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Title: Apologies, My Love
Author: Tyrror
Pairing: Timothy Drake/Jason Todd
Rating: PG
Summary: Tim returns home from a long day at Wayne enterprises dreading the thought of cleaning up after Jason only to find a pleasant surprise waiting for him…and one somewhat less one as well.


As much as going home should have been a comfort to him at this moment, it wasn’t. It was already a disaster when he left for the office ten minutes late due to a certain housemate and, give the fact that said man had been home…alone…all day, he expected nothing but further deterioration.

His night would be filled with sore knees and the smell of bleach…neither of which in the good way…

The sound of his key in the lock caused him to sigh, fear of what may confront him on the other side of the door preventing him from making the final turn of his wrist. Slowly the lock clicked open as he forced himself inside, the door swinging open before him to reveal…

Nothing…

The dirty laundry, the strangely viscous liquid he had nearly stepped in before making it out that door this morning, the foul stench of two day old pizza and beer. All of it was gone. Instead, the air smelled faintly of lemons and, had he not been almost certain due to the hellish nature of the office that he were in fact awake, he would have sworn that the floor made the ‘shing’ noise obscenely clean things sometimes made in Japanese cartoons.

Setting his briefcase down with and oddly loud clunk, he toed his shoes off and left them next to the discarded bearer of bad business news to the left of the front door. The hardwood floor of the hall squeaked slightly beneath his stoking feet as he made his way down the hall and into the kitchen where the light was still on though no one was in sight.

With a look of bemused amazement, he stepped onto the tile of the small cooking enclave and braced himself suddenly on a nearby cabinet when he nearly launched across the room in a skid. The floor had been waxed. Making sure to keep one hand on the counter to prevent any further gravitational mishaps, he moved slowly through the room. The food had been thrown out or put away, the garbage had been taken out, and the stove…he stood in front of the range with a look that seemed to say ‘Who are you and what have you done with my real stove?’

One hand extended, he rand a single finger alone the shiny black exterior in front of him. No grease. Not even dust. Just…stove…

Without warning, a pair of arms wrapped around his waist and pulled him back. Back into a broad chest wearing nothing but a ribbed undershirt and smelling faintly of smoke and furniture polish.

“Hey,” a rough voice intoned, stubble scratched against he cheek when the older man spoke.

Tim released the breath he didn’t realize he had started to hold when the other man grabbed him, his head lolling back into the crook where Jason’s neck met his shoulder. He breathed in deeply the scent of cleaners mixed with the natural musk that Jason seemed incapable of fully taming and let his eyes drift shut.

“I love you.”

The words didn’t tumble from his mouth. They didn’t spring or fall or jump in a manner so impromptu that he could have never stopped them, but they felt natural enough to require no forethought despite his never having said them to the older man before. They felt right…until they felt horribly, horribly wrong.

He felt the ribbed material of Jason’s shirt scrap along his cheek as the older man’s shoulders tensed. In an instant the warm glow of a freshly cleaned apartment chilled to match the august wind outside. The gentle silence that had pervaded the air since he entered felt like it was pressing in on him in a manner that it never should in your own home.

Jason said nothing back.

Pulling himself forward, Tim stepped out of arms that were no longer holding him too tight to let go. His mouth a solid line and eyes mostly closed, he turned in the direction of his room. ‘His’ room.

“Sorry,” he said, the word a solid weight in the air.

He did not look back.

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December 2012

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