Most of the characters in this story belong to Marvel Comics and whoever else has current legal ownership of Iron Man at the moment. No infringement on any corporate, business, or individual's rights is intended in any way. This story is not being written for profit, just for enjoyment.
You Can Never Have Enough Godparents
Two sets of ocean blue eyes followed his every move in the large kitchen with keen interest. Keeping his back to them, Tony quickly gulped down a huge spoonful of homemade banana pudding sadly noting the amount left in the large Tupperware bowl. He calculated that there was just enough left for him and the twins for dinner tonight before the bowl was emptied. Pepper had made a gallon of the stuff before she left for her week long trip knowing just how much Tony and the twins liked her pudding.
She had been gone for six long days and Tony was just about at his wits end trying to take care of their children by himself. He missed Pepper every bit as much as his children did. He had even refused to sleep in their bed while she was away opting instead for sleeping in the rustic rocker in the nursery so he could keep a watchful eye and ear on his children while their mother was away. He knew that Pepper was now on her way to New York from London and within three hours he would once again have his wife and the mother of his children under his roof. He and his children were currently housed in Stark Towers which provided both shelter and a reason for being six air hours closer to London than their home in California.
Tony found solace in knowing that this out of town trip was to be her last for a long time because she was now six months pregnant with their second set of twins. And upon advice from her good friend and OB-Gyn, Karen, Pepper had promised Tony that there would be no more out of town trips for her during this third trimester of her pregnancy. And Tony fully intended to hold her to that promise.
"Daddy!" a small, but powerful voice said accusingly, the tone and inflection being very familiar to him.
Tony smiled to himself as he licked the spoon clean. 'Just like her mama' was the first thought that entered his head upon hearing that voice. He turned around slowly, a huge smile on his face noting the impatient look on both their faces. Banana pudding was always a treat because normally breakfast and lunch in the Stark household was followed with fresh fruit, and the twins were apparently now quite done with waiting for him to give up the evening's prize.
"For such small people, you two sure are very demanding." He replied walking over to the two high chairs with a huge bowl of pudding and one small spoon held within his right hand
"Hungry, Daddy!" His son James Edward said flatly staring intently at the bowl.
Tony pulled up the padded stool so he could sit at the same level as the twins while he fed them. He looked at the two dark headed 13 month olds with thinly veiled amusement. Each of them had patches of spaghetti sauce from the top of their heads to the bottoms of their bibs, and along each of their arms. But as disgusting at they now looked, he had to admit that they were absolutely and undeniably cute too. Whenever he fed them, he never worried about clean up until after the meal was over, which drove Pepper absolutely crazy. But given the difference in their personalities, it was not surprising that they each had totally different parenting techniques when it came to feeding their babies. And Tony intended to give the twins a bath after dinner anyway, so he felt that he was somehow justified in their current deplorable but adorable appearance. He watched as James Edward rubbed his chin absent mindedly, spreading the thick spaghetti sauce even further out onto his right cheek and he smiled again. Without sparing a glance away from his children he said loudly "Another Kodak moment, Uncle J."
"Of course, sir." The AI replied politely "Shall I text these to Mrs. Stark?"
"Definitely." He replied "Just make sure you let her know that I intend to hose both of them off before they go in the tub."
"Mrs. Stark advises that you should use that hose on yourself too, sir." Jarvis replied in less than a minute.
"Just what does that mean?" Tony thought out loud remembering to move the bowl just out of reach of his children which did forget to do on occasion usually with disastrous results.
"Daddy berry messy." Anna Maria said matter of factly to him.
Tony quickly pulled out his cell phone using the camera feature to look at himself. What he saw was that he had somehow ended up with more spaghetti sauce on his face that he should have being the parent in this situation. "Ha, ha, ha." He told his daughter as she smiled broadly back at him, the drying spaghetti sauce cracking on the inside of her dimples, making him quickly smile at her in return. Tony looked up at the ceiling. "Hey! I don't recall asking you to send my picture to Mrs. Stark, Uncle J."
"You didn't sir." The AI smugly replied. "I simply used my godparent prerogative and forwarded your picture on to Mrs. Stark along with pictures of my godchildren."
"Hey Jarvis" a voice just outside the kitchen said softly "what about my godchildren?"
Tony and the twins turned to watch as Bruce Banner softly padded across the tiled floor to join them.
"Unk Buce!" James Edward squealed in delight at seeing his godfather. Anna Maria clapped her hands together excitedly managing to splatter Tony with the remains of the liquid spaghetti sauce still left on her hands.
Tony winced as the spaghetti sauce hit him square in face and he eyed Bruce with a mixture of both humor and suspicion.
Bruce's face broke into a huge smile as he looked at the twins and they both smiled back at him adoringly. He quickly leaned over them and pressed a kiss onto the tops of each of the twins dark curly heads. He turned to look at Tony a sly grin quickly forming on his face as he leaned over to Tony and swiftly pressed a kiss onto the top of Tony's head too.
"Betty sends her love to all of you." Bruce said laughing at Tony's look of disgust in reaction to his kiss. "Had I known that Pepper had been gone on a business trip I would have come earlier in the week."
Tony knew that Bruce meant well, but he still felt his fatherly pride ruffle a bit. "I am quite capable of taking care of my kids, Jolly Green." he remarked reaching for the dishtowel he had shoved into his pants pocket as he began wiping the spaghetti sauce from his eyes.
"So I see." Bruce replied sarcastically reaching out to take the bowl of banana pudding from Tony.
Tony stuffed the dishtowel back into his pants pocket and grimaced at Bruce as he got up off the stool allowing Bruce to sit down in his place. Tony knew that Bruce was good with children especially his children, and that Bruce really enjoyed spending time with his godchildren. And he knew for a fact that his children really enjoyed their 'Unk Buce' too.
"Wow!" Bruce said sniffing at the bowl. "Somebody's mama sure loves them a lot to make such good homemade banana pudding for them."
"Mommy wuvs us!" the twins chimed in unison.
Bruce began feeding the twins and Tony stood behind him, a small smile forming on his face as he watched the twins eagerly eat the pudding. Within minutes the bowl was empty.
Suddenly Anna Maria loudly burped her satisfaction with dessert actually startling Bruce and causing him to drop the spoon in the bowl which made James Howard giggle uncontrollably
Bruce's face immediately broke out into a huge smile and he began to laugh with the little boy. "Just like daddy?" he then asked in mock seriousness of James.
"No… like Mamma!" the little boy answered him excitedly as he began to giggle again. Anna Maria began laughing too quickly causing Bruce to join in laughing with them again.
Their giggle fit was infectious and Tony soon began laughing too. "My son is so right." He told Bruce. "When Pepper first came to work as my PA, I caught her and Rhodes having a belching contest one day and I was blown away by just how loud and long that Pepper can belch."
"One of your Mama's hidden talents, no doubt." Bruce replied reaching out to tickle each of the twins under their spaghetti encrusted chin causing both of them to begin laughing again. "You two can use that bit of information in the future for blackmailing her."
The twins looked up inquisitively at Bruce and Bruce quickly realized that they had probably never heard the term 'blackmail' before.
"What's this about blackmailing Pepper?" a voice Tony immediately recognized as Natasha Romanoff's questioned sternly from just outside the kitchen.
Natasha and Clint immediately walked into the kitchen and over to where the twins were sitting. Both Anna Maria and James Edward both immediately raised their arms up over their heads as Bruce unfastened their safety belts on their high chairs.
Without any hesitation given the twins current messy condition, Natasha swiftly picked up Anna Maria and Clint eagerly picked up James Edward as the children quickly placed their arms around their necks hugging them hard as Natasha and Clint hugged them back gently in return.
"Man you guys are growing like weeds." Clint observed, a rare smile gracing his now bearded face "Stark, have you been feeding your rug rats growth hormones?"
"No. I wanted to but Pepper wouldn't let me." Tony replied with a smile. He knew that Natasha and Clint hadn't seen the twins since their first birthday party so they were no doubt amazed at just how much his babies had grown in just three short months. "Nope, this is all Pepper's doing. Say what's with the face fuzz, Tweety?"
Clint shot Tony a pained look. "Undercover in Siberia."
"You two are definitely in need of a bath." Natasha remarked with a small smile as Anna Maria reached out to brush Natasha's hair back from her eyes with a sauce soaked hand. "Stark, please tell me that you were going to bathe them in clean water after their spaghetti bath."
Both children giggled causing Natasha's smile to broaden.
"Yes, I intended to get them clean before their mother arrived home from her business trip tonight, Agent Romanoff." Tony responded with a sly smile. "But I don't think the twins would mind too much if you and the bird man gave them their evening bath."
Tony swore that he saw a twinkle in both Natasha's and Clint's eyes at his suggestion. He knew that his babies were in good hands now.
Tony smiled at Bruce as they watched Natasha and Clint hold the babies over their heads, each of the children spreading their arms out in make believe flight as they turned and walked out of the kitchen.
"Don't you dare let Pepper see you do that with her kids." Tony warned as Clint quickly blew him a raspberry and both of the twins immediately imitated the sound as they all walked down the hallway towards the twin's bedroom suite.
"Have you told them yet?" Bruce asked Tony, the smile on his face widening even further.
"Who's that? Nat and Bird Brain or Anna and James?" Tony replied with a sly grin.
"Your kids, smartass." Bruce said reaching out to pull the trays off of the high chairs.
Tony reached out quickly and took the trays from him. "I'll take care of those, Mean Green." He moved towards the kitchen sink and sat the trays down on the counter. "And yes we told them before their Momma left on her trip."
"How did they take the news?" Bruce asked following behind Tony, rolling up his sleeves in preparation to help clean up in spite of Tony's objections.
"They both seemed pretty happy about getting a new set of playmates, alright." Tony explained. "And they seemed relieved as well. I think that they knew that their Mamma had been more tired than usual and that I had been treating her differently for the past few months."
"Kids are very intuitive at that age." Bruce replied taking the tray that Tony had just washed and drying it with a dish towel. "And since they obviously take after their mom, they do pick up on other people's emotions really well."
Tony quickly flicked soapy water at Bruce who easily side stepped the expected retaliatory move.
"Maybe there's still hope for your intuition Iron Daddy." Bruce teased causing Tony's face to crack into a small smile.
"Funny, Iron Mommy says the same thing to me on occasion." Tony replied flicking more sudsy water towards Bruce and actually hitting his intended mark this time.
Bruce looked down at his now wet shirt and then back up at Tony who had begun to laugh. Bruce quickly folded his now wet dishtowel and with no hesitation whatsoever popped Tony smartly on the forearm with it.
"Hey!" Tony exclaimed obviously taken by surprise by Bruce's mock attack. He turned to grab another dishtowel quickly. "It's so on, Unk Buce."
Within seconds the floor of the kitchen was wet with soapy water as the two of them continued to pop one another with the wet dish towels with just enough force to hurt, but not hard enough to leave too big of a whelp.
They were so engrossed in their battle that they failed to notice two figures as they placed 20 large pizza boxes on the counter just behind them.
"On whose side do we fight, Captain?" Thor's voice boomed out causing Tony to turn his head and body quickly towards the direction of the voice.
At that instant Bruce snapped the end of his dishtowel onto Tony's right butt cheek with a very audible crack, immediately causing Tony to turn his head back to glare at Bruce.
"After that shot, we are definitely on the Doctor's side." Steve Rodgers replied with a small laugh to which Thor's laughter began to rumble throughout the kitchen.
"That may have been an accident." Bruce laughed as Tony began to rub his right butt cheek tenderly.
"Just nobody tell Pepper what happened." Tony replied with a wince. "I just may be able to morph this into some type of a hero related injury for her later tonight."
"I doubt very seriously that she'll believe you." Steve answered looking at Bruce who just shook his head.
"No, she won't." Bruce agreed walking over to the pantry and walking back in with two sponge mops.
"Are you kidding?" Tony began with a smirk never missing a moment to embarrass Steve. "And after 5 nights without any iron nookie, I might even be able to get my woman to kiss it all better for me."
As expected Steve started to turn red and Bruce just shook his head as he handed Tony the other mop.
"I suggest we clean this mess up before your woman comes home and all of us get in trouble." Bruce said calmly hoping to somehow steer the conversation away from 'nookie'.
"What is this 'iron nookie' that you speak of Stark?" Thor asked opening up one of the pizza boxes and folding four large pieces of pizza together before taking a huge bite.
"Well, Thunder Clap" Tony said innocently with a bright smile lighting up his face as he began to mop the floor next to Bruce.
Bruce shook his head sadly knowing that this conversation would somehow end badly. Steve immediately put one of his hands to his forehead in a gesture of disgust as he also shook his head.
"Let's just start with the 'nookie' part of it first, shall we?" Tony continued undaunted, his eyebrows now raised in a teasing gesture.
"Nookie is a slang word for having sexual relations with someone." Bruce patiently explained.
"Many thanks, Doctor." Thor replied "I will ask my Lady Jane about her need for this 'nookie' as you call it when I go to visit her on the morrow."
"But be sure you ask her when there's no one else around, Thor." Bruce advised squeezing the mop out in the sink as Tony did the same in the other sink.
"Wise counsel, Doctor." Thor replied before stuffing four more pieces of pizza into his mouth.
"You're just no fun at all anymore, Hulkster." Tony said dejectedly as Bruce snatched his mop from him and walked into the pantry in order to hang both the mops up.
"What's with all of the pizza?" Tony asked walking over to the counter and peaking inside one of the boxes.
"We brought dinner for everyone." Steve said proudly and Thor nodded in affirmation his mouth filled to the brim with pizza. "Fourteen for me and Thor, and six for the rest of you."
Tony had to smile as he opened up a box labeled 'Meat Eaters Delight' and stuffed a piece quickly in his mouth. "Drinks are in the bar fridges." He mumbled around his pizza.
Steve quickly walked over to one of the chest coolers pulling out four beers and walked back to the counter setting three down and opening up the fourth.
"Knowing that Thor was going to be here" Phil Coulson began as he quietly walked up to the counter and placed two twelve packs of Shiner Bock on the counter next to Thor. "I brought some extra beer."
Thor had already downed the beer that Steve had given him and reached up with his hand to wipe the remains of the foam from his face.
Thor then smiled broadly and clapped Phil on the back causing him to lurch forward slightly, but to Phil's credit the stoic look on his face remained firmly in place.
"Many thanks, my friend!" Thor replied immediately pulling open the case and handing Phil the first beer as he nodded to Phil in appreciation.
Tony looked around and sighed. So much for a quiet night homecoming night for him and Pepper. But he had to actually admit to himself that he was actually happy to see all of the 'A' team again. He hadn't seen any of them except for Bruce in the past three months. And he knew without a doubt that Pepper would be very happy to see them all again. And besides that, it seemed that he now had more than enough godparents around to ensure that he and his very pregnant and very horny wife would have some much needed alone time in their bed later this evening. Yes indeed, things were starting to look up now for both him and his libido.
"Let's take the pizza and this conversation into the living area so I can show off my kiddos." Tony said grabbing a stack of pizza boxes and walking into the living are where he sat the boxes on the large sofa table and pushed the table to the other side of the sofa. "Anna Maria and James Edward are walking now."
Low whistles could be heard among the men as they moved to sit on the couch.
"Just as I expected." Clint said loudly carrying James Edward into the living room followed closely behind by Natasha carrying Anna Maria "You are giving these brats growth hormones."
"Actually, many children do start walking by the age of one year." Coulson informed the group. "And I'm sure these little guys will be running by the time their siblings arrive in three months."
Suddenly the room went silent as all eyes turned to Tony whose face immediately broke out in a huge smile.
"Wow, Stark" Natasha began as she hugged Anna Maria. "You two sure didn't waste any time did you?"
"What can I say" Tony began dramatically standing up and holding his arms out stretched for his children who immediately held their arms out for him. "After all, I am a sex god."
"I believe Pepper's genetics and age-related multiple ovulations are the reasons for your sets of twins and not your ego inflated sex drive." Bruce chimed in as Tony walked over to Natasha and Clint and kissed each of his children on the cheek in turn before taking them both in his arms.
"Pepper does deserve some of the credit all right" Tony answered with a smirk "but it's actually my staying power that seals the deal, so to speak."
Thor actually raised an arm as if to ask a question.
Phil quickly turned to look at Thor, catching Thor's eye. "I'll explain later." He said privately to Thor and Thor nodded back at him in understanding, lowering his arm slowly.
"Congratulations, Stark." Steve said sincerely as Tony nodded to him in reply.
"Lady Pepper and you are truly blessed, Stark." Thor added with a huge smile. "Twins are most valued on my world."
Tony slowly sat down on the carpet with his children and smiled at Bruce.
"Wanna see these little guys in action?" Tony asked proudly.
"Oh, yeah!" Clint said pulling Natasha down with him to sit on the carpet.
Within seconds everyone was seated on the carpet their eyes expectantly on Tony and the twins.
"Show 'em what you got, munchkins." Tony said with a grin as he let the twins go.
The twins quickly pulled their arms from around their father's neck and stood up. James Edward immediately sprinted to Steve much to Steve's surprise as he quickly scooped up the youngster into his arms and hugged him. "Wow" he said to the young boy "you are a fast runner."
At the same time, Anna Maria ran straight towards Phil as he too took her up into his arms and she hugged him fiercely. "Stark, why am I not surprised that your kids would skip right over the walking part of childhood development."
"Well you know sometimes you just gotta run before you walk, right kiddos?" Tony announced proudly to the group.
The twins took turns running from godparent to godparent, until they were both out of breath. Then they just plopped down butt first on the soft carpet in the middle of the adults.
As if on cue, all of the adults began clapping for the children who quickly joined in as they began clapping for themselves too.
"They are so your children, Stark." Clint said sarcastically as Natasha quickly high fived him.
"And don't you forget it." Tony replied quite pleased with both his own ego as well as with the performance of his children. He stood up and walked over to his children who held their arms up for him as he leaned over and gently pulled them into his arms. They quickly wrapped their arms around his neck and hugged him possessively. "It's time to get these two speed racers ready for bed." Tony said quietly turning his head to kiss each of his children on the cheek.
"What no bedtime story tonight?" Bruce said quickly knowing the nightly routine in the Stark household from his frequent visits.
"Of course there will be a bed time story for my munchkins." He said with a smile.
"Mind if I read them their story?" Steve asked quietly as Tony quickly turned around to look at him in surprise.
"What do you say kiddos?" Tony asked the twins.
"Unk Steve, pease!" James Howard exclaimed and Anna Maria nodded her head in agreement.
"Unk Steve it is." Tony replied walking with the twins down the hall as Steve quickly got up to follow them.
Tony set his children on their bare feet on the floor of their shared bedroom and then pointed to a large overstuffed chair in the corner of the room.
Steve quickly walked over and sat down in the chair and looked up inquisitively at Tony who couldn't help but smile at him as he walked to the bookshelf. "They are in the middle of 'Where the Wild Things Are', Unk Steve." He told him dryly.
The twins literally ran over to Steve and began to crawl up into the chair with him, taking a seat on either side of him.
Tony handed him the book, the lime green bookmark clearly indicating where he should start reading from and Steve opened the book up pulling out the bookmark as he did so.
Steve took a deep breath as the children leaned over to look at the book's page with him and he began reading to them in a soft voice.
Tony slowly turned and walked out of the room. He would have never thought that Steve would have offered to do this for his kids. But then again Pepper was always fussing at him about how badly he treated Steve saying that Steve was at heart a good man and that he needed to cut Steve some slack.
He turned his head back and watched as his children snuggled up to their 'Unk Steve' as he continued to read to them. Maybe he should cut Steve some slack he thought to himself as he quietly closed the bedroom door behind him.
He walked back into the living room as the pizza and beer was being passed around. He sat down next to Phil on the couch as Phil handed him a beer.
"Thanks." Tony replied taking the beer from him.
"He really is a good guy you know." Phil told him quietly and Tony immediately knew who Phil was referring to.
Tony nodded at him as Phil nodded back at him with just a hint of a smile on his face.
"So, Stark" Clint asked placing an arm possessively around Natasha "Just how many 'mini-mes' are you and Pepper intending to have anyways?"
"That Tweety is up to my most amazing and beautiful wife." Tony answered with a chuckle at Clint's new name for his children. "And by the way, when are you two planning on starting your very own flock."
"Maybe in a year or so." Natasha replied leaning back into Clint's arm.
Tony smiled broadly at them. "You know Pepper is going to be really happy to hear that."
"So am I." Clint said quietly at Natasha looked up and smiled at him.
"Hey J" Tony called out "Hit us up with the b-ball game would 'ya."
"At once, sir." The AI replied turning on the large wall mounted TV screen for him.
They began to watch the basketball game with keen interest with Phil patiently explaining the rules of the sport to Thor as the competition continued.
After about 30 minutes, Steve walked into the room carrying the twins who were hugging his neck tightly, obviously still very much awake.
Tony quickly got up to take them from Steve when Thor stood up effectively intercepting the twins and taking them both gently into his massive arms.
"Allow me, Iron Brother" Thor said in an actually quiet voice the likes of which Tony had never heard before. "I have had much practice on Asgard putting such small ones to sleep.
Tony leaned over to plant a soft kiss on each of the twin's heads. "Unk Thor is going to put you two to bed now."
"'K daddy" Anna Maria replied with a yawn followed closely behind by a big yawn from James Edward.
Thor walked away slowly hugging both children tenderly to his chest.
"Wow!" Bruce exclaimed his eyes wide with amazement.
"Yeah, I know." Steve replied taking Thor's place on the couch. "I really didn't know that muscle head even had an inside voice."
"Dr. Foster had told me that Thor has a rather soft spot for children." Phil said quietly, staring impassively at the TV screen as everyone turned to look at him with interest.
Phil Coulson had the innate ability to instill immediate confidence in anyone because of both his abilities as a professional agent as well as being such a loyal friend. So it was no surprise that Jane Foster had opened up to him about Thor. Tony would never forget just how badly Phil's 'death' had affected both him and the rest of the group. And now every time he saw Phil he found himself breathing an unconscious sigh of relief in just knowing that the man was alive and well.
"Any plans for Thor and Jane having kids?" Clint asked as he pulled Natasha a little closer to him.
"That information is highly confidential." Phil replied taking another piece of pepperoni pizza out of the box nearest him and taking a small bite out of it, his face reverting back to its usual stoic mask.
Suddenly Pepper's quiet voice sounded from behind the couch. "What information would that be Phil?" she said closing the door softly behind her, aware of how late it was and hoping that the twins were asleep. Her huge smile indicated that she was indeed very happy to see the people gathered in front of the TV. She was especially happy to see the dark head of her husband immediately pop up from the couch and literally run around it making a beeline for her.
Tony quickly folded her into his arms and hugged her gently. He leaned over and pressed his lips murmuring into her left ear. "Hello there gorgeous! I've missed you so much, babe." His hands then moved to her slightly swollen belly. "And I've missed our two buns in the oven." He added quietly as he stroked her stomach tenderly.
She pulled him back from him slightly breathing him in. "And I've missed you too, handsome." She whispered back seductively to him as he sighed deeply.
"No more trips away from us, right sweetheart?" he breathed into her ear.
"No more trips, baby." She murmured back to him as he released her, wrapping his right arm around her waist and walking with her towards one of the couches.
Natasha immediately stood up and reached out for Pepper as Tony released her and she quickly enveloped Pepper in a gentle hug.
"Good to see you, Natasha." Pepper said hugging her back.
"Stark said you two have been busy." She teased cutting her eyes to Pepper's stomach. "And I can see now that he was actually telling the truth this time."
"What!" Tony protested indignantly. "I always tell the truth." That earned him a death glare from Natasha and a 'you've got to be kidding me' glare from Pepper.
Everyone else was already on their feet and they walked to stand in front of Pepper. "You know that it's only your genetics that will make two more Starks being set loose on the world tolerable." Bruce teased with a big smile while hugging Pepper gently.
"Hey!" Tony protested "Are you trying to insult me, Ho, Ho, Ho?"
Clint immediately took Bruce's place and began to hug Pepper tenderly. "I don't think he was trying, Can Man." Tony huffed indignantly as Clint pulled away from Pepper and smiled a rare smile at her. "It's good to see you and your two buns."
Next it was Phil's turn as he too hugged Pepper. "Just FYI." Phil said straight faced. "My babysitting fees have just doubled."
Pepper started laughing. "Duly noted, Assistant Director Coulson."
Steve then stood in front of her, his eyes seeking her permission for him to hug her. Pepper smiled broadly at him in return and he gingerly hugged her. "But just to let you know, my babysitting fees are still the same price…free." He told her as he continued to hug her.
She pulled back from him and smiled at him again. "Good to know Captain."
Tony immediately separated Steve from his wife. "Yeah, yeah." Tony said gruffly. "I need my woman back, now."
Pepper glanced at him sideways. "Oh, so now I'm your woman, not your bun oven."
"Well you are kinda hot like an oven, now that you mention it." Tony teased her pulling her gently into his side and kissing her on the neck.
"Just keep talking, Iron Man." Pepper teased back. "You just might just climb out of the doghouse….. by next week!"
"Next week?!" Tony protested, surprise and worry now showing in his face. "But baby!" He said pitifully at the same time nuzzling the spot at the base of her neck with his beard in a manner that he knew that would begin to weaken any feeling of anger she was harboring towards him.
"Speaking of babies, where are our terror twins?" Pepper said suddenly gently pulling out of his grip. "Hopefully asleep given the hour."
"Let's go see." Tony said bringing his right finger up to his lips calling for silence. He walked down the hallway tugging gently on Pepper's right hand. "Thor put the babies to sleep about 30 minutes ago." He whispered to her.
"Thor?" Pepper whispered back disbelievingly. "You mean our Thor?"
"Yeah our Thor. Amazing isn't it?" Bruce replied quietly walking down the hall to follow them. "Phil says he is really good with kids."
Tony slowly cracked open the door and he had to immediately refrain from pulling out his cell phone and taking a picture, figuring that no one would believe what he was now seeing with his own eyes. "J" he whispered to the ceiling "another Kodak moment if you don't mind." Jarvis kept silent but Tony knew that video had already been parsed out for viewing later as still photos.
Slowly the door opened wider and wider until the entire group stared in silence at the scene before them.
Thor sat the overstuffed chair with the two young Stark's perched contentedly upon his chest all three of them soundly asleep.
Pepper moved forward as if she intended to take the twins from Thor's arms when Phil reached out with his right hand, quickly but gently stopping her. "Thor can be extremely protective in his sleep." Phil whispered. "Your children are in good hands now. I suggest you just leave all three of them alone. Thor will put them in their beds when he wakes up."
Pepper looked up at Phil stunned at just how well Phil seemed to know Thor. She trusted Phil's knowledge as well as Thor's protectiveness. "OK." She replied with a soft smile to Phil pulling on Tony's arm in order to get him to follow her and Phil out of the twin's bedroom.
Steve was the last one out of the bedroom shaking his head slightly, a small smile on his face as he closed the bedroom door softly.
When they were all in the living area again Tony put his arm around Pepper's waist pulling her gently into his side. "Well, it does seem to be getting late." He said pretending to yawn. "I think me and Mrs. Stark here will go take a shower and then hit the bed."
Pepper jabbed him softly with her elbow causing Tony to feign injury, his kicked puppy face now on full display for his wife. "Maybe I want to talk for a bit first, Mr. Stark." She teased "If you are so tired then you can go shower by yourself and then go to bed by yourself."
"But Peeeeeppppppeeerrrr!" he pleaded as Pepper began to laugh.
Natasha shook her head sadly. "I still don't know how you put up with him, Pepper."
Pepper reached out to comb her fingers through Tony's thick dark waves as he closed his eyes contentedly pulling her back snugly into his side. He was sure that Pepper was caving in now. She had never been any good at resisting his kicked puppy face.
"I guess because I love him." She answered simply as Natasha smiled back at her then turned away from Pepper to give Tony the 'you're one lucky S.O.B' glare.
"And just so you all will understand" Tony began emboldened by Pepper's words with his head now held high and his eyes bright with mischief. "With Mrs. Stark and I now indisposed for the rest of the evening, you are all hereby on godparent duty for the night. We bid you all a good night and sweet dreams." He pronounced as Pepper rolled her eyes at his words. Tony then formally gathered her up and turned to lead Pepper towards their bedroom. As they walked away from the Avengers, Tony quietly whispered in her right ear. "You do know Mrs. Stark, that you can never have enough godparents."
"So I've heard Mr. Stark." Pepper replied quietly back to him as she leaned into his side even more. "So I've heard."