Everyone Needs a Consult Occasionally

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Not betaed.

This is incredibly self-indulgent, but it's all my brain gave me on short notice. I apologize ahead of time.

For a second, Tony thought that the burrito he'd had for lunch was going to come back up. His stomach sure felt like it was twisting inside out. But after that first, nauseous second, Tony knew that it wasn't the burrito, because no burrito, no matter how bad, can make your vision twist inside out. At least, that's what it seemed like it was doing, along with his hearing and every other sense he had and a few he wasn't sure of.

When everything untwisted itself--just as painfully as the twisting had been--Tony dropped to his knees and threw up. When he was done a familiar hand held out a creased and crumpled napkin. Tony took the napkin from Gibbs and sat back on his heels. He started wiping his mouth and froze.

Gibbs was just about the only familiar thing in sight. Tony was kneeling in the middle of what seemed to be the living room of a very large and very expensive condo. The carpet he'd puked on looked just as expensive as the architecture and the furniture and the giant paintings adorning the walls.

Standing around him were four figures straight out of a comic book. And Tony didn't mean that they looked liked comic book characters. They were comic book characters. You didn't have to be a comics geek to recognize Spider-Man. Or Captain America. Tony wasn't sure of the other two. One of them was entirely encased in red and gold armor. The other was dressed elaborately, complete with high-collared cape.

The armored guy turned to the caped guy. "Strange. We ask for help and this is what you bring us?" His voice was obviously disguised with some sort of synthesizer, but it still managed to convey distain and frustration.

"The spell sought the assistance most suited to your difficulty to be found in any currently accessible dimension," the caped guy said serenely. "If these men were brought, they are the best matched to the situation."

Tony climbed to his feet and looked to Gibbs for his cue. Frowning, Gibbs examined each of the four costumed men carefully. Then he turned to Captain America. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Naval Criminal Investigative Service," he said briskly. "If we're going to help, we're going to need a briefing." He considered for a moment. "Sir," he added.

"And mouthwash," Tony said brightly.