Interested Parties

The slim brunette frowned as she stepped into the flowing music of the concert hall. "You know I've never doubted you before." She murmured, seemingly to no one, as she glanced around the crowded ampitheater. "But I'm starting to worry. This trip to Oregon isn't out of some sort of nostalgia, is it? Because if you're starting to glitch, we could..."

Her voice died as she saw the stage. There were four musicians, two with violins, one with a viola, but she had eyes only for the slim brunette playing the cello.

Root's mouth twisted as she gazed at the woman. "Well. Imagine that. I guess it's true what they say about everyone having a double." Her eyes turned up to the vaulted ceiling with an impish smile. "You didn't just bring me out here to see that, though, did you?"

She paused, seemingly listening, then abruptly turned around and strode confidently toward the sound box. "I understand." Without pausing, she pushed open the door marked "Employee's Only" and entered the closed control room.

The sound booth was strangely empty, and contained only a single man in a suit, hunched over the sound board, his eyes gazing rapturously at the quartet—or more properly the cellist—playing on stage. There was a look of deep longing and inexpressible sadness on his face.

She entered soundlessly, but even so he looked up. Eyes widening, he rose to his feet. "Audrey?" He swallowed. "I can explain, I..."

"Sorry, but no." Root smiled. "Though..." Her eyes drifted to the cellist outside, "...I understand the confusion. I couldn't believe it at first either."

The man looked from her, to the cellist, and then back to her. He passed a hand over his face. "You're... really not supposed to be back here..."

"Neither are you, Phil Coulson." Root smiled. "In fact, you're not even supposed to be in Oregon, and if your people knew that this is where you're taking your first 'vacation' in months, they'd be giving you a stern talking-to. Please don't shoot me." She added the last in a light tone, as Coulson's hand crept closer to his hip. "I don't think you want to interrupt the performance."

An uncertain smile crossed Coulson's face. "I'm sorry, I don't think I know you..."

"No." Root shook her head. "Your intelligence networks are down, you don't have government feeds anymore, you don't know who anyone is anymore. That's why you haven't taken a vacation in months, isn't it?" She smiled. "Trying to find Hydra without any eyes. You're an intelligence agency without any personnel or surveillence network, which puts you severely behind the rest of the world right now, and that's not a good position to be in when you're rebuilding a giant."

"Okay, I think you've mistaken me for someone else..."

"Phil Coulson, son of Robert and Julie Coulson of Boston, Massachusetts, knows five languages and three different forms of martial arts, age 49, formerly of SHIELD, Level 8, currently a wanted fugitive of the US government." Root answered, cutting him off. She smiled at the expression on Coulson's face. "Oh, I don't actually know you, 'Agent' Coulson. But my friend..." She tapped her ear. "...does. She knows who you are, what you've done, what kind of egg salad you like, and why you paid so much to sit in the sound booth when you could just as easily be sitting in the front row." A smirk. "Or backstage."

Sometime in the exchange, Coulson's gun had come out. "Your friend wouldn't happen to be some kind of psychic, would she? Because I might have some bad news for you on that."

Root stepped closer, ignoring the pistol. "I know you don't believe in psychics, but you believe in gods, don't you, Agent Coulson?" She tilted her head. "Because that's what my friend is. A god."

"Yeah, met a couple of those." Coulson did not look convinced. "It gets old. So what does your god-friend want?"

"It's not what she wants." Root shook her head. "She wants security, extra arms and legs to protect her assets. But what should be more interesting to you is what she can provide."

"And what is that?"

Root tapped her ear again and smiled. "Information."


A/N: This is coming from watching the Agents of SHIELD finale and the Person of Interest finale all in one night, and realizing how wonderfully the two could fit together. For you PoI fans, (SPOILERS!)the AoS finale left Coulson the task of rebuilding SHIELD without any help from the government or any outside sources, with just a handful of agents and secret bases to work with. For you AoS fans, the finale left Team Machine on the run from Decima's new network. Which means there's a giant AI system controlling a vast surveillance network, just dying to be used by someone (since the US dropped the program.) It's a match made in heaven.

The only hurdle is that Coulson's "cellist" is played by Amy Acker, who plays a very different character from the borderline-insane Root. I could maybe try to work out something with a split personality syndrome, but I don't think it's worth it. So here, the two are just an uncannily similar pair who have no actual relation to each other.

I have all sorts of ideas on how to incorporate other members of the PoI world (and maybe other fandoms!) into the mythos. Next up: Finch!