"Well, I wish I could say this is the strangest thing ever to happen to us, but really, who are we kidding?"
Standing on the roof of a Manhattan high-rise, Steve Rogers sighed is Tony's glib comment filtered through his comm-link. All around him, most of the other members of the team were staggering to their feet (having been knocked down by a green pulse of Magick moments before Loki up and disappeared) and realizing all was not right. Each team member seemed dazed (except for Bruce, who was unconscious post de-Hulking), though they all turned to Thor in hopes of an explanation.
"This is one of my brother's favored jests from our youth," Thor said, heaving a sigh but not sounding terribly put out. "Fear not, as it is but a temporary change."
"Any idea how long this 'jest' will last?" Clint asked, understandably far less placid about everything Loki related.
Nodding, Thor did some calculations in his head. "Three Midgardian months."
Clint, Natasha and Tony each reacted with hearty swears (each a different language), while Steve pinched the bridge of his nose and counted to five. "Okay, Thor, please cover Bruce with your cape, he's going to be unsettled enough about public nudity to worry about."
As there was nothing else to do on site now that Loki had bugged out, Steve tapped his comm, switching from the team only channel to the one that broadcast to S.H.I.E.L.D. "Director Fury, we have a situation."
"Who the fuck is this?!"
Lovely. "It's me, Cap. As I said, we have a situation."
"Sir, I don't think laughing is helping."
Though Phil understood Fury's reaction, he also saw the increasingly disgruntled expressions on the faces of the Avengers, particularly Bruce, which never led to hugs and puppies.
Bruce aside, nodded the Avengers looked pleased…well, Thor didn't seem particularly upset himself, but he kept apologizing for Loki's "bad behavior" and Steve just seemed embarrassed and unsure where to look.
Heaving a sigh and ignoring his boss, who continued to chuckle every time he looked at any member of the team (and yes, seeing Nick Fury practically giggling was actually weirder than anything else that it happened), Phil said, "All of you have to fill out a 202-ISSC(M) form before you can…."
"You have a form for this?!"
Stark's voices was reaching a dangerously high note and Phil chose to continue, "I've sent copies of the form to your tablets…and yes Stark, we have forms for everything."
Even crazy alien magic involved involuntary spontaneous sex changes.
Yeah, sometimes Phil wondered how this had become his life…because some things were just mind blowing.
Things like the fact that he now knew what several of his coworkers and friends would have looked like had they been born xx instead of xy or vice versa.
Sitting in his usual seat at the conference table, Steve managed to look both shell-shocked and stunning. He was tall for a woman, about 6', and the stretchy qualities of his uniform made it obvious that he was still strong but the muscles were sleek as opposed to bulky. Abundant breasts nipped into a tiny waist that flowed to lushly curved hips. His jaw was rounder, nose and browse more refined and his hair (oh God, where had that come from?) tumbled down around his shoulders in long, tousled golden waves, nearly obscuring the familiar blue eyes.
Stark was sitting beside Cap, clearly pissed off and not afraid to say so. He'd found an elastic somewhere and had wrangled his massive black hair into a sloppy ponytail, holding it back from a heart-shaped, doe wide face. He was clad in a longsleeved Metallica tee that he had on under the Iron Man suit, but it angrily kicked off his jeans after tripping several times, the legs far too long to maneuver at a petite 5'2".
Looking like a tall, gorgeous, Swedish model, Thor seemed resigned (but as he had said, Loki had done this before) to suddenly being a woman. Somehow, his hair fell in perfectly coiffed waves to his waist and his armor (enchanted as it was) seem to have refit itself to accommodate his new form.
Bruce was now tall and slender, with long dark hair and it intriguingly husky voice. Surprisingly, he hadn't lost any height, but his body proportions at shifted to emphasize long, long legs. He was swathed in blue scrubs from medical and clutching a mug of tea as he glowered at Fury, who was finally making an effort to stop chuckling.
Now a good-looking young man, Natasha was doing her best to look nonplussed and, for the most part, succeeding. Occasionally, she made a movement as though to brush a hand through her hair, but caught herself. Then she was approximately Clint's usual size, she had raided his locker for the jeans and a hoodie she was wearing.
Blonder as a woman, Clint had the slender, agile look of a dancer and a gleam in his eye that said he was not going to let this situation get in the way of his life's mission to drive Phil insane. Already, he was grumbling about needing a new bow, as his current arms weren't built to handle his weapons. He was wearing one of his own T-shirts, unfettered breasts bouncing into the fabric as he squirmed in his seat.
Oh, God, they were going to be like this for three months.
There would have to be shopping.
Letting Tony, Clint and Thor loose to purchase bras for themselves was just begging for some kind of incident and Steve would probably have a heart attack at the very idea.
"But seriously, how did you come up with these so-called all-encompassing forms? I can't be the only one was curious," Tony pressed and Phil sighed.
Stark didn't need to know that, about 10 years earlier, Fury had put fill in a room with a dozen of the biggest nerds on staff and had them come up with paperwork. That was why shield have forms like the 202-ISSC(M) (Involuntary Spontaneous Sex Change (Magic)) or the 109-SAKA(WD) (Self Aware Kitchen Appliances (World Domination)).
"Why does this surprise you? We have a form for the eventuality of kitchen appliances achieving self-awareness and plotting world domination. How does a magical sex change seem outlandish when compared… "
"Who doesn't have self-aware kitchen appliances?" Tony snipped, then turned to Fury. "You wouldn't be laughing if this had happened to you."
Eyeing Tony, Fury snorted. "It did not happen to me, because I personally do not attract that kind of epic fuckedupness. Unfortunately, I'm surrounded by people who do, which is why I have Phil…Barton, stop that!"
Clint had pulled the neckline of his T-shirt away from his body and was looking down as he bounced more aggressively in his seat. When admonished, he simply shrugged and said, "It had to be done."
Phil could already feel a headache coming on and he was relieved to hear a knock on the door.
After the situation was explained to Pepper, Jane and Darcy, the three women gaped for a moment until Thor bounded over to Jane and swept her up into his arms. "Hello, my love," he said happily, planting a kiss on her…the site of which caused almost everyone in the room to blink.
When he released her, Jane was a bit flustered, but said, "Well, that might take some getting used to."
"This is insane," Darcy said, prowling the room and looking everyone over. "Even gender-swapped, you're all still unfairly attractive…Steve, wow, welcome to the Able to Motorboat Yourself Club."
Steve blinked back her, clearly having no idea what she meant, but offered a tentative, "Thank you?"
"All right, you can handle things here, Phil," Fury stated and fled before anyone could protest.
Heaving a sigh, Phil said, "Okay, let's go down to supplies and get you each is street ready change of clothes you'll be able to where will shopping…Since there are a variety of tastes involved, I would suggest splitting up into smaller groups."
And honestly, if they stuck together, they just encourage each other's insanity.
There was some jockeying for position, but the shopping parties were as such.
Jane took Thor (naturally) and Bruce. Pepper took a relieved Steve (who would look terrified when Darcy tried to grab him first). Darcy ended up with Tony (and Phil had an inkling that probably wasn't a good idea). Natasha and Clint decided to stick together and Phil chose to go with them to keep an eye on things.
God help the retail sales Associates of New York City.
Since they'd met, Steve had been of the opinion that Pepper was amazing. She was smart, powerful, confident, a knockout stunner and she'd made a career out of knowing how to wrangle Tony (something Steve was still working on). In a way, she reminded him of Peggy, though he harbored no romantic attentions toward Pepper.
He'd managed to rein in his sigh of relief when Pepper decreed that Darcy would be accompanying Tony shopping, not Steve. Not that Steve didn't adore Darcy (she made him laugh, smile and blush for a myriad of reasons and, in terms of actual years lived, she was his closest contemporary among their group of friends), but he was pretty sure they're tasting clothing was miles apart.
Tony had pouted slightly about the handoff, but, by the time they left, both Tony and Darcy were grinning and talking about some shop in the village that sold awesome, vintage band T-shirts.
As they sat in the back of the town car, Pepper ran an eye over Steve, who, at a loss, and simply opted to wear a nondescript sweatsuit. Both he and Thor had had trouble finding clothing in their sizes in the S.H.I.E.L.D. supply room, but he thought the sweats worked okay.
"So, where do you normally buy your clothes?" Pepper finally asked with a smile. "You have a very distinct, classic style."
He discovered that classic was a nice way to say old-fashioned.
"I don't," he replied honestly. "All my clothes were either provided by S.H.I.E.L.D. or were in my room when I moved into the tower."
S.H.I.E.L.D. did that sort of thing a lot, things randomly appearing in his room or fury showing up to give him something, like a tablet computer and a 'baby agent' to show him how to use it.
He broken three tablets and nearly driven Agent Cohen to tears before he'd mastered the delicate touch the technology required.
Tony was still trying to shake his teammates out of their sartorial ruts, which had been his reasoning for hacking their files to find their measurements and filling their wardrobes. Steve founded almost amusing when Tony grumbled about his 'grandpa chic' style or Clint's 'incomprehensible hipsters thug' look or Thor's 'chain mail and capes' or Bruce's 'weird fondness for all things purple'. He wisely didn't comment about Natasha was fashion choices.
"You haven't bought any clothes for yourself?"
Steve shifted and admitted, "Well, I did buy a T-shirt I really liked from a street vendor."
Nodding, Pepper encouraged, "What did you like about that particular shirt."
"The quote printed on it. Changes the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. President John F. Kennedy," he admitted and saw that Pepper seemed approve his choice. "But I'm thinking you're not taking me to a street fair to shop."
"No," Pepper chuckled. "I think Bloomingdale's will better suit our purposes."
Bloomingdale's. Steve was sure he could handle that. The store was huge and would probably have everything he could possibly need. They could probably be in and out in half an hour.
For the first time since all this insanity had begun, Steve relaxed.
4 1/2 hours later, he stood in front of the three-way mirror wondering if Fury would let him take a three-month vacation. In the woods, with no human contact that would require him to wear nice clothing.
Upon arriving at the store, Pepper had led Steve to the intimates department where he had been set upon by two somber, black clad, skeletal women with measuring tapes who informed him that he was a 34DDD. Bras were complicated things and it'd taken him a few fumbling attempts to get into one (Pepper assured him that the sports bra S.H.I.E.L.D. had provided him would not be good for day-to-day wear), but he had to admit that the flesh toned t-shirt brought and matching boy shorts were less horrible than he had imagined.
Before they left the department, Pepper had added several more bras (of the same style, but white, black and blue) to their order as well as a dozen pairs of underwear. He'd blushed brightly when she told him to choose one pretty set, but he'd grabbed a rich blue satiny set before finally moving on to the safer territory of socks and pajamas.
Active wear was less traumatizing. Yoga pants were incredibly comfortable and sweatshirts were sweatshirts no matter the gender they were designed for. He hadn't known ladies tank tops came with built in bras, but that seemed like a good idea (Pepper still warned him to wear a regular bra with them).
He thought pants were going to be easy, but oh no, nothing was quite long enough and would require tailoring. Black, tan and gray trousers, two pairs of boot cut jeans, a pair of khakis and a pair of cargo pants were selected easily enough before being shipped off to the alterations department. The same went for all button down shirts, which had to be taken in around the abs. T-shirts were easier, as the material stretched to fit his frame.
While he was looking through a rack of blouses, Pepper excused herself to take a call, so he was startled and alone when one of the sales girls appeared brandishing a dress. "You would look amazing in this!" the girl said enthusiastically. "And the length would totally work. To be honest, I'm surprised you haven't discovered how much easier it is to find skirts that are the proper length for your legs."
Steve really hadn't given much thought to dresses. Current body or not, he was a man, so pants. But he didn't want to be rude to the girl, as she was one of the few sales attendants that it actually smiled. "I'm not really the dress type," he tried to politely turn the garment away.
Unfortunately, she was persistent. "Oh, honey, you can't know how something will suit you until you try it on."
Seeing no way out, Steve sighed and accepted the dress. After all, it wasn't like anyone besides the sales girl would ever see him and it.
After verbally smacking an investor into submission, Pepper reentered the sitting room to see Steve standing in front of a mirror as a sales associate slipped a red headband into his hair, corralling the wild gold stresses. He was wearing an adorable navy blue dress with white polka dots and a thick red belt. The high neckline protected his modesty, while his arms (muscular but not unattractively so) were left bare. His tiny waist was accented by the belt and skirt fell nearly to knee length, swinging prettily as Steve shifted his fire engine red flat clad feet.
He looked like someone people would stop the street to watch pass (okay, yes, that happened normally when he left the tower), beautiful and perfect, like he'd just stepped out of a magazine.
Tony would probably choke on his tongue to see Steve like this.
"You're getting that outfit," Pepper said, causing Steve to turn big startled eyes in her direction.
"What? Why?" he asked as the sales girl smiled gleefully, scampering off to probably locate more clothes. "I don't need a dress."
Pepper smiled. "Oh, you certainly need this dress. If only to watch Tony and Clint's brains short out when they see you in it. I'm betting one of them walks into a wall."
A small smile quirked the corner of Steve's mouth. "That would be funny."
Nodding, Pepper cocked her head to one side. "How do you feel about heels?"
"Why can't I just borrow stuff from you?"
Natasha gave Clint a level stare and said, "Because you don't have the chest to wear my shirts."
He looked affronted. "Hey! My boobs are great! They're perky."
Sentences like that were why the sales staff had chosen to give them a wide berth.
"They are," she assured him. "Mine are simply larger. Enough so that my clothing will hang awkwardly on you."
Heaving a tremendously put upon sigh, Clint poked at a neat display of sweaters. "Could we at least have gone somewhere less... Ralph Lauren? I hate shopping."
"We aren't here for you. Just because I can wear your clothes doesn't mean I want to. Just try not to make a scene," Natasha said, picking up a black, cashmere turtleneck and eyeing it critically.
As Clint considered her words, Phil spoke up from where he was keeping an eye on a couple of college-age guys who were being none too subtle about checking Clint out. "Could be worse Tasha. Think of what shopping with Stark would be like…or Thor. You know he'll see this as an opportunity to indulge in all the sartorial options you've all told him were designed for women. I expect glitter and gold lame."
"Hopefully Jane and Bruce will try to minimize that," Natasha mused.
"Wouldn't hold my breath," Clint snickered. "Jane's a big fan of Thor being Thor and Bruce is gonna be too busy searching for the stretchiest sports bra known to man."
"JARVIS already has the fabrication units constructing the necessary garments from the material Stark created for Hulk-proof pants," Phil said, tapping Clint on the shoulder. "Come on. It's not Dolce, but we should be able to find you something decent in the…other part of the store."
"Phil, you know me. What's the chance of anything here appealing to me? 0%," Clint replied dryly.
"They do have denim."
"I make no promises."
Natasha sighed and continued to ignore them. Shopping with Clint was never easy and today's incident only served to make him more obstinate. She had the feeling Phil was going to have to ask Thor to pin Clint down so he could take the archers measurements and by him an appropriate wardrobe.
Not that Clint would wear anything besides a T shirt, hoodie and jeans (when not undercover), but it was the thought that counted.
Initially, Darcy had been disappointed that she wasn't going to be able to play live-action Barbie dress-up with Steve, but she quickly realized shopping with Tony was the better deal. He definitely had a sense of style, which was affronted by the options available in the S.H.I.E.L.D. wardrobe (which was where they kept all the clothes used in undercover assignments or training exercises) and the idea of wearing something a dozen others had worn. Quickly though, they discovered the fact that very few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents came in teacup size and Tony ducked out, leaving Darcy to the labs.
Once there, she realizes plan was to borrow something from Agent Ann Rizzoli, a weapons designer who was friendly with Steve and Tony. The agent was a tiny wisp of a woman, possibly the only person on site small enough to share Tony's current size.
It was strange watching the two of them interact, as they looked i a lot/i alike. Ever since Bruce had pointed out the physical similarities, Darcy had wondered if Papa Stark had been a Rolling Stone, but now it was even more glaring.
Then again, it could be nothing. Look at Steve and Johnny Storm. No way was Flame-boy a descendent of Steve, who, according to rumors, had yet to round first base, but the two of them could totally be twins.
Of course, neither Tony or Ann seemed aware of how they looked, so Darcy kept her mouth shut and they soon walked out with the change of clothes from Ann's locker. Tony was now clad in tight jeans (and where the hell did a person the size of Tinkerbell find tight jeans? The American Girl Doll store?), Knee-high black leather boots with a chunky heel (Darcy appreciated the fact that Tony didn't even pretend like he couldn't walk in them), a black tank top and a red button up.
As the arc reactor was kind of distinctive, Tony had been careful to layer the dark colors to mute the glow. Eventually, news of Loki's latest stunt would probably get out, but no one was in a hurry to throw chum into the waters…at least not until Tony was feeling more settled and ready to play bait the paparazzi.
Forty minutes later, Happy ( Tony's ever tolerant chauffeur) drop them off at Bergdorf Goodman. Several of the sales staff gave them curious (and mildly aggrieved) looks… at least until Tony whipped out a Stark Industries issued black on black card. After that, they were swarmed by so many helpful attendants, all offering fittings, drinks or snacks. They wanted the racks, pointing at clothes and shoes (and boots! Darcy was in boot heaven), all of which were promptly delivered to an enormous changing room reserved for them.
When it came time to actually try things on, Tony kicked all the salespeople out (the arc reactor) and stepped over to his rack of clothes. Darcy had a few items herself (Tony like to buy things for people and how often did she get an all access pass to Bergdorf Goodman!).
Given Tony's rep with the ladies, she wasn't all that surprised to find he knew his way around a bra (though there had been a funny moment of confusion when he actually had to put it on). Once he got into a black demi-cup number, he scowled and poked his chest. "I thought this was a push-up."
Raising a brow, Darcy said, "It is. You just don't have a lot to push-up." It was true, Tony was never going to know the discomfort of lying on his back and having his boobs attempt to migrate into his armpits or the joy of layering and underwire bra with the sports bra in order to exercise in a little less discomfort. The billionaire looked disgruntled, so she quickly added, "Don't worry. I grabbed a package of cutlets. Jane swears by them."
Tony accepted the two silicone enhancers and considered them for a moment before stuffing them into his bra and situating them for maximum effect. "That's better," he agreed, them smirked. "And bonus, when we turn back, I bet we can get Steve to pick them up before we tell him what they're for. That'll be worth a whole new level of Cap blush."
With a snort, Darcy said, "10 bucks says Clint tries to slap someone with them."
"If you ever decide S.H.I.E.L.D.'s not living up to your expectations as employer, you'll have a job waiting for you at Stark Industries," Tony told her with a broad grin, then pointed at her pile of boots. "Try on the Prada boots. Though make your ass look incredible."
"Psssh. My ass always looks incredible," she teased, but pulled on the knee-high, brown suede, hidden platform heels. Considering how tall they were, they were quite comfy. "Well?"
Looking up from the designer jeans he was wiggling into, Tony blinked. "Yeah, we're getting those for you."
They cost more than her first car.
"Is it weird that you're changing in front of me?" she asked, switching the subject. "Not that I mind, but I feel like one of the HR killjoys is going to swoop in and force us to attend this seminar on sexual harassment or something."
"Please, you live at the tower. How many times have you seen us come back after fight with melted, torn or just plain missing clothes? Well, not me so often, because my suit is awesome, but if we had a harassment lecture every time we were naked in front of each other we wouldn't have time to fight super villains."
That actually made sense. Bruce alone used to flash them all after every mission (much to his chagrin, not the Darcy thought he had anything to be ashamed of). Heck even she and Jane had been caught out when some clothing eating nanites (yes, some nut had done that. Not exactly super villain territory, just some smart but insane nerd who wanted to see the Avengers naked) had transferred from the team to them.
Steve still turned an adorable shade of red whenever anyone brought up that incident.
"That sounds like a valid excuse actually," she told him. "I'm gonna go see if the sales ghouls have any ice cream. You want?"
"Dark chocolate chili pepper milkshake."
Yep, boobs or no boobs, Tony Stark was Tony Fucking Stark.
When they arrive back at the Tower, Jane was completely unsurprised to discover they were the first ones do so. Thor had been happy to wear whatever she selected for him and Bruce wasn't exactly a clothes horse (though he did seem pleased that he could get away with wearing yoga pants in public now), so they grabbed what was needed and retreated to the safety of home.
Once they deposited the various purchases in their bedrooms, Jane found herself seated on one of the common floor sitting room couches, tapping at her tablet while Thor watched the cooking channel (he was fond of Nigella) and Bruce did his own work. Both of the Avengers wore yoga pants paired with a top (black with a red racer back tank for Thor and grey with a loose lilac T-shirt for Bruce) and no meltdowns seemed imminent, so Jane counted their shopping trip as a win.
Plus, as the first group back, they'd get to see the others trickle in after their own retail adventures. Somehow, Jane suspected that she had gotten lucky as neither Bruce nor Thor were overly picky about what they wore. Bruce's only requirement was that things be a bit loose while Thor would wear anything he fit into. Considering the fact that he was the Crown Prince of Jane found this to be a very endearing quality.
Nigella was in the midst of making it truly decadent looking chocolate espresso mousse when the elevator doors opened to disgorge an irritated, bag laden Natasha, an exasperated, equally burdened Phil and a grumpy Clint, who was clutching a single bag.
"Welcome home, friends," Thor greeted them after pausing his program. "How fared your search for fitting attire?"
Letting her eyes slide over to Clint, Natasha said, "Someone disappeared into the air-conditioning vents at Saks and then thought it would be funny to scare the staff, pretending to haunt the place."
"It was funny," Clint replied, subsiding when Coulson gave him a look.
"One of them cried. It wasn't funny," the agent said, then caught Jane's eye. "How did things go for you?"
"No problems," she assured him, knowing that was what he needed to hear.
"Thank God," Phil muttered, then noticed Clint creeping out of the room. "No! Take these bags with you!"
"I don't need any of it!" Clint insisted, darting away which caused Phil to follow him.
"If you think you're going to wander around commando for the next three months, I'll have Thor hold you down and dress you myself!"
"I will help you, Son of Coul," Thor said loudly, though Jane was pretty sure the others had disappeared from earshot. She was also fairly certain Thor was only saying that to mess with Clint in retaliation for the movie incident.
Shortly after the Avengers had all moved into the tower, Clint had convinced Thor that Star Trek was a documentary and when the truth had come out, Thor had been upset that he would never get to meet Capt. Kirk…Though Tony had somehow arranged for them to bump into William Shatner at a restaurant, which had been all kinds of awesome.
Alone again, Jane blinked at Bruce and Thor for a moment before saying, "We're totally the normal ones."
Thor nodded in agreement and restarted the TV as Bruce said, "Actually, I was expecting at least a little bloodshed, so they came out ahead."
"Darcy and Tony are still out there," Jane reminded him wryly, which earned a small chuckle.
"You have a point," he agreed, then shoved a chunk of dark hair back out of his face. Somehow, it kept escaping from the messy ponytail he'd been sporting since the change.
"You should try a French braid," she suggested. His hair was very thick and had a lot of texture, so the braid would hold well.
"Don't know how."
"I can show you," she said, rising then pausing to add, "I could do yours to keep it back, then demonstrate again on Thor if you like."
"Yes!" Thor said easily, waving Jane toward Bruce. "Teach us this technique, my love."
Bruce nodded his agreement and, after gathering a brush and some elastics, Jane settled on the back of the couch behind the scientist to wrangle his unruly curls. Thor perched nearby, watching intently.
Careful not to tug too hard on the tangled locks, Jane said, "If this whole situation didn't violate the laws of physics and nature, I'd be wondering where all this hair came from."
"Well, when you turn into a giant green rage monster, the law of conservation of mass becomes more of a guideline, not a certainty."
He had a point.
She was just winding a lasting around the end of Bruce's braid when the elevator opened again to allow Pepper and Steve to exit. Several minutes earlier, the lift had past their floor and stopped at Steve's, clearly to allow the super soldier to deposit his purchases in his room.
Jane hadn't really known what to expect from Steve as far as wardrobe went, but this was not it.
Instead of looking uncomfortable and awkward as he had earlier, Steve was composed and calm and his outfit just screamed Pepper picked me! in a good way.
Steve was wearing bright red skinny jeans, a navy and white striped top with a boat neck and ¾ sleeves and navy patent leather flats. His hair had been tamed into a sleek blond waterfall held back by a thin, sparkly headband and he was holding a small black bag in one palm.
Gaping seemed perfectly reasonable response, given the situation, so that was what Jane and Bruce went with. Pepper gave them all a quick smile, but hurried out of the room, tapping rapidly at her phone as Thor said, "Steve, I see your shopping expedition was a success!"
Steve turned faintly dazed eyes toward Thor and made a vague gesture with one hand. "Ms. Potts was extremely helpful," he said softly, then glanced down. "I'm not sure about these pants though."
"I like them," Thor said as Steve crossed to one of the chairs and settled onto the cushions, crossing his ankles and folding his hands in his lap, like he was trying to sit politely, falling back on manners when he was clearly uncomfortable in his own skin. "Very eye catching."
"Thanks," Steve replied as Thor settled back to watch his show. Jane and Bruce returned to their tablets, pouring over all the scans and data S.H.I.E.L.D. had sent over concerning the teams current…situation. Jane thought Steve seemed torn between watching the show and actively radiating his discomfort.
Eventually, Pepper reappeared, dropping onto a couch with a sigh. "Well, Tony and Darcy are on their way home and I haven't received any bail requests, so that bodes well for us all. Jane, Darcy wants to know why you're not answering her texts…not that I blame you."
Texts? Jane pulled out the sleek little phone Stark had insisted all Avengers (and Avengers adjacent folks) carry and frowned at the message on the clear display that informed her that she'd missed a dozen texts from Darcy.
Clearly, she'd forgotten to turn the ringer back on this morning.
The first read: Tony thinks shoes are a good thank you/sorry/anything present. I need to hug Pepper 4 training him.
Attached was a snapshot of an incredible pair of boots.
Looking up at Pepper, Jane quipped, "I think Tony's trying to recruit Darcy to work for him using boots as bribery."
Pepper looked at the picture and nodded. "Possibly. Those are nice boots," she said, then extended one slim leg to showcase the terrifying Louboutin's she wore. "These were an apology for causing three senior engineers to quit in one day."
"Darcy's my assistant."
"Tony knows that," Pepper assured her. "He just appreciates her spirit."
That made Jane grin. "Well, Darcy has plenty of spirit to go around," she admitted. "Sometimes too much."
"She's a burrito of crazy awesome wrapped in a hot and spicy tortilla," Clint said, throwing in his two cents as he landed on the couch, having dropped from the ceiling. Jane was never sure how he did that in this room, as there was no visible access to the vents. A part of her was sure that someday she'd catch him crawling along the ceiling like Spiderman or that creepy baby in Train Spotting.
"You're using food metaphors, you need to eat something." Natasha had appeared as well, perched on the arm of the couch without so much as a bump to announce her arrival.
Phil's voice echoed from the room next door. "I've already called in the usual order at Shun Lee Palace. The food will be here in 20 minutes." A granola bar came flying through the air and Clint caught it (without looking) about an inch away from his head. "That should tide you over."
Ten minutes later, the elevator opened and Darcy and Tony came strolling out, unburdened by bags. Some of Tony's never seen staff must have been tasked with delivering them to their rooms.
Darcy was wearing the awesome boots and Tony had on a pair of tight jeans, expensive, thick soled black high tops (that looked like the ones he usually favored), a snug black motorcycle jacket and dark sunglasses. His hair was pulled back in an artfully sloppy bun and his lips stained a vibrant red.
"From the lack of riot police downstairs, I'm guessing everyone had a good time shopping?" Tony quipped, lowering his shades and looking around, "Seeing lots of athletic wear…Natasha, terrifying as always…Steve….Okay, wow."
Darcy was grinning and shaking her head. "You all still look like movie stars or something. How is this fair?"
"Incredible good looks are compensation for being the ones who toss ourselves at the insane supervillians and their minions on a weekly basis," Clint replied, then cocked his head to gaze at Darcy. "New boots?"
Before she could answer, Javris intoned, "Forgive the interruption, ladies and gentlemen, but young Mr. Hu has arrived with your dinner."
Five minutes later, the large kitchen island was covered in the usual mountain of Chinese food, as well as the standard trio of pizzas that somehow appeared every time the team gathered for a meal. It was one of those things that Jane stopped questioning the first time she saw that Steve (though he tried to be polite and subtle about it), Clint (who did not try to be subtle) and Natasha (who no one dared to question – but where the heck did she put it all?) could nearly match Thor when it came to putting away their food.
It was a good thing no one expected their appetites to have been effected by the change in genders, because Jane couldn't see a difference. Tony and Bruce still picked at their food distractedly, Jane herself, Phil, Pepper and Darcy took normal sized portions (though Darcy co-opted most of the crab rangoons), while the bottomless pits took care of the rest of the food.
All in all, everyone was pretty well behaved…until Tony looked up from the fried rice he was pushing around the plate to ask, "Hey, I just had a thought! These bodies…All new and shiny, right? Think we're physically virgins?"
Steve choked on an egg roll, which caused Coulson to reach over and pound him on the back.
Bruce actually looked down at his lap curiously.
Natasha smirked while Clint scowled at the thought.
As usual, Thor took the question in stride. "Yes," he answered, folding a pizza in half in preparation to bite into. "That's how it always is with this spell."
He seemed so sure of this that Jane wondered how he'd made that discovery. It was an intriguing line of thought.
"Can we please discuss something else?" Steve grumbled, still red faced but no longer choking.
"Sure, Cap, sure," Tony said lightly, but something about his tone told Jane that he wasn't about to let the topic die there.
Clearly, the next few months were going to be…interesting.
TBC….if people like it.
Comments, pretty please?