otp: safety first

In the week Shaw was with Root:

  • Root lived with Shaw in the Machine assigned place, Shaw didn’t make a big deal about it, since in her head, that’s what she’s been doing. The only difference is, how different the apartment is from the one in her head but Shaw doesn’t mind.
  • Shaw also discovered that Root had interior decorating ideas of a 90s teenager. Jewel tones and purple shag rag. Shaw nixed the suggestions the moment she heard them.
  • Also, Root wore old man blue pajamas in their first night together and Shaw doubled over laughing. Root was slightly offended about this and Shaw could have sworn Root muttered: “Harry liked my pajamas.”
  • Root hugged Shaw. A lot. Shaw didn’t fight her… most of the time. It’s just really different when someone’s touching you in simulation and in reality. They never got the smell quite right.
  • Shaw was never a touchy person but nine months without… it’s still a long time.
  • Bear stayed with Shaw during the day time and she shadowed Root wherever she went, Root didn’t seem to mind.
  • Shaw stayed away from the Subway. She still can’t take the chance but that doesn’t stop Shaw from lurking in one of the exits.
  • Shaw passed by the eighth precinct but didn’t stop, it was still around and watched John play detective through a camera.

“How are you still a detective?” Shaw demanded as she watch him bungle another case.

Fusco let out a hearty laugh. “That’s what I’ve been saying.”

  • Whenever Harold saw her, he always said: “Welcome back, Miss Shaw.”

He seemed to think she needed the assurance that she was welcome, it could get annoying, but Shaw has yet to bring it up.

  • Carl Elias was living in the safe house now, WTF.
  • Root can cook now.
  • She’s even sappier than Shaw could ever imagine, and boy does she like to ramble. Just the act of making coffee required a five minute monologue about coffee. Shaw doesn’t really mind Root’s rambling, it was comforting in its way, but there’s a line. And the line was coffee.

“Root, I swear to God, just give me the damned coffee.”

  •  Shaw really liked having Bear around.
  • Root talked about her adventures while she was away. ‘Away’ was how they described Shaw’s nine months of hell. And Shaw couldn’t believe half the shit she’s heard. “The Machine was in a briefcase? Harold sang Twisted Sister? Why the fuck were you on a horse??”
  • Yes, she and Root have been having lots of sex. How is this your business?

“Are you– are you jealous of the simulation?” Shaw demanded one evening, after.


Shaw squinted her eyes at Root, “You are.”

And there it was, the pout: “She got to be with you for nine months.”

“You’re jealous of a simulation,” Shaw said, out loud. She knew there should’ve been things she shouldn’t have told Root. Only Root would be jealous of a VR simulation.

She still got to be with you.”

“Oh, for god’s sake.” Shaw turned to Root, “then why don’t you make up for it.”

Root pulled Shaw closer and kissed her, and Shaw had to blink twice, Root smiled at her wickedly, “Oh, I intend to.”


Set during 4x09. thismeansnothingtome asked for smut-in-a-truck. Was supposed to just be smut, turned into angst (no surprise there).

Sorry about that.


The driver took a sharp turn and Shaw’s elbow landed right on Root’s solar plexus, cutting off her air for a few painful seconds. She blinked and groaned when she noticed Shaw’s smug grin, like she had meant for it to hurt even as she had lost balance. Root pulled her close when Shaw tried to move apart, her teeth finding Shaw’s lower lip despite the lack of light and the constant movement of the truck.

Shaw pushed herself off Root, anyway.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked with a frown, and Root smirked.


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POI 3x19 - Most Likely To / 5x05 - ShotSeeker

As much as I love everything Greg Plageman and Jonathan Nolan have said in the interviews for Shaw, I do have one issue with in this interview:

Plageman meanwhile allows there may have been more to it. “Shaw, who has no feelings, plants one on Root and in the moment right after that gets a sudden hit of, ‘Wait a second, I did feel something.‘”

My take of the character is that she does feel at least a low level of it, which I mean, she knows when she starts getting attached to someone or something. She’s not blind to that.

She cares.

She told Root herself in a roundabout way in 4x07 (Honor Among Thieves), she doesn’t need a revelatory kiss. She knew already. She wouldn’t be sticking around New York to help her team if she weren’t committed or if she didn’t care.

Shaw knows Root cares about her too, Shaw might probably suspect that Root even loves her.

But the way Greg says it, made it seem like Shaw was completely unaware. Shaw is aware. She knows she has feelings for Root. This is not her first time in the rodeo. She’s had relationships before:

Relationships are for amateurs. Guys these days have so many… emotions. They cry, they wanna be held. I just don’t know what do with them.

She’s been in a relationship before and none of her previous relationships ended well. Shaw is aware she’s attracted to Root (’Okay, that was kinda hot.’) and how she’s grown attached to Root.

But she’s also very painfully aware about what she is, how her old relationships exploded in her face because she didn’t return the same level of feeling. What Shaw is, is careful.

Shaw is the first in line to run to the fire but she’s going to bring a fire extinguisher with her too. She takes risks but does so with wide eyes open. She’s not going to leap just to leap.

I think the show presented as much perfectly when Shaw says: ’We’re a four alarm fire in an oil refinery.

Shaw knows her capacity for violence, she’s also very aware of Root’s capacity for violence (and very much appreciates this too). What if, one day things between them went South? Shaw has no guarantee there won’t be to misquote Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars 'ruined lives and bloodshed’.

And, I honestly think Shaw thought they had time to figure it out, that they’d survive it all together even if it was in simulation when Shaw said: 'after Samaritan’, Shaw meant it. But things don’t happen at a time table.

Things accelerate, and its been accelerating and slowly Shaw took note of it, and its why she began letting Root closer little by little, and making her know in a roundabout way that Shaw cared for her.

And then the override button is across the room, and someone had to stay behind to make sure the Samaritan operatives won’t be able to stop the elevator from going down, and as she saw it with John down and Fusco can’t do it because he has a kid (and after going through all that trouble last year she’s not gonna deny the kid his father). Root’s also injured, the only logical choice as she could see was her.

Martine would focus on her and everyone can get away. If she had to die for something it would be for people she cared about and a cause she believed in.

So Shaw kissed Root and it could mean a number of things but for me, the kiss was both to distract Root and tell her in a way that brooked no argument that Shaw cared. IMO, Shaw’s pained expression was the realization that this could very well be the last time and her 'someday’ is never going to come around.

Its also… IMO the Han and Leia moment where Leia says 'I love you’ and Han says 'I know.’

The kiss was also that: an 'I care about you’ and 'I know’.

*(Did I just use two epic fandom ships to compare to Root/Shaw? Yes, yes, I did!)

If-Then-Else Fix-It. Based on an idea by halfabagoffritos (who has awesome ideas all the time) and strongly encouraged by rootgrove (who is the best friendsicle a guy could have).


“There’s an override button,” Shaw breathed out, thinking fast. Possibilities ran in her head, but with a wounded Reese the options weren’t many. “Someone’s got to get to that button and hold them off.”

She felt Root even before the hand clutched on her jacket, even before the fingers dug into her arm, almost bruising. Irritating like an itch, Root’s hold sent sparks in Shaw’s chest; flickers of a lighter that just wouldn’t light up. “Sameen,” her voice reached Shaw’s ears from too close, her warm breath barely reaching Shaw’s skin. “If you even think I’m gonna let you,” Root continued and the anger flashed brightly inside Shaw, a wildfire burning against her bones.


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I really love they made it canon that Shaw likes hearing Root ramble.

Maybe even the nerdy self narrative thing she did in Sotto Voce.

It makes me wonder when Shaw realized she liked hearing Root ramble? Maybe in the Alaskan adventure.

But I think Root’s ramblings took even more significance after she returned from Samaritan? She realized the element that was missing from sim!Root.

And there were a lot of details missing there, like, for example how could Shaw forget how annoying Root can be, or how recklessly unpredictable she was. But also, how much she rambled.

Sure, sim!Root was talky but real!Root just liked to talk.

Maybe during the whole week they had together Root lapsed to rambling and would break off and realize Shaw was quiet.

Shaw would frown, “What?”

Root would apologize for rambling but Shaw probably shrugged, and say, “I like hearing you talk.”

I bet Root beamed at Shaw and started talking about physics.


Oh you know this gon happen with some sick ass roller skates and hella knee pads….

and a DOT certified helmet.

Safety first, motherfucker.

“It makes sense that Miss Shaw continues to work for her previous employer since they never attempted to kill her.”

But, okay, let’s play this out though. The Machine wasn’t exactly truthful there was she? Because if the simulation continued Cole would still be asking questions and digging things up.

The only reason why that didn’t happen sooner was because there was no Daniel Aquino in the no Machine-verse. Shaw didn’t kill Aquino, Cole wasn’t disturbed about his death, he didn’t look hard enough for that to happen but Henry Peck would’ve served the same function as Aquino would have for Cole.

This look?

It’s not the look of someone who will Let It Go.

no!Machine!AU Cole just had his catalyst moment with Peck, and he’s going to dig some more.

And, then it will play out as it did in Relevance, Cole would ask one to many questions someone from the Samaritan side would be alerted, the order to kill Shaw and Cole would go down the chain.

Cole will die in the attempt, Shaw would survive, and then take-up Cole’s crusade, she’ll hunt down the person who suggested the order in the first place but then she’ll be face to face with Ms. Groves formerly known as Root.

Shaw would fall for Ms. Groves’ Veronica act– and either one or three things will happen: Shaw will kill Ms. Groves, Ms. Groves will kill Shaw, or Samaritan will offer Shaw a position in its organization because Samaritan saw Shaw’s full potential and she would make an excellent operator working for Samaritan.

Since there would be no opposing point of view, and they’ll probably lean heavily in all the good Samaritan’s done Shaw would think it’s an actual good. So she would end up working for Samaritan but not before killing Lambert, who was the guy who suggested the kill order.

Samaritan will agree.

And, Ms. Groves will be pleased because she’s read Agent Shaw’s file and she was impressed.

Samaritan thinks it would be an excellent idea for Ms. Groves and Agent Shaw to work together.

(And this is how you get Evil!AU Root/Shaw! Lawful Evil version.)

Root & Shaw - Fic Recs (Complete Works Only)

It’s been a few months since I made the previous list, so I’ve updated it with recent works, too. So many new writers in the fandom, it’s amazing!

I’ve been told the first time around to add some of my works in there, but that just seems weird to me. So if you feel like checking those stories out then just click that AO3 link okay? Okay.


Multichapters / Longer Works

Natural Selection series, by kesdax. Ratings from T to E, post season three.

muzzle to muzzle, by willowcabins. M-rated, post season three

A Series of Collisions, by InspectorBoxer & zennie. M-rated, post season three.

Calm Like a Bomb, by andymcnope. M-rated, set during season four.

What Happens In Vegas…, by kesdax. E-rated, post-Samaritan.


Alternate Universes

heaven is where you build it (hell isn’t that bothered), by thesmokinggnu. T-rated, Good Omens.

pulse, by willowcabins. M-rated, Battlestar Galactica

Symbolic Constant, by LithiumDoll. T-rated, apocalyptic universe.

Dangerous Territory, by kesdax. T-rated, client/prostitute, major character death.

Irreversibly Contaminated, by andymcnope. T-rated, Farscape.

Conversations with Dead People, by isagrimorie. G-rated, Shaw can see dead people.

Nothing Brings Old Friends Together Like Murder, by rustyliver. No ratings, childhood AU (graphic depictions of violence)


Episode Related Fics

Zip ties and safe houses, by FandomFairy. M-rated, set during Mors Preamatura.

Wait a sec… Don’t I die in plan M?, by Kc749. T-rated, post Root Path.

Closer to the Edge, I_am_mindwalking. T-rated, set during Death Benefit.

Stomach vs. Heart, by speccygeekgrrl. T-rated, set from Root Path to Deus Ex Machina. Shaw + Food.

A Light in the Shadows, by InspectorBoxer. G-rated, set after Prophets

Eggshells, by weytani. G-rated, set during Pretenders

Than The Devil You Don’t, by shamrock. T-rated, set after The Devil You Know


Case Fics/One-shots

Definitely, Maybe, by grimorie. G-rated, relevant number.

Click-Boom, by Tamoline. T-rated, major character death.

Woken Up Like An Animal, by andymcnope. T-rated, tattoo parlor.

Stalwart and True, by grimorie. G-rated, fighting and making up.

when anger and vengeance collide, by supermatique. M-rated, should be read as a whole.

Equipoise, by ieatmyfingerprints. No ratings, humor.

monte carlo integration, by charizona. M-rated, relevant number and smut.


Hurt & Comfort

Repairing an Interface, by Kc749. T-rated, Shaw taking care of Root.

Losing a Friend, Gaining a Team, by Kc749. G-rated, Team Machine taking care of Root; grief.

A Million Little Pieces, by I_am_mindwalking. T-rated, emotional h&c.

Written on the Body, by InspectorBoxer and zennie. M-rated, emotional h&c, discussion of past scars.

Help, by delamere. T-rated, Shaw taking care of Root.


Smut and PWPs

With One Eye Open by livenudebigfoot. E-rated, Root-as-Veronica.

Imperium by lizilla. M-Rated, various pairings.

Give and Take, by ezazahaz. E-rated, erotic asphyxiation.

Steam Burst, by alcibiades. E-rated, rough sex (mentions of Root/Nathan).

And Reasons Not Contained, by willowcabins. E-rated, drugged sex.

Only Fools Dial Drunk, by kesdax. E-rated, bloodplay.

Can Blaze Be Shown, by willowcabins. E-rated, oral sex.

Always Right, by speccygeekgrrl. E-rated, teasing.

You can free the world, you can free my mind, by winged_mammal. M-rated, set after The Devil You Know. Erotic asphyxiation.