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Tongue and Cheek

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Shaw's mad when she hits the last level of stairs into the station. Actually, mad wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface, but who cares, she's angry.

Her boots make stomping echos against the tiled walls as she briskly walks with a hitch in her step towards the back of the subway car. She is vaguely aware, but unconcerned with the set of eyes that follow her bee lined path towards the medicine cabinet. As Shaw flings open it's doors, too forcibly, the supplies go flying and it's then senses that smug grin.

Don't you have somewhere else to be?

“Oh, for fucks sake!” Shaw mumbles under her breath instead of groaning as she bends over to collect the fallen items. The aching tug on her backside protests her movements and Shaw is once again reminded of that fucking bullet lodged square in her ass cheek. Too busy opening packets of gauze, she forgets who her back is turned to and that she's just given Root ammunition.

“Unexpected visit from Aunt Flo?” Root teases from her seat safe behind the computer screen.

Blood + pants = Very fucking clever.

“I got shot in the ass Root, what's it look like?” Shaw says flatly without taking her eyes away from the set up. Then she immediately rests her knuckles against the table and waits for that microsecond it takes for Root to respond in her irritating way.

Looks good to me,” Root says in that sultry tone she's infamous for, the one that Shaw can't fucking stand, but she expected this. It takes so much not to grant Root with her usual murderous scowl, because Shaw knows this would only encourage.

Just ignore her.

Shaw's twisting her neck and back around in ways they shouldn't be twisted, trying to assess the damage when she hears that distinct creak from Harold's old chair. She's holding back a sigh of frustration, not because she can't fucking see the wound clearly, but because she feels the balance shifting in the cable car. There's heels clicking, making their approach at a slow and steady pace, and it reminds Shaw of a lioness stalking her prey. Not that Root can ever sneak up on her... well, not this time.

The clacking of her heels against the hard floor are snapping in hypnotic rhythm, and the sound is similar to the noise Shaw's pistol, which is lying readily on the table, would make if she were to rack the slide and load a round into the chamber.

Until she's sure Root's standing right behind her, probably with her arms folded and head cocked to one side. Probably with that curious grin, and if Shaw looks at it, she's probably going punch it right off Root's face.

“Shame,” Root sighs with feigned disappointment. “I really liked those on you.”

I hate these fucking pants.

“Need a hand?” Root offers.

Like I need another hole in my ass.

“No,” Shaw punctuates coldly, unscrewing the top of the alcohol bottle and flicking the lid off to where she thinks Root might be. The plastic just clatters against the floor.

“Last time I checked, you didn't study contortion-ism in med school,” Root comments and Shaw is eyeing her gun again.

Yes, but would you like to know what I did study in the Marines?

Shaw rolls her eyes instead and says, “Your point?” She's turning around, and it's the equivalent to fanning flames, but Shaw wants to see how full of shit she is and look Root dead in the...

Holy fuck...

Root shouldn't be wearing that, not here, not in front of Shaw. In a snug blue dress that clings in all the right places that Shaw never needed to know about. The garment rested so high above Root's knees, if Shaw's old catholic school teacher saw the ensemble, the wooden paddle would come around swiftly. As if that small white sweater did little to cover Root's form as well. Shaw's eyes wander south to long and slender legs perched atop sharp heels so high, it's like Root's trying to be closer to Heaven... or just tower over Shaw a little more than she already does.

God damn those legs...

And then Shaw thinks about taking Root over her knee and...

Stop it!

Shaw mentally shakes her head like an etch-a-sketch, erasing whatever perverted image previously drawn.

“I was a substitute teacher today, in case you were wondering,” Root says like she knows Shaw's been thinking, and what immediately comes to mind is Sex Ed.

She runs a hand through her long brunette curls and situates twirling the ends around her finger. “As much as it amuses me to watch you chase your tail, I don't think you'd be a useful member of the team with an infected wound and a sprained neck.” Root says as sincerely as she can muster, still playing with her strands, and all Shaw wants to do rip them right out of Root's fucking head.

Root's right, all the time, and it's annoying. Still, Shaw doesn't acknowledge.

“Let me see.” Root makes these tempting but unconvincing offers and it only adds a brick to the wall that Shaw keeps repairing every time this woman is around. But Root presses on. “No funny business, I promise,” and that's definitely a lie if Shaw's ever heard one.

“I find that hard to believe,” Shaw quips with a raised brow, and Root just smiles wickedly like she always does.

“Scout's honor,” she vows with the appropriate hand gesture that is less than reassuring. It's a little glimmer in Root's eyes, a little lie that Shaw see's and wants to ignore. Accidentally leaning backwards into the table, Shaw's starting to think the actual pain in her ass might be the bullet wedged in the soft tissue and not this hot maniac standing in front of her. She's already undoing the top button and pulling the zipper down on her pants, and cursing herself in the process.

“Kinda hard to picture you as a girl scout,” Shaw says candidly as she turns her back to Root again, and it's starting to feel like a mistake.

“Gold star in first aid.” So accomplished Root sounds with the story of her own concoction as she rummages through whatever. It's her own weak attempt to instill a non-existent faith in Shaw's credit level deep red in the negative.

Gold star in bullshit.

“Merit badge,” Shaw corrects, but it's nearly too late, when she hears the snapping of latex gloves on pompous hands.

“Whatever,” and Shaw can feel Root's exaggerated eye roll like displacement of air. “Bend over and drop trough,” Root demands with an overt playfulness that's just unsettled every bit of distrust Shaw has. But Shaw's distracted or just doesn't care, so she begrudgingly complies.

Shaw tugs at her own pants and shimmies them down a ways that might constitute an inch and Root just tisks, tisks, fucking tisks. Like the sound Shaw's favorite knife makes when she's sharpening it...

“You're gonna have to give me more than that, sweetie.”

...the same one she wants to press against Root's throat right now for calling her sweetie.

“C'mon Shaw, it's just us ladies.”

No... I'm a sociopath ex government operative and you're a psycho with a fairy god mother talking in her head. We are not ladies.

Before Shaw can do anything, Root's hands are grasping the waist of her pants and pulling them down forcefully. Shaw's body becomes rigid as the air immediately leaves her lungs, and all she can think about is Root bending her over the table and...

No, no, NO!

There's a cringe that finds it's way to Shaw's face. Not from pain, she doesn't really feel pain. It's a mixture of humiliation coupled with some desire that Shaw is desperately trying to simmer instead of boil. Root's probably smiling from ear to fucking ear right now, like she's won another battle. By default though, because Shaw really just wants this bullet out of her ass... and that's it.

“Oh my!” She hears Root gasp. Shaw whips her head around with alarm only to catch another smirk claiming Root's arrogant face.

“It's nicer than I thought,” Root says in a tone dripping with delight. It's then that Shaw scowls.

“Root...” She growls as a warning, but Root's already waving her off, suddenly more interested in wound care than flirting.

“Hold still.” Root pulls up a swiveled stool and sits, and Shaw thinks it's over, but then an arm is reaching around her waist, brushing too much against sensitive skin for the gauze that's lying on the table in front of Shaw. It's planned and gratuitous, and it makes Shaw's grip on the edges tighten until her knuckles turn white.

“So... care to share,” Root breaks the silence again. It feels like she's absentmindedly swabbing alcohol over her injury and Shaw wishes she would just get on with it.

“With you? No,” Shaw shot before she felt the intentional sting of a harder swipe.

“Just thought you might enjoy some small talk,” Root chirped and then added, “To lighten the mood while you're in this compromising position.”

You're about to be in a compromising position if you don't hurry the fuck up.

“I don't do small talk.”

“Cmon Sameen,” Root whined. “I've been cooped up here all day,” she says like Shaw's going to feel sorry for her, but the subtext insinuates restlessness and certain pent up frustrations...

I don't care.

“So leave,” Shaw retorts. Root's not bound by a ball and chain, she can do whatever she wants. Then again, Shaw realizes the same could be said for herself and maybe she should take her own advice.

“Can't,” Root sighs. “Harold wants these codes ran asap. Say's it's significant to the new number. Is it ever really?”

Finch never said anything about a...

“New number?” Shaw perks a little, well, in her own way. Something else to look forward to when she's done being stitched up and sexually harassed.

Root hums in the affirmative. “While you were out doing...” she pauses for an instant, “What was it you said?”

“I didn't,” Shaw says frankly.

“Shaw, please.” Root pulls out this voice that's too hot and breathier than it should be, and Shaw closes her eyes and imagines those same words being spoken in a different context. Maybe Root's writhing underneath Shaw's teasing hands, begging for Shaw to...

Damn it!

“Give me something.” Root says, and that's not helping either. “I've been here all by my lonesome with no one to talk to.” Pouting is just unattractive, but when Root's doing it, it makes something somewhere inappropriate tingle involuntarily, and Shaw, once again, has to force herself to snap the hell out of it.

Talk to your girlfriend then.

“That's what the Machine is for,” Shaw points out.

“You're no fun,” Root remarks under her breath. Her hands finally feeling like they were doing something useful now that she had stopped talking, and Shaw was somewhat relieved.

And all of a sudden bored.

Shaw reads the label on the tube of antibiotic ointment. She practices knots with the rubber tourniquet. She plays a thrilling game of I spy and drums her fingers to the beat of this stupid song she overhead someone humming earlier, and now it was stuck in her fucking head.

Shaw looks at her watch and slews a long string of swears in her head when she realizes only three minutes have gone by.

Now she's glancing into the reflection of the car window, and there Root is. Furrowed brow fixed to Shaw's wound, paying close attention to the tentative movements of her hands. So concentrated she was unknowingly biting her bottom lip, and for some odd reason, most likely due to blood loss or gun smoke inhalation, Shaw thinks it's cute.


“Fusco shot me,” Shaw finally said, annoyed that she even admitted something that could later come back to bite her. She could see the way Root perked in the window. Eyes suddenly beaming and the edges of her mouth turning to a grin.

“What'd you do? Eat his last donut?” Root quips with an amused chuckle, and Shaw immediately regrets this decision.

“If you shut up for one second, I'll tell you,” Shaw barks, turning her head slightly to give Root a sideways glance.

“You have my undivided attention always,” Root coos with big puppy eyes, and Shaw can't help but make a sound that might have over exaggerated her disgust.


“Robbery at the National Savings and Loans in Manhattan,” Shaw begins so matter of factly. “Number worked there as a teller-”

“Let me guess,” Root cut in, “Inside job.”

“Can I tell the damn story?” Shaw snaps. Root's answer was that of silence, and Shaw continued.

“Anyways...” she said with irritation, “He gives the thieves everything they need to pull off the job; blue prints, security codes, shift change times, the works. They had it all set up. Get in, get out. No muss, no fuss. It would have been perfect.” Shaw thinks back to her old cover identity. Cosmetic counter girl by day, thief by night. It actually wasn't a bad gig, now that she remembers. The stealing part, not the make up slinging.

“Little did they know you and officer friendly fire were waiting,” Root chimes in again with a laugh, and Shaw just ignores her.

“The two guys doing crowd control were easy. They threw their guns away real quick. One of them wet all over himself.” Shaw smiles at her own recollection, but it's soon wiped from her face.

“You do have that effect on people,” Root adds, and Shaw just looks up at the ceiling, shakes her head and bites the inside of her cheek.

You just can't control yourself, can you?

“The perps in the vault put up a fight though, but they were lousy shots. Not as lousy as Fusco... dumb ass. What did he think would happen? Firing a bullet at three and a half foot thick, reinforced steel door... I swear,” Shaw trails off.

“I'm sure he said he was sorry,” Root smirked with a patronizing edge at the corners of her mouth.

“If you call 'Walk it off sweet cheeks' an apology...” Shaw replies, thinking of how she should have decked Fusco for that.

“What about the number?” Root asks, and Shaw's smiling with the deviation.

“Laid him out.” She says with small triumph.

“I don't know why you're so grumpy, Shaw. Sounds like a job well done to me. Besides...” Root paused to place the removed projectile on the table in front of Shaw. “It was only a tiny ricochet fragment anyway.” Root's tone insinuated something else to be desired. Shaw looked at the once .45 caliber turned .22 and scoffed to herself. Such a little thing to be the cause of such a great pain, among other things.

“Good. Then it shouldn't take you much longer.”

“Perfection takes time. You don't want a nasty scar blemishing this flawless backside of yours,” Root says like Shaw should be so flattered. It's only reminding her of this situation with the charming psycho, and how much she'd like to be out of it. Before she does something stupid, and right now, she's not entirely sure what that would constitute.

There's more contact now, more hands and what feels like stitches going on. Root must be leaning in close because Shaw can feel her breath scrutinizing as much as Root's eyes are. Without skipping a beat, Root's at it again.

“Are you blushing Shaw? Because your cheeks are turning bright red.” And it's probably true to some extent, only because Shaw's been fuming this entire time. Now her head feels like a hot tea kettle, and she wouldn't be surprised if stacks of steam came puffing from her ears.

“Keep it up Root. I haven't met my shot quota yet.” Shaw sends a warning with little promise, but it feels good just to say it. No, she wouldn't ever shoot Root, well... unless she had good reason to. Shaw is always on the look out for an excuse.

“Don't tease,” Root sends back. If only she knew the world of hurt Shaw could put her in.

Just stitch me up for the love of fuck!

“Almost...” Root trails in the final tug of the string. “And done!” She says with accomplishment and immediately Shaw's shoving some bandage into Root's face so she can really be finished. Still, Root is taking her time. Shaw hears gloves torn being torn away and the painfully slow stretching of tape before it rips. She feels the slow movement of bare fingers applying it shortly thereafter.

Shaw's expecting one more out of Root; she feels the next one-liner surfacing and readies herself. Something like, Want a kiss to make it feel better? Whatever weird shit Root comes up with in her head.

Standing up straight now, Shaw's about to pull up her pants and escape without a thank you, but Root's still close in her vicinity and unmoving. Shaw's waiting in anticipation for that last crack, so she can whirl around and maybe choke the smirk right off Root's face. Nothing would make her happier.


Shaw doesn't expect Root's hands to do the talking. They find their way to bare hips and begin a painfully slow glide, smoothing against the skin. Shaw's frozen and-


It feels like Root's hands are on fire, fingertips searing a path to the place that's been burning since she saw Root in that damn dress. There's a warm body pressed to her back and a hot breath upon her neck, and Shaw lets out a sigh that does little to nothing to extinguish these thoughts she's been repressing.

“Shaw,” Root breathes. The tip of her nose brushes a line down Shaw's ear while the tips of fingers draw lazy circles everywhere but the place Shaw wants and doesn't want them to be. They've been doing this dance for so long, Shaw forgets what might happen when the music finally stops.

“Do me a favor...” Root says in a low and sultry voice that seems to short circuit all the wires in Shaw's head, sending the wicked current directly between her legs. Those evil lips purposely brush against skin that's dying for more contact.

Oh fuck..

One of Root's hands break away from the pack and begin a slow journey to the other side, towards Shaw's unharmed cheek, dragging nails in it's path. Shaw's aware of the sting they inspire and unaware of how hard she's clenching her own fists. Later there would be nail marks in more places than one.

“Watch your ass next time,” Root cautions and the comment only makes Shaw huff out a small laugh that might sound like nervousness.

“Or what? You'll watch it for me?” Shaw shoot's back in a way Root's too familiar with, and Root just responds in kind. Shaw lets out a hiss when teeth bite down on her ear hard enough to draw blood, when a hand squeezes firmly the flesh of her backside with bruising force. Shaw's not sure if Root just growled in her ear or hummed, but the vibrations ripple shock waves through out her entire body

“Something like that...” Root mumbles into the crook of Shaw's neck as she skims fingertips along the edges of the fabric that's barely keeping Shaw modest.

“Root...” Shaw's aware of the desperation in her own voice but doesn't care. She's about to grab Root's damn hand and put it to good use, or bring around her already closed fist for a different kind of connection. Either way, end this nonsense that they always do once and for all.

But before Shaw can do anything, Root's pulls away. Shaw's about to let out a sigh of relief or frustration. She's about to grab her gun and pistol whip this woman.

There's a chill of whooshing air and a loud crack that soon follows. Shaw feels the burning sting on her good cheek and the warmth of a palm that lingers for a moment. The whites of her teeth are showing to grit in anger as Root leans in again and speaks as if she can hardly contain her giddiness.

“Thanks for letting me play doctor,” Root smirks and Shaw's seething with nothing short of anger. She quickly goes for the pistol and turns. Root doesn't even try to resist when seeing red Shaw wraps her hands around her neck and aims the barrel at her face. She's smiling at the wrong end of a gun while Shaw's searching for some excuse to use it, when their squabble is ended abruptly.

“Are we interrupting something ladies?” Shaw hears Reese say and turns to find him standing along side a worried and perplexed looking Finch. Even Bear tilts his head with curiosity. She's still got Root by the neck at gunpoint when she feels the woman try to clear her throat. Shaw half expects Root to be pleading for oxygen, but when she shifts her glance back, she doesn't find panic in Root's eyes. That fucking smile is still plastered on her face and her eyes are gazing downward with amusement.

Oh God damn it!

It's then that Shaw realizes she's in another comprising situation apart from holding the Machine's beloved pet by the throat, that her pants are down while she's doing so.

Shaw quickly releases Root with a shove and moves to adjust her clothes respectively. Root doesn't even rub at her surely sore neck. She just lets out a slight chuckle and walks away from Shaw's look of contempt.

“Well, it's been fun, but my skills are needed elsewhere,” Root turns to give Shaw one last spirited wink before leaving. Her heels are a drum roll to her own exit, and Reese and Finch both watch her stride away.

“Dare I ask Ms. Shaw?” Harold says with a raised brow.

“About what?” Shaw feigns, turning her attention to the mess of medical supplies scattered over the table instead of towards the questionable looks directed.

“I won't delve into business that doesn't concern me, but it's of great importance that you and Ms. Groves settle whatever vendetta you have together,” Harold says with a grave tone and Shaw finds more concern in her weapon than in his words.

I'll settle it, just you wait.

“I'm quite serious Ms. Shaw,” he adds and Shaw just deadpans.

“Don't be. It wasn't even chambered,” she says bluntly, then goes back to checking the magazine before sliding it in. Harold is about to say something else to that effect but Shaw just cocks the slide back of her pistol menacingly and he instantly decides otherwise. Turning to limp away with Bear in tow, Reese just offers her a look that relays his smallest sympathy before he too follows.

Shaw's phone buzzes from her pant's pocket and she doesn't need to see the ID to know who it is. The small screen flashes the message and Shaw just grins to herself.

//Boys ruin all the fun.//

“I'm going to ruin you,” Shaw types back before shoving the phone back in her pocket. It goes off again and Shaw can't help but to look. The glowing screen just shows the brief message and Shaw may or may not have felt something inside squirm with delight or dread.

//I can't wait.//