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Fanfic Recs / Person of Interest

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Proof that the remaining 10% is worth dying for here:

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Person of Interest, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be Zapped!. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.


Do warn when a fanfic may head into non-canon territory, be it in pairings or plot. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.

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    Authors and Websites 


  • Recommended by Murus
  • Don't be fooled by the author's name - all of their stories are actually 'Shoot' (Shaw/Root) centered. Nearly all of them (with two exceptions) are based upon prompts, and have 2000-7000 words (though some are part of a series). The relationship between Root and Shaw is in some way an important element in each of the fics. However, the variations of what said relationship is like are many; also, these stories are about more than just shipping. One thing readers should be aware of is that many of the fics are AU, sometimes to the point of being quite bizarre. Don't be discouraged though - there are many stories to choose from, so you can just ignore the ones whose summary makes you go "What." or "NO, whyyy!?" and discover some true gems. Some personal favorites: (prompts spoilered if they might give away too much; in such a case, see the comments section immediately below)
    • A Talk with God
      • Recommended by Murus
      • Status: Complete
      • Synopsis: PROMPT: Hi, how about a story where Machine reaches out to Shaw. Because Machine struggles to understand feelings and she doesn't understand the concept of being physical (since she is all about algorithms, and logic and purpose), so she contacts Shaw and asks questions, how does shaw deal with it, how does she understand, and eventually Machine asks Shaw if the fact that Machine singled out Root,would rather save her than someone else, would go through some unnecessary complications so Root would be happy, is that what love is? And Shaw would be strucked by that way of thinking. Because, well because, Shaw does the same things as machine.
      • Comments: I suggest you read the fic without previously looking at the prompt. Short summary: The Machine wants to know more about human emotions. Since Shaw likewise has difficulty understanding (and even more so feeling) most of them, whom better to ask first? Shaw's surprise at being the one questioned about feelings gives way to annoyance... but one query shakes her to her very core.

    General Fics 
Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

Birds of a Feather by faith_manages

  • Recommended by Galaxysoup
  • Vanished from the internet. Please post a link if found.
  • Synopsis: Reese has been doing this job longer than either of them have, and he was taught by the best.
  • Comments: Reese's POV during Shadow Box and Prisoner's Dilemma.

Dimensions of Human Interaction by annchi

  • Recommended by Galaxysoup
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: While tracking one of their clients, Finch is trapped in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Comments: Finch and speed dating - hilarity ensues. Labeled as John/Harold slash but is very gen.

The Ghost and the Machine by Dien

  • Recommended by Weaver
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: "There is no Machine, is there? It's just you." (Rambling, incoherent) AU exploration of the possibility that the line between Finch and the Machine is a very thin one indeed.
  • Comments: A strangely fascinating, subtly disturbing and highly plausible AU that's even more firmly in the post-cyberpunk category than canon.

The Chaos AU by Linda O

  • Recommended by PistachioInfernal
  • Status: Individual stories are Complete; series is dormant
  • Synopsis: Years ago, Lionel Fusco had no choice. To save a young girl’s life, he shot and killed her gun-wielding father in front of her. Years later, Harold Finch had no choice. To save a teenager’s life — and to keep her out of IFT’s servers — he kidnapped a heroin-addicted hacker and committed her to rehab against her will. Now the young woman’s own attempts to make good choices have gone terribly wrong, and her Number’s come up. To save her life for a third time, Fusco, Finch, and John Reese will need to examine her choices – and their own.
  • Comments: I can't say enough good things about this fic. Linda O has all the characters nailed down perfectly. Her OC's are perfect fits for the POI universe, tough, flawed, and fascinating. Her fics truly feel like they are an episode of the show. The Chaos AU is now up to thirteen 'episodes' (each one roughly eight to twenty chapters), and will hopefully go for more. Now has it's own page.

First Count the Cost by KRyn

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “Before Sept. 11, the idea that Americans would voluntarily agree to live their lives under the gaze of a network of biometric surveillance cameras, peering at them in government buildings, shopping malls, subways and stadiums, would have seemed unthinkable, a dystopian fantasy of a society that had surrendered privacy and anonymity.” What's the world like, a month after Samaritan comes online?
  • Comments: Harold Finch sits in a park with Bear, reading newspapers - at several points in the series. First it's after Vigilance's trial, then on into the period following Samaritan's activation, after the team separated but before they got back together. This is a fic that basically just gives us Harold's thoughts on the vast changes the(ir) world is undergoing - and it's very, very good. The writer shows an impressive amount of thought and knowledge on various subjects, and the atmosphere is appropriately oppressive for a work set during the rise of Samaritan. (oneshot fic)
  • The story has a sequel that shows us how Harold and John reunite: Jumping Off Cliffs (Complete)

System Restart by SunnyRea

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Harold honors John's sacrifice and keeps himself alive. -spoilers for series finale-
  • Comments: Follows Harold from the rooftop where he witnessed John's final moments, to his reunion with Grace, and further until he finally comes to terms with what happened. This little story functions as a bittersweet, fitting goodbye to the series. It's perfect to read right after you finished watching the final episode.

The Long Game by randolhllee

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: Root is an amazing character, but she has this habit of disappearing from the show sometimes and only hinting at what she's been up to. This is a canon-compliant take on her entire story, starting just before she first appears on POI in Root Cause. Rated for canon events such as torture, murder, etc.
  • Comments: Unfortunately, only eight chapters have been done and it seems the fic is dead. While this means that randolhllee only managed to cover Root's story from the early seasons, it is done well. What makes this fic special is that it puts us into the mind of Root when she was still an antagonist - something not many stories explore at length. It provides a fascinating contrast to the later Root (whose perspective we can see in some of the author's other stories).

Now My Watch Begins by randolhllee

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: After Shaw's trail runs cold, Root is left to deal with her absence in whatever way she can. What will happen when she finds the medal Gen gave to Shaw?
  • Comments: A five-chapter look at how Root deals with what happened to Shaw. Halfway through, the author realized that this fic in a way follows the stages of grief. Both Root and Gen's emotions feel spot on.

Flowerpots and Trellises by Tamoline

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: It starts in the cage, when Root is looking for any answers as to why she's here, any answers at *all*. Anything, really. It doesn't end there.
  • Comments: An excellent look at Root's character at various points in her life. This fic fleshes out both her history and her evolution as a person.

No Valid Options by Geonn

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Fusco remembers what it was like in the elevator after Shaw's sacrifice.
  • Comments: The author gets Fusco's voice just about right. I can imagine Lionel talking to some friend one day and saying precisely this.

Fusco's Day Off by Tanba Josav

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: This was supposed to be Fusco's day off. He had it all planned out, starting off with a nice well deserved sleep, then a long afternoon of absolutely nothing, then the evening with his kid. Was it asking too much, one lousy day? But no, no he had to get rudely woken up at eight in the morning by the blue-eyed bane of his existence.
  • Comments: More Fusco goodness. A simple, light-hearted little story, with a fun Fusco-style perspective.

Perchance by galaxysoup

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Sometimes they all have trouble sleeping.
  • Comments: Reese. Carter. Fusco. Finch watches over them all (especially Reese), even when they're sleeping. It is his own strange way of caring - and he knows how to help discreetly should there be need for it. This is a small and subtle story about heartwarming surveillance and odd friendships.

the chaos of a team by auchterlonie

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Just a super quick little fluffy piece for #OperationCozy in which the team drives Harold nuts... and he wouldn't have it any other way...
  • Comments: Another story of Finch observing the team, this time over the comms while they're in action (poking the Shaw, because it's oh so easy). As they bicker like a bunch of unruly children, he realizes that, in a way, they truly have become a family.

i don't need your voice wrapped in whispers (pushed up against my tongue) by oneworldaway

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “We were supposed to save them,” she says, and Root steps forward, close enough to touch her, but lets her arms drop to her sides. This was never the Someday either of them envisioned.
  • Comments: A glimpse at various ways things could have gone differently, and some snippets that might have taken place in the canon continuity. All of them well-written and intense with emotion.

Welcome (Back) to the Machine by nutball_one

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In the post-Samaritan world, the remaining Machine assets are trudging through the motions, trying to piece their lives back together. But things are rarely as they seem, and soon Shaw realises that the one she thought forever lost might actually need her more than ever before. Or, "yet another take on where the story could go from there", featuring Root not being dead, Fusco nicknaming anything that breathes, Shaw being Shaw, a few villains new and old, fluff and of course a bunch of gunfights.
  • Comments: Of all the Person of Interest fanfics I've read, only a honored few would I consider as candidates for being my own personal Season 6. Not only is this fic one of them - it's the very one which made me go: "That's it, this is now my headcanon!". It has all the right ingredients of a proper PoI season:
    • a new plot arc that also ties up some loose ends
    • character development of established characters, as well as the introduction of a promising new character to the team
    • side plots relating to the 'numbers'
    • a good balance of drama and humor, darkness and fluff, action and intrigue.
  • While the fic itself is now complete, it has a sequel that takes off soon after: Every Hour of Every Day (Ongoing)

    Shipping Fics 
Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

why don't we get together and call ourselves an institute by Leupagus

  • Recommended by Galaxysoup
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “It’s perfectly logical. We’re bound to be caught at some point together, and as far as I can see there’s no downside to connecting Mr. Warren to Mr. Wren socially. We’ll have an easier time explaining ourselves being together if we’re observed being together, and since you’ve vetoed all of my suggestions for activities that you could take up—“ “I’m not joining a bowling league, Harold,” John says firmly.
  • Comments: John and Harold as seen through their deep cover workplace aliases.

The Raven Project by iteration

  • Recommended by figmentof
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Reese tries to tail Finch over and over but never sees his home. Eventually, his imagination starts to run away with him.
  • Comments: John pines for Harold so much that he starts having fantasies.

Dangerous If Unbound by astolat

  • Recommended by figmentof and Kilyle
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: John is up for sale as a "DIU" sub, and winds up captive to Harold, who is not happy with the intrusion on his privacy or John's freedom but can't just let him go. Due to the world-building elements, John is drawn to Harold, both wanting him to bind them (since Harold's dom rating is high enough to bind John) and wanting to escape before that can happen (partly due to his military conditioning that allows him to resist the effect). Harold resists bonding because it can't possibly be freely given in these circumstances. And then they get in over their heads when agents come to kidnap Harold....
  • Comments: d/s AU. Brilliant world-building and the telepathy element adds an original twist to the d/s dynamic. John is not your typical sub in this fic.

minimum safe distance by eris

  • Recommended by figmentof
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: wherein everything comes together or begins to fall apart; either way. (2x18)
  • Comments: Beautifully written fic, with a quiet but steady ache that I find to be a characteristic for this pairing.

less bigger than the least begin by queenklu

  • Recommended by figmentof
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “Mr. Gully is my former employee,” says Finch, fingers splayed over another stack of printouts, Gully’s blank-smiling face lurking in the upper left corner. “Oh.” John waits, but Harold doesn’t add anything, doesn’t move except where his fingertips are twitching against the paper. "Forgive me for saying so, Harold, but that seems like the kind of information you’d lead with.”
  • Comments: If you got extreme feels from RAM (3x16), then it goes without saying that you'll get feels from this fic.

Arctic by UserIdentify

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: Root and Shaw have to go undercover at a research facility in the Arctic, the mission goes smoothly until due to a mistake by Shaw (something Root won't let her live down) they get stuck. They have to maintain their covers as a computer scientist updating systems and security analyst. Due to Root, however, everyone is under the impression they are also a couple.
  • Comments: Does the premise seem a bit contrived to you? Well, it did to me. So, for some reason, Root and Shaw have to go to the Arctic (of all places), where they are conveniently stuck? I was rather skeptical, but eventually decided to give this fic a chance... and ended up so pleasantly surprised that I actually highly recommend it!


    All in all, this is one of the best, most realistic and well thought-out "Shoot" stories I have read so far. The grammar leaves something to be desired, but the fic's qualities more than make up for it.

though the truth may vary by madasaboxofcats

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: She wants to tell Root that fire creates as much as it destroys, that forests are as dependent upon fire – upon chaos and heat and carnage – as they are upon water. The forest needs fire to stay alive, to grow. She wants to tell Root that she thinks they might be the same way – dangerous and destructive but still somehow necessary. — A 5.09 missing scene - the night between the park and the Team Machine meeting under the bridge
  • Comments: This 'missing scene' is rather good and I find it worthy of personal head-canon status. A simple yet poignant look into the relationship between Root and Shaw.

at the end, these are all that remains. by Extrinsical

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: What does it mean to win the war, but lose the battle in the process?
  • Comments: A series consisting of two post-canon fix-it fics. The first is from Shaw's point of view, the second from Root's. A number of interesting threads are explored, especially in the second story.

Self-Defense by Speranza

  • Recommended by Kilyle
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When Harold kills to save John's life, John resorts to an unusual ploy to keep the cops from catching them — and then thinks he's lost Harold for good for this unforgivable act.
  • Comments: The characters come across well, and John's quick thinking — and all the little details he puts into his desperate solution — is a delight to read.

Shoot 'Em Up by DontmesswithPeanuts

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Ongoing


    A Person of Interest/Shoot spinoff where Root and Shaw (and Bear, of course) are working numbers with the Machine 3.0, kicking ass and being domestic after Samaritan is destroyed.
  • Comments: At first I wasn't sure that this is the right fic for me. However, I gave it a chance, and boy am I glad I did! Starting with Root's recovery from what happened in 5x10, we follow the growth of her relationship with Shaw. Various subjects are touched upon, including their inner lives and motivations, and I think the author did it quite well. Jump aboard, and you might come in time to see some new and interesting people join the team...

The 32nd Annual IFTEC by ionizable

  • Recommended by Erivale
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: University AU where Root and Shaw have been forced to work together to plan and run their school's engineering competition.

    In no particular order, there will be: "oops I accidentally fell in love with you" Root, an excruciatingly slow build, jealous Shaw, jealous Root, donut thievery, eventual smut, backstories, nerdiness, things moving right along to the complex plane after the midpoint, and most importantly: cheesy science jokes! bad puns and corny jokes!
  • Comments: A solid Shoot fic. As the synopsis might indicate, this is not a particularly serious fic, and instead of tackling the show's heavier themes, it mostly takes the more amusing aspects of the show (Fusco being a butt monkey, Root being a troll, etc.) and runs with them. The author gets Shaw's and Root's voices perfect, and the back and forth is very entertaining and occasionally touching.


    Humor Fics 
Crackfics, satires, or otherwise humorous stories.

A Perpendicular Expression by Leupagus

  • Recommended by Galaxysoup
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Pissing Finch off never actually ends well; usually it ends like this, with John scaring the shit out of her at two in the morning.
  • Comments: Hilarious and in-character.

Date Night by Spatz

  • Recommended by Virodhi
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: To Team Machine, privacy is something that happens to other people. Carter/Beecher, with possibly some Reese/Finch if you tilt your head and squint.
  • Comments: In the same vein as the above recommendation. Finch and Reese fail at normal human interaction, and it's glorious. The Yelp thing alone is worth the price of admission.

Codenames by NotLostWanderer

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Absolute crack, in which Sameen Shaw has the brightest idea.
  • Comments: A "social experiment" spins out of control, and the Machine manages to be a wonderful troll.

Recommended Reviews by ionizable

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: A series of strongly-opined Yelp reviews (which is really just an accidental series of journal entries about Shaw's non-dates with Root).
  • Comments: Funny and in-character reviews of various establishments by Root and Shaw. Beware the Furminator!

of exploding pens and other trivialities by Rosslyn

  • Recommended by Murus
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “Why do you never make me any exploding pens, Finch?” Reese asks one day.
  • Comments: A lightly humorous and heartwarming little fic that is bound to put a smile on your face.

    Crossover Fics 
Crosses over with other works.

Got Your Number by Afalstein.

  • Recommended by YankeeJohn.
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: NCIS.
  • Synopsis: While vacationing in New York City, Abby's number comes up.
  • Comments: Reese as "Detective Stills", pre-reformed Root doing her nefarious things.

Number 413193178 by Sugarrush71.

  • Recommended by YankeeJohn
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Castle.
  • Synopsis: Reese and Finch receive a certain NYPD detective's number.
  • Comments: Another favorite crossover, it contains iconic traits of both series: The Man in the Suit, knee-capping, a little bit of Caskett.

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