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Root and Shaw: A Choose Your Own Adventure fic

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Screams of pain shoot like lightning across the expanse of the abandoned warehouse lot. Root can’t think of a better start to the day.

She and Shaw are just finishing up a particularly tumultuous run in with a biker gang peddling meth, just an hour outside the city. Their ammo was long gone by the time the bikers caught up and the situation wasn’t looking particularly good… until Shaw manage to get ahold a one of the bikers’ knives.

It was over very quickly after that.

No matter how many times Root sees Shaw in action, she never loses that sense of awe. Shaw is quick, efficient and brutal- all qualities that Root greatly admires.

Root watches as Shaw shucks the blade from where it’s sheathed in the lead biker’s back, and makes her way towards the truck they stole earlier.

Root catches up quickly, sliding in the passenger side of the cab as Shaw turns over the ignition.

“You’ve got a little something...” Root starts, moving to wipe the blood smear from Shaw’s cheek. Her hand is batted away before it reaches its destination though, and Shaw swipes at the spot on her cheek with the back of her own hand- which just smears more blood.

Root runs her eyes over the length of Shaw’s body as they pull back onto the main road. The crimson pattern adorns the rest of Shaw’s clothing too, and Root bites her lip and chides herself slightly because what does it say about either of them that blood spattered is one of the looks Root finds most attractive on Shaw?

Desires aside, Root thinks, There’s practicality to attend to. “I don’t think we’re going to go far with you looking so... conspicuous. We’re going to need to stop somewhere and get you out of those clothes...” Okay, well, needs and wants do sometimes overlap.

Shaw rolls her eyes at the innuendo, but otherwise ignores it. “Ask The Machine where the nearest place I can grab some clothes, then.”

The Machine chimes in Root’s ear, and she verbalizes it. “Next exit. There’s a second hand clothing store. They have donation bins in the alley out back so we won’t have to go into the actual store. You can find something there.”

“Fine. The faster we get out of here the faster I can get something to eat. Preferably, a really good steak.”

“You’re in the mood... for steak?” Root grins, taking in the Shaw’s bloodied appearance and the equally bloodied knife laying on the seat between them.

“Yes,” Shaw answers flatly, paying more attention to the road than Root. “Not likely I’m going to find a good one in middle-of-nowhere Upstate though...”

Root almost jumps as The Machine chimes in again, loudly , this time. “Well She says a place called Alexander’s down the road from here that has an excellent steak.”

“Doubt it.” Shaw huffs, parking the truck, exiting and heading over to start riffling through the donation bin.

Root hops out and moves to help dig through the bin as well. After a few moments, The Machine chimes in again. Root frowns, “For some reason, She is insisting the intel is viable.”

“What intel?” Shaw asks distracted. She holds up a pair of dark colored jeans to herself, only to find they’re about 6” too long. She discards them and continues her search.

“The steak intel, apparently.”

Shaw finally looks up at Root, brow furrowed. “So suddenly your all-seeing, all-knowing AI has nothing better to do than make restaurant recs?”

Root shrugs, and continues digging through clothes again. “Oh this looks perfect- it’s your size too,” Root grins before tossing her prize- a flamingo pink, taffeta prom dress- towards her shorter companion.

Shaw catches it before it hits her in the face. “No.”

“Why not?”

“No place to put my gun,” she sneers, oozing sarcasm.

“Oh relax,” Root sing-songs. “It’s just for a little while. Besides, the sooner you change, the sooner you can get that steak, right?"

Shaw glowers lower, and grits her teeth, "Fine." She grabs an oversized tan trench coat from the pile as well, before ducking behind the large bin to change.

When she finally emerges, Root doesn't even begin to mask her amusement as she rakes her eyes up and down the shorter woman.

Shaw's scowls in response- which only adds the absurdity of her pink-ruffled appearance. "Not a word," she growls as they both move to hop back into the truck. "And this place of yours better have takeout," she mutters.

"I hope so because I don't think you'll meet the dress code, Colombo," Root grins again, closing the truck door behind her before adding, "Well, their dress code at least. You always look good me."

Shaw lets out a annoyed huff in response, but before things go any further, a voice rings through their coms.

“Ms. Shaw? Ms. Groves? How are things going with our friends the bikers?” Harold’s clipped voice trills in their ears.

“All taken care of Harry,” Root chirps back.

“Glad to hear it, Ms. Groves, but I need you both back here as soon as you can. We have another number.”

“Will do,” Root answers, before the line goes dead. She turns to Shaw, who’s already turning over the keys in the ignition. “Sorry Sweetie, looks like we’ll need a raincheck on that date. Just as well, I suppose,” she grins. "I don't have a corsage for you anyway."

Shaw rolls her eyes once more before turning the truck around, back towards the city.




The trip back to the library was quiet and uneventful. They arrived shortly before noon and after quickly changing clothes- swapping the absurd pink monstrosity of a dress for her spare set of black-on-black shirt and jeans combo- and grabbing a granola bar to tide her over, Shaw joins Root and Harold upstairs at the computer.

“Will the big lug be joining us?” Root asks, as Shaw enters, moving to sit on the edge of the desk across from them both.

“No, unfortunately Mr. Reese will be assisting Detective Fusco with a matter of some importance across town. So I’m afraid you’ll have to work this one yourselves.”

Shaw looks up in time to see Root’s smile widen at this. She meet’s Shaw’s eyes, and gives her a little wink, before returning her attention to the computer screen. Shaw frowns at this slightly, but Harold interrupts any thoughts she may have on the matter, and draws her attention once more.

“Meet our new number,” he begins. “Benjamin Polk. I don’t have too much information just yet so I’ll need you both to get closer to him to gain more information. I’m in the process of creating cover identities for both of you.”

“Why can’t we just do regular surveillance?” Shaw asks.

“Well, it seems Mr. Polk has a rather... tricky occupation for surveillance…”

“Harold,” Shaw growls, impatience growing. The adrenaline from the fight earlier has long since subsided, leaving her itching for more. “What exactly does this guy do for a living?”