Chapter 48

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Happy Fourth of July!

Natasha's POV

The next few rounds of Truth or Dare were uneventful, and pales in comparison to Loki's shocking secret talent. Everyone was laughing and having a good time regardless. They seemed to have gotten over the shock.

I have been keeping a close eye on Peter and Loki, mainly because Loki was able to produce magic. I suspected he had lost it momentarily, and the surprise on both of their face's confirmed it. I found it troublesome that he was suddenly able to regain his abilities. What caused them to vanish? And how did he get them back?

"Peter, truth or dare?" Clint asked.

"Dare!" He announced proudly.

A grin overtook Clint's face. "I dare you to straddle Loki."

"I bet you twenty bucks he can't," Clint whispered to Bucky.

"I'll take that bet," Bucky whispered back with a small smile on his lips.

"Challenge accepted," Peter answered.

Clint whipped his head around, clearly surprised. I almost laughed aloud.

"What are you waiting for then," Clint taunted, probably in the hopes he would back down. "Do it."

Loki sat up, cross legged, and leaned back on his hands. He smirked as Peter drew near. The room was nearly silent, thick with tension that Loki and Peter were oblivious to. I put a hand over my mouth to cover the smug smile I wore.

Peter hoisted himself up onto Loki's lap, wrapping his legs around Loki's hips. They gazed at each other with competitive eyes, seeing which would back down first. Thor looked so nervous that he almost appeared sick.

The expressions around the room were either nervous and awkward, or flat out grins. Wade was certainly enjoying himself, along with Bucky and myself.

The two boys held eye contact for several more tension filled seconds, before bursting into laughter. Peter untangled himself from Loki and sat back down in his original spot. Clint wordlessly passed a twenty dollar bill to Bucky. He glowered while Bucky tucked the money in his pocket.

I snickered and Clint's eyes were trained on me. Embarrassment flooded me and I stopped laughing. He lost interest in me and started talking to someone next to him. I glanced back and with a world altering jolt, I realized that Clint and Bucky were holding hands and conversing smoothly.

My heart shattered. Were they..? I shook my head and stood.

"I'm going to get a snack real quick," I announced in a cool tone, trying to disguise my pain and have a moment to myself.

"I'll get it!" Loki offered.

Peter frowned. "I really don't think-" but Loki had already vanished.

He appeared moments later with marshmallows in his grasp. "Here you go."

He tossed the bag to me. I was grateful, but I needed that moment alone. I was used to the physical abuse of being a spy, my training and missions had assured that, but it was nothing compared to emotional pain. It ripped through me and made me feel like curling up and crying.

I took a deep breath and nodded. "Thank you."

He smiled. "You're welcome!"

Peter muttered something under his breath.

Loki turned to him. "What did you say?"

"You shouldn't be using magic!" He told Loki. "You lost it because you used too much! You haven't even recharged and you're already using it freely!"

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