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Light My Fire

Chapter Text

New York was a wonderful place full of opportunity. At least that was what Root had grown up believing. Three years in New York and while the latter part of the statement was true, the city wasn't always wonderful. It didn't seem to matter what you wanted to do for a living, but there was a good chance that you could, in some capacity do that job. Root had started out working in an electronics store as tech support before quickly climbing up the ranks to become store manager. Root came into work 4 days a week and spent about 8 to 11 hours there a day for some pretty decent pay. On those other three days, she'd relax, unwind, and work on "projects" for clients. Root was a tech genius and she made quite a bit of money utilizing her computer skills, whether those be through legal or illegal means.

Root could find out anything about anybody if she wanted to. Which was why it made no sense that she hadn't the slightest bit of information on her neighbor other than her odd work schedule and what she looked like. She was a short woman, but she had very defined muscles on her arms, shoulders, and back. Root knew that because she had seen her neighbor leave in the mornings, no doubt to go to a gym or on a run, when she left for work herself. Root noticed that on the days she wasn't working: Tuesday, Thursday/Friday (specifically Friday), and Saturday, the woman wouldn't go to the gym unless it was before 6 AM. Root's neighbor came back sometime when Root was at work, but left again around 9 every single night. Root was always up and doing something when the woman came back again around 1 AM. Root was certain that her neighbor had been living there longer than she had, but in the two and a half years that Root had been living in that apartment, neither of them had acknowledged the other's existence. At least that had been the case until the woman had come knocking on Root's door at midnight looking worse for wear.

"Can I borrow some paper towels please?" Root stared at the woman before nodding. She seemed completely calm, despite the fact that she was covered in blood, more than what could have been hers. Root wondered if this woman had just murdered somebody or something, but pushed it back a bit. Root looked over her neighbor once more before realizing that some of the blood was definitely hers and seeping out of some cuts, so the paper towels and medical care was urgent.

"Come on, it might take me a second to find them. Sorry about the mess," Root rambled as she walked into the kitchen. "I'm Root."

"Shaw." Shaw, it sounded perfect in Root's head. It had a nice ring to it in her head, but would have a nicer one being screamed in pleasure. Root shook her head, trying to get that thought out of her head as she came across a roll of paper towels. She brought them to Shaw and handed them over. "Thank you."

"It's no problem. Do you want some help?" Root asked nervously. Shaw quirked an eyebrow at her, as if she was confused about what she needed help with. "It looks like you've got some pretty bad cuts."

"I know how to clean them and everything, but are you good with your hands?" Shaw asked and Root nodded. Shaw pulled her jacket off and set it on the back of one of Root's chairs before tugging off her shirt. Root noticed a hole in the shirt and a stab wound in Shaw's side. "Do you have a tub?"

"Yes," Root answered, her mouth a little dry. She didn't want to stare at Shaw's body, but it was too distracting. "I also have a first aid kit."

"Here's $30 upstairs to apartment 6E and tell John that Shaw needs ice in your apartment," Shaw instructed and Root nodded. She went up two floors to and found the apartment Shaw had been talking about. She knocked on the and waited patiently for it to be opened.

"There better be a damn good reason for this shit," a woman said and Root relayed the message to the woman. She went back to get a man, who carried two large bags of ice down to Root's apartment. The woman went with them and seemed very stressed about the situation, which stressed Root out a bit more. "Joss Carter."

"Root." Root shook the woman's hand and the two of them stood outside of the bathroom. About 20 minutes later, the man walked out of Root's bathroom and Root stood outside of the bathroom waiting for Shaw. Shaw came out about 40 minutes after John. Root could more clearly see the definition of her abs and just how cut she seemed to be. "Are you better?"

"Yeah, thank you," Shaw said and Root nodded. She knew that she should be tired, but she wasn't. Instead, she was thinking about how it would have felt to have Shaw's body pressed against hers. "You're staring."

"It's a little hard not to, shirtless woman standing in my hallway," Root chuckled. She was nervous, Shaw was making her nervous, and nothing made Root nervous. Well, not absolutely nothing, but very few things made Root nervous. She had a trust in something, almost like an instinct. At least she had since she was a teenager. Root remembered the accident and how weird it had been to not be able to hear out of one ear for months before she got her implant put in. After that, she had a sense of security, like something was out there, telling her what to do and looking out for her if she listened hard enough.

"Bye," Shaw said, but Root didn't want her to go. Root didn't say anything about it though, just let the woman go. They both had long nights and some rest would do them good. Root locked up after Shaw left and walked back to her bedroom. She wanted to just plop down on the mattress, but instead, changed out of her work clothes, brushed her teeth, and then went to bed. Root's bathroom was clean, cleaner than it had been whenever Shaw had originally went in there. Root smiled contently as she thought about Shaw. Shaw's jawline, the feeling of Shaw's weight on top of her body, how softly Shaw's lips would feel against her skin. Root wondered how Shaw liked to have sex, if it was more like making love or rough fucking. Root bit her lip as she thought of Shaw pinning her against her bed and pounding into her with the dildo that had been sitting in the back of Root's closet, waiting for an opportunity to be used. Root closed her eyes and shook her head, but all she could focus on was her arousal.

"Shit." Root looked at her alarm clock and noticed that it was nearly 3 and she'd promised that she would go into work early on Saturday in exchange for having Sunday off. Root slid her hand down her body until she reached the heat in between her own legs. Root started off just teasing herself, closing her eyes to easily imagine Shaw being the one to touch her. Root added a bit more pressure than she normally would have in that situation. Root wasn't exactly keen on being manhandled, but something told her that Shaw could do whatever she wanted to Root's body and Root would let her. Root's fingers on one hand made circles around her clit and traced different patterns while the other plunged two fingers into the warmth and wetness beyond her entrance. Root threw her head back and made high pitched little moans as she continued to move both of her hands.

Root imagined that Shaw would stare intensely at her while she did this. Root could tell that Shaw was an intense person, even if she came off as indifferent. She was intimidating, but Root thought that might have been her hottest quality. Root wasn't necessarily looking for a relationship, she had no problem finding girls to hook up with at the mall, especially when she stopped by the bar across the parking lot on her way home from work. Normally those hook ups ended in the bathroom of the bar, but Root was perfectly fine with that. She wasn't exactly great in relationships anyways. Root wondered if Shaw wanted a relationship or if she was in one already. Root was certain that Joss and John were together, so Root didn't have to knock him away as competition to get into Shaw's bed. Something told Root though that she wouldn't be getting into Shaw's apartment anytime soon, Shaw seemed like a private person in that sense.

"Fuck, Shaw," Root gasped as she came on her own fingers. Root's head pushed back against the pillows as her back arched slightly and her thighs trembled. Root didn't even bother to move her fingers as she just fell asleep like that. She let her mind empty itself out as she closed her eyes and steadied her breathing out, so ready for sleep.

Breakfast was important. It wasn't the most important meal in Shaw's head because every single meal was important. Shaw was an athlete and athletes required a lot of energy, which was best acquired through food. So, Shaw getting up at 6:30 to get a nice breakfast before she went to the gym was expected after her fight the night prior. Shaw knew that Reese would give her shit about coming in, but she needed to make money. Medical school was expensive and Shaw wanted to be a doctor. Being a personal trainer at the gym worked well enough to cover her groceries and part of her rent, but the cost of college, the other part of her rent, and her bills, all were paid from her night job.

"Morning." Shaw looked up to see Root, the woman from earlier than morning in the elevator with her. "Early morning?"

"Not really," Shaw said shortly. Root bit her lip and looked down, blushing like a teenager. Shaw surprised herself by asking Root a question, "You?"

"Yeah, I'm normally off today and work tomorrow, but I switched days. Especially since I only have to work about 6 hours today instead of my normal 13 tomorrow," Root said and Shaw seemed surprised. "Trying to get in extra time at the gym or something?"

"What?" Shaw asked.

"I notice you always leave for what I assume is the gym when I leave for work, today you're early. I assumed you were trying to get a bit more done. It's stupid," Root said, the words spilling out like puke. Shaw didn't talk to Root for the rest of the elevator ride, but when they got to the lobby, seemed a bit more chatty.

"You like whiskey?" Shaw asked and Root shook her head. "Fruity shit?"

"I do prefer my drinks to be a bit sweeter," Root said, trying not to make it sound like she only drank fruity, mixed drinks. Shaw nodded and quickly made her way out of the building. Shaw had a car parked in the indoor garage across the street, but she decided to walk to the gym that morning. There were many choices for a quick breakfast, but Shaw decided that she wanted to sit down and enjoy something heavier like an actual breakfast meal instead of the 2 or 3 breakfast sandwiches she would pick up in the drive-thru at McDonald's. Shaw walked into a diner near the law office before inviting an acquaintance over for breakfast.

"Shaw, what the hell happened to your face?" Zoe asked as she sat down across from Shaw. "Sameen, seriously, that looks bad."

"Brass knuckles," Shaw said, clenching her jaw a bit. "Do you know what you're ordering?"

"A coffee," Zoe said and Shaw gave her a look. Shaw didn't understand people like Zoe, John, and Joss who could walk into a restaurant, order a singular coffee, and then walk out like that. "I'm not that hungry."

"I don't get it. I can always eat," Shaw said as she looked over the menu. Zoe watched Shaw order the largest meal on the menu and then wait patiently for it to come out. "So, how have the cases been going?"

"It's been nice," Zoe said and Shaw nodded. "Have you been winning your fights?"

"Yeah, even this one. Although, this happened out of the gym," Shaw said and Zoe's eyes widened. "The girl took it outside. I guess she didn't like being submitted. Shoulda broken her arm."

"You are a scary woman Shaw," Zoe said seriously. Shaw shrugged it off. Once the food had arrived, it was like Zoe didn't even exist anymore, so the lawyer got another coffee to go and then left. After breakfast, Shaw paid, left a good tip, and then got a cab to the gym.

"Ready to tell me what happened?" Reese asked. He had been waiting outside of the gym for Shaw to arrive. She shook her head and Reese sighed, arms crossed over his chest. Shaw pushed past him and went straight to the punching bags. Reese stood back and watched as Shaw relentlessly punched away at the bag. Shaw managed to avoid everybody in the gym before her shift started. Shaw had two training sessions that day, a boxing one with a burly man that was just beginning to respect her and then one helping a college student build up some muscle. John left the gym pretty early that day, halfway through Shaw's second training session. Shaw took a break for lunch and came back an hour later to do some running and then cool down by doing laps in the pool. By the time she was done, it was almost 6 at night.

Shaw would have gone straight home, but instead she stopped by a gas station on the way back. She picked out some groceries for herself and picked up a bottle of blue raspberry flavoured vodka. It was fruity and something that Shaw had definitely seen Zoe drink on multiple occasions, so it would be perfect for Root's taste. Shaw walked back with her vodka, a couple bags of chips, a candy bar, some ice cream pints, and three sodas. It wasn't the healthiest mix of food, but there was more than enough food from her nutritionist at the gym to make up for it. Shaw put her things in her apartment before standing at her doorway for 5 minutes and staring at Root's apartment.

Root had lived across from Shaw for the past couple of years. Shaw had always been aware of her, but they were strangers. Shaw knew that Root was into computers, she had seen Root at a cafe a few blocks away on Saturday before. Shaw thought Root was hot, even though she was skinny and definitely didn't properly take care of herself. Root's apartment was a lot like how Shaw had originally thought it would have been. There was a couch that looked pretty worn in, a TV on a cheap TV stand from the discount furniture store on the other side of the city, and a table in what was supposed to be the dining room with computer parts scattered all over it. Shaw hadn't gotten a great look at Root's kitchen, but she hadn't changed much of anything in it. Root's bathroom was pretty basic as well, but at least her towels were soft and she had cleaning supplies. Shaw took a deep breath to clear her mind of Root as she took the steps forward until she was close enough to put the bottle down at Root's door. Shaw set the bottle down and knocked on the door. Before Root could open the door, Shaw bolted back into her apartment and quickly shut the door. She watched out of the peep hole as Root opened her own door, rubbing her eyes and wearing the most ridiculous pajamas Shaw had ever seen an adult wear in her entire life, and picked up the bottle.

"Thanks Shaw," Root said before shutting her door, taking the bottle inside with her. Shaw let out a little smile before she turned around and walked down the hall to the makeshift workout room she had in her apartment. It was really just some weights, a bike, and a cheap punching bag she'd stolen as a dare her freshman year of college. Shaw didn't use any of the equipment, instead getting on the ground and doing pushups until her stomach began to growl, distracting her from the thought of Root laying beneath her.