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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.

Chapter Text

Shaw stared out the window of her as the sun set. She could hear footsteps outside of her apartment and knew that it was Root coming back from work. In about 30 minutes, Zoe would come barging into her apartment with a semi-apologetic Reese, a very stressed out looking Carter, and a snack-bearing Fusco. Shaw wasn't exactly the sociable type, but she did enjoy the friendly game nights that were held in the building. It was fairly easy to do them since Zoe lived up at the top of the building in a pent house, Reese and Carter were up a couple of floors, and Fusco was in the apartment directly below hers. Shaw wondered for a moment whether or not Root had friends that she did stuff with. Shaw assumed she had at least one friend, but Shaw had never heard anybody ever come into Root's apartment other than Root before.

"Hey, we need to use your kitchen," Reese said, helping Lionel carry in bags. Shaw didn't pay any mind to them as they walked by. Reese walked by without saying anything else to her, but Fusco just had to stop and talk to her.

"You know you've got a hot neighbor?" Fusco asked and Shaw raised an eyebrow at him. "Girl across the street in a Thornhill Technologies uniform. You know if she's single?"

"No," Shaw said and Fusco nodded. "You guys go ahead and start cooking, I've got something to do."

"Alrighty then," Fusco said, mainly to himself. Shaw walked across the hallway, now curious about whether or not Root was single. Shaw knocked on Root's door and waited about 30 seconds for Root to open the door. To be fair, Shaw wouldn't have answered the door immediately had somebody else been pounding on it like she had. It wasn't completely her fault though, Shaw tended to do certain things without thinking, so the force she exerted to knock was more than she really needed to.

"Shaw, nice to see you stopping by without being covered in blood." Root was flirting, at least trying to. Shaw could definitely tell that much, but she wasn't sure what exactly Root's intentions were past what Shaw would consider awkward flirting. She supposed that it was endearing, so maybe that was Root's initial angle, to be endearingly awkward. "I got that bottle of vodka in my freezer if you're wanting a drink. I hate getting drunk alone."

"Later tonight I'll stop by, maybe around 10 or so?" Shaw asked and Root nodded, a little smirk on her face. Shaw thought it was cute that Root believed she was in control of their situation, but it sounded like she wanted a hookup, which Shaw could provide. She was pretty sure that she was getting some about as often as Fusco was, and that guy never really put himself out there. John had Carter and Zoe had whoever looked good that night, which had been Shaw on quite a few occasions, but not in the past month and a half.

"Sounds good, see you then?" Root sounded unsure of whether or not Shaw would actually come over. Shaw nodded and turned around on her heels to go back to her own apartment. Root shut her door and Shaw went back into her apartment.

"Fusco, she's into girls," Shaw said and Fusco frowned.

"She didn't say exclusively," Reese said and Shaw leaned against the marble countertop in her kitchen. "But I think Shaw will find out for sure sometime this week."

"I can do it tonight," Shaw said with a little smirk. Reese knew that the girl from across the hall wasn't going to be more than a fling for a couple of nights for Shaw and he felt kind of bad for her. Shaw was fine with keeping a girl around up until she began to get attached. Reese was certain that a real relationship was a terrifying concept for Shaw, or at least something she didn't believe she could ever accomplish. "I'm going upstairs, text me when dinner's done."

"Bring Zoe and Joss with you!" Reese called out as Shaw left her own apartment for the second time that night. Shaw gave a glance at Root's apartment before she ran up the stairs to the top floor. She pounded on Zoe's door and waited for her to open the door. Zoe pulled Shaw inside and dragged her to the couch, where some reality show was playing on the TV. Joss wasn't there yet, so Shaw assumed that she hadn't gotten home from work yet.

"The boys cooking for us?" Zoe asked and Shaw nodded. "Hmm, you seem distracted, and more than the last time you were here."

"More?" Shaw asked and Zoe thought about it for a second.

"Not more, but different. Frustrated?" Zoe asked and Shaw shook her head. "Well, when you wanna stop lying to me, I'm open to listening."

"Is it a good idea to fuck your neighbor?" Shaw asked and Zoe nearly spit out her wine at the abruptness of Shaw's question.

"Depends on how much you interact with them and how you plan on leaving the situation. Sometimes you tend to end things the wrong way," Zoe said and Shaw shrugged. "My advice is for you to just let things happen. I think it's about time I saw you go on a date with somebody."

"I don't date," Shaw stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Yeah, I know the speech. You're a sociopath and you don't love or care about most things in your life. It's why you're such a great fighter because you don't let emotion throw the fight in any direction. You just give up before you even try Shaw, maybe this neighbor can be different," Zoe said and Shaw shook her head. Shaw and Zoe waited for Joss, who texted them almost 30 minutes later that dinner was ready and Fusco was excited about the bottle of bourbon he found in Shaw's cabinet.

Root stared at herself in the mirror. Shaw would be a lot more fit than she was. Root was skinny, not fit, there was a difference. Root had hooked up with enough girls to know the difference. Root looked at her underwear and realized that she should be a bit more put together. Sex with Shaw wasn't a guarantee, but it was a possibility and Root wanted to leave a good impression. Something told her that Shaw wasn't one to let a girl top her straight out the gate, so Root would just have to figure out a way to convince Shaw to let her. Root changed into a matching set of navy blue underwear and then just lounged around for a bit while she waited for her newest game updates to download.

Root had gotten a bit distracted in that and had almost answered the door in her underwear when Shaw had knocked at exactly 10 PM, but caught herself before she could. Root put on the Dallas Cowboys sweatpants and grey hoodie that she'd been wearing whenever she had answered the door earlier. Root took in Shaw's appearance again, the athletic shorts and tight black tank top drawing Root's attention to Shaw's muscular limbs. Root had no doubt that Shaw could easily hold her down to her bed or pin her against a wall without exerting a lot of force.

"Hey," Shaw said and Root bit her lip. "Can I come in?"

"Yeah, sorry of course." Root let Shaw in and then walked straight to the kitchen to grab the vodka and two cups. "I don't have shot glasses, but I do have these."

"Cowboys fan?" Shaw asked and Root shrugged.

"From Texas," Root said and Shaw nodded. "You?"

"They've got hot cheerleaders," Shaw said and Root had to agree there. "So, uh, do you have other alcohol?"

"Nope, I don't drink a whole lot normally," Root said and Shaw sighed. Root panicked a little, not wanting to have already disappointed her guest. "I can run and get some real quick."

"If it gets me tipsy, we're fine," Shaw said as Root poured their cups. Shaw was drinking out of a MIT cup and Root was using a cup she'd gotten from a renaissance fair. Shaw didn't provide a lot of conversation while they drank and Root got the message that conversations weren't exactly Shaw's strong suit. Root didn't mind that though, she wasn't really sure what she could have spoken with Shaw about. Root drank about 1/3 of the bottle herself and Shaw finished it off before the two of them were making their way to Root's bedroom. "You won't get much more out of me than sex."

"That's fine," Root said honestly. Shaw took her tank top off as she made her way over to Root's bed and Root had never seen a body like Shaw's before. Shaw's abs looked like they had been made by the greatest sculptors art had ever known and Root wanted to run her tongue along them. Shaw leaned down and Root held her breath as she looked up and into Shaw's eyes. They were brown and Root saw everything she needed to in them. Shaw's fingertips reached for the bottom of Root's hoodie and lifted it up. Shaw's mouth moved along the skin of her torso, not quite kissing. Shaw took an experimental bite and at Root's moan decided that she could be a bit rougher with Root than she had initially thought.

"Turn around," Shaw said, stepping back from Root. Root listened and turned around so she was bent over the edge of her bed. Shaw unhooked Root's bra and let that fall off of her body as she turned her attention to removing Root's pants and underwear. Root glanced back at Shaw and pouted, catching Shaw's attention briefly. "What?"

"It's not really fair. I'm completely naked and you're still pretty much dressed," Root said and Shaw sighed. Root hadn't really meant anything by saying it, but Shaw was cautious that Root may stop what they were doing. Root's mouth watered and arousal was sent straight to her core as she looked at Shaw standing in front of her. Shaw parted Root's legs and ran her thumb through Root's folds. Shaw grabbed onto Root's hair with her free hand as she slid two fingers inside of Root easily. Shaw was surprised that Root was so wet from as little as Shaw had been doing, but she knew that she could partially thank the alcohol for how easy things were coming along.

Shaw leaned down as she fucked Root with her fingers. Root moved her hips with Shaw's fingers, seemingly desperate for just a bit more. Shaw's lips brushed against Root's shoulder and she left little bite marks as far down as she could reach from her angle. Root began to gasp and Shaw had been so caught up in leaving little marks on Root's body that she hadn't noticed how close Root had been getting. Shaw caught her before her legs could give out and Shaw held her for a moment as Root rode out her orgasm. Shaw decided that she was in control over their situation, so she would be seeing Root again, providing that Root was into it. Shaw laid Root down and turned around to start looking for her clothes.

"Wait, you didn't..." Root stopped herself once she realized that Shaw wasn't looking for Root to make her cum. "I can, if that's something you want me to do. If not, I get it."

"Don't feel bad, I've got some stuff to do before tomorrow," Shaw said. She got dressed and left Root in her bedroom alone for the rest of the night. Shaw locked herself in her apartment before running back to her bedroom and getting herself off with her own devices. Shaw licked her lips and realized that she could taste Root's skin on them. As Shaw fell asleep, she thought about tasting more of Root than just her skin and the noises that Root would make at that.

Chapter Text

Root stood in the hallway as she waited for the elevator. She needed to get to work soon, today was an inventory day and Root didn't trust the guys working that shift to accurately get anything done. Root wasn't supposed to come in until 9 that day, but she was prepared to make sure that things were done right. Even if that meant she had woken up at 4 in the morning, put essentially an entire pot of coffee in a big cup, packed a breakfast, lunch, and snack for the day, and then got ready, all before 5. Now, it was 5:30 and Root wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed, but she willed herself not to. Maybe she could go see Shaw after work, she'd pick up something stronger than what she normally drank and really work to pace herself on it. Root walked forward when the elevator doors opened and took a long drink of her coffee.

"Early morning?" Root turned to see a very attractive blonde woman standing next to her. Root nodded, suppressing a yawn. "I'm Zoe Morgan."

"You can call me Root," Root introduced herself and shook Zoe's hand.

"You're Shaw's neighbor," Zoe stated and Root nodded. "Have you spent a lot of time around her?"

"Not really," Root said honestly. Zoe could tell there was more to that sentence, but she'd let Root keep that information to herself. "Do you know her very well?"

"You could definitely say that. We've known each other for a few years now. She's a very interesting person with some interesting complexes. Also, a very good person to be friends with," Zoe told Root. Zoe wasn't just talking about sex, Shaw was a very reliable and protective person, which kind of contradicted her sociopath complex. Zoe had done some research on the things that actually did make people sociopaths and Shaw didn't seem to really fit into those areas. Many of Zoe's coworkers, however, did fit the mold. The elevator stopped on the first floor and both women looked up before getting out, meeting Shaw's gaze. "Long night?"

"1 at the diner for lunch," Shaw said and Zoe nodded. Zoe walked out of the elevator, leaving Root and Shaw standing there alone. Root stepped out of the elevator and just walked past Shaw. A part of Root wanted Shaw to grab her by the arm, turn her around, and kiss her, but she didn't. Shaw stepped into the elevator and swore under her breath as Root's scent hit her. "Fuck."

"This isn't how we normally do inventory." Root was about 15 seconds from punching the assistant manager in front of her. She had come in before he had, started the guys on inventory, and was nearly halfway through when he showed up. "Just let me call Harold."

"Fine, waste his time. I am the one doing this right," Root said, sitting back in his chair. "He'll see an incompetent assistant manager looking for a demotion and one of these guys will most likely take your place. I am all for it, you know what, I'll even let you use my phone."

"Whatever bitch," he said, brushing it off. Root smirked as he stormed off to the front of the store. Root made sure that the guys were still doing things how she had shown them before going to the repair center to help them speed things up there. The Thornhill Technologies store that Root had gotten a job at was the first of many scattered around the country. It was also the biggest. There were many different departments all around the store and Root could weave her way throughout pretty much all of them to do whatever work needed to happen. Thornhill had started out as a security company, but expanded to include household appliances and video game systems.

"Hi, my name is Samantha. How can I help you this morning?" Root asked. It was an automatic response when she was approached by a customer in the repairs department, but she made sure it didn't sound automatic.

"My phone started bugging out. I downloaded this app, it won't let me delete it and it's been making my phone do weird things," a concerned teenage boy said. Root took the phone from him and looked through his apps before finding the culprit. At least 10 people had been into the store in the past week with problems on their phones, tablets, and PCs. The only thing that was tying them together was either software, games, or apps from a company called Samaritan. They tended to clash with Thornhill products exclusively, going as far as frying the device's hardware.

"I know what's wrong with your phone. You downloaded an app from Samaritan. Thornhill and Samaritan aren't compatible together. I can wipe your device here, but I wouldn't recommend downloading any other Samaritan apps to your phone," Root said and he nodded. She wiped the device clean and then helped him set it back up again. Once he was gone, she went back to her office and immediately got Harold on the phone, asking him to come into the store. She waited about 45 minutes for him and saw a couple more Samaritan effected devices.

"You said that you had an emergency Ms. Groves," Harold said, walking towards where she was standing.

"Samaritan is attacking Thornhill software," Root said and Harold seemed puzzled. "We get Android and Apple devices in here all the time and Samaritan doesn't attack their software like it does with Thornhill. When does the next software update come out?"

"Next month," Harold answered. "What are you planning to do Ms. Groves?"

"I need to put in a block on Samaritan apps. I can put it in the newest software update if you'll let me," Root suggested and Harold sighed. "Please, Harold, it will save people a lot of money and help sales on phones. I checked and people are starting to notice it across all devices, but they're not looking at the apps and programs on the devices from Samaritan."

"Fine, do what you need to. Do it here though, so I know that you're doing it legally," Harold said and Root nodded. Harold left and then Root went back to her office to start working on adding the Samaritan block to the software update.

"Left! Right! Left! Left!" Shaw followed the orders barked to her. "Alright, that's enough with the punches. I want you on the cardio bike and then you're done for the day. Tomorrow take it easy, it's a big fight."

Shaw nodded and walked over to the cardio bikes. She put her earbuds in and climbed onto the bike. She didn't get an amount of time to be on the bike, but she knew not to push herself too far, but to make sure that she didn't skimp on her workout. Shaw took a water break every 15 minutes, sure to keep herself hydrated. Shaw decided she was done about an hour after she had gotten onto the bike. She grabbed her bag and walked home after that. It was dark outside and Shaw had stayed later at the gym than she had originally intended to. It was fine though, not like she had any commitments that night. She only had the ones for the game nights with her friends or her fights. And even with the fights, if Shaw didn't want to go, nobody was making her. She could find a new gym with its own ring, or maybe even make her own. Besides, Shaw was only gonna do this until she was through medical school and had a job at a hospital.

"Are you just getting back from work?" Shaw asked as she stepped into the elevator with Root. Root nodded and yawned. "Demanding hours?"

"Yeah, it's not too easy hacking high security tech companies. I swear they're more protected than some government agencies," Root said and Shaw looked at her like she was crazy. "It was for work. This company started making apps and games, but they're attacking the devices the company I work for makes."

"Sounds complicated," Shaw said and Root nodded. "You work at the Thornhill Tech store."

"I'm the manager," Root said and Shaw nodded. "What do you do?"

"I'm a personal trainer for now," Shaw said and Root nodded.

"Sounds pretty physically demanding," Root said and Shaw nodded. "I probably need to start working out, I just don't like gyms."

"I love it, I don't have to think when I'm in the gym. I feel normal there," Shaw said and Root wondered what she meant by that. The elevator doors opened and both of them walked out. Shaw had, for a moment, thought about going to Root's apartment and maybe fucking her, but decided against it. She walked into her own apartment, locked the door, grabbed something to eat, and then turned on her Xbox. Shaw played until the sun began to rise, grabbed something to eat, and then went to bed. She couldn't sleep though, she kept thinking about Root. Shaw fished the sleeping pills she'd been prescribed forever ago and never taken, took one, and then waited for herself to fall asleep. Shaw woke up later in the afternoon, relaxed a bit, and then got ready to go to the gym for her fight.

Root sat on her floor with a beer, a box of whales, and a phone in her hand. She was waiting for the newest Samaritan app to download onto the phone so she could try to combat it as it uploaded the virus to the Thornhill device. She took a sip of the beer as the download finished and then she immediately started hacking into the software. She was in within seconds, just barely getting enough time to catch Samaritan's first string of the virus' code. Root shut that one down, but the others kept coming as if the first hadn't failed. Root took note of that mentally and eventually managed to stop the virus from uploading itself before opening the app and going back to check if that changed anything. The app didn't appear to work, so Root just deleted it and started again with other Samaritan apps until she decided she'd earned a break. Root grabbed her keys and a coat, the weather was freezing at night, so she could go pick up the groceries she needed to from the grocery store.

"Where are you going so late?" Shaw asked as she Root closed her door. Shaw took a couple of steps towards Root, but not enough to back her into the door.

"Shopping," Root said and Shaw nodded. "I need coffee and these little cookies. I ran out."

"Alright, well, night," Shaw said and Root grabbed her arm before she could walk away.

"I'm off tomorrow, I can get it then. Do you want to come over?" Root asked and Shaw nodded. Root unlocked her door and let them in before closing it. This time, Shaw was on her before the door was fully shut. Shaw took off Root's coat and her own hoodie before pushing Root down onto her couch. Shaw roughly kissed Root, biting her bottom lip. Shaw tugged Root's sweatpants down her legs, taking her underwear with them. Shaw pushed two fingers into Root and watched how Root reacted to her touch. Shaw brought her other hand in between Root's legs to tease her clit, bringing her closer to the edge faster. "Ah, fuck Root."

Shaw didn't say a word to her, but Root looked up to Shaw's eyes and what she saw pushed her over the edge. Shaw's eyes were darkened with lust and there was a little flush on her cheeks. Shaw's gaze was intensely focused on Root and Shaw didn't stop until Root had come twice. Shaw removed her fingers after Root's second orgasm and walked to the bathroom to wash her hands. Root pulled her pants and underwear up and got herself another beer. She got a second out for Shaw, hoping that she'd catch her before she ran out.

"Do you want a beer?" Root asked and Shaw accepted the drink.

"Thank you," Shaw said, opening the can as she sat next to Root on the couch. Root looked over at Shaw and noticed a couple of bruises on her body. Shaw could feel Root's eyes on her body, but ignored it. "The other girl looks worse. I think it was worth her time though, I know my pay off was."

"You don't just train people do you?" Shaw shook her head. Shaw finished her beer and then stood up. "I should go."

"Um, okay, bye," Root said and Shaw walked out of her apartment. Root locked her door and as she went to throw away her beer can, realized that Shaw had left her hoodie in Root's apartment.

Chapter Text

"Who are you seeing?" Reese asked, holding onto Shaw's punching bag. Shaw immediately stopped punching the bag and just stared at him for a moment. "Zoe asked me if I knew about some girl in the building you've been seeing."

"We slept together, it's no big deal," Shaw said, resuming her punching. "I've slept with Zoe too, many times. So have you, nobody is saying shit about it. Hell, I even kissed Carter once or twice."

"What?" Reese asked, dumbfounded.

"Yeah, Halloween party last year and Christmas party three years ago. Expensive alcohol does funny things to straight women Reese," Shaw said with a low laugh. Reese seemed slightly ticked, but he hadn't been serious with Carter yet, so Shaw didn't see the harm in the small kisses. Besides, she was certain that it was nothing compared to what Shaw had done with Zoe and Root.

"Well, I want to meet her. I'm curious of what your type is now that Zoe is off the market," Reese said, only half joking. Shaw could tell that, they'd known each other for a long time and could be considered best friends. Shaw had never really had a best friend before, so she wasn't super aware of the criteria, but she liked John more than she liked most people she didn't want to sleep with. "You could invite her to a game night."

"I could, but I probably won't," Shaw said honestly. Reese sighed and Shaw knew that if they really wanted to get to know her, her friends had ways around her. She didn't care though, but she wasn't going to actively try to introduce Root to her friends. It wasn't like them sleeping together was a thing because Shaw didn't do "things" with people. "Why would you need to know her? She'll be gone in a month tops."

"That's not what Zoe thinks and you know how Zoe's thoughts go," Reese said and Shaw rolled her eyes. She thought it was ridiculous how much faith they put in Zoe's predictions and "character analysis" of people. Zoe seemed to think she could predict what would happen in relationships, claiming that it was why she always got just what she wanted out of relationships. Shaw thought it was bullshit and had been glad that Zoe hadn't made any predictions about her love life yet, but she'd been thinking too soon.

"Ridiculous," Shaw argued and Reese seemed to buy into it. "You and Carter could always break up Reese."

"But I don't feel like we will, you know?" Reese knew she didn't know. Reese knew she didn't know shit about love and she hadn't since she was a little girl. Those things had never interested her, not enough to be sought after at least.

"Let's just finish up here," Shaw said, continuing to punch away at the bag. There was some added pack to her punch and Reese noticed. He didn't say anything though, he would like to keep his body free of bruises and breaks from an angry Shaw. He left to meet Carter for a quick date before she started a stakeout and Shaw walked home. Everything had been fine on the walk home, Shaw had picked up a few things for herself on the way home, but then she saw Root and Zoe talking outside. Both of them were a little dressed up, Zoe in a black dress she had definitely worn in court as a distraction before and Root in a pair of jeans that made her legs look like they'd never end. Shaw bit her lip to stop the soft hum of arousal settling itself in the pit of her stomach.

"Ah, just the gym rat I was looking for!" Zoe exclaimed excitedly. Shaw raised an eyebrow at her, but let her go on. "We're going to the bar and some extra muscle would be really helpful."

"Let me put this up first," Shaw said and Zoe nodded. Shaw put her things up and changed from her gym gear of sweats, a sports bra, and a jacket with the sleeves cut off to a pair of skinny jeans and a tight, long sleeved v-neck shirt. Shaw went back downstairs and met Zoe and Root outside.

"You look nice," Zoe said and Shaw shrugged.

"We're not doing this anymore, remember?" Zoe frowned at Shaw, but walked a bit ahead of her and Root, letting them be alone together for a bit. She was still close enough to listen in on their conversation, hoping that Root would take her advice. "Hey."

"Hi," Root said, less awkward than she would have if she had initiated the conversation.

"You go into work today?" Shaw asked and Root shook her head.

"Not to the store, but I did get a few things finished up for my personal clients. Tomorrow I'm not working on anything though, sometimes you need a day to relax for yourself," Root said and Shaw understood that. She was beginning to get really tired and with her break coming to an end, she needed to get some rest beforehand. She knew her body had limits and she didn't plan on testing how far those could really go. "It also opens me up to going home with somebody."

"Smart," Shaw said. Root was planting seeds, hoping to go home with Shaw, but she wasn't quite desperate enough to outwardly say it. Zoe applauded her on that bit of restraint, Shaw didn't necessarily like girls that were so desperately forward. "I like that idea."

Six drinks in and Root was a mess. Shaw was maybe 4 in and Zoe had bailed to meet somebody halfway to the bar. Shaw knew she could have turned around, but the idea of drinking with an attractive woman was too good to miss. Shaw glanced up from her beer glass to find Root staring at her like she was a piece of meat. Normally, Shaw would have punched whoever looked at her like that, but the darkness in Root's eyes was only reminding her how Root had been making her feel all night.

"We should go now," Root said, leaning towards Shaw.

"Is this something sober you would do?" Shaw asked and Root nodded.

"She wants this," Root promised and Shaw walked back with Root. Shaw unlocked Root's apartment for her and once the door was shut, Root was leading Shaw back to her bedroom. Root started undressing herself. Shaw watched as the tight jeans slid down Root's long and slender legs. Shaw bit her lip and surged forward, pretty much tackling Root onto the bed. Root let out a surprised, but playful little squeak and Shaw began planting kisses all over her body. Root reached out to try and take off Shaw's shirt, wanting to see the muscles hidden beneath the cotton shirt. "Please, take it off."

Shaw did so without a word. Root's mouth began to water as she reached out to touch the muscles on Shaw's stomach. Shaw let her touch and feel as she liked, but once Root had gotten her fill, she continued what she had been doing. Root's legs were wrapped around Shaw's waist, she'd been grinding herself against Shaw's abs and now both Shaw's lower abdomen and Root were practically soaked. Shaw moved her hand in between them and the fingertip of her middle finger dipped into Root. It had been slow at first, but then she'd slipped in easily. Root moaned and grabbed at Shaw's biceps as Shaw added another finger and began to fuck Root. She wasn't too rough, but she wasn't gentle either. The short nails digging into her arms were goading her to continue her unforgiving, but not senseless pace. Root arched her back and let out a loud cry of pleasure as she came.

"Lay with me." Root's voice was needy and Shaw normally never would have stayed that long, but she did. Shaw stayed with Root until she'd fallen asleep, and then she'd snuck out immediately. Shaw felt a little guilty about just leaving her, so she left a note on the fridge with her number, telling Root to call her any time she needed to get off.

Chapter Text

Shaw knocked on Root's door. She took a step back and waited for the taller woman to answer the door. Zoe and Carter had gone out with Reese and Fusco. Shaw had been invited too, but she couldn't have gone out. It was the perfect opportunity for her to spend some time for herself, she'd been overworking herself at the gym and keeping her head above water with her homework for classes. She had the ones she'd go to, with the labs and whatnot, and then the ones she just checked the online classroom for. Shaw was smart enough to figure out whatever she needed to on her own and she had all of the dates to come in for tests, so she was fine.

"Um, hi Shaw," Root said, looking very surprised. Shaw didn't blame her, it had been almost two weeks since Shaw had ran out on her after the bar. Shaw felt guilty, she actually had, enough to the point where she'd avoid Root. She had pretended not to be home when Root had come to check on her and she'd wait until she heard Root leave before going out. She had made things awkward between them because she was experiencing an emotion because of a girl other than horny, something she wasn't really used to. "It's been awhile."

"Yeah, I'm sorry," Shaw said. It wasn't completely a lie, but it didn't really sound right. "So, you're good with phones right?"

"Definitely," Root said and Shaw held out a mangled mess that used to be a phone. "Is this a joke?"

"No, it's my phone," Shaw answered. Root took it and laughed. She walked into her apartment and Shaw watched her toss it in the trash. "Hey, I need that."

"That will never work again. It looks like it's been run over," Root said and Shaw nodded. "Tomorrow, come in with me to the store and I'll get you a new phone."

"Thank you." Shaw lingered for a moment, even as Root closed the door on her. Shaw swore under her breath and went back to her apartment. She had a lab report to finish by midnight, so Shaw cracked down and got it done. It was nearly midnight by the time she had finished every other bit of homework she had and still, in the back of her mind and heart was the guilt from ghosting Root. "Cool, guess I'm a fucking idiot."

"What are you about to do?" Zoe asked as she saw Root standing with her hand raised by Shaw's door.

"Waking her up so I can get her a phone," Root said and Zoe let her proceed. Zoe left once she heard shuffling, running surprisingly fast for a woman wearing such high heels. Root didn't have to wait long to be greeted by a sleepy-looking Shaw. "Ready to get your phone?"

"Fuck, I guess," Shaw said, grabbing a coat. She shrugged it on and followed Root over to the elevator. Shaw leaned back against the railing along the side of the elevator and just sort of looked at Root. "I'm sorry for not talking to you the past couple of weeks."

"It's fine, we fucked. That's all you wanted right?" Root sounded hurt and for some reason, that bothered her more than any of her friends sounding hurt. "Let's just get you your phone and then I can do my job."

"Great, now I'm an idiot and an asshole," Shaw muttered under her breath. Root turned to ask her what she had said, only catching the last few words. Shaw didn't let her get a word of her question out, instead pressing her lips to Shaw's softly. Root's head was spinning, but she kissed Shaw back. Shaw's hands went to Root's ass, pulling her closer before the elevator came to a stop. The doors opened and they broke apart at the sound of a throat clearing.

"I came to your apartment to wake you up once and you threatened to knock my teeth in," Zoe said, arms crossed tightly over her chest. Shaw shrugged and put her hand behind Root's back. The two of them walked closely together to the parking lot. Shaw offered her car for them to take, which was much nicer than Root's, something Root noticed immediately.

"Call me when you get off work and we do something together," Shaw said and Root nodded. "Also, I'll pick you up."

"Sounds nice," Root had the smallest smile on her face as she spoke. Shaw did take notice of it and found it cute. Root talked about skipping college and getting the job working at Thornhill Technologies and how Samaritan was completely fucking up their phones in a way that should have been illegal. Their apps were literally a Trojan virus for Thornhill products. "What are you looking for in a phone?"

"I don't know, the last was a burner," Shaw said and Root nodded. She got Shaw a phone and drew up a contract with Shaw. Less than 10 minutes later, Shaw was walking out of the store with a new phone and Root's number in her phone.

"Alright, we need to talk about Shaw," Zoe said, cornering John in the gym. "She's super into Root."

"Root?" John asked and Zoe nodded. "Neighbor girl?"

"Yes, they're practically in love already. I swear, that girl must have a gold mine or something," Zoe said. Shaw hadn't been that into her and it was making her jealous. "She drove Root to work this morning and they were making out in the elevator."

"Were you in the elevator with them?" John asked. It was a valid question because he knew firsthand that boundaries were sometimes lost on Shaw, who had a talent for not giving the slightest shit about anything, ever.

"No, but seeing them together kind of made me jealous. I mean, here I thought I was the closest Shaw would get to an adult relationship. Here comes this new girl who gets in with Shaw within a couple of weeks," Zoe said and John shrugged. He really didn't know what to say. Shaw was weird about a lot of things and there wasn't a doubt in his mind that once Shaw realized her feelings for Root, it'd be a whole mess for them to try and fix. Shaw had emotions, but they were really ever expressed past the basic ones and John was certain that one as complex as love would set Shaw's world on fire.

"We'll all be there for her when she needs us. No matter what." Zoe knew John was warning her not to interfere. Zoe didn't need the warning though, she had gotten her time with Shaw and that was over now. Besides, Zoe spent enough time already being worried about Shaw's fights taking a turn for the worst, it'd only be worse if they were an actual item.

Chapter Text

Shaw sighed as she looked at herself in the mirror. John was working, Joss was working, and Zoe was in court. Nobody would see her going out with Root, but Shaw was still nervous for some reason. She wasn't ashamed of Root, Shaw actually really liked being around the computer nerd. Shaw was just nervous about what her friends would say when they saw Shaw going out on a real date with somebody. Technically, it was a hangout, but Shaw knew that it was more than what had been proposed in the store. Shaw took a deep breath and then walked out of her apartment and across the hallway to Root's. She knocked on the door and barely had to wait 30 seconds before Root opened the door. 

"You look a lot less casual than I expected," Root commented and Shaw looked at Root's outfit. Root was way more dressed up than Shaw was, but then again, Root probably thought Shaw was really dressed up for her. Shaw tried to think of a time when Root had seen Shaw in something other than sweatpants or shorts and a tank top, but blanked. "I like it though, you clean up nicely." 

"Thank you. You look really nice," Shaw said and Root took Shaw's hand in hers. Root shut her door and the two of them walked over to the elevator. Shaw pressed the button and then took the bit of time it took for the doors to open to get a good look at Root's outfit. She was wearing a pair of black slacks that could almost pass as skinny jeans and a floral button-up blouse done all the way up. Shaw took another moment to think about what she was wearing herself. Her jeans were worn in, her shirt was one of the few shirts that hadn't gotten the sleeves cut off of them or ripped up in any sort of way. 

"So, um, what did you want to do?" Root asked and Shaw wasn't sure about what she wanted to do. Shaw was definitely hungry, she had a light breakfast and had worked out before AND after she ate. "We could grab some lunch, go see a movie, or take a walk if you'd like?" 

"I don't go on a lot of dates, but I like food and who doesn't love a good movie?" Shaw was sort of thinking out loud, but that didn't matter because Root seemed satisfied with that answer. "Wait a minute, what kind of movie were you thinking?" 

"I watch a lot of science fiction and action movies. Don't worry, nothing too mushy," Root assured Shaw. 

"What if I like mushy?" Shaw asked with complete seriousness. 

"I didn't take you as that type, but if that's what you want. I'll get our tickets now," Root said and Shaw just nodded. Shaw didn't really like mushy, romantic movies, but she wasn't one to just back out of an easy challenge. Shaw had a restaurant near the movie theater picked out for them to eat lunch at and managed to talk Root into letting her pay for that since Root had paid for their tickets. "Are you going to try anything in the movie theater?" 

"This is our first date Root. What kind of woman do you take me for?" Shaw asked and Root smirked at her. 

"The kind that's fucked me twice before our first date," Root said and Shaw seemed surprised. Root wasn't exactly not confident, but she didn't strike Shaw as someone who was so casually brash. 

"Fair point," Shaw said with a little smirk. The talk over dinner was a bit lighter, but definitely still had some teasing/flirting going on with it. Shaw paid for their meal and then the two of them began their walk over to the theater. Shaw waited in line to get popcorn and candy while Root played one of the claw machine games. "What's that?" 

"I honestly have no idea. It's from this old cartoon though, Animaniacs," Root said as she held it in her arms. "I was gonna get another one, but I didn't know what you'd like." 

"Those are money traps," Shaw said and Root shrugged. 

"I definitely got my money's worth," Root said with a smirk. Shaw raised an eyebrow at her and Root opened up her tiny backpack. There were a couple pairs of earbuds and a few other little things from other prize machines. "They're only a trap if you don't know how to win. I could show you sometime." 

"Maybe, depends on how this date goes," Shaw said. The date was going well, but she didn't want to make it seem like she was too into anything. Shaw didn't put it past one of her friends to seek Root out and talk to her about Shaw. Root pouted at her and Shaw just tugged her along towards the theater. Root had gotten them seats in the back corner, away from any prying eyes. Once they were settled in their seats, Shaw put her arm around Root's shoulders. Root leaned into Shaw's hold and glanced up at the shorter woman. "Pay attention to the movie." 

"You're much more interesting," Root told her. Shaw looked down briefly and smirked. Root leaned up a bit for a kiss, which Shaw granted her. Shaw shifted a little and deepened the kiss. She got as far as getting her hand under Root's shirt before Root stopped her. "What kind of girl do you take me for Shaw?" 

"The kind to let me fuck her twice before the first date," Shaw said and Root removed Shaw's hands from her body.

"Pay attention to the movie like a good girl and then maybe we can take things back to your place."

"Are you cold?" Shaw asked as another wind chill caused Root to shiver. 

"N-no, I'm fine," Root stuttered. Shaw had to admit that she was a bit chilly, so she knew that Root was lying to her. Shaw placed her arm out in front of Root to stop her and then hailed a cab for the two of them. Shaw opened the door for Root and the taller woman slid inside. "Thank you." 

"I can't have you getting sick before I start the fun," Shaw said and Root leaned against Shaw's side. It wasn't quite cuddling, but that was only because Root honestly doubted that Shaw would let her cuddle. The cab ride was pretty short and quiet, but that was only because Root wasn't sure what kind of small talk to make with Shaw. "So, um, about that second date..." 

"You want to go on a second date?" Root asked, a little surprised. "Really?" 

"I mean, it'd be nice. Besides, you did offer to show me how to do those prize machines," Shaw said as the cab began to slow. It stopped and Shaw handed the cabbie a 20 before opening the door and waiting for Root. 

"Shaw, hey, I've been trying to reach you for a couple hours," Reese said and Shaw turned around quickly. "Where have you been?" 

"I went out," Shaw said and Root was now standing beside Shaw. Reese looked between the two of them and then nodded his head. "Shut up, not a word Reese." 

"I didn't say anything Shaw," Reese said and Root looked down at the sidewalk awkwardly. Shaw took Root's hand and tugged her past Reese and into the apartment building. 

"That was awkward, I'm sorry," Root said and Shaw got them into the elevator. 

"It's not your fault. He's just been a bit moody lately, he gets that way," Shaw said and Root nodded. "So, was the date good enough for you to come back to my apartment for a bit?" 

"Definitely," Root said and Shaw bit her lip. Once the elevator had stopped on their floor, Root was practically racing towards Shaw's door. Shaw was a couple steps behind Root and had the door unlocked quickly. Shaw closed the door and walked Root straight back to her bedroom. The room itself was pretty bare with just a bed, a dresser, and a desk with a laptop on it. Shaw pulled Root into her arms and then guided her towards the bed. Root felt her back hit the mattress and then Shaw's body on top of hers. Shaw leaned down and kissed Root, pushing her tongue past Root's lips. Root wrapped her arms around Shaw's neck and nipped at Shaw's bottom lip. 

"Ow," Shaw said and Root gave her a look. 

"You liked it," Root teased. 

"Never said I didn't." Shaw went back in for a kiss and Root kissed her back. Shaw's hands began to unbutton Root's shirt before unbuttoning Root's pants. Shaw sat up and pulled her own shirt off. Root's hands immediately moved to touch the muscle on her abdomen. "Get up." 

Root sat up and lifted her hips so that Shaw could take them off of her. Once her pants were gone, Root settled back against the bed and Shaw started kissing her neck. Shaw unhooked Root's bra and tossed it onto the floor behind her. Shaw started kissing lower on Root's body until her lips met the fabric of Root's underwear. Shaw removed those swiftly and then pushed Root's legs apart. Root's hand rested on the back of Shaw's head where her skull and neck connected. Shaw glanced up at Root to make sure that she was still into this, and then she dove right in. 

Shaw didn't bother with teasing Root. Instead, she sucked Root's clit into her mouth and then pushed two fingers inside of the taller woman. Root's back arched off of the bed a little, causing her hips to lift as well. Shaw let her have that for a couple of moments before she used her free arm to pin Root's hips to the bed. Shaw picked up the pace of her fingers and switched from sucking to licking, which changed the noises that Root was making. A part of Shaw wanted to add another finger, but Root was pretty tight as it was and Shaw had no idea how much pain this other girl could take. 

"Fuck, I think I'm close," Root said and Shaw picked things up a bit more. Moments later, Root's body was trembling and Shaw sort of coaxed her down from it. She at least did until she could fully remove her fingers. Root laid back on the bed until she felt Shaw get out of the bed. Root watched Shaw walk over to the door and open it like she was going to walk out, which she would have if Root hadn't asked the question that was burning on her mind. "When do I get to fuck you?" 

"What?" Shaw asked, turning around. 

"You always do me, but I never get to do you. I promise that I'm better than you think I am," Root said and Shaw quirked an eyebrow at her. 

"Nobody ever said that you were bad in bed," Shaw said. Her arms were crossed over her chest as she leaned against the doorframe. "Maybe I don't like getting fucked." 

"Everyone likes an orgasm." Root had a point, but that didn't stop whatever was holding Shaw back. "I feel like a pillow princess and I don't want you coming into this relationship thinking that's all I am." 

"Relationship, we went on one date," Shaw said, getting a little freaked out. It wasn't the idea of a relationship that scared her, it was the fact that she wanted one with Root. Root, the woman whose face was dropping and who looked terribly defeated as the meaning of Shaw's words settled in. 

"I should go. I had fun on our date," Root said and Shaw waited until Root was out of the apartment to bang her head against her bedroom door. Shaw groaned and then threw her fist into the wall next to the door, punching a hole clean through it. 

"Idiot and an asshole," Shaw mumbled to herself. She checked the time, changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top, and then went to the gym to blow off some steam. 

Chapter Text

"Whoa," Reese said as Shaw delivered another harsher than normal blow to the punching bag. She had been keeping to herself for the past couple of weeks. Shaw had stayed in her apartment during the day and went to the gym at night. This was the first time since Reese had seen Shaw and Root getting out of that cab together that he managed to talk Shaw into going out to the gym during the day. Reese was worried about Shaw, everyone was, but they knew they had to be patient. Shaw sent a flurry of hard punches before ending it with a particularly rough one. Reese heard the crack and looked up to see Shaw's jaw clenched as she held her hand. "Are you okay?" 

"I think I broke it," Shaw said and Reese walked over to check on her. "I'm fine Reese."

"Are you really Shaw?" Reese asked. He sounded angry with her. "Because nobody else thinks you are. In fact, we all think you're far from it. What happened to you?" 

"Nothing happened Reese, just leave me alone," Shaw said and Reese stepped closer to her. Shaw pushed past him and walked out of the gym. She stopped to get some bandages to wrap her hand up and something for dinner. It was getting dark outside when she left the gym, and was completely dark by the time she got back to the apartment building. Reese wasn't outside waiting for her, which was a good thing, but she could see two people standing on the opposite side of the stairs. Shaw slowed down a bit and watched them. One was a large guy and the other was a smaller woman. She wasn't small, taller than Shaw, but skinny and lanky. 

"You got what you wanted, just leave now." Shaw paused at the sound of Root's voice. She almost sounded distressed and Shaw found that she didn't like that. This guy could definitely take Root, so Shaw ducked down and stayed hidden as she watched them. He took a step closer to Root and she cowered back a bit. Shaw stepped in then. 

"Hey, we're talking here!" he yelled as Shaw stepped in between them. 

"No, it didn't look like talking to me. I feel like you were threatening her and I don't like that. Actually, I don't like you either, so scram before I decide to do something about it," Shaw said and the guy looked between the two women. 

"We are not done here you bitch," he said to Root. Root put her hand on Shaw's shoulder to get her attention as the guy walked off. 

"Thank you, but you might have just made the situation worse," Root said and Shaw raised an eyebrow at her. 

"I made him go away," Shaw pointed out. 

"Temporarily. He's a client, he knows where I live, and he's got a lot of money. I'm sure he would have no problem finding someone to come after us," Root said and Shaw shrugged it off. "Thank you though. It was noble of you to do that for me. Especially since you hate me." 

"I don't hate you," Shaw said and Root sat down on the steps in front of their building. "I was mad at myself, not you. You didn't do anything, I got confused and I don't like being confused, so I got angry. Then I realized how stupid I was being and got even angrier with myself." 

"I pushed too much," Root said and Shaw shook her head. 

"No you didn't. Let's just start over, okay?" Shaw asked and Root nodded. 

"Hi, I'm Root," Root said, holding her hand out. Shaw sighed and decided to play along. 

"I'm Shaw." Shaw placed her broken hand in Root's and winced when Root shook it with the smallest amount of pressure.

"Are you hurt?" Root asked, genuinely concerned. 

"I might have broken my hand a little bit at the gym. If I tell you what to do, do you think you could maybe help me wrap it?" Shaw asked and Root nodded. They went inside and up to Shaw's apartment. Root was a bit hesitant because of how things had been the last time they went there, but Shaw assured her that things would be fine. Root followed each of Shaw's instructions perfectly and within the hour, Shaw's hand was wrapped up and Root was sitting on her counter, both of them eating ice cream. "So, about that date we had planned..." 

"Not right now. I'm not sure that you've made it up to me completely. With your hand broken, I'm not sure that you can make it up to me properly," Root teased and Shaw furrowed her eyebrows. Root noticed a bit of a pout coming from Shaw and she started laughing. "Relax, we won't stop having sex completely. I just want to set some rules and shit." 

"Sounds like you're trying to set up a relationship to me," Shaw said, crossing her arms over her chest. This time, Root pouted at her and Shaw felt her resolve begin to deplete. "Root, relationships and me aren't a thing." 

"You don't know that because I doubt you've tried." Root sounded a little frustrated and Shaw began to feel bad. "This doesn't have to be a relationship. It can be a friendship with sex, that's fine. I just wanted to maybe set aside a time or two a month where we hung out without having sex. Other than those times, you can come over to fuck anytime you want unless I'm super busy." 

"Why would you want to be friends with me? All I've done with you is upset you and have sex a couple times," Shaw said and Root sighed. 

"Because I like being around you. There's something about you that makes me feel different, I don't know what it is," Root said and Shaw shrugged. "Besides, it's not everyday that a hot stranger knocks on your door covered in blood, buys you a bottle of vodka, and gives you the best orgasms of your life." 

"The best?" Shaw asked with a proud little smirk. 

"The best. Maybe sometime I can show you how good I am for reference," Root offered and Shaw sighed. "Too much too soon?" 

"I don't know if I could do it properly," Shaw joked and Root pulled her in for a kiss. Shaw's mouth tasted like the beer she'd been drinking and chocolate ice cream. Root pushed her tongue past Shaw's lips and Shaw let her have control of the kiss. Root moaned into the kiss as Shaw's not broken hand palmed at her breast. Shaw broke the kiss when she heard Root moan, but mainly because she wasn't sure if she could have stopped herself later. "I want to do this, but maybe we should wait." 

"You look happier," Carter said as she sat down across from Shaw and Zoe. 

"Definitely, but you're still not getting laid," Zoe pointed out and Shaw rolled her eyes at the blonde. "What happened with the neighbor?" 

"We talked and worked things out a couple days ago," Shaw said and Zoe leaned forward a bit. She studied Shaw and then backed away. 

"I'm proud that you stepped up," Zoe told Shaw. Carter nodded and Shaw just stirred her ice around in her drink a bit. "So, when do we all get an official meeting with Sameen Shaw's new girlfriend?" 

"Root isn't my girlfriend," Shaw corrected. It didn't matter because in everybody else's eyes, Root and Shaw were gonna end up being together. Zoe had spoken it into existence and she was the one who everybody trusted when it came to relationship stuff. She had predicted that Carter and Reese would get together months before they did and she even predicted Fusco landing quite a few dates with a girl who worked at the bar across from the station. 

"Do you want her to be?" Carter asked and Shaw shrugged. "If you were that type, would you?" 

"I guess, she's interesting and the sex is great. I don't really like that she makes me do and think about things I normally wouldn't," Shaw said as the waitress set their food down. Zoe pressed Shaw for questions as they ate, knowing that if Shaw could get words out in between bites, Zoe could get almost any answers she wanted. Carter left money for her part of the check when it came time for her to get back to work. "Why are you being so nosy about this? I thought you were over me." 

"I am, but I'm curious about you. I mean, you're different. You say you're one thing, but constantly prove that to be wrong," Zoe said and Shaw shrugged. "Do you want me to get you dessert or will you be seeing Root?" 

"She works early tomorrow. I shouldn't keep her up too late," Shaw said and Zoe smiled at her. "What?" 

"You have her work schedule?" Zoe asked and Shaw nodded. "When did that happen?" 

"When I asked her out on a date for tomorrow," Shaw said and Zoe raised an eyebrow. 

"You asked her out?" Zoe asked in pure disbelief. 

"Yeah, I did. We're going to do laser tag at an arcade and she's gonna show me how to win at the claw machines." There was a little smile on Shaw's face as she told Zoe about the date she had planned with Root and the lawyer didn't miss it. 

"Well, good luck to you then."

Shaw waited outside of the Thornhill Tech store for Root. She had woken up a bit later than planned, went for a run, got in a quick workout at home, and then gotten ready for their date. Root agreed to go straight from work to the arcade if Shaw would pick her up and be willing to wait long enough for her to change her shirt. Shaw agreed to that and she was sort of grateful because she had a chance to pick up a couple things she'd been needing in her apartment. 

"I'm starting to think you have the same outfit for every date," Root said with a chuckle. Shaw looked down and realized that she'd worn the same outfit that she had on their last date. "It's okay. Definitely still hot." 

"You think I'm hot?" Shaw asked and Root nodded. The taller woman placed a hand on Shaw's bicep and let her fingers trail down Shaw's arm. "Flirting already. Are you sure you wanna go out to the arcade?" 

"Definitely," Root said excitedly. "Besides, you were all about laser tag when I told you where we'd be going." 

"No, I was all about the passes where you got laser tag and a pizza buffet," Shaw said and Root just dragged her out to the parking lot. Root paused as Shaw walked towards her car. She had seen the muscle car in the parking lot of their building before, but she had assumed it was Reese's or someone on a higher floor's. "Come on, the seats are heated." 

"Nice car," Root said and Shaw nodded. 

"We're not having sex in it. I just got new leather put on the seats," Shaw said and Root nodded. "However, it is definitely open to be made out in." 

"What if I sat on your lap instead of the seat?" Root suggested. 

"We'll see," Shaw promised and Root was happy with that answer. 

Chapter Text

"I take it that your date went well," Zoe said as she set a beer down in front of Shaw. They were supposed to be having a nice dinner at Zoe's apartment to make up for the two Fridays that Shaw had missed because she was out with Root. "You know, Fusco saw you at that nice deli by the station. I know you like your sandwiches from that health hazard of a restaurant on ninth." 

"Sometimes I like to splurge." Shaw tried to play it cool. She knew that it was probably smart to just answer Zoe's questions in private, but she'd just wait to tell all of her friends at once she wasn't taking questions about her new relationship. "That's all." 

"That is absolutely not all, but I'll let you live in denial for now." Shaw was honestly surprised that Zoe let the conversation go so easily. "Where did you mention Root working?" 

"I didn't," Shaw said as she took a sip of her beer. "You know, I might have to skip out on tonight." 

"Oh no you don't," Carter said and Shaw sat back down. "You're sitting with us, eating with us, and maybe even telling us why you bailed on us last week. I excused that first one because you took a beating Thursday night and if I know you, you don't leave dirty fights in the cage." 

"For the sake of our workout session tomorrow, can we leave Shaw alone please?" Reese asked and Carter agreed to drop it there. Fusco was late, but he brought wine to make up for it. Shaw was more of a beer girl, but for the fancy dinners, she'd indulge Zoe and have a glass of two of wine. Reese talked about a case that he had been assigned with Fusco, Carter complained about the hours working with other rookies, and Zoe told everybody about the date she'd gone on. Shaw excused herself a bit earlier than she normally would have and then went down to her apartment. Instead of taking the elevator, she took the stairs, knowing that she needed to build cardio for her next big fight. It wasn't at the gym where she could go in and get a weekly fight, but at a sanctioned gym with mandatory training camps, weight classes, and a more extensive care program. 

"Shaw, hi," Root said as she stepped out of the elevator. Shaw turned and smiled at Root. Root leaned towards Shaw and Shaw closed the distance between them with a kiss. It was fine until Shaw tasted blood on Root's tongue. 

"Are you bleeding?" Shaw asked and Root looked down at the floor. "What happened?" 

"It's stupid," Root said as she ran to unlock her door. Shaw followed her and pressed her for an answer. "If I tell you will you leave me alone for the night to get drunk and sulk in embarrassment?" 

"You have my word. I'll even give you a bottle of tequila," Shaw promised and Root sighed. 

"I tripped on the steps coming into the building. I've been really tired lately and I just need to sleep, but you should come over tomorrow if you can," Root said and Shaw nodded. 

"I'll bring my alcohol tomorrow. Don't drink, but go to sleep. I'll come to check on you with breakfast in the morning," Shaw said and nothing sounded better to Root in that moment. "I'll see you in the morning." 

"Yeah, in the morning," Root echoed.

Root hadn't expected Shaw to be over so soon. She also hadn't expected to sleep through her 8 o'clock, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11, and 12 o'clock alarms, but she did. As soon as Root had woken up, Shaw was at her door, knocking. Root took a moment to freshen herself up and then she answered the door. Shaw greeted her with a kiss and then came inside with food from the diner. 

"So, I ate your breakfast like three hours ago, but I brought lunch instead," Shaw told her. "I got us an extra piece of pie and managed to escape Zoe's questioning when I was waiting on my food. I forget she gets her late morning coffee at the diner sometimes." 

"What have you been up to?" Root asked and Shaw shrugged. 

"What do you think I've been up to?" 

"I think you went to the gym because of your outfit. I think you went to get me food at least twice today. I think you're excited because we both know where this lunch date leads," Root told Shaw. 

"Where exactly is this date gonna lead?" Shaw asked innocently. 

"Hopefully to my bedroom where we'll either have sex or I'll let you play the modified console I finished last night." Shaw knew that Root hadn't gone straight to bed after their meeting in the hallway, but she didn't know how late the computer geek had stayed up. Shaw brushed away the thought and focused on eating her food and whatever Root didn't want. The walk back to Root's bedroom had made Shaw think that they'd be naked before they made it to Root's bed, but then Shaw's eyes landed on the modified console. 

"That is awesome," Shaw said as she moved towards it. "Can you show me how it works?" 

"I absolutely can," Root said and that was what they spent the rest of their day doing. 

"Oh my god, you stayed over," Root said as she walked into her kitchen to see Shaw making breakfast. 

"I guess I fell asleep sometime last night. Sorry," Shaw apologized. 

"Don't apologize, this is a big step for us. I mean, normally you left before you wiped my cum off your fingers," Root said and Shaw seemed almost ashamed by that. "Am I starting to tame you?" 

"I have a class in like, less than an hour, so I'm gonna go get ready. I made you coffee, have a good day at work," Shaw said and Root rolled her eyes. 

"I have the next week off!" Root called out as Shaw left her apartment. Root went over to her dining room table with a cup of coffee that was sitting out for her and she got started on little private projects for different clients. She got a couple done and arranged meetings to drop them off, finishing almost all of that just as Shaw was coming back from her classes and the gym with Reese and Fusco. "Shaw, hi." 

"Hey Root," Shaw said, biting her lip as she looked at the taller woman. "This is Reese and Fusco, you remember them right?" 

"Ah yes, John and Lionel," Root said as she shook their hands. "Shaw, do you think you could accompany me to a drop off?" 

"If you think you need me, I'm happy to be of service," Shaw agreed. Root linked her arm with Shaw's and then pulled her away from the two cops. The two women walked through the streets to a nearby park. "This is a little sketchy. I mean, who are you meeting?" 

"A very well paying client," Root said and Shaw sighed. She could feel it in her gut that there was going to be some sort of fight erupting. Root walked ahead towards a hooded man sitting on a park bench and Shaw kept her distance, but tried to remain close. She watched the exchange and then hurried to get Root whenever she noticed the uncomfortable look on the woman's face. 

"Excuse me, you wouldn't happen to know where there's a gas station would you?" Shaw asked, pretending to be a jogger. Root looked relieved and the man looked annoyed. 

"There wouldn't be one in this park, so maybe you should leave," he said and Root stood up. 

"I'll show you where one is," Root said and Shaw smiled at her. The two of them walked out of the park together and took a couple of detours to get to their apartment building. "Thank you for that out there." 

"No problem, how much did you make?" Shaw asked and Root opened up the envelope. She counted it and swore under her breath. "What's wrong?" 

"He cheated me out of that. It was supposed to be 10,000, but there's only 7,000 in here," Root told her. "I'm going back there and getting the rest of my money." 

"No, you're not. I saw his face, I'll do it for you. Those hands are not money getting hands," Shaw said and Root thanked her. "Now, I believe you have a bed that needs warmed up." 

Chapter Text

"Is there a reason you're sitting outside of my apartment Root?" Shaw asked as she walked from the elevator towards her apartment. Root stood up from Shaw's doormat and dusted herself off. "Not that I'm not happy to see you." 

"I wanted to ask if you wanted to go to a movie with me," Root said and Shaw nodded. 

"You can come in and sit while I get ready," Shaw offered and Root smiled in acceptance. Shaw unlocked her front door and the two of them went inside of her apartment. Root sat on the couch and waited for Shaw to get ready. It didn't take that long, which Root was grateful for. Shaw had gotten home from her classes later than expected and Root hadn't been completely honest with why she was outside of Shaw's apartment. "So, what movie are we going to see?" 

"Whichever you want to see. There's a horror movie and some new Disney movie playing at the theater a couple blocks from here in 15, but if you want, we can grab something quick to eat and then go to the theater with the reclining seats and watch that new Angelina Jolie movie," Root suggested. Shaw's stomach answered for her and she grabbed her car keys so they could get going. "You know, it's kind of weird that you actually drive in New York." 

"It's not exactly my plan to stay here forever. I like the area, but I'd like to move out of the city eventually," Shaw told her. Root smiled to herself at the progress she'd been making with Shaw. They had been talking more and spending a lot less of their time fucking around. Yes, they still definitely had a lot of sex, but Shaw wasn't trying to deflect questions with it now. "What about you?" 

"I don't really know what I want," Root said and Shaw nodded. 

"Understandable." Shaw pulled Root out of her apartment and down the hall. Root was sort of surprised that Shaw didn't immediately let go of her once they were in the hallway. Somebody could see them together, and technically, nobody knew that they were dating. Yes, it had been a couple of months since Shaw came to her and mended their relationship, but things were still a secret.

"Are you excited about this?" Root asked as they found their seats towards the back. 

"Um, I guess. Are you?" Shaw asked and Root shrugged. "What kind of movies do you like?" 

"Science-y ones I guess. Also, I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy," Root told her. "They make people happy and sad, which normally amounts to cuddly and touchy." 

"I'm not a cuddly person," Shaw told her. Root rolled her eyes and put Shaw's arm around her shoulders. Shaw didn't move it the entire movie, not even as Root turned to make out with her. Shaw liked action movies, the ones with senseless violence and the occasional one-liner before somebody got killed. This was the type of movie that Shaw would have been completely engrossed in, but instead, all she could think about was Root's body pressed against hers. Then, she was thinking about how nice Root's lips felt on hers and how she wanted to do a lot more than make out. "Can you be quiet?" 

"Quieter than a mouse," Root promised. Shaw slowly moved her hand up Root's thigh and then against the inseam of her jeans. Shaw popped the button of Root's jeans and Root pulled the zipper down herself. Shaw pushed Root's legs apart and slipped her hand into Root's pants. Root let out a soft moan as Shaw began to tease Root, running her finger through Root's folds through her underwear. "Shaw, please." 

"I don't know if you're wet enough for me," Shaw teased. Root bit her lip and Shaw watched her closely. Shaw pushed Root's underwear to the side and repeated her actions before, but without that barrier separating them. Shaw was able to push into Root, who gasped in pleasure at the feeling. "I said be quiet, you don't wanna get us kicked out, do you?" 

"No, I don't." Root tried to keep her tone steady. Shaw continued to slowly fuck Root with her finger before Root put her hand over her mouth so Shaw could do more. Shaw teased Root a little longer and then gave her what she needed. Root kept as quiet as she could and Shaw made sure to work quickly because they weren't exactly alone in the theater. Root's little squeak when she came didn't go unnoticed by Shaw, who stopped after that, knowing it was a bit risky to go for another round in the theater. 

"Are you staying again tonight?" Root asked as Shaw sat up in her bed. After the theater, they had come back to Root's apartment and Root had gotten her second, third, and fourth round. Root was exhausted, much too tired for a fifth, but that didn't mean they could indulge a bit in the morning before breakfast. 

"I have to study for an exam," Shaw told her and Root frowned. "I'd stay if I didn't have to study. You rest up because when I get back, you're gonna need a lot of rest." 

"Promise?" Root asked and Shaw nodded. 

"Promise, now I'll be back in the morning," Shaw told her. Root watched her get dressed and then decided that it was a better time than any to say her piece. 

"I want us to be exclusive. I want you to be my girlfriend." Shaw paused and slowly turned around to face Root. "Do you think that's something we can manage?" 

"I don't know how it'll work out, but I guess that as far as people go, I like you and I'm willing to try," Shaw told her. "So, yeah, I'll be your girlfriend."