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EDIT: Now with AMAZING art by leperu. I commissioned two pieces that can be found here on AO3

Title: Girl that glitters in the dark (also on AO3)
Author: Enmuse
Character: Toni Stark (always-biologically-female)
Universe: MCU (first Iron Man), but Jan and Rumiko (only mentioned) are from the comics.
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 739
Warnings: Mastectomy, mentions of surgery done in less-than-optimal conditions.
Summary: Hesitantly, Toni curled her fingers in the fabric of her hospital gown so that it pressed against her body. Her months of captivity had diminished her natural curves, taking her from "slim" to skinny. Her gaze lingered for long moments at her waist. Then she made herself look higher.
Notes: See after story.
Regular disclaimers apply – I'm a fan playing in someone else's sandbox. Title based on Hannah Fury's "Girls that glitter in the dark"


There had been times when Toni hated her breasts.

She had never been "heavily endowed," and there were a handful of occasions where she envied the women with large chests. That had mostly been in her teens.

There were more times – many more – when she hated having a feminine body. Her father's cohorts would chuckle at the "little girl" trying to fill her daddy's shoes. Men stared at her chest or hips or ass rather than her face. Business associates gentled their grip during handshakes.

It pissed her off.

Toni antagonized a dozen tailors, fashion designers, and stylists until she found someone who took her concerns and desires seriously. Janet van Dyne had voluntarily approached Toni and had a portfolio of design plans ready to offer. One glance through the sketches full of balanced business attire that matched style with ambiguous lines encouraged a prompt discussion of a contract and ideas for a revamped public wardrobe.

To business meetings and public engagements where she wanted a thick-headed audience to actually listen to her, Toni preferred modest necklines and suits with lines that evened out her silhouette. For charity benefits and parties she tended to call Jan to get advice on how to outshine everyone.

Toni took her business seriously, but she played just as hard. It drove numerous publicists and personal assistants to the breaking point. Until Pepper Potts, who efficiently established a team to deal with the insanity that was the public eye. Pepper dragged Toni (well, more like tricked her) to strategy meetings when something particularly salacious came up. Toni's six month affair with Rumiko Fujikawa was kept to speculative rumors in the media due to some particularly boring – but admittedly helpful – strategy meetings.

The public spotlight.

Toni knew she would be back under the world's microscope in a few days as soon as she landed back in the United States. Two and a half months missing – presumed dead by most – and her return would be headlined with astonishment and wild speculation. And as soon as the media caught her on film—

Toni swallowed hard and slumped against the wall of the small, private bathroom off her hospital room in Landstuhl. She'd been avoiding looking at the mirror above the sink by keeping her head low. She let out a shaky sigh and slowly raised her eyes to look at her reflection.

Her hair had grown out shaggy from its original pixie cut and she had to keep sweeping strands out of her eyes now that she'd lost the filthy bandana that had accompanied her in the Afghan desert. Her arms were blotchy with reddened sunburn, though her hands had built up enough of a tan to moderate the effect of hours of exposure after she'd had to ditch her metal suit. Her cheeks just below her eyes and the bridge of her nose were also reddened from wind and sun, while she'd managed to save the rest of her face with a well-wrapped scarf.

Those were the safe things to look at: extremities, face, limbs...

Toni stared into her own eyes in the mirror and hated the dread she saw there. She glared at her reflection and pursed her lips in an approximation of Pepper's "I-should-not-have-to-push-you-to-do-this-but-so-help-me-I-will-hold-you-at-gunpoint" expression. A moment before she lowered her gaze, Toni's mental image of Pepper turned to a softer expression of concern and encouragement.

Hesitantly, Toni curled her fingers in the fabric of her hospital gown so that it pressed against her body. Her months of captivity had diminished her natural curves, taking her from "slim" to skinny. Her gaze lingered for long moments at her waist. Then she made herself look higher.

The arc reactor glowed beneath the gown's fabric like a full moon shining through an overcast sky. The fabric lay against her chest strangely, not exactly flat, but there was a distinct lack of curves. Toni swallowed hard as she raised one hand to her chest. She closed her eyes and pressed her palm against the arc reactor. Her fingertips extended beyond the casing and pressed against the lumpy scar tissue of a rushed desert surgery.

There had been times when Toni had hated her breasts, but they had been a part of her. She used to understand her body, knew what to expect from its quirks. Now it was unfamiliar territory.

Beneath her palm the arc reactor vibrated gently in its home at the center of her chest.

Next: Won't let you choke

Notes: I didn't understand the appeal of genderswap fic for well over a decade. I didn't see the point of it. Slowly I came around to giving a look at some stories, but there has long remained this idea of something lighthearted about the "trope" since it seems to be connected to "cracky ideas" in part of my brain. However, any ideas I've ever had when it comes to trying my own hand at genderswap tend to be complicated. Thus, despite my very initial musings months ago about "girl!Tony" were lighthearted, I swiftly started thinking about all the challenges a female "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" would face. And then this past month I started thinking seriously about what it would mean for a biologically female body to harbor the arc reactor. It seems that was the push I needed to write.

P.S. I'm proofing/editing this on my own right now - no beta. Politely pointing out errors is always appreciated!