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Title: It Smoldered
Part: 4/8
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: 02 scorcher
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

Part Four

Tam left work at four thirty in the afternoon, and headed straight for Tim's townhouse. He had a place in a nice residential area of Gotham City. It was far enough out into the burbs that he had a garage and a small lawn, but close enough that he could get a train into work at Wayne Enterprises

Tam parked in front of his house, traded her heels for a pair of flip flops, and slipped out of the car. Hurrying down the walk, Tam hadn't even made it to Tim's front stoop when the large paneled garage door pulled up.

Peering inside the garage, Tam saw Tim kneeling on the cement floor. He was wearing raggedy clothes and was covered with smears of grease. Bits and parts of the Ducati were scattered all around him.

Hunks of red or black, some melted and some charred, were mixed among welding equipment and tools. What looked to Tam like the mostly intact engine was completely removed and off to one side. Smaller bits and parts were arranged neatly next to it. The whole tableau reminded Tam a little of Humpty Dumpty.

All the kings horses and all the kings men wouldn't be able to put the Duc back together again.

Tim however, seemed composed in the face of the challenge, if somewhat irritated. Lips pursed and brows furrowed, Tim fingered an acetylene torch as he skimmed through the manual for the Ducati. He glanced up as Tam entered the garage.

The smile he gave her was pretty weak, but Tam couldn't fault him for it, all things considered.

“Still trying to save her, huh?” Tam asked sympathetically.

Walking over to Tim, she put a comforting hand on his shoulder as she glanced down at the book. The diagrams and notes on the page looked all a jumble to Tam. She squinted down at them as she patted Tim soothingly.

“Think you can?” she asked.

Tim took a deep breath, leaning out of the hunched position he had taken over the pages of the book. He glanced up at her and, for once, let the sadness he was feeling leak into his eyes.

“I'm doing my best, “ Tim said on a sigh. “I've stripped down all the parts that were affected by the substance. I have to double check all the other parts to be sure they aren't compromised. Then I have to put it all back together again.”

“I'm sorry, that seems like it will take some time,” Tam said sadly, knowing better than to suggest he get a new Ducati.

Over all the years Tam had known Tim, he'd always had the Ducati. It was damaged here and there every once in a while, but Tim always seemed to fix it within a matter of days. This seemed like a process that could take weeks, if not months, however.

“It will, but it's not such a terrible thing. It does give me the opportunity to make some changes and adjustments. I called Hiro this afternoon, he seems eager to help.”

“Oooooh,” Tam cooed, “gonna soup up your baby?”

“I am. Day's going to help as well, until he's street ready again,” Tim said, and smiled at her.

Tam had ridden the Ducati a grand total of twice. She hadn't really enjoyed it. Tam wasn't really a motorcycle kind of girl. Tam was a night at the opera and glass of Crystal kind of girl, but that didn't mean she couldn't appreciate what the Duc clearly meant to Tim.

The way Tim talked about his Ducati, with the sort of affection Tam usually reserved for Prince William, had always given the motorcycle a life of its own to Tam. It was a friend to Tim and it hurt Tam so see it so torn apart. Probably not as much as it hurt Tim. though.

“She did need the upgrades,” Tim said, as if trying to convince himself as much as Tam. “Now's as good a time as any to give them to her. Just give me a few minutes to put this together, and we can suit up.”

Tam nodded as Tim pulled on a pair of welding gloves and a protective mask. She stepped back and watched as Tim picked up and lit the torch. He began to weld two parts, shiny metal scorched and melted, soldering the parts together.

Tam left Tim working intently over what remained of his bike, thinking maybe it wouldn't take all the kings horses and all the kings men to put the Duc back together again. Maybe all it would take was Tim's determination.

It was more like ten minutes before Tim was satisfied with his work. Tam didn't mind waiting for him. She knew fixing the bike was a sort of meditative process for Tim. Everyone had their own way of dealing with near death experiences. For Tam, it was bubble baths, red wine and a hug from her father. For Tim, it was putting broken pieces back together.

When Tim had finished, Tam helped him put his tools away. Then the two of them ventured into Tim's townhouse.

Tim left Tam in the kitchen, munching on a peach, as he went off to get something from his safe. Tam was snooping in Tim's fridge for some junk food when he came back with something that looked like a brief case.

“You,” Tam said accusingly, “have no marshmallow crème.”

“I do not,” Tim confirmed, setting the brief case on the table and snapping it open.

“How do you prepare yourself appropriately for terrible acts of vengeance without peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches?” she asked indignantly.

“I manage somehow,” Tim said with a smile as he gestured for her to sit on one of the stools positioned around the island in his kitchen. Tam sat down with a box of granola – the closest thing she could find to junk food – and looked at the brief case.

Inside were a few tiny devices and some nearly invisible wires. Tam squinted at them curiously.

“Communicators,” Tim explained, pulling one of the small devices from the box. “With this you'll be able to hear me where ever I am.”

Tam looked at the tiny object dubiously.

“It's small.”

“It's supposed to be.”

“What if it gets stuck?”

“I have a tweezers.”

“I might need more than a marshmallow sandwich after this.”

“Almost certainly.”

Tam grimaced up at him. Tim, for his part, just ignored her.

Tilting her head to the side, Tim inserted the device into her ear with gentle fingers. Tam squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to squirm as he positioned it properly.

When Tim was satisfied, he reached back into the box and pulled out a little black box with a few buttons on it. He hit one of them, and Tam heard the line in her ear click live. The feeling made her shiver.

“Ms. Fox?”

Tam jumped as an electronic voice sounded in her ear.

“That wasn't you?” Tam asked Tim hollowly, as she squinted up at him.

Tim shook his head and smiled.

“Tam, meet Oracle. She's going to help us out on this one,” Tim told her.

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Fox,” the voice said. “I've heard a lot about you from Tim and Damian. Apparently, you are a font of both wisdom and ice cream.”

“And marshmallow,” Tim added.

Tam glared up at Tim.

“That's so funny Oracle,” Tam replied tightly, “I haven't heard a thing about you.”

“That's just the way I like it,” Oracle assured her.

It took less time for Tim to fit her with a camera and some bugs. Tam looked down at all the bits and bobs attached to her person, wondering who was on the other end of the feed.

Tim left her with a jar of peanut butter and some honey. It as close to Vengeance Sandwiches Tam was going to get, it seemed. When Tim came back, he was wearing one of his perfectly tailored suits. She couldn't spot where his cameras or listening devices were, but she was sure he wired.

Stealing a bite of her sandwich, Tim gave her an expectant look.

“Ready to go?” he asked.

“If you're sure you don't have any marshmallow...”

“He absolutely doesn't,” Oracle said in Tam's ear. “He had a bad experience once, and doesn't like to keep it around.”

“A bad experience?” Tam asked Tim.

“Ask him about the last battle he had with Condiment King,” Oracle instructed smugly. “And how much of his hair he had to cut.”

Tam spent the entire ride to Viltech pestering Tim about the Condiment King. She managed to get him to blush three times. Tam decided maybe she liked this Oracle, after all.

Part Five - In which Babs tricks a lawyer and Tam gets lost.

A/N: Man, today sucked. I hope you guys had better days than I did. Forgive the typos. I'm freaking beat.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
Hehehe. Oracle giving Tam dirt, perhaps the best thing yet! Tam could totally be an Oracle operative, btw. She has the right skills to get information and go undetected. Plus, them together would be relatively unstoppable!

Oh, poor Tim and his Duc! You did a good job illustrating his love for his bike. Plus him outfitting Tam with comms was a cute little scene. Their banter continues to just be a joy to read!

Fantastic update, babe. :)
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Oh man, that would make an AWESOME comic book. I'd read the fuck out of that. The Secret Adventures of Tam Fox. <3333

This was just pure self indulgent fluff. There's a lot of that in this fic. <333 I"m not in the least bit sorry.

Sep. 13th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
He has tweezers. "laughs" For some reason I just love that line. Dick is obviously failing in his job as big brother if Tim has no junk food in his house. Bad Dick bad.

Oh Babs and Tam meet, that is just this side of awesome. Poor Tim he will have not rest from those two.

"pets the poor Duc." It'll be okay Tim and Hiro will put you right again.
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
Tim is unsympathetic to Tam's concerns. :DD

Seriously, Dickie needs to sneak some chocolate bars in there. I like to think that Tim keeps ice cream in his freezer for Day and Lian though. <333

Oh man, Tim and Hiro are going to make the Duc unstoppable. <333
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
Hehe, I love these almost slice-of-life stories with Tim and Tam. Tam's an ordinary girl caught up in extraordinary circumstances, but she copes just fine - which makes her extraordinary, too. Loving this series!
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
I was totally going for some mindless fluff with a little action thrown in to keep things interesting. <33 It's fun to write.

I'm glad you're enjoying it! It's a nice break from working on Poaching... I"m sure you agree. :D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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