Steve's puppy is in love with his shield. She insists on sleeping in it, eating out of it, and is not impressed when Steve tries to swap in a replica to fool her.
Tabitha was tiny and black
and white with a little black spot around one eye and Sam took one look at her
and joked that she had the same worried crease between her eyes that Steve did.
He’d adopted her from down
South, a pit mix of some kind that was attentive and sweet. And curious.
Snuffling around his gear and when she tipped his shield over on
accident she went scurrying away, only to creep back when it didn’t chase her
and nose at it until she realized it was perfect for a rocking-bed.
Steve took approximately
300 pictures and decided there was no harm in letting her doze in his shield
while he set up her bed and bowls and toys and made sure he’d puppy-proofed
Only that wasn’t the end
of it. A week later, and she was still
nudging it with her nose until it tipped over and snuggled in for the night
every night. He’d given her a meat bone
earlier in the day and she’d trotted off with it, tail high, to curl up in his
shield and chew on it.
It was on his next mission
he decided things had to change. The fur
could be easily brushed away and the bone bits washed off, but the leather
straps had little teeth marks in them that would soon be big teeth marks and Steve realized he might have encouraged a bad
habit without meaning to because it happened to be cute.
So he bought her one of
the plastic replicas he found on Amazon and set it on the floor for her. She was interested at first but had barely
gotten a paw in it before she pulled back and left it for his actual
shield. He put treats in it and tried redirection
and she kept stubbornly (like you,
Sam smirked as he filmed some of Steve’s unsuccessful retraining) refusing to
use the plastic shield.
He went on Etsy and bought
a cosplay replica that was an impressive facsimile. So good, Tabitha laid down in it.
For five minutes.
It was Clint who finally
fixed everything, sending T’Challa a series of photos and a note that simply
read “a little help?”.
A week after that, a
package arrived from Wakanda. Inside, a
perfect replica of Steve’s shield in pink, white, and blue with “Tabitha America” painted on it
and half-dozen leather straps for her to chew.