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Root is a kinky little fucker.

That much you knew within three minutes of meeting her. As Veronica or whomever she was supposed to be. That much you knew when a little spark of delight zipped across her face as she tapped her finger to that iron and then pressed the corner of it to your collar bone, smiling tenderly, like it was her lips she was pressing to your skin, and not a scorching piece of metal.

You knew she was into weird shit, and you knew she was into you. All those weirdly specific S&M comments. All those suspiciously perfect sandwiches that just mysteriously showed up when she was around, the prime cuts of steak, the unreleased models of pistols and rifles and scopes. The fun little bombs she'd give you to play with. All that swag she dropped in your lap pretty much tipped you off to the fact that you had a fan club of one.

As for the weird shit... well, you've never been opposed to rough sex. In fact, it kind of turns you on in a really deep, really intense way. And Root is a master of the rough n tumble. Like a brisk shower feels nice, right? It's cool and refreshing enough. Ok, but swimming in the salty, briny, cold ocean and matching its power with your own? Now that's fucking epic. And if everyone you'd ever fucked before had been a nice refreshing shower, Root is all the oceans in the world spun into one. She's crazy and powerful and she runs cold and deep. And her currents match yours through and through.

You like to slam her into things. Walls, tables, washing machines, farm equipment, closets. Anything you figure will leave a unique bruise on her. Root has pale, delicate skin. She bruises easily. She bruises easily and she likes it. The first time you hip check her- because she's getting too handsy in the back of a truck, you hear the soft "ooph" of breath leave her as she buffets into something. You see her eyes widen and darken immensely in what you can't pretend is anything but pleasure as the quick kiss of pain radiates away. She's back behind you immediately, hands all over your hips, your thighs, your abs.

"What's it gonna take to get you to back off?" You ask.

"What's it going to take to get you to slam me around again?" She replies.

When you do slam her around again, it's good. But that's the thing with Root: it's always good. You push her into a closet and you hope some hangers elbow her in the face as she goes. You're in after her, backing her into some dumb number's winter coats and boots and cardboard boxes. After the requisite shoving comes the kissing. It's her party trick, not yours, but you have to admit, Root's good at mouth work. Her tongue tastes wonderful, like her, and her lips and teeth are everywhere and nowhere near enough. One second you're running rampant on her, tongue inside her mouth, taking, taking, having, and the next, she's biting your earlobe, your neck, your collar bone, sharpening her teeth on you.

You like fucking in closets, just you and Root and a dark, close space, barely enough room to tug her pants down. You like to savor that moment when you pull her tight jeans down to her knees, exposing the soft flesh of her thighs, those sharp hipbones, the thick shadows leading to her pussy. You have a rule with yourself. You can be as rough and tumble as you want with her for all of the sex all of the times, but the first touch, the first time in an encounter that your hand or your mouth touches her pussy, you have to be gentle. Just for a second. Because Root is a firestorm, but she's also a woman with a goddamn beautiful pussy. And she trusts you enough to let you fuck her. And she always looks so much more naked when she's 3/4 dressed, with her jeans rucked down and locking her legs in place, than she does when she's all the way nude.

You like to run your hands over her, hard and searching, punishing and marking. Root likes it too: she doesn't moan and whimper and beg like other women you've been with. Root demands. Root says things like "fuck, Shaw, harder" and "slap me like you mean it," and "destroy me." You do your damndest to give her exactly what she wants. You roll her nipples hard between your fingers, toying and tugging. You flip her around so she gets a mouth full of parka sleeves and blazer lapels and you squeeze her ass, hard enough to leave fingerprint bruises. She grunts and you tease, pulling her cheeks apart. Root's ass cheeks are supple and sensitive and when you get hands back there she's so responsive, thrusting her ass back to meet your palms.

"Oooh, is it that kind of party?" she asks, breathless, eager, "I would have prepared for the occasion."

You kiss the nape of her neck, lick your way up to her good ear.

"Maybe later,"

You squeeze her ass a couple more times, sharp and possessive. You hadn't planned on buttfucking in a closet and you don't have lube or anything else, so you keep your fingers at a respectable distance, dropping down to enter her pussy from behind. It's a good angle. She's so hot and slick. Her muscles welcome you, clenching and squishing around your fingers. You can hear her hiss "yesssss" into whatever material she's biting down on. You fuck her deep and long, your small wrists aching like it's the two hundred and twentieth pushup. Sometimes you get halfway through fucking her and have to stop because she wants you to smack her ass, "harder Sameen, don't be so polite."

Most of the time you don't get a chance to slam Root around though. Because Root's one of those animals that likes to play with their food before they eat it. And Root LOOOOVES playing with you. As much as you get off on the rush of throwing her headfirst into an all-consuming flood of orgasm, Root gets off on making you squirm and beg and plead for release. She practically comes just from watching you suffer.

Ok. you get off on it too, eventually.

Because Root is like the ocean, and you could swim along her shore forever, probably.

Root likes to do fucked up shit, like tie you to the bed with a vibrator inside you and a slowly pulsating butt plug in your ass. She'll torture your nipples for a while, maybe use a riding crop on you, and then just leave you. It's the leaving you that feels the most fucked up. Usually you're blindfolded. Sometimes you're trussed up in really vulnerable and humiliating positions. You never know if she's watching you, maybe fingering herself while you writhe around in search of satisfaction. She could be in the next room, hacking into the IRS for all you know. She always comes back though, even if it's an hour later and you're literally crying in frustration. She'll tug the blindfold off you and she'll twist the vibrator inside you, thrusting deep and hard, suckling on your clit until you come in wave after crushing wave.

Root is weird and kinky and committed to sex. Three qualities you greatly appreciate in a partner. She's a tiger when you want to be in charge, clawing and biting and giving back as good as she gets and loving every minute of it. And when she tops you... well.... Nobody else has ever made you come so hard you blacked out.

And as weird and kinky as the shit Root gets you to do to her is, the shit she's willing to do to you is even better. Every dark and twisted fantasy you've ever had, Root will cheerfully and exuberantly act out with you. Want to get fucked in the ass with a strap-on while being choked out through an old-fashioned gas mask? Root's down for that. Curious about how long she'd have to paddle your ass before you'd come just from the stimulation? Root will have her stopwatch out and be rolling up her sleeves before you're done asking. Interested in getting your nips shocked during sex, just to see how it feels? Root will play. Want to eat her pussy under water til you black out? Yeah, she's game. Got a blowtorch and a penknife and some lingering, unanswered questions about your pain threshold? Root is happy to oblige. Handcuffs, whips, torture, sex swings, restraints, oil-wrestling-turned-fucking, all the dark and unexplored territories of assplay... there's nobody else you'd trust more with your body. Regardless of your history taserings and druggings. Like Root says, "what are a few harmless kidnappings between friends?"

And you are friends, you can admit that. No big deal. John's a friend, Finch is a boss friend, Bear is a friend, and Root's a friend. But somewhere between trying out her vibrating sex glove on you and accidentally breaking the clothes bar of your closet by pulling too hard on it while you finger her to the future and back, Root has appointed herself your best friend. And there's no getting out of it (you know, you tried, it resulted in Root developing a lifelong fear of elevators and you developing a lifelong hatred of the stock exchange). Nope, you're her best friend and you have no say in the matter.

"I made us a best friends road trip playlist" she'll inform you as you load a body, ready for disposal, into the trunk of a burner car.

"It better not have Blondie on it this time."

Root just smirks at you.

She'll show up at the subway with sexy little matte finish submachine, and hand it off to you.

"Saw this and had to appropriate it for ya, bestie" Root winks.

And the gun makes you soar inside but you're not sure you really know what she means when she says "best friend" and that thought makes you feel sore, like a pulled muscle after a long run. Like what makes you "best"? Is it the sex? It's probably the sex. Literally nobody is better at the sex than you. You've slept with almost everyone worth sleeping with, so you can confirm this.

Still...

"Flat white with soy for me and black with three sugars for my best friend," Root chirps at the Starbucks barista. And honestly, with the way Root's eyes track your micro-expressions (and she knows how to decipher them) and the way her fingers always find their way into the deepest recesses of your back pockets and poke annoyingly at your butt, she's really not fooling anybody.

"Best friend," you mutter, sipping on your coffee as you set up your sniper rifle. "Best friend my ass."

"What's this I hear about your ass?" An interested voice inquires over the comms. Which of bloody course you left on.

"Nothing," you reply, "I said broken glass. There's broken glass on this roof. Looks like bottle rocket central."

"Well don't sit on any. I have plans for your ass tonight, Sameen, big plans."

"Should I be worried?"

"Oh, Sweetie..." her voice goes saccharine and that's never a good sign, "Very."

She hangs up and you spend all day wondering.

Three nights later John joins you (and your still smarting ass) in a van outside a number's nightclub. He hands you a cup of coffee and a bag of philly-cheese-steaks (on which Root has drawn a heart with 'SS' in it, so fucking subtle) and says,

"Root tasered Fusco today."

"What?"

"Mm." John nods, grimacing as you smush a quarter of the sandwich into your mouth, melty cheese and steak juice running down your chin.

"Rhysatt?" You ask around the steak.

"Why? Hard to say. Might have had something to do with him calling you grumpy."

You raise your eyebrows at that because you can be grumpy sometimes.

"The flat affect thing. He thinks you're grumpy all the time, mad at the universe for making you so short or something."

"Hnn nnrrr shhr," you say around the last bites of the first sandwich.

"I know you're not short. But you know Fusco." John shrugs, "he asks where grumpy is today, Root says 'why do you call her that?' Fusco says 'because she's always grumpy, it's not a bad thing fruit loops,' and Root jams a taser into his hip."

You take a swallow of coffee and wait for him to go on.

"He's lucky he fell on a sparring mat. He's a big guy, could have really hurt himself. Root does that voice of an angel, hovering of a demon thing over him and goes 'Sameen Shaw experiences the world in a profoundly different way than you and I'," John does a pretty decent impression of Root, you'll admit,

"'She's always observing and analyzing and trying to understand other people. That's what makes her so good at her job. And if while she's doing that, her face looks grumpy to you, well, I don't care. You find a better nickname for her, and stop being so judgy,'" John stops and chuckles.

You finish your last cheese steak and sigh, stomach reloaded.

John waits for you to say something. You drain your black coffee with three sugars.

"Well," you admit, "Root's my best friend, she can taser anyone she wants as long as I get cheese steak at the end of it."

Best friend. Yeah, ok. It's a role you originally would have given to Bear, but you can't trust him not to eat your steaks... or chew on your boots... so you'll give the title to Root because she has yet to do either of those things. For now. Until she does something stupid like admit she loves you. Then you'll have to shoot her, or yourself, or both.

Root seems fine with this. In fact. The first time she hears you refer to her as your best friend she pretty much has an aneurism on the spot. It's kind of funny.

Some goon has a gun and is waving it in lieu of his dick, typical day at work. Except Root's got herself ziptied to a chair and he's looking like he might pistol whip her pretty soon. And pistol whipping is definitely on Root's Do Not Want List. He's getting closer and swinging and you know one blow would be enough to break her jaw and possibly her neck too.

So before you really think it through you're pounding the guy and using your calves to close off his windpipe.

Once he'y down for keeps, you brush your hands off and say the first cool line that comes into your head, as is your tradition. Except this time it's not so much cool as it is,

"next time think twice before you fucking touch my bestfriend."

Root's mouth goes slack and her eyes go wide, like someone's just doused her with water. She gives you this big grin and it's actually pretty hot when she's speechless.

"shut up" you say anyway because you can see a Feelings Storm brewing in her eyes and you want a scotch and a shower, not a declaration of undying whatever....

"Ok," Root says and smirks at you, all smug and triumphant the whole way home. You have to throw a pancake across the kitchen at her. And threaten to steal her expensive jacket. And then you have to go down on her for an hour. Just to squash the smugness. So not worth it.

Ok, so worth it.
And Root seems perfectly happy to be your beet friend or whatever, as long as she gets to do filthy things to your body and you keep smashing her into walls and marking her up like a revised manuscript. You do nice things for each other, too. Like you'll grab some latex gloves and go to town on her when her period makes her insatiably horny, no big deal. Or you'll pick up tasers for her from different places you visit (she has a collection). Root will keep dropping spicy sandwiches and guns in your lap. One time she'll show up with a puppy that she insists on raising into a Bear of One's Own together. And when you're stressed she'll grab you and drag you somewhere where you can let go slam your body into hers. And maybe break a few pieces of furniture as your fingers work furiously inside each other and you lose track of whose limbs belong to whom. And afterwards, you'll collapse, breathless, beside each other on the bed or the floor or the roof or wherever you are and you'll feel your heartbeat sync up to Root's. It will be like becoming one with the ocean: sharp and raw and powerful and fierce and forever.

And you know, that's just (best)friends being (best)friends.

Because that's totally what best friends do. Best friends who have hot filthy delicious kinky weird sex. Best friends with common interests including saving the world, abusing taser privileges, bringing down criminals, stealing shit, arson and explosion for the common good, and minor acts of mayhem. And best friends who, ok, -maybe- care about each other. And who would take a bullet (or six) for each other. Or snap Martine's neck for each other, or overthrow Samaritan from the inside for each other.

That's what friends do when they share an apartment and a bed and a dog of their own and take elaborate sexcations together to secluded cabins so they can have week-long making out marathons. That's what friends do when they get joint cover identities and share motorcycles and have matching rings- whatever it's not a big deal she's only your wife for tax purposes even though you don't pay taxes.

If Harold calls either one of you "Mrs.," he's a dead man.