back of the Humvee with an exasperated sigh. He hated it when they were driven, it would take at least a couple of hours to get back to the base like this.

"Chin up, fuck-up," Bullseye told him with a grin. Daken looked up at him with a barely restrained snarl, his hair falling in his face with the movement, noticing for the first time that it was just him and Bullseye together with a few soldiers in the back. He really had his head out of the game. He’d deserved the insult for that alone. Daken stopped himself from wringing his hands by clutching his seat until his knuckles were white, he forced a smile on his face.

"I’ll fuck you up," he retorted and licked his teeth.

"You need a scrunchie or something first?" Bullseye asked with an amused chuckle and leaned over to brush his hair out of his face. Daken stilled unwillingly at the touch. Since when did Bullseye have this much composure and audacity? Had someone adjusted his medication without Daken noticing?

"Fuck, man. Get a hair cut." Bullseye grinned and leaned back in his seat, digging in his pouch for a pack of cigarettes. He fished one out and rested it on his lips as he offered the pack at the soldiers, only one accepted and pulled out a lighter, offering a light.

"Thanks, man. Shit,” he said and took a deep drag. “I haven’t smoked in ages. Just got the craving, you know.” He directed the last part at Daken.

"I can’t imagine," Daken replied dryly, crossing his arms and trying to figure out what kind of game that Bullseye was playing.

"There isn’t much that’s as good as a good smoke after a killing. Sex, maybe," he contemplated and flashed a happy grin, taking another drag and blowing the smoke from his nose. "But fuck if there are any hot chicks around when you want them, eh?" He laughed loudly and slapped the soldier next to him over the shoulder, who awkwardly chuckled along. He then glanced over at the only female soldier with a lopsided grin. "No offense. I’m sure you are hot but civilian ass is much softer."

"Sure as hell," she replied and jutted her chin.

"I like you.” Bullseye chuckled and again slapped the guy next to him over the shoulder, this time the laughter was less awkward. Daken wondered when Bullseye had learned to get along with people, let alone be something close to charming.

"Pity that I’m going to have to kill you all," Bullseye continued and, for a moment, there was a stunned silence then awkward laughter. Then, in less than 30 seconds, the soldiers were dead in their seats; two with arrows in their eyes, one with his neck broken and the fourth with her throat sliced. The driver hadn’t noticed a thing; they were still heading toward base. Bullseye pulled out the arrows and placed them back in his quiver after wiping them off on the fallen soldiers.

Daken sat in tense silence, claws nearly drawn, ready to take Bullseye out if he had to. He let a casual smile grace his face and raised an eyebrow quizzically. "Was that really necessary? Osborn won’t be happy."

"Wanted a little privacy," Bullseye replied, wiping the blood off his face and hands on his costume. Purple was a good color to hide blood.

"How direct,” Daken said, still ready to kill him.

"Chill — ain’t gonna kill you. Well, not now at least,” Bullseye said, sitting down again and glancing out of the jeep. No one behind them seemed to have noticed anything either.

"Then what was the purpose of this exercise?"

"I already told you, fuck-up. Privacy. You looked like you needed it," Bullseye told him, his gaze still settled on the landscape outside. Daken had no idea how to respond to that. He sat in bemused silence and stared at the marksman, who had yet again lighted another cigarette.

"Fuck, it’s just not as good as it used to be," Bullseye said once he’d smoked it half way, flicking the stub out of the window with a disappointed face. He threw the entire pack of Lucky Strikes out after it. The car behind them swerved violently for a moment but managed to regain control. Bullseye chuckled at the sight, flashing him a smile. "I really hope Mac was in that one."

He laughed loudly once more, slapping his own thigh. He then stilled and stared at him with a shake of his head. "Hey, man. Do away with the look."

"What?" Daken asked confused.

"That look where you do that thing with your face,” he said and wiggled his hand at Daken’s face. “That one. Makes you looked like a kicked puppy. I did it because it wouldn’t do to let the grunts see you like that. Bad for morale.”

"As opposed to killing them?" Daken said, feeling defensive and not wanting to acknowledge that he had a "look".

"I did you a favor, fuck-up,” Bullseye said firmly, grinning cruelly. This time Daken could feel raw emotion filter across his face, doubtlessly the “look” Bullseye was accusing him of having, considering the smug look he got on his face. Daken killed any expression with practiced determination.

"Well done. Don’t let anyone see you falter." Bullseye ruffled his hair. This time, Daken grabbed him by the wrist and squeezed until he could see Bullseye’s grin become pained.

"Good," Bullseye gritted, eyes mad and wide, a smile still painted on his face. "Now, let go before I gut you." The knife pressed against his stomach wasn’t altogether unexpected, but he hadn’t noticed the assassin move.

"Guess you have some moves,” Daken acknowledged and released his hand. Surprisingly, Bullseye didn’t immediately pull back, he first brushed Daken’s hair back so that it stayed out of his face.

"Course I do. I’m not paid for my devastatingly handsome looks," Bullseye quipped with a grin and settled his hands on his knees, knife dangling from one hand.

Daken narrowed his eyes and took in his scent, the blood was nearly overwhelming but beneath there was still the same lust and unexpected calm. Bullseye’s heart rate had barely risen during his fight and was once more slow and steady — it had briefly quickened when he touched him.

"Sorry about the cigarettes," Daken started, Bullseye gave him a half-shrug and let a smile spread on his lips once more. "How about the second option? Since you so courteously gave us some privacy."

Bullseye blinked fast and his lips parted before he scoffed and looked away with a slight chuckle. ”Figures that’s where your mind goes.”

"Why not? We have the time," Daken purred, taking control of the situation and leaning forward, placing his hand on Bullseye’s. The one with the knife, of course. "You’ve barely stopped touching me all day. Don’t you want me?”

"Say what you want, Fuck-up."

"Oh, you do want me. I can scent it on you," Daken purred and crawled into Bullseye’s lap, straddling his thigh, still restraining his knife-hand. Bullseye grabbed him by his hair again, tugging at it demonstratively.

"Ain’t fucking you," Bullseye told him calmly and gave him a lingering gaze. The mixed message made Daken raise an eyebrow and consider the matter.

"I can work with that." He rolled his hips, rubbing himself against him. The assassin looked at him, eyes heavy-lidded and with a slight flush, hand still wrapped in his mohawk, clutching and releasing as Daken ground down on his muscular thigh.

Daken placed his hand, the one with the knife, on his waist, while licking his lips and gyrating his hips. It felt good — better was the look Bullseye was giving him and the thick musk of his scent. The tug and caress of his hair gave him a pace to relate to; he rested a hand on Bullseye’s broad shoulder for balance and started to ride his leg faster, while caressing himself through the fabric with his free hand.

Bullseye’s face was very expressive; it felt like he was seeing himself through his eyes and it was intoxicating. Daken didn’t mind the restriction of their sex, the exhibitionist experience was nearly enough for him as it was. He made a point to give the assassin a good show, letting himself arch and sigh loudly with each languid movement. Bullseye’s quickening heart and breath kept him going until he could feel himself close to climax.

Leaning down to face Bullseye, Daken lingered, lips half-open in invitation, and waited. Bullseye grabbed him firmly by the neck and pressed their mouths together. He came as they kissed, shuddering and moaning into Bullseye’s mouth. He then let himself sag into him, breathing heavily, and resting his head on his shoulder. Bullseye petted his blood-matted hair, and Daken could smell, beneath the tobacco and blood, that he’d come as well, despite never having touched himself.

Daken decided that it would be for the best if he didn’t make the first move. Again, he waited for an opening to reveal itself. But Bullseye sat with him quietly in his lap, still petting him — his heart and breath steady. As the city grew close, Daken climbed out of his lap and seated himself in his own seat across him.

"C’mon, fuck-up. We got a city to save,” Bullseye cheered as he disembarked. “Don’t make me do all the work.”

Chapter Text

Daken hummed an opera tune to himself and stared at his closet, trying to decide what he wanted to wear for the day. He lingered over the Kiton and Louis Vuitton suits, dismissed the Brioni and Armani, and glanced at his no brand of note street wear. Decisions, decisions. Who was he going to be today? Was he playing power games with Norman, impressing upon him that he was his own man and powerful at that? He rubbed his newly shaved jaw and head, while thumbing at the sleeve of the Armani jacket. The thought bored him; Osborn bored him. The man was unhinged and brutal. No finesse.

There was a noise at his door; he ignored it.

Perhaps a visit at the Baxter building - some casual twenty-something wear with just a hint of vulnerability? He still had Johnny’s t-shirt at the bottom of a drawer. Daken shifted irritably, rested his hand on his naked hip and stroked back his hair again. He didn’t have the mood for it.

The kicking on his door intensified until the lock broke, Bullseye strode in, his scent like a thundercloud. Daken sighed and rubbed his forehead. Footsteps and the sound of his bed creaking, fingers tapping.

With annoyance, he turned his attention fully back to his task. A flirt and hint at Karla maybe; fitted pants, shirt, and vest, all hugging his body and a bit too tight but nothing too intimidating. Versace or Dolce & Gabbana. Or perhaps the opposite, something aggressive, dominant. Make a mark on his day and those around him. He smiled and thumbed through his more colorful options; Kiton would be good — three piece thunder blue with ocher pinstripes, ocher patterned tie and a mother of pearl shirt. That would do nicely.

"For fuck sake — is this how you spend every morning, princess? Just put something on," Bullseye said in an exasperated whine. Daken didn’t turn or startle, he’d been waiting for the man to speak up.

"Fashion is an art form," He commented and pulled on his chosen shirt, the fabric slid pleasantly along his skin and settled perfectly over his shoulders. "Tell me, did you just come here to watch me get dressed?"

"I know art," Bullseye spat defensively. "We have a mission, faggot."

"Oh really? And you just had to come here to fetch me personally and break down my door in the process," Daken hummed and buttoned up, picking a discrete pair of cuff-links.

"You didn’t show for breakfast."

"Yes, you must excuse me,” Daken said and continued to get dressed, the vest was on next but he didn’t button it yet.

"Fuck you even putting that on? Didn’t you hear me?"

"I heard you. I doubt it’s now though if so you would not have stared at me in my underwear for the past few minutes. So, why the social call, Bullseye?” Daken asked, still not even glancing in his direction, and started to tie his silk necktie. A double Windsor knot should showcase the pattern best.

Just as he finished the knot, Bullseye grabbed him by the shirt and snarled in his face. “I’m not here to play your fucking games, Daken.”

"Why are you her then? Watch the fabric," Daken sneered and glared at his hand. Bullseye took a hold of his tie and pulled, tightening the knot against his throat.

"I said, we have a mission. Stop fucking around, suit up in your damn costume and try not to be such a bitch." Bullseye then ripped the shirt open, tearing buttons and seams.

"That was custom, asshole,” Daken gasped.

"Don’t care." The tie tightened further.

"You come —," he started and coughed. "—because you missed me at breakfast, stare at me and then you rip off my clothes. I’m thinking you care very much.”

"I care about getting the job done. It means I have to deal with you. I’m fucking tired of dealing with you, your damn fancy pants suits and your habit of wasting my time.”

"You know, darling, you’re not making the least bit of sense. Did you skip your medication?" Daken wheezed and grinned at Bullseye’s irate face. The assassin wasn’t being rational; his actions said one thing, his mouth another, and his scent a third. He was wound tighter than the trigger on a land mine, ready to blow.

"You stuck up little shit, I should gut you," Bullseye growled and ripped at his shirt and vest, grabbing a fistful and shaking him. He was both turned on and angry. Daken hadn’t even tried to rile him yet.

"What do you want then?" Daken asked, eyebrow cocked.

"I want you to stop fucking with me! I hate your damn smile. I hate how you walk around this place like you own it. I hate your faggot clothes. I hate you.” Bullseye hissed, pulling at him and tightening the tie, twisting it around his hand to keep the knot from slipping. Daken choked, open-mouthed, and forced a smile on his face. Bullseye’s anger was like a tidal wave; a part of Daken wanted to fight — to kill — but a greater part was strangely at peace and curious to see where this would go. His vision faltered and standing was starting to become a chore, grabbing a hold of Bullseye’s arms, he tried to steady himself.

Daken could scent this desire. Bloodlust and arousal mixed and rising as he fought to retain consciousness. When Bullseye threw him into bed, temporarily releasing him, Daken desperately sucked in air to his aching lungs as Bullseye climbed on top of him. The punch, which came flying at him felt like taking a hammer to the face. Adamantium covered knuckles beating him to a pulp, tearing flesh off his face and breaking both cartilage and bone. The pain was distant as his head felt too fuzzy to keep up, especially after the choking. However, when Bullseye ripped and knocked his teeth out, that hurt even past the concussion he was sporting. Bullseye was screaming at him, ranting some crazy talk and denial deeper than the river Styx.

Daken only had one functioning eye, but he could see the rage on Bullseye’s face, the blood-splattered crazy and desperation. Wet, coughing, laughter left him and he convulsed in mirth and pain.

"What’s so funny, fuckhead?" Bullseye snarled and punched him again. Daken spat the blood out of his mouth onto the bed, red spittle clinging onto his lips and jaw.

"I should have dressed for you — would’ve saved me my shirt,” Daken grinned and grimaced, he hated the feeling of teeth growing back; he prodded at them with his tongue. “Tell me, what’s your favorite color? I think I have some throwaway clothes we can ruin.”

"What the—?" Bullseye spluttered. Daken smiled and licked his lips, bucking his hips up. Bullseye startled and flinched, finally having noticed his own erection and Daken’s. He blanched only to flush again. The beating which came was frenzied and entirely expected. When Bullseye paused to breathe, Daken laughed again, tears ran down his face and it hurt badly. The renewed choke hold on his tie killed the laughter on his lips, instead Daken stared back into the other man’s baby blues with a blood-soaked grin. They both knew that Bullseye was getting off on this, it was just a matter of getting him to admit it. He let a wave of pheromones fill the air between them, making everything heavy and thick with lust and tension. Bullseye pulled him up by his tie, the now sweat and blood-stained silk wrapped around his hand tightly, his breathing heavy and brow furrowed.

"I hate you. Why can’t you just die?” He seethed, leaning his forehead against Daken’s and breathing the same air as him. The seconds dragged on, both of them bloodied, flushed and breathing heavy. Bullseye was practically sitting in his lap. Daken set his hands to the other man’s sides, grabbing him roughly and dragging nail along spandex and leather, and opened his mouth, letting his tongue slip out with a slow lick and to rest on his teeth. As much of an invitation that Bullseye ever deserved.

Their mouths pressed together with violence and hunger; it was messy and painful but satisfying. Daken considered his options and bit at Bullseye’s lips. Before he could decide on anything, Bullseye was man-handling him, using the tie as a leash and collar until he was on his knees facing away. Daken swallowed heavily, neck straining in the awkward angle Bullseye was keeping him in, and stared up at the other man behind him.

Bullseye sneered, grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled it down, wrapping the fabric around his free hand until Daken’s arms were effectively trapped behind his back in his shirt and vest. Only way he was getting out was by further ripping the blood-stained fabric. Bullseye released his tie and pulled down his underwear, and then his own. The dry entry of his hard cock had Daken screaming, and instinctively wanting to escape the pain, Bullseye gripped his tie again and kept him in place with a satisfied growl.

"I have lube in the drawer,” Daken hissed pained and annoyed.

"I’m not fucking you for your enjoyment, fuckhead,” Bullseye said and choked him, thrusting up into his resisting body viciously. It hurt enough to make him let out another strangled scream.

“Get it, or you’re not fucking me at all,” Daken growled in warning, blood drool running from his mouth, claws straining to release in his hands. The strain on his throat relented slightly and he gasped for breath, spitting out more blood and slumping slightly. Bullseye rummaged in his drawer, swearing and muttering to himself, returning with a tube of lube and slicking himself and Daken. He hissed at the cold, swore when Bullseye reentered him roughly. It hurt less, but it was still sore and uncomfortable. Again, the tie tightened around his throat and the same vicious pace set up, pull and push, slicker but still burning him, pleasure building up slow.

Bullseye pulled his trapped arms up, forcing him to arch his back and to strain his head back, trapping between two opposing movements. The assassin fucked him hard and deep, tugging at his tie, keeping him choking and gagging with the pace. There was visceral satisfaction in the brutality, and the lack of oxygen made him high, painting a grimace of a grin on his face. Their breathing and heart beats were like thunder in his ears, each breath he drew ached and burned, and each movement drove him mad with pain and pleasure. Hurt me. Make me feel. Bleed me. Choke me. Please oh please please hurt me. The intrusive thoughts rolled in Daken’s head as he let himself be fucked. It became a mantra and a prayer, his lips moved with the word but no sound came out, he didn’t have the breath to spare.

Bullseye, however, didn’t need telling. The assassin tore into him with vengeance and fucked him like it was his fault, and Daken knew that it wouldn’t last long. He wanted it to last, fuck if it wasn’t the best pounding he’d gotten in months, but he also wanted to come, gasping he tried to speak.

"—hurt me, let me come,” he managed in a raspy growl, rubbing his ass back at Bullseye, trying to take him in as deeply as he could.

"Fucking filthy slut,” Bullseye growled, pulled him up harshly and took him in a choke hold with his arm, his hand still wrapped in the silk tie. Daken felt like his throat was being crushed, his back broken and his ass fucked hard enough to make him feel like he’d tear his insides. It felt good.

Bullseye swore and growled, picking up a finishing pace that had him hitting his prostate relentlessly. Daken whined and gasped, his cock jerking and bouncing with each thrust he forced himself down on with as much force he could muster in his strained position. He came violently, hard enough to have him shaking and jerking in Bullseye’s steely grip and nearly passing out from it and the choking. Bullseye laughed at him, the noise was distant and continued to fuck his nearly limp body until he was pushed into his own orgasm.

When he was done, Bullseye dropped him like a corpse on the bed. Daken blinked slowly, feeling disoriented, and tried to breathe. The bed shifted as Bullseye moved, sprawling down next to him with a sigh. His breathing was heavy and his heart raced. Daken didn’t turn to look at him, merely listened and imagined the flush on his face and the creeping realization of what he’d done.

Coughing and wiping his mouth on the stained sheets, Daken wriggled out of the ripped shirt and vest. He slipped a hand up and removed the tie, drawing his first unhindered breath. The silk fabric was stained, the blood disrupting the multicolored pattern with ugly browning blotches, and had even ripped in places. The shirt and vest were in a worse state. Daken sighed in disappointment.

"You owe me new clothes," he rasped at Bullseye, glancing over at the assassin over his shoulder.

"Bill it to Queen Bitch," Bullseye said and covered his face with his arm, fatigue, and sex having drained him of rage.

"It was bespoke Kiton, I had it made in Italy. They only made ten copies of this tie," Daken responded, letting a slight whine and sulk into his voice.

"Bill it to her twice,” Bullseye repeated, his chest heaving and voice drowsy. Daken stared at him and waited for him to fall asleep, popping his claws and contemplated killing him. Sucking at the wounds where the skin broke at the base of his claws, Daken tasted blood and waited for his body to heal.

Bullseye’s arm fell off his face, revealing his relaxed features still stained in his blood. Daken rolled onto his side facing him, pulled up his knees and rested his face on his own hand, claws pressed cold against his skin. He shivered and kept himself awake, and watched over Bullseye as he slept.

Chapter Text

"I've told you not to fuck with my stuff," Bullseye growled at the screen of his laptop, resisting the urge to slam it shut. The video feed stalled slightly, freezing on Daken’s smug smirk, before catching up again.

"It’s useful. I’m surprised what a Luddite you are at times. You are aware that your computer sucked before I got you some stuff on it,” Daken said, the mike picking up a lot of background noise. Bullseye bristled. He had had everything he wanted on it, now it was full of crap he had no idea what they were for.

"What’s that noise— Where the fuck are you?" He asked instead.

"Dubai Airport. I’m waiting for my connection, thought I’d waste my time on you. Did you miss me?" Daken purred and vapidly toyed with his hair.

"Happy to have you gone, fuckface. Ask a Taliban to kill you for me, okay?" Bullseye growled. Daken clicked his tongue at him.

"Mind your language. You’re making people stare at me."

"Get fucking headphones, shit-for-brains."

"I would have if I thought you’d be such a boorish American."

"Go suck yourself off, Eurotrash," Bullseye spat and closed the program, annoyed and happy to have such an easy way of ignoring Daken. It was infuriating how easy Daken riled him up, even if was just through video chat. He needed a drink.

The second time Daken contacted him was a text message with a time and date and a little logo. Bullseye spent the days following up to it ignoring it deliberately, until the last moment when he found himself at his laptop again.

Hesitantly, he clicked up the program when it told him he had a video call waiting. The video popped up, stalling at Daken’s image, he was in some hotel room from what Bullseye could tell. He looked like he always did, with that stupid grin on his face.

"What the fuck do you want now?" Bullseye spat, already feeling like he wanted to throw his laptop out of the window.

"What if I said that I missed you?" Daken purred and sprawled on the bed, lying on his belly, fully dressed in some fancy shit.

"I’d say you’re full of it," Bullseye said. Daken grinned, his mohawk falling in his face, making Bullseye’s fingers itch. "Where the fuck are you now?"

"Shanghai. Won’t be long though, I have business in Bangkok. You wouldn’t believe the frequent flyer points I’m earning. How’s New York?" Daken asked, resting his chin on his hands.

"Same old blood on the street. Clean out some fuckers for the Kingpin. Kicked ass. Some caper showdown yesterday, can’t be assed with you metafreaks."

"As eloquent as always, I see." Daken muttered and stretched languidly. Bullseye couldn’t help but stare at him — and, of course, the freak caught him looking.

"Why now, Lester. You like what you’re seeing?" Daken smirked and started to unbutton his shirt.

"Shut your face. What did you want?" Bullseye repeated, bristling. Daken slipped out of the shirt, barring naked flesh, his stupid ass tattoo, and, to Bullseye’s surprise, pierced nipples. Could the fucker be any more of a faggot?

"Hmm, not really anything. What do you want?” Daken purred and stared into the camera, licking his lips. Bullseye flushed and slammed his laptop shut, storming off into the kitchen and grabbing a beer. It wasn’t nearly enough. Pissed off and embarrassed, Bullseye ended up in his shower, jerking off, trying not to think about Daken and his pierced nipples. Or how he’d play with them and then damn well rip them off his body, just to make him bleed.

It several weeks went by without a word, until Bullseye just happened to be on his laptop looking for decent porn, when he got the message that he had a call waiting. Already half hard, naked and a bit drunk, he hesitated but, against all judgment, accepted the call.

Again, the same stall and flicker before the feed establish, showing Daken in what seemed to be yet another hotel room. He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, his hair a bit longer and the same smirk on his face.

"Am I interrupting something?" Daken asked with a dirty grin, making him flush. Bullseye could see his own image in the corner of the feed, and had to admit that he did look like he’d been caught doing exactly what he had.

“What now?” he spat and glared. “No let me guess; you’re bored in some high-class hotel again in some foreign city.”

"True. Rome, to be more exact. But I think it’s you who wants something,” Daken said and shifted the laptop, presumably on a table or some shit and settled on the bed on his knees, facing him.

"What the Hell—?" Bullseye gasped as the mutant pulled of his t-shirt. He still had those damn piercings.

"Just enjoy it, darling," Daken purred, toying with his jeans, pulling them down just a little, while toying with the silver rings.

Bullseye’s mouth grew dry, and he blamed the alcohol and the porn, but he kept on watching as Daken did his little strip tease, growing hard with each movement he made. It felt like ages until he unbuttoned his jeans, longer still until he pulled out his cock, still tugging and playing with his piercings as he did. Moans and gasps slipping his pink lips, tongue tracing teeth, and eyes fluttering.

When Daken started to claw at his own flesh, drawing rivulets of blood and smearing them into his skin, Bullseye slipped a hand down and started to furiously jerk off. Daken’s hand was covered in his own blood as he also jacked off in long strokes, his other hand latched onto his chest and his jewelry.

Bullseye whined and wanted him, he needed him. It hurt how bad he wanted to shove his cock into Daken’s open mouth, or to bend him over and fuck his tight ass, bite his neck and pull at those piercings. To feel him get tight around when he came over himself. Instead, he had to suffice with just looking at Daken’s flushed face and desperate thrusting, listening to his moans and the sounds of flesh, as he pushed himself past the edge and cover his hand in thick spurts of come.

Bullseye came hard and sudden, gasping and forcing the last of his orgasm out with shaky motions. “—fuck.”

Daken laughed, sweaty and flushed, flopping down on the bed and pulling the laptop down next to him. “I think that’s what we both wanted. I’ll be back in the US next week, stuck in Rome until then. But if you want to… you’re welcome to come here.”

"Can’t… business," Bullseye said, looking away. He had work, people who needed killing.

"Then we’ll just have to make do like this," Daken purred. Bullseye glanced at him again, still flushed and starting to feel embarrassed.

"—I missed you," he said quietly, grabbing the corner of the screen, ready to close it to escape the conversation.

"Missed you too, Lester," Daken told him softly. Bullseye immediately shut the laptop.

Chapter Text

"Get your fucking hands off me!" Bullseye growled and swatted away Daken’s arm for what had felt like the fiftieth time. Fuckhead had been handsy all day along, more so than usually which was the remarkable part; everything from "bumping into" him and finding the slightest excuse of touching him, to fucking rubbing himself against him like a damn bitch in heat and grabbing at him. It was driving him up a wall.

Daken knew damn well that he didn’t tolerate PDA or any fucking shit like that, nevermind what they did in secluded dark corners. It was fucking sexual harassment and Bullseye had no issues kicking Daken’s ass five ways to Sunday if it would discourage him. 

"What’s your fucking problem? Do you want to lose those hands?" Bullseye said and bristled, pulling a knife and readying to fight him.

"Avengers!" Norman interrupted and started to outlay the plan for the mission, they were attacking the "vigilante" Avengers who had been spotted downtown. Bullseye glared at Daken and sided next to Ares for the battle, as according to Norman’s "ingenious" plan, which was pretty much the same as all of his plans - hit them, preferably from where they don’t expect you. This time the new brilliant idea was to avoid their usual matchups. Which was how Bullseye ended up gunning for Wolverine, vibranium tipped arrows at the ready. Osborn had shouted at him excessively to hammer home that he wasn’t allowed to lose a single arrow, as they cost an arm and a leg, and only to go for killing blows. As if he made any others.

The battle was actually going in their favor, they were pressing the capers into a corner, and Bullseye was keeping his distance and making a point out of distracting and bleeding Wolverine dry with regular arrows. Daken’s old man was resilient however and turned out to have more of a brain on him than Bullseye had given him credit. He’d had the other Ms. Marvel dump him up on the roof with Bullseye, making it a close combat issue after disabling his glider.

"Not too bad old man! But don’t think you’ve got me yet," Bullseye cheered, shooting and running, still holding back the ace in his sleeve.

"Ain’t even a competition, bub," Wolverine growled and managed to get in close. As he grabbed him by the shoulder, ripping the bow out of his hand, Wolverine suddenly stilled and sneered like he’d gotten a face-full of something disgusting shoved under his nose. 

"Damn you stink!” he spat and snorted, pulling back. It was terribly insulting, especially since he disengaged like he could afford it with Bullseye.

"I shower!" Bullseye retorted and landed a solid kick in his face, making him stumble back further. "You’re not too fresh either. You smell like wet dog and bad cigars.” He pulled a vibranium arrow and brandished it like a knife. He didn’t expect Wolverine to take the blow on his shoulder, grabbing him and immobilizing him as he did. Wolverine growled and lunged, slashing at his arm, making him cry out and drop the arrow. Bullseye tried to evade the fist that came flying at his gut, the claws would eviscerate him, but he couldn’t as Wolverine had  a firm hold on his uniform. But instead of a gut full of adamantium, he just took a punch that felt like a damn jackhammer. Gasping and falling to his knees, Bullseye tried to escape the killing blow that would doubtlessly come, instead his mask was ripped off his head.

"Ain’t killing you, bub. Even though you deserve it, it ain’t for you," Wolverine told him and grabbed him hard by the back of his neck, squeezing and holding him bent down in a steely - ha, adamantium - grip.

"—what the hell?" Bullseye wheezed, still trying to get his lungs to work.

"You stink of him, bub. His scent is all over you like a cheap cologne, might as well have branded his name on your face along with that stupid target,” the mutant told him and there was something like sentiment in his voice underneath the disgust. “Kid’s crazier than I thought, to mark shit like you as his.”

"Marked me?" Bullseye hissed, disbelieving and pissed off, struggling in his grip. Wolverine slammed him down and stepped on his uninjured arm.

"You didn’t know? Cute," Wolverine snorted and chuckled darkly. He felt Wolverine lean down low on him, close enough for him to feel his breath and bristled against the side of his face. "Sometimes, I think he pulls shit like this just to piss me off. Anyhow— congrats, you get to live, bub."

The slam of his face against the ground caught him completely off guard and dazed him, blood dripping down into his eyes. Blinking, looking up from his kneeling pose after several disoriented moments, Bullseye couldn’t see Wolverine anywhere. He’d disappeared. Shakily standing up, holding onto his bleeding arm and picking up the vibranium arrow, Bullseye ambled to the side of the roof. Beneath, the battle still raged. However, he couldn’t see Daken anywhere either.

He was going to kill the mutant when he got his hands on him.

"Lester!" the cry came from behind him; Daken had somehow got up on the roof with him and crept up on him. He turned and was pummeled by Daken, who was utterly irate and looking like he was going to gut him. Fear tinged his rage and he struggled in the mutant’s grip.

"Fucking let go of me! I don’t want you touching me!" Bullseye cried out.

"You let him touch you. I can scent his stink on you,” Daken growled and pulled at him, eyes blown wide and face set in an inhuman snarl.

"Yeah, when he was introducing my face to concrete, freak! He also fucking told me that you marked me,” Bullseye screamed back and tried to free himself. He was slammed into a wall for his trouble, the wound on his forehead bleeding again and hurting like nine hells. The ache echoed in his arm, luckily it was his uninjured arm that Daken was twisting behind his back, the arrow snatched from his grip and thrown aside.

"Of course, I did. You’re mine," Daken growled into his ear, snarling and biting at him. "You really shouldn’t have let him touch you."

"Are you fucking crazy?" Bullseye spat and tried to get his weight off him.

"I’ll fucking kill you for it. Hate his stink on you," Daken said, snarling and clawing at him. Bullseye stifled a cry, feeling blood run down his arm and face, trying to desperately save himself. It was no use, he was trapped between Daken and the wall. He choked and froze.

"Stop, stop, please stop. Shit, please, Daken!” He begged as he felt claws along his skin. Daken stilled, he could still feel them, however, sharp pinpricks against his lower back. Sobbing in relief, Bullseye gasped and shuddered. “I don’t know what fucked up shit your thinking, Daken — but fucking believe me, I didn’t let anything happen. Please. I’m sorry. Please, stop. Fuck, hurts.”

Daken growled in his ear, licking his face.  “You’re bleeding,” he stated as if he hadn’t noticed until now.

"Yeah, no shit," Bullseye whined, squirming uncomfortably, trying to breathe.

"He hurt you," Daken continued, twisting his arm as if to emphasize.

Yes,” Bullseye confirmed, refraining from pointing out that Daken was doing just the same. He hoped that if he played along he’d get the feral mutant, literally, off his back.

"I believe you," Daken growled and nuzzled the side of his face, licking and kissing him, as if in apology. But then Bullseye remember the whole scent thing and understood it probably had more to do with Daken marking him again. Fuck, how he hated meta freaks.

"—can we go?" Bullseye asked, trying to keep the tremor from his voice, hoping that whatever mutant freak-out Daken had had was over. Daken growled in reply and shoved him against the wall; Bullseye cursed and bled.

"You still stink of him. I don’t like it,” Daken said accusingly, pressing him against the wall with a growl as if Bullseye could do jack about that. He really didn’t want to get killed just over Daken and his Dad’s pissing contest. He tried to find a solution to whatever had Daken riled up, his options weren’t the best.

"I—I’m yours," Bullseye stammered, choking down pride and blood. Daken bit at his throat, but his grip eased slightly and it felt less like he was gonna kill him. Bullseye blanched and swallowed heavy and hoped that this might work. "I’m all yours, only yours, let me— let me prove it. Fuck me right here,” he urged. It was undignified and made him feel like he was in a bad porno, but needs must. Daken’s scent was thick over him and it felt like he was drowning in it, and his breath fever hot against his neck, his skin felt wet with cold sweat.

Mine, yes, all mine,” Daken said, his voice still low and gravely, grinding down at his ass. He was still holding on to his arm, but not as painfully. The bleeding had started to slow.

"Fuck me," Bullseye repeated, even though it sounded more like a whine this time, trying to show submission as best as he could by raising his chin, baring soft flesh. Daken latched on again, biting and sucking at his throat while ripping off his clothes. The mutant’s claws were mercifully sheathed again — Bullseye let go of a shaky breath. He winced at the scratches and bites he took, hissing as Daken pawed at his ass, still biting on his shoulder, neck and throat like a damn dog. Bullseye gritted his teeth at the pain, breathing heavy through his nose, and tried not to scream when he felt Daken’s fingers up his ass — he spread his legs to accommodate him. A strangled groan left him unbidden, Daken licked at his face and nuzzled him, curling his fingers. He tried not to think, not to acknowledge the pain, the pleasure of it, or anything. 

Fuck! Ah, hurts — Daken, fuck, please,” he whined and rode it out, trying to relax into it rather than resist. In the future, Bullseye swore, that he’d have lube with him everywhere. It fucking hurt without. He’d hurt Daken for this — he’d cut him up and fuck him raw. He’d gut him. He’d ruin him.

Bullseye barely managed to stop the scream that left him when Daken entered him, he bit down and felt blood flow in and out of his mouth. He wanted to scream at Daken to stop, to please please fucking stop, that it hurt too damn much. But he didn’t want to die for it. Christ, he was still scared. Broken sobs left him when Daken moved, and he shook badly in his grip, leaning against the wall, feeling it scrape up his bloodied face.

"You feel so good like this. My beautiful darling,” Daken growled and bit down on him again, grinding his ass with shallow thrusts, rutting into him. It egged Bullseye on and he pressed back into the movement, clawing vainly for some kind of support from the wall. Bullseye whined wordlessly, wondering how to fucking hell he could be hard and turned on by this - it was far more pain than his usual masochism. He hurt and every movement brought more searing pain, but he kept on having to keep himself from begging for more. He felt drunk, the pain of his teeth in his shoulder just barely keeping him from becoming incoherent. Daken seemed lost in his fucking, growling and snarling, and thrusting hard into him.

A faintly hysterical laughter left him as he realized that someone might walk in on them at any moment, and even if they didn’t he’d be a mess. The bite marks alone - which must have covered his entire neck, throat and shoulders by now - would be hard to ignore. His laughter turned into moans as Daken really hammered into him with a dark chuckle of his own. Bullseye wanted to beg him to stop but what came out was a sobbing “More. Please, please.”

"Love it when you beg, sweetness,” Daken purred and fucked him harshly, pinning him against the wall and biting his neck. The affection in his voice and words was a strange contrast to the rough fucking, but it always drove Bullseye wild. He couldn’t help but love it, even despite the pain and the fear that still lingered. Bullseye could feel his face burn, belatedly realizing that it’s his own tears, and he cries out.

"Poor pet, shush now. You’re all mine,” Daken said darkly, holding him tightly and slipping a hand down to his neglected cock. “I’ll make you feel good.” He jerked him off and gently kissed his face, still pounding into him mercilessly. Bullseye nodded and licked his lips, wanting whatever Daken was willing to give him.

"All mine — no one else gets to touch you,” Daken growled. “Least of all him.”

"Yes yes yes, all yours, just yours, please, Daken, please,” he begged, Daken’s hand on him and his cock deep in him driving him to his edge. Daken picked up his pace and Bullseye felt his world become heat, pleasure and delicious pain — feelings forgotten in the white hot madness. He comes to still pressed against the wall with the other man still fucking him. Dazed and sore, he sank into Daken’s arms, his own too weak and wounded to be of any support. Daken held him, kissed his face, finally coming into him with a soft moan of “Mine.”

Bullseye breathed and stared at the sky, disconnected from his own body and the ache. The battle must have been over by now. He couldn’t hear a thing over the sound of his own heartbeat. He wanted to kill Wolverine. It was all his fault. Daken adjusted his weight, making him wince and whimper, slinging his less injured arm over his shoulder and a hand on his waist, after hastily pulling up what was left of his costume.

"Look at what you made me do." Daken clicked his tongue. Bullseye refrained from the acidic comment that burned on his tongue, accepting the situation as it was. At least Daken was back to his usual pissy self.

"Can we go now?" He asked again, he startled at the sound of his own hoarse voice.

"Of course, pet. Don’t sound so sad. I’ll kiss it better," Daken purred and kissed his cheek. His lips colored red from the touch and Bullseye realized that it was his blood on Daken’s mouth. A pained whine left him as he was reminded of his injuries. He cursed his lack of control over his body, it made Daken’s control over him feel worse. At the same time, he wanted Daken to take care of everything.

"I’ll get you to a medic. Don’t worry, I’ll stay with you," Daken continued and kissed him gently once more, half-dragging him to the stairs. Bullseye leaned on him and let himself be led, no real strength in him to do or say anything.

"Where the hell were you?" Norman demanded in a fury, as they came down and joined the rest of the team.

"Wolverine was winning, I intervened to save Bullseye but not before he took a good beating," Daken told Norman in his behalf, blaming all of his injuries on his old man.

"Code names, Wolverine! Use them," Norman spat and glared at them, however, he seemed to accept the excuse. Despite what Bullseye hazarded were the most obvious bite marks in history. "Did you do as I told you?" He continued, directing the question to Bullseye.

Bullseye stared at him blearily, trying to understand what the fuck he was going on about. “—yes,” he hazarded.  Norman nodded and ordered them to move out.

It was on the transport, half-lying on Daken, that Bullseye remembered what Norman had meant. He burst into laughter as he also recalled that he’d left one of the special arrows on the roof where Daken fucked him.

"Shush, sweetness," Daken told him and petted him, thumbing the bite marks on his throat as he did. "It will all be alright."

Chapter Text

 

"What the fuck was that all about?” Bullseye roared the moment the door closed behind them, shoving him back a few steps and turning around, pacing back and forth — his scent sour and irritable. It had been much the same during the entire day. Daken stood, ruffled, and watched him blow his steam off, waiting just long enough for Bullseye to settle and turn back to face him.

"Are you skipping doses?" He asked, using the same tone that he used on an uncooperative suspect just before he got creative. Low, even, and with a hint of a smile that promised much more.

What? How’s that any of your business?” Bullseye snapped, crossing his arms - muscles tensing hard, blunt nails digging into his flesh while his scent shifted with key notes of annoyance and anxiety.

Daken smiled wider and sauntered up to him, gliding a hand along his arm, lingering slightly on his hand. Playing with Lester was always a delicate game, equal parts reassurance and undermining, all while managing his hair-trigger temper. "I made it mine," he purred, looking up at him - it was always a point of annoyance that Lester was taller than him, but he’d adjusted his tactics accordingly - and showing teeth.

"Stay out of my life, Daken,” Bullseye said, sneer on his face, his blue eyes flashing. He could see the thoughts of murder flash through his slick mind, like choreographed dances of blood and gore, ceaseless movement, and mundane items made into perfect implements. It was an attractive sight; a gut punch of lust, that made the smile on his face very real but he contained his enjoyment.

"No," Daken said, making sure to be very much in Bullseye’s personal space, with feigned absentmindedness he smoothed out Bullseye’s t-shirt and then ran his knuckles down his cheek. The gesture both possessive and threatening.

"What do you think you’re doing? That you’re ‘taking care’ of me or something? I told you, I don’t want it—” Bullseye growled, throwing his head back and glaring at him like he wanted to shove needles under his nails.

"You’re mine, I want you in working condition," Daken interrupted and, in a demonstrative movement, he grabbed Bullseye by his chin forcing him look straight at him, thumbing his lower lip. Tense moments later, Bullseye shook of his grip with a toss of his head. It didn't matter, he’d made his point.

"I’m not anyone’s, fuckface! I’m fucking Bullseye.” There was real rage there in that puffed up chest and that tense jaw. He was moments away from violence.

Daken sported the biggest shit-eating grin he could, and wrapped his arms around his waist, slipping down to the hem of his jeans, thumbs down into his underwear. The confrontation wouldn't work by appealing to sentiment, they both held that in utter contempt, but libido was a whole ‘nother animal. ”We have a sex thing, don’t we? It’s supposed to include sex. It’d be a pity if you couldn’t get it up because you’re not taking care of yourself.”

Bullseye flushed red like a brick, and Daken knew fully well that that flush went all the way down his body. He’d put his mouth and hands on every inch of that scarred body; he’d licked blood, come, sweat off his skin as he fucked the living daylights out of him. He knew exactly what to do to get him hard.

"You’re such a piece of shit, I’ll show you—” Bullseye spat at him, his heart rate and breathing speeding up, and he tilted his head back with a groan and relaxed. “Fuck, that feels good.”

"I can make you feel better," Daken purred and continued to rub his lower back and buttocks, fingers and knuckles kneading taut muscle into submission. Bullseye rested his hand on his shoulders, and gave him a look, but whatever thought had struck him was lost in a flutter of his eyes and a deep sigh as Daken continued to work his body. Stroking along the lines of muscle, bone and tendon, Daken stripped Lester of his clothes, piling them on the floor.

"Fucking get those off already,” Bullseye said, tugging at his pants, in all his naked glory.

"Impatient," Daken chided, enjoying the thick cloud of arousal, he hadn't even had to use his pheromones.

"Fucking beats hearing you talk shit," Bullseye responded in a dark voice, thick with desire and contempt. Daken was certain that a part of Lester would always hate him; that gnawing sensation that there was someone out there in the world who knew him enough to kill him without even trying. A weakness and a liability that needed eliminating. But the assassin wouldn't act on it, or at least not in a permanent fashion, and only grow more dependent on him — therein lie the beauty of it. 

It was endearing.

"On all four, on the bed," Daken ordered darkly and unbuckled his belt. The shadow of a memory flickered across Lester’s eyes, his scent spiked with fear and shame, but he obeyed. Daken resisted the urge to express annoyance, feeling vindicated in his suspicion that Lester had been messing with his own meds, the combination of fear and submissive obedience was unmistakable. It limited how he could proceed.

"Oh sweetness, I adore you," he purred instead, fondling his thighs and ass, and planted a kiss at the base of his spine. A physical reminder of his presence, that it was only him there, and no one else would ever touch him. Bullseye shivered under his touch and calmed down, anxiety subsiding as he caressed him gently and left bite marks on his pale skin.

"—get on with it,” Bullseye complained, defaulting back to his usual impatient surliness. With time Daken would have him laughing and keening with pleasure, but frustration made him taciturn and pushy.

"Let me get you ready then, my pet," Daken told him and grabbed a bottle of lube, he’d made sure to stock both of their rooms within easily accessible places, warming it up in his hands before slipping inside the other man. Lester gasped and arched his spine, shoving his fingers in deeper, making him hum happily. Sometimes, Daken got him off just like this, knuckle deep in him, just to watch him. He’d then fuck him when the other man was in a post-orgasmic relaxed haze, languid and affectionate. Bullseye always whined at him when his head cleared up, but he never told him to stop.

"Fuck me,” Bullseye begged him and shot him a needy glare over his shoulder, both his arms and legs were shaking with tension.

"I do like it when you beg.” Daken slipped out of him and slicked himself up, pressing in with a slow slick movement. Bullseye moaned and chuckled, the latter an interesting effect that was strangely pleasing — and which felt very good for him.

"You feel great, you’re such a good fuck,” Daken praised him and pressed himself down on Bullseye’s back, having him take both of their weight, and kissing him on the nape of his neck.

"Fuck if I care what you think, shitface, fucking move,” Bullseye growled and flushed once more. Now, it was Daken who laughed and he thrust in to him, making him groan and shake. His pet was so deliciously vocal and responsive. Settling back on his knees, kissing his way down Lester’s spine as he went, Daken set a languid pace, hands pulling harshly at strong hips. Bullseye’s pleasures were all about contrast; no pain without pleasure and no pleasure without pain - in the right amounts of course. It was perfect how he felt, clenching around him and grinding up into the movement, while clutching the sheets, head hanging low. His breathing a heavy panting interrupted only by moans and throaty bursts of laughter when Daken thrust into him just right.

Breathing out and letting his head loll back, Daken tried to settle his thoughts, to contain himself. He wanted to fuck Lester raw, to slip his claws and cut flesh, but his poor pet took poorly to that when he couldn't see what he was doing. Right now, Bullseye needed him to be more gentle, to be reassuring and safe, regardless of what he said. Bruising him was the furthest he could go. Later, Daken promised himself, he’d ride him until he screamed and soak the both of them in their blood.

The thought made him groan and thrust harshly, nails digging into Bullseye’s hip and sides, the other man responding with an equally aroused groan and chuckle.

"Fuck me harder, shit, I wanna come,” Bullseye keened.

"We just got started, Lester, I’m going to have to take this a bit slower," Daken said, deliberately slowing down and caressing his sides, feeling the lines of his nails.

"Fuck slow. I hate slow.”

"You didn't think that yesterday.”

"Yeah, well, I’d already come once then, hadn't I, shit for brains. Did I fuck out whatever little brain function you've got going?"

"Tsk, manners, my pet," Daken reprimanded and slapped him over the ass. Bullseye’s scent spiked with arousal and he cried out. "I’m not going to let you piss me off into giving in. I’m going to fuck you nice and slow until you’re ready to really beg me for it. Do you want to know why, sweetness?”

Bullseye whined impatiently but nodded.

"Because, my pet, you've been skipping doses. I told you not to," Daken explained and kept the same languid pace. "When you do that, I can’t give you what you want. I can’t fuck you like you want because then I would break you. I want you to want me each and every time I touch you, I don’t want some broken plaything that cringes at me. Understand that, Lester.”

Bullseye’s scent shifted sharply into shame, anger and pain, and apologies and threats bursts from his lips, but Daken paid them no attention. Instead, he leaned down low once more, bracing himself on his arms and kissed him deeply. Kissing and shushing him, Daken fucked Bullseye gently and deep until the other man came with a sobbing cry.

Still hard, Daken slipped out of Lester and cuddled up to him, jerking off while kissing him. He came over Bullseye’s sweat-slick skin and gathered him up in his arms, pressing kisses to his face.

"My beautiful pet," he murmured, certain in that Lester would do exactly what he wanted, regardless of how he felt about it.

"Control freak," Bullseye groused in reply but cuddled into him, this time he didn't even whine about the touching.

He was a comforting presence, Daken wasn't hesitant to admit that, warm and deceptively steady. However, there was nothing steady about Lester, he was a thing of movement, a kinetic experience of a person, ready to explode at a touch. One day Daken would have to face that moment, to revel in it, and move past the memories of blood and gore, and deceptive gentleness. It was a game, but Daken was afraid that maybe the stakes had been higher than he thought. His hold tightened unwillingly and Daken buried his face in Bullseye’s chest, listening to his steady heart. Bullseye’s hand on his head surprised him, and he stilled as if he’d been caught doing something wrong.

"Relax. Just enjoy it, asshole," Bullseye said and petted him. Daken gritted his teeth and suppressed the urge to hurt, but let his pet tend to him. When Bullseye started to hum a song, he relaxed and sighed, staring into nothingness.

Chapter Text

"Damn, I just love your body." Bullseye said, biting Daken’s thigh and then kissing the mark that faded far too quickly. Daken hissed at the pain, but the noise became a throaty moan as Bullseye worried his flesh with teeth and mouth. The pain was delicious and each scrape of teeth on his tender flesh sent sparks of pleasure through his body, making him shudder and twitch under Bullseye skilled touch.

"Tut tut, stay still. If you don’t I’ll have to tie you up," Bullseye admonished and nipped at his flank and scratched his nails along his chest, lingering along the lines of the tattoo. Daken shuddered, clutching the bed sheets, casting lingering glances at the knife on the bedstead.

"Soon enough." Bullseye chuckled knowingly and kissed at taut flesh, humming a tune to himself as he painted lines with his nails — a pale copy of the deep lines he intended to cut into Daken’s flesh. Later, he reminded himself, he had a few issues he needed to address before that. Daken squirmed impatiently, his hands wandering to touch himself, already aroused enough to lose some of his self-control — or rather and more likely, willingly courting punishment for some sense of relief.

"Ah-ah, none of that, darlin’." Bullseye grabbed him by both wrists, pulling him up into a sitting position — with one hand he grabbed Daken’s discarded tie and knotted it around his hands, tying them behind his back. Realistically speaking, Daken could easily, if he wanted to, rip it apart, but it was a part of their little game — it was also a good reminder to stay put. Pressing kisses to Daken’s sharp jawline, clean shaved and smooth, Bullseye contemplated his choices and their outcomes while humming the same tune. He could feel Daken’s quickened pulse beneath his lips, he could as good as taste the blood flowing through him underneath soft thin skin and the salt of his sweat. He loved it, and he adored the dedication with which Daken threw himself into everything he did. It would be a pity to lose it. Bullseye’s grip tighten on Daken’s restraints and with a growl, he pulled the other man into his lap, chest to back with Daken’s bound hands pressing teasingly against his groin. He was still fully dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, but it felt like very little whit Daken’s body pressed to him like this.

Licking along his throat to his ear, pausing to bite at it, Bullseye wrapped his arms around Daken’s shivering body. The A/C was on too cold. However, it did make the feral mutant’s nipples alluringly perky and sent shivers along his body as pearls of sweat ran down him despite the cold. He’d always run very hot. Bullseye observed the same needy glances at the knife and the hitched breath at the close proximity. The latter had always been a constant negotiation of borders. Daken was perfectly happy to be abused in nearly every way, but anything too intimate tended to send him into a mild panic. He usually enjoyed it for as long as Daken could endure it before using his safe word. Or stabbed him. Whichever came first, to be honest.

"Shush, Daken. It’s just me." Bullseye reminded him, gentleness a strange concept but a necessity. "Before I cut you up all pretty, we’re gonna have a little chat. You’re allowed to talk but let me finish first." Daken nodded and tried to relax in his grip.

"We have a fun thing going on; I get to cut you up and you get all the pain you could want. We both get what we want, don’t we?” Bullseye asked. Daken agreed with him again with a sharp nod.

"I know you’re a compulsive pain junkie and liar." Bullseye said conversationally, reveling a bit in Daken’s full body flinch. "Funnily enough, our arrangement depends on you curbing both of those traits. You don’t get to lie to me here. You don’t get to hurt yourself outside of here.”

It was clear that Daken wanted to bite back at him, to refute the accusation but as per his request he merely bit his tongue. Bullseye licked the blood off the corner of this mouth. The rich coppery flavor was nearly sweet to him.

"I saw you on the field today. I saw how you threw yourself at those little heroes and fought like a complete moron. You could have taken them out in seconds, instead you let them beat your ass like a fucking loser." He paused and thumbed Daken’s cheek."It was embarrassing.”

"That’s fucked up, sweetness. You don’t get to try and kill yourself. If you need more pain, you tell me. You don’t get to endanger yourself on a mission, because then you not only jeopardize our arrangement but my life. And frankly, I care a hell of a lot more about my skin than yours. Mine doesn’t heal like yours.” Bullseye whispered into Daken’s ear. The mutant was shaking again and blood ran from his mouth.

"Stop trying to get yourself offed or I’m out, Daken. Understand?" Bullseye said, letting his voice go cold and hard, dropping the nicknames for emphasis.

Daken twisted and craned his neck to look at him, his eyes were unreadable and his face a dead mask. Bullseye stared back at him unblinking. He had no idea what Daken would decide on, if his pride and desire for self-destruction were stronger than the comfort of their relationship. He accepted either outcome.

"I understand. Prometheus." Daken said. His voice was one more the rich and cultured tone he utilized outside of the bedroom, a faint hint of Italian coloring it, and cool as a winter afternoon. The safe word was heavy off his lips. Promptly, Bullseye released him and untied his hands, letting the mutant climb free from his lap. He doesn’t comment or reproach. Later, they would act as if nothing had happened as if nothing had ever happened. Bullseye watched Daken, commemorating his naked body to memory but feeling like he’d never get it just right.

Daken hovered in uncertainty, not getting dressed nor leaving, much to Bullseye’s astonishment. He waited.

"I accept your terms." Daken looked at him coldly, and Bullseye felt his brow climb up his face in surprise.

"All right." Bullseye said, more of an exhale than articulation, cocking his head to the side. "Wanna continue?"

"I don’t know."

"What do you want?" He glanced at the knife.

"Please decide for me." The words are distant and it’s clear that Daken has no clue of what to do with his face, mirroring his thoughts in the same mixed mess of contradiction. He hasn’t cooled down from earlier, but neither is he in a normal state of mind. Bullseye noted this and held out his hand. Daken took it.

"Kneel." The command is simple and Daken kneels gracefully next to him, leaning his head against his knee, his hand still in his. Bullseye plays with his hair and scalp, petting him and humming in a low voice. Daken calmed down, he can feel his pulse on his wrist slowing down and the rise and fall of his chest deepening. When Bullseye is satisfied with Daken’s state of mind, he pulled at the mutant’s mohawk, forcing him to rise, and pressed their mouths together. He tasted the blood and the underlying sourness of bile — Daken had been worse off than he thought. He adjusted his plans accordingly and firmly guides Daken into bed with him. No touch is light nor unexpected, he made certain of that, as he presented the knife to Daken.

The first incisions are along his rib cage, cutting along bone on his right side, fresh blood spilled on the sheets in dark rivulets. Daken’s breath hitched and he stilled with a slow sigh as Bullseye lifted the knife. He doesn’t wait for the cuts to knit themselves together before cutting the mutant from collarbone to sternum to navel — a mockery of an autopsy. Bullseye kept the cuts more shallow than necessary, he doesn’t force the knife past muscle nor does he gut him. Just enough to get a steady flow of blood to run Daken’s firm and flushed skin. He kept an eye on Daken’s face as much as he admires his own work — the mutant watched him with baited breath, rapture clear in his eyes and the smile that tugs at his blood-stained lips. He licked the trail of blood that had run down to stain his hand and wipes off the worst from the blade on the sheets to keep it from becoming too slippery to use accurately. He had no intention of cutting himself up with it by accident.

Bullseye returned to his work with a happy hum, pleased that the sound of his voice has the expected result of keeping Daken stable even as he deepened the cuts and focused on the sensitive nerves of his inner thighs. Daken’s hard cock bobbed at the attention and Bullseye entertained himself by smearing blood on it as well as along Daken’s sides. He kept the wounds open by shoving his fingers into them, making the other man howl and moan as he dragged them along flesh and bone.

"You’re so fucking beautiful. Inside and out. I could do this forever just to touch you and taste you.” He emphasizes the sentiment by licking along his thighs to his hip bone, making an incision to bare the bone, watching blood run down to Daken’s cock. The mutant moaned and lifted his hips in a helpless gesture, barring bone further. Bullseye took him in his mouth, sucking and letting teeth graze the head, enjoying the noises that left Daken’s mouth and the taste of him.

His fingers dig into his flesh with desperation he cannot understand, and Daken’s hand are suddenly on his, his nails digging into Bullseye’s skin. Their eyes catch each others. Bullseye sucked hard, his cheeks hollowing out, and bobbed on Daken’s cock. A slow rhythm settled between them, just the noises of their heavy breathing and the wet noise of Bullseye’s mouth on Daken’s cock in the strange stillness. Blood dripped and slowed, flesh healing and cooling in the chill of the room.

Bullseye swallowed as Daken came in his mouth, his nails digging into his hands painfully, and rested his head on the mutant’s bloodied hip.

Neither of them letting go.

Bullseye could taste Daken on his lips, his blood and come and sweat, and he doesn’t want for anything. He considered lapping every inch of Daken’s skin until the other man was slicked clean with his saliva, but he knew that Daken wouldn’t be able to take it. That he’d panic. Bullseye settled on kissing his already fully healed stomach as he slowly released his grip on his flesh — Daken, hesitantly, let him go.

There was blood beneath both of their finger nails and deep red crescents were embedded on the back of Bullseye’s hands. A lopsided smirk spread on his face as he pulled himself up on the bed and took Daken into his arms, tucking his chin over his head and closing his eyes to hum along to ”Bad Moon Rising”.

Daken fell asleep in his arms, stilling like the dead.

Bullseye could hear his voice crack, he buried his face in Daken’s hair, breathing in his scent and waited for his treacherous body to stop shaking. He dragged in a deep breath and ignored the wheeze and whine in the back of his throat. It would pass. His tears dry on his face.

Chapter Text

Daken was no stranger to his own appetites; they had the habit of strengthening the more he indulged in them, sometimes resulting in deliberate self-denial as he had no intention of being a slave to his own desires. However, he was quite fine with indulging in the particular pleasure of a skilled lover, as working under Osborn's rule constrained far too many of his other vices. What was a little recreational murder every now and then, really? Anyhow, as it was he'd chosen to compensate these unsatisfactory restraints with some harmless fun with his favorite toy: Bullseye.

He was absolutely wonderful in bed once Daken had drilled in the basics with both violence and increased pleasure. Furthermore, he was skilled enough with both his hands and mouth to keep up with Daken's lack of refractory time. Far too often, men were lacking in that department, leaving him unsatisfied.

Getting Bullseye into bed with him had been a fun little game of its own, one he had intended to drag out further, if he was to be honest, but, unexpectedly, Bullseye had decided to tip the scales on that on his own. It was been surprising, but in hindsight, it had made sense, as a cheerful Bullseye was an impulsive Bullseye.

Regardless, Daken was satisfied and quite amused by Bullseye's happy description of a recent battle between him and the Punisher. He lay on his belly in Bullseye's bed naked, sweat and cum slick from a very satisfying fuck. Entertaining Lester by listening to his prattling wasn't much of a sacrifice. He hummed and praised him in the appropriate places, legs kicking lazily, crossing and uncrossing. Daken could both feel and hear as Bullseye focus started to drift more to him at his actions, finally making him stop mid-sentence to stare at his naked ass.

"Yes, darling?" Daken said with a mock questioning tone, as if didn't know exactly how he'd diverted the other man's interest.

"You're such a fucking tease," Bullseye hissed between clenched teeth, grabbing his ass firmly with a hand. "I'd fuck you right now if I could."

"Getting old are we? I think there is a pill for that." A wicked grin on his lips and a clench of his backside accompanied the remark as an emphasis. A firm slap across his ass was the reply he got for his smart mouth. Daken made a point out of moaning at the pain and arching into Bullseye's hands, urging him to damn well put them to good use.

"I just fucked you. Twice." Another two slaps across his ass. "Made you come four times." A rough rub and pinch, which made him groan.

Daken glanced back at Bullseye over his shoulder, pointedly biting his lip and raising his hips. Lester's face is a curious mix of aroused, frustrated and amused, smiles tugging at his lips even as he frowned, and a flush high on his cheeks.

"But you do it so good," Daken purred and squirmed under his hands, gasping as Bullseye bent low and bit his ass cheek. "Naughty. Gonna eat me?"

"Fuck no, not with that much lube in you." Bullseye sneered, catching on immediately, biting him again and kissing the fading mark.

"Then who is the tease now?"

"Still you, fuckface. I hold up my promises."

"I'm not seeing much yet."

"Calm the hell down, and you will." With that remark, Lester started to rub his back and ass with long smooth strokes, relaxing muscle in a very pleasing manner. Daken settled, allowing the massage with some amount of amusement -- it was fine, for now, but if Lester didn't give him a 'happy ending' to it, he'd be somewhat annoyed. Nothing a few scratches wouldn't be able to convey, but the principle mattered.

Just as he was starting to feel drowsy from the skilled treatment of his often too tense back, Bullseye did indeed deliver on his promise and started to rub and play with his hole in a distracting way. Daken tensed and tried to arch into him, a firm hand on his hip pinning him down into the bed stopped him short.

"None of that, just relax, I'll do all the work," Bullseye chided and rubbed his lower back as he inserted a finger. Daken groaned into the mattress, both pleased and frustrated by this turn of events. It took a lot of self-control not to fuck himself on Bullseye's finger, even if the other hand still massaging him helped; it was a sweet torture.

"More," he moaned, ass clenching around the intrusive digit that was driving him insane. Bullseye chuckled throatily, his hand settling on his neck firmly while another finger was introduced into his ass with a slick drag. Daken sighed, his own toes and fingers curling into the sheets, happy for the increased pressure and friction.

"I bet I could fit my entire fist into your ass and still have you aching for more. You're such a slut for being stretched full," Bullseye trash-talked, finger fucking him deeply and steady while keeping him still with his other hand, gently rubbing his neck. Daken didn't feel like contradicting him in case it would mean that he stopped. It felt far too good to stop, and he was right in that Daken wanted more.

"More, harder, anything," he said, shaking and sweating, panting slightly even, and trying his hardest not to rub his hard cock against the bed.

"I don't think so, sweetness," Bullseye hummed, curling his fingers and pressing down on his back to stop him from arching. Daken gasped, blinking sweat out of his eyes. A part of him was vaguely impressed at how quickly Lester could undo him, another was getting quite ready to demand that he fucked him properly, before he decided to gut him for being a tease. A growl and a glare were all he managed, much to Bullseye's amusement.

"Getting desperate, are we?" A hard grip on his neck again, thumb rubbing at his jugular, and a pointed thrust and twist. Daken whined loudly, words feeling too difficult to articulate, not that being pressed face first into the bed made it any easier.

"I'll give you a treat then. Fuck yourself on my fingers. Just like this." Bullseye told him, his grip unyielding. Daken didn't second-guess his offer but raised his hips and pressed his ass against Lester's hand then rolling it down again, making sure to rub his cock against the sheets in the movement. 

"You're so beautiful like this, Daken," Bullseye encouraged him, rubbing small circles on his neck, briefly caressing the side of his face. Daken found that once he got past the initial unwillingness to look at him, to surrender to him in that way, the sight of Bullseye's face was arousing in itself. Naked arousal made his eyes shine, his lips flush and part, and the tense lines of his face relax.

Catching his eyes, Daken controlled himself and set a deliberate pace, undulating his hips and spreading his legs slightly to allow a deeper penetration. He wasn't about to let his need make him lose the power he did have over the other man. He was going to make this a show that Lester wouldn't easily forget.

Daken sighed and moaned, biting his lips and letting his eyes flutter shut briefly, drawing Bullseye's attention like a live target. He reveled in the hitch of his breath; the increased beat of his heart; the thick clogging scent of lust. He didn't miss the nearly involuntary twitch of his hands, each slight movement sending shocks through his flesh.

"More." This time his demand is obeyed immediately, a third finger joining in on the upward thrust. Daken impaled himself on them with a loud purposeful groan, rolling his entire body with the movement, taking them in deep. Bullseye as good as gaped at him, eyes half closed and bright, and his fingers curling slightly but without any of the deliberation or skill of an intent tease. Daken tsked and chewed at his lip, flashing sharp teeth and tongue.

"Fuck me now, make me come," he purred, raising his hip and spreading his legs just so to give Lester a good view of his hard cock, already smeared in his pre-come. 

"Damn you," Bullseye growled, knowing he got played and grabbed him by the hip, thrusting his fingers hard and fast into him as he did. Daken panted and shuddered beneath the rough treatment, sinking into the bed boneless, relying fully on Bullseye to keep him in position.

He didn't care if Bullseye got him off with his hands or cock, he was past the point of caring for anything other than his own need. It felt like he was burning from the inside out while a satisfying haze kept him pinned down unable to do anything other than let it. Daken noticed his orgasm with a vague sense of bemusement over the insane pleasure, Bullseye had never even touched his cock, yet he was coming all over himself and the bed. He didn't feel fully attached to his body, convulsing and quivering as it did, and his vision tunneling.

"---Fffuck," he mouthed into the bed as Lester's fingers slipped out of him wetly, lube and come running down his thighs and cock.

"Yeah, I'm gonna," Bullseye growled but Daken didn't quite understand what he meant until he felt his cock press into him. He meant to say something witty about Lester not needing Viagra after all, but it was all lost as the other man fucked him fast and careless, like a damn fuck toy.

"Fucking unbelievable. How the fucking hell do you make me hard like this?" Bullseye gritted, thrusting and clawing at him wildly. Daken jolted with each thrust, unable to give any resistance or support: his hands felt too weak and useless; his thighs refused to hold his weight, and his head was too heavy.

"You're going to kill me with sex," Bullseye accused him irately, grabbing his mohawk and pulling him up with it, even as he pressed his lower back down. Daken blinked, trying to scramble his brain into gear and his mouth to obey, wanting to point out the ridiculousness of that statement -- also something suitably dirty about pots and kettles.

"You seem to enjoy it," he slurred and grinned widely, the simple task proving rather difficult as Bullseye rammed into him, right on target. It hurt and it felt delicious at the same time, his body screamed and he wanted it with each brutal drag and push.

"I'm going to use you. Then I'll not fuck you for a week, just to see how you like it."

"I have others," Daken gasped, pushing at Bullseye's jealousy with both his words and pheromones.

"I'll kill anyone who touches you. I'll paint you with their blood and choke you on my dick until you fucking get it that they will never be as good as me. I've ruined you. You're mine whether you want it or not." His grip on his hair was painful and the added pull made Daken's eyes tear up.

"Oh please do," he mocked, a pleased purr in his voice even as he felt like Bullseye was tearing him apart. "I just hate loose ends like former lovers."

"Then you better stick with me, as I don't leave 'em alive either," Lester threatened, pouring his anger and jealousy into fucking him, draping his body over him and biting at his ear until Daken turned enough to kiss him. This time the both of them lose themselves into their frenzy, working their way into their orgasm while kissing and biting at each other.

Lester dragged him onto his side after coming inside him, still fucking him slowly and putting a hand around Daken's cock jerking him off. Daken pressed his body against the length of his body, hot and wet, enjoying the feeling of Lester's softening cock inside him as he came once more. Bullseye pressed kisses against his head and shoulders, Daken twisted and pressed their lips together.

"That makes six, you greedy fuck," Lester remarked in a hoarse voice. Daken laughed and felt him slip out, the sensation filled him with a strange sense of loss.

"I thank you for each one," Daken said, rubbing himself back at him, absentmindedly, and kissed him gently in a facsimile of gratitude.

Bullseye laughed, a barking noise that reverberated through his chest, but stopped as made him wince. "Ouch. I'm going to have work-out pain everywhere."

"Great way to get it though."

"Whatever. I should just get you a fucking sex toy so that you don't break my dick."

"I prefer the real thing."

"Pretty sure I could shut you up with a toy up your tight ass. I could get one of those remote controlled things and tie you up with it in. Then go out for a sandwich." Daken elbowed him, but Lester just laughed at him, restraining his wrists in one hand and slapping his sore ass with the other.

"Don't lie to me and say that the idea doesn't turn you on," he said and smeared his come over Daken's skin.

"I don't do well with being denied, Lester."

"Spoiled little prince." Said with a kiss. "I don't mind spoiling you."

Daken kissed him back, a smile tugging his lips, relaxing fully into his arms. Lester would do well enough for now. Daken's own little private pleasure until he was free from his cage.

Chapter Text

"What happened to you?" Daken asked with a hard edge in his voice once he’d barged into Bullseye’s room, hands on his jeans-clad hips and a frown on his dark brow.

Bullseye glared at him, wincing slightly at the movement as it opened the wound that cut through his eyebrow, making blood seep from the wound once more. He was still blood and filth stained, wounds untreated and dressed in the torn Bullseye costume. It wasn’t as bad as it looked, however, nothing broken, just bruised and bloody.

"None of your damn business. Fuck off," he sneered, pulling off what was left of his mask. He’d have to get a new one. He’d bill it to Norman just to spite him.

"Need I ask about the other guy?" Daken said and, without his invitation, settled on the bed next to him, grimacing at the smell. Asshole should just have stayed away if it bothered him.

"Dead. All seven of them." He hadn’t meant to say that. It shouldn’t matter what Daken thought, but for some reason, the implication of just one guy beating him made his hackles rise.

"Norman should give you backup." It wasn’t concern as such, too much scorn and disinterest to qualify.

"Don’t want it. Don’t need it. Now, piss off."

"You need to wash, and sew or tape some of these. I’m guessing you’re avoiding Medical for a reason." Daken continued, ignoring him and poking at his wounds. Bullseye grabbed his offending hand, pulled and twisted it up hard, bone snapped loudly. It wasn’t an open fracture, but it would take him a few moments to heal at the very least.

"Hands off," Bullseye gritted and glared at the mutant, who made a slight grimace and cradled his hand.

"Was that really necessary? I’m merely offering to help," Daken complained, pouting and scrunching up his face. It shouldn’t have meant anything, it shouldn’t have made him want to apologize or anything. He managed to settle on not kicking the mutant out on his ass.

Bullseye sat quietly as Daken turned his face with a finger under his chin, eying the long scar that went from his ear to his jaw.

"This will scar, but if we take care of it it’ll be faint," he assessed and eyed the rest of his face critically. "You’ll have a scar on your eyebrow as well. You’re lucky you didn’t lose that eye. That would have been a shame. You have such lovely eyes.”

Bullseye pulled back harshly, lips set in a snarl and violence tensing his hands into fists. He couldn’t stand Daken’s flirting, it pissed him off in a way he couldn’t understand even as he knew, knew in his own treacherous body, how much he wanted the other man’s attention. Bullseye could see that Daken could tell, that he could smell and see it on him like a confession as that disgusting smug smirk played on his lips. Daken both played coy and goaded him, flaunting himself with every move and promising more.

"Don’t need your help." Rage clouded him and he nearly lunged at him right then and there, but he held himself under control.

"But it’d be easier and nicer with it," Daken said, a flash of a smile on his lips. Bullseye wanted to shove his tongue down his throat, he just couldn’t decide if he meant it literally or not. He hated this about the mutant. The twin impulses of sex and violence drove him insane.

"I told you to leave. Do so before I break your other hand.” Better to avoid the entire confrontation, to ignore it. He stood up, trying his best not to show how much that hurt, the bruises on his ribs and back crying out in tandem.

"Tch. Let me help you get undressed," Daken said and unceremoniously started to cut the partially armored cloth off his body, his claws skirting dangerously close to major arteries as he did.

Involuntarily, Bullseye stilled, glaring murder at the mutant for his invasion of his private space and utter disrespect of his wishes. Daken was undaunted, stripped him methodically and with a gentle care, minding his skin and his injuries. As much as he hated to admit it, there was pleasure in this. The enjoyment of ridding himself of his blood-crusted costume coupled with the low-grade arousal of watching Daken undress him — feeling the slightest scrape of his deadly claws across his flesh and warm hands sliding on skin. It was as much foreplay as it was a threat.

He continued to stare Daken down as he was stripped by him, refusing any sense of vulnerability or helplessness. He could see as a smile grew on Daken’s face, the sheer pleasure that translated in his expression at his task and the sight and feel of Bullseye’s body beneath his hands. The way his lips parted, how he bit and licked at them; the flutter of his eyelids — dark lashes over honeyed skin — as he seemed to see something other than just battled-scarred and bruised flesh; the growing flush on his cheeks, spreading to the tips of his ears and making his eyes shine. Bullseye did know if this should piss him off, embarrass or turn him on.

Bullseye was finally naked and Daken’s hands were still on him, his dark eyes greedily eating him up, as he dragged a hand down his chest to his hips. He should make Daken leave. He should definitely have made him leave when he pulled off his own v-necked sweater, or when he unbuttoned his jeans and shimmied his way out of them and his underwear. Bullseye kept his eyes from roaming too low.

"Let’s get to the shower, clean you up," Daken ordered, gently guiding him to the en suite bathroom. Against all better judgment, Bullseye followed him, leaning into his touch — the feel of him against his skin was like heaven, he barely even noticed the pain or the pull of his injuries.

The cool tiles on his naked feet woke him up enough to send cold shocks up his spine. Before he could even consider the sudden feeling of fear and tension, Daken was pressed against him and his breath was hot on his skin, his mind skipped a beat and he lost his train of thought. With hands firmly planted on his hips, Daken walked him to the needlessly large shower and turned on the tap, sending warm water down on both of them.

Bullseye hissed at the sensation of his wounds burning and smarting at the water, the water coloring pink at his feet. Daken was at his back, arms circling him and caressing him, wiping off dried blood and working out tensions from his muscles. He blinked blood and water out of his eyes, looking down at the hands several shades darker than his own — the bold curve of a tattoo on the right one, and long fine-boned fingers with black lacquered nails — running over his chest and belly. Daken’s touch glides along with the water, as gentle and fluid, and Bullseye cannot quite tell if it’s real or not. A part of him just wanted to relax into it, to just close his eyes and let the water wash away the blood and for the other man’s hands to take the pain away.

Bullseye turned to face him, groaning as the jet of water hit his back, rolling his shoulders with a metallic click that seemed to echo loudly. Hands on his face returned his focus to the other man, Daken’s hair hung wetly against his scalp, stray curls glued to his forehead and cheek, Bullseye was tempted to push them back.

Daken leans up into him, resting his arms on his shoulders, and pressed their mouths together. The kiss tasted of blood. His mind recoils from it, even as he let his hands pull at Daken’s body he refused to think about it, them, or what he was doing. Daken licked at the wound on his face, kisses it, and repeated the process with the blooming bruise on his cheek and brow.

Bullseye allowed him to slip from his hands, let him kiss and worry his wounds, watching as he crouched lower to his chest, his sides, his belly. Strong hands grip his ass as Daken took him in his mouth, licking his cock as he sucked. With a gasp, Bullseye steadied himself with a hand against the wall, getting the stream of water on his head as he did. The water felt like white noise, shutting out everything that wasn’t Daken’s mouth on his cock and his hands kneading his ass. His thoughts were white noise.

Daken spread his legs, fingering and rubbing him as he bobbed on his cock. The sudden loss of his mouth is jarring and it was further so when he was turned around to face the wall. The tiles are still cool compared to his skin and the water, Bullseye’s brain tried to reboot itself but doesn’t get any further than slight alarm when he felt Daken’s mouth on his ass. Hissing at the teeth scraping his cheek, he glanced over his shoulder and down at Daken who flashed him a grin before burying his face against his ass.

"Fuck!" Instinctively he rises away from the sensation just to have strong hands grab him by hips and ass, spreading him wide open for the other man’s invasive mouth and tongue. Bullseye was clawing at the wall, groaning and whining as he could feel Daken’s tongue lick at his hole — worse yet when he could feel it inside of him. A brief thought of making Daken stop reached past the white noise of water and pleasure, but he couldn’t muster the will to do anything.

An embarrassing noise left him as he let Daken continue to tongue-fuck him, his nails sinking into his flesh and steadying him. Panting and resting his cheek on the wall, Bullseye didn’t think. He didn’t beg for Daken to fuck him. He didn’t sob encouragements and threats as Daken started to jerk him off as well. He did, however, come hard enough to lose what little awareness he had.

Bullseye came to fitfully, feeling Daken both support his weight and gently wash his body with soap. It burnt in his cuts and his muscles ached once more from the strain. Lumbering, he turned around, leaning heavily on the wall, letting the shower spray wash the tiredness off his face, taking water in his mouth and then spitting it down on the floor. It came out pink. He was certain that one of his false teeth felt loose.

He didn’t know what to do about Daken.

It would have been easier if he’d left on his own volition. But Daken never left when he wanted him to, instead, that was when he crawled deeper under his skin.

"Turn around, I’ll wash your hair," Bullseye ordered, much to both of their surprise. Daken blinked and turned, startled slightly as Bullseye went on kneading in shampoo into his hair, rubbing his scalp, thinking about nothing but his task. Rinsing the black tresses, that reached Daken’s shoulder blades, running his fingers through it and untangling knots with single-minded purpose, Bullseye let his own body become secondary. Later, there would be pain and soreness, now all he needed to care about was Daken’s overgrown mohawk.

He could tell that Daken was enjoying himself, he could feel him relax under his hands, but he was spared the sight of his face and conversation. Had Daken attempted to talk to him, Bullseye would have snapped his neck then and there, just a quick pull and twist. The thought of lowering down his corpse, gently and with terrifying finality, on the bathroom tiles, swam in his mind like a shark. It frightened him, but not for any of the conventional reasons.

Bullseye didn’t realize that he’d stopped moving until Daken grabbed his hand, which had hovered in the air aimlessly, and guided him out of the shower, turning the tap shut as he did. Daken grabbed them a towel each, dabbing at his cuts and bruises carefully, staining the white with brightly red blotches.

The pain felt real.

"Please leave," he begged.

"No."

His smile felt like a knife to his ribs, his kiss delivering the killing blow.

Chapter Text

The room was still warm and everything still felt humid after a night well spent, waking Daken from his lazy dozing. He slept very little, preferring only a few hours at a time, and the morning was late enough to warrant waking. Bullseye still slept, dead to the world, dark shadows under his eyes and half-open lips, baring a glint of teeth and tongue. Daken pulled down the sheet they shared, twisted and licked along bare skin, tonguing a nipple with teasing flicks, casting dirty glances and fleeting grins at Bullseye. Blue eyes flash open and a sneer tugged at his lips, the message clear that the other man has no patience for his games or for teasing this early in the morning.

It spurred Daken on to linger along the lines of his torso, only very slowly making his way down to Bullseye’s quickly hardening and bobbing cock. Tongue rasping along the stubble of his groin, playful nips of thighs and a nudging nuzzle along his length. Daken kissed the tip before taking it firmly in his mouth, sucking gently and flicking the tip of his tongue around the corona, making Bullseye buck and shudder and eliciting a satisfied hum from Daken.

He mused that there was something about pleasuring someone else that could be strangely intoxicating, satisfying even when you received nothing in return. The feeling of them unraveling every movement a testimony to how good you were and each noise a confession of the loss of control. Daken knew exactly how to make Bullseye noisy; the assassin hated it but he could be as noisy as any woman if you knew where to tease him.

Daken held his light pace, never taking him in too deep but kept him hard and intent by sucking and licking, while his hands worked his thighs and balls. The angle was somewhat awkward, but Daken had managed worse, kneeling on the bed bent over Bullseye, resting his weight on his arms. Turned out that Bullseye agreed with him in that the position was less than optimal, grabbing him by his legs and making him straddle him unexpectedly. Daken didn't mind the change, but he made a point of gently tugging at Bullseye’s foreskin as a friendly warning to give him heads up next time. Bullseye smacked him on his ass in reply.

Daken scoffed and deep-throated him just to unbalance him, sucking hard and lips tight around his length, his nose pressed to Bullseye’s shaved and tight balls. The gasp and groan that this caused were utterly worth it. Daken bobbed nearly off him, dragging his tongue along his cock, and then all the way down. He held this pace until he felt Bullseye start to toy with his ass and hesitant licks along his own cock, which was, to say the least, an unanticipated turn of events. Bullseye was, according to himself, most adamantly not a cocksucker.

A smug grin flickered across Daken’s lips and he went back to sucking Bullseye off, adjusting his own legs and hips to allow maximum access, groaning when he felt Bullseye suck at his cock. The other man was still hesitant and a bit sloppy but the way he squeezed at his ass and played with his hole, two fingers knuckle deep, more than made up for his inexperience. Daken made a point out of slowing down his pace and making his movements more deliberate, urging Bullseye to mimic him, using both his hand and his mouth.

It’s was difficult to stay focused as fingers worried his prostate, sending shudders down his body, and nearly gagging him around the cock in his mouth as he was instinctively moving along with the fucking.

With a slight sadistic satisfaction, Daken thrust into Bullseye’s mouth in return, making him gag and splutter indignantly though soothing him by once more deep-throating him. Sucking hard, Daken drove Bullseye over his edge, keeping at it even as he blew his load and whined at the continued sensation, Daken’s cock slipping from his mouth.

Daken finally let him go with a wet pop, licking his lips and Bullseye’s tip, tasting come and grinning happily. Glancing back over his shoulder, Daken could see Bullseye’s flushed and dazed face, drool running down his chin and tears at the corner of his eyes. It was the sexiest thing he’s seen all week.

“My turn.”

Bullseye gave him a frustrated glare but grabbed him by the hips and took him in his mouth like it was a challenge, sucking hard, hollowing his cheeks out.

Daken nearly purred, his head lolling down and his hair falling over his eyes, chewing at his lips. A part of him wanted to draw this out, to make Bullseye really work for it, another just wanted to come just right there, choking his Lester with his dick and come. It was just sad that he wouldn't be able to see the look on Bullseye’s face when he did like this. Gasping, Daken thrust into Bullseye mouth and came, making a point of not pulling back until he heard him choke.

Dazed and sated, he allowed Bullseye to hoist him off him onto the bed, watching with hooded eyes as Bullseye climbed off and went to the bathroom to wash his mouth. Yawning, Daken flopped onto his back, waiting for the other to return to the bed that often served as theirs.

He never took Bullseye to his bed, frankly speaking, Daken had the feeling that the other man would be far too high strung in a space that was not his own. As such, it’s all very familiar; from the stale smell of his medication to the make-shift dart board on the wall – a crudely drawn picture of Daredevil – with darts and throwing knives stuck to it. It’s not the only thing that Bullseye uses for target practice if the holes and cuts in the walls and ceiling are to be trusted; his restlessness ripped his environment apart like any caged animal was wont to do.

Bullseye was a creature of habit, despite his impulsive traits. It made Daken wonder what had brought on the sudden change of heart. Then again, it was not like he expected much from Lester, he took what he wanted – they both did to be honest. To offer something though, that was still unexpected. Daken tried to predict what Bullseye might want in return. He idly mused that maybe the assassin had finally grown attached, needy and eager to please, merely wanting his approval in return. The thought made him laugh, despite how well he had Lester wrapped around his finger he doubted such sentiment from his pet killer. Curiosity and lust were likelier culprits.

His musings were interrupted by the now, annoyingly, familiar announcement to assemble ASAP in the conference room. Bullseye wandered out of the en suite bathroom and hung on the doorway, a pissed look on his face. “I’m not going anywhere before a shower. Coming?”

“It’s all very rude. Before breakfast, even,” Daken remarked and nodded at him, stretching and climbing out of bed, padding after Bullseye into the bathroom. Warm showers together were a sometimes habit of theirs that was curiously pleasing. Bullseye pressed their mouths together, Daken tasted both come and aggressively minty mouthwash.

Sauntering into the conference room nearly an hour later, cleaned and suited up, Daken grinned at the sour glances they got for their tardiness.

“How kind of you to finally join us,” Norman spat. Behind him, there was a large screen with a live satellite photo of a building. Daken did not recognize the site.

“I could have turned up naked if you prefer,” Daken replied, winking at Karla and making Norman bristle.

“You’ll be pleased to hear that you’re running front, as this is a strike on mutant terrorists,” Norman said, adjusting his tie. It was a noxious shade of green and purple, on another man it might have been flattering, but on Norman it just came of sickly and a reminder of his alter ego. Daken snapped to attention, mutant affairs were a sticky business especially after the Utopia disaster and the failure and betrayal of Frost’s “X-Men”. Not that Daken had had much involvement with that crew before it blew in their faces, he’d been busy as it was being an Avenger. He really couldn't stand his father’s habit of being everywhere and Norman’s expectation of the same from him.

“I doubt that it’ll be good PR to make a move against Utopia now,” Daken said, deliberately not letting anything show.

“I decide what’s good, Wolverine. This site is on the mainland. The mutants can have their damn island, but they are staying off US soil. I’m sending you all in to clean house of those terrorists,” Norman roared, controlling himself at the last moment by tugging at his tie once more. Daken wanted to make him choke on it, biting back a comment on his own mutant status – he didn't have any feelings of solidarity as such towards other mutants, but it was an annoyance.

He could feel Bullseye by his side, his warmth and his steady heart, but neither of them initiated contact. Daken listened as the plan was set up. It was all very straightforward. A blitz attack, kill first policy and to move in pairs and to stay in radio contact. It would never survive contact with the enemy. There was next to no information, just a site and vague sightings of known mutants. Daken was half a heart to leak the plans to the X-men just to avoid the hassle of the mission. But the shipment was immediate and they were in the air in less than twenty.

The flight was boring and Daken listened in on the radio reports as they came, never mind that they were only for Norman. Information trickled in slowly, numbers settling around less than a dozen and defenses next to none beyond the combatants. Not that that meant much against mutant opponents. For all they knew the site could be cleared already because there had been psychic or a pre-cog on site. Five minutes before ETA, just as Daken was stopping listening a stray word caught his ears: Wolverine.

Daken froze.

“Hey, man. Get ready, we’re coming in hot,” Bullseye said, bumping into his shoulder. Daken looked up and nodded, glancing back at Norman, expecting some kind of response or order. Nothing came.

“Go, go, go!”

Daken hit the ground in a run, even before the plane has landed, catching a plain looking man by surprise. Before he could do anything, Daken cut his throat and kept running toward the main entrance. This was not a stealth mission. Speed was of the essence. He quickly ran point, leaving the few combatants outside for the others to deal with focusing on his part of the mission, to take out the people inside and to stop them from fleeing.

Inside, scents and sounds assault him even as he kept on moving. There were more than a dozen mutants here. The intel had been wrong. He could be running into his death. But his father was here, he could smell him: those damn stale cigars he smoked and that swill of bourbon he drank. Daken wasn’t about to be cheated out of this confrontation, but he needed to play it smart. Stopping before the next bend and sneaking into the next room, Daken kept a low profile, hoping that his teammates would be stalled by the perimeter guards. The distant explosions were a good sign.

There was no one there, but sounds are coming from deeper inside, moving away quickly. Daken pursued, quickly but quietly, growing more certain that there was a secondary exit in complex. The noises and scents grew stronger, his father’s the most prominent, and just as the next hallway turned Daken finally caught up to them.

The first thing he saw, was Wolverine. He was in plain clothes and he looked surprised. The children around him more so. Daken’s gaze was involuntarily drawn to the obviously mutant girl who was standing between them. She was like crystal with wings and a scared expression on her childish face. He stared at her and she choked a scream as he saw his drawn claws, her hands pressed against her mouth her dark eyes wide. Wolverine was already moving, claws popping, but he was slowed down by the children around him.

Mutant children. Norman had sent them after children.

Cold fury filled him and Daken ran, scooping up the tiny crystal girl as he went pressing her into his father’s stunned arms.

“Run,” Daken spat into his face, grabbing him by the wrist and stabbing himself in the chest. Stumbling back, blood flowing freely, Daken glanced over his shoulder seeing Bullseye standing there, his bow drawn. He hadn't heard him. Damn it— not now. Daken could do nothing as the arrow flew past him with deadly accuracy and he could see in his mind’s eye how it’ll dig into a child’s skull like through butter.

Because Bullseye did not miss.

Instead, it hits the ceiling above them and there was an explosive timer on it. Everything felt slow as Daken watched Wolverine run with the child in his arms down the corridor before it exploded, caving in on them.

Shrapnel and debris fly at him, instinctively he pulled his arms up to protect his face but impact sent him flying down. Daken coughed and blinked at the dust, hurting with each breath, feeling at his abdomen and chest, there was something lodged in him, pinning him to the wall. His hands feel too numb to do anything about it. After a moment, he could see the large pipe that sticks out of his chest and the seeping blood.

“Fucking idiot,” a familiar voice hissed at him and hands are ripping at him, pulling out the pipe inside of him with a flash of red hot pain and blood. “You owe me.”

Daken was pulled to his feet and dragged out, Bullseye held him tightly over his waist and with his hand draped over his shoulders, a firm grip on his wrist. He could feel his blood seep out of him and splatter on the ground with each step.

“Stay awake. I don’t want to explain this on my own.”

“I’m fine,” Daken wheezed, coughing and spitting blood on the floor. He hissed at the movement, feeling his insides heal up, however his lungs had been perforated and it would take a little longer before speaking or breathing would be pleasant.

“Whatever. Just keep moving,” Bullseye replied, his gloved hands harsh against him, Daken let himself lean on him more than necessary.

Outside, there are three bodies. Probably mutant or their human allies. The rest of the team was there as well, looking fresh as daisies. Daken thanked his lucky stars that his teammates were lazy and inefficient most of the time.

“Report!” Norman barked.

“They had rigged the back to cave in as they escaped,” Daken wheezed, certain that he could get Bullseye to sing along with his tune. He didn't mention the children. He didn't tell Osborn to go fuck himself.

“Wolverine pulled us the slip with some mutie fucks,” Bullseye added with an angry sneer. Daken could feel his anger like waves, it was genuine, which baffled him. Was Bullseye angry at Wolverine, him or at himself for doing what he did?

“I had hoped better from you.” Norman dismissed them. They settled down in the plane as HAMMER soldiers secured the site – they were Avengers after all. Grunt work was for flatscans and normals.

Daken sat quietly through the trip, grimacing and coughing as his lungs grew back and his bones snapped back in their rightful places. He avoided looking at Bullseye, but his mind thought of nothing else. Contingencies, excuses, exit strategies, bribes and reasons all ran through his head and he nearly dismissed all of them. For better or worse, Bullseye was his accomplice. He finally had the proof he’d been looking for and he’d thrown it away to side with him in the last moment.

‘You owe me.’

Nothing was given without something expected in return.

Daken wondered if this was when he needed to take Bullseye out. Wind him up and watch him go, had been the plan from the start. His ticking time bomb. Perhaps it was time to push the trigger and clean up the mess he’d made. Bullseye had become a liability.

The plane landed and Daken was no more certain on what he intended to do other than that it needed doing. But then Bullseye was nowhere to be found. Once he stepped off the plane Daken lost him. It took him over an hour to find him on one of the roof terraces, smoking a cigarette.

Daken walked up to him, leaning against the rail and looking out at the city below. This part faced towards Hell’s Kitchen; Daredevil’s fake pagoda towering over the district. Daken felt nothing but disgust at the Hand. He viewed them as a perversion of all and any traditions, made weak by their impurity and lack of subtlety. Shadowland would soon go down in flames. Perhaps that was a good target to send Bullseye to self-destruct at; he might even appreciate it.

“Gonna say anything?” Bullseye said, taking a drag of his cigarette.

“I didn't sign up to kill children,” Daken replied honestly.

Bullseye laughed and glanced at him with shining eyes. “You know, few of us in the business are willing to do that. I just hadn't pegged you as one who couldn't. I'll put a cap in anyone if you pay me. Fucking hate kids, to be honest.”

“Then why?”

“You’d already fucked things up. I could either clean up your mess or run with it.” Bullseye blew smoke circles and stared at the skyline, his eyes focusing on the distant tower. “Maybe I just like you owing me one.”

“What do you want?”

“Dunno.”

“You can’t do shit like this and then say that you don’t know. It’s unprofessional.”

“Fine. Kiss me.” Bullseye flicked the remains of the cigarette over the rail.

“Excuse me?”

“Kiss me,” Bullseye over-enunciated and put a finger under Daken's chin, raising it to face him. Daken stared at him momentarily and then kissed him, deciding that it might be for the best to just push him over the rail. It was… disappointing. He stilled as he felt a blade to his jugular.

“Now, if you try to kill me, I swear I'll cut you up,” Bullseye whispered into his ear, biting the lobe gently. “I know you, I know what goes through your head, and how people like us work.”

“I don't expect anything from you, I know you'll betray me the moment it suits you, and I’ll do the same. I’m not even angry about it. This is about insurances, this way we both have something to hold over the other. This way I get to keep you a bit longer.” Bullseye held the knife still pressed against his throat and his other hand at the back of his neck. Daken stared at him, wide-eyed and silent; he hadn't counted on this.

“Stay with me. We can kill each other later, after all of this.”

“Kiss me then,” Daken demanded, Lester looked at him for several moments, then pressed his lips to his gently. This time Daken kissed him earnestly, careless of the knife that pressed into his skin drawing blood. It clattered to the ground with a loud noise as they kissed.

There was always tomorrow.

Chapter Text

 There was something about formal parties that made Bullseye want to dismember people. Leave a head in the fountain, fingers on the trays of amuse-bouche, and the overly decorated décolletage of society ladies on the tables as centerpieces. The thoughts were compulsive and intrusive, but he was used to it and controlled himself like the good little hero Norman was presenting him as. Bullseye figured that he deserved a raise; a little extra for every time that Norman paraded him and the others up in front of cameras and the crème de la crème of society. The fund-raiser was mostly an excuse for Norman and Hand to both hobnob with military and political bigwigs, which was boring as hell but Ozzie needed his little heroes on show for good PR.

What actually stuck in Bullseye’s craw was that arrogant son of a bitch had accused him of not having any manners. He had plenty of manners, nice ones too. Smile and wear a tux. No killing or maiming. Have a canapé and talk about the weather. Not rocket science. You didn't survive in the industry without at least getting a basic idea of how to behave in front of your filthy rich clients. The only one who seemed not to have gotten that memo was Gargan, who was slobbering and creeping out the guests. Well, at least he wasn’t chasing the squirrels on the lawn. Maybe he would later, and Hand would shoot him in the face. That would be good entertainment. Bullseye grinned at the thought and drank his champagne, the delicate flute in his hand a perfect weapon if you just snapped off the foot and shoved the hilt in someone’s eye or throat.

Bullseye mingled and smiled his way through the main hall, grabbing an amuse-bouche from a waiter as he went, it had a pleasant meaty flavor with something sweet beneath the crisp and flaky butter dough, stuffing it whole into his mouth to avoid conversation with the eager looking young man who was in front of him. As the little pissant persisted and chattered about childhood heroes, Bullseye grabbed him by the throat with one hand and his hand by two fingers and twisted, making the man’s mouth drop open in soundless pain in a satisfying way and his knees give. Bullseye released him quickly, before anyone noticed, wiping off the grease and crumbles on his fingers on the man’s tux, and moved on toward the patio deck doors, to get some fresh air.

From the corner of his eye he saw both Hand and Karla run the floor like professionals, however he had little appreciation from skills that didn't involve bloodshed, and the cool outside air felt like salvation as he closed the door behind him. The classical music disappeared, its absence the only reason Bullseye even noticed it had been there.

Low voices carried over from across the deck, suited men with the telltale stiffness and attentiveness of career military stood in conversation with Osborn, while the Sentry loomed over them like a statue decked in his Sunday best. He had no intention of getting involved with Osborn’s business as such, but eavesdropping came naturally to him. Bullseye leaned against the rail and let his gaze rest on the meticulously manicured landscape and the fountain that bubbled gently as bits and pieces of Norman’s back-room dealing filtered through.

“—it’s a matter of profit—“

“—fifty million in the first quarter alone—“

“—previous contracts, this would upset more than one senator, not to mention the—“

“—can go screw themselves. Our country needs—“

“—can be arranged, our foreign friends—“

The conversation stalled as a woman in a flattering gown and stilettos joined, her dark hair pulled back harshly and her brown face painted in a severe mask. Bullseye paid more attention the gun in her thigh holster, her watchful eyes and the danger in her body. She would be beautiful with her knuckles bleeding and blood bubbling from her lips, gasping for her last breath. There was an underlying tendency in her movements that betrayed an instinctive hostility, which allured him. She reported something and one of the gentlemen with Osborn left with her with a brisk stride. Norman didn't seem exactly happy about this turn of events but held the same polite smile.

Shortly thereafter, a deal seemed to have been struck and Norman gave them his best political smile and handclasp. Captain Crazypants Bob disappeared after him as the reentered the party, leaving Bullseye alone in illuminated evening, except for a couple who lingered by the other side, probably cheating on their respective husbands and wives. He shook his head to clear out the image of blood and ripped bodies that wanted to overcome him. It was getting colder and darker; the flimsy silk mask, an approximation of his cowl mandated by Osborn for his Avengers who were more notorious, on his face felt oddly chilled and uncomfortable.

The gentle touch on his arm stilled him utterly, stopping his breath and focusing him utterly on violence, until he saw who it was. Slapping Daken’s offending touch off him, Bullseye sneered and forced himself to refrain from anything obvious or attention grabbing.   

“The Hell you want?” His eyes were involuntarily drawn to Daken’s mouth, twisted in his customary smirk, one of the few things visible beneath the silk half-mask. His was a mimicry of the Wolverine cowl he usually wore, it didn't look as ridiculous on him as it should have.

“Norman is going to hold a speech soon. He wants us all there,” Daken told him, but he seemed to be more preoccupied of Bullseye’s clothing rather than anything else, inspecting his sleeve and smoothing out the jacket over his shoulders as if he had a right to touch him. Bullseye frowned and glared, expecting the fag to get the damn hint, but Daken was undeterred. Bullseye was of the opinion that Daken lived by the principle that it was not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather he weren't doing it.

“Hands off.” Bullseye snapped at him as the moment grew long, shrugging off his hands, and tried not to think of how comfortably warm he had felt or the way Daken smelled different from the evening air.

“It suits you. I hadn't thought I’d never say it, but you clean up nice.”

“I’m fucking adorable.” Bullseye tugged at his collar irritably. “We have better things to do than to play dress up for Ozzie. Then again maybe he’ll tell us to slaughter the entire room during his speech, you never know with crazies like him. It’d be a nice dramatic flair and grande finale for this boring ass party.”

A smile cracked Daken’s face, a genuine spark of amusement under the many masks the mutant habitually wore. “As entertaining as that notion might seem, dear, we have less amusing obligations to tend to. I’ll be happy to cause a stir if that would liven things up for you. I've had my eye on that political attaché with the delicate bone structure all evening.”

Daken’s lewd grin made Bullseye’s skin crawl, he honestly couldn't tell when the mutant was talking sex or torture, and he couldn't help but to fantasize about both. Daken seducing some brainless society brat, screwing and killing them in the lavatory or a guest bedroom as the party downstairs moved on as if nothing. How Daken would glide back with just a single speck of blood on his sleeve and that cocky shit-eating grin on his face and pretend with the best of them over champagne, as the body cooled in a pool of its own blood upstairs. The imagery was vivid and Bullseye could nearly taste the rusty flavor of blood on his tongue, he licked his lips and swallowed. Daken smiled at him and his mouth felt dry.

“I need a drink,” Bullseye blurted and stalked past his team mate determinedly, walking into to the light and warmth just as Norman was getting everybody’s attention. This time, Bullseye was painfully aware of Daken’s presence behind him; his breath and physical presence like a weight on his back. Bullseye grabbed and drowned a fresh glass of champagne, keeping the waiter there so that he could immediately take a new glass. Daken took a flute as well, careful to brush by his hand as he did, and smirked as if there was something funny about the whole affair. Bullseye wanted to smash his face in. The music stopped as Norman settled in front of the crowd, again drawing attention to itself in its absence.

Norman’s speech was dull and pompous; it was clear that he’d have a little much to drink, especially when Hand ended up kicking him in the shin with her best “you screw this up for us I’m going to kill you” smile on. Bullseye was bored before he even started, and he felt almost grateful towards Karla as she sidled up to him, dolled up to her teeth in white and gold, with the fakest smile he’d seen all evening. And he was counting the ones on the men and women who ended up in contact with Gargan and his drugged up mutterings.

“Darling, you seem unoccupied. Would you mind doing me a tiny favor? I would be ever so…appreciative if you would.”

Please tell me you need me to kill someone.”

“Afraid not. Mac has wandered off, and we really wouldn't want him to start to get peckish. Good help is hard to find, not to mention the guests.” She spoke as if she had had anything to do with either, despite the fact that Hand had organized nearly everything.

“Why me?” He tried to keep the whine from his voice but the mere thought of hunting down Gargan and prying him off whatever had drawn his attention gave him a headache.

“Because I’m needed here, as is Victoria and Norman – and with extension, Sentry. Ares is occupied – the society harpies simply adore him. Daken is… well, he is wherever he is and I simply don’t have the time to find him. Feel free to conscript him as well if he turns up. Thank you, this means so much to me.” Karla patted him on the arm and flashed him another insincere smile but this time her leg brushed against his in a deliberate manner. It wasn’t until she mentioned it, that Bullseye noticed Daken’s absence – he had been ignoring him so deliberately that he hadn’t seen him leave.

“Fine. I’m tired of this bullshit anyhow,” Bullseye scoffed and emptied his glass, shoving it in Karla’s hand and leaving for the foyer.

He hadn't noticed Mac slip past him to the deck, so he was most likely either in the other direction and he could easily find out if Gargan had went upstairs or not. Again the flash of a bloodied corpse on a bed invaded his thoughts, but instead of a naked Daken straddling it triumphantly, the hulking shape of an alien monstrosity was bent over it with flesh hanging from its teeth and the sick noise of tearing muscle. Bullseye dug his nails into his palms and the image left him even if the noise seemed to be stuck in his brain like a catchy tune. With that in mind, he started to hum a tune beneath his breath, the song automatically playing in his thoughts as he did, the familiar voice of Billie Holiday, faithfully reproduced from memory, drowning out everything else.

He hunted Mac with the same lazy efficiency that he reserved for most of his victims, but both the man and the symbiote proved elusive. He did however walk in on two couples and at least three conversations that would have earned someone a felony charge – hadn't it been for the fact that they were senators and generals. Bullseye nearly offered his services at one point but resigned himself to the fact that he was under exclusive contract. He did however keep said people in mind; you never knew when you needed a new employer. It was always very secure to work for government types, very dependable work if underpaid compared to his usual commissions.

He was also rather certain that he knew that general back from when he’d been with the CIA, a fine piece of work who favored black ops. Reminded him of Nicaragua, playing around with the Contras and the drug trade alike, ostensibly training the rebels to fight the Sandinistas. Something however itched in the back of his brain, a feeling that usually had him watching his back and planning an exit. It annoyed him like a scabbing wound.

With a huff, Bullseye walked down the stairs, his steps heavy and decided on to investigate the west gallery when he noticed Daken in conversation with a woman at the foot of the steps. He stilled and watched Daken flirt with her, his body reaching for her one moment and the next pulling back, making her constantly unbalanced – probably a deliberate ploy from his side. Bullseye didn't care for seduction or the boring foreplay that didn't get his blood pumping, but he could recognize someone who knew exactly what he was doing.

Daken caught his eyes over the woman’s bare shoulder, and a smile played on his lips, decidedly different from the one he had given the woman. He saw Daken snapping her neck, an effortlessly elegant and practiced gesture, and pushing her dying body aside, turning to talk to him.

“I didn't see you there,” Daken greeted him, his voice was honey and smoke, his smile wider than before, toothier and sharper. Without thinking, Bullseye took a step down, towards him, drawn to him like a moth to a flame, but flinched back as the woman, whom he had thought dead, spoke.

“Oh, another Avenger! I’m so lucky this evening,” she exclaimed with a girlish voice and placed her hand against her chest, drawing attention to both her cleavage and her diamonds. She was as she had been – death’s pallor did not cover her skin nor was her neck twisted. Bullseye stared at her, realizing that his hallucination had been so overwhelming that he hadn't registered it as untrue.

“Something wrong?” Daken wondered as the moment stretched beyond the polite, and Bullseye bit the inside of his cheek and forced a joyless grin. He was starting to regret cutting down on his medication, but he had grown annoyed at all the pills they shoved at him.

“Nothing wrong,” Bullseye said glibly, half-bowing at the woman, “I’m afraid I need to borrow Wolverine here. Important Avengers’ work.” Bullseye noticed the annoyance spark across Daken’s features at the moniker. It gave him a stab of satisfaction.  

“Oh, of course. How exciting,” the woman tittered vapidly. Daken half bowed at her as well and kissed her hand, following Bullseye as he made his way toward the west gallery.

“Now, would you care to tell me why you dragged me away – this important Avenger’s business? Or did you just want me all for yourself, Lester,” Daken purred and even though Bullseye couldn't see his face he could hear the smug look on him.

“Keep it in your pants. Mac’s gone. You’re going to help me find him.”

“He’s probably chasing a squirrel somewhere.”

“My thoughts exactly, but orders are orders. When I find I’m gonna kick his ass for making me look.”

“We do owe him for last time.”

“A real team building exercise,” Bullseye remarked dryly, cracking his neck with a metallic pop and crack. He was still mad about last time, he’d been taken out on live TV and an audience. And that was without considering the times that Mac had tried to eat him. He owed the little shit a thorough beating, possibly something involving a welding torch too if Gargan didn’t know what was best for him.

The gallery was empty of everything but a pair of young women in deep discussion on something that involved corporate law, Daken smiled at them and Bullseye regretted not having his glass at hand. They followed it out to the western patio, stepping out into the dark and looking out over this side of the grounds. This side was not as vast as the deck side but it gave much more cover – the landscaping made to obscure the mansion from the parking lot and the street.  

“You see him?” Bullseye glanced at Daken, expecting his mutant senses to be of some aid now that they were out of the mansion.

“Just the stench of him, he was here.”

“Nothing to it then.” Bullseye jumped over the rail in a smooth move without further comment, landing quietly on the grass. He glanced behind him, seeing Daken’s silhouette illuminated by the lights couched on the rail for a moment before the mutant landed softly and nearly soundlessly beside him. The sight sent chills down his spine and made him want to kill.

He caught the quizzical look Daken gave him, the half-light casting deep shadows on his face, but ignored it resolutely.

“Let’s move. You point the way,” Bullseye said, looking into the garden that seemed much less ordered than it had in better light. Daken nodded and settled by his side, a bit closer than he had too, radiating heat like a furnace, chasing away worst of the chill. Bullseye had a sneaking suspicion that it was very deliberate. It made his teeth itch and his stomach clench.

They walked the grounds, looking at shadows, until they reached the parking lot. Daken was blissfully silent, Bullseye was certain had he tried to talk he would have instinctively tried to rip his tongue out at this point. Despite this, there was a certain comfort in their silence, a natural pace. It pissed him off in ways he couldn't understand.

“Are you even trying to find him?” Bullseye finally asked with an angry glare.

“No, this is just my elaborate ruse to have a moonlight stroll with you.” Daken sighed and rolled his eyes. “I told you before, Mac and the symbiote are here somewhere but I can't seem to get a read on him.”

“Fuck him anyway. Let’s go back inside. I need a drink,” Bullseye said but Daken didn't seem to listen. The mutant had stilled and raised his hand to silence him. Instantly, Bullseye quieted and listened; the part was still going on, faint music and the sound of people, but otherwise it was quiet. Bullseye pulled the hidden knife from his sleeve and scanned his surroundings, that nagging feeling was back in full force.   

A sharp sting at the base of his neck hit him and he stumbled forward, staring at Daken who caught him. Bullseye’s vision swam, Daken’s face seemed to glow and his eyes shone like polished opals, and he recognized the heavy sedative that was already coursing through his veins.

“Kill them,” he hissed at Daken, shoving him away, before unconsciousness claimed him and the cold and wet asphalt met him like a fist to the face.

S

 

 

The first things that Bullseye was aware of was a nasty headache and a sore neck. The second thing was a definite desire to kill everything. The third, which informed him of more practical matters, informed him that he was naked and strapped to a chair. It was hardly the first time that had happened and it mostly struck him as an annoyance. He forced himself to relax and not to react, keeping his breathing steady and slow, buying time to assess his situation. A whining noise, mechanical and annoying, clicked and whirred before settling on the high pitched hum as before. Sounded like air conditioning. Steps, light but steady, breathing. There were at least two other people in the room. Wait. Make that four.

"I know you’re awake," a strangely muffled voice informed him calmly.

Irritated, Bullseye opened his eyes, blinking at the light, and found himself in what looked like a bare cell. His captor was a masked figure in grays and blacks. Average height. Slim build. Nothing recognizable or distinctive. He felt bored and thought through a dozen ways of disposing of him before deciding on that he really felt like stabbing. The two mooks at the door seemed like your garden variety hired ex-military. Central or South American at first glance. He wanted a veritable fountain of blood.

"Hi ya. How do you feel about letting me go right now, or you just wanna wait until I've killed you?" Bullseye asked false cheer rolling off him like poison and shifted as much as the restraints allowed; he was trussed up from ankle to neck in buckled leather. It was all very secure. His kidnapper had gone through some pains to ensure a good site. He was dealing with professionals. But they didn’t know who they were dealing with. He was going to kill them – and then he was going to gut Gargan for getting him into this mess and punch Daken for letting him get captured. Then, maybe a sandwich.

"I'm gonna kill you anyhow, now that I think of it," he added as the man didn't reply.

"Save your breath," a more familiar voice said, making Bullseye turn his head as much as he could and whistle in surprise. Next to him, in a situation similar to his, also conspicuously naked, was Daken, who looked completely unconcerned by the turn events. Of course the bastard would be fine with casual bondage and nudity. It was far too easy to imagine blood on Daken’s skin and deep oozing cuts, it was more exciting than he wanted to admit.

"Didn't I tell you to kill these clowns? Or were you waiting for me to take the lead, princess? I think we’ve talked about taking initiative." Daken rolled his eyes at him once more. Go the fuck ahead. Bullseye intended to vent his displeasure at the mutant later, now he had more pressing issues.

“So what are you guys? Mercs? Government? I don’t really care to be honest, making small talk while I decide on how you're gonna die,” Bullseye addressed the last bit at their "host" who was standing by a table, his back to them. "Fucking look at me when I'm talking to you, asshole."

"Seriously, can you believe this, Daken? Do you think this rookie has any idea how deep in the shit he is or who he's dealing with?" Bullseye continued as he was once more ignored, talking to see what he could find out – and to stall to give time to get out of this situation.

"I attempted to educate her on her mistake, but she's not much of a conversationalist," Daken remarked. Bullseye expected that he’d waited with his escape attempts until now for a reason – or maybe he was just that lazy or kinky.

"A girl?" Bullseye laughed and tested his bonds. They held. Not a problem as such. "Hey bitch, you let me go now or I'll fucking skull-fuck you and let my boy here play with what's left." The jibe at Daken was pointed but less venomous than the cheery tone he used at the woman. She, however, didn't even flinch but merely turned around calmly, holding a very sharp and small scalpel.

Bullseye sneered at it and raised his eyebrow, thoroughly unimpressed. "What do you think you're gonna do with that nail picker? Seriously, do give me the respect of using something proper." Bravado usually unnerved these vanilla normal who had only dealt with civilians and soldiers before, not the real deal.

The woman walked up to him and knelt at the foot of his chair, grabbing his foot. Bullseye felt his heart rate quicken and his breath hitch slightly; he knew that there was much you could do with a man's feet. Interesting painful things. To his surprise, she merely started to cut enough to draw a steady flow of blood, the blade too sharp to even hurt. It felt like she was making a pattern of some kind.

"Blow me,” he hissed at her and thrust his naked hips up lewdly. “Though, I'm not so big on the exhibitionist and bondage thing you've got going on here."

Daken scoffed at him, he was certain that the mutant rolled his eyes at him again. Daken had been uncharacteristically silent since he woke up, Bullseye wondered briefly what had happened between him and their captor. Daken’s feet were bloodied like his but he seemed fine otherwise.

Their kidnapper continued her task undisturbed, working methodologically and clinically, holding him firmly as she switched to his other foot. Bullseye tried to find a way to slip free in this strange ritualistic act, to kill and to hurt, but there simply weren't any lapses in her conduct. All he managed to do, was to get her to graze him on his leg by accident as he struggled. She sighed a short huff, tilted her head as if he'd disappointed her like an unruly child rather than a captive straining to kill her. It was strange, however, how little pleasure she seemed to find in the process.

"You've had your fun, bitch. What do you want?” Bullseye was growing certain that she wasn't doing this out of any personal grief with him. Too controlled and detached, there was no rage, no accusations or threats. He tongued his false teeth, but they sat firmly in his mouth. Damn Osborn had forced him to get new ones that matched his mouth better, citing PR and Q-ratings.

"That's confidential. I was requested to tell you that everything is Norman Osborn's responsibility," She said in her strange muffled voice. A voice distorter of some kind. Nothing about her betrayed anything, probably the only reason Daken had figured out her gender was his superhuman sense of smell.

"Why am I not surprised? Why not go after Norman himself?"

She finished her cutting. "I'm afraid that was the last of your questions I will answer. Consider it a professional courtesy; I appreciated your work. But this is important and necessary."

Bullseye sneered, "I'll kill you in a way you'd appreciate then."

Unconcerned, she left him as silently as before. Something about her gait reminded him of something. It was starting to piss him off. Bullseye struggled and tried to find something, anything, to use as a weapon or as a means of freeing himself. It turned out to be as futile as before. Neither his restraints nor the chair giving in a single inch – the damn thing had been bolted to the floor.

He watched her dispose of something in a plastic container and pour a bottle of some chemical into it; there was a distinct hissing noise. The implications that flooded Bullseye mind were grim. He'd gotten out of worse however. She would slip up. He'd find an edge.

If not that, then Daken would find a way out when he got bored enough to get off his lazy ass.

With the same calm stillness that she'd maintained over the entire time, she was next to him once more, unarmed but with an air about him that she had every intention to get about going to work on him in earnest. Bullseye hadn't expected her to kneel again nor the gentle touch of her bare brown hand to his lower ribs. He glowered at her the best he could, starting to deliver a well thought out insult on her lacking prowess, when all air was knocked out of him and he could feel his ribs crack.

A wheezing whine left his mouth, no air left to scream with, and Bullseye stared down at her and his body in confusion. She was still where she'd been, her hand now a painful sensation on his chest.

Worse yet there was something terribly strange about the pain, the precise nature of it was achingly familiar in a way that left him confused. Wheezing and shaking his head, he remembered where he’d felt this pain – it was when Wilson had impaled him with meat hooks. But it couldn’t be. He must have been imagining it. Spittle ran down his chin as his breath came out of him in agonizing puffs.

“What the hell—” Bullseye was interrupted by a light touch on his shoulder and agony ran down his back. He screamed, anger joining pain and strengthening him, even as his back and ribs ached in consort. It felt like being whipped. It wasn't the first time he’d felt that.

The bitch had some freak powers.

She was going to bleed, he would cut off her fingers and feed them to her. He would gut her and leave her hanging from her own intestines.

A light touch on his left hand grounded him back in the cell and his own body. This time he recognized the pain once more; it had been in Vietnam and he'd been briefly captured before killing his opponents. They had peeled his fingernails off one by one – after shoving bamboo beneath them. For a moment, it was difficult to think and it was with astonishment that he saw his hand, whole and uninjured, though the pain still lingered. He remembered the way he’d had to pull the splinters out of his flesh and that he’d missed one. It had taken days to get it out. The sick feeling lingered over him but now he was angry.

"You think this will break me? I've already lived through this pain," he panted and spat at her, hitting her masked face. Bull’s eye. "This is what you do? Make shitty re-runs of other people's greatest hits? Fucking pathetic, mutie freak. I will destroy you. I’ll teach you pain.”

She reached up to his neck, he fought the urge to flinch and glared at her defiantly, the pain was expected. He held silent and kept his gaze locked on her even as sweat broke from him in rivulets and the pain had him breathing harshly through his nose. Waterboarding followed by a beating by the feel of it. He held quiet until it was over.

In that focused silence, Bullseye remembered.

“Nicaragua,” he enunciated the word clearly in a clipped tone. “That’s what’s been bothering me all damn day. Fucking Nicaragua. You’re what: Sandinista; military; ex-Contra? Anyhow, you were at the party. I saw you with Osborn and his pet generals. I think I like you better in a dress,” Bullseye grinned, tasting blood and imagining the woman he now knew was behind the mask choking on her own. He laughed in her face as she pressed her hand to his chest again, the pain burned him – it felt like gasoline and actual fire, which narrowed it down to two separate occasions – and each of the previous relived injuries ached in tandem. He would kill her. He would be out in no time and she would be in pieces.

Bullseye lost track of time and place as the bitch put her hands on him over and over again. He learned to hate the sight and feel of her hands all special like, but he refused to give her any satisfaction of even trying to avoid her touch. It was worse when he started to hallucinate, having flashbacks of the moments she was forcing him to relive.

 

He was being shot by the Punisher, bullets tearing through flesh and explosions searing his skin, white hot and not even painful until it was over.

Frank didn’t talk, he just fights, regardless of how much he taunted him. The blast of the bazooka burns as the fire spreads – singeing his hair – but Bullseye was quicker. Confusion halted him. He didn’t have hair anymore. He shaved everything to avoid such inconveniences.

The memory shifted and Bullseye stared at the masked face of the woman who was torturing him. A grin painted his lips and he wondered if she’d been there then. If he’d been her trainer back then, or if she’d just some brat with a dirty face who had watched him fight.

“Is that the best you can do?” he spat at her. Fighting Frank was fun, not torture. Her hand was pressed to his forehead and he closed his eyes in anticipation. He knew this one by heart without the reminder.

 

He was fighting the Devil on the wet streets of New York, precise kicks and punches to the head and chest, and searing pain on his forehead as circles were drawn on his flesh.

“You want my attention – I’ll give you my attention. I’ll give you some meaning.” The rock was in the Devil’s hand and his weight was heavy on him. “I’ll give you something to think about! This circle… is for Elektra!” It hurt more than it should, jagged stone cutting through flesh and scraping on the metal of his skull. He screamed.

“And this circle... is for Karen!” The Devil smiled, barring his teeth, everything else is lost in shadow but the murderous glee of cutting him. Blood flows into Bullseye’s eyes and tinted everything red. His heart was beating so loud and his chest felt like it was imploding.

“This center point right here…is for when you finally realize that no one cares!” The final cut.

But the agony doesn't end, it just builds up inside of him. The noise, that left his mouth, was shrill in his own ears and echoed inside his aching head like a bell.

“That I don't care about you! That kingpin used you! That you serve no purpose in this world! That you mean nothing! And when you finally realize how pathetic and disgusting you really are... And you finally have the guts to do what you are begging me to do for you-- when you finally have the guts to end your miserable existence...!” The edge of the stone hovered above him like a promise and Bullseye wanted to scream at Daredevil to stab it down and end this game. A groan was all that left him and he shivered, blinking blood out of his eyes but never losing sight of the smile on Matthew’s face and the hatred in his sightless stare.

"Here.”

"Aim true.” His voice grew quiet and hard. Bullseye could feel himself passing out, the Devil still leaning over him.

"Aim to kill."

 

His own voice brought him back, the noise of a man breaking, but he let his anger feed him. He let white hot rage and desire to fill him like a drug until all he needed was her death and her pain.

“You’re dead! You hear me, you cunt, I’m going to kill you and all your little friends! Before that I’ll make you beg for me to kill you. I’ll make you scream.”

Her hands were on him. Bullseye banged his head back and bit down until he felt hot blood running down his chin.

 

His old man was beating the crap out of him. The fear was worse than the pain, choking him and making him cry like a child. He was a child. His arm felt like it was breaking in Dad’s grip and he sobbed, begged Dad to stop, to please stop – that he’d do better next time. The slap across his face stung and the fist in his hair forced him to look at the old man. Dad’s breath stunk of beer and his face was red and angry.

Stop crying, you little shit. Be a man!” Spittle flew on his face and Lester tried to stop crying, choking on the sobs that constricted his throat, but the tears still ran down his face uninterrupted. Worse yet, a much greater failure announced itself as hot liquid ran down his pant leg.

Disgusting.” The slap was harsher this time.

Pathetic." Slap.

"Just like your damn mother." Slap.

"Can’t do anything right, you worthless brat.” Everything hurt and he couldn't breathe. He was too scared to breathe. Another slap across the face and this one broke his lip on his teeth.

I feed you. I put a roof over your head. This is the gratitude I get? All you do is fuck up and give me lip.” Dad threw him on the floor and kicked at him, lighting a cigarette.

Clean this up.” Another kick. “Ungrateful fucking brat.” The cig burnt and the acrid smell of smoke wafted over him.

 Lester thought of fire. He wanted him to burn. He screamed as it burned.

 

The woman stood in front of him, hand still pressed against him over a scar that was decades old, a scar he’d forgotten, right on his left clavicle. It was a cigarette burn. Bullseye could still feel it burn – he let it. She would burn. His lips tugged and his teeth were covered in his own blood. He still smiled at her as she finally moved away from him. He spat his blood at her, a bright red spray over her mask. She turned away from him.

He could feel the uncertainty in her, and he knew how to fight her.

Finally given breathing room, Bullseye shivered, realizing that his skin was soaked in sweat and, in places, smeared in blood, his restrains having chafed his flesh raw as he struggled. He forced a chuckle from his raw throat and shut his eyes once more, waiting.

She did not return. It took him several tense moments to realize that.

He absentmindedly attributed it to the fact that he could still hear the same noise of restrained screams, but it was not his voice that was making them. Head lolling back, Bullseye could just barely see her start on Daken. He had completely forgotten that the mutant was even there. As it was, Daken was barely re-acting beyond his heavy breathing and the sharp inhales he made as the pain hit him. His face was mostly blank except for an occasional curl of his lip and the hatred in his eyes, burning brightly.

Bullseye wondered what kind of pain would even register in a regenerator like the mutant, especially one who had lived as long as Daken had and fought as recklessly. His thoughts felt too hazy to hold on too, and Daken’s responses to his torture were as unreal as his own blood soaked thoughts. Defiant passivity wasn't exactly a crowdpleaser.

 

 

Bullseye realized that he must have passed out as he woke up on a cold floor, his entire body aching and screaming. Surprisingly enough, he felt another warm body beside him, one that he had been half-lying on. He pulled away with a start, his muscles protesting at the movement and his hands looking for a weapon to defend himself with.

It took him several panicked moments to recognize Daken.

The mutant waited him out, dark eyes following his movements from shadowed sockets, his face set in an immobile mask.

Bullseye forced himself to calm down and to take in his surroundings. They were in a cell, much smaller and completely unfurnished with a flicker light behind bars; the only exit: a single door in steel with no handle on the inside. He eyed the drain in one corner with disgust. They hadn’t had the common decency to even put in a bucket. The smell was already an annoyance. He wasn’t fussy but he liked being clean.

Bullseye cast a look at Daken, who still sat impassive on the floor, as filthy and naked as him. There was something about him that set his teeth at an edge. Perhaps a weakness and or a lack of fire that spoke to bits of Bullseye’s brain that suggested things like using a wrench to ventilate a fragile skull.

Filled with a restless energy, he clambered to his feet to get a closer look at the tiny cell, hissing as he put his weight on them, the cuts making themselves reminded by bleeding and burning. They had been deeper than he thought, but he could stand. Ignoring the pain, he surveyed the cell, determined to find its weakness. He was unsuccessful, managing only to paint the floor and walls with his blood, and wear out his voice even more as he screamed.

“Are you done now?” Daken finally asked him, calmly, as he slumped in defeat. There was a shadow of a smile on him, a look of contempt and mocking that felt like hot needles under his skin.

Bullseye glared at him and felt a surge of murderous desire, far too built up after the crap day he had. It felt like someone had turned down the sound as he lunged at the mutant, straddling his waist and pressing him down against the cold floor. His hands were around Daken’s throat and he was doing his best to crush the cartilage, he wanted to hear and feel the life drain out of the mutant. The red hot rage filled him and he knew little else. The fact that Daken was barely fighting him enraged him further. He watched Daken’s face go red and then purple; his eyes roll in their sockets while; his mouth gasp and his teeth glisten with pink blood while whimpers and gasps were pushed out of his crushed throat.

Bullseye knew that he must have been screaming as he choked Daken, because when the mutant did finally stilled utterly in death, what hurt the worst was his throat. Everything tasted like wet rust. He looked down at Daken’s face, at the sightless stare and the parted lips turned blue. He wanted to touch them. But first, Bullseye had to pry his fingers off him, one by one, his vice-like grip had neatly locked them shut around the deceptively slender length of Daken’s throat.

A wave of nausea, which he wasn't all sure was physical, and pain hit him like a baseball bat to the face and had him retreating and cowering in a corner, staring at the mutant’s motionless cooling body. It felt like his sightless eyes were taunting him. Breathing was difficult, he shuddered and shook, and his head was killing him. He could still feel Daken’s warmth on his hands, but soon it was gone. He felt colder than before and the harsh cell floor and walls were moist and chilled against his skin.

Bullseye’s eyes were drawn to the bloodied footsteps that lead back to Daken, the blood smeared on his skin, which seemed a sickly yellowed green in the bad lighting.

The thought that he would be left alone with Daken’s corpse until the next bout of torture rattled through his mind and made a nest there out of jagged pain and sickly terror. He dug his nails into his flesh, scratching at the bloodied skin of his wrists.

Bullseye wanted to vomit – it hurt and he tasted bile in his mouth. He curled up tighter and wrapped his arms around his knees, chewing the inside of his mouth. Ironically, the taste of his own blood made the worst of the nausea subside. Otherwise, he didn't move or think until he saw Daken’s chest rise once more and the rattle of a breath being drawn.

Bullseye hadn't expected the relief this brought him.

On stiff and aching legs, he shuffled back to Daken’s side and waited.

“I've told you to shut your damn mouth,” Bullseye said as Daken was visibly conscious again, pulling him up by his arm. Touching him was… reassuring. His skin was warm. The beat of his pulse at his wrist steady. The warmth of his breath playing across Bullseye’s own skin, raising the hairs at the change of temperature.

“I've been told it’s my best feature,” Daken croaked, leaning on him, making him flinch involuntarily even as he unconsciously pressed himself closer. Daken’s eyes were still bloodshot but clearing up and color was returning to him.

“Mine’s my winning personality,” Bullseye retorted with dry humor, eyeing the purple marks shaped like his fingers on Daken’s throat – they were quickly fading. He didn’t know if this made him feel better or worse. It did however remind him that he had done it. That he hadn't just imagined choking the life out of Daken.

The thought didn't bring him the pleasure he expected.

“Obviously.” Daken paused to cough, it was a wet and unpleasant noise.

“We need to get out. Once we do, I’m doing to burn this place to the ground.”

“Dibs on punching Mac in the face once we get back.”

“Deal. I’ll even hold him down for you.” Bullseye agreed. He refused to talk about what had happened, neither the torture nor the impromptu murder attempt. It would probably become an issue soon though; Daken was good at holding a grudge. That notion of normality seemed like a comfort now. But Daken didn't try anything, he just leaned against him and coughed.

“Fucking punch me, alright,” Bullseye grunted once the minutes dragged on to what felt like hours.

“Rain check,” Daken said, his head still pressed to Bullseye’s chest, his hair tickling him as he shifted.

“I won’t give you a free pass later.”

“Don’t need one.”

“Don’t tell me you’re into erotic asphyxiation.”

“It’s somewhere there beneath bondage.”

Bullseye chuckled, the sound hollow and raw in the confines of his chest. “I feel disgusting now. You’re disgusting.”

“Says the man who has no problems baby-sitting Mac while he eats.”

“I lie back and think of England.”

“Thank you for that lovely mental image.”

“You’re welcome,” Bullseye said, feeling better for the first time since he woke up.

He knew that Daken was manipulating him, managing him just like those men and women at the party, but it finally felt like he could breathe again. His fingers dug into Daken’s side, but the mutant didn't complain, and it felt real. He didn't even think twice about their nudity. He leaned back and closed his eyes; no images of death and blood played themselves out – just the smell of smoke and heat.  

 

 

The shock of freezing water woke Bullseye, he gasped and jerked feeling the restraints of the chair hold him down. He tried to drink some of the water, it tasted foul but it was the first thing he’d had to drink since the party. He had no idea how long ago that had been. Bullseye didn’t remember being strapped in the chair -- and he felt uncertain if he’d ever left it -- and he shook and spat at the woman in black. Her gloves were off again and he was alone with her.

She didn't speak and he did his best to return the favor as the pain began once more.  

Hours went by and Bullseye found himself back on the floor of his and Daken’s cell. He was still convulsing and shaking from the strain, only half-conscious, despite the fact that she hadn't physically hurt him and the only new injuries he sported were the deepened bruises from the straps. He wondered idly if this could kill him.

Then he saw that Daken wasn't in the cell with him.

Immediately, all he could think, was that the bastard had betrayed him, that he was working with the bitch and that he was behind it all. He had faked his own torture. That he was outside right now laughing at him with a damn drink in his hand. Or that he had struck a deal for his own sorry skin and left Bullseye to rot in his cell. He should have done more than just choked him. He should have ripped his damn head off. He wanted to kill so bad that it was an ache inside of him.

Suddenly, Bullseye felt nauseous and sick, he barely managed to crawl to the drain and vomited violently. The foul stench made him gag and vomit again.

Standard torture procedure, he reminded himself. Bad water. He knew that it was meant to weaken him both physically and mentally. That didn't make it any easier.

Weak and trembling, Bullseye curled up on the freezing floor and clawed at the cement until his fingers bled. He sucked the blood to get rid of the taste of bile and focused on the pain, biting down when it felt like too little. There was no one from him to hurt but himself.

The door was slammed open and a limp body thrown in. It all happened quickly. But it was an opening. Before the door was closed again, before the two burly mooks had the time to escape, Bullseye caught one of them by the wrist and twisted. Bone broke with a loud crunch, the man screamed and cursed in Spanish. It sounded like victory, but then the butt of a gun hit him in the face and he stumbled back, losing his grip, his fingers too weak to hold on, slippery with his own blood.

The door slammed shut.

Bullseye screamed his wordless anger and banged the unyielding steel with his fists until he dropped onto his knees from exhaustion, his voice a harsh croak. Soundless laughter shook him, a fit of desperation that he bit down. He wiped the blood of his mouth on his arm, his stumble grating against his skin like sandpaper and resigned himself to another day in his cell.

Unsteadily and cautiously, he crawled on hands and knees to Daken’s immobile shape. Bullseye prodded at his side, expecting retaliation or at least a response. It could still be a trap. The thought filled him with bone-deep certainty.

The bastard mongrel was out to get him.

Daken was sprawled like a rag-doll, but his eyes were open and glassy and his mouth smeared with his own blood. He didn't seem lucid. The catatonic response didn't exactly surprise Bullseye when he thought about it. It smelt like a ruse. A confidence game – leaning forward one moment, pulling back the next. Bullseye backed away until he was pressed against the wall again, the mutant firmly in his gaze, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Mind games like this only worked if you allowed yourself to get hooked.

He was Bullseye, and he was nobody’s fool.

Chewing once more his bloodied nails, Bullseye watched over Daken like a hawk. He decided that the stench didn't bother him, that the itching wounds that never quite scabbed over properly, was just business as usual, and that the hunger and thirst biting him were nothing. He’d suffered much worse. He’d spent a lifetime being hurt in ways most people couldn't imagine.

He was Bullseye.

After a few hours, the mumbling and the whining started. He couldn't make anything out, but the noises were grating and he was never quite certain if they were real.

The thought of choking Daken out again, of killing him to shut him up, nagged at him but he couldn't stand the dull terror of being alone with his inert corpse again. To sit out another silent vigil until life returned to the mutant.

Clumsily, Bullseye dragged up Daken into his arms like before, hoping that it would make him stop. The mutant struggled weakly, barely scratching him, and he let it slide. Bullseye recognized a few words of mumbled Japanese that switched over to Italian, all amounting to the same jumbled admissions of guilt, pleas of mercy and punishment alike, all to someone he called master. He couldn't care less about whatever sordid past the mutant had, but he realized that Daken would never have exposed this kind of weakness in front of him. He told himself this and bit down the churning doubts and the urge to snap Daken’s neck.

“Shut up,” Bullseye murmured and held Daken, who was still lost in memories and past pain, feeling blood run down his arms. Daken did not cry. He did not draw his claws. He just begged him in that same wavering voice that spoke of a madness, which left even Bullseye unnerved. He didn't want to know those things. He didn't want to imagine Daken that weak and exposed. Not as a child.

“Just shut up,” Bullseye ordered him sharply and clutched him to his chest, like a child would a broken favorite toy. Daken's eager obedience bid a sobbing laughter from him as he realized how far gone they were. Here he was passing by the perfect opportunity to pay Daken back for all the shit he'd pulled and all he wanted, was to hold him. It was hilarious.

Regardless, he held Daken tighter still pressed against him, burying his face in Daken’s now matted and tangled mohawk. It hurt, but it was better than the confusion of his rushing and repetitive thoughts.

Daken was, at the very least, warm.

Bullseye slept a restless sleep huddled up with Daken, what he assumed was, that night – his sense of time muddled by the lack of any natural light and the lamp in their cell was always on. Daken became more lucid running up to that point, he silently made it clear that what had happened would never be spoken off.

Bullseye was perfectly fine with that arrangement.

 

 

On the third day, after their third trip of torture via memory lane, the ground shook and they listened to the screams of the dying. Bullseye wanted to scream as well, he wanted to laugh but all he did, all he could do, was to clutch Daken and wait it out huddled in their little corner. It took far too long for the door to be pulled off its hinges with the screech of metal against metal.

Bullseye blinked at the huge shape of Ares that loomed in the doorway, looking just like the God of War that he was blood-soaked and vengeful.

“Took you long enough,” Bullseye croaked and grinned weakly, climbing up on his sore feet, using the wall and Daken for balance.

“You were hard to find.” Ares stepped aside and let them both pass into a brightly lit hallway. Bullseye felt something akin to gratitude that he left it at that.

The first thing he saw, was a body was slumped against the wall, arterial spray coloring it bright red. Bullseye barely registered it once he determined it wasn’t her.

The fourth body down the hall, however, was.

His stomach sank and he wanted to laugh again as he stared at her dead dark eyes. It was the same face as before. The pulled back hair a bit looser; the make-up gone; the dress traded for the black and gray military garb, but it was still her. She was dead. He would never kill her. He would never get to listen to her scream as he burnt her to death just like dear old dad.

Bullseye’s head felt light and his hands shook, he had no idea what he should do.

It all felt unreal.

He heard the growl that left Daken’s lips but he didn't care. He wanted out.

Numbly, Bullseye stumbled along, paying no attention to Karla, Norman or Sentry as he passed them. He did however fix his glare at Mac when he walked up to them, stepping aside slightly, feeling some reluctance to do so, to allow Daken space. The right hook that hit Gargan’s face, was swift and precise, sending the damn moron who started all of this flying.

“Hi ya, Mac.” Bullseye said when he felt like Daken was done with his turn and kicked Mac in the balls. His howl of agony was like music to Bullseye’s ears – finally someone he could hurt. Life seemed to rush back to him. “That’s for making us miss the party.”

But moments later as he readied himself to break bones and draw blood, he was pulled off the damn coward and hauled away. He screamed and kicked, growling and snarling, but Ares was undisturbed and merely held him still.

“Direct your anger elsewhere,” Ares said “, there will be time for that.”

With that, the numbness and fatigue caught up with Bullseye once more, he slumped in Ares strong grip and finally the war god let him go.

Clothes were shoved in his hands, Bullseye pulled the tank and pants on but had to settle on being barefoot. The walk to the plane had his feet bleeding again, but he barely noticed it. There was a medic who prodded and poked at him, wrapping up his feet and hands. Norman tried to debrief them, but there was little they could tell him. Bullseye mentioned the woman, the CIA and Nicaragua. He could tell that the damn bastard knew more than he let on. He was certain that it had everything to do with whatever back-room deals Osborn had brokered that night. She had told him that it was Norman’s fault. In this Bullseye believed without a shadow of a doubt.

The trip off site disappeared in a blur; he didn't even find out where they had been held in the first place.

Bullseye successfully refused to be shut up in medical overnight, but had to concede to talking to a shrink after his visit there. He stared at the bespectacled idiot for an hour, promised to do it again the next day, and returned to his room to pretend to sleep. His skin was crawling, and he couldn't manage a single clear thought.

Creeping thoughts of being back in the cell struggled against the heightened awareness that his room was too big and his bed too soft to be there. He felt unsafe. Exposed. Stomach churning, he stared at the bottle of pills that had been given him to knock him out, he threw it across the room unopened. He had had enough of being drugged and unconscious.

Nothing felt real. It felt like one of his brains misfires.

He had been held captive and tortured for three days, and all he had to show for it, were his cut up feet and fingers. And he’d gone and done the latter to himself.

He needed to know it had been real.

Bullseye stalked the halls barefoot, feeling his stitches pull and tear as he broke into a run, bloodied footsteps glistening on the floor behind him. He froze at Daken’s door, hand hanging in the air over the doorknob in indecision and a dry fear that settled in his throat and stomach. 

His breath hitched as the door opened and felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Perhaps more like a wounded predator, made weak and slow from his injuries, the thought of exposing himself to Daken – a man he didn't truly trust even though there was a weak part of him that wanted to – a great risk to himself and made him feel cornered.

Bullseye tossed his head in agitation, staring down at Daken who stood before him, naked just like he remembered him. Imagining him clothed felt strangely alien now. Daken was clean though. His hair hung wet and clung to his scalp, the sides of his head were clean shaven, instead of the matted mane from before. His tattoo vivid on his skin, which was back to its usual honeyed tone and strange captivating. The haunted look in his eyes remained, however, and Bullseye could smell the whiskey on him. He didn't know if the mutant could get drunk but by the looks of it Daken had made an effort to try. Daken stepped aside just enough to give him space to come in.

“Come or go, Lester,” he said, “I don’t have all night.”

Bullseye went inside. There were several empty bottles of whiskey on the floor and a few full ones as well. The door closing behind him had him thinking of their cell once more. He controlled himself well enough not to panic or to rip it open again. He wondered when it had become theirs.

“Tell me,” Bullseye ordered, resolutely keeping the weakness from his voice, restraining his own creeping madness. “Tell me it happened.”

“It did.”

“No, tell me.”

“Tell you what? She hurt us. You tried to kill me. They killed her. End of story. Have a pill, go sleep it off. Just let your fucked up pretty little head tell you it was all a dream, darling.” Daken’s voice was as hard as his and twice as venomous. The mongrel knew where to hit him.

With a growl, Bullseye grabbed Daken and pushed him back until he hit his bed, straddling him like he had before, with a single hand on his throat.

“I could kill you again. And you know what, Daken? You’d let me. Just like you let me before. You wanted me to hurt you.” The words were like carefully aimed knives and Bullseye felt satisfaction at the outrage and naked fear in Daken’s eyes. He knew worse things that he could say, older wounds that he could rip into and madness that he could share with Daken. He held on to a semblance of restraint, not out of courtesy but self-preservation.

“Ask me. Say: kill me.” He punctuated the words with a sharp prod on Daken’s forehead. “I’ll end your miserable existence right here.”

Daken stared mutely at him. He could see the gears turn behind his cold eyes, the naked emotion, and the defiance. He was murderous behind those blank eyes.

Right then, Bullseye realized that this was not what he’d wanted and, suddenly, that scared him.

He closed his eyes with a sigh and bent down low, relaxing his grip, violence uncoiling, leaning his forehead against Daken’s as if in apology. He could feel his breath on his face, he could smell him, and he could feel his heat. Bullseye felt warm for the first time in what felt like ages.

When he opened his eyes again, Daken still stared right at him but some of the cold fire in his eyes had burnt out. It made him feel wrong, twisting the sinews of his heart and filling him with dread.

“I just want you to tell me it was real.” The words leave him in a fearful whisper.

He was as good as begging Daken to help him, to lie to him if he had too. He would give this humiliation and weakness to him on a damn silver platter if it made him do something. He knew how fucked up this was but Daken was the only one who knew and understood.

Bullseye bit down the laughter that wanted to bubble from his throat. He was beyond fucked.

The mutant seemed to make up his mind. A smile tugged at his lips and his head tilted slightly as if inviting him in. Gently, Daken shushed his pathetic whining with a soft voice, grabbed his arm and pulled him fully down on the bed. Bullseye didn't resist, the thought didn't even strike him, and he moved along with Daken’s body like a puppet on strings.

Together they pulled off the t-shirt and tugged down his boxers until Bullseye was as naked as him – it didn't feel strange. In fact, Daken’s flesh pressed against his like this made him relax. It stopped the itching and drowned out the repetitive litany of paranoid delusion.

Bullseye wrapped his arms around him and buried his face in his hair in the same familiar motion as he had the past few nights. A part of him wanted to pull back, expecting Daken to grow cold under his touch and to see his lips part and turn blue. Another balked, angry and resentful of the lack of control that Daken inspired – the sheer frustration that made him want to maim and kill and fuck everything in his sight like a teenage jock before game night. But Daken was warm beneath his hands, and currently neither his blood lust nor libido stirred at his presence.

He knew that Daken was playing him but it was alright – he’d asked for it.

Bullseye pressed his lips to Daken’s head; a thoughtless, meaningless gesture.

 

 

He didn't remember sleeping but he woke with a start, drenched in his and Daken’s sweat.

The room was dark. Too dark and unfamiliar.

He couldn't see anything.

He couldn't breathe.

Then Daken was there, twisting slightly in his grip and placed his hand on Bullseye’s jaw, guiding his mouth to his. Bullseye whined but allowed the kiss, it was better than the dark and rising panic. Daken guided his movements and let him breathe the same air as him – making him breathe as he did. Shuddering but finally able to draw air into his aching lungs, Bullseye realized that his fingers were bleeding again, he could feel the warm wetness soak the bandages as he dug his nails into Daken like a lifeline.

“Sleep,” Daken said, arms wrapped around him, holding him close.

Bullseye slept uninterrupted until morning.

 

 

Bullseye hadn't meant to listen in on Norman as he stood and talked with Hand and Karla, but the sound of his own name halted him in his step on his way to the conference room that morning.

“— it’s both my recommendation and the psychiatrist’s that neither of them are fit for duty,” Hand said firmly.

Fit for duty. Screw duty. Bullseye wanted, no, needed to kill. He would not be benched by the queen bitch because of those quacks.

“It says here that they both stonewalled,” Norman said.

“Exactly. Usually, and I quote, Bullseye spends his sessions threatening to murder both the doctors and their families and describing in lurid detail how he would do it.” She paused, disgust clear in her voice, and shifted her weight, her heels clicking on the floor sharply.

“Daken, on the other hand, often spends his questioning the validity of conversational therapy and propositioning sexual or violent activities, whenever he doesn't manipulate the doctors straight off to give him a clean bill of health.”

“Which is why I disagree with their assessment,” Karla interjected. “It’s quite clear that both of them are clinically insane, which is not under debate, Victoria. What is, is their ability to function in the field. They need an outlet for their anger, they need closure. Letting them work out their issues on the battlefield is an adequate mean to deal with their bruised egos and castration angst.”

“That’s unethical and dangerous.”

“It’s efficient.”

“Enough,” Norman interrupted. “Doctor Sofen, as a medical and psychological practitioner, is it your opinion that they are fit for active duty?”

“Yes. It’s my professional opinion.”

“Then as field leader, I hold you responsible. Make them work. I have no intention of letting my team work on a third of its capacity any longer.”

“Director Osborn, this is highly irregular—“

Miss Hand, I hear your concern. Which is why I’m mandating regular sessions after each mission until further notice and strict supervision; you are free to withdraw their participation on the field if ever given due cause.”

“Yes, Director.”

“We are done here. I have a country to run.”

Bullseye listened to them leave before stepping out and following them into the conference room. He cracked his knuckles under his thick leather gloves and glared at the back of Hand’s head, wanting to show her just how fit he was for active duty.

The pre-op debrief was mercifully short. A shipment of illegal high-tech arms had come in in New Jersey by ship and were being kept at a local warehouse. Mission was to clean out the smugglers, confiscate the arms and burn the damn place to ground if need be. It was a low-key op that barely warranted Avenger level attention, but a profitable one, and word had come that they had muscle with powers guarding the shipment and terrorist connections.

It was at the moment for Bullseye vastly preferable to a superhero/villain punch-up. This way he got to kill and there would be no awkward questions. God bless the Patriot Act.

As expected, the mission was a breeze and a bloodbath. They had caught the smugglers completely unaware. Bullseye knew little but the flow of drawing and releasing his bow, letting arrows fly, and the smell of blood and the sound of gunshots. The meta on site was some tough guy that died choking on his own blood with Daken’s claws buried into his chest. The mutant had toyed with him longer than he need have and it felt good to see Daken blood-soaked and nearly post-orgasmic, licking the blood and gore off his claws.

Fuck the dyke and her ‘unfit for duty’ crap, they were fine.

Bullseye whistled and sauntered up to the last guy he’d shot, he was still conscious and breathing, crouching by him and poking his head so that he was facing him. Mid-thirties, scruffy and with a nose that had been broken more than once, you’re typical local professional thug for hire.

“Hey, buddy. Wanna live?”

The guy groaned but nodded tightly, clutching the arrow that was impaled in his guts. He would with all likelihood bleed out, but that would take hours in his current state.

“Good. Smart decision. You see I have this question that I've been pontificating at length.” Bullseye hummed and glanced at the crates in the warehouse, some of them solid and secure designed for weapons. “Why the hell should Osborn be interested in pond scum like yourself?”

“I mean, the stuff you have here, is nothing that fancy per se. The feds could easily have dealt with you, your pet freak notwithstanding.  What makes you special?” Bullseye mused, applying incentive and tugged at the arrow shaft, making the man scream. Now he would bleed out a bit quicker.

“I DON'T KNOW, I haven’t even been aboard. Please, please, don’t—“

“Tut, tut. No need to shout. We’re just having a conversation here. Where is this shipment from? Where is it going? Who’s in charge? Easy questions for a smart guy like yourself.”

“Nicaragua! I don’t know anything else, please.”

“Really now? That’s funny.”

“Please, I swear—“

“Sure you do.” Bullseye patted him on the head. In a smooth movement, he ripped the arrow out of the man and then stabbed it back down through his eye.

“Really funny,” He repeated and stared at the armored crates, chewing the inside of his mouth. Bullseye stood and forced a crate open, looking down at the neatly packed rows of weapons. He opened one of the other, less secure, crates. More guns, but these were fake. Toy guns realistically molded to look like the real deal that currently resided in the other crate. Smuggling, yes. Hiding real guns among toy guns was a brilliant idea.

“Hawkeye, is your area secure? We’re handing this over to H.A.M.M.E.R.” Cracked over the comms.

“Area secure,” Bullseye replied and glared at the content of the first crate before shutting both of the lids with a bang.

“Heading out now.”

He rendezvoused with the rest of the team, who looked justifiably bored by their brief task, giving Daken a pointed glance. The mutant raised a sculpted brow in question but turned back to his conversation with Ares when Bullseye didn't press the issue further.

Strapping himself into his seat on the plane, Bullseye stared blankly ahead with his hands digging into the armrests. He tried not to think of the way they shook when he fasted and tightened the clasps or the way he flinched when Karla used his shoulder for balance on her way to her seat up front. He ignored her slight frown and the calculating look on her face, the tiny domino mask hiding none of the intelligence and suspicion sparking in her eyes.

Back at the Tower, they had little time to reassemble as demons were attacking New York from some portal above Baxter Building. Bullseye would have argued to let the Fantastic Four deal with their own crap, but Norman saw yet another opportunity to rub his own superiority in Richards face and possibly to find a reason to have him and the rest of the Four indicted. Their pissing contest was arguably somewhat amusing, but Bullseye was far too focused on other matters to be properly entertained by it.

Regardless, there was an uneasy truce between them as the battle raged. The whiny goody-two-shoes heroes had no choice but to cooperate with them and Norman enjoyed taking charge of the situation, barking commands all over the place. Bullseye paid him little notice, he didn't need directions to kill. He knew that Daken would watch his six as usual, as did he in return. It was a functional arrangement. With that in mind, when a demon, a bat-like gargoyle, was about to take a bite out of Daken’s shoulder Bullseye set it in his sights, but before he could release the arrow, a fireball came out of nowhere and incinerated the ugly bastard.

“Tch, kill-stealer,” Bullseye griped to himself, tight-lipped and sour, as Johnny Storm flew by and gave Daken a wave. His eyes narrowed further as Daken waved back.

Bullseye hadn't forgotten that the mutant had tried to cozy up to the Fantastic Four. Or the fact that he was damn certain that what had happened then, to force him off his trail, had been a set-up the mongrel had orchestrated. His grip of his bow tightened and he took three arrows in hand and shot them in short succession at anything that looked at him wrong. Including the Thing when he got in his way and a demon.

“Try that again, you crazy-eyed carnie, and I’ll pound yer head in!”

“Stay out of my damn way instead,” Bullseye barked back and bared his teeth at the rocky monstrosity. Without looking, he took down three more demons, each impaled right between the eyes by an arrow which then exploded in a cloud of gore.

“That’s it! I’m not chumin’ with Osborn’s little lackeys—“

“Ben! We’re in the middle of a fight! With demons! Lots of demons!”

“So what, Johnny? It’s friggin’ Tuesday. Tuesday are invasion days. The punk’s one thin’, but I’m not taking any lip from this here crazy bastard.”

“I’ll show you crazy—“

“Incoming!” Osborn announced. Bullseye’s eyes were drawn to the sky as a massive explosion tore the portal apart. Quickly, he shielded himself from the blast wave by hiding behind the Thing, who took the brunt.

Bullseye’s ears rang, he could faintly hear someone shouting over the comms, he shook his head, stumbling and falling on his knees. There was a bare hand on his shoulder. Instinct kicked in and he pulled back violently, knife in hand, his throat constricted so tightly that he could barely breathe.

The Human Torch stood in front of him with his hands raised and a confused look on his face.

Then Daken was there, standing next to Storm with a hand on his arm, pulling it down.

“Don’t touch me,” Bullseye hissed, his own voice barely audible to him. Drawing a sharp breath through his nose, he climbed to his feet and glared murder at the two Fantastic Four members, bumping deliberately into Daken’s shoulder as he stalked away.

Rage built in his stomach as he heard the three of them talk as he left.

The next half hour of clean up, Bullseye neither spoke nor thought beyond was necessary to kill the last of the demons.

 

Back at the Tower, Daken caught up with him.

“I thought you wanted to talk to me before.”

“Changed my mind. Go and play with your little friends or something.”

“I make friends everywhere I go. You got a problem with that, Lester?”

“I have a fucking problem with you going behind out backs and plotting with those damn heroes!”

“Wait. Are you jealous? That’s just too precious,” Daken said and laughed.

“Shut your mouth before I shut it for you.”

“I don’t think so, dear. Don’t worry, I’ll still tuck you in at night if you want me to.”

The next thing Bullseye knew he had a knife embedded in Daken’s kidneys, grabbing Daken by the jaw and stabbing him again in quick succession then gutting him as he pulled the knife out. Bullseye released him with a sneer and stepped back.

“Good night, sweet prince,” he spat as Daken feel to his knees, clutching his stomach as his intestines fell out. Daken grinned up at him, a cruel show of teeth, as if he had planned this outcome, then he made a kissy face and winked at him.

Bullseye stormed off, still clutching the bloodied knife and shaking with fury.

The mutant was out of his damn mind.

“See you tonight!” Daken called out behind him and laughed.

Bullseye pressed on and let his anger feed him. He knew what he needed to do.

 

Determinedly, he stalked the halls until he reached Norman’s office, slamming the door open. Inside, Norman was standing with Hand and a secretary, going over papers, looking up at him in startled surprise.

“You two, out. Now.” Bullseye pointed at the two women, gesticulating with the bloodied knife.

“We're in the middle of a meeting, Hawkeye. You can book a time with the Director and—“

“You get out of this room right now before I kill you, that's what.”

“Miss Hand, Nancy, please leave,” Norman ordered and glared down any protests Hand might have. Bullseye settled right in front of his desk, looming down on him and bracing himself on the edge.

“I want answers. I didn't get kidnaped and tortured just so that you could lie to me about it.”

“Terrorists—“

“FUCK YOUR TERRORISTS! I saw what was in the crates; those guns were American made. I talked to one of the crew; it hadn't arrived here, it was were being shipped away,” Bullseye hissed right in Norman’s face, the knife still clenched in his fist.

“This is a matter of national security and you are not authorized.”

Bullseye slammed his palm onto the table, splattering blood on the papers. “National security? You made a deal and it went south with the Nicaraguans! You made me collateral to your plans! Tell me, was it worth it?”

“Doctor Sofen mentioned that you wanted might want closure. Fine then,” Norman shrugged unconcerned and a bit disdainful.

“There was a deal with the Nicaraguans. Arms for their revolution, all in name of overthrowing President Ortega. A nice little war to keep everybody busy. Mostly because I wanted a few mystical artifacts he has been hoarding to be honest.” Norman stood and poured himself a drink from the bar.  

“Unfortunately, this arrangement was leaked – I suspect the CIA. As it was, Ortega’s men were already in place at the party. You were, as you so rightly pointed out, collateral and leverage. They intended to torture you to death and hang your corpses on open display, your identities revealed, and my reputation and my Avengers destroyed – unless I went back on the deal. After due consideration, I graciously accepted the terms. Your location was revealed -- and we cleaned house. The warehouse was much the same. Be grateful. I saved your life, and I needn't have.” Norman directed a little toast in his direction and drank.

Three days. You left us there for three days.” Bullseye felt like he was boiling, the words pulled out of him like curses. “So that you could think about it?” 

“To explore all possibilities. This was a loss for me. You two cost me millions.” Norman stalked up to him and downed the rest of his whiskey. “What is three days compared to that?”

Bullseye breathed through his nose, clutching the knife.

“Furthermore, I own you,” Norman said, getting right in his face. “You better pull your weight – or I'll just cut my losses and get rid of you.”

“I’ll kill you in your sleep.”

“I brought you in because you did good work during the Skrull invasion. I was willing to overlook your less than savory habits because of it. Hold it together or I’ll be less inclined to be as generous in the future. Take your pills. Plow into some woman. Or is Daken more to your taste now? I've been informed that you spent the night together,” Norman said, his voice mocking, pulling back to top up his drink. “Regardless, pull your act together. Now leave.”

Bullseye growled, stepping forward. “You damn bastard—“

“Take another step, and you’ll spend the next 10 minutes twitching on the floor, losing control of your bladder,” Hand threatened from behind him. He turned to face her and was met by several H.A.M.M.E.R. soldiers and Hand with a big gun. He would have appreciated it hadn't it been directed at him.

“You are excused, Hawkeye,” Norman dismissed him and went back to his paperwork.

“Detain him in his room,” Hand ordered as Bullseye was hauled away, he glared murder at her but let himself be removed. There was still so much he didn't know, but he knew that he'd never find it out. Not from Norman, at least.

Once they had locked him up, grounding him like a disobedient child, Bullseye paced in his room, pulling off his uniform as he went and scattering it on the floor until he was in his underwear. Then he threw anything he could find that he could lift in his hand at the door and the windows, shattering glass and debris all around, careless of his own feet which soon started to bleed again. He screamed and went for the chairs and smashed them against the walls until they fell to pieces as well.

It felt good.

Breathless, he stormed into the bathroom, staring at himself in the mirror. He was gaunt, his skin a sickly shade with red blotches all over it, and his eyes seemed like a stranger's. He put a finger on his scar, drawing it along the circles.

“Aim true.”

“Aim to kill.”

Bullseye burst into laughter, hanging on to the counter to keep himself upright, looking up to see tears running down his face. His laughter turned into a hoarse scream and he punched the mirror. Hands shaking and bleeding slightly, Bullseye turned the tap and drank directly from the faucet, greedily drinking down fresh water. As he started to wash his face, nausea overcame him utterly and he vomited right into the sink. Heaving painfully, he clung to the counter once more, feeling bile burn his throat and his eyes tear up again. Once the vomiting stopped, Bullseye sat down on the cold tiles and pressed his face to the wall.

He didn't know how long he had sat there, when he heard his door open and glass shatter underfoot; someone had entered his room. Moments later, the bathroom door opened and Bullseye lazily turned to see who had the guts to bother him.

“Aren't you a mess?”  

He didn't know if he was angry or not when Daken crouched at his side.

“Go to Hell.”

“Go to Hell? You're lucky I'm so forgiving, sweetheart.” Daken touched his cheek. He was in his civilian clothes, immaculate and seemingly untouched by the past events.

“Like when I killed you? I can do it again.”

“You talk big. You act big. But it’s all an act. You’re weak.” A smirk tugged at his full lips.

“You broke there as much as I did.”

“Maybe, but unlike you I’m better at building myself anew. I was molded out of pain. All it does is to remind me of who I am, what I’m capable of, and how much control I have. It all boils down to pain and control, Lester.” Daken looked at him, head tilted in contemplation, his hand still caressing Bullseye’s face. “And that, sweetness, is my only pleasure.”

Bullseye stared right back at him, seeing the fire in him and all the masks he wore.

“Liar.”

“Always,” Daken purred and kissed him, lips hot against him and his tongue wet and probing. Bullseye could still taste his own bile, but inflicting the foul taste on Daken seemed like a good idea, so he kissed him back and harshly grabbed his mohawk for leverage to keep him there.  

“It’s stinks here. Let’s move this to your bed, or what’s left of it,” Daken said once he released him, motioning him to stand. Bullseye followed, trailing blood as he went. Daken clicked his tongue in disappointment and grabbed him by the waist, throwing him into bed and climbing in after him, kicking off his shoes as he did.

“I wonder, is my touch the only one that doesn't make you flinch?” Daken asked as he pulled off his boxers, caressing his thighs as he went. Bullseye glared mutely at him, hackles rising at his topic of pillow talk.

“Oh, it is. I see. That pleases me.” Daken bent low and kissed his hip, Bullseye kicked at him weakly, smearing blood on him.

“Don’t be cross with me, I’ll please you as well.” Daken purred and started to strip; removing his vest, undoing his tie, unbuttoning his shirt and pants until they had full skin contact. Bullseye arched at the sensation and grabbed at his ass and back to pull him closer. Daken pulled back slightly and pursed his lips, hovering above him a few moments before biting down hard at his lips. Bullseye groaned and felt blood flow into his mouth and down his chin.

“I love it how you respond to this,” Daken said and kissed him on the lips once more, sweetly this time but soon turning the kiss nearly bruising in its intensity. Bullseye dug his fingers into Daken’s sides, clutching firm muscle and clawing at smooth skin. The bruises disappear even before they have the time to bloom. Bullseye grew more frenzied in his desire as Daken settled in his lap, half pulling him up, grinding his ass down on his erection. Daken smiled down at him, watching him with slightly parted lips and a look of smugness. He slipped a hand behind himself and grabbed Bullseye’s cock, guiding it to his entrance and seating himself down on him with agonizing slowness. The slow burn dragging along his length made him moan and clutch at Daken desperately.

“That’s good. Just hold me, babe. Like before,” Daken encouraged and rose slightly, gliding down on him in a smoother movement. Bullseye whined and latched his mouth to Daken’s throat, sucking and kissing as the mutant rode him.

“Ah, yes. Keeping doing that,” Daken murmured when Bullseye grabbed his length and thumbed at the head and slit, still riding him. Bullseye grabbed him by the jaw with his free hand and kissed him, his tongue barely fluttering at his lips, seeking invitation. Daken deepened the kiss with a cocky grin, grinding down on him hard, rocking on his dick more than anything else.

“Come now, Lester, hold me and fuck me like you want to. I won’t break,” Daken told him between light kisses, caressing his face. That was all that Bullseye could take, grabbing and pressing down Daken on the bed, covering him fully with his body and thrusting into him roughly.

He needed to feel him.

He needed Daken.

Bullseye sobbed and buried his face in the crook of Daken’s neck, fucking him deeply and holding him so tightly that he was lifting him as he thrust into him.

Good boy.” Daken wrapped his legs around his waist, an arm over his shoulder and the other behind his neck, rubbing small circles there and kissing the side of his head. “Let it hurt.”

It hurt and it was the best thing he'd ever felt.

Bullseye came with a shudder and a whine, clutching Daken hard and struggling to breathe. He felt undone and weak, tears dried on his cheeks, and he hid himself in the warmth of Daken’s body. He could feel the wetness smeared between their bodies, his own cock slipped out and with it more come. He had wanted to stay inside of him. He wanted to hide in this room and pretend that it was just the two of them again. He wanted to pretend that he didn't hate Daken half the time and desperately needed him the other.    

Daken kissed and pet him, muttering in his honeyed voice how good and obedient Bullseye was. Bullseye remembered with a sick sinking feeling the disturbing eagerness he’d seen in Daken back then. He knew that he wouldn't be able to look Daken in the face.

Silently, Bullseye shifted their bodies so that he was spooning Daken instead, breathing in his scent and listening to his breathing, basking in his body heat. He didn’t want to lose the only thing that was keeping him grounded.

“Don't worry, Lester, I care about you. You're mine,” Daken declared and kissed his bloodied fingertips with their torn nails, one by one, before placing his hands over his heart. “I won’t throw you away.”

Bullseye held him tightly and cried himself to sleep.

 

Chapter Text

Bodies writhed to the rhythm of electric beats and a thrumming bass line, the lights distorted everything to a coked up fantasy in short skirts and tight pants. The place stank of spilled beer and drinks, sickly sweet and sour, which clung to everything like a taste. Bullseye wanted to kill his way through the crowd, he was certain he could have slaughtered a dozen of the brain-dead brats before anyone realized what was happening. Simply cut his way through the wall of flesh between himself and the exit.

“Beer,” he barked at the bartender instead and took the chilled bottle, drinking deeply of the cheap swill that was as good as tasteless in his mouth. It did little to dull the irritation he felt or the claustrophobic sensation of the writhing mass of party-goers.

Directly in the line of his sight, his target continued to bump and grind. He could have killed her earlier or later, he needn’t have followed her into the club. He could have easily spared himself the trouble and put a bullet in her brain days ago. But he had spotted someone else out of the corner of his eye as he followed her out of Manhattan Island to the club that was off in the Burrows.

At first, he dismissed it as a stranger; it was not as if mohawks and tattoos with slutty party clothes were in shortage at a place like this. Then he’d seen how he moved. No one else managed that seemingly effortless predatory slink coupled with the attitude that he owned the place.

The coincidence should have been impossible.

Bullseye immediately leaped to the conclusion that Daken had followed him when he trailed his target, but it wouldn’t have been surprising if he’d ended up at the club on his own. It was one of the hottest spots in New York at the moment. Then again, that was how Daken operated, plausible deniability for right about everything he did. And he, like a dog who’d scented a bone, had stalked in after the both of them.

He hated the smug mongrel, who was writhing on the dance floor, as good as fucking anyone, man or woman, within his reach. He hated the way his jeans hung low on his hips, baring a sharp hipbone and a trail of hair down – the bastard obviously wasn’t wearing underwear. He hated the flush on his face, his parted pink lips smeared with lipstick and glitter from the bodies of the women he as good as devoured. He hated the hands of the men that pulled and grabbed at him. He hated how Daken smiled at them and how his tongue flicked over his lips in invitation.

No one was allowed to touch him.  

The only thing that was keeping him from violence was the awareness of just how wrong this was. It was wrong in the sense that Daken made him want him; want him like breathing when you’re choking. Want him like a crime of passion murder-suicide. Want him like fresh blood all over his hands.

He was Bullseye and he didn’t want anyone.

Sex was good. Sex was an itch. He never wanted the women he stuck his dick in, he just wanted the release. He only wanted death and blood. Wet-hot on his tongue, soaking into his costume until he could feel it sticking to his skin, and smell it with every heavy breath.

Bullseye’s lip curled as he watched the mutant sway, kissing a dark skinned woman with blue hair, drawing his nails across her skin and nipping at her lips. He could hear his own heartbeat in his head like a drumming song, the ice in his hands, and the surge in the pit of his stomach, which twisted him from the inside out until he wanted to vomit. Her hips swung with his, a rolling twist and jerk reminiscent of sex, her short dress gliding up her thigh and exposing slick dark skin. She threw her head back and his mouth was on her.

The beer tasted sour on his lips.  

He knew that Daken knew that he was there; he hadn’t tried to hide, and that with all likelihood much of this display was for his benefit. He knew that with certainty when Daken drew a man into his orbit and the three of them started to make-out and paw at each other on the floor like animals in heat. The man was a dead-ringer for him, sans the distinctive scar. Same height, body build, and even general facial features. He could easily have passed him off as him in a police line-up without even trying. This was way past the point of coincidence.

Bullseye forcibly relaxed his jaw and stopped himself from sneering. He tugged his beanie down lower on his brow and dug a twenty from his pocket, leaving it on the counter. He had business to deal with. He emptied his bottle of watered-down beer and relocated the woman he had been hired to kill. It was a simple side-job he’d taken on a whim, to clear his head – or rather to divert it from the obsessions that occupied it otherwise. She was the mistress of some senator and killing her was clean-up since the husband had started to suspect something.

People died by his hand all the time, one more wouldn’t be noticed as anything but a random murder… and the fee had been attractive enough to make him consider it despite the mundane nature of the job. Respectability had its price – those DC types were willing to bleed hefty amounts of cash for that privilege. Leading Senator caught in illicit lesbian love affair was such a catchy headline.

Not as catchy as ‘Bullseye Club Massacre Kills 47’ though.

Maybe they’d name a drink after him.

It was just a question of time. He watched her dance, suburban sweetheart face painted with bright red and gold, a 20-something Latina hanging on her lips and hips like she was the second-coming. She was barely recognizable from the photo he’d gotten; it had her prim and proper, looking exactly like the wholesome Republican assistant she needed to be. People needed to be different people all the time, but it seldom lasted long. Their inner urges would drive them to be themselves soon enough, no matter how much you prettied and dressed it up. Blood would out.

A throaty laughter drew his attention away from the girl, gluing his eyes once more to Daken and his little entourage. The damn bastard had opened his shirt and both of his “dates” were desperately latched onto him. Bile rose in his throat once more and Bullseye wanted to slit all of their throats from ear-to-ear. His grip on the now empty bottle was vice-like, and he knew if he didn’t mind his strength the glass would crack in his grip. He rather wanted bones to crack. He wanted to scream and to see blood everywhere because those little cocksuckers.

The violence of his own desire turned him sour. Deliberately setting aside the bottle, he turned to his real target once more. He had stalked her for days, followed her to her home and riffled through her things, her social media, and fed her cat. He ran the facts of her mundane life through in his mind as a mantra. Hannah Summerset, 26, only child, born in Queens to a dentist and a filing clerk, current personal assistant and mistress of Senator Susan Riley. Hannah would die without knowing what happened to her or why.

Bullseye walked into the crowd with predatory confidence. When he walked out again at the back, Hannah was slumped against a wall as if she’d passed out, her pretty little neck broken. Her death was only marginally satisfying, his good day ruined by the unexpected company.

The other forty-six would have to wait for another day.

Outside, the music was still loud and the night was still young. Bullseye tried not to think of anything, lighting a cigarette and pretending that he was just another party-goer out for a smoke. He talked shit with one of the bouncers about the latest game, trashing the players for whichever fuck-up he felt like attributing to them.

He tried to pretend that he wasn’t waiting.

A dark woman with blue hair drew his attention as she exited from the club, several cigarettes later. On a whim, he followed her, shadowing her a good block or two. The sharp click of her heels, speeding up as she went, echoed strangely in the night – the traffic too light to drown it out. She was clutching her purse and pulling her jacket tightly around herself for some false sense of security.

He bumped into her, deliberately. “Oh, my bad. You alright?”

“I-I’m fine, thank you.” The standard reflexive ‘please don’t rape me’ politeness and dark doe eyes, her skin glittering with gold and blue. He smiled at her, waiting for her to give him a shaky smile back and walk on. 

He waited six seconds.

It wasn’t hard to blitz her and drag her into an alley, her heart raced and she fought him, she even managed to kick him with a sharp heel, but it did her little good. Detached curiosity had him man-handle her deeper into the alley, she struggled and he muffled her screams into his hand. As he held her, Bullseye could finally feel and see her fully, the firmness of her flesh and the size of her terrified eyes. Her face pissed him off.

Despite himself, he tried to understand why it had been her. He could find anything extraordinary about her. Just another boring and weak woman. She would best serve him dead. Perhaps, her death would leave a better taste in his mouth than the beer had.

He pulled her head aside by her dyed hair, baring her naked throat, readying to cut her throat just like he imagined earlier. Instead, his breath caught in his throat and she stilled in his grip with a terrified whimper, sensing his shift of mood, perhaps seeing something in his face. She tried to plead with him, but her whimpering meant nothing to him.

All he could think about was the dark bruise on her throat with faint marks of teeth. He wanted to press his mouth against it and taste him.

Bullseye’s blood ran hot and his fingers were around her throat, choking her so hard that he could hear her cartilage crack under his hands. He was quicker than he intended to, crushing her throat rather than choking her. Her pulse raced before it stilled completely and her face shifted redder then paled in death. As he let go, bewildered by the fury of his actions, her corpse fell limp to the ground. He felt abject relief.

With a dreadful sense of nakedness, Bullseye climbed the fire escape up to the roof. His hands shook once he reached the top, his breath wheezed and his heart hammered in his ears like the bass beat at the club. He thought of Daken. That hateful smile of his, mocking him. Daken had sauntered up to him after a hit, he’d just killed a meta human that had refused to join up in Osborn’s little freak show. A wide smile on his lips as she jerked and breathed her last breaths, holding her throat tightly as her guts bled out. 

A hand down his thigh and a whisper in his ear. “Can’t get it up if the bitch’s still breathing?”

That same smile, souring his mood and fueling his rage like gasoline. He dropped the woman and turned on him, knife ready and high, but he was never allowed to sink that blade into his flesh before being stopped. Daken smiled as he left, winked at him and Bullseye promised that he’d pay him back.

Eyeing the skyline with a sense of unease, a part of him expected – wanted – some self-tooled super hero to swing by and pick a fight, but he felt drawn to the sight of the club. He should have left. But the thought of Daken haunted him, it nagged at the corner of his mind and he couldn’t bring himself to move away. It was like there was an invisible leash pulled tight, choking him. He lost himself in the trance-like state every sniper learned on the field, waiting and watching, the only difference was that he didn’t have a rifle on him. But he was Bullseye, and anything was a weapon in his hands.

He did not wake from his focused state until he saw Daken, hanging onto his own lookalike – that was such a sick joke from his behalf, a petty attempt at manipulating him – stumble with faked drunkenness away from the club. They were touching, kissing and groping each other. Bullseye’s stomach fell and his fingers itched, pulling at a trigger he didn’t have.

It was too easy to imagine himself in the other man’s place, to fill in his own desire and words in his stead. Bullseye didn’t want to, but the fantasy slipped over his eyes like he was watching a movie. He didn’t have a choice but to watch it play out.

”Fuck, you feel so great.” Hands on Daken’s ass, mouth pressed to his face, drunk on him as much as on the booze and the drugs.

”Fuck me then.” That challenging and smug smirk and stare. Raised chin, open body, a deliberate twist and turn to entice and tease.

”Shit, here? You must be crazy –” A cautious look around and a loud laugh, but he leaned closer, his hands pulled and wanted even as he tried to deny it.

A stumble and drag, they end up against the building. Daken was pressed against the wall and his arms were around him. He was grinding down at him, crowding him with his body, feeling him hot and willing beneath him. Pulling up his thigh with a firm grip, bruising him if only for a moment, their mouths still pressed together in a wet hot kiss. He would taste of blood and alcohol. Breathless moans would leave his parted lips as they stopped, hands would slip down and struggle to undress them. Belt undone, a firm hand down his pants and a tight grip on his cock.

Daken’s throat was bared and he leaned into the wall as he was jacked off. Mouth open and eyes closed, hips jerking helplessly. Bullseye knew the moment he came, because he could swear that Daken opened his eyes and stared right at him when he did, with his name off his lips. The fantasy jarred as the other man failed to press on and Bullseye snarled, breaking his own focus. What should have happened was a dirty and rough fuck, right there where anyone could see, see him take Daken. See him claim him. But it wasn’t him with Daken.

The whiplash of fantasy and reality made bile rise in his throat, threatening to choke him with his own disgust and desire. Red hot fury bubbled as the man pulled at Daken’s hand, trying to get him to go with him. Daken didn’t seem as enthusiastic.

Bullseye was down from the roof in a few practiced leaps, landing heavy. There was pain in this, but it didn’t quite register. He felt cold now, stiff, as if he’d been frozen on that roof longer than he thought. His thoughts had cooled over from the rage into a focused aim. The knife he had intended to cut the woman up with was in his hand and, without a single conscious thought,  embedded in his lookalike’s throat the next.

Killing was like breathing. It made him God, but he didn’t feel powerful now. His knees trembled and his chest heaved, he couldn’t look at Daken.

Instead, Bullseye wandered closer as if in a dreaming haze. He felt compelled to check the man’s pulse as if the knife that had nearly beheaded him might have just missed and left the guy alive. He stopped himself and chewed the inside if his mouth until the pain distracted him.

Years ago, he had run barefoot down the snowy streets of Manhattan, dressed only in a hospital gown and a stolen coat. He had killed five people who had looked exactly like Daredevil… not that he really kept count. He’d read about it in the Bugle, over a dozen injured too. All he remembered was the fear, the cold and how his feet had hurt. And the Devil, of course. How he hadn’t died, regardless of how many times Bullseye had killed him. He tore his eyes away from the body and the pooling blood.

”Really now, Lester? You’re spoiling my fun,” Daken greeted him with a smirk, his body still aroused and clothes disheveled from his little show, when Bullseye finally caught his eye. Daken smiled and his eyes shone, mocking him with every move.

It had been deliberate, he wasn’t stupid. Daken had tried to goad him.

He had succeeded.

”Don’t care,” Bullseye said, unwillingly glancing back at the body. The man even had blue eyes.

”I was working. It got boring.” The lie slipped from him with practiced ease but his heart wasn’t in it.

”Do you want me to entertain you personally?” Daken purred, shifting his weight and flaunting his half-naked body. He wasn’t serious though, and that made it ten times worse. Bullseye hated him for it even as his body took half a step forward.

The glitter that was stuck to Daken’s skin shimmered in the bad lighting and he wanted to wipe it off. The thought of touching Daken and having it stick to him disgusted him. All those second-hand touches and kisses sticking to him. Tasting their saliva on Daken’s skin, feeling their sticky touch on his skin, smelling their stink off him and knowing that every inch of the mutant’s flesh was defiled by filth. He wanted to carve it off and touch unspoiled bone and blood in his mouth, as Daken healed pristine beneath him.

”Don’t touch me,” Bullseye spat and backed away again, even though Daken had made no indication of doing so.

”You killed both my dates, darling. I’m thinking you owe me.”

Of course he knew. He would have smelled it the moment he got outside. Could he guess how he killed her? Did he know how it had felt to crush the life out of her because of a hickey? Could he understand why the man at their feet was dead? Had he picked him with this in mind? A flash of understanding hit and Bullseye cocked his head, Daken had always done everything he did deliberately. Even this. A smiled played on his lips and he felt vindicated, watching the mutant who was starting to seem slightly perplexed by him. It took Bullseye a moment or two to understand why. Daken was expecting a reply.

”I don’t owe you shit.” The smile painted his lips, a show of teeth that implied things better left unsaid.

”What are you playing at, Lester? I really don’t have the time for this.” Daken spoke as if he hadn't set everything up just so – or aware of the fact that he was half-undressed, his belt undone and pants unzipped, his cock half-visible. Bullseye forced himself to look at the speck of blood on Daken’s cheek instead, but it wasn't much better, as soon all he could think of was to lick it off him. Acid in his mouth and a firm bite of his cheek brought him back; he needed to stop zoning out mid-conversation.

Daken would never give anything willingly. He would have to take what he wanted. Him, yes oh yes, he wanted him here and now against the wall and blood on their lips. Wet, hot, so damn tight. Bullseye's nails dug into his palm and he could taste blood in his mouth, running down his throat as he raised his head and pressed his lips together tightly. He needed the blood and the pain to keep his thought from getting distracted by Daken.

”I’ll expose you,” he said in a measured voice, containing the desire, hatred and rage that made his body ache and his gut clench. Expose him fully, have every bit of him, take him, have him, now, now, now. Peel the filthy skin off his flesh and feel him under his hands. He pulled away from his thoughts as if he’d been burnt. This wasn't him. This was something that had been done to him.

Daken sighed, arms crossing. ”This again?”

“Damn straight.”

“We both know how well that went last time. But, of course… I have nothing to hide.”

Bullseye scoffed loudly.

“Feel free to follow me wherever you want. However, please refrain from killing all of my lovers in the future. The dry-cleaning alone would be such a bother.” Daken dismissed him with a heartless smirk.

Bullseye’s mouth went dry and he wanted to tell him that he would gut every single one. Over and over again, until he had Daken for himself, untouched by their filthy hands and lips.

“You disgust me,” he sneered instead, spat blood drool on the ground at his feet, and left Daken there on the street with the cooling body of the man who had died in his place.

“Play with you later then, Lester.”

Bullseye froze a few steps away at the sound of his smooth voice, back still turned and head still swimming. He couldn't decide which was worse, the thought of running away or of staying. He threw his head back and laughed, his hand over his mouth, shoulders shaking.

“Let’s finish this game then. My turn.”

The second knife was in the air even as he turned, the look on Daken’s face as it buried itself into his exposed chest put a smile on his face. Daken stumbled back a step, still wide-eyed and snarling, blood running down his front and staining his shirt. Bullseye was there even before Daken could fully recover, planting a heavy fist into his gut and then a sharp knee to his jaw as he folded over.

A final blow on the back on his skull had Daken folding down in his grip, and Bullseye knew that right there, right now, he had his window of opportunity. If he waited a split second longer he’d get a gut full of claws. Bullseye didn't hesitate, letting all his anger and hatred fuel him, stabbing Daken in the back of his head, hitting that sweet spot that knocked him out cold.  

Bullseye pulled up Daken’s inert body, slinging his arm over his shoulder and grabbing his waist, hauling him away from the cooling corpse as if he were just a friend who’d had too much to drink. As an afterthought, he zipped Daken’s pants and halfway buttoned his shirt. The last thing he needed was to be stopped for date rape or some stupid shit like that by an idiot beat cop. Besides, it felt… awkward with him that exposed.

He felt like laughing again, but he stopped himself, fearing that whatever noise that would leave him would be something he wouldn't be able to stop if he got started. Instead, he focused on dragging Daken’s lifeless body along with him, without thinking too much about the warmth that still clung to him, the softness of his skin or the intoxicating stink of blood.

Bullseye hummed a song and felt like he could breathe again.

He found a nearby building, the back door was locked but he broke it with ease. It wasn't the kind of place you bothered to put an alarm system on, there was nothing to steal and no one lived there, and the only thing you had to even think twice about was the possibility of a night watchman. Some cop getting a few extra keeping kids and junkies out of half empty buildings in the area.

He didn't have much time to prepare.

After a quick ransack of his kill bag, which he’d stashed earlier in case of setbacks or new orders, and what he could find, things were as ready as he could get them.

Bullseye’s stomach coiled and his chest was caving in on itself, as he watched Daken wake up. He wanted to touch him, his fingers itched and he fiddled with the knife’s handle. With baited breath, he watched him blink at the light, the slight grimace that betrayed the unease he must have felt at waking cuffed to a chair before Daken shifted his expression into something more controlled. Before Daken could speak, Bullseye threw the bucket of cold water he had prepared at him, satisfied by the gasp and glare it garnered him.  

“Was that strictly necessary?” Daken shook the water out of his hair and face, a wide arch of water splattering and his hair landing perfectly as if this was a recreation of Flashdance.

“Absolutely, shitface.” He threw away the bucket and grabbed the other chair, settling on it spread legged and resting his arms on the back.

“Are we playing a new game, darling?”

“Yeah, twenty questions. You answer or I cut things off with this here pointy thing,” Bullseye said and flicked his wrist, letting a knife appear with a flourish. He didn't appreciate the nickname.

“Kinky,” Daken said in a low voice and bared his teeth in a grin, his smile at odds with the dark look in his eyes.

“What have you done to me?”

“You tell me, Lester. What have I done that made you do this?” Daken pulled demonstratively at the cuffs that tied him to the chair. He was twisting his words like usual, turning this back around at him, playing him for a fool.

There was no way in Hell he would let Daken even try to take charge of the situation. He unceremoniously grabbed the mutant’s left ear and cut it off. Displaying the severed ear a moment before throwing it carelessly on the floor, Bullseye smiled at the mutant with all the malice he could muster. Daken had not even screamed, he’d gasped and then took the abuse with a stoic face, never losing eye contact.

“Shall we try that again? What have you done to me?”

“I really don’t see what you think you’ll gain by this, but I’ll play along. Let’s see, what have I done?” Daken hummed, undisturbed by the slowing flow of blood from the raw wound which was healing even as he spoke. “Did I make you like it too much? Did I make you obsess over me to the point that you’re torturing me because you can’t handle it?  It’s not like I‘m the only man in your life–”

Bullseye punched him hard, feeling his own knuckles bruise as adamantium crushed against Daken’s nose. He should have used the knife. He was already breaking pattern. But Daken’s insinuations pushed his buttons like always.

“You don’t fucking get it, you little shit. You don’t get to run your mouth with you damn lies and stories. No one here stupid enough to believe them.”

“Of course,” Daken said, rolling his jaw and spitting blood on the floor. “Wouldn't dream of it.”

This time Bullseye remembered to cut him for his glibness, a kidney shot that made his eyes roll back, for a moment, a brief moment that should have been longer. More satisfying.

“Oh, I get the story you’re trying to tell. But you’re nothing like them. You’re not Daredevil. You’re not even half the man he is, so don’t flatter yourself. You’re not the Punisher either. You just don’t get it.” Bullseye realized that he was shouting, taking a moment to restrain himself, jaw tightening at the effort. He ripped off the beanie from his head, barring this signature scar, and threw it in a corner. He didn't want anything to touch him.

“It isn't about sex, you stupid bitch. It’s never been something so base. It’s about the game. The challenge. It’s about utterly destroying them. It’s about art. I’m an artist and they are the perfect canvas.” He was up on his feet, pacing the floor, gesticulating wildly with the bloodied knife, and he could nearly feel the pure joy of dancing with Red and Frank.

Chapeau. I’d applaud you, but as you can notice, I’m a bit tied up.” Daken’s snide comment soured his mood again, making his snarl and turn back at him, the blade ready to cut and bleed him dry.

“You've done something. I know you have. Half the time, when we’re on the field, you make me want to trust you. You make it feel like the most natural thing in the world that you’ll be at my six, watching my back. Me watching yours. You make me feel like you‘re my… friend.” The word left his lips like a curse, and yet it was the least loaded term he could think of. It was the first time he’d ever tried to explain it out loud – it sounded ridiculous. He wanted to cut off his own tongue for the offense, or maybe Daken’s in its stead. He was making him sound like a total idiot.

“The other half, I want to kill you and lick the blood off your bones. That’s not exactly normal, shitface, if you pardon me saying so. Usually, I just stay firmly in category two,” he rambled, a sardonic tone that undercut the anguished fury he felt, trying to get away from what he’d confessed.

“You piss me off, but for some damn reason I’m not gutting you for it every chance I get. I get liking people. I don’t like you. I hate the sight of you. I hate the way you smile and strut around. I hate that you make me feel.”

Normally, he’d be as good as singing and dancing at the chance of having someone under his knife, but somehow Daken was taking the pleasure from everything he didn't give freely. Somethings he gave too freely. “I hate those whores that fuck you.”

Bullseye knew that he was nearly losing it, that he was boiling over, breathing heavy and hysterical giggling too close to his lips, but he needed to keep it together to make Daken talk. I needed to talk to him, and they were at the brink now, and it was his last chance for a decent conversation. Why couldn't Daken just fucking do as he was told?

“You forgot to add how desperately you want to fuck me too. You’re not exactly discrete, Lester. I saw you at the club. I saw you outside, watching him jerk me off. You’re always watching me, jealous and turned on.” Daken punctuated his statement by thrusting his hips and barring his throat slightly, egging him on to try something.

“How did you think I knew?” He avoided acknowledging what he’s implicitly admitted to. He couldn't say it, but he might as well have. Daken was the only person he’d ever wanted like that, with utter desperation and adoration.

“I've watched you; I see how people react to you. I see how they throw themselves at you just because you've entered the damn room. I see how you get people to do things, anything really, just because you wanted them to. It’s easier to ignore when you’re not there… easier to notice that you’re not all that,” Bullseye paused and wrapped his hand around Daken’s throat, blood sticking to his hands, smearing on his skin. He could feel his heartbeat under his hands, a steady beat, rising only ever so slightly. He both wanted to rip it out of his chest and to feel it, knowing that he held Daken’s life in his hands.

“That you’re full of shit, Daken,” he whispered into Daken’s ear, squeezing, just to feel his breath hitch and his heart race. For a moment he thought of killing him, like the blue-haired woman despite the fact that he was so much more than exceptional, because maybe, just maybe, the world would be right again when he was dead. Everything would go away and nothing would make him feel like this ever again.

“You’re nothing,” he said, as much to himself as to Daken. Daken stared back at him, unblinking, then his lips quirked in a satisfied smirk.

Bullseye wavered, his grip lost its strength and he let him go. “You’re nothing to me.”

He was leaning so close in Daken’s face that their noses nearly touched, the urge to rip his lips off with his teeth was strong, but a part of him knew that he wouldn't stop there. 

“Really? You killed three people for me today. Seems like a lot for nothing.” Daken knew exactly how hollow his words rang and what he couldn't help but want, it was written all over his smug face.

“Two. The third was a hit.” Too defensive, he was retreating. Daken smiled at him, he went for a strike.

“Did you like him, by the way? I picked him for you.”

“You wanted me to kill him. I did.” The statement was curt and he punctuated it with another punch to his face, Daken grinned and spat out a tooth. “You made me do this.”

“You do realize how infantile and psychotic you sound.” Daken sighed loudly and gave him a look that spoke volumes. “Are you off your meds again? Take a pill.”

The knife was still in his hand and he stabbed Daken in the gut; a long gash that threatened to send his intestines and organs tumbling out of his stomach. Now Daken did hiss, a drawn out sound between clenched teeth.

“Just fucking admit it.” Bullseye needed him to say it. He needed him to admit to it. He hit him repeatedly, making blood splatter back into his face, breaking Daken’s face if only for a while. He didn't stop until he ached and his breathing was like loud bellows, making him feel faint. Daken swayed, blood dripping from mouth and nose, staring at him from behind swollen eyes, the bruising healing and fading fast enough for him to see the color shift. It looked… pretty.

“Tell me,” he wheezed and wiped his own face from the blood that made it feel like his eyelashes were sticking together.

Daken laughed in his face again and seemed genuinely entertained, coughing slightly and spitting blood and teeth. “You’re…ah, heh… cute when you’re desperate.”

“Fuck you. You disgust me… I loathe you. I want you out of my head.” Bullseye was shaking, his fists were clenched tight.

“You still want me.” Daken smirked at him, blood-stained and far too casual, licking his busted raw lips pointedly.

Bullseye turned away from him, pacing a few steps and regaining his composure. Squeezing his eyes shut, breathing harshly through his nose and forcing his muscles to unclench, he drew back from the murderous rage. Regardless, the truth remained that Daken was right, as disgusting that was to admit.

He’d wanted him from day one. He’d slipped into friendly camaraderie on the field, an unconscious habit of lingering by his side whenever Daken deigned not to shove it in his face, because it felt good. The sex fantasies were only half of the problem. The elated panic and excitement whenever they did a mission together was worse, the desire to show-off in his presence yet the comfort of even inaction as long as Daken was there. There was a sick need to have him there, which was more revolting to him than any fucked-up sex thing.

Three weeks ago they’d been sent on a mission after Gargan. Bullseye had laughed and announced that he’d get Mac on his own, but that Daken was welcome to tag along. It would be fun.

“Left eye or right?” He wanted Daken to choose, wanted him to be a part of it. He was in his own suit, his own second skin, and under his own name. Daken had been himself too, barely dressed and unadorned in anything but blood as was his true nature.

“Which will be more challenging?” Daken wondered and he couldn't help but smile, because that was the right question, and happily tell him the left one.

“Left, then.” He hadn't missed and he glowed at Daken before charging Mac – he didn't miss the small quirk of the mutant’s lips.

It had gone side-ways, despite them being the nastiest S.O.B.s in NYC, but it felt good to have Daken there with him. It was good to bitch about the mission and about killing Mac afterward too, they were united in their desire for payback.

Bullseye threw ideas at him how to make Mac suffer, each more descriptive and blood-soaked, while gesticulating wildly. Daken smiled at him and he’d forgotten to be angry at him. He smiled back and meant it, throwing his arm over Daken’s shoulders and laughed. Briefly he rested his forehead on the mutant’s shoulder, as he lapsed into a long-winded exposé about the time that Mac got his ass kicked back in Thunderbolts, helplessly giggling. He hadn't wanted to let him go.

But that couldn't last.

He had remembered himself – that he was Bullseye. He’d wanted to hurt Daken for making him forget. For being like a cocaine high whenever he was there, and for being like the worst withdrawal when he wasn't. He couldn't live like that.

“I’ll cut you out then.” Words spoken to himself as he clutched the bloody knife tightly. His vision swam and he felt like he was looking at himself looking at the knife and the blood.

“As curious I am to whatever your ruminations have revealed to you, and however fun this has been, Lester, this ends here.” There was a clatter of metal. “I needed to distract you, but I’m starting to believe that my efforts were redundant. You seem to have truly worked yourself up.”

“What the hell—?” Bullseye turned, knife in hand, eyes widening as he saw Daken standing free from his cuffs. His throat constricted to the point of choking, his innards feeling as if they were full of rats gnawing him to death from the inside out.

“Did you really think those would hold me a second longer than I wanted them too? You've spoiled your chances, sweetness.” Daken smiled, his face still busted half to Hell, blood slowly dripping down from him in a steady patter even as his wounds healed.

All Bullseye could think of then and there, was the wet hot taste of him. How glorious he looked bathed in his own blood.

Lips parted and wide-eyed, he hesitated; he should have attacked or he should have run, but instead he found himself frozen. His rage had left him and he wanted to fall onto his knees, which would also have taken energy he no longer had. He half-expected cold snow, agony in his head, and the Devil at every turn. A joyless smile split his face and he wondered if it was too late to beg. Of course it was.

The only question now was if he’d go down swinging.

Daken walked up to him and his hand was on his face, a gentle caress with every reminder that there were claws ready to rip his face off if he even blinked wrong. Bullseye couldn't help but shudder when Daken’s knuckles dragged along his cheek and down his throat. The knife in his hand clattered down uselessly.

“You really are deliciously responsive,” Daken observed. Bullseye stared at his bloodied and parted lips, mute and lost. He felt disconnected and it was hard to think of anything but Daken and his hands on him. Every sensory input felt like it was jacked-up to eleven.

The pain shouldn't have come as a surprise. He definitely shouldn't have been turned on by it either. There were claws embedded in his thigh, he couldn't tell if it was a lethal strike – if Daken had severed his femoral artery or not. Daken still had his hand on his cheek, touching him gently, that more than the wound made him whine.

“Y’know, I barely had to try, Lester.” Daken smirked lopsidedly, blood running down his chin. “I made you my puppet. You were so easy. Starving for anything… everything I offered. Guess I should have fed you better. You must have felt… left out watching me give myself to my other little pets.” He paused in contemplation, measuring his words and searching his face for something.

“Is this what you wanted?” Daken cocked his head, tapping his scar with a light finger. The then mutant rose up on his toes, leaning into his chest and whispering into his ear:

“Does it liberate you, sweetness, knowing you’d do anything I want, with little next to no effort on my side?”

Bullseye couldn't answer him – anything he could think of was contradicted with the next thought. The only thing that was constant over the disjointedness was his desire and the vague feeling of betrayal constricting his heart. The latter confused him more, he couldn't possibly have expected something other than violence. He couldn't be that much of an idiot.

“You weren't exaggerating where you? You have no idea what to do or how to feel when you don’t have you precious anger. Let me help you, Lester.” The claw withdrew from his flesh with a wet noise and a flow of blood, Bullseye choked and reached for Daken instinctively.

“That’s it. Just like that,” Daken encouraged him. Bullseye numbly allowed Daken touch his body, he swayed slightly as the bleeding increased. Daken was wet and cold still, his soaked shirt clung to his skin like glued, the fabric sheer and bloodied. His hands ran along his torso before settling just beneath his waistband, fingertips touching his ass. He cared little for it compared to just having him near.

“You like that? You've been waiting to touch me and for me to touch you.” Lips touch his, only a butterfly light touch, but it left him feeling cold in the wake of its loss.

“Are you going to kill me?” Bullseye’s tongue felt like it was lead in his mouth and the simple question took more out of him that he had thought physically possible.

“No, I won’t. It would be a complete waste of the time I spent working on you. Doing so that you barely noticed was the hardest part, I usually go for a more… immediate and direct approach. But long-term effects were to be preferred for what I had in mind.” The confession was flippant and vague, but it implied things that Bullseye had never considered.

“What–?”

“Pheromones. I feel we’re past the point of being coy about it. They’re a part of my mutation. A push in the right direction, though to be honest I can’t fully anticipate the all the reactions. You were particularly… sensitive.”

“You've been using mutant powers on me? I knew you’d done something. That you’re making me feel things.” Bullseye tried to feel victorious but all he felt was drained and hazy. Was he bleeding to death after all? He felt cold.

“Yes, but not anymore. I don’t need to you see, that’s the charm of doing it this way, despite the time and effort it takes. It changes you, y’see… makes it a part of you and how you feel.” Daken felt too far away, even as he was the only thing keeping him standing.

He knew that he should react somehow at this revelation, but there was no space for that. There was barely any room to breathe. Bullseye tightened his hold on Daken’s waist, bowing his head and resting it on Daken’s shoulder, just where the blood soaked in from his previously cut off ear.

“You’re shaking.” Daken’s voice was reproachful. Bullseye couldn't bring himself to care. He pressed his lips to Daken’s neck.

“Can’t have you running away like this, Lester. Stay with me. I did not stab you that badly.”

Daken’s petulant statement nearly made him laugh. Daken pouted frequently. It was fun to watch his face over the breakfast table, how his lips would purse or draw into a tight line depending on what he thought. Ares had brought up Wolverine on a discussion on battle tactics, the benefits of close-quarters combatants, and Daken’s face was just picture perfect – and since he couldn't really fight the God of War he sulked the entire morning. Bullseye liked those unguarded moments. He could just drink his coffee and eat his cereal, watching the other man without it being weird.

Again there was jarring sharp pain in his thigh, a belt was tightened above the wound with a sharp pull. Military issue, no notches. His own even, he hadn't noticed Daken strip him from it. Blood running down his thigh, but slower now.

Blood, yes, wet-hot and he tasted it on his lips again like life. He tasted Daken on his lips and tongue. His hands were up cupping Daken’s bruised face and he felt teeth scraping his tongue, his lips dry against Daken’s broken and bloodied, washed clean of everything but him.

“That’s a good boy,” Daken said, breaking the kiss, thumbing his lips. “Stay with me.”

Bullseye wondered if Daken was using his pheromones on him now, to keep him from breaking apart. It hardly mattered though. He’d already lost any pretense of an upper hand, he would be lucky if Daken did indeed not leave him to bleed to death.

“I really should punish you, though. You've ruined my clothes, and my evening. I had so many fun things planned, but you had to go and be jealous.” A mockingly stern look and a quirk of a smile.

“How do you intend to earn my forgiveness, pet?”

As if on cue, Bullseye’s legs finally gave way, sending him down like a puppet with his strings cut, hanging onto Daken to remain kneeling. His thigh was on fire and it gave him a modicum of clarity in the mixed up haze that was Daken’s presence. The hollow feeling from before was being filled with pleasure, with a burning need for more, and he suddenly felt so much.

“That’s a nice suggestion.” Daken’s thumb was in his mouth, running along the line of his lower front teeth, then pressing down and forcing his mouth open with a groan. Bullseye could taste the blood on him, he wanted to suck it off him, but the best he could do was to lick at his fingers. There was a physical agony in being denied everything but the slightest of Daken’s touch. He should have been angry, he told himself, but finally having Daken all for himself weighed heavier.

“I love watching you. You always lose yourself in pleasure. It’s beautiful…” Daken’s voice was breathy and his face flushed. “I think we should try for something a little more exciting and a bit postponed for when you’re feeling a bit better with that in mind. Maybe I should have you just like this, but in front of everyone so that they can see you too?”

The suggestion was humiliating. He could nearly hear Mac’s incessant sniggering and suggestion that Daken should tip him extra, Karla’s softer voice and stage whispers that it’s a better use of his mouth than she ever managed to get out of him. The noises blurred together and he could feel himself start to panic even as he remained in position, knowing that he would still do it if Daken ever asked him to.

His distress must have shown on his face or otherwise made itself know, as Daken released his mouth and cupped his face, lifting it to look up at him.

“Shush now, don’t fuss, Lester.”

Daken…” He wanted to bleed to death and he wanted to suck Daken off right there as he did. He wanted to beg and plead him to fuck him if that meant that he’d get to have him close. He couldn't let go. It was killing him. A broken sob escaped his lips, carrying with it whatever control he had left.

“Oh, my poor pet. You’re quite the mess. Shall I take care of you; take you home and patch you up?”

“I… need you,” Bullseye choked, his body convulsing at the force of his arousal, his cock rubbed hard against his jeans that now hung loose on his narrow hips. “Make it… stop.”

Daken petted him, humming to himself. “Now why would I do that?”

Please, Daken.” Bullseye didn't know what he was begging for, or why his voice was so broken, he just needed Daken. Needed him under his skin, needed him in his mouth, needed him inside him. “Please, oh God, please—”

“Now that’s something I didn't think I’d hear this easily, but since you asked so nicely…” Some of the oppressive weight fell off his shoulders, but he still felt like he’d beg Daken to do anything to him. He buckled down, head bent low and his heart racing. He had underestimated him.

“If I kill you… will it go away?” Bullseye wondered once he could string together a full thought, swallowing back the lust and the blood, gasping and shaking. For some reason he expected Daken to be honest, it was not like he had anything to lose.

“Not quite, dear. The immediate effect, yes. The other parts… not so much.”

Bullseye said nothing, bowed down like supplicant to a cruel god, waiting for revelation.

“I told you, remember? You haven’t understood, have you?”

“You've got me on my knees, so you might as well tell me.” He laughed, a hollow noise that echoed in his head, shuffling forward into Daken’s hip and thigh for support and that maddening need for his touch. A part of him feared that Daken would pull back, but the mutant remained.

“You don’t recognize it?”

Fuck you.”

“Not even after all this time?” Daken asked slightly amused, a heavy hand on his neck, the threat of his wrist claw an enticing idea that intruded his thoughts. He couldn't quite decide if he rather have Daken cut him or if he just wanted to lick the blood off the lethal blade.

“Have you never been in love before, Lester?”

The impact of Daken’s statement was like being held underwater, feeling both panicked and calm at the same time. He closed his eyes and pressed his face to Daken’s groin, the tight fabric of his jeans still wet with water and blood, with stains of cum. It was easier to think about sex.

“I’m starting to think this is punishment enough for now.” Daken clucked his tongue. Bullseye stared at his zipper, thinking that maybe if he could get Daken to fuck him it would make it go away.  

“Let’s get you home.” Daken pulled him up, taking the bulk of his weight, pressing a kiss to his head as he did.

“Shush now, sweetness. Tears aren't necessary,” Daken admonished him. Bullseye stared at him bemused, raising a hand to his cheek, his fingertips came off wet.

Dumbly, he let Daken haul him outside and call a cab to pick them up. He was manhandled into the backseat as Daken said where they wanted to go, the taxi driver really couldn't care about the state of them and avoided looking back.

The pain in his leg was starting to become more of an issue, and while it was clear that the main artery was intact, Daken had cut him up deeply. Probably more when removing his claws from him than when he stabbed him with them in the first place. Bullseye didn't hold a grudge, they were as good as even now. His breathing however came out in heavy gasps or a staccato through his nose. Daken glanced at him, his gray eyes cold and his lips pursing, as Bullseye wiped off sweat from his face several times.

It took him a moment to realize what was happening when Daken unzipped his jeans and pulled his cock out of his pants. He stared at him alarmed and glanced fretfully at the driver’s balding head before shaking his head.

“Relax,” Daken told him with a low voice and bent down, taking him in his mouth without hesitation.

Again, his breath hitched and Bullseye gritted his teeth to keep his mouth shut, helplessly letting Daken bob on his cock. He couldn't even raise his hips because it hurt too much, but the pleasure was already killing him and he knew he wouldn't last long. The simultaneous sensations of pain and pleasure had him reeling, biting down hard enough to fill his mouth with the taste of blood and bile, and having Daken being the who inflicted them made it close to ecstasy.

Daken lapped at his cock with a broad tongue and sunk his nails into his thigh, easing him into coming in long shuddering waves. He finished off by sucking at his still leaking head, forcing the last of his come out of him, causing him to hiss and jerk making his wound ache and burn. Bullseye whined and clawed at Daken to get him to stop, but the other man ignored him. It took him a few moments to realize what Daken was waiting for.

Please.”

Daken glanced up at him, eyes glinting darkly in the half-lit cab, amusement and satisfaction coming off him like heat. After a particularly hard suck, he stopped and quietly tucked him back into his jeans. Bullseye let himself sink back into his seat, shuddering and catching his breath.

He didn't fight it when Daken leaned over to him and kissed him, his mouth filled with his come. Bullseye could either accept the load and swallow it or choke and drool it all over his own chin because Daken wasn't letting him go until he did. He chose the former to avoid further embarrassment. He was filthy enough as it was.

“Good boy,” Daken praised him, giving him a peck on the cheek. Bullseye blushed, glancing at the driver, who was pointedly ignoring them.

Bullseye tasted blood and come, and he pretended it wasn't his own. He grimaced and looked out of the window staring out into the flickering and glowing lights in the night. It was the early hours before dawn, but the city was as awake as always, especially as they crossed over to Manhattan over one of the many bridges which were full of traffic even at this hour. There was nowhere to go unless he felt like running on the highway with a busted leg or jumping into the river.

Bullseye leaned on the cold glass and closed his eyes. He didn't know what anything amounted to now. Daken had played him. It had been easy enough. All he got was that maybe he loved him now. Hardly worth it. He might as well kill the both of them and have it done with. Bullseye glanced from the corner of his eye, from between narrowed lids, at Daken who was looking ahead, shadow and light playing across his stark features, most of the bruising gone. A shadow of a smile played on his swollen lips.

His hand crept over to Daken’s, locking their fingers together. Daken let him.

Chapter Text

“I want it dead and gone.” Osborn banged his fist into the table and then turned to look at Daken and Bullseye who had just entered the sitrep room. “Victoria get them up to speed. I have a meeting.” Norman sneered. “Do not fail me, or you’ll find your files redacted, just like the ones that dared fail me before,” he directed the last part at them, and stormed off without any further explanation. It was his quaint little way of telling them that he’d either kill them or bury them so deep in some blacklist site that they’d wished he had killed them.

For the fifth time that week, Daken dwelled on the feeling of flesh tearing and Osborn’s blood soaking his hands. Patience, he chided himself and fought back the urge to pop his claws. The lunatic still had his uses.

“Eyes upfront, boys.” Victoria said, as if she herself hadn’t bristled at Osborn’s lack of social graces, and busied herself with briefing them on their new mission. She tapped at her tablet and the screen behind her showed a map of the city and the burrows, red signals spread over a series of locations. It was a wide spread that initially had no discernible pattern, Daken let himself study it carefully, memorizing it.

Bullseye, on the other hand, barely acknowledged the order or the holoscreen map, standing bright eyed and impassive, still half-facing the door. Daken wondered what was going through the marksman’s mind, his scent was the usual excitement and agitation, but his face told a different story. Usually this type of intensity in him heralded violence. Creative and excessive violence. Norman seldom got this deep under the psychotic killer’s skin, but the again it was hard to tell with Lester.

“This is a straightforward search and destroy. The first sightings of the target appeared about a week or two ago. So far they have been limited, CCTV is responsible for more of these possible pings of the… creature. There has been no clear visual, and the precious team we sent after it is MIA. At a distance it appears somewhat canine, but that is a vague estimation. What we can say is that it’s big. Too big for anything normal. All we have on it is this.” She brought up a grainy security cam image. It was canine in the sense that it was on four legs, had a tail and an elongated head, but a size which was closer to that of a bull. Then there was the fact that where its eyes should have been there seemed to be just red light, more than any reflection could account for.

“That’s a fucking hellhound,” Bullseye remarked at the image. His intent stare was joined by a bright smile, the look on his face would have been frightening had Daken been anyone else. His exuberant exclamation might have some basis in reality, considering that one of the first things their team had done was to fight Morgan Le Fay’s demonic creatures. It was not out of the realm of possibility.

“We have no confirmation of demonic or inter-dimensional origin, however we have not dismissed this notion. There is a range of suspects capable of opening dimensional portals to introduce creatures to our reality. We have agents looking into that eventuality.” Victoria stilled and glanced away. She was nervous.

“What aren’t you telling us?” Daken snapped and crossed his arms.

“Nothing you need to concern yourself with, Wolverine,” Victoria ordered harshly. He then knew that he had been right. She was hiding something. Daken wanted to continue to press her to spill her guts, both figuratively and literally, but prudence stilled his tongue and claw.

“How about the fact that I doubt that there is just one. Look at the pattern,” he pointed out instead and gestured at the screen. “You have at least two of them for this type of confirmed sightings for it to make sense. Most living things move in very predictable patterns, humans included, the disparity and the clusters here only make sense if you have several individuals. I’d say that they originate from the same area but take different routes to hunt and to recon every now and then. Any deaths other than the previous team?”

Victoria’s brow rose and then furrowed as she searched her files. “Difficult to tell. No bodies with bizarre animal attacks have been found. Deaths in the city have not anomalously risen.”

“Too short a time span,” he noted and glanced at Lester who still smiled like he had someone beneath his knife. Excitement, in every sense of the word. Daken had only once seen him work, it was artful if not the most efficient. Lester got carried away far too easily, lost focus of everything but the next cut.  But the way he got lost in the pleasure of it was a sight to behold, he had been sorely tempted himself.  

“Any increase in missing animals? Dogs and the like.” Daken looked back at the screen, mind racing ahead even as he was starting to get distracted by Bullseye’s mood. He could smell him, hear him, and feel him like sparks through his own system. He felt a smile creep on his face and he too looked forward to the hunt.

“Slightly yes, animal control has received more complaints; no bodies here either. Why is that important?” Victoria wondered and looked at both of them, her scent unsettled and wary. Daken controlled an urge to roll his eyes at her inability to grasp the obvious.

“Predators can be territorial. Or they could simply be feeding on easier prey. Where are these centered?”

“Central Park and Park Avenue, smaller cluster in the West Village.”

“It’s been dry, hasn’t it?” Daken walked up closer to the screen, arms crossed and brow furrowed. “Give me the sewer system, the main trunk and overflow. Anything big.”

Victoria tapped it up. It matched most of the sightings. “I’ll be damned. Excellent work, Wolverine.”

Bullseye slow clapped him, as cold eyed as before and his smile flashing out of existence as if it had never been there. “Yeah, well done, Nimrod. Can we go kill the bastards now?”

“Where did you lose contact with the HAMMER team?” Daken wondered and gave him a dirty glance for interrupting, but grinned back when the assassin offered another show of teeth. Briefly, Daken wondered if his reference was at the cartoon or the Judaic myth. He wouldn’t put either past Lester, the man had strange and varied literary tastes. The latter was more flattering to him however, he decided to accept the compliment without the sarcasm. Mighty hunter. That described him adequately.

“Here.” Victoria tapped her tablet and a time stamped flag turned up on the map. It was just above a sewer line. “Lost signal and communications nearly immediately. Must have been the tunnels. Or the creatures if they stumbled right in on them.”

“That’s where we’ll start then. It’ll be hard to track them there.”

“Oh joy. We get to play in the sewers again,” Bullseye said, rolling his eyes.

“You’re not the one with enhanced senses.”

“Boo-hoo, princess.” Bright flash of teeth and a scent like ozone.

“Mind on the mission. Coms will be unreliable there, but GPS tracking should be possible to a greater extent. Keep in touch whenever possible, if necessary we’ll send in a strike team with munitions. Try to keep this underground, do not draw any attention and do not fail,” she repeated Osborn’s order with a look that promised that she’d enforce it.  Her alliance with Ares, who had decided that she was his superior officer, gave her enough muscle to do so – even without Norman’s mandate to do whatever she deemed necessary. Daken had to admit that he appreciated a woman who could maneuver as well as Hand, but her loathing of him was tangible and her sexual preferences too Sapphic.

An aid entered the room, hovering by the door way. “Director Hand, we have Strange on line four again. He says it’s urgent.”

“Tell him to wait.”

The aid fidgeted with his heavy rimmed glasses and lowered his voice. “He said that if he was made to wait again, ma’am, he would call the souls of the damned to drag you and Director Osborn there to him.”

Victoria sighed and cursed quietly to herself. “I’ll be there.”

The aid scampered away. Daken’s eyes narrowed and his claws itched in his arms, there was something going on and it galled him that he was left out of the loop.

“As for you two. Call it in when you’re done and we’ll have the bodies disposed. I think it would be most prudent to forgo the retrieval of any live samples. I hardly think we need the added hassle. Transport in ten.” Victoria dismissed them with another stern look, daring them to pick a fight or disobey. Neither man decided to push her.

They were handed coms and tracker in transport; the same old earbud they usually had on the field and an enhanced bio tracker for when they were out of range, the latter was to be fastened at the back of their neck.  It would monitor post their position and life signs.

“You’re not putting that thing on me,” Bullseye protested at the tracker, threatening the technician with an arrow. It was the first show of emotion from the man that hadn’t been drowned by his excited anticipation. Daken observed him quietly, trying to gauge him and what had set him off.

“I have orders. It’s just temporary—“ The tech said, backing off though at the sight of Lester’s anger, his reputation bad enough to scare the woman even without the knowledge of his identity.

“I’ve had a damn nanochain up in my skull! I don’t do biotech. Forget it!” Lester spat and loomed over her.

Daken blinked and filed the information away, he didn’t know what a nanochain was but he could guess at its use. He decided that it was time to step in, otherwise they’d have a bloodbath which would be inconvenient.

“Stop making a fuss, Lester. I’ll make sure that they remove it.” Daken intervened and put his right hand on his, lowering the arrow in his grip, and his left on his neck to settle him. He caught his gaze and held it, waiting until Lester looked away. Pheromones helped, but mostly it was just plain simple dominance techniques. Lester was a cloud of resentment with flashes of fear. Daken could feel him like thunder and lightning, ready to strike. He wouldn’t be able to keep that pressure down for long.

“Promise,” Daken said, his voice softening, giving his neck a firm squeeze before letting go. Finally, Bullseye sat down and remained still long enough for the tech to fasten the tracker beneath his cowl.

“I got your back. Just watch mine when we get down,” Daken told him as he checked his gear and settled to leave, pumping out calming pheromones.

“Gotcha.” Lester stared at him in response, holding his gaze without expression, blue eyes once more focused. Daken wondered if his medication had been adjusted again, or if Bullseye was spitting his pills in the drain again. Wouldn’t be the first time. He was too quiet and intense; the way he stared at him was starting to become unsettling. There was a lag in his expressions, which never reached his eyes, as if he needed to think about using his face. Then again it might just be today’s mood.

The drop was quick and discreet, in a few moments they were down in the main overflow outside of Central Park.

“Coms on, trackers active. We’re here,” Daken reported and got a crackle and a faint confirmation from Victoria at HQ. Daken scented the putrid air for anything unusual, checking his surroundings for any signs. The water was barely ankle deep but stank of concentrated filth and rot, the heat enough to make the air smell the same with a burnt and acidic edge that was more of a taste than a smell at this point.

“You got anything?” Bullseye wondered after a few impatient moments. Daken was nearly surprised at being addressed.

“Nothing at this point. Going by their pattern, let’s head along north. If I don’t catch their trail, we’ll try the intersections.”

“Lead on.” A smile on his face, all friendliness and charm, but the little he could scent of him was plain murder. Daken was not hesitant to turn his back on him, merely cautious. He wasn’t reckless or stupid.

The initial search was quick but unpleasant, the stench got worse as they delved deeper into the sewers, it had mostly dried but that in turn created putrid puddles of garbage, sewage and dead animals. There also seemed to have been some hobo campsites, going by the smell of fire, that or someone had just set fire to the garbage. All they managed to find were a few traces of something large that had left claw marks. No sign of the missing HAMMER crew.

“Well, this was a complete bust,” Bullseye said as they made their way back to the drop site where transport was waiting. Daken relaxed at his voice, it had mellowed down from before, and his face even had a hint of his usual easy-going attitude beneath the disgust and disappointment.

“You don’t say. I’d say we should leave. Nothing is fresh here, at least two days old at best. Can’t really tell with the stench. God, I want a shower.”

“You don’t say. I always think you stink, but whoa, right now you could wake the dead,” Lester said with a grin and checked him out, patting him on the shoulder.

“That’s rich coming from you. Anyhow, we both smell as revolting right now. Feel free to join me for that shower.” Daken let flirtation slink into his voice and expected the usual aggressive response from Lester. Instead, he was surprised by Lester’s once more very penetrating stare, evaluating and intense, and that same delayed smile that transformed his face. It was like there were missing frames or splices of something else between the moments before and after its appearance.

“At this point, I’m actually considering it,” Lester said in a steady voice, dropping several octaves and getting a gravelly edge. Daken’s lips parted in mute surprise, but before he could respond his attention was promptly diverted.

Daken raised his arm in a halting command. “I think I heard something.”

“What?”

“Shut up and let me listen.” Daken shushed him and cocked his head. The scrape of bone cracking. Nearly buried by the water and the echoes, but that noise wasn’t something he’d imagine. “It’s coming from the south. Let’s go.”

“Do we have to?” Lester whined in his usual voice, but it seemed more mocking than anything else, and Daken gave him a glare. “Fine. I’m itching to kill something anyhow.”

“I’ll take point, you stay back but make sure to not get left too far behind. I don’t want them to separate us.” Daken determined to pursue Lester’s strange mood later, at this point there were more pressing things to hunt. The tinge of excitement set his heart racing slightly and he suppressed some of the joy he felt at the thought of killing. He needed it, but he was in control.

“Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand.” Bullseye’s gaze lingered on him once more, and Daken was starting to believe that the assassin was actually flirting with him instead of the usual mockery.

“More like you’ll stare at my ass, darling.” Daken leered at him and ran ahead, slowing down as the noise grew louder. It was hard to tell the direction, the tunnels distorted the noise with echoes, but soon it didn’t matter. The stench of death was easy to follow beneath the acrid burn.

As Daken crept past the next intersection, he caught sight of one of the creatures eating on a burnt corpse. It was large and heavy, but its build was as much for speed as for strength. It would not be an easy fight. The stench and heat of fire that Daken had previously dismissed as unrelated, emanated from the creature. Its gaze was turned down at the carcass it was gnawing at with sharp bloodied teeth, but even then he could see that flames played in its eyes and the body in its maw sizzled, as if in contact with heat. Bullseye had been as good as right, the damn thing was a hellhound.

Speaking of the devil, both Daken and the “hellhound” startled at the loud splash behind them. It sounded like Bullseye had slipped.

There was no window of opportunity, Daken and the beast moved as once colliding into each other in a flurry of claws. As Daken had suspected, the hound’s breath was hot and sulfurous, its bites white hot and corrosive. Whatever it was it wasn’t something local, the stench of it was like a taste in his mouth, overpowering the sewage and carnage. Daken could feel his skin and hair singe at the sheer proximity of the thing. He had no desire to further acquaint himself with that, the nips and the scrapes it got in were bad enough. Daken grinned and growled as he slashed and wrestled the thing, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He felt something: he felt alive.

The beast made a harking noise, as if it had something in its throat, and Daken felt the heat intensify. He barely managed to disengage before the beast belched fire at him, ignited liquid that corroded at a touch, the flames burning hot and fast. As it was, it only caught him across his right side and Daken could feel his costume melt into his skin and catch fire. He threw himself aside and landed into a shallow pool of sewage with a foul hiss, killing the flames, but the corrosive still burned.

Daken surfaced to see arrows hit the creature, some sticking harmlessly into its thick hide others drawing blood. It growled and pounced at Bullseye who drew another shot and waited, bright eyed and smiling. He didn’t release the arrow until the last moment, hitting the beast mid-leap in its open maw and protruding out of the back of its skull. It whined and fell to the ground. With a joyous grin, Bullseye walked up to it and kicked it; it twitched. He drew his gun from its holster and emptied three rounds into its head. He didn’t even blink. He holstered the piece and walked up to Daken, offering his hand.  “Told you I’d watch your back.”

Daken took his arm with his left and pulled himself up, hissing at the chemical burn all across his right side. It would heal, he repeated to himself and tried to accept the pain. Corrosives just took a bit longer. “Wouldn’t have needed to if you hadn’t slipped up.”

Lester stared at him and brow raised, seemingly not understanding his accusation. Daken then realized that his uniform was dry, barring his boots. He leaned to his left side and looked past Bullseye, feeling his gut sink. Two pairs of burning eyes stared back at him from the tunnel. His sense of smell was useless and his hearing distorted by echoes, and they had been snuck up on.

Daken back looked at Lester and let his gaze flicker to the side twice to indicate the unwanted company. A vicious and happy smile painted the assassin's face. He’d gotten the message. They waited a beat before Daken threw himself past Bullseye straight at the beasts, keeping low as to allow Lester a clean line of fire.

The beasts were on him, instinct overriding whatever intellect they had, and it became a two against one dogfight. Daken soon verified that the beasts hide was too thick for any slashing attacks, and merely thrusting his claws in did little good unless he got in a good hit. Face and belly would be the only viable areas of attack; the Muramasa claw probably the only way he’d actually kill these creatures. Then again he didn’t need to, he just needed to keep them off Lester long enough for them man to get a clean shot. The notion galled him, but would likely be the rational choice. Especially if these two decided to breathe fire and acid at him too. His body ached at the thought, a spinal reflex drilled in from childhood.

“Come get me,” Daken growled, going for the eyes of the hound to his right that had been eyeing at having a go at Bullseye. As his claw sunk into the strange glowing eyeball of the creature, both he and it howled. Daken pulled back violently, barely keeping his balance, to find that a part of his claw had corroded off and the fluid had run down it to his right hand, burning and eating away his flesh down to the bone. He resisted the instinctual urge to sheath his claws, knowing that it’d burn him from the inside out if he did. The hound wept the corrosive fluid and pawed at its own face in pain. A small satisfaction that it had taken worse damage than him.

The other beast lunged at him in the meantime and Daken didn’t have the space to side-step it without exposing Lester, forcing him to remain its path and take the bite to his shoulder.  It didn’t hurt at first and he didn’t waste his time. Daken held the beast in place and gutted it with the Muramasa blade, hoping that it wouldn’t be exposed to the same corrosive. The pain came as the hound reflexively released him when its organs fell to the ground in a splatter. Two arrows flew past him at the same time, impaling the hounds through eye and mouth. They whined and fell, but didn’t die instantly. Then Bullseye was there and precise shots blew the creatures’ heads with explosive high caliber rounds.

Daken was careful to avoid coming in contact with the splatter. He didn’t feel like risking more of his skin. Not that there was much unharmed. His entire right side felt like it was burning and the pain wasn’t stopping. He backed away and was grateful for the fact that he at least wouldn’t have to deal with blood loss, most of his wounds were cauterized. The acid however still ate at his flesh even as it healed – the water hadn’t aided him in that – in fact, and to his disgust, he could see his flesh darken, crack and bubble. The corroded claws broke off slightly above his knuckle, making him hiss at the fresh wave of pain that echoed up his arm.

Daken bit down and schooled his face to its usual pleasant mask. He had survived worse, but despite his training acid remained one of those things that were difficult. Romulus had been disappointed in him as he had writhed soundlessly on the floor, his flesh eaten to the bone along most of his body before it had started to heal. After several tries, he had declared it an acceptable loss as long as he could stay functional. His punishment had been mild that time, more for his weakness than his failure to heal. Daken bit back bile and the urge to simply chop off his arm to rid himself of the pain, accepting the agony and refusing his weak desire to avoid it. He was functional. His right hand not so much, but he could still move it. Acceptable. Still acceptable.

Daken fought the urge to check Lester’s response and to hide the extent of his injury. He needed to finish the mission. Time to call it in.  “Do you hear me, HQ? Mission cleared. Bodies recovered, three hostiles down. HQ?” Daken rasped into the coms, his voice raw and distorted.

Crackle and feedback. “HQ here. We hear you loud and clear. Sending retrieval to your location. Area secure? Over.”

Daken glanced at Bullseye who shrugged, his eyes shone in the low light. Neither of them felt like sweeping the area further. Regardless, even if there was more of them, which Daken deemed unlikely, it was hardly reasonably to expect them to do anything about it, injured as he was. The pain screamed at him and he could feel his flesh sear and peel back, his healing factor only a fraction slower than the acid.

“Area secure, HQ.” Daken decided that if it wasn’t then screw them. “Can we go now?”

“We’ve locked your position, retreat to drop point. Over.”

“Over and out, HQ.”

Daken stumbled toward the tunnel they came from, he focused on moving his legs and to keep the pain from his face. One step after another. Pulling back lips in a smile to keep from vomiting. Bullseye surprisingly moved to support him, but Daken stopped him. “Corrosive. Touch me and it’s on you. And you don’t heal.”

Lester nodded and stared at him for a few seconds too long for it to feel comfortable, something between disappointment and boredom colored his face. Daken resisted the impulsive to assert that he was functional in the most visceral way: by kicking the marksman’s sorry ass until he stopped looking at him like that. It was strange not to be able to read Lester’s scent. He felt like he was missing half of the conversation this way, which left him feeling uneasy and vulnerable beneath the anger.

“Stay behind me, in case we get more company,” Daken gritted and hobbled on. He resisted looking back. Another step – keep moving forward.

Daken could feel Lester’s eyes on him, watching him, his heart beat and breathing deceptively steady. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like not having all of his senses there. He felt exposed in a way that had nothing to do with the fact that the bones in his right hand were visible or the shredded and corroded suit exposing both skin and corroding flesh. He would not ask Lester to go ahead of him. He wasn’t weak. Daken kept on moving.

“Will you make the climb? Or do I need to haul you up?” Bullseye asked as they finally halted at the open man hole up to the street and their ride.

Daken glared poison at him and climbed, letting his useless arm hang by his side, proving to himself as well as the other man that he could. He could hear Lester chuckle beneath him and it set the hair at the back of his neck on edge. He told himself that Bullseye knew better than to try anything on the field. He paused briefly on the ladder as something echoed from the tunnels, a faint scratching noise, but dismissed it as rats. Lester climbed up after him and they both settled in the black HAMMER vehicle waiting for them.

Daken let the on-board field medic fuss over him, he neutralized the worst of the acid with some ointment, while the technician removed the tracker out of his neck. Without thinking about it, Daken ended up in a staring contest with Lester as he was being poked and prodded. The assassin’s bright blue eyes were locked on his, steady and cool as they come, a ghost of a smile in the corner of his mouth. Daken cursed the fact that they both smelled to high heaven of sewer and gore, but at least the pain was no longer skewing his senses as badly. It wasn’t until the pain lessened that it struck him that Lester’s previous actions might also have been the same rough flirtation rather than mockery. He viewed him with less suspicious malice and was rewarded with an amused grin from the assassin.

Daken lost the contest as the tracker came off his neck with a sick wet noise, it was burnt and melted, with bits of his flesh stuck to it. Daken reminded himself to get an IT technician to hack into his file for him, he was curious to know what data the tracker had gathered other than his location. It might end up prudent to have said data erased. He’d burnt his contact with Barry at IT, but there was always someone he could use.

Daken waved the technician away, indicating that she should get on with removing Lester’s tracker. He gave Lester a smile and a nod, a peace offering of sorts, which the man acknowledged with a slight growl and by lowering his head. The technician was just starting to work on his tracker as then entire vehicle jarred, tires screeching, sending her flying on the floor.  “What the hell--!?”

“What’s our status?” The soldier hollered into the coms, getting only feedback in reply.

Daken tried his coms but got nothing. “You three, stay here.” He pointed at the technician, the medic and the lone soldier. “Hawkeye, with me.”

“Heh, let’s play.” He stood and paused by the doors for a moment “You’re getting this off me the moment this is over,” Bullseye said and glared at the technician, tapping the back of his head at the tracker, before slipping out after Daken.

Daken stared at the sky and felt a chill down his spine. Large shapes circled the Avengers Tower, swooping down at the ground and its walls with unnatural movements. The Tower was under demonic attack. It seemed as if that aforementioned other team had indeed stumbled on the offending magic user. Or maybe it was just Doctor Strange who got tired of waiting on the phone.

“Fuck, not this shit again,” Bullseye said, voicing both of their thoughts. They exchanged glances as the both of them did the internal mathematics for how much shit they’d be in if they failed to assist compared to the bother of dealing with tank-sized demons that flew.

“Fashionably late?” Daken suggested.

“And risk missing the party? Sentry will have painted the Tower with their guts.”

“Nothing to it then.”

They didn’t make it to the Tower before Sentry started to rip the beasts to pieces – like a child pulling of the legs of a spider if 100 times more terrifying. To their surprise, rubberneckers where out in force, more so than expected, as willingness to risk your life for a frontline view of carnage wasn’t exactly that exceedingly common. The reason for this was quickly deducible. The beasts were not attacking the crowd. They weren’t even flying further than half a mile from the Tower – and nothing was getting closer than half a mile to it.

They made their way through the crowd in their official transport with relative ease and disembarked as close as they could. Daken raised his hand to the empty air where the invisible border seemed to be, feeling nothing but being unable to press his hand further in. Experimentally, he punched it with his good hand, but instead of smashing into anything, his arm was flung back with the same force that he had applied. Daken stumbled back, gritting his teeth at the pain of his injuries tearing at him.

“Think Normie will dock us for this?” Lester remarked snidely, eyeing the empty air that separated them from the Tower. Daken glared at him and waved him to follow as he walked the perimeter around the enclosed Tower, following the barrier with his raised left hand. His other still stung and ached, the re-growing bones of his claws searing his flesh, and the visible pale bone on his arm and hand mocking him for his weakness and failure.

The sound of a strained voice chanting loudly in an unknown language stopped their circuit in a dead halt.

“Well, I be damned. He did get tired of waiting on the phone,” Lester said, echoing Daken’s own previous thoughts, and set his sights on the robed figure of Doctor Strange. Daken frowned and suspected that there was more to this than met the eye, but Strange had threatened them and there were demons. Osborn would have their hide if they didn’t take him out. Besides, Bullseye had already let loose an arrow.

Strange stumbled and the arrow bounced off a shimmering shield. “What? NO!”

“Hiya. You’re under arrest,” Lester said with a cheer and shot again. Daken charged, hoping that whatever protection Strange had it wouldn’t work as well on a more forceful attack.

“FOOLS! You are breaking my concentration. If the shield falls the creatures from the nether dimension will swarm the city!” Strange raised his hand and a flash of light crashed into the both of them, sending them sprawling in a pile of aching limbs and ribs.

“I’m fucking gonna kill him,” Bullseye grumbled and stumbled to his feet. Daken raised his gaze from the dust and reacted on instinct, tackling Lester down. The spray of fuming bile just missed the both of them and the flying beast crashed into the shield that barely held, screeching and dripping the same bile. Stunned, Daken stared at the ground where it had hit; the cement had corroded a foot down.

“Holy shit—“Lester struggled with his leather arm guard that had been splattered with a thin mist of the acid, removing it barely in time to avoid any other injury but a slight burn.

“I’m supposing the opposite,” Daken remarked and patted Lester on the chest. “I guess were even.”

“Nah. You still owe me for round two.”

“I’ll pay in flesh.” Daken climbed off him and stood, offering his hand.

Lester flashed a bright grin at him and took his hand. “By the pound.”

Once more, Daken didn’t quite know if he was once more flirting with him or threatening him.

Both of them backed away with a startle as Sentry smashed the flying beast against the shield and then ripped its head off with a single pull. Tension rose as Sentry hovered in front of Strange, still covered in blood and gore, and tapped on the shield. Strange fell to his knees, his arms still upheld, and sweat running down his brow.

Daken could see Bullseye raise his bow, he stopped him with a hand on his arm, much to Lester’s bemusement.

RELEASE ME.” Sentry’s voice was like a tolling bell, though he didn’t seem to be raising it at all.

Strange shivered and forced himself standing again. “Not until they are all dead. I won’t let you endanger the city more than you have.”

Sentry raised an eyebrow, and Daken saw that his eyes were solid black that seemed to devour all light. Daken could feel his stomach sink and his skin crawl in a way that had nothing to do with his injuries. He fought the urge to cringe and grovel, chiding himself for his response.

Finally, Sentry nodded. “I WILL RETURN.”

Sentry flew away and everyone let out a breath of relief. Lester glanced his way and Daken understood the unasked question beneath the terror of having anything to do with Captain Crazy in his Void moments.  He nodded at Lester who accepted it with an inclination of his head. “Doctor Strange, tell us what happened here before we decide to take our chances with the demons instead.”

Strange bristled and huffed which Daken decided to graciously ignore. “I came here to warn Osborn about an object in his possession. It is a portal to a demonic dimension and not a rich man’s toy or weapon for government stooges. I came too late. All I could do was to contain the chaos.”

“Might bull-sized hellhounds have anything to do with this?”

“What?”

Bullseye rolled his eyes. “Big, ugly fire-and acid-breathing dogs. Dead now.”

“By the Hoary Hoards! You killed them all?”

Daken’s brow furrowed deeper and he got a sinking feeling that things were about to get more complicated. “Yes. Why?”

“They are the hunting hounds of demons – lesser creatures that do the bidding of those too powerful to easily cross over to our dimension. It was quite likely that their death is what pressed the hand of the demons to activate the portal as they feared that their plans had been revealed!” Strange gritted and muttered under his breath as another beast slammed against the shield like a bird against a windshield. The sheer force of the impact felt like a shockwave that nearly made them stumble.

“That seems foolish of them,” Daken remarked and kept an eye on the beast that just got offhandedly eviscerated by Sentry. “Why attack a superior foe who already took out your scouts?”

“Because there is something they desire more than they fear death.”

“Stealth failed, so they fell back to frontal assault? It did them little good.” Daken shrugged and looked up to see Sentry rise into the sky and rip a demon to pieces as he went. “Gave Bob some exercise though.”

“You find this amusing? The lives of millions lie in the balance!”

“What’s a little population control?” Lester mused with a grin. Daken felt a grin tug at his own lips even as fear gnawed at his guts, it was comfortable to rely on the assassin to say something to lighten his mood.

Strange starred at the both of them in horror. “What kind of monsters are you?”

“The kind that still haven’t killed you. What do the demons want?” Daken retorted.

Strange stared at him coolly and weighed his options for several moments before speaking up. “Dominion over this plane. More immediately, objects of power to gain permanent access to our dimension.”

“What should we do about it? Your shield might keep them in, but it keeps us out.”

“Destroy the portal. I won’t be able to hold the shield for long, when it falls you go.”

“We’ll just tell dear ol’ Bob to throw it in the sun and call it a day,” Lester said and looked up in the sky after their Golden God. A shiver went through him as something dark flew across the sky and then the massive corpse fell to the ground in wet splatter of acid and bloody gore. Neither of them were comfortable when the Sentry went all God-Mode.

“That is simply not possible. His presence is needed to keep the demons from swarming the city once the shield fails. In fact, I believe his aura of power will draw them out in millions if he were to try. You will have to close it yourselves. I will grant you an object of power to seal it forever. I cannot enter as I am needed here to keep the city safe.”

“Well, ain’t that convenient for you. Are you fucking with us, Houdini?”

“I am most certainly not. I will not endanger this city and leave it magically undefended in case more of them swarm out from the portal. You have a chance to succeed if you act quickly. But I will not mourn you if you fail.”

“Your honesty warms my heart. But you’re tripping if you think—”

“We’ll do it,” Daken interrupted, grimacing.  He wasn’t a coward. He wasn’t weak. This was his opportunity to prove it to everyone. “Tell us what to do.”

Strange looked them over critically and then instructed them on how to use a gaudy looking gem to seal the portal. There would be a slight window of opportunity as the first wave of demons would have been mostly slaughtered by Sentry. It was risky but doable. Time was of the essence however, and neither of them knew exactly where the portal was.

Bullseye glared at the both of them and Daken knew that the assassin was close to leaving him right then and there. Daken grabbed his arm and tugged him closer. “How far do you think you’d get with that tracker in your skull? This will blow over, and if we’re the ones to resolve it Osborn will owe us.”

“This is not worth my life.” Lester growled and pushed him away hard. Daken hissed in pain, he could feel the bones in his arm shift, and cradled his arm instinctively. The other man stopped and his scent sparked, the same disappointment that had made his blood boil earlier.

Look at you. You can barely function. You’ll never make it.” Lester sneered and looked down on him, and everything Daken had screamed in defiance and agony. He drew his claws, pain flaring as his right ones still hadn’t grown out quite, but before I could try to gut Bullseye there was a bright boom. The shield had fallen.

“Run, you fools! Close the portal,” Strange ordered, and the command tore through everything, making Daken turn on his heel with a final glare at Bullseye, running for the Tower at full sprint.  He didn’t need Bullseye. He didn’t need another weakling dragging him down. All he needed was to put one foot in front of another and move before he ran out of time.

The front doors were ripped out of their hinges and Daken kept on running not certain of where he was going, everything hurt and ripped at him, but he didn’t let it stop him. He was forced to use the elevator shafts and stairs as electricity was failing across the building, lights flickering and alarms blaring in odd intervals. The armory was his best bet. It would be where he would keep an immensely powerful artifact he didn’t want anyone to know about. Corpses, both human and demon, littered his way as he made his way to the lower levels and he knew that he was getting closer to their point of entry as they increased. He had guessed right.

Daken slowed his pace as he could hear screaming around the bend, hiding his scent and hoping to bypass the battle entirely through stealth. As he slunk along the corridor, he was faced with the sight of a waning struggle between a single but monstrous demon and a company of HAMMER soldier lead by Victoria Hand. She was bloodied and wielding a very large gun, taking the final shot that killed the demon. It was nearly beautiful to see her in battle, he could nearly forgive her being a domineering know-it-all.

After a moment’s hesitation, Daken joined her briskly, deciding that he would take the risk for the sake of information. She noticed him with a sour frown, assembling her soldiers around her as she approached him.

 “How did you get in? Last I checked we were trapped here.” Victoria pushed her hair out of her face, the red-dyed locks wanting to fall out of place, glancing around for more targets.

 “I don’t have the time for this, Hand. Where is the portal? It needs to be destroyed.”

“Damn it, I told him.” She cursed and steadied herself. “Sublevel 6. Holding. Let’s move.”

“Try to keep up, I won’t wait for you,” Daken told her and updated her on the situation as they hurried their way down, Victoria took it all with the steely cool of a trained soldier and operative.

“I hate magic,” was her sole comment beyond direct tactical advice. She followed him, they followed him, and the nagging sensation of inadequacy, which had repeated itself in the back of his head since Lester had bailed, abated. Daken was just starting to think that they would pull this off without a hitch until they reached sublevel 4. He had wondered how the flying creatures had crawled their way to the surface and it seemed as if he had found his answer: there was a massive hole that had torn through all the way to the surface. As Daken leaned out over the precipice he could see sky as he looked up and wreckage and gore when he looked down. There was no way across but down.

He asked the only question he could think off: “How far?”

Victoria caught his eye and looked down as well, calculating very quickly with a furrowed brow. “Only 130 feet.”

“I’m jumping. Get back-up.” Daken didn’t wait for her reply but jumped before he could talk himself out of it, hoping that any damage he’d take would heal quickly enough for him to avoid being eaten. He briefly heard her shout something at him but he paid it no mind.

Daken was only in freefall for three seconds, but it felt much longer. He prepared himself for the landing, minimizing the possibility for head or spinal injuries, which would have been more bothersome than others as he could not afford passing out. Regardless, he nearly did as his both his legs broke on impact. Biting back any noises of pain, tasting bile and blood, Daken did the best to ride it out and embrace the pain. He dragged himself up on his feet as soon as he could, thanking the fact that there had been a dead demon on the floor right beneath the passage and the fact that there was no live creatures in the massive room.

As there was no immediate danger, his eyes were drawn directly to the portal shimmered and hummed across the hall. It was huge gate with a pinkish red membrane like water across it. Daken grinned triumphantly, alternately crawling and hobbling toward it with singled-minded determination. Clutching the gem, he mentally repeated the words Strange had instructed him to use when he was within its immediate presence. He had done it. He’d get Norman to pay him dearly for this. He’d rub it in Lester’s and Strange’s face. He would have everyone acknowledge that he had saved the world when he could have easily let it burn.

Daken was not twenty feet away when its surface bulged and rippled, and everything went to hell. A ridiculously huge head full with teeth pushed through the gate, roaring as it set its eyes on him, its breath a familiar mix of acrid and burnt. Daken had no choice but to throw himself to the side as the expected spray of acid flew from its maw, every single drop burning like nothing else. He landed hard on his injured side and felt bone break and, what’s worse, the gem flew from his grip. Daken let out a scream of anger and desperation, slashing blindly at the demon to try to get enough space to move. Surprisingly, it seemed at least distracted by him and he had seconds to spare to avoid certain death. Regardless, Daken took a rake of a claw to his side, a graze by comparison, but did manage to tumble away toward the gem.

Scrambling madly, he threw himself after it and tried to avoid the emerging draconic demon and its deadly breath. It was miraculously enough slower than he expected, still seemingly distracted by something, and he took advantage of that. Just as his fingers graced the gem’s surface, he heard a massive thud, turning his head to see that he was straight in the beast’s line of fire. Daken braced himself, an unwilling whine leaving him as his body cried out in anticipation, the moment drew long enough for him to realize the full extent of his failure. He had lost, it was all lost.

Instead of agonizing death, a war-cry unlike any other ululated in Ancient Greek and a massive battle ax buried itself through the demon’s neck. Blood and ooze splattered and ran down the floor like a flood, making Daken flinch as it seared his flesh. He tried to get to his feet barely managing to crawl away, the gem now firmly clasped in his hand, knowing from the hounds that if he let himself be exposed to any greater amount he’d be crippled for hours. Still reeling, he gazed up at his savior, who was grinning beneath the guard of his bronze Macedonian helmet.

The God of War had descended.

Daken barely cared when he was pulled up to his feet in a rough and agonizing lurch, as he was suddenly very stunned by the stick stench of sewage and death over a familiar scent. He watched Lester sauntered up to him, who grinned at him cheerily with blue eyes flashing, bow in hand. “Told you, I got your back.”

“I thought… that this wasn’t worth your life,” Daken gritted and rested heavily on the other man as he steadied him, he finally noticed that the dragon-demon’s corpse was riddled with arrows. It was Bullseye had been his distraction before Ares had killed it, buying him the seconds needed to survive.

“Wasn’t. So, I went and found a God.” Lester flashed another grin at him and dragged him to the portal, Daken limply let himself be maneuvered.

“Clever,” he rasped with a chuckle and a cough, “How did you get here?”

“Base-jumping parachute and adamantium bones. Best four seconds ever.” Indeed, the other man had the familiar straps of a chute over his torn costume, together with a few new injuries along his midriff and hips. Lester noticed where his gaze went. “Eh, you look worse. I had a run in up top before I got to Ares’, nearly got ripped in half by a nasty motherfucker. Killed it.”

Grudgingly, but with sincere sentiment and no slight pain, Daken managed a quiet: “Thank you.”

Lester just looked at him darkly, his smile flashing across his face briefly before he quieted down and stared up at the gate. Ares had taken guard at its foot, his battle-ax raised and ready. Daken raised the gem, starting to intone the brief and incomprehensible words Strange had drilled in. Initially nothing happened, then its liquid surface quivered and blinked out of existence in a flash.

“That was it?” Lester asked as they all stood still and tense in front of the empty arch of the gate.

“Evidently,” Daken said, staring at the gem in his hand, somehow expecting something.

“Huh. That was anti-climactic, especially after my badass entry.”

“You don’t say.” He relaxed into Lester’s strong arms, the slight hint of surprise from the other man pleased him, and allowed himself to enjoy his success.

It was a slow and awkward trek up to the surface, Daken had little energy to do anything but put one foot in front of another, upward and forward, hanging on to Bullseye to keep standing. Lester didn’t comment on the arrangement, but Daken could scent him beneath the filth. The same ozone and excitement from that morning, which now felt like ages ago, was sharpened by lust and something else that he couldn’t quite pinpoint.

“Why did you really come back?” Daken asked pointedly as they reached a more secluded part. Ares had gone ahead to kill any stragglers and to join up with Victoria, leaving them alone in their much slower trek in the depths of the Towers sublevels among bodies and gore. At least finally the droning alarms had been turned off and nothing seemed to be alive to hurt them, though it would be bad enough to get up with the massive hole between the levels.

Bullseye tensed and his scent shifted rapidly. “As you said, I got a tracker in my skull. Can’t go anywhere else.”

Daken raised an eyebrow pointedly, knowing that the assassin’s strange mood would either prompt him to talk or to act. All that tension he’d carried all day long would not be satisfied otherwise. Lester’s face shifted slightly, his scent a turmoil, and whatever internal battle he was having with himself was tearing him apart as he continued to walk with him, supporting each step and setting a slow and even pace. Embarrassment, anger and arousal flashed across Lester’s features, and Daken marveled slightly at how expressive he was. His blue eyes and pallid skin did nothing to hide his reactions; he frowned and flushed, tensed and shivered. Most of his responses were readable to him even though he didn’t know the precise chain of thought, but one thing stuck out in its inexplicability: fear. It was there in the tension of his throat, the slight tremble of his lips, the cool sheen of sweat with its strong scent of adrenaline and his raised heartbeat. Daken couldn’t understand it. They had won.

“Why aren’t you healing normally?” The question came out of the blue and it was frightened. Had Bullseye been anyone else he would have called it worry, but he wasn’t and he didn’t smell worried. Daken struggled with his thoughts and he glanced down at his body to see what the offending injury was. There was no longer any visible bone, just some raw flesh and a hint of tendon in places, but he knew that his claws had yet to fully grow and he was a bit torn up by the demon’s claws. Four deep lacerations that had mostly closed. He didn’t quite understand Lester’s cause for concern.

He decided to give an honest if brief answer. “I’m fine. My healing factor… it was overextended by the acid. It will recover if I get a few hours of rest. In case you forgot, it took me a whole day to recover from the time you blew me up.”

Lester was quiet and tense, his scent crystallizing with the same ozone tint but the fear was still there, stopping in contemplation. Daken frowned and stared at him until the pieces started to fall into place. It was his body that said the most: the way his hand clutched him closer; the flickering gaze down at him, not his face but the shredded flesh; the way he chewed at the inside of his mouth and the hard turn of his jaw.

“Was that the reason you returned?” Daken inferred several moments of tense silence later. “You thought I would die.”

He guessed that he’d hit the mark as the marksman’s scent flared like an explosion, overpowering even the lingering sewage and acid gore. The venomous glare Daken got didn’t faze him in the least, he merely parted his lips and blinked slowly will raising his chin slightly to the side. Presenting no challenge or threat but that of receptiveness.

Daken didn’t know what to expect when Lester raised his hand and grabbed the side of his face, starring him down coldly. His hands were gloved and rough, smearing blood and filth on him, but there was a constrained effort to withhold force and he trembled with it. His grip could easily be the pivot needed to snap Daken’s neck or that preluding a kiss. Shivers ran down Daken’s spine and he felt both trapped and curiously safe as their eyes locked in silent communication. Lester was looking for permission; permission to hurt him, to fuck him, to have him, to keep him.

It was strangely overwhelming to be the subject of such a gaze and intensity. Daken felt like he was full of static, all his instincts were suddenly screaming at him. He should push Bullseye away, he was too weak, and he couldn’t see where this would go. He didn’t know how to control this.

But Lester had come back for him. No one had ever done that.

A weak animal noise left him, somewhere between a whimper and a moan, and he could feel Lester’s grip tighten. The half second of uncertainty crushed into a brutal kiss as Lester, ever the predator, sensed his weakness and hesitation. Daken could do nothing but cling to him once more and do his best to devour lips and tongue. Pushing away any urge to grovel and beg for forgiveness for his weakness, he dragged Lester with him into fever hot lust. He pushed back until they hit the wall and clutched him hard, matching his strength and ferocity. It was the only sane action he could think of.

Together they tugged at the remnants of their costumes, baring and tearing skin as fabric and Kevlar had sunk and melted into flesh. Daken had more damage, but Lester bled and hissed as the wounds on his thighs and abdomen ripped open, regardless neither of them were deterred by the pain. Urgency and injury had them on the cold floor, struggling, not in anger but in instinctual need to dominate. Daken hissed as Lester pressed and twisted at his arm, yielding to the movement and allowing the other man to trap him beneath him. Again the contradictory emotions of safety and danger burned through him coupled with desire, making him whine and spread his legs. Then Lester was on him and in him, and it didn’t matter.

Daken clutched him and kept him close, panting heavily into his neck and feeling every movement of his body. His mouth fell open at every thrust, but he had no more sounds to give as breathing was all his lungs could do. His head was full of the roar of his own gasps and the growing need for more, harder, faster, as he was filled and fucked raw. Lester, who wasn’t any better off, was a hot trembling mess and Daken didn’t even try to keep track of the things that left his mouth. The general gist was the usual nonsense that people told each other when they fucked and creative profanity. Daken didn’t want to hear it, he would have preferred cruelty or silence to the praised mixed worship.

He was pushed down and held by his throat as Lester picked up the pace, slamming into him artlessly and fervently. Daken stared at his blue eyes and his flushed face, choking for air but utterly disinterested in doing anything about it, as tears stung at his own. Lester’s mouth hung half-open, baring white teeth, a few obviously fake in their brightness and uniformity, and a saliva slick tongue that occasional darted out to lick teeth and swollen lips. He could see where his own teeth had nicked into flesh, drawing blood, as well as the extent of scar tissue from older wounds that riddled the assassin’s face; thin white lines and broad reddish streaks, and places where flesh had been torn off. He was even missing a piece of his ear. The real kicker was when he saw light freckles along his nose and cheek when Lester flushed, it made him want to laugh.  Daken hadn’t really paid attention to it before. He wanted to touch them, taste them, and catalog each and every blemish.

His own body prompted his attention as Lester released his throat and dug both his hands into his hips, coming inside of him with a tremor and holding him still as he rode out his orgasm. Daken wanted to tell him not to stop, to stay and never leave, as he readied himself for the imminent dismissal. Gasping for air and settling into his aching and needy body as oxygen cleared his head, he waited once more. Their heavy breathing was all that filled the silence between them. Daken felt tenser with each second that Lester lingered.

He watched anxiously as Lester finally leaned down, palmed his cock and stroked him, catching his eyes firmly. Daken tried to understand what he was looking for, what he wanted, what button to push, but all he could scent and see was intense desire and possessiveness. It hurt in a way he couldn’t understand. Regardless, Daken met his gaze and relished at the touch of his hand on him and his cock still buried in him. Embarrassingly quickly, he came with a whimper and a full-body shudder, which had him clutching Lester for dear life as he tensed and shook. Lester in turn groaned loudly as Daken’s insides squeezed his cock tightly.

The heartfelt moan of “Stay,” echoed between them.

Daken didn’t know if either or both of them had spoken. He remained still, knowing only his heartbeat and his breath. They remained still in each other’s arms until the sweat of their skin cooled, the blood from their wounds stopped running and their hearts stopped racing. Lester pulled out of him gently, his rough hands and broken lips soothing the loss with reverent touch. Violence would have its place later when their bodies and hearts no longer ached. The entire explosion of need and action had last only minutes, later, there would be time.

He wondered if he should say something. If he should remind Bullseye that now he’d received his pound of flesh. If he should assert that finally Lester had done what he’d wanted him to, like a good little puppet. It’d be safer. It would be easier. It would be exactly what he was trained to do. The thought sobered Daken and he pulled on what was left of his costume, avoiding Lester’s bright and keen eyes.

Daken stumbled, still unsteady on his feet and further dazed by sex, and Lester was there, catching him. Daken squeezed his shoulder and accepted the arm around his waist. Wordlessly, they walked.

By the time they reached the surface, Daken’s wounds had healed well enough for him to walk unaided, but he was reluctant to let go. Lester didn’t say anything, but his fingers dug into his side when he shifted away even slightly. Daken stayed.

In the foyer, Victoria Hand, in-between shouting at HAMMER staff and issuing rapid-fire commands, directed them to go out and update the Director. They walked out into the light to see an argument escalating between Osborn and Doctor Strange, or rather heard it before anything else as Osborn was in full Stormin’ Norman mode and nearly popping a blood vessel. Ares stood near, obviously having debriefed everyone on mission success, looking bored and as intimidating as always. Above them all Sentry hovered like a parody of a religious icon, decked in blood and gore, but mercifully no longer shining with darkness. There probably was no Void.

Daken steeled himself for the confrontation, straightening himself and putting his mask on. He let Bullseye steady him, accepting the show of weakness in favor of keeping his presence.

It was time to receive his reward.

 

 

Chapter Text

Some mornings were special. Lester moved with him, all gentle gasps and low hums of pleasure, no urgency in his taut body and his kisses soft and sweet. Neither of them had anything pressing, no jobs or emergencies prompting them into action. Mornings like this, Lester was nothing like his usual self. The sadistic side of him, always dominating and fighting everything, was too sleep drunk and relaxed to rear its head. While Daken enjoyed that as well, it was a nice change of pace to see a softer side of the assassin every now and then. Languid mornings like this, he could pretend that Lester loved him like normal people did.

Blue eyes stared at him beneath long lashes -- eyes too blue, too clear, for a man like him -- and Lester turned his head to kiss him, gasping into his mouth as Daken pressed into him, settling inside his relaxed body. Daken relished in the chance to fuck him without having to wheedle and persuade, without having to deal with his wounded pride and flushed high-cheeked embarrassment at the act. Like this it was just open pleasure, a strange intimacy without the turmoil of being blood-soaked and high on pain. Daken returned the kiss and cradled Lester in his arms as he set a slow pace, pressed so close, chest to back, that he could feel each and every gasp, shiver and moan reverberate through their bodies.

Morning light bathed the room and played across the slick sheen of sweat rising on their skin. Daken loved the way Lester flushed, how rosy his pale skin became, and the way it made him seem nearly sweet as his full swollen lips parted to murmur his pleasure. Daken wondered how it would be to always have Lester like this, this oddly gentle creature that looked at him with fondness and need. He'd grow to hate him, he supposed and pressed a kiss to his neck. He'd had both men and women who'd been like this, soft harmless things, and after awhile all he'd wanted to do was to squeeze the life out of them. Lester rolled his hips, pressing back against him and taking him deep, making Daken gasp and want to fuck him harder. Still, he wanted to keep the mood, the moment of vulnerability. He had grown to appreciate them, as strange as it felt. They were few, as between the two of them there wasn't much vulnerability to go around.

Kissing him with more heat than intended, Daken pushed Lester closer to his edge, wrapping a hand around his hard cock, but keeping his pace as slow and deliberate as before. Lester's hand came up to grab him by the hair and pull him into a deeper kiss. It was a cute affectation of the mercenary, he really liked being kissed as he was fucked, even when he rode him. It had taken him long to become comfortable not being on top even when he bottomed, and it was still his preferred position when they did. Side-by-side like this was a special treat that Daken took full advantage off. As much as Lester professed to dislike cuddling, he seemed to enjoy it as much as Daken did like this. The animal closeness of it was good, viscerally so, and Daken held him close as Lester came with a near whimper over his hand and the sheets. Gently, he finished off himself before Lester was fully out of his post-orgasmic haze, filling him with his come and refusing to let go.

Damn that's a good way to wake up,” Lester mumbled and chuckled softly, sweaty and limp in his arms.

“You're welcome.” Daken kissed his cheek and nuzzled his face, scenting him deeply. “You know how I love this perfect ass of yours.” He demonstratively pushed himself as deep as he could, enjoying the feel of him around his sensitive cock.

Lester swatted at his side, huffing, his eyes growing sharper and more aware. The curtains and walls falling down again, but Daken wanted to catch him one more time before normality asserted itself. Pressing their mouths together, easing out only the slightest hint of pheromones to relax him for a moment longer, Daken held him tight. Just a little longer, he told himself, just another perfect moment of simplicity and comfort -- of feeling loved. Suddenly, feeling self-conscious and needy, Daken hid his face against Lester's neck, resting his forehead against the back of his head. He could feel the beginning of blond fuzz, Lester would doubtlessly shave today, he was frequently very fussy about that.

“Stay with me,” Daken confessed and pressed his lips to skin, feeling Lester shiver at the coolness of air. The assassin stilled, relaxing again, but Daken could feel the cogs turn in his head, shifting flickers of emotion betraying his lover's chain of thought. He didn't want to think about that. Letting go felt too final. “Let's spend the day in bed. I'll show you just how good I can be.” He planted more kisses along his spine and up to his jaw, skittering away from his lips.

Lester squirmed on his cock and bit at his swollen lips, clearly tempted by the offer. Daken smiled and kissed him again, nipping slightly at his lips as well, little promises of what they could do to each other. He nearly had him, he could tell that he did, but then Lester's phone buzzed on the nightstand. However, that didn't mean that Daken would give up that easy. “Ignore it.”

Lester groused and reached for it with a long arm, glancing at the screen. Daken could read over his shoulder that it was from his agent. A smarmy business type who Daken had no liking for, and less so now at his interruption. “Ignore him,” Daken repeated and kissed Lester throat and nipped at his ear to draw his attention. “If you answer that, I swear I won't stop fucking you. I'll make you moan.”

Fuck you.” Lester tried to squirm away and took the call. “What?”

“Suit yourself, darling.” Daken grinned, starting to grind into him and leave love bites into his shoulder.

Teeth gritted and tense, Lester tried to contain himself, listening to his agents job offers. An assassination in Libya. “Pass.” A business tycoon in Shanghai with Triad connections. “Pass.” Daken sunk his teeth into his into his throat and sucked at his flesh, Lester grunted and tightened on his cock, his own teeth nearly drawing blood from his lips at the force he was trying to muffle his responses. It was actually a bit exciting to watch him like this.

“What did you say?” Lester snapped at his agent, probably having missed the last offer completely. A corrupt former CIA agent selling state secrets. A name Daken didn't quite catch, Benjamin something. Lester's face shifted sightly, and it had nothing to do with Daken fucking his tight ass and giving him a second hickey. “Send me the files,” the assassin grunted and killed the conversation.

Daken realized that he wouldn't manage to keep his lover in bed with him for long. Not when he had a hit that had caught his interest. Still, it didn't mean that he'd stop what he was doing. He had gotten himself fully hard again, and he could tell that Lester was into it as well, regardless of his taciturn attitude.

“Guess I'll have to settle for one final round. Let's make the best of it, love. I think I want to watch you squirm the rest of the day. I want you to feel me and what I've done to you until it drives you desperate enough to drop on your knees and beg me to fuck you again.” Daken kept his voice low and seductive, and he could scent Lester arousal like a thick cloud even as his face flushed with indignation. Daken doubted he'd ever get him to beg, it was far more like like that Lester would slam him into a wall and fuck him raw, but a guy could dream.

“You bastard---!” Lester hissed and moaned as Daken slammed into him hard.

“Manners, Lester. Why, you're making me think you don't want this. Should I just pull out? Leave you open and wanting?” Daken teased, leaving brief kisses to his skin as he held his rough pace, relishing in the sound of flesh hitting flesh and Lester's hammering heart.

“You wouldn't-- ah, fuuuck,” the assassin whined pitifully, already growing hard at the brutal assault on his oversensitive ass. Pain was an aphrodisiac for him, even his own, and Daken knew how to push his buttons with precision. Dull pain was preferable, and more so when he could taste blood. Deliberately, Daken broke his skin in the next kiss they shared, mingling tangy blood with their saliva, making Lester groan eagerly. He was so deliciously responsive.

Daken's thoughts wandered back to his previous musings as he fucked Lester mercilessly, their previous lazy gentleness replaced by sadomasochistic passion and singular need. Did he like Lester better or less like this? Watching him claw at the sheets, loudly crying out and yet not putting up any resistance as his face twisted into a sanguinary grin. Lester enjoyed the abuse on his body, moaning as Daken raked red lines across his skin and bruised his ass and hips with rough hands. Oddly enough, he found himself wanting to be more deliberate and slow again, but he'd gotten Lester into the zone where only increased violence would let him get off. He wasn't so cruel as to deny him that, especially not after having started this.

As such Daken was merciless and rough, but his kisses were soft and nearly tender, as Lester squirmed and cried out a litany of expletives and profanities that amounted to a heartfelt plea of release. Feeling kind, Daken granted it to him with a bruising hold and stress position, arching Lester's spine sharply and a choke-hold on his throat. Strangled gasping left Lester's lips as he came a second time, unassisted, in thick spurts, convulsing on Daken's cock and driving him into his own release with the force of it.

As Lester slackened in his grip, Daken gently released him, rubbing his back slightly to relax the strained he'd inflicted before cradling him again, easing him down. “You liked that, Lester?”

The assassin panted, his broad chest rising and falling rapidly, and managed a slight nod. Daken kissed his cheek and traced his hand over his side, along muscle and ribs, soothing his body. “I'm going to pull out, try to stay relaxed,” he warned and pulled out smoothly, feeling his own come run out as he did. Lester grunted and hissed slightly, he'd be quite sore for the rest of the day, just as intended, but there was no indication that Daken had torn him. “Good boy.” Daken kissed him and patted his ass gently, making Lester hiss again.

“Fuck you too,” Lester huffed, flipping back to his usual contrary self, and started to reassemble himself. The assassin didn't have a long cool-down period, and for a moment Daken wanted him to be that affectionate morning self again. He wanted to steal kisses and lay in bed. Still, he let his lover squirm out of his arms and gingery make his way to the en-suite bathroom to clean off. Staring at his retreating shape, Daken wanted so much more. He longed for something he couldn't have. Something, he had no clue how to live with. He wanted Lester to love him. Not this... approximation that would doubtlessly end when it suited the man.

He'd seen it so many times in the men and women he'd seduced. Those that fell for him truly and deeply, who died for him at his slightest suggestion. Those that came crawling back for even a shred of his affection regardless of what he did. Those who he'd betrayed who still stood there like hopeless puppies. Johnny's smile and pleading eyes intruded into his mind, the outstretched hand and the incessant belief that he could reach him if he just tried hard enough. How brightly he'd burned. Maybe he should have tried, maybe he could have been happy with a kind and loving creature like Johnny, who'd always believed the best of him and smiled at him bright and easy. Lester's smiles and eyes were nothing like his, even at its brightest there was a predator behind them, and a heartlessness that allowed him to turn his back on him whenever it suited him.

Curling up in their sweaty sheets, Daken lingered and felt their come dry on his skin as he cooled down. Maybe it was merciful. He could never hurt Lester, not truly, and he'd never need to fear what he wanted from him. But loving him like this was driving him into places he never wanted to revisit. Donna's disapproving gaze and her desperation flashed through him, the pain of it, and it still hurt. He'd been so broken after the drugs and Marcus and needing someone that her rejection had crushed him more than he could bear. He didn't want to go there again. Still he thought of how it could have been. Donna or Johnny in his bed, being the good guys, and somehow... tolerating him. He didn't want redemption. He just wanted to be loved. Was that so much to ask?

“You're doing that again, shit-for-brains,” came from the bathroom in a gruff huff and Daken looked up listlessly. Lester grimaced and sat down on the bed with him, unexpectedly, his hand settled in Daken's hair. “Stop thinking.”

“'fraid that it's my job to think about things, darling. Just a lot to do,” Daken lied and mustered a easy grin and deliberately relaxed.

“I'm not an idiot.” A gentle caress. “Call your sis or something. You're less dumb after that.”

The unsolicited advice surprised Daken deeply, and he stilled, letting go of the false smile. That Lester had paid any attention to his phone calls with Laura was in itself a revelation, let alone surmising that she had such an effect on Daken. He quashed the sudden paranoid fear for Laura's safety. Lester's statement made that an irrational fear, if he thought about it twice from the man's perspective. She was an asset to him.

“What? I told you I'm not an idiot.” Lester chuckled and caressed him still. “You're overthinking again, I'm not gonna be your shrink, so just get it out of your system somehow. I have too much to do to have time to worry about you freaking out at something stupid again. Call her. Go out and have some sibling bonding over shopping or murder, whatever you freaks do. I can't stand these brooding spiels you go on.”

For being Lester, he was being very considerate and caring. Daken knew that empathy and caring didn't come naturally for the assassin, and this was him doing the best he could. He hadn't needed to, he was making an effort for whatever reason. As clumsy and insulting as it was, it was oddly important to him.

“...I love you,” Daken mumbled into the sheets, surprising himself. His eyes flew wide and he wanted to swallow the words or play them off as something casual. Lester, however, didn't stop caressing him, didn't hesitate or startle, and Daken wondered for a moment if he'd even heard him.

“And?” Daken waited for some kind of explanation or, against all odds, a return of the sentiment. Lester just pet him, gentle and calm, his scent difficult to read.

“What do you think?” Lester asked and amusement wafted off him, making Daken feel childish and petulant when he sat up and glared at him, but before he could spit whatever venomous remark that wanted to spill from his lips, Lester kissed him.

“Are you really that dumb that you need me to tell you stuff like this? Can't you just smell it on me like everything else?” Lester scoffed and Daken stared numbly at those bight blue eyes of his -- they felt as merciless as a cloudless sky in a wasteland. He couldn't.

“You don't smell anything like the others--”

Lester sighed and rolled his eyes. “I'm not infatuated with you. I'm not some pheromone addled lovesick fool. Fuck, I can't believe this---” Embarrassment colored his cheeks. “You think I'd let anyone else fuck me? That I'd pretty much live with you like I do if I damn well didn't? That I'd forgive you for the shit you've pulled?”

Daken stared at him and swallowed hard, still not believing what he was implying. “Say it. Lie to my face.”

“I should fucking punch you.” Lester cupped his face in both hands. “I love you, fuckhead,” he enunciated the words overly clearly. Daken couldn't smell a lie on him.

“Again,” he demanded.

“Now you're pushing it.”

“Say my name and tell me.” Daken nearly growled, grabbing Lester's wrists and holding them tightly. “Or I swear I'll stab you.”

Of all the -- fine, all right. I love you, Daken,” Lester repeated, with much the same result. “Happy now, you crazy bastard?”

Daken stared at him for a beat, still a bit dumbfounded and incredulous, before lunging forward and kissing him like his life depended on it, still holding his wrists in his hands. Lester was probably too emotionally incompetent to even understand what he as saying, but he believed in it. And right now, Daken could live with that.

As their kiss broke, Lester pulled back slightly, clearly uncomfortable. “You done with your hissy fit? Some of us have work to do.”

“You think I'm gonna let you leave me after telling me you love me?” Daken purred and pulled him close again, fully willing to fight him to make him stay.

“Yeah, I am. Or you'll won't get to fuck me ever again.” Lester meant what he was saying, Daken smelled it on him, and grudgingly let him go.

“You're cruel.” He mockingly pouted at his lover. “Don't think I'll let this go, Lester. We're gonna talk about it.”

Fine. Just let me take care of this job in peace first, it's a big one.”

“When's a mere ex-CIA agent been big? They're a dime a dozen.”

“Not this one.” Lester's smile was chilling now and Daken suspected that it was personal. “You just go hang with your clone sis and let me do my thing. I know how much it bores you when I do research.”

“Fine, I'll have a wonderful day without you.” Daken rolled out of bed and pointedly went to have a shower without looking back at at the assassin. He didn't miss the laughter at his expense, which made him twice as determined to ignore him until he came crawling back to him.

When he was done with his extensive grooming and deliberately lengthy shower, Daken got dressed in a pointedly low cut soft sweater and a pair of boxers, wandering out to the living room with as much casual sexual charm as he could.

Lester was sitting on the couch, engrossed in his laptop, staring at the screen with his brow furrowed with intent and a creeping smile on his lips. Clearly, the man was imagining himself in all possibilities of the upcoming kill, going through all the calculations and scenarios with uncanny precision. In his own way, Lester was brilliant. His mind was flexible, problem-solving and dogged, and had he had some more education and a different drive he could have achieved so much. As it stood, all he had was a mind made for murder and little else, beyond a curious preoccupation with existential philosophy.

Daken sauntered to the coffee machine and set it up for an espresso, leaning against the kitchen counter as he waited for his cup. Lester wasn't paying him any attention so Daken took the opportunity to observe him across the room. He was a handsome man beneath all those scars, a very masculine kind of beauty over the sharpness of his profile and the contrasting full lips... He wanted to walk over and steal a kiss or two, or to get him to wrap those lovely lips around his cock. He wanted to tear his expensive clothes off his body, all purchased by Daken, and do more than just leave a few hickeys on his throat and shoulder. Though he did love the way one peeked out from beneath Lester's collar, a stark bruise on his pale skin. Daken toyed with the fantasy, biting his lip to restrain himself.

The noise behind him stopped.

Picking his cup up and sipping on the hot brew, Daken returned to stare at his lover, turning him around in his head like a puzzle to be solved. Did Lester really love him? Was he even capable of it? He did believe himself to be, of that there was no doubt after his little demonstration, but what it was just his misconception at feeling anything positive about anyone other than himself? His arousal and fondness being misinterpreted as love, because of course the psychotic Bullseye would have no frame of reference? Daken had made the assassin feel many things. He couldn't stop second-guessing everything, because he knew just how easy it was to manipulate people.

“I can feel you stare at me. Stop, or I'm leaving,” Lester announced without glancing away from the screen.

“Just wanted to know if you wanted some coffee.” Daken sipped his espresso with feigned ease.

No.”

“Suit yourself,” Daken said and looked away. Calling Laura was starting to feel like a good idea, he'd drive himself mad sitting here and waiting for Lester to be done with his job. He had things to do himself. Important things.

He texted Laura to meet him at a cafe, hoping that she was in town.

A dreadfully sexually frustrating and nerve-wrecking hour later, he received a reply that she'd meet him in forty-five at the cafe. Now fully dressed, Daken kissed Lester on the cheek and left without further ado. It didn't matter if he was early, better wait there, instead of hanging around trying to to seem like he wasn't utterly preoccupied with Lester.

 

As it was, he ended up sitting at the cafe for nearly half an hour, being on his second mocha latte with extra foam when Laura arrived. She still had a smell of blood on her, the Wolverine had been on the prowl, but she was in her tasteless civilian clothes. He really needed to take her shopping. Daken waved a waitress there, giving the girl a sultry smile and ordering Laura's hot cocoa for her. Laura settled at his table just as the girl left.

“Laura. Everything well?” Daken gave her a pleasant smile and sipped on his drink, licking the foam off his lips.

“Daken. I have been busy.” Laura looked around, giving the place a obvious once-over, cocking her head slightly at the radio that was playing behind in the kitchen. Daken had been ignoring it mostly, popular music seldom interested him and talk-shows even less. She seemed a bit tense.

“Trouble?”

“Some, nothing I cannot handle. It's more taxing than I thought to be on a team with... young people again.” Laura disclosed, he hummed in agreement, knowing her difficulties with people who weren't like them -- normal, emotional, and naive people. She tried too hard to fit in instead of just adjusting the people around her and wearing a mask. He knew she could. Not like him of course, but her training had included covert ops and infiltration.

“Is it the boy?” He asked and sipped his mocha, glad to be on the topic of someone else's love life. The radio in the back played on as Daken let Laura consider her answer at her own pace, not forcing her to adjust to him.

Finally, she stated with a somber tone and steady eyes. “He broke up with me.”

“Should I take on my brotherly duties and snap his pretty wings?”

Laura shook her head and told him firmly. “No. You leave them all alone.”

“Pity. I had looked forward to that part of having a sibling I actually liked.” Daken sipped at his mocha again, flashing her a toothy grin. Had Laura been the type to sigh, she probably would have. “His loss, he wasn't nearly worthy of you, sister. Did he have any excuse?”

“The reality of who and what I am were too much for him to bear. I can understand that it was hard for him to see me get hurt, but I am Wolverine. It's my job, so that no one else gets hurt.” Laura popped her claws briefly, withdrawing them as the waitress moved in to bring her her cocoa. It had extra marshmallows, just like she liked it. He'd be a lousy brother if he didn't notice things like that, especially after over a year of socializing.

That was his issue? For crying out loud, that's just pathetic. Lester frequently tears out my internal organs and watches me get beaten to a pulp, and all that does is turn him on.” Daken huffed and leaned back.

“Your boyfriend is an unstable psychotic and a sadist. I don't think he counts as a reference for normal or acceptable behavior,” Laura interjected and her brow furrowed as she stared down her cup. “I don't understand what he wanted of me. I tried to keep things happy and easy. Keep him happy. But he kept on telling me not to take risks, not to get hurt; how am I supposed to be Wolverine and not take risks?”

Daken eyed her over, trying to understand her wishes to be a superhero and do the whole saving people gig. He wouldn't put himself through anything, other than for himself and his own gains. However, this was what she wanted. “Male territorial behavior, possessive and juvenile,” he stated and thought it over. “He thought it was his job to protect you. You don't need his ineffectual protection. You're much stronger and better than him. He might be right in that you risk yourself needlessly for others, that's not my place to say and you already know my opinion, but if he can't take it, it's not your problem. It's his,” he declared flippantly.

Laura frowned deeper and warmed her hands on the hot beverage, she didn't seem to convinced by his argument. Behind all the chatter around them, the radio switched to a news rapport, nothing interesting. Nothing even a fledgling superhero would rush off too. Daken let her stew on his words, drinking his mocha slowly and trying to keep his own mind away from relationship troubles. It wasn't going so well, and all he could think about was Lester telling him that he loved him.

“He told me he loves me,” Daken blurted out. If Laura was going to share her trouble, he might as well unload his on her.

“Does he?” Laura looked up at him and cocked her head.

“He is not lying.”

“How do you feel about that?” She had since they met prodded him about his feelings.

“I want him to. I - I need him to. I love him.” It was pointless to lie to her. He hadn't felt this self-conscious and awkward in ages.

Laura looked at him with gentle surprise and, unexpectedly, her hand reached out to grab his. “I'm happy for you. He's not a good person, but I'm happy for you.”

Daken laughed. “I don't have high expectations, exactly, he is an unstable psychotic sadist after all. I seem to have abysmal, if terrifyingly attractive, taste in men. But regardless, I want to keep him.” He finished of his mocha, letting himself take in the noises. The radio said something about a incident downtown. He watched Laura tense up and raised his hand to halt her. “Let the police take care of it. I doubt it needs a superhero's touch.”

Laura settled, but he knew that her ears were locked on the news rapport. A name came up, Benjamin something and Daken started to listen in himself. Few moments later, a man was said to have died, shot to death from a distance. Laura rose to move again but Daken caught her wrist. “It's over now,” he stated firmly, knowing that it had to be Lester's work. Laura locked eyes with him and he saw understanding dawn on her.

“Let me keep him, Laura,” Daken asked of her, not quite pleading with her. “Many of the people he kills are as bad as him. That was a dirty ex-agent selling out national secrets to the highest bidder. There was no need to save him. No one to mourn him. It was probably his own government who paid to have him killed. He would have died one way or another.”

“That doesn't make it much better.” Laura told him but sat down again, taking a deep gulp of her hot cocoa. She was mad at him.

“It's the way of the world, sister. People will die. You can't save them all.”

You could have saved this man.”

“True. But why would I care to?” Daken shrugged and smiled, rising from his seat. He left their waitress an ample tip. “Walk with me.”

Laura rose and walked with him, seeming as if she was trying to both keep him safe from the rest of the world as much as she was protecting the world from him. It was endearing. She was still instinctively protective of him after the loss of his healing factor, regardless of him having regained it. He didn't need her protection or help for anything. He did however have nightmares where he was half-blind and dismembered, weak and vulnerable to everything, feebly mortal. He wondered how normal people lived with that knowledge day after day. Lester seemed to be too insane to give a flying fuck, unless pressed to the brink. He behaved as if he was deathless, utterly reckless of course, but it made him charming.

News feeds filtered over the din of noise, repetitions and details of the murder, a smile touching Daken's lips. Lester would be preening and when he got home he'd have all the time in the world to show him just how much he loved him. Daken was very keen on the concept of proof, and putting your money where your mouth was, from his lover.

Curiosity had him linger by a window displaying the news from inside, arm-in-arm with Laura. Just as he was leaving, moving on to tell Laura everything about the most wonderful restaurant, a photo came up of the dead man. It was old and not the best quality, but Daken would recognize that face anywhere. His knees went weak and his mind went blank, hadn't he been holding on to Laura he would have stumbled.

“Daken? You're all white, what's wrong?” He heard Laura say and she was holding him tightly.

“It's a mistake. Yes, it's a misunderstanding.” Daken stared at the screen and the photo of the alleged Benjamin Poindexter. Blond and blue-eyed, a handsome devil in an army uniform with a cruel twist of his full lips. It had to be one of the last 'civilian' photos there was of Lester, or 'Benjamin' as it where, before the costumed persona had become his life. Daken remembered reading something about him possibly being a previous CIA asset, in between all the regular black ops he'd done. The photo was shown side by side with an even blurrier photo of a man, who looked like an older version of the young soldier. He was scarred and wore a toque over his head, none of that blond hair showing. There might have been something like a bruise on his neck.

Next, there was a macabre clip of the man getting shot, blood spraying from his back, a high caliber bullet in the heart. Not a head shot. Because a head shot would be a wasted bullet on him --

Laura was still holding onto him and had towed him aside, away from the distressing news and the crowd of people. “Daken, I need you to talk to me.”

He glanced at her and choked up, oh Kami-sama, he'd stopped her from saving him. Because why should he care...? No, no, no.

Firm hands grabbed his and held him still. “Daken, please breathe.”

Laura. Laura was there.

“He can't be dead. He was supposed to kill this... this impostor. It must be a plan, an alias that he burned with someone who looked just enough like him. Not many recognize the infamous Bullseye without the suit and the scar. I'm gonna kick his ass so hard for pulling a stunt like this, I swear, I'll make him regret even thinking of doing this without running it by me---” Daken rambled and dug his phone out, calling Lester, but it said that the number was disconnected. He tried his emergency back-up. “Pick it up, asshole. Pick it up right now---” Disconnected. “I'll kill him myself. I swear I'll kill him.”

Brother, listen---”

“I'm gonna kill him,” Daken repeated and his voice cracked, he drew a shaky breath, lungs hurting, whining as he exhaled.

“He's not dead, Daken. You said it yourself, he took a hit on himself. You don't do that and actually kill yourself,” Laura pointed out. She was right, yes, of course she was. He was so going to kill – he felt himself choke up again – kick Lester ass for this. He'd live on the couch for weeks. He just needed to see him and tell him what an inconsiderate piece of shit he was right to his face. Preferably with his fist.

“I'll get you home.” Laura was dragging him along, and Daken had no clue how she actually managed to get him back to his Manhattan apartment. There was no one home. Lester wasn't home. He could scent it the moment he opened his door. Just stale sex and coffee beans.

All he could think of was that something had gone horribly wrong in Lester's 'brilliant' plan, that in his recklessness he'd actually gotten himself killed. That it had been an elaborate trap. He watched the news, waiting for any indication that the assassin Bullseye had died, or been arrested, or that this Benjamin had nothing to do with the previously shown photo of the soldier. The clip of the man being shot went on repeat. A jolt of impact and spray of gore. Again and again, together with a smiling Lester in his fancy uniform looking sharp and young.

He barely noticed Laura until she insisted that they closed off the TV. They always lied on the news anyhow. She said she would call her contact at S.H.I.L.E.D. if he didn't show up soon. She promised that she would and Daken believed her, Laura didn't lie to him. The ass-kicking he'd give Lester if he had to bust him out of S.H.I.E.L.D. detention would be a thing of legend. He'd make him sorry he was ever born. Then he'd never let him go, and damn well make sure he never ever set foot outside of their home without him to keep his dumb ass alive and safe.

It was close to two am, when Daken heard someone walk toward their door, a familiar scent catching his nose. He was on his feet in seconds, scrambling over the couch he'd been miserably huddled up in with Laura by his side. Just as the door opened and a familiar face in unfamiliar clothes stood there with a slight grin on his full lips, Daken threw a devastating punch straight at his idiotic face. He could feel his knuckles break at Lester's adamatium skull, but the impact was enough to send the other man sprawling.

“YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!” Daken screeched and went into for a drop kick aimed at his stupid face. Lester rolled out of his range and Daken could feel someone holding him back, pulling him into the apartment again. “I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna rip your cock off and choke you to death with it---”

“Holy shit, man---” Lester gasped and climbed to his feet, rubbing his jaw and spitting blood on the floor. Still, he followed them in and closed the door behind him. Then he did something monumentally stupid and stepped right into Daken's range again and kissed him. Daken cordially kneed him in the groin. As Lester whimpered and crumpled, Daken kissed him harder and let himself bite down on his lips, drawing blood. Laura had let go of him, he could still feel her presence linger uncertainly.

“Thank you, Laura. Everything is fine. You can go home now,” he gritted out, trying to compose himself. “I'll call you tomorrow.”

“Try to remember that you actually love him.” Laura reminded him and made a discrete exit, giving Lester a disapproving glare.

“What the fuck---?” Lester wheezed and stared at him.

“Your bright idea to fake your death without telling me. I had to find out on the news,” Daken hissed venomously.

“What, you actually thought---? I 'killed' an old alias, used a body-double. Surely, you understood that the moment you heard?” Lester asked, incredulous and confused, still pained from Daken's assault on him.

“Would it have killed you to tell me first? Or answer your fucking phones?”

“What? I never run jobs by you, and I don't take calls on them either unless it's a secure channel. You know that. What the Hell has crawled up your ass and died?”

“I thought you were dead. You tell me you love me and then you go and stage your own death. How the fucking else am I supposed to feel other than really fucking pissed off? You had me worried to fucking death, and I swear if Laura hadn't stopped me I'd have killed you! I sat for hours and waited for you. Just a single word from you.” Daken voice cracked again and his cheeks felt wet.

“...sorry.” Big blue eyes stared down at him, and Daken struggled to stay angry at his inconsiderate asshole of a lover.

“Sorry, fucking sorry?! That's all you have to say? Fuck you. Get the fuck out---”

Lester kissed him again and Daken punched him in the side, he took the hit and refused to let go of him. Daken hit him again, but then clung onto him, kissing him desperately. “I hate you,” he lied.

“I love you too,” Lester told him, holding him tightly, considerate enough not to point out the tears on his face. After a few moments, Daken pulled away from his arms and moved to the bedroom. Lester followed right behind him.

“Where do you think you're going? You're sleeping on the couch,” Daken spat and closed the bedroom door behind him nearly right into Lester's dumbstruck face.

He stripped, washed off and crawled into to bed with a huff, pretending not to listen for every movement Lester made. Their sheets stank of sex and Lester. He should have changed them. He couldn't settle. Tossing and turning, Daken listened for Lester's presence, straining every moment it felt too faint or far away. He was starting to get angry at himself. What had he expected from him? Had he really thought that Lester, the reckless unstable psychotic sadist, would think twice about anything, let alone his feelings? It was starting to sound like he was the idiotic one. It took him a good few hours of what Lester called his brooding, to get up out of bed and make an angry beeline to the darkened living room. Lester was fast asleep on the couch. Alive and well. Here.

Daken grabbed a throw pillow, one of the hard-packed ones, and forcefully smacked him over the head with it. He had considered using the table lamp.

“Fucking shit--” Lester was awake and pretty much ready to fight, a blade in his hand, panting hard and peering at him in the dark. “Daken?”

“Come to bed, asshole,” Daken gritted and left for their bedroom again without further ado. He heard Lester grumble, but obediently trail after him. Daken didn't fully relax until he felt Lester settled down next to him, hesitantly reaching out with a cool hand. Wordlessly, Daken buried himself against his chest when he felt his touch.

“Ever do anything like that again, I'll make you suffer,” Daken whispered into the darkness. “I love you too much to lose you. I need you to stay with me.”

“All right.” Lester pressed a kiss to his head, and Daken decided that he'd hold him to that. Regardless of what it took.

 

Chapter Text

A half a ton of a robot – or possibly an exosuit – ravaging through Central Park and ruining a perfectly good day, wasn't how Bullseye had imagined his morning. Especially not when he'd been on the job himself and lost his target in the ensuing chaos. It seemed as if his double-dipping CEO would live to see another day and to grace the world with his godawful track suits and embezzling ways. Then again it had been a low priority job, not because of the fee which had been truly worthy of him, but because it was fundamentally easy. The only challenge involved was to make it seem accidental and tragic for the press.

Groaning and skipping backward to avoid the now airborne hot dog cart, Bullseye still held on to his cup of coffee without spilling a drop. While he wasn't tending toward rubbernecking, he was vaguely curious to whom, be it villain or superhero, who'd ruined his day. He might even kill the loser himself for making him spend yet another day on this sad ass case. As it was, the robot was soon joined by a humanoid combatant who moved at his speed, leaping and striking down with precision. It didn't take him long to identify the man, actually it made him spill his coffee over his jacket when the saw the signature claws and mohawk. Gaping and dripping wet over his front, Bullseye stared, becoming a bit mesmerized by Daken as his blood splattered on the ground.

Bullseye hadn't seen the mutant since the battle of Asgard, years back, but Daken looked just the same – though if anything his fighting style had improved. This wasn't how he'd ever imagined their reunion – and especially not with the terrigen crisis having driven nearly all surviving mutants into hiding. Then again go figure that Daken hadn't cared to adhere to caution or sensibility. As evidenced by the fact that he was currently fighting a giant robot in Central Park. Bullseye sipped the last of his coffee reflexively and gathered himself, debating whether he should leave or not.  That decision was made for him when the robot aimed its canons at him.

“STOP, OR I WILL KILL THIS MAN!” boomed out from the robot, the speaker severely misjudging both him and Daken. On one level, he could get the logic behind this, he was the only bystander still present, seemingly frozen in starring at the fight. Had Daken been some heroic type, and an innocent terrified civilian had been cornered like this it might have made him prioritize his safety over the fight. The mutant paused and shared an incredulous look with him, the first acknowledgment of his presence since the whole mess began. It shouldn’t have made him feel self-conscious nor made him fix his stance to something more dignified than coffee stained and stunned.

“Hello Lester, quite the coincidence,” Daken greeted him after a moment, as if he wasn't being held at gunpoint but rather just having gone to the same bar.

“Somehow I doubt that,” Bullseye groused in reply, crossing his arms and tapping his empty cup with a finger in agitation. “You ruined my hit.”

“Sorry,” Daken said in an insincere tone, “assaults on my person seldom consider your schedule. I'll make sure to check in with you next time -- would next Tuesday afternoon work for you? I'd hate to inconvenience you again with trifling matters such as this.”

Meanwhile, the controller giant robot seemed to have lost their patience with them, or at least decided to resolve their confusion about the events, the speakers turning on again – that telltale click and crackle probably indicating a remote user rather than internal speakers. “YOU KNOW EACH OTHER. EVEN BETTER. I WILL ANNHILATE YOU BOTH UNLESS YOU SURRENDER IMMEDIATELY.”

Both assassins turned to look at the robot with a mix of incredulous agitation. Bullseye looked it over and tried to make out the make and model. He usually learned the weak points of most weapons, made his job much easier. Furthermore, he didn’t like being interrupted by fools.

“Stark round 09', modified with the latest Hammer tech?” He glanced at Daken for confirmation.

“Thereabout, modified exhaust ports though. Protected in this version,” Daken clarified and cocked a brow at him, waiting for his input, “your point?”

“That this clown is really starting to annoy me.”

“WHAT – YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO—? EH-HRM. I WILL DESTROY YOU FEEBLE HUMAN, I WILL--“

Bullseye didn't let him finish, he threw the empty cup at Daken and rushed into action. In a practiced set of leaps he was on top of the robot, away from its deadly guns and straddling the 'head' of the thing, looking for the release valve that had in later Stark tech models been relocated to a more secure, and less easily accessible, place.

“YOU CANNOT DO THAT! TREMBLE BEFORE ME FOR I AM-–”

“A heap of junk,” he finished and tore the valve open, breaking the seals and killing the hydraulics in the machine.  For good measure, he tore the wiring, the speakers dying with a crackle and a whine. No point in letting the shit-stain at hand listen in or have an easy time repairing the machine.

As Bullseye climbed off the now immobilized robot, Daken was tapping his foot and giving him an annoyed glare. “I had intended to get him to tell me where he was, or at least lead me to my actual target.”

“Boo-hoo. You ruined my hit, I ruin yours,” he hissed and sauntered up to the mutant, shoving his shoulder. “Also, you owe me a coffee.”

“You asking me out for a coffee date?” Daken leered and moved into his personal space as response, challenging him to a stare-off.

Bullseye held his glare, teeth clenched and then, without breaking eye contact for a moment, countered, “I'm telling you to reimburse me. Be happy I'm not asking for a new jacket too.”

“Why don't you strip and I will.”

“Just get me my goddamn coffee, Junior.”

“It’s a date then.” Daken held his glare and smiled, a rakish show of teeth, and shifted to his side in smooth movement, linking his arm with his. Bullseye immediately tried to tug free but Daken held him fast while starting to lead them away from the mess they'd made. “Oh, don't make such a fuss, darling. Let's walk somewhere where they serve coffee and catch up on old times. I promise I'll caffeinate you and throw in a breakfast too – or something sweet, if you prefer. Have you had breakfast?”

“No – I mean, that's not your business,” Bullseye protested, but let himself be dragged away. Daken always had this effect on him, making him go along with things even when he normally wouldn't. Having him close had always made him a bit stupid, one way or another.

“Since I'm getting you breakfast, it really is, Lester,” Daken purred and continued their walk on the semi-deserted park, people having run away from the huge robot fight. His free hand rose to linger in his arm, his touch warm and distracting. The May weather was still perfect, just like Daken was always perfect, and it had been years since... Bullseye stopped himself mid-thought and gave Daken a dirty glare.

“What?” the other man asked with faux innocence, wide-eyed and smiling slightly, his fingers caressing him, nails painted black just like he remembered them, and their arms still locked together.

“Stop it. I know what you're doing and unless you stop it, I'll ram a blade up your eye-socket,” Bullseye gritted, hating the loss of control the other man incited in him, “I'm not fucking joking.”

“Oh now, Lester. I'm not doing anything to you, not intentionally. But I promise, I will do my best to suppress any pheromones until you deem otherwise. Scout's honor,” Daken told him solemnly and then quirked the sunniest smile he had at him, hanging on his arm fawningly.

“You were never a scout.”

“Details,” Daken dismissed and waved it away with his hand, “but fine, on my father's grave: no powers. Just my charming personality and devastating looks.”

“I will stab you.”

“I'll look forward to it.” That same cocky grin and those dark eyes that always seemed to look right through him, appreciatively. He had to admit that the discomfort of his jeans was all natural. It had been a while.

“Fucking nutjob,” Bullseye grumbled, but didn't worm his arm out or break Daken's fingers for yet again resting on his arm. Not even when people started to appear again, wandering in couples, jogging or just out with their dogs for a walk. If anything, he realized, people paid less attention to them than they had to him alone – then he'd been avoided and given a wider berth. Intimidation, he assumed, in a sense Daken made him less of a threat. New Yorkers were a bit of a breed of their own, not even a public robot fight fazed them long, or made them reconsidering their daily jogs. It made Bullseye’s lips quirk; he loved this city.

A coffee cart was along their way and Bullseye pointed it out to Daken, not wanting to end up trapped in a coffee shop or long conversation – wary of what he might say, or do, if given the chance.

Daken scrunched his nose at the, quite probably, burnt smell and gave him a disappointed look, “That's not coffee or breakfast. That's glorified piss water.”

“Ain't wanting fancy, just a fucking cup of joe.”

“Doesn't mean you have to court food poisoning and horrible swill,” Daken hissed, still scrunching his entire face up as the smell from the cart became evident to Bullseye too. He didn't mind it.

He laughed at him, for his face and his fussiness. “Snob.”

Daken glared up at him, lips pursing, tugging at his arm. “You'd be too if you could actually smell that. No, I'm not going to poison you or expose myself to that. I'll get you something better. There's another place, in the park, I promise, that's at least decent.”

“Fine.” Bullseye rolled his eyes and let Daken drag him along, grinning at his whining and his theatrics over the smell and quality of cart food and drinks. Bullseye was a New Yorker, cart food was what it was, and you grew to like it in a way.

As they walked, he found himself looking at Daken, not just at his pretty face and fashionable clothes – at him. In a way it didn't feel like years had passed since they last met. Since he last even set eyes on him, truth be told. He'd heard rumors about him working with Mystique and Sabretooth, repeatedly and in various ways, and something about him causing waves in both Mardripoor and LA a few years back. Despite the years of separation, Bullseye felt comfortable with the mutant – in a way that had nothing to do with the fact that they'd fucked or pheromones. He was a strange constant, as mercurial as he was, and Bullseye felt like anything he did would just work for the two of them.

Daken’s vicious diatribe at some financial enemy, the spite and joy in him, made Bullseye felt that old tug of arousal, mixed with a strange fondness for the man himself. “I told you not too.”

“I'm not. You know I'm not,” Daken said without hesitation, breaking his own rant, knowing very well the only thing he could be referring to. “Is it that bad for you to admit that you maybe missed me? That you want what used to be between us – even now?”

Bullseye didn't look at him. He didn't want to see those eyes mock him or that smile tease him into something he didn't want. The arm locked on his was warm and grounding, and it would be so easy to just break it, to break Daken's perfect face, and all ties to him.  He could leave. It was just a cup of coffee.

Bullseye told himself that up until the moment he had Daken alone in a near clearing, slammed against a tree, their mouths pressed together and their hands fervently working each other’s pants down. That hot flash of lust was there, not the maddening feeling of pheromones driving him to frenzy, but that deep feeling of need and want that Daken could provoke all on his own. He should have realized that this would be the only possible outcome between the two of them, unless they were fighting. In the way his mouth fit against Daken’s, in his taste, his lips, and the stubble of his sharp jaw and chin. He wanted to keep kissing him, to breathe the same air as him, and to hold on to him as much as he wanted to fuck and tear him into beautiful bloody pieces beneath his hands. Years had done nothing to dull the ache of him, just to add yearning to it and a need to assert every inch of skin as his once more.

Panting, flushed and chest heaving, Bullseye stared into Daken’s eyes, beneath those long dark lashes that gave him a permanent lust look, and he wanted so much more than just a quickie in a park. Daken looked back at him and, for a moment, he swore that there was something soft behind those cold eyes. Abashed by his – their? — emotion, Bullseye dropped to his knees and took Daken into his mouth. He smirked slightly at the older man’s surprise, taking him in deep, not pausing to think or taste. After a few bobs of his head, he got into the pace of things, working his tongue beneath the shaft and sucking at the head as he pulled back. He hadn’t done this since the last time they had been together.

Glancing up at Daken, Bullseye blew him, trying to remember just how Daken liked it. He loved the way he flushed, the dazed look on his face and the noises, soft little groans, he made – it was evident that he remembered enough at least, regardless of how out of practice he was. His knees felt cold on the ground and he could feel himself drool from the corners of his swollen mouth as he worked Daken’s hard cock.  Still his balls tightened and his cock felt hard and heavy, distracting enough to make him start to jerk himself off, thumbing the head of his own cock as he worried Daken’s with his lips. After a while, Daken’s hand on his head gently pushed him to take him all the way in, gagging slightly, Bullseye managed, pressed into Daken’s groin as he was. Small mercy, the man trimmed and he wasn’t overtly huge, but it was a bit of a chore – even as he knew that he was hard and leaking himself. He let go of his cock and gripped Daken’s hips, not really resisting the deep pace Daken wanted, but bracing himself. Despite not having done this for years, Bullseye managed to hollow his cheeks and suck as he was deep-throated, much to Daken’s loud appreciation.

Suddenly, Daken pulled back, making him gag and spit by doing so, bleary eyed Bullseye looked up at him for guidance. He knew that he was flushed and that he had drool down his chin, but he made no effort to hide it, nor did he feel any embarrassment. Daken had seen him in a worse state. He'd done much worse to Daken too.

“I want to come in your ass,” Daken said, his voice dark and hoarse, as if he’d been the one choking on dick. Daken made the vulgarity sound seductive and good, making his ass clench and sending shivers down his spine. Slightly dazed, it took Bullseye a few moments to clamber on his feet, and he realized that he didn’t want to say no to that. He nodded and let Daken turn him around, tugging down his pants to his ankles. The brisk air made him shiver as much as anticipation did, Daken's touch on his ass felt hot and necessary. He wanted him.

Bracing himself against the tree, panting and feeling as if he’d been running for miles, Bullseye finally felt Daken’s fingers enter him, saliva slick, with a slight burn. That – that had been a while too. Daken made quick work of preparing him, still making a point of rubbing his prostate for a while to relax him, and it wasn’t long until he felt the blunt head of the mutant’s cock press at him. Taking a shaky breath and relaxing into it as best as he could, he felt Daken’s cock push into him in a slow drag. The initial burn and fullness, made him grunt and slightly rise on his toes, until he could feel him brush across his prostate again and deeper past it.

Leaning in, Daken murmured to him, “It’s all in, babe. Fuck. I love watching you take my cock nearly as much as I love putting it in you.”

Shaking from his thighs to his belly, Bullseye swallowed heavy, glancing back over his shoulder at Daken. The sight of him was nearly as good as the feel of him inside him. His flushed face, the predatory focus and pleasure, and that look in his eyes that made his knees weak.

“Wait—I need… I need to adjust,“ he groaned as Daken’s hips shifted, making him bite his lip and flinch as he could feel the head of Daken’s cock brushing over his prostate again.

“Oh, it’s been that long, darling?” Daken purred, his hands caressing his sides soothingly, “I’m surprised you could keep yourself from it, considering how much you love this.”

Blushing deeper and glaring at him, Bullseye spat: “Go die in a fire.”

“I thought you wanted to stab me,” Daken said, thrusting pointedly at the word making him groan and sink back against him to get him deeper and harder.

“Just fucking move now, you shithead.” Gripping the tree hard and shifting his stance as wide as he could, given his jeans trapped his legs, Bullseye braced himself for a hard fuck. He was still hard and horny as well, sentiment set aside for annoyance at the other man’s damn glib mouth and teasing.

“As you wish, Lester. I’ll make you want to scream, let’s see if you can hold it or if we’re getting an audience. You do look so delicious like that. Makes it worth not getting to ride that thick dick of yours,” Daken drawled, palming his cock when he mentioned it, giving it a squeeze and a tug that made Bullseye yelp before he could bite down.

“B-bastard— “

As much as it made him want to punch those perfect teeth out of Daken’s skull, he enjoyed what he could do to him, the fullness and the pure pleasure that had him biting back noises with each thrust. There was something deliciously obscene about the sounds they made; the slap of flesh, the heavy breathing, the groans and bit back moans.

It didn’t take long for Bullseye’s world to become the sweet drag and push of Daken’s cock inside him, and the feeling of his hand on him. Breathing was a chore, standing was worse, and soon even his arms shook at the strain of keeping him upright and in a good angle. Desperately arching his back, he tried to push and grind back into every thrust, wanting to come, feeling Daken’s pubes chafe against his ass and his balls slap against him. Inanely, Bullseye thought he’d have rashes and that’d be really irritating given how hot it was getting – as if he wouldn’t be more preoccupied by having had his ass fucked for the first time in over half a decade. A low laughter, or of a giggle really, left him and he tried to keep himself from just begging Daken to get him off already. That this was driving him mad. Also, he was still owed breakfast.

“You feel good, babe? I think you feel great,” Daken said in that same husky voice, grabbing him hard and forcing him to arch even more, making him feel like he was being fucked even deeper.

“S’ good. N-need to come,” Bullseye said, the last word coming out like a whine, moaning low at the shift in angle, nails digging into bark and muscle straining with lactic acid. He could fight and run for hours, but getting fucked reduced him into a mess in no time.

“Only good? I think we can do better than just good,” Daken asserted picking up the pace and pressing close to him. Bullseye was starting to feel sore, a good sore, so the added speed and force made him feel like each thrust was a hard slap on his ass, which must have been burning, and he could feel pre ooze from his cock at the relentless friction on his prostate. Whining from behind clenched teeth, he hung on desperately, trying not to burst into a babble of begging and praise because it felt so damn good, so much and deep and too everything. It tore him between wanting to come and end it, and to never stop because it felt so perfect.

Daken was grabbing him by the jaw and forcing him to twist to kiss him, licking his lips and the drool off his chin, still fucking him — shallower now, but no less pleasurable.

So beautiful,” Daken murmured in his native tongue, “shit. Your face is just great like this.”

His cock felt huge and hard inside of him, the head of it discernible as it pushed and dragged along his walls. He couldn’t hold it much longer, clenching on it tightly and trying to find just that grinding movement that would finally let him come. Pulling free enough from the kiss to talk, Bullseye made his hazy brain at least give Daken the heads up. “F-fuck, fucking coming now. Need it too bad, so good, damn you’re so good...”

Bullseye felt himself tightened, from his ass to his balls, and he was coming hard, grinding on Daken’s cock, desperately trying to milk every drop of come out of himself. It got even sweeter as he vaguely felt Daken stiffen and then swell inside him, pushing against his clenched ass, and coming as well, his breath in his face and his lips finding his again. Kissing him, gasping for air when he could, Bullseye hung on to the mutant, making himself retain the contorted position until he felt the other man’s cock slide out of him in a wet drag. The slight ooze of come against his bruised ass felt cool and the emptiness inside him made him want to tell Daken to fuck him again. Realistically, he wouldn’t be able to take it. Maybe when they did this regularly, but not now.

“I missed this, you were always such a responsive and sweet fuck,” Daken rumbled into the nape of his neck, switching back to English, pulling him up into his arms.

Slumping back, Bullseye tried to still his breathing, starring down at his limp cock and bare shaking legs. Pants, yeah. He should pull up his pants. They were still in a semi-public space. Shakily, he managed to reach down enough to catch his belt and pull it all up. “Can’t say I missed your attitude,” he huffed, not as annoyed as his words let on, resting his weight on the shorter man as he tried to pull his stiff jeans over his sore ass, “but guess that’s the price for a good lay.”

“Oh, that’s not the only good thing about me, darling, and don’t you know it,” Daken purred and kissed his throat and jaw, his hands wandered down to tuck Bullseye in and to notched his belt. It wasn’t until after he zipped and belted his own designer dress pants. A courtesy from his side, Bullseye supposed hazily, fiddly things were a hassle after sex. Speaking of courtesies…

“Yeah, you owe me breakfast.” He turned to kiss him with a wry look on his face, a half-smile with a flash of too bright teeth. They were newish, and still felt vaguely strange in his mouth.

“Is that all I am to you, Lester? Your sugar daddy?” Daken teased and slapped his ass hard, Bullseye flinched and then groaned as Daken started to rub his ass with both hands.

“Use that phrase around me again and I swear I’ll cut off your dick and feed it to you,” he blurted out, unconsciously grinding back against Daken’s talented hands.

“Touchy. Having a blood sugar fall? I’ll get you something sweet. Or do you want something thick and meaty to put in your mouth?”

“Skip the filth and feed me, jackass.” Bullseye pulled free, feeling petulant, and wiped his mouth and face on his sleeve, stumbling out of the greenery to the clearing. There were people nearby, seemingly oblivious to everything. A woman with her dog was just walking by, the tiny terrier sniffing and pulling on its leash.

“What? I just thought you might like some of those awful hot dogs you Americans love, even though they are probably made of actual dog” Daken said as he followed him out, glancing at the dog and showing it his teeth briefly as it lingered too long, looking as well put together as he had when they met. Arguably, he’d been fighting a giant robot then, but he made it looked like a very stylized messy.

“Coffee. Bagel. Now.” Bullseye shoved his hand into his pocket, palmed a quarter and off-handedly flicked it at the dog behind them. There was a yelp and then the lady started to complain about her dog not moving.

Chuckling at his casual killing, Daken gave him an indulgent look. “Fine, as you please, Lester love.” Once more Daken caught his arm, but instead of linking arms he slipped his hand down to hold his, as brazen as ever.  Bullseye huffed, looked away and pretended as if they weren’t walking hand in hand and that his ass was aching with each step, come running down into his underwear, and he was certain that his lips were still swollen from kissing and blowing him.

Daken started telling him about something, he didn’t quite listen, instead he ended up starring at his face again. How animated he could be when he talked, the way his hair fell into his face and how his eyes flashed when he laughed. Yeah, he’d missed Daken for more than a good fuck. Daken caught him starring, his eyes turning up and his brow furrowing just a little; that scrunch between his eyebrows that made him look kinda… cute.

“What?” Daken asked suspiciously, his brow scrunching up further.

“Nothing. You just look cute when you’re happy,” Bullseye said honestly, stunning them both for a moment. “That… came out so much gayer than I intended.” His blushed deepened and he looked away, walking faster in case someone had heard. He suddenly wanted to kill everyone within earshot – well, more than usual.

“I just fucked you and that’s what you react on?” Daken burst into laughter, hanging on his arm, leaning into his shoulder, and yeah, his eyes were flashing, making his entire face come alive. Fuck. He must have been using his pheromones.

“Die, bastard. I swear, once I get my coffee I’ll gouge your eyes and teeth out.”

“But I wouldn’t be as cute then.”

“Oh for the love of— cut the crap already. Let’s just eat, okay.” Bullseye groaned in embarrassment and dragged Daken along. He swore that those teenage girls were giggling at them and he wanted to snap their necks.

Daken seemed to have noticed and patted at his arm instead, “Now-now, no need to draw more attention to us. Later we can play.”

Bullseye growled and scoped their surroundings, they were at the edge of the park now. He needed a distraction and something in his stomach. “Starbucks right over there.”

“Fine, but only if I get to treat you to lunch somewhere nice,” Daken stated firmly and grinned up at him, making his throat feel tighter and his gut clench. Bullseye blamed the missing breakfast and agreed grudgingly.

“I’ll clear my day for you then. We have a lot of time to make up for,” Daken asserted with catlike satisfaction, squinting into the late spring sun and smiling.

Bullseye finally realized that he’d signed up for yet another date, he found that he didn’t mind it.

Chapter Text

All Bullseye could hear was his own breathing, heavy and nearly wheezing, and his pounding heart. It felt like fighting, it felt like all the adrenaline in his body was making him crackle like a live-wire, and he was high. Daken was there, which didn't feel real, but nothing did. Daken was bent over him, his eyes were dark and unfathomable, which hardly mattered since the rest of Daken was nearly as lost as Bullseye in the sensation. Abstractly, over the feeling of having his ass pounded and his cock leaking over his thighs and stomach, Bullseye knew he was putting up a show. The way Daken's eyes roamed over him, the way he bit his lips to keep from coming, was as gratifying as having a dozen or two cameras on him.

Bullseye moaned, ass squeezing Daken's cock, and thighs trembling, his breath the roar of the ocean in his ears. Every thrust made his breath hitch, his cock was dripping pre-come over him. He was close, he just needed Daken to finish the job, to give him the push that he needed to step off the edge without even touching his cock. Coming from just his ass felt so much more than touching himself, and it was well worth the maddening effort not to jerk off.

Nearly breathless and forcing his lips, swollen and red, to move, he begged him, "Need to come. Hurt me." It was a familiar command to the both of them; Daken knew exactly what kind of pain he needed, though the how tended to become a bit creative. The anticipation was a part of the fun.

Heart pounding, Bullseye couldn't see what Daken did, but he felt it more than well enough. White hot pain shredded his thighs, even as Daken continued to fuck him, and the sensation of warm blood running down his skin to his groin. He slipped a hand between their bodies, not to his cock, but to get the blood on his fingertips. He raised them to his lips and tasted his own blood and sweat, sucking his fingers as he finally rode out his orgasm, head pressed into the pillow. He was quaking and clenching hard, his body like a vice, and he felt himself spill over his stomach, his come smearing on Daken as he writhed down on him. Bullseye tilted his neck slightly, allowing the other man to bite him as he came as well. He had scar tissue on his neck and shoulder from all the times Daken had done that.

Fingers slipping from his mouth, drool and blood painting his lips and chin, Bullseye just let himself lay back in the bed, legs falling down in a sprawl, bleeding slightly. His thoughts moved as if through molasses, warmth and pleasure quaking through him still, and the sensation of Daken slipping out made him groan loudly. Daken sprawled on top of him for a moment before rolling to his side, kissing him on the cheek. Bullseye stared at the ceiling and breathed.

"That was good. You OK?" Daken asked, running his hands over his chest.

Bullseye swallowed and nodded. He was coming down from his high, hard and fast, and he was starting to feel very cold. "Blanket," he said mechanically.

Daken didn't need much prompting and tugged up the scrunched sheets and blanket over him. "Want me close?"

He shook his head and tried to sort out the feelings: the afterglow, his sore open ass, his burning, stinging thighs and the dry feeling in his mouth with that tinge of metal to it. Familiar. He didn't look at Daken; he didn't need the additional source of stimuli. "Crashing."

"Alright. You need me to leave?"

He considered the question. Viscerally speaking, he wanted to hide and not have Daken see him like this. He hated the sheer look of himself after sex, but it wasn't the good choice when he was this far down this fast. It had been too long since last time. And they'd gone in hard for a rough fuck; he'd been lucky not to crash before they were done. His tongue like taffy in his mouth, he said, "No. Too-- too far down."

Daken hummed and sat up in the bed, Bullseye could feel the mattress move beneath him. The next moment he heard him start to fiddle on his smart phone or tablet. It felt good to have him there, but not to be the center of attention, as he tried to assemble himself. First step was just breathing normally again, instead of panting and shuddering at each breath. It took him awhile. Daken was a peripheral reassurance, he was frowning slightly and starring into his tablet, resting it on his raised thigh, he looked focused more than anything else. The mutant liked working after sex if he couldn't go for another bout. He said he got his best ideas fucking – by all means, he should be full of brilliant plans.

The hotel room Daken had rented them - or was it the entire floor? - was luxurious but discrete, as evidenced by the bed they were in; large, comfortable and expensively decked with high thread count sheets and the durable mattress without unnecessary flash. He'd have been fine with a motel or a dingy safe house, but Daken liked comfort and style. Still it was comfortable and fulfilled their needs; the foremost at the moment a safe place to wind down.

Bullseye slipped a hand from under the sheet and placed it on Daken's out-stretched leg, the other man shifted and accommodated him without giving him further attention. He needed something to remind him that he was, in fact, alive; these crashes always made him feel a bit too dead for his liking. It took another few moments for him to sit up, and he still felt a bit too cold and detached from himself, but a little better.

"Want me to stitch you up?" Daken asked, not looking away from the screen.

"How deep did ya cut me?" He honestly couldn't tell and he couldn't look yet.

"Half an inch at deepest, mostly just skin, about half way the length of your thigh... Too much?"

"No. Just been... a while. It can wait."

Daken scoffed in muffled laughter and shook his head. "I'm surprised. Didn't think you could keep yourself from your fix." A fix. Daken probably thought he was being clever.

"I get my fix every time I fight," Bullseye countered, his brows furrowing, his voice still tired and lacking his usual vitriol. What he needed wasn't so much the sex, but he'd hardly tell Daken that.

"Uh-huh, must be awkward with your hard-on when they try to arrest or kill you." Daken smiled, a show of teeth, and deliberately trying to get him to argue with him. There was comfort in their routine. "Do you jerk off after? Or do you just come right in your costume when they try to choke you out?"

"Pot, kettle, black, shit-for-brains." Bullseye shifted again, his ass was really starting to feel well-fucked as he sat. "I think I broke half your ribs and punctured your lung last time as you begged me, like the slut you are, to fuck you even harder." He couldn't amass real emotion yet, but the ritual was satisfying.

"I don't deny myself, darling. You seriously need to get yourself a sidepiece, get over that hangup of yours."

For a change, Bullseye was honest with him. "I don't like people, they turn me off unless they're dying."

"And what am I? A sexy lamp?"

"You're a pheromone freak." Bullseye rolled his eyes and hissed as he accidentally opened one of the cuts on his thighs with his shifting. "You tricked me into liking fucking you."

"And getting fucked," Daken inserted, winking at him. "But seriously, it kinda takes the fun out of it with you going space cadet after sex. I'm pretty sure you could get a pro who looks kinda like me to fuck you on the downlow to keep you... used to it. Problem solved."

Bullseye gave him a flat stare. "It in no way works like that." Not that he could put words into how it worked either - despite the years he'd had this arrangement with Daken he still had difficulties explaining it.

"I'm just trying to give you some real advice to deal with the whole 'Daddy molested me into sex-repulsion' issue--"

Bullseye slammed his right elbow right into Daken's nose, breaking it and, had he been anyone else, giving him a nice concussion. Daken nearly passed out, blood dripping from his nose down his chin and falling on his chest and tablet.

"Now that made me feel better, asshole," Bullseye spat and climbed gingerly out of bed, making his way to the shower on shaky legs. His head felt nearly normal now; getting pissed usually did the trick.

"Fuck," he hissed as he saw the claw marks Daken had left on him, glaring red on his thighs and blood all over him. Shower. That'd solve the worst of his issues.

Under the hot spray, his thoughts wandered again. What did he need Daken for? It wasn't like he ever longed for sex once it was over with. He shook his head before turning his face up and just letting the water wash over him. Fighting Daken was good. He healed and that meant that he could play more. But so did half a dozen others; he went back to Daken for a reason, as the ache of his thighs and ass attested to.

Regardless, Daken was a failure, none of his enterprises lasted, he was unable to do more than be someone's dog who only knew two tricks; kill and fuck. But yet here Bullseye was with him. Bullseye stared down at his feet, most of the blood had washed away and he forced out a huff of a laughter, stooping under the water and letting it wash over his neck and head.

A good half hour later, he stepped out of the bathroom and physically jerked back, reaching for a weapon out of instinct. Daken was still there. His face set in a deep scowl, Bullseye asked, "You're still here. Why?"

"Is that any way to talk to the man who just screwed you senseless? Besides, it's not like I wanted to see you just to fuck you. Unlike you, I do have others to satisfy me."

"Start talking, fast, before I bash your brain in with that tablet."

"A job, darling Lester. I want to utilize those talented and beautiful hands of yours for something other than scratching up my back." As he spoke, Daken crawled across the bed and knelt at the edge of it, beckoning him close. "And for you to use that pretty little head of yours to help me get what I want."

"What's in it for me?" He knew not to trust Daken's schemes, but regardless he moved up close to him.

"Other than a few more days of my presence and glorious sex? Well, I could ensure, to start with, that you get paid. Very, very generously," Daken purred out the words and punctuated them by kissing his way up his torso to his neck. "And I can guarantee that you'd get your fill of death and blood." Daken bit his own lip and gave him what he supposed was meant to be a sultry stare. Bullseye wasn't in the mood for it, turning his face half away from him. He ached too much for him to be tempted.

"And? I can get both on a job that doesn't involve your level of complications."

Daken pouted and gave a fluid and exaggerated shrug. "You know, you can really be a bore."

"What? Because I'm not thinking with my dick one hundred percent of the time or distracted by every single piece of ass there is? Give me a real reason to want to do it."

"I should just mess you up with enough pheromones to have you gagging for me to shove my cock up your ass again," Daken huffed and sat back down on the bed, stopping sultry and sexy act, and settling on spoiled brat. "Bet you feel empty and weak, like all those times you failed to get it up for a wet pussy and big tits, because you're too broken and fucked up in the head."

Bullseye merely crossed his arms. "Are you done? Got it out of your system?"

"Maybe. I could go on about your sexual fixations on men who beat you up -- talk about me, Daredevil, Punisher, your Da---" Daken stared at him, smiling slightly as he spoke, wanting to rile him up. This time not to get him to snap out of his post-sex fugue, but to make some twisted point about what he could give him compared to anyone else. Their first time together had been cruel, messy and painfully satisfying; and it had only gotten better with time. Bullseye had vivid memories of vomiting in the shower as his body shook itself to pieces from the backlash of it. He'd ended up fucking Daken, again, the very same day. He'd given up pretending to be normal decades ago.

"Uh-huh, and what's that got to do with you needing a favor from me?" Bullseye knew that Daken was very much the same man he'd met all that time ago with the Avengers, but he also knew that he was full of hot air when it came to some of his threats these days. His father's death and clone-sister had mellowed him when it came to his most egregious tendencies, such as mutant roofie-ing him just to get what he wanted. But that didn't change the fact that their dynamic, if you were to call it that, was based on mutual destructiveness. It was hard to change that. He didn't even know if he wanted to.

"Fine. How about giving SHIELD the finger and just royally giving it to them?" Daken stopped his melodramatics and tried to appeal to his vindictiveness. A much more efficient choice.

"Why didn't you say so from the start, fuckhead?" Bullseye grinned and sat down on the bed with him, he only had to shift once this time to avoid his cuts.

"Because for a moment I forgot you were an utter nut job? I know, my bad." Daken rolled his eyes and raised his hands. Bullseye flicked his newly healed nose with a sharp snap of his fingers.

"Ow, what's that for?" Puppy-dog eyes and pouting full lips. Pity that got him nothing, Bullseye happily killed puppies.

"Spill the plan, targets, everything necessary."

Daken huffed and took up his tablet, showing him pictures and blue-prints of an extravagantly secure building. It took him a moment to recognize what could have that kind of layout. Bullseye interrupted Daken before the man spoke, “An embassy?” His eyebrow rose and he narrowed his eyes, he didn't like the smell of this.

”Yes, good eye. Though I should have expected that you would know it--”

”That's a fucking lockbox deathtrap. Those walls are impenetrable unless you take down the entire thing, the security is both high man power and high tech, and even the glass is Hulk proof. There is no way we'll get in by force.”

”Good thing we have invitations then,” Daken interrupted him in turn and gave him a exasperated look. “There is going to be a party in a week or so, and the target will be there then. The Sokovian delegation is having a fund-raiser to help rebuild their institutions, but in reality, it’s more of an excuse to make allies and sway the American delegation to vote with them against the fledgling democracies in Latveria and Symkaria. Which, in turn will weaken their ability to influence either as they'll feel betrayed by the US. It'll throw SHIELD's plans out of order for more than a few years.” Bullseye barely listened to the politics and eyed the blue-prints hard.

“Evac plan? That thing is as bad to get out of as it is to get in to.”

“No need for that either, they'll let us walk right out of there. They are the employer, darling. It's a frame-up job; they hire an assassin to 'kill' the ambassador, we are there to take out the assassin – who will be suitably connected to either Symkarian revolutionaries or the Latverian oppressors. Very tidy.”

“You're not telling me something. You wouldn't need me there for just that – or even bother with such a simple job.”

“Of course not, dear. My objective is another target that will be there. In the chaos of an assassination, unfortunate accidents and collateral damage do happen. It's just a competitor, so nothing for you to be concerned about. Another death that will just be pinned on the dead enemy agent. As I said, very tidy. I just need another shooter on the job, someone good enough to get it done while dragging it out realistically enough to buy me time.” Daken kissed him again on the cheek. “And you are more than good enough.”

It was doable; the biggest flaw was the same as in any of Daken's 'brilliant' plans, that it relied on human error and Daken's ability to influence them. The mutant was always too cocksure about his abilities. And then there was the nagging feeling that Daken was lying to him about whatever his end of the mission was. But then again, that was always his feeling about the manipulative mutant, and half the time he was right. Little to be done about it though.

"So? Are you in?" Daken asked and licked his lips, not out of uncertainty Bullseye was certain, but out of that hunger for more he felt all the time. Daken was insatiable. Against his better judgment, he said, "I'm in."

“One condition though,” Daken said and pulled back slightly, suddenly businesslike again. “You don't work without your meds. That's non-negotiable. I know you're on something, and I want it to stay that way. If I smell something on you other than that chemical swill, you are out.”

Bristling, his lips a thin line and his jaw tensing, Bullseye fought the urge to punch Daken. “I'm a pro. I don't screw up jobs.”

The mutant put his hand on him, looking up at him with a smile that didn't reach his hard eyes. “I don't care. You stay on whatever you are on. I like your crazy, darling, but I like it best under a leash when cash and power is at stake. If you need a refill, I have doctors who'll write out whatever you need for whatever schizo shit you got going on.”

“Type I Bipolar disorder,” Bullseye snapped. He wasn't schizophrenic. The hallucinations had been the tumor. His delusions, as the shrinks liked to call them, were never that removed from reality – but frankly he was a God of Death because he was that damn good. He knew what was real. He knew. His shoulders and throat tightened, and he could feel that familiar ache in his chest and he remembered snow and devils. It took a concentrated effort to rip himself free of the feeling, and Bullseye was pretty sure he felt the touch of Daken's powers on him helping him out. Not that the other man showed a shred of concern or remorse. “I'm on my meds, I'll stay on them. Happy?”

Daken nodded and his smile turned bright and honest, ignoring his temper utterly, other than that vague feeling he had of something soothing him. It was like the feelings were being drowned by a warmth in his body. “I'm happy, dear. We have a deal. I'll pay double your standard fee, of course.” The soothing felt even heavier, but now the warmth crept lower in his anatomy, making Bullseye want to leave.

Daken couldn't just get away with being an asshole by turning him on. He pulled free from his touch and spat, “You don't get to choose how I feel, shithead.”

“Babe, I didn't mean to hurt you, I merely needed to be sure.” Daken pouted again, like a child caught doing something he shouldn't. “And I wanted you to feel better. Don't be like that.”

He felt the intrusion lessen, leaving him with a vague sensation of mixed emotions and a half-hard cock. “I don't like it.”

“I can give you something you do like,” Daken said and there was that smirk on his lips again. Instead of the emotional manipulation, Daken slowly crawled into his lap for a more physical approach. Feeling Daken's ass press against his cock was distracting, but Bullseye held his scowl even as he allowed Daken to touch him.

“You're so touchy, Lester. All temper, all over the place. Just let me relax you,” he whispered into his ear and nipped at the lobe. Bullseye refrained from commenting that Daken deliberately goaded his temper, pushed his buttons and clawed at anything that'd react in him for kicks. He was certain that the mutant got off on it.

But as always a part of him yearned for his attention – even when it hurt, maybe especially. It was slavery and madness and pain – and he needed it. His stomach a knot and his chest tight again, Bullseye pressed their mouths together, and let Daken convince his body that sex was on the table again. It wasn't enough, he didn't know what enough even was, but it was something.

Daken grinned into their kiss before letting his lips go soft and gentle against Bullseye who struggled not to grit his teeth. "Want me to?"

Bullseye grimaced a moment and his throat felt thick, he wanted to look away from Daken, but his tension released and his lips parted slowly before he spoke. "Yeah," he stopped for a moment, trying to pick his words, "as long as I can fight tomorrow."

In reply, he just got the most lewd grin ever from Daken, who without missing a beat slipped out of his lap, head in between his legs and started to blow him. Bullseye gasped, his cock still sensitive, but Daken eased him into it. He flopped down on his back and spread his legs wide, giving his lover full access to whatever he wanted. Grabbing a pillow and shoving it under his neck, Bullseye watched Daken bob on his cock, his lips tight on him and tongue licking along his length whenever he wasn't deep-throating him. It felt good and Daken... he looked pretty like that. Enjoying himself and flushed, just a little disheveled, and taking him on like a challenge. It made him relax a little, his head still a bit in the way of full enjoyment.

Had it been anyone else... the thought nearly made him soft, but Daken soothed him by opening the wounds on his thighs – just a little. Pain was easier to be aroused by, and very good at clearing his thoughts. Then he could feel Daken's fingers at his asshole, just gently rubbing and not quite dipping inside him. Bullseye reached around, trying to find the lube, where-fucking-ever it had rolled off too, for a few moments before he found it jammed between the mattress and the headboard. Shuddering slightly, he gave it to Daken who raised a brow at him, the cheeky fucker.

"I'm pretty sure I fucked you loose enough to take my fist without problem, and that's without going into how much I came inside you. You should be as slick as a well-fucked cunt, gaping and dripping for more cock."

"Compare me to a girl once more time and I'll shove my foot up your ass. Dry," Bullseye hissed, his cheeks slowly flushing red, but his cock jumping a bit at Daken's filthy mouth. "Just get on with it."

The sound of the cap opening and being shut. "Impatient. You could just have said that you like it when I finger you, darling," Daken smiled and cruelly shoved two fingers up his ass, mercifully slick but intentionally teasing.

Bullseye whined and tried to keep his hips from bucking at the intrusion, Daken hadn't been wrong in claiming that he was still a little loose from before, but there was no way he'd let him do him dry, never mind how well he could take it.

Daken hummed, that little noise he made that bordered on a laugh, and pumped his fingers into his ass with a leisurely pace. Bullseye was acutely aware of every movement, of every curl and added pressure, and soon his thighs and abdomen were shaking with each drag and curl on his prostate. He was breathless and clawing at the sheets, lips pressed together hard and jaw clenched.

"I love watch you like this, Lester. You look so pretty when you're desperate and stuffed. Your ass just eats me up and refuses to let go. I should get you a plug, it'd sit so pretty between your tight cheeks and feel just like a slice of heaven inside you. Would you like that, darling? A pretty little plug in your tight ass as you fight and kill. I could pull it out after and fuck you right there on a corpse. Then I'd put it back and have you filled with my come - all day long." Daken was doing exactly what he needed to keep him focused on sex, focused on him, and the feeling of him inside of him. It didn't really matter what he said as long as it was obscene. But that particular fantasy felt good, nearly better than the fingers teasing him into that addictive warm pleasure that had him grinding down.

“Do it,” he breathed out, forcing himself to raise his head to meet Daken's eyes. “Get me one and fuck me into the gore.”

Just for a moment, the cocky mutant stilled. Then his lips parted and a slow smile grew as he stroked him both from the inside with one hand and his bleeding thigh with his other. “I'm gonna fuck you hard now. You brought it on yourself.” A shudder ran through him and Daken pulled his hand out of him, wiping it on the sheets.

Bullseye was prepared for the rough thrust of Daken's cock, but it still made him grunt and clench down on him. Daken held up to his word, slamming into him without much concern for his pleasure or comfort; Bullseye was up for the ride. The rough grip Daken had on his thighs made him bleed again, and the slam against his ass made his bruised flesh burn. He didn't need more pain to enjoy what was happening. But he wanted to be the one who pushed at Daken's buttons.

“--want you to do it. Want to be covered in blood and gore and death--,” he gasped and pushed down on Daken's cock,” and I wa-- want you to fuck me right there. I'd be so hard, need you so bad, just you, inside me. I'd beg you to take it out and fill me up.”

Daken was growling and then he pulled out with a lurch, grabbing at him and as good as tossing him on his stomach. Bullseye groaned and flinched as he was reentered and fucked even harder as Daken had more strength in his position. He forced his ass up, his spine low and tried to keep his face from being pressed into the mattress. He tried to tell Daken more, to tease him with the idea of having him – the great Bullseye – utterly submissive and needy to him in public. But he couldn't get a word out as he was too busy trying breathe.

Then without warning, he felt Daken grab his head and press his face into the bed, hips jerking against him in familiar uncontrollable twitches. The mutant had come inside him before Bullseye could even finish.

He was still hard, his ass burned inside and out and his mind was a foggy mess of need. Daken was caressing him gently and breathing heavy, taking his time coming down from his high before pulling out with a wet slick feeling. Bullseye felt his come run down his itching and hot thighs, he shuddered and rolled his hips slightly, waiting for Daken to do something. He wouldn't leave him like this, would he?

He heard Daken chuckle slightly and a finger – no, a thumb – ran around the rim of his hole. He must have been gaping more than a bit and it sent shivers down his spine, and a sharp exhale from his lips.

“You're such a hot mess, babe. I should take a picture of you, it's beautiful,” the mutant mused and Bullseye growled, bucking into his touch. He needed to get off. “I swear, if I had that plug for you right now, I'd shove it right in here and tie you into this position so I could just watch you for a few hours. Maybe spank you whenever you look like you're not hard enough. But, unfortunately, I don't – pity, really. I meant it when I said that your ass would be even prettier stuffed.” At that he teased him by slipping that single digit inside him and it was too little to do anything but make him whine and shake.

“Fucking quickdraw cocktease!” Bullseye snapped, and the moment he did he knew that Daken would retaliate somehow and he wouldn't get anything inside him. He was proven right by Daken pulling out again and harshly slapping him over the ass. Bullseye yelped and tried to rise, only to have Daken push him down again into the mattress. Then he slapped him again with an open palm, this time right over his asshole, making him grit his teeth and flinch.

“For that mouth of yours, this is all you get,” Daken said, suddenly leaning in close, before pulling back and spanking his already sore and bloodied ass.

Tentatively, uncertain if Daken would stop him, Bullseye slipped a hand between his legs and started to jerk off. The mutant allowed it and continued to spank him, hard and with uneven intervals. Bullseye gritted his teeth and frantically jerked off, pushing his ass back for each hit even as they drove him forward. His breath came in ragged puffs in between hits, the sharp pain turning into a throbbing burn that radiated through him, which just made him moan as it was and made him beg Daken to fuck him, knowing he wouldn't. Bullseye bit his tongue and pushed into it even more, looking back over his shoulder at the intense face Daken was making. It was a damn gut punch of lust to see him looking at him like that.

His hand was a bloodied and come-slick mess, and he tried to make it quick. Not that it didn't feel good like this, the pain making him feel the pleasure more, but he didn't want to be utterly black and blue by the time he actually came. It took a few more hits for him to orgasm unevenly with a sob, tears coming from his eyes as much from the pain as from the exertion of trying to breathe. He didn't have much come left in him, but Daken's little parting slap made his cock jump and drip even after he let go.

Bullseye slumped hard and felt utterly drained. He was vaguely aware of Daken rubbing his burning ass cheeks, which were probably a bright red and purple, before covering him up with a sheet again and lying down next to him. He turned his head to allow Daken to kiss him, but had little strength in him to do more.

“I think we went a little past fighting tomorrow,” Daken said, smiling, looking far too well put together and composed. Fucking regenerators. “Or at least past you sitting down on anything that's not a pillow.”

“You prick,” Bullseye grunted, rubbing his wet face against the sheets to feel less messy, “'s your fault.” He grabbed his wayward pillow again, shoved it under him and closed his eyes.

“I'd really wish you didn't do that. I like seeing what a wreck you are after sex. But fine, I'll take responsibility for your little fetishes.” He could hear the smirk and the mocking in Daken's voice, but he was too tired to care, pushed well past the 'space cadet' stage, as Daken called it, into pure exhaustion. He managed a grunt.

“Darling, no sleeping until you tell me how you are.” Daken's voice was more commanding now, and as much as he wanted to ignore him he couldn't.

“Fine... Tired, but fine.”

“And?”

Why couldn't he just shut up? “... stay.”

Bullseye felt Daken scoop him into his arms, maneuvering him firmly to his side, flinching only slightly as his sore ass touched Daken's body. He felt Daken press his lips against his head and his warmth wrapped around him. It was... something. A raised his hand and wrapped his fingers around Daken's wrist, holding on and pulling him around him tighter. He tensed and held his breath, waiting uncertainly, before taking a deep breath and huddling into Daken.

Maybe it was enough.

“Sleep, Lester.”

***

As predicted, Bullseye spent the next day on his feet as much as he could and moving gingerly at that. He hadn't needed stitches for the cuts, but Daken had gotten him one of those Stark brand wound sealants that'd help him heal quicker and neater. There was little to be done about the bruises. His lower half looked like uninspired modern art in red, purple, and blueish green. But he was used to bruises, he'd have new ones before these had the time to even fade.

Daken though seemed to regard them intently over breakfast. Bullseye had sauntered in after the meal had been delivered, freshly washed and as naked as the day he was born. The mutant had literally stopped with his espresso halfway to his lips to stare at him.

Glowering at him, Bullseye sat down carefully. “What?”

“You look quite appetizing, that's all.” A slight quirk passed Daken's lips before he sipped his espresso, his eyes however didn't stray from him.

“Look all you want, I'm not on the menu,” Bullseye countered and grabbed an apple, biting into it loudly. It was juicy and fresh, just a little on the sour side. Fruit juice ran down the side of his mouth and down his chin.

Daken leaned forward and kissed it away from his skin, his cup still in hand. “Hmm, yes, I guess I'll have to let you heal a bit before I have another bite.” He sipped his coffee again, his eyebrows managing to make him look horribly cheeky.

“Some of us aren't mutie freaks, asshole,” Bullseye grumbled and flinched at his own weight on the chair. It had been awhile indeed.

Daken chuckled, shoulders shaking as he tried to repress a bout of full blown laughter. “Not a freak? Says the man who gets off on having his ass beat, his flesh cut, and can barely fuck since it gives him PTSD? Baby, you're a freak alright. My freak.” He smiled, but his face wasn't twisted in cruelty, just fondness and mirth. Daken put his cup aside and leaned forward again, this time soft lipped and eyes looking for consent. Bullseye didn't take another bite, but instead took the invitation for a kiss. It was soft and unhurried, the scape of both of their stubble was the harshest thing about it.

“You're still an asshole.” Bullseye declared once the kiss was broken. Daken winked at him and started reading his tablet while eating. Deciding to ignore him, he'd buried himself in his own breakfast, but Bullseye did catch the mutant giving him glances whenever he shifted bad on his injuries. It was attention he didn't know if he wanted.

True to form, however, the mutant threw himself into the job, making calls and having meetings Bullseye wasn't invited to. It was an annoyance to be left behind with little to nothing to do other than to memorize layout and guests lists, but neither did he want to actually socialize. The only hint he had of what Daken was doing was when he overheard a phone call with someone familiar.

“I've wired the money. I need you to watch them and if I don't call you off at our established time, take the kill.” Daken was no nonsense and clipped, his usual flirtation gone from his voice. The reply was muffled.

“It shouldn't be difficult task for a man of your skills, Masters.” Masters? It took Bullseye a moment to make the leap, Taskmaster. Fuck, he owed Taskmaster a punch in the face, that asshole. Why was Daken bringing in yet another mercenary?

“I have confidence in your dedication to money,” was Daken's snide parting comment and Bullseye wondered who he was having tailed. Still, it wasn't his business or like Daken would ever tell.

The only good thing that Daken did live up to, was his promise of mindblowing sex whenever they had the chance, once his cuts had healed a little, though he didn’t bring up the fantasy they’d discussed.

Time seemed to crawl until the day finally came that Bullseye walked right through the front doors of the Sokovian embassy in a sleek suit. Daken had had one bespoke for him without asking him, but it did look great on him. Speaking of the mutant, Daken had himself decked out to the teeth in whatever designer shit he wore that somehow both managed to be utterly respectable and far too sexual. Daken said it was all in the details – and having his pants fit his ass inhumanly tight.

As they entered Daken took a quick call, oddly only asking a single question before hanging up.

“What is she wearing?”

Bulllseye assumed that it had to do with someone Daken would meet at the embassy. There were many women there, all dressed up like shiny peacocks, trying to outdo each-other either with jewelry or designer dresses. Typical rich person bullshit.

He hadn't done a job in the upper echelons of society in years; his wealthy clients had given excuses that he wasn't the type to do any body guarding or 'blend' well enough to do any close-quarters hits. He hadn't minded. He knew it had to do with the terrified whispers that he was 'too crazy'. He could control himself, it was just that it sucked not killing people. Still, he could mingle with Daken as well as any killer-for-hire. Smile, drink moderately, and let the client do most of the talking. His job was to get a feeling for the rotation of security and the guests' private body-guards. There were plenty of both.

Bullseye was under no illusion that the flimsy concealment of his scar hid him to any of the other professionals in the room. It was a goddamn convention of killers, half of which he knew by face if not name.

He caught a muscular woman's eye and winked, she glared at him, before her eyes flashed up to where his scar should be, and her body screamed out in an alertness that was easily readable in the slinky dress she was wearing. She'd recognized him – then again he'd expected as much from Pawter, who was a pro bodyguard of over a decade. Bullseye smiled and waved, staying close to Daken and signaling that he was on a private security detail for the flamboyant political socialite that the mutant was pretending to be. Pawter gave him the stinkeye and he could tell how bad she wanted to pull that gun in her hidden thigh holster – still, she played by the rules. No fighting unless the client was under threat.

It made Bullseye smile, those rules were for the weak, and he intended to exploit them for all they were worth.

He knew that Pawter would probably spread the word – very discreetly – to all the others that he was there. But he was there to be seen. Later they'd see him do a kill too and they'd still have to let him go, because it'd be according the the rules. It was kinda sweet to watch the flow of information go through the room and see all the other petty little glorified babysitters stare at him with horror and anticipation. Meanwhile, the people they protected were far too involved in their own petty games to notice the God in their midst. It would be so easy to kill them all. Fuck, it was nearly enough to turn him on.

Bullseye caught Daken's eye for a moment when he noticed that the man had been looking at him. “What?” He kept his voice low and leaned slightly in, turning his back to everyone else to hide his lips. No point in chancing it.

“You just smell nice, dear. Reminds me that I have a present for you later,” Daken purred. Bullseye pulled back and clenched his jaw. Of all the fucking times...

“Keep it in your pants,” he grumbled, deciding to ignore him before the mutant got any ideas about messing with him in some other way.

Bullseye turned half around and surveyed the room again, watching out for the would-be-assassin. He'd been given a picture of the man. Not that it was horribly helpful; Mieczysław Lestibournes – who grandiosely called himself the Sword of Glory – for all the mouthful that his name was, was a terribly nondescript man. White, brown haired, average length, average build. Polish on his mother's side and Symkarian on his father's, but neck deep in Latverian terrorism. A very naughty boy with notions of grandeur and revolution.

After Doom's departure, the country had fallen into a weak and chaotic democracy that was tearing itself apart due the lack of unified leadership, the fires stoked by a budding military junta as well as a communist extremism on the left. Sokovia hoped to add to that fire by using Lestibournes and a bungled assassination. Daken had explained it all to him at length with even more detail and geopolitics.

Bullseye didn't care.

He just wanted someone to kill.

The mutant was starting to feel like a good target however, since he was starting to playact drunk for the benefit of the other guests. Daken downed glass after glass of champagne and let his voice grow a little louder with each one, his flirting more overt, and his movements unsteadier. It wasn't like he was overdoing it; just enough to seem like he was having a little too much fun. It was Bullseye's cue to escort him to his secondary location, which was the bathroom, out from the main hall, for his part of the job.

Daken rested his weight on him slightly, grinning and chatting about how wonderful the party was and how he was perfectly fine, still a bit too loud. It was annoying, despite Bullseye knowing it was all a ruse. The slap on his ass was utterly unscripted though and made him flush red and clench his fists. Regardless, he had to admit that it sold the idea that Daken was drunk and needed to sober up. Bullseye bit back his desire to spit bile at him for doing it and settled down to 'guard' the bathroom door.

As expected, he was joined by embassy security. They ignored each other pointedly and pretended not to hear the hurling noises from inside. It was a nice detail from Daken, he had to admit. Minutes later, another man, well-dressed but a bit nervous went in after him. He looked utterly out of place, despite his clothes. His bodyguard settled at the door too, and Bullseye fought the urge to draw attention to himself making some comment about shitty clients. It felt like one of those sketches you saw on TV, just without the comedy. Two bodyguards and an assassin wait outside a bathroom – and nothing fucking happens.

Bullseye supposed that whatever drop of information Daken was after was happening with the well-dressed man. He also expected Daken to kill him later in the evening, framing Lestibournes for it. It took a few minutes for the man, and his bodyguard, to leave, a bit too long by Bullseye's estimate, and he noted with narrowed eyes that Mr. Twitchy in the nice suit looked a bit more rumpled than he had when he entered. A bit later Daken came out as well, looking the part of a man who had vomited his guts out and tried to tidy up as best as he could in a limited time.

Once out of ear-shot of the embassy security and with their backs to anything that might tape them, Bullseye hissed, ”You fucked him, didn't you? Of all the stupid--”

“Don't make a scene, it's all business, no need to be jealous,” Daken gave him a look and broke character for a moment. “I got what I needed. I need you to take and hide this.” He gave him a tiny memory stick.

Bullseye palmed it and hid it in his clothes. “I'm not jealous. I'm fucking professional, there are cameras here. What the hell is this even?”

“Nothing you need to worry about right now. They will see nothing--”

“You fucking reckless shithead, there are always cameras that aren't in the plans.” The Sokovians would never trust them enough to give them everything. Such an obvious blindspot as the bathrooms would be watched, just more discreetly, to entice people to try to get away with whatever. A classic case of entrapment. Daken had in all likelihood screwed both of them over. “I thought you were going to just do a drop. If you get me killed I swear I'll come back and kill you.”

“It'll be fine. You're being paranoid – I know what I'm doing.” Daken gave him a conspiratorial wink; Bullseye felt his touch on his emotions again and barely avoided hitting him. That arrogant ass, fuck, did Bullseye have to do everything himself?

Bullseye's jaw tensed to the point of pain and he watched the crowd. He caught Pawter looking at him again, she'd seen his argument with Daken but he doubted that she'd caught a single word of it. But she didn't matter. It wouldn't be long before Lestibournes would make a play at the Sokovian ambassador. They didn't have the exact plans of the assassin, but experience told Bullseye that he'd take his shot soon; people were suitably relaxed and preoccupied and no one had had the time to leave yet. Daken was going back to mingling as if his little stunt never happened, the guests politely ignored his brief departure as well. It would have been nicer if at least someone had called him out on being a messy slut.

And then he saw him, and despite himself Bullseye had to admit that Lestibournes was a professional. If he hadn't been looking for him as attentively as he had, stared himself blind at his photo, then he'd never have spotted the assassin.

Lestibournes was the guy you sat on the subway with and couldn't remember if he had just arrived the last stop or not. He was the guy who'd never got fingered on a lineup, because he'd be out-shined and out-noticed by the other guys. He was blander than mayo on white bread. He was fucking perfect for what he did. The incognito killer who got close enough to kill you because you didn't care to notice he even existed. It sickened Bullseye that someone would choose such an existence. Where was the style? The showmanship? The goddamn recognition? But it worked.

Bullseye's face twisted in a grimace and he kept an eye on both the other assassin and the ambassador; he needed to let him have a credible shot before he killed him. He split his attention between watching them, and he caught Pawter watching him all the while. That was starting to become a complication. Maybe he should just kill her in the chaos when Lestibournes struck. He didn't need her being suspicious about him, despite the temptation of toying with her. The thought made a smirk slip on his lips, and Bullseye tried to figure out how Lestibournes would go for the kill. Poison wasn't his MO; but nearly everything else was. Bombs, knives, guns, hand-to-hand, and improvised weapons alike.

Bullseye heard Daken laugh, distracted he looked away from his prey to see what was going on with the mutant. Daken was once more surrounded by both men and women in expensive well-tailored clothes, drinking and laughing, leaning in with conspiratory whispers and suggestive looks. His gaze settled on the deceptively soft profile of the man; his Japanese heritage obvious with the soft curve of his nose, the tip of his chin and his brow as well as his hair that was pulled back in a sleek knot.

Bullseye felt a surge of hatred for the pesky rubberneckers that gathered around him and the way Daken seemed to court their attention. He knew it was all fake. He knew that Daken's real self had little to do with any of his. He saw him in battle. He saw him in bed. Daken was more an animal than he ever wanted to admit and Bullseye relished in that rather than his cultured facade.

“GUN!” Pawter's voice broke through the cocktail din of voices, and Bullseye nearly spun in his place as he pulled out his own piece. He wasn't the only one either – bodyguards armed up as they pulled their clients away, and security was ready. But then the shooting started and it was hard to tell anything.

This wasn't how it was supposed to go.

Pawter must have seen him watching Lestibournes and seen him move while he was distracted. The realization brought fire into his belly and Bullseye joined the shootout with glee, and he wasn't just aiming for the would-be-assassin now. Ricochets of his bullets, seemingly aimed at their assailant killed both security and bodyguards, as he waited for the perfect shot on Lestibournes. Then there it was; the so-called Sword of Glory was making a break for it and Bullseye went for the kill. His gun cracked, but Lestibournes fell before his bullet even reached him.

Wide-eyed and rage pumping though his body, Bullseye saw Pawter with the proverbial and literal smoking gun. Her hair, previously in its severe bun had slipped slightly out of it at her temples, her right leg and the empty thigh holster on it visible through the slit of her dress, her feet were bare – high heels discarded – and her dark eyes caught his. She'd taken the shot before him. She'd stolen his kill.

His murderous intentions and teeth bared at her, Bullseye turned to take her out. But before he could kill her, security swarmed both of them and Bullseye caught Daken's eye. The mutant shook his head and hurried toward him. There were bodies on the ground. The well-dressed man from before was one of them.

“That's my bodyguard! Do you know who I am? What the hell are you doing?” Daken demanded as he got caught up by security himself, still playing his part.

“Sir. You both need to be questioned and vetted,” the man, who seemed to outrank the others, tried to explain as Daken continued his faked diatribe. Bullseye however stared at Pawter as she was dragged away for debrief. Everything had gone pear-shaped. The clients had gotten what they wanted, but neither Daken nor he had been a part of it. That usually spelled out trouble.

As expected, they were pulled away into an interrogation room that hadn't been in the plans. It was a concrete box with a metal table with chairs on both sides of it; very eastern block torture cell. Soon they were joined by one of their employers. The Sokovian ambassador Yelena Lungu stared at them hard, her eyes piercingly pale in her aged face. Bullseye stared right back. Daken seemed careless and calm.

“This was not our arrangement, Mr. Akihiro,” she said, her accent hard and clipped complementing her equally hard demeanor. “However, we are willing to let you and your associate leave with your lives, if you hand over what you appropriated from Mr. Horvat. Do not think I am unaware that Horvat was one of the biggest accountants of the illegal funds of international criminals.” She wanted them to have less than nothing, and as predicted they were very aware of Daken's personal dealings in the bathroom. Bullseye's fingers itched with the desire to kill her and her guards, risks be damned, and to smack Daken around for good measure.

“How about I give you a counter offer, Ambassador Lungu,” Daken replied in a cold voice, smiling slightly and slouching in his seat as if the metal chair was more comfortable like that. “You pay us what you owe, let us keep what we have and let us leave this charming little embassy.”

Lungu gave them a look of utter contempt. “You seem not to comprehend your situation, Mr. Akihiro. Refuse and my men will not only gun you down and take the information from you, but then also hand you over to SHIELD. My embassy was attacked and two known super villains were found at the premise, naturally, I will have them extradited to American custody and win goodwill with your government.”

Daken just smiled. “As you said yourself, ambassador, we're two known super villains. Did you really think that I'd ever set foot in here if I didn't have an exit strategy?” Which was more than he'd ever told Bullseye. This was the damn reason he hated working with Daken, he was always in the dark about half of what happened. In all, this cat and mouse game was starting to grate on Bullseye, who wanted to kill them all for giving him a headache – and then hunt down Pawter and gut her like a hog.

“You have nothing--” Lungu started but was interrupted by a simple statement by Daken.

“You have a daughter, Daniela.” He paused and stared her down, suddenly serious. “She's studying at Columbia, International Affairs, if I don't misremember. She called you earlier today, that her bodyguard Michail had gotten food poisoning, but she was fine. That she was having dinner with Melissa at Mel's Burger Bar.” Daken looked sincere and comfortable even as Lungu's face turned ashy.

“You don't need to worry about her walking home alone tonight, I have an... associate watching over the both of them.” He paused and pursed his lips slightly, as if thinking of something unpleasant. “Though, she should reconsider her fashion choices, I'd recommend a good stylist if you wish, that denim vest she favors is a fashion atrocity.“ So that's why Daken had called the mercenary. It was still a stretch, Lungu might decide to risk it or sacrifice her daughter for national security.

“You cowardly swine,” Lungu hissed.

“Merely taking precautions, justifiably so, since you're the one who wanted to backstab me. Your daughter will be fine if you let us go. I will make the call.”

“Call or you won't leave this room alive.”

Daken bared his teeth and cocked his head. “Ambassador, I could kill you with barely any effort.” He drew his claw an inch or so before letting it slip back into his flesh, the skin healing over the wound. “And even if you riddled me with bullets I'd be fine moments later. I'm not bluffing, and I won't go back on our deal. You can decide to be a mother, and it wouldn't hurt your country in the slightest. There is nothing to gain from detaining us. Let us keep this civil.”

Yeah, there was. Whatever Daken had gotten from the now deceased Horvat and SHIELD's support and favor. But Bullseye had the feeling that Daken was making Lungu forget all about that, pushing at her protective desire and her fear in equal measure. Lungu looked like she'd taken the bait.

“Get them out of here. You are both blacklisted. No one in Sokovia will ever deal with you again if I have my way. Get out of my sight and if a single hair on my daughter is touched, I will bring down fire and fury on you.” It shouldn't have worked. It really shouldn't have, but Daken had a way of making circumstances work for him.

They were hustled out of the embassy with efficiency and Bullseye could tell that the guards were unhappy with the development. He grinned at them as he passed the gates and made a finger gun, faking a head shot on the man who had manhandled him before. Daken was on his phone and called off Taskmaster, as he had promised. Bullseye would have let him take the shot. Once they were a little further away, an armored car came to pick them up. Daken stepped in and Bullseye followed. Once seated he punched Daken in the face.

“You fucking idiot! You fucking--” Bullseye yelled and went in for another punch, only to have Daken restrain and kiss him. Bullseye struggled but Daken kept pumping him full of pheromones and kissing him; it felt like being drunk. Daken finally pulled back and caressed his face and planted small kisses on him.

“It's alright, babe. It was never about the Sokovians, I got exactly what I needed from Horvat. Horvat couldn't set foot on US soil, the embassy was my only choice for the timeframe. It's alright, nothing went too wrong,” Daken tried to soothe him. “I just needed an excuse to get in. I needed you to be my back up and as a diversion. It worked, babe. It doesn't even matter if they pay us or nor, what I got was so much more. The information Horvat had is enough to gain leverage of so many people and all of their cash. And now we have it all in a single memory stick.” The same memory stick that currently felt like it was burning a hole in his breast pocket.

“You lied to me. She stole my kill because of you. And I'm fucking left with jack, because you pissed off the client,” Bullseye hissed, still clinging to anger through the drunken pleasurable haze. “And you were giving me shit about my meds, that I was a liability, when you're a fucking screw up who can't even--” Daken was kissing him again and pushing him down on the large leather seat.

“I'll help you hunt down the woman, you'll kill her. You'll get your money,” He told him between kisses and bites. “I'm sorry I couldn't tell you. Needed you focused on your part, though I seemed to have distracted you with that too.” Daken was unzipping his dress-pants and pulling out Bullseye's half-hard cock. “Let me give you some well-earned attention, sweetness,” he purred and bent down, starting to blow him.

The fucking sunnovabitch. Manipulative little shit. The damn gorgeous cocksucker. Bullseye growled and thrust into Daken's mouth, gripping the seat with one hand, hearing the leather creak, and tangling the other in Daken's hair. “I hate you,” he groaned and closed his eyes, leaning back as far as he could in the seat, hating the confinement of his damn suit and the car. Daken didn't seem hindered by either, blowing him expertly, the tight wet heat of his mouth everything he could ever want. He had him coming far too soon.

Huffing and dazed, Bullseye tried to glare at his lover. “Don't think that means you're forgiven, shithead.”

Daken wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and gave him a far too smug look. “Good that I have a present for you then, Lester.”

“What?” Bullseye's eyes narrowed in suspicion and he moved to tuck himself into his pants again. Daken shook his head and gave him a wink, turning and tapping on the glass to the drivers' side. It slid to the side and a package was handed to Daken before it closed again. It was a small black box, pretty much a slightly larger posh jewelry box.

“I'm not some chick--” Bullseye started and half choked when Daken opened the box. It was a damn buttplug in solid metal. Bullseye's face froze in an embarrassed grimace, eyes wide and his flush deepening, anger not forgotten when faced with the sex toy but damn well set aside at more pressing concerns. “You've got to be kidding me.”

Daken crawled up into his lap, hunched low and the damn plug in hand. “Oh babe, this was your fantasy. I'd be a bad lover if I didn't try to give you what you want, make you feel good and stuffed even when I'm not fucking you. I think you deserve some fun after tonight.” His voice was like honey and his warmth made Bullseye want him all over again, despite how spent and embarrassed he was. It was one thing to talk and want kinky filth when you were fucking but-- Bullseye made another choking noise.

“Besides, it spares you the awkwardness of going to a hooker to stay ready for me, you can take care of yourself on your lonesome, just like you wanted.” Daken was speaking as if he was being utterly considerate rather than utterly selfish. “And frankly, the thought of fucking you and then plugging you up has me waking up at night hard as fuck.” Daken gave him a sultry look, and slid off his lap and Bullseye could feel his ass clench.

Against all reason and his own anger, Bullseye replied, “You're damn lucky I'm so forgiving.”

***

Pawter had had a long night, and it was close to four am when she finally headed home. Her client had dismissed her and the embassy had put her through a thorough debrief. It had been deemed a righteous kill and she'd been ambivalently both thanked and seemingly accused of something.

Tired but still alert from years of training, she made her way into her building and her own door. Everything seemed fine, but she felt ill at ease. She couldn't forget how Bullseye had stared at her. The assassin was insane, everyone knew that, and not known to forgive and forget. She didn't know how she'd pissed him off but she knew when a killer held a grudge. Call it professional expertise.

Pawter stepped out of her heels in the hall and turned on the light, her weapon still holstered on her leg. It had been a hassle to keep it, the embassy had been oddly cagey about it. She checked herself in the mirror and removed her coat, hanging it carefully despite the urge to just drop everything she wore and crawl into bed without even a shower.

As she turned again, she saw a dark shape in the mirror in her living room. Without missing a beat, she pulled her piece and pointed toward the dark room. “I can see you, asshole. Don't move.”

She kept her sights on the shape and moved closer, turning on the light without looking away. She had expected Bullseye, she hadn't expected the pretty boy client he'd been guarding. He was sitting in her armchair and even had a damn glass of her wine next to him on the side table. What the Hell had he been doing drinking in the dark in her home? “Who are you and why are you in my home?” Pawter demanded, not wavering with her gun.

“You can call me Daken,” he said, his voice confident and self-satisfied. She tried to get a read of him. He seemed slightly different here, more of a threat than the drunken flirt she'd seen at the embassy. Then again invading her home would have that effect on its own. She couldn't see Bullseye anywhere, but it wasn't impossible that he was here given that his client was.

“I'll call you creep since you're fucking creeping on me. What do you want?”

“Feisty,” he laughed and took the glass, sipping the wine and acting as if this was some kind of game. “All I want is to please my darling. I promised him everything he wanted as an apology.” He bit his lip and gave her a look that spoke of sex, but she didn't think for a moment it was truly directed at her. “Though, I must say that this will be good for me too.”

Pawter's face settled in a disgusted grimace and she really wanted that shower all of a sudden. “Okay, creep. I'm gonna call the cops now and if you move I'll shoot you.”

Out of nowhere, a sharp pain hit her hands and Pawter dropped the gun, crying out in shock. She barely had the time to try to face her attacker, when she felt an arm over her throat and a sharp pain at the base of her spine. She should have known. Daken had said as much--

“The only person who gets to shoot him is me,” a familiar voice said into her ear, excited and husky. Pawter caught the slightest look at Bullseye, the signature costume giving it away as well as the blatant crazy in his voice. Fear flooded her and Pawter realized that she was fresh out of options. She caught Daken's eye, who was watching them both with obvious interest, and realized that she'd get no help from him.

Pawter realized that she was going to die tonight.

“You really shouldn't have taken that shot, Pawter,” Bullseye purred, and she could feel his hard-on pressed against her together with the knife. She felt a drop of blood run down her throat.