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And Baby Makes Three

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If someone had told Shaw that she would be one half of an expecting couple, she probably would have shot their kneecaps off.

Then again, if someone had told Shaw that she would be married and would actually (technically) be the baby daddy, she would’ve gone straight for the headshot.

At the end of the day, like most things, it all boiled down to Root.

Root who stormed into a heavily fortified Samaritan bunker with two handguns and a death wish. Root who burst through the door, silhouetted by smoke and fire, and pulled Shaw free from the bed. Root who half-carried, half-dragged Shaw to safety in the back of an SUV.

When Shaw came to her senses she had looked up at Root from her lap in the back of the car and whispered the words that haunted her to this day.

“I owe you one.”

 


 

 

It turned out that Root didn’t forget and she more than held Shaw’s (heavily medicated, totally unaccountable) words against her.

When Shaw first entered the safe house, she slept for three days straight. It took her a few more days to manage to stay awake for more than two hours and even longer to sit up on the bed unassisted. Like clockwork, Root showed up with lunch and a laptop and depending on Shaw’s mood that day, they either ate together or sat in silence while she worked.

Today was the same and Shaw sat up as Root walked in with a brown paper bag and a small box. She placed the bag on Shaw’s bedside table and threw the small, wooden box at her chest.

Shaw caught it, examining it from all angles before glancing at Root.

“What the hell is this?”

Root didn’t look at Shaw, busy with unravelling their lunch.

“Open it.”

Shaw’s gaze lingered on Root before being drawn to the box. Slowly and gently, as if she was handling a bomb, she opened it.

What she saw made her wish it was actually a bomb.

Shaw snapped the box shut and threw it to the end of the bed as if it was on fire.

“No fucking way, Root.”

Root sighed, stopping her movements on the bag. She walked to the end of the bed and opened the box herself, pulling out the comically large (seriously Root?) engagement ring. She walked back to Shaw’s side and held the ring out.

“Put it on.”

“Absolutely not.” Shaw gritted out. If Root wanted to play a game of wills, Shaw was pretty sure the twelve months of torture at the hands of Samaritan gave her the upper hand.

“Sameen…”

“Root.”

Root sighed, her eyes went to the ceiling as if she was bored by the situation.

“This isn’t a discussion, Shaw. Put the ring on so we can have lunch.”

Shaw’s stomach grumbled uncomfortably, she hadn’t eaten in three hours and her body was pretty much betraying her.

“We are not getting married, Root. This isn’t a negotiation, give me my lunch before I punch you.” Shaw said, her threat was pretty much empty considering that it took almost all her effort to even lift her arms but damned if she was going to keel over on this.

Root rolled her eyes. The hand holding the ring dropped to her side and Shaw almost let out a sigh of relief.

“We’ve pretty much been dating for years now, Sameen, don’t you think it’s about time?” Root asked, head tilted to the side.

Before Shaw can let out the ‘hell no’ on the tip of her tongue, Root had dropped to both knees beside the bed and gripped Shaw’s hand.

“Besides,” she said, grinning like she had already won, “you owe me one.”

 


 

 

So, Shaw had put the stupid ring on and snatched her lunch out of Root’s hands. She reasoned that it was only for Root’s benefit as she rarely wore the ring, they were already living together, and that there had been no wedding and no certificate as Shaw was legally dead and Root technically didn’t exist.

It didn’t stop John and Fusco from making fun of her or Finch blushing a deep red and offering a ‘congratu-’ before he rightfully cut himself off. It also didn’t stop Root beaming like an idiot when she caught a glimpse of the small chain on Shaw’s neck that held a much more reasonable, much less gaudy ring that she picked out after returning the Liz Taylor one. Shaw also went and bought a (plastic, made for children) ring for Root, saying that if she had to look stupid then so did Root; unfortunately, that idea backfired as Root almost cried tears of joy when Shaw threw the ring at her and pretty much wore it like a tattoo ever since.

Shaw still hated the idea of marriage but almost nothing had changed, their sex was still hot as fuck and she wasn’t indebted to Root anymore, so she dealt with it.

 


 

She dealt with it until she couldn’t anymore.

It happened while they were miles deep in an abandoned Samaritan facility. Shaw didn’t remember being held there during her time in captivity but she still felt unnerved by the place. It didn’t help that Root kept looking at her with a mixture of concern and pity like she was an injured baby bird trying to fly again.

So, Shaw steeled herself and walked further into the compound. She shot the lock off one door and walked into what used to be a laboratory. Behind her, Root shoved her guns into their holsters and removed a flashlight, turning it on and looking around the room.

“What is this place?” Shaw asked, feeling more uncomfortable with every step.

Root pushed past her determinedly, apparently receiving orders from the Machine. Shaw followed her to the corner of the room where a steel door was shut with a keypad.

Shaw grinned and reached for the plastic explosives in her pocket. Her joy was cut short with an arm on her elbow as Root stopped her.

“Don’t.” Root said, staring at the keypad.

Shaw frowned.

“Well how the hell are we getting this thing open?”

The keypad suddenly beeped to life and Root entered the code that the Machine whispered to her. The keypad displayed a green light and Root turned to her with a smug grin. Shaw rolled her eyes and shouldered past her, reaching for the door handle and pulling it open.

They were hit with a breath of coldness as they uncovered a room full of various glass samples. Root walked in, shining a light on each specimen jar as if looking for something specific.

“What are we looking for here, Root?” Shaw asked from the doorway.

Root stopped still, apparently finding what she was looking for. She pulled a specimen jar out and displayed it to Shaw; she was smiling maniacally, it was the same look she got when she understood one of the Machine’s convoluted plans or when she got to shoot someone.

“This.” Root said, holding the glass reverently.

“And what is that?”

Root grinned.

“It’s you, Shaw.”

 


 

 

“What the hell did you mean by that?” Shaw shouted as she sped down the long stretch of highway, her voice muffled by the revving of the engine.

Shortly after they entered the laboratory, the Machine told Root that an alarm was triggered and whatever was left of Decima would be coming to their location. They had sprinted down the facility and into the waiting car where they were now.

Root was sat beside Shaw, grinning as if she were having the time of her life.

“Samaritan took samples from you, they wanted to know the way you worked.” Root said, eyes focused on the road and hands gripping the bag of samples in her lap.

“And?” Shaw asked, not happy about being reminded of her time in captivity.

“One of the things they took was stem cells.”

Shaw froze as a shiver ran through her whole body. She didn’t remember much from being with Samaritan but she did remember the aching in her spine after she woke from a drugged sleep. Root frowned apologetically and tried to grab the hand Shaw gripped on the steering wheel. Shaw pulled away and slowed down the car, she let out a breath and tried to calm her nerves.

“And that’s important how?”

“They were experimenting with your biology, seeing what they could do with your stem cells, what they could turn them into.” Root said, uncharacteristically hesitant.

“And what did they do exactly?” Shaw asked through gritted teeth, her grip on the steering wheel now deathly.

 Root let out a breath.

“They made them into various things,” she said “brain cells, blood cells, sperm cells…”

Shaw actually slammed her foot into the brake, bringing the car into a screeching halt. Root was apparently warned by the Machine and had adjusted her grip on the bag. Shaw breathed for a few seconds, the smell of burned rubber stung the back of her throat as she tried to understand Root’s words.

“What?”

Root looked down, slightly embarrassed.

“They converted your stem cells into sperm cells…”

“What does this have to do with us now, Root?” Shaw asked, impatient.

Root bit her lip.

“She wants us to use them.”

Shaw looked at Root in shock, wondering if she sustained a head wound or if she really just said that.

“Use…” Shaw supplied.

“The sperm cells.”

“For…”

“A baby.”

Shaw laughed.

She threw her head back and laughed the most genuine, boisterous laugh she could muster. She laughed until tears stung her eyes and her ribs ached with the lack of oxygen. She laughed until Root shifted nervously in her seat, totally unsettled.

“You can’t be serious.” Shaw said a few minutes after her laughter subsided, wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye.

Root sighed and straightened in her seat.

“Apparently, She has been planning this for quite some time,” Root said, “She evaluated the best course of action for her sustainability and it involves…procreation.”

Root herself looked nervous, either of Shaw or the Machine’s apparent plan. Shaw stared at her in disbelief.

“The Machine wants us to have babies for…” Shaw said slowly.

“For a new generation of assets and analog interfaces,” Root paused and tilted her head, “and she thinks it’d be good for us.”

Shaw let out a small laugh.

“You can’t be serious about this.”

“If the Machine thinks that it’s for the bes-”

“The Machine can be wrong, Root. It’s designed to stop acts of terror not play matchmaker.”

“She’s being playing matchmaker since day one and she’s done a pretty good job of it so far.” Root said sternly.

Shaw glanced down at the ring on Root’s hand and swallowed nervously.

“A baby, Root…” She dropped back in her seat, staring out the windscreen, “I’m a sociopath and you’re…”

She glanced and Root and decided not to finish the sentence.

“Samaritan’s gone, Sameen. We’re getting older and this,” Root gestured to the bag, “this is a sign.”

Shaw still looked unconvinced so Root gently laid a palm on her thigh, encouraging Shaw to look at her.

“We’ve handled worse before, a baby can’t be that hard. We’ve got Her and John and Harold to help.”

Shaw inhaled sharply, feeling unsettled by Root’s dedication.

“Besides,” Root said, face breaking into a smile, “we could finally get house in the suburbs with the white picket fence and swing set.”

Shaw snorted, rolling her eyes halfheartedly.

“And a puppy,” Root added, smirking at Shaw’s raised eyebrows, “Besides, Sameen…You owe me.”

Shaw tightened her jaw and looked straight ahead. If the Machine asked for this, if Root was convinced, then there was no way possible out of it.

She sighed.

“It better be a proper dog, not one of those rat-faced gerbil things.” She said, starting up the car again.

Root grinned and sat back in her seat.

“Of course, sweetie.”

 


 

 

It took a few more weeks to actually begin the conceiving process. Shaw assured Root that it was mostly because she was too busy with numbers but the fact was that they weren’t getting as many irrelevant numbers and whatever did they get went to the newer members of Team Machine for training. The truth was that Shaw couldn’t help the anxiety that welled up every time she thought about taking care of a smaller version of herself or worse…a smaller version of Root. It got to the point where the anxiety would chase her into her sleep with a recurring dream of Root giving birth to an angry looking half-robot baby.

She didn’t go down on Root for days after seeing that one.

Root herself seemed nonplussed by the whole thing, continuing on with her missions for the Machine like nothing was wrong; she didn’t talk to Shaw about it (Shaw guessed it was for her benefit) but she did give her a significant look every now and then that made Shaw’s stomach churn uncomfortably.

When Shaw did decide to go through with it, it was after a particularly grueling mission that involved all hands on deck, including Root’s. The number involved cleaning up the remnants of Dominic’s gang and it was a pretty simple bullet-to-the-knee thing up until the discovery of a bomb in a construction site. That was when Root had gotten involved with a toolkit and instructions from the Machine on how to disarm the thing. She seemed pretty confident about the whole thing, responding to Shaw’s worries with a wink and a smirk before she headed into the building.

Of course, it never played out as smoothly as they thought it would and Shaw had to deal with a few horrible seconds of watching a construction site explode with her wife inside of it.

When Root appeared from behind her, with soot in her hair and that annoying smug expression on her face, Shaw had pressed her up against a wall and pressed her lips against Root’s in a kiss that was mostly teeth and anger. Root of course had acquiesced and allowed Shaw to drag her to their home and throw her on the bed while Shaw stormed around the living room angrily.

When Shaw returned with the specimen jar and a turkey baster, Root’s stomach flipped uncomfortably.

“If this is what it takes for you to take care of yourself…” Shaw said, putting the jar on the bedside table and removing her clothes hurriedly.

Of course, Shaw’s anger melted away as they started and was surprisingly gentle and calm about the whole thing. Afterwards, when they were spent and exhausted, Root curled up on her side and breathed slowly as her muscles relaxed and her brain grew foggy with sleep. She was nudged awake suddenly by Shaw rolling over and tucking against her back in an honest to God attempt to cuddle.

“Don’t you dare say anything.” Shaw threatened from behind her as her hands pulled her closer into her.

Root swallowed uncomfortably and nodded even though Shaw couldn’t see. Slowly, her eyes grew weary as she drifted off to a peaceful sleep with a smile on her face.

 


 

 

Shaw was annoyed.

Considering it was one of her five go-to emotions, that part wasn’t surprising. What was even less surprising was the cause of her annoyance.

It had been a month since she had…impregnated Root and if Root had gotten any results, she wasn’t showing it. Of course, Shaw wasn’t going to break first and buy pregnancy tests or ask her or anything like that; she was supposed to be the cool, aloof one about this, not Root.

So, on the sixth week, after she had finished with her number, Shaw stopped by the grocery store on her way home and picked up a pregnancy test, ignoring the look the cashier gave her. When she got home, she retrieved a beer from the fridge and sat on the couch and waited. Though the tv was on, she hardly paid attention to it, her full concentration on the front door of the apartment.

After an hour, Shaw heard the scratching of a key against the lock. She turned to the tv and pretended to be interested in whatever was on. She heard the door open and Root walk in, she threw her jacket on the couch behind Shaw before leaning down and kissing Shaw on the cheek.

“Where have you been?” Shaw asked, still staring at the tv. She heard a laugh from the kitchen.

“Same old, same old. Went to Amsterdam to thwart a crime organization, stole three million in cash and some rifles for you.” Root said as she retrieved a bottle of water from the fridge.

She walked back into the living room and plopped on couch, laying down and resting her feet in Shaw’s lap.

“What did you get up to today?” Root asked.

Shaw shrugged noncommittedly; she procured a small paper bag from her side and threw it on Root’s chest.

“What’s this?” Root asked as she opened it. Inside she found a box of pregnancy tests and looked up in time to see Shaw blushing slightly.

“It’s been long enough, might as well check.” Shaw grunted and pointedly avoided Root’s gaze.

Root beamed and stared at Shaw like she was the sun, Shaw squirmed uncomfortably.

“You care about this…” Root said, in awe.

Shaw groaned.

“I just…wanna know if it’s possible,” She looked at Root, “for science.”

“For science…” Root repeated, amused.

Shaw pushed the feet off her lap, nearly causing Root to topple over the couch. Root caught herself and threw her head back in laughter at Shaw’s embarrassment.

“Go and pee on that thing so we can fucking move past this.” Shaw mumbled, gesturing towards the bathroom.

Root stopped laughing and settled for a grin.

“Nope.” She shook her head.

Shaw looked at her in disbelief, she narrowed her eyes at the mischievous grin on Root’s face.

“Root…” She warned.

“Sameen.” Root responded playfully.

Shaw paused before standing up angrily.

“Fine, see if I care,” She said, “this whole thing was your stupid idea anyways.”

Before Shaw could storm off, Root grabbed her hand and pulled her back to the couch and into her lap. Shaw fought halfheartedly but settled for sitting tensely on top of Root.

 “Sameen…” Root said, her face now serious.

“Root.” Shaw responded, still slightly angry.

“The reason I’m not checking is because I already did.”

Shaw froze.

“What?”

“Yesterday morning, before I left for Amsterdam,” Root said slowly, her face breaking into a smile, “I bought a test at the airport.”

“And…” Shaw provided.

“And,” Root said, almost into Shaw’s mouth “it went through.”

If it was possible, Shaw got tenser.

“What?”

Root beamed, her face lit up with a smile.

“I’m pregnant, Sameen.”

 


 

 

So Shaw’s artificial sperm was apparently the fucking Michael Phelps of sperm. Begrudgingly she was kind of proud; knowing how hard it was for some couples to conceive, she felt pretty satisfied about her alien sperm impregnating her wife on the first try (with a turkey baster no less).

After she found out, she punished Root (appropriately) for withholding that information. Shaw was a little shocked by how calm the whole ordeal was. The panic she thought she would feel didn’t happen and she instead felt light and ready. For Root, it was business as usual except for the switch to decaf at Shaw’s insistence, the increase of vitamins that Shaw bought and the decrease of personal missions from the Machine. Root was a little upset at not being first pick for relevant cases but the Machine made up for it with increased communication; providing details of skilled obstetricians, research into proper care for pregnant women and how to child proof an apartment seeing as they were both slightly horrified of moving into the suburbs.

However, Shaw did hold Root to her promise so one of her milder missions involved breaking into a K9 breeding facility and standing guard at the door while Shaw chose a new pet.

It was a process that took at least an hour.

At first, Shaw nearly dived into the group of eager puppies before standing up and individually reviewing each of them. Of course, she didn’t say anything verbally to Root, only staring at the dogs intently and sometimes bending over to pet them and scratch their ears. Root found the whole process adorable, though she would never tell Shaw that.

After what felt like ages, Shaw walked up to Root with a small German Shepard puppy in her arms, only giving a slight nod as indication of her choice. The dog itself looked at Root curiously with an intense gaze and intelligent eyes and she realized why Shaw chose him.

 


 

 

Telling Finch and Reese was easier than Shaw thought it would be.

Her plan was to pretty much never tell either of them and hope that they’d be smart enough to not bring up Root’s apparent weight gain. Of course, Root had rejected it almost immediately and went with the Root method of mentioning it in the most inopportune moment.

That moment happened to be lunch and if Reese and Finch were shocked then they didn’t say it.

Mostly because they were choking on their food, but still.

After two successful Heimlich maneuvers, Reese congratulated Shaw with a pat on the back and Root with an awkward handshake. Harold had looked curiously before muttering a “congratulations” and leaving the room, either uncomfortable with the scene or to avoid asking the questions on the tip of his tongue.

They both agreed to not tell Lionel immediately seeing as he was still recovering from the knowledge of the Machine. Of course when he did find out (in Root’s third trimester no less) he stared at them shocked for so long that Shaw checked his pulse.

 


 

 

Root’s pregnancy was relatively easy.

Her numbers were redirected to Reese and Shaw while their numbers were redirected to Dani Silva and Harper Rose; it was an arrangement that everyone mostly grew comfortable with. What Root wasn’t expecting was Shaw’s overprotectiveness. While she was aware that Shaw had a habit of placing trackers on people she cared about or driving a bike to New Jersey for the “mission” or sacrificing herself for the people she loved, she wasn’t aware of how intense that overprotective streak got when it involved a wife and pregnant child.

As such, Shaw had basically confined Root to the apartment or their new base of operations for the month before her due date. Root spent most of the day tiredly helping with numbers, hacking into the Pentagon for fun or walking their growing dog. Root couldn’t complain because Shaw had pretty much been the best spouse a pregnant woman could ask for, providing everything from cocoa butter to sex to midnight cheeseburgers to cuddling to begrudging emotion support to sex to foot rubs to dietary supplements to sex…

Shaw was pretty much perfect and whatever she lacked, the Machine provided.

It was why their apartment was baby ready without either of them lifting a finger or spending a dime. It was also why they had the most prestigious obstetrician despite him being booked solid for a few years. Root didn’t hate pregnancy as much as she thought she would, she was still involved in numbers after overtaking Finch’s duties during his long-deserved holiday.

 


 

One of the numbers involved Shaw and Reese following a number to Tokyo which led to them destroying the reemergence of Decima Technologies. It was a mission that took approximately three days (not counting travel) and several clips of ammo and resulted in a destroyed building and a bullet wound.

As soon as they escaped from view of the authorities, Shaw had leaned back against an alleyway and pressed a finger to her earpiece that connected her to Root at HQ.

“We’re done here, Root. Everything good on your end?” Shaw said as she watched John patch up his wounds.

“Everything’s fine here. Your flight back leaves in six hours, She’s booked you a hotel for the night.” Root said over the comm line.

Shaw sighed, not happy about being stuck in Tokyo, less happy about being away from Root a week from her due date.

“Alright, I’ll see you then. Over and out.” Shaw said, hesitating to close the line just yet.

A few seconds went by where Shaw only heard Root’s audible breathing.

“I love you, Sameen.”

Shaw let out a breath and nodded even though Root couldn’t see. She felt the warmness of relief in her gut before she cleared her throat.

“I’ll call before we get on the plane.” Shaw said. She closed the line and pulled out her phone for directions to their hotel.

 


 

 

Unsurprisingly, there were complications in their exit out of the country which led Shaw and Reese to a smaller airfield away from the authorities. Briefly, Shaw ducked away from Reese to call Root on her phone; after a few rings, an unfamiliar voice picked up and Shaw felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck.

“Hello?” The voice asked.

“Who is this?” Shaw said, a bad feeling crawling up her spine.

“Shaw? It’s Harper.”

Shaw sighed in relief.

“Where’s Root? Why do you have her phone?” She asked.

A few seconds of hesitation go by before Harper responded.

“She’s in the hospital, Shaw.”

Every alarm went off in Shaw’s body, she gripped the wall as her knees weakened.

“What?”

“A few hours ago, there were complications…She started bleeding and the Machine called an ambulance and now we’re at the hospital and they’re going to deliver the baby, Shaw.”

Shaw stared at her feet and tried to process the information, she went through every bit of medical training to try to understand what was happening but her mind was muddled by shock. She obviously looked distressed physically as Reese stood from his seat and walked to her position, looking at her curiously.

“Shaw?” Harper asked over the phone.

Shaw shook her head clear and huffed.

“I’m on my way.” Shaw said.

She hung up the phone, pushed past Reese, and walked up to the closest security camera.

“You find a way out of here right now or I will break every camera I see.”

A few seconds went by before Shaw’s earpiece turned on and the comm line opened.

“Can you hear me?”

Shaw smirked.

“Absolutely.”

 


 

 

The Machine ended up giving them instructions on how to steal a private jet which Shaw flew back to New York under guidance of the Machine. She explained the situation to Reese in the air and he only nodded gravely and offered his silent support.

Four hours into the flight and the autopilot had taken over which unfortunately left Shaw alone to her thoughts. She tried to take her mind off the worst and the depressing numbers of infant and mother mortality she had memorized in med school. Instead, she thought about Root and the past few months spent with her. Their relationship was far from normal, it involved far more tasers and handcuffs than necessary and it sometimes made Shaw slightly nauseated by how domestic it was, but it was theirs and it worked.

 Shaw thought about how much time she spent with Root and how deeply ingrained she had gotten in her life despite Shaw’s protests. Shaw thought about how Root gradually moved into her apartment without her realizing, she thought about how Root convinced her to have a baby of all things how she convinced Shaw to name their dog after one of her dumb aliases. It had gotten to the point where Shaw actively thought about their future together in a way that didn’t involve a hail of bullets and a last stand.

The thought of Root in a hail of bullets now just made her feel nauseated.

Shaw never really thought she understood love but when Root whispered that she loved her and when she felt Root’s presence or Root’s body heat in bed, Shaw felt warm and assured. When she asked Root to describe what love was to her, she didn’t say anything but she felt like she finally understood.

 


 

 

The journey took twelve hours in the air and two hours in New York traffic.

When they arrived in the hospital, exhausted and spent but totally alert, they found Harper sitting in the waiting room with a coffee. Shaw let John greet her and waited long enough to hear which room number Root was in before she sped off to find her wife.

Shaw felt the thundering of her heartbeat, she was nearly deafened by it, her pulse felt like it was going insane. When she reached the door of Root’s room, she took a deep breath before she pushed it open.

What she found was Root, half-awake in a hospital bed looking spent and exhausted but happy at the same time. She smiled at Shaw like she was the sun and Shaw had never felt so relieved in her life.

“Hey stranger.” Root said, her voice was slightly gravelly.

“Hey.” Shaw responded, still slightly in shock.

She took a few steps closer to the bed, tempted to look at the charts but deciding against it in favor of getting closer to Root. Slowly, Shaw leaned down, put a hand on Root’s cheek and kissed her as gently as she could. Root responded eagerly before pulling away and smiling.

“Do you want to meet her?” Root whispered.

Shaw stood shocked for a few moments, her throat closed up and she could only nod in response. Root gestured to a small cradle beside the bed and Shaw left her wife to walk over to it.

Inside was a baby, her pink cheek smushed to the side as she slept soundly. Shaw didn't understand why people said their babies looked like a specific parent or had any defining features; to her, she looked life a tiny ball of pink but damned if she wasn't the cutest ball of pink Shaw had ever seen. She watched the child sleep in awe, wondering if she was ever real.

“What did you name her?” Shaw asked, still watching the baby. They hadn’t really discussed baby names but she trusted Root not to mess it up.

Root smiled from the bed.

“Sam, of course.”

 


 

She didn’t actually name the baby Sam but she was apparently tempted.

“It would’ve been funny is all. Samantha and Sameen and baby Sam.”

Shaw rolled her eyes in response.

“You don’t even go by Samantha.”

They settled into the new apartment with the dog and the baby and spent the next week sleeping the exhaustion away before the real ordeal began. Root was the least tired stating that childbirth kind of lost its luster after an anesthesia-free stapendectomy but Shaw insisted that Root sleep anyways before the Machine started calling her in for numbers again.

One morning, Shaw watched Root wake up and rub at her eyes tiredly.

“Were you watching me sleep?” Root asked through a yawn.

Shaw shook her head, lying even though Root knew the truth. Before Root could make a retort, Shaw interrupted.

“I um…” Shaw hesitated, feeling the words stuck behind her throat, “I love you, y’know.”

Root blinked a few times, now wide awake. She stared at Shaw before her face broke into a smile.

“I love you too.”

Shaw nodded sternly and leaned forward to kiss Root on the lips before they were broken apart by their now massive dog and cries from the cradle beside them. As she pushed the dog off the bed, as Root stood up to calm the baby and as the city raged on from beyond the walls, Shaw realized that there was nowhere else in the world she’d rather be.