"Hey, Reese?" said Shaw. She tried to sound casual but it came out more than a little cautious. Much to her annoyance.
Reese grunted in acknowledgement, never taking his eyes off the number they were watching.
Shaw cleared her throat. It was a little awkwardly, but Reese didn't seem to notice, despite their close confinement in the town car. "Where would you go if you were going out... with someone," she added hurriedly.
That got Reese's attention.
A shit eating grin appeared on his face, sparking a rush of irritation through Shaw. "Like a date?"
"No," said Shaw sullenly. The grin didn't disappear from Reese's face. "Forget I asked," she muttered.
She could see Reese shrug out of the corner of her eye. "I dunno... a movie, dinner?"
Shaw scrunched her nose up at that, unsure if it was the thought itself that disgusted her or the way Reese had said it so... suggestively.
"I mean," said Shaw, and this time she allowed a smirk to creep into the corner of her mouth, "it’s not like we haven't had sex yet or anything."
Reese held up a hand hurriedly to prevent her from saying anything further. "That's not information that I need to hear."
Shaw rolled her eyes. It wasn't like she was about to share any details with him, of all people.
"Didn't think dating would be your thing," Reese commented. Apparently talking about her dating life was safer than her sex life.
Shaw shrugged. "If I'm going to do this thing, may as well do it right."
Reese seemed to soften beside her at that and she had the sudden urge to pull out her gun just to remind him she had one.
Besides, it wasn't like she had even asked Root out yet (and just thinking that made her want to roll her eyes) and she was pretty sure that the other person was supposed to say yes first before you made any plans. But Shaw wasn't an expert. She didn't exactly do dating. Ever. And she still couldn't quite believe she was even considering it... with Root. Who, Shaw suspected, probably had never been on a date in her life. Unless it was for some scam or ploy and as far as Shaw was concerned, that didn't count.
Their number looked like he was on the move and Shaw started the engine, ready to follow him. A sigh of annoyance escaped her lips when he just stood up to scratch an itch on the back of his leg and sat back down on the park bench he had been glued to all morning.
She was starting to get a little bored, if she was honest. She loved good old fashioned recon as much as the next girl, but this had to be one dullest cases they had ever worked on. What were they even supposed to be saving the guy from? Self-righteous ducks?
As if reading her mind, Reese muttered, "Don't worry, I've got this," and nodded towards the street. Shaw looked where he had indicated and saw Fusco strolling down the sidewalk in their direction. He got into the back seat, sighing loudly.
"Need you to watch this guy," said Reese, by way of greeting.
Fusco huffed. "Why? What are you guys going to be doing?"
"Well," said Reese slowly, "Finch needs my help clearing up the library. And Shaw has a hot date."
The glare Shaw sent his way had to be one of her best yet. But Reese didn't even flinch. Instead that annoying little grin was back. Shaw glanced in the rear-view mirror, not at all surprised by the stunned look plastered across Fusco's face.
"You and Crazy Clogs are going on a date?" he asked incredulously.
Eyes narrowing, Shaw tried her best to ignore them both. It wasn't easy.
"She can't decide where to take her," Reese continued. He was enjoying himself, the bastard. "Any ideas?"
Shaw snorted. "You're asking him?"
"Hey!" said Fusco, looking affronted. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I think," said Reese, and now the smirk was directed at Fusco, "that what Shaw is trying to say, Lionel, is that you don't seem like the type of guy who goes on a lot of dates."
Reese sounded like he thought he was being diplomatic. Shaw thought he sounded like he was being a smug jackass.
"I go on dates," said Fusco.
"With who?" Shaw asked. "Your mom doesn't count."
"Very funny," Fusco snapped.
"So," said Reese, "where would you recommend then? What was your last date?”
“Hockey game,” Fusco said with a shrug.
Shaw glanced at him and didn’t even attempt to keep the disdain out of her voice. “You took someone on a date to see your kid’s hockey game?”
“Yeah,” said Fusco. “What’s wrong with that?”
“How did the second date go?” Reese asked, grinning slightly like he knew where this was going.
“She hasn’t called me back yet.”
Shaw rolled her eyes, but Fusco didn’t seem to notice.
“I’m not going to a hockey game,” Shaw muttered.
“I went ice skating with a woman once,” said Fusco, glancing through the passenger window and out at the snow covered streets.
Shaw didn’t even dignify that suggestion with a response.
“She was a bit clingy though,” Fusco added absently. “Kept falling over and holding onto me for support.”
“Maybe she was doing it on purpose,” Reese suggested.
“Nah,” said Fusco. “Turns out she was just after my wallet. Took me weeks to sort out new credit cards.”
Reese snorted. “Better hide all your valuables, Shaw.”
“You know what,” Shaw snapped, “forget I asked.”
And with that, she stormed out of the car, leaving them both to watch the number. The snow had started falling again by the time she had reached the end of the block, and Shaw trudged through it, muttering curses under her breath directed at Reese and Fusco and the obvious fun they were both having watching her squirm.
Not that she cared all that much about what they thought. She was more worried about it getting back to Root. Because Root, she knew, would have more fun than the both of them put together at Shaw’s expense.
Still none the wiser about what to do, Shaw put off making any plans for the next few days.
It was still snowing relentlessly and Shaw was relieved when she reached the relative warmth of the library.
“We got a new number?” she asked Finch, glancing around for signs of Reese and was surprised by his marked absence. She wondered if he was out with Bear as the dog was nowhere in sight either.
“Not exactly,” said Finch, glancing up from his computers to look at her. He stood up, manoeuvring around some of the books still lying haphazardly on the floor. They still hadn’t managed to clean up the whole place yet and it looked more like one of those independent used book stores, too small to have proper shelves so they just stacked everything on the floor, than a library.
Shaw didn’t like the way he said ‘not exactly,’ or the way he was looking at her with a slight twinkle in his eye.
“What?” she said. “You’re acting weird.”
"I heard you were looking for date suggestions," said Finch. She didn't know how it was possible for his eyes to shine so bright in the relative dimness of the library.
Shaw groaned. "I'm going to kill Reese."
"If I may make a suggestion?" Harold said politely, although she doubted he would stop even if she asked. "The food at Le Bernardin is exquisite."
Shaw nodded. She had been before. Well, she had bribed the chef once. At gun point. But she doubted he was likely to remember that.
"Isn't that kind of hard to get into?" Shaw asked, but she could already feel her mouth watering at the thought of a lobster dinner.
"I know someone," said Harold with a small smile. "Would you like me to make you a reservation?" he added when Shaw didn't storm off and pretend this entire conversation hadn't happened.
A nod was about the only thing Shaw could manage and Harold smiled warmly, pulling out his cell phone. Shaw watched him absently, toeing the books at her feet until he was done.
"Dinner is at eight," said Harold brightly when he had hung up the phone.
"W-wait," said Shaw sharply. "Tonight?"
"Yes," said Harold slowly, confusion etching his features. "Isn't that what you-"
Shaw cut him off with a quick "Nevermind," and rushed out of the library. The fact that she had yet to even ask Root out was sitting heavily on her mind. As was the slight awkward thought that she would say no once Shaw eventually got around to it. The fact that she now had a deadline was not helping.
"Shit," Shaw muttered once she was outside. The cold air was sharp like knives and attacked her almost immediately, snapping her out of whatever funk she had gotten herself into. What was the worst that could happen? Root could say no and laugh in Shaw's face. Root could say yes and Shaw could be reminded of all the reasons why she found Root to be the most irritating person on the planet in the space of one evening.
Or... or she could say yes and they could eat really good food, have really good sex (mind blowing even, if their last venture was anything to go by) and end up not killing each other.
And not ending up dead was always a bonus in Shaw's book.
As was the mind blowing sex part.
And the really good food.
Shaw let a sigh escape her lips as she pulled out her cell phone, her hot breath turning into small clouds in front of her as it hit the cold air. Facing fifty armed terrorists seemed easier than… whatever this was, and she stared down at her phone, unable to force herself to actually do anything with it.
When it started ringing unexpectedly, Shaw almost dropped it. She pretended it was because her fingers were numb from the cold. It had absolutely nothing to do with the name displayed on the caller ID.
“Heard you wanted to ask me something,” Root’s voice came out breezily through the phone before Shaw could even say hello.
“Have you been speaking to Finch?” Shaw snapped, using her annoyance to mask the awkwardness she had been experiencing for days.
“No,” said Root cautiously.
"Oh, right. The Machine," Shaw muttered sullenly and glared up into the sky as if the Machine really was a god looking down on them all.
"So," said Root, dragging the word out, making it last. It almost made Shaw wonder if Root was nervous. "What did you want to ask me?"
"Why don't you just ask the Machine," Shaw suggested, starting to get annoyed by everyone’s interference in her love life, including the damn super computer.
"She won't tell me," said Root. She sounded almost like a petulant teenager, Shaw thought.
"Good," Shaw said and hung up.
If she was going to ask Root out, she was going to do it on her own.
In the end, Shaw didn’t exactly ask Root out. It was more of a demand, really.
“We’re going out,” Shaw blurted into the phone a few hours after her abrupt conversation with Root.
“Oh?” said Root and Shaw could tell she was smirking.
“Wear something nice,” Shaw added.
“But I would rather wear something naughty,” Root simpered.
Shaw ignored that comment.
“I’ll pick you up at seven,” Shaw said and belatedly realised she didn’t actually know from where she would pick her up. “Um… where do you live?”
“Why do you need to pick me up?” Root asked, her voice tightening slightly. “Why can’t I just meet you wherever it is that we are going?”
Of course she would be goddamn awkward about the whole thing.
“Because,” said Shaw tersely. “If I am going to take you out, I’m going to do it properly. And that means picking you up.”
There was silence on the other end for a few minutes, making Shaw wonder if Root had hung up on her.
“How about I pick you up?” Root said and the playfulness was back in her voice.
Shaw let out a sigh. “Fine,” she said, figuring it would be easier than arguing. She did frown at Root’s seeming reluctance and once again wondered if this was a good idea. But she didn’t have all that much time to think about it or question it. Root had already disconnected the line.
When Root arrived to pick Shaw up, Shaw just rolled her eyes.
“Who did you steal this from?” she said, getting into the flashy blue sports car.
Root grinned at her and any semblance of annoyance that Shaw was desperate to hold onto quickly disappeared as she stared dumbly at Root, taking in the tight dress she was wearing, matching the car’s exterior colour perfectly.
“Holy shit,” said Shaw appreciatively.
Root raised an eyebrow, her eyes locked on Shaw’s.
“I meant the car,” she added hurriedly. Root’s grin widened and Shaw, realising she was still staring, quickly averted her eyes.
“So where are we going?” Root asked.
“West 51st Street,” Shaw said vaguely, surprised when Root didn’t probe her further and she wondered if the Machine had already told her where they were going.
“Do you like the car?” Root asked, glancing at Shaw slightly with a smirk on her face.
Shaw shrugged casually. “I prefer Ferrari’s. And driving,” she added, feeling impatient when Root slowed down to turn a corner. “Do you always drive like an old woman?”
Root ignored her disgruntled comment. “You can drive us home,” she said coyly. Shaw swallowed thickly, not missing the implications behind Root’s words. The car suddenly felt hotter and she glanced at Root, wondering if she had noticed. But Root still looked cool and calm. It made Shaw want to grind her teeth together, because she was clearly enjoying herself at Shaw’s expense.
“Speaking of home,” said Shaw, voicing something that had been bothering her since their last conversation. “You don’t have one, do you?”
Root’s grip on the steering wheel visibly tightened and Shaw knew her hunch was right.
“Didn’t see the point,” said Root. “The Machine wants me chasing down relevant numbers, so I’ll be away a lot.”
For some reason, that thought bothered her. Shaw looked away. She didn’t like the idea of Root chasing down numbers by herself, despite the Machine watching over her or the three nerds giving her a hand. But Shaw didn’t say anything, she didn’t think it was her place, and they spent the rest of the journey in silence.
Shaw got her lobster dinner and it was just as good as she had been anticipating. Root ordered the chef’s special, but she only seemed to pick at it, watching in amusement as Shaw attacked her food with relish. It wasn’t until she had finished, licking her fingers clean, that she realised neither of them had said a word to each other since they had sat down. It made Shaw wonder what was the point. People did this regularly all the time and Shaw, for the life of her, couldn’t fathom why.
She was bored, if she was honest, now that she didn’t have eating to keep her occupied. And judging by the distant expression on Root’s face, so was she.
“This is kind of lame, isn’t it?” Shaw said eventually, downing the last of her drink.
Root shrugged. “Well, I wasn’t going to say anything…”
Shaw slumped in her seat, feeling both ridiculous and stupid and out of place in Finch’s fancy restaurant. Neither of them belonged here, and despite Root’s attempt at her usual aloofness, Shaw could see a nervous edge to her look.
It made her wonder what she had been thinking, where she had left all her common sense, when she had thought this would be a good idea.
“Wanna go shoot some bad guys?” Root asked eventually.
“I thought you’d never ask,” Shaw said, sighing in relief.
Despite the fact that she was wearing a tight black dress, Shaw was still carrying. Root wasn’t apparently, and she let Shaw take the lead, taking out the bad guy’s kneecaps as Root told her where to shoot.
“I can point and aim by myself, you know,” Shaw grumbled.
“Uh-huh,” Root said absently and when Shaw glanced at her over her shoulder, Root was staring at her.
“What?” Shaw snapped.
Root shrugged. “I just love watching you work.”
There wasn’t time for the eye roll that Shaw so desperately wanted to give. Bad guys were approaching them again and Shaw turned, concentrating on returning fire and was pleased when they all went down without a fuss.
A hand grabbed Shaw by the upper arm and she was pushed roughly up against the wall as a bullet whizzed past them from behind. Shaw had an angry retort on the tip of her tongue, but let it slide in favour of shooting the guy that had attempted to sneak up on them.
“Thought you were supposed to have an all-seeing super computer in your ear,” she grumbled, feeling annoyed at the smug smirk that played across Root’s lips, like she was in on a secret plan that Shaw had yet to be made privy to.
Still preoccupied with feeling irked, Shaw completely missed the way Root leaned in, pressing her lips ruthlessly against Shaw’s, biting hard on her bottom lip. Shaw groaned in surprise and could tell by the way that Root’s hand squeezed her hip and inched slowly upwards that she was pleased by the reaction she had provoked. It made Shaw feel like getting her own back, and she wedged her knee up between Root’s thighs eliciting a moan that echoed its way into Shaw’s mouth.
Root’s hand stopped its trail towards Shaw’s breast and instead moved quickly down Shaw’s arm, her hand wrapping around Shaw’s and the gun she was still holding. Root lifted her arm up and squeezed her finger over Shaw’s to pull the trigger, not even bothering to break the kiss. Going from the sound of the heavy thump as a body dropped to the ground, Root hadn’t even had to look to hit her target.
Shaw pulled away, glancing at the still body and the semi-automatic that had fallen out of his hand.
“Okay, that was hot,” Shaw said, her voice oddly breathless.
Root smiled coyly and Shaw moved towards her lips again, but Root pulled back, a little reluctantly, Shaw thought.
“We should probably clear the room first.”
“Right.” Shaw tried to mask her disappointment by adding, “Besides, isn’t there some stupid rule about not having sex until the third date.”
“You’re forgetting Miami,” Root tossed over her shoulder.
Shaw frowned. “Wait. You consider Miami a date?”
“Cocktails, jet theft, took out a drug ring… sounds like a date to me,” Root said. “Besides,” she added, “you were the one that brought up sex.”
Shaw shrugged at that, remembering how odd she had felt in Miami, the adrenaline rush from stealing a jet and single-handedly taking out the drug dealers turned gun runners. Maybe it was because it had been just the two of them, but Shaw had been expecting it to lead somewhere (and if she were asked at the time – and probably if she were asked now too – she would have adamantly denied it) and she had been more than a little frustrated that Root had bailed on her.
Not that Shaw had ever considered it a date. And she was genuinely surprised that Root had. Just how long had Root been clued in on this thing before she was?
“Okay, fine,” Shaw said grudgingly. “So this was our second date then.”
“Actually,” Root said with a smirk, “Miami was our second date.”
Shaw’s frown turned into a scowl. “What the hell was our first date then?”
But Root didn’t respond, just kept the irksome smirk on her face for the rest of the night.
Even during the mind blowing sex, in the blue sports car (which just made it all the more hot, in Shaw’s opinion, not that she was about to admit it out loud), Root never once revealed when their first date had actually been, despite Shaw’s many attempts at teasing it out of her.
But as far as dates went, Shaw didn’t think it was so bad. And she might – might – consider doing it again. Assuming Root behaved herself.