“I can’t believe you came to ComicCon dressed as yourself,” Billy is saying for about the thirtieth time.
Kate shrugs; her costume was clean. She made an effort and everything. Well, she painted her nails purple, anyway.
The halls are crowded with people dressed as characters from everything imaginable, and also as their real-world superheroes. Kate is mostly getting used to running into Cap around every corner, and there are so many Deadpools around that one of them has got to actually be Wade. There are even a handful of young women dressed as her; she just wishes that they weren’t reviving some of her long-dead costume choices.
Billy, dressed as Legolas to Teddy’s Aragorn, spots a guy cosplaying as Wiccan. “I like his boots,” he says, and: “I’m going to ask him where he got them.”
“This is very surreal,” Kate tells Teddy, who just shrugs and grins.
She cheers up when she sees a guy dressed up in Clint’s old weird tabard-dress combination, and snapchats him. FUCK YOU, NERD is the response she gets.
Kate’s being watched by a girl at the next booth wearing a stars and stripes sweater, very tiny hotpants, a beanie and clompy boots. There’s a thoughtful look on her face, and Kate wonders if she’s being checked out or caught out; if there’s much difference between the two.
“That’s a terrible Hawkeye costume,” the girl calls over when they get a bit closer.
“Told you you should’ve dressed as Black Canary,” Billy murmurs.
The girl’s name is America, and she is utterly unrepentant about hating on Kate’s costume. Kate actually likes this one; it’s less shiny, and the hip panels are cute without making her feel overexposed. There’s a lot of women here in that costume Carol will never live down, and she admires them for it.
“I’m just saying, you tried, but it’s shitty,” America says.
Okay, so Kate didn’t bring her good bow with her, but this stuff is authentic. “What are you supposed to be?” she asks, making a show of inspecting America’s clothes. “Insanely Hot Latina Captain America?”
America looks at her, amusement quirking her mouth. “Was some of that description meant to stay in your head?”
“Probably,” Kate agrees, grimacing and looking down at her boots. There’s nothing wrong with her costume; it does the trick, and the weird stains mostly come out. “Anyway,” she says, rallying, “there’s a dude over there who’s literally wearing a garbage sack with a Fantastic Four logo sprayed on it, I’m definitely doing better than him.”
“If you say so,” America replies.
Kate screws her face up. “You haven’t even dressed up, why do you get to judge?”
“I’m a veteran,” America tells her. “Comfy footwear, layers, and a bra that fits airplane miniatures.”
She was already ridiculously attractive – if bitchy – but that probably sells it: Kate wants to keep this one. It probably shows on her face, because America grins, just the pretty side of smug.
“Okay,” Kate allows, “you win.”
“So you like the Young Avengers, then?” Billy asks. His tone isn’t even slightly casual, but luckily they’ve been drinking the vodka Kate stashed in her suitcase and they might just get away with it.
They’re slumped around the hotel room, out of costume and exhausted after a day on their feet. Kate actually spent two hours this afternoon getting pictures of herself taken with every Clint cosplayer she found, with America’s grudging help; she just knows Clint’s going to love that when she gets back and makes him sit through a slideshow of them.
“Yeah,” America says on an easy shrug. “I mean, you know, they probably shouldn’t be hanging out with Loki.”
“I said that,” Kate says, and Teddy raises an eyebrow at her. “I mean, you know, when I… saw… the news on… the internet.”
It’s possible that Kate spends so much of her time with people with superpowers who are either much cooler or much lamer than her, and has forgotten how to actually converse with normal humans. She’s also a bit drunk and America is so attractive and somehow still hanging with them and not saying something like I’m THE Kate Bishop is becoming increasingly hard.
America nods, like that’s an acceptable response; Kate’s half-tipped into her side, where the sweater is warm against her cheek and it’s just generally nice and hey, maybe if she can manage to keep her mouth shut, it all might just work out.
This is her, so, maybe not.
Billy and Teddy are in line for a photo session with Karen Gillan – happily dressed today as genderswapped Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, because that’s the kind of people Kate hangs with – and Kate was going to wander over to the Super Violent Games section with America.
They’ve gotten a bit waylaid, though.
There’s this narrow gap where two booths don’t quite fit together, and it’s ostensibly blocked off by a cardboard cut-out of Harrison Ford doing… something, Kate wasn’t really looking, but people have wandered in anyway. There’s two Deadpools sharing a bottle of water, an Elphaba touching up her green make-up, an Elsa pulling sticks of gum out of her cleavage, and an Orc doing last-minute duct tape repairs to some kind of homemade weapon.
There’s also America’s mouth and America’s thighs and America’s breasts against Kate’s hand when Kate slides a hand under her sweater and gropes.
“Pretty sure I was promised airplane alcohol,” she murmurs, pinching America’s nipple while she’s there, and America’s eyelids shiver.
“Nice to know that’s why you’ve got your hand in my bra,” America replies, and kisses Kate again, all teeth and determination and warmth and ordinarily Kate tries to keep her dating choices out of the public eye so she doesn’t have to deal with shit like when Perez Hilton found out Clint and Jess had split, but it turns out this is the one place Hawkeye can get away with some public making out.
It’s awesome on so many levels.
“So,” America says, hair sex-ruffled in a gorgeous way, “you back to New York in the morning?”
Kate skims her mind over the last couple of days and is pretty sure that she didn’t mention where she lived.
“I… guess,” she says, careful.
“I assume Clint gets malnutrition if you leave too long,” America adds.
Kate’s spine goes a little cold. “Is this some kind of… weird roleplay thing?” she asks. “I mean, you don’t seem like the damsel-in-distress type, if you want to play Oh God Oh God Hawkeye Save Me or whatever.”
“I’ve seen your rescues,” America says dryly. “I’m okay over here, actually.”
Kate feels her eyes widening, and she sits up, pulling the duvet to her chest, even if it’s too late to hide anything.
“Oh please.” America arches an eyebrow. “You turned up to ComicCon in your actual superhero costume. You don’t even wear a mask. You think I couldn’t figure it out?”
“But… but you gave me so much shit over it!” Kate protests.
“Yeah, ‘cause it was the laziest fucking costume ever.” America looks amused. “What, you couldn’t even be assed to braid your hair and be Katniss Everdeen?”
“But it’s the actual Hawkeye costume!” Kate says. She’s starting to sound pretty petulant, but, whatever.
“And therefore a terrible cosplay,” America replies. “Zero points for effort.”
Kate scowls; America still looks gleeful.
“Everyone else thought I was cosplaying,” she mutters.
“I’m not everyone else,” America points out, and, well, yeah. There is that.