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Connections

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Shaw immediately grabbed her phone and tried to call her mother. “No bars!” she said. “Are you freaking kidding me? No service?”

“I guess …,” Root started, but Shaw was losing it.

“If you say they didn’t think anyone would be calling from in here…,” she warned.

“No, Silly, I was going to suggest that the thick stone is probably what is causing the problem,” Root surmised. “Or no cell tower… or….”

“What…,” Shaw said, holding onto Root’s hand to get her to stop talking. “What are we going to do?”

“Hmm,” Root said, not quite sure yet.

“And how come if your phone doesn’t work, those computers work?” Shaw asked and Root thought that was a very good question.

“Let me see if I can use the computers connection…,” Root said, hoping to gain access.

“I’m going to kill her,” Shaw said. “If she set this as a trap…”

“I don’t think she purposely set it as a trap; I think she probably knew you’d figure it out,” Root said because she knew her mother-in-law knew how smart Sameen was.

“Really?” Shaw asked, not having considered anything good about this.

“Well, you are the whole package,” Root complimented her wife.

“That’s true,” Shaw just had to agree.

Root went back to deciphering the information that was coming out of the computers. “I think she left these here,” she finally concluded.

“Left them here for what reason?” Shaw asked and was trying to feel if there were any openings. “Maybe I can break that stained glass window up there.”

“I don’t think we can reach and besides, I’m not even sure Shadow would fit through that,” Root said.

“When I get ahold of her, I am going to kill her. Then, I’ll have to go to the Doc’s office for like – forever because I killed my mother. I’ll be on a Shakespearean leave of absence from work. It’s a shame, too, because I thought she’d make a good grandmother,” Shaw ranted.

“You thought about that?” Root asked, stopping what she was doing because the idea of Sameen thinking of kids made her insides flutter.

“Yeah, you know she could get to do all the things she didn’t do,” Shaw suggested. “What are these computers connected to?”

“Underground cable I think,” Root said, but was really thinking about Shaw with a kid. “You are going to make a wonderful mom.”

“You think?” Shaw asked and Root nearly melted at the sight of the light shining on Shaw’s face. “I’d be good at the sports and fighting. There would be no bullying, I promise you that. “

“Oh, you would teach them so much more than that, Sameen,” Root said, falling in love all over again. “You’d teach them how to be brave and courageous and truthful and a good person,” she gushed.

Shaw had to admit, she wanted to be the woman that Root was describing. “After I kill their grandmother, though,” she said, because she tended to have a one track mind.

“I think Azar means well,” Root said.

“DON’T! Please don’t say she means well,” Shaw spat, using air quotes around the phrase she found most offensive. “That woman meant well all my life and it cost me my father and a childhood and…,” she was hollering, when Root put her arms around her and hugged her.

“I know,” Root said. “I think she might be trying to make it all up to you by doing this.”

“By locking me in a tomb?” Shaw asked.

“By protecting you,” Root said and cringed as soon as the words left her mouth. She could have mouthed the response her wife uttered.

“I don’t need protecting; I do the protecting!”

“I know,” Root said, even though she knew Azar was not giving Sameen that choice.

“If she knew I would figure this out, why trap us in here?” Shaw asked and started pacing again.

“Do you think about dying, Shaw?” Root asked, because her wife was leaning against the wall where the Henry Family members were interred. “Jacque Henry was only forty-eight when he died,” she noted.

“No, I don’t,” Shaw said quickly, because that was her standard answer. What soldier doesn’t think about dying? What soldier would ever admit it?

“I think we continue on,” Root theorized.

“Like reincarnation? Because I am not coming back to this. No, I want a one way ticket,” Shaw replied.

“No, like we never really die. We’re energy, we’re code. Sometimes we’re just bad code, so maybe we come back as something else. Like it they downloaded our minds into a machine. We would be there forever,” Root thought through.

The entire conversation unnerved Sameen.

“Look at me,” she said, pulling Root out of her reverie. “…you and I are always going to be together. You’re not going into a machine and I’m not going to prison when I take care of Azar. You and I have paid our dues, Root. We deserve a happy after ever life and we’re going to get it. I am not going along with how things have to be. That’s bullshit. I’m making sure you and I get what we deserve and that is to be together and happy. Period.”

Root’s knees felt weak at her wife’s loving declarations. No one ever said they would take on the world more sincerely than Sameen Shaw. “I like that,” Root said and kissed Sameen hard.

“Woot? Woot?” Shaw said, her lips unable to form the proper R because they were being gripped by Root.

“Yes, Sweetie?” she asked, finally letting go.

“We have to get out of here,” Shaw reminded her.

“Right,” Root said, refocusing because she could have died in Shaw’s arms right there.

“You know, I just want to point out,” Shaw said, looking down at the two dogs and pointing her finger at them. “You two are of NO help! I mean, we could have two cats that would be more helpful right now. At least they could climb and fit through small spaces.”

Shadow was just happy Sameen was paying her attention, but Bear got the insult and started to bellow immediately. He was barking his defense in rapid succession.

“Don’t give me that,” Shaw answered back.

‘SHAW?”

“What?” Shaw asked, turning to Root.

“Is that you?” came the question.

Shaw looked at Root who wasn’t saying those things. The voice was coming from outside.

“What the hell are you doing in there?” came the woman’s voice.

“I’m picking out property for when I die!” Shaw shouted back.

“That sounds like…,” Root was about to say, when the locked opened and Zoe Morgan stood in the doorway.

“Shaw? Root?” Zoe asked again.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Shaw asked her rescuer.

“You’re not going to believe this,” Zoe said, pushing the door all the way opened. “I received an envelope with five thousand dollars cash and instructions to come here tonight.

“And you just came?” Shaw asked amazed.

“I brought this,” Zoe said, taking a Taser out of her purse that matched her high heel shoes, which complimented her dress. “Hey, I didn’t … uhm… interrupt anything, did I?” she teased.

“I was just plotting revenge on my mother,” Shaw admitted as she and Root stepped out into the night air.

“And you brought your dogs?” Zoe asked, hoping to make some sense out of this.

“How would my mother know to contact you?” Shaw asked, suspiciously.

“I’m a fixer, Shaw. I fix things; everyone knows that,” Zoe reminded her.

“Well, we are very glad you showed up,” Root said.

“Yeah, thanks,” Shaw said unenthusiastically and walked to the car.

“She always looks so angry,” Zoe noted to Root.

“Yeah, she’s … upset with her mom,” Root conveyed.

“I should take her out shooting or something,” Zoe offered.

“She’d like that,” Root replied.

Root thanked Zoe again and the couple and pets got back into their car and drove back to Manhattan.


“I’m going to go to her house and really let her have it,” Shaw decided.

“I’d be surprised if she’s there,” Root admitted.

“Where is she, Root? Can’t you get on the Batphone to that all seeing machine and find her?” Shaw implored.

“I’m wondering if she could find her,” Root thought out loud. “I don’t think Azar wants to be found, Sweetie.”

“All the more reason why we have to,” Shaw answered.

The couple decided to go home and think through their next step. At the very least, Shaw wanted to drop off the dogs that proved useless in their mishap that night.

But as they rode up in the elevator, Bear and Shadow both started growling as if something were wrong.

“Oh, now you decide to help out,” Shaw complained.

“There’s someone in the apartment,” Root decided.

Shaw drew her gun and put her arm out in front of Root so that she could go in first. The dogs sensed the danger immediately and continued their slow approach.

Within seconds after entering, they all saw the problem – waiting for them.

“Hello, Sameen, Root,” Azar said, sitting comfortably on the couch.