Actions

Work Header

The Carnival of Love (Reader x Avengers)

Chapter Text

The moment you saw the billboard, you pulled out your cell phone, opened the group text reserved for your fellow Avengers, and sent out a message that said: “The fair. Tomorrow night. We HAVE to go. Who’s in?”

Less than a minute later, your phone started chiming in response.

TONY: I’m game

CLINT: Count me in

STEVE: Sounds fun

BUCKY: I’d love to ;)

THOR: Idontknowwhatafairisbutofcourseillgowithyou

LOKI: When are you going to learn how to use spaces, Thor? I’ll come, too, darling.

BRUCE: Are you kidding? Those places are death traps. They tear apart the rides and put them back together again week after week.

TONY: I’m rolling my eyes at you so hard right now, Brucie. Don’t be a drag. It’ll be fun!

YOU: They have funnel cakes

BRUCE: ......Alright, I’ll go

It went on this way until almost all of the Avengers had agreed. Wanda and Vision were going out of town for a romantic getaway, Peter had homework to do (Tony gave him hell for that), and both Rhodey and Sam already had other plans for the evening. Except for them, everyone else would be going with you.

Oh, you couldn’t wait! This was going to be so much fun!

——————

Since showing up via Quinjet was a little “too much” for non-official outings (especially when you were only going a few miles down the road), the only way that that many of you could go to the same place was to ride separately. Tony always insisted on driving himself (you were pretty sure he just wanted an excuse to show off his fancy cars, not that you could blame him). But since none of his cars could hold more than one additional passenger, he had eventually decided to invest in some SUV’s for the rest of the team to use.

Stephen Strange was still living at the New York Sanctum, so he was just going to go directly to the fair from there. That left nine of you to figure out how to fit in an eight person SUV. As you all stood outside the vehicle arguing over the details, Tony pulled up alongside in his orange Audi.

“You know, it’s really not that hard,” he said after he rolled down his driver’s side window. “Y/n rides with me, then you only have eight people to worry about.”

He pulled his sunglasses down far enough to peek at you over them, winked, and patted the passenger seat playfully.

“You know you want to, honey.”

You sighed dramatically and walked around the back of the car to join him. Truthfully, you loved riding with Tony. What was there not to like about speeding down the road in a gorgeous sports car? You just didn’t want him to know how much you enjoyed it, for the sake of his ego and all.

Once you were inside, he turned to you and said in a sultry voice, “Don’t forget your seatbelt. I’m a wild ride, but I believe in doing it safely.”

You rolled your eyes at the obvious sexual innuendo and jokingly told him to shut up. Honestly, you were already wondering how tonight was going to go. It was no secret that most of the guys on the team flirted with you...a lot. When you first met them, you didn’t know if it was just their way of making friends with you, or if they were actually interested. But, you had decided a long time ago that you’d just treat the whole thing as a joke, unless one or more of them made an actual move. It seemed like the safest way to handle the situation without making things weird.

“You know, I’m hoping to spend a little one on one time with you tonight,” he said as he pulled out of the driveway.

“Aren’t we doing that now?”

He gave you a side glance to find you smirking at him.

“I meant once we get there.”

“What do you have in mind? Is there anything in particular you want to do?”

“I’ll let you know after I see what they’ve got. I just wanted to mention it so you wouldn’t forget to make time for your favorite.”

“It’ll be tough. I’m a pretty popular girl, you know. But, I’ll try to pencil you in somewhere,” you told him with a gentle smack on the leg.

“You better.”

By the time you reached the fairgrounds, the sun had finished setting and the night sky was filled with the bright lights of the carnival rides. Tony had planned on being a gentleman and opening the car door for you, but you had already hopped out into the cool, fall air before he was even able to get his seatbelt unfastened. As you watched the Ferris wheel turn and listened to the music playing in the distance, a happy grin spread across your face. You knew that it would be good manners to wait for the rest of your friends to arrive, but you dying to get going! It was probably a little pathetic for you to be this excited about a fair, but you weren’t going to let yourself feel embarrassed. These kind of moments were invaluable...an evening of normalcy for a group of people who were anything but.

“It might be easier for them to spot us at the gate than out here among all these cars,” you said as you watched the parking lot fill up.

“Good idea.”

The two of you weaved through the rows of cars until you made it to the ticket line.

“How many?” The young girl in the booth asked.

“Two,” Tony answered.

You gave him a confused look and he added, “You guys do get paid. They can buy their own.”

After she attached your wrist bands, the pair of you wandered over to the main gate to wait for everyone else to arrive. Tony chuckled when he noticed you bouncing up and down slightly with impatience.

“We don’t have to wait for them if you don’t want to,” he offered. “This place isn’t that big. We’d run into them eventually.”

Before you could reply, you heard someone behind you say, “It’s about time you got here. I’ve been waiting fifteen minutes.”

You spun around quickly to find Stephen Strange smiling at you. You were slightly embarrassed that you hadn’t noticed him in the crowd sooner, but you hadn’t thought about the fact that he’d be in regular clothes tonight.

“I didn’t spot you without the cloak,” you admitted.

“Well, you know how it likes to act up sometimes,” he said. “I thought it would be better to leave it at home.”

“Aww, and that’s who I was really hoping to see when I invited you,” you joked, standing up on tip-toes to plant a quick peck on his cheek.

“And all you got was me. You must be disappointed.”

“Terribly.”

Tony scooted up beside you, ever so slightly placing himself between you and Stephen, interrupting your playful banter.

“We were just talking about going on in. Weren’t we, honey?” Tony said, purposely ignoring the sorcerer’s presence.

“That’s a great idea,” Stephen began, pretending he hadn’t picked up on Tony’s brush-off. “What would be even better would be if Y/n and I went on, and you waited for the others here. That way there wouldn’t be any confusion.”

From the direction that you were facing, you couldn’t see the “go to hell” glare that Tony shot the good looking doctor standing across from him. By the time he had turned his attention back to you, he was all smiles.

“Would you mind, Tony?” You asked.

“Anything for you, sweet cheeks. I’ll catch up to you later.”

Under the guise of a quick, one-armed hug, you whispered in his ear, “Don’t worry. I won’t forget my favorite.”

Then you took the arm that Stephen offered you and let him lead you through the gate.

“By the way, thanks for the invite tonight,” Stephen began as he guided you through the growing crowd. “I know it’s probably easy to overlook me, considering I don’t live at the compound and all.”

“Nonsense, I’d never overlook you, Stephen. In fact, I was really excited you were able to make it tonight. We don’t get to hang out as much as I’d like.”

You caught sight of the pleased smirk that graced his features and wondered for a moment if he’d intentionally set you up into complimenting him.

“Alright, so it’s ladies’ choice. Where would you like to start?” he said, drawing you out of your thoughts. Your eyes quickly scanned the night sky before pointing at your first conquest.

“The swings.”

“Really?” He asked.

“Yeah, I love the feel of the wind against my face, and it’s awesome seeing everything from up there.”

Stephen chuckled as he led you into the line for the swings and said, “Then you should let me take you flying sometime.”

“Oh, I’ve been with Thor before,” you quickly replied.

“It might be the same activity, but I promise you the sensation would be entirely different.”

Was it the natural, deep purr of his voice or your imagination that caused you to blush at his remark?

You were saved from needing to come up with a reply by the gates opening. Grabbing him by the arm, you pulled him towards the swings and quickly climbed into one. Your feet didn’t quite touch the ground, so you sat there swinging them like an overly-excited child, completely oblivious to the way Stephen was watching you from the adjacent seat.

“I guess this seems kinda silly to you, doesn’t it?” You casually asked.

“Nothing that makes you happy could be silly to me.”

The moment the words were out of his mouth, the seat slowly started its ascent. Once you were up at the top, you tried scanning the crowd to find your friends. Some of them would be pretty to easy to spot, after all. Your eyes finally landed on a muscular blonde who was enthusiastically waving at you to catch your attention. When the ride ended, you hopped out and ran over to the fence to greet him.

“Took you guys long enough to get here,” you said.

“You know how Steve is about driving safely,” Thor said with a note of distaste evident in his voice. The two were good friends, but the God of Thunder possessed a slightly reckless streak that tended to grow impatient with the Captain’s “follow the rules” mentality.

“Come,” he began, “I’ve picked an activity for us to do together.”

Before you could move away from him to make your way to the gate on the other side, he reached over the fence, grabbed you, and easily lifted you over it.

“Was that really necessary?” You asked with a surprised giggle.

“No, but we probably both enjoyed it,” he answered with a shrug and a smile. “Now, come on!”

“Hold on!” You squealed as the powerful man pulled you by the hand. Sensing that he had no intention of stopping, you turned and yelled over your shoulder to where you had left Stephen behind, “I’ll catch up with you later!”

Thor continued to drag you along at an unmerciful pace until he suddenly came to a stop, causing you to run into his back. You peeped around his large frame to see what he had chosen.

Every amusement park had one. You’d seen it named everything from The Caterpillar to Sleigh Ride. It spun around and around in circles, going up and down little slopes, until slowing down so it could do the exact same thing in reverse. It was always the same, but it was always wonderful.

When it was your turn to get on, Thor stood to the side and motioned for you to climb in first.

“No way,” you began, “it’s basic physics. If I ride on the inside, I’ll get crushed to death by your muscles.”

“Can’t have that, can we?” He replied with a grin.

Your favorite thing about Thor was how easy it always was to make him happy. No matter what you were doing, as long as you approached it with a cheerful attitude, the two of would have fun.

As the ride went along, Thor copied the people in the other cars and put his hands up in the air while yelling. Meanwhile, you were busy just trying to keep your butt on the seat. By the time it slowed to a stop, you were sitting so close you were almost in his lap.

“Well, that was fun,” Thor said, staring you in the eyes, mere inches from your face.

“Yeah, it was,” you whispered.

Were you imagining it, or was he moving in?

“Y/n! There you are! I’ve been looking all over!”

Whatever was or wasn’t happening between you and Thor had been interrupted by Scott yelling at you from the exit to the ride. He was standing there holding a stick of cotton candy in each hand, with a little bit of one of them threatening to fall out of his mouth.

“One of those better be for me,” you said as you approached him. “Preferably the one that doesn’t look like it’s been nibbled on.”

“Of course,” he said, passing you the intact cotton candy from his left hand. You noticed Thor’s forlorn expression as he realized no food was coming his way.

“You’ve hogged up enough of her attention for awhile, Thor,” Scott said. “I’m stealing her now.”

“That is what you do best,” you said, bumping him playfully with your shoulder.

“I have many talents. Stealing just happens to be one of them.”

“Mmhm,” you muttered. Turning your attention back to Thor, you said, “Thanks for picking that ride. It’s always been one of my favorites.”

“I am pleased you enjoyed it, my lady,” he said with a small bow which earned an unseen eye roll from Scott. “I will see you later this evening.”

As you walked off with Scott, you couldn’t help thinking about the moment you had almost shared.

“So, um, are you up for a ride on the merry go round?” Scott asked, earning a laugh from you.

“Of course I am!”

The two of you were the only adults on the ride without kids, which got you both plenty of looks, but neither of you cared. You were having a great time. The pair of your couldn’t stop giggling. When it was over, you walked around together to see what else the fair had to offer.

“The merry go round has always been mine and Cassie’s favorite,” Scott said after awhile. There was a combined fondness and sadness to his voice that you couldn’t miss.

“You really miss her when you’re here, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but she’s in good hands with her mom and stepdad. Besides, she’s really proud of me for being an avenger. That means a lot to me....having my little girl be proud of me.”

“She ought to be. She’s got a pretty great guy for a dad. If she’s a chip off the old block then I’d like to meet her sometime.”

“I’d love that.”

You noticed that Scott was staring at you very intently, as if he was trying to figure something out. It made you nervous for reasons you couldn’t explain, so you looked around before saying, “You really did steal me away, didn’t you? I better hang out with some of the others or I’ll never hear the end of it.”

As you moved past him, you let your hand graze gently across his arm, then kept walking until he was out of sight. You finally stopped near the games area and leaned back against a makeshift wall, rubbing your hand against your forehead in frustration.

Tonight was becoming very....confusing.

“Are you alright over there, doll?” you heard a deep voice ask. You looked to your right to find Bucky playing a shooting game, his years of military and assassin experience evident in his stance. Ignoring his question, you strolled over to stand beside him and watched him do his thing. He was an impressive shot, but of course you already knew that.

“You’re going to make this poor guy go broke,” you said as you watched him hit target after target.

“Keeping my eye on the prize,” was his only response.

When he was finally done, the disgruntled owner growled out, “Which one?”

Bucky didn’t say anything but simply turned to look at you.

“You want me to pick?”

“It was gonna be for you anyway. Now you just get to pick it out instead of it being a surprise.”

You chose the largest teddy bear in the place, which Bucky carried around for you. The pair of you fell into a comfortable silence as you walked through the crowds. For some reason when Bucky didn’t feel like talking, you never had the urge to try to fill the silence. In spite of everything you knew about his past, it was easy being with him.

“I want to go on the rollercoaster,” you said after awhile.

“Alright, lets go.”

As you waited your turn in line, you studied the enormous teddy bear Bucky was holding and said, “I don’t think they’re going to let you take that on.”

“Yeah, right, I didn’t think about that. Hey, pal!” Bucky called out to a random guy waiting around outside. “Do you mind holding the lady’s bear for me while we go on?”

“Nah, man, I got you,” the guy responded, taking ahold of your prize and giving you both a smile.

“I always loved rollercoasters,” Bucky said with a small smile as you climbed into the very front seat with him. You couldn’t help but look at him fondly when he said that. It always made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you could make him genuinely happy about something.

Linking your arm with his metal one, you said, “Then I’m glad we got to do this together.”

“So am I.”

You became aware of the sensation of Bucky’s cold hand taking ahold of yours, with his thumb gently caressing your skin. Even though he couldn’t actually feel your small hand wrapped up in his, you knew the act held significance nonetheless.

“Maybe it’s something in the air tonight?” You thought to yourself.

Your hands stayed like that throughout the duration of the ride, though by the end of it, yours was feeling a little worst for wear.

“Bucky, hand,” was all you muttered as the coaster came to a halt.

“Sorry,” he said as you stretched out your cramped fingers from him holding them too tight.

As you exited the ride, you noticed Bucky looking around with an upset expression.

“Son of a bitch,” he said. “That son of a bitch stole our teddy bear.”

“Buck, it took about $0.25 to make, besides it’s the thought that counts, just let it go.”

“Afraid I can’t do that, doll. I’ll be back.”

You shook your head in amazement as you watched him run off into the night. Now that you were alone again, you wandered around lost in your own thoughts.

The only thing you knew for sure was that things were getting intense tonight.

You didn’t stop walking until you got to an area that had bleachers set up. The sign said a dog show would be starting in five minutes. Since there was no way you were going to miss that, you climbed into the back row to wait.

“No one knows my baby better than I do. Couldn’t have set a better trap if I’d done it myself,” a voice behind you said.

“Hey, Clint,” you replied as he joined you in the bleachers.

“How’s your night going?” he asked, passing you the funnel cake he was holding.

“Pretty good, except for the fact that a certain favorite archer of mine didn’t bother to look me up for a whole hour and a half,” you commented while checking your watch.

“You’re a hard woman to find, especially with these guys tugging you in different directions like sisters fighting over a doll. I could put a tracker on you, then I’d always know where you are.”

“Let’s save that as a backup plan.”

You and Clint shared the funnel cake and watched the dog show together. When it was over, you lingered on the bleachers talking while everyone else cleared out. You were in the middle of laughing at a joke he’d made when he said, “Hey, come here a minute.”

He leaned in very close to you, which caused your laughing to immediately cease. His fingers landed gently on your chin and he tilted your head ever so slightly. Your eyes involuntarily fluttered shut and your breathing hitched as his lips came in contact with the spot between your lips and cheek. When he pulled back, you opened your eyes to find him wearing his signature Clint Barton smirk.

“You had a little bit of powdered sugar there and we were all out of napkins. Can’t have you walking around looking like a mess, can I?”

“No, guess not,” you quietly squeaked out.

“I, um, gotta run to the bathroom for a minute. When I get back, how about you and I play some of those water pistol games?”

“Sure, I’d like that.”

“Will you be alright by yourself until I get back?”

“I’m a big girl. I ought to be fine.”

Then you watched him walk away with a big, silly grin on your face.

“I thought he’d never leave,” a silky voice purred in your ear, causing you to jump.

“Damn it, Loki! How do you always manage to sneak up on me?” You asked as you turned to face him, your hand still resting on your chest from the scare.

“A few centuries of practice...now, come take a walk with me.”

“Clint is expecting me to be here when he gets back. He wants us to play the water pistols.”

“And what about what I want?”

“You want the whole world. You always have.”

“Well, you must be my whole world then because all I want right now is to spend time with you.”

You rolled your eyes playfully and let out a fake sigh of defeat. There was really no way you could say no to a line like that, after all. Before you could jump down from your seat, Loki grabbed you by the waist, lifted you off the bleachers, and set you onto the ground in front of him.

“What is it with you and your brother picking me up all the time?” You whispered to yourself.

“What was that darling?” He asked.

“Nothing.”

The two of you walked until you approached a sight that made your heart break. There was a poor little iguana in a cage all by himself. He had gotten all tangled up in the bars and was having trouble getting free.

“Sir,” you began, approaching the man working the game, “could you please help him out?”

“Uh, yeah, okay,” he responded, moving over to disentangle the reptile.

“How much is he?” You asked.

“He’s a prize if you win the game, and he’s my last one.”

“You want him, don’t you?” Loki asked you quietly.

“Yeah, I do.”

“Then, I shall win him for you.”

“You can’t win at this game. No one ever does. It’s a total rip-off. That’s probably the last lizard he’s got left because it’s the only one he bought.”

Your tirade was cut short by the expression on Loki’s face. He had one eyebrow raised in disbelief and was wearing a mischievous smirk.

“Of course, I forgot who I was talking to. Carry on.”

Five minutes later, you were walking along, baby-talking your new pet.

“I don’t know why you wanted that thing, but I’m happy I could win it for you,” Loki said, looking at the lizard in disgust.

“I’ve decided on a name,” you said.

When you didn’t continue speaking, Loki looked at you to find you with a glimmer in your eyes that he could only describe as dangerous.

“Oh no,” Loki said.

“Oh, yes.”

“No, you are not naming that thing after me.”

“It’s meant to be flattering.”

“It’s demeaning.”

“You won him for me.”

“I don’t care.”

“He’s green. Green is your favorite color.”

“Y/n, I’m warning you.”

“Little Loki has such a cute ring to it though.”

“I’m not going to win this argument, am I?”

“Not a chance.”

After a few silent moments, Loki said, “I have to ask, why did you want it anyway?”

“He was sad, lonely, and miserable...and I don’t know...I felt like he needed me.”

“He does need you...more than you’ll ever know.”

You looked up to find Loki staring at you with such a loving expression that you were at a loss for words. The best thing you could manage to come up with was, “Are we talking about Big Loki, or Little Loki?”

“Isn’t Little Loki what he calls his—ow!” Tony cried out when Loki smacked him hard on the chest. He shot Loki an angry glare before directing his attention to you and saying, “Nice lizard.”

“Thanks.”

“Now leave that thing with its daddy over here,” he said, nodding towards Loki. “You and I’ve got a date with the Tilt-a-whirl.”

You gave Loki an apologetic smile as Tony snatched the box out of your hands and shoved it into his.

“They kind of look alike, don’t they?” Tony said, wrapping his arm around you and guiding you away from the God of Mischief. When you were out of earshot, he added, “Glad I interrupted when I did. That was getting weird.”

“You have no idea. This whole night has been weird.”

“I know right. All these guys throwing themselves at you. It’s as if they can’t tell that I’m clearly your favorite. Guess they’re in denial.”

Shaking your head with a smile, you simply replied, “Uh huh, maybe that’s it.”

Ten minutes later, you were sitting doubled over on a bench trying your damndest not to throw up.

“I can’t believe that made you sick,” Tony said while rubbing your back. “I thought you were made of tougher stuff.”

“First of all, nothing has come up so I am not sick. Second, it wasn’t the tilt-a-whirl. I think the cotton candy and the funnel cake were a bad idea.”

You stayed in that position until you felt his hand leave your back and a different weight take its place.

“I felt you shiver so I know you’re getting cold,” he said, answering your unspoken question as he draped his jacket around you. “Try not to puke on it, alright. It’s suede.”

“Your sensitivity is overwhelming, Tony,” you said with a snort.

“Hey, you know how am I. The amazing thing is that you still love me in spite of it.”

“How about we take it a little easier on the next ride,” you said, changing the subject.

“And do what? The Ferris wheel? That’s for old people.”

“Hey, I like the Ferris wheel!” you cried, feigning offense. “If it’s for old people, then maybe I should go find Steve and take him on it.”

“Maybe you should. It’s about his speed.”

“So, what would you pick next then?”

You watched as he nodded his head in the direction of the roughest ride in the place. Just looking at it made your stomach flip.

“How about I make you a deal?” you began, suddenly feeling a bit playful now that you weren’t so nauseous. “If you can catch me, I’ll ride that with you.”

“Is that all I get if I win?” Tony asked with a wink.

“Since you’re going to lose, you’re never going to find out,” you said before jumping up and bolting off.

Somewhere behind you, you heard Tony mutter something about “younger women.”

You maneuvered your way through the crowd as quickly as you could, looking over your shoulder every so often to see how far back Tony was. The instant you lost sight of him you ran into someone so hard that you fell backwards.

“Oh my god, y/n, are you okay?” Steve asked, bending over to help you up. “Why you were running?”

“Trying to get away from Tony.”

“Tony? Is he getting handsy again? I warned him about that.”

“No, just come on!” you said, grabbing him by the hand and pulling him as hard as you could. You didn’t stop until you got to the entrance to the Ferris wheel.

“In here!” You said, pointing to the ride. You waved your bracelet where the operator could see it and quickly climbed into one of them baskets.

“Come on, Steve!” you yelled to the man who had fallen behind.

“I’ll be there in a minute.”

A few seconds later, he joined you inside and sat down beside you. The two of you were the only ones inside the compartment.

“So, why were you running from Tony?” Steve asked as you tried to catch your breath.

“Long story. I was mostly just messing with him.”

While you focused on breathing in and out, you glanced out the opening and studied the sights below.

“Pretty, isn’t it?” Steve asked as you neared the top.

“Yeah, it is.”

When your basket reached the highest point, the wheel suddenly stopped with a jerk.

“Oh my god,” you whispered, grabbing onto the sides. “Bruce was right. It is a death trap. I’m going to die.”

Leaning towards the opening, you screamed, “THOR!”

“Y/n, calm down. It’s alright.”

“STEPHEN!”

“Y/n,”

“SOMEBODY!”

“Y/N!” Steve repeated, raising his voice this time and grabbing ahold of you. “It isn’t broken. You’re not going to die. I...I, Uh, paid the guy $20 to stop it at the top. I thought you’d like it.”

You stared into Steve’s big blue eyes as his words finally sank in, then leaned into his chest and started to laugh at your own stupidity.

“I looked like an idiot,” you said.

“Nah, but I didn’t know you were such a scaredy cat about heights.”

Sitting up straight, you replied, “I am not afraid of heights. I was afraid of plummeting to my death in a steel trap. One is a phobia, the other is called being totally rational.”

“Mmhm, whatever you say.”

Once the ride started to move again, Steve said, “I am a little disappointed you didn’t trust me to take care of you.”

“I didn’t know you recently learned how to fly, Steve.”

“Fair point, but you do know I wouldn’t let anything hurt you, right? You don’t have to worry about that when you’re with me.”

“Steve, there is no one on this team...hell, there’s probably no one else in the whole world I trust more than you. So yeah, I know.”

For the rest of the ride, you leaned against his strong shoulder and just enjoyed each other’s presence.

When you exited the ride, he checked his watch and said, “It’s getting kind of late. I guess we should start rounding everybody up. How about you go that way, I go this way, and we meet back at the entrance?”

“Sounds good to me. See you in a bit.”

To say the night had gotten even more complicated would be an understatement.

“Y/n!”

“Hey, Bruce, we’re rounding everybody up so we can head home. Where’s Nat?”

“Yeah, going home would be a good idea. Believe me.”

“What happened?” You asked as you hurried along behind him.

“There was this stupid game. A test your strength kind of thing. Tony started it, of course. He did good, but that meant Clint had to do better, which meant Loki had to show him up, which meant—“

“Thor broke the damn thing, didn’t he?” You interrupted, knowing where this story was leading.

“Yeah, he did. Now, everyone’s pissed. The fair guy is pissed because his game is broken. Thor’s pissed because he wouldn’t give him his prize. Tony’s pissed because he has to pay for it. Then, Bucky shows up with this giant stuffed bear that looks like it’s got blood on it and that started a separate argument. When I left, everyone was screaming at each other.”

“Sounds about right.”

When you rejoined the rest of the team, you and Bruce flanked Natasha on either side and proceeded to watch the disaster unfold.

“Should someone intervene?” You asked.

“Ah, Steve will when he gets here,” Natasha answered, taking a sip of her slurpie. “So, I heard you had a busy night?”

“How did you hear about that?”

“I see and hear everything, even when I’m not around. You ought to know that by now.”

“Yeah, it was....extreme.”

“You going to tell me about it or what?”

“I thought you said you hear, see, and know all.”

She made a face at you and said, “Don’t be a smartass. Tell me what you’re feeling.”

“Confused...I love all of them. I always have. But, how can I date any one of them without hurting the others? They mean too much to me to lose them.”

“You aren’t going to lose them. You’re their friend, their teammate, their confidante...they realize that you can’t date all of them. They’ll be disappointed sure, maybe even hurt, but they aren’t going anywhere....unfortunately,” she added as she watched Tony stick his tongue out at an intervening Steve behind his back.

“Has tonight changed anything though?” She added.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I know who you’ve always favored, but...oh I don’t know...I thought new feelings may have come to light is all.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” you said coyly.

“Aw, you’re such a tease. I’m not going to quit until you tell me though. So, come on, who’s it going to be?”