Natasha puts pretty much all her fears to rest immediately, smiling and squeezing her shoulder and telling her it’s all right, nothing’s going to change, come on, let’s find you something to wear that’s a little bit less Steve’s old baggy clothes. It’s almost too easy, and she’s on-edge for the first few days, especially when Nat gently asks if she can talk to Pepper about it. But when Nat and Pepper sweep her up, one on either side of her and linking their arms through her arms, and insist that they’re going to find something absolutely perfect for her to wear, she lets herself relax.
It’s harder with Steve, because she’s known Steve basically her whole life. So when he slings his arm around her shoulder, tugs a little on the ends of her hair, and laughs out a, C’mon, Buck, this is getting too long, you really gotta do something about it, she panics.
“I - I’m growing it out.”
“Really? What for?”
And the words tumble out of her in a rush, because she doesn’t know how to lie without making him ask even more questions, and Nat and Pepper have been so sweet and supportive and Steve - he’s Steve, he could never be anything but good to her. Still, she’s shaking by the time she finishes the explanation - almost a tirade in her efforts to make him understand - with a soft apology for lying to him. And Steve takes a deep breath and reaches out and hugs her, pulling her close against his chest and stroking her hair and making soft, soothing noises as he reassures her that, “It’s all right, you’re all right, I’m right here for you, and I’m always gonna be right here for you.”
And when she finally stops shaking and he lets her go, he tilts her chin up and smiles at her and says, “You’ll look so pretty with long hair, but you should ask Nat for advice on how to cut it in the meantime.”
She laughs because she and Nat have been discussing possible haircuts for nearly a week now and she has a small gallery of photos for when she finally goes to get it done.
From there, it’s a little easier. She doesn’t come out to Tony so much as he organically absorbs the fact from her changing presentation and the fact that every time he opens his mouth to say something, either Natasha or Pepper appears and stares him down until he starts using the correct pronouns. Bruce makes the switch with a smile and a, “Congratulations,” and the only question he asks is whether she’s changing her name. (She will, someday, once she’s decided on what she wants. She gives Bruce the one she was most considering, and he uses it consistently until she tells him that she’s not feeling it as much as she thought.)
When she comes out to Clint, he grins at her, gives her a rough, one-armed hug, and announces, “When you’re ready for it, I’ll hook you up with my endocrinologist! She’s great, you’ll love her,” just a little too loudly in his excitement.
She tells Sam over text-message because he works in DC during the week, and the wait for Friday, when he comes home for the weekend is agonizing. When the quinjet finally touches down, she meets him at the door in a sweater and skirt Pepper picked out for her, with Steve hovering a little anxiously behind her. His grin doesn’t waver as he leans in to kiss her on the cheek and says, “Hey, girl, you look beautiful. What’s for dinner?”
She doesn’t realize she was holding her breath until she sighs it out in relief and throws her arms around Sam’s neck.