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Hulk and Puppy; Chapter 3: The Transformation

[INFO]Title: Hulk and Puppy
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Genre: Drama
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Tony Stark (Iron Man). Also: Clint Barton (Hawkeye), J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Thor, Tony’s bots (DUM-E and U).
Pairings: Bruce/Tony (implied/past Tony/OFC)
Summary: In the past year and a half, Tony had been infected by an alien werewolf, got lost in space, returned home and was reunited with his friends and teammates. His life should have gone back to normal but the world seemed obsessed with his new hairier, feral side instead, and it didn’t help that the Hulk kept calling him ‘Puppy’ and wanting to pet him. If only that were the least of his problems.
Complete. Sequel to “Broken Howl”.
Warnings: Sexual content (M/M, very mild/borderline/not-really-bestiality), canonical violence, language, vaguely implied death (including death of a child).

~ ~ ~

Chapter 3: The Transformation

They had tried to anticipate it, to the best of their ability. Tony had known, deep in his gut, that none of that mental preparation was going to be enough when it happened – and he was right.

When it started, he knew what it was instantly. It wasn’t the full moon, which they had confirmed a long time ago, nor was it a change in the environment, his daily routines, or diet. It just happened because of some planetary alignment Tony had never gotten to understand, and the wolf reared back its head in a soundless howl to greet it.

Since Tony’s return and the first meeting with Fury, special sections had been prepared in two S.H.I.E.L.D. bases on the western and eastern coasts, awaiting Tony’s eventual loss of control. At least, as far as Tony was concerned, that’s how it felt like everyone was treating it, save perhaps for Bruce, but the only man who had any idea what it was like being to be torn to pieces from the inside was in too much emotional distress to be of any real help.

Of course, it would have helped if Tony hadn’t woken Bruce up at sunrise, screaming as if someone were twisting a fire-hot knife in his chest, but the pain was almost as bad as the first time and Tony wasn’t at all prepared for it – even when he knew it would eventually happen.

“It’s going to be okay,” Bruce was chanting as they rushed out of the Quinjet that had flown them from the Tower to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base. “You’re going to be fine, Tony.”

If Tony hadn’t been in so much agony, he might have joked that he wasn’t going into labor. As it was, he tried to ground himself in Thor’s firm hold as the Asgardian carried him off the aircraft, and keep the storm contained within his body until someone came up with a way to stop it.

The special section was deep underground, its location most likely selected so that it could be totally isolated from the world. Tony wouldn’t have put it past Fury to rig the place to blow, in case they could not contain the transformation, but he felt like pointing out that if he were to lose control, he was going to die no matter where they put him.

Belatedly he thought he would have rather been home for this, surrounded by familiar smells and sounds.

“Get out of the way!” Natasha snapped somewhere ahead of them. For a brief moment, Tony saw a few S.H.I.E.L.D. employees flatten themselves against the walls as they came through.

“We’re almost there,” Bruce stated.

Tony curled his hands into fists, palms instantly bleeding because the transformation was starting to push through, however minimal at this point. He heard blood pounding in his ears, momentarily drowning out everything else, and his vision was starting to fail.

“In here,” someone said – possibly Steve, who had already been on the premises after a solo mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony snarled at the idea of his proximity, but then he whimpered, seeing as this was his new pack and they were here with him… not that he would ever call them that; only Bruce knew about it and that was bad enough.

“Lay him down, carefully,” Bruce snapped, clearly struggling to control himself.

“Tell us what you need,” Steve spoke up next, voice tight.

“I don’t know!” Bruce burst out, unexpectedly and angrily. “We’ve had no time to study this side of the transformation.”

“Can’t he just hold it back?” Clint asked hopefully.

“Pray that he can,” Bruce stated and Tony smelled him, close by but moving. His hand shot out, to reach for him, to ground himself on something now that Thor’s arms were gone.

“Please,” he ground out through the pain that was clawing at his chest, followed by the pinprick-sensations washing all over his body. “I’m scared,” he admitted. It was getting harder to focus on anything but the horrible sensations of his body trying to do something it could not. He could smell his own blood and sweat; he wished there were something else to replace it with, but every time he inhaled, it was that and the mixed odors of sterile walls and medical equipment.

“Tony, I need you to breathe,” Bruce told him, moving closer. “You’re starting to hyperventilate.”

Tony tried but could not, and something screeched when his fingers clenched against the surface he was lying on.

“I’m going to try sedatives,” Bruce told him, tethering him to something resembling control. Bruce was with him… Bruce would take care of him.

He doesn’t know how, a part of his mind wailed. None of them know how!

If only Tony had thought to possess that knowledge when he had the chance to learn, but he had been taking in so much information in those months, it had been impossible to learn it all – or to apply it to this life and the normalcy he had rediscovered on Earth. This place had no room for a werewolf and was not equipped to handle one…

He felt a small prick in his arm, a warmth washing through him. The pain in his chest turned into pressure, followed soon by a sensation of something heavy sitting on top of him, making it increasingly harder to draw in air. Soon after the pain started again, coming back with a vengeance. Tony thrashed to the side, blindly, because moving would distract him.

The surface he had lain on ended abruptly, landing him hard on the floor.

“Tony!” Bruce called out, moving over, cool hands touching his burning skin. “Do you want to get back on the table?”

Tony shook his head vehemently. His nails scraped the floor, leaving deep gashes in it. He heard something tear, like clothing. The wolf swam to the surface of his consciousness – but only for a second before retreating with a snarl.

“I take it the sedatives didn’t work?” Natasha mused, forcing her voice to be conversational. Tony smelled the collective tension in the air, though – and fear, from himself and Bruce.

“His metabolism is faster, especially when he’s in transformation,” Bruce replied tightly. “Tony, honey, I need you to tell me what to do.” It was as if he had forgotten, after all these months, that Tony had no idea how to fight this or prevent this. If he did, he wouldn’t have been here, cowering on the floor of some S.H.I.E.L.D. containment room, wanting to bash his head into the nearest wall until he lost consciousness.

“Raise the dosage,” Steve suggested from the other side of the room. “I think they have files on how much my body can take before it starts slowing down; maybe the same will work for him.”

Bruce moved away from him, probably to do just that.

Tony jerked to follow him, so as not to be left alone, bumping hard against one of the table legs. His vision was on the verge of blacking out, shapes dissolving into an unintelligible mess.

“Be at ease,” Thor’s voice reached his ears – alongside a hand on his shoulder, too firm – and not Bruce’s. He wanted Bruce, needed him, and while the rest of his pack was welcome to hang around, they didn’t have the right to touch him.

Tony tried leaping at the body attached to the hand, nostrils momentarily filled with the smell of the Asgardian. He could hear the rush of his blood.

The hand withdrew instantly, as did its owner, and Tony curled up on the floor, as defensive as possible, waiting in agitation for Bruce to come back.

“Leave,” Bruce ordered. “I think he’s getting violent.”

“You should get out, too,” Steve suggested. “Let him ride this out on his own.”

“We don’t know if he can do that,” Bruce argued.

“We don’t know if we can do anything to help him!”

The pain was starting to get the best of him and Tony whimpered, pressing a hand against the arc reactor. If he pulled it out, it would be over…

‘The wolf cannot repair his heart.’

Clawed fingers dug into his flesh, stinging. Everything else was vanishing: the room, the base, the Avengers. All of it was a haze beyond the pain, his body quivering, so close…


A cool touch on his face, hands on his body, drawing him up and into an embrace.

“I’m sorry,” the words went on, mixing with past and present before Tony recognized Bruce’s familiar voice. “I wish I could do more. I wish we knew… I thought we would have more time.”

Tony whined, cried, dug his fingers into his own flesh to counter the pain from within – and to prevent himself from hurting Bruce.

The tide kept rising, higher and higher, wanting to drown him – wanting to cast him aside and remake him. It might have been better; there may have even been relief…


A different voice, dark like the abyss all around him, yet firm and grounded in reality – a reality he needed to get back to.

“Do not cry, Puppy. Hulk protects.”

The arms were bigger and stronger than the pain, cradling him, protecting him. They were all-encompassing and drove away the horrible fear. He clutched at them instead of himself, pressed his face into the wide chest and felt himself being rocked, carefully, back and forth, back and forth…

“The pain will stop. Always goes away… Hulk waits with Puppy until it doesn’t hurt anymore,” the other said, and Tony could almost breathe now, a calm finally descending over him.

It was over and he was still alive.

How much time passed between that realization and a door opening somewhere nearby, Tony didn’t know. He felt a draft, heard footsteps, but didn’t want to open his eyes and look, feeling safe and protected in the Hulk’s arms. The small amount of pain that still sat in his chest felt manageable when he didn’t have to deal with it alone.

“How fares –”

The words were followed by a quick motion from the Hulk which barely jostled Tony at all.

“Stupid hammer man!” the Hulk growled, shifted and probably turned his back to the door. “Interfere with Puppy’s healing sleep…”

Tony hadn’t been sleeping but seeing as it had been mentioned and sounded like a good idea, he allowed himself to be lulled into it, his tongue briefly wetting his lips and simultaneously licking a small line across the Hulk’s chest. A familiar, affectionate rumble responded to the small touch and a single, large finger gently brushed at his hair.

“Sleep, Puppy,” the Hulk encouraged, and Tony did.

to be continued…

Story info