Summary: Tim is tired of being in love with Abby, so he goes to Tony for help in getting over her. Tony's solution is not what either of them expects. Along the journey, Tim finds his place with team. Tim/Tony slash.

Spoilers: Through Kill Screen (Season 8)

Rated: M for sexually explicit situations. Please do not read this if you are underage in your country.

Disclaimer: Not mine, and no money made here.

Posted with love for the First Annual Apropos of Fanfic Day with much gratitude to Precious Pup for her lead roles as beta and cheerleader.


Keys—check. Wallet—check. Condoms—triple check. Tony smiles, hey you never know. Tony spares a moment to peek at his hair in the mirror, raising his upper lip to make sure the quick bite of Fruity Pebbles he'd eaten after he'd brushed his teeth hadn't decided to stick around for a while. Satisfied with his appearance, Tony steps back to get a longer view. He smiles at his reflection one more time, bouncing in anticipation as he scurries for the door. He throws it wide open, only to pause in surprise at what he sees lingering beside the railing of his third storey apartment.

"Hey," the word is startled out of him at seeing his partner outside his door at 11:45 on a Saturday night.

"Hey," his Probie replies back, straightening his posture and bringing Tony's attention directly to Tim's attire—light blue shirt that Abby once rightly said brought out his eyes and black pants that leave almost nothing to the imagination. "You have a minute?" Tim finally asks as if he's been waiting for Tony to finish appraising him, though Tim never lifts his gaze.

Tony lifts his eyebrows at the ridiculousness of the question—he's about to get laid, after all, Georgia's almost always a sure thing—but his comeback dies in his throat as he watches Tim chew on his lower lip and not quite meet his eye.

"Yeah," Tony answers, stepping aside to let Tim know with his body as well as his words that he's welcome inside Tony's home.

Tim nods in awkward thanks as he steps across the threshold. Tony listens to him shuffle behind him as he slowly shuts the door, locking it by habit as soon as it clicks against the doorframe. He turns back to face his friend, his back against the solid door behind him, the horny part of him suddenly impatient for Tim to spit it out so Tony can get on with his night.

Another ten seconds of silence pass between them, but to Tony, it feels like long minutes. "You here for a reason or just to ruin my Saturday night?" he attacks, and it is an attack rather than the friendly banter that they usually toss between them. But instead of the hurt eyes and pouty lip he's half dreading, half anticipating, he watches as Tim blankly blinks up at him. "Or maybe you'd like to come with me?" Tony challenges, knowing Tim will say 'no,' just like he has every single time—okay both times—Tony's asked him before.

Tim's head tilts just a touch to the right, and his eyes finally focus on Tony's. "Okay," Tim breathes as if gathering his courage.

Tony raises his eyebrows, speechless for half a second while he processes the reply. His eyes skirt down to Tim's attire once again, noting that Tim's clothes are actually club appropriate and very unlike Tim's usual choices—even Tim's normal "dating" apparel. Tony furrows his brow. "Okay," he responds, mind spinning as he reconsiders his plans for the evening. Next time, Georgia, Tony thinks with surprisingly little regret as he watches Tim straighten his shoulders once more.

"You ready?" Tim asks, tilting his head toward the door.

"Yeah," Tony unlocks the latch and swings the door open, "Are you ready?" he stalls Tim with a hand flat on his chest as the other man reaches the door.

"Yep," Tim responds, sealing his lips together at that stubborn angle that sets across his features from time to time.

Tony wraps his arm across his Probie's back and grins at him. Tim's eyes give in first, the mischievous glint that's flickered to life too rarely lately—especially after his recent break-up with Maxine—lighting up his eyes before his mouth turns up in a smile to answer Tony's.

Tony lets Tim go in order to catch and lock the door behind them. Grins still broad on both their faces, the two friends walk shoulder to shoulder down the hall.

Chapter 1

Tim ditches his white wine fifteen minutes into the evening and orders a shot of tequila and a rum and coke. He chugs both drinks down in minutes and waits a few more for them to start taking effect. For once, he just wants his mind to stop moving, to stop processing.

He doesn't bother looking for Tony, who'd disappeared into the crowd minutes after they arrived but who Tim knows is keeping tabs on him nonetheless. Instead, Tim watches the ladies as they come and go at the bar, dismissing all of them who have black hair out of hand.

Tim smiles at a light-haired brunette as she approaches the bar beside him for the second time in ten minutes. She catches Tim's eye and smiles back, dropping her head and then quickly looking up to him again. When she angles her body Tim's way, he can't but wonder what Tony would do right now if it were him she was eyeing. Before she can catch the bartender's eye, and more importantly, before he can second guess himself, Tim sweeps his fingers across her wrist, flirting with her pulse. He tilts his head toward the dance floor beside them, not saying a word. She licks her lips, twists her fingers around to meet his, and lets him lead her out to the floor.

He shoulders a couple people aside to form a little space beneath the flickering strobe lights. Borrowing a bit of Tony's confidence along the way, he pulls the pretty stranger's body into his own. He lets his hips move against her, feeling her move with him as he does. She grins and lets him lead. She moves her body with his, sometimes in counterpoint, sometimes in tandem. He grins back at the tease and lowers his lips to her jaw, not knowing if he'll be welcome or not. Not caring whether she'll slap him across the face or invite his touch. She doesn't smack him. Instead, she tilts her neck up to greet him. Her breath catches the second his teeth hit the tendon below her ear. Her hands glide from his shoulders to his neck and into his hair, sending prickles of sensation down his spine as her fingernails part his hair at ten different points.

His lips lead the way to her collarbone, stopping for a nibble just beneath it before tonguing his way toward her cleavage. She arches her back, pushing her stomach against his dick, and yanks his head up to hers so she can kiss the hell out of him.

He moans into her lips, losing himself in the sensation of her tongue moving inside his mouth and against his. It feels so good… And so empty. He doesn't even know her name. He doesn't even know the sound of her voice. He pulls his lips away from hers, gasping as he does. She follows his mouth for a moment, grinning at what she must think is his teasing. She opens her eyes, smile still on her face. He doesn't know what she sees when she looks at him, but she frowns right away.

"I have to go," he says, not knowing if she can hear him over the thrum of the melody and the drive of the beat.

Her eyes narrow, but her disappointment is short-lived. She starts moving with the couple behind her the moment Tim pushes his way from her through the crowd.

He makes it to the door, dodging couples and crowds and one obvious threesome on the stairs. He bypasses the lower dance floor and pushes out through the main exit. He takes a deep breath, appreciating the room to move more than he realized he would. He walks near the blinking lights that advertise the Fur nightclub Tony's taken him to. He moves away from the flickering of that dim blue, down the rows of cars to find Tony's Mustang. He sits on the trunk, knowing Tony'll bitch at him if he sees him doing it, but not really caring.

He's not sure how long he sits out there, just breathing, before he feels a light hand on his shoulder. He doesn't start, knowing instinctively that it's Tony behind him. Tony squeezes his shoulder, crosses in front of him, and hops onto the trunk beside him.

They sit there silently for maybe a minute, listening to the music spilling from the club and stretching toward them.

"You left a pretty hot chick wanting back there, Probie," Tony finally gives in and talks first, and Tim knows that Tony speaks as much because he can't stand the silence as because he wants to know the answer to the question he doesn't quite ask.

Tim shrugs, not knowing what to say.

"You had some slick moves there," Tony continues the conversation. "Must have been watching me more closely than I thought," he finishes and bumps Tim's shoulder.

It's enough to get a breath of a laugh out of him. "Must have," he lifts a single eyebrow and smirks. Tony smiles back, but the worry lines between his eyes are thicker than usual.

Tim sighs and looks away, knowing he owes Tony an explanation for crashing his night out, but not sure how to fully communicate the situation to him. "I broke up with Maxine."

Tony nods at the old news. It had been over a week and a half after all, and Tony had weaseled the information out of him after only a few days.

"A couple days before Maxine and I broke up," he sighs again, hating the words about to come out of his mouth. "Abby and I—she said…I mean I thought she was really ready to—" he shakes his head at his own stupidity. "The things Abby told me," Tim continues haltingly. "I thought it was finally our time, so I said goodbye to Maxine." Tim bites his lip, reconsidering his actions for the thousandth time, telling himself once again that he and Maxine couldn't have possibly gone anywhere in the long run, not really. Not with how readily he was willing to cast her off at the mere chance that Abby might want him. Still, it cuts him so deeply in this moment that he threw away something real and good for that vague possibility Abby teased him with one late night in her lab. But it's even more than this.

"I used to love being in love with Abby," Tim confides. "Even when I was pretty sure nothing would come of it, she could still make me feel like the most important person in the world sometimes, and it seemed like it was enough." He bites his tongue but opens his mouth anyway. "I want it to stop. I don't want to come to hate her," he whispers to Tony, "and I'm afraid I will. I'm just so tired of waiting for her to love me back, and I…I know now that she's not ever going to." Tim purses his lips. "Not the way I love her anyway."

Tony sighs next to him and slings an arm around his shoulders, and a part of Tim that was hoping, even still, that Abby might change her mind, dies a little when Tony doesn't even bother to try to contradict him. Tim closes his eyes and leans into Tony, just for a minute.

"I'm sorry, man," Tony finally says and squeezes his shoulder. Tim takes that as his cue to sit back up, pressing against Tony's warmth for only one more moment before he does.

Tony drops his arm, and Tim sees him lean back on it from the corner of his eye. "I bet that brunette's just waiting for you to come back."

He looks over to find Tony grinning in his direction. "Yeah," Tim chuffs and rolls his eyes away.

Tony chuckles and shakes his head. "Okay, so maybe not the brunette," and just like that Tim feels Tony's eyes burning into him. "But there are a lot of women here tonight. I bet you could have your pick."

Tim glances up, surprised, but when his eyes meet Tony's again, he can see the sincerity in the other man's gaze. It is perhaps the most flattering compliment Tony's ever paid him, not because he's implying Tim is attractive or good with women, but because Tony is so obviously placing Tim on par with himself.

Tim can't help the blush that starts on his neck and spreads across his face. "Thanks, Tony," he says even as he hears his partner's soft laughter, "but I'm not so sure I'm meant for this sort of thing."

"So why come out tonight?" Tony asks, the look on his face genuinely curious. "Why not keep going to poetry readings at coffeehouses or those geekfest conventions that are always coming to town?"

Tim can't help but to smile even as he worries over his lip. "I've wanted to fall in love and get married since I was pretty young," he confides, and even though he's pretty sure Tony's always known this about him either by inference or instinct, Tim feels odd admitting it now. "Well, I've been in love for a long time, and I'm not going to marry her, so I'm ready for something else," he finishes and looks back at Tony.

"So why are we out here when we could be making time with some hot chicks?" Tony asks, his eyes holding Tim's, but there's not much of a question in his gaze or his voice, so Tim knows Tony understands without being told. Tim says the words anyway:

"I guess I've always wanted it to mean something when I went to bed with somebody," he blushes and can't help but to look away as he says.

"Hey," Tony bumps his shoulder. "There's nothing wrong with that." He tilts his head, "And besides, you don't have to go to bed with somebody just to have a good time."

Tim raises both eyebrows at Tony, who shrugs somewhat sheepishly. "Can't argue with an altar boy like you, can I?" Tim grins at Tony.

"Yeah, yeah," Tony waves an arm and slides off the car, but he's grinning right back. He offers a hand to Tim. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.

Tim takes the hand, and Tony jerks him hard, practically catapulting him off the car. Even still, Tony helps him keep his balance, ensuring that Tim'll land on his feet.

"Jackass." Tim smacks the back of Tony's head.

"You know you love it," Tony declares.

"Whatever," Tim comes back and immediately bumps Tony's shoulder as they walk towards the club again.

They both end up going home alone that night, but when Tony drops him off, he smiles at Tim like he doesn't mind at all.