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Title: It Smoldered
Part: 2/8
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: 11 breeze.
Summary: Tam finds a clue. Tim needs a clue. Bath mats are destroyed, but Prince William remains happy throughout.

Part One



Part Two


Tam Fox stifled a yawn as she tried hard to look interested in what the rather spectacularly monotone man in front of her was saying. The conference room where she, and several other equally bored looking potential investors, were situated was warm, stuffy, and generally unexceptional. It was not conducive to the absorption of information, that was certain.

Gazing longingly at her empty coffee cup, Tam wish she had gotten a larger size when she had stopped off at her favorite cafe that morning before work. She had started the day knowing full well she would need a truly heroic amount of caffeine to keep her going. Sadly, she underestimated exactly how much that would be.

“I know that each of you, Wayne Enterprises included Ms. Fox, have very individual needs that I'm sure Viltech can meet,” the man, whose name was Edmonds, said smiling sharply down at Tam.

Looking up at the Edmonds, Tam locked eyes with him.

“I'm sure that's true, Mr. Edmonds,” Tam replied sweetly, giving him a vacant smile of her own. “I'd love to see how efficient your labs are, first hand. You did say something about a tour earlier, didn't you?”

Edmonds was clearly trying to gain the upper hand in negotiations by throwing Tam off balance. Unfortunately for him, Tam had an excellent sense of balance. It was practically a job requirement for her. Little did this poor sucker know that Tam Fox had rushed three sororities before settling. This guy had nothing on mean little rich girls.

Tam's main function at Wayne Enterprises was to handle the contract work with other organizations. She was on a team that interviewed, inspected, vetted companies and worked out the contracts with them. Tam spent way too much time in tiny rooms like this, dealing with officious jerks like Edmonds. She had learned long ago to look past acts, tricks and facades to the real quality of work behind various organizations.

That was why Tam was here at Viltech, struggling to keep a handle on the thread of the lecture. At eight in the morning. After only about four hours of sleep the night before.

Sometimes Tam's job sucked.

Gathering up her materials, Tam listened as Edmonds droned on to the other investors. He was going on about the stringent standards to which the workers at their organization were held. Narrowly resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Tam tried to focus on the task at hand.

It was difficult to keep her mind from wandering. Tam couldn't decide who was more to blame, James 'Mr. Boring' Edmonds or Tim 'Mr. Bath Towel' Drake'.

Probably she should destroy both of them, just to cover all her bases and avoid this eventuality in the future.

Mr. Boring made it impossible for her to focus, and her distracted, sleep deprived mind kept wandering back to last night. And Tim. In that towel.

Or Tim in her shower. Naked and wet, using her soap and her loofa.

The image of her little pink loofa, thick with suds, rubbing a path across Tim's toned chest flashed across Tam's mind. Swallowing hard as she heated up all over, Tam licked dry lips.

Tam shook herself, mentally.

Stupid ninjas, sneaking into her shower at all hours of the night. Being all sexy, and wet, and naked...

No, Tim was clearly predominately to blame for her predicament.

Stupid naked Tim, and his stupid melted uniform. Tam would probably never be able to get that smell out of her bath mats and shower curtain, no matter how hard she tried.

One thing was for certain, Timothy Jackson Wayne Drake Draper owed Tam a new bathroom. She conceded that his Ducati was a terrible lose, but Tam really liked that shower curtain...

Finally, Edmonds coaxed Tam and the other investors out of their chairs for what was sure to be a very staged tour. The small party trooped dutifully into the hall, Mr. Boring leading the group like a besuited mother duck.

Tam day dreamed her way through most of the tour. It basically consisted of the group standing around stupidly outside of labs, and lingering in hallways. Mr. Boring lied to them about what was going on inside of the labs with a pretty professional smile that might have been believable. If Tam was a naive five year old.

About twenty minutes into this new exercise in tedium, Tam's bladder made it clear that it thought the coffee Tam had consumed that morning was plenty big enough. Slipping carefully away from the glazed looking investors, Tam wandered off in search of the little girls' room.

Tam located it after only a few minutes of hopeful meandering. When she exited the room, feeling much better about life, Tam was left a little disorientated. Having been so focused on her goal, Tam hadn't bothered to keep track of where she was going. She had no idea how to find her way back to her glassy eyed companions.

Furrowing her brows with determination, Tam set off in the direction she thought she must have come from. Ten minutes later, Tam decided she was well and truly lost. She was considering retracing her steps, and starting over again at the bathrooms.

Turning one last corner, Tam spotted a man slipping through a door labeled Lab Twenty Seven. Before Tam could call out to him, the door swung shut. The movement of the door kicked up a breeze, and a thick, sickly smell wafted down the hall to Tam. She wrinkled her nose as it hit her.

A thrill of nervous fear ran through Tam as she recognized the startling familiar scent of melted rubber and sulfur. It seemed even stranger, more out of place, here than it had in her bathroom last night. The thick odor coated the back of Tam's throat in a way that made her want to gag.

Tam was reaching into her bag for her cell phone to call Tim when a voice spoke her name.

“Ms. Fox,” Edmonds said with tones of great reproach. “We lost you.”

Tam turned, and gave the man a prim look.

“I needed the ladies,” she told him with as much assumed dignity as she could muster.

Sweeping past him, head held high and nose in the air, Tam rejoined the group. She gave one of them an aggrieved look, and he smiled back at her understandingly. He patted her arm, as she fell into step beside him.

“I certainly hope,” Tam said to Edmonds reprovingly, “that lab is well ventilated. I'd hate to think of your employees being in close confinement with those fumes.”

Edmonds hastened to assure her that the lab was perfectly safe for all the employees. He blathered on about how up to date and innovative the labs were as the investors gave each other knowing looks. As Edmonds pulled ahead, pointing out areas of interest with great bluster, the man who had smiled at Tam leaned in close.

“We wouldn't have smelled those fumes out in the hall if they were taking proper safety precautions,” he said to her in hushed, disapproving tones.

“What I'd like to know is which inspector gave them the OK to work with caustic chemicals in a place without the proper ventilation,” Tam put in.

“I'm guessing whatever is going on in that lab is absolutely unauthorized,” another of the investors said from behind them. “There's no way this area is zoned to use the sort of materials that would produce toxic fumes like that.”

“I guess we know why he only let us in two of the laboratories,” a middle aged woman put in. “Makes you wonder what else they have going on here.”

“Nothing good. Unauthorized testing does not bode well,” Tam said grimly.

“Especially in Gotham City,” one of the investors added. “Things are never simple here.”

Tam nodded in agreement. Edmonds had paused further on down the hallway, waiting for them to catch him up. None of them quickened their pace, however.

They all made their way through the rest of the tour with with tight faces. It was almost two hours later before Tam could leave Viltech. Several of the investors had asked for her information so they could contact her later about the things she had seen on her 'unauthorized' tour.

Feeling paranoid, Tam didn't put the call in to Tim until she was back, safe in the parking lot of Wayne Enterprises. Hitting Tim's number on her speed dial, Tam tapped her foot impatiently until the call connected.

“You want a new bathmat, don't you?” Tim answered his phone without preamble.

“And curtains, but we'll negotiate that later. That's not what this call is about.”

“Oh?”

“I've got some news for you,” Tam told him.

“What sort of news?”

“The sort I don't really want to talk about on the phone. Let's just say it has to do with the tragedy that befell our friend Duc.”

“Does it really?” Tim said, sounding surprised.

“It does. Be at my place at seven.”

“Sure.”

“Wear pants this time, Ninja Boy,” Tam ordered firmly before she hung up. “And use the door.”



Part Three - In which Tim uses the door, and Tam reconsiders her Pants On Rule.






I just bought my ticket for New York Comic Con! julyssa_hime and I will be there Friday and Saturday! We're so excited. We're also pretty broke. It's going to be a low budget con! Those are always the most fun. <333 I can't wait to see you guys there.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
darthbatgirl
Sep. 11th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
Aw but Tam, Tim looks good with no pants on.

It's so tough being a business woman when your ninja boyfriend comes to use your shower in the middle of the night. But at least she found a lead to avenge the Duc.

Great job hon, looking forward to the next part.
aravistarkheena
Sep. 11th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha it's funny because Tam says almost exactly that in the next chapter :DDD

Seriously, Tam's a trooper.

I just posted the next part as you commented. :D
larsinger29
Sep. 12th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
First off, coolness on the con! That sounds like an amazing time, and I want to hear all about it when you're back!!

Secondly, I really enjoyed this chapter. Tam is such a competent character. She's like the Lois Lane of the Junior-Bats. But I love the snarky outlook she has on life. She's just great fun to read when you write her, and I always find myself smirking at her thoughts.

I'm intrigued by just what is going on with this company. Unauthorized testing is never good, but as one of the other investors noted, especially not in Gotham! Methinks this is going to lead to some fun investigation times for our pair here.

(Oh, and quick question for you. Tim's name...I know he's added "Wayne" since the adoption (though can never remember the order)...but since when has "Draper" been in the mix other than when he's using it as an alias? Did I miss something in canon/fanon? Or is this just a thing that Tam does (sorta like her pet name of "Ninja Boy" for him)? Just curious, I've seen that twice in your fics now and figure I must've missed something!)

Terrific job! Can't wait to go and read the next part!
aravistarkheena
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
Oh I'll write all about it. I'll probably post pics too. J's going to be Catwoman, probably, and I'll be Batgirl again. <3

Tam's so fun to write. <33 She's a snark ball, but she knows how to get shit done.

Tam called Tim 'Timothy Wayne-Drake-Draper once in canon. I don't remember which issue, but it was in the early bits of Red Robin. I thought it was funny, so I made that and the Ninja Boy thing her pet names for Tim.

I keep my Tam voice consistent through the fics, since she's such a strong character. It's why it pops up in my writing so much.

*fist bump*

larsinger29
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I sorta figured that's what happened with Tam, and why you would include it. I always admire your attention to minute details like that! It definitely fits in with her voice and the teasing way I hear her speak to/about Tim. :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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