"A spell? A fucking magical spell turned me into a woman?" Tony barked, and Thor jumped.
"It was not my spell," Thor pointed out. "Shouting at me will do no good...Miss Stark."
"Ms," Tony snapped. "Fuck! Mr! Tony! For god's sake!" From the waist down he was still clad in the Mark VII armor he'd summoned for the battle. From the waist up he was wearing his helmet and the repulsor gloves along with a snug black t-shirt, because the chestplate fit poorly over his new breasts, and he'd had to pop off the shell.
"I was merely demonstrating respect," Thor grumbled. He still called Pepper Ms Potts despite her insistence on "Oh, just Pepper, please." He called Natasha...Natasha, because she'd made her request in a more convincing manner.
"Give him the other news," Clint said, setting down his quiver and propping a boot up on the debris-covered armrest in the wrecked theatre.
Thor nodded slowly. "While you were unconscious, we successfully brokered an agreement with our nemesis. In exchange for a truce and a concession, the spell has been made temporary."
Tony eyed his teammates and folded his arms. It was more difficult than usual. There were obstacles. "How temporary? And what concession?"
"We agreed not to invade their realm," Clint said. "Which, you know, was not a very big concession because we don't invade realms. And we let them live, which kind of was. Also, they agreed not to tear any more holes between dimensions. Big win."
Tony kicked the remains of a shattered spotlight out of his way with an iron-booted foot. "How temporary?" he repeated.
"Three moons!" Thor declared.
"Three moons," Tony repeated flatly. "Three months? Three Earth months, am I right?"
Thor nodded again.
"Then what happens?"
"Then you will be returned safely to your original form," Thor explained, as if Tony was a bit slow. "It's a three-moon spell."
"No duh," Clint said, raising his hands defensively when he saw Tony ball his armored fists and lean towards him. "Sorry! Sorry, Tony. I wouldn't joke, but you're okay. It's temporary. I won't..." Clint shook his head, because he couldn't promise not to joke about this for three months. Really, that was asking way too much.
"That's terrible negotiating," Tony spat out. "Couldn't you have held out for a three-hour spell or something?"
"A three hour spell would have been impossible," Thor said, shaking his head.
"We actually didn't get off too badly," Clint said. "They almost had us a couple of times. They were tough. I mean, at least we all made it out safe, and so did Broadway. 41st Street is in pretty bad shape, though. Steve and Natasha are out there pulling people out of cars."
Bruce cleared his throat and adjusted the piece of black stage curtain he was wearing as a makeshift toga. "Could be worse, Tony. Some changes don't wear off."
Tony paused. "That's actually...a good point, Socrates," he muttered. He hefted his chest armor. "I'm going to go alter a suit." He began walking back to the street entrance, and the others watched him retreat.
"He's actually pretty," Clint said. "It's weird, but I think I'm a little turned-on right now."
"Don't ever tell him that," Bruce said. "Shit, where's my wallet?"
Tony sequestered himself in his workshop, doffed the armor, and began modelling the new suit pieces in 3D form. He scanned himself, then expanded the chestplate and made adjustments to the boots and the length of the arm and leg armor, because he was shorter -- just slightly. And his current suit was too big in the waist. AD HOC TEMPLATE, Tony typed, with unnecessary force. "Temporary," he muttered to himself. "Three. Fucking. Moons."
JARVIS was suspiciously quiet.
"JARVIS!" Tony shouted.
"Sir?" JARVIS replied calmly.
"Well, that's a relief. You recognize me. What, no greeting this evening?"
"I was processing an extensive tasklist, Mr Stark."
"Which takes a couple of nanoseconds. So what do you make of this?" Tony gestured at himself and swiped a palm over his chin, which was so...smooth. That probably made him feel less like himself than anything else, like the time he'd shaved for charity because Twitter had raised a million dollars for pandas with mange or something.
"Sir," JARVIS intoned. "You appear to have undergone sex reassignment surgery and a complete hormone replacement, which according to my databanks would be impossible to accomplish over the course of five hours. In addition, you haven't previously expressed a desire to undergo a procedure of this type, and I was attempting to make sense of..."
"It's magic, JARVIS. It makes no sense, so don't bother," Tony drained the last of his espresso. "Also, the shock stage is rolling into denial and I think I don't really want to talk about this."
"Agent Romanoff is approaching the lab, Mr Stark," JARVIS replied.
"Great," Tony said into the dreggy cup. He wondered where Cap was. He hadn't seen him since the battle. He knew his status, which was fine, but...
The door slid open and Natasha's boots tapped a staccato rhythm across the floor. As she approached, the tapping slowed. "Holy smokes," Natasha breathed. "They weren't pulling our legs."
Tony nodded and spread his arms wide. "All me, baby," he said, as Natasha gave him a slow once-over. His hair was the same -- short and shaggy since he'd been between haircuts, his shirt fit a bit snugly over his curves, the now-baggy jeans he'd thrown on were tied with a length of cable and cuffed once, and he was barefoot.
"You could use a pedicure," she said, "and an eyebrow shaping."
"I could use a drink."
Natasha squinted at him. "But you don't look bad as a woman. You have a very nice bone structure and a bit of a winsome pout."
"Thank you," Tony pursed his lips experimentally, pressing his fingers against them. He hadn't done more than glance into a shiny monitor surface. It wasn't like the public was going to see him in a press conference anyway.
"How do you feel?"
"The same," Tony said with a shrug. "I feel exactly the same."
"Well, that's good. Three months, Clint said?" Natasha tapped her fingernails along a workbench.
"Yeah," Tony rotated the 3D model and exploded the layers. "I'll have this suit up and running in...oh, 48 hours."
"The team understands if you want to keep a low profile for the duration," Natasha ventured.
"Oh no. Oh hell no," Tony said. "I'm surprised to hear that from you, of all people, Natasha."
"It's not because you're a woman, you idiot," Natasha sniffed. "It's because this is a very unusual circumstance."
Tony cocked his head. "I'm staying in action. But I'm keeping a low profile out of armor, for obvious reasons." He'd been thinking about this as he worked.
"You need clothes that fit you," Natasha said.
"Yeah, can I borrow--"
"No," Natasha cut him off. "...but I'll take you to pick some things out in the morning."
"Can't I just order some stuff online?"
Natasha planted her hands on her hips. "Sure. What cup size bra do you wear? How about pants?"
Tony looked down. "26 waist? Uh...medium?"
Natasha clucked. "Nobody will recognize you, trust me. We'll get you outfitted, but it's Browhaus first for a thread-and-tweeze. I really must insist."
"Sounds awful," Tony rolled his shoulders and focused his attention on the armor model.
"See you at nine sharp," Natasha said, giving Tony's shoulder a brief parting pat as he nodded absently.
Tony realized he was starving and had to pee like a racehorse. Piss break first, then he'd order in. Chinese sounded good. He made for the workshop's bathroom and unzipped his fly before realization dawned. "Oh, goddammit," he groused, and fumbled with the tightly-cinched cable knot holding up his jeans, shifting from foot-to-foot. Finally he got it unfastened, dropped his jeans, and sank to the toilet in relief.
"Something else to get used to," he said. He patted himself dry gingerly with a too-large wad of toilet paper, trying not to think too much about his lack of dick, and retied his makeshift belt, then washed his hands. Finally, he stepped back and surveyed his reflection in the mirror. "Hmm." Tony leaned in closer and saw what Natasha meant about the eyebrows -- they looked a little bushy. He sucked in his cheeks. "Winsome pout. Huh." He guessed he'd come out pretty decent-looking. He'd probably bang himself, he thought, and let out a soft cackle. "Not that I haven't, technically."
He lifted up his shirt and checked out his...breasts. Well, there they were, on either side of the arc reactor. He brushed the side of his hand against a nipple and sucked in a breath. That felt nice, as expected, but it had felt nice before. He palmed a breast delicately and closed his eyes. Maybe if it was someone else's hand it would be...his thoughts went to one particular person, who hadn't actually seen him yet like this.... "Okay, no, this is too weird, even for me," he said, pulling his shirt back down.
"Three months." Tony gave a low whistle and asked JARVIS to order him some slippery chicken from Shun Lee.
Tony's eye sockets throbbed. "That sucked," he told Natasha, as she pulled him forward in the salon's lobby.
"We suffer for beauty," she replied smugly, then frowned at him and rummaged through her clutch bag and came out with a tube. "Hold still."
"Oh no, I'm not wearing makeup," Tony shook his head vehemently.
"Shut up. It's just lip gloss. There's sunscreen in it."
Natasha sounded stern, so Tony obeyed. "Well, that feels okay," he said.
"I know," Natasha replied, showing him how to roll his lips together. "I know...best."
"If Pepper was here..." Tony began.
"If Pepper wasn't in Hong Kong on business she'd be laughing her ass off," Natasha said.
"No, she wouldn't," Tony said, wounded.
"No, she'd be bringing you food in your work cave for the next three months and laughing her ass off when she was out of your sight."
Natasha knew exactly where to go for underwear and bras and did the fitting herself in a dressing room (it wouldn't do for a fitter to see the reactor) "Let's just do mostly practical ones and two nice ones just in case," which was both utterly awkward and slightly arousing for Tony, and then he was outfitted with new jeans and a few pairs of trousers in nearby shops.
"How do you live with these pathetic excuses for pockets?" Tony complained, and Natasha waved her clutch purse. "Oh yeah." He insisted on boots, "Okay, but just a small heel," -- acknowledging that he actually wore heeled boots all the time anyway -- and sneakers, along with a pile of t-shirts and some pullover sweaters. "That's enough," Tony said, and they headed for an Italian place after handing the bags to Happy, who resolutely didn't smirk as he stowed them in the trunk of the car and arranged to pick them up after lunch.
When they walked past some mouthy construction workers on their break, it took every ounce of concentration Tony had -- and Natasha's firm grip on his forearm-- to stop himself from getting into a fight. "Those assholes," he fumed.
"Low profile, remember?" Natasha said.
"Does this happen to you all the time?"
"Yeah, and it's not worth mopping the sidewalk with these creeps," she said. "Save your energy for saving the world."
Back at Stark Tower, Tony decided to take a real shower. He'd washed up last night, half-dead from exhaustion, but he figured he'd scrub up before putting on the new clothes.
"Don't forget to shave your legs," Natasha called down the hallway in his apartment.
"Wait," Tony said, hands against the sides of the doorway."Isn't that antifeminist?"
"Not if it's your choice. Do whatever you want," she replied, waving a hand. "You didn't buy any dresses anyway. Chicken."
Tony rolled his eyes, retreated, and turned the water up to hot, selecting some supplies from the cabinet. He shampooed his hair and rinsed it out, soaped up, and grabbed a razor. "Fine," he said to himself, because he was not, in fact, a chicken, and he resented the inference, and then, "Ow, shit!" while navigating the curve of an armpit. "Might as well go all the way, right?" He sat on a ledge in the shower, grabbed the shaving cream, and slathered his legs. "Jesus Christ!" he grumbled after nicking his ankle, tinting the drips of white foam pink. "Suffering is right."
Finishing up, he tapped the razor on the ledge and stood, looking down at his crotch. "Oh, fuck no," Tony said. "I have my limits."
Tony rinsed off, adjusting the shower for full spray from all directions, and let the water sluice over his body and wash off the last traces of soap and shaving cream. He slid a hand down between his legs to rinse, and jumped a little at the sensation. "Mmm. Well." He'd have to explore this later, but first, team debrief this afternoon, and he had three fucking months, after all. He dried off and smoothed lotion on his legs, then styled his hair as usual, examining his reflection again as a tap came at the door.
"You're slow as hell, Stark," Natasha said from the hallway.
"Calm your tits, Tash," Tony replied.
"You're still not allowed to say that to me. Either of those things, actually."
"Open the door."
Tony wrapped a towel around his waist, then shifted it up to his armpits, and let her in. Natasha raised a brow at him and dropped a small fabric pouch on the counter. "Sit," she ordered, and Tony decided it was pointless to argue with her; if she wanted to doll him up, she could knock herself out. Maybe she'd always wanted a sister. She seemed to be enjoying herself, and he kind of owed her for not laughing at him and for getting him bras. He shrugged and sat on a bench where he could see them both in the mirror.
"Look up," she said, and leaned over him as she penciled eyeliner in a careful line around each of his eyes then dabbed and smudged with her pinky, as he tried not to blink. "Good boy. Now for mascara." She proceeded to coat his lashes, and then handed him a tube. "You can do this. Just put it on your lips, it's easy." He did, and Natasha leaned in again and surveyed Tony's work.
"Isn't this gender-essentialist or something like that?" Tony asked
"Oh my god, did you actually pay attention to Women's Studies class in college?" Natasha blinked.
"Not really. Hey, you smell fantastic. Do you ever do chicks?" Tony asked, and was answered with a slap to the back of his head. "Hey! I just did my hair."
"You're not allowed to ask me that either," Natasha answered.
"Come on, you measured me for a bra," Tony parried back, "...there was some groping involved." But all she did was straighten up and push the items she'd used along the counter, pointedly ignoring him.
"These are all new, so they're yours. Don't share makeup, not that anybody's going to be borrowing your stash. If you need more, I'll hook you up."
"I don't think I need this makeup," Tony pointed out, but he had to admit that the thin line circling his eyes and the mascara made them stand out, and his lips glowed a soft, transparent shade of pale rose. "Hey, my lips match my nipples. Sexy."
"Don't tell Clint that," Natasha warned.
Tony smirked. He thought he would make a special point of telling Clint that, actually.
"Red lipstick would be fantastic with the suit," Natasha said.
"Let's not get carried away." Tony waved her out and went to his room, where he found a black bra and ripped off the tags, then put it on with a little difficulty. It was more awkward than it looked when he'd watched countless girlfriends do this. He pulled a v-necked black sweater over his head and sat to don one of the snug new pairs of jeans. He slipped on socks and zipped up his black boots, stood up, and checked himself out in the full-length mirror from the front and sideways, then sneaked a parting look over his shoulder.
"You, my dear, have a damn fine booty," Tony said, giving it a little shake before he pushed up his sleeves and headed out for the meeting.