under cover of darknessbrightly_brightly
Chapter 13: to S&M (part I)
this chapter may get edited a bit later.
warnings: there's some blood play DO NOT READ IF A BIT OF LIGHT CUTTING GROSSES U OUT, very large dildos, 69ing (kind of), good old fashioned face sitting (like in the Bible), shaw and root try to figure out exactly what they mean by "punishment," there are like... a lot of feelings. idk.
this is the precursor to the Orgasm Denial Roadtrip chapter(s)
plz comment on if you think i should rewrite the knife play as something else bc i'd be willing to do that (temperature play or sthing idk).
They're drinking coffee and waiting for their Machine-approved realtor to show up at a middle village coffee shop. It's the kind of place that still feels authentic without actually trying to be, each wall a different color, mismatched crookedy little tables, a perpetually hissing brass cappuccino machine. It smells musty and has lots of dark corners. Shaw likes it (because of the dark corners). Root hates it (no free wifi).
The realtor meeting is only part one of their day. First the meeting, then they have to work on bomb-proofing the new safehouse, then they have to go home so Root can punish Shaw.
It's the punishment part that keeps poking into Shaw's consciousness. It's a new thing for them. Granted, they throw around all kinds of words during sex, but nothing ever means anything. "Punishment" is just like "prize" or "treat" or "you're my bitch" or "suck me off" or any of the other titillating expressions they like to use. Just sex stuff with no bearing on, well, life outside the bedroom.
But there was a conversation... Well first there was a series of sexual encounters where Root noticed Shaw refusing to squirm or even really move at all, and got worried because "the squirming is the best part, Sameen." Then there was the conversation where Root proposed they try something new, try working through their weird phase with a new kind of trust exercise...
Shaw munches on the last perfect bite of an organic raspberry jelly donut while Root and the Robot Overlord decide her fate.
"Don't see why she has to have a say in it." Shaw laments.
"She likes to feel included," Root says, then in her special, just-for-the-Machine voice, "so what's your conclusion?"
Shaw scowls and helps herself to Root's untouched chocolate croissant.
Root hums, "no, no she would enjoy that."
"What'd she say?"
"She thinks you should have a firm spanking and a long session of predicament bondage."
"Psh. Right. I thought the problem was you don't want me keeping still."
"I want you keeping still when I tell you to, and ultimately giving in to what your body wants."
Shaw digs one tine of her fork into the table top. "Stupid reason to punish a person."
Root wisely keeps quiet.
"WHY DOES PRIMARY ASSET SHAW NEED TO BE PUNISHED FOR EXERTING MUSCULAR CONTROL? THAT IS ONE OF HER GREATEST PHYSICAL SKILLS."
"She needs to learn to let go when it's called for. That's just as important as self-discipline. Shaw taught me that sex is about listening to your body and I want her to do that, not ignore it."
Shaw shakes her head.
"Can you stop psycho-analyzing me together? It's creepy."
Root can tell that involving the Machine makes Shaw tetchy, so she murmurs a quick "talk later" and signs off.
Root reaches across and covers Shaw's hand, her small fist tightly gripping (bending) her fork, with her own.
"Do you understand where I'm coming from, sweetie?"
Shaw blinks, loosens the death grip on the fork, "I guess."
She does understand though, it's not like Root is making it up. Lately it's been really hard to just let go. So many things are changing and she's committing to this huge new step and it feels very for-keeps. It's hard to give it up in bed when she's not as in control as she likes of her life in general.
Root studies her face for a long time.
"You know when I say I want to 'punish' you, I mean I want you to give me control for a little bit, right, it's not because I think you did something wrong."
Shaw shakes her head.
"Root. You're not going to psychologically damage me. I get it." She blurts in the low quick voice that Root knows means Shaw wants to get her words out as fast as she can because they're uncomfortable for her, like pulling stitches.
"I like you dominating me. It feels real good. I like it when we go further, when you come up with scenarios, when you get a read on me. I like that uh, that we can kind of communicate with it. Like we can't always do with talking the rest of the time."
"But this S&M experiment is a little more of an involved project than you and I have ever explored before."
Shaw nods. Root tips her head to the side and brushes her foot against Shaw's ankle
"I need to know if this is too much. Bed games are one thing, but head games are another. I would be perfectly happy for us to talk about what's going on without these arbitrary parameters of punishment and control and power dynamics."
Shaw nods again, slower this time.
"When things change and I'm not in control, I don't like subbing."
"And right now you don't feel in control?"
Shaw shakes her head.
"Not as much. Things with us are changing fast. Buying a house, moving, not being primary asset and analogue interface anymore. Normally, I would find myself a big, built guy and fuck his ever living brains out. To balance myself."
Root pushes her plate with half a scone on it over to Shaw. She smiles and looks Shaw right in the eyes.
"Well sweetie, if you know that'll make you feel better, you should do it."
"But... we're buying a house."
"So? That doesn't change anything. Our arrangement is non-binding, well, most of the time." She winks, the fucker, "you can still have anyone you want. So can I. You know that. Right? You're not going to lose anything by investing in a little property with me."
An irate buzz from Root's phone, "sorry, with US" she corrects herself,
Shaw takes a bite of scone and proceeds to talk around it.
"I've never had what we have with anyone. I don't want.... I don't want to mess it up."
"Ok. What do you want?"
"Well when you think about yourself five years from now, where do you want to be? What kind of space do you see yourself in?"
"I dunno. Not dead, hopefully. A good armory. Dogs. Maybe still saving people's lives. Living somewhere I can do what I want, when I want, without people bothering me. You. You and y'know, everything we have. All the stuff we already have together... and more."
The Machine blares into Root's ear.
"DOES PRIMARY ASSET SHAW INTEND TO REPRODUCE WITH THE ANALOGUE INTERFACE? IF SO, SHE WILL NEED TO CONCEIVE WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS."
Root winces, "not right now," she hisses, but Shaw hears her.
"Is she listening in? Ugh, fucking incorrigible."
Root grabs Shaw's pinky between her thumb and forefinger, squeezes lightly.
"We don't have to do this, any of it. I love what we have. It's more than I ever--"
"No, I want to. I want to have a place with you. But--" Shaw doesn't quite know how to say what she wants.
"Sameen, are you... are you scared?"
Shaw scoffs. But she stares at the table top between them and wonders if maybe she is scared, in a different way than you get scared in dangerous situations. Maybe she's not so much scared as... cautious? This is no firefight, no hand to hand match, no AI apocalypse. This isn't saving the world. This is the unknown and the stakes are her and Root, some of the highest stakes she's ever known. What if I let you down? she wants to ask. What if one of us wakes up one morning and the other is gone, unable to hack the pressure of it? What if that person who leaves is you? But Shaw doesn't know how to say any of these things. So she raises her eyes to meet Root's.
"Punish me, or not-punish, whatever we're calling it, whatever it is you want to do," Shaw insists, resolute, "don't let me run away from you. Make me stay where you want me. I want... I want to be there too. I sometimes don't know how."
Root smiles because Shaw is opening up so much and it makes her soar. Her eyes soften around the edges.
"We'll figure it out together," she promises.
The realtor shows up, waving and chattering brightly away. Shaw grinds her teeth and steels herself for human interaction.
"You look like you could use another scone, sweetie," Root lets her off the hook with a little lift of her eyebrow.
Standing in line, determinedly ignoring the jabbering people around her, Shaw wonders what kind of 'punishment' Root has in store for her. They've only played with the idea of punishment a handful of times before. Usually it involves some form of pain and a lot of teasing and orgasm denial. Usually it ends with Root letting her come and holding her and being insufferably kind and tender.
Root is so dangerous and fickle, but around Shaw she overflows with adoration. She can drop a man in a heartbeat, or torture someone to death and then go get dinner, unphased. But when it comes to Shaw, she's all cradling her head and touching her gently and treating her like she is simultaneously the most precious and most dangerous thing in the whole world.
Shaw can't say she minds. Nobody since her parents has treated her with the kind of care that Root offers, without asking for anything in return. Shaw glances back to where Root sits, gesturing with her hands and making the realtor laugh.
I don't want to hide from you, Shaw thinks, but I don't know how not to.
She eats her scone outside, plumes of her own breath filling the air in front of her. She watches the realtor leave, waits for Root to emerge.
"How did it go?" She asks when Root comes out looking very pleased with herself, the sharp November wind pinking her cheeks and playing with her hair.
"Jenny gave us a list of additional places to look at, compare prices, if we want, if we're ready. If we decide we want to make an offer, she's here to assist."
There's a lot of "we"s in that statement, Shaw notices.
She nods, starts to head back to the van they drove down in, but Root grabs her coat and tugs her into an alleyway. It's too well-lit, too public. Anybody could walk by and see them. Root presses her up against the brick wall and kisses her until her whole body softens.
"I want to make sure we're on the same page," Root says, fiddling with Shaw's belt buckle.
"You wanna go find a guy? Mojito Sunday is only two blocks away... She says they're having a Singles Mingles tonight."
Shaw shakes her head, "maybe later."
"You'll be too sore later, babe."
Shaw shudders. When Root says babe, it means trouble. She half expects Root to fuck her right there, in the sun and the cold air, in full view of the midmorning traffic. Root kisses her and kisses her until she can feel her own heartbeat in every part of her skin, until every point of contact with Root's body feels like a sparking live-wire.
"What are you gonna do to me?"
"Make you feel good. Make you FEEL yourself feeling good."
"You're very confident about your abilities to make a sociopath feel things."
Root grimaces, "emotion things are overrated, but sensation things? I think I might just wreck you, Sameen."
Shaw feels an inquisitive tremor run down her body.
"For a perky psychopath who's part cyber god, you're kind of ok."
But nine hours later, "kind of ok" has flown from Shaw's vocabulary. Root has her cuffed to the bed and is grinning above her like a beautiful, blessed demon.
Root tugs Shaw's tight jeans off her hips and down her legs, choking on her own breath when she sees a silky black thong. Root was planning on calling all the shots tonight. Shaw would grin if she didn't have a gag in her mouth-- that threw her for a curve. The pants land on the floor and Root rubs her knuckles against the front of Shaw's pussy. She presses on either side of her clit, nudges into her, and Shaw snorts in through her nose.
Root pulls the sticky triangle of fabric to the side, exposing Shaw's sensitive labia. Shaw looks down her body, watches with great interest as Root studies her. Nobody would ever guess, based on Root's current awe, that she had been in and on and under Shaw's body countless times.
"Oh Sameen," Root whispers reverently, "you're so pretty."
She pumps two fingers idly in and out of Shaw, drags her fingers over her lips, teasing and toying and stoking the pull of desire. Shaw wants so badly to arch up into her, to fling herself on Root's mercy and beg for an orgasm. But Root has her gagged and tied up and there's a little part of Shaw's brain that can't do it, can't give in to the squirm riling in her muscles, tickling her belly. She squinches her eyes shut and focuses on controlling her breathing.
"Eyes open, Shaw."
Root drags the tip of her switchblade up Shaw's thigh to her hip bone. It feels really cold.
"I stuck it in the freezer," she winks, slicing the thong to bits and tossing it away. Shaw glares. That thong cost thirty bucks.
"All you have to do is wriggle for me, sweetie, and I'll let you come as much as you want. Don't pout, it's a simple exchange, you give in to what your body wants and I'll give in to what you want."
Shaw sighs. As far as 'punishments' go, this is pretty tame.
Root drags the freezing metal straight across from one hip bone to the other, pressing ever so slightly with the tip. Shaw feels so alive, so vibrant and almost high from the anticipation.
"I don't want to have to cut you..."
Root digs just the point of the blade into the soft flesh of Shaw's hip and Shaw remembers being tasered and ziptied in a hotel room, the delight on Root's face, the annoyance mixed with thrill pumping through her own veins.
"but I will," Root adds, scraping a shallow line across Shaw's lower belly.
The cut smarts, just barely stings. Shaw wants to wriggle so badly, to press her body up into the knife, feel it harder and more painful and just... more. Root smirks. She drags the blade down this time, making a perpendicular intersection, a cut so shallow it barely even bleeds.
"I don't actually enjoy making you bleed," Root says, digging the pad of her thumb into the first cut, humming happily as Shaw gasps and does jerk just a smidge, "but love is all about compromise."
She cuts Shaw again, a sharp little trail halfway up to her belly button, presses her finger to it, drags a tiny smear of blood straight up Shaw's torso. She lacerates Shaw, bit by bit, lecturing her as she goes.
"I could lose myself in you, Shaw, and I'd be happy to. But I'm a zealot. I've lost myself to a lot of things; anger, revenge, chaos, knowledge, power, God. You're not like me. You have more of a self to lose. Your shape is more defined than mine. I'm malleable; you're solid as a rock. You know who and what you are, who and what you want, and you know when outside forces are pushing too hard against that self. I was never good at drawing a line between me and my causes," Root sighs and spends a while nipping and licking Shaw's breasts.
"I don't want you to lose yourself or lose out by being with me- not on experiences, or travel, or food, or pleasure, or power. I want you to have everything, be everything, you want."
Root swipes another sharp line across her abs, "If you can't give in to your desire because of me, I will do whatever I can to help, even if it means we don't move just yet, or I have to slice you up like a rasher of bacon."
Shaw's whole body feels foggy and dense, orbiting the burning points of contact, the fine lines of bright, flaring stings. It doesn't Hurt, but it does make her feel wonderfully in touch with her skin, her blood, her muscles, her own breath even. It's not a magic cure, but it is a nice temporary distraction from her concerns. She feels herself flowing with Root's movements- Root is an architect of pain and pleasure and anticipation and Shaw... Shaw feels pliable and taut at the same time, panting and her whole body wants to leap and follow Root's touches.
Root wipes her hands down and swipes an alcohol swab over the cuts; Shaw rides the endorphin rush of that sweet sting, but they've already stopped bleeding.
"Let's see how we're doing,"
Root tosses the knife and disinfectant wipes to the night stand and slides two fingers into Shaw, pulls them out glistening and sticky and licks them off, "mm, looks like someone is enjoying her punishment just a bit too much."
Shaw tries to hiss or grunt or make some kind of noise but the gag is in the way.
"Now," Root says in that tone that means she's already about fifteen steps ahead in her mind, "I'm going to fuck you. And you're going to enjoy it."
That's it? That's the punishment? That's not even sadistic... Shaw sees Root smirk at the surprise on her own face.
But then Root holds up the dildo. The red one they've nicknamed "the challenger" - and Root wrangles a condom onto it and then she grabs the lube and starts spreading it around and Shaw knows. KNOWS.
That toy leaves her sore for days, half way turned on for days, aching for more for days.
Root's a goddamn sadist. Who slides three fingers into Shaw and stretches her out.
"Spread your legs for me, baby," she coaxes and Shaw obeys, unable to look away from the toy that's about to be inside her.
Root keeps stretching her with three, then four fingers, moving those long, preternaturally strong digits inside of her, touching her everywhere and so much...
"Breathe," Root says, and Shaw does, a slow steady inhale, exhale, with Root's warm palm resting gently on her diaphragm, making sure she really is breathing enough.
Root holds the tip of the toy at her entrance, waits for Shaw to raise her head and make eye contact, waits for her to hold up her fingers and nod assent. Then she slowly, carefully pushes inside. Shaw remembers why she loves this dildo, the way it fills her so completely, the delicious, agonizing ribbed texture. She throws her head back and revels in it.
Honestly, even with the gag, Root decides, the noises Shaw makes are simply otherworldly. There's so much low, throaty moaning, and Shaw trying to spit out swears around her gag and making loud, muffled grunts.
"I'm so glad we invested in soundproofed walls," Root remarks, waiting for Shaw to adjust to the girth of the toy before giving it an experimental little thrust.
Shaw yells, but Root knows her well enough to decipher that it's a pleasure yell (Shaw has about nine different yells, varying from angry to hungry to blissed out. Root can distinguish each one).
"I forgot to tell you something"
The smug glee on Root's face is maniacal and terrifying and Shaw wishes she could lick it off.
"I upgraded the challenger, well, The Machine and I did."
Root clicks something on the base and it starts to pulse, "it vibrates now."
Shaw kicks her little legs, or tries to but can't because Root grabs her calves and holds tight with a stern "ah ah ah, no kicks to the face! I'll get the spreader bar if I have to."
Shaw thrashes around, forgets about muscle control, forgets about everything except her body and Root's body, Root's devilish lil smile, and the impossible fullness, thrumming and pumping inside her .... and maybe she even forgets her own name, trying to ride the pulsations for all she's worth, but Root won't let her, keeps pinning her down and restraining her, keeping her just inches away from her orgasm. It makes Shaw seethe, which makes her more turned on. And then Root starts to set a pace, thrusting gently in time with the rhythm of the toy. It's like getting fucked by the ocean- wave after wave after wave. Shaw bucks and, fuck it, writhes for all she's goddamn worth, chasing that feeling like it's a perp.
"You're just adorable like this. I love it when you get so riled up you start kicking. Might just be my favorite thing..."
Root is so smug, Shaw decides she's going to shoot her again soon. But then Root bends down and starts moaning obscenely and licking her clit and Shaw decides no not shooting, strangling.
"I think before you get your orgasm, I should get a little something. What do you say we swap that gag out for a different kind of oral exercise?"
Shaw nods vigorously, so Root unfastens her gag with shaky fingers tosses it away. She climbs up over Shaw's face and turns around, dropping down so she's supported by her knees and palms. It's almost like sixty-nining, except they're not in college and Shaw is still being penetrated deeply by a vibrating dildo.
Shaw can't grab Root's legs because she's handcuffed and it's a tough angle, craning up to eat Root out while trying not to pass out from the Things Root is doing down between her legs. Still, Shaw has inhuman self-discipline and manages to lick and suck an orgasm out of Root.
Root moans and claws the inside of Shaw's thighs. Shaw goes rigid when Root presses her fingertips down on her clit. She locks up and feels like she's surging into a multitude of tiny pieces. Her insides feel like liquid. So wet and hot and so good, seizing around the toy as she twists in pretty much every direction, her need for control over her body completely forgotten. Maybe she won't kill Root just yet.
Root waits til she finishes and settles before she climbs off her, uncuffs her, and unabashedly dotes. That's the only word for it. Her eyes soften and she licks her lips as she brushes Sameen's messy hair off her forehead. Root's hair falls across Shaw's legs when she carefully pulls the toy out, and her lips are warm and soft when she presses a soft kiss to Shaw's labia. Shaw whimpers some, involuntarily.
"Oh, Shaw," Root sighs, wetly kissing her way up her body, "you're so beautiful. My darlin' girl."
Shaw doesn't have words yet. They have all been fucked away. She settles for pressing a weak kiss to the top of Root's head. Root looks up at her with that warm, steady gaze, like she can see all the layers of her all at once. For once it doesn't make her feel anxious and like keeping very still and claiming some control back, it makes her feel safe.
Root finally settles on the bed. Shaw wiggles her toes and stares at the ceiling while her heart rate slows to normal again.
"The way you get me to give up control ends up making me feel strong, after." Shaw murmurs, almost unwilling to admit that Root is actually good for her.
Root kisses her some more, she gets lost in it, as usual. Root breaks away with a smirk.
"I think I know how to help, with your thing. I'd like to try a little experiment, a self-imposed dry spell. For the length of our road trip next week. How do you feel about that?"
Shaw takes a moment. Root stares at her, drinks in her messy hair and the way her eyebrows furrow when she's reasoning something out.
Both of them have gone much, much longer than a few weeks before. But that was before. Now they have each other. Shaw's gotten used to orgasms daily, at least, and sex every few days. At least every week. And the sex is. Well, it's goddamn prime, according to her calculations.
Root says nothing for a while, letting a comfortable silence settle on them as her suggestion simmers in Shaw's head. Shaw carefully massages herself, still sore from that really big dildo, as she contemplates. A couple weeks is a long time for Root. Root never asks her to forego orgasms. Root is all about the orgasms, in abundance. She calls Thanksgiving "cumucopia," even. But this is different. Shaw thinks about their conversation from earlier. Root is offering her control back. No sex, but she could walk away from it anytime. No sex, but it's a form of self-control, something that will maybe rebalance her. Shaw can do a couple weeks, sure. She's gone days and days without food, water, or seep before. Sex should be no problem.
"Does your plan include giving up self-service?" Shaw finally asks.
"Of course, sweetie, otherwise what's the challenge?"
"Why would we do that? We already lose a couple days a month to biology, I don't wanna lose more."
Root smiles indulgently, "well, you like competition and I like long cons. Just think, if I win, you get a cruel and creative forfeit, and if you win, you get a cruel and creative reward. It could be... downright explosive."
"We already have explosive sex, Root. One time I fucked you by that building that was about to detonate, remember?"
"Mmmmm, we got so singed in the blast. It was delicious."
Shaw thinks a few moments more. "What about kissing?"
"Anything we want... except orgasms."
The temptation of a week of torturous foreplay, and maybe getting a bit of revenge on Root for winding her up all the time, is too much to resist. The sex at the end is going to be a rollercoaster, Shaw knows as much.
"If I do this I'm counting it as a birthday present."
Root shakes her head, "didn't know I could expect a PRESENT, Shaw."
"You think that time I let you tape us last year was an accident?"
Root reaches out and takes her hand. It is a gesture shared between them instead of an exchange of words, because somehow, sometimes they're beyond words. Shaw nods.
"You know I used to torture people for a living. I'm going to make this impossible for you."
Root tries to wink.
"This experiment could be real hard for us, baby, but I promise it'll be worth it."
Shaw just sighs and lets Root cover them up and wrap a protective hand over her shoulder.
Yeah. Worth it. It's always worth it, with Root.
The next day Root walks around the house in her panties, packing for the road trip, also baiting Shaw. Somehow, ignoring Root evokes that thrill Shaw used to get back when they first met, when she would let Root's advances and come-ons fall flat and it would make Root work that much harder for her attention.
Three days later, the night before they have to leave, Root shows her what the house could look like after a remodel. Shaw studies the computer model and blinks.
"I have my own room."
"Of course. We both need our space."
"It has a bed in it."
"So I have a bed and you have a bed and we have a bed together. That's a lot of beds."
Root shrugs, "Wanna do it different?"
But Shaw thinks of the nights she sometimes sleeps on the couch because of the dreams. Or waking up in a too-big bed when Root is off on Machine Business. Or sometimes wishing she had a place she could bring a hookup back to without awkwardly ousting Root.
"I like it. But I'm still into sharing with you most the time."
Root nods. "Me too, but isn't it nice to have the option?"
That's the key really, isn't it? She stares at Root, sitting cross-legged on the floor and happily picking out backsplash tiles with the Machine. Shaw doesn't have to give up her options, Root never asked her to, wouldn't want her to. Shaw's freedom is an Important Part of this relationship to Root.
Shaw rests her hand on Root's head, "I like it."