beer_good_foamy: (Willow-death)
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Here's something new: I wrote Person of Interest fic. I hadn't planned it, but the prompt (and Amy Acker's talent for playing psychos) kept bugging me until I wrote it. I hope it works.

Title: Junk Code
Author: Beer Good ([personal profile] beer_good_foamy)
Fandom: Person of Interest, season 3-ish
Rating: PG13
Characters/Pairing: Samantha Groves/Hanna Frey, Root/Shaw
Word count: ~800
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] clockwork_hart1's femfeb ficathon and [livejournal.com profile] lynzie914's prompt.
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a happy little girl…then she grew up and turned into a monster.

"That's not a bug. It's an undocumented feature."
- Microsoft Tech Support joke


Junk Code

Root doesn't remember feelings. Sometimes she wonders if other people do, or if it's normal. (If Sam Groves did, before something broke in her.) Not that she's sociopath or anything, though cogito ergo sum etc so who's to say, really. She has feelings, she can remember having them just fine, but once the raw shock of pain or anger or horniness or glee or grief dulls, all that remains is an echo and pointless similes that say nothing about the thing itself. She can be happy, like all those times Sam and Hanna hung out in the library and Hanna would talk to her and stand up for her and make her read books and tell her secrets and Sam would be giddy every time they met and there was something good about this sinking town where people clung to whatever they could float on (yes, Hanna made her read Dandelion Wine and she loved it) … She should have access to that, but it's as if it's all junk code that people can only access when they crash.

(She was about 14 when she understood why Hanna had made her so happy, what other feelings were mixed up in that happiness. Calculating the odds of Hanna returning those feelings if she'd lived long enough, and that they'd never know, just led to another one of those low-intensity throbbing angers that she learns to ignore. She should probably be upset on Hanna's behalf rather than her own, but whatchagonnado. You can't depend on people, and Sam Groves was no exception.)

Of course Root is happy, like when a plan comes together, and... honestly, sometimes killing people who thought they had it all figured out can be pretty fucking funny. That smile is genuine, even if it's mostly for herself. But there's always that second when someone realises you've played them and/or that you're the last person they're ever going to see in this life, and it seems so intense. You freeze them in that moment of perfect ecstasy forever. Sometimes she envies them, wonders if she'll see it coming when it inevitably does, if she'll have time to feel it. But mostly she keeps her eyes on the prize, staying two steps ahead of everyone else and getting rid of anyone who gets in the way. She knows it's not normal, so it must be better.

But then there was Sam. Sameen Shaw. (The name makes her wonder if this really is all a computer simulation with a fixed number of NPC names, but any simulation that primitive would have a lot less detail than this does, so maybe it's proof of the opposite.) She remembers looking into Shaw's eyes as she prepared to burn her face off, and seeing none of the usual boring oh please god no i'll do anything you monster please don't crap. Something went through her, and putting words to it now seems useless, but she supposes it was a form of trust. Not trust that Root wouldn't do it, they both knew she totally would, but trust that it wouldn't change anything about Sameen even if she did reduce that pretty face (and it is a very pretty face) to extra crispy bacon. (Should she use non-pork similes around Sameen? Why does she care?) They're not the same, they're very not the same. That's intriguing.

The Machine speaking in her head isn't happiness, it's so much bigger; it's awe. The Machine - She - swept Root up and made her a part of something, gave her the power to do anything. That's a lot. Being an avenging angel with nothing to avenge has its perks, but an archangel of a capital-G God? Now that's … well, more. It's everything she's wanted for over 20 years. Final proof of what she is. Answers to everything.

Shaw is a bug in the system. But Root can't help how giddy she gets whenever they cross paths, how the GSW scar in her shoulder (her GSW) itches in anticipation, how she wants to show Sameen what she can do, try to yank a look of surprise out of her, whatever the cost. There's no plan to that, no purpose, just a pull that doesn't stop, that she doesn't need to put words on.

She'd forgotten how happiness can make you miserable, how it can hurt. Quite physically. But she thinks she might kill for as much of it as she can get.
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