People spend a lot of time telling me I’m living a half-life because I’m not watching whatever show or shipping whatever couple, but only because they don’t understand just how many hours of TV I watch for my job. The effect is two-fold: 1) There’s not a lot of extra time to watch things that aren’t hardcore canonically queer. 2) I’m desensitized to so many television emotions. Oh, but ha ha ha! I followed Person of Interest by the gif sets my buddy Race Tumblr-ed for a long time, and then one day, out of nowhere, Root and Shaw were REALLY KISSING. Well, you can bet that I used that smooch as an excuse to dive in to the show and pretty soon I was drowning deliriously in it. I finally, finally, finally caught up two weeks ago. And here is the result.
Plot: What if Shaw had to stay in that subway station after “The Devil You Know.”
Length: 90,000 words
Root waited two days after she sank the syringe into Shaw’s neck before going back to the subway station.
She knew that Shaw was going to be angry with her, and she hoped that giving her a little time to cool off might help. On the other hand, she knew it was possible (probable, really) that Shaw would spend that time getting herself more and more pissed.
Root had promised herself that she would stay away for a full forty eight hours. Forty seven hours and fifty six minutes after she left Shaw on the cot with Harold looking over her, Root was back at the entrance to the subway station. She thought about slipping inside now, but she liked the idea of the exact forty eight hours, so Root passed the entrance by, head down, hood up.
Her mouth twitched a tiny bit into a smile when she remembered the way that the needle, clutched in her tight fist, pierced through Shaw’s skin so smoothly. The bullseye that was the soft area just behind the tendons in Shaw’s neck meant that when Shaw flinched, it only drove the needle deeper. And when Shaw’s hand gripped Root’s, her tight fist covering tight fist, Root knew that Shaw was too late, the plunger had already been pressed and Shaw was going to drop momentarily. No matter how good of an assassin you were, when you were hit with that much tranquilizer, you were going down. Root had let Shaw jerk her hand away.
Plot: Ever wonder what happened after “Prophets”? It’s this!
Length: 4,000 words
“What’re you doing here?” Shaw asks quietly, stepping into the bathroom as the light flickers and the fan hums gently.
Something loosens. Something that was knotted and tight and high in her chest ever since she spoke with Harold, just lets go at the sight of Root bent over the bathroom sink, her blood glowing where it’s smeared along the counter top and splattered on the tile floor. “Besides bleeding all over everything.”
“Searching for buried treasure.” Root bites out, bloodied forceps shaking visibly as she pulls a bullet from the unassuming wound at her shoulder. She is topless, the straps of her black bra cutting across pale skin and Shaw watches her ribs expand and contract with relief from behind as the bullet clatters noisily into the basin.
“I could’ve done that for you.” Shaw points out as Root shakily sets down the forceps, meeting Shaw’s gaze in the reflection of the mirror and even though her mouth turns up in a smirk, her eyes are dull.
“Tell me about Caracas.”
Shaw’s eyes flick up to meet Root’s, but otherwise she remains lying still, pressed against her side. “What?”
“You said there was a story behind that scar on your thigh.” Root laughs, a huff that sounds more labored than it has any right to be. “Never did tell me though.”
Plot: After Samaritan goes down, Shaw comes back.
Length: 17,000 words
“Eagle One is in position,” came the breezy announcement over the earpieces.
John mouthed Eagle One? to Shaw, but she was already rolling her eyes. Since Samaritan’s downfall and Shaw’s return, Root had wholeheartedly embraced a new level of the lighthearted philosophy get your kicks when you can. It was impossible to predict her sense of humor.
“Currently Doing That, what’s your twenty?”
Shaw’s fist thudded off John’s shoulder before his expression could complete its transition to amusement.
“Root,” Shaw growled, “don’t call me that.”
“Why not?” Root asked evilly. “You kissed me first, remember?”
“Well, she did think she was gonna die, Root,” John added. This earned him another sock to the arm. He rubbed at it half-jokingly. “That’s going to bruise, Shaw,” he advised her.
“Suck it up,” Shaw ordered. “Root—“
“You started it, Sameen. No take-backs!” Root’s transmission cut out in the middle of what sounded suspiciously like chuckling.
Plot: Right after the season three finale, Root and Shaw commit to keeping their heads down. (They fail.)
Length: 50,000 words
She walked down the town’s main street which consisted of Joe’s, the bar she worked in (she had never met Joe and, as far as she was aware, neither had anyone else), and a few shops: the nearest grocery store for fifteen miles, a pharmacy and – because every small town needs one – a tattoo parlour slash liquor store. There were a few other stores that she barely glanced at as she walked by, the street lamps flickering overhead and casting an ominous shadow over the deserted street.
She passed a row of payphones and stopped dead in her tracks when one of them started ringing, the sound loud like a foghorn in the one am quiet.
She stared at it before briefly glancing down the street. Still no one in sight. This phone call was for her.
Her hand was steady when she reached for the receiver, but the adrenaline had already started pumping through her veins and she felt the urge to run.
The voice that spoke back to her was metallic and cold and so very familiar. A number and an address before the line went dead.
After six months of nothing, no contact and no word from her team, the Machine had finally spit out a number.’
Plot: Literally everything, y’all.
Length: 44,000 words
“I can get you a bed in here Ms. Shaw,” Harold offered.
Shaw shook her head. She was going to sit right where she was sitting until Root woke up.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” she sighed softly.
“What do you mean?” Harold asked.
Shaw looked Root over. “She…” She couldn’t even say the words. She looked down at the rug under her feet and then back at Root, “She loves me doesn’t she?”
“I believe so,” Harold nodded. He walked to the foot of the bed.
Shaw sighed heavily and leaned back in her chair. She didn’t know how to articulate what she was feeling. She never knew how to do that because she so rarely felt things. But what she felt for Root was strong. She wondered what it would be like if she was normal. If she had the normal range of emotions, there’s no telling what she would have done or said when she realized she started falling for the witty assassin. Maybe she wouldn’t feel so guilty that Root may never wake up without ever really being told how she felt.
Length: Drabble length.
“Never tell me the odds.”
“Did you just quote Star Wars?”
“No.” The lie was in the minute widening of the eyes before she answered, she would have missed it had Root’s eyes been anywhere else- though the Machine had already warned Root of the increasing frequency to which her eyes were drawn to Sameen during missions.
Plot: Oh, it’s a Harry Potter AU, all right, and Shaw is definitely from Drumstrang.
Length: 39,000 words
Sameen Shaw drowns in her robes, sinking in shades of crimson, but she’s in the front. She’s in the front and she doesn’t get to be small. Not now, not ever, and especially not with Headmaster Hersh’s hand on her shoulder as he stands next to her.
Her fingers curl around her staff and she leads the representatives from her school, Durmstrang Institute, into Hogwarts’ Great Hall. It’s rehearsed and strange, but as she catches glimpses of the starry-eyed Hogwarts students, it’s worth it. All the hard work to get here was worth it. Since the tournament was announced, Hersh has spent almost every waking moment working with her, sparring one on one — she’s had to endure the envious looks of her classmates. It’s obvious she’s Hersh’s first choice, but compared to the others, her scores are higher, she throws stronger and better placed punches, and magic comes to her faster and easier than anyone else she’s ever met.
If anyone’s name is going to be chosen from the Goblet of Fire, it’s hers.
Her cloak curls over her shoulders and her uniform molds around her body stiffly when she sits down with Grice and Brooks, paying more attention to the food on the table rather than what they’re saying. She catches an offhand comment from Brooks, something about Hogwarts being dirty. All castles are subject to dust, really, so Sameen agrees between bites of savory beef and thick drinks of something she doesn’t have a name for. Brooks sends her an odd glance but keeps talking regardless.
Plot: What if the Machine thought of itself as Cupid? What an AU that would be!
Length: 13,000 words
With an unexpected tenseness in her muscles, Shaw punches in the last digit and hits “Enter” almost defiantly, before turning to watch Root striding back towards Reese with the first aid kit.
Satisfied that their attention is occupied elsewhere and not on the vaguely illicit behavior she feels like she’s engaging in, Shaw considers the error message returned to her by the program.
Feeling resigned to the probable result she knows she’s about to get, she enters “y” for the “return known alias instead?… y/n” prompt.
Her mouth twists wryly at the name printed out in the “highest match compatibility result…” line.
“99.607% match compatibility, huh?” she mutters to herself.
She erases the output window and clears the memory cache with the method Harold taught her a few months ago before heading over to take a look at the bite mark on Reese’s shin.
Plot: Takes place right after “Post If-Then-Else.” Root goes back for Shaw’s body.
Length: 9,000 words
“Do you know where Shaw is?” Root murmurs quietly, breath fogging in the icy air while John snores quietly from the backseat. It’s the middle of the night and they are staking out the home of a Samaritan higher up, waiting for the opportunity to pounce.
The Machine remains quiet like she often is nowadays. Her disapproval of their vigilante rescue mission obvious.
Root tries not to think about it. What it means that The Machine is refusing to help her. What it means that Root is so angry.
“Why won’t you help me?” Root bites out.
She doesn’t jump when The Machine answers.
I’m so new to this fandom, y’all. Teach me everything.