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The Words Are Gone, So They Must Be Too

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The agony ripped through him as he pulled them from the building, fire and debris all around him. The heat was sweltering, the burns upon Jack’s face a reminder on how he should have been quicker, the blood splattered all over Gabriel’s chest a sickening tell that he should have sensed it sooner.

He could barely grip with his left hand, but no matter the pain, he still pulled them both. They were his family, they were all he had. They were both safe… Mercy would take care of them, right? They were safe…

The pain as that arm was taken from him, the scream of agony that left his lips as he watched those words upon his wrist splattered with blood, the symbols in a different language unrecognizable as it was finally finished, the emptiness within his chest at losing them, never being able to find the one that was to complete him, unlike his adoptive fathers…

The brush against shoulder brought him back, a gasp as he went to grip at his peacemaker at his hip, only to have another hand cover his, the deep and gruff voice of Jack entering his ears, “Easy, kid… Just us, that’s all.”

As the older man came into his field of view, worry in his eyes and burn scars upon his face, Jesse looked down and away, shame building within his chest. “You were squirming in your sleep… looking distressed… You alright?”

“I’m fine,” Jesse grunted out, rubbing at his cybernetic arm and averting his gaze from all of them, a frown upon his lips. “Just gettin’ a little twitchy, that’s all… I want off of this transport, damn it.”

“We will be landing in ten minutes, niño,” Gabriel’s voice echoed through his ears, causing him to stand and stretch while ignoring the rest of them as Jack moved back over to Gabriel.

He didn’t understand their happiness when they were always together, how they smiled, how they became almost a single unit in battle. He didn’t understand the way one knew the other needed them, or that they could be across a battlefield from one another and know exactly what was going on across the way with one another.

Damn soulmate shit…

“Tch.” He hissed out, glaring at the ground as he pulled his gun free to twirl it in his grip.

“You do not approve…”

The voice from the shadowed corner had him jumping slightly, having completely forgotten about the cybernetic that was there. Damn ninja and his ability to stay silent. For fuck’s sake, they should put a bell on him or some shit.

“No, that’s not it,” he grumbled out, shaking his head, that echo in his chest a constant reminder on how he would be alone for the rest of his life.

Moving towards the back of the transport, he grunted out, “Have we landed yet?”

“We have landed and are moving to the hangar that will hold the transport…” Athena came over the coms as they felt the bump of the craft landing.

“Good, then I’m out, I’ll meet you all at the extraction point at the given time.” McCree grumbled out, pulling the brim of his hat down a little more in his unease to just be rid of them all for a time being.

“I will accompany you,” Genji replied as he stood from his meditative position, the lights upon his armor glowing a little more now that he was fully awake.

“I work better alone, no thanks,” the Cowboy fought back. “Stick with the ol’ men, make sure they don’t break a hip or somethin’...”

"You do not even know the layout of the city, the language, or the face of who you look for." Genji retorted as he moved closer, and if Jesse knew any better, he’d swear the cybernetic ninja was frowning beneath his mask.

“Good! It’ll be a challenge then!” McCree grinned wickedly as he moved to the door of the transport, hitting the button to open the ramp and let him free. Bringing his peacemaker up to rest against his shoulder, he looked back at them, “I’ll meet ya at the extraction point…”

He winced slightly as Jack’s gruff voice echoed through his ears, “Jesse McCree! You hold it right there…”

He then was sticking a finger into his ear and twisting it before yelling out as he lunged from the transport, “What was that ol’ man? I didn’t hear ya!”

“Just let the damn fool go,” Gabriel sighed as he started readying his gear. “Genji, tail him…”

“You believe I would do anything else?” The ninja asked quietly before lunging out of the aircraft and rolling upon the ground. Standing gracefully once more, he disappeared in a whoosh of smoke.

“He’s going to get hurt or killed, Gabriel,” Jack countered, not pleased at all.

Reyes stood and moved to strap his guns to himself as well as his ammunition, “We can’t push him more than we already do with his anger or he’ll become even more reckless than he already is…”

“I just… worry about him,” Jack whispered softly, a sad sigh leaving him. “Even after all this time…”

“I know,” Gabriel smiled softly, placing a hand to Jack’s shoulder and squeezing it, the feel of love swelling in their chests as they looked at one another. It was a moment lost to time, the world around them disappearing as they shored up one another, their fears being comforted by the other while their strength being shared.

Neither one had asked for the other as their soulmate, and neither one had ever believed that they would end up as they were. But they had, and were complete both body and soul because of it. They wouldn't change it for the world, either. It was the one wish they had for their adopted son, that one day he would feel that tug, that swell within his chest, that he would feel that completeness that wrapped around you, made you feel whole.

“Now come, mi corazón, we have a mission to complete and a brother of Genji’s to extract for our team…” Reyes smirked as he leaned his forehead against Jack’s, a chuckle breaking his throat a little and causing the smaller soldier to roll his eyes and pull away.

Placing his visor over his face, he grunted, “The kid will be the death of us one day…”

Gabriel laughed heartily at that, pulling the other in before kissing the mask he wore, “Work first, worry later…” With that, he was pulling back and nodding, “You first…”

Jack wasted no time rushing forward, readying his rifle as he went, “Watch my six!”

“Oh I’m watching it alright,” Gabriel replied back smartly on the coms before radioing to Athena to lock down and ready for their return.

The city of Hanamara was beautiful in it’s own right, a sparkling display of colors and cherry blossoms during the day, and still just as stunning at night as they had arrived. It was spring, the sweet smell of the Sakura wafting through the still air as Jesse made his way through the abandoned streets.

Even though many districts were packed, filled with life, the ancient district of their destination was desolate, subdued… silent…

Too quiet… His mind told him as his hand twitched over his holster while his teeth ground together in a habit from smoking his cigars. Of course, no cigar was there, a precaution to make sure he wasn’t seen.

Slipping into an alleyway, he pulled his peacemaker from it’s resting spot. Finger twitchy on the trigger, he spoke quietly into the coms, “I’m almost at the meetin’ point and streets are as dead as the desert righ’ after a sandstorm. Jus’ a warnin’ for you ol’ mans…”

As Genji’s soft voice came over the coms, Jesse couldn’t help but jump slightly, “There are many vehicles up the hill from you. Hanamura Castle is active tonight.”

Before McCree could respond, Reyes came over the coms, “We’re almost in position…” As the two took up their station, Reyes using binoculars to look into the castle and Jack zooming in on his visor, Gabriel spoke again, “Some kind of party going on?”

“Well… if it’s some kinda party, I reckon I might as well invite myself in to crash it, yeah?” Jesse smirked as he started his way towards the lit up castle, readjusting his serape and then his hat, sliding his hand along the brim.

Baka,” Genji hissed quietly before he was scaling a few more buildings and running across rooftops, each footstep silent as the one before it. He quickly reported the amount of guards, too many to be even odds, but one sight made his breath suck in, “Aniki…”

“What do you see, Genji?” Reyes asked, gripping Jack’s shoulder as the soldier gripped his rifle tighter in unease. Something wasn’t right, they both could feel it, and it set them on edge.

“Talon agents. And Shimada gumi soldiers… and… my brother.”

Jesse felt the hair on the back of his neck raise at those words as his grip upon his gun tightened, “He joinin’ their forces?! Or is he being held against his will?”

“They are torturing him! The tatami beneath him is red!” Genji growled, and Jesse had a moment of surprise at that. He had never heard the ninja angry, always calm, zen… “I am going in!”

“That wasn’t part of the plan, Genji!” Jack yelled out, standing from his position with Reyes.

“Plans change!” Genji shot back, causing Jesse to pick up his pace.

“Hold it there, Ninja! If anyone’s goin’ in and crashin’ their fun, it’s this gunslinger, partner!” Jesse yelled out.

“Damn it, Jesse! Not the plan! Stick to the plan!” Jack yelled out once more as he pulled at Reye’s hold on his arm.

“Fuck plans, ol’ man! I’m going in and shootin’ the place up like it’s High Noon!”

“Provide them back up, Morrison!” Reyes growled out. “If they want to be idiots we will have to do this the hard way then…” He then was pulling Jack in for a quick and heated kiss, “Keep them covered, I’ll cause a diversion and get us a getaway vehicle!” With that he was gone, leaving Jack to rush across the rooftops as best as he could.

“I’m getting too old for this shit,” he grumbled out as he jumped from a rooftop and let loose a helix rocket down into the courtyard below.

The explosion caught attention, causing men to cry out in pain as they were flung backwards, bodies burned and life taken from them. It was moments later that an explosion from the parking lot took their attention from trying to find where Jack had landed upon a rooftop, hobbling ever so slightly from the landing he had done.

“You alright mi corazón?” Gabriel’s voice came over the coms to him, and he couldn’t help but hiss ever so slightly.

“Fine. But damn it, I’m not built like I used to be…”

“I will kiss it better after the mission, I swear to you…”

Jesse groaned at their words, heard by them all, but his voice died completely as he entered the castle, he saw the bodies littering the ground, some in pieces, some impaled by silver and green throwing stars. But movement caught his eye, causing him to look up.

Talon goons were heading deeper within, and Jesse cursed quietly over the coms, “Damn it! There won’t be any worry of them hurtin’ you, Genji, because I’m gonna do that for them since you made me run so much!”

“Running is good for you,” Genji joked before cursing over the coms. A slight change in his voice could be heard, the joking aspect of it gone as he spoke next. “The rest are yours… Come dogs, let us see how you face a Dragon’s Fangs!” He was snarling then before sounds of a battle could be heard.

This left Jesse to chase down the rest of the goons, following the red strip along the floor that he could undoubtedly smell as blood. It didn’t take him too long to catch up to them, his only body compared to the one that they seemed to be dragging, and upon doing so raised his peacemaker up while aiming at them.

Yelling out, he started fanning his revolver at the men that were turning to face him, pulling their own guns out, watching as each one fell to a bullet to the head, “It’s High Noon!”

Some of the men had tried to dodge the bullets, unloading themselves with their guns, but each bullet hit it’s mark, the avenger in red a more skilled shot then they were. What they were trying to hide had been shoved into a corner. The man had dark hair tangled across his face. His clothing had been ripped off for the most part, two big nails, nearly railroad ties, driven through his feet into a heavy wooden block so he couldn't flee. His arms were bound above his head, like he'd been hanging from them, weighted down by the wood in his feet. His bloodied chest rose and fell frantically for air.

Jesse moved forward to him, kneeling down and radioing over the coms, "Need some medical, ol' man... He's in a bad way..." He then was tapping the man's cheek, "You look worse than a picket fence in a tornado, partner..."

Gently, he untied his arms and rubbed at the man's wrists, "It's a'ite though... ol' Jesse's got ya..."

The man's shoulders popped painfully, making him suck in a shuddering breath. They must have been working him over for hours. Eyes dark as coffee cracked open to look at whoever his savior was.

"Watashi wa hakkyō shinakereba narimasen." he muttered before beginning to shiver hard.

"Yer shiverin' worse than a barn door in a thunderstorm... Damn..." Jesse whistled as he pulled his hat off before pulling his serape off as well. Not wasting any time, he quickly wrapped it around the man, rubbing his shoulders very gently to try and get him warm again. "Easy there... we got ya now, promise..."

He looked so off color against the red of Jesse's serape, probably blood loss. His eyes were wide though, just... staring at Jesse. He'd heard him speak but nothing was clear until those words....

Those words.

"McCree can you get him out of there?" Gabriel barked over the coms. "I can hotwire one of these vans but we are running out of time!"

“Yeah, yeah… I’ll get him out, stop frettin’ ol’ man!” Jesse huffed as he looked down at the nails in his feet. "This... is gonna hurt, partner, but it's gotta be done, yeah?" With that, he was taking his cybernetic arm and wrapping the fingers around one nail, yanking it out of a foot and then the other.

Not even giving the man time, he hoisted him up into his grip as if he was a small child before standing and sprinting again. Puffing out air, he grumbled over the coms, "I hate you all for makin' me run so much, damn it! I ain't muscle, I'm pudge!"

"Then run Pudge!" Genji snarled over the coms. Across the compound the sky lit up bright green and the bellow of something not of this world rattled even McCree's bones.

The man in his arms shuddered at the sound, the arm covered in Tattoos flaring a little blue and white before he passed out.

"Well damn, Ninja... whatever you just did caused our guest to just pass out. Way to go! And fuck you, yeah? You want him outta here or you want me to drop him? Because I damn well will leave him behind!" No, he wouldn't, he couldn't... something deep seeded into him just wouldn't let him and he wasn't sure why. But he wasn't going to let the ninja know.

"I can carry him if that is so much of a burden," Genji's radio said and the ninja was beside him, armor spattered in blood. Whatever he had done he looked like he'd walked into a Tarantino flick. "The van is around the corner, go."

"Fuck you, you ain't takin' him!" Jesse snarled, only to seem shocked at his own reply. "Damn..." he hissed. "I'm smokin' a cigar after this, for fuck's sake..." He quickly spun around the corner, grinning stupidly as he saw the van waiting for them. Jack was waiting at the open doorway.

"Come on, Jesse! Hurry it up, will you?!"

"Easy for you to say, damn it! You're not carryin' an unconscious hunk of muscle!" Jesse bellowed out as he skidded against the van and tossed the man's unconscious form within. Flopping in, he took in gulping breaths. "Get us outta here, yeah?"

Their cargo didn't even so much as grunt as he bounced on the van floor. The benches ran along the sides of the van rather than the usual setup for a transport. Genji got in as well, what appeared to be a bow strapped to his back.

Gabriel swore and peeled out as soon as the door closed. He waited just long enough to be out of the way before he hit the detonator on more of the cars. "Follow us now you sons of bitches."

Jesse smiled softly and sat up, blinking as that smile started to die away when he felt a sharp pain in his side. In a move he rarely did anymore since the accident, his voice wavered and he reached towards Gabriel driving the van, "P-Papi..."

As he collapsed, Jack swore as he saw the blood staining the side of his armor, the hole there allowing more to flow freely. "You were supposed to be watching him, Genji!" Jack yelled out. "Gabriel!"

"Getting back to the hanger now, we got a mobile med lab there." Gabe said as he sped through the streets, gripping the steering wheel rather roughly to keep himself from lunging into the back. "Med kit in my backpack, stop the bleeding if you can!"

Genji cursed and grabbed the medpack, going to Jesse's side and peeling off his armor. "I was trying to keep Talon off his back while he got Hanzo."

Jack quickly went about cleaning his wound and nodding to Genji, "No excuses, just help me now!"

Genji's visor lit up brighter, data going from his display to Jacks. "The bullet is still within. I can remove it." He muttered as his display showed him right where it was and how to reach it.

A hand grabbed the ninja's thigh and made him jump. Hanzo looked at him, pleadingly...he tried to speak something and whatever he said made Genji jolt.

"I promise, brother. I will do my best. Sleep." the order was an easy one to follow as Hanzo passed back out.

Jack swallowed roughly as he nodded, "Get that bullet out, fix him up as best you can... I'll tend to your brother, make him comfortable." He then was brushing the hair out of Jesse's face before kissing his forehead, "Don't worry, kid... We've got you..."

Genji worked quickly, his fingers separating apart to become tools better for the work at hand. He was quick and quiet and soon stitching up McCree's side after a shot of a local anesthetic.

Gabriel pulled the van right into the hanger and up into the belly of the aircraft. "Athena get the medbay online, radio Mercy and bace and get clearance to take off. Talon won't be far behind."

"Affirmative."

Jack had done his best to stitch up Hanzo to the best of his ability, clean his wounds and give him some pain meds to ease the discomfort. It was... a lot of damage. They must have had Hanzo for days given his injuries. The worst seemed to be his legs or more near the knees. Though Jesse had pulled the nails out of his feet they did not bleed but blood pooled behind the knee guards.Once that had been finished, he looked up at Gabriel, worried, "He hasn't called you that since... the explosion..."

"I know." Gabriel came around and opened the door. His face was riddled with worry. "Let's get them in the med bay, Mercy can walk us through what is needed to keep them comfortable until we get back to medical help."

Jack nodded, "You get our son, I'll get the ninja..." He then was lifting Hanzo easily in his grip before moving towards the medbay. "Oi! Genji... What did he say to you while we were working on Jesse?"

Gabriel picked up Jesse and cradled him, bringing him into the infirmary and resting him on a bed "You damn fool." He muttered, shaking his head and fighting the pain that burst through his chest at seeing Jesse in pain.

Genji followed carrying the bow he'd managed to pilfer. "He asked me to protect his unmei no hito... his destined one."

Jack paused after placing Hanzo down onto a bed, eyebrows creasing together as he pulled his visor from his face, "Destined one? You... don't mean..."

He looked up at Gabriel, eyes slightly wide as he rubbed at his own shoulder where Gabriel’s original words were on him.

"It is the term we use for soulmate." Genji confirmed.

Gabriel looked just as shocked and a bit confused. "Athena get us in the air now!"

"Airborn in 20 minutes due to refueling. We will depart as soon as we can. Without refuel we cannot get back to medical attention."

"Shit!" Jack bellowed out, slamming his fist against the wall and looking down, "We lose either one of them and I swear to any deity I will go on a rampage!" He then was clenching his fists, "Make that refuel as quick as possible, got it, Athena? We need out of here now!" The rage and worry that welled through him was not just his own, he knew that.

Chapter Text

The time it took to refuel seemed like eternity as Gabriel went about stabilizing the two, hooking Hanzo up to an IV as well as nutrients and pain medication. Each heartbeat had Jack spiraling even more into the darkness of his fears, of the worry and anger from both himself and Gabriel, a rebound of feelings ricocheting between them.

At Gabriel’s insistence, their get away van was ditched courtesy of Genji, and upon the ninja coming back to the transport, Jack grabbed his arm and hefted him within, pulling him back towards the medbay, all the while speaking to him in a rushed state, “You're telling me that Jesse is your brother's soul mate, that his first words to your brother are upon his skin somewhere?"

"I remember where they were." Genji said as they entered. "Written around his left ankle. It should still be there."

"If it was it isn't now." Gabriel sighed as he lowered his head. Beside him were the boots Hanzo had been in, but the sheet covering the injured archer ended just below the knees on both legs.

“Cybernetic legs,” Jack whispered out, looking upset once again. “Tch… Just like Jesse’s arm…” He looked back to Genji, slight hope within his eyes. “Do you remember your brother’s words? What they were upon his skin?”

"It was in english. I know Hanzo memorized the words even before we could speak them. The Soulmate was the only thing Otosan couldn't take from him in the name of the Shimada family." Genji said before taking in a breath and saying the words. "Easy there... we got ya now, promise…"

Jack and Gabriel exchanged one look, but far more was said silently between the two, the feelings roaring and reverberating within them. Could they dare to hope? Could they dare to dream for their son? Their son who up until that day screamed in the dead of night, refused to speak with anyone, be around anyone?

Gabriel went to Jesse's arm and unscrewed the top plate of the armor. "Jesse was always upset after losing his arm. I remember what his words were... well more what they looked like." He held up the armor plate and showed some symbols written on the inside.

"Watashi wa hakkyō shinakereba narimasen." Genji read before he laughed a little. "That sounds like my brother. It means I must be going mad."

Jack Morrison couldn't help but laugh at that, placing a hand to his forehead, "Oh damn it all... I'm too old for this shit! The kid vowed he'd never find his soulmate because his words were gone... His constant repetitive sentence to me when I tried to tell him otherwise: 'Well, the words are gone, so they must be too...' Gabriel... we've got our hands full with these two..."

"My brother gave up hope many years ago." Genji said "Even before that fated day... our father arranged his marriage to an american who said his words but he felt nothing. I fear it broke his heart too much." There were stories of people who tried to force the words if they learned them and it.... never ended well. "How did he lose his legs however? How long has he been like this?"

"We'll just have to ask those questions when he comes back to." Jack nodded. He then was smirking as he looked to Gabriel, "Remember our first meeting?"

"We did try to kill each other." Gabriel said, sounding wistful. "For now we will do our best to keep these two alive."

"Ready for departure. Please take a seat and assure everyone is strapped in securely. We will be making a rapid exit." Athena chimed in over the coms.

“I think my exact words to you before I attacked were 'Fuck off or I'll shove a helix bomb up your ass...'" Jack smiled as he sat down to strap in while looking to Gabriel.

His soul mate chuckled and smirked, “And as I blocked I asked ’What about dinner first, not even a kiss?’in Spanish. We both felt it then... or I started to anyway."

"Oh I felt it, but I refused to believe it... and then that night I looked at the damn tattoo again and damn it, I think I broke my fist through the wall because it was your exact words." Jack leaned towards him and chuckled.

"Only in Spanish, which you didn't speak at the time." Gabe chided and poked his nose. "Strap in lover mine we got a date with a medic."

“Oh yes, Angela will kill us bringing back two injured members…” Jack shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Now strap in yourself before I make you.”

Gabe laughed and strapped in, knowing how Jack could get when he didn’t listen to orders. Genji did the same silently. The two were quite entertaining to listen to most of the time. The aircraft lurched into the air and climbed high to get everyone to safety. "ETA to Illos: 10 hours. Mercy and Torbjirn will be waiting for our arrival." Athena said.

"Good to know... we just have to keep them stable for ten hours before Mercy can work her magic," Jack wasted no time before unhooking and moving over to Gabriel. "Never thought the kid would find his soul... The real job is going to be getting him to believe it... You know how he's been since he lost his arm..."

Gabriel pulled him close, burying his face into his neck to remind himself that Jack was there, he was safe, they were both alive. The approval that rolled through the both of them had Reyes closing his eyes and smiling, their bond still strong and alive, hearts beating in tandem. “He will feel the pull just as we did…”

"The big question is... will he be stubborn and think it is something else," Jack shook his head as he held Gabriel against him, needing that closeness to calm the anxiety that had welled within him. He might not admit to anyone about his anxiety, about his worries, but Gabriel just knew.

"Depends on how hard his other half believes. " Gabe held Jack close to give him that ease, completeness, glad Genji seemed to be focused on meditation out of earshot. " We should try to find pictures of Jess before, see if we can spot his words."

"We have a few back at the base in our photo album... we'll see if we can find them... I just don't want him being hurt anymore than he already is..." Jack whispered, the echo of worry rolling through Gabriel, the feeling not his own but accepting it - they always accepted each other’s feelings.

"Either of them. It looks like Hanzo has been through enough." Gabriel almost purred as he nuzzled Jack’s shoulder to calm him.

"Yes... to think... someone would try and force those words onto someone... It makes me sick thinking about it..." The soldier grunted out, his eyes sliding closed as he allowed Gabriel to influence him into a calm state.

"And the whole killed his brother bit. I thought he was supposed to be the Heir not a prisoner." Reyes hummed as he slid his chin over Jack’s shoulder to rest there.

"There might be more to this than the eye shows," Jack grunted out, "And I swear I'm gonna keep them in my sights to break this secret apart..."

Gabriel turned his head to kiss Jack’s cheek, something that always brought a smile to Morrison’s lips, “It’ll be okay.”

Right on cue, Jack smiled sadly, “It always ends up that way, doesn’t it?”

"We don't have the best luck, mi corazon, but we are resilient. Maybe Jess will be less of a moody edgelord." Gabriel responded to his words as he whispered within Jack’s ear.

He couldn't help but laugh grandly at that, shaking his head, "Maybe! And maybe he will actually go to his therapy sessions and take his medication, hmm?"

" If Hanzo needs it too he will go. Or I will tan his ass and make him." Gabriel grunted out, agitation rolling through Jack.

"Oh... I love it when the protective father in you comes out," Jack smirked as he leaned up to whisper into his ear, "Should I call you Daddy then?"

"It’s awkward when he calls me Papi, papi…” Reyes murmured back to him, shifting ever so slightly in his place. The worry radiated within Jack, blossoming and growing from Gabriel, and Jack couldn’t help but turn fully and place a hand to his cheek to try and calm him with the feeling of love that filled the both of them.

"It is... he never does it unless he's hurt," Jack explained, nodding. "I'm surprised you actually didn't lunge back to check on him... I'm proud of you for that..."

"Well while driving it wouldn't have helped anyone." Gabe said with a shrug. "Still weird... we should probably sit with them for a little while. If Jess wakes up strapped to the bed he's going to buck like a bronco and holler like Mercy without coffee."

"He does have this thing about freaking out when he can’t move around or fiddle with something, doesn't he?" Jack shook his head and then moved to be near their two patients.

“Lemme get some coffee for us. Gunna be a long ride." Gabe gave Jack a smack on the ass as he went up to the galley.

Jack grunted out as he blushed slightly, watching Gabe go. Shaking his head, he turned his attention back onto Genji, moving over to him and placing a hand on his shoulder, "Your brother will be alright. We will get them to Mercy..."

Genji heaved a sigh and reached up to his face mask. He never really took it off. Most thought he was an omnic. His face was a swirl of scars and kind bright green eyes full of worry...and terribly young. "I fear he has been punishing himself for his transgressions...and now it seems our family has as well. If they wanted him dead it would have been swift. They wanted him to suffer."

"Well that stops now. He's got you, got us... We'll keep him safe." Jack nodded, a small smile coming to his lips as he took his visor and mask piece off to reveal the burn scars upon his face as well as his kind eyes.

"If you haven't noticed... This small family of ours tends to like to keep people safe..."

Chapter Text

The voyage to Ilos was a long one, the time stretching and being filled with the remembrance of Jack and Gabriel’s first meeting, the embarrassment and the pain that went along with it. How they were literally tossed into solitary alone and yet with one another…

The ache that ripped through their chests at not being able to touch one another, be right beside each other, hold one another in a way.

Ten hours was agony. Ten hours… Ten… hours…

Hanzo stayed quite stable, resting in almost seemed like peace, but Jack and Gabriel knew better. They had been in that position before as well as watching their other half be in that position. It… was never pretty.

A part of Jack was fearful on how Jesse was handling up, and if Hanzo’s condition was in any indication why the Cowboy hadn’t woken up yet.

But with no one to tell him yay or nay, he sat there quietly, cup of coffee in his hand that was now cold as well as Gabriel’s assertive presence right beside him.

“He’ll fight this,” he whispered sadly, causing Gaberiel to wrap an arm around him and pull him against his side as he felt that sadness and worry gravitate in him, not calm or settle.

“Then we give el niño some time… We don’t push… We’ve seen how that goes, haven’t we, mi corazón?”

A huff was his answer as well as a blush. Jack knew. Oh he knew. Their first few weeks together as soul mates had made Gabriel know just how bad of an idea it was to push Jack with anything he wasn’t keen on.

He had seen the man around the Academy, the way he held himself, the echo of inspiration that he seemed to filter behind him and to those that stayed near him for long enough. It had taken him a full week to watch the Hoosier, make sure he was available, that he was even in the right frame of mind, but he had finally decided that today would be the day and approached him.

Stepping in front of one Jack Morrison had been a move Gabriel Reyes was certain would be expected, but the frown and glare from Morrison had been a surprise. Nonetheless, he smirked as he looked down at him, arms crossing over his chest as he planted his feet and readied asked his question he had been dying to ask for days.

“'Fuck off or I'll shove a helix bomb up your ass!”

It was those words that couldn’t stop the laughter that spilled from Reyes, only to silence upon the left hook that came flying his way. Blocking, he kept his eyes upon Morrison, a large smirk coming to his lips as he flippantly shot out, “¿Qué hay de cenar primero, ni siquiera un beso?”

The stumble from Jack was not missed by Reyes, who also had a moment of what he thought was unease within his chest before it felt like, felt complete, felt… whole... and he just knew, he knew that one Jack Morrison was the man he was supposed to be with.

Especially when Morrison went stumbling backwards and gripped at his chest.

The worry that hit him, the anxiety, it was not of his own doing, and it caused him to gasp out as Jack went running away from him, shaking his head. Could it be? Could it be even possible?

“Mi corazón,” he whispered, watching him go and feeling an emptiness starting to fill him. But just how accepting was Morrison going to be when it came to being paired with him of all people?

And what caught him off guard the most was the anxiety and worry that always seemed to exude from Morrison even though he only showed confidence. Just what else was the soldier hiding?

Later that night had one jack Morrison leaning heavily against Gabriel Reyes door, panting and looking pale. Banging upon the door, he groaned and shook his head, feeling rather ill. “For fuck’s sake, open the goddamn door!”

“Did it finally get through your thick skull, mi corazón?” Gabriel’s voice came from the other side of the door before he was opening it and catching the falling form of Jack, who immediately curled against him and seemed to go lax, eyes closing and breathing seeming to return to normal.

“Fuck… you…” Jack grunted out, though there was no heat to it as he brought an arm up to sling over Gabriel’s shoulder. “Just… get me in there, please?”

“As you say, mi corazón,” Gabe smirked and moved Jack to the bed before laying him down upon it. Wiping at his brow, he shook his head, “Being one’s alma gemela is a lot to take in…”

“Your words… are on my skin…” He whispered, closing his eyes and feeling so complete, feeling so at ease, something he had never felt through all of the anxiety and worry that constantly ripped at his insides.

“And your bright words are upon mine,” Gabriel laughed as he brushed his hand down Jack’s face. “I have to admit… Never thought I’d ever hear someone yell at me about shoving a helix rocket up my ass…”

The blush that came to Morrison’s face was worth it, worth it all, the stuttered words that came fumbling from his mouth, not even coherent sentences, it was completely worth it.

He couldn’t stop the laughter from leaving his lips at that point, and he curled into the bed with him, arms wrapping around Jack to pull the younger to himself. “Rest, alma gemela… we will speak more in the morning…” All he received was a grunt and a hand to his face to shut him up, causing him to smirk.

A hand on his shoulder brought Gabriel to the waking world, and the warmth that entered his chest told him it was Jack and not some random person, thus his hand not even inching towards his guns. “Jack…”

“You dozed off…” Jack rumbled out, and as Gabriel opened his mouth to say something, the American soldier cut in, “You needed the sleep, so I left you go.” He then was sliding into Gabe’s lap, the tiredness seeping into Gabriel to tell him how exhausted Jack really was.

“Now it’s your turn. ETA?”

”ETA until arrival is three hours,” Athena’s voice came over the coms, causing Reyes to frown down at Jack, only to sigh in annoyance as he saw Jack already asleep on his lap.

“I will check on my brother and McCree,” Genji’s voice filtered into his ears, and Gabriel snapped his head up to look at the young man, who was now standing a few feet away from him.

“Just make sure they’re stable and comfortable,” Reyes yawned back, bringing a hand up to rub at his face. “And coffee…”

“Coffee?” Genji asked, tilting his head to the left a little. “Why would either of them need coffee?”

“No, not them… me I need coffee…” He laughed and shook his head.

“Ah. I shall get you some then as soon as I am finished with my other task,” was the reply he received before Genji seemed to vanish.

As Genji moved to check on Jesse and Hanzo, a perplexing sight met him. The Cowboy had somehow latched onto Hanzo’s hand, their fingers laced together and grip tight. It was an image he thought to never see with his brother, a small smile upon Hanzo’s lips and a peaceful feel to him, even though he looked as if he had seen better days.

He pushed the beds together with one another so they didn’t have to strain to be with one another, but he knew it would be quite the waking up of both of them.

But for now?

Coffee for one Gabriel Reyes.

Chapter Text

His nose twitched. It always twitched when there was trouble. It twitched when Jack was about to have an episode. It twitched when Gabe told them they had a mission to aid Overwatch from the shadows. It twitched when he had broken the steering wheel to their jeep and wrecked it into a concrete wall, thus garnering him a month’s worth of being grounded unless they were to go on missions.

So as the couple and he walked within the Swiss Headquarters, Jack and Gabriel laughing about a joke Gabriel had said, Jesse had to pause ever so slightly. Nose a twitching, he looked around in confusion.

Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing wrong. No different people that he could tell. Same people, same faces, same smiles…

Then why did it feel so wrong?

Slowly he took a step forward, then another, and he sneezed then, hard and rough, causing him to rub at his nose with his finger and falter in his steps.

“Jesse?” Jack’s voice had him looking up, the Hoosier looking slightly worried as he turned slightly to look back at him. “You alright? Getting sick?”

“I’m fine!” Jesse growled back to him, eyes narrowing as swung a hand in front of himself before yelling, “I’m not a kid, you know?!

It was at that action that hell seemed to break lose, explosions and fire roaring to life around them. Debris rained from above them, and both Reyes and Morrison lunged forward towards him. He got his wits about him after he had been shoved out of the way, the pain the first thing that seemed to reverberate through him.

He didn’t realize he was screaming a blood curdling scream until after his hearing started coming back to him, the ringing just barely containing the screech that was being ripped from his throat. Finally turning his stiff head, blood dripping down the side of his face from banging it off of something - he wasn’t sure what - he saw what was left of his mangled arm, bone protruding and yet the arm itself looking like something one would see out of a horror film.

The alarms blaring around them as well as the screaming was disorienting, especially with the pain that wracked through his head and arm. But Gabe, Jack… He had to make sure they were alright. He might get upset with them, but damn it, they were his dads.

Gabriel was the closest to him, unmoving and something sticking out of his chest. The fear that echoed through him at the sight made him feel frigid, and he scrambled towards the one who had originally found him and taken him in.

Gabe!” He cried out, shaking the man’s shoulder. “Oh God, c’mon! Please? C’mon, Papi?” The small and haggard rise and fall of Gabe’s chest told him that his buffer father was still alive, even if he wasn’t doing very well.

But his hand was gripped tightly by Jack’s, the other soldier’s clothes singed and his face burned badly. Even in their pain and unconscious state, the two soul mates were one, a united front.

Tears came to his eyes as he scrambled to his feet, gripping at the metal piece that was lodged within his chest. Screaming out as he tried to curl the fingers upon his left hand and not being able to, he yanked as roughly as he could with his right to get the offending object out.

It took him a bit, his eyes squeezing shut as he continued to try and yank at it, but finally it budged. Crying out in triumph, he opened his eyes, only to see Jack’s hand wrapped around the metal as well, aiding Jesse.

“Jesse…” Jack rasped out, looking so much in pain, his burns horrid. “Get… outta… here…”

“Not without you two!” He argued out, shaking his head as he tried to grip onto Jack with his shattered hand.

Jack didn’t have the chance to respond, the pain too much as he blacked out.

The heat around them from the fires was sweltering, causing him to gasp for breath at how thick the smoke was. Wrapping barely moving fingers around the back of Morrison’s coat, he started dragging him with him while his other hand gripped at the back of Reye’s shirt. Step by step backwards, he was able to pull them from the collapsing and on fire building, biting his lip to keep himself from sobbing - but not from stopping the tears.

Help!” He sobbed out as he finally got them free, collapsing backwards as pain seemed to wash over him finally now that he knew Gabriel and Jack were safe… as safe as he could get them. “Please help!”

Hands upon his shoulders had him sobbing even harder. Someone was there! Someone could help them! “It is alright, Jesse… We have you…”

The next thing he knows is being held down unimaginable pain echoing through his entire being as something rips at his arm, and he is brought back to the land of the waking with a heartbreaking scream upon his lips as he tried to struggle. Back bucking upwards, rolling from side to side, he tried to get free, tried to pull himself from the pain, from the sound of flesh being cut into, of being sawed. And as he looked down, those words that had been upon his skin, those of his soul mate’s, slowly were coated within a thick and congealing blood, concealing them from view.

Agonizing moments later something was shoved over his mouth, hazy forms above him and whispering to him unintelligible things. He felt… wrong… lighter… on his left, but as he tried turning his head to see why, his eyes closed and darkness folded him within its grasp.

The bloodcurdling scream had Gabriel scrambling from his seated position and to the bed they had Jesse set up in, the Cowboy bucking and grabbing at his left arm as if it was the source of agony that he seemed to be within. Mercy was there within seconds, cooing to him and trying to calm the way he scratched at his arm and started screaming in what appeared to be jitterish to begin with.

The pain was agony, and his heart monitor was sending alarms rapidly. But what worried Jack the most as he moved in as well, his heart shattering with every second his adoptive son seemed to be in agony, was the words uttered constantly from his lips, over and over again. “Kotoba ga nakunatte irunode, karera wa nari emashita! Kotoba ga nakunatte irunode, karera wa nari emashita! Kotoba ga nakunatte irunode, karera wa nari emashita!” Each time louder and louder until it reverberated within Jack’s soul.

“That’s… Japanese,” he whispered as he sucked in a breath while looking to Gabriel to help shore him up.

“Jesse doesn’t know Japanese…” Gabriel grunted as he held the Cowboy down while also pulling Jack to him to keep him standing, keep him strong, a wall of protection from that anxiety and worry that just wished to wash over him fully and take him under.

Looking to the bed that held their guest, he watched as the face of Hanzo seemed to become distressed, and he cursed internally before nudging Jack, “Help me with this!”

Where?” Jack asked, although he started instantly, knowing exactly from Gabriel just where it needed to go.

Pushing the bed across the way, they stopped when both Hanzo’s bed and Jesse’s were together, and both soldiers witnessed the two unlikely soulmates calming as they came into contact with one another. The sigh of relief that seemed to leave Hanzo was a healthy one that had Mercy smiling softly, and the sobbing of Jesse seemed to calm into a silence, his chest rising and falling sporadically until it finally calmed and the tears stopped.

“Well… there’s no doubt now about them being soulmates, Jesse can’t deny that…” Jack shook his head, only to smile at Gabriel’s chuckles.

“He’s a hard ass and will deny every moment, you know that as well as I do,” Gabriel shook his head before sitting back down in a chair and watching the two.

“I do…” Jack nodded as he sat down beside him before yawning.

“We shall keep them together as closely as possible to keep both of them calm until they awaken,” Mercy stated quietly, not wanting to wake the two injured young men. “Shimada was roughed up badly. I have done what I could. He should heal nicely, but will ache when he awakens… Jesse, the stubborn boy, will have a full recovery as well.”

As she moved towards her office, she paused to look back at the two, “You know how hard it is for a bond to form, how raw it can be, I do not need to tell you. I will leave that up to you two to mediate and help with…”

“Boy do we have our work cut out for us,” Jack groaned.

Chapter Text

The sound of a steady hum brought him to the waking world, one hand heavy and body aching. The dimmed lights weren’t enough to stop the pounding within his head, the churn of his stomach, the absolute pain that assailed him, which eked a groan from his lips and caused the two sleeping soldiers in the chairs near his bed to jump and surge forward.

“Jesse…”

That was Gabe’s voice, wasn’t it?

Eyebrows creasing together, he tried to concentrate upon it, but it only seemed to evade him a bit more as thoughts wandered through his mind, feelings as well that perplexed him.

Pain. Elation? Completion? Joy? Confusion?

“W-What?” He moaned out as he brought his cybernetic arm up and over his face, the cold from the metal cooling down his fevered head.

“Easy there quickshot… Just take it easy…”

Gruff, deep, gravely… Jack.

“I don’t… Did we make it?” He asked as he cracked his eyes open ever so slightly, but kept his arm over them to keep the light out.

“We made it, kiddo,” Jack responded, helping him sit up and propping him up with pillows. “You’re both in one piece… But I swear, Jesse McCree…” Jack leaned in so they were almost nose to nose, the look upon Jack’s face one of anger as well as seriousness. “If you pull a goddamn stunt like that again and get yourself shot… again… I’m going to make sure that bullet hole sticks!”

“Uh…” Jesse shirked back slightly, looking just the tiniest ashamed. Of course, that only lasted for a quick moment before the flash of defiance roared through his eyes and he yelled out, “I’m not a kid no more, damn it!”

“He’s just worried about you,” Gabriel’s voice had him calming slightly, and Jesse looked to see where he was. His eye caught him sitting near Hanzo’s bedside, as if awaiting the Japanese to awaken. “As we all were…” Gabriel nodded to around the room, where Jesse caught sight of not only Genji, but Mercy as well.

He scoffed slightly and ran a hand through his hair, “How’s our… guest?”

“Why don’t you see for yourself?” Jack shot back, nodding to the bed where Hanzo was still sleeping. “You saved him, Jesse…”

Genji bowed from his position, pushing away from the wall to do so. “You have my deepest thanks and honor, Jesse McCree…”

“Aw hell, no, ninja… Don’ be goin’ an’ givin’ me that now… We all played a part…” Jesse started, only to quiet down at Genji’s next words.

“But you mean more to him than any of us ever could…”

“Uh… naw. Jus’ a Cowboy doin’ the thing, ya know? Ropin’ the bad boys, savin’ the day… minus the ropin’,” he whispered before rubbing at his legs absentmindedly. “Tch… my legs are achin’...”

Gabriel passed a glance to Jack, who returned it with a small smirk. “It is starting already…” Mercy replied as she moved forward, easily checking him over. “Does he know?”

As Jack shook his head, readying to answer, Jesse cut in, “Know what?”

“It’s best if it comes from Hanzo himself,” Jack countered to Mercy, shaking his head. “Let the two talk it out when he comes to. Until then, well, we do what we can to ease the symptoms…”

“You’re all talkin’ like I’m a horse needin’ to be turned out to pasture that is past it’s prime…” Jesse frowned and shook his head. “I’m… not a horse needin’ to be turned out to pasture… yeah?”

“No, Jesse, you aren’t,” Gabriel calmed his fears with those words, a large sigh leaving the Cowboy as he relaxed in his bed. “But things are changing for you…”

“Tch…” Jesse frowned. “What, replacing me since you’ve got ninja boy over there?”

“No, Jesse,” Jack sighed and ran a hand over his face, lingering a little longer than necessary over his scars. “But you’re going to be feeling different…”

“Oh for the love of…” Jesse threw his hands into the air, “Damn it, Jack! Not the puberty talk again… We already been there, done that, yeah? That’s ol’ news…”

“Then I suppose… it never… stuck…” A new voice entered Jesse’s ears, and he turned his head to look over at Hanzo’s bed, only to see the Shimada brother painfully lifting himself up on an arm.

The look within Hanzo’s eyes had something within Jesse’s chest clenching, and he felt anxiety well within him with being so far away from him. He fought the feeling though, grunting and closing his eyes once more, “Good to see ya alive, Samurai… Good to know my heroics didn’t go to waste…” He then was chuckling uneasily before grunting once more, “When can I get outta here?”

“A few more days,” Mercy easily stated, moving to Hanzo to check on him and take his vitals.

“Tch, too long…” Jesse hissed.

“Not enough,” Mercy countered, “especially with your bond now!”

“What in tarnation are you talkin’ about, Mercy?” Jesse frowned and opened his eyes to look over at her. She stood there quietly, not answering his question and causing him to groan. “Sheesh, even you too?”

“She means our bond as soulmates,” Hanzo interjected while Mercy went about putting a new IV bag on him and checking his pain medication. At the stare Jesse gave him, slightly dire, he continued, “You said my words…”

Jesse interrupted him with ugly laughter, though Jack and Gabe could hear the weariness behind it all as well as the pain. “You’re delusional, partner! My words are gone, so my soulmate is as well!”

The look of hurt that crossed upon Hanzo’s face before disappearing caused something within Jesse to break, and he sucked in a deep breath to try and stop the absolute agony that seemed to rip at him. “You said my words,” Hanzo whispered as Genji moved towards him.

Jesse faltered for a moment at those words that were whispered so quietly before shaking his head, “Sorry, partner… coincidence… ‘m bettin’!”

He couldn’t hold onto that false hope. Was this all just a joke? Did they really think this would help him? Damn it, he didn’t need no help!

“A tightening in the chest… the need to be near without a reason why…” Hanzo murmured to him, causing Jesse to pause in his movements of trying sit himself fully up. “The pain in places you aren’t sure why because you have no injuries there… A loud sound at the back of your mind, a purr, a lull, and you feel at home, safe…”

How did he know?

Jesse frowned slightly at those words, shaking his head and denying it once more, “Don’t know what you’re speakin’ of, partner… Sorry…”

With that, he was looking to Mercy, “Get this offa me so I can get outta here, yeah?”

“Not for another day or two, Jesse,” Angela shook her head before moving away from Hanzo completely. “You will have your work cut out for you, Hanzo… Jesse is one stubborn boy.”

Chapter Text

The days bled into one another, Mercy running out of reasons to keep Jesse within the medbay with Hanzo. And as the IVs were finally removed from the Cowboy, he was quickly hefting himself out of the bed.

He needed space… and yet… he didn’t want to be alone. Talking with the Samurai had been… nice. He hadn’t been able to talk in ages to anyone, and for some odd reason he just could with Hanzo. To the Samurai’s credit, he let the Cowboy speak, listening intently with a small reminiscent smile upon his lips that would quickly disappear if Jesse called him on it.

Jesse reminded him of Genji when they were younger, before… Well… before.

And whenever Hanzo would try to breach the subject with Jesse about soulmates, he was flatly ignored, the Cowboy speaking over him about one thing or another. It ached, deep down it ached, but he would give it time. He had been told by not only Mercy, but by Gabriel and Jack as well that Jesse would be very difficult with the situation and to give him time.

“Well, Samurai…” Jesse grunted as he rubbed his cybernetic arm for a moment as if it was flesh, only to catch himself and clear his throat. “I’ll… uh… come visit?”

A sinking feeling entered Hanzo’s chest, but he bowed his head, trying to not show his discomfort, “I will feel honored to have you visit…”

“Y-Yeah,” Jesse rubbed the back of his neck in unease as he moved towards Hanzo unconsciously. “I’ll come back… at lunch, yeah? Just gonna take a walk around, stretch the ol’ legs… get this ache outta them that I’ve had for the last couple o’ days…”

“You lie to yourself,” Hanzo stated, and Jesse swore he felt sadness roll through him that definitely wasn’t his own. “Because you do not wish to see the truth that has been unveiled to you…”

McCree stumbled a step at his words before he felt anger well within him. But the words upon his tongue died as Hanzo seemed to wince from something, and he suddenly felt shame at wanting to bellow at an injured man. That wince was not from pain though, but from the feeling of anger that splashed over Hanzo from Jesse himself. The anger, the self loathing, the agony and the fear. Jesse was filled with emotions that could not be seen from the surface, that Cowboy facade hiding anything he actually and truthfully felt. And yet now Hanzo was subjected to it, would be for the rest of his days and into the afterlife. They were bonded, and even though Jesse denied it, it was truth. The gods had decreed it.

“I’ll be back,” Jesse murmured before moving back towards the door. “Maybe I’ll bring ya some good grub from the mess, yeah?”

“That would be very… appreciative,” Hanzo whispered dissatisfied, and Jesse grunted in unease before moving to the door. As it slid open, he tipped his head to Hanzo and then walked out.

Chest tightening with each step, Jesse had to stop fifteen steps down the hallway, a hand to his chest and his eyes squeezing shut in pain. What was wrong with him, damn it? Just a few breaths. He’d take a few breaths, a few moments, and just calm himself, let that pain wash through him and be done. He always did it in battle, it would work here too, right?

As the pain didn’t subside, only seemed to worsen as it washed over him, he gasped out and slid to the floor, hand coming to his face to try and calm himself. “Get it together, Jesse… c’mon… get it together…”

It was at that point that a feeling of remorse hit him, and he groaned as he curled in on himself, a feeling of helplessness threatening to overwhelm him to the point of being unable to function.

That was how Jack and Gabriel found him… curled up in the hallways, legs locked to his chest and head buried into his knees, his skin rather pale as he looked nauseous. “Jesse?” Jack whispered, kneeling down beside him, only to have the young man start quaking.

They knew what was happening, but trying to get Jesse to believe it was like trying to stop a stampeding herd of bulls with a red cloth. “Hey niño… you’re not looking so good… Come on… up we go,” Gabriel grunted as he tugged Jesse to his feet.

“Can’t get very far, can you?” Jack chuckled and shook his head as Jesse gave him a halfhearted glare. “Didn’t mean it that way, kiddo…” He then was sighing, “When are you going to get it through your thick skull, kid? You hoped and prayed for so long before you lost your arm… You wished you could meet them, be just like Gabriel and I…”

“Stop it,” Jesse hissed, fist clenching to his metallic arm.

“At least give him a chance, hmm?” Gabriel hummed as they moved back towards the mebay.

Each step made that pain within his chest a little less, that ache and throb dying down. His breathing came easier, and the nausea seemed to die away. Upon setting eyes upon Hanzo, who seemed to be rather pale as well, Jesse’s color started to return, as did the Japanese’s.

“Do you not get it now?” Jack scoffed as he let Gabe take Jesse and set him down on one of the beds near Hanzo, who watched Jesse closely. “You two are bonded… soulmates! And with the bond so very new, being away from one another is going to have side effects!”

“S-Shut up, ol’ man!” Jesse grit his teeth as the pain and nausea subsided fully when he was near Hanzo. “I don’ reckon I asked for your opinion…”

“And I don’t reckon I asked for your approval of it,” Jack grunted out as he placed a finger to Jesse’s head, poking him backwards. “You keep walking away, keep denying this, and it’s going to get worse. I should know…”

“He ain’ my soulmate!” Jesse bellowed out in anger, causing Hanzo to jerk slightly and growl under his breath towards Jack, whom had upset Jesse. A protective wave rolled through the Cowboy, and he took a second to silence himself and think about where it had come from.

“But I am,” Hanzo stated softly yet firmly. He would do what he needed to in order to make the Cowboy see that it was the truth, that they were not trying to hurt him in any way. “I am your soulmate, Jesse McCree… You house so much anger, so much agony, it rolls through the bond like a sea in turmoil… you blame yourself for many things you had no control over…”

“Shut up,” Jesse hissed. “Just stop!” Eyes closed, he took in a shaky breath, “I dunno where you think this is funny, ‘cause it ain't… But I reckon I don’ need you to try and make me think differently than the truth o’ the matter…”

“Then I shall silence my words, apologies,” Hanzo’s soft voice caused Jesse to falter in his tirade, blinking in confusion. Hanzo was sitting there, a sad and small smile upon his lips that Jesse had gotten used to - made his heart thump painfully in his chest in a good way. “You are not ready for the truth, so I shall silence my words until appropriate. Until then, I shall be here… Not too far, but not too close… For you are my soulmate… and I will not leave you…”

“Tch… yeah, whatever,” Jesse blushed slightly and looked up and away. No, he didn’t believe it, it couldn’t be true! But that didn’t stop the flutter in his chest or the way his heart beat faster at Hanzo’s words. Nor did it stop the feeling complete whenever Hanzo was this close, or the way he felt like he had just won a bucking bronco competition whenever the Samurai would smile at him. “Damn…” He hissed quietly and turned his head away to puff his cheeks out.

Gabriel stood off to one side, a small smirk coming to his lips as he thought on how Jack had been close to the same way, wanting to deny it but knowing the truth… except… Jesse really believed they weren’t soulmates.

“I think you should stay here for a while longer,” Jack interrupted Gabriel’s thoughts and Jesse’s grumbles. “I want to make sure you are in top condition for anything else that might be thrown at us, since it seems Talon is getting desperate…” The small smirk that came to his lips then had Jesse frowning.

“Oh no… No, no, no, no! Don’ ya dare ol’ man!” Jesse fought, knowing just what his adoptive father was up to.

“Starting today, you two are a team… You’ll go everywhere together… You’re partners… off and on the battlefield… So get used to one another… The things that make each other tick, the things that aggravate each other…” Jack paused and shook a finger at Jesse, “And no doing it on purpose, damn it! I won’t have another of your partners say they refuse to work with you!”

Jesse glared at Jack but said nothing. He knew his adoptive father had gone into Leader of Overwatch mode at that moment in time. He had been causing problems with partners they placed him with. Even Genji and him had butted heads quite a few times… Thus why they didn’t fight right alongside each other…

Jesse might have… Shot him intentionally… to get him out of the way…

The Shimada was still not pleased about that moment.

“Be lucky I am not handcuffing you two together like I should to learn each other's movements!” Jack pointed.

“Didn’t work out well last time…” Jesse grumbled as he glared at Jack. He pursed his lips and grumbled, “Gramps swung me around like a toothpick not realizing that I was, an’ I quote ‘A flimsy pile of skin an’ bones’...

“Reinhardt gets over excited sometimes… and still feels shame about… hurting his grandson…” Gabriel snorted as he moved over to Jack and placed a hand to his shoulder. “But I agree with Jack on this one. As leaders of Overwatch, we’re partnering you with Hanzo… You’ll spend the next week getting to know him inside and out…”

“Damn it! No! I work better on my own!” Jesse countered, visibly upset. The wave that rolled through Hanzo had him sucking in a silent breath, and causing Jack to frown ever so slightly, his enhanced hearing catching it.

“Who will watch your back then?” Hanzo gently stated, causing the Cowboy to quiet down and look at him. As he received no answer, he continued, “One must always have a guard to their back… so as not to be stabbed from behind, yes?”

“Damn it…” Jesse tisked, looking away and frowning.

Looks like he was stuck with the Samurai…

Even though he didn’t show it, a small part of him was… glad… that he would be spending more time with him. A part that made him ache when that smile was not upon Hanzo’s lips, or that sadness was in his eyes. And as much as he wanted to deny it, he… enjoyed it.

Chapter Text

The shared quarters was aggravating, he liked his space, damn it. But what infuriated him was when he tried to walk away from that damn Samurai. The throb in his chest, the leaning against the wall for support, the gasping breaths… But the consolation was the fact that it happened on Hanzo’s side too. The Shimada made it a creed to shadow Jesse much like a tiger does its prey.

Always a step away, but with enough distance to give him space. Just on the fringes of the beginnings of that pain. He understood the need to be alone, had tried for years to obtain that after he had “killed” his brother. But Jesse took it to a new extreme in a way.

Anger was always in the bond, not at anyone else… but himself. An agony that was soul deep. And Hanzo could hear the sobs that never heard the light of day. He heard the sharp intake of breath every night as he watched secretly from his bunk as Jesse ran a hand down his arm. He felt the ripple of the pain that reverberated upon waves through the newly formed bond between the two.

And yet… Jesse fought it, denied it, was against the thought of the two of them being soulmates. It perplexed Hanzo quite an extent. He could not understand how Jesse would not feel it, how he would push that part of himself aside in denial.

So as McCree was at the shooting range practicing his aim, Hanzo had made his way to Angela’s office to ask a few questions about the stubborn Cowboy’s delima. Upon stopping at the door, he notices the paperwork upon the desk, the good doctor reading tirelessly about one thing or another. And a part of him does not wish to bother her. But as she raises one finger to indicate for him to wait, he stands there almost transfixed, years of living under his father’s roof burning through his veins to give her respect.

It is a moment later that she is looking up, a small smile coming to her lips as she stood from her desk, “Ah, Shimada… What may I do for you? How are you feeling?”

“I will survive,” he responded almost coldly before internally berating himself. He needed to once more reacquaint himself with being around others. “Apologies…”

“Ah, no offense taken,” she replied as she moved over towards him. “I fear you are here about Jesse. Are my fears correct?”

“Why does he fight it? Why can he not accept the feeling that I know he feels?” Hanzo asked, bowing his head as she moved past him. Respect. He would show her respect. She had helped save his life as well as his soulmate’s.

It was at those words that the good doctor Mercy sighed and paused in her steps. “Jesse McCree is a young man that walks in the very tall shadow of two men that are heroes… Those are rather big shoes to fill, as I am sure you know from your father, hmm?” She turned her head and canted it back slightly to look at him, a sad smile upon her lips.

“Two fathers that are desperately and madly in love with one another who raised him upon the tales of soulmates and the meanings of the words upon one’s skin…” Sadness leaked within her voice at her next words. “Two fathers that will never quite understand the agony of losing those words… A tale told by a man that is much like a grandfather about what happens when your words disappear… when they are gone…”

She turned slightly to watch him closely as he took a step towards her, curiosity within him and yet a cautious movement of a hand lifting towards her. “Do you know what happens when your words disappear from your skin usually?”

“You will not know what your soulmate says to you?” Hanzo murmured, knowing that was what he thought had happened with Jesse.

“No,” her voice filled with even more sadness as she spun completely to him, holding out her hand with her palm up. “One’s words disappearing from your skin usually means your other half, your soulmate… has departed from this world… Your chance gone to meet them, to have that completion in your life… You feel a void in your soul that will never leave, no matter how much you try to fill it… There are remedies, I am told, that aid in making that ache not as much, not as noticeable… but you still walk into your room at night to an empty bed, a darkened room… no one there to greet you…”

Her words had Hanzo blinking, remembering how every night Jesse would walk within the room, sadness within the bond and his voice as he whispered ”Welcome home” more to himself than to anyone, and even jumped when Hanzo would reply back to him.

“So Jesse believes that… with the loss of his arm… it is as if the words disappeared from the appendage?” Hanzo tried to summarize Mercy’s words, and the medic nodded, a sad smile upon her lips.

“It will take time… it may take longer than you are willing to give… but you must persevere, do you understand me, Hanzo Shimada? You are doing wonderfully right now, and I know it aches that he does not respond to your call, to your pull within the bond…”

He seemed to stiffen at that, surprised that it would even be shown, since he tried to hide it, and she laughed softly. “I am a medic, Shimada… I see things others cannot… But he is already starting to show the wear of not calling upon the bond… and soon that curiosity of his will get the better of him. He will soon realize that the loss of his arm did not mean the loss of his words, unlike another he knows. And he will fully feel that bond, open and ready… and he will realize that it’s been there all along.”

She closed her eyes as she turned back around, “Until then… just do what you are doing… And come to me if there are any issues… I will do what I can to alleviate the problem…”

“I thank you,” Hanzo grunted out as he bowed, causing Mercy to giggle as she continued walking towards her lab, leaving the Samurai to stand there for a few moments before he felt a pull on the bond unconsciously, as if Jesse was finished with his target practice and was wondering where his shadow had gone.

Within a quick spin, he was moving out of the medical lab and back towards the range, that uncomfortable feeling that had grown in his chest from the distance, almost like a cotton filling it up and unable to breathe, dying down with each step back towards McCree. He wondered if Jesse felt the same way, but was quickly answered as there seemed to be relief that flooded through the bond from him, and Hanzo couldn’t stop the small smile coming to the corner of his lips before it disappeared as he realized he was out in the public. He sent a wave of enjoyment through the bond, only to feel a startlement reverberating back through before almost a lash of anger.

With a sigh, he moved to the door to the range, watching as McCree spun to look at him, holstering his gun, his cigar between his teeth as he worried it from one side to the other. The Cowboy had forgone his usual attire of armor, trading it in for a rather tight t-shirt that read ”I Shoot Because Punching People Is Frowned Upon” and a pair of jeans that hugged his hips snugly, his B.A.M.F. belt still in place. Of course, trademark serape and hat were still in the picture.

He couldn’t help but lean against the doorway as Jesse sauntered towards him, holstering that Peacemaker of his, a determination upon his face as if he was steeling himself for something, and Hanzo canted his head to the right ever so slightly in wonder of the Cowboy that now held his heart and soul. “McCree…” He whispered to him, causing the Cowboy to blush ever so slightly and pull the brim of his hat down as if flustered over something. “Finished, are we?”

But the spell seemed to be broken with the rest of his words, and Jesse’s head snapped up to glare at Hanzo, a fire within his eyes, determination billowing through the bond and causing Hanzo to tense ever so slightly in excitement. “Yer late, Samurai… How d’ya plan on hittin’ the broadside of a barn if ya don’ even come to pract-...”

Jesse’s words died as Hanzo pulled his bow from his back and quickly notched an arrow, falling into that familiar stance he had been taught all those years ago. Quickly taking in a calming breath, he let it out just as the arrow flew, embedding within the target Jesse had been firing at.

Amazement seemed to wash over Hanzo as he straightened and quickly placed his bow upon his back before dusting his pants off. “You were saying… Cowboy?” A small smirk came to his lips.

“Well hot damn!” Jesse whistled, slapping his leg before smacking Hanzo upon the shoulder and laughing, “Hogtie me and call me Sally!”

“Why would I wish to do something…” Hanzo started, only to seem to understand and raise his eyebrows before nodding, “Ah… another of your sayings… I understand…”

“Ya know… with a shot like that… one would say you’re on fire,” Jesse chuckled.

A chuckle…

He laughed!

The first time since he had come to be with Jesse McCree, Hanzo heard the Cowboy laugh, and the sound sent a lightning bolt down his spine. Maybe there was hope after all. Maybe all he needed was time as Mercy had told him.

Maybe… Just maybe Hanzo Shimada could pull one Jesse McCree out of the denial he had buried himself within.

But as soon as the laughter had started, it disappeared, and Jesse seemed to draw back within himself once more, clearing his throat and straightening his hat before pulling his shirt straight once more.

“Time for a cool refreshment for these parched lips I reckon,” he bumped his shoulder against Hanzo's as he exited, barely stopping himself from sucking in a deep breath at the touch.

One step at a time, Hanzo told himself. Just like his recovery and therapy after his legs had been viciously taken from him. One step at a time. They might be tiny, they might not go anywhere but in a circle at times, you might even stumble and fall a few times, but one step at a time would get you somewhere.

So as that ache started up within his chest once more, he spun on his heel and moved after Jesse, giving him his space and yet staying close to not bring that pain to either one of them again. Together they would heal one another. Together they would be strong. Together… they would complete one another…

If only Jesse would allow it so.

Chapter Text

The days were long and yet short, his other half spending most of his time when not training in his room away from others. That did not bother Hanzo. He had spent years alone with only his thoughts and the dragons for company, a nice cup of tea and burning incense. And yet now there was no tea, no incense…

Although, maybe he should try it…

It might ease the troubled mind of one Jesse McCree. The Cowboy had been tossing and turning at night, talking in his sleep, and even waking up in a sweat while panting and looking wildly around the room. Some nights he’d awake with a scream upon his lips, and for the first few times it had happened, Hanzo had thought the scream was from himself and his own nightmares until he realized his mouth wasn’t open in a terrifying noise.

Each night ended with Hanzo sitting in the bed with Jesse, the Cowboy mumbling vehemently ”This don’ mean nothin’, partner…” and Hanzo himself whispering back ”I know.” Before both fell asleep sitting up and leaning against one another, Jesse’s head to Hanzo’s shoulder and Hanzo’s head to the Cowboy’s.

It became a ritual in a sense… Even if Jesse hadn’t woken screaming, Hanzo awoke with a jerk before moving to the bed with Jesse, the Cowboy seeming to calm ever so slightly at his presence. It was a ritual that wasn’t spoken of outside of those walls, nor was it really spoken of within.

Other than those brief moments at night, McCree was still the same… Gruff, standoffish, and refusing to believe what they had was actually real. Hanzo took it all in stride, not pushing, not pulling.

Days bled into weeks, and soon it had been a month since he had come to stay at Overwatch, had found his one and only soulmate. Hanzo had been Jesse’s shadow the entire time, as aggravating as it was to the Cowboy, the archer refused to leave him too far away as if paranoid on his own.

Of course, Jack and Gabriel had found it hilarious. Watching as Jesse would go walking off in one direction, hands cupped behind his head and whistling a tune, and a few seconds later Hanzo following him silently. The two were taking bets in how long Jesse would hold out until reality slapped him finally in the face and he realized it was there, had been there.

The two were actually getting rather proficient in battle together as well, as their training sessions proved to show. Whether Jesse wished to believe it or not, the two knew what the other was going to do before they even moved. Hanzo knew Jesse would roll around the corner before fanning his Peacemaker. Jesse knew Hanzo would scale a building to shoot a sonic arrow before calculating the bounces from a scatter arrow and pinpoint where his normal arrow should go through all of that for the most damage.

They moved around one another’s fighting with ease and almost practiced precision… Jesse knowing when to spin out of the way just as an arrow went past him to land into an enemy in front of him. Hanzo knew when to scale a building to miss the bullets that Jesse released from his gun.

They were a deadly combination, one from below, the other above. And as of yet, could not be taken down by anyone except Jack and Gabriel themselves.

Behind you… A whisper at the back of his mind, a voice not heard but felt, the urge to do as instructed, pushing him into a roll forward before spinning as he stood up. Jack was there, rifle perched and ready.

“Reflexes are getting better, Jesse,” he praised him, and Jesse smirked as he raised his weapon up. As he opened his mouth to say something else, an arrow struck him through the head, causing him to recoil backwards and fall dead. The shock in Jesse's eyes was part of the reason his gun lowered, the bellow of agony from somewhere around him caused him to quickly fall to his knees, the image of that dead echoing through his mind and causing a sick feeling to roll his stomach.

”Jack Morrison respawn in nine seconds…” Athena’s voice echoed around the virtual reality of King’s Row they had been placed in.

“McCree!” Hanzo’s voice echoed around him, but he just stared at the spot Jack’s body had been, body quaking as he was lost to tgat memory. Agony ripped through the bond, pain and anguish, and Hanzo knew immediately what had happened and what was.

As Gabriel came rushing around a corner, shotguns raised and looking every bit gone as he was sure he was, Hanzo did the only thing he could think of. He lunged down to stand in front of Jesse right before the bullets pelted his body.

The feeling of death embracing him was an unnatural feeling. As the darkness closed in on him, the sweet whisper of final rest crested the back of his mind. The pain was a distant memory as he felt his legs collapsing from under him, but one thought passed through his shutting down mind. “Jesse…”

The scream that echoed through his ears was familiar, and a sad smile came to his lips as he fell, head falling into his Cowboy’s lap. Something wet dripped upon his face, and upon opening his eyes, he saw Jesse shakily pulling him closer, agony and pain twisting his face into soething Hanzo swore would never happen again as he cried.

As the darkness took him, Jesse bellowed out in agony and pain, anguish heavy on his vocal chords as he stood and aimed at Gabriel, who for his credit was shocked at what had transpired. But just as he was readying to let lose on the trigger, a hand gently took his, causing him to look up with tears still falling down his face.

Jack was there, taking his Peacemaker from him and smiling sadly. ”Hanzo Shimada respawn in nine seconds…” Athena’s voice echoed around King’s Row.

“You never quite get used to your other half dying, Jesse…” Jack’s words were soft as he placed the Peacemaker back into Jesse's holster. He looked up at Gabriel, who seemed to have his wits back with himself as he moved forward and dropped his shotguns before pulling the younger man into his arms. “Gabe and I still have issues as you can see…”

That was the scene Hanzo came back to, Jesse still on his knees and being hugged tightly by Gabriel, Jack standing beside them with his hand upon both of their shoulders. As Jack looked up and saw him, he smiled, “That was a nice shot, Shimada…”

Hanzo watched as Jesse seemed to wince and squeeze his eyes shut, and he felt through the bond the absolute fear and agony that the Cowboy was trying to hide away. To try and remedy the situation without pulling attention to their bond, Hanzo moved forward, “That experience is… most… unpleasant…”

“It always is the first few times,” Jack laughed almost sadly. “You’ll get used to it though… unless you’re amazingly good at surviving…” He turned his gaze onto Gabe, who smirked ever so slightly but said nothing.

“You died for me…” Jesse’s voice was small, almost childlike with fear, and Hanzo looked down at him, a resolve in his eyes that he would do it every single time if he had to. “You died for me… and I felt it… Your life slippin’ away from me, like a leaf in a windstorm…” Jesse sucked in a shaky breath, “An’ no matter what I tried to grip onto it, ya slipped away anyhow… An’ I couldn’t… it was like a part o’ me died…”

“We are bonded, soulmates,” Hanzo explained to him for the thousandth time, even though he knew it wouldn’t sink in. But the word that came from Jesse next had him halting any other explanation he was going to give the Cowboy to try and hit his point home, once more.

“Maybe…”

It was soft, a sucked in word that had both Gabriel and Jack looking down at him in complete shock. Had it finally happened? Had Jesse finally come to the conclusion that they were soulmates?

He didn’t want to believe it. But the proof was pretty damn clear.

… He’d still fight against it, not wanting to believe it.

“Maybe?” Hanzo asked, trying to keep that hope quelled, but it floated through the bond, causing Jesse to wince slightly. He hated that, feeling someone else’s feelings, hearing their thoughts at times.

“Maybe.” Jesse grunted out, pushing at Gabe and Jack before standing and pulling the brim of his hat down as he blushed slightly. “Trainin’ done for the day?”

“Yes,” Jack nodded, looking upwards. “Athena, end training exercise seven-two-two-five, please…”

As the street and building around them seemed to shimmer and disappear, Jesse headed towards the door to the holographic room. “A’ite… I’m out…”

Upon reaching the door he paused, looking back over his shoulder at the three of them, “Samurai… you comin’?”

Hanzo stared at him for a moment in confusion before moving forward. Jesse waited until he was right up with him before he started walking again, “Figure it’ll be easier if we’re together… that’s all…”

A small smirk came to the archer’s lips before it died and he nodded, “Of course, Cowboy…”

Gabriel and Jack watched both leave, bantering back and forth, and smiled about it. Progress was progress, at least in Jack’s book it was.

“We’ve got to work on your reaction to me going down…” Jack whispered to Gabe as he helped him to his feet. “You went mad…”

“I can’t control it,” Gabriel responded quietly, shaking his head as he picked up his shotguns from the ground and holstered them. “It’s like something snaps, and I can’t stop myself…” A small smirk came to his lips, “You’re worse… more dangerous… on the rare occasion it happens to me…”

“Liar,” Jack blushed and shook his head, shoving Gabriel back before moving towards the exit.

“Want me to show you the footage of our one mission where Winston thought he’d have to hold you down himself with his rage?” Gabriel chuckled as he moved along with him, catching up and wrapping an arm around Morrison’s waist before leaning in to whisper into his ear. “I find it hot…”

As Jack sputtered, Gabriel moved on chuckling, causing the soldier to rush after him. “Hey! Wait a minute…”

Gabriel’s chuckling turned into laughter at that point as he strode out of the holographic training room. “You are so easy to fluster, mi corazón… I love it!”

“Shut up,” Jack blushed grandly, shoving Gabe as they made their way down the hallways of the base.

“You started it,” Gabe shook his head as he bumped his hip against Jack’s, a smirk upon his lips as he spun and pulled the man closer to him, kissing him roughly and shoving him against the wall while pinning him there.

Jack reciprocated in turn, kissing him as if they had been separated for far too long and were seeing one another for the first time in ages. As a hand came up to run through Jack’s hair, the sound of an explosion caused both to jerk away from one another, eyes going wide.

“Jesse!” They both yelled out, moving as one towards where the explosion had occurred, shaking the building.

”Respawn for Hanzo Shimada in fifteen seconds…” Athena’s voice came over the comms around the base, and Jack sprinted ahead of Gabriel, his chest tightening as he couldn’t get enough air into his lungs, his heart thundering in his ears as it quickened its pace far too quickly.

“No!” He whispered, rounding the corner, rifle in hand. “No!”

The sight that met him had his rifle falling to the floor uselessly. A hole in the wall, debris falling and dust scattering the air, and Hanzo’s body fading from existence as it was respawned back in the holographic room.

Where was Jesse?!

Rushing forward, he dug at the rubble in hopes of finding Jesse’s body. He was still alive, but how badly was he hurt? Where was he?!

His thoughts died as gunshots whizzed past him, cutting into his jacket and face. And as he looked up, he saw Agents in black down the hallway, one dragging Jesse along with him. As he opened his mouth to scream, someone beat him to it.

”Jesse!”

It was Hanzo. He had sprinted his way back, Gabriel right behind him looking deadly that their son was in someone else’s grasp. “It’s Talon!” Jack yelled out, unable to move, to breathe, to do anything as his anxiety overwhelmed him. ”They’ve got our son, Gabriel!”

That seemed to kick start something within the Latino, and he lunged forward, almost ghosting over the debris as he rushed after the Talon agents, bellowing out in anger as he pulled his shotguns from their holsters and started firing. Arrows whizzed past his head, Hanzo on the move behind him.

Just as Gabriel was gaining ground, Hanzo heard it, the crack of a bullet leaving a well made rifle’s barrel, and Gabriel went reeling backwards, bullet between the eyes as his body fell limp.

”Respawn for Gabriel Reyes in fifteen seconds…” Athena’s eery voice came over the comms right before a bellow was heard from behind Hanzo, telling him that Jack had gone mad at the loss of his bonded.

He felt the soldier zip past him before he realized what had happened, and Hanzo watched in slight horror as the calm Jack Morrison let loose an entire clip into the retreating Talon Agents, moving erratically as he continued to rush forward. Another crack sounded from down the hallway, and Hanzo barely had the time to spin out of the way of the bullet whizzing towards him.

Where was the sniper firing from?!

Another crack, and Jack went spinning before slamming into the wall of the narrow hallway, shoulder bleeding. Just as Hanzo caught sight of the sniper, pulling his bow up and notching an arrow to let loose upon her, the agents rounded the corner.

”No!” Jack screamed out, and Hanzo went dashing after them.

He couldn’t let them have Jesse! He couldn’t!

Spinning around the corner and skidding across the floor and readying to release his arrow, the reality sunk in when the hallway was empty, another hole and debris littering the floor telling of their escape.

He had failed…

He had failed to keep Jesse safe as he had promised the Cowboy he would.

”How ‘bout dinner tonight, Samurai? You, me… a good burger an’ fries?” The exit from the holographic room had shown progress, the both of them laughing until they had started down the hallway and Jesse had sprung the question.

“Are you asking me on a date, Cowboy?” Hanzo asked, a small smile coming to quirk up one side of his lips.

“Well… I reckon… I am?” A blush tinted Jesse’s cheeks and he pulled the brim of his hat down to try and hide his face. “I… wanna see… where this goes?” He went quiet for a moment before quickly sputtering out, “ I’m not sayin’ I believe it, a’ite? Jus’... sayin’... maybe I’ll give it a chance…”

“I could not ask for anything but…” Was the reply Hanzo had given, bowing his head in respect. “I will always protect you, Jesse…”
“Ha, sure ya will, darlin’... sure ya will…” Jesse laughed right before an explosion echoed through their ears, and the last thing Hanzo saw was Jesse being buried under a wall of rock unconscious.

The arrow notched into his stormbow clattered to the floor before he was falling to his knees. And for the first time he understood the madness that gripped Jack and Gabriel when one of them was killed. For it gripped his heart and warped his mind.

He wanted revenge. They would pay!

Chapter Text

The sizzling of his skin brought him back to the waking world, a scream muffled upon air as he bit his lip. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of hearing a noise from him. He’d rather die than that. He’d rather die and take his information to the grave then give up his family.

How long had it been? How long had he been in that room, chained to the wall, injected with something daily - he wasn’t sure what, nor did he really fucking care by this point - and then tortured. Today’s enjoyment was cigars being put out upon his skin. The day before had been waterboarding.

Now that had been an experience. Kind of like the Deadlock used to do to him when he was younger… Grab a handful of hair and shove his face into a trough. Hold him there for a few seconds before bringing him up. Repeat the process over and over until he was coughing up water.

Nostalgic, he guessed.

Every day he was defiant, they laughed, putting him through more torture, more pain, more days of losing hope.

How long had it been? He asked himself once again.

No…

They were coming for him, he knew they were. Hanzo would come for him… Gabriel and Jack would come for him. Reinhardt would come for him… Angela… would come for him…

They all would come…

Hell, Genji and Lucio and D. Va would come for him. They just needed time… right?

There wasn’t that constant warmness within his chest, that feeling of being complete. It was empty, left him feeling dark, and with the hours ticking by, the sun rising and falling once more, he couldn’t help but laugh sadly as they pulled his chains up to string him from the ceiling, allowing him to hang.

Oh… a new form that day, wonderful. The strain on his connection for his prosthetic caused him to bite back a groan. The arm already ached, was swollen and bruised, he knew, from too much use without cleaning the connections and caring for it. Of course, that’s what they wanted.

He couldn’t think, a high pitched droning noise almost driving him insane and leaving him unable to sleep a constant within his ears. It muddled his thoughts, left him exhausted.

“Please…” He finally whispered when he was alone, his resolve chipping away as he felt abandoned. “Please… help…”

~~~~

Every moment without the Cowboy had been agony. Every hour a thundering step that pounded into his head. Every minute a squeeze to his heart that just wouldn’t relent. Every second agony that ripped at his flesh and gave him more nightmares than that of the loss of his legs did.

He knew Jack wasn’t much better, but he couldn’t just sit around, not with the constant scream that resounded in his head, the feeling of emptiness that echoed through the bond, made him feel lost… gone.

Gabriel had taken Reinhardt as well as Genji and the two younger recruits to search for any sign of where Talon might be hiding out, leaving Winston behind to keep an eye on camera feeds around the world in hopes of a clue, and Angela behind to keep an eye upon Jack for his despondent state and Hanzo in fear that he would go mad as it seemed to happen to bonded that lost one another.

A part of him could understand it, could understand the worry, the fear… If he went completely mad while outside of headquarters he could harm someone in his rage if Gabriel and Jack were any indication.

Five days passed. Then a week… Still nothing. Until Genji had stumbled upon a sighting that warranted looking into…

Talon agents on Route 66…

He was gone before the transmission had ended, resourceful in his own way as a resolve settled within his gut, within his chest. The constant echo within the bond he shared with one Jesse McCree almost too much to keep a clear head. And as the hours ticked by on his way to Route 66, that sanity seemed to sift away through his fingers, grain by miniscule grain before the last one clinked to the floor, leaving him nothing but a raving mad archer in need of revenge that would only be sated with the death of the men that took him.

”Damn it, Shimada! Answer me!” The faint sound of Gabriel’s voice echoed over the comm that he had brought with him. But there was no reply, too far gone to even have a coherent thought beyond killing those that had taken his Jesse. ”Shimada! Fall back, that’s an order! I won’t lose another to them! Not when I’m down two already!”

A growl, deep and guttural was all Gabe could hear with the transmission, and he knew that sound anywhere. He had heard it in the reviews of missions when one of them had been killed. The desperate sound of a soulmate gone mad from loss…

It couldn’t be, could it? Jesse wasn’t dead, he couldn’t be! He just couldn’t! He wouldn’t believe it! Jesse was his son. Goddamn it, he was strong willed and persistent! He wouldn’t let them take him down, he’d fight them tooth and nail…

Wouldn’t he?

Hanzo was too far gone to pull him back, both mentally and physically, and Gabriel cursed to himself as he heard the screams from the men seconds before a resounding bellow in Japanese had him swearing to the other members of Overwatch that were with him.

As the minutes ticked by, and agent after agent fell to his arrows and bow, to the small knife he had upon his belt, Hanzo felt the rage within him grow. Room after room… empty, no Jesse. Agent after agent, blood splatter upon the wall and score marks from splinter arrows. Lurking - it was lurking and a part of him knew it the way he stalked forward with each step as if holding a purpose - until a full on sprint breaking out from his feet.Alarms blared as he continued on, feet silently moving and scaling walls, skidding him around corners. Until finally, turning down a hallway lead him to a familiar scream, one he had heard countless times in the middle of the night. And it only spurred Hanzo to quicken his pace, spinning out of the way of Talon Agents and aggressively slamming an arrow through their chests on his way.

He could feel the dragons beneath his skin coiling, snarling, baring teeth and readying to fight. Territorial, aggravated, they wanted Jesse back, and they wanted him back now!

As another scream ripped from his lips, Jesse unable to stop himself any longer from staying quiet, the door burst open arrow whizzing in and splintering, each shard burrowing within an Agent that had congregated around him, felling them quickly to show none other than Hanzo Shimada standing in the doorway, heaving for breath and covered in blood, his eyes gone with madness as he stalked forward.

It couldn’t be, could it? Was he dreaming?

Was he once more dreaming he was being rescued? Was this some sort of torture that Talon had thought up? Scrambled his brains and let him think he was getting what he wished, only to pull it away…

His thoughts died and shattered as Hanzo grabbed the front of his serape and pulled the Cowboy forward, planting a searing kiss to those chapped lips before pulling back ever so slightly. The madness seemed to ebb away from within his gaze, and once more Hanzo Shimada seemed to be himself as he cupped Jesse’s cheek with a hand, whispered words a breath away as he placed his forehead to his own.

Anata wa, watashi no tamashī ikite imasu… You are alive…”

Definitely not a dream. He wasn’t dreaming… He wasn’t…

Tears came to his exhausted eyes, dark circles and bruises framing his face and eyes. Gouges along his face and arms, his legs “You… came…” It was weak, and yet so full of emotion, and Hanzo spared him a small smile he always seemed to reserve for him.

“You are my soulmate.” Once more those four words, as if they explained everything, and Hanzo was quickly undoing his bindings, the chains clattering to the floor as well as his arms. “Can you hold a gun?” Was the next question, his Peacemaker being shoved into his hand, and Jesse desperately tried to wrap his fingers around the stock of the weapon, too exhausted to really move on his own as Hanzo wrapped his cybernetic arm around his shoulders to hold him up.

“I’ve got you, Jesse,” Hanzo whispered to him, starting to move forward while ignoring the alarms that blared around them. “Let’s go home…”

“Home…” Jesse moaned out, eyes barely open as he tried to help Hanzo walk for the both of them.

“Keep talking to me, Jesse,” Hanzo murmured to him, causing the Cowboy to laugh at the sudden thought that came to his mind, tears falling down his cheeks.

Why? Why of all times had it come to him? It was stupid. It made no sense… But then… love never did, did it?

“Love… is a burnin’ thing
And it makes… a fiery ring
Bound by wil’ desire…
I fell inta a ring o’ fire…”

He sang, causing Hanzo to look at him as they continued down their path. He had never heard McCree sing, never heard the Cowboy even hum! But his voice… it was almost soft, like velvet, and yet deep… sending lightning up his spine and a shiver down it at the same time.

”I fell inta a burnin' ring o’ fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring o’ fire, the ring o’ fire…”

Hanzo made a silent creed to himself to make Jesse sing for him more often, the sound soothing and yet causing a deep burn in his gut that set him on fire.

“Keep singing,” Hanzo hissed to him. If he could keep him talking, singing, doing something, maybe he could keep Jesse conscious.

“I fell inta a burnin' ring o’ fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring o’ fire, the ring o’ fire...

The taste o’ love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet
I fell for ya like a child...
Oh, but the fire went wild…”

Jesse’s singing died as they turned around a corner, only to see a mass of Agents, each standing with guns raised. Making a snap decision, Hanzo brought up Jesse’s arm holding his Peacemaker up. Tattoo glowing, celestial coils starting to rise out of his skin, he concentrated upon the gun and yelled out while pulling the trigger, “Ryū ga waga teki wo kurau!” A blue glow flared around them both, the power flowing through Jesse as those dragons coiled around his arm and down his gun stole his breath.

The resounding roar that echoed off of the walls as the dragons coiled out of his arm and wound around that bullet, scouring the walls and floor with scales as they washed over every agent within their path, turning them to ash and scattering their remains upon the floor, had Hanzo smirking ever so slightly, but it died upon seeing the look upon Jesse’s face. One full of shock, of pain, of agony and exhaustion.

“Jesse?” He asked worriedly, holding him up as the Cowboy’s legs gave out on him.

Was that what the Samurai felt every moment of the day? Every time he released those dragons? That overpowering sense of helplessness in the presence of those beasts? How they heeded his command so easily, came at his call.

As he couldn’t hold onto consciousness anymore, he smiled against his soulmate finishing his song… Yes… his soulmate.

“I fell inta a burnin' ring o’ fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring o’ fire, the ring o’ fire…

And it burns, burns, burns
The ring o’ fire, the ring o’ fire...
The ring o’ fire, the ring o’ fire...
The ring o’ fire…”

Hanzo cursed silently as Jesse went completely slack in his grip, his Peacemaker falling from his grip. Too much! The dragons had been too much!

He quickly picked up Jesse’s weapon before hefting the Cowboy over his shoulder. He’d get them out of there. He’d get them back to safety.

After all…

He had promised to protect Jesse.

Chapter Text

He remembered the agony the night he lost his legs, the way they held him down, pinned him to that table. He remembered their words, the way they whispered to him as they mercilessly hacked with the sword he had used against his brother, each strike dulling the blade more and more, never in the same spot. He remembered the way he fainted, over and over from the overload of pain, only to be brought back around to witness and feel the torture he went through, never a relief.

So as he held Jesse within his grip, looking at the damage done to his soulmate and feeling all of that pain through the bond that Jesse just couldn’t stop without being conscious, Hanzo felt the sting of the loss of his legs a little more hard then he did every time he took them off. It brought back that memory that he relived every night in his dreams, and he held onto Jesse a bit tighter, pulling the Cowboy’s serape up and over his mouth and nose to cut out the sand particles from sandstorm that had whipped up outside of their cave.

“We are safe now, Jesse,” Hanzo whispered, leaning his head down to kiss the back of the Cowboy’s head, having taken the hat to cover his own head and shield him a bit from the sand that whipped inside the little alcove of a cave.

Leaving the base had been one stress after another, worried that more agents would come to stop them. On edge and body taut, ready to take Jesse’s gun and attempt to fire it - thus not having to put down the Cowboy - he moved them both through the hallways, gathering up his arrows as he could on the way out.

And just as they were free of the base and possibly safe, the sandstorm had picked up in the desert around them, thus Hanzo finding them some sort of shelter. With little supplies, there was no way he could block the opening to the cave, and the communicator he had brought with him had gotten destroyed in the fight to get Jesse - or maybe he had destroyed it himself, he couldn’t quite remember - so calling for backup was out of the question.

Hopefully Overwatch was resourceful enough to find their last coordinates and scour the land for them before Jesse got too bad. He needed medical attention, as soon as he could possibly get it. He should have left the base with medical supplies, with camping supplies…

He should have left the base prepared…

He barely remembered leaving at all.

And because of his folly, they were stuck within a small alcove of a cave in the middle of a sandstorm.

A hand came up to rest upon his cheek, cold, the smell of metal… McCree’s cybernetic hand… There was a pain in those chocolate colored eyes, shimmering with unshed tears that Hanzo knew would not fall. Because one Jesse McCree did not cry.

It was one of the things Hanzo had come to admire about Jesse over their time together. The Cowboy didn’t break down in tears. Even in the dead of night, when those nightmares plagued his mind, and that pain throbbed in a limb that was no longer there, not a tear fell. It was almost like he had denied himself the ability to let those tears free, that he had cried enough over his years. And he probably had. With everything Hanzo had learned about one Jesse McCree, he could understand the unrest of no tears.

He would not falter him for that. Nor would he make a quip about how it was alright to break down if needed. He would silently hold him, keep him safe, and not judge him if he did cry or if he didn’t.

Light soon started to fade, leaving the two in the darkened alcove while the temperature started dropping, and Hanzo pulled Jesse closer to himself. “We will be alright, Cowboy…” He whispered, running his fingers through Jesse’s hair, which seemed to calm the Cowboy quickly.

“We’re always a’ite together, partner… Haven’t you realized that?” Jesse’s voice was weak, but there was still that undertone of snark there. He tried to move, pain ripping through him and the bond, causing Hanzo to hiss ever so slightly and grip his shoulder to make him stop.

“Enough!” Hanzo growled out, even though he didn’t mean to make it sound like he was angry.

“It’s… gonna get col’ soon, partner… I reckon we can both use my serape to wrap up an’ stay warm… Sound pretty guy… good… sound pretty good, yeah?” Jesse smiled as he pulled the serape down from over his nose and mouth.

“Flirt,” Hanzo grunted out, shaking his head even though a small smirk twisted at the corners of his lips as he pulled the serape loose and covered them both with it. Leave it to the Cowboy to try and lighten a dour mood setting.

“Jus’ for you it seems,” Jesse chuckled and shook his head. “It seems, partner… I’m your huckleberry…”

“Something changed, it seems,” Hanzo raised an eyebrow, and Jesse smiled.

“You kissed me… and I felt… whole…” Jesse blushed slightly, looking ahead of them and closing his eyes. “Felt all these things that weren’t me an’ I always jus’ pushed them aside… until I jus’... didn’ want to no more… Bein’ tortured kinda does things like that to a man… ‘Specially when there’s that void in yer chest, in yer entire bein’ that makes ya think maybe there actually was somethin’ that should be there...”

“I see,” Hanzo stated quietly, curling against Jesse for warmth as the temperature started dropping quickly.

“This brings back memories…” Jesse mumbled tiredly and quietly, causing Hanzo to look over at him in slight confusion.

“Oh? You have shared your body heat with someone before?”

“Couple times actually,” Jesse nodded and hissed as the action hurt him. He opened his eyes to look at Hanzo, “In the Deadlock gang we’d get stuck out here sometimes in the middle of a sandstorm… an’ it would whip us ‘round… Some of us would get stranded, unable to continue on with the rest of the gang… We always caught up the next day, but we had to find shelter… an’ when the sun goes down, so does the temp out here…” He laughed before coughing weakly. “So ya… kinda do what you gotta do… curl up with someone with a blanket or jus’ fer heat… Never shared my serape before though, so yer special…”

“Well that is most assuring,” Hanzo stated deadpan, and Jesse grinned wickedly.

“It was a compliment, Samurai… take it, please?”

In a move that surprised Hanzo, Jesse linked their fingers under the serape even though it was a weak squeeze, “Jesse…”

“Gonna… pass out soon, darlin’... Thought I’d give ya warnin’...” Was the reply he received, Jesse’s voice laced with pain as his head bowed so Hanzo couldn’t see. “Bu’ when I come back too… I wanna talk ‘bout those dragons you got there… an’ what ya did…”

“Anything you wish, Jesse,” Hanzo nodded.

“Good.” Jesse whispered right before his body seemed to go lax, and Hanzo sighed deeply as he pulled the Cowboy against him a bit more.

“Jesse?” Hanzo asked quietly, but received no answer, the Cowboy having fallen unconscious from too much strain upon his body. The tears came easily then, and as much as Hanzo tried to banish them - he shouldn’t be crying, why was he crying? He was a damn Shimada! - they would not heed his words and fell from his eyes to his cheeks, making their way down to drip upon Jesse’s shoulder. “Do not worry, Sōrumeito… everything will be alright… We will get you to someone who will help you…”

Seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turned into hours. And each one that ticked away had Hanzo more and more worried about one Cowboy that had his hand under the serape, his head tipped forward with breath coming in labored puffs instead of calm and even breaths.

”It seems, partner… I’m your huckleberry…”

That sentence would forever echo within his mind, within the bond, no truer words could be said by the Cowboy to even begin to touch how they felt for each other… or well, how Hanzo felt for Jesse… and how Jesse was starting to learn that he felt for the archer as well.

“And you, one Jesse McCree… are my Kokoro, my Sōrumeito…” Hanzo whispered down to him, starting to feel the lethargy from his activities within the base hit him. “No…” He hissed, shaking his head and trying to keep conscious. “Just a little while longer…”

The next thing he remembers is waking up to a hand on his shoulder, a tight grip upon him, and one face of Gabriel Reyes looking miffed as he stood over the bed he was in. Ignoring the glare he was receiving, Hanzo pushed to sit up, “Jesse!”

“Right here, love,” Angela’s voice caused him to turn his head in search of the one who held his heart and soul.

Just as he caught sight of his Cowboy laying in bed unconscious, a hand was gripping the front of his shirt and lifting him out of the bed slightly, a deadly growl emitting from one Gabriel Reyes as the man got right in his face. “You could have cost us two good men with that stunt you pulled, Shimada! What were you thinking?

Hanzo’s eyes narrowed grandly as he stared back at the outraged man. He knew Gabriel was only this upset because Jesse meant so much to him. “I wasn’t thinking at all…” He finally admitted, head tilting up slightly in a move that showed his was the first born of the Shimada brothers, that he was raised to be the heir. “As you rightly know happens to you when something happens to your Sōrumeito, Gabriel-san…”

The loosened grip upon his shirt led Hanzo to believe that he had hit a sore subject, especially with the way Gabriel turned his head away and tisked, teeth still bared in anger. “He’s back now… safe…” Jack’s voice was soft and calm, an easing balm even if it was deep. “And we got our Jesse back because of him…” He was leaning in to whisper to him, “Let him go… You hurt him, you hurt Jesse… I would have done the same thing, so would you have…”

“Tch…” Gabe hissed as he dropped Hanzo to the bed with a shove, his hand clenching into a fist as he turned away and it fell to his side. His other hand came up to cup Jack’s cheek, “You’re always here to keep me in check…”

“Well someone has to, don’t they? And it’s a job for one Jack Morrison, super soldier of Overwatch…” Jack smirked slightly as he leaned in to place his nose to Gabe’s, which caused a smile to come to the surly Latino’s lips.

“Oh shut up.”

“Take it to your room, boys,” Angela chided them, shaking her head and making a shooing motion towards the door. “I have some work I have to do now… And Reinhardt will be here soon to see Jesse… He has done nothing but worry since Genji brought the two of them back.”

“Leaving,” Gabriel grunted as he easily hefted Jack over his shoulder and strode confidently towards the door, smacking Jack’s ass if the soldier started to retaliate in any way.

As they were exiting the medbay, Hanzo could distinctly hear a loud booming voice of one Reinhardt Wilhelm. “Comrades! We are victorious in retrieving our little Jesse I hear! I wish to give my support!”

“Resting,” Gabe grunted out, his voice strained, and the groan from Jack gave Hanzo the indication that Reinhardt had probably crushed the two in a bear hug. “Try not to wake him…”

“I vill do no such thing, my friend!” Reinhardt’s voice echoed and reverberated within Hanzo’s chest before the massive size of man was ducking sideways to come within the medbay’s doors. “Ah! Angela, my angel!”

“Reinhardt,” Angela smiled fondly to him, nodding to Jesse’s bed where the Cowboy lay prone and unconscious, but stable. “He rests, try not to wake him, yes?”

Reinhardt waved a hand as he moved over to Hanzo’s bed, sitting down in a chair and causing it to creak as he hunched over himself to fit fully. Hands upon his thighs, he stared Hanzo fully in the eyes for a few moments as if judging him before grinning widely. “You did what none of us could, Dragon! They may not say it, but Reyes and Morrison are thankful… as am I!”

He reached forward and pulled Hanzo to him, causing the archer to make an undignified noise at the action as well as the bone crushing hold he was put in with his hands at his sides and unable to free himself. “Thank you for bringing our Jesse back to us… You are good for him, yes, I can tell… Many thanks, my friend!”

“You’re… welcome…” Hanzo was able to wheeze out before Reinhardt realized what he was doing and immediately let the archer go, causing him to pant and gasp out slightly for breath.

“Your brother awaits visit from you,” Reinhardt nodded. “He says once you are cleared to get up out of bed, he wishes to talk… To mend… to… amend… and to… forgive.” He pat Hanzo’s shoulder, causing the Japanese to jerk forward at the force the man didn’t even realize he had. “He said it is for you… for he has already come to do those things…”

“I… will see him once I am able to, I thank you,” Hanzo bowed his head to Reinhardt, who nodded in approval before patting his arm very gently, more so than a giant of a man should be able to.

“Everyone deserves forgiveness, my friend… Everyone deserves a second chance… or a third… You need to forgive yourself…much like a certain Cowboy needs to forgive himself as well.”

Chapter Text

”I wish to keep him unconscious until he is more stable… There is nothing you can do right now but wait…”

Angela’s words to him had brought a frown to Hanzo’s lips, a curl of fingers into a fist, and the bubbling anger that simmered right below the surface - always hidden, always ready to be used for a retort or worse. But he knew she was right. Jesse was in bad shape, had been since they had brought them back, and Hanzo wanted him to have the best treatment he could possibly have.

”Go get some fresh air… Reinhardt and I shall watch over him. He is in very good hands…”

Thus, his awkward standing outside of the training facility upon their base and not knowing what to say to his brother upon entering. He had found his brother’s room, only to see it empty. His search had come up almost empty handed, the commons having been taken over by the two youngest members of the Overwatch team to date as they played some type of game upon the television.

“Look! It’s Eastwood’s Samurai!” The DJ laughed as he tipped his head back to look at Hanzo as he walked through the commons in search of Genji. “It’s about time we officially meet!” He raised his hand as if in greeting, “Yo! Sick beats in battle, dude!”

Hanzo paused mid step at the words, blinking slightly in confusion. Sick? Beats? Eastwood? What was the DJ speaking about?

“I saw Morrison and Reyes chillin’ and reviewing what you did in that base! Tight! You’re an animal when you want to be, aren’t you, Sanjuro?”

“Sanjuro?” Their youngest member asked, moving into first place with Lucio’s attention upon Hanzo.

“Well yeah…it’s…” Lucio stopped for a moment and shrugged. “Genji watches all those old movies and…”

“Sanjuro Kuwabatake…” Hanzo’s soft and yet gruff voice cut through their conversation. “Thirty-year-old-mulberry-field. It is the name a Ronin in an old movie called Yojimbo names himself when pressed…”

A small and sad reminiscent smile came to his face as he remembered all those nights they would curl together in front of the television and watch the old classic movies. “My brother and I used to watch those movies together…” His gaze moved back over to Lucio, who was smiling ever so slightly. “I take it you have partaken in classic movie nights with him then?”

“So, so… some nights, yeah…” Lucio nodded. “He really likes those Spaghetti Westerns with Eastwood as the protag…” He then laughed, “Gabriel calls McCree Manco sometimes… It means One Handed in Spanish…”

“It is also what people in the movie For A Few Dollars More call Eastwood because he does everything with his left hand exceptionally well except for shooting…” Hanzo reiterated, chuckling a little while bringing a hand up to cover his mouth as if covering a cough. He would have to start using that with Jesse, he decided.

The two younger Overwatch members stared at him, game forgotten as Hana dropped her controller to just openly ogle him as if he had sprouted a second head. Lucio couldn’t help but smile slightly.

“What?” Hanzo asked as he frowned once more, his hand dropping from his face. “Did I say something inappropriate? Apologies if I have… I do not quite…”

“You… laughed!” Hana cried out, pointing at him in shock and awe.

Hanzo stared at them for a breath’s moment before turning his attention away, “I partake in jovial moments as well, I will have you know…”

“We’ve never seen it!” Hana argued, quickly pulling out her phone to click away upon it. “We thought you were just some stone faced life-like statue that followed Eastwood around…”

“Just… caught us off guard, yo?” Lucio smiled before shaking his head. “You are good for Eastwood, you know that? He hasn’t destroyed the training grounds since you came here… He hasn’t tried dashing off in training sessions to pony up…”

“It is an effect of the bond,” Hanzo explained. “Part of myself has bled into him, as part of he has bled into myself…”

“Well… keep doing you,” Lucio double gunned him and beamed, causing Hanzo to huff slightly and take a step before stopping.

“Would either of you possibly know where I could find Genji?”

“He said he was going to go meditate or something… Probably in the holographic training room…” Hana stated, still not looking up from her phone. “Man… I can’t wait to tell everyone I heard him laugh!”

“Brother?” The soft voice brought him from the memory, hand twitching and moving ever so slightly before he realized it was just Genji, the cybernetic man standing in front of him with head tilted to the left slightly with his mask free so Hanzo could see those haunting eyes.

“Genji,” Hanzo cleared his throat and seemed to gather himself properly once more.

“Come. Walk with me,” was his brother’s reply, a small smile coming to that scarred face as he continued on. “Let us go have some tea and converse, yes? We have much to catch up on…”

Hazo followed him, watching as that confidence from when they were children was still there, regardless of what their father had been like. How he wished he could have had that confidence through the years, maybe he would not have allowed his father to do some of the things he had done…

Thoughts for later…

Now was a time for reminiscing with his brother, memories of their time together, how it used to be when both were young and unburdened by clan rights and laws, by images and fates that were set for them. Drinking over tea and rebuilding what they had hopefully… If Genji would forgive him.

It was minutes later of moving through hallways and around corners that they finally came to the commons, his younger brother bowing slightly and indicating for Hanzo to go first. Hanzo, from years of having it ingrained within him, bowed before whispering thanks and moving within.

Genji was quick to move to the stove to start boiling a kettle of water that he had filled, grabbing two stylized cups and moving back to the table to set them up for the both of them while Hanzo sat down and become contemplative. How was he to start a conversation with his younger brother, the man he had supposedly left for dead, killed.

“We used to always sneak into the kitchens in the middle of the night, I remember,” Genji smiled at him as he nimbly sat down in the chair to await the water boiling. “I remember Sara-obasan catching us and scolding us…”

Hanzo smiled faintly as he placed his hands around his cup, staring down into it. “You always snuck the pokey… She caught you usually with an entire mouthful… even in your teens…”

“The scolding was totally worth it, especially when you bowed and apologized for both of us,” Genji laughed as he placed his elbow upon the table and his chin within his hand to watch his brother closely. “The way she would tisk over us after a training session and how dirty we were…”

“I tossed you in the dirt quite a bit, didn’t I?” Hanzo chuckled quietly.

“You were always the better swordsman…” Genji replied offhandedly, looking saddened as Hanzo seemed to wince and look away. “Brother…”

“I… am sorry…” Hanzo’s soft and barely heard words stopped him dead.

There was silence for a few moments before Genji’s hand was being placed on Hanzo’s shoulder, and as the archer looked up, tears in his eyes, Genji was smiling softly, full of feeling. “I forgive you, brother… It took a while, I was angry… I wished for you to feel guilt, to be broken about it… But… I am over that. I forgive you. I have for a very long time… And now you…”

He took in a deep breath and nodded, “You need to forgive yourself… You need to let go of that guilt, for there is no reason for it.”

“Genji…” Hanzo started, only to go silent as Genji pulled him into a hug. How was he to forgive himself while his brother was right there, barely human… and it was all his fault.

“I know it will take time… I know it is hard to forgive yourself, to move on from something…” Genji whispered to him as he held fast onto his brother. Over time Hanzo started quaking ever so slightly, and finally his brother’s arms came up to hold him tightly, his face burying into Genji’s metal shoulder.

The kettle started whistling and Genji didn’t have the heart to pull away from his brother to start it, nor did he really care at that moment in time. He let his brother cry against him, let it come free. He knew that Hanzo had hit his tipping point, and he would be there to help hold him as he let everything loose…

He was his little brother, after all.

“He will be alright, brother… He is a strong warrior,” Genji whispered to him, and Hanzo seemed to suck in a breath before calming.

“I know…” Hanzo murmured, his voice shaking. “It just… hurts… so much…” With Jesse unconscious, all of that pain that he felt in his body was transferred to him, and it was more than he had ever felt.

“Let’s have some tea then… ease the aches, the pains,” Genji nodded as he gently pulled back from Hanzo and moved to turn off the stove, dropping in tea leaves and bringing the kettle over to the table to steep.

“He should have never been captured…” Hanzo whispered softly, feeling that anger in himself well up, that failure. “I should have been quicker…”

“We all should have,” Genji responded, shaking his head. “Talon should not have gotten past our defenses… Nor should they have gotten off of them… We should have been able to find Jesse quicker… It was not just you, brother…”

“I am his soulmate! I should have done better!” Hanzo growled slightly, slamming a fist down onto the table before seeming to calm. “I… could have lost him… I could have lost the one person that makes me feel whole, makes me feel…”

“Safe…” Genji finished for him, smiling and nodding before pouring their tea. He could not drink it, but figured it would make his brother a little more at ease to see that he was not just the only one with a cup.

“Yes… safe… Like a better person than I really am…”

Genji interrupted his brother again, “No… it just makes you see how good of a person you really are, something our otosan tried to hide… and did a good job at it.” He then was nodding, “Drink. Calm yourself. And then we’ll get you back to the medbay so you may rest at Jesse’s side…”

Brother?” Hanzo’s voice had Genji looking up from his cup while Hanzo took a sip.

“Hmm?”

“Arigato…” Hanzo smiled as he lowered his cup a few inches.

“Dōitashimashite,” was the reply he got, Genji tilting his head ever so slightly to the left before his smile was growing. “We should start training with one another again… hand to hand if you wish…”

“I…” Hanzo hesitated for a moment as he thought about it before smiling and looking down into his tea, “I would like that… I would like that a lot…”

Chapter Text

The nightmares were quick and sharp, always a painful lash that happened over and over again, waking him in a cold sweat that he knew was not his own… but that of his bonded that was still within the medical ward unconscious. The lack of sleep was getting to him and he knew it… Nights of waking up, screaming out and grabbing at his arm, or screaming with hands above him as if protecting himself from something he could not see.

He now understood exactly why Jesse McCree was as he was. The terror, anxiety, lack of good sleep… It would make anyone aggravated and disbelieving of everything around them.

The crash of thunder had him waking with a start, sheen of sweat upon his body and a quake in his hand as he brought it to his face. Shadowed faces hovering in his mind over him, laughter, jumbled voices as if not perfectly clear wafting through his ears. And all he wanted was to curl up against Jesse, to whisper to him after being safe.

It was a push, a throb, as if something was wrong, and he immediately slid to the edge of the bed, efficiently sliding his prosthetics upon his legs and latching them in place before standing.

The crack of lightning lit up the room and he winced, turning his attention onto the window to witness the maelstrom outside the complex, and half wondered if that was the feeling. But the tug against the bond told him otherwise as he moved his way towards the door and into the hallway.

Jesse was awake. Jesse was awake and terrified, in need of a hand to hold his, a whisper to his ear, lips to his temple to calm that fire of fear that roared to life within his chest and took up his mind.

I’m coming…

It was more of a feel than words, and Hanzo wasn’t sure if it would even reach the Cowboy, but it was worth a shot. He needed to calm him, he needed to be there for him, regardless of how he felt.

“I’m coming,” he whispered out loud as he made his way towards the medical ward, sleep tugging at his eyelids and making his body heavy. But he continued to slide his feet forward, half awake and mumbling to himself and yet… not.

“It’s alright… I am here… I am coming… Not alone… No fear…”

The scream was what brought him from his sleep induced state, head snapping up as his legs moved from almost a shuffle into a blown run.

That was Jesse!

He needed to get to him. He needed to get to him now!

As the door slid open, Angela was turning her attention from Reinhardt, who had pulled Jesse into his grip to try and calm the distraught man. She was almost at wit’s end, unknowing how to stop Jesse from screaming and being unresponsive to anyone other than once more drugging him, which she didn’t wish to do.

He had awoken at the first clash of thunder, the sound shaking the windows and loud enough to have even her jump. She and Reinhardt had been drinking tea together in her office, a small reprieve from watching Jesse constantly, sure that he wouldn’t awaken anytime soon. The ear piercing scream had all about broken her heart, the garbled words of pleads tumbling from his lips disturbing and worrying.

Begging, information tumbling from his lips that she knew should not have seen the light of day. And at the soft call of his voice when they approached, eyes unseeing turned towards them before another scream rent the air. Reinhardt had moved then, scooping the young man within his grip to try and calm him, rock him back and forth as if he was nothing more than a small child in need of a parent’s arms - but that only seemed to make things worse.

So as Hanzo had appeared and immediately moved forward, pulling Jesse physically from the large man, both Angela and Reinhardt watched in awe as Jesse seemed to calm once Hanzo’s nose ghosted his brow, breathy words to his ear that he was there, he was safe, everything was alright.

“I’m here,” Hanzo whispered, kissing Jesse’s brow as the Cowboy seemed to calm, eyes slipping closed as his body just sagged against Hanzo’s strong one. “I’m here, Jesse… I will not leave… I am here…”

As Jesse once more fell unconscious in Hanzo’s arms, he looked up at the doctor and their tank, “He is plagued with dreams of his torture… of the past and present…” They did not ask how he knew, just nodded as Angela moved to place a medicuff once more upon the Cowboy’s arm, quietly adjusting the medication needed for him.

“You do him great honor,” Reinhardt stated softly, sitting down beside Hanzo and hunching to not seem so big. “I know he is… difficult… to be around, my friend.” One of his giant hands came to pat Hanzo’s back very gently, as if afraid to break him - Hanzo could entirely see why with his size.

“He is not difficult… Only stubborn,” Hanzo returned, wiping the hair out of Jesse’s face, smiling softly at the look of peace that had come to Jesse’s face at being with the archer. “It is an… acquired taste… Which I am sure you know of…”

“No,” Reinhardt shook his head, looking sadly down at the inside of his arm as his hands came together in his own lap. “I… have never known… and never will…”

Angela placed her hand to Reinhardt’s shoulder in a gentle pat, leaning in to kiss his temple as if to soothe the ache she knew ran through him at the remembrance. Once completed, she turned her attention onto Hanzo, her voice soft and sad as her eyes showed the burden as if she carried it for her own. “Reinhardt… never was able to meet his soulmate…”

“The words were taken from me,” the giant of a man whispered, his voice, which was usually boisterous suddenly solemn. “I watched as my words melted from my skin… as if being painted over inch by agonizing inch, the rip of pain through my chest I have never known of… The scream ripped from my throat startling even the enemy miles away as it echoed off of the rock walls around us…”

“The man that was to be his soulmate died before he was able to meet him… And when a soulmate dies before meeting it’s other half…” Angela started, bowing her head and squeezing Reinhardt’s shoulder.

“The words are taken from the survivor…” Hanzo finished, suddenly feeling sick as he held onto Jesse a little tighter. To live with that pain, the pain he had felt when Jesse had been taken, that madness that gripped at you and continued to eat away at you until there was nothing left but a shell of madness and no sanity. “And you… are not…” He started, but could not finish, shaking his head.

“I am soundly sane,” Reinhardt nodded. “But that ache, that pain, throbs in the emptiness that will never be filled…” He placed a hand over Angela’s hand that was still upon his shoulder, “But I have found comrades that fill some of that void, even if not… fully…” He looked up at the medic, a smile coming to his lips as she slightly blushed.

How had he never seen it? The way the two gazed at one another, the slight touches, small smiles… The way Reinhardt greeted Angela with such zeal, a softness, more so then when speaking to anyone else.

“You two… are… together…” Hanzo finally whispered, it all clicking into place. “You lost your words as well, I presume?” He asked Angela, realizing after the fact how rude it had sounding coming from him like that. Bowing his head, he spoke softly, “Apologies… that was rude…”

“The question is understandable,” Angela countered onto him, leaning against Reinhardt as he wrapped an arm around her to hold her gently against himself to ease the ache he could see within her eyes. “But no… How does one lose their words when they never had them to begin with?”

“Angela was born with no words upon her skin… And as she grew none have appeared…” Reinhardt clarified. “She will never know the feel of a bond such as that of a soulmate… Thus her obsession with it…”

“I used to believe maybe something went wrong, that there was a cure,” Angela whispered. “It is why I know so much about bonds… and it has been helpful for those at Overwatch like Jack and Gabriel, like Jesse and yourself, Like Genji and Lucio…”

Genji… His brother had a soulmate? He had never said anything to him… Of course… they hadn’t been close…

That would also explain why Lucio seemed to know a lot about his brother…

“You did not know about your brother, I am taking it from the look upon your face,” Angela’s soft voice broke through his thoughts, and he jumped ever so slightly.

“No… I did not… They do not show that they are bonded…” Hanzo shook his head, only to have Angela cover her mouth with a hand and smile behind it. Reinhardt on the other hand laughed boisterously.

“Oh they do… they just do not have as strong of a bond as you and Jesse… or Gabriel and Jack… They have a different ability… But they do show their bond on nights when they are in the commons together… It is rather adorable to watch…” Angela admitted as she watched Hanzo look down and away.

“I am sure he wished to tell you, but wanted to wait for the appropriate moment,” she tried to calm the mind that she knew was racing behind those eyes. “He… is a little leery with showing anyone he is bonded… He worries that Lucio will be taken from him… or targeted…”

“He has a right to have that worry,” Hanzo admitted, shaking his head. “The Shimada Gumi and their associates would do anything to harm us… If I had been bonded to Jesse when they had captured me, they would have tortured him in front of me before killing him… all to strike a blow to myself… I…”

He paused as his voice got soft, “I have seen it done before…”

“Well my friend,” Reinhardt’s voice broke through the memories that threatened to overtake Hanzo and thrust him into the darkness, “you are safe now, yes? We will not allow that to happen anymore!”

The storm raged outside, lightning and thunder a distant memory to them all as they sat there and spoke of many things to occupy the space of the night once Hanzo had decided he would not rest. But as dawn approached, the sun started to break over the horizon - and the storm nothing but a distant memory - Angela slipped a blanket over the sleeping Hanzo’s shoulders, a small smile coming to her lips before she handed a cup of coffee to Reinhardt, who then took her hand with his free one before bringing it to his lips to kiss it softly in silent thanks.

Another long night, another one where they were not alone in the darkness. Another night where their company with one another might not fill the void much like Hanzo’s filled Jesse’s and the other way around, but still filling a small bit of it in some weird way.

“Jack should be making breakfast soon… I wonder what he will have planned for this morning,” Angela smiled softly before running a hand through Reinhardt’s hair while the Knight drank his coffee.

“The breakfast of champions!” Reinhardt smiled at her before tilting his head back and laughing before slapping his thigh in his joke.

“Shush,” Angela scolded him, placing a finger to her lips. “The boy is sleeping! Let him rest!”

He immediately placed a hand to his lips, eyes going wide as he quieted down. “Apologies… I had forgotten…”

“Come… let us let them rest,” Angela smiled softly and took Reinhardt’s hand in hers, enjoying how much larger it actually was, how gentle of a beast he could be as well even though his size made him seem like he could not be. “You need breakfast and I could use something to nibble on…”

“Ah! Then come, my Engel, we shall feast with our friends!” He stood and brought her hand to his lips to kiss it gently. “And then we shall retire for a while, a rest for the weary!”

“Ah, sounds delightful,” she smiled before leaning against him, allowing him to be her strength for a while.

Chapter Text

The sound of the birds was what woke him, a drill in his skull with how chipper they sounded. And he just wanted to fucking murder them. His body ached him, but not as much as it had before.

But there was that warmth within his chest, a feeling of being complete, and he couldn’t help but smile and lull his head to the left to see Hanzo sleeping in a chair, a half folded piece of paper within his lap as his hands were hanging at his sides. Upon the side table were many origami figures. Horses, cranes, a few bears and tigers…

“He has spent many hours making the creatures for you,” Reinhardt’s larger than life voice was rather soft, causing Jesse to jump slightly and then groan at the pain it caused. “Ah, apologies… We have all been worried about you…”

“How long was I-,” he stopped himself and shook his head before moaning, “nevermind… I don’ wanna know.”

“No, my little Cowboy, you do not,” Reinhardt shook his head, turning his head as the doors opened to show Angela moving into the room with Gabriel beside her.

“Oh no… never good,” Jesse groaned as the two conversed between one another as they came towards the bed. “Kill me now… My body sure wants that…”

The creak of the chair had Jesse’s head turning, but the soft voice that was full of anger and spite at those simple words said in slight jest caused him to wince. “No.”

“Samurai…” Jesse smiled unsurely, bringing his hand up to rub the back on his neck, only to wince at the pain that exploded from him.

“You have upset him, Jesse,” Reinhardt chuckled and shook his head, unfolding himself from his chair. “I will go get coffee, yes? Water for Jesse…”

“Tea please,” Hanzo whispered, eyes not moving from Jesse’s visage as it was bathed in the light coming in from the dawn.

“Tea then as well,” Reinhardt quickly stated before moving his stiff body off. Sitting in a tiny chair all night without respite was never fun.

“Good morning, Jesse, it is good to see you awake,” Angela’s smile was almost too chipper for him, and Jesse groaned. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve met Death and he slapped me around for a bi’ before tossin’ me back ‘cause the Devil don’ take no… punk ass kids...”

“Well, good to know I invade your dreams and still bring that fear on,” Gabriel smirked as he came forward to ruffle Jesse’s hair. “We were starting to worry you wouldn’t wake up after your panic attack…”

“I… don’ even remember,” Jesse admitted, looking so ashamed.

“It is alright,” Hanzo’s soft voice cut through the next silence, his hand on McCree’s shoulder causing the Cowboy to sigh and sag, as if it was a relief to feel him. Hanzo had to take a moment to close his eyes and savor the contact as well, even if there was a paper gown between them.

“Angela says you’ll be good to go by the end of the day… You’ll need to take it easy, no training for a while, and you’ll stay in a wheelchair for a bit to not aggravate anything, but you’ll be good to leave the medical ward…”

“From one prison to tha next, good ta know,” Jesse huffed as he allowed himself to fall backwards. He never hit the pillows, a soft hand sliding behind him to catch him. Cool hands, yet warm, and there was worry in Hanzo’s gaze as he looked over at him. “Hanzo?”

“Jesse… we almost lost you… I almost lost you…” Was the shaky reply he got, and Jesse could finally see the strain that Hanzo was under, the pain he must be feeling, the agony of what Jesse had been through probably ricocheting within his mind over and over again.

“‘M sorry,” Jesse whispered, suddenly solemn and quiet as he looked down at his hands. “I… was pretty bad, wasn’ I?”

“You said you were my Huckleberry... so I’d say yes…” Hanzo whispered, causing Jesse to smile and shake his head.

“I meant what I said, darlin’... I’m your Huckleberry… I always have been… Jus’ took me awhile to get my head outta the shi’ pile an’ actually see what was in fron’ o’ me…”

He then was placing a shaky hand on the archer’s arm, “I jus’ get so caught up sometimes tha’ I don’ even register wha’s there… an’ then it’s too late usually…” His words stopped dead as he realized something, “Where’s Jack?”

“Asleep at his desk… Hasn’t slept well since you were kidnapped… Finally collapsed at his desk while doing paperwork and mid conversation with me. So I left him and thought to come check and see if you were awake…” Gabriel replied easily, moving over to the bed and running a hand through Jesse’s hair, “Oh, mijo… you scared all of us, alright? Don’t you ever do something like that again!”

“But I didn’t do anything… Hanzo and I were walking and talking about maybe havin’ dinner together an’ the explosion…” Jesse’s words died as he looked at Hanzo, eyes wide, “I owe ya dinner!”

“It can wait, Jesse,” Hanzo cooed quietly, a small chuckle leaving his lips as he shook his head.

“We’ll try semi solid food now that he’s awake,” Angela nodded. “And I’ll get his paperwork completed so he can leave here. I know how much white washed walls scare him…”

“You got no clue,” Jesse whispered, but he knew it was a lie. Angela knew, from many personal experiences, how Jesse could be if he was kept within a medical ward. “Burn a candle or somethin’ in here, wouldja? Too sterile…”

And leave it to Jesse to say something like that. “Coming from the man that does not bathe… I think sterile is a rather good smell,” Angela poked fun at him, and Jesse blushed.

“Hey! I bathe!”

Hanzo chuckled at the banter, bringing a hand up to cover his mouth, his eyes full of mirth. “I think a nice long soak would be good for you.”

“Gah, not you too, darlin’!” Jesse pouted as he turned his gaze onto Hanzo, only to have the archer laugh even more. The sound brought a smile to Jesse’s lips, and the pain seemed to ebb away at the jovial noise.

A warm feeling seemed to grip his chest, and he couldn’t stop the laughter as well that broke from him, which only caused Gabriel to smile and shake his head before excusing himself. They were doing just fine. Right now, he had a Strike-Commander he had to molest awake.

~~~

Time went past quickly with Jesse awake now, both Hanzo and he closer than ever, attached at the hip, and always smiling as they walked side by side down a hallway. It took time, but Jesse’s body healed, his mind slowly being coaxed by Hanzo’s presence to live once more instead of shying away from things.

So as they sat at the table in the commons, Jesse couldn’t help but snort at Gabriel’s words to the both of them, “We’re going to try something that Jack and I used to do when we were first assigned to Blackwatch and Overwatch… It’s a strengthening exercise for bonds…”

“No,” Jesse immediately stated, a frown upon his lips.

“This isn’t an option, Jesse,” Jack cut in, a frown upon his lips as well. “You ever wonder why Gabriel and I are able to know exactly what is going on across a battlefield from one another? Or why Genji and Lucio seem to know exactly what the other is doing when they aren’t even around one another?”

“I don’ need this,” Jesse countered, readying to stand. Of course, Hanzo’s tight grip upon his arm stopped him. Looking down at the interested archer, Jesse shook his head, “Ya aren’t gonna indulge them, are ya? Darlin’...”

“It is an intriguing concept… To know what your bonded is doing… to be able to communicate with them without seeing them, or speaking with them.” Was the reply he got, Hanzo rubbing his chin.

“Aw hell…” Jesse groaned, plopping himself back down. “Damn it, Hanzo… Trus’ me…”

“We are interested in this training!” Hanzo nodded, and Jesse deflated, knowing he had no choice now.

The wicked grin that came to Gabriel’s lips brought a plummeting feeling to Jesse’s stomach, and he groaned, “Aw hell no…”

Gabriel slapped two stickers down onto the table, “Here are your devices…”

“No…” Jesse moaned, rubbing a hand over his face.

“Those… need to get on us,” Gabe jerked his thumb at himself and then to Jack, who was smiling as well.

“And you cannot speak with one another,” Jack nodded. “You have to feel your bonded, speak with them without words.”

“This is ridiculous,” Jesse spit out, a frown on his lips as he looked like he was pouting.

“You have two days,” Gabriel smirked, standing from his chair. “If you cannot complete the training by then, then we start from square one, except we put more stipulations on it…”

“Aw hell no!” Jesse cried out, interrupting him. “Hanzo, darlin’... this is ridicul-.”

“We accept your challenge!” Hanzo nodded, interrupting Jesse and causing the Cowboy to look very unhappy.

“We’re fucked,” Jesse deadpanned, watching as Gabe and Jack belted out in laughter before standing and moving off.

“Come! A good challenge will be good for us!” Hanzo nodded to him, swiping the stickers up from the table.

“We’re more then fucked,” Jesse groaned, placing a hand to his face.

Chapter Text

A running start, that’s all he needed, right? Hanzo watched calmly, head shaking as Jesse rushed from behind the two Commanders, hand ready to slap a sticker on at least one of them. Of course, the two parted and turned, leaving the Cowboy to stumble forward and crash into the ground.

Strike. One.

Hanzo had tried waiting patiently, watching the two closely, trying to possibly use his ninja abilities to his advantage. That had gone over that a bag of rocks in a deep river. Gabe thwarted him at every turn, always seemed to know when to duck or when to twist, when to bend, and when to actually just… disappear. Damn his abilities…

Strike. Two.

Trying single wasn’t working. They had to try together. That was the whole point of the game, the training, the challenge, wasn’t it?

That fiasco landed both within the medical ward, Angela fussing over the two while Reinhardt laughed at the broken ribs Jesse sported and the broken nose Hanzo tried to hide.

”It’s not always seeing, my friends… It’s feeling!”

Leave it to the man that would never have a soulmate to say something philosophical about them. Damn it...

Strike. Three.

The first training session went and left, the two failing. Of course, Jack and Gabe got a pretty good laugh out of it. The second came and went. The third and fourth. Fifth. Sixth…

Ninth. Tenth. Eleventh.

Each one. Failure after failure.

They started to plan, writing down diagrams and going over scenarios. Hanzo would not be beaten! A challenge was a challenge… And he had never lost one.

Genji started to enjoy watching his brother’s face every time he was thwarted, the words within Hanzo’s mind slipping from Jesse’s lips in Japanese, and the younger ninja laughed each and every time at the startled look that would come to McCree’s face.

It was working. Little by little the training was working, even if they didn’t realize it.

The game became a betting pool for the members of Overwatch, money rolling into this disaster of a training exercise, and everyone wanted to know who was going to top out each and every time the game started up for the two days for that time.

So as the twelfth attempt came around, many members of Overwatch awaited with baited breath to see the outcome.

D. Va had lost her chance, having too much faith in Hanzo and his insane ninja abilities - Genji had laughed quite a bit at her use of those words. Lucio had sworn the two would have had it on the seventh time, ”They were so close, man!”. Angela had been so certain that they would have gotten it on the ninth time. Genji had banked on the tenth attempt. ”Anija does not let anything pass too long…”

Reinhardt believed they could do it on the twelfth time, he believed in his boys. Torbjorn thought they were all crazy… fifteenth time for certain! No earlier, no later!

Who would top out this time? The boys… or the old men?

The explosion rocked the street around them, causing Jesse to stumble backwards and yell into their comms, “I tol’ ya this was a very bad idea, damn it! Why cantcha listen to me?!”

“Because staring at me real hard and canting your head to the left does not equate to the words ’This is a very bad idea, Hanzo.’” Hanzo’s voice came over the comms.

“Talking to one another! Loss of three hours from your clock!” Jack’s voice yelled to them, causing Jesse to growl and clench his sticker a bit harder in his grip.

“Fuckin’ asshole,” he hissed under his breath.

“No… that would be Commander Reyes right now,” Hanzo’s grunted reply came, and Jesse’s head snapped up towards the roof as he felt a pain in his shoulder, causing him to stagger backwards at the same time.

There was Hanzo, hand to his shoulder and bow barely still within his grip. Jesse’s eyes went wide as he bellowed out, feet moving even though it seemed like he wasn’t moving at all as Hanzo tipped backwards off of the roof to fall to the ground below.

The familiar cocking of a gun, as if readying another rocket, reached his ears, and Jesse rolled forward before lunging into the air, arms wrapping around the falling figure of Hanzo. Hat flipping and falling to the ground, Jesse pulled Hanzo to his chest and rolled, groaning out at the fall and how hard he landed upon his back with the extra weight.

“You a’ite, darlin’?” Jesse asked quietly, looking down at Hanzo in slight fear as he checked him over.

“Just a graze,” Hanzo answered him, tisking. “But I cannot hold my bow…”

“Then be my eyes… Tell me where to move, what to do…” Jesse responded to him, nose pressing to Hanzo’s very gently. As the archer readied to open his mouth to say something, Jesse swooped down and in for a kiss.

Soft and sweet, bitter in a way. A tang of smoke and something earthy invaded Hanzo’s senses, and he couldn’t stop his hand sliding up behind Jesse’s head to hold him there at least for another moment, to memorize that familiar feeling, that enjoyment that rolled through him.

And then Jesse was gone, but a feeling remained, almost a whisper within the back of his mind…

Be my eyes… Get somewhere high…

He scrambled from his place, ignoring his aching shoulder, it could be tended to later. There was never time to deal with an ache during battle. Shouldering his bow, he found footing upon a building and climbed it, flipping himself up onto the rooftop and marveling at how he didn’t seem the feel the ache within his shoulder anymore.

The view gave him a clear rout of Jesse and the oncoming force of Jack Morrison, rifle at the ready. His heart sped up at that point, worry in him that his soulmate would be caught unawares by the soldier, but a curious thing happened.

Jesse paused before rolling himself into the alleyway beside him. He watched as the Cowboy looked up at him, a small smile upon his lips before eyes going wide, and Hanzo was quick, rolling backwards and kicking his feet upwards.

Gabriel went skittering across the roof, a groan upon his lips as he wrapped his arms around his stomach for a moment. “Better.” He then grunted out, standing straight once more. “You two are starting to become aware…”

“One,” Hanzo’s voice was deep as he spoke, a small smirk upon his lips as he watched Gabe’s eyes go wide and look down at his stomach where he had been kicked and pushed.

There was the sticker - clear as day, stuck to him - and Gabriel sighed and placed a hand to his face before laughing.

Hanzo ignored him at that point, rushing back to the rooftop’s edge. It was the break they needed. One down, one to go. It had taken them weeks to even get this far. Could Jesse complete what Hanzo had started all that time ago?

“Time is ticking…” Gabriel’s smug voice came from behind him. “Tick, tick, tick… Fifteen minutes left…”

“Shush,” Hanzo hissed, not sure if he was saying it to Gabriel, or the feeling of worry and failure that was screaming within his mind. His eyes slid around, watching Jack’s approach towards the alley, and Jesse looking worried as he looked down at the sticker within his grip.

Do not give up…

He felt it in the back of his mind, and Jesse looked upwards, seeing Hanzo nod down to him. They could do this. Just one sticker. Just one. They wouldn’t fail this time.

I believe in you…

He settled his resolve, the feeling of hope and love echoing through him. A small smile came to his lips at that point as he heard footsteps approaching him. He could do this. Clipped heels against cobblestones came and went past, and Jesse quickly took the opportunity, rolling from his alley and shoving his hand forward, only to receive a gun to the face; Jack’s lips quirked up in a smirk.

“Oh… !” Jesse whispered out, readying to feel death as he raised his hands in surrender, sticker still within his fingers.

Jack really was the harder of the two to get the drop on, and Jesse had walked right into that one. “Tisk, tisk, tisk, Jesse… You should know better by now…”

Just as Jesse thought the trigger would be pulled, Jack stumbled backwards, grabbing at his shoulder and hissing. He watched as the soldier’s head snapped upwards towards the rooftops, and a feeling of urgency echoed through his mind at that brief moment.

Now! Hurry!

He spared no time, surging forward in a lumbering lope before smacking the sticker down upon Jack’s shoulder before dancing back and away. The hologram around them seemed to waver before disappearing, and both Jack and Jesse were witness to Gabe face first on the ground, Hanzo upon his back, the Blackwatch soldier’s arm twisted backwards and up at a weird angle.

“Darlin’!” Jesse moved over to him, and Hanzo easily let Gabriel go, easily sliding from his back and moving into the Cowboy’s arms.

“It… still needs some work… but you guys did it,” Jack grunted as he moved forward and hefted Gabriel to his feet, a small smirk coming to his lips. “Bested by an archer, Gabriel…”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” was the reply the Latino gave him, a feeling of embarrassment wafting through their bond and causing the Hoosier to laugh loudly at that, shaking his head.

“I have to admit… You two completed the training two months before Genji and Lucio did,” Jack smirked at them. “Well done…”

“Just had more of a drive, ‘m bettin’,” Jesse shrugged, and Hanzo looked a little ashamed. “Bet you two weren’t as rough on them as you were us…”

“You’re right with that,” Gabe nodded. “We raised you, Jesse, so of course we’d be tougher on you.” He then was rubbing the back of his neck and rolling his shoulders, “Now… get yourselves cleaned up and get out of here… Same thing tomorrow. Same time…”

“Slave driver,” Jesse hissed quietly as he placed his head against Hanzo’s for a brief moment. It was all that was needed between the two of them, a small smile sliding onto their lips to mirror one another, and both moved from the room, steps in stride with one another and fingers linked together.

“They’ve still got a long way to go…” Jack started, watching the two exit.

“But at least they’re now on their way… both sides,” Gabe finished for him, both sharing a smile before Jack was moving in to rub his shoulder and kiss it.

“He got you good, didn’t he? I felt that one, regardless of you suppressing yourself…”

“I’ll be alright… Just knew right where to twist and how to hold…” Gabriel grunted and pulled Jack close, kissing him roughly. “Stop worrying. I’m fine…”

“Well… I guess Reinhardt won the pool…” Jack smirked grandly as he was let go for air.

“Wonderful… He will be screaming from the rooftops of his victory,” Gabriel frowned, even though it was half hearted. Jack couldn’t help but laugh at that, placing his hand over Gabe’s face before pushing him backwards. This resulted in Gabe growling playfully before lunging and taking Jack to the ground, a deep chuckle leaving him as he peppered kisses all along the Hoosier’s neck and face.

“Maybe he can finally take Angela out on that date he has been planning and talking about,” Jack couldn’t help but giggle at the attention he was getting, and Gabriel snorted.

“Yeah… We’ll make sure he and she get the downtime…”

Jesse gripped Hanzo’s hand a little tighter as they walked down the hallway, regardless of who could see them, “Lunch?”

“Thought you would never ask,” was the smiling reply to got before fingers squeezed back to his grip and they then walked in silence.

But of course, it wasn’t really silence that they heard, heads and hearts filled with each other’s words that just were not said aloud.

Somewhere across the compound there was a loud holler of triumph and quite a few groans. And within the medbay, a pleased smile and small giggle.

Chapter Text

It was fluid now, second nature. Spinning and skidding to a halt, hands coming down and in front of him to make a brace before Hanzo walked up him and used the momentum to flip and let arrow after arrow lose before being caught and tossed upwards to gain footing upon the side of a building.

Fluid. Like water.

“Ya know… I’ve always felt that pain in yer chest, darlin’... wanna talk about it?” Jesse grunted out as he rolled backwards and out of range of Gabriel’s guns. A quick fan of his Peacemaker had his adoptive father quickly spinning into an alleyway and disappearing.

Now?” Hanzo tisked out, scaling the wall to a balcony and eying the street below him for any sign of Jack, the Hoosier had yet to be found in their game of Hide and Seek.

The rules were simple…

Find both Gabriel and Jack before the time ran out. Once found, they had the opportunity to strike whenever they wanted to thwart Jesse and Hanzo from finding the other. Another exercise, another training method, since the sticker challenge had been reduced to mere minutes upon starting for the day.

“Well yeah, why not?” Was the reply his scruffy soulmate gave, a small chuckle upon his lips. “What better time is there?”

“During an intimate time between the two of us? During a romantic dinner with only our presences around? While involved in…”

“Whoa-ho, hol’ it there partner! I ain’ so ready to do tha’ yet, a’ite? I ain’ an easy lay! Jus’ gotta give me some time…” Jesse held up his hands in front of him as if Hanzo was standing right there in front of him.

“You do realize you are on the open com channel,” Gabriel’s amused voice filtered through to them, and Jesse blushed grandly as he pulled his hat down over his face a bit more. “You hear that, Morrison? He’s not an easy lay...”

There was a faint chuckle through the coms, but still no words. Hanzo tilted his head as he tried to pinpoint exactly where it had come from. “I shall not push, Jesse,” Hanzo murmured to him. “Coitus will wait until you are ready…”

“...Coi-,” Gabriel snorted at that before slapping the wall of the alley he was in to keep himself from laughing. Of course, it didn’t quite help Jack, who burst out laughing from his hidden position.

A small smirk came to Hanzo’s lips as the laughter echoed off of the walls of the simulated King’s Row, and he licked his lips as his eyes narrowed in a direction. Pulling one of his arrows from his pack, he indicated with his head slightly to catch Jesse’s attention before shooting the arrow towards a building across the way.

The ping of sonar alerted Jesse to the contents within the building, one Jack Morrison crouched on the far end, traps lined up getting to him. The echo when through the both of them, a small smile coming to their lips as Jesse came hustling over to the building, watching as Hanzo gripped the balcony’s edge and flipped backwards.

Hands came to rest upon his shoulders before Jesse was pushing himself once more upwards and flipping. Landing in a crouched position, he watched as Jesse stood himself back up fully from his crouched position as well.

The words weren’t needed, he could feel it through their bond. Jesse’s words were loud within his chest, his heart.

Let’s kick some ass!

“They’re on the move,” Gabriel could be heard through the coms, and Hanzo smirked even more at those words. “Careful, Morrison, I think they know where you are…”

The next words spoken were just for show, confusion from Jesse McCree was an artform he had mastered, even if within the bond a very different thing was being said.

“So… You hit the pod ramp an’ jump, an’ I cross under an’ go… An’ then you shoot the freethrow an’ do the four-forty… An’ I wasn’ sure, bu’ I think ya scored the touchdown...” He tilted his head to the left, a small smirk quirking up the side of his lips, “Got it?”

One Hanzo Shimada did not bat an eyelash as he nodded and moved forward at a jog, “Understood. I scored the touchdown…”

“What the fuck are they talking about?” Jack hissed over the com to Gabriel, who in turn spun out of his alleyway to charge the two.

“I dunno, but it’s ending here!” Gabriel yelled out, only to have an arrow come sailing at his face with no time to react. “S-Shi’...”

His words died as the arrow slid home within an eye socket, head snapping backwards before his body followed, a resounding thud echoing off of the walls and cobblestones.

One.

Two...

An unearthly bellow ricocheted off of the walls of every street upon King’s row, sending a shiver up Jesse’s spine. “Oh… shi’...” He whispered out. “On second thought… this… mighta been the wrong… plan.”

”Gabriel Reyes respawn in nine seconds…” Athena’s voice shook Jesse to his core.

“Darlin’... don’ mean ta urge ya bu’...” The Cowboy’s words stopped dead as Hanzo backed up a few steps from him before running towards him, thundering footfalls coming their way.

“Throw me!” Hanzo hissed, pulling an arrow from his quiver as he took a running leap at his soulmate.

“Ho-whoa, now wai’...” Jesse yelled out, hands coming down in front of him for an anchor. Hanzo easily landed his foot within the net of fingers before planting his other foot against Jesse’s chest. He pushed his foot from Jesse’s fingers and walked up him, his foot finally shoving off of the Cowboy’s hat to twist within the air just as a wild eyed Jack Morrison came barreling towards Jesse.

Fuck,” Jesse groaned out as he was taken to the ground seconds before a rifle was shoved into his face. “Why’s it always gotta be me?” He cried out a second before the trigger was pulled and his world went dark.

The arrow that sunk into Jack’s back made a squelching noise, as did the second, and the third. And as Hanzo landed on all fours, skidding backwards, the archer bared his teeth as his vision seemed to tunnel in on the man that had just eliminated his soulmate.

”Jesse McCree respawn in…” Athena’s voice started before dying off. ”Error… error… Jesse McCree respawn in… error… error…”

It hurts…

The thought had Hanzo’s head snapping upwards to look towards the sky.

I’m scared… I don’ wanna be alone… Please? I’m afraid of bein’ alone…

“Abort training program!” Gabriel bellowed out as he ran down the streets. “Abort the training program! Code Alpha-Alpha-Zeta-Echo-9-9-6!

His words were desperate, and Jack collapsed forward before the light within his eyes started to dim, clarity starting to return to him with the life of his soulmate once more within his touch.

”Jack Morrison respawn in twenty… seconds…” Athena’s voice seemed strained.

Please don’ lemme be alone… Please? It’s dark. I’m scared!

The streets around them seemed to dissipate before disappearing entirely, Jack’s body disappearing as the respawn seemed to be working for him.

”Jesse!” Hanzo screamed out, falling to his hands and knees completely as he gripped the floor beneath him. “Jesse!

“Jesse… McCree… respawn…” Athena’s voice seemed sluggish.

“Redirect respawn to Medical Ward!” Gabriel bellowed out, gripping Hanzo’s arm and hefting him to his feet. “Deep breaths through your nose. In… out… It’ll help…”

I’m… scared…

”Jesse McCree respawn in ten seconds…” Athena’s voice was strong once more. “Redirected respawn to Medical Ward…”

“Talk to him!” Gabriel hissed as he pulled Hanzo with him. “Even in that wild state you’ve gotta talk to him! Tell him he’s alright! Tell him everything’s gonna be alright!”

Hanzo…

By the time they came to the Medical Ward, both Jack and Jesse were there, Jesse laid within a bed and panting out, hands gripping at the sheets that were beneath him. Jack looked to Gabe, tears in his eyes as he moved forward to wrap him up within his arms.

“It’s alright, mi alma... I am alright. You are alright…” Gabriel whispered to him, kissing his temple and rubbing his back.

Hanzo moved forward to the edge of Jesse’s bed, taking his flesh hand and bringing it to his lips before sitting down beside him. He could feel the quaking from Jesse, hear the hitch in his breath, and he could feel the terror that ran through him.

“It started when I was fourteen,” Hanzo whispered to him, lips moving to his temple as he pulled Jesse against him. Eyes closing, he took in a deep breath. “Father wished to strengthen the Shimada clan, ties to an American family that was large on business. I had never met the girl before, yet my father promised me she was my soulmate…”

Jesse’s quaking seemed to calm at his words, at the soothing feel of a hand through his hair, and Hanzo continued, “She appeared before me, dressed in white, eyes a hard steel. The words fell from her lips easily, but it just created an emptiness within my heart, my chest. And that feeling stayed there, a reverberating and echoing feel daily every moment I breathed.”

Jack looked up at Gabe at Hanzo’s words, nodding to him to silently tell him that this conversation was probably a private affair. The Latino didn’t miss a beat, swooping Jack up into his arms quietly and moving them out of the Medical Ward.

“Father cut his losses, tried again with a different family a year later… The words were said once more, only for that feeling to rear once more, the echo louder, the pain a little more.” Hanzo continued, as if telling a fairytale to Jesse, who just leaned against him. “More and more… One after another, and that pain built… It drove me mad, took away my sanity, any hope I had of ever finding you. I distanced myself from everyone, the pain too great… Every step I took was agony, every breath I used to live was a curse upon me, the air stale and dry, a death upon my mouth as it entered my body…”

He kissed Jesse’s temple gently, “One night I was forced to copulate with a woman that I told no countless times. But duty and honor demand I lay there, tied to the bed as she demanded I be, and allow this woman to take my virginity… She said the words to me, and it only ached more… She was sent from my room, thrashing in anger at how our families would never be tied to one another, that I must have been incompetent in my ability to please her… She demanded she was the one that had been wronged, not I, even though I was still tied and feeling violated. How could I not want it, how could I not want her. How could I have said no to her, even though she did not stop...”

“Oh darlin’,” Jesse whispered, cybernetic hand sliding up to take one of Hanzo’s, squeeze it gently, and the archer could feel something splatter wetly against his hakama.

“Food turned to ash then, enough of a pain within me for anything to taste appetizing. Piece by piece I was dying, only held together by the dragons that inhabited my body. Strong and Proud, they would not allow me to waste away.” Hanzo continued on as if not interrupted. He knew by now Jesse’s fear had subsided, but the Cowboy had wanted to know his pain, so he would tell him.

“When I fought my brother, I was but a shell of myself. Distant, the pain a maddening and overpowering pound within my chest, my entire being, and I regret the strike of blade more than anyone will ever know…” He took in a shuddering breath as he opened his eyes to look down at their linked hands, “And I exiled myself, returning every year to pay respects to my brother…”

Clearing his throat, he tipped his head back to look towards the ceiling, “And the Gumi caught me then… I had become weak…” A small smile came to his lips as he tipped McCree’s chin upwards to look into his eyes, “And then a loud mouthed, energetic and boisterous Cowboy in blaring red knelt down in front of me and said those words… and that hole within my chest immediately disappeared and it was easy to breathe again, even with the broken ribs…”

“Stop, yer gonna make me blush,” Jesse chuckled as color came to his cheeks. Good, Hanzo enjoyed seeing color upon his cheeks. It meant he was alive… Alive and breathing.

“Color returned, the air was sweet once more, and hope flared… Hope flared and yet… I did not wish to believe it. Surely it was a trick of some kind, or I had finally gone crazy from the torture and lack of food.” Hanzo smiled and shook his head. “But it was no trick. I was not crazy. And you were all mine as much as I was yours…”

“An’ I was a stubborn ass,” Jesse chuckled, kissing Hanzo gently and almost unsurely, the archer’s lips tasting of a brisk sea air and a crackle on the wind to urge of a lightning storm brewing. God, he would never get over that taste.

“So when I say I will not push, Jesse…” Hanzo whispered against his lips, both sets brushing together to cause both to quiver in anticipation of what awaited when both gave permission, “Know I mean it.”

He rolled on top of Jesse at that point, bodies against one another as he barely held himself up with his arms, enjoying the press he could feel between their hips, the subtle arch of his Cowboy’s towards his own. And a small smirk quipped at the corner of his lips, “I will not push…”

“Bu’ ya will tease,” Jesse panted out before he laughed, pulling Hanzo down for another kiss. “Soon… I promise. When I’m ready…”

“I await with baited breath and patient hands,” Hanzo whispered to him.

Chapter Text

“You cannot be serious…”

The words caught him off guard as he stood there, hand extended and holding the serape he most cherished. Why wouldn’t he be serious? This was Hanzo they were talking about. He’d do anything for Hanzo…

Right?

“Han, babe… darlin’...” Jesse whispered softly, moving towards him once more with serape in hand. “Jus’... lemme give ya somethin’ special?”

“Tch…”

The reply was surprising, but didn’t deter him from coming forward and wrapping the serape around his waist to allow it to cover slightly over a hip and thigh, trailing down to taper off near his knee. The large smile that came to his lips next had Hanzo softening and smiling, one of his hands pulling Jesse’s hat from his head to run a hand through his hair. “Jesse…”

“There! Now you’ve always got a piece o’ me with ya, no matter where ya are on the battlefield, yeah?” The Cowboy looked up at him and beamed, that teethy smile of his causing Hanzo to chuckle softly and shake his head.

In one fluid motion, the archer was pulling at the ribbon that kept up his hair, the locks falling to barely his shoulders as it was finally free. Jeese just stared. Caught unaware, Hanzo took the moment to wrap the golden piece of fabric around the Cowboy’s left wrist a few times before finally tying it off.

“And now you will always have me with you, Cowboy...” Hanzo smiled his charming and rare smile, leaning in to kiss Jesse’s lips and bring him out of his slight daze. “Jesse… did you hear me?”

“Yer hair…”

“Is down, yes,” Hanzo chuckled softly and shook his head. “I will find a replacement ribbon to tie it up later.”

“Bu’ the ribbon…” Jesse looked down at the golden ribbon that stood out upon his wrist.

“Can be replaced easily. My love for you cannot be and must be shown, hmm?” Hanzo countered, placing a hand upon his cheek before pulling Jesse in to place his forehead to his own. “It is a special gift for my soulmate. Do you accept it?”

“You accepted mine, didn’ ya?” Jesse grinned widely once more before stealing his lips in a quick and soft kiss. “O’course I accept it! I’ll wear it with pride, mi corazon…” He then was laughing, “Didja know that Jack wears Gabe’s token around his neck. It’s always there, against his skin and under his shirt…”

“Oh?” Hanzo asked as he placed a hand down to the serape around his hips.

“Yeah… an owl feather,” Jesse grinned wickedly at that, as if it made sense just saying that. As he saw that Hanzo still looked confused, he laughed. “The barn owl is an omen of death… of… change in a sense. It was a symbol to announce that his old life was dead, gone… And his new one, his one with his soulmate, was just starting. I heard from Gabe it took Jack months to find out the meaning behind the feather. He had just thought it was some feather that Gabe had thought was pretty.”

He couldn’t control the full blown laughter at that, and shook his head before slapping his thigh.

“And Commander Reyes? Does he wear the favor Commander Morrison gave him?” Hanzo asked, eyebrows raised. He was rather interested to know if the morehard of the two actually wore something to show his appreciation from his soulmate.

“Who, Gabe? Well sure as shit he does!” Jesse nodded, proud of his adoptive fathers. “The left earring he wears was a gift from Jack… as well as the bracelet that he wears on his right wrist… It’s beneath his sleeve usually… Jack made it for him. He’s had it all of these years... “ He snorted and shook his head, “Made from goddamn string, Hanzo! Goddamn string!

“Much like a child’s friendship bracelet?” The archer asked, a small chuckle leaving him as he covered his mouth with his hand as if covering a cough.

“Tha’s what it is, darlin’! A goddamn kid’s friendship bracelet! Gabe didn’ know what to do with it to begin with he tol’ me… Jack spent hours on that damn thing! He’d never made anythin’ like tha’ as a kid… He was so proud o’ himself as he handed it to Gabe! An’ Gabe jus’ kinda… did this weird smile an’ thanked him…” He shrugged then. “O’course when Gabe found out tha’ he never knew how ta make them an’ spent hours on it, he quickly put it on an’ never took it off… Tha’ thing is tattered an’ worn an’ he still won’ let anyone fix it.”

Hanzo took Jesse’s hand as they moved down the hallway to the shooting range, “That is rather…”

His words died as someone shot through the middle of them, laughter spilling from their lips before Genji was fast on their heels. A small smile came to Hanzo’s lips as he saw it was Lucio. The young man had spun around on his skates to skate backwards and watch Genji keep up with him. “Gotta be faster than that, Genji, to keep up with me!”

“I will always keep up with you, koibito,” Genji countered, zipping forward before flipping over the small D.J. “Now it is your turn to catch me, hmm?” With that, he was dashing off, laughter spilling from his lips.

Jesse shook his head as Lucio saluted them in a wave before spinning and dashing off after Genji, a whoop of joy leaving him. “They’re perfect for one another…”

“My brother is happy. That is all that matters,” Hanzo replied to him, nodding. “He deserves happiness…”

“Well he’s definitely got it with Lucio, that’s fer sure… Those two spend their days together if they can… Movie nights most nights in their room… An’ races as ya can see…” Jesse squeezed Hanzo’s hand. “They migh’ not be like we are with our relationship… bu’ in the same aspect… we’re different from Gabe an’ Jack… so… I think every soulmate is different with their affections.”

“You may be correct,” Hanzo replied evenly as they passed the commons and watched Jack and Gabriel speaking with one another while cooking breakfast together. The two moved flawlessly, well aware of what the other was going to do before they even did it, spinning out of the way of one another and laughing at a joke that was said between the two. One tossing something into the air over a shoulder and the other either catching in a hand or in a skillet for cooking.

Hanzo mentally told himself that he wished one day his own bond would be that strong, and Jesse squeezed his hand before spinning them away to pin Hanzo to the wall, a wicked grin upon his lips. “One day, mi corazon… One day it will be. They’ve had years to perfect theirs… battling together and apart… Exercises over and over to strengthen it. We’ll get there eventually.”

“When you say that as you are, I believe you,” Hanzo whispered to him, leaning up ever so slightly to kiss his lips hungrily, and Jesse laughed against them, body leaning in to press against his own. There was a moment where something echoed through the bond the two had before Hanzo was placing a hand to Jesse’s chest and gently pushing him back slightly. “Later, Cowboy. Right now we have training…”

“Yer righ’, yer righ’,” Jesse mumbled quietly as he took a step back, hands still resting on either side of Hanzo upon the wall. It took a few moments, content rolling through the bond at being as close as they were before Jesse was pulling back and away, freeing Hanzo to move around.

It was at that point that Hanzo moved forward and stepped up onto McCree’s boots, pulling Jesse’s head down with a hand behind his neck, before kissing him soundly upon the lips. He would never admit to the pleased noise that left him at that point, especially when Jesse moved them back a few steps from the wall.

The hand that was behind his neck moved to slide up into Jesse’s hair, pushing his hat off so those tresses could really be felt. “You need to wear the hat less,” Hanzo whispered against his lips. “Now come. Training. Let’s see who is the better marksman today, hmm?”

That seemed to spark something in the Cowboy, and he laughed as he pulled away from the archer to easily scoop up his hat and smash it back upon his head. “Yer on, darlin’! First to fifty bullseyes wins? Loser has’ ta cook lunch?”

“A sound challenge indeed.” Was the reply Jesse got before both were laughing out and moving towards the shooting range once more, hands clasped in one another’s.

Chapter Text

The days bled into weeks. Weeks into months. And finally months into years. And through those years, Overwatch had seen many come and go, some stayed through thick and thin, and some even retired.

The job was not easy, it never was. Mission after mission, saved life after saved life. And still, the world was not ready for Overwatch to be their savior. But they were willing to allow them to continue doing what they were doing unhindered. An organization dedicated to saving lives of everyone they could.

Reinhardt became an instructor for new recruits, his body -mostly his aching bones - needed a rest from field work. Angela became the medical examiner they had on base, too valuable to let into the field if the need arose for it, but she trained many field medics on a daily basis so the members of Overwatch were not without aid. Genji and Lucio were team leaders, working together to make sure their recruits were safe and useful.

Times were changing, and so was the need for change within Overwatch as well. And thus why Gabriel and Jack had stepped down as leaders, handing over the title to Jesse and Hanzo themselves.

They were older, more in control of their bond, strong and tight knit, a foe you never wanted to be on the receiving end of. They inspired the new recruits, kept them safe out in the field. A slight look and the other knew what was going to happen. One touch and so many words passed between them, so many feelings.

It was something the younger recruits enjoyed watching. Something that had them doing their best with their partners that they had been assigned to for training purposes as well as for in the field, each and every one of them hoping to be just as good as Jesse McCree and Hanzo Shimada.

”You are our future,” Hanzo would say to the recruits he would walk in front of every morning at the shooting range. ”A future that once found, can be bright and beautiful… Honed through many hours worth of work and dedication…”

”He means practice, practice, practice,” Jesse would cut in as he would slide in behind Hanzo, tall and unmoving, a steady presence for the archer.

Their days were mostly spent training recruits and going on ops, missions that would take them away from the base for sometimes weeks at a time. So as the op had sent them away from base, longer than they had originally planned, the two hadn’t thought anything of it.

But as days bled into weeks, and the mark they were sent to find turned into a cat and mouse chase, the two found themselves in deep water where treading was starting to get a little hard. And as they were surrounded, guns pointed at them by Talon agents that had gotten the upper hand on them, the two went back to back, that touch, that tiny bit of respite, was enough to spark something, words exchanged within the mind and through the bond, and Hanzo was the first to speak, his voice deep and thick, a thrum within it as his muscles coiled and tensed. “You hit the podramp and jump…”

“And I cross under a go…” Jesse muttered as his hand slid to his holster, a smirk within his gaze as he counted up their chances…

Slim to none.

“And then you shot in the free throw…” Hanzo continued, hand sliding up his jacket’s arm ever so slowly to reveal his tattoo.

“And then I did the four-forty,” Jesse yanked his Peacemaker from it’s holster, cocking it in one go and activating the Dead Eye, pupil blown wide as time seemed to slow around him with the sensation, Death flying from one Talon agent to the next within his view.

“So I wasn’t sure, but I think you scored the touchdown... got it?” Hanzo yelled out as he slid his hand down his tattoo. It started glowing blue before the dragons burst free. Large and domineering, they coiled around Hanzo and Jesse, a shield of spiritual beasts as they continued to coil over and over as the bullets echoed around them.

In quick progression six men dropped dead, Jesse’s gun barrel smoking as he flicked open the cylinder and started reloading, eye increasingly aching him as Death called to him, echoed of the reprieve he would have, the souls that were now his. Once it was loaded once more and the cylinder flicked back into place, Jesse smirked sadly, blood trickling down from his eye much like a tear, “Absolutely… I scored the touchdown.” Six more men went down, and Jesse fell to his knee, hand over his eye.

“Sorry, darlin’... I can’t no more…”

“It is alright,” Hanzo whispered as he watched the men close ranks around them, the dragons snarling and growling deeply in their throat as the bullets pelted off of them and fell to the ground, their shield holding. ”Soba… Udon… Akuma…” He snarled out, quickly spinning and wrapping his body around Jesse to shield it as much as he could as the dragons bellowed out a roar before the lashed out at the men around them, bounding from one to the next, the bullets bouncing right off of them or ricocheting off at an angle.

If they weren’t stuck within jowls that snapped bones, they were crushed beneath coils that flailed uncontrollably. None were spared the wrath of the Shimada dragons. As all men lay in broken heaps or pools of blood, Hanzo was able to pull back from Jesse, a pained smile coming to his lips. “You are… alright?”

“I am now, thank ya kindly, darlin’...” Jesse smiled as he turned to look up at him, his one eye closed.

Hanzo leaned in to kiss him, his hand sliding from his own side bloody as he cupped Jesse’s cheek. The cowboy’s eye went wide at the sticky and wet feel of the blood upon his face, and he spun fully, catching Hanzo as he fell. “No! No, no, no, no!” He cried out. “No! Ya can’t leave me, goddamnit all!”

“Jesse…” Hanzo muttered weakly, eyes fluttering closed before opening once more.

“Oh hell no!” Jesse yelled out, scooping Hanzo fully into his arms and stumbling to his feet.

As the dragons disappeared from existence, he was rushing towards a car that was down the street from them. “You ain’ leavin’ me, partner! Iffin’ I wasn’ allowed leavin’ ya all those years ago, you ain’ allowed leavin’ me, yeah? Fair’s fair! Death ain’ hoverin’ over ya today! Not today!” That was the last thing Hanzo remembered before the world around him faded out of existence and all that was left was a warm darkness, a sense of safety and love, worry, radiating through him.

The next time he awoke was to being in a bed, hooked up to monitors and one Jesse McCree sprawled out in a chair, head tilted back and snoring a little, hat precariously upon his head and ready to slip off. A small smile came to Hanzo’s lips as he chuckled softly, pain in his side and a reminder that he was still alive, that this wasn’t a dream.

Jesse lunged at the noise, hat falling to the ground and eyes searching Hanzo over, a relieved smile coming to his lips. “Hanzo…”

“Koibito…” Hanzo bowed his head slightly from his position in the bed.

“I… I thought I might lose ya,” Jesse whispered, eyes full of tears as he moved over to the bed and sat on it, placing his forehead to Hanzo’s. “Don’ ever do somethin’ that stupid again…”

“Like you have not protected me as well over the years…” Hanzo countered, placing a hand to Jesse’s cheek before kissing him. “I am here, that is all that matters right now, ne?”

“Clever fella,” Jesse snorted, nuzzling his nose with Hanzo’s as he pulled the archer closer to him to hold him strongly.

“And you are a fool,” Hanzo countered, only to receive Jesse’s wet laugh as he started crying.

“Yeah… but I’m your fool…”

“And you always will be,” Hanzo whispered to him, melting against Jesse tightly. “You always will be, do not think otherwise, yes?”

“Never a doubt in my mind, darlin’.” Was the reply he got before the familiar sound of a snore had Hanzo chuckling. His poor Cowman, falling asleep. He must have done nothing but wait at his side the entire time, and how had they gotten back to Gibralter?

“He drove you back… Commandeered someone’s car, hotwired it… and drove as fast as he could back here… You almost were lost to us for good if it wasn’t for the respawn,” Gabe’s deep and gruff voice entered his ears as he looked up to see the older man leaning against the doorway. “How many times have I told the both of you to take a portable respawn with you when going on ops?”

“We did not think we would run into trouble,” Hanzo admitted, almost looking like a scolded child.

“Yeah well… always expect it, damn it!” Gabe huffed and moved into the room, laying them both back down and covering them up. “Or pretty soon one of you isn’t going to be coming back… And the words upon your skin will disappear… And I don’t know about you… But I rather like where Jack’s words are…”

“Our words can never be taken away from us…” Hanzo shook his head as he explained. “They are etched, not written… And so… we will never be gone.”

Gabe had no words at that, mouth opening and closing for a moment as he thought about it, really thought about it. He had no counter to that, no words to quip at him about how he was wrong. Because in a way, Hanzo was absolutely right… The words would never disappear… they were etched into metal…

It was minutes later that Gabe was scoffing at the smirking Hanzo, pressing a few buttons upon the monitor that regulated his medication, “Tch… cheeky asshole. Just sleep like your soulmate, yeah?”

“You started the morphine drip… didn’t you?” Hanzo accused him of, a feeling of lethargy hitting him all at once. “You know how I hate morphine…”

“Sleep, pendejo... Just rest,” Gabe grunted out, shaking his head as he walked to the door where Jack was standing, a small smile upon his lips. “The idiots will sleep now… properly, hopefully,” Gabe admitted, and Jack chuckled.

“Good, because I don’t think I could have watched Jesse try and sleep in that goddamn dreadful chair again,” Jack shook his head and kissed Gabe. “Now c’mon. We have some recruits to greet and train until those two can actually take over duties once more…”

“Ugh… kids… I thought that was the whole point in us retiring… so we didn’t have to do shit like this…” Gabe groaned.

“You like it and you know it,” Jack teased him as he pulled away and started walking off, a slight sway to his hips that had Gabe growling ever so slightly to rush after him.

Never a dull moment.

No…

Never a dull moment.