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Title: It Smoldered
Part: 3/8
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: waves
Summary: Tam finds a clue. Tim needs a clue. Bath mats are destroyed, but Prince William remains happy throughout.

Part One
Part Two

Part Three

The minute Tam stepped into her apartment, she kicked off her heels with a sigh of relief. Dropping her purse to the table by her door, Tam pulled off her jacket and moved towards the kitchen.

“William!” Tam called as she made her way tiredly through her living room. “Prince?”

Tam found Prince William and Tim sitting in the kitchen. Tim was feeding doggy treats to a very happy William. Wearing a t-shirt and jeans, Tim seemed relaxed, except for a tightness to his shoulders. He looked up as Tam came into the kitchen, and gave Tam a soft smile.

“Rough day?” he asked lightly.

“I got no sleep, I had to spend all day being talked down to by a professional liar, my new Jimmy Choos gave me a blister and my dog likes you more than me. That better be pizza I smell, or I might have to destroy you,” Tam said, looking around for the pizza box.

Tim stood and took Tam's arm, as he gently coaxed her down onto a kitchen chair. Prince came over and put his head on Tam's lap, eyes begging for scratchies, as Tim pulled a pizza box from her oven.

“Hey wait a minute, how did you get in here anyway? I thought I told you to use the door,” Tam said.

“I did use the door,” Tim said as he set the pizza box down on the table. “I'm also wearing pants.”

Tam gave Tim a sharp look as he looked through her cabinets for some plates.

“Call me crazy, Ninja Boy,” she said dryly, “I don't remember ever giving you a key.”

Tim didn't reply, he just set a plate and a napkin in front of Tam. It was clear, by the twitch at the corner of his mouth, that he was trying hard not to smile.

“Or the codes for my security system for that matter,” Tam went on accusingly.

Tim opened the pizza box and pulled out a slice. He placed it on Tam's plate with an expression on his face that would have been bland if it wasn't so smug.

One of the things that Tam both loved and hated about Timothy Jackson Wayne-Drake was that he could say so much without a single freaking word. It was, by turns, both amusing and infuriating.

“You did say to use the door,” Tim pointed out, sitting down at the table and pulling out a piece of pizza for himself.

“I meant you should knock,” Tam told him exasperatedly. She narrowly resisted the urge to smack herself on the forehead with the palm of her hand, deciding to eat her pizza instead.

“You're lucky you look so good in nothing but my towels, Ninja Boy, or I'd sic my fearsome guard dog on you.”

Tim looked pointedly down at Prince William.

The moment Tim had sat down at the table, William had settled on top of Tim's feet so Tim couldn't stand up or walk away. When he noticed that he was the center of attention, William lifted his head and gave them both a happy doggy smile. Tim reached down and gave his ears an affectionate scratch.

“I live in fear,” Tim said, but he sounded amused.

Tam shook her head at them both.

“The men in my life are all conspiring against me,” Tam said, and turned back to her pizza.

“So I'm here, I'm wearing pants, I haven't destroyed anything else in your house, and I brought pizza. Do I get my news now?” Tim asked.

Tam gave him a considering look.

“I'm starting to rethink the pants rule...”

Tim huffed out a quiet laugh, and tried to give her a quelling look. He didn't really succeed.

“News,” he prompted, hiding his smile behind his pizza.

Tam told him about her tour of Viltech. When she got to the part about recognizing the scent from the lab, Tim put down his pizza and narrowed his eyes.

“Are you sure it was the same?” Tim asked, leaning forward.

Tam gave him an incredulous look.

“Considering that's what my entire bathroom reeks of, I'm not likely to forget.”

Tim winced.

“Yeah, the air freshener you put in there just made things worse.”

“It was a shock to discover that the scent of gardenias doesn't actually mix well with burnt tires,” Tam said dryly. “Live and learn.”

“Have you tried baking soda?” Tim suggested.

Tam put down her pizza, picked up one of her discarded Jimmy Choos, and threw it at Tim's head. He caught it out of the air and set it down next to William. William sniffed at it idly, sighed and went back to sleep.

“I'll have to check the lab out tonight,” Tim mused. “What did their security system look like?”

Tam rolled her eyes.

Or I could just schedule another meeting with Edmonds or Vilta tomorrow. You could tag along. If we do it after hours, there won't be any workers to dodge. Less chance of you getting arrested this way,” Tam said and shook her head at Tim. “Sometimes I wonder how you miss the obvious.”

Tim considered that for a moment.

“I'm not sure I want to get you involved, Tam,” Tim said slowly. “These people are dangerous.”

Tam gave Tim an expectant look.

“Maybe you should explain exactly what's going on here,” Tam said. “I mean I've already sacrificed my bathmats in the name of justice on this one. I think I'm already involved.”

Tim sighed as he thought about that for minute. While he fiddled with his half eaten piece of pizza, Tam watched as Tim came to a decision.

“It all started a few weeks ago. We got word that someone was marketing a weapon to the gangs. They called it 'Bat Repellent',” Tim began. “We encountered it for the first time last night. Damian busted up a drug deal and...”

Tim trailed off and shrugged, shaking his head and pushing his plate away.

“Oh god, did he get hit with that stuff?” Tam asked, horrified.

“Yeah,” Tim nodded, “only no one knew how nasty it was. Damian trusted his suit would keep the substance from burning him. It protected him everything else, after all. By the time he got back to the cave, his suit was melted and he was burned in three places.”

“Jesus, is he alright?”

“They had to remove some of the skin that had been contaminated with the substance, but the areas where he was burned were small. It wasn't major but it was tricky to treat given its caustic nature,” Tim trailed off and pursed his lips.

“And he was scared,” Tam finished for him knowingly. “No one should be able to hurt you guys like that.”

“Pretty much,” Tim agreed. “It's not just what they did to the Duc, Tam.”

“I hear you. He can be an irritating little brat, but he's still your little brother,” Tam said. “Poor kid.”

“As far as I've been able to determine, at least five separate gangs have obtained some of the substance. I've been trying to track down the source in an effort to stop production.”

Tam nodded, and Tim leaned back in his chair, locking eyes with her.

“This is dangerous, Tam. If the stuff had hit Day on any exposed skin...”

Tam didn't want to think about that. At all.

Pushing her own plate back, Tam reached into her bag and pulled out her blackberry. Pulling up the number of Viltech's CEO, Tam hit send.

“Clarissa!” Tam gushed into the phone when the call connected. “I'm sorry to call so late but I'm so excited about this deal between our two organizations. Would you be able to fill out some paper work for me? Maybe tomorrow sometime?”

Vilta agreed with alacrity, and Tam set up a time for them to meet at Viltech headquarters. Tim watched as Tam disconnected the call with a thoughtful expression on his face.

“Your skills at dissimulation really are impressive.”

Tam gave him a triumphant smile.

“Tomorrow at six. The techs should be out of the lab by then,” Tam said, then dropped her voice a few octaves before she continued. “Day and the Duc will be avenged.”

Tim smiled back at her. He stood then, giving William one last pat on the head. Leaning over, Tim pressed a quick kiss to Tam's jaw line.

“Thank you,” he said to her softly, then he left.

Tam sighed and gave William a wry look.

“Ninjas,” she said dismissively, and reached for another piece of pizza.

Part Four - In which Tim works on his Duc and Tam longs for Marshmallow.

A/N: So I have the first six parts of this written already, because of that, I have trouble remembering which scenes I've posted and which need to come next. I have them NUMBERED, but for some reason I copy pasted part five here instead of part three...

Before this week is over, that will probably happen...


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Hey wait a minute, no one said anything about Dami getting hurt. Okay someone will have to suffer. Tim go sic 'em.

And Tam I really don't think throwing a shoe at Tim is the solution. I mean really, are you that surprised that he picked your lock/made his own key, hacked your security codes, and got your dog to love him? He is a bat after all.

"clicks on link to part four and not getting story" Where's the next part?! "sobs"
Sep. 12th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Upping the stakes >:D My favorite literary device.

Don't worry, Damian's laid up at the Manor playing video games with Lian and secretly LOVING all the attention he's getting. Also, it doesn't come up in the story, I don't think, but Tam ends up sending him a nice care package with goodies frowned upon by the Bats ( like marshmallow creme) and Tim gives him a few chess books.

Next part goes up tomorrow before I leave for work. You get to find out what happens to the Duc.
Sep. 12th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
I was biting my lip from laughing aloud at the visual of Tam throwing her shoe at Tim. Mainly because I've had the urge, many many times, to lob my shoes at people and have yet refrained. But still, too funny!

Oooh, the plot thickens! And poor Damian! That is a scary situation they're facing with a substance that can eat through their armor. No wonder Tim is so determined.

I adore Tam's bravery here. Rather than just let Tim go off and figure this all out himself, and possibly doing stuff to screw things up, she steps up to give him another way in. It's really telling of her character!

Fantastic job, again, my dear! Can't wait to see how the rest of this plays out!
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
Sometimes the boys need shoes thrown at their heads. It didn't help that the shoe gave Tam blisters that day, so she was mad at it too.

Yeah, Damian was shaken up. Tim was pissed that someone managed to hurt his brother. :(

EXACTLY! I wanted to get that across. Yeah, it's scary as shit, but these bastards are messing with her FRIENDS, that shit can't stand.

Thanks so much. I have one more scene of this thing to write. It was a nice change from the intensity of Poaching.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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