like real people do

chapter 2

It's been nearly a year since they've met and Root still comes by as often as possible to see Sameen at work. Consistency is really something that the both of them appreciate, at different levels, but appreciated just the same.

"Hi sweetie, how's your day been?" Root asks, smile in place as she waits for Sameen to turn back around to face her.

The blank stare she receives is enough of a give away to the kind of shift she's been having.

"Flat white and a biscotti." Comes Sameen's monotonous voice, extending her hand to accept the money from Root.

"Is this your girlfriend? Damn. I mean, she's gotta be something to have you, cuz it sure ain't her sunny personality."

Both women turn to face the intruding voice. They find a perturbed looking man, gaze continuing to shift back and forth between them.

Root guesses that it's customers like him that have been making Sameen's day horrid.

"Excuse me, but I do think you've spilled your coffee on yourself."

His brow furrows, and his hand tightens around his frappuccino before glancing down at himself, "No? I haven’t."

Root raises an eyebrow and leans forward to flick the bottom of his hand so that his cup tilts towards him and spills some coffee on to his shirt.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?! Fucking lunatic! Did you see that?"

Sameen's eyes are wide as she takes in what just occurred, trying and failing to stop from laughing, "Sorry, but you need to be more careful sir."

The man looks to be having a fit, his face is going maroon, "Let me speak to the manager! I demand-"

Sameen rolls her eyes as she turns to go the back to get Harold.

"I'm sorry that you've lost your drink, but there's no one here that's corroborating your version of events. I'm sorry that you feel so embarrassed that you had this mishap, but please don’t blame the staff or other loyal customers for it."

The man walks away with a gift certificate and a foul mood, but leaves behind a rather fantastically good feeling Sameen.

"You didn't have to do that you know." Sameen says, once she's on her break.

Root smiles, "Oh, I know- I just don’t like it when people talk about you like that."

Sameen smirks, "Right, you'd rather just poke fun at my sunny disposition on your own."

"Absolutely." Root says easily, taking a bite of her biscotti.

Sameen snorts and continues eating her sandwich.

Teasingly, Root says, "Honey, you really should think about investing in etiquette classes," leaning forward and gently wiping away what Sameen only can guess is mayonnaise, from the corner of her mouth.

"I've got you for that; besides, there's no one else to impress." Shrugging nonchalantly, Sameen picks up where she left off with her sandwich after saying that.

Root just smiles at her, head tilted slightly, before chuckling to herself under her breath.

Xoxo

"Is your girlfriend going to be showing up Shaw?"

John asks as he settles on her couch, grabbing his beer off of the coffee table and taking a long sip.

"She has a name Reese. And it's Root." Pausing, Sameen narrows her eyes at him before continuing, "She's not my girlfriend."

Zoe chuckles as she pats Sameen on the shoulder, "He's just jealous he doesn’t have anyone that cares like you do."

John rolls his eyes, "Sure Zo, that's exactly it. Not because Root acts like Shaw's girlfriend and this one doesn’t have the bal-er…the wits enough to girl the hell up and actually ask her out."

"Reese, shut the hell up. She's my friend and actually doesn’t mind that I practically have zero patience when it comes to people and emotions." Sameen says with a scowl on her face, eyes narrowed, daring him to say anything else.

A knock on the door breaks the tense atmosphere.

"Shaw sweetie? Could you open the door for me please? My hands are full at the moment." Root's voice calls out from behind the front door.

Sameen doesn't answer and she doesn’t have to because Root knows she's coming to her rescue.

The door swings open and Root gives Sameen a smile and says, "Hi, fancy seeing you here," the moment their eyes meet.

Rolling her eyes good naturedly, Sameen moves out of the way to let her in. Root swiftly steps through and brushes her lips across Sameen's cheek in greeting.

"Thanks Sameen."

Sameen stands stock still for a beat, before breaking out of her reverie to shut the door before going back to the living room where the rest of her nerds sat waiting.

"I wasn't sure what you liked, since John couldn’t tell me, so I hope pepperoni is fine?" Root asks Zoe easily, after the initial pleasantries, smiling as she helps her place the napkins around the table.

Sameen can see that Zoe is charmed already and she smirks because as if there was ever a doubt that they would get along.

"Yeah, that's perfectly fine Root, thank you! That's so considerate."

Zoe throws a pointed look at John, who visibly shrinks at being called out.

Taking a seat beside Root, Sameen goes to grab a slice of pizza from the already opened box but Root places a hand on top of hers to stop her and she quickly explains, "Oh, no honey, that's for the rest of us. You get to have your weird fruity pizza."

Sameen would have growled and defended her choice in pizza had there not been said pizza around for her to devour.

She quickly dives for the other box and promptly rips it open and the grin that overtakes her face is blinding, "You're the absolute best Sam, thanks," Sameen says through a mouthful of pizza, and Root smiles at her and turns to take her own slice of pepperoni pizza.

"See? Why can't you even manage to remember what I like, huh John?" Zoe asks playfully, as she smiles at the two women in front of herself and John.

He bumps his shoulder against hers and then says, "I guess I'm just not as good of a significant other as Root is."

Sameen flips him the bird, much to everyone's amusement.

Xoxo

"Okay, but are you two dating?"

Sameen raises an eyebrow at Harold as she continues taking inventory.

He continues, "Not that I have anything against it. I'm simply curious as to how someone so seemingly bright and optimistic can be with someone who's…" he pauses to properly find the words to articulate himself before pressing on, "not quite as bright and optimistic as she is."

Sameen just rolls her eyes as she takes note of the number of coffee filters they still have, still not saying anything at all.

"Though, I suppose opposites attract."

He seems to weigh is options before throwing caution to the wind and saying, "Would it be alright with the two of you if I used you as a reference in my paper? I'd keep names out of it, if that's what you'd prefer."

Sameen grinds her teeth to keep from telling her somewhat friend to fuck off, especially because this particular somewhat friend is her employer.

Harold hums to himself, not really paying attention to the fact that Sameen is struggling not to flip out at his ignorance, "Well, I'll let you get back to work. Good day Ms. Shaw."

Resting her head against the stack of boxes once he leaves, Sameen sighs out, "Idiots. They're all idiots."

"I'm sure they are sweetie, but how about you stop knocking your head against the shelving unit before you join them?"

Sameen snorts, but lifts her head to properly greet Root, "How is it that you keep being allowed back here?"

"Don’t you know? I've got inside connections." Root's eyes sparkle as she says this, a dazzling smile on her face.

Sameen likes how she's seeing more and more of her smile, a far cry from how despondent she had been in the early days.

"Finch wants to write about us in his paper," Sameen says, turning back to the boxes and checking the numbers against her clipboard.

"Oh? I thought it was a study about couples and their differences and similarities-as in romantic couples?" Root questions, an excited glint in her eyes.

Putting the clipboard down, Sameen turns to Root and fixes her with a look, "It is."

Root's grin only grows, "That's rather unfortunate, isn't it Sameen? Poor Harry. Should I tell him, or should you?"

Sameen's would-be glare doesn't fall from her face, nor does it deter Root in any way, "What are you trying to get out of me?" She asks.

"Get out of you? What do you mean?" Root asks as innocently as she can.

"Oh stop playing games Root, I'm not doing this," Sameen says seriously, "Months. It's been months of Reese, Zoe, Carter, Fusco, strangers and now Finch? Months of all of them thinking we're dating. Strangers. Complete strangers think we're dating. It's seriously getting ridiculous."

Root nods her head once, smile still in place as she listens to Sameen, but she's affected by what she's hearing and though she's trying not to let it show, Sameen can tell.

She can tell, and she continues on, "Not a day goes by where someone doesn’t assume something and decides to say something about it. And it totally ruins everything…because how the hell does one smoothly transition from, 'no we're not dating' to me trying to ask you on a date without having it sound like I've only asked to stop the pestering questions."

Root's eyes are shining as she looks at Sameen, not daring to even blink, in case she misses a tell.

"I have the absolute worst friends; I'm sure they'll agree with me there. Instead of shutting up, and teasing me silently away from you, they go ahead and tease and poke fun right in front of you. And not that I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but it really kills the plan when your supposed friends go out on a limb to keep asking if we're dating when they know I've been meaning to ask you."

Sameen shrugs her shoulders, eyebrow raised as she takes a step closer to Root, "I'm an asshole most of the time, but I'm yours, you know? And yeah emotions and people aren't really my thing, but I do care. I actually care a lot, and funnily enough, I care about you. As annoyingly annoying you can be." She tacks on at the end quickly, causing a smile to spread across Root's face.

"Are you…Are you asking me out?" Root asks, eyes not once leaving Sameen's, taking a step closer as well, so that they're about a foot apart.

Sameen looks up at Root through her lashes and nods her head, "You know I am Root…Sam. Would you like to go eat dinner with me? We could even sit at the same table and everything."

Root laughs as she nods her head, "I would love to."

Reading her body langue, Sameen knows what Root really wants to do, and she's not heartless, so she opens her arms up and rolls her eyes and nods her head, letting Root know she's willing to accept the hug that Root's dying to give.

Wrapping her arms around Sameen's neck, Root is surprised when she feels Sameen slide her arms around her waist, believing that she'd be the only one participating in this hug.

"Don’t get too used to this," Sameen mumbles from her place against Root's shoulder, head turned so that it's buried in her neck, "hugs aren't my thing."

Root bites her tongue as she continues to hug Sameen closer to her body, "Yes dear."


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