Title: Looking for Help in all the Possibly Right Places
Series: The Everything is AU ‘Verse
Series Order: 2
Previous Story: Together or not at all
Fandom: NCIS and MCU
Genre: Alternate Universe, Crossover, Sentinels & Guides
Relationship(s): Tony Stark/Tony DiNozzo
Character(s): Tony Stark, Tony DiNozzo, Kamekona, Flippa
Content Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Some Angst, AU, Sentinels and Guides are Known
Word Count: 2,856
Notes: The AU-ness continues. Anyone I like on any show I’ve ever watched is fair game at this point. This takes places during the first story. I felt like the series needed a snippet of that meeting, but it didn’t fit into the story. So, here is that scene that didn’t make the original fic. Jackson Grimes is an OC that belongs to Rivermoon1970 and is being used with her permission.
Summary: Years ago, Tony DiNozzo turned down a Perfect Match because he didn’t agree with his mate’s business dealings. Now, one of his best friends is in danger and he has nowhere else to turn.
Looking for Help in all the Possibly Right Places
Tony hated when he was right, and he especially hated it when he couldn’t even get any joy out of shoving a good ol’ ‘I told you so’ down someone’s throat. If Danny didn’t still have his head so firmly lodged up inside his own asshole, seemingly determined that this is the time Tony was wrong, he’d happily throw it in his friend’s face. However, Danny was still dating Miss ‘I eat my significant others for dinner, even though Tony’s Spidey senses were screaming at him.
OK, so he was a Guide and didn’t have Spidey senses. He was more like that really hot chick on Star Trek the Next Generation Deanna Troi with feelings about everyone else’s feelings with a mix of Nostradamus thrown in for kicks, but that was beside the point. The point was Danny was still fucking that horrible idea, which left Tony and Clint to have to set up contingency plans for their contingency plans.
“You’re sure you’re ok with watching the dumbass alone while I am gone?” Tony asked looking around nervously as he looked toward the security checkpoint he had to go through before he could get to his gate at the airport. Tony Stark had been over the moon to get his call and immediately arranged for a first-class ticket out to Honolulu so they could talk.
“It’s fine,” Clint soothed, and Tony could see the inner eye roll even if his other best friend hadn’t actually done it. “I already talked to Captain Fornell, and he’s gonna help us out. He’s got a case heating up that he says wouldn’t be hurt by Danny’s attention. So, Loverboy is gonna be too busy to date the preying mantis. Go talk to Stark and get us all new jobs.”
Tony nodded and pushed up his glasses before turning and giving Clint a hug. “OK, I just… I feel like I’m abandoning you with a toddler or something.”
Clint snorted at the analogy. “Fortunately, Danno’s out of his terrible two’s, and I’m a fully trained sniper and shit. Worse case scenario, I shot the bitch and we have to go into hiding. No big.”
“Jesus, why am I friends with you fuckheads?” Tony muttered good-naturedly before turning and heading for the waiting line to be scanned, checked and scrutinized. As much as he wanted to put Danny and his girl problems out of his head, it was difficult. Especially considering that Danny was solely responsible for this trip. He’d thus far resisted Stark’s numerous offers on the basis that he wasn’t sure that he could trust the man.
While Tony was smart, his early years ensured that he was by no means innocent to the ways that others would like to manipulate and use his intelligence for their own ill-deeds. He had a very firm no weapons rule when it came to his work. Because of Stark’s background in weapons production and design, he’d always had the man at the top of his no list, even after his break from Stark Industries.
Now though, thanks to Danny, he was forced to test waters that he’d never wanted to swim in. He just hoped and prayed that the things everyone had been saying about IA&E and the information he’d dug up on his own were backed up by reality.
Once he finally made it onto the plane, he settled in next to the window, let his head fall back to lie on the headrest and closed his eyes. It was a long flight to Hawaii with a layover in LA, and if he didn’t find some way to quiet his mind before he got to Stark he’d be a nervous wreck.
Stepping into the waiting area at Honolulu International Airport with his carry-on containing his clothing for the short stay over his shoulder along with his computer bag, he scanned those waiting for whomever Stark had sent to pick him up. Spotting the sign with his name on it, he headed that way and stopped in front of a huge man who appeared to be Samoan. “I’m Tony DiNozzo,” he greeted readily as the man smiled at him.
“Aloha!” The driver replied back putting a lei around his neck. “Welcome to Hawaii, Mr. DiNozzo. My name is Kamekona, and I will be your driver and protection detail while you are on the islands. Mr. Stark said you were concerned about some trouble back home and wanted to make sure that you felt comfortable while you were here.”
“Thank you, Kamekona,” Tony returned as he followed the big man out of the airport. “While I don’t think the trouble will follow me here, especially since one of my best friends is at the center of it all and still back home, it’ll be nice to have someone else worry about some things for a day or so.”
“Not to worry, you’ll be safe with us.” The driver promised as he reached a car with a man waiting in front with the trunk open. “This is my cousin Flippa. He’ll be assisting me with your driving and protection duties. We’ll take you to your hotel now unless you’d like to go somewhere else?”
“No, the hotel is fine,” Tony agreed as he put his duffel bag into the trunk but advised that he’d keep the computer bag with him. There wasn’t a chance in hell that he’d let his highly priced laptop that he’d put together himself bounce around in a trunk. “Traveling always makes me tired. If the hotel has a decent restaurant, I’ll be happy to just eat there this evening or order room service. Do you know if the schedule for tomorrow has changed?”
“Mr. Stark has put you up in the best hotel on the island,” Flippa advised from the passenger’s seat as Kamekona headed around to the driver’s side. “It has some kickass restaurants, but I hear the room service is good too. It all comes from the same kitchens. So, most of the restaurants’ menu items are available in the room, or that’s what I’ve heard. Mr. Stark had some unexpected meetings come up, but he wanted to make sure that he could still meet with you. So, if you don’t mind, he’s moved your meeting to a lunch meeting around 1 o’clock. You’ll be eating at his home so that his chef can cook for you. He thought you’d prefer the privacy there to IA&E.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, Tony nodded and eased back into the comfortable seat looking out the window. “That would be perfect. I know our meeting was a spur of the moment thing. So, I appreciate whatever time he has for me.”
“No worries, we got you covered,” Kamekona promised, having settled behind the wheel and easing away from the curb. “We have about a 20 to 30-minute drive depending on traffic. So, you just sit back and relax and let us take care of things. Whatever’s going on, Mr. Stark will be able to help you with. You’ll see.”
Nodding again, Tony focused on the scenery outside the window and tried to push his worries away. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get his mind to shift away from whatever was happening back home in his absence.
It didn’t take very long for Tony to realize that he was going to go stir crazy in his room. So, when dinner time came around, he decided that, despite the exhaustion in his body, he was going to go down to eat. He’d intended to hole up in his room and order room service, but his mind was just too active to rest. The implications of what he was possibly doing wouldn’t stop growing. He hoped that maybe some people watching or staring at the waves would help. When he got down and checked with the concierge, he was pleased to find out that the hotel’s suites came with private gazebos to dine in, and that there was one available for his use.
He was just settling in and ordering something fruity and tropical to drink from his server when someone unexpected slipped into one of the other seats at the table. Later, as he was finally laying down to sleep, he would realize that he should have known the man would come to visit, but at the moment, he was startled and stumbled over his drink order briefly.
“I’ll take a scotch on the rocks, and we’d like an order of the egg rolls and the truffle fries to share, Melanie,” the man asked flashing a smile at the server who looked to Tony for confirmation.
After letting loose a resigned sigh, he nodded his acceptance. “It’ll give us time to decide on the main course. Everything looks wonderful.”
Melanie, their server, nodded and appeared to be trying her best to hide her uncertainty. “Just so you know, Guide Dr. DiNozzo, you can order from any of the restaurants. So, the menu that you have covers all available dishes. I will be back with your drinks as soon as possible. I am your private server this evening, so if you need something and I’m not here just hit the button on the screen. I’ll come right away.”
After the woman hurried off, Tony turned his gaze to his uninvited guest. He supposed though that since he was paying for everything he couldn’t really throw him out. Before he could speak though, his guest spoke once more.
“I’ll leave if you want. I just couldn’t wait. This is totally a personal dinner meeting. No business stuff, I promise. Unless there’s something that you want me to know now. I just thought that we should get the personal stuff out of the way before tomorrow.”
“No, it’s ok, you can stay,” Tony offered quietly as he absently played with his fork. “It’s probably best that we clear the air. I appreciate you even seeing me, everything concerned, Mr. Stark.”
“I think given the circumstances you can call me Tony, don’t you think?” Stark said smiling as he leaned back in the wicker chair. “I admit that I’m hoping that you’ve changed your mind, or that you’re at least open to considering a Bonding.”
“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t willing to do at least that,” the Guide said and wrinkled his nose. “We can’t both be Tony. Even in a conversation between just the two of us, I’ll get confused. I’ll go by AJ. Danno and Clint have used that nickname for me on occasion. Anyway, we’re Perfect Matches. I wouldn’t have made the call if I wasn’t willing to reconsider the Bonding. I will tell you up front though that I did a thorough search on you and all of your current activities before I called. I… Why did you leave your own company?”
Tony wrinkled his nose as he looked out over the water for a moment before turning his gaze back in AJ’s direction. “It wasn’t completely because you rejected the Bonding request, but I will admit that I might not have ever thought about the consequences of what SI does if you hadn’t. If I did, it probably would have taken something much more drastic. I was… well, I was going to say appalled, but that’s not a strong enough word. I’m embarrassed to say that I had no idea how Obadiah runs Stark Industries. I know that you have no reason to believe me, but that isn’t what I wanted to do with my inventions or my intelligence.”
“So, just to hear it from your mouth, you no longer make weapons, correct?” AJ asked, and Stark nodded quickly before replying.
“My separation agreement with Stark Industries is very specific. Neither my company nor I can design, manufacture or do research on anything that has a primary purpose of being any kind of weapon including guns, rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, bombs, or anything that would support those items. If something we’re researching ends up going that route, and we can’t find a better use for it than weaponry, then we need to turn over the research to someone else. I can guarantee you though that there is no chance in hell SI will be that competitor. Needless to say, I’ve had to get creative with some of my equipment purchases. It’s a good thing I was friendly with some of my former competitors.”
AJ’s lips quirked a little as he tried to imagine the former weapons manufacturer having to seek out old competitors for equipment for his new venture. “That must have been interesting.”
Tony snorted and waited as the server dropped off their drinks before continuing. “Jackson at Grimes Tech and Alec and James at MIQ Weapons and Research were all rather amused by the situation and never fail to call and give me grief. Fortunately, we’ve all known each other since we were toddlers practically. So, it was a hardship I could live with. I’d rather give my money to men I’ve known since I was a child than that bastard Obadiah who is betraying his country. I’m just embarrassed that it took my mate turning me down to look into what was going on with my own damned company. They’res both the ones who will be getting any research that goes in an unexpected route depending on what it is.”
Tony flashed a smile that didn’t look as happy or amusing as AJ figured it was supposed to. The words that followed were much more self-deprecating than he liked, and he wondered if both he and his Sentinel didn’t have self-image issues. “I should thank you for showing me who my real friends were. I have to admit that it was pretty rough on the ol’ ego there for awhile after I left SI. People left my life in droves. Rhodey stuck by me for some reason, although there was a tough love lecture that I had to endure. Jackson, James, and Alec took me out, and we got drunk together. Then, the next morning they helped me brainstorm ideas of what I could do with my new company. Pepper stayed behind though, and Happy stayed with her.”
Tony frowned for a moment, and AJ waited patiently remembering reading the two had a strong friendship before she unexpectedly stayed at Obadiah Stane’s side. “That hurt the most I think. I understand her reasoning though. She wanted something that just wasn’t possible because there was no way I was giving up on there being a chance at you and me Bonding. Happy’s always had a thing for her. So, I guess I understand that one too. Plus, my new Happy is a former SEAL and totally badass, even if he is rather uptight and batshit insane. McGarrett grew up on the island though and got hurt in combat. So, I feel like I am maybe a little bit making up for something there.”
AJ nodded along with the story and felt himself softening toward the man. It had to be hard to leave behind the things that he’d known and the people he’d depended on just to take a stance. “Well, if it makes you feel any better, both of my best friends are batshit insane too. One is a cop with terrible judgment in women, and the other is like a world class sniper. They’re both going to make my hair fall out.”
Tony appeared to perk up a little but was forced to wait to reply until after the server put their appetizers down and took their orders before leaving. “As much as I wanna hear about this sniper, tell me about the cop with bad judgment.”
“He picked up a woman at a club about a month ago named Ziva David. I may have hacked a couple places and wasn’t able to find anything to indicate she is here in the country legally. She also seems to have some questionable affiliations according to some of the Intelligence Agencies. Why in the hell she’s focusing on Danny, I don’t know, but my gut says that it’s nothing good. I wouldn’t be surprised if her Spirit Animal is like a Black Widow Spider or Preying Mantis or something equally creepy crawly that eats its mates. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt something as bad news as she feels. I need your help, Tony. I have to save him, and I don’t know where else to turn. I know it’s crappy coming here when I turned you down but…”
“I don’t care about all of that,” Tony cut in insistently. “I meant it when I said that I think that things would not have turned out as good as they have it you hadn’t. I wasn’t in a place to be a good Mate to you then, and I am just thankful that now I’m getting a second chance.”
Nodding, AJ accepted the Sentinel’s words before turning the conversation to a safer and more relaxing topic. As he headed into his room hours later, he thought that just maybe things would work out after all.
End Note: There will not be a McDanno pairing in this series. I am a Steve & Danno Bromance not a McDanno Romance kind of girl.