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16 July 2008 @ 09:51 am
Happy Birthday Ithildyn!  
Crack!fic in honour of ithildyn  ’s birthday. Warm and fuzzy wishes my dear, I hope you have a fabulous one.
Title: Water, Water, Everywhere
Fandoms: Iron Man, POTC, Highlander
Beta: Huge thanks to strangevisitor7  for getting this beta’d in record time. I owe you big for this hun.
Words: 3187
Summary: When Reed Richard’s latest time-travel experiment goes awry, Tony Stark becomes a pirate and meets an old friend…
Disclaimer: Iron Man and Reed Richards belong to Marvel, Jack Sparrow and Pirates of the Caribbean belong to Disney and Highlander belongs to Panzer/Davis. No copyright infringement intended, and this is written only for fun, not profit.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Something had gone very, very wrong. Reed’s new time-travel device was supposed to have put him thirty minutes in the future, at the Baxter Building. As Tony Stark reviewed his surroundings, it was clear that was not where he was.

From the sight, sounds and smell of it he guessed he was in the hold of a sailing vessel, perhaps some sort of galleon, judging from the size. And from the motion he assumed that they were at sea.
And to cap it all off, his armour appeared to be non-functioning.

“Just great,” Tony muttered. He stripped off the armour as quickly as he was able and began looking for somewhere to hide.

Once he had secreted himself in a dark corner of the hold, he started to examine the circuitry to ascertain what was wrong, the arc reactor in his chest providing the only light. He just fervently hoped that whatever the problem was, it was fixable. He also hoped they would reach port soon so he could jump ship before he was discovered.

Soon, Tony heard approaching voices. He covered his arc reactor with his hands and peeked out into the hold. There were two men stood there, dressed in 18th century clothing. The clothes were quite fine, those of a gentleman, but they were tattered and filthy. Coupled to that the men were discussing rum, women and treasure, so Tony felt it safe to assume he was aboard a pirate vessel. The two men passed by him, too busy in discussion to even glance his way. Relieved, Tony leaned back into the shadows and continued his work.

After an hour of patient work, Tony had found the malfunctioning circuit and ascertained that he could indeed fix it, even with the primitive resources available to him in this period of history. As he worked, he could hear voices on the deck above him.

“Land ho, Cap’n! We’ll be in Tortuga by morn’n,” said the first voice.

“Good work, Mr. Gibbs. Tell the men to make ready. Those that are coming back aboard will have two days’ shore leave,” replied a second voice, which Tony surmised belonged to the Captain.

“Aye, Cap’n,” answered the first voice, confirming Tony’s conclusion.

Morning, thought Tony. Damn! 

There was no way he could finish his repairs in time, and he couldn’t possibly get off the ship undetected if he had to try and carry his armour. If the pirates caught him as a stowaway…he didn’t want to think of what they would do to him. His only choice was to leave it in the hold, go ashore and then legitimately join the crew. He just hoped that the captain’s words meant they were looking for new crewmen.

He had discovered some rather unsavoury period clothing in his corner of the hold and managed to find a flea-free frock coat and breeches to pull over the bodysuit he wore under his armour. With the coat done up, the velvet was thick enough to cover the light from the arc reactor. A pair of too-large boots and a mangy tri-corner hat completed his outfit. He buried his armour in the far corner of the hold, hoping that with most on shore leave there’d be none likely to find it. Quietly he slipped up on deck and was ashore before anyone spotted him.

He followed the crew into one of the many inns and bordellos that lined the stinking, debauched streets of Tortuga. Tony thought that in different circumstances he might have a fine old time in this den of iniquity. He found himself a quiet table in a dark corner and sat down to plan his next move.

Fortune was again smiling on Tony Stark as he discovered a gold coin on the floor that some poor sot had dropped. After watching the room for a while he established that everyone was drinking either rum or beer and after so long at sea, Tony’s thirst wouldn’t be denied. So, when a serving wench (and there really was no other word to describe her) passed by, Tony ordered a beer. He would need a clear head if he hoped to return to the twenty-first century, and God alone knew how strong the rum would be in a place like that.

The beer was warm, watered-down piss, but at least it was wet. As he finished his drink, he noticed that two men had set themselves up at a table in the middle of the room. The shorter of the two, an older seadog with a ponytail, stood up to address the inn. The other was an outlandish looking man, even for a pirate, with matted hair, and clearly didn’t know what a bath was for; he simply leaned back in his chair and began inspecting his nails.

“Captain Sparrow is looking for a hard-working crew. The spoils will be plenty and divided fairly. Line up and make yer mark,” called out the pirate, who Tony recognised from his voice as Mr. Gibbs.

That must be the Captain, mused Tony. Now’s my chance.

He dropped the coin onto the table to pay for his drink as he stood and went to join the line.

“So, what makes ye think yer worthy to join the crew of the Black Pearl?” asked Mr Gibbs when Tony reached the front of the line. Tony had to stifle a laugh and keep a straight face as the man was such a stereotypical pirate, even down to the Long-John Silver pirate voice.

Tony had already prepared an answer to Mr Gibbs’ question and, thinking it would be appropriate, he adopted a British accent. He wasn’t great at accents, but what came out was passable, a cross between his computer, Jarvis, and Charlie Chaplin.

“I served four years before the mast on merchant vessels as navigator after being apprenticed as a shipwright and weaponsmith. Couldn’t decide on where my specialty lay. But it means that there’s nothing I can’t mend, nothing I don’t know about weapons and no course I can’t chart,” he replied confidently. 

Gibbs eyed him sceptically, but something he said had caught Captain Sparrow’s attention. He leaned forward and spoke.

“That’s some bold claims, mate. Any proof to back them up?”

“Only way to prove it is for you to take me on, Captain,” Tony replied.

Sparrow thought about this for a moment, then replied,

“Prove yourself and you’ll be ship’s navigator. Fail and I’ll toss you overboard. Do we have an accord?” he asked, thrusting out his hand. 

“We do,” Tony answered and shook the offered hand.

“Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Mr…?” Sparrow asked.


“Make yer mark, then be on board by sundown tomorrow,” Gibbs said, pointing to the crew roster in front of him and then he handed Tony a mark, a pirate coin that had no monetary value, but would allow him aboard the Pearl.

Anxious to finish repairing his armour, Tony headed straight for the Pearl and back to the hold. Now he could move freely about the ship, he was able to find a more secure spot for his workshop and to acquire some tools. Crude though they were, they would suffice to jury-rig the damaged circuitry.

He worked through the night, and into the next morning, and finally the armour was repaired. He still had no idea how to get home, but at least he’d be ready when the time came. There was no way anyone could survive time-travel without some kind of protection like that of his armour.

His next task was to remove the navigation relay and pocket it, so that he could back up his claims to Captain Sparrow. Then all he had to do was bide his time on this crew until they hit land again, or he could figure out a way to get home, whichever came first.

Two days out of Tortuga, Captain Sparrow was satisfied that Mr Stark had been telling the truth about his skills. Tony was intensely relieved as he didn’t want to have to mess with the timelines by using his armour to fight and fly his way off the ship. He was also relieved that the weather had turned bitterly cold, as it meant he could keep his coat buttoned, hiding the arc reactor

The proof of his navigation skills immediately made him a favourite with Jack Sparrow, who gave him a berth in one of the cabins and invited him to dine in the Captain’s cabin. They sat at the table, Tony still with his coat buttoned firmly.

“Rum?” Jack offered. Tony nodded and held his glass while Jack poured. “So, Mr Stark, whereabouts are you from? That’s a curious accent, mate.”

“I’m from America,” Tony answered.

“The colonies? Oh, well that explains it then. I thought you might be some Lord run away to sea, or a spy for the East India Trading Company,” Jack said amiably, although Tony could hear menace in his voice.

“Not me, Captain,” Tony reassured him.

“Well, you seem so well-spoken. And you always go round with your coat buttoned so tight. Some might think that a tad suspicious, savvy?” Jack said with a half-smile and then bit into an apple. 

Tony downed his rum which, despite years of heavy drinking, burned his throat. Perhaps the drink was too strong for him, but something made him abandon caution to the wind.

“I believe I can trust you, Captain Sparrow. Jack. But what I’m about to show you, cannot leave this room. Do we have an accord?” Tony asked in his normal accent, using the term he’d heard Sparrow use a surprisingly large amount in the last few days. 

“I’ve taken a liking to you, Starky. We have an accord,” Jack agreed. “And a pirate’s word is his bond.”
Cautiously, Tony pulled open his coat to reveal the arc reactor in his chest.

“Captain Sparrow, I come from the year 2008. I was sent back in time by an accident and I’m now stuck here until I can figure out how to get back there,” Tony explained before buttoning his coat again. Jack just sat there calmly and drank his rum. 

“I believe you, mate,” he said finally.

“Really?” Tony said.

“Aye. Not the strangest ‘fing I’ve seen. Not by a long chalk,” Jack replied with a smile. He refilled both their glasses and raised his. “A toast, to the future!”

“And to the Black Pearl!” Tony declared, returning the smile.

The next afternoon, Tony was sitting up on the poop deck, examining the charts, when he spotted a very familiar face take over at the wheel. The hair was longer, and the general demeanour was grubbier, but there was no doubt that Tony knew him. Once they were alone on the deck, he went over.

“Methos?” he asked, incredulously. The pirate drew his sword and pointed it at Tony.

“How do you know that name?” the man hissed, confirming to Tony that it was indeed Methos. Tony was puzzled for a moment, then realised his mistake.

“Oh, you haven’t met me yet, of course!” he said, making Methos step back in surprise, although he didn’t lower his sword. “I’m sorry. Look, we’re really good friends, I’ve known you since I was a child, but it hasn’t happened to you yet. I’m from the future.”

“And I’m supposed to just believe you?” Methos asked, backing away from the crazy man.

“No. I know lots about you. You rode as Death in the Four Horsemen, until you got sick of it and trapped Kronos down a well. You’re probably the oldest Immortal left on the planet. You love beer…” Tony paused in his list as Methos raised his sword again

“That means nothing. Except that you were sent here by an Immortal, possibly Kronos, to try and trick me,” he sneered, walking forward pressing his blade against Tony’s neck.

“Possibly,” Tony conceded. “But how do you explain this?” he asked, and then pulled open his coat.

“Witchcraft!” Methos cried. Tony sighed.

“You know, you aren’t this obtuse in the future. It isn’t witchcraft, just science from the future. Most people would consider a Quickening and Immortality to be witchcraft,” Tony reasoned. Methos considered this for a moment, then conceded the point. “Look, you have no reason to trust me, and I’m sorry I even spoke. But I saw a friendly face in this strange time and made a mistake. I promise to keep your secret and not harm you, if you will promise the same to me. Do we have an accord?” Tony asked, holding out his hand. 

Methos eyed him sceptically then took his hand.

“We have an accord. But stay clear of my path, witch.”

“It’s Tony actually, Tony Stark,” Tony called back as he walked away.

Later that night, Tony had an epiphany. The sudden realisation made him sit up in bed. As this bed was a hammock, he fell to the floor with a thud.

“Oh, I’ve been so stupid!” he muttered to himself as he ran across the deck and headed down to the hold where the rest of the crew slept.

Uncovering a little of the light from the arc reactor, Tony searched the crew’s hammocks until he found Methos.

“Methos, Methos, wake up, please!” he said, shaking the Immortal awake. Methos went for his sword as he awoke, so Tony took a couple of steps back.

“I warned you, witch!”

“No, please, listen to me. Remember this conversation, this date, and coordinates,” he said spouting numbers at the Immortal. “Then, in the future, July 16th 2008, you can go to the Baxter Building, explain to Reed Richards that we miscalculated. Tell him where and when he sent me and then he can bring me back! Don’t you see? This will get me out of your life, off the ship! You can go back to the way things were before,” Tony explained hastily.

“Just by remembering what you just said? I think I’d rather run you through,” Methos said. “That would get you out of my life far quicker.”

“Maybe, but I’m the navigator don’t forget. Captain Sparrow wouldn’t be happy. He might throw you overboard, or maroon you. I know it wouldn’t kill you, but it might drive you insane,” Tony reasoned.
Methos considered this for a moment, then grunted and rolled over in his hammock. “Is that a yes?” Tony asked.

“You’re insane,” Methos muttered. “But if you’re not, Immortals are like elephants; we never forget.”

Satisfied, Tony returned to his cabin, but he was too anxious to return to sleep.

Three more days passed, and still no sign of rescue. Tony was spending more and more time in the captain’s cabin, getting drunk and talking with Jack. He thought he lived in interesting times, but Jack had some tall tales to tell. They swapped stories of battles fought, and loves won, long into the night. Quite quickly, Tony was permanently drunk, simply to avoid the horrifying hangover that would come with sobriety.

As his second week on the Black Pearl was drawing to a close, Tony was roused from his sleep. A fortnight on a pirate ship had taught him new lessons and he reached for the cutlass Jack had given him as he opened his eyes.

“Methos?” he asked groggily. “I thought you didn’t want anything to do with me?” he slurred, still inebriated from the night before. Then, through the fug of alcohol, it registered with his brain that this Methos was cleaner and had shorter hair. And was wearing jeans.

Wide awake and sober, Tony sat up and rolled out of his hammock.

“Methos?” he repeated and hugged his friend.

“Yes,” Methos hissed. “Watch what you do with that sword!” he exclaimed.

“Oops, sorry,” Tony said sheepishly and dropped the cutlass with a clang.

“Ssh! Do you want to wake the whole ship? Now go, quickly and get your armour,” Methos instructed.

“Why can’t we just go down to the hold?” Tony asked.

“You must be drunk. I can’t risk meeting myself. Didn’t you see the Back to the Future films?” Methos replied, trying to keep his voice low.

“Then why did you come?” Tony asked.

“Is this the last dumb question of the evening? Honestly, you’re supposed to be one of the biggest brains on the planet, remember? I think Sparrow’s rum has rotted some of those grey cells. Nobody can travel through time without protection like your armour, or they die. And since we couldn’t get into your safe to access the Mark II armour, I realised that the most expedient way to get you back would be to send me. After I told Doctor Richards, he agreed and sent me.”

“You told Reed?!” Tony exclaimed, incredulous.

“Not everything. Just enough. He assumed I’m a mutant like Wolverine. Besides, he’s Reed Richards, Mr Fantastic. I figured if I could trust anyone, I could trust him. Now will you please go and fetch your bloody armour so we can get the hell out of here! I hate boats. Don’t know what the hell I was doing here the first time,” Methos grumbled as Tony nodded and complied.

He returned, twenty minutes later, wearing his Iron Man armour.

“Don’t worry, nobody saw or heard me. So, how are we doing this?” Tony said. Methos pulled out two devices from a rucksack he was carrying.

“These are two portable versions of the time-travel device that Reed came up with once I relayed your message. Took him about a week, so I’m afraid we can’t go back to the date you left,” Methos explained, attaching the device to Tony’s armour and pushing some buttons.

“Or it would create a paradox,” Tony finished. Methos nodded.

“So, I’ve set the device for August 1st 2008, just to be certain we don’t accidentally overlap timelines. When you’re ready, we just push the central button,” Methos instructed as he programmed his own device.

“Wait! There’s something I have to do first,” Tony said and went onto the deck. Curious, Methos followed, knowing that his past self was asleep below. 

Tony scanned the upper deck for life, but there seemed to be no one on watch and, as the Pearl had anchored at a small island for water, there was nobody at the wheel either. Grateful for the laziness of pirates, Tony entered the captain’s cabin. Moments later he emerged, followed by a sleepy and very drunk Jack Sparrow, who swayed even more than usual as he crossed the deck, bottle of rum in hand.

“Well, it’s a shiny suit, mate, and very pretty, but what good is it?” Jack slurred. 

Tony grinned and pulled down the visor of his helmet. Picking Jack up under the arms, Tony fired his boots and shot straight up into the air. He circled the Pearl a few times, and did a loop the loop before landing gently back on the deck. Jack tottered away from him, then collapsed onto the deck, sat up and raised his bottle, saying,

“To the future! *hic*”

“Show off,” Methos said amiably and hit the button.
The other Weird Alaeron_lanart on July 16th, 2008 09:36 am (UTC)
Your cut is broke!

Haven't read the fic yet but I'm sure I'll love it.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: headdeskidontlikegravy on July 16th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC)

Thanks for pointing it out :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: donut loveidontlikegravy on July 16th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
All fixed, thanks :)
The other Weird Al: Highlander - Methos 'To Someday'aeron_lanart on July 16th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)
Love it! I particularly adore the idea of Tony taking Jack Sparrow for a little turn about above his ship...
It's a very nice pressie for a Tony and Methos loving person.

I discovered a typo though... who gave him a birth should be berth I think.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: rubbishidontlikegravy on July 16th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
Yes... That other sentence is an entirely different fic... *toddles off to fix*

Thanks, glad you liked it. Fingers crossed Ith will too.
The other Weird Al: Chocolate!aeron_lanart on July 16th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
I'm sure Ith will love it.
Ith: PotC - Jack: Legendithildyn on July 16th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
[claps] So cool!! Thank you, sweetie [HUGS] That was so much fun!

Later that night, Tony had an epiphany. The sudden realisation made him sit up in bed. As this bed was a hammock, he fell to the floor with a thud.

I LOLed!
Kay: hellboy -- he loves kittenssilvercobwebs on July 16th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
You have to be one of the most thoughtful people I know, sweetie. Awesomeness. : D
Sophie: Methossophiedb on July 16th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
How very funky! I want a ride in the sky too :)
slvrcrystalcslvrcrystalc on July 16th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
A PotC, Highlander, and Ironman Fic? It was so weird I had to read it! ^.^
Ninjababe: PotC-Jack-Swirlninjababe on July 17th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
I loved this!

And, Methos thinking Tony is a witch!

Jennifer/Gail: Methos_Wristslferion on July 17th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
oh, *fun*!

I love the interactions!