I should be working on other things, but had these two crossover scenes pop into my head.

(Dirk and Al have no idea why their boss, Admiral Sandecker- the head of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA)-- wants them to meet with Tony Stark.)

Dirk heard Stark's assistant sigh in exasperation, then she shouted, “TONY!” startling both him and Al, and clearly, her boss.

The jean clad legs twitched, and there was a thunk from inside the device, then Stark pushed himself out from under it. Kneeling on the floor, he looked up at his assistant through what appeared to be a pair of ruby tinted ski goggles that an old B-movie mad scientist had gotten a hold of and rubbed his right shoulder. “What?” he asked in an even voice as if having his assistant yell at him like a mother calling her kid home for dinner while standing right next to him was nothing unusual.

“The specialists from NUMA have arrived,” Miss Potts replied calmly as she tilted her head in their direction. Stark glanced over his shoulder and lifted the goggles up with a hand covered in a big heavy, heat resistant glove. He blinked at them for a few seconds, a puzzled expression on his face, then he grinned.

“Great, you're just in time!” Stark tossed the goggles on a worktable and stood; and as he turned, Dirk got a good up close look at the famous Tony Stark.

What he saw wasn't quite what he had been expecting.

A few inches taller than Al's 5'4” and considerably slimmer than the burly Italian, Stark's face was instantly recognizable; expressive lips framed by a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee, eyes like polished brown mahogany, dark hair, normally perfectly styled in all the pictures Dirk had ever seen of the man, currently sticking out in several directions and a few streaks of what might be grease, running across one cheek and up into the mussed up hair.

Instead of the familiar expensive suit and tie, Stark was dressed in faded jeans, well worn running shoes, and a tee shirt covered with smears of the same substance that marked his face. But it was the glowing segmented circle visible through a hole cut in Stark's tee shirt that had Dirk staring.

Stark took a step forward, then pause and pointed a finger at them both. “I'm hoping you two don't mind getting those suits dirty.”

Dirk smiled. “Wouldn't be the first time we've managed to trash a perfectly good pair of suits.”

Al chuckled and leaned towards Dirk. “Which reminds me, we should bring it to the Admiral's attention when we get back that he still owes us a raise in the clothing allowance. Otherwise we'll be making house calls dressed in our underwear.”

A smirk quirked Stark's lips. “I don't know; going by the impression I got of your Admiral when I talked to him, that might give him ideas about alternate fund raising techniques.”

Dirk laughed. “Yeah, you could be right there.” Following Stark over to the device, Dirk stripped off his coat, draping it over Al's on a chair, and asked, “What is that?”


As they reached the top of the stairs, they found a black man in an Air Force Service uniform with the silver oak leaf of a Lieutenant Colonel on the shoulder board watching them; an eyebrow raised over rich topaz eyes.

“What?” Tony asked as he walked past the man, “They volunteered.”

The man rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. “Sure they did.” Tony laughed as he reached down and grabbed a burger off a silver tray sitting on the coffee table.

The man smiled and shook his head. He turned back to them and held out his hand. “James Rhodes, but most people call me Rhodey.”

Dirk shook the man's hand. “Dirk Pitt.”

“Al Giordino.”

Rhodey lead the way over to the sunken area the living room was set. Tony was already sprawled out on the couch, his feet up on the burl coffee table in front of him obviously unconcerned about damaging the fabric.

As they helped themselves to the pile of burgers and fries, Rhodey asked, “So how is it that an Air Force Captain and Lieutenant Colonel ended up working for a retired Navy Admiral?”

Dirk looked at Stark. "I take it you did a full background check on us before contacting the Admiral?"

Tony shook his head. "Didn't have to. Max was more than happy to give me info on you two."

"Max?" Dirk looked at Al in surprise, then back at Tony. "Wait, Hiram's Max?" Hiram Yeager ran NUMA's computer department and had created a computer program that worked as a graphic user interface who often appeared in holographic form in the shape of Hiram's wife.

Tony nodded. "Max sometimes stops by to visit Jarvis, my AI. She was the one who recommended you two to help me figure out where the problem might have been." He reached over and grabbed a beer. Leaning back he said, "But she never mentioned how you to came to be working for NUMA."

Dirk sat on the couch and shrugged his shoulders. “Well, there were several circumstances that led up to the Admiral asking us to join NUMA.”

“Including shooting the Admiral out of the sky,” Al said.

Dirk smiled. “Yes, including shooting him out of the sky to save his life.”

Rhodey shot Tony a look. “Know how that goes,” he muttered. Tony ignored him.

Dirk Pitt is the property of Clive Cussler; Iron Man is the property of Marvel. No profit is being made from this fic.
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