Root had been gone for three weeks, running errands for the Machine. Shaw wouldn’t admit to missing her, but she often found herself wondering what Root was doing.
“Root.” She breathed as she stepped into the subway, letting a hint of a smile slip into her voice.
The woman at the desk turned and stared at her, but there was no recognition in her eyes. She pulled out her gun and aimed it at Shaw.
She barely managed to duck behind a pillar before the bullet struck against the tiles, cracking it and sending chips flying.
“How did you find this place?”
“What are you talking about?” Peering out from behind the pillar, she flinched as another bullet whizzed by, missing her by inches.
She briefly contemplated pulling out her gun, but Root was obviously not in her right mind and a firefight definitely wouldn’t make things any better. So, she stepped out from behind the pillar with her hands up in surrender.
“Give me your gun.” She did as she was told and the taller woman threw it out of her reach. “Now.” Root said, her voice low and dangerous. “Who are you and how did you find us?”
“Root, do you know who I am?”
“No.” Root waved her gun. “Now answer the question.”
Shaw opened her mouth, unsure whether she was going to lie or tell the truth.
“Miss Groves, what’s going on here?”
She let out a sigh of relief at the sight of Harold. “Harold, what’s wrong with her?”
“There’s nothing wrong with me.” Root snarled.
“Miss Groves, please put that weapon down. Miss Shaw, could you come here a moment?”
Root looked confused. “Wait. You know her?”
Harold nodded patiently. “Yes, and you do too.”
“I’ll explain later.” He gave her a smile. “Miss Shaw?”
“How come she remembers you and not me?” Shaw hissed once they were on the other side of the room.
“I’m afraid Miss Groves is suffering from memory loss. More specifically, she doesn’t remember anything pertaining to you.”
“Are you serious? She remembers you and John, but not me.”
“It would appear so.”
Shaw looked back at Root, who was busy working on her computer. “Do you know what caused it?”
“No. Miss Groves claims she doesn’t remember.” He blinked at her with those owlish eyes. “Perhaps it would be helpful if she were to stay the night with you. It might help her remember.”
“Are you sure she’s not faking it?”
“Why would she pretend to lose all memories about you, Miss Shaw? As I understand, you two are- “
“Okay. Stop right there. I’ll take her.”
“Thank you, Miss Shaw.”
Root, as it turned out, wanted nothing to do with her. It was only after Harold stepped in that she agreed to go home with Shaw. The first thing she did when they got back to Shaw’s apartment was swept it, gun drawn and body tense.
“Relax, if I wanted to do something I’d have done it in the car.”
Root sighed and reluctantly put down her gun. “According to Harry, you’re part of the team, so why don’t I remember you?”
Shaw leaned on the kitchen counter. “You can quit acting There’s no way in hell you’d forget me.”
Root had her head cocked to one side. “I told you I don’t know who you are.”
“Really? You don’t remember torturing me with an iron, or all the times you tased me?
Root shook her head, looking lost.
“What about the flirting? You remember that, don’t you?”
Root looked incredulous. “You’re not really my type.”
Shaw didn’t know why that stung. After all, she’d always insisted they were just friends. “I’m going to take a shower. There’s probably some food or something in the fridge. Help yourself.
When Shaw came out, Root was sitting on the couch with her laptop, working on some code. “What’re you doing?” Shaw asked, sneaking up behind her.
Root snapped the laptop shut. “None of your business.”
Shaw sighed, sitting next to the hacker. She didn’t miss the way Root shifted away slightly. It felt wrong. Most nights when they were together, Root would cuddle up to her until she was practically on top of Shaw.
Finally, Root shut the laptop and took off her glasses.
She yelped as Shaw pressed her to the couch, straddling the taller woman’s waist. “What are you-“
Shaw pressed her lips to Root’s, drinking in her sweet smell. The hacker’s hands reached up to grab her hair. For a minute Shaw thought Root was going to pull her away, but Root tugged her closer. Her tongue slipped between Shaw’s teeth, running along the roof of her mouth and sending an electric shiver down her spine.
They were both breathing hard when they broke apart. “Does that ring a bell?”
Root smiled, soft and sweet. “A little. Maybe if you kissed me again-“.She strained upwards, but Shaw held her down with a hand on her chest.
“Root, you have to try. We need you.” She looked away. “I need you.”
“Oh, Sameen.” Root cooed.
Shaw looked down at her. Root’s light brown eyes were sparkling and she had a wide grin plastered to her face. “Wait. You know who I am.”
“Of course I do, sweetie.”
Shaw felt anger boiling inside her. “You were pretending this whole time?
“I wanted to see what you would do.”
Root wrapped her arms around the back of Shaw’s neck and pulled her in. “I have to admit, I almost gave myself away when you kissed me.”
Grabbing Root’s hand, Shaw dragged her to the bedroom. “Take your clothes off.”
“Is this the part where you punish me?” Root purred.
Shaw rolled her eyes. “Just do it.”
Root was compliant as Shaw shoved her onto the bed, her eyes blown wide with desire. She moaned as Shaw climbed on top of her, securing her wrists to the headboard with a pair of handcuffs.
She looked confused as Shaw climbed off, fully clothed, and walked towards the door. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to sleep on the couch.” Shaw said as she watched Root straining against the handcuffs.
“You’re going to think about what you did.”
Then the door swung shut and Root was left in darkness.