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Title: It Smoldered
Part: 1/8
Author: Aravis Tarkheena
Pairing: Tim/Tam
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Not sure yet. Nothing crazy.
Disclaimer: Not mine, everyone's legal
Chapter Length: 1,500w
Author's Notes: Written for the Women Love Fest. I picked Tam. ~<3 You get a ~1k chapter each day for the next week. Also for my Ducati table for dcu_freeforall. Prompt: 15 mist.
Summary: Tam finds a clue. Tim needs a clue. Bath mats are destroyed, but Prince William remains happy throughout.

Part One

It was the smell that ultimately woke Tam. Thick and acrid, like melted rubber and recently struck matches, it crept across her room. Confused, Tam sat up in bed, glancing quickly around for the source of the smell.

The first thing she noticed was the large form of her dog, Prince William, nosing at the small gap between the bottom of her bathroom door and the floor. William's huge, furry frame was cast into shadow bu the thin stream of light that glowed from the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor of her room.

When Tam made out the faint sound of the shower starting up on the other side of the bathroom door, she had a pretty good idea of who it was playing Goldilocks in her tub.

Shaking her head, Tam climbed out of bed, and made her way across the room. William made happy little sounds as Tam patted him in the head. When she opened the door to the bathroom, and stepped inside, he was hot on her heels.

The awful smell was even stronger in the small confines of the bathroom. Tam wrinkled her nose, looking down at a thick bag on the floor that seemed to be the source of the smell.

Steam, thick as mist on a fall morning, billowed out from behind the shower curtain to inundate the small room. It made the smell seem even thicker, closer, than it had out in her bedroom. It was as if it clung the molecules of water that hung heavy in the air. The odoriferous mist was so profuse, Tam had to squint to make out the form behind her opaque shower curtain.

“Oh no!” Tam cried, in tones of mock dismay, “there's a naked superhero in our shower, William!”

This seemed to please, rather than alarm William. He moved in on the tub, poking his head past the curtain, and snuffling at the man inside. Tam smiled when a pale, wet hand crept out from behind the curtain to scratch William affectionately behind the ears.

“Watch the bag,” Tim called to her from the shower stall. “Don't touch it.”

Tam glanced back at the bag interestedly.

“What's in it?” she asked, peering at it a little more closely in an effort to make out its contents. “Wait... Is it smoking?”

“Probably,” Tim answered, a touch acerbically. “It's what's left of my uniform.”

Breathing studiously through her mouth, Tam leaned over the bag, bending in closer. All she could really make out was a melty mass of black and burgundy. It really was hardly recognizable.

Tam winced.

“Do I want to know what happened, Ninja Boy?” Tam asked in tones of mild horror, backing away from the still smoldering bag.

“Probably not,” Tim conceded, as he shut off her taps, and reached a hand out towards Tam's towel rack.

Tam grabbed the nearest towel, and dropped it into Tim's hand. Making a grateful sound, Tim pulled the towel behind the curtain.

“Were you hurt?” Tam asked. “That bit I do want to know.”

It hadn't happened yet, but Tam lived in fear of the day she stopped by Tim's apartment, only to find him a bloody, unconscious mess on the floor. Tam wasn't a girl given to wild flights of pessimism, but she had never really forgotten the time she had found him, barely alive, in that hotel room. She hadn't ever had nightmares before that day.

Timothy Jackson Wayne Drake Draper brought out the worrier in Tam Fox.

Go figure.

Tim pulled the curtain open before he answered. Tam's towel was slung low around his waist. Tam looked him over closely, ostensibly for injuries. Body tight with tension, face tight with annoyance, Tim seemed fine aside from a few mostly healed cuts down his left side. A few greenish brown bruises looked like they might have been nasty last week, but that was all.

“My skin wasn't burned,” Tim assured her, stepping out of the tub, “but it was a near thing. I was hit with a sort of corrosive substance that immediately began eating through my uniform. I wasn't quite sure how much time I had to get out of it. That's why I came here. Your place was closer than any of my nests or safe houses.”

Tim gave her a wry, apologetic look that was all the more adorable for the wet fall of bangs that drooped over his left eye.

“I'm sorry,” he said quietly, “I really needed to get out of that uniform.”

William nosed at Tim's hand until Tim reached out to pet him again. Making happy little dog noises, William leaned against Tim's bare leg.

When Tam had started training for a marathon about two years ago, her father had decided he wouldn't stand for her out running alone for hours at a time in Gotham City. He had gotten her Prince William as a gift. A mutt of indeterminate origins, Prince was rescue dog who had been timid until Tam had spoiled him to the point of indecency. The only two men the Prince tolerated in Tam's life were her father, and Tim. Every other male was barked out of her apartment within three minutes.

“I made sure no one saw me come through your window,” Tim said, as he looked up from William with a smile. “Well, no one but the Prince, of course.”

“Sweetheart, the neighbors aren't my biggest concern here,” Tam said softly, reaching out a hand to cup Tim's lightly stubbled cheek. “I'm glad you came. Especially if it means you avoided melting like the Wicked Witch.”

Tam pulled her hand back as they both turned to look at the black, smoking mass in the thick bag on her floor. Tim grimaced, and grabbed for the edge of the bag. Pushing back the curtain to the shower, he tossed it into the tub.

“That's not gonna burn a hole through my bathtub, is it?” Tam asked warily.

“Probably not,” Tim said. “I'm guessing it would take a few hours of contact for that to happen. I'm hoping to get it out of here, and properly disposed of before it eats through the toxic waste disposal bag.”

“You're a hero,” Tam said dryly, then looked Tim up and down, pointedly. “Do you happen to have any clothing to wear while you do that? I'd offer to lend you something, but I'm pretty sure you don't wear my kind of undies.”

The corner of Tim's mouth quirked into a smile.

“My brother is going to bring bring me a new uniform when he comes to pick me up,” Tim assured her.

“Wait, you mean you don't intend to ride off naked into the moonlight, perched on your faithful Ducati?” Tam teased, enjoying the mental image that produced far more than was probably strictly healthy.

“The Duc,” Tim said on a sigh, “is out of commission. No more naked moonlit rides for her.”

Tam's eyes widened.

“What happened?”

Tim didn't answer, just looked pointedly at her now smoking tub.

“No!” Tam gasped.

Tim grimaced again, and gave a small shrug. William whined, clearly sensing Tim was upset. Patting William comfortingly, Tam reached up to give Tim a one armed hug.

Tim wrapped his armed around Tam's waist, and hugged her back with another soft sigh. His body was warm and firm against hers, the feel of him made something liquid pool low in the pit of Tam's stomach.

“It's just a bike,” Tim said, but it sounded more like he was trying to convince himself it was true than anything else.

Tam tilted her head back to give Tim a sympathetic smile. Kissing him lightly on the jaw, Tam made herself take a step back before her lady parts came up with any smart ideas about where else she could kiss him.

“You're gonna wreak holy vengeance on them, aren't you Ninja Boy?”

“They will regret the day they were born,” Tim deadpanned, but Tam was pretty sure he was entirely serious.

“The Prince and I approve,” Tam announced, patting William on the head in illustration. William gave a happy little tail wag, and Tim smiled reluctantly at them both.

“Now come on,” Tam said, pulling Tim out of the bathroom, and towards her kitchen. “You need feeding up for all that vengeance you're gonna wreak. William and I will make you a snack before you leave.”

“You're a superhero's best friend, Tam,” Tim said, as he followed her into the kitchen.

Tam smiled to herself, and moved towards the cabinets. She pulled out the jar of peanut butter with a flourish.

“You bet your sweet ass I am, Ninja Boy. You can repay me later. Now? Peanut Butter and marshmallow sandwiches.”

“Nothing goes better with vengeance,” Tim agreed and reached for the bread.

A/N: Tam and I are both going to need a pile of coffee to get through our days....

PART TWOOOOOOOO! - In which Tam has a rough morning and Tim gets a phone call.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
Aaaah they're so cute. I really missed these two after I stopped reading Red Robin.
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Aw man, me too. I loved Tam. She had so much potential for awesome. <3
Sep. 9th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
I really love Tam (DC if you put Tim with any other chick I'm going to be PISSED) and I LOVE the way you write her, she's so ... I don't know. TAM. She's so good for Tim, and Prince William is awesome!

I didn't get much sleep so I'm not really all that coherent, but boy do I love this fic!
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad to find another Tam fan! The prevailing view is that she's awful. Tam-hate makes me sad :(

I'm glad you liked it. <333

I have no justification for Prince William, other than I just decided that Tam needed him. <333

I got no sleep either, so I'm right there with you. Everything makes PERFECT sense to me.
Sep. 9th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
As much as I love both Tam and Tim, I've never been into pairing them as a romantic couple. You are one of the few people that can make me rethink that. Especially with pieces like this.

I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this. It's a great set up, so far. And I adore the way you write their easy-natured relationship. Their banter always kills me, and you underline that nicely with affection and care for one another.

Great start, my dear! This looks to be wonderful!
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Aw, Tam's great. I think she'd be so good for. She's down to earth and more than willing to call him on his bullshit. <333

I really just wanted to do something short and simple. Something light on angst. Something fuuuuuuun and sweet and fluffy. <333

Glad you liked it!
Sep. 10th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Hmm Peanut Butter and Marshmallow? Now that is a different sandwich . . actually sounds tempting. Bet it's really good on toasted bread and you melt the marshmallow a little bit, but I digress.

The Duc got trashed? Oh Tim is going to slowly torture someone over that. Wonderful start hon.
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Peanut Butter and Marshmallow is awesome. ESPECIALLY on toast.

Oh man, yeah. Tim fixing his bike and looking for revenge is a prevailing subplot. Lucky he's got Tam to help him out. <3
Sep. 10th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
I love the way you write Tam. Love it!
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
I love writing Tam, so this works out well. <33333333
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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