This is basically establishing Tony Stark and Stark Industries in my Touch of Smith and Jones ficverse.

Pairing: Tony Stark/James Rhodes "Rhodey"
Disclaimer: Iron Man and Nick Fury are the property of Marvel Studios. No profit is being made from this fanfic.
Author's notes: Changes from the movie-- Tony Stark stuck to the script and it is the classic version of Nick Fury. WIP and uncorrected. I sometimes find a lot of my mistakes after I post something.

Takes place at the end of the movie.

EDIT-- Tony doesn't stick to the script, but Rhodey does some spin control so the press is-- for the moment-- willing to accept that Tony created the suit, but was not wearing it during the event.

Fury stared out the wall of windows, admiring the view of the Pacific Ocean as he wondered when Stark was going to show up. He had briefly entertained the idea of meeting Stark in the workroom, but there were too many variables down there for Fury to feel comfortable. The robot with the fire extinguisher was just a little too twitchy for his tastes; though considering all the damage and scorch marks he’d seen when he had checked the room out, he really couldn’t blame the thing for being nervous.

He was about to contact someone to track Stark down, when Fury heard Stark’s voice yelling over the weakly buzzing intruder alarm, “Jarvis?“

The house computer managed a garbled “Welcome back…” but then failed completely.

Fury watched Stark‘s silhouette reflected in the windows. The man slowed and looked up, then stopped when he looked down and spotted Fury. “So. You’re Iron Man, huh?” Fury said. He turned and regarded the head of Stark Industries.

“Who the hell are you?”

“Nicholas Fury, director of SHIELD. I believe you’ve heard of us?”

“Yeah, you could say that. Didn‘t realized accepting that cover story meant I was giving you an open invitation into my house.”

“I want to know what you’re going to do next.”

“Don‘t think that‘s any of your business.” Fury waited. Stark scowled, then said, “Okay, you wanna know what my plan is? My plan is to find a party with an unlimited supply of liquor and beautiful women and forget the last few months ever happen.”

“Not a good plan. You’ll just end up with a hangover from hell and a pissed off friend dragging your ass home.”

Stark’s eyes narrowed. “You sound pretty sure of that.”

“Years of experience.” He walked out from behind the couch and noticed Stark casually shifting his position. Fury stopped and studied him. Stark seemed guarded but relaxed, but Fury noted the clenched jaw and the quick flick of his eyes toward each escape route.

“Did you know you were at the top of the list in my staff’s investigation?’

Stark frowned. “But not yours?”

Caught that, did you, Fury thought. Good for you, Stark. Just might be able to knock some sense into that head of your.

“You’ve always struck me as being a lot like your father,” Fury said,” innovative but not giving a shit about the business end of things.” He crossed his arms. “Cooler with every five hundred million purchase?”

“Seemed like a good deal at the time.”

“Yeah, I’m sure it did.” Fury pulled out a cigar, lit it, and said, “I’ve got a proposition for you.”

Tony followed his unexpected guest to the front entrance, mentally chewing on everything Fury had said. Which, in Tony’s opinion, was not a bad thing; it kept him from thinking about a few memories stirring in the back of his mind that he wasn’t ready to deal with yet.

Stepping out onto the broad front porch, Tony stopped and shook the hand Fury held out to him. “Got any questions,” Fury said, “just contact Coulson.”

“I’ll be sure to do that.”

He had the impression Fury was amused by his answer as he turned and headed for the car parked in the driveway. The car was red and it was definitely vintage-- it had that patina of age a reproduction could never pull off-- a 427 Shelby Cobra. That reminded him that he needed to find a replacement for the Cobra he'd trashed during his botched landing. It took Tony a moment to realize that the car was facing the porch and was blocking the driveway. He wondered how Fury managed to park like that without leaving tire tracks in the grass or a skid mark across the pavement.

As soon as Fury slammed the door shut, the car roared to life, and then Tony heard a sound he had become intimately familiar with over the last few weeks-- the climbing whine of repulsor servos cycling up. Tony stared, too stunned and tired for any other reaction as the car rose smoothly into the air and rotated, allowing Tony to see the 427 logo on the side. The car paused, hovering in place. Fury looked down and said, “And if you have the urge to take that suit of yours out for another stroll Stark, give us a call. We can at least make sure the good guys don’t try and blow you out of the sky again. Oh, and by the way…” Fury pulled a device out of his pocket. It looked suspiciously like a car door opener. He pointed it at the house, and pressed a button. “You’re computer’s back on line.”

Straightening, Fury spun the wheel and the Cobra turned and shot off into the distance, the glow of the tail lights quickly fading. Tony blinked then rubbed his face. Silence slowly settled around him and he found himself getting more and more unnerved by it. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial without once looking down at the phone.

After the forth ring, the line clicked open and a groggy voice said, “Tony?”

“My workroom.” Tony flipped the phone shut before Rhodey had a chance to respond. Switching it to silent mode before dropping it back in his pocket, Tony headed back inside.

This time, when he stepped into the house, the lights flicking into life. Blinking rapidly, blinded a moment by the sudden brightness, Tony shouted, “Jarvis!”


“How the hell did Fury get in here?”

“He used the pass code.”

Tony stopped. “What?”

Jarvis calmly answered Tony a second time. “He used the pass code.”

A shiver ran through Tony as the memory of what had happened the last time he’d had an unexpected guest surged to the surface. The last thing he wanted to think about was Obadiah’s betrayal. He absently rested a hand protectively over the device hidden beneath his shirt and said, “Change the pass codes and sent them on to Pepper, and only Pepper. And let Rhodey in when he gets here.”

“Yes sir.”

Taking a deep breath, he detoured over to the bar in the living room. Taking a shot glass and tossing two cubes of ice into it, Tony then grabbed a bottle of something off the shelf. He didn’t bother looking at the label-- hopefully, whatever it was went with ice-- and headed down to his workroom.

As he started down the stairs, Tony asked, “Jarvis, what have you got on this Colonel Fury?”

There was a slight pause then Jarvis said, “Nicholas Joseph Fury. Oldest son of Jack and Katherine Fury, born November 10, 1918 in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, New York…”

“Wait, back up.” Tony stopped again, the broken safety glass from the windows he had blown out during a test run crunching under his feet. “1918?”


“That can’t be right.”

“That is the date of birth recorded on his military files. It is also the date on his social security and official passport files.”

Frowning, Tony said, “Put everything you have on my laptop.”

Setting the glass and bottle on the table beside his workstation, Tony kicked a few items scattered across the floor out of the way and pulled a stool over so he could sit down. He stared at the shattered display box with the “proof that Tony Stark has a heart” base lying in the center of the mess. As he rubbed the center of his chest, a few of the aches and pains he had managed to ignore for the last thirty-some hours started clambering for his attention. He forced his attention away from the display box and his pain and sat down to scan through Fury‘s files.

Eventually he knew he was going to have to stop moving, give himself time to heal up and put everything into perspective, but now was not that time. Tony absently took a sip from his glass then glanced at the bottle. “Hm, the Glenfiddich. Well, good to know I still have the touch.” He took another, longer sip and focused on the information on the screen.

By the time Rhodey arrived, Tony had only managed to scratch the surface of Fury‘s military records and was just starting on his second glass of Scotch. He paused as Rhodey stepped cautiously into the workroom room as if expecting someone to jump out of the shadows at him. Tony raised his drink and said, “I already checked. I‘m the only one here you need to worry about.”

“That statement’s more than enough to give me grey hairs.” Rhodey carefully stepped across the glittering carpet of broken glass. “What’s the emergency? And why did Jarvis have to let me in?”

Tony turned back to the laptop. “I changed the pass codes. I’ve had a few too many people dropping in unannounced the last few days.” He heard Rhodey stop and, glancing over his shoulders, found Rhodey crossing his arms and giving him an annoyed but curious look.

“Why do I get the impression you’re celebrating something?”

Tony grinned. “When am I not celebrating something? Want some?”

“It’s four in the morning, Tony,” Rhodey said in an exasperated tone.

“Is it? Didn’t notice.”

Rhodey sighed then stepped over to the workstation, leaning into Tony’s personal space to look at the laptop screen. Tony had to fight the sudden urge to lean away from him.

“So what are you celebrating this time?”

Tony closed the page and spun around on the stool to face Rhodey. Tony grinned again to cover up his relief when Rhodey jerked back, giving him some space. “Got a new contract lined up,” he said.

Rhodey rolled his eyes. “You couldn’t tell me that over the phone?”

“The contract is with the Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate.” Tony waited to see what Rhodey’s reaction would be to that bombshell.

Suddenly looking a little more awake, Rhodey said, “You’re signing with SHIELD?” The genuinely happy look he got from Rhodey was not the reaction Tony had hoped for. He felt a touch of disappointment though he should have expected Rhodey would be happy that Stark Industries was still in the game.

Rhodey then narrowed his eyes. “Still doesn’t explain the wakeup call,” he said.

Tony rested his elbows on his knees and rattled the ice in his almost empty glass. “I’m not sure if signing a weapons contract with a guy who walked right into my house without setting off a million alarms is such a good idea.”

Rhodey chuckled. “Colonel Fury was here.” It was a statement not a question.

The disappointment twisted into a sudden burst of anger at the amused tone in Rhodey‘s voice, but Tony kept his voice light as he said, “Yep. Right here. Well, upstairs, but you get the idea.”

“Gonna give him the suit?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“He didn’t ask for it?”

“Surprisingly enough, he didn’t. I was half expecting that to be part of the deal.”

“Well, Fury knows how to work around stubborn idiots like you. He’ll get what he wants eventually.”

“You‘ve met the guy?”

Rhodey grinned. “Nope, but I‘ve heard stories.”

Tony took a sip of Scotch. “Yeah, well, I can run circles around guys like him.”

“Think you better read up on him before you start making statements like that,” Rhodey said as he nodded at the laptop.

Tony glared at the laptop. “I would, but someone‘s obviously been messing with his files. They all say he was born in 1918.”

“He was.” Rhodey shrugged. “Rumor has it someone did a bit of genetic experimenting on him during World War Two,” he said.

“You’re making that up.”

“Scout’s honor. And he’s so going to run circles around you.”

Tony scowled at him. “No he won’t.”

“Yeah he will.” Rhodey grabbed another stool and sat down. “You know, SHIELD.’s got some sweet tech already-- you‘ll have a bit to prove.” A wistful look crossed Rhodey’s face. “Wait till you see the Helicarrier.”

“The what?”

“You’ve seen the plans for the Valiant? The aerial carrier that Saxon Enterprise is building for U.N.I.T.?” Tony nodded. “Well, SHIELD’s had ships like that since the 70‘s.”

Tony pointed a finger at Rhodey. “You are making all this up. SHIELD’s only been around since the 90’s.”

“The U.N. version, yes; but Fury originally created SHIELD for the U.S. government. Never heard the whole story but that version ran into a situation-- similar to what you just went through-- back in the late ‘80‘s. When he found out what was going on, Fury took down the guys running the organization, dismantled SHIELD and tracked down and disposed of all the tech connected to it. That’s supposedly why Fury won’t let anyone else run the current version of SHIELD; he doesn‘t want a repeat of that mess.”

“Really.” Tony took a sip of his Scotch and stared at the laptop. “You know,” he said thoughtfully, “my dad designed something like the Valiant back in the 60‘s. Found it in his personal notes a couple of years back. It was just an idea, never went further than the design stage as far as I could tell.” Tony glanced down at the palm of his hand. “That‘s where I got the idea for the repulsor technology.”

“Maybe he passed those ideas on to SHIELD.”

“Maybe,” Tony said. “It’d sure as hell explain that car of his.”

“He brought the Cobra? Wow.”

“Okay,” Tony said, “you knew about a car like that and didn’t bother to tell me about it?’

“Thought you knew.” Rhodey leaned forward. “Look Tony, if you want my opinion, I say take the deal.”

“You think it’s a good idea?”

Rhodey nodded. “You’ll tick off a lot of people, including my bosses, but yeah-- it‘s a good deal. Besides, if you give SHIELD exclusive rights to Stark Industries‘s military tech, you’ll never have to worry about the bad guys getting their hands on it, or anybody else for that matter. Fury‘ll make sure of that.”

Tony nodded. “I‘ll think about it.” He downed the remains of his drink and banged the empty glass down onto the worktable.

Rhodey managed not to jump at the sharp bang Tony‘s glass made when it hit the metal table. His gaze drifted from the glass to the bottle of 1937 Glenfiddich-- the half-empty bottle of Glenfiddich-- then over to the slouched figure next to him.

“Damn it Tony!”


“You’re drunk! That‘s why you called me-- you‘ve got me on clean-up duty again!” Rhodey exclaimed.

It took Tony a moment to focus his gaze on Rhodey. “You’re off your game tonight, Rhodey.” He then grinned and reached out for the bottle.

Standing up, Rhodey grabbed Tony’s wrist. “I think it’s time for you to hit the sack.” There was no protest as he took the glass out of Tony’s other hand and pulled him to his feet.

Tony laughed. “Man, you are so cranky when you don’t get your beauty sleep.”

“Would you move?” Tony turned and started walking, his hands in his pockets. Rhodey didn’t say a word as he followed him, oddly angry with Tony‘s stubbornness, a stubbornness that had almost gotten him killed the night before. Rhodey still didn’t understand why Tony hadn’t asked for his help until it was almost too late.

When they reached the bedroom, Tony ignored the bed and headed straight to the floor to ceiling windows set in one wall.

“When was the last time you slept, Tony?”

Stopping in front of the window, his face reflecting on the glass, Tony said evenly, “Uh, I don’t know-- Vegas?”

A sigh slipped out of Rhodey. He knew that wasn’t true, but he understood what Tony meant. He stepped to Tony’s side and stared out the window. “Sorry,” he said.

That word seemed to surprise Tony. He turned towards Rhodey, a puzzled look on his face. “Sorry for what?”

“For giving you such a hard time since you got back.”

Tony frowned. “How has that been any different from the way you‘ve always treated me?”

“I don’t know, but obviously I did something to tick you off since you didn’t trust me enough for a head‘s up on the suit.” Rhodey gave Tony a look. “And you sure as hell shouldn’t have been the one to take that thing out for a test run.”

“You’re just jealous that I have cooler toys to play with.” Tony closed his eyes, his head falling back as he laughed softly. “Actually I was going to ask you but didn’t want to get you in trouble with the brass.”

“Since when do you care about things like that?”

“Ever since I realized there are only two people in the world I care about, and you’re one of them.”

“So you risked your life and went one on one with the U. S. Air Force in some lame attempt to protect me.” Rhodey shook his head. “For someone who’s supposed to be the Da Vinci of our century, you’re sometimes the biggest idiot I know. I’m amazed Pepper hasn’t strangled you yet.”

“I’m sure the thought’s crossed her mind a few times.” Tony looked down, his hand covering the glowing reactor hidden beneath his shirt that was keeping him alive. “Did she mention she’s one behind you in the saving my life contest?” Rhodey couldn’t read the expression on Tony’s face as he gazed down at his chest. “Told her to toss this thing after I installed the updated version.”

A shudder ran through Rhodey as he considered how things would have turned out if she had. “Good thing she knows when not to listen to you.”

Tony’s hand dropped to his side. “Yeah, ain‘t that the truth.”

Rhodey stared at Tony‘s familiar profile and said, “You’re not drunk, are you.”

“I wish.” Tony turned towards him. Rhodey recognized the expression that was now on Tony‘s face. It told him exactly how much time he had to leave-- not much-- and that there would be no hard feelings when he did-- there never was.

For the first time, Rhodey didn’t leave. “You need some sleep, Tony.”

“No. What I need is a distraction.”

Rhodey rolled his eyes. “Okay. And if I give you that, will you get some sleep?”

Tony grinned. “Only one way to find out.”

Tony turned away and started unbuttoning his shirt. He actually wasn‘t expecting Rhodey to take him up on the suggestion, but he had to admit, he was a bit touched that Rhodey was willing to go that far to make sure he was all right. Glancing over his shoulder, he said, “Hey, you don’t have to stay you know; I can tuck myself into bed.”

“And as soon as I leave, you’ll get back up and start fiddling with something.” Tony smiled at the truth to that statement. “Look, you may have been wearing the suit, but you still got the crap beat out of you. If I have to hold you down to get you to stay in that bed, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

“Okay, you do understand that what I want right now is the opposite of sleep?”

Rhodey crossed his arms. “Yeah well, my plan is to wear you out.”

“That plan might work better without the clothes.”

Rhodey gave him a look.

Tony chuckled and took off the shirt. He bunched it up and tossed it across the bed. “You know,” he said, “if you’re going to sleep with me, I’d rather you did it because you wanted to, not because you need me to do something.” He was about to say more, but stopped when he saw the shocked look on Rhodey’s face.
“What?” he asked.

Rhodey took a step forward and grabbed his arm, turning him around. Rhodey‘s free hand brush over a few of the more tender spots along his back. “Have you looked in a mirror recently?” he asked.

Tony grimaced. “No. I can live without knowing how many shades of blue I’m turning.”

“Got more than blue going on here.”

“Yeah well, think of it as a challenge.”

Rhodey took a step back. Glancing over his shoulder, Tony found Rhodey’s look of shock had turned to one of puzzlement.

“When did you start lifting weights?”


“I mean, you were fit before but…”

Tony blinked and looked down at himself, trying to figure out what the hell Rhodey was talking about. He realized he had been so focused on the device saving his life and on building the new suit that he never bothered to look at the physical changes his captivity had wrought on him.

A snort of weary amusement slipped out of Tony. “Oh, didn’t I tell you about that? Found this personal trainer while I was hanging out in Afghanistan. Guy was a pain in the ass but can’t argue with results like this.” He knew he had said too much by the look of concern on Rhodey face and focused on removing his belt instead of dealing with Rhodey.

“Want to talk about it?” Rhodey asked quietly.

“That would require me actually wanting to think about it.” He tossed the belt in the same direction as the shirt.

“You’ll have to eventually.”

“Preferably after pizza and a six pack of beer.”

It was not a surprise to Tony when Rhodey yanked him around. Before Rhodey could say anything, Tony snapped, “Either distract me or leave. I’m not in the mood to be psychoanalyzed right now, Rhodey.”

It was a surprise when Rhodey grabbed his head and kissed him, instead of taking the opportunity to chew him out.

“Good enough of a distraction for you?”

“It’s a start.”

Pepper walked through the mansion, flipping through the pile of damage reports that Tony had asked for.

“So where is he this morning, Jarvis?” she asked.

“Still in his bedroom.”

"Really? How bout that."

The door to Tony’s bedroom was open and Pepper walked in. She glanced up, then stopped and stared. She'd gotten used to finding someone other than Tony in his bed. Part of her job as Tony’s personal assistant was to make sure Tony's guests found their way out of the mansion. Usually though, by the time she got in, Tony was already down in his workroom, and the guest (or guests in a few cases) had always been female.

This time however, Tony was still in the bed, sleeping on his stomach, and the guest draped over Tony’s back was definitely not female.

Instead of being shocked or disappointed, Pepper realized she was trying not to giggle.

Tony suddenly snapped awake and twisted slightly to look towards the door. His hair was mussed up and he blinked rapidly a few times as he tried to focus on her. In the years she had worked for Tony, she had seen several expressions on Tony's face-- like the innocent little boy look, the "this concerns me why?" look, and of course the "was I supposed to be paying attention to that?" look.

The "oh shit" look she was getting now was not one she had seen before. Pepper was finding it harder to contain the giggle.

Tony tried to turn over-- probably to apologize-- only to have his guest pull him back down. Rhodey opened an eye and glared at Tony. “Okay,” he said, “you’re supposed to be sleeping. Do I have to…” Rhodey’s voice trailed off when he noticed the look on Tony’s face. The ‘oh shit” look spread to Rhodey’s face, as he glanced down at the foot of the bed and caught sight of Pepper.

She gave up. She laughed at the both of them then tucked the damage reports under one arm so she could access her palm pilot. “How long do you think you can keep him there, Rhodey?”

Rhodey sighed and gave Tony a look. “How long do you need me too?”

"A week would be good."

Tony rolled his eyes but kept his mouth shut for once. "How bout till this afternoon?" Rhodey said.

"That would be great. I'll rearrange his schedule." She turned and slowly shut the door. She giggled again when she heard Tony say, "She didn't say we had to sleep while we were in the bed." and Rhodey answer, "Shut up and go back to sleep, Tony."

Tony settled back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. He could feel Rhodey’s eyes on him. “Yes?” he drawled.

“Why did you call me?”

Laughing softly, Tony looked at Rhodey and said, “You are off your game.” He looked back up at the ceiling. “And I already answered that.”

There was a moment of silence, then Rhodey said, “Because I’m one of the two people you care about.”

“Yep.” Tony grinned, embarrassed. “That and I figured Pepper would probably just walk right back out when she got here. I ran out on her during a benefit function. Left her standing out on a balcony waiting for a drink. And then there was the thing with the arc reactor...”

“You are an idiot.”

“Yep, I’m the master.”

“So, are you going back to sleep, or are we moving on to round two?”

Tony looked at Rhodey and gave him a mock glare when he saw the smirk on Rhodey’s face. “You’re evil.”

“You can’t move, can you.”

“If you keep this up, I’m not going to let you play with the other suit.”

“Yes, you will.” Rhodey shifted Tony onto his side, wrapping an arm around him. The warmth of Rhodey’s body against his sore back left Tony sighing in contentment.

Rhodey chuckled. “I got your back.”

“Think you’ve got more than that right now.” Tony closed his eyes and smiled.

From: [identity profile]

EEEE! This is so awesome. I love the way you depict Tony and Rhodey in this. The way their relationship is so dependent on trust; Tony's trust in Rhodey to be there for him, and Rhodey's trust in Tony that despite his faults will do the right thing.

More? Please?

From: [identity profile]

Glad you liked it! I'm working on more and hope to have them up soon! (unfortunately, work keeps getting in the way!)


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