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Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

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"HOLY CRAP." Pepper stared at the flop-eared monstrosity at the foot of the stairs. Okay, so it was only a giant stuffed rabbit, but after last night she felt completely justified in being a little jumpy. She was fairly sure it wouldn't lunge out and grab her, but she poked it just to be sure.

"I see you've met the bunny," Tony said, ambling up to the pair of them. "It came when you were in the shower."

"New...interest?" Pepper tried. You never knew with Tony.

"It's for Stanley."

As if that explained everything. Pepper pulled up her mental Rolodex. "Who's--"

"You know. Stanley."

"No, I don't know Stanley, and you're starting to go all twitchy. Like you're trying to decide if this is an omelet discussion." Pepper narrowed her eyes.

"Fine! The suit is Stanley!"

Pepper blinked. "You bought your armor a toy? Am I going to have to start shopping for your cars?"

"I believe the response to that is 'LOL.' All the kids are using it."

"Why did you buy the suit a frickin enormous rabbit?"

"You're so cute when you swear."

"And you're not cute when you deflect."

"Okay, fine. He..." Tony winced. "He might be slightly sentient."


"Excellent response."

Pepper sat down on the stairs, deciding that gift-buying for cars suddenly didn't sound so bad. "You named him Stanley?" Pepper was pretty sure that wasn't what she'd meant to say.

"Fits, doesn't it? Well, not really. He's more of a Blast Rockhard, but inflating his ego too much doesn't strike me as very smart."

"Wait a minute! So last night. When you said 'the suit is having an automatic response', it was actually...?"

"Sentient. Slightly."

"And slightly sentient Stanley's goal in life is to jump into bed with us?"

"I wouldn't call it a goal."

Pepper shot him a look.

"I'm working on it! Hence the bunny!"

She raised an eyebrow.

"Stanley has a bit of a crush. On you, if you must know. So I'm giving him a replacement, since I don't share."

Pepper didn't know what to respond to first -- the fact that a slightly sentient piece of metal had a crush on her, that Tony was being possessive again (which they'd talked about), or the fact that Tony's mental replacement for her was an enormous rabbit -- and she decided to just open and close her mouth for a bit.

"It's big and cuddly! It should work, right? Look, it was either this or a blow-up doll and I knew you'd get weirded out by that."

"Okay, that's actually very true."

The sound of metal armor thumping against the floor signaled the arrival of Stanley. Pepper shuddered as the suit stared blankly at them.

"Stanley! Come and meet Pepper 2!"

Stanley stomped towards the giant rabbit.

"Just think of him as a heavily-armed pet that might, from time to time, want to hump your leg but won't because he has a stuffed bunny! No big deal!"

Pepper groaned. Clearly it was going to be one of those days.