Surprise! Bet you weren't expecting to hear from me again! I know a lot of you were thinking I abandoned this story, but I promise you that is not the case! The past five months have been pretty rough for me which is why I wasn't able to update. Between college applications, a few funerals, my grandmother's surgery, the holidays, and school in general, my life has been crazy and exhausting and by the time I ever had free time, I was too tired to do anything. Seriously, my free time was used for naps. But I'm back now and I'm really going to try and get this story finished! It was never my intention to leave you guys hanging for so long so I promise I'll make it up to you! Hope this was worth the wait! And thank you so much for sticking with me. It makes me so happy to see that I still have such lovely, supportive, and dedicated readers! You guys are the best :)


Chapter 24-So Much for Secrecy

The following evening Clint arrived at Natasha's brownstone at exactly eight o'clock and they hailed a cab and rode all the way to Tony's apartment building. Once they arrived, Clint paid the driver despite Natasha's protests, claiming it was the "gentlemanly thing to do," and then went inside.

"So, what are the rules for tonight?" Clint asked as they rode up to the top floor in the elevator.

"Rules?" she replied.

"You know, since you and me are still sneaking around," he clarified.

"Okay, first of all we're not 'sneaking around,'" she told him, putting air quotes around the last bit. "Second of all, there aren't any rules. Just don't be too obvious."

"But how am I supposed to know what's okay or not? Am I allowed to even touch you? Or will people pick up on something if I do?"

"Oh, for the love of- you can't hold my hand, you can't wrap your arms around my waist, you can't kiss me on the cheek or on the lips or anywhere else, and you can't stare at me and make those faces."

"I can't make faces?" Clint laughed. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"You know, the face you make when you're about to kiss me?" Natasha told him.

"I don't make a face," he assured her.

"Yes you do," she fired back.

"Do not."

"Do too."

He laughed and pulled her closer to him, pausing before he leaned down and molded his lips to hers. As soon as he pulled away, Natasha smirked at him and shook her head.

"What?" he asked.

"You made the face," she swore.

"I didn't make a face!" he exclaimed.

"Uh-huh, sure," she sighed as the elevator dinged and the doors slid open.

Natasha walked ahead of him and strode out into the hallway towards Tony's apartment. She rang the bell and they waited for a few minutes until the door finally flew open and the pounding music that was pounding inside assaulted their ears. Tony stood there to greet them with a solo cup in hand.

"Man, I was starting to think you guys bailed!" he exclaimed, gesturing for them to come in.

"We said we would come. What kind of rude-ass jerks do you take us for?" Clint asked in mock offense.

"I figured you'd stay home and make out," Tony teased.

"Oh, shut it Tony," Natasha said threateningly. "Carol and Steve here yet?"

"Yeah, their over there," he said, jabbing his thumb towards the crowd of kids around his entertainment center. "Last I checked Thor and Steve were involved in a rather intense dance-off on Just Dance."

"Oh man, now this I've gotta see," Clint said with an amused grin. He and Natasha made their way towards the TV and shoved through the crowd of on looking partygoers until they laid eyes on what was possibly the most amusing thing he had ever seen. Thor and Steve were very enthusiastically dancing to Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" and it took all of his strength not to start laughing uncontrollably.

"Please tell me someone is getting this on camera right now!" Clint exclaimed as he nudged Natasha's arm.

"Oh, I'm sure someone is," she said as she pointed at Tony, who had his cell phone held high, making it obvious that he was in fact recording the entire thing.

When the song ended and Thor had emerged victorious, Thor and Steve high fived and began offering their Wii remotes to whoever wanted them.

"Wanna give it a go?" Clint asked in her ear.

"No way in hell," Natasha shook her head.

"Oh, come on, you're a dancer!" he challenged her.

"I'm a ballet dancer. I'm a bit more refined than this," she told him.

"Barton!" Tony's voice pierced through the crowd. They both looked up to see him holding the two Wii remotes and pointing in their direction. "I believe you once told me that, given the opportunity, you could out-dance me."

"Oh boy," Clint muttered as Natasha gave him a pointed look.

"Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is!"

The crowd around them started cheering and pushing him towards Tony who was giving him a challenging grin.

"Wow Stark, I've never known you to willingly walk into a fight you know you're going to lose. I thought you were smarter than that," Clint said with a smirk as he took one of the remotes.

"That's a lot of talk, Barton. I hope you can back it up, otherwise this is just going to be embarrassing for you."

"I guess you'll have to wait and see," he said as Tony picked a song.


Natasha didn't even recognize the song that Tony chose for them to dance to. All she knew was that apparently it was one of the hardest songs in the game. She watched as the numbers on the screen counted down from three before signaling them to begin dancing and she was rather impressed at how well Clint managed to keep up. Neither him nor Tony were very good, which made the whole scene pretty comical, but they both managed to keep making their scores go up, staying neck in neck with each other for the majority of the time.

"They're not too bad, huh?" Steve said from behind her. She turned around and smiled at him and Carol.

"They're horrible," she laughed.

"I was trying to be supportive," he shrugged.

"Well, all this bad dancing is starting to make me thirsty," Natasha announced. "I need something to drink. You guys want something?"

"Nah, we're good," Carol told her. "Thanks anyway."

Natasha nodded before pushing her way back out of the crowd and heading towards the kitchen. She wandered over to where the drinks were and grabbed herself a soda, not noticing the blonde that was standing nearby until it was too late.

"Well well, Natasha, I didn't expect to see you here," Bobbi said matter-of-factly.

Natasha had to stop herself from groaning aloud as she turned to face her.

"I could say the same about you," she scoffed.

"I'm guessing you're here with Clint," Bobbi scowled.

"I'm here with a lot of my friends. They're all playing that stupid dancing game on Tony's Wii over there," she said, jabbing her thumb in the crowd's direction.

"Are you seriously going to try and deny the fact that you're screwing my ex-boyfriend? Please, I saw you two come in together. Just admit it, you stole him right out from under me," Bobbi said accusingly.

"Oh, get over it Bobbi! He's a person with free will that can make his own choices! I didn't 'steal' him from you, he dumped you! When are you going to figure out that you are the one who drove him away?"

Bobbi clenched her fists and moved towards her angrily, only to be held back by a tall dark haired boy who Natasha recognized to be Grant Ward. It appeared as though Bobbi's prom date had become more than a simply a tact to make Clint jealous.

"Let it go, Bobbi," Grant told her. "It's not worth it."

Bobbi jerked free from his grip but didn't make another move towards Natasha, opting to glare at her instead.

Natasha shook her head and gave Grant knowing look.

"Honestly, you could do so much better," she told him before turning on her heel and walking back into the living room. She saw that Clint and Tony were still going at it on Just Dance, so she drifted along the edge of the crowd until she came upon the door that led to the balcony. Figuring she wouldn't be missed, she quietly slipped outside and breathed deeply as she took a swig of her soda. After her encounter with Bobbi, some fresh air was exactly what she needed.

Natasha sighed as she leaned against the railing, looking down at the bustling city below. She finished off her drink and turned around to set the empty can down on a table just as the balcony door opened and someone joined her outside.

"Hey," Clint said as he approached her. "What're you doing out here?"

"I just needed some air," she shrugged.

"Everything okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, everything's fine," she assured him.

Clint took another step towards her and looked at her with scrutiny.

"You're lying. Something's wrong," he said surely. "What is it?"

"It's nothing, really, just your ex-girlfriend trying her hardest to ruin a perfectly good evening," she muttered.

"Ah," he said understandingly. "You're not really letting her get to you, are you?"

"No…I mean, maybe a little, but I can't help it! She drives me insane, always throwing her shit in my face like I'm Satan or something," Natasha exclaimed. "You know, she accused me of 'stealing' you from her. Can you believe that?"

"C'mon Nat, who cares what she says? I sure as hell don't, and neither should you," Clint told her as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "You can't keep letting her get under your skin like this."

"I'm trying," she sighed, closing her eyes as she pressed her forehead against his.

"I know you are," he said softly. "You wanna go back inside?"

"I'd rather stay out here," she replied as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down towards her.

"What are you doing?" he asked teasingly.

"I'm trying to kiss my boyfriend," she told him.

"But I thought kissing was against the rules that you came up with?" he said with a smirk.

"Oh, shut up," she rolled her eyes before finally pressing her lips against his.

Clint's arms tightened around her waist and she felt him lift her slightly off the ground while she ran her fingers through his hair. His lips were soft as they moved in time with hers, their tongues mingling every so often. Kissing him made Natasha feel as though nothing else in the entire world mattered, and she wanted nothing more than for that feeling to last forever. But of course, it couldn't, and when they pulled away from each other it was as though everything came rushing back.

Natasha breathed heavily and brushed her nose against Clint's as his hand came up to stroke her cheek. She smiled, getting so caught up in the moment that neither of them heard the sound of the balcony door opening.

"Holy shit," a voice intruded upon their private moment, causing them both to jump and pull away from one another as they turned to find Tony poking his head outside. Before either of them could say anything, Tony grinned wickedly at them, filling Natasha with dread. "I fucking knew it," he said victoriously before pulling his head back inside and slamming the door behind him.

"Dammit," Natasha groaned, preparing to run after him and tackle him to the ground if she had to.

"Nat, wait," Clint grabbed her hand and pulled her back towards him.

"He's going to tell everyone, we have to stop him," she told him.

"I don't think we can stop him," he sighed. "This is Tony we're talking about."

"Great," she sighed. "So much for secrecy."

"Everyone would have found out eventually anyway," he reminded her. "Every single person at this party will likely know before the night is over."

"So, you wanna hide out here for the rest of the evening?" she offered.

"Nah, I've got a better idea. Why don't we get out of here? Before Tony starts running his mouth?"

Natasha smiled and nodded.

"Sounds good to me," she said, laughing as Clint grabbed her hand and they ran back inside, weaving in and out of the crowd until they reached the door and left the party behind.


I know this chapter was shorter but I hope you liked it regardless! Again, I am so terribly sorry I had to take a long hiatus from writing, but that's life I guess. Thank you so much for sticking with me though! I really appreciated all your reviews encouraging me to keep writing, even though it made me sad to see that people were starting to believe I'd abandoned this story. I promise that I have every intention of finishing this story! And I know that a few of you have been clamoring for a sequel, and while I will not be writing a sequel with this particular storyline, I will be writing a sequel from the POV of the Agents of SHIELD characters! Basically it will take place after the end of this story, but with different characters and a different storyline. That way you won't have had to read this one in order to understand what's happening in the newer one. It will be a Skyeward fanfiction, so if you don't like Skyeward then I'm sorry :/ I've been dying to write more with them since that one-shot I wrote way back when after episode 1x05. Anyway, I'm rambling. Thank you guys so much for being so amazing! I love you guys! Until the next update (and there will be one, I promise!), TTFN!