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Third Time's...the Charm?

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"Oh, come on!" Tony said, shaking his head at the two dogs sitting beside each other at the foot of his bed. "This is the third time this month. And why's it always corgis? Bruce? Why's it always corgis And why's it always these two?"

"I'm sleeping, Tony."

"You're not sleeping. You're talking to me."

"I'm talking in my sleep."

"Tony," Pepper murmured. "Let Bruce sleep."

"But Pepper...look."

Pepper sighed, then pushed up on one elbow and looked toward the foot of the bed. "Oh it's...oh! Good morning, Phil. Good morning, Clint."

The two corgis barked in reply.

Pepper grinned. "They really are cute."

"No" Tony said, shaking his head. "This isn't cute. This is creepy magic...."

"Creepy cute magic," Bruce muttered without opening his eyes.

"Fine," Tony said. "Creepy cute magic - and I'm only agreeing with you, Brucie, because I'm currently basking in afterglow. Anyway, I'm telling you, Pepper, it's not a good sign that you're able to tell them apart so easily; it means these man-to-corgi transformations are happening way too frequently."

Pepper frowned. "Are you telling me you can't tell them apart, Tony?"

Tony glanced at the grinning corgi on the right side and the expressionless corgi on the left, then shrugged.

"Not the point, Pep."

"What is the point then, Tony?"

"Gah!" Tony fell back against the headrest, his hand clutching at his arc reactor. "Where the hell did you come from, Romanov?"

"Russia," Natasha said with a grin. "Morning, Pepper."

"Hi, Natasha."

"Sorry about the interruption. I suspect Agents Coulson and Barton were just looking for someone to take them out to..."

Both dogs barked in unison, cutting off her words.

"Oh for heaven's sake," she said, rolling her eyes. "There's no reason to be embarrassed. It's a natural function. Come along you two...time for walkies."

Tony almost laughed, but the look he received from the corgi on the left said "If you so much as smile, I will find a way of developing opposable thumbs in the next twenty seconds and then I will end you," which made him swallow his grin down before it had a chance to surface.

"Okay, so...um...have fun doing whatever it is you're going to do...outside. See you...when you transform back. Or, you know...at breakfast. Whichever comes first."

Natasha nodded, then snapped her fingers and walked toward the bedroom door, the two corgis trotting after her on their stubby little legs.

Tony shook his head. "Shouldn't we...try to do something about this? Contact Thor at least. Something?"

"Maybe," said Bruce, speaking into the pillow he was currently sharing with Pepper. "Or maybe we could wait on that until after we...you know."

Pepper raised her hand. "I second the nomination for 'you know.'"

Tony grinned and slid back under the covers. "Well then...it's unanimous. All interested parties appear to be supporting a postponement of corgi deliberations until after 'you know.'"


"Stop it," Natasha hissed, trying to look anywhere but at the floor of the elevator car. "I know this is the first time you've both been transformed at the same time, but show some self restraint. You're in a public elevator, for God's sake!"

"If it's any consolation, Agent Romanov," said JARVIS, "it appears as if the...gentlemen will have completed their entirely consensual recreational activity by the time the three of you reach the lobby."

Natasha shuddered. "That's really no consolation at all, JARVIS."

"My most sincere apologies, Agent Romanov," said JARVIS, sounding not the least bit sincere.

"You're laughing, aren't you JARVIS?" Natasha said, still averting her eyes from the elevator floor. "Somehow - secretly - you're laughing."

"I'm sure I have no idea what you mean, Agent Romanov."

Natasha sighed. "Exactly as I thought."