Tracer tripped on the doorjamb in the entrance hall and almost fell flat on her face.
It wasn’t exactly hard to excuse herself for that, even while she windmilled wildly with her free hand to stay upright. Not her fault! With Winston calling everyone back she’d needed to run out and buy some cardboard boxes so she could put her stuff in storage—she had some valuable vintage posters and models and RAF memorabilia she’d collected over the years, no way was she leaving that where anyone breaking into the place could get at it.
And then she’d gotten hungry on the walk back so she’d dropped into the Red Lion for some takeout, and then some asshole on the sidewalk had stepped on the back of her shoe and nearly taken it off, and then before she could fix it her gauntlet had started beeping…
“... might just have missed my time, Tracer.”
“Ah, don’t be like that,” she protested as she tried futilely to fix her scrunched-up shoe by rubbing it against the wall. Giving up, she adjusted her slipping grip on a folded stack of cardboard boxes and tried to bring her mouth closer to the gauntlet mic. “Where’d you get the idea none of us were soldiers before?” she demanded as she started up to her apartment, taking the stairs two at a time. “Even I was supposed to be Air Force ‘till Overwatch tapped me.”
She thought she could hear a smirk on the other end of the line as Fareeha Amari answered drily, “Really? I was told you washed out of training.”
Tracer glared at the gauntlet. Winston. The filthy traitor. “I did not! Best and brightest, I was! Slipstream program didn’t take rejects! Just...mighta been a few, uh, disciplinary...incidents...look, tha’s not the point. Point is, we could really use you.”
A heavy sigh. “I told Doctor Winston—”
Tracer choked on a laugh and also a mouthful of plastic as she held her takeout bag between her teeth and attempted to fish her keys out of her pocket. “D’ct’r ?” Her door key was stuck under the strap of her harness, and she tugged at it. “‘E mus’ like you.” Victory! She bullied the lock open and took the plastic bag out of her mouth. “Now, I know Winston didn’t tell you Overwatch is too good for hired security!”
“The difference between an organization like Overwatch and a common mercenary—”
“Difference is people, Captain,” Tracer said firmly. Gratefully dumping the flat boxes to be dealt with in the morning, she hit the kitchen light with her elbow and set her food on the counter. “Plain an’ simple. Big guy showed me your service record and you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think you’re good enough. Good enough you were tapped for us last time, right?”
Amari gave a long sigh. “Yes, I know. I’ve settled for too long.”
Tracer groped with her free hand at the backpack attachment to her harness—independent power unit, the only reason the thing worked. Couldn’t sleep in it though, and it was murder on her back after a long day even as light as it was. Finally, her fingers found a slight indentation and pushed. “So you’ll tell Winston you’re coming, yeah?”
A chuckle. “I told him an hour ago. All I said was that he told me to call you if I had doubts. I never said I told him no.”
“You little—! Fishing for compliments, now, are we? I’ll remember that.” She tugged lightly at the secondary cable she’d activated, pulling out about a meter of slack before bringing the attachment around and fitting it into the bottom of her chronal accelerator, twirling the screw-in fastener to ensure it didn’t fall out. That’d be bad, putting it mildly.
Tracer rolled her eyes affectionately and, cable secured, disconnected the stiff carbon-fiber chronal enhancer attachments that surrounded her accelerator and braced along her ribs. She gave a sigh of relief and rolled her shoulders as they detached, following it up quickly by completely loosening the big, bulky fastenings at her shoulders and slipping them off the straps holding them in place so she could take the entire “backpack” off.
“You should be,” she said lightly, letting it hang from her fingers as she carefully picked her bag of Chinese food up again and relocated to her bedroom. What? She was going to stick in an old dogfight-heavy drama and eat as much cheap takeout as she wanted. Adulthood was great. “Washed outta pilot training? That was cold, Amari. What’d you do, fail all your explosives course—”
Once again, she really couldn’t be blamed for this. Freezing up and staring while the power unit of her harness slipped out of her fingers and landed with a thud was a completely reasonable response given the circumstances.
Honestly, if anyone had a better suggestion to how she should’ve responded to walking into her bedroom only to find Widowmaker already there, perched casually on the sill of her open window looking like she’d been there for hours, Tracer’d love to hear it.
The Talon assassin raised an eyebrow mildly. The corner of her mouth twitched as she waved a hand, like, oh no, by all means, I can wait.
“Tracer?” Fareeha was saying. “I...Tracer? Are you all right? Lena?”
Tracer lifted the gauntlet back to her mouth with a faint, mildly hysterical laugh. “Ah,” she said weakly. “Call you back, love?”
She was pretty sure Fareeha agreed, but wasn’t sure since she’d already hung up.
After a few solid seconds of staring, Widowmaker’s smile widened slightly. The light, lethal sniper rifle she’d been holding was set aside carefully, muzzle down and leaning against the wall in the corner, as she slipped to her feet.
Tracer wasn’t so bewildered that she couldn’t snap one pistol out of its gauntlet. Bewildered enough that she was still holding her bag of takeout in the other hand but, hey, not a total loss.
Widowmaker paused, regarded the weapon pointing at her face for a second, then gave a single, low huff of laughter.
“That is unnecessary,” she said.
“Sure,” said Tracer.
One perfect eyebrow arched. “If I had wanted to kill you…” Widowmaker said pointedly, placing a finger on the edge of Tracer’s pistol and pushing it aside like an afterthought as the assassin sidestepped her. Tracer let the weapon flip back into her gauntlet as she stepped carefully over her charging cable, mirroring Widowmaker while her mind raced.
She couldn’t blink like this, no rewind button either—not with the enhancing attachments disconnected. This was low-power mode, just enough going to the accelerator to keep her from slipping away in the temporal aether, so to speak. Let her sleep and shower a lot easier.
Did Widowmaker know that, though?
Hard metal pressing against her hand jolted her out of her thoughts; she yelled and leapt back, wincing as her power unit scraped against the floor and jerked at her accelerator. Ow. And it was an overreaction anyway; the cold metal hadn’t been a knife or some other weapon being pulled on her, and Tracer fought a flush as Widowmaker held up her takeout bag, which she’d hooked on one cybernetic foot. God forbid she bend down a few inches to just grab it like a normal person. And, hey, that was Tracer’s dinner!
“Uh,” she said. “Paid for that.”
“Your superiors must appreciate your priorities.”
Superiors, Tracer thought mockingly, mentally promising Winston that she’d laugh him back to the moon if he ever tried to pull that one on her.
Widowmaker made a face at Tracer’s chair, which was currently a mountain of dirty clothes—look, what was the difference between that and a hamper anyway? She did laundry!—and set the food delicately on top of the pile. Somehow it managed to be condescending.
By this point Tracer really should have had a quip ready. Unforgivable slip-up there, she had a reputation to maintain and all. But Widowmaker wasn’t giving her a chance to think of one. She was just...circling, taking her time and smiling a little, giving Tracer a chance to disentangle herself from her charging cable. It was a little distracting, all right?
Especially when cool fingers brushed her throat and tugged lightly on the collar of her jacket.
“Take this off,” Widowmaker murmured. “I want to look at you.”
Okay. Pause. Back up. Easier said than done on charge mode.
That merited something witty and clever and cutting. A real dose of flygirl cockiness. Something that said, yeah, sexy French assassins show up in my bedroom telling me to strip off every day, what makes you think you’re special?
“...W..wha... come again?”
The look Widowmaker gave her wasn’t a warning, exactly. More like the kind of patiently disapproving look little Lena Oxton used to get all the time from teachers when she got bored and goofed off in class. The Lena, can you tell me what I just said? look. Don’t make me repeat myself, Lena.
Tracer realized she was spluttering indignantly but couldn’t figure out how to stop.
“What—you—I’m not—why—y-you’ve got a pretty ‘igh opinion of your own charm, there, love!” She reflexively pulled her jacket collar closed as she reached down and groped for a moment before picking up her power unit and taking a very large step back.
Widowmaker didn’t follow her; just crossed her arms and looked amused. “Oh?”
Tracer stared at her, indignant. “You—just show up, for one, assuming I’m even interested—!”
That actually earned her a rich, rolling laugh, which pushed her right over indignation and into incredulous gaping as Widowmaker shook her head.
“I assume nothing,” she said, and oh, Tracer was gonna wipe that smug look off her face one of these days. “You are interested.”
“What makes you so sure?” Tracer demanded.
Somehow, Widowmaker managed to smirk even harder. She shifted her weight back onto one leg, lifting a hand to tap a finger against her temple as she gave Tracer a long, languid up-and-down look.
“Heat sensors,” she drawled.
Tracer felt herself blush to the roots of her hair before she could stop herself. Widowmaker just smiled.
“...’s an invasion of privacy, that is,” Tracer mumbled after an awkward moment, ears burning. “Never gave you permission to go oglin’ my heat signature…” She brightened a bit as a comeback finally occurred to her. “So you think I’m hot, then, yeah?”
Widowmaker rolled her eyes and reached out to tug at her collar again, more impatiently this time. “Off,” she said. Then, lips twitching as that eyebrow arched again: “Unless you want me to leave, of course.”
“Maybe I do!”
Tracer winced inwardly. Her voice’d actually cracked on that. Oh, the shame. She sounded about as convincing as Winston trying to pretend Reinhardt’d eaten the last of the peanut butter. Which was weird, because she meant it. She did! Really!
Widowmaker just hummed patiently, and Tracer couldn’t stop herself from gasping as cool fingers tipped her chin up and drew along her jaw. A pulse pistol leapt to her right hand as she flinched—but she didn’t raise it, and she didn’t know why.
“Mmm. Say the word.” Widowmaker didn’t look worried. “I won’t waste my time. I take what I am given, no more.” Suddenly the fingers ghosting over Tracer’s chin tightened. Not enough to hurt, as they curled around her throat and squeezed lightly; not enough to cut off her air. Just enough to say that she could.
The grip on her throat pulled Tracer forward as Widowmaker leaned in to speak into her ear.
“I wonder,” she murmured, “What you will be thinking of tonight, if I leave without taking what I want.”
Credit where due, she didn’t hold Tracer there long. Just long enough for her pulse to thunder in her ears for a bit, the burning flush to kick back up. Long enough to let it finally sink in that this was really happening, not another dream or one of the careless fantasies that Tracer’d definitely absolutely never had. Long enough to realize she was right.
And since when did Lena Oxton back down from a challenge anyway? She set her chin and stubbornly loosened one shoulder strap to start working her way out of the jacket before she could think about it any longer and, uh, come to her senses.
Mercy’s gonna kill me.
“Y’know, love” she said conversationally, trying to distract herself from her pounding heartbeat and the hungry way Widowmaker was watching her. “You’re awful confident.” There, that felt right again. Since when did this uptight nerd of a sniper make her nervous, anyway? She threw in a rakish grin just for good measure. “What makes you think I’ll let you be on top?”
Widowmaker tried. She really did. Tracer could see the struggle in her eyes.
For about a second, she managed to keep a straight face. Then her lips twitched violently, she gave Tracer the most fondly pitying look she’d ever received, and a moment later Widowmaker burst out laughing.
“Fine,” Tracer told the ceiling. “Have it your way this round.”
Just because she could, Widowmaker took her time on this one. Checked the soundness of the improvised ties, adjusted the length of the leather. Then, without looking up, she caught Tracer’s ankle and slipped the loop around it, tugging it lightly to take up the slack.
The stabilizing leg attachments from her chronal harness, it turned out, were only necessary if she was planning on going anywhere. They were designed to be detached. It was always a pleasure to find something unexpectedly working in one’s favor.
Just because she could, she reached up and placed her fingernails lightly in the bend of her captive’s knee, drawing them slowly down. Tracer reflexively jerked against the restraint with a muted whine; Widowmaker glanced at the tie, and was satisfied that it wouldn’t tighten enough to be painful or dangerous.
She had her professional reputation to maintain, after all.
She had to smile at her handiwork. Oxton was gratifyingly pliable once she decided to cooperate. And she was a pretty thing, flushed and grinning faintly, tied spread-eagle to her own bedposts and testing her bonds without any apparent desire to really escape them. There would be no temporal tricks, and when Widowmaker tied a knot it held.
“Still can’t believe I agreed to this,” said Tracer. Bless her—she was out of breath. “You’re persuasive, y’know that?”
“Hush,” Widowmaker chided. For once, she appreciated the ridiculous Talon jumpsuit; it was the simplest thing in the world to shrug off her shoulders.
Oxton gave a wide, lopsided grin. She couldn’t toss off a mocking salute with her wrists tied to the headboard, but she managed an approximation. “Yessir, ma’am, sir.”
That, she did not dignify with a response.
Running her hands up Oxton’s thighs was an indulgence, but one she allowed herself. What was this but indulgence, after all? Tracer was a constant aggravation, a distraction, and Widowmaker saw no point in pretending that she had no interest in the young agent. Scratch the itch, satisfy her curiosity, and she would be a steadier operative for it.
She certainly heard no complaints, as she slid gracefully onto the bed and let her knees rest on either side of the girl’s hips.
Widowmaker frowned slightly, irritated with herself for an obvious oversight, and leaned forward. She hooked her fingers under the rim of those godawful goggles; Tracer complained loudly as the plastic stuck to her face, and Widowmaker ignored her to tug them off and toss them aside.
Much better. Even the feigned pout was intoxicating, when paired with the odd vulnerability of removing that last barrier. Widowmaker ran her fingers through Tracer’s hair; she thought the strap of the goggles might have caught, and she didn’t intend to hurt the girl, not unless she asked politely. It felt good— so she did it again, slower, savoring the sensation and the soft noise it drew from Tracer’s throat.
Widowmaker hummed in response, low and deep. It was almost a shame to stop playing with the girl’s hair, but then there was the rest of her to play with as well. Her interest had not been misplaced. Lena Oxton was petite, a little slip of a girl; but fit and reasonably athletic, and very, very responsive. She took her time appreciating that, the pad of her thumb dancing over pale lips before drawing her fingernails along the underside of Tracer’s jaw, forcing her to tilt her chin up.
“Mmm. Exquisite.” Tracer bit her lip, and Widowmaker’s voice dipped an octave as she purred, “Like a fly in a web.”
She wasn’t certain if it was the words, or wandering fingertips brushing the rim of her chronal accelerator, that made Lena Oxton’s breath catch so harshly. She was certain of the moment those lovely brown eyes went wide, and the panicked look in them at Tracer’s belated realization that this was the easiest assassination in history.
Widowmaker clucked her tongue in a mild rebuke.
“Oh,” she said pityingly. “Sweet girl. This is too simple. If I wanted to kill you…” She tilted her head meaningfully toward the rifle in the corner. Some of the tension left Oxton’s body; but not all of it, so Widowmaker gave her a moment. She traced one nail over the rim of the little metal accelerator, ran her fingers along and under the soft leather straps holding the device in place. And then, because she could not be further from a saint, palmed a small breast and squeezed lightly.
That brought laughter. Good; the moment of fear was past.
“Wondered when you’d stop just looking,” Tracer said. “What’re you waiting for, then?”
Without sparing her another word, Widowmaker took the girl’s chin roughly in one hand and kissed her.
Somehow, it managed to catch Oxton by surprise. She jerked her restraints taut with something between a yelp and a breathless laugh, and arched as much as they would allow as teeth tugged at her bottom lip. Oh, yes, Widowmaker thought with the satisfaction of a job well done. This one, she had made a sound judgement call in tying down. There would be no controlling her otherwise.
She demanded more and received it, nails raking through Tracer’s hair and along her scalp, tongue dipping between the girl’s lips and deeper as she gripped that delicate chin. Tracer pressed up against her and returned the kiss—clumsily, but with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Widowmaker hummed with pleasure, but it wouldn’t do to let her prey take too much initiative. She might start to forget her place.
She took one last hard kiss, tightening her grip on Oxton’s chin as the girl tried again to turn it around on her—the cheek of this one. No matter; she would make her point soon enough, and tolerated Tracer’s confident smirk as Widowmaker sat back to straddle her again..
“Wasn’t done with you yet, love.” That insufferable self-assurance was back in full force as Tracer looked up at her, a challenge in her eyes as they flicked along Widowmaker’s body. “Seemed like you were enjoying yourself, how ‘bout you come back over here?”
An artfully raised eyebrow was her answer, and Widowmaker savored the confusion that came over the girl’s face as she replied, “Why would I do that?”
Oxton’s eyebrows nearly disappeared under her choppy bangs. The flash of a grin this time had lost a bit of its cockiness; that could only be counted as a victory. “Could think of a couple reasons. Come a little closer, I’ll show ya.”
Widowmaker smiled. Perfect. The trap was sprung.
“You,” she purred softly as her own fingers drifted between her legs, “have a high opinion of yourself.”
It took several moments of visible bewilderment for Tracer to grasp her meaning. When she finally did it was with the most offended rapid blinking Widowmaker had ever seen, and she enjoyed every minute of it. She was not the one dependent on another’s touch. Perhaps even Lena Oxton could be taught humility.
“You—you can’t—oh, tha’s not right!”
Or perhaps she was overly optimistic.
Tracer was astonishingly expressive. Widowmaker had always appreciated that, some part of her always curious to see what the sweet, naive little thorn in her side might look like desperate. She was hardly going to pass up the opportunity, and she fought the urge to close her eyes as she curled her fingers and began to stroke between her legs in earnest. She wanted to watch this.
For a moment Tracer stared at her as if expecting her to relent; then, briefly, she yanked at the padded cord around one wrist, threw her weight against the other...as if watching such a lovely little thing writhing under her would be anything but encouragement.
Widowmaker’s body ran slow and cool, but this, this she had planned and wanted for too long. It was a matter of minutes to send herself over the edge, panting for breath, free hand fisting in the worn sheets beside Oxton’s head; shallow, but satisfying for now.
Tracer had settled down while Widowmaker was...distracted...and glared at her.
“Lemme up,” she complained.
Widowmaker smiled. “No.”
She’d given the girl a word, of course, if she genuinely wanted to be untied. Widowmaker was heartless, not that kind of monster. Nor did Tracer strike her as nearly self-righteous enough to accidentally yell “overwatch” during sex. If she were Amari, perhaps…
Tracer’s glare just intensified. Widowmaker smiled sweeter as she began to regain her composure, cupped a hand lightly over the girl’s cheek, and said quietly, “Beg.”
Immediately, Tracer scoffed. “As if!”
Widowmaker held back her indulgent smile to spare Oxton’s feelings. She didn’t try very hard, and didn’t bother pretending to miss the way those wide, eager eyes snapped between her legs like a hawk as her fingers curled again. She just adopted a knowing expression. You didn’t think I was finished with you, surely, pet?
When Tracer, uncertain for the first time, darted a glance up to meet her gaze, she repeated herself. “Beg.”
Tracer tossed her head back, throwing a chunk of hair out of her face. “Love,” she said, “stop being such a bloody tease and you have have whatever you want!”
Widowmaker shook her head with a soft laugh. “That is bargaining,” she informed her. Two fingers tilted the girl’s head back. “I want you to beg.”
“Oh, fuck me,” Tracer muttered as fingernails drew up under her chin.
When you ask nicely, Widowmaker didn’t reply.
Finally, after several long moments of grumbling under her breath, a hopeful “...Please?”
Widowmaker considered it, then shook her head. “Harder.”
“Oh, c’mon!” Tracer jerked at her restraints again. “Please!”
Widowmaker raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t…” Tracer’s voice was smaller than it had been, enough that Widowmaker frowned slightly and looked closer. The girl was still trying to maintain control, of course, that much she’d seen coming; but there was an unexpected level of fear in her eyes suddenly, a prey-creature wariness like she was bracing to run. “What d’you want? ”
She couldn’t do it. She was trying, and she could go no further. Widowmaker glanced at the tiny, slowly blinking indicator light in the center of Tracer’s chronal accelerator. Perhaps it was not such a surprise that she was not capable of surrendering completely.
And, she thought with sudden fondness, Tracer’s stubbornness and spirit would be shameful things to lose.
She bent down for another kiss, surprising herself with how gentle it was, and placed two wet fingers over her lips.
“Perhaps I will show you,” she murmured. “Once you earn it.”
Lena Oxton was a young, idealistic fool, perhaps—but she was intelligent, and quick on the uptake. Warmth curled in Widowmaker’s belly as the girl’s eyes lit up instantly, flashing with fiery confidence. The corner of her mouth quirked, and all was right with the world.
“See,” she quipped. “That’s more like it.”
Widowmaker’s eye twitched. Next time, she decided, I am gagging her.
“Quiet,” she said firmly, and slipped her fingers into Tracer’s mouth.
The last time Tracer’s head had felt this light, she’d been lost in the slipstream for a month already.
Given a choice between acute chronal dissociation and really good sex, well, this sure beat the hell out of teleportation accidents.
A shift of weight on the mattress brought her back down to earth, but only a little. Widowmaker’d warmed right up after a few minutes, but her “warm” was still just about room temperature; when she sat down on the side of the bed and leaned over to kiss Tracer’s shoulder it was like her lips were made of enamel or something. Cold. But they were soft, too, so...maybe not enamel? Words were hard.
“A miracle.” Widowmaker’s mouth moved along Tracer’s collarbone. Aww. She’d got her clothes back on at some point. That was sad. “You have stopped talking.”
Tracer gave a garbled groan and tried to focus on getting her heartbeat to maybe calm down a bit.
“Mmph,” she managed. “Think I mighta died a bit.”
There was a low chuckle against her neck. “Only a little death.”
Tracer found enough focus to roll her eyes. Walked into that one, Oxton. “Couple of ‘em,” she said breathlessly, “now you mention.”
Keeping her eyes open was too much work. Tracer fought off a yawn as slender fingers plucked at her hair. Widowmaker was petting her like a cat. Felt nice, though, so she wasn’t complaining and she was too tired to tease her over it. Good thing she had going, here. A second yawn came too suddenly for her to suppress it and she felt Widowmaker laugh softly against her. Still. Downright comfortable, this. Dark room, soft bed, gorgeous woman curled up with her, she might fall asleep like this…
A sharp stab of pain at her throat jolted her out of that reverie fast enough. She couldn’t get a hand free to clap over the spot, but it throbbed, and she was pretty sure she was bleeding. Widowmaker stood up, looking smug and licking her lips.
“Didja…? You bit me!”
Widowmaker glanced over her shoulder as she collected her rifle from the corner. “I heard no complaints before.”
While Tracer spluttered indignantly that this was a little different, she hadn’t drawn blood with her little love bites, the hell was that for, Widowmaker calmly strapped on her gauntlet, checked the charge, and fired a grappling hook out the open window. She at least spared one last long, smirking once-over before giving a mocking bow.
“Until we meet again, chérie. ”
And then she was gone. Out the fourth-floor window. Typical.
Tracer’s head dropped back onto the mattress as she grumbled. And her food would be cold by now on top of everything else.
It was an embarrassingly long time before she realized the more immediate issue. Namely, she was still tied to the bed. And she knew by now there was no wiggling out of these knots; didn’t hurt or anything, but this was gonna get uncomfortable fast. Sure, now she’d accepted the recall, if she didn’t check in with Winston inside about 24 hours he’d send someone to check up on her. And her landlord would want to give the place a once-over before she moved out, so she probably wasn’t gonna die of dehydration or something.
Still. She had a list of people she didn’t want showing up to the apartment and finding her in this particular predicament, and that list consisted of most of the population. Couple notable exceptions, maybe, but, time and a place.
She tugged experimentally on her left hand. She had about fifteen centimeters of slack to work with—enough to let her feel like she was fighting the things without actually being able to do anything. Still, she thought as she pulled it taut, maybe she could…
There was a thundercrack outside, and Tracer hit herself in the face.
“Ow,” she said for the second time in five minutes. Holding her suddenly free left hand in front of her face, it looked like the strap had snapped. Sure. And that wasn’t a gunshot either. She wasted no time in stretching as much as she could and freeing her other hand. She rubbed her aching throat as soon as she'd gotten loose, unsurprised to find blood on her fingers. Two distinct puncture wounds, small and healing already, probably cybernetic, almost like...a spiderbite. "Really?" she asked the empty room, before shaking her head and rolling back over to confirm her suspicions.
Great, she thought. There goes that safety deposit.
There was a large bullet hole in her wall, neatly placed between the slats of her headboard. Heaven forbid she just untie a girl like a normal human being, right?
Well she was certainly awake now, at least.
“Bloody unbelievable,” she decided, and set about working her ankles free.